By: Ste Rowen
With domestic dust ups, commonwealth honours and a world title fight, Bellew vs Haye isn’t the only intriguing bout taking place in London on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter Account
Paul Butler v Emmanuel Rodriguez
First up is a bout for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title, recently dropped by Ryan Burnett. Paul Butler, 26-1 (14KOs) takes on Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez in an attempt to reclaim the belt he previously held in 2014 when he beat Stuart Hall via split decision. Eight months after that fight, Butler had vacated the bantamweight title to fight for the super flyweight version of the IBF. That night, the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had his first taste of defeat when he was dominated, and ultimately stopped by South African, and currently WBA ‘Super’ bantamweight champion, Zolani Tete. Butler has rebuilt well since then, with a nine-straight win streak including a unanimous decision victory in a rematch with Stuart Hall, and although he heads into Saturday’s fight as the underdog, speaking to Sky Sports, Paul’s not falling for the hype surrounding Rodriguez,
‘When you watch him, you think he’s a special kid, but go through the rounds, watch his mistakes, there’s loads we’ve picked up on. He goes to his left pretty much every time, he’ll take a step to his right and then he’ll come straight back to his left.’
‘We’ve both got pretty similar styles, we both love a left hook to the body, we both love going head to the body…I know I’ve trained hard and I’m physically well, I’m sparring well. I believe under Joe (Gallagher) I can get in there with anyone and win.’
Emmanuel Rodriguez, 17-0 (12KOs) is yet to go the 12-round distance. The furthest ‘Manny’ has gone is 10 rounds, when he came up against Albert Guevara in 2016, earning a clear victory across all three scorecards. This will also be the first time Rodriguez fights outside of North America, with previous matchups taking place in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the US. Though on the surface Butler is showing no signs of concern for the momentum ‘Manny’ has gathered, there’s certainly attributes that will worry him. The Puerto Rican may have been taken the distance by Guevara, but he was teeing off variations of the left hand all night, and he’s not limited to his left. His precision of the right-cross has setup the finish against previous opponents.
Zolani Tete’s record going into the Butler fight wasn’t much to look at, and we saw what happened there. Speaking earlier this week, Rodriguez was eager for fight night to come around,
‘It has been a long road to this fight, but I am ready to win my first world championship. Paul Butler is a good fighter, but nothing can stop me…It doesn’t matter that we’re in his backyard, I’ve done everything right getting ready for this and I look forward to bringing the belt back to my beloved country of Puerto Rico.’
Lenroy Thomas v Joe Joyce
The sole heavyweight bout to grace Saturday’s card sees Commonwealth champion, Lenroy Thomas take on 2016 silver medallist, Joe Joyce.
Thomas, 22-4-1 (11KOs) was last seen in his ill-fated rematch with David Allen in March. That night, the two boxers clashed heads in the first round, cutting Allen enough for the fight to be called a technical draw. The Jamaican is yet to defend his commonwealth title since beating Allen in their first fight last year, fighting just once – discounting the Allen rematch – in an 8-round decision victory over 12-2, Ed Fountain, on the Wilder vs Stiverne 2 undercard.
Much like his fellow 2016 Olympians Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka, Joyce, 3-0 (3KOs) is being fast tracked through the rankings with previous bouts including a debut stoppage win over 12-3-1 at the time, Ian Lewison and more recently, a 38 second KO of big talking, big framed, but little fight, Donnie Palmer.
John Ryder v Jamie Cox
John Ryder will take on fellow southpaw Jamie Cox in a domestic showdown that’s sure to get the crowd going before the main event.
Ryder’s last outing was his explosive 5th round knockout of Patrick Nielsen on the undercard of Jamie Cox vs George Groves in October, and the Londoner wasn’t too concerned about having to wait so long for this next fight,
‘There was talk of other fights we were looking at, but they didn’t come off, that’s boxing. It was about picking the right fight, rather than going in there against anyone…I think our styles are geared up for a good fight, it’ll be a real treat for the fans.’
Jamie Cox’s Matchroom career hasn’t exactly set alight since making the switch from Frank Warren’s, Queensberry Promotions back in early 2017. Aside from the stoppage defeat to Groves, Cox has fought four times; 16 rounds against very limited opposition, but he recognises the step up in opponent he’ll be taking this weekend,
‘I’m expecting the best John Ryder. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him…He’s ranked across a couple of the governing bodies and it’s my goal to become a world champion. Beating John will open more doors…He likes to come forward and have a go and I’m always up for the fight.’
