Tag Archives: garcia

Is It Too Early For a Ryan Garcia vs Devin Haney Showdown?


By: Hans Themistode

The sport of boxing is somewhat like a waiting game isn’t it?

How many times have fans wanted to see certain matchups but were forced to wait? Too many times to remember.

Unlike other sports, boxing doesn’t have to capitulate to the demands of its fans. Take a sport such as basketball. The schedule dictates that everyone plays against one another. It doesn’t matter if you are ready or not. You are thrown into the fire immediately.

How about boxing’s closest sport of comparison? Mixed martial arts (MMA). For that form of combat, it doesn’t matter if a fighter is too young or too old, they will share the octagon against one another. Boxing doesn’t quite work like that.

The first event that comes to mind that resembles this issue is Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. Fans waited over 5 years to see those them share the ring against one another. Today, we have two fighters who although are great, aren’t quite in the primes of their career just yet. Those fighters would be WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and rising star Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs). Both fighters are 20 and 21 years of age respectively.

Cast aside their ages and these fighters have the look of seasoned veterans with plenty of star power.

For what it’s worth, Haney has already called for a showdown against Garcia with his promoter Eddie Hearn tabbing it as one of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing.

“Ryan Garcia is a mega-fight for 2020,” said Hearn when discussing a showdown between the two.

Haney co-signed his promoters sentiments following his shutout victory over Alfredo Santiago this past Saturday night.

“That’s a fight that is being stirred up. Hopefully we can make that fight happen in 2020 or 2021. It’ll happen sooner rather than later.” Said Haney.

Sooner rather than later is an interesting choice of words. Just how soon could a contest between them make place? Haney could be spot on in his 2021 timeline.

“Realistically speaking we probably won’t fight until 2021. That’s just how the business is,” said Garcia when conversing about a contest with Haney. “They know what the big fights are. Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, GGG vs Canelo. There’s just timing and it brews over. We still need a few other fights to make it bigger.”

Garcia is right. In 2021, Garcia will be 23 while Haney on the other hand will be 22, but still, is this the right window for a contest of this magnitude to happen?

With both fighters seemingly not even scratching the surface of their potential, a contest between them seems premature.

Fans don’t want to wait for what felt like a lifetime for Mayweather vs Pacquiao, but at this point in their careers it would be much too early.

Give each fighter the opportunity to build their names and their resume. There isn’t one notable name that stands out on either one of their dockets at the moment. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see two great young fighters willing to not only face each other but anyone that is placed in front of them. However, let’s allow this fight to build. They both have plenty of time.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Canelo, Garcia, Conto, Beterbiev, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 8th to October 15th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Joe Barbuto

South Philadelphia Heavyweight Sonny Conto Right at Home in the Columbus Day Parade

Sonny Conto took time out from preparing for his hometown bout on Oct. 18 to appear in the annual Columbus Day Parade in South Philadelphia. Riding in a convertible adorned with posters promoting his bout at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, Conto entertained the crowd and spent time after the parade, signing autographs and handing out TEAM CONTO headbands to fans.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Conto. “I went to this parade every year as a kid, and this year, I was actually in the parade. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Conto’s convertible was positioned just behind the car of famed Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. Rizzo passed away in 1991, but is still a beloved figure among South Philadelphia’s Italian community.

Tomorrow it’s back to work for the heavyweight fighter, as he prepares for his bout this Friday.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $150, $90, $75 and $50 (not including applicable fees) can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office, www.liacourascenter.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.
A Russia-Ukraine Story Ten Years in the Making- Friday in Philadelphia

As Russia and Ukraine dominate the news, both countries have become inextricably linked to the current impeachment inquiry in Washington DC. Up the road in Philadelphia, two world champion boxers–one Russian, one Ukrainian–are preparing to meet in a light-heavyweight unification bout.

As their home countries wage war against each other, their thoughts are 5,000 miles away, focused not on the opponent’s country, but on the man he will meet in the center of the ring at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Oct. 18. The winner will leave the ring as WBC/ IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion of the world.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) is the current WBC Light- Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Adonis Stevenson via knockout in the 11th round of their Dec., 2018, bout in Quebec, Canada. The knockout would end Stevenson’s boxing career.

IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) defeated Gvozdyk when the two met as amateurs–Beterbiev representing Russia, Gvozdyk representing Ukraine.

Ukraine Arrives on the American Stage

In recent weeks, calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment became deafening after Ukraine released the transcript of a phone call between its President, former comedian Volodymir Zelensky, and Trump, which included an exchange about former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Trump urged the newly elected leader to investigate the younger Biden.

The impeachment inquiry will examine whether Trump held up $400M in aid to Ukraine with the intention of releasing it when the country began an investigation of Hunter Biden, and one into Ukraine’s role in the 2016 US Presidential election–a conspiracy theory, which Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, have repeatedly pushed publicly. The premise is that Crowdstrike, a California-based company that was brought in to investigate the Russian hack of the Democratic party’s servers that election year, is owned by a Ukrainian.

Zelensky, who played the President of Ukraine in a television show called Servant of the People for four years, was elected in a landslide victory in April and began his term as Ukraine’s sixth president in May. He’s an unwitting participant in American politics, which was made clear during a 10-hour, informal question-and-answer session last week with reporters in Ukraine. He spoke dismissively about the potential that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election, saying he would have to be shown a reason to proceed with any joint “theoretical” investigation.

Like the boxers training in Philadelphia, who are focused on their fight and not on war and politics, his mind is elsewhere – working to end the conflict with Russia on Ukraine’s Eastern border.

His constituents, the people of Ukraine, are not focused on American politics and elections. “The Trump phone call is being covered right now in Ukraine,” said Petro Shugurov, former Ring Magazine Ukraine Writer and Contributing Editor who lives in the country. “Mostly just that Zelensky was involved. The Ukrainian people have enough to worry about with our own politics.”

The American and the Canadian

While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has a complicated and lengthy history, the roads that led Beterbiev and Gvozdyk to Philadelphia are well-traveled.

“The Boxing Federations of Russia and Ukraine are very similar,” said Shugurov. “They still operate like they did during the days of the USSR. The Russian Federation is like God Almighty to boxers in Russia–there are a lot of programs to support them and they receive stipends.”

Both boxers were decorated amateurs. Beterbiev had over 300 amateur fights and won gold and silver in world-level contests in Milan and Chicago. Gvozdyk had over 250 amateur bouts and won a bronze medal for Ukraine in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Gvozdyk is followed closely by those in his home country of Ukraine and Ukrainians stateside, despite moving to California five years ago to focus on his career: “One month ago, we went to the Ukrainian Festival. There were a lot of Ukrainian people there and I was surprised that a lot of them knew me. We spent a couple hours there, signing autographs and taking photos.”

