DeGale-Eubank Jr. Feb. 23 Grudge Match Launches PBC UK Debut
By Jake Donovan
James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. finally get to settle things in the ring.
The pair of British super middleweights and longtime domestic rivals will collide on February 23 at The O2 in London, with the bout formally announced at a press conference held on site Thursday afternoon.
“I’d like to say how personally proud I am of this new relationship between Premier Boxing Champions and ITV,” stated promoter Richard Poxon, whose Poxon Sports will present the event live on ITV Box Office in the UK. “This is a fantastic all British super-middleweight fight that takes us back to the glory days on ITV.
“For the first British event (under the new deal between PBC and ITV), it’s probably the most anticipated event of recent years. This has every ingredient to be a great event. We’re looking forward to the buildup and of course looking forward to a great fight.”
There will be far less at stake than was the case when the two were first on each other’s radar. In the time that has passed since interest in such a grudge match first made the rounds, DeGale (25-2-1) has won, lost, regained and vacated a super middleweight title.
Meanwhile, Eubank Jr. (27-2, 21KOs) will enter fight night barely a year removed from his disappointing points loss to George Groves in their title fight last February. A win would’ve advanced the second-generation boxer into the World Boxing Super Series finals versus Callum Smith; instead, it left him without a career-defining win and a lot to prove.
It also made it easier to finalize terms to face DeGale, a fitting debut for PBC expanding its brand to the United Kingdom four years after its initial U.S. launch in 2015.
“At this stage of my career, big fights, fan-favorite fights are all that I’m after,” Eubank Jr. said during Thursday’s press conference. “This fight has been 4-5 years in the making.”
Of course, being the son of legendary former two-division titlist Chris Eubank Sr. made him recognizable name from the moment he turned pro in 2011. What caught the eye of his upcoming opponent, though, was Eubank Jr’s awareness of those around him at that time.
“This fight has been a long time coming,” acknowledges DeGale, a 2008 Olympic Gold medalist for Great Britain and two-tour super middleweight titlist. “A lot of people have been calling for this fight. Chris has been calling for this fight.
“When the guy first turned pro, he was calling me out. He’s very deluded and now I’ve finally got the chance to deal with this guy, good and proper.”
The moment will come without a major belt on the line. DeGale regained his title in a points win over Caleb Truax last April after suffering a shocking loss to the American in Dec. ’17, which initially ended his 2 ½ year title reign.
His first title win was a historic moment, becoming the first ever Olympic Gold medalist from Great Britian to win a major title in outpointing Andre Dirrell in their May ’15 clash.
The second tour was short-lived and without fanfare or even a single defense. DeGale opted to vacate in order to search for bigger fights rather than be contractually bound to a mandatory title defense versus Jose Uzcategui. Among the bouts discussed was an eventual showdown with Eubank Jr., a fight that was factored into PBC moving forward with its long-discussed plans of launching its brand in the U.K. market.
Both boxers took on separate tune-ups in the interim, each scoring 3rd round knockouts just two days apart. Eubank Jr’s return to the win column came in an uninspiring stoppage of JJ McDonagh last September in Saudi Arabia, on the undercard of Smith’s knockout win over Groves to win the WBSS super middleweight tournament.
Two days later, DeGale claimed an early hit of Mexico’s Fidel Monterrosa in a bout buried deep on the non-televised portion of a PBC on FS1 show in California.
Little was made of either contest, other than marking time for their eventual head-on collision. Whereas such a fight could have arguably declared the best super middleweight in the world a year or two ago, the February 23 clash has become must-win for both boxers.
“We can call this the retirement fight,” DeGale repeatedly insisted during Thursday’s press conference. “Whoever loses, can knock it on the head. Call it a retirement fight because whoever loses, game over.”
The sentiment wasn’t exactly shared on the other side of the dais.
“Speak for yourself, James,” Eubank Jr. quipped of the notion. “James is talking about retirement. That thought has never entered my mind.”
What has entered his mind, however, was getting game-ready for this bout and functionally for the rest of his career. The 29-year old admits to having been self-trained for his past few contests, but will enter this under the watchful eye of a new—and full-time—coach.
“I haven’t really had an official trainer,” Eubank Jr. confessed in regretting past decisions that have left him in must-win territory. “Ronnie Davies has always been with me, but was never my full time trainer, he was more of an overseer. I was basically training myself.
“This fight will be different. I’m training with a man named Nate Vasquez, who has been living with me full-time. He had to fly home for Christmas but is now back with me. It’s great to have a guy working with me full time, fixing the things I need to work on rather than someone just going through the motions. It’s going to take me to the next level.”
It will have to, as Eubank Jr. has yet to land the type of breakout victory that has advanced his career from potential to confirmed greatness. He was aggressively moved early in his career, perhaps not quite ready for “the next level” in dropping a dull 12-round decision to then-rising contender Billy Joe Saunders, who would go on to win a middleweight title.
The path was similar to that of DeGale, who was paired early in his career with Groves when both were unbeaten prospects. Groves won a tightly contested decision, but it was DeGale who would be the first to win a major title in outpointing Dirrell on U.S. soil.
Three successful title defenses followed, including a 12-round draw with Badou Jack in their Jan. ’17 war. DeGale—who turns 33 in February—remained with a belt around his waist, but the majority draw coupled with the upset loss to Truax that following December left the Brit without a win since barely getting past Rogelio Medina in April ’16.
He now enters this grudge match with two straight victories. The former two-time titlist is also equipped with the more proven track record in big fights and—he believes—has far more left to offer the sport, which he doesn’t believe to be the case for his future opponent.
“After he’s lost to me, I’m not too sure where he’s going to go,” DeGale wondered aloud. “Fortunately, we only have seven more weeks to wait. I’m ready to go.”
European Boxing Notebook: DeGale, Fury, Saunders, WBSS, and more…
By: Oliver McManus
A busy, busy couple of weeks has seen action across Britain aplenty but, for a while, there were relatively few major talking points. Nonetheless here is everything you could possibly need to know from the course of the last two weeks –
Chunky chases the dollar
James DeGale chose to relinquish his IBF super-middleweight title ahead of purse bids with his mandatory challenge Jose Uzcategui to chase fights that will define his “legacy in the division”. The 32 year old British boxer would have been up against a tough, powerful, Venezuelan in Uzcategui and the risk far outweighed the potential reward.
By ridding himself of the IBF title and, therefore, the mandatory situations he is now free to chase huge, money-making fights as he nears the end of his career. Without doubt the ideal location will be in the United Kingdom and DeGale never really managed to take off in America but, back home, there is the potential for some genuine mega-fights.
The winner of the World Boxing Super Series immediately springs to mind with Callum Smith and George Groves both providing stern tests and the appetite for a rematch with Groves has, arguably, never been hotter.
Billy Joe Saunders is another name that had been sounded out with potential for a clash to take place on September 15th but the finances of such a bout were believed to be a sticking point.
Watch this space, though.
Billy Joe Saunders mandated to defend against Demetrius Andrade
Talking of Billy Joe Saunders, the World Boxing Organisation has mandated their middleweight champion to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade – ranked number 2, the WBO’s number 1, Daniel Jacobs is facing Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF title – with purse bids expected before the end of the month.
Saunders was scheduled to face Martin Murray on two occasions already this year – April and June – before pulling out with injury both times and with Murray, now, reluctant to sign on for a third bout there was seemingly few attractive avenues for the champion to go down.
Against Andrade, Saunders would be up against a former super-welterweight champion and, you’d say, one of the hardest challenges of his career. We already know September 15th is the date being mooted for Saunders’ next fight, at the O2, and Andrade would provide quite a nice test in anticipation of a potential showdown with the winner of GGG-Canelo.
Saunders has already declared his willingness to take the fight as well as his confidence in beating the American but with Andrade signing with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA we could be set for one tasty purse bids.
