By: Ste Rowen
Following the madness of Wilder vs Ortiz in New York, and the anticipation of the upcoming Joshua vs Parker unification bout, you may be forgiven for forgetting about a potential barn stormer in between, in the form of Dillian Whyte v Lucas Browne. The two face-off this weekend at London’s O2 arena in a fight that should set the winner up for a world title shot.
Last time out, the two heavyweight contenders had very different match-ups.
The WBC number one contender, Dillian Whyte, 22-1 (16KOs) took on Robert Helenius for the ‘not-so-coveted’ WBC silver title on the undercard of Joshua v Takam. For 12 labouring rounds, Dillian went in search of his opponent as the Swede evaded Whyte’s attack, but never replied with his own offense. The Brit’s accuracy was substandard that night, and way below the standard he set for himself in his fight of the year contender vs Dereck Chisora just less than a year earlier.
Just like the Chisora fight, October’s clash with Helenius went to the scorecards and though it saw Whyte pick up a comprehensive unanimous decision victory, it was a performance that did very little to help him entice new fans. However, a lack lustre performance has done nothing to deter Whyte’s belief in himself, or his eagerness to knockout his Australian foe,
‘I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him. He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.’
‘If I don’t knock him out I will not be happy…Beating him should make me a mandatory challenger. I’m highly ranked across the board. I’ll be a more than credible world title challenger.’
In stark contrast, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne’s last fight was his return fight from a number of disputed failed drug tests that followed his come from behind 2016 victory over Ruslan Chagaev in Chechnya, for the WBA ‘Regular’ belt.
Browne, 25-0 (22KOs) knocked out no-hoper, Matt Greer in the second round at the Punchbowl social club, Sydney, a world away from Saturday’s night venue. The fight told us very little about where Browne is at since his impressive victory over Chagaev 14 months earlier. That bout saw Browne knocked down and cut before steamrolling through the Uzbek in the 10th with continuous right hooks.
That should’ve been the break out fight that setup potential showdowns with the likes of Wilder, Joshua, or even the not yet retired Wladimir Klitschko, but instead Brown returned two positive tests for clenbuterol and then eight months later, a positive sample for ostarine, for which Browne has tried to explain was from a pre-workout he took without checking the contents.
The 38-year-old is now ready to put the past few years behind him and get back on track for a world title shot,’
‘It’s a very silly fight for him. Being number one ranked, to take on someone like me who is a big puncher, I think it’s a very silly fight, but for me it’s perfect. He’s got rankings across the board as well, not just the WBC so I’m extremely happy for this fight.’
Browne isn’t the only one with a questionable record when it comes to drugs. Whyte was suspended for two years back in 2012 when he tested positive for a banned stimulant. Like Browne, Dillian claimed it was due to a supplement he took without properly checking the ingredients.
Concentrating on the two fighter’s actual boxing skills though, this has the potential to be a very gruelling but ugly fight. Neither fights with much concern for defence or seems to bothered about wasting shots, which seems strange for Browne who does have a tendency to cut easily, a weakness Whyte will jump on if the Australian does sustain a meaningful cut early on.
Whyte of course has been knocked out, his sole defeat coming at the hands of WBA & IBF champion Anthony Joshua back in 2015 for the British title, and in his two biggest fights since, Whyte has had to come through adversity against Chisora and briefly in the Helenius fight when he was shaken by a left hook. So, if Browne’s power is legit, he should be able to significantly test Whyte’s chin more than once through 12 rounds of action.
For the winner, a world title shot should be next. For the loser, heavyweight obscurity could await. Proving there’s a lot more than rivalry on the line on Saturday.
On the undercard…
Just a month on from his devastating first round stoppage of Joe Murray, Lewis Ritson, 14-0 (8KOs) returns to the ring for his second defence of his British lightweight belt against Scott Cardle, 22-1 (7KOs). Ritson’s currently on a five fight KO streak, and though heavily favoured against Cardle, it will be a real statement from the Newcastle native if he can score another stoppage victory.
Frank Buglioni, 21-2-1 (15KOs) will defend his British light heavyweight title for the third time against mandatory challenger, Callum Johnson. With the likes of Anthony Yarde, Hosea Burton and Bob Ajisafe waiting in the wings for a shot at the British, Johnson, 16-0 (11KOs) will be hoping to end the constant talk of potential future fights for Buglioni.
The aforementioned Dereck Chisora, 27-8 (19KOs) is also a late addition to the card in what is expected to be a stay busy 8-rounder, since his majority decision loss to European champion, Agit Kabayel in Monaco last November.
