Mikey Garcia Vacates IBF Lightweight Title; Richard Commey To Vie For Vacant Belt
By Jake Donovan
For the second time in as many fights, Mikey Garcia has elected to vacate an alphabet title in pursuit of bigger game.
The unbeaten lightweight titlist and pound-for-pound entrant has agreed to relinquish his International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title in lieu of satisfying a mandatory title defense versus Richard Commey.
Photo Credit: Mikey Garcia Twitter Account
IBF spokesperson informed BoxingInsider.com that Garcia had formally notified the New Jersey-based sanctioning body of his decision, confirming a news story first reported by ESPN.com senior writer Dan Rafael.
The move comes ahead of a second ordered purse bid between Garcia and Commey due to defaulting on a previously reached verbal agreement.
Garcia (39-0, 30KOs) inherited the mandatory challenge following his points win over previously unbeaten Robert Easter Jr. in their unification bout this past July. Both boxers entered the contest with the understanding that the winner would be immediately ordered to next face Commey, with the IBF granting Easter Jr. such an exception in order to pursue the aforementioned title unification clash.
With Garcia scoring a landslide decision, he was on the hook to satisfy the overdue mandatory title defense which was ordered by the IBF on August 1. The first ordered purse bid was canceled after Richard Schaefer (representing Garcia) and Lou DiBella (Commey’s promoter) informed the IBF and various media outlets—including BoxingInsider.com—at the time that a verbal agreement had been reached.
However, Commey was the only party to send back a signed contract. When Garcia failed to do so within the 15-day period assigned by the IBF, the agreement was considered null and void with a new purse bid hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
By that point, speculation had run rampant that California’s Garcia—who has won titles in four weight divisions—would be moving up to welterweight in pursuit of a challenge versus unbeaten Texas native Errol Spence for his welterweight title. The matchup had been rumored for several weeks, but never evolving past casual conversation.
Because the mandatory was overdue, Garcia could not file for an exception which factored into his opting to vacate in lieu of being stripped for the title.
Commey (27-2, 24KOs) will now make his second attempt at a lightweight title, both coming in vacant title fights. His first bid ended just short, going tooth and nail with Easter Jr. in dropping a competitive decision in their Sept. ’16 shootout. The Ghana-bred boxer was similarly edged out in a title eliminator just three months later, losing a split decision to Denis Shafikov.
Three straight wins have followed, including 6th round knockout of previously unbeaten Alejandro Luna in their final eliminator this past March. The bout took place on the Showtime-televised undercard to Garcia’s 140-pound championship winning effort over Sergey Lipinets—interestingly with Garcia vacating the bout soon thereafter as he opted to return to the 135-pound division.
His drop back down in weight turned out to be for just one night, at least for now—a familiar pattern since his return the sport in 2016 following a 30-month forced hiatus.
All five of Garcia’s bouts in his second career have taken place between 135-140 pounds, although barely staying in the same place for very long. His 3rd round knockout of then-undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin to win a lightweight title in Jan. ’17 was followed by a pair of 140-pound bouts, scoring a points win over Adrien Broner last July and then Lipinets.
In his pursuit of Spence and a title in a fifth weight class, Garcia—who spent the first eight years of his career fighting at 126 and 130—would be making his welterweight debut. While he still holds a lightweight title, that reign could too be in jeopardy. Still awaiting the 30-year old is a mandatory title defense versus Luke Campbell, who earned his second title crack following a decision victory over Yvan Mendy in September to avenge his lone defeat.
Meanwhile, Commey will soon enter negotiations with the next leading available contender for the IBF lightweight title. The current next highest-rated lightweight is Russia’s Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6KOs), who has won three straight including a career-best decision win over former lightweight titlist Ismael Barroso this past May in Riga, Latvia.
Ryan Garcia Joins Eddy Reynoso’s Stable, Will Return 12/15 on Canelo-Fielding MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
Never one to settle for what he’s accomplished as the best he can do, Ryan Garcia continues to prove wise well beyond his youthful existence.
The unbeaten 20-year old super featherweight from Los Angeles—already earning Prospect of the Year honors by several major outlets in 2017—has always made sure to surround himself with the right people in his career. Another strong entity has been added to the team, as Garcia announced that he will begin working with famed trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“Big announcement,” Garcia (16-0, 13KOs) alerted his massive social media following, including well beyond one million followers on his verified Instagram account. “I am now (training) with Eddy Reynoso (as) well as my dad.”
Reynoso is best known for his career-long work with boxing superstar and reigning World middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. It’s been quite an amazing second half to 2018 for the A-list trainer from Mexico, who this past summer has begun working with unbeaten featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez.
“I’ve seen him throughout his career,” Reynoso told BoxingInsider.com via translator. “I know how he is. We are going to work on his defense, on his counter punching and on other things to (complement) his natural abilities.”
The two will begin working together immediately, a move that is as necessary as it is convenient. The other major development this week in Garcia’s career came in his being informed of his next fight date.
“I will be fighting December 15th at Madison Square Garden,” Garcia announced on Tuesday. “I’m honored to fight at such a legendary venue. I’m coming to New York. So all my fans from out there will finally get to see me.”
The bout—versus a yet-to-be-determined opponent—will come on the undercard of Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Both Alvarez and Garcia will make their respective MSG debuts, neither having ever previously fought in New York or anywhere in the U.S. east of Texas.
The show will air live on DAZN, the first show under a new pact formed between the sports streaming service and Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes both boxers. Alvarez’ own deal with the platform is the richest guaranteed contract in sports history, with the December 15 show the first of an 11-fight, $365 million agreement.
Golden Boy’s end secures fight dates for its young and growing stable, including boxers such as Garcia who is already a sizeable draw in the SoCal area and a major presence both on TV and online.
His pairing with Golden Boy was a natural fit, joining Oscar de la Hoya’s California-based outfit after his sixth pro fight. The early portion of his career took place in Mexico, fighting as a 17-year old following an incredible amateur career which boasted an eye-popping 285-15 ring record along with 15 National Gold medals.
Garcia’s first fight in the U.S. came shortly after his 18th birthday, signing with Golden Boy two months later. His rise to early fame has been well publicized, including a quick transition from new recruit to bona fide prospect in 2017.
After earning Prospect of the Year honors from several outlets including ESPN.com, Garcia and his team opted to step up the competition level in 2018. The results have been mixed, although he’s found a different way to win in each of his three ring appearances this year.
Less competitive wins over Fernando Vargas and Jayson Velez earlier this year were overshadowed by his most recent bout in September. Garcia managed to draw an audience for his Facebook Live-streamed headliner, but struggled at times in a majority decision win over durable trialhorse Carlos Morales.
By his own admission, there remain elements of Garcia’s game that require vast improvement, including stamina and defense. It’s easy enough to chalk it up to growing pains, but Garcia and his team refused to leave anything to chance.
Now, he’s prepared to leave the next step in the capable hands of one of the very best cornermen in boxing today.
“We will start (Thursday),” Reynoso informed BoxingInsider.com “We’ve had two meetings, and for me he is a very dedicated, eager and disciplined fighter. You see he likes to learn.”
PBC Boxing on Showtime Results: Porter Edges Garcia in Thriller
By: Sean Crose
The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York hosted the WBC welterweight title bout between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia on Saturday before Showtime cameras. The belt, which was open due to mutli titlist Keith Thurman’s abdication, offered the opportunity for two of the biggest names in the perennially competitive welterweight division to prove who was the better man in the ring.
First on the Showtime card was a 10 round heavyweight contest between the undefeated 17-0 Adam Kownacki and former titlist Charles Martin, 25-1-1. The hard hitting Brooklyn native, by way of Poland, banged away at Martin early on in the first, with Martin offering little in the way of resistance. The second round showcased more of the same. Kownacki’s pace slowed bit in the third, but by the middle of the fourth, he had his man hurt. The bout essentially remained the same throughout the middle rounds. Martin simply didn’t look to be in the fight.
Photo Credit: Showtime TWitter Account
Stepping things up a but, Martin carried the seventh with activity. He also landed effectively in the eighth, taking his second round in a row. The ninth round was a very close affair, with both men throwing and landing hard. The fight had developed a neck and neck feel, but the early rounds might have cost Martin the fight. Regardless of outcome, the final round was absolutely explosive, with each man firing away and giving it his all. Kowacki ended up walking out of the ring with a UD victory.
Next up was a welterweight throwdown between Yordenis Ugas, 22-3, and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrioneuevo in a scheduled 12 round elimination battle. The first was fast paced, but the discipline and sharp body work of Ugas told the tale. Barrioneuevo looked outclassed in the second and third as Ugas continued to work the body. The Cuban’s foundation and body work were showing him to be a level above his Argentine counterpart. As the fight headed into the middle rounds, it was essentially more of the same Ugas was simply proving to be the more skilled of the two fighters.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
By the eighth, Ugas was ready to ended. The first half of the round saw the Cuban throw furiously at Barrioneuevo, though the game Barrioneuevo survived the onslaught. The fight more or less leveled out after that. Fans at the Barclays Center booed, but there was no denying the disciplined contender was carrying the fight away. Ugas simply dominated from beginning to end, but was not powerful enough to put his game opponent away (which may have had as much to do with Barrionuevo’s chin than it did Ugas’ blows). After the final bell, an obvious UD decision went Ugas’ way.
