European Boxing Notebook
Compiled By: Oliver McManus
Welcome to the second edition of the European Boxing Notebook, covering all the events and news from the 6th-21st May and even include a bonus section about an Asian world title doubleheader;
Photo Credit: Hughie Fury Twitter Account
HUGHIE FURY CLAIMS BRITISH TITLE
Boxing returned to terrestrial television on the 12th May with Sam Sexton’s first defence of the British heavyweight title he earned by outpointing Gary Cornish in the latter stages of last year – Hughie Fury was the challenger in a contest that saw Sexton taking huge risks but the rewards, should it pay off, were exponential.
The fight started off rather cagey but it was clear to see Hughie Fury’s natural talent shining through. Before fight there was an incredible lack of respect for Sam Sexton not by the opposite corner but rather by a section of fans who seemed to assume he was the challenger based on solely on the fact that Hughie was the more recognisable fighter.
And it was clear to see that Sexton was not to be underrated as his staunch defensive boxing withstood early barrages from Fury before capitalising with an effective flurry of his own when his challenger attempt to shorten the distance between the two fighters.
Ultimately the power of Hughie Fury would prove to be Sexton’s undoing as he was eventually battered and worn down, succumbing to a fifth round stoppage. A career to be proud of for Sam but for Hughie his career has only just got started.
WARRINGTON WHITWASHES SINKING SELBY
Josh Warrington fighting in his home town of Leeds, his dream venue of Elland Road in front of a crowd of over 20,000 looked to become the city’s first ever world champion against embittered rival Lee Selby, from Wales.
The build-up had been spiteful with Selby’s father infamously claiming Warrington wasn’t “even a top five fighter in Leeds” a quote that was delivered in a typically staged manner but there was nothing staged about the performance on the night.
Out jabbing from the start, Warrington was clearly buoyed by the incredible support beckoned in the cauldron of Elland Road, and opened up a gaping gash on the above the left eye of Selby within the first quarter of the fight.
Ironically there was no looking back from that moment for Josh who maintained an educated pressure throughout the bout, cautious not to walk onto the ever-lingering threat of Selby’s counter-punches.
Played in by the Kaiser Chiefs and their iconic “I Predict a Riot” the song seemed almost foreshadow how this IBF Featherweight fight would unfold with Warrington exploding into life, pressuring his Welsh opponent who had struggled with the weight pre-fight.
The rounds that Leeds’ lion won were clear, decisive battering’s whereas Selby appeared to merely scrape the rounds he claimed and throughout the fight it was continually Warrington who managed to control his emotions and the ring.
A scintillating performance not just for Warrington but for the whole city of Leeds resulted in history being made as Leeds were bequeathed their first ever world champion – courtesy of a, controversially, split decision with everyone perplexed as to how Alan Davis scored it 115-113 in favour of Selby.
On the undercard Jack Catterall faced a late replacement opponent in Christopher Sebire as he looked to regain his WBO Inter-Continental Super Lightweight title. Predictably Catterall dominated and within the first round the overweight Sebire sunk to the floor, dislocating a shoulder in the process. Job done for Catterall but bigger, tougher tests are just around the corner.
Darren Tetley and Mason Cartwright clashed in what was a real “trade fight”, on paper the best scrap in Britain across the weekend and so it proved with Tetley and Cartwright throwing shots left, right and centre throughout the duration of this fight, scheduled for 10, rendering both fighters battered and bloodied but it was Cartwright who would fall victim to this bruising encounter, splitting a lip with blood smattered all over his face – a warrior who WOULD have continued had he been allowed, the doctor called it off with Cartwright bearing horrific superficial damage. A rematch would be incredible if not likely.
HEXICUTIONER ENDS TAGUCHI’S REIGN
Former minimum-weight world champion survived a late barrage from WBA and IBF junior flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi over in Japan as he became a multi-weight world champion and a hero back in his home country of South Africa.
The judges all scored the fight 114-113 for the former WBA and IBO Champion who, himself, was looking for redemption following a loss to Milan Melindo – the opponent who Taguchi defeated last time out.
Not necessarily an action packed fight, Budler controlled the fight from the beginning with higher work rate and sustained pressure, particularly taking charge of the first 6-7 rounds before tables flipped on The Hexicutioner with his 27-2-2 opponent really building momentum with the crowd getting behind him.
