Edwards Defeats Guarneros
By: Oliver McManus
British and Commonwealth belts were on offer for the winner between Brad Foster, defending both belts, and his challenger Lucien Reid. Foster, a former world champion kickboxer, arrived having had two stern tests already this year with bouts against Josh Wale and Ashley Lane in which the 21 year old negated the threats with ease. Reid, meanwhile, carried a bulky amateur pedigree as a former Team GB trialist and England representative.
Reid was looking to dust away the cobwebs of inactivity having had just two fights in 24 months, the latest stopped short after an accidental head clash, and he was loose in the shoulders from the start. He kept his head moving in similar fashion as he looked to remain busy across all facets of action – the top third of his body moving more, at points, than the lower.
Foster, trained by his father Martin, was slimmer in the build but equally enthusiastic about ‘getting involved’. Reid looked to build his attacks incrementally and initiated them from a decent range before looking to whip in close with that shuffling movement – reminiscent of Tyrone McCullagh. There was a child like excitement from Reid who really rose to the occasion and each punch landing clean gave credence to his self-belief.
The champion was cut by an accidental clash in the second but remained unfazed in the face of a forced tempo from Reid as the pace began to enter ‘frenetic’ territory. Reid was a half-step ahead of Foster as circumnavigated the ring with gleeful energy. The pace was undoing the defence of the young champion who couldn’t grab a tangible foothold in the contest but, you have to say, Foster was always there or thereabouts in terms of how effective his shots were.
Indeed the business of Reid could have been to his detriment as though it always looked as though he was doing something there really wasn’t much difference between the quality of their work; Foster, evidently, using less energy in the process. Truth be told it was an ever-moving, fast-flowing contest that was good fun to watch but it was messy in parts from the challenger who tied his opponent up frequently.
Alan Smith and Jimmy Tibbs were in the corner of Reid, who sustained a cut via a head clash around the halfway stage, and they were issuing words of ‘patience’ to their charge ahead of the sixth round. Neither man allowed their respective grazes to influence the style of the fight as they continued to get stuck in and look for those smacking shots on the inside; where things were, naturally, scrappier.
The contest remained a tight affair as each round progressed though Lucien Reid did begin to land some higher quality punches from around the eighth round as the need to settle looked to click. It was a bout where rounds could easily be given to each fighter and one of those ‘which style do you prefer?’ for the judges; you’d likely lean towards Reid, just, given his greater intensity throughout the rounds but it really was a ‘squeaky bum time’ fight if ever there was one. 116-112 to Lucien Reid on one scorecard, 114-114, 114-114 a dead heat on the other two to produce a majority draw and that is one of the best decisions in a long time – neither man deserved to lose and neither quite did enough to steal the cards.
Super flyweight sensation Sunny Edwards looked to transfer his stardom to the flyweight division and did so emphatically – albeit against a limited calibre of opponent. Edwards, trained by Grant Smith, was fighting the third Mexican of his career and stylistically there was some stereotypical repetition as Rosendo Hugo Guarneros sought to fight from the frontfoot almost immediately.
Edwards opted to switch from orthodox to southpaw at a canter; interchanging the two at the flick of an elbow to highlight his flashy ootwork – arguably the most impressive attribute in his burgeoning arsenal. The ever-green youngster is always easy on the eye but he seemed to take a more measured approach to this contest as he set about controlling fight without much by way of resistance from Guarneros.
The 23 year old opted to stand during the break between rounds and he looked healthy at the weight without losing any of that fleetness of foot or sharpness of shots. As has often been the case in Edwards’ professional career, all the shots were being picked effortlessly as he illustrated the clear gulf in quality between himself and his counterpart. Unlike Hiram Gillardo, Edwards’ last opponent, Guarneros wasn’t as ‘on-top’ and ‘in-your-face’ so Edwards was able to dance around the ring with a dazzle.
Yet another well-rounded performance from Sunny Edwards who continues to showcase all the attributes of a world champion in the making but he’s going to be a nightmare to match – where do you go from here? His footwork, once more, ensured Guarneros couldn’t get close and his shots selected with precision and a clear head. If you had to pick a grip, which is really just nitpicking, then let’s see some more spite from the youngster because he’s an absolute terror with the bit between his teeth.
The long and fluid limbs of Shakan Pitters proved to be the undoing of, the defending English light heavyweight champion, Dec Spelman in the opening televised fight; both men were familiar foes having fought over three rounds in the inaugural Ultimate Boxxer tournament in November 2018. Spelman began the contest with an eager desire to soften the midriff of his challenger but it Pitters, managed by Jon Pegg, wasn’t showing any signs of distress.
Spelman edged his way towards his challenger in short, staccato steps to close the distance between himself and his counterpart and was catching Pitters on the retreat over the opening phases of the fight. Carl Greaves’ champion, despite his height and reach disadvantages, was comfortable.
Yet the tide turned just before the halfway stage with the Pitters upping the aggression and using his natural advantages – a couple of short, straight right hands bloodied Spelman’s nose as the challenger began to hit his stride. The Birmingham-man was relaxing into the contest; pushing his chin out, keeping his hands hung loose and landing swift counter-punches.
The nip-and-tuck encounter continued to ebb and flow as each fighter dug deep to ignite York Hall with a gruelling bout worthy of such a tradition-soaked venue. Spelman enticed roars from the front rows when he wobbled Pitters in the eighth with huge punches to wobble his opponent as the challenger continued to flick out his jab in an effort to restrain the assault.
An unbelievable contest that began with intrigue, a tantalising tussle of tactics and ended with pugnacious pugilistic passion – Pitters adjudged the winner by a scoreline of 97-93 on all three scorecards, a fair assessment of the thrilling bout, and become the new English light heavyweight champion.
