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Showtime PPV Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Broner, Jack vs. Browne


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night, hall of famer Manny Pacquiao will be making his debut under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner when he faces off against Adrien Broner. This bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be distributed live on PPV by Showtime.

The co-main event of the night will be between Badou Jack and Marcus Browne for the WBA Interim Light heavyweight title.

Two other title fights will also take place. The WBC Bantamweight Title will be on the line when Rau’shee Warren takes on Nordine Oubaali. The WBA Interim Featherweight Title will also be on the line when Jhack Tepora takes on Hugo Ruiz.

Other fighters on the undercard include George Kambosos Jr., Rey Perez, Jayar Inson, Jonathan Steele, Genisis Libranza, and Carlos Buitrago.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Marcus Browne (22-0) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-3); WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title

The co-main event of the evening has the potential to be a very competitive fight.

Both Marcus Browne and Badou Jack are very solid boxers with strong amateur backgrounds. Browne was a National Police Athletic League Champion, a US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion, and represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics. Jack was a multi time Swedish National Champion as an amateur and represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics.

Browne is seven years younger than Badou Jack, who at thirty five years old is nearing the end of his physical prime. Browne will also have about a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage over Jack.

Browne has a slight edge in activity. He fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Jack only fought once in 2018 and fought twice in 2017. They both have decent power but neither is known as a true knockout artist. Browne has sixteen stoppage victories on his record while Jack has thirteen. However, Browne has stopped three of his past four opponents while Jack has only stopped one of his past four opponents.

Jack appears to have faced the better competition of the two as a professional, but fights in a lot of close matches. He has majority draws with Adonis Stevenson, James DeGale, and Marco Antonio Periban on his record. He has beaten the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Farah Ennis, and Rogelio Medina. His lone loss was an upset TKO loss to Derek Edwards.

Browne has never tasted defeat as a professional. His closest fight to date was a split decision win over Radivoje Kalajdzic. He has wins over Thomas Williams Jr., Sean Monaghan, Francy Ntetu, Lenin Castillo, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, and Aaron Pryor Jr.

This should be a close competitive fight, but the writer has to give a slight edge to Marcus Browne based on age, physical advantages such as reach and power, and more recent success and activity.

Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2) vs. Adrien Broner (33-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao is a living legend, but he’s now forty years old and his time at or near the top is coming to an end. He’ll be facing Adrien Broner, a high level boxer who was once considered to be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr., but hasn’t been able to reach that level of fame or success…yet.

Broner is still in the midst of his athletic prime at the age of twenty nine, while Pacquiao is no longer at his prime at the age of forty. Broner will only have a half an inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage over Pacquiao, which is actually a smaller advantage than what Pacquiao is accustomed to.

Pacquiao, as most know, turned professional as a teenager and doesn’t have the deep amateur experience of most professionals. Broner was a two time National Silver Gloves Champion as an amateur.

Pacquiao has thirty nine stoppage victories as a professional, but got his first TKO win in nine years when he beat Lucas Matthysse. Broner has twenty four stoppage victories.

Pacquiao has defeated an impressive list of well known opponents. His wins include Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.

Many of his losses are either disputed, or were losses he avenged or beat the opponent earlier. His losses were to Jeff Horn (disputed), Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez(beat twice), Timothy Bradley (disputed, avenged), Erik Morales (avenged), Rustico Torrecampo and Boonsai Sangsurat.

Broner hasn’t defeated the type of named opponents that Pacquiao. His wins include Adrian Granados. Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlons Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Gavin Rees, Antonio DeMarco, Jason Litzau, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. His losses were to Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia.

Pacquiao’s lack of activity in the past two years is concerning. He’s only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. However, Broner has only fought once in 2018 and doesn’t appear he’ll reach the potential many thought he once had.

This is a bout that Pacquiao should win, and if he wins convincingly his popularity and hall of fame resume will only get bigger.

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Badou Jack And Marcus Browne “Looking To Steal The Show” Jan 19th


By: Sean Crose

“Trust me,” light heavyweight Marcus Browne said this week, “I know it ain’t easy. And I’m working like I’ve never worked before in my life, so trust me, I know it ain’t easy. And you could say what you want from the outside. Come January 19, you’re going to see. You’re going to see. So, keep it up.” Browne was speaking of his upcoming fight with the esteemed Badou Jack, which will be the co-feature of the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner Pay Per View card, airing live on Showtime Pay Per View.

The undefeated Browne, 22-0, has beaten the likes of Gabriel Campillo, and Seanie Monaghan, but has never faced the likes of Jack, 22-1-3, who fought Adonis Stevenson to a draw in an absolutely grueling affair last May. Jack also has earned victories over the likes of George Groves, Lucien Bute, and Anthony Dirrell. What’s more, many felt Jack was shortchanged in his draw with Stevenson, as well as his draw against James DeGale in 2017. Still, during a recent conference call to promote the fight, Browne made it clear that he’s brimming with confidence. “This ain’t no old Adonis Stevenson,” he said. “This ain’t no Nathan Cleverly. This is Marcus Browne, my brother. So make sure you’re ready because I know I’m ready.”

