DAZN Boxing Results: Miller and Shields Win Impressively
By: Sean Crose
Brandon Rios, 34-4-1, faced the 27-6-3 Ramon Alvarez at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas on Saturday night as part of a card broadcast live by the DAZN streaming service. Rios, who has fought several great bouts against Mike Alvarado in a career that has featured fights with major opponents such as Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, and Danny Garcia, looked less than impressive in the first round against the older brother of the famous Canelo Alvarez. The man was able to assert himself however, and engage in a toe to toe battle that ended up going over eight rounds. Both men traded bombs and took some incredible shots. In the end, however, it was the veteran Rios who was able to carry the day, stopping his man in the 9th round.
Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing Twitter Account
After local 5-0 Nico Hernandez won a dominant victory over Josue Morales, 8-7-3, middleweight titlist Claressa Shields faced off against Scotland’s 5-2 Hannah Rankin. Rankin was certainly game, but Shields essentially dominated the bout. Although not a power puncher, Shields had the strength and skill set to get the best of her opponent regularly throughout the bout. Rankin came to Kansas to win and she did well when she was able to get on the inside. Shields, however, was able to maintain range and dominance throughout the match. The American star proved capable enough to walk out of the ring with a unanimous decision victory.
It was time for the main event. Brooklyn’s charismatic Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller stepped into the ring with a bright future before him. The 22-0-1 American also had an undefeated foe before him. Bogdan Dinu, an 18-0 Romanian policeman, had a history of high end sparring and an appreciation for a golden opportunity in the fight game. All he had to do was get past Miller. That, however would be no easy task.
The first round saw Dinu look perhaps surprisingly good. The man worked the distance well, even though Miller was able to land thudding shots to the body. Dinu continued to look impressive in the second thanks to impressive footwork and an effective jab. Miller looked quite strong in the 3d by virtue of a thunderous body attack. A slightly low blow sent Dinu to the mat, though it was not ruled a knockdown. A body-head combination sent Dinu down in the fourth. Dinu got up, but Miller sent him right back down. Dinu was subsequently unable to beat the count. Miller stepped out of the ring with an impressive, albeit expected, win. By fighting – and winning – regularly, Miller is situating himself for an inevitable world title shot.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Shields vs. Rankin, Miller vs. Dinu
By: William Holmes
On Saturday, November 17th Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing will put on a stacked card live from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas on the DAZN streaming service.
The card was originally scheduled to take place in Atlantic City, but the addition of Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez, already a big draw in Kansas, was a factor in the change of venues.
The card is stacked with talent, including fighters such as Anthony Sims, Gabriel Rosado, Luis Arias, Nico Hernandez, and Canelo’s older brother Ramon Alvarado.
The main event of the evening is a heavyweight bout between Jarell Miller and Bogdan Dinu, with future title implications on the line. The co-main event of the evening is between Claressa Shields and Hannah Rankin for Shield’s IBF and WBA titles as well as the vacant WBC Middleweight Title.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Claressa Shields (6-0) vs. Hannah Rankin (5-2); IBF/WBA/WBC Women’s Middleweight Titles
Claressa Shields is one of the biggest names in woman’s boxing, and she has her sight set on some possible big money matches against Christina Hammer, she first has to get past Scottish boxer Hannah Rankin.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Shields is easily one of the top pound for pound female boxers in the sport today. She’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and her only loss as an amateur was to Savannah Marshall. She’s never tasted defeat and has two stoppage wins on her record. She’s the same size as Rankin, both stand at about 5’8”. But she’s five years younger than Rankin as Shields is only 23 years old.
Rankin only has one stoppage win on her resume and she did not have the amateur success that Shields enjoyed. Rankin however, has never been stopped but did lost her last bout
Both boxers have been fairly active. Shields fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017. Rankin fought three times in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Shields only has six professional fights but has never faced an opponent with a losing record. She has defeated the likes of Nikki Adler, Tori Nelson, Hanna Gabriels, and Szilvia Szabados. Rankin’s best win to date was against Sanna Turunen. She has lost to the likes of Joanna Ekedahl and Alicia Napoleon. Her wins include wins against opponents with records of 10-47-3 and 2-21-1.
Shields is an exciting fighter to watch, but Rankin is an opponent with little to no shot of winning. Shields should win easily on Saturday.
Jarrell Miller (22-0-1) vs. Bogdan Dinu (18-0); WBA “World” Heavyweight Title
Jarrell Miller is a very large heavyweight boxer who had a prior successful career as a kickboxer. He’s thirty years old, two years younger than his opponent, but will be giving up about one inch in height to Dinu. But Miller will undoubtedly be heavier than Dinu.
Photo Credit:DAZN USA Twitter Account
When he fought Gerald Washington he weighed in at 298 pounds.
Miller is known for his knockout power. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and only one of his past ten opponents made it to the final bell. However, Dinu also has considerable power. He has stopped fourteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight win by stoppage streak.
Miller had some success in the United States as an amateur. He was a NY Golden Gloves Finalist. Dinu had some success on the European Amateur Circuit as a child, but neither boxer was highly successful on the international stage.
Miller has fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Dinu has yet to fight in 2018 and had two fights in 2017 and two fights in 2016. Inactivity may be an issue for Dinu.
Dinu has fought exclusively in Romania and Canada and has not faced the level of competition that Miller has faced. His best wins to date were over Marino Goles and Kertson Manswell.
Miller has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Tomasz Adamek, Johan Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Gerald Washington, and Fred Kassi.
This is a fight that Miller should win, but Dinu has the power to test Miller’s chin and the height to match Miller. A win for Miller could lead to a future showdown with fellow DAZN fighter, Anthony Joshua.
Dinu Aims To Make His Mark This Weekend Against “Big Baby” Miller
By: Sean Crose
“Jarrell is a good talker,” says undefeated heavyweight Bogdan Dinu of his opponent this weekend, the one and only Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, “but I don’t care, I catch guys like him every morning.” Although widely unknown in America, Dinu, who is a Romanian policeman, aims to make his presence felt when he battles rising star Miller at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas on Saturday. “The talking stops on Saturday night,” he adds. “It’s so exciting for me to fight in America, it’s a great opportunity. My team have given me an amazing chance and its’ up to me to take it.”
Dinu, whose record stands at 18-0 with 14 knockouts, isn’t just a tomato can meant to keep Miller busy. He’s got experience with some big names. In fact, he’s been a sparring partner for heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua. “I’ve sparred many excellent fighters like Anthony Joshua,” says Dinu. “That’s great experience, he’s a great champion and a real gentleman. He deserves his place as the best in the world.” Dinu may not have big names on his resume, but he certainly has put in some time with top level competitors.
“It was a great test for me to see where I am,” he says of the Joshua experience, “and being with AJ motivated me, taught me a lot and it was valuable. We did a lot of rounds before Wladimir Klitschko and the Carlos Takam fights.”
Miller, who boasts of a record of 22-0-1, with 19 knockouts, is one of the top names in the heavyweight division, a rising star with confidence, swagger, and ambition to burn. Miller makes no secret of the fact that he wants to face Joshua. Up until this point, however, the Brooklyn native hasn’t taken a single opponent lightly. Dinu knows the world is his, should he pull off the upset this weekend.
