By: Hans Themistode
Two division world champion Gervonta Davis took offense to a poll that was posted on Twitter. The survey asked viewers to vote on a dream match of sorts between Davis and former 140-pound champion Regis Prograis.
Not amused in the slightest, the Baltimore native took the time to express how their contest would go down.
“I will beat the shit out of this bum ass n**ga,” said Davis on his Twitter account.
Seemingly minding his own business, Prograis got wind of what Davis said and responded immediately.
“Little boy don’t mention my f*cking name if you don’t want no smoke,” said Prograis. “I ain’t for this back and forth shit. I’m ready to wreck something, lets get it popping.”
Normally, the trash talk between Prograis and Davis would be viewed as harmless. However, with Davis rumored to be moving up to the same weight class as Prograis to take on WBA 140 pound “Regular” titlist Mario Barrios this summer, there’s reason to believe that a future showdown between the pair could come to fruition.
Davis though, has never been on the agenda of Prograis. The former belt holder has always kept his attention locked and loaded on once again becoming a world champion. In late October of 2019, the New Orleans native lost his lone bout at the hands of Josh Taylor in a unification contest at the O2 Arena in the United Kingdom.
He’s bounced back since then, stopping Juan Heraldez in the third round on, ironically enough, the undercard of Davis last ring appearance against Leo Santa Cruz on Halloween night last year.
Prograis, 32, isn’t the only one who walked away with a knockout win on that night as Davis also scored a stoppage victory of his own. His would come in the sixth round after a back and forth five rounds.
With Davis showing no remorse in how he believes a matchup between them would go, Prograis is incredulous that so many boxing fans actually side with the well-known knockout artist.
If Davis and his handlers are so firmly under the belief that he would in fact stop him, then the former belt holder urges them to pick up the phone and give him a call. With that said, Prograis assumes that his cell phone won’t be ringing anytime soon.
“Y’all really think Tank could f*ck with me? I mean know he’s popular and he’s a pretty good fighter but I would hurt that little boy. Floyd would never let him close to me. They’ll need a restraining order after f*cking with me.”
Despite the back and forth theatrics, Prograis is solely focused on his next contest which is quickly arriving in just over a month when he takes on Ivan Redkach in Atlanta Georgia.
By: Hans Themistode
There is essentially no one left for Claressa Shields to face.
After unifying the 168-pound division earlier in her career, Shields went on to become an undisputed belt holder at 160 pounds and most recently, she doubled up on her undisputed tag by dropping down in weight yet again to win every single title at 154 pounds.
Her claim as the best female fighter in the world is difficult to fulminate against considering the lack of options she has at her disposal.
Currently, the only other fighter who is worth mentioning in terms of serious competition, is undisputed lightweight champion, Katie Taylor. The weight discrepancy however, makes their showdown more of a pipe dream.
Or maybe not.
Following her latest win over Marie Eve Dicaire this past Friday night, Shields revealed that she would be willing to go down even lower in weight if a matchup with Taylor can be made.
Despite Taylor holding an undefeated record, numerous world titles and worldwide recognition as one of the greatest female fighters of her generation, Shields seemed unaffected by her long list of accolades.
To the Flint Michigan native, handling Taylor won’t be much of an issue. But dragging her body down even lower in weight will be.
“Katie Taylor is not the worry in that sense,” said Shields during her post-fight interview. “The 147 is. Katie is a great fighter.”
For Shields, facing Taylor at 147 pounds will make her feel strange when she walks past the mirror. Losing a few extra pounds for a male fighter isn’t viewed as much of a big deal. In her case however, Shields likes what she sees whenever she looks at her reflection and knows that if she does drain her body down to the welterweight limit, that she’ll ultimately lose an important part of her curvy body.
“They got to pay me a lot of money for me to lose my butt to go down to 147. At the end of the day, I’m a woman and that’s something that I love about my body. I may not have big breasts but I got a nice butt and I would lose that to go to 147.”
As much as she adores her body though, Shields would be perfectly alright with trading in her curves for a big bag of cash.
“They need to come with that dough and I’ll be seeing Katie at 147. At least with a million, talk to me nice.”
