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Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe is Ghana’s Newest World Champion


By: Ken Hissner

On April 28th of this year Ghana’s Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe, 18-0 (12), came into Philadelphia to face the co-promoters boxer Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0 (18), of Las Vegas, NV.

At the press conference several days before their bout at the Liacouras Center of Temple University Magdaleno had some harsh childish name calling about the facial appearance of Dogboe. He was one nasty opponent who wanted to bait Dogboe into his child like name calling. I knew for sure I would not be rooting for Magdaleno.

In the first round of their fight Magdaleno dropped Dogboe. By the end of the third round it didn’t look good for Dogboe. Suddenly in the fifth round Dogboe started a body attack that took out the gut’s and heart of Magdaleno dropping him. By the eleventh round Magdaleno hit the canvas two more times forcing referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., to wave the fight off at 1:38 of the eleventh round proclaiming Dogboe the World Boxing Organisation World Super Bantamweight Title. Dogboe was ahead on the three scorecards by 96-91, 95-93 and 97-91 at the time of the stoppage.

At a dinner the night before the press conference I was able to attend at an Upper Darby Afro-American eatery sponsored by co-promoter J Russell Peltz who was accompanied by “Raging Babe”. The meal was splendid. I got a picture with Dogboe and I felt I obtained a “new friend!” I brought him his record via www.boxrec.com along with three fellow former boxers from Ghana including Azuma “Professor” Nelson, WBC World Super Featherweight champion, Floyd Robertson, former British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and two-time world title challenger and Love Allotey, British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and world title challenger.

Dogboe turned professional on August 30, 2013 in a 6 round bout knocking out Csaba Toth, 10-18. It would be ten months before he had his second fight being in Belfast Harris defeating Andy Harris, 3-14-1, dropping Harris in the first round. In his next five fights over a six month period all in the USA Dogboe would stretch his winning streak to seven! In his next eight fights all in his home country of Ghana he increased his unbeaten winning streak to fifteen.

On November 06, 2015 Dogboe would win his first minor title the vacant West African Boxing Union Featherweight title stopping John Oblitey Commey, 9-18, in the third round of a scheduled 12. Two fights later he would add a second title stopping Michael Pappoe, 13-2, for the World Boxing Organisation Africa Featherweight Title winning every one of the twelve rounds.

On June 18, 2016 Dogboe would stop Edward Kakembo, 10-0, of Uganda, living in Silver Springs, MD, in the sixth round of his newest title in his first defense. In his next bout he would defeat Neil John Tabanao, 13-1, of Cebu, Philippines, winning the vacant World boxing Council Youth Silver Featherweight Title, the World Boxing Organisation Oriental title and a defense of his Africa title

Four months later Dogboe would drop down to Super Bantamweight and won the vacant World Boxing Organisation International Title with a seventh round stoppage of Julian Evaristo Aristule, 32-6, of Argentina, the South American champion at Spark Arena, Auckland, NZ.

In July 22, 2017, Dogboe would defend his WBO Int’l title stopping Javier Nicolas Chacon, 25-3-1 at the end of six rounds. Some eleven months later he would win the interim World Boxing Organisation’s World Super Bantamweight Title stopping Cesar Juarez, 20-5, of Mexico City, MEX, in the fifth round of a scheduled 12. Both fights were at the Bukom Boxing Arena, in Accra, Ghana. This fight set-up his meeting with Magdaleno almost four months later in Philadelphia. He is trained and promoted by his father Paul Dogboe of Rising Stars Africa. His manager is John Arthur.

Through his advisor Mike Altamura I was able to conduct a Q&A with the new world champion.

KEN HISSNER: Did Magdaleno get you to the point at the press conference you wanted to punish him even more in your bout with him?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Not really. He’s a nice guy and a true warrior. I just wanted him to come and fight. Not run. I thought he brought his best.

KEN HISSNER: In October of 2014 you came to the USA and won five fights over a six month space of time. How did this come about bringing you to the USA?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the legend James “Lights Out” Toney came to London and my dad met him and he asked my dad to show him where to get a cigar! So my dad drove him to central London Chinatown and got it for him. They became friends and my dad invited him to the gym to come check me spar and he fell in love with my style. Next minute I was in the USA with my dad to make history.

KEN HISSNER: How were you received when you returned to your home country of Ghana?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the people were amazing and were calling me the second coming of Azuma Nelson. I was loved by them but the boxing fraternity kinda shunned me because they were saying this little kid just came on the scene and he’s beating all our boxers.

