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Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016


Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
By: Jordan Seward

With the new year approaching it’s time to reflect on the best boxing action of 2016, so in no particular order….

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Orlando Salido vs Francisco Vargas

The two Mexicans treated us to a classic right up to the final bell for Vargas’ (23-0-2) WBC World Super Featherweight title. Vargas, coming off the back of Fight of the Year for 2015 faced a true, steely warrior in the 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4). It was a back-and-fourth slug fest between two champions who don’t know when to quit. In the end the pair couldn’t be separated and the judges correctly scored it a draw.

Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu

The real life rocky story that saw Bellew (28-2-1) finally crowned a world champion. Just after starring in the new rocky film ‘The Bomber’ got his third bite at the cherry facing a dangerous and feared Congolese who had chalked up 18 knockouts in 19 fights. A packed crowed inside his beloved Everton football club’s stadium were stunned when Makabu (19-2) sent Bellew rolling over at the end of the first. The Everton man climbed off the canvas Balboa esque and rallied to stop Makabu in the third with a flourish of heavy punches to claim the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight strap.

Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora

This one had it all. Filled with controversy from the start these two Heavyweights threw everything but the kitchen sink. A table was thrown though. At a press conference. Which, as a result meant the British title wasn’t on the line. But after all the talk, the bad mouthing and the attempted scrapping Whyte (20-1) and Chisora (26-7) done it properly in the ring and fought out a clean and action-packed-12-rounder. Both men were rocked and absorbed a lot of punishment, but Whyte’s superior stamina was just about enough to nick it for him on the judges’ scorecard by split decision.

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Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter

Thurman (27-0) was getting in the ring with probably the best opponent he’s faced. The only man to previously have defeated Porter (26-2-1) was Kell Brook, but, in a fierce competitive fight, Thurman successfully defended his WBA World Welterweight title dishing out Porter’s second loss of his career with a 115-113 unanimous decision. Although the announcement was greeted by booing, the stats suggested Thurman deservedly had his hand raised at the end, landing 43.6% of his punches while his opponent made 35.6%.

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Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev

The fight that everyone scored differently. It was a fight we all wanted as soon as Ward made the jump up from Super-Middleweight. The defensive suave of Ward (31-0) met the aggressive power of ‘The Krusher’ (30-1-1) at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. The American, fighting on home turf, was put down in the second round for only the second time in his illustrious career. But Ward, as Ward does, after falling behind on the cards managed to take the second half of the fight and claim Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titles by unanimous decision.

After Capturing Light Heavyweight Titles, What is Next for Andre Ward?

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

After unifying his IBF super-bantamweight title by outpointing Scott Quigg, the Northern Irishmen capped off his impressive year by adding Leo Santa Cruz’s (32-1-1) WBA Super World Featherweight belt. ‘The Jackal’ (23-0) jumped up a weight division and battled it out with the Mexican champion in an absolute barn burner. After a hard and punishing 12 rounds it went to the judges’ scorecards and Frampton, was given the nod. Now, just for us, they’re doing it all again at the MGM Grand on the 28th January. Not a bad way to start the new year.

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Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni

Words were exchanged between the pair in what was a heated build up to this Light-Heavyweight contest for the British title. But when the fighting started it quickly turned in to a very watchable and enjoyable scrap. Both Burton (18-1) and Buglioni (19-2-1) continuously plowed forwards, in attempts to assert their dominance. They were both taking serious damage and in the twelfth-round Burton’s chickens came home to roost. The 28-year-old was slowing down and deserved to hear the final bell but with just one minute left in the bout Buglioni landed some hurtful blows and the ref waved it off.

Thomas Williams Jr. vs Edwin Rodriguez

A fiery, hard fought contest… while it lasted. At the StubHub Center, on the undercard of Andre Berto’s knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Rodriguez, (28-2) displayed courage, grit, determination, and, a chin. In this two-rounder, it was Williams Jr (20-2) who was landing the more powerful and hurtful shots but a number of times Rodriguez remained upright and proudly came firing back. In the end, it took a monster left hook to knock the resolute 31-year-old out.

Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook

As far as unexpected fights go, this one took the biscuit. You couldn’t have called it. This was not a fight many had in mind, but, when it was made it was all the talk. The IBF World Welterweight champion, Brook, jumped up two weight division to face the feared Middleweight kingpin at the O2 Arena. Looking in great shape and as confident as ever the Englishman made a great start to the fight. However, as the fight went on we began to realise Brook wouldn’t be making history as Golovkin’s power started to take its toll and Brook’s trainer, Dominic Ingle threw in the towel stopping proceedings in the fifth round.

Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso

After prizing away the WBA World Lightweight title from Darleys Perez in their second meeting, Crolla, (31-5-3)made his first defence against the man who, effectively, sent world title challenger Kevin Mitchell into retirement. As expected, the Venezuelan (19-1-2) started strong and, typical of a Joe Gallagher fighter, Crolla did not. He absorbed some early punishment and probably lost the first five rounds. It became clear after six though, that Crolla’s tactics were spot on, as the challenger noticeably began to tire. He had thrown all he had and was on empty, Crolla seized his chance and overwhelmed his opponent, eventually stopping him in the seventh.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Atlantic City, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Bute, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Atlantic City, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Bute, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 22nd to November 29th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

After Capturing Light Heavyweight Titles, What is Next for Andre Ward?

Kovalev vs. Ward Does 160,000 PPV Buys

Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV numbers have been reported by RingTV as coming in at 160,000 PPV buys. These numbers aren’t really surprising, and the Pacquiao vs. Vargas bout almost doubled the number of buys at approximately 300,000.

The financial incentive might not be there for Andre Ward to pursue a rematch with Sergey Kovalev based on these low numbers.

Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announces their 2017 Class

The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) today announced the first 24 members into its class of 2017. This epic event will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Memorial Day Weekend; May 26, 27 and 28, 2017.

The Claridge Hotel serves as the signature Corporate Sponsor for this knockout weekend and will host an exciting itinerary for guests that will include: a red carpet meet and greet, invitation only rooftop cocktail reception, and an Ultimate Fight Fan Experience Expo (an interactive boxing and entertainment experience with exhibits, merchandise and memorabilia from top fighters and brands available for purchase and photo opportunities and autograph sessions) that is open to the general public.

“This is an excellent class of inductees each-and-every one of these individuals are well deserved and have done remarkable things to help Atlantic City be recognized as a top boxing destination,” said Ray McCline
President and Founder of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Inductees to Atlantic City Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) are named in six categories and selected by ACBHOF’s esteemed committee.

Fighter inductees are Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Levander Johnson, Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Quai, Micheal Spinks, and Larry Holmes. Trainer and cutman inductees are Lou Duva, Mike Hall Sr., and Bill Johnson. Promoter, manager, advisor, matchmaker, and ring announcer inductees are Don King, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, and Russell Peltz. Commission judges, doctors, and referees inductees are Larry Hazzard Sr., Steve Smoger, and Dr. Frank Dougett. Media indcutees are Bert Sugar, Dave Bontempo, and Jack Obermayer. Special coordinator inductees are Ken Cordon, Bob Lee, and Dennis Gomes.

“This is the vein that carries the life blood of boxing which pumps into the hearts of millions around the world,” said Rodrick Green Vice President Strategy and Business Development for ACBHOF. “We have our fingers on the pulse of this vein and that energy will be uncapped during the First Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend!”

“Having been a part of boxing in Atlantic City throughout my broadcasting career as well as being in the corner with my brother George; the idea to preserve Atlantic City’s boxing legacy is long overdue,” stated Roy Foreman Senior Vice President of ACBHOF. “The Hall of Fame will play a key role in bringing the sport back to prominence in a city that is known as one of the original meccas for the sport of boxing.”

Over the next several months leading up to the ACBHOF 2017 Induction Weekend, updates on room packages, a detailed schedule of events and expected celebrity appearances at the event will be posted on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites.

All interested sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors looking be involved in the induction or to reserve a booth at it are encouraged to contact the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF):
Tele: 1+ (609) 318 -3188 (USA)
P.O. Box 7221 Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Carl Frampton & Leo Santa Cruz to Host Open to the Public Los Angeles Press Conference in Advance of Featherweight World Championship Rematch

Featherweight world champion Carl Frampton and former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz will host an open to the public press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their highly anticipated rematch taking place Saturday, January 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME.

Also in attendance in advance of their world title showdown are 135-pound world champion Dejan Zlaticanin and former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia, who will clash in the opener of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader beginning at 10 p.m./7 p.m. PT.

The press conference will take place on December 1st at 1:00 P.M. at the Los Angeles Central Public Library.

Top Bantamweight Antonio Nieves Scorches Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai and Sets Sights on Showdown with WBA Champ Warren

Last Saturday (November 26), Cleveland, Ohio-based bantamweight Antonio “Carita” Nieves stayed busy and kept himself in line for a cross-state showdown with Cincinnati-based WBA Bantamweight Champion Rau’shee Warren by stopping Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai with a single body shot.

Fighting at the Firebird Athletic Center in Bedford, Ohio, WBO #5-rated Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) planted a single left hook to the Hungarian’s body at :46 seconds of round two to earn his 17th professional victory. Watch the video of the knockout HERE.

The impressive victory keeps alive Nieves’ dream of facing cross-state rival Warren in an all-Ohio bantamweight championship fight.

“The goal has always been to become a world champion,” said Nieves, post-fight. “I’d love to fight for the WBO championship and bring that belt back to the United States. The dream fight would be a unification fight with
Rau’shee Warren. I would love an all American, all Ohio match up with a great fighter like Rau’shee. We fought once in the amateurs back in 2011 when I had about four hours’ notice. He won that fight by decision in Cincinnati. While we have always respected him, the next time we meet, there will be a different result and a different winner.”