It was time for the main event. Garcia stepped into the ring with a record of 34-1, while Porter boasted a 28-2-1 resume. The first was a tight affair that Porter may have edged slightly. The second round was razor sharp, yet Garcia looked to perhaps have landed the sharper punches. Garcia landed a beautiful right early in the third, then landed a nice left a few seconds later. Garcia was also avoiding Porter’s right hook effectively. Porter came alive in the fourth, ripping into Garcia’s body. Garcia came back strong in the fifth, landing effectively to the body in his own right.
Photo Credit:Showtime Twitter Account
The sixth saw Porter upping the action. The Ohio native then began to really take it to his man in the seventh. Garcia was very game, though – and very dangerous. Garcia looked better in the eight and ninth, though Porter’s attack was fierce. The tenth was an all out war with each man throwing and landing hard. Things remained close in the eleventh, with Porter going strong to the body, but Garcia having moments of his own. Things ended close, though Garcia looked to have taken the twelfth with cleaner shots.
It was a close bout that could have went either way, but the judges ruled it for Porter with scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.
Showtime Boxing: Garcia-Porter Preview
by: Sean Crose
Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will meet in a highly anticipated showdown Saturday night for the WBC welterweight title that was vacated by Keith Thurman. The bout will be the featured attraction on a Showtime card that will begin airing live at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Both Porter, 28-2-1, and Garcia, 34-1, have lost close bouts to Thurman. What’s more, this is a match which is essentially seen as an even matchup…as well as a step towards a clearer picture of the welterweight pecking order.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
With Thurman still holding the WBA crown, rising star Errol Spence in possession of the IBF title, and Top Rank promoted Terence Crawford owning the WBO strap, the post Mayweather era has been a bit chaotic for the welterweight division. The infrequent ring appearances of many PBC (Premiere Boxing Champions) fighters like Thurman, Spence, Garcia, and Porter, coupled with promotional and network issues between PBC and Top Rank, have made the discovery of a true welterweight king very hard to arrive at. Still, simply knowing who among the top fighters in the division can best who offers at least some sense of clarity. Stylistically, Saturday’s match between the extremely aggressive Porter and the disciplined, sharp punching Garcia, might also make for intriguing viewing.
This weekend’s card will also feature a WBC weltwerweight title elimination bout between the 22-3 Yordenis Ugas and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrionuevo. Originally from Cuba and now living in Miami, Ugas has been on a hot winning streak since dropping two bouts in 2014. As for Barrionuevo, this will be the Argentine’s first bout on American soil, where he’s hoping to make a good impression on a road to bigger things. On top of the two welterweight battles, Showtime will also be broadcasting a heavyweight scrap from Brooklyn on Saturday night.
The 25-1-1 Charles Martin was briefly in possession of the IBF heavyweight title until he was trounced by Anthony Joshua in 2016. He’ll be on a two fight win streak when he faces the 17-0 Adam Kownacki on Saturday. Kownacki, originally of Poland, will be something of the hometown fighter, as he now resides in Brooklyn and has had numerous fights in the New York area. Having won all 17 of his bouts by knockout, he’s looking to leave his mark on the live television audience. With all but two of his own wins having been by knockout, however, Martin clearly wants re-establish himself as a top heavyweight.
Boxing guru Al Haymon’s PBC has recently signed a three-year extension with Showtime, which means top PBC bouts will be aired on Showtime for some time to come.
Is Ryan Garcia Ready to Rule?
By: Kirk Jackson
Rising star Ryan Garcia (16-0, 13 KO’s) improved his record last weekend earning a very tough ten-round majority decision victory against contender Carlos Morales (17-3-3, 6 KO’s) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
The fight headlined Golden Boy Promotions’ latest offering of Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch.
The success of the event regarding viewership exemplifies “King Ry’s” rising stock and popularity as a fighter, while displaying the potential and traits necessary to becoming a transcendent star.
As far as the actual fight, Garcia struggled albeit in a winning effort.
The hand speed was there, showcasing the ability to fight from the outside, while clinching when necessary on the inside and Garcia again showed he can go the long distance of 10 rounds.
When Garcia places his punches together, he looks exceptional and also displayed his ability to counter-punch effectively.
However there are glaring holes defensively and often times Garcia looks stiff; often squaring up with his chin high in air, leaving himself open, often leaving his left hand down and creating greater opportunities for his opponent.
Garcia has not displayed the ability to fight effectively on the inside as evidenced by his excessive holding. As the headliner, he is fortunate to not be penalized for that at this stage of his development.
As he progresses and faces tougher opposition across grander stages, some of these advantages as the headliner may dissipate along with some of the advantages he has against lower level opposition.
Observers may notice the quick, flashy hand speed, be dazzled by his charm and way with words, but hand speed can’t mask every weakness.
Speed can be negated by effective timing and as former young phenom and youngest heavyweight champion of all-time famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
The most important factor to becoming that star is the component of winning. The scorecards read as a majority decision, the overall experience served as a valuable lesson because Garcia added rounds against a tough, experienced opponent, but based on the past few appearances from Garcia, what is his ceiling?
Due to his growing popularity – maximizing the benefits of social media, overall star potential and penchant for headline grabbing quotables, Garcia’s will be psycho-analyzed from here on out.
And with this analysis and at times over-analysis comes additional pressure. Pressure can make or break a person; there’s an old saying mentioned by many an athlete, “Pressure busts pipes. But pressure can also make a diamond.”
Although Garcia wants the bigger names around his weight class – Gervonta Davis, Mikey Garcia and Devin Haney, Garcia like Haney, is still considered a rising prospect and rightfully so.
Just turning 20-years old last month, under the traditional sense, Garcia has ample time to develop.
But nothing about Garcia appears to follow the traditional trajectory of the development of a fighter. Garcia is still in the learning stage and his opponent selection will exemplify just as such.
The question is will his learning leash be lessened as he continues to build his profile. Detractors may grow in number and will want to see him tested.
As Garcia continues to build his buzz, more fighters will want to test him. All publicity, attention, whether it’s negative or positive is good publicity.
And speaking of drawing attention, two former fighters Garcia speaks highly of, emulates style/persona wise and wants to surpass from an overall career standpoint is that of his promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his promoter former in ring rival –turned promotional rival Floyd Mayweather.
While the aforementioned legends relied on their amateur accomplishments which included (Olympic medals), strong promotional push from Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, King Ry is more reliant on social media to emphasis his point and add to his profile.
March 22 Espn 10 rounds Main Event at fantasy springs casino Indio ca pic.twitter.com/O6eMcaaj4u
— Ryan Garcia (@Ryankingry) January 23, 2018
Times are different in this era and Garcia has huge footsteps to follow.
At age 21, De La Hoya and Mayweather became world champions. Mentioning Mike Tyson earlier, he was the heavyweight world champion at 20-years old.
By next year it’s possible Garcia can match the same feat of attaining a world title like the fighters he admires. He has the connections to make that dream a reality.
Based on the eye test however, Mayweather, De La Hoya and Tyson obviously look more polished at the respective marks in their careers.
Are the comparisons fair? Perhaps not, but when you talk big you’re going to be compared to the great ghosts of the past.
How does Garcia compare to his contemporaries? As talented as Garcia is, there is a fresh group of extraordinary young talent – some of which may cross paths with the man claiming to be king.
Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, Teofimo Lopez, Money Powell IV, Joey Spencer, Karlos Balderas, Ruben Villas are all young talented fighters with potential to win world titles.
Regarding Garcia’s ceiling, it’s cliché but the sky is the limit. The talent is there and the technical aspects can be worked on.
The mental aspect is the most important thing and Garcia appears to take ownership for his performances. If he can take the positives from his criticisms and constructively apply adjustments in the gym, he’ll continue to excel.
Question is will the uncrowned king claim his crown?
Golden Boy Boxing on Facebook Results: Macias Overwhelms Cabrera, Garcia Decisions Morales
By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotion seven fights on facebook live from the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California. This is a newer venture for Golden Boy as promotional outfits worldwide are increasingly turning to streaming to deliver their product.
Ryan Garcia was able to sell out the Fantasty Springs Resort and Casino for the second time.
Several undercard fights were shown, but the main event of the evening was between Ryan Garcia and Carlos Morales in the lightweight division and the co-main event of the night was between Marvin Cabrera and Neeco Macias.
Marvin Cabrera (8-0) and Neeco Macias (16-0) met in the junior middleweight division. Both boxers are undefeated, but Cabrera has been the more active fighter the past two years and had former world champion Daniel Ponce DeLeon in his corner.
Macias had a good contingent of fans in attendance, and he made it known immediately why. They both came out swinging in the opening round but Macias took the best shots of Cabrera well and continued to come forward, while smiling. Macias didn’t appear to have a whole lot of power and was taking some good left hands from Cabrera, but he threw over twice the number of punches than Cabrera. Macias threw 147 punches in the opening round while Cabrera threw 72, and it was a sign of things to come.
Macias stayed in tight during the second round and didn’t appear to land many hard punches, but he applied an incredible amount of pressure and appeared to overwhelm Cabrera. He continued that output into the third round when he threw 196 punches and appeared to be visibly wilting Cabrera.
Macias opened up the fourth round with a looping left hand went right back to work. He was swarming Cabrera and was really snapping the head of his opponent.
Cabrera’s back was stuck next to the ropes and corner often in the fourth and fifth rounds and wasn’t really able to throw much in response to the aggression of Macias. Whenever Cabrera backed away in an attempt to escape and breathe Macias would quickly close the distance and pound away at the body and head.
