Fight Preview: Colbert vs. Beltran Jr., Angulo vs. Quillin
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfile California will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions Card. This event will be shown live on Fox Sports 1.
The main event will be a Super Middleweight bout between former world titlist Peter Quillin and Alfredo Angulo. The co-main event of the evening will be between Miguel Beltran Jr. and Chris Colbert in the lightweight division.
The undercard is stacked with fights and well known contenders and prospects. Fighters on the undercard include Thomas Dulorme, Jesus Ramos, Gary Antonio Russell, Francisco Ochoa, and Gary Antuanne Russell.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Chris Colbert (12-0) vs. Miguel Beltran Jr. (33-7); Lightweights
The co-main event of the night will be between Chris Colbert and Miguel Beltran Jr. in the lightweight division.
Colbert is a high ceiling prospects that actually qualified for the 2016 Olympics but decided to not participate and turned pro instead. Colbert is a former Golden Gloves Champion. Beltran has faced some significant opposition as a professional, but has no notable amateur experience.
Colbert is only twenty two years old and is eight years younger than Beltran. Colbert has also been significantly more active ein the past two years. He fought three times in 2019 and twice in 2018. Beltran has yet to fight in 2019 and fought twice in 2018.
Beltran does appear to have an edge in power. Beltran has twenty two stoppage victories while Colbert only has four stoppage wins. However, Beltran has been stopped twice in his career while Colbert is undefeated.
It should also be noted that Beltran is 2-2 in his last four fights.
Beltran doesn’t have many notable wins. His biggest wins were against Fernando Garcia, Miguel Roman, and Eduardo Lazcano. He has losses to Yuriorkis Gamboa, Casey Ramos, Francisco Gabiel Pina, Luis Sanchez, Carlos Diaz Ramirez, Roman Martinez, and Joksan Hernandez.
Colbert has never been defeated as a pro. He has defeated the likes of Alberto Mercado, Mario Briones, Josh Hernandez, Fatiou Fassinou, Austin Dulay, and Titus Williams.
This should be an easier win for an uprising Colbert against a downward trending Beltran.
Peter Quillin (34-1-1) vs. Alfredo Angulo (25-7); Super Middleweights
Peter Quillin is a former belt holder in the middleweight division, until he lost it by TKO to Daniel Jacobs. Since then he hasn’t been very active and only fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and once in 2017.
Luckily he is facing someone who has fought only once in 2019, once in 2018 and zero times in 2017. Both Angulo and Quillin are past their primes, but Quillin is one year younger at thirty six years old. They are about equal in power, with Angulo having twenty one stoppage victories and Quillin having twenty three stoppage victories.
Quillin will have a four inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. Quillin also has a clear edge in speed over the at times plodding Angulo.
Quillin had a rather short amateur career and turned pro at a young age. Angulo competed for Mexico in the 2004 Olympics.
Quillin has defeated the likes of J’Leon Love, Michael Zerafa, Lukas Konecny, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Ronald Wright, and Craig McEwan. His lone loss was to Daniel Jacobs.
Angulo does not have the professional resume of Quillin. He has defeated the likes of Evert Bravo, Jorge Silva, Raul Casarez, Joachim Alcine, Joel Julio, Harry Joe Yorgey, and Gabriel Rosado. His losses were to Kermit Cintron, James Kirkland, Sergio Mora, Freddy Hernandez, James De La Rosa, Canelo Alvarez, and Erislandy Lara.
Angulo has struggled as of late and has gone 3-5 in his last eight fights. Even though Quillin is getting older, he still has the goods to dispatch of Angulo.
Marcus Browne Wants His Respect
By: Hans Themistode
The Light Heavyweight division is flooded with talent. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are all belt holders in the division. With the exception of Kovalev they are all undefeated as well.
Rising contenders such as Badou Jack, Eleider Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez are also highly thought of within the division. The list of contenders and champions gets mighty long before we reach the name Marcus Browne.
The current WBA interim champion has an unsullied record at 23-0 and the personalty that should allow him to be easy to promote. He has managed to run through his competition with ease. That statement does however, come with a bit of caveat. Browne has spent the majority of his career facing mostly obscure opponents.
Browne has recently proven that he does belong with some of the elite of division. In 2017, it took him only two rounds to dispatch of the previously undefeated Sean Monaghan.
He has since followed that up with an impressive win over former two division champion Badou Jack. It was in that very fight where Browne knew he belonged.
“I always knew that I was a great fighter, but that fight allowed the world to see just how great I truly am,” said Browne. “It was a tough fight and Badou proved that he was a warrior that night so I tip my cap to him.”
Many believe that his contest against Jack was his coming out party. Still, even with the WBA interim title around his waist, Browne continues to get little credit for the sort of performance he put on that night. He will once again have another opportunity to prove his doubters wrong as he will take on multiple time champion Jean Pascal.
At age 36 and fresh off a defeat against WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol, Browne is fully aware that Pascal is in a desperate situation.
“He needs this win. I know that he doesn’t want to have back to back losses at this stage in his career but that is exactly what is going to happen. He’s a great fighter and I respect everything that he has done in this sport but I’m not losing.”
Browne has said repeatedly that he is fully focused on just this fight. However, with pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez recently making headlines about his venture into Browne’s division, he made it clear that if he was given the chance he would welcome it with open arms.
“Canelo don’t want any problems with me. The only reason he keeps mentioning Kovalev is because he sees the chinks in his armor. I don’t think he wants any of the problems that I come with.”
With his fight now just a few days away, Browne is keeping his eyes on the prize.
“I would love to stop Pascal. Only Kovalev has been able to do it so of course I would love to get it done myself but I’m not focusing on that. As long as I get the victory, I’ll be happy. That’s the most important thing.”
Ajagba, Plant, Rise To The Occasion On Fox Undercard
By: Sean Crose
Rising heavyweight Efe Ajagba, 11-0, won yet another fight on Saturday – though it may have been a bit more challenging than he had expected to be. The Nigerian power puncher had stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand in Vegas with all but one of his wins coming by way of knockout. Yet Ajabga’s opponent, the 11-1 Turkish hitter Ali Eren Demirezen came in with all but one of his victories having come by knockout, as well. It was a fight where someone’s oh had to go, and one couldn’t be faulted for thinking the bout might end soon.
