Tag Archives: alabama

PBC on Fox Preview: Tony Harrison vs. Jarrett Hurd, Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington


PBC on Fox Preview: Tony Harrison vs. Jarrett Hurd, Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will return to his home state at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama to defend his title against top rated and unbeaten heavyweight contender Gerald Washington live on the Fox network.

The co-main event of the night will be between Jarrett Hurd and Tony Harrison for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title. Fox Sports 1 will also feature some of the undercard bouts, which include a heavyweight fight between Dominic Breazeale and Izuagbe Ugonoh as well as rising prospect Caleb Plant.

IMG_2811

The following is a preview of the two title fights set to be televised on Saturday night.

Tony Harrison (24-1) vs. Jarrett Hurd (19-0); IBF Junior Middleweight Title

The first world title fight to be televised will be a very competitive one and is a tough bout to pick.

Harrison and Hurd have very similar physical characteristics. Surprisingly, both boxers are 6’1” tall and both fighters have a reach of 76 ½”. Both boxers are also the same age and are in the midst of their athletic prime at twenty six years old.

Harrison, a Detroit, Michigan native, has a slight edge in amateur experience and success and comes from a boxing family. Both his Father Ali Salaam and Grandfather Henry Hank competed professionally with moderate to good success as a boxer. Harrison was also previously trained by the late, great, Emmanuel Steward.

Both boxers have also been very active in the past two years. Harrison fought two times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Hurd fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016.

Hurd has never tasted defeat. He has defeated the likes of Ionut Dan Ion, Oscar Molina, Frank Galarza, and Jeff Lentz. He has won his past five fights by knockout.

Harrison has defeated the likes of Siarhei Rabchanka, Fernando Guerrero, Antwone Smith, Tyrone Brunson, Bronco McKart, and Grady Brewer. His lone loss was to Willie Nelson.

This is a tough bout to pick, but when Harrison fought someone at the level of Jarret Hurd he came up short. Hurd’s power is at least equal to that of Willie Nelson, and Harrison’s confidence may not be where it’s needed to defeat someone like Jarrett Hurd since his knockout loss.

This writer has to give Jarrett Hurd a slight edge over Tony Harrison.

Deontay Wilder (37-0) vs. Gerald Washington (18-0-1); WBC Heavyweight Title

Deontay Wilder was originally scheduled to fight Andrzej Wawrzyk, and received heavy criticism for his choice of opponents, but that bout was cancelled due to Wawrzyk failing a pre-fight drug test.

Gerald Washington was chosen as a replacement opponent despite the fact other well known heavyweights such as Louis Ortiz offered to fight Wilder as a replacement.

Wilder is three years younger than his opponent and will have a one inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage. Wilder also has a much deeper amateur background. Wilder won the bronze medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the United States. Washington has no amateur accomplishments to speak of. However, Washington does have an athletic background as he played tight end and defense end for the University of Southern California and played on the practice squad for the Seattle Seahawks and the Buffalo Bills.

Washington started boxing late and made his pro debut at the age of thirty. He has stopped twelve of his opponents. Wilder has stopped thirty six of his opponents and the only man to last all twelve rounds with him was former world title holder Bermane Stiverne. Wilder has stopped four of his past five opponents while Washington has only stopped two of his past five opponents.

Both boxers have been fairly active recently. Washington fought twice in 2016 and in 2015. Wilder fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016.

Wilder clearly has the better professional resume. He has beaten the likes of Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johan Suhaupas, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich. Washington has defeated the likes of Ray Austin and Eddie Chambers and had a controversial draw with Amir Mansour.

Washington is a tremendous athlete, but he is not on the level of World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder. Wilder is fighting in front of his hometown fans and will likely put on another exciting stoppage victory for them to enjoy.

More Headlines

Izuagbe Ugonoh set to Make his Mark Against Dominic Breazeale: A Conversation with Trainer Kevin Barry


Izuagbe Ugonoh set to Make his Mark against Dominic Breazeale: A Conversation with Trainer Kevin Barry
By: Eric Lunger

Live on FOX this Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama, charismatic American heavyweight Deontay Wilder will make his fifth defense of the WBC championship belt against unbeaten Gerald Washington.The PBC card is stacked from top to bottom, but I am excited about the heavyweight clash between Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOss) and Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs). Even for a global sport like boxing, Izu, as he is known, has made a fascinating journey to reach this moment at the Legacy Arena. His parents emigrated from Nigeria to Poland, where Izu was born. After graduating from Jędrzej Śniadecki University School of Physical Education in Gdansk, Izu embarked on a successful kickboxing career, making the transition to boxing in 2010.