As promoter Matchroom Boxing states: “Dinu and Miller’s clash will open the doors to some of the biggest names in the division in 2019, and ‘Big Baby’ Miller has been typically outspoken in calling to face a big-name British fighter should he emerge with the win in Kansas.” Miller also “told Dinu…that he will KO him in spectacular style.” Dinu, who Matchroom states “is a special services police officer” in his homeland, has clearly heard such talk before. Miller, however, has always been able to back his talk up. Not that it bothers Dinu leading up to Saturday.
Arias Looking for Redemption in Rosado Fight
By: Sean Crose
“That’s his only stab at me,” Luis Arias says of this weekend’s opponent, Gabe Rosado, “to say that I ran like a bitch against Jacobs.” The Jacobs Arias is referring to is middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs, one of the top fighters in one of boxing’s most dominant divisions. Arias dropped a unanimous decision to Jacobs, the man many felt was the first person to best the feared Gennady Golovkin. It was a defeat Rosado was happy to bring up after Arias mentioned Rosado’s number of losses in pre fight trash talk.
“But I didn’t get KO’d,” says Arias in his own defense. “He’s had two feet against plenty of guys and got KO’d, beaten up badly. I had a little scratch on my face after the Jacobs fight.” Still, the 18-1 Arias is looking for redemption. “I am putting pressure on myself ,” he says, “to erase the bad taste I left last time, that’s the task this weekend.” Rosado’s words have clearly hit their mark. “I need to prove that I am not a little bitch. It may have looked like I ran like one but I am not – I had to do that to survive and make the 12 rounds.”
“I am a true warrior and I love the wars,” says Arias. “I love to bang it out – I just wasn’t physically capable of doing that in the Jacobs fight.” Arias is particularly bothered by the fact that fans may have been upset by his performance against Jacobs. “I left a sour taste in the mouths of the fans in the Jacobs fight,” he says, “but I am a better and more mature fighter now, I’ve learned from it and I think that this is the fight that changes my career.”
Arias isn’t totally dismissive of Rosado, a hardened and respected 24-11 vet. “I’m a warrior,” says Arias, “he’s a warrior – it’s going to be bloody but the blood is not going to be mine.” Arias actually feels he would have performed better against Jacobs had he met Rosado earlier in his career. “He’s got a lot of miles on the clock but he’s durable. If I’d had this fight before the Jacobs fight then I would have been readier for that stage, but it didn’t work out that way. I get a fresh chance and a do-over now, and I’m going to do this right this time.”
Arias-Rosado will be part of a loaded card which will go down Saturday at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane Kansas. The card will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
Claressa Shields: “I Just Want The Pound-For-Pound Spot”
By: Sean Crose
Claressa “T Rex” Shileds was expecting to have a major bout this weekend against Christina Hammer. That bout, however, fell through. Therefore, the 6-0 Shields will be facing the 5-2 Hannah Rankin this Saturday at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, headlining a card that will be aired live by the DAZN streaming service. Shields will be defending her IBF and WBA world middleweight titles. The WBC belt, formerly held by Hammer, will also be at stake. “The WBC crown was in the hands of Christina Hammer,” promoter Matchroom Boxing claims, “whom Shields was slated to meet this weekend in a unification blockbuster for all four belts, with the German also owning the WBO belt.”
“I’m thrilled,” Shields says, “to be able to continue my road to undisputed this weekend…Christina has first in line when I win the belt on Saturday, it’s not a fight that we are looking to avoid. If she’d been fit to face me then that would be the fight this weekend. I wanted that fight bad.” Shields claims she knew something was amiss with Hammer, who had to step out of the fight due to a medical condition that hasn’t been disclosed to the public.
“I felt that when we did the phone interview and we announced that we were fighting,” says Shields, “I sensed in her tone that something was wrong, that she wasn’t as excited as I was about the fight. She didn’t seem happy, and as a champion I sensed something was wrong and I was right as she was sick. As soon as she comes back, we can fight.” Shields, however, is not going to take Rankin lightly. “Hannah has been Christina’s toughest sparring partner,” says Shields of this weekend’s opponent, “so I am going to make her pay just for that. It’s not a let down for me, just getting in the ring and being able to fight is a joy to me, it makes me happy. Hannah has turned down another fight to take this shot and we’re fighting as a co-main event on DAZN, so it should be fun.”
Shields is reportedly willing to go up to super middleweight, or even down to super welterweight, in order to land fights. “None of the girls at 168lbs,” says Shields, “want to fight me. We’ve offered the fight to Alicia many times and fights to so many of them, they’ve all said I’m too big and they are too little, then they say we don’t offer good money – but we have TV and we’re offering good money for sure.” Shields is even open to fighting welterweight Cecilia Braekhus at a catchweight.
“I think I can go as low as 154lbs,” says Shields, “and I would do that to fight Cecilia for the pound-for-pound spot. I don’t want to go to 147lbs as I would only be able to win the fight and not go on to defend the belts. She can keep her belts, I just want the pound-for-pound spot – she can have the belts and be number two, I’m number one. We can meet at 154lbs, that would be huge.”
Golovkin Could Move Up to Super Middleweight to Face Champ Callum Smith
By: Michael Kane
Could Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) be following Canelo Alvarez to the super middleweight division?
According to Matchroom Promotions supremo Eddie Hearn that is a possibility.
Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) faces WBA Regular champ Rocky Fielding (27-1,15 KOs) in New York on Dec 15th, in a debut fight at the 168 lbs division. Hearn has said talks have started about GGG taking on WBA Super champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs), potentially at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield, next year.
If Smith doesn’t face GGG then there is talk of him moving to light heavyweight for a shot against one of the champions from that division.
“I’ve spoken to Tom Loeffler [‘GGG’s promoter] about it before,” Hearn told Sky Sports, “not since the press conference last week though
“That’s my No 1 choice for Callum Smith.
“I think it’s a fight that fills Anfield. It’s a great profile fight, it’s a great fight, full stop.
“Also, for Golovkin it gives him a chance to move up, do what ‘Canelo’ is doing, fight for the ‘Super’ title, and also for the ‘Ring’ magazine title at 168lbs.”
GGG may fancy a move up to super middleweight having competed at middleweight for so long and could set up another blockbuster with Canelo in the process, this time at super middleweight.
“If he [Golovkin] is even close to the mark in terms of weight at middleweight, it might be a good option,” Hearn continued.
“But whether he wants to take that risk before a possible third Canelo fight, I don’t know.”
The Middleweight Division’s Best Possible Fight: Canelo vs. Charlo
By: William Holmes
The middleweight division has a rich history of classic fights. Hagler-Hearns, Hagler-Leonard, Hearns-Leonard, Duran-Leonard, Hopkins-Trinidad, Robinson-Fuller, Graziano-Zale, Robinson-LaMotta, the list goes on and on.
The middleweight division is one of the deepest and most intriguing divisions in boxing today. Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez just put on two great, grueling, competitive fights. Daniel Jacobs has been on a tear and was giving Golovkin all that he could handle in their close fight. Billy Joe Saunders is undefeated and dominated hard hitting contender David Lemieux. Jermall Charlo is a young undefeated fighter with dynamite in both hands. Rob Brant just put himself in the middleweight map with a surprisingly easy win over former Olympian Ryota Murata.
