HBO Boxing Results: Jacobs Defeats Derevyanchenko in Slugfest, Hardy and Machado Win
By: William Holmes
HBO’s run as one of boxing’s premier destinations is coming to an end, and tonight may have been their last telecast from New York City.
HBO’s World Championship Boxing put on a triple header live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The opening bout of the night was rematch between Heather Hardy (21-0) and Shelly Vincent (23-1) for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title. Their first fight was considered by many to be a fight of the year candidate in 2016.
Hardy walked into the ring with a four inch height advantage.
Both boxers started the fight right where the left off, by throwing a large number of punches and landing several good shots. Hardy appeared the be winning the early rounds with more accurate punches and good body shots, but Vincent kept up the pressure.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Hardy appeared to have slowed down a little bit in the fourth round and may have given that round to Vincent, but she picked up her pace again in the fifth and sixth rounds and used a good consistent jab and strong hook to the body to win these rounds.
Hardy had a bad cut open up over her left eye in addition to an earlier cut over her right eye by the seventh round but she continued to fight on. Vincent had some blood coming from her nose at the end of the round and the volume of punches that both women were landing were showing it’s effect on their faces.
Vincent continued to press the action in the eight round and was able to land a few good shots to the body of Hardy, but Hardy landed harder counters and appeared to be landing with more power.
Vincent probably needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win this bout, but neither boxer were known for their power and neither came close to a knockdown, but still threw an incredible number of punches.
Heather Hardy remains undefeated with a decision victory by scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 99-91.
The next bout of the night was between Alberto Machado (20-0) and Yuandale Evans (20-1) for the WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title.
Machado is a rising star in boxing and looked to be the taller fighter in the ring.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Machado was able to land a good straight left hand early on to the chin of Evans that sent Evans to his butt on the floor. Evans was able to get back to his feet, but was staggered by a right hook and was met with a flurry of punches that forced Evans to touch the mat with his gloves for a second knockdown.
Evans returned to his feet and was checked quickly by the referee and indicated he could go on, but was met with another Machado combination that ended with a clean left hook that knocked Evans out and sent him crashing backwards to the canvas.
Alberto Machado wins by knockout at 2:25 of the first round.
The main event of the evening was between Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) and Daniel Jacobs (34-2) for the IBF Middleweight Title.
Both boxers showed they knew each other well in the opening round and respected each other’s power. Derevyanchenko let Jacobs know he was in a fight by landing a short right immediately after a break. Jacobs jab kept a good distance and he was able to score a knockdown with an over the top right hand. Derevyanchenko got to his feet and survived a Jacobs onslaught as the round came to an end.
Derevyanchenko was the aggressor in the second round and recovered well from his earlier knockdown. Derevyanchenko was pressing forward on Jacobs which forced Jacobs to switch to a southpaw stance to better keep a distance from Derevyanchenko’s right hand.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Jacobs did good work to the body in the third and fourth rounds but both boxers were loading up on their punches and landing hard shots.
Derevyanchenko attacked the body of Jacobs in the fifth round and had Jacobs walking backwards into a corner or rope several times throughout the round. Jacobs was able to land a few good shots this round, but Derevyanchenko was the aggressor.
The sixth round featured a lot of fireworks as both boxers threw with reckless abandon and landed hard shots to the body and head. Jacobs though appeared to be a little more accurately, but was still being uncharacteristically wild.
Derevyanchenko was breathing heavily by the seventh round but still coming forward. The body work of Jacobs was showing signs of paying off in this round as Jacobs still had snap in his punches while Derevyanchenko appeared to be losing steam.
Jacobs defense was much more effective in the eighth and ninth rounds and he was finding a home for his uppercuts. Jacobs had pulled ahead to a comfortable lead by the tenth round, but Derevyanchenko may have stolen that round with some successful flurries.
Jacobs looked like he would have been ok with boxing safely in the final two rounds, but Derevyanchenko made Jacobs work for his victory as Derevyanchenko continued to press forward and aggressively go for a knockout and had Jacobs looking exhausted as the fight came to an end, but Derevyanchenko took some hard shots in the process.
Daniel Jacobs wins the decision with scores of 114-113 Derevyanchenko, 115-112 Jacobs, 115-112 Jacobs.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko, Machado vs. Evans
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City will host an IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergi Derevyanchenko.
