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UFC on ESPN 1: Velasquez vs Ngannou

Posted on 02/14/2019

By: Jesse Donathan

Very respected people in the mixed martial arts community consider Cain Velasquez (14-2) to be greatest heavyweight fighter the sport has ever seen. The former Arizona State collegiate wrestler is known for his relentless pace, incredible cardio and stifling pressure inside the cage. A former two-time UFC Heavyweight champion, Velasquez’s career has been marked with injuries which has left fans and pundits alike questioning what could have been rather than what actually was unfortunately. Velasquez last competed in July of 2016, defeating Travis Browne by TKO.
Few fighters will ever know what it means to have a promotion completely behind them, in the not too distant past Francis Ngannou (12-3) was thought to be a world beater who enjoyed the UFC’s complete backing all the way up to meeting Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title and getting dominated in convincing fashion. Ngannou possesses incredible power, in a sport marked with athletes Ngannou is the type of mixed martial artist who could clean house in the roughest of neighborhoods. Unfortunately for Ngannou, the same problems he faced against Stipe Miocic are going to be the same problems he will have to face in Cain Velasquez, which is an athletic, wrestling based big man who has the ability to stand with Ngannou or take him down virtually anytime he wants too.

The good new for Ngannou is that Velasquez won’t be afraid of him and will be willing to stand and trade punches with “The Predator.” What this means for Ngannou is opportunities, opportunities to do what Ngannou does best and that is lay people out. The bad news is Velasquez has proven to be athletic enough with a high enough fight IQ to weather the storm and bulldoze his way right through Ngannou. They key’s to victory for Ngannou will be to put his hands on Velasquez, maintain proper striking distance and to avoid the takedown.

Ngannou cannot afford to allow Velasquez to close the distance, failure to stop what is surely the inevitable will mean Ngannou will likely suffer PTSD based flashbacks of how badly Stipe Miocic beat him up. This means Ngannou will need to improve his foot work, ensure he makes Velasquez pay for closing the distance on him and work hard to stuff any takedowns coming his way which will almost assuredly be chained in combinations. Ngannou will absolutely need to rely on an offensive based game plan, developing a momentum stopping jab would go a long way in making opponents think twice about exploiting his lack of grappling acumen and takedown defense.

For Velasquez, he has been here before. The ankle pick or any other number of takedowns will be there for Velasquez essentially anytime he wants them to be. Using his athleticism to close the distance, applying a pace and pressure Ngannou will find difficult to maintain for any meaningful amount of time and bringing the hurt in classic Velasquez fashion are his keys to victory. Ngannou has incredible power, it is not in Cain’s best interest to test the waters but should he find his way through the absolute bombs sure to come his way Velasquez can be expected to ragdoll Ngannou and showcase a violent all-around mixed martial arts game.

The blueprint to defeat Ngannou has already been written, he is going to need to close the holes in his game and develop additional tools such as a jab and solid takedown defense in order to compete in the UFC Heavyweight division. Other fighters in the past such as former UFC fighter Cheick Kongo were able to successfully add a wrestling based offensive attack to their arsenal in addition to being feared strikers so it is entirely possible for Ngannou to continue to evolve as a mixed martial artist. For Velasquez, expectations are high for the former champion. Anything short of getting Ngannou out of there convincingly will be viewed with disappointing eyes. This fight will not be a repeat of Ngannou vs Lewis, which was a real snooze fest. The forecast on Sunday night the 17th on ESPN will be violence.

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Why Floyd Mayweather Deserves Credit if he Defeats Conor McGregor

Posted on 08/14/2017

By: Kirk Jackson

Floyd Mayweather 49-0 (26 KO’s) aims to join the 50-win club, as he takes on MMA star Conor McGregor 21- 3 (MMA) 0-0 (Boxing) in the biggest combat sports-related event of the year as we approach the date Aug 26.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you may be familiar with all of the commentary and criticism leading up to this event.

