Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, announced today that he has entered into an exclusive agreement to work with manager / advisor Al Haymon.The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career. Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership and will have Pacquiao appear on the Premier Boxing Champions series. Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
MP Promotions will also work with Al Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.
“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’m reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner,” said Pacquiao. “My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career.”
“MP Promotions is very excited about this last phase of Senator Manny’s Hall of Fame Career. We look forward to launching this new relationship with Manny’s first world title defense,” said Joe Ramos, who heads MP Promotions. “I would also like to acknowledge matchmaker Sean Gibbons, legal counsel Tom Falgui, and Senator Manny’s aide Steve Jumalon for their tireless efforts and invaluable advice.”
Pacquiao, a three-time Fighter of the Year and Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will return to the ring early next year. The fight, which will be announced soon, will be co-promoted by MP Promotions and TGB Promotions.
With Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duerte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in attendance (the first time two heads of state attended a championship boxing event), Pacquaio regained the welterweight title for a fourth time on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by knocking out defending WBA champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round.
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
By: Michael Kane
There are widespread reports that Manny Pacquiao has signed with Al Haymon, leading to a fight with Adrian Broner before a potential re match with Floyd Mayweather.
According to a SPIN.ph source, said to be a member of Pacquiao’s inner circle, a fight with Broner is expected in the second week of January.
This news has set in motion a chain of events in the UK, where Amir Khan had been hoping to face Pacquiao.
It now would appear that a long awaited fight between Amir Khan and Kell Brook is in the works.
Former IBF welterweight champion Brook has had his eye on Khan for a while, however until now Khan has never shown too much interest.
Eddie Hearn, Khan and Brook’s promoter told SKY Sports , “It’s the first time where we’ve probably actively negotiated and it has never happened before.
“Probably in five years trying to make this fight we’ve never been at a stage where we are actually going back and forth with information, planning fates, and things like that.
“There is a long way to go, but I do believe now that both guys have got it in their head that the fight will happen in February or March next year.
“Kell will probably box in Sheffield on December 8. He hasn’t boxed since March Amir obviously just boxed and I am hopeful and excited that this fight, that has eluded us for so long, could be close to happening.”
It’s been suggested by Khan that Brook has agreed to a 10 pound rehydration clause however Hearn said thats not been agreed as yet.
Brook is the current WBC Silver Super Welterweight Champion and has faced Gennady Golovkin at middleweight.
“Kell would like to fight at 150 lbs but Amir has got a point: ‘ I am a welterweight, if you want this fight, come to my weight’ and Kell can make 147.” Said Hearn.
“He’s already in camp and has been for a long time because he knows he can’t afford to make any mistakes if he’s going to make 147.
“He can make it, there is talk of a rehydration clause but nothing is confirmed on that.
“It’s not going to be easy, both guys are going to want their advantages going into this fight, but I just want to get it made.
“When those two come face to face and we announce that fight it’s going to be a very special moment for British Boxing, so fingers crossed we can get it over the line.”
By Jake Donovan
Less than a month after teasing the possibility of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao has made the first significant move toward clearing any hurdles.
Heavy rumors have swirled about the former eight-division titlist joining forces with Mayweather’s longtime adviser, Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions outfit. Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco was the first to break the story on Wednesday, which has since gained considerable momentum despite a single source willing to go on record to verify.
It been suggested that Pacquiao’s first fight under the PBC umbrella can come as early as next January.
Several PBC representatives have declined comment to BoxingInsider.com on the subject, although also didn’t dismiss such rumors.
The development would be the latest in a series of significant boxing power moves within the past few months. As far as stateside boxing content goes, there are three major entities currently controlling the landscape: Haymon’s PBC series, which recently renewed lucrative, long-term pacts with Showtime and Fox/FS1; Eddie Hearn through subscription-based DAZN USA streaming service; and Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank outfit is the primary content provider for ESPN and its ESPN+ streaming app.
Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expired earlier this year. His last fight officially promoted by Top Rank came last July, when he suffered a shocking and highly controversial split decision defeat to Jeff Horn in Australia. The bout ended his third reign as a welterweight titlist, also snapping a two-fight win streak following his loss to Mayweather.
The final piece of business between the two came in his July knockout win over Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Top Rank didn’t directly promote the event, but offered live coverage on ESPN+ after Pacquiao’s MP Promotions missed numerous deadlines to distribute through Pay-Per-View.
There remained little doubt as to their going separate ways when Pacquiao (or more likely a team member speaking on his behalf) took to social media to demand money owed by Top Rank for U.S. TV rights to the aforementioned event. The issue was quickly resolved, followed by confirmation that Pacquiao would take his career in a different direction.
Later that very week, the legendary southpaw from Philippines joined in with Mayweather in trolling the boxing community in suggesting a rematch to their May ’15 blockbuster event was in the works.
The declaration came on the morning of the September 15 rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, leading many to believe it was simply yet another stunt by Mayweather designed to steal attention from a Golden Boy Promotions event. Mayweather came out of retirement last summer to face UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor, staging the event three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing more than three times as many PPV buys.
Once Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39KOs) joined in on the fun—posting “No Excuses #50-1”—skepticism quickly switched to curiosity as to whether it was actually going to happen.
Their first fight destroyed all box office numbers within the sport, setting benchmarks that will likely never be surpassed in this lifetime. Even if the rematch doesn’t happen, Pacquiao agreeing to do business with Haymon and PBC opens up a number of future possibilities. Most of the best welterweights in the world—including Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia—all fight under the PBC umbrella.
It also opens the door for Pacquiao to secure U.S. TV dates for his MP Promotions stable, which sources in the Philippines claim as an additional motivating factor.
Though far from substantiated, a potential first fight for Pacquiao could come versus former four-division titlist Adrien Broner. Where such a fight would land depends on the willingness of PBC’s chief two outlets – Showtime and Fox – ponying up the necessary funds to avoid having to go PPV in back-to-back months, with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury locked in for December 1 on Showtime PPV live from Los Angeles, California.
A far less expensive route could see him instead take a fight with a PBC second-tier welterweight such as Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Josesito Lopez or John Molina Jr.
Whatever is Pacquiao’s next move, it will come with an entirely new team in place.