The undercard will feature two other world title bouts. The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title fight between Alberto Machado and Yuandale Evans. The first fight of the telecast will be a rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title.
The fight between Hardy and Vincent was just recently added to the telecast and was originally scheduled to be on the untelevised undercard. Their first fight was a 2016 Ring Magazine Female Fight of the Year, and saw Hardy win by a majority decision.
Even though this writer does not remember their first fight being as close at the judges scored it, it was an action packed fight that should be entertaining for fight fans.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Alberto Machado (20-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (20-1); WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is currently co-promoted by both Golden Boy Promotions as well as Miguel Cotto Promotions. He holds the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title and is considered one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
He’s in the midst of his athletic prime at 28 years old and is one year younger than Evans. He has 16 stoppage victories on his resume, two more than Evans, and has been more active. Machado has stopped three of his past five opponents. Saturday will be his second fight of 2018, after fighting three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Evans will be fighting for the first time 2018, fought twice in 2017, and didn’t fight at all in 2016.
Both boxers have been fairly successful as amateurs. Machado was a national champ at the Junior, Junior Olympics, and Cadet Categories. Evans won a bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
Machado has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Rafael Mesnah, Jezreel Corrales, Carlos Morales, and Juan Jose Martinez. Every opponent that Machado has defeated since 2014 had a winning record.
Evans’ lone loss was to Javier Fortuna by TKO way back in 2012. He has notable wins against Luis Rosa and Billel Dib. Two of the past four fighters that Evans has faced had losing records.
Machado should win by a comfortable margin on Saturday, as Evans doesn’t have the experience of Machado and has been fairly inactive in the past few years.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (34-2); IBF Middleweight Title
Daniel Jacobs is one of Eddie Hearn’s top middleweights and he’s looking at potential bouts with either Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Billy Joe Saunders in the future on the DAZN network.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
But first he has to get past an under the radar Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who is better than most people realize.
Jacobs has 29 stoppage wins on his resume and nearly triple the number of professional fights than Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko only has 10 stoppage wins, but Derevyanchenko spent most of his early career fighting under the World Series of Boxing Banner, which don’t technically count as professional fights.
When Derevyanchenko fought for the World Series of Boxing he had over 23 fights and only lost once.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Jacobs was a Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves, and US National Champion. Derevyanchenko competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the most prestigious amateur event for boxing.
Jacobs two losses were a monumental upset to Dmitry Pirog back in 2010, and a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin. He has defeated the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, and Ishe Smith.
Derevyanchenko has never tasted defeat as a pro, but he did lose a World Series of Boxing match. He has beaten the likes of Dashon Johnson, Tureano Johnson, Sam Soliman, Kemahl Russell, Elvin Ayala, and Vladine Biosse.
The biggest notable difference on Saturday will be size. Daniel Jacobs will have at least a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a five and a half inch reach advantage. He looked even bigger when they faced off with each other. Both guys are still in their athletic prime, with Jacobs being 31 and Derevyanchenko being 32.
Jacobs shouldn’t overlook Derevyanchenko, for his amateur pedigree indicates he will be a tougher opponent than most expect. But Jacobs will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd with big fights on the horizon, this writer has a hard time imagining a scenario where he doesn’t walk out the victor.
What Caused HBO’s Downfall
By: Kirk Jackson
By now it’s become public knowledge; the end of an era within sports broadcasting is to take place end of the year with the announcement of the departure of boxing coverage from the HBO network.
Initially reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by an HBO executive, HBO is officially leaving boxing after 45 years.
HBO Sports Executive Vice President Peter Nelson announced HBO was dropping boxing at the end of the year in a meeting held with the HBO Boxing production staff.
“This is not a subjective decision,” Nelson said to the New York Times. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”
There are several reasons responsible; analyzing the collapse of what was formerly one of HBO’s premier and profitable fixtures across their network. This particular article will cover the main reasons for HBO’s descent into boxing exodus.
The main reason, which has a snowball effect, tying into other reasons why HBO continued their downward spiral into mediocrity, was the transitional change of executive brass within the network and the subtraction of Floyd Mayweather and Al Haymon.
In 2013, Mayweather ended his 14 year relationship with the network and bolted towards greener pastures with Showtime, signing a six-fight deal worth more than $200 million dollars.
HBO could not entice their cash cow with a respective offer in spite of Mayweather’s dominance and financial impact across the landscape of the business. Mayweather’s nine pay-per-view fights on HBO PPV events generated 9.6 million buys and $543 million in television revenue, according to the network.
