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Mauricio Sulaiman Discusses Witnessing The Pardon of Former Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson on Boxing Insider Radio

Posted on 02/18/2020

A wrong should always be given the opportunity to be corrected. Especially, when it should have never taken place to begin with. 

In an interview conducted on Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com, the President of the WBC sanctioning body, Mauricio Sulaiman got the chance to sit down with the crew to discuss one of his proudest moments. Witnessing the presidential pardon of Jack Johnson.

Former Heavyweight champion Jack Johnson is forever embedded in the sport of boxing. Simply put, it is impossible to tell the entire story of the sport without mentioning his name. 

In 1908, Johnson became the first African American boxer to win the world Heavyweight title. This feat alone would be significant in itself, but this accomplishment is magnified 100 times over when considering the landscape in which Johnson competed. 

From 1877 until roughly the 1950s, the Jim Crow laws placed heavy restrictions on those of color. It enforced heavy racial segregation in the Southern part of the United States. The effects and targets of this law were simple. The interaction between whites and those of color were put to a screening halt. The laws also placed major restrictions on both the freedom and opportunity of those who were of color. 

Without actually growing up in this day and age, it can become difficult to comprehend how such a law could actually be passed and placed into effect for nearly 100 years, but it was. 

What Johnson was able to accomplish in terms of winning a world title was not only arduous but also audacious in many ways. 

Just think. Would you be able to not only do your job, but do so on the highest level if you were essentially banned from interacting with another race? Probably not.

For years Johnson impressively held on to his Heavyweight world title. In fact, impressive doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word for what Johnson was able to accomplish. It has been nearly 100 years since Johnson stepped foot inside of a ring, in 1931,yet he still has the 14th most title wins in Heavyweight history. 

Throughout the career of Johnson, he was forced to deal with the sort of trial and tribulations that would break a normal man. 

On October 18th, 1912, Johnson was arrested and accused of violating the Mann Act. 

What exactly is the Mann Act you might be asking yourself. Well, that’s simple. It prevented individuals from transporting certain women who were known to be prostitutes for sexual activities across other states. 

Needless to say, it was a crime that Johnson should never have been charged with. 

So what’s a man to do? 

Turn yourself in and begin your prison sentence? Wrong. 

Johnson fled and continued his life on the run for years. He would eventually turn himself in and serve his one year sentence. 

It may not seem like a long stint behind bars, but anytime away from your loved ones is far too long. Especially when you were innocent of the crime to begin with. 

It’s been decades since the passing of Johnson but he still had plenty of people fighting in his corner. For years, members of the boxing community have fought for Johnson to receive a presidential pardon. It took years for him to receive it, but in April of 2018, he finally experienced justice thanks to President Donald Trump. 

It was a star studded cast of boxing greats who were in attendance for the historic event, and they couldn’t have been any prouder.

For WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, he has been a part of some notable events in boxing history. But this one ranks near the top.

“That was a huge moment,” said Mauricio Sulaiman on Boxing Insider Radio recalling what it was like to witness Jack Johnson receive his presidential pardon. “We sat down at the Oval Office. It was Deontay Wilder, Lennox Lewis, Sylvester Salone, my father Hector, myself and several others. When President Trump walked in, he was just so happy. It’s because he was a boxing promoter and he loves boxing. We spent so much time just talking about boxing.”

While catching up and reminiscing about the sport of boxing was something that Sulaiman and everyone in attendance enjoyed, it was time to get down to business. To the credit of Trump, he showed no hesitation. Unlike past presidential figures.

“When the moment came for the pardon of Jack Johnson, it was an event that had been planned for 30 years. It was on the desk of three different presidents but none of them signed it. So to have President Trump honor Jack Johnson and erase a great injustice in the presence of these great champions, it was just something very special.”

Over the years, President Trump has received his fair share of criticism. There are several reasons behind it, but many believe that his motives are always driven by something that is underneath the surface. This time around however, that seems to be far from the case. 

“We have to recognize that this was not political. This was not politics. This was a humanitarian action, this was a sports action. This is something that goes beyond that. I am just very happy and proud that I got the chance to be there.”

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Boxing Insider Interview with Jack Massey

Posted on 12/18/2019

By: Oliver McManus

Thursday night sees cruiserweight contender Jack Massey vie for the vacant British title against Richard Riakporhe. The Chapel-en-le-frith resident is a local legend round Derbyshire and is keen to bring the belt back home. Boxing Insider caught up with him on fight week for a short and snappy interview. Massey began by explaining how the title shot is a perfect end to a somewhat stuttering year; blighted by missed opportunities.

<em> “Yeah it’s been a frustrating year, to be honest, but I feel as though this (the British title) has been a long time coming. Obviously I was supposed to compete in Ultimate Boxxer at the beginning of the year but pulled out of that to face Okolie (scheduled for July) and I ended up injuring my bicep. I’ve been saying for a while now that I was ready for the British title so I’m looking forward to getting in the ring on Thursday.” </em>

Having turned professional in 2013, Massey has patiently developed on the Derbyshire small hall scene and, more recently, with the support of Frank Warren. Initially he had hoped to fight for the British on December 22nd last year; the slight delay could perhaps be a blessing in disguise, as Massey elaborated.

<em> “I was in the gym for six weeks for Okolie, I’ve been in the gym for 10 weeks for this fight so I’m definitely prepared. I’ve never trained for a 12 round fight before but now I’ve sort of had one and a half camps to gear up for this one. Yes it might be six, twelve months later than I was expecting but, at the same time, I’m that many months hungrier and I’m that little bit more prepared, motivated and mature.” </em><em> “It’s a good time for me to be fighting for the British title” </em>, he continued,  <em> “it’s the right time, as well. I’ve obviously been professional for six and a bit years and I’ve had a good mix of challenges. It’s been about building momentum, I’ve been learning on the job but I’ve also been keeping the confidence up and trying to stay busy.” </em>

The 26 year old was due to contest the title in July against Lawrence Okolie but a nasty bicep injury curtailed that opportunity; Massey outlined what occurred.

<em> “It happened in sparring with Hughie (Fury) and I went to throw a right hook but he’d stuck his elbow slightly and I hit it. It went straight through to the bicep and I knew straightaway it wasn’t good. It was nasty and, obviously, I was really frustrated at the time but I couldn’t do anything about it and there was no point in getting flustered about it.” </em>

The title remains the same but a new opponent awaits. Richard Riakporhe has been on a mean streak since linking up with Matchroom Boxing and is a heavy betting favourite. Predictably the odds are skewed to the home fighter but Massey insisted they were more alike than many expect:

<em> “We’re fairly similar in height so I don’t think that will be too much of an issue. I’ve had plenty of rounds with Shakan Pitters to try and replicate those long limbs and his speed but heavyweights for their power, too. I’ve been kept on my toes and I am feeling really up for it. I think I’ve prepared for everything possible: there’s been plenty of variety in camp.” </em>

Not only is there the British title on offer, and all the opportunities thereafter, but a place in the history books of Derbyshire boxing. Who knows, they might even let him turn on the Christmas lights this time next year…

<em> “There’s not been many British champions from Derbyshire (Jack Bodell reigned the heavyweight division for one fight in 1969) so that’ll be a great feeling. I had a little open workout (in Chapel-en-le-frith) last week for those that can’t get down to London and the support was incredible.  They’ve always been really generous with their support – right from when I was fighting on small shows in Buxton – and it’ll be to go back home as Champion in time for Christmas.” </em>

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Jack Catterall Dominates Timo Schwarzkopf and Vijender Singh Defeats Charles Adamu

Posted on 11/23/2019

By Rich Lopez

Saturday will be a huge day of boxing. Callum Smith vs John Ryder, Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado II, and of course, Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz II will all take place. The weekend started early with some live boxing action. A card brought to you by Top Rank took place on ESPN+ on Friday morning. It took place at Caesars Palace Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which is starting to become a new place for boxing. The card showcased undefeated fighters from around the globe.

The main event was a ten round super lightweight bout. Undefeated Jack “El Gato” Catterall (24-0, 13 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, scored a 10 round unanimous decision over Timo Schwarzkopf (20-3, 12 KO’s) of Germany. In the opening round, Catterall, the southpaw, boxed well firing straight left hands and right hooks to the body of Schwarzkopf. In round two, Schwarzkopf picked up the pace and was able to land a right hook on Catterall that bloodied his nose. Still, Catterall was landing the cleaner punches of the two fighters. Catterall still boxed well in round three but Schwarzkopf kept coming forward taking punches well. In round four, Schwarzkopf was getting closer to Catterall and started to land right hands to the head of Catterall. At the end of the round, Catterall was cut above his right eye in what seemed to be a clash of heads. Schwarzkopf came out hard in round five and landed hard right hands. The cut on Catterall opened up more and the blood was flowing. It was a rough round for Catterall and a better one for Schwarzkopf. In rounds six and seven, Schwarzkopf didn’t come forward as much and fought the pace that Catterall wanted. Catterall went back moving side to side and landing combinations on Schwarzkopf. The body work of Catterall was taking its toll on the German. In round eight, Schwarzkopf kept coming forward but was weak. Catterall landed some hard body shots that were now starting to buckle Schwarzkopf. An exhausted Schwarzkopf came out swinging in round nine but there was nothing left in his punches. Catterall continued with his combinations to the head and body. In the final round, Catterall closed the show with his better boxing skills. Schwarzkopf took a lot of punches but made it to the final round. Catterall dominated the fight and the judges scored it 100-91, 99-92, and 99-91.

