DAZN Boxing Preview: Edwards vs. Moreno
By: Ste Rowen
An early Christmas present and a dream realised. On the 22nd December last year, and in his second attempt in just fifteen fights, Charlie Edwards, in dominant fashion, defeated Cristofer Rosales to claim the WBC flyweight world championship. It came just over two years since his last world title attempt where he was stopped by John Riel Casimero in ten rounds.
But last December, Edwards was the man on the front foot, prepared to pressure and to take a punch to land two. Almost a coming of age fight for the 26-year-old, that proved he belonged with the elite at 112lb. Edwards has called out the current IBF super-flyweight champion and fellow Brit, Kal Yafai but Charlie’s first defence, this weekend at London’s Copper Box Arena, comes against Spaniard and Sergio Martinez managed fighter, Angel Moreno.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
At a press-conference, Edwards, 14-1 (6KOs) reflected on his world title win and his first defence,
‘‘When the going was getting tough and it didn’t look like it was coming off I had to believe and I had to keep pushing…I’d come in to the gym with Grant (Smith, Trainer) and I was in tears cos nothing was coming off.
I want to be a British great and to be a British great I want to be a multi-weight world champion.
Not only am I headlining my own show, but I’ve got some former Team GB teammates on the show.
Angel Moreno is a great fighter. I think we’ve shared 24-rounds together but it’s gonna heat up really nicely on the night.’’
On paper the signs don’t look good for Moreno, 19-2-2 (6KOs). When the Spaniard has fought outside of his home country (once in France and Ukraine respectively), Angel has come unstuck. A 12-round defeat to Thomas Masson of France, but more significantly a unanimous decision defeat to current WBA flyweight champion, Artem Dalakian, back in 2015 when the Ukrainian was 10-0.
Almost four years on from the Dalakian defeat, Moreno has only fought a scheduled 12-round bout once, his defeat to Masson in 2016. The furthest Angel has gone – and won – is ten rounds vs. gatekeeper, Jose Rivas in the backend of 2017.
However, Moreno will be hoping to follow fellow Spaniard, Sergio Garcia (against Ted Cheeseman), in upsetting the Brit, on foreign soil,
‘‘Charlie is a great boxer, but anything can happen on the night…I don’t think Sergio’s win was any surprise. I will certainly look to take inspiration from that.’’
Also on Saturday night’s card at the Copper Box is light-heavyweight rising star, Joshua Buatsi who looks to improve to 10-0 whilst also winning the vacant British 175lb strap vs. Liam Conroy.
Buatsi, 9-0 (7KOs) was last seen in the ring making lightwork of former super-middleweight IBO champion, Renold Quinlan – knocking him out in the 1st round. In fact, Josh has stopped his last three opponents in the 1st round and now, with the British belt vacant, the timing seems perfect for the much-hyped Buatsi to take his first significant belt as a pro,
‘‘The title is part of the journey I’m taking. So Conroy is the man that’s been put forward and March 23rd, it’s gonna happen…I’ve been getting the sparring that’s been more than ten rounds. As the rounds go on I get better, stronger, fitter. I’ll be there from 1-12 so whatever number it is, I’ll take it.
Don’t be surprised if it’s the 1st.’’
Conroy, 16-3-1 (8KOs), has been waiting a while for a shot at the Lonsdale belt. The 26-year-old is on a 9-fight win streak, stretching back to late 2015. His five straight stoppage victories also make Conroy more than a live dog against the Olympic silver medallist. He seemed in confident mood when he spoke to the media,
‘‘It’s been a long time coming. I won my British title eliminator in 2017 and I’ve been working relentlessly…It’s not about the opponent, it’s about the title. No matter who it was, I would’ve took it.’’
Fighting in an intriguing British-Commonwealth cruiserweight unification, British (and former Commonwealth champ, Lawrence Okolie takes on current Commonwealth titlist, Wadi Camacho in a scheduled 12-rounds.
Okolie, 11-0 (8KOs) has been understandably criticised for past bouts, especially against former British champion, Matty Askin where, despite his proven punching power, Lawrence took a very hug-filled approach to fighting to see him through the full twelve rounds. But if any British cruiserweight can force the action out of Okolie, it must surely be Camacho.
And the two men have a shared opponent in Isaac Chamberlain who Okolie dropped twice and decisioned over twelve and Wadi was beaten over ten.
Camacho, 21-7 (12KOs), claimed the Commonwealth with a Technical Decision over Arfan Iqbal and combined with hooking up with a new team, is confident of defeating the odds-on favourite,
‘‘I’ve been reborn since my last two fights and whoever was there watching it, what you saw was just a little glimpse…Everyone knows I’m an entertaining fighter. I’ve never been in a dull fight and I’ll give it my all.’’
Lawrence fought just last month, dropping Tamas Lodi four times en route to a 3rd round TKO, and after, at times, looking a little confused on how he wants to fight as a pro, Okolie is keen on another short night on Saturday,
‘‘I see Wadi on social media calling me names but when he comes up here he’s very quiet and respectful so hopefully he can bring that same energy from social media to the fight…When I stop and think, I was working at McDonalds and yet somehow I’ve become an Olympian, somehow I’ve won the British title, somehow I’ve won the Commonwealth title, somehow I’m gonna knock out Wadi Camacho on Saturday.’’
Book Review: The Fight by Norman Mailer
By: Stephanie Kent
In The Fight, we follow Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Norman Mailer during the suspenseful weeks leading up to 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” matchup between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Even the most casual of fight fans are familiar with the historic bout, but Mailer unveils a behind-the-scenes story that’ll have readers convinced the fight could go either way by the time the heavyweights step into the ring.
The Fight begins with an ode-like chapter on Muhammad Ali, and what it’s like to behold him in person as he trains. From the start, the book paints a picture of a frustrated Ali, bored with training, lacking his usual luster. Held up beside 25-year-old champion George Foreman’s camp, the Louisville Lip immediately assumes the role of underdog in this telling.
