By: Sean Crose
Ring Masters Championships: Road to the Garden, New York’s premiere amateur boxing competition, has entered its third straight year. New York is famous for its output of legendary fighters, from Gene Tunney, to Mike Tyson, from Jake LaMotta to Riddick Bowe. Those who follow this year’s Ring Masters competition may indeed be looking at individuals who will someday enter that prestigious list of names. The tournament started last weekend in Jamaica, Queens, and will conclude this April at the famed Madison Square Garden. There are a total of 20 dates scheduled for this year’s tournament, which will cover a total of 19 locations.
It’s hard to write of Ring Masters without writing of Sonya Lamonakis, a professional fighter and Language Arts teacher from New York who dedicates yeoman’s time and effort to the competition. “We have around 500 entries for the tournament,” she says of this year’s Ring Masters. “Winners in the senior divisions get custom made championship rings. Junior Olympic, Masters, and Youth Champions get belts.” These are no small thing in the world of amateur boxing, when one considers just how big the New York fight scene is. “We have about 500 entrees for the tournament,” says Lamonakis.
Fighters move ahead bracket style in this year’s Ring Masters competition, as they did last year. “Brackets are posted after every show,” Lamonakis says, “on 2020 Ring Masters Championships The Road to the Garden : City Limits.” Just how big a deal is it for a fighter to do well in the Ring Masters Tournament? According to Lamonakis, last year: We had 2 winners from Ring Masters win gold at the National Golden Gloves. Krystal Dixon, Champs Boxing and Orville Crooks from Mendez Boxing.” For those who take the sport seriously, succeeding in the tournament can be a significant achievement. As Ring Championships points out: “Our first two shows have been sell out crowds. We have a packed schedule, hungry boxers, and an organization running the best tournament in the Northeast.”
As for Lamonakis herself, the teacher/boxer/organizer is keeping busy as always. “I’m recovered from my rotator cuff tear,” she says. “I’m back in the gym and looking to have a couple more fights before I retire. The problem is there are not a lot of female heavyweights. I have 15 pro fights and I’m not looking to box the same people again and again. There are a couple in Canada I would like to box.” Lamonakis also takes part in “Corporate Fighter,” a charitable endeavor that introduces donors to the challenge of the boxing ring.
“Corporate Fighter is in the recruitment stages now and will begin March 2,” she says,” “with the charity fight night on May 8. I’m excited to be working with this organization. They let the boxers pick the charity they want to box for from a wide variety of choices. They have had about 50 successful shows in Australia, and I think will be a big success in NY. After they set up shop in NYC they will be branching out to all major cities in America. There are a few slots available if anyone is interested (http://www.corporatefighter.com ).”
In an uncertain world, one thing seems to be inarguable – no one will ever accuse Sonya Lamonakis of being lazy.
By: Jesse Donathan
Former UFC prospect “Super” Sage Northcutt was knocked out cold in his ONE Championship debut Friday, May 17th, 2019 against Cosmo Alexandre. A fighter who started his career in the UFC’s 155-pound lightweight division in 2015, Northcutt finished his tenure with the world’s premiere mixed martial arts promotion at 170 pounds in the UFC’s welterweight division. Northcutt competed against Alexander in ONE Championships welterweight division, which according to the promotion’s website is contested at 77.2 kilograms to 83.9 kilograms.
Dusting off the trusty calculator, that’s 170.226 pounds to 184.9995 when using a rounded up 2.205 pounds to 1-kilogram calculation. Let that information sink in for a moment; ONE Championship’s welterweight division is not the same welterweight division mixed martial arts fans are accustomed to dealing with in the UFC. According to MMAFighting.com’s Guilherme Cruz, the bout between Sage Northcutt and Cosmo Alexandre was contested at 185 pounds.
“Take one glance at Sage Northcutt’s record and an obvious trend jumps out about his UFC run,” writes MMAfighting.com’s Shaun Al-Shatti in his July 13, 2018 article titled, “After ‘constantly under-eating’ and fighting ‘cloudy’ at 155, Sage Northcutt begins new welterweight journey at UFC Boise.” According to Al-Shatti, “Over the course of three years in the promotion, the exceedingly polite Texan has racked a perfect 5-0 fighting at lightweight, but a less-than-stellar 0-2 resume competing at 170 pounds.”
With Northcutt fairing worse during his run in the UFC’s 170-pound welterweight division than his tenure at lightweight, one might wonder why anyone thought it was a good idea for Northcutt to compete at 185-pounds?
According to a May 17, 2019 social media posting from MMA analyst Luke Thomas, “Some are arguing there’s a size discrepancy. I have no idea if that’s true because there’s virtually no transparency in ONE’s weigh-in system.”
So here is what we do know, according to the promotion’s website onefc.com, “ONE Championship’s weight classes are unlike any other martial arts organization in the world.”
A fact any potential fighters looking to sign with ONE Championship need to fully understand before signing on the dotted line. According to ONE Championship, “The new program, which is the first of its kind for combat sports, is focused on athlete safety by introducing “walking-weight” competition via multiple weigh-ins and tests before and during fight week, including three hours before an event begins.”
According to a July 31, 2014 bleacherreport.com article titled, “The Beaten Path: Cosmo Alexandre Moves Away from Blackzilians, Up to 170 Pounds,” author Scott Harris writes, “Alexandre said he walks around at about 180, so a cut to 170 instead of 155 makes sense.” And Northcutt’s walking-weight? According to a June 24, 2018 mymmanews.com article titled, “Sage Northcutt Explains Decision to Return to Welterweight,” Northcutt walks around at 185-190.
As far as height is concerned, Northcutt is listed at an even 6-feet and Alexandre at 6’2”. The idea that there was a significant size discrepancy doesn’t seem to hold up to analysis once the numbers begin to be put into perspective. Though it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume both Northcutt and Alexandre have put on weight since these numbers were initially reported. So, what went wrong for Northcutt?
According to the bleacherreport.com, Alexandre is a, “Muay Thai Miyagi, with multiple world titles and 19 knockouts on his 42-14 resume.” According to Harris, Alexandre has trained among some of the best in the business, including a tenure with the well-known Blackzillians in Florida, a training camp which has counted the likes of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, the titan Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Alistair Overeem and others among its ranks.
So, it should come to nobody as a surprise that Sage Northcutt, at just 23 years old, with an 11-3 mixed martial arts record against mid-tier competition at best in the UFC was knocked unconscious by the veteran professional fighter. Though Alexandre himself only has an 8-1 professional mixed martial arts record, he is the vastly more experienced fighter and the outcome was not unforeseeable to those who looked at page two of the fighter scouting report.
On May 18, 2019 ESPN MMA analyst Ariel Helwani reported on Twitter that, “Sage Northcutt just posted on IG that he came out of a nine-hour surgery. Suffered 8 fractures in his face as a result of that KO loss yesterday.”
Sage Northcutt was fed to the lions in short, the young mixed martial arts prospect faced the toughest opponent of his career thus far and he got knocked unconscious as a result. In a sport where there are generally only two outcomes, victory or defeat, one must be prepared for the even worst. Unfortunately for Northcutt, having his face fractured is an outcome that must be taken into consideration before entering the arena and these kinds of losses only serve as learning tools for the future. The good news is Northcutt can learn a lot from this fight and go back to the drawing board in learning how to deal with fighters walking him down, looking for the one-shot kill, sniper like finish.