KEN HISSNER: I see your No. 1 contender is Diego De La Hoya from Mexico. What are your future plans?

ISAAC DOGBOE: I was born ready so if he wants it and the world wants it, why not? If Top Rank arranges it I am game. I’d love to make a defense then immediately eye unification.

KEN HISSNER: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Of course. God Bless them for all supporting me and I love them. Without the fans there is no Isaac Dogboe.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you my new friend and world champion for taking the time to answering these questions.
ISAAC DOGBOE: Ken, thank you too, and God Bless. You do a great job covering our sport.

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Adrien Broner Puts It All on the Line Against Jessie Vargas


By: Bryant Romero

Adrien “The Problem” Broner enters this Saturday arguably heading into the most important bout of his 10 year pro boxing career when he takes on Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) will be putting it all on the line including a 300k side bet with a colorful rapper he’s been beefing with on social media during fight week. Another devastating loss could spell the end of Broner as a main event headliner. There is no doubt Broner has to be feeling some type of pressure heading into this fight, knowing that the future of his career hangs in the balance if he doesn’t defeat Jessie Vargas this Saturday. However, Broner has kept a relatively low profile during his preparations in training camp, which could mean he’s putting a lot of his focus on his upcoming fight.


Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME

““I’m very happy with this camp. It’s just what I needed. I’m catching up with sleep, eating well. The isolated training is really good. I love everything about this camp.

“Training in isolation is really good for me. I told everybody that they were not coming to Florida with me, that I will see them all after the fight and that if they really love me they will understand the situation and they will be cool with it.

“I actually did a camp with Coach Kevin before when Devon Alexander fought Timothy Bradley. And I’ve seen the way he is. We had our arguments and he cussed me out almost every day, but I was just missing the structure and that’s what I need,” Broner said.

After getting soundly defeated by Mikey Garcia last summer, Broner felt a major change was needed in the corner and he felt he needed a more authoritative voice. A voice that could keep him on his toes and keep him pushing a harder while in training camp, which is the major influence into why Broner decided to train with Coach Cunningham.

“I’ve known Coach Cunningham since my amateur days. We used to go up to St. Louis all the time and fight in his tournaments, on his shows. I have even fought for St. Louis in the Ringside Tournament. It was a great experience.

“I’ve known Coach Cunningham for a long time. He is the real deal He is not going to B.S. me. He’s going to keep me on my toes. I need that.

“There are coaches that change when their fighters get to certain levels. They still coach, but they don’t provide the structure the fighter needs. When I was fighting at 130, 135, Coach Mike [Stafford] will be at my door yelling ‘Get your butt up. We have to run. We have to train. Get up! Get up!’ But time went by and things changed.

“Coach Mike stopped being a coach and started being more of a friend. I needed him to keep being my coach. I need someone to keep me in line. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll always be like a father figure but when it comes to training and my career. I needed a change,” Broner said.

Broner has made the necessary adjustments in training camp that could help put on a better performance come fight night. Whether these changes could produce a great performance from Broner remains to be seen. The question is will Broner let his hands go? Against an experienced, confident and hungry fighter in Jessie Vargas who’s never shown a lack of discipline in his career.

The Vegas oddsmakers see Broner as a slight underdog in this fight, so expect a competitive battle this Saturday and perhaps a very controversial decision. Broner may never reach the heights where he was touted as being the next big boxing superstar, but a big win over Jessie Vargas will produce bigger opportunities in the future and help add to his accomplishments while remaining one of the sport’s most popular fighters.

Despite his multiple setbacks in the ring, Broner still feels he has plenty to give to boxing.

“I started my career young. I won titles in four weight classes. I’ve accomplished a lot and there’s still more to come. I got a lot of fighting left to do,” Broner said.

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PBC on Showtime Preview: Davis vs. Cuellar, Charlo vs. Centeno, Broner vs. Vargas


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will be putting on a stacked card on Showtime live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Three fights are planned to be televised with a main event featuring the always entertaining Adrien Broner and former World Title Challenger Jessie Vargas. Jermall Charlo will also be fighting on the card for the vacant WBC Interim Middleweight Title. Gervonta Davis will also be taking on Jesus Cuellar for the WBA Junior Lightweight Title.


Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME

The undercard will feature boxers such as former Olympian Rau’shee Warren, two sport star Heather Hardy, as well as Dylan Price.

The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.