Jack, however, carries his own confidence. “I let my hands do the talking,” he said during the call. “Everybody knows me.” Jack, who is a mature enough fighter to avoid boasting or making bold statements, made it clear he’s viewing things in a professional, realistic manner. “I’m listening to my corner and following the game plan,” he said. “Of course, I want to knock guys out. If they don’t come, they don’t come. I’ll show you January 19 what I’m about.”

Browne claimed he wasn’t strictly looking for a knockout, either. “If a knockout comes, it comes. But if not, we are winning every round and that’s that…I’m not here to lose rounds and that’s about it. But I’m not concerned about what the judges are doing. We already know what type of time it is already.” Although the match may be appearing to fly under the radar of the glistening Pacquia-Broner bout, call host Leonard Ellerbee went so far as to make a bold prediction:

“This fight here will be probably the best fight on the card,” he said. “These guys will be looking to steal the show.”

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Showtime Boxing Results: Russell Defeats Diaz, Stevenson and Jack Battle to a Draw


By: William Holmes

Showtime has shown no signs of slowing down in putting on competitive fights with a split site double header on their Showtime World Championship Boxing telecast.

The opening bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) and Joseph Diaz (26-0) for the WBC Featherweight Title. This bout took place at The Theater at the MGM Grand National Harbor in Maryland.

Joseph Diaz entered the ring first and Russell second to a much louder ovation.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Both boxers were southpaws and Diaz looked like the bigger fighter, but Russell established early on that he had the better hand speed. He was active with his jab in the opening round and had a strong start to the fight.

Russell continued with his jab in the early parts of the second round, but Diaz had some moderate success to the body and ended the round strong.

The third round was a closer round, but it looked like Diaz was willing to take a few punches from Russell in order to land one punch of his own. Diaz ended the round with two good straight left hands.

Diaz kept a high guard in the fourth and fifth rounds but Russell landed the higher volume of punches while Diaz landed the harder shots to the body. Diaz had a strong fifth round, but Russell came back in the sixth round with his active jab and high volume output.

Russell was the first man to throw and land in the seventh and eighth rounds and looked like he was beginning to walk away with the fight. Russell hand speed was on full display in the ninth round as Diaz was simply not throwing enough punches.

Diaz had a better tenth round and took more risks than earlier rounds, but was also countered more often by the faster Russell.

The final two rounds featured several fierce exchanges, and Russell looked like he was beginning to fade a little bit in the last round, but Diaz wasn’t able to do enough to get a stoppage.
The Judges scored the fight 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.

The last fight televised by Showtime was a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between Champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1) and challenger Badou Jack (22-1-2) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Stevenson, a southpaw, and Jack, fighting out of an orthodox stance, had spent the better part of two rounds feeling each other out and tried to find their range. Stevenson was able to land some straight left hands in the second and was more active in the third, but Jack was able to land some counters in the third round.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Jack was able to fire off his punches first in the fourth round but took a good left uppercut from Stevenson with about thirty seconds left. Stevenson was the aggressor in the fifth and sixth rounds while Jack fought mainly out of a tight high guard. Jack was warned for a low blow at the end of the sixth round.

Jack started to come forward in the seventh round and hurt Stevenson with a short right hand followed up by combinations. Jack was snapping the head of Stevenson in the seventh with his uppercuts, but he was warned for a low blow again at the end of the round.

Jack opened up the eighth round with another low blow and Adonis Stevenson was given time to recover. Jack followed up with short right hooks and uppercuts and was able to bust open the nose of Badou jack.

Jack looked like the fresher fighter in the ninth round and had Stevenson stumbling at one point. Stevenson was able to come back and have a strong tenth round when he hurt Jack with a body shot and had Jack peddling backwards.

Stevenson pressed the pace early on in the eleventh round and had Jack in full retreat, but he tired in the middle of the round and Jack re-established dominance in the ring.

Both boxers were able to land some good shots in the final round, but Jack ended the fight strong with a hard combination as the final bell rang.

The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113 Jack, 114-114 for a majority draw.

Adonis Steven retains the title with a draw.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Stevenson vs. Jack, Russell vs. Diaz


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Showtime network will broadcast two fights from two separate locations on a split site feature.

One fight will feature a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between current champion Adonis Stevenson and the Swedish fighter Badou Jack. This bout will be taking place in Toronto, Canada at the Air Canada Centre. The other bout will be a WBC Featherweight Title between Gary Russell Jr. and Joseph Diaz Jr.


Photo Credit: Badou Jack Twitter Account

The following is a preview of both televised fights.

