Boxing Insider Notebook: Lemieux, Russell, Whyte, Martinez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 16th to April 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Right Hand Injury Forces David Lemieux to Withdraw From Super Middleweight Debut Against John ‘The Gorilla” Ryder
An unfortunate hand injury has forced David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) to withdraw from his 168-pound debut against London’s John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) in what was going to be the scheduled 12-round co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs. Lemieux injured his right hand during a sparring session, and his doctor has recommended that he rest for eight weeks before returning to the gym.
Details for the new co-main event will be announced shortly. The Canelo vs. Jacobs will continue as planned on Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Lemieux, a 30-year-old native of Montreal, Canada, is disappointed at his injury, but promises to return stronger than ever.
”Training camp was going really great,” said David Lemieux.”I felt in tremendous shape, the strongest I’d ever felt in my entire career. But, I will be back soon. Hopefully, the fans will understand. I promise I will make it up to them once I’m healed.”
“I’m very disappointed since he was in the best shape of his life both in the gym and in the ring,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management. “We will take the time to heal his hand and get right back in the chase for a world title.”
“It’s very unfortunate that David Lemieux’s return has been postponed,” said Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy. “But this is boxing, and these things happen. We wish David a speedy recovery and look forward to his return, so he can make big waves at 168 pounds.”
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. To Defend Against Former Champion Kiko Martinez
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former world champion Kiko Martinez in the co-feature to Wilder vs. Breazeale on Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heraldez squaring-off against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round attraction. The event is headlined by WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he makes the ninth defense of his title against mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale.
“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the most skilled fighters in the sport and he’ll look to stake his spot atop the featherweight division on May 18 against the always exciting former champion Kiko Martinez,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The event will also feature a battle between a rising contender in the 140-pound division in Juan Heraldez going up against one of the division’s toughest and most active contenders in Argenis Mendez. This is truly going to be an electric night leading up to heavyweight champion of the world Deontay Wilder in the main event.”
“Preceding the night’s main attraction will be Gary Russell Jr. defending his title against a tough and experienced Kiko Martinez, making for a battle that is sure to bring excitement to the fans, plus Mayweather Promotions’ young prospect Juan Heraldez will open the telecast looking to put on a show, as he continues to elevate his career to new heights,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “I’m confident that he will execute his game plan impressively and showcase his talent against a seasoned and tested Argenis Mendez, who has been in the ring with some of the top guys in the super lightweight division. The fans at Barclays and those tuning in on SHOWTIME will see a night of non-stop action come May 18.”
Tickets for this BombZquad event can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com, Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Heraldez vs. Mendez fight is co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions.
The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make the fourth defense of his featherweight world title on May 18 and his second career appearance at Barclays Center. Russell won his title by knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015. After stopping Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon, he most recently defeated previously unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jr. last May. Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals.
“I expect to send a message to everyone in or near my division that I’m a force to be reckoned with,” said Russell. “I want to unify against Leo Santa Cruz and I’m going to do what I have to do to get there. I’m never going to take any opponent lightly and right now, it’s my job to take care of Kiko Martinez before I worry about anything else. On May 18 you should expect to see excitement, punching power, hand speed, fast combinations and a great level of boxing IQ. I’m the best in boxing today and I prove that every time I get in the ring.”
A native of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain, Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) has faced the best names in and around the featherweight division throughout his career. He won a super bantamweight world title in 2013 by stopping Jhonatan Romero and has faced the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last four contests, including most recently defeating Marc Vidal for a European featherweight title in October.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to win another world title and I’m thankful and excited for May 18,” said Martinez. “Gary Russell Jr is in for a rude awakening. I have a lot of experience and I feel great at featherweight. There will be nothing better than celebrating my 50th fight with a new world title.”
The undefeated Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs) continued to rise up the rankings in 2019 when he knocked out Eddie Ramirez in their February showdown. The 28-year-old from Las Vegas earned a decision victory over Kevin Watts and a stoppage of Maynard Allison in 2018. That followed up a unanimous decision victory over then unbeaten prospect Jose Miguel Borrego in his first 10-round bout in August 2017 on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard.
“I’m one of the best super lightweights in the world and I’m going to show it again on May 18,” said Heraldez. “They keep lining them up and I’ll keep knocking them down. Mendez is good, veteran opposition, but I’m going to show I’m on a different level. This is a great opportunity to once again perform on a big stage and I’m going to take full advantage and steal the show.”
Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs) most recently fought to a competitive split-draw against Anthony Peterson in March, running his unbeaten streak up to three fights. The 32-year-old defeated Eddie Ramirez and Ivan Redkach in back-to-back fights after losses to Robert Easter Jr. and Luke Campbell. Originally from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic and now living in Brooklyn, N.Y, Mendez won the IBF super featherweight title with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Salgado in 2013.
“This fight is do or die for me to become champion again,” said Mendez. “Anthony Peterson ran from me in our fight in March, so if Heraldez does that on May 18, I will be better prepared. If he stands and fights with me, I feel strongly that I will dominate him and make a statement to everyone that I’m an elite 140-pound fighter.”
Whyte to Face Rivas in London Showdown
Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas for the number one Heavyweight spot in the WBC at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Whyte (25-1 18KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.
The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.
Rivas (26-0 18KOs) is yet another dangerous customer for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas travelled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders, with ‘Kaboom’ ranked at number ten with the WBC, seven in the IBF and a lofty five with both the WBA and WBO.
The Canadian-based 31 year old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 Kos in 26 fights since turning over, July 20 promises to be an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers, with huge stakes on the line.
“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July,” said Whyte. “Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years.
“His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.
“I am more than happy to carry on fighting top 10 fighters like Rivas until I get my well-earned shot at Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.
“I can’t wait until July 20 to fight again at The O2 which is one ofthe best venues in the world for boxing.”
‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” said Rivas. “Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer, a World class fighter and the number one contender. He deserve all my respect for his accomplishments and I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.
“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated, I am planning to keep my perfect record after July 20 in my quest to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”
“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot but as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war. We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”
“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York and representations were made.
“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy, to be earning an eventual World title opportunity, by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Dillian Whyte is risking it all again as he battles the dangerous Oscar Rivas at The O2, which has become a happy hunting ground for ‘The Body Snatcher.’
“Dillian has already delivered exciting wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora at the same venue, but he could have his hands full against Rivas, the unbeaten Colombian with his own world ambitions.
“Expect another enthralling showdown when Whyte returns in the summer, and we expect to have a stacked card before a sizzling main event.”
Croatian Heavyweight Star Hrgovic Makes American Debut on May 25
The Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist joins a blockbuster bill in Maryland headlined by former undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk, the winner of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series tournament, who makes his Heavyweight bow against Carlos Takam.
Hrgović returns following a one-sided points victory over Kevin Johnson in his hometown of Zagreb and is eager to showcase his skills in front of an American audience as he continues his quest for World glory.
The Croatian boxing sensation will take on Dallas-born Heavyweight Gregory ‘Bad News’ Corbin (15-1, 9 KOs), whose only previous defeat has come at the hands of former IBF World Champion Charles Martin.
“I am pleased that my promoter Team Sauerland has made an agreement with Matchroom and DAZN that will enable me to fight in America,” said Hrgović. “I believe DAZN is the future of boxing and I’m sure they will give their viewers the best match ups in the history of the Heavyweight division.”
“I look forward to making my American debut on May 25 I’m very excited because the entire Heavyweight division is moving to the US and the US is the best place for big fights at the moment.”
“I think American fans will love my style because I’m not a classic distance fighter. I’m constantly trying to fight and throwing many punches. The fans can expect some excellent fights from me.”
“My opponent Greg Corbin is very good, and I think he is an excellent choice for this stage of my career. I will prepare for this fight as if it were for a World title so I’m sure it will be a great match up.”
“It will be a good test for me because he is more experienced than me, we can see that from his record, and I believe he will come in his best possible shape so it will be an exciting match for viewers around world watching on DAZN.”
“I’m currently in training camp in Miami. We always train like it’s a fight for the world title. Pedro Diaz insists on discipline and hard training. He refuses to work with fighters who are not 100% focused. We share the same opinion about that. That is why we are a good team, and I think we can achieve big things together.”
“I am looking forward to getting straight back in there on May 25,” said Corbin. “This is a chance for me to redeem myself after the Martin fight. There were a lot of distractions for me in the build-up to that one, but this time I’m fully focused on Hrgovic. “There’s a lot of hype around this guy with his amateur background and his start in the pros – let’s see if he can back it up.”
“Filip Hrgović is an incredibly talented fighter and this could be a breakthrough year for the young Croatian,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “His amateur pedigree is outstanding and I share Team Sauerland’s excitement about his future – he’s going to be a real player in the division.”
“American fight fans are in for a treat. On May 25 they will witness a future star of the Heavyweight division,” said Hrgović’s promoter Nisse Sauerland. “Filip Hrgović is on a fast track for Heavyweight gold.”
Dubois vs. Lartey Fight Preview
By: Oliver McManus
Wembley hasn’t completely been left in the mire following Anthony Joshua’s temporary relocation to America, with Wembley Arena (the stadium’s little brother) the venue for Frank Warren’s latest promotion.
It’s a case of big bruising heavyweight action topping the bill as Daniel Dubois looks to collect his eleventh professional victory, against Richard Lartey. Last in action seven weeks with a destructive second round knockout over Razvan Cojanu, the Peacock prodigy is not looking to hang around and has multiple routes available to him.
He could, in theory, replicate Anthony Yarde in building his way up the world rankings, thanks to his WBO European title, whilst a win against Richard Lartey puts him in good standing with the Commonwealth Boxing Council. Of course there is the small matter of being mandated for the British title against Joe Joyce – a fight, he says, he wants.
Against Richard Lartey he will be a heavy betting favourite but the contest is a good opportunity to work on the areas that served him so well last time out. Targeting the body is the best asset for Dubois and he got right into that rhythm from the off against Cojanu, creating early success for the 21 year old. We’ve still yet to see how he reacts to a live opponent and having to take a shot in retaliation but, offensively, Dubois looks like he can trouble anyone.
His Ghanaian opponent will touch down in England for only his second fight outside of his home country since turning professional in 2013 – in which he’s amassed a record of 14-1. Initially signed up to face Joe Joyce in June last year, Lartey failed to turn up, he finally has an opportunity to topple a high-flying British prospect.
