Author Archives: Sean Crose

Canelo Alvarez: “I Want To Apologize To Messi And The People Of Argentina”

Posted on 12/01/2022

By: Sean Crose

“These last few days I got carried away with the passion and the love I feel for my country,” Canelo Alvarez posted on social media Wednesday, “and I made comments that were out of order so I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina.” Hopefully, that will be the end of that. “Every day we learn something new,” the fighter added, “and this time it was me who did.” Canelo, who generally isn’t known to embarrass himself took things a bit overboard earlier this week after Argentina defeated Mexico in the World Cup.

A video emerged of the Argentine team celebrating their win in the locker room on Sunday. Canelo then accused Argentinian player Lionel Messi of desecrating a team Mexico shirt in the footage. Boxing Insider wrote that: “In fairness, the video appears to show Messi absentmindedly pushing aside a garment with his foot while his teammates sing around him.” Canelo, however, clearly disagreed.

“Did you guys see Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag?” the red haired star tweeted. He then added that Messi “better pray to God that I don’t find him. Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country, just about the b——t that Messi did.” Suffice to say the tweets sent the internet ablaze. Even Mexico’s team captain made it a point to speak up on behalf of Messi. “Perhaps Canelo does not understand what is experienced in a locker room,” CNN quotes Andrés Guardado as saying.

Suffice to say, no one who follows sports would be surprised to learn fans overreact. What’s more, the World Cup pits nation against nation. Still, being a fighter, Canelo’s words carried with them an inherent sense of menace. Again, however, the man has apologized. What’s more, Canelo has never been known to have himself a big mouth. As Canelo himself makes clear, everyone comes up short at times.

Meanwhile the multi-division titlist is healing nicely from recent surgery to his left hand. Having just bested arch rival Gennady Golovkin in their third fight this past autumn, Canelo hopes to make a return to the ring in the spring. John Ryder has been mentioned as a possible opponent, as has Dmitry Bivol, the WBA light heavyweight titlist who bested Canelo last year, handing boxing’s biggest star only his second loss in 62 fights.

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Tyson Fury On Derek Chisora Fight: “If You Want To Tune In, Watch It. If You Don’t, F–k Off”

Posted on 12/01/2022

By: Sean Crose

“Let’s go! Ready to work!” WBC and lineal heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury bellowed after Thursday’s press conference to promote his title fight on Saturday against longtime contender Derek Chisora. “Cannot wait for Saturday night.” This will be Fury’s first fight since he knocked out Dillian Whyte with a thunderous uppercut last spring. Although some were hoping Fury would be fighting former titlist and fellow Englishman Anthony Joshua on Saturday, negotiations for that fight fell through, giving Chisora a chance to finally defeat Fury after losing to the man twice before.

And, speaking to iFLTV, Fury was quick to defend Chisora as being a worthy opponent. “The man’s a top ten fighter in the world,” he said of Chisora, “and he was an available opponent. I don’t know about favors. He’s doing me a favor if anything.” Indeed, Fury made it clear that he feels he’s a hard man to criticize. “What are they going to trash talk me with?” he asked rhetorically. “No one can slight me, can they? I’ve come back from 28 stone to make the ring yet again his home, I’ve battled and battled and battled, come back from everything, against all the odds. What are they going to say?”

Fury went on to speak harshly of WBO, IBF, and WBA heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk when asked what he would do if the undefeated Ukranian was in attendance Saturday in London. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about that little midget,” he said. “I’ll punch his face in on Saturday night if he gets in my face. We’ll see if he’s game or not.” With the Chisora bout just two days away, Fury was clearly in a fighting mood. “We’ll see how game they are, these little foreigners, when they’ve got the Gypsy King to face off with,” he said.

When asked what his priority was, Fury was quick to respond. “Priority’s getting absolutely fucking drunk at Christmas and having a good time,” he said. “Putting on for or five stone and then we’ll reassess the situation. I might need surgery.” In a brief interview filled with off-color quips, Fury ended the chat with a doozy. “Saturday night we’re going to throw down,” he said. “If you want to tune in, watch it. If you don’t, fuck off.” For those in America, Fury-Chisora will be broadcast live Saturday on ESPN+ starting at 1PM eastern time.

