Lamont Roach, Jr. Looks to Extend Unbeaten Streak Friday on ESPN
By: Ken Hissner
Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is featuring Lamont Roach who not only intends on extending his unbeaten streak to eighteen but to pick up the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight title Friday on ESPN.
Roach, 16-0-1 (6), of Upper Marlboro, MD, is coming off a draw with Orlando Cruz, 25-6-1, in April in Puerto Rico. He will be taking on southpaw Deivi Julio “El Cabo” Bassa, 20-4 (12), of Monteira, Colombia, for the title in a 10 rounder.
Photo Credit: Lamont Roach Jr. Twitter Account
The event will be held at the Grand Oasis Arena, Quintana Roo, Cancun, Mexico. Roach had quite an amateur career with over 100 fights. In 2013 he was the National Golden Gloves and the U.S. National champion. He was a 5-time Ringside World Champion. He is trained by his father, Lamont, Sr. and is attending the University of Maryland, pursing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Bassa won his first seventeen fights with ten by knockout all in Colombia. Then a losing trip to Japan to Kenji Ogawa, 15-1, who in December fought for the IBF world title. In Bassa’s last fight he scored a knockout win in February in his country of Colombia.
Bassa’s biggest wins were over Franklin Varela, 21-9, in 2013 and Edison Valencia Diaz, 21-12, in 2015, both in Colombia. In 2017 against Neslan Machado, 11-0, it ended in a NC, in making his US debut in Miami, FL.
In the co-feature Junior Featherweight southpaw Alexis Bastar, 10-1-1 (8), of Qunitana Roo, Cancun, MEX, is coming off a win in April. He takes on Rigoberto Nava, 3-2-4 (0), of Mexico City, MEX, who has four draws in his last five fights. This is including a majority decision draw with Bastar in November of 2017.
2012 London Olympics Bronze Medalist and 2014 World Amateur Gold Medalist Flyweight Marlen Esparza, 5-0 (1), of Houston, TX, takes on Debora “La Pantera” Rengifo, 10-5-1 (5), of Caracas, VZ, a two-time world title challenger, over 8×2 rounds.
Middleweight Manuel “El Meno” Gallegos, 11-0 (10), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MEX, meets tba over 6 rounds. He is on a three fight knockout streak having last fought in March with all eleven of his fights being in Mexico.
Joet Gonzalez Wins Split Decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera
By: Ken Hissner
Golden Boy Promotions over ESPN Friday night put on a boxing event at the Nova Theater in downtown L.A. showing two female matches prior to the main event with hometown favorite Joet Gonzalez and Mexico’s Rafael Rivera being quite unusual.
Featherweight Joet Gonzalez, 20-0 (11), of Glendora, CA, won a split decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera, 25-2-2 (16), of Tijuana, Baja, CA, Mexico, for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight Title.
In the first round both fighters were taking turns being the aggressor. Halfway through the round Rivera landed half a dozen punches before getting knocked back by a Gonzalez left hook to the chin. In the second round Rivera used a good left hook doubling it up on Gonzalez. Gonzalez, the taller of the two can’t hold off Rivera who came forth with combinations to body and head.
In the third round it was the first clinch caused by Gonzalez. Gonzalez tried to hold off Rivera with a jab but it wasn’t enough. Gonzalez seemed to have to take punches in bunches before fighting back. In the fourth round Gonzalez finally put more than a single punch at a time also using an occasional elbow. Rivera continued to throw more in return after Gonzalez lands several punches and moves back.
In the fifth round Gonzalez opened up with a 3-punch combination before Rivera came back with a combination. Whenever Rivera got hit to the head he immediately came back with a flurry. Gonzalez landed a combination and again moved away allowing Rivera to come back at him with a flurry. Gonzalez kept his hands up using a good defense but his face was showing the marks of the battle.
In the sixth round Rivera drove Gonzalez against the ropes with a flurry of punches. Halfway through the round it became a real fight. Gonzalez near the end of the round had Rivera holding on. In the seventh round the fans start chanting “Joet, Joet” urging Gonzalez to be more offensive. Rivera rarely threw a jab living up to his nick name “Bang Bang” throwing punches. Gonzalez was using his strength inside landing a good right uppercut to the chin until a Rivera left hook stopped him from using his strength.
In the eighth round Rivera landed a double left hook to the liver. Rivera came forward low but not throwing punches until he got hit by Gonzalez. In the ninth round Gonzalez continued to come forward with hands held high allowing Rivera to get to his body. Gonzalez comes forward but not throwing the jab much looking for the big punch. Rivera countered a jab from Gonzalez with a right to the chin. Halfway through the round with Rivera inside he would hold Gonzalez’s glove with his arm until seperated.
In the tenth and final round Gonzalez used his jab as Rivera tried using his but falling short. Halfway through the round both fighters opened up knowing the fight may be on the line. Both opened up the last thirty seconds right to the bell.
Judges scores were 96-94 Gonzalez, 96-94 Rivera and 97-93 for Gonzalez. This writer had it 96-94 Rivera.
Gonzalez said “I’m calling out all featherweights including Gary Russell. I thought I won the fight easily.” He better watch what he is asking for. “He never hurt me. I knew coming from Tijuana it would be hard getting the win. I thought I won,” said Rivera. In the amateurs the jab scores points but in the pro’s Rivera throwing twice as many punches should have meant a victory.
In the co-main event flyweight Siessa “Super Bad” Estrada, 14-0 (4), of East L.A. easily stopped Jhosep “La Chica de Oro” Vizcaino, 7-7- (3) of Quito, ECU, at 0:20 of round 3.
In the first round it was all Estrada who was taking a flurry of punches and countered with a left hook dropping Vizdaino. In the second round Estrada turned southpaw up until near the end of the round switching back to orthodox. The referee Zachary Young gave Vizcaino a warning to start fighting back.
In the third round Estrada landed many punches to the head before landing a left hook to the liver of Vizdaino who after a slight delay went to the canvas causing referee Young to stop the lopsided fight. To her credit Vizdaino came without a trainer as a substitute replacing the scheduled Christian Gonzalez-German Meraz co-feature.