The match, however, went the full ten. It was the first time Ajagba has gone the distance, and – although he got the win – the fighter was given a true run. Demirezen was effectively a fighter on the offensive Saturday, something Ajagba had yet to face at such a level. Showing himself to be a quick study, Ajagba was able to fend off his aggressive foe, even though Demirezen actually had him going back – a strange thing to happen to a knockout machine. At the very least, Ajagba can now boast of having gone serious rounds, something that’s important for a fighter on the rise.
Next up, the IBF super middleweight champ Caleb Plant, 19-0, made quick work of the 21-1 Mike Lee. Although much had been made of Lee being a Notre Dame grad and for promoting Subway, the challenger was no match for the highly skilled Plant, who dropped his man numerous times before stopping Lee in the third round. Lee was first dropped in the first round. He survived that situation, making it through the opening round, and through the entire second round, as well. Plant sent his man down twice more in the third, however, and referee Robert Byrd wisely stopped the fight.
“I take my hat off to Mike for getting in here,” Plant said afterward, “because it takes a champion to get in the ring, but it’s ‘and still.’” Plant is looking to earn another super middleweight title belt, while Ajagba is expected to keep trying to move up the heavyweight ranks. Both fights were aired live on Fox as part of the undercard of the highly anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman WBA welterweight title bout, which would be aired on Fox Pay Per View, along with several other undercard bouts.
Fox Sports PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs Thurman, Ugas vs. Figueroa Jr.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site of a Fox Sports Pay Per View Offering. Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions is the lead promoter on the fight card as the Filipino Legend Manny Pacquiao takes on current undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman in the main event of the night.
The co-main event will be a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator between Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr. Other televised fights on the pay per view telecast include a welterweight bout between Sergey Lipinets and John Molina Jr., as well as a bantamweight fight between Luis Nery and Juan Carlos Payano.
Fox will be televising some fights before the start of the televised pay per view. The main fight on the Fox portion of Saturday’s card is an IBF Super Middleweight Title Fight between Caleb Plan and Irish Mike Lee.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Yordenis Ugas (23-4) vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1); Welterweights
This is an intriguing fight between two boxers who were once considered by many to be shoe in future champions, but have since lost a bit of their luster.
Yordenis Ugas was a bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympics for Cuba, but has suffered four losses since turning pro, many against fighters he should have beaten. Figueroa turned professional at the age of 18 and is currently undefeated, but hand injuries have hindered the progress of his career. He has only fought twice since 2016.
Ugas has eleven stoppages on his record while Figueroa has nineteen. Ugas is thirty three years old and is in the tail end of his athletic prime, Figueroa is twenty nine years old and is still in the middle of his athletic prime. Ugas will have a one and a half inch height advantage while Figueroa will have a four inch reach advantage.
Ugas has been quite active the past three years. He fought once in 2019, three times in 2018, and three times in 2017. Figueroa, as stated earlier, fought once in 2019, zero times in 2018, once in 2017 and zero times in 2016.
Ugas has a significant edge in amateur experience. He’s a former world champion as an amateur and won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. Figueroa turned pro at the age of eighteen and does not have the amateur accolades of Figueroa.
Ugas has defeated the likes of Ray Robinson, Thomas Dulorme, Bryant Perrella, and Jamal James. His losses were to Shawn Porter, Amir Imam, Emanuel Robles, and Johnny Garcia.
Figueroa has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Robert Guerrero, Antonio DeMarco, Ricky Burns, Daniel Estrada, and Nihito Arakawa.
Ugas has four losses on his record, but has gone 9-1 in his last ten fights, including a very close decision loss to Shawn Porter.
Figueroa’s lack of activity will hurt him in the ring against a veteran that has been surging as of late. This will be a close fight, but this writer expects Ugas to pull away in the later rounds.
Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) vs. Keith Thurman (29-0); WBA Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiao looked sensational in his last fight against Adrien Broner, but he was fighting an opponent who is known to come up short in big fights and has recently seemed reluctant to let go of his hands.
Keith Thurman does not have that reputation. Thurman is ten years younger than Pacquiao and will have a two inch height and reach advantage. Pacquiao has thirty nine knockouts in his career for a percentage of 56%, but Thurman has twenty two knockouts in his career for a percentage of 73%.
Thurman also has an edge in amateur experience. He went 101-6 as an amateur and was a US National Bronze Medalist. As most already know, Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager.
Inactivity should be of some concern to Keith Thurman. He only fought once in 2019, zero times in 2018, and once in 2017 and once in 2016. Pacquiao fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and once in 2017 but this will be his second fight in 2019. It appears Pacquiao may try to fight three times in 2019.
Pacquiao’s list of defeated opponents is extremely impressive. He has defeated the likes of Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Solis, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, and Lehlo Ledwaba.
Some of his losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley Jr., and a disputed loss to Jeff Horn.
Keith Thurman has defeated the likes of Josesito Lopez, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Luis Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Leonard Bundu, Julio Diaz, Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chaves, Jan Zaveck, and Carlos Quintana.
However, Thurman looked a little rusty in his last fight against Josesito Lopez.
Pacquiao looks to be in incredible shape and he appears to be determined to prove he’s still a viable threat in the welterweight division. Keith Thurman could have used one more warm up fight before taking on Pacquiao, because Pacquiao doesn’t appear to have lost as much as some say he has.
Look for Pacquiao to win a close and possibly disputed decision. A fight with Errol Spence Jr. could be next.
Trout, Gausha Fight to Split Draw in PBC on FS1 Headliner
By: Robert Contreras
FOX Sports 1 had the action Saturday night as Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was live from Biloxi, Mississippi.
After Ahmed Elbiali opened the broadcast with a second-round knockout of a rather unorthodox Brazilian, who cited a broken jaw after the bout’s first knockdown, fans were treated to a demonstration of the sweet science between a pair of operators, former world champion Austin Trout and U.S. Olympic representative Terrell Gausha.
Photo Credit: Jamie Morton/Beau Rivage Resort Casino
Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO) and Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO) fight to a split draw (96-94, 95-95, 91-99)
The two junior middleweight contenders had themselves as close a contest as there can be Saturday night. While the PBC broadcast team saw a clear-cut win for Gausha, Trout’s complex attack and late surge left the ringside judges in a bind, resulting in a split-decision draw.
“We need to do that again,” Trout told PBC correspondent Jordan Hardy. “That’s after a year layoff. I need an immediate rematch.”
The time off did affect Trout’s approach. It took him a couple rounds to find his groove against Gausha, who employed a smooth, stylized long-range attack indicative of his amateur pedigree.
The center of the ring was Gausha’s in the opening round. Trout’s flickering jab did nothing to keep a right hand from stunning him along the ropes.
