Davis Pagan: The Nicest Boxer in Britain
By: Oliver McManus
Davis Pagan is known as “the nicest boxer in Britain” but he’s not just a humble man, he’s also a fantastically talented fighter with an 8-1 record as a super-welterweight; his one career loss was a fluke to Sonny Whiting and was avenged a mere three months later.
Aged just 27, the Basildon resident has been a pro for just over two years and is looking to consolidate on some solid foundations thus far and turn 2018 into his biggest fighting year yet – anyway, here’s what he had to say;
So you’ve been a pro since April 2016, 9 fights so far, how would you assess your career to date?
I believe I have had a successful start to my career despite a minor blip which I avenged soon after but I’ve already headlined a small show and boxed abroad and I’m very proud of all my friends and family who always turn out in force to support me! Each fight experience is one I’ll never forget thanks to everybody’s support!
And you’ve already been out in the ring this year, how often do you want to fight over the course of 2018?
I like to keep busy as I learn every fight so the more fights I can fit in the more on my way to be a more complete fighter so as long as everybody still interested in coming to support it’ll be possible to get out 4 more times this year.
I want to ask you about your fight with Andrei Dolhozhyieu, in Finland, how did that opportunity come about?
My stablemate Juho Haapoja who was European Cruiserweight champion at the time was headlining a show in his hometown in Finland so he managed to get me on with him which I’m very grateful for and also very thankful to all the Finnish people involved for making me feel so welcome.
Now you’re an MTK fighter, how influential has that link-up been?
I’m not an MTK signed fighter (oops, sorry) but I have good links with them getting me on their shows my manager Dereck and MTK cooperate well so really appreciative to get on the shows which are growing to be a huge platform for fighters.
I’m always interested, as a boxer, when you’re injured how do you maintain motivation to get back and fight?
I’ve been injured a few times including now and it does get you down and you end up feeling a bit lost but I try and keep positive and adapt my training methods to accommodate the injury, it’s more of a mental battle as I feel I’m losing opportunities to fight, but I’m a firm believer in everything for a reason.
Let’s talk about something a bit different, your Winston Churchill tattoo, just what was behind that?
I’m very patriotic and a proud Englishman so what better what way to show that than have one of the greatest British icons on me (laughs) – I’m very interested in British history and love how he rallied Britain in times of hardship, we also share the same birthday too.
Now , I’ve been told you’re the nicest boxer in Britain, is that true?
Hahaha!! Who told you that!? Don’t tell my future opponents! I heard people say it about me a few times but I bet my wife would say otherwise whilst I’m dieting and coming up to a fight! I always treat people how I’d like to be treated so maybe it comes from that?
And finally mate, what’s next for you? Any goals over the next 12 months?
I just want to keep busy and gain experience but before 2018 is over I want to be having a belt of some description around my waist!
There you are then, not just a nice guy but a bloody good boxer – Davis Pagan has proven himself in the ring, no less so than in his revenge victory over Sonny Whiting in which he displayed a boxing intelligence lacking in many; the super welterweight was last out at the beginning of March with an emphatic points victory over, durable, Andrei Hramyka; for the rest of 2018 and, indeed, Pagan’s career we will just have to wait and see what gets delivered.
Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis Ask For Golovkin and Lomachenko
By: Ken Hissner
After Saturday’s quick knockouts on Showtime two of the winners shot their mouths off after destroying lesser opponents and asking for something they may regret in the future. In other words “Watch what you ask for!”
Houston’s Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21) won the interim WBC World Middleweight title knocking out Hugo Centeno, Jr., 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, in the second round. Charlo only had one fight in 2017 against a much overrated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), from Argentina in the 4th round.
The former IBF World Super Welterweight Champion called out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), of KAZ and L.A., CA. who on May 5th will be defending his title or title’s against the WBC No. 1 Super Middleweight against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), of Armenia and Glendale, CA., who has lost to twin brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), back in March of 2015 via a 10 round decision. Martirosyan has never been stopped in his 40 bout career. He was the USA 2004 Olympian at welterweight.
The other winner Saturday night was Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, but having moved out to Las Vegas, NV. He stopped Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete Cuellar, 28-3 (21), former WBA World Featherweight Champion in the 3rd round to win the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title.
Interviewer Jim Gray brought up the name WBO Super World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1 (8), of the Ukraine now living in Oxnard, CA. He will be fighting WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares, 44-3 (27), of VZ now living in Tokyo, Japan May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
This writer considers Lomachenko P4P No. 1 and Golovkin P4P No. 2. Both are former Olympians with Lomachenko winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. Golovkin won a Silver Medal in 2004 after defeating Andre Dirrell losing in the final to Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov who never turned professional.
My thoughts are Charlo meeting the Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 33-2 (29), of Brooklyn, NY, and Maciej “Striczu” Sulecki, 26-0 (10), of Warsaw, Poland, winner on April 28th at the Barclay Center. Sulecki stopped Centeno in June of 2016 in the 10th round.
I’m sure that though under suspension for six months Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, and Golovkin will meet in sometime on or around September pending on the length of the suspension. That controversial draw that Golovkin got ripped off on should be changed to a NC or ND.
This writer felt that Golovkin could meet WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, 26-0 (12), of Hatfield Hertfordshire, UK, with all the titles on the line. He will meet Martin Murray, 36-4-1 (17), on June 23rd in the UK, whose only stoppage loss was to Golovkin in June of 2015 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round.
If Charlo and Davis get “WHAT THEY ASKED FOR” I’m sure it will not before 2019.
Showtime Boxing Results: Charlo and Davis Win by Knockout, Broner and Vargas Draw
By: Ken Hissner
Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotians and DiBella Entertainment on USA Showtime, at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY, put on a triple header Saturday night.
In the Main Event welterweights with former WBA World Super Lightweight champion Welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3-1 (24), of Cinn., OH, ended in a majority draw with former WBO World Welterweight champion Jesse “Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas, 28-2-1 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after exchanging jabs Broner landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. After over a minute of the round Broner landed a combination to the head of Vargas. It wasn’t until under a minute left in the round that Vargas landed a stiff jab to the chin of Broner. In the second round Vargas landed his first right of the fight to the chin of Broner. Broner with hands high is only using a jab in the round up to this point. Vargas landed half a dozen punches without return. Broner just shook his head as if to say “nothing on it!” Vargas landed a 3-punch combination in taking a good round.
In the third round Vargas used a jab to the mid-section of Broner. He followed upt with a good combination before Broner landed a good combination in return. Both exchanged body shots. The pace really picked up in the round. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the fourth round Broner counters with solid rights to the chin of Vargas. Both boxers landed well. Vargas landed a pair of rights to the head and Broner back with a right uppercut to the chin. Broner landed a good combination with Vargas countering with a right to the head at the bell.
In the fifth round Vargas continues to out work Broner until Broner rocked Vargas with a right to the chin. There was a mouse under the left eye of Vargas. Vargas landed half a dozen of unanswered punches as Broner came back just prior to the bell with a right of his own. In the sixth round Broner came out firing unlike previous rounds. Vargas landed an array of punches in what is a very good fight. Broner landed a 3-punch combination. Vargas landed a straight right to the chin of Broner who shook his head. With half a minute left Broner landed a low blow giving Vargas a half minute rest from referee Charlie Fitch.
In the seventh round Vargas comes out with a solid jab. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Broner who countered with a right of his own to the chin. Broner warned for using his elbow by referee Fitch. Broner ended the right with a right uppercut to the chin of Vargas. In the eighth round both boxers landed left hooks to the chin at same time. Broner landed Bof one another. Vargas continued landing good body shots. Vargas landed a right at the bell but was warned by referee Fitch for a late hit.
