Curtis Jones: Earning His Respect
By: Hans Themistode
Brooklyn, New York. Only the strong survive.
Drugs, guns, violence and death are common words that are associated with this infamous borough in New York. Love, greatness, toughness, swagger and legendary are words that are also associated with it as well.
For former, Brooklyn born, professional boxer Curtis Jones, he was on his way to his own level of his greatness, but like so many others, the streets of Brooklyn got their hands on him first.
Curtis Jones was first introduced to the sport of boxing by his mother. She wanted to find a way to turn her young sons aggression into something positive. The sport of boxing is a brutal one. Almost barbaric. Pairing up two individuals where the victor is determined by who can inflict the most damage on their opponent. It may seem crazy to most, but for Jones it suited him perfectly.
“I was always fighting as a kid. I just loved it. I’m not sure why but I was just mad at everything for no reason. I would definitely say I was a bully growing up.”
Jones was well known for his ability to beat up kids in his school and neighborhood, but he quickly found out that boxing is an entirely different level of fighting.
“I actually cried in the first round of my first ever fight,” said Jones as he recalled his first ever boxing match which took place when he was 8 years old. “My trainer at the time actually slapped me and told me this is what you asked for so suck it. It helped because in the second round I actually dropped the kid with my favorite combination which was double jab then a right hand. It was a good fight but I ended up losing a close decision.”
That loss didn’t dampen the ambition that Jones had to become a professional boxer. Instead, it propelled him to an amateur record that consisted of roughly 150 wins against just 20 losses. His impressive amateur record should come to the surprise of no one as he grew up training with some of the very best fighters of his generation including former two division world champion Zab Judah.
As the wins and trophies began to pile up, Jones realized that making a career out of boxing is exactly what he wanted. It wasn’t just because he enjoyed fighting, but it was also because of the perks that came with the territory.
“When we started going away to places like Lake Placid and Kansas City for the Silver Gloves, that’s when I really had it in the back of my head that this is what I wanted to do. I’m from Brooklyn and at the time, I had never been on a plane. I really enjoyed traveling and I knew that if I continued to not only box but win, that I could keep going away.”
The lifestyle of a young rockstar motivated Jones. As he plowed through his competition in his amateur career, the time was slowly coming for him to turn pro. At age 21, he officially made his decision to make the leap. When Jones made the choice to leave the amateur ranks and get paid for his abilities in the ring, he was given $50,000 to sign his name. It may sound like the best thing that could have happened to him, but in actuality it was the worse.
“That was probably the worse thing that could have happened to me. I was living more so like a rapper instead of a boxer. My first fight was on ESPN so I thought I was the man. I was 2-0 with 2 knockouts and I thought I was a world champion. I was just really ignorant.”
That aforementioned ignorance led to poor training habits. His lack of discipline began when he was an amateur but only worsened as a professional.
“In the amateurs I started winning tournaments without having to get in shape. I wasn’t always like that but, I learned how to win and not be in shape because I was fast, a good boxer and I could punch a little bit.”
The professional career of Jones got off to a blistering start. He managed to knockout both of his first two opponents. His third bout however, didn’t go according to plan as Jones picked up the first loss of his career. At that point, everything changed. Battles with depression along with managerial issues surfaced.
“After I picked up my first loss it took me a while to actually get another fight. It was about a year until I was able to get another opponent. I actually fell into a depression because I just couldn’t get a fight, I was literally partying all day. My promotional company also dropped me as soon as I took that loss so I had to do it all on my own. The combination of everything just sent me into a depression.
These issues reached its absolute worse as Jones made what seemed to be your typical late night trek into a corner store located in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. What ensued now lives in infamy.
“I was going through a break up at the moment and I am a very emotional person. I think the majority of boxers are emotional because of all of the highs and lows that his game brings. I remember going into the store that night and somebody said something funny, it was two of them. I beat up one dude, I even remember exactly what I hit him with, it with a left hook, right hand and another left hook. He fell down on all of the cakes and cookies that were in the store and all of the girls were screaming in the store. His friend that was with him, didn’t wanna fight after he seen that.”
There is absolutely no excuse for it. As a professional fighter, the actions that were taken by Jones that night could have had a far worse outcome. Thankfully, no fatal injuries took place on that grim night. Many of Jones associates found it amusing. However, for the Brooklyn born fighter, there was nothing to laugh about as the criticism grew.
“I was actually embarrassed by it. I really felt bad that all of those things were said especially from Max Kellerman. A few dudes thought it was funny like Andre Berto but I did feel bad.
Now, over 10 years later, Curtis Jones has finally gotten a chance to speak his side of the story and explain why that notorious night happened.
“It was more than just a break up but that did play a part in it. More than anything, I was just angry. At the time I was only about 23 or 24 and my boxing career was already over. I was just so mad about that.”
It wasn’t the ending that he wanted, but Jones has learned to deal with it. At age 35, Jones is now passing on what he knows to the kids he teaches at the famed Gleason’s Gym, in New York. Unlike many former fighters who have faded into the shadows and forgotten, Jones is a constant fixture in the gym and well respected in the boxing community.
“A lot of people have an incredible amount of respect for me and show love such as Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. I appreciate those guys looking at me with that level of respect because I know growing up I probably wouldn’t have had that same amount of appreciation for older fighters. It definitely means a lot to me and I got love for all of those guys.”
Curtis Jones didn’t accomplish the level of success inside of the boxing ring that he wanted but he has achieved something far more important outside of it, respect.
If you are in NYC, Curtis Jones is available for boxing lessons at the world famous Gleason’s Gym. [email protected]
PBC on Fox Results: Thurman Defeats Game Lopez, Kownacki and Nyambayar Win
By: William Holmes
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was the host site of tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Fox with three scheduled fights.
The untelevised undercard included a shocking knockout of Marsellos Wilder, the brother of Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, to William Deets.
The first bout of the night was between Claudio Marrero (23-2) and Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0) in the featherweight division.
This bout was a WBC Featherweight Title eliminator. Nyambayar, a fighter from Mongolia, had a small but boisterous contingent in the crowd. Nyambayar goes by the nickname of King Tug.
King Tug had a southpaw across from him, but he was able to land some good crosses to the body and quick combinations early.
Marrero showed a good jab in the second round and connected with some straight lefts in the third, but King Tug landed the cleaner and harder punches, and had Marrero wobbly in the thirdrom a good straight right hand and he followed that with some heavy combinations in the fourth.
King Tug’s accuracy was just better in the fifth and both punches landed some good shots in the sixth round, and Tug looked like a mouse was forming under his left eye.
