Light Heavyweight : The Division For the Taking
By: Michael Cooke
2017 was a historic year for the sport of boxing. From the heavyweight division all the way down to the Flyweights we saw the best fighting the best, and great fight after great fight. Joshua vs Klitschko, Canelo vs GGG, Thurman vs Garcia, Superfly 1, Lomachenko vs Rigo, Spence vs Brook, and of course the rematch between the top 2 Light Heavyweights and top Pound 4 Pound fighters Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Despite being knocked down early in their first fight Andre Ward came back to win on scores of 114-113 across the board. The decision was highly disputed and led to a 2017 rematch that saw Andre Ward out-work Kovalev to the body and eventually winning by stoppage in the 8th round despite the Krusher never hitting the canvas.
After that fight Andre Ward vacated the WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight Titles and announced his retirement from boxing; leaving the Light Heavyweight division completely up for grabs. Adonis Stevenson holds the WBC title but hasn’t fought a top contender in what seems life forever, and the rest of the titles were left vacant following Ward’s retirement.
Even though Light Heavyweight lost their top guy in Ward there was no shortage of talent at the top. Sergey Kovalev has since regained the WBO title, Artur Beterbiev has claimed the IBF title, and Dmitry Bivol has dominated thus far and has won WBA title in the process.
Which brings us to where we are right now: Outside of the champions we have former WBA and former Super Middleweight champion Badou Jack is challenging Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title, the talented Sullivan Barrera has only lost to Andre Ward and will now challenge the young talented Dmitry Bivol on the undercard of Sergey Kovalev’s WBO defense against Igor Mikhalkin. American prospect and former Olympian Marcus Browne is ready to challenge for a title, and so is the talented Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The division is on fire right now, and if the best continue to fight the best than the 175 lb division looks like it may be able to compete with 147 as the most exciting division in boxing.
WBC: Champion: Adonis Stevenson vs Badou Jack on May 19th
WBA: Champion: Dmitry Bivol vs Sullivan Barrera on March 3rd
IBF: Champion Artur Beterbiev – No Fight Date/Opponent Currently
WBO: Champion Sergey Kovalev vs Igor Mikhalkin on March 3rd
Other Top Contenders: Marcus Browne, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Eleider Alvarez, and Joe Smith Jr
Prospect to Watch : Anthony Yarde
Are We Experiencing a Heavyweight Revival?
By: Jose Cuevas
With Anthony Joshua’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April of last year boxing fans and pundits argued that this was a major turning point for the fledgling Heavyweight division. Not only was it an exciting fight, but it drew major numbers with around 90,000 people in attendance across the pond in England. Also, when Showtime and HBO are actually sharing the broadcast rights you know it is going to be a monumental fight, given their tumultuous relationship.
One of the other severely underscored elements that made this fight a turning point for the heavyweight division was the fact that Klitschko passed the torch to Joshua. He wasn’t given the torch he took it from Klistchko. Joshua became the man in the Heavyweight division because he won a tough competitive fight against the fighter that ruled the division for so many years. Now there are whispers, or rather blaring horns, of mega fights in the Heavyweight division.
Yes we know about Joshua, but who else?
Deontay Wilder, the New American Hope
Every great fighter needs a foil, a rival, and Joshua has that in Deontay Wilder. Wilder has been annihilating competition ever since becoming a professional boxer. He has explosive power in both hands and overall is just a phenomenal athlete. Whether he has been tested by solid opposition is in question as he has mostly fought boxers who most would qualify as B or even C level fighters. What makes Wilder so exciting is that he’s for one an American Heavyweight, a throwback to when American Heavyweights dominated the division, He is explosive, you shouldn’t blink when he fights as the knockout can come at any minute and they are usually vicious….look at what he did to Artur Szpilka, Lastly, who shows enough wrinkles in his game that one can see him having possible issues when matching up with other fighters in the division.
Again looking at the fight with Artur Szpilka, in that fight Wilder looked a bit perplexed as Szpilka was outboxing him in some portions of the fight. With Stiverne in their first meeting he fought well, but seemed limited in his attack options relying on the 1 – 2 far too often. It helps to have the wingspan and incredible power he has, but I know fans and pundits alike can see this being an issue against other fighters in the division. However, I don’t for a second believe that Wilder is afraid of anyone in the division, which makes the Heavyweight division incredibly exciting to watch as fighters at the top level with some noticeable wrinkles can make for some phenomenal fights.