Gvozdyk, whose father had a brief career as an amateur boxer in Ukraine, is living out his dream in California. “When I asked my wife to come to California with me, to leave her home, she said the most important thing is that I’m going to go with you,” Gvozdyk said of his wife, Daria. He acknowledges that it can sometimes be difficult to be away from family as the two raise a family, but the kids–two boys and one girl, ages 3-10–have traveled the world with their parents. “Our kids are the most quiet kids on the plane when they travel. They don’t cry. They know it’s pointless.” Gvozdyk lost his mother in 2014.

Politics is not a topic that Gvozdyk is anxious to discuss, going so far as to say he doesn’t know what’s happening. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I’m just an athlete. I don’t want to make any parallels to the fight. I am living in California, he is living in Montreal. I just don’t know anything about it.”

“Teddy Atlas, Gvozdyk’s trainer, runs a tight ship,” said J Russell Peltz, who is co-promoting the championship fight with Top Rank. “It doesn’t surprise me that he’s not focused on what’s happening on the other side of the world.”

His opponent, Beterbiev, shared the sentiment. “Any war is bad for people, but I really don’t want to talk about it,” said the Russian, who relocated to Montreal six years ago to further his career. “It’s far from me in Canada.”

Shugurov hints at other motives at why the boxers don’t want to talk about life in the former Soviet bloc: “They are high-profile athletes and they don’t want to upset anyone. They don’t want to have problems like those that have happened with other boxers.

“Ukrainians and Russians are everywhere and they are like a network. Fighters as a whole don’t want to get involved. They want to make money and not have problems. Beterbiev, he’s Canadian now. Gvozdyk is American.”

Beterbiev’s family life nearly mirrors that of his opponent. Married with four children ages 2-8, Beterbiev lost his father to an accident when he was only sixteen. His father was just starting to enjoy his son’s career. “A couple days before he died, I won a bronze medal in a tournament. He said to me: ‘You won this fight. Now go go go. I believe in you.’”

Raising a family away from home hasn’t been easy for Beterbiev and his wife, Medena, though Beterbiev’s mother has traveled to Canada to help.

Much Can Change in Ten Years

Ten years ago, Ukraine was led by Viktor Yushchenko, who had survived an assassination attempt by poison five years prior. There was political chaos and a gas dispute with Russia. Putin was not yet President of Russia, but it was understood that he was in charge of the country. There was tension between the two countries, but nothing that matched the war and hostility they are facing today.

“We had beat Germany together,” said Shugurov. “We fought Nazis together. A whole lot of people believed we should be one country. While Ukraine had a Western-friendly leader, there was a brotherhood between the people of the countries.”

The US had a different president, one not embroiled in an impeachment inquiry permeated by Russian and Ukrainian ties.

Ten years ago, two fighters, one from Ukraine, one from Russia, met in a boxing ring with the Russian besting the Ukrainian. The two fighters, now husbands and fathers, undefeated world champion professionals, living away from home and seeking the glory that comes with unifying world titles, will meet in the most pivotal fight of their respective careers. It’s a fight that transcends politics and war, whose winner, at least in the boxing world, will be declared Unified Champion of the World.
Andrew “El Chango” Cancio to Face Rene Alvarado in Rematch for WBA Super Featherweight Title

WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KOs) will defend his title for a second time in a 12-round rematch against Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (31-8, 20 KOs). The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live exclusively as part of fight season on DAZN.

“Andrew Cancio is a very resilient fighter and has proven himself with his raw talent and passion, showing his true potential to grow in this industry. Meanwhile, Rene Alvarado has also put in hard work during his tenure, with an impressive determination in the ring that has kept up his winning streak over the past couple of years,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This year, we’ve put on many high-quality bouts at Fantasy Springs and are confident this event will be the best so far. We’re also excited to add this card to this fall’s action-packed fight season on DAZN. You don’t want to miss this!”

Cancio is a 30-year-old world champion who recently made two back-to-back stoppage wins against former undefeated world champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado. The native of Blythe, Calif. has become a hero in his hometown, where he received a “Key to the City” after his first win against Machado. Cancio is managed by Ray Chaparro and recently re-signed with Golden Boy before his win against Dardan Zenunaj. Since his return to the sport after a two-year hiatus, he has become one of Golden Boy’s most prominent and determined champions.

“I’m very excited to return to my second home, Fantasy Springs Casino on November 23 for the rematch with Rene Alvarado,” said Andrew Cancio. “This is my 12th time fighting there, and I love the enthusiasm my fans bring to the venue in support of my fights. Rene Alvarado and I have fought before and now he’s earned another opportunity to fight me. I know he’ll be very well prepared to try and take my WBA world title. However, I plan on defending my championship in impressive style once again and show boxing fans in attendance and watching on DAZN that I’m the best 130-pound fighter in the world, period!”

Alvarado is a 30-year-old super featherweight contender who has faced challenging opponents in his professional career including Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, Rocky Juarez, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Manuel “Tino” Avila, Jayson Velez, Yuriokis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa, and Carlos “The Solution” Morales. A veteran in the ring that originates from Nicaragua, Alvarado hopes to avenge his loss against Andrew Cancio.

“Nicaragua is known for its great world champions, and I’m one step away from becoming one,” said Rene Alvarado. “I’m coming for the victory against Andrew Cancio on November 23. We know each other very well, and it’s going to be a war.”

In the co-main event, Xu Can (17-2, 3 KOs), China’s third world champion, will defend his WBA Featherweight World Title against rising contender Manny Robles III (18-0, 8 KOs) of Los Angeles in a 12-round fight. Robles is a crafty fighter whose grandfather and father were renowned trainers. After victories against the likes of Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio and Rigoberto Hermosillo, Robles is ready to take on the biggest challenge of his career against a man who has become a national hero in his home country.

“I’m ready to make the second defense of my world title,” said Xu Can. “I defended it with honor in my home country of China, and now I’ll come back to the United States to defend it against a tough fighter. Manny Robles III as earned his opportunity. He is smart and tough, but I plan to remain champion for a very long time.”

“My time has come,” said Manny Robles III. “All of my amateur experience, the hours spent in the gym, and the tough fights as a professional have prepared me for this challenge. I’m ready to bring a world title to Los Angeles and make everyone at home proud. Xu Can is a phenomenal fighter, but on Nov. 23, the Robles family will crown its very own world champion.”

Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (21-0, 14 KOs) of Boston will fight Eddie “Eboy” Gomez (23-3, 13 KOs) of the Bronx, N.Y. in a 10-round rematch for the vacant WBA Continental Americas Welterweight Title. Ellis is very close to a world title opportunity, while Gomez is eager to avenge his stunning first-round knockout loss to him in 2016.

Victor Morales Jr. (12-0, 7 KOs) of Vancouver, Wash. will return in an eight-round super featherweight bout. This will be Morales’ first fight on a Golden Boy card after signing with the company.

Alberto “Impacto” Melian (5-1, 3 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina will participate in an eight-round super bantamweight fight. Melian is a two-time Olympian who will return after his first loss against Leonardo “Leon” Baez for the NABA Super Bantamweight Title.

Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3-1, 6 KOs) of Urumqi, China will face Saul Corral (30-14, 20 KOs) of Sonora, Mexico in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

Daniel Barrera will make his professional debut in a four-round super flyweight fight.

Alex Rincon (7-0, 6 KOs) of Dallas will return in a six-round super welterweight fight.

Opponents for this undercard will be announced shortly.

Ryan Garcia to Face ‘Ruthless” Romero Duno in Co-Main Event of Canelo-Kovalev

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now. I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada.“I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

Canelo –Kovalev Stacked Undercard at MGM on November 2nd

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now. I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

“Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada. “I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

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The (Possible) Second Act Of Danny Garcia


By: Sean Crose

F Scott Fitzgerald, the famous American writer, once asserted that there are no second acts in American lives. This is notable for the fact that Fitzgerald sadly died before he could enter his own second act. In a sense, his words served as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Is Fitzgerald’s famous dictum true in all cases, however? Followers of boxing know the answer to be a resounding “no.” Fighters from Muhammad Ali, to George Foreman, to Bernard Hopkins have proven that American boxers can be far more than one act individuals. The story of Foreman – who went from ring heavy, to ring teddy bear, to Madison Avenue superstar – is particularly fascinating.

And now, with news that welterweight Danny Garcia is to be facing rising superstar Errol Spence Jr, fans can see if another second act of note may be at hand. While it’s true Garcia, at 35-2, is nothing if not a successful fighter, he’s no longer seen in the same light he once was. Losing a bout or two has that effect in the world of contemporary boxing. While he was once viewed as an undefeated, upper level (if not entirely ambitious) divisional bright light, competitive losses to Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman have sent the Philadelphia native into the B+/A- realm in the minds of fans and analysts. That can all change with a win over the 26-0 Spence, who is perhaps seen as the brightest star of a star filled welterweight division.

While no date has been set, no location announced, no contract signed, the Spence-Garcia match is as good as made. In the world of Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, when two fighters are presented together in the ring before pay per view cameras, they are either about to fight that night, or are going to fight in the near future. That’s just how things are in the PBC universe (given recent buy reports, the strategy seems to be working quite well for Haymon and company). So when people saw Garcia standing before Spence after Spence’s victory over the wildly entertaining Porter last Saturday, fans knew a Spence-Garcia fight was on. They may have wanted Spence-Crawford, or Spence-Pacquiao, but they understood right then and there that Spence-Garcia would be next.

And, frankly, it’s not a bad match to make. Perhaps not pay per view worthy – at least on paper – but a quality matchup nonetheless. Garcia is a good fighter. A very good fighter. He also has a considerable fan base. The question now is, can he beat Spence, who is clearly an exceptional fighter? Garcia has shown what he can do before. Wins against Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan, and Paulie Malignaggi have proven just how effective he is. People view Spence, though, as another story entirely. As Floyd Mayweather has made clear, there’s levels to boxing – and fans and analysts currently view Spence as being a half or full level above most of the top names out there.

That doesn’t mean, however, that fans and analysts can’t be proven wrong. As Amir Khan learned in his 2012 battle with Garcia, all it takes is one good punch from the fighter known as “Swift” for things to end rather abruptly.

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Ryan Garcia Makes Peace With Golden Boy


By: Sean Crose

He’s brash, has a huge online following and is unquestionably talented. Yet lightweight up and comer Ryan Garcia had himself a tough few days last week. First, his opponent for a bout that was scheduled for last Saturday, Avery Sparrow, was arrested before the fight. Then, to make matters worse, Garcia claimed he didn’t hear about the cancellation until at least the point where he showed up for last Friday’s weigh in. Then things became truly intense when Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy, let the world know that team Garcia wanted nothing to do with a potential replacement for Sparrow, Romero Duno.


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account

The twenty-one year old undefeated Garcia was up in arms. Not only did he miss out on a chance to battle on the DAZN streaming service, he also missed a chance to fight in his native California, where fans were likely to come see him. To make matters worse, Golden Boy gave the impression that one of their top fighters was being kept away from one of its other rising fighters (like Garcia, Duno is a part of the Golden Boy stable). Things went from bad to worse when Garcia, of Victorville, took to social media, where he is hugely popular.

“My promoter acted in a very unprofessional manner (pattern at this point),” he argued, “saying things that were false about me. I’m a fighter and not afraid to fight anyone!!! My team tried tirelessly to negotiate a fair purse amount to save the show but my promoter has shown little interest in my career,” For a bit it looked as if the Garcia – Golden Boy partnership was about to come crashing down. Things, however, have a way of working themselves out.

“Just signed one of the most lucrative deals for a prospect in the History of the sport,” Garcia informed social media on Wednesday. “Thank you to my team and @OscarDeLaHoya @makeawar.” In what seemed the bat of an eye, Garcia went from bitter fighter back to rising, highly promoted star. What’s more, the young man claimed to have an impressive new contract to boot. Video footage of Garcia signing the deal along with Golden Boy Honcho Oscar De La Hoya accompanied the online announcement.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Garcia said to the media. “I’m here today to show everybody that I consider Golden Boy my family and that we’re going to be in this together as I fulfill my dreams.” He then acknowledged that his promoter has what it takes to elevate his career. “Just like I have all the capabilities to become a big star, Golden Boy has all the tools to get me there. But I just want to tell all of our fans: Enjoy the ride!”

To make things all the more fulfilling, Garcia claimed that he would indeed be fighting Duno as the co-main event of the Canelo Alvarez – Sergey Kovalev mega fight this November. The exact details of Garcia’s contract haven’t been made public.