Photo Credit: Frank Warren TV Twitter Account

Catterall, who is aiming towards a world title shot in the future, did what he was supposed to do and won his second fight of the year. He will need to be more active and keep winning in order to fight the top champions in the super lightweight division.

The co-feature was in the super middleweight division. Three time Olympian Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KO’s) of India, scored an eight round unanimous decision over the experienced Charles Adamu (33-14, 26 KO’s) of Ghana. In the first round, Singh used his reach well and landed some straight right hands to the head and body of Adamu. In round two, Singh landed a right to the body followed up with a right hand to the head that dropped Adamu. The Ghanaian got up and Singh went back to work. Singh continued to land punches and Adamu survived the round. Singh continued his attack and hammered away on Adamu in the third round. At this point, Adamu was just in survival mode. In round four, Adamu landed a right hand on Singh but there was no power in the shots. Adamu was also deducted a point in the round for head-butts. Singh continued with the attack in round five with Adamu taking heavy punches. In round six, Singh dropped Adamu for a second time with a right hand. Adamu once again got up and finished the round but took a beating. In round seven, Singh landed a right hand that hurt Adamu which caused the ref to issue a standing eight count. Singh went back to work to finish off Adamu but Adamu hung in there and survived the round. In the final round, Singh tried his best for the stoppage but Adamu showed a tough chin and a big heart. Singh won by a landslide with scores of 80-68 from all three judges.

Notably, Singh was the first Indian boxer to win a medal in the Olympics. He won the bronze medal in 2008 Olympics. This was Singh’s second win this year. He’s very popular in his country of India and he is also an actor over there. If Singh wants to make a mark in boxing, he needs to continue to stay busy and win.

In a super flyweight bout, Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem (9-1, 7 KO’s) of Pakistan, scored an eight round unanimous decision over former Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (36-10, 19 KO’s) of Mexico. Both fighters had a good opening round. Waseem was applying the pressure and landed some good shots. Lopez landed effective counter punches. It was a very close round. Lopez was effective in the second round. Waseem was coming forward but Lopez was doing a good job landing body shots and head shots on Waseem. In round three, Waseem was back pedaling and Lopez was the aggressor. Waseem had a better comeback round and he landed effective punches in the round. In round four, Waseem landed some nice flurries in the inside of Lopez’s body and showed to be the quicker of the two. Both fighters had their moments in round five. Lopez had the better counter punches in the round but Waseem landed some good shots as well. The six round was busy for both fighters again. Lopez did better and out landed Waseem. In round seven, Waseem decided to get back at Lopez. Waseem threw a lot of punches in the round and outworked Lopez. In the final round, both fighters went toe to toe and exchanged blows. It was another close round. The judge’s final tally was 77-75 (twice) and 80-73 in favor of Waseem in an entertaining fight. I agree with the 77-75 scorecards but the 80-73 score was off. This was a good stay busy fight for Waseem over a former world champion.

Another undefeated British fighter took center stage. In a super bantamweight fight, Thomas Patrick Ward (28-0, 4 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, won an eight round unanimous decision over Martin Casillas (20-11-1, 10 KO’s) of Mexico. In the first round, Ward boxed well. Casillas was the aggressor but was just following Ward around. Ward did some nice body work in the round. Ward continued the onslaught in round two, by landing body shots and hook shots on the charging Casillas. Casillas made a better effort in round three, but he was too slow for Ward. Ward continued to land punches at will on Casillas in round four. In round five, there was a slight shift in the fight and Casillas had his best round. Both men exchanged power shots in the inside and Casillas cut Ward above his left eye. Ward went back to work in round six moving side to side and boxing well. Ward was countering Casillas coming in and this continued in round seven as well. Casillas in desperation came out hard in round eight but Ward landed a nice left hook to the body to drop Casillas. The tough Mexican got up and Ward went for the attack.
Casillas hung in tough and finished the round. Ward dominated the fight and won the fight with all judges scoring it 80-71.

In a six rounder welterweight bout, another undefeated fighter was featured in the card. Rohan Date (10-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Ireland, scored a six round unanimous decision over Justice Addy (16-6-1, 14 KO’s) of Ghana. In the opening round, Date took control right away. Date applied the pressure and backed up Addy using his jab. Date also landed a few uppercuts when Addy came forward. In round two, Date continued to box well and kept up with the pressure. Date was also starting to land straight right hands of the head of Addy. Date continued with the pressure in round three. Towards the end of the round, both fights were in a clinch and Date nailed Addy with a left uppercut that floored him. Addy got up and the round ended. Addy was able to regroup in round four, but Date was still in control. Date landed some nice uppercuts in the round. If you are looking for a round to give to Addy, it might have been the 5th round as Date was less active in the round. Date closed the show in round six and came out firing with hooks to the body and head. Date went for the knockout but could not get it. Date won by scores of 60-53 (twice) and 59-54.

The opening bout of the ESPN+ telecast was a four rounder in the lightweight division. Fahad Al-Bloushi of United Arab Emirates made his pro debut and stopped Sandro Tughushi (1-6) of Batumi, Georgia in the 1st round. Al-Bloushi wasted no time. He came out fast and dropped Tughushi with a left jab to the stomach. Tughushi got up and then went down again complaining of a low blow. Tughushi got up and continued. Al-Bloushi trapped Tughushi in the corner and threw a flurry that dropped Tughushi again even though it seemed like nothing landed. Tughushi got up again and continued again. Al-Bloushi came after Tughushi and trapped him in the corner again. Al-Bloushi landed a right hook that dropped Tughushi for a 3rd time. The ref started to count but then waved the fight off. Al-Bloushi won by way of KO at 2:13 of the 1st round. A good start for Al-Bloushi in his pro debut while Tughushi seemed like he didn’t want to fight.

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Book Review: Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense by Jack Dempsey

Posted on 10/22/2019

By: Stephanie Kent

No matter the greatness of the teacher, no one can learn boxing from a book.

Deep in the archives of great fighting literature, you’ll find Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense by Jack Dempsey. First published in 1950, the heavyweight champ from 1919 until 1926 offers this memoir-meets-how-to-guide. Most of the pages are dedicated to a boxing education from an older era; the book won’t make a world champion out of anyone, but all levels of fight fan can learn from the hard-won wisdom of Dempsey’s legendary career.
After noting that his first million-dollar gate brought a flood of novices to the sport (you know the type: boxing “trainers” and who’ve never been in a ring), Dempsey laments that “Fighting became ‘big business’; but in the scramble for money in the cauliflower patch, the punching technique of the old masters… seems to have been forgotten.” He sets out to remedy the lack of boxing education with the seventeen chapters that follow; step-by-step, illustrated guides for punching, footwork and defense.

Championship Fighting details the author’s title-winning fight against Jess Willard in 1919 and introduces a theory of boxing: explosive body weight is the single most important weapon. Dempsey will go on to demonstrate how to incorporate the concept into every type of punch.

This section, which makes up the majority of the book, boasts lofty claims of teaching would-be boxers everything they need to know about fighting. No matter how much we’d all love to learn boxing at the feet of a champion like Dempsey, the book is hardly a substitute for time at a gym, with a coach. The vocabulary is straightforward enough, but the short, precise movements he describes and the very philosophy of punching seems only recognizable to those who’ve spent time in a gym. Likewise, about half of the illustrations — all strapping, young white men with already-toned boxers’ physiques — were vague and failed to shed additional light on the accompanying instructions.

A handful of Dempsey’s instructions did resonate as interesting meditations on form and technique, though, and felt akin to that moment when your boxing coach explains an old concept in a fresh way that sticks. As an accompaniment to time in a gym, or as a refresher for an experienced fighter, the book might serve as a good reminder of the ABCs of the sport.

Even if a new boxer was to grasp all the concepts Championship Fighting teaches, the book fails to acknowledge one of the truths of learning the sweet science: that an education in boxing is an art, a living, breathing thing that requires teachers, teammates and real human interaction to perfect.

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What’s Next for Badou Jack?

Posted on 09/20/2019

By: Shane Willoughby

The unluckiest boxers in the sport without a doubt has to be Badou Jack. No matter what happens in his career there is always something outside of his control that hinders him.