Super middleweight Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo, 12-2 (5), of Los Angelos, CA, stopped Samantha Pill, 3-1 (0), of Fairmont, WV, at 0:41 of the third round in a scheduled 6.
In the first round Cornejo pressed Pill who used a counter jab for the most part. It wasn’t until near the end of the round that a solid punch was landed by Cornejo a right to the chin of Pill.
In the second round Pill drove Cornejo back several steps with a right to the chin. The action picked up when Pill decided to mix it up but took a beating before she started moving as she did in the first round. You can tell Pill was an MMA boxer with little boxing experience.
In the third round Cornejo continued dishing out a beating on Pill. Referee Jack Reis wisely stopped the onslaught early in the round seeing that Pill didn’t know how to cover up taking too much punishment.
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Matthysse
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Manny Pacquiao will be co-promoting his next fight with Golden Boy Promotions at Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia and will be fighting in the United States on ESPN+. Pacquiao’s long time promoter, Top Rank, is involved with the distribution of the fight in the United States but is not assuming their normal promoting duties for Pacquiao.
Not only is Pacquiao not using the full services of Top Rank Promotions, but he’s also entering this fight without the assistance of his long time hall of fame trainer, Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao has already stated that this will not be his last fight, but a loss here could seriously hamper his drawing power as a money fighter. He’s also facing a strong puncher with knockout power in the welterweight division.
Three other title fights are also on this card. Carlos Canizales will be defending his WBA “Regular” Junior Flyweight Title against Bin Lu. Moruti Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem will be fighting for the vacant IBF Flyweight Title. Also, Jhack Tepora will be facing Edivaldo Ortega for the vacant WBA Interim Featherweight Title.
The following is a preview of the main fight of the night between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao for the WBA “Regular” Welterweight title.
Lucas Matthysse (39-4) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiao has been featured on 23 PPV fights and for a long time was one of boxing’s most popular draws. However, he’s thirty nine years old and turns forty in December and this will be his second consecutive fight not on PPV.
His drawing power in the United States is waning, and he’s taking on a risky fight after his controversial, and outright terrible, decision loss to Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao is four years older than Matthysse and will be giving up an inch in height and two inches in reach. Pacquiao has 38 knockouts in his resume and Matthysse has 36, but Pacquiao hasn’t had a stoppage victory since he defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Pacquiao only fought one time in 2017 and twice in 2016, but Matthysse has only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. Both boxers haven’t been very active recently.
Matthysse power can be devastating. He has defeated the likes of Tewa Kiram, Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Providnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Monlina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., and DeMarcus Corley. He has disputable losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander and clearer losses to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol.
Pacquiao doesn’t fight with the same blind rage that he used to when he was younger, but he still possess good speed and movement. He has four losses in his past nine fights. Some of his more notable losses were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., and Erik Morales.
His wins include Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Osca De La Hoya, Maco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.
Father time is catching up with Pacquiao and he’s not taking on an easy opponent in a non-ppv fight. Luckily for Pacquiao Matthysse isn’t as big of a welterweight as Jeff Horn, but he still packs a lot of power in his punch.
Can Pacquiao still hang with the best in the welterweight division? A lot of boxing pundits are saying no. His fight with Matthysse should give us a more definitive answer to that question.
Facebook-Golden Boy Deal Could Be Big Step Forward for Boxing
By: Charles Jay
They aren’t the first organization to do it. And they certainly won’t be the last. But Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions intends to be the outfit that makes the greatest strides in developing the ability to capitalize on presenting professional boxing over the internet.
They have announced a partnership with Facebook in which they will present a series of live fight cards, free of charge, through Facebook Watch, the branded live streaming mechanism the mammoth social network has. It all begins on August 11 with a WBA featherweight title fight between Jesus Rojas and JoJo Diaz, taking place in Hollywood, CA. They will also go the next week from the Sands in Bethlehem, PA. And from there it will continue.
There has been a traditional business model for years in boxing, with slight variations. You sell tickets or try to get a casino to pay for the show, and then you see if you can make a deal to go on cable TV. If it’s sufficiently big enough, then pay-per-view (PPV) becomes a possibility. But you probably knew all that already.
Well, casino rights fees have dried up considerably from what they used to be. Television money isn’t spread around as much either, and with Al Haymon having taken a significant position through time buys instead of selling the product itself, you have to wonder how anxious some of these non-premium networks are going to be about giving up money in the future, outside of a couple of vendors.
We’ve seen some trips “out of the box” that might just stick. ESPN Plus is making some fights available through a paid app (also available through other platforms); DAZN is doing live streaming and has a deal in place with Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Anthony Joshua. In one conversation with me a while back, Top Rank’s Bob Arum envisioned that the Chinese, with a billion or so cell phones on hand, might pay a small fee for an attractive product (preferably including one of their countrymen) and that would add up to huge money. Twitter showed a championship fight a couple of years ago, through it was more of an experiment than anything else. There are services in operation right now that show boxing on a pay-per-view basis online, although I’m not sure what their numbers are. Certainly the direct-to-consumer model (“over the top,” as they say) is at some point going to be a major staple of what HBO or Showtime PPV does. It would appear inevitable.
Not everything is going to work. The point, though, is that different methods of distributing the programming are being explored.
And even though Facebook has done live events, like baseball games, what Golden Boy is doing represents the exploration of a legitimate frontier in this particular sport. It can be a winner. Like television, it offers the chance for the same outlet to market and exhibit boxing programming, provided of course they can cultivate an audience. But you see, over the social media channels, there is that built-in mechanism as well. And what is incorporated in this is the ability to get immediate fan feedback and interaction. So in a sense, a lot of this is self-contained. And obviously, the programs are adaptable to mobile devices, which is where the audience is going. Remember, people are moving away from cable, and toward other services. You have to get out front and go where the eyeballs are.
Golden Boy will not only have live fights, but also original programming in support of it; “shoulder” programming, if you will. You can bet that they will be promoting their pay-per-view telecasts as well, and this first fight comes just in time to push the Canelo-GGG fight on September 15. And in order to do this, they don’t have to get TV time cleared, or buy it, as Haymon has.
