By: Hans Themistode
He’s the second place man. The fighter who is always in a position to make noise and claim a spot amongst the elite of the division, but has come up short time and time again.
Back in 2015, Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) took on his first true test in then undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin. It was not a competitive contest as Redkach was stopped in the 4th round. One year later, Redkach was given another high profile fight, this time against Tevin Farmer. He once again came up woefully short, losing via unanimous decision. A stoppage loss to John Molina Jr in the 4th round back in 2017 all but confirmed his second place status.
Things happen in boxing. Not everyone can finish in first place and in the case of Ivan Redkach, it seemed apparent that he would have to take comfort in his second place role.
Fast forward over two years later since his loss to John Molina Jr and Redkach has seemingly rewrote the pages of his career. He has reeled off three straight wins including an impressive 6th round stoppage victory over former two division world champion Devon Alexander.
With the biggest win of his career now firmly in his back pocket, Redkach has been given an even bigger opportunity as he will be taking on former multiple time world champion Danny Garcia on January 25th, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Redkach has shared the ring with numerous world champions and elite level boxers throughout his career and believes that his experience, be it good or bad, will lead him to a victory against Garcia.
“As a fighter, he is a very good fighter,” said Redkach during a recent press conference in Brooklyn, New York. “But I’m not sure he will be able to handle himself in the ring against someone like me. I will do whatever it takes to come out with the win this January.”
In a career that has spanned nearly a decade, Redkach will deal with a new set of emotions for his upcoming fight against Garcia.
“I’ve supported him and been with him in his last fights but it’s my job. I had a long amateur career where I had the same kind of situations, so for me it’s just work.”
With the opportunity of a lifetime staring Redkach directly in the face, he will be looking to take full advantage of this situation.
Since moving up to the Welterweight division back in 2015, Garcia’s results at his new weight class has been a mixed bag of results. He has fallen short in two championship contest against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter but he has looked impressive as of late. A loss for him at this point in his career would be a death-nail of sorts in terms of his ability to compete with the best that the division has to offer.
There is no denying that Redkach, at least according to most, is not expected to win this contest. If you believe that the doubters in his capabilities will lead to his frustrations, then you don’t know Ivan Redkach.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. The motivation and strength that I get from my family and friends is what pushes me. As long as I have their motivation that’s all I need. That’s what helped me in the Alexander fight and it’s going to help me in this fight.”
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will present one of the best boxing matches during the month of August as Adrien Broner takes on Mikey Garcia in the junior welterweight division. Jermall Charlo will also be making his debut in the middleweight division as he bumps a weight class to take on Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
The undercard is also stacked and featured several entertaining fights and high level prospects. Jarrell Miller will face Gerald Washington in a matchup featuring two top ranked heavyweights. Katie Taylor and Rau’shee Warren are two former Olympians that will also be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the televised portion of the bouts that Showtime will be televising live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jermall Charlo (25-0) vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2); Middleweights
Jermall Charlo is dropping his junior middleweight title to bump up to his brother’s division and chase a world title there. He’s younger than his brother by one minute but they hope to hold titles in the same division as the same time.
Charlo is twenty seven years old and younger than his Argentinean opponent by three years. He’s from Houston, Texas and has been relatively active in the past two years. He fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2017. He stands at 6’0”, but has a pretty good reach of 73 ½”. Heiland has fought once in 2017, twice in 2016, and once in 2015.
Heiland is a southpaw and has four losses on his record. He doesn’t have the power of Charlo and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Charlo has stopped nineteen boxers.
Despite his four losses Heiland has been boxing well recently. He is currently riding an 8 win fight streak. Neither boxer has any notable amateur titles.
Charlo’s most impressive victory was in his last bout when he defeated Philadelphia native Julian Williams by knockout. His other notable victories include Austin Trout, Winky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.
Heiland’s only notable victory was a knockout over Matthew Macklin before Macklin retired. He has losses to Mateo Damian Veron, Billi Godoy, Nilson Tapia, and Sebastian Zbik.
Even though Charlo is bumping up a weight division, he’s facing an opponent that is not on his skill level. It’s a good first fight to feel out the middleweight division for Charlo.
Adrien Broner (33-2) vs. Mikey Garcia (36-0); Junior Welterweights
Adrien Broner has been in the news a lot recently, but not for boxing. He’s had a few run ins with the law, including an arrest in April of 2017 when the SUV he was driving was found to have bullet holes in it. Broner claimed at the time that his vehicle was shot at.
Broner is a boxer with amazing talents, but the outside issues could be a distraction and he’s facing an elite level talent.
Broner and Garcia are similar in age, with Broner being 28 years old and Garcia being 29. They are also similar in size and height. They are the same height and stand in at 5’6”. Garcia will have a slight reach advantage of one inch.
Neither boxer has been very active in the past two years fighting under the PBC banner. Broner only fought once in 2017 and 2016, but did fight three times in 2015. Garcia only fought once in 2017 and 2016, and did not fight in 2015 and most of 2014 due to contract issues with Top Rank Promotions.
Broner has defeated the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio Demarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Eloy Perez. His losses were to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana.
Garcia’s inactivity has cost him some possible big name matchups, but he still has a good list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dejan Zlaticanin, Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros.
Both boxers experienced some success on the national level as an amateur. Broner as a National Silver Gloves Champion and Garcia was a US Pal Gold Medalist and a US Junior Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.
Garcia’s inactivity and recent wins against subpar competition would normally big a cause of concern when facing a highly skilled opponent like Adrien Broner, but Broner’s recent run ins with the law and his two losses against top level opponents is a bigger concern.
This writer wouldn’t be shocked if Broner emerges victorious, but the edge has to go to Garcia.
It’s High Noon For Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve been in some crazy situations,” the Miami Herald quotes Adrien Broner as saying, “and I’m blessed to be here.” Could this, one may ask, truly be the brash Broner talking? The man who once flushed (hopefully fake) money down a toilet? The man who once referred to himself as being “About Billions?” The man who once planned to host a party bus (I wonder whatever happened to that endeavor?)? Indeed, it seems to be. “I’m taking this seriously,” the Herald further quotes Broner as saying. I know, I know, we’ve heard this all before. Broner is a changed man. Broner means business this time around. Such things ring hollow after learning of another arrest, after seeing more silliness online, after witnessing Broner just seeming like, well, Broner.