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Regis Prograis On Teofimo Lopez: “I Really Do Feel Like I Can Hurt Him…Like He’s Going To The Hospital”

Posted on 11/30/2022

By: Sean Crose

“I ain’t worried about the check and all that right now,” Regis Prograis said on social media Tuesday afternoon. “That’s all going to be good.” Prograis, who knocked out Jose Zepeda last weekend for the WBC junior lightweight title made waves earlier in the day when he tweeted that his check for the fight had bounced. Speaking online, however, the hard hitting fighter appeared confident that all matters were settled and that he would indeed get the pay he earned.

With that in mind, Prograis had some tough things to say about Teofimo Lopez, who he said was speaking unflatteringly of him. “I’ll really hurt Teofimo for real,” he said. “I’ll really fuck Teofimo up, like bad.” Although both men are known for their punching power, Prograis made it clear in the brief video that he’s bloodthirsty in the ring.

“When I fight I don’t box. When I fight, I’m not trying to go to a decision with you. I’m really trying to hurt you bro,” said Prograis. “My idols are people that really try to hurt their opponents: Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Sonny Liston, Harry Armstrong, George Foreman. That’s who I really look up to.”

Prograis then went on to add that he has no bad blood against Lopez. “Me and Teo have been in the same room together rand all that stuff,” he said, “but I really do feel like I can hurt him…like he’s going to the hospital.” He then went on to say he understood that Lopez bust promoting his December 10th fight against Sandor Martin. “I think you’re going to win that fight,” said Prograis, addressing Lopex directly. “It’s definitely a good test for you.” Still, Prograis added: “There’s levels to it.” Clearly he doesn’t see the colorful Lopez as being on his level.

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Juan Francisco Estrada Talks Potential Fourth Fight With Chocolatito Gonzalez

Posted on 11/30/2022

By: Sean Crose

“We’ve had a great training camp and I’m desperate to get in the ring for the trilogy with Román.” So says Juan Francisco Estrada on the eve of his third fight with the legendary Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. “I’m happy and I feel it will be a great fight like the last two.” With the vacant WBC junior bantamweight at stake, there will be a lot on the line when Estrada and Gonzalez answer the bell this Saturday night in Glendale, Arizona.

Mandatory Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom.

“He beat me in 2012,” Estrada says of Gonzalez, “and I beat him in the second fight, so you could say this is the decider. There might be a fourth like, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Márquez, who knows? We’ll have our trilogy, and we don’t know whether it will end here or not. We’re going to find out who is the best, who will be leading in fights won and if in the future, God willing, there is a fourth, bring it on.”

Although the two men are now arguably arch rivals, Estrada makes it clear that he respects his old foe. “He’ll be a Hall of Famer,” he says of Gonzalez. “He’s a fighter that has won many titles in four divisions. I respect him as a fighter, and you could say he’s has had a very different career to mine. I’ve also won titles, but I think he’s a great fighter and in the fights we’ve had. I think he’s also realized that I’m not just any other fighter and when we fight now, we’ll decide who is the best.”

As far as Estrada is concerned, he and Chocolatito are competitors rather than bitter rivals. “When you’re told you’re going to fight Chocolatito, there is a rivalry there but it’s sporting,” he says. “It’s not like: ‘I’m going to kill him!’ That’s a different way of feeling. You’re more focused on having a good training camp so that you can beat him… in the ring I’d say he’s my enemy but once the fight is over, we’ll hug, come out of the ring, talk to each other and we’ll wish each other good health and we’ll be on our way.”

With all that being said, Estrada is perfectly aware of how important this weekend’s’ fight is. “This fight is important because it’s the trilogy against a fighter who will be in the Hall of Fame,” he says. “There’s no doubt that this fight is the most important of my career because imagine beating Román González. You wouldn’t be taking anything from him, but I’d be in his position.”

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This Weekend’s Biggest Fight Doesn’t Involve Heavyweights

Posted on 11/29/2022

By: Sean Crose

Although some may be critical, WBC and lineal heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury is at least keeping busy. After pretty much knocking Dillian Whyte senseless last spring, the towering Englishman made an awkward attempt to face fellow Brit Anthony Joshua in what would have clearly been a superfight. Negotiations fell through, however and, since IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk won’t be available until next year, Fury decided to face Derek Chisora before 2022 became a memory. And, while it’s true he’s beaten Chisora twice already and it doesn’t look like Chisora has a chance of changing things up this time around, it’s also true that Fury is one of the few top tier fighters in the sport who will have fought twice this year – if at all.

Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

With all that being said, there really is no reason for Fury-Chisora 3 to go down this weekend other than to keep Fury active and to allow the veteran Chisora another crack at glory. Chisora’s chances are seen at this point as being beyond slim. Should the man somehow pull off the upset this weekend in Great Britain, lots of people, this author included, will have to eat some humble pie – because very few individuals out there give Chisora much of a chance against Fury.

Yet there is another trilogy match going down this weekend, one which will transpire on the other side of the world. For Juan Francisco Estrada will be taking on Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez for the WBC’s vacant junior bantamweight title in Glendale, Arizona. This third battle between the two men will cap off a rivalry that’s now lasted around a decade. Gonzalez won the initial match in 2012, while Estrada was able to win – albeit somewhat controversially – their rematch last year. Suffice to say, this weekends’ third bout is one well worth looking forward to.

Chocolatito is one of the most highly regarded fighters on the planet. Not only was he at one time regarded by some as being the single best boxer on earth, he has returned from a pair of crushing defeats over five years ago to prove once more that a supposedly washed up fighter can indeed come back in grand fashion. Estrada, on the other hand, has had a stellar career of his own, defeating not only Gonzalez, but also such luminaries as Carlos Cuadras, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Without question, Gonzlez-Estrada 3 is the must see fight of the week.

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Canelo Alvarez On Soccer Star Lionel Messi: “He Better Pray To God That I Don’t Find Him”

Posted on 11/28/2022

By: Sean Crose

Canelo Alvarez was apparently none too thrilled with Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi’s locker room behavior after Argentina defeated Mexico at the World Cup on Saturday. Canelo argued that , in a video clip of Messi celebrating in the locker room with his teammates after the game, Messi could be seen disrespecting the Mexican flag. “Did you guys see Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag?” Canelo posted on Twitter Sunday. “He better pray to God that I don’t find him,” he said of Messi in another post. “Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country, just about the b——t that Messi did.”

Fresh off his win over arch rival Gennady Golovkin back in September, Canelo has been resting after having his wrist operated on. Apparently Messi’s antics spoiled the boxing great’s vacation. In fairness, the video appears to show Messi absentmindedly pushing aside a garment with his foot while his teammates sing around him. Canelo, however, clearly took the act as a severe sign of disrespect. No doubt Mexico’s loss to Argentina on Saturday had inflamed the emotions of some people. Sports have a way of doing that to fans around the globe, as a quick glance at fan rage on YouTube will clearly prove.

Still, it’s strange having one of the top athletes on earth go after another top athlete in such a way. Although Messi may not be widely known in the United States, due to America’s traditional indifference to soccer, there’s no denying that Messi is certainly well known. With that being said, it’s doubtful Messi has much to worry about as far as personal safety is concerned. Canelo is known to behave in a professional manner, though he did take a shot at Caleb Plant before their super middleweight battle last year.

Truth be told, however, this move does seem out of character for Canelo. Although he may be boxing’s biggest star, the Mexican legend certainly doesn’t have boxing’s biggest mouth. That honor probably goes to heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury, though there’s other big talkers out there, as well. With all that in mind, it appears Canelo may well be fighting again in the spring, provided he continues to heal well after his operation. Just don’t expect him to get in the ring with Messi. Novelty fights just aren’t Canelo’s thing. Plus he’ll have plenty of time to cool down between now and then.

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Jermall Charlo Approaches Dmitry Bivol For Catchweight Fight

Posted on 11/28/2022

By: Sean Crose

WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo  approached WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol Saturday night at the Regis Prograis-Jose Zepeda fight in Carson, California. The exchange was captured on video by Fight Hype. The brief conversation, which appeared quite cordial, involved Charlo wanting to meet Bivol at a catchweight for what would surely be a major match. Bivol, however, made it clear that he wasn’t eager to drop weight to fight Charlo with no title belt on the line. Credit Charlo for stepping forward, but it’s hard to imagine Bivol biting at this point in his career.