Cabrera looked exhausted in the sixth round and took a hard left hand in the opening seconds of the sixth. Cabrera was stuck in the corner often and was getting beat from corner to corner.
Cabrera’s corner wisely stopped the fight before the start of the seventh round. Macias wins by knockout at 3:00 of the sixth round.
The main event of the night was between Ryan Garcia (15-0) and Carlos Morales (17-2-3) in the lightweight division.
Garcia held the NABF and NABO Super Featherweight Championships while Morales held the NABA Super Featherweight Championship.
Garcia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ high ceiling prospects and is only twenty years old. Garcia looked like the bigger fighter and was able to establish himself as the boxer with the quicker hands early on. Garcia was able to land some good left hooks in the first two rounds and had a good jab working.
Garcia did trip and fall backwards in the second round but Morales was warned by the referee for pushing his opponent.
Garcia was shifty in the third round and was able to land his counter right hands. One of his punches opened up a cut on the bridge of the nose of Morales.
Morales was able to land some right hands to the body of Garcia in the fourth round, but Garcia appeared to land the better shots and even had Morales shaking his head no after landing a combination.
Garcia’s timing was on point in the fifth and sixth rounds and was able to touch Morales whenever he got into range. Both boxers were warned by the referee for wrestling during these rounds.
Morales’ corner think he hurt Garcia in the seventh round and even wobbled the legs of Garcia after landing a jab. Morales pressed the pace afterwards, but Garcia recovered quickly and lasted the round.
Morales continued to attempt apply the pressure in the eighth and ninth rounds but with the exception of a few body shots wasn’t able to hurt Garcia again. Garcia however appeared to be tiring and looked at the clock continuously.
Morales probably needed a knockout in the final round to win, but Garcia had caught his second wind by then and threw enough punches in the final round to win it.
The judges scored it 98-92, 95-95, 98-92 for Ryan Garcia by majority decision.
Golden Boy Boxing on Facebook Preview: Cabrera vs. Macias, Garcia vs. Morales
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will continue their partnership with Facebook Live to broadcast what appears to be seven fights live from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Sergey Lubkovich, George Rincon, Daniel Perales, Alex Rincon, Patrick Teixeira, and Nathaniel Gallimore.
The main event of the evening will be a lightweight fight between Ryan Garcia and Carlos Morales in the lightweight division. The co-main event of the night will be between Marvin Cabrera and NEeco Macias in the junior middleweight division.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Marvin Cabrera (8-0) vs. Neeco Macias (16-0); Junior Middleweights
This is a rare bout between two southpaw boxers, so expect some awkwardness at first and tangled up feet.
Cabrera is a young prospect who has been fairly active recently. He fought twice in 2018 and four times in 2017 and started competing as a professional in 2016. He has moderate power and has stopped six of his opponents.
His opponent, Neeco Macias, is two years older than him and has twice the number of professional fights. But he has not been as active as Cabrera in the past two years. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. He has stopped seven of his opponents, including stopping three of his past four opponents. However, his three past opponents had losing records.
Cabrera has the better amateur career of the two. Macias has no notable amateur accomplishments and Cabrera has competed in the Pan American Games as an amateur with moderate success.
Cabrera will have about three inches in height on Macias, but both boxers will have about the same reach.
Cabrera has defeated the likes of Wilfrido Buelvas, Hector Velazquez, and Esau Herrera. Macias’ record is filled with guys with sub .500 records, but he does have notable wins over Rolando Garza and Limberth Ponce.
Macias has a good record, but he hasn’t faced any significant opposition and his lack of activity the last two years is telling. Macias appears to have the power to stop Cabrera, but Cabrera’s amateur background should lead him to a decision victory.
Ryan Garcia (15-0) vs. Carlos Morales (17-2-3); Lightweights
Ryan Garcia holds the NABF and NABO Super Featherweight Championship while Carlos Morales holds the NABA Super Featherweight Championship.
Garcia however, is the prospect with a much higher ceiling and has the promotional muscle of Golden Boy Promotions supporting him.
Garcia is only twenty years old, but has already fought fifteen times and fought twice in 2018 and six times in 2017.
Morales is twenty eight years old and didn’t fight at all in 2018, but fought three times in 2017. Morales isn’t known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents.
Garcia will have a sleight one inch height advantage on Morales. They both have a 70” reach and box orthodox.
Garcia has been stepping up his competition recently. He has beaten the likes of Jayson Velez, Fernando Parra, and Cesar Valenzuela.
Morales has beaten the likes of Dardan Zenunaj, Cesar Valenzuela, Charles Huerta ,and Luis Franco. He has losses to Alberto Macahdo and Allan Benitez.
Morales has two losses on his record, but has never been stopped. He’s a good opponent for Garcia in that he should give him some good rounds and good work, but Garcia should be a large favorite on Saturday.
Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter Media Conference Call Transcript
Thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call for what should be an amazing, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, September 8th. The main event Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter is for the WBC World Welterweight Championship. It’s a sensational fight, incredible match up of styles, one of the best fights you can make in the Welterweight division.
It will be the main event of the tripleheader. It will also feature Yordenis Ugas vs. Cesar Barrionuevo in a WBC Welterweight Eliminator. And also an extremely interesting and important heavyweight match up between Adam Kownacki of Brooklyn, New York by way of Lomza, Poland and Charles Martin from Carson, California, the former World Heavyweight Champion.
Obviously an effort by Charles to get back into the big picture in the heavyweight division with one big win. And for Adam an opportunity to defeat a former World Heavyweight Champion and put himself into the immediate title conversation. It’s a sensational card, tickets for the live event, which is co-promoted by my company and TGB Promotions in association with DSG Promotions. They started $50 and they are on sale now.
They could be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 1800-745-3000, they can also be purchased at the box office in Barclays Center. Fights involving Garcia and Porter rank among the highest attended and highest grossing gates for boxing at Barclays Center. So both of these fighters are basically fighting in their homes away from home.
Adam Kownacki is a huge favorite within the Polish community in the New York area. He’s a very big ticket seller and this will be his seventh fight at Barclays Center. So right now tickets are moving incredibly well. The ringsides and the better seats are good to be gone quickly. So people should get on the phone and order their tickets you know for this fight when they can and they were tickets down to $50 so this is an affordable event for everybody.
In addition to being a huge event for Brooklyn and for Barclays Center this is another string of top boxing events in major fights that would be presented by SHOWTIME under the leadership of Stephen Espinoza, doesn’t get better than this. In my mind, this is as good a premium cable fight as you could possibly make.
Again it just continues in a multi-year period of excellence for SHOWTIME. Stephen, why don’t you say a few words?
Thanks very much, Lou. September 8 will be our 26th live boxing presentation of the year. That’s 26 live boxing events this year and of those we’ve had eight matchups of top five versus top five fighters, and that’s clearly what Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter is – two of the top five in the welterweight division. That again will be the eighth time this year alone that that’s happened on SHOWTIME.
We’re also here to talk about the heavyweights, Adam and Charles. Adam is hugely popular with Brooklyn’s Polish community. He’s fighting at Barclays Center for the fifth time. Charles Martin is no stranger to Barclays Center either, having won his heavyweight title there on SHOWTIME back in 2016.
It’s a very intriguing crossroads fight in a division, which has certainly got a lot of attention, a lot of buzz lately. So I think you know that’s all part of a very solid card, interesting card top to bottom. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention Amanda Serrano who is trying to become boxing’s third six-division champion when she fights Yamila Reynoso for the WBO Junior Welterweight World Championship. A little bit of everything as far as high quality fights, we are really looking forward to September 8.
Thank you Stephen, and as Stephen pointed out there is a terrific undercard featuring loads of New York talent and an incredibly significant women’s fight between Amanda Serrano and for a 140-pound belt, which would be Amanda’s sixth weight class with the title. As Stephen pointed out that would put her there with two other great male Hall of Fame level fighters and make her the first woman to hold a distinction as well as the first Puerto Rican, so that’s a very significant fight.
Let’s get started with the great heavyweight match up. I’m going to first to say a few words about a young man I’m very familiar with, born in Poland, moved to Brooklyn with his family when he was seven, two times New York Golden Gloves champion, rated in the top 10 by the WBC and number 13 by the IBF. Six round knockout recently against Iago Kiladze, he has wins over former title challenger Artur Szpilka as well as a number of other good wins with his record but really a rising young heavyweight close to his big opportunity with his biggest obstacle and a former world champion Charles Martin in front of him.
Hey thanks Lou for the introduction. I’m ready to make a statement. It’s a very big fight for me, I’m training very hard and hopefully after this fight I’ll be mentioned as a heavyweight contender. I’m thrilled to be on a great show in Barclays Center live on SHOWTIME and can’t wait. It’s definitely going to be a great night for me.
Charles Martin only lost to Anthony Joshua in April of 2016. He has couple of knock out wins since then, 6’5″, 32-year-old, top 10 by the WBC at number nine and number 15 by the BF. Charles this is a pretty immediate way to get back into the picture, if you could beat this young contender and he’s looking at you as his biggest resume mark to date. So this is a big night for you, can you say a few words?
Yes, I can’t wait. I’ve been training hard, doing what I got to do, staying focused, and I’m looking to put on a big show come September 8th and you know keep going up those rankings, trying to get back to my belts. I know it’s going to be a tough fight and that’s what I am training for, so we’ll see nothing new.