With ONE Championship redefining todays conventional weight class system, we can fully expect more big-name fighters to fall in ONE Championship as the new, unconventional weight classes all but guarantee more interesting matchup’s and defeats in the future. A fact exemplified by former UFC 155-pound lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez getting starched in his ONE Championship debut as well.
According to an April 2, 2019 bloodyelbow.com article titled, “Eddie Alvarez: Timofey Nastyukhin’s punch ‘instantly blinded me and split both eyelids in half’,” author Zane Simon writes that within minutes of Alvarez’s debut in the promotion he, “was being picked up off the canvas, having been handed one of the worst losses of his career, against the relatively unheralded Russian, Timofey Nastyukhin.”
ONE Championship is in the business of promotion, and as such any high-profile signings to the Singapore based promotion can expect the company to make the most of their investment. ONE Championship is proving they are here to give the fans what they want, and god bless them, that is exactly what they are doing. In a market dominated by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the worlds premiere mixed martial arts organization, its going to take something special to compete and thus far it looks like ONE Championship is here to win.
By: Ken Hissner
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday was the host site for the heavyweight boxing unification title bout between WBA & IBF heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua and WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. This Eddie Hearn/Matchroom Boxing event had 80,000 fans in attendance.
WBA & IBF heavyweight champion “AJ” Anthony Joshua, 21-0 (20), of Watford Hertfordshire, UK, decisioned WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, 24-1 (18), of NZ, living in Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit:Matchroom Boxing/Showtime Boxing Twitter Accounts
In the first round it was over two minutes before a right hand was connected by both fighters in a round of jabs. In round two Parker continued with his left low while Joshua is the aggressor for the most part. Half a minute left before the first clinch in another round of jabs.
In the third round Joshua landed the first solid jab that landed on the chin of Parker. Parker having both hands to his side gets backed up by Joshua. Parkers punches continue to fall short to the 6:06 Joshua who is two inches taller and a longer reach. Parker lands the left hook to the head of Joshua after a clash of heads. In the fourth round Parker walked into a Joshua left hook to the head. Little to choose between the two through four rounds with little action.
In the fifth round Joshua landed a double jab to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a left hook to the chin of Parker. Parker landed a right, then a left to the body of Joshua who was scampering away from Parker. Parker landed a good combination to the head of Joshua. In the sixth round during the first exchange the referee Giuseppe Quartarone of Italy for some unknown reason jumped in to stop the action. Joshua landed a long lead right to the head of Parker. Parker ducked under a Joshua right countered with a right uppercut to the chin of Joshua. Joshua countered a Parker miss with a right to the head of Parker.
In round seven Joshua landed a long right to the head of Parker. Once again for some unknown reason the referee stepped in. Inside Parker landed several body shots before clinching. In the eighth round Joshua’s tape is hanging from his left glove and the referee even after separating the boxers hasn’t noticed it. It was two minutes into the round when he finally tried fixing the tape himself instead of going to the corner of Joshua to fix it. Joshua landed a left hook to the head of Parker. Joshua landed a combination to the head of Parker.
In the ninth round Parker landed a double jab to the chin of Joshua. Inside Joshua landed a right uppercut to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a lead right to the head of Parker. Parker drives Joshua into the ropes with two punches to the head of Joshua. In round ten Parker landed several punches to the body of Joshua and the referee once again steps in for some unknown reason. Parker suffered a cut outside his left eye by a Joshua’s left elbow. Parker landed two left hooks to the body of Joshua. Joshua landed a countering right uppercut.
In round eleven while inside Joshua landed a right uppercut to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a combination to the head of Parker who countered with a right to the chin of Joshua. In the twelfth and final round Joshua’s right was blocked but left landed to the body of Parker. Joshua landed a right to the head of Parker. Joshua landed a jab and shortly afterwards a right uppercut with the referee Quartarone for some unknown reason jumped between the fighters.
Judge Steve Gray of the UK 118-110, Judge Ian Scott of NZ 119-109 and judge Steve Weisfeld of the US 118-110. This writer had it 114-114 in the dullest heavyweight title fight in this writer’s memory and I’m 74 on Monday. May of 1953 at the age of 9 I watched Rocky Marciano knock out “Jersey” Joe Walcott some 65 years ago but never saw anything so dull. I’ve seen better sparring sessions in any Philadelphia ring. I gave Joshua rounds 1, 4, 8, 10, 11 and 12. Parker rounds 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Even Parker thought he lost. His objective was to “go the distance stopping Joshua’s 20 straight knockout streak!”
“I am the unified champion with three titles in a fight of boxing not the slugfest that Parker wanted. I want Wilder next,” said Joshua. “I will have to work harder in the future,” said Parker.
Former WBA World Heavyweight champion Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-1 (24), of Chekhov, Russia, knocked out 2008 Olympian David Price, 22-5 (18), of Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, in the fifth round for the WBA Inter-Continental & WBO International titles.
WBA Super World Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett, 19-0 (9), of Belfast, Northern, Ireland, won a lopsided decision over Yonfrez “El Verdugo” Parejo, 21-3-1 (10), of Anzoategui, VZ, over 12 rounds.
Scores were 120-108 twice and 116-112. Terry O’Connor was the referee.
Former WBA World Lightweight champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla, 33-6-3 (13), of Manchester, UK, defeated Edson “Buba” Ramirez, 18-3-1 (8), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds by scores of 100-91, 100-90 & 98-92.
Unbeaten Welterweight Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly, 6-0 (4), of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK, defeated former IBF World Super Lightweight Mexican Carlos Molina, 28-9-2 (8), of Chicago, IL, over 10 rounds for the WBA International title by scores of 98-92 twice and 98-91.
2016 Light Heavyweight Olympic Bronze Medalist Joshua Buatsi, 5-0 (3), of Accra, GH, now out of Croydon, London, UK, defeated Bartolmiej Grafka, 20-29-3 (9), of Katowice, Poland, over 6 rounds.
Lightweight 2016 Olympian Joe Cordina, 7-0 (6), of Cardiff, Wales, stopped Hakim Ben Ali, 19-6 (1), of West-Vlaanderum, Belgium, in 3 rounds for the vacant WBA International title.
By: Bryant Romero
This Saturday is a busy night of boxing all over the globe, but in Brooklyn there is a very anticipated heavyweight title fight taking place at the Barclays Center when Deontay Wilder takes on his most dangerous opponent to date in Cuban top contender Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in what should be an explosive heavyweight matchup. Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will be looking to make the seventh consecutive defense of WBC heavyweight strap, while also looking to silent some of the doubters who have criticized the Bronze Bomber for being a protected champion who hand-picks his opponents. Ortiz will be looking to make history as becoming the first Cuban heavyweight world champion in boxing history if he could defeat Wilder and lift his WBC strap.
Wilder has been very outspoken about wanting to prove he’s the best and now will get the chance to make a statement to the heavyweight division with a devastating performance over the dangerous Cuban. Ortiz almost lost this opportunity after testing positive for a banned substance that canceled the original date of this fight 4 months prior. He would eventually be cleared by the WBC because of an existing medical condition he had and with Wilder once again agreeing to fight him, the Cuban vows to make history in the heavyweight division by knocking out Deontay Wilder in Brooklyn.
Promoter Lou Dibella admits that if it were up to him, this fight would not be taking place, but the Bronze Bomber perhaps feeling the pressure from the naysayers and the continuing rise of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Wilder feels it’s a big risk worth taking as a statement win over Ortiz will further put pressure on Joshua to unify with the WBC champion. A lot is on the line for the 32-year-old Wilder as a lost would be devastating at this point, especially with a gigantic payday still out there with Anthony Joshua. Joshua’s team however, is showing no indication that a Wilder unification will be next.