From what little footage that is available Lartey, who also competes as Richard Harrison, has typically fought from within the clinch as he looks to slash big right hooks across the face of his opponents. The WBO Africa champion looks physically imposing and stands tall throughout his contests. Quick to wrap his hands tight around his face, he seems flinchy in defence and leaves his body exposed at times.
He’s in with a puncher’s chance but that’s about it.
Lerrone Richards will return to the ring after a 13 month absence to face Tommy Langford for the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International super middleweight titles. Richards, a former WBO European champion, was last in action against Chris Dutton last March and endured a frustrating 2018 as he was limited to just that sole outing.
The 26 year old is undeniably gifted and this fight with Langford is a real opportunity to make up for lost time. Certainly the sternest challenge of his eleven-fight career, the southpaw is a nine time national amateur champion and will exude confidence going into the contest. A slick boxer who fights with bundles of energy, you suspect it will be Richards who pushes the tempo of the contest but he’s got a whole bag of tricks up his sleeve should he need to dig deep.
Langford, of course, is not simply turning up to get paid. This is, afterall, his route back into the big time. Having once been promoted by Warren and lined up for a title challenge to Billy Joe Saunders, it all went wrong in thunderous fashion against Avtandil Khurtsidze – for an interim world title. The likeable character quickly came back to win the British title with a victory over Jack Arnfield before two, fight-of-the-year contender, losses to Jason Welborn prompted a move up in weight division.
He finds himself, after a routine six round win over Baptiste Castegnaro, with a shot at immediate title redemption. The 29 year old has been vocal in his belief that Richards is far out of his depth, having “never fought anyone”, but for it is Langford who finds himself with a point to prove. In both contests against Welborn he showed an inability to adapt to the style and pressure coming his way – sticking blindly to his form that had, previously, earned him vast success. He needs to allow himself not to get dictated to by Richards and emerge looking to stamp an air of authority over the fight.
The talented Sunny Edwards returns with a scheduled defense of his WBO European title. The super flyweight is slated to face Pedro Matos (7-1) though that’s yet to actually be officially announced. Edwards has been upfront about his desire to test himself against domestic challengers, as opposed to those from the continent, with Tommy Frank the target of his rhetoric over the last month or so. Frank, Commonwealth champion, seems to have decided he’d rather head in a different direction and who can blame him, Edwards has looked peerless since turning professional.
Ranked eighth by the WBO, he is clearly held in high regard and recently penned a contract extension with, promoter, Frank Warren. Matos has campaigned at bantamweight for the duration of his career with the Portuguese fighter having turned professional in January 2016. His sole loss comes to Juan Hinostroza – who he also holds a win over – via seventh round TKO but his level of opponent has been dire, to say the least. Expect Edwards to get the job done convincingly.
Zak Chelli will vie for the first title of his career as he takes on Jimmy Smith for the vacant Southern Area super middleweight title. The introverted 21 year old has been preparing for his University exams alongside his training for this contest and will look to build on his steady momentum. A convincing victory over Umar Sadiq, which featured in a build-up in which they became fierce rivals, saw Chelli praised for his work-rate; a first-round knockout of Ladislav Nemeth, in March, served as a reminder of his ferocity.
A full undercard features Jack Catterall against an as yet to be named opponent; Denzel Bentley, Hamzah Sheeraz and Caoimhin Agyarko look to extend their unbeaten record over the course of six rounds and; Alfie Price, Chris Bourke and Mohammad Bilal Ali will look to seize their moment on the big stage in four round contests.
All of the action gets underway on BT Sport 1 from 8pm this Saturday, April 27th from Wembley Arena.
Khan’s Slow Demise: Can’t Turn a Ferrari into an Audi
By: Rahat Haque
There was thick tension in the air. Fans and media had really hyped this fight. Everyone has heard of the phrase “styles make fights”. Khan’s fast hands and feet were supposed to at least irk Crawford, if not more. After the two national anthems were sung, after the fighters were introduced, and after the first bell, all of our curiosities regarding this fight would finally be answered. All of us were at the edge of our seats, in the ring, or at our homes, anticipating what was about to take place. Right from the first exchange, we got our answers.
This version of Amir Khan was nothing like the former speedy gunslinger we once knew. This is not taking anything away from Crawford. Indeed, the way Terence stays in the eye of the storm, totally panic free, to deliver his well-measured shots, is a beauty to behold. We have not seen such a confident, well-poised, skilled boxer puncher in some time. But that was not the revelation of the fight that took place Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. It was how much Khan had slowed down.
Right from the first round, it was quite apparent that Khan’s hand speed had gone down. All his lunges seemed premeditated, and if we could feel it through the screen, Terence “Bud” Crawford would have surely observed it being in the ring. When Khan came forward with his flurry of punches, his head was more stationary than it usually is. Yes, he had always fought like this, but his style never came off as robotic as it did on Saturday night. He was successful in touching Crawford, before suffering the inevitable knockdown that was on the horizon given how predictable and rigid all his movements were. Crawford rightly capitalized on it. This continued for 5 more rounds. Khan did seem to connect more than Crawford on round 2, and I gave him that round. But there was absolutely no fear in Terence, Khan’s punches touched him, but had no real effect on him. This could be attributed to Terence’s great defense, a la moving with the punches to soften the blows. On the other hand, whenever Terence touched Amir, the latter seemed to take the full brunt of the shots. Crawford peppered Khan’s face in the early round with thudding blows, and did the same to his body in the 4th and 5th round, reducing the Bolton native’s mobility.
The ending was bizarre, and no one saw it coming. A TKO as a result of a low blow. Khan had the option to take 5 minutes, which he did not. He shaked his head repeatedly as Virgil asked him if he wanted to continue in more than one occasion. So then, it can be said that Khan and his camp knew he was outclassed in those 6 rounds, despite perhaps winning one or two rounds. It was still strange however, to not see him go all out fighting. We have to take his word that the low blow really incapacitated him, and that 5 minutes would not be enough to recover.
But what did we learn from the 6 rounds of action? We learned more about Khan than we learned about Crawford. The Nebraska man did what he was expected to. But most fans did not expect it to be as easy as it was for him. This comes down to the changes in Khan, and cannot be attributed simply to the sheer brilliance of Crawford. Khan’s last two fights were not against noteworthy opponents. His fight with Canelo was mismatch in weight. His last win against a credible opponent was against Devon Alexander. Some may say Chris Algieri. But judging by what everyone saw in his half a bout with Crawford, would this Khan be able to replicate his successes against the likes of Alexander, Maidana, Judah, Kotelnik? These are the questions that come to mind after witnessing such a lackluster performance. More importantly, can this Khan even avenge the loss versus a Danny Garcia, a fight most of his fans were sure of him winning if he had a second chance? It does not look good for Khan at all at the moment.
Perhaps part of the problem was changing trainers. Khan was at his most lethal with Freddy Roach. Indeed, one cannot conjure up another name besides Manny Pacquiao who found as much success with that fast combination punching as Khan did under the tutelage of Freddy. Making adjustments in fights is necessary to assess the situation. But is it possible to change a whole fight’s modus operandi midway in his career? Khan was never known for his defense, or for his inside fighting, or for even being slick really. But by pressing the action, going in and out with his quick feet, and using his fast hands to land a combination on his opponent when in range, is something he did really well. He was able to look marvellous doing it with Peterson, which is the quintessential Khan fight. He would absorb punishment on the inside when the fight was fought at close quarters, but it was nothing like the terrible punishment of a head thudding knee buckling shot that he would take when being countered in the middle of the ring. The latter has been more reflective of his performances these days.
The whole waiting and timing and countering style of play does not suit him. He will always get outclassed even by lesser names, if he tries to do that. Yet, Virgil seems hell bent in trying to convert him to just that type of a fighter. I understand and respect strategizing to your opponent’s strengths, but there is a point of diminishing returns where not only do you not learn your new skills, but you begin to forget your old skills. This is precisely what happened to Khan. He was never a timer of punches, nor was he ever known for any ring generalship or defense, whereby he could hang with a slick boxer puncher in the middle of the ring. What he could do however, was use his dynamic punching to dazzle his opponents before pulling out. But on Saturday night, he could do neither! And that left him terribly exposed against one of the best finishers in the game in Terence Crawford. It could also be that his motor is not what it used to be given his age. Full credit to Terence for picking up this risky fight. But because of the way he humiliated Khan in there, there will be much less buzz about Khan in his next fight. If people were not sure before, the former Olympic silver medalist is now surely entering the twilight of his career. His best is past him.
UFC Fight Night 150 on ESPN+ Preview
By: Jesse Donathan
UFC Fight Night 150 airs Saturday night at the BB&T Center Saturday, April 27, 2019 on ESPN+. The main event will feature submission grappling ace and perennial middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza versus Jack Hermansson. But once again, it’s the co-main event that is getting everyone’s attention. The controversial former NFL star Greg Hardy is set to face “The Lifeguard” Dmitrii Smoliakov of Russia in a heavyweight showdown.
Prize fighters today are the modern equivalent to the ancient Roman gladiators. An easy conclusion to come to considering the mixed martial art promotion once utilized a UFC gladiator in its opening volley. While the sports entertainment industry does a wonderful job of turning otherwise rough men into heroes through carefully crafted match ups and marketing, if these individuals plied their trade anywhere else but the ring or cage, they would be facing felony assault charges.
“Most gladiators were prisoners of war, slaves bought for the purpose, or criminals condemned to serve in the schools,” according to a University of Chicago essay titled “The Roman Gladiator.” Role models they were not, though their exploits then and now can easily turn ordinary men into larger than life super heroes.
Mixed martial arts fans have long hypothesized what the sport of MMA would look like with “A-level athletes” competing against the world’s best mixed martial artists. Top of the food chain individuals. The professional athletes of the NBA and NFL. The Lebron James’s, Bob Probert’s and Brian Urlacher’s of the world. Enter former NFL standout Greg Hardy, who is by most people’s definition an exceptional athlete. Unfortunately for him, he is also an exceptional athlete with quite a bit of baggage. In an April 17, 2018 article for Sherdog.com, “Opinion: Greg Hardy Need Not Apply,” author Ben Duffy pulled no punches with his thoughts on former NFL player Greg Hardy’s place in mixed martial arts:
“So nobody can accuse me of being vague here, I will say this as plainly as I can: Hardy should not be fighting professionally at all, and the decision makers at the UFC should be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining the possibility of signing him.”