Ultimately it would prove too little, too late as Budler’s early onslaught of pressure saw him the deserved winner of the IBF and WBA Light Flyweight titles.
9 and 0 IBF minimum-weight world champion Hiroto Kyoguchi was making the second defence of his title at, regular territory, Ota-City Gymnasium against a fellow undefeated boxer in the form of Vince Paras – a nineteen year old Filipino competing in his first 12 rounder and his first fight on foreign soil.
A serious threat, Paras proved to be much less of a walkover than many expected with a thunderous left hook to the temple sending Kyoguchi down in the third round but the champion did well to recover and control the tempo of the fight with a cautious jab.
All three judges scored it 117-110, 117-110, 117-110.
TAYLOR TACKLE’S POSTOL
Cyclone Promotion’s announced the next fight for their golden boy Josh Taylor who will take on Viktor Postol, former challenger to Terrence Crawford, on June 23rd. The event will take place in Edinburgh as Taylor seeks to extend his professional record to 13 and 0 against one of the world’s best super lightweight’s.
A former world champion himself, Postol claimed the belt by knocking out Lucas Martin Matthysse in the 10th round back in October 2015 and has an impressive CV with names such as Yvan Mendy, Karen Tevosyan and Jamshidbek Najmiddinov joining Matthysse on the list of Postol’s conquered opponents.
At 34 years of age Postol will be determined to prove he’s still capable of packing a punch at the top level of world boxing against an opponent seven years his younger.
The contest serves as a final eliminator for the WBC title but with the kingpin of that division, Kiryl Relikh, entering the, as yet to be announced, 2018/19 Super Lightweight World Boxing Super Series, there’s every possibility that that may yet prove to be Josh Taylor’s next move in entering the tournament alongside the likes of Regis Prograis, Eduard Troyanosky, Anthony Yigit and Ivan Baranchyk.
EDDIE HEARN’S BILLION POUND DEAL
Eddie Hearn and DAZN announced the largest broadcasting deal in boxing when they inked an eight year, $1billion contract that would see Matchroom Boxing USA put on 16 shows a year over in the States with 12 “big” shows and 4 “monster” cards being provided to subscribers of, Perform Group’s, DAZN.
The streaming service has already been available in Germany, Japan and Canada with whom there are pre-existential agreements with Eddie Hearn to show a variety of Matchroom Cards. The announcement is expected to impact on UK cards with additional spending power being granted to Hearn across the board.
BEEFY LOOKS FOR WBO SHOT
Following on from Jaime Munguia’s sensational stoppage victory against Sadam Ali, Liverpool’s Liam Smith has been mandated as the next contender for the WBO Super Welterweight belt. Smith was the original challenger to Ali on May 12th before an allergic reaction two weeks out from the night lead to his withdrawal.
But the performance from Munguia enhanced the vocal belief that Smith would have been too much to handle for Cotto’s conqueror and attention now turns to a far more exciting clash with the Mexican belt holder who enhanced his record to 29 and 0.
Smith, of course, previously held the WBO belt before putting it all on the line in a brave effort against Canelo Alvarez – since then he’s claimed two victories over bitter rival Liam Williams and has catapulted himself to the mandatory position in the WBO rankings as he looks to re-establish his name at the top of the world scene.
The fight is believed to be taking place on either the 21st or 28th of July.
Joe Joyce, who captured the Commonwealth Heavyweight belt, is scheduled to make the first defence of his title on June 15th at York Hall with the card featuring a plethora of Hayemaker Ringstar talent including Ruqsana Begum and Kody Davis.
The choice of opponents are seemingly slim with the Commonwealth Boxing Council’s official list of contenders either already signed up to fights or unlikely to accept the bout. Couple that with the fact the CBC told us exclusively that they’ve yet to receive an application for a title defence, the ultimate scenario looks as though Joyce will end up fighting a journeyman… we wait and see.
THE LAST WORD
The last word for this week can go to Harvey Horn, I asked him how he’d feel if he looked back on his career and there were three losses on his record from three excellent fights as opposed to guarding his unbeaten record throughout;
“Of course, I would definitely feel better because if I protected it and didn’t take those chances then I’d feel like I cheated myself and I cheated my talent, I wouldn’t feel like I’d explored everything I can do in the boxing game and I think if it took them losses to experience it all then so be it but obviously I’d love to keep my 0 but I’ll take those chances.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Seldin, Usyk, Briedis, Estrada, Shields, Rungvisai, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 5th to December 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Star Boxing/Nick Sideris
Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin Returns to HBO in Back to Back Months Usyk-Briedis Semi-Final Tickets for WBSS on Sale
Tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv with prices starting at €50.