In the ninth round Broner came out dominating Vargas through the first minute. Vargas came back landing a big right to the head of Broner. Broner landed a good left hook with Vargas came back with a solid right to the chin of Broner. With half a minute left Broner turned up the heat getting the fans cheering with Broner rocking Vargas who almost looked like he was out on his feet at the bell. In the tenth round Broner went on the attack pushing Vargas back. Broner with hands to his side was trying to bait Vargas in. With half a minute left in the round Vargas landed a solid right to the head of Broner. Just prior to the bell Broner ended it landing a flurry of punches.
In the eleventh round Vargas is throwing rights to the head of Broner who is the aggressor. Broner landed a good right to the head of Vargas whose left eye is almost closed. It was a good close round. In the twelfth and final round Broner landed a good chopping right to the head of Vargas who is continuing backing up. Vargas started raising his hands at the halfway mark showboating. Vargas with less than half a minute to go landed a 3-punch combination to head and body of Broner. Broner’s new trainer Kevin Cunningham urged Broner throughout to do more. While Vargas trainer Mike “Body Snatcher” McCallum urged body work. It was an excellent fight.
Judge Lederman had it 115-113 Broner. Morgan and Marlinski had it 114-114. This writer had it 117-111 for Vargas.
Former World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, regained a world title when he stopped former WBA World Featherweight champion southpaw Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete” Cuellar, 28-3 (21), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:45 of round 3 for the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title, scheduled for 12 rounds.
In the first round Cuellar used a good jab while Davis was a little slower using his jab and a nice right uppercut to the body which may have hurt Cuellar with about a minute left in the round. Half a minute to go and Davis landed a right uppercut to the chin of Cuellar. Davis landed a good combination to the head of Cuellar right before the bell. In the second round Davis landed a lead left into the mid-section of Cuellar dropping him for the 8 count from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Cuellar was up and going after Davis for the remainder of the round until Davis landed a straight left to the chin of Cuellar.
In the third round after about a minute Cuellar landed a right hook to the left eye of Davis he shook his head from being hurt. Less than a minute to go in the round and Davis dropped Cuellar with his body landing three punches, body, head, body dropping him for a second time. Upon rising Cuellar had Davis all over him landing half a dozen punches with the final one a left hook to the chin dropping him for a third time in the fight causing referee Esteves, Jr. to wisely wave it off.
“I want to thank God,” said Davis. Upon being asked who he would like to fight next he answered “I would like to unify!”
Former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (22), of Houston, TX, knocked out Hugo “The Boss” Centeno, 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, at 0:55 of the second round for interim WBC World Middleweight title, 12 rounds.
In the first round Charlo came forward with a lot of feinting while Centeno was using his jab. It was into the final minute of the feeling out round before Charlo landed a double jab. The referee Steve Willis was slow breaking up the numerous clinches. In the second round Charlo landed a chopping right followed by another right and a left hook that had Centeno hurt, clash of heads and a left having Centeno going down and another right putting him on his back. Referee Willis didn’t have to count but did.
“I first want to thank God for who I wouldn’t be here without. Also, thank my manager, Al Haymon. I want Triple GGG, lets get it on,” said Charlo.
PBC on Showtime Preview: Davis vs. Cuellar, Charlo vs. Centeno, Broner vs. Vargas
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will be putting on a stacked card on Showtime live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Three fights are planned to be televised with a main event featuring the always entertaining Adrien Broner and former World Title Challenger Jessie Vargas. Jermall Charlo will also be fighting on the card for the vacant WBC Interim Middleweight Title. Gervonta Davis will also be taking on Jesus Cuellar for the WBA Junior Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
The undercard will feature boxers such as former Olympian Rau’shee Warren, two sport star Heather Hardy, as well as Dylan Price.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Gervonta Davis (19-0) vs. Jesus Cuellar(28-2); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Gervonta Davis, one of The Money Team’s best fighters in their stable, and Jesus Cuellar, a top contender in the featherweight division moving up to the junior lightweight division.
Davis is known for his knockout power, only of his opponents was able to make it to the final bell and he’s currently riding a ten fight win streak. However, Cuellar also has some power in his hands and has twenty one stoppage victories, though most of them came at a lighter weight.
Davis has been fairly active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. He is also eight years younger than Cuellar and will only be giving up a half an inch in reach and height. Cuellar has been very in active and did not fight in 2017 and only fought once in 2016.
Cuellar competed for Argentina at the Pan American Games several times as an amateur and Davis was able to win a National Golden Gloves Title.
Davis has defeated the likes of Francisco Fonseca, Liam Walsh, Jose Pedraza, and Cristobal Cruz. Cuellar has beaten the likes of Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His losses were to Oscar Escandon and Abner Mares.
This will be a good test for Davis, as Cuellar is a solid fighter with good technique who has been in the ring with several high level boxers. Both boxers are southpaws so it will be interesting to see if Davis can adjust to facing a southpaw. But Davis is simply too young and too powerful for Cuellar and he should be able to overwhelm Cuellar by the middle rounds.
Jermall Charlo (26-0) vs. Hugo Centeno (26-1); WBC Interim Middleweight Title
Jermall Charlo and Huge Centeno looks like it could be the most competitive bout of the night. Both boxers are twenty sveen years old and both only fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Charlo is the bigger puncher of the two, as he has twenty stoppage victories, including four of his past five fights. Centeno only has fourteen stoppage victories. His lone loss was also by stoppage.
Charlo will be giving up two inches in reach and about an inch and a half in height to Centeno.
Both boxers had relatively successful amateur careers, but Centeno has a slight edge in terms of success. Charlo has a reported record of 65-6 as an amateur, while Centeno was very successful in the Junior Olympics, National PAL Tournament, and other National Tournaments in the United States.
Charlo has the better resume of the two. He has defeated Jorge Sebastian Heilan, Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage. Centeno has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa and Immanuwel Aleem. His lone loss was to Maciej Sulecki.
The longer this fight goes the better the chances are of Centeno pulling off an upset. However, the Charlo brothers have been very impressive in the ring recently and should be considered to be the favorite.
Adrien Broner (33-3) vs. Jessie Vargas (28-2); Welterweight Division
The main event of the evening will be between the always controversial Adrien Broner and the very sound Jessie Vargas.
Both boxers are 28 years old, but Vargas will have a large four inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage. They both also only fought three times in the past two years, Broner fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Vargas fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Broner has the clear edge in power of the two. He has twenty four stoppage wins to his credit while Vargas only has ten. They both had successful amateur careers. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and had an amateur record of 300-19. Vargas was a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion and had an amateur record of 120-20.
Broner resume looks much better at the lighter weights in comparison to the heavier weight classes. His wins were over the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlos Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. He has losses to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Marcos Maidana.
Vargas has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Wale Omotoso, and Josesito Lopez. His losses were to Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Broner has been facing a lot of out of the ring issues recently and it may affect him on Saturday night. Vargas isn’t known for his power or an aggressive style that has been known to give Broner problems, but technically he’s sound and this writer has to give him a slight edge on Saturday night.
Gervonta Davis Feels He is the One To Become the next American PPV Superstar
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is working his way and building towards becoming the next American PPV superstar in boxing. His next step towards that journey is a chance to become a two time world champion when he faces former champion Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) this Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In what the organizers of the event say is for the vacant WBA Super World super featherweight title. That is confusing since the WBA already promised not to create anymore title belts and if this bout is truly for the vacant Super title then Alberto Machado the current world champion for the WBA at super featherweight has been downgraded to regular title holder, in favor of Davis challenging Cuellar who hasn’t fought in 16 months and is coming off a loss in a lower weight category.