Duffy would go on to cite Hardy’s July 2014 conviction for domestic violence, in which Hardy was summarily sentenced to 18 months’ worth of probation. Hardy’s attorneys appealed the conviction, the charges dropped all together when the victim failed to appear before the court. “Hardy was, in the legal sense at least, in the clear,” the author would go on to write.
Also cited as reasons for Duffy’s belief Hardy does not belong in mixed martial arts is the All-Pro lineman’s 2016 arrest for cocaine, Hardy’s poorly thought out behavior on social media which not surprisingly caught the attention of all the wrong people as well Hardy’s alleged poor behavior in the locker room.
“Mixed martial arts are thinly regulated violence,” writes Duffy. Going on to describe some of the ingredients that go into making the fight culture, Duffy would go on to remark that mixed martial arts, “will always attract its share of misfits, miscreants and antisocial head cases – the exact type of people who might find violence for pay an attractive proposition.”
It’s easy to confuse these athletes with super heroes, their acts of athletic achievement celebrated the globe over no matter the sport, transcending cultures. But it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll and getting punched in the face isn’t exactly an award most people are standing in line to receive.
If Greg Hardy wants to fight, let the man fight. I believe Greg Hardy deserves a second chance and if history is any indicator, he will get the benefit of the doubt because he is a compelling athlete with a lot left to offer. Hardy can redeem himself; he can turn this ship around and still become the great athlete that he was destined to be before some dreadfully bad decisions threw a wrench in his spokes.
Getting punched in the mouth for money isn’t a reward reserved for only the best among us. Fighting isn’t for everyone, taking a trip behind the woodshed isn’t my idea of paradise. “This is the hurt business. And in the hurt business people get hurt,” to quote legendary mixed martial arts referee Big John McCarthy.
Greg Hardy isn’t campaigning for Attorney General of Minnesota here, he is vying for a spot on the stretcher. And I get it, Greg Hardy has a history of abuse, by some peoples accounts he is not a very nice guy. But I am having a rather hard time accepting the notion that because of these facts he doesn’t deserve to be a tomato can and punching bag in the ring or cage.
On the contrary, that is exactly where Greg Hardy belongs no matter how you want to slice it. Greg Hardy is allegedly guilty of assaulting those who could not defend themselves? Great, stick him in the cage with those who can defend themselves then.
While it’s easy to watch inspirational fighter highlights on YouTube and come away dreaming to be like Kazushi Sakuraba, its another story altogether to be in that ring or cage with another trained killer. Its one thing to dream, its another to have to deal with “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva. Getting taken behind the woodshed is not a fortunate turn of events, catching a beat down may look easy on television but it’s hardly a winning proposition in the game of life.
Before there was a Greg Hardy, there was Mike Tyson. A special athlete with a checkered past, convicted of a heinous crime against women and shunned by the combat sport community. Like Hardy’s plight with the NFL, so too was Tyson exiled from boxing. And through it all, “Iron” Mike Tyson found a way to persevere. To overcome. To quote a new age proverb, “the one who doesn’t fall, doesn’t stand up.” There is an ebb and flow to life. When the tide comes in, everything is great. But when it recedes, the barren wasteland left in its wake can be a depressive sight to behold.
In a March 27, 1992 article for the New York Times, “Tyson Gets 6-Year Prison Term for Rape Conviction in Indiana,” author E.R. Shipp wrote:
“Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champion who was convicted of rape last month, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today. But the judge suspended the last four years, meaning he will spend no more than six years behind bars.”
“The sentence he received today seemed designed to provide punishment and offer him a chance to turn his life around,” Shipp wrote. Today, approaching thirty years since Tyson was convicted and sentenced to prison “Iron” Mike has did precisely that, turned his life around. A true boxing and cultural icon, Tyson is seen regularly on television and social media, even enjoying his own cartoon “Mike Tyson’s Mysteries” on the Adult Swim network.
Today, Mike Tyson is a legend and a hero. Which should leave Greg Hardy with some hope that if “Iron” Mike Tyson can turn that ship around, then maybe he can too? In this sport, you’re either a can or a can crusher. And regardless if Hardy deserves to be in the UFC or not, I think it is going to be interesting to find out exactly what the former NFL standout has left to offer. I’m all for giving Greg Hardy a second chance, lets see if he can make the most of it.
Daniel Jacobs: “By Popular Demand”
By: Sean Crose
“I know that real recognize real,” IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs said to me on a Monday conference call. I had just brought up the fact that Jacobs seemed very self-assured that he would get another big fight after he had just lost a controversial decision to Gennady Golovkin back in 2017. “I knew that it would be by popular demand that I would be back at this stage.” Sure enough, Jacobs was right to trust his gut, for he’s set to battle WBA and WBC champ Canelo Alvarez in a title unifier May 4th – Cinco de Mayo weekend – in Las Vegas.
Even though he was unhappy with the decision loss to Golovkin, the cancer survivor was quick to let the world know some very big things emerged from the experience. “So many opportunities arose from just that one fight with Golovkin,” the 35-2 fighter continued. “I knew this opportunity would present itself.” Jacobs pointed out that, while some fighters allow themselves to get destroyed by close, controversial losses, he didn’t let the experience of losing to Golovkin get the better of him. “I knew it wasn’t the end of me,” he added. “I knew that it was a matter of time before we got to this level (again).”
Jacobs is the rare fighter who is able to be interesting without being overtly showy. Aside from his victorious battle against cancer, the 32 year old carries with him a confidence that assures people he can let his ability speak for itself. In this sense, he is similar to Canelo, another fighter who doesn’t feel much of a need for smack talk. “It’s never been in my nature,” Jacobs said of trash talking. “I know that boxing is just a sport.” Jacobs also made it clear that he was grateful Canelo takes the same mature approach to matters as he does. “This has been a breath of fresh air for me,” Jacobs stated of the overall promotion.
Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn, who represents Jacobs, said he’s happy with the relationship Matchroom and Canelo’s team, Golden Boy Promotions, have as well. “We’ve always worked well on fights together,” he said when I brought up the two companies’ working relationship. Hearn also admitted that having both fighters appearing on the DAZN streaming service proved to be helpful, too. “It was a game changer,” he said of Jacobs agreeing to fight on DAZN. Continuing on in the spirit of good sportsmanship that has permeated the leadup to the May 4th battle, Hearn went on to give credit to Canelo for taking the match.
“I actually feel Canelo deserves respect, as well,” he said. “This is the roughest fight out there for him.”
GGG And Steve Rolls Set for June 8th At Madison Square Garden
By: Hans Themistode
It’s official. Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) will make his return to the ring on June 8th, at Madison Square Garden. Steve Rolls will be given the task of spoiling his return.
Not much is known of Rolls, he sports an undefeated record at 19-0 to go along with 10 knockouts but he hasn’t fought anyone of note. For Rolls, stepping up his level of competition so drastically will be a difficult one, but he feels as though he is up to the task.
“Honestly, I wanted to face someone in the top 15 or even the top 20 before facing a guy like GGG but I could not pass up on this opportunity.” Said Rolls during a media day scrum in New York City.
Rolls is in a difficult position. Opportunities such as these don’t come everyday. He has been quietly building up his resume against lesser opposition but will now be thrown into the deep end.
Outside of Rolls and his team, you wont find anyone who gives him any chance against the future hall of famer. The naysayers don’t mean anything to him. Sure GGG will be a difficult fight but Rolls has shared the ring with plenty of great fighters and former champions as well.
“I’ve sparred against the likes of Adonis Stevenson and Billy Joe Saunders and they have told me on numerous occasions that I held my own. People that have watched those sparring sessions have said that it looked as though I was a champion myself. I know that sparring and an actual fight is completely different but I believe that those moments have prepared me for June 8th.”
As for GGG, he will be looking to right a wrong. Many felt that he won both of fights against Canelo Alvarez. Unfortunately he was forced to settle for a draw in the first contest and a loss in the second. What exactly does he want to do now? He is now signed to DAZN and has the opportunity to regain his championship status as every Middleweight belt holder is signed to the streaming platform. It seems as though the belts are not as important to him as they once were.
“I’ve been a champion for a longtime. I am now in a point in my career, where I am wiser. I have learned from my previous fights. I would like to fight good fights, whether these fights are going to be championship fights or not is not as important as the quality of the fighting.” Said GGG.
Having shared the ring with Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, GGG would be the ideal person to ask his opinion on how their May 4th, showdown will play out. However, GGG could not provide an answer in terms of who he believed will be victorious.
“I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
The prevailing thought in boxing circles is that if GGG is the victor on June 8th, and Canelo also gets the job done against Jacobs, that a third fight between these two would be made for September. The only problem with that thought is that Canelo has said on numerous occasions that he will only fight GGG if he has a belt. GGG, isn’t buying that notion.
“I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
GGG undoubtedly has his eyes set on a third showdown with Canelo. Steve Rolls, will get the chance to play spoiler. As we have seen time and time again in boxing, not everything always go according to plan.
Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs Media Call Transcript
Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), the IBF Middleweight World Champion of Brooklyn, N.Y., hosted an international media
conference call today to discuss his upcoming 12-round unification fight against WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico. Robert Gasparri, COO of Golden Boy, and Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport, also participated on the call, along with trainer Andre Rozier and manager Keith Connolly. The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Below is what today’s participants had to say on the call:
ROBERT GASPARRI: I want to thank everybody for dialing in today to the Danny Jacobs international media conference call. On May 4, IBF middleweight champ Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs will fight the most important battle of the year as he takes on WBC, WBA lineal And Ring Magazine, Middleweight World Champion Canelo Ãlvarez in a 12-round unification fight. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena.
We want to thank our sponsors: Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” for the continued support of the fight game.
We’d now like to introduce the participants. Before we open it up for questions and answers to the media, first I would like to introduce a man we have worked with for many times at Golden Boy. He’s the promotor of fighters such as Anthony Joshua, and he’s also the promotor for Danny Jacobs under the banner of Matchroom Boxing, USA. Please, welcome Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sports.
EDDIE HEARN: Thank you, Robert, and looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Thank you, everyone, for dialing in today. Can’t say enough about this fight.
I’m so excited as a fan to even be watching this fight, let alone being involved in the promotion and having one of our guys be in the fight and in it to win it.
