T-Mobile Arena Officially Set To Host Manny Pacquiao Vs. Errol Spence Jr.
By: Hans Themistode
It was the matchup fans were hoping for. When Manny Pacquiao revealed to the boxing world that he was set to take on Errol Spence Jr. on August 21st, in Las Vegas, Nevada, the only thing missing was the venue. Now, after working things out behind the scenes, their mega showdown officially has a location.
T-Mobile Arena, which has hosted several huge boxing events including Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs and Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev, will now play host to arguably the biggest fight of the year.
Spence Jr., 31, will walk into his showdown against Pacquiao as the prohibited favorite. The betting public’s willingness to plunk down several dollars on the unified titlist is due to his recent track record. The Dallas native has simply mowed down the competition and has gone on to hand several former champion’s one-sided losses such as Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia and most recently – Danny Garcia.
Now, with the chance to face who he describes as a “living legend,” Spence has guaranteed that he will “retire” Pacquiao come fight night.
But while the threats of Spence Jr. have irritated the fan base of the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Pacquiao has merely shrugged off his meaningless words. Having stood on the sidelines since his split decision win over Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao claims that he’s fresh, rejuvenated and ready to go.
Although Pacquiao and Spence Jr. have spent numerous years fighting in front of a Vegas crowd, this will be the first time either man steps through the ropes at the T-Mobile Arena. With every wrinkle seemingly ironed out for their showdown, the only question mark that remains is whether or not their contest will be considered a unification bout.
After dethroning Thurman in 2019, Pacquiao also picked up the WBA welterweight title that was in possession of Thurman. His championship status, however, was revoked earlier this year for his failure to defend his title in a timely fashion. The Filipino native was officially placed as “Champion in Recess” and Yordenis Ugas, then the WBA “Regular” belt holder, was elevated to full titleholder. Meaning, once Pacquiao decided to end his hiatus, he would be given the first crack at Ugas to regain his world title.
Yet, as is always the case in boxing, the rules have seemingly gone out the window. WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has recently come out and stated that in all likelihood, Pacquiao’s reinstatement as champion is the most probable option. Whether or not Pacquiao is in fact reinstated is yet to be seen.
As for the current belt holder in Ugas, he’s set to also return to action in the co-main event on the night against an opponent yet to be named.
Keith Thurman Compares The Punching Power Of Danny Garcia To Manny Pacquiao: “Nobody Hit Like Danny”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman believes his time on the shelf is slowly but surely coming to an end. The former unified welterweight titlist is back in the gym and working hard to return to form. Recently, rumors surfaced of a possible rematch between Thurman and long-time rival, Shawn Porter. In 2016, Thurman edged out a close unanimous decision victory between the pair.
Whether their showdown comes to fruition or not is yet to be seen but at the moment, Thurman is focused on the biggest fight in the welterweight division that is set to take place in just a few short months when Manny Pacquiao takes on current unified champion Errol Spence Jr.
Having gone toe to toe with Pacquiao in July of 2019, Thurman knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other end of the former eight-division world champions punches. Considering that Thurman went down from a punch in the opening round to Pacquiao for only the second time in his career and was hurt on multiple occasions, he wholeheartedly respects how hard Pacquiao hits. With that said, he isn’t the biggest puncher he’s ever faced.
“Nobody hit like Danny (Garcia),” said Thurman during an interview with FightHype.com “He felt like a big brick, Pacquiao felt like a little brick. Now the weird part is that Pacquiao’s hands just felt heavy. After the fight, I was like why did his fist feel so hard in the fight? I could handle it but I was thinking does he do certain training? Does he have more bone density in his hands? Did they do some Asian stuff? What did they do?”
As Thurman paused for a moment to reminisce of his back and forth battle with Pacquiao that ultimately resulted in the first defeat of his career, the Florida native believes he understands why Pacquiao hit so hard.
“I was looking at a picture that my dad framed up at his house, he took a picture of me and Pac trading body blows. When I looked at the picture, I noticed that Pacquiao wore those old-school Mexican Reyes gloves. Back when me and Ben Getty (Thurman’s old trainer who passed away) was knocking everybody out, we always wore those Mexican Reyes gloves. What would it have felt like for Pacquiao if I would’ve worn those Reyes?”
In the end, Thurman’s question is likely to never be answered as the two continue to go in opposite directions. Still, despite what he deems as unfinished business and regardless of how much respect he has for the hard-hitting future first ballot Hall of Famer, Thurman still gives Garcia the edge in the power department.
