HBO PPV Round by Round Results: Canelo Wins Instant Classic By Majority Decision
By: William Holmes
The undercard featured three dominating performances by Roman “Chocolatito”Gonzalez, David Lemieux, and Jaime Munguia where they all stopped their opponents.
The HBO Announce Team had to kill ninety minutes of airtime after the last undercard ended, as the walkout wasn’t scheduled to start until 11:00PM EST. A lengthy discussion about their prior fight and controversy with the scores and result ensued.
Golovkin, the champion, came out first to a somewhat muted reaction. Canelo Alvarez was met with a mixture of cheers and boos.
The national anthem was not sung.
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Golovkin and Canelo rush out to the center of the ring and Golovkin established control of the middle. Golovkin trades jabs with Canelo. Golovkin lands two jabs and Canelo lands a right hook to the body. Canelo lands another jab and Golovkin answers with on of his own. Golovkin slips a jab from Canelo. The crowd is chanting very loudly. Canelo misses with an up jab. Canelo snaps out a jab. Golovkin misses with two jabs. Canelo bangs a right hook off the guard of Golovkin. Canelo misses with a hook to the body. They both land a jab at the same time. Canelo lands a sharp jab. Golovkin lands a good jab. Canelo sneeks in a lead left hook. Golovkin lands a straight right hand. Canelo digs in a hook to the body. Golovkin lands two good jabs in the last ten seconds. Close round.
Canelo lands a reaching jab upstairs. Canelo lands a double left hook. Golovkin snaps a jab in the face of Canelo. Good lead uppercut by Golovkin. Vicious lead left hook by Canelo lands on Golovkin’s chin. Canelo snaps another jab in the face of Golovkin. Canelo goes for the lead uppercut again. Canelo lands a good right uppercut to the body of Golovkin. Canelo lands another jab. Golovkin lands two lead left hooks. Golovkin has a cut by his right eye. Golovkin lands a good two punch combination and sharp jab. Good body blow by Canelo. Golovkin with a lead left hook, and another lead left hook. Golovkin sneeks in a straight right hand. Good round for Canelo.
10-9 Canelo, 20-18 Canelo.
Golovkin barely misses with a counter straight right. Golovkin snaps out twi jabs and Canelo answers with some jabs of his own. Golovkin lands a right uppercut to the body. Good jab by Canelo. Good left hook by Canelo and Golovkin lands an uppercut in response. Golovkin barely misses with a good straight right. Golovkin bobs out of the way of a straight right hand. Canelo barely misses with a straight right hand. Canelo pressing forward and Golovkin lands a straight right hand. Good straight right hand by Golovkin and Canelo barely misses with a left hook. Golovkin lands a right cross. Golovkin lands a jab and Canelo lands a jab in return. Golovkin barely misses with a right uppercut. Canelo lands a good combination to the body.
10-9 Canelo, 30-27 Canelo
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Golovkin opens up with a left hook to the body. Canelo lands a short jab and Golovkin answers with two uppercuts to the body. Canelo lands a short jab. Canelo is the quicker puncher. Golovkin lands a short jab and Canelo lands an uppercut in response. Golovkin lands a good short uppercut followed by a left hook. Golovkin lands two good jabs in a row. Golovkin lands a hard right uppercut. They’re going back and forth and taking good shots. Golovkin lands a good left hook to the body. Canelo looks fresher though Golovkin is having a good round. Golovkin lands a lead left hook followed by two jabs. Golovkin ducks a jab from Canelo. Good jab by Canelo. Golovkin with a good right cross to the body. Good exchange in the middle. Good double left hook to the body by Canelo. Golovkin lands a good jab near the end of the round.
10-9 Golovkin; 39-37 Caenlo
Golovkin lands a cross to the body and Canelo answers with a short uppercut. Golovkin three quick jabs. Good hard jab by Golovkin and Canelo misses with an uppercut. Good uppercut by Golovkin and Canelo lands a good body shot. Canelo with a jab to the body. Good right cross by Canelo. Golovkin with a good right cross. Golovkin with a lead left hook to the chin. Golovkin with a short hook to the temple. Golovkin is circling on the outside. Canelo barely misses with a wild hook. Golovkin lands two short jabs. Canelo lands a good jab from a distance. Canelo lands a good combination to the body of Golovkin. Canelo is swinging for the fences. Golovkin lands a good right cross to the body.
10-9 Canelo; 49-46 Canelo.
Canelo may have a cut near his eye. Golovkin lands a short up jab. Canelo lands a good left hook to the body and barely misses with a right cross. Canelo digs in a hook to the body of Golovkin. Canelo has a cut by his left eye. Good jab by Golovkin. Canelo snaps out two jabs. Golovkin lands a lead left hook. Good right cross to the temple by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook and Canelo lands a vicious left hook. Golovkin lands a lead left hook followed by a right uppercut. They both land right crosses. Canelo with a good left hook to the body. Golovkin takes a good jab by Canelo. Golovkin looks like he is tiring. Canelo pressing forward. Golovkin lands a good short jab.
10-9 Canelo; 59-55 Canelo.
Canelo lands a short left hook and Golovkin lands a right cross. Canelo is pressing forward on Golovkin. Canelo lands two short uppercuts on Golovkin followed by a reaching left hook to the chin of Golovkin. Canelo digs in another right hook to Golovkin. Golovkin lands a good right hook and follows it with a left to the temple. Canelo throws and lands a hard left uppercut to the body. Golovkin lands a left hook to the temple and barely misses with a right cross. Canelo with a good, sharp right cross. They both land a good jab. Golovkin snaps out two good jabs. Canelo barley misses a whizzing straight right hand. Good lead left hook by Golovkin. Canelo lands a lead left hook upstairs. Golovkin lands a right cross and follows it with two jabs. They both land a jab at the same time. Golovkin lands a good three punch combination. Golovkin lands another jab as the round ends.
10-9 Golovkin; 68-65 Canelo
Golovkin throws out two quick jabs and lands a short lead left hook. Canelo lands two quick jabs and Golovkin lands a short uppercut. Good left hook to the body by Golovkin. Canelo lands a hard right uppercut followed by a good hook. Canelo lands two hard right hook to the head of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook to the head and body. Golovkin is backing away from Canelo. Canelo lands a crisp right cross followed by a left to the body. Canelo lands a short uppercut to the body. Canelo is having a strong round. Golovkin lands a reaching right hook. Both guys look like they are tiring. Canelo lands a sharp right cross. Golovkin with a left hand to the chin. Both guys are showing they have strong chins. Canelo lands a left hook and Golovkin shakes his head no in response. Good short jab on Canelo by Golovkin. Canelo’s cut is getting worse and Golovkin lands a right cross as the round ends.