I just think everybody in boxing right now, whether they are a fan or particularly even the people in boxing are talking about this fight, the outcome, the fact as this draws closer we don’t know who is going to win this exciting unification fight.
We want to thank Golden Boy, DAZN, our mutual partners who have done such a fantastic job right now. I think in a world where we talk about the price point of Pay-Per-View in the United States, and we see the last I think three Pay-Per-View fights just not delivering value in my opinion, here you have a legitimate Pay-Per-View fight that takes place on DAZN, away from Pay-Per-View, and I think it’s so refreshing for the sport of boxing and so exciting for the sport of boxing that DAZN can deliver these kind of fights on their platform. I think it’s going to do extremely well.
In terms of our side, our camp, this is absolutely everything. It’s meant so much to all of us involved in this fight. As every day comes closer and closer, we have more and more belief that Danny Jacobs is going to be victorious on the May 4; it’s written in the stars. The performances he’s put together the last two years have all led him to this moment.
I think Andre Rozier is doing a fantastic job, and I can’t wait to be in Las Vegas for fight week, see that man soak it up. See that man get ready for destiny because that’s what it is on May 4, destiny for Daniel Jacobs to fight Canelo, one of the biggest stars in the world of sport, and I have absolutely no doubt that one May 4 Danny Jacobs will become the unified middleweight champion. I think it’s going to be an amazing fight, the stars will gel incredibly well, and I can’t wait for the whole week.
This is exactly what big-time boxing is all about, the best versus the best, and I just cannot wait for the excitement, the fight week, the press conferences, the weigh-ins, fight night, that ring walk, the incredible Mexican fans that will be there, the American fans that will be there, and I can’t wait to be part of it.
Thanks everyone for dialing it and we look forward to just a couple of weeks to go now for the absolute fight of the year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Eddie. Thank you. I would like to introduce an important member of Team Jacobs. He’s played an important role in the careers of many fighters. He’s done a tremendous job with Danny Jacobs, especially as he enters the most important part of his career. Please welcome Keith Connolly, manager of Danny Jacobs.
KEITH CONNOLLY: Thank you. Pleasure to join you guys today. The big fight is right around the corner. We’re less than two weeks away. I’m excited for Danny and Team Jacobs.
I’ve known Danny for a long time right now, and he is definitely at his physical and mental peak, and I don’t think this fight could have come really at a better time.
Thanks to Coach Farib (ph), his conditioning coach, David Honig (ph), and everybody else that’s involved with Danny has really put 100 percent in, and I know Danny has, as well.
We’re a few weeks away from Danny being I think if not the No. 1 pound-for-pound guy in the world, at least in the top three, because I think he’s really going to put on a show and I think he’s going to beat Canelo Ãlvarez convincingly, and if he does that, there’s no doubt he’s at the top of the boxing world. I look forward to it.
It’s right around the corner and I think it’s going to be a great event.
THE MODERATOR: I now want to introduce a man who has had a tremendous impact on the career of Danny Jacobs. He has worked with Danny throughout his amateur and professional career and guided him to two world titles, he’s now preparing Danny for the biggest fight of his career. Please welcome to the call, Andre Rozier, the trainer of Danny Jacobs.
ANDRE ROZIER: Good morning, and thank you to everyone who took the time for this conference.
This is actually a stage in Danny’s career that he has earned and prepared himself since an amateur to be ready to represent himself as the No. 1 middleweight in the world. This is no telltale issue; this is no streak of fate. This is Danny’s destiny. He was destined to be middleweight champion of the world, destined to be a Hall of Famer, and he is destined to show those that greatness comes from hard work and dedication.
So we are here to show the world what time it is.
THE MODERATOR: At 32 years old Danny Jacobs has overcome many obstacles that could crumble an average ban must he is not your average man. Not only is he a world champion in one of the toughest divisions of the sport, but he is an inspiration to us all.
Having beaten a rare form of bone cancer and returning to the ring to fight in one of the biggest events of the year, Danny is an example for people of all walks of life, both in and out of ring with a record of 35-2 and 29 knockouts, and coming from Brooklyn, New York, please welcome to the call, IBF Middleweight World Champion, Danny Jacobs.
DANNY JACOBS: First, I want to say thank you to everyone for being involved in this call today. I’m extremely excited to be at this stage in my career. I’m extremely excited to have these opportunities come my way. I know this is a big opportunity and I look forward to taking full advantage of it.
I’m already here in Las Vegas. I’m getting acclimated, preparing mind, body and soul and come May 4, I’ll be prepared and look forward to seeing everyone; and I look forward to being victorious and look forward to being the best middleweight in the world.
Look forward to answering these questions. Thanks everybody for being on board.
Q. When you watch Canelo Alvarez’s fights and you assess how you’re going to fight against him, what are the weaknesses you see in his game?
DANNY JACOBS: I definitely don’t think that it’s from his skill set because he has one of the best skill sets that’s out there. His sense of onslaught, his upper body movement, his defense is really good. There’s really not much that you can kind of, you know, battle through and say that, you can do this and you can do that.
What I know is that I have the physical advantages, and I look forward to using my physical advantage, my reach, height, range, and being that I also have speed, power, ring IQ, as well, that’s what I feel like is going to make me victorious.
Q. Who do you think — you don’t know for sure because you haven’t fought him yet. But he’s got a lot of knockouts and stopped a lot of guys and you do, also. Who do you think’s the bigger hitter?
DANNY JACOBS: Oh, I think I’m the bigger hitter. I definitely think I’m the stronger fighter, yeah.
Q. The bigger puncher?
DANNY JACOBS: Correct.
Q. This has been brought up, we all know it’s a top-level match up and one of the best that can get made in the sport today but there’s no animosity between you guys, no bad language, no insults. You’re not buddies but you’ve been cordial to each other. From your point of view, how hard is it to get out there and promote it and try to get attention to the fight when that is not part of the promotion, when it’s two good guys who don’t really have anything bad to say and aren’t looking to stir things up, but just want to get in the ring and put on a good show?
DANNY JACOBS: It’s never been my intention in my lead-up to any fight to sort of create this animosity to sell the fight or to bash my opponent. Never have I ever wanted to do that. It has never been in my nature.
I know that boxing is just a sport. So for me, this has been one of the best promotions and best lead-ups that I’ve been a part of because I share the same ideas with my opponent, which is strictly being professional and let our skills and let our — you know, what we actually feel inside as far as who we are and what we bring to the table and let that speak for itself inside the ring.
That’s not been hard. That’s not who I am to really go out there and try to bash fighters or say negative things.
I mean, it has happened in the past before because of some of my other opponents, but you know, this has been a breath of fresh air for me because I can just focus on taking care of business inside the ring and not having any animosity. I know that sometimes certain things, like you know, trash-talking and, you know, things that people look forward to saying that this is going to be a huge fight.
But I mean, from the notion of what the fans and what the boxing media is already predicting is that this fight is going to speak for itself. This is a can’t-miss type of fight. This is a Hall of Famer-type of fight.
I’m just grateful for that; that our skills can speak for itself and we don’t have to go out there and be goofy or, you know, go out there and be someone who we actually aren’t. So that’s a breath of fresh air for me.
Q. I wanted to ask Eddie about that. Eddie, are you there? Can you speak to that aspect of the fight, how difficult is it for you as one of the promoters of the event, when you have two main-event fighters who are terrific fighters but just wanting to in the ring and fight and there’s no trash talk, like Danny said, no animosity, just basically want to let their skills show in the ring. Is it more difficult to promote a fight when they don’t bring that attention to themselves by calling the other out or by doing goofy stuff?
EDDIE HEARN: Not when you are at this level, in my opinion. The trash talk and the hype is great and it helps to build a fight that might not be easy to build.
But when you have a fight like this where cave is certainly the biggest star in U.S. boxing and possibly in world boxing, and Danny Jacobs is a Middleweight World Champion, and his story is echoed around the world of sport; I think that when you have got these two coming together in a unification fight, I don’t really see the need for bad blood.
In fact, I think it’s an opportunity for the sport to blossom and I think it’s an opportunity to actually show people, young people, or people in the sport, or even fighters coming through the sport, how to actually behave par.
When you’ve got good guys usually, I don’t think you should change, and I don’t think you should change to sell a fight, especially when you are as good and as elite as these two.
Trash talk and fight is always good for promotion, but it’s always not needed when you’re talking about an elite or Hall of Fame fight. Because the winner of this fight I think is the No. 1 pound-for-pound in boxing, and when Danny Jacobs beats him, he will get his rights to call himself just that.
Q. You know, boxing is a year-round sport, but Danny, your thoughts on being a part of Cinco de Mayo weekend, historically at least in the past 20 years, it has become the Super Bowl Sunday of the sport. Your thoughts on now being a part of that?
DANNY JACOBS: I’m super grateful. Cinco de Mayo is definitely one of the biggest boxing events that is. So to be a part of that, especially against one of the biggest stars, arguably the biggest star in boxing, is just icing on the cake for me. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Getting to in there and be a part of the big of the event and I feel like all is at stake. There’s so much at stake with this fight, as well. I cannot only become the best middleweight in the world, but a future potential Hall of Famer in this fight, as well, pound-for-pound, etc., however you want to view it. There’s so much that I can gain from this fight on such a big weekend.
I’m looking forward to giving the fans ultimately a great show. Looking to prove that I am the best, and enjoying all of this weekend or the weekend of the fight, the lead-up to the fight.
I’m already in Vegas. So I’m here and I’m looking at the billboards and I’m looking at the promotion. I’m really truly loving it. I’m a fan of the sport of boxing, so to be a part of it is a blessing for me.
Q. As a fan, this is a big fight weekend for Oscar and Pacquiao; is there a fight that you remember watching at home?
DANNY JACOBS: There’s been a couple Cinco de Mayo fights I’ve watched at home. Probably a lot of time, it’s where I’ve had to prepare for a fight myself, so I couldn’t really indulge in maybe the festivities or celebrate or enjoy the way I wanted to. But this is my time and I look forward to celebrating after the fight with my friends and my loved ones.
Q. What is it like to see your picture? You’re in Vegas now. When you walk the Strip and see yourself up there, there’s nothing like a big fight there. Your thoughts on that?
DANNY JACOBS: I think it’s incredible. It never ceases to amaze me the opportunity that arises for me after my cancer care. I’ve been able to not only fulfill my dreams and become a world champion, but there’s been so many different opportunities that just blow my mind and opportunities that I never thought I’d had. I’ve always just wanted to get back into the ring and that was just my main goal.
