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World Boxing Super Series Featuring Glowacki and Briedis Headed to Chicago


By: Jake Donovan

The sixth and final leg of the World Boxing Super Series Season Two quarterfinals is now officially set.

A cruiserweight doubleheader will occupy the November 10 slot, which will take place at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. Former cruiserweight titlists Krzysztof Glowacki and Mairis Briedis will appear in separate bouts, both undoubtedly eager to scout the other as there stands the likelihood of facing off further down the line in the WBSS Cruiserweight tourney.


Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account

The billed main event pits Briedis—a semifinalist in WBSS Season One— verus Noel Mikaelian, whose own dreams of entering the inaugural WBSS Cruiserweight tournament were thwarted in a preceding loss to eventual entrant Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. The co-main event—and more favorable local attraction, given the city’s thriving Polish community and its proven track record of supporting boxing in the area—pits Season One alternate Glowacki versus Russia’s Maksim Vlasov.

Briedis entered the first WBSS tournament as an undefeated titlist, advancing to the semifinal round before dropping a competitive decision to eventual tournament winner Oleksandr Usyk this past January in his homeland of Riga, Latvia. He returned to the win column on the undercard of Usyk’s tournament win in July, taking a 10 round decision over Brandon Deslarurier.

The forthcoming clash versus Mikaelian (23-1, 10KOs) will mark just his second pro bout in the United States. This occasion comes with far more notoriety than a club fight in North Carolina in his 9th pro bout—but in his mind, just as hungry and with a lot to prove.

“I am really looking forward to fighting in Chicago,” said Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs), who beat Marco Huck in March ’17 to begin a cruiserweight title reign which lasted just 10 months. “I am happy to be back in the World Boxing Super Series, and I am looking forward to fighting in front of a U.S. crowd.

“I am sure there will also be a lot of Latvians in the arena to help create a fantastic atmosphere.”

There will also be an opponent with a lot to prove after just missing out on the parade last time around.

Mikaelian (better known as Noel Gevor) came up just short in a title eliminator versus former champ Wlodarczyk last May, the split decision loss costing him a place in the cruiserweight tournament. The 28-year old contender from Germany has fought just once since then, a shutout win over Isiah Thomas last September.

Neither his aforementioned loss or a year-long inactive period has the boxer the least bit concerned about what is undoubtedly the stiffest test of his seven-year career.

“There are only world class fighters in this tournament, but I believe my ring IQ will give me the edge to win it,” Mikaelian insists.

The main event participants are hardly the only boxers on the bill looking to send a message.

With 13 years in the game, Vlasov (42-2, 25KOs) comes in as the most experienced among the eight-man cruiserweight field. He also has the last to show for it, coming up short during his years as a super middleweight in respective losses to Isaac Chilemba and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, the latter whom serves as an unbeaten super middleweight titlist.

The latter setback came in Jan. ’15, having since moved up to the cruiserweight division where he has won his last 12 starts. The most notable have come in separate knockout wins over revered punchers Rakhim Chakhkiev (Dec. ’16) and most recently Olanrewaju Durodola this past February in Russia.

In Glowacki (30-1, 19KOs), Vlasov faces his most dangerous challenge to date—even more so with his opponent eager to return to the top of the cruiserweight mountain.

The 32-year old southpaw from Poland grabbed headlines with his off-the-canvas knockout win over Marco Huck to become cruiserweight champion in their Aug. ’15 Fight of the Year-level war in New Jersey. His rabid Polish supporters in attendance cheered him through a 6th round knockdown, with Glowacki peeling himself off the canvas to later drop and eventually stop Huck, thus ending his record-tying cruiserweight title reign in the process.

Just one successful defense came of his reign, a 12-round points win over former two-time titlist Steve Cunningham in April ’16. His days as a titlist came to an end in a decision defeat to Usyk in their Sept. ’16 clash in Poland, having since won four straight.

Fittingly, his bout with Vlasov comes on the same night that Usyk will defend his undisputed World cruiserweight championship, several time zones away and earlier in the day versus Tony Bellew in London.

It only adds fuel to his fire.

“The plan is simple: take it all, give nothing back,” Glowacki promises. “I have been waiting for a long time for my chance, and I am full of power and great energy.

“I am going to win this tournament and become world champion again!”