Gervonta Davis (19-0) vs. Jesus Cuellar(28-2); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title

The opening bout of the night will be between Gervonta Davis, one of The Money Team’s best fighters in their stable, and Jesus Cuellar, a top contender in the featherweight division moving up to the junior lightweight division.

Davis is known for his knockout power, only of his opponents was able to make it to the final bell and he’s currently riding a ten fight win streak. However, Cuellar also has some power in his hands and has twenty one stoppage victories, though most of them came at a lighter weight.

Davis has been fairly active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. He is also eight years younger than Cuellar and will only be giving up a half an inch in reach and height. Cuellar has been very in active and did not fight in 2017 and only fought once in 2016.

Cuellar competed for Argentina at the Pan American Games several times as an amateur and Davis was able to win a National Golden Gloves Title.

Davis has defeated the likes of Francisco Fonseca, Liam Walsh, Jose Pedraza, and Cristobal Cruz. Cuellar has beaten the likes of Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His losses were to Oscar Escandon and Abner Mares.

This will be a good test for Davis, as Cuellar is a solid fighter with good technique who has been in the ring with several high level boxers. Both boxers are southpaws so it will be interesting to see if Davis can adjust to facing a southpaw. But Davis is simply too young and too powerful for Cuellar and he should be able to overwhelm Cuellar by the middle rounds.

Jermall Charlo (26-0) vs. Hugo Centeno (26-1); WBC Interim Middleweight Title

Jermall Charlo and Huge Centeno looks like it could be the most competitive bout of the night. Both boxers are twenty sveen years old and both only fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Charlo is the bigger puncher of the two, as he has twenty stoppage victories, including four of his past five fights. Centeno only has fourteen stoppage victories. His lone loss was also by stoppage.

Charlo will be giving up two inches in reach and about an inch and a half in height to Centeno.

Both boxers had relatively successful amateur careers, but Centeno has a slight edge in terms of success. Charlo has a reported record of 65-6 as an amateur, while Centeno was very successful in the Junior Olympics, National PAL Tournament, and other National Tournaments in the United States.

Charlo has the better resume of the two. He has defeated Jorge Sebastian Heilan, Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage. Centeno has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa and Immanuwel Aleem. His lone loss was to Maciej Sulecki.

The longer this fight goes the better the chances are of Centeno pulling off an upset. However, the Charlo brothers have been very impressive in the ring recently and should be considered to be the favorite.

Adrien Broner (33-3) vs. Jessie Vargas (28-2); Welterweight Division

The main event of the evening will be between the always controversial Adrien Broner and the very sound Jessie Vargas.

Both boxers are 28 years old, but Vargas will have a large four inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage. They both also only fought three times in the past two years, Broner fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Vargas fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Broner has the clear edge in power of the two. He has twenty four stoppage wins to his credit while Vargas only has ten. They both had successful amateur careers. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and had an amateur record of 300-19. Vargas was a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion and had an amateur record of 120-20.

Broner resume looks much better at the lighter weights in comparison to the heavier weight classes. His wins were over the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlos Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. He has losses to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Marcos Maidana.

Vargas has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Wale Omotoso, and Josesito Lopez. His losses were to Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.

Broner has been facing a lot of out of the ring issues recently and it may affect him on Saturday night. Vargas isn’t known for his power or an aggressive style that has been known to give Broner problems, but technically he’s sound and this writer has to give him a slight edge on Saturday night.

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PBC on FS1 Results: Vargas and Molina are Victorious


By: Ken Hissner

TGB Promotions over Premier Boxing Champions USA Fox Sports 1 Friday promoted four ten’s that any could be a main event at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, CA.


Photo Credit: Pete Young: Premier Boxing Champions

Returning after 13 months the two-time division world champion Jessie “Ruthless” Vargas, 28-2 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, shut out an unwilling Aaron “La Joya” Herrera, 33-8-1 (22), of Yucatan, MEX, over 10 lopsided rounds.

In the first round both boxers were feeling each other out with Vargas easily outworking Herrera who hardly threw any punches. At the end of the round Vargas landed a right to the head of Herrera. In the second round Vargas opened up with a double left hook to the head of the defense minded Herrera. Herrera spent the first several minutes looking like he was shadow boxing with hardly throwing anything at Vargas.