Jack has 3 draws on his record and many will argue that he should have won all 3. He also has 2 losses and one of them came in his last fight against Marcus Browne.

In that fight, Badou Jack received one of the nastiest cut the sport has seen in decades. This cut was caused by a clash of heads, now it will be unfair to say he would have won if that situation didn’t occur but it’s nearly impossible to fight properly with a gash that big.

Fast forward 9 months and Badou Jack still hasn’t returned to the ring. Obviously a cut like that needs a great amount of time to heal but Jack was looking to return to the ring at the end of the summer.

One thing which has been a problem for the Swede is he is extremely inactive. He has had 2 fights in the past 2 years and neither of them were victories.

When will we see Jack back in the ring? There were whispers that he was leaving Mayweather promotions but those appear to be fake news. However, Jack might want to consider it because it is extremely difficult to see how he gets a title shot with most of the big names signed to Top Rank.

However, there is one fight which is more than achievable, in fact, it should be on the top of both fighters bucket list. Dmitry Bivol vs Badou Jack.

Bivol is set to return to the ring and defend his WBA Light heavyweight belt in October on the Usyk undercard but no opponent has been announced. It might be quite difficult for the Jack fight to be made at such short notice.

But after, that fight should be everyone’s priority. Both Eddie Hearn and TMT have no issues working with each other as they have done it in the past. In addition to this, both promotional companies are struggling to find top-level opposition for their fighters.

Badou Jack is a more than credible name to have on your resume and he is a known face in the sport. Whereas Bivol may not be as popular, but he is a world champion. So hopefully that fight is made sooner than later.

If not, it will be hard to see where Badou Jack goes from here. He is currently 35 years old and has already started ventures outside of boxing so retirement could be around the corner.

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Showtime PPV Boxing Results: Oubaali, Ruiz, and Browne Win Decisions

Posted on 01/20/2019

By: William Holmes

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. 

Several title fights were on this card in addition to the main event of Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. 

The first bout of the night was between <strong>Hugo Ruiz (38-4) and Alberto Guevara (27-3)</strong> in the featherweight division. 

Ruiz was the taller and longer fighter of the two, and he had to face Guevara who had to step in as a last minute replacement, and his body looked like he hasn’t been training heavily in the past few weeks.

Ruiz was able to land two short right hands followed by two short left hooks in the first round that sent Guevara down to the mat, but he was unable to follow up on that and finish the fight early.

Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Ruiz was throwing a little more power into his shots in the second round, and was able to do good work to the body.  Ruiz continued to walk Guevara down in the third and fourth rounds, but he wasn’t throwing enough combinations to seriously hurt or threaten Guevara. 

Ruiz was warned for a low blow in the fifth round, but still landed more shots than Guevara despite the action slowing down.  Guevara was able to land some counters in the seventh round, but was fighting off his back foot in the eight round and was not throwing enough punches to win an otherwise winnable round. 

It looked like Guevara is fighting to just survive and not go for the win.  He has to know he’s behind on the scorecards but he didn’t take any risks in the final two rounds of the bout.

Ruiz wins a lackluster decision with scores of 100-89, 99-90, and 99-90.

The next fight of the night was between <strong>Nordine Oubaali (14-0) and Rau’shee Warren (16-2) (</strong> for the WBC Bantamweight title. 

Both Oubaali and Warren fought as southpaws, and they previously met in the Olympics when Oubaali was able to defeat Warren.

Warren showed good hand speed early on and Oubaali was a little short with his punches.  Warren’s jab was accurate early, and he may have had Oubaali a little hurt in the third round.

Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Oubaali began to turn the tide of the fight in his favor in the fourth round when he landed a counter left hand near the end of the round, and he had a strong fifth round with some check right hooks and lead right hands.

The sixth round was a close one, but Oubaali may have hurt Warren at the end of the round with a good left hand.  Warren unwisely got in a firefight with Oubaali in the seventh round and may have lost the round as a result.  Warren, to his credit, continued to exchange with Oubaali in the eighth round.

Warren pressed the pace in the ninth round but got tagged with some good power shots, and Oubaali was more accurate with his counter shots in the tenth round.

Warren likely stole the eleventh round with his activity and pressure, but it appeared to many he needed a knockout in the last round in order to pull out a win. 

That knockout didn’t come, but overall there were many close rounds.

The judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 for Nordine Ouaali.

The co-main event of the night was between <strong> Badou Jack (22-1-3) and Marcus Browne (22-0) </strong>for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Championship. 

Browne had the slight height and reach advantage on Jack and was able to use it to his advantage early on.  He pressed the pace more in the opening two rounds and kept control of the center of the ring.

Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Browne was able to land some good shots to the body in the third and fourth round, while Jack was unable to land any notable punches on Browne’s body or head.

Marcus Browne had a very good fifth round, he was able to land a strong left hook that had Jack hurt, but Browne didn’t press the pace and go for the knockdown.   Browne looked very confident going into the sixth round, and wasn’t bothered by Jack’s power at all

Browne opened up a cut in the middle of Jack’s forehead after a headbutt and was later deducted a point in the seventh round.  Browne was landing clean combinations in the eighth and ninth rounds, as the blood dripped from Jack’s forehead and he appeared to be losing his energy.

Badou Jack was able to make a brief comeback in the tenth round with a flurry of punches on Browne by the corner. Bit he wasn’t able to follow that up with any effective offense.

Jack looked like a defeated fighter going into the final two rounds of the fight, as Browne looked confident he was going to walk away the winner.  Browne went in for the kill in the final round as the blood was pouring out of Jack’s cut.  The ringside doctor came out to check Jack’s cut, but allowed him to continue.  Jack was able to finish out the fight, but he had a crimson mask of blood.

The final scores of the fight were 117-110, 116-111, and 119-108 for Marcus Browne.

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Showtime PPV Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Broner, Jack vs. Browne

Posted on 01/17/2019

By: William Holmes

On Saturday night, hall of famer Manny Pacquiao will be making his debut under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner when he faces off against Adrien Broner. This bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be distributed live on PPV by Showtime.

The co-main event of the night will be between Badou Jack and Marcus Browne for the WBA Interim Light heavyweight title.

Two other title fights will also take place. The WBC Bantamweight Title will be on the line when Rau’shee Warren takes on Nordine Oubaali. The WBA Interim Featherweight Title will also be on the line when Jhack Tepora takes on Hugo Ruiz.

Other fighters on the undercard include George Kambosos Jr., Rey Perez, Jayar Inson, Jonathan Steele, Genisis Libranza, and Carlos Buitrago.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Marcus Browne (22-0) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-3); WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title

The co-main event of the evening has the potential to be a very competitive fight.

Both Marcus Browne and Badou Jack are very solid boxers with strong amateur backgrounds. Browne was a National Police Athletic League Champion, a US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion, and represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics. Jack was a multi time Swedish National Champion as an amateur and represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics.

Browne is seven years younger than Badou Jack, who at thirty five years old is nearing the end of his physical prime. Browne will also have about a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage over Jack.

Browne has a slight edge in activity. He fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Jack only fought once in 2018 and fought twice in 2017. They both have decent power but neither is known as a true knockout artist. Browne has sixteen stoppage victories on his record while Jack has thirteen. However, Browne has stopped three of his past four opponents while Jack has only stopped one of his past four opponents.

Jack appears to have faced the better competition of the two as a professional, but fights in a lot of close matches. He has majority draws with Adonis Stevenson, James DeGale, and Marco Antonio Periban on his record. He has beaten the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Farah Ennis, and Rogelio Medina. His lone loss was an upset TKO loss to Derek Edwards.

Browne has never tasted defeat as a professional. His closest fight to date was a split decision win over Radivoje Kalajdzic. He has wins over Thomas Williams Jr., Sean Monaghan, Francy Ntetu, Lenin Castillo, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, and Aaron Pryor Jr.

This should be a close competitive fight, but the writer has to give a slight edge to Marcus Browne based on age, physical advantages such as reach and power, and more recent success and activity.

Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2) vs. Adrien Broner (33-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao is a living legend, but he’s now forty years old and his time at or near the top is coming to an end. He’ll be facing Adrien Broner, a high level boxer who was once considered to be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr., but hasn’t been able to reach that level of fame or success…yet.

Broner is still in the midst of his athletic prime at the age of twenty nine, while Pacquiao is no longer at his prime at the age of forty. Broner will only have a half an inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage over Pacquiao, which is actually a smaller advantage than what Pacquiao is accustomed to.

Pacquiao, as most know, turned professional as a teenager and doesn’t have the deep amateur experience of most professionals. Broner was a two time National Silver Gloves Champion as an amateur.

Pacquiao has thirty nine stoppage victories as a professional, but got his first TKO win in nine years when he beat Lucas Matthysse. Broner has twenty four stoppage victories.