On the undercard, is a necessary rematch between Andre Dirrell(26-2, 16 KOs) vs Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs) for an Interim IBF super middleweight title. The first fight ended in a controversial DQ win for Andre Dirrell after appearing to get knockdown by Uzcategui at the sound of the bell. Referee Bill Clancy however, ruled that Uzcategui intentionally fouled him by hitting him after the bell, therefore disqualifying him. Uzcategui would protest the result after getting assaulted in the ring by Dirrell’s Uncle and trainer.
The original result of the fight would stand, but the IBF would grant an immediate rematch that will hopefully provide some clarity in this super middleweight grudge match.
By: William Holmes
A champion in four divisions and a lock for the boxing hall of fame, the legendary Miguel Cotto fought the last fight of his career in the building that helped make him famous, Madison Square Garden.
Surprisingly, despite campaigning in the middleweight division, Miguel Cotto weighted in at 151.6lbs while Sadam Ali, who has fought in the welterweight division and is bumping up a weight class to face Cotto, weighed in at 153lbs. Many, including this writer, expected Cotto to weigh in at a heavier weight than Ali
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter
The opening bout of the night was between Rey Vargas (30-0) and Oscar Negrete (17-0) for the WBC Junior Featherweight Title.
Vargas, the taller fighter, was able to use his height to his advantage in the opening round and landed a high volume of punches to the body and head of Negrete. He was able to get a full extension on his shots in the second round and had Negrete taking some hard shots.
Vargas connected with three straight uppercuts followed by a right hook in the opening seconds of the third round. At one point in the third Negrete stepped on the foot of Vargas and knocked him over, but the referee correctly ruled it a push. Vargas’ sharp shots continued into the fourth round and fifth rounds but Negrete, to his credit, never stopped coming forward.
Negrete snuck in a few good shots of his own, especially when he was in tight, but Vargas’ combinations were numerous.
Negrete took some heavy body shots by Vargas in the sixth round, but did land his best punch of the night, a left hook, in the ninth round.
The eighth round was also tight as Negrete surprisingly landed some combinations, and Vargas had a cuts over both of his eyes. The referee checked it in the eighth and before the ninth rounds but let Vargas continue.
Negrete was out matched and out gunned, but continued to press the pace in the final rounds but took a barrage of punches in the process.
Vargas’ cut over his left eye looked pretty bad, but he was never in danger of being hurt.
The judges scored it 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Rey Vargas.
Miguel Cotto (41-5) and Sadam Ali (25-1) met in the main event of the night for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Cotto walked out to no walk out music so that he could hear the crowd.
The crowd loudly chanted for Cotto in the opening round, but Ali established he had the superior hand speed early on and connected with some surprising punches. Cotto was able to land his patented left hook to the body, but Ali looked like he was landing at a higher connect rate.
Cotto was badly hurt in the second round from a right cross by Ali. Cotto’s legs were wobbly, but Ali did not press the action to try and finish the fight. Ali slipped in the second round, but he definitely had Cotto hurt.
Ali’s length gave Cotto trouble in the third round but Cotto was pressing the action. Cotto was hurt once again in the fourth round by Ali, but was able to recover and come forward behind his jab.
Cotto’s attack to the body appeared to be effective in the fifth and sixth rounds, especially when he had Ali backed into a corner. Ali’s right eye began to swell in the seventh round but he was landing good shots to the head of Cotto.
Cotto had Ali backed into the ropes several times in the eighth and did his best work there, but Ali retook control in the ninth round as Cotto looked like he was tiring.
Ali landed a vicious left hook on Cotto in the tenth round that had Cotto on wobbly legs again and his mouth wide open. Cotto was on full retreat in the tenth and appeared to be close to going down.
Ali came out aggressively in the eleventh round and looked like he was going for the knockout. His corner had previously urged him to be more aggressive. Cotto survived and circled away from the attacking Ali.
Cotto came out aggressive in the final round but looked tired and slow. Ali was the fresher fighter and closed out the fight well.
The final scores were 115-113, 116-112, 115-113 for Sadam Ali.
In the post fight interview Cotto confirmed it was his last fight, and revealed he hurt his left bicep in the seventh round.
Cotto stated, “Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance. Something happened to my left bicep, seventh round. I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family.
“Thank you for all the fans, I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”
I worked hard for it.” Said Sadam Ali. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to Thank God, and also thank team Cotto, They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. ”
“I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th, I thought the fight was close. Whatever GBP has next, I’ll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.”
By: Ste Rowen
This coming Saturday the Madison Square Garden Theater, New York sees the return of Sergey ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev as he looks to regain the crown in the light heavyweight division after his two controversial defeats to Andre Ward. In his way stands Ukrainian fringe contender Vyacheslav ‘Lion Heart’ Shabranskyy, a man looking to establish himself as a frontrunner for a world title shot.
Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Twelve months ago, Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1) was reeling from his first professional career defeat. An unjust defeat to many. The highly anticipated bout between Sergey ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev and Andre ‘S.O.G.’ Ward neither disappointed, nor set alight into a real classic however, it did decide who was the consensus number one P4P fighter in the word. Unfortunately for the Russian, it was Andre who was given that crown, and the belts he held before their 19th November bout last year.
Almost seven months later he looked a completely different man to the feared light heavyweight juggernaut who stepped into the ring for the first bout. Rumours of needle between himself and trainer, John David Jackson did nothing to help convince those who backed Ward to a get a second win without any controversy this time.
Controversy is what unfolded though. Unlike the previous fight the Russian struggled to beat Ward to the punch and there was no knockdown in his favour to make the scorecards close even before the stoppage. Ward did what many thought was impossible, not the TKO victory, but the fact that Kovalev looked broken, and searching for a way out.
The old ‘Krusher’ wouldn’t have complained about Ward’s low blows, ‘The Krusher’ of previous fights would’ve fired back his own illegal shots ala Ricky Hatton vs Kostya Tszyu, but instead, after six unanswered punches to head, body, and almost definitely lower, the referee stepped in and called off the bout as Kovalev leant on the ropes almost folded in half.
In a recent interview with ‘Fight Hub TV’ Sergey said he’s cleaned up now, dropping the one or two beers he drank a day, and sticking to only water. He looks in supreme condition now, another criticism that followed Sergey going into the rematch with Ward, S.O.G. calling him soft bellied due to the training camp vodka Kovalev was supposedly enjoying. He also has a new trainer in tow but there remain questions over whether Abror Tursunpulatov is the man to rein Sergey back in if he’s lacking discipline in the fight itself or in camp.
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1-0) himself twelve months ago was a relatively feared light heavyweight picking up notable victories over Paul Parker & Derrick Findley via stoppages, and a majority decision over, then 16-1-0 Yunieski Gonzalez. Momentum was slowed abruptly though when he was handed his first defeat comprehensively in December last year by Cuban, Sullivan Barrera, who fights on the undercard of Saturday’s main event vs Felix Valera.
In previous fights Vyacheslav has looked quick on his feet, constantly on his toes, looking for the opportunities to fire off quick left and right hooks. In his longest bout when he went ten rounds with Gonzalez, Shabranskyy took a more methodical approach, working behind the jab, counter-shots and short spurts of hooks; but last December there seemed a gulf in class between himself and Barrera.