This time, however, perhaps – perhaps being the operative word here – things are finally different. For in the leadup to this weekend’s upcoming bout with the talented, uber-serious Mikey Garcia, Broner seems, well, INTENSE. Not insane. Not idiotic. Just intense. As in focused. The question now is whether or not the Cincinnati native has pissed away too much of his talent for this newfound professionalism to even count for much. The truth is that Broner has never done all that well on the big stage. Not once. A close – some say controversial – win over Paulie Malignaggi looks to have been the high point of Broner’s career to date. After that there were beatdowns from Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter respectively.
And since that time? Well, the man’s gotten along just fine if one counts being in the public consciousness as a measure of success. Broner still hasn’t faced another major opponent, though. At least not until now. This Saturday in Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, however, Broner is facing the real thing – a young undefeated guy who doesn’t believe in flash, a man who simply believes in beating his opponents, often by beating them into oblivion. Make no mistake about it, the 36-0 Garcia is dangerous. A loss this time out – at least a definitive one – might well spell the end of the 33-2 Broner’s time as a major player in the sport.
One thing needs to be made clear, though, and that’s the fact that Broner is not just some random opponent in this battle. Sure enough, the man has a real chance of winning. Broner’s always had a sharp skill set – perhaps not of the prime Floyd Mayweather level – but conceivably just a rung or two below. If the guy is as focused as he says he is – and as he appears to be in camp – Broner may be looking at a career revival. It’s also worth noting that the fight is going to be held in the 140 pound junior welterweight realm – rather foreign territory for lightweight titlist Garcia. It may be high noon for the fighter known as “The Problem,” but that doesn’t mean Broner won’t enter the ring on Saturday well equipped for a firefight.
By: Francisco Martinez
Anybody can get it, The Can Man is back. Adrien Broner, always ballin and has one thing on his mind come July 29th and that a beat down. Adrien Broner refocused and thinking About Billions and About Beatdowns as his mature side kicks in for this highly anticipated bout with Mikey Garcia at 140lbs. Adrien Broner is locked in and focused for what he says will be his best performance yet “everybody know I can take it and give it. We don’t know the max he take, we don’t” say Broner of Garcia.
Goes on to criticize Mikey Garcia’s resume “who have he beat to say he’s just that good? I don’t know, who? Roman Martinez? Salido, are you serious? Lopez, are you serious?” Broner not impressed by the hype surrounding his rival heading into July 29th at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York confident he would be undefeated having faced the caliber of opponents Garcia has face up until now and wonders what Garcia’s record would be like having faced the opposition he himself has faced. Talking about the likes of Shawn Porter, Marco Maidana and so on and on
“I mean look, listen, the guys he’s been punching are 135 and down. I would like to see how they career like if Maidana hit one of them guys or if I hit one of them guys. Let’s think about this, give me all 36 of his opponents and than I give him all my opponents and let’s see what our records would be? I know I’ll be 36 and 0 with 36 knockouts, (lightweight) 35 and down. Let’s see what his record would be? That’s the difference. I hear people say he hit harder than this person, he hit harder than that person, well, they said John Molina hit harder than a lot of motherfuckers but you just gotta ask somebody he hit cause he ain’t hit me”
Early in his career many critics considered Adrien Broner as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather hints the John Molina never hit me remark. Broner’s defensive genius was similar and about the closest thing to Mayweather. Floyd even giving him the moniker of “lil bro” however somewhere along the way Broner faltered but not completely. He did lose a few believers but the belief of Broner within himself has kept him atop the sport being Premier Boxing Champions highest rating draw since its promotional inception. Some might view this fight on July 29th as Adrien Broner’s last chance to shine and reach his full potential as Broner, he himself sees it a totally different way
“after this fight I will be taking over the sport of boxing” states a confident Adrien Broner. Taking all precautionary measures in order to make sure he’s prepared to the best of his capabilities Broner moved camp to Colorado in search of his glory days which has rekindled his love for boxing once again. In recent footage Adrien Broner puts a beating on his sparring partners even floors one. A direct message saying A.B. is back, The Can Man is back. Anybody, can get it. Broner’s best performances came at 130 and 135lbs weight classes which where products of camps held in Colorado if I’m not mistaken.
With betting odds opening up at 5-1 underdog Adrien Broner hopes his haters don’t hold their breath as he promises them this will be the best performance of his career and Las Vegas will surely lose a lot of money “I respect every fighter. I’m older and I’m wiser. I just have to do things right. I don’t hate those guys. The fight is gonna happen on July and let the best man win” words from a much more mature Adrien Broner as he assures victory will be his.
Tune in July 29th live on Showtime at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for this highly anticipated bought between Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia. Make sure to follow the conversation via #BronerGarcia
PBC on Showtime Preview: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York Showtime will televise at least two bouts in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The main event will be between two top contenders, Shawn “Showtime” Porter and Andre Berto in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The co-main event will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley.
Other boxers on the undercard include WBO Women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Serrano, Jose Miguel Borrego, Julian Sosa, and Richardson Hitchins.
The following is a preview of the Porter vs. Berto and Charlo vs. Hatley bouts.
Jermell Charlo (28-0) vs. Charles Hatley (26-1-1); WBC Junior Middleweight Title
This bout is between two boxers who should be somewhat familiar with each other, Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley. Charlo and Hatley are both Texas natives and Charlo hails from Houston while Hatley hails from Dallas.
Charlo, the younger twin brother of Jermall, will be five years younger than Hatley and will have about a one inch height and reach advantage. Hatley, however, appears to be the harder puncher of the two. Hatley has stopped eighteen of his opponents and four of his past five wins have come by TKO. Charlo has only stopped thirteen of his opponents and only two of his past five opponents were stopped.
Both boxers have not been very active recently. Charlo only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, while Hatley did not fight in all of 2016 and fought twice in 2015.
