Bellew Defeats Haye Again, Butler and Ryder Win
By: Ste Rowen
At London’s O2 Arena, Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew once again overcame an early onslaught to defeat David Haye, even more decisively as their first meeting.
From the first bell the ‘Hayemaker’ looked to control the centre of the ring, constantly forcing Bellew back without efficiently cutting off the ring. Much like their 1st bout, Haye’s punching, though more constant, was very wayward. Every time David made a fairly substantial attack, Bellew literally shrugged it off, and prepared himself to counter the next attack. Towards the end of the 2nd round Tony threw his hands up as if to say, ‘Is that all you got?’
It seemed it might be.
Through 3, Bellew looked to control the centre ground. The ‘Bomber’ aimed to fire first in the round and as Haye prowled forward, Bellew countered with the jab and overhand right. Haye seemed to be throwing punches for the sake of it, without any real intent. Yet again, Bellew seemed so far out of reach of the ‘Hayemaker’ and with 20 seconds left of the 3rd, the ‘Bomber’ launched an assault, and a left-right hit the sweet spot to drop the Bermondsey native.
Haye had barely enough time to recover before Bellew was on him again, and the Liverpudlian took full advantage as he dropped the ‘Hayemaker’ yet again with a right hook into the corner of the ring. The bell rang for the end of the 3rd before what might’ve been a 9-minute finisher by Tony Bellew. Haye came out battling in the 4th round, but Bellew continued to look like the superior boxer. The David Haye of old was long gone by now, if not sooner.
With Bellew on the offensive at the end of the 4th round, heading into the 5th, the fight seemed poised. Then with 1:10 left on the clock, Bellew fired off a right-left that brutally dropped Haye yet again, and this time, it signalled the end. Haye rose, but looked shaky, and like any true boxer, Bellew went in for the kill. With less than 60 seconds on the clock, the ‘Bomber’ began to tee off on Haye and the referee had seen enough. Howard Foster stepped in, and called an end to Bellew vs Haye 2, with Tony Bellew emerging the victor once again.
Speaking post-fight, Bellew wasn’t completely clear on who he wanted next,
‘Me and Dillian (Whyte) have had words over the years. Dillian is a good fighter. It’s a hard fight, but it’s a fight for nothing…I’m a walking super series, every fight I’m in is the Super Series.’
‘Usyk, Gassiev, Andre Ward? You name them, I keep beating them. Just give me someone.’
On the undercard…
John Ryder vs Jamie Cox
After stopping Jamie Cox in the 2nd round, John Ryder has laid claimed to being THE super middleweight of Great Britain, despite the Lonsdale belt laying vacant.
Both southpaws came out swinging but both seemed to recognise the task ahead within a couple of minutes of the 1st round. The fight looked even as it headed into the 2nd until, with 2:23 on the clock, Ryder landed, what seemed to be, a routine right hand to the temple of Cox, dropping the former world title challenger, and, as the crowd waited for Cox to rise, the referee counted Ryder’s foe out. Cox tried to rise on number 10 of the 10-count, but that’s always a sure sign of a defeated man; and that’s just how Ian John Lewis saw it, as he waved off the bout.
So now with the likes of, David Brophy, Zach Parker, or even a rematch with Rocky Fielding waiting, John Ryder knows, the next fight is imperative to his progression.
Paul Butler vs Emmanuel Rodriguez
Emmanuel Rodriguez is the new IBF bantamweight champion of the world after a competitive, but ultimately clear 12 round decision victory over former holder of the same belt, Paul Butler.
After Paul Butler weighed in 3lbs over the bantamweight limit, and refused to attempt a 2nd weigh-in, the IBF bantamweight world championship was only on the line for Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and it seemed ‘Manny’ was taking his anger of Butler’s disregard for the 118-limit, out on him in the 1st round. Rodriguez punished Butler for 3 minutes, knocking down the Liverpudlian twice. The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ survived through to the 4th, attempting to rally and regain the rounds lost at the start of the fight.
From the 5th though, Rodriguez played both predator and prey, luring Butler in, only to fire off point scoring counters. As the rounds grew on, Rodriguez played with Butler, knowing the IBF belt was within his grasp. The final scorecards came back as, 118-108, 120-106, 120-106.
As comprehensive as those scorecards were though, Rodriguez will know, in a division with such champions as Ryan Burnett, Zolani Tete, and most likely, soon to be WBA ‘Regular’ champ, Naoya Inoue, there should be no easy fights going forward.
Lenroy Thomas vs Joe Joyce
Joe Joyce became the new commonwealth heavyweight champion in just his 4th pro bout with a 2nd round stoppage of Lenroy ‘TNT’ Thomas.
Joyce took the fight to Thomas immediately and though the work wasn’t as precise as the former Olympian would have hoped, it seemed to be having the desired effect, as Lenroy struggled through the 1st round. Right at the end of the first 3 minutes, Joyce dropped his Jamaican foe with a heavy left-hand body shot.
Saved by the bell, ‘TNT’ entered the 2nd round knowing he was in for a rough night. The 2nd followed the 1st as the sheer accumulation of punches from Joyce put the Commonwealth champ down once again. Thomas rose once more, but he was throwing absolutely nothing back by now and it seemed just a matter of time before the ‘Juggernaut’ finished the job.
With less than 30 seconds on the clock of the 2nd, Joyce put Lenroy down with another brutal left hook to the head, and that was that, as the bout was waved off, and Joe Joyce took another massive step towards the biggest honours.
Now, 4-0 (4KOs) and commonwealth heavyweight champion, Joyce was ready to talk up his ambitions post-fight,
‘I wanted to land, and hopefully gave everyone watching a good show…I knew he’d be a tricky opponent…I viewed my range and got to him.’
‘The world’s my oyster…I’d like to challenge for the British title.’
Joshua Buatsi vs Stephane Cuevas
Joshua Buatsi continued his steady rise in the pro ranks with a 5th round stoppage of 8-1-3, Stephane Cuevas.
The Ghanaian born light heavyweight, teed off on Cuevas all night, and in the 5th round began to rifle power shots off the head of his French opponent until the referee stepped in and ended the fight. There’s still the obvious signs of an elite amateur, fighting for points rather than for the knockout, but with the quality of output Buatsi displays, that’s hardly a criticism.
Post-fight, Eddie Hearn, Buatsi’s promoter, laid out future plans,
‘On to 10 rounds next…He’ll box on our September show in New York…He’s down to earth, he’s working hard, and the only thing that can stop him, is Joshua Buatsi himself.’
Martin Ward vs James Tennyson
With the Commonwealth and European super featherweight titles on the line, anticipation was high heading into this England vs. Northern Ireland matchup, and it was the green and white army that took it, as James Tennyson stopped Martin Ward in the 5th round of a pulsating fight.
Ward was wearing the yellow and blue of Ukraine, and in the early rounds, the Essex native was displaying the kind of defensive movement Lomachenko would be happy with, but it wasn’t just his defence that was impressive as, at the end of the 2nd round, ‘Wardy’ landed a beautiful left hook to the body that dropped Tennyson. The Irishman rose before the count and came out all guns blazing for the third.
After a blistering, all action 3rd and 4th, Tennyson returned the favour for the 2nd round 10-8, with a knockdown of his own. The Irishman wasted no time in taking advantage of a dazed Ward, dropping his opponent again, forcing the referee to call time on the bout.
Heading into the fight as the underdog, James ‘The Assassin’ Tennyson is now the new, Commonwealth and EBU European super featherweight champion.
Luke Campbell vs Troy James
Luke Campbell returned to the ring for the first time since his competitive split decision loss to WBA world champion, Jorge Linares, with a dominant stoppage in the 5th round of a scheduled 6-round bout against ‘Terrifying’ Troy James.
In complete control from the first bell, Campbell, now 18-2 (14KOs) will be grateful for the rounds considering the length of time he’s been out of the ring (8 months). Speaking after the fight, Campbell had Yvan Mendy, the only other man to have beaten ‘Cool Hand’, firmly in sight for his future 2018 plans.
Bellew vs. Haye Undercard Preview
By: Ste Rowen
With domestic dust ups, commonwealth honours and a world title fight, Bellew vs Haye isn’t the only intriguing bout taking place in London on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter Account
Paul Butler v Emmanuel Rodriguez
First up is a bout for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title, recently dropped by Ryan Burnett. Paul Butler, 26-1 (14KOs) takes on Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez in an attempt to reclaim the belt he previously held in 2014 when he beat Stuart Hall via split decision. Eight months after that fight, Butler had vacated the bantamweight title to fight for the super flyweight version of the IBF. That night, the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had his first taste of defeat when he was dominated, and ultimately stopped by South African, and currently WBA ‘Super’ bantamweight champion, Zolani Tete. Butler has rebuilt well since then, with a nine-straight win streak including a unanimous decision victory in a rematch with Stuart Hall, and although he heads into Saturday’s fight as the underdog, speaking to Sky Sports, Paul’s not falling for the hype surrounding Rodriguez,
‘When you watch him, you think he’s a special kid, but go through the rounds, watch his mistakes, there’s loads we’ve picked up on. He goes to his left pretty much every time, he’ll take a step to his right and then he’ll come straight back to his left.’