By: Sean Crose
HBOs Boxing After Dark returned Saturday night with a double header from LA’s Forum. Things started off with Jorge Linares (43-3) defending his WBA lightweight crown against (31-1-2) Mercito Gesta. The first round was tight, but Gesta closed the chapter landing some well aimed, sharp shots. The second was also close, but Gesta landed hard in spots with crisp punching. By early in the third, it looked as if Linares’ timing was a bit off. Still, it was in the third when Linares himself started landing effectively. There was nothing particularly telling about the fourth, though Linares didn’t appear particularly in his rhythm.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Things picked up at the end of the fifth, though Linares had appeared to have developed an edge in the bout. The sixth was, like the rest of the bout up until that point, close. Yet Linares looked to be developing a workmanlike points lead. By the seventh, Linares was tossing off bursts of punches that were holding off Gesta. Gesta, however, was game and was having his moments. By the eighth, it was clear that the fight had entered a form of cruise control, with Linares in almost something of a holding pattern.
The ninth and tenth were essentially showcases for Linares’ greater strength. Gesta simply wasn’t strong enough to hurt the man, nor skilled enough to dazzle him. Linares’ was landing hard, no doubt, but he either didn’t have the power or desire to put a bow on things. The eleventh wasn’t all that different from the previous rounds. This had much to do with Linares’ consistency, which was effective, if not necessarily thrilling. Linares made sure Gesta wouldn’t shock the world in the 12th, assuring himself a unanimous decision win.
In the main event, Lucas Matthysse (38-4) faced off against the obscure, yet undefeated, Tewa Kiram (38-0) for the WBA welterweight title. The first round was a feeling out process, as Kiram was tossing a sharp jab as Matthysse tried to work his way inside. Kiram kept firing the jab in the second, as Matthysse kept moving forward. By the fourth, the fight took on the look of Dempsey-Tunney, with the well known veteran fighter searching for former glory while the taller, more defensive minded man, hit and moved effectively.
The crowd started to boo in the fifth, but it was hard to fault Kiram for engaging in such a smart fight. Kiram was making sure he was winning rounds while Matthysse wasn’t able – for whatever reason – to rise to the occasion. After the 6th, HBOs team indicated that Kiram had been sniffing from a jar that was taken from his corner and was then given to the California Athletic Commission in order for the authorities to ascertain what was inside. The commentary team spoke of the tedious nature of the bout in the 7th.
In the 8th, however, Matthysse finally found his mark and dropped Kiram to the mat. Kiram got up and fought gamely….only for Matthysse to send him down again – and out. Just like that, the fight was over.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO’s Boxing After Dark kicks off the 2018 year for HBO with two world title fights on their network.
Lucas Matthysse will be facing off against Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA “Regular” Welterweight title and Jorge Linares will face Mercito Gesta for Linares WBA Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
This card will take place live at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The following is a preview of both world title bouts.
Jorge Linares (43-3) vs. Mercito Gesta (31-1-2); WBA Lightweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between the very talented Jorge Linares and Mercito Gesta.
Linares hit a rough patch in his career in late 2011/early 2012 when he suffered back to back TKO defeats, but has one every fight since then and will be making his sixth defense of his WBA Lightweight Title.
Linares, at thirty two years old, is two years older than Gesta. He will also have a one inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
Linares lives in Tokyo and had a successful amateur background in Venezuela before turning pro. Gesta was born in the Philippines and currently lives in San Diego. He does not have the national amateur accolades of Linares.
Linares has also been slightly more active than Gesta. Gesta fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016. Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Linares’ biggest question mark is his chin. He has three losses by knockout and they were to Juan Carlos Salgado, Antonion DeMarco, and Sergio Thompson. He usually starts his fights off strong but fades towards the end.
He has defeated the likes of Luke Campbell, Rocky Juarez, Anthony Crolla, Ivan Cano, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihito Arakawa.
Gesta does not have the professional resume of Linares. His lone loss was the Miguel Vazquez in his only title shot. He has defeated the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez, Miguel Mendoza, and Ty Barnett.
Linares has good power in his hands and has stopped twenty seven of his opponents. Gesta only have seventeen stoppage victories to his credit.
If Gesta was known for his power he would be a live dog in this fight. However, Gesta is not known for his power and was defeated quite easily when he last faced an opponent on the level of Jorge Linares.
This will be the first fight for Linares on HBO in a long time, and it’s a fight that tailor made for him to look sensational in.
Lucas Matthysse (38-4) vs. Tew Kiram (38-0); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title
The main event of the evening is between Lucas Matthysse and the relatively unknown Tew Kiram.
Matthysse is from Argentina and is in the middle of a fourteen year career. Kiram is twenty five years old and ten years younger than Matthysse. Kiram turned professional at the age of fifteen.
Matthysse had a successful amateur career and is a former Argentine National Champion and competed in several notable international tournaments. Kiram turned pro before most Americans can drive a car, but has never tasted defeat.
Matthysse has incredible power in his hands and has stopped thirty five of his opponents and has only been stopped once. Kiram has twenty eight stoppage victories and won four of his past five fights by KO or TKO.
Matthysse has not been very active and only fought once in 2017 and zero times in 2016. Kiram fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. However, every single fight of Kiram has taken place in Thailand.
Matthysse has defeated the likes of Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Provodnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Molina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., Ajose Olusegun, and Humberto Soto. His losses were to Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia, and Viktor Postol.