They both had decent amateur careers, but Hatley was the more accomplished amateur. Hatley was the 2007 US National Amateur Welterweight Champion and the 2008 Olympic alternate. Charlo won the bronze medal in the 2005 Junior Olympics.
Charlo has the better resume as a professional. He has beaten the likes of John Jackson, Joachim Alcine, Vanes Martirosyan, Mario Lozano, Charles Bellamy, Gabriel Rosado, Demetrius Hopkins, and Harry Joe Yorgey. Hatley has beaten the likes of Emmanuel Augustus, Anthony Mundine, Saul Roman, and Jose Flores. His lone loss was to Lanardo Tyner, and he failed to go the distance in that bout.
At the age of thirty one and not having fought in over a year, ring rust is a serious concern for Hatley. Charlo is coming off a very good win against Jackson and momentum and age is on his side.
This should be a close bout early, but Charlo should take over in the later rounds.
Shawn Porter (26-2-1) vs. Andre Berto (31-4); WBC Welterweight Eliminator
This is a bout between two of the top contenders in the welterweight division that are looking for another chance at a welterweight title shot. Another loss for either boxer could spell the end of any hope of fighting for a title in the near future.
Both Porter and Berto had successful amateur careers. Porter was a World Golden Gloves Champion and came up short in qualifying for the 2008 US Olympic Team. Berto was a National Golden Gloves Champion, a bronze medalist in the 2003 World Championships, and represented Haiti in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Both boxers have had some difficulties as of late. Berto has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts while Porter has gone 4-2. Porter has losses to the likes of Keith Thurman and Kell Brook by close decisions. Berto has lost to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz, and Jesus Soto Karass.
Berto appears to have the harder punch of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, Porter is five years younger than Berto and will have a half an inch height advantage and about an inch reach advantage.
Neither boxer has been very active the past two years. They both fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Berto’s career started off strong but has since fizzled a little bit. He has wins over Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo and Freddy Hernandez.
Porter’s two losses could have gone either way, and he has defeated the likes of Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.
This should be a good bout and as typical for most Shawn Porter fights, will likely be very rough and chippy. Porter should be given the edge based on his edge and recent performance, but Berto has the power to stop the fight early if he lands a punch cleanly.
This writer believes Porter will win a close, and at times ugly, decision.
What’s To Be Done About Angel Garcia?
By: Sean Crose
What can be done with the likes of Angel Garcia? The father and trainer of WBC welterweight champ Danny Garcia has proven himself to be a menace to the sport of boxing. Sure, you can say the word menace is hyperbole, but how else to explain a man who disrupts a major press conference with vitriol and behavior that, to the untrained eye at least, appears less than stable? That’s the thing about the elder Garcia – he’s either a complete ass or he’s unstable. There really is no in-between. And frankly, neither option is acceptable in the public sphere.
Truth be told, it’s painful to write about the man in this age of political correctness run amok. At a time when there is a serious belief that the First Amendment is a bad thing instead of the key to freedom it is, the last thing reasonable people should want to do is criticize someone for speaking out. Yet the elder Garcia gives us no choice. Yes, he has the right to say what he wants. No one (or, at least not this author) is arguing that fact. Yet people also have a First Amendment right to call him out for acting in a wildly inappropriate manner. And yeah, the WBC has a right to ban the man from further press conferences, as well as from his son’s corner in WBC sanctioned fights.
In all honesty, I’m still not sure exactly what Garcia was getting at when he went wild at last week’s press conference to announce the welterweight title unifier between his son and the undefeated Keith Thurman. Nor do I know if the man made sense or not. I heard a lot of derogatory stuff, though. I also saw the guy totally obliterate a major press conference that, for all intents and purposes, should have been very good for boxing. Garcia-Thurman is a major bout to be aired on network television in primetime, after all. In other words, it’s just what boxing needs.
What boxing most certainly doesn’t need is a major participant, peripheral or not, engaging in antisocial behavior in a public setting. Mike Tyson’s well documented meltdown hurt the sport – believe it. While the “Iron Mike” of the late 80s through early 90s brought the sport intense interest, the later, ear-biting, vile talking Tyson turned fans off. In other words, the sport can’t afford an unhinged Angel Garcia. Sanctioning bodies, networks and even analysts have to be responsible here.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that things like trash talk need to go by the way side. You don’t have to be a fan of what used to be called talking smack to understand its effectiveness. Trash talk is, after all, psychological warfare. And psychological warfare has been a part of boxing since at least 1890s, when it was practiced by “Gentleman Jim” Corbett. There’s a difference, though, between trash talk and legitimately chaotic behavior. Boxing is chaotic enough. If anything, more order is needed, not less. If he’s able to appreciate the difference, the senior Garcia should grasp the fact that hyping a fight and pissing off decent society are two entirely different things.
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.
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.
GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December
By: Sean Crose
“I understand my situation,” Gennady Golovkin told me some time ago, before his match with Daniel Geale. Since then, the man has become less patient, and with good reason. Still, it seems like now a big name middleweight will finally be willing to get in the ring with the feared GGG. For word is out that Golovkin may get it on with Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs, a hard hitting, exciting slugger who holds the WBA middleweight world title (Golovkin is WBAs super world middleweight champion, but let’s not get hung up on the silly details) this December.
The truth is that HBO, which would air the bout, is going through some money woes – at least as its boxing broadcasts are concerned – so it hasn’t been able to air as many fights as it usually does. The injury Canelo Alvarez received fighting Liam Smith recently, however, means Canelo won’t be fighting again this year on HBO as planned. Hence talk of this potential middleweight unification. Should the fight be made, it will likely go down December 10th at Madison Square Garden in New York. After what will be a slow October for boxing, the more good news there is for fight fans, the better.
Golovkin, as most fight followers know, is the most avoided man in boxing with the possible exception of Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure enough, men like fellow middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders have openly admitted to being hesitant to face the Kazakh warrior. Boasting a record of 36-0 with 33 knockouts, Golovkin brings an impressive, patient skill set to go along with his furious punching power. Indeed, GGG can not only win a fight, he can beat an opponent severely. Case in point – welterweight champ Kell Brook, who went up in weight to fight GGG recently and had to have surgery as a result of his encounter with the man.