To Wilder’s credit he is yearning for a career defining fight, or at least a fight that will test him and in return shut the naysayers up. He has tried to secured bouts against Alexander Povetkin that have been called off due to positive PED results on behalf of Povetkin. He also tried to step in the ring with the incredibly dangerous Luis Ortiz who also failed a drug test, however the fight is again on for March 3rd. Maybe fighters failing PED tests is a testament to how feared Wilder is in the division, just some food for thought….
Luis Ortiz- The boogeyman of the division
Ortiz is a sensational fighter with power that rivals Wilder’s. The interesting thing about Ortiz is that he is also a product of the Cuban Amateur system. The Cuban system emphasizes racking up points while minimizing confrontation. A style illustrated by Erislandy Lara and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Some would even argue that it is “boring” as the fights usually involve a Cuban fighter pot shotting and running laps around the ring. Ortiz has been able to use his Cuban heritage to be a technical boxer in the ring while homing onto an opponent and crushing them with great power.
It’s scary to also see his counter-punching ability. He is phenomenal at catching punches and shooting his own. His record is 28-0 with 24 Kos an impressive record indeed. His career has definitely been stymied by the ridiculous nature of boxing politics where some promoters refuse to work with others to the point that dream fights don’t happen or happen too late. Now he seems to be in the clear and is set to fight Deontay Wilder on the 3rd of March.
There is only one problem that comes to mind when you think of Ortiz, his age. He is 38 and is creeping on 40. At that age boxers slow down and don’t have the same prowess they did in their twenties or early thirties. Wilder may expose Ortiz given Wilder’s athleticism and youth, but don’t count Ortiz out…but just know father time is undefeated.
Tyson Fury- The outlaw of the division
Fury is an interesting character in and out of the ring. He rose to prominence after snapping Wladimir Klistchko’s winning streak and stranglehold on the Heavyweight division, in turn winning all major belts except the WBC crown held by Deontay Wilder. However, it seems like the brightness of the lights got to him as he went on a downward spiral that resulted in him losing all of his belts due to battling his own personal demons.
He seems committed to returning to the ring and reclaiming what he never lost in the ring. Fury’s fight with Klistchko was a dud by most accounts, however he did the trick. If Fury returns to the ring expect him to give Ortiz, Wilder, or Joshua a tough fight. The biggest piece to this puzzle is if Fury can get back into top ring shape and remain focus on the sport of boxing.
He has long range, good power, and is ridiculously tall for a heavyweight. These factors give him an advantage over any fighter on this list as he knows how to use his size advantage over his opponents. He frustrated Klitschko who frequently relied on using his size to wear out and beat his opponents. The heavyweight division is one where a size advantage can mean a lot, given that all of the fighters in the division are strong and dangerous.
The matchups and theatrics
Any possible match up with the fighters on this list will make for a great fight…not just because of their skill level, but because of the charisma and bombast all these fighters have. Can you imagine the press conferences between Wilder and Fury? Or what about Fury and Joshua? Or the fight everyone wants Wilder vs Joshua? This is something that has been missing in the Heavyweight division for a while. And while it’s the skill of the fighters that brings people to the fights, some pre-fight shenanigans always help create interest in the fight.
Match them up how you like as the Heavyweight division is getting hot again. There are other up and coming heavyweights like Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte who are making a buzz. It’s a great time to be a boxing fan as boxing in general is enjoying a renaissance. From the lower weight classes up to heavyweight new stars are emerging and they are making for exciting fights. As always, all we can do is hope that the complications of boxing politics don’t limit who can fight who in an era where there is so much depth in the sport of boxing.
Joseph Parker Makes a Statement in Disappointing Bout
Joseph Parker Makes a Statement in Disappointing Bout
By: Eric Lunger
On Saturday night in New Zealand, Joseph Parker (20-0, 17 KO’s) was looking to move his career beyond his native islands, where he is something of a cult figure, and to join the mix at the top of the heavyweight division. Currently sitting at 7th in Ring Magazine’s ratings, Parker has not really fought anyone well known, or much of a challenge for that matter.