Some of the boxing purists, mma and UFC supporters, perennial Floyd Mayweather detractors – appearing in all forms whether it’s a fan, fighter, trainer, promoter or whomever, voiced their displeasure of the match-up and the notion of Mayweather adding another win to his record if he can defeat McGregor in their showdown.

“He doesn’t deserve (the 50-0) record, because he’s not fighting a fighter,” Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum told TMZ Sports about the 49-0 Mayweather.

“He’s not fighting a real boxer. McGregor is a good MMA guy, but it’s a different sport. It’s not a fight, for Christ’s sake. And three weeks later, De La Hoya’s doing a hell of a fight, (Gennady) Golovkin and (Canelo) Alvarez. That’s a good fight.”

Golden Boy Promoter De La Hoya echoed similar sentiments, but don’t be fooled by these two. If afforded the opportunity, they would jump at the chance to pit any of their fighters against McGregor. Only issue is the demand for whatever match-up they can conjure up isn’t there.

Mayweather link.

Win No. 50 holds significance because it breaks the tie Mayweather has with legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano.

Although Mexican Great Julio Caser Chavez Sr. long surpassed the mark during his career, the 49-0 record holds great significance for whatever reason.

For the critics believing a Mayweather victory would be hollow the record/achievement or should warrant an asterisk due to McGregor’s lack of experience, the question to ask is how do you feel about Roberto Duran?

What are your thoughts about Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Louis?

This question is posed because if we analyze their careers, we will find instances when these legendary fighters faced opponents with either zero experience or zero chances of winning.

Leonard defended his welterweight title against a fighter (with experience) but was a garbage man.

45 fights into his career, Duran fought Jose Vasquez 4-0 and right after next faced Adalberto Vanegas 2-0-1. For Duran’s 48th fight he faced 1-4 Andres Salgado.

Duran would then go on to fight guys like Ezequiel Obando, Pepe El Toro, Bernando Diaz, Alirio Acuna and they all had less than six fights each. Some of these fighters were winless.

Keep in mind this is a prime Roberto Duran. I understand the concept of tune-up fights and fights to keep busy but if the criteria applies…
The “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis had the “Bum of the month.” In the span of 29 months beginning January 1939 through May 1941, Louis defended his title thirteen times.

Despite its disparaging nickname, most of the “Bum of the month” club were top-ten heavyweights. Of the 12 fighters Louis faced during this period, five were rated by The Ring as top-10 heavyweights in the year they fought Louis.

Some of the fighters not rated in the top ten by The Ring, we could argue did not belong in the ring with the heavyweight champion.

There was controversy surrounding many of Marciano’s fights with rumors of Mafioso influences, crooked judges and fighters taking dives or purposely forfeiting fights.

Many of the opponents Chavez Sr. faced possessed abysmal records with worse skills to match.

Should Scott Walker have shared the ring with Chavez? Another question is at which point can we discredit a win on someone’s record?

Across many sports, combat sports included, the team or singular athlete (in this instance) has a soft touch every now and then.

This may not necessarily be a walk in the park for Mayweather. There’s a certain demographic believing McGregor is the better fighter, or that mma fighters are vastly superior to boxers even if they face a boxer in their sport.

Remember former mma star Ronda Rousey has the ability to defeat Mayweather in the boxing ring too.

At the very least, McGregor is in his physical prime at the age of 29-years-old, as Mayweather is coming off a two-year retirement and he is the older athlete as he is well into his forties.

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The World Boxing Super Series Begins

Posted on 07/10/2017

The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher

Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.


In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.

The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.

1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)

Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)

The first round of the tournament looks like this.

Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)

Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.

The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.

“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).

This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.

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Miguel Cruz Defeats Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands

Posted on 06/28/2017

Miguel Cruz Defeats Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands
By: Ken Hissner

Kings Promotions returns to the Sands in Bethlehem’s Event Center putting on8 bouts over FS1. In the Main Event Miguel Cruz of San Juan, PR, defeated his opponent Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin of Chicago, IL,in January of this year.