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Munguia Set To Face Allotey, Garcia to Face Sparrow


By: Sean Crose

The DAZN streaming service will host a live fight card from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California Saturday night featuring the 33-0 WBO world junior middleweight champ, Jaime Munguia. The 40-3 Patrick Allotey will be Munguia’s opponent. Although he’s won six straight fights since 2016, Allotey, a largely unknown commodity, is being regarded as stay busy opponent for the hard hitting Munguia. While his last two fights have ended in his favor via decision, the Tijuana, Mexico native has an impressive twenty knockouts on his resume. Having won the belt by stopping Saddam Ali in 2018, Munguia has had five successful title defenses.

Despite his record being impressive, Munguia’s last opponent, Denis Hogan, gave the defending champion a very hard time when the two men met in Monterray, Mexico last April. Hogan boxed well, then engaged effectively with the defending champion. Munguia walked away with the decision win, but the victory didn’t come without a question mark. In other words, the man arguably should have lost the fight. With that being said, Munguia showed an intense level of heart during the Hogan bout. What’s more, it’s said Munguia is looking to move up to middleweight after Saturday’s match against Allotey.

The Munguia-Allotey super lightweight title matchup is scheduled for 12 rounds.

The popular Ryan Garcia will also appear on Saturday’s card. The 18-0 Californian will be stepping inside the ring to face 10-1 Philly native Avery Sparrow. Garcia is clearly being marketed as a rising superstar, yet the 21 year old won’t be facing any slouch. Sparrow has only lost one fight – and that was by disqualification seven fights and nearly four years ago. Also, despite the fact that he only has a handful of knockouts on his resume, Sparrow was able to drop the respected veteran Hank Lundy when the two battled last March in Philly.

Still, it’s worth keeping in mind when it comes to the sport of boxing that popularity can count in a big way after the final bell rings. And Garcia is nothing if not popular. He’s been groomed for success for a while now. Add that to the fact that he’s a legitimate social media star, and it’s clear that people are invested in Garcia. Having not stopped an opponent in his last six bouts, Sparrow may have quite the mountain to climb if he wants to walk away with the win on Saturday night.

Not that Sparrow only has to worry about the judges. Garcia may be well liked, but he’s also a talented rising star with very impressive power. No one, after all, has handed him the fifteen knockout wins he’s earned so far. It takes more than good looks and a huge Instagram following to truly make it in boxing, a fact Garcia is clearly aware of, as he’s taken what may be a dangerous fight for him this weekend.

The Garcia-Sparrow fight is scheduled for 12 rounds in the lightweight division.

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PBC on Fox Results: Garcia Stops Granados, Ruiz Stops Dimitrenko


By: Hans Themistode

What a statement!

Adrian Granados suffered the first stoppage loss of his career tonight at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California at the hands of Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs). Granados is known for his aggressive come forward style, along with his granite chin but that aforementioned chin could not hold up to the power of Garcia tonight. During the build up of the fight, Garcia warned Granados that he would do what others have not, and that is stop the Chicago native.

In round one Garcia came out aggressive. He landed a monster left hand that had his opponent visibly hurt. Not to be outdone, Granados landed a few good shots of his own but it was Garcia who thoroughly dominated the action early on.

The second round for the former two division world champion was a superb one. Garcia caught his man with a huge left hook, one that Granados did not see him coming. Shortly after Granados hit the deck. He managed to make to his feet and did not seem to be in serious trouble. Garcia gave his opponent no time to relax as a right hand by Garcia landed with just a few seconds left on the clock. Again, Granados hit the deck.

After a great round two, the rest of the contest was a bit more of a balanced playing field. Garcia continued to have more success than his opponent but Granados had his moments.

Garcia landed hard shot after hard shot which in turn made Granados back peddle for the majority of the contest. Round five saw Garcia score yet another knockdown, but once again Granados managed to jump back up to his feet.

As we went to round seven, it was becoming increasingly clear that Garcia was on his way to an easy decision victory. However, that was not enough as he poured on the power shots and combination punching which forced the referee to put a halt to the contest.

Granados has never been known as a world beater, but he has always been incredibly durable. He has faced former champion Adrian Broner and current WBC title holder Shawn Porter. Although he lost both of those contest he was never in any danger of being seriously hurt. Garcia put the rest of the Welterweight division on notice. Many have written him off, thinking that his days as a contender were over but think again.

Sure, Garcia had a dominant performance tonight but he isn’t the only one who performed at a high level as both Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) and Super Bantamweight fighter Brandon Figueroa (19-0, 14 KOs) dominated their opposition as well. For Ruiz he picked up a fifth round stoppage win over Alexander Dimitrenko (41-5, 26 KOs).

Dimitrenko just had no answers for Ruiz who was the much better boxer and had his hand speed on full display. Although Ruiz was at a large deficit in terms of height and reach, it didn’t matter tonight as Ruiz quite simply beat up his larger opponent to the tune of a fifth round stoppage.

Also on the card, Brandon Figueroa not only had a dominant performance but he also picked up the interim WBA Super Bantamweight title against Yonfrez Parejo (22-4-1, 11 KOs).

The contest started off close as both men had plenty of success. Through four rounds it was anybody’s contest. The fifth round however, changed the landscape of the fight as Figueroa hurt his man. The punishment continued as the rounds went by. After eight rounds Parejo could no longer continue and was forced to withdraw from the contest.

All three men made impressive statements tonight. They have all solidified their positions as top contenders in their respective divisions.

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PBC Boxing Preview: Garcia vs. Granados


By: Hans Themistode

It’s hard to believe but former two division champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) has become an afterthought. This Saturday night, he takes on Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California and there really isn’t much buzz surrounding the contest. Its mostly because current WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Amir Khan have stolen much of the headlines, as they’ll be battling it out in Madison Square Garden on the same night.

It has mostly relegated Garcia to the sidelines. It isn’t a surprise. Crawford vs Khan is a much more compelling matchup than Garcia vs Granados. Garcia should seemingly roll right through Granados, or at least he should right?

For as much grief as Garcia gets from the fans, he is still a terrific fighter. His resume ranks amongst some of the very best in all of boxing. Wins over the likes of Zab Judah, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson and others have solidified his position. His two losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter were close fights that could have gone either way. In short, Garcia is an elite fighter. Granados on the other hand is a differently story entirely.

Granados lost his second pro bout. Hardly the mark of an elite fighter. His resume is littered with losses and draws against opponents that are hardly known in the boxing world. He is a tough nosed competitor who seems to always receive the short end of the stick. His loss to Adrien Broner was debatable. The defeat he suffered at the hands of current WBC Welterweight champ Shawn Porter, was a close call.