Jacobs, however, is no joke. Here is a fighter, after all, who has not only licked cancer, but who has earned himself a record of 32-1 with 29 knockouts. Sure enough, Jacobs is skilled as well as powerful. Peter Quilin, for instance, was dusted by Jacobs within one round and that was supposed to be a relatively evenly matched fight. Perhaps most importantly, though, Jacobs appears to be willing to fight Golovkin, a man even top fighters like Alvarez appear to be content avoiding.
That in an of itself is worthy of some kind of praise in this era of low risk/high reward.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Frampton Decisions Santa Cruz in Slugfest, Harrison and Garcia Win by TKO
By: William Holmes
Tonight’s edition of Showtime Championship Boxing was presented by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and broadcast live from the Barcalys Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The undercard was packed with televised worthy bouts. Amanda Serrano was able to retain her WBO World Featherweight Championship with a first round TKO over Calixta Silgado. This victory sets up a possible title fight with fellow undefeated Heather “The Heat” Hardy, who was in attendance and watched the bout keenly from ringside.
Two bouts were televised on Showtime Extreme before the start of the main card on showtime. Tevin Farmer was able to score a mild upset over Ivan Redkach with scores of 99-89, 98-90, and 98-90 in the lightweight division. Paulie Malignaggi faced off against Gabriel Bracero in the main event of Showtime Extreme and was able to win the decision victory in the welterweight division with scores of 96-94, 98-92, and 98-92.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
The first televised bout on Showtime was between Tony Harrison (23-1) and Sergey Rabchenko (27-1) in the junior middleweight division.
Tony Harrison, a Detroit native that was formerly trained by the late Emmanuel Steward, is a boxer with a lot of promise that lost some of his luster when he was upset by Willie Nelson.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and felt each other out in the opening round. Harrison began to throw more straight right hands and combinations in the second round and was starting to find his target.
Rabchenko was more aggressive in the third and fourth rounds than Harrison, but he wasn’t able to land many punches of significance as Harrison was able to keep his jab in the face of Rabchenko and out of range.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds played out like the earlier rounds, with Harrison pop shotting Rabchenko but not taking any risks to try and finish the fight.
Fans were starting to boo the action in the seventh round and that continued into the eighth, though Harrison was able to land some hard left hooks to the head of Rabchenko.
Harrison scored a knockdown n the ninth round with crisp straight right hand to the temple of Rabchenko that put him on wobbly legs and down to the mat. He was able to get up before the ten count but still had shaky legs and waived off the bout.
Tony Harrison wins by TKO at 1:18 of the ninth round.
Mikey Garcia (34-0) returned from a two year layoff to face Elio Rojas (24-2) in the Super Lightweight Division in the co-main event of the night.
Garcia refused to touch the gloves of Rojas at the start of the bout. Garcia looked good, physically, in the junior welterweight division, but was tentative in the opening round and might have given it away on inactivity alone.
Rojas threw more punches and landed more punches than Garcia in the second round, but Garcia started to warm up near the end and was able to land a hard lead left hook and straight right hand.
Garcia started off the third round by landing some piston like jabs and was chasing Rojas around the ring. He was able to land a short left hook out of nowhere that sent Rojas to the mat and on one knee. Rojas was able to get back to his feet and land some counter punches when the action continued, but was cracked with a hard straight right hand that sent him to the mat for a second time. Rojas, to his credit, was able to survive the round and second knockdown.
Rojas was able to stay on his feet in the fourth round and connect with an occasional straight right hand, Garcia, however, pressed forward the entire round and landed the heavier shots in the round.
Garcia scored another knockdown in the fifth round with a straight right hand. Rojas beat the count again, but got cracked with a left hook from Garcia that sent him to the mat for the fourth, and final time.
Mikey Garcia wins by TKO at 2:02 of the fifth round.
The main event of the evening was between Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1) and Carl Frampton (22-0) for the WBA World Featherweight Championship.
The upper sections in the Barclays Center were closed off, but the bottom half of the arena was packed and many fans of Carl Frampton were in attendance and were very loud and supportive of their fighter and very hostile towards Santa Cruz.
The crowd was deafening in the opening round and both boxers seemed content with trading leather rather than feeling each other out. Santa Cruz appeared to have landed more, but the crowd roared every time Frampton landed a punch and may have titled the scorecards in his favor.
The crowd continued to sing in the second round to spur their fighter on, and Frampton got them exited when he rocked Santa Cruz with a counter left hook and sent him stumbling backwards. Santa Cruz was able to stay on his feet, and land good shots of his own, but that punch likely won Frampton the round.
Santa Cruz looked recovered by the third round and continued to come forward throwing a high volume of punches, but Frampton landed several crisp counters and dug in some heavy body shots.
The fourth round had several good exchanges, but Santa Cruz appeared to land the higher number of punches and caught Frampton by surprise with a good right hand to the temple. Both fighters landed, and took, several hard shots to the head.
The action slowed down in the fifth round, and the slow down clearly favored Frampton. His counter punches were more noticeable this round and Santa Cruz looked frustrated.
The action picked up again in the sixth round and featured both boxers standing in the middle of the ring and exchanging and firing at will, but Santa Cruz appeared to get the better of Frampton and did good work to the body and head.
Santa Cruz did state that he would begin to take over the fight in the sixth round in pre-fight interviews.
It looked in the seventh round that Santa Cruz’s prediction might come true, as he kept up the pressure and took the fight to Frampton. Frampton was still able to land an occasional counter, but he was not landing them as cleanly as he did in the opening rounds.
Frampton retook control in the eighth round by landing good shots to the body when in tight and connected on several hooks to the head of Santa Cruz.
Frampton did well in the opening minute of the ninth round and was matching the work rate of Santa Cruz, which not many people can do. However, Santa Cruz connected with two hard right hands near the end of the round and was doing some damage on Frampton when his back was against the ropes.
The tenth round could have been scored either way, as Santa Cruz pressed the action but Frampton was landing some good counter shots.