WE HAVE A TOURNAMENT for 2018/19 with the World Boxing Super Series announcing the complete line-up for the Bantamweight division with no less than four world champions – the WBC are the only governing body not represented by a world champion (mainly because the belt is currently vacant) – in Emmanuel Rodriguez, Naoya Inoue, Ryan Burnett and Zolani Tete the belt holders to have signed up.
The other four fighters in the tournament are Jason Moloney (IBF Mandatory), Juan Carlos Payano (WBO #1), Nonito Donaire and, 4-0 Russian, Mikhail Aloyan.
Safe to say this tournament is shaping up to be the cruiserweight equivalent for 2018/19 and Emmanuel Rodriguez vs Jason Moloney will serve as one of the first quarter-finals having been called as a mandatory whilst Burnett, Tete and Inoue will be the other three seeds.
Fury looks to freeze Pianeta
The former heavyweight kingpin will be returning to the ring for the second time since his much awaited comeback kicked off and will face Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park on August 18th, on the undercard of Carl Frampton vs Luke Jackson.
Fury will be looking for a far more polished and serious performance than the crowd at Manchester Arena witnessed on June 9th against Sefer Seferi with critics accusing him of not taking the sport seriously. Against Pianeta there is, on paper, a far more challenging opponent in the opposite corner with Pianeta a two-time world title challenger.
Those title challenges both ended with the Italian-born German getting knocked out, by Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev and the 40 fight veteran has had a less-than-impressive record over the past 12-18 months having lost to both Petar Milas and Kevin Johnson in depressingly convincing fashion.
Tyson Fury should, then, sweep past his latest challenge with relative comfort.
MTK Scottish card
MTK Global announced their first card as part of the new BoxNation broadcast agreement, to take place at the Emirates Arena on Friday 24th August in Glasgow with an absolutely stacked card of action set to take place.
Ronnie Clark, who sensationally upset Zelfa Barrett earlier in the year, defends his IBF European title against unbeaten prospect David Oliver Joyce – 7 and 0 – with the Irishman coming off the back of a sixth round TKO victory over Jordan Ellison.
Joyce has already proven his natural power with six wins via knockout and he’ll be looking to stamp his authority throughout the course of this, scheduled, 12 rounder. Clark is well aware of the threat posed by his 31 year old counterpart having declared the bout will be “amazing” to Irish-Boxing.com.
And, mark my words, this will be a war. There are no other ways of putting it.
On the undercard, local-legend, Willie Limond will return to the ring to take on MTK’s new signing in Darragh Foley over the course of 10 rounds with Foley fighting for the first time on British shores as a professional having been based in Australia up until now.
Rankin’ Rising up the Rankings
Hannah Ranking, the leading light in female Scottish boxing, will look to put behind her the previous issues in finding opponents when she travels to New York for her world title challenge on August 4th. Fighting Alicia Napoleon for the WBA Super Middleweight title, Rankin is in with a counterpart who has lost just once previously – to Tori Nelson – and is moving up YET ANOHTER weight category having last fought at middleweight and, prior to that, super welterweight.
British purse bids
As is always a busy period in the month, it was time for the BBBofC purse bids and seeing as there is so much to get through, this will be brief;
Cruiserweight – Matty Askin has been mandated to defend his British cruiserweight belt against up-and-coming Lawrence Okolie after the two have been verbally sparring across social media for weeks. The contest will go to purse bids on Wednesday, August 8th.
Light Heavyweight – Following a tempestuous fight for the English title back in February and months of expectation, a date was set for the rematch between Liam Conroy and Miles Shinkwin – slated for Friday, September 14th – but just days afterwards Liam Conroy decided to vacate the title and avoid the fight.
Middleweight – With the English middleweight belt being vacant promoter Errol Johnson reached an agreement with Reece Cartwright and Tyler Denny for the two to go toe-to-toe on Saturday, September 29th in Walsall for the title.
Super Welterweight – An agreement was reached by Eddie Hearn and the respective parties to stage Asinia Byfield vs Ted Cheeseman for the vacant British Super Welterweight title with the fight to take place on Saturday, October 20th in London; Adam Harper and Billy Bird will meet for the vacant English title on Saturday, September 22nd in Ipswich.
Super Lightweight – Robbie Davies signed a three-fight agreement with Eddie Hearn earlier in the month and his first fight will be on Saturday, October 13th in Newcastle for the vacant British Super Lightweight title and he’ll be up against Glenn Foot in a bruising encounter.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Prograis, DeGale, Beltran, Briedis, Smith, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 26th to July 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Briedis Faces Deslaurier on Usyk-Gassiev Undercard
Mairis Briedis, Ali Trophy Final Cruiserweight Substitute Fighter, meets Brandon Deslaurier, on the Usyk-Gassiev undercard July 21 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.
“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). “I’m looking forward to a quality World Boxing Super Series event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans in Moscow and all over the world.”
The former WBC World Champion won his quarter-final in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Mike Perez by unanimous decision and continued to face top-seed Usyk.
The Latvian sports hero did not fail to impress in a ‘Fight Of The Year’-contender as the semi-final was dubbed.
Briedis was defeated in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’
The 33-year-old will be on standby to enter the final in Moscow in the unlikely scenario of one of the original participants being unable to compete.
In his fight on the Moscow undercard, Briedis is up against France’s Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 1 KO).
“I’m very excited to come to Russia and compete against a world class fighter like Mairis Briedis. But people must not underestimate me. I am coming to Russia to win and beat Mairis Briedis,” said Deslaurier.
Everything is on the line for Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Final in Moscow: The winner in Moscow on July 21 will be the first one ever to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first cruiserweight ever to unify the titles in the four-belt era. The winner will also add RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship belt.
Prograis and Velasco Competing for Place in Ali Trophy Tournament
The winner of WBC Interim World Champion Regis Prograis vs top challenger Juan Jose Velasco on July 14 will enter the 140lb edition of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.
29-year-old Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), the Houston resident who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, won the WBC Interim 140-pound World Championship in March after a sensational second round TKO-victory over former titleholder Julius Indongo from Namibia.
“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs,” said Prograis.
The undefeated southpaw, known for his fan-friendly style inspired by idols such as Roberto Duran and Pernell Whitaker, is confident that he will enter the tournament.
“I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best.”
31-year-old Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, will challenge the Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion in Prograis’ birthplace of New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14. Velasco already sees himself as an Ali Trophy participant:
“It’s a great honour and I look forward to competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and winning the whole thing. I think the format is set up well,” said Velasco, also known as ‘El Pitbull’. “The best fight the best in the World Boxing Super Series to determine one champ. Great!”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “Prograis is an exciting athlete capable of catapulting his status to new heights of sporting glory in the Ali Trophy tournament. He is facing Velasco, a tough challenger. We are sure of one thing: another belt will enter the Ali Trophy tournament!”
Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series with two categories, Bantamweight and Super Lightweight, already announced.
DeGale Vacates IBF Title
Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.
DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.
The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.
DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.
The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.
In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.
DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.
A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.
However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.
DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.
DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”
WBO News: Top Rank Wins the Beltran-Andreev Purse Bid
This afternoon, at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in Puerto Rico, the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO Lightweight World Champion Raymundo Beltrán (35-7-1 , 21 KOs), from Mexico, and first-ranked Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs), from Russia.
Top Rank won the rights for the fight with a successful bid of $ 252,000. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti, personally presented the winning bid. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The OMB exhorted both Top Rank and other promoters to submit their boxers to doping controls, not only immediately prior to and after the title fights, but throughout the entire training phase of both combatants.
Joe Smith Jr. Returns with Devastating KO at Mohegan Sun
Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular “Slugfest at The Sun” series, presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“Slugfest at The Sun” was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing’s next event, “Rockin’ Fights”, September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.
Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.
“I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him,” Joe Smith Jr. explained. “So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I’m happy with my performance. My jaw feels great.”
