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Marcus Browne Wants His Respect


By: Hans Themistode

The Light Heavyweight division is flooded with talent. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are all belt holders in the division. With the exception of Kovalev they are all undefeated as well.

Rising contenders such as Badou Jack, Eleider Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez are also highly thought of within the division. The list of contenders and champions gets mighty long before we reach the name Marcus Browne.

The current WBA interim champion has an unsullied record at 23-0 and the personalty that should allow him to be easy to promote. He has managed to run through his competition with ease. That statement does however, come with a bit of caveat. Browne has spent the majority of his career facing mostly obscure opponents.

Browne has recently proven that he does belong with some of the elite of division. In 2017, it took him only two rounds to dispatch of the previously undefeated Sean Monaghan.

He has since followed that up with an impressive win over former two division champion Badou Jack. It was in that very fight where Browne knew he belonged.

“I always knew that I was a great fighter, but that fight allowed the world to see just how great I truly am,” said Browne. “It was a tough fight and Badou proved that he was a warrior that night so I tip my cap to him.”

Many believe that his contest against Jack was his coming out party. Still, even with the WBA interim title around his waist, Browne continues to get little credit for the sort of performance he put on that night. He will once again have another opportunity to prove his doubters wrong as he will take on multiple time champion Jean Pascal.

At age 36 and fresh off a defeat against WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol, Browne is fully aware that Pascal is in a desperate situation.

“He needs this win. I know that he doesn’t want to have back to back losses at this stage in his career but that is exactly what is going to happen. He’s a great fighter and I respect everything that he has done in this sport but I’m not losing.”

Browne has said repeatedly that he is fully focused on just this fight. However, with pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez recently making headlines about his venture into Browne’s division, he made it clear that if he was given the chance he would welcome it with open arms.

“Canelo don’t want any problems with me. The only reason he keeps mentioning Kovalev is because he sees the chinks in his armor. I don’t think he wants any of the problems that I come with.”

With his fight now just a few days away, Browne is keeping his eyes on the prize.

“I would love to stop Pascal. Only Kovalev has been able to do it so of course I would love to get it done myself but I’m not focusing on that. As long as I get the victory, I’ll be happy. That’s the most important thing.”

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Pacquaio vs. Thurman Round by Round Results: Pacquiao Wins Close Decision


By: William Holmes

The legend Manny Pacquaio took on Keith Thurman in the main event of tonight’s Pay Per View offering for the WBA Welterweight title.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the venue for tonight’s fight, and was a star studded affair. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in attendance for Pacquiao’s 15th fight at the MGM Grand.

Keith Thurman was the first man to enter the ring to a muted reaction from the crowd. Pacquiao entered second to a positive reaction from the crowd.

The national anthem of the Philippines was performed first by the First Word Choir. The national anthem of the United States was sung by Lorena Peril.

The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.

Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) vs. Keith Thurman (29-0); WBA Welterweight Title

Round 1:
The crowd was clearly pro Pacquiao during fighter introductions. Pacquiao comes rushing out towards Thurman. Thurman goes to the body early, Pacquiao answers with a body shot of his own. Thurman barely misses with a jab. Pacquiao is reaching a bit for his punches. Pacquiao lands a good two punch combination. Thurman answers with a three punch combination of his own. Thurman lands a clean straight right hand. Pacquiao flings out his straight left hand. Thurman lands a good counter left hook. Pacquiao lands a two punch combination. Thurman bounces his punches off the guard of Pacquiao. Thurman lands another good straight right hand. Thurman lands a left hook that knocks Pacquiao backwards, and Pacquiao answers and rushes forward and lands a two punch combination and sends Thurman down. Thurman gets up before the count of ten and the round ends.

10-8 Pacquiao

Round 2:

Thurman looks recovered from the earlier knockdown. Thurman throws to the body of Pacquiao. Lots of feints early on. Pacquiao with a quick jab. Thurman lands a good straight right and they both exchange. Pacquiao lands a good straight left. Pacquiao pressing on Thurman. Pacquiao is on the attack. Thurman lands a good jab on Pacquiao. Thurman quickly switched to southpaw. Pacquiao with a good lead right hook. Pacquiao with a three punch combination that is partially blocked. Pacquiao lands a good straight left. Pacquiao with a hard three punch combination. Pacquiao waives Thurman forward. Pacquiao mixing up his combinations to the body and head.
10-9 Pacquiao, 20-17 Pacquiao

Round 3:
Thurman active with his jab early on. Thurman is pressing the action early. Pacquiao still looks fast on his feet despite his age. Pacquiao throws to the body of Thurman. Thurman has Pacquiao back against the ropes. Pacquiao with a quick straight left. Pacquiao flicks out two quick jabs. Pacquiao with a good lead right hook. Good body shot by Thurman. Pacquiao covers up by the ropes. Throws out two quick combinations. Pacquiao is inviting Thurman on the inside. Thurman has a two punch combo blocked but Thurman than goes to the body. Pacquiao lands a combination upstairs. The body shots of Thurman appear to be bothering Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao, 30-26 Pacquiao

Round 4:
Thurman has Pacquiao backing up early and he attacks to the body. Pacquiao answers with two good body shots of his own. Thurman had Pacquiao by the ropes and lands some good shots to the body. Thurman lands another good hook to the body. Pacquiao lands two good hooks to the body of his own. Thurman lands to the body of Pacquiao again. Pacquiao comes forward and lands a two punch combo to the head. Pacquiao landing some good shots in the final minute of the round. Pacquiao looks like he is willing to exchange blows with Thurman. Thurman lands a hard left hook. Pacquiao with a good lead left cross. Good close round.
10-9 Thurman, 39-36 Pacquiao