Despite all the signs seemingly being that this would a well-matched fight, perhaps leaning toward the Ukrainian, after the first bell rang, Shabranskyy was ruthlessly dominated. Despite dropping the Cuban in round two, he himself was dropped in the 1st, 5th and 7th when the referee called the fight. He’s steadily built himself back into winning form with a routine win over journeyman Larry Pryor and a fight ruled a TKO victory for the Ukrainian, in an ugly encounter with Todd Unthank May; the fight stopped in the seventh due to cuts.
Shabranskyy is not as polished as Kovalev despite his amateur background. If allowed to attack he will hit the throttle and test what resolve Kovalev has left after the two Ward fights. The Ukrainian however, leaves his chin wide open for the counter, and even if Saturday night’s Kovalev isn’t the Russian of 2015, if the power is still there, Kovalev will only need a few opportunities to put it on his opponent and turn the fight.
At his best, ‘The Krusher’s’ jab was king, and if he’s able to throw it as he did in fights before the second defeat to Ward, it will be a sure sign the Russian is back somewhere close to his best. Another positive for Kovalev is that it was evident in Shabranskyy’s sole defeat, he couldn’t work out how to get around the jab, which setup his eventual downfall in the fight.
Like most fighters returning from a possibly career defining loss, the big question is, ‘Will Kovalev be motivated to keep on fighting?’ He achieved light heavyweight supremacy, even if the WBC title held by Adonis Stevenson alluded Sergey. The WBO strap will be on the line for the weekend’s bout, a belt Sergey won back in 2013, when he beat up recently retired Nathan Cleverly for four rounds.
The current light heavyweight division, even without retired Andre Ward, is one of the most stacked. To name just the current title holders, newly crowned IBF and WBA champions respectively, Artur Beterbiev & Dmitry Bivol, along with WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson. Then add in contenders, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Badou Jack, Sullivan Barrera, Eleider Alvarez and Marcus Browne.
There will be no easy fights for any of the light heavyweights who dare to unify.
By: William Holmes
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports put on their first HBO card featuring their newest signee, middleweight Daniel Jacobs, at the NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Three bouts were televised tonight. The opening bout was between Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Roberto Ortiz in the junior welterweight division, the second bout was between Jerell Miller and Mariusz Wach in the heavyweight division, and the main event was between Daniel Jacobs and Luis Arias in the middleweight division.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter
The first bout of the night was between Cletus Seldin (25-0) and Roberto Ortiz (35-1-2) in the junior welterweight division.
Cletus Seldin wasted no time and took the pressure right to Roberto Ortiz and knocked him down with a big overhand right in the first twenty seconds of the opening round. Ortiz was able to get back up and had to withstand an aggressive assault by Seldin. Seldin as able to land two good uppercuts that forced Ortiz to take a knee, who complained about getting hit behind the head.
Seldin continued his pressure into the second round and opened up a bad cut over the left eye of Ortiz from a hard right hook. The ringside doctor took a look at the eye of Ortiz but allowed the fight to continue.
By the third round blood was pouring out of the cut above Ortiz’s eye, and Seldin was loading up with his right hands and was looking for a stoppage. An elbow to the nose by Seldin forced Ortiz to take a knee, but his cut above his eye was bleeding badly.
The ringside doctor took another look at the cut over Ortiz’s eye and told the referee the fight should be stopped.
Cletus Seldin wins by TKO at 2:43 of the third round.
The next bout of the night was between Jarrell Miller (19-0) and Mariusz Wach (33-2) in the heavyweight division.
Wach was active with his jab in the first round and was able to use his height advantage to keep Miller at bay. Miller was able to land a few jabs of his own, but Wach was more accurate with it in the opening round.
Miller was landing more punches in the second round, including some good short right uppercuts. Miller’s hand speed controlled in the third and fourth rounds and he was showing a good variety of punches and combination.
Wach was able to have some success with his straight right hand in the opening four rounds, but stopped throwing it midway through the fifth after lading a good straight right hand.
Wach complained to his corner that he hurt his right hand before the start of the sixth and basically stopped throwing it during that round. Miller was greatly outlanding Wach by this point and even had Wach momentarily stunned in the middle of the seventh round.
Wach’s corner could have stopped the fight before the start of the eighth round, but they allowed Wach to continue fighting while only using one hand. Wach’s right hand hurt so bad that he showed visible signs of pain even when he blocked a punch by Miller.
Wach came out for the start of the ninth round but he was still not using his right hand. The referee jumped up to the ring canvas and told the referee to stop the fight.
Miller wins by TKO at 1:02 of the ninth round.
Daniel Jacobs (32-2) and Luis Arias (18-0) met in the middleweight division in the main event of the night.
Jacobs was the taller fighter and had the obvious power advantage going into this fight. His power was evident in the opening round when he landed a hard right cross that forced Arias to try to tackle Jacobs to keep from taking more punishment. Jacobs landed a good lead left hook at the end of the first.
Arias was warned to keep his punches up in the second round but he continued to focus to the body. Jacobs ended the second round with a good combination.
Jacobs walked Arias down in the third and fourth round and was able to land some good right uppercuts. Arias had a good right hand in the fifth round, but that was his only effective offense displayed in the first half of the fight.
Jacobs looked extremely confident in the seventh and eighth round as his accuracy gradually increased. Arias was fighting while moving backwards in the ninth round and Jacobs did not look worried about Arias’ power at all.
Arias needed a knockout or at least a flurry of knockdowns in the championship rounds in order to win the fight, but that never came. Jacobs just continued to apply pressure and land hard shots to the body and head and was able to score a knockdown in the eleventh round, even though it was a clipping hook that landed behind the head.
The judges scored it 118-109, 120-107, and 119-108 for Daniel Jacobs.
By: William Holmes
Last Saturday night Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua was able to successfully defend his belt against an overmatched Carlos Takam, but looked less than impressive in doing so.
This Saturday night the WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, will look to defend his title against Bermane Stiverne in a rematch of a fight that Wilder convincingly won the first time.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Two other bouts will also be televised. Shawn Porter will look to get back into the welterweight title picture when he faces Adrian Granados in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The first bout of the night will be for the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight Title and will be between Sergey Lipinets and Akihiro Kondo.
This card will take place at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York and will be televised live on Showtime.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Sergey Lipinets (12-0) vs. Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1); IBF Junior Welterweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Sergey Lipinets, a highly ranked prospect from Kazakhstan, and Akihiro Kondo, a tough rugged veteran from Japan.
Lipinets, at 28, is four years younger than Kondo but will be giving up about one inch in height. They both have notable power. Lipinets has ten career stoppage victories including four of his past five bouts. Kondo has sixteen stoppage victories including five straight KO/TKO wins.
Lipinets has been fairly active and fought three times in 2016 and once in 2017. Kondo fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016.
Lipinets is also a former WAKO World Full Contact Kicking Boxing Champion at Light Welterweight.
Lipinets, despite only having twelve professional fights, has only faced on opponent with a losing record since the start of his professional career. He has already defeated the likes of Clarence Booth, Leonardo Zappavigna, Walter Castillo, and Haskell Rhodes.
Kondo has never fought as a professional outside of Japan. More specifically, he never fought outside of Korakuen Hall in Japan as a professional. His list of defeated opponents is less than impressive and includes boxers such as Komsan Polsan, Shogo Yamaguchi, and Ryuji Migaki. His losses were to Nihito Arakawa, Yoshitaka Kato, Tomoya Yamada, and Rick Sismundo.