Unbeaten Queensbury prospects Zak Chelli and Kody Davies boxed in a British title eliminator that failed to follow the drama of bout that proceeded (Spelman vs Pitters). The fight, Chelli’s first at the weight, saw the Southern Area super middleweight champion engage with confidence over the initial proceedings. Cheli remained patient in the face of Davies jagged and jolting movement, dropping his Welsh opponent in the second round with a tight jab on the inside. That shot prompted a momentary increase in the work-rate of Chelli whilst Davies remained unmoved by the development.
Davies, trained by Gavin Rees, always seemed to be the more at ease with the gameplan – never looking to force anything and sticking to the basics with rigidity. A menacing stare graced his face as he turned the screw in the middle portion of the fight, prompting Chelli to become unstuck. In Chelli’s bout against Umar Sadiq he tired significantly after the sixth round (of a scheduled eight) and that appeared to be the case in this contest, too, with Davies picking up rounds with increasing comfort. 96-94, 96-93, 97-92 to the Welsh fighter, Kody Davies.
Canelo Alvarez Is Cementing His Legacy
By: Hans Themistode
There is a new trend in boxing. Minimize the risk while maximizing the reward.
What that essentially means is, many fighters would rather avoid facing the best competition that they can while also getting the most money for facing inferior opponents.
No fighter would actually admit to this theory, but it’s evident.
That precious 0 in the loss column means everything to fighters. Even those who have already suffered a few defeats in their career are still hesitant to take risks. It makes sense.
Why take on a great fighter for roughly a million dollars when you can face someone who faces significantly less of a threat for roughly the same amount of money? From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense at all.
Not all fighters however, are driven by money alone.
Canelo Alvarez recently signed the biggest deal in sports history at the time with the streaming app DAZN. So of course money is important to him, but just as important, is his legacy.
While Alvarez was an undefeated 21 year old, he took on the biggest challenges that he possibly could. He successfully defeated future hall of famer Shane Mosley. He then followed that up with wins over Josesito Lopez and Austin Trout.
He continued his tough road by taking on Floyd Mayweather at the age of 23 which resulted in his first and only loss. That didn’t discourage Alvarez, it only made him hunger to get better. Getting better is exactly what Alvarez has done as he is now the biggest name in the sport of boxing.
Alvarez consistently takes on tough challenge after tough challenge. For him, he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I like a challenge,” said Alvarez when asked about why he enjoys difficult fights a few months back. “I want to leave behind a legacy that will make me remembered with some of the best fighters that have ever entered the ring.”
With youth still on his side, Alvarez already has an outstanding resume. In his most recent ring appearance he defeated Daniel Jacobs and unified the Middleweight titles. He has the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto also on his list of wins. No one would blink an eye if he decided to take a soft touch for his upcoming November 2nd contest, but Alvarez isn’t built that way.
The Middleweight division is stacked with talent. WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo and of course former unified champion and long time rival Gennady Golovkin were all options. In true Alvarez fashion, he went the complete opposite way.
On November 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alvarez will move up two weight classes to take on WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. It was a move that was rumored to be the most likely for Alvarez, but still, now that it is official, it is almost unbelievable that this is the path he actually choose.
For those who are criticizing Alvarez’s choice should take a seat. Kovalev might not be the fighter he once was but he is still one of the very best fighters in the division. Let’s also not forget that there is no weight class clauses. At least none that have been reported. Meaning, Alvarez will face Kovalev as a full fledged Light Heavyweight.
Canelo Alvarez was already a great fighter and arguably the best pound for pound. With his move to the Light Heavyweight division however, he is cementing his legacy as one of the very best fighters in history.
Munguia Dominates Allotey In Hard Hitting Fashion
By: Sean Crose
Up and coming prospect Ryan Garcia was supposed to fight on Saturday’s DAZN card from California. Unfortunately for Garcia, his opponent – and fellow fighter on the rise – Avery Sparrow was arrested and was unable to make the fight. An opponent was said to be looked for, but no opponent was agreed to, and Garcia ended up bitterly disappointed, as he had to sit the weekend out. The co-main event of the evening subsequently went to a women’s contest for the WBC and vacant WBO titles.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account
Titlist Franchon Crews-Dezurn, 5-1, slipped in between the ropes to face the 13-3 Marcielo Cornejo. Crews-Dezurn was supposed to fight another opponent, but Alejandra Jiminez was unable to fight, and Cornejo got the call. Crews-Dezurn looked as if she might barrel through her opponent at first, but Cornejo showed that sharp, accurate punching could be effective against the defending champion. Still, Crews-Dezurn’s telling and steady agression ended up telling the tale throughout the majority of the bout. Cornejo was even wobbled in the 9th. The decision ended up going to Crews-Dezurn, the clear winner.
It was time for the main event. Jaime Munguia’s previous fight saw the WBO junior middleweight champion come close to losing his title belt to Denis Hogan. With something to prove, Munguia entered the ring on Saturday to face the largely unknown Patrick Allotey. The challenger moved and landed well throughout the first. The second round was much closer than the first had been. Allotey still fought well, but Munguia began to land to the body. Munguia went to work well in the third, and took his man down with a body shot. Allotey got to his feet, but the champion sent him to the mat again at the bell.
Getting up before the ten count, Allotey made it to the fourth round. Still, Munguia was able to land so hard that Allotey had to take a knee. Allotey’s corner then stopped the bout. Munguia was simply too big and strong for his fast, effective foe. With that in mind, Munguia will now move up to middleweight where the world will see if he’s able to keep punching so effectively in a bigger division. Having done what he was supposed to with Allotey, Munguia will now find himself fighting on the same streaming service as fellow middleweights Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and Demetrius Andrade. The future will most certainly be interesting for the game hard hitting Mexican fighter.