Round 5:
Thurman lands two punches early on. Pacquiao looks a little tired. Pacquiao lands a lead right hook. Pacquiao keeps his jab in the face of Thurman. Thurman with some good body shots. Thurman lands two good right hooks on Pacquiao. Pacquiao with a good crisp jab on Thurman. Thurman lands another good straight right hand. Thurman with a good body head combination. Pacquiao lands two hooks to the body. Thurman’s nose is bleeding. Thurman lands a looping right hook followed by a jab. They exchange in the middle. Pacquiao lands some good combos in the middle of the ring. Thurman is bringing a lot of pressure on Pacquiao. Thurman flicks out several clean jabs. Pacquiao ending the round strong.
10-9 Pacquiao; 49-45 Pacquiao

Round 6:
Thurman pressing forward to start. Thurman lands some good body shots with some jabs. Thurman lands a good two punch combination. Thurman sticks another jab in the face of Pacquiao. Thurman gets tagged with a straight left. Pacquiao with three consecutive jabs. Thurman lands another jab. Good straight right by Thurman. Thurman is having a very good round. Thurman lands another good shot to the body. Pacquiao lead right hook shakes Thurman, but Thurman lands another good straight right. Thurman may have Pacquiao stunned a bit at the end of the round.
10-9 Thurman, 58-55 Pacquiao

Round 7:
Thurman comes out firing at the start of the round with combinations to the body and head. Thurman is keeping the pressure on Pacquiao. Pacquiao landed a good straight left hand. Thurman does well when he mixes up his combinations to the body. Thurman lands a good straight right hand. Thurman lands another good counter right. Pacquiao with a lead right hook followed by a jab. Thurman lands another good jab on Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a straight left but Thurman answers with a good two punch combo. Thurman lands a hard left hook straight right hand. Thurman is light on his feet and circling away from Pacquiao. Thurman is having another very good round. Pacquiao lands a good right uppercut that momentarily slows Thurman. Pacquiao felt Thurman’s power in this round.
10-9 Thurman, 67-65 Pacquiao

Round 8:
Thurman looks confident and is pressing forward. Thurman misses with a two punch combo. Pacquiao lands a good straight left then moves out of the way. Pacquiao pressing the action now. Pacquiao lands two shots to the body on a retreating Thurman. Thurman lands to the body and Pacquiao answers upstairs. Thurman lands another jab on Pacquiao’s face. Pacquiao is slowing down. They have had some fierce exchanges so far. Pacquiao lands a good straight left by the ropes. Pacquiao landed a good left hook. Pacquiao is looking for his lead right hook. Thyurman lands a good short right upstairs. Thurman ended the round strong.
10-9 Thurman, 76-75 Pacquiao

Round 9:
This fight is turning in Thurman’s favor. Pacquiao showing good upper body movement early on. Thurman is keeping his jab in the face of Pacquiao. Thurman lands a straight right hand. Thurman’s body work may be paying off. Pacquiao looks tentative to throw. Thurman landed three straight jabs. The pace is favoring Thurman. Pacquiao lands a lead right hook. Pacquiao’s punches appear to have lost some zap. Thurman lands a right to the body of Pacquiao. Thurman lands a good combination on Pacquiao. Pacquiao looks like he is fading.
10-9 Thurman; 85-85

Round 10:
The announcers appear to think Pacquiao is ahead. Thurman comes out aggressive and lands several hard hooks. Thurman lands another combination upstairs. Thurman lands another good combination on Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a combination that ended with a right hook. Pacquiao with a left to the body. Pacquiao with a good start to this round. Pacquiao lands a good hook to the body and Thurman appears to be hurt. Thurman is holding on. Looks like a body shot hurt Thurman. Pacquiao with another good combination. Thurman lands a good left hook right hook combination. This is a good round.
10-9 Pacquiao; 95-94 Pacquiao

Round 11:
This is a close fight. Thurman comes out aggressive on Pacquiao. Pacquiao looks a little fresher. Thurman lands a good straight right hand. Pacquiao with a good two punch combination to the body. Pacquiao with another good left hook to the body. Thurman is landing to the head of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a good jab. Thurman landed a vicious straight right hand on Pacquiao’s chin. Thurman landed a good lead left hook. Pacquiao lands a good short right hook. Thurman landed a good straight right hand, Pacquiao answers with a short combination.
10-9 Thurman, 104-104

Round 12:

Both corners implored their fighters they need to win this round. Thurman comes forward and lands some short shots. Thurman lands a straight right, Pacquiao answers with a check right hook. They both land at the same time. Pacquiao flicks out his jab. Pacquiao lands a left uppercut, followed by a two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a good straight left hand. Thurman had Pacquiao backing up against the ropes, and Pacquiao fights out of it. Thurman with a right uppercut to the body. Pacquiao landed a good jab to Thurman’s nose. Thurman with a good right hook. Thurman landed a good straight. Pacquiao lands a jab followed by a right cross.
Another very close round. 10-9 Pacquiao. 114-113 Pacquiao by Boxing Insider.

TThis was a great all action fight. The official scorecard was 114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao, 115-112 Pacquiao.

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Fox Sports PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs Thurman, Ugas vs. Figueroa Jr.


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site of a Fox Sports Pay Per View Offering. Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions is the lead promoter on the fight card as the Filipino Legend Manny Pacquiao takes on current undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman in the main event of the night.

The co-main event will be a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator between Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr. Other televised fights on the pay per view telecast include a welterweight bout between Sergey Lipinets and John Molina Jr., as well as a bantamweight fight between Luis Nery and Juan Carlos Payano.