Enter Alexander Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KO’s), a Germany-based Ukrainian heavyweight with 15 years of professional experience and only two losses (both against quality opposition). Dimitrenko is big (6’7”), possesses good skill and agility for his size, and was clearly a big step up for Parker.
Kevin Barry, Parker’s trainer admitted at the weigh-in on Friday that Dimitrenko was part of a plan for pushing Parker to the next level, though Barry was respectful enough to give credit to Dimitrenko for his preparation and for his potential danger as an opponent. Dimitrenko, in fact, weighed in at 253 lbs, and looked very fit. Parker was giving up 3 inches in height and 7 inches in reach.
But the real story of the fight was hand speed. Dimitrenko was clearly the larger and more powerful fighter, but that didn’t matter. Parker’s hands were simply too fast for the Ukrainian to process mentally and to defend. In the first round, Dimitrenko had good position, was establishing lead foot dominance to some extent, but every time he prepared his jab (left shoulder forward, prepping the strait right), Parker beat him to the punch, either jabbing to the body and then blasting up top, or simply countering with a left hook. The knock down with 1:40 left in the round was a result of a crisp left, right combination that Dimitrenko saw but could not defend.
In the second round, Dimitrenko was obviously trying to increase his activity level, but Parker caught him with a right hook after an awkward exchange.
Dimitrenko went down, but felt the punch was to the back of the head. Dimitrenko smiled wryly at the referee during the count, as though he knew he wasn’t going to get a break in that building. The second knock down was clearer, and again Dimitrenko simply could not cope with Parker’s hand speed.
The fight ended midway through the third round in a disappointing series of events, to say the least. Parker continued to land hard shots, and Dimitrenko began to close the distance and clinch. On the second clinch, Parker leaned on the bigger man and Dimitrenko dropped onto his left knee. With Dimitrenko down, Parker fired a vicious right-handed dig into Dimitrenko’s body. As the big Ukrainian writhed on the matt holding his ribs, referee Marlon White counted him out. Parker’s last shot came in a series of body punches. Was it a dirty punch? Probably not, Parker seemed to be finishing a sequence of blows. “Protect yourself at all times” is not just a formality in boxing, it’s an essential part of the sport. Dimitrenko hinted at this in the post fight, according to the New Zealand Herald, “He hit me, but OK, this is the boxing business, the heavyweight division. I was down on one knee but this is heavyweight boxing.”
Joseph Parker did what his team wanted him to do on Saturday. There is no question that has elite level skills and speed. Did he do enough to attract interest from the promoters of the big names in the division? Time will tell, but for me, Joseph Parker vs. Anthony Joshua would be a dynamic matchup, and a treat for boxing fans on both sides of the globe.
The Working Class Charm Of Chris Arreola
The Working Class Charm Of Chris Arreola
By: Sean Crose
I remember the conference call like it was yesterday. I was on the phone with boxing media and Chris Arreola…foul mouthed Chris Arreola. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed – but Arreola proved my pre conceived notions to be wrong. Sure enough, the experience reminded me not to judge a book by its cover. For Arreola was, for lack of a more professional term, really cool. Friendly, gregarious, personable – he had all the traits needed to be well liked. Whatever his flaws might have been as a pro athlete, it was hard not to leave the conference call impressed with Arreola’s proficient renegade people skills.
Truth be told, I don’t think I was much different than a whole lot of fans that day. People, simply put, like Arreola the person, if not the fighter. Think about it, here’s a guy who actually admitted that he doesn’t deserve the heavyweight title shot he’s getting next week against the very colorful – and, admit it, talented -Deontay Wilder, yet few are condemning the state of boxing for creating such a match up.
This may have something to do with Alexander Povetkin, who was supposed to face Wilder, testing positive for a banned substance, of course. An immediate replacement was needed and Arreola was available. Still, I think there’s something more at work here. Arreola, as has been pointed out (I think by Dan Rafael and a fan during one of Dan’s online chats), is apt to enter the fight out of shape and unprepared. Understandable, perhaps, since he took the bout on short notice – but still perfectly in keeping with Arreola’s reputation for being less than disciplined.
Sure enough, Arreola is likely to enter the ring on any given occasion as big as a figurative three family house. He’s also likely to struggle against less than lauded opposition. Yet through it all the man fights and fights. Ultimately, Arreola strikes fans as being a working class guy, a jovial tough customer who might not be the picture of industry, but is still all heart. He’s the guy to bear hug you a party, the kid in grammar school who would take care of the playground bully for you. He’s the guy who steps up to the plate each and every time and gives it his all – whether he’s bothered to properly prepare himself or not.