Nevertheless, Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) is a significant favorite to win the bout, but admits he hasn’t done much studying of his next opponent.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
““I’m not really into researching my opponents—or other fighters other than the ones that I like. I just train hard and fight who is in front of me. I know a little bit about him [Jesus Cuellar]. I know that he can hit, that he’s not going to back down and that he’s a tough opponent. I believe he’s my toughest opponent to date. On April 21, we will see if he is ready. I know for sure I will be,” Davis said.
Davis is coming off his best year as a professional prize fighter winning his first world title last January when he stopped previously undefeated Jose Pedraza in 7 rounds. He followed that up with an impressive stoppage win over mandatory challenger Liam Walsh in less than three rounds in his opponent’s backyard. However, he ended the year with a minor setback in losing his world title on the scales and not having the most impressive performance against the undefeated but unheralded Francisco Fonseca.
Because of the minor setback, Davis has decided to make a change heading into his second world title opportunity by heading to West Palm Beach to join veteran trainer Kevin Cunningham and train alongside with former 4 division world champion Adrien Broner.
““I was actually going to go to Colorado to train, but Adrien invited me to come down here to West Palm Beach to check out the camp. He said I should come to Florida to train with him and Kevin. So I came down, I saw Kevin’s routine and I really liked it.
“There were a lot of distractions in Baltimore and I think they were a problem for me. I needed to straighten my head and focus on the things I have to work on. It was time to set my camp somewhere else.
“I needed a change after my last fight. I let myself down. I learned to be a different fighter, more responsible. I let others down, but think I let myself down more than anything,” Davis said.
With the change of scenery and more added discipline, expect a more explosive performance this time around from Tank Davis this Saturday. What the future holds for this exciting young fighter is what’s truly intriguing as rumblings that a falling out with current promoter Floyd Mayweather could perhaps produce a change in representation for the career of Tank Davis in the near future.
Whatever happens, Davis obviously feels he’s the one, the next great American PPV superstar the boxing world is searching for.
““I want to win more belts. I want to become a big star in boxing. I am going to put my work in the gym, put on a great performance in the ring and get back on track to become a world champion again.
“Being a world champion again is just a step closer towards my goal: I want to be a pay-per-view star. I want to be able to fight on pay-per-view against the big fighters and do big numbers,” Davis said.
Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV Undercard Results: Davis and Badou Jack Win by Stoppage, Tabiti Decisions Cunningham
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV attraction between all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC super star Conor McGregor.
Fight fans were treated to three bouts on the televised portion of the pay per view card, including two world title fights.
Photo Credit: USA Today
The first fight of the night was between Andrew Tabiti (14-0) and Steve Cunningham (29-8-1) in the cruiserweight division.
Cunningham is a former world champion in the cruiserweight division and Tabiti is prized prospect in the Mayweather Promotions stable.
Cunningham had the height advantage and looked to be in great shape. Tabiti was able to stay out of range in the first two rounds, but Cunningham was the more aggressive fighter and forced Tabiti to tie up often. Tabiti’s jab was landing in the second round and he landed a hard right uppercut at the end of a combination.
Cunningham’s punches were missing with increasing regularity from the first round to the fourth round and Tabiti remained an elusive target. Tabiti’s hands were faster and more accurate but Cunningham’s chin was able to take his best punches.
The fifth round featured two blistering combinations by Tabiti in the center of the ring. Tabiti was able to land his jab to the body and head of Cunningham in the sixth round. Cunningham’s frustration with his inability to mount an offensive attack continued into the seventh round.
Cunningham, to his credit, still came forward in the eighth round despite clearly being behind on the cards. He was able to force a few exchanges but Tabiti got the better of them.
Cunningham needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came.
Andrew Tabiti remained undefeated with a decision victory with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 100-90.
Nathan Cleverly (30-3) faced Badou Jack (21-1-2) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Title.
Jack established himself as the more accurate puncher in the first round and was able to do land some good body shots in the opening round. Cleverly looked like the bigger fight and was able to land some hard straight right hands at the end of the round.
Jack continued his body attack in the second round and he was able to land hard right uppercuts in the third round. Jack’s assault was more vicious in the fourth round and he had Cleverly’s nose busted from numerous uppercuts and left hooks.
Jack came out aggressively in the fifth round and obliterated Cleverly from corner to corner. Cleverly was taking several hard combinations without answering back. The referee let Jack batter Cleverly perhaps longer than he should have, but he finally stopped it near the end of the round.
Badou Jack wins the WBA Light Heavyweight by TKO at 2:47 of the fifth round.
Afterwards, Badou Jack called out Adonis Stevenson.
The final undercard bout was between Gervonta Davis (18-0) and Francisco Fonseca (19-0-1). This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Super Featherweight Title but Davis failed to make the contracted weight.
Fonseca looked awkward in the first round and Davis was able to land hooks and uppercuts to the body. Fonseca ate some heavy combinations in the second round but was able to take some of Davis’ best shots and reply with punches of his own.
Fonseca kept a high guard in the second round but had to absorb blows to the body. Davis began to showboat in the fourth round and landed a few left hooks after putting his hands behind his back, but Fonseca connected with enough punches to maybe steal the round.
Fonseca pressed the action in the fifth round and landed some good combinations to the head and body. Davis was telegraphing his punches and may have lost this round solely based on Fonseca’s activity.
Davis stopped showing off in the sixth round and stuck to a traditional boxing stance and was able to land sharp jabs and hard straight left hands. Davis finally stunned Fonseca in the seventh round with hard hooks but Fonseca stayed on his feet.
Davis opened up the eighth round with a stunning straight left hand and had Fonseca stuck in the corner. He connected with a left hook that may have landed on the back of Fonseca’s head, but Fonseca went to the mat holding the back of his head and was unable to get up.
Gervonta Davis wins by knockout at 0:39 of the eighth round.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Showtime’s Wild Saturday Boxing Card: Davis and Russell Victorious
Showtimes’ Wild Saturday Boxing Card: Davis and Russell Victorious
By: Sean Crose
Liam Walsh, 21-0, took a crack at the IBF junior lightweight title when he took on American champ Gervanta Davis, 17-0, in a sold out Copper Box arena in London.
Smith showed some nice range in the first, then refused to sit down in his corner. Davis, however, remained patient throughout the second, exuding terrific confidence in the process. It may have been a somewhat even round in the eyes of viewers and judges, but Davis acted as if he was completely in control. Perhaps he knew what would happen, for in the third he put his man down after several seconds of firing heavy shots. The Englishman got up, but that was polished off a few sharp punches later, when referee Michael Alexander wisely stopped the bout.
Showtime, which broadcast the bout, then went across the Atlantic to showcase a card live from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. First up was Rances Barthelemy, the 25-0 junior welterweight from Vegas by way of Cuba. Barthelemy’s opponent was 21-1 Belarus native Kiryl Relikh. Barthelemy was well regarded walking into the fight, but Relikh had his man in trouble after dropping Barthelemy in round five. To add to the suspense, Barthelemy dropped Relikh three rounds later. It was an interesting, competitive bout and there was much unhappiness when Barthlemy ended up winning by UD via some very wide scores.
The controversy was followed up by super middleweight Andre Dirrell, 25-2 facing Jose Uzcategui, 26-1, for the chance to face multi-titlist James DeGale (for Dirrell, that fight would be a rematch). The first round wasn’t overly eventful, but Dirrell was jostled by Uzcategui in the second. Indeed, it looked like the man might go down. Dirrell, however, was able to survive the round. What’s more, he was able to work effectively at points, but Uzcategui remained aggressive.