For Taylor, she has never competed at 147 pounds, although she did make one appearance at 140 roughly two years ago against Christina Linardatou. Taylor would win that contest via unanimous decision.
While it’s too early to assume that they will in fact fight, at this point in time, the Taylor might just be the only competition left for Shields.
By: Hans Themistode
Rolando “Rolly” Romero was taken aback when he first heard the news. The WBA “Regular” 135-pound belt holder had no idea that Gervonta “Tank” Davis was considering a move up, let alone on his way to finalizing a deal to face WBA “Regular” Jr welterweight champion, Mario Barrios.
There contest isn’t set in stone just yet, but according to multiple sources, that is the route Davis will elect to go down this Summer.
Recently, Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) competed at 130 pounds, knocking out former multiple division titlist Leo Santa Cruz. He’s also fought at 135 pounds as well, struggling against long faded Yuriokis Gamboa before ultimately stopping him.
In the opinion of Romero, Davis had no business at 135 and certainly shouldn’t even think about making the move even higher up in weight.
“He’s not really a 35 pounder,” said Romero during an interview with Fight Hype. “He needs to stay at 30, keep bullying those little 126 pounders. He’s going to be a megastar at 130 but who’d he fight at 35? A way past his Gamboa that he struggled with. Gamboa don’t care about boxing anymore. If Tank fights a 35 pounder with some pop, it’s not going to go good for him and at 140, it’s definitely not going to go good for him.”
In the case of Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs), Romero considers him someone with a lot of punching power. The San Antonio Texas, native has stopped eight of his last nine opponents, including most recently, Ryan Karl, on ironically enough, the undercard of Davis vs Santa Cruz on Halloween night last year.
When measuring the power of Barrios, Romero simply looks up as if he is reminiscing and then grabs his jaw and smiles.
“Barrios can crack. I sparred Barrios before. I think he might be a little too big. Barrios is too tall and throws these really good uppercuts. He’s a big boy, Tank is really short.”
Those who believe Davis will get the job done should their contest come to fruition, will point to when Barrios struggled against Batyr Akhmedov in late 2019. The end result may have been a unanimous decision victory but plenty believed that Akhmedov had plenty of good moments in the ring.
Sitting in attendance on that night, just so happen to be Romero. While he’ll admit that Barrios did struggle with his Russian opponent, he’s quick to point out that it’s unfair to bring up that fight as a way to justify that Davis will win.
“That’s at 140. He struggled but he did drop the dude twice. Barrios is just a big boy.”
By: Hans Themistode
Nothing is official just yet, but according to former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, his contest against Manny Pacquiao is reaching the home stretch.
Earlier this week, Garcia announced that after spending years chasing the future Hall of Famer, their showdown is just about complete. In the eyes of many, Pacquiao will be a conformable favorite going in. Yet, in the opinion of welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr., he believes Garcia is going to outclass him.
“Mikey smokes him,” said Ortiz Jr. during an interview with ESNews.
Despite being only 22-years-old, Ortiz Jr. knows his boxing history. So much so, that he’s rewatched Pacquiao’s four contests with Juan Manuel Marquez.
All in all, the two all-time greats faced each other on four occasions. More times than not, Pacquiao picked up the win going 2-1-1 in their four meetings. Regardless of his success though, every single one of their showdowns was razor close.
With Pacquiao’s tendency to struggle with his long-time rival, Ortiz Jr. is under the impression that he won’t stand a chance against someone who is essentially twice as good as Marquez.
“Mikey is a better version of Marquez. I think he’s smarter, more explosive and I think he’s stronger than him.”
For Garcia, the praise he’s receiving from Ortiz Jr. might be flattering but he’ll need much more than that to convince the majority of boxing fans of his chances against Pacquiao.
Most of the dubious voices surrounding Garcia stem from his awful showing against unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in early 2019.
After pushing forward with the narrative that he could move up two weight divisions and not only compete with Spence Jr. but flat out beat him, Garcia was made to look like a fool as he was dominated for every second of every round.
The Mexican native has since demonstrated that he can at the very least, hang with the best at 147 pounds as he thoroughly dominated former two-division champion, Jessie Vargas, in February of 2020. As for Pacquiao, he was last seen in the ring roughly a year and a half ago in 2019.