10-9 Canelo; 78-74 Canelo
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Canelo and Golovkin are exchanging immediately in the middle and both are landing. Golovkin though looks like he is getting the better of Canelo. Canelo with a hard-right hook ot the body. Golovkin lands a hard right to the chin of Canelo and Canelo lands one of his own. Canelo with a wicked uppercut. Canelo barely misses with two uppercuts. Golovkin lands a looping right hand. Canelo looks tired. Golovkin lands two short hooks. Golovkin with a short right uppercut followed by a right cross. Canelo digs in a hook to the body. Canelo with another digging hook to the body followed by a hard right to the chin of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a hard-left hook and both guys look exhausted. They both lands hooks. Golovkin looks a little fresher of the two.
10-9 Golovkin; 87-84 Canelo
Golovkin pressing forward now and flicks out three straight jabs. Canelo eats two short right uppercuts from Golovkin. Canelo lands a right uppercut right hook combination. Canelo gets the crowd on it’s feet with a combination. Golovkin lands a good right cross and Canelo lands a two punch combination. Golovkin with a hard stiff jab on Canelo. Good right hook by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a hard right cross and looks like he may have Canelo stunned. Canelo is firing back and lands a beautiful uppercut. Canelo digs in another hook to the body of Golovkin. Golovkin with a good left hook to the temple followed by a hard right cross. They both land a jab. Good right hook to the body of Canelo by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook/jab combination. Golovkin lands a good right cross. Golovkin lands another good right cross. Great fight.
10-9 Golovkin; 96-94 Canelo.
Golovkin is coming forward on Canelo. Golovkin lands a right cross followed by a right uppercut. Golovkin snaps out two jabs and lands a right cross on Canelo. Golovkin is stalking Canelo. Canelo is circling away from Golovkin. Golovkin lands a good right cross followed by a left hook upstairs. Golovkin lands several good power shots on Canelo. Canelo lands three good shots on Golovkin and firing back. Canelo barely misses with a hard right cross. Golovkin lands a short right uppercut. Golovkin lands a little jab. Golovkin barely misses with a right cross. Canelo lands a good right hook. They tie up in the middle. Golovkin lands a good left hook that sends Canelo stumbling a little bit. Canelo with a good right uppercut to the body of Golovkin. Very close round.
10-9 Golovkin; 105-104 Canelo.
They tap gloves at the start of the round. Canelo lands a good right uppercut to the chin of Golovkin. Golovkin answers with a good combination of his own. Golovkin lands a hard right uppercut on Canelo. Canelo with a right cross on Golovkin. Canelo with a good three punch combination. Canelo slips on the mat. Canelo with a hard right uppercut to the body. They both look exhausted. Canelo lands a hard right cross . They are both landing and throwing an insane number of punches. Good short right uppercut by Golovkin. Canelo with a good left hook to the chin. Golovkin and Canelo exchanging, but Canelo looks to land the better shots. They both have thrown nothing but power shots. They both look exhausted. Canelo lands a short left hook on the cin of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a three punch combination on Canelo. Great fight.
10-9 Golovkin; 114-114 by Boxing Insider.
Many rounds were close and could have been scored either way.
The judges scored it 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113 for Canelo Alvarez by majority decision.
Golovkin vs. Canelo Undercard Results: Clean Slate of Knockouts for Chocolatito, Lemieux, and Munguia
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO Pay Per View Offering featuring a main event between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
Three fights were show on the undercard, and the opening bout was between former champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez(46-2) and Moises Fuentes (25-5-1) in the super flyweight division.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Fuentes looked like the taller and bigger fighter in the ring, but had to deal with Chocolatito’s jab and good head movement early on. Chocolatito was also able to land some decent left hooks to the body and outland Fuentes 22-6 in the opening round.
Chocolatito continued to rip hooks to the body and combinations in the second round and had Fuentes bleeding from his face as he walked to his corner.
Chocolatito continued to overwhelm Fuentes and had a solid up jab working in the fourth round. Fuentes was able to land a decent combination to the body in the fourth that momentarily slowed Chocolatito down, but he didn’t offer much more than that.
The end came in the fifth round when Chocolatito landed a short right hook to the chin of Fuentes with his back against the ropes, and he went crashing down and did not come close to getting up by the count of ten.
Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez wins by knockout at 1:44 of the fifth round.
The next bout of the night was between Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2) and David Lemieux (39-4) in the middleweight division.
Photo Credit:HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Lemieux outweighed O’Sullivan by about fifteen pounds by the time they stepped in the ring, and the difference in power showed early.
Lemieux was aggressive early and threw good hooks to the body and often tripled up on his jab. Lemieux applied heavy pressure and was landing strong shots, but did get momentarily stunned by an O’Sullivan jab.
Lemieux later responded with a resounding left hook that sent O’Sullivan spinning and crashing to the mat.
Lemieux wins by knockout at 2:44 of the first round.
The next bout of the night was between Jaime Munguia (30-0) and Brandon Cook (20-1) for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Munguia looked a weight class bigger than Cook and started off as the more aggressive fighter, landing combinations to the body and head early on. He was warned early for low blows, but continued to land heavy shots to the body and was pummeling him as the round came to an end.
Munguia took a right cross from Cook early in the second round, but retook control with a solid right uppercut followed by more blows to the body. He boxed more in control during the second round, but ended the round strong again with another barrage of punches.
Munguia opened up the third round with heavy digging hooks to the body, and knocked Cook down after a body head combination, including a punch that landed as Cook was falling to the mat.
Cook was able to get back up, but got obliterated with punches to the body that forced him to cover up. Cook was not fighting back and the referee jumped in to save him from further punishment.
Jaime Munguia wins by TKO at 1:03 of the third round.
Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez Rematch Coming to ESPN in Early 2019
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez lit up the Atlantic City Boardwalk in a pitched battle last month. The two will renew acquaintances early next year live on a Top Rank on ESPN card as part of a co-promotion with Main Event and Krusher Promotions, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.
Alvarez knocked down Kovalev three times in the seventh round and scored a TKO to capture the WBO light heavyweight title in a shocking upset. Kovalev led on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage and hopes to pick up where the first six rounds left off.
“We are very happy to be joining forces with Top Rank and ESPN for what we expect will be another exciting and historic fight,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Sergey was clearly winning his first bout with Alvarez when he just got caught. It happens. Congratulations to Alvarez for his spectacular performance, but Sergey is a warrior. He let me know that he is anxious to avenge this loss as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the new year!”
“Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “The light heavyweight division is loaded, and both Kovalev and Alvarez have fan-friendly styles that will make for another gripping fight.”
Added Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling: “This has been an exciting year for boxing on ESPN, and the Kovalev-Alvarez rematch is another example of the world-class caliber of events we look forward to continue to showcase on Top Rank on ESPN in 2019.”
Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) established himself as one of this generation’s preeminent light heavyweight champions with nine title defenses across two title reigns. He first won the WBO title in August 2013, traveling to Wales and knocking out hometown champion Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round. He became the unified champion in November 2014 with a dominating 12-round decision against future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and further enhanced his résumé with a pair of knockout wins against former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Kovalev lost the title via controversial decision loss to Andre Ward in November 2016. After dropping the rematch via eighth-round TKO, Kovalev recaptured the WBO title with a second-round TKO against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November of last year. He defended the title once before the first Alvarez bout.
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), a former Colombian amateur standout who resides in Montreal, is a nine-year pro with a host of A-list names on his résumé, including: Kovalev, Pascal, and former super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute. The Kovalev triumph is the signature victory on his record. Come 2019, Alvarez hopes it’s repeat rather than revenge.
Use the hashtag #AlvarezKovalev to join the conversation on social media.
Canelo May Break With HBO After Rematch
By: Sean Crose
“It makes me wonder,” the LA Times on Wednesday quoted Oscar De La Hoya as saying, “if HBO even wants to be in boxing.” The Hall of Fame fighter turned top promoter was expressing a sentiment shared by many over the past several years. Is HBO really interested in the boxing business anymore? The recent activity (or lack thereof) of the pay cable network might suggest the answer is no, that it’s merely easing itself out a way relationship with fight fans slowly, rather than making a clean break. Either that or limiting boxing to such a degree that the few fight broadcasts the network decides to show might no longer warrant a subscription fee from fans.
Yet, with boxing broadcasts suddenly popping up all over television and the internet, breaking up with HBO might not be that hard for those fans to do. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, for instance, has moved on to ESPN from HBO and has brought down some nice ratings for itself, thanks very much. If HBOs seeming disinterest in boxing is hurting Top Rank or its fighters, there’s little indication of it. In fact, Top Rank just signed a lucrative contract extension with ESPN not that long ago.
All of this, of course, leads to the question of whether nor not HBO’s star boxing attraction, Canelo Alvarez, will remain with the network after his highly anticipated rematch with Gennady Golovkin this weekend, or if HBO is even all that keen on keeping Canelo aboard. After Saturday, Canelo’s current contract with the network will have expired. Win, lose, or draw, there obviously will be plenty of companies and/or outlets ready, eager, and willing to play host to the Mexican superstar, should the relationship with HBO end. “It’s going to be very interesting for us and Canelo to see what HBO can do to keep him,” De La Hoya said.
Along with ESPN, Showtime, Fox and other outlets broadcasting live boxing, streaming services are marking their mark on the fight game in a big way. ESPN+, British Promoter Eddie Hearn’s DAZN, and even Facebook are now involved in the fight game. Still, De La Hoya feels a sense of loyalty to the network that helped make him a legitimate superstar back in his ring heyday. “I’ve always given HBO the first and last opportunity,” he said, making it clear that he plans to continue to do so after Canelo’s contract runs out on Saturday.
Still, De La Hoya let it be known that he’s not in the business of wasting time. “I do want to fight him in December,” he said of Canelo. Speaking of which, there’s another party who will most likely want to fight again in the near future after Saturday’s superbout.
Gennady Golovkin’s contract with HBO is up this weekend, as well.
HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard
By: William Holmes
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes
On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.
They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.
Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.
Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.
David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights
David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.
They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.
They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.
They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.
Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.
Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.
O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.
If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.
This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.
Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.
He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.
Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.
Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.
Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.
On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.
Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.
Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.
Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.
Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.
Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.
Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.
Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.
The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.
This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Estrada and Ioka Victorious, Nietes Draws with Palicte
By: William Holmes
HBO returned to the Forum in Inglewood, California to broadcast their third foray into the Super Flyweight Division, dubbed Super Fly 3.
The Super Flyweight Division is currently one of boxing most intriguing, and it has drawn former World Minimumweight, Light Flyweight, and Flyweight world champion Kazuto Ioka (22-1) out of retirement and into a bout with McWilliams Arroyo (17-3).
Ioka was “retired” for seventeen months, and was giving up size to Arroyo. Ioka went to the body early on but Arroyo was able to land a few good combinations upstairs.
Ioka looked more relaxed in the second round and had Arroyo backing up most of the round, but Arroyo was able to stunt some of Ioka’s momentum in the third with crisp head snapping uppercuts mixed in with a faster consistent pace, but Ioka re-established control at the very end of the round with a hard knockdown from a right hand.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Ioka looked confident going into the fourth round and was taking good angles and landing to the head and body of Arroyo. Ioka took a lot of uppercuts in the fifth round, but continued to come forward landing body shots and did not appear to be too phased by the. Arroyo did end the round with combination ending with a clean left hook.
Ioka initiated the action in the sixth round and engaged in some fierce exchanges in the seventh round with Arroyo. Arroyo showboated as the round came to an end.
Arroyo came forward in the eighth round but Ioka was throwing the higher number of punches. The ninth round was punctuated by a left hook from Ioka and he entered the last round with a comfortable lead.
Arroyo needed a knockout to win the bout in the final round, but he was unable to pull it off.
The judges scored it 99-90, 97-92, and 97-92 for Kazuto Ioka.
The co-main event of the evening was between Donnie Nietes (41-1-4) and Aston Palicte (24-2), two Filipino fighters in the Super Flyweight division.
Nietes was the more polished and experienced fighter of the two, but Palicte was younger and much bigger. Palicte was throwing jabs to the body and head in the opening round while Nietes appeared to focus mainly on the body.
Palicte showed that he was the harder puncher in the second round but was getting out landed by Nietes. Nietes accuracy was better than Palicte in the third and fourth round, but the rounds were close.
Palicte likely stole the fifth round as Nietes looked like he took the round off, but Nietes picked up the action again in the sixth and seventh rounds to retake control of the momentum of the fight.
Photo Credit:HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Both landed heavy blows in the eight round and showcased solid chins. Nietes looked like he was going for a knockout in the tenth round and had Palicte looking like he was discouraged.
The technical superiority of Nietes remained apparent in the final two rounds of the fight, despite his age and size disadvantage. He had Palicte badly hurt in the final round and appeared close to knocking him down, but Palicte was able to survive.
The final scores were 116-112 Palicte, 118-110 Nietes, and 114-114 for a split draw.
The main event of the evening was between Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3) and Felipe Orucuta (36-4) in the Super Flyweight Division.
Estrada was considered by many to be a heavy favorite going into this fight, and he looked to be in incredible shape.
Orucuta looked to be a langy fighter and was getting tagged by the lead left hooks early on. Orucuta height however made him an awkward target, but he was getting outworked early on.