Adonis Stevenson (29-1) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-2); WBC Light Heavyweight Title

Adonis Stevenson has often been mentioned as one of the best light heavyweights in the world along with Sergei Kovalev and Andre Ward, but neither of those fights have ever come to fruition and he’s no forty years old and past his athletic prime.

Stevenson will face a very tough opponent in Badou Jack. Jack is six years younger than Stevenson, but has also been more active. He fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Stevenson only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016.

Stevenson will also be giving up about two inches in height to Jack, but he will have a four inch reach advantage. Stevenson will be fighting in his home country which shouldn’t be a big surpise since he has only fought outside of Canada two times. This will be Jack’s first fight outside of the United States since 2010.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Stevenson was a Canadian National Champion and Jack was a Swedish National Champion and a competitor in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Andrzej Fonfara, Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. His lone loss was the Darnell Boone, which he later avenged.

Jack also has a good professional resume, though his level of competition in recent fights surpasses that of Stevenson. His lone loss was a shocking TKO upset loss to Derek Edwards in 2014. He has two draws against James DeGale and Marco Antonio Periban. He has defeated the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, and Marco Antonio Periban.

If this fight happened five years ago Stevenson would have to be considered the favorite. But he’s now forty years old and has been fairly inactive recently while Jack has been steadily facing tougher and tougher competition.

If this fight goes to the Judges scorecards Stevenson may have a slight edge since the fight is happening in Canada, but the timing feels right for Jack to pull off a victory.

Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-0); WBC Featherweight Title

Golden Boy Promotions needs to be given credit for their willingness to throw their fighters in the ring with top fighters from other promotions. The Diaz-Russell fight is a good example of Golden Boy taking a risk by putting one of their top guys against an established champion.

Diaz is twenty five and will be four years younger than Russell. However, Joseph Diaz has been very active since 2016. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. Russell only fought once in 2017, 2016, and in 2015.

Diaz will have about an inch and a half reach height advantage and both boxers have the same reach. They both represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, Russell in 2008 and Diaz in 2012.

Diaz is a southpaw, and the only boxer that Russell lost to, Vasyl Lomachenko, was a southpaw. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Russell has made since he last fought Lomachenko.

Russell represents the biggest test of Diaz’s young career. He has defeated the likes of Victor Terrazas, Rafael Rivera, Manuel Avila, Jayson Velez, and Ruben Tamayo.

Russell has been fairly inactive for a world champion, but has defeated some very good fighters. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Escandon, Patrick Hyland, Jhonny Gonzlaez, and Christopher Martin. His lone loss was the Vasyl Lomachenko, who has since jumped up two weight classes to dethrone Jorge Linares as the Lightweight Champion.

Russell’s inactivity should be of concern to his camp, especially since he’s facing a young, undefeated, challenger who has a strong amateur pedigree.

This fight will be close, but age and activity has this writer giving Diaz a slight edge on Saturday night.

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Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV Undercard Results: Davis and Badou Jack Win by Stoppage, Tabiti Decisions Cunningham


By: William Holmes

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV attraction between all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC super star Conor McGregor.

Fight fans were treated to three bouts on the televised portion of the pay per view card, including two world title fights.


Photo Credit: USA Today

The first fight of the night was between Andrew Tabiti (14-0) and Steve Cunningham (29-8-1) in the cruiserweight division.

Cunningham is a former world champion in the cruiserweight division and Tabiti is prized prospect in the Mayweather Promotions stable.

Cunningham had the height advantage and looked to be in great shape. Tabiti was able to stay out of range in the first two rounds, but Cunningham was the more aggressive fighter and forced Tabiti to tie up often. Tabiti’s jab was landing in the second round and he landed a hard right uppercut at the end of a combination.

Cunningham’s punches were missing with increasing regularity from the first round to the fourth round and Tabiti remained an elusive target. Tabiti’s hands were faster and more accurate but Cunningham’s chin was able to take his best punches.

The fifth round featured two blistering combinations by Tabiti in the center of the ring. Tabiti was able to land his jab to the body and head of Cunningham in the sixth round. Cunningham’s frustration with his inability to mount an offensive attack continued into the seventh round.

Cunningham, to his credit, still came forward in the eighth round despite clearly being behind on the cards. He was able to force a few exchanges but Tabiti got the better of them.

Cunningham needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came.

Andrew Tabiti remained undefeated with a decision victory with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 100-90.

Nathan Cleverly (30-3) faced Badou Jack (21-1-2) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Title.

Jack established himself as the more accurate puncher in the first round and was able to do land some good body shots in the opening round. Cleverly looked like the bigger fight and was able to land some hard straight right hands at the end of the round.

Jack continued his body attack in the second round and he was able to land hard right uppercuts in the third round. Jack’s assault was more vicious in the fourth round and he had Cleverly’s nose busted from numerous uppercuts and left hooks.