In Round 2, the 31-year-old Gausha began piling up a small lead in punches landed. Early on, his sharper punching was keeping Trout at bay but the action was for the most part at a standstill.
Trout, 33, refused to go away, alternating between southpaw and orthodox, and pressing forward and backwards. The former champion relied on his feet to disrupt his man: moving in and out, stray right hands found their home in Gausha’s belly.
But by the sixth period, Gausha began jabbing Trout’s face off. Familiar with southpaws, the former Olympian didn’t allow Trout to crowd him or land his left hand. Clean one-two-one combinations also secured Round 7 for Gausha before the two technicians continued their fencing match in the eighth round.
Trout had Gausha walking backgrounds in Round 8. Gausha found some success sitting back, and timing a slashing right uppercut but his inactivity provided an avenue to victory for his opponent.
In the penultimate round, Trout’s feinting froze up Gausha. And the final three finally provided a bang. The two met in the center of the ring and Gausha pitched big right hands at Trout but the southpaw evaded most of them. Trout closed the show with searing right and left hooks.
In all, the the nip-and-tuck affair was difficult to differentiate the two and, as expected, the PBC Fight Night stats was virtually identical. Trout landed 85 of 471 total punches (18 percent) while Gausha connected on 91 of 517 total punches (18 percent).
“I feel like I won’t the fight,” Gausha said inside the ring, before sharing the dark times he faced in preparation for the weekend. “I’ve been through a lot his camp. My father passed away during training camp but we got through it. Much respect to Austin Trout. He came out and fought but I came out with a victory, I thought.”
Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO) def. Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO) by unanimous decision
Fighting for the first time over the 10-round distance, Booker passed the stiffest test of his career in the form of Omotoso. The American had a real puncher in front of him but was awarded a shutout decision for his tactical, flashy performance.
“I’m so happy—I used to dream about this,” Booker, nearly brought to tears, told Jordan Hardy after the fight. “To be here is amazing. It took me 10 years. I train everyday like I have a world title. Every fight means something to me.”
Booker, 28, chiseled away at his opponent’s head, delivering bolting left and right hands. He fought comfortably behind a southpaw jab, eventually sitting on winging left hands in the second half of the bout.
The 34-year-old Omotoso never really found his rhythm, following and hacking away at Booker, who remained in safe distance from long range. In the third period, he could only play spectator when his man began showing off with some high knees.
In Round 4, Booker continued the show, crushing Omotoso with a winging left hand and then began shimmying his shoulders. Omotoso was visibly tired by the fifth round and was on the receiving end of more fierce one-twos through the latter stages.
For a short time in the ninth stanza, both men traded haymakers. But going backwards, Booker caught Omotoso with a stiff left hand that clearly shook up the veteran. He followed Omotoso down and pounded away at him as the commentary booth debated over his chances of stopping Omotoso for the first time. The Nigerian-born puncher found some life by hurling right hands, falling over with all his weight into Booker, but it wasn’t enough to win even a single round.
According to the PBC Fight Night stats, Booker landed 179 of 647 total punches (28 percent) and Omotoso connected on just 90 of 574 total punches (16 percent).
PBC on Fox PPV Results: Benavidez Stops Love, Spence Cruises Past Garcia
By: William Holmes
AT&T Stadium, the home site of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, was the host site of tonight’s PPV offering by Fox Sports and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
This was the first ever boxing pay per view offering by Fox.
The first fight of the pay per view was between Chris Arreola (37-5-1) and Jean Pierre Augustin (17-0-1) in the heavyweight division.
Augustin was seven years younger than Arreola and has never suffered a defeat as a professional, but he has never faced someone on the level of Arreola before.
Arreola started the fight off by coming forward behind his jab, but Augustin was able to land his jabs from the outside and touch Arreola often, but his power didn’t bother Arreola.
Arreola had blood coming from his nose in the second round, but he didn’t appear to be bothered by it. Arreola connected with a stiff jab in the third round that staggered Augustin, and he was backing away and looked wobbly. Arreola followed it with a combination that sent Augustin to the mat and down for a count of nine, but the referee allowed it to continue.
Arreola immediately jumped on the still wobbly Augustin and forced the referee to stop the bout.
Arreola wins by TKO at 2:03 of the third round.
The next bout of the night was between Luis Nery (28-0) and McJoe Arroyo (18-2) in the bantamweight division.
Nery is a talented boxer and is making his US debut. Both boxers were southpaws and Nery was able to keep his distance and land outland his opponent early on.
Nery scored a knockdown in the second round with a short left uppercut, but Arroyo was able to survive the round.
Nery scored another knockdown in the third round after a quick combination that sent Arroyo to the mat. Arroyo had a small laceration by his nose as the third round came to an end.
Nery did not look like he was concerned about the power of Arroyo at all and landed a three punch combination in the fourth round that sent Arroyo down again. Arroyo got back to his feet, but was sent to the mat again in the fourth round after another combination and he got to his feet as the round came to an end.
His corner didn’t wait long to stop the fight in the fifth round, as Nery wins by TKO at 0:10 of the fifth round.
A walkout bout between Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) and James Roach (5-1) in the super lightweight division was shown due to the quick stoppage of the prior two fights.
Delgado looked to be in superior shape, and he has stopped all eight of his opponents that he faced so far.
This bout did not last long. Delgado blasted Roach for nearly the entire round and sent him down for the ten count after a vicious combination that ended with a body shot
Delgado remains undefeated with a knockout at 2:59 of the first round.
The next bout of the night was between David Benavidez (20-0) and J’Leon Love (24-2-1) in the Super Middleweight Division.
Benavidez looked to be a lot taller than Love, and was able to avoid the jabs and body attacks of Love early on. Benavidez was able to land some heavy combinations on Love when his back was against the back of the ropes, and he had Love stumbling back to his corner at the end of the first.
Benavidez continued to pound J’Leon Love when his back was against the ropes in the second round Benavidez landed two hard straight right hands to the chin of J’Leon Love, who covered up and offered nothing in return to stop the onslaught.
The referee jumped in to stop the fight at 1:14 of the second round to give Benavidez the TKO victory.
The main event of the evening was between Errol Spence Jr. (24-0) and Mikey Garcia (39-0) for the IBF Welterweight Title.
The announced attendance for this fight was 47,525.
Spence was active with his jab in the opening round and Garcia was showing good head movement. Spence’s straight left was landing in the first and second rounds, but Garcia kept it close in the second.
