Gervonta Davis On Leo Santa Cruz Showdown: “He’s Going To Bring The Best Out Of Me
By: Hans Themistode
At just 25 years of age, WBA lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis has a lot to be proud of. He’s held world titles in two separate weight classes, has sold out multiple arenas and on October 24th, the Baltimore native will make his pay-per-view headlining debut against Leo Santa Cruz.
Yet, even with opponent after opponent needing immediate medical attention following a matchup with him, Davis believes he hasn’t even come close to going into his full bag of tricks.
With secondary fighters littered across his resume, Davis has barely needed to break a sweat. There was never a need to bring his very best to the table in any of his 23 pro fights. But come October 24th, the two division world champion fully expects to switch into second gear.
“Leo Santa Cruz is tough,” said Davis to Mike Coppinger on The Pug and Copp Boxing Show podcast. “He’s going to bring the best out of me. He’s not someone that is going to sit there and just try to survive. He’s going to actually fight, so it should be a great match.”
Great would be one of the last words used in associated with a Gervonta Davis contest. With all but one of his career fights reaching the judges scorecards, the two division champion has made it look easy inside of the ring. Some of his success can be attributed to the work he has put in while no is looking.
During the build up of all of his matchups, Davis can be found in an empty gym wearing out each and every heavy bag in the facility without fear of something coming back in return. But while the constant repetitions have yielded results, Davis finds his solo gym sessions and fight night opponents all too familiar.
“I’m just excited to be fighting someone that’s not going to be just a punching bag. I definitely have to train hard. We know that Leo is a future hall of famer, so I know that he is going to come to fight.”
His opponents lack of interest in sitting in the pocket with him was especially evident in his last ring appearance, at least according to Davis.
Former multiple division world champion Yuriokis Gamboa met Davis at 135 pounds in December of 2019. With plenty of mileage on his 38 year old odometer, coupled with a torn achilles in the second round, the Cuban born native seemed gun shy throughout much of their contest. His defensive approach didn’t win him any rounds, but it did extend Davis to the 12th round for the first time in his career. The Baltimore native still managed to end the night in the final round, but he hears the chatter surrounding his performance. For Davis, the explanation as to why he found it so difficult to get rid of his man was simple.
“Gamboa was trying to survive,” explained Davis. “You know when somebody is just trying to survive they don’t throw as much. It was hard for me to catch him with shots, but with Leo, he’s going to come ready to fight.”
Leo Grinds Out WBO Title Win Over Williams On Showtime’s Boxing Return
By: Sean Crose
Boxing returned to Showtime on Saturday night after a long, Covid-19 induced hibernation. The card, which aired live from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino, featured Angelo Leo and Tramaine Williams battling for the WBO’s vacant Junior Featherweight title. The night started, however, with 10-1 light heavyweight Marcos Escudero facing Joseph George, 10-0, for the second time. The first fight between the two ended in a decision in favor of George that raised some eyebrows. Both men entered the ring in the eerily empty, Covid-19 era arena aiming to achieve a degree of clarity.
The fight ended up being a mostly close affair. Escudero was the aggressor, as he was in the first bout, and George employed a jab and cover up defense. It became clear rather quickly, however, that Escudero wasn’t only pushing the action, but dominating it. The pattern of the match was simply being controlled by the Argentine fighter. George appeared to have scored a flash knockdown in the eighth, but the referee ruled it a slip. A left uppercut, seemingly from out of nowhere, however, suddenly put Escudero down and out in the ninth. It was an incredible shot, one that made it clear that in boxing, the tide can change in less than a second.
Next up was another rematch. Marcus Bates was bested by Raeese Aleem via unanimous decision back in 2018. Looking to avenge his only loss, the 11-1-1 Bates slipped between the ropes to face the now 16-0 Aleem for the second time. The scheduled 12 rounder was a WBA title eliminator. Aleem was aggressive early, firing missiles at his old foe. As the rounds progressed it was obvious that Aleem was comfortable firing with accuracy. By the scheduled halfway point of the bout, the match had established itself as a one sided affair, with Aleem basically employing target practice. With a hurt hand, which had caused him to perform less than optimally, Bates turned his back during the tenth round, and was nailed in the face by Aleeem. The referee did the only thing he could, which was stop the bout.