Charlo brought up the fact that a fight between himself and Bivol would still be a major event with or without belts. He was right, of course, but Bivol wasn’t biting. “No belt,” said Charlo. “Just attraction. Let’s do it.” There’s little doubt a Charlo-Bivol fight would certainly be an attraction. Still, Bivol appears happy with the path he’s on. And why wouldn’t he be? The guy bested Canelo Alvarez in a crowning career achievement earlier this year, after all. On top of that, the man recently got past Zurdo Ramirez and now seems headed for a light heavyweight championship battle against hard hitting fellow titlist Dmitry Bivol.

As for Charlo, the 32 year old fighter hasn’t entered the ring professionally in close to a year and a half. The Houston native’s last fight was in June of 2021. He faced Juan Macias Montiel that night, earning a unanimous decision victory in front of a hometown crowd. Since that time, however, Charlo has essentially been absent from the ring. With that being said, Charlo has made it clear that he intends to fight next year. It just appears that he won’t be facing Bivol, at least not anytime in the near future.

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Regis Prograis Knocks Out Jose Zepeda

Posted on 11/27/2022

By: Sean Crose

The vacant WBC junior welterweight belt was on the line Saturday in Carson, California as former world titlist Regis Prograis took on Jose Zepeda in a scheduled 12 rounder. The main event of a pay per view Fite card, Prograis-Zepeda had been widely viewed beforehand as a pairing of two extremely talented and hungry fighters, one which was very likely to produce fireworks.

The first two rounds were close. In fact, they appeared to be more of a chess match than the expected contest between two men who could turn out the lights. Zepeda landed hard in the first. Prograis landed hard in the second. By the third round, however, Prograis started to land, and land well on his man. What’s more, Prograis’ awkward, aggressive style appeared to be starting to pay off for the Houston based fighter.

The fourth through the sixth rounds were pretty much a Prograis showcase. Not only did he land, he landed hard. He cut Zepeda. He snapped Zepeda’s head back when he landed. He didn’t even seem to mind when Zepeda’s jabs landed clean. As the bout reached its midpoint, Zepeda looked as if he may have just been trying to survive.

As the fight made its way towards the later rounds it became the anatomy of a beatdown. Zepeda appeared to be hypnotized Prograis’ odd, crablike style. The man simply couldn’t make anything happen outside of landing with his jab. And Prograis didn’t mind getting hit with the jab. When he landed on Zepeda, Zepeda’s head jerked back. He was, simply put, outclassing his man.

In the tenth round, however, Zepeda truly came alive. He rocked Prograis with a left. He wasn’t able to capitalize on his moment too much, but Zepeda continued to fight gamely and well throughout the round. Indeed, he may have won that chapter. Perhaps Prograis realized this, for in the tenth he rocked Zepeda hard. He then went in for the kill. Sending Zepeda to the ropes, Progrias proceeded to beat his opponent nearly senseless until the referee stopped the fight and Zepeda crumbled onto the mat.

“I want to congratulate Jose Zepeda,” Prograis said after the bout. “This dude is tough, tough, tough.” Prograis then added that it had been one of the toughest fights he had ever engaged in. “I felt like, just take him to the deep waters and drown him,” said Prograis.

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Dillian Whyte Gets Past A Determined Jermain Franklin

Posted on 11/26/2022

By: Sean Crose

After getting knocked out by a howitzer of an uppercut from Tyson Fury last spring, Dillian Whyte was hoping to return to form on Saturday when he took on undefeated fellow heavyweight Jermain Franklin in London. Franklin showed he could hang with longtime contender Whyte in the first, standing in front of his man and counterpunching. Both men landed well in the second, though Whyte seemed to be the more active of the two.

In the third, it appeared that Franklin had a considerable speed advantage. What’s more, Franklin once again began landing effective combinations. By the fourth, Franklin was taking the fight to his more well known opponent. While Franklin remained game in the fifth, Whyte landed well and with authority. He also appeared to control the tempo of the chapter. What was telling about the sixth was the fact that Whyte for the most part appeared to control the geography through his forward movement and patience.

Whyte put his jab to good use in the seventh, and subsequently was able to work his man on the ropes. Franklin worked to get in on his man in the eighth. Not being afraid to get rough, he was warned by the referee for pushing Whyte forward. The ninth appeared a slow round, which was not surprising, as this was a battle between two big men. In the final few seconds of the chapter, however, Franklin was able to really land on his man repeatedly.