‘We’ve both got pretty similar styles, we both love a left hook to the body, we both love going head to the body…I know I’ve trained hard and I’m physically well, I’m sparring well. I believe under Joe (Gallagher) I can get in there with anyone and win.’
Emmanuel Rodriguez, 17-0 (12KOs) is yet to go the 12-round distance. The furthest ‘Manny’ has gone is 10 rounds, when he came up against Albert Guevara in 2016, earning a clear victory across all three scorecards. This will also be the first time Rodriguez fights outside of North America, with previous matchups taking place in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the US. Though on the surface Butler is showing no signs of concern for the momentum ‘Manny’ has gathered, there’s certainly attributes that will worry him. The Puerto Rican may have been taken the distance by Guevara, but he was teeing off variations of the left hand all night, and he’s not limited to his left. His precision of the right-cross has setup the finish against previous opponents.
Zolani Tete’s record going into the Butler fight wasn’t much to look at, and we saw what happened there. Speaking earlier this week, Rodriguez was eager for fight night to come around,
‘It has been a long road to this fight, but I am ready to win my first world championship. Paul Butler is a good fighter, but nothing can stop me…It doesn’t matter that we’re in his backyard, I’ve done everything right getting ready for this and I look forward to bringing the belt back to my beloved country of Puerto Rico.’
Lenroy Thomas v Joe Joyce
The sole heavyweight bout to grace Saturday’s card sees Commonwealth champion, Lenroy Thomas take on 2016 silver medallist, Joe Joyce.
Thomas, 22-4-1 (11KOs) was last seen in his ill-fated rematch with David Allen in March. That night, the two boxers clashed heads in the first round, cutting Allen enough for the fight to be called a technical draw. The Jamaican is yet to defend his commonwealth title since beating Allen in their first fight last year, fighting just once – discounting the Allen rematch – in an 8-round decision victory over 12-2, Ed Fountain, on the Wilder vs Stiverne 2 undercard.
Much like his fellow 2016 Olympians Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka, Joyce, 3-0 (3KOs) is being fast tracked through the rankings with previous bouts including a debut stoppage win over 12-3-1 at the time, Ian Lewison and more recently, a 38 second KO of big talking, big framed, but little fight, Donnie Palmer.
John Ryder v Jamie Cox
John Ryder will take on fellow southpaw Jamie Cox in a domestic showdown that’s sure to get the crowd going before the main event.
Ryder’s last outing was his explosive 5th round knockout of Patrick Nielsen on the undercard of Jamie Cox vs George Groves in October, and the Londoner wasn’t too concerned about having to wait so long for this next fight,
‘There was talk of other fights we were looking at, but they didn’t come off, that’s boxing. It was about picking the right fight, rather than going in there against anyone…I think our styles are geared up for a good fight, it’ll be a real treat for the fans.’
Jamie Cox’s Matchroom career hasn’t exactly set alight since making the switch from Frank Warren’s, Queensberry Promotions back in early 2017. Aside from the stoppage defeat to Groves, Cox has fought four times; 16 rounds against very limited opposition, but he recognises the step up in opponent he’ll be taking this weekend,
‘I’m expecting the best John Ryder. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him…He’s ranked across a couple of the governing bodies and it’s my goal to become a world champion. Beating John will open more doors…He likes to come forward and have a go and I’m always up for the fight.’
With Rocky Fielding vacating the British title, a win for either of these two, puts them firmly in place for the next shot at the Lonsdale belt.
Martin Ward v James Tennyson
With the Commonwealth, EBU and WBA ‘International’ super featherweight titles up for grabs, there’s a lot to play for when Martin Ward and James Tennyson enter the ring.
Ward, 19-0-2 (9KOs) has world honours in his sight heading into Saturday,
‘I’ve gone the traditional route and I’m glad I’ve done that…I want to progress to the world stage now. I’ve won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards world level.’
Tennyson, 21-2 (17KOs) who puts the WBA ‘International’ belt on the line, heads into the bout as the underdog but, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, ‘The Assassin’ believes his time is now,
‘Within the last year I have won an Irish title and the WBA ‘International’ title and won three 50/50 fights by stoppage…Now I’m going onto the biggest stage, and I can’t wait…Ward is quick and sharp and it won’t be easy, but we have our game plan and I’m ready for 12 hard rounds.’
Tony Bellew vs. David Haye Preview
By: Ste Rowen
By the time Tony Bellew and David Haye share the ring for a second time, 427 days will have passed since their first meeting. The encounter that many viewed as a mismatch, turned into one of the upsets of the year as Liverpudlian, Bellew, dropped an injured Haye en route to an 11th round stoppage that saw Haye through the ropes, as well as his corner throwing in the towel. Few had predicted a Tony Bellew win, though many caveated their prediction with, ‘as long as Haye’s body holds up.’
Photo Credit: Eddie Hearn Twitter Account
It didn’t. Haye was dominant in the opening rounds, but Bellew’s perhaps, underrated defensive abilities were on show as, even before the injury occurred, Tony was making David miss a number of wide, heavy shots.
In the 6th round Haye’s Achilles tendon ruptured, and his game plan switched in a heartbeat from a ‘search & destroy’ mission, to survival at all costs. Bellew took to the centre of the ring and began to dominate until the penultimate round when, eventually he landed a left hook, which was enough to fire Haye through the ropes and signal the end of a crazy turn of events in London.
The former unified cruiserweight champion did live to fight another day, this Saturday to be exact, even if the fight has had to be postponed from its original December date, but there’s not the same confidence that was there before the last bout. No statements such as, ‘I’ve never had a fight where I really wanted to cave someone’s skull in like this.’
No, this time the Hayemaker, 28-3 (26KOs) is taking a more sombre approach to his words ahead of Saturday night. Speaking at Monday’s press conference with a very much, pro Tony Bellew crowd in Liverpool, Haye said,
‘Last time round I was a bit angry, this time round not so much. I didn’t believe Tony Bellew had what it took to beat me. On my worst night I was terribly wrong. He raised his game way more than any of his prior fights and I expect exactly the same thing again on Saturday night.’
‘I’m gonna do what I tried to do last time and failed miserably; and you guys are, unfortunately gonna see the end of Tony Bellew. My speed, timing is back. It’s all back.’
His opponent however was rightfully lapping it up in his hometown press conference.
‘I’m gonna do exactly what I done in the first fight. You’re going to miss and you’re going to miss by miles…On Saturday mate, it comes to an end. For the first time in your whole career, you are actually fighting for your career.’
‘David isn’t back to win world titles, David’s back to rob the bank and he’s trying to do it with as little risk as possible…The mistake he made is he picked this fat, little, scouse, cruiser with a mouth to try and make that against, ‘cos he thought it would be an easy fight.’
‘Saturday night guys, it’s time to go to war and your career my son, ends in a beat.’
Saturday night’s venue will once again be London’s O2 arena, but this time round, it feels a lot harder to assess and predict what eventually goes down when the first bell sounds. If he’s smart Haye’s tactics will reflect his more thoughtful approach to the rematch so far. Last time round it was clear he wanted the knockout, and he wanted it early. There was no doubt, as confirmed by Haye himself, that the Bermondsey native, massively underestimated Bellew’s resilience to take a punch, as well as avoid the pressure the former WBA heavyweight champion would put the ‘Bomber’ under early on in the bout.
By Saturday it will be just under 2 years since Bellew’s greatest night, when he knocked out Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park, to win the WBC cruiserweight title. Since then, though only fighting twice, he’s kept the hype train rolling, and wants to keep steaming down the track after this weekend’s bout, eyeing up future battles with Tyson Fury, or a supposedly retired, Andre Ward.
For Haye though, his greatest night, depending on what you view as more significant, was either over 10 years ago when he KO’d Jean Marc Mormeck to win the WBA & WBC cruiserweight belts, or his 2009 victory for the WBA heavyweight belt, defeating man mountain, Nikolay Valuev. In fact, it’s been almost 6 years since his last significant victory, when he made lightwork of Dereck Chisora in 5 rounds.
The famous saying goes, ‘Speed kills’. Well in boxing, so does inactivity. By normal standards, Tony Bellew, 29-2-1 (19KOs) is an inactive boxer, when you compare him to Haye though, he’s virtually Sugar Ray Robinson fighting once a month.
This time round, rather than thought’s of ‘I wonder if Haye’s body will hold up.’, there feels like an inevitability of, ‘When will it fail?’. When it comes to Tony Bellew though, fight fans have just come to expect the unexpected.
Can Joseph Parker Surpass David Tua?
By: Ste Rowen
When you’re a promising, heavyweight boxer from New Zealand with Samoan heritage, you’re bound to be compared to David Tua. When you’re a heavyweight boxer from New Zealand, Samoan heritage and trained by Kevin Barry, the comparisons double. When you’re a heavyweight boxer from New Zealand, Samoan heritage, trained by Kevin Barry, and the WBO heavyweight champion of the world, it’d be almost sacrilege to not mention the ‘Tuaman’.
