Author Archives: Staff

Lanell “KO” Bellows: “It’s All About Progression”


By: Sean Crose

“It was a great experience, “Lanell “KO” Bellows tells me of his time sparing with the one and only Floyd Mayweather, “a life changing experience.” Bellows, who helped Mayweather train for his match against fellow great Miguel Cotto, made an impression on the fighter named “Money.” According to Mayweather Promotion’s web page: “Mayweather was impressed with Bellows’ heart and his desire to go the extra mile. This led Mayweather to believe that Bellows could become a prolific fighter.” Bellows signed with The Money Team in 2012 and is still with the outfit today.

“He’s definitely TBE,” Bellows says of Mayweather. “He puts in the work. He’s sharp. He’s fast.” Bellows has been putting in his own work lately, for he’s scheduled to fight fellow super middleweight Lamar Harris on Saturday, July 21st at Memphis’ Fed Ex Forum. “Training’s actually going great,” Bellows states in the leadup to his battle with Harris. “I don’t know a lot about him,” Bellows says of his opponent, save for the fact that Harris is “going to lose.”

Bellows is originally from Kansas City, but he moved to California when he was young. Not noted for having an amateur career of note, the young man actually got his start as a boxer at the age of 22. “It’s all about progression,” he says. Although his nickname is “KO” (10 of his 17 victories have come by way of knockout), Bellow doesn’t enter the ring determined to stop his man within the distance. “Going for the knockout is not something you do,” he says. When the opportunity rises, however…

What’s interesting about Bellows is that he’s an easy man to speak with. Although he isn’t a household name, like his mentor, Floyd Mayweather (at least Bellows isn’t yet), it’s clear Bellows isn’t afraid to talk to the media. Such easygoing confidence may stem from the fact that Bellows is a family man. “You do as you were taught,” he says. “I was taught family values…to be a man…to stand on your own feet.” Although he now lives in the boxing capital of the world, Las Vegas, with his immediate family, Bellows is also happy to be in close proximity to other relatives. “My roots are basically in California,” he says. “Three hours away isn’t bad.”

Bellows is clearly an individual who believes that hard work will eventually pay off. “It’s all a learning process,” he tells me. The fight with Harris is yet another step on what is a steady journey. “KO Bellow is on the rise,” he says when I ask if there’s anything he himself would like to state. “We’re mentally, spiritually and physically strong.” and

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Learning From The Greats: Subtle Secrets of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Success


By John Tsoi

It is safe to say that the title as the face of boxing is wide open right now. No fighter has made a statement convincing enough to fill the void left by Floyd Mayweather Jr following his retirement from the sport. Gennady Golovkin submitted sub-par performances against Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, while Canelo himself was marred in the clenbuterol scandal. Other pound-for-pound boxers such as Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Errol Spence Jr are still looking for more signature victories in their respective weight classes. As we stay privileged watching these fighters continue to prove themselves, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at why Floyd was always a notch above others at the top, including his habits and tactics that the up-and-coming ambitious boxers can learn from. Rest assured that it is not just about the obvious “hard work, dedication”, but instead, the more subtle secrets that might have eluded our eyes.

First of all, Floyd’s noctural training schedule had worked out really well for him. While most boxers train during daytime, he took pride in training when others are sleeping, which many perceive is his method of gaining a mental edge. Yet, any logical person can deduce that he must be resting while others were training in the morning. Therefore, there must be another reason why he craved late night workouts. Remember your last trip to a boxing event? They usually occur at nighttime, where main events usually start late. Floyd has accustomed both his mind and body to train at the period of time when others are already resting, which translated to great performances at his late night fights. Of course, one can argue that other boxing greats who trained conventionally also performed equivalently well. However, the slightest of advantage makes a huge difference, especially when facing top opponents and having a style that demands high concentration. Thus, Floyd’s amazing reaction time and overall awareness serve as a testament to the effectiveness of his unique training timetable.

Moreover, his fighting style contributes massively to his successful career. From “Pretty Boy Floyd” who had speed and power, to “Money Mayweather” who unfortunately has rather brittle hands and therefore adjusted to being a more defensive boxer, he was never a one-punch knockout artist. He thrived by winning rounds regardless of whether he hurts his opponent or not. We all know what happens when a boxer who is used to knocking everybody out meets a foe who can take his punches. At the highest level of the sport, carrying the media-built mantra as a knockout king could easily backfire against the boxer. What’s most amazing about Floyd’s mentality, particularly in the latter stages of his career, is that you never see him aiming to finish off his opponents unless an opportunity presents itself, nor did the media expected knockouts. Errol Spence Jr, a talented boxer who is currently riding a knockout streak towards his next fight, has a style only half-similar to that of Floyd. The difference is that Spence himself, along with the pressure imposed by the media, anticipate knockouts in mid to latter rounds. When a fighter with such style fails to break down the enemy, a shroud of self-doubt could loom over the fighter which is detrimental. We have yet to see how Spence will react when an opponent can handle his pressure and style, something we will likely see when he squares off against Crawford in the future. Floyd was devoid of that pressure to eventually score knockouts. All he had to do was outpoint them over the twelve rounds, which forced his rivals to deliver the action and subsequently, adjust to his style instead of following theirs. Such mentality allows Mayweather to exercise caution without over-committing, and most importantly, transferred the burden of a fight to his opponent.

Over the course of Floyd’s career, he embraced the “bad boy persona”, where even some of his own countrymen cheered against him. This allowed him to be more relaxed because he did not have to be a national hero who carries a whole country’s expectation like Manny Pacquiao or Anthony Joshua. Even for lesser-known fighters, making the walk to the ring against a hostile crowd could sap their confidence. For example, Brandon Rios was admirable for admitting that whilst looking confident and ready, he was intimidated and nervous deep down inside, especially when he fought in a Macau arena with partisan crowd in favour of Pacquiao. For Floyd, being booed is normality that he is used to, while being cheered on is probably a bonus. Therefore, he was never fazed by the media or the crowd. Being a known master of mind games, he understands the importance of winning the mental battle before the bell rings.

The final secret lies on the level of media exposure that Floyd allowed during his training camps. When we search for his past training camp footages, chances are that we will only find those from media day workouts which he obliged, from network documentaries, plus snippets of workout clips from his social media accounts. Otherwise, you rarely see his full workout videos, unlike many other boxers who constantly allow media access in the gyms day in and day out. Having reporters strolling around, recording and incessantly asking questions could be a disturbance, stripping your much-needed focus for training. In addition, it would be no surprise that Floyd could have secret training methods or innovative workouts that outsiders do not know of, merely because he kept a tight media access and employed a group of loyal personnel who do not leak information. This is a savvy move since an attentive coach can spot bits and pieces of the game plan that an opposition camp carelessly divulge due to the media, or even possible injuries that one is trying to hide. In short, Floyd showed his meticulousness by disclosing his training camps with as few details as possible, but enough to promote a fight.