Tyson Fury Overcomes an Explosive Otto Wallin Upset Bid
By: Hans Themistode
What a fight!
Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury avoided a major upset tonight. The T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to Fury and formerly undefeated contender Otto Wallin. This was nothing more than a glorified sparring match. At least, that’s what it was supposed to be.
Photo Credit: BT Sport Twitter Account
Fury had been in the ring with some of the very best including long time unified champion Wladimir Klitschko and current WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. Wallin had never stood across the ring from anyone in the top 20 of the division, let alone someone who many believe is the best that the division has to offer. A quick knockout against the obscure Wallin was expected. Unfortunately for Fury, this is the sport of boxing and usually nothing goes according to plan. Tonight, he quickly found out that his seemingly soft touch, was anything but.
Things started off a bit ragged. Fury, who had the advantages in terms of height and reach tried to stay on the outside but Wallin would hear none of it. He bullied his way on the inside and made it a real dog fight from the very beginning. Fury began to find his range in the second, buzzing Wallin several times and making him pay for his over aggression.
With things seemingly even on the scorecards, Wallin had himself a huge third round as he landed a left hand on the elusive Fury which opened up one of the worse cuts you’ll see in a boxing match. Blood was pouring everywhere as Fury found it hard to see due to the cut. To make matters worse for Fury, the Nevada state commission deemed that the cut was in fact due to a punch which meant that if the fight was stopped, he would lose and the contest would not have to go to the scorecards.
The usual calm and cool Fury was now losing his patience in the fourth round. Blood was flowing from his eye and he had several words for Wallin while the two were in the ring as it became a target for Wallin’s offensive attack. Soon after, another cut was opened up and Fury found himself in even worse trouble. He was boxing well but from the looks of the cuts it seemed as though he was in real danger of being defeated tonight.
The half way mark of the contest saw referee Tony Weeks place a brief hold on the bout as he forced the ring physician to take a look at the wounds of Fury. Luckily for him he was allowed to fight but Wallin continued to do well. Fury had a sense of urgency in his attacks now. The Lineal champ is known for his abilities to outbox his opponents but with his cuts threatening to put an end to this contest early he was forced to put the pedal to the metal. Wallin welcomed the more aggressive Fury with his own aggression and continued to get the better of him.
No one can ever question the heart of Fury as he turned up the heat in the second half of the fight. He landed big shot after big shot which forced Wallin back. It was also becoming apparent that Wallin was beginning to fatigue in there.
In the championship rounds was were Fury truly showed his grit. He hit Wallin with everything he had and had his man hurt on several occasions. With his opportunity slipping away, Wallin gave it one last hurrah in the final round. He landed several huge left hands in the round which made Fury paw at his injured left eye. Fury began to back up and seemed to be in trouble. Wallin, unfortunately didn’t have enough time to continue his attack as the bell rang.
The three judges watching the bout were called to give their verdict on how they saw this contest play out. It was a unanimous decision victory for Fury as the judges scored it 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110 all in favor of Tyson Fury.
The win may have taken away the undefeated record of Wallin but he has cemented himself as a true contender in the Heavyweight division. As for Fury, he now heads towards a 2020 clash with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
“Deontay Wilder,” yelled Fury during his post fight interview. “I want you next bum.”
With Wilder already having to deal with his own challenge in Luis Ortiz on November 23rd, these two are on a collision course for the first quarter of 2020.
Mayweather Working On “Mayweather-Pacquiao Exhibition” In Japan
By: Sean Crose
“What I’m working on right now is the Mayweather-Pacquiao exhibition right here in Tokyo, Japan. Stay tuned.” These words, which come out of the mouth of one Floyd Mayweather Jr, can be seen and heard on an Instagram post Mayweather put up early Saturday. “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao exhibition Tokyo Japan coming soon,” reads the caption under the post. “Betrnk.com #TMT Japan.”
Photo Credit: @floydmayweather Twitter Account
This is the first the world – the vast majority of it, at least – has heard of such a bout. The last time Mayweather was in the ring was in Japan last New Years Eve, where he thoroughly dominated Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a lopsided, ridiculous affair. In fact, the last time Mayweather battled a legitimately qualified boxer was back in 2015 when he bested Andre Berto in one sided fashion.
Since then, Mayweather has made easy work of Nasukawa and stopped UFC star Conor McGregor in an epic 2017 novelty bout. Pacquiao is essentially the last boxer Mayweather fought who anyone gave much of a chance to – and that was back in the spring of 2015. Throughout the following months and years, however, there’s been much talk of a rematch.
Pacquiao has stayed active since Mayweather bested him by decision in their first (and, up until now, only) fight. In fact, the last time the Filipino icon was in the ring, he dominated the younger Keith Thurman Jr in highly impressive fashion. That fight was just this past summer, and it showed the world jut how good the forty year old Pacquiao still is in the ring. Thurman, after all, was a top welterweight and WBA titlist.
Mayweather is a man who loves attention, though. He may be past forty and past his prime, but he keeps in the public eye with Instagram posts of his lavish lifestyle. Mayweather is also, without question, one of the most rightfully acclaimed individuals to ever slip on a pair of gloves, his ring performances a study in mastery. When Mayweather speaks of entering the ring in any scenario, people listen.
As of this writing, Pacquiao has yet to respond to or comment on Mayweather’s post. He’s always wanted a second shot at Mayweather, though it will be interesting to learn his thoughts on an exhibition bout rather than a rematch that would officially go down in the professional record books. Mayweather didn’t offer details of the exhibition bout, should it occur. As he indicates in his Instagram post, however, more news is forthcoming.