Fox will be televising some fights before the start of the televised pay per view. The main fight on the Fox portion of Saturday’s card is an IBF Super Middleweight Title Fight between Caleb Plan and Irish Mike Lee.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Yordenis Ugas (23-4) vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1); Welterweights

This is an intriguing fight between two boxers who were once considered by many to be shoe in future champions, but have since lost a bit of their luster.

Yordenis Ugas was a bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympics for Cuba, but has suffered four losses since turning pro, many against fighters he should have beaten. Figueroa turned professional at the age of 18 and is currently undefeated, but hand injuries have hindered the progress of his career. He has only fought twice since 2016.

Ugas has eleven stoppages on his record while Figueroa has nineteen. Ugas is thirty three years old and is in the tail end of his athletic prime, Figueroa is twenty nine years old and is still in the middle of his athletic prime. Ugas will have a one and a half inch height advantage while Figueroa will have a four inch reach advantage.

Ugas has been quite active the past three years. He fought once in 2019, three times in 2018, and three times in 2017. Figueroa, as stated earlier, fought once in 2019, zero times in 2018, once in 2017 and zero times in 2016.

Ugas has a significant edge in amateur experience. He’s a former world champion as an amateur and won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. Figueroa turned pro at the age of eighteen and does not have the amateur accolades of Figueroa.

Ugas has defeated the likes of Ray Robinson, Thomas Dulorme, Bryant Perrella, and Jamal James. His losses were to Shawn Porter, Amir Imam, Emanuel Robles, and Johnny Garcia.

Figueroa has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Robert Guerrero, Antonio DeMarco, Ricky Burns, Daniel Estrada, and Nihito Arakawa.

Ugas has four losses on his record, but has gone 9-1 in his last ten fights, including a very close decision loss to Shawn Porter.

Figueroa’s lack of activity will hurt him in the ring against a veteran that has been surging as of late. This will be a close fight, but this writer expects Ugas to pull away in the later rounds.

Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) vs. Keith Thurman (29-0); WBA Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao looked sensational in his last fight against Adrien Broner, but he was fighting an opponent who is known to come up short in big fights and has recently seemed reluctant to let go of his hands.

Keith Thurman does not have that reputation. Thurman is ten years younger than Pacquiao and will have a two inch height and reach advantage. Pacquiao has thirty nine knockouts in his career for a percentage of 56%, but Thurman has twenty two knockouts in his career for a percentage of 73%.

Thurman also has an edge in amateur experience. He went 101-6 as an amateur and was a US National Bronze Medalist. As most already know, Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager.

Inactivity should be of some concern to Keith Thurman. He only fought once in 2019, zero times in 2018, and once in 2017 and once in 2016. Pacquiao fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and once in 2017 but this will be his second fight in 2019. It appears Pacquiao may try to fight three times in 2019.

Pacquiao’s list of defeated opponents is extremely impressive. He has defeated the likes of Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Solis, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, and Lehlo Ledwaba.

Some of his losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley Jr., and a disputed loss to Jeff Horn.

Keith Thurman has defeated the likes of Josesito Lopez, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Luis Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Leonard Bundu, Julio Diaz, Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chaves, Jan Zaveck, and Carlos Quintana.

However, Thurman looked a little rusty in his last fight against Josesito Lopez.

Pacquiao looks to be in incredible shape and he appears to be determined to prove he’s still a viable threat in the welterweight division. Keith Thurman could have used one more warm up fight before taking on Pacquiao, because Pacquiao doesn’t appear to have lost as much as some say he has.

Look for Pacquiao to win a close and possibly disputed decision. A fight with Errol Spence Jr. could be next.

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Jamal James Defeats Antonio DeMarco and Packs his Bags for Las Vegas


By: Andrew Johnson

Jamal “Shango” James (26-1, 12 KOs) won a unanimous decision in his fourth consecutive fight at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday night. “Shango” faced a formidable opponent in former champion Antonio DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KOs), but he proved to be the more active fighter and overwhelmed the more experienced DeMarco with consistent flurries in the center of the ring. The victory moves him into the conversation as a potential challenger to the winner of the Manny Pacquiao/Keith Thurman bout next Saturday night in Las Vegas.

James came out of the gates swinging and after the first round it looked like his youth, height and speed might be too much for DeMarco. In the second round, DeMarco showed that he had made the trip to Minneapolis to win the fight and not just cash a check. DeMarco cut off the ring and forced James against the ropes, neutralizing the taller fighter’s four-inch height advantage and faster hands. James absorbed the early punishment and did not panic after the early onslaught by the former champion.

“That’s just part of the game,” the hometown welterweight told the Boxing Insider after the fight. “This is boxing and sometime you’re going to get hit.”

DeMarco committed himself to punishing James’s ribs and landed dozens of right hands to the lean area around James’ left kidney. James adapted to DeMarco’s strategy by using his feet to escape from the corners and put DeMarco into vulnerable positions. Though James’ ribs began to glow with neon pink welts, he resisted the temptation to lower his guard and expose his chin. He absorbed the body blows and answered DeMarco’s single shots with rapid combinations.

“Being one of the taller fighters in the division, those guys have to put that pressure on me,” said James. “I have to use good footwork to keep those guys chasing me. When they chase me is when they make a mistake, and that is when I catch them.”

The PBC has invested heavily in James over the past two years, featuring him on four televised cards in a city that had been for years a boxing desert. The national exposure and his recent successes in front of hometown crowds have provided momentum in his campaign to challenge for a title at 147 lbs. As it was in the previous three fights, the atmosphere at The Armory was electric. The partisan crowd cheered every flurry thrown by James and winced at every slicing right hand DeMarco landed on James’ ribs.