In the third round it was more of all Vargas. For some reason Herrera is doing more bob and weaving than throwing punches. In the fourth and fifth rounds Vargas continued to box and land left hooks to the head of the defensive minded Herrera. In the sixth round while inside Herrera finally went to the body of Vargas with several body shots. Vargas came right back working the jab and halfway through the round Vargas landed a left and right dropping Herrera. Referee Jack Reiss gave him a good look and allowed Herrera to continue. Vargas didn’t go in for the finish allowing Herrera to get through the round.

In the seventh round Vargas with new trainer the former Hall of Fame boxer Michael McCallum fought very relaxed not rushing himself. His jab continued to set up Herrera. Herrera landed several body punches but was countered by a Vargas left hook to the head. In the eighth round Vargas kept the one sided bout at the end of his jab while Herrera showed a lot of wasted energy with little punching.

In the ninth round Vargas followed his jab with a left hook to the head of Herrera. Herrera had fought the entire fight like a man with his hands tied. Vargas started with a right of a 3-punch combination to the head of Herrera. Herrera landed a rare left hook to the head of Vargas who countered him with a combination to the head. In the tenth and final round Vargas looked to end it opening up on Herrera. A double left hook from Vargas with the second one rocking Herrera moved him back several steps.

The three judges and this writer had it 100-89. “First of All I am happy returning on PBC. I plan to improve with my next fight and was disappointed not stopping Herrera who kept coming forward. I look forward to coming back in March God willing”, said Vargas. Being off for 13 months Vargas went back to college.

In the Co-Main Event Welterweight Diego “La Joya” Garbriel Chaves, 26-3-1 (22), of Bueno Aires, ARG, was stopped by Jamal “Shango” James, 22-1 (10), Minneapolis, MN, at 2:12 of the third round.

In the first round there was no feeling out with both fighters throwing bombs. The taller James used a good jab while backing up. Chaves was coming forward landing with both hands. In the second round Chaves landed a double left hook making James holding on. With a minute left in the round James finally landed a big right to the head of Chaves. Chaves comes back with left hooks to the body of James.

In the third round the shorter Chaves jumped into James landing a left hook to the chin. James was using a good jab backing Chaves up. James landed five rights to the head of Chaves ending it with a vicious left hook to the mid-section dropping Chaves for the count.

John “The Gladiator” Molina, Jr., 30-7-3 (24), of Covina, CA, came back from a knockdown to stop Ukranian southpaw Ivan Redkach, 23-2 (16), of L.A., CA, at 1:27 of the fourth round.

In the first round Molina moved forward but hardly threw a punch with the southpaw Redkach outworking him. It was halfway through the round before Molina threw a right but missed hitting the ropes. Redkach landed a good left to the chin shortly afterwards. At the end of the round Molina hit Redkach on the left shoulder and Redkach went down but referee Eddie Hernandez, Sr. called it a slip. In the second round Molina got more accurate but Redkach got the better of it. In less than a minute left in the round Redkach dropped Molina after a dozen punches with only one coming back from Molina with Redkach landing a left followed by a right to the chin.

In the third round Redkach landed a straight left to the chin of Molina making him hold on. Molina was throwing wide punches hitting air. Suddenly Molina feinted several rights and threw one on the chin of Redkach dropping him knocking his mouthpiece out. Referee Hernandez tried putting the mouthpiece back in but the corner wouldn’t come up so Hernandez put it in. It gave Redkach some time to re-coup. Molina jumped on him landed wild wide punches that Redkach didn’t seem to be able to duck. In the fourth round Molina came out firing hurting Redkach with one right hand after another to the head. Redkach tried fighting back but was overwhelmed by Molina right hands. A left drove Redkach into the referee and down he went. The referee waved it off.

It was a slugfest with Molina showing his age at 35 but Redkach couldn’t match him with his power.

Super welterweight Nigerian Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso, 27-3 (21), of Oxnard, CA, won a hard fought decision over Freddy “The Rail” Hernandez, 34-9 (22), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds.

In the first round both boxers were using their jabs while Omotoso was missing with right hands. Shortly afterwards he was landing a left hook to the chin of Hernandez. In the second round after several misses with his right Omotoso landed one on the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez was landing with the jab until an Omotoso left hook to the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez landed a solid left hook to the chin of Omotoso. Then Hernandez pinned Omotoso in the corner landing well until Omotoso knocked out Hernandez’s mouthpiece with a left hook to the chin. It was a very close round.