Spence’s reach was a major factor in the second round as his jab kept Garcia at bay. Garcia was unable to solve the reach of Spence and took some heavy shots in the third and fourth rounds, as he landed some heavy power shots.
Garcia came out strong in the beginning of the fifth round, but Spence quickly turned the momentum back in his favor with a crisp jab followed by power left hands. By the sixth round Spence looked like he was running away with the fight and was walking Garcia down and in total control.
Spence continued to touch Garcia at will in the seventh and eight rounds and Garcia had no answer for the offense of Spence. Garcia was able to land a few counter shots, but they had little to no effect on Spence.
Spence looked like he was close to stopping the fight in the ninth round as he pounded Garcia from corner to corner, but Garcia was able to stay on his feet and grit his way through the round.
Garcia was warned by his brother/trainer Robert Garcia that he was going to stop the fight before the start of the tenth round if he didn’t’ show him a little more than what he saw in the ninth round. Garcia was able to land some punches, but still got pummeled by Spence through most of the round and didn’t really threaten his opponent.
Garcia needed a knockout in the final two rounds in order to win the bout, but in the eleventh round it appeared it was Spence who was going for the stoppage as he brutalized both the body and head of Garcia.
Even though Spence was comfortably ahead in the final round, his corner told him to go for the stoppage and he did, but Garcia was able to survive the fight.
Errol Spence wins by a wide decision with scores of 120-107, 120-108, and 120-108.
Afterwards, Spence called out Manny Pacquiao for a fight and Pacquiao appeared to willingly accept it.
PBC on FOX PPV Preview: Garcia vs. Spence, Benavidez vs. Love
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions along with Fox Sports will put on a Pay Per View offering live from Arlington, Texas. This card will take place at the home of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
The main event of the night will be a bout between two undefeated fighters, Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. for Spence’s IBF Welterweight title. Garcia looks to make history as he jumps up two weight classes to take on Spence while Spence looks to cement his place as the welterweight division’s top fighter.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The co-main event of the night will be between David Benavidez and J’Leon Love in the super middleweight division. The winner of this bout will put him closer to a future title shot.
Seventeen fights are currently scheduled on the card! The undercard will feature boxers such as Luis Nery, McJoe Arroyo, Chris Arreola, Charles Martin, and Fernando Garcia.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
David Benavidez (20-0) vs. J’Leon Love; Super Middleweights (24-2-1)
David Benavidez is known as the youngest boxer to ever hold a Super Middleweight Championship, but he hasn’t been super active in the ring since he had a positive test for Cocaine in September of 2018 and had to serve a four month suspension.
On Saturday he’ll be facing one of the toughest tests of his career in veteran J’Leon Love.
Benavidez will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as an inch and a half reach advantage over Love. He is also nine years younger than Love, though Love is still in his athletic prime.
Benavidez has been fairly active, but only fought once in 2018 due to his suspension and fought three times in 2017. Love fought twice in 2018 but only fought once in 2017.
Benavidez didn’t fight often as an amateur, but has been boxing as a professional since he was a teenager. Love does have an edge in amateur experience as he competed both in the Olympic trials and the Golden Gloves tournament as an amateur.
Benavidez has the edge in power, as he has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Love has only stopped thirteen. In fact, Benavidez has been able to stop eight of his past ten opponents.
Benavidez has defeated the likes of Ronald Gavril, Rogelio Medina, Sherali Mamajonov, Denis Douglin, Francy Ntetu, and Philip Jackson Benson.
Love has defeated the likes of Marcus Upshaw, Scott Sigmon, Marco Antonio Periban, Vladine Biosse, Lajuan Simon, and Derrick Findley. His losses were to Peter Quillin and Rogelio Medina.
Love is a veteran, but he lacks that big named win on his resume to consider him to be a serious threat to Benavidez. The action may be slow in the beginning as Benavidez attempts to figure out Love’s style, but this writer expects him to dominate the middle to later rounds.
Errol Spence Jr. (24-0) vs. Mikey Garcia (39-0); IBF Welterweight Title
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Mikey Garcia is bumping up to weight classes to face Errol Spence and will have a size disadvantage. He’ll also be giving up three inches in height and about four inches in reach to Spence. Garcia has fought as high as the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds, but fought his last fight at 135 pounds.
Spence is also two years younger than Garcia, but both fighters are still in their athletic prime.
Both boxers are known for their power and their ability to stop their opponents. Spence has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Garcia has stopped thirty. However, Spence is currently riding an eleven fight stoppage streak while Garcia has only stopped two of his past five opponents. The power has not follow him as he has jumped weight classes.
Spence has never been defeated and has defeated an impressive list of fighters. He has beaten the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Petereson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Herrden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, and Ronald Cruz.
He also had a successful amateur career and was a former US National Champion as well as a Olympic Participant for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Garcia has defeated the likes of Robert Easter Jr., Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido. As an amateur Garcia was a Police Athletic League Silver Medalist as well as a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves Championship.
Garcia is an excellent fighter, but he’s facing a man who’s bigger, longer, and more powerful. The size advantage will likely be too much for Garcia to overcome, but he should still have his moments in this fight.
This writer expects Spence to win a closer than expected decision victory.
PBC on Fox Results: Santa Cruz Defeats Rivera, Figueroa Defeats Molina
By: Hans Themistode
WBA Super Featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) put on a dominant performance as he completely outclassed Rafael Rivera (26-3-2, 17 KOs) tonight.
In the opening round it seemed as though Rivera was going to make the champion work for his victory. Rivera connected with several shots which caught the attention of the champion. It was as if Rivera was saying this won’t be an easy night. From there however it became one way traffic as Santa Cruz dominated.
The champion hit his opponent whenever he wanted and mostly stayed out of harm’s way. Rivera was game and continued to throw heavy shots but it was clear that he was just simply overmatched tonight. All three judges were in agreement as they gave Rivera just one round while scoring the contest 119-109.
Although the main event turned into a contest that was never in doubt, the co feature was anything but.
John Molina Jr (30-8, 24 KOs) lost a fairly wide decision to Omar Figueroa Jr (28-0-1, 19 KOs). The final scores of the bout were 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. The large margin of victory was not indicative of what actually happened during the contest.
Things started off as an actual boxing match between the two with Molina Jr trying to use his reach to his advantage while Figueroa Jr was looking to counter. The third round is where we really saw both men pick it up and begin the slugfest that we all were expecting.