Now there’s so much that is presenting themselves, I’m really blown away by it all, but I’m keeping myself humble and I’m keeping myself in the right mind frame to where I can just put it in a certain place in my mind and stay focused on the fight.
Q. Since both you and Canelo are the stars in boxing, what is in your mind, is different in this fight?
DANNY JACOBS: Yeah, I’m just extremely excited for this fight, thank you.
Q. I’m hearing more talk about the winner of this fight being pound-for-pound No. 1 or 2 or 3. From your perspective, Danny, who do you think you would be perhaps surpassing if you beat, if and when you beat Canelo? Is it Crawford? Lomachenko? Who is pound-for-pound the No. 1 that you would be supplanting?
DANNY JACOBS: I’ve never been vocal about where I place myself in the pound-for-pound. I’ve just been grateful that I’ll be able to be on the list. Because when you think about top pound-for-pound fighters today, I’m not sure if I make that list or I’m in the Top-10. I don’t care who I surpass.
As long as I’m on the list, wherever the fans choose to place me, that’s what I’m grateful for. But for everybody that’s on the list, I’m true fans of and I support; so to place myself over anybody, especially guys like — guys that you just mentioned, I mean, I won’t say it’s injustice, but that’s really not my job.
My job is to go there and be the best fighter that I can be and left the fan and the boxing public choose where they place me.
Q. I’m interested in this one from the perspective of the fans have been watching the Pay-Per-Views, and understand that this is a capitalistic enterprise for people, but this is being presented as a clear alternative to that. This question could go to Eddie. You watched the fight on Saturday. There was that interesting ending. Does that make it easier to compare and contrast this event, which is on the streaming platform, and there isn’t the hefty premium fee attached to it? Does that make it easier for you to do a compare and contrast?
EDDIE HEARN: Yeah, when you look at the last few Pay-Per-View events, particularly this year, Pacquiao, Garcia, Crawford, I don’t think I’ve seen an away-fighter win a round in hardly any Pay-Per-View event. Roman might have nicked a couple, but he’s on the undercard, especially Saturday in Texas.
Obviously the main market for us is the U.K. and you talk about our Pay-Per-Views are $25. Your Pay-Per-Views are anywhere between 70 and $100. It’s a huge amount of money for one night of boxing, especially if it doesn’t stack up.
Really, I look at this and say for one Pay-Per-View, you can get a whole subscription, within that you have Danny Jacobs against Canelo Alvarez. A couple weeks after that, you have Inoue and Rodriguez, and then you have Anthony Joshua and Golovkin, all within a month’s subscription.
I think it’s refreshing that someone is coming in to supplement the public’s money which is funding fights like this. We never want a show to do badly but I just think that U.S. fight fans are getting an unfair ride. And on May 4, they get to see the fight of the year without the 80 or $100, and I think that’s great for boxing.
Q. Andre Rozier, in your mind, is this a 50/50 fight? If no, what are the odds? How do you see this one? And if I’m asking you to choose one area where Danny is better and what the difference maker is going to be, what is it, sir?
ANDRE ROZIER: As always, we come from a neighborhood that defines you in surviving, being strong, taking no short, and this is how Danny has basically been living his life. And when there’s a conflict that he has to face, he rises to the occasion.
And he’s been places that none of us ever will — and I pray, not have to visit, but he has been very successful in his battle.
So when you fight the hardest fight that you ever can fight in your life, I’m sorry to say but these events don’t add up. Danny has been through the worst that anybody could be through, and this is just common fodder and Danny is going to once again rise to the occasion.
As for your question, what are some of the better things he does, well, basically, his heart and soul and his desire to win. He’s a fantastic athlete and a great talent, but talent alone does never reach the goal.
You have to have all the necessary traits to be special. We always talk about that talented guy that could fight, but didn’t have the heart to fight. Well, you have the whole package here. He can fight and he will fight, and a dogfight is nothing that he’s afraid of.
Q. I remember after you fought Golovkin, in the post-fight press conference, you were pretty calm saying you were going to wait for another big opportunity to come around, and lo and behold, here one has, arguably the fight of the year. What makes you so confident that you didn’t have to be so frustrated after a controversial decision and that you knew things would take a turn?
DANNY JACOBS: Because I know that real recognize real; I knew that because we didn’t get the decision from maybe the politics of boxing, I knew that it would be a popular demand that I would be back at this stage. And lo and behold, I got that great deal with HBO right after that Golovkin fight. We signed with Matchroom, and now here with DAZN.
So many opportunities have arrived from just that one fight with Golovkin where I proved to be among the best in the world.
I just knew this opportunity would present itself because I gave my very best that night, and I just knew that it wasn’t the end of me. Most times, guys, they reach that level, they lose and sometimes it may take a couple years for to you see them guys reach that level again.
I would owe it to my team, every one of Team Jacobs, especially my manager, Keith Connolly. I owe it to my team on the ground, Andre Rozier, all the guys who make sure that they support me and make sure I stay on the straight and narrow so that I can be at my best each and every time I go out to display my skills.
I just knew that it was a matter of time before we got to this level. But the fact that this happened so fast, just super grateful for it, but it’s one of those things to show you, not only with skill and preparation. But with a great team, you can achieve anything.
Q. My other question is for Eddie Hearn. A lot of talk this past weekend as far as having animosity with some of the game’s bigger power players. How easy is it for you to be working with Golden Boy? You seem to have a pretty smooth relationship.
EDDIE HEARN: Yeah, we always have done. Even before we were both aligned with DAZN, we always worked well on fights together and we had done — I’m quite close with Robert Diaz — you know, I think that right now, obviously I think that politics isn’t anything new. It’s quite straightforward. You have to look after your fight and your business.
If you’re with one particular platform, your job is to make the best fight and have the best fighters on that platform. Some people, in the case that you’re talking about — they are advising that their promoters would like to keep on their platform, so it’s hard to achieve.
But obviously with Danny signing with us and DAZN and Canelo doing his deal with DAZN, it was a game changer.
When we signed Danny Jacobs, there was only one thing I wanted to do, the winner of Canelo and GGG, and I felt I would have failed if I didn’t deliver that to Keith and Andre. And the stars aligned and when Canelo did his deal; it was a big help to us. And the reason Danny went to HBO was not just put his trust in us, but to get the GGG and Canelo winner. And obviously when Canelo went to DAZN, it was a natural move for Danny, as well.
Everyone did a great job, and Oscar and Eric and Robert, and we just come together. I wasn’t sure whether they would want to take the fight.
And Canelo deserves respect as well because this is the toughest fight out there for him many any opinion. This is the toughest fight out there in the division and he’s chosen to take it, and it was with help from DAZN. But ultimately the fighter is the one that takes the decision and he’s the one that takes the challenge and that’s great for boxing and we all give him respect for that.
KEITH CONNOLLY: It’s been a pleasure working with everybody and Matchroom and the team and everybody at Golden Boy, it’s a good working relationship, and it’s a pleasure working with Eddie and everybody at Matchroom.
Q. Danny, I want to know if you have studied the Canelo fight, and what did you learn about his skills and weaknesses?
DANNY JACOBS: I think ultimately what I talk from that fight is how uneducated Canelo’s feetwork are. He’s great as far as offensive — coming forward as much as punches and bunches and especially his body shots, but a moving target, he really has a hard time with. Looking to exploit some of those things come fight night, as well.
Q. You just alluded to my question. Do you think there’s a style out there that people are not realizing? If you look at the way he fought against Lara and the way he fought against Floyd, it seems to be a problem that he has fighting people that move, that are not stationary target. Do you think that’s something that’s going to be to your advantage?
DANNY JACOBS: Yeah, absolutely. Canelo, as recent for this fight buildup, he was posting social media videos of him hitting the bag and you know, him doing all different type of boxing training, and people are like: Oh! Oh! Wow! Whoa, he’s in stellar shape! He’s going to be a monster come fight night!
But I was simply looking at his knees and how he’s been having trouble with his knees and trouble with issues as far as guys being athletes, pure athletes inside the ring.
So I’m looking to exploit some of those things and I know that he’s going to, you know, bring the best that he can bring, but it’s inevitable to overlook some of his flaws.
And for my team, we’ve created not only Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, but a few game plans to exploit Canelo’s weaknesses.
Q. Do you think the GGG fight got you ready for this big stage? Do you think it was an appetizer — you were out there — a week and a half out, do you think being here before, kind of what you needed to be here at this point in time in your career and your life?
DANNY JACOBS: I definitely think it definitely gave me a lot more experience but I think it’s more mental than anything. I think the physical skills has always been there but it’s about knowing that you belong and knowing that you are the best and knowing that you can thrive in this type of round where, you know, all is high-stake.
It’s the biggest platform that you can be in in boxing. It can be really, really nerve-wrecking for the faint of heart but for someone who has the experience in the past, maybe not of this magnitude because the main goal, but very similar, were the past couple fights that I’ve had that have been huge fights and fights where, you know, I was predicted to lose or that, you know, that it couldn’t go my way and I prevailed.
So that mental battle to me is already — it’s passed me and I’ve gained experience from it and for this fight, I’m just looking to go in there and put the physical together to accomplish my goals.
Q. For the general person that doesn’t know who you are, we know you’re a great guy, champion of the sport. Why would I know your name come May 5?
DANNY JACOBS: They would have known my name is because the general consensus is Canelo is not only the face of boxing but he is probably pound-for-pound one of the best in the sport. He’s one of the most recognized fighters in all of our sport.
I think a victory over him, a convincing victory, as well, would definitely solidify my spot and it would be inevitable for people to know who Daniel Jacobs is.
Q. You have not fought in Las Vegas for quite a long time, almost nine years, and didn’t go so well. Do you have any concerns or any thoughts about being back in Las Vegas, and would a win be especially sweet revenge for you?
DANNY JACOBS: There’s definitely no concerns because if you know anything about the last time I fought in Vegas and how old I was, and the things that I was going through at that time, I’m a completely different fighter. And I’m also a completely different person, with a mature mind, with a lot more skills, with a lot more mental strength. So there’s not fear; there’s not a worry whatsoever when it comes to that.
But it definitely will be sweet but not to avenge a loss that I’ve had before, but just to capitalize and be victorious in the fights in where people predict it’s either a 50/50 fight or against one of the best fighters in the world, and for that reason and for that reason alone I’m just excited for it, not to try to overshine or put patches on anything that happened in the past because the past make you who you are today.