Kiram has no notable victories on his resume.
It’s hard to pick against Matthysse in this fight when so little is known about Kiram. Matthysse’s inactivity is of concern, but he’s facing an opponent who has never faced someone on his level.
Thai boxers can be surprising and are known for having incredible hearts. Kiram will need to display incredible heart and surprising talent to pull of the monumental upset.
By: Ken Hissner
WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, 13-0 (11), of Russia, successfully defended his WBA title stopping IBF No. 6 & WBO No. 10 Trent Broadhurst, 20-2 (12), of Australia, at 2:55 of the first round at the Casino de Monte Salle, Medicin, Monte Carlo. HBO After Dark and Sky Television covered the event.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
No. 1 contender Sullivan Barrera will be mandatory challenger for Bivol within 90 days.
In the first round Bivol is the aggressor and Broadhurst countering mostly with his jab and an occasional right. Bivol used his shoulder knocking Broadhurst down but the referee called it a knockdown.
Broadhurst countered with a left hook to the chin of Bivol who fired a right hand in return. Broadhurst missed a pair of right hands while Bivol led with a right to the chin and down went Broadhurst just prior to the bell. Only mark was a little blood from the nose of Broadhurst. The referee immediately waived it off.
By: Thomas Nicholls
Light-Heavyweight star Dmitry Bivol and the rematch between Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis for the WBA World Bantamweight title top the Monte-Carlo Boxing Bonanza – a night of World Championship Boxing in the prestigious Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte-Carlo on this Saturday live on HBO.
Bivol can showcase his fearsome power when he defends his WBA light-heavyweight belt against Australian Trent Broadhurst after Badou Jack vacated the belt instead of a mandatory title defence against the big-hitting Russian.
Bivol is an exciting 26-year old who will be looking to add another KO to his impressive record. The Russian’s reputation continues to grow and he picked up the crown in just his seventh pro fight. He has already wowed crowds in his homeland and the US and now Bivol will be out to impress in his first fight in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Jamie McDonnell, back from injury, will be aiming to defend his WBA title for the sixth time in a rematch with Liborio Solis, with Dereck Chisora and Scott Quigg also featuring in must-win bouts.
The Doncaster man retained his WBA bantamweight title with a closely-fought points win over Solis last November and they meet again at the Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte Carlo on November 4.
Controversial Heavyweight star Dereck Chisora is aiming to become a two-time European champion when he challenges Agit Kabayel for the belt. Chisora landed the title in September 2013 after stopping Edmund Gerber and surrendered it to Tyson Fury, also challenging Kubrat Pulev for the strap in May 2016, and ‘Del Boy’ is looking to take the crown from Kabayel who defends for the first time after winning the strap in February.
Quigg will resume his pursuit of the featherweight world championship as he battles Ukrainian Oleg Yefimovych in a WBA title eliminator, with the Bury man targeting his second win under new trainer Freddie Roach.
“We are delighted to be back in Monaco for an incredible evening of world championship boxing live on Sky Sports in the UK and HBO across America,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I’m excited to watch Dmitry Bivol, one of the most exciting young fighters in world boxing, and of course to see the world title rematch of Jamie McDonnell versus Liborio Solis after their last close encounter.”
By: William Holmes
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California was the host site for tonight’s HBO Boxing After Dark telecast
The super flyweight division was featured as two world titles were on the line and one world title eliminator fight was shown.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/K2 Promotions
The opening bout was between Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2) and Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1) in an eliminator bout for the WBC Junior Bantamweight Title.
Both Estrada and Cuadras have previously lost to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and were fighting for a chance to have another crack at him.
Cuadras came out firing to start the first round and was able to land jabs and combinations to the body and head. Estrada was throwing punches of his own, but wasn’t landing at the rate of Cuadras. Cuadras ended the first round with a hard right cross.
Cuadras activity continued into the second round as he was throwing more combinations than the stalking Estrada. Cuadras was showing a good variety of punches in the third round, but Estrada ended the round strong with a hard-left hook to the chin.
Cuadras continued to outland Estrada in the fourth and fifth rounds while showboating at times, but Estrada was continuing to come forward and land some hard shots of his own.
Estrada picked up his pace in the sixth round and looked like he hurt Cuadras with a combination ending right cross. Estrada’s uppercut was also finding it’s home and the tide of the fight was turning in his favor.
The seventh round went back and forth and featured several heavy exchanges, but Cuadras was showing signs of tiring and his mouth was wide open.
Estrada’s left hook was landing in the eighth round. Cuadras may have stolen the ninth round with a heavy right uppercut that snapped the head of Estrada backwards, his best punch in several rounds.
Estrada sent Cuadras crashing to the mat in the tenth round with clean straight hand. Cuadras was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but the knockdown solidified Estrada’s path to victory.
Estrada kept up the pressure in the final two rounds of an action-packed bout. At the end of the twelfth round he acted as if he was victorious.
Michael Buffer originally announced the final scores as 114-113 on all three score cards for Carlos Estrada, and Carlos Cuadras celebrated as if he won the fight.