As part of the deal, Golden Boy is establishing a partnership-within-a-partnership, with Main Events (the New Jersey-based promoter) coming on board, and the CEO of that company, Kathy Duva, hit on something very important when she said, “For too long, promotional companies have been at odds over a limited number of television dates. We look now to a future with Facebook with unlimited opportunity, where promoters can work together to best serve the interests of the fighters and fans all over the world.”
Yes, in time things like this are going to flip the field.
Putting the product online in creative ways can be a great enabler for any number of promotional organizations. That’s because it is the most democratic distribution channel that has come along. Sure, not everybody is going to have a “partnership” with an entity such as Facebook, like Golden Boy has. But anyone has the capability to stream with Facebook Live, and then it just comes down to how many people can be driven to the “telecast.”
Years ago, when putting together a sponsorship proposal, we used to say that a cable channel, or combination of channels, got into X-million homes. Of course, that didn’t mean that X-million homes were going to tune in; it just meant the show had the capability to reach that many. Well, as long as you want to get theoretical about it, an online broadcast has the ability to reach almost every home on earth, or at least the vast majority, right?
That doesn’t mean there is a potential bonanza out there, naturally, but the doors can indeed be unlocked. The real opportunity for small and mid-level promoters probably doesn’t lie in online pay-per-view, truth be told, although I guess that if someone is going to produce a telecast anyway, it could fall into the category of “found money.” But this is more likely a play for enhanced sponsorship, using something similar to the over-the-air TV model (and the one Golden Boy is using), where the fights are free to viewers. If you can get a lot of targeted eyeballs to a piece of content, there should be a way to monetize that. It all depends how creative one wants to be.
Those who can somehow command a presence online, with regard to the actual presentation of the product, should be able to get a leg up on their competitors.
Remember, the technology isn’t going backward. And it’s going to allow even small, independent producers the chance to avail themselves of geo-tracking, instant viewer surveys and precise audience measurements, which provides plenty of ammunition, from the standpoint of data, to take to any sponsor. The challenge as we move forward is that whoever wants to hit big online will have to reach out and cultivate younger viewers, as MMA has done. And technology may be the mechanism through which to do it. Again, it comes down to who is creative about it.
I, for one, am rooting for this Golden Boy venture to succeed, not necessarily for what it will do for the company, but what it might do for an industry. And even in this business, where “schadenfreude” is often the order of the day, I think everyone else might do well to root for them too.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Rashidi Ellis Easily Defeats Alberto Mosquera
By: Ken Hissner
Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions went south of the border Friday at the Grand Oasis Arena, in Cancun, over ESPN.
In the Main Event “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis, 20-0 (13), of Lynn, MASS, won a lopsided decision over southpaw Alberto “Metralleta” Mosquera, 25-4-2 (16), of Panama City, PAN, over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Rashidi Ellis Facebook Account
In the first round Ellis was throwing and landing more punches as Mosquera was on the defense for the most part landing few punches. In the second round Mosquera comes out throwing punches with Ellis countering while backing up. It was a close round that could have gone either way. Mosquera did better but was it enough?
In the third round Ellis is countering well with lead rights to the chin of Mosquera. Mosquera continues to force the action but is catching as much as he has landed. Mosquera was warned twice for low blows by referee Florinto Lopez. In the fourth round in another close one Ellis countered well though not with the power of Mosquera who seemed to get out worked.
In the fifth round Ellis continues to show faster hands as Mosquera was walking into many punches. During the round the corner of Mosquera yells to “go to the body!” He replied “I’m trying but he won’t let me!” It was a big round for Ellis. In the sixth round Ellis landed an obvious low blow with referee Lopez warning him while giving Mosquera a minute rest. Ellis landed a flurry prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Mosquera continued to come forward throwing few punches getting countered well by Ellis. Mosquera has bleed from the mouth and suffered a small cut on his left cheek. In the eighth round Ellis dished out a beating to the exhausted Mosquera.
In the ninth round Ellis landed a very low blow and got a point deducted from referee Lopez. Ellis comes back again outworking Mosquera. In the tenth and final round a tired Mosquera wrestled Ellis to the canvas. Ellis came right back and easily out punched Mosquera the rest of the round.
The scores were 97-92, 98-91 twice while this writer had it 98-91.
In the co-feature super bantamweight Francisco “Panchito” Horta, 18-3-1 (10), of Cancun, Mexico, won an exciting decision over the former WBC Silver champion David “Zamorita” Reyes, 17-4-1 (6), of Sonora, MEX, over 8 rounds.
In the first round both fighters mixed it up well with neither having a solid edge in a “you pick em round!” In the second round Reyes continues to force the fight occasionally being caught by a Horta counter right uppercut to the chin. Horta landed a solid counter righ to the chin of the aggressive Reyes. Both were landing punches in bunches at the bell.
In the third round Reyes has out punched the local favorite Horta. Reyes keeps the pressure on Horta who counters well but not landing as much. In the fourth round while mixing it up Horta intentionally head butted Reyes and it cost Horta a point. At the end of the round Horta through a flurry of solid punches rocking Reyes.
In the fifth round Horta landed a solid right to the chin of Reyes stopping him in his tracks early in the round. Horta has decided to occasionally stand in and fight landed hard right hands to the chin of Reyes. A right counter right from Horta to the chin of Reyes had his knees buckled just prior to the bell. In the sixth round Horta started the round standing in slugging it out with Reyes rocking him with right hands to the chin. Then Horta started moving around the ring again. Reyes punches haven’t been as numerous in this round.
In the seventh round Reyes is back being the aggressor being countered by Horta. In the final minute of the round both were in a heated exchange. In the eighth and final round Reyes continues chasing Horta and lands an overhand right to the head of Horta. Horta comes back landing heavy punches to the head of Reyes. Reyes had his mouth open for the past two round breathing heavy but still game. Horta finished strong in a war of a last round.
Scores were 79-72, 78-73 and 80-72. This writer had it 79-72.