Devin Haney Becomes Lightweight Champion, Challenges Lomachenko, Serrano Defeats Hardy
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
Devin Haney’s leaping hooks slammed into Zaul Abdullaev with such regularity—landing in such a gruesome thudding manner—it was only a matter of time before the victim’s body gave way. And it did, in the form of Abdullaev’s mangled nose and broken cheekbone, ahead of the fifth round when the doctor pulled him from the fight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The stoppage gave the 20-year-old Haney the victory and the interim WBC championship in the main event of DAZN’s broadcast from the Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.
“I wasn’t nearly done beating him—I was just warming up,” Haney said after the fight, victoriously. Before being asked by DAZN correspondent Chris Mannix about the prospects of matching up with one Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I think you said his name wrong,” Haney responded. “It’s ‘No-Machenko’, cause he doesn’t want to fight me… If I’m so easy, he should fight me and get out of the way.”
Haney (23-0, 15 KO) pulled out all the stops in the first round. Showing off an explosive repertoire, closing immense amounts of distance with stepping and leaping jabs. Despite moving forward, Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KO) was quickly on the receiving end of punishment when Haney zipped in and out with bolting jabs and complimented them with murderous lead hooks.
In Round 3, the center of the ring was still Abdullaev’s. If only because Haney in split seconds could go from circling his man to reappearing in Abdullaev’s vicinity with popping jabs, before quickly rolling out of the way of returning fire.
When the Russian did stray to close—crowding Haney—the American had short, piercing right hands for him.
The third and fourth rounds were made up of more eye-catching left hooks from Haney: consecutively ricocheting off of Abdullaev’s ribcage and face. Somehow Abdullaev continued moving forward but his combinations were far too basic to keep Haney honest.
Between rounds, the ringside physician, having paid special attention to the Russian’s nose, didn’t need long to conclude that the fight couldn’t continue. Abdullaev quickly followed the doctor out of the ring, long gone by the time the result became official.
A champion now, of sorts, Haney’s interim belt really represents a ticket to a showdown with Lomachenko, the star child of boxing intelligentsia and currently the lightweight ruler.
Still not old enough to drink, upending a talent like Lomachenko at Haney’s age would be unprecedented in today’s day and age. But it should be mentioned so too is his eagerness to take that very risk.
Amanda Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KO) def. Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KO)
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Having won more world titles in more weight classes than any female boxer in history, Serrano is used to lifting championship gold and looked every bit as comfortable outclassing her Brooklyn rival, Hardy en route to a unanimous decision, to claim the WBC featherweight crown.
Judge Julie Lederman had it 98-92, and judges Waleska Roldan and Robin Taylor both had it 98-91 for Serrano.
Serrano was never in danger of snapping her win steak, now sitting nicely at 22 consecutive victories. In that seven-year stretch, she padded her oeuvre with an incredible seven divisional championships. Specifically, the featherweight belt she picked up from Hardy now makes her a two-time champ in the class.
“Heather is as tough as they come,” Serrano said in the ring following her dominant performance. “She came to fight—but I was just the better girl tonight. There’s levels to boxing and she’s just not at my level tonight.”
Friday night, Serrano’s southpaw stance took the center of the ring from the onset. The multi-divisional champion sliced apart Hardy’s guard in the first frame. Hardy was pinned the ropes for the entire two minutes.
Serrano’s hands never stopped moving: two or three shots upstairs, changing levels downstairs, and returning to target Hardy’s chin with interchanging crosses.
Hardy, biting on her gumshield, offered back winging hooks. But they were too wild to keep Serrano off her for even a second.
If not for a low blow and referee Mike Ortega jumping in with seconds on the clock, a TKO seemed imminent. Nonetheless the period ended with Hardy on the ropes—her face pink, the commentary team sure the night would be over soon.
That seemed spot on with Hardy back along the ropes for Round 2. Her punches had little steam on them. But she began to rely on her feet to survive the remaining stages, dancing along the canvas in the third period.
A steady flow of offense continued from Serrano. Fencing with each other in the fourth round, Hardy offered up a lead hook but was either met with a left cross or a returning hook from Serrano after the legendary champion avoided Hardy’s initial blow.
Hardy’s exhaustion settled in, her elbows were visibly loose, as were her flailing punches. In sharp contrast with Serrano, her elbows tight, weaving, dodging punches with ease.
Serrano paced herself in Round 5—really taking the inning off. As so, Hardy took the round with her activity and even outlanded Serrano in the sixth period too.
Hardy had some life again to open the seventh stanza. But Serrano got back to pressuring her opponent along the ropes: mixing up levels, throwing overhand lefts consecutively to the belly and then the chin.
Hardy withstood further abuse in the final three rounds with Serrano still sawing rights and left across her chin, drawing blood from Hardy’s face.
Unsurprisingly, Serrano landed at a higher rate and with more precision, connecting on 222 of 578 total punches (38 percent) while Hardy landed 131 of 498 total punches (26 percent).
Seemingly out of challenges at the weight, attention in the post-fight interview turned to standout titlist Katie Taylor.
“I say let’s go,” Serrano said with a bright smile. “No matter where it’s at or what weight, I’m going to win.”
Canelo-Kovalev Announced For November 2nd
By: Sean Crose
“We promised to make this fight happen,” said Golden Boy head Oscar De La Hoya on Friday, “and now we are delivering it.”
De La Hoya was speaking of the just announced light heavyweight title throwdown between boxing’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez, and Sergey Kovalev, famed terror of the light heavyweight division. “Historic fights have been a hallmark of this company,” De La Hoya continued, “and we are pleased to once again live up to the high expectations we’ve set for our fans.” The fight, which is set to go down November 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
“The best pound-for-pound fighter,” De La Hoya said, “is also boxing’s biggest star. Few fighters in boxing’s history can claim to be like Canelo Alvarez. Now, he’ll look to become a four-division world champion against one of the most dangerous fighters of recent years, and I’m certain that he will stop him. There’s no better home for this than on the DAZN platform or live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.”