This coming Saturday, Joseph Parker, 24-0 (18KOs) headlines a heavyweight unification clash at Cardiff’s, 74500 capacity stadium, two fights removed from his unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO belt.
It’s a height his fellow countryman, and New Zealand’s favourite boxing son, David Tua never reached. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, David is remembered as one of the best heavyweights, never to win a championship belt.
Despite this, the question still remains over how Parker stands up when compared to the ‘Tuaman’.
In Tua’s one world title fight, he was soundly beaten by ‘THE’ man at the time, Lennox Lewis, but under the tutelage of Kevin Barry, David’s standing in boxing folklore is backed up by his victories over the men who would become champion and of course, a legendary chin.
As an amateur, Tua Campaigned at heavyweight (91kg) and achieved a very accomplished career which included winning a bronze medal in the 1991 World Championships and then bronze again in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Parker was just as much an accomplished ‘Youth’ Olympian. Campaigning at super heavyweight (+91kg), he won silver in the 2010 Youth Olympics and a bronze in the Youth World Championships of the same year, but the step up to the adult tournament proved too much as he failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, which sealed his decision to turn pro in the same year.
Parker’s most impressive professional performance to date came in a 12-round slugger with Carlos Takam, Anthony Joshua’s most recent opponent. Throwing 534 punches, landing 102/261 power shots, Joe came through his first big test a better fighter than he entered. It was also the first-time fans were able to see his chin really tested against a higher calibre of opposition.
I was lucky enough to be in Auckland to see Parker fight five months later at the 3000 strong Vodafone Events Centre. That night he came up against the limited, but well-respected Alexander Dimitrenko. 20-0 (17KOs) at the time, Parker lived up to the ever-growing hype. There was an efficient nastiness to him as he didn’t rush in unnecessarily, found range well behind a composed jab, and fired off deft right hands that seemed to shake his opposition every time they landed. It all combined for three knockdowns in the first two rounds, and an unusual 3rd round body shot finish, when the Russian already looked downed.
It was the last KO Parker scored. In his three performances since, the New Zealander has gone 36 rounds, great experience you might say, but the quality of performance hasn’t matched up with the Parker we saw clash with Takam or Dimitrenko.
To win the WBO strap (his next fight after Dimitrenko) Parker took on the surprisingly quick hitting Mexican-American, Andy Ruiz. Also unbeaten, at 29-0 (19KOs) Ruiz had built up a solid record against relatively poor opposition but trained by Abel Sanchez and entering the ring with very little expectation, the ‘Destroyer’ made a bright start and the expectation on Parker’s shoulders suddenly seemed to weigh him down.
The New Zealander won a very contentious hometown decision, lacked power in his punching but more worryingly, the accuracy that had been so evident in his previous 20 bouts. Those types of performances can occur, but after failing to impress in 12 rounds against regular sparring partner and late stand-in, Razvan Cojanu and then most recently another contentious decision victory and lacklustre display to move to 24-0, this time over Hughie Fury in Manchester, we seem to be left with more questions than answers about what Joseph Parker is capable of.
At 24-0, Tua hadn’t fought for a recognised belt yet but he had laid waste to a future world champion in John Ruiz. He also left the crowd wanting more, scoring 20 KO’s in that time, fifteen of those coming within the first two rounds. And even in defeat further on his career against Ike Ibeabuchi and Lewis, Tua threw 755 and 413 punches respectively. He was a man who always came to win, and who the people wanted to watch.
For the upcoming clash with Joshua, Parker would do well to take notes from the Tua textbook. His chin has shown durability in past bouts, but there’s nothing wrong with incorporating head movement, especially when you’re coming up against someone as heavy handed as AJ. Tua’s bob and weave technique, plus nearly constant throwing gave the likes of Hasim Rahman and Chris Byrd fits, and static fighters like Oleg Maskaev were punished when they couldn’t land the jab. Tua took out Michael Moorer and John Ruiz early through sheer ferociousness and serious cojones to come out firing from the first bell.
‘Static’ is something that’s been labelled at Joshua a few times and if you’re not afraid to put it on the WBA & IBF champion, we’ve seen already that he’s not invincible, even if he is unbeaten.
Ultimately, when comparing the two New Zealanders, the fact may be that in this era, unless Parker achieves complete supremacy; from being a contender, to unifying the division, he may just be judged as a heavyweight in a lesser generation, especially when compared to the late 90’s/early 2000’s.
Sometimes the phrase ‘you can only beat what’s in front of you’ is legit, the problem for the WBO champion is that arguments can be made for him losing 2 of his last 3 fights, and he’s about to step in with a fighter widely regarded as ‘THE’ man of the current heavyweight division.
Defeat this weekend wouldn’t be the end of the world for Joe, it never held Tua back, but the performance on Saturday night could be just as important as the result for Parker’s future at the top of heavyweight boxing.
PBC on Showtime Preview: Garcia vs. Rios, Benavidez vs. Gavril, Ugas vs. Robinson
By: B.A. Cass
On Saturday, February 17, Premier Boxing Champions brings us a tripleheader that includes an IBF eliminator fight and the title shot for WBC Super Middleweight belt. The SHOWTIME coverage is set to begin at 10 PM EST.
The main event will be between the matched Danny Garcia and Brian Rios. The co-main event will the rematch between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril. And the first televised fight will be between Yordenis Ugas and Ray Robinson.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Yordenis Ugas (20-3) vs. Ray Robinson (24-2); Welterweight
After losing to Shawn Porter in 2010, Robinson has stacked up 13 consecutive wins. The talent he has faced has not been exceptional. Nevertheless, he will step into the ring on Saturday night feeling supremely confident. “I’m an old-school fighter,” he said on Wednesday at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. “I love fighting guys that look good on paper and nobody knows who’s going to win and it’s up to his camp and my camp. I haven’t been this excited for a fight in a long time.” Robinson expects Ugas to give him hell, and he expects to give him hell back.
The Cuban-born Ugas, who fights out of Miami, rose to some prominence after winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics. As a professional, he has suffered three losses. “I know what’s at stake,” he said on Wednesday. “It is the biggest fight of my career.”
This is about as even as boxing fights get. Robinson is 32; Ugas is 31. And neither fighter can claim a significant height or reach advantage.
However, the prize for winning is essentially an opportunity to meet defeat: this is an IBF 147-pound eliminator, and the victor will face Errol Spence Jr.
David Benavidez (19-0) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2); Super Middleweight
When Benavidez defeated Gavril last September by split decision, he won the WBC Super Middleweight title and became the youngest ever world champion in the super middleweight division. “Winning the title changed my confidence but it changed my work too,” he said on Wednesday at the press conference for the fight. “Now I know everybody is gunning for my title and I don’t want to let it go. All the work and sacrifice it took for me to get this – I’m not going to let it go.”
One of only two men who has gone the distance with Benavidez, the older Gavril (he’s got ten years on Benavidez) surprised a lot of fight fans last time around. It was a close fight. Gavril got rocked in the eleventh round but came back the twelfth round with a blow that knocked Benavidez on his ass. As a late replacement, Gavril had only four weeks to prepare for his first fight with Benavidez. He had a full ten-week training camp this time around. If he wins, he’ll be able to bring WBC belt back to his home country of Romania. “I’m not looking for a knockout,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m looking to win every round.”
Benavidez doesn’t intend to give up his championship belt. “I don’t think Gavril can do any better than he did in the last fight. He’s a one trick pony and he doesn’t have many tricks left. He’s getting old.”
The WBC did not mandate this fight, which means Benavidez took it willingly. There can be only one reason for that: he wants to put all doubts about his supremacy to rest. “I’m thinking it will be a knockout around Round 5,” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of the body and chin.”
Danny Garcia (33-1) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3-1); Welterweight
Garcia is still talking about Keith Thurman, who delivered Garcia his only professional loss. “I don’t blame Keith Thurman for not wanting to fight me again,” he said at the press conference Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want to fight me two times in a row.” Garcia hasn’t fought since losing to Garcia, which means when he steps into the ring he’ll be coming off an 11-month hiatus. He has an opportunity to impress, and he doesn’t intend to lose.
After being by dominated by Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2015, Rios retired from the sport. However, he came back 19 months later to defeat Aaron Herrera. Rios took a lot of shots before he finally KO’d Herrera. If he’s smart, Garcia will look to exploit this vulnerability.
Although Garcia is the clear favorite, Rios isn’t coming for just a paycheck. He a pressure fighter and knows how to make necessary adjustments. He’s ready to fight, and he’s excited to face Garcia. “One thing I like is he doesn’t move or run,” Rios said of Garcia. “He likes to bang it out, and that suits my style better. But if he does run, we’ll be ready for that too.”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Saunders vs. Lemieux, Seldin vs. Ulysses, Douglas vs. O’Sullivan
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada will be the host site for an HBO Triple Header to take place on HBO World Championship Boxing.
The opening bout will be between Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Yves Ulysse, Jr. in the junior welterweight division. The second bout of the night will be between Antoine Douglas and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the middleweight division. The main event of the night will be between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux for the WBO Middleweight title.