Estrada focused his jab to the body of Orucuta in the third and fourth rounds and didn’t look too concerned about the power shots of Orucuta. Orucuta looked like he was beginning to tire, but was still able to land some decent shots.
Orucuta touched the ground with his gloves in the fifth round but it was ruled a slip. Orucuta briefly had Estrada in trouble by the ropes in the sixth round.
Orucuta was making it a fight though and got into several fierce exchanges with Estrada in an action packed seventh round. Orucuta however was hurt in the eighth round with a hard right hand that had the fans on their feet.
Photo Credit:HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Orucuta and Estrada continued to go back and forth into the ninth and tenth rounds, and Estrada didn’t appear to look like he wanted to go for the stoppage. Orucuta ability to take a good punch was tested in the final two rounds, and he passed it with flying colors.
Estrada was comfortably ahead in the final round, but he still had a bloody nose from the efforts of Orucuta. Estrada, despite likely being ahead, stepped on the gas pedal in the final round in an effort to get the stoppage and had tagged Orucuta several times.
The final scores were 118-110, 117-111, and 117-111 for Estrada.
HBO Boxing Preview: Estrada vs. Orucuta, Nietes vs. Palicte
By: William Holmes
HBO has put on two previous cards featuring fighters all in the super flyweight division, and they dubbed it “Super Fly”. Saturday will feature their third Super Fly event, and it will be televised live on HBO from the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Three fights will likely be televised. Kazuto Ioka will face McWilliams Arroyo in a bout that will have future title implication. The co-main event of the night will be between Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte for the WBO Super Flyweight title. The main event of the night will be between Juan Francisco Estrada and Felipe Orucuta for the WBC Super flyweight eliminator.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Alexanderu Marin, Bruno Escalante, Joselitl Velasquez, and a WBC Women’s Strawweight title fight between Louisa Hawton and Brenda Flores.
The following is a preview of the two planned televised fights with implications for the WBC title.
Donnie Nietes (41-1-4) vs. Aston Palicte (24-2); WBO Junior Bantamweight Title
Donnie Nietes is one of the world’s best boxers that most American fans have never heard of.
However, he’s currently thirty six years old and is nearing the end of his prime. He’s also fighting in a new higher weight class. He’s nine years older than his opponent, and will be giving up four inches in height and about two and a half inches in reach.
Both boxers are from the Philippines, but Palicte appears to have had more success as an amateur. He represented the Philippines in the 2008 AIBA Youth World Championships.
It also appears Palicte is the bigger puncher of the two. Only four of his wins went the distance, while eighteen of Nietes wins went the distance.
However, as a professional, Nietes has had the better career and faced the better competition. He has beaten the likes of Juan Carlos Reveco, Komgrich Nantapech, Edgar Sosa, Francisco Rodriguez Jr., Raul Garcia, and Moises Fuentes. He was previously a WBO Light Flyweight World Titlist and a WBO World Minimumweight Champion. His lone lass was in 2004 to Angky Angkotta by split decision.
Additionally, Nietes has fought out of the Philippines nine times during his career, so his record isn’t based on beating up lesser known Filipinos in a friendly arena.
The one edge that Palicte might have over Nietes is his age and activity. Nietes fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2017. Palicte has fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Palicte has defeated the likes of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, John Apolinario, Oscar Cantu, and Vergilio Silvano. His losses were to Junior Granados and Romnick Magos.
Palicte size and age advantage should help close the gap in skill that exists between him and Nietes, but it likely won’t be enough to help him win the fight.
Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3) vs. Felipe Orucuta (36-4); WBC Junior Bantamweight Eliminator
When we last saw Estrada in the ring, he lost a close bout with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The fight was close enough for Estrada to remain in title contention.
Estrada is still in the middle of his athletic prime at 28 years old, and will be facing an opponent that is four years older than him. However, Orucuta will have about a three inch height advantage and about a two and a half reach advantage.
Both boxers are from Mexico, but Estrada has had the better amateur career. Estrada boasts an alleged record of 94-4 as an amateur.
Estrada has been fairly active the past three years. He already fought once in 2018, fought twice in 2017, and only fought once in 2016. Orucuta fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016.
On paper it appears Orucuta is the harder puncher. Estrada only has twenty five stoppage victories while Orucuta has thirty.
However, Estrada has clearly faced the better opposition. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Cuadras, Anuar Salas, Hernan Marquez, Rommel Asenjo, Giovani Segura, Milan Melindo, Brian Viloria. His losses were to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Roman Gonzalez, and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr.
Orucuta hasn’t really defeated anybody of note. His best wins so far were against Edgar Jimenez, Juan Jimenez, and Javier Gallo. His losses were to Omar Andres Narvaez, twice in title fights, Jose Cayetano, and Daniel Rosas.
Like to co-main event of the night, the size difference could be a factor. But Estrada is an elite level talent while Orucuta is not.
Miller Bests Galarza On PBC BounceTV Card
By: Sean Crose
Sam’s Town in Las Vegas and Bounce TV hosted a PBC card on Friday evening which featured Ladarius Miller going up against Dennis Galarza in a lightweight affair. First, though, Kevin Watts, 12-2, faced off against Juan Heraldez, 13-0, in a scheduled 10 round welterweight battle. Heraldez, known as a fighter to keep an eye one, dropped his man in the very first round. Watts got up, but Heraldez was able to continue dominating throughout the first half of the fight.
Photo Credit: Mayweather Promotions Twitter Account
The man’s effective jab and solid punches were telling the tale. Watts himself began to have some success in the eighth, but it was too little, too late. Heraldez ended up taking a well deserved Unanimous Decision win.
The next match featured the 22-7 Oscar Bravo and the 31-1 Sharif Bogere in a ten round lightweight match. Bogere’s more accurate and sharper punches told the tale in the first half of the match. He carried that success into the second half of the fight, as well. As the PBC broadcast team stated, Boegere’s jabs to the body were proving successful. Bravo came forward gamely, and actually looked rather effective in spots. Bogere, however, ended up looking like the more advanced fighter. It was no easy win, but Bogere’s Unanimous Decision victory was clearly well deserved.
It was time for the main event. Miller, 16-1, entered the ring riding a seven fight win streak and with the support of Floyd Mayweather’s Money Team. The 16-3 Galarza, on the other hand, was undoubtedly eager to move on from an April loss to Edner Cherry. The first round of the scheduled 10 rounder was simply a feeling out affair. The second round was nearly as cautious in nature as the first. The third round saw Miller firing and largely missing while Galarza hardly threw any punches at all. Gatti-Ward this was not. Round four consisted of both men feinting, firing once or twice every second or so, and tying each other up. Heading into the midway point of the fight, neither man had landed close to anything telling.