For the new generation of fighters vying to take the top spot left by the crafty American, learning from a boxing great like Floyd Mayweather Jr is not about copying everything he did, but to develop a mindset in approaching each fight comprehensively, just like how he attended to the physical, psychological and pre-fight aspects of boxing, all of which ultimately led him to find his niche in the sport. Love him or hate him, he showed us that success is not by doing what works for others, but finding and doing what works for oneself.

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Luke Jackson: Ready for Frampton


By: Oliver McManus

At 4.33 in the morning last Tuesday I was on the phone to Luke Jackson with the Australian in the midst of preparing for a bout with Carl Frampton, at Windsor Park, on August 18th for the interim WBO Featherweight World Championship.

A prestigious amateur talent, Jackson was one of six Australian medallists at their home Commonwealth games in 2006 alongside the likes of Leonardo Zappavigna and Jarrod Fletcher. With the goal of making an Olympic games the Tasmanian featherweight had to wait until London 2012 before he could achieve that initial goalpost and having shared a room with Jeff Horn, his company could be no more befitting ahead of this Summer showdown in Belfast – if anyone knows how to pull off an upset then it’s Horn.


Photo Credit: Luke Jackson Twitter Account

That’s enough of me rambling along, let’s just get straight into the interview –

How’s Australia, how is training going?

Well we’ve got six weeks to go and I’m in Sydney training with Billy Hussein, been in camp for two weeks now and obviously I’m always in the gym, relatively fight, so we started running a bit harder 10 weeks out and now, eight weeks out we’re focussing completely on our boxing training and sparring. We’re in good shape, we’ve got plenty of time and it’s all going to plan.

In terms of training are you looking at any specific areas?

Yeah, look, we’re just trying to improve everything that I’m good at and make it a lot more well-rounded. This is, obviously, a very hard fight but it’s something that we’re willing and able to do, we’re preparing accordingly and we’ve got a couple of different game plans that we’re working on so if the first one doesn’t work as well as we hope then we’ll mix it up and go with our second or third plan. I trust Billy Hussein and what he tells me to do in the gym – I just do it.

On the night under the lights I’ll just do the same again.

You’re stepping into Windsor Park, 18,000 Frampton fans, will that affect you mentally in any way?

At the end of the day it’s only going to be Carl in there, in the ring, and yeah the fans are going to be screaming but whether they’d be screaming for him or screaming for me, it’s still going to be loud and he’ll have that effect on him too – the pressure – it’s going to be the same atmosphere for both of us and I’ll just listen to Billy, I don’t really care what the rest of the crowd does.

That’s my attitude, they can’t fight for Carl and they can’t fight for me either, I’m sure he’ll enjoy having them all there for him but I don’t really care, I’m not focussed on that, I just want to win the fight.

What do you think separates you from Carl?

Well I think he’s achieved everything he’s wanted to do, achieved the goal of becoming a world champion, I haven’t. I think he’s on the decline since the Leo Santa Cruz fight, I think that was his best moment in the first fight. His motivation maybe isn’t what it used to be, I’m not sure, but I’m still chasing my dream and I think that will show on August 18th.

Many people have called you an underdog, does that label bother you?

I couldn’t care Ollie, I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t care. I’ve been an underdog all my life, I’m not even meant to be in this position but I am and I’ve worked hard to get here so people who say I’m an underdog and completely write me off are people who don’t really know anything. I understand there are some experts, so-called experts, calling me the underdog and I admit that Carl is an awesome fighter, two-weight world champion, he deserves to be the favourite and it would be ridiculous if he wasn’t.
But do I think I can beat him? 100%, 100%. Do I think he’s the same fighter as he used to be? No I don’t and hopefully I’m right in what I say and, listen, I can sit here and say whatever I want but I’ve got to get in the ring and back it up, Carl is a hell of a fighter, he got a little bit upset because I didn’t think he was a great fighter.

And I don’t think he’s a great fighter but that’s my opinion, take it or leave it, I don’t really care if it upset him. I’m still going to punch him in the head so it doesn’t matter what I say to upset the guy, I respect him as a man and I respect him as a fighter. Hopefully after the fight we can shake hands and have a beer together.

When it came to that press conference, did you say he wasn’t great to deliberately get under his skin?

Never, never, I’ve never been like that, I just meant what I said and he didn’t really like it. I don’t know why, I thought it was a compliment, I think he’s a very good fighter across the board, I think he does a lot of things very well and I thought that was a compliment. I don’t think he’s a great fighter but I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong many time before, but it doesn’t make me a bad person simply for saying what I think.

You only picked up boxing aged 18, 19, what was it that inspired you?

My life was a little bit chaotic and I needed something to keep me focussed and that was boxing. I was involved with the wrong crew, did some things I shouldn’t, and I liked the idea of boxing so I went with that and the rest is history.

When you started, then, was it a genuine expectation to turn professional?

Well my first goal when I started boxing was to see another country, that was my first goal, and then I went from that to wanting to see another country and then wanting to make the Olympic games and I didn’t really think about turning professional and then… well, I did.

Yeah because you got a bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games but didn’t turn pro until 2013, why was it so long?

I wanted to make the Olympics and I missed out on 2008 so I had to wait a long time to make that next team.

Since you have turned pro have you found that the amateur experience has made it a little easier?

Of course, things like me travelling to Ireland and fighting in someone’s backyard well, I’m used to that because I did that a lot as an amateur and the only difference is its more rounds and smaller gloves. I’ve thought guys just as good as Carl when I was an amateur so I don’t think I’ll be out of my depth, at all, my team has done a great job of getting me settled and I haven’t been in with as great as opposition as Carl has but I, equally, haven’t taken any punishment.
Carl’s been in a few hard fights and hopefully I can take advantage on the night.

I want to ask you a bit about weight cutting, obviously we saw what happened with Danny O’Connor, so just talk to me about that…

I’ll be honest making weight is never easy, it’s never easy, but it’s a part of our job and not many people will understand it but it’s a hard part, it’s expected of us though and no-one makes us do it, it’s a long process and we leave it to the last minute most of the time. I haven’t missed weight yet, I’ve had 113 amateur fights and 16 as a pro and I haven’t missed the weight yet but, yeah, it’s hard.

Danny O’Connor it’s very unfortunate and I wish him well but hopefully I’m never in that position.

I’ve never been a boxer Luke and I get that it’s all about maximizing your weight advantage when you’re in the ring but is there another reason why people don’t often fight one class above?

Because they (in the weight caterogry above) are too big, that’s the only reason, we’re looking to have the biggest advantage possible and if I went into the ring at 65, 64 or 63 then I’d be at a massive disadvantage to these guys because they can rehydrate much more.

Undefeated as a professional, what would you say is your best performance?