Marrero had a strong seventh and eight rounds as Tug wasn’t as aggressive as in previous rounds and Marrero was landing his right hooks. The ninth round could have been scored either way, and the tenth was also close but Marrero lost a point for landing a punch during the break.
The eleventh round featured combinations from both fighters who let their hands go, but King Tug looked like he landed the better shots. Marrero came out very aggressively in the final round and may have landed some punches in the back of the head before the referee quickly broke them up. Marrero was fighting as if he knew he needed a knockout to win but that knockout never came.
The final scores were 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111 for Tugstogt Nyambayar.
The co-main event of the night was between Adam Kownacki (18-0) and Gerald Washington (19-2-1) in the heavyweight division.
Kownacki had a softer appearance in muscle tone when compares to Washington, but he didn’t appear to be intimated by Washington’s physique as he came at him right away and landed a good right hand followed by a short left hook. Washington was able to land some shots of his own in return, but Kownacki kept up the pressure and a good pace and was beating up Washington in the opening round. Kownacki did have a cut near his eye by the end of the round.
Washington came out aggressively at the start of the second round and landed some good punches, but Kownacki took them well and landed a body shot that quickly slowed the momentum of Washington. A straight right hand from Kownacki knocked Washington down who struggled to get up before the count of ten. The referee allowed him to continue, but two more hard shots from Kownacki forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Adam Kownacki wins with an impressive knockout at 1:09 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Keith Thurman (28-0) and Josesito Lopez (36-7) for the WBA World Welterweight Title.
Thurman was sharp with his counters early on as Lopez pressed the pace and was warned for a low blow early on. Thurman was able to show good in and out movement in the second round and was able to knock Lopez down with a short left hook. Lopez got up by the count of eight and was able to survive the round.
Thurman’s accuracy and movement won him most of the middle rounds, but Lopez remained game and took some of Thurman’s best shots well. Lopez had Thurman’s back against the ropes during the sixth round and was sneaking some punches in, but he really turned the tide in the seventh round.
In the seventh Lopez looked close to knocking Thurman down early in from hard left hooks and was battering him from corner to corner. Thurman was fighting to survive the seventh but looked recovered and well by the eight round.
Thurman landed some heavy shots in the eighth round, but Lopez took those shots well and stayed moving forward applying pressure.
Both boxers landed heavy blows in the ninth round and showed a tremendous chin and a willingness to exchange punches.
Thurman stuck to trying to out box Lopez in the tenth and eleventh round on the ever charging Lopez, and he likely won those rounds despite Lopez being able to sneak in some good shots.
The final scores were 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109 for Keith Thurman.
Strolling Along Flatbush Avenue
By: Frank Bartolini
All the marquee arenas in the western hemisphere that host boxing are located in cities of reputed glamour and glitz. London’s Wembley Stadium , Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden and any large arena in Las Vegas are renowned for different reasons. Las Vegas for lights and glitter, Madison Square Garden’s illustrious history plus its midtown address and Wembley’s enormity and raucous fans within a gentlemanly behaved London, England . Brooklyn New York is not as cultured as London or glamorously Manhattan trendy. “Forget about it!”, Brooklyn will never match the gilded gaudiness of Vegas. With its endemic personality Brooklyn can boast that there is no other place like it on the planet. Located in ethnically diverse Downtown Brooklyn, The Barclay Center holds its own at hosting pro prizefighting events with any of the aforementioned sites. A walk up crowd on the evenings affairs, always fills any remaining seats with enthusiasm.
Lobby at the Hampton Inn filling up with undercard prizefighters and their crews awaiting to grab shuttle ride to Barclays Center.
Striding through the revolving doors onto the concrete. In front of me an idling mini bus AKA “ The Shuttle”. To my right a block away, the Manhattan Bridge crosses the East River connecting Downtown Brooklyn to what was formerly known as the “Five Points District” and currently named “China Town”. Google Maps informs, in the opposite direction from that span, it is just over a mile and a half down Flatbush Ave onto Atlantic Ave for a pedestrian to arrive at the Barclay Center. Forsook a free lift and decided to hoof it. A blatant lie about this choice, would suggest getting some fresh air but the soot stained facades of the tall buildings would imperiously disprove that phrase.
Lights changing, voices rising, humans strutting and jogging,as automobiles roll in both directions, Downtown Brooklyn is in constant motion.
A twenty something guy approaches me from the rear “Excuse me sir. I’m sorry to bother you. My mother is sick and I have to see her. I lost my wallet with my paycheck in it. Could you please give me fifteen dollars for the bus to Long Island”
As I examined a lucid, cleared eyed inquisitor it was easy to deduce he was no junkie. Further inspection found him wearing a pair of suede, leather accented Timberland boots. My thoughts, were that this grifter did have a job, his billfold and scored chump change scheming . Interesting that a cheap flim flam artist chose me as a easy mark . A bit insulted, I replied “NO” and brushed off this Millennial con man.
As always a pretzel and diet coke were purchased from, Kurdish looking street vendor. Sitting in front of the arena, this author began to chow, as a queue formed outside of The Barclay Center.
Dibella Entertainment in association with Premier Boxing Champions hosts nights of fights inside The Barclays. Assuredly these two associates are always going to deliver a quality slate.
Polish countrymen come in multitudes to The Barclays supporting any native who climbs between the ropes. When heavyweight Adam Kownacki of Poland crushes foe’s, the PA system churns out Poland’s national anthem, initiating a resounding vocal harmonizing in univision among the faithful.
Pound for Pound coronation of Errol Spence Jr as the best in the land has been supported by this venue. As well as Deontay Wilder proving he can whip anyone he hits with his concrete shattering right hand.
Brooklyn has a unique style and it’s residents have an accented speech that is recognized
globally. Sporting fans world wide should acknowledge the Barclay Center importance to paid fist trading.
The following morning……Bumps, bruises, scratches, stitches, hurt ego’s indulged in The Hampton Inns continental breakfast. Managers and trainers discuss future moves and possibilities over syrup soaked waffles and sausages. Some defeated boxers smile and enjoy the meal with friends. Dining alone conquered pugilist chewed his food with his head down until some good nature fellows see his discourse and pull up next to him with assuring words, that everything will be alright. Within moments this beaten man sits up in his seat and grins as he shovels grub through a pair of fat lips. When it is time to leave, the victors jump up and rush to the shuttle anxious to get home and tell tales of grandeur. Boxing close knit fraternal members bid adieu to one another. Back through the revolving doors for the last time this weekend carrying a suitcase and briefcase I walk to a fifty dollar a night parking garage Get my car, pay my fee, eventually cross the Verrazano Bridge on my way home to “Champions Rest” as Brooklyn maintains it’s perpetual motion.