But Buffer corrected himself and the correct score of 114-113 for Juan Francisco Estrada was read.
The next bout of the night was between Naoya “Monster” Inoue (13-0) and Antonio Nieves (17-1-2) for the WBO Junior Bantamweight Title.
Tonight, was Inoue’s American debut.
Inoue showed off his notorious jab in the opening round and was able to mix in a few uppercuts and left hooks. Nieves was able to block a lot of Inoue’s early punches, but wasn’t able to land anything significant in return.
Inoue’s jab was moving Nieves around the end of the ring in the second round and even had Nieves hurt in the final ten seconds of the second, but Inoue thought the ten second warning was the end of the round and laid off a visibly hurt Nieves.
Inoue started to land heavy shots to the body in the third round and it’s intensity and ferocity picked up in the fourth.
Inoue scored a knockdown with a thudding left hook to the body in the fifth round. Nieves was able to get back to his feet but took a large number of hard body shots in the remainder of the round.
Inoue continued his assault in the sixth round and was landing cracking body shots at will. Nieves was not throwing much in return and looked like he was just trying to survive.
Nieves corner stopped the fight before the start of the seventh round. Inoue wins by TKO at the end of the sixth round.
The main event was between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1) and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1) for the WBC Junior Bantamweight Title.
Rungvisai won a shocking upset in a fight of the year candidate in their first meeting.
Rungvisai, a southpaw, looked a lot more confident than the first time they met and came out aggressively and right at Gonzalez.
Rungvisai was able to land his right hands and kept Gonzalez uncomfortable with his pressure.
Rungvisai continued to be the aggressor in the second round but Gonzalez was able to land multi punch combinations even while he was complaining about head butts.
There were several good exchanges in the third round but Rungvisai looked like he was taking the shots of Gonzalez well but landing heavy shots of his own.
Gonzalez came at Rungvisai at the start of the fourth round but Rungvisai was able to land two hooks to the body followed by a right uppercut, and later followed that with a right hook to the chin of Gonzalez that sent him crashing to the mat. He was able to get back to his feet but still in a dazed state and momentarily exchanged with Rungvisai, but another left hook by Rungvisai sent Gonzalez to the mat for the last time.
Rungvisai wins by knockout at 1:18 of the fourth round.
HBO Wrapup: Berchelt Tops Miura in Tough As Nails Bout
By: Sean Crose
Joe Smith returned from his conquest of the great Bernard Hopkins on Saturday at the Forum in California to take on skilled former Olympian Sullivan Barrera in a showdown of light heavyweight contenders. It was a quality matchup – perhaps that’s why it was a bit of a surprise to see Barrera hit the mat in the first. The man got up, but Smith once again made people take note of his power. After a relatively uneventful second round, Barrera opened the third round strong and performed effectively throughout.
A Barrera uppercut rocked Smith early in the fourth. The Miami based fighter continued to assert control from there on out. The fifth essentially consisted of more of the same, but the two men exchanged well at the tail end of the sixth. The seventh round clearly alarmed the referee, if few others, for in between the seventh and eighth, Jack Reese asked Smith if he was feeling all right. Smith didn’t impress for the following two rounds.
Then, at the beginning of the tenth, Reese told the two fighters to touch gloves, clearly forgetting that it was a twelve round affair. But wait, he wasn’t mistaken. Reese knew what HBO didn’t, that the promotion had switched from a twelve round bout to a ten rounder without the broadcast team being informed. Needless to say, Barrera wrappedd up the night and earned himself a unanimous decision win.
Next up was the WBA super featherweight title fight between Jezreel Corrales and Robinson Castellanos. It was a close, fairly interesting affair. Corrales was dropped twice in the fourth, but came back and performed well afterwards. Still, Castellanos looked solid when the bout was stopped because of an accidental headbutt in the 10th. Needless to say, Corrales pulled off a majority decision win. A hoped for rematch might possibly be warranted.
It was time for the main event. Miguel Berchelt, the WBC super featherweight champ, stepped into the ring to face Japan’s Takashi Miura in what was clearly an intriguing matchup – at least on paper. It was a close, clinical first round, until Miura was sent to the mat. Looking no worse for wear, the man quickly got to his feet. The second round was also clinical for the most part, but the strength of Berchelt’s punches ultimately told the tale.
Miura started landing clean to the body in the third. Berchelt landed well in the fourth and it began to seem as if Miura would truly have to start working his opponent’s body if he were to keep from eventually being stopped. Sure enough, Berchelt ended the round in strong fashion. Miura fought hard in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough. Same for the sixth. Make no mistake about it, though, the fight wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Miura was there to win and the first half of the bout was an entertaining affair.
In the seventh, it was Berchelt who worked on Miura’s body as he looked to break his man down. The fight was stopped in the eighth for a rabbit punch from Miura. It seemed excessive, but I won’t fault a referee for being extra cautious. In the ninth, Miura whaled away at his opponent’s body in impressive fashion. He continued to do so in the tenth. By the eleventh, both men were tossing crushing shots at each other. It wasn’t a fast paced bout, but it was exciting and extremely rugged.