I don’t think I’ve actually had any fights where I was that great to be honest, I’ve never boxed to the best of my ability and hopefully Carl can bring that out in me and I’m looking forward to the test. I don’t think I’ve had any bad performances but I’ve not had any great ones either. I know I’ve got it in me and I’ve not fought to my full potential yet and that’s just my honest opinion.

Hopefully it can happen on August 18th because if I box the way I know I can then I’ll beat Carl Frampton, I know that.

Will you look better when you fight better opponents, then?

Yeah, yeah, I think so, I hate to keep bringing it up but I’ve fought some of the best amateurs in the world and I’ve beaten them so I just haven’t had the right guys in front of me as a professional so far and that’s not necessarily my fault, things happen, and I’m really looking forward to being the best I can be against Carl Frampton and at the end of the day I’m working hard, putting everything into it, and I’m going over there to upset the party.

When things get tough, what is it that motivates you?

I mean I’ve been doing this for 16 years mate and I always here a couple of mates who started off with me saying that I was never the most talented or anything but I stuck it out and I turned up every day, worked hard and kept going when everyone else didn’t and that’s the reason I’m here now because I put the hard work in from the beginning and I’m continuing that hard work.

I won’t lie, if I win this fight then the money will be a massive incentive for me and I want the money out of this game.

If we assume that you get past Carl Frampton have you get any opponents you would like afterwards?

If I beat Carl and it’s a good fight then I’d be happy with a rematch if he wants it or I wouldn’t mind Josh Warrington or Oscar Valdez.

Would you want them in Australia?

I don’t really care where I fight as long as the money is good.

Have you got a specific vision of how August 18th will go?

I don’t know, I’ve got a plan that I’ll walk him onto a right hand and stop him. I keep having visions that he’s going to walk onto a big right hand that’ll hurt and then I’ll got the job done but I know I can box for 12 rounds and beat him on points. I’m confident that if I hit him clean then he’ll go, he’s not invincible and I’ve seen him get dropped, we’ve all seen it, I’ve seen him hurt but he’s never seen me dropped or hurt so that’s another thing to give me confidence – I haven’t been on the deck and I’m hoping to put him on his arse if he comes in reckless.

Do you think there is a danger of him, perhaps, under-estimating you?

If he does that then he’ll get a rude shock when he walks onto a couple of my shots with the little 8oz gloves on, let him do that and let him underestimate and he’ll see what it’s all about. Like I said, we’ve still got to get in there and fight, a lot is still to happen, I’m focussed on working hard and getting the job done.

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Charvis Holifield Keeps His Forward Momentum


By: Sean Crose

“I’ve been in Vegas for the past five years,” welterweight Charvis Holifield tells me. I ask him what kind of town Sin City is to live in. “Can’t complain,” he responds good naturedly. “I’ve seen worse.” Holified will be putting his skills on display against Donald Ward on the 21st of this month in Memphis at the Fed Ex Forum. “Training’s going pretty good,” he says, “I’ve been going out to the mountains.”

Holifield, whose record stands at 7-2-1 may have two losses to his record, but one of those losses was by disqualification – in a fight Holifield says he was on the verge of winning. “It was a cheap mouthpiece,” he says in regards to the gum guard which caused him to lose his 2014 bout against David Thomas. “I was brought in on the B side,” he claims. “I’m one and oh at the time.”

Holifield had lost his mouthpiece twice in the end of the bout, then, when Holified was coming on strong, it happened a final time. “I was ripping my shots and my mouthpiece came out,” says Charvis. “I beat myself.”

Charvis, however, didn’t let the slip on the road stop him. Indeed, he had been boxing since he was a young man. “My dad introduced me to combat sports,” he says.“He was a fifth degree black belt and Tai Kwan Do.” It was clear early that Charvis had a talent. “When I turned nine he stopped teaching karate,” he says of his father. “Then I found a boxing gym in my hometown of Fremont, Ohio.” Charvis had found the sport which would define him.

“I stuck with boxing,” he says. “It was always something that I had, that I loved, that I wanted to do.” After a rather vast amateur career (“I made it to the national golden gloves in 2003 out here in Vegas), Charvis’ wife gave him the push he needed. “My wife was like: ‘If you want to box, we have to go to Vegas,’” he says. Taking her sound advice, Charvis moved to Vegas. “I was going to the Mayweather boxing club,” he says. “I met J’Lean love and we’ve been friends ever since.”

Holifield is now “with the Money Team, with Affiliation Management,” and ready to continue his climb. “I would like it to move forward and go in a positive direction, of course,” he says of his career. “I would like to have bigger opportunities.” Yet unlike some professional athletes, Holified knows that fighters can’t go on endlessly. “I’m not going to be doing this forever,” he admits. “Right now, I just recently got my real estate license. I just passed the state and the national test out here in Vegas.”

Perhaps that move out west will pay off in more ways than one.

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Pacquiao vs. Matthysse Fight Quotes


Future Hall of Famer and Filipino superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 38 KOs) scored a seventh-round knockout victory against Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) to capture the WBA Welterweight World Title at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pacquiao scored a knockdown in round three with a left uppercut, and then forced Matthysse to take a knee in the fifth round with a shot to the temple. Pacquiao dropped Matthysse with another left uppercut in the seventh round, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to end matters at 2:43 of the aforementioned round.

“I was surprised because Matthysse is a very tough opponent and I knocked him down,” said Manny Pacquiao. “So that’s a bonus from being focused and patient in the fight and working hard in training camp. We [my team] did a good job in training. We controlled ourselves during training. It was a heavy training. Thanks to all my team for working hard for this fight.

“That’s another story and another discussion. Right now I’m happy to go back to my country in the Philippines and to celebrate my victory and of course with my fellow countrymen, doing my job as a public servant. We’re planning for that [returning this year]. But we haven’t decided yet. Right now my focus is to go back to my country and relax.”

“Fighting Manny Pacquiao [is the most difficult part about fighting Pacquiao],” said Lucas Matthysse. “He’s a great fighter. He’s a great champion. You win some, and you lose some. Today was my turn to lose, but I lost to a great fighter and a great legend in Manny Pacquiao. First I would like to rest and go back home. The hard work has been done. The fight has taken place. I lost, but I walk away with my head raised. I’m sorry to Argentina, but I’m fine. Thank you for all the love and support, and we’ll be seeing all my family and friends soon.”

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Pacquiao Demolishes Matthysse In Seven


By: Sean Crose

Venezuela’s Carlos Canizalez, 20-0-1, opened up the ESPN+ live stream broadcast of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight by facing China’s 1-0 Bin Lu at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night (American time). The bout, which was for a WBA version of the flyweight title, started in exciting style, with both fighters engaging fully and trading powerful shots. By the end of the fourth, however, the defending champion, Canizalez, starting working effectively on his man.