Mailer writes about himself as a central figure in The Fight. The character Norman is respected by both fighters; by Ali who fancies himself a poet, and Foreman, who’s rumored to be working on a debut book himself. As a member of the press corps, he gains incredible access to the athletes. In one epic chapter, Mailer joins Ali for a run, surprised at the easy pace and short length of the roadwork (the ageing, hungover Mailer even manages to keep up for the first half!). Mailer uses this insider access to look at the fighters — their sparring sessions, their apparent strategies, even their confidence levels — side by side. All signs point to defeat for Ali.
The play-by-play of the fight is the most exciting chapter in the book. After a hundred pages detailing sparring, mindset, and training regimens, Mailer watches in awe Ali’s audacity to throw lead right hands in the early rounds. He marvels at the rope-a-dope, and shares the crowd’s mania when Foreman hits the canvas in the eighth round. These pages are some of the best boxing writing in history.
Reading The Fight in 2019 (which was first published in 1975) is both joyful and challenging. In our era of too many belts, professional boxing is reckoning with itself; it’s thrilling to read of a time when the whole world would stop to watch a boxing match. On the contrary, much of the prose feels dated in 2019. It’s impossible to write of 1970’s Kinasha an the fight itself without writing of race, but Mailer writes it in big, broad strokes that resonate naive at best and offensive at worst in the current social climate.
Most who pick up The Fight already know how that it ends with a victorious Muhammad Ali. The gain in reading it in the twenty-first century doesn’t come from the suspenseful telling, or the lesser-known encounters Norman Mailer had during his time in Zaire. The Rumble in the Jungle had all the makings of an incredible tale: a fallen hero, over-the-top sidekicks, adoring fans with a catchy war cry (Ali, bomaye!). As such, it’s worthwhile to revisit this myth-like boxing story, an enduring one that’s thrilling to consume forty years later and paints a picture of what boxing might once again become.
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ESPN Boxing Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs Rico Ramos and Kubrat Pulev vs Bogdan Dinu
By: Hans Themistode
After taking almost one year off, former WBO Super Bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) makes his return to the ring. In his last outing he was stopped in the 11th round by Isaac Dogboe in a contest that many believed he would win handily.
Dogboe was an unknown fighter to many of the boxing public but quickly showed his abilities. Early on it seemed as though Magdaleno was on his way to an easy victory as he floored his man in the opening round. Dogboe managed to regain his composure and drop Magdaleno in the fifth round and again in the 11th before he was ultimately stopped.
The former champion has all of the skills in the world but has been inactive in recent years. He has fought once in both 2017 and 2018. He is looking to get himself back into the championship mix as he takes on Rico Ramos (30-5, 14 KOs) at The Hanger, Costa Mesa in California this Saturday night.
Ramos will be no rush over as he has won his past six contests. He too is looking to build his own name and a win over a former champion in Jessie Magdaleno will instantly make him a contender in the division.
At just age 27 Magdaleno is in the prime of his career and still has plenty of time to once again fight for a world title. Make no mistake about it if he picks up yet another loss this upcoming Saturday it would mark the end of his tenure as a true championship caliber fighter.
Magdaleno doesn’t just need to win he also is looking to make a statement. Ramos has not been stopped since his 2015 bout against Claudio Marrero. It was also the last time he tasted defeat. If Magdaleno is able to not only put an end to Ramos six fight win streak but also stop him in the process then he can begin to position himself for a big fight.
Speaking of a big fight, Kubrat Pulev (26-1, 13 KOs) missed an opportunity of a lifetime when he was scheduled to take on current unified champion Anthony Joshua in 2017 at the Wembley Stadium.
Unfortunately for Pulev he suffered a pectoral muscle in training camp and was forced to withdraw. Once he was healthy enough to return Pulev took on Hughie Fury who is the cousin of Lineal champion Tyson Fury. Pulev proved to be too much as he won a unanimous decision. The Heavyweight contender will be looking to continue his dominant run when he takes on Bogdan Dinu (18-1, 14 KOs).
In his last contest Dinu was stopped in the fourth round Jarrell Miller. Dinu needs this victory as he has never competed for a world title in his career. A win over former title challenger Kubrat Pulev would vault him up the rankings. A loss for Pulev would be devastating at this point in his career. Outside of his lone defeat to former long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko, Pulev has won six straight bouts. He has picked up victories against notable names such as Dereck Chisora, Samuel Peters and Kevin Johnson. He will have to not just defeat Dinu but do so in impressive fashion.
Both Kubrat Pulev and Jessie Magdaleno are in need of big victories to keep their names in the championship mix. Their opponents however are looking to upset the applecart and become instant contenders themselves.
Hooker Re-Ups With Matchroom And Roc Nation
By: Sean Crose
“I want the WBC title,” says WBO superlightweight champion Maurice “Mo” Hooker, who has has recently decided to extend his contract (which is co-promotional) with Matchroom Boxing and Roc Nation Sports. “Everyone come to DAZN! Anybody – come to DAZN. Jack Catterall came all the way over here to America to watch me fight. Just wait young grasshopper, you will get your turn.”
Hooker openly admits he is not pleased with his most recent performance, which was against Mikkel Les Pierre at the Turning Stone Casino on March 9th. Although Hooker won by unanimous decision, the fighter clearly felt he could have done better work in the ring. “I give myself a C- in my performance,” he says. “I wasn’t good but I had to push. Look, you live and you learn. If you judge me from this fight, you better not get in the ring thinking the same thing because I am coming for you.”
“Making weight was my fault,” he continues, referring to the trouble he had getting on point for the Les Pierrie battle. “I was in the room messing around. That was my fault. I’m learning as I go. I’m not done yet at Super-Lightweight, I want the massive fights.”
Although Hooker might be engaging in a fair bit of self-criticism at the moment, Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn is still clearly pleased to still have the superlightweight in his stable. “I’m delighted to extend our agreement with Maurice and Roc Nation Sports,” he claims. “Maurice will return this summer, most likely in Dallas, giving him three World title defenses in just seven months.” Hearn’s fighters are beginning to stand out from others in the fight world due to their high rate of activity. The promoter states that Hooker will be no exception.