It was time for the scheduled 12 round main event. Both fighters entered the ring with identical 19-0 records. Leo’s previous fight was in December. Williams hadn’t fought in over a year. The first saw good counter punching from the southpaw Williams. By the end of the second it was clear that Williams was dominating the early portion of the fight. The New Haven native may not have had a live hometown Connecticut crowd cheering him on at the Mohegan Sun, but he had still firmly established control early on. Leo wasn’t to be denied, however. The Vegas based fighter began to land – especially to the body – so that by fifth round, the match was a close affair. A low blow from Leo caused the fight to temporarily be halted in the sixth.
By the eighth, Leo’s body work over the previous few rounds appeared to be paying off. The bout was again briefly stopped in the ninth, this time due to a William’s low blow. As the fight entered the championship rounds, Leo appeared to be on the verge of a title win by virtue of a prolonged aggressive attack. Needless to say, Leo spent the remainder of the fight swinging away, earning himself the WBO Junior Featherweight title via unanimous decision as a result.
MatchRoom Boxing Results: Ted Cheeseman Squeezes By Sam Eggington
Both Sam Eggington (28-7, 17 KOs) and Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) were given boxing’s spotlight as they headlined Matchroom boxing’s Fight Camp.
With a loss in his last ring appearance, Cheeseman couldn’t afford to pick up another. The British born 154 pound contender came out strong to kick off his night. He landed big shots to start off their contest and imposed his will early on.
Eggington however, did not fold under pressure and weathered the early storm. He stumbled across the ring on several occasions but found a way to stay composed. That in turn, helped him turn things around during the second half of the contest which he thoroughly dominated.
Despite that, his late surge wasn’t enough as he lost a clear decision. The final scorecards after 12 rounds of action were as followed: 115-114 and two scores of 116-113 all in favor of Cheeseman.
MatchRoom Boxing Results: Fabio Wardley Picks Up Stoppage Win Against Simon Vallily
With the English heavyweight title up for grabs, Fabio Wardley (9-0, 8 KOs) didn’t come to play around. Simon Vallily (17-3-1, 7 KOs) came into this matchup with four straight victories in his back pocket. However, he seemed ill-equipped to deal with his opponent on the night.
With two one sided rounds already in his favor, Wardley came out in the third ready to close the show. He did exactly that as he landed a left hook that sent his man flying into the ropes. From there, it was target practice for Wardley as he unloaded power shots until the referee stepped in.
MatchRoom Boxing Results: James Tennyson Gets Rid of Gavin Gwynne in The Sixth
Lightweight contender James Tennyson (27-3, 23 KOs) made it five knockouts in a row as he took care of business against Gavin Gwynne (12-2, 2 KOs).
The British born contenders battled it out in the co main event at Matchroom’s Fight Camp. With two wins on the record of Gwynne by stoppage, Tennyson walked straight ahead with no fear. He landed huge shots on the chin of his opponent and watched him crumble.
An early exchange forced Gwynne to drop down to a knee. He managed to pull himself together, but not for long. Tennyson continued the onslaught until the referee was given no other choice but to end their contest in the sixth round.
Joe Smith Jr vs Eleider Alvarez Take’s Place on August 22nd For WBO Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator
By: Hans Themistode
Light heavyweight contenders Joe Smith Jr. and Eleider Alvarez will be looking to give the judges the night off when the two meet August 22nd, at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A high level scalp won’t be the only reward for the victor as their contest is a WBO title eliminator.
For Alvarez (25-1, 13 KOs), his rise to the top of the division was a quick one. Unfortunately for him however, so was his fall from it.