The two initially faced off in March of 2017. Although Thurman picked up the win relatively easily, he always stood firmly behind his claims that the punches Garcia landed on his shoulders made him unable to lift his arm for a week. So, even with the constant punishment he withstood at the hands of Pacquiao, Thurman still gives Garcia the edge in punching power.
“Pacquiao does hit hard, he hits fast but as a welterweight, it’s not the hardest punch I’ve ever felt. It’s the hardest punch I’ve ever felt coming from a little guy like Pacquiao. But Danny Garcia, the way he plants his feet, the way he develops tork into his punches, he’s not even a real welterweight and to me, he was the hardest hitting welterweight that I faced.”
Tugstsogt Nyambayar Replaces Yuriokis Gamboa, Will Now Face Chris Colbert On July 3rd
By: Hans Themistode
When it was first announced that Chris Colbert, the WBA interim 130-pound titlist would be taking on long-faded former champion Yuriokis Gamboa, many believed that it would be a walk in the park. Now, however, after the 39-year-old Gamboa was forced to pull out due to injuries to both his ribs and heel, a much sterner test is now awaiting Colbert.
Tugstsogt Nyambayar, a former 126-pound title challenger, will move up in weight to take on Colbert on July 3rd at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson California. While Nyambayar now has less than two weeks to prepare for one of boxing’s youngest and brightest stars, he figures to be a much more difficult test than Gamboa. Although the 39-year-old has the sort of credentials that are seldom seen in the sport, his 2004 Olympic gold medal has collected a considerable amount of dust and the multiple world titles that are currently resting in his trophy case in his palatial estate, are inconsequential at this point in his career.
With back to back one-sided losses at the hands of Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney, many believed that another was awaiting him against Colbert. He’ll now look to heal from his injuries and return at a later date.
Since suffering a competitive loss at the hands of Gary Russell Jr. in February of 2020, Nyambayar has bounced back. In September of 2020, the Los Angeles resident picked up a split decision win against Cobia Breedy.
As for his new opponent in Colbert, the 24-year-old simply wants to keep his momentum going. After stopping Jaime Arboleda in the 11th round in December of 2020, the Brooklyn, New York native has clamored for big fights. Regardless of the amount of hubris he’s shown, the undefeated titleholder is determined to prove why he’s considered a rising star in the division.
Ultimately, Colbert has named fights against Shakur Stevenson, Leo Santa Cruz, Gervonta Davis and several others as future mega showdowns later down the line.
Josh Taylor Believes Gervonta Davis Is Fighting For “Mickey Mouse Title” Against Mario Barrios
By: Hans Themistode
In just a few short days, Gervonta Davis will have the opportunity to become a three-division world champion. The Baltimore native is set to take on WBA “Regular” super lightweight champion Mario Barrios at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday night.
But while the entire Davis vs. Barrios promotion has emphasized the authenticity of their championship bout, Josh Taylor simply shakes his head incredulously.
“Mickey Mouse title,” said Taylor on his Twitter account. “There’s only one at lightweight!”
Taylor, 30, has grown annoyed with the mere mention that Davis is fighting for a legitimate world title. Just last month, the Scottish native became the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds when he took on former unified titlist, Jose Ramirez.
After dropping Ramirez in the sixth and seventh rounds, Taylor held on for a close unanimous decision victory. Considering that he now has all four major world titles sitting on his mantle at home, Taylor believes that no one outside of himself should be acknowledged as a world champion. With that said, the proliferation of world titles in the sport of boxing has allowed multiple world champions within the same sanctioning body.
Despite Taylor’s claims, Davis will still look to add to his championship status. Originally, the move up in weight for Davis came as a surprise. In his most recent ring appearance, Davis took on Leo Santa Cruz at 130 pounds. Although he would go on to win, Davis mentioned that he would campaign at both 130 and 135 pounds but failed to mention a trip to 140. Still, the hard-hitting two-division champion will try his luck against the much bigger man in Barrios this Saturday night.
As for the aforementioned Barrios, despite walking into their showdown with a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage, for the first time in his career, he’ll be the underdog. The 26-year-old San Antonio native began his title reign after winning a hard fought back and forth battle against Batyr Akhmedov in 2019. Barrios has since defended his title against fringe contender Ryan Karl, stopping him in the sixth round in October of 2020.
Floyd Mayweather Vs. Oscar De La Hoya? Don’t Count On It Says Leonard Ellerbe: “Zero Interest In Doing That”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar De La Hoya wasn’t kidding around when he said he wanted to make his return to the boxing ring. After spending several months getting his body back into fighting shape, the former six-division world champion is finally ready to place his skills back on display.
First up, is a September matchup against former UFC champion, Vitor Belfort. Should things go the way he’s expecting, De La Hoya wants to move into the next phase of his master plan.