Canelo, who at the moment is both a middleweight and super middleweight titlist, was widely expected to have a third fight with Gennady Golovkin, who he’s previous fought on two controversial occasions for middleweight supremacy. The choice of Kovalev is a shrewd one, as it will be hard for people to accuse Canelo of ducking Golovkin when he’s making the jump up to 175 to face the aging, but still very dangerous, Kovalev.
“The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned,” said Canelo, “and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing…that’s also why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years. Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”
Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva, had words of praise for the man presenting her fighter with the biggest opportunity – and payday – available. “Canelo is to be praised for asking to challenge Sergey Kovalev,” she said. “Win or lose, he will make history and Sergey is extremely pleased to get the chance to test his mettle against another future Hall of Famer…anyone who cares at all about the Sweet Science should circle November 2nd on their calendar. I have a feeling that this will be one for the ages.”
Talk of a Canelo-Kovalev matchup had been making the rounds for some time. Now that the deal is done, however, boxing has another big fight on its agenda during a very busy few months. For streaming service DAZN, the Canelo-Kovalev announcement is nothing but good news. “Canelo vs. Kovalev is a fascinating matchup between champions that will highlight our entire season of premium fights on DAZN over the next several months,” DAZN chairman John Skipper said. “Simply stated, this is the best schedule in boxing history.”
Munguia Set To Face Allotey, Garcia to Face Sparrow
By: Sean Crose
The DAZN streaming service will host a live fight card from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California Saturday night featuring the 33-0 WBO world junior middleweight champ, Jaime Munguia. The 40-3 Patrick Allotey will be Munguia’s opponent. Although he’s won six straight fights since 2016, Allotey, a largely unknown commodity, is being regarded as stay busy opponent for the hard hitting Munguia. While his last two fights have ended in his favor via decision, the Tijuana, Mexico native has an impressive twenty knockouts on his resume. Having won the belt by stopping Saddam Ali in 2018, Munguia has had five successful title defenses.
Despite his record being impressive, Munguia’s last opponent, Denis Hogan, gave the defending champion a very hard time when the two men met in Monterray, Mexico last April. Hogan boxed well, then engaged effectively with the defending champion. Munguia walked away with the decision win, but the victory didn’t come without a question mark. In other words, the man arguably should have lost the fight. With that being said, Munguia showed an intense level of heart during the Hogan bout. What’s more, it’s said Munguia is looking to move up to middleweight after Saturday’s match against Allotey.
The Munguia-Allotey super lightweight title matchup is scheduled for 12 rounds.
The popular Ryan Garcia will also appear on Saturday’s card. The 18-0 Californian will be stepping inside the ring to face 10-1 Philly native Avery Sparrow. Garcia is clearly being marketed as a rising superstar, yet the 21 year old won’t be facing any slouch. Sparrow has only lost one fight – and that was by disqualification seven fights and nearly four years ago. Also, despite the fact that he only has a handful of knockouts on his resume, Sparrow was able to drop the respected veteran Hank Lundy when the two battled last March in Philly.
Still, it’s worth keeping in mind when it comes to the sport of boxing that popularity can count in a big way after the final bell rings. And Garcia is nothing if not popular. He’s been groomed for success for a while now. Add that to the fact that he’s a legitimate social media star, and it’s clear that people are invested in Garcia. Having not stopped an opponent in his last six bouts, Sparrow may have quite the mountain to climb if he wants to walk away with the win on Saturday night.
Not that Sparrow only has to worry about the judges. Garcia may be well liked, but he’s also a talented rising star with very impressive power. No one, after all, has handed him the fifteen knockout wins he’s earned so far. It takes more than good looks and a huge Instagram following to truly make it in boxing, a fact Garcia is clearly aware of, as he’s taken what may be a dangerous fight for him this weekend.
The Garcia-Sparrow fight is scheduled for 12 rounds in the lightweight division.
Will Frank Warren’s Investment in Youth Pay Off?
By: Shane Willoughby
Frank Warren has been one of the top forces in boxing for a long time and has been Britain’s number 1 promoter for years. However, since the rise of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, his position at the top has been in jeopardy.
The hall of fame promoter has failed to provide the British fans with the amount blockbuster shows that they have become accustomed with. This is mainly down to a massive reduction in high-level fighters in his stable.
Whilst Tyson Fury is still with Queensberry Promotions, the Gypsy King is fighting in the States which means Warren and BT Sports are playing second fiddle to ESPN.
In addition to that, last month one of his top prospects Anthony Yarde was knocked out in his first title challenge. Where Frank Warren received heavy criticism for Yarde’s poor matchmaking.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Warren has lost one of his biggest names and one of his only champions to his biggest rival.
With all that said BT Sports and Queensberry promotions have invested a great amount in youth and still have a fantastic stable of young talent.
No matter what criticism Frank Warren may face, he definitely knows how to find a talented fighter and he knows how to move them correctly.
Warren has over 50 boxers in his stable that have less than 20 professional fights, which is remarkable. Majority of the shows that he is putting on is being headlined by young fighters, which is fantastic. Whilst it may not get the same level of attention as Fury, it gives young boxers a great opportunity to showcase their ability.
A great example of this is with Daniel Dubois. After only 12 fights and at the age of 22 he is already a known face and has the ability to become a star.
Another boxer who is highly touted is Anthony Yarde, whilst he fell short against Sergey Kovalev for the WBO title, he showed that he belongs at the highest level.