The eleventh round was one of Santa Cruz’s best rounds. He landed several hard right hands and appeared to hurt Frampton once or twice, but Frampton was able to land good shots of his own.
The crowd was on its feet in the final round and neither boxer could have felt comfortable going to the scorecards. Several violent exchanges were made in this round, and both boxers landed their fair share of punches and like several rounds before it, could have gone either way.
It was an exciting and action packed title fight. The judges scored it 114-114, 116-112, 117-111 for Carl Frampton for a majority decision victory.
Undercard Quick Recap:
Josh Taylor (6-0) defeated Evinii Dixon (7-15-1) by TKO at the end of the second round in the junior welterweight division.
Min-Wook Kim (16-1) defeated Louis Cruz (11-2-1) by TKO at 2:33 of the first round in the junior welterweight division.
Jose Gomez (8-0) defeated Josh Crespo (5-4-3) by TKO at 2:31 of the first round in the featherweight division.
Conrad Cummings (10-0-1) defeated Dante Moore (9-1-2) by decision with scores of 59-53, 58-54, and 58-54 in the middleweight division.
Amanda Serrano (29-1) retained her WBO World Featherweight Championship with a TKO victory over Calixta Silgado (14-7-3) at 1:41 of the first round.
Tevin Farmer (22-4-1) defeated Ivan Redkach (19-2-1) by decision with scores of 99-89, 98-90, and 98-90 in the lightweight division.
Paulie Malignaggi (36-7) defeated Gabriel Bracero (24-3) by scores of 96-94, 98-92, and 98-92 in the welterweight division.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Santa Cruz vs. Frampton, Garcia vs. Rojas
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will put on a stacked card on Showtime and Showtime Extreme live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The main event of the evening will feature a WBA Featherweight Title bout between Mexican brawler Leo Santa Cruz and Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton. This is one of the best bouts that could be made in the featherweight division.
Mikey Garcia, who is returning from an extended layoff, will be returning to the ring since formally splitting from Top Rank in a tune up fight against Elio Rojas in the co-main event of the evening.
The undercard is also stacked and will feature several good bouts. Sergey Rabchnko and Tony Harrison will compete in an IBF Junior Middleweight eliminator. Paulie Malignaggi will face fellow Brooklyn native Gabriel Bracero in a welterweight bout, and Philadelphia native Tevin Farmer will face the tough Ivan Redkach in a lightweight bout.
The following is a preview of the main event and co-main event of the evening.
Mikey Garcia (34-0) vs. Elio Rojas (24-2); Junior Welterweights
Mikey Garcia has not fought in over two years, and the last time he was in the ring he was fighting in the super featherweight division. He is jumping up two weight classes and normally ring rust would be a major factor going into this fight. However, his opponent Elio Rojas fought zero times in 2015, once in 2014, and zero times in 2013 and will also be experiencing ring rust. Rojas also last fought in the featherweight weight class.
Garcia is five years younger than Rojas, but will be giving up two inches in reach. Garcias is the more powerful puncher and has stopped twenty eight of his opponents, and won three of his last five fights by KO/TKO. Rojas only has fourteen stoppage victories on his resume, and only has one stoppage win in his past five fights.
Both boxers had good amateur careers. Rojas won the bronze medal in the World Championships as an amateur and won gold medals in various regional amateur tournaments. Garcia is a bronze medalist in the National Golden Gloves and a Silver Medalist in the US PAL Cadet Championships.
Rojas is a former WBC Featherweight World Champion. His biggest wins were against Takahiro Ao and Guty Espadas. His losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Gamaliel Diaz.
Garcia has a much more impressive professional resume. He has defeated, easily, the likes of Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros.
Garcia had a long and expensive fight with Top Rank Promotions to be let out of his contract, and his inactivity might be evident in the ring. However, Top Rank fought so hard with Garcia because he is an elite talent with a growing fan base.
If Garcia was fighting a legitimate junior welterweight contender, his inactivity and smaller size might be of worry. However, he’s fighting a boxer who is also making the jump up weight classes and has also been very inactive.
This is a bout that Garcia should win, quite easily.
Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1) vs. Carl Frampton (22-0); WBA Featherweight Title
The main event of the evening is an excellent matchup and one of the best fights that could be made in the featherweight division.
Santa Cruz has expressed interest in moving up in weight after this bout, and he has the frame to pack on a few more pounds without sacrificing too much in performance. Santa Cruz is two and a half inches taller than Frampton and will have an imposing seven inch reach advantage.
Both boxers have similar knockout ratios. Santa Cruz has stopped eighteen opponents in thirty three fights, while Frampton has stopped fourteen opponents in twenty two fights. However, Santa Cruz has three stoppage wins in his past five fights while Frampton has two stoppage wins in his past five fights.
Both boxers have also been fairly active. They both fought once in 2016, and Frampton fought twice in 2015 while Santa Cruz fought three times in 2015.
Both boxers had some moderate success as an amateur. Santa Cruz was a Gold Medalist in the International Junior Olympics Tournament and a Silver Medalist in the US National Championships. Frampton was an Irish National Champion as an amateur and had moderate success on the international stage as an amateur.
Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Jesus Ruiz, Cristian Mijares, Victor Terrazas, and Eric Morel. Frampton has defeated the likes of Scott Quigg, Chris Avalos, Alejandro Gonzalez, Kiko Martinez (twice), and Steve Molitor.
The seven inch reach advantage will likely play a huge factor on Saturday night. Santa Cruz is also a volume puncher, and that will make it very difficult for Frampton to get within his range and inflict damage upon his opponent.
Santa Cruz is not known for his defensive abilities, but his nonstop offense is his best defense. This bout will likely go all twelve rounds, and Frampton will likely have a large number of fans from the United Kingdom in attendance, but Santa Cruz has to be considered the favorite to walk away the victor.
How Will Frampton Compare to his British Counterparts on American Soil?
By: Jordan Seward
In 17 days’ time Carl Frampton (22-0-KO14) will be facing off with Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1-KO18) for the WBA Super world featherweight title in the Barclays Centre, New York.