Things picked up in the middle rounds, with Galarza appearing more eager to pick up the pace. By the seventh, it was Galarza who was asserting himself by applying pressure on the smaller Miller. The final rounds saw a still cautious, but considerably more effective, Galarza getting the better of his man. Miller was able to contain Galarza to some degree with his jab, but he was never able to assert himself or mount anything impressive. Surprisingly, Miller walked out of the ring with a UD win.
As a walkout bout, the undefeated 4-0 Rolando Romero engaged in a scheduled six round lightweight affair with the 4-4 Javier Martinez. A stand up and fight boxer, Romero attempted to dominate his foe, but Martinez was more than willing to engage. Romero was still able to walk away with a UD win.
HBO Boxing Preview: Bivol vs. Chilemba, Kovalev vs. Alvarez
By: William Holmes
Atlantic City has seen a surge in the past year in the number of boxing events held in the local casinos, and with Sports Betting now legal in New Jersey, it appears that the surge will continue.
On Saturday night Main Events Promotions will promote a solid fight card at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Two light heavyweight world title bouts will be featured on that card, the main event of Sergey Kovalev vs. Sleider Alvarez and the co-main event between Dmitry Bivol and Isaac Chilemba for Bivol’s title.
The undercard will feature several prospects and local fighters, including Karl Dargan, Vaughn Alexander, Denis Douglin, Frank Galarza, and Bakhram Murtazaliev.
The following is a preview of the two televised fights.
Dmitry Bivol (13-0) vs. Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2); WBA Light Heavyweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be a light heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Isaac Chilemba.
Bivol is a Russian boxer with a deep amateur background. He was Russian National Gold Medalist as well as a World Cadet Championship gold medalist. Chilemba does not have the amateur credentials of Bivol.
Chilemba will have a slight one inch height advantage over Bivol. However, Bivol is the harder puncher of the two. Chilemba only has ten stoppage victories on his resume while Bivol has stopped elevent of his opponents, only two went the distance.
Inactivity should be of some concern to Chilemba. He only fought once in 2018, zero times in 2017, and twice in 2016. Chilemba has also gone 1-3 in his past four fights.
Bivol has been more active than Chilemba. He fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017. By his eleventh professional fight Bivol was already a world champion.
Chilemba has some big losses on his resume. He has losses to Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Eleider Alvarez, and Tony Bellew. His notable wins include Blake Caparello, Vasily Lepikhin, Denis Grachev, and Edison Miranda.
Bivol has been fairly dominant in his career. He has beaten the likes of Sullivan Barrera, Trent Broadhurst, Cedric Agnew, and Samuel Clarkson.
Bivol appears to be following Sergey Kovalev’s career path and has beaten some opponents that previously faced Kovalev. Chilemba will likely be no different.
Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (23-0); WBO Light Heavyweight Title
Sergey Kovalev was long considered one of the top boxers in the light heavyweight division, but back to back losses to Andre Ward has faded his shine a little bit. But he’s still a very dangerous boxer and one of the top guys in the light heavyweight division.
However, he’s facing one of the biggest tests of his professional career in Eleider Alvarez.
Both Kovalev and Alvarez has extensive amateur backgrounds. Kovalev is a former Gold Medalist in the Russian National Championships and Alvarez represented Columbia in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Both boxers are slightly past their athletic primes. Kovalev is 35 years old and Alvarez is 34 years old. Kovalev will have a two inch height advantage and about a three inch reach advantage on Alvarez.
Both boxers have been fairly active in recent years. Kovalev fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017. Alvarez fought twice in 2017 and 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018.
Kovalev’s only losses were to Andre Ward, an all time great. He has defeated the likes of Igor Mikhalkin, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib Mohammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Nathan Cleverly, and Gabriel Campillo
Alvarez has defeated the likes of Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, Isaac Chilemba, Robert Berridge, and Alexander Johnson.
This writer feels this bout will be very close and competitive. Alvarez has been on a hot streak recently with some impressive wins, but has never fought someone on the level of Kovalev.
If Kovalev can use his reach and height advantage well he should win this bout, but an upset wouldn’t be surprising.
Sergey Kovalev On Eleider Alvarez: “We Have A Big Test Next Saturday”
By: Sean Crose
In just a few days, on August 4th, to be exact, Sergey Kovalev will return to Atlantic City in order to defend his WBO world light heavyweight title belt against the undefeated 23-0 Eleider Alvarez. Atlantic City, which has been home to several notable Kovalev bouts, hasn’t hosted a fight featuring the man named “Krusher” since Kovalev outskilled the iconic Bernard Hopkins back in 2014. Much has changed since that time, but the 32-2-1 Kovalev is eager to once again leave his mark on the famous fight town. “Long time,” he says over the phone, discussing his time away from Atlantic City. “I’m really happy (to be) back.”
Since losing twice to Andre Ward (once in controversial fashion) in 2016 and 2017 respectively, Kovalev has returned to the ring with two straight knockouts in the past year. Needless to say, the 35 year old isn’t slowing down. Alvarez may only be a year younger than Kovalev, and not much of a knockout artist, either – but the challenger is hungry and will be coming into the ring with a unique skill set which has led to an undefeated career (so far at least) in the professional ranks. Yet Kovaelv, the veteran champion, isn’t one to let his own nerves get the better of him.
“You know,” Kovalev says of his training in easygoing, slightly broken English, “(I’m) just making shape to be ready for anything.” It would be easy for the man to look ahead, to imagine completing his dream of unifying the light heavyweight titles. “Right now,” though, his goal is to “focus (on Alvarez).” Should he win on August 4th, however, people will once again be asking for a bout with fellow titlist Adonis Stevenson. They will also ask if Stevenson, who – fairly or not – has earned a reputation in various quarters for ducking Kovalev, will be willing to finally meet his counterpart in the ring.
Not one to project, Kovalev makes it clear that it would be unwise for him to to look beyond Alvarez at this point. “Chickenson,” Kovalev says (Chickenson is his name for Stevenson) “should fight Alex (the undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who Stevenson is said to be facing in November).” And if both Kovalev and Stevenson emerge victorious in their next bouts? “After this (the Alvarez match), we will speak about any possible fight,” Kovaelv says. To Kovalev, it seems, the most important business is the business at hand. “We have a big test next Saturday,” he states. No doubt Eleider Alvarez agrees.
HBO Boxing Results: Jaime Munguia & Alberto Machado Retain Titles
By: Ken Hissner
Don King Productions, Queensbury Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions over USA HBO presented two world title fights Saturday night, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
WBO World Super Welterweight champion Jaime Munguia, 30-0 (25), of Tijuana, MEX, retained his title with a hard fought but decisive decision over game Liam “Beefy” Smith, 26-2-1 (14), Liverpool, UK, over 12 scheduled rounds.