When you turned pro did you have the expectation or the confidence that you would reach this level of the sport?
My goal was always to be world champion. Winning the New York Golden Gloves was a big thing for me. So after I won that, that’s where I was looking to win the title. With every fight I inch closer so I’m training very hard to reach the dream comfortably.
Charles, what do you have left to accomplish in sport boxing.
I want to show what I can really do in the sport, so I’m just here to show people my skills and that’s what I am going to do on September 8th. I got some stuff to prove so that’s what it is.
What does fighting in New York mean to you personally?
I love it. In fact, it’s one of the best feelings. If you can make here, you can make it anywhere. So I want to continue that and keep winning in New York.
Charles do you think the winner of this fight will be right in line for a title shot?
Yes, possibly, but I’m never looking past my opponents. So I’m right on the money. I got to take care of Adam Kownacki first before anything.
What is in Adam Kownacki’s style which makes him so hard to first of all predict and then to fight?
He is just a good fighter with a lot of heart. He is winning because he is a good fighter. I’m just saying he is a good fighter.
I’m prepared for everything you can possibly think of. I’m coming to minimize everything he brings, that’s what we are working on.
Charles, could you tell us how you think you’ve improved as a fighter since facing Joshua and what lessons did you take from that fight?
Yes, I’m more mature, I’m grown. I’m a grown man. So we’re ready when I get in that ring. When I work out, when I go to training, I’m serious about what I do. I’m taking my craft seriously, so that’s what’s the difference. I’ve grown.
What do you think your advantages are over Adam in this fight?
I’ve come in to win, come in to make a statement. I’m bringing devastation.
Adam how do you view Charles as a fighter and what do you think your advantages are over him?
Well, first of all, I thank Charles Martin for pronouncing my name right, I think he is one of the few people that actually said it correctly but I will be in pressuring him all night. I’m a pressure fighter and if Charles Martin is able to give me all then I think it’s going to be a tremendous fight.
Do you want to make prediction for the fight?
I do know that it is going to be exciting. There will be lot of fireworks.
No predictions. I like to prove it and I like to show it. Let me show it, no predictions.
Charles does returning to Barclays Center bring back any special memories for you, was that part of the motivation for to take this fight?
Well as far as taking the fight it didn’t matter where we fought, but I love fighting in Brooklyn. I like the Barclays Center big stage, so I am looking forward to it.
What led you to taking the fight with Kownacki?
It’s just who we are fighting with, you got to fight somebody. I haven’t been in the ring often recently but I’ve been in camps and working every day. We have been working really hard
Adam do you feel like this is the final step towards getting that title shot or do you feel like there is more work to be done?
As you all see Charles Martin is very focused, so I’m prepared for the best Charles Martin that he brings, and I could beat the best Charles Martin and go for the title shot right after. I am looking at Charles Martin as if he still has the title, as if he is the champion, so I am ready. I am running and doing more workouts. I’m looking at Charles Martin as if he is still a champion, so by beating him it puts me right in o the title shot. He’s a contender and the former world champion so bringing a shot at title would be I think the next step in my career.
Adam and Charles I look forward to seeing you guys fight week, and now we’re going to move on to the main event of this great event on Saturday, September 8. Once again it’s 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the WBC World Welterweight Championship and frankly Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter don’t really need whole lot of introduction.
A lot of guys who fight Shawn obviously come away from their fights feeling that he uses his head, how much are you preparing for that and how can you kind of combat that from happening to you?
I got to go in there and fight my fight. I can’t go in there and basically get caught up in his fight. We have the right sparring partners, short guys around 5’6″ using the head, who come forward. So me and my father got the perfect game plan to get away from the head butt. So yes we have some tricks for that.
How much will you make the referee aware of that?
At the end of the day I’m not really worried about the referee, it is a fight. The referee does his job and I’m just going to do my job and that’s go in there and fight. So I’m not really worried about his head. I just have to go in there and fight my fight.
What it would mean for you if you’re able to stop him in the fight?
It will mean a lot, if you avoid the scorecard that’s always a great thing, you don’t even have the judges judge, so it will be great. I stopped people for the first time in their careers so it won’t be the first and it won’t be the last time I did it.
You’ve been involved in close decision before and I know you can’t go into a fight looking for a knockout but how imperative is it for you to try to end this fight before it goes to the cards so you don’t put yourself in those situations again?
At the end of the day, those fights are growing fights, those type of fights are what makes you a better champion and makes you a better fighter. If you win easy fight all the time you don’t know what you have to work on, you want to improve. So those type of fights show what you got to work on. So I think every fight in my career has been the right fight and I’m going to go in there and use all those fights and all the experience I have had to get this victory.
Shawn can you answer that as well?
I plan on going in there and taking care of it in the easiest way. I need to make sure I’m doing everything that I need to do to win the fight decisively and with no question at all that I am the winner.
Do you think Danny can do anything to make you not fight his fight?
I think it’s a psychological thing. I say when you are in ring with me, you know what I am going to bring, and you really got to get yourself going for that. I think a lot of times they get caught up with my work rate and my aggression and they feel like they have to counter that with the same work rate and aggression. I don’t know what game plan they have for me, but I do know that I’ll be ready for anything.
How excited were you or how did you feel when you found out you were going to get this opportunity?
It was exciting because obviously I want the world championship again, the WBC title was my title to begin with. So it was exciting when I got the call and it was all right away and it’s a fight that I like and I was excited and I said let’s get it on.
Can you talk about your point of view as this being a competition not only between yourself and Shawn but between your dad and also his dad?
We’re looking at it like another fight. We are not looking at it like your dad versus my dad. This is just Team Garcia versus his team and that’s how we always look at it. So we are just preparing ourselves, working hard every day and again we are going to do what we always do.
How difficult was it to swallow having the first defeat of your career?
It was tough, it was tough, I have a mind of a winner and honestly waking up that day I thought I was going to be the unified champion of the world. I was real confident when it came to the scorecard that I was there to win the fight because I finished the fight strong, and you know what there were a lot of close middle rounds.
He won a lot of the early rounds, but I felt like I pushed the fight, I thought I won the fight, it didn’t go my wat. That got me going again but you know mentally it was tough but you know physically it didn’t affect me, so now it is behind me in the past. I feel good, I’m motivated and this is the same Danny Garcia you want to see. So in my mind I still feel like I kind of have to go out there and prove myself.
You both lost close fights to Thurman, can you tell me how much either of you would like to get a rematch?
You know I got to get this victory first and then quite frankly, I’ll fight anybody, it doesn’t matter who it is.
Yes, I think the fight against Thurman was very, very close, and I wanted a rematch right away, but that was in 2016. At the time, it was the best fight in the division. It is still that but I’d like to see and fight some other competition first, and trust me I just love to fight.
How would you rate your performance in that fight against Brandon Rios and do you feel like you need to do better than that to beat Shawn Porter?
I’ll give myself a B, I was off a year before that. I felt like I knocked off a lot of rust, I felt like I’d be really good for being a year off and went and got the knockout, which was the goal. I felt like that was the only way to win that fight if I am knocking him out and that made me so happy so yes I’m back where I need to be and I’m active.
I’m fighting again and you know I always tell people that an active Danny Garcia is a dangerous Danny Garcia.
When you look at the welterweight division do you feel excited about new potential fights that a lot of people are already kind of fantasy matchmaking for both of you guys?
Yes, definitely, it was exciting to be in a division full of talent. If I get this belt I will fight whoever, the biggest fight, the biggest payday. I will fight anyone.
Lou, where do you rank this event at least on paper among all the other boxing cards that you’ve been a part of in Brooklyn?
We put on some amazing cards, this is another one and frankly I’m as excited about this one as I’ve been about anyone in a long, long time and I’ve said this main event is a fight that I had loved for years and it’s a fight that sort of was inevitable and it’s now happening and it’s a great fight but you know everything else on this card is important, it has significant history being made.
There’s going to be a major contender either Martin back again or Kownacki in the heavyweight division. It’s a great, great card, headlined by two great champions and Garcia and Porter, and it’s another card in the run of great cards on SHOWTIME in association with Premier Boxing Champions and another great card in the line of Brooklyn Boxing at Barclays Center. So you know it’s continuing to build those brands at the same time.
So it’s going to be a big night for boxing on September 8th, I would hope everybody joins us.
Danny how long did it take you for you to get over your loss to Keith Thurman?
It took me a little while and at the end of the day I never pictured myself on the wrong side of a decision, but it is what it is. I came back strong against Rios and did what I was supposed to against him and stop him and knock him out. The next two guys up for the title was me and Shawn and that’s how the fight got made.
Can you tell us about the success you had at Barclays Center?
Yes, definitely it is, I love Barclays Center. I opened up the building and I was the first world title fighter at Barclays Center in 2012 when I knocked Morales out. I fought many epic battles here you know against Morales, Peterson, Judah, Thurman, the list goes on.
Of course a lot of great knockouts there, you have a big fan base in Brooklyn. When I walk through the streets of Brooklyn everyone knows who I am, so that’s my home away from home. I love the atmosphere. I love the people at Barclays Center and it’s my home away from home and I’m excited.
Do you still have any potential future plans to bring a fight back to Philly?