The future first-ballot Hall of Famer proved that he still has plenty left in his 42-year-old tank as he dropped and out mostly outclassed former WBA belt holder Keith Thurman.
While it was a great performance, Ortiz Jr. is still standing firmly in the corner of Garcia. In the welterweight contender’s opinion, he’s shared the ring on too many occasions with Garcia to start doubting him now.
“Mikey is the only boxer who’s broken me down in the ring. I’ve gotten ten times better just sparring Mikey than I ever did sparring anyone else.”
By: Hans Themistode
At one point, a Jr middleweight showdown between former unified champion Jarrett Hurd and current three belt holder Jermell Charlo was the fight every fan was craving.
Roughly two years ago, both fighters were undefeated champions and regarded as the best in the division. Since then however, they have both suffered defeats. For Charlo, his came at the hands of Tony Harrison in December of 2018, although he did avenge that loss one year later. And for Hurd, his defeat came at the hands of Julian Williams in May of 2019.
Despite the speed bumps, Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) still believes both he and Charlo are the best the 154-pound division has to offer and still desperately wants to prove that he was always better than his long-time rival.
“I really want the Charlo fight man,” said Hurd on the PBC podcast recently. “It’s still a lot of unanswered questions of who’s really the best at 154 until we face each other.”
Regardless of what he believes, Hurd knows good and well that another fighter could be prioritized before him. That would be, newly minted WBO champion Brian Castano. The Argentine native truncated the short title reign of Patrick Teixeira approximately one month ago and immediately called for an undisputed showdown with Charlo.
With the opportunity to grab every world title in the division, Charlo is most likely to go in that direction. But while Hurd is fully aware of the importance of an undisputed 154-pound champion, the Maryland native firmly believes that even a contest of that magnitude would fall short of the excitement a matchup between himself and Charlo would bring to the table.
“Even though Brian Castano has the title and it could be an undisputed champion at 154 but to be honest, the biggest fight at 154 is me vs Jermell Charlo. Hopefully, we can fight this year.”
In terms of what could possibly be next for Hurd if Charlo does elect to go down the undisputed route, the former unified champion has no idea. In fact, he isn’t even sure when he will make his return to the ring.
Whenever he does get the call though, he’s hoping that the first name presented to him will be Julian Williams.
“I haven’t gotten any exact dates but I’ve been talking to Al (Haymon). He’s trying to put me on some cards and have me as the main event. He’s trying to put something together for me but he hasn’t been able to get an exact date but he’s been telling me to just stay ready. So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m just hoping that I get my rematch with Julian Williams.”
By: Hans Themistode
At this point, Ahmet Oner believes it doesn’t make any sense to even try.
Less than one week ago, the manager of super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim sat back with his jaw glued to the ground as he witnessed his man receive a one-sided beating at the hands of unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
The WBC-mandated title challenger was dominated in the first two rounds and dropped in the third. Rather than allow him to go out there to experience a continued beating, Oner pulled the plug on their contest, waving things off at the end of the third.
Shortly following the win, promoter Eddie Hearn announced that the next opponent for Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) was already signed, sealed and delivered in WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders. Yet, in the opinion of Oner, it doesn’t matter who steps into the ring with the consensus best boxer in the world.
Simply put, Oner doesn’t believe he’ll be beaten anytime soon.
“Canelo is very strong,” said Oner to George Ebro. “Put in Jermall Charlo, Dirrell, Billy Joe Saunders. All of them will be defeated by Canelo. He is a monster. He will never lose to minor boxers. I don’t think anyone can beat him in the division.”
To Oner, there aren’t enough superlative words to describe Alvarez. In short, he is the baddest man on the planet. But while that phrase is apropos when describing the Mexican product, at one point in time, Mike Tyson proudly held that distinction.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion would often win his bouts before the bell rung by striking fear into his opponents. Those who did work up the courage to step into the ring with him were quickly escorted away in the back of an ambulance.
But, regardless of the damage he caused inside the ring, even at his scariest, Oner firmly believes that for as great as Tyson was in his heyday, even he would play second fiddle to Alvarez.