Pacquiao has defeated an impressive list of well known opponents. His wins include Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.

Many of his losses are either disputed, or were losses he avenged or beat the opponent earlier. His losses were to Jeff Horn (disputed), Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez(beat twice), Timothy Bradley (disputed, avenged), Erik Morales (avenged), Rustico Torrecampo and Boonsai Sangsurat.

Broner hasn’t defeated the type of named opponents that Pacquiao. His wins include Adrian Granados. Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlons Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Gavin Rees, Antonio DeMarco, Jason Litzau, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. His losses were to Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia.

Pacquiao’s lack of activity in the past two years is concerning. He’s only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. However, Broner has only fought once in 2018 and doesn’t appear he’ll reach the potential many thought he once had.

This is a bout that Pacquiao should win, and if he wins convincingly his popularity and hall of fame resume will only get bigger.

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Badou Jack And Marcus Browne “Looking To Steal The Show” Jan 19th

Posted on 01/09/2019

By: Sean Crose

“Trust me,” light heavyweight Marcus Browne said this week, “I know it ain’t easy. And I’m working like I’ve never worked before in my life, so trust me, I know it ain’t easy. And you could say what you want from the outside. Come January 19, you’re going to see. You’re going to see. So, keep it up.” Browne was speaking of his upcoming fight with the esteemed Badou Jack, which will be the co-feature of the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner Pay Per View card, airing live on Showtime Pay Per View.

The undefeated Browne, 22-0, has beaten the likes of Gabriel Campillo, and Seanie Monaghan, but has never faced the likes of Jack, 22-1-3, who fought Adonis Stevenson to a draw in an absolutely grueling affair last May. Jack also has earned victories over the likes of George Groves, Lucien Bute, and Anthony Dirrell. What’s more, many felt Jack was shortchanged in his draw with Stevenson, as well as his draw against James DeGale in 2017. Still, during a recent conference call to promote the fight, Browne made it clear that he’s brimming with confidence. “This ain’t no old Adonis Stevenson,” he said. “This ain’t no Nathan Cleverly. This is Marcus Browne, my brother. So make sure you’re ready because I know I’m ready.”

Jack, however, carries his own confidence. “I let my hands do the talking,” he said during the call. “Everybody knows me.” Jack, who is a mature enough fighter to avoid boasting or making bold statements, made it clear he’s viewing things in a professional, realistic manner. “I’m listening to my corner and following the game plan,” he said. “Of course, I want to knock guys out. If they don’t come, they don’t come. I’ll show you January 19 what I’m about.”

Browne claimed he wasn’t strictly looking for a knockout, either. “If a knockout comes, it comes. But if not, we are winning every round and that’s that…I’m not here to lose rounds and that’s about it. But I’m not concerned about what the judges are doing. We already know what type of time it is already.” Although the match may be appearing to fly under the radar of the glistening Pacquia-Broner bout, call host Leonard Ellerbee went so far as to make a bold prediction:

“This fight here will be probably the best fight on the card,” he said. “These guys will be looking to steal the show.”

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Badu Jack And Marcus Browne “Looking To Steal The Show” Jan 19th

Posted on 01/06/2019

By: Sean Cross

“Trust me,” light heavyweight Marcus Browne said this week, “I know it ain’t easy. And I’m working like I’ve never worked before in my life, so trust me, I know it ain’t easy. And you could say what you want from the outside. Come January 19, you’re going to see. You’re going to see. So, keep it up.” Browne was speaking of his upcoming fight with the esteemed Badu Jack, which will be the co-feature of the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner Pay Per View card, airing live on Showtime Pay Per View.

The undefeated, 22-0, Browne has beaten the likes of Gabriel Campillo, and Seanie Monaghan, but has never faced the likes of Jack, 22-1-3, who fought Adonis Stevenson to a draw in an absolutely grueling affair last May. Jack also has earned victories over the likes of George Groves, Lucien Bute, and Anthony Dirrell. What’s more, many felt Jack was shortchanged in his draw with Stevenson, as well as his draw against James DeGale in 2017. Still, during a recent conference call to promote the fight, Browne made it clear that he’s brimming with confidence. “This ain’t no old Adonis Stevenson,” he said. “This ain’t no Nathan Cleverly. This is Marcus Browne, my brother. So make sure you’re ready because I know I’m ready.”

Jack, however, carries his own confidence. “I let my hands do the talking,” he said during the call. “Everybody knows me.” Jack, who is a mature enough fighter to avoid boasting or making bold statements, made it clear he’s viewing things in a professional, realistic manner. “I’m listening to my corner and following the game plan,” he said. “Of course, I want to knock guys out. If they don’t come, they don’t come. I’ll show you January 19 what I’m about.”

Browne claimed he wasn’t strictly looking for a knockout, either. “If a knockout comes, it comes. But if not, we are winning every round and that’s that…I’m not here to lose rounds and that’s about it. But I’m not concerned about what the judges are doing. We already know what type of time it is already.” Although the match may be appearing to fly under the radar of the glistening Pacquia-Broner bout, call host Leonard Ellerbee went so far as to make a bold prediction:

“This fight here will be probably the best fight on the card,” he said. “These guys will be looking to steal the show.”

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Jack Massey: From Ice Hockey to Boxing Contender

Posted on 11/20/2018

By: Oliver McManus

“Growing up as a kid I was into Ice Hockey so I’d go see Manchester Storm at the Arena, I’ve been to concerts so it was bizarre fighting there in June. Being in the centre as opposed to in the crowd, it was surreal.”

Jack Massey was on the phone as we discussed his upcoming fight on the undercard of Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton. “Just come back from my running”, was the first thing he said but he quickly set about telling me how he “accidentally” got into the sport.

“I must have been about 11 years old, my brother had already started, but initially I was playing ice hockey in Sheffield and that was what I really enjoyed. The only problem was that it took an hour to get over to Sheffield and the coach was honest, he said, “you’re not going to be able to keep coming here four times a week” so I looked at the other sports and ended up down a boxing gym.

To be honest I only started because I wanted to keep fit for the ice hockey but over time I feel in love with it. I was in it for fun but obviously I was aware of the big fighters – Mike Tyson was someone I watched a bit – and my dad had all the video tapes, ‘Friday Night Fights’ or something like that so I was always around the sport.”

The Chapel-en-le-Frith Cruiserweight turned professional in the middle of 2013, aged 20, and was born out of frustration with Team GB. Now 25, though, Massey feels the professional game forced him into a better fighter.

“I’m pleased with how I’ve progressed, if I’m honest, it wasn’t initially the plan to turn professional so early because I had trials with Team GB. They dropped me and the day I signed with Steve Wood, to turn pro, they sent me another letter for further trials. By that point I’d already made my mind up to try and make a bit of money. It was tough as an amateur because not a lot of people wanted to fight me, ABA champion and it was real hard work. It was getting on my nerves and I didn’t want to go stale.”

Attention quickly turned to December 22nd and the stacked card at the Manchester Arena. One Smack will be looking to make a statement against someone, he hopes, will come to fight.

“It’s absolutely huge especially to be back in Manchester because I like fighting here and it’s such a boost for my confidence to have got the nod for the show. I’m hoping to step up and make a statement because we’re looking for that Okolie fight next year so I want to see what titles are available. If I can’t then I’ll get a good eight rounder in, I want a tough opponent to get me up the rankings.

I never go out there looking for a knockout, I’m sure lots of people will say that, and the more I try to force it then the less it happens. When I hit them, though, they tend to go down.”

Reflecting on 2018, Massey was ponderous and weighed up the good and the bad –

“It’s been a frustrating year we’ve had a few little things happen, a couple of injuries but it’s seen me drop down in the rankings a little bit which is why I don’t want to waste time anymore. I need to get a busy year in 2019 with top quality opponents.

Having said that, I’d probably say that (the fight with Ian Tims) was my best performance, I thought he’d show me a bit more but, to be honest, he wasn’t as good as we expected. I got the job done but I’d have liked to show a bit more of what I can do.

That’s why I want proven fighters, good and tough who will put it on me. Because the better opponents I fight, the better the fight will be and the better I’ll perform. It’s like football, if you play a duff team then you won’t play as well.”

14 and 0 since turning pro, the Frank Warren fighter has set his eyes firmly on titles and is clear in his desire to face Lawrence Okolie next year.

“I won’t take it away from him because he’s a good boxer but his last couple fights have been stinkers and people aren’t happy about that, I’m not. I don’t usually go on Twitter, to be honest, I’ve never been one for giving people shit but it looks like that’s how fights are being made nowadays. I’ve been a bit inactive in the ring so I thought I’d wind him up a little bit to try and make the fight.

You want people to be more interested in the cruiserweight division and there’s some great fighters but if he keeps fighting like that then people will turn off from us.

Hailing from a small Derbyshire town – with a population of just under 9,000 – you’d be forgiven for thinking that, for the pride of the parish, ticket sales might be a challenge.