“There ain’t no better place to fight but The Armory in Minnesota. I mean, you could tell, looking at it on TV across the nation,” said the elated title contender. “It’s beautiful in here, and the energy is beautiful. This is it, man, the new hub for boxing.”

Later this week, Jamal James will fly to Las Vegas to attend the Pacquiao/Thurman showdown. Though he clearly feeds off of the support of the crowd in Minneapolis, “Shango” hopes that his next fight will be in a different state, at a larger venue and for a championship belt.

Earlier in the night, Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-3-1, 12 KOs) faced Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (28-3, 17 KOs). Helenius looked like he walked straight from the set of the Game of Thrones as he entered the ring in a black hooded robe to the unsettling sounds of Scandinavian heavy metal. Helenius, who trains in Stockholm, Sweden, was successful early in his United States debut and was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards after seven rounds. But his quest to be the next Ingemar Johansson came to a violent conclusion in the 8th round when Washington landed an overhand right to the “Nordic Nightmare’s” chin.

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Charlo vs. Cota and Rigondeaux vs. Ceja Fight Preview


By: William Holmes

On Sunday night the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions Fight card to be televised live on Fox.

The main event of the evening will between Jermell Charlo and Jorge Cota in the junior middleweight division. The co-main event of the evening will be between former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and Julio Ceja in a WBC Junior Featherweight Eliminator.

The undercard features fighters such as Joey Spencer, Alberto Mercado, Jesus Ramos, Leduan Barthelemy, and Ryan Karl.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-1) vs. Julio Ceja (32-3); Junior Featherweight Division

Guillermo Rigondeaux was once considered a pound for pound great, but a loss to Vasily Lomachenko in 2017 affected his status on the pound for pound list.

At thirty eight years old he’s clearly past his prime, and is twelve years older than his opponent. However, Rigondeaux will have about a four and a half inch reach advantage but will be giving up an inch in height.

Rigondeaux has twelve stoppage wins on his resume while Ceja has twenty eight stoppage victories. Rigondeaux only loss was by stoppage to Vasily Lomachenko, Ceja has been stopped twice in his career.

Ceja is the younger brother of Luis Ceja but has no notable amateur experience. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and is considered by many to be an all time amateur great.

Rigondeaux bounced back from his defeat to Lomachenko by defeating Giovanni Delgado quite easily. Other notable opponents include James Dickens, Drian Francisco, Joseph Agbeko, Nonito Doniare, Roberto Marroquin, and Teon Kennedy.

Ceja notable wins include Anselmo Moreno and Hugo Ruiz. His losses were to Jamie McDonnell, Hugo Ruiz, and a loss in his last fight to a 17-4 Franklin Manzanilla.

Even though Rigondeaux is getting older, he’s still a technical wizard, and should have no problems getting past Ceja.

Jermell Charlo (31-1) vs. Jorge Cota (28-3); Junior Middleweight Division

Jermell Charlo’s career hit an unexpected speed bump when he lost his last bout to Tony Harrison in a close upset.

However, many felt he did enough to win that fight and he’s still a top rated contender.

On Sunday he’ll be facing Jorge Cota, a contender that also lost his last bout, but it was against a relative unknown in Jeison Rosario.

Charlo is two years younger than his opponent, but both will be about the same height with about the same reach. Cota actually appears to have an edge in power as he has stopped twenty five of his opponents while Charlo has only stopped fiftee, but Cota’s resume is littered with low level opposition.

Charlo has beaten the likes of Austin Trout, Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, Gabriel Rosado, and Harry Joe Yorgey. He has been fairy active and fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017.

Cota’s notable wins include Yudel Jhonson and Euri Gonzalez. His other two losses were to Erickson Lubin and Marco Antonio Rubio. Cota fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and three times in 2017.

Charlo also has a clear edge in amateur experience as he was a bronze medalist in the Junior Olympics.

Cota has an impressive knockout ratio, but he has to defeat any top rated contenders and lost to fighters that many would expect Charlo to beat easily.

Charlo is expected to breeze through this fight.

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PBC on FS1 Preview: Alexander vs. Redkach, Monroe vs. Centeno


By: Robert Contreras

Trading punches. Pushing and pulling for space. Boxers give and take as they try to administer their will onto their opponent.

As so, it is difficult to escape that old dichotomy between Boxer and Puncher. And the sport returns to it in the main event of PBC’s latest broadcast on FOX Sports 1, airing from San Jacinto, California, where both Alexander, the artful stylist, and Redkach, with a firecracker in his left hand, meet in a crossroads match.

In addition, middleweights Willie Monroe Jr. and Hugo Centeno Jr. will be fighting. And it is all on FS1, where the telecast is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Devon Alexander (27-5-1, 14 KO) vs. Ivan Redkach (22-4-1, 17 KO)

Alexander is a former world champion, making his mark in the light welterweight division before moving up to 147 pounds. Since a loss to Shawn Porter, he is 2-4-1 but that has not been without terrible strokes of luck.

In August 2018, Alexander was forced to settle for a split-decision loss on national television after continually beating Andre Berto to the punch. To go along with another set of inauspicious scorecards, leading to a majority-draw with Victor Ortiz, Alexander technically has not won a fight in 18 months.

With a team fronted by the legendary Roy Jones Jr., the 32-year-old southpaw has rebounded from worse. After dropping the WBO championship to Tim Bradley, back in 2011, he rebounded with four consecutive wins over some of the sport’s most intimidating hitters: Randall Bailey, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse. Never one to turn down a challenge, he has also tangled with brawlers like Aaron Martinez and Jesus Soto Karass to more slippery movers like Amir Khan.