“I want to make the biggest comeback in boxing history,” said De La Hoya during an interview with Chris Mannix on DAZN. “I want to get two of these fights down under my belt and get the timing ready and everything, and then my third one, I want to call out Floyd Mayweather.”
While De La Hoya’s news may have made sports fans giddy, CEO of Mayweather Promotions in Leonard Ellerbe wasn’t amused in the slightest. As for those who are envisioning the two share the ring one more time, Ellerbe shot down all hopes of that ever happening.
“Absolutely not,” said Ellerbe on The Jake Asman Show on SportsMap Radio. “It’ll never happen. There’s zero interest in doing that.”
Following a 2007 split decision loss at the hands of Mayweather, De La Hoya has always been acrimonious towards him. The “Golden Boy” would end his career one year later as he suffered a one-sided eighth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. As for Mayweather, his career would span another decade. Along the way, he picked up win after win before finishing his career with an undefeated record of 50-0.
While the two haven’t crossed paths since, the pair have thrown verbal haymakers at one another through the media over the years. Mayweather, 44, may have hung up his gloves for good in 2017 but as he put it, “I haven’t retired from making money and entertaining the fans.” That entertainment stretched to his most ring outing.
On June 6th, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, Mayweather took on social media star turned de-facto boxer, Logan Paul, in an eight-round exhibition. The prevailing thought process heading in was that Mayweather would easily stop the YouTuber before the final bell. That, however, didn’t occur.
Considering that Mayweather appeared to be a shell of his once dominant self, De La Hoya believes that the newly inducted Hall of Famer now has a chip on his shoulder.
“I think Floyd after that exhibition he did with Logan [Paul], I think he feels like he has to prove something once again inside the boxing ring,” said De La Hoya.
While those around the boxing world have criticized Mayweather for his failure to get his man out of there and appearing a step slower, he laughed all the way to the bank as he recorded over one million pay-per-view buys for his showdown against Paul.
With the numbers that Mayweather vs. Paul accumulated, Ellerbe simply believes that De La Hoya is attempting to piggyback off his success.
“Oscar De La Hoya is just trying to use Floyd’s name to build some buzz about whatever he’s attempting to do and nobody’s really paying him any attention.”
Anthony Joshua: “At The End Of September Is When I’ll Be Taking On The Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Of The World”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua always tries to play it cool. The current unified heavyweight titlist rarely shows his emotions but following the fallout of his undisputed showdown against Tyson Fury, Joshua was visibly apoplectic.
While Joshua believed he had a deal in place to face Fury, Deontay Wilder swooped in and seized the showdown right from underneath his nose. The two will now face off on July 24th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Forced to change course, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is now deep in negotiations with mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. Currently, a few small wrinkles are still being ironed out between both sides but Joshua is firmly of the belief that the Ukrainian will be his next dance partner. Although an official contract hasn’t been signed, Joshua let the cat out of the bag in terms when he expects to face the former Olympic gold medalist.
“I wanted to go like August but change of opponent, completely different style, the team said push it back a little bit, prepare properly,” said Joshua during an interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “This is a fight I need to win because I was at the final destination on that road to undisputed but now we have a pit stop we have to make with Usyk. At the end of September is when I’ll be taking on the former undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world.”
While the fallout between Joshua and Fury was ultimately disappointing to most of the boxing world, to Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), it was music to his ears. Ever since winning all four major world titles in the cruiserweight division in 2018, Usyk has attempted to make his mark in the land of the big men. In October of 2019, Usyk easily stopped journeymen Chazz Witherspoon. He then followed that up with a close unanimous decision victory over the rough and rugged Dereck Chisora.
The wins may have allowed him to get acclimated to fighting bigger men, but it hasn’t brought about ringing endorsements regarding his future in the division. For example, shortly after his defeat, Chisora claimed that Usyk has “no power” and has “no chance” against the upper echelon of the weight class. In the mind of Joshua, he echoes those sentiments, at least to a certain extent. Regardless of the countless world titles Usyk has won in a lower weight class and despite his amateur pedigree, when questioned about the danger that Usyk presents to him in the ring, Joshua didn’t stammer when answering.
“None,” continued Joshua. “I fear none of them. He don’t bring nothing I ain’t seen before. Two hands, two legs, a brain and a bit of heart. He’s a good fighter, I’m challenging myself in training. So yeah, let’s get it on.”
The Options Awaiting The Monster, Naoya Inoue
By: Kirk Jackson
After another successful defense of his WBA bantamweight world title this past weekend, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs), improved his unblemished record and continues to forge his path towards greatness.