So yeah, there’s a lot to like about Chris Arreola. With that in mind, it would be one hell of a shock to see him get past Wilder, a fighter with his own charms…and heart. Say what you will, this fight won’t be a snooze fest.
The Odd Title Reign of Tyson Fury
The Odd Title Reign Of Tyson Fury
By: Sean Crose
Tyson Fury stunned a good part of the boxing world late last year when he captured the heavyweight title – or at least the vast majority of it – from longtime heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko. Those who knew of Fury beforehand, those who were familiar with his mouth and antics, knew right off the bat that the fight world would henceforth be in for a wild ride. And, truth be told, Fury hasn’t disappointed. For the Englishman has crashed a post-fight ring party in New York for fellow titlist Deontay Wilder, has offended the cultural sensibilities of his home country and has been stripped of the IBF portion of the heavyweight title pie.
With a rematch with Klitschko on the way, however, some are pointing out that Fury isn’t taking his next fight seriously. If true, this is a big mistake on the part of the new champion. For he himself has recently admitted that Klitschko nearly knocked him out a few times in their first bout – though this might come across as news to anyone who saw the bout. Still, it’s being noted that the man has put on weight, and that he’s appearing nonchalant about his ring future. Whether most – or any of this – is true or not is anyone’s guess.
Nonetheless, it adds to Fury’s reputation for being an outlier and even something as a loose cannon within the sport. Those who are familiar with Fury’s story, of course, are aware of the fact that Fury either accepts his outsider standing or even relishes it outright. As a member of Britain’s Irish Traveller minority, Fury is part of an ethnic subculture that has more than seen its share of discrimination. In other words, Fury’s never been a mainstream guy.
With that in mind, however, there’s no denying that the undefeated champion’s behavior and words are often contradictory and/or erratic. For instance, Fury has recently claimed that Klitschko intentionally lost their first fight. Who in the world says that about the man he’s won a title from unless there was serious evidence to suggest as much?
Then there’s the instance of Fury diminishing rising star Anthony Joshua’s Adonis-like physique while speaking admirably of the man a short time later (or was it before?). The truth is that no one, perhaps this even includes Fury himself, knows what Fury is apt to say or do next. One moment he’s hungry to put down his peers, the next he’s close to dismissing his profession entirely. Needless to say, it’s all quite confusing.
Perhaps, however, that’s all part of the trick. Perhaps Fury wants to confuse people, to have them not know whether he’s coming or going. If one thing was certain at the end of last year, it was that Fury had gotten inside Klitchko’s head. Whether he was dressing up as Batman for a press conference or getting the better of his man, via verbal sparring, it was clear Fury was bullying the Ukranian legend effectively.
What to make of this odd title reign, then? Will it end quickly? Will Klitschko rapidly reestablish himself (at least to a large degree) when the two men meet again this summer (this time in Britain rather than in Germany)? Or will Fury prove himself again? If so, it may be clear to everyone that Tyson Fury won’t be going anywhere. Unless, of course, he himself chooses to. Or unless a talented up and comer gets to him. People would be well advised not to write the man off, though.
For Fury is nothing if not absolutely full of surprises. In fact, that’s arguably part of this weird guy’s charm.
Showtime Boxing International Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, Selby vs. Hunter
Showtime Boxing International Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, Selby vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are not the only big names fighting on Saturday, as Showtime Showtime Boxing International will televised two world title fights live from the O2 Arena in London England. The main event of the evening will feature newly minted IBF Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin putting his title on the line against the hard hitting uber prospect Anthony Joshua. The opening bout of the afternoon will be between IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby and Philadelphia contender Eric Hunter.
The main event will have big implications in the heavyweight scene moving forward, as the other two world titlists have big title bouts coming up in the near future. Tyson Fury is set to defend his title again against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder will be traveling to Russia to face Alexander Povetkin. The winner of the bout between Martin and Joshua will have big money options in the near future.
The following is a preview of the IBF Featherweight and IBF Heavyweight title bouts.