There are quite a few talented fighters coming out of the UK and all due respect to Hearn, the best ones are with Frank Warren. Fighters such As Joe Joyce, Lerrone Richard’s, Sam Maxwell, Brad Forster and Sunny Edwards all have a great chance of of reaching the highest level.
Whilst they aren’t all familiar names they all have a great amount of talent and ability. Although Warren might be far from the glamorous broadcasting deals that the other promoters are getting right now, in 4 years he could have one of the strongest stables
Sunny Edwards Set to Headline First Event
By: Shane Willoughby
The UK has many top prospects touted for big things in the sport but one fighter who is destined for a world title is Sunny Edwards. After only 12 professional fights he is already being seen as one of the most talented fighters in the country pound for pound.
This weekend he will get a perfect opportunity to showcase his tremendous skillset when he takes on Rosendo Guarneros for the IBF international title, live on ESPN+ and BT sport.
Edwards has fought the majority of his career at 115lbs and is ranked 4th with the WBO at that weight class but is dropping down to Flyweight for this bout, where his brother Charlie Edward’s is the WBC champion.
His fight on Saturday is more an exhibition and an opportunity to display the high level of skills that he is known for. It will be hard to see how Guarneros puts up much of a contest, because once Sunny Edward’s steps on the gas, he will prove that there are levels and levels between them.
If you haven’t seen the kid fight you are definitely missing out, he is arguably the most rounded prospects England have right now and not to mention the fact that he is a fantastic entertainer.
When the little guys get in the ring, sometimes it gets quite boring for fans. We expect to see speed and skills but what tends to be the problem is we don’t get the highlight-reel knockout.
Although Edwards only has 4 KO’s on his record he is definitely a showman, and whilst he might not have the power to stop his opponents he definitely knows how to keep the fans interested.
Despite that, it will be good to see if he can apply some pressure and get the stoppage. However, Guarneros is a tough fighter who has only been stopped once in his 20 fights as a professional.
David Haye once labelled Sunny Edwards a mini Lomachenko and after watching him fight a few times there are many similarities. Hopefully this Saturday he can showcase the skill that has got him this far and prove why he belongs at the highest level.
Amanda Serrano vs. Heather Hardy: The Best Fight This Weekend
By: Hans Themistode
What a weekend to be a fight fan.
On September 13th, in New York City, at the Hulu arena in Madison Square Garden, Devin Haney is going to be taking on Zaur Abdullaev. Both guys are undefeated and will be looking to establish themselves as one of the best in the division.
The following day in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be taking on Otto Wallin. At this point in the career of Fury he has been become must watch television.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Also to make fight fans even more excited we have a monster card over at the UFC this coming Saturday as well.
To sum it all up, there are fights just about everywhere this weekend.
Every contest will be significant but none will be more important than the women’s showdown between WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy and seven division champ Amanda Serrano. Not only will Hardy’s title be on the line but so will the interim WBC belt as well.
Forget about the titles for a second and just look at the matchup.
All Hardy has done during her entire career is win, win, win and win some more. Her boxing skills are second to none and the heart that she puts on display time after time is inspiring. It took her six long years but last year she won her first world title. Something that she had long been dreaming of.
“I cemented my place in boxing history,” said Hardy when she first won her world title. “I will forever be remembered as a champion.”
She’s been a great fighter for quite sometime now. She hasn’t backed away from a challenge, even as she jumped into the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). While she admits that fighting in the octagon is a difficult challenge, it will pale in comparison to when she takes on Serrano.
“She’s pound for pound the best fighter out there right now, but I’m ready. I’m the toughest girl that I know.”
Tough is exactly what Hardy will need to be if she wants to be successful on Friday night. Serrano isn’t just beating her opponents, she’s destroying them. She has stopped nine of her past eleven opponents. She has also jumped from weight class to weight class taking titles and leaving destruction every place she has gone.
Serrano will of course, be considered the favorite going into this contest but she isn’t paying attention to it. She understands just how good Hardy is.
“There is a reason why I choose Heather for this contest,” said Serrano. “I know how good of a fighter she is. I’m fully prepared and we will give you guys a show on Friday night.”
This weekend might be filled with several fights but just about everyone knows how they will play out. Tyson Fury should make a short night against Otto Wallin. Devin Haney will box circles around Zaur Abdullaev and Jaime Munguia should pick up an easy victory, but Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy is a true 50/50 fight.
It’s the one contest that everyone should be tuned into this weekend.
Jermell Charlo Reveals That Rematch is Set With Tony Harrison
By: Hans Themistode
The 2018 boxing schedule was filled with huge upsets. One particular fight that possibly led the upset pack was when former WBC Jr Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo took on Tony Harrison just a few days before Christmas at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
It was supposed to be a quick night for Charlo. He was regarded as the best fighter in the division and was headed towards a unification showdown with former unified champion Jarrett Hurd. Since Charlo won his title back in 2016, he looked sensational in every title defense. He obliterated the highly touted Erickson Lubin in the first round when they matched up in 2017. He followed that up by scoring two knockdowns against former champion Austin Trout en route to a decision victory.
Harrison had no chance. His two losses came via stoppage and there was reason to believe that he was headed towards another knockout loss at the hands of Charlo. The fight played out a bit differently than what many were expecting. Harrison didn’t just stay up right throughout the entire fight, but he also made it very competitive. At times, he dominated. Still, as the fight went to the scorecards, many believed that Charlo had done more than enough to win. When Harrison was announced as the winner it sent shockwaves throughout the entire boxing world.
Charlo didn’t take long to exercise his rematch clause to win back his belt. Unfortunately, Harrison was forced to withdraw the first time around because of an ankle injury, which forced Charlo to knockout his replacement opponent Jorge Cota. Now that Harrison seems to be fully healed there, seems to be a new date set for their rematch.