With Rocky Fielding vacating the British title, a win for either of these two, puts them firmly in place for the next shot at the Lonsdale belt.
Martin Ward v James Tennyson
With the Commonwealth, EBU and WBA ‘International’ super featherweight titles up for grabs, there’s a lot to play for when Martin Ward and James Tennyson enter the ring.
Ward, 19-0-2 (9KOs) has world honours in his sight heading into Saturday,
‘I’ve gone the traditional route and I’m glad I’ve done that…I want to progress to the world stage now. I’ve won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards world level.’
Tennyson, 21-2 (17KOs) who puts the WBA ‘International’ belt on the line, heads into the bout as the underdog but, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, ‘The Assassin’ believes his time is now,
‘Within the last year I have won an Irish title and the WBA ‘International’ title and won three 50/50 fights by stoppage…Now I’m going onto the biggest stage, and I can’t wait…Ward is quick and sharp and it won’t be easy, but we have our game plan and I’m ready for 12 hard rounds.’
Canelo vs. Chavez Undercard Results: Diaz, Matthysse, and Lemieux Win Convincingly
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has quickly become the new hotspot to for big fights time pay per view fights and was the host site for tonight Golden Boy Promoter pay per view card headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.
The first bout of the under card was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (23-0) and Manuel Avila (22-0) in the featherweight division.
Avila pressed forward in the opening moments of the first round but was a little short with his punches while Diaz was sharp with his straight left right hook combination. Diaz’s jab controlled the distance in the first and second rounds.
Diaz stayed disciplined in the second and selectively slipped through his counters. Avila slipped at the end of the second round and looked slightly off balance.
Avila had a good third round with some good shots to the body, but Diaz ended strong with a straight left followed by a short left hook Avila forced his combinations in the fourth and fifth round and may have landed more punches, but Diaz landed the harder counters but wasn’t as active as Avila.
A cut above Avila’s left eye was bothering him in the sixth round and Diaz took advantage by pressing his attacks and landing hard straight left hands. The sixth was Diaz’s most dominant round of the night at this point of the fight.
Diaz’s seventh round was just as good as the sixth. His right hook to the head and body was especially on point, and the highlight of this round was a Diaz combination on Avila by the corner.
Diaz was in clear control in the eighth round and landed some good shots to the body of Avila. Diaz staggered Avila twice in the ninth round and nearly scored a knockdown.
Avila needed a knockout in the final round to win, but he didn’t come close to achieving it.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91 for Joseph Diaz.
The next bout of the night was between Lucas Matthysse (37-4) and Emmanuel Taylor (20-4) in the welterweight division.
This was Matthysse’s first fight since his knockout loss to Postol, but he came out strong behind his double jab and landed good shots to the body and head. Matthysse landed a straight right at the end of the first round that hurt Taylor, but Taylor was able to survive the round.
Taylor was pensive of Matthysse’s power in the second round and was taking several hard combination. Matthysse had Taylor covering up by the ropes on more than one occasion in the second.
Taylor came out aggressively in the third round but head butted Matthysse early on and forced the referee to momentarily stop the bout. Taylor came right at Matthysse when the fight resumed, but was tagged with a straight right hand that send him down to the mat. He was able to get back up and shake off the punch, but the power of Matthysse was being felt.
Matthysse’s aggression carried him through the fifth and sixth rounds as Taylor’s power paled in comparison to Matthysse. Matthysse landed a a hard combination on Taylor by the ropes in the fifth round that busted the nose of Taylor and sent him crashing to the mat.
Taylor as able to get up before the count of ten, but he was still on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the bout.
Lucas Matthysse wins by KO at 2:21 of the fifth round.
The final bout on the undercard was between David Lemieux (37-3) and Marcos Reyes (35-4) in the super middleweight division.
Lemieux comes out showing good head movement, but Reyes was able to land his jab in the first thirty seconds in the bout. Lemieux connected good shots to the body and was chasing Reyes around the ring and invested in the body. Reyes was able to land some good jabs, but Lemieux was clearly the aggressor.
Lemieux was able to open up a cut over the eye of Reyes in the second round and forced Reyes to grab on nearly every time he landed a shot. Lemieux hard a dominating third round and was landing some heavy, heavy, power shots. Reye’s right eye was bleeding badly and his chin was tested often this round, but somehow he stayed on his feet the entire round.