“I started off with a solid fan-base and I did 900 tickets on my first in Buxton so it’s quite good being the only boxer from the town. It’s a small town so everyone knows who I am and what I do, they all come and support me. The shows at the (Devonshire) Dome really helped to get my name out there locally but, obviously, being on BT is massive for exposure.”

The confidence is flowing from Massey who feels, without doubt, it is his opportunity to thrive. December 22nd, for him, kick starts a huge year with one simple mission – titles, titles, titles!

“I’ve got the foundation of sparring in Latvia (with Mairis Briedis) from last month and I’ve not took the foot of the gas since. It’s a long camp but I’m feeling better than ever and I can’t wait for December 22nd because I’m going to put on a show. I’ll send a warning for 2019, I’m coming for the belts!”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Fury, Creed, Badou Jack, Jacobs, Machado, and more…

Posted on 10/24/2018

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Team Fury Take in the Sights of Bulgaria Ahead of Landmark Showdown on Saturday Night

Having landed in Sofia on Saturday evening, British boxers Hughie Fury and Savannah Marshall took in the sights and sounds of Plovdiv- some 150km away in Southern Bulgaria on Monday afternoon, as they took time out from their preparations for Saturday’s ‘Fire & Fury’ event, which is live at 9pm on free to air Channel 5.

British heavyweight champion Fury, 24, and women’s super-middleweight sensation Marshall, 27, visited the ancient city- the second largest city in Bulgaria, taking in some of the cultural landmarks that reflect more than 2,000 years of history including the Roman Antique Theatre, Saint Ludvik Cathedral, Alyosha Monument and the Plovdiv Roman stadium.

After visiting the famous landmarks, the British pair turned their attention to how they could make their own history on Saturday night.

Hughie Fury said: “Since we arrived here on Saturday we’ve had such a warm and friendly welcome from the people of Sofia. They’re genuinely excited about the fight on Saturday. I know the majority of the fans out here will be supporting Pulev but that doesn’t faze me. I’m just going to do my thing and show them what I’m all about.”

Savannah Marshall said: “Bulgaria is a beautiful place. I’d like to get out and see a little bit more but I can’t take anything for granted, my focus is 100% on taking down Yanina Orozco this Saturday night.”

Fury takes on Bulgarian native Kubrat Pulev in an IBF Heavyweight Final Eliminator at the Armeec Arena on October 27. Marshall will face Argentina’s Yanina Orozco in a 10-round bout on the undercard.

For more information or current fight news, visit or www.hennessysports.com/ or follow @HennessySports on Twitter.

Tripleheader Action on HBO’s World Championship Boxing this Saturday Live from New York City

HBO Sports heads to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the explosive tripleheader WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: DANIEL JACOBS VS. SERGIY DEREVYANCHENKO, ALBERTO MACHADO VS. YUANDALE EVANS AND HEATHER HARDY VS. SHELLY VINCENT 2 presented SATURDAY, OCT. 27 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

In an intriguing middleweight showdown, Brooklyn-born headliner Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) takes on an opponent he knows well – Ukraine native Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), who now resides in Brooklyn – in a scheduled 12-round battle for a vacant title. Set to train in the Bay area, Jacobs, 31, is determined to regain a 160-pound title belt. Making his HBO debut, Derevyanchenko, 32, looks to keep his perfect record intact, showcase his considerable ring skills and pull off a stunner. In a red-hot division, this is one of the most anticipated bouts of the fall.

Both fighters have been trained by Andre Rozier. For the Oct. 27 showdown, Rozier will be in Jacobs’ corner, while Gary Stark Sr. mans the corner for Derevyanchenko.

The middle bout of the telecast bout is a scheduled 12-round super featherweight title bout between Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs). Defending champ Machado, 28, is making his third HBO appearance. With back-to-back wins in 2017, the 29-year-old Evans seeks to take the title back to Ohio.

Leading off the tripleheader is a 10-round thrilling rematch of two fierce competitors: Heather Hardy of Brooklyn, NY (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly Vincent from Providence, RI (23-1, 1 KO). This battle renews their hot rivalry which resulted in the 2016 women’s fight of the year. The vacant world featherweight belt is on the line.

Follow HBO boxing news at hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/hboboxing.

All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

The executive producer of HBO Sports is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jonathan Crystal; director, Johnathan Evans.

Badou Jack’s “Ripper Nutrition” Lands Multimillion-Dollar Asian Distribution Deal

Two-division world boxing champion Badou Jack’s burgeoning nutrition line Ripper Nutrition has announced a multi-year multimillion-dollar deal across Asia with Hong Kong-based ERS Ventures (HK) Ltd., a company specializing in marketing and distributing consumer products globally, for his line of premium pre-workout OXY RIPPER and post-workout AMINO RIPPER sports supplements.

Jack, who is one of the most accomplished fighters in the Mayweather Promotions stable, is a two-division world champion having held the WBC Super Middleweight Title and WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Outside of the ring, the continued growth of Ripper Nutrition is an important aspect of Jack’s success as he continues to promote health and fitness worldwide.

“My team and I are very excited to partner with ERS Ventures and introduce Ripper Nutrition to the Asian market,” said Jack, who is the co-owner of Ripper Nutrition. “We are proud to offer the most advanced and cleanest supplements ever formulated and taking the Ripper Nutrition brand global is something that we wanted to do from day one. I strive to be an international ambassador for the sport of boxing through my projects outside of the ring and this deal is another huge step in that direction.”

OXY RIPPER and AMINO RIPPER are the first sports supplements to combine the highest quality Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) with the revolutionary plant based peptide LUNASIN, a powerful antioxidant that clinical studies have shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health, and boost your immune system. LUNASIN is the first peptide that has been discovered to positively affect gene expressions and has a multitude of large-scale scientific studies done to prove its positive effects.

“Having launched Ripper Nutrition just a few months ago, this deal speaks volumes about the progression of our company, the science behind our products and the future of Ripper Nutrition,” said Amer Abdallah, co-founder of Ripper Nutrition. “We have some more major announcements coming soon and this is just the beginning.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ERS Ventures (HK) Ltd. will be the exclusive distributor in Asia for Ripper Nutrition LLC., OXY RIPPER and AMINO RIPPER sports supplements.

“We’re very excited to be working with Badou Jack ‘The Ripper’ and his team in representing and distributing Ripper Nutrition Sports Supplements in Asia,” said Robert Schwartz, President of ERS Ventures (JK) Ltd. “Badou is a world champion and having his name on these supplements allows us to share his incredible back story of how Ripper Nutrition started. We also share his passion to introduce to the world an effective and incredibly powerful American made premium sports supplement.”

Arizona’s First Seven Round Fight-Ramirez vs. Valdez
When Tucson’s Jensen Ramirez (6-2-3, 1KO) squares off with Nogales’ Thomas Valdez (16-4-2, 6KO) at the Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, it will be the first seven-round bout in Arizona’s history. The featherweight bout headlines the Nov. 17 event, dubbed Guerra De Gallos.

Raging Babe’s Michelle Rosado had to think outside the box when negotiating the card’s main event. One camp wanted an eight-round fight and one wanted a six. Rosado, consulting with her mentor, Hall-of-Fame Promoter J Russell Peltz, lamented the potential loss of a solid, local main event. Peltz had a solution. “Why not meet in the middle and make it seven rounds?” Rosado was skeptical. “I told him to get outta here,” Rosado said. “I was laughing, but Peltz wasn’t joking. School was in session.”

There was a precedent. Peltz told the story of “The Long-Haired Boxer” Edwin “Chu Chu” Malave vs. Harold Weston, Jr. in a welterweight bout that took place in August of 1971 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Malave wanted the bout to be eight rounds, and Weston wanted 10. The New York State Athletic Commission proposed that the bout be nine rounds. Malave went on to win a split decision, with two judges scoring the fight 5-4 in his favor, and the third scoring it 5-4 for Weston.

Rosado had her fight.

“I bought right into it when Russell told me about the Malave-Weston bout,” she said. “I knew we had a good fight, and there was something special about having a seven-round main event.” Both Ramirez and Valdez’s teams agreed, and the Pascua Yacqui Commission sanctioned the seven-round bout. On Nov. 17, Tucson boxing fans will see Arizona’s first seven-round bout between two local “gallos.”

Raging Babe will host a press conference this Thursday, October 25 at Casino Del Sol’s Paradiso Lounge at 2 p.m. The presser will be open to the public and will include a tribute to promoter Don Chargin.
Stars of Creed II, Legends of Boxing to Assemble for 29th Annual Fight Night DC
Fight For Children, the Washington D.C. based non-profit that has improved the health and well-being of at-risk children throughout the area for three decades, today announced an exciting lineup for its 29th annual Fight Night fundraiser. One of the most storied charity events of the year, the star-studded affair on Thursday, November 1 at the Washington Hilton will bring together nearly 2,000 leaders of business, government, philanthropy, sports, and entertainment for a memorable evening of fundraising, networking, boxing, and musical performances.