Photo Credit HBO Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round Munguia is looking for a early knockout but Smith is throwing back. Smith coming from a family of four boxing brothers landed a good right to the chin of Munguia driving him back several steps in what was a close round. Smith was checking his own face at the bell as if he was cut but he wasn’t.
In the second round Smith hands held high took a hard right to the body but came back with a hard right of his own to the head of Munguia. Referee Russell Mora warned Munguia to keep his punches up. Smith landed a good counter right to the head of Munguia. Munguia is getting a lot of credit for one fight stopping Sadam Ali for the title.
In the third round both fighters are throwing bombs. Munguia had a mouse under his left eye already. Smith landed a long lead right to the head of Munguia. After the bell Munguia threw a right that fortunately missed the head of Smith. In the fourth round Munguia landed a solid left hook to the chin of Smith. Munguia is landing body shots and being countered by Smith’s right hands. Smith landed a good left hook to the chin and followed up seconds later with a right hand to the chin of Munguia. Munguia pushed Smith into a corner landing three punches before the bell and one after without warning from referee Mora.
In the fifth round Munguia landed a double left to the body and head of Smith. Smith is smiling though taking punishment to the body. Munguia landed a left hook to the body of Smith who countered with a solid right to the chin of Munguia.
In the sixth round Munguia landed a vicious right hand body shot on Smith who in smiling usually means it hurt. Munguia landed a hard left hook to the head of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the chin of Smith dropping him to the canvas. Smith may be limping from hurting an ankle when knocked down. Munguia again got away with a punch after the bell. Referee Mora simply grabbed Munguia and walked him back to his corner.
In the seventh round Munguia is throwing wildly trying to knockout Smith. Munguia is landing too many punches especially to the body for Smith to continue to take. In the eighth round the raw power of Munguia is starting to take a toll on Smith. The taller Munguia has been easy to hit with a Smith right hand after a miss by Munguia. Referee Mora warned Munguia for using his elbow. Both fighters went down to the canvas with Smith on top just prior to the bell.
In the ninth round Munguia landed a dozen unanswered punches without return. Smith tries to block those left hooks to the body with his elbow. Both fighters looked fatigued. Munguia continues to look for a knockout but Smith hangs in and fights back. Between rounds the referee warns Munguia to keep his punches up.
In the tenth round Munguia landed a left hook but got countered by a Smith right to the head. Once again referee Mora warned Munguia for hitting Smith on the hip but failed to take a point away.
Munguia is all offense and fortunate to be in with an opponent that cannot match punch for punch. Once again at the bell Munguia tries to land a punch but had it blocked by referee Mora who stepped between the fighters.
In the eleventh round Smith landed an overhand lead right to the head of Munguia. Inside Smith landed a chopping right to the head of Munguia. Munguia landed four left hooks to the body of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the head while Smith countered with a combination to the head of Munguia.
In the twelfth and final round Munguia coming out has a disappointing look like “what’s keeping this guy up?” Smith is determined to go the distance and is slipping half the punches but getting hit with the other half to the head. Munguia lands two to one but Smith never gives up fighting back. Smith got in the last punch a right to the chin of Munguia.
Judges scores were 116-111, 119-110, 119-108 and this writer’s 120-106. Both champions got a big build up prior to their fight for their punching power but neither scored knockouts.
WBA World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado, 20-0 (16), of San Juan, PR, won a lopsided mismatch over gutsy southpaw Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah, 31-1 (23), of Accra, GH, over 12 rounds.
In the first round in a fight with two southpaws it’s a feeling out boxing match early in the round. Machado halfway through the round has had his way standing in front of Mensah until he delivered a right hook to the chin knocking Mensah down with less than fifteen seconds left in the round. The Ghana fighters are known to fight a bunch of stiffs from their own country in order to build up their records.
In the second round Machado is looking for the knockout but Mensah is not daring to mix it up with the stronger puncher Machado. In the third round Machado continues to stalk Mensah who walked in the ring with his new promoter Don King. While Machado is trained by Freddie Roach and it shows. Mensah has never been in with a puncher like Machado and he is not throwing much in return.
In the fourth round Machado continues landing right hooks to the body but in close he was warned by referee Tony Weeks for grabbing him from the back of the neck and leaning on him. Machado had Mensah out on his feet after slipping a jab and landing a solid left to the chin of Mensah in what is turning out to be a mismatch as he was saved by the bell. In the fifth round Mensah’s got much swelling on the left side of his face which could possibly be a broken jaw. The fight should be stopped but Weeks is allowing it to go on and Mensah’s corner would obviously not stop their fighter from taking a beating. After taking a solid left to the side of his right cheek bone Mensah is looking to his corner looking to stop the fight. Why a ring physician didn’t check out Mensah’s jaw is unbelievable. Where is the commissioner?
In the sixth round Mensah is hanging in there but has no chance to hurt Machado who is using him for target practice. One of the corner men of Mensah motioned to the ring physician pointing to the jaw of Mensah and the ring physician never moved. In the seventh round Machado continued to onslaught but not trying to knock him out for some reason. The ring physician finally did his job checking Mensah.
In the eighth round Mensah landed his first combination that had little on it. Machado continues landing punches. Since Mensah never got paid for his first thirty fights in Ghana why he hooked up with King makes one wonder but he should get some of his purse being in Nevada. Mensah has thrown more punches in this round than at any time but far from enough to win a round. The trainer Stacy McKinney is pushing Mensah to keep throwing punches. Since being one of King’s favorite trainers one can see why the trainer will not stop the fight.
In the ninth round Machado keeps landing right uppercuts to the body and right hooks to the swollen head of Mensah. One has to wonder how good a puncher Machado is that Mensah has lasted this long in the fight. Machado landed a straight left to the head of Mensah driving him into the ropes. On top of the mismatch Machado lands a right hook after the bell without warning from referee Weeks. In the tenth round Machado drives Mensah into the ropes snapping the head of Mensah with left hands. Mensah’s eleven year old daughter had passed away a month ago and his mind cannot be completely on the fight. His face is swollen on both sides.
In the eleventh round Machado lands punches and continues when inside pushing the back of the head down when Mensah leans in low. Referee Weeks has stopped warning Machado of the infraction. Is Machado allowing Mensah to go the distance?
In the twelfth and final round of a fight Machado had won every round as the one sided fight continued that way. One wonders if Machado has the killer instinct or not. Machado pushed Mensah back without a warning and then landed a low punch and got warned. Once again Machado got warned for pushing down the neck of Mensah. Was it another black eye for boxing? The fan’s showed their dislike during the last round that there was no stoppage.
All 3 judges had it 120-107 and this writer 120-106.
Middleweight southpaw Yamaguchi Falcao, 16-0 (7), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, defeated Elias “Latin Kid” Espadas, 17-4 (12), of Yucatan, MEX, in a 10.