C404MhzVMAA2ASe

Ugonoh caught the eye of veteran trainer Kevin Barry in 2013, while sparring in Las Vegas withheavyweight prospect Joseph Parker of New Zealand. Parker captured his first world title in December of last year, and Barry hopes to bring Ugonoh along the same path. Boxinginsider.com caught up withKevinon Thursday, and hespoke about his relationship with this remarkable athletewho is about to lace up the gloves for the biggest fight of his career.

Barry met Ugonoh fortuitously, as he was searching for sparring partners for Joseph Parker: “In my early days with Parker, we were traveling around various gyms in Las Vegas sparring anyone we could possibly get some ring time with, and I heard that Izu was training with Kenny Adams. I rang Kenny and went over there, Joe and Izu sparred six rounds, and it was probably some of the best work we had in Vegas. We came away with the thought: we’ve got to get more of this;this kid can really fight!”

It didn’t take long for Barry to connect with the Polish-born fighter: “that went on for about six sparring sessions, and during that time we built up a bit of a rapport with him. As it worked out, both Joe and Izu were helping Bermane [Stiverne] prepare for Chris Arreola, and we became even closer friends. Things weren’t really working out for Izu; I think he had moved around about five different trainers, I believe that he just wasn’t happy. He came to me and asked, ‘would I be interested in working with him?’ It was my second year with Joe Parker, and Joe was living in my house. I didn’t want anything to interfere with the chemistry that we had going, so I sat down with Joe and I sat down with Izu. In the end, in October of 2014, I took Izu to New Zealand, and fought him down there. Then in November of 2014, I moved him into my house with my family and Joe.”

Barry brought Ugonoh along carefully: “we had five fights down there [in New Zealand] in 2014, and then five fights in 2015.” Ugonoh’s pace slowed down last year with two bouts, a fourth round TKO of Ricardo Ramirez and a second round stoppage most recently of Gregory Tony.

Barry is pleased with Izu’s progress: “he has waited very patiently for this opportunity. The last two years, he’s been fighting well within himself, he’s been learning his craft, becoming a better, more well-rounded fighter in all aspects of the game. This is our first fight with Al Haymon’s PBC, and it’s a big fight.”

The matchup is an exciting one for fans. Barry sees the fight this way: “it’s a great matchup of skill and size. Really, they sort of mirror each other: Izu is 30, Breazeale is 31; Izu is 17-0, Breazeale is 17-1. Both have 81 inch reaches, both have about 8 KO’s in the first three rounds.”

Barry concedes that Breazeale has a better resume: “Breazeale has fought better names, sure, Anthony Joshua, Amir Monsour, Fred Kassi.” But Barry sees his fighter as ready to compete at that level. “Look,” Barry said, “Izu would knock out out Monsour and Kassi.I tell everybody, I think Izu is the sleeper of the heavyweight division. On Saturday night, live on FOX and around the world, everyone will know who Izu is.”

Barry feels that Ugonoh is ready for the big stage: “He is a very talented fighter, a very intelligent fighter. He’s got explosive power and very heavy hands. Look, the big question mark is: hey, this is a big step up in class from where he’s been fighting. But this is a fight, when it was first addressed to Izu, he jumped at it with open arms, saying, ‘this is the fight I’ve been waiting for.’”

Barry and his fighter know that the stakes are high: “Izuknows that the spoils definitely go to the winner in this fight: a great performance will see with Izu or Breazeale go on a short list for a fight for the world title.”

More Headlines

PBC on Fox Results: Wilder Obliterates Arreola, Lubin and Diaz Win by Decision


PBC on Fox Results: Wilder Obliterates Arreola, Lubin and Diaz Win by Decision
By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series returned to Birmingham, Alabama for another World Heavyweight Title fight featuring the lone American champion in that division, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
The Fox Network televised tonight’s fight card from the Legacy Arena and Lou Dibella was the lead promoter.

image1 (5)
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions

The opening bout of the night was between two time Iraq War veteran Sammy Vasquez (21-0) and former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (17-1) in the welterweight division.