“We like to keep our world champions nice and busy and we want to push for unification match ups in 2019,” he says. “I believe Maurice is the best 140lber in the world right now and we look forward to helping him prove it on DAZN.” Indeed, being a part of Matchroom means Hooker will be showcasing his talents on DAZN, the streaming service which has lately gobbled up some of the top fighters in the business, such as Canelo Alvarez, and Gennady Golovkin.
“We’re excited to announce that we’ve been able to extend our co-promotional deal of Maurice Hooker with Matchroom Boxing USA,” claims Dino Duva of Roc Nation. “It’s a great partnership and we look forward to working with them not only with Maurice but on other fighters moving forward. Maurice is on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars on DAZN and this deal completely solidifies that.”
What is Next for Errol Spence?
By: Waqas Ali
IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr produced a masterful performance following his 12-round decision win against former world champion Mikey Garcia (39-1).
The bout took place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in front of over 47,000 fans in attendance.
Spence (25-0) executed his craft, cynical and crisp jab right from the start of the first round and kept using that for the entire round.
Garcia, a former four-division titlist did very little in terms of the activity level. The 31-year-old did step up his tactical style in the second round. Arguably that was his best round and close round to give him.
Spence, who was in the third defence of the title, stepped up his pace and landed devastating hooks in the third round that shook Garcia in his position.
The 29-year-old mixed up his punches in the middle and later stages of the fight with sharp left hooks to the head and body.
Garcia doing very little to fight back.
In round nine, Spence aka ‘The Truth’ cornered Garcia to the ropes and landed blistering body shots.
Much of the later rounds were repetition to the previous one and despite Garcia not landing any more than 10 punches per round, he showed great heart and devotion to the ring.
According to Compubox, Spence landed 345 of 1082 punches (32%). This was the most ever punches he had thrown as a professional.
This was also the most punches ever landed on Garcia.
Garcia landed only 75 of 406 punches (20%). His previous five bouts, his power punching accuracy was at above 40%. However, against Spence, he landed at a low 28%.
Spence won every single on all three judges scorecard. Reading at: 120-107 and 120-108 (twice).
The question remains: who is next for Spence and can he conquer the welterweight division?
According to a poll conducted by well-known boxing page on Twitter called Editinking, out of over 5,000 voters, 47% of them chose Terence Crawford for Spence to fight next, 28% chose Pacquiao and 15% picked Keith Thurman.
🤔 Who next for Errol Spence?
— EditinKing Boxing 🥊 (@EditinKing) March 17, 2019
In a post-fight interview of the bout, Spence instantly called out Pacquiao, who could be in the works of fighting him in July.
“Manny Pacquiao would definitely be a good fight,” Spence said.
“I’ll definitely give him that retirement check that he needs. I’m ready in July,”
Pacquiao in response stated: “Yeah, why not? We’ll give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here in Dallas and I’m hoping I will be back here soon.”
For Pacquiao, this is a unique fight for him – considering the fact that he would a huge amount of money from this and to end his career on a high note would be big for him and a learning curve for Spence.
A much bigger financial award for the Filipino could be fighting the bigger fighters in the middleweight division such as Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin or the Charlo brothers.
But that is highly unlikely considering the huge weight advantage they would have over the 40-year-old veteran.
Terence Crawford, as boxing fans in the poll above, voted the most to fight Spence, is the main fight that has been going on for over two years.
He’s got great styles and variations in his arsenal of weaponry. His style of artilleries consists of footwork, speed, restricted and defensive guard, height and accuracy.
According to Compubox review, Crawford throws around 48 punches per round and connects with a rate of 35%. That’s five percent higher than the average welterweight.
In the power punching department, Crawford throws around 22 with a connect rate of 48%. That is 11% higher than the average welterweight.
Crawford opponents landed just 7 punches per round- 10 fewer than the welterweight and just 5 power shots per round.
Another fighter that could be a challenge for Spence is former two-weight world champion, Amir Khan.
Khan is always up for a challenge and has never been backed down from any competitor. He’s fought the likes of Marcos Maidana, Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Paul McCloskey, Paulie Malignaggi, Luiz Collazo, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez.
Khan is known for his immense speed with blistering combinations which has always been his strongest asset throughout his amateur and professional career.
He would certainly be a great matchup for Spence in late 2019.
Whatever the case may be for Spence, the names listed above and in the poll are no easy target to take on. He possesses great talent and has proved it in the Kell Brook fight and even against Garcia. He is a fighter to watch out for and definitely a star of the future. Spence deserves to fight the big names in his division and boxing fans both casual and hardcore will no doubt be supporting him.
PBC on FS1 Preview: Lamont Peterson vs. Lipinets, Anthony Peterson vs. Mendez
By: Ken Hissner
The MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill MD will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) event on Sunday, March 24th. TGB Promotions (Tom Brown) and DiBella Entertainment (Lou DiBella) are the lead promoters for Sunday’s card and bring the return of the Peterson brothers on FOX Sports 1.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions
In the Main Event former WBC-IBF Super Lightweight and former WBA Welterweight Champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 35-4-1 (17) of D.C. takes on former WBC Super Lightweight Champion Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets, 14-1 (10), of KAZ/Beverly Hills, CA, in a 12 round welterweight match-up.
Peterson last fought in January of 2018 when he lost to current IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence. Lipinets, after losing to Mikey Garcia in March of 2018, went on to defeat Eric Bone in August. The winner looks to return to the rankings.
In the co-feature Anthony “Hazardous” Peterson, 37-1 (24), of D.C. takes on Dominican Argenis Mendez, 25-5-1 (12), of Brooklyn, NY, in a super lightweight 10. Peterson last fought in January of 2018 having an eight fight winning streak stopped with a no contest. Mendez is coming off a pair of big wins over Eddie “El Escorpion” Ramirez, 17-1, and Ivan Redkach, 20-2-1.