In the rematch Miguel Cruz, 16-0 (11), of San Juan, PR, scored a pair of knockdowns to defeat Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin, 13-2 (5), of Chicago, IL, over 10 rounds.

Cruz scored knockdowns in the first and fourth rounds. In the fifth round Martin was complaining to referee Gary Rosato about low blows so when nothing was done he landed a low blow flooring Cruz face down on the canvas. After a five minute rest it was all Martin for the next four rounds. By the ninth round Cruz was back on top winning the last two rounds and the decision.

Judges Steve Weisfeld, John McNair and Dave Braswell along with this writer had it 96-92 for the winner.
Welterweight southpaw Clarence Booth, 15-3 (8), of St. Petersburg, FL, stopped Anthony Mercado, 10-3 (9), of Arecibo, PR, at 1:30 of the fourth round of a scheduled 8.

Booth dropped two of the first three rounds but came back in the fourth round swarming all over Mercado before referee Erik Dali called a halt with Mercado helpless on the ropes.

On the undercard in the fight of the night Dominican featherweight Isaelin Florian, 6-1 (3), Reading, PA, suffered his first loss in losing against Avery Sparrow, 7-1 (3), of Philadelphia.

Sparrow came out to go to war and found himself on the canvas in the first round. He would come back and return the favor dropping Florian in the second round only to be dropped again in the fourth round. Sparrow would fight back and take the final two rounds and the decision.

Judges Kevin Morgan, Braslow and McNair scored it 58-54 while this writer had it 57-55 all for the winner. Rosado was the referee.

Super welterweight southpaw Nicholas Hernandez, 7-2 (1), of Lebanon, PA, won a disputed majority decision over Grayson Blake, 6-5-1 (2), State College over 6 rounds.

Hernandez was loading up the entire fight while being outworked by Grayson who couldn’t match him punch for punch power wise. Each round was almost too close to call. By the end of the match both fighters were smiling having known each other from the amateurs.

Judge Braswell scored it 57-57 while judges Weisfeld and Morgan had it 58-56 for the winner while this writer had it 60-54 for the loser.

Lightweight Jesus Lule, 11-22-1 (1), of Ft. Myers, FL, scored a mild upset over local boxer Ismael Serrano, 4-2 (1), of Bethlehem, PA, who was returning to the ring after 21 months of inactivity by second round stoppage at 2:10 in a scheduled 4 round bout.

Serrano started out fast but was taking more punishment then he was giving out when pinned against the ropes by Lule when referee Dali called a halt. Serrano was not pleased with the stoppage. It was only the second stoppage for Lule in a career of 34 bouts.

In the opening bout former flyweight amateur star Dylan Price, 3-0 (3), of Sicklersville, NJ, stormed out and took out Manuel Guerra, 1-3-1 (0), of Reynosa, MEX, ending it with a chopping right to the head. Guerrea was on his back trying to sit up but fell back as he was counted out by referee Dali at 1:09 of the first round.

Super lightweight Jesus Perez, 3-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, scored a knockdown in defeating Christian Molina, 4-3 (3), of Allentown, PA, over 4 rounds.

Judges had it 39-37 and 40-35 twice as did this writer.

Super welterweight Devin McMaster, 1-2 (0), of Allentown, PA, seemed to get the short end of the stick losing to Rick Pyle, 1-0 (0) of Harrisburg, PA, over 4 rounds.

It was give and take for the entire fight was almost too close to call. McMaster took the opening round with Pyle coming back to take the second round with the final two rounds very close.

All 3 judges scored it 40-36 for the winner while this writer had it 39-37 for the loser. Rosado was the referee.
It was probably the biggest crowd in years with a lot of local Spanish boxers on the card their fans came out to support them and received a really good show by Kings Promotions. It was their second promotion in 3 days with the last on Saturday in South Philly.