“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”
“Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”
Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty “Las Elegante” Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.
“She was a survivor,” Reis commented. “There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more … getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.
A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, “I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch,” Reis added. “I’m going to stay on her tail. I’ll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen.”
In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO’s) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO’s) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.
“I thought I did well,” Laureano said after the fight, “but I’d like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It’s there, he felt it; it’s coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I’d like to have an eight-rounder. We’re adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I’m getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there.”
Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.
Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.
Irish junior welterweight “Lethal” Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.
Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.
The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a “No Contest” because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters — William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) – with serious head cuts and unable to continue.
Showtime Boxing Results: Hurd Wins Thriller Over Lara, Williams and DeGale Victorious
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.
The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.
Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.
Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.
It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.
After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.
The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.
Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.
The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.
Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.
DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.
Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.
The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.
The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.
The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.
Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.
Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.
Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.
The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.
The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lara v. Hurd, Truax vs. DeGale
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will team up with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to put on two highly competitive fights live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.
The main event will feature a Junior Middleweight Unificaiton bout between Erislandy Lara and the rising Jarrett Hurd. The co-main event of the evening will feature an anticipated rematch between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Their first match was won by Truax in what many consider to be the biggest upset of the year in 2017.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Julian Williams, Sergio Mora, and Alfredo Angulo.
The following is a preview of the two televised fights.
Caleb Truax (29-3-2) vs. James DeGale (23-2-1); IBF Super Middleweight Title
The expected opening bout of the telecast will be between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight Title. Truax was able to pull off a tremendous upset during their first bout and surprisingly is still considered by many to be the underdog, despite the fact he beat DeGale in England.
Truax and DeGale are the same height and DeGale has a slight one inch reach advantage. Truax has been the more active boxer of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016. DeGale fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
DeGale clearly has the better amateur resume of the two. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2008 while Truax was an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Champion. However, while DeGale may be the better amateur boxer Truax appears to have more power in his punches. Truax has stopped eighteen of his opponents while DeGale has stopped fourteen.
Truax has defeated the likes of DeGale, KeAndrae Leatherwood, Melvin Betenacourt, Scott Sigmon, Derek Ennis, and Donovan George. He has lost to the likes of Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs, and Jermain Taylor.
DeGale has beaten the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, and Dyah Davis. His losses were to George Groves and Truax.
Even though DeGale has the edge in amateur experience and defeated opponents, Truax was able to beat DeGale in his own backyard and rather convincingly the first time they faced each other and it wasn’t by a lucky knockout punch.
Truax will have the mental edge going into Saturday night that may be the difference to help him win this rematch.
Jarrett Hurd (21-0) vs. Erislandy Lara (25-2-2); IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Titles
This is an intriguing fight between a decorated amateur from Cuba that may be coming near the end of his physical peak and a young upcoming champion looking to make a name for him.
Lara is thirty four years old and will be seven years older than Hurd on fight night. He will also be giving up four inches in height and two and a half inches in reach. Hurd has also been the more active fighter of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Lara only fought once in 2016 and fought twice in 2017.
Lara, however, does not appear to be worried about the size difference. He stated at the last press conference, ” “Everyone knows I love to fight his style. I’ve fought better and taller fighters than him and you’ve seen me dominate them. It’s going to be nothing different on Saturday night.”
Hurd has a slight edge in power as he has fifteen stoppage victories on his record, while Lara only has fourteen stoppage victories.
Hurd was a semifinalist in the National Golden Gloves tournament as an amateur while Lara was a Cuban National Amateur Champion and a member of the Cuban National Boxing Team.
Hurd has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Tonly Harrison, Ionut Dan, Oscar Molina and Frank Galarza. Nobody has yet to defeat Hurd as a professional.
Lara’s two losses were close and were to Canelo Alvarez and to Paul Williams. He has defeated the likes of Terrel Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith, Austin Trout, Alfredo Angulo, and Freddy Hernandez.
Hurd appears ready to test Lara and take advantage of his size advantage and his age advantage. He stated, “”Lara is a guy who can’t take pressure fighters well. I have some of the best pressure in the game. I’m younger, stronger, taller and longer. He’s not going to be able to run for 12 rounds. “
Has Lara reached the end of his peak? He hasn’t shown signs of slowing down and Hurd leaves himself open to counters. It should be a close fight, but this writer envisions Lara pulling away by the end of the fight.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results Caleb Truax Defeats Heavy Favorite James DeGale
By: Ste Rowen
James DeGale v Caleb Truax
It was supposed to be a challenging homecoming, not a do-or-die war, but the fight that should’ve propelled James ‘Chunky DeGale into unification fights in 2018 has left him beltless and wondering what’s next. American and one-time challenger for the WBA ‘Regular’ middleweight belt, Caleb ‘Golden’ Truax is the new IBF super middleweight champion of the world, and there can be no complaints against that.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing
It was DeGale’s first defence on home soil of the belt he won back in 2015 and from the first bell he seemed to be taking a more measured approach until he unleashed a flurry of left hooks, a notable weakness of Truax’s, and left his opponent stunned but not down. Truax did well to recover from that attack and continued into the second.
Caleb brought the fight to the champion from then on, as DeGale began to load up on left hands. The American won the round to even the scorecards going into the third. Through rounds three and four, a stiff jab from the American forced DeGale further and further back and allowed Truax to dictate how the fight would play out.
The fifth was a massive round for ‘Golden’ as he continued to pummel the IBF champ unanswered, with huge right uppercuts and straights. A brief rally at the end of the round from DeGale gave the impression to the home crowd that he was still in the fight.
The middle rounds saw the 2008 Olympic champion adopt a more stick and move style, but it wasn’t enough to keep Truax from coming forward without fear. The final three rounds were nip and tuck as DeGale began to employ a little of the darks arts with the forceful use of head and elbow. His little spurts of activity may have geed the crowd up but they would prove ineffective.
In the middle of the final round Truax lifted his arms in triumph, received mainly by cheers from a crowd that booed him into the ring. He’d won the hearts of the fans inside London’s Copper Box Arena, and with it the red strap that propels him into potentially huge fights in 2018.
The final scorecards came back as 114-114 and 115-112, 116-112 for the American. It was testament to Truax’s performance that when the 114-114 card was announced, it was met by boos. The crowd sensed another terrible 2017 scorecard but thankfully the right man won and a new champion was crowned.
Caleb Truax, now America’s second middleweight champion along with David Benavidez.
The Undercard highlights…
Lee Selby v Eduardo Ramirez
IBF Featherweight Champion, Lee Selby claimed a dominant points decision victory over Mexican challenger, Eduardo Ramirez to solidify his status as one of the best featherweights in the world.
The Welshman was fighting with style early on, whereas Ramirez was seemingly looking for the home run as he swung and swung, but never hit anything significant. Through the early rounds Selby showed his class. The southpaw in Ramirez did it’s best to show some essence of movement, but Selby’s jab was king through three.
Into four Selby began to take one to land two, frequently throwing combinations of hooks to be met by the occasional power shot response from the Mexican. More of the same followed through to round eight as Lee continued to dominate, but he was clearly looking to impress, made obvious by a number of wayward big left hands.
Despite a brief scare in the eleventh, as the Mexican rallied and landed a heavy left that gave Selby something to think about; the final five rounds saw Lee Selby do what Lee Selby does best. With a little more nastiness in the punches compared to previous fights, he established himself behind a dominant jab and chipped away at Ramirez’s remaining defences with consistent straight punches.
The final twelve round scorecards came back as 118-110, 119-109, 116-112.
Selby will now hopefully move onto a big 2018, with potential opponents such as, Josh Warrington, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton and fellow belt holders, Gary Russell Jr, Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz.
Anthony Yarde v Nikola Sjekloca
Anthony Yarde became the first man to stop Nikola Sjekloca, as rising light heavyweight star, ‘The Beast’, earnt his fourteenth victory, and twelth straight knockout.
