Tag Archives: champions

The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market


By: William Holmes

Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.

Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.


Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)

However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.

That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.

The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.

But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.

There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.

Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.

Wait, there’s more…

Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.

There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.

But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.

The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.

Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.

Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.

The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.

What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.

The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.

The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.

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Spence-Garcia Highlights PBC Rollout


By: Sean Crose

Premiere Boxing Champions announced a major lineup of fights on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. The highlight of the afternoon? The announcement of an Errol Spence – Mikey Garcia IBF welterweight title bout, which will go down on March 16th at AT&T Stadium in Texas. Garcia, 39-0, will be making a notable jump in weight divisions to face the 24-0 Spence, and will most likely step into the ring a prohibitive underdog, even though both fighters are known as world class talents.

Other notable PBC fights will appear on Fox, which recently made a deal with PBC. On January 26th, Keith Thurman, 28-0, will be making his long awaited return when he faces Josesito Lopez, 36-7, in a bout which will be aired live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Leo Santa Cruz will be defending his WBA featherweight tile when the 35-1-1 Californian faces the 23- 2 Miguel Flores in another live Fox broadcast, this one from Los Angeles on February 16th. Another major bout will feature WBC welterweight champ Shawn Porter, 29-2-1, as he battles the formidable Yordenis Ugas, 23-3, live in front of Fox cameras in Las Vegas on March 9th.

According to PBC, Fox will air “eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.”

PBC also “announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action.” Needless to say, some of the names are well known and quite respected. “Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts,” PBC stated, “while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.”

Fox Deportes can now boast of having “International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales,” on the team, “working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.” PBCs fight schedule will begin on December 22nd, when the Charlo brothers showcase their skills in Brooklyn, against Willie Monroe Jr, and Tony Harrison respectively, and will end on April 20th, when Danny Garcia, 34-2, makes his comeback fight against Adrian Grenados, 20-6-2, at a location to be announced.

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Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions Announce Eight Title Fights Over First Three Months, Spence Jr. vs Garcia, March 16th


FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today announced eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.

“We’re thrilled to have Premier Boxing Champions’ brightest stars coming to FOX Sports reaching the biggest audiences on broadcast television,” says Mark Silverman, FOX Sports President, National Networks. “The 2019 PBC schedule kicks off with high-stakes action and excitement, making FOX the premier home for boxing and the continued leader in live sporting events.”

Schedule highlights include world champion twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo defending their titles in separate fights live in primetime on FOX on December 22; followed by welterweight champion Keith Thurman’s ring return on FOX January 26; featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz headlining on FOX February 23; 147-pound Champ Shawn Porter defending his world title March 9 on FOX; and the blockbuster showdown between welterweight Champ Errol Spence Jr. and four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View March 16, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

FOX Sports and FOX Deportes also announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action. Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts, while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.

FOX Deportes taps International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales, working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.

More on the FOX Sports PBC Schedule:

Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Twin titans kick off the new season of PBC on FOX, as Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBC interim middleweight title against top-rated contender Willie Monroe, Jr. (23-3, 6 KOs), while Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his WBC Super Welterweight Championship against hard hitting former title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs). Rounding out the evening, WBC mandatory challenger and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) battles Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs), a member of the Puerto Rican boxing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant, Sunday, January 13, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles

IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) battles undefeated, top-rated challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs).

Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez, Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ends a long injury layoff to defend his title and starts to reclaim the division against battle-hardened veteran Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). Also that evening, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), one of the fastest rising stars in the heavyweight division, takes on his toughest challenge to date when he steps in against U.S. Navy veteran and USC football standout Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs).

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores, Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Los Angeles

WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs), one of the highest volume punchers in the sport, defends his title against the always tough Miguel Flores (23-2, 11 KOs). Plus, former WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) returns after a long injury layoff to face former title challenger John Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs).

Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis

Former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) battles once-beaten Avni Yildirim (21-1), who faces the stiffest competition of his career, in a clash for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship.

Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas, Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Las Vegas

WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his first title defense against top-rated mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), who gets his first world title shot.

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:00 PM ET on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

In one of the most highly anticipated and intriguing matches in boxing, IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) will defend his title against four-division world champion and current WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who is moving up two weight classes to challenge Spence.

Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD

Former junior welterweight and welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) clashes with former junior welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs).

Caleb Truax vs. Peter Quillin, Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis

Former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) meets former middleweight champion Peter Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in a battle to determine who climbs back into title contention.

Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX.

Former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) wants to rebound from a razor-thin loss in his last bout to take on battle-tested Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs).

FOX Sports PBC Additional Dates:
(Fights confirmed on a later date.)

Saturday, May 11, 2019, FOX
Saturday, May 25, 2019, FS1
Saturday, June 1, 2019, FS1
Sunday, June 23, 2019, FOX
Saturday, July 13, 2019, FS1
Saturday, July 20, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 3, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 24, 2019, FS1
Sunday, September 1, 2019, FOX
Saturday, September 21, 2019, FS1
Saturday, November 9, 2019, FS1
Saturday, December 14, 2019 on FOX
Saturday, December 21, 2019 on FS1

With the recently announced four-year deal, the FOX broadcast network will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually. The package includes FOX Sports-PBC Pay-Per-View events. The Emmy Award-winning FOX Sports production team will produce more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels.