Featherweight Eduardo “Sugar” Nunez, 10-1 (10), of Sinaloa, MEX, was upset by Hiram Gallardo, 7-2-2 (1), of Chetumal, MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Nunez comes out looking for his eleventh straight knockout. Gallardo continued to move around the ring landing an occasional lead right to the chin of Nunez. The first round was entertaining. In the second round the light hitting Gallardo has landed his share of right hands to the head of Nunez with little effect. At the end of the round Nunez landed four border line punches of which a few may have gone low.
In the third round the referee Lauro Sanchez took a point from Nunez for a low blow. A right to the body from Nunez staggered Gallardo who fought back as best he could. In the fourth round Nunez continues to work the body of Gallardo and is warned by the referee for a low blow. Gallardo lands a flurry of punches before Nunez fights back. The referee stops the action warning Nunez of yet another low blow without taking an earned point away from him. There was a third warning to Nunez from the referee for a low blow prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Nunez continues to land heavy punches to the body and head of Gallardo who has taken most of them well. Nunez countered Gallardo with a solid left hook to the chin. Gallardo came back with a right uppercut to the chin of Nunez. Gallardo continues to show plenty of heart mixing it up with the harder punching Nunez.
In the sixth and final round Nunez continues going to body and head trying for the knockout as Gallardo continues fighting back. Both were throwing punches at the bell to the delight of the crowd.
Scores were 57-56 twice and 58-55 for Gallardo as this writer had it 57-55 Nunez. For Gallardo it was his third win over an unbeaten opponent.
Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis Takes on Alberto “Metralleta” Mosquera on ESPN
by: Ken Hissner
Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions goes south of the border this Friday at the Grand Oasis Arena, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, over ESPN. In the Main Event Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis, 19-0 (13), of Lynn, Massachusetts, takes on former WBA Fedelatin Super Lightweight champion Alberto “Metralleta” Mosquera, 25-3-2 (16), of Curundu, Panama, over 10 rounds.
Ellis has a brother Super Middleweight Ronald, who is 15-0-2 (10), whose last fight this writer covered in Philadelphia in March. In December of 2016 Rashidi had his biggest win to date knocking out Eddie Gomez, 19-1, in the first round for the IBF North American Welterweight title.
Super Bantamweight Francisco “Panchito” Horta, 17-3-1 (10), of Cancun, Mexico, takes on former WBC Youth Silver champion David “Zamorita” Reyes, 17-3-1 (6), of Sonora, Mexico, over 8 rounds.
Horta is 9-0-1 in his last 10 fights. Reyes biggest win to date is a split decision over Jonathan Sanchez Cantu, 18-2, in 2017.
Coming off a 10 round win in April for the WBO Latino Minimumweight title over Puerto Rico’s Janiel “Pototo” Rivera, 16-2-3, Mexican Carlos “Mexicanito” Licona, 12-0 (2), of Westminster, California, takes on Jose Eduardo “Motorcito” Ramirez Armenta, 10-3 (4), of Tlalchapa, Mexico, over 8 rounds. Armenta has won 3 of his last 4 fights.
Bantamweight southpaw Eric “Pitbull” Gamboa, 14-1 (9), of Cancun, Mexico, takes on Jose Luis “Gatito” Lopez Hernandez, 9-3-2 (6), of Guanajuato, Mexico, over 8 rounds. Gamboa has won his last 7 fights. In November 2017 Hernandez drew with Jorge Rivera Villegas, 7-0.
Featherweight Eduardo “El Sugar” Nunez, 10-0 (10), of Sinaloa, Mexico, seeks his 11th straight knockout taking on Hiram Gallardo, 6-2-2 (1), of Chetumal, Mexico, who is coming off a draw with Joaquin Cruz, 12-1, in March. This is for 6 rounds.
Super Lightweight Luis “Coyote” Salamanca, 12-1-1 (5), of Cancun, Mexico, takes on Jose Luis Aguilar, 8-3-1 (1), of Cancun, Mexico. Salamanca is 10-0-1 in his last eleven fights. Aguilar defeated Jesus “Jesse” Trevino, 13-2, in November of 2017. This is for 6 rounds.
Golden Boy on ESPN Results: Robles and Gesta Win
By: Ken Hissner
Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions featured a Main Event between Filipino Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta and Mexican Robert “Tito” Manzanarez for the vacant WBO NABO Lightweight title at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, Thursday over ESPN2.
Filipino southpaw Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, 32-2-2 (17), out of Cebu, PH, won a majority decision over Robert “Tito” Manzanarez, 36-2 (29), out of Phoenix, AZ, for the vacant WBO NABO Lightweight title over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
In the first two rounds the much shorter Gesta was the much busier of the two getting inside of the taller Manzanarez. In the third round Manzanarez was guilty of too much holding when Gesta got inside. In the fourth round Manzanarez landed several lead rights to the chin of Gesta and then Manzanarez grabbed Gesta forcing a clinch.
In the fifth round Gesta landed a left to the head of Manzanarez who leaned down and grabbed the leg of Gesta causing the referee to intervene. Gesta continued to land more than Manzanarea who couldn’t keep the shorter Gesta at a distance. Manzanarez was cut on the right eye brow at the finish of the round. In the sixth round Gesta gets inside of a good jab by Manzanarez but continues to hold too much with little warning from the referee.
In the seventh and eight rounds Manzanarez is countering well as Gesta comes in for the first minute. Then Manzanarez goes back to clinching whenever Gesta gets inside. Gesta gets in with the right hook and follows with the left before Manzanarez forces him into a clinch.
In the ninth round Gesta continues to chase Manzanarez landing an overhand left to the head of Manzanarez. In the corner of Gesta is trainer Freddy Roach. In the tenth and final round right away Manzanarez is holding. Referee Jerry Cantu has done little if anything about the continuous holding by Manzanarez. Though many of the rounds were close it seemed Gesta won the majority of them.
Gesta was coming off his second attempt at a world title fight in January while Manzanarez was riding a fifteen bout winning streak after suffering his only loss back in 2012.
Judges DeLuca and Russell scored it 96-94 and Young 95-95. This writer had it 97-93.
In the co-feature a pair of L.A., CA, unbeaten featherweights battled for the vacant NABF title. Mexican Edgar Valerio, 13-1 (8), was halted by Manny “Chato” Robles, III, 16-0 (8), at 2:31 of the 9th round of a scheduled 10 rounds to win the NABF title. Valerio was knocked down in the 3rd and 9th rounds.