The undercard features super welterweight Jamontay “Quiet Assasin” Clark, 13-1, and former WBC Super Middleweight champion Cameroon’s Sakio “Scorpion” Bika, 34-7-3 (22), out of Australia who last fought in October of 2017 winning his last two bouts in separate bouts in a 10. Three other bouts will fill out the 62 round card.
Why Deontay Wilder Turned Down Such A Massive Offer
By: Hans Themistode
For years now the two biggest stars in the most historic division have yet to see eye to eye. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and unified titlist Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) have been verbally attacking each other on social media and whenever a camera is in front of them. Although it’s entertaining to the fans, what would be even more satisfying to see them square off.
With Joshua making his U.S. debut this upcoming June against Jarrell Miller it seems like the stage is finally set for the two to settle things in the ring. Joshua is of course associated with Eddie Hearn’s DAZN platform and Wilder is a free agent that can do as he pleases. His upcoming fight against Dominic Breazeale is taking place on Showtime but going forward he can return to that network or whichever he chooses.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
Hearn has recently extended a hand to Wilder and his team to negotiate the terms of a bout with Joshua. It was then reported that Hearn made a substantial offer of 100 million to Wilder for a three fight deal. Those fights would include Wilders mandatory bout against Breazeale and two fights with Joshua. To the surprise of many Wilder and his team turned the offer down.
On the outside looking in it is easy to criticize Wilder for his decision to not accept the offer. However once he was given a chance to explain exactly why he did not take the offer it is a valid reason.
“They made a very subnational offer but at this point in his career what he has accepted to go forward in a different direction,” said Shelly Finkel who is Wilders co-promoter. “We also feel that when Deontay knocks out Joshua we want millions to see it and right now DAZN doesn’t have that.”
Finkel would also go to discuss some of the unfairness that took place during the negotiation process.
“I don’t want to get into specifics of the contract but if we’re getting offered a dollar it may seem like a lot but you also want to hear what the other guy is getting but we were never told. If the other guy is getting five dollars then that one dollar you were given doesn’t seem like much now does it? They just would not tell us more about the specifics of what Joshua would make in comparison to Deontay.”
It’s hard for fans to stay patient when this could be the biggest fight in boxing today. Nonetheless take a step back and look at things from a financial standpoint. Essentially he would be getting 40 million for both Joshua fights and 20 million for the Breazeale contest. Finkel went on to explain that although that is a high offer, that the number will only continue to rise and the demands of Wilder would need to be compensated as well.
“Look a year ago he was willing to take 15 million flat to fight Joshua. Today he’s not willing to take 40 million. The conditions must be right.”
Wilder summed everything perfectly.
“I’m betting on myself.”
He sure is taking a massive gamble on himself but it is working thus far.
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Bowen vs. McCorry
By: Oliver McManus
Saturday night sees, British champion, Sam Bowen in the first defence of his title as he fights Jordan McCorry. Taking place at the Leicester Arena, newly rebranded as ‘Morningside’, the contest headlines Frank Warren’s second show of 2019.
Bowen, aged 26, claimed the British belt last April with a convincing victory over Maxi Hughes in which he dropped his opponent on two occasions – an emphatic display in which everything seemed to piece together nicely. Carl Greaves’ protégé had to learn his trade on the off-beat small hall scene of Yorkshire and the Midlands. Off the back of that victory, however, he has secured the backing of Warren and BT Sport to really progress his career.
Scheduled to fight Ronnie Clark last October and, more recently, on February 23rd, the Scotsman has withdrawn on both occasions resulting in this, relatively late notice, fight against McCorry. The Ibstock man managed to stay busy in October with a comfortable victory over Horacio Alfredo Cabral, for the WBO Intercontinental belt, in which Bowen mercilessly targeted the Argentine’s body.
Up against McCorry, then, Bowen has a real opportunity to showcase the best of his abilities with his deceptive, energy sapping, punch power hidden behind constant shuffling footwork and a firm jab. Get the win on Saturday and Bowen can start to set his sights higher than his domestic contenders as the push for more titles continues.
McCorry, of course, isn’t coming into the fight as a knock-over job and will be confident his experience should be enough to see off the threat of Bowen. The Cambuslang resident is a two-weight Scottish Area champion having held the lightweight version between 2014 and 2015 before adding the featherweight belt in 2017.
The last two years have seen McCorry picking up the wins to advance his record to 17-4-1. An impressive showing against Jamie McGuire, in which he recovered from a first round knockdown, saw a 98-93 decision go the way of Jordy. A double helping of second round knockouts over, usually durable, Rafael Castillo and Reynaldo Mora give credence for his confidence.
His last fight, however, was a gravely disappointing display out in Switzerland against Patrick Kinigamazi. Losing a unanimous decision over 12 rounds for the World Boxing Federation crown, McCorry’s technique was lacking against an unknown quantity of opponent. He’ll be hoping to rediscover his previous form if he is to upset the odds against a formidable Sam Bowen.
Nathan Gorman will be looking to move to sixteen wins on the trot since turning professional, on Saturday night. Confusion surrounds quite who he’ll be facing with, scheduled opponent, Fabio Maldonado seemingly drafted in to fight Oleksandr Teslenko. Teslenko, for clarity, was originally meant to fight a returning Ian Lewison. Christopher Lovejoy then declared to the world, via Instagram, that he had accept “100 bands” to step in, on five days’ notice, and face Gorman.
I’m told, by people with better knowledge of slang than me, that 100 bands is around $100,000 so that figure seems highly questionable. As it happens Lovejoy has since reneged on his statement and confirmed it won’t be him in the opposite corner. Currently the official line is that Maldonado will be in Leicester come Saturday evening though it seems increasingly unlikely the former UFC fighter will turn up.
Should the Brazilian opt to proceed with the bout then it’ll be his first contest since an uninspiring loss to Oscar Rivas last December. The Steel Hillbilly has built a padded record to now sit 26-1 in the heavyweight division with 25 of those victories coming via knockout. Only six of those have had winning records and 14 were winless.