In a perfect world after this fight I would come back and defend my title in Philly, but we got some work to do come September 8, so we got to get this victory and get the job done and then whatever’s next is next but I would love to bring something to the area.
Shawn, what makes this Danny Garcia very intriguing?
I’m aggressive. I come strong, I come fast, I come hard, and Danny is one that’s a little bit more patient. The fight is a brilliant fight. I’ve been around the block 100 times and coming back to Brooklyn we are both familiar with them and they are familiar with us.
If you want to you know the other intangibles of this fight, it’s two hard hitters, two strong guys, two young guys and that just makes for a very great intriguing fight and it will be just that.
Can you talk a little bit about the style match up, everybody has got to be different, but for both guys is there any fight from your past that kind of lays the blueprint for how this one’s going to go?
At the end of the day for a lot of people from the amateurs, the pro game, they come forward. I have to go in there and push him back and that’s what I am preparing for and that’s what I wake up every day and get my work done and to be the best that I can be, and perform the best that I can perform.
I’m going to go ahead and make adjustments like a true champion and get the victory and I think that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen yet but I’m sure I’ve had previous experience with whatever he brings to the ring. My experience and my knowledge in the ring is what is going to help me through that.
How much does that help you when you had those long periods of inactivity before and still been able to perform at a high level when you go into a fight like this?
If anything I’m healthier, I’m happy and I’m relaxed. I’m fully recovered for anything that I’ve been through and you know the list goes on there. I think that if anything, I’ll have fresh legs late and a fresh mind to get in the ring with Danny. I think in the past just the time in between fights has made me stay hungry. This being for a world championship title and the WBC, plus Danny Garcia is one of the top guys in his division. Everything in this fight has kept me hungry from the moment that the talk began about this fight happening and now we’re like 23 days away from the fight I think and it is coming soon.
Shawn earlier Danny said that he gave himself a B for his performance against Brandon Rios, how did you think he fought against Rios?
Honestly prior to the knockout it was a C performance for me, it was a C performance. I thought that he was not as fast and sharp as I expected him to be. If it is Shawn Porter versus Brandon Rios, I would not expect him to go that long. He found the right punch at the right time, he landed it, he knocked him down after that and that was what I needed from Danny in order for me to get in the ring and do what I did.
Danny doesn’t knock out Brandon I don’t get in the ring, and this fight may or may not be happening right now, but I’m ready.
In regard to a Keith Thurman rematch, do you put that out of your mind at this point because he hasn’t fought so long?
Yes, I put it out of my mind, and again no disrespect to Keith, but we haven’t seen him, we don’t know what Keith is going to look like when he gets back in the ring and I would hate for Keith to get back in the ring to be any less than what he was the first time we fought. There’s too many questions and this is why Shawn Porter wins the rematch right now. So I have definitely put the rematch a lot further behind me than it was prior to this fight has been announced but this is the number one thing on my mind right now.
He’s out because of me. I was the one who broke his elbow, but I just feel like I just feel like he’s not hungry no more since he unified the division. I think he reached the height in his career that he always wanted to reach.
I think he’s married now or he’s traveling the world, so his mind is not in the game. So I just don’t think he’s hungry anymore. I think he passed what he wanted to accomplish. I may be wrong but from what I see that’s how it seems to be.
Thanks for joining us everyone and we’ll see you on September 8 at Barclays Center.
Back to Basics: Recognizing the Significance of Boxing Fundamentals Through Mikey Garcia
By John Tsoi:
Scanning through the current boxing pound-for-pound rankings, all of the entrants possess an “X factor” – something unique that makes them great. Heavy-handed hitters such as Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr are rightfully included, while technicians like Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Oleksandr Usyk also justified their places in the list after glittering performances. However, Mikey Garcia is actually the name that stood out the most. Despite not being a knockout artist after moving up in weight classes, nor is he blessed with athleticism or speed, Mikey earned his spot as one of the pound-for-pound fighters with something many aspiring boxers may have overlooked – solid boxing fundamentals. So basic to the human eye, yet there is so much more behind the fighting style devoid of flashiness as demonstrated by the four-division world champion.
In boxing gyms, beginners often look up to their more experienced counterparts who display massive power and fast combinations, and hence try to mimic them. However, there are always a few who never capture people’s attention because all they do is practise rudimentary punches, for example, throwing a jab over and over again. Years later, these boxers go on to have successful careers, surprising those who doubted they would go far because they never looked spectacular in training. Mikey Garcia is just like that too. We never see him being showy in training camps, but he gets the job done in the ring. He constantly proves that there is merit in getting the basics right, which can help one go a long way in the competitive world of boxing.
Just like what Showtime commentator and analyst Paulie Malignaggi said, Mikey is like a “textbook boxer”. Apart from the abilities to throw sharp punches and maintain a good balance, he is graced with a great sense of timing, allowing him to conserve energy without the need to throw a barrage of punches while still being able to land enough and hurt his opponents. On the defensive end, he is well-schooled with Boxing 101. Both of his hands are always up in position to protect himself, whether against head or body punches. This should resonate with a plethora of boxing trainers who frequently tell their fighters to put their hands up, especially when they get tired in the later rounds. Aside from stamina issues, some boxers employ the stance where their lead hand is low or covering the stomach area, much like Floyd Mayweather’s stance. There is no right or wrong in various boxing stances, but when you do not have Floyd’s reaction time or the required defensive mindfulness, it is better to learn from Mikey by putting both hands up. Eleider Alvarez’s first knockdown against Sergey Kovalev illustrates the ramification of not doing so. All of these combine together to make Mikey a well-rounded fighter no matter which weight class he fights in.
Mikey Garcia’s victory over Adrien Broner reveals several points about basic boxing strategies. First of all, Garcia was able to counter off Broner’s body punches. There was an instance where he blocked the American’s attempt to the body with his elbows, then came right up to Broner’s chin with a counter left hook – one of Garcia’s best punches that stunned opponents like Sergey Lipinets. In addition, notice how Garcia always responded to Broner’s offense immediately with his own punches, especially when Broner landed clean on him. A boxer cannot keep defending without retaliating because it adds more confidence to your opponent. In his fights, Garcia has a tendency to mount his own offense which tends to overshadow what his rivals did previously, and therefore swinging the rounds back to his favour as well as sending a stern message in the psychological warfare between the two.
On top of his boxing fundamentals, Mikey has a clever method of disrupting an opponent’s rhythm in attack and setting up his own punches. When Broner was forced to the ropes, Mikey tried to unleash short combinations and did land some of them. However, peruse the fight again and you will see that after the punches, he put his left glove in the face of Broner, which looks like a jab, and proceeded to set up his next round of attack. By doing so, Mikey temporarily “blinds” his opponents so they are not in a position to see clearly, and thus are unable to counter him. Similarly, he sometimes ends his combinations in single or double jabs. This reminds us of how Floyd Mayweather Sr likes to work with his fighters on the mitts – ending punch sequences in several jabs. It serves to stop the opponent from reacting instantly and to create distance for moving away safely. These are effective old school techniques smartly applied by the unified champion.
Garcia’s showdown against Robert Easter Jr epitomizes how a shorter boxer should fight an opponent with advantageous height and reach. Probing with patience in the first few rounds, Mikey did not lose ground over Easter’s long jab. He either parried them with his gloves or stepped back just enough to avoid them. Gradually, Mikey got in range and landed his accurate “1-2” combinations with perfect form. The jab is straight and sharp, not a so-called “lazy” jab that gets countered; while the right hand is thrown with the intention of punching through the opponent – a key approach of throwing a punch properly. Perhaps the best takeaway is how Mikey extends his punches. A good boxing coach would demonstrate how much of a difference it makes when you simply throw a jab or straight right without moving, compared to taking a small step forward with the jab or turning your body with the straight right. Mikey’s well-timed punches were able to travel further due to the extension such that Easter Jr was not able to fight “tall” with his reach advantage.
The final point is about how Garcia consistently brings what he trained in the gym to the actual fights. Some boxers only look good in training camps, but they can’t seem to perform in fight nights. Garcia’s knockdown of Easter Jr is actually a technique he practised repeatedly. He would throw a “1-2” on the trainer-held boxing shield, then after a really short pause, he would throw a left hook. It is not the conventional “1-2-3” punch sequence since the deliberate pause before the left hook is to surprise the opponent who is likely to think that the combination ends with a straight right. Therefore, Garcia’s preparations in camps are highly pragmatic, albeit not fancy at all for the cameras.
After unifying the lightweight titles, Mikey Garcia voiced out his desire to do what seems to be a “mission impossible” in boxing – go up twelve pounds to fight the tough and talented Errol Spence Jr. The best part is that he means it. Knowing that the two-year lay-off took away valuable time in his career, he returned with guns blazing. Three out of his past five opponents were undefeated before they fought. As he continues to journey to the peak of boxing, we should applaud and respect his fearless attitude of only wanting to fight the best. And to all the young boxers with big dreams, never overlook the fundamentals, because a small leak will sink a great ship.
Tyrone Crawley and Ricardo Garcia Ends in a Draw
By: Ken Hissner
The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia was the host site for a King’s Promotion 9 fight card. Young Philadelphia talent were featured in the main event, which ended in a draw between Tyron “Butterfly” Crawler, Jr. of Philadelphia and Dominican Richard Garcia over 8 rounds.