All PBC on FOX Sports events and programming will be streamed live on the FOX Sports app, available in English or Spanish through the FOX, FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. FOX Sports will offer a platform inside the app to allow viewers to stream the PPV events. In addition, FOX Sports Digital will have a dedicated FOXSports.com and FOX Sports App page for PBC coverage, in addition to dedicated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

FOX Sports and PBC launched the highly regarded primetime boxing series TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and FOX Deportes in the fall of 2015, featuring PBC’s brightest up-and-coming boxers. The deal was expanded to include several fight nights on the FOX broadcast network, including exciting title fights such as heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defending his title in February of 2016, July of 2016, and again in February of 2017, plus the exciting welterweight showdown between Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero in January of 2016.

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Senator Manny Pacquiao Joins Forces with Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions as He Prepares for Ring Return


Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, announced today that he has entered into an exclusive agreement to work with manager / advisor Al Haymon.The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career. Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership and will have Pacquiao appear on the Premier Boxing Champions series. Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon.


Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account

MP Promotions will also work with Al Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.

“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’m reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner,” said Pacquiao. “My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career.”

“MP Promotions is very excited about this last phase of Senator Manny’s Hall of Fame Career. We look forward to launching this new relationship with Manny’s first world title defense,” said Joe Ramos, who heads MP Promotions. “I would also like to acknowledge matchmaker Sean Gibbons, legal counsel Tom Falgui, and Senator Manny’s aide Steve Jumalon for their tireless efforts and invaluable advice.”

Pacquiao, a three-time Fighter of the Year and Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will return to the ring early next year. The fight, which will be announced soon, will be co-promoted by MP Promotions and TGB Promotions.

With Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duerte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in attendance (the first time two heads of state attended a championship boxing event), Pacquaio regained the welterweight title for a fourth time on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by knocking out defending WBA champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round.

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

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Pacquiao-Broner Likely For January 19 in Las Vegas; Fox, Showtime In Play


By Jake Donovan

While the bout itself has yet to be formally announced, it’s entirely possible that by as early as Tuesday the heavily rumored showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner could very well have a fight date, location and televised platform.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will meet on Tuesday, October 23 for its monthly agenda hearing, which covers reviews of past events and approvals for requested future business conducted in the state. Among the budget items is a list of three requested fight dates for TGB Promotions, with plans to stage events on January 19, February 16 and March 9 all at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.


Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account

A Pacquiao-Broner showdown has been targeted for January 19, according to several sources who’ve declined to speak any further on the matter—even off the record—and with Las Vegas as the most likely location.

All three dates are currently slated for the rebranded version of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox, a development first reported by RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger. PBC renewed long-term deals with Fox and Showtime, both of whom remain very interested in airing this event although BoxingInsider.com has learned through three credible sources that no decision has yet been made and likely won’t until the fight is formally announced.

The first Fox prime telecast under the renewed PBC on Fox series is currently slated for December 22, with plans to run shows once per month. There also exists the possibility of one or more of those dates moving to a Fox-distributed Pay-Per-View event, according to details revealed in the initial announcement this past September.

Speculation has already begun about Pacquiao-Broner likely going that route, as the price tag that would come with such a fight would figure to heavily eat into the allotted annual budget provided by either Fox or Showtime.

Talks of the matchup surfaced almost immediately after it was revealed that Pacquiao—the only eight-division titlist in boxing history and currently a secondary beltholder at welterweight—inked a deal with adviser Al Haymon, who founded PBC in 2015.

The move came as a surprise only from a historical perspective. Pacquiao managed to miss out on several key fights at welterweight due to his fighting for years under the Top Rank promotional banner, whose founder Bob Arum has been embroiled in a years-long feud with Haymon. The heart of that standoff stems from Haymon’s relationship with Floyd Mayweather, who left Top Rank for good in 2006 and has since emerged as the biggest box office attraction in boxing history.

Arum and Haymon were literally locked in a room and forced to do business together at the demand of Les Moonves, then head of CBS Corporation (parent company of Showtime) to make Mayweather-Pacquiao a reality in 2015 after more than five years of their careers managing to run parallel.

The bout itself was a stinker—with Mayweather winning a wide but dull unanimous decision—as was the half-assed promotion offered by Mayweather Promotions which demanded lead status. Still, the most anticipated boxing event of the 21st Century secured box office benchmarks which will likely never be surpassed, including more than $72 million at the live gate and more than $400 million in U.S. PPV revenue.

At the time, it was believed to be a one-and-done event, with the 12 rounds of non-action and the nauseating building not providing any reason to do it all again. However, the two were recently at the same event in Japan this past September and took to social media together in teasing the possibility off a rematch in 2019.

The postings came on the morning of the rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Genandy Golovkin, leading many to believe it was just another tactic employed by Mayweather to upstage any event involving Golden Boy Promotions. He did as much in announcing his one-fight return to the sport in 2017, staging his August ’17 bout with UFC superstar and boxing debutante Conor McGregor in Las Vegas just three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing four times as many PPV buys.

Few paid this recent round of trolling any mind, until it was revealed that Pacquiao—no longer under contract with Top Rank—had joined forces with Haymon and the PBC family.

There still doesn’t exist any real possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II, with Mayweather having not fought since the aforementioned highly lucrative McGregor sideshow and more interested in boxing vs. UFC pairings (rematch with McGregor, or a first fight with his most recent conqueror and UFC pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov). By his own admission, a Pacquiao rematch requires more public massaging.

