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BoxNation World Championship Boxing Preview: The Return of Carl Frampton


By: Oliver McManus

Boxing returns to Belfast in a couple of weeks’ time with Carl Frampton returning to the ring for his first fight in Northern Ireland since February 2015.

With two World Title fights on the bill, it’s hard to decipher who the real headline act is but a cracking night of action is guaranteed on Saturday 18th. Promoted by Frank Warren and live on BT Sport & BoxNation, the card features Zolani Tete, Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Darryll Williams and, of course, The Jackal himself.

Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF World Super Flyweight against, Belfast’s own, Jamie Conlan; Ancajas has been steadily building up his profile in the Asian hemisphere, having captured the title back in September last year against McJoe Arroyo – since then he’s made two defences against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez and Teiru Kinoshita, to move his record 27-1-1.

Jamie Conlan will be in his first fight for 8 months, his last runout saw him take the vacant WBC International Silver title to move him up to 4th in the IBF Rankings and 3rd with the WBO. 19 and 0 with 11 knockouts, Conlan has already won the Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title as well as an array of Continental belts but gets his first World Title shot at the age of 31.

Conlan will be facing his first southpaw since, journeyman, Elemir Rafael way back in January 2012 so he could find it tricky to deal with Ancajas’ cagey nature in the opening rounds but will look to get on the front foot quickly, establishing his open stature and giving room for his sharp, snappy, right hand.

Ancajas, known as Pretty Boy, has built a growing reputation based on a patient fighting blueprint with deceptive knockout power. With a strong, powerful, right hand jab, he’s capable of keeping his opponent at length before turning on the fast, flashy, footwork to throw a trademark left hand hook.

His movement is unquestionably better than Conlan who has often been criticised for being “flat-footed”, and Ancajas’ lucid body movement could prompt flush air-shots from The Mexican.

Nonetheless Conlan always comes ready for a scrap, a brawl, and is never afraid to just let shots fly if he feels the heat start to crank up – home advantage is nothing to be sniffed and with 11,000 Irish fans roaring him on, you could do worse than put your money on the 11/4 priced amateur legend.

Carl Frampton is next up, he’ll be facing Horacio Garcia – a fringe fighter from Mexico, with a 33-3-1 record. Scheduled for 10 rounds, this will be the 30 year old’s first bout since his majority decision loss against Leo Santa Cruz in their second encounter.

With Frampton’s previous fight cancelled after his opponent, Andreas Gutierrez, suffered facial cuts and broken teeth the night before their clash, this will be his first bout under MTK management and with promoter Frank Warren.
Although The Jackal, with a record of 23-1, narrowly missed the weight for that postponed battle, he’s decided to stay at the Featherweight division and a convincing win against the 27 year old Mexican could set him up for an instant return to World level and, indeed, a tantalising trilogy with Santa Cruz.

Horacio Garcia seems an uninspired choice of opponent given that he’s never competed at anything higher than regional level – he’s challenged twice for NABF titles but never taken home the belt. Consider that less than 4 months ago he was outboxed over 8 rounds by Diuhl Olguin (at the time 11-6-3) and it’s clear that Garcia is already on the downward slide.

Carl Frampton will be looking to go through the motions once more and shake off any ring rust that he may be suffering; having reduced his sparring workload by ½ in order to prevent lasting brain injuries, any competitive rounds under his belt will always be useful but the 2-time World Champion will want to utilise his fast, flying hands, to make a statement to the rest of the division.

Having already conquered the Featherweight and Super Bantamweight divisions, should Frampton come through this with ease and go on to avenge his sole loss, we could see him attempt to become Northern Ireland’s first ever three-weight World Champion and capture the crown of the Super Featherweight division.

Also on the card is the WBO World Bantamweight Title fight between, the champion, Zolani Tete and, challenger, Siboniso Gonya; Tete was installed as champion following Shohei Omori’s transition to Super Bantamweight, having already captured the interim title against Arthur Villanueva in April this year.