The organization’s mission is to provide at-risk children in Washington with access to high quality youth sports programming, and ensure they are active, socially and emotionally engaged, performing well in school and on a path to a successful future. Since the inaugural event in 1990, Fight Night has become one of the premiere events of the year and, through the generosity of its supporters and contributors, has raised more than $65 million.

“Fight Night is the engine that drives Fight For Children,” said Raul Fernandez Vice Chairman and Owner, Monumental Sports and Entertainment and Chairman of Fight For Children. “The overwhelming support we receive from our partners enables us to provide thousands of children in DC with incredible opportunities each year.”

Fight Night 2018 highlights: (#FightNightDC)

• “CREED II” integration. Thehighly anticipatedsequel from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Warner Bros. Pictures hits theaters on November 21, 2018. Guests will be treated to special appearances by “CREED II” star Florian Munteanu (“Viktor Drago”) along with acclaimed “CREED II” director, Steven Caple Jr.

• Live boxing includes the main event, a USBA Jr. Welterweight Championship fight between Sonny Fredrickson (19-1) and Manuel Mendez (16-2-3). Leading up, guests will enjoy the women’s Jr. Welterweight Fight between Jessica Camara and Jenna Johlin Thompson, and an amateur bout featuring light heavyweights Joel Tchantchung out of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing and Keon Burroughs from Washington’s Headbangers gym.

• Special appearances by legends of boxing including former Heavyweight Champion Buster Douglas, Ray Mancini, Gerry Cooney and Earnie Shavers; pro athletes includingformer Washington Redskins greats Ken Harvey, Gary Clark and Santana Moss; Pro boxing champion Ava Knight; Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army (retired) Captain Florent Groberg; “Ballers” actors Omar Miller, Donovan Carter, Kris Lofton and Carl McDowell.

• MGM National Harbor presents the entertainment for the evening; including musical performances by E3, a special performance of the National Anthem from Bob McDonald and Caleb Green, and the evening’s headliner, multi-platinum rap performer Flo Rida

• Featured Fight Night partners include The Fernandez Foundation, The Joseph E. Robert Jr. Charitable Trust, MGM National Harbor, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, FedEx, Washington Capitals, Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, and Mystics.

• Fight Night 2018-2019 grantees include Beacon House, DC Scores, STEER For Student Athletes, Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, Washington Tennis
Bounty Placed on Aussie Stars for Victory 8 Saigon
Vietnam has named an imposing line up for their battle with a crack Australian squad at the Victory 8 Fight Night in HCMC November 3rd. The Vietnam Boxing Federation (VBF), which administer to the successful running of the amateur version of the sport, have managed to lure some of the most talented boxers in the country for this historic event to be conducted under professional rules.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by local promoter VSP Boxing. “We are super excited by the depth of talent in this Vietnam team, which have a huge challenge in store against an International squad loaded with national amateur and professional champions.” Headlining for Australia will be unbeaten wunderkid Mateo Tapia and 3x world champion Gretchen Abaniel. VSP Boxing spokesman Mr. Lim Song said it was a major coup to secure boxers of such high calibre and bring them to the country for the first time. “I’m a huge fan of Tapia and Abaniel. I have seen Gretchen Abaniel fight live in China and Korea and she hits fast and hard! Mateo Tapia is a freak. To do what he has done and he’s only 20 is quite amazing. He is definitely world class potential.”
Gretchen Abaniel matches up with national champion Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi whilst Mateo Tapia faces dangerous SEA Games winner Truong Dinh Huong in the main event. To add to the interest that these two showdowns are already creating, and in recognition of the task facing the local fighters, VSP Boxing has placed a bounty on the heads of the Aussie stars. “VSP Boxing is offering 400,000,00 dong ($20,000USD) to the Vietnamese warriors if they can conquer their opponents in these two bouts. This is the biggest prize ever offered in Vietnam, and believe me, we are more than happy to pay it!”
The Australian team will fly to Saigon next Tuesday in early preparation for the Victory 8 Fight Night. The talented young boxers are under the expert tutelage of Tony Del Vecchio and Tommy Mercuri. The two trainers are amongst the most respected in the industry. Del Vecchio won a world title in Japan recently with stable star TJ Doheny, whilst Mercuri is former trainer of international star Lenny Zappavigna. When told of the bounty placed on his top fighters’ heads, Del Vecchio was unfazed. “We train hard, and we train our fighters to be champions. All these kids have skills – and they all know how to dig deep and go to war! Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely excited to see Vietnam for the first time and we know the big challenge that lies ahead.” When questioned on the subject of the Vietnamese opponents he was circumspect “The job of coach Tommy Mercuri and myself is to give each of our team a solid preparation and game plan. We don’t want to elaborate publicly on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. I will say this though, from what i have seen, the Viet fighters are very strong and exciting to watch.” But when pushed on the topic, and asked had he been impressed by any members of this Vietnam team he offered “Clearly Truong Dinh Hoang and Nguyen This Tam are quality. TDH is a smart boxer that has timing, great chin and heavy hands. Nguyen Thi Tam medalled at ASIAD then won well in Budapest. She is fast and has a great work rate. But this Nguyen Van Duong – man, this kid has got me worried!” Tommy Mercuri interjected “ Nguyen Van Duong is dangerous. The kid is 56kg and is a beast! He is fast, he is strong – he can easily go pro! In fact I will go as far to say, if Vietnam legalises professional boxing, Nguyen Van Duong is maybe the hottest talent in the country!” High praise indeed from two world class trainers.
Victory 8 Saigon Fight Night will be shown live on HTV digital in Vietnam, and streamed internationally by Epicentre TV. http://www.epicentre.tv/events/victory-8-saigon-fight-night/
The full fight card for the event held at the Nguyen Du Stadium on Saturday November 3rd is:
Jayden Buan v Pham Duc Doan
Jye Lane Taylor v Nguyen Ngoc Hai
Tommy Mercuri v Vu Than Dat
Mickey Pengue v Tran Duc Tho
Gretchen Abaniel v Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi
Kamil Syed v Nguyen Van Duong
Linn Sandstrom v Nguyen Thi Tam
Mateo Tapia v Truong Dinh Hoang

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One Hundred and Eight Years Ago Jeffries and Johnson Fought

Posted on 07/05/2018

By: Ken Hissner

On the 4th of July in 1910 James J Jeffries was “forced” by his pastor during a sermon saying “we have a coward among us” and started a mistaking comeback. He had to shed 100 pounds and 6 years of inactivity. Who knows prime time to prime time what the then unbeaten Jeffries, 19-0-2, would have done to Johnson, 52-5-10.

Jeffries had drawn with Joe Choynski, 37-6-3, who had knocked out Jack Johnson in 1901. Jeffries was known as “The Boilmaker” and was from Carroll, OH, living later in Burbank, CA. Johnson was known as “The Galveston Giant” being from Galveston, TX.

The bout was scheduled for 45 rounds but ended in the fifteenth. Tex Rickard was the referee and promoter. President Taft declined to be the referee. There were 16,528 in attendance.

The “White Hope” era started with Johnson. Jeffries had beaten the first black to claim being a champion in Peter Jackson, 51-3-13, in 1898, knocking him out in 3 rounds.

Johnson would later be knocked out by big Jess Willard in Havana, Cuba, in 1915 in a fight many say he “fixed” as he lay on the canvas with his arms shielding his eyes from the sun.

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Why Jack Johnson Deserved A Pardon

Posted on 06/11/2018

By Adam J. Pollack

There are several reasons why former world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion,deserved to be pardoned posthumously by President Donald J. Trump.

I am no supporter of the “White Slave Traffic Act,” an act intended to protect white women from forced prostitution, but whose wording is so vague and overbroad it made nearly all sexual immorality (even noncommercial sex, includingconsensual sex with your girlfriend if you weren’t married to her) a federal offense if the woman crossed state lines for the purposes of the immorality, and the defendant provided her with the funds to travel across state lines, including a train ticket, with the intent and purpose to commit the immoral acts. To me, the law is a violation of the commerce clause and the 10th amendment, although the U.S. Supreme upheld it. The law eventually was amended in 1978 and 1986 to be limited only to prostitution or illegal sexual acts, as opposed to “immoral” acts, which prior to then, was sex with anyone to whom you were not married. Let’s face it, the law was a ridiculous limitation on liberty, and not truly grounded in any constitutional power given to Congress, because human beings are not commercial goods, and having consensual sex (not for payment) has nothing to do with commerce, or any of the enumerated powers given to the federal government.