Photo Credit: ESPN Twitter Account

By the middle of the fight it was clear that Canizalez was the stronger of the two while Lu Bin would occasionally reach in to land. Canizalez worked the body, and the by the ninth, Lu Bin was visibly weakening. Canizalez hammered his man again in the 11th. Lu Bin as game and not without skill, but he was still the victim of a technical knockdown in the round (the ropes held the man up). With just seconds left in the 12th , Canizalez sent his man to the mat. Lu Bin got up, but the referee stopped the fight.

Next up came a featherweight bout for another WBA title. Edivaldo Ortega, 26-1-1, of Mexico was facing the 21-0 Jhack Tempora for the vacant belt. Tempora came out swinging in the first. Right off the bat, the man was engaging in effective body work. Ortega looked better in the second, but Tempora ended the round rather strong. The first third of the fight proved to be tight and close, but Tempora looked to have the edge.

Ortega gained ground over the next few rounds, but by the sixth Tempora was able to work from range.

Things remained close…until the ninth when Tempora dropped his man. Ortega got up, but Tempora wasn’t going to let him go. Letting loose with this punches, Tempora stopped Ortega before round’s end.

It was time for the main event. Pacquiao, 59-7-2, stepped into the ring to face Matthysse, 39-4-0, for yet another WBA belt, this time in the welterweight division. Matthysse never had a chance. The Argentine landed well on several occasions, but Pacquiao proved to be a tsunami, completely overwhelming his man. The first round saw the Filipino dominating. Matthysse fought well enough in the second, but Pacquiao still had the edge. By the third, Matthysse was down for the first time. He got up, but Pacquiao was flurrying so aggressively that the titlist couldn’t mount anything consistent.

Still, Matthysse held his own in the fourth. He didn’t do enough to win the round, though. By the fifth, Pacquiao made his man take a knee. The sixth was a close, but not close enough to give to Matthysse. And by the seventh, it was all over. Anyone with eyes could see it was only matter of time, but at just over the two and a half minute mark of the round, Matthysse was sent to the mat for the last time. Pacquiao had his first knockout win in years.

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Top Rank Boxing On ESPN Results: Regis “Rougarou” Prograis Stop Juan Jose Velasco


By: Ken HIssner

Saturday at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing over ESPN it was the hometown return of interim WBC Super Lightweight champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis as promised by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 22-0 (19), out of Houston, TX, stopped WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-1 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 1:59 of round 8.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams

In the first round Prograis had his way as his hometown fans were cheering for him from his introduction. He was doing plenty of faking but Velasco got his licks in. Prograis in the final seconds of the round rocked Velasco with a combination to the head. In the second round Prograis continued pressing the action. The second round was similar as the first round. At the end of the round Prograis avoided half a dozen of Velasco’s punches and landed a left of his own to the chin of Velasco at the bell.

In the third round Velasco missed four punches but landed the following two to the head of Prograis. There is no respect of Velasco’s punching power by Prograis. At the bell Prograis landed a left uppercut to the chin of Velasco knocking his head back. In the fourth round Prograis rocked Velasco with a lead left to the chin. Halfway through the round Prograis landed a pair of left hands to the mid-section of Velasco.

In the fifth round Velasco got on his bicycle not wanting those body shots that Prograis hit him with last round. A vicious left to the body from Prograis dropped Velasco who barely beat the count of referee Lawrence Cole. He managed to get through the round. In the seventh round the stalking from Prograis continued. Half the punches from Velasco but several got in on Prograis. Prograis landed a left to the body and down went Velasco. He got up with approximately twenty seconds to go in the round and made it to the bell.

In the eighth round Velasco went down from another left to the liver. Velasco got up and fought harder than at anytime until another left uppercut dropped him. Then Prograis drove him into the bottom strand of the ropes before referee Cole waved it off. Referee Cole showed poor judgment in letting the fight go on too long. Finally the corner stepped up and waved it off.

“It was super special. Thanks to everybody in New Orleans. I want to bring back big time boxing to New Orleans. I’m going into the WBSS and hope to win that,” said Prograis.

Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 10-0 (8), of David, FL, stopped IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-2 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title at 0:15 of the sixth round in a scheduled 10.

In the first round Lopez had his way. Lopez missed with a right but with a lunging left hook Lopez dropped Silva who beat the count of referee Bruce McDaniel and had a bloody nose. In the second round Lopez started showboating. He was making Silva look bad. He stunned Silva several times.

In the third round Lopez kept up the showboating knowing the taller Silva who had his hands held high got in a couple of counter left hooks but too few. Lopez rocked Silva with a right, left. He then followed with a lead right uppercut to the chin of Silva followed by a left hook to the head. In the fourth round Lopez landed a combination and added a right hand to the head of Silva. He ended the round with a lead right to the head of Silva.

In the fifth round Lopez continued using head fakes and landing left uppercuts and left hooks to the chin of Silva. The blood continued funning from the nose of Silva. Silva got in the best punch of his fight countering a right to the head of Lopez. With seconds left in the round Lopez drove Silva into the corner with a flurry ending with three left hooks to the head dropping Silva for a nine count as he got up and saved by the bell.

In the sixth round Lopez again dropped Silva within seconds of the round with a double left hook to the head when referee McDaniel immediately waved it off. After winning Lopez did a back flip. “I want to thank God, Bob Arum, Top Rank, Bruce Trampler, Bruce Goodman. I set him up with a jab and played with his mind. I set him up for the left hand. I’m full of blood, his blood. I lost my dog this past Sunday. All I want to do is go home and cry. I love you Leo (dog) He was my best friend,” said Lopez.

Southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 18-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, defeated Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-5-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.

De Leon came off the canvas in the first round but had his way the rest of the way by scores of 97-92 twice and 98-91.

Super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 8-0 (6), of Cleveland, OH, stopped Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-4 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., in the second round with a body shot in a scheduled 10 rounds.

Unbeaten super lightweight southpaw 2016 Gold Medalist Olympian Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 5-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, had a harder than expect fight defeating Kevin Johnson, 5-1 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.

Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 14-0 (9), out of Orlando, FL, knocked out Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-5-1 (6), in 82 seconds of the first round.

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Fielding KOs Zeuge in 5 to Become the New WBA ‘Regular’ Champion


By: Ste Rowen

In Offenburg, Germany’s Baden-Arena, Rocky Fielding became the new WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion after stopping the previously unbeaten, Tyron Zeuge with an impressive 5th round stoppage.

Before tonight Zeuge was 22-0-1 (12KOs) and knew he was in with a arguably his toughest opposition to date but, after a jittery opening minute and a half, both fighters began to show intent, though the quality was lacking, throwing ambitious hooks that put a block on the others attack rather than do any damage.

In recent performances, Zeuge has had success from leading off the jab to setup his offence, but in the early rounds neither boxer seemed very interested in anything other than attempting to throw power punches from all angles.