In the third round Hernandez landed a solid straight right to the chin of Omotoso. After a clash of heads referee Jack Reiss checked both boxers. Omotoso went after Hernandez landing several right hands to the head. In the fourth round Omotoso being the smaller of the two had been counter punching which wasn’t his normal aggressive style. When he did come forward he did much better. Hernandez had some swelling near the left eye at the end of the round.

In the fifth round Hernandez was still the aggressor using his jab at all times. Omotoso needed to pick up his offense in the round. With less than a minute to go Hernandez was landing well backing Omotoso into a corner with no return punching. Halfway through the round it was close with Hernandez possibly holding an edge. In the sixth round Omotoso came out firing and backing Hernandez up in the first half of the round. With about a minute left in the round both boxers landed right hands to each others head. Hernandez landed a good right cross to the head of Omotoso who landed the final punch of the round a left hook to the chin.

In the seventh round the action began to pick up with Hernandez landing long rights over a good jab. Omotoso was landing with left hooks and throwing more in the past two rounds. In the eighth round Hernandez was doubling up on his jab and landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Omotoso. A left followed by a right from Omotoso had Hernandez hurt falling back and holding on when Omotoso moved in. It was a big round for Omotoso in the second half. At the end of the round Hernandez seemed confused thinking it was an eight round bout not a ten.

In the ninth round both were mixing it up good with Omotoso having an edge. Near the end of the round Omotoso accidently clashed heads with Hernandez who came out of it with a cut on the outside of his left eye. In the tenth and final round Hernandez may have sensed he was behind throwing long rights to the head of Omotoso. The fight was mostly all head punches from both.

It was a somewhat sloppy fight with neither boxer looking to be a threat to any of the champions in the super welterweight division.

Judges scores were 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 same as this writers.

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Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga


Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga
By: William Holmes

Bob Arum’s “three amigos”; Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jessie Magdaleno will compete on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson California on Pay Per View (PPV). This PPV will be produced and distributed by Top Rank Promotions without the assistance of HBO or Showtime.

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These three Mexican boxers have been training together in Carson, California in preparation for this bout and are ready to defend their titles. Also appearing on the undercard will be US Olympian Shakur Stevenson and Ukranian Olympian Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

The following is a preview of the three televised title bouts.

Jessie Magdaleno (24-0) vs. Adeilson Dos Santos (18-2); WBO Junior Featherweight Title

The first title bout of the night will be between Jessie Magdaleno and Brazilian boxer Adeilson Dos Santos.

Magdaleno has a deep amateur background and was the 2009 US National Champ as an amateur and a National Golden Gloves Champion. Dos Santos has no notable amateur background.

Dos Santos will have about a four inch height advantage and is the same age as Magdaleno. However, Magdaleno has seventeen stoppage wins on his resume while Dos Santos has fourteen stoppage wins, but was also stopped once.

Both boxers have been semi active in the past two years. Magdaleno fought two times in 2016 and three times in 2015 while Dos Santos fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Magdaleno has never tasted defeated while Dos Santos has gone 4-2 in his past six fights.

Magdaleno has beaten the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castaneda. Dos Santos has no big name wins, and his biggest wins to date have come against opponents such as Devis Perez and Marcos Martinez. Dos Santos has lost to Fabian Oscar Orozco and Kid Galahad.

Dos Santos’ resume is void of big name opponents and his two losses came against fighters that are not considered by most to be world class boxers. He went outside of Brazil to fight twice, and went 1-1 in those bouts.

Magdaleno really let the boxing world he’s the real deal with his impressive victory over Nonito Donaire and has the potential to land some more big name fights in the near future. Dos Santos is an opponent who had success in Brazil, but little success either as an amateur or a professional outside of Brazil.

This should be an easy bout for Magdaleno and it shouldn’t be a competitive fight.

Gilberto Ramirez (34-0) vs. Max Bursak (33-4-1); WBO Super Middleweight Title

Gilberto Ramirez is considered by many to be the next Mexican boxer. Ramirez, who turned pro at the age of eighteen, is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion. His opponent, Max Bursak, has fought several high profile boxers and is a rugged veteran.
Ramirez will be seven years younger than his opponent and will have two and a half inch height advantage as well as a four inch reach advantage. He also has the power advantage as he has twenty four stoppage wins while Bursak only has fifteen stoppage wins.

Ramirez only fought once in 2016 due to an injury and fought three times in 2015. Bursak fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015. Bursak fights out of an orthodox stance while Ramirez fights as a southpaw.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur background, but Ramirez already has the better resume as a professional.