The Colombian native parlayed an undefeated career into a WBO title shot against then champion Sergey Kovalev in 2018. With most of the world doubting his capabilities, Alvarez blocked out the noise. He went out and ripped the title from Kovalev via 7th round stoppage. The smiles that accompanied his performance however was short lived. Kovalev would enact his immediate rematch clause and outclass Alvarez over 12 rounds. Since then, he’s KO’d fringe contender Michael seals earlier this year.
But while Seals never truly presented much of a threat, former title challenger Joe Smith Jr. (25-1, 20 KOs) will be another story entirely.
Over the years, Smith Jr. has earned the reputation for upsetting the Apple cart. In 2016 the Long Island native scored a first round knockout over contender Andrzej Fonfara. From there, he found himself standing across future hall of famer, albeit over 50 years of age at the time, in Bernard Hopkins. Smith Jr. would knock Hopkins right out of the ring and right into retirement. Despite his success, in his first bid to win a world title, he fell woefully short against Dmitry Bivol.
Nevertheless, that loss hasn’t put a dent in his title aspirations. In his most recent ring outing, he dominated Jesse Hart. Now, he finds himself on the cusp of another title shot should he get past Alvarez.
With four division world champion Canelo Alvarez, vacating his 175 pound WBO title in order to move back down in weight, both Smith Jr. and Alvarez are attempting to place themselves ahead of the pack to grab the vacant gold.
Otto Wallin Gives Boxing Insider Radio His Thoughts on His Upcoming Contest Against Travis Kauffman, How He Dealt With COVID-19 and Empty Arenas
Heavyweight contender Otto Wallin has seen his return to the ring truncated on several occasions. Between constant opponent changes and a one on one battle with COVID-19, Wallin has been through a lot. Despite the ups and down, all systems are a go for his come back fight against Travis Kauffman on August 15th.
The Swedish born contender pressed pause on his preparations for his upcoming contest in order to give Boxing Insider radio an update on how he see’s his matchup playing out, his battle with COVID-19 and what he expects with no crowd in the stands.
To listen in on the conversation, head over to Spotify, iTunes or BoxingInsider.com to subscribe.
It was a night he couldn’t forget it, although it didn’t end the way he expected.
Going into his heavyweight contest against Tyson Fury in September of 2019, Otto Wallin was branded with the number 29 across his forehead. The figure signified that the Swedish native would be the 29th victory of Fury’s career.
The current lineal and WBC champion did in fact, have his hand raised in victory. But after 12 grueling rounds, he was left bloodied and battered. The loss for Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs) may have blemished his once undefeated record, but more importantly, it gave his name credibility in the heavyweight division. Now, nearly one year later, he’ll finally return to the ring when he takes on fringe contender Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) on August 15th.
Under normal circumstances, sitting on the sidelines for almost one year following the best performance of his career would have left him acrimonious. But with this global pandemic currently taking place, Wallin is just looking forward to finally getting back in the ring.
“I’m very excited,” said Wallin on BoxingInsider radio. “It’s been almost a year since I fought Fury and it’s been a crazy year. This pandemic has shut everything down so I’ve been in New York. It’s been difficult but I’ve been training this whole time. It’s nice to finally get a fight.”
Preparing for a fight these days takes a bit of imagination. Parks are no longer just a place to enjoy picnics and watch the scenery. No, they have been turned into de facto training facilities for professional boxers. In the New York City area, passersby can sometimes find the hulking contender as he shadows boxes in prospect park as he prepares for his comeback fight.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training in the parks and at home. But for the past two months now I’ve been using a private gym. I have sparring and everything that I need, so I feel good for this fight. Kauffman is a veteran and he is a pretty good fighter. Ultimately, I think that my youth, speed and movement is going to be too much for him.”
Preparing to get punched in the face is a welcomed sight for the heavyweight contender. Slipping punches, getting a black eye and bloodied nose or scoring a knockout is something that he has grown accustomed to. Facing an invisible opponent however, such as COVID-19, was something that he had no prior experience doing.
Nevertheless, like most of his bouts, Wallin walked through his matchup with the deadly disease as the winner. And although it has claimed the lives of countless others, Wallin recalls his contest as a one sided affair in his favor.