The fight remained close heading into the 4th, although the German looked to be having slightly more success. Fielding, who trains alongside the likes of Carl Frampton and Martin Murray, under the tutelage of Jamie Moore & Nigel Travis, appeared, for the time being at least, comfortable fighting off the back foot. But as the cliché goes, you have to rip the belt from the champion. Especially when the belt holder is fighting on home turf in his 6th defence.

With a minute left of round 4 the challenger sensed this and kicked it up a notch. Rocky landed quickfire combinations forcing, Zeuge onto the backfoot and eventually the ropes. The champion survived until the bell, but for the first time tonight he clearly looked in a lot of discomfort.

Into the 5th and Fielding was clearly on top and enjoying himself, shooting off more of those left and right combinations, which not only took a toll on Tyron, but also killed off the early atmosphere the home crowd attempted to bring.

With 30 seconds left of round 5, Rocky landed a massive left uppercut which left his opposition visibly shaken. The challenger wasted no time in going in for the finisher, landing simultaneously with another left-hand uppercut and body shot sending the now, former champ, down and keeping him there, bringing an end to the bout, meaning Rocky Fielding was now the new, WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion of the world.

‘’It feels amazing. The fact that I come to the champion’s backyard and stopped him. Everything Jamie (Moore) said was on point. I broke him down. Jamie said, the first six and we’ll see where he’s at.’’
‘’He (Zeuge) likes to fall in but he doesn’t do nothing. When he’s in close, he’ll just tap. When we were up close it was like 1-2 ‘bang’ around the side and he wasn’t firing back and that’s what finished him.’’

‘’This was my chance. What do I do after here if nothing happens? This is my dream…The distractions are gone and once I get my mind clear I had that fear factor and I’m switched on.’’

Now 27-1 (15KOs), the post-fight interview turned to what was next for England’s newest champion, although the Liverpudlian seemed unsure if there was a rematch clause in place,

‘’I’d like to defend it in the Echo Arena in my home city, but I doubt Tyron Zeuge will want to take me on again. I’ll have a rest and after a few weeks sit down with my team and see what the plan is.’’
‘’I just want to embrace this for a bit.’’

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Joet Gonzalez Wins Split Decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera


By: Ken Hissner

Golden Boy Promotions over ESPN Friday night put on a boxing event at the Nova Theater in downtown L.A. showing two female matches prior to the main event with hometown favorite Joet Gonzalez and Mexico’s Rafael Rivera being quite unusual.

Featherweight Joet Gonzalez, 20-0 (11), of Glendora, CA, won a split decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera, 25-2-2 (16), of Tijuana, Baja, CA, Mexico, for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight Title.

In the first round both fighters were taking turns being the aggressor. Halfway through the round Rivera landed half a dozen punches before getting knocked back by a Gonzalez left hook to the chin. In the second round Rivera used a good left hook doubling it up on Gonzalez. Gonzalez, the taller of the two can’t hold off Rivera who came forth with combinations to body and head.

In the third round it was the first clinch caused by Gonzalez. Gonzalez tried to hold off Rivera with a jab but it wasn’t enough. Gonzalez seemed to have to take punches in bunches before fighting back. In the fourth round Gonzalez finally put more than a single punch at a time also using an occasional elbow. Rivera continued to throw more in return after Gonzalez lands several punches and moves back.

In the fifth round Gonzalez opened up with a 3-punch combination before Rivera came back with a combination. Whenever Rivera got hit to the head he immediately came back with a flurry. Gonzalez landed a combination and again moved away allowing Rivera to come back at him with a flurry. Gonzalez kept his hands up using a good defense but his face was showing the marks of the battle.

In the sixth round Rivera drove Gonzalez against the ropes with a flurry of punches. Halfway through the round it became a real fight. Gonzalez near the end of the round had Rivera holding on. In the seventh round the fans start chanting “Joet, Joet” urging Gonzalez to be more offensive. Rivera rarely threw a jab living up to his nick name “Bang Bang” throwing punches. Gonzalez was using his strength inside landing a good right uppercut to the chin until a Rivera left hook stopped him from using his strength.

In the eighth round Rivera landed a double left hook to the liver. Rivera came forward low but not throwing punches until he got hit by Gonzalez. In the ninth round Gonzalez continued to come forward with hands held high allowing Rivera to get to his body. Gonzalez comes forward but not throwing the jab much looking for the big punch. Rivera countered a jab from Gonzalez with a right to the chin. Halfway through the round with Rivera inside he would hold Gonzalez’s glove with his arm until seperated.

In the tenth and final round Gonzalez used his jab as Rivera tried using his but falling short. Halfway through the round both fighters opened up knowing the fight may be on the line. Both opened up the last thirty seconds right to the bell.

Judges scores were 96-94 Gonzalez, 96-94 Rivera and 97-93 for Gonzalez. This writer had it 96-94 Rivera.

Gonzalez said “I’m calling out all featherweights including Gary Russell. I thought I won the fight easily.” He better watch what he is asking for. “He never hurt me. I knew coming from Tijuana it would be hard getting the win. I thought I won,” said Rivera. In the amateurs the jab scores points but in the pro’s Rivera throwing twice as many punches should have meant a victory.

In the co-main event flyweight Siessa “Super Bad” Estrada, 14-0 (4), of East L.A. easily stopped Jhosep “La Chica de Oro” Vizcaino, 7-7- (3) of Quito, ECU, at 0:20 of round 3.

In the first round it was all Estrada who was taking a flurry of punches and countered with a left hook dropping Vizdaino. In the second round Estrada turned southpaw up until near the end of the round switching back to orthodox. The referee Zachary Young gave Vizcaino a warning to start fighting back.

In the third round Estrada landed many punches to the head before landing a left hook to the liver of Vizdaino who after a slight delay went to the canvas causing referee Young to stop the lopsided fight. To her credit Vizdaino came without a trainer as a substitute replacing the scheduled Christian Gonzalez-German Meraz co-feature.

Super middleweight Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo, 12-2 (5), of Los Angelos, CA, stopped Samantha Pill, 3-1 (0), of Fairmont, WV, at 0:41 of the third round in a scheduled 6.

In the first round Cornejo pressed Pill who used a counter jab for the most part. It wasn’t until near the end of the round that a solid punch was landed by Cornejo a right to the chin of Pill.

In the second round Pill drove Cornejo back several steps with a right to the chin. The action picked up when Pill decided to mix it up but took a beating before she started moving as she did in the first round. You can tell Pill was an MMA boxer with little boxing experience.

In the third round Cornejo continued dishing out a beating on Pill. Referee Jack Reis wisely stopped the onslaught early in the round seeing that Pill didn’t know how to cover up taking too much punishment.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Matthysse


By: William Holmes

On Saturday Manny Pacquiao will be co-promoting his next fight with Golden Boy Promotions at Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia and will be fighting in the United States on ESPN+. Pacquiao’s long time promoter, Top Rank, is involved with the distribution of the fight in the United States but is not assuming their normal promoting duties for Pacquiao.