There are many match-ups that could be made that would get fight fans excited. Unfortunately, promotional and network alliances will make some of those fights difficult to make, but there’s one fight that has the potential to be a pay per view blockbuster.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
That would be a fight between undefeated middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and undefeated middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
They both fight in New York City in December and will get undoubtedly get a lot of east coast press. Canelo will be making his super middleweight debut when he takes on Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden on December 15th. Jermall Charlo will defend his title at the Barclays Center the next weekend against former title challenger Willie Monroe Jr.
But an eventual fight between Charlo and Alvarez will be difficult to make.
Canelo’s fight will be taking place on streaming pioneer DAZN and Charlo’s bout will be televised on Fox. Canelo is aligned with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Charlo is aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
These two promotional companies don’t have the best history of working together.
But in boxing, money has a way of bringing sworn enemies together to make the fight that fans want. And there’s money that could be made here.
Even better, for fight fans, it should be a highly entertaining fight.
Canelo and Charlo are known for the concussive punching power. Canelo has thirty four stoppages on his resume with a knockout ratio of 64%. Charlo has twenty one stoppages on his resume, but has had less fights and a higher knockout ratio. He has stopped an eye opening 78% of his opponents.
They’ve both faced a defeated a good number of high level opponents. Canelo has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Liam Smith, Julio Cesar Chavez, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, and Shane Mosley.
His lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr., when Mayweather was still in the midst of his athletic prime and Canelo was not even two months past his 23rd birthday.
While Charlo has not faced the number of high quality opponents that Canelo has, he has never experienced anything other than a victory inside the ring as a professional. His string of no losses/no draws include victories over boxers such as Hugo Centeno Jr., Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.
It’s a fight that can sell. Both fighters are young power punchers with strong personalities. Canelo has a very loyal Mexican fan base and name recognition. The Charlo brothers are two entertaining personalities with a brash bravado that reminds you of Floyd Mayweather.
The story line to sell the fight is evident.
But this is a fight that would have to be on DAZN. Canelo signed an exclusive agreement with DAZN and will no longer be doing pay per view fights. Charlo might be able to put on a pay per view show or two, and even though the middleweight division is stacked with talent, he doesn’t have a dancing partner available to put on a highly successful pay per view.
There’s nobody outside of Canelo that can draw in a pay per view bout for Charlo. Gennady Golovkin’s biggest pay per view outside of Canelo was Daniel Jacobs, and that’s estimated at only 170,000 buys.
His drawing power also probably took a hit with his recent loss to Canelo Alvarez. The other known boxers in the middleweight division are either signed to DAZN, or don’t have the drawing power to make a pay per view venture worthwhile.
Canelo vs. Charlo is the most entertaining fight the middleweight division can offer. The question is, will Charlo take the risk to fight him on DAZN? Or will he continue to fight lesser known fighters for less profitable options on Fox and Showtime?
Time will tell.
DAZN Boxing Results: Usyk Shows his Class
By: Michael Kane
Tony Bellew dared to be great but came up short in his quest to become the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
Bellew faced champion Oleksandr Usyk with all the belts on the line, the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF and Ring belts. Bellew was looking to become the first Brit since Lennox Lewis to be undisputed champion of the world.
Bellew was the underdog going into the bout against Usyk however the ‘Bomber’ started well, winning the first 3 rounds. Usyk (16-0, 12KOs) had never been knocked down and his chin looked strong as Bellew was trying to land the power shots. Usyk was the more technical fighter having had over 300 amateur fights but landed a few shots of his own that troubled Bellew.
In the 6th, Bellew was looking comfortable until Usyk landed a left hand which wobbled Bellew. This was the turning point in the fight as Usyk now knew he could hurt Bellew. In the 7th Bellew was ducking and weaving looking to counter.
As the fight moved into the 8th, the fight was on a knife edge, I had it probably level at this point, however Bellew was slowing down and visibly looked tired. Usyk on the other hand still looked fresh, looking to jab and wear Bellew down.
Usyk them landed a great left hook that put Bellew to the canvas, Bellew went down heavily. The referee Terry O’Connor called the fight to a halt.
Bellew was ahead on two of the judges scorecard at the time of the stoppage.
It had been compelling viewing while it lasted with Usyk showing he was probably just a level above Bellew as the fight progressed.
Bellew (30-3-1) has said this was his last fight while Usyk is expected to move up to heavyweight with a fight against Anthony Joshua on his agenda.
“You are the greatest fighter I have ever shared a ring with, you are a great champion, you beat me fair and square.” Bellew said after the fight.
In a Radio 5 Live interview Bellew said, “I gave it everything I had, he is an exceptional champion. He is everything I have feared. He is the best I have ever fought.
“I had a great plan, I tried my best, but it wasn’t good enough. He is just so hard and awkward, putting pressure, tap, tap, tap, then he stings. He overpowers you and is bigger than you think.
“He is probably the best cruiserweight who ever lived. It is him or Holyfield, I would have loved to see that fight.
“Heavyweights stay away, he takes a great shot and I don’t even know if I hurt him. He is even better than it says on the box.
“It is my final walk away, I have been doing this for 20 years, and now it is over.”
Usyk said to Sky Sports Box Office, ” I knew he would do it like that because he had nothing to lose.
“The good champions are like that with the good opposition, only this way.”
Usyk when asked about his future said, “I had the most difficult year with my life. Now I want to rest and spend time with my family.”
WBSS Results: Glowacki and Briedis Advance
By: Hector Franco
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – At the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois the World Boxing Super Series came to town to finish their final portion of the quarterfinals in their second season of the tournament.
The main event featured former WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (31-1, 19 KOs) taking on Russia’s Maksim Vlasov (42-3, 25 KOs). The fight would be for the interim WBO cruiserweight championship. The city of Chicago has one of the highest populations of Polish citizens in the United States, and plenty of Polish fans showed up to support Glowacki.
The southpaw Glowacki is not a complicated fighter as his intentions in a boxing ring is to turn the boxing match into a fight. It would be no different against Vlasov as the Polish fighter imposed his will on the Russian in every round throwing punches in combination and landing some brutal body punches. A knockdown was scored in favor of Glowacki in the third round after Vlasov fell to the canvas after an exchange. In a replay it did not look like a punch landed cleanly; however, referee Celestino Ruiz saw a punch thrown and thus scored it a knockdown.
The bout followed a similar pattern in each round with Vlasov giving a good account of himself in each round landing an occasional combination on the inside. Each round seemed like Glowacki was just one or two steps ahead of Vlasov giving him the edge in the majority of the rounds.
In the championship rounds, the fight picked up its intensity with both fighters picking up the volume of punches thrown. Despite Glowacki winning the vast majority of the rounds, each round took its toll on the Polish fighter leaving him looking exhausted after twelve rounds.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Glowacki with scores of 118-110, 117-110 and 115-112. Glowacki will move on the tournament semifinals.