Personally finished the 2018 boxing year where I started it at The Barclays It began last January when Errol Spence defended his welterweight world championship laurels throwing Lamont Peterson a beating. Ending eleven months later as this author viewed the Charlo twins fill the venue with a near sellout crowd that booed disputed decisions in both their bouts.
Boxing future is bright as the blue lettered marquee of The Barclays. The sport is filled with talent globally and a billion dollars of revenue is being invested into the game by media outlets DAZN, Fox network, ESPN+ and Showtime cable. All this cash will make bouts happen,. No need for fortune tellers crystal ball to see 2019 appears to be a great year for pugilism……Until next time…Keep Punching!
Simon Bakinde: From Paris to Brooklyn
By: Bryant Romero
Well respected trainer and former professional boxer Simon Bakinde is now 17 years since he left his native France and now living in New York and training professional prize fighters at the Mendez Gym in Manhattan, while also guiding the careers and managing a couple of prospects he’s looking to develop as world champions. Simon has come a long way from the young fighter he used to be who was looking for an opportunity when he first came to America, to now managing and training fighters out of New York. Simon was an up and coming Cruiserweight prospect looking for glory when he first stepped foot in America; however his opportunity to make it big here never came, and he instead found his calling as a trainer. Boxinginsider recently caught with Simon as he reflected on his past life in France and how he got to this point.
“The year I dropped out of college, I was wondering what I was going to do in the future,” Simon said.
“I realized that I didn’t want to be in the office all day long. I love physical activities, training, fitness and other things, so I said ‘I got to do something,’ but I didn’t know what to do,” he said.
While still contemplating on what he wanted to do for his future, Simon turned to his uncle for some guidance. His uncle insisted that he get into a sport, which Simon did, so he tried soccer for awhile, but he hated the team aspect of it.
“I hated losing in soccer because the teamwork situation was a little of a problem for me. When we lost I hated the fact that it was everyone’s fault. I wanted to make sure that if anything goes wrong it’s my fault, it’s no one else, so I give everything I got,” Simon said.
So his uncle suggested perhaps track and field, which is a more individual sport. With his lone wolf mentality, Simon figured out that he wanted to become a boxer.
“I said I’m going to do boxing, so I went to a boxing gym, the closest one near me in a suburb near Paris,” Simon told me.
“I met the coach and I tell him ‘Listen I want to be a professional fighter and I want to be a world champion.’ And he said, ‘Listen all that is possible, you just have to work.’ So I said, ‘no problem we’re going to put the work in.”
Simon would start putting that work in the gym for the next two years and he competed in 15 amateur fights with just a lone defeat. Simon recognized that he had some talent in this boxing game; he decided to turn pro after just two years in the amateur ranks, but with no guidance from an experienced manager or a promoter backing him.
“I turn pro with no gameplan without any money behind me, with no manager, my coach was basically my manager,” Simon said. “He had no connections, so he was just letting me take fights left and right.”
Simon realized that he wasn’t getting the right guidance to his career, which resulted in some early losses. So he decided to make a change and added a different coach to his team, but he would soon see the dark side of the business of boxing.
“That coach was actually stealing money from me. He was lying on the contract and once I realized he was getting money under the table, I started to think about going somewhere else,” Simon told me.
After arriving to the States with a plan to make it big in boxing in America, Simon was looking for fights and he even fought for free on some of the promoters cards to just show them what he had. Unfortunately, Simon came to the U.S at a time when European fighters weren’t getting much shine compared to today. Simon was unable to break into the U.S. boxing market and after three years of waiting with literally no fights; he decided to train people instead.
Simon would develop friendships and partnerships within in the boxing world which have resulted in young fighters from France coming over to train with him. He’s learned from the mistakes that he made within his own boxing career and has made sure that that fighters he trains or manages will get the best guidance possible for a the most successful boxing career they could have.
He currently trains light heavyweight prospect from Paris Fredric Julan (10-0, 8 KOs), super lightweight prospect Yurik Mamedov (10-1, 3 KOs), and guides the career of Romain Tomas (7-1, 1 KO). I asked why these 3 guys came a long way just to train with him and do these 3 have what it takes to become a champion?
“I think these guys came to me because we create trust. Trust is number 1 no matter how much knowledge you have, or how much money have,” Simon said.
“The fight game is a sport with a lot soul and a lot of heart, a lot of emotion, so you got to make sure that people trust you fully.
“I created a comfort zone where people can trust me, but also get results.
“I think they have what it takes to become champion because they have dedication and a lot of faith in them and they work hard,” Simon said.
Simon was a defensive minded fighter in his younger days and as a trainer considers himself to be a tactician and that being the smarter fighter with a right strategy can overcome a lot of what a fighter deals with inside that ring.
“I am a tactician. Defense first which is my culture since I was very defensive fighter myself,” Simon said.
“Skill, technique, and all these things without strategy is very limited to me. Strategy can overcome a lot.
“Strategy means you’re a thinking fighter, you have plan a, plan b, plan c, you have more than one gameplan,” he said.
Showtime Boxing Results: Charlo and Davis Win by Knockout, Broner and Vargas Draw
By: Ken Hissner
Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotians and DiBella Entertainment on USA Showtime, at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY, put on a triple header Saturday night.
In the Main Event welterweights with former WBA World Super Lightweight champion Welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3-1 (24), of Cinn., OH, ended in a majority draw with former WBO World Welterweight champion Jesse “Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas, 28-2-1 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after exchanging jabs Broner landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. After over a minute of the round Broner landed a combination to the head of Vargas. It wasn’t until under a minute left in the round that Vargas landed a stiff jab to the chin of Broner. In the second round Vargas landed his first right of the fight to the chin of Broner. Broner with hands high is only using a jab in the round up to this point. Vargas landed half a dozen punches without return. Broner just shook his head as if to say “nothing on it!” Vargas landed a 3-punch combination in taking a good round.
In the third round Vargas used a jab to the mid-section of Broner. He followed upt with a good combination before Broner landed a good combination in return. Both exchanged body shots. The pace really picked up in the round. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the fourth round Broner counters with solid rights to the chin of Vargas. Both boxers landed well. Vargas landed a pair of rights to the head and Broner back with a right uppercut to the chin. Broner landed a good combination with Vargas countering with a right to the head at the bell.