The twelfth was as grueling as the previous few rounds. Berchelt won a well deserved decision, but hats off to both men. Here’s hoping Miura seriously considers retirement. There’s only so much ring damage one man can take over the course of a career.
Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
By Adam J. Pollack
On Saturday July 15, the Forum in Los Angeles will feature several highly entertaining matchups. The main event features WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt, 31-1, 28 KOs, vs. Takashi Miura, 31-3-2, 24 KOs, two punchers who love to fight. Although Berchelt likely will win, for he has the superior talent and skill, this is one of those fights that you watch simply because you know that regardless of the result, both guys will fight hard, in entertaining fashion. Miura forces the fight with hard punches and can take some big ones, and both of these guys can hit.
Photo Credit: Kyte Monroe/BoxStats
If you are looking for a really hard-punching intriguing 50-50 type match-up, in which the outcome truly is in doubt, Joe Smith, Jr., 23-1, 19 KOs, vs. Sullivan Barrera, 19-1, 14 KOs is the fight for you. The very heavy-handed Smith, Jr. has freakish power, such that regardless of what the score is in a fight, if hits his opponent, the fight can be over in the blink of an eye. Remember, he knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who although old, had never been stopped before, and was a guy who knew every trick and artifice of the game. He also knocked out Andrej Fonfara in the very 1st round, and Fonfara had gone the distance with Adonis Stevenson, knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and beaten Glen Johnson and Byron Mitchell.
Smith Jr. is going up a very tough man in Sullivan Barrera, a guy whose only loss was a decision to Andre Ward. Barrera knocked out Jeff Lacy in 4, Karo Murat in 5, and handed the hard-punching then 17-0, 14 KOs Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy his only loss, stopping him in the 7th round. Like Smith Jr., Barrera can punch. So this is likely to be another hard-punching bang-‘em-out war. The likely winner is unclear.
Also on the card, undefeated WBA Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, 24-12, 14 KOs, who recently stopped former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight. Castellanos has managed to score several upset victories, defeating Rocky Juarez and then-undefeated Ronny Rios, in addition to Gamboa, so he seems to thrive on his underestimated underdog status. The undefeated Corrales won the championship by handing then undefeated Takashi Uchiyama his first losses, both by knocking him out and winning the rematch by decision. This is a really solid, competitive contest.
Other quality match-ups on the card include:
Mercito Gesta, 30-1-2 vs. Martin Honorio, 33-10-1
Manny Robles, Jr. 12-0 vs. Christian Esquivel, 30-11
Horacio Garcia, 32-2-1 vs. Diuhl Olguin, 11-16-3
Ryan Garcia, 9-0, vs. Mario Antonio Macias, 28-21
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens will meet in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark card in the active and exciting middleweight division. This bout will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino live in Verona, New York.
Yuriorkis Gamboa, and recent Golden Boy Promotions signee, will be fighting in the co-main event of the night and will be facing Rene Alvarado in the junior lightweight division.
Several other high level prospects will be fighting on the untelevised undercard, including boxers such as Zachary Ochoa, Diego De La Hoya, and Damon Allen Jr.
The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1) vs. Rene Alvarado (24-7); Junior Lightweight
Gamboa has been very inactive since he left Top Rank Promotions to sign with the short lived boxing promotional company ran by 50 Cent. He only fought once in 2015 and did not fight at all in 2016. He’s since signed with Golden Boy Promotions and looks to get his career back on track, and Golden Boy has picked the perfect opponent for him to shake off the ring rust.
Alvarado is seven years younger than Gamboa and will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as a seven inch reach advantage. He also fought twice in 2016 and five times in 2015 and has been considerably more active than Gamboa. However, his advantages stop there.
Gamboa has seventeen knockout victories while Alvarado has sixteen. Gamboa went 4-1 in his past five fights with only one stoppage victory while Alvarado went 2-3 in his past five fights.
Gamboa clearly has the better professional and amateur resume. He’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist and has defeated the likes of Hylon Williams Jr., Darleys Perez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jorge Solis, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Jose Rojas.
The only big win of Alvarado’s career was against Jayson Velez. He has losses to the likes of Manuel Avila, Andrew Cancio, Joseph Diaz, Eric Hunter, Rocky Juarez, Jezreel Corrales, and Orlando Rizo.
The inactivity would be a bigger concern for Gamboa if he was facing a tougher opponent, but Alvarado lost to nearly every big name opponent he has ever faced and Saturday will be no different.
David Lemieux (36-3) vs. Curtis Stevens (29-5); Middleweight
Lemieux and Stevens are both hard hitting middleweights with knockout power who put on exciting fights for their fans. They both also suffered stoppage defeats to the current middleweight kingpin, Gennady Golovkin.