Jack came out aggressively in the fifth round and obliterated Cleverly from corner to corner. Cleverly was taking several hard combinations without answering back. The referee let Jack batter Cleverly perhaps longer than he should have, but he finally stopped it near the end of the round.

Badou Jack wins the WBA Light Heavyweight by TKO at 2:47 of the fifth round.

Afterwards, Badou Jack called out Adonis Stevenson.

The final undercard bout was between Gervonta Davis (18-0) and Francisco Fonseca (19-0-1). This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Super Featherweight Title but Davis failed to make the contracted weight.

Fonseca looked awkward in the first round and Davis was able to land hooks and uppercuts to the body. Fonseca ate some heavy combinations in the second round but was able to take some of Davis’ best shots and reply with punches of his own.

Fonseca kept a high guard in the second round but had to absorb blows to the body. Davis began to showboat in the fourth round and landed a few left hooks after putting his hands behind his back, but Fonseca connected with enough punches to maybe steal the round.

Fonseca pressed the action in the fifth round and landed some good combinations to the head and body. Davis was telegraphing his punches and may have lost this round solely based on Fonseca’s activity.

Davis stopped showing off in the sixth round and stuck to a traditional boxing stance and was able to land sharp jabs and hard straight left hands. Davis finally stunned Fonseca in the seventh round with hard hooks but Fonseca stayed on his feet.

Davis opened up the eighth round with a stunning straight left hand and had Fonseca stuck in the corner. He connected with a left hook that may have landed on the back of Fonseca’s head, but Fonseca went to the mat holding the back of his head and was unable to get up.

Gervonta Davis wins by knockout at 0:39 of the eighth round.

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Cleverly vs. Jack on the Mayweather McGregor Undercard Should Shine


By: Eric Lunger

Lost amid the cacophony of coverage surrounding the Mayweather vs. McGregor “crossover” fight this weekend in Las Vegas is an intriguing undercard clash in the light heavyweight division between Sweden’s Badou Jack (21-1-2, 2 KOs) and Nathan Cleverly (30-3-0, 16 KOs) of the UK. While Cleverly picked up the WBA “regular” light heavyweight belt by stopping Germany’s Juergen Braehmer in six rounds last November, the Welsh fighter knows that the Jack fight might be his last shot at reaching the championship heights of the division. In statements to the UK media this week, Cleverly admitted as much. With two close decision losses to Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara on his record, as well as a fourth round TKO loss to Sergei Kovalev in 2013, Cleverly can’t afford anything but a win on Saturday night.

Badou Jack, on the other hand, is moving up in weight class, having held the WBC super middleweight title since defeating Anthony Dirrell in 2015. Most recently, Jack fought IBF title holder James DeGale to a rare split decision draw in Brooklyn in January of 2017. I was at the Barclays Center that night, and I was extremely impressed with Jack. He is a tight, controlled fighter with superb defensive skills. But his offense is accurate, explosive, and he can really generate power on a short throw. How DeGale weathered the twelfth round storm unleashed by Jack is still incomprehensible to me.

So you have a hungry, proud, and perhaps desperate Nathan Cleverly facing off against Badou Jack, a technically sound but underrated power puncher who is stepping up in weight. This is a story line that should produce a riveting bout.
Most likely, you have already decided whether or not to shell out for the Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV, and it is understandable that some fans are not turned off by this cynical novelty show, but – should you decide to buy it – feel free to console yourself with the notion that Jack vs. Cleverly might turn out to be a real diamond.

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

James DeGale comes of age in a bloody steak of a fight with Badou Jack – so what next?


James DeGale comes of age in a bloody steak of a fight with Badou Jack – so what next?
By G.E. Simons

Since his split decision loss in a British super-middleweight title fight against George Groves in May 2011, James DeGale has enjoyed an impressive uneaten run collecting wins in the UK, Denmark, Canada and the US, picking up the IBF World super-middleweight title along the way.

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DeGale became Word champion by edging out Andre Dirrell almost four years to the day since collecting that only professional career loss against Groves and has successfully defended the strap three times since, against Lucian Bute, Rogelio Medina and Badou Jack.

Whether by design or circumstance, DeGale has made all three defences on foreign soil against opponents that have all given him more problems than he or the oddsmakers had anticipated or predicted.

His January unification fight with WBC title-holder Badou Jack got 2017 off to a great start in New York and is probably one of the best drawn contests that you will see this year. It was a rough, tough and bloody rare steak of a fight, albeit one with a seam of skill and will running right through the heart of it.

Jack walked away from the encounter and almost certainly into a light-heavyweight future, exhibiting more frustration with the majority draw scorecards than he was entitled to, as neither combatant really deserved to win and neither combatant really deserved to lose.