Yarde seemed to be precision personified, but it wasn’t a walkover. A man who has never been stopped is a man who wants to keep that record, but Yarde’s heavy hits only got heavier as he knocked down Sjekloca for the first time in the second round.
Sjekloca came with a reply at the start of round three, but again Yarde’s superior punches and the rate he was landing, kept the London native well on top.
At the start of the fourth Yarde landed big hit after big hit before knocking the Montenegrin down again, and then once more after continuous power punches and the referee stopped the fight with a brave Nikola still on his feet.
Yarde now 14-0 (13KOs) will surely be expecting the biggest fight of his career so far in 2018, a bout for the British light heavyweight title.
Daniel Dubois v Dorian Darch
Daniel Dubois made lightwork of one of Britain’s favourite heavyweight gate keepers in Dorian Darch, achieving his sixth consecutive knockout victory. But Darch didn’t come to lie down. Nearing the end of the first round, Dubois brought the firepower and knocked down his latest foe for the first time. Dorian survived, but not for long.
At the start of the second Dubois picked up where he left off and fired an assault on Darch, knocking him down three times in brutal fashion before the referee ended the fight and Dubois claimed his latest knockout victory. His record now stands at 6-0 (6KOS).
It’s a brave man that steps in with him next.
Joe Mullender v Lee Churcher
In a fantastic give-and-take fight between 10-2, Joe Mullender and 12-3-1, Lee Churcher, Mullender came out the victor, knocking Churcher down twice in round five and then again in the eighth and eleventh, when the referee waved the bout off and Joe Mullender became the new IBF East/West Europe Middleweight Champion.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: DeGale vs. Truax, Selby vs. Ramirez
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night, James ‘Chunky’ DeGale headlines a card crammed with current and future British boxing stars at the Copper Box Arena in London.
The IBF champion, 23-1-1 (14KOs) is returning to the ring for the first time since his super middleweight unification attempt vs Badou Jack back in January this year, that ultimately ended in a draw but set the ball rolling for a fantastic year in the sport.
Photo Credit: Box Nation Twitter
Since then, DeGale has been held back by a shoulder injury that ruled him out of competing in the World Boxing Super Series, which resumes for the semi-finals in February next year.
It’ll be just DeGale’s fourth defence of the belt he won back in May 2015 after a unanimous decision victory over Andre Dirrell, and his first fight on home soil since he defeated Marco Antonio Periban on the undercard of Bellew v Cleverly in 2014. Since then the 2008 Olympic gold medallist has racked up decision victories over Lucien Bute, Rogelio ‘Porky’ Medina, and the aforementioned draw with now light heavyweight contender, Badou Jack.
His opponent, Caleb ‘Golden’ Truax, 28-3-2 (18KOs), has fought for a version of the world titles once before when he took on then WBA ‘Regular’ middleweight champion, Daniel Jacobs in 2015. Truax was being soundly beaten even before the twelth-round of that fight when, with 1:24 left on the clock Jacobs landed a right hand sending the Minnesota native sprawling into the ropes. The referee gave Truax the mandatory eight-count but after being allowed to carry on, Jacobs continued to fire off massive, unanswered rights and the referee put an end to the fight with Truax still on his feet.
Caleb attempted to bounce back when he returned ten months later to beat Melvin Betancourt via fourth-round TKO, and then took on Anthony Dirrell in April 2016, but he was simultaneously put on the canvas for the first time, and beaten for a third by the former WBC champion who took just 1:30 of the first round to drop Truax, and then again, his weakness for the right straight showed as Dirrell dropped him again and the referee stopped the fight.
Since then, ‘Golden’ has picked up two fairly routine stoppage victories over 5-15-0, Zachariah Kelley, and American middleweight, KeAndrae Leatherwood.
Caleb was no doubt surprised to get the offer of another world title shot in the form of James DeGale.
Speaking to the BBC about the challenger for his belt ‘Chunky’ said, “Truax is a good fighter, I’m not saying he’s a world beater… He dropped Jermaine Taylor when Jermaine Taylor was hot so he’s mixed it at a good level but he’s always just missed out… So, he’s no mug but this is the perfect opponent where I can look fantastic.”
DeGale also said this week he’s targeting another unification fight, this time with the recently crowned WBC champion, David Benavidez.
Co-main on the night will be IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby who is returning to the ring for the third time this year. He faces Eduardo Ramirez, 20-0-3, in his fifth fight since winning the IBF title from Evgeny Gradovich back in 2015. Last time out ‘The Welsh Mayweather’ fought Jonathon Victor Barros on the Eubank v Abraham undercard, dropping Barros in the twelth en route to a clear unanimous decision.
It’s not a dissimilar setup as Carl Frampton’s recent decision win against Horacio Garcia; the bout is seemingly the gateway to the super fights of 2018 against the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Oscar Valdez, Gary Russell Jr and of course, former WBA Featherweight champion, Frampton.
In an interview from FrankWarren.com, Selby said, ‘Ramirez is a young, hungry Mexican who comes from a very good stable… He’s an undefeated southpaw and highly ranked by the IBF (11th). From clips I’ve seen, Eduardo’s a similar height as myself, if not taller, so I’ll not enjoy the advantages… My record shows I can always make the adjustments needed to win. I’m confident that my class will prevail’
His Mexican opponents’ most recent outing was a controversial draw in Vegas, with unbeaten, Leduan Barthelmy. Ramirez was viewed by most as doing more than enough to grant him the win, but Vegas was Vegas and handed Ramirez a third draw in his twenty-three-fight pro career. This will be Eduardo’s first scheduled twelve-round bout with his longest fight also being the ten-rounder mentioned above. The southpaw should not be an easy touch for Selby, the Welshman will need to box smart early when Ramirez attempts to fire off quick combinations of hooks and big overhand lefts. Experience could be key for Selby who’s been the twelve-round distance six times, three as a world champion.
Hot prospects, Light Heavyweight Anthony Yarde and ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois will also feature on the card.
13-0-0 (12KOs), Anthony Yarde has been busy this year knocking out all four of his 2017 opponents, most recently scoring a third-round stoppage against former super middleweight contender, Robert Nemesapati, now 25-7-0.
He takes on never before stopped, Nicola Sjekloca, 32-4-1 (11KOs), who’s previous opponents include Callum Smith, Arthur Abraham and current WBA ‘Regular’ Super Middleweight champion, Tyron Zeuge. It’s certainly a step up though for Yarde. In his last fight in March, the Montenegrin went the twelve-round distance in a split decision draw to former WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz.
The only criticism to level against the light heavyweight prospect so far is the quality of opponent he’s come up against, even as early as it is in his career. Some would argue, you can only beat what’s put in front of you and ‘The Beast’ has certainly done so, showing speed, timing and a keen eye for the stoppage. It will be Yarde’s second scheduled twelve round fight; the furthest he’s gone so far is four when he was taken the distance by Latvian, Stanislavs Makarenko in the Englishman’s second pro bout.
Twenty-year-old heavyweight Dubois, 5-0-0 (5KOs) takes on 12-5-1 (1KO), Dorian Darch. Dubois has made an explosive start to his professional career but much like Yarde, is now being encouraged by fans to hurry along his early progress and the young Brit’s promoter obviously feels the same. Frank Warren is reportedly trying to get the British Board of Control to lower the age limit a fighter must be to challenge for the British heavyweight belt, currently set at twenty-one. Daniel’s 21st birthday is in September next year.
James DeGale comes of age in a bloody steak of a fight with Badou Jack – so what next?
James DeGale comes of age in a bloody steak of a fight with Badou Jack – so what next?
By G.E. Simons
Since his split decision loss in a British super-middleweight title fight against George Groves in May 2011, James DeGale has enjoyed an impressive uneaten run collecting wins in the UK, Denmark, Canada and the US, picking up the IBF World super-middleweight title along the way.