Ramirez has never tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Arthur Abraham, Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maksim Vlasov, Junior Talipeau, and Giovanni Lorenzo. Bursak has defeated the likes of Nick Blackwell and Brian Vera. His losses were to Zac Dunn, Martin Murray, Jarrod Fletcher, and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

This is another bout on this pay per view that shouldn’t be very competitive. Ramirez should beat the elder Bursak easily.

The bigger question is who will Ramirez face next? Arthur Abraham has already indicated that he wants a rematch, and fellow Top Rank Boxer Jesse “Hard Work” Hart has also called out Ramirez.

Oscar Valdez (21-0) vs. Miguel Marriaga (25-1); WBO Featherweight Title

On paper, this appears to be the best and most competitive fight of the night.

Oscar Valdez is an extremely talented boxer with a high level ceiling. He has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 2009 World Amateur Championships. His opponent, Miguel Marriaga, has no notable amateur background.

Valdez is four years younger than Marriaga but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height and one inch in reach. Both boxers have considerable power in their hands. Marriaga has twenty one knockouts on his resume while Valdez has nineteen. Three of the past five opponents of Marriaga failed to make it to the distance while Valdez is currently riding a win streak of five wins by stoppage.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Valdez fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015 while Marriaga fought three times in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Valdez has never been beaten and has defeated the likes of Hiroshige Osawa, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda, Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, and Ruben Tamayo. Marriaga’s lone loss was by decision to Nicholas Walters, he has defeated the likes of Eduardo Montoya, Guy Robb, and Christopher Martin.

Oscar Valdez is a joy to watch and this Saturday should be no different. On paper it’s the most competitive fight of the night, but in the ring Valdez should blow out his opponent just like the other two Mexican boxers on the televised card are expected to do.

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What we learned from Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas


What we learned from Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas
By: Kirk Jackson

As expected, Manny Pacquiao 59-6-2 (38 KO’s) soundly defeated former WBO Welterweight Champion Jessie Vargas 27-2 (10 KO’s), capturing the WBO title for a third time.

pacquiao-vargas-weigh-in

The result was not a surprise. Pacquiao is still one of the best fighters in the world, proving this by defeating a top pound for pound fighter, Timothy Bradley 33-2-1 (13 KO’s) earlier this year. Although the results against Vargas were expected, we learned a few things in the process.

We learned the validity of Pacquiao’s star power is questionable.

The polarizing star that was Manny Pacquiao since simmered due to the sound defeat by the hands of retired rival, Floyd Mayweather 49-0 (26 KO’s).

Was Pacquiao’s popularity and commercial success is stemmed from his association with Mayweather’s name? Has his social stances and involvement in politics played a factor?

Whether the decline of popularity stems from the backlash of his derogatory comments about homosexuals, the myriad of excuses as a result of losing to Mayweather, or what some would consider lack luster performances against Mayweather and Bradley, it appears the star power is no longer there.

Pay-per-view numbers are down, attendance is down and the fans do not want to see these match-ups. Pacquiao-Bradley 3 was not on the wish list, nor was Pacquiao vs. Vargas.

Speaking of Pacquiao vs. Vargas, the event itself was lackluster; not too many casual fans even knew about the fight. HBO, the home network for Pacquiao dating back more than 10 years, wanted nothing to do with this fight and for good reason.

The bout was advertised as The Legend (Pacquiao) vs. The Champion (Vargas), speed (Pacquiao) vs. power (Vargas), the recently retired, future Hall of Famer returning one more time to take on the surging star, seeking to cement his placement and legacy among the boxing landscape.

We learned this was nothing more than another mismatch; a trend we’ve witnessed many times from Bob Arum when match-making for Pacquiao. Think Chris Algieri and Brandon Rios. Rios, Algieri, and Vargas are by no means bad fighters. They are clearly not on the same tier as Pacquiao.

With this recent match-up, clearly we have a case of false advertisement. Vargas and the term “power” do not necessarily belong in the same sentence; he boasted a whooping knockout rate of 35 percent entering his fight against Pacquiao.

Real power would be Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman 27-0 (22 KO’s), or Danny Garcia 32-0 (18 KO’s), or Shawn Porter 26-2-1 (16 KO’s) or even Errol Spence 21-0 (18 KO’s).

These matches mind you, are now an open possibility now that boxing lords Bob Arum and Al Haymon have seemingly established a temporary truce and they handle all of the fighters mentioned.

