Conlon Wins Pro Debut As McGregor Proclaims He’ll Take Over Boxing
Conlon Wins Pro Debut As McGregor Proclaims He’ll Take Over Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Super bantamweight Michael Conlon had quite a pro debut for himself on Friday night in New York. Entering the ring in grand Irish fashion while being accompanied by MMA star Conor McGregor (who, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN, started screaming at some point during the evening about how he was going to take over boxing), the Belfast native was treated to a hero’s welcome at the Theater in Madison Square Garden. The wildly pro Conlon crowd cheered as if he was battling in his native Ireland rather than on the eastern American seaboard. His opponent? Tim Ibarra, an unknown with a record of 4-4. People weren’t at the Garden to see an epic match. They were there to watch a decorated amateur with a promising future make his first foray into the pro ranks.
Conlon instigated the action with one/two, jab/right hand combinations. Ibarra, however, didn’t offer much in the way of a challenge. Conlon looked sharper in the second and was was clearly determined to impress in his first big league bout. He was somewhat slower than one might expect, and perhaps his timing was a bit off, but the guy was dominating nonetheless. What’s more, Conlon showed as the fight entered the first half of the third round that he could do some damage to the body.
That damage gave way to head shots that Conlon started landing throughout the course of the third with alarming frequency. With just over a minute to go in the round, Benjy Estevez, the referee, stepped in and halted the bout. Ibarra had, simply put, become a punching bag. Conlon jumped on the ropes and spread out his arms as if he had just won a world title…and the crowd ate it up. So, how was this well regarded prospects’ debut? Not bad. Conlon showed he could hit – though it took him a bit of whaling on a man who wasn’t really fighting back to get the job done.
Conlon also showed determination, which is of primary importance. Here was a fighter who clearly wanted to put the world on notice. And as a potential money earner, Conlon certainly did just that. The man is bold, he’s Irish and he’s not without talent. That, as his friend McGregor could tell anyone, is catnip to contemporary American audiences. Still, Conlon certainly didn’t appear to be breathtakingly impressive in a professional fight. It’s a tall order to be breathtakingly impressive, though. Only a rarefied few can reek of greatness their first time out. And besides, time is on Conlon’s side – along with some big name support. Time, however, will also tell if the hype surrounding the man is legitimate.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Julian Williams, Lucas Browne, Jack, DeGale, Peralta, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Julian Williams, Lucas Browne, Jack, DeGale, Peralta, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 15th to November 22nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions
Lucas Browne Tests Positive Again
Dan Rafael of ESPN recently reported that heavyweight contender Lucas Browne has failed his second drug test of the year.
The drug test was performed by the Voluntary Anti Doping Association as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program and Browne tested positive for the banned substance ostarine. VADA has notified the WBC.
Read more at: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/18110513/heavyweight-contender-lucas-browne-fails-another-drug-test
12 Rounds with Junior Middleweight World Title Challenger Julian Williams
The following interview can also be found at the Premier Boxing Champions website. This was conducted with Junior Middleweight Title Challenger Julian Williams, who is scheduled to face Jermall Charlo on December 10th on Showtime.
Do you have a boxing hero?
I respect Muhammad Ali as a modern hero in history for the things he stood for-not just for what did in boxing. To me, Ali’s boxing [accomplishments] are relative and a smaller part of his legacy compared to what stood for outside of the ring.
Muhammad Ali’s true greatness was represented by what he did for the world and the stands he took more than his fights.
Of all the boxers in history, who do you wish you could’ve fought, and how would the fight have played out?
I don’t want to give you a result, but I would say Sugar Ray Robinson, because in my opinion, he is the best fighter who ever lived. And I would want to see how I would stand up against the best fighter ever to wear a pair of gloves.
Sugar Ray Robinson had everything-great punch selection, the skills, the jab, the speed. He was a tremendous fighter. I’ve never seen anybody as good before or since.
This was during a time when guys were fighting with six-ounce horsehair gloves two or three times a month. They were doing that against the best competition. I mean, he would fight Jake LaMotta and Kid Gavilan in 15-round fights. They just don’t build men like that no more. It doesn’t happen.
Sugar Ray Robinson would bring out the best in me and give me a great gauge about how good I actually am. I would never disrespect Sugar Ray Robinson by saying I would beat him. I respect the legends. I would just like to see how good I would do against those types of guys.
Finish this sentence: If not for boxing, I would be …
… probably just finishing up college, paying back student loans and being miserable. I would probably be a major in business administration.
What’s the public’s biggest misconception about boxers?
That we’re all stupid.
What’s the hardest you’ve ever been hit, and how you did you deal with it?
You know what, I’m not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I don’t remember. I’ve had some tough fights, but I don’t really recall an opponent who has really hurt me like that.
It’s never been where I was like, “Oh my God, he punches so hard,” or “He hit me so hard, I couldn’t get myself together.” I’ve never experienced that. I’m not saying that it can’t happen; I’m just saying that it hasn’t happened.