Q. A happier question. Is your son with you in Las Vegas?
DANNY JACOBS: No, he’s not at the moment. He’s in school at the moment. He’s taking some tests and I’m very supportive of him and I’m very proud of him because he already passed two or three of his tests already. He got one more test today that he’s going to take and I look forward to talking to him once school is over.
He is everything that I do all of this for, and he is going to be in Las Vegas for fight week.
Q. What do you think he’ll say when he says Dad 20 feet high on the side of a building?
DANNY JACOBS: I think it will be a very proud moment, not only for my son but for my family. I think that we all have gone through this journey together, and seeing me reach the pinnacle will make everyone proud and will make everyone happy and excited.
But I think ultimately everybody have one, you know, motive, and that’s to go in there and do work and come out and then we can celebrate after. But you know, this type of thing kind of comes with the territory. My son has grown in the sport of boxing and grown in support for his dad. He’s going to be ecstatic, but ultimately we won’t be happy until we go in there and get the job done.
Q. Canelo is widely seen as a much better fighter than the one who was out-boxed by Mayweather. Is that really true or were other guys maybe not busy enough or too mistake-prone to take advantage of the opportunity that you see on May 4?
DANNY JACOBS: I understand he’s gotten a lot better. He’s a lot younger back then, but I’m also a completely different fighter, as well. I think I plan on using not just the Mayweather blueprint, but I look forward to using the Daniel Jacobs blueprint to be victorious. I’m not like any other fighters that you just mentioned. In my mind, I believe that I can be victorious if I just become my best self that night.
Q. You alluded before that with the Golovkin decision, probably politics played a part in you not getting a close decision. We’ve seen in recent years Canelo gets the benefit of the doubt on a lot of the scorecard, particularly with one always being wise for him. Do you have any concerns, even with your improvement, you’ll get one close in Vegas?
DANNY JACOBS: I’m thought about this numerous times, and I don’t want to focus — we’re getting closer to the fight and just want to become headstrong and know that if I go in there and do my job, I’ll be awarded the victory with no added influence outside the ring.
I don’t really want to touch on it too much, but at the same time we know that the past has spoke for itself but for me, I have to block those things out and remain head strong to where I go in there and do my job and get the victory because if I go in there and get a knockout then all of that is out the window, anyway.
I just have to focus on our game plans, focus on being my best version, being the best version of myself that night and block out any entities that would play in my mind or that I would allow in my mind.
Q. I don’t want to say, is the moment going to be too much but going into the fight with GGG, did you feel like the moment was too much for you in that fight and if it was or if it wasn’t, how does that fight kind of help you with, you know, kind of what you’re expecting because the Canelo, fight, in my opinion, is bigger than the GGG?
DANNY JACOBS: No, I don’t think the moment with the GGG fight was too much for me. I think mentally I grew within the fight, as well and came out a completely different fighter mentally, but it definitely didn’t get the best of me as far as the moment and especially as far as the fighter and the fight itself.
But I think the experience with me, and going into this fight, I just know that I’m 100 percent in the best possible mind and head space that I could be in. Knowing that I am the better fighter; knowing that if I go in there and do my job, I would be victorious. That all played into my mind right now — Golovkin — that I’ve gained to place me at this point.
THE MODERATOR: This will conclude the question-and-answer period.
Danny, would you like to make any final comments to the media?
DANNY JACOBS: Well, to the media, I just want to say thank you, guys, for promoting this fight. Thank you guys for being a part of this. This is a dream come true. I look forward to taking advantage of this opportunity and prove that I am the best middleweight in the world. You guys are not going to want to miss the fight. Please, please, please be in attendance, if you can’t subscribe to DAZN, because this is a fight we are going to be talking about for many, many many years to come.
I have a spectacular opponent in Canelo Alvarez, and this is going to be fight of the year candidate for sure. Please, please, please, don’t miss it and thank you for all of your support and thank you for all of my Team Jacobs, friends, family that have supported me in my career. This is the moment I’ve always prayed to have, and now that this moment is here, I thank you, love you, peace, blessings — and shout out to Brooklyn — this victory is not only going to be Team Jacobs but we are going to bring the belt all back to Brooklyn, New York City. Thank you guys for the love.
THE MODERATOR: Just to add again, if you’re in Vegas, there’s still some tickets available. Come to the fight. It’s going to be in amazing in the arena, or watch it on DAZN. Thank you, all. This will conclude the Danny Jacobs international conference call. Thank you everybody for participating.
Press Conf Quotes: Gennady Golovkin vs Steve Rolls Announced
Boxing’s pound-for-pound superstar attraction GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN and undefeated Top-10 world-rated contender STEVE ROLLS kicked off their coast-to-coast media tour with a New York press conference today at Madison Square Garden. Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, formally announced to media that he is bringing his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” on Saturday, June 8, in a 12-round rumble with Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), who hails from Toronto. The fight will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs. and marks GGG’s debut on DAZN, after signing a six-fight global partnership in March.
Amanda Westcott / DAZN USA
Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin
“I’m very happy. I’m happy go back to the sport, I’m happy to be back at Madison Square Garden. It’s a very interesting time for me. It’s an amazing time for the sport and an amazing time for boxing. Madison Square Garden, I feel like it’s my second home. [With Rolls,] it doesn’t matter who says what, it’s going to be me and you in the ring and may the strongest man win. I would like to wish him luck, and we’ll see what happens. I don’t have a lot of time left in my career, this is the time when we’ll be able to give our audience a good big show.”
Why 164? “I wanted to try it out, try this weight, but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to do this weight. And for my opponent, this would be a little more comfortable since he usually fights at 168. I wouldn’t want him to be uncomfortable.”
On his predictions for Canelo vs. Jacobs: “I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
On Canelo’s recent comments on only fighting GGG again if he has a belt: “I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
On his thoughts re: Jarrell Miller: “Doping does exist in boxing. It’s a very unfortunate thing. I don’t have anything to say. Hopefully boxing will go on without the doping.”
“GGG has sold out the big arena at MSG two times. For the fans, they just want to see him in the ring. With this fight here against Steve Rolls, who’s undefeated and a hungry fighter from Canada. For this fight, we kick off the DAZN multi-fight deal, and Steve Rolls makes all the sense in the world. It always takes two to tango. We’ve always given his opponent a level playing field, a fair shake, whatever it is. We always want the person standing across the ring to feel like he’s really in this fight.”
“There are only a few fighters that can sell out Madison Square Garden. Canelo fought here, in December, and he sold out MSG. Anthony Joshua is coming here June 1. And we’re expecting to sell out June 8. One thing that all three of these boxers have in common is that they all signed with DAZN here in the United States.”
On a potential trilogy match against Canelo: “It’s why Gennady signed with DAZN, it’s the clearest path to that. I don’t think the titles are going to make a difference. Both GGG and Canelo are above needing a title at this point in their career. Canelo fought here in December, he sold out MSG, Gennady has fought here and he built his fight here in MSG. I think the third fight will come down to economics. And location will be a part of the negotiations, because now, he’s not obligated to fight in Vegas.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and there are a couple things I keep coming across – ‘Who is this guy?’ and ‘This is going to be a tune-up fight.’ I’m the underdog that’s been hungry for this position. Make no mistake this isn’t a tune-up. I’m coming to fight. And with everybody, who doesn’t know me now, after June 8, you won’t forget me. I’ve got much respect for Gennady Golovkin, but I’m coming to shock the world.”
“[Golovkin] has been a dominant middleweight, probably the best for the last few decades. I’m not overlooking anything and I’m going in there preparing for the best Golovkin. It’s going to be hell. It’s going to be a grueling fight. But given it’s going to be at such a disadvantage, if there’s anyone who can do it, that’s me.”
“If [Golovkin] thinks this is going to be a walkover, then this is going to be a long f—ing night. I don’t think it’s going to be an easy night for GGG. Rolls has been doing this a long time. I’m not bringing a victim to MSG. I’m not. I don’t believe he’s a stepping stone for anybody. The future of his family changes in one night with a good night. I’m not talking win, loss, or draw, but a good night from Steve Rolls changes his life. It justifies the half of his life that he’s spent doing this. So I’m happy he got here, I think he deserves to be here. I hope that GGG is the best GGG because Steve Rolls is a professional fighter, a good fighter who can knock him off his course.”
“Personally, I’d rather see a guy who steps up to the opportunity of a lifetime and has never tasted defeat. It’s better off seeing someone new, fresh, hungry than someone recycled again. Rolls is a professional winner, not a professional loser. He’s done everything that he was supposed to do and he’s worked as hard as he can work for a long time, and I know he’s going to justify this opportunity. He’s a balanced measured professional fighter and he’s going to go in there and prove that to the world.”
“We know on June 8, Steve Rolls is getting the opportunity to fight someone special. This is for him the lottery here. He’s wanted a big fight, and he’s got the biggest. It’s his Super Bowl. He’s not going to roll over for anyone – excuse the bad pun – and he’s not going to roll over for Gennady Golovkin. He’s been waiting a long time for a chance, his moment, his shot.”
Founder Fights 4 – Boxing for a Cause
Founder Fights is a charity boxing event held annually in Boulder, Colorado. The event is structured to encourage non-profit support for community programs and confidence building for those new to the sweet science of boxing. Coming into its fourth year, Founder Fights is hoping for another sold-out event, with over $100k raised for charity.
Fighting for a Cause
The event encourages business people (founders) in the community to lace up their gloves for a cause they believe in. Each participant raises funds for a non-profit of their choice with the majority of gate proceeds going to a primary charity chosen by the Founder Fights Board of Directors.
Last year Founder Fights 3 raised $40k for Forward Steps, which is a program to help foster children transition into college and adulthood. $97k was raised by the competitors to support various non-profits.
The charity of choice for this year’s event is Off The Ropes, a 501(c)3 non-profit focused on improving lives through boxing with a primary emphasis on Parkinsons Disease and youth programs.
“Off the Ropes will empower members of our community to lead healthy lives through boxing, education, mentorship and programming,” says Off The Ropes Program Chair Andrea Schmidt. “We hope to grow Parkinsons and youth programs while also funding research efforts.”
Parkinson’s Disease, Boxing and CBD
Parkinsons is a neurological disease that affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide. Uncontrolled symptoms can significantly reduce the patient’s quality of life and can render a person unable to care for themselves.