Although known as the Mann Act because James Mann proposed it, the law’s official legal title was “White Slave Traffic Act.” Notice the overtly racially biased motivation behind the act. Although the law’s language was racially neutral, clearly the intent was to protect white women, not black women. The vast majority of prosecutions involved instances where the woman traveling across state lines was white. The government rarely ever bothered to prosecute when the woman was black.

The law often was abused by women who were angry at their former lovers, or used it to blackmail boyfriends into giving them money, or into marriage, because the law criminalized the man, not the woman. It criminalized the person for providing the funds for travel, as opposed to the person receiving the funds. Hence, the woman, although engaging in a totally consensual sexual relationship with the man, could receive the money to travel, and then subsequently could threaten to turn the man in to the government for prosecution. Essentially the law became a sword rather than a shield.

Although Belle Schreiber was a seasoned prostitute, she basically was Johnson’s girlfriend. She left a brothel to live and travel with him. At various times, he even called her his wife. She willingly and consensually traveled the country with Johnson for over a year prior to the Mann Act’s passage. He put her up in nice hotels, paid all of her expenses, and she lived very well.

Although the law went into effect on July 1, 1910, the government did not care about Johnson’s travels with several women until 1912. Johnson was prosecuted in 1913 for acts that had taken place back in 1910. So why was the government so concerned by the fact that Jack Johnson had given Belle Schreiber $75 two years earlier, in October 1910? The entire underlying reason was race.

After Johnson’s white wife Etta committed suicide on September 12, 1912, most newspapers throughout the nationused the incident to write homilies on how it was an example of the inevitable result of an interracial marriage; never mind the fact that Etta was a depressive. At that time, the majority of states, 29 out of the 48-state Union, had state laws forbidding interracial marriage, and the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld such laws. The racial and political climate in the wake of Johnson’s wife’s suicide was one that strongly frowned upon the idea of him dating another white woman, given what had happened with Etta. Some even went so far as to state that Etta did the sanest act of her life when she killed herself.

What truly angered the federal government and got it to take notice was the fact that a month after his wife’s death, Johnsonwas dating yet another white woman, Lucille Cameron, a former prostitute, and Cameron’s mother strongly objected. On October 18, 1912, Cameron’s mother had Johnson arrested for abduction, and her own daughter arrested for disorderly conduct, and requested an evaluation as to her mental sanity, because she thought her daughter had to be insane to be with Johnson. She preferred her daughter be imprisoned rather than be the girlfriend of a black man. She allegedly said, “I would rather see my daughter spend the rest of her life in an insane asylum than see her the plaything of a nigger.”

Of course, the charges were ludicrous, for Cameron informed law enforcement that she loved Johnson, was with him willingly, and wanted to become his wife. The police, judges, and prosecutors abused the law horribly, and charged, arrested, and detained Johnson and Cameron even when they knew there was no legal basis whatsoever to do so. Furthermore, Illinois had no anti-interracial relationship laws. The state government and Cameron’s mother did what they did in an attempt to facilitate the breaking up of the relationship. They saw the attempted ends as justifying the unethical means. It was a clear abuse of power.Yet, the white press, and even some members of the black press, came down hard on Johnson. The black press feared a backlash of increased prejudice.

There was an atmosphere of hysteria and anger towards Johnson, who had to hire bodyguards to protect him against threatened assassination attempts. The black-owned Freeman wrote, “Mr. Johnson should bear in mind that sentiment and custom are often stronger than written laws. For instance, most of the states have laws that permit Negroes to do what other men do, but when it comes to doing those things then it is something else.” “Let Mr. Jack Johnson kindly cut the female white people out of his operations and he will have plain sailing.” “He’s free, and all that, as he says, but there are ‘invisible’ laws to which he must subscribe – the agreements of society – if he would enjoy a large measure of that freedom of which he boasts.”

It was at that time that the federal government decided to start investigating Johnson, and see what it could get on him. The Chicago Broad Ax said the minions of the law, like a pack of wolves, were hunting Johnson day and night. It noted that Cameron’s relationship with Johnson was consensual, and he was taking very good care of her. She needed no protection. Conversely, when black women were raped, they could obtain no justice whatsoever. The Chicago Defender lamented, “Our white brethren, whose minds are enslaved by prejudice, and whose daily papers, with their brimstone and blood-thirsty articles of condensed suggestions, seem to be laboring very energetically to provoke violence against this Negro whom the world has failed to conquer by fair play.”

Shortly thereafter, the federal government indicted Johnson under the “White Slave Traffic Act.” The black-owned Seattle Republican opined that had the woman been black instead of white, “the federal authorities would have considered it beneath their dignity to give it a moment’s consideration.” The Freemanalso noted the inconsistency of Mann Act prosecutions, which were based solely on race. White men lusted after coloredwomen, in both the North and South: “Yet in all this the government has never yet invoked the white slave law.”

Eventually, on November 19, 1912, the groundless state abduction charge against Johnson was dismissed, but by then he was facing federal charges.

On December 3, 1912, Johnson married Lucille Cameron, which only added fuel to an already racially charged fire. On December 11, U.S. Congressional Representative Seaborn Roddenberry, a Georgia Democrat, from the House floor said, “We have heard much of slavery in the South, but in all the years of Southern slavery there never was such brutality, such infamy as the marriage license authorizing that black African brute, Jack Johnson, to wed a white woman and to bind her in the wedlock of black slavery.” He advocated for a constitutional amendment banning interracial marriage.

Johnson’s trial began on May 5, 1913. According to Belle Schreiber, in October 1910, she was kicked out of a Pittsburgh sporting house, or brothel. She was not dating Johnson at that time. But she was in need of help, so she reached out to Johnson. “When I was put out of that place in Pittsburgh, I asked the defendant for money to help me get away because I didn’t have any more friends. I lost all my friends, and he was the only one I could turn to. I suppose I regarded him as my friend, too. I thought it was due for him to see me through my trouble.”

Schreiber spoke to someone who worked for him, for Jack was traveling the country at the time. A telegram was sent back asking her how much she needed. She replied, and then Johnson sent her $75. She claimed that Johnson included a message asking her to go to a home in Chicago. However, she did not keep the alleged telegram, and the government never produced it, even though she had kept all of the hotel bills from her travels with Johnson from back in 1909. “I don’t know why I saved the hotel bills and didn’t save anything else.” She came to Chicago, and eventually met with Johnson at a hotel and had sex with him.

Schreiber claimed that Johnson told her that since she was sporting, she might as well be in business for herself, as opposed to giving half of her money to others. He supplied her with enough money to obtain a very large seven-room apartment, as well as enough money, over $1,000, to furnish it lavishly.

Johnson denied that he had any intent regarding what Schreiber should do when he gave her the money. She told him she needed help, and he gave her help. He denied telling Schreiber to travel, although at one point in his testimony he admitted that he could not remember whether he did or did not tell her to come to Chicago. He said that once she arrived in Chicago, she contacted him, not the other way around, as she claimed, and they met up. She told him that she wanted her mother and sister to come live with her, so he gave her money to get an apartment and furnish it. He denied ever telling her to open up a sporting house.

Under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a Defendant is entitled to a jury of his peers, which would include women and black folk. However, owing to the era’s racially and sexually discriminatory laws, there were no blacks or women in the jury pool. So Jack Johnson had a jury of all white men.

The prosecutors improperly attempted to inflame the passions of the jury with totally irrelevant facts to the charges at hand, including injecting facts about other women, his wife Etta, potential violence against Etta, Belle, and others, allegations about his fight career, and general morality, including facts prior to the passage of the Act, and allegations for which the government had no proof. The government charged him with crimes against nature, but no facts supporting such charges ever were presented. The government accused him of debauchery, but no supportive facts were presented. The government accused him of dropping off one or more women at sporting houses when he did not want to take care of one, but again, no proof was presented. Such charges were dropped before the close of the case, but one has to wonder why they were included in the first place. The Freeman believed that the prosecutor, realizing his inability to make a case, resorted to irrelevant matters wholly immaterial to the case at bar, in an attempt to prejudice the jury. It was a character assassination.

It is not clear that the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Jack Johnson’s specific intent at the time he gave Schreiber the money was for her to travel across state lines, or to travel for immoral purposes, both of which were required elements. She reached out to him for help when she needed it, and he helped her. There was scant proof that at the time he gave her the $75 that his specific intent was for her to travel across state lines so that she could engage in prostitution.

Within an hour after the close of the evidence, the jury convicted him on the counts accusing him of providing funds for Schreiber to travel across state lines for immoral purposes, and to travel for purposes of prostitution.

After he was convicted, the prosecutor admitted that the entire motive behind the prosecution was racial, done as a result of feelings of anti-miscegenation. In other words, if the woman had been black instead of white, Johnson never would have been prosecuted. Gloating Assistant U.S. District Attorney Harry Parkin, the chief prosecutor handling the case for the government, said, “This verdict will go around the world. It is a forerunner of laws to be passed throughout the entire country forbidding miscegenation. Many persons believe the negro has been persecuted. Perhaps as an individual he was, but his misfortune will be a foremost example of the evil in permitting intermarriage between whites and blacks. He must bear the consequences.”