Nieves’ promoter, Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions, says he’s happy with his fighter’s performance.

“Antonio did what he’s supposed to do as one of the world’s best 118-lb fighters,” said Salita. “That body shot he landed was one that few fighters could withstand. He’s in perfect shape and ready for his world title shot, which we are working to secure for him in the near future. I’m not sure I want Rau’shee Warren’s people to watch the video though. They may not give us the fight we really want.”

Settlement Reached Between Lucian Bute & District of Columbia Athletic Commission

A settlement has been reached between Lucian Bute and the District of Columbia Athletic Commission, several months after an initial anti-doping test result was announcement regarding traces of Ostarin found in Bute’s urine samples this past May.

Following the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight world title bout between defending champion Badou Jack and challenger Bute, which ended in a draw, a positive test result was announced to the general surprise of Bute.

Since then, however, in-depth analyses has demonstrated beyond all doubt that this result was due to contamination of nutritional supplements, prescribed by Bute’s conditioning trainer and created by a laboratory in California.

All this information has been favorably received by the authorities of the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia.

As a result of communications between the parties involved, an agreement was reached:

Lucian Bute voluntarily agrees to contribute $50,000 (USD), within a period not exceeding 90 days, to the WBC Clean Boxing Program (CBP).

Lucian Bute also agrees that his boxer license from the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia be suspended for a period of six months, dating back to May 6, 2016.
The athletic commission therefore agrees to reject the disputed case immediately with the compromise reached between the parties and does not in any way consider that this compromise constitutes an admission on the part of Lucian Bute of the alleged facts or circumstances.

Lucian Bute intends to pay his voluntary contribution to the WBC CBP without delay and as the six-month suspension period of his boxing license from the District of Columbia ended November 6, he may now box at the place and time of his choice right now. The case is now permanently closed.

“I am extremely happy that everything is now over,” former IBF world champion Bute said. “I would like to thank my family and my spouse, Helena, all members of my team, Christian Ganescu, the Grant brothers, Groupe Yvon Michel, my manager, Al Haymon, my lawyer, Howard Jacob, and my friends, fans and supporters who were many to support me and to encourage and trust me during these dark and painful hours of my life. I would also like to thank the members of the Athletic Committee of the District of Columbia and its Chairman, Mr. Adam Weers, for listening and understanding, as well as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman for giving me the benefit of the doubt and keeping me in the rankings of the best super middleweight challengers,”

In spite of this difficult period, Bute has continued training and he is more determined than ever to take the road back to regaining his world title. Bute is ready to face anyone who will stand between him and his goals.
“I am surrounded by the best team to guide me, ” Bute concluded. “I have, more than ever, the enthusiasm and will to fight. I have a lot of years ahead of me and I cannot wait to get back into the ring in early 2017.”

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Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing


Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing
By: Sean Crose

Let’s not kid ourselves, 2016 has been a slow and painful year for fight fans. Indeed, it looked for a bit as if the sport had literally ground to a halt. On Tuesday, however, Showtime gave fans some very good news. For, on top of an interesting November and December, boxing will have a lively first few months of 2017, thanks in large part to – wait for it – team Al Haymon. December 10th will give the world Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams, a terrific match, along with Abner Mares and Jesus Cuellar, another nice pairing. Added to other fights on the boxing horizon, like Pacquiao-Vargas and Kovalev-Ward, and the end of the year may indeed end up being more bearable that at first thought.

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Then there’s early 2017, which also looks promising (courtesy of team Haymon). The first two weeks of January gives us James DeGale and Badou Jack. Then, on the 28th, fans will view the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. Considering their first fight was most likely a fight of the year candidate, the second go round between the two should be well worth looking forward to. That night will also give the world Dejan Zlaticanin versus the ultra talented Mikey Garcia.

February will offer Adrien Broner facing off against Adrian Granados, while March will provide the long awaited welterweight throwdown between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman…provided, of course, that Garcia defeats Samuel Vargas when they meet next month. To be sure, there is much to like about this lineup. And, make no mistake about it, the news didn’t arrive a moment too soon. I’ve been a boxing fan my entire life and I’ve never seen my fellow fight lovers as distraught as I’ve seen them lately. Yup – morale has been that low.

The question now, of course, is how long will the good times roll. Let’s be honest with ourselves – boxing, and team Haymon, in particular, doesn’t concern itself much with the satisfaction of fans…at least it hasn’t. And while it’s good to see things looking up for the moment, it’s okay to ask what happens next. Still, good news is good news and Tuesday’s announcements are indeed welcome news to a starving fight world. Here’s to a solid winter of boxing. Let’s hope it carries through to the spring and beyond. The fans truly deserve it.

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