Whyte looked to be close to hurting Franklin in the tenth, but the veteran fighter just didn’t seem to have it in him to do any serious damage. The fighters ground away at each other in the eleventh. It was an exciting three minutes. Each man was able to have his moments in a very high octane twelfth and final round, but it was Whyte who walked out of the ring with a majority decision win.

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Dillian Whyte: “People Are Thinking I’m A Wounded Lion”

Posted on 11/25/2022

By: Sean Crose

“It’s a must-win fight on Saturday,” said promoter Eddie Hearn at the final press conference for the Dillian Whyte -Jermaine Franklin heavyweight bout, which goes down this weekend in London. Hearn’s fighter, Whyte, was last spotted getting knocked out in brutally memorable fashion last spring by WBC and lineal heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury. Should he lose to Franklin, a largely unknown yet undefeated American, it might be time for Whyte to consider retirement. Whyte, however, exuded confidence during Thursday’s press conference. “One thing you’ve got to know is I can fight,” he told the media, “and I can f—–g fight. It’s as simple as that. Whichever way it is, I’ll get it done. Simple as that.”

Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Whyte indicated that he sees Franklin as a serious opponent. “We know what’s in front of us,” Whyte said of his opponent. “He’s young and he’s dangerous. Obviously he’s undefeated and he’s full of beans as we say here in the UK. It’s up to me to beat them out of him one by one. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.” While there’s no doubt that the now 34 year old Whyte has been a top contender in the post-Klitschko era of boxing, he has come up short against the likes of Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Meanwhile, Whyte seems keenly aware of the fact that he is being considered damaged goods at this point of his career. “At the moment people are thinking I’m a wounded lion.” he said. “All of these hyenas are looking to move in and have a little nibble here and a nibble there. What they’ve got to remember is I’m still a predator at the end of the day, and what predators do is they kill.” To prepare for this weekend’s hunt, Whyte has teamed up with famed American trainer Buddy McGirt.

“Dillian has more than just punch power,” McGirt said. “After being with him for a couple of weeks you see this guy has a very good boxing IQ. He does a lot of different moves, it’s awkward and it’s crazy but it works for him. If I ever ask him something like why did you do that, he explains to me why. I’m like alright cool let’s make it a little better so we don’t get countered, or make it a little more effective. It was a great training camp so I have no complaints at all.”

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WBC Clears Way For Fury To Fight Usyk…With Wilder Or Ruiz Jr Facing Winner

Posted on 11/24/2022

By: Sean Crose

It’s obvious that Tyson Fury wants to become undisrupted heavyweight champion of the world. In order for that to happen, however, the WBC and lineal heavyweight champion must meet and defeat WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk. A Fury-Usyk match seems plausible, after all, as Usyk, like Fury, clearly wants to be sole ruler of the heavyweight division. The problem, of course, is modern boxing, which more often than not gets in the way of it’s own progress with feuds, hair splitting, biases and detrimental bureaucratic regulations. Fortunately for Fury and Usyk, the WBC appears to be clearing the way for the two men to throw down for all the proverbial marbles.

Sky Sports reports Fury “will not be forced to box a mandatory challenger before a fight with Usyk, the unified WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titlist, if that bout can be made next.” That should allow Fury to breathe easier, as old foe Deontay Wilder is reportedly set to be facing fellow former heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz in a WBC title eliminator. “There has been real interest in having Fury against Usyk take place,” Sky Sports quotes WBC honcho Mauricio Sulaiman as saying, “that would be a great possibility and then the winner would have to fight the WBC mandatory once that is confirmed.”

What this all means is that the WBC will be willing to put a pause on Fury having to to face the winner of Wilder-Ruiz, so long as that winner takes on the winner of a fight between Fury and Usyk. The idea of the winner of a Fury-Usyk bout taking on the winner of a Wilder-Ruiz bout should be an enticing one, even if Fury ends up fighting Wilder for the fourth time. Although Fury’s already bested Wilder twice and battled him to draw once, there’s little doubt the three previous contests between the two men have been memorable, with each fighter hitting the mat on numerous occasions.