Dirrell came back in the third by employing a very impressive jab and slick defense. By the fourth, Dirrell was in fine form, jabbing and keeping away from his foe proficiently. And Dirrell continued to keep Uzcategui from taking complete control throughout the middle of the fight. Then, at the end of the 8th, Dirrell was hammered after the bell. Referee Bill Clancy subsequently disqualified Uzcategui. Afterward, a rumble erupted and at least one member of Dirrell’s team took shots at Uzcategui.
Word came out that Maryland police were looking for Dirrell’s uncle while essentially keeping Uzcategui in protective custody. It was also reported that Dirrell’s brother may have become violent with a commission member. An ugly scene all around.
It was time for the main event. Featherweight Gary Russell, 27-1, looked to hop back into the public consciousness by looking impressive against 25-2 Oscar Escandon. It was Russell’s second defense of his WBC world title and he had the comfort of fighting within his home state of Maryland. Columbia’s Escandon, however, was planning to make the most of this opportunity. Russell, one of the sports’ more impressive slicksters, may have told the tale in the first round, but Escandon was able to get in his shots.
Both men traded shots effectively in the second, making it a fast paced, close quarters round. Russell, however, was able to drop his man in the third. Escandon got to his feet, but Russell was finding his mark and landing with noticeable power. By the end of the round, Russell was landing hard and often enough to make one wonder if the man would run out of gas should Escandon refuse to be stopped. Russell never had to worry about it. For he stopped Escandon in round seven after what was an exciting, high octane bout. Escandon was a true warrior, but referee Harvey Dock had seen enough of Russell’s power shots landing clean.
To his credit, Russell apologized for the wild antics of the evening – even though they had nothing to him. Boxing could use more of that kind of class.
Josh Davis Stops Carlos Rosario at 2300 Arena in Philly Friday!
Josh Davis Stops Carlos Rosario at 2300 Arena in Philly Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
King’s Promotions returned to the 2300 Arena in South Philly on Friday night with 8 bouts and 46 rounds. They will be returning on June 24th with former champion Kermit Cintron and Tyrone Brunson.
In the main event lightweight Carlos “Rock Hands” Rosario, 7-2 (4), of Pennsauken, NJ, was down several times before being stopped by Joshua “Dynamite” Davis, 11-1 (5), of Wash. DC, at 1:49 of the seventh round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round it was a feeling out round with Rosario coming forward and Davis countering. In the second round Davis dropped Rosario with a left uppercut to the chin. In the third round it was close with the jab of Davis controlling things. In the fourth round Rosario had swelling under both eyes as Davis wasted little energy picking his shots.
In the fifth round Rosario landed his best punch so far a straight right to the chin of Davis. Rosario was switching back and forth from orthodox to southpaw. In the sixth round a counter lead right by Davis to the chin of Rosario put him down. In the seventh round Davis hurt Rosario having him out on his feet with a right to the chin followed up by a flurry of punches forcing referee Gary Rosato to wisely call a halt.
In the co-feature light heavyweight Amir Shabazz, 4-1 (1), of Philadelphia, lost a disputed decision to Antowyan “Iceman” Aikens, 10-3-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ, over 6 dull rounds.
In the first two rounds it was all Aikens with little opposition coming from Shabazz. In the third and fourth rounds Shabazz started fighting back keeping Aikens on the defense. In the fifth round Shabazz continued coming forward though suffering a cut along the left eyebrow.
In the sixth and final round Shabazz kept up what little action there was in this one.
Judge Rubenstein had it 60-54 while Vargas and Poturaj 58-56. This writer had it 58-56 Shabazz.
Lightweight Tyrone Crawley, 7-0 (0), of Philadelphia, shut out Juan Rodriguez, 7-7-1 (5), of Manasa, VA, over 6 rounds.
Judge Rubenstein had it 59-55 while Vargas and Kinney along with this writer had it 60-54.
In the first two rounds Crawley seemed to have a slight edge switching back and forth southpaw to orthodox. In the third round Crawley started putting his punches together with little return from Rodriguez. In the fourth round Crawley continued to move and jab always one step ahead of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez had a bloody nose from Crawley’s jabs. In the sixth and final round both let it all hang out. Referee was Bashir.
Super lightweight Steven Ortiz, 6-0 (2), of Philadelphia, scored a pair of knockdowns stopping Hector Rivera, 3-2 (2), of San Juan, PR, at 2:37 of the second round.
In the first round Ortiz had a snapping jab knocking the head of Rivera back. At the bell a left hook from Ortiz on the chin of Rivera dropped him. In the second round Ortiz was landing left hook after left hook until he finally dropped Rivera with one. Shortly after getting up Ortiz landed a right uppercut to the chin causing referee Rosato to stop it. Raul “Chino” Rivas was in the corner of Ortiz.
Lightweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, 9-0 (5), of Philadelphia, shut out survivor Brandon Sanudo, 5-4 (2), of Baja CA, MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the first round the first punch Velasquez landed was a solid jab almost knocking Sanudo down. In the second round Velasquez started landing power shots with both hands hurting Sanudo with a body shot making him start to run around the ring. In the third and fourth rounds Velasquez was chasing Sanudo landing more hard body shots.
In the fifth round Velasquez continued chasing down Sanudo. In the sixth and final round Sanudo did all he could do to survive the body shots from Velasquez when he caught up to him. Referee was Rosato.
Judge Vargas had it 60-53 while Kinney and Poturaj along with this writer had it 60-54.
In the opening bout Welterweight southpaw Vincent Floyd, 3-2-1 (2), of Philadelphia, scored several knockdowns stopping Rafael Montalvo, 3-6 (3), of St. Clair, PA, at 1:26 of the third round of a scheduled 6.
In the first round Montalvo had Floyd out on his feet against the ropes before Floyd was able to spin out of trouble. In the second round halfway through Floyd landed a straight left to the chin of Montalvo and down he went. In trying to get up he fell back again on his butt but did beat the count. Floyd would hurt Montalvo again just prior to the bell. In the third round Montalvo was going to the body side to side when all of a sudden Floyd dropped Montalvo. Upon getting up referee Rosato wisely stopped it.
Super lightweight Titos Gonsalves, 0-2 (0), of Philadelphia, was stopped after a pair of knockdowns by Gerardo Martinez, 1-0 (1), of Phoenixville, PA, at 1:47 of the first round.
In the first round Martinez scored a pair of knockdowns from right hands to the chin of Gonsalves before referee Bashir called a halt. Jimmy Deoria was in the corner of Martinez.
Junior welterweight southpaw Antonio “The Sniper” Allen, 0-6 (0), of Philadelphia, lost a lack luster decision to Demetris Williams, 1-2 (0), Philadelphia, over 4 rounds.
In the first round it was very close with Williams landing a solid right to the chin knocking Allen back several steps. In the second round Allen had a nasty cut above his left eye from a Williams right hand. In the third round a lead right to the chin by Williams rocked Allen. In the fourth and final round of a little action bout it looked like Williams may have pulled out his first win. Bashir was the referee.
All 3 judges Vargas, Rubenstein and Poturaj had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon
By: Seamus McNally
On Saturday night, WBC featherweight champion “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr. (27–1, 16 KOs) of Capitol Heights, Md. makes his long-awaited home debut when he takes Colombia’s Oscar Escandon (25–2, 17 KOs) at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
The bout caps the night of a split-site four fight broadcast on Showtime Championship Boxing. First up, IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (17–0, 16 KOs) of Baltimore, Md. travels across the pond into hostile territory to risk his undefeated record against fellow unbeaten Liam Walsh (21–0, 14 KOs) at the Copper Box Arena in London. Once that bout is complete, the televised bouts from the MGM National Harbor will commence.