Photo Credit: Vincent Ethier/Eye of the Tiger Management
This fight card will help lend some clarity to the middleweight division behind the two current kingpins of the middleweights, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. This card will also feature Cletus Seldin, a popular Jewish fighter that HBO seems keen on featuring in the future.
The following is a preview of all three bouts.
Cletus Seldin (21-0) vs. Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1); Junior Welterweights
The opening bout of the night is between the Hebrew Hammer Cletus Seldin and Yves Ulysse.
Seldin is a compact power puncher who has seventeen stoppage victories on his record. He’s thirty one years old and needs to make a serious run now if he ever wants to fight for a legitimate world title.
He’ll be about the same height as Ulysse as both are 5’7”. Seldin is also the more powerful puncher of the two. Ulysse only has nine stoppage victories to his credit. However, Ulysse is two years younger than his opponent.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Ulysse fought four times in 2017 and once in 2016, while Seldin has fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Neither boxer had a notable amateur career, but Seldin appears to have had more success than Ulysse. Seldin was a Long Island Amateur Champion and lost in the finals of the New York State Golden Gloves.
Seldin has defeated the likes of Robert Ortiz, Renald Garrido, Jesus Selig, Orlando Vazquez, and Bayan Jargal.
Ulysse has defeated the likes of Ricky Sismundo and Zachary Ochoa. His lone loss was in his last fight to Steve Claggett.
Seldin fights a style that leaves him open to counters but puts on an exciting fight for his fans. Ulysse has a good record, but is the underdog going into the fight.
However, Ulysse was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will have the support of the fans in attendance.
Antoine Douglas (22-1-1) vs. Gary O’Sullivan (26-2); WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight Title
Antoine Douglas is a good middleweight prospect who’s rise to the top was briefly derailed when he faced and lost to Avtandil Khurtsidze. He has since won three fights in a row and looks to reclaim his spot as a can’t miss prospect.
Douglas is still young and is in the middle of his prime at twenty five years old. O’Sullivan is getting near the end of his prime and is currently thirty three years old.
O’Sullivan and Douglas have similar knockout power. Douglas has stopped sixteen of his opponents and has one stoppage loss. O’Sullivan has stopped eighteen of his opponents and also has one stoppage loss.
Both boxers fought once in 2016 and three times in 2017.
Douglas has defeated the likes of Juan De Angel, Istvan Szili, and Thomas Lamanna. His lone loss was to Avtandil Khurtsidze and he drew with Micahel Soro.
O’Sullivan has defeated the likes of Nick Quigley, Melvin Betancourt, Milton Nunez, and Matthew Hall. The two times he faced good opposition, Chris Eubank Jr. and Billy Joe Saunders, he lost.
Douglas has quick hands and is willing to throw combinations and take risky exchanges. But his opponent is a veteran with knockout power.
This fight should be a tense and close fight, but it’s a fight that Douglas should be considered a close favorite.
Billy Joe Saunders (25-0) vs. David Lemieux (38-3): WBO Middleweight World Title
The main event of the evening is between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux for the WBO Middleweight Title. The winner of this bout may set himself up for a future fight with either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez.
Both boxers are twenty eight years old and are in the midst of their prime. Saunders will have a slight inch and a half height advantage on Lemieux, but Lemieux has thirty three stoppage victories to his credit while Saunders only has twelve stoppage victories.
This will be Saunders first fight outside of the United Kingdom, but he doesn’t seem bothered by it. He recently stated, “I’m used to fight outside the UK, I’m a traveler of the world. I don’t care if there’s a million people. It’s just me and him in that ring, end of the story. As for the rest, I don’t care.”
Saunders does have a better amateur resume than Lemieux. He is a former Commonwealth Champion and competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Lemieux was the Canadian Junior National Champion in 2006.
However, Lemieux does seem confident in his power and his ability to hurt Saunders with his power. He stated, “I’ve never said that I doubted his chin. Regardless he will hit the floor. And whether I win by knock out or go 12 rounds, it’s no matter. But I will drop him and I will hurt him”
Saunders has defeated the likes of Willie Monroe Jr., Artur Akavov, Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr., Gary O’Sullivan, Matthew Hall, and Jarrod Fletcher.
Saunders though has not been very active the past two years. He only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016.
It should be noted that his win against Andy Lee was a majority decision and his win against Eubank was a split decision.
Lemieux has defeated the likes of Curtis Stevens, Glen Tapia, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hector Camacho Jr., and Elvin Ayala. His losses were to Marco Antonio Rubio, Joachim Alcine, and Gennady Golovkin.
The biggest intangible of this fight is the fact it takes place in Quebec, Canada and Lemieux is Canadian. The fans will be backing Lemieux in this fight and that kind of support has been known to influence the judges.
Saunders two biggest victories were close decisions in the United Kingdom. It’s unlikely he’ll get a close decision in Canada.
As long as Lemieux can keep up his energy and pressure for all twelve rounds it’s a fight that he can and should win.
Benavidez Outpoints Gravil For WBC Strap
By: Sean Crose
Twenty year old David Benavidez aimed to make history Friday evening in Las Vegas as he battled to become the youngest fighter to ever attain a super middleweight championship. The talented, exceedingly hard hitting Phoenix native was putting his 18-0 record on the line against 18-1 Floyd Mayweather protege Ronald Gavril. The bout was the main event of a Showtime Special Edition boxing broadcast and was aired live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Photo Credit: Showtime Sports
Before the Benavidez-Gavril bout, however, two other fights aired live. First, a pair of super middleweights faced off in a ten rounder. Up and comer Caleb Plant, 15-0, started off crisp against Andrew Hernandez, 19-6-1, employing his jab and effectively closing the distance. Plant kept up the momentum throughout the early portion of the bout, yet remained patient so as not to get caught unawares by his opponent.
By the middle rounds it had become clear that Hernandez, brave and game as he was, simply wasn’t as sharp and strong as his foe. Still, the Phoenix native was game. Bleeding from a cut and determined to show he could last, Hernandez did indeed make it to the final bell. The decision, however, went to Plant. While he certainly didn’t look bad, Plant didn’t particularly impress, especially when one considered the fact that Hernandez took the fight on short notice.
Next up, J’Leon Love, 23-1, fought Abie Han, 26-3, in another 10 round super middleweight affair. The early portion of the bout proved to be entertaining. Love’s shots and high guard were proficient enough, but Han’s off-beat style seemed to give Love some trouble, as did some of Han’s shots. To his credit, Love remained patient as the fight carried into the middle rounds. Han was very effective in his own right, though, making for a relatively fan friendly affair.
Then, in the eighth, a serious accidental headbutt impacted Love and sent Han to the ground in serious physical pain. So serious was the clash that ringside physicians had to attend to Han before a decision was read. Sure enough, the poor man – although conscious – had to be wheeled out on a stretcher. Needless to say, the judges ruled it a draw, though one judge had the score insanely biased in Love’s favor.
It was then time for the main event. With the WBC world title at stake, Benavidez and Vegas fighter (by way of Romania) Gavril had twelve rounds before them to prove who was the better man. The first round saw Benavidez trying to land clean while Gavril attempted to work the body. Gravil was excellent in the third – at least until the end, when Benavidez came on strong and started going powerfully to the body himself. The fourth was almost too close to call. Gravil regularly went to the body, but Benavidez had powerful moments.
By the time the middle rounds arrived, the fight had fallen into a pattern: Benevidez would throw the faster, flashier shots while Gravil kept his sights on Benavidez’ torso. It now seemed to be a question of whether or not Gravil’s body blows would eventually pay off. The sixth was largely a Gravil round. Was Benavidez taking a round off – or tiring?
As the fight rolled into the later rounds, Benavidez did indeed seem tired. “You took his best shot,” said Gravil’s trainer, former great Eddie Mustafa Mohammad, “he ain’t got nothing left.” And there was truth to be found in that statement, for Benavidez’ power seemed to have left him, at least to some degree. Yet the man found enough strength to hurt Gravil at the end of the tenth. There was no doubt, however, that Benavidez was taking a lot of punishment himself.
Still, Benavidez came back strong – very strong – in the eleventh. Sure enough, it looked like Gravil might actually hit the mat. The man survived, though. He even got some strong shots in of his own. The round, however, clearly belonged to the rejuvenated Benavidez. The twelfth and last round opened with Benavidez landing strong. Gravil managed to hold on, though. Then, stunningly enough, Benavidez went down from a Gravil shot. The fighter got up and survived the round, but it was some kind of fight.
When all was said and done, Benavidez walked away with the split decision win…and the WBC title belt.
Unbeaten Benavidez Brothers Take Different Routes to Success
By: Ken Hissner
In talking to the father and trainer Jose Benavidez, Sr. from their Big Bear, CA, training camp about his sons Jose, Jr. and David Benavidez they have taken different routes from their amateur experiences to their unbeaten professional careers.
Jose Benavidez, Jr., 25-0 (16), at 25 had a 120-5 amateur career and had a fast start in 2010 winning 9 fights that year.