Lemieux’s power display continued in the fourth round with a straight right hand that knocked out the mouthpiece of Reyes. However, Reyes was able to land some surprising right hands near the end of the round that may have stunned Lemieux.
Reyes is a little more active in the fifth round and lands some good punches on Lemieux and even outboxes Lemieux. Reyes chin tested often, but it somehow stays strong and he may have landed more punches than Lemieux in the fifth.
Lemieux appeared to be fighting more cautiously in the sixth round as his activity slowed down, Reyes however picked up his activity and threw a high volume of punches.
Lemieux was able to regain control in the seventh round with a vicious left hook that forced Reyes to hold on and slowed him down significantly. That control continued into the eighth round as Reyes badly needed a knockdown to turn the tide of the fight around.
Reyes fought valiantly and displayed great heart and a sturdy chin in the final two rounds, but he was not match a boxer with the pedigree of Lemieux.
David Lemieux wins by decision with scores of 99-90, 99-90, and 98-91.
HBO PPV Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Chavez, Lemieux vs. Reyes, Matthysse vs. Taylor
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO will televised another Canelo Alvarez Pay Per View as he takes on fellow Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
This bout will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada during Cinco De Mayo weekend. Hopefully, the winner of this bout, expected by many to be Canelo, will be next in line to take on the current middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
At least two bouts will be shown on the undercard, including Golden Boy mainstays David Lemieux and Lucas Matthysse. Super prospect Joseph Diaz will also likely be on the televised portion of the card.
The following is a preview of the three main fights.
Lucas Matthysse (37-4) vs. Emmanuel Taylor (20-4); Welterweights
The hard hitting Lucas Matthysse has long been a fan favorite, but has not competed since being knocked out by Viktor Postol in 2015.
Matthysse will be giving up one inch in height to Taylor but will have a significant four inch reach advantage. Age may be a factor for Matthysse as he is thirty four years old and eight years older than his opponent.
Inactivity will also be a factor for Matthysse; he fought zero times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Taylor fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015.
Matthysse was an amateur champion in Argentina but did not have a lot of success on the international circuit as an amateur. Taylor is a three time National PAL Champion and a five time junior golden gloves champion.
Matthysse has the more impressive list of defeated opponents. He has beaten the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Molina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., AJose Olusegun, Humberto Soto, DeMarcus Corley, and Vivian Harris. He has closes losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, and had more convincing losses to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol.
Taylor has defeated the likes of Karim Mayfield, Victor Manuel Cayo, and Raymond Serrano. His losses were to Antonio Orozco, Adrien Broner, Chris Algieri, and Prenice Brewer.
Taylor has gone 3-3 in his last six fights and has difficulty beating opponents on the highest level. Matthysse has been inactive the past two years, but has faced and defeated opponents with a much better pedigree than Taylor.
Matthysse should win this bout and should possibly give Taylor his first knockout loss.
David Lemieux (37-3) vs. Marcos Reyes (35-4); Middleweights
Many consider Lemieux to be the third best middleweight behind Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
Unfortunately for fight fans, Lemieux has the easiest opponent on paper for the night.
Lemieux is one year younger than his opponent and will be giving up about four inches in height. Lemieux has thirty three stoppage victories on his record while Reyes only has twenty six. Both boxers have been stopped during their careers, as Lemieux has two stoppage defeats while Reyes has one.
Reyes has no notable amateur background and Lemieux is a three time Canadian National Amateur Champion.
Lemieux has defeated the likes of Curtis Stevens, Glen Tapia, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Jose Miguel Torres, Hector Camacho Jr., and Elvin Ayala. He has losses to Marco Antonio Rubio, Joachim Alcine, and Gennady Golovkin.
Reyes only good win was to Rogelio Medina. His losses were to Elvin Ayala, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Abraham Han and Amilcar Edgardo Funes Melian.
Some fights are close calls and hard to pick. This isn’t one of them.
Lemieux will win.
Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1); Super Middleweights
This is one of the biggest bouts to be made between two Mexican boxers. One is considered by many to be the heir apparent to the throne of Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he retires. The other is the son of a legend and very successful in his own right.
Canelo was a former Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion and turned pro at the age of fifteen. Chavez only had two amateur fights and no notable amateur accomplishments.