This will be ‘The Jackal’s’ first world title fight up at featherweight after he vacated the WBA and IBF world super-bantamweight titles. The highly rated 29-year-old’s prompted move up to featherweight came after he convincingly beat bitter rival; Scott Quigg (31-1-2).
The Northern Irishmen displayed superior ring intelligence and punch prowess to defeat Quigg and claim the WBA and IBF world super-bantamweight titles. His journey so far has been a fruitful one, but his only previous experience of fighting in America didn’t go according to plan.
Prior to the domestic dust-up with Quigg, Frampton defended his IBF world super-bantamweight title against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (25-3-2) with a unanimous decision victory, at the Don Haskins Convention Centre, El Paso, Texas.
Despite getting over the finish line, it undeniably was not the American debut Frampton would have dreamt about. He struggled to perform and was forced to climb off the canvas twice in the first round. Sometimes a champions grit, willingness and determination is called upon and Frampton duly responded, unfortunately it just wasn’t the ideal setting for that moment.
This time round, in the ‘Big Apple’, Frampton will be eager to set the record straight and show his true talents to the American boxing fans against Santa Cruz. Hitting America as a boxer is like becoming a partner at Nike, it’s like reaching the top of Machu Picchu, it’s like vacationing in Bora Bora. It’s the big time.
And for years, some of the best British boxers have crossed the Atlantic in an attempt to conquer America. Some of Frampton’s British counterparts have succeeded, some have failed. The undisputed heavyweight king, Lennox Lewis (42-2-1), initially struggled to win over the American public until he put on a dominant performance in the controversial draw with Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Out of the 44 professional fights Lewis had, 22 of them were in the United States. It was not until he became undisputed champion in Las Vegas against Holyfield that he reached superstar status alongside with the likes of Mike Tyson.
Another Brit that took America by storm was ‘Prince’ Nassem Hamed. His American debut; similarly, to Frampton but with a whole lot more drama, was a thrilling encounter that made him an instant hit. Hamed climbed off the canvas three times before stopping fan favourite Kevin Kelley in Madison Square Garden, New York.
In more recent times, Kell Brook and James DeGale have tasted success in America both winning world titles against homeland opponents. Carl Froch experienced the highs and lows of America, he was on route to a points loss to Jermaine Taylor before sensationally knocking him out in the last round, but was outclassed on American soil by Andre Ward two years later.
British hero Ricky Hatton, has hurtful memories of Las Vegas as he suffered two career-damaging losses to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. So how will Frampton compare to his British counterparts on June 30?
The Northern Irishmen made his professional debut as a featherweight and he was always a big super-bantamweight. There were strong rumours that Frampton often struggled to make the 118lb limit and there was obviously some truth in those rumours, so weight shouldn’t be an issue.
The Tiger’s Bay boxer is in with a shrewd customer in Leo Santa Cruz though, his style is bullish and aggressive and he is yet to taste defeat. It’s proven that Carl can be hurt, Gonzalez put him down twice and he isn’t renowned for being a massive puncher. ‘El Terremoto’ is the bigger fighter, standing two and a half inches taller and has an 18cm reach advantage. It’s a menacing task. Cruz’s style is problematic, Frampton will be cautious to fight on the inside, but his opponent is rangy as well.
However, Frampton has the mental attributes to stick to a game plan and possess’ the boxing tools to pick the Mexican apart. Providing the mental scars of the Gonzalez fight have healed – which they should have after the Quigg fight, he will be filled to the brim with confidence and certainly has the skills in his locker to do the job.
‘The Jackal’ prides himself on his ring intelligence and footwork and he will need to implement these skills if he is to win. His trainer Shane McGuigan is one of the hottest and most sought after trainers in boxing right now and he will be fundamental to Frampton’s chances.
Despite Britain being the desired location for the biggest fights right now, highlighted by the super-fight between Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook, America is still the place boxers want to make a name for themselves, mainly for the financial prosperity.
In recent times, the success of British boxers in America has been auspicious, although that all goes out the window at the Barclays Centre in 19 days’ time as far as Frampton’s concerned. it’s his moment now, to put his name in the spotlight and become a two weight world champion and create more British success on American soil.
Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter and the Start of a New Era
By: Kirk Jackson
Finally, after talk and speculation, rescheduled dates and car accidents, we’ve arrived to the anticipated, precipice of warfare between the world’s top welterweights.
The battleground is The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York.
The battle combatants; Keith “One Time” Thurman 26-0 (22 KO’s) and Shawn “Showtime” Porter 26-1-1 (16 KO’s).
This match-up brings much intrigue and can have a significant impact on the welterweight division. This is a fight that can get the ball rolling so to speak.
The welterweight division is stacked and fans are yearning for a series of fights to transpire, pitting the best against the best.
We recently witnessed the exit of two historically great welterweights, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Although it would not be a surprise if either Mayweather or Pacquiao suddenly decided to come back for another fight.
Omitting those two names, the division is stacked with a wealth of talent; WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas, two division champion Robert Guerrero, three division champion Adrien Broner, two division champion Timothy Bradley, two division champion Amir Khan, undefeated contender Errol Spence and there’s a few other notable fighters in the division as well.
Of course we have two fighters leading the charge to represent the new welterweight era, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.
Thurman is defending his WBA welterweight title and aiming to establish himself as the best fighter in the welterweight division.
Porter is seeking redemption from his defeat to Brook in the form of gaining another world title and wants to firmly plant his declaration as the division’s premier fighter.
Fitting this fight will be broadcasted across network television under the Premier Boxing Champions banner.
The odds makers regard this fight as a close to even match-up with Thurman slightly favored, as each fighter holds certain advantages and distinct styles.
According to a who’s who of the welterweight division, the fighter who will emerge victorious is a toss-up:
Robert Guerrero: “This is a fight the fans are going to love watching. Both Thurman and Porter bring exciting styles to the ring. I think if Porter can keep the fight on the inside he’ll have a better chance to come out victorious. But Keith Thurman is a very smart and powerful fighter and will make the right adjustments. I just think Thurman is going to outbox Porter. I’m picking Thurman to win by decision in a very tough fight.”