“For me it wasn’t that bad at all. I woke up one day and had a little sore throat and felt a bit under the weather. I knew the recommendations were as soon as you feel anything to just stay home, so that’s what I did. It wasn’t very bad. I had a light fever and a cough but I started getting better. But then all of a sudden I lost all of my taste and smell. Thankfully, I ended up getting better again so it wasn’t that bad.”
Wallin’s bout with COVID-19 may have been a cake walk, but he is expecting his matchup against Travis Kauffman to be anything but. Other than his contest with Fury, Wallin has seldom found himself in a difficult scenario. Yet, whenever he did, the fans screaming his name from the bleachers always pulled him through.
This time around of course, the arena will be silent as fans continue to watch from the comfort of their homes due to the pandemic. It doesn’t make his fights any easier or much fun, but with or without fans, Wallin intends to get the job done on August 15th.
“I love fighting in front of fans of course. But I know that I want to get better and to get better I need fights. I need to stay busy and take what’s out there. I just need to go out there and handle business.”
The WBC Officially Announce Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell
By: Hans Themistode
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia sat back and observed as his social media influence continued to grow. But with every Instagram like following another fancy combination on the speed bag, Garcia watched as his name began to fade away behind the likes of Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and Teofimo Lopez.
Now however, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) is ready to make a name for himself inside of the ring.
The California native is set to take on the toughest test of his career when he faces former Olympic gold medalist and multiple time title challenger, Luke Campbell.
The date and venue have not yet been revealed, but the ink has seemingly dried as both men have signed off on their bout.
For Garcia, his entire boxing life has changed just a year and a half ago. In 2018, the lightweight contender struggled to a majority decision victory over Carlos Morales. There was little doubt that Garcia was a bright prospect, but questions of his legitimacy as a future champion grew louder.
Looking to quiet his doubters, Garcia began working with Eddie Reynoso, trainer of pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez. Their partnership has been a match made in boxing heaven as Garcia has steamrolled his competition, winning his last four contests via stoppage.
While the future is looking bright for Garcia, the soon to be 33 year old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) can’t say the same. The former Olympic gold medalist has continually come up short on the biggest of stages. A 2017 failed title challenge against Jorge Linares coupled with another 2019 title attempt against Vasiliy Lomachenko, which saw him fall short yet again, left Campbell as always the bridesmaid but never a bride.
Still, even with his penchant to fall short on the championship stage, Campbell’s confidence was exorbitantly high when asked his thoughts on a possible showdown with Garcia.
“It’s a fight that I’m really up for,” said Campbell during an interview with Boxing Social earlier this month. “I can go in there and showcase my skills. I don’t think I’ve seen one of his fights. I’ve seen highlights, but I’ve never sat down and watched one of his fights. It’s never interested me. You can see he’s got speed, and he’s got power. But I think I win by KO.”
Claims of a knockout win, along with the murmurs from those who doubt Garcia, are unsurprising to him. He isn’t looking to gain supporters in his upcoming contest against Campbell. No, the lightweight contender is in search of something else.
“Will get my respect,” said Garcia on his Twitter account earlier this month. “SHOCK THE WORLD!!”
Gervonta Davis Looking to Prove He’s More Then Just Power Against Leo Santa Cruz: “I’m Not Just a Banger, I’m a Boxer Puncher”
By: Hans Themistode
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And for WBA super lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, he’s proven that his method of winning is picture perfect.
Facing Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) inside of the ring normally ends with a trip to the emergency room for his opponents. The Baltimore native and two division world champion is set to take on the toughest test of his career, at least on paper, in Leo Santa Cruz on October 24th on pay-per-view.
Unlike his previous opponents, Davis doesn’t seem interested in leaving him strapped to a stretcher following their contest. He’s already proven to have the sort of deleterious power that you simply can’t teach. So instead, he plans on introducing the world to the rest of his repertoire.