Lee Selby (22-1) vs. Eric Hunter (21-3); IBF Featherweight Title
Lee Selby is the current IBF Featherweight Title holder and has fought outside the United Kingdom once in his career. However, on Saturday night he will be fighting in the United Kingdom yet again and will have the fans in attendance cheering for him.
Selby will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a one inch reach advantage over his opponent. They are both twenty nine years old and in the peek of their athetlic prime.
Neither Selby or Hunter has any notable international amateur accomplishments and both have average power for a featherweight. Hunter has stopped eleven of his opponents while Selby has only stopped eight.
Hunter’s record is a bit deceiving, as two of his losses were by disqualification, to Mike Oliver and Luis Franco, and his other loss was by split decision to Carlos Vivan way back in 2007.
Selby has defeated the likes of Fernando Montiel, Evgeny Gradovich, and Joel Bunker. Hunter’s biggest wins have come against Jerry Belmontes, Yenifel Vicente, Antonio Escalante, and Rene Alvardo.
This should be a close fight and will likely be action packed. Both boxers like to throw a high volume of punches, and this bout could go either way. But Selby, at this point, has faced the tougher competition and fighting in front of his countrymen should make him a favorite on Saturday.
Charles Martin (23-0-1) vs. Anthony Joshua (15-0); IBF Heavyweight Title
Charles Martin wasted little time in challenging himself after he defeated Vyacheslav Glazkov for the IBF Heavyweight title and accepted a challenge from one of the best prospects the heavyweight division has to offer.
Martin has incredible power and has stopped twenty one of his opponents, but Joshua has even more impressive knockout numbers as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced and only one guy has made it past the third round.
Martin, a southpaw, will be giving up one inch in height and two inches in reach to Joshua. Martin did have some success in the amateur circuit as he is a former National Police Athletic League Champion and was the National Runner up in the Golden Gloves. Joshua however, has reached the pinnacle of the amateurs by winning the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Martin’s biggest victories to date have come against Vyacheslav Glazkov, Vicente Ssandez, Kertson Manswell, Glenddy Hernandez, and Joey Dawejko. Joshua’s biggest victories to date have come against Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, Kevin Johnson, and Raphael Zumbano Love.
This will be the first time Martin has ever fought outside the United States. Joshua has never fought outside the United Kingdom and will have a friendly crowd in attendance supporting him.
Both boxers have been very active the past two years. Martin fought once in 2016, four times in 2015, and five times in 2014. Joshua has fought five times in 2015 and seven times in 2014.
Martin has the power in his hands to score the upset, but Joshua comes from a strong amateur pedigree and has even more power in his hands than his opponent. The longer the fight goes the better the odds are of a Joshua victory, but regardless Joshua should be the favorite to win on Saturday night.
David Price KOs Sam Sexton to Win British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles
by Johnny Walker
Hulking Liverpudlian David Price continued his rise in the heavyweight division today by knocking challenger Sam Sexton out cold in the fourth round at the Aintree Equestrian Centre, in Liverpool, England. With the win, Price picks up the British and Commonwealth titles recently vacated by Tyson Fury.
The 6’8 1/2″ tall Price (13-0, 11 KOs) used an impressive array of punches, working behind a popping left jab and mixing in body shots, left hooks, and right uppercuts, to bust up Sexton (15-3, 6 KOs) almost as soon as the opening bell rang. Price showed excellent discipline as he boxed to a plan, not in any particular rush to take the game but overpowered Sexton out.
After winning the first two rounds, Price began to open up more and caught Sexton with a glancing right to the top of the head just before round three ended. Sexton still appeared wobbly in round four, and finally hit the canvas again from a hard Price right uppercut. Sexton’s nose was now bloodied, and about two minutes into the round, Price connected with a crushing right cross that sent Sexton crashing to the mat.
Referee Howard Foster dispensed with a count, as the prone Sexton was in great difficulty. David Price was declared the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion at 2:07 of round four.
“It’s exactly what I’ve worked for since I’ve been a professional,” the genial Price said of his new titles.
“I felt I used my jab well and boxed the plan.”
As the talk of him becoming the heir apparent to the heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers gets louder, Price intends to move to the European level next, and a fight with Kubrat Pulev, who recently stopped Alexander Dimitrenko to win the European heavyweight crown, is one tantalizing possibility.