The first televised fight in Maryland will be a 12-round junior welterweight title eliminator between Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy (25–0, 13 KOs), who will be moving up from lightweight, and Kiryl Relikh (21–1, 19 KOs) of Belarus. The co-feature bout is a 12-rounder for the interim IBF super middleweight title between Andre Dirrell (25–2, 16 KOs) of Flint, Mich. and Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui (26–1, 22 KOs).
Russell, 28, entered the professional ranks in 2009 with high expectations, having won numerous amateur national titles, earning a bronze medal in the 2007 world amateur championships, and making the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.
Russell was a very active fighter early in his career, and by the end of his third year as a professional, he had accumulated a record of 19–0, 11 KOs and was named 2011 Prospect of the Year by the likes of ESPN, Ring Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
After padding his record for a few more years against modest opposition, Russell got his first crack at a world title in June 2014 against two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell was outclassed and lost a 12-round decision.
Russell won a shutout decision against Christopher Martin that December and then got his second chance at a world title in March 2015. The outcome was different this time as Russell blitz WBC champion Jhonny Gonzalez en route to a fourth-round knockout win.
In his most recent fight, Russell obliterated the overmatched Patrick Hyland in the second round of their fight, which took place 13 months ago in April 2016.
Escandon, 32, was an Olympian himself, representing Colombia in the 2004 Athens Games. Unlike Russell, Escandon entered the paid ranks inconspicuously, building his record in his homeland save for two fights in Argentina and two in Panama before making his U.S. debut in 2014.
By the time Escandon reached U.S. soil, he sported a record of 23–1, 16 KOs. In his U.S. debut in December 2014 on ESPN Friday Night Fights, Escandon was awarded a very controversial decision over Canadian Tyson Cave that elicited an epic rant from color commentator Teddy Atlas once the decision was rendered.
Like Russell, Escandon fought only once in each of the last two years. In April 2015, Escandon lost a close split decision to the undefeated Moises Flores. In his most recent fight, which took place in March 2016 at the D.C. Armory, Escandon scored a seventh-round knockout of Mexico’s Robinson Castellanos.
For the first time in a long while, Russell will enjoy a height advantage in the fight. Escandon is one of the shortest fighters in all of boxing, standing at just 5’1″. Because of his short stature, Escandon tends to throw looping shots to try and reach his opponents’ heads. He puts constant pressure on his opponents, always moving forward. Escandon does not move his head much, as he usually just holds his gloves up, blocking and eating punches as he tries to walk his opponents down to get in punching range.
Russell has arguably the fastest hands in all of boxing, and knows how to use it. Some fighters rely too much on their speed and are not technically sound and get caught (Amir Khan), whereas Russell patiently sets up his shots, and is almost never out of position.
Escandon has one chance to win this fight. The only knock on Russell is that he always throws his punches at the same speed, never varies them up. The saying is timing beats speed, so Escandon may be able to time one of Russell’s punches and connect flush with a looping shot over the top and hurt Russell.
I look for Russell to establish his sharp jab early, and use good lateral movement to keep the charging Escandon at bay. Russell will take out Escandon in the middle rounds, as the blazing combinations will be too much for Escandon to withstand.
Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. going ALL IN with Gervonta Davis?
Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. going ALL IN with Gervonta Davis?
By: Matthew N. Becher
Ever since the beginning of boxing the future stars of the sport are always compared to their counterparts of the past. Who is the next Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, etc., etc. It is something that goes hand in hand with the history of the sport, the same as “WHO” of this era could beat “WHO” of that era. It is a fictional dialogue that will never cease to exist.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Showtime
The interesting part about one of the fights coming up this weekend is, has a fighter ever been mentored by who they are being compared to, and if so, have they ever been managed and promoted by their past comparisons?
This Saturday undefeated, IBF Super featherweight champion, Gervonta Davis will be defending his title for the first time against Liam Walsh. Davis, who is only 22 years old with an unblemished record of 17 wins with 16 coming by way of Knockout , is one of the fastest, flashiest and well poised champions around today. For a 22 year old, he is years beyond his skill and looks to have the potential of an all-time great. Now here is the kicker, “Flashy”, “Fast”, “Young”, all these words were also used to describe Gervonta’s promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr. And the question has certainly come up, is Davis the next “Money” Mayweather?
From watching Davis train in front of him at the Mayweather Boxing Club, to going on late night runs side by side through the Las Vegas streets, Floyd Mayweather seems much more hands on with Gervonta Davis then he has been with any other of his TMT fighters.
“It’s not just one performance. It takes more than just one performance. We truly believe that he can be a great fighter, but he came in his last fight with only 16 fights and beat the champion. We know he’s not going to lay down. This kid has dynamite in both hands. If he keeps going out there beating great fighters he cannot be denied.” Floyd said of Davis. “’ I told him, ‘if you listen to me and continue to work hard I truly believe you can be world champion within 24 months.’ And that’s just one stepping stone.”
Floyd seems to be 100% Gervonta Davis at the moment. Taking time from speaking about his fight with Connor McGregor to fly across the pond and work with Davis.
Gervonta is not only a young champion like Floyd was, but Davis is doing something that Floyd never did in his illustrious career and that is fight on foreign soil. We will see how Davis does this weekend against Liam Walsh, and if the kid from Baltimore can continue his own historical rise.
Carlos Rosario and Joshua Davis Headline at 2300 Arena Friday!
Carlos Rosario and Joshua Davis Headline at 2300 Arena Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions will be at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia this Friday with an 11 bout card and 60 rounds of boxing. In the main event Carlos Rosario, 7-1 (4), of Pennsauken, NJ, takes on Joshua Davis, 10-1 (4), of D.C. in an 8 round super featherweight bout.
In 6 round bouts will be light heavyweight Amir Shabazz, 4-0 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Antowyan Aikens, 10-3-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ.
Lightweight Tyrone Crawley, Jr., 6-0 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Juan Rodriguez, 7-6 (5), of Manasa, VA.
Super lightweight David Gonzales, 8-2 (2), of Philadelphia takes on Darius Ervin, 4-1 (0), of L.A., CA.
Lightweight Steven Ortiz, 5-0 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Hector Rivera, 3-1 (2), of San Juan, PR.
Lightweight Anthony Burgin, 10-3 (2), of Philadelphia takes on tba.
Super featherweight Thomas “TJ” Velasquez, 8-0 (5), of Philadelphia takes on Brandon Sanudo, 5-3 (2), of Baja California, MEX.
In 4 round bouts super featherweight southpaw Vincent Floyd, 2-2-1 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Rafael Montalvo, 3-3 (3), of St. Clair, PA.
Super lightweight Antonio Allen, 0-5 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Demetrius Williams, 0-2 (0), of Philadelphia.
Welterweight Lucas Dos Santos, 2-0 (2), of Miami, FL takes on tba.
Welterweight Titos Gosaves, 0-1 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Gerardo Martinez, 0-0 (0), of Phoenixville, PA. Doors Open at 6:00 PM and First bout at 6:30PM 2300 S. Swanson St.
Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Briggs, Davis, Russell, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Briggs, Davis, Russell, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 2nd to May 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Giving Up on McGregor vs. Mayweather?
Dana White was recently on Colin Cowherd’s show “The Herd” and he appeared to be growing tired of the negotiations to make McGregor vs. Mayweather and may be ready to give up on making the fight.