“There is only one Canelo. Avni fought on a big stage against Chris Eubank and lost, but not like against Canelo. He’s better than Mike Tyson, more solid. If he was bigger, he could even beat Anthony Joshua. Canelo is in a different league.”
By: Hans Themistode
It isn’t easy walking the path you feel destined to. It’s even more difficult doing it alone. For super middleweight prospect Nadim Salloum, he’s grown accustomed to traveling an arduous road in order to accomplish his lofty goals. Even if that means packing up his bags and traveling halfway across the world.
At a young age, adolescents often imitate who they see in an attempt to be just like them. Growing up in Lebanon, Salloum was given a plethora of role models to look up to. From school teachers and field workers to those who did unglamorous work in the nearby area where he lived, Salloum had his pick of the litter in terms of whom he wanted to idolize.
But while those career choices are admirable, they weren’t his desired choice. No, what Salloum wanted was something no one from his country ever cared to engage in.
“I wanted to be a boxer,” said Salloum during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “This is a country that doesn’t have any boxing. We’ve never had a professional boxer, never any events or anything. This is not a boxing country so it was difficult to emulate anyone around me. I was lucky when I found boxing and the moment I did, I fell in love with the sport.”
The lack of influencers didn’t deter Salloum from keeping his dream alive. He may not have participated in the sport he loved often, but when he did, he made it count.
“I was able to find a few local tournaments when I was younger. In 2011 I won the Lebanon championship but for about 11 years I only had about 40 fights.”
From an outside perspective, 40 fights would be considered a lot but in the boxing world, it’s a paltry number.
Consider this, other up-and-coming boxers are gaining experience by fighting upwards of 200-300 hundred amateur fights before they ultimately feel comfortable in their abilities to go to the next level.
In Salloum‘s case however, obtaining that amount of fights was simply impossible. He was trapped in a country that doesn’t value what he was most passionate about with little to no resources on how to gain more experience.
Although it was daunting, and done on some what of a whim, Salloum became acrimonious as he watched his career stall out.
With his opportunity slipping through his fingers, Salloum enlisted the help of the Internet to help him keep his dreams alive. After a short search, he found what he was looking for, however, with his pockets devoid of any real funds, he took a deep breath and gave up one of his most valued possessions.
“One day I googled the number one boxing gym in the world and Wild Card in LA came up,” explained Salloum. “ I didn’t have much money but I had a car. I sold it in order to go down there and I spent two months there.”
The experience was worth the painstaking sacrifice of chucking away his car for a few bucks. But by the time his two months in paradise were over, Salloum was hit with the realization that he had to return home and leave his dream behind once again.
From there, he simply began saving the little cash he picked up every year.
“Once I came back, I knew I wanted to head back over there so every year I would go down there once a year for one month just to ask for help on how to turn pro. Luckily I was able to get in contact with a few good people and they organized a fight for me in Mexico City for me to turn pro.”
By all accounts, his professional debut went just how he planned as he scored a first-round knockout.
Normally, that’s how the story usually ends. Salloum successfully made his boxing debut, took home the win and would now begin his new life. But while that would be ideal, nothing about Salloum’s life ever came so easy.
“Once I won, I came back to Lebanon and was stuck again. At this point, I stopped going to my university because I couldn’t afford to go to America. I had to save my money.”
It may have taken a protracted amount of time but through the help of a family member, Salloum was able to make it back stateside.
His living arrangements weren’t what he envisioned but at this point, he had to take what he could get.
“I reached out to my brother-in-law who lives in New York and told him I wanted to come to America and find my way to become a boxing world champion. He told me I can come down and stay with him but after three weeks, he essentially told me I had to go.”
The long trek back home and shattered dreams were inevitable. That is, until an old friend stepped in.
“Just by chance some of my old friends saw an old video of me boxing on Facebook and reached out to me to have dinner. I explained to him that I needed a place to stay. Thankfully, he told me he had a couch and that I can stay there. For roughly three years, that’s exactly where I’ve been.”
While sleeping on the couch of his friends isn’t what he hoped for, it has allowed him to keep his dreams alive and move his career forward.
At the moment, Salloum holds a record of 5-1 with the seventh contest of his young career coming this Saturday night in Atlanta.