In the first round Robles used a lead right to the chin of Valerio. Valerio used his left hook to the chin when he was able to land in a close round that Robles seemed to have an edge. In the second round Valerio was able to land more punches with a stiff jab and his left hook. Robles mostly used his jab throughout the round. This was the first fight Robles father was not in his corner in his amateur and professional career.
In the third round Valerio landed a right to the chin but was countered by Robles landing a left hook to the chin and down went Valerio. He beat the count and became the aggressor seemingly more embarrassed than hurt. In the fourth round Valerio continued to force the action. He was left hook happy but it was working for him. Only when Robles stopped to counter Valerio went on the defense. Valerio missed with a left hook but his elbow landed on the face of Robles who suffered a small cut outside his right eye.
A minute into the fifth round Robles landed a solid right to the chin of Valerio. Near the end of the round they clashed heads but neither were cut. Good round for Robles. In the sixth round it was Robles landing a right and getting countered by a Valerio left hook knocking Robles back a few steps off balance. Robles came right back after Valerio and continued to follow Valerio around the ring.
In the seventh round both fighters landed rights at the same time and it was Robles that was hurt. As Valerio went after Robles he walked into a right to the chin from Robles. In the eighth round Valerio on occasions turns southpaw for a few seconds. Robles was forcing the fight landing a lead right to the chin of Valerio. It was another close round.
In the ninth round Robles dropped Valerio with a right hand with his hand keeping him from only touching the canvas with his gloves in a crouch. He took the 8 count. As Robles came in he got hit with a left hook but swarmed all over Valerio who was defenseless until referee Hernandez called a halt. Valerio’s right eye was almost closed at the end.
Super Lightweight Luis Feliciano, 7-0 (4), out of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, knocked out Danny Montoya, 11-7 (8), out of Reynosa, MEX, at 0:50 of the fourth round in a scheduled 8 rounds. Welterweight Herbert Acevedo, 14-2 (6), out of Oxnard, CA, takes on David “Terminator” Thomas, 6-2-1 (2), of Orange, TX, over 6 rounds.
Golden Boy on ESPN Preview: Mercito Gesta vs. Robert Manzanarez
By: Ken Hissner
Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be featuring what looks like a dynamite Main Event between Filipino southpaw Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, 31-2-2 (17), out of San Diego, CA, and southpaw Robert “Tito” Manzanarez, 36-1 (29), out of Phoenix, AZ, for the vacant WBO NABO Lightweight title Thursday night on ESPN2 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA.
Photo Credit: Mercito Gesta Twitter Account
Gesta is coming off his second attempt at a world title fight in January while Manzanarez is riding a fifteen bout winning streak after suffering his only loss back in 2012.
The co-feature will have a pair of L.A., CA, featherweights battling for the vacant NABF title. Mexican Edgar Valerio, 13-0 (8), will be taking on Manny “Chato” Robles, Jr., 15-0 (7), over 10 rounds. It will be the first 10 rounder for Robles.
There will be three other bouts on the card featuring Super Lightweight Luis Feliciano, 6-0 (3), out of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, taking on Danny Montoya, 11-6 (8), out of Reynosa, MEX, over 8 rounds. Montoya returning to the ring after a year absence.
Welterweight Herbert Acevedo, 14-2 (6), out of Oxnard, CA, takes on David “Terminator” Thomas, 6-2-1 (2), of Orange, TX, over 6 rounds.
Lightweight Daniel Perales, 10-12-1 (5), out of Monterrey, MEX, takes on Ricardo Alan Fernandez, 3-8-4 (0), of Chihuahua, MEX, over 6 rounds. Both are on losing streaks and need a win.
Diego De La Hoya Looks to Stay Unbeaten on Friday on ESPN2
By: Ken Hissner
Unbeaten No. 2 WBC Super Bantamweight Diego de La Hoya, 20-0 (9), of Baja CA, MEX, looks to stay unbeaten Friday on ESPN2 when he meets No. 15 Jose Salgado, 36-4-2 (29), of Quintana Roo, MEX, at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, NY, on IBHOF weekend. This is for the NABF Super Bantamweight and WBO NABO Super Bantamweight titles over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Diego De La Hoya Twitter Account
This is a Golden Boy Promotions – Oscar De La Hoya with the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission overseeing the event.
Super Welterweight Travell “Black Magic” Mazion, 12-0 (11), of Austin, TX, takes on Daquan Arnett, 17-1 (9), of Winter Park, FL, over 8 rounds.
Middleweight Isaac Rodrigues, 24-2 (19), of Belem, Para, BRZ, looks to extend his seven fight win streak not losing since 2011 when he takes on Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 25-7-1 (9), of Norfolk, VA, over 8 rounds.
Super Lightweight Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr., 12-0 (4), of Chicago, IL, takes on TBA, over 6 rounds. Super Welterweight southpaw Alex Rincon, 3-0 (3), of Carollton, TX, takes on Engelberto “Guarura” Valenzuela, 11-13 (3), of Sonora, TX, over 4 rounds.
Cruiserweight Lawrence Gabriel, 2-1-1 (1), of Syracuse, NY, takes on Jimmy Levins, 0-2 (0), of Buffalo, NY, over 4 rounds. Welterweight Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla, 6-0 (5), Rio Piedras, PR, takes on Julio “El Cubano” Perez, 6-20-3 (4), of Tamaulipus, MEX, over
Vergil Ortiz: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Be Remembered”
By: Sean Crose
“I have like four or five guitars,” super lightweight Vergil Ortiz tells me. “I got into music when I played Guitar Hero.” It’s not often that a contemporary fighter – perhaps with the exception of woodwind practitioner Keith Thurman – is known for a love of instruments. An interesting thing about Ortiz, however, is that he’s quite open to talking about an area of interest outside of the ring. “I like to play guitar or piano,” he explains. It was being exposed to the piano, in fact, that led to Ortiz discovering an interesting truth about himself. “I realized I kind of have an ear for music.”