Born in South Africa but fighting in the United Kingdom, Last Born has quickly been adopted by the city of Liverpool as one of their own – in no part hindered by his explosive power and all-round cheeky nature.

Fighting from a southpaw stance, Tete has been with Frank Warren since March 2015 and has been described as a “modern day road warrior”. With a come-forward style, the two-time World Champion has a fast fighting nature and utilises two quick straight jabs before unleashing a sharp under-hand hook.

Not one to be involved in boring, slow fights, Tete has on occasion literally jumped around the ring and is as evasive as he is powerful with opponents finding it near on impossible to connect with any real power shots – from his 25-3 record, the Eastern Cape fighter has suffered just one knockout defeat, to Moruti Mthalane in the 5th round way back 7 years ago.

Since then his jaw has more than improved to the point where he is, in my opinion, the number one bantamweight in the world.

Siboniso Gonya, on the other hand, is a relative novice to the fighting world with a mere 12 professional fights consisting of 11 wins a singular loss – incurred against Thabo Siswane, a point’s decision against the overwhelming favourite.

Since that defeat 4 years ago, Gonya has fought for, and defended, the WBA Pan African Bantamweight Title on 3 occasions with the two defences coming by way of knockout. His last fight came in April against, former World Title challenger, Immanuel Naidjala and having overcame the roaring away crowd in Namibia, Gonya took a unanimous decision over The Prince to prove his pedigree.

And that’s the thing because despite the fact literally no-one will have heard of Siboniso Gonya before, he is a very good fighter who’s definitely worth of a shot at Tete’s title; the fact it’s going to domestic dustup only adds to the intrigue and Gonya is going to throw some shots in the early stages before, I suspect, eventually falling fowl to Zolani Tete’s superior power and movement.

Also on the card and getting an honourable mention is Darryll Williams (16-0) who defends his English Super-Middleweight title against Birmingham’s Lennox Clarke (15-0-1), having come through to sensational fights with Jahmaine Smyle in April & July of this year. Clarke is 18 months younger at 26 but has no real names on his record thus far – although both men share a 1st round knockout over Richard Horton – despite that though, this fight feels like a 50-50 because both men will be giving it there all. A real burner in Belfast, bring it on!

Paddy Barnes features in his 5th professional fight, he’ll be attempting to gain his first ever knockout against an as-yet unnamed opponent slated for his first defence of the WBO European Flyweight title that he won against Silvio Olteanu back in June. By his own admission, his last outing against Juan Hinostroza was not a vintage performance from the Olympic bronze medallist and The Leprechaun will be looking to shake off some rustiness before building to a potential World Title shot towards the back end of 2018.

A thrilling card that promises not to disappoint, the SSE Arena is going to be absolutely bouncing come Saturday 18th with 11,000 Irishman cheering on their hero Carl Frampton as well as revelling in two, top-class world title clashes.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…
By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 12th to April 19th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

Bob Arum Tells TMZ Sports: Floyd vs. Manny Rematch More Likely Than Not

Bob Arum recently told TMZ Sports that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather is “more likely than not” but says that there are serious obstacles to overcome.

Arum stated, “It’s close to 50/50 but probably leaning more towards the fight happening than not.” Arum also stated, “If the match was available, I believe [Manny] would come back for that match.”

Arum also stated he knows Showtime has serious interest in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II.

You can read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/13/manny-pacquiao-floyd-mayweather-rematch/

Senator McCain to Join Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA Fighters to Show Support of Professional Fighter Study for Brain health

Senator John McCain is set to join famous boxers and mma fighters such as Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA fighters from Bellator MMA to show support of professional fighters study at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Braind Health. This is to occur on Tuesday, April 26th at 12:15pm at the Armed Services Hearing Room at the US Senate in Washington D.C.

Dr. Charles Bernick, an associate medical director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will also be in attendance.

Three Super Welterweight Title Fights to Take Stage May 21st; Lara, Martirosyan, Charlo, Trout, and Jackson

The 154-pound division will take center stage on Saturday, May 21 in a stacked triple-header featuring three world title fights in the same division. Five of the division’s top-six fighters* will square off live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea, a one-of-a-kind 40,000-square-foot venue, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

In the main event, Cuban sensation Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender, Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan, in a rematch of their 2012 bout that ended in a technical draw.

Brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will look to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division. Unbeaten IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermall faces his toughest test to date when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Jermell will take on exciting contender John Jackson in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.

“Erislandy Lara and I have unfinished business from our first fight,” said Martirosyan. “I had him beat that night and I’ll beat him on May 21. My time is now and I know I will be the new champion of the world on May 21.”

The 25-year-old Charlos’ aim to make history against stiff opposition from a former champion in Trout, and the Olympian from the Virgin Islands in Jackson.

“This will be a history-making, record-breaking night for the Charlo twins,” said Jermall Charlo. “It means everything to us to be able to fight in two championship fights on the same card. This is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. This is going to be a great night of boxing and I’m preparing myself for war. Austin Trout is a seasoned vet. He’s fought world champions and has beaten future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. This is one of my biggest fights to date, but I’m preparing the same way I always do. I’m going to be on my ‘A’ game. I’m ready to make history.”

“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to fight for the world title on May 21,” said Trout. “It’s a twice-in-a-lifetime chance for a second world title and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m working hard and have already been in training camp in D.C. and ready to take full advantage of the moment. I’ve sat at the champions’ table before and am ready to go back again and eat from it again. Destiny brought me here not to lose, but to win. I’m going to show up and show out and this world title.”

“This is a huge fight for me,” said Jermell Charlo. “It’s my first opportunity to fight for a title and my brother is on the same card defending his belt. There has never been identical twin brothers that are both world champions in the same weight class. We’re going to go out there and make history, and send a message to the whole division. I’m excited to get in the ring and I know John Jackson is too. This is an important time in my career and I will be well prepared. Let the best man win.”

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to become a world champion,” said Jackson. “I’ve been training very hard for the last two months for this fight and come May 21 I will be victorious over Jermell Charlo and realize my lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, like my dad, the great Julian Jackson.”

BoxNation Holding a Canelo vs. Khan Las Vegas Trip Competition

One of the biggest fights of the year is scheduled to take place on May 7th live from Las Vegas, and BoxNation is partnering with icelolly.com to give a lucky winner a chance to attend Amir Khan’s big fight against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. The contest will be for a four night stay to take in the big fight week to the famous strip.

The competition ends on Saturday, April 23rd at 9pm. More information on this competition can be found online at http://www.boxnation.com/promotions/win-a-trip-for-two-to-las-vegas-for-khan-v-canelo/

Mario Barrios Dominated in 2016 Debut

IBF #15 super-featherweight ranked contender, Mario Barrios, remained undefeated with a dominating unanimous decision victory over Edgar Gabejan (26-33-6, 9 KOs) a veteran of over 500 ronds, improving his record to (15-0, 8 KOs).

Barrios, who hails from San Antonio, TX, came out guns blazing, dropping Gabejan in round one. Towering over his opponent, Barrios, who stands over six feet tall, used his height and reach to perfection as he landed precise punches throughout the remainder of the fight. Gabejan made it to the final bell but was severely beaten up. Scorecards read 80-71 across the board, all in favor of Barrios.

This marks the first fight for Barrios in 2016. With the win, Barrios hope to get back in the ring as soon as possible. A world title fight by the end of the year is what Barrios has is mind set on.

“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” said Mario Barrios. “My opponent showed a lot of heart making it to the final bell. Going the full eight rounds was great experience for me. I feel I’m improving with each fight and I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be ready to challenge any of the champions in my division.”

Keith Thurman to Defend Welterweight Title Against Shawn Porter on June 25th

Keith “One Time” Thurman is scheduled to defend his welterweight championship against “Showtime” Shawn Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, June 25th.

This bout will be broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and will be a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast on CBS. The broadcast will begin with a co-main event featherweight battle between Jesus Cuellar against former three division world champion Abner Mares.