When asked if he was growing “tired of Mayweather’s crap” he responded, “It’s not even Mayweather. It’s not even Mayweather, it’s definitely both sides.” He went on to state, “It’s not just Mayweather, it’s both sides of this thing are going to be hard to get done. And absolutely, there’s going to be a point where I’m done. This isn’t what I do, this isn’t my business, and I’m definitely going to walk away.”
Dana White also stated earlier that Golovkin vs. Canelo took the planned date for Mayweather vs. McGregor. Is the planned fight between boxing and MMA’s biggest stars done? It’s doesn’t look good.
Julio Cesar Chavez Criticizes Junior’s Effort
CBS Sports recently reported on Julio Cesar Chavez Senior’s thoughts on his son’s efforts against Canelo Alvarez. In short, he wasn’t impressed.
Chavez Sr. simply stated, “ I am very disappointed.”
When asked about the weight, Chavez indicated he did not believe it had an impact. He stated, “No, no, no, no. Definitively no. It’s true, there is a sacrifice and everything, but I think here Julio lacked that thing that his father had more than enough of.”
Chavez further stated, “Yes, that’s the truth. He was too much of a conformist. I was asking him to throw more punches. That if he lost…that if he got knocked out that he give me a F—— round! That he gift me a f—- round throwing punches! I couldn’t make him understand!”
Read more at: http://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/julio-cesar-chavez-rips-sons-effort-unwillingness-to-throw-punches-vs-canelo/
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Tells TMZ He Owes All His Success to his Dad
Floyd Mayweather Junior recently told TMZ that he owes his entire boxing empire to his pops!
Mayweather Jr. and Mayweather Sr. have a long history of arguments and periods of estrangement, so much so that Mayweather Sr. even offered to train fighters to defeat his son. However they appear to have a strong and health relationship.
Junior stated he owes “all the thanks to my Dad” and that Senior gave him the single most important piece of advise he ever got about his career, and he never forgot it.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/10/floyd-mayweather-sr-floyd-mayweather/
Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo Press Conference Quotes
Heavyweight contenders Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time today (Tuesday, May 9) before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs’ trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout.
Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. *Additional fees may apply.
Here is what the participants had to say:
“This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I’m going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said ‘Let’s Go Champ!’ That was the beginning of the comeback.”
“I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It’s a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them.”
“We’re here now. We got the shot. I look forward to becoming a champion for a third time. I’m fighting a very good fighter in Fres Oquendo. He’s a seasoned guy, but he’s out of his league. This isn’t his time.”
“I’ve heard things that he’s said about me, that it might be an easy fight. But he has no idea how motivated and how focused I am right now. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring so that the people can look up and see me smash him.”
“I’m coming out in the first round and I’m gunning for you. As soon as the bell rings, I’m coming to take your head off. If I don’t get you in the first, I’ll get you in the second. All the way to the 12th. I got Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round and you might have to go that way too.”
“I’m happy and excited. The time is now. I’m home in Florida where I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I’m training like never before. I might have taken two weeks off in the last four years. I’m looking forward to glory. I want to see the people around the world saying “LETS GO CHAMP!”
“It’s a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back. We’re gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We’re going to go after it.”
“We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I’m thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I’m going to go in there with everything that I have. It’s not going to be easy in there for him.”
“I’m dedicating this fight to my son’s friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I’m going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do.”
“I’ve been in there with the best in the sport. This is a very special fight for me. This is life and death for me. I’ve fought everywhere in the world, sometimes I didn’t get the decision, but I’m going to bring it every time.”
“I hope to see everyone out there on fight night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. I can’t wait to make history on June 3.”
Yafai: Joshua Has Inspired me to Unify the Division
Kal Yafai says Anthony Joshua MBE has set a new benchmark for British fighters to follow as he prepares to make the first defence of his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday LIVE on AWE- A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 Noon PT.
For boxing fans who don’t have access to AWE, the fight will be available on the AWE channel on www.klowdtv.com
Yafai and Joshua are close from their days as Team GB teammates, and Yafai won the crown he defends on home turf this weekend on the undercard of Joshua’s win over Eric Molina in Manchester in December.
Yafai was unable to attend Joshua’s epic win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last weekend, but the 27 year old was bursting with pride as Joshua KO’d the Ukrainian in the 11th round, and believes that Joshua has raised the bar higher than ever for British fighters.
“I was unbelievably proud and happy for Anthony Joshua,” said Yafai. “When he got put down I was very nervous, I was praying for him to get up and recover and that’s what he did. It showed what a World Champion needs to do when it gets tough in there.
“He has completely smashed it now, onto bigger and better things for him. The world is his oyster. It was such a hard and big fight. I’d like to see him fight Tyson Fury but it doesn’t sound like that’s possible to happen next. If he can get a defence for one of his Titles against a contender then move onto one of the other Heavyweights like Wilder would be great.
“I still see him regularly. We come on the Team GB squad together. He’s a good lad, one of the nicest people in boxing. He loves his boxing so much. He soaks everything up like a sponge. He just still wants to learn, he’ll get better and better as he goes on. I mean he’s still only young! Realistically a novice still. He’s a funny lad and good to be around. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s raised the bar now – beating Klitschko at Wembley is just massive, and it’s something that we’ve all got to aspire to.
“Winning the World Title on his undercard was great. It took me four and a half years going from amateur into the pro game and winning a World Title. Doing it on a massive show headlined by AJ was special. We are Eddie Hearn’s only two World Champions who he’s had from their debuts.
“I was very pleased with my performance that night. I had to do what I had to do. I stayed focused on my own game plan, even after he failed to make the weight. I got in there and done the business. I out boxed him for 12 rounds. I made it as easy as possible.”
Yafai’s World title defence is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham, where Sam Eggington challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European Welterweight title.
Yafai’s brother Gamal defends his WBC International Super-Bantamweight championship against fellow Birmingham man Sean Davis, Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper meet for the Midlands Area Middleweight Title.
Frankie Gavin is back in action in his first fight with trainer Jon Pegg, and there’s action for Lennox Clarke, unbeaten Olympian Josh Kelly, Kieron Conway, Aaron Lovell, Jordan Clayton, Charlie Williams and Cori Gibbs.
Gervonta Davis and Gary Russell Jr. Anchor Four-Fight, Split Site Boxing Event May 20th on Showtime
America’s youngest world champion, Gervonta Davis, will make his first world title defense in the opening bout and featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. will make his mandatory world title defense in the main event of a split-site, four-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event on Saturday, May 20, live on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT*.
Davis will travel to Britain to defend his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship against undefeated No. 1-ranked contender and local favorite Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London. Russell will make a long-awaited homecoming—his first professional fight in the region—and his second WBC Featherweight World Championship defense against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon live from MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.
*Editors’ Note: In order to present all four bouts on one program, the Davis vs. Walsh bout may air on a delay basis of up to 30 minutes.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host Brian Custer will anchor the four-fight telecast from Maryland with coverage of Davis vs. Walsh provided by BT Sport. Veteran sportscaster Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play at MGM National Harbor with Hall of Famer Al Bernstein and former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi serving as analysts. Emmy award winning sports reporter Jim Gray and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Steve Farhood will also serve from ringside. Secondary Audio Programming will be offered in Spanish by Alejandro Luna and former world champ Raúl Marquez.
From London, John Rawling will handle play-by-play for Davis vs. Walsh with former world champion Richie Woodhall providing the color commentary at Copper Box Arena.