Season Two of the World Boxing Super Series showcases three weight classes—bantamweight, super lightweight and cruiserweight—with the quarterfinals round featuring doubleheaders every weekend from October 7 through November 10.

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PBC on NBC Preview: Fonfara vs. Smith, Payano vs. Warren, Lubin vs. Sandoval


PBC on NBC Preview: Fonfara vs. Smith, Payano vs. Warren, Lubin vs. Sandoval
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois will be the host site for the next installment of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC.

Three fights are scheduled to be televised, with the main event featuring a bout between Andrzej Fonfara facing off against contender Joe Smith Jr. Rau’shee Warren is also scheduled to rematch Juan Carlos Payano for the WBA Bantamweight championship. Rising star Erickson Lubin is also scheduled to fight on the televised portion of the card when he takes on Daniel Sandoval in the junior middleweight division.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andrzej Fonfara

The following is a preview of all three televised fights.

Erickson Lubin (14-0) vs. Daniel Sandoval (38-3); Junior Middleweights

Erickson Lubin is only twenty years old and he already has fourteen bouts on his professional resume.

He had a successful amateur career and was considered by many to win a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics but he decided to turn pro instead. Daniel Sandoval is five years older than Lubin, bt will be about one inch taller and an inch and a half longer.

Lubin has been very active since turning pro. He fought five times in 2015 and once in 2016. Sandoval, by contrast, has not been very active and fought once in 2016, once in 2015, and two times in 2014. Additionally, Sandoval has fought mainly in Mexico but he has made an occasional trip to the United States for a fight.

Lubin has not faced anyone of note, but has defeated the likes of Alexis Comacho, Orlando Lora, and Ayi Bruce. Sandoval has one four of his past five fights by stoppage and has defeated the likes of Grady Brewer, Richard Guiterrez, and Gabriel Martinez.

Lubin is a young, hard hitting prospect. Sandoval has not been in the ring with quality opponents, but his thirty five stoppage victories should be of some concern to Lubin. Lubin has ten stoppage victories on his resume.

Lubin is considered by many to be one of the top young prospects in the sport of boxing. Sandoval has the power to score an upset victory, but Lubin has the talent to become a future world champion.

Juan Carlos Payano (17-0) vs. Rau’shee Warren (13-1); WBA Bantamweight Title

This is a rematch of their title bout in 2015 which featured Payano escaping with a split decision victory over Rau-Shee Warren. It was a highly entertaining bout, but many felt Warren should have been declared the winner. Warren also lost two points for fouls in their original bout.

Payano is thirty two years old and three years older than Warren. They have the same reach and Payano is slightly taller than Warren. They both are not known for their knockouts. Payano only has eight stoppage victories while Warren only has four.

Warren has been very active, as he fought four times in 2014 and two times in 2015. Payano has not been as active, but he does have a better resume of defeated opponents. Payano has defeated the likes of Anselmo Moreno, Jundy Maraon, and Jose Araiza. Warren has mainly faced average competition and has defeated the likes of Javier Gallo and Jose lUis Araiza.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Payano competed for the Dominican Republic in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Warren is a three time Olympian for the United States and won the 2007 World Amateur Championships as a flyweight.

Many felt Warren defeated Payano the first time they fought but he gave away the fight with his needless fouls. He should be able to avoid the mistakes he made last time and win convincingly in the rematch.

Andrzej Fonfara (28-3) vs. Joe Smith Jr. (21-1); Light Heavyweights

Joe Smith Jr. has a good record, but he has not faced anyone of note.

Fonfara is twenty eight years old and two years older than Smith. He will also have a two and a half inch height advantage.

Neither boxer had any notable success on the international circuit as an amateur, but Fonfara did have success on the national circuit in Poland as an amateur.

Fonfara has been active as he fought twice in 2014 and in 2015. Smith, however, has fought four times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once in 2016.

They both have average stoppage power. Fonfara has stopped sixteen of his opponents while Smith has stopped seventeen.

Fonfara clearly has the edge in quality of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency, and Glen Johnson. His losses were to Adonis Stevenson in a close bout, Derrick Findley, and Eberto Medina. Smith has defeated the likes of Will Rosinsky and Cory Cummings. His lone loss was to Eddie Caminero in 2010 by TKO.

Fonfara will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Chicago and is angling for a rematch with Adonis Stevenson. He should easily defeat Joe Smith and face Stevenson next.

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