Redkach, 33, will too find out firsthand how rough the 147-pound waters can be after turning professional nearly a decade ago at the lightweight limit and last competing at 140 pounds. In preparation for his welterweight debut, the Ukrainian-born slugger brought in the help of Shane Mosley to add some wrinkles to his game at his training camp in Los Angeles.

Since being pelted down in 2017 by John Molina Jr., Redkach has picked up back-to-back victories over journeymen. Most recently, four months ago, he dribbled Tyrone Harris up and down the canvas, knocking his opponent down three times in the opening round, en route to a first-round knockout.

Redkach needs another destructive performance like that to pave a way to a title shot. And he needs to do it quickly as he pushes his mid-30s.

The top of the welterweight division is currently in a bit of a logjam. Porter is waiting in the wings for a winner to emerge between Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao. And Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford continue to play a game of chicken with one another—or at least their promoters do—which gives bit players like Alexander and Redkach enough time to make their case for a title fight.

That endeavor begins this weekend.

Willie Monroe Jr. (23-3, 6 KO) vs. Hugo Centeno Jr. (27-2, 14 KO)

From opposite corners of the country, New York’s own “El Mongoose” Monroe and Centeno, from Oxnard, California, square off over the 10-round distance in the middleweight division.

Monroe, 32, has a legendary name to represent—his uncle once gave Marvin Hagler a lacing. But despite natural, supreme athleticism, he often forgets where the gas pedal is. Returning from a failed bid for the WBO middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders in an overall lackadaisical affair, Monroe decisioned the unheralded Carlos Galvan last March and followed up that victory by undressing Argentinian banger Javier Francisco Maciel over 10 rounds.

Fighting a real puncher, Monroe arguably did not give up a single round. But the Argentinian did not force the action on Monroe, allowing the American to get off when he felt like it. It was not the best showing from Maciel but his recent melee with Artem Chebotarec only made Monroe look that much better.

This weekend represent’s Monroe’s first time competing in the west coast since facing Gennady Golovkin. In order to prove he is not just a stepping stone for the division’s biggest names, he should start with outclassing Centeno.

Centeno, though, is a large challenge—incredibly long. In fact, there is not a world-ranked middleweight taller than him. His six feet, one inches is at equal footing with Maciej Sulecki and Demetrious Andrade.

Last time out, in February, the 28-year-old Centeno was cruising to a win against Oscar Cortes. He floored Cortes in the fourth round before a headbutt ended the show early. The California resident was still awarded a technical-decision, his first win since being blown away by Jermall Charlo for the WBC middleweight crown.

The odd circumstances were all too familiar for Centeno, who back in 2013 also saw his contest against Julian Williams stopped in the fourth period from a clash of heads. Of course, Williams was clearly too much for Centeno and the stoppage only saved him further distress. That is not to say Centeno cannot dish it out.

Nearly 30 wins to his name, the highlight of Centeno’s ledger is a crushing third-round knockout of previously undefeated Immanuwel Aleem, who had significantly raised his own stock after cracking open amateur world champion Levgen Khytrov. Centeno’s length proved formidable, repeatedly finding a home for his rangy lead left hook, setting the shot up with a body jab, and eventually stretching Aleem out cold.

That brutal finish was enough to catapult Centeno into the world stage. He was quickly brought back down to earth, losing by knockout to Charlo. It was his second KO loss after Sulecki also put a dent across his chin in 2016.

Monroe is not known for having the biggest punch. So if he can get by Centeno’s long arms, the fists could be flying back and forth all night.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Wilder vs. Breazeale, Russell vs. Martinez


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale for the WBC Heavyweight Title.

This bout will be put on by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and will be televised live on Showtime.

Garry Russell Jr. will also be appearing on the card and will take on Kiko Martinez for Russell’s WBC Featherweight Title.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The following is a preview of both title bouts.

Gary Russell Jr.(29-1) vs. Kiko Martinez (39-8-2); WBC Featherweight Title

Whenever the name of Gary Russell Jr. comes up a debate follows if he’s a legitimate pound for pound fighter or not.

He’s a boxer who’s only blemish on his record came at the hands Vasily Lomachenko, a fighter most will agree is a pound for pound great. However, he’s also a boxer that has only fought once a year since 2015 and frustrates fans for his inactivity.

Russell will be facing Kiko Martinez on Saturday, a 33 year old boxer with eight losses on his resume and five of those losses coming since 2013. Martinez has been very active, as he fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017. Martinez will also have about a two inch reach advantage and a half inch height advantage over Russell.

However, Russell has a clear edge in his resume of defeated opponents and amateur background. He won several national tournaments as an amateur in the United States and represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Martinez does not have the amateur pedigree of Russell.

Russell has defeated the likes of Joseph Diaz, Oscar Escandon, Patrick Hyland, Jhonny Gonzalez, and Christopher Martin. Martinez has defeated the likes of Marc Vidal, Hozumi Hasegawa, Jeffrey Mathebula, and Jhonatan Romero. He has losses to the likes of Carl Frampton (twice), Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz, and Josh Warrington.

Even though Martinez has been more active than Russell, he doesn’t’ have the talent of Russell and has several losses and draws in recent years, including two losses by stoppage. This shouldn’t be a fight that Russell will have issues in.

Deontay Wilder (40-0-1) vs. Dominic Breazeale (20-1); WBC Heavyweight Title

This won’t be Dominic Breazeale’s first chance at a heavyweight title. When he last challenged for the heavyweight title he was stopped in the seventh round by Anthony Joshua.