He has had an up and down career but still maintained his unbeaten record. In his last bout in July of 2016 he defeated Francisco Santana, 24-4-1, in Las Vegas, NV. Santana had a draw with recent title challenger Julian Williams of Philadelphia to his credit.
In 2014 Jose, Jr., won the interim WBA World super lightweight title defeating Mauricio Herrera, 21-4, of Mexico, who in a previous fight that year lost a disputed decision to then WBA Super world and WBC super lightweight champion Danny Garcia of Philadelphia, in Puerto Rico.
In his first defense he stopped Jorge Paez, Jr., 38-5-2, of Mexico in the twelfth and final round. He is co-managed by David A. Garcia and promoted by Top Rank.
The younger brother David “El Bandera Roja”, 18-0 (17), only had a 15-0 amateur record but has made the most of it since turning professional in 2013 and in his last bout stopped Rogelio Medina, 37-7, in May to earn a world title fight September 8th for the vacant WBC Super middleweight title against Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-1 (14), out of NV, in Las Vegas. The latter is filling in for former champion Anthony Dirrell who was injured in training. Benavidez is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing and also co-managed by David A. Garcia. With a victory on September 8th David would be the youngest boxer not only to be the current youngest but the youngest ever to win the super middleweight championship of all time. His advisor is Al Haymon.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Shields, Cintron, Benavidez, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Shields, Cintron, Benavidez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 6th to June 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Barclays Center to Host Matchup Between Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia
Four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner and three-division world champion Mikey Garcia square off in a blockbuster matchup in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, Saturday, July 29, live on SHOWTIME, presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Tickets to the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are priced at $950, $750, $350, $300, $250, $150, $75, and $50 (not including applicable fees), and will go on sale on Thursday, June 15 at 10 a.m. ET, and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, June 16 at noon (if tickets are still available). Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
“Broner vs. Garcia is one of the year’s biggest matchups in boxing and we anticipate an electric atmosphere at Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “This will be our fourth major card in 2017 as BROOKLYN BOXING continues to deliver dramatic moments, competitive fights, and many of the sport’s biggest names to fight fans.”
Broner and Garcia, two world-class fighters in their prime, meet at a critical time in their respective careers in one of the most intriguing matches in boxing. Both Broner and Garcia have had spectacular victories at Barclays Center in Brooklyn during their careers. Broner successfully defended his welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi at Barclays Center on June 22, 2013, and Garcia, coming off a lengthy layoff, defeated Elio Rojas via fifth-round TKO at the arena on July 30, 2016.
Broner, a three-division world champion by the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes in the sport today. Among the top 140-pounders in the world, Broner is undefeated at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. At just 27 years old, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) still believes he is the future of the sport and looks to prove it against Garcia on Saturday, July 29.
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Broner has achieved more in his young career than most fighters can hope for in a lifetime. After earning world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner won a belt in a fourth weight division – 140 pounds – in October 2015 when he defeated Khabib
Allakhverdiev via 12th round stoppage to become the second youngest four-division champion in boxing history at 26 (behind Oscar De La Hoya, 24). Broner will turn 28 years old on July 28, the day before his bout with Garcia.
Garcia, 29 years old and undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs), is a recently crowned lightweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport. He will move up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia. He has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but has never fought above 138.
Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat. After defeating Rojas, Garcia became a three-division champion by beating previously undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin with a vicious third-round knockout this January. Garcia has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido and Bernabe Concepcion.
Top Golden Boy Promotions Talent Set to Showcase their Skills Saturday Night
Top Texas contenders and prospects from across the state will come together this Saturday night, June 17 for an action-packed evening of fights from the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
As part of the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN telecast, Championship hardware will be on the line in the all-Texas, eight-round co-main event as standout Golden Boy Prospect Joshua “The Professor” Franco (10-0, 6 KOs) of San Antonio faces off against Oscar Mojica (10-2, 1 KO) of Dallas for the WBC Youth Silver Flyweight title.
In the six-round TV opener, highly decorated amateur and super lightweight prospect Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs) from Dallas will search for his sixth consecutive knockout victory against Ricardo Fernandez (3-5-4) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Hoping to make TV, red-hot super featherweight prospect and Dallas native Javier Martinez (1-0, 1 KO) will appear in a four-round fight against Daniel Gutierrez (2-5, 2 KOs) of San Diego, CA.
Those three fights are in support of the main event in which heavy-handed super lightweights Pablo “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano (30-5-1, 21 KOs) and Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (23-3-1, 19 KOs) will battle over 10 rounds for the vacant WBC Fecarbox super lightweight title.
Off TV, a quarter of Texas prospects will fight to take their next step to stardom. San Antonio native Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. (9-0, 4 KOs), a super featherweight, will fight Eduardo Reyes (7-9, 5 KOs) of Reynosa, Mexico for six rounds. Austin’s own Travell “Black Magic” Mazion (11-0, 11 KOs) will look to make a dozen straight knockout victories to begin his middleweight career in a six-round fight against Fort Worth’s Even Torres (6-3, 5 KOs).
Dallas’ own Alex Rincon (1-0, 1 KO), a super welterweight, will step into a four-round fight against Austin-based Zachary Briones (1-3). Opening up the card will be two Texas fighters making their professional debuts, as Fort Worth’s David Fabela takes on San Antonio’s Zachary Lee in a four-round lightweight affair.
Cano vs. Maldonado, Jr., a 10-round super lightweight fight for the vacant WBC Fecarbox super lightweight title, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Hennessy, never stop, never settle. The bout will take place outside on Saturday, June 17 at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star in Frisco, Texas on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes starting at 11:00 p.m. EST/10:00 p.m. CST/9:00 p.m. PST.
The ESPN3 and WatchESPN App coverage will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. CST/7:00 p.m. PST.
Tickets for Fight Night at The Star are on sale and priced at $90, $50, and $20, not including applicable service charges. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will be available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com. Additionally, walk up purchases are available at the AT&T Stadium Box Office (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. CT to 5:00 p.m. CT) or on day of the event at the Ford Center Box Office beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Super Middleweight Contender David Benavidez Does Admirable Job Behind Fox Sports 1 Mic for Brandon Rios’ Comeback Victory Last Sunday
Phoenix, Arizona-based super middleweight phenom David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez spent some time behind the microphone last Sunday, while waiting eagerly for his potentially record-breaking world championship challenge.
Undefeated Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) did an admirable job serving as a Fox Sports 1 guest commentator for former champion Brand Rios’ exciting comeback victory over Aaron Herrera at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California.
Benavidez is coming off a star-making eight-punch combination KO 8 of fellow contender “Porky” Medina at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
The 20-year-old now waits for word on who he will face for the WBC Championship in his try to become the youngest super middleweight world champion in boxing history. Darrin Van Horn, who was 22 years, 8 months and 11 days old when he beat Lindell Holmes for the IBF super middleweight championship on May 18, 1991.
Meanwhile, highlights of Benavidez’s sensational victory over Medina continue to rack up views on YouTube. (Click HERE). At last count, the victory had garnered nearly 350,000 views. On the Premier Boxing Champions Facebook page, a similar video has 1.1 million viewers and on other pages, over 3.8 million.
“David is a talent at everything he does,” said his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz. “Thank you to the PBC and Fox Sports for allowing him to reach a dream and work as a commentator while he awaits his ultimate dream: to become the youngest champion in history at 168 lbs.”
Sydney LeBlanc Steps in to Face Two-Time Gold Medalist Claressa Shields
Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc is stepping in on three days’ notice to face Women’s NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields of Flint, Michigan, in the eight-round main event of Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl” this Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.
33-year-old LeBlanc (4-1-1) from Gretna, Louisiana, represents a step up in competition from original opponent Mery Rancier, who was unable to participate due to visa issues. A six-year pro who was already in training for a fight on June 10, LeBlanc says she’s eager for the chance to upset the two-time Olympian and budding women’s superstar Shields.
“I’ve been pro boxing for nine years, since before the Olympics had a women’s division and I’ve taken a lot of time off because of a lack of available opponents,” explained LeBlanc. “These Olympians are reopening the gates for all female fighters. Everybody was on the shelf for years.
This is the first time female boxing has been popular since the Ann Wolfe days, so I’m very appreciative of the opportunities they are bringing.
I’ve never watched any of my opponents before a fight, but I know about Claressa Shields and I want to fight her. I’m looking at this fight as a good chance to see where I’m at, skill-wise and I’ll be ready.”
Shields vs. LeBlanc will be contested for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship.
Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
Kermit Cintron to Face Tyrone Brunson for Pennsylvania State Junior Middleweight Title
The stakes have been raised for the much anticipated showdown between former two-time world champion Kermit Cintron & Tyrone Brunson, that will take place on Saturday, June 24 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania State Junior Middleweight title will be on the line when those two combatants meet in a bout scheduled for 10-rounds.
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
“This was already a tremendous event, and now even more is on the line with the addition of the state title bout. This fight has the makings of an explosive fight, with the winner being in line for a major opportunity, said Marshall Kauffman, CEO of King’s Promotions.
That bout will headline an eleven bout card with some of the best fighters in the area being on display.