The future Hall of Famer—who turns 40 in December—parted ways with trainer Freddie Roach earlier this year, thus ending a 17-year run with the Hollywood-based cornerman. Under Roach’s tutelage, Pacquiao managed to win titles in seven weight classes together (winningthe lineal flyweight champion prior to hooking up with Roach) and enjoyed a mercurial rise to superstardom.
His fight with Matthysse came with longtime assistant Buboy Fernandez as his head trainer, who will presumably serve in that role for as long as Pacquiao continues with his career. Along with Roach and Arum no longer along for the ride, BoxingScene.com has reported that Pacquiao has also cut ties with longtime manager Michael Koncz.
By: Sean Crose
Just a few short years ago it all might have seemed so absurd. Time has a way of changing things, though, and now what once may have been nearly unthinkable appears to be a real possibility. For Manny Pacquiao is reportedly teaming up with Al Haymon. Not just teaming up with the mysterious boxing guru, but signing with the man. Nothing is official yet, but numerous outlets are claiming the Filipino icon is onboard with the individual Floyd Mayweather himself credits as being a powerful advisor. It was Haymon who was by Mayweather’s side during negotiations for his 2015 superbout with Pacquiao, just as it is Haymon who helms the PBC, with its lucrative and notable collection of star fighters.
What’s obvious is that, if the reports are true, Pacquiao is clearly on his way to a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. The first bout between the two men was widely viewed as a dud, though it broke financial records. A rematch wouldn’t be nearly as lucrative, but it would still attract vast amounts of eyeballs while bringing down vast sums of money. Needless to say, the internet is completely abuzz. Some are claiming that Pacquiao will first face the notorious Adrien Broner before having a rematch with Mayweather. That would make sense, as Broner is also one of Haymon’s fighters.
One thing is certain about the reclusive Haymon – he situates the top fighters he advises to earn vast sums of money. Pacquiao, famously generous and in trouble with the IRS here in the states, has a reputation of always being in need of massive paychecks. If the rumors are true, he may well have found just the ticket to make those financial dreams a reality. There is great irony to the entire situation, as Pacquiao was long associated with longtime Haymon rival, Top Rank Promotions honcho Bob Arum.
Boxing Insider will be sure to keep reader abreast of this developing story.
By: Bryant Romero
Boxing Insider was able to catch up and talk boxing with the “Bobfather” Bob Arum CEO of Top Rank to discuss numerous topics surrounding the boxing world. In this sit down interview, Arum gives his thoughts on the disappointing Heavyweight unification bout between Joshua vs Parker, Pacquiao’s contract status with Top Rank, how he plans to do business with Al Haymon fighters, he also gives more details about the new ESPN plus app and so much more.
Photo Credit: Bob Arum Twitter Account
BR: I wanted to get your thoughts on the heavyweight unification matchup between Joshua and Parker were you surprised it wasn’t as explosive?
Bob Arum: “Well yea, I thought it would be a lot more explosive the fight. They both fought an extremely cautious fight and when that happens, the bigger guy has an advantage. Particularly a guy who is getting his jabs in like Joshua was more frequently than Parker. The downside it wasn’t a very exciting fight.”
BR: When it comes to Joshua’s performance, did that change your opinion of what will happen between a potential Joshua/Wilder fight?
BA: “No it has nothing to do with it. That’s sorta silly, I think Joshua is the better schooled fighter than Wilder. Wilder has a lot of flaws as a boxer, on other hand in the heavyweight division Wilder has more one punch power than any of the other heavyweights. So that makes it an intriguing match, but Joshua is a much better boxer than Wilder.”
BR: I wanted to talk about Manny Pacquiao’s next fight Bob, it’s been finalized for July 14th in Malaysia. What was the difference between this fight getting finalized? In the past Pacquiao tried to make fights outside of the United States.
BA: “Well, I guess the people that Pacquiao was dealing with and he dealt with them directly, put up the money and previously the people talked the money but never put it up. It’s as simple as that.”
BR: So they were able to show the money?
BA: “Yea apparently, they put up some initial deposits, which convinced everybody and because of the size of the deposits, that they were sincere and that the fight would go through.”
BR: Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor he made some statements to the press recently that he didn’t want to comment on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank. Would you be able to provide some comments on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank?
BA: “Well we have a very very good relationship with Manny. We can talk contracts from today till tomorrow but that seems like its controversial. There isn’t (controversy) for example in this fight. We’re not putting up the money, Manny got the money himself from Malaysia. Our role is to distribute the television, particularly in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and we’re happy with that.
“If Manny was looking to break his contract with us, he would’ve broken it by not having us being involved I assume. And now he’s talking if he wins this fight, fighting Lomachenko who is our fighter and we will be happy to promote a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight if that occured because that would be huge.”
BR: If Pacquiao defeats Matthysse Bob,would a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight take place in the United States?
BA: “That’s up to Manny. Obviously for me having it in the United States is preferable because that’s where the PPV market is and that’s where were most comfortable. But there is a substantial tax that a foreigner has to pay in the U.S. withholding and Manny may not be amenable to doing that in which case he’ll look to hold the fight outside the country. If we or he find people who put up the money for the site.”
BR: Bob you’re going to be traveling to Japan tomorrow to watch your fighter Murata. If he wins is there any real possibility of him fighting GGG at the Tokyo Dome this year?
BA: “I don’t know. The plan is if he wins to bring him this summer to Las Vegas to defend his title in Las Vegas and then we can certainly have that discussion with Loeffler and Golovkin. Right now is very difficult to discuss anything with them because the question is will there be a September fight between Golovkin and Canelo? And that’s something they can’t answer and we can’t answer until Nevada holds the hearing.”
BR: In your opinion does that fight (Canelo/GGG 2) get rescheduled?
BA: “I have no idea, I have no idea what the commision is going to do. They have a provision that the penalty is a minimum of 1 year, but they could cut it in half on various circumstances. If it’s a year, obviously the fight can’t happen, if they agree to cut it in half so it’s 6 months the fight can happen. Again I don’t know what the commision is going to do and even if the commission finds that the suspension is over in 6 months, maybe Golovkin doesn’t want anything to do with Alvarez.”
BR: Bob I wanted to get your comments about this. You recently revealed to the press not too long ago that Al Haymon fighters are practically free agents and promoters can approach them. Where are you in that situation? Are you close to signing any high-profile Haymon Fighters?