The sixth round gave us a ton of action as Figueroa Jr seemed to shake up Molina Jr with a right hand. The round ended with both men trading plenty of punches. The rest of the contest saw both men land plenty of hard shots as it turned into a nip and tuck affair. Figueroa Jr managed to escape with his hands raised but the scorecards by all account should have been much closer.
With both fighters suffering long spells of inactivity they both showed tonight that they are ready to put that behind them and challenge the best at the Welterweight division.
PBC on Fox Results: Thurman Defeats Game Lopez, Kownacki and Nyambayar Win
By: William Holmes
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was the host site of tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Fox with three scheduled fights.
The untelevised undercard included a shocking knockout of Marsellos Wilder, the brother of Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, to William Deets.
The first bout of the night was between Claudio Marrero (23-2) and Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0) in the featherweight division.
This bout was a WBC Featherweight Title eliminator. Nyambayar, a fighter from Mongolia, had a small but boisterous contingent in the crowd. Nyambayar goes by the nickname of King Tug.
King Tug had a southpaw across from him, but he was able to land some good crosses to the body and quick combinations early.
Marrero showed a good jab in the second round and connected with some straight lefts in the third, but King Tug landed the cleaner and harder punches, and had Marrero wobbly in the thirdrom a good straight right hand and he followed that with some heavy combinations in the fourth.
King Tug’s accuracy was just better in the fifth and both punches landed some good shots in the sixth round, and Tug looked like a mouse was forming under his left eye.
Marrero had a strong seventh and eight rounds as Tug wasn’t as aggressive as in previous rounds and Marrero was landing his right hooks. The ninth round could have been scored either way, and the tenth was also close but Marrero lost a point for landing a punch during the break.
The eleventh round featured combinations from both fighters who let their hands go, but King Tug looked like he landed the better shots. Marrero came out very aggressively in the final round and may have landed some punches in the back of the head before the referee quickly broke them up. Marrero was fighting as if he knew he needed a knockout to win but that knockout never came.
The final scores were 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111 for Tugstogt Nyambayar.
The co-main event of the night was between Adam Kownacki (18-0) and Gerald Washington (19-2-1) in the heavyweight division.
Kownacki had a softer appearance in muscle tone when compares to Washington, but he didn’t appear to be intimated by Washington’s physique as he came at him right away and landed a good right hand followed by a short left hook. Washington was able to land some shots of his own in return, but Kownacki kept up the pressure and a good pace and was beating up Washington in the opening round. Kownacki did have a cut near his eye by the end of the round.
Washington came out aggressively at the start of the second round and landed some good punches, but Kownacki took them well and landed a body shot that quickly slowed the momentum of Washington. A straight right hand from Kownacki knocked Washington down who struggled to get up before the count of ten. The referee allowed him to continue, but two more hard shots from Kownacki forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Adam Kownacki wins with an impressive knockout at 1:09 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Keith Thurman (28-0) and Josesito Lopez (36-7) for the WBA World Welterweight Title.
Thurman was sharp with his counters early on as Lopez pressed the pace and was warned for a low blow early on. Thurman was able to show good in and out movement in the second round and was able to knock Lopez down with a short left hook. Lopez got up by the count of eight and was able to survive the round.
Thurman’s accuracy and movement won him most of the middle rounds, but Lopez remained game and took some of Thurman’s best shots well. Lopez had Thurman’s back against the ropes during the sixth round and was sneaking some punches in, but he really turned the tide in the seventh round.
In the seventh Lopez looked close to knocking Thurman down early in from hard left hooks and was battering him from corner to corner. Thurman was fighting to survive the seventh but looked recovered and well by the eight round.
Thurman landed some heavy shots in the eighth round, but Lopez took those shots well and stayed moving forward applying pressure.
Both boxers landed heavy blows in the ninth round and showed a tremendous chin and a willingness to exchange punches.
Thurman stuck to trying to out box Lopez in the tenth and eleventh round on the ever charging Lopez, and he likely won those rounds despite Lopez being able to sneak in some good shots.
The final scores were 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109 for Keith Thurman.
PBC on Fox Preview: Thurman vs. Lopez, Washington vs. Kownacki
By: Oliver McManus
Keith Thurman will make his much awaited return to the ring this weekend, as part of PBC on Fox, following extensive injuries to his hand and elbow. 22 months on from a split decision victory over Danny Garcia and Thurman will defend his WBA ‘Super’ Welterweight Championship against Josesito Lopez (36-7).
The welterweight scene, of course, has changed vastly since Thurman’s last bout with the emergence of Errol Spence Jr, Manny Pacquiao’s Indian summer coming to fruition and, indeed, Terence Crawford moving up in weight class. All three pose very real threats to Thurman’s WBA supremacy but One Time will be looking to brush off the cobwebs and establish himself at the top of the division.
At the Barclays Center, this Saturday, it will be a solid indication of how Thurman has responded to injury rehabilitation and what, if any, impact it has had on him as a fighter. A former unified champion, of course, the 31 year old has been in and around the world level for just over six years. It’s been a while – not just in terms of time – since we’ve seen a vintage Thurman performance, however, but he still shunted himself towards pound-for-pound contention.
Openly targeting a fight with Manny Pacquiao, that fight looks likely to happen given the Filipino’s secondary title status but the prospect of the contest remains enticing. Against Josesito, on paper, Thurman should have a relatively easy body of work – you could expect no less after such a lengthy lay-off.
Josesito Lopez isn’t just a name on paper, however, with The Riverside Rocky having been in the ring with Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto – stopped on all three occasions, mind. With three fights since April 2015, the same number as Thurman, the Californian welterweight hasn’t exactly been the most active over recent years. Seen, throughout time, as a decent yardstick for bigger names looking to get a good performance under their belt, Lopez comes out of the blocks fast continuously before fading around the halfway mark.
Seven years on since his latest victory of note – a surprise win over Victor Ortiz – it has to be said that Lopez is likely to pose little in way of threat to Thurman’s 28-fight unbeaten record. Thurman is expected to come through the contest and look good in doing so but any slip-up from the Clearwater-boxer could be exposed on a large scale by his opponent – don’t put your money on an upset victory, though.
The big bruisers on the undercard come by way of San Jose, California and Lomza, Poland as Gerald Washington and Adam Kownacki look to settle a score with their contest scheduled for 10 rounds. Polish born, Brooklyn resident, Kownacki will enter the ring as a betting favourite and boasting a record of 18 and 0 whilst Washington, a marginal underdog, looks to put himself in the frame for another world title shot.