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PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Ugas Impresses with 4th Round Stoppage of Perrella, Karl and Valenzuela Victorious

Posted on 09/27/2016

PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Ugas Impresses with 4th Round Stoppage of Perrella, Karl and Valenzuela Victorious
By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) seems to have slowed down on the number of shows that they put on recently, but they put on a card from the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Photo Credit: Jane Phillips/Premier Boxing Champions

The opening bout of the night was between Dennis Galarza (13-1)and Cesar Alan Valenzuela (12-4-1) in the Super Featherweight division. Galarza had the height advantage but Valenzuela had the reach advantage.

Valenzuela had Galarza caught near the corner in the first minute of the opening round and was able to land a good shot to the head and body of Galarza. There was a good exchange in the final seconds of the opening round, but Valenzuela was pressing the action.

Galarza took control of the center of the ring in the second round and used his jab to control the positioning of Valenzuela. There wasn’t a whole lot of action, but Galarza appeared to be the busier fighter.

Valenzuela was more effective in the third and fourth rounds and was able to land the cleaner and harder shots. Galarza was too passive and appeared to be heistant to throw more than one punch at a time.

Valenzuela landed some very good right hands in fourth and fifth rounds and looked like he was taking over the bout. Galarza tried to get in tight and impose his will in the sixth round, but he wasn’t able to get much of an offense going.

Galarza most likely won the seventh round as he had Valenzuela moving backwards most of the time, and both fighters looked exhausted by the final round. The fight was close and many rounds could have been scored either way, but the judges scored it 77-75 Valenzuela, 77-75 Galarza, 77-75 for Valenzuela giving him the split decision victory.

The next bout of the night was in the super lightweight division between Ryan Karl (13-0) and Jose Felix Quezada (11-0).

Ryan Karl has knocked out five straight opponents heading into this match.

Quezada and Karl came out firing in the opening round and Quezada was sharp with his check left hook early on. Karl was throwing more combinations than Quezada, and had him hurt with right uppercut to the chin that wobbled the knees of Quezada. Karl went for that uppercut several more times and was able to score a knockdown after cracking Quezada with a right cross. Quezada was able to get back to his feet as the round came to an end.

Karl landed several hard right crosses in the second round and took the best shots of Quezada well. Quezada had a better thid round and was able to land some check left hooks, but Karl dominated in the fourth round.

Karl landed several hard right crosses in a row near the end of the fourth and had Quezada’s face bleeding badly. Quezada finally went down from one final right cross and was on wobbly legs when he rose to his feet.

Quezada stumbled to his corner and the end of the round and the fight was stopped before he could come back out.

Ryan Karl wins by TKO at the end of the fourth round on the advice of the corner of Quezada.

The main event of the evening was between Bryant Perrella (14-0) and Yordenis Ugas (16-3) in the welterweight division.

Perrella had the height and reach advantage, but Ugas was by far the more experienced amateur.

That experience showed early on, as Ugas landed an early over the top right hand on Perrella that sent him to the canvas. Perrella was able to get back to his feet, but Ugas stalked Perrella the remainder of the round and was looking for that right hand bomb.

Ugas was touching the body with a jab in the second round and was sharp with his right hands to the head. Perrella looked outclassed, and the difference in amateur experience was becoming more apparent.

Perrella started off strong in the third round, but likely lost it when Ugas landed a thudding right hand that had Perrella hurt as the round came to an end.

Perrella scored another knockdown in the fourth round when he landed a perfect right hand that sent Perrella crashing to the mat. Perrella showed incredible heart and got back to his feet, but Ugas jumped on the still hurt Perrella and unleashed combinations on him by the corner and forced the referee to jump in and stop the bout.

Yordenis Ugas wins with an impressive TKO stoppage at 2:20 of the fourth round.

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