Kondo will likely be a tough opponent that has the ability to go the distance, but his six losses in Japan are hard to overlook as well as his lack of a notable victory over a well known opponent. Lipinets should win, but he may have to box conservatively to avoid a shocking knockout loss and win a safe decision victory.
Shawn Porter (27-2-1) vs. Adrian Granados (18-5-2); Welterweights
Shawn Porter is another boxer looking to get back into title contention as he faces Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
Porter is two years older than Granados but still in his athletic prime at the age of thirty. He will be giving up two inches in height and about four and a half inches in reach to the taller Granados.
Both boxers has fairly successful amateur careers. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion while Granados was a Junior Golden Gloves National Champ.
Both boxers have been fairly inactive the past two years. They both only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
Porter has higher number of knockouts. He has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Granados has stopped twelve. Porter also has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Erick Bone, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Ray Robinson. His losses were to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook.
Granados lost a close fight to Adrien Broner and scored a big upset over Amir Imam. However, he has lost to the likes of Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and a Joe Juan Fuentes.
Granados is a viable opponent because of his close fight with Adrien Broner and his upset victor over Amir Imam, but Porter is too experienced to lose a fight over an opponent like Granados at this stage of his career.
Deontay Wilder (38-0) vs. Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
The man event of the evening is between Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Title. They previously met in January of 2015, a fight which went the full twelve rounds and saw Wilder win a comfortable decision.
Wilder was originally scheduled to face Luis Ortiz, but a positive drug test by Ortiz forced the cancellation of that bout.
Wilder will have a five inch height and a three inch reach advantage over Stiverne. He is also seven years younger than his opponent. Stiverne, at the age of thirty eight, will likely have a very hard time getting another title shot if he’s not successful on Saturday.
Wilder has unbelievable knockout power. He has stopped thirty seven of his opponents and the only man to take him to the distance was Bermane Stiverne. Stiverne has twenty one stoppage victories on his resume but has only won one of his last five fights by stoppage.
Inactivty will hurt Stiverne. This will be his first fight in nearly two years. He last fought on November 14th of 2015. Wilder fought twice in 2016 and once in 2017.
Both boxers have a decent amateur background, but Wilder is the only one of the two to have medaled in the Summer Olympics.
Wilder has defeated the likes of Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, Siarhei Liakhovich, Audley Harrison, and Kelvin Price. Stiverne has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, and Kertson Manswell. His losses were to Deontay Wilder and Demetrice King, who has a record of 11-15 at the time.
It’s hard to imagine Stiverne having a better shot now, at the age of thirty eight, than he did two years ago, especially with his inactivity. This wasn’t Wilder’s first choice for an opponent, but it’s an opponent that he should feel fairly confident that he can beat, again.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes
The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.
The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.
There were no notable upsets on the undercard.
Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.
The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.
Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.
Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.
Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.
Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.
Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.
Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.
Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.
Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.
Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.
There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.
Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.
Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.
Undercard Quick Results:
Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.
Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.
Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.
Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.
Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.
Is Joshua-Klitschko II On The Way?
By: Sean Crose
Last month, fight fans were treated to what was arguably the best heavyweight title fight in the past two decades. For Anthony Joshua gained heavyweight supremacy by besting aging icon Wladimir Klitschko in a terrific back and forth battle that had both men hitting the mat before Joshua finally blasted his way to victory in the 11th round. Not only was the bout itself thrilling, it was held before close to a hundred thousand fans in London’s Wembley stadium. The mood surrounding the event was absolutely electric and – for once – the match itself delivered.
Soon afterward, almost immediately so, talking heads started proclaiming loudly that boxing was finally back. Hopefully, that proves to be true. But Klitschko may be coming back, as well. The man had a rematch clause in his contract for the first Joshua fight and now Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn feels like Klitschko will act upon it. This may disappoint some fans, who want to see Joshua move on to bigger and better things after finally disposing of Klitschklo in a thorough manner several weeks ago. Still, Klitschko is legally free to do what he wants. And, being a legit sportsman with a sense of honor, he would surprise few if he were to choose to give Joshua another crack.
The question, of course, is would Klitschko have much of a chance of winning a rematch? In all honesty, it might be hard for some to see how he would. The man gave Joshua everything he had the first time. Many are even saying it was Klitschko’s best performance in years – if not ever. Yet he still came up short. What could he do to improve upon the last performance? People also need to remember the fact that Klitschko is no longer a young man. He’s in his forties now and, like it or not, age does matter.
Regardless, Joshua-Klitschko II would be a must see event, even if it would prove incapable of matching the thrill of the first go-round. Klitschko, who has long been accused of being boring, was exciting enough the last time to indicate a second bout wouldn’t be sleep inducing (would he carry out the same strategy against Joshua again, though?). Add in the fact that it’s two big men fighting for big stakes and the bout becomes all the harder to resist.
And then there’s the rising star of Joshua, who is quite possibly the most exciting heavyweight since Tyson. In fact, he may be on the verge of becoming an international draw regardless of who he fights. That’s something the heavyweight division hasn’t seen in ages.
The Big Drama Show: Starring Triple G and Canelo
By: Kirk Jackson
Gennady Golovkin 37-0 (33 KO’s) is the unified middleweight champion. He is undefeated, a power puncher, possessing an action-packed, crowd-pleasing style; typically creating a dramatic show inside the ring.
His last fight against cancer survivor Danny Jacobs 32-2 (29 KO’s) was no exception.
But instead of the typical dominant fashion Golovkin generally displays, the man from Kazakhstan struggled against the ‘Miracle Man’ from Brooklyn.
Jacobs not only ended Golovkin’s knockout streak, but took Golovkin to deep waters going the full 12 rounds in their championship clash.
Some spectators believe Jacobs won the fight. That is subjective, but the three judges scored the fight for Golovkin.
But in victory, doubts were created by some and beliefs were confirmed with others.
Enter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 49-1-1 (34 KO’s). The torch bearer of boxing, the “Golden Boy” – post the original “Golden Boy” (Oscar De La Hoya) and post the Floyd Mayweather era.
Alvarez, Mayweather, Miguel Cotto are some of the SMALLER fighters Golovkin is in pursuit of amidst his middleweight reign.
Alvarez, who prior to this Cinco de Mayo weekend never fought above 155lbs., destroyed long-time rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at a 164.5lb.catch-weightmarketed as a Mexican Civil-War.
This appeared to be a strategic move planned by Team Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions in preparation for Golovkin; acclimating Alvarez to the higher weight class, destroying a long-time rival while reeling in a ton of cash.
This is chess, not checkers.
As an observer, I always assumed the highly discussed bout between Alvarez and Golovkin would take place September of 2017.
Rather corny WWE-themed entrance and announcement of the fight, but alas we finally have our fight.
Leading up to the fight with Chavez Jr., Alvarez mentioned staying in the middleweight division, suggesting a fight with Golovkin was in the making.
“Look, I’m not a current world champion at middleweight. I have been in the past, but I’m not now,” said Alvarez.
“And as far as the weight, after this fight, I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused 100 percent on this fight, but I’m now staying at middleweight. I’ll stay at 160 pounds.”
But with boxing or any sport, business is always involved and there is a process to creating the biggest events.
Negotiations have to take place, the element of doubt is important, creating a greater demand of want or desire for the bout. In essence there is a cinematic element in and out the ring.