Sam Maxwell, on the other hand, has got a definite fight in the form of Sadbri Sediri. The unbeaten French fighter, 10-0-1, steps up to the plate after Kelvin Dotel withdrew from the contest earlier in the week.
Maxwell, himself unbeaten in ten professional fights, has built a burgeoning reputation with the distinguished amateur settling into the paid ranks with ease. Imperiously heavy handed, the Mersey-man has seen off eight of his opponents inside the distance. In December he became only the second man to knockout Jamie Quinn and did so with menace and spite – a mini statement but a statement, nonetheless.
Sediri will be stepping up to super lightweight for this fight, with the WBO European belt on the line, but has been inactive since June. His contests have come across the gymnasiums of eastern France against your archetypal journeyman. Against Maxwell he’ll be in the biggest fight of his career – past or, probably, future.
NY Press Conference Notes: Wilder vs. Breazeale
By: Hans Themistode
The New York City Press conference to announce the Heavyweight title clash between WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) was a feisty affair. Both men have a long lasting feud that stretches far beyond the squared circle.
In 2017 the two fought on the same card and both picked up impressive victories. Breazeale’s coming against then Izuagbe Ugonoh and Wilder’s coming against Gerald Washington. Ironically enough both men scored stoppage victories in round five.
Sometime after their contests they got into a dispute that ended in a bit of a tussle. Ask both men what happened and they will both tell you completely different stories. Regardless of what they have been saying, the time for talk is over as they will be squaring off on May 18 at the Barlcays Center.
Wilder has become a staple at the Barclays as it has become some what of a de facto home for the Alabama native. The WBC champion expressed his admiration for the venue as well.
“It’s a blessing to be back in Brooklyn and back at the Barclay Center. You know how dear this place is to me. I’ve been here so many times. Out here they call me the Bronx Bomber instead of the Bronze Bomber and I love it. I’m looking forward to fighting here again.” Said Wilder.
Seems as though it was a calm press conference doesn’t it? Think again. These two bohemians wasted no time expressing their dislike for one another while also giving warnings of what exactly will happen come fight night.
“I finally get a chance to get this chump in the ring. I’m tired of hearing you talk. It’s time to get in the ring and square off.” Said Breazeale.
In the world of boxing it is common place that two fighters don’t like one another but normally there is a healthy level of respect. For Breazeale however there seems to be none there.
“It’s hard for me to believe that Wilder is the Heavyweight champion. How can a man with a lack of boxing skills be the champion? Come fight night he’s going to bring everything that he has. He’s gonna feel my right hand and I might feel his but I guarantee if he feels mines then he’s going down.”
The war of words didn’t stop there as Breazeale explained just how elated he was when he found out that Wilders younger brother Marcellus was knocked out earlier this year.
“Man I was so excited that I sent the guy who did it “Trouble” gear. I wanna take the guy out and buy him dinner, maybe a good steak. I’ve got that highlight in my house.”
There is absolutely no love and no respect shown between these two. In the words of Breazeale, Wilder does everything wrong. But how do you prepare for someone that is so unconventional?
“I don’t know maybe I have to find some tall basketball players to spar against.”
For as much as Breazeale poked fun at Wilder’s expense he made it clear what he intends to do come fight night.
“This fight ain’t going the distance. I’m gonna knock his ass out.”
According to Wilder Breazeale deserved everything that happened to him on that night in Alabama.
“Listen, he sucker punched my brother,” said Wilder to the media. “He hit my brother first and then my brother came around and dropped him. He got embarrassed because my brother was only about 193 pounds. If my bother can do that to him what do you think I’m gonna do to him? I’m gonna knock his ass out come May 18th.”
Whenever Deontay Wilder speaks to the media it is impossible to not address the elephant in the room, meaning Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Wilder made it clear that he is not chasing anyone.
“I’m a king. We don’t chase anyone. I’m not hard to find. They know how to contact me.”
With all of the animosity that was spewed during todays press conference it is safe to say that fans can expect fireworks come fight night.
Wilder-Breazeale Engage In Heated Presser For May 18th Showdown
By: Sean Crose
“The reality is –he’s in charge of his career.”
With these words, Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza made it loud and clear that WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder would rather fight on Showtime than he would on the DAZN streaming service, which had reached out to make a deal with the Alabama native. And so, on Showtime, Wilder will face Dominic Breazeale on May 18th at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.
“I’m sick of seeing this bum walking around with this belt,” said the 20-1 Breazeale, Wilder’s mandatory opponent, during a kickoff press conference Tuesday in New York. “I’m going to put him on his ass.”
“I consider the mandatories like flies,” Wilder quipped, “they’re always buzzing in your ear.” If Breazeale had meant to irk Wilder, he may have accomplished his goal. “This is the only sport where payback is a motherfucker,” the 40-0-1 Wilder said. “Pain is the name of the game in this sport, and we all know who does that the best.”
Many had expected Wilder to have a rematch with Tyson Fury this spring, as the two men had fought to a controversial draw last December. Fury, however, signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, and will now be fighting on ESPN, Showtime’s competition. As for DAZN, a deal with Wilder might have led to a heavyweight superfight with multibelt titlist Anthony Joshua. Team Wilder found the offer unfair, however.
“We’re going to have a lot of people we’re going to satisfy,” said Wilder, “and there’s some people we’re not.”
As for Breazeale, the man had a searing run in with Wilder in a hotel lobby some time back. It was an incident the California native made clear motivates him. “I didn’t have an urban dictionary,” Breazeale said of the melee, “so I couldn’t understand what he was saying.” Wilder, too obviously remains heated over the matter. “I can’t wait to see what this dude’s body gonna do when I hit him in the face,” he said of his opponent.