This is a must win fight for both boxers if they want to fight for a world title in the near future. Lemieux will have about a two and a half inch height advantage but will be giving up an inch and a half in reach to Stevens. Lemieux is three years younger than Stevens and has been more active. Lemieux fought twice in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Stevens fought twice in 2016 and zero times in 2015.
They both has successful amateur careers as Lemieux was a three time Canadian Amateur Champion while Stevens was the 2002 US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion.
Lemieux and Stevens are both known for their power, but Lemieux has to be given the edge in this department. He has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Stevens has stopped twenty one. They both can be stopped as Stevens was stopped twice in his career while Lemieux has two stoppage losses.
Lemieux has beaten the likes of Glen Tapia, Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Hernando Guerrero, Jose Miguel Torres, Elvin Ayala, and Hector Camacho Jr. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Jachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.
Stevens has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa, Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Elvin Ayala, and Darnell Boone. His losses were to losses to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gennady Golovkin, Jesse Brinkley, Andre Dirrell, Marcos Primera (later avenged).
This could be a very entertaining fight, but Lemieux has the stronger amateur background, appears to be the stronger puncher, and has been considerably more active than Stevens recently. Stevens could win by stoppage, but momentum is on Lemieux’s side.
Vargas-Berchelt, Miura-Roman, Provide Great Night Of Boxing On HBO
By: Sean Crose
Super featherweight Takashi Miura (30-3-2) returned to American television screens on Saturday as he kicked off HBOs first Boxing After Dark broadcast of 2017 by facing Miguel Roman. Although Roman had a record of 56-11, he hadn’t lost a fight since 2012 and would undoubtedly move on to big things should he beat the Japanese action fighter in their scheduled 12 round bout at the Fantasy Springs Casino in California.
Miura moved forward early, cautiously moving in on his prey. Still, round one proved to be a feeling out process for both fighters. No fireworks went off in the second. In the third, the men exchanged heavy blows. The action continued throughout the fourth. Indeed, it looked towards the very end of that round that Roman might actually be in trouble. By the middle of the fifth, however, Roman started coming on strong. It was shaping up to be a truly grinding affair.
By the end of the sixth, a cut Miura looked like he might be in danger. He was back in the seventh, however, and the war continued. Still, it looked like
Roman may have been pulling ahead (albeit slightly). The eighth-round looked more like a brawl than a boxing match and the ninth showed Miura screaming each time he tossed a thunderous shot at his foe. Roman, however, kept swinging. It may not have been a great fight, but there was no doubt the combatants were engaged in a war of attrition.
The grind continued throughout the tenth. With seconds left in the round, however, Roman hit the canvas, courtesy of a stabbing body shot from Miura. Roman, however, was able to beat the count, who knows how. Halfway through the eleventh, however, Miura put Roman down again, this time with a combination of shots. Again, though, Roman got back to his feet. Roman went down for the third time early in the twelfth, though, and this time the game warrior didn’t get up.
It was the epitome of a hard-earned victory for Miura.
A few minutes later, the main event began. Miguel Berchelt (30-1) stepped into the ring to challenge undefeated WBC super featherweight champ Francisco Vargas (23-0-2). The first round was a sharp three minutes, with both men landing crisp, accurate punches. Berchelt landed quite effectively in the second and even appeared to have Vargas hurt. Vargas, however, returned the favor before Berchelt wrapped up the round with hard, clean shots. It was a thrilling chapter.
It continued to be a slugfest throughout the third. It looked like it might come down to which fighter had better stamina. Vargas was being as tough and as game as they come, but Berchelt was cracking more effectively in the fourth. Vargas came back alive in the first half of the fifth, however. Yet Berchelt was determined to make the night his. It continued to be a grueling affair throughout the sixth.
Both men were still landing well in the seventh. Berchelt’s punches were stronger, but Vargas’ landed with more frequency. By the end of that round, however, Berchelt’s output picked up, giving him the edge. By the eighth, it was clear that Berchelt’s superior strength was telling the tale. It was a tough, indeed a brutal, fight, but Berchelt was proving to be the better man.
By the ninth, Vargas was bleeding profusely. A cut that had opened earlier was now flowing horribly. Vargas was also getting banged up bad by his opponent. The referee wisely called time and the doctor allowed the fight to continue. No matter how things turned out, it was clear Vargas was some kind of athlete to keep going as he was. The referee called in the doctor again at the beginning of the tenth. And once again, Vargas was allowed to continue. By the eleventh, the HBO team was openly and very firmly complaining that the fight was being allowed to continue. And, with less than a minute left in the round, the referee put a stop to things.
Berchelt, the new champ, had been brilliant…and Vargas had gone out like a warrior (though the fight could well have been stopped sooner).
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Francisco Vargas vs. Miguel Berchelt, Takashi Miura vs. Mickey Roman
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO will present two fights on their Boxing After Dark Series to run against the Showtime card that features a rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton.
Saturday’s card will feature two bouts in the Super Featherweight Division live from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Golden Boy Promotions will be the lead promoter on this event.