The new executive regime controlling boxing programing at HBO was heavily involved in the decision allowing Mayweather to leave HBO for Showtime and furthermore, banned all Haymon-advised and managed fighters from the network due to massive “Philosophical differences.”
“In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups, we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” said an HBO Sports executive in light of Mayweather and Haymon’s depature from HBO.
What HBO failed to realize, the long-term significance and damage losing not only boxing’s biggest star, but one of the biggest stars across all of sports and entertainment.
With losing Mayweather and Haymon, both often criticized across several media outlets in spite of their individual and collective success across various platforms, HBO lost the ability to consistently produce high quality fight cards and individual must see match-ups.
To expand on the bad match-ups narrative, HBO wanted to rely and build up other fighters to fill Mayweather’s void but due to the departure of Mayweather, Haymon and Haymon’s fighters, lacked the resources to do so.
“There’s always a fight or fighters that slip through your fingers. But I don’t view (losing) Floyd as a negative. It led to a lot of positive things for other athletes and fights, and we didn’t lose tons of money, and we got the biggest fight of all time anyway,” said an HBO executive.
Relying on Top Rank promotions talent and other fighters outside that promotional company such as Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward, Roman Gonzalez, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao could not fill the void left by the aforementioned Mayweather.
There were good match-ups in spots, whether it was across HBO’s Boxing After Dark programming, regular HBO Championship Boxing or Pay-Per-View, some of which profitable for the company.
Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II were good match-ups and lucrative for the company.
But other bouts such as Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol and Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs were not profitable for HBO, while others such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr., Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Ríos were complete mismatches.
Some bouts were a combination of both; Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith, Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux and Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri.
In addition to the issues regarding match-ups and PPV cards, HBO faced declining ratings over the last few years.
Their recent Super Fly 3 tripleheader – which took place on September 8 – peaked at 349,000 viewers, making it one of the lowest-rated live televised event in the network’s history.
HBO’s two biggest stars, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, became network free agents after their recent HBO Pay-Per-View rematch last month in Las Vegas.
Fast forward to a few years removed from losing Mayweather, HBO also had to deal with the departure of Top Rank, effectively removing Lomachenko, Crawford and others, HBO now faced greater competition with ESPN. Top Rank left HBO for an exclusive long term deal with ESPN.
In addition to Top Rank leaving, fighters the network invested in as the future of the company started losing. Roman Gonzalez, Sergey Kovalev, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire among others, suffered key defeats.
The fighters HBO hyped up, seemingly got “Exposed” or suffered defeats when the lights were shinning brightest.
HBO wanted to feature more fighters from Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. They were moving away from the American fighters garnering success in years past; certainly did not want to promote African American fighters and that was evidenced by their moves.
And while things were changing for HBO in the wrong direction, Showtime significantly expanded their boxing coverage, adding top fighters like Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia.
Again speaking of Haymon, the architect of Premier Boxing Champions, boasting a massive stable of over 100 contracted fighters, also signed multi-year deals with FOX and Showtime to provide boxing content on a regular basis.
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has also arrived with new streaming service DAZN; nearly every boxer is his stable – including several that were featured on HBO – will be exclusively featured on the network.
As mentioned earlier, ESPN will broadcast fighters from Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.
Declining ratings, change of “Philosophy” change of executive personnel, modification of fighter rosters, and the loss of super star talent all attributed to the overall deterioration of boxing on HBO. Not to mention the cutting of budget to allocate funds towards other programming such as Game of Thrones for example.
What coincided and even outmatched the product inside the ring was the commentary and analysis outside the ring.
Actual fighters and trainers such as Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Andre Ward, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman and the late Emanuel Steward offered stimulating insight and were great additions to the telecast.
But often times, their thought-provoking perspective was overshadowed by egregious, insulting commentary from Larry Merchant, Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley.
One of boxing’s most prominent trainers noticed the biased commentary from the HBO team. Head trainer of Golovkin (one of HBO’s featured fighters) Abel Sanchez even claimed he never pays attention to the HBO on-air crew – Jim Lampley, Harold Lederman and especially Kellerman.
“You know what, I don’t watch the HBO guys because all 3 of them are biased. Max Kellerman is in a world of his own, watching something other people aren’t watching, so I don’t really watch them. He’s by far one of the most biased commentators on TV,” Sanchez stated during an interview session on Reddit.