Not only is Pacquiao not using the full services of Top Rank Promotions, but he’s also entering this fight without the assistance of his long time hall of fame trainer, Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao has already stated that this will not be his last fight, but a loss here could seriously hamper his drawing power as a money fighter. He’s also facing a strong puncher with knockout power in the welterweight division.

Three other title fights are also on this card. Carlos Canizales will be defending his WBA “Regular” Junior Flyweight Title against Bin Lu. Moruti Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem will be fighting for the vacant IBF Flyweight Title. Also, Jhack Tepora will be facing Edivaldo Ortega for the vacant WBA Interim Featherweight Title.

The following is a preview of the main fight of the night between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao for the WBA “Regular” Welterweight title.

Lucas Matthysse (39-4) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao has been featured on 23 PPV fights and for a long time was one of boxing’s most popular draws. However, he’s thirty nine years old and turns forty in December and this will be his second consecutive fight not on PPV.

His drawing power in the United States is waning, and he’s taking on a risky fight after his controversial, and outright terrible, decision loss to Jeff Horn.

Pacquiao is four years older than Matthysse and will be giving up an inch in height and two inches in reach. Pacquiao has 38 knockouts in his resume and Matthysse has 36, but Pacquiao hasn’t had a stoppage victory since he defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009.

Pacquiao only fought one time in 2017 and twice in 2016, but Matthysse has only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. Both boxers haven’t been very active recently.

Matthysse power can be devastating. He has defeated the likes of Tewa Kiram, Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Providnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Monlina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., and DeMarcus Corley. He has disputable losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander and clearer losses to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol.

Pacquiao doesn’t fight with the same blind rage that he used to when he was younger, but he still possess good speed and movement. He has four losses in his past nine fights. Some of his more notable losses were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., and Erik Morales.

His wins include Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Osca De La Hoya, Maco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.

Father time is catching up with Pacquiao and he’s not taking on an easy opponent in a non-ppv fight. Luckily for Pacquiao Matthysse isn’t as big of a welterweight as Jeff Horn, but he still packs a lot of power in his punch.

Can Pacquiao still hang with the best in the welterweight division? A lot of boxing pundits are saying no. His fight with Matthysse should give us a more definitive answer to that question.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Prograis Defends Title Against Juan Jose Velasco


By: Ken Hissner

Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 21-0 (18), out of Houston, TX, riding a six fight knockout streak defends his title against WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-0 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, over 12 rounds.

This is a “homecoming” for Prograis fighting at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, LA. He was born in New Orleans and has always wanted to headline there so Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing has made his dream come true. On Saturday at 7pm ESPN will show this card.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

“It’s a dream to come here. The Lakefront Arena, I grew up right around the corner from there. I have to hide my excitement for I still have to fight. I hope to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans. Velasco is going to try to knock me out. I’m focused. There are no distractions,” said Prograis.

“Regis is a great fighter. To be a great champion, you have to beat the great fighters. I want to prove that Saturday night, that I’m elite like him,” said Velasco.

There is a strong undercard featuring Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 9-0 (7), of David, FL, takes on IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-1 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title, over 10 rounds.

“I definitely want to showcase more of what I’m capable of doing. People have yet to see everything of me. This is a good step up,” said Lopez.

“I’m ready for the fight. It’s a real important fight. I had a really good training camp and I’m ready to go,” said Silva.

Coming off a draw decision super featherweight southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 17-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, takes on Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-4-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.

“I can’t wait to see all my fans. I can’t wait to display my talent and everything I got. It’s going to show Saturday so get there early,” said De Leon.

Also, on the undercard are unbeaten boxers like super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 7-0 (5), of Cleveland, OH, taking on Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-3 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., over 10 rounds.

Also, Jonathan “The King” Guidry, 10-0-2 (5), out of Dulac, LA., taking on Aaron Chavers, 8-4-1 (3), out of Oklahoma City, OK, over 6 rounds.

Also, super middleweight Tyler Howard, 14-0 (9), out of Crossville, TN, taking on Javier Frazier, 8-3-1 (4), out of SC, over 6 rounds.

Unbeaten boxers facing one another are super lightweight southpaw Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 4-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, against welterweight Kevin Johnson, 5-0 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 13-0 (8), out of Orlando, FL, takes late sub Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-4-1 (6), over 10 rounds.

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Mano a Mano, Manny a Mano


By: Oliver McManus

Mano a mano, or should we say Manny a mano? Basically what I’m trying to say is Manny Pacquaio is BACK in the ring this weekend as he vies for yet another world title – the WBA Welterweight belt – in a battle with, Argentine champion, Lucas Martin Matthysse.

Fighting for the first time since his, allegedly controversial, loss to Jeff Horn last July, Pacquiao is again fighting away from home with this super-bout taking place in the Middle-Eastern hub of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

The Filipino eight-weight world champion will be competing in his 69th bout and aged 39, nearly 40, there is a genuine concern that whilst he may still love being in the ring, the ring may not love having him in there and I say that because against Horn, whether you like it or not, he looked a shadow of his former self with his defence being easily penetrated, his footwork visibly slower and his head getting muddled relatively easily.

Of course being of such a supreme ability means that even the slightest dip in quality will be magnified a thousand times and let’s not suddenly believe that Pac Man is a bad fighter overnight, he’s not, he still possesses quality that many fighters could only ever dream of and what you can never takeaway is the fight intelligence that the 5’5.5 fighter has.

Most notable, in terms of differences, is the lack of Freddie Roach in the corner of the Filipino with Pacquiao seeking to go down a different route despite having secured his highest of successes with his iconic trainer and has, instead, opted to have Buboy Fernandez coach him in the build up to this fight.

A natural talent burgeoning with aggression and a glee for the sport, Pacquiao will go about this bout no different to any that came previously, he will seek to dictate the pace of the fight from the early stages, cutting off the ring whilst jumping in and out of all four corners and flurrying his trademark body punches with grit and desire.

The question mark around such a star is not whether he still possesses the ability, he will always have that, but rather one of how faded he has become? If anyone can beat father time, however, the father of boxing is surely that guy.

For a man coming off the back of such a bloody, brutal loss to Jeff Horn, Matthysse is one hell of a risk with La Maquina being one of the most vicious punchers currently in action, certainly a man with bad intentions who goes into fights wholeheartedly expecting a knockout.

Widely touted as the next big thing, Matthysse’s career took a bit of a bump when he was narrowly out-pointed by Danny Garcia in September 2013 and whilst the rebuild from that went well he was comfortably beaten by Viktor Postol, via 10th round TKO, in October of 2015.

This is a guy who loses to the elite and only the elite – Zab Judah and Devon Alexander are the only other names to have bested the 35 year old – and in his hand, boy does he possess some power. There’s an argument to be made that Matthysse has hands made of bricks such is the extent of his demolition.