A more pragmatic DeGale walked away from the Brooklyn ring without a couple of teeth but with a perforated ear drum and broken nose, his reputation greatly enhanced through the incredible toughness, machismo and taste for a proper tear up that he showed in a real mano a mano.

Which leaves us with two fundamental questions. Just how good is James DeGale and what comes next for him?

DeGale is clearly a very, very good fighter with quick hands, athleticism, tremendous footwork and real snap in his punching. He is also the first British pugilist to win both an Olympic gold medal (Beijing 2008), before going on to win a version of a professional World title.

Further, he has lost only once against another very good fighter in George Groves and beaten solid operators in Brandon Gonzales, Marco Antonio Periban, Andre Dirrell and Lucian Bute.

But even in these victories and especially in the loss to Groves and the draw with Jack, he has lacked that extra gear, that reserve of stamina or that mercurial divining rod of something unexpected which elevates fighters and invites them to breath that rarefied air surrounding mount greatness.

In the build up to the Badou Jack fight and in an interview with iFIlm TV, James DeGale described his opponent as “A quality operator.” and “a good all round fighter.”

Ironically he could have been describing himself and there’s nothing wrong with that description especially within the context of a super-middleweight landscape where there are a number of other quality operators, if no obvious standout.

Which leads onto what or who is next for James DeGale.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph and following the Badou Jack decision, promoter Eddie Hearn said “James has just gone through a war and it will take him until the summer to come back. He’ll need that time.”

The Matchroom Boxing supremo is right, but come the summer there are no shortage of interesting options out there, including:

Callum Smit
Badou Jack’s vacation of the WBC title has muddied the waters a little, as had DeGale taken the belt with a victory, a first defence against Callum Smith would already be signed. Instead we will likely see Smith challenge Antony Dirrell for the vacant belt in late spring. Victory there would guarantee a terrific unification civil war with DeGale in the late summer. Likelihood of it happening next 5/5.

George Groves
That DeGale and Groves will meet again is inevitable, whether it is next for DeGale is debatable. The Saint has his own commitments in the shape of a tilt at the WBA Super super-middleweight title against Fedor Chudinov confirmed for early 2017. Get through that and Wembley Stadium could beckon once more for a domestic dust up of the super-middles, with titles on the line. Likelihood of it happening next 4/5.

Chris Eubank Jnr.
Agent provocateur Eubank Jnr. called out DeGale after the Jack fight saying “He (DeGale) came out of a 12-round fight and he’s got no teeth – that’s embarrassing in my opinion.” Middleweight Junior fights Renold Quinlan for an IBO bauble in February and who knows his goading might just draw DeGale into a blockbuster summer payday. Likelihood of it happening next 3/5.

Badou Jack
Jack has now officially vacated his WBC super-middleweight title as he prepares for a move to light-heavyweight, barring a move up in weight for DeGale a rematch seems highly unlikely. An appetite remains however with both claiming unfinished business, a residual interest from Mayweather promotions in James DeGale and more dollars to be made with fighters who match up well. Likelihood of it happening next 2/5.

Carl Froch
Just as Froch was frustrated by Joe Calzaghe’s retirement before they could meet, so James DeGale was frustrated by Carl Froch hanging them up nearly a decade later. The Cobra clearly retains an itch that would be scratched by lacing them up one more time but his head seems to continue to rule his heart. That said, this is boxing so never say never. Likelihood of it happening next 1/5.

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DeGale-Jack Shows That Not All 10-9 Rounds Are Alike


DeGale-Jack Shows That Not All 10-9 Rounds Are Alike
By: Sean Crose

Let’s face it, James DeGale got his ass kicked Saturday night in Brooklyn. That’s right, Badu Jack took it to the English super middleweight in a big way. While DeGale, slick and skilled, dominated early, Badu’s hard, grinding style, consisting of body work and hard shots to the head, carried the day. At least it did if we look on the affair as a fight instead of as a boxing match.

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Unfortunately for Jack, the title unifier was a boxing match and was judged accordingly, as such. The lighter punching, but faster DeGale escaped with a draw. Indeed, one of the judges had the man actually beating Jack.

I myself had Jack dominating six rounds while DeGale owned four of his own outright. I also had two rounds open to interpretation. In other words, I felt they could have gone either way. So indeed, the final decision wasn’t a bad one if I’m to use my own scoring as a guide. Still, it’s hard for me to get over the fact that DeGale took a beating on Saturday night. Boxing may not be “real” fighting, but it’s real close and there’s little doubt who won Saturday on the “who dished out violence more effectively” scale.

I’ve wondered for a while now if there’s a better way to grade fights than on a round by round basis. It would be hard to find criteria for a successful revision of judging, but perhaps it’s time to seriously consider if such a move is feasible. Not all 10-9 rounds are alike. The proof of that is on DeGale’s face and in his newly toothless smile. Seriously, I was concerned about the guy’s well being on Saturday. He was taking some hellacious punishment and the last thing this world needed was another Magaomed Abdusalamov tragedy.