The second bout of the night that was part of the World Boxing Super Series tournament took place between tournament favorite Mairis Briedis (25-1, 18 KOs) and German contender Noel Mikhaelian (23-2, 10 KOs). The match was for the vacant WBC cruiserweight diamond title with the winner advancing to the semi-finals of the tournament.
From the start, the pace of the fight was established that it would be a tactical chess match. Former Cuban amateur coach Pedro Diaz who is best known for training the likes of Miguel Cotto and Guillermo Rigondeaux trains Mikhaelian. The German, Mikhaelian had been out of the ring for 14 months, however, showed little rust throughout the fight. There were many awkward exchanges between the two pugilists with plenty of grabbing, clutching and headbutts throughout. In the fourth round, Mikhaelian was deducted a point for hitting Briedis behind the head.
The first six rounds were nip and tuck with both fighters having their moments; however, Mikhaelian was able to showcase better timing landing right hands on Briedis who had trouble letting his hands go all night. The six foot three German’s jab was a consistent threat throughout the fight throwing off the rhythm and timing of Briedis.
Heading into the championship rounds, the fight was slipping away from Briedis with there not being many clear rounds in his favor. Unfortunately for Briedis in the 10th round, he was deducted a point by referee Guadalupe Garcia for hitting Mikhaelian while holding him in a headlock. The Latvian contingent in attendance became more and more silent as the fight continued.
In the last round, Briedis attempted a final assault on Mikhaelian that may have given him the round. After twelve rounds the judges disagreed with the majority of the viewing audience giving Briedis a controversial unanimous decision win with scores of 116-110, 115-111, and 114-112.
There is a reason that fights are fought in the ring and not on paper. Mikhaelian who was fighting for the first time in the United States was able to push to the limit the fighter most fans had pegged to come out the winner of the tournament. The decision may not have given the German another win on his record, however, with his showing he can expect more opportunities in the future despite the fight being a messy and ugly contest.
It will be interesting to see how the promoters involved in the tournament will handle such a controversial decision.
The main card began with a battle of up and coming cruiserweights with Germany’s Artur Mann (14-0, 8 KOs) facing Russia’s Alexey Zubov (17-1, 9 KOs). Zubov who fights out of Detroit, Michigan donned the infamous gold Kronk Gym trunks in a bout that lived up to the Detroit gym’s infamous gym wars. In the first round, Zubov was dominating by throwing an onslaught of punches on Mann who remained calm and waited for his opportunity to attack. Mann was able to land a right hand and uppercut that hurt Zubov who overstayed his welcome on the inside and was sent down to the canvas. Zubov arose from the knocked down and did not stray away from his game plan to attack Mann. Right as the bell rang to signify the end of the first round, Mann landed another right hand that once again dropped Zubov. The Russian fighter got up from the second knockdown to make it back to his corner.
With the recovery of a comic book superhero, Zubov came out in the second round as if the knockdowns in the first round never occurred. The Russian fighter kept going to Mann’s body and outworking him for the next several rounds. Mann, who was fighting for the first time outside of his native Germany, looked like the harder puncher, as he was able to hurt Zubov when he threw punches in combination specifically with the uppercut.
In the seventh round, Mann was able to time Zubov in the center of the ring with a beautifully placed right hand that put the Russian down once again. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Zubov got up from the knockdown and continued to plow away at Mann.
The final three rounds were nip and tuck; however, the German fighter looked like the fresher fighter and was able to stun Zubov anytime he landed any punches. After ten rounds of action, Mann was awarded the unanimous decision victory with scores of 98-89 twice and once scorecard of 96-91.
Zubov is a fighter that is almost too tough for his own good, and hopefully, he will be able to recover and take an extended break from the ring following his fight with Mann.
Uzbekistan’s Shohjahon Ergashev (14-0, 13 KOs) made quick work out Zack Ramsey (8-5, 2 KOs) in the super lightweight division as he dismantled the Massachusetts native with a quick first-round knockout. Ergashev wasted no time getting to work landing a straight left on Ramsey as soon as the bell rang to start the match. The 26-year old Ergashev landed a body shot underneath the rib cage of Ramsey putting the fight to an end in the first round.
In the lightweight division, 22-year old Deshawn Boyd (2-0) took on Marcos Delgado (0-1) who was making his professional boxing debut. In the first round, Boyd landed a right hand during an exchange that put Delgado down. Boyd looked like the quicker fighter in all four rounds landing combinations at will. Delgado gave a good account of himself in the third and fourth rounds pushing Boyd back while applying pressure and letting his hands go in combinations. It would be to no avail as all three judges scored the fight in favor of Boyd with scores of 40-35 on all three scorecards.
Chicago native Owen Saldana (1-0) made his professional boxing debut as a cruiserweight against Florida’s Joe Miller (1-3). The fight did not last very long; Saldana was able to land a straight right hand that backed Miller against the ropes. Miller was unresponsive with Saldana unleashing a barrage of punches on him forcing the referee to stop the match. The fight was stopped at the 2:13 mark of the first round.
The broadcasts festivities began in the super lightweight division (140) with a bout between two veteran fighters. Chicago’s Genaro Mendez (13-4-1, 6 KOs) took on Lansing, Michigan’s Tyrone Harris (26-13, 16 KOs) in an exciting contest to start the event. The first three rounds were a give and take affair as both men landed effective punches. In the fourth round, Mendez landed a perfectly timed left hand pull counter that sent Harris to the canvas. Harris was unable to continue after the punch putting a halt to the bout. Mendez was awarded a technical knockout victory at the 2:08 mark of the fourth round.
While Mendez isn’t likely to receive a title shot opportunity with the victory he may be able to land a bout with an up and coming prospect in the 140-pound division.
Follow me twitter @MrHector_Franco
WBSS on DAZN Preview: Briedis vs. Mikaelian, Glowacki vs. Vlasov
By: Hector Franco
This weekend at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois the World Boxing Super Series will be in full effect with the quarterfinals of the Cruiserweight division portion of the tournament. In the main event, Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) will be taking on Germany’s Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KOs) for the WBC cruiserweight diamond belt. Join DAZN free for 30 days and live-stream fight night anywhere!
Fans may remember Briedis for his stint in the first season of the World Boxing Super Series. At the time of the tournament, Briedis was the WBC cruiserweight champion winning the vacant title from former cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in early 2017. Entering the tournament, Briedis was considered one of the tournament favorites including Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev. In the first round, Briedis won a clear unanimous decision over former heavyweight contender Mike Perez. The Latvian cruiserweight would then go on to face the eventual winner of the tournament in Usyk. Looking back at the level of dominance Usyk has displayed thus far throughout his career, Briedis was able to give the Ukrainian his toughest test falling short in a close majority decision loss.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Briedis’ ability to give one of the best fighters in the sport a run for their money makes him this year’s tournament favorite this season. Briedis’ opponent, Noel Mikaelian, is not well known in the United States; however, his only defeat came at the hands of Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk who also participated in last season’s cruiserweight tournament. What will be detrimental to Mikaelian is that he has been inactive for the last 14 months with his last victory coming in September of 2017 against Isiah Thomas. The fight with Briedis will be Mikaelian’s first time-fighting in the United States and just the second time for the Latvian fighter.