Courtesy of Jermell Charlo’s Instagram, he revealed the news of a deal being reached between the two. He kept it short and sweet when regarding the rematch he has been waiting for.
“December 21st… Nothing he can do !!! NO RESPECT SEASON”
Accompanying Charlo’s statement, was a picture of their first contest. Where this contest will take place is yet to be known as of yet but that detail is sure to be released soon.
What’s most interesting about this event is the date, as it is one day earlier than their original contest last year. Both men have been vocal since they have shared the ring.
Even with a championship around his waist, Harrison was never given the respect he felt he deserved.
“There were three championship judges who all said I won,” said Harrison during an interview a few months back. “I don’t pay attention to what Jermell has to say but I can’t wait to beat him again and prove to everyone that I am the champion now.”
With the rematch seemingly all set, we all can finally decide who is the better fighter between the two.
Tyson Fury’s Easy Road Might Cost Him
By: Hans Themistode
The rematch we all have been waiting for is coming. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have already agreed to terms for a contest that is slated to take place in the early parts of 2020.
Their first bout had everything. Back and forth action, big blows landed and two knockdowns, one of which was landed in the 12th and final round. To sum it all up, it was a great fight. If part two is anything close to what we seen on December 1st, then fans are sure to be in for a treat.
Before these two meet back up in the ring, they have some business to attend to first. Wilder has a rematch booked with Luis Ortiz set for late November. He was last seen in the ring in May, completely obliterating Dominic Breazeale. Wilder has known for quite sometime that he would be matched up with Fury again sometime soon. It isn’t just a big fight but it would also bring him a career high payday as well.
Having a big fight is important, but winning it is critical. The WBC titlist has left no stone unturned in that regard. With the understanding of a big fight against Fury coming his way sometime in the near future, Wilder could have opted for several soft touches. That however, has never been the way Wilder has conducted his business as a champion.
Although his contest against Breazeale was one way traffic, Breazeale was and still is a legitimate Heavyweight contender. The only losses on his record are too, of course Wilder, and former unified champion Anthony Joshua. At six feet seven, Breazeale is tall and has plenty of power in both of his fists. The thrashing he suffered at the hands of Wilder shouldn’t take away from the skill he actually possesses.
How about the rematch between Wilder and Ortiz? Their first contest was a competitive one. Ortiz was doing a great job of staying out of the range of Wilder’s big shots while landing several of his own. It looked as though simply outboxing Ortiz was going to be a difficult task for Wilder, so instead, he went back to what he normally does. In the fifth round he landed a right hand which dropped Ortiz. The following round saw even more drama as Wilder was caught with a left hand which left him stumbling around the ring. Wilder showed a true warriors heart as he managed to drop Ortiz twice in the tenth before the referee called off the contest.
Outside of Fury, no one had ever pushed Wilder to that extent in the ring. A rematch with Ortiz is a dangerous one and could very well spoil the supposed rematch of Wilder and Fury, but the WBC belt holder could care less. Call Wilder what you want, but he is a man that takes risk with his level of opposition.
There is a method to the madness deployed by Wilder. Both Breazeale and Ortiz will provide him with the sort of competition that will propel him forward in his rematch with Fury.
The Lineal champion has a different approach he would rather take. Much like Wilder, Fury has already been involved in one contest with another one coming up shortly. On June 15th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, Fury took on the obscure Tom Schwarz.
It was a mismatch on paper and very much so in the ring as Fury dismantled Schwarz via second round knockout. Schwarz was hailed as a true contender, a great fighter, one of the best in the world. None of those words were true. He was simply an opponent who was in over his head.
For Fury’s second contest he vowed to take on a legitimate contender. Someone who would push him to the brink. Jarrell Miller’s name was floated around, so was Kubrat Pulev. Even Dillian Whyte was given a shout out as a possible name. Whomever of those names that would be chosen would make the fans happy. So who exactly did Fury choose? Otto Wallin.
He may sport an undefeated record in his 20 professional fights but Wallin has fought no one. He is very much in the same league as Schwarz in many respects.
With another soft touch booked for Fury, assuming that he wins, he will officially head into his 2020 rematch against Wilder without taking on dangerous competition. Yet, if you ask Fury, he believes that it’s Wilder who is taking the softer route.
“I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Fury. “You know, it’s all fun and games to Tyson Fury. If it wasn’t fun and games for him, he would’ve rematched me instantly. If he had the heart of a warrior and a mindset of a warrior and a champion, he would’ve rematched me instantly. Not waited until someone came and saved him, so he can have an excuse to cop out of the rematch.”
Despite what he says, it’s clear that Fury did not want to jeopardize his Wilder rematch. He can continue to hype up his two most recent opponents as much as he wants but fans understand exactly what they are seeing. Two opponents who should not, at least at this point in their careers, be in the same ring as Fury. With Wilder on the other hand, he has decided to take the hard road. He didn’t need to. He could have easily chosen to take on fighters who stood no chance against him, but that wouldn’t get him fully prepared for Fury now would it?
Fury can continue to pump up his resume with names who aren’t deserving but in 2020 it could cost him against a Deontay Wilder who will be ready both physically and mentally to stake his claim as the undisputed best Heavyweight in the world.
Fury vs. Wallin, Navarrete vs. Elorde Fight Previews
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada the Lineal Heavyweight Champion of the World, Tyson Fury, will make his return to the Mecca of boxing.
Tyson Fury will be taking on undefeated challenger Otto Wallin on ESPN+. This bout will be promoted by Top Rank Promotions in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. Tyson Fury was fighting in Las Vegas in his last bout and has made a quick return to the ring.