Apparently Alvarez’s teampitched an offer to Golovkinin September of last year,after his ninth-round demolition of WBO super welterweight champion Liam Smith.
Golden Boy made a number of proposals to Tom Loeffler (Triple G’s promoter) for a fight the following fall and he “didn’t accept.”
There were rumored discussions of a $15 million dollar purse for Golovkin and Golden Boy promoter De La Hoya portrayed Golovkin’s camp as reluctant to take a lucrative deal to face Canelo in 2017.
“I didn’t want to talk about any other offers that we had made to anyone else,” De La Hoya said. “I know you know what I’m talking about.”
“So 30 days ago I made an offer to Triple G and his people. I made an eight-figure offer. I believe it’s an offer that was two, three, four times what he’s ever made and haven’t heard back. And that’s the bottom line.”
In response, Loeffler told RingTV.com after the fight that Golden Boy’s offer wasn’t substantial enough, but remains committed to make a fight with Canelo.
“There were some preliminary discussions with Golden Boy,” Loeffler said. “But nothing of substance that was turned down.Golovkin would have fought Canelo [Alvarez] last May if that would have been possible (before Canelo vacated the title to his mandatory Golovkin).”
If the offer from Golden Boy was indeed valid, may regret refusing the offer, overestimating their worth – considering the fight purses earned in the past.
Golovkin vs. Jacobs = $2.5 million
Golovkin vs. Brook = $5 million
Golovkin vs. Lemieux = $2 million
These are Golovkin’s biggest fights to date and the prize money earned pales in comparison to the $15 million dollar offer.
The question now is what changed from a negotiation standpoint from last year to this year? Or perhaps nothing changed; this was just a ploy all along.
Even with recent news regarding Golovkin cancelling a proposed match with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 24-0 (12 KO’s) due to injury.
Golovkin mentioned unifying the middleweight division and capturing all the belts numerous times in the past; perhaps the proposed match-up with Saunders was a negotiation chip in attempt to seize some form of leverage.
On every other level Team Golovkin lacks leverage; views, pay-per-view buys, popularity, money earned, opposition faced.
But, Golovkin has leverage in the form of public perception. In the eyes of many, “Triple G” is one of the most avoided fighters in recent memory.
Public perception paints Golovkin as a “Boogeyman” due to his punching power and the reluctance of a few fighters willing fight him.
Although public perception alone can’t force a fight, each party involved can play to the demand of the fight and work the desire to their favor.
We’ve occasionally witnessed from Team Alvarez teasing the audience, or flat-out downplaying the fight with Golovkin.
Part of the drama associated with Alvarez and Golovkin falling through was the issue revolving around the WBC belt.
Alvarez earned the lineal middleweight title along with the WBC middleweight title, defeating Miguel Cotto in December of 2015. Over the last year or so, Alvarez publically discussed his disgust with the WBC.
Golovkin was the No. 1 contender for the WBC middleweight title and when Alvarez’s handlers attempted to extend the 15 day time period (to process a selection for title defense), in which WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman refused.
Alvarez responded by vacating the WBC title – the sanctioning body in responseawarded to Golovkin, who at the time held the interim-belt as the mandatory challenger for the title.
“Sulaiman was pressuring me on a 15 day basis to make a decision on this fight with Golovkin, when I had some problems in Miami,” said Alvarez.
“You guys know about that. I can’t attend one thing and another at the same time. He made it seem like I was afraid of Golovkin, so I gave up the belt. So that’s why they are not involved, not now.”
Alvarez didn’t even want to fight for the customized Mexican-WBC belt against Chavez Jr.
“From the very beginning, the WBC wanted to get involved with this fight (vs. Chavez) and when we as a team said ‘no, it’s not going to happen, there is no WBC, it’s not for a world title’ – we knew that at some point something was going to come up,” said Alvarez.
“We spoke to Mr. Sulaiman and told him that he was not going to be involved. He then came up with this Huichol belt and I knew that he was going to use that against me in a negative way, to make me look like the bad guy – that I want nothing to do with the Huichols.”
WBC drama aside, the fight between Golovkin and Alvarez is signed, but this added an element to their “Drama show.”
Not caving in to public perception added to what we have as the “Drama show.”
The fight between the two is two years in the making and both fighters have similar paths in the same time period.
They both entered the ring as bigger men against welterweights; Alvarez against Amir Khan in May of 2016 and Golovkin following suit against Kell Brook October of the same year.
Golovkin and Alvarez triumphed over a tough opponent; Golovkin over Jacobs and Alvarez over Cotto.
They both had their share of tune-up/showcase fights; Alvarez against James Kirkland, Smith and Chavez Jr., Golovkin against Willie Monroe Jr., Dominic Wade and Lemieux.
Plenty of drama leading up to this fight, both fighters have the propensity to create drama inside the ring, all we can do is wait until they step in the ring and watch the drama unfold.
WBA/IBF World Heavyweight Championship Round by Round Results: Joshua Stops Klitschko in Instant Classic
By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s highly anticipated heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.
Showtime televised the bout live from England and HBO televised the replay on the same day.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports
For the first time in twelve years Wladimir Klitschko was the underdog in a fight. The crowd at Wembley Stadium was lively, loud, and ready for a good fight.
Wladimir Klitschko entered the ring first as the challenger underneath a backdrop of 90,000 cell phone lights. Anthony Joshua entered second to a loud and boisterous crowd.
Nataliya Klitschko performed the Ukranian national anthem and Louisa Johnson sung the British National Anthem.
Anthony Joshua (18-0) and Wladimir Klitschko (64-4) fought to unify the WBA and IBF titles.
Klitschko comes forward with a range finding jab while Sohua keeps his hands high and looks for a counter. Joshua lands a check left hook to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua is short with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a good jab to the body. Klitschko throws a left hook that’s partially blocked. Klitschko is keeping at a safe distance from the power shots of Joshua. Klitschko lands a good quick jab. Joshua lands a left hook to the body. Joshua lands a short jab. Joshua lands a good right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a left to the body and has a follow up right partially blocked. Klitschko lands a good stiff jab. Klitschko lands a reaching jab.
Klitschko lands a sharp straight right hand on the chin of Joshua. Joshua lands a short jab and misses with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a quick jab. Klitschko looks light on his feet. Klitschko snaps out a
quick jab. Joshua lands a short jab and punches the shoulder of Klitschko. Joshua lands a clean right hand to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua sticks a jab in the chest of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a straight counter right. Joshua misses with a lead left hook. Close round.
10-9 Klitschko; 19-19
Joshua is short with several shots and gets a little wild. Joshua misses with another hard straight right. Klitschko misses high with a right cross. Joshua barely misses a huge uppercut and then lands a few hooks to the body. Klitschko clinches when Joshua gets in tight. Joshua is short with a double jab. Joshua misses a left hook and a two punch combination. Klitschko lands a lead left hook. Joshua lands a god jab to the nose of Klitschko.
10-9 Joshua; 29-28 Joshua
Klitschko lands a stinging straight right hand and follows it up with another straight right. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands two jabs to the face of Joshua. Joshua lands a sharp straight right hand. Joshua lands a jab to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a lead left hook and a straight right cross. Joshua lands a right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a quick jab and later follows with a counter right hook. Joshua lands a stiff jab. Close round.