Parkinson’s causes a loss in many of the same elements that boxers condition to improve. And published medical research has shown that forced, intense exercise can reduce, reverse and delay Parkinson’s symptoms. Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination, footwork, and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. No-contact, Parkinson’s specific boxing classes have shown to delay and reverse symptoms of Parkinson’s.
To complement the efforts of Off The Ropes, CBD company Receptra Naturals has partnered with Founder Fights as one of this year’s sponsors. Receptra Naturals CBD products are derived from organically grown hemp in Colorado. All Receptra products are developed in their in-house laboratory and third-party tested for transparency and consistency.
“Receptra is excited to be a part of the Founder Fights event. We see the potential for CBD to benefit people from all walks of life and like the event, we encourage an active healthy lifestyle,” says Receptra CEO, Jim Scott. “It is great to be a meaningful part of the programs this event supports, especially assistance for Parkinson’s patients via organized activities and research to improve quality of life, naturally.”
CBD has been patented by the U.S. government as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant. There are currently a number of studies being done to discover and confirm the benefits of CBD oil for Parkinson’s patients.
Vital Community Support
Founder Fights 4 takes place on May 18th at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado with 15 bouts on the card. The event is sanctioned by USA Boxing.
If you would like to get involved here are several ways you can help:
- Partner with Founder Fights as an event sponsor
- Purchase a ticket to attend the event (VIP tables available)
- Donate to a competitor’s individual cause on Crowdrise
- Choose Off The Ropes as your Amazon Smiles charity of choice on Amazon.com
- Follow Founder Fights on social media and spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/FounderFights and @founderfights
5 Things That Separate Terence Crawford From Opponents
By: Donna Jo
No knowledgeable boxing fan will argue against the assertion that any list of great current boxers would include the name Terence Crawford somewhere near the top of the list. The names on Crawford’s list of defeated foes are impressive and his record now stands at 34-0 with 25 knockouts.
The following breakdown sheds some light on why Terence Crawford has been so dominant over his professional boxing career.
Terence Crawford is a master technician in the ring. He never rushes when dissecting an opponent. He can punch for power in both hands and often switches back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances.
His offense is enhanced by his ability to move his head and upper body to elude punches while moving forward at this opponent. This gains great punching angles for Crawford while decreasing his opponents’ counterpunching opportunities.
Crawford will often lead with a straight left hand from the southpaw stance. This often leaves opponents confused. All in all, the average fan has a tendency to underrate the offense of Crawford. However, his opponents will attest to the high-powered arsenal Terence Crawford possesses.
Ability To Counter
Despite a natural tendency to be aggressive, Crawford has the ability of a natural counterpuncher. His elusiveness allows him to make opponents miss. He is then able to make them regret every errant punch they throw.
Crawford’s weapon of choice when counterpunching is the uppercut. He is often seen ducking under a punch thrown at him only to quickly return fire with an uppercut.
Terrence is also able to land uppercuts to the body or head after rolling with the punch of an opponent.
Another favorite counter of Terence Crawford is the check left hook he throws after taking a half step back to avoid an incoming attack.
Crawford’s athleticism makes it extremely difficult for opponents to land combinations against him. He uses his reflexes and movement of his upper body to avoid the majority of punches thrown in his direction. The defense of Terence Crawford is the equivalent of a top-notch security system.
The only chinks in Crawford’s defensive armor come when he fights from the southpaw position. Straight right hands can be landed from orthodox fighters and right hooks sometimes land from southpaws when Terrence fights from this position.
Crawford is very good at blocking punches when he chooses to do so. But in most cases, he finds it more to his liking to avoid punches with his upper body movement.
Crawford has fought more from the southpaw stance in his last few fights. From this position, he likes to paw and probe at his opponent’s defense with his right jab. Crawford is often able to distract the man across from him with his jab and will cause them to second guess their next move.
When his opponent jabs, Crawford turns his own jab into a defensive weapon and uses it to check the jab of his opponent. He is able to keep his opponent unsure of when his jab will be used to slap down the opposing jab and when it will be aimed at his opponent’s face.
The final piece to the Crawford puzzle is his extraordinary footwork. He is almost never a stationary target in the ring and his opponents find it difficult to time his movements.
Crawford uses his agility to constantly move from left to right and sometimes switches stances while doing so. His athleticism allows him to keep his opponent at a distance that favors Crawford throughout the fight.
Crawford uses his movement to negate the offense of opponents who find themselves hesitant to throw punches. While opponents struggle to find their timing, Crawford is able to break them down with his own offense.
The Bottom Line
Terence Crawford has few equals when it comes to showcasing his skills in the boxing ring. Many opponents have left the ring after a fight with Crawford more puzzled regarding the secrets to his ring prowess than they were before they entered the ring.
Fortunately for fans, we can attempt to decipher the reasons behind Terence Crawford’s elite boxing ability without having to step in the ring with one of the greatest fighters in the game today.
Big Baby Miller: “I Messed Up”
By: Sean Crose
Although he was scheduled to face Anthony Joshua for numerous heavyweight titles on June 1st at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller now stands looking at an uncertain future. The Joshua fight fell apart after it was revealed that Miller essentially failed a March 20th drug test from the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency (VADA) and the New York State Athletic Commission subsequently refused to license the 23-0-1 fighter. The drug found in Miller’s system was a weight loss substance known as GW1516. It was then revealed that Miller again tested positive for GW1516 on March 31st. On that same day Miller also tested positive for a strength building human growth hormone known as EPO. Both GW1516 and EPO are banned substances.
Now that he’s missed out on an almost five million dollar payday to face the 22-0 Joshua, Miller has come clean – a bit of an oddity in this current boxing era – after initially denying any wrongdoing. “I messed up,” the Brooklyn native said in an Instagram post. “I made a bad call.” Miller went on to acknowledge that he’s now paying the price for his indiscretions. “There’s a lot of ways to handle a situation,” said Miller. “I handled it wrongly and I’m paying the price for it. I missed out on a big opportunity.” Miller’s mea culpa went on to bleed into those he claimed he hurt through his actions.
“I hurt my family, my friends, my team, my supporters,” he said. “But I’m going to own up to it. I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to correct it, and I’m going to come back better. I’m humbled by the experience.” At the very least, Miller can take consolation in the fact that the New York State Athletic Commission doesn’t indent to punish him for the positive tests – aside from not granting him a license. When and where Miller will be able to fight again remains to be seen.
For the moment, all of this means that Joshua is left without a dance partner for June 1st. An enormously popular fighter in his home country, the Englishman is apparently still planning to make his US debut at the Garden that evening, even though Miller won’t be his opponent. Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, the two fighters most fans would likely prefer Joshua to face, have their own separate bouts lined up for the spring, virtually making a June 1st fight with either man an impossibility.
Is It Time for Amir Khan to Retire?
By: Waqas Ali
Amir Khan’s career is somewhat hanging in the balance as many spectators believe it’s time for him to hang up the gloves.
His recent contest with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford ended in turmoil as he decided that he could no longer continue after suffering a low blow.
The bout took place in Madison Square Garden in front of 14,000 plus spectators.
The British boxer was knocked down in the first round by a counter right hand – followed by a left hook on top.
Khan, 32, managed to recover from the knockdown and throw his trademark of combinations in the second round but did very little effect on Crawford.
Crawford, 31, was looking rather comfortable and used his counter-punching efficiently and landed some left hands and right hooks.
In the fourth round, it was pretty much competitive as both fighters landed little but threw virtually the same hard-hitting shots.
By the fifth, both fighters threw punches that got the rising to their feet. Early on Khan threw a dazzling left hook to Crawford that wooed the crowd but very little in terms of damage.
Crawford (35-0 26 KOs), also known as Bud, came back in the last 90 seconds of the fight with more hard hitting punches. Around the 40 second mark, Crawford landed a big uppercut Khan that pushed him back a little.
Their punches were sweet to see but sour to taste.
Within the five completed rounds, Khan, a former two-time world champion, landed less than 10 punches in four of them with an average accuracy rate of just 24%.
Crawford, who had fought in the welterweight division now three-times, landed 26 of 53 punches with a connect rate of 49% in the fifth. His average connect rate was around 40%.
In the sixth round, Khan was hit with a clear low blow on his groin which came from a left hook by Crawford.
He was awarded the full five minutes but lasted about 45 seconds before his corner came in and said that Virgil did not want Khan continuing to fight.
Crawford was leading 49-45 50-44 49-45 on the cards at the time of the stoppage.
Compubox total statistics revealed that Crawford landed 88 of 211 (41%) punches thrown and Khan landed 44 of 182 (24%). In the power punching department, Crawford landed 58 of 116 attempted – connecting at a rate of 50%.
In spite of fans and viewers insisting Khan to retire, he feels he still has a lot more in the tank to deliver.
“I have a lot left in me,” Khan (33-5) told BBC Sport.
“I will always get opportunities.”
Asked if it would be the last bout of his career, Khan said: “Not at all. Apart from the one knockdown, it wasn’t a brutal fight.
“I am going to spend time with the family and take time off. I’ll see what comes up after this.”
According to a poll on Twitter conducted by EditinKing Boxing, out of 6,100 plus voters, 58% say that Khan should retire and 35% says that he should fight Brook.
What next for Amir ‘King’ Khan?
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) April 21, 2019
The boxing world both from the casual and hardcore fans perspective have mainly stated that he should retire.
The styles and variations of Keith Thurman, Errol Spence and Shawn Porter could be seen as too strong and powerful.
Considering his chin has been his biggest flaw, it would be a great risk for him to fight those guys.
The only opponent that has been debated for so many years is former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, who is from Sheffield.
One must keep in mind that they had sparring sessions together in the past when they were amateurs.
Their out-of-ring rivalry began in 2012 when they both appeared on Sky Sports TV show ‘Ringside’ debating who out-classed the other in the amateur sparring sessions.
Since then both fighters had been at loggerheads with each other over the years. Brook did not win a world title until he beat Shawn Porter in a close competitive fight in August 2014.
He then challenged Gennady Golovkin for the WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight belts in September 2016 but failed to come close to winning.
He then defended his IBF welterweight title by facing boxing technician Errol Spence Jr in May 2017 but was stopped in the eleventh round.
Khan challenged Saul Alvarez for the WBC middleweight belt in May 2016 but failed to prevail.