Super Bantamweight Carlos “Purin” Caraballo, 8-0 (8), of Ponce, PR, forced Jesus Martinez, 24-4 (12), of Monteria, COL, not to come out for the fifth in an 8.
Philadelphia born welterweight Blair “The Flair” Cobbs, 9-0-1 (6), of Las Vegas, NV, stopped Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez, 5-5 (5), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:52 of the second round in a 6.
HBO Boxing Preview: Machado vs. Mensah, Munguia vs. Smith
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada will host a two world title fights to be televised on HBO.
Golden Boy Promotions is the lead promoter for this card which will feature a WBO Junior Middleweight Title Fight between Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith. The co-feature of the night will be between Alberto Macahdo and Rafael Mensah for the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Munguia has gained some prominence with his resounding victory over Sadam Ali to capture his first world title and was mentioned as a possible replacement opponent for Gennady Golovkin when the rematch between him and Canelo had to be rescheduled.
The following is a preview of both world title fights.
Alberto Machado (19-0) vs. Rafael Mensah (31-0); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is a champion who just won his title with a mild upset over Jezreel Corrales by knockout in his last fight. He’s 27 years old and has a very large reach of 72” for his weight class.
His opponent, Rafael Mensah, fights out of Ghana and not much is known about him except for his record. He’s never fought outside of Ghana but is the number one contender for the WBA Title.
Macahdo has been very active recently and fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Mensah has also been active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016, but his last two opponents that he beat had losing records.
Win two fights against below .500 opponents gets you a title shot in the WBA.
Machado had moderate success as an amateur and was a National Champion at the Junior Olympics. Mensah has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Machado has defeated the likes of Carlos Morales, Jezreel Corrales, Juan Jose Martinez, and Miguel Mendoza.
Mensah has defeated nobody of note, but opponents with good records that he has defeated include Fatiou Fassinou and Abdul Jabir.
Macahdo hasn’t been taking Mensah lightly. He stated at a recent press conference,” Rafael is the Number 1 contender for a reason. I’ve got great training at the Wild Card Boxing Club where everyone is very strong. I thank Freddie Roach for focusing on me for the past several weeks. I’m going back to Puerto Rico a world champion.”
Machado probably could probably take the unproven Mensah lightly and still be a heavy favorite.
Jaime Munguia (29-0) vs. Liam Smith (26-1-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Liam Smith was originally scheduled to face Sadam Ali for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title, but had to pull out and was replaced by Jaime Munguia, who won the title with a dominating TKO victory.
On Saturday they will face each other for that WBO Title.
Munguia has twenty five stoppage wins on his record and will have about a two and a half inch height advantage over Smith. Smith has fourteen stoppage wins on his record.
However, Munguia has six stoppage wins in a row. He is also only twenty one years old and eight years younger than Smith.
Even though Munguia has advantages in power and height, he is not taking Smith lightly. He recently stated, “Liam Smith is a tough fighter. We know what kind of style he has. He’s the type of fighter who will come forward and throw a lot of punches. He has an advantage because he’s been in big fights before. But I have a lot of experience as well. I’ve had over a hundred amateur fights and I have fought all over Mexico. We also know what style he will bring. Smith is the kind of fighter who will stand in front of you with a high guard and then suddenly throw a lot of punches. We both come forward and we both throw a lot of punches, so there is a high possibility that this fight will end in a knockout. If we don’t get the knockout, I’m prepared to go the 12 rounds. This has been the best camp of life. I am very prepared. My sparring has gone well. I feel great and I will show that on Saturday. Don’t miss this big fight!”
Smith looks ready for the challenge. He stated,” I was kept in the mandatory position and now I’ve got my shot against a good champion. It should be an exciting fight. He’s an exciting combatant who comes to fight. He’s young and he’s hungry. But you know me. I’m not going to come here and lie down. It’s not the Jaime Munguia show for me. I’m here to do my job. I’m here to do what I set out to do and get my title back.”
Munguia has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Johnny Navarrete, Uriel Gonzalez, and Juan Macias Montiel. He has fought three times in 2018 already and fought seven times in 2017!!
Munguia was a national gold medalist as an amateur and turned pro at the age of 16.
Smith fought three times in 2017 and his lone loss was to Saul Alvarez. He has defeated the likes of Liam Williams, Predgrag Radosevic, Jimmy Kelly, and John Thompson. He was an English ABA National Champion as an amateur.
Smith’s stoppage loss to Canelo should be concerning for his fans, as Munguia is also known for being a strong puncher. Munguia activity as a boxer is rare in today’s age and that should be helpful for him on Saturday.
The hype of Munguia has slowly been gaining steam, and this writer expects it to pick up more steam with a resounding win on Saturday.
HBO Boxing Results: Munguia Defeats Ali
By: Oliver McManus
In the dust of Linares-Lomachenko over on ESPN there were two more world title tilts live on HBO, from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York, in a card lacking the hype of legacy but delivering buckets of credibility and tasty match-ups.
Sadam Ali vs Jaime Munguia was the headlining bout with Ali’s WBO Super Welterweight title at stake – Munguia, 28-0, arrived in New York the vast underdog having taken up the challenge on less than two weeks’ notice, following Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith’s withdrawal, and Ali, 26-1, was on a quest to prove his victory over Miguel Cotto last year was not a mere fluke.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
The fight started off with Ali visibly looking the smaller, more diminutive figure – his opponent a natural middleweight – and whilst Ali looked to be the more mobile of the two fighters and put his sprightly figure to good use, it was Munguia who started off the brighter with a clipping left hand dropping the champion in the first round… twice.
The Mexican challenger seemed in complete domination, easing his way into his rhythm and never completely stepping up the gas, round two came and he simply reverted back to his jab that saw him have so much success in the first – the key, beforehand, was to work on the counter-attack but Munguia simply did not give Ali a chance to impose his gameplan, twice more would Cotto’s conqueror crumple to the canvas.
That was before the bell to signal the end of round two even went and when it sounded again to start round three, the story was much the same – sheer domination from the unexpected challenger who was putting to short shrift the naysayers, seizing his chance opportunity at the title – a near knockdown in the third put beyond doubt whether this would go the distance with the crowd warming to Munguia.
A third of the way into the fight and at the fourth round came the climatic ending, another knockdown from a supreme, confident Munguia left Ali out of his depth and reeling – in visible pain, this wasn’t a fluke victory by Munguia, this was an utter demolition job, a bank robbery almost, and there could be no questioning the skill and shot selection from the brave 21 year old… AND NEW WBO SUPER WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.
Rey Vargas, expecting a “wild war” went into his fifth world title fight against a game, gritty, Azat Hovhannisyan, following two comfortable points victory in the back-end of 2017 to retain his WBC Super Bantamweight title against Oscar Negrete and Ronny Rios, respectively.