BA: “Your talking signing, we’re talking about using them on a fight by fight basis. Maybe we will sign them. We have an obligation to ESPN to put the best fights on the network and now on the ESPN Plus and to make the best fights. We have to go to other promoters to get their talent and place them with guys under contract with us. Certainly we will use Al’s fighters just the way we use Oscar’s fighters.
“We made Lomachenko/Linares and it was a provision of service agreement with Golden Boy for Linares. But we don’t have any contractual rights to Linares going forward and that’s fine. In other words, because if a fighter is fighting for Haymon, doesn’t mean if he makes a deal with us to fight one of our fighters or somebody else on our ESPN broadcast that they have to sign with us for the rest of their lives or even an additional fight.”
BR: Let’s talk a little bit about Horn/Crawford it has been rescheduled. I’m really looking forward to this fight Bob what do your matchmakers tell you about this fight? Do they tell you that Horn can beat Crawford?
BA: “No, they think that Crawford is probably either the best or one of the two best fighters in the world, even though he’s going up in weight. They’re anxious to see how he’s going to do against a much bigger guy because Horn is really a super-welterweight. He’s a big big welterweight and that’ll be interesting and he’s gutty rough guy. But as far as my Top Rank matchmakers are concerned, everybody at Top Rank, our position, our belief is that Crawford is unbeatable.”
BR: Could you give me some of your thoughts about Horn’s team comments? They don’t believe Crawford suffered an injury and they’re frustrated that the date couldn’t be changed.
BA: “Fighters who are training or are getting ready to train, when a fight is postponed because of an injury to the other guy, always feel that they’re being taken advantage of and say ‘I’m feeling great, I’m in good shape why is not this fight not happening?’ And they then take that and accuse the opponent of shaming an injury. Well I’ll tell you that it’s absolutely ridiculous, at least in Crawford’s case. We know exactly when it happened, that he was sparring and how it happened.
“At first I sent him to our orthopedic guy in Los Angeles and then he went out to Omaha to be treated by his orthopedic doctor and we know that in fact there was an injury. I give Crawford credit saying look ‘I’m not going to fight anybody with an injury to my hand. Not fair to me, and not fair to the public and I need some more time and then the hand will come around which it did. And that’s why the fight was postponed it’s as simple as that. I mean they (Horn’s team) can speculate all they want. I know what the facts are.”
BR: Lets talk a little bit about Lomachenko/Linares, how are tickets going for that event?
BA: “They’re sensational we’re opening up this weekend the balcony in Madison Square Garden and we’re looking to fill the place with at least over 15,000 people there. Tickets are going unbelievable and our gate will be well in excess of $2 million and it might exceed $2.5 million.”
BR: Can Lomachenko NoMasChenko Linares?
BA: “That remains to be seen. Linares I’ve always watched him because Mr. Honda my friend from Japan of Teiken Promotions has been the guy to develop Linares and co-promoted him with Golden Boy. So I’ve known Linares for years and I’ve always admired his ability, he’s a terrific fighter, he’s very experienced, and he’s much bigger than Loma, so it will be a real test.
“That being said, I also don’t believe there is anybody on the face of the earth 135 pounds or less that can beat Lomachenko. So we will see.”
BR: What’s next for Jose Ramirez?
BA: “Jose Ramirez is going to fight in July. The guy Prograis has the right to fight him in July. Both fighters may opt to take interim fights before they move on. That’s being discussed now and we’ll see how that comes out. If Prograis’s people say no they want to go right to the title fight, we’re happy to do that, so that’ll become clear sometime next week.”
BR: I wanted to talk a little bit about your light heavyweight Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk he’s in line to fight Stevenson Vs Jack winner what’s the better matchup for the nail?
BA: “Well I think Stevenson is the better matchup, Badou Jack is a slick guy, he’s come up to light heavyweight. He doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Stevenson, but he’s much more maneuverable and I think he creates bigger problems for Gvozdyk than Stevenson. I think Stevenson now particularly at his age is more stationary and Gvozdyk takes a terrific punch and I look for him to win that fight quite handily. Badou Jack is a tougher fight but I also like my guy.”
BR: Who wins Stevenson vs Jack?
BA: “The one thing I don’t know, you don’t know, and none of us know is what happens when Stevenson hits Badou Jack on the chin? Can he take what is a powerful punch, much more powerful than any punch he’s (Jack) probably taken with anybody else, so we’ll have to see. It’s a good fight, it’s an interesting fight, it’s very competitive.”
BR: Can you talk a little bit about the ESPN Plus app it’s about to drop on April 12th how did this come about?
BA: “Well ESPN and Disney believe that the future of delivering product whether it’s entertainment on Disney’s part or sports from ESPN that the future is direct to consumer. And they’ve been working on this package for a number of years, they’ve invested billions of dollars in the technical aspects of it. So we are very fortunate to have been selected to supply the boxing for this package which I think really represents the future.”
BR: With this new app in place will fights still be aired, televised on the regular ESPN channel?
BA: “The way it’s setup is approximately half will go on linear (ESPN) as we call it and the other half will go on ESPN Plus.”
BR: Is there anything else you like to add Bob?
BA: “It’s very exciting times and I would say as that press release said if a fight airs on regular ESPN, it will be shown on the delay basis every fight on ESPN Plus. If you don’t catch it live on ESPN and you have your subscription to ESPN plus, you will be able to watch the fight on a delay basis.”
Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor: A Boxing Match or a Circus?
By: Kirk Jackson
Much to the chagrin of Golden Boy Promter Oscar De La Hoya, it appears the fantasy match-up featuring retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and current UFC superstar Conor McGregor is going to happen…
August 26 is the suggested date for the proposed bout; although it may be a smokescreen for another Mayweather Promotions fight.
Even if the event is to take place at a later date, the fight appears well to be on its way.
Both Mayweather and McGregor have huge followings, are viewed as brash-talking, villainous entertainers and are the marquee stars of their respective sports.
It’s easily argued McGregor followed the Mayweather path to success and will now capitalize earning his largest pay day to date fighting the “Money” man himself, Floyd Mayweather.
Over the last year or so, each fighter strategically provided commentary and perspective on this proposed clash of pugilistic wits;injecting their insults and feverishly attempting to lure casual fans into forking over cash to witness this monstrosity of a mismatch.