In the fifth round Vargas continues to out work Broner until Broner rocked Vargas with a right to the chin. There was a mouse under the left eye of Vargas. Vargas landed half a dozen of unanswered punches as Broner came back just prior to the bell with a right of his own. In the sixth round Broner came out firing unlike previous rounds. Vargas landed an array of punches in what is a very good fight. Broner landed a 3-punch combination. Vargas landed a straight right to the chin of Broner who shook his head. With half a minute left Broner landed a low blow giving Vargas a half minute rest from referee Charlie Fitch.
In the seventh round Vargas comes out with a solid jab. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Broner who countered with a right of his own to the chin. Broner warned for using his elbow by referee Fitch. Broner ended the right with a right uppercut to the chin of Vargas. In the eighth round both boxers landed left hooks to the chin at same time. Broner landed Bof one another. Vargas continued landing good body shots. Vargas landed a right at the bell but was warned by referee Fitch for a late hit.
In the ninth round Broner came out dominating Vargas through the first minute. Vargas came back landing a big right to the head of Broner. Broner landed a good left hook with Vargas came back with a solid right to the chin of Broner. With half a minute left Broner turned up the heat getting the fans cheering with Broner rocking Vargas who almost looked like he was out on his feet at the bell. In the tenth round Broner went on the attack pushing Vargas back. Broner with hands to his side was trying to bait Vargas in. With half a minute left in the round Vargas landed a solid right to the head of Broner. Just prior to the bell Broner ended it landing a flurry of punches.
In the eleventh round Vargas is throwing rights to the head of Broner who is the aggressor. Broner landed a good right to the head of Vargas whose left eye is almost closed. It was a good close round. In the twelfth and final round Broner landed a good chopping right to the head of Vargas who is continuing backing up. Vargas started raising his hands at the halfway mark showboating. Vargas with less than half a minute to go landed a 3-punch combination to head and body of Broner. Broner’s new trainer Kevin Cunningham urged Broner throughout to do more. While Vargas trainer Mike “Body Snatcher” McCallum urged body work. It was an excellent fight.
Judge Lederman had it 115-113 Broner. Morgan and Marlinski had it 114-114. This writer had it 117-111 for Vargas.
Former World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, regained a world title when he stopped former WBA World Featherweight champion southpaw Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete” Cuellar, 28-3 (21), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:45 of round 3 for the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title, scheduled for 12 rounds.
In the first round Cuellar used a good jab while Davis was a little slower using his jab and a nice right uppercut to the body which may have hurt Cuellar with about a minute left in the round. Half a minute to go and Davis landed a right uppercut to the chin of Cuellar. Davis landed a good combination to the head of Cuellar right before the bell. In the second round Davis landed a lead left into the mid-section of Cuellar dropping him for the 8 count from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Cuellar was up and going after Davis for the remainder of the round until Davis landed a straight left to the chin of Cuellar.
In the third round after about a minute Cuellar landed a right hook to the left eye of Davis he shook his head from being hurt. Less than a minute to go in the round and Davis dropped Cuellar with his body landing three punches, body, head, body dropping him for a second time. Upon rising Cuellar had Davis all over him landing half a dozen punches with the final one a left hook to the chin dropping him for a third time in the fight causing referee Esteves, Jr. to wisely wave it off.
“I want to thank God,” said Davis. Upon being asked who he would like to fight next he answered “I would like to unify!”
Former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (22), of Houston, TX, knocked out Hugo “The Boss” Centeno, 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, at 0:55 of the second round for interim WBC World Middleweight title, 12 rounds.
In the first round Charlo came forward with a lot of feinting while Centeno was using his jab. It was into the final minute of the feeling out round before Charlo landed a double jab. The referee Steve Willis was slow breaking up the numerous clinches. In the second round Charlo landed a chopping right followed by another right and a left hook that had Centeno hurt, clash of heads and a left having Centeno going down and another right putting him on his back. Referee Willis didn’t have to count but did.
“I first want to thank God for who I wouldn’t be here without. Also, thank my manager, Al Haymon. I want Triple GGG, lets get it on,” said Charlo.
What Happened To Adrien Broner?
By: Sean Crose
He seemed on top of the world once, not so long ago, a terrible representative or the sport who was on his way to stardom, nonetheless.
And now this.
After being dominated this past weekend in New York by Mikey Garcia, many are left asking what happened to Adrien Broner. This was the future celebrity, the Mayweather with a bad/worse attitude, the soon to be face of boxing. Now, though, it’s clear the man can’t beat an above average opponent. All that talk, all that hype, and for what? For three losses in a row to big names? For smack talk after defeat? For endless acts of stupidity outside the ring with little to show in the way of real merit inside of it? This isn’t what the public was led to expect.
Oh, the public was led to expect bad behavior when it came to Broner, of course. In fact, the public was expected to celebrate it. For Broner was supposed to be the big mouth who couldn’t be shut up, the man who appealed to people’s inner mean streaks, the guy who acted like many amoral types wished they could have, but were afraid to. Yet the public was also led to expect Broner to back it all up with big win after big win. Thing is, with the possible exception of Paulie Malignaggi, who some feel actually won their fight, Broner has no big wins to his name.
What he has is a record of having attained lots of belts without placing lots of big names under them. It’s now being said the man was a hype job from the word go. Perhaps that assertion is the correct one. Perhaps Broner was never as good as advertised. Perhaps he was simply never going to become as good as advertised, even if he took his profession seriously, which – until recently – he didn’t seem to on any sort of regular basis.
The question, of course, is where to from here for the Cincinnati native. Many, if not most, hope he will fade away. Don’t expect him do, though. Broner’s colorful image is still marketable, even on a smaller scale than it used to be. There’s still titles and lots of money available for the man in the future. Keep in mind that he’s fun to watch fight – and that people also like renegades (and Broner is most certainly that).
The truth is that Broner took a tough loss and if he’s not the total hype job some are saying he always was, he’s going to want to grow as a fighter – as in actually pick up new things. That might take a bit of learning, but he’s still a young man with a considerable amount of God given talent at his disposal. The story of Adrien Broner might still have some more chapters to go. He’s going to have to play is smart, though, if he hopes to eventually go out on top…if it’s even possible for him to go out on top at this point.
Mikey Garcia Easily Defeats Adrien Broner to Stay Unbeaten
By: Ken Hissner
At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, Mayweather Promotions, PBC and DiBella Entertainment promoted before 12,000 fans over Showtime Saturday night.