Whether it was openly insulting religions, comparing complexions, open bias, projecting false narratives, or just overall ineptitude, this combustive clan showcased it all consistently.
It was that same bias that turned knowledgeable viewers of the sport off and in many cases prompted viewers to watch fights on mute if they watch at all. It was that same commentary, bias and disrespect that turned Mayweather away and into another network. Which effectively signaled the beginning of the end.
The fall of HBO was self-inflicted, life goes on and the network will survive in spite of losing a legendary fixture of their programming.
But most important, with the growth and expansion of boxing across various platforms, boxing keeps swinging and will continue to fight onto the next round.
For Boxing Fans Not Interested in the UFC; Streaming with DAZN and ESPN+ is the New Normal
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the number one PPV attraction in combat sports will defend his world title.
I’m not talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr., the past PPV king who has yet to officially announce the details of his next proposed fight.
I’m talking about Conor McGregor, the UFC’s cash cow who’s set to take on undefeated challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
As recently as last year, if a UFC fight card was on PPV and an outlet like HBO or Showtime put on a competing card, you could expect HBO or Showtime to still get decent ratings.
However, the times have changed and HBO is making an exit from broadcasting boxing and will be completely out of boxing by the time 2019 arrives.
The future for boxing fans is streaming, and the future is here.
One of the bigger complaints against HBO Boxing was that you couldn’t watch a fight on their network live via streaming. You could subscribe to a service like HBO GO without a cable television provider or satellite provider, but you could not watch fights live, only on tape delay. Showtime has that option for their subscribers, which reflects the inclinations of the younger generation to cut the chord and stream their programming and also reflected Showtime’s commitment to the sport of boxing.
Showtime would still probably get good numbers if they were to counter program against the UFC, but they even have a streaming option for fights available for their customers.
HBO has a wide array of programming for their subscribers and charges approximately $15 per month. Some of their consumers got HBO solely for boxing, and would shell out additional money per month for their PPV offerings.
The number of fights that HBO put on yearly has been on the decline, as well as their budget. For the same $15 a month, fight fans can get high quality fights on both ESPN+ and DAZN and a much larger number of boxing matches.
DAZN has contracts to televised both boxing and MMA. They plan to televised 16 boxing events in the United States and 16 boxing events in the United Kingdom with Matchroom Boxing per year. They plan to show 15 World Boxing Super Series events per year with 21 tournament bouts. They have a contract with Combate Americas for thirteen events a year. They also have a contract to broadcast some of Bellator MMA’s biggest events, who have named fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Rampage Jackson, Rory McDonald, Gegard Mousasi, and Fedor Emelianenko under contract.
ESPN+ also has plans to put on a large number of MMA and boxing events on their platform. When ESPN originally announced their contract with Top Rank they indicated they will show at least 12 live fight cards from the US and six international cards. They’ve already signed an extension on that deal that will call for 18 cards to air on ESPN, 12 prime-time cards that will stream exclusively on ESPN+, and 24 premium international events to be shown on ESPN+.
While DAZN has Bellator and Combate Americas; ESPN+ has a contract with the UFC, the MMA powerhouse. The deal that ESPN+ has with the UFC is for 10 UFC Fight Night cards on ESPN and 20 UFC Fight Night cards on ESPN+ per year.
In the past boxing fans who were not fans of the UFC would usually turn to their premium networks to watch boxing during a UFC PPV. This weekend, boxing fans have plenty of other options.
On ESPN+ they can watch a bantamweight bout between Luis Nery and Jason Canoy from Tijuana, Mexico and also watch a junior welterweight fight between Jack Catterall and Ohara Davies from Leicester, England in the junior welterweight division.
On DAZN they can watch a welterweight bout between Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme, as well as an IBF Light Heavyweight bout between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Johnson, as well as a WBA Junior Featherweight bout between Danny Roman and Gavin McDonnell.
Additionally, fight fans can also watch on DAZN a WBA Bantamweight Title bout between Naoya Inoue and Juan Carlos Payano as well as a WBA Junior Welterweight bout between Kiryl Relikh and Eduard Troyanovsky. These bouts are part of the World Boxing Super Series and will be broadcast from Yokohama, Japan.