Ortiz sees music as an outlet, a chance to be himself, after six full days of training a week. After four to six miles of daily roadwork and other grueling weekly routines (“Every other day we spar”) Ortiz appreciates his spare time. “I like to play my guitar or piano,” he says. Still, the 9-0 Texan knows that his primary focus has to be his ring career. When I ask if he has a wife, girlfriend or children, Ortiz makes it clear that there will be time for such fulfillment in the future. “I’m just focused on boxing right now,” he tells me. “That’ll all come later.”
A native of Grand Prairie, “a pretty big small town” outside of Dallas, the undefeated Ortiz is developing the reputation for having Texas sized power. None of the 20 year old’s fights have gone the distance. All of Ortiz’ opponents, without exception, have succumbed to the fury of the man’s gloved fits. Not that Ortiz is always looking to call it an early night each and every time. “They just come when they come,” he says of the KOs. “If I could go the distance, that would be great.” In order for such a thing to happen, however, Ortiz will have to find the opponent who can withstand his power.
“My dad took me to the gym after school,” Ortiz says of his start in boxing. “They put me in to spar with no training.” The older Ortiz was himself a boxer, though “he never went pro.” The younger Ortiz, who has “two brothers and three sisters,” is carrying the family legacy into the professional ranks, however. And yes, boxing is still a family affair. “My dad’s been my coach, “says Ortiz. Legacy is an important thing to the fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be remembered in boxing,” he claims.
Asked who throughout history he’d have liked to fight, Ortiz gives the honors to the late Arturo Gatti. “For me he was the toughest of the tough,” he says. Other fighters the man admires are Sergio Martinez, the late Salvador Sanchez, and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya. One Vasyl Lomachenko also earns a great deal of the man’s respect. “There’s a reason why he’s undefeated,” Ortiz says of the Ukrainian, stating that right now, the man called Loma “is the best fighter” out there. Like Lomachenko, Ortiz started as an amateur standout.
“It was good,” he says of his apprentice years. “I won seven national titles…most of my losses came when I was little.” It was during one particular tournament that Ortiz caught the eye of a company owned by one of his favorite fighters, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. In truth, the promotional outfit was also interested in another fighter, but when the two rising stars faced off, it was Ortiz who emerged victorious. “I knocked that guy out in about thirty seconds,” he says. Since signing with the famed company, Ortiz has found himself in places like Vegas and even AT&T Stadium, near his home.
“It was pretty cool,” he says of that particular experience, adding that friends and family were on hand live at the stadium to see him knock out Ernesto Hernandez. In fact, Ortiz is finding himself becoming a known commodity. “I get it a lot,” he says of public recognition, “especially in my hometown.” Good things happen when one has strong backing. “I fought on ESPN five times already,” he claims. As for the immediate future, the burgeoning KO artist plans on being back in the ring soon.
Should he continue on his current path, Ortiz may well be able to add quite a bit more to that guitar collection of his.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Romero Duno Defeats Gilberto Gonzalez
By: Ken Hissner
At the Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, CA, Thursday night over ESPN Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions put on a five fight card.
In the Main Event Lightweight Romero “Ruthless” Duno, 17-1 (14), of General Santos City, Philippines, living in L.A. defeated Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez, 26-5 (22), of Mexico City, MEX, in an all action 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round it was all Gonzalez who switched to southpaw after half a minute. Duno was pressing and finally landed rights to the body and head of Gonzalez. In the second round it was all Gonzalez until an overhand right from Duno landed on his head. Gonzalez pinned Duno in a corner with a flurry of punches until Duno worked his way out with several rights to the head of Gonzalez who suffered a cut by the right eye.
In the third round Gonzalez started out fast going from southpaw to orthodox and back. Duno landed a solid right to the head of Gonzalez putting him on the run. Gonzalez landed a good lead left to the chin of Duno. Referee Edward Hernandez, Sr. finally warned Gonzalez about using his shoulder.
In the fourth round Duno hurt Gonzalez with a right to the mid-section. Both boxers landed well. Near the end of the round Duno landed a hard right and left to the chin of Gonzalez drawing blood from the nose. In the fifth round Duno backed Gonzalez up with several rights to the chin. Gonzalez continues to be busy especially with his jab. Duno had a good round.
In the sixth round both boxers were letting it all hang out in a terrific exchange of punches. Both boxers were getting their licks in at a non-stop pace. Gonzalez drove Duno into a corner but fought his way out. They slugged it out right to the bell. Gonzalez had quite a bit of swelling under his right eye. In the seventh round Duno landed several rights to the body of Gonzalez ending with a left hook to the chin. Gonzalez came fighting back landing the final punch of the round.
In the eighth round Gonzalez was landing well until Duno countered with a right to the body backing Gonzalez up. Both landed left hooks at the bell to the head. In the ninth Duno landed well to the body with uppercuts continually backing Gonzalez up. Gonzalez seemed to take a breather in the round with Duno easily outscoring him.
In the tenth and final round Duno was loading up with lead rights to the chin of Gonzalez fighting southpaw. Gonzalez used his jab well with an occasional left to the chin of Duno. With less than a minute left in the round Duno hurt Gonzalez with a right to the chin.
Judges had it 97-93 twice and 98-92 with this writer having it 97-93.
In the co-feature Lightweight Oscar Duarte, 14-0-1 (9), of Chihuahua, MEX, defeated Rey “The Technician” Perez, 22-10 (6), of Santa Rosa City, Philippines, in a good 10 rounds of action.
In the first round Perez was lining up Durate with his left and got in a left hook to the head of Durate. Durate almost at the halfway point of the round landed a right to the head rocking Perez. Just prior to the bell, Durate landed a hard right to the head of Perez. In the second round Durate went right after Perez landing a flurry of punches until he got hit with an uppercut by Perez causing a red mark under the eye. Durate kept pushing Perez but got hit with a left hook.
In the third round Perez landed the first punch a right to the chin of Durate. Perez kept Durante at bey with his jab and and occasional right body shot. With seconds to go in the round Durate landed a big right to the chin of Perez. In the fourth round Durate landed a double left hook to the chin of Perez who was moving backwards. When in the middle of the ring Perez landed a combination to the head of Durate. Durate continued pressing the action landing half of his punches.