Excluding yourself, who’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today?
It’s close, because I don’t think anyone has taken the lead for now. I would probably say Andre Ward, but at the same time he’s had so much time off.
You’ve got guys like Sergey Kovalev out there who have been dismantling everybody, and then you’ve got guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux who is probably the best fighter in the world, but he’s never gotten the opportunity to prove it on the big stage.
Then you’ve got Floyd Mayweather Jr., who I think is the clear-cut best fighter in the world when he’s active. But he’s retired.
It’s just hard to pick one. I couldn’t pick one. I would be able to pick one at the beginning of the next year.
What kind of food is the toughest to give up while training for a fight?
I like pasta and red meat. I don’t eat too much red meat when I’m training, because it’s too hard to cut. I like steak and lamb and pasta. I just like all pasta in general.
Speaking of training, what’s your favorite exercise?
I don’t really have any. I hate them all. I just do them because I have to do them.
What about a favorite punch to throw?
It depends on who I’m fighting, but I would definitely have to say the jab, because the jab sets everything up. That’s usually my range finder, and I can usually control the fight with the jab. I pretty much use it in every fight to good effect.
Do you have a favorite boxing movie?
Raging Bull. I liked Rocky, also. I mostly liked all of the Rocky movies.
Who is the one artist on your playlist that would surprise fight fans?
Teddy Pendergrass. I grew up with my mother and father liking his music.
Would you rather run over a linebacker or juke him out of his shoes?
That depends on who it is. If it’s [retired Baltimore Ravens legend] Ray Lewis, I would have to juke him. Because I don’t want to be hit by him.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that …
… I’m an amazing cook. I can cook a lot of things-pretty much anything.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Race relations. The world would be a better place if everybody didn’t see so much color.
What’s on your life’s bucket list?
I want to be a world champion, which I can accomplish in my next fight by beating Jermall Charlo. This is what I’ve been working so hard for my entire life.
I don’t have a bucket-list wish to go skydiving before it’s all over or go to Japan or anything. It’s simple: I’ve been working half of my life to become a world champion, and that’s the most important thing on my bucket list.
Lipinets to Face Zappavigna on Mares vs. Cuellar Undercard
An exciting night of undercard action comes to Los Angeles on Saturday, December 10 and is highlighted by hard-hitting unbeaten contender Sergey Lipinets (10-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round junior welterweight world title eliminator against Australia’s Lenny Zappavigna (35-2, 25 KOs) from the Galen Center at USC.
The December 10 event is headlined by a featherweight world championship showdown between WBA titleholder Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares. The live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGâ telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with junior middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo taking on undefeated top contender Julian Williams in a matchup of undefeated rising stars in their prime.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are priced at $35, $50, $75, $150 and $200. To purchase tickets go to www.galentix.com.
Also featured as part of the jam-packed night of fights are undefeated rising contenders Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (16-0, 11 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout and Mario Barrios (16-0, 8 KOs) battling Argentina’s Claudio Rosendo Tapia (24-18-4, 9 KOs) in junior lightweight action.
An array of talented fighters from the Los-Angeles area round out the evening as Oxnard’s Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. (24-1, 12 KOs) competes in a middleweight attraction, former title challenger Josesito Lopez (33-7, 19 KOs) of Riverside in a six-round welterweight fight and Abner Mares’ younger brother, Adan Mares (14-1-3, 3 KOs) enters the ring in a lightweight bout.
An accomplished amateur who was born in Kazakhstan but fights out of Russia, Lipinets turned pro in April of 2014 with a decision victory over Franklin Varela. The 27-year-old recorded six knockouts in a row before stepping up in competition and impressing with a victory over Haskell Lydell Rhodes in March 2015 and a knockout of Levan Ghvamichava in March. He kept the momentum going in July when he stopped established contender Walter Castillo in the seventh round. He will challenge the 29-year-old Zappavigna out of New South Wales, Australia. He enters this fight the winner of his last 10 contests, including his most recent triumph, a sixth-round stoppage of Ik Yang in July.
A highly regarded prospect with an exciting style, the 21-year-old Lubin burst onto the scene looking to finish opponents early as he cements his status as an elite contender. Fighting out of Orlando, he has already taken down experienced veterans including Orlando Lora, Ayi Bruce, Michael Finney and Norberto Gonzalez. He was sensational in November 2015 when he knocked out Alexis Camacho and in January he headlined his first card and dominated Jose De Jesus Macias in his first 10-round bout. He has kept the hot streak going in June by stopping veteran Daniel Sandoval in the third round and dominating veteran Ivan Montero in July.
Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Set for Showtime on January 14th
WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) will look to stake their claim as the best 168-pound fighter in the world when they meet in a title unification clash on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME as boxing returns to New York for the first time in five months.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGâ telecast will also feature undefeated junior lightweight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) defending his title against up-and-coming Mayweather Promotions’ undefeated contender Gervonta “The One” Davis (16-0, 15 KOs).