Danny Garcia: “I think this is a great matchup. Thurman has the boxing ability and the movement while Shawn Porter is the aggressor and he’s going to bring the heat. To be honest with you it’s a 50-50 fight, but I would give the edge to Keith Thurman by a very close decision.”
Kell Brook: “This is a great fight, one I can’t wait to watch. If Shawn can stick to his boxing I think he can become world champion again on points, but Keith is heavy-handed and he could walk Shawn onto one – it’s really a pick ’em fight for me.”
Errol Spence Jr.: “I think this is a great fight between young fighters with good skill. Shawn throws a lot of punches while Thurman is a boxer who can punch too. I know Shawn will be aggressive and it should make for a great fight. If Keith can box and keep Shawn Porter on the outside I see Keith Thurman winning. If Shawn stays on the inside and stays in the chest of Keith, I see him winning.”
Andre Berto: “Shawn is going to come, but I think Keith will be on his toes and box but also drop hard shots as well when Shawn comes in. Keith can be very versatile in there and has a lot of great skills, while Shawn is more like a bull. Keith will hurt or knock Shawn down but will keep coming all night.’’ (Source USA Today).
Porter possesses the frame of a well-conditioned football player; resembling a short, stocky, rugged linebacker. His style of fighting plays off of that distinction, as he likes to blitz his opponents with aggression, utilizing his physical prowess and peak conditioning to overwhelm his opponents.
Despite standing the same height as Thurman and possessing a slight reach advantage, Porter prefers to fight in the trenches and that is to be expected when he faces Thurman.
Thurman is a power puncher living by his mantras, “All it takes is one time,” and “KO’s for life!”
But Thurman is quite the boxer as well; displaying the ability to adjust and adapt his game plan in previous fights against Diego Chaves, Jan Zaveck and Leonard Bundu.
Expect Thurman to set the pace whether as the matador, or as the one leading the charge. He wants to dictate and control the action.
There are many variables to this fight. If Thurman can catch Porter coming in and consistently create separation to allow his offense to thrive, he should win. If Porter can implement his imposing style and take this fight to the trenches, making the fight scrappy and ugly while attacking Thurman’s body, he should win. The fight can play out in various ways.
Ultimately this boils down to intangibles and who can better utilize them.
The great intangible Porter possesses is his strong will and determination. Despite constantly being heralded as the underdog and facing technical disadvantages in many match-ups, Porter typically rises to the occasion and perseveres relying on his determination and physicality.
An overlooked intangible Thurman possesses is his ring intelligence. Intelligence allows a fighter to pinpoint the opposing fighter’s weaknesses; allows the fighter to adapt to various situations and ultimately carves the path towards victory.
Thurman can make the necessary adjustments. Although he may not stop Porter within the distance, Thurman has enough power to keep Porter off, where he can consistently create space and find his range to land scoring punches.
The goal of Porter is to overwhelm and wear down opponents, but he will be on the receiving end of energy sapping punches for the more powerful and accurate Thurman.
Expect this to be a competitive, highly contested bout throughout, with Thurman creating enough separation as to who is the superior fighter en route to unanimous decision.
Nearly as important as the fight itself is what happens after the fight. The welterweight division has somewhat been at a standstill since the conclusion of the Mayweather-Pacquiao era and this event can trigger a series of significant fights moving forward.
Potentially there is a match-up featuring Kell Brook vs. Jessie Vargas later in the fall. Perhaps we’ll see the winner of Thurman/Porter take on the winner of Brook/Vargas.
Or we’ll see the winner of Thurman/Porter take on Danny Garcia or Adrien Broner or Errol Spence.
This match-up featuring Thurman and Porter should showcase the very best of what the welterweight division has to offer post Mayweather-Pacquiao era and is a nice transition into the new era of welterweights.
PBC on CBS Preview: Thurman vs. Porter, Hurd vs. Molina
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will put on one of their best cards on network television of the year as Keith Thurman defends his WBA Welterweight Title against Shawn Porter in the main event of the evening.
Abner Mares was originally scheduled to face Jesus Cuellar in the co-main event of the evening, but an injury to Abner Mares forced him to withdraw. Instead, fight fans will be get to see two prospects battle it out in the junior middleweight division when Jarret Hurd takes on Oscar Molina.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York has been a boxing hotspot since the Barclays Center inception and it will be the host site for Saturday’s fight card.
Jarrett Hurd (17-0) vs. Oscar Molina (13-0-1); Junior Middleweights
Jarrett “Swift” Hurd first burst into the national spotlight when he scored an upset stoppage victory over Frank Galarza, and win over Molina could lead to a big fight in the junior middleweight division.
His opponent, Oscar Molina, will be the third straight undefeated opponent he has faced in a row and is also known for his power. Hurd has stopped eleven of his opponents and four of his past five fights failed to go the distance. Molina has ten stoppage wins, and three of his past five fights failed to go the distance.
Hurd is twenty five years old and Molina is twenty six, but Hurd will have a four inch height advantage and a six and a half inch reach advantage. They both have been very active the past two years. Hurd fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014 while Molina fought twice in 2014 and four times in 2015.
Hurd has the better professional record so far. He has beaten the likes of Jeff Lentz, Frank Galarza, and Eric Mitchell. He’s also never been knocked down during his professional career. Molina has not beaten many names of note, but has defeated the likes of Adrien Torres and drew with Domonique Dolton.
The only noteworthy advantage Molina has over Hurd is that he fought in the 2012 Olympics for Mexico. However, Hurd is in the middle of an impressive winning streak and his height, reach, and power will be too much for Molina to handle over the course of ten rounds.
Keith Thurman (26-0) vs. Shawn Porter (26-1-1); WBA Welterweight Title
The main event of the evening is the best fight the PBC can put on in the welterweight division.
Keith Thurman, the current WBA Welterweight Champion, is considered by many to be the best boxer in the welterweight division now that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have retired. However, Shawn Porter recently beat Adrien Broner, the man many people felt would replace Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Porter is twenty nine years old and two years older than Thurman. Thurman will have a slight half an inch height advantage on Porter and Porter will have a slight half an inch reach advantage on Thurman.