This biggest Cruiserweight unification fight for several years, takes place at the Arena Riga in Latvia on 27 January 2018.
Ukrainian Usyk has promised a night to remember for boxing fans at the arena and around the world: “Fans at the arena and in front of their TV’s can look forward to a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”
Said Briedis: “I can’t wait to hear the noise of the devoted Latvian fans again. I will prepare myself over the next weeks to give them a show against Usyk.”
Tickets for Usyk vs Briedis start at €50 and are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv
Women’s Boxing Superstar Claressa Shields to Hold Public Media Workout
WBC and IBF Super middleweight World Champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) to defend titles against former world champion and undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, January 12, in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY; Presented by Salita Promotions
Shields, her trainers, and Salita Promotions’ founder, Dmitriy Salita, will be available for photographs and interviews.
Tuesday, December 12 – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
12:00 p.m. ET – Media Arrival
12:15 p.m. ET – Workout Begins
Kronk Boxing Community Center
9520 Mettetal St,
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada Set for February 24th Live on HBO
Following the overwhelming success from the first SUPERFLY event this past September, Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions in association with Nakornluong Promotions and Zanfer Promotions is proud to announce the highly anticipated second installment, SUPERFLY 2, set for Saturday, February 24 at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
SUPERFLY 2 will be headlined by WBC Super Flyweight World Champion SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI, (44-4-1, 40 KO’s), of Si Sa Ket, Thailand, defending his title over 12-rounds for the second time against former world champion and #1 ranked mandatory challenger JUAN FRANCISCO “El Gallo” ESTRADA, (36-2, 25 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico.
Advance tickets for SUPERFLY 2, priced at $250, $150, $100, $60 and $30 will go On-Sale Tuesday, December 12 at 12:00 p.m. PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office. The Forum is located at 3900 W. Manchester Blvd, Inglewood CA 90305.
“It’s very exciting to announce the main event for the second installment of our SUPERFLY series. With the tremendous response from fans and media from our first event and overwhelming anticipation to our second, we join boxing fans in saying that we ‘can’t wait’ until February 24 at the Forum,” said Loeffler.
“Srisaket Sor Rungvisai had a remarkable year in 2017 upsetting ‘Chocolatito’ by controversial decision on March 18, 2017 at Madison Square Garden for the WBC Super Flyweight Title and decisively defeating him again in his first defense on September 9 at the Stubhub Center at our first SUPERFLY event.”
“Juan Francisco Estrada won a terrific fight against Carlos Cuadras on September 9 at the Stubhub Center and is very anxious to challenge for a world title in the super flyweight division against Sor Rungvisai.”
“The Forum has played host to many nights of memorable battles for more than 40 years and we expect this event to be another chapter in the annals of this iconic venue.”
Said Fernando Beltran, President of Zanfer Promotions, “On February 24 our talented and pride of Mexico, Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada will show that he is the best flyweight in the world by beating the WBC Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in another great night at SUPERFLY 2.”
“HBO has given us a great opportunity to showcase the smaller divisions and the fans will be very happy to see it. If SUPERFLY 1 was a great night of quality boxing and action, I am sure that SUPERFLY 2 will surpass it.”
Mauricio Sulaiman of the World Boxing Council stated, “SUPERFLY 2 must be celebrated as it will bring excitement to boxing fans and it marks the return of real boxing promotion as this concept has found great interest around the world. It is great to see that the smaller weight divisions receive this type of opportunities to shine on the biggest stage of the world for boxing. The WBC fully supports SUPERFLY 2 and looks forward to this spectacular night of boxing.”
Said Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, “The super flyweight division is the deepest division in the world at the moment. I have great respect to Tom Loeffler and HBO for making SUPERFLY so successful, and SUPERFLY 2 will continue to deliver. We have so many great fighters in the super flyweight division, and it is exciting for me because there are many world class opponents that can make terrific fights.”
“Juan Francisco Estrada is definitely among the top-class fighters in our division. When someone is a former unified champion that moved up without losing his titles, you know he is a world class fighter in his prime. However, I am confident that I will be successful in this fight because I will be at my best on fight night again. We will give the fans an incredible fight and I plan on another impressive win.”