As fighters, Mayweather and McGregor possess enormous egos. It’s even amusing, listening to Mayweather suggest McGregor actually stands a chance in the boxing ring with him.
“Only time McGregor has been defeated was when he was on the ground,” Mayweather said during the interview on Sirius XM.
“When he was standing up, he always was victorious. He’s [McGregor] a power puncher. He’s a tough competitor. I’m a tough competitor, and we have to go out there and give the world and the fans what they want to see: Excitement.”
Excitement as in the build-up to the fight… absolutely.Excitement as of action inside the ring… ehh probably not.
Mayweather and McGregor realize the amount of money they can make based on the perceptions of what can actually happen, even though in reality, this looks like a lopsided mismatch.
As terrible as this match-up sounds on paper and will evidently translate to a poor aesthetic viewing once it manifests, the fighters and organizers of this spectacle are simply capitalizing on demand and perception.
Mayweather hit the nail on the head regarding this contest. “The fans want this fight. The fans have been asking for this fight,” Mayweather said.
“It’s all about entertainment. He’s [McGregor] very entertaining. He’s very outspoken like myself. So let’s give the fans what they want to see.”
A fight featuring Mayweather and McGregor stands to potentially earn half a billion dollars; factoring in all of the marketing opportunities.
This is a cash grab, a circus. This is a mere exhibition, a mere con, if we want to be mean.
As viewers, even though this is a terrible match-up, we will undoubtedly watch. This will be like watching a slow, yet entertaining car-wreck.
Leaving out the seriousness and fan boy-ism of this event may work wonders for the soul and may help ease our eyes as we witness the disaster.
This is depicted as a tragedy because this event features a retired, 40-year-old boxing genius against an inexperienced, mixed martial arts world champion, inside the boxing ring.
McGregor struggled in sparring sessions against welterweight challenger Chris Van Heerden, how can we possibly imagine McGregor having some degree of success against a 12-time, five division and undefeated world champion? Unless Mayweather decides to throw the fight…
Frustration for this match-up is understandable, but the same frustration should be echoed if Manny Pacquiao is fighting Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight championship.
The same frustration should be expressed when lopsided mismatches take place in the UFC; Anderson Silva vs. Daniel Cormier (I know it was a substitution but still) or other countless mismatches headed by Dana White and company.
The market can dictate what we, the spectator (fan, media) wants to see. Should we boycott Mayweather vs. McGregor as De La Hoya suggests?
Oscar would have an argument if his interests were genuine. It wasn’t too long ago, he suggested a meeting of the red heads (Conor vs. Canelo[Alvarez]).
“Imagine, Conor McGregor and Golden Boy coming together,” said De La Hoya about McGregor.
“But the only fight I’d love to see and the one that makes the most sense, that would be the most exciting, that would be a guaranteed knockout is against Canelo Alvarez.”
The momentum and potential cash grab behind Mayweather and McGregor may be too large to overcome in regards to boycotting. Not to suggest boycotting is the move here.
Everyone involved is entitled to earn their money how they see fit, just as we have the right to bypass the spectacle by not watching.
But when the circus is in town, usually a crowd follows.
Showtime World Championship Results: Adonis Stevenson Blitzes Past Fonfara, Alvarez Defeats Pascal
By: William Holmes
Reigning WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal fought again in the familiar confines of the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada as he defended his title against an opponent he had difficulty with before, Polish light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara.
The opening bout of the evening was between former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1) and the undefeated prospect Eleider Alvarez (22-0). Despite Pascal’s recent losses, he still remains a popular boxer in Canada.
Alvarez, the taller fighter, took the center of the ring in the opening round and was sharp with his jab and the more aggressive boxer early. Pascal rallied late in the first round with some good shots to the body and may have stolen that round.
Alvarez’s straight right hand forced Pascal to clinch in the second round and was able to land some hard uppercuts. His aggressiveness continued into the third round which featured a fierce exchange between both boxers as the round ended.
Pascal was warned for punching after the break in the fourth round as Alvarez’s sharp jab was forcing Pascal to hold on often. Alvarez’s jab continued to be effective in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds and were noticeable effecting Jean Pascal.
Pascal was able to land some good flurries in the eighth round including two right hooks to the temple and a double left hook. But Alvarez retook control in the ninth round and landed two head snapping right uppercuts that had Pascal hurt.
Pascal may have stolen the tenth and eleventh rounds with late flurries near the end of the rounds, but in the final round Alvarez looked like the fresher fighter and was able to close out the bout strong.
The final scores were 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112 for Eleider Alvarez.
The main event of the night was between WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson (28-1) and Andrzej Fonfara (29-4).
Fonfara started off aggressively and was coming at Stevenson with his jab, but his momentum was short lived. Stevenson landed his straight left and followed it up with a clubbing straight left that sent Fonfara down to the mat. Fonfara was able to get back to his feet, but Stevenson swarmed on Fonfara and landed several hard straight left hands that had Fonfara hurt. Stevenson was unloading on Fonfara by the corner as the opening round came to an end.
Stevenson landed several hard straight left hands to open up the second round and he had Fonfara backing up and not throwing many punches back towards Stevenson’s way. Virgil Hunter then stepped on the apron to stop the fight before his boxer would take any additional damage.
Adonis Stevenson destroys Andrzej Fonfara by TKO at 0:28 of the second round.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada Adonis Stevenson will take on Andrzej Fonfara for Adonis Stevenson’s WBC Light Heavyweight
Title in the main event of World Championship Boxing on Showtime.
Former world champion Jean Pascal will be the lead fight of the undercard as he takes on undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez.
Two other light heavyweight stalwarts, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, will meet in a few weeks on HBO Pay Per View. It seems logical that the winner of Saturday’s Stevenson and Fonfara bout will likely face the winner of the pay per view bout between Kovalev and Ward, at least it should happen for boxing fans worldwide.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Jean Pascal (31-4-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (22-0); Light Heavyweight
Eleider Alvarez is an intriguing prospect with a successful amateur background that includes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pascal is an ex-champion that has faced some legends in the sport. He also had a successful amateur background and won the Canadian Amateur Championships seven times and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Alvarez will have about an inch and a half height advantage as well as a three and a half inch reach advantage. They’re both nearing the end of their primes, with Pascal being thirty four years old and Alvarez being thirty three years old.