They both fought twice in 2015 and in 2014. Thurman has the heavier hands, as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, as the level of competition that Thurman faces continues to get better his knockouts seems to be happening less often. Two of the past three opponents that Thurman has faced went the distance.
Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter both experienced success as an amateur. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion and Thurman was an Olympic Trials Runner Up.
They both have an impressive resume as a professional. Thurman has defeated the likes of Luiz Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Leonard Bundu, Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chavez, and Jan Zaveck. Porter has defeated Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez. Porter’s lone loss was to Kell Brook.
This should be an excellent fight and could go either way. Thurman has to be considered the favorite based on his undefeated record and power. Porter is a physical and in your face type of boxer, but he can get sloppy at times and Thurman is the type of boxer that will eat up your mistakes.
Barclays Center Is Becoming A Boxing Hotspot
By: Sean Crose
Danny Garcia fights there regularly. So does Chris Algieri. Deontay Wilder laid out Artur Szpilka there in frightening fashion last winter and then Tyson Fury got in the ring and made a scene. Madison Square Garden may indeed be the Mecca of Boxing, but Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is becoming a boxing hot spot of its own. Although the relatively new – it just opened in 2012 – arena hasn’t hosted the kind of major bouts that constitute superfights, it’s proven to be a fan friendly, and affordable, outlet. Sure enough, this weekend’s Keith Thurman – Shawn Porter throwdown is perfectly suited for the Center.
A major, relevant matchup that’s not quite big enough for pay per view yet exciting enough on paper to warrant some real attention, Thurman-Porter truly has the makings of a fight that’s “for the fans.” You don’t have to be well connected to get in to see this one live, either. While it may not be cheap to get to any professional sporting event, Thurman-Porter at the Barclays Center is still relatively affordable. Expect a good sized crowd this Saturday when the fight airs live on CBS – the first fight to do so in primetime since the Ali era. Again, this is a high quality matchup (hopefully the fight will live up to its potential).
When one steps back and observes things objectively, however, the Barclays Center is a perfect outlet for boxing in the northeast. The sweet science may not be what it was in the stretch between New Jersey and New Hampshire, but Brooklyn, where the Barclays is located, is perfectly suited to draw in local fans. For the greater New York area is home to large numbers of African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Eastern Europeans, Russians and Irish. And each of those demographics have fight friendly populations within their ranks. There’s a reason to have fights take place in Brooklyn, after all, rather than a few miles up the road on the Connecticut “Gold Coast.”
The main reason the Barclays may be becoming a boxing hot bed, however, is the fact that the people who run it want it to be. If one wants to host fights, one simply has to show a willingness to. And the Barclays has been willing to host fight card after fight card since its opening several years ago. Naturally, fight fans and promoters have returned the favor. Something must be working, otherwise both the Barclays and the boxing world would cease working together. Business is business, after all.
Here’s hoping business keeps rolling along in Brooklyn.
Always On The Cusp: Shawn Porter
By: Brandon Bernica
Shawn Porter sits on the brink of stardom. Coming into Saturday’s high-powered matchup with fellow rising star Keith Thurman, Porter is familiar with his own burgeoning prospects. Yet like many fallen stars in the boxing universe, prospects often diverge from how reality actually plays out.
See, a look into Shawn’s past, and you can earmark numerous instances where he appeared ready to break out. He held his own in sparring with the great Manny Pacquiao during the Pacman’s prime, casting hopes on his future potential. But it took longer than expected for his career to catch the break it needed. He finally won a world title against Devon Alexander in 2013. After obliterating Paulie Malignaggi in a menacing 4th round knockout, Porter’s career looked poised for greatness. Then, Kell Brook took Porter’s belt in an upset victory, forcing him to reassess his journey in the sport.
Most fighters would slump after losing their aura of invincibility, but Porter took it in stride. He went on to defeat Adrien Broner in the Battle for Ohio last June. Once again, Porter’s career projected highly. So what exactly was his reward for winning such a high-profile fight? A year lay-off. Porter can attribute that year’s worth of missed earnings to Al Haymon, who inexplicably ignored his rise in favor of Broner’s marketability. What was arguably the biggest win of his career turned into stifled momentum.
What is holding “Showtime” back? Is it fate’s cruel vendetta against him? Or were his losses that untimely and impactful? My guess is that it’s a little bit of both. While his defeats cost him an unscathed record, many fighters in the sport take greater hits with lesser resumes to fall back on. And his persona? Charming nice-guy, engaging, likable. Though the sport often favors the villains that can turn hatred into viewership, there isn’t any reason why a talented good-guy who’s well-spoken can’t fit into boxing’s diverse narrative.
One thing we know about Shawn, though: he relishes the doubts. You can see it in the way he fights with his head down, pushing the pressure like a man unwilling to accept mediocrity. Somehow, that lack of fulfillment drives him to find one more shot at glory. And that shot may stand in the form of Keith Thurman come Saturday night.
Keith finds himself in the same predicament as Shawn, grasping for the upper echelons. Perhaps the stature Thurman he carries, along with the respect earned from beating him are the hurdles needed for Porter’s breakout performance. After all, Batman didn’t earn his name destroying weak minions and guards; he fought bosses and won a legacy. Shawn will have to carefully push the pace against a dangerous puncher in Thurman if he wants to make the most of this opportunity. Much like Porter’s career, this fight is craving for someone to take charge and control the action. Maybe it’s finally time for Shawn to grow into both capacities.
Shawn Porter happens to be from Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland sports struggle to garner the same respect Porter often does from fans. In the midst of a recent 52 year title drought, the city felt cursed, narrowly missing championships year after year. The truth is, sometimes fate IS cruel. But Sunday night, LeBron James gave a virtuoso performance, shelling out every inch of effort to break this status quo and lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a victory. Maybe Porter is ready to trample the expectations as well. Maybe skill does eventually supersede misfortune. If desire is any prerequisite, there’s no doubting that he will follow in LeBron’s footsteps to glory soon.