DeGale became Word champion by edging out Andre Dirrell almost four years to the day since collecting that only professional career loss against Groves and has successfully defended the strap three times since, against Lucian Bute, Rogelio Medina and Badou Jack.
Whether by design or circumstance, DeGale has made all three defences on foreign soil against opponents that have all given him more problems than he or the oddsmakers had anticipated or predicted.
His January unification fight with WBC title-holder Badou Jack got 2017 off to a great start in New York and is probably one of the best drawn contests that you will see this year. It was a rough, tough and bloody rare steak of a fight, albeit one with a seam of skill and will running right through the heart of it.
Jack walked away from the encounter and almost certainly into a light-heavyweight future, exhibiting more frustration with the majority draw scorecards than he was entitled to, as neither combatant really deserved to win and neither combatant really deserved to lose.
A more pragmatic DeGale walked away from the Brooklyn ring without a couple of teeth but with a perforated ear drum and broken nose, his reputation greatly enhanced through the incredible toughness, machismo and taste for a proper tear up that he showed in a real mano a mano.
Which leaves us with two fundamental questions. Just how good is James DeGale and what comes next for him?
DeGale is clearly a very, very good fighter with quick hands, athleticism, tremendous footwork and real snap in his punching. He is also the first British pugilist to win both an Olympic gold medal (Beijing 2008), before going on to win a version of a professional World title.
Further, he has lost only once against another very good fighter in George Groves and beaten solid operators in Brandon Gonzales, Marco Antonio Periban, Andre Dirrell and Lucian Bute.
But even in these victories and especially in the loss to Groves and the draw with Jack, he has lacked that extra gear, that reserve of stamina or that mercurial divining rod of something unexpected which elevates fighters and invites them to breath that rarefied air surrounding mount greatness.
In the build up to the Badou Jack fight and in an interview with iFIlm TV, James DeGale described his opponent as “A quality operator.” and “a good all round fighter.”
Ironically he could have been describing himself and there’s nothing wrong with that description especially within the context of a super-middleweight landscape where there are a number of other quality operators, if no obvious standout.
Which leads onto what or who is next for James DeGale.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph and following the Badou Jack decision, promoter Eddie Hearn said “James has just gone through a war and it will take him until the summer to come back. He’ll need that time.”
The Matchroom Boxing supremo is right, but come the summer there are no shortage of interesting options out there, including:
Badou Jack’s vacation of the WBC title has muddied the waters a little, as had DeGale taken the belt with a victory, a first defence against Callum Smith would already be signed. Instead we will likely see Smith challenge Antony Dirrell for the vacant belt in late spring. Victory there would guarantee a terrific unification civil war with DeGale in the late summer. Likelihood of it happening next 5/5.
That DeGale and Groves will meet again is inevitable, whether it is next for DeGale is debatable. The Saint has his own commitments in the shape of a tilt at the WBA Super super-middleweight title against Fedor Chudinov confirmed for early 2017. Get through that and Wembley Stadium could beckon once more for a domestic dust up of the super-middles, with titles on the line. Likelihood of it happening next 4/5.
Chris Eubank Jnr.
Agent provocateur Eubank Jnr. called out DeGale after the Jack fight saying “He (DeGale) came out of a 12-round fight and he’s got no teeth – that’s embarrassing in my opinion.” Middleweight Junior fights Renold Quinlan for an IBO bauble in February and who knows his goading might just draw DeGale into a blockbuster summer payday. Likelihood of it happening next 3/5.
Jack has now officially vacated his WBC super-middleweight title as he prepares for a move to light-heavyweight, barring a move up in weight for DeGale a rematch seems highly unlikely. An appetite remains however with both claiming unfinished business, a residual interest from Mayweather promotions in James DeGale and more dollars to be made with fighters who match up well. Likelihood of it happening next 2/5.
Just as Froch was frustrated by Joe Calzaghe’s retirement before they could meet, so James DeGale was frustrated by Carl Froch hanging them up nearly a decade later. The Cobra clearly retains an itch that would be scratched by lacing them up one more time but his head seems to continue to rule his heart. That said, this is boxing so never say never. Likelihood of it happening next 1/5.
DeGale-Jack Shows That Not All 10-9 Rounds Are Alike
DeGale-Jack Shows That Not All 10-9 Rounds Are Alike
By: Sean Crose
Let’s face it, James DeGale got his ass kicked Saturday night in Brooklyn. That’s right, Badu Jack took it to the English super middleweight in a big way. While DeGale, slick and skilled, dominated early, Badu’s hard, grinding style, consisting of body work and hard shots to the head, carried the day. At least it did if we look on the affair as a fight instead of as a boxing match.
Unfortunately for Jack, the title unifier was a boxing match and was judged accordingly, as such. The lighter punching, but faster DeGale escaped with a draw. Indeed, one of the judges had the man actually beating Jack.
I myself had Jack dominating six rounds while DeGale owned four of his own outright. I also had two rounds open to interpretation. In other words, I felt they could have gone either way. So indeed, the final decision wasn’t a bad one if I’m to use my own scoring as a guide. Still, it’s hard for me to get over the fact that DeGale took a beating on Saturday night. Boxing may not be “real” fighting, but it’s real close and there’s little doubt who won Saturday on the “who dished out violence more effectively” scale.
I’ve wondered for a while now if there’s a better way to grade fights than on a round by round basis. It would be hard to find criteria for a successful revision of judging, but perhaps it’s time to seriously consider if such a move is feasible. Not all 10-9 rounds are alike. The proof of that is on DeGale’s face and in his newly toothless smile. Seriously, I was concerned about the guy’s well being on Saturday. He was taking some hellacious punishment and the last thing this world needed was another Magaomed Abdusalamov tragedy.
Again, though, I myself had scored it so that DeGale could conceivably have earned the draw he ended up earning. Still, there seems to just be something off about it. For this was a case where flashy combinations and slick movement couldn’t carry the day. Lots of those DeGale shots landed on gloves. And lots of those Jack shots did some serious damage. As a rule, I tend to admire polished fighters, but when polished fighters get knocked around like DeGale did on Saturday, I have to be honest with myself. Simply put, the scores on Saturday evening did not tell the whole story. And there might be something wrong with that.
DeGale And Jack Ring In Boxing’s New Year With A War On Showtime
DeGale And Jack Ring In Boxing’s New Year With A War On Showtime
By: Sean Crose
This, frankly, was the kind of fight everyone had hoped for. Scratch that – it was better. Although boxing analysts and writers aren’t supposed to act excited (we’re supposed to leave that to our brethren who cover MMA), Saturday night had a lot to get excited about, courtesy of Showtime. James DeGale and Badu Jack met for a super middleweight title unification bout (for the IBF and WBC belts) and certainly delivered. Many analysts thought this fight would be a toss up. Who knew how right they were?
DeGale took the first two rounds simply by seeming faster, sharper and more in control. He even knocked Jack down in the first, though it seemed more of a flash knockdown than a destructive blow. By the third, however, Jack was asserting himself, slowly and steadily moving forward while banging away at DeGale’s body. DeGale, of course responded by tossing off fast, snazzy flurries of punches. It was Jack, however, who was doing the greater amount of damage – at least most of the time. Still, it was an incredibly close affair, which made the whole thing quite suspenseful. DeGale lost his mouthpiece on several occasions and seemed to be getting beat up. The Englishman’s skill level, however, kept him in the fight.
Then, in the twelfth, it was DeGale who went down. He got up, and some way, somehow survived the round. He even had a flourish for himself in the end. There was no doubt, however, that the man had taken some serious damage throughout the bout. It was even reported that he had lost a tooth. Ultimately, the judges ruled it a majority draw; which, although far from a robbery, seemed a bit odd since DeGale was clearly the fighter who had gotten the worst of it. Still, boxing is a sport and not a barroom brawl, and round by round judging allowed DeGale to keep his share of the super middleweight crown.