Against Vargas, Pacman held the advantages of speed, power, skill, experience; every variable imaginable. There was a longer layoff between fights for Vargas compared to Pacquiao, and Pacquiao is supposed to be the “retired” fighter.

The other potential match-ups for Pacquiao mentioned however, present a different story and a different series of problems compared to Vargas.

We learned The Senator from the Philippines is still a pretty good boxer and should not quit his day job.

No he is not the fighter he once was at age 28. But the hand speed is still there, the fluidity of feet, his movement is there, punching power is still present, along with his ability to overwhelm opponents with his experience and ring intelligence as opposed to relying on the punch output of his younger years.

Obviously as a fighter ages he physically declines to an extent, but he can make up for those minor deficiencies with his intelligence. Speaking of intelligence…

We learned Stephen A Smith should not do commentary for boxing events. Ever. As talented and intelligent as Mr. Smith is, boxing is not his strong suit.

He even had the audacity to argue back and forth with fellow play by play commentator, former world champion, Timothy Bradley.

Incorrectly addressing Guillermo Rigondeaux the “Ax Man,” a moniker reserved for Nicholas Walters, improper timing, inaccurate analysis of the fights generally speaking, Smith appeared out of place.
We learned Pacquiao never retired.

It’s difficult to imagine Pacquiao actually retired in April, only to return in November. That is about as believable as the mystical healing properties of the ocean healing Pacquiao’s shoulder injuries as he claimed last year.

There’s much to speculate about regarding why Pacquiao continues to fight. He is a senator and holding a seat in political office is a full-time job.

So why continue to fight? Especially when you’ve conquered the sport a few times over, winning multiple world titles across several weight classes.

What else is there to prove? Is Pacquiao seeking redemption? Or is he seeking redemption, along with an extravagant amount of money? Speaking of which…

We learned this was an audition for a rematch against Mayweather.

Why else was the “retired” Mayweather in attendance? Be hard pressed to believe he was there solely to support his former fighter Jessie Vargas.

It’s fair to suggest, Floyd “Money” Mayweather loves money and would capitalize on an opportunity to reel in a ton of it. Coincidentally, so does Pacquiao and Arum.

A rematch featuring Pacquiao and Mayweather would generate hundreds of millions. Much to the chagrin of another interested spectator in attendance of Pacquiao’s last fight, Terence Crawford 29-0 (20 KO’s), who would love a piece of the Pacquiao pie.

Crawford, the two division world champion, 2014 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the year recipient, would love nothing more than to capitalize on an opportunity to fight Pacquiao.

Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre, wants the same and constantly expresses confidence his fighter will defeat Pacquiao if the two ever meet, which appears unlikely any time in the near future.

But as the days pass, manifest destiny becomes ever so clear.

Mayweather recently had a sparring session, came to watch Pacquiao fight, Pacquiao winked at Mayweather in route to comprehensively defeating his opponent who stood no real chance of winning; the stars are aligning ladies and gentlemen.

The shoulder injury and drama to follow their encounter in May of 2015, left the door open for a rematch. This is something all parties involved wanted. Because who can pass up all that money?

No matter how many the fans complain, people will pay to see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. And it’s a decision that actually makes the most sense for Pacquiao.

The only thing he can lose is the match. Another potential loss against Mayweather will not negatively impact his legacy, while a win can only boost his legacy. A win against Mayweather trumps any significance a win from gathered against Spence, Thurman, Garcia or Porter.

We learned this is a serious discussion regarding the two. Money talks and more than likely, we can anticipate seeing Manny Pacquiao in the ring for the foreseeable future.

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Top Rank PPV Round by Round Results: Manny Pacquiao Wins by Clear Decision Over Jessie Vargas


Top Rank PPV Round by Round Results: Manny Pacquiao Wins by Clear Decision Over Jessie Vargas
By: William Holmes

Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) met Jessie Vargas (27-1) in the main event of tonight’s Pay Per View Card for the WBO World Welterweight Title.

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Photo Credit

In a bit of a surprise, Floyd Mayweather Jr. attended the fight and took his seat before the start of the main event right behind the announce crew.

The Mexican National Anthem and United States National Anthem was performed by Bridget Gonzalez. The Filipino National Anthem was performed by the Word Choir.

The challenger, Manny Pacquiao entered the ring first to a loud chorus of cheers. Jessie Vargas entered second and was met with a mixture of cheers and boos.

Michael Buffer served as tonight’s announcer, Kenny Bayless was the referee, and the three judges were Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti, and Glenn Trowbridge.