The pound-for-pound elite Inoue, swiftly and violently stopped Filipino challenger Michael “Hot and Spicy” Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20 KOs), with a series of lethal body shots.
“The first round, I just wanted to see what he had. It depended on how he came out, and after a little while, yeah, I thought I could get him out,” Inoue said during his post-fight interview.
“Against the number one ranked fighter, Dasmarinas, I think I had a great win. I prepare myself to knock them out, whether with a head shot or a body shot. I came prepared and to get a win by knockout is good for me.”
An eye-pleasing performance for spectators, albeit brief. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who was in attendance, was also impressed by Inoue’s showing.
Arum added, “Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring. Another incredible performance from ‘The Monster.’ We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better.”
With performances like this, it may be hard-pressed to entice a large pool of challengers to take a shot at the reigning WBA/IBF/Ring bantamweight champ, oddly enough.
Sometimes, a fighter may display a certain measure of violent tenacity, discouraging even to other top-level contemporaries. Fighters of that classification, who immediately come to mind, are guys such as Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran.
Additionally, there are fighters possessing great technical prowess; to the point, they utterly outclass and embarrass opponents, even discouraging potential suitors from taking the challenge.
Fighters who come to mind are Guillermo Rigondeaux, Floyd Mayweather (before he became the cash cow), Erislandy Lara and Gary Russell Jr.
In this modern era of alphabet title belts, it’s easier to avoid the pathway of particular champions, while still achieving great success. Yes, ducking still exists.
Which beckons the question, with this current incredible run from Inoue, will this enhance the notion, or actual reality, of fighters aiming to avoid “The Monster’s” wrath? There have been claims in the past from Inoue’s team, the difficulties of securing bouts – even as the reigning WBO junior-bantamweight champion.
Fortunately, for boxing fans, there are other fighters with the desire to not only challenge but defeat Inoue. Starting with one of those fighters who happened to be in attendance for Inoue’s fight, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs).
Donaire, the recently crowned WBC bantamweight champion, continues to elude the ill effects of old age, defy the odds and already has history with Inoue.
Their first encounter was a battle for the ages. It was voted the Ring magazine Fight of the Year for 2019. The culmination of skill, grit and competitiveness at the highest level, with all of the stakes on the line, battling for IBF, WBA, Ring Magazine bantamweight world titles, the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy (World Series of Boxing) and bantamweight supremacy.
Inoue battled adversity, overcoming a cut suffered early in the bout and outdueled the savvy veteran in a fight deemed as an instant classic.
Another potential would-be challenger to Inoue, also in attendance to witness his most recent performance, was three division world champion, John Riel “Quadro Alas” Casimero (30-4, 21KOs).
“It was a great performance by Naoya Inoue,” Casimero told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna after the fight. “Michael Dasmarinas fought scared and showed too much respect. But it was great seeing Naoya Inoue live.”
Casimero was previously scheduled to face Inoue last April, in a bantamweight title unification clash at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Those plans were canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the two ultimately going their separate ways.
“Quadro Alas” appeared last September, destroying previously unbeaten, Duke Micah inside of three rounds last September on Showtime Pay-Per-View. He will next face four-division world champion and current WBC bantamweight titlist Donaire, in a title unification clash scheduled for August 14 on Showtime.
Donaire, for his part, is stepping in for Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KO), who was removed from the matchup.
The winner of Casimero-Donaire, in all likelihood, is the next option for Inoue, with all three parties expressing an interest in pursuing the undisputed championship for their weight class. But for fun, we’ll explore other suitors, seeking “The Monster.”
Speaking of Rigondeaux, he mentioned his desire to go “Monster Hunting” awhile back and deemed Inoue “an excellent fighter, a great fighter, a warrior.”
Even if he is plagued with another long spell of inactivity, the future Hall-of-Famer is still a dangerous fighter and his style could present problems for Inoue. Considering how Rigondeaux was removed from a title bout through his own promotional company, not sure what the chances are of an opposing promotional company reaching out and manifesting a fight between the two.
At least, there is somewhat of a clear path at bantamweight for Inoue. As mentioned earlier, he ravaged through junior-bantamweight, then experienced difficulty luring the other champions in an effort to unify. We missed opportunities to see Inoue against the likes of Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras, or Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
After the dust settles with Inoue’s unification attempt at bantamweight, as there isn’t a clear timetable for its conclusion, greater challenges await Inoue in a deeper weight class at super bantamweight.
Arguably from top to bottom, super bantamweight is the deepest in boxing. One of the premier fighters of the division already has his eyes set on “The Monster.”
The WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs), has a bout with WBC and WBA champion Brandon Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) on Sept. 11 in a 122-pound unification match on Showtime. The unified winner, whether it be Figueroa or Fulton, would at the very least have the world titles and acclaim to lure Inoue.
The 26-year-old Fulton has a strong conviction on the damage he’ll inflict on Inoue. The Philadelphia-bred product is one of the best young fighters in the sport and alluded to his skills and size as determining factors en route to his predicted victory. That is, if the fight were to ever materialize.
“I see me wiping him out clean! Inoue is too small for me, he’s too short, his reach isn’t there, I’m not going to sit there for those power shots all the time,” Fulton said of Inoue.
“He’s good, but he’s not better than me. I believe what happened to Nery (when Figueroa knocked him out last month) will happen to him.”
John Riel Casimero: “(Naoya) Inoue, See You Soon, Easy Work”
By: Hans Themistode
By all accounts, the performance of Naoya Inoue was breathtaking.
The unified bantamweight champion made it look incredibly easy this past weekend against mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas. Three rounds were all Inoue needed at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A crushing body shot sent Dasmarinas down to the canvas early on. And while he would rise to his feet a few seconds later, Inoue made him fold with another shot to the midsection, ending the night. Immediately following the win, fans that were in the arena stood on their feet and cheered for the Japanese fighter. Yet, John Riel Casimero, WBO belt holder, sat stoically in his seat, unimpressed and appeared to be restraining himself from yawning.
The Filipino product has called for a showdown against Inoue for a number of years now. Even with the pound-for-pound star flat-lining his most recent opponent, Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) believes he’ll take care of business against Inoue without much trouble.
“It was a good performance but easy work,” said Casimero during an interview with FightHype.com.
For as badly as Casimero wants to get his hands on Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs), he’ll first have to take care of business in his next ring appearance. After agreeing to take on the highly skilled former two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Guillermo Rigondeaux on August 14th, Casimero was notified of a sudden change in opponent. Now, the 32-year-old is set to take on current WBC titlist, Nonito Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs). The 38-year-old became the oldest bantamweight champion of all time recently, as he stopped former belt holder Nordine Oubaali just a few weeks ago.
With a future first-ballot Hall of Famer now standing directly in front of him, Casimero claims to be giving him his undivided attention. While he didn’t guarantee a win against him, as he did with Inoue, Casimero does believe that once he straps Donaire’s WBC title around his waist, a showdown against Inoue will be inevitable.
“I will do my best to win. Inoue, See you soon.”
Juan Macias Montiel Earned Jermall Charlo’s Respect: “He Challenged Me, He’s A Great Fighter”
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel was announced, most of the boxing world groaned in disappointment. The overwhelming thought process was that Charlo would simply run right over his man. Yet, after a closer than expected contest, many were forced to eat their words.
Both Montiel and Charlo stood toe to toe at the Toyota Center, in Houston, Texas last night in front of a jam-packed crowd. After buzzing his man early, Charlo immediately went for the kill. But while he threw the entire kitchen sink at him, Montiel stood firm in the line of fire and not only survived but had plenty of eye-catching moments of his own.
Coming in, most believed that at some point, particularly early, that Charlo would land something to end the night. But as Montiel continued to keep coming, it became clear that the Mexican native simply wouldn’t be deterred. Although Charlo has mostly been known as a knockout artist, the Houston native believes that if he did find a way to end the night prematurely, he ultimately would’ve been criticized. In the end, Montiel was simply far better than advertised and Charlo made sure he took the time to tip his cap to him.
“You don’t have to knock everybody out to make the best fights,” said Charlo during the post-fight press conference. “If I knocked him out they wouldn’t have gave me credit. I had a warrior in there. I appreciate him fighting me with everything he got. He challenged me and I stood up to the challenge.”
The challenge that Charlo alludes to, is something that he’s rarely if ever, received in his career. No matter how high the level of opposition, the Houstonian always made it look easy. On this night, however, he had a real fight on his hands.
The scorecards, which read – 120-108, 119-109 and 118-109, simply didn’t tell the whole story. During the back half of the fight, it was Montiel who appeared to be the fresher and stronger fighter. He landed several combinations during the championship rounds and appeared to visibly hurt Charlo to the body, something he adamantly denies.
Still, nevertheless, Charlo made the fourth successful defense of his WBC middleweight title. Regardless of where he goes from here, Charlo will always remember when he was forced to ask himself questions in the ring when things weren’t going his way and as press conference continued, he again continued to heap praise on his unheralded opponent.
“He was a true warrior. He’s a great fighter, very, very awkward. I dug deep, he dug deep and a fight broke out.”