So while all the hype and marketing this week is behind Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, boxing fans still have a chance to see a high quality card from Chicago and Japan on DAZN, and a boxing card from England and Mexico on ESPN+. If you’re already a subscriber you know of the quality and quantity of boxing fights these services offer.
Finally, the streaming services offer viewers an opportunity to watch an entire card, from opening fight to the main fight, and not just the top two or three fights. This will allow fans to get a better look at prospects early on in their career.
For boxing fans, the price of ESPN+ and DAZN combined is about the same price as a monthly subscription to HBO. But the quality and quantity of content is far greater with these streaming services.
If you’re not a fan of the UFC and are looking for other viewing options, might as well sign up with these streaming services for a month and enjoy.
And get used to it, for streaming is the new normal for boxing fans. At close inspection, it appears to be a better normal.
Not A Shock That HBO Had Their Last Punch
By Rich Mancuso
Say goodbye to Jim, Max, Roy, and Harold. HBO, once the premiere network for boxing, has thrown their last punch and it was a matter of time. The network over the past few years saw a roster of fighters go to the other competition with Showtime, ESPN, and the new streaming DAZN Network. Promoters are utilizing the increasing number of vehicles used to stream fights including ESPN with Top Rank and Eddie Hearn with DAZN as a paid platform.
In other words, this was a fight to survive as HBO and their boxing division tried to stay afloat and placed their revenue into alternative programming. It was just a matter of time and the boxing industry expected the inevitable news that became official Thursday afternoon.
So it appears the rematch with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, televised on HBO Pay-Per-View, that generated a reported 1.1 buys, was a good and final punch. Though HBO Boxing will continue their scheduled commitments and close shop after October 27th.
That night, a championship doubleheader from New York at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, includes a middleweight title fight between Danny Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko for the vacant middleweight title.
HBO could have one more telecast in the works and their year end year special as part of the farewell. A sad day at the network division in New York and gone for now, but a revamp down the road and possibly joining the others as another streaming network to showcase the fights has not been discussed.
“Forty-five years of great memories and boxing,” said a source close to the network. “You hear the rumors and now it has hit that the final punches will be thrown and thank all the legendary fighters and great promoters for the memories.”
But this had to occur and not for reasons that the sport is on a continued decline. To the contrary it is the fighters that make a network work. HBO lost the big names over the past few years to other networks. The Hall of Fame champions saw their last punch.
Reaction from the boxing world is a mixed bag with the closure of HBO and boxing. They were the first and original until the competition gave them a good and lasting fight. Though Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports said, “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determining factor for subscribing to HBO.”
And that does not hold for the other networks. Simply put, HBO was out of the boxing business as they did not have the names. You can’t draw the audience without Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto. And with the Klitschko brothers reign as heavyweight champions at a conclusion, it was difficult for HBO to be a mix in that division.
For Eddie Hearn, Bob Arum, the PBC alliance with Showtime, they have the fighters and of course the digital platforms that HBO failed to pursue. The sport and exposure has gone in another direction and financial backing is a major role that HBO failed to obtain with their boxing division.
They were left with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin,Jamie Munguia, Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev, Daniel Jacobs, Roman Gonzalez, and Rey Vargas. Not the household names that are drawn to the other networks and minimal money to be a part of the competition.
Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter? Names and faces of the sport also associated with the PBC and Showtime. Top Rank with their seven- year and lucrative deal with ESPN has shown the ability to develop that new face.
They have achieved that with Jose Ramirez. The 140-pound champion is a rising star and recently defended the title with a possible fight of the year against Antonio Orozco. That fight was tabbed as one of the highest rated on the ESPN televised platforms.
HBO also failed to mention the decline in cable subscriptions at a rapid rate. The consumer is more geared to other means of obtaining premium networks and the cable industry is aware of that concern.
And by all means, the demise of HBO does not mean that boxing is a dead sport. This is just a sign of the times in a digital era.
“As a person who fought on HBO 32 times and worked with the network to televise hundreds of fights under the @goldenboyboxing banner, I know firsthand the debt of gratitude the sport of boxing owes everyone at the company,” Oscar De La Hoya said on his Twitter account.
De La Hoya, promoter of Canelo Alvarez is a part of that HBO history. Combined the two fights with Alvarez and Golovkin did not surpass the 4,6000,00 buys that Mayweather and Pacquiao brought in during their mega fight in May of 2015 that was televised in conjunction with HBO and Showtime Pay-Per-View.