10-9 Joshua; 39-37 Joshua
Joshua comes out firing and lands several hard punches and combinations. Klitschko tries to hold on and looks a little wobbly. Joshua lands a hard combination including a stiff uppercut and Klitschko goes down. Klitschko has a mouse underneath his eye. Joshua comes forward and lands a left hook. Klitschko trying to hang on and survive. Klitschko misses a wild right hook. Klitschko has a bad cut over his left eye. Klitschko misses with a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right to the chin of Joshua. Joshua looks tired. Klitschko lands a straight right and a left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right followed by a left hook. Klitschko lands a right uppercut and Joshua looks hurt. Klitschko lands a two punch combination on Joshua. Both guys look exhausted and are holding on. Klitschko lands a right cross and Joshua holds on. Klitschko lands a hard right uppercut and a left hook. Great round, Klitschko was coming on strong late.
10-8 Joshua; 49-45 Joshua
Both boxers look alert after the hellacious fifth round. Klitschko lands a good right hand on Joshua. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Joshua spit out his mouthpiece and the fight is briefly stopped. Klitschko lands a jab and Joshua lands a right hook to the body. Klitschko lands a thunderous straight right hand and Joshua goes down! Joshua gets up before the count of ten. Joshua looks badly hurt. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands two short right hooks. Klitschko presses Joshua back to the corner and lands a hook and a right cross. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a short jab. Another quick jab lands for Klitschko. Joshua holds on. Joshua lands a short jab. Great round.
10-8 Klitschko; 57-55 Joshua
Both boxers look alert at the start of the seventh round. Klitschko pressing forward though and looks a little more awake. Klitschko lands a sharp jab and is controlling the action. Klitschko lands a left hook to the head of Joshua. Klitschko looks patient. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua is jawing at Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a sweeping left hook. Klitschko lands a short left hook. Klitschko lands another jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right and Joshua holds on. Klitschko bangs a left hook off the high guard of Joshua. Joshua lands a hook to the body.
10-9 Klitschko; 66-65 Joshua
Joshua didn’t take a lot of damage in the last round, but has never gone past the seventh before today. Klitschko lands two punches out of three while coming forward. Klitschko lands a reaching jab. Klitschko misses a missle of a straight right hand. Joshua comes forward with a double jab but touches air. Klitschko misses with another wild right. Joshua barely misses a straight right hand. Klitschko lands two jabs. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua lands a jab but Klitschko answers with a stiff jab. Joshua throws a hook to the body and then ties up. Klitschko lands another jab. The pace favors Klitschko.
10-9 Klitschko; 75-75
Klitschko lands a right hook upstsairs and Joshua lands two hooks to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a short left hook but eats two more body shots. They tied up after Klitschko throws two jabs. Klitschko lands a jab but Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a hard left jab and follows it with a short right hook. Joshua misses a lead left hook. Klitschko lands a quick jab on Joshua. Joshua lands a hard shot to the body. Klitschko is controlling the distance but appears a little hesitant to throw. Joshua lands a short right hand and two hooks to the body.
10-9 Joshua; 85-84 Joshua
Joshua opens up with a two punch combination. Joshua is short with a right cross to the body. Joshua gets tagged with a quick jab. Joshua digs a hook into the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a short inside uppercut. Joshua throws a two punch combination upstairs and clips Klitschko. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right. Joshua lands a jab upstairs. Joshua lands another short jab on Klitschko. Klitschko’s right hand is not finding it’s target. Klitschko lands a good straight right hand. Klitschko lands another good straight right as the round comes to an end. Could have scored it for either boxer.
10-9 Klitschko; 94-94
Joshua comes out firing and has Klitschko looking a little wobbly. Joshua is throwing bombs at Klitschko. Joshua throws a reaching jab. Klitschko lands a quick jab. Klitschko lands a straight right and Klitschko looks like he’s in bad shape. Joshua lands a straight right on Klitschko . Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a thunderous right uppercut on Klitschko and follows it with a left hook. Klitschko is wobbly and gets up before the count of ten. Josha tags Klitschko with another combination and Klitschko goes down again. Klitschko looks like he’s badly hurt. Joshua is chasing Klitschko around the ring and is firing off punches before the referee jumps in and stops the fight.
Anthony Joshua Wins Thriller by TKO at 2:25 of the eleventh round.
WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
By: William Holmes
On Saturday afternoon one of the biggest heavyweight bouts in recent memory will take place at the famous Wembley Stadium in London, England.
This is such a major event that Wembley Stadium is expecting a record setting crowd of 90,000 fans in attendance. It is so big that Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 p.m. live while HBO will televise the replay at 11:00 p.m. on same day tape delay.
It’s rare to see two of the biggest broadcasters of boxing agreeing to televise the same fight.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime
Both boxers appear to realize the magnitude of the vent at the most recent press conference. Joshua stated, “ Even though this is such a great event, I always try to strip it down to what it really is and just focus that it’s just me and this man coming to blows and the best man will win. I’m not only prepared physically but mentally as well for any battle.”
Klitschko recognizes that many count him out as an old faded champion and stated, “ Can you imagine my next opponent is going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long he has been in boxing- 27 years? Can you image that? It’s a pretty amazing task. Is it a degradation that I’m actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in the sport? I don’t think so. I think it’s great”.
This is a huge bout, and will help determine if Anthony Joshua is the current kingpin of the heavyweight division and the reign of Klitschko is over, or if Klitschko’s time at the top is still ongoing.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s heavyweight title fight.
Anthony Joshua (18-0) vs. Wladimir Klitschko (64-4); WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title
This bout is between the next great big thing in the heavyweight division and a man who reigned over the heavyweight division from 2000-2015.
Both Joshua and Klitschko obtained the highest accolade one could achieve as an amateur boxer. Klitschko won the Gold Medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games for the Ukraine in the super heavyweight division and Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for Great Britain in the super heavyweight division.
Both Joshua and Klitschko are very large heavyweights. Both stand at 6’6” and Joshua will have a slight one inch reach advantage, but both men have a reach of over 80”.
Klitschko’s age is his biggest liability. He’s forty one years old and is fourteen years older than Joshua. Joshua’s biggest liability is his relative lack of experience in big fights. He’s only fought eighteen times and has never faced an opponent the caliber of Klitschko.
Klitschko’s inactivity may also hurt him. He fought zero times in 2016, partially due to a calf injury, and only fought twice in 2015. Joshua on the other hand has been very active and fought five times in 2015 and three times in 2016.
Klitschko has been absolutely dominant the past decade and has defeated almost every big name in the heavyweight division in that time frame. He has defeated the likes of Bryant Jennings, Kubrat Pulev, Alexander Povetkin, Mariusz Wach, Tony Thompson, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev, Hasim Rahman, Sultan Ibragimov, Lamon Brewster, Calvin Brock, and Chris Byrd.
Joshua doesn’t have the extensive list of defeated contenders on his resume as Klitschko, but he has still defeated some very good opponents. He has defeated the likes of Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
Joshua has the clear edge in power as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced as a professional. Klitschko has stopped fifty three of his opponents but has been stopped three times in his career.
Klitschko’s two biggest concerns appear to be fighting a tall boxer as was evident in his fight with Tyson Fury, and fighting a hard puncher as evident in his three knockout losses.
Joshua is just as tall as Klitschko and has plenty of power.
Don’t forget Joshua will be fighting in front of his countrymen.
All signs point to Anthony Joshua winning on Saturday and ushering in a new era of heavyweight boxing.