In that vain came the idea to pair Pacquiao with Broner, a former four-division titlist who has long ago maxed out his boxing celebrity credit card and could stand a notable win or two in the twilight of a frustrating career.

Broner has not fought since a 12-round draw with Jessie Vargas this past April. The 29-year old from Cincinnati has not won a fight since a narrow victory over Adrian Granados in his hometown last February.

Pacquiao is 3-1 in his life after Mayweather, managing to win some version of a welterweight title in each victory. He entered as the challenger in a pair of 2016 unanimous decisions in Las Vegas over Tim Bradley (in their third fight) and Vargas bookending his successful turn at securing one of 12 open Senate seats in his native Philippines during the general election, following a two-term tour as a Congressman in the Sarangani province.

His title reign following the Vargas win lasted just under eight months, ending in highly controversial fashion in losing an unpopular split decision to Jeff Horn last August in his opponent’s native Australia homeland. Efforts to secure a rematch proved exhausting, also signaling the end of a nearly two-decade long stint with Top Rank.

Their last bit of business together came in July, when the Las Vegas-based company secured the U.S. TV distribution rights for his stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse. The bout took place in Malaysia, with Top Rank managing to distribute via ESPN+ through its ESPN deal. A subsequent dispute came when Pacquiao claimed to have not been properly paid the rights fee by Top Rank, with the two sides settling before moving about their separate ways.

Now under the PBC banner, Pacquiao’s debut on the other side of the street is not without its snags. The Filipino southpaw has yet to resolve a multi-million dollar tax debt with the U.S. IRS, the principle cause for his having not fought stateside since the Vargas bout.

That financial matter will need to be resolved before Pacquiao can ever again fight in the U.S. However, it won’t have any bearing on whether the Nevada commission approves TGB Promotions’ fight date requests, since none come with solidified main events including the planned January 19 show in Las Vegas.

Still, Pacquiao didn’t head to PBC just to sit on the sidelines or for the outfit—which has yet to stage a branded event outside of the U.S.—to take its act overseas on his behalf. Chances are, his tax status will soon be resolved—whether fully settled or through a long-term installment agreement—as will full details of his forthcoming showdown with Broner.

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Manny Pacquiao to the PBC


By Jake Donovan

Less than a month after teasing the possibility of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao has made the first significant move toward clearing any hurdles.

Heavy rumors have swirled about the former eight-division titlist joining forces with Mayweather’s longtime adviser, Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions outfit. Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco was the first to break the story on Wednesday, which has since gained considerable momentum despite a single source willing to go on record to verify.

It been suggested that Pacquiao’s first fight under the PBC umbrella can come as early as next January.

Several PBC representatives have declined comment to BoxingInsider.com on the subject, although also didn’t dismiss such rumors.

The development would be the latest in a series of significant boxing power moves within the past few months. As far as stateside boxing content goes, there are three major entities currently controlling the landscape: Haymon’s PBC series, which recently renewed lucrative, long-term pacts with Showtime and Fox/FS1; Eddie Hearn through subscription-based DAZN USA streaming service; and Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank outfit is the primary content provider for ESPN and its ESPN+ streaming app.

Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expired earlier this year. His last fight officially promoted by Top Rank came last July, when he suffered a shocking and highly controversial split decision defeat to Jeff Horn in Australia. The bout ended his third reign as a welterweight titlist, also snapping a two-fight win streak following his loss to Mayweather.

The final piece of business between the two came in his July knockout win over Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Top Rank didn’t directly promote the event, but offered live coverage on ESPN+ after Pacquiao’s MP Promotions missed numerous deadlines to distribute through Pay-Per-View.

There remained little doubt as to their going separate ways when Pacquiao (or more likely a team member speaking on his behalf) took to social media to demand money owed by Top Rank for U.S. TV rights to the aforementioned event. The issue was quickly resolved, followed by confirmation that Pacquiao would take his career in a different direction.

Later that very week, the legendary southpaw from Philippines joined in with Mayweather in trolling the boxing community in suggesting a rematch to their May ’15 blockbuster event was in the works.

The declaration came on the morning of the September 15 rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, leading many to believe it was simply yet another stunt by Mayweather designed to steal attention from a Golden Boy Promotions event. Mayweather came out of retirement last summer to face UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor, staging the event three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing more than three times as many PPV buys.

Once Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39KOs) joined in on the fun—posting “No Excuses #50-1”—skepticism quickly switched to curiosity as to whether it was actually going to happen.

Their first fight destroyed all box office numbers within the sport, setting benchmarks that will likely never be surpassed in this lifetime. Even if the rematch doesn’t happen, Pacquiao agreeing to do business with Haymon and PBC opens up a number of future possibilities. Most of the best welterweights in the world—including Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia—all fight under the PBC umbrella.

It also opens the door for Pacquiao to secure U.S. TV dates for his MP Promotions stable, which sources in the Philippines claim as an additional motivating factor.

Though far from substantiated, a potential first fight for Pacquiao could come versus former four-division titlist Adrien Broner. Where such a fight would land depends on the willingness of PBC’s chief two outlets – Showtime and Fox – ponying up the necessary funds to avoid having to go PPV in back-to-back months, with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury locked in for December 1 on Showtime PPV live from Los Angeles, California.