Wilder jawed throughout the standoff while Breazeale simply stared at his opponent cooly. Wilder then appeared to stalk after Breazeale offstage, yelling the entire time. “Boy,” Wilder had said earlier. “I’ve been waiting for this day.” He certainly seemed to be enjoying the moment. Word had been out that the Wilder-Breazeale fight would go down on Showtime pay per view, so the fact it will air on regular Showtime this spring may come as a surprise to some.
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder Defends Against Mandatory Challenger Dominic Breazeale
Undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will put his title on the line for the ninth time when he steps into the ring against hard-hitting mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, May 18 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Wilder vs. Breazeale promises the type of explosive displays of power that fans have come to expect from the red-hot heavyweight division as the two knockout artists have combined for 57 knockouts in 62 professional bouts. Both men stand at 6-foot-7-inches tall, have engaged in numerous dramatic clashes and are fan-favorites at Barclays Center. Wilder will be fighting at the arena for the fourth time and Breazeale will be making his third appearance.
Tickets for this BombZquad event go on sale Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Beginning Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. ET, tickets can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) is the most exciting heavyweight in the world with a power-punching style that has fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish, knowing the tide of a fight can change in the blink of an eye. He has only gone the distance twice in his career with 39 of his 41 matches ending inside of the distance. He battered Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds to win a lopsided unanimous decision and claim the WBC title on Jan. 17, 2015. In the rematch two years later Wilder crushed Stiverne with a brutal first-round knockout that left the challenger crumpled on the bottom rope.
The 33-year-old Wilder is coming off a thrilling battle with British heavyweight contender Tyson Fury that resulted in a split draw on Dec. 1. Wilder scored knockdowns in the ninth and 12th rounds of the fight. The last knockdown appeared to finish off Fury, but he beat the referee’s count and made it to the final bell.
Born in and still living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Wilder picked up the nickname “The Bronze Bomber” in honor of Joe Louis, who was known as “The Brown Bomber” after he won the bronze medal as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team. Wilder got a late start as a boxer, taking up the sport at age 20 hoping to become a professional and earn enough money for the medical treatments of his daughter Naieya, who was born with spina bifida. He won the U.S. Olympic trials with just 21 amateur bouts under his belt.
“I’m very happy that I get a chance to get a mandatory out of the way, because I consider mandatories like flies buzzing around my head,” said Wilder. “They bother me. I’m busy. I have things that I want to do. I want to get him out of the way. I’m about to smash this fly. This is a personal fight for me. As the universe works this is the perfect time. I haven’t been this excited about destroying an opponent since Bermane Stiverne. I’m also excited to have the very first event for BombZquad Promotions at what I consider one of best arenas in the country, Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s go time baby. I can’t wait.”
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) is nicknamed “Trouble” and that’s exactly what he has been for his opponents. The 33-year-old has a durable chin and a slugger’s mentality, throwing heavy-handed shots that have seen him score 18 knockout victories in his 21 professional fights.
Breazeale, who was born in Glendale, California and now lives in Eastvale, California, was an outstanding high school football player who played quarterback at Northern Colorado University before taking up boxing. The 6-foot-7 Breazeale was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team.
He put himself into position to challenge for the WBC world title by ripping off three straight knockout victories following the only loss in his career, a seventh-round TKO to Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title match in 2016. In December he scored a knockout victory in Brooklyn over Carlos Negron for his second-straight win at Barclays Center.
“I’m excited for the event more so than just fighting Deontay Wilder,” said Breazeale. “I want that WBC title. What I bring to the fight is excitement and consistent action. I’m going to bring the action all night. I’m not scared to stick my nose out there and look for the big shot. I know the big shot is coming as long as I set it up the right way.”
Spence-Garcia Proves Confidence Only Goes So Far
By: Sean Crose
As the clock inevitably ticked along during the leadup to the IBF welterweight title fight last weekend in Dallas, Texas, a popular opinion began to take shape: Mikey Garcia had a real chance at beating Errol Spence Jr. This narrative was far more than the work of contrarians. There were even some well-known fight game figures who ended up picking Garcia to win.
The California multi-titlist didn’t win, of course. Texas native Spence ended up beating Garcia handily, and in completely one sided fashion, at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. This could be blamed on the size difference between Spence, an active welterweight, and Garcia, who has lately been hovering in the lightweight/super lightweight divisions. More likely, however, is Spence was simply the better fighter of the two men.
Garcia is a gifted fighter, true, but Spence is a supremely gifted fighter. And that makes all the difference when it comes to these matters. Still, Garcia was taking on a huge challenge simply by facing a man Spence’s size without first taking a swim in the welterweight waters to see how he held up. It was only reasonable to expect Spence to come out victorious in highly convincing fashion on Saturday. The question, then, is why so many ended up being in the camp that believed Garcia just might pull off the upset?
The answer may be found by thinking back over a year and a half ago, to when UFC star Conor McGregor convinced a ton of people that he could step into the ring and best Floyd Mayweather in his very first boxing match. Just how marketable was McGregor’s confidence leading up to the Mayweather fight? Marketable enough for the bout to nearly break financial records. McGregor believed, so others believed. Confidence proved to be an extraordinary selling point in the summer of 2017 (not that it ultimately did McGregor a whole lot of good in the ring against Floyd).
Likewise, Mikey Garcia’s quiet confidence convinced many that he was a real danger to Spence. Serious fight fans have long known that Garcia is a deliberate person. He tackles the sport of boxing with such professionalism that his words carry weight. When he claimed he could beat Spence, people felt he knew what he was talking about. No one should be accused of stupidity, however, for assuming Garcia had a real shot of attaining greatness last weekend in Dallas.
Is There a Place for New Technology in Boxing Training?
By: George Storr
Most people who run boxing gyms will proudly tell you how “old school” their methods are, but in an increasingly technological world is there a place for technology in training boxers? The growing amount of companies making electronic ‘punch trackers’ seem to think so.
Punch trackers count up the amount of punches you throw per round, giving you instant feedback on your work-rate. They also claim to be able to accurately say what sort of punches you were throwing, how fast you threw them and how hard their impact was, though this works with varying degrees of success.