Hovhannisyan, nicknamed crazy, was also coming off the back of a win over Ronny Rios – a sixth round knockout – in March of this year and was confident of continuing his momentum all the world to grabbing that prestigious world title belt.
And he started off looking the fresher, more prepared of the fighters, going to the centre of the ring in the opening round in a bid so shock Vargas into submission but it failed to rattle the Mexican who instead opted to trade some bruising shots with his Armenian counterpart.
Startled but little else, Vargas hit back with some big shots of his own but came off visibly worse when a cut above his left eye started to open up… superficial damage, that’s all.
The brawl-like contest continued much into the first third of this fight and it seemed evident that Azat was aware the only way he was going to win this fight was by pushing Vargas into the unknown, the uncomfortable.
But whilst Vargas was, arguably, mentally uncomfortable, he was physically serene and targeted the body of Hovhannisyan – everyone’s weak point – sending huge combinations into the guts of the Armenian before letting a flurry unravel towards the latter stage of the third round.
Aware that this was have success, Vargas continued this onslaught of an assault to the Armenian’s body and started to utilise his left hook a bit more – really opening up Azat – but the challenger responded in the sixth with, a last, do or die effort, swinging wildly in an attempt to connect with a final bomb.
The fatigue showed going into the final half with Vargas’ attempted-toppler slowing demonstrably and suffering from the affects of the body shot – another cut was opened up, this time above Vargas right eye – and whilst there were periods of success for the challenger they were all too brief and all to rare.
A brawl, an ugly but spectacular brawl, Vargas dealt with it comfortably enough to earn the win on all three scorecards, 112-116, 111-117, 110-118.
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.
Gennady Golovkin Treats His Fans to a Show while HBO Gives Viewers Boxing at a Bargain
By Vishare Mooney
Vegas’s loss ended up SoCal’s gain, as the Canelo-GGG pay-per-view cancellation yielded a bargain for boxing fans watching around the world, and in attendance, at the gorgeous and affordable outdoor boxing venue that is the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. Despite the circumstances, GGG Promotions and HBO together produced a collection of solid bouts, including the first ever live telecast of a women’s fight and leading to the ultimate showcase of their featured fighters, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1 34KO) against Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1 21KO). According to Nielsen Media Research, the HBO telecast peaked at 1,361,000 viewers, making it cable tv’s number one rated boxing telecast in 2018. Saturday’s show also broke StubHub’s record for highest grossing boxing event.
Triple G merchandise were worn by fans throughout the entire venue that evening and even the night before during Golden Boy Promotions Garcia vs. Velez bout. GGG merchandise were sold then too and fans were seen wearing GGG hats alongside young girls wearing Ryan Garcia “The Flash” tees. Such is the power of a champion – your merch is worn on fight nights when you’re not fighting.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
But enough shop talk. Let’s talk about the fight.
This fight seemed an unexpected pit stop for the Big Drama Show 2 that was teased last September seconds after the controversial draw that extended the Canelo-Golovkin saga – two fighters vying for the prefix “undisputed.” After the controversial draw came the controversial “tainted meat” followed by the controversial choice of replacement fighter. (Max Kellerman actually suggested Golovkin went from a fighter who was avoided to one who was avoiding top challengers. Oy.) Let’s not forget the posturing on social media from an angry Canelo and attention needy Billy Joe Saunders. There was all this drama but not the good kind, the junk kind, like a bag of Cheetos, easily consumed yet unsatisfying.
Golovkin wanted a fight. He didn’t want to waste a camp. Having fought two or three times per year throughout his entire pro career, wanted to stay active. He wanted to give his fans a show on Cinco De Mayo and then finally move on to the next, and more lucrative card his fame deserved. And maybe, as viewers saw, in the two rounds his opponent remained standing, he also needed to remind people just what his job was in the ring: seek, destroy, defend the belts.
It’s difficult for promoters and for media, to hype up a fight when the champion is a soft spoken Kazakh, whose English is limited, who smiles easily, avoids trash talk and can actually be mistaken for an IT guy on a date when he wears Bijan. I am sure it’s not easy to get ‘likes” when your fighter isn’t a charming 19-year-old, predicting a fourth round knockout with a left hook while simultaneously holding promotions on Instagram. And so, Golovkin, the old school fighter, has to make up for all of these shortcomings the only way he has ever known – on fight night.
On May 5th, under the stars and klieg lights, as the now familiar thudding beat of his fight song began and fans roared in anticipation, GGG walked out of the tunnel, in his hooded blue and gold Kazakh fight robe, looking like a royal grim reaper, his left arm on trainer Abel Sanchez’s shoulder and Jack White’s “Seven Nation Army” doing some trash talking for him.
I’m gonna fight ‘em all/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back/They’re gonna rip it off/Taking their time right behind my back.
GGG spent round one surveying Martirosyan, finding his range, his opponents vulnerabilities. He threw a couple of tentative punches and got caught with a right and follow up left from Martirosyan. The crowd cheered in surprise and support for the challenger who had promised that he would not “run away” from GGG in the ring, as was the effective strategy of Golovkin’s last two opponents. Martirosyan, in his 36 bouts had never been downed. After the bell, Sanchez told his fighter he seemed tight, fight announcer Jim Lampley mused “It does look that way. As if Golovkin had a lot of pressure to deal with. A lot of outside the ring stuff.”
Golovkin had taken a few solid shots from Martirosyan and it seemed, at the start of the second round that it would be a longer night than anticipated. After all, the last time Golovkin fought at StubHub it was 2014 against veteran Marco Rubio and that fight only lasted two rounds before the KO…But we all know what happened. Deja Vu.
12 seconds into Round 2, when Golovkin threw a vicious uppercut to Martirosyan’s chin, that would have brought Martirosyan down had he not literally hung onto Golovkin to avoid a knock down call, the crowd sensed danger. At 1:26 left in the round, Golovkin throws Martirosyan a hard left hook that ultimately puts Martirosyan against the ropes to a barrage of nine, yes nine, punches to his head: a powerful overhead right cross, jab, jab, jab, right cross, right, big left hook, right, big left hook. And down.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
From my seat I saw Martirosyan’s back against the ropes, his head violently bobbing right and left as Golovkin’s fists met their target. As his opponent collapsed to the floor, Golovkin backed away and looked grimly on as the referee counted.
“Boxing is not easy,” said Golovkin, before the fight. “Boxing is not a game. It’s serious business.”
Golovkin knows his fans. He gave them what they wanted. No hype. A show of pure boxing. Let’s hope Golovkin, in the rarefied world of high stakes fights, finds his way back to StubHub in the not too distant future and that HBO finds a way, and not by accident, to provide amazing non pay per view fights for the masses – for true boxing fans.