The Freeman said that Parkin’s comments proved that Johnson was not being prosecuted for being good to Belle Schreiber, but persecuted for marrying his white wives. “Perhaps this is the first time in the history of the country where a federal court officer has given it out that a prosecution was not based on the charges preferred; that a race prejudice was the underlying motive of the prosecution; that it was in the interest of the race division. All of this is appalling in view of the source from which it came.” “It is to be hoped that the government will not be put in the unenviable light of persecuting a race.”

At his sentencing, the government specifically requested that Johnson be housed in a maximum security prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, as opposed to the normal usual designation of the local Joliet penitentiary. The judge granted the request.

The judge specifically considered Johnson’s race in sentencing, something also which would be considered improper and unconstitutional today – a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Race is not a proper sentencing consideration. Judge George Carpenter said, “The circumstances in this case have been aggravating. The life of the defendant, by his own admissions, has not been at all a moral one. The defendant is one of the best known men of his race, and his example has been far reaching. The court is bound to take these facts into consideration in determining the sentence to be imposed. In this case the defendant shall be confined one year and one day in the Leavenworth penitentiary and that he shall pay a fine of $1,000.”

While his appeal was pending, Johnson left the country.

A little known fact is that on April 14, 1914, the federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned Johnson’sconvictions on the prostitution counts, chastised the prosecution for improperly attempting to inflame the passions of the jury, and also stated that an atmosphere of prejudice pervaded the record. Yet, despite the fact that an atmosphere of prejudice pervaded the record, he was not afforded a re-trial on the immorality counts, the convictions for which the Court upheld.

The Court held that the mere fact that Johnson supplied Schreiber with sufficient money to enable her to open up and run a brothel after she arrived in Chicago was not enough, for it only raised suspicion regarding his intent at the time he provided her with the money for the train ride to Chicago. There were no supplementary facts. There was no proof that Johnson had been connected with or interested in brothels or ever had aided anyone to engage in prostitution. In fact, the Court held that the prostitution evidence was “slight and dubious.”

The Court criticized the government for its improper methods and tactics designed to inflame the jury’s passions in order to prejudice them against Johnson, and for not dismissing counts it knew it could not prove. Nothing justified the injection of collateral issues. The Court held that all of the improper questions and evidence “show the atmosphere of prejudice that pervades the record.” Hence, “When the situation thus improperly created is measured against the doubtfully sustainable prostitution counts, we are all convinced that defendant did not have a fair trial on that issue.”

Yet, despite the government’s improper inflammation of the jury’s passions, creating an atmosphere of prejudice which pervaded the record, the Court did not reverse the convictions on the sexual relations counts, for “the record demonstrates that, no matter how improperly the prejudices of jurors may have been aroused, no other verdict could properly have been reached.” Many folks, then and now, might strongly disagree. Johnson was entitled to have a fair trial with a decision made by an unbiased jury whose passions were not inflamed improperly against him. Such improperly inflamed passions easily could have affected the jury’s judgment on all counts, not just the ones involving prostitution. The Court ordered that he be re-sentenced on the immorality counts, without consideration of the prostitution counts.

Rather than return to the U.S. and be re-sentenced, Johnson decided to remain at large for several years. He lost his championship crown in 1915.

Although some folks like to reference Johnson’s alleged penchant for violence towards women, or allude to him being a pimp, he never was convicted of assaulting women (unless one considers an earlier conviction for “attempted” statutory assault, for which he was fined), nor was he ever convicted of being a pimp.

On July 20, 1920, a 42-year-old Jack Johnson returned to the U.S., surrendered to federal agents at the Mexican border, and was taken into custody. At his re-sentencing hearing on September 14, 1920, Judge George A. Carpenter once again sentenced Johnson to serve one year and a day at Leavenworth Prison and pay a $1,000 fine.

In January 1921, the Leavenworth Prison’s Parole Board unanimously recommended that Johnson be paroled.

However, on January 21, 1921, the Justice Department, at the behest of U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, denied parole, and Johnson was required to serve his full one-year term, less any required credits for time previously served. Palmer was the attorney general who in response to strikes, race riots, and fear of communism and anarchism, had created the General Intelligence Unit, which would be led by J. Edgar Hoover.

On July 9, 1921, a 43-year-old Jack Johnson was released from prison.

After a ten-year marriage, Lucille Cameron divorced Johnson in early 1924. In August 1925, Johnson married Irene Pineau, another white woman, to whom he remained married until his death.

Adam J. Pollack is the author of In the Ring With Jack Johnson – Part I: The Rise, and Part II: The Reign. His upcoming Black Man Versus the World: Jack Johnson’s Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs, is set to be published later this year.

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Breaking: Donald Trump Pardons Jack Johnson

Posted on 05/24/2018

By: Sean Crose

Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world, has finally been pardoned. Johnson, who has been dead for over seventy years, is reported to be only the third person in history to be posthumously pardoned by a sitting United States President. Donald Trump made things official on Tuesday at the request of numerous notables of the sporting, political and entertainment worlds. Sylvester Stallone is said to have played a huge role in Johnson’s eventual pardon.

Johnson, a victim of a racist era, was convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1913, which basically meant he was found guilty of taking a white woman across state lines. The legal action led Johnson to leave the country for seven years, effectively making one of the most famous athletes in history an exile from his own country. Having held the heavyweight title from 1908, when he bested then champ Tommy Burns, until 1915, when, at the age of 37, he lost to Jess Willard in Cuba, Johnson is widely considered to have been one of the greatest boxers in history.

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Showtime Boxing Results: Russell Defeats Diaz, Stevenson and Jack Battle to a Draw

Posted on 05/20/2018

By: William Holmes

Showtime has shown no signs of slowing down in putting on competitive fights with a split site double header on their Showtime World Championship Boxing telecast.

The opening bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) and Joseph Diaz (26-0) for the WBC Featherweight Title. This bout took place at The Theater at the MGM Grand National Harbor in Maryland.

Joseph Diaz entered the ring first and Russell second to a much louder ovation.

Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Both boxers were southpaws and Diaz looked like the bigger fighter, but Russell established early on that he had the better hand speed. He was active with his jab in the opening round and had a strong start to the fight.

Russell continued with his jab in the early parts of the second round, but Diaz had some moderate success to the body and ended the round strong.

The third round was a closer round, but it looked like Diaz was willing to take a few punches from Russell in order to land one punch of his own. Diaz ended the round with two good straight left hands.

Diaz kept a high guard in the fourth and fifth rounds but Russell landed the higher volume of punches while Diaz landed the harder shots to the body. Diaz had a strong fifth round, but Russell came back in the sixth round with his active jab and high volume output.

Russell was the first man to throw and land in the seventh and eighth rounds and looked like he was beginning to walk away with the fight. Russell hand speed was on full display in the ninth round as Diaz was simply not throwing enough punches.

Diaz had a better tenth round and took more risks than earlier rounds, but was also countered more often by the faster Russell.

The final two rounds featured several fierce exchanges, and Russell looked like he was beginning to fade a little bit in the last round, but Diaz wasn’t able to do enough to get a stoppage.
The Judges scored the fight 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.

The last fight televised by Showtime was a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between Champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1) and challenger Badou Jack (22-1-2) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Stevenson, a southpaw, and Jack, fighting out of an orthodox stance, had spent the better part of two rounds feeling each other out and tried to find their range. Stevenson was able to land some straight left hands in the second and was more active in the third, but Jack was able to land some counters in the third round.

Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Jack was able to fire off his punches first in the fourth round but took a good left uppercut from Stevenson with about thirty seconds left. Stevenson was the aggressor in the fifth and sixth rounds while Jack fought mainly out of a tight high guard. Jack was warned for a low blow at the end of the sixth round.

Jack started to come forward in the seventh round and hurt Stevenson with a short right hand followed up by combinations. Jack was snapping the head of Stevenson in the seventh with his uppercuts, but he was warned for a low blow again at the end of the round.

Jack opened up the eighth round with another low blow and Adonis Stevenson was given time to recover. Jack followed up with short right hooks and uppercuts and was able to bust open the nose of Badou jack.

Jack looked like the fresher fighter in the ninth round and had Stevenson stumbling at one point. Stevenson was able to come back and have a strong tenth round when he hurt Jack with a body shot and had Jack peddling backwards.

Stevenson pressed the pace early on in the eleventh round and had Jack in full retreat, but he tired in the middle of the round and Jack re-established dominance in the ring.

Both boxers were able to land some good shots in the final round, but Jack ended the fight strong with a hard combination as the final bell rang.

The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113 Jack, 114-114 for a majority draw.

Adonis Steven retains the title with a draw.

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