Pascal has defeated the likes of Ricardo Ramallo, Yunieski Gonzalez, Lucian Bute, George Blades, Chad Dawson, and Adrian Diaconu. His losses have come to Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, and Sergey Kovalev twice.
Alvarez opened up a lot of eyes with his knockout in his last bout against Lucian Bute. He has also defeated the likes of Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, and Edison Miranda. Alvarez has never tasted defeated.
Both boxers have average power, Pascal has stopped eighteen of his opponents while Alvarez has stopped eleven of his opponents.
Alvarez is an intriguing prospect, he’s undefeated with a deep amateur background but older than the age most people would consider someone to be a prospect. But his career trajectory is on the upswing, while Pascal’s appears to be on the downswing. For that reason this writer has to give the edge to Alvarez.
Adonis Stevenson (28-1) vs. Andrzej Fonfara (29-4); WBC Light Heavyweight Title
This bout is a rematch of their bout in May of 2014 that saw Stevenson win a close and tightly contested decision.
Since that bout Stevenson has gone on a tear, including winning three of his past four fights by stoppage. Fonfara was knocked out viciously and quickly by Joe Smith Jr., but was able to bounce back from that by defeating former world champion Chad Dawson.
Both boxers had moderate success as an amateur. Stevenson won the Canadian National Championship in 2005 and 2006. Fonfara competed regularly on the European circuit. Neither boxer competed in the Olympics.
Stevenson has considerable power and has stopped twenty three of his opponents. Fonfara has seventeen stoppage victories. Both boxers have at times been stopped. Stevenson was stopped by Darnell Boone while Fonfara was stopped twice.
Stevenson has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. Fonfara has defeated the likes of Chad Dawson, Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency and Glen Johnson.
Stevenson started late as a professional but is currently thirty nine years old. Fonfara is ten years younger at the age of twenty nine. Stevenson will be giving up a three and a half inch height advantage. They have the same reach.
Their first bout was close, but Fonfara is coming off a knockout loss. If this bout goes the distance Fonfara has a chance at winning as stamina favors him. But this writer believes Stevenson will walk away the victor and hopefully chase after the winner of Ward and Kovalev.
Mikey Garcia Prepares To Enter Boxing’s Elite Realm
By: Sean Crose
Now that Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia are set to fight at 140 lbs this summer, expect a whole ton of talk about whether or not Broner will rise to the occasion. I’ve no doubt I’ll be engaging in such talk myself. Broner is, if nothing else, a fascinating study: A tough, talented, colorful guy who essentially keeps stepping in it. Garcia, however, is fascinating in his own right. Of course, Garcia – unlike Broner – isn’t made of TMZ material. The guy’s a pro who goes about his life and business accordingly. In short, he’s Broner’s opposite.
The truth is that people prefer Broner to Garcia, whether they want to admit it or not, because Broner makes what they used to call “good copy.” In short, he’s showy. Garcia, talented though he is, is only showy if by showy you mean productive, hard working and well thought out in one’s opinions – in other words, the sorts of things the general public seems to get bored with. No matter. Garcia is on the verge of entering boxing’s elite realm – a strange place that requires more than talent and impressive wins. And he’ll enter that realm if he beats Broner convincingly. The Californian has a high end skill set, coupled with explosive power. All he needs is a win against a big name opponent.
And now that opponent has been lined up to face him.
Broner is no joke, though, no matter how it seems that he himself has tried to be over the years. He’s a formidable foe who, for whatever reason, has plateaued in his ring ability. That ring ability, however, is impressive. Broner is fast, he can hit, and he’s tough. Really tough. The man can, as Timex once claimed, take a licking and keep on ticking. Garcia’s never met anyone like him. Should Broner be at his best when he enters the ring this July, Garcia will have quite the mountain to climb if he wants to emerge victorious.
After spending years out of the sport, though, Garcia is clearly confident and ready for the challenge. Due to contractual problems, the man went over two years without a single fight. Since returning last July, however, Garcia has completely destroyed the competition, knocking out Elio Rojas in five and then demolishing Dejan Zlaticanin in frightening fashion within three. Yet Broner is clearly the biggest name the man has faced. And, as all fight fans know, big names lead to other big names, if, of course, you win.
That’s always as very big if.
Why Mayweather-McGregor Will (In All Likelihood) Be A Dud
By: Sean Crose
So, you’re a person who loves “big events.” You know, things like the Super Bowl and presidential debates. You’re not really into things like football and politics, but you still really dig the excitement of “the big moment.” Chances are you’re someone who would be interested in seeing Floyd Mayweather
fight Conor McGregor in a boxing match.
After all, that’s as big an event as society can come up with at the moment, and, again, you’re into such things. Truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s millions like you out there and you have nothing to be ashamed of, even when smart asses like myself come along and tell you why you’re interest is misguided. After all, each of us likes “big things” we know little about at one time or another. It’s why I watch the Kentucky Derby. My grandfather knew his stuff when it came to horse racing. Me, not so much. But I watch anyway. So if and when Mayweather-McGregor is made, I honestly hope you enjoy yourself.
There’s some things I think you should know first, though, primarily the fact that the bout will most likely be a dud. Unless you love all things Floyd Mayweather, or just want to see Conor McGregor become, as he himself likes to say, a punching bag with eyes, or simply enjoy seeing people be overwhelmed by physical force, then this fight will, in all likelihood, be a disappointment. Why? Well, there’s a variety of reasons, which I’ll break down for you. Don’t worry, I’m not about to engage in a pretentious diatribe, I’m just going to point some things out as a humble boxing writer with some experience under his belt.
First, and this is extremely important, BOXING IS NOT FIGHTING. Boxing is a sport. Sure, it used to be fighting once upon a time. Back in the 1800s, boxers were allowed to wrestle and toss each other around without gloves. In a sense, bare knuckle boxing, as it’s known, was a strange hybrid between modern boxing and modern MMA. Then, however, a Scottish nobleman called the Marquess of Queensberry came up with a set of rules. Fighters had to wear gloves. Also, things like wrestling and tossing your opponent around were no longer permitted. Boxing, in short, became a sport which focused on an exact skill set rather than on the utilization of various tools. And it remains so to this day.