A far less expensive route could see him instead take a fight with a PBC second-tier welterweight such as Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Josesito Lopez or John Molina Jr.

Whatever is Pacquiao’s next move, it will come with an entirely new team in place.

The future Hall of Famer—who turns 40 in December—parted ways with trainer Freddie Roach earlier this year, thus ending a 17-year run with the Hollywood-based cornerman. Under Roach’s tutelage, Pacquiao managed to win titles in seven weight classes together (winningthe lineal flyweight champion prior to hooking up with Roach) and enjoyed a mercurial rise to superstardom.

His fight with Matthysse came with longtime assistant Buboy Fernandez as his head trainer, who will presumably serve in that role for as long as Pacquiao continues with his career. Along with Roach and Arum no longer along for the ride, BoxingScene.com has reported that Pacquiao has also cut ties with longtime manager Michael Koncz.

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Terence Crawford: Only Wants the Champions at 147


By: Rich Mancuso

Undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. is the next opponent for Terence Crawford next Saturday evening at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford, the three-division world champion, will defend his WBO Welterweight title for the second time. But this is not the opponent he wants in a fight that will be televised on the ESPN platforms.

Don’t get this wrong. Crawford, not one to stir the pot, is honored that Benavidez took this fight. And the home crowd will be thrilled to see their champion again. Many consider him to be either number one or two in the pound-for-pound discussion.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Not to overlook Benavidez, Crawford is very content with the promotional deal he has with Top Rank. However, in a Thursday afternoon conference call with media the names of champions such as Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. came into the discussion. These are some of the elite fighters in the 147-pound division along with some others.

The welterweight division is the talk of boxing. Spence Jr. is known as the elite champion and always a target. With that in mind, where does Terence Crawford stand in the mix of all this? He is with Top Rank, the others with PBC and their platforms of Showtime and Fox.

“Spence, Porter, Thurman, those are the only champions,” Crawford said. “ I don’t look at the WBC Silver interim belts . I look at the actual champion in the division.”

So this is a matter, first of Crawford getting past Benavidez Jr. and then the talk about a mega fight with Spence Jr. who holds the IBF title. The issue is logistics with two major platforms of promoters and networks putting their differences aside and giving fight fans what they want.

Crawford has Top Rank in the corner. The ESPN deal with his promoter is strong and delivering what boxing fans and the sport desire. The Crawford camp is content but as everyone is aware, this is a business.

The talk has to be done at the table, and very similar to the deal that was made when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. got in the ring three years ago. Brian McIntyre, manager and trainer for Crawford wants the elite fights to be made. He made his case on the conference call.

“We want after the champions, man,” McIntyre said. “There is no reason to be fighting a No. 6 dude or a No. 7 dude. Terence wants the best fighters out there at 147.”

Top Rank president Todd duBoef was also on the conference call. McIntyre is seeking the best for his fighter and said the heat is on with Top Rank and all for the best involved.

“We’ll put the heat on him,” he said. He’s the one who makes the fights happen. He could go to ESPN and make those fights happen. Terence wants the fights to happen. Let’s go. The only fights out there is the other champions.”

They don’t want a number 7 or 8 fighter in the division, because this is about the elite fighters at 147.

To that, duBoef said, “We have said this regardless of your affiliation, we don’t care what you are ,what you do, Terence is an elite fighter. in fact elite fight, all they talk is about Terence. “We’ve done the biggest fights with all the complications. We’ve done the biggest with no complications”

But there are always complications. Venues, purse, and how two networks that are in competition can co-exist. A response from the PBC was unavailable when reached for comment.

“We’re gonna go after all those guys,” duBoef said. “We’re not allowing anything, no politics, no nothing, to get in the way. They wanna do it, we wanna do it, let’s just get it done. We’ll figure out a solution.”

Crawford, on the other hand, avoids this discussion about fighting the elite champions. He is focused on this fight next weekend and when it comes to consideration about being the Number 1 pound-for-pound, he just goes about his business. He wants to take on opponents and bypass the talk of Top 10 fighter or who is Number 1 or 2.

“Some people rate me number 1 some people rate me number 2,” Crawford said. “I can’t complain some people rate me number 2. Don’t pay attention. My main attention is Benavidez. I’m focused and ready to go next week. Keep winning in tremendous fashion.”

He added: “ I never predict a knockout. I just go in there if I see a chance for a knockout I’ll go for it. All i do is go in there and get the win. I believe he is going to come out and try and make it a fight and if he does do it we have a game plan for that as well.

However, this could be the tune-up fight towards the next one. There is time for the respective promotions and networks to stage an eventual Crawford and Spence Jr. title fight.

“Still growing up in this division,” Crawford said. “Not looking to move up. Great relationship with Top Rank. We build a lot of great memories together and built me up to where I am now. Takes me wherever I want to go.”

Benavidez Jr. sought this fight and there was no hesitation. Because Terence Crawford never ducks an opponent, and in boxing you take the opportunity as there is always a chance to pull off the unexpected. And by all means, the height and reach is something to look at with that undefeated record coming in against the champion.

But we all know, this fight is all about Terence Crawford. It’s about getting to the elite and opposing Errol Spence Jr. and soon.

Comment: Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso [email protected]

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PBC on Fox Sports 1 Preview: Joyce vs. Kiladze, Figueroa vs. Escandon


By: Oliver McManus

*The main event featuring Victor Ortiz has been cancelled as of 9/27/18.

Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce touches down on US soil at the weekend as he looks to continue his rocketing rise up the rankings against Iago Kiladze over eight rounds. The card itself is headlined by a 12 round welterweight contest between Victor Ortiz and John Molina Jr with the pair, who’s combined ages hit 66, looking for one final crack at the jackpot.

Truth be told, both gentleman look as though their best days are behind them but you suspect Ortiz will come into it the more confident with the ever brash 31 year old having held talks to fight Brandon Rios earlier in the year – Ortiz admits that he will be throwing fire from the very off, those are his intentions anyway, and the 12 rounds he shared with Devon Alexander, whilst not of any particularly notable quality, will stand him in good stead.


Photo Credit:PBC Twitter Account

Molina is in his second contest since a brutal, one-sided demolition loss to Terence Crawford – a fight that saw him knocked out in the eighth round – and that initial comeback fight, against Ivan Redkach, was far from impressive. A reckless fight, Molina was dropped before sending his counterpart to the canvas twice to claim a fourth round stoppage but that was a result that flattered to deceive.

These two know that, with all due respect, they are fairly inconsequential names in the welterweight division as it stands with no major draw for those at the top, if they are to get back into the mix where they are even being TALKED about in the same sentence as Amir Khan, Manny Pacuqiao and so on then they need to pull it out of the bag and send a statement come Sunday night.

Joe Joyce will be in his sixth paid contest and goes up against the ‘Georgian Grizzly Bear’ in Iago Kiladze. Once hailed as a prospect to watch in the cruiserweight division – some eight years back – Kiladze returned to the ring in 2017 as a heavyweight, following a two year absence, and since then has racked up wins against Byron Polley and Pedro Rodriguez before becoming the prey against Adam Kownacki and Michael Hunter.

Both those defeats came this year – January and June, respectively – and the odds are stacked firmly against him this time around. He’ll give it a go, though, he always does but this fight is more about getting Joyce the American exposure that Ringstar crave so desperately.

In a career filled with late replacements and disappointing opponents, this is the 2nd best foe that Joyce has looked to slay thus far and with a combined 13 rounds under his belt – an average 2.6 per contest – it wouldn’t do him harm to get some rounds under his belt.

Bring on that Putney-Mexican hybrid style of dancing after the fight because Joyce looks certain to win unless Kiladze can produce a colossal upset.

Also in the heavyweight division is Efe Ajagba who will be hoping to get more of a challenge than he did last time out – Curtis Harper, that’s all that needs to be said – and he shares the ring with, also unbeaten, Nick Jones over the course of scheduled six rounds.

Brandon The Heartbreaker Figueroa will look to continue his impressive development by adding Oscar Escandon to a CV already 16 names long – his last three fights have seen him emerge victorious thanks to a knockout and it seems that, as the 21 year old goes through the motions, he’s really growing into his man power and that’s not meant in a disrespectful way but his body is still filling out and if you look at the 3, 4lbs that he’s put – on the scales – over the past couple years then you start to understand where that extra power is coming from.

Escandon, vastly experienced, is looking to cause an upset and resurrect his career which is currently on a drastically downward spiral having lost three of his last four and the last two back to back – against Gary Russel Jr and Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Neither are opponents to sniff at, by no means, but you get the impression that Escandon is becoming a bit of a gatekeeper for these up and coming prospects to get a name on their resumé.

Two ageing sluggers, a James DeGale hoping to look as good as he did four years ago, 11 unbeaten prospects – Figueroa, Joyce, Davies, Ajagba, to name four – and a debutant. Sunday night on FOX Sports 1 delivers it all and it is set to be a stonker.

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PBC Boxing on Showtime Results: Porter Edges Garcia in Thriller


By: Sean Crose

The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York hosted the WBC welterweight title bout between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia on Saturday before Showtime cameras. The belt, which was open due to mutli titlist Keith Thurman’s abdication, offered the opportunity for two of the biggest names in the perennially competitive welterweight division to prove who was the better man in the ring.

First on the Showtime card was a 10 round heavyweight contest between the undefeated 17-0 Adam Kownacki and former titlist Charles Martin, 25-1-1. The hard hitting Brooklyn native, by way of Poland, banged away at Martin early on in the first, with Martin offering little in the way of resistance. The second round showcased more of the same. Kownacki’s pace slowed bit in the third, but by the middle of the fourth, he had his man hurt. The bout essentially remained the same throughout the middle rounds. Martin simply didn’t look to be in the fight.


Photo Credit: Showtime TWitter Account

Stepping things up a but, Martin carried the seventh with activity. He also landed effectively in the eighth, taking his second round in a row. The ninth round was a very close affair, with both men throwing and landing hard. The fight had developed a neck and neck feel, but the early rounds might have cost Martin the fight. Regardless of outcome, the final round was absolutely explosive, with each man firing away and giving it his all. Kowacki ended up walking out of the ring with a UD victory.

Next up was a welterweight throwdown between Yordenis Ugas, 22-3, and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrioneuevo in a scheduled 12 round elimination battle. The first was fast paced, but the discipline and sharp body work of Ugas told the tale. Barrioneuevo looked outclassed in the second and third as Ugas continued to work the body. The Cuban’s foundation and body work were showing him to be a level above his Argentine counterpart. As the fight headed into the middle rounds, it was essentially more of the same Ugas was simply proving to be the more skilled of the two fighters.


Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account

By the eighth, Ugas was ready to ended. The first half of the round saw the Cuban throw furiously at Barrioneuevo, though the game Barrioneuevo survived the onslaught. The fight more or less leveled out after that. Fans at the Barclays Center booed, but there was no denying the disciplined contender was carrying the fight away. Ugas simply dominated from beginning to end, but was not powerful enough to put his game opponent away (which may have had as much to do with Barrionuevo’s chin than it did Ugas’ blows). After the final bell, an obvious UD decision went Ugas’ way.

It was time for the main event. Garcia stepped into the ring with a record of 34-1, while Porter boasted a 28-2-1 resume. The first was a tight affair that Porter may have edged slightly. The second round was razor sharp, yet Garcia looked to perhaps have landed the sharper punches. Garcia landed a beautiful right early in the third, then landed a nice left a few seconds later. Garcia was also avoiding Porter’s right hook effectively. Porter came alive in the fourth, ripping into Garcia’s body. Garcia came back strong in the fifth, landing effectively to the body in his own right.


Photo Credit:Showtime Twitter Account

The sixth saw Porter upping the action. The Ohio native then began to really take it to his man in the seventh. Garcia was very game, though – and very dangerous. Garcia looked better in the eight and ninth, though Porter’s attack was fierce. The tenth was an all out war with each man throwing and landing hard. Things remained close in the eleventh, with Porter going strong to the body, but Garcia having moments of his own. Things ended close, though Garcia looked to have taken the twelfth with cleaner shots.

It was a close bout that could have went either way, but the judges ruled it for Porter with scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.

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PBC on Bounce TV Preview: Miller vs. Galarza, Heraldez vs. Watts


By: William Holmes

Floyd Mayweather’s TMT Promotions will televise a card on Bounce TV live from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The main event of the evening will be between Ladarius Miller and Dennis Galarza in the lightweight division, and the co-main event of the evening will be between Juan Heraldez and Kevin Watts in the junior welterweight division.

The undercard will feature several solid contenders and up and coming boxers, including Sharif Bogere, Omar Douglas, Kevin Newman, and others.


Photo Credit: Mayweather Promotions

The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.

Juan Heraldez (13-0) vs. Kevin Watts (12-2); Junior Welterweights

Both Heraldez and Watts are in the middle of their athletic prime and have under fifteen fights under their belts. Watts is twenty six years old and Heraldez is twenty nine years old. Watts is a little tall for the junior welterweight division, he stands at 5’10” with a 70 ½” reach.

Watts’ activity has been ok. He’s fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2016. Heraldez hasn’t fought yet in 2018, but fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur career to write of.

Watts has gone 1-2 in his past three fights. He has losses on his resume to Jose Miguel Borrego and Eddie Ramirez. He had an impressive win over Ryan Karl in his last match, and also has defeated the likes of Michael Chuedcki, and Manuel Damairias Lopez.

Heraldez has already defeated on opponent that Watts has lost to, and that’s Jose Miguel Borrego. He has also defeated the likes of Alfonso Alvera, Reyes Sanchez, and Adam Mate.

Watts length and reach could be an issue for Heraldez, but Watts’ two losses were by stoppage and they came recently. Heraldez has a decent amount of power with eight stoppage wins, so it seems like he should be the favorite going into their bout on Friday night.

Ladarius Miller (16-1) vs. Dennis Galarza (16-3); Lightweights

The main event is between two contenders that are twenty five years old and are gunning for title shots in the near future.

Miller’s is one of Floyd Mayweather’s better fighters in his stable. He’s been fairly active and fought twice already in 2018, twice in 2017, and four times in 2016. He’s been on a solid seven fight win streak and is looking to make it eight in a row against Galarza.

Galarza has also been fairly active. He fought once already in 2018 and three times in 2017. However, he’s gone 3-2 in his last five fights and struggles against good competition.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur career. Miller will be giving up about one inch in height to Galarza but will have a two inch reach advantage.

Miller’s lone loss was to Rolando Chinea early on in his career. He has beaten the likes of Carlos Padilla, Jesus Gutierrez, and most impressively he beat Jamel Herring.

Galarza has losses to Edner Cherry, Cesar Alan Valenzuela, and Vincent Jennings His notable victories include Omar Tienda, Jonathan Perez, and Bernado Gomez.

Mayweather seems high on Miller, perhaps because Miller reminds him of himself. Miller only have five stoppage wins on his resume, but he’s known as an excellent defensive fighter.

Galarza has some power, as he has stopped nine of his opponents, but on paper it looks like he’ll need a knockout to win against Miller, because Miller is the better technical fighter.

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Travis Kauffman, Gerald Washington, and Michael Hunter Win on Sunday


By: Ken Hissner

At the Pioneer Event Center, Lancaster, CA, Tom Brown’s TG Promotions and Premier Champion Boxing put on three ten round heavyweight fights plus ten more bouts Sunday night over FS-1.

In the main event Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 32-2 (23), of Reading, PA, pulled out a majority decision over late sub Scott Alexander, 14-3-2 (8), of L.A., CA, over 10 rounds.


Photo Credit: Travis Kauffman Twitter Account

In the opening round Kauffman dropped Alexander with short right to the chin. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth administered the 8 count. Shortly afterwards it was Alexander landing a left hook to the head knocking Kauffman to the canvas for an 8 count by Referee Hedgpeth.