“May 20 will be a big night of boxing and it kicks off a run of four consecutive weeks of world class fights on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®. “We have consistently delivered the biggest and most important boxing events from around the globe to SHOWTIME subscribers. This unique presentation—four fights, two world championships and two title eliminators, from different continents, all on one show—is yet another example of our unrivaled commitment to the sport.”
The 22-year-old Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) is the youngest reigning world champion from the United States and the second youngest in the world. The Baltimore native and Floyd Mayweather protégé will travel to hostile territory in his first title defense against Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) in a matchup of undefeated southpaws.
Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KOs) will look to make a statement in the loaded featherweight division against mandatory challenger Ecandon (25-2, 17 KOs), who owns a stunning knockout of former world champion Jesus Cuellar. Russell vs. Escandon is the sixth featherweight title bout on SHOWTIME since February 2016.
Two world title eliminators will round out the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING quadrupleheader. Top super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) and José Uzcátegui (26-1, 22 KOs) will face off in an IBF Super Middleweight Eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for champion James DeGale.
Undefeated Rances Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) will meet Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) in a WBA Super Lightweight Eliminator for unified champ Julius Indongo. Barthelemy, who won titles at 130 and 135, will earn an opportunity to become Cuba’s first three-division champion with a win over the hard-hitting Relikh.
Beltran-Maicelo Title Eliminator Added to Crawford vs. Diaz
Two-time world title challenger RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN and heavy-fisted JONATHAN “The Last Inca” MAICELO will go mano a mano in a high-stakes battle of world-rated lightweight contenders. Sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a world lightweight title elimination bout, the winner of the 12-round rumble will also lay claim to the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) International and the NABF and NABO lightweight titles, currently held by Beltran. Beltran vs. Maicelo will be the co-main event to the TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD – FÉLIX DÍAZ World Junior Welterweight Championship, Saturday, May 20, at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden. Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT. The world championship event will also feature the Pride of Newark and 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON on the non-televised undercard.
Beltran and Maicelo, who hail from Mexico and Peru, respectively, have a combined record of 57-9-1 (32 KOs), — a winning percentage of 85% with over half their victories coming by way of knockout. Both boast unbeaten streaks dating back to 2015..
“We are ready for this fight. It is a very important fight for the whole team, because it will be the fight that will take us to the opportunity of battling for a world title,” said Beltran. “We are focused on winning. We are coming to fight and give a great show to all the fans. I don’t just want to win. I want to look good and win convincingly. Little by little I am making my dreams come true. I have battled a lot in my career. We have fulfilled many of our goals, like now that we are going to fight at Madison Square Garden. Being able to fight in a historical place, where all the greats have fought, is a dream come true.”
“This is a very important fight for my career. This fight means everything to me because I will be able to display my skills in front of a big audience and on a big stage like Madison Square Garden,” said Maicelo. “Right now I’m at my best and on May 20 everyone will see the best of me. I’m working very hard in the gym because everyone knows that Beltran is a tough fighter, but I’m focused on winning because this is a world title elimination bout that will take me straight to the opportunity of fighting for a world title.”
Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KOs), a native of Ahome, Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., enters this fight having won his last three fights by knockout. A two-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. In his last fight, in the co-main event to the Crawford John Molina Jr. world title fight on December 10, Crawford scored a sensational one-punch seventh-round knockout of once-beaten Mason Menard in an NABF-NABO lightweight title fight. Beltran is currently world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 3 by the IBF and No. 4 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs), a native of Callao, Peru who fights out of North Bergen, New Jersey, is riding a two-year four-bout winning streak. His most impressive victory was his in his last fight, against Jose Felix, Jr. on February 17. Felix, who entered the fight with a 35-1-1 record and world-rated No. 3 by the WBO, was knocked down five times by Maicelo. Maicelo’s upset unanimous decision victory over Felix has propelled him to No. 7 in the IBF.
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Leduan Barthelemy and Kyrone Davis Win Tuesday in CA!
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Leduan Barthelemy and Kyrone Davis Win Tuesday in CA!
By: Ken Hissner
At the Robinson Rancheria in Nice, CA, over PBC in the main event southpaw Cuban Leduan Barthelemy, 13-0 (7), now out of Las Vegas, from the Barthelemy family, after a tough eight rounds stopped Dominican Reynaldo Blanco, 14-4 (8), at 1:30 of the ninth round when Blanco’s corner threw in the towel shortly after Blanco was dropped.
The much taller Barthelemy dominated the first round as Blanco dropped down to 130 from his usual 135 on two weeks notice and used his right hand when possible. In the second and third rounds Blanco became the aggressor back Barthelemy up in a close round. In the fourth round it was Barthelemy being the aggressor hurting Blanco with a counter right hand to the head. Blanco’s right eye was starting to swell.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Barthelemy continued countering as Blanco was the aggressor throwing right hands against the southpaw. In the seventh round after an even six rounds Barthelemy kept setting up Blanco with a long jab and hook hurt Blanco. It looked like Blanco’s corner was not letting him out for the ninth but out came Blanco for the ninth round. Barthelemy dropped Blanco with a right hook to the chin. His corner waved to him to stay down but up he was at eight. It wasn’t seconds before Blanco’s corner threw in the towel at 1:30 of the ninth round.
In the semi-final as expected it was a war with southpaw Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis, 12-1 (5), of Wilmington, DE, won a split decision over Mark Hernandez, 9-1 (2), of Fresno, CA, over ten rounds of action.
In the opening round though only having two knockouts in his nine wins Hernandez showed power with right uppercuts while Davis forced the action driving Hernandez into a neutral corner setting the stage for the entire fight. In the second round Hernandez came back in this round and near the end of the round rocked Davis with a left hook and a pair of right uppercuts. In the third round Davis outpunched Hernandez three to one but Hernandez had power on his right uppercuts. The corner of Davis in his trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards out of Philadelphia kept warning him about the uppercuts from Hernandez. In the fourth and fifth round Davis put on a vicious display of body shots that were breaking down Hernandez.
In the sixth round Hernandez was landing some left hooks to the head of Davis while being pushed into a neutral corner. Davis continued working the body taking several warnings from referee Dan Stell.
In the seventh round in what looked like a border line shot from Davis referee Stell stopped the action and took a point from Davis. Davis did enough to earn a 9-9 round. In the eighth round Davis continued outworking Hernandez who was slowed down with a barrage of body shots.
In the ninth round which was a first for both fighters Davis continued to keep Hernandez on the ropes outworking him but on several occasions would be hit with a right uppercut or left hook both to the chin. In the tenth and final round halfway through Hernandez rocked Davis with a counter right to the chin forcing Davis to hold on. Hernandez was not able to take advantage though taking the round.
Scores were 96-93 for Davis, 95-94 for Hernandez and 96-93 for Davis while this writer had it 97-92 for Davis.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Unification Title fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale to be televised live on the Showtime Cable Network.
This bout will help determine who the true number one boxer is in the super middleweight division since Andre Ward bumped up to the light heavyweight division.
Another bout scheduled for Saturday will be between Jose Pedraza and Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted Gervonta Davis for Pedraza’s IBF Junior Lightweight Title. This bout should open up the Showtime broadcast.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Jose Pedraza (22-0) vs. Gervonta Davis (16-0); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
This is an intriguing matchup between two young upcoming stars in boxing with a bright future ahead of them. It’s also interesting because both boxers have had some much publicized issues with their management teams in the months coming into this fight. It’s been alleged that Pedraza wasn’t completely pleased with his lack of activity underneath the management of Al Haymon, and it’s also been alleged that there was some friction between Gervonta Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, those issues appear to have been resolved to allow this matchup to take place.