Canelo Alvarez Works The Corner Of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. As He Stepped Into The Ring One Final Time
By: Hans Themistode
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. watched as his son, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., lost a clear decision to MMA legend, Anderson Silva. Despite his disappointment, Chavez Sr. went out and entertained a lively crowd.
At the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, Chavez Sr. took on Hector Camacho Jr. While the retired Hall of Famer entered the ring on several occasions for numerous exhibitions, Chavez Sr. claimed that this one would be his last.
At 58, the Mexican star came out and gave it everything he had. Regardless of his advanced age, he entertained the crowd with his willingness to go all out. At times, Chavez Sr. flashed the sort of skill that made him a multiple division champion, 2011 Hall of Famer and a cultural icon
The customary three judges who sit in their ringside seats were neither present nor needed. At the end of their four round, two-minute exhibition, Chavez Sr. appeared to get the better of their exchanges and was loudly applauded for his efforts.
With only one round remaining, Chavez Sr. called up pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez who attended the event. Alvarez then cornered Chavez Sr. for the final round.
Following the event, Alvarez, who currently holds the WBA, WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine titles at 168 pounds, was proud to have participated. Although many have claimed that Alvarez has surpassed Chavez Sr. as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time, Alvarez would hear none of it.
“Chavez will always be the greatest Mexican fighter ever,” said Alvarez. “It was an honor to do this.
Naoya Inoue Destroys Michael Dasmarinas
By: Hector Franco
LAS VEGAS – At the Theater at the Virgin Hotels, in Las Vegas, Nevada on ESPN, pound-for-pound star Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) faced off against the Philippines Michael Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20 KOs) for his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles.
Inoue, a three-division champion, having held titles at light flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight, would participate in the 16th championship bout of his career.
The Japanese power-puncher would be making his third appearance in the United States and just his fourth fight outside of his native Japan.
Although a massive underdog and relatively unknown, Dasmarinas, who fights southpaw, hasn’t lost a fight since December 2014.
From the start, Dasmarinas was cautious, reluctant to get in range of Inoue to land a punch. Inoue remained composed, analyzing and waiting patiently to find an opening to unleash an attack.
In the second round, with just 50 seconds left in the round, Inoue landed a body shot with a left hook that sent Dasmarinas to the canvas. Inoue has this intense focus in the ring that contributes to his pinpoint accuracy, making every punch brutal and impactful.
Inoue as the predator continued to press the action in the third round with Dasmarinas in survival mode. Giving Canelo Alvarez a run for his money as the best body puncher in boxing, Inoue split Dasmarinas’ guard and landed a left hook to the body that again sent him down.
Dasmarinas used all his strength to get back up; however, he was put down again with another left hook to the body.
Referee Russell Mora put an end to the bout at the 2:45 mark of the third round.
Inoue’s accuracy was on full display against Dasmarinas, landing 31 out of 48 total punches at a 65 percent connect rate. 17 of which were body shots.
At this time, Canelo Alvarez has been firmly set atop of the coveted pound-for-pound list. But, Inoue, in upcoming bouts, will have an opportunity to further his argument as the best fighter in the world.
Recently announced, former Inoue foe and future Hall-of-Famer Nonito Donaire will put his newly won WBC bantamweight title on the line against WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero in an all Filipino showdown. The bout will take place on August 14th at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Inoue will likely take on the winner for a chance to become the undisputed bantamweight champion.
“Basically, becoming the undisputed champion means I’m the best in that weight class,” stated Inoue.” To prove that, that’s why I’m going after all four belts.”
In 2019, Inoue and Donaire participated in the fight of the year in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament. Last April, Inoue was set to face Casimero in a unification bout before the world came crashing down due to the coronavirus.
Whether Inoue takes on Donaire or Casimero next, the bantamweight division has plenty of action for fans to look forward to.
MMA Legend Anderson Silva Shocks Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Wins Split Decision
By: Hans Themistode
Anderson Silva didn’t need to do it. The mixed martial arts legend had already carved out a Hall of Fame career in the UFC’s octagon and is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Still, with the chance to face the son of a legend in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Silva simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Before Silva became known for his abilities in the cage, he was an up and coming boxer. Although he hadn’t stepped foot inside the ring since 2005, scoring a second-round stoppage win, he proved that there was little to no ring rust.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, the two faced off as the co-main event to the four-round exhibition showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Hector Camacho Jr.
Starting off, Silva didn’t appear out of his element. The MMA legend flicked out a strong jab and got right into the face of Chavez Jr. To offset his man, Silva threw several combinations that landed flush. To the credit of Chavez Jr., however, he brushed them off and attempted to get his offense going.