Kauffman came in at one of his highest weights at 242 ½ compared to one of Alexander’s lowest weights at 224 last fighting in March. Kauffman was returning to the ring after fifteen months.

In rounds two thru five were all close with Alexander taking three of the four rounds after an even first round. In round six Kauffman used his jab to edge out Alexander.

In the seventh round Kauffman landed a right to the chin of Kauffman. He would box the rest of the way as Alexander seemed to “take the round off”. Kauffman landed a left hook to the chin of Alexander at the bell.

In the eighth round Alexander came out using his jab and a left uppercut to the body of Kauffman. Kauffman walked into a right to the chin from Alexander. Kauffman landed a right to the body as Alexander countered with a body shot of his own. Kauffman turned southpaw landing a left to the body and a right to the chin of Alexander. Good round for Alexander who had been yelled at by his corner after not doing much if anything in the seventh round. Alexander took the fight on a week’s notice and had only gone the ten round distance once in his career.

the ninth round Kauffman came out southpaw landing a right hook to the chin of Alexander. Alexander came back with a chopping right to the head followed by a right upper cut to the chin of Kauffman. Kauffman landed a right to the chin at the bell. Kauffman seemed to take the round.

In the tenth and final round both fighters came out landing body shots for the first minute. Kauffman landed a double right to the head of Alexander. Alexander came back with a left hook to the chin of Kauffman knocking out his mouthpiece. For some reason it was over a minute before Referee Hedgpeth stopping the action to retrieve the mouthpiece. Both fighters went at it the last thirty seconds punching until the final bell sounded.

Judge Fernando Villarreal scored it 95-95 while both judge’s Sergio Caiz and Ralph McNight scored it 96-94 as did this writer.

In the other two heavyweight matches Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, 19-2-1 (12), of Vallejo, CA, defeated John Wesley Nofire, 20-2 (16), of Miami, FL, by scores of 97-93 and 98-92 twice.

Michael Hunter II, 14-1 (9), of Las Vegas, NV, knocked out Georgian Iago Kiladze, 26-3 (18), of Brooklyn, NY, at 2:52 of the fifth round.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Cruz vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Trout


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will rematch from a 2015 fight that featured more than 2000 total punches thrown. This rematch will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on Showtime. Santa Cruz and Mares will be fighting for Santa Cruz’s WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.

The co-main event of the night will be an intriguing bout between the rising Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout, who is best known for defeating Miguel Cotto. This bout will be for Charlo’s WBC Junior Middleweight Title.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The undercard is packed with fights such as Karlos Balderas and Pedo Lopez in the junior lightweight division, Arnold Alejandro and Elliot Brown in the Featherweight Division, Jose Balderas and Luis Montellano in the Junior Featherweight division, and Ivan Redkach and Brian Jones in the welterweight division.

The following is a preview of both planned televised bouts.

Jermell Charlo (30-0) vs. Austin Trout (31-4); WBC Junior Middleweight Title

The opening bout will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout.

Trout had previously faced Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, and came up short. Charlo is four years younger than Trout and will have about an inch and a half height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

They both have decent power, Charlo has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Trout has stopped seventeen. Trout has only fought once in 2016, 2017, and 2018 while Charlo fought twice in 2017, once in 2016. Trout has struggled recently and went 2-2 the past four fights, Charlo has been on a tear and has never tasted defeated and is currently riding a four fight win streak.

Both boxers had a pretty good amateur career. Charlo was a Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist and Trout was a US Amateur Gold Medalist.

Charlo has defeated the likes of Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, and Gabriel Rosado. Trout has defeated the likes of Joey Hernandez, Daniel Dawson, Miguel Cotto, and Delvin Rodriguez. He has losses to Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd.

Unfortunately for Trout the Charlo brothers are very close and will likely be talking about how to defeat Austin Trout. Trout’s biggest victory of his career was against Miguel Cotto and a win against Charlo might be considered an even bigger upset, but his lack of activity the past three years plus his recent struggles against high level competition makes those prospects unlikely.

Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) vs. Abner Mares (31-2-1); WBA “Super” Featherweight Title

The first bout between Santa Cruz and Mares was an action packed bout with an abnormally high number of punches. Santa Cruz won a close decision when they first fought and Mares has been itching for a rematch ever since.

Santa Cruz is three years younger than Mares. He also has a three inch height and a three inch reach advantage. He will be the obvious bigger man inside the ring.

Both boxers are known for their ability to throw a high volume of punches and swarm their opponents. But Santa Cruz has been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Mares only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.

Both boxers come from a successful amateur career. Santa Cruz won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics and Mares competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Santa Cruz has a slight edge in power. He has nineteen stoppage victories while Mares only has fifteen.

Mares has two losses, but was stopped in one of those losses, a mild upset to Jhonny Gonzalez.

Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos, Carl Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Cesar Seda, Eric Morel, and Cristian Mijares. His lone loss was to Carl Frampton, and it was a loss he later avenged.

Mares has defeated the likes of Andres Gutierrez, Jesus Cuellar, Jonathan Oquendo, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan. His losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz, and he hopes to avenge his loss to Santa Cruz on Saturday.

Unfortuntely for Mares he’s still fighting a bigger man who’s in the middle of his athletic prime, while Mares is hitting the age that boxers tend to show signs of slipping.