The co-main event of the evening is a WBO Junior Featherweight Title Bout between Emanuel Navarrete and Juan Miguel Elorde. Other boxers on the undercard include a junior welterweight bout between Jose Pedraza and Jose Zepeda and a junior bantamweight bout between Carlos Cuadras and Jose Maria Cardenas.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) vs. Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1); WBO Junior Featherweight Title
Navarrete exploded into the scene with his back to back victories over former champion, Isaac Dogboe, in convincing fashion.
On Saturday he’ll be facing the grandson of a Filipino Legend, Flash Elorde, in the co-main event of the evening for his WBO Junior Featherweight Title.
Navarrete will be giving up about one inch in height to Elorde, but he will have a significant age advantage as he is eight years younger. Navarrete will also have the power advantage as he has twenty four stoppages on his resume, while Elrode only has fifteen.
Both boxers have been fairly active. Navarrete fought twice in 2019 and four times in 2018. Elrode fought once in 2019 and three times in 2018.
Navarrete has beaten the likes of Francisco De Vaca, Isaac Dogboe (twice), Jose Sanmartin, Glen Porras, and Luis Bedolla Orozco. His lone loss was early on in his career, in 2012, to Daniel Argueta by decision.
Elorde has spent almost his entire career fighting either in the Philippines or Malaysia. He fought once in the United States, and lost to Jerry Guevara in 2011.
Elorde has no big name wins on his record. But his most notable victories include Shohei Kawashima, Ratchanon Sawangsoda, Likit Chane, and Terdchai Doungmontree.
This fight should be an easy victory for Navarrete. Elorde brings a well known name in the boxing community into the ring, but there’s nothing in his resume that indicates he should be a tough fight for Navarrete.
Tyson Fury (28-0-1) vs. Otto Wallin (20-0); Heavyweight Division
Tyson Fury competed in one of the most exciting fights of 2018 when he fought to a draw with Deontay Wilder. Since then he has looked to be in tremendous shape and completed dedicated to the sport of boxing and keeping his undefeated record intact.
However, he has chosen an opponent that not many give a chance at giving Fury the first loss in his career.
Wallin has spent most of his career fighting in Europe and Saturday will be his second fight in the United States.
Fury will have about three and a half inches in height in Wallin and about seven inches in reach. Both boxers have been fairly active recently, Wallin fought once in 2019 and twice in 2018, while Fury fought once in 2019 and three times in 2018.
Wallin does have an edge in age, as he is three years younger than Tyson Fury, who is thirty one.
Wallin doesn’t have a notable amateur career while Fury is a former Gold Medalist in the European Union Junior Championships.
Fury has defeated the likes of Tom Schwarz, Francesco Pianeta, Sefer Seferi, Wladimir Klitschko, Christian Hammer, Dereck Chisora, Steve Cunningham, and Kevin Johnson.
It should be noted that Fury didn’t fight for nearly three years after defeating Klitschko.
Wallin doesn’t have any notable victories on his resume. His biggest wins were against Adrian Granat, Raphael Zumbano, Osborne Machimana, and Irineu Beato Costa Junior.
Fury has possible big money fights against either Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua in the future. It doesn’t appear that Wallin will stop those fights from happening.
Otto Wallin Fight Week Interview: “I Feel Very Well Prepared”
By: Sean Crose
“I had a tough training camp,” says Otto Wallin, “with a lot of quality sparring and many rounds in the bank. I feel very well prepared for Saturday.” By “tough,” of course, Wallin means successful. Camp shouldn’t be easy when one’s preparing to battle one of the most colorful and high profile boxers on the planet, Tyson Fury. “I feel great,” Wallin adds just days before his heavyweight battle with Fury at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. “I’m very excited about this opportunity and I want to leave everything in the ring on Saturday.” This weekend represents the opportunity of a lifetime for the 20-0 native of Sweden. Should he defeat the 28-0-1 Fury, it would be a shocking upset, perhaps even more thunderous than Andy Ruiz’ stunning victory over Anthony Joshua last June at Madison Square Garden.
For Wallin isn’t a widely known commodity. Although the man has yet to lose a professional bout, many feel that he’s simply being sent into the ring to keep the flamboyant Fury busy until bigger fights come along. Fury himself has been busy talking about other fighters rather than the individual whose been focused for weeks on beating him. “I hope he’s focusing on other fighters and looking past me,” says Wallin, who doesn’t come across as one who gets easily rattled. “That would make it easier for me!”
One advantage Fury will have over Wallin is the fact that he’s been through the media circus before. He’s beaten Wladimir Klitschko…and battled Deontay Wilder to a draw. Those were two highly covered bouts, which means the Englishman knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight, while Wallin – up until now – had yet to be center stage. Wallin seems to be taking it well, though, rather than allowing the moment to swallow him whole. “It’s been good,” he says of the lead up. “I’ve got a good team around me that keeps me from not being overwhelmed with media requests but helps to balance it.” To Wallin, all the press and attention is simply part and parcel of engaging in a big fight. “Media work is of course part of the game and very important,” he adds reasonably. “I’m very happy with all the interest around the fight and everything that comes with it.”
The interest in Wallin himself will be intense should be pull off the upset. Everyone will want to know who the polite, undefeated giant slayer is. Not that the attention won’t be well earned. Upsets bring about their own rewards. As does defeating the man many argue is the lineal heavyweight champion of the world (the man who beat the man who beat the man). If he wins on Saturday, Wallin will find himself spoken of alongside the likes of Wilder, Ruiz, and Joshua. Not that that a win would surprise Wallin. As he said of Fury in our previous interview: “He has not much to win and everything to lose in this fight and that’s great for me. He probably feels a ton of pressure and knows that he needs to look good in this fight.”
In other words, it’s not just the challenger who has to feel the heat on this occasion.