Again, though, I myself had scored it so that DeGale could conceivably have earned the draw he ended up earning. Still, there seems to just be something off about it. For this was a case where flashy combinations and slick movement couldn’t carry the day. Lots of those DeGale shots landed on gloves. And lots of those Jack shots did some serious damage. As a rule, I tend to admire polished fighters, but when polished fighters get knocked around like DeGale did on Saturday, I have to be honest with myself. Simply put, the scores on Saturday evening did not tell the whole story. And there might be something wrong with that.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Unification Title fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale to be televised live on the Showtime Cable Network.

This bout will help determine who the true number one boxer is in the super middleweight division since Andre Ward bumped up to the light heavyweight division.

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Another bout scheduled for Saturday will be between Jose Pedraza and Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted Gervonta Davis for Pedraza’s IBF Junior Lightweight Title. This bout should open up the Showtime broadcast.

The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.

Jose Pedraza (22-0) vs. Gervonta Davis (16-0); IBF Junior Lightweight Title

This is an intriguing matchup between two young upcoming stars in boxing with a bright future ahead of them. It’s also interesting because both boxers have had some much publicized issues with their management teams in the months coming into this fight. It’s been alleged that Pedraza wasn’t completely pleased with his lack of activity underneath the management of Al Haymon, and it’s also been alleged that there was some friction between Gervonta Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

However, those issues appear to have been resolved to allow this matchup to take place.

The most noticeable difference between the two boxers on Saturday will be the difference in size. Pedraza will have a two and a half inch height advantage over Davis and will also have about an inch and a half reach advantage. Pedraza is also five years older than Davis, and is experienced enough to deal with the southpaw style that troubles many boxers.

Pedraza does have an edge in amateur experience. Davis did well on the national level; he was a 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion, a three time National Silver Gloves Champion, and a two time PAL Champion. But, Pedraza competed on the international stage as an amateur and represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Valuable international experience that Davis does not appear to have.

Davis has been the more active boxer between the two. He fought five times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Pedraza only fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.

Davis is also the more powerful puncher/knockout artist. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents. He has defeated the likes of Marco Antonio Macias, Guillermo Avila, Luis Sanchez, and Cristobal Cruz.

Pedraza only has twelve stoppages on his resume. He has defeated the likes of Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Tevin Farmer.

This will be an entertaining bout between power and technique, and it should be a close one. But Pedraza has faced better opposition both as an amateur and a professional, and that experience alone gives him a slight edge going into their fight on Saturday.

Badou Jack (20-1-2) vs. James DeGale (23-1) WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Titles

This is one of the best bouts that could be made in the super middleweight division, and the winner should be considered by most to be the best super middleweight.

Both boxers are beginning to leave their prime ages as Jack is thirty three years old and DeGale is thirty years old. Neither boxer is known for their power, as Jack only has twelve stoppage victories and DeGale has fourteen stoppage victories.

Even though both boxers are at the top of their weight division, neither fighter has been very active. Jack fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, and DeGale also fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Both boxers have a deep amateur background. Jack represented Gambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and DeGale represented Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, only DeGale medaled as he won the gold medal.

Jack has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis. His lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards which he lost by TKO.

DeGale has defeated the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Gevorg Khatchikian, and Dyah Davis. His lone loss was the George Groves.

Even though this is a good matchup, it will likely not be a fan pleasing fight as both boxers are technically skilled fighters that are not known for their power. DeGale has experienced more success as an amateur than Jack, and that indicates that he’s the better technical boxer.

DeGale should win by a close decision on Saturday night.

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Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing


Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing
By: Sean Crose

Let’s not kid ourselves, 2016 has been a slow and painful year for fight fans. Indeed, it looked for a bit as if the sport had literally ground to a halt. On Tuesday, however, Showtime gave fans some very good news. For, on top of an interesting November and December, boxing will have a lively first few months of 2017, thanks in large part to – wait for it – team Al Haymon. December 10th will give the world Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams, a terrific match, along with Abner Mares and Jesus Cuellar, another nice pairing. Added to other fights on the boxing horizon, like Pacquiao-Vargas and Kovalev-Ward, and the end of the year may indeed end up being more bearable that at first thought.

ThurmanKarass_Hoganphotos

Then there’s early 2017, which also looks promising (courtesy of team Haymon). The first two weeks of January gives us James DeGale and Badou Jack. Then, on the 28th, fans will view the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. Considering their first fight was most likely a fight of the year candidate, the second go round between the two should be well worth looking forward to. That night will also give the world Dejan Zlaticanin versus the ultra talented Mikey Garcia.