Heavyweights David Price and Sam Sexton Weigh-In
UK heavyweights David Price and Sam Sexton weigh in for their British and Commonwealth title bout in Liverpool, England.
More UK Boxing
Power Shots: David Price Is Big; Franklin Lawrence, Razor Ruddock and Kevin Johnson Talk Big
Power Shots: News and Views on the Heavyweight Division
by Johnny Walker
David Price: the next BIG (and we mean BIG) thing?
Those fans of heavyweight boxing in the UK and elsewhere turned off by the current (overblown, in our opinion) controversy regarding the Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora and David Haye matchup will find respite this Saturday night as rising British star David Price (12-0, 10 KOs) goes up against sturdy challenger Sam Sexton (15-2, 6 KOs) in Liverpool, England.
Veteran British fight promoter Frank Maloney-—a rival of the man putting on the Haye-Chisora grudge fight, Frank Warren—has been busy in the lead-up to this scrap for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles (recently vacated by Tyson Fury when a fight with Price couldn’t be agreed upon), promoting the genial 6’8” tall giant Price as the anti-Chisora/Haye/Fury of UK boxing.
Price tends to avoid trash talk and likes to let his fists speak for him in the ring.
“David and Sam are both gentlemen and will give fans a fight to remember, “ says Maloney.
“There has been no trash talking and whoever wins will be proud to call themselves British and Commonwealth champion.
“[Tyson] Fury tried to lessen the title by refusing to face David. Chisora and Haye have brought bad publicity to the sport.
“Obviously I am backing David to win, but Sam is a very good fighter and been a delight to work with during the build-up.”
Price himself says that the buzz about him at home has grown so deafening that he escaped to the quiet of Germany to train for the Sexton fight.
“I needed to get away because there are a few distractions at home in the city. A lot more people want me to be here, there and everywhere,” says Price.
“It is nice to know you are in demand, but training is the most important thing so I had to get away and focus.
“Just a few different things were getting in the way of my preparations. It has done me the world of good. There was nothing there apart from the hotel and the gym so there was plenty of time to focus.”
While Price impressed many last time out with a first round destruction of rugged John McDermott, one observer who wasn’t moved by the fight was none other than his rival, the ever-opinionated Mr. Fury.
“He’s a bum,” Fury says of Price.
Haye vs Chisora: The People’s Choice
While there has been a lot of moaning from Frank Maloney and others in the boxing business re the Haye versus Chisora grudge feud scheduled for July 14 in London, England, two different polls this week show that the boxing public is massively in favor of the fight taking place. A poll in Boxing News showed 75 percent of respondents in favor of the bout, while another in the Daily Mail had the pro-fight faction at 71 percent.
Franklin Lawrence and Mike Mollo: Big Talk
Closer to home, American heavyweight contender Franklin “Ya Ya” Lawrence takes on Mike Mollo for the vacant NABA heavyweight title this Friday night at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover, Delaware.
Lawrence (17-2-2, 12 KOs), coming off of five straight wins, sounds very confident, if not downright arrogant, as he takes on a man who hasn’t fought since 2010.
“Mike Mollo can’t fight,” Lawrence says flatly. “He just swings wildly.”
“Andrew Golota boxed him and then beat him half to death.
“The guy has no inside game and he is not ready for me. He doesn’t do anything textbook but I will give him credit because he does take a good beating.”
Lawrence is also convinced that the heavyweight titles held by the Brothers Klitschko are soon to be his.
“I will be fighting for the championship within a fight or two. My ratings would be higher except the guys ahead of me are ducking me,” Lawrence contends.
“Once the networks see what I can do, they will know I am a serious challenger for the title.”
Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KO’s), however, is unimpressed by Lawrence’s future plans, which he sees as delusions of grandeur, and says he’ll upset “Ya Ya’s” apple cart with a win on Friday night.
“Not only am I going to win but I will win in spectacular fashion,” Mollo vows.
“I have been putting in the hard work and have been in training camp for ten weeks.
“[Lawrence] beat an out of shape Jason Gavern and Jason Estrada. He has gotten off easy in those fights and if he wants to live off that, then he is fooling himself.
“This fight will get me back in the spotlight and I am not looking to squeak by with a decision.”
If the fight is as heated as the trash talk, this should be a good one.
The Return of Razor Ruddock?