Both boxers fought out of a southpaw stance, and it was Vasquez that was backing up Diaz in the first two rounds with a steady jab while remaining out of the range of Diaz. There was more action in the second round than the first, but it appeared Diaz was having difficulty solving the height and range of Vasquez.

Diaz had a solid third round by getting in tight and landing some wild punches and short uppercuts. The difference in power was also evident in the fourth and fifth rounds as Diaz has Vasquez backing up and at times caught him by the ropes or corner with quick combinations.

Vasquez’s punches looked like they were losing it’s snap in the sixth and seventh rounds as Diaz continued to lay traps and pop Vasquez when he came in forward. Vasquez had blood coming out of his nose in the seventh round, and his mouth was wide open in the eighth round and he was visibly tiring.

Diaz knocked Vasquez’s mouthpiece out of his mouth again in the eighth round with several hard combinations. Vasquez’s mouth was bleeding badly and he was taking some hard shots.

Vasquez mounted a small comeback in the ninth round and showed he was willing to take a punch in order to land a punch, but he didn’t appear to seriously hurt Diaz, though he did threaten at times.

The last round featured some hard exchanges by both boxers, but Vasquez’s mouthpiece was popped out again by Diaz and Vasquez lost a point by the referee. Vasquez suffered a bad cut near his right eye in the final round.

It was a good bout with several close rounds but it looked like to this author that Felix Diaz had done enough to win the bout, but the judges scored it 96-94 Diaz, 95-95, and 95-95 for a majority draw.

However, the Alabama Comission recalculated the scorecards and found out the scores should have been 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94 for Felix Diaz. The final round point deduction helped Diaz squeak out the victory.

The second fight of the night was between Erickson Lubin (15-0) and Ivan Montero (20-1) in the super welterweight division.

Lubin, a southpaw, looked in control early with accurate check right hooks and strong body shots. He was walking Montero down in the second round with combinations to the body and head, and several hard left hands.

Lubin was in complete control in the third round, but was warned by the referee twice for low blows in the fourth warned and was told he would be deducted a point if he landed another low blow. Montero was also warned for landing a low blow.

Lubin dominated Montero in the fifth and sixth rounds. He stunned Montero in the fifth round with a straight left hand and did it again in the sixth round with a left hook to the chin preceded by a combination to the body.

Montero clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds in order to win the fight, but instead he got battered by the more talented Lubin.

Lubin won the decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards.

The main event of the night was between Deontay Wilder (36-0) and Chris Arreola (36-4-1) for the WBC Heavyweight Title.

Even though this bout took place in Wilder’s hometown, the crowd appeared to be somewhat subdued during the ring walk and fighter introductions.

The opening round was a slow round. Arreola circled to his right in order to avoid the right hand of Wilder but threw little. Wilder threw a pawing jab and threw a couple of right hands, but was also pretty passive.
Arreola tried to press forward a little more in the second round but had to eat several jabs in the process and was cut on the bridge of his nose at the end of the round after Wilder made him pay with hard right hand counters.

Wilder landed several hard jabs in the third round that snapped the head of Arreola backwards. Arreola was able to land some body shots, but was stunned at the end of the round.

Arreola was badly wobbled from a two punch combination in the fourth round and went to the mat. He was able to get back up before the ten count, but was immediately attacked by Wilder and badly hurt and wobbly as the round came to an end.

Wilder started off the fifth round aggressively but Arreola still had some fight left in him and kept coming forward despite being badly hurt the previous round. Arreola tried to throw some shots at the head of Wilder,
but most of them were blocked. Wilder was able to land a vicious right uppercut in the fifth round when his back was near the ropes.

Wilder’s jab was extremely accurate in the sixth round. Arreola just was not able to get past that jab and within range to hurt Wilder.

Wilder continued to obliterate Arreola in the seventh round and was showboating while doing so. Arreola went back to the stool on wobbly legs at the end of the seventh and his face was badly bruised.

Arreola had little ot nothing left in the eighth round and had blood streaming from the bridge of his nose. Wilder just continued to land shots at will and the referee looked like he was close to stopping it.