MMA, on the other hand, is more like “real” fighting – though it, too, thankfully has its rules – because it allows assorted tools to be used in a contest. Punches can be weapons, but so can kicks and numerous other martial arts maneuvers. Boxing, though, just sticks to the punches. And boxers, like Liam Neeson in Taken, possess a very specific set of skills, skills which can make life hell for the likes of Conor McGregor. Sure, McGregor is known as a striker, but this time he’ll fight a guy who only strikes, who doesn’t have to worry about takedowns and kicks – like McGregor himself has throughout his career – whose been able to keep his mind entirely focused on one specific aspect of fighting for over two decades – and who has done it better than anyone.
Here’s an interesting story – back in 1892, the heavyweight champion of the world, John L Sullivan defended his title against Jim Corbett. Sullivan was a “real” fighter, a man who knew fighting to be a combination of punching and grappling. His opponent, Corbett, knew only boxing. He was considerably smaller than Sullivan and had never been in a “real” fight in his entire life. Easy boxing match to pick, right? It was if you had picked Corbett. He danced away from the tough guy for round after round, deftly popping Sullivan in the face in the process. Finally, Sullivan fell to the mat, thoroughly defeated. Corbett, the man who wasn’t a “real” fighter, the man who had only used his fists, had beaten the hell out of his opponent.
The truth is that tough guys rarely dominate in boxing. Yeah, the Tysons and Dempseys are popular – and with good reason – but it’s the guys who can be tough AND skilled who tend to REALLY rise above the crop, men like Ali and Leonard, Robinson, Pep and Roy Jones Junior. McGregor seems to be able to hit like a tough guy, but can he move about the ring – not the octagon, the ring – effectively, can he employ angles and head movements the way, say, Manny Pacquiao does? He better hope he can do those things better, because – let’s face it – Mayweather beat Pacquiao handily. Yeah, I hear some saying, but this is McGregor, the master of mind games! He beats his opponents with his verbal taunts before he even faces them! Tell that to Nate Diaz, who made McGregor tap out back in 2016. Also, Mayweather brings mind games of his own. Never mind Mayweather’s own tendency to taunt his opponents, he generally gives himself all the advantages before he even steps in the ring. I’m talking referee, location, the works. Has McGregor found the kind of boxing gloves he wants to wear? He better hope Floyd doesn’t make him switch to another pair just before the fight. Floyd does things like that.
Lastly, let’s focus on the small matters that can lead to a figurative death from a thousand cuts. Accuracy rules the day in boxing. Conor can hit Floyd ten times in a row, but if Floyd lands just two or three shots that happen to be more effective than Conor’s, the judges may well ignore Conor’s blows and reward Floyd for his single punches. It’s not the punches that count, after all – it’s their quality. And Floyd, lack of power aside, punches better than anyone. He’s also harder to hit than anyone. Oh, and if the fight goes the distance, McGregor will be fighting eleven full minutes longer than his longest MMA battle.
That’s over two full MMA rounds. By the way, Floyd likes to go the distance. Oh, and excitement isn’t really his thing, either, so he probably won’t be big on engaging McGregor in a blow for blow battle.
Perhaps McGregor will defy the odds and pull it off. Perhaps he’ll do what no one else has and land clean enough to really rattle his man. Perhaps he’ll manage to get in Floyd’s head enough to make Mayweather throw decades’ worth of professional and amateur experience out the window. Perhaps, on a more sinister note, Vegas will decide it wants more revenue from suburban whites and, in the end, give McGregor an undeserved decision win. All those things are entirely possible, after all.
They’re unlikely, though…and that’s something people should consider before hopping aboard this particular “big event” train.
Mikey Garcia vs. Vasyl Lomachenko: Who You Got?
By: Francisco Martinez
This past Saturday’s masterful performance by Hi-Tech Vasyl Lomachenko satisfied the boxing world as a whole and left us wanting more. Left us thinking who is Lomachenko? Some go as far as to say he’s The Matrix and his self proclaimed Hi-Tech skills or as he would say in other words, Lomachenko Style. A style confusing not just his rivals but the masses who have witnessed it and leaving expert perplexed as to who this phenom is comparable with and who out there can compete with the Hi-Tech inside the ring.
Quickly after his fight veteran boxing expert and long time HBO commentator Max Kellerman quickly asked him about 135lbs WBC champion Mikey Garcia who’s just 5lbs above his division of 130lbs making it a possible fight and one that’s at high demand. Lomachenko simply replied “I’m gonna go back home get some rest and then after that we’ll start negotiation with all the champions at 130lbs and if we can’t get anybody we can move to 135lbs and we’re gonna do damage out there to” as for a Mikey Garcia fight he says “I want to see that fight to. If this is the fight that I can make history with I want to make this fight right away”
One of the biggest fights to make this year but if it’s possible is another thing. Robert Garcia, trainer and brother of Mikey Garcia assures the people this fight will happen and doesn’t think past history with Top Rank promotions and Mikey Garcia will get in the way of making this highly anticipated fight but Mikey Garcia does warn and remind Vasyl Lomachenko that he is a “boss” and that he isn’t. He answers to his “boss” Bob Arum
“We can talk as much as we want but like I said in the end he has to talk to Bob Arum who’s his boss and talk to me. I already told everybody else I’m my own boss I can talk to Bob, bosses talk to each other. He can say all he wants but he’s got to talk to his boss first” Mikey Garcia now his own boss after a nasty 2 year court battle with Top Rank promotions and president, owner Bob Arum. Mikey proud of standing up for his rights as a athletes and let’s it known every time he gets a chance and in this case even pulls rank on 2 division champ Vasyl Lomachenko.
As heated and entertaining this fight is getting Mikey Garcia & Vasyl Lomachenko both do seem very interested in this match up as does Robert Garcia but warns Lomachenko that he should grow into 135lbs before stepping into the ring with Mikey as he feels Mikey will be “too big, too strong” for him right now at the moment “Me personally Lomachenko is my favorite fighter. Yeah he could challenge Mikey, Mikey could be challenging Pacquiao, Thurman and it doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. So when it does happen Mikey is too big and too strings for Lomachenko, you know and Lomachenko is my favorite fighter but I think Mikey is too big and strong for him. I can’t say rounds but I think Mikey is gonna hurt Lomachenko when they fight cause I do think they’ll fight”
A fight that Mikey Garcia’s father hopes will take place in 2 more fights for Mikey being that he wants that 2 year layoff completely dusted off of any ring rust that’s if any ring rust Mikey has which has not been seen in his 2 past fights since the layoff even producing what many think is the knockout of the year with Dejan Zlaticanin who many thought was the best 135lbs at that time. Mikey disposed of him in 3 rounds leaving him unconscious for a few minutes.