For a first-round opponent, it may not get any tougher than having to face Briedis. For that reason, he will be the heavy favorite to advance to the semi-finals.
The main co-feature fight will be another quarterfinal tournament bout in the cruiserweight division featuring former WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs) taking on Russia’s Maksim Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs). Glowacki is best known for his exciting, action-packed style that has provided fans with some of the best cruiserweight fights of this era. The Polish fighter’s 2015 bout with Marco Huck was one of the best fights of that year and showed that he could bounce back from being knocked down earlier on to come back to win by knockout. As is the case with a vast majority of top cruiserweights, Glowacki’s only blemish on his record stems from a bout with Usyk in September 2016.
Glowacki’s opponent Vlasov has fought as low as the middleweight division with his last defeat coming at the hands of current WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez in 2015. Since then, Vlasov has won 12 fights in a row with ten of those victories by way of stoppage. The only other defeat on Vlasov’s record is against light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba. Needless, to say that while Vlasov has not faced the elite at cruiserweight the gap in competition between him and Glowacki is not as extensive as one would think.
The city of Chicago has one of the largest Polish immigrant populations in the United States, and as seen in his fights with Huck and Steve Cunningham, Glowacki will have a large contingent of supporters in the arena. Fans in attendance can expect an action-packed battle between Glowacki and Vlasov who are the same age (32) and will continue the international rivalry between Russia and Poland.
The fights will stream live on DAZN this Saturday, November 10th at 8:00 pm ET.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Usyk vs. Bellew, Crolla vs. Yordan
By: Oliver McManus
This Saturday witnesses a monumental moment in boxing as the Manchester Arena plays fiddle to Oleksandr Usyk’s “all-the-belt’s” defence against Tony Bellew who seeks to do the unthinkable and claim one of the biggest upsets in memory. Join DAZN free for 30 days and live-stream fight night anywhere!
Bellew, who has repeatedly upset the odds, will look to produce the performance of a life-time against the undefeated, undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world but does so in front of 20,000 partisan fans.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Having recently defeated David Haye across two ill-tempered bouts there was speculation that Bellew was set for a three fight cash-out at heavyweight but the chance of history came a calling.
Make no mistake, the odds are stacked against Bellew and few outside of the inner circle believe there is a realistic chance of an upset. For Bellew to come triumphant he will need to impose a disruptive game-plan that nips Usyk’s technical superiority in the bud before the Ukrainian can really get into the swing of things.
For want of a better word Bellew will need to bully the undisputed champion, stand square in the centre of the ring and just throw everything and the kitchen sink – what’s he got to lose? Precisely nothing, there is nothing to lose for the home fighter, no-one expects him to win.
Let’s turn attention to the main man, then – an amateur who claimed glory at every turn and has looked flawless since turning professional. People will say that Bellew’s best chance is to land a flush punch but Usyk has taken shots from Murat Gassiev and Mairis Briedis as though they were tickling him.
Technically outstanding, Usyk is one of the most well-rounded boxers who, whilst capable of brawling and throwing fire, can make even the closest challengers look average. Gassiev, for many, was the toughest test for Usyk and he absolutely walked through the Russian contender.
The agility of, countryman, Vasyl Lomachenko and the power of, say, Anthony Joshua, Usyk is sublime in everything he does. Harsh as it sounds, heart won’t win you fights against boxers of such calibre, it takes a different level to be able to mix it with Oleksandr Usyk.
The fairytale ending would have Bellew winning – the real life Rocky story – but Usyk has seen and conquered every challenge that has preceded Bellew. Logic suggests he takes this in his stride and his continues on his quest as one of the greatest, purest, fighters of all time.
Anthony Crolla fights in the co-main event with the Manchester-man looking to become mandatory challenger to, WBA champion, Vasyl Lomachenko. Standing in the way of that status stands Daud Yordan – a 31 year old who formerly challenged for the featherweight world title.
Crolla, himself a former WBA belt-holder, has bounced back from his two losses to Jorge Linares with a bruising win against Ricky Burns last October and a comfortable 10 round points win over Edson Ramirez in March of this year. Against Yordan, Crolla steps into the mild unknown with the Indonesian not being the most “known” opponent.
A man with 26 KOs from 38 victories and losses coming only to world champions or challengers – Celestino Caballero, Chris John and Simpiwe Vetyeka – the 31 year old is a classy operator with a vicious punch. Yordan has a tendency to open up as the rounds progress allowing himself the opportunity to launch sterling counter attacks but, in doing so, finds himself susceptible to walking onto a punch.
Eight wins on the trot since moving up to lightweight, skipping super-feather completely, the heavy weight division has seen Yordan gain considerable success and, despite his aging years, he’s looked serene and youthful in the ring, as of late.
Million Dollar is at a point in his career where he wants to be taking big fights only and Yordan is a sensible stepping stone in that direction. Across his career we’ve seen Crolla’s class with endless heart being shown in the 12 years since he turned pro.
Typically targeting the body of his opponents, you only have to look at his knockouts against Darleys Perez and Ismael Barroso for picture-perfect displays of the constant threat he poses. In a ram-packed 135lb division that bustles with domestic talent Crolla will be looking to prove he’s still a step better than the young crop with a peerless display on Saturday.
The winner becomes mandatory challenger to Vasyl Lomachenko in what would be a legacy-defining bout but, before all that can even be dreamt about, someone needs to rise to the occasion and seize their opportunity – Crolla will be favourite but Yordan’s not going to make it easy.
Saturday night witnesses one of the biggest fights in British boxing history – whether you like that or not – with “that fat scouser” putting it all on the line for one shot at ultimate glory. We’re going to see plenty of grit from the Brit as he seeks to produce a seismic shock but with Bellew you simply never know what’s going to happen.
Get some popcorn at the ready because it’s going to be a blockbuster!
WBSS on DAZN Report: Taylor Stops Martin In 7; Burnett Succumbs To Injury
By: Ste Rowen
In a very strange turn of events in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena, tonight’s favourite, Josh Taylor progressed to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series whilst, bantamweight #1 seed Ryan Burnett fell foul of what appeared to be a back injury, forcing him out of his quarter-final with Nonito Donaire mid-fight and ultimately, out of the WBSS as a whole.
Tonight’s results mean Josh Taylor, now 14-0 (12KOS), continues on to face IBF world champion, Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, whilst surprisingly, veteran Nonito Donaire progresses on to next face, Zolani Tete for both, a place in the Super Series final, and to unify the WBO and WBA bantamweight divisions.
The lights, the crowd, the action? Yes.
The noise was deafening as the first bell rang. Taylor sprung first, and every attack made the crowd jack-a-box out of their seats, even if it was just a cleanly landed jab. With Taylor though so far, there feels an inevitability.
Not in the – no matter what he does, he’ll get the cards in his favour – more the belief that, if he looks like he’s struggling, he’ll find his way out.
When people doubted him against Ohara Davies, he evaded Davies’ obvious hooks and punished him on the counter; when he switch-hit tonight, and swept to orthodox, Taylor dominated yet again. Into round 5, even the Abel Sanchez trained, Ryan Martin was no match for the ‘Tartan Tornado’.