“I’m not trying to knock him out or things like that,” said Davis to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic. “I’m not definitely not going for the knockout, I’m going definitely trying to show the fans that I can box. So I am ready for this fight to show them that I can do both.”
For Davis, the book on his skillset has seemingly been rudimentary written by fans. See opponent, hit opponent and watch opponent fall down.
Although he can never get tired of the constant replays of his one punch knockouts, the term one trick pony comes to mind. Something that Davis vehemently wants to steer away from.
“I’m not just a banger, I’m a boxer puncher, that’s who I am. People who have been in the gym with me know that but the world doesn’t know that yet.”
Whether the fight ends with an ambulance escorting his opponent from the ring, or a lopsided decision victory on the judges scorecards, the win counts the same. A victory over Leo Santa Cruz will become a serious feather in the cap of Davis, regardless of the route to victory.
“It would be big. He’s coming to fight, that guy is coming to fight. Just beating him period would be an accomplishment.”
Gary Russell Jr: “I’ll Fight Adrien Broner”
By: Hans Themistode
Gary Russell Jr’s featherweight title reign has been mired in both greatness and disappointment. The five year WBC belt holder has consistently dazzled his fans with jaw dropping performances, but has also habitually shown up to work just one time per year.
The Maryland native has failed to make more than one ring appearance during his championship reign, and with a February title defense against Tugstsogt Nyambayar, there is reason to believe that he has already completed his yearly obligations.
The opportunity to pad both his bank account and fight record with shoddy opponents are on the table. But nothing about that statement interests Russell Jr. Names such as Leo Santa Cruz and Josh Warrington on the other hand, gets his motor going.
Yet for those aforementioned fighters however, their motor seems to stall whenever his name is spoken.
“We gotta get one of these suckers to say they wanna fight me. I’m willing to fight anybody,” said Russell Jr. in an interview with Barbershop Conversations.
Fighting anyone, apparently branches out far beyond the land of 126 pounders. With no big name opponents in sight, Russell has turned his attention towards another weight division. Moving up one or even two weight classes won’t bring the sort of names to the table that he is looking for. So instead, Russell Jr. is not only eyeing a move to 140 pounds, but he also had an opponent an opponent in mind.
“I had a conversation with Al, and I told him that I will move up in weight. I’m not getting any fights in the weight division that I’m in. I wouldn’t mind moving up to 140, I’ll fight Adrien Broner if he wanted. Al told me that he reached out to Adrien and gave him the opportunity to take the fight but for whatever reason he turned it down. So again, from 126 all the way up to 140, you got suckers ducking, point blank period.”
For Broner, he’s been sitting on the shelf for over a year and a half. Following losses to Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao with a majority decision draw against Jessie Vargas sandwiched in between, Broner has traded in his boxing gloves for a microphone as he has been focusing on his rap career.
The former four division world champion has made numerous claims over the past few months that he would be willing to leave the recording studio to enter the gym, provided of course, he was compensated with ten million dollars for his efforts.
While it’s unclear if his money demands will be met, Russell Jr. is offering Broner something else. A big time opportunity.
“He ain’t had a relevant fight in I don’t know how long. He lost his last what? Three or four fights and split draw with the other dude? Come on man. I believe in my skillset and talent no matter what weight division I’m fighting in.”
Antonio Tarver on Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr: “They Running From Their Adversaries”
By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world couldn’t help but yell in excitement once former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and pound for pound great, Roy Jones Jr. announced their contest. On September 12th, both men will end their retirement and dust the gloves off one more time.
Choosing a winner between the two has been the topic of conversations for the past few days. But while most of the world is wondering how things will play out, former two division world champion Antonio Tarver is trying to figure out what’s the point.
“I hope they do their thing,” said Tarver on his social media account. “It’ll be great. But come on, beating a Roy Jones, knocking out Roy Jones, I mean we done seen that shit before. But if Roy Jones beats Mike Tyson then what does that mean? If he looks good against Mike Tyson then what does that really mean?”