In 2015, he picked up his biggest win to date when he surprisingly defeated then undefeated Amir Imam. Granados has recently gotten two wins via stoppage against Luis Valdez and Adalberto Borquez, he will be looking to make Garcia his third straight knockout victim.

A win for Granados doesn’t seem likely, but if we take a deeper look, his chances of pulling off the upset increases. Granados will carry a half inch height advantage along with a significant six inch reach advantage as well. Garcia, also has a style that many would consider tailor made for Granados. Garcia is a counter puncher, he allows his opponents to initiate offense which allows him to sit back and counter. He isn’t a volume puncher but he is an accurate one. Granados on the other hand, throws punches in bunches. His work rate and granite chin could cause some problems for the former champion.

Being written off is something that Granados has grown accustomed to. However, Danny Garcia must be weary, if he underestimates his opponent he could be in for a long night.

Granados won’t be the only massive underdog on this card as Heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs) takes on former title challenger Andy Ruiz Jr (31-1, 20 KOs).

Let’s be honest here. Dimitrenko, who is coming off a knockout loss at the hands of Bryant Jennings, is essentially being brought in here to make Ruiz look good. Dimitrenko has lost every time he has stepped up his level of opposition. Ruiz has tasted defeat just one time in his career, a 2016 majority decision loss to Joseph Parker. Ruiz has won two straight victories since then and is looking to pick up his third win and position himself for a future title shot.

Much like Granados, Dimitrenko has plenty of advantages on paper including a five inch height advantage to go along with a staggering eight inch reach advantage. At age 36, he also has experience on his side as well. If Ruiz hopes to add his name in the mix in the Heavyweight division than he will need to dispatch of of Dimitrenko in impressive fashion.

While Danny Garcia and Andy Ruiz will be looking to re-establish themselves as title threats in their respective divisions, both Brandon Figueroa (18-0, 13 KOs) and Yonfrez Parejo (22-3-1, 11 KOs) will be battling for gold as the interim WBA Super Bantamweight title will be up for grabs.

Both men will be highly motivated to bring the title home with them. In the case of Figueroa, he will be looking to continue his impressive run. Not only has he gone undefeated in 18 pro bouts but he has also stopped his last five opponents. Parejo has only been stopped one time in his 10 year career. Parejo recently challenged Ryan Burnett for his WBA title but fell short. He will now get another crack at the title with hopes of a different result.

All three of these fights represent something significant. No one can afford to lose. The men that go on to achieve glory come Saturday night will have a plethora of options awaiting them while the losers will be forced to the bottom of the barrel.

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The Other Fight this Saturday: Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados


By: Rahat Haque

All eyes will be turned towards Khan vs. Crawford this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Several articles have been written on that fight in this very site, including one by the author of this article. However, there is another fight that will take place on the same night on the other coast, in Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California. Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados. While the Fox card will carry much lesser intrigue than its ESPN counterpart, it is still a match worth watching.

Danny Garcia is the bigger name, and will be drawing most of the audience for the fight. Here is a man who has worked very hard to climb up the ranks and make himself a name in the sport of boxing. But whatever Danny does, he is always seen as the underdog against legitimate opposition. His fans will remind you of that no doubt, but it is a valid criticism from the neutrals. There is something in Danny’s game that is not convincing enough to make you think he will cruise past his opponents. He was the underdog vs Khan and Matthysse. He did win both fights, but most claim the victory versus Khan to be a work of Khan’s own undoing. Similarly, most claim the victory over Matthysse as a result of the cut on Lucas’s right eye, which bothered the Argentinian slugger for most of the fight. Fans also frown upon the fact that he took too many low blows from Danny in that encounter.

Regarding Danny’s demolition jobs against Rod Salka and Paulie Malignaggi, he is again discredited as having cherry picked his opponents. The Rod Salka matchmaking was a shocker, and Malignaggi was already over the hill. Most fans looked at the latter as setting up an old man up for a devastating left hook, which is of course how things turned out. Then there were also the controversial decisions where people felt Danny got the nod. The Lamont Peterson fight was extremely close, I attended that fight live at Barclays Center as a matter of fact. I did score it for Danny, but by only one round. The Herrera fight in Puerto Rico was the much bigger controversy. The majority of the boxing world agreed that Danny was beneficiary of some home cooking.

So as Danny Garcia raked up the wins prior to his first defeat versus Thurman, it was not at all a stellar critique free resume from his end. He won all right, but fans were hesitant in giving him credit because either they disagreed with the scorecards, or they thought the opposition was too weak, or they believed he got lucky. The bubble was supposed to burst against Keith Thurman for the Philadelphia pugilist. It did. That was no surprise again to most observers. Thurman was one of the big stars at 147. But could Danny bounce back and beat Shawn Porter with his boxing skills and power? It would be an easier task than the Thurman fight, and if Danny was as good as his loyalists said he was, he should have had no problems negating the athleticism and work rate of Shawn Porter with his mix of skills and power. But he could not overcome Porter and ended up with another loss. That was the low point of Danny Garcia’s career, his boxing nadir.

Come this Saturday night, it is his chance to get back to winning ways against Adrián Granados. Even though a bigger name opposition would be preferable, at least he did not reach down to the level of boxer-cum-trainers like Rod Salka. No disrespect intended for Lightning Rod, he is very knowledgeable about the game, but he himself would tell you that he is a journeyman and was on no one’s radar when the fight between him and Danny first got announced. That is not the case with Granados. Here is a man who has quietly build himself a reputation ever since surprising Amir Imam with a TKO. Imam was considered a rising prospect until then. But does Adrián have the firepower to trouble Danny? It is unlikely. Danny has demonstrated he has a great chin versus Peterson and Rios. Some heavy punches were landed throughout the course of those fights, but none which rocked Garcia too badly. Also, if this fight should at any point turn into a shootout, Granados would not be wise to trade hooks with Garcia. Granados has guts definitely, it shows in the way he fights, and his tempo can take fighters by surprise. But what Danny has is experience and calculated power, which he can unleash when in range. If Adrián come rushing in, he is setting himself up. That will be playing into former welterweight champion’s style, where he favors being the non-aggressor. However, if Adrián chooses his moments when to be on the front foot, but also mix it up by urging Danny to come forward, à la Mauricio Herrera, it should make for an interesting fight.