The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.

Round 1:

Pacquiao and Vargas meet in the center of the ring and Vargas has a big height advantage on Pacquiao. Pacquiao showing good head movement early on. Vargas with a quick jab. Vargas lands another short jab followed by a right cross to the body. Vargas lands a check left hook. Vargas barely misses with a right cross. Pacquiao lands a short left cross. Pacquiao misses with a left cross and Vargas misses with his counter. Vargas misses with a right cross. Pacquiao lands a straight left hand that was partially blocked by Vargas. Pacquiao misses with a jab and Vargas ducks under it. Pacquiao rushes in and misses with a two punch combination.

10-9 Vargas

Round 2:

Pacquiao lands a short jab, Vargas misses with his. Pacquiao connects with his straight left hand. Vargas misses to the body and a two punch combination. Vargas misses with a jab to the body. Pacquiao lands a right jab. Pacquiao throws a left cross to the body. Pacquiao lands a straight left hand to the chin. Good jab by Vargas. Vargas misses to the head and lands a low blow. Pacquiao with a three punch counter combination. Pacquiao lands a straight left hand and puts Vargas on his butt. Pacquiao lands another straight left hand when Vargas gets back to his feet.

10-8 Pacquiao; 19-17 Pacquiao

Round 3:

Pacquiao showing good head movement again. Pacquiao lands a straight left hand and follows it with two jabs. Vargas lands a good right hand to the head of Pacquiao. Two straight left hands from Pacquiao followed by a two punch combination. Vargas sneaks a right hand past the guard of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a good left hand on Vargas. Pacquiao lands a good right hook followed by a sharp jab. Pacquiao ducks under a hook by Vargas and then gets hit with another low blow. Vargas slips and touches the mat with his glove. Good right hand by Vargas.

10-9 Pacquiao; 29-26 Pacquiao

Round 4:

Pacquiao bangs two jabs off the gloves of Vargas. Vargas lands a quick jab. Vargas lands another jab. Pacquiao misses with a two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a good straight left hand. Pacquiao lands another two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a lead left hand. Pacquiao lands another straight left but takes a hard straight right hand from Vargas. Pacquiao is stalking Vargas and lands a lead straight left hand. Pacquiao misses with a two punch combination. Quick straight left hand by Pacquiao, Vargas responds with a straight right hand.

10-9 Vargas; 38-36 Pacquiao

Round 5:

Pacquiao with a short quick jab on Vargas. Pacquiao misses with a straight left. They exchange and land jabs. Pacquiao lands a hard lead left cross to the head of Vargas. Vargas’ right side of his face is starting to swell. Pacquiao lands a cross to the body. Vargas misses a sweeping right hook. Vargas’ jabs are pretty crisp. Pacquiao lands a short left and Vargas responds with a right cross. Pacquiao lands a left to the temple of Vargas. Vargas misses with a combination and Pacquiao lands a counter left. Close round.

10-9 Vargas; 47-46 Pacquiao

Round 6:

Vargas looks like he is getting more confident. Pacquiao lands a short jab. Good straight left hand by Pacquiao. Good straight right hand by Vargas on Pacquiao’s nose. Pacquiao throws a double jab but misses. Vargas lands two straight right hands in a row. Pacquiao lands a straight left hand. Vargas lands another good right hand. Pacquiao rushes in and connects with another straight left on the right eye of Vargas. Pacquiao lands a shot to the body and Vargas responds with a combination. Pacquiao with another straight left hand, but Vargas answers with a good jab. Good straight lead left by Pacquiao, Vargas lands a good straight right hand.

10-9 Vargas; 56-56

Round 7:

Vargas lands a jab and Pacquiao answers with a straight left hand. Pacquiao is stalking Vargas. Good right jab by Pacquiao. Pacquiao with a hard jab followed by another jab on Vargas. Pacquiao lands a left hook on Vargas. Good two punch combination by Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands another jab on Vargas. Vargas is warned to keep his punches up. Vargags is short with his jab. Left hook partially blocked by Pacquiao. Pacquiao misses with a straight right jab but connects with a follow up jab.

10-9 Pacquiao; 66-65 Pacquiao.

Round 8:

Pacquiao showing good head movement. Pacquiao lands a jab. Vargas and Pacquiao not throwing a whole lot in the first minute. Pacquiao lands a jab but Vargas ducks under a follow up left hook. Vargas lands a jab and right cross to the body. Pacquiao lands a