February will offer Adrien Broner facing off against Adrian Granados, while March will provide the long awaited welterweight throwdown between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman…provided, of course, that Garcia defeats Samuel Vargas when they meet next month. To be sure, there is much to like about this lineup. And, make no mistake about it, the news didn’t arrive a moment too soon. I’ve been a boxing fan my entire life and I’ve never seen my fellow fight lovers as distraught as I’ve seen them lately. Yup – morale has been that low.

The question now, of course, is how long will the good times roll. Let’s be honest with ourselves – boxing, and team Haymon, in particular, doesn’t concern itself much with the satisfaction of fans…at least it hasn’t. And while it’s good to see things looking up for the moment, it’s okay to ask what happens next. Still, good news is good news and Tuesday’s announcements are indeed welcome news to a starving fight world. Here’s to a solid winter of boxing. Let’s hope it carries through to the spring and beyond. The fans truly deserve it.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: James DeGale Grinds Out Tough Decision Victory, Jack and Bute Draw


Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Badou Jack and James DeGale Grind Out Tough Decision Victories
By: William Holmes

Mayweather Promotions in association with Interbox Promotions televised two world championship fights in the super middleweight division on Showtime live from the DC Armory in Washington D.C.
The undercard featured some high level prospects such as Chris Pearson in the middleweight division and Sharif Bogere in the super lightweight division, and both were successful in their undercard bouts.

The winners of the two televised bouts will likely face each other in a super middleweight unification bout in the near future.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of empty seats in the DC Armory despite the fact two legitimate world titles were on the line.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

The first televised fight was between James DeGale (22-1) and Rogelio Medina (36-6) for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship.

DeGale, a former Olympic gold medalist, showed his boxing technique was superior in the first round by sticking and moving well and connecting with quick combinations while easily staying out of the range of Medina. DeGale’s defense was also on point early on as his head movement made him a difficult target for Medina.

The second round was close, but DeGale’s punches were slipping in between the high guard of Medina and he was landing more combinations than Medina. Medina, to his credit, continued to press forward and was able to land some punches on DeGale when his back was against the ropes in the third round, but the combinations of DeGale appeared to hurt Medina.

DeGale looked extremely confident in the fourth round and was able to land punches from awkward angles, including lead uppercuts and over the top left hands. Medina started off strong in the fifth round and was able to dig in some hard body shots when DeGale was trapped near the ropes, but DeGale ended the round strong with some heavy lead right uppercuts to the chin of Medina.

Medina had a strong sixth round and tagged DeGale with more head shots than previous rounds, but DeGale had the best combination of the round. Medina’s pressure continued in the seventh round and DeGale’s jabs weren’t acting as much of a deterrent. DeGale however, still had the higher connect percentage.

The eighth round was a close round and Medina’s pressure may have won him the round as he had DeGale stuck by the ropes taking some punishment. DeGale was able to end the round with a hard flurry.

DeGale dominated the ninth round and played it safe in the tenth round as Medina was never able to mount an effective offensive combination or hurt his opponent.

DeGale simply needed to stay on his feet In the championship rounds to win the fight, and he did so despite the fact Medina never stopped coming forward and tried his best to go for the knockout.

James DeGale was able to retain his title with a decision victory with scores of 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.

DeGale was in a tougher match than expected, and afterwards stated, “The boxing skills are too good. If I’m being honest, he’s a very strong fighter, but skills pay the bills. I watched this guy years ago and this guy didn’t have the engine like that. He’s gotten better and stronger in the last year and a half.”

The main event of the night was between Badou Jack (20-1-1) and Lucian Bute (32-3) for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship.

Even though the DC Armory had a large number of empty seats there was a large contingent of vocal Lucian Bute fans in attendance.

Both boxers spent most of the opening round trying to feel each other out, but Bute was the more active fighter and was pressing the fight. The action didnt’ pick up in the second round with each boxer landing an occasional straight cross, but neither boxer committed to throwing combinations.

The crowd was starting to get restless at the start of the third round, and Jack was able to quiet them with a straight right to the chin after two crosses to the body. Bute was able to answer with a hard left hook, but he appeared to have a small cut near his eye from the earlier exchange with Jack. Bute ended strong with a crowd pleasing straight left.

Jack focused his attacks to the body of Bute in the fourth round, but Bute was able to land several clean straight left hands that pleased his fans in attendance. However, Jack dominated the fifth round as his connect rate increased and he momentarily stunned Bute with a hard overhand right.

Jack’s momentum continued in the sixth round as he was able to land some hard body shots. Bute was able to connect with a few combinations, but they lacked the power and pop of Badou Jack. The seventh round featured several good exchanges from both men, but Jack appeared to land the cleaner and harder punches.

Jack looked like he was wearing Bute down in the eighth round, but Bute was able to pick up his activity in the ninth round and may have stolen it on the judges’ scorecards. Bute scored with some of his best punches of the night in the tenth round, including a few head snapping uppercuts.