Having challenged for Deontay Wilder’s WBC Championship in February 2017, Washington’s return saw him retire from a contest with Jarrell Miller before, in his only contest of last year, the 36 year old laboured to a victory over John Wesley Nofire. I use the word ‘laboured’ because whilst the win was routine and, to be frank, easy, Washington didn’t pack the explosive punch power of past performances.
Kownacki, on the other hand, has finished fights with Joshua Tufte, Artur Szpilka and Iago Kiladze in comprehensive fashion – all since 2017 – whilst his last contest against Charles Martin saw the two fighters push each-other in a 50/50 contest. Famed for his tendency to keep his hands down low and march forward, Kownacki takes a fair few punches on his way to victory but, thus far, victory has always been his.
Definitively a step up in class for Kownacki – ranked 5th the IBF and 8th with the WBC – he’ll need to be far more defensively orientated if he is to come through unscathed. Washington, despite his age, has the instinct not to allow such a lapse in technicality go untested. One thing you can guarantee from this fight is an utter slugfest.
Make no mistake though, all eyes are on the returning welterweight with Keith Thurman, the man that’s been left behind, seeking to cast aside any doubts about his recovery.
PBC on Fox Results: Charlo Brothers Win One, Lose One In Tougher Than Expected Bouts
By: William Holmes
Premier Boxing Champions made their contract debut with the Fox Network tonight live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The main event featured a last minute replacement as former title contender Willie Monroe Jr. was flagged for possible performance enhancers and Matt Korobov agreed to take his place. Many felt Korobov was a tougher matchup for Jermall Charlo than Monroe, and the fight appeared to confirm that thought.
The opening bout of the night was between Dominic Breazeale (20-1) and Carlos Negron (20-2) in the heavyweight division. Breazeale looked a bit sluggish early on and may have given up some of the earlier rounds based on Negron’s activity alone. Negron landed some questionable punches at the end of the third round that appeared to land after the bell had rung.
Breazeale’s accuracy began to improve in the middle rounds and he made it clear that he was the more powerful puncher of the two. A thunderous right hand by Breazeale ended the fight in the ninth round as Negron crashed to the ring and had his head hanging over the middle rope.
Dominic Breazeale could be seen challenging Deontay Wilder, who sat ringside, after the stoppage. Breazeale won by a TKO at 1:37 of the ninth round.
The next bout of the night was between Tony Harrison (27-2) and Jermell Charlo (31-0) for Charlo’s WBC Super Welterweight Title.
Charlo appeared to be more tentative than usual, and wasn’t throwing combinations like he normally does. He was the more aggressive fighter and pressed the pace, but a lot of his punches were missing and he was open to some of Harrison’s counters.
Charlo did land the harder punches throughout the night, and he appeared to have hurt Harrison on more than one occasion. But Harrison’s jab was active and accurate and he kept most of the rounds close and hard to score.
Harrison did appear to nearly knock Charlo down in the fifth round with a right hand, but Charlo was able to answer him later with a scorching right hand that had Harrison stunned.
Charlo’s best round of the night may have been the last two rounds, as he landed a beautiful uppercut in the eleventh and appeared to have hurt Harrison with a left hook in the twelfth, but the judges didn’t feel it was enough for Charlo to win the bout.
In a bit of an upset, Tony Harrison won the scorecards with scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112.
The main event of the evening was between Jermall Charlo (27-0) and Matt Korobov (28-1) for the WBC Interim Middleweight Title.
Korobov was a cagey veteran who’s lone blemish on his record was a shocking stoppage upset to Andy Lee, in a fight that he was winning on the scorecards at the time. Despite not having a meaningful fight in over eighteen months, he showed no signs of ring rust early on and had Charlo bothered with accurate counters while showing good upper body movement to avoid Charlo’s power shots.
Charlo’s noticeable reach advantage worked to his favor in the middle rounds as Charlo became more active with his jab and kept it in the face of Korobov. But the later third of the fight Korobov’s right eye was nearly swollen shut.
The first four rounds could have been arguably scores for Korobov, but Charlo had a strong fifth round that was punctuated with a short right hand and he continued that momentum into the sixth and seventh rounds.
The ninth round featured both fighters landing hard combinations, but Korobov was starting to tire and Charlo was still able to throw hard shots. Charlo had Korobov covering up in the tenth round and the eleventh round was very competitive.
Charlo appeared to have a slight lead going into the final round, but his best round of the night was the last round as he had Korobov hurt with several hard shots and had the referee looking at Korobov closely with an eye towards a possible stoppage.
There was no controversy with this decision, though it was a close and entertaining fight. Charlo retained his title with scores of 116-112, 119-108, and 116-112.
PBC on Fox Preview: Charlo vs. Harrison, Charlo vs. Korobov
By: Hans Themistode
Loud, brash, cocky and arrogant are words that can be used to describe the Charlo twins Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) and Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs). Explosive, confident, impressive and revered can be used as well. Whichever word you choose will lead you to the same conclusion.
They are must watch television.
Both will be returning to the big screen this Saturday night as they put their undefeated records on the line at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York live on the first PBC on Fox card.
Jermall, who is the number one contender for the WBC Middleweight title and also possesses the interim title was originally scheduled to take on two time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KOs). However with less than one week remaining until the night of the fight Monroe was busted by VADA for an adverse finding in his urine sample. He was subsequently removed from the card and replaced with Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs).
Although this is considered a short notice bout, it isn’t your typical one. Korobov was already in training for a matchup against Juan De Angel on this very undercard. The bout was scheduled to take place at 168 pounds but he had no trouble in trimming down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds as he weighed in at 159.8 this afternoon.
On paper Korobov will provide Jermall with his toughest opponent to date. Matt was a decorated amateur having defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Oleksandr Usyk to amass a record of 300-12. In the pros he has been impressive as well. He handed current IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui his first defeat in his biggest win to date. Korobov’s lone defeat came in 2014 at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee. Matt was ahead on the scorecards and in complete control of the fight before a right hand by Lee followed by a flurry of punches put a halt to the contest. He has gone on to win four bouts in a row since then. In short this will in many ways present a much tougher task for Jermall then his originally scheduled opponent.
The interim champion has looked great thus far but many would venture to say that he is still unproven and not quite ready for the elite of the Middleweight division. A win over Korobov won’t silence his doubters but a dominant performance just might.
Speaking of dominance, that is the exact word that can be used when describing Jermell’s title run at Jr Middleweight. The younger by one minute Charlo has knocked out four of his past five opponents. He will be looking to add another highlight reel knockout to his name when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the co main event.