The most likely outcome is an easy decision win for Garcia, where Granados gets debilitated throughout the course of the fight by Danny’s punches, but continues his charge as an aggressor, albeit with less fervor. This will be the dream sequence for Danny, where he can connect cleanly every time as a weakened Granados comes charging forward. But at the same light, it is also a banana peel for Danny. He is not one of the biggest names in the division anymore after the back-to-back defeats, but because he has crossed that fame threshold, any losses against upstarts like Granados will not look good at all! So while we hold our breaths for the Khan Crawford fight, we might as well pay attention to the fight taking place on the west coast. The more polished Danny is the overwhelming favorite, but Granados is a live underdog.

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Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: Why this Trend has to stop.


By: Rahat Haque

There is a reason there are weight classes in boxing, and the mid-March main event between Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence Jr proved it. While it is great to see two star names face off against each other, it is not so great to see a one sided beat down. The fight started off well enough, showing signs of a high level chess match between two fighters who didn’t want to risk it. Anytime you have such a boxing match, you get butterflies in your stomach, the stakes are high, and you can’t imagine any one guy losing. But by the 4th round, the verdict was clear. Mikey was using his boxing skills to survive, and all the thrill was extinguished. It became a boring one sided match after that.

All three judges didn’t give a single round to the Oxnard native. One can perhaps argue he won the 2nd round, it was the round where he found the most success, coming to the center of the ring to meet Spence. But that allowed Spence to gauge his opponent’s power, which he didn’t respect at all for the rest of the fight. He walked Mikey down, he swiveled on his pivot foot, and he landed power shots after power shots for the rest of the fight. When there was a lull in action, Mikey was only too happy to not press the action. It was clear that his aim changed midway, from wanting to win, to wanting to survive. Survive he did, but only just. There were multiple occasions in the fight where it looked like Robert would throw in the towel. Mikey would not fire back, as Errol came agonizingly close to scoring a technical knockout. We have seen referees waive fights off for less.

To be fair to Mikey, he acknowledged his severe limitations in the post presser. He said he wanted to hang in there knowing the nature of boxing, and that one punch could change the course of the fight. But given how Spence was using his range so well, and given that he was the much bigger man in the night, there was no chance of a lucky haymaker landing. Spence was too strong on the inside, and too skilled on the outside. He toyed with Mikey, and maybe would have knocked him out another night. After seeing such an uncompetitive fight, looking back at when the details of the fight was first released, it is even more bizarre why Mikey came straight to 147 from 135. Surely if he was avoiding Lomachenko at 135, he could have at least tried his luck at 140 first? He tried pulling a Khan, referring to Khan’s logic in fighting Canelo in a low risk high reward outcome. The fight fan hopes that this trend does not stick. Yes, one wants to see the best fight the best. But in their own weight classes, or at least one weight class apart from each other.

There are some media members talking about how they learned more about Errol’s skills over the weekend. How he made the fight look easy versus one of the most technically correct fighters in the sport in Mikey. While these are fair observations, they are rather naïve when considering that boxing is the hurt business. When you are hit hard, you get the urge to shut shop down for the night. You become sluggish and all your skills go flying out the window. The fight stopped becoming a chess match 3rd round onward, transforming into an exhibition. But it should not have been that, Errol’s job was to knock Mikey out as soon as possible from then on. He played it safe, he knew his opponent was trying to survive and was too hurt to connect with any meaningful shots himself. Thus he took his time to put on a controlled boxing masterclass, where he knew his opponent didn’t have the power to upset him. That is not a testament to his boxing skills, that’s just being smart. He will still need to fight someone like Crawford at 147 in order to really test his boxing abilities.

But in the meantime, it’s a fantastic name to have on his resume and gain more exposure. The Garcias are great boxing strategists, and are boxing royalty, whatever game plan they had for Errol clearly did not work. This may deter other challengers who are moving up to try the Dallas native. Even a high reward low risk scenario may not be convincing enough for them, because they do not want to get beat up like Mikey did. So such a fight did make Erroll look that much more invincible in the boxing solar system. But truthfully, Eroll has already reached a level where no other challenges except Thurman, Crawford and Pacquiao makes sense for him. He realizes it too, calling out Pacquiao in the post-match interview.

But despite the positive consequences of the fight outlined above, one sure hopes it doesn’t become a popular trend. We don’t really get to learn anything new by observing such spectacles. Despite what happened on March 16th, Mikey Garcia is not as bad of a boxer as he was made to look, and Errol Spencer Jr is not as good of a boxer as he was made to look. It would be foolish of the media and fans use those narratives to create stories about the future legacy of the fighters. March 16th should be treated as a hiatus in the records of both fighters, an interesting night for boxing, where two huge stars squared up to put on a card that would be worth of a FOX PPV. The only meaningful result that would change any perceptions would be a Garcia victory. Anything else would be business as usual, and both fighters would shake hands for doing a good piece of business before returning to their real careers. And that is exactly how things panned out.

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DAZN Boxing Results: Garcia and Acosta Dominant in Victory


By: Hans Themistode

Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) added more fuel to his hype train as he absolutely wiped out Jose Lopez (20-4-1, 14 KOs). The contest took place at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio California.

In total it took Garcia only two rounds to dispatch of his opponent. Lopez understood the opportunity that was in front of him and tried his best to take advantage of it but was quickly overmatched.

In round two Garcia landed a three punch combination that dropped his man. To the credit of Lopez he managed to get back to his feet but in between rounds it was determined that he could not continue.

The win was expected but something more important happened. This victory was the second under the tutelage of Eddy Renoso who also trains boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez. The aforementioned Alvarez even made an appearance to show support to his friend. Canelo also gave Garcia the biggest compliment that could be given.

“He’s the best prospect in the world today,” said Canelo.

Those are big words by the Mexican superstar but the potential of Garcia is enormous. His partnership with Renoso is paying off in a big way. Garcia gets more attention for his good looks and flamboyant style but his recent ring performances are backing up what everyone else believes which is that he could become a major star in the sport of boxing.

Garcia isn’t the only one who scored a terrific knockout tonight.

Current WBO Light Flyweight champion Angel Acosta (20-1, 20 KOs) kept his knockout streak alive as he made light work of Ganigan Lopez (35-9, 19 KOs) with an eighth round stoppage win.

Acosta is known for his ability to put his opponents to sleep but his boxing skills are vastly underrated. He had them fully on display as he spent long durations of the contest out boxing his opponent. In round two however he showed that he not only has the skills but that he still possesses the power. Two straight left hooks left Lopez on uneasy legs. Acosta showed tremendous patience but also a killer instinct. In round eight Acosta landed a combination which saw Lopez hit the deck. Lopez just couldn’t get back to his feet before the ten count ended. That now makes it 20 victories for Acosta which have all come by stoppage.