The 3 division champion and current WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, 37-0 (30), of Moreno Valley, out of Oxnard, CA, easily defeated former 3 division champion of the world and No. 2 WBA welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3 (24), of Cinn., OH, over 12 rounds.
In the opening round it took the aggressor Garcia close to a minute to land his first punch, a jab. Up until then it was Broner’s jab controlling. A Garcia lead right had Broner nailed on the chin. Later a left hook body shot by Garcia had Broner against the ropes. In the second round it was all Garcia. When Broner tried to tie him up Garcia pushed him back. Garcia got in several right hands to the body of Broner. In the third round like the first it was Broner’s jab for almost a minute before Garcia landed a counter left hook punch. At the halfway mark of the round Garcia landed a solid left hook to the body. With half a minute left in the round Garcia opened up with a flurry of punches ending with a right uppercut to the chin of Broner. In the fourth round Broner stayed in the pocket for the first time halfway through the round but did little as Garcia landed a flurry of punches twice in the second half of the round with the right uppercut to the chin of Broner at the end of the flurries.
In the fifth round Broner with hands held up right trying to stop the jab and lead right of Garcia but with little success to stop them. With 30 seconds to go in the round Garcia landed a solid left hook to the landed a combination. In the sixth round Garcia continued to pound Broner until a little than a minute left in he round before Broner landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Garcia. The round ended with a lead right from Garcia to the body of Broner. Broner’s corner is Around Broner came out strong for half a minute before dancing around throwing a weak jab as Garcia is all over him. With a minute left in the round Garcia lands punch after punch keeping Broner at bay. Just prior to the bell Garcia landed five unanswered punches with a right to the jaw among them rocked Broner. In the eighth round after a minute Garcia drops his hands challenging Broner to fight back. Garcia landed a dozen punches without return from Broner who landed a chopping right to the head. Broner came forward at the bell trying to steal the round but was stopped in his tracks by a Garcia hard jab. It was a big round once again by Garcia.
In the ninth round a right cross from Garcia grazed the jaw of Broner after the first minute of the round. Garcia keeps pressing Broner easily out landed Broner. Inside of a minute left in the round Broner landed several beltline or lower punched keeping Garcia on the defense. This may have been Broner’s best round since the first round. In the tenth round with Broner coming forward Garcia countered well. At the minute mark to go in the round Broner landed the best punch of the fight for him a left hook to the head of Garcia putting him back a step or two. Garcia finished strong with a combination at the bell. In the eleventh round Broner well behind in the fight was looking for a big punch but was taking a two-handed attack from Garcia. It was another big round for Garcia as both Garcia counters well as Broner keeps coming forward but landing little. A Broner body shot got Garcia’s attention as he came right back landing punch after punch. Garcia finished up as strong as he was in the first round. The referee was Harvey Dock.
Judges Weisfeld and Don Akerman had it 116-112 while Eric Marlinski had it 117-111 and this writer had it 119-109.
“I will stay at 140 but may move up to 147 in the future,” said Garcia. Broner was very bitter though omitting Garcia beat him. Using a couple of foul words as the crowd boo’d him Broner did little to convince anyone he will be back at the championship level as he was boasting. It was a superb performance by Garcia who is trained by his brother Robert Garcia.
In a WBC middleweight elimination bout IBF Super welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 26-0 (20), of Houston, TX, stopped No. 1 WBC contender, southpaw middleweight Jorge Sebastian “El Gaucho de Pigue” Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:13 of the fourth round.
Prior to the start of the fight the Boxing Commissioner made Heiland take off a wrapping around his left leg. In the opening round Charlo kept his jab in the face of Heiland throughout the round. It took Heiland half a round to land a punch though he was the aggressor. How he ever got to be the No. 1 contender must have been “paid for” as he plug’s along. In the second round with Charlo now the aggressor dropped Heiland at the halfway mark of the round with a right uppercut. Referee Benjy Estaves, Jr. administered the 8 count and upon rising made him walk to the left and right. He lasted out the round though a lead right from Charlo rocked him prior to the round ending. The bell sounded to start the round and referee Esteves brought the ring physician in to check the left leg of Heiland. Charlo continued landing the jab followed by lead right hands easily winning the round. Before the third round started the ring physician was brought in again to check Heiland. With one minute left in the round a left hand to the ear dropped Heiland. He got up and looked like a drunken soldier falling back into the ropes forcing the stoppage. This was a mismatch when Heiland signed the contract. He could have had three “good legs” and he was going to be stopped early.
“First I want to thank God for this opportunity along with Showtime and feel I am ready for the best in the middleweight division,” said Charlo.
Heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, 19-0-1 (17), Brooklyn, NY, stopped Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, 18-2-1 (12), of Vallejo, CA, at the end of the eighth round of a scheduled 10.
Miller landed four right hands and had Washington out on his feet forcing referee Gary Rosato to call a halt.
“I want to thank God for the victory. I’m surprised they took this fight. I lost 40 pounds (came in at 298) for this fight. I want to be another American world heavyweight champion,” said Miller. He is No. 7 in the WBO, WBA and IBF while Washington was No. 15 in the WBC.
For Olympian southpaw Rau’sheen Warren, 15-2 (4), of Cinn., OH, bounced back after losing his WBA Super World bantamweight title earlier this year with a win in a super bantamweight bout over McJoe Arroyo, 17-2 (8), of Fajardo, PR, who lost his IBF Super World Flyweight title last year losing over 12 rounds by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia, Jermall Charlo vs. Jorge Heiland
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will present one of the best boxing matches during the month of August as Adrien Broner takes on Mikey Garcia in the junior welterweight division. Jermall Charlo will also be making his debut in the middleweight division as he bumps a weight class to take on Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
The undercard is also stacked and featured several entertaining fights and high level prospects. Jarrell Miller will face Gerald Washington in a matchup featuring two top ranked heavyweights. Katie Taylor and Rau’shee Warren are two former Olympians that will also be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the televised portion of the bouts that Showtime will be televising live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jermall Charlo (25-0) vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2); Middleweights
Jermall Charlo is dropping his junior middleweight title to bump up to his brother’s division and chase a world title there. He’s younger than his brother by one minute but they hope to hold titles in the same division as the same time.
Charlo is twenty seven years old and younger than his Argentinean opponent by three years. He’s from Houston, Texas and has been relatively active in the past two years. He fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2017. He stands at 6’0”, but has a pretty good reach of 73 ½”. Heiland has fought once in 2017, twice in 2016, and once in 2015.