Mikey Garcia holds all the cards at this point of his career by being his own “boss” and having options from Vasyl Lomachenko to Terry Flanagan and Jorge Linares all possible fights along with other names like IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. who called out Mikey after his last outing. Mikey being in control of his career promises all his fans and supporters along with his biggest critics as well that the best is yet to come. Assuring this half of his career will be the better part.
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Thurman Made a Statement, but What Now for the Champ?
By Harry Hogg
Keith Thurman (28-0)claimed a split decision victory over Danny Garcia (33-1) in New York on Saturday night to unify the WBA (super) and WBC welterweight titles. The victoryin front a record crowd at the Barclays center consolidates Thurman’s position as the number one fighter in the 147lbs division.
Thurman’s display was well worth the victory, his incredible movement and eye catching punch power was there for all to see. In the end he was far too classy fora pretty ordinary Garcia, who seemed to lack any real ideas as to how to deal with Thurman.
Thurman’s performance was not without its flaws however. Seemingly cruising towards victory, Thurman faded late on giving Garcia the last few rounds. In the end this almost cost Thurman on the cards. He was in control for the majority of the fight and should have claimed the win unanimously. But his reluctance to engage late on and tendency to play safe almost backfired on the unbeaten American.
Never the less there is no denying he was the better fighter and deserved to be the first unifiedwelterweight champion since Floyd Mayweather in 2015. He was smart and picked his shots well, combined with some impressive footwork and movement, he was difficult to pin down for a largely inactive Garcia. The Philadelphiaman was resilient and kept coming forward, but very rarely troubledThurman.
What is next?
Thurman is now the number 1 fighter at 147, and is the man to beat. And while Garcia expressed his desire for a rematch, it is difficult to see this one happening again. The fight started well enough but never really kicked into gear, with Garcia leaving himself far too much to do in the later rounds.
But the American will surely be keeping a close eye on events in London in May, when Kell Brook defends his IBF belt against the dangerous Errol Spence Jr.The prospect of a second unification fight in a year would prove tempting for Thurman should he face the winner.
Or he could turn to the WBO champion in Filipino Legend Manny Pacquiao, whose April 23rd bout against Amir Khan is still without a venue.
Before any thoughts of another unification however, Lamont Peterson is likely to be announced as the next mandatory challenger for Thurman. Peterson, who picked up the WBA (regular) belt recently by beating David Avanesyan, would prove a tricky test for the new unified king.
The possibility of Thurman moving up to 154 would not be out of the question either. The champ looked bigger and stronger in comparison to Garcia on Saturday, and it would seem like he would have little trouble making the 154 limit. If he chooses to do so, a huge fight against Saúl Canelo Álvarez or Erislandy Laracould present itself.
Whatever Thurman decides do, he has put himself in a position of power and there are endless options open to him. He is the number one in the division and the route to welterweight supremacy will go through him.
Garcia v. Thurman: Was it truly a “Super-Fight”?
By: Matthew N. Becher
Now that the dust has settled and the fight has been fought, we can look back and ask if this weekend’s fight between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman deserved to be called a “Super Fight”. Thurman came away with his undefeated record still intact and left with both the WBA welterweight title (his going in) and the WBC title (Garcia’s). It was a relatively easy fight to score, but left us with little to remember, but could it still be considered a “super fight” with other aspects considered?
Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
First it definitely had the pre-fight night parameters to be considered in the spectrum of the all-time big name fights. You had two fighters (Garcia and Thurman) who are both in their prime age, both are undefeated and both have championship titles (Garcia in two weight classes). The stage was set for a big fight, the biggest two names in the same ring that Premier Boxing Champions have put together so far in their history. It was being compared to that of Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, who fought in September of 1981, 36 years ago. They were both also undefeated at the time and both fighting for the WBC/WBA welterweight titles. That is a fight which people still replay and talk about. That is a fight that echoes the lines of the great trainer Angelo Dundee, who repeatedly yelled at Leonard in the corner “you’re blowing it son”, as a tired Ray Leonard fought his way back to end up knocking out Hearns in a round that no longer even exists in today’s boxing world. So, yes, in the pre-fight promotion and stats, it was a “super-fight”.
Second. The ambiance of the venue and the fans was the biggest that the Barclays Center has ever seen. Every fighter, outside of Mayweather and Pacquiao were in attendance. From Bud Crawford to Amir Khan to Andre Ward to Lennox Lewis to every PBC fighter was ringside. Celebrities were all around, heck the Golden State Warriors basketball team (who were in town to play the NY Knicks the next night) were sitting in section 124 to catch the fight. It was packed. The overall attendance was 16,533, which is the record for a boxing match at the Brooklyn Arena, and it broke the previous record by over 2,000 people. The atmosphere was incredible. People were excited, people were showing up, people were talking boxing. So yes, in the overall setting of the fight, it had all the feelings that you were at a “super-fight”.
Next came the financials of the fight.
Tickets were all sold out. Numbers haven’t been announced as of writing this, but the live gate must have been close to $1.2-1.5 million which would also be a records for that arena. Each fighter made $2 million apiece and the overnight network numbers were a 2.2, which meant a lot of people were home watching the fight on primetime on CBS. This is a big deal for boxing as a whole, a way to get fans back to tuning in to the sport. This checks out as a “super-fight”.
Then finally, the fight itself. Two undefeated champs. Two guys that were groomed, not only as boxers growing up to become world champions, but by their same promoter to shine on this stage. They didn’t do what they needed to do, for the sport. Thurman won, and you cannot take that away from him. He fought smart but timid. He did what he needed to do to win. Garcia found some kind of rhythm towards the end of the fight, but it was already too late for him. Neither man fought to entertain though, they fought to just get enough to win. It was relatively boring. Booing sporadically took place during the middle of the fight. And for that reason, it will never be remembered, it will not be re-watched, after a couple weeks it will probably not be talked about. That is why it was not a “super-fight”. They had all the boxes checked, except the one that really counted.