It seems likely that Santa Cruz will get a more convincing victory on Saturday night.

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Lopez vs. Cruz Headlines a Full PBC Card Saturday Night


By: Eric Lunger

Saturday night on Fox, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) presents a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito Lopez takes on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz in a ten-round welterweight clash, while Anthony Dirrell and Abraham Han are set for ten rounds at super middleweight. The televised card opens with featherweights Jorge Lara and Claudio Marrero.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) has been in the ring with quality opposition, including a losing world title effort against Canelo Alvarez in 2012. In that same year, however, Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in nine rounds, his most notable win. Since then, the Riverside, CA, native has posted mixed results, with losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto, but he comes into Saturday night’s looking to continue his two-win streak. Lopez is an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter who is willing to take risks. Confident and relaxed, Josesito just finished a solid camp with renowned trainer Roberto Garcia: “this is the kind of fight I can really display my skills,” Lopez said at the pre-fight press conference, “I am prepared for anything Saturday night.”

For Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), Saturday night is a huge opportunity. With only three ten-rounders under his belt, Cruz is relatively untested. His last two outings were unanimous decision wins, over Alex Martin last June and David Grayton in November. At five-foot-eleven, Cruz will have a two-inch height advantage over Lopez and a five-inch reach surplus. “I have to be smart and execute my game plan round after round,” Cruz said, “my jab will be key, and if I can use that and wear him down to the body, I think I’ll have a great chance to stop him.”

In the co-feature, former middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looks to continue his climb back into contention after a gritty sixth-round stoppage of Denis Douglin in November of last year. Two years ago, Dirrell lost his belt by majority-decision to Badou Jack, and he later stopped future IBF champion Caleb Truax in round one of their 2016 bout, so Dirrell knows what he can do, and he knows he belongs in the mix at the top of the 168 weight class. “Everybody knows I am a championship caliber fighter, and I’ll prove it again on Saturday. After this fight I’m ready to take on any of the super middleweight champions,” Dirrell said.

Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) is an El Paso native, and is excited to fight in front of his hometown fans. Han’s most notable win was over Marcos Reyes in November of 2014, a ten-round majority decision. Han comes into Saturday night’s bout riding a three-fight win streak, with two recent knockouts and one no-contest due to a head butt. “I hope the sport fans of El Paso come out and watch me put on a great performance,” said Han in the press conference this week. “I know the type of challenge I have in front of me, but I also know I have the skills to pull this off.”

The action will start with a televised undercard feature, pitting heavy-handed Mexican Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. With a combined seventy-percent knockout rate, this bout is unlikely to go the full distance.

The action begins live on FOX and FOX streaming 8:30 ET/5:30 PT.

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Jamal James Edges Abel Ramos in Minneapolis


By: Andrew Johnson

Jamal “Shango” James outlasted a sturdy and persistent Abel Ramos last Friday night in front of a loud, partisan crowd at the Armory in snowy Minneapolis. He won by the slimmest of margins, splitting the judges 95-95, 96-94, 96-94.

Clearly enthused to be fighting at home, James came storming out of the gate throwing flurries of punches behind sharp double and triple jabs. He appeared intent on scoring another early knockdown, building on the third-round KO he registered in December against Diego Chaves.


Photo Credit: Brian Schroeder / Premier Boxing Champions

Abel Ramos looked very comfortable at 147 lbs. and weathered the first-round storm. He steadied himself in his corner and launched his own offensive in the 2nd round, catching James with a left hook that nearly flattened the hometown fighter.

“I caught him with some tough shots and he was shaking them off,” James told the Boxing Insider immediately after the fight, “so I knew I had to keep boxing him.”

James’ strategy to use his length and quickness to outbox the shorter, slower Ramos proved to be a winning formula, but the victory wasn’t as easy or as decisive as Shango had hoped. In the first half of the fight, Ramos absorbed combination after combination from James, but he never flinched. In fact, Ramos kept pursuing the quicker fighter and by the middle of the fight he was starting to land with more success.

Solidifying his reputation as a difficult target, James ducked, dodged and leaned away from Ramos’ power shots. “I got slick on the inside because I knew he was going to keep pressuring me.” James said about his mid-fight strategy.

James was also aided by the 3,500 fans who braved the weather to back one of the best prospects Minneapolis has produced in the last two decades. Chants of “Shango! Shango! Shango!” started in the third round and were repeated throughout the fight. James appeared to draw energy from the supporting crowd in the late rounds when he was cut over his ear and losing steam.

The Armory felt like it was made for the sweet science and is poised to host future fights. It was a reminder that live boxing is best when the crowd has skin in the game and is emotionally invested in the main event. The vocal fans may have nudged a round or two on the judges’ scorecards towards James, as a number of rounds could have gone either way.

The WBA was already on board with Jamal James as a top contender at welterweight and it will be interesting to see if this fight will improve his standing with the other sanctioning bodies.

In the locker room after the victory, Shango was both elated and palpably relieved. He came through in the biggest fight of his life and defeated a tough opponent in front of his friends, family and a national audience.

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Showtime Boxing Results: Hurd Wins Thriller Over Lara, Williams and DeGale Victorious


By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.

The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.

Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.

Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.

It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.

The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.

After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.

The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.


Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account

DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.

Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.

The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.

Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.

DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.

Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.

The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.

The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.

The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .


Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account

Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.

Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.

Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.

Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.

The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.

The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.

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