Ryan Garcia and Angel Acosta put on dominant performances. Let’s also be honest here, they did exactly what they were supposed to do. It was a great night for both men. Now that they have gotten rid of their opposition we can fully expect them to take on tougher foes down the line. Acosta is already a proven champion who will be hard to dethrone while Garcia is looking to snag his own championship and establish himself as one of the best in the world.

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Ryan Garcia vs. Jose Lopez And Angel Acosta vs. Ganigan Lopez Fight Preview


By: Hans Themistode

The popular, yet polarizing Ryan Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) makes his 2019 ring debut this Saturday night March 30th. He’ll be taking on Jose Lopez (20-3-1, 14 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio California.

We all know the main storylines here. Garcia has the good looks of a boxing star. He also has the media savvy and flashy combinations as well. At just 20 years old he truly knows how to work a room. He’s already a major attraction. Most importantly the ladies love him.

The one glaring hole in this description is the praise of his boxing ability. The jury is still out on whether or not he has what it takes to be a future super star in the sport.

Garcia has shown glimpses of what he can become. He also has mental lapses as well. With other young prospects in Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez apparently advancing ahead of him the time is now for Garcia to prove his worth.

At the tail end of 2018 he went under the tutelage of boxing star Canelo Alvarez’s head coach Eddy Reynoso. It was a move that gave immediate results as he knocked out Braulio Rodriguez in the fifth round of his last ring appearance. Garcia will be expected to have a similar performance against Jose Lopez who is coming off a loss against Jonathan Oquendo via sixth round stoppage. Lopez will be looking to grab the biggest victory of his career as a win against the highly touted Garcia would put him on the fast track to stardom. Garcia however, has no plans of being slowed down.

Lopez will undoubtedly have a tough task ahead of him but he won’t be the only one on this fight card who will be looking to upset the applecart.

Ganigan Lopez (35-8, 19 KOs) will have his hands full as he will be taking on WBO Flyweight champion Angel Acosta (19-1, 19 KOs). That task much like Jose Lopez’s will be a difficult one. Every single one of Acosta’s victory has come via stoppage. The lone blemish on the record of Acosta came at the hands of Kosei Tanaka in 2017. Acosta’s unprecedented power down plays his underrated boxing ability. His combination of power and skill make him a tough out.

Both Jose Lopez and Ganigan Lopez have monumental task ahead of them. They are taking on two fighters who have the power to end the fight at any point. As bleak as the thought of winning may seem it is something that they must achieve come Saturday night.

If both of these men can pull off victories as massive underdogs then the course of their boxing lives will be forever changed. With that being said, Ryan Garcia and Angel Acosta understand what’s at stake here so expect them to not take their opposition lightly.

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Spence vs. Garcia: Fans or Family?


By: Max Padrid

I’m relatively new to the sport of boxing when it comes to both active participation as well as true fandom. The nuances of the sport still fascinate me as they appear to be something that can never be perfected. No two fighters are the same just as no two fights are the same. However, my goal is not to wax poetic about how big Mikey Garcia’s heart is or discuss his perilous attempt to move up and defeat arguably the best 147 pounder on earth (Bud Crawford fans please remain calm).


Photo Credit: Fox Sports

What stood out most while sitting a mere 10 feet from Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at AT&T Stadium certainly wasn’t watching Jerry Jones parade around his publicly subsidized stadium like a puppy delivering a stick to his owner. Nor was it seeing all time fan favorite, Deontay Wilder, step over the ropes and into the ring before the fight to establish his presence. But rather, the passion that each of the forty-five thousand screaming fans showed for their respective fighter was most palpable.

I’ve always felt strongly that sports represent so much more than just mere entertainment. When us regular people watch sports of course it’s fun to see Steph Curry shoot 40 footers or OBJ catch touchdown passes while doing back flips. But what really draws fans in is their emotional attachment to their team and player. The “Your Team vs. My Team” mentality that feels almost inclusive of the viewer. Whether it’s Derrick in accounting who gave up baseball after 7th grade because his fastball never hit 40mph or James who had to retire from basketball during high school because he got dunked on by his rival high school and the video went viral, everyone feels an attachment to their team which is what creates emotion as a fan. What really became clear to me for the first time in that stadium, before, during and after the fight, was the genuine pride these fans took in watching their fighters compete.

Unlike any other major sport, boxing is competition in its rawest form. When you’re in the ring, you are vulnerable and you are at risk. You are completely and totally isolated with no other option than to fight back. So, when I could quite literally feel the emotions of the Garcia fans as their man was knocked all over the ring, I got a remarkable insight into a sport I’m still learning so much about. Everyone in Dallas took a side and supported a fighter and the success of that fighter, for 12 rounds, somehow seemed to represent their own success. The ringside Spence fans, rightfully so, gallivanted around with an “I told you so” mentality almost as if they were also the ones in the ring fighting. Meanwhile, the Garcia fans were notably deflated and I, like the rest of them, walked away feeling like we too had been punched in the face.

No one other than friends and family had any real vested interest in the outcome (other than me, who lost my rent money betting Mikey Garcia at +385) but that made no difference. In a sport where your talent and balls (for lack of a better word) often determine the outcome of your fight, it was so fantastically eye opening to see how intimately every fan felt toward their fighter. I asked a gentleman next to me for a pre-fight assessment and immediately, despite having no relationship with either contestant, you could see the passion in his eyes when he started explaining to me why EJ’s jab was going to be too much for Mikey (he was right). He started throwing his right hand out in the appropriate southpaw stance, emulating Spence’s style while taking pride in his own skills almost as if he were about to get in the ring. Or the lady next to me with the “Team Mikey Garcia” headband starting to tear up after the first few rounds when it became obvious that her fighter likely wasn’t going to get the victory. Even the next day back at my hotel, the feelings of respective elation or deflation were obvious with both sides still showing the effects of their fighter’s outcome.

Boxing is a remarkable sport. Men and women of different sizes, socioeconomic backgrounds, origins and colors all risking everything every single time they compete. But what’s truly unique about the sport’s fan base is that we all feel like we are in this together. Half the stadium won last Saturday and half the stadium lost. Despite the individuality of the sport, the outcome was anything but.

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Spence-Garcia Proves Confidence Only Goes So Far


By: Sean Crose

As the clock inevitably ticked along during the leadup to the IBF welterweight title fight last weekend in Dallas, Texas, a popular opinion began to take shape: Mikey Garcia had a real chance at beating Errol Spence Jr. This narrative was far more than the work of contrarians. There were even some well-known fight game figures who ended up picking Garcia to win.