There’s no other way to call the sixth, Taylor schooled the American all around the ring, it was left to the seventh to see if he could finish him off. Despite Martin looking bright early on, the ‘Tartan Tornado’ landed a perfect left hook that dropped Martin. Curiously, the American held the right side of his head as he went down. ‘Blue Chip’ clearly wanted no more of the Scot.
The referee waved off the bout as Martin remained indecisive over whether he wanted to carry on or not. The result means Josh Taylor moves on into the semi-finals to face IBF champion, Ivan ‘The Beast’ Baranchyk’. Taylor scored the decisive 7th round stoppage and post-fight he made no mistake in saying how easy he felt it was,
‘‘I knew I was gonna win the fight. I was expecting a hard 12 rounds…credit to Ryan Martin for putting up a good fight but, in all honesty, I never got out of second gear. I was relaxed, I was flowing, and the fight was easy for me.’’
‘‘I thought it would be a little bit tougher…I proved I’m ready for this next fight against Baranchyk. I’ll do the same again.’’
And thinking ahead to his semi-final against Baranchyk,
‘‘I think it’s gonna be an electric fight…He looks very strong, very explosive but, again I’m not gonna let him get close to me so he can lay off those big shots…Like tonight, he couldn’t get a shot off against me; my timing, my speed, my distance control. Everything was just so on song’’
‘‘Nobody in this division is gonna beat me.’’
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final Super Series bantamweight quarter-final was upon as WBA ‘Super’ champion Ryan Burnett matched up with Nonito ‘Filipino Flash’ Donaire for a place in the semi-finals to face WBO titlist, Zolani Tete.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
A legend, Donaire, was in the ring, and perhaps a future one entered there with him. Burnett was clearly a crowd favourite, even if the Hydro crowd sounded off their appreciation of the status the ‘Filipino Flash’ held.
The Irishman in white and black shorts forced himself onto the front-foot early doors, but neither fighter was able to establish himself early in the bout. Bearded Burnett, now 19-1 (9KOs), was willing to go toe-to-toe with the famously left-hook-happy Donaire. Clearly, the difficulties his fellow Belfast man, Carl Frampton had to come through didn’t faze Ryan. He was his own man, and without saying it aloud, he clearly disliked being labelled weak-fisted.
As round 3 ended, the Belfast man had both put his mark on his opponent and taken a fair few powerful shots himself.
Towards the end of the 4th, Ryan threw a right hand, took a knee and appeared to hold the right side of his back. He survived the round, but it signalled the end of the fight. Burnett had sustained a back injury, that meant the future hall of famer that is Nonito Donaire, now 39-5 (25KO), would progress to the semi-final stage to face Zolani Tete. A scary thought.
A perhaps much scarier thought is that Ryan Burnett, who has been plagued with a variety of issues throughout his career, will now struggle to return from what appears to be a back issue.
Either way, post-fight, Donaire made a point of acknowledging his opponent,
‘‘Ryan was a tough guy, but we felt very comfortable coming in there. Just see the adjustments that I was coming in and I think that it showed what I’m capable of in this weight class.’’
‘‘I’m grateful that I was able to test the weight…Now I’m a lot lighter, you’ll see the Filipino Flash more often.’’
‘‘It didn’t come out the way we wanted it to, but a victory is a victory and we’re so grateful for this opportunity.’’
On the undercard…
Zach Parker vs. Darryll Williams
Zach Parker, somewhat controversially, became the new super-middleweight Lonsdale belt champion with a split decision over fan favourite, Darryll Williams.
Williams was slick in his movement early doors and opted to smother Parker out of any chance he had of making a mark. Zach was audibly the crowd favourite. By round 3, the fight was well & truly on. Both fighters had tagged each other early & anticipation was high heading into the middle rounds.
Both Brits by now were looking for an in. Williams had put his mark on Parker again in the 4th but the southpaw in Parker regained composure as the fight headed into round 6.
The fight, though entertaining through to the 10th, was missing something. As if both boxers had another level to end the bout but weren’t willing to give away their party piece.
It was as ugly as it was entertaining & in the final round Parker, the favourite, evaded attack as if he knew he had the victory already.
The opening bout for viewers may have lacked a KO but it never lacked sustained action.
The scorecards after 12 rounds came back as, 117-112 Parker, 115-113 Williams, 115-114 Parker, crowning Zach Parker as the NEW British super-middleweight champion. The Glasgow crowd disagreed.
Paul Butler vs, Yoan Boyeaux
To the uninitiated, Yoan Boyeaux has an impressive record of 41-5, but delve deeper and you’ll see that the Frenchman’s only accomplished opponent until tonight is WBSS bantamweight favourite, Naoya Inoue; an opponent he was stopped by in 3 rounds.
So, it was down to the former IBF ‘Baby-Face’ champion to get rid of his opponent early. However, that wasn’t to be. The Liverpudlian, in the early rounds was economical with his punches but when he fired, he made it count and made an impression. Boyeaux had his moments, but perhaps that’s being generous. Butler, in white & glittering gold shorts fought his way to a 99-91 victory.
Viktor Postol vs. Siar Ozgul
WBSS injury-reserve for the super-lightweights, Victor Postol stalked and dominated his Turkish opponent all night and after the scheduled 10 rounds was up it seemed Viktor had, had a little too much fun. He was on early and the Glasgow crowd wanted a knockout, but Postol, like in his bout with tonight’s main event fighter, Josh Taylor, did not comply and the fight went the distance. The judge’s scorecard returned as 99-91 for the Ukrainian.
David Lemieux To Appear on Alvarez-Fielding Dec. 15 MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
David Lemieux has been linked for at least two years as a potential future opponent for reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The pairing makes sense since they both fight under Golden Boy Promotions and compete in the middleweight division.
For the fourth time in that span, they will now also share the same fight card.
Whether or not Lemieux eventually lands a long-craved shot—and lucrative payday—at the biggest draw in North America remains to be seen. For now, the former middleweight titlist gets to remain active while on the hunt, as he will return to the ring on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City in news first reported by TVA Sports in Canada.
Photo Credit: David Lemieux Twitter Account
His bout—the third of 2018 and likely versus fellow Golden Boy middleweight Tureano Johnson (20-2, 10KOs)—will serve as the chief support to Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding in the main event. Both bouts will come as part of what is shaping up to be a loaded show to air live on sports streaming service DAZN-USA.
Lemieux’s manager, Camille Estephan confirmed to BoxingInsider.com his placement—along with another client, rising super lightweight contender Yves Ulysse Jr.—on the MSG show, although stopping well short of mentioning their opponents. Both slots are expected to be announced in a press conference due to take place later next week in Montreal.
Johnson—who represented his native Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Olympics—has not fought since Aug. ’17, suffering a 12th round stoppage to then-unbeaten contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko in their title eliminator. While his name comes as a surprise for a fight of this caliber given his inactivity, Lemieux’s involvement on the show was fully expected.
From the moment it was officially announced that Alvarez would make his NYC debut, it was strongly suggested that Canada’s Lemieux (40-4, 34KOs) would grace the undercard.