Tickets, which start at $25, will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com

“Keith Thurman against Shawn Porter is one of the best matchups that can be made in the welterweight division right now,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Fans in attendance at Barclays Center and those watching on CBS will witness a passing of the torch as the hard-punching world titleholder Thurman and the highly skilled former champion Porter vie to prove who will be the next heir to the throne in the post-Mayweather era of the 147-pound division. The explosive co-main event between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares will give fans a fight to remember.”

Victor Ortiz Media Workout Quotes

Victor Ortiz is scheduled to face Andre Berto for a second time on Saturday, April 30th live on the Fox Network. This bout will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Ortiz recently held a media workout and below are a few select quotes from that workout.
On his first bout against Berto:

“I made a lot of mistakes that night but I did enough to get the victory. I always said if I ever got the rematch, I would end him and now I have the chance.

“Berto had an off night. I wasn’t at my best either, but I destroyed him regardless. This time we’ll both be at our best.

“Berto just talks and talks. When you have to hype yourself up just to think you have a chance, that’s on you. I don’t need to talk myself into thinking I’m going to win. I just know I’m going to win.

“We’ve both had some wars since our first fight, but if you can’t back it up, you should just stop.

“I had injuries heading into the last fight, but now you have two guys who are 100 percent. That is going to make for an even better fight this time around.”

On the rematch with Berto:

“Berto comes to fight. He comes for war and won’t give up ever, but that makes two of us.

“We have been through a lot in the last five years. He hates me. I have no hate in my heart, but I know it’s a sport. I’m not leaving that ring without a victory.

“Berto wants to hurt me just as bad as I want to hurt him. I’m ready to go again. This is going to be a Fight of the Year for sure.

“Anytime you have to convince yourself that you’re going to beat me. That you actually had a chance the first time, there’s a lot wrong with you.

“It’s a sport. It’s not personal. Two guys going back and forth. I want to rip his head off and he wants to rip my head off. Its nothing personal. We can go get a burger after the fight.

“He’s a heck of a fighter and a boxer and I am too. He’s had his fair share of wars. He’s had his fair share of injuries and I’ve had mine.

“I would hate someone that took my undefeated record. So maybe he hates me, but I don’t hate him. Whatever his mindset is, April 30 is right around the corner and I’m ready.”

On working with Coach Joseph “Hoss” Janik & David Rodela:

“Coach Hoss has always been there 100 percent. He has been in my corner about a decade and he knows the game better than a lot of the people I’ve worked with. Every fighter needs to find a ‘zen’ with their coach and I have that with Coach Hoss.

“I feel like this is the best fit for me. Hoss has been with me through it all, from being dropped, to the hospital and everything. He always says that this is just another way to make you stronger.

“I also have coach David Rodela in my corner. We were once upon a time rivals and now we are closest of friends. It is a true ‘Grudge Match’ right there. Now he just tortures me in training.

On his acting career:

“At this point I have one focus. For the next three or four years I am going to be 100 percent focused on boxing.

“I’ve had big celebrities and actors come up to me and say ‘you’re Victor Ortiz, can we take a picture?’ It’s mutual respect, but it’s also kind of crazy. I don’t overstep my boundaries.

“I don’t watch the movie I’ve been in. That is too much. Some people like to see themselves on the screen, I’m not one of those people.

On his positive attitude:

“I believe that if you’re a bad person, bad things happen. I’m a hard worker. I used to work construction and out in the fields. I never complained. Always smiled.

“I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. People take some things too seriously. Of course there are haters out there, but I don’t pay attention to any of that. I’ve found that a good positive attitude goes a long way.

“It doesn’t matter what people say. What matters what I want, what I’m going to do. April 30 is going to be the rebirth of me.”

On what’s next after April 30:

“I’m ready to fight for a world title. Especially after this victory that’s coming. This is for personal satisfaction. Berto has been talking for five years and I’m ready to go.

“I took a different route, a different approach. Why? Because I wanted to try other things. Do I have to be here? No. I turned down two movies to be here. Boxing is my first and true love.

“I’m ready to conquer the 147 and 154 pound divisions and Andre Berto is standing in my way right now.”

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