In the six-round co-feature, Anthony Burgin (10-3, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on Victor Vazquez (7-3, 3 KO’s) of Yonkers, NY in a super lightweight bout.
Also in six-round bouts:
Undefeated Steven Ortiz (6-0, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named in a lightweight contest.
Jerome Conquest (7-2, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will fight Jae Ho Kim (6-3-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia in a lightweight battle.
Daryl Bunting (3-1-1, 1 KO) of Asbury Park, NJ will square off with Gregory Clark (2-1-1, 1 KO) of Washington, DC in a super middleweight fight.
Marcus Bates (6-0-1, 6 KO’s) of Washington, DC will take on Roberto Pucheta (10-11-1, 6 KO’s) of Jalisco, Mexico in a bantamweight fight.
Nate Rivas (5-2, 2 KO’s) of Berlin, NJ will fight James Robinson (4-7-4, 1 KO) of York, PA in a junior middleweight affair.
In four-round bouts:
Chaise Nelson (5-1, 3 KO’s) of Dayton, OH will take on Jordan Peters (2-0-1, 2 KO’s) of Washington, DC in a super bantamweight tussle.
Nick Valliere (5-2, 2 KO’s) of Forked River, NJ will battle Randy Hedderick (2-7-1, 1 KO) of Gulfport, MS in a junior middleweight bout.
Colby Madison (4-0, 3 KO’s) of Baltimore, MD will take on an opponent to be named in heavyweight fight.
Brandon Robinson (3-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia boxes Rafael Valencia (3-7-1, 2 KO’s) of Medford, OR in a super middleweight bout.
Christopher “Ice” Brooker Headlines at SugarHouse Casino Friday!
Christopher “Ice” Brooker Headlines at SugarHouse Casino Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions with CEO Marshall Kauffman and David Feldman come back looking for another sold out arena Friday night at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia!
A press conference was held at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia Tuesday on 1001 N. Delaware Avenue. There will be seven bouts with a total of 38 rounds of competitive boxing. First bout at 7pm.
Philadelphia’s ever popular super middleweight Christopher “Ice” Brooker, 11-3 (5), will be in the main event looking to stop a two fight losing streak as he takes on southpaw Oscar Riojas, 14-7-1 (4), from Monterrey, MEX, over 8 rounds.
Promoter Kauffman said “no soft fights for the fighter’s only entertaining fights. We sold out the arena in our first show and expect to do it again in our second show here at the SugarHouse Casino come Friday night”.
“I made the mistake of trying to box instead of my usual aggressive style in my last fight. There will be none of that this time,” said Brooker. He had a new trainer in his corner last fight named Muhammad Aziz who will be there again. “I didn’t have a big amateur career so every fight is a learning experience for me,” said Brooker.
First boxer to speak was Philadelphia’s cruiserweight Sam Orapeza, 1-0 (1), a cruiserweight and former MMA fighter at 13-3 with all knockout wins. “I look to knockout every opponent they put before me,” said Orapeza. He debuted at the SugarHouse Casino March 11th scoring a first round knockout! He will face Kyle McNutt, 1-2 (1), of Battle Creek, MI. Like BrookerOrapeza is all action!
The co-feature will be headlined by Lightweight Jerome “The Conqueror” Conquest, 6-2 (1), of Philadelphia who had his trainers Wade and Randy Hinnant there. “I broke my foot but wasn’t diagnosed properly and did my roadwork for 17 weeks before it was discovered broke. I was out for 6 months but it feels fine now,” said Conquest. He is matched with veteran Daniel Perales, 10-9-1 (5), out of Monterrey, Mexico, over 6 rounds.
David Feldman let all in attendance know that “Sam, Chris and Jerome didn’t have it easy growing up and it prepared them for the sport of boxing”. Bantamweight Harold Lopez, 1-0 (1), who is out of Allentown and who was on the Puerto Rican Olympic team is backafter scoring a first round knockout on the last show. He faces Sergio Aguilar, 2-5 (2), of Mexico City, Mexico. Anytime a Puerto Rican and Mexican meet it usually means fireworks!
From out of state will be Featherweight Chaise Nelson, 4-1 (3), of Dayton, OH, will be in a 6 round bout. He will be in against his sixth straight Latino opponent in Bryan Perez Nevarez, 2-5-1 (1), of Puerto Rico. Also from out of state is lightweight Jeffrey Torres, 2-0 (1), out of CT, who takes on Kashon Hutchinson, 2-2 (1), of Reading. Torres wins were both in Philadelphia. In a 6 rounder is super middleweight Blake Mansfield, 4-0-1 (2), coming in from Burlington, NC, taking on Henry Beckford, 4-6 (1), of Coram, NY.
Also on Saturday at the Grundy Arena in Bristol, PA, on 475 Beaver Street will feature southpaw Derrick “Take It to The Bank” Webster, 22-1 (11), out of Glassboro, NJ, who will face southpaw Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 22-5-1 (7), from Norfolk, VA, who is on a 6 fight winning streak for the WBFInternational super middleweight title over 10 rounds!
There will be a female bout in the co-feature with super lightweight Tunisian IkramKerwat, 7-1 (5), out of Frankfort, Germany against Atlantic City welterweight Althea “Lady Thunder” Saunders, 3-3-2 (0), who is known at times to sing the National Anthem. It will be for the WBF Junior Regional title over 6 rounds.
On the undercard will be Trenton’s Mike Hilton, 5-0, Camden’s Vidal Rivera, 5-0, New York’s MikkelLesPierre, 15-0-1, Asbury Park’sDarryl Bunting, 3-1-2, and Pensacola’s Frederick Wilhite, 5-0.
New to the area will be promoters Deuce Promotions, Mis Downing Promotions and K5 Promotions per Marc Abrams who is the PR man for both shows.
Canelo vs. Chavez Undercard Results: Diaz, Matthysse, and Lemieux Win Convincingly
Canelo vs. Chavez Undercard Results: Diaz, Matthysse, and Lemieux Win Convincingly
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has quickly become the new hotspot to for big fights time pay per view fights and was the host site for tonight Golden Boy Promoter pay per view card headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.
The first bout of the under card was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (23-0) and Manuel Avila (22-0) in the featherweight division.
Avila pressed forward in the opening moments of the first round but was a little short with his punches while Diaz was sharp with his straight left right hook combination. Diaz’s jab controlled the distance in the first and second rounds.
Diaz stayed disciplined in the second and selectively slipped through his counters. Avila slipped at the end of the second round and looked slightly off balance.
Avila had a good third round with some good shots to the body, but Diaz ended strong with a straight left followed by a short left hook Avila forced his combinations in the fourth and fifth round and may have landed more punches, but Diaz landed the harder counters but wasn’t as active as Avila.
A cut above Avila’s left eye was bothering him in the sixth round and Diaz took advantage by pressing his attacks and landing hard straight left hands. The sixth was Diaz’s most dominant round of the night at this point of the fight.
Diaz’s seventh round was just as good as the sixth. His right hook to the head and body was especially on point, and the highlight of this round was a Diaz combination on Avila by the corner.
Diaz was in clear control in the eighth round and landed some good shots to the body of Avila. Diaz staggered Avila twice in the ninth round and nearly scored a knockdown.
Avila needed a knockout in the final round to win, but he didn’t come close to achieving it.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91 for Joseph Diaz.
The next bout of the night was between Lucas Matthysse (37-4) and Emmanuel Taylor (20-4) in the welterweight division.
This was Matthysse’s first fight since his knockout loss to Postol, but he came out strong behind his double jab and landed good shots to the body and head. Matthysse landed a straight right at the end of the first round that hurt Taylor, but Taylor was able to survive the round.
Taylor was pensive of Matthysse’s power in the second round and was taking several hard combination. Matthysse had Taylor covering up by the ropes on more than one occasion in the second.
Taylor came out aggressively in the third round but head butted Matthysse early on and forced the referee to momentarily stop the bout. Taylor came right at Matthysse when the fight resumed, but was tagged with a straight right hand that send him down to the mat. He was able to get back up and shake off the punch, but the power of Matthysse was being felt.
Matthysse’s aggression carried him through the fifth and sixth rounds as Taylor’s power paled in comparison to Matthysse. Matthysse landed a a hard combination on Taylor by the ropes in the fifth round that busted the nose of Taylor and sent him crashing to the mat.
Taylor as able to get up before the count of ten, but he was still on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the bout.
Lucas Matthysse wins by KO at 2:21 of the fifth round.
The final bout on the undercard was between David Lemieux (37-3) and Marcos Reyes (35-4) in the super middleweight division.
Lemieux comes out showing good head movement, but Reyes was able to land his jab in the first thirty seconds in the bout. Lemieux connected good shots to the body and was chasing Reyes around the ring and invested in the body. Reyes was able to land some good jabs, but Lemieux was clearly the aggressor.
Lemieux was able to open up a cut over the eye of Reyes in the second round and forced Reyes to grab on nearly every time he landed a shot. Lemieux hard a dominating third round and was landing some heavy, heavy, power shots. Reye’s right eye was bleeding badly and his chin was tested often this round, but somehow he stayed on his feet the entire round.