Since the beginning of 2019, the talks of the highly anticipated British clash between Khan and Brook have died out due to both men hitting their ages and many fans believe that the bout should’ve taken place back in 2014 or 2015 when both fighters were at their peak.
But based on the whole scenario and the evidence brought forth, it is a difficult one to make considering the amount of money that can be made with the Brook fight.
However, should that fight be made and if he lost to Brook, it would haunt him for the rest of his boxing career. Apart from the Brook fight, it would be best to hang up the gloves and call it a day.
Khan has achieved big things in his boxing career. He became the youngest British boxing Olympic Silver medallist in 2004. He fought Mario Kindelán who is considered to be one of the best amateur boxers ever.
He’s fought some of the best names in boxing today such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Andriy Kotelnik, Paul Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo. Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, Lamont Peterson, Danny Oscar Garcia & Saul Alvarez.
Whatever one’s opinion may be of Khan, there is no denying the ruthless speed which is equivalent to the speed of lightning, which he has provided over the years and is certainly a household name wherever he fights.
He not only fights for himself. But for Bolton. For England. For Great Britain and for people around the world.
Top Rank PPV Round by Round Results: Crawford Wins Fight When Khan Refuses to Continue
By: William Holmes
Amir Khan and Terence Crawford met in the main event of tonight’s pay per view offering by Top Rank Promotions and ESPN. Madison Square Garden was the host site of tonight’s card.
Three bouts were shown on the pay per view portion of the undercard and they showed some videos after the undercard to hype up the main event.
Danny Walter sung the national anthem of the United Kingdom. The national anthem of the United States was sung by Marissa Ann. Amir Khan entered the ring first and Terence Crawford came in second.
The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.
Terence Crawford (34-0) vs. Amir Khan (33-4); WBO Welterweight Title
Crawford looked intensely at Khan during the referee instructions. Both boxers start off in an orthodox stance. Khan goes with a body head combination but doesn’t land much. Crawford misses a check left hook, but follows it with a short left hook that partially lands. Khan comes forward with a double jab. Crawford is light on his feet. Khan misses with a two punch combination but lands a short left hook upstairs. Amir Khan throws out a few more jabs. Crawford lands a good short right hand and follows it with a two punch combination that knocks Amir Khan down. Crawford is looking for the knockout an dis pressing the pace. Khan is attempting to tie up at end of round and Crawford lands some heavy right hands as round comes to an end.
Khan was rattled as he walked to his corner in the previous round. Crawford paws out a few jabs and looks ready to surge forward. Khan circling away throwing out a few soft jabs. Khan with a two punch combination. Crawford throws out another two punch combination and bounces some off the guard of Khan. Khan lands a good straight right hand on Crawford. Khan is reaching for his punches a bit. Crawford lands another lead right hand and momentarily wobbles Khan. Crawford lands a good right to the body. Khan lands a good short left hook on Crawford. Khan may be recovered from that first round knockdown.
10-9 Crawford; 20-17 Crawford.
Crawford lands an early jab. Khan comes forward and lands a good two punch combination. Crawford flicks out another jab and has Khan backing up. Crawford lands a good straight right hand. Khan lands a looping left hook. Crawford is controlling the territory of the ring. Khan’s hand speed is giving Crawford a little trouble. Crawford is more patient this round and looking for counters, but Khan may be stealing it by throwing first. Closer round.
10-9 Khan, 29-27 Crawford
Crawford paws out a few jabs. Crawford in a southpaw stance. Crawford connects with a straight left hand. Crawford pawing out a few jabs, lands a good straight left hand. Khan lands a good multi punch combination upstairs on Crawford. Good body shot by Khan gets a tongue out response from Crawford. Khan rushes forward with a combination and Crawford ducks under. Khan lands a good straight right hand and Crawford answers with a combination to the body and head. Crawford’s punches do more damage than Khan. Crawford landing some heavy body shots on Khan. Khan getting hammered by Crawford. Good straight right by Khan at end of the round.
10-9 Crawford; 39-36 Crawford
Crawford lands an early jab on Khan. Khan throws a double jab to the body of Crawford. Crawford lands a vicious two punch combination on Khan with his back against the ropes. Crawford lands a vicious right hook on Khan. Crawford starting to put a beating on Khan this round. Khan is reaching a bit for his punches, and Crawford makes him pay with good counters. Crawford with two more heavy shots to the body of Khan. Crawford looks extremely confident and barely misses with a windmill uppercut. Khan lands a reaching hook. Amir Khan lands a good right hand at the end of the round.
10-9 Crawford; 49-45 Crawford
Khan misses with a jab to the body. Crawford is dictating the pace and barely misses with a two punch counter. Khan lunges forward on his attacks. Crawford lands a low blow and Khan visibly reacts. Khan is given time to recover.
The fight was stopped due to the low blow as Amir Khan is unable to continue.
The referee has to determine if the low blow was accidental or purposeful. If it is determined to be accidental the fight will go to the scorecards.
However, it appears the fight was not stopped due to a low blow, but due to Virgil Hunter asking Amir Khan if he wanted to continue and he said no. Therefore, Crawford gets a TKO victory since Amir Khan could not continue.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at 0:47 of the sixth round.
PBC on Fox Results: Garcia Stops Granados, Ruiz Stops Dimitrenko
By: Hans Themistode
What a statement!
Adrian Granados suffered the first stoppage loss of his career tonight at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California at the hands of Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs). Granados is known for his aggressive come forward style, along with his granite chin but that aforementioned chin could not hold up to the power of Garcia tonight. During the build up of the fight, Garcia warned Granados that he would do what others have not, and that is stop the Chicago native.
In round one Garcia came out aggressive. He landed a monster left hand that had his opponent visibly hurt. Not to be outdone, Granados landed a few good shots of his own but it was Garcia who thoroughly dominated the action early on.
The second round for the former two division world champion was a superb one. Garcia caught his man with a huge left hook, one that Granados did not see him coming. Shortly after Granados hit the deck. He managed to make to his feet and did not seem to be in serious trouble. Garcia gave his opponent no time to relax as a right hand by Garcia landed with just a few seconds left on the clock. Again, Granados hit the deck.
After a great round two, the rest of the contest was a bit more of a balanced playing field. Garcia continued to have more success than his opponent but Granados had his moments.
Garcia landed hard shot after hard shot which in turn made Granados back peddle for the majority of the contest. Round five saw Garcia score yet another knockdown, but once again Granados managed to jump back up to his feet.
As we went to round seven, it was becoming increasingly clear that Garcia was on his way to an easy decision victory. However, that was not enough as he poured on the power shots and combination punching which forced the referee to put a halt to the contest.
Granados has never been known as a world beater, but he has always been incredibly durable. He has faced former champion Adrian Broner and current WBC title holder Shawn Porter. Although he lost both of those contest he was never in any danger of being seriously hurt. Garcia put the rest of the Welterweight division on notice. Many have written him off, thinking that his days as a contender were over but think again.
Sure, Garcia had a dominant performance tonight but he isn’t the only one who performed at a high level as both Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) and Super Bantamweight fighter Brandon Figueroa (19-0, 14 KOs) dominated their opposition as well. For Ruiz he picked up a fifth round stoppage win over Alexander Dimitrenko (41-5, 26 KOs).
Dimitrenko just had no answers for Ruiz who was the much better boxer and had his hand speed on full display. Although Ruiz was at a large deficit in terms of height and reach, it didn’t matter tonight as Ruiz quite simply beat up his larger opponent to the tune of a fifth round stoppage.
Also on the card, Brandon Figueroa not only had a dominant performance but he also picked up the interim WBA Super Bantamweight title against Yonfrez Parejo (22-4-1, 11 KOs).
The contest started off close as both men had plenty of success. Through four rounds it was anybody’s contest. The fifth round however, changed the landscape of the fight as Figueroa hurt his man. The punishment continued as the rounds went by. After eight rounds Parejo could no longer continue and was forced to withdraw from the contest.
All three men made impressive statements tonight. They have all solidified their positions as top contenders in their respective divisions.
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Verdejo, Stevenson, and Lopez Win Impressively
By: William Holmes
The televised undercard of tonight’s PPV featured three fights before the main event between Terence Crawford and Amir Khan.
This event was held at Madison Square Garden and televised live on Pay Per View in a partnership between Top Rank Promotions and ESPN.
The first fight on the undercard was between Felix Verdejo (24-1) and Bryan Vazquez (37-3) in the lightweight division.
Verdejo took control of the center of the ring early on and was landing crisp jabs in conjunction with decent body shots. Vazquez kept a good tight high guard, but he wasn’t very effective when he went on the offensive.
Verdejo landed a good short left hook in the third round but had a small cut under his left eye in the fourth round. Verdejo looked like the fresher fighter in the fifth round and was able to land some good body shots in the sixth.
Vazquez had a strong seventh and eight round and may have stolen them on the judges’ score cards. Verdejo however was the aggressor in the final two rounds and likely took them from Vazquez.
The final scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92 for Felix Verdejo.
The next fight on the undercard was in the featherweight division between Shakur Stevenson (10-0) and Christopher Diaz (24-1)
Stevenson, a southpaw, started off the fight by circling away from the power hand of Diaz and stayed on the outside. Stevenson picked him apart in the second round with a jab and looked to be in good control
Diaz attempted to keep the distance tight in the third and fourth rounds but Stevenson was too accurate of a puncher to be in danger.
Stevenson had a real strong fifth round as his superior hand speed was just taking it over. Diaz had a better sixth round and both fighters crossed feet in the seventh round. Diaz looked like he was reaching for his punches a bit in the eighth round as he was behind on the cards at the time.
Stevenson looked extremely confident going into the final two rounds and coasted to a comfortable victory.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 for Shakur Stevenson.
The final fight on the undercard was a lightweight fight between Teofimo Lopez (12-0) and Edis Tatli (31-2) .
Lopez was sharp with his jab early on and landed some good check left hooks in the opening round. He continued to press in the second round and was able to land some good shots to the body.
Lopez continued to press the pace in the third round and had Tatli in full retreat in the fourth round. Lopez went for the stoppage in the fourth as he was winding up on his power shots, but Tatli was able to stay on his feet.
Lopez finished the fight in the fourth round with a vicious body shot that sent Tatli to the mat for the full ten count.
Lopez wins by knockout at 1:32 of the fifth round.