Philadelphia, PA, and Dominican Ricardo Garcia, 14-3-1 (9), of Reading, PA, fought a rather sloppy 8 round draw for the WBF Junior Welterweight title, over 8 rounds. Representing the WBF was Greg Hackett, Sr.
In the first two rounds Crawley used a good jab and hand speed but showed little power as Garcia was the stronger of the two. In the third round Crawley out boxed Garcia for the most part. In the fourth round Garcia came out throwing bombs pinning Crawley against the ropes on several occasions.
In the fifth round too much holding started. Garcia was warned several times by referee Eric Dali. In the sixth round it was more of the same with Crawley busier with light punches and Garcia throwing harder punches when he landed. In the eighth and final round with the fight on the line it looked like Garcia may have caught up to Crawley if not taking the fight.
Scores were Dewey LaRosa 79-73 for Garcia, Dave Braswell and Alan Rubenstein 76-76 as did this writer have it. It was a good show but the main event didn’t live up to main event status. The fans seemed well pleased overall and were into most of the bouts.
In the co-feature Super middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 13-6 (5), of Philadelphia, lost a hard fought decision to Eric Moon, 8-1 (6), of Marietta, GA, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Brooker was the aggressor and won the round. In the second round Brooker pinned Moon against the ropes but got hit with a right hand to the chin backing him up. The fight is going back and forth. In the third round of a close round Moon is giving as much as Brooker is giving.
In the fourth round Brooker outfought Moon in a close round. In the fifth round it went back and forth with Brooker having an edge. In the sixth round Brooker pushes Moon against the ropes until Moon spins out. Brooker is making the fight while Moon lies back like a rattlesnake throwing occasional bombs. He landed one in this round rocking Brooker with a right to the chin.
In the seventh round Booker rocked Moon with a right to the chin. Moon would come back later in the round holding his own. In the eighth and final round with the fight on the line Moon seemed to pull it out.
Scores were Braswell 78-74, LaRosa and Lucend 77-75 as did this writer. The referee was Shawn Clark.
Welterweight southpaw Poindexter “Savage” Knight, 5-0 (2), of North Philadelphia, won a lopsided decision over Greg “Spider” Young, Jr., 4-1 (1), of Hoover, AL, over 6 rounds.
In the first round while Young was bouncing around the ring Poindexter was landing punches in bunches. Young missed with a punch and ended up halfway through the ropes. It was all Knight in the first. In the second round Poindexter rocked Young with a straight left to the head. Young fought the first round southpaw but came back orthodox in the second but it didn’t make any difference as Knight continued pounding him with body and head shots.
In the third round Young did some showboating but little fighting as Knight took him to school as he did in the fourth round. In the fifth round Poindexter continues to give Young a boxing lesson as Young clowns around. Poindexter dropped Young with a right hook to the chin. Upon getting up Poindexter was all over him as the bell rang but the fans were cheering so loud it was hardly heard until referee Eric Dali stepped in. In the sixth and final round Poindexter came to finish him off as Young tried standing his ground knowing he is so far behind in the scoring. Poindexter landed a crushing right hook rocking Young as the fight ended.
Scores were 60-53 by LaRosa, Braswell and Lucend as did this writer. Eric Dali was the referee. Poindexter is managed by one of the best in the business in David McWater who has close to 60 fighters.
Super featherweight Puerto Rican Javier Oquendo, 3-1 (1), of Philadelphia, was stopped by Puerto Rican Joshafat “Truth” Ortiz, 5-0 (3), of Reading, PA, at 2:06 of the third round in a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round Ortiz out worked Oquendo who was looking for the one punch. In the second round a fight broke out as Oquendo mixed it up with Ortiz who had been dominating up until the middle of the rocked him until he fell. He was in no condition to continue when he got up forcing referee Shawn Clark to wisely halt the fight.
Welterweight “Sugar Sheed” Rasheed Johnson, 4-2 (1), of Willow Grove, PA, defeated southpaw Tony “Ton Ton” Morris, 4-2-1 (2), of Jacksonville, FL, over 6 rounds.
In the first round both using effective jabs until Johnson landed a left hook to the chin of Morris. In the second round Johnson chased Morris down landing a combination to the head. Morris didn’t stop long enough to land but a few punches as Johnson got in his licks. In the third round both landed in an exchange of punches. Twice there was a clash of heads making referee Dali call in the ring physician due to Morris suffering a cut and swollen left eye. Morris charges in when he isn’t running walking into Johnson jabs and right hands to the chin. The ring physician came into check Morris.
In the fourth round Johnson landed several rights to the chin of Morris. Re-opening the cut and using his jab to take the round. In the fifth round Morris stepped to his left and walked into a Johnson right hand to the head. Johnson keeps working the cut. In the sixth and final round Morris landed his best punch a lead left to the chin of Johnson. Johnson keeps using his jab peppering the face of Morris.
Scores were Lacend, Rubenstein and LaRosa along with his writer 60-54. Referee was Dali.
Welterweight 2016 Olympian Paul “The Punisher” Kroll, 1-0 (1), of Philadelphia, made his debut a knockout over DeAngelo Alcorn, 0-2 (0), of Searcy, ARK, at 2:33 of the first round in a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round Kroll came out looking for an early knockout. Midway through the round Kroll rocked Alcorn with a left hook to the chin. Kroll landed a flurry of punches ending with a right to the chin knocking Alcorn out. Referee was Shawn Clark.
“I feel great. The two year layoff helped me mentally and physically,” said Kroll. He is trained by Dirk Gooden aka “Grasshopper”.
Super bantamweight southpaw Rasheen “Sugar Sheen” Brown, 1-0 (0), of Philadelphia defeated southpaw Puerto Rican Bryann Perez, 2-11 (2), of Dallas, TX, over 4 rounds, in a spirited fight.
In the first round it was all Brown landing jabs followed by uppercuts from both hands. In the second and third rounds Perez was coming forward working the body of Brown when he can reach the elusive one who had too much hand and foot speed countering well. In the fourth and final round Perez waved Brown in to stop running. When Brown stood toe to toe it was a brawl between both southpaws. Brown ended the last 30 seconds giving Perez a boxing lesson. Perez was a late sub.
Scores were 39-37 Lacend and 40-36 Braswell and Rubenstein and this writer. The referee was Eric Dali. In Browns corner was Buster Custus.
Super welterweight James “No Games” Martin, 2-0 (0), of Philadelphia, defeated in a hard fought fight “The Prodigal Son” Jonathan Burrs, 0-1 (0), of Hagerstown, MD, over 4 rounds.
In the first round a Martin right hand buckled the knees of Burrs making him grab Martin into a clinch. Burrs came back and both fighters let it all hang out the rest of the round. In the second round both fighters never stopped punching in an action packed round.
In the third round Martin landed combinations as Burrs was landing one punch at a time. Martin landed a double right to the chin of Burrs followed by a left hook to the chin. Seconds later Burrs came fighting back. In the fourth and final round Burrs landed a hard right to the chin of Martin who came right back with a left hook to the chin of Burrs. Martin was getting the better of the non-stop action.
Scores were 40-36 Braswell, Rubenstein and LaRosa and this writer. The referee was Shawn Clark. In Martin’s corner was “Bozy” Ennis.
Heavyweight Jamaican southpaw Nicoy Clarke, 2-1 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, won a majority decision in a brawl over southpaw Jose Nunez, 0-1 (0), of Reading, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first two rounds Clarke was out punching Nunez and they could have fought in a phone booth. In the third round Nunez was getting his punches in as Clarke may have punched himself out. In the fourth and final round both fighters were slugging it out at various points each got staggered.
Scores were 40-36 LaRosa, 38-38 Braswell and 39-37 Lacend same as this writer. Eric Dali was the referee.
Mikey Garcia’s Bid for Pound-for-pound No. 1
By: Kirk Jackson
Mikey Garcia emerged victorious over the weekend improving his record to 39-0 (30 KO’s) and capturing his fifth world title in a lightweight unification bout against Robert Easter 21-1 (14 KO’s).
After another dominant performance, Garcia’s star continues to shine brighter and it’s time for the boxing public to seriously consider Garcia as the top pound-for-pound fighter.
Surveying various pound-for-pound lists, they’re likely framed to feature the likes of Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence.
Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is a fighter who should be considered in the running as one of boxing’s best fighters and is slept on by a vast majority of the mainstream boxing community.
Making a case for Garcia, he has five world titles across four weight classes in seven championship fights. Traveling from weight class to weight class displays the will and desires to be great.
— Team Mikey Garcia (@mikeygarcia) July 30, 2018
Among his pound-for-pound contemporaries, Garcia faced and defeated a larger tally of world champion fighters. As of now, Garcia defeated 10 world champions, six by knockout.
By comparison, Crawford and Lomachenko defeated six world champions each, Golovkin defeated five, Usyk defeated four and Spence defeated three.
This statistic is not the end-all argument especially considering the multitude of variables at play, but this statistic looks good on paper in favor of Garcia.
Accolades, accomplishments, world titles or records set factor in towards a fighter’s pound-for-pound status. The resume is a crucial factor.
Another measure is the skill-set of pound-for-pound elite fighters and the ability to display these talents against the highest level of opposition.
Garcia displays a certain skill-set required to transcend across several weight divisions. Although not flashy, the subtle adept techniques and overall consistency is what establishes Garcia amongst the greatest fighters of today.
Because Garcia isn’t ostentatious with his lateral movement, punches and overall style, his skills tend to get overlooked.