Presently, Salloum’s goal of becoming a world champion is only backed by those closest to him including trainer Jose Guzman and WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman.
“I believe in Salloum,” said Sulaiman recently. “He has an incredible story and is fighting the odds. It won’t be easy but I believe in him and his dreams to one day become world champion.”
Outside of his inner circle however, dubious voices surround his chase for greatness.
The noise coming from the exterior does little to distract him from what he ultimately wants though. The Lebanon native has witnessed those in similar circumstances overcome their own set of doubters to place a checkmark next to the dreams they once had.
As he sits back on his beaten-up couch, he can’t help but smile as he envisions the day his circumstances will change forever.
“I’ve watched Manny Pacquiao go from being poor and without anything to where he is now. If he can do it, why can’t I do it? If I continue to dedicate myself to the sport, I know I’ll be able to one call myself a world champion one day.”
By: Hans Themistode
The date is set and the time is also locked in. The only thing remaining is the venue. Yet, according to reports, that appears to be on the verge of being settled upon as well.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders will take place at either AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas, or Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although both venues are currently being discussed, AT&T stadium could have the edge. Earlier this week, Texas governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate. Meaning, residents of the state were no longer required to wear masks whenever they left their homes. In addition to that, Abbott also reopened businesses at 100% capacity.
While his ruling has been heavily criticized, Abbott has stuck to his guns. His stubbornness may have forced many to question his sanity but the amount of dollars that a fight in Texas could generate in an arena that could easily fill over 80,000 could edge his state ahead of Nevada where safety protocols are still in place.
For Alvarez, even with his showdown against Saunders roughly nine weeks away, the pound-for-pound star hasn’t begun his training camp just yet. Less than one week ago, the Mexican native pounded no-hoper Avni Yildirim via third-round stoppage at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida.
Following the easy win, Alvarez revealed that he would take only one week off before he got himself ready for Saunders.
As for the aforementioned Saunders, on the other hand, he last fought in December of 2020, easily outpointing former title challenger Martin Murray over 12 rounds.
By: Hans Themistode
Legally, Vergil Ortiz is barely allowed to drink liquor. However, that isn’t stopping his current trainer in Robert Garcia from believing his man is ready to face who many believe is the best fighter in the world.
“We are going after Crawford,” said Garcia during an interview with Little Giant Boxing. “That’s the fight we’re going after right now. I think Vergil is ready.”
Obtaining a fight with Crawford, the WBO 147 pound champion, could be much easier than many anticipate due to Ortiz (16-0, 16 KOs) ranking number two in the sanctioning body. But while a win over Crawford would stun the boxing world, the Dallas native has a major roadblock standing in his way in the form of one-time 140 champion Maurice Hooker.
The two are scheduled to meet in the main event slot at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on March 20th. Hooker, 31, is considered by far the toughest fight of Vergil’s career. A win is far from guaranteed, but if Vergil can pull it off, Garcia believes his welterweight contender would be in the best position possible to land a shot at Crawford.
“If everything goes well in the Hooker fight, we want Crawford next. Vergil is already ranked in the top two in the rankings, something like that. Golden Boy and Top Rank have been working together and doing championship fights together so I think it’s the easiest fight to make.”
After spending years facing what many would consider less than stellar opposition, Crawford is now staring down the barrel of a long line of several top contenders. Outside of a possible showdown with Ortiz, Crawford is rumored to be in the running to face either eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao or former two-time 147-pound belt holder, Shawn Porter. The pound-for-pound star was last seen in the ring roughly four months ago.
In an empty MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford delivered a one-sided beating to former champion Kell Brook, dropping and later stopping the British native in the fourth round.
By: Hans Themistode
No matter how he tried, Caleb Plant just couldn’t end his night early.
When the current IBF super middleweight titlist took on former belt holder Caleb Truax on January 30th, Plant promised that he would deliver a knockout on the night. While that proved to be false, he did however, win every single round.
A peak audience of just over two million tuned in to watch the one-sided matchup. Amongst them, was former WBC champion, David Benavidez. Although he still isn’t a fan of Plant, he did acknowledge that the performance was a good one. With that said, Benavidez believes that his long-time rival failed to make a statement.