In the fifth round Durate landed a good left hook to the body. He followed up with a flurry of body shots until a left hook from Perez landed on his chin. Perez countered with a right to the head of Durate. At the end of the round Perez had a red mark over his right eye from the left hooks by Durate.
In the sixth round Durate landed three left hooks to the head of Perez. Perez turned southpaw landing a right uppercut to the chin of Durate. He then switched back to orthodox. Durate drove Perez against the ropes with body shots until he was hit by a chopping right from Perez on the chin. Durate ended the round with a left hook to the chin of Perez.
In the seventh round Perez landed a lead right on three separate occasions to the head of Durate. Durate came back with a right of his own to the head of Perez. Both boxers mixed it up well in the middle of the ring at the halfway point of the round. In the eighth round Perez came out strong landing punches to the head of Durate before going backwards. Durate landed well with several body shots dropping Perez.
Perez jumped on him landing a double left hook to the body and head. Another flurry of body punches dropped Perez again. He was up fighting back but was being overwhelmed by Durate with body shots. Perez ended the round with a right to the chin of Durate.
In the ninth round Durate was encouraged by his trainer Joe Diaz, Sr. to finish him. Durate kept after Perez halfway through the round but got countered with a right to the chin of Perez. Durate couldn’t land a big punch as Perez did well to get through the round. In the tenth and final round a minute into it Durate landed a flurry of head shots. Perez never gave up and was a good opponent for the young Durate and hung into the final bell taking plenty of body shots from Durate.
Scores of the judges were 98-90, 99-89 twice. This writer had it 97-91.
Featherweight Francisco “Alacran” Esparza, 8-0-1 (3), of Las Vegas, NV, shut out Edgar Cantu, 7-4-2 (1), of Laredo, TX, over 8 rounds.
Super Middleweight Georgian Jaba Khositashvili, 3-0 (2), of Philadelphia, PA, knocked out Fabian Valdez, 2-3 (0), of Sonora, MEX, at 0:26 of the second round.
Romero “Ruthless” Duno & Gilberto Gonzalez Headline Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN
By: Ken Hissner
Golden Boy Promotions – Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Diaz matchmaker presents Romero “Ruthless” Duno, 16-1 (14) from the Island of the Philippines in General Santos City taking on Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez, 26-4 (22), of Mexico City, MEX, in a ten round Lightweight Main Event over ESPN2 Thursday night from Fantasy Springs, Indio, CA.
Duno has won his last seven bouts since his lone defeat in May of 2016 in Russia. His defeat of Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez, then 16-0, by knockout at the Belasco Theater, in L.A. for the WBC Youth Intercontinental Lightweight title in March of 2017 was one of the highlights during that win streak.
“I’ve studied all his videos on you tube and I have a game plan for him,” said Duno. Pertaining to his only loss to Gonzalez he had this to say: “Yes, I learned a lot from that fight and correct my mistakes and improve.” Pertaining to having a 43-6 amateur career he had this to say: “I learned a lot of basic punches in amateur fights and techniques.”
Duno’s opponent “El Flaco” Gonzalez, is coming off a hard fought loss in his last bout to another Filipino in Mercito “No Mercy’ Gesta, in Las Vegas in April of 2017 by decision. In January Gesta lost in a title fight effort to WBA Lightweight world champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares by decision over 12 rounds.
The undercard consists of four fights. In the co-feature Lightweight Oscar Durate, 13-0-1 (9), of Chihuahua, MEX, makes his first ten round start taking on Rey “Flash” Perez, 22-9 (6), of Santa Rosa City, Philippines, in a 10 round match up. Perez in his last fight in February defeated Christian Gonzalez, 18-1.
Featherweight Francisco “Alacran” Esparza, 7-0-1 (3), of Las Vegas, NV, meets Edgar Cantu, 7-3-2 (1), of Laredo, TEX, in an 8 round match up. Cantu’s last three bouts were against unbeaten opponents of which he defeated Juan Tapia, 6-0, three fights ago. Esparza in January defeated Tenochtitlan Nava, 7-0, knocking him out in 6 rounds.
Super Middleweight Jaba Khositashvili, 2-0 (1), of Akhalkalaki, GA, who is returning to action after nearly a two year of inactivity. He now resides out of Philadelphia, PA, taking on Fabian Valdez, 2-2 (0), of Sonora, MEX, in a six round bout.
Super Lightweight Raymond “Danger” Muratalla, 3-0 (3), of Fontana, CA, is returning to the ring after a year taking on Benjamin DaCunha, 0-3, of Yevelines, FR, who has lost a pair of majority decisions in his last two fights and will be making his US debut, in a 4 rounder.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Stops Linares in the Tenth
By: William Holmes
Madison Square Garden in New York City was the host site for tonight’s collaborative effort between Top Rank Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions to put on a highly anticipated main event between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares for the WBA Lightweight Title.
The opening bout of the night was between Carlos Adames (13-0) and Alejandro Barrera (29-4) in the welterweight division.
Adames is a high ceiling prospect for Top Rank and he made it known why early on. His straight right hand was finding it’s home often and he was in control. Barrera was able to sneek some punches in past the guard of Adames, but they didn’t appear to hurt him.
In the sixth round he switched to a southpaw stance and was still able to land shots at will. His power shots came from his right hand, but he was still fluid and smooth in his southpaw stance.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Barrera was able to do some decent body work in the seventh round and was a little more effective. His counter uppercut found it’s home but Adames was landing the harder shots. Barrera continued to hang in the fight into the eighth round and showed a willingness to exchange, and he may have stolen the round when he landed some short shots on Adames when his back was against the ropes.
The ninth round featured fierce exchanges and started with Barrera walking Adames down, but Adames was able to turn the momentum back in his favor with sharp left hooks. A clash of heads occurred in the final moments of the ninth round that caused a cut by the right eye of Barrera.
Barrera needed a knockout in the final round to win, and he was the more active fighter and landed more shots in the final round, but that knockout never came.
Carlos Adames wins by decision with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92.
The main event of the night was between Jorge Linares (44-3) and Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) for the WBA Lightweight Title.