Yet the DeGale-Jack fight wasn’t the only exciting event of the evening. Junior lightweight Gervonta Davis is a man fight fans most certainly need to keep an eye on if they haven’t started to already. The exceedingly fast, accurate and hard hitting Baltimore native took undefeated IBF titlist Jose Pedraza to school, putting his man away in the 7th round. People are mentioning Gervonta’s name alongside Vasyl Lomachenko for a reason. He may not be ready, yet, but the rising star may certainly be an intriguing matchup for the Ukrainian wunderkind in the future.
On a final, ridiculous note:
Floyd Mayweather made it clear that he’s interested in facing UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing match. Mayweather also made it clear he’s not interested in facing any more boxers, and that to him, this is all essentially a business matter.
It was certainly a memorable evening.
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.
British Boxing |The Year Ahead
British Boxing |The Year Ahead
By Courtney Riley
2016 was the year of the British Boxing Boom. The country’s fighting men have re-stamped the Great back into Britain, and we should all be proud. The year ended with Britain boasting world champions in 10 out of the 17 available weight-divisions; and a total of 12 current world titleholders – the most champions of any other nation on the planet. We saw some classic fights and we witnessed history. Northern Ireland’s 2-weight world champion, Carl Frampton, was awarded ESPN’s Fighter of the Year. The fifth-round of the heavyweight tear-up between London rivals Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora was recognised as the Round of the Year by ESPN; and Scotland’s Ricky Burn made history by becoming the first of his countrymen to have won world titles in 3 different weight divisions. 2016 was a brilliant year, so what is 2017 going to offer?
Here are 5 confirmed fights for the first half of the year (in order of date):
1.James Degale vs Badou Jack (January 14th)
Degale has not fought on Britain’s shores since November, 2014. Since then, he has won the vacant IBF super-middleweight world title across the pond and will remain there for his unification-fight against WBC title-holder, Badou Jack. This is a relevant fight and a great way to kick off the year’s fight calendar.
2.Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz II (January 28th)
These two provided an unforgettable featherweight contest last July which saw the Northern-Irishman come out on top against his tough Mexican rival to become a 2-weight world champion. The closely fought battle was quite the spectacle and fans are rightly excited to see their rematch later this month.
3.Chris Eubank Jr vs Renold Quinland (February 4th)
This fight makes the list because fans see it as a bit of a farce. Eubank Jr has had a decent 2016 in the ring where he fought a couple of decent domestic level fighters. He angered fans outside of it when negotiations for his fight with boxing’s boogieman Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin fell through. Many blamed Eubanks and his team. This led to one of biggest fights last year when the valiant Kell Brook stepped into the lion’s den and was ultimately stopped by the US-based Kazakh. Brook gained kudos and Eubank lost face. Now, he is returning in a pay-per-view fight against an opponent that no-one as ever heard of. A recent poll by a popular boxing magazine showed that 85% of the British public said they would not watch the fight, much less pay for it. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
3.David Haye vs Tony Bellew (March 4th)
Following a 3 year hiatus, Haye made his return to the ring last January in a year that saw him punch leather in to the faces of 3 overmatched opponents. Tony Bellew, for his part, has had a year to remember. We saw him mixing with Hollywood royalty on the big screen in the Rocky spin-off, Creed, as well as realising his dream to become a world champion at cruiserweight in front of a sell-out home crowd. Now he has decided to move up in weigh to challenge the Hayemaker in a match that has the causals buzzing.
4. Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko (April 29th)
Joshua claimed a world title after blasting out the unworthy champion, Charles Martin, in April last year. He returned twice that year to defend his belt against more underwhelming opponents. Now he is looking to step up in rank by taking on the former chief, Wladimir Klitschko, in the spring. Joshua will be looking to add the first worthy name to his résumé while the old ex- champ, though long in the tooth, will be looking to prove that he still has a bite.
5. Amir Khan vs Kell Brook (still negotiating)
This fight has been boiling over for far too long. It risks fizzling out into nothingness like countless number of ‘what if’ fights that fans tend to agonise over. Both men are coming off knockout losses to much bigger opposition and have grown their stocks as a result. Who would not like to see two elite fighters who have no love for one another duke it out for the nation’s recognition in the ring, while in the prime or their lives? 2017… Let’s have it!
Boxing Insider Notebook: Julian Williams, Lucas Browne, Jack, DeGale, Peralta, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Julian Williams, Lucas Browne, Jack, DeGale, Peralta, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 15th to November 22nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions
Lucas Browne Tests Positive Again
Dan Rafael of ESPN recently reported that heavyweight contender Lucas Browne has failed his second drug test of the year.
The drug test was performed by the Voluntary Anti Doping Association as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program and Browne tested positive for the banned substance ostarine. VADA has notified the WBC.
Read more at: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/18110513/heavyweight-contender-lucas-browne-fails-another-drug-test
12 Rounds with Junior Middleweight World Title Challenger Julian Williams
The following interview can also be found at the Premier Boxing Champions website. This was conducted with Junior Middleweight Title Challenger Julian Williams, who is scheduled to face Jermall Charlo on December 10th on Showtime.
Do you have a boxing hero?
I respect Muhammad Ali as a modern hero in history for the things he stood for-not just for what did in boxing. To me, Ali’s boxing [accomplishments] are relative and a smaller part of his legacy compared to what stood for outside of the ring.
Muhammad Ali’s true greatness was represented by what he did for the world and the stands he took more than his fights.
Of all the boxers in history, who do you wish you could’ve fought, and how would the fight have played out?
I don’t want to give you a result, but I would say Sugar Ray Robinson, because in my opinion, he is the best fighter who ever lived. And I would want to see how I would stand up against the best fighter ever to wear a pair of gloves.
Sugar Ray Robinson had everything-great punch selection, the skills, the jab, the speed. He was a tremendous fighter. I’ve never seen anybody as good before or since.
This was during a time when guys were fighting with six-ounce horsehair gloves two or three times a month. They were doing that against the best competition. I mean, he would fight Jake LaMotta and Kid Gavilan in 15-round fights. They just don’t build men like that no more. It doesn’t happen.
Sugar Ray Robinson would bring out the best in me and give me a great gauge about how good I actually am. I would never disrespect Sugar Ray Robinson by saying I would beat him. I respect the legends. I would just like to see how good I would do against those types of guys.
Finish this sentence: If not for boxing, I would be …
… probably just finishing up college, paying back student loans and being miserable. I would probably be a major in business administration.
What’s the public’s biggest misconception about boxers?
That we’re all stupid.
What’s the hardest you’ve ever been hit, and how you did you deal with it?
You know what, I’m not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I don’t remember. I’ve had some tough fights, but I don’t really recall an opponent who has really hurt me like that.
It’s never been where I was like, “Oh my God, he punches so hard,” or “He hit me so hard, I couldn’t get myself together.” I’ve never experienced that. I’m not saying that it can’t happen; I’m just saying that it hasn’t happened.
Excluding yourself, who’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today?
It’s close, because I don’t think anyone has taken the lead for now. I would probably say Andre Ward, but at the same time he’s had so much time off.
You’ve got guys like Sergey Kovalev out there who have been dismantling everybody, and then you’ve got guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux who is probably the best fighter in the world, but he’s never gotten the opportunity to prove it on the big stage.
Then you’ve got Floyd Mayweather Jr., who I think is the clear-cut best fighter in the world when he’s active. But he’s retired.
It’s just hard to pick one. I couldn’t pick one. I would be able to pick one at the beginning of the next year.
What kind of food is the toughest to give up while training for a fight?
I like pasta and red meat. I don’t eat too much red meat when I’m training, because it’s too hard to cut. I like steak and lamb and pasta. I just like all pasta in general.
Speaking of training, what’s your favorite exercise?
I don’t really have any. I hate them all. I just do them because I have to do them.