Bute appeared to have hurt Jack in the eleventh round with a good combination in the middle of the ring and Jack looked like he was starting to fade. Bute went for the knockout in the final round to win the fight and he kept up the pressure on a visibly tired and worn down Jack, but he lacked the power to send Jack to the mat.

It was a close bout that many felt Jack felt had won, but the judges scored the bout 117-111 Jack, 114-114, and 114-114 for a majority draw.

Undercard Quick Results:

Moshea Aleem (4-0-1) fought Martez Jackson (2-0-2) to a draw in the junior middleweight division with scores of 38-38 on all three cards.

Keegan Grove (1-0) defeated Antoney Napunyi (10-16) by decision in the lightweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards.

Latondria Jones (3-0) wins by TKO at 0:18 in the first round over Kamika Slade (0-1) in the junior middleweight division.

Carlos Gongora (7-0) defeated Zacharia Kelley (5-13) by TKO at 1:50 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Sharif Bogere (28-1) defeated Samuel Amoako (17-10) by in the super lightweight division with scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards.

Chris Pearson (17-1) defeated Joshua Okine (22-6) in the middleweight division by decision with scores of 98-92 on all three scorecards.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jack vs. Bute, Degale vs. Medina


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jack vs. Bute, Degale vs. Medina
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. will showcase two super middleweight world title fights live on Showtime.

Mayweather Promotions, Interbox Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing have teamed up to create an eliminator style tournament to unify the WBC and IBF Super Middleweight belts. One title fight will be between Badou Jack and Lucian Bute for Jack’s WBC Super Middleweight title and the other title bout will be between James DeGale and Rogelio Medina for DeGale’s IBF Super Middleweight belt.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

The winners of both of these bouts will likely face each other in the near future. The following is a preview of both the televised bouts on Showtime.

Badou Jack (20-1-1) vs. Lucian Bute (32-3); WBC Super Middleweight Title

Badou Jack is one of the stars of Mayweather Promotions and currently holds the WBC Super Middleweight title. Lucian Bute is a former IBF Super Middleweight Champion and was considered one of the top super middleweights in the world for a significant period of time. When Showtime held their Super Six Tournament that Andre Ward won, many thought Bute should have been included and was overlooked.

However, Bute is now thirty six years old and has gone 2-3 in his past five fights. He’s four years older than Jack, and will have a slight half an inch height advantage and will be giving up one inch in reach.

Bute, a southpaw, has been relatively inactive the past three years. He fought twice in 2015 and once in 2014, and he did not fight at all in 2013. In comparison Jack has been extremely active. He fought twice in 2015, three times in 2014, and six times in 2013.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Bute was a Bronze medalist in the 1999 World Championships and Jack competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics for Gambia.

Bute’s losses have come against James DeGale, Jean Pascal, and Carl Froch; all good losses against tough opponents. His biggest victories include Denis Grachev, Glen Johnson, Jean Paul Mendy, Edison Miranda, and Librado Andrade.

Jack’s lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards in February of 2014. He has bounced back nicely since that loss and has defeated the likes of George Groves and Anthony Dirrell in two close bouts, as well as Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis.

If this bout took place five years ago it would have been a difficult bout to pick. But Bute hasn’t looked good inside the ring since his knockout loss to Carl Froch and Badou Jack’s stock has been rising. This will likely be Bute’s last chance at a legitimate world title, and it’s unlikely he’ll be successful.

James DeGale (22-1) vs. Rogelio Medina (36-6); IBF Super Middleweight Title

This bout, by far, is the bigger mismatch of the two world title fights.
James DeGale is three years older than his opponent and they have similar measurable such as height and reach, but is a significantly better technical boxer.

Medina, however, is the bigger puncher of the two as he has thirty wins by stoppage while DeGale only has fourteen stoppage victories.

DeGale, a southpaw, won the Gold Medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics while Medina has no major international amateur accomplishments.

Medina has gone 4-1 in his past five fights, but three of his losses were by KO and one of those wins came against an opponent with a record of 0-21. Medina only major win came against J’Leon Love in 2014, which was considered a shocking upset. His losses have been to Jonathan Gonzalez, Badou Jack, Marcos Reyes, Jose Uzcategui, and Gilberto Ramirez. Medina also lost to Yori Boy Campos, who was way past his prime at the time with 113 professional bouts to his credit when he defeated Medina.

DeGale’s lone loss was the fellow countrymen George Groves by a close decision. He has since won twelve fights in a row and has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Brandon Gonzales, Dyah Davis, and Paul Smith.

Medina has the power to score a shocking upset victory like he did against Love, but it’s unlikely a boxer with a Gold Medal amateur pedigree will take unnecessary risks to give Medina a shot at an upset.

This is a bout DeGale should win easily, and likely set up a future bout with Badou Jack in the near future.

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