Against Tewa Kiram, at The Forum, in January of this year we witnessed an incredible display as with the right hand sending Kiram down to the canvas in the eight before a murderous left finished the job within the same stanza to set up this legacy-defining contest with Pacquiao.

At his best when involved with a brawl, the Argentinian is capable of making even the dirtiest, feistiest, most fearsome of scraps look like a majestic work of art with his elusive body movement, tempestuous shot selection and vicious intent marking him out as a guy you do not want to let into any sort of a rhythm.

This reminds me of a gentle watercolour of a raging bull running through the streets of Pamplona, Pacquiao the artist, Matthysse the bull. But who is it that can claim the glory for such a visual spectacle, the artist or the bull?

We’ll find out on Saturday.

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Pacquiao Understudy and Sparring Partner George Kambosos Jr. Puts In The Rounds, Eyes His Own World Title Campaign


By Vishare Mooney

He’s been busy. In the last 14 months, undefeated Greek Australian fighter George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), left Australia to train in the U.S., made his American debut with a stunning first round knockout of Jose Forero and trained in two world title camps (Pacquiao vs. Horn, Pacquiao vs. Matthysse). With his eyes clearly set on the prize, a world title, Kambosos Jr. has also found a friend and mentor in Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), boxing’s most heralded 8-division world champion, having now sparred over 110 rounds with the legendary fighter.

The 25-year-old Kambosos Jr., who shares a coach with Pacquiao in former world title contender Justin Fortune and who is managed by Lou DiBella, will fight Filipino fighter JR “Star Boy” Magboo (17-1-2, 8 KOs) in the featured undercard of the Pacquiao-Matthysse WBA welterweight title fight in Kuala Lampur, this Saturday, July 14th on ESPN+. It was Pacquiao who insisted on adding his constant sparring partner, Kambosos Jr. on the already packed undercard roster. I caught up with Kambosos Jr. via videoconference, just days ahead of his fight and talked about his friendship with Manny, training regimen and goals for his own world title campaign.

Kambosos Jr. discussed why Pacquiao called on him again as a sparring partner. “I think he sees a younger version in myself, except for that I’m an orthodox fighter. We both train extremely hard, we both need to be pulled back by Justin Fortune, our coach at times to slow down. We both have the same mentality. He sees a young Manny Pacquiao in myself, so that’s how I got the opportunity. He wants to help my career as well. What better guy than the guy that’s done the most in boxing history” Kambosos Jr. added, “I think Manny will play a vital role in my future and my career, along side my promoter and my team.”

The camp was his second in 14 months. Kambosos Jr. was part of the Pacquiao vs. Horn team last summer. He said he is “still sore from the disappointment of the Horn fight” and adjustments have been made this time around. “We trained a lot smarter, pulled back on certain things, take a day off for rest, do some different kind of recovery, take a lighter session in the gym. I feel fresher during this camp. I feel great and I know Manny does as well. He will be ready for the fight on Sunday. There will be no excuses. Everything is ready to go.”

When Kambosos Jr. fights this weekend, it will have only been ten weeks since his last fight in May. He said it is the fastest turn around of his career and he likes it that way. He had trained hard for his American debut against Jose Forero, amassing over 150 sparring rounds prior to the swift win by TKO. By June, he was once again on a plane to the Philippines to reunite with Pacquiao. And after their first sparring session, got put on the undercard.

I asked Kambosos Jr. if he was at all nervous about his upcoming fight. “No, I have been sparring an all time great, the god of fighting. He’s Manny Pacquiao. I have been going toe to toe with Pacquiao not only on this camp but the last camp, that’s like over hundred something rounds together. I am more than ready for this fight. I’m excited for the challenge. And I know that I can’t afford any slip-ups. I need to make another good statement.”

What does he know of his opponent, JR Magboo? “He’s a tough Filipino. He’s 17-1. Knows his way around the ring. I research every fighter that I come across. I even research guys that I’m not fighting and could be fighting in the future so I look at everything. I’ve trained so hard I feel like I’m fighting Matthysse alongside Pacquiao.”

“As soon as I get in some shots, he (Magboo) is going to feel everything that I have done in camp and I’m coming for the knock out – that’s what I’m chasing. “

Kambosos Jr. seems to be keenly aware of the significance of this moment, his time with Pacquiao and his boxing career trajectory. On his quest to a world title, he has come a long way from being the chubby, bullied kid in Australia. “I was an obese kid, bullied, picked on, always picked last. If there was a joke it was going to be on me, So I just wanted to change my life. As soon as I started doing boxing the weight came off, my confidence got much better. I had a few school fights. Hurt them, beat up a few people, they realized, ok this guy can fight, we’re going to leave him alone. And now the rest if history.”

“Now look where I am, world ranked fighter, huge fan base, Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner. I get to fight on a huge show like this…it’s incredible the journey I’ve had. But you know, I already envision the future I will have, not only as a world champion, but multiple champion, unified champion.”

Kambosos Jr. trains for each fight as if he were in a world title fight. “Before I had my pro debut, a good friend of mine said, look, now you’re a pro, treat every fight like a world title fight because it is. Every step is getting close to the world title. That’s the ambition, that’s the end goal. “

“I have been fortunate to be a part of proper world title camps. And so I have taken what Manny does in his training and added it to my game. I know what it takes at that level. I have trained alongside a legend in the sport, and I’m ready to have my own world title camp in the very near future.”

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Oscar De La Hoya Quotes Ahead of Pacquiao-Matthysse


Oscar De La Hoya:

Lucas is a strong and determined fighter. Believe me that he is a very determined fighter. The mental aspect is the most important aspect of this fight. We know that Lucas Matthysse works very hard. They call him “La Maquina” for a reason. He is still training like never before. The fact that he always wanted this fight, a dream fight for him—believe me he will be in the best condition for this. He is very focused. This is an even fight. This is a dangerous but winnable fight. These two fighters love pleasing the fans. They are come-forward fighters. This fight will have a lot of action.

A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too. He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him. He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches.


Photo Credit: Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired. So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing? That’s why the odds are 2-1. It is a great fight.

I was already a promoter when I fought him. So, I’ve always been very optimistic that I would still be working with Manny after so many years. I always felt that life comes around full circle and puts us together. The fact that Manny has his own promotional company and the fact that Golden Boy Promotions has been involved in so many of his fights made me optimistic that we would work together again. I’m still hoping that we promote more fights together. Once he’s retired, we can do a lot more together.

I noticed Pacquiao was special when part of the promotions of Pacquiao vs. Barrera. What I saw was his determination. His conditioning was incredible. His explosiveness was incredible. He had a great work ethic. He was very well prepared. I really don’t know how he is now. In boxing, you’re as good as your last fight. That’s what boxing is. That’s why this fight is important for Pacquiao to show that he is still the same Manny Pacquiao. You have to perform and show the people that you still have it. This is a sink or swim type of fight for both guys.