The two bouts on the card will be a WBC Junior Lightweight Title fight between Francisco Vargas and challenger Miguel Berchelt. The co-main event of the evening will be between Takashi Miura and Miguel “Mickey” Roman in a WBC Junior Lightweight Title eliminator.
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Takashi Miura (30-3-2) vs. Mickey Roman (56-11); Junior Lightweight
This should be a fan friendly fight and both boxers are known for their power. The winner of this bout will likely face the winner of the main event in the near future.
Miura has twenty three stoppage wins and two stoppage losses. Roman has been on a tear recently and has forty three stoppage wins and only one stoppage loss, including six straight wins by stoppage. However, Roman did not experience a lot of success early on in his career as evident in his eleven total losses.
Miura will be one year older than Roman, and will also be about an inch and a half taller. Miura is a southpaw and Roman fights out of an orthodox stance so we have a fight that will likely feature numerous clashing of heads.
Roman, who hasn’t lost since 2012, has defeated the likes of Edgar Puerta, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Juan Carlos Salgado. However, he usually loses when he takes a step up in competition and has lost to the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Jonathan Victor Barros, Miguel Beltran, Antonio Escalante, Fernando Beltran, Javier Fortuna and other less descript opponents.
Miura has losses to Francisco Vargas, Takashi Uchiyama, and Yusuke Kobori. He has defeated the likes of Billy Dib, Edgar Puerta, Sergio Thompson, Gamaliel Diaz, and Yoshimitsu Yashiro.
At first glance this looks like a fight that Miura should win easily, but you can’t discount the success that Roman has had recently and his current string of stoppage victories. Miura should still be considered the favorite, but Roman will make it a tough decision for him to win.
Francisco Vargas (23-0) vs. Miguel Berchelt (30-1); WBC Junior Lightweight Title
This has the potential to be a barn burner and an early candidate for fight of the year.
Vargas, the current WBC Junior Lightweight Champion, is coming off of a majority draw in a crowd pleasing fight with the rugged Orlando Salido. Vargas only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, but he made his first fight in 2017 a tough one.
Vargas has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Berchelt is a three time Mexican National Boxing Champion as an amateur.
They both have power in their hands. Berchelt has twenty seven stoppage wins and his past four fights have come by stoppage. Vargas has seventeen stoppage victories and three of his past four fights resulted in a stoppage win.
Berchelt will be seven years younger than Vargas on fight night and will also have a one inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. Berchelt has also been more active than Vargas, he fought twice in 2016 and four times in 2015.
The difference between Vargas and Berchelt becomes most evident when comparing their professional resumes. Saturday will only be Berchelt’s second fight outside of Mexico as a professional. His notable victories include Suriya Tatakhun, Sergio Puente, Rene Gonzalez, and Oliver Flores. His lone loss was to Luis Eduardo Florez.
Vargas has defeated the likes of Takashi Miura, Will Tomlinson, Juan Manuel Lopez, Abner Cotto, Jerry Belmontes, and Brandon Bennett.
This is an interesting matchup, especially since Berchelt has some heavy power in his hands and is a three time Mexican National Champion that has very limited exposure to the American audience. But, Vargas is the better tested fighter and is still in the midst of his prime.
It’s possible that Vargas will be overlooking Berchelt and will be looking forward to his rematch with Orlando Salido, but it appears unlikely that Berchelt will walk away with an upset victory.
In a very boring affair, Luis Ortiz wins by Unanimous Decision
By: Matthew N. Becher
Live from the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco, an afternoon edition of HBOs Boxing After Dark presented a heavyweight fight between Malik Scott (38-2-1 13KO) against the man who is mostly seen as the most avoided Heavyweight in the world, Luis Ortiz(25-0 22KO).
Scott has been very vocal on social media that he is constantly working towards the top of the division and in his own words “rebuilding rome brick by brick”. Scott last fought a year ago in October of 2015 against Tony Thompson and has only fought twice since losing a one round knockout to Deontay Wilder. Oritz will only be fighting for the 2nd time this year, with his last win coming against the same Tony Thompson in March of this year. Ortiz hasn’t been able to get very big named fighters to step in the ring with him, and recently took his talents to UK based Matchroom Boxing.
Both fighters were put in a position to get title shots with a win, either with the two current belt holders in Deontay Wilder (WBC) and/or Anthony Joshua (IBF). Also the titles that have been relinquished by the Lineal champion, Tyson Fury will be up for grabs in the near future. Ortiz already has a future fight date set up for one month away on December 10th.
Malik Scott came out jumping around the ring and clinching if Ortiz got even an inch to close. Ortiz twice put down his hands and gestured to Scott to come forward and actually fight. The referee was even inclined to make reference of Scotts no punching, running around the ring technique and asked Scott to engage.
The second and third rounds were more of the same with Scott moving around the ring with his back against the ropes. Ortiz, the stalker, began throwing
body shots, since Scott is trying his hardest to cover up his head and move away from Ortiz.