Chavez is thirty one and is starting to near the end of his physical prime. Canelo is only twenty six and has a lot of years left in boxing during his physical prime. Chavez will have a noticeable size advantage. He will be four inches taller than his opponent and will have about a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Both boxers have some power in their hands, but Canelo appears to have the advantage. Canelo has thirty four stoppages on his resume and has stopped three of his past four opponents. Chavez has thirty two stoppages on his record, but only one of his last five opponents failed to go the distance with him.
Canelo has a very impressive list of defeated boxers and has averaged two fights a year since 2012. He has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Chavez has defeated the likes of Marcos Reyes, Brian Vera, Andy Lee, Marco Antonio Rubio, Peter Manfredo Jr., Sebastian Zbik, and John Duddy. He has lost to Andrzej Fonfara and Sergio Martinez.
Chavez has claimed that he is rededicated to the sport and training hard for this fight. However, his inability to stay focused for fights during training has been long documented and it’s hard to suddenly say I’m going to be in shape for this fight when you haven’t taken your training seriously in the past.
Canelo is too good and too technical for someone like Chavez to suddenly commit to the sport of boxing wholeheartedly to defeat. Chavez will have his moments, but Canelo will emerge victorious.
PBC on Spike Results: Barthelemy Defeats Bey by Split Decision, Rodriguez Decisions Guevara
By: William Holmes
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida was the host site for tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Spike TV.
Mayweather Promotions in association with King’s Promotions and Panther Promotions put on tonight’s card.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between Puerto Rican boxer Emmanuel Rodriguez (14-0) and Mexican fight Alberto “Metro” Guevara (24-2) in the bantamweight division.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance Guevara attacked the body and had moderate success with his double left hook combination. Rodriguez was accurate with his straight right hand early on and was able to stagger Guevara with a left hook near the end of the round.
Guevara had a decent second round and out threw Rodriguez, but Rodriguez had the stronger shots and even took the body attacks of Guevara well.
Rodriguez picked up his pace in the third round and his left hook was stinging Guevara, and his counter punching continued to improve in the fourth and fifth rounds. The area near Guevara’s left eye was cut in the fifth round from a head butt and the blood appeared to bother him throughout the fight.
Rodriguez’s jab and pressure was just too much for Guevara to handle. Guevara was able to land some combinations, but he didn’t have the power to hurt Rodriguez, while Rodriguez’s straight right hand was able to effectively slow down and neutralize Guevara.
The final scores were 99-91, 100-90, and 99-91 for Rodriguez.
The second bout of the night was between middleweights Caleb Plant (12-0) and Carlos Galvan (12-4-1) in a short six round fight.
Plant has some moderate hype behind his name, and he looked in control in the opening round and looked like the bigger fighter inside the ring.
Plant however was in the ring with someone who never defeated an opponent with a winning record. Plant briefly had an offensive burst in the second round and did a lot of show boating after dodging punches in the third round, but some in the crowd started to boo his defensive style inside the ring.
Plant surprised everyone with a hard left hook to the body out of nowhere in the fourth round that sent Galvan to the mat for a full ten count.
Caleb Plant wins by knockout at 1:24 of the fourth round.
The main event of the evening was between Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (24-0) and Mickey Bey (22-1-1) for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Both boxers fought out of a conventional stance and Barthelemy established himself as the aggressor early on and attacked the body of Bey.
Barthelemy continued to control the bout in the second round and his reach was appearing to give Bey problems, until a head butt occurred in the second round that forced Barthelemy to fall to his knee. The referee, incorrectly, ruled it a knockdown.
The knockdown seemed to awaken Rances Barthelemy and he was extremely aggressive in the third and fourth rounds and pounded the body of Bey and kept his opponent moving backwards.
Bey was able to take control of the fifth round by sticking to his jab and popping and moving before Barthelemy could trap him. The sixth round could have gone either way, but Barthelemy was the aggressor.
Barthelemy did a good job at catching the punches Bey in the seventh round and was able to work around the jab of Bey. Barthelemy came on strong at the end of the eighth round and got his Cuban supporters in the crowd on it’s feet.
By the ninth round Bey was falling badly behind on the cards and by the championship rounds he needed a knockout to win.
That knockout didn’t come, and Bey was simply outworked by Barthelemy for the remainder of the fight.
The final scores were 117-110 Barthelemy, 117-110 Bey, and 116-111 Barthelemy.