In the sport of basketball, Tim Duncan for example is considered one of the greatest players of all-time, but his style of play for many observes is bland in comparison to flamboyant players such as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
Lomachenko and Crawford are so skillful and flashy with what they can do, it’s somewhat easier for the common viewer to acknowledge and visualize what makes them great and transcendent as fighters.
As he showcased against Easter, Garcia measures his distance well and can find the right angles to land a variety of well-placed accurate punches.
Not recognized for blazing hand speed, Garcia contends with excellent timing and possessing excellent foot work he can move in and out of range; avoiding danger at pivotal times.
Easter can even attest. “He was just a better man tonight,” Easter said. “I take my hat off to Mikey. He’s a true warrior. … I just couldn’t find the timing and I just couldn’t let my right hand go.”
Another measure establishing and separating the pound-for-pound best from other great fighters worthy of the crown is the risks and challenges that fighter is willing to take to prove his weight in gold so-to-speak.
This year alone, Garcia moved up in weight capturing the vacant IBF junior welterweight title against Sergey Lipinets.
This past weekend he added another world title to his collection defeating undefeated Easter and unifying the light weight division.
As far as seeking greater challenges, Garcia intends to face one of boxing’s most avoided fighters and current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence.
“There’s no one else that excites me enough, that motivates me and that can challenge me other than Errol Spence, and I’m willing to take that challenge, all the way up, because that’s the fight that will motivate me the most,” said Garcia at the post-fight press conference.
”I’m here to challenge myself. He is the best. He might feel that it’s an easy fight for him, that I’m too small, and that’s fine. Let’s get in the ring and let’s go to work.”
That is the biggest challenge possible. Forgoing further lightweight unification with Lomachenko, if this proposed dream bout against Spence manifests into fruition, this would be the third weight division and third championship bout of the year for Garcia.
“I’m not going to wait around for Lomachenko. I want Errol Spence, bigger threat but bigger reward,” said Garcia. “No one has beat 3 undefeated champions in 3 divisions within 9 months that excites me.”
Not only is this pound-for-pound territory, Garcia would be entering Henry Armstrong like territory.
If Garcia is able to pull of the monumental upset and slay the proverbial monster and one of boxing’s top avoided boogeymen, Garcia without question establishes himself as the best fighter pound-for-pound.
Comparing Mikey Garcia’s & Henry Armstrong’s Road to Titles
By: Ken Hissner
Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong was 21 when he won his first world title in the Featherweight division with a record of 75-11-6 knocking out Petey Sarron, 105-22-13 in 3 rounds at MSG, NY.
Mikey Garcia was 23 when he won his first world title in the Featherweight division with a record of 30-0 defeating Orlando Salido, 40-11-2 by TD8 when Garcia suffered a broken nose from Salido’s head. Garcia made one defense.
Armstrong was 28 when he won his second world title in the welterweight division with a record of 90-11-6 though only weighing 133 ½ defeating Barney Ross, 74-3-3, over 15 rounds at MSG, NY.
Garcia was 25 when he won his second world title in the Super Lightweight division defeating Roman Martinez, 27-1-2, over 12 rounds at Corpus Christi, TEX. Garcia made one defense.
Armstrong was 29 when he won his third world title in the Lightweight division winning a split decision over Lou Ambers, 75-5-7, over 15 rounds at MSG, NY.
Armstrong would make one lightweight defense while still holding the welterweight title of which he made five defenses.
Garcia was 29 when he won his third world title in the Lightweight division knocking out Dejan Zlaticanin, 22-0, in 3 rounds at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV. He made one defense.
Garcia was 29 when he won his fourth world title at Super Lightweight Diamond defeating Adrien Broner, 33-2, over 12 rounds at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Garcia was 30 when he won the world Super Lightweight division defeating Sergey Lipinets, 13-0, over 12 rounds at Freedom Coliseum in San Antonio, TX.
Armstrong, of L.A., CA, ended up with a 152-21 (9), record over a 13+ year span. Garcia of L.A., CA, has a 38-0 (30) record over a 12 year span.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Cojanu, Garcia vs. Easter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will broadcast three bouts live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This fight card will be presented by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the night will be between Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. in a WBC/IBF Lightweight Title Unification Bout. The co-main event of the night will feature the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he takes on Razvan Cojanu.
Other boxers on the undercard include Mario Barrios, Jose Roman, Roberto Marroquin, and other prized prospects. The Barrios vs. Roman fight looks likely to be broadcast on Showtime in addition to the Easter-Garcia and Ortiz-Cojanu bout.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Luis Ortiz (28-1) vs. Razvan Cojanu (16-3); Heavyweights
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz fought a hard battle against Deontay Wilder in his last match but eventually succumbed to Wilder’s power.
He returns on Saturday against Razvan Coajnu, a three loss Romanian heavyweight that should be viewed as a comeback opponent that stands little chance of winning.
Cojanu will have a rather large five and a half inch height advantage, but will still be giving up about three inches in reach. Ortiz is eight years older than Cojanu.
Ortiz has a strong edge in amateur experience. Cojanu has no notable amateur accomplishments while Ortiz was a multi time National Champion in boxing mad Cuba as an amateur.
Ortiz’s age and recent inactivity could be a factor. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017 and is pushing 40. Cojanu fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016, but it should be noted that two of his past three wins were against opponents with losing records.
Ortiz has beaten the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. His lone loss was to Deontay Wilder.
Cojanu doesn’t have any big wins on his resume, but his best wins have come against Zhiyu Wu, Ed Fountain, and Manuel Alberto Pucheta. His losses were to Alvaro Morales, Joseph Parker, and Donovan Dennis.
This fight will likely not be competitive. Ortiz should stop Cojanu within the first six rounds.
Mikey Garcia (38-0) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (21-0); WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles
Mikey Garcia is considered by many to be one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters. He’s held world titles in four different weight classes spanning from featherweight to the junior welterweight divisions.
Garcia is facing a fellow undefeated fighter in Robert Easter Jr. Garcia is only thirty so he’s still in his athletic prime, but Easter is three years his younger and will have a large four inch height advantage and an even larger seven inch reach advantage.
Garcia does have an edge in power. He has thirty stoppage victories on his resume while Garcia only has fourteen. Garcia has stopped two of his past five opponents while Easter has stopped one of his past five opponents.
Easter had a close win against Javier Fortuna in his last bout. He has also defeated the likes of Denis Shafikov, Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, and Argenis Mendez.
Garcia has enver tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Brugos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido.
Garcia did have an extended break from boxing from January of 2014 to July of 2016 while he was working out promotional issues, but has been fairly active since then.
Both boxers enjoyed moderate success as amateurs in the national scene. Garcia was a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves while Easter was a US Olympic Team Alternate.
Technically, Garcia is one of the best in the sport. The height and reach of Easter should give Garcia problems early on, but Easter doesn’t have enough power for Garcia to worried about trying to force his way on the inside.
The opening few rounds should be close, but Garcia should be settled and win a comfortable decision victory when the final bell rings.
ESPN + Boxing Results: Martin Murray Earns 12-round Decision Over Garcia
By: Ste Rowen
Martin Murray earned a 12-round decision over Roberto Garcia to win the WBC ‘Silver’ strap in a disappointing bout that made fans wonder if it’s time for both fighters to call it a day.
Murray, now 37-4-1 (17KOs) had previously held and defended the ‘Silver’ belt in 2014, but each fighter was taking a cautious approach to the early stages of this matchup, with both fighting from the distance, looking to get up on the cards in the first few rounds. Garcia, somewhat harshly, was deducted a point early on for punching below the belt towards the end of the 2nd round, which no doubt dented the native Mexican’s morale as well as his scorecard.
Roberto sensed he wasn’t in for an easy night with the referee and looked to dominate the middle of the ring, and the pressure seemed to be showing at the end of the 3rd as Murray began to allow punches to slip through his high guard.
Martin, trained by former British junior middleweight champion Jamie Moore, was lacking the kind of enterprise that saw him earn a ‘dangerous contender’ status from 2011-2015. There seemed to be a lack of power when the St Helen’s fighter landed.
Into the 6th, Murray continued to fight off the back foot, now timing his counters off with a little more quality than in the earlier rounds. With 1:15 left of the round, both fighters received a warning for leaning in with the head. The bout was in danger of being overshadowed by dirty antics.
Expectations were pretty low heading into tonight, Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs) was a late replacement after all, so in that respect it didn’t disappoint, but in every other way it did let the O2 crowd down. Rounds 7, 8, 9 were carbon copies of one another, until the final seconds of the 9th when, for some reason, the referee called break, Garcia continued fighting, and the referee eventually took a point away from the defending WBC ‘Silver’ champ. Despite entering into the championship rounds, neither fighter seemed to change tact. Garcia fought on the front foot, Murray was on the counter, and the bout remained awkward to judge.
If you’re reading this without watching the fight, just watch the 10th and final round, to sum up tonight’s events.
Close, difficult and disappointing.
After post-fight in-ring arguments between the two fighter’s trainers subsided, the scorecards were returned as, 116-111, 118-109, 118-108 all to Martin Murray, the new WBC ‘Silver’ middleweight champion.
‘I’ve been around a long time and I knew what was needed to win.’ Murray said.
And to agree, yet again, to fight WBO champ Saunders?
‘For me, to do that again. You can’t trust the man. I do this for my family. I’m a fighting man. If there was an insurance policy in place I’d do it again.’