“It was a good performance,” said Benavidez during a recent interview with Fight Hype. “He did what he had to do. He landed everything that he had to land but when you’re a champion like that, you want to make a statement.
“Especially a guy over the hill like that, what is Truax, 39-years-old? He was getting hit with literally every shot and he had nothing to offer you. He didn’t come back with anything so it’s very disappointing if you’re a Caleb Plant fan. He goes out there and hits an old guy with everything and you still can’t stop him?”
Unlike Benavidez, who is known for leaving his opponents comatose, Plant is much more of a boxer. The Nashville Tennessee native may have a few stoppage victories under his belt but they come far and few between.
In the eyes of Benavidez though, Plant simply doesn’t have any power in his fists to cause much harm to anyone. In fact, the two-time belt holder doesn’t only believe Plant is feather fisted, no, he took things a step further.
“I feel like he’s just a weak champion.”
For several years now, Benavidez has attempted to lure Plant into the ring. His efforts however, have all been in vain as both sides haven’t come close to actual showdown. Currently, Benavidez is wrapping up his training camp as he prepares to take on fringe contender Ronald Ellis on March 13th.
As for Plant, on the other hand, he appears to be on his way to a unification showdown against Canelo Alvarez. First things first, of course, Alvarez must get past WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th. Should he do just that, a matchup between Alvarez and Plant is believed to be next.
If everything goes according to plan, all of the super-middleweight titles would be on the line in their showdown. But while Alvarez continues to be active, Benavidez doesn’t believe Plant will risk the biggest payday of his career and will instead, opt to sit on the sidelines until his number is called.
“I feel like he’s going to sit out until he gets that fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
For his past two fights, Gervonta Davis has fought at 130 and 135 pounds. Historically though, the two-division knockout artist has had issues making weight in both divisions. With that said, he should have no problem with the scale for his next contest.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Davis will move up to 140 pounds to take on WBA “Regular” titlist Mario Barrios sometime in the summer.
Davis, 26, was last seen in the ring on Halloween night against former multiple division champion Leo Santa Cruz. After five fairly even rounds, Davis did what he always does in the sixth. Meaning, he ended things definitively.
The win for the Baltimore native allowed him to hold onto his own WBA 135 pound title while also nabbing the 130-pound crown away from Santa Cruz.
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) appeared to drop numerous hints over the past several weeks on his social media account, claiming that he was “going to do something spectacular,” in his next ring outing. Doing so against Barrios, however, won’t come easy.
For the 140 pound secondary titlist, a win over Davis would be the biggest of his career. More than likely, the 25-year-old will walk into their showdown as an underdog. Still, he’ll have several advantages on his side, most notably, a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage.
Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) has also shown plenty of power as he’s gone on to stop nine of his last ten opponents, including a sixth-round knockout over Ryan Karl on the undercard of Davis vs Santa Cruz last year.
Currently, there is no news in terms of where their contest could take place but with Davis drawing a huge crowd in Texas for his last ring outing and with Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifting the mask mandate and opening businesses at 100% capacity, Davis vs Barrios could theoretically land there.
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez was good, maybe even great but few, if any, believed he would be able to get the job done against Miguel Berchelt. The two fought in the main event slot at “The Bubble” in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada just a few weeks ago.
On the line was Berchelt’s WBC super featherweight world title. For the most part, Valdez was viewed as a worthy challenger but one who simply didn’t have the firepower to compete with the hard hitting Berchelt.
However, after outboxing, hurting and later finishing off his man in the tenth, most were left shell shocked. Well, everyone except for Leo Santa Cruz.
“I always said Valdez had a chance, not like other people,” said Santa Cruz during an interview with Fight Hype. “I knew he had a chance to win, even by knockout.”
During the lead-up to Valdez vs Berchelt, there was one prevailing thought surrounding the event. That was, everyone should flip on their television sets to watch this one as it was going to be a back and forth war. But while their showdown wasn’t a boring one by any stretch, it certainly wasn’t the violent contest many were expecting.
For Santa Cruz though, he appreciated the approach that Valdez took in order to pick up the victory.
“He didn’t stay there and trade punches with him. He was just boxing him and landing the bigger shots.”
