HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Burnett vs. Zhakiyanov, Machado vs. Corrales, Andrade vs. Fox,
By: Sean Crose
Saturday’s HBO Boxing After Dark card will showcase bouts from two distinct locations. The main event, which will be broadcast from the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, will feature Panama’s 22-1 Jezreel Corrales facing San Juan, Puerto Rico’s 18-0 Alberto Machado in a 12-round super featherweight affair. Machado, whose knocked out all but three of his opponents, is hoping to win the WBA World Super Featherweight Title off Corrales, who has only fought in the United States once before. This will be Machado’s first attempt at winning a world title.
Corrales has held his WBA belt since knocking out Takashi Uchiyama back in April of 2016. This will be the Panamanian’s third defense of that belt.
As HBOs Harold Lederman says: “Corrales, the champion, is a bit wild. When you watch him, he throws punches from every angle you can think of.” Yet Lederman gives the edge to Machado due to the fact that the Puerto Rican “boxes beautifully.” Says Lederman: “I think it’s going to give him (Machado) an advantage in this fight.”
Also competing at the Turning Stone that evening will be two time junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade, who will be moving up to middleweight to put his 24-0 record up against fellow undefeated fighter Alantez Fox, 23-0-1. HBO describes former Olympian Andrade as having “a deep amateur resume, having won a gold medal at the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships.” Meanwhile, “the six-foot-four Fox will look to exploit his height advantage over the six-foot-one Andrade.” Rhode Island’s Andrade is hoping to move successfully onto the next phase of his career, while Maryland’s Fox is looking to shock the world.
HBO will start it’s program on Saturday with a replay of the Ryan Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov 12 round bantamweight unifier, which will have gone down earlier in the day at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Burnett, the undefeated 17-0 local, will have hoped to defend his IBF World Bantamweight Title while gaining Zhakiyanov’s WBA Super World Bantamweight Title strap. With a record of 27-1, Zhakiyanov “has compiled a 22-bout win streak since his only ring loss.” And that loss was back in 2008 against Sakhib Usarov – ancient history career-wise for a contemporary fighter. As for Burnett, the 25 year old fought as recently as last June, when he bested Lee Haskins via unanimous decision at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena. The fight will be HBO’s maiden voyage for covering bouts from Northern Ireland.
Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
By Adam J. Pollack
On Saturday July 15, the Forum in Los Angeles will feature several highly entertaining matchups. The main event features WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt, 31-1, 28 KOs, vs. Takashi Miura, 31-3-2, 24 KOs, two punchers who love to fight. Although Berchelt likely will win, for he has the superior talent and skill, this is one of those fights that you watch simply because you know that regardless of the result, both guys will fight hard, in entertaining fashion. Miura forces the fight with hard punches and can take some big ones, and both of these guys can hit.
Photo Credit: Kyte Monroe/BoxStats
If you are looking for a really hard-punching intriguing 50-50 type match-up, in which the outcome truly is in doubt, Joe Smith, Jr., 23-1, 19 KOs, vs. Sullivan Barrera, 19-1, 14 KOs is the fight for you. The very heavy-handed Smith, Jr. has freakish power, such that regardless of what the score is in a fight, if hits his opponent, the fight can be over in the blink of an eye. Remember, he knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who although old, had never been stopped before, and was a guy who knew every trick and artifice of the game. He also knocked out Andrej Fonfara in the very 1st round, and Fonfara had gone the distance with Adonis Stevenson, knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and beaten Glen Johnson and Byron Mitchell.
Smith Jr. is going up a very tough man in Sullivan Barrera, a guy whose only loss was a decision to Andre Ward. Barrera knocked out Jeff Lacy in 4, Karo Murat in 5, and handed the hard-punching then 17-0, 14 KOs Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy his only loss, stopping him in the 7th round. Like Smith Jr., Barrera can punch. So this is likely to be another hard-punching bang-‘em-out war. The likely winner is unclear.
Also on the card, undefeated WBA Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, 24-12, 14 KOs, who recently stopped former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight. Castellanos has managed to score several upset victories, defeating Rocky Juarez and then-undefeated Ronny Rios, in addition to Gamboa, so he seems to thrive on his underestimated underdog status. The undefeated Corrales won the championship by handing then undefeated Takashi Uchiyama his first losses, both by knocking him out and winning the rematch by decision. This is a really solid, competitive contest.
Other quality match-ups on the card include:
Mercito Gesta, 30-1-2 vs. Martin Honorio, 33-10-1
Manny Robles, Jr. 12-0 vs. Christian Esquivel, 30-11
Horacio Garcia, 32-2-1 vs. Diuhl Olguin, 11-16-3
Ryan Garcia, 9-0, vs. Mario Antonio Macias, 28-21