Heiland is a southpaw and has four losses on his record. He doesn’t have the power of Charlo and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Charlo has stopped nineteen boxers.
Despite his four losses Heiland has been boxing well recently. He is currently riding an 8 win fight streak. Neither boxer has any notable amateur titles.
Charlo’s most impressive victory was in his last bout when he defeated Philadelphia native Julian Williams by knockout. His other notable victories include Austin Trout, Winky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.
Heiland’s only notable victory was a knockout over Matthew Macklin before Macklin retired. He has losses to Mateo Damian Veron, Billi Godoy, Nilson Tapia, and Sebastian Zbik.
Even though Charlo is bumping up a weight division, he’s facing an opponent that is not on his skill level. It’s a good first fight to feel out the middleweight division for Charlo.
Adrien Broner (33-2) vs. Mikey Garcia (36-0); Junior Welterweights
Adrien Broner has been in the news a lot recently, but not for boxing. He’s had a few run ins with the law, including an arrest in April of 2017 when the SUV he was driving was found to have bullet holes in it. Broner claimed at the time that his vehicle was shot at.
Broner is a boxer with amazing talents, but the outside issues could be a distraction and he’s facing an elite level talent.
Broner and Garcia are similar in age, with Broner being 28 years old and Garcia being 29. They are also similar in size and height. They are the same height and stand in at 5’6”. Garcia will have a slight reach advantage of one inch.
Neither boxer has been very active in the past two years fighting under the PBC banner. Broner only fought once in 2017 and 2016, but did fight three times in 2015. Garcia only fought once in 2017 and 2016, and did not fight in 2015 and most of 2014 due to contract issues with Top Rank Promotions.
Broner has defeated the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio Demarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Eloy Perez. His losses were to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana.
Garcia’s inactivity has cost him some possible big name matchups, but he still has a good list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dejan Zlaticanin, Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros.
Both boxers experienced some success on the national level as an amateur. Broner as a National Silver Gloves Champion and Garcia was a US Pal Gold Medalist and a US Junior Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.
Garcia’s inactivity and recent wins against subpar competition would normally big a cause of concern when facing a highly skilled opponent like Adrien Broner, but Broner’s recent run ins with the law and his two losses against top level opponents is a bigger concern.
This writer wouldn’t be shocked if Broner emerges victorious, but the edge has to go to Garcia.
Can Mikey Garcia Attain Superstardom?
By: Sean Crose
Admittedly, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Mikey Garcia, who will be entering a junior welterweight fight this weekend, has a huge mountain to climb. For the undefeated Californian’s opponent Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center will be none other than Adrien “The Problem” Broner, a fighter some consider washed up, but who has enormous talent nonetheless and who appears to be taking the challenge Garcia presents quite seriously, to boot. Sure enough, the brash Broner has a personality better suited for contemporary superstardom than Garcia does…even though Garcia might well be the better boxer.
Flashy, showy and completely obnoxious, Broner has those assets modern society can’t get enough of. His fights, even against less than stellar opposition, still bring in nice ratings, and he’s a fighter people love to watch perhaps because of who he is rather than what he can do in the ring. Sure, Broner has – thankfully – toned it down a bit over the years, but the guy knows what to sell the public…and in the Mayweather-McGregor era, that ain’t talent (or at least not talent alone). Still, Broner has allowed himself to face a serious opponent this weekend, one which most expect to defeat him, and that brings us to the question of what happens if Garcia wins.
First off, the man will be a darling of hardcore boxing fans should he vanquish Broner on Saturday. Beating Broner, boxing’s great heel before a certain Irishman came around, is good for one’s career. Yet, it’s worth keeping in mind that Garcia is a serious man who takes his work seriously, and that sort of thing simply doesn’t sell outside of the narrow margins of hardcore fandom. People want flash – and lots of it. Talent and ability – and Garcia has plenty of both – merely complement personality as far today’s larger public is concerned. Achievement alone is most decidedly NOT something to hang one’s hat on. At least that’s generally true in the minds of those who have the power to elevate a pay per view event to over a million buys.
Still, nice guys CAN finish first. It just takes them a lot longer to be grudgingly accepted by the public at large. Rather than flash wads of cash in front of people, Garcia will have to do the hard – the very hard – work of rolling over one top level opponent after another if he wishes to be truly admired. Broner, on the other hand, need only beat Garcia and immediately start shooting off his mouth in order to get serious attention.
As Donald Fagen once sang:
“The things you think are precious, I can’t understand.”
It’s High Noon For Adrien Broner
It’s High Noon For Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve been in some crazy situations,” the Miami Herald quotes Adrien Broner as saying, “and I’m blessed to be here.” Could this, one may ask, truly be the brash Broner talking? The man who once flushed (hopefully fake) money down a toilet? The man who once referred to himself as being “About Billions?” The man who once planned to host a party bus (I wonder whatever happened to that endeavor?)? Indeed, it seems to be. “I’m taking this seriously,” the Herald further quotes Broner as saying. I know, I know, we’ve heard this all before. Broner is a changed man. Broner means business this time around. Such things ring hollow after learning of another arrest, after seeing more silliness online, after witnessing Broner just seeming like, well, Broner.
This time, however, perhaps – perhaps being the operative word here – things are finally different. For in the leadup to this weekend’s upcoming bout with the talented, uber-serious Mikey Garcia, Broner seems, well, INTENSE. Not insane. Not idiotic. Just intense. As in focused. The question now is whether or not the Cincinnati native has pissed away too much of his talent for this newfound professionalism to even count for much. The truth is that Broner has never done all that well on the big stage. Not once. A close – some say controversial – win over Paulie Malignaggi looks to have been the high point of Broner’s career to date. After that there were beatdowns from Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter respectively.
And since that time? Well, the man’s gotten along just fine if one counts being in the public consciousness as a measure of success. Broner still hasn’t faced another major opponent, though. At least not until now. This Saturday in Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, however, Broner is facing the real thing – a young undefeated guy who doesn’t believe in flash, a man who simply believes in beating his opponents, often by beating them into oblivion. Make no mistake about it, the 36-0 Garcia is dangerous. A loss this time out – at least a definitive one – might well spell the end of the 33-2 Broner’s time as a major player in the sport.