Although Valdez is still enjoying his newly won world title, several notable names in the division are now eyeing a showdown with him. Amongst them is Santa Cruz.
Despite his credentials as multiple division world champion, many will point to his sixth-round knockout loss at the hands of Gervonta Davis in October of 2020 as the main reason why he doesn’t deserve an immediate title shot.
With that said, Santa Cruz believes his recent setback is of little importance. If given the chance, the California native knows that his all-Mexican showdown against Valdez would be a classic.
“I’m up for a fight between me and him. I know people are going to say I’m coming off a loss and they knocked me out but it doesn’t matter. That’s what we’re here for. Were here to fight. I know a fight between me and Valdez would be really great and entertaining for the fans. Styles make fights and I know me and him have the perfect style to make a great fight.”
The ease in which Valdez handled Berchelt just a few weeks ago still resonates with Santa Cruz. Like most, he was expecting a much more competitive fight. Still, with all due respect to Berchelt, Santa Cruz is under the belief that he didn’t have the tools needed to get the job done. With himself, on the other hand, he believes at the very least, the entertainment value will be through the roof.
“I know Berchelt is a great fighter and everything but Oscar Valdez made it look easy. With me, I think I would make it more entertaining.”
By: Hans Themistode
For unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, he’s seemingly had two careers.
There is the pre-Floyd Mayweather fight version of himself and the current pound-for-pound star who stands before everyone today.
Although he was always considered a terrific fighter, Alvarez took his career to a whole other level after he suffered his one-sided loss against Mayweather in 2013. Just about everyone who’s watched both halves of his career has taken notice of his defensive improvements and new offensive firepower.
In the opinion of Demetrius Andrade however, he doesn’t quite see the humongous jump in his game that everyone discusses. The WBO middleweight titlist does admit that Alvarez has taken steps forward, but they are minuscule at best.
“He’s gotten a little better,” said Andrade during an interview with FightHype. “He’s gotten technically better with his feet work a little bit. He learned how to cut off the ring finally. He should have learned from that Floyd fight but he’s still like a walking forward type guy who learned how to use his head a little bit now. But he’s still just a stationary target for somebody like me.”
For Andrade, he loathes handing Alvarez any sort of compliment, mostly because he believes the Mexican native hears enough of them on a consistent basis. In fact, the two-division champion only says Alvarez has gotten better simply because he doesn’t know the right words to use to describe his marginal improvement.
“He’s gotten better but that’s it. I don’t know what word to use other than better. What’s under it? He’s gotten better in certain things. He got a little better like he’ll slip four or five jabs but I’ve been slipping four or five jabs all of my life.”
Currently, Alvarez is still enjoying his time off following his third-round win over Avni Yildirim this past Saturday night at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. After forcing his man to quit at the end of the third round, Alvarez revealed that he would be taking on WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th.
In the mind of Andrade, Saunders essentially has no chance. Even with the 160-pound belt holder believing that Alvarez truly hasn’t improved that much since facing Mayweather nearly ten years ago, in Saunders, it won’t matter as it’ll be an easy night at the office.
“Billy Joe performances and efforts just die down eventually. They know that he can only do so much. There’s no power behind the sh*t, he’s sloppy with the sh*t. He doesn’t live and eat boxing the same way other people do, like you can tell from his outside living.”
By: Hans Themistode
Chris Algieri has heard most of the names. From WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo to former super middleweight champion David Benavidez. All of those names, and several others, are given a very good chance at beating Canelo Alvarez should they ever meet in the ring.
Not mentioned amongst those names, is unified welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. The 147 pounder has always been lauded for his skills. But truth be told, many have wondered how in the world the benign knockout artist even fights at his current weight.
Over the years, Spence Jr. has mentioned the possibility of moving up to the middleweight division in order to land a shot against Alvarez. While Spence Jr. is on virtually every pound-for-pound list, practically no one gives him much of a chance against the Mexican native.
Simply put, Spence Jr. is just too small.
In the opinion of Algieri though, he doesn’t exactly agree with those opinions. In his point of view, Spence Jr. actually has all of the ingredients to pull off the upset.