Currently punch trackers are available from a range of manufacturers including Hykso and Corner as well as Everlast, who have teamed up with a company called PIQ to produce their own pair.
I road-tested pair of Corner punch-trackers and my first impressions were largely positive. They slip into your hand-wraps and communicate with an app on your phone. The app is polished and it’s straight forward to step up too, as long as you know your own height, weight and email address. It also promises good depth in terms of analytics.
The app tells you how many punches you threw per round, speed and power stats, as well as calculating averages across all three. Another useful function was the apps ability to record when the user throws single shots and when they throw in combinations.
When I started working with the trackers though there were a few little niggles. I found that the trackers didn’t detect a flicking jab. Solidly plant your jab into the bag and the trackers will detect it with no problems, but if you’re moving in and out and flicking your lead hand out, many of those lighter blows go undetected. This was frustrating and also called into question the usefulness of the power measurement side of the trackers.
The other issue came in the shape of the apps round timer. If you used this at a session in your local amateur boxing gym you won’t be working to a timer on your phone, you’ll be working to a large, visible round timer on the gym wall. As a result a function that allowed the user to synch the app’s timer with a gyms round-timer would be beneficial.
That said, these are relatively small niggles and all these functions are still in Beta testing stages for the Corner trackers so they will likely become more refined and more accurate.
One thing for users of these particular trackers to look forward to is a soon-to-be-released sparring function. It costs an extra £50 on top of the £89.99 starting price and will offer an invaluable insight for coaches. Being able to offer more detailed instantaneous feedback during sparring sessions could benefit coaches, professional and amateur alike.
Joe Gallagher, trainer to multiple world champions, has already put his backing behind the Corner product. Pro fighters Stacey Copeland and Jack Massey have come out in support too, having road-tested the trackers themselves. Massey in particular described the trackers as: “essential to my future camps”.
In terms of pricing, the Hykso trackers come in at £154.99, the Corner set, as mentioned, are £89.99 though users will soon be able to pay extra for a sparring function. The Everlast trackers are the cheapest but only by a very small margin, currently available at £89.00.
Overall the proof of the punch-tracker pudding will come in the longer term. If we start seeing professional fighters using these long-term and making improvements their stock will rise. At present they do show massive potential though. They’re no replacement for a coach and offer nothing as regards correcting technique but they are a good tool for monitoring your work rate.
Trying to beat your punch-count from a previous round is a fantastically useful push for a session where you’re away from a coach and doing your own thing. That sounds simple but it’s a big positive for these trackers. Ultimately punch-trackers could help to democratise the kind of high level analysis that traditionally has only been available to top level professionals. Some of the more refined aspects are still being tweaked but as a concept they’re immensely promising and that promise outweighs the teething problems.
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Conlan Dominates Hernandez in Paddy’s Day Celebration
By: Ste Rowen
With a familiar feeling of magic in the air from two years ago when he performed in the same theatre on St Patricks Day, Irishman, Mick Conlan scored a whitewash 10-round decision over hopeful challenger, Ruben Garcia Hernandez and although he might not have been able to give the worshipping crowd the KO they craved Conlan, now 11-0 (6KOs), seemed more than happy speaking post-fight,
‘‘Ireland is in New York tonight and Ireland fucking runs New York…I just used my skills as I said I would.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
He had a tough head on them. There were a few times I probably could’ve stepped on it, but we wanted to practice things we’ve been working on. I felt I did that tonight.’’
Conlan, who now fights at featherweight, a weight class up from where he started as a pro, was in charge from the outset.
His display of attributes keeping most of the fans happy throughout the 10-rounds. Hernandez, 24-3-2, looked out of his depth at times; Mick was too fast, too slick, too much destined to not let anything spoil his night tonight.
Onlookers could tell how much Mick was enjoying himself as he consistently switched from southpaw to orthodox, further bamboozling his Mexican foe.
Ruben’s only brief success felt like a minor inconvenience for the 27-year-old amateur standout to deal with and all three judge’s scorecards read 100-90 for the Irishman, but Conlan was eager to aim for bigger challenges after tonight’s celebration, mainly calling out the man who defeated him in the controversial 2016 Olympics, Vladimir Nikitin,
‘‘Vladimir, I know you’re here tonight. We need to do it again for the fans. I need to write a wrong that shouldn’t have been written.’’
Whatever’s next for Mick, fans can be assured it’ll be engrossing in the ring, and rowdy outside of it.
On the undercard…
Luis Collazo attempted to reintroduce himself to the world welterweight scene with a close split decision victory over Samuel Vargas over 10 rounds. The New York southpaw sustained a cut to his left eye during proceedings, but it didn’t stop him from being able to move well when Colombian, Vargas came charging in.
At 37-years-old and now 39-7 (20KOs), Luis looked the much sharper man as the fight went on, laying the more eye-catching combinations, and though he didn’t look as agile as he used to back in his world champion days, was able to measured when Samuel had some success.
The final scorecards read as, 96-94 98-92 for Collazo, 94-96 for Vargas. Luis the victor was confident of the future ahead post-fight,
‘‘I want to be a world champion again. I still got the desire. I still got the fire. And I would like to fight the top guys in the welterweight division. They know who they are. I called them out before. It just hasn’t happened.’’
In his USA debut and 7th fight as a pro, Paddy Barnes fell to his second consecutive defeat after being dropped en route to a split decision loss to super-flyweight gatekeeper, Oscar Mojica.
Barnes’ frequent flurry of punches weren’t enough to trouble Mojica in the early rounds and the American put the Irishman down with a wonderful body shot in the second. Pale Paddy’s quickfire combinations looked good but did nothing to deter the bigger man from throwing heavy handed shots; one after the other.
By the end of the 3rd, Barnes’ face resembled a man who wanted out of there ASAP.
Weighing in 7lbs heavier than his most recent bout, a world title loss to Cristofer Rosales, Paddy was seriously struggling to find any kind of rhythm, although the final round was certainly his best as Mojica took a backseat. Both fighters made it to the final bell, and Oscar Mojica, determined in his capacity to get the upset, achieved his goal.