One thing needs to be made clear, though, and that’s the fact that Broner is not just some random opponent in this battle. Sure enough, the man has a real chance of winning. Broner’s always had a sharp skill set – perhaps not of the prime Floyd Mayweather level – but conceivably just a rung or two below. If the guy is as focused as he says he is – and as he appears to be in camp – Broner may be looking at a career revival. It’s also worth noting that the fight is going to be held in the 140 pound junior welterweight realm – rather foreign territory for lightweight titlist Garcia. It may be high noon for the fighter known as “The Problem,” but that doesn’t mean Broner won’t enter the ring on Saturday well equipped for a firefight.
Gritty Brooklyn Fighter Frank Galarza seeks to reset Career by Signing with Main Events
Gritty Brooklyn Fighter Frank Galarza seeks to reset Career by Signing with Main Events
by: Eric Lunger
Frank “Notorious” Galarza signed with Main Events promotions, it was announced yesterday. The Brooklyn native, 31, was on track as a super welterweight contender, posting an undefeated record (17-0-2, 11 KOs) until he ran into Jarrett “Swift” Hurd in November of 2015. Galarza was stopped in the sixth round by a brutal Hurd uppercut, a punch that has become something of a trademark for the Accokeek, Maryland fighter.
[Photo courtesy of Frank Galarza and Main Events]
In September of last year, Galarza’s career went sideways again as he dropped a ten round majority decision to crafty veteran Ishe Smith. Trying to start fast, Galarza walked into a trap in the second round and was unable to close the deficit, at least on two judges’ cards.
Now the “Brooklyn Rocky,” as Galarza is known, is seeking to reset his career by signing with Kathy Duva’s Main Events. “I am just one of those fighters who will never turn down anyone,” Galarza said via press release.“I will fight anyone. I wanted to work with Main Events because I have seen what they have done in the past. I like the way they move their fighters.”
The thirty-one year old boxer knows it is time to make the leap from contender to champion. Away from the ring, Galarza is a new father, as well as a man who believes in giving back to his community. In 2014 he founded Youth Fighting Forward, helping young people reach their goals through boxing, education, and job training. A serious person as well as serious contender, Galarza hopes to make his mark in an already loaded division, against the likes of Erislandy Lara, the Charlo Brothers, Jarrett Hurd, and Demetrius Andrade.
For more information on Youth Fighting Forward, visit frankgalarza.com/youthfightingforward.
A Refocused Adrien Broner is About Billions and About Beat Downs
By: Francisco Martinez
Anybody can get it, The Can Man is back. Adrien Broner, always ballin and has one thing on his mind come July 29th and that a beat down. Adrien Broner refocused and thinking About Billions and About Beatdowns as his mature side kicks in for this highly anticipated bout with Mikey Garcia at 140lbs. Adrien Broner is locked in and focused for what he says will be his best performance yet “everybody know I can take it and give it. We don’t know the max he take, we don’t” say Broner of Garcia.
Goes on to criticize Mikey Garcia’s resume “who have he beat to say he’s just that good? I don’t know, who? Roman Martinez? Salido, are you serious? Lopez, are you serious?” Broner not impressed by the hype surrounding his rival heading into July 29th at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York confident he would be undefeated having faced the caliber of opponents Garcia has face up until now and wonders what Garcia’s record would be like having faced the opposition he himself has faced. Talking about the likes of Shawn Porter, Marco Maidana and so on and on
“I mean look, listen, the guys he’s been punching are 135 and down. I would like to see how they career like if Maidana hit one of them guys or if I hit one of them guys. Let’s think about this, give me all 36 of his opponents and than I give him all my opponents and let’s see what our records would be? I know I’ll be 36 and 0 with 36 knockouts, (lightweight) 35 and down. Let’s see what his record would be? That’s the difference. I hear people say he hit harder than this person, he hit harder than that person, well, they said John Molina hit harder than a lot of motherfuckers but you just gotta ask somebody he hit cause he ain’t hit me”
Early in his career many critics considered Adrien Broner as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather hints the John Molina never hit me remark. Broner’s defensive genius was similar and about the closest thing to Mayweather. Floyd even giving him the moniker of “lil bro” however somewhere along the way Broner faltered but not completely. He did lose a few believers but the belief of Broner within himself has kept him atop the sport being Premier Boxing Champions highest rating draw since its promotional inception. Some might view this fight on July 29th as Adrien Broner’s last chance to shine and reach his full potential as Broner, he himself sees it a totally different way
“after this fight I will be taking over the sport of boxing” states a confident Adrien Broner. Taking all precautionary measures in order to make sure he’s prepared to the best of his capabilities Broner moved camp to Colorado in search of his glory days which has rekindled his love for boxing once again. In recent footage Adrien Broner puts a beating on his sparring partners even floors one. A direct message saying A.B. is back, The Can Man is back. Anybody, can get it. Broner’s best performances came at 130 and 135lbs weight classes which where products of camps held in Colorado if I’m not mistaken.
With betting odds opening up at 5-1 underdog Adrien Broner hopes his haters don’t hold their breath as he promises them this will be the best performance of his career and Las Vegas will surely lose a lot of money “I respect every fighter. I’m older and I’m wiser. I just have to do things right. I don’t hate those guys. The fight is gonna happen on July and let the best man win” words from a much more mature Adrien Broner as he assures victory will be his.
Tune in July 29th live on Showtime at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for this highly anticipated bought between Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia. Make sure to follow the conversation via #BronerGarcia
Mayweather-McGregor Press Tour Turns Ugly In Brooklyn
Mayweather-McGregor Press Tour Turns Ugly In Brooklyn
By: Sean Crose
Nice guy MMA journalist Ariel Helwani said it “felt hostile and uncomfortable.” ESPNs Dan Rafael called it “utterly crass and not very entertaining unless you like hearing Floyd and Conor spend a half hour cursing.” Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole tweeted that “someone needs to talk to these guys. This is AWFUL.” Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report claimed ”there’s a limit to the ‘acceptable’ awmount of misogyny you can present in a mixed audience. Based on my wife’s reaction, they exceeded it.”
Photo Credit: Rosie Cohe /SHOWTIME
And on and on and on. Let’s face it, Thursday’s Brooklyn press conference for the Mayweather-McGregor novelty fight made July 13th 2017 a Day That Will Live In Idiocy. For starters, both egomaniacs kept the fans waiting for about two hours. Then McGregor showed up dressed like Jesse Ventura, circa 1982. The Mayweather showed up wrapped in an Irish flag – which he proceeded to fliply toss to the floor.
Then Conor talked garbage. Then Floyd talked garbage. It was garbage in, garbage out. To this writer, Floyd seemed to find McGregor’s weak spot by continually bringing up the man’s record of “tapping out” in MMA fights on several occasions. Sure enough, Floyd’s attack was relentless. So much so, that it seemed to quiet McGregor – if only for a few moments.