The most noticeable difference between the two boxers on Saturday will be the difference in size. Pedraza will have a two and a half inch height advantage over Davis and will also have about an inch and a half reach advantage. Pedraza is also five years older than Davis, and is experienced enough to deal with the southpaw style that troubles many boxers.
Pedraza does have an edge in amateur experience. Davis did well on the national level; he was a 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion, a three time National Silver Gloves Champion, and a two time PAL Champion. But, Pedraza competed on the international stage as an amateur and represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Valuable international experience that Davis does not appear to have.
Davis has been the more active boxer between the two. He fought five times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Pedraza only fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.
Davis is also the more powerful puncher/knockout artist. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents. He has defeated the likes of Marco Antonio Macias, Guillermo Avila, Luis Sanchez, and Cristobal Cruz.
Pedraza only has twelve stoppages on his resume. He has defeated the likes of Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Tevin Farmer.
This will be an entertaining bout between power and technique, and it should be a close one. But Pedraza has faced better opposition both as an amateur and a professional, and that experience alone gives him a slight edge going into their fight on Saturday.
Badou Jack (20-1-2) vs. James DeGale (23-1) WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Titles
This is one of the best bouts that could be made in the super middleweight division, and the winner should be considered by most to be the best super middleweight.
Both boxers are beginning to leave their prime ages as Jack is thirty three years old and DeGale is thirty years old. Neither boxer is known for their power, as Jack only has twelve stoppage victories and DeGale has fourteen stoppage victories.
Even though both boxers are at the top of their weight division, neither fighter has been very active. Jack fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, and DeGale also fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Both boxers have a deep amateur background. Jack represented Gambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and DeGale represented Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, only DeGale medaled as he won the gold medal.
Jack has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis. His lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards which he lost by TKO.
DeGale has defeated the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Gevorg Khatchikian, and Dyah Davis. His lone loss was the George Groves.
Even though this is a good matchup, it will likely not be a fan pleasing fight as both boxers are technically skilled fighters that are not known for their power. DeGale has experienced more success as an amateur than Jack, and that indicates that he’s the better technical boxer.
DeGale should win by a close decision on Saturday night.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 8th to November 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roy Jones Jr Prepares Isaac Chilemba to Face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on November 19
As Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) prepares to attempt to reclaim the NABF Light Heavyweight Title from Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) live on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View undercard from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner for the first time. Below Jones assesses the match-up and his observations of the young Malawi native:
Question: Does Chilemba’s performance against Kovalev give him more confidence going into this fight?
Roy Jones Jr: “Oh yes, most definitely. Kovalev had been crushing everybody and he didn’t get crushed so it has to give him confidence.”
Q: Chilemba has almost three times as many fights as Gvozdyk. How big of an advantage is this?
RJ: “It’s not a big advantage because Gvozdyk probably has three times more fights than Chilemba does in amateurs. These Eastern European guys have so many more amateur fights than we do. They fight from when they’re small and they go through schools and everything. These guys are very, very high-tech when it comes to being skilled in the ring in the sport of boxing so he probably has a little bit more experience if you add up the fights over the years.”
Q: What must Chilemba do in this fight in order to win?
RJ: “He’s got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can’t let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can’t let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he’s gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.”
Q: What must Chilemba prevent Gvozdyk from doing or take away from him in order to win?
RJ: “Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk’s control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”
Q: Do you think, now that you are working with Chilemba, if he defeats Gvozdyk he should be
entitled to a rematch with Sergey?
RJ: “Of course, of course he should. Chilemba deserves a rematch with Sergey.”
Q: What are Chilemba’s biggest strengths and weaknesses. How are you working to correct them?
RJ: “His feet are his biggest strength. His feet are very good, he can be very elusive. And his biggest tool is his straight right hand. His weakness is that he had a lack of punching power because he wasn’t turning his shoulder, turning his body with his punches. We are fixing that, working on it right now.”
Q: As a former light heavyweight world champion, what are your observations on the Kovalev Ward fight?
RJ: “Very good fight. Best fight of boxing today. I look forward to seeing it. To me it’s one of the best fights we had in boxing in years as far as guys being in their prime, being the two best in the division. That is just a great fight. A great fight for boxing.”
Q: How would you break down this match-up?
RJ: “No I don’t have a prediction. Andre Ward hasn’t been beaten in a long time, and if there was a guy that could beat him, there is the guy, so…”
Q: Which fighter, Kovalev or Ward, would have given you the best fight when you were 175-pound world champion?
RJ: “Both of them would be really good fights, very hard fights to fight. Very different fights to fight. My hand speed maybe would be better against both of them but they’d be tough guys to fight. Kovalev because of the power and Ward because of his mentality, he’s a very smart guy in the ring. Very hard fights, but speed factor is probably what I would use to get both of them beat.”
Floyd Mayweather to Attend Badou Jack and James DeGale Press Conference
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the President of Mayweather Promotions, will be on hand at the press conference at the Barclays Center Geico Atrium on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. ET to announce the upcoming Super Middleweight World Title Unification Fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale.
This bout will take place live on Showtime on Saturday, January 14th, 2016. Other people who will be present to announce this fight include Badou Jack, James DeGale, Leonard Ellerbe, Lou DiBella, Stephen Espinoza, Rosie Perez, Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, and Heather Hardy.
Bermane Stiverne Fails Drug Test
Bermane Stiverne has a scheduled interim heavyweight title fight scheduled for Alexander Povetkin. However, Dan Rafael of ESPN reported that Stirverne has failed a random drug test, but will be allowed to fight.
Deontay Wilder is scheduled supposed to face the winner of the bout.
Stiverne is scheduled to fight Povetkin on December 17th in Russia, but that bout is still scheduled to go on.
The WBC announced that Stiverne tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant known as DMAA and has been on the prohibited list of substances since 2010.
Salita Promotions and Forgotten Harvest Team Up to Fight Hunger in Detroit
Continuing with his pledge on Tuesday, to give back to the city in which he has dedicated himself to resurrecting professional boxing, promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions joined a group of fighters and trainers to work as a volunteer for Forgotten Harvest, one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations.
The group, (that included Salita, Sugar Hill Stewart (trainer), Zach Shamoun (fighter), Theotrice Chambers (trainer), Muheeb Fazeldin (fighter), and Andrei Saakyn (Salita Promotions) all involved with his latest “Detroit Brawl,” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, on Saturday, November 12, spent a day working in Forgotten Harvest’s Royal Oak, Michigan, warehouse packing food to be delivered to families in need.
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
True to his word, Salita has incorporated a charitable element to every one of his Detroit shows. In addition to the time spent volunteering, he will be donating a portion of every ticket sold to provide thousands of meals to Detroit’s less fortunate. His last show was able to donate over 3000 meals to worthy families.
“We are so glad that Salita Promotions is in our corner and has joined us in the fight against hunger here in metro Detroit,” stated Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “We sincerely appreciate their help and community spirit.”
Salita says he’s happy his plans are coming together on both the boxing and charitable fronts.
“I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful organization that does so much for Detroit’s hungry,” he said. “And I will continue to make every show as much about boxing as it is about giving back to this wonderful city that has become my second home.”
Based in Oak Park, Michigan, Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to relieve hunger and prevent food waste throughout the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” over 40 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources.
This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years.
Jose Pedraza to Defend Title Against Gervonta Davis
ESPN also reported that Jose PEdraza will face Gervonta Davis of Mayweather Promotions on January 14th. It will be the main undercard bout on the super middleweight title fight between Badou Jack and James De Gale.
This will be Pedraza’s third world title defense, and he had to get an exception from the IBF in order to skip over his mandatory challenger and fight Davis.