Lamont Peterson Interview: “I just love to fight, and regardless of who I’m fighting, I want to be at the top level”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Lamont Peterson is a former IBF and WBA Jr. Welterweight World Champion. He has been in the ring with the likes of Tim Bradley Jr., Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, and Danny Garcia. Peterson has recently moved up to the Welterweight division and just recently on February 18th, won the WBA regular world title by outpointing David Avanesyan. This win puts Peterson in a very good position for a big fight this year, especially after this weekend’s unification between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. We were able to speak with the champ a little about moving up in weight, his future in the sport and the possibility of him fighting his longtime friend Adrien Broner.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Boxing Insider: You lost in 2015, in a very controversial decision against Danny Garcia. Since then you have moved up in weight and have fought a couple guys who are not as big of names as you were fighting. What has changed in that time?
Lamont Peterson: Nothing really, that’s just the business of boxing. Things just turned out that way. I don’t think it was any particular reason. I had opportunities to fight in bigger fights, but things just didn’t always work out.
Boxing Insider: So was it more of a promotional problem?
Lamont Peterson: Unfortunately with certain situations, just sometimes it’s just the way it is. It could be a problem with the promotion side or training or anything. Management, sometimes doesn’t work out. Sometimes certain guys just choose to fight other guys.
Boxing Insider: How is the higher weight working? How do you feel fighting at the higher weight?
Lamont Peterson: I like fighting at the higher weight. That extra seven pounds helps because of energy, strength and I can focus more throughout the training camp, without having to put extra time into making weight.
Boxing Insider: Does the endurance keep up at 147?
Lamont Peterson: Oh yeah, I feel like my endurance is actually better. Especially trying to get down to 140, I was experiencing body cramps.
Boxing Insider: You said recently that you would never fight Adrien Broner. You two are very close friends, but you are not related by blood and it’s a fight that fans may really want to see, since you both moved up to 147. Could it ever change, and you two may fight?
Lamont Peterson: What I said was, it is highly unlikely, is basically what I’m saying. Boxing is a business and if it makes sense, other than my brother (Anthony), damn right I’ll fight him. At the same time, I just don’t see it happening.
Boxing Insider: You’ve been with Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon since its beginning. What are your thoughts of its impact to the boxing world so far?
Lamont Peterson: I think it’s doing a good job at the things that PBC was setting out for. I think it is still heading in the right direction, I don’t think it’s over. It is definitely bringing more boxing fans and an audience from people that normally wouldn’t be watching boxing. I think it’s doing a great job and will probably do a better job in the future. I’m just happy to be a part of it and anything I can do to improve it, I will try.
Boxing Insider: You’ve won a world championship. You are 33 years old. What are your future goals right now?
Lamont Peterson: Just to compete at the highest level. Not too worried about fighting for titles, but just fighting the best competition at the Welterweight division. I’ll be happy with that. I’m not going to be a name chaser. I just love to fight, and regardless of who I’m fighting, I want to be at the top level. I’ll be happy with that. I see myself fighting for about six more fights and I’ll be done and happy with my career.
Boxing Insider: A lot of PBC fighters will be at the Garcia v. Thurman match this Saturday. Will you be in attendance and would you like the winner of that fight?
Lamont Peterson: Of course I would like the winner of that fight. The winner leaves undefeated and a lot of people will say they are the top guy at welterweight. I would definitely like a crack at that title, being the top guy at welterweight.
Boxing Insider: And finally, who do you have winning the fight between Garcia and Thurman?
Lamont Peterson: It’s still a hard pick. I go back and forth. I can see both guys winning. If they stick to their own game plans. Whoever is better prepared that night, mentally and physically will win the fight. I do see it as a 50/50 fight.
Wilder displays ferocious power, but the rest of the division won’t fear him
By: Harry Hogg
Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37KO) retained his WBC heavyweight title last Saturday night with a brutal 5th round KO over Gerald Washington in his hometown of Birmingham. But the unbeaten American’s lacklustre performance has left plenty to talk about. Wilder looked sluggish for large parts of the fight until he found the opening in the fifth. Was it just signs of ring rust? After all the American had just come back from a 244 day layoff. Or are we beginning to see frailties in the ‘Bronze Bomber’?
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
First of all, Wilder deserves credit, he got the job done, and in spectacular style when the knockout did eventually come. This after the champ looked rusty and largely pedestrian like for the first 4 rounds, although he was ahead on one judge’s scorecard. But the opening came in the 5th and when it did he capitalised with devastating effect. But once again questions have been asked about Wilder, and accusations that his style and approach to fights has drastically become more negative, were ever more apparent on Saturday.
In his last four bouts previous to Saturday, Wilder has been taken past the 7th round before eventually despatching his opponents. In doing so the American has approached fights a lot more cautiously, waiting for the perfect opening before striking the killing blow. In contrast, before the world title win against Stiverne, Wilder had never been past the 4th.
Perhaps the fearsome American has woken up to the fact that against world class opposition, his wild and juggernaut style approach that has made him so feared, would leave him open to big shots against the likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Joseph Parker etc.
Instead, a more patient approach, all be it less exciting allows him to gradually wear down fighters. Keeping a tight guard and his opponent at range until he finds the gap he needs to produce his devastating finisher. Or maybe he is starting to show limitations.
Never the less there is one constant reoccurring theme, he gets the job done. But his performances will always be compared to that of his British rival Anthony Joshua. And perhaps this is the root of the criticism aimed at Wilder. Joshua has looked nothing short of stunning in all 18 of his career bouts, all be it against lesser opposition.
The glaring difference is that the Brit does not just provide the devastating finish, he dominates his opponents. Not only has Joshua never lost a fight, it is difficult to recall him ever losing a round. He is not just a monstrous puncher, he is an exceptional boxer with sizzling hand speed for a heavyweight. Combine that with excellent movement and shot selection he is, without a doubt, a more complete fighter than his American rival.
When the two inevitably meet, how will Wilder be able to cope with Joshua forcing him back and putting him under immense pressure? It’s difficult to see Wilder out-boxing the IBF champion. In the meantime, Joshua faces his biggest test in April against former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. Wilder no doubt will be watching with interest and should Joshua come through that test, the long-awaited clash with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ may well be set for later on in the year.
As for the present, Saturday’s performance would not have struck fear into the other heavyweight contenders.
Nevertheless they would have been reminded of the freighting power that Deontay Wilder has in abundance.