Lomachenko, the favorite, entered the ring first while the champion, Linares, entered second.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Linares looked like the significantly bigger man in the ring and was able to land his straight left hand from his southpaw stance early on in the first round. Linares though was accurate with his counter punches in the first and landed a good lead left hook at the end of the round.
Lomachenko looked to be a little looser in the second round and was landing more, and by the third round his foot movement was on point as he danced around Linares and landed multiple combinations. Lomachenko continued to stay on the attack in the fourth round. Linares was warned for rabbit punches in the fourth and Lomachenko responded by landing hard right uppercuts.
Lomachenko was able to bloody the nose of Linares in the fifth round. Linares was warned for a low blow in the fifth and sixth rounds and appeared to be fading fast. However, a clean straight right hand by Linares in the sixth round sent Lomachenko to the mat.
Linares pressed the action in the seventh round and Lomachenko was no longer on the offensive. Linares was able to land good shots to the body and head of Lomachenko.
Lomachenko looked like he was recovered by the eight round and was able to get a cut over the left eye of Linares. Lomachenko was focusing on that cut throughout the remainder of the eighth round as momentum swung back in his favor.
Linares and Lomachenko had several good exchanges in the ninth round and that round could have been scored either way, but it appeared Lomachenko was landing more shots than Linares but Linares was landing the harder shots.
Linares came right at Lomachenko in the beginning of the tenth round but Lomachenko was able to slow him down with an accurate jab. Lomachenko connected with a multi punch combination to the head and ended it with a liver shot that sent Linares crumbling in pain to the mat.
The referee counted to nine before waiving off the fight as he could tell that Linares was unable to continue.
Lomachenko wins by body shot knockout at 2:08 of the tenth round.
HBO Boxing Preview: Ali vs. Munguia, Hovhannisyan vs. Vargas
By: Oliver McManus
Live on HBO this coming weekend there’s a mammoth world title double-header from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York promoted by Oscar de la Hoya, on behalf of Golden Boy Promotions,featuring Sadam Ali – Jaime Munguia and Rey Vargas – Azat Hovhannisyan.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Twitter Account
Topping the bill is the WBO Super Welterweight world championship clash between Sadam Ali, 26-1, and Jaime Munguia, 28-0. Munguia is a name fresh on the mind having been hotly linked as a replacement opponent for Gennady Golovkin in the wake of Canelo’s failed drugs test – the Nevada State Athletic Commission would go on to refuse to sanction the proposed bout – but the 21 year old Mexican has his crack at world title glory on at the weekend.
A crack that’s arose purely as a result of yet another withdrawal – this time to the mandatory challenger and, former WBO Super Welterweight champion, Liam Smith who was forced to pull out in thanks to an allergic reaction; the hope is that they’ll reschedule the fight for August with Frank Warren keen to bring it to the United Kingdom.
Mugnuia will be in his third fight of 2018 having secured two third round knockouts against Jose Carlos Paz and Johnny Navarrette already with the latter being enough to secure the WBC Latino title. Over the past twelve months Munguia has worked on his footwork and hand-speed enabling him to perform to the more archetypal explosivity expected of a Mexican boxer.
In particular he packs a wincing left upper-cut which he floats around with sublime accuracy and split-second timing, leaning his whole body into the shot, as he did with specific effect against Alvaro Robles in 2016 before having sense-of-mind to pounce when Robles had beaten the count and send in a flurry towards the body to finish the fight.
Sadam Ali will always be known as the man who stole the show for Miguel Cotto’s farewell party thanks to his narrow (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) unanimous decision victory over the Puerto Rican in December of last year.
Determined to prove that victory was through his own hard-work and skill as opposed to the combination of luck and a past-it Cotto, Ali will be in no mood to take his time when the bell sounds for round one.
From his 26 victories he’s hailed 14 KO’s and whilst many of those have been against lesser opponents, he’ll be looking to take the fight to Munguia right from the off with his in-your-face fight style enough to put off the most virtuous of fighters.
Whether it’s fair or not there will likely be no praise for Ali regardless of the manner in which he wins for he is expected to a job on his challenger, comfortably so, after all this IS a man who’s never gone 12 rounds before, never even been scheduled for the full 12 but then again, we’ve had this sort of match-up before – I’m thinking James DeGale vs Caleb Truax I, no-one gave Truax a chance but then he went and shocked the world.
Nearly did it twice.
Rey Vargas vs Azat Hovhannisyan for the WBC Super Bantamweight title completes this HBO World Title double-header as Vargas looks to make the third successful defence of the belt he first claimed in February 2017 thanks to an MD win over Gavin McDonnell.
Aged 27 but looking closer to 47, it’s predictable that Vargas carries with him a mature head with plenty of wisdom – both in the ring and out of it – but the Mexican possess an underrated knockout power brought to the fore when countering an opponent’s lazy jab. It really is a work of art.
That being said you’ll never see the 31 fight veteran searching for a stoppage, he’d much rather outbox his opponent, keeping a high tempo, being clever with his shots to do damage in terms of fatigue and mental fortitude but never relentless.
That victory over Gavin McDonnell was arguably Vargas’ finest fight, boxing to punch perfection against a game, gutsy Gavin who threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at him.
Hovhannisyan represents one of the easier voluntary defences that Vargas could have made, ranked number nine by the WBC and having two losses in the early stages of his career to nothing opponents represents enough chinks in the armour of this, otherwise, untested boxer for Vargas and his team to be willing to take the chance.
Nonetheless the Armenian will be coming to fight in a manner similar to McDonnell, seeking to throw bombs from the very beginning in a bid to take Vargas into the unknown – forget a phone box fight, this could be a postage stamp fight if Crazy gets his way.
You suspect the champion will use all of his experience and tactical awareness to nullify the threat of Hovhannisyan but Azat will be seeking to galvanise the momentum he gained by knocking out Ronny Rios in the 6th round in March – the very same Ronny Rios who, last August, took Vargas all the way to points.
It’s a case then of the tactician vs the magician and it’s never a magic trick without fire… BRING IT ON.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.
The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.
Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights
Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.
Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.
Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.
Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.
Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.
Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.
Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title
Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.
He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.
Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.
Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.
It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.
Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.
Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.
Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.
This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.