Although things have a way of not working out in the contemporary fight scene (there’s three other major belts besides the WBC’s, for instance), Sulaiman seems to feel things could indeed work out well this time around. “If it happens it will be a tremendous fight for the world,” he said of a Fury-Usyk match, “and the WBC is supportive of that as long as the rights of the mandatory contender are not infringed. So the timing right now looks very good for that to happen.” Indeed.

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Tyson Fury Says He’s Willing To Face Joe Joyce If Oleksandr Usyk Fight Falls Through

Posted on 11/24/2022

By: Sean Crose

Undefeated heavyweight Joe Joyce made his presence felt this past autumn when he crushed Joseph Parker in six rounds showing that his heavy punches can successfully take out a ranked and well known former titlist. Since that time Joyce has expressed his willingness to take on the biggest names in the division. Now the word is out that Tyson Fury may give Joyce the chance to face the most prominent fighter at heavyweight – himself. Although the WBC and lineal heavyweight champion of the world wants to take on IBF, WBA and WBO titlist Oleksandr Usyk first and foremost next year in order to have to chance to become undisputed, Fury has made it clear that he’s not going to wait forever for the fight to happen.

“Usyk is top of the shopping list,” Fury said in an interview with Queensbury Promtions (via Sky Sports), “provided I get through this one, and if not a rematch with Chisora for the fourth time.” Indeed, Fury is set to take on Derek Chisora for the third time in December, a stay busy fight if ever there was one considering Fury has bested Chisora twice already. “If Usyk don’t want no smoke in February,” Fury continued, “let’s do Joyce at Wembley. Joe, get your skates on, get fit, because if the middleweight (Usyk) don’t want no smoke, you’re in. I’m fighting three times next year and you could be one of them.”

As far as Fury is concerned, Joyce is more than just hype. “In my opinion (Joyce) is the No 2-ranked heavyweight in the world behind myself,” he said, “maybe No 3 because I don’t think anybody in the world can take Deontay Wilder’s power, only myself.” No matter what, Fury indicates that staying active is very important to him heading into 2023. “Going into next year I want to be ready,” he said, “because I want a minimum of three fights next year.”

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Chill Factor: Regis Prograis Plays It Cool On Eve Of Jose Zepeda Fight

Posted on 11/23/2022

By: Sean Crose

He was 24-0 entering the ring that night in London. All but five of his fights had ended within the distance. What’s more, the man’s Creole tinged accent and colorful Louisiana background made for good television (part of the reason why he had been an HBO attraction). Best of all, Regis Prograis was fighting a major opponent that night – the 15-0 Josh Taylor – for the unified junior welterweight championship. Prograis held the WBC crown while Taylor held the IBF. The bout could well have been considered a toss up walking in. Needless to say, Prograis walked out of the ring after the fight that night with his first loss on his record and without possession of his WBC belt. He had fought well, but Taylor edged it.

In normal times that would have been no big deal. In 21st century boxing, however, a loss can be a death knell to one’s career. In the UFC a defeat is a defeat, in contemporary boxing it’s a blemish. Ridiculous, sure, but it is what it is. Apparently Rocky Marciano, Floyd Mayweather and a handful of others are the true greats. Names like Ali, Leonard, Pacquiao, Dempsey, Robinson, Louis and countless others need not apply. Fortunately, Prograis has chosen to ignore this absurd narrative. Naturally, the man has continued fighting since the Taylor bout, going 3-0, all by stoppage. What Prograis doesn’t appear to have done, however, is let the lone L on his resume bend his psyche.

In the leadup to his fight this weekend with Jose Zapeda, Prograis has been easy going and confident. Even a menacing smile from Zapeda during the face off of this week’s final press conference didn’t phase the man. One might think Prograis would be at least a little anxious at the moment, as his scheduled 12 rounder at the Dignity Health Sports park in Carson California this weekend is for the WBC junior welterweight belt. Here he is, with a chance to once again have a green belt around his waist, and he’s simply being chill. That, however, is just Prograis.

“I’m going to do my job on Saturday night,” he told ESNEWS after the staredown with Zapeda. “That’s when I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.” No bells. No whistles. Just boxing. “That’s not me,” he said of pre fight antics. “For the most part, I’m quiet. I don’t need to say nothing.” One thing is certain, Prograis isn’t lacking in confidence. “It’s going to be a twelve round dominant performance,” he said of this weekend’s fight.