What about a favorite punch to throw?
It depends on who I’m fighting, but I would definitely have to say the jab, because the jab sets everything up. That’s usually my range finder, and I can usually control the fight with the jab. I pretty much use it in every fight to good effect.
Do you have a favorite boxing movie?
Raging Bull. I liked Rocky, also. I mostly liked all of the Rocky movies.
Who is the one artist on your playlist that would surprise fight fans?
Teddy Pendergrass. I grew up with my mother and father liking his music.
Would you rather run over a linebacker or juke him out of his shoes?
That depends on who it is. If it’s [retired Baltimore Ravens legend] Ray Lewis, I would have to juke him. Because I don’t want to be hit by him.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that …
… I’m an amazing cook. I can cook a lot of things-pretty much anything.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Race relations. The world would be a better place if everybody didn’t see so much color.
What’s on your life’s bucket list?
I want to be a world champion, which I can accomplish in my next fight by beating Jermall Charlo. This is what I’ve been working so hard for my entire life.
I don’t have a bucket-list wish to go skydiving before it’s all over or go to Japan or anything. It’s simple: I’ve been working half of my life to become a world champion, and that’s the most important thing on my bucket list.
Lipinets to Face Zappavigna on Mares vs. Cuellar Undercard
An exciting night of undercard action comes to Los Angeles on Saturday, December 10 and is highlighted by hard-hitting unbeaten contender Sergey Lipinets (10-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round junior welterweight world title eliminator against Australia’s Lenny Zappavigna (35-2, 25 KOs) from the Galen Center at USC.
The December 10 event is headlined by a featherweight world championship showdown between WBA titleholder Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares. The live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGâ telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with junior middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo taking on undefeated top contender Julian Williams in a matchup of undefeated rising stars in their prime.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are priced at $35, $50, $75, $150 and $200. To purchase tickets go to www.galentix.com.
Also featured as part of the jam-packed night of fights are undefeated rising contenders Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (16-0, 11 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout and Mario Barrios (16-0, 8 KOs) battling Argentina’s Claudio Rosendo Tapia (24-18-4, 9 KOs) in junior lightweight action.
An array of talented fighters from the Los-Angeles area round out the evening as Oxnard’s Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. (24-1, 12 KOs) competes in a middleweight attraction, former title challenger Josesito Lopez (33-7, 19 KOs) of Riverside in a six-round welterweight fight and Abner Mares’ younger brother, Adan Mares (14-1-3, 3 KOs) enters the ring in a lightweight bout.
An accomplished amateur who was born in Kazakhstan but fights out of Russia, Lipinets turned pro in April of 2014 with a decision victory over Franklin Varela. The 27-year-old recorded six knockouts in a row before stepping up in competition and impressing with a victory over Haskell Lydell Rhodes in March 2015 and a knockout of Levan Ghvamichava in March. He kept the momentum going in July when he stopped established contender Walter Castillo in the seventh round. He will challenge the 29-year-old Zappavigna out of New South Wales, Australia. He enters this fight the winner of his last 10 contests, including his most recent triumph, a sixth-round stoppage of Ik Yang in July.
A highly regarded prospect with an exciting style, the 21-year-old Lubin burst onto the scene looking to finish opponents early as he cements his status as an elite contender. Fighting out of Orlando, he has already taken down experienced veterans including Orlando Lora, Ayi Bruce, Michael Finney and Norberto Gonzalez. He was sensational in November 2015 when he knocked out Alexis Camacho and in January he headlined his first card and dominated Jose De Jesus Macias in his first 10-round bout. He has kept the hot streak going in June by stopping veteran Daniel Sandoval in the third round and dominating veteran Ivan Montero in July.
Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Set for Showtime on January 14th
WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) will look to stake their claim as the best 168-pound fighter in the world when they meet in a title unification clash on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME as boxing returns to New York for the first time in five months.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGâ telecast will also feature undefeated junior lightweight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) defending his title against up-and-coming Mayweather Promotions’ undefeated contender Gervonta “The One” Davis (16-0, 15 KOs).
“I’m expecting a very tough fight from James DeGale,” said Jack. “But I’m very confident that I’m going to win the fight and become the unified champion. This is an incredible stage to be at Barclays Center and on SHOWTIME and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m ready to make my mark as the best in the division.”
“I am so happy that this fight has finally been made,” said DeGale. “This is the best fighting the best. This is what boxing is all about. Badou Jack is a very good fighter and he’s underrated. I am going to have to be 100 percent on my game to beat him, but I am confident I will deliver on January 14. I have already fulfilled my dream of becoming a world champion and now it is time to unify.”
“Davis is a great young fighter with an impressive record,” said Pedraza. “He is a complete fighter and I am very happy to fight a challenger of his caliber. However, I do feel that Davis has been protected so I plan to really show off in this fight and perform at my best. Defeating Davis will be a great start to 2017, a year I would love to unify my division. I am thrilled to be back on SHOWTIME and look forward to putting on a great show for all those in attendance at Barclays Center.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to fight a respected undefeated world champion like Jose Pedraza,” said Davis. “I’m also ready to show the boxing world what I’m capable of doing. Boxing is searching for its next star and I believe that I’m the one. On January 14, I plan to show what over 200 amateur wins and 12 years of training with coach Calvin Ford looks like. Baltimore, we’re here. Brooklyn, I’m ready to shine for you. Jose Pedraza, get ready. I’m coming to kick your a**.”
“Mayweather Promotions is pleased to have the opportunity to bring this huge event to Brooklyn and Barclays Center,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou Jack versus James DeGale is one of the best match-ups in the sport. It’s the best fighting the best. I believe that Badou Jack has what it takes to be a unified world champion. I’m also excited to see Gervonta Davis fight for his first world title. He has the skills to be a fighter who carries the sport. He has a tough, undefeated world champion in front of him and I am looking forward to seeing him perform on January 14. These are two evenly-matched fights that will bring a lot of explosive action to the ring on fight night, you don’t want to miss it.”
David Peralta to Take On Berlin Abreu on December 10th
David Peralta will take on Berlin Abreu in a scheduled 10-round bout for the WBC Latino Welterweight title on a massive card that will take place on Saturday, December 10th at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, King’s Promotions and Sampson Boxing, will be televised LIVE on ONE World Sports beginning at 9 PM ET.
Peralta of Cordoba, Argentina has a record of 26-2-1 with 14 knockouts and is coming off the biggest win of his career, when he upset former world champion Robert Guerrero on August 27th in Anaheim, California.
The 34 year-old is an 11 year professional, who won his first 20 fights. As the underdog, Peralta was able to outbox Guerrero and stun the former unanimous decision and the former cab driver was quickly hailed as a legitimate contender in the welterweight division.
Abreu of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has a record of 13-1 with 11 knockouts.
The 24 year-old is a six year professional and has knocked out his last six opponents, which includes a 1st round stoppage over Juan Carlos Contreras on October 22, 2015.
Seeing action in an 8-round bout will be undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (12-0-1, 10 KO’s) of Lynn, Massachusetts taking on Oscar Riojas (10-6-1, 3 KO’s) of Monterrey, Mexico. Ellis, age 27 is a five year professional won his first 12 bouts. In his last outing, Ellis fought a draw with Jerry Odom on February 19th in Atlantic City.
Riojas, 33 years-old is a former WBC FECOMBOX Super Middleweight champion.
The three year professional, will be making his fifth appearance in 2016 and is coming off a stoppage defeat to Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on August 19th in Los Angeles.
Also appearing in televised action will be former two-time welterweight world champion, Kermit Cintron taking on Rosemberg Gomez in an eight-round battle. Cintron of Reading, Pa., has a record of 38-5-2 with 29 knockouts. The 37 year-old is a 16 year professional, who has reached the top of the mountain on two occasions. Cintron won his first 22 bouts, which included wins over Elio Ortiz (25-6), Luis Rosado (29-5), Ian Mackillop (14-1), Omar Davila (12-2), Said Ouali (7-0) and Leon Pearson (9-1-1)
On July 17, 2004, Cintron stopped Teddy Reid in 8 rounds to capture the WBO Interim Welterweight title.