Jermell has his eyes set on a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd. It would be a matchup of arguably the two best Jr Middleweights. As much as Jermell wants that fight to happen he would be foolish to overlook Tony Harrison.
Boxing ability, punching power, ring IQ. Tony has it all.
His biggest problem has always seemed to be his gas tank. He was stopped by both Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson in the ninth round of both contest while leading on the scorecards. Tony’s stamina failed him on both occasions. Coming in to this contest however, Tony has told anyone that will listen that he has solved his issues.
If he truly has found a way to keep a consistent pace for a full 12 rounds then he will pose plenty of issues for the champion.
Many have dismissed both Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison as easy fights for the Charlo’s. Both bouts will be anything but that. If the twins hope to continue their dominant run they will both have to overcome two great challenges ahead of them come Saturday night.
PBC on Fox Preview: The Charlo Brothers Are Ready to Headline in Brooklyn
By: Sean Crose
This Saturday night, the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, will host the final major fight card of 2018. The fights begin airing live at 8 PM eastern standard time, on Fox, which has recently made a deal with Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, the promoter behind the card. There will essentially be two main events, each featuring one of the Charlo twins, 27-0 middleweight Jermall, and 31-0 super welterweight Jermell. The Houston, Texas natives have a strong chance of landing notable fights at the pinnacle their respective divisions, provided they get past their respective competition this coming weekend.
Jermell will be facing the 27-2 Tony Harrison for the WBC super welterweight title that he won in 2016 by knocking out John Jackson and has successfully defended three times since. Harrison, who hails from Detroit, will be coming off a split decision win over Ishe Smith last May. This will be Harrison’s second attempt at a world title. Back in 2017, he was knocked out by Jarret Hurd while competing for the IBF super middleweight title in Alabama. Since that time, the fighter has gone on to win three straight. The match with Charlo will be a scheduled twelve round affair.
Meanwhile, Jermell’s brother, Jermall, will be facing off against the 28-1 Matvey Korobov for the interim WBC middleweight title strap. Stepping into the ring at Barclay’s for his third fight in a row, Jermall recently bested Hugo Centeno Jr by knockout last April. Korobov, on the other hand, is coming off a March unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Batista in Miami. This will be Korobov’s second bout this year after taking all of 2017 off. Korobov’s one loss was to Ireland’s Andy Lee, who knocked the Russian out in December of that year in Las Vegas. Korobov will be facing quite the challenge in Jermall, who has stopped his last three opponents within the distance.
Jermall was originally set to face Willie Monroe Jr on Saturday, but the Monroe, who is best known for getting stopped by Gennady Golovkin in 2015, showed traces of a prohibited substance in a VADA drug test and the fight was subsequently called off. Fortunately for all parties involved, Korobov was able to step in and fill the void left by Monroe. Should he somehow emerge victorious in the scheduled 12 round affair with Jermall, Korobov will have most likely pulled off the upset of the year.
Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ Series Debut Exposes Charlo Brothers—And Boxing—To Wider Audience
By Jake Donovan
From brand inception through present day, the brass at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) have looked past mounting criticism of its product with its eyes on the bigger picture.
Its parternship with Fox Sports has already begun to show why patience remains a virtue.
The rebranding of the PBC on Fox primetime boxing series—which was formally announced during a glossy press conference on November 13—is due to launch with a December 22 tripleheader live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event will kick off a lucrative multi-year agreement between PBC and Fox Sports, with live shows due to run monthly in primetime on Fox and FS1.
The first show under the new agreement is headlined by the Charlo twins—Jermall and Jermell—in separate title bouts, marking the first time either Charlo serves in the main event of a primetime boxing telecast after years of frequently playing in supporting capacity on cable giant Showtime. Jermall (27-0, 21KOs) defends his interim middleweight title versus Willie Monore, Jr. (23-3, 6KOs) in the main event, while Jermell (31-0, 15KOs) defends his 154-pound strap versus Tony Harrison (27-2, 21KOs) in the co-feature.
Both bouts served as the first offerings of Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ series, airing this past Saturday immediately following the network’s live coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup series. ‘PBC Countdown: Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe Jr.’ drew a favorable 1.0 overnight rating (roughly 1.2 million viewers; final figures to come Tuesday morning) for its 11:00pm timeslot, doing well on an active sports night to hold the majority of the audience from MLS Cup, which at 1.35 million viewers drew its best televised audience since 1998.
The 11:30pm-slotted ‘PBC Countdown: Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison’ special pulled a 0.6 overnight rating.
“The PBC’s entire mission has been to find a partnership that will allow boxing to reach a mass audience and we believe we’ve found that partner in FOX,” Tim Smith, vice president of communication for PBC told BoxingInsider.com. “Having an opportunity to reach a potential audience of 120 million viewers on a regular monthly basis with events and other shows is a real game changer for the sport.”
The launching of ‘PBC Countdown’ comes on the heels of network promos for the December 22 telecast having frequently run during every edition of NFL (National Football League) on Fox since the initial November 13 network presser.
The latest batch came in Sunday’s Game of the Week offering, where the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles in an overtime thriller which produced a 16.0 overnight rating, the best for any NFL afternoon game this season. Promos for the Charlos’ bouts were also part of network coverage which drew more than 50 million viewers for pro and college football a week ago, as well as back-to-back Thursday Night Football telecasts on Fox—both featuring the Cowboys in games watched by more than 53 million combined viewers.
Network promos will continue to run throughout this Thursday’s edition of NFL on Fox, pitting the 11-2 Kansas City Chiefs versus the 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers in a game with major playoff implications at stake. The Charlos will garner more exclusive coverage this Saturday afternoon, starring in the network’s debut of ‘PBC Face-To-Face’ series hosted by award-winning sports writer Mike Coppinger.
Similar coverage will come with every edition of PBC on Fox. The next primetime edition will air January 26—also live from Brooklyn, New York—followed by shows on February 14 and March 9 leading into the debut of “PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View”, headlined by Errol Spence Jr. in a welterweight title defense versus Mikey Garcia, who moves up from lightweight in a battle of unbeaten pound-for-pound entrants.
Spence and Garcia have both benefitted from NFL exposure, each making separate appearances at Cowboys Stadium for November 22 and November 29 games which aired live on Fox.