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Shakur Stevenson Tears Into Isaac Cruz And William Zepeda During Blistering Live Stream

Posted on 11/22/2022

By: Sean Crose

“I feel like we’re fighters at the end of the day,” Shakur Stevenson announced on a social media live stream. Clearly agitated by the fact he’s not getting high level opposition, the 19-0 fighter called out some of the bigger names out there, such as Isaac Cruz and William Zepeda. “Sugar Ray Leonard and all of them dudes was 25, 24 fighting each other,” Stevenson said. “If I’m willing to make these fights happen and these dude’s not, y’all right to call them ducks.” Stevenson then differentiated himself from those he’s critical of. “I’m not ducking no smoke,” he said. “I’m not saying no to no fights.”

The 25 year spent some time zeroing in on Cruz. “Show me you’re a killer,” he said in reference to Cruz’ ferocious reputation. “I want to see how much of a killer you is, ‘Pitbull’.” William Zepeda wasn’t able to escape Stevenson’s wrath, either. “Zepeda, he’s slow as a motherfucker,” said Stevenson. “I don’t know why they think he’s a killer.” During the nearly half hour live stream, Stevenson made it a point to mention how seriously he takes the sport, how he spends much time in the gym and studies the history of the sweet science.

“They ain’t going to like this version of me,” Stevenson said of his potential competition seeing or hearing of the stream. He then went on to offer advice to fighters who are new to the game. “Young fighters, don’t believe everything that’s going on on social media,” he said. “Don’t let these other boxers influence y’all…stay in the gym, stay ready, stay in shape year round. You gotta always be in shape.” Stevenson indicated the kind of behavior young fighters should avoid. “A lot of these dudes they start making money and you only see them in the gym whenever it’s a fight date coming up,” he said.

“Make boxing your life,” he advised. “If you believe in yourself and believe in your talent this shit can change your life forever. All you have to do is apply yourself.” Stevenson then indicated that what young fighters see popular fighters do on Instagram should be taken with a grain of salt. “This shit’s not real life,” he said. Stevenson has won world titles in two weight divisions and will now be moving up to lightweight, one of the hottest divisions in the contemporary boxing scene.

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WBA Okays Spence-Thurman Title Fight

Posted on 11/21/2022

By: Sean Crose

Looks like the WBA is happy to let its “super” welterweight titlist Errol Spence square off against former titlist Keith Thurman. “The World Boxing Association (WBA),” the organization announced, “as it continues to develop its world title reduction plan, took the next steps in the welterweight division. After a thorough review of the situation, it was determined that Errol Spence Jr., WBA Super Champion, will be granted special permission to fight Keith Thurman, while the champion of the category, Eimantas Stanionis, will face Vergil Ortiz.”

Sound confusing? It is. Unfortunately, the WBA decided to go into a title frenzy in recent years. That means that while Stanionis may be the WBA’s world champion, Spence is the WBA’s “super” champion. Get it? Of course not. How could any sane person who wasn’t required to possibly? To it’s credit the WBA is at least trying to streamline things a bit. By eventually pitting the winner of Spence-Thurman against the winner of Stanionis-Ortiz, there should actually be one legitimate WBA welterweight titlist. It shouldn’t be this complicated, but again, credit to the WBA to trying to straighten things out here.

“On November 14, 2022,” the WBA explained, “TGB Promotions applied for special permission on behalf of Spence to fight Thurman in February 2023.” The WBA’s ruling makes life easier for Spence, since the World Boxing Council – whose welterweight belt Spence also holds (along with the IBF welterweight belt) – has ordered Spence to fight Thurman. Until the WBA’s ruling, Spence was required to face Stanionis next in order to hold onto this WBA belt. “Pursuant to WBA rule C.16,” The WBA announced, “which states that mandatory defense periods can be modified for cause, either by special permission request or on its own initiative, the WBA decided that Spence can face Thurman.”

In a sense, a Spence-Thurman fight has been a long time coming. Back when Thurman seemed to be on top of the world, he didn’t appear to have much interest in the up and coming Spence. Likewise, since Spence sits atop the division now while Thurman remains almost semi-retired, he hasn’t showed a large amount of interest in facing the man known as “One Time.” The fallout from the Crawford negotiations, however, may have changed all that.

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