“I would like to invite all Thais in the United States, especially those in Los Angeles to attend my fight at the Forum on February 24. Together our Thai hearts will beat and our Thai blood will be pumped with pride and excitement. Let’s show the world our Thai power together on that day!”
Said Estrada, “I am very excited about facing Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title on February 24 at the Forum. He will be a difficult challenge as he defeated Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez twice in a row with a vicious KO in their last fight. Sor Rungvisai is a very tough and skilled boxer so I will have to prepare very well to be ready to challenge him for his belt.”
The 30-year-old Sor Rungvisai made his United States debut on March 18 shocking the boxing world with a 12-round majority decision over then undefeated and consensus #1 pound-for-pound fighter Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez at Madison Square Garden. Dropping Gonzalez in the first stanza, Sor Rungvisai would capture the WBC Super Flyweight World Title in a hotly contested battle that had the massive crowd on their feet throughout.
Rematching Gonzalez on September 9 at The Stubhub Center, Sor Rungvisai would drop the four-division world champion twice in the fourth round, the second resulting in Sor Rungvisai being awarded the knockout stoppage erasing any controversy from the first fight.
Sor Rungvisai also previously held the WBC Super Flyweight World Title defending it once before losing the title to Carlos Cuadras on a technical decision on May 31, 2014. Sor Rungvisai had won the title in his hometown of Si Sa Ket, Thailand on May 3, 2013 by knocking out champion Yota Sato in the eighth round.
Known for his true ‘Mexican Style’ of fighting, Juan Francisco Estrada has remained one of the most popular fighters in the flyweight and super flyweight divisions throughout his nine-year professional career.
The 27-year-old Estrada won the WBC and WBA Flyweight World Titles on April 6, 2013 with a 12-round decision victory over Brian Viloria in Macau, China. Estrada defended both titles six times before moving up to the super flyweight division.
At the inaugural Superfly event on September 9, Estrada fought brilliantly in winning a 12-round unanimous decision over former WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos Cuadras at the Stubhub Center.
Estrada has not lost a fight in over six years. On November 17, 2012, he challenged then WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, losing a very close, 12-round decision at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Champs Celebrate the Holidays with our US Veterans
This past Tuesday, WBC Cares gathered together with local Champions and fighters from the Los Angeles community to fulfill a promise WBC made to the Veterans Home in Barstow earlier this year, to come spend a Holiday Lunch with our U.S. Veterans, our Heroes. Due to the California Wildfires, a few couldn’t make it because of road closures, but we still had great attendance from Champions and WBC Cares Ambassadors, like Golden Boy’s NABF Featherweight Champion, Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr., WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel Roman, Former World Champion Paul Banke, Former World Championship Contenders Ruben Castillo and Mando Muniz, Professional fighter and Officer for L.A.P.D., Juan Bustamente, Cutman Sergio Estrada and lastly the WBC Los Angeles team, Pepe & Cecy Sulaiman, Nancy Rodriguez & kids.
President Mauricio Sulaiman, and WBC Cares Chairperson Jill Diamond wanted to make sure our heroes received a special gift, the WBC presented all Veterans with an official WBC patch personalized with “CAL VETERANS” as well as a special plaque for the Veterans Home presented by Pepe Sulaiman to the Home administrator.
The visit started with our WBC Cares Ambassadors Daniel Roman, Joseph Diaz Jr. Juan Bustamante, Marissa Rodriguez and Ruben Castillo helping serve the veterans and staff a special Holiday Lunch. the Vets had a great time laughing through the line with Ruben Castillo’s jokes and great smiles behind the kitchen line, while the rest of the WBC Family Paul Banke, Sergio Estrada, Mando Muniz ate in the cafeteria with the Vets and had great conversations. After the lunch, WBC presented special gifts to all the Vets who answered Boxing questions, some were present as fans for the Ali vs. Frazier fight! Great stories to hear! Pepe Sulaiman then presented the Home with a Plaque in appreciation for all they do for our heroes, the kids and Ambassadors passed out patches as well as a special WBC cake for all present. The visit ended with many photos and autographs for the Veterans and many smiles.
Barstow is over a two hour drive from Los Angeles, the WBC is very grateful to our ambassadors for taking the time to make the drive out to Barstow and helping bring beautiful smiles to our heroes faces this Holiday season.