Both appeared on the same September 15 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez outpointed Gennady Golovkin in their rematch to reestablish his spot atop the middleweight division. More than an hour in real time separated Alvarez’ ring walk and Lemieux’s place in the evening’s final preliminary bout, needing less than a round to blow out his contentious rival Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.
Lemieux’s other two appearances on Alvarez undercards also came at T-Mobile Arena, scoring a 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes last May (Alvarez outpointed Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the main event) and knocking out Glen Tapia in four rounds exactly 52 weeks prior (Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in six rounds).
The win over Tapia was his first fight as an ex-titlist, having ended his reign in an 8th round knockout loss to Golovkin in Oct. ’15. That bout represented his lone other appearance at Madison Square Garden, having fought in New York just one other time when he stopped Gabriel Rosado in the 10th round of their Dec. ’14 battle at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Overall, Lemieux—who will turn 30 one week after the December 15 show—is 6-1 in his post-title reign. The lone loss came at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders in their title fight last December in Laval, Canada. That bout aired live on HBO, as did a March ’17 knockout win over Curtis Stevens, with his fights versus Golovkin, Reyes, Tapia and O’Sullivan all taking place on HBO PPV.
His forthcoming return to New York City will mark his debut on DAZN-USA, which launched in the United States in September. The streaming service made considerable headlines in October when announcing a record-breaking contract with Alvarez and long-term agreement for Golden Boy Promotions to showcase its entire stable on the platform.
The alignment puts Lemieux in perhaps the most favorable position of his career—including his brief title reign.
Lemieux is just 1-2 overall in title fights, the victory coming in a 12-round decision win over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in their June ’15 vacant title fight. His regin was short-lived, conceding the belt to Golovkin just four months later and then coming up miserably short versus then-titlist Saunders one year ago.
Still, his alliance with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN opens the doors for plenty of future opportunities.
Alvarez and recently crowned middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA outlet) both fight under the DAZN banner, which is soon expected to welcome another new 160-pound beltholder in Daniel Jacobs. RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger reported earlier this week that Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler is in advanced talks with the platform to bring aboard the middleweight superstar.
Visions of trekking toward the top of the middleweight division begin with the outcome of his December 15 date in New York City.
Lemieux’s addition beefs up a card that is already taking shape on paper. The balance of the undercard remains largely rumor-based and sans opponents, but so far suggested to ply their trade in chief support are 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and reigning lightweight champ Katie Taylor, both of whom appeared on the same October 20 show in Boston and emerged victorious in separate one-sided contests.
In the main event, both Mexico’s Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs) and England’s Fielding (27-1, 15KOs) fight in New York City for the first time in their respective careers.
Alvarez fights north of the 160-pound limit for just the second time in his career. The lone other occasion was his shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their May ’17 catchweight clash.
Fielding attempts the first defense of a secondary title he wrested from Tyron Zeuge in an upset 5th round knockout win this past July in Germany. The feat marked the sixth straight win for the 31-year old following his lone loss, a Nov. ’15 1st round knockout loss to Callum Smith who recently won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament.
The forthcoming defense versus Alvarez also marks Fielding’s U.S. debut and just second consecutive—and overall—pro fight outside of jolly old England.
Whyte vs. Chisora II Officially Announced
By Jake Donovan
With a high-profile rematch versus unbeaten heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua potentially waiting in the wings, Dillian Whyte sets his sights on another past adversary to remain active in the interim.
The top-rated heavyweight contender will once again meet with Dereck Chisora, as their long-discussed rematch is officially set. The sequel to their Dec. ’16 Fight of the Year-level war will take place December 22 at O2 Arena in London, England.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
“It’s on,” Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter enthusiastically exclaimed through his verified social media account on Thursday. “[The] Dillian Whyte and Derek ‘WAR’ Chisora rematch, Dec. 22 (at) The O2!”
The matchup was formally announced during a press conference Thursday in London. Among the details revealed were broadcasting rights, with the heavyweight scrap to air live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and on sports streaming platform DAZN in the United States, both for whom Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing serves as the primary boxing content provider.
Their rematch comes just over two years after their Dec. ’16 thriller, in which Whyte (24-1, 17KOs) prevailed by split decision in a bout where both men were rattled but neither ever hitting the canvas.
For Whyte, the victory is among a current eight-fight win streak following the lone defeat of his career, a 7th round stoppage at the hands of Joshua who would go on to score knockout wins over Charles Martin and Wladimir Klitschko to become a unified heavyweight titlist.
Whyte’s name has surfaced high among the short list of candidates to man the corner opposite Joshua on a planned April 13, 2019 bill at Wembley Stadium in London. While it was important to remain active ahead of that potential fight date, a rematch with a career spoiler such as Chisora is a risk he didn’t have to take—but nevertheless boldly embraces.
More so, he sees a repeat win as a guaranteed ticket to his first career title shot.
“This will be Chisora’s last fight, the donkey’s last ride,” vows Whyte, whose impressive 2018 campaign already includes wins over previously unbeaten Lucas Browne and former titlist Joseph Parker. “I think that he needs to really have a good think about taking this fight because he’s going to be heading home after the fight looking like he’s been run over by a truck.
“I believe that I’ll knock him out in devastating fashion this time. Last time was my first 12 rounder and I was a little bit inexperienced but this time I’ll know exactly what to do. He’s at the end of the road.”
Wherever he may be in his career, Chisora (29-8, 21KOs) remains a dangerous task for any heavyweight on the planet. The divisional trialhorse—who turns 35 just a week after his forthcoming sequel with Whyte—is a modest 3-1 since their first fight but resurfaced in the heavyweight fold following an 8th round knockout of Carlos Takam this past July.
The bout came on the undercard of Whyte’s win over Parker, a show designed to set up a second pairing between the two. Talks stalled with the two seemingly intent on heading in opposite directions after Chisora signed with Hayemaker Promotions, run by his prior conqueror and one-time heated rival David Haye. Hearn intimated as much to media members when questioned after his October 20 show in Boston, revealing that the hunt was still on for a quality heavyweight to face Whyte.
Momentum somehow picked up in the past couple of weeks, though. With every other notable heavyweight either just coming off of a fight or booked in the foreseeable future, it only made sense for the two UK-based contenders to do it again—even if viewpoints vary on the delay in getting to this point.
“Dillian has spent the last two years avoiding getting back in the ring with me,” insists Chisora. “He knows exactly what it feels like to go toe-to-toe with me. For the next seven weeks he will have sleepless nights knowing what he has finally signed up to. His last couple of opponents didn’t come for battle, they didn’t even put heat on Dillian, on December 22nd I’m coming to burn him up!
“I was cheated in our first fight by the judges, everyone knows that I was the true victor. This time I have a score to settle, Dillian won’t be hearing the final bell to be saved by the judges. I will be stepping in the ring a different fighter. I have everything to prove and it all to lose. ‘Dell Boy’ is no more, ‘WAR’ Chisora doesn’t cut corners, he doesn’t skip sessions, he doesn’t look for the easy option. I’m in the gym every day pushing my body to its limit. I’m in complete control of my destiny, December 22nd will be WAR.”
His longtime rival welcomes the challenge—and the opportunity to once and for all turn the page on this chapter of his career.