“He’s got a shot. A good one,” said Algieri during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “Spence is fast, he’s also a lot more technical than people give him credit for. He also pressures nonstop. With Spence, he won’t be a big guy but he is more than big enough to make 160.”
Having shared the ring with him, Algieri knows exactly how good Spence Jr. actually is. In April of 2016, Algieri faced the Dallas native at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While he boxed well early on, the pressure Algieri alluded to from Spence Jr. caught up to him as he was dropped in round four and hit the canvas two more times in the following round before the referee waved things off completely.
In the mind of Algieri, it isn’t just that Spence Jr. hits incredibly hard. It’s more so about the style in which he fights. For the past several years, Alvarez has faced much bigger fighters. From the likes of former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev to former unified super middleweight champion Callum Smith who held a ridiculous seven-inch height and eight-inch reach advantage.
None of their physical attributes prevented Alvarez from picking them apart. But while most have sat back in awe at Alvarez for taking on those challenges, Algieri views things a bit differently.
“With the big guys, they throw shots then rest then throw shots then rest. That’s why Canelo likes fighting bigger guys. With Spence, he won’t be a big guy but he is more than big enough to make 160.”
Still, even with Algieri tipping his cap to Spence Jr., he’s still giving the slight edge to Alvarez.
“I would still favor Canelo but Spence has a really good shot at winning. He’s a terrific fighter.”
By: Hans Themistode
Mikey Garcia figured it would make more sense if he just kept his mouth shut.
For years the former four-division world champion would openly express his desire to face Manny Pacquiao and claimed that their showdown was just about ready to get over the finish line.
Time and time again however, Garcia was made to look like a fool as Pacquiao continually went in another direction. Now though, after staying mum on the subject, Garcia revealed that both his team and team Pacquiao, have been behind the scenes hammering out a deal. So far, everything has moved along smoothly.
Although Pacquiao hasn’t announced anything just yet, Garcia, unlike in years past, feels so confident then their contest will happen, that he has decided to let the cat out of the bag a bit early.
“It’s been in the works for a few years,” said Garcia during a recent self-recorded video. “In the last few weeks, we’ve been getting very close to finalizing this. I’m pretty excited. Hopefully, we can get the exact date within the next few days. Were trying to get everything done for May. So far, it seems like all the parties are on board so I’m excited.”
Pacquiao, 42, hasn’t been seen in the ring for almost two years. When he did make an appearance though, he was showing the younger fighters of the welterweight division a thing or two as he dropped and outboxed former unified champion, Keith Thurman.
Unlike most fighters who have made their peace with fighting inside of an empty arena amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) appeared uninterested and instead, opted to stay on the sidelines.
But just because there were no fights on his schedule, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t firmly in the mix. Top names at 147 pounds such as WBO titlist Terence Crawford, unified champion Errol Spence Jr., and most recently, 135-pound contender Ryan Garcia, have all claimed that a showdown with Pacquiao was on their radar.
None of those aforementioned names however, could say with any confidence that they were on the brink of facing the long-time legend. That is, until now.
For Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs), he’s done all that he can to put distance between himself and the worst performance of his career. In March of 2019, Garcia moved up two weight divisions to challenge Spence Jr. in what many believed was career suicide.
Despite the warnings, Garcia claimed that he “saw something,” in Spence Jr. that would allow him to pick up the win. His assumptions, of course, were proven to be wrong as Spence Jr. dominated every single round against him.
Roughly one year later, Garcia returned to the ring against former two-division champion Jessie Vargas, dropping and mostly dominating him. He hasn’t boxed since then as he elected to sit out due to COVID-19.
Now, after kicking up his feet to watch the landscape, Garcia has stated on numerous occasions that he’s ready to drop the extra pounds he picked up during the pandemic and get back into fighting shape to return to the ring.
If anyone has been given the pleasure of looking around the household of Garcia, they’ll notice several world titles spanning across numerous weight classes.
Still, regardless of his high placement in the boxing world, Garcia knows that his career would go to a whole other level if he were able to officially stand across the ring from Pacquiao.
“Just to share the ring with a living legend like Manny does amazing things for my career. It’s a great fight, great for my career and for the fans. It’s very exciting for boxing in general to get this kind of fight.”