On paper, it appears unlikely this fight will be much different.

Breazeale has power, as he has stopped eighteen of his opponents, but he also can be stopped, as he only made it to the seventh round when he faced Anthony Joshua. He’ll need a strong chin when he faces Wilder, who has stopped thirty nine of the forty opponents he has faced, and even knocked down Tyson Fury in their disputed draw.

Both boxers stand at 6’7” and Wilder will have a slight one and a half inch reach advantage. Wilder fought twice in 2018 and in 2017 while Breazeale only fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017.

Both boxers represented the United States in the Olympics. Wilder competed in the 2008 Olympics while Breazeale competed in the 2012 Olympics. Wilder however was able to medal while Breazeale did not.

Wilder has beaten the likes of Luis Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich.

Breazeale has beaten the likes of Carlos Negron, Eric Molina, Izuagbe Ugonoh, Amir Mansour, Fred Kassi, Yasmany Consuegra, and Victor Bisbal.

Wilder is looking for a big money fight but has remained steadfastly loyal to Al Haymon and Showtime. Dominic Breazeale stands in his way of that big money fight, but it’s an obstacle that Wilder should be able to overcome.

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Robert Easter Jr. vs. Rances Barthelemy and Viktor Postol vs. Mohamed Mimoune Fight Preview


By: Hans Themistode

After suffering his lone defeat to Mikey Garcia in his last bout, Robert Easter Jr (21-1, 14 KOs) will have a chance to bounce back. The former IBF Lightweight champion will return to action at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday April 27.

Easter won’t be getting an easy comeback fight as he will be taking on former two division champion Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs). The stakes for this contest has been raised as both the vacant IBF and WBA titles will be on the line.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

Easter will have several advantages over his opponent come fight night including, a once inch height advantage to go along with a four inch reach advantage as well. The question for Easter is, will he be able to use his advantages. Many of Easter’s opponents come into the ring at a height and reach disadvantage but Easter seems to have issues making his opponents pay.

The physical gifts have never been in question for Easter, but his discipline to use those tools have been. Take his last bout against Mikey Garcia for example. Easter dwarfed the much smaller Garcia, but time and time again he was outboxed and outclassed.

If Easter wants to Regain his status as champion he will have to show that he has grown mentally as a fighter. Those improvements will be needed as his opponent Rances Barthelemy not only has boxing ability but he also has the power to make it a short night as well.

Since suffering his lone defeat last year at the hands of Kiryl Relikh, Barthelemy bounced back with a third round stoppage of Robert Frankel in his last ring appearance.

Both of these fighters are in desperate situations as a loss could spell the end of their tenure hovering around the top of the weight class.

The main event between Robert Easter Jr and Rances Barthelemy have a ton at stake but the co-main carries plenty of significance as well.

Former WBC Super Lightweight champion Viktor Postol (30-2, 12 KOs) will make his first appearance of 2019 when he takes on current IBO belt holder Mohamed Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs).

To say that Postol has been going through a rough patch of late would be putting it lightly. Since knocking out Lucas Matthysse for the WBC belt, Postol has lost two of his past four fights. In addition to picking up those two losses he has also been very inactive as well. He has fought just once in both 2016 and 2017. He did manage to get back in the win column in his last contest but he looks far from the man who seemed to be on the verge of stardom only a few short years ago.

Mohamed Mimoune may not be known to the public but his track record speaks for itself as he hasn’t lost a fight since 2013. He has also defeated respectable competition such as Sam Eggington, Emliano Rodriguez and Nabil Krissi. Not exactly world beaters but they are decent names on his resume. Postol will undoubtedly present him with his stiffest test to date.

In reality, this is Postol’s do or die moment. A loss to the relatively unknown Mimoune, would place his career in jeopardy.

The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada will present these former and current champions with the platform to flourish under the bright lights. Just who exactly seizes the moment will be determined on April 27th.

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PBC on FS1 Preview: Lamont Peterson vs. Lipinets, Anthony Peterson vs. Mendez


By: Ken Hissner

The MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill MD will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) event on Sunday, March 24th. TGB Promotions (Tom Brown) and DiBella Entertainment (Lou DiBella) are the lead promoters for Sunday’s card and bring the return of the Peterson brothers on FOX Sports 1.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions

In the Main Event former WBC-IBF Super Lightweight and former WBA Welterweight Champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 35-4-1 (17) of D.C. takes on former WBC Super Lightweight Champion Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets, 14-1 (10), of KAZ/Beverly Hills, CA, in a 12 round welterweight match-up.

Peterson last fought in January of 2018 when he lost to current IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence. Lipinets, after losing to Mikey Garcia in March of 2018, went on to defeat Eric Bone in August. The winner looks to return to the rankings.

In the co-feature Anthony “Hazardous” Peterson, 37-1 (24), of D.C. takes on Dominican Argenis Mendez, 25-5-1 (12), of Brooklyn, NY, in a super lightweight 10. Peterson last fought in January of 2018 having an eight fight winning streak stopped with a no contest. Mendez is coming off a pair of big wins over Eddie “El Escorpion” Ramirez, 17-1, and Ivan Redkach, 20-2-1.

The undercard features super welterweight Jamontay “Quiet Assasin” Clark, 13-1, and former WBC Super Middleweight champion Cameroon’s Sakio “Scorpion” Bika, 34-7-3 (22), out of Australia who last fought in October of 2017 winning his last two bouts in separate bouts in a 10. Three other bouts will fill out the 62 round card.