As he was known to do in his MMA career, Silva dropped his hands and used slick head movement to make Chavez Jr. miss. In the process of doing so, Silva also made him pay.
The following round was much of the same. Silva got the better of the exchanges on the outside and pushed the pace. During the bout, Silva had a tendency to lift his foot awkwardly at times before throwing a combination. Chavez Jr. appeared noticeably confused and Silva would immediately capitalize.
Seemingly unaffected by the tricky moves of Silva, Chavez Jr. got things going a bit in the fourth round. He pinned Silva back against the ropes and landed huge shots, looking to end the night. Silva though, never appeared hurt, he simply maneuvered off the ropes and got himself back into the fight.
As the championship rounds of their bout rolled ahead, Silva was seemingly the fresher fighter. He bounced on his toes as if he was going to throw a leg kick, only to hurl a barrage of punches instead. For long stretches, Chavez Jr. stood in the corner with his back against the ropes, waiting for the onslaught to subside. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Silva obliged, letting Chavez Jr. get into the middle of the ring where he would easily outbox his man again.
With the sound of the final bell ringing, Silva immediately jumped onto the ropes in celebration as if to say he won the bout.
He was right.
One judge scoring the contest had it 77-75 in favor of Chavez Jr. but was overruled by the two remaining judges who had it 77-75 in favor of Silva.
With the win officially in his back pocket, Silva shared a heartfelt moment with Canelo Alvarez as he watched from his ringside seat. The two held hands and embraced for several minutes while sharing a few words.
As for what Silva plans to do next, in an interview with Boxinginsider.com earlier this week, the MMA legend revealed that there’s a good chance that this won’t be his last time inside a boxing ring.
Mikaela Mayer Wins A Unanimous Decision Over Erica Farias
By: Hector Franco
LAS VEGAS – The co-main event on ESPN’s broadcast from The Theater at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured WBO female super featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer (15-0, 5 KOs) making the first defense of her title over veteran and former two-division champion Erica Farias (26-5, 10 KOs).
Mayer would win a unanimous decision over Farias to retain her WBO super featherweight championship. All three judges scored the fight for Mayer with scores of 97-93 and 98-92 twice.
The 36-year old Farias has held titles at lightweight and super lightweight, making 11 defenses of her WBC lightweight title and four defenses of her WBC super lightweight title.
The Argentinean has only been defeated by elite fighters, losing decisions to Jessica McCaskill, Cecilia Braekhus, and Delfine Persoon.
Undoubtedly, Farias represented the toughest test in Mayer’s career thus far.
The bout was highly technical, with both women attempting to take advantage of any mistake made. Mayer used her jab to create more openings to attack Farias; however, the Argentinean has an unorthodox style making it difficult for the WBO champion to land clean punches.
Farias used her veteran experience to land some unique punches, such as a lead uppercut counter from the outside. Anytime Farias was able to get close to Mayer on the inside, she was able to catch the California native with a clean shot. In exchanges, the former two-division champion was able to land left hooks.
While Mayer wasn’t visibly hurt by the left hooks, it was alarming to see how many times Farias was able to land the punch consistently.
The overall theme of the fight, however, was led by Mayer’s best punch, her jab.
By the seventh and eighth rounds, Mayer was in complete control, using her jab to get on the inside of Farias to land uppercuts and body punches that began to wear down the Argentinean native.
Mayer is a fighter that at times starts fights slowly; however, as the rounds go by, she becomes more and more effective. A fight that began competitively became a one-sided showcase for Mayer due to her consistency in using the jab.
Taking home the unanimous decision victory over Farias, Mayer will hopefully be able to keep escalating her level of competition.
The World Boxing Super Series announced earlier this week that their next tournament would be in the women’s super featherweight division. Should Mayer decide to enter the tournament, she would be one of the favorites to win it all.
Isaac Dogboe Escapes With A Majority Decision Victory Over Adam Lopez in A War
By: Hector Franco
LAS VEGAS – Starting the main telecast on ESPN at The Theater at the Virgin Hotels, in Las Vegas, Nevada, was featherweight contender Adam Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) taking on former WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe (22-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout for the NABF featherweight title.
In a close action-packed bout that could have been scored for either man, Dogboe walked away with a majority decision victory. Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 95-95, while the other two judges Don Trella and Chris Migliore, had the fight for Dogboe with scores of 97-93 and 96-94.
The smaller Dogboe in the first round overwhelmed Lopez by unloading barrages of punches on the California native. After losing two consecutive fights to Emanuel Navarrete, Dogboe switched trainers from his father to the acclaimed Barry Hunter to develop and build on his attributes.