“I’m expecting a very tough fight from James DeGale,” said Jack. “But I’m very confident that I’m going to win the fight and become the unified champion. This is an incredible stage to be at Barclays Center and on SHOWTIME and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m ready to make my mark as the best in the division.”
“I am so happy that this fight has finally been made,” said DeGale. “This is the best fighting the best. This is what boxing is all about. Badou Jack is a very good fighter and he’s underrated. I am going to have to be 100 percent on my game to beat him, but I am confident I will deliver on January 14. I have already fulfilled my dream of becoming a world champion and now it is time to unify.”
“Davis is a great young fighter with an impressive record,” said Pedraza. “He is a complete fighter and I am very happy to fight a challenger of his caliber. However, I do feel that Davis has been protected so I plan to really show off in this fight and perform at my best. Defeating Davis will be a great start to 2017, a year I would love to unify my division. I am thrilled to be back on SHOWTIME and look forward to putting on a great show for all those in attendance at Barclays Center.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to fight a respected undefeated world champion like Jose Pedraza,” said Davis. “I’m also ready to show the boxing world what I’m capable of doing. Boxing is searching for its next star and I believe that I’m the one. On January 14, I plan to show what over 200 amateur wins and 12 years of training with coach Calvin Ford looks like. Baltimore, we’re here. Brooklyn, I’m ready to shine for you. Jose Pedraza, get ready. I’m coming to kick your a**.”
“Mayweather Promotions is pleased to have the opportunity to bring this huge event to Brooklyn and Barclays Center,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou Jack versus James DeGale is one of the best match-ups in the sport. It’s the best fighting the best. I believe that Badou Jack has what it takes to be a unified world champion. I’m also excited to see Gervonta Davis fight for his first world title. He has the skills to be a fighter who carries the sport. He has a tough, undefeated world champion in front of him and I am looking forward to seeing him perform on January 14. These are two evenly-matched fights that will bring a lot of explosive action to the ring on fight night, you don’t want to miss it.”
David Peralta to Take On Berlin Abreu on December 10th
David Peralta will take on Berlin Abreu in a scheduled 10-round bout for the WBC Latino Welterweight title on a massive card that will take place on Saturday, December 10th at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, King’s Promotions and Sampson Boxing, will be televised LIVE on ONE World Sports beginning at 9 PM ET.
Peralta of Cordoba, Argentina has a record of 26-2-1 with 14 knockouts and is coming off the biggest win of his career, when he upset former world champion Robert Guerrero on August 27th in Anaheim, California.
The 34 year-old is an 11 year professional, who won his first 20 fights. As the underdog, Peralta was able to outbox Guerrero and stun the former unanimous decision and the former cab driver was quickly hailed as a legitimate contender in the welterweight division.
Abreu of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has a record of 13-1 with 11 knockouts.
The 24 year-old is a six year professional and has knocked out his last six opponents, which includes a 1st round stoppage over Juan Carlos Contreras on October 22, 2015.
Seeing action in an 8-round bout will be undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (12-0-1, 10 KO’s) of Lynn, Massachusetts taking on Oscar Riojas (10-6-1, 3 KO’s) of Monterrey, Mexico. Ellis, age 27 is a five year professional won his first 12 bouts. In his last outing, Ellis fought a draw with Jerry Odom on February 19th in Atlantic City.
Riojas, 33 years-old is a former WBC FECOMBOX Super Middleweight champion.
The three year professional, will be making his fifth appearance in 2016 and is coming off a stoppage defeat to Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on August 19th in Los Angeles.
Also appearing in televised action will be former two-time welterweight world champion, Kermit Cintron taking on Rosemberg Gomez in an eight-round battle. Cintron of Reading, Pa., has a record of 38-5-2 with 29 knockouts. The 37 year-old is a 16 year professional, who has reached the top of the mountain on two occasions. Cintron won his first 22 bouts, which included wins over Elio Ortiz (25-6), Luis Rosado (29-5), Ian Mackillop (14-1), Omar Davila (12-2), Said Ouali (7-0) and Leon Pearson (9-1-1)
On July 17, 2004, Cintron stopped Teddy Reid in 8 rounds to capture the WBO Interim Welterweight title.
Michael Dutchover Remains Perfect
Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (2-0, 2 KOs) kicked off this past Friday’s “New Blood” boxing event in Ontario, CA. with a devastating first round knockout of Sergio Campos (0-1). Dutchover bolted out of his corner with a fierce attack that put Campos, who was making his professional debut, on the defensive immediately. Dutchover unloaded power shots to the body and landed a left hook that dropped Campos for good at the :51 mark.
Dutchover fights out of Midland, Tex. and is trained by Danny Zamora. He is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.