At around the two minute mark of the fourth round, both fighters clinched and Ortiz was able to land a left hand that dropped Scott. Scott tried to complain that it was a rabbit punch, and was even helped up by the referee. Scott went down one more time, which seemed like a very clean knockdown, but was waved off as a slip. Scott asked the ref to help him up with both gloves outstretched. Scott has little bounce left in his legs and seems to already be looking for a way out of this fight.
Within the first 45 seconds of the 5th round Ortiz dropped Scott again with a nice left hand. Scott was able to get up, but did nothing for the rest of
The 9th round showed a big body shot that dropped Scott within 30 seconds of the round. It was the only knockdown where he couldn’t accuse Ortiz of landing
a rabbit punch.
Ortiz did not look very sharp, maybe because of his long layoff or because he is 37, but he never put his shots together, looking only for the big
left hand knockout. Scott never looked like a fighter that wanted to fight, but rather survive, not get hurt and make a paycheck. A fight that was supposed
to be a coming out party for the new Ortiz/Matchroom partnership looked more like a dud. The brightside is, maybe one of these top heavyweights will see this
as an opportunity to take on Ortiz, and a big fight can get made.
120-105, 120-106, 119-106 (Ortiz UD12)
HBO Boxing After Dark Results: Lomachenko and Verdejo Shine with Stunning Knockout Victories
By: William Holmes
The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City has long been a venue to showcase upcoming boxers that are on the cusp of stardom.
Tonight was no different as Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Vasyl Lomachenko competed in two separate fights on the HBO televised portion of the card.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The annual Puerto Rican Parade was held today and as is customary for Top Rank Promotions, they promoted a card that featured several fighters of Puerto Rican decent. Zou Shiming, Christopher Diaz, and Julian Rodriguez highlighted the undercard with easy wins against over matched opponents.
The first televised bout of the night was between Felix Verdejo (21-0) and Juan Jose Martinez (25-2) for the WBO Latino Lightweight Championship.
Verdejo, as expected, had most of the fans in attendance supporting him and was greeted warmly by the crowd.
Verdejo was sharp with his jab in the first round and the crowd was boisterous in their support of him. Both boxers showed good upper body movement in the first round, but Verdejo had the quicker hands and was able to move Martinez when he landed his jab.
Martinez was pushing forward in the second round, but was unable to get inside and land any effective punches. Verdejo was beginning to throw more combinations in the second round with moderate success.
Verdejo looked very sharp in the third round and was able to land some hard counter right hands. He was also able to open up a cut by the right eye of Martinez. Verdejo focused more to the body in the fourth round and
was able to out maneuver his opponent.
Verdejo employed his lead left hook as a counter in the fifth round to keep Martinez at bay. He badly hurt Martinez with a combination that ended with a right cross that sent him stumbling back towards the ropes. He unleashed a flurry of punches on Martinez, who did not throw any punches back, and forced the referee to jump in and stop it.
Felix Verdejo remained undefeated with a TKO stoppage win at 2:40 of the fifth round.
A touching tribute to Muhammad Ali was shown in between the end of the co-main event of the beginning of the main event, and it brought the crowd to it’s feet.
The main event of the night was between Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2) and Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1) for the WBO Junior Lightweight Championship.
Lomachenko was the favorite entering the bout and the crowd was evenly split between supporters of Lomachenko and supporters of Martinez. The theatre was extremely loud during the fighter introductions.
Lomachenko, a southpaw, was pressing the action in the opening round and was able to sneak in a few straight left hands. He was showing good head movement and Martinez was fighting while moving backwards in the opening round.
Martinez was able to land some good body shots and straight right hands in the second round, but Lomachenko’s amazing footwork was on full display in the second round as he was able to land combinations and quickly circle out of danger before Martinez could counter effectively.
Lomachenko’s superior footwork enabled him to land hard straight left hands and uppercuts in the third round, and he finished the round with a crisp straight left to the face of Martinez. Lomachenko’s dominance continued in the fourth round, except for this time his straight left hands were snapping the head of Martinez backwards.
Martinez pressed the action in the fifth round but Lomachenko made him pay dearly with a hard right hook that sent him to the mat and knocked him out.
Vasyl Lomachenko put on an amazing performance with a knockout at 1:09 of the fifth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Juan Carlos Rivera (7-0) wins by TKO at 0:49 of the sixth round over Heriberto Delgado (11-5-1) in the featherweight division.
Michael Reed (19-0) defeated Abraham Cordero (13-3-1) in the super lightweight division by TKO at 2:29 of the sixth round.
Julian Rodriguez (13-0) defeated Adam Mate (18-10) in the welterweight division by first round TKO at 2:27.
Christopher Diaz (17-0) defeated Neftali Campos (11-2) by TKO in the featherweight division at 2:33 of the eighth round.
Jose Gonzalez (3-0-1) fought to a majority draw with Sean Acosta (0-2-1) by scores of 39-37 Gonzalez, 38-38 on the other two cards.
Zou Shiming (8-1) defeated Jozsef Ajtai (15-3) by decision with scores of 100-89 on all three scorecards for the WBO International Flyweight Championship.