Lemieux’s power display continued in the fourth round with a straight right hand that knocked out the mouthpiece of Reyes. However, Reyes was able to land some surprising right hands near the end of the round that may have stunned Lemieux.
Reyes is a little more active in the fifth round and lands some good punches on Lemieux and even outboxes Lemieux. Reyes chin tested often, but it somehow stays strong and he may have landed more punches than Lemieux in the fifth.
Lemieux appeared to be fighting more cautiously in the sixth round as his activity slowed down, Reyes however picked up his activity and threw a high volume of punches.
Lemieux was able to regain control in the seventh round with a vicious left hook that forced Reyes to hold on and slowed him down significantly. That control continued into the eighth round as Reyes badly needed a knockdown to turn the tide of the fight around.
Reyes fought valiantly and displayed great heart and a sturdy chin in the final two rounds, but he was not match a boxer with the pedigree of Lemieux.
David Lemieux wins by decision with scores of 99-90, 99-90, and 98-91.
David Lemieux Has Found Himself In Line For a Big Money Fight
David Lemieux has found himself in line for a big money fight
By: Matthew N. Becher
David Lemieux is keeping himself active after his knockout of the year performance against Curtis Stevens earlier this year. The former IBF Middleweight champion of the world will be on this weekends, Canelo v. Chavez Jr. Pay per view undercard. Lemieux will be taking on Marcos Reyes, in a fight that could have many big fight implications attached.
Lemieux is ready to not only take on the winner of the main event between Canelo and Chavez, but possibly landing a title shot against Billy Joe Saunders is on the table and even a possible rematch with the king of the Middleweight Division, Gennady Golovkin.
As told to esnewsreporting.com, Lemieux spoke about possibly getting a shot at fighting Canelo this fall,
“When the time comes for me to fight Canelo, my arms are wide open. I’m not going to say no to nobody. I can see myself beating these guys, and they’re going to fear me, and not me fear them.”
If a Canelo fight doesn’t happen, Lemieux and his team could look to move up the WBO rankings and take on BJ Saunders, for his piece of the Middleweight crown. A victory over Saunders would put him directly in line, once again, in a unification match against GGG.
“I know the adjustments to be made to beat a guy like that. He’s a human being. He’s a good fighter, but he’s a human being. Everybody has weaknesses. Everybody has strengths. I know my strengths going into a fight against a guy like Triple G. I’m never underestimating or downgrading him. He’s a great fighter. He’ll never be an easy fight, but he’s beatable. I think the fans would love that in the near future. It’ll prove to me that I can beat the best. I can do great things. I was ready to beat him. It’s about adjustments that have to be made. Now I know which adjustments that have to be made against a guy like that,” said Lemieux.
Lemieux first has to get through Reyes this weekend, but at only 28 years old, with a good performance on such a largely watched stage, this could be the second coming of the former IBF champion. Stay tuned for some heavy hands from Lemieux come fight night.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 25th to May 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
“Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” to Air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes This Week Featuring Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The Golden Boy Media and Entertainment production of “Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” will air this week on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.
“We are very excited to further our partnership with ESPN by having Mano-A-Mano air across the ESPN family of networks as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight on Saturday, May 6.
We’ve had a successful start to the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series, and this is just the next step in what we hope to be a long partnership with ESPN” said Oscar De La Hoya, executive producer of “Mano-A-Mano” and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
“Mano-A-Mano The Battle for Mexico” – Air Schedule:
• Monday, May 1 available on ESPN’s VOD Platforms
• Tuesday, May 2 at 8:30pm ET – ESPN Deportes
• Wednesday, May 3 11:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Thursday, May 4 at 9:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm ET – ESPN 2
“Mano-A-Mano” goes behind the scenes of the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. megafight as Golden Boy Media and Entertainment takes you into the camps of Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) as they prepare for their Saturday, May 6 showdown. “Mano-A-Mano” also features exclusive interviews with Canelo, Chavez, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, as well as others from around the fighters’ fight camps and promotion.
“Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has established itself as a leader in boxing television production for live, scripted, and documentary programming,” said Golden Boy Media and Entertainment Executive Vice President David Tetreault. “Golden Boy’s new partnership with ESPN creates the foundation for new and exciting programming that boxing fans will truly appreciate as they gear up during Canelo-Chavez, Jr. fight week.”
Deontay Wilder Conference Call Highlights
American Heavyweight Champion hosted a media conference call prior to the fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. Below are a few select quotes from the conference call.
“I love this fight for these guys. I love it for the sport of boxing. The fans seem to be well in-tune with it and I think this is a super fight for the heavyweight division.
“I can’t wait for it. I can’t wait to see what happens and hopefully those guys go in healthy and come out the same way. This is a very dangerous sport, especially when you’re trying to perform and put on a show.”
On what Wilder sees as vulnerabilities in Joshua..
“There’s a lot of flaws that Joshua has, but Joshua is still young in the game as well. A lot of people look at Joshua and they’re going off of his physique and they’re going off of the hype that their countryman has brought to them.
“If you really look deep down and soul search and look at his resume, with all of the guys he’s fought … that sometimes makes a person look busier than what he is. There’s a lot of flaws in all of us though, to be honest. Nobody will ever be perfect in the ring. We only try to be our best and that’s the only thing you should go off of.
“I am looking forward to this fight and I can’t wait. I want Klitschko to come in and fight. You can always be hyped for a big fight but it’s all going to boil down to what fighter is going to bring what to the fight. I think he’s ready and he’s going to show a lot of things. He’s going to teach Joshua a lot of different things in the ring, as well, and we’ll see if Joshua has any flaws or not.”
On potentially fighting the winner later this year…
“Hopefully. There are a lot of people that are involved in this. If it were just solely up to me then I’d be 1,000 percent confident, but it’s not just me. That’s what the fans want. I’ve been wanting to give the fans what they want my entire career. Unfortunately, I am one of those fighters that’s always getting the short end of the stick. I only can work with what I can work with.
“I am very confident that I am the best in this division. I am very confident that I will unify this division. I am very confident that I will retire on top, undefeated as well. I’m just waiting for my moment. I’ve been sitting patiently all of this time, even in the start of my career and I’m sitting patient now. I’m just looking forward to my turn.”
On why it’s important for him to be ringside in London…
“When you have guys that are competing against each other at the top, it’s only right for me to be there. I’m not just going out there to be on Sky Sports, I am for sure going there to scout. All the other heavyweights come to my fights. They’re not just there to be a fan. They’re there to scout and look for different openings and certain signs.
“I am definitely going over to scout. And maybe we can make a mega-unification bout.
“I want to go get [Joseph] Parker. Parker doesn’t have an opponent right now. I’m fresh. I’m ready and what would be better than me and Parker fighting for the unification and then have another unification where winner takes all at the end of the year? Then, 2018 you can start off the year with nothing but mandatories.
“The heavyweight division is getting exciting. This is the heavyweight division, and we’re already coming out of that dark place and we finally got light. Don’t take it back. Don’t go backwards when we’re moving so freshly forward. With that, I want to move it more forward. I want to give the fans what they want, and they want a unification. They want one champion and I’m trying to make that happen. So here I am Joseph Parker.”
Fans to Receive Exclusive Commemorative Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Fight Poster at Movie Theaters Across the Country
On Saturday, May 6, fight fans watching the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. superfight on the big screen will also each receive an exclusive commemorative fight poster with the purchase of a ticket (while supplies last). The Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. poster, issued by Fathom Events, features both fighters against a Mexican flag backdrop ready to meet in the ring to settle their boxing feud once and for all.
Cinemas across the U.S. will play host to a Cinco de Mayo weekend mega-fight with a pulse-pounding live broadcast event featuring two of Mexico’s finest boxers: “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” in a historic showdown that will rival the biggest fights in Mexico’s rich boxing history. Former two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will square off against former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy Promotions, the one-day cinema broadcast is set for Saturday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET, live from the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” cinema event are on sale now at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 250 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Memorabilia on Steiner Sports Auction Block
When heavyweight immortals Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier squared off for the third time in 1975 in the Philippines, it climaxed a bitter rivalry in a fight that many, including The Ring Magazine, rank as the #1 Fight of All-Time. Steiner Sports Memorabilia is now offering fans a chance to own a piece of history with an original promotional poster from the “Thrilla in Manila,” hand-signed by both Ali and Frazier.
The “Spring Fever Auction” has over 1,600 collectibles, and this one is certainly one of the rarest. The poster is a lithograph of an original Leroy Neiman painting, and features both Hall of Fame boxers in the classic fighter’s stance. The opening bid on this piece of boxing history was $500, but after spirited bidding over the past several weeks – six bids to date – the action is at $1,302. Visit http://auction.steinersports. com/ to bid. The auction closes at 10:00 pm on May 6.