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PBC on FS1 Preview: Dirrell vs. Yildirim


By: Hans Themistode

Both Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) and Avni Yildirim (21-1, 12 KOs) will be looking to crown themselves champion this Saturday night when they meet for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title at the Minneapolis Armory in Minnesota.

For Dirrell he will finally get his chance to claim the title he dropped in 2015 at the hands of Badou Jack by majority decision. Since that defeat Dirrell has gone on to win five straight contests with three of those wins coming via stoppage. Dirrell was originally in play to challenge then champion David Benavidez until a failed drug test saw him get striped of his title. Make no mistake about it Benavidez will have a close eye on the winner of this contest as he will be itching to get a shot at the title in the very near future.

For both Dirrell and Yildirim they represent the total opposite of one another in every way. Standing a six feet two inches, the former champion will have a decided three inch height advantage to go along with a four inch reach advantage as well. Dirrell has always been a very good boxer, establishing a great jab to break his opponents down before using his underrated power to put an end to the proceedings. Yildirim on the other hand is a bull. Always coming forward and willing to take a few shots in order to land a few of his own.

At age 34 and having fought just once in 2018 Dirrell has made it clear that this contest could be his last before he decides to hang them up for good. For Yildirim he will be looking to keep his five fight win streak alive. In 2018 alone he made four ring appearances and continued to look better and better each time out. This will be his second attempt at a world title since losing to Chris Eubank Jr in 2017 for his lightly regarded IBO title.

If this is truly the last fight for Dirrell then he will be looking to leave the sport of boxing on a high note while Yildirim will be looking to establish himself as a force in the division. A loss for Yildirim will undoubtedly place him at the bottom of the ladder. Expect both fighters to swing for the fences and give it everything they’ve got.

Although there won’t be any titles on the line in the co main event both Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KOs) and Jamal James (24-1, 11 KOs) are hoping that they can place themselves in the championship hunt in the stacked Welterweight division with a win. Gonzalez has been out of the ring since a 2017 loss at the hands of Radzhab Butaev. Gonzalez won’t be given any favors in his return bout as James will be looking to extend his current four fight win streak since losing at the hands of Yordenis Ugas. That streak has included impressive victories including a third round stoppage win over former WBA interim Welterweight champion Diego Chaves. James is tall for the division and has a mean streak when he gets his opponents hurt. His climb up the rankings has been eye catching as well.

He may not be a house hold name but with a few more impressive victories he can change that. Both fights from Minneapolis are sure to produce a ton of fireworks as fans assuredly won’t want to miss the action live on FS1.

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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.

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PBC on FS1 Preview: Uzcategui vs. Plant


By: Hans Themistode

The first PBC on Fox card of the 2019 year kicks off this Sunday January 13th from Los Angelos California at the Microsoft Theatre when defending IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) takes on mandatory challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) in a clash of completely opposites styles.

For Uzcategui he will be looking to defend his title for the first time and continue his recent run of domination. Since losing to Mat Korobov in 2014, Uzcategui has gone on to mow down his opposition. A flukey loss to Andre Dirrell by disqualification which he later amended in an immediate rematch, winning that bout by stoppage has the champion in the best form of his career. There has been very few that have been able to deal with the champions power and constant pressure.

Uzcategui’s mandatory challenger Caleb Plant however will present the champion with a different style. One that could ultimately prove to be tricky for him to solve. Plant is a pure boxer and one who would prefer to not get involved in slugfests. He has not scored a stoppage victory since a 2016 fourth round knockout win over Carlos Galvan. Plant’s game plan is simple, hit and don’t get hit in return.

The constant pressure that Uzcategui employs throughout a fight can make Plant’s game plan much more difficult to execute. The lack of power the challenger possesses will allow the champion to walk right through his shots and land crushing blows of his own. This may seem like a recipe for disaster for Plant but he has in fact shown to have a good chin and is very hard to hit cleanly. Both men will also be looking to close the mouths of their respective doubters.

After winning the IBF interim title last year from Andre Dirrell, Uzcategui was in prime position to challenge than title holder James DeGale. The aforementioned DeGale instead choose to drop the title in pursuit of more lucrative fights which led to Uzcategui receiving full champion status. Many believe that although Uzcategui is a great fighter he did not necessarily earn the gold that presently resides around his waist. A win over plant will go a long way in proving that he is indeed a worthy champion.

Plant on the other hand will be facing a completely different kind of pressure. Sure he has looked tremendous throughout his career but he has never faced someone the calibre of Uzcategui. Plant will be looking to prove that he does in fact belong at the world level.

Ultimately the path to victory for both men are entirely different. Plant will look to establish his jab and ring movement to box his way to victory while Uzcategui will look to apply his trademark pressure and accumulate enough damage to put an end to this contest before it reaches the final bell. How it plays is the burning question.

This Sunday night we will receive our answers.

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First Two PBC shows on ITV to be Free to Air


By: Michael Kane

The UK has yet another option for big time boxing to look forward to in 2019.

Last week it was announced that ITV had signed a deal with Haymon Sports to show exclusive coverage of Premier Boxing Champions events in the UK. ITV had shown last season’s World Boxing Super Series on their ITV Box Office channel however this deal will have a mix of free and Box Office, it seems.

The first two shows that will be covered have been announced and will be free to air on ITV 4.

Before Sky and more recently BT Sport, ITV were the kings of boxing in the UK and it will be a welcome return to free to air boxing on the channel.

The first fight to be shown is the Jose Uzcategui v Caleb Plant for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship on January 13th from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Then the following week it’s Manny Pacquiao v Adrien Broner for the WBA World Welterweight title.