Michael Dutchover Remains Perfect
Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (2-0, 2 KOs) kicked off this past Friday’s “New Blood” boxing event in Ontario, CA. with a devastating first round knockout of Sergio Campos (0-1). Dutchover bolted out of his corner with a fierce attack that put Campos, who was making his professional debut, on the defensive immediately. Dutchover unloaded power shots to the body and landed a left hook that dropped Campos for good at the :51 mark.
Dutchover fights out of Midland, Tex. and is trained by Danny Zamora. He is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing
Not A Second Too Soon – Good News From Showtime Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Let’s not kid ourselves, 2016 has been a slow and painful year for fight fans. Indeed, it looked for a bit as if the sport had literally ground to a halt. On Tuesday, however, Showtime gave fans some very good news. For, on top of an interesting November and December, boxing will have a lively first few months of 2017, thanks in large part to – wait for it – team Al Haymon. December 10th will give the world Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams, a terrific match, along with Abner Mares and Jesus Cuellar, another nice pairing. Added to other fights on the boxing horizon, like Pacquiao-Vargas and Kovalev-Ward, and the end of the year may indeed end up being more bearable that at first thought.
Then there’s early 2017, which also looks promising (courtesy of team Haymon). The first two weeks of January gives us James DeGale and Badou Jack. Then, on the 28th, fans will view the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. Considering their first fight was most likely a fight of the year candidate, the second go round between the two should be well worth looking forward to. That night will also give the world Dejan Zlaticanin versus the ultra talented Mikey Garcia.
February will offer Adrien Broner facing off against Adrian Granados, while March will provide the long awaited welterweight throwdown between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman…provided, of course, that Garcia defeats Samuel Vargas when they meet next month. To be sure, there is much to like about this lineup. And, make no mistake about it, the news didn’t arrive a moment too soon. I’ve been a boxing fan my entire life and I’ve never seen my fellow fight lovers as distraught as I’ve seen them lately. Yup – morale has been that low.
The question now, of course, is how long will the good times roll. Let’s be honest with ourselves – boxing, and team Haymon, in particular, doesn’t concern itself much with the satisfaction of fans…at least it hasn’t. And while it’s good to see things looking up for the moment, it’s okay to ask what happens next. Still, good news is good news and Tuesday’s announcements are indeed welcome news to a starving fight world. Here’s to a solid winter of boxing. Let’s hope it carries through to the spring and beyond. The fans truly deserve it.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: James DeGale Grinds Out Tough Decision Victory, Jack and Bute Draw
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Badou Jack and James DeGale Grind Out Tough Decision Victories
By: William Holmes
Mayweather Promotions in association with Interbox Promotions televised two world championship fights in the super middleweight division on Showtime live from the DC Armory in Washington D.C.
The undercard featured some high level prospects such as Chris Pearson in the middleweight division and Sharif Bogere in the super lightweight division, and both were successful in their undercard bouts.
The winners of the two televised bouts will likely face each other in a super middleweight unification bout in the near future.
Surprisingly, there was a lot of empty seats in the DC Armory despite the fact two legitimate world titles were on the line.
The first televised fight was between James DeGale (22-1) and Rogelio Medina (36-6) for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship.
DeGale, a former Olympic gold medalist, showed his boxing technique was superior in the first round by sticking and moving well and connecting with quick combinations while easily staying out of the range of Medina. DeGale’s defense was also on point early on as his head movement made him a difficult target for Medina.
The second round was close, but DeGale’s punches were slipping in between the high guard of Medina and he was landing more combinations than Medina. Medina, to his credit, continued to press forward and was able to land some punches on DeGale when his back was against the ropes in the third round, but the combinations of DeGale appeared to hurt Medina.
DeGale looked extremely confident in the fourth round and was able to land punches from awkward angles, including lead uppercuts and over the top left hands. Medina started off strong in the fifth round and was able to dig in some hard body shots when DeGale was trapped near the ropes, but DeGale ended the round strong with some heavy lead right uppercuts to the chin of Medina.
Medina had a strong sixth round and tagged DeGale with more head shots than previous rounds, but DeGale had the best combination of the round. Medina’s pressure continued in the seventh round and DeGale’s jabs weren’t acting as much of a deterrent. DeGale however, still had the higher connect percentage.
The eighth round was a close round and Medina’s pressure may have won him the round as he had DeGale stuck by the ropes taking some punishment. DeGale was able to end the round with a hard flurry.
DeGale dominated the ninth round and played it safe in the tenth round as Medina was never able to mount an effective offensive combination or hurt his opponent.
DeGale simply needed to stay on his feet In the championship rounds to win the fight, and he did so despite the fact Medina never stopped coming forward and tried his best to go for the knockout.
James DeGale was able to retain his title with a decision victory with scores of 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.
DeGale was in a tougher match than expected, and afterwards stated, “The boxing skills are too good. If I’m being honest, he’s a very strong fighter, but skills pay the bills. I watched this guy years ago and this guy didn’t have the engine like that. He’s gotten better and stronger in the last year and a half.”
The main event of the night was between Badou Jack (20-1-1) and Lucian Bute (32-3) for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Even though the DC Armory had a large number of empty seats there was a large contingent of vocal Lucian Bute fans in attendance.
Both boxers spent most of the opening round trying to feel each other out, but Bute was the more active fighter and was pressing the fight. The action didnt’ pick up in the second round with each boxer landing an occasional straight cross, but neither boxer committed to throwing combinations.
The crowd was starting to get restless at the start of the third round, and Jack was able to quiet them with a straight right to the chin after two crosses to the body. Bute was able to answer with a hard left hook, but he appeared to have a small cut near his eye from the earlier exchange with Jack. Bute ended strong with a crowd pleasing straight left.
Jack focused his attacks to the body of Bute in the fourth round, but Bute was able to land several clean straight left hands that pleased his fans in attendance. However, Jack dominated the fifth round as his connect rate increased and he momentarily stunned Bute with a hard overhand right.
Jack’s momentum continued in the sixth round as he was able to land some hard body shots. Bute was able to connect with a few combinations, but they lacked the power and pop of Badou Jack. The seventh round featured several good exchanges from both men, but Jack appeared to land the cleaner and harder punches.
Jack looked like he was wearing Bute down in the eighth round, but Bute was able to pick up his activity in the ninth round and may have stolen it on the judges’ scorecards. Bute scored with some of his best punches of the night in the tenth round, including a few head snapping uppercuts.
Bute appeared to have hurt Jack in the eleventh round with a good combination in the middle of the ring and Jack looked like he was starting to fade. Bute went for the knockout in the final round to win the fight and he kept up the pressure on a visibly tired and worn down Jack, but he lacked the power to send Jack to the mat.
It was a close bout that many felt Jack felt had won, but the judges scored the bout 117-111 Jack, 114-114, and 114-114 for a majority draw.
Undercard Quick Results:
Moshea Aleem (4-0-1) fought Martez Jackson (2-0-2) to a draw in the junior middleweight division with scores of 38-38 on all three cards.
Keegan Grove (1-0) defeated Antoney Napunyi (10-16) by decision in the lightweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards.
Latondria Jones (3-0) wins by TKO at 0:18 in the first round over Kamika Slade (0-1) in the junior middleweight division.
Carlos Gongora (7-0) defeated Zacharia Kelley (5-13) by TKO at 1:50 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.
Sharif Bogere (28-1) defeated Samuel Amoako (17-10) by in the super lightweight division with scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards.
Chris Pearson (17-1) defeated Joshua Okine (22-6) in the middleweight division by decision with scores of 98-92 on all three scorecards.