Contact: John Cirillo, email@example.com, Diego Isio, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other boxing memorabilia featured includes:
•Muhammad Ali Signed Boxing Trunks
•Muhammad Ali Signed Gloves
•Mike Tyson Signed WBO Championship Replica Belt
•Oscar de la Hoya Signed Boxing Glove
•Joe Frazier Signed Boxing Glove
•Manny Pacquiao Signed Photo
David Lemieux Media Workout Quotes
Fighting as the co-main event to Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) makes quick return to the ring after spectacular knockout over Curtis Stevens in March to face tough Middleweight Contender Marco “Dorado” Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Below is what David Lemieux and his trainer had to say yesterday at their April 26 media day:
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight Champion:
“I’m in better shape than I was against Stevens. I only took a week off before heading back to the gym. I could not pass up the opportunity to fight on the May 6th card as the co-main event for Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., while all eyes will be on us. I love the Mexican fans who always put on a great atmosphere during the fights.
“Reyes is a solid opponent, but I am very confident in my abilities. I don’t think he will last long in the ring against me. I intend to make another statement on May 6.”
MARC RAMSAY, Trainer to David Lemieux:
“It’s going to be a good fight, especially in the early rounds. We are facing a bit of a kamikaze boxer, which we must take very seriously. You have to have a good defense and a good approach.
“When it comes to technique, David really is superior, so it’s going to have to show. He is very conscious of the extent of the importance of this fight.”
Jerome Conquest to Take on Daniel Perales in Co-Feature Bout on Friday, May 12th at the Sugarhouse Casino
Jerome Conquest will take on veteran Daniel Perales in the scheduled six-round super lightweight bout that will serve as the co-feature on Friday night, May 12th at The SugarHouse Casino
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
The bout will support the already announced main event that will pit Christopher Brooker (11-3, 5 KO’s) taking on Oscar Riojas (14-7-1, 4 KO’s) in a super middleweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.
Conquest of Philadelphia, has a record of 6-2 with one knockout, and will be making his first start in 2017.
The 31 year-old is a three-year professional, and trains out of the Joe Hand Boxing Gym under the tutelage of Wade and Randy Hinnant.
Conquest has a win over Christian Molina (4-1), and is coming off a close six-round unanimous decision defeat to Victor Vasquez on August 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, and I watched his most recent fight.
“I am happy to be back in the ring for the first time since my last fight in August. I am coming off a broken foot. I watched two of his fights. His fight against Damon Allen and I saw his last bout.. I think he is tough. He didn’t show too much in his last bout, but I know he is a tough guy, and I know he is not coming all the way from Mexico to get knocked out,” said Conquest
Perales of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 10-9-1 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old Perales is a six-year professional, and has faced some stiff competition.
He has faced six undefeated foes. Perales should be familiar to local fight fans, as he has dropped bouts to Frank De Alba and Damon Allen.
Perales has been on the wrong end of his last three fights with the latest being six-round unanimous decision defeat to Hector Tanajara on March 23rd in Indio, California.
Brooker of Philadelphia has a record of 11-3 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old is known for taking on anyone at anytime.
The combined record of his last seven foes is a staggering 92-9-3, with Brooker winning five of those bouts, and Brooker has appeared on national television three times.
Brooker is a two-year professional, who already has wins over Leo Hall (8-0), John Magda (11-0), Antowyan Aikens (10-1-1), Gabriel Pham (6-0) & former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (28-7-1).
Brooker has dropped his last two bouts to Ronald Gavril (16-1) in a bout that Brooker was even on the scorecards before being stopped in the final round. On January 20th, Brooker dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to undefeated Ronald Ellis (13-0-1) in Atlantic City. That fight was shown live on ShoBox: The New generation.
Riojas of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 14-7-1 with four knockouts.
The 33 year-old Riojas in a four year professional, who won his first 11 bouts. Like Brooker, Riojas has not shied from tough competition as the combined record of Riojas opponents that have defeated him are 81-1-2.
Riojas and Brooker have two common foes as Riojas has dropped fights to Gavril and Ellis.
Riojas is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Roberto Nafate on April 6 in Leon, Mexico.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens will meet in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark card in the active and exciting middleweight division. This bout will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino live in Verona, New York.
Yuriorkis Gamboa, and recent Golden Boy Promotions signee, will be fighting in the co-main event of the night and will be facing Rene Alvarado in the junior lightweight division.
Several other high level prospects will be fighting on the untelevised undercard, including boxers such as Zachary Ochoa, Diego De La Hoya, and Damon Allen Jr.
The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1) vs. Rene Alvarado (24-7); Junior Lightweight
Gamboa has been very inactive since he left Top Rank Promotions to sign with the short lived boxing promotional company ran by 50 Cent. He only fought once in 2015 and did not fight at all in 2016. He’s since signed with Golden Boy Promotions and looks to get his career back on track, and Golden Boy has picked the perfect opponent for him to shake off the ring rust.
Alvarado is seven years younger than Gamboa and will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as a seven inch reach advantage. He also fought twice in 2016 and five times in 2015 and has been considerably more active than Gamboa. However, his advantages stop there.
Gamboa has seventeen knockout victories while Alvarado has sixteen. Gamboa went 4-1 in his past five fights with only one stoppage victory while Alvarado went 2-3 in his past five fights.
Gamboa clearly has the better professional and amateur resume. He’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist and has defeated the likes of Hylon Williams Jr., Darleys Perez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jorge Solis, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Jose Rojas.
The only big win of Alvarado’s career was against Jayson Velez. He has losses to the likes of Manuel Avila, Andrew Cancio, Joseph Diaz, Eric Hunter, Rocky Juarez, Jezreel Corrales, and Orlando Rizo.
The inactivity would be a bigger concern for Gamboa if he was facing a tougher opponent, but Alvarado lost to nearly every big name opponent he has ever faced and Saturday will be no different.
David Lemieux (36-3) vs. Curtis Stevens (29-5); Middleweight
Lemieux and Stevens are both hard hitting middleweights with knockout power who put on exciting fights for their fans. They both also suffered stoppage defeats to the current middleweight kingpin, Gennady Golovkin.
This is a must win fight for both boxers if they want to fight for a world title in the near future. Lemieux will have about a two and a half inch height advantage but will be giving up an inch and a half in reach to Stevens. Lemieux is three years younger than Stevens and has been more active. Lemieux fought twice in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Stevens fought twice in 2016 and zero times in 2015.
They both has successful amateur careers as Lemieux was a three time Canadian Amateur Champion while Stevens was the 2002 US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion.
Lemieux and Stevens are both known for their power, but Lemieux has to be given the edge in this department. He has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Stevens has stopped twenty one. They both can be stopped as Stevens was stopped twice in his career while Lemieux has two stoppage losses.
Lemieux has beaten the likes of Glen Tapia, Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Hernando Guerrero, Jose Miguel Torres, Elvin Ayala, and Hector Camacho Jr. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Jachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.
Stevens has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa, Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Elvin Ayala, and Darnell Boone. His losses were to losses to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gennady Golovkin, Jesse Brinkley, Andre Dirrell, Marcos Primera (later avenged).
This could be a very entertaining fight, but Lemieux has the stronger amateur background, appears to be the stronger puncher, and has been considerably more active than Stevens recently. Stevens could win by stoppage, but momentum is on Lemieux’s side.
Underdog Turned Champ
Underdog Turned Champ
By: Iftisaam Khan
Drama. Power. Heart. It had it all.
Causing one of the biggest upsets in the Sport, Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew overcame the former WBA heavyweight champ, David Haye in dramatic circumstances at the O2 Arena in a night that was only expected to last a few rounds.
With some putting Haye ahead on points; things took a dramatic turn for the worse as the fighter’s rumoured Achilles injury became apparent in the 6th round.
Despite Haye’s chances been severely hindered, he was able to bring to carry on in true display of courage and heart as he withstood his opponent till his eventual demise in the 11th round after being knocked to the canvas. Throughout the late exchanges Bellew in particular was exhausted as he looked to find the finishing punch but he was able to find the last bit in the tank as he nailed home the victory.
What makes this such as special feat is the fact that the only person who believed he was able to accomplish this feat was Bellew and his team as he moved up to heavyweight for the first time.
Despite the daunting task of sharing the ring with one of the world’s most powerful punchers Bellew took it his stride and was able to defy the bookies who were heavily backing Haye to get the business done. It would have a been interesting to see how Haye would have fared without his injury, perhaps it would have been too much for the Liverpudlian but we will never know.
Taking the attention away from the main event to the other great action in the night saw O’Hara Davies turn his words into actions as he overcame Derry Matthews in a brutal finish with a KO in the third round to end proceedings as well as Matthews career as the 33-year-old called time on his boxing career.
Elsewhere saw the ever-improving Katie Taylor produce one of the best performances on the night as she overcame Monica Gentili in the 5th round. The Irishwoman was in a league of her own as she produced flawless display proving too much for opponent. Although its early days, we are potentially witnessing one of the greatest women’s boxers, so sit back and enjoy.
Adding to the fighters hanging up their gloves tonight was Pauli Malignaggi following his defeat against Brit, Sam Eggington. The American wasn’t able to get complete control over opponent, although he did land some successful shots on his foe he wasn’t able to make them count as Eggington took control of majority of the fight. In the 8th round the ‘Savage’ was able to end proceedings with a devastating hook to body, ending Malignaggi’s hope and ending his career.