If I were Lucas, I would not get frustrated because Pacquiao can frustrate you. He can do that because he throws so many punches. Lucas has to be cool, calm and collected. He has to force the action. He has to show Manny that he is younger, stronger and fresher. If you don’t show that to Manny, he can walk all over you. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s so good.

Manny Pacquiao:

I am very proud of promoting stronger and diplomatic cultural ties with our Asian neighbors. I would like to thank our friends at Golden Boy Promotions, represented by our friend Oscar De La Hoya. I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights, but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur.”

Joel Diaz:

I’m grateful to be a part of this event. I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and his team. He is a great fighter and a legend. His team is great and professional. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to work with a lot of elite fighters as is the case now with Lucas Matthysse.

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Pac’s Back- And Top Rank is Still Around


By: Charles Jay

I imagine many of you have Facebook, with a healthy number of boxing friends on your news feed. What I see on mine, constantly, are fighters who can’t come up with enough complaints about promoters. Dirty, greedy people – who needs them, right? They show equal disdain for matchmakers and booking agents. Many of them are out of work, boxing-wise, which might explain some of the vitriol. Yes, their frustration is at times understandable, but the truth of the matter is, not a lot of fighters have made any money at all without someone promoting a fight.

I usually have a very simple answer for them – hey, there’s no law against you guys putting on your own show, or pooling your resources to do so.

There almost was, you know; back when Sen. John McCain was pushing his bill for national regulation of boxing, he had to agree at one point to a compromise with his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid of Nevada, who was being lobbied by promoters within his own jurisdiction who were protecting their own interests. So the idea of fighters being able to being their own promoters was taken off the table (except for those who were grandfathered in).

That particular bill never passed.

As a result, fighters continue to be allowed to both manage themselves and also promote themselves, and those who have reached a sufficient level of success can pull it off. We’ve seen this happening in recent years – Lennox Lewis had Lion Promotions, and of course Floyd Mayweather has his own promotional outfit, although he hired other promoters to do the “nuts and bolts” on the events. Winky Wright, a recent Hall of Fame inductee, ventured into this somewhat less successfully.

Most famously, Oscar De La Hoya, in the process of breaking away from Bob Arum and Top Rank, formed Golden Boy Promotions to create some independence for himself, and while his popularity as an active fighter was essential to leveraging dates out of networks, which was necessary to help the company take off, Golden Boy has certainly survived beyond that and become a full-fledged entity on its own. Mayweather Promotions would like to be able to duplicate that for the long term.

This won’t make me popular in promotional circles, but every fighter of any stature may want to consider such a thing; again, if they have the leverage to make it work. Which brings us to the case of Manny Pacquiao.

Some of you may not be aware of this, but Pacquiao has actually been a “promoter” of sorts for years, and through his company, MP Promotions, he’s had a deal with Top Rank that brought him something in the neighborhood of 27.5% of all revenues from his fights (that includes not only pay-per-view, but also live gate, sponsorship, foreign TV, etc.) and I imagine, this was for the most part against a guarantee. In effect, he was a promotional partner.

That was not really a “risk” situation for him. He brought the “talent” portion, while Top Rank took care of everything that was outside of the ring.

Now it’s a bit different. MP Promotions is the lead promoter for Saturday’s fight with WBA “regular” welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) that is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And there’s a little more risk involved, as in risk that the fight would fall out unless Pacquiao’s company was able to guarantee the $3 million that was to go to Matthysse and his promoter, Golden Boy, and put it in escrow. Reportedly that led to some anxious moments, although the Pacquiao camp expresses that it was never any problem.

This kind of arrangement came about because of a dispute about Pacquaio’s contract with Top Rank. PacMan announced in March that the paper had expired. As his attorney explained it, the fight with Jeff Horn in Australia was the last one in the deal. Bob Arum maintained otherwise. And this came in the aftermath of an offer made by Arum for Pacquiao to fight Mike Alvarado on the undercard of Horn’s fight with Terrence Crawford, which he considered an “insult.”

There was a little mud-slinging from one of Pacquiao’s publicists, Aquiles Zonio, who said that Arum was trying to disrupt the fight by planting seeds of doubt with the Malaysian interests who had put the money together, and that in the past, knowing that Pacquiao had irreconcilable problems with the IRS, he had “sabotaged” efforts to fight outside the States.

So as you can see, there’s some bad blood circulating.

But not enough to prevent business from forging ahead.

You see, like some of the other fighters who wanted to turn into promoters, and who may have become do-it-yourselfers only to facilitate their own fights and nothing else, Pacquiao realizes that he doesn’t really have the infrastructure to carry off a first-class promotion from Point A to Point Z.

So while we’re not sure what the whole contract status really is, Top Rank is still around.

According to Arum, his company is there to “handle the logistics (through my old USA Network colleague, Brad Jacobs), handle the undercard and handle the television,” which means they’re handling an awful lot. He wasn’t going to make a move, however, until Pacquiao got his money in place, and everybody tells me he wouldn’t have been too upset if that hadn’t happened, since he would have liked to put together Matthysse with Crawford.

And so we move forward. Pacquiao has the fight being simulcast on all three major TV networks in the Philippines, ensuring maximum visibility. And in the U.S., Arum has placed it on ESPN Plus, where he gets $2 million a show. Sales for that app are said to be slow, so we’re not really sure how many viewers they’re actually going to have.

This is not PPV-dependent, and Pacquiao, who is said to have pocketed $160 million for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, will probably get in the neighborhood of $10 million for this. But then again, he’s the promoter, right? So he could also make more on the “upside.” And he’ll be without Freddie Roach for the first time in a while, as Buboy Fernandez took over the camp.

If Manny wins, there is almost no doubt that he’ll continue to fight. And if he does, we wonder if these little battles with Top Rank will continue to take place.

QUICK NEWS AND NOTES: Speaking of fighters who became promoters, here’s one who DOES handle the whole show, all the way down to the details – Steve Forbes, the former IBF junior lightweight champion, has announced that he is back in Portland with his company, 2Pound Sports & Entertainment, as they will do their second show at the Jackson Armory. The maiden voyage in December combined amateur and pro bouts. Forbes won his title in 2000 over John Brown and lost consecutive decisions to Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto back in 2008………………

Jermaine Franklin (16-0, 13 KO’s), the 2014 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion, will try to stay unbeaten on Friday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit as he faces local guy Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs) in a ten-rounder. “He keeps getting better and better and better,” says promoter Mike Acri of Franklin, who is from Saginaw, MI and recorded two amateur wins over Cam F. Awesome, who won the trials for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team…………….

ONE Championship, which regularly engages in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions and is a huge success in the Asian TV market, has announced that it is entering the boxing arena, and they have pulled off a major coup by inking a deal with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight (115-lb.) champion, who has two significant wins over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, which puts him on many of the top ten “pound for pound” lists. Pacquiao bought a stake in the company back in 2014.

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