The November 22 Thanksgiving edition drew 30.8 million viewers, while the November 29 showing—in which the Cowboys upset the NFL-best New Orleans Saints—drew more than 21 million viewers, the best-ever showing for any NFL Thursday Night Football installment (excluding Thanksgiving games) since the primetime series debuted five years ago.
“Our boxers have made in game appearances on NFL broadcasts that have been viewed by tens of millions of people,” Smith points out. “[T]he Charlos, who fight on December 22 have been the beneficiaries of the first Countdown show and teases of their upcoming fights during each NFL game on FOX since the fight was announced.
“That’s the kind of complete commitment that will foster real growth in the sport. We’re excited about the 2019 season of PBC on FOX.”
Charlo Brothers To Defend Titles in 12/22 PBC on Fox Doubleheader
By Jake Donovan
The biggest complaint among the cult following for twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo is that they’ve yet to headline a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) telecast in primetime.
While that problem will be resolved for at least one of the two in their next ring appearance, the next batch of complaints will come in their respective opponents.
Photo Credit: Jermell Charlo Twitter Account
The unbeaten twins will defend their separate alphabet titles on a December 22 edition of PBC on Fox, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jermall Charlo will make the first defense of his interim middleweight strap as he faces Willie Monroe Jr. Meanwhile, Jermell Charlo attempts the fourth defense of his 154-pound belt versus Tony Harrison.
A coin toss will determine which Charlo gets to headline the primetime doubleheader, which will kick off the rebranded model of PBC’s renewed three-year deal with Fox.
The show had promised to make a big splash given the renewed deal, but—beyond the prospect of seeing both Charlos on the same card (and one in the main event)—neither bout really moves the needle.
Even though he only holds an interim version of the World Boxing Council (WBC) title, Jermall (27-0, 21KOs) remains in a favorable position given all of the recent movement in the middleweight division. The 28-year old from Houston, Texas moved up from super welterweight (154 lbs.), where he’d held a title for nearly two years prior to vacating ahead of his July ’17 stoppage win over a hobbled Jorge Heiland.
The win—which took place at Barclays Center, where he will now make his third straight appearance—was supposed to guarantee Charlo a crack at the winner between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their Sept. ’17 clash. However, the bout ended in a controversial draw, leading to what was supposed to be an immediate rematch.
Charlo wound up fighting for and winning an interim title in a stoppage victory over Hugo Centeno this past April. By that point, the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch had already been postponed until September, with Alvarez taking a decision win. At its annual convention in early October, the WBC granted Alvarez an optional fight while ordering Charlo-Golovkin in a bout to determine the next mandatory challenger to the full title.
Obviously that fight won’t materialize next, if ever at all.
Golovkin—beltless for the first time since 2010—is currently fielding offers both in the ring and the platform which will broadcast his next fight. It’s obvious a December showdown with Charlo was a non-starter on his end, leaving PBC brass to keep its client busy.
A title defense versus Monroe Jr. provides that very opportunity, though is a bit of a letdown given how much attention has been afforded the division just in recent weeks.
Monroe Jr. (28-3, 6KOs) figured to surface in a significant event under PBC, which has housed his last two bouts. The veteran contender from upstate New York—who will turn 32 just ahead of fight night—is coming off of a 10-round decision over Javier Maciel in August, his second straight win following a 12-round loss to then-unbeaten titlist Billy Joe Saunders last September.
The bout—which was painfully tough to watch—marked his second failed attempt at a middleweight crown. He parlayed his ESPN2 Boxcino Middleweight Tournament crowning into a lucrative May ’15 crack at Gennady Golovkin, suffering three knockdowns en route to a 6th round stoppage defeat live on HBO.
Surrounding the title fights are respectable wins over Brandon Adams (in the aforementioned Boxcino finals), Brian Vera and Gabriel Rosado.
Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15KOs) has emerged as a cult favorite over the course of his title run. The 28-year old had to rally from way behind in stopping John Jackson to win his portion of the 154-pound crown in May ’16, the win going in the history books as he and Jermall became the first twins in boxing history to simultaneously hold major titles in the same weight division.
Whereas Jermall has moved up the scale, Jermell has punched his way to the top of the division. Highlight-reel knockout wins over Charles Hatley and previously unbeaten Erickson Lubin both made their way to several 2017 year-end awards lists, the latter marking his 5th consecutive stoppage win.
A close-but-clear points win over former titlist Austin Trout this past June ended that streak, but put Jermell alongside Jarret Hurd—whom outpointed Erislandy Lara in their unification bout on that same card—as the best 154-pound boxers in the world.
PBC brass along with the fine folks at Showtime—the industry-leading premium cable outlet who has invested heavily in the 154-pound division—have not at all been shy about the prospect of Charlo and Hurd colliding in a bout to determine the super welterweight king. However, both sides have steadily acknowledged that such a fight wasn’t likely until 2019 as Hurd is rebounding from rotator cuff surgery.
Much like his twin, Jermell was forced to realize that seeking bigger game would have to give way—for now—to remaining active.
Enter Harrison (27-2, 21KOs), once high among the most lauded prospects under the PBC umbrella. The Detroit-bred middleweight has since fallen to middle-of-the-pack contender, suffering knockout losses to Willie Nelson and Hurd on the undercard of high-profile events.
The defeat to Nelson—in which he was winning every round before falling apart late—came in the chief support to PBC’s first primetime card on ESPN in July ’15. A modest three-fight win streak followed, leading to his first career title fight.
A Feb. ’17 clash with Hurd aired live on Fox in primetime, as the co-feature to Deontay Wilder’s heavyweight title-defending stoppage win over Gerald Washington. Harrison was competitive until he wasn’t, with Hurd coming on strong late in scoring a 9th round stoppage to claim the vacant title.
Harrison has rebounded with a pair of wins including narrowly outpointing Ishe Smith this past May on Bounce TV. His forthcoming showdown with Charlo will mark his second crack at a major title.
Meanwhile, one of the Charlos will get the honor of headlining their first PBC primetime event. Both have topped the bill in lesser advertised cards, Jermell on a Halloween ’15 edition of PBC on NBC Sports and Jermall in his first defense of his 154-pound title on a Nov. ’15 afternoon installment of PBC on NBC.
They’ve since fought a combined eight times, all of which have aired live on Showtime-televised undercards. Included among the lot was the last time they appeared on the same show—in May ’16, a card that was topped by Lara’s 12-round win over Vanes Martirosyan.
Now, their only competition for top billing on the marquee is each other. Sadly, the forthcoming coin-toss to determine such status is perhaps more enticing to boxing fans than either matchup on the announced show.