Arreola survived the eighth round, but his corner wisely went to the referee and told him he was stopping the fight before the ninth round could begin. Arreola showed incredible heart, but Wilder was just too big and too powerful for him.

Deontay Wilder wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.

More Headlines

PBC on Fox Preview: Wilder vs. Arreola, Vasquez vs. Diaz


PBC on Fox Preview: Wilder vs. Arreola, Vasquez vs. Diaz
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will return to the hometown of Deontay Wilder as he defends his WBC Heavyweight Title against former title challenger Chris Arreola.

A welterweight matchup between Sammy Vasquez and Felix Diaz will open up the telecast.

Fox will televise this heavyweight fight live from the Legacy Arena and the telecast will begin at 8:00 PM.

The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.

32859_display
Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)

Sammy Vasquez (21-0) vs. Felix Diaz (17-1); Welterweights

Sammy Vasquez served two tours in Iraq for the United States Army and is a fan favorite. He’s been very active the past two years and fought six times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once in 2016. He had a successful amateur career and was able to make it in the semi finals of the 2012 US Olympic Boxing Trials and was the runner up in the 2008 Golden Gloves competition.

His opponent, Felix Diaz, had a more successful amateur career and was a Gold Medal winner in the 2008 Summer Olympics and also competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.

Both boxers are southpaws. Vasquez will have a five inch height advantage and a four inch reach advantage. He is also two years younger than Diaz.

Diaz has not been anywhere near as active as Vasquez. He fought twice in 2014 and in 2015.

Vasquez has defeated the likes of Aaron Martinez, Jose Lopez, Wale Omotoso, Emmanuel Lartey, James Stevenson, and Juan Rodriguez Jr. Diaz’s only notable victories have come against Emmanuel Lartey by split decision and Gabriel Bracero. Diaz lost his last fight to Lamont Peterson in a close bout.

Vasquez would be wise to use his height and reach advantage and stay on the outside. However, if Diaz is able to work his way in, Vasquez does appear to have an edge in power. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Diaz only has eight stoppage victories.

This should be a close fight, and is a competitive matchup for the PBC opener. Vasquez should be considered a slight favorite.

Deontay Wilder (36-0) vs. Chris Arreola (36-4-1); WBC Heavyweight Title

The one thing most fight fans are pretty sure about is that this fight will end in a knockout.

Deontay Wilder has stopped every single one of his opponents except for one, and that was Bermane Stiverne. Arreola has stopped thirty one of his opponents and is also known for his vicious power.

Wilder will have a four inch height advantage and a very large seven inch reach advantage on Saturday night. He is also five years younger than his opponent.

Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance. Wilder has been the more active of the two, as he fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2014, while Arreola fought once in 2014 and three times in 2015.

Wilder, obviously, has won thirty six fights in a row and has yet to taste defeat. Arreola has gone 2-2-1 in his past five fights and only one once in 2015. His last good win was in 2013 when he defeated Seth Mitchell.

This will be the third time that Wilder has fought for the heavyweight title in Alabama and he has successfully defended his title three times. He hasn’t faced any of the elites in the heavyweight division at this point, but he has defeated the likes of Bermane Stiverne, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich.

Arreola has lost to Bermane Stiverne twice, as well as Tomasz Adamek and Vitali Klitschko. He has defeated the likes of Chazz Witherspoon, Travis Walker, Jameel McCline, Eric Molina, and Seth Mitchell.

Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Wilder is a bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics and is a former National Golden Gloves Winner. Arreola was the 2001 National Golden Gloves Champion in the Light Heavyweight division.

Arreola recognizes that father time is working against him and stated, “Deontay is a very tough opponent so I have to come hard this time. This is my third world title shot and I have to make it count. The first time I was too young, the second time I got caught with a shot, but this time I’ll be ready for anything..”

Wilder, as always, is looking for the knockout and stated, “Arreola definitely has a style prone to a knockout. He’s a pressure fighter who will come forward all night. That plays to my style. I love pressure fighters who give me a challenge. They keep me moving and thinking. I love the sweet science and the art to it.”

This would have been a much more interesting fight in Arreola’s prime. It will likely feature some suspenseful moments, but Wilder will likely continue to roll and stop Arreola before the end of the bout.

More Headlines