Speaking of delusions of grandeur, you may have heard of the press release making the rounds announcing the return of former contender Donovan “Razor” Ruddock (38-5-1, 29 KOs).
Ruddock joins the ranks of Jameel “Big Time” McCline, Evander Holyfield, James “Lights Out” Toney, and Antonio Tarver, all 40+ aged fighters who are looking for that coveted (and lucrative) shot at one or both of the heavyweight kingpin Klitschko brothers.
“First thing, I want my Canadian Heavyweight title back,” says Ruddock.
“I really respect Neven [Pajkic, current Canadian Heavyweight champion].
“He’s a warrior who carries the title with class and pride. But, sadly for him, he’s wearing the belt that I want.
“Then when Neven is healing up, hopefully he’ll take some comfort in the fact that I’ll be putting Tyson Fury, Chris Arreola, Derrick Chisora, David Haye, Bermane Stiverne, Seth Mitchell, and Tomasz Adamek, on the exact same pudding diet too.
“And after I feast on the appetizers, I’ll dive in for two helpings of Chicken Kiev,” says Ruddock in a reference to the Ukrainian champions.
Power Shots contacted Canadian champion Pajkic regarding Ruddock’s grandiose remarks, and he didn’t seem too impressed with the 48-year-old former contender’s big plans.
“HAHAHAHA,” Pajkic replied via Facebook. “What can I say brother, out here in TO [Toronto] crack is cheap !!!”
Prizefighter Heavyweight Tournament to Feature Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski, Kali Meehan
Another heavyweight who is never lacking in the trash talk department, Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, is already yapping ahead of the Betfair Prizefighter International Heavyweights tournament set for Wednesday June 20 at York Hall, Bethnal Green in the UK.
Both Johnson and fellow tournament entry Albert Sosnowski have been vanquished already by WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko, but while most would rate Sosnowski’s effort as a game one, Johnson’s negative performance against the big Ukrainian earned him the sarcastic moniker, “Safety Pin.”
Johnson made a move back toward heavyweight relevance recently when he disposed of Aussie heavyweight contender Alex Leapai, stopping him via a ninth-round TKO.
And that’s all Johnson needed to start talking very big once again.
“I’m ready to put the American heavyweight boxing scene back on the map starting with the Betfair Prizefighter tournament on June 20,” Johnson says.
“Like I tell everybody, I am the best American heavyweight – bar none! If people see me, they will know it. Don’t worry about Seth Mitchell, Chris Arreola or any of those other clowns. Just focus on me and watch me deliver. I’m the best heavyweight in the world that’s not named Klitschko, and after Prizefighter, I’ll take care of that too.”
Power Shots has to wonder: has Kevin Johnson been talking to Razor Ruddock, by any chance?
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WBC President Sulaiman: “Vitali Can’t Fight David Haye”
By Johnny Walker
According to a post on promoter Frank Maloney’s website, WBC president Jose Sulaiman has nixed the idea of a fight between his heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and former WBA champ David Haye of England.
Both Klitschko and Haye have been chomping at the bit to fight each other, with Haye even announcing last week via Twitter that the fight was on.
Now, in opposition to both fighter’s wishes, Sulaiman has thrown rhetorical cold water over the whole idea.
“The WBC will not accept David Haye,” writes Sulaiman.
“He is not rated by the WBC. And, The British Board of Boxing Control, can’t issue anything against someone who’s not affiliated to them any more. If he was licensed, he’d for sure have his license taken away from him. It would be setting a bad example for boxing if we accepted David Haye.
“This is a long feud, but I believe Vitali must think of the world, and not just limit himself to the area where he’s been fighting recently. I think he should now look for something more important and worldwide.”
Exactly who Sulaiman has in mind is the real question here.
There are few if any other fighters in the heavyweight division who can sell a fight like the “retired” British motormouth, so for pre-fight publicity and resulting fan interest alone, Haye versus Vitali is a sure-fire world-wide winner–especially after the recent highly publicized post-fight brawl in Germany featuring Haye belting his UK counterpart Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora in the face.
But Sulaiman isn’t having it.
“I would not like to mention David Haye again, because for me today, he’s not a good example for boxing,” he says. “Let’s talk about someone else that could be a reality. This is a joke!”
Some might say that the WBC president’s sudden worries about the image of the boxing are also a joke, but that is another story for another day.