The California multi-titlist didn’t win, of course. Texas native Spence ended up beating Garcia handily, and in completely one sided fashion, at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. This could be blamed on the size difference between Spence, an active welterweight, and Garcia, who has lately been hovering in the lightweight/super lightweight divisions. More likely, however, is Spence was simply the better fighter of the two men.

Garcia is a gifted fighter, true, but Spence is a supremely gifted fighter. And that makes all the difference when it comes to these matters. Still, Garcia was taking on a huge challenge simply by facing a man Spence’s size without first taking a swim in the welterweight waters to see how he held up. It was only reasonable to expect Spence to come out victorious in highly convincing fashion on Saturday. The question, then, is why so many ended up being in the camp that believed Garcia just might pull off the upset?

The answer may be found by thinking back over a year and a half ago, to when UFC star Conor McGregor convinced a ton of people that he could step into the ring and best Floyd Mayweather in his very first boxing match. Just how marketable was McGregor’s confidence leading up to the Mayweather fight? Marketable enough for the bout to nearly break financial records. McGregor believed, so others believed. Confidence proved to be an extraordinary selling point in the summer of 2017 (not that it ultimately did McGregor a whole lot of good in the ring against Floyd).

Likewise, Mikey Garcia’s quiet confidence convinced many that he was a real danger to Spence. Serious fight fans have long known that Garcia is a deliberate person. He tackles the sport of boxing with such professionalism that his words carry weight. When he claimed he could beat Spence, people felt he knew what he was talking about. No one should be accused of stupidity, however, for assuming Garcia had a real shot of attaining greatness last weekend in Dallas.

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Spence vs. Garcia: Keep that Same Energy


By: Kirk Jackson

“He’s a great champion. He’s the truth,” said Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KO’s) after a long, hard fought battle against the top welterweight in the world.

“He executed his game plan very well. He came out here with a good game plan and kept the distance in his favor. I couldn’t get my rhythm going, and he did what he had to do. I tried to make adjustments and he kept executing.”

The undefeated Errol “The Truth” Spence (25-0, 21 KO’s) executed a near-perfect fight in his first Pay-Per-View event. The defending IBF welterweight champion put on a 12-round boxing clinic in the battle of the undefeated boxers, winning by lopsided margins on all three judges’ scorecards (120-107, 120-108 and 120-108).

It’s fitting pound-for-pound greats Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were sitting ringside as this fight resembled some sort of passing of torch.

The wrongly perceived “Brawler” pitched a shut-out against a top pound-for-pound fighter perceived by many as the more intelligent and greater skilled fighter.

“Throughout training camp, a lot of commentators thought he was too smart and I couldn’t box as well as him,” said Spence, who called out Manny Pacquiao after his extraordinary victory. “I showed I can box and I can move my head if I want to.”

“The game is to be smart. It’s the sweet science. I had the size and reach advantage, so why not use it to take away the jab? It’s a weapon for me and it takes away one of his weapons.”

CompuBox credited Spence for landing 345-of-1,082 overall punches, 270 more than Garcia (75-of-406). According to CompuBox, Spence connected on 183 more power punches (237-of-464 to 54-of-218) and 87 more jabs (108-of-618 to 21-of-188). Stat of the night is Garcia never landed more than 10 punches in a single round.

Spence’s jab controlled the fight that can be deemed as a one-sided massacre. Working off his jab, the defending IBF welterweight champion landed powerful straight left hands and looping left hands around Garcia’s guard, piercing the four-division champion’s chin.

Renowned trainer and Fox analyst Joe Goossen, who appeared in favor of Garcia based on his commentary, even remarked on Spence’s ability to land the looping left hand in round 3 stating, “He’s starting to find that, that’s a punch that Mikey, as smart as he is, shouldn’t be getting hit with.”

The Texas native also displayed superior footwork in front of his hometown crowd of approximately 47,500. It was a frequent occurrence to witness Spence slip, block and outright avoid most of Garcia’s punches. There were even brief moments in the fight Spence switched back and forth between southpaw and orthodox stances, landing punishing punches in the process.

“The Truth” looked more like Marvin Hagler as opposed to Antonio Margarito and “The Truth” hurts. There were times late in the fight where Errol was digging nasty body shots and punishing Mikey, reducing him to a punching bag.

“My brother wanted to maybe stop the fight in the later rounds,” Garcia said. “He didn’t want to let me get hit more, but I told him I was fine and I tried to go out there and pull it off. I thought I could have landed one good shot to change everything, but I wasn’t able to land it.”

“We just went 12 rounds with a great welterweight champion,” Garcia said. “That’s a feat no one has done recently. I’m proud of what I was able to do. I have to go back and think about it. I will probably go back to lighter divisions, but we’ll have to think about it.”

While Garcia didn’t maintain the “Energy” required to execute his game-plan and exploit the weaknesses he claims to have analyzed regarding Spence’s technique, Garcia displayed a tremendous amount of courage.

He dared to be great. Mikey should also be commended for showcasing true sportsmanship along with Errol’s camp as well. Both fighters exemplify championship grit.

But there are no consolation prizes in boxing and it’ll be back to the drawing board for the Garcia clan. A move back down to junior welterweight or lightweight is more than likely in the cards for the four-division champion. As of now, the welterweight titles are not in reach and the same relates to his recent opponent, as we’re currently in the Errol Spence era.

Gracious in defeat, Garcia did not make any excuses and neither should the media or the fans; Spence deserves full credit for his victory.

Remember, Garcia stated, “Saturday night, Errol is going to find out why I picked this fight,” Garcia said. “All of my opponents say they don’t see anything special when they watch me, until they get into the ring. I have all the tools and all the skills needed to beat Errol Spence Jr. When it comes to timing, speed, reflexes and defense, you name it, I’m better.”

Spence offered his retort stating, “The size difference won’t matter. Skill for skill and talent for talent, I’m more dominant than him in every aspect,” Spence said in response. “I’ll beat him at anything he wants to do. On paper, he’s the toughest opponent to date but once we get in the ring we’ll find out.”

“Mikey is supposed to think he’s going to win this fight. He called me out, so they obviously think that they see something. I’m glad he’s as confident as I am. I hope he keeps that same energy inside of the ring.”

Spence certainly validated the opinions of the few of us in the media who thought he possessed greater skill and boxing ability compared to Garcia. He definitely kept that same energy before, during and after the fight.

Time will tell if someone can match his energy.

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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.

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