Anthony Joshua is on the Precipice of a New Era for Heavyweight Championship
By: Matthew N. Becher
Anthony Joshua has all the goods. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist, undefeated professional with all of his wins (18) coming by way of the Knockout. He is handsome, well-spoken and generally liked by all that see him. This Saturday, as he takes on Wladamir Klitschko in front of a record crowd of 90,000 at the famed Wembley Stadium, Joshua will have the chance to not only unify the heavyweight division, by defending his IBF title and pick up the WBA belt that was vacated by Tyson Fury, but he will also be able to begin a new era in the Heavyweight division. An era that has long been stagnated by the nearly decade reign by Klitschko. A reign that has turned off many fans of the most prestige’s title in all of sports. Joshua is on the doorstep to changing all of that.
In the last 10 years alone, we have had a total of 14 different Heavyweight champions. Here is the List of names; Shannon Briggs, Ruslan Chagaev, Sultan Ibragimov, Wladamir Klitschko, Samuel Peter, Nikolai Valuev, Vitali Klitschko, David Haye, Bername Stiverne, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Charles Martin, Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.
If you were to ask a casual fan, they would not be able to recognize more then 2-3 names on that list. Most diehard fans would like to forget the likes of Ibragimov, Peter, Valuev and Stiverne.
The Heavyweights usually run the show in boxing. They generate the hype, the glitz, the glamour. They get the magazine covers, the late night talk show interviews, they are internationally recognized. Unfortunately that has not been the case for this era. From the times of Liston, Ali, Frazier and Foreman, to the days of Tyson, Holyfield, and Lennox Lewis the Heavyweights have taken a complete nose dive from the top of the sports world. This has to do with an abundance of sanctioned belts to the reign of both Wladamir and Vitali Klitschko, whose styles were less than fan friendly.
With the mega fight between Joshua and Klitschko taking place this weekend, the young champion Joshua has a tremendous chance to start a new reign at the top of the Division. With the likes of Wilder of the United States, Tyson Fury of the UK and a possible handful of other young talents, the big men will have a chance to battle for all time legendary status.
With Joshua attempting to slay the old King that is the 41 yr. old Klitschko, this new era could become a reality this Saturday in London.
Do not get me wrong here, Klitschko is very much still a possibility to win this fight and add another chapter to his hall of fame, legendary career, but what I am saying, is that this could just as well start a bigger dynamic if Anthony Joshua can prove that he is just as good as we may believe he is.
Saturday night live on Showtime 5pm/ET and a replay on HBO 10pm/ET we will see just how good the young lion from England can be. History will be made either way, and a new era of the Heavyweight throne will be decided.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Lomachenko Dazzles, Usyk and Gvozdyk Victorious
By: William Holmes
The Theater at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland was the host site for tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing card featuring three Ukrainians in the televised portion of the card.
This fight was sold out with an announced attendance of 2,828.
The venue is a new one for boxing and there doesn’t look like there’s a single bad seat in the house and the casino, which opened in December, looked exquisite.
The undercard featured several young victorious high level prospects such as Michael Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.
The opening bout of the HBO televised card was between 2012 US Olympian Mike Hunter (12-0) and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medalist Aleksandr Usyk (11-0) for the WBO Cruiserweight Championship.
Usyk, as the other Ukrainian boxers, had a very large and vocal contingent in attendance.
Hunter took the center of the ring and Usyk jabbed from the outside in the opening round. Usyk’s first big punches of the night were some straight left hands in the first round, but Hunter’s jabs kept it close and it could have been scored for either boxer.
Hunter had a good second round and was the more active of the two boxers, but Usyk was taking the punches of Hunter well. Usyk pressed forward in the third round and he had the head of Hunter snapping backwards with a lot of his punches that landed in the fourth.
The fifth and sixth rounds were clear rounds for Usyk as he appeared to be wearing Hunter down and landed several hard, clean, combinations that get the crowd to its feet and whistling.
Usyk connected at a high percentage in the seventh round and had Hunter back pedaling. Usyk landed some heavy blows in the eighth round and looked like he was close to sending Hunter to the mat.
Hunter tried to go punch for punch with Usyk several times in the ninth and tenth rounds, but he didn’t have the power nor the accuracy of the Ukrainian boxer.
Hunter was fighting well, but likely needed a knockout in the final two rounds to pull out the victory, but he didn’t fight like he needed a stoppage and seemed content with throwing his jab while never really going for the knockout blow.
Instead it was Usyk who had Hunter staggered and wobbly by the ropes in the final round as he went for the stoppage. Usyk was able to score a knockdown in the final round and he followed it up with a furious rally in an attempt to stop the bout. Hunter somehow stayed on his feet and threw just enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the bout.
Aleksandr Usyk wins the decision with scores of 117-110 on all three scorecards.
The next bout of the night was between Yuniesky Gonzalez (18-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) in the light heavyweight division.
Gvozdyk and Gonzalez felt each other out by exchanging jabs in the first round and both boxers landed some punches, but Gvozdyk was landing more combinations while Gonzalez was looking for the knockout punch.
Gonzalez spent most of the second round chasing Gvozdyk around the ring while Gvozdyk landed some eye opening combinations.
Gonzalez opened up the third round by throwing everything into his punches but was very wild. Gvozdyk stayed patient and landed short straight right hands that had Gonzalez hurt and followed it up with a combination that sent him to one knee. Gonzalez was able to get back to his feet and ate several hard combinations from Gvozdyk. Gonzalez eventually succumbed to the pressure of Gvozdyk and was sent crashing to the mat.
Gonzalez’s corner jumped up to the ring apron and stopped the bout. Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by an impressive TKO at 2:59 of the third round.
The main event was between pound for pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) and Jason Sosa (20-1-4) for the WBO Super Featherweight World Championship.
Lomachenko’s legion of supporters greatly outnumbered the fans of Sosa in attendance.
Lomachenko and Sosa fought a near even first round with both boxer showing good head movement and angles.
Sosa did well in the second round and Lomachenko had to complain to the referee about a possible low blow and a head butt. Lomachenko ended the second round strong with a flurry and may have stolen it with that flurry.
Lomachenko showed off his fancy footwork in the third round but Sosa was landing and throwing some good punches of his own.
Lomachenko had a very good fourth round and was landing some incredible combinations from unique angles. He also had Sosa hurt with a hard straight left hand.
By the fifth round Lomachenko was landing his punches at will and they were coming in lightning quick. Lomachenko was toying with Sosa in the sixth round and landed several good body blows.
Sosa, despite his best efforts, couldn’t find his target in the seventh round as the reflexes of Lomachenko just appeared to be too much for him.
Lomachenko battered Sosa in the eighth round and looked close to knocking him down when Sosa’s back was against the ropes. Sosa though showed incredible heart and grit and was able to survive the unbelievably accurate combinations of Lomachenko.
Sosa attempted to bait Lomachenko in the ninth round by willingly eating some combinations and unleashing an occasional bomb, but he was unable to land any punches.
Sosa, who had taken a beating the entire fight except for the opening round, looked like a beaten down man at the end of the ninth round. He would not come out for the tenth round.
Vasyl Lomachenko wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (16-0) defeated Ramses Agaton (17-3-3) by knockout at 2:58 of the fourth round in the welterweight division.
Patrick Harris (11-0) defeated Omar Garcia (6-7) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Jesse Hart (22-0) defeated Alan Campa (16-3) by TKO at 0:44 of the fifth round in the super middleweight division.
Michael Reed (22-0) defeated Reyes Sanchez (26-10-2) by decision with scores of 99-91 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.