“This is Heavyweight boxing and you never know what’s around the corner, but I’ve done what I need to do to secure a shot at a World title,” Whyte believes. “There’s always something getting in the way, other fights being made or money and politics ruining things, but after I finish Chisora nobody can deny me my shot.”
Per Matchroom Boxing press release:
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 VIP.
On sale dates: O2 Priority (Thursday 1 November) Matchroom Fight Pass (Friday 2 November, 1pm) and general sale via StubHub on Saturday 3 November at 1pm.
WBSS on DAZN Preview: Taylor vs. Martin; Burnett vs. Donaire
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night two of Britain’s best take to the ring for the World Boxing Super Series as 140lb number two, seed Josh Taylor of Scotland, fights undefeated American, Ryan Martin; while WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett of Belfast, steps in with future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. Watch the fight on DAZN.
Whether watching at home or inside the arena you’re sure to remember at least one thing from Josh Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series quarter-final vs. Ryan Martin, and that’s noise. When the ‘Tartan Tornado’ appears to the crowd for the first time on Saturday, the Scottish crowd will erupt. Covering Martin, in a cacophony of sound he’s never felt before as a boxer.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Taylor’s professional-breakout fight was in his five-round dismantling of super-lightweight gatekeeper, Dave Ryan at Meadowbank Sports Arena, in 2016 and since then, five out of Taylor’s six fights have taken place either in Glasgow or his home city of Edinburgh. The fan-base has grown and with it, the anticipation of what the Scottish fans will bring.
Saturday nights venue, SSE Hydro was the base for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, where Taylor won gold, so it stands to reason that he’ll be forever linked with the venue,
‘‘The Hydro is now my home. Every time I fight there I’m getting stronger and stronger and the fans are getting bigger and noisier.’’
The ‘Tartan Tornado’s’ last two fight have taken place at the SSE. Five months ago, the Scottish southpaw went head to head with former world champion, Viktor Postol in his most important professional fight to date.
His performance matched the event, as Taylor, now 13-0 (11KOs) battled through 12 exhausting rounds, dropping the Ukrainian in the 11th, to add another notch to his record and emerge as arguably, the biggest threat outside of the current 140lb world champions,
‘‘My style is based on hand speed and timing. I can punch hard as well…I know if I’m hitting you, I’m putting you down or hurting you. I don’t think there’s anybody that boxes the way I box.’’
‘‘I’ve seen every type of style, every type of fighting you can imagine… My ambition is to move forward, win this tournament and become world champion.’’
Before entering the WBSS, Taylor was making his way through the WBC rankings to eventually face one of the organisation’s belt holders, Jose Ramirez or already confirmed semi-finalist, Regis Prograis. If he wins on Saturday though, he’ll instead face the recently crowned IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk for that title and a place in the final to fight either Kiryl Relikh or Prograis.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin has fluctuated between lightweight and super-lightweight throughout his pro career. Currently 22-0 (12KOs) and training out of Big Bear under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Martin has won minor lightweight titles as an amateur and as a professional.
Towards the end of last year, he picked up the 135lb WBA Inter-Continental strap with a split decision victory over Francisco Rojo; as well as already being the owner of the WBC ‘Americas’ lightweight belt. However, his two fights this year came at the weight class above including a shut-out points victory over Briedis Prescott in May.
Though 22 bouts in, his professional record has been steady in its progress; Martin’s not the type of man who takes any opponent lightly,
‘‘I know Josh Taylor’s a very good boxer, I’m the most athletic, I have the most speed and that’s gonna make the most difference throughout the tournament.’’
‘‘I’ve heard the crowd in Scotland is gonna be a very different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in but I’m gonna soak it all in.’’
Although ‘Blue Chip’ won’t have fought in an atmosphere as raucous as Saturday’s is expected to be, he’s no stranger to performing on the big stage having already performed at venues such as, the StubHub Center in LA, Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena and, probably the most famous boxing venue of all, Madison Square Garden,
‘‘I’m a boxer-puncher. I love to entertain, I love to excite people…Nobody wants to see a boring fighter.’’
‘‘As fighter’s every time we step in the ring we’re risking something so why not risk it on the big stage.
As mentioned earlier, the man to emerge victorious this weekend will go on to face Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, who last week scored a 7th round stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit.
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final sees WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett step into the ring with ‘The Filipino Flash’, Nonito Donaire. The winner will progress to the semis to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
No one can say the 26-year-old Ryan Burnett hasn’t earned his place at the top table of 118lb boxers. The Belfast man has, on numerous occasions, been given reasons to quit boxing, his story, which he outlines in another brilliantly put together Super Series documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu4AaO7UGlc isn’t your regular hard knocks tale.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
He’s overcome neurological issues that he was told were career-ending and been homeless; all before even catching his break in the sport.
‘‘I’ve got a hunger that I know no one in there has.’’
‘‘For a year and a half, we learnt how the brain worked and we started pursuing it to prove that my health wasn’t in any danger…I just always had that mad belief that I am meant to be a world champion.’’
Since around 2014, Burnett has been trained by Adam Booth and since then, established a record of 19-0 (9KOs) which, most significantly, includes becoming a world champion in 2017, for the first time via a completely dominant decision victory over Lee Haskins, and then immediately unifying the WBA and IBF championships with a tough but unanimous points win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Before the WBSS second season fighters was announced, Burnett decided to drop the IBF strap, therefore avoiding a fight with WBSS semi-finalist, and now IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. Instead, Ryan’s one bout so far in 2018 was a fairly routine victory over Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker.
Like all of the top seeds across the Super Series, Burnett recognises the pressure on his shoulders, especially when he’s going up against the power that his Filipino foe is known for,
‘‘I don’t need to be nasty to people, I’m able to switch it like a light switch and I turn into a different person…I picked Nonito because, the better the fighter, the better I become.’’
‘‘We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world and the World Boxing Super Series are making that come true.’’
Currently 38-5 (24KOs), Nonito Donaire’s, last fight was also his latest defeat as ‘The Filipino Flash’ was beaten by Burnett’s fellow Northern Irishman, Carl Frampton.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, the four-weight world champion was asked about any similarities between the two men,
‘‘They (Frampton & Burnett) are similar because they’ve both got big balls. They’re there to fight and that’s something that I like… I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.’’
Nonito hasn’t fought at bantamweight since 2011 when he scored a unanimous decision over, a then 35-0-2, Omar Narvaez. That night in New York he became a two-weight world champion, picking up the WBC & WBO straps as well as improving his own record to 27-1.
He then shifted his sights to super-bantam and eventually the featherweight division where he accomplished world honours in both, but by his own admission, he didn’t feel all together comfortable fighting at the 126lb limit, and the tournament has given him the opportunity to add one more achievement to his already impressive accolades.
‘‘I’ve always come to fight the best out there…I’ve achieved pretty much everything in boxing…The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become the undisputed champion, and that’s the one thing that’s given me this fire.’’
It’s beneficial for both sides as well though as Donaire’s legendary status adds an extra bit of flavour to an already appetising class of fighters that has been whittled down to Naoya Inoue, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete.
‘‘This is a moment for me to rise. When one is driven to a point, there’s only one way to go and that’s going up and that’s rising beyond what I’m capable of.’’
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