What it would mean is unclear, but Tarver is hoping that a win for Jones Jr. could lead to a fourth fight against arguably his biggest rival. The two shared the ring together in the mid 2000s. Jones Jr. would famously move up to the heavyweight division to grab a heavyweight title from then WBA champion John Ruiz. Following that win, rumors between Tyson and Jones Jr. began to circulate, but their contest never materialized.
Instead, the newly crowned heavyweight champion dropped down in weight to the light heavyweight division and took home a close decision win against Tarver. Believing that victory was nothing more than a fluke, Tarver got his hands on Jones Jr. in an immediate rematch, knocking him out in the second round.
The two would meet for a third and final time one year later. Tarver would prove that he was in fact the better fighter as he scored a unanimous decision victory.
With back to back wins over Jones Jr. Tarver believes he’s the last person that he wants to see inside of the ring, even at the age of 51.
“I believe both of them are running from their adversaries. You know Holyfield got Tyson number, I obviously have Roy Jones number, obviously. But they choose to fight each other, they running from their adversaries.”
DAZN Boxing Results: Vergil Ortiz Scores His 16th Straight Knockout
Another contest, another knockout win for Vergil Ortiz (16-0, 16 KOs). His latest victim in Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) was thought to be a much stiffer opponent, but that simply was not the case.
Ortiz simply walked through Vargas much like his previous 15 opponents. With the win, Ortiz finds himself in line to compete for a world title sooner rather than later.
DAZN Boxing Results: Shane Mosley Jr. Picks Up The Win Against Jeremy Ramos
After failing to live up to the last name bestowed upon him by his father, Shane Mosley Jr. (16-3, 9 KOs) picked up his third straight win. Standing across the ring from him tonight was journeymen Jeremy Ramos (11-9, 4 KOs).
Things couldn’t have gone any better for Mosley Jr as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
DAZN Boxing Results: Seniesa Estrada Obliterates Miranda Adkins
If you went to the bathroom, or even looked down to respond to a text, there’s a good chance that you missed Seniesa Estrada (19-0, 8 KOs) destroy Miranda Adkins (5-1, 5 KOs).
A quick six piece combo, hold the drink, quickly brought the night to an end for Adkins. She immediately hit the deck and the contest was called off.
The Boxing World Mourns The Loss of Brother Naazim
By: Hans Themistode
Trainers in the sport of boxing play a vital role in the development of a fighter. Whether they are teaching them the fundamentals or implementing a game plan, trainers are of the utmost importance.
In the case of legendary trainer Naazim Richardson however, he was much more than that, and that is why the news of his passing has hurt the boxing community to its very core.
Richardson passed away early Friday morning at the age of 54. The cause of his death has not yet been reported, but with the extremely poignant news, the boxing world began to flood the social media timelines with tributes to the fallen legend.
Richardson was a devote Muslim who went by “Brother Naazim”. He worked with hall of fame fighters such as Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. Richardson led his fighters to some of the biggest wins of their careers and allowed them to stay cool under pressure.
His corner work was second to none as he not only gave clear and coherent advice, but also gave the sort of sound bites that will forever be a part of boxing history.
Growing up in the streets of Philadelphia wasn’t easy for Richardson as he was homeless at the age of 14. However, he used the sport of boxing to put his life back together and became a staple in his community.
Richardson not only shared his advice and mentorship with his fighters, but he also did the same with his son Rock Allen. The Jr welterweight prospect was seemingly on his way to a promising career as he went undefeated through 15 career fights. Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short due to a car accident.
Richardson was all business inside of the ring. He took a no nonsense attitude, but had a much softer side as well. An example of this would be when he spoke of the 2011 contest between his fighter Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Richardson’s fighter would come up short during their bout, losing via unanimous decision, but more than anything, he would always have a good laugh when he explained the exchange he had with Pacquiao before the contest took place.
Richardson received the highest of praises when spoken upon by other fighters. Sadly for the sport of boxing, he was taken away much sooner than anyone could have anticipated.
The news of his passing is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, his impact on the sport will never be forgotten.
Rest in paradise Brother Naazim.