Although the smaller fighter with a reach disadvantage, Dogboe was able to control the distance in which the fight would be fought by utilizing his counter punching. The counter left hook landed clean and hard for the Ghanaian fighter on numerous occasions.
The bout’s momentum changed in Lopez’s favor in the third round as he seemingly survived Dogboe’s onslaught, landing clean uppercuts during exchanges on the inside. The former super bantamweight champion tends to lean forward with his head leading to him being susceptible to uppercuts.
The jab for Lopez became more of a weapon in the fourth, using the punch to keep Dogboe at a manageable distance. However, the shorter fighter wasn’t intimidated, continuing to stick with a game plan of attacking the body.
The Ghanaian fighter utilized movement in the middle rounds by rolling with punches while on the back foot. The ambush-style of boxing used by Dogboe was effective in keeping Lopez second-guessing when an attack was coming.
Whether on the inside or at mid-range, Dogboe found a way to land power punches on Lopez effectively.
After five rounds, ESPN commentator Andre Ward had the fight scored 49-46 in Dogboe’s favor.
Lopez, for his part, never lost his composure, continually applying pressure on Dogboe while using his jab to set up punches. Dogboe had to be wholly disciplined at all times as Lopez would take advantage of any lapse in focus the Ghanaian fighter exhibited.
The eighth round was a seminal round for Lopez, who landed a deadly uppercut in the first minute, putting Dogboe on the back foot in survival mode. All of the exchanges were at Lopez’s advantage, with him landing the cleaner and harder shots.
The avalanche continued in the ninth round for Lopez as he cornered Dogboe, unloading combinations on the former super bantamweight champion. Time was running out for Dogboe, but his tremendous heart did not stop him from throwing punches back.
The 10th and final round was remarkable. In what will go down as one of the best rounds of 2021, Lopez and Dogboe went to battle in the last round. Lopez’s punches seemed to be more impactful based on the reactions of both fighters.
ESPN’s Andre Ward encapsulated the fight perfectly, stating, “Dogboe is fighting for a career, and Lopez is fighting for bonafide respect.
The judges favored Dogboe’s work in the first half of the match, giving him the majority decision. The CompuBox numbers signified how tightly contested the fight was, with Lopez landing 152 out of 527 total punches to Dogboe’s 134 out of 487 total punches.
In a fight that could have gone either way, a rematch may be the best course of action for either man.
Jaime Munguia Stops Kamil Szeremeta, Calls Out Gabe Rosado
By: Hans Themistode
Jaime Munguia was flat-out getting impatient.
Following the second straight withdrawal from their showdown by Maciej Sulecki, the highly-rated middleweight contender was convinced that he would be forced to wait even longer before returning to the ring. However, with the chance to take on his second straight big-name opponent, Kamil Szeremeta gladly stepped in.
The two faced off in a homecoming of sorts for the Mexican star, as their showdown took place in front of a pro Munguia crowd at the Don Haskins Center, in El Paso, Texas.
Having just taken the contest on just two weeks’ notice, Munguia (37-0, 30 KOs) proved that Szeremeta’s willingness to take the short notice fight wasn’t a sagacious decision. The Mexican native started off strong. He came out firing his jab and stayed behind it for most of the round. Seemingly content with the fast pace of Munguia, Szeremeta kept a high guard and attempted to walk his man down. In the process, the fringe contender out of Poland landed a few jabs of his own.
As the opening round came to a close, Munguia uncorked several uppercuts that didn’t find the mark. That exact punch, however, would be a constant theme throughout the fight. With the second round starting up, Munguia picked up the pace even more. He sent several combinations in the direction of Szeremeta and was undeterred with what was coming back his way.
As the rounds ticked by, Szeremeta (21-2, 5 KOs) was visibly fatigued, he breathed deeply with his mouth wide open and gave little effort on the offensive end. In the fifth round, in particular, Szeremeta appeared to be on his way out. Munguia landed numerous uppercuts which left his man rattled. While he attempted to muster up a bit of his own offense, Szeremeta resorted to holding and avoiding the big shots of the former 154 pound champion.
Unwilling to let up, Munguia kept the pressure going in the sixth. Szeremeta languished on the ropes as Munguia poured it on. As the Polish product walked to his corner at the end of the round, he appeared despondent and listless. Shortly after taking his seat, the referee stepped in to his corner to have a short conversation with the fringe contender. Moments later, he waved off their contest completely.
Following the win, Munguia was asked what he would like to do next. With no hesitation, the Mexican product called for a showdown against Gabriel Rosado, who scored a massive upset win over the previously undefeated Bektemir Melikuziev in the co-main event.