We grew up with HBO Championship Boxing. Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant,Roy Jones Jr. Max Kellerman and the “Fight Judge” Harold Lederman, in between George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Andre Ward, and a cast of others. And of course a parade of champions.
A slow death it was, The history for now and memories will go a long way in the sport.
HBO Announces It’s Out Of The Boxing Business
By: Sean Crose
HBO has finally come clean and has admitted it’s out of the live boxing business. “Peter Nelson, the 37-year-old executive vice president of HBO Sports, made the announcement that the new network was dropping boxing Thursday morning in a meeting with the HBO Boxing production staff,” writes the New York Times. “This is not a subjective decision,” Nelson is quoted as saying. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”
Many saw the move coming. HBO, once the crown jewel of boxing broadcasts, had severely lessened its broadcast of live fights in recent times. What’s more, the biggest names in the business were no longer involved with the network for the most part. Several years ago, HBO’s decision to step away from the sweet science would have been devastating to the sport. With boxing now being aired on many different outlets, however, the impact of HBOs decision may not be particularly significant. For instance, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing, once a loyal partner with HBO, moved on to a lucrative deal with ESPN long before the announcement of HBOs departure from boxing was made.
What’s more, promoters like England’s Eddie Hearn have moved onto streaming platforms to show their wares. ESPN, and HBO rival Showtime are also in the streaming business when it comes to live boxing – though not exclusively. Add that to the fact that Premiere Boxing Champions, home to some of the most popular fighters in the world, deals mainly with Showtime and Fox Sports rather than HBO, and news of HBO’s break with boxing can be seen more as a formality than as a ground shaking event for the sport. As the Times states: “The decision (of HBO) cuts against a recent influx of investors and broadcasters into boxing, and amid a much wider availability of fights on a variety of digital platforms.”
To men like Hearn, who is hoping to usurp the old guard of the fight game with the streaming service DAZN in the United States, HBO’s decision might even come as something of a small relief. “I think it’s a great time for boxing and to be a fight fan,” the Times quotes Hearn, who now has one less competitor to worry about, as saying.
It’s worth noting, however, that HBO had a tremendous and long term impact on the sport of boxing. Once home to the sport’s biggest names, the network covered countless championship and classic bouts over a forty-year period. No small achievement.
Official Statement from HBO
Our mission at HBO Sports is to elevate the brand. We look for television projects that are high-profile, high-access, and highly ambitious in the stories they seek to tell and the quality of production in telling them.
Boxing has been part of our heritage for decades. During that time, the sport has undergone a transformation. It is now widely available on a host of networks and streaming services. There is more boxing than ever being televised and distributed. In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it’s not unique.
Going forward in 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO. As always, we will remain open to looking at events that fit our programming mix. This could include boxing, just not for the foreseeable future.
We’re deeply indebted to the many courageous fighters whose careers we were privileged to cover.
There have been hundreds of dedicated and remarkably creative men and women who have delivered the best in television production for HBO’s coverage of boxing and we are so grateful for their contributions. It has been a wonderful journey chronicling the careers and backstories of so many spectacularly talented prizefighters.
We are a storytelling platform. The future will see unscripted series, long-form documentary films, reality programming, sports journalism, event specials and more unique standout content from HBO Sports.
We are constantly evaluating our programming to determine what resonates with our subscribers. Our audience research clearly shows the type of programming our subscribers embrace. For HBO Sports, it’s programming that viewers can’t find elsewhere.
In keeping with this mission, we’ve accelerated our commitment to storytelling. This has produced landmark shows like “Andre the Giant,” which is the most viewed sports documentary ever on HBO; the acclaimed NFL reality franchise “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns,” which delivered double-digit viewership gains from a year ago; “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” the gold standard in sports journalism on television; the powerful docu-series “Being Serena” that chronicled the comeback of tennis icon Serena Williams; and the acclaimed unfiltered talk series “The Shop” featuring LeBron James.
This fall, HBO Sports will present an edition of “24/7” highlighting the upcoming Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson match play plus engaging documentary films like “Student Athlete” and “Momentum Generation” brought to us by accomplished filmmakers. In 2019, we will have the innovative multi-part documentary presentation “What’s My Name|Muhammad Ali” from director Antoine Fuqua in conjunction with executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter of SpringHill Entertainment.
Other new ventures will be announced in the weeks ahead as HBO Sports continues to explore new frontiers in sports programming.
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.