Poxon Sport has been confirmed as the exclusive promoter of all UK PBC events on ITV. Richard Poxon of Poxon Sports, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for boxing and sports fans. On one hand we have a giant of UK broadcasting in ITV and on the other a giant of world boxing in Premier Boxing Champions. I’m looking forward to promoting all the fantastic PBC events in the UK on ITV. The quality of these first two free to air events should show UK fans exactly what they can expect to see over the length of this new deal, and they can expect more news in the following days about the first PBC UK boxing event.”
The deal between ITV and Haymon Sports/PBC is the first that Haymon Sports/PBC have partnered with a UK broadcaster to show regular events. In a three year deal, a minimum 15 events a year will be screened a year, with events being held both in the UK and U.S.

“This unprecedented deal between PBC and ITV is great news for boxing fans in the UK. We look forward to bringing viewers big events and superb action from some of the world’s best fighters in the coming years,” said Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.

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PBC on Fox Preview: Charlo vs. Harrison, Charlo vs. Korobov


By: Hans Themistode

Loud, brash, cocky and arrogant are words that can be used to describe the Charlo twins Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) and Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs). Explosive, confident, impressive and revered can be used as well. Whichever word you choose will lead you to the same conclusion.

They are must watch television.

Both will be returning to the big screen this Saturday night as they put their undefeated records on the line at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York live on the first PBC on Fox card.

Jermall, who is the number one contender for the WBC Middleweight title and also possesses the interim title was originally scheduled to take on two time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KOs). However with less than one week remaining until the night of the fight Monroe was busted by VADA for an adverse finding in his urine sample. He was subsequently removed from the card and replaced with Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs).

Although this is considered a short notice bout, it isn’t your typical one. Korobov was already in training for a matchup against Juan De Angel on this very undercard. The bout was scheduled to take place at 168 pounds but he had no trouble in trimming down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds as he weighed in at 159.8 this afternoon.

On paper Korobov will provide Jermall with his toughest opponent to date. Matt was a decorated amateur having defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Oleksandr Usyk to amass a record of 300-12. In the pros he has been impressive as well. He handed current IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui his first defeat in his biggest win to date. Korobov’s lone defeat came in 2014 at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee. Matt was ahead on the scorecards and in complete control of the fight before a right hand by Lee followed by a flurry of punches put a halt to the contest. He has gone on to win four bouts in a row since then. In short this will in many ways present a much tougher task for Jermall then his originally scheduled opponent.

The interim champion has looked great thus far but many would venture to say that he is still unproven and not quite ready for the elite of the Middleweight division. A win over Korobov won’t silence his doubters but a dominant performance just might.

Speaking of dominance, that is the exact word that can be used when describing Jermell’s title run at Jr Middleweight. The younger by one minute Charlo has knocked out four of his past five opponents. He will be looking to add another highlight reel knockout to his name when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the co main event.

Jermell has his eyes set on a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd. It would be a matchup of arguably the two best Jr Middleweights. As much as Jermell wants that fight to happen he would be foolish to overlook Tony Harrison.

Boxing ability, punching power, ring IQ. Tony has it all.

His biggest problem has always seemed to be his gas tank. He was stopped by both Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson in the ninth round of both contest while leading on the scorecards. Tony’s stamina failed him on both occasions. Coming in to this contest however, Tony has told anyone that will listen that he has solved his issues.

If he truly has found a way to keep a consistent pace for a full 12 rounds then he will pose plenty of issues for the champion.

Many have dismissed both Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison as easy fights for the Charlo’s. Both bouts will be anything but that. If the twins hope to continue their dominant run they will both have to overcome two great challenges ahead of them come Saturday night.

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PBC on Fox Preview: The Charlo Brothers Are Ready to Headline in Brooklyn


By: Sean Crose

This Saturday night, the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, will host the final major fight card of 2018. The fights begin airing live at 8 PM eastern standard time, on Fox, which has recently made a deal with Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, the promoter behind the card. There will essentially be two main events, each featuring one of the Charlo twins, 27-0 middleweight Jermall, and 31-0 super welterweight Jermell. The Houston, Texas natives have a strong chance of landing notable fights at the pinnacle their respective divisions, provided they get past their respective competition this coming weekend.

Jermell will be facing the 27-2 Tony Harrison for the WBC super welterweight title that he won in 2016 by knocking out John Jackson and has successfully defended three times since. Harrison, who hails from Detroit, will be coming off a split decision win over Ishe Smith last May. This will be Harrison’s second attempt at a world title. Back in 2017, he was knocked out by Jarret Hurd while competing for the IBF super middleweight title in Alabama. Since that time, the fighter has gone on to win three straight. The match with Charlo will be a scheduled twelve round affair.

Meanwhile, Jermell’s brother, Jermall, will be facing off against the 28-1 Matvey Korobov for the interim WBC middleweight title strap. Stepping into the ring at Barclay’s for his third fight in a row, Jermall recently bested Hugo Centeno Jr by knockout last April. Korobov, on the other hand, is coming off a March unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Batista in Miami. This will be Korobov’s second bout this year after taking all of 2017 off. Korobov’s one loss was to Ireland’s Andy Lee, who knocked the Russian out in December of that year in Las Vegas. Korobov will be facing quite the challenge in Jermall, who has stopped his last three opponents within the distance.

Jermall was originally set to face Willie Monroe Jr on Saturday, but the Monroe, who is best known for getting stopped by Gennady Golovkin in 2015, showed traces of a prohibited substance in a VADA drug test and the fight was subsequently called off. Fortunately for all parties involved, Korobov was able to step in and fill the void left by Monroe. Should he somehow emerge victorious in the scheduled 12 round affair with Jermall, Korobov will have most likely pulled off the upset of the year.

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