If it’s not Saunders next for Martin Murray, and if he truly wants a 2nd shot at unified champion Gennady Golovkin via the WBC route, then logic dictates he should realistically target the likes of Jason Quigley, Kamil Szeremeta or Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan next.
Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little
Dubois impressed in a 5th round stoppage of worthy challenger Tom Little, to become the new English heavyweight champion.
There was a bit of needle heading into tonight’s only heavyweight fight, but whether the pre-fight antics from Little affected Daniel or not, ‘Dangerous’ Dubois dispatched his latest foe in the same vicious style, if slightly delayed, that got rid of his previous 7 opponents.
In a scheduled 10-rounder, Dubois forced Little onto the back foot immediately and though the punches weren’t as clean as he would’ve hoped, it was obvious the unbeaten fighter was up on the cards early on.
Into the 2nd and the man who was stopped in 4 rounds by former Olympian, Filip Hrgovic five months ago, Little, was here to spoil and survive. With 30 seconds left of round 2, Dubois landed a barrage of punches, that kept Tom humble, but they were unable to get rid of the bookie’s outsider.
Round 3 saw more of the same domination from Dubois however, with less than a minute into round 4 ‘Dynamite’ landed a wonderful left hook to the body that dropped Little, but only temporarily. Tom rose, and though the body shot looked as if it had setup the finisher, he survived into the 5th.
It proved too far for the game challenger though, as in the 5th round, Dubois displayed the killer instinct that’s built up his big reputation. Daniel landed unanswered combinations of heavy head and body shots that forced the referee to step in and called an end to the fight.
Now 8-0 (8KOs), ‘Dynamite’ Dubois will not doubt be targeting both, British champion, Hughie Fury and Commonwealth champion, Joe Joyce. Not to forget fellow Queensberry Promotions stablemate, the unbeaten, Nathan Gorman, who two weeks ago dispatched of Sean Turner in three rounds.
Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek
Light heavyweight Anthony Yarde moved to 16-0 (15KOs) as he stopped 27-3-3, Dariusz Sek in 7 rounds to defend his WBO European and Inter-Continental straps.
Sek may have had the height advantage heading into the fight but with 50 seconds left of round 1, Yarde sent Dariusz sprawling to the canvas, but not hard enough to stop the eastern European surviving into the 2nd.
The Pol had previously never been stopped in 33 bouts, that included 3 losses and 3 draws, but ‘The Beast’ was putting that record to the test early on. Even as Sek looked to gain the middle ground Yarde came out the superior fighter, landing the cleaner punches in a more economical and effective way. Southpaw, Sek was more vigilante heading into rounds 3 &4 but he wasn’t able to keep Yarde off him anywhere near long enough to have a hope of stealing some rounds.
Rounds 5 and 6 saw Anthony remain dominant, looking to finish off Dariusz, though, despite the Brit seemingly teeing off on his opponent with ease, the Pol clearly had the chin to withstand the storm coming his way.
Anthony has only been taken the distance once as a pro, a 4-round bout with Stanislavs Makarenko in Yarde’s 2nd bout and he showed he was in no mood to go the scheduled distance for a 2nd time. In the 7th round Yarde, laid off heavy handed left and right hooks to the head and body forcing referee, Steve Gray to step in and call an end to the fight.
When asked who’s next, 26 year old Yarde was as succinct as a fighter can be,
‘Anybody. I’m not a promoter, I’m not a manager. My job is to fight. He’s (Sek) never been floored before, I floored him, I stopped him.’
There’s a lot of talent domestically for Anthony to eye up, with the likes of British & Commonwealth champion Callum Johnson, Frank Buglioni and Joshua Buatsi being possible fights in the near future.
Paul Kamanga vs. Ohara Davies
Fighting for the WBC ‘International’ super lightweight title, now 18-1 (14KOs), Ohara Davies knocked out Paul Kamanga in two rounds.
Neither fighter established themselves in the 1st round. Both choosing to tentatively fight from a distance, but then, after more of the same for 2:30 minutes of round 2, Davies landed a crushing right hand to the temple of Kamanga, which sent the DR Congo native face down onto the canvas and signalled the premature end of the bout.
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Martin Murray vs. Roberto Garcia
By: Ste Rowen
If all had gone to plan for this weekend, Martin Murray would be fighting in a world title bout for the 6th time in his pro career, but due to a second injury pull-out from WBO middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders, Murray, who’s fought for championship honours at both 160 and 168, will be taking on Mexican, Roberto ‘La Amenaza’ Garcia for the WBC ‘Silver’ belt at London’s O2 arena.
‘The fact I’m fighting a dangerous fight and it’s a meaningful fight means a lot.’ Said Murray at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘I was gutted Billy Joe pulled out, but I’ve not took my eye off the ball.’
‘He’s the complete opposite to Billy Joe…He’s orthodox, come forward fighter, in your face. It’s gonna be a tough fight. You could say it’s a tougher fight in some respects.’
‘It’s about levels, and I’m a level above and I’ll show that on Saturday.’
Murray, 36-4-1 (17KOs), fought twice last year marking his return back down to middleweight after his brief, unsuccessful, spell up at 168, which included defeats to George Groves and Arthur Abraham. The St Helens native scored a decision victory over Gabe Rosado in April 2017 and then on the undercard of Smith vs. Skoglund, the 35-year-old scored a body shot KO of relative unknown, Arman Torosyan.
In fact, before those two bouts, Murray’s last fight at 160 was his 11th round stoppage loss to 31-0 at the time, Gennady Golovkin back in early 2015. But as Martin said himself, sometimes it is about levels and Murray’s level of opposition, win or lose, has been significantly greater than La Amenaza’s.
Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs), now a relative veteran of the game (his debut fight coming in 2001), will be hoping this is finally his time. The 38-year-old, despite an impressive record on paper is in danger of his defining fight being his 2010 defeat to Antonio Margarito who, after earning a 10-round decision over Roberto fought, and loss to Manny Pacquiao just six months later.
‘La Amenaza’ was last in the ring in August 2017 where he travelled to Mexico to take on Julio Cesar Chavez’s son, Omar for the WBC ‘Silver’ strap. For 10 rounds, Garcia rushed forward laying hands on his opponent, not allowing him to breath, as Chavez struggled to maneuverer and counter. Roberto emerged the unanimous victor that night and showed that he has more left to give to boxing even if he remains a few levels below the elite.
‘It’s been one hell of a ride. I’ve always been the B-side my entire career. I’ve always fought against all the odds. I’ve built a career on pulling off upsets.’
‘We took that fight (vs. Chavez) on 28 days’ notice and I do a full time. We went over there with everything for him, the judges, it’s nothing I’m not used to.’
‘I fight hard as hell and I’ve had many, many guys say they’re gonna rip my head off, but it always changes…I go as hard as I want to. I walk the line.’
Whether Murray will have a tougher time, as he put it, in the ring with Garcia than he would with Saunders is highly doubtful, but the change of opponent should make a for a much more exciting style matchup.
Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little
With the vacant English heavyweight title on the line, one of Britain’s most exciting prospects enters the ring in arguably his toughest test to date. 7-0(7KOs) Daniel Dubois will take on Tom Little, 10-5 (3KOs) in a fight that’s been simmering nicely over the past few weeks.
At the press conference, Little wasn’t shy in letting Dubois know he was in for a tough ride when the two meet,
‘He’s alright against whatever taxi driver you put in front of him. If you stand in front of him, he’s gonna cave your head in. Put him in with someone with an intelligent boxing brain then it’s gonna be a whole different story.’
‘I’m gonna take him into deep water and I’m gonna drown him very slowly.’
Not usually a big talker at press conferences, Dubois kept his time on the mic brief,
‘I’m a strong swimmer… Tom looks like a very weak man…You are a weak man and I’m gonna show you that on Saturday.’
Both fighter’s share a previous opponent in Dorian Darch. Dubois wiped out the Welshman in 2 rounds, whereas Little suffered his 3rd pro defeat to Darch back in 2014. The two seem polar opposites in terms of talk outside the ring vs style inside it, and the rate of which Dubois is climbing makes it seem, on paper at least, that both could in for an early night at the O2, but there does seem to be something in Little that’s got Dubois’ back up however, from what we’ve seen so far from ‘Dynamite’, that’s probably bad news for Tom.
Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek
Another of Britain’s exciting crop is back in between the ropes this weekend as, 15-0 (14KOs), light heavyweight, Anthony Yarde takes on southpaw, Dariusz Sek 27-3-3 (9KOs) for the WBO inter-continental and European belts.
Sek has lost two of the three occasions he’s fought outside of Poland, but he’s yet to be stopped and with Yarde on a 13-fight KO streak, things could get interesting when the two collide.
Asked about his opponent and the difference in training for a southpaw ‘The Beast’ said,
‘Doesn’t matter if they’re southpaw, west-paw, north-paw, east-paw, it’s a fight and we’ll see what happens on fight night…It’s a little bit different but I haven’t struggled.’
Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren also revealed that he rejected the offer to fight Sergey Kovalev the current WBO champion,
‘We were offered the fight against Kovalev and we turned it down. He’s not ready for that. He won’t want to hear that, he wants to fight, but Tunde (Ajayi) and I discussed it and he’s not ready for that.’
‘The objective is to win the world title and once you’ve won it, you’ve got to defend it and to do that you need experience.’