The final scorecards were, 56-58 to Barnes, and 58-56 (x2) for Mojica, to improve the American’s record to 12-5-1 (1KO).
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Josue Vargas entered the ring in an emerald top hat to match the night and the Irish luck rubbed off on Vargas who dominated 8 rounds of fighting in his 14th pro bout.
Vargas looked the noticeably bigger man in the ring with Adriano Ramirez, and it suited him well to rule behind his jab for the first two rounds, but, Ramirez made him suffer in the third.
But Josue, fighting out of the southpaw stance, kept Adriano at bay. When he threw his dominant jab, it was left to fans to wonder where the rest of Josue’s attack was. With only the scheduled 8 rounds to fight in, Vargas was taking a little bit of a risk by stepping off his attack so much.
The fight entered the 8th and final round and it was left to Ramirez, 10-2 (6KOs) heading into tonight to take the bout by the horns. He was unable to, and Vargas remained sufficiently dominant to see the fight out on top. The final scorecards came out as, 80-72 all for Josue Vargas of New York.
Vargas improves his record to 13-1 (8KOs).
Spence vs. Garcia: Keep that Same Energy
By: Kirk Jackson
“He’s a great champion. He’s the truth,” said Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KO’s) after a long, hard fought battle against the top welterweight in the world.
“He executed his game plan very well. He came out here with a good game plan and kept the distance in his favor. I couldn’t get my rhythm going, and he did what he had to do. I tried to make adjustments and he kept executing.”
The undefeated Errol “The Truth” Spence (25-0, 21 KO’s) executed a near-perfect fight in his first Pay-Per-View event. The defending IBF welterweight champion put on a 12-round boxing clinic in the battle of the undefeated boxers, winning by lopsided margins on all three judges’ scorecards (120-107, 120-108 and 120-108).
It’s fitting pound-for-pound greats Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were sitting ringside as this fight resembled some sort of passing of torch.
The wrongly perceived “Brawler” pitched a shut-out against a top pound-for-pound fighter perceived by many as the more intelligent and greater skilled fighter.
“Throughout training camp, a lot of commentators thought he was too smart and I couldn’t box as well as him,” said Spence, who called out Manny Pacquiao after his extraordinary victory. “I showed I can box and I can move my head if I want to.”
“The game is to be smart. It’s the sweet science. I had the size and reach advantage, so why not use it to take away the jab? It’s a weapon for me and it takes away one of his weapons.”
CompuBox credited Spence for landing 345-of-1,082 overall punches, 270 more than Garcia (75-of-406). According to CompuBox, Spence connected on 183 more power punches (237-of-464 to 54-of-218) and 87 more jabs (108-of-618 to 21-of-188). Stat of the night is Garcia never landed more than 10 punches in a single round.
Spence’s jab controlled the fight that can be deemed as a one-sided massacre. Working off his jab, the defending IBF welterweight champion landed powerful straight left hands and looping left hands around Garcia’s guard, piercing the four-division champion’s chin.
Renowned trainer and Fox analyst Joe Goossen, who appeared in favor of Garcia based on his commentary, even remarked on Spence’s ability to land the looping left hand in round 3 stating, “He’s starting to find that, that’s a punch that Mikey, as smart as he is, shouldn’t be getting hit with.”
The Texas native also displayed superior footwork in front of his hometown crowd of approximately 47,500. It was a frequent occurrence to witness Spence slip, block and outright avoid most of Garcia’s punches. There were even brief moments in the fight Spence switched back and forth between southpaw and orthodox stances, landing punishing punches in the process.
“The Truth” looked more like Marvin Hagler as opposed to Antonio Margarito and “The Truth” hurts. There were times late in the fight where Errol was digging nasty body shots and punishing Mikey, reducing him to a punching bag.
“My brother wanted to maybe stop the fight in the later rounds,” Garcia said. “He didn’t want to let me get hit more, but I told him I was fine and I tried to go out there and pull it off. I thought I could have landed one good shot to change everything, but I wasn’t able to land it.”
“We just went 12 rounds with a great welterweight champion,” Garcia said. “That’s a feat no one has done recently. I’m proud of what I was able to do. I have to go back and think about it. I will probably go back to lighter divisions, but we’ll have to think about it.”
While Garcia didn’t maintain the “Energy” required to execute his game-plan and exploit the weaknesses he claims to have analyzed regarding Spence’s technique, Garcia displayed a tremendous amount of courage.
He dared to be great. Mikey should also be commended for showcasing true sportsmanship along with Errol’s camp as well. Both fighters exemplify championship grit.
But there are no consolation prizes in boxing and it’ll be back to the drawing board for the Garcia clan. A move back down to junior welterweight or lightweight is more than likely in the cards for the four-division champion. As of now, the welterweight titles are not in reach and the same relates to his recent opponent, as we’re currently in the Errol Spence era.
Gracious in defeat, Garcia did not make any excuses and neither should the media or the fans; Spence deserves full credit for his victory.
Remember, Garcia stated, “Saturday night, Errol is going to find out why I picked this fight,” Garcia said. “All of my opponents say they don’t see anything special when they watch me, until they get into the ring. I have all the tools and all the skills needed to beat Errol Spence Jr. When it comes to timing, speed, reflexes and defense, you name it, I’m better.”
Spence offered his retort stating, “The size difference won’t matter. Skill for skill and talent for talent, I’m more dominant than him in every aspect,” Spence said in response. “I’ll beat him at anything he wants to do. On paper, he’s the toughest opponent to date but once we get in the ring we’ll find out.”
“Mikey is supposed to think he’s going to win this fight. He called me out, so they obviously think that they see something. I’m glad he’s as confident as I am. I hope he keeps that same energy inside of the ring.”
Spence certainly validated the opinions of the few of us in the media who thought he possessed greater skill and boxing ability compared to Garcia. He definitely kept that same energy before, during and after the fight.
Time will tell if someone can match his energy.