In my humble opinion, however, Floyd was about as much a winner of Thursday’s press conference as McGregor is said to have been at Wednesdays. These guys are some crass dudes…and the routing is getting tired. Race has now been injected into the proceedings. As has misogyny. Delightful. One could ask a million questions, like why would McGregor direct thousands to publicly scorn successful executive Stephen Espinoza. Or why Mayweather would bring a young girl, presumable his daughter, onto the stage for these horror shows. Or why McGregor would actually address the poor kid in front of thousands. Or why…
Look, lots of people love this sort of thing, but even the hardcore fan boys and their media counterparts seem to have been put off by Thursday night’s spectacle. Professional fighting is a brutal line of work and the stress these two men are under must be grueling. McGregor, in particular, looked exhausted on the stage. How could he not have been? Neither of these men are heroes, yet they’re continually treated as such. Hence, things like Thursday’s horror show occur.
One more press conference, today in London, and the circus is over. At least for now.
Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor World Tour Hits Fever Pitch at New York City Press Conference
Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor World Tour Hits Fever Pitch at New York City Press Conference
Day three of their blockbuster world tour sawboxing legend Floyd Mayweather and UFC superstar Conor McGregor continue to trade verbal jabs as the global stars went face-to-face in front of over 13,000 fans at Barclays Center ahead of their Aug. 26 showdown on SHOWTIME PPV from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Photo Credit: Rosie Cohe/Showtime
After filling venues in Los Angeles and Toronto, an electric crowd greeted the two fighters Thursday as Mayweather and McGregor picked up right where they left off, building on the two increasingly combative press conferences held Tuesday and Wednesday.
The world tour concludes on Friday when the fighters travel to The SSE Arena, Wembley in London.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
“I knew that this was going to be a huge event. We had to give the people what they wanted to see and if we break the PPV record, all I’ll be doing is breaking my own record.
“I’m just thankful to be in this position. To be at this age and compete against young guys, it’s a blessing. He’s bigger, he has a longer reach and I’ve been inactive. Plus, we’ve never seen him lose standing up. He feels like he’s the best. I was the best when I was competing. So I think I had to come back for this last hurrah.
“Even though I haven’t been competing in boxing, you still have young guys calling me out all the time. Even the MMA fighters call me out.
“My thing is that either I’m going to get him, or he’s going to get me. The outcome is going to be what it’s going to be. Once you have that mindset, you’re going to be okay. He’s coming for me and I’m coming for him.
“Nobody knows that squared circle like me. I know angles. I know where to touch you at. I know what you don’t like. I don’t have to watch your tapes. That’s something I’m blessed with. But, he’s unorthodox. So it’ll definitely be something different in the ring. I just have to keep my composure.
“I have to stand up for the Americans and the American fight fans. He represents his country and I represent the red, white and blue. I represent everyone in this country.
“I’ve been doing this for 21 years in five weigh classes. I’ve never quit.”
“Floyd saying he’s going to knock me out is the funniest comment of the whole tour. I hope he comes for it and I hope he brings it. I’ll be prepared for anything and anticipate whatever he brings.
“I’m in great shape, that’s why I’m not wearing a shirt. I’m in shape to fight right now. I don’t have a nick on my body right now. I’m going to be 100 percent on fight night.
“I have a very high fight IQ. I understand when to go and when not to. Only me and the opponent can see these details. I’m very confident whether it’s in a ring or an octagon.
“The rounds are two minutes shorter than I’m used to and there’s a lot less action than I’m used to. He’s going to feel like he’s wrestling a bear when we tie up for the first time. He’s too small. I’m going to have my way with him.
“I know every shot he throws. I know what to expect. He fights the same every time. So we’re preparing. But he knows nothing about me. He has no idea how I’m going approach him.
“I’m not tired of this. It’s really a lot of fun. We’ll keep it professional for now. I could never get tired of this. It’s such a great time to be a fight fan.
“Floyd is saying a lot about me tapping out, but he’s never had a true fight. He knows nothing about the game that I’m involved with. We’ll see who is quitting on Aug. 26.
“To come back here in New York, where I made history and become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles simultaneously, I’m blown away by the support.”
Original Gangster: Antandil Khurtsidze Arrested In Organized Crime Roundup
Original Gangster: Antandil Khurtsidze Arrested In Organized Crime Roundup
By: Sean Crose
Okay, I admit that title is a bit disingenuous. The truth is that here in the United States of America, one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Therefore, middleweight Antandil Khurtsidze, who was arrested on Wednesday in a roundup of people reputedly connected to what the United States’ Attorney of the Southern District of New York referred to as “a Russian and Georgian Criminal Enterprise,” has done nothing wrong in the eyes of society. Still, the man is now up on charges and his upcoming title bout with Billy Joe Saunders is at least temporarily kaput. That does not constitute a good day.
Specifically, Khurtsidze, a 33-2-2 product of the nation of Georgia who now lives in Brooklyn, is standing accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud and with breaking the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act. If convicted, the man can face decades in prison, be fined a ton of money and eventually end up under supervised release. The group Khurtsidze is reputedly connected to is known as the Shulaya Enterprise, a Russian/Georgian crime syndicate led by one Razhden Shulaya.
Among the Enterprise’s alleged operations are: illegal poker establishments in Brighton Beach, the extortion of gamblers and business owners, the attempted high tech defrauding of casinos, the theft of 10,000 pounds of chocolate (it’s true), the theft of other cargo shipments, the employment of a female Enterprise member to lure in and rob unsuspecting males (after rendering the victim’s unconscious with gas), the movement of untaxed cigarettes, the intention to open an after hours club (where, among other things, illegal narcotics would be sold), plans to bribe law enforcement, and forgery. With an assortment of charges, such as a “murder for hire conspiracy” and “conspiracy to sell firearms to a felon” lodged against its members, the Shulaya Enterprise appears to be quite a fearsome group – at least on paper.
All of this, of course, leaves middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders high and dry. He and Khurtsidze were supposed to fight in England this July. Now that his opponent has far more pressing things to attend to, Saunders will have to wait for another opportunity to fight. This, of course, only adds to the strangeness of Saunders’ title reign, which has consisted of twitter rants, long periods of time outside the ring and a ho-hum performance against Artur Akavov last December.
Still, Saunders’ future looks to be far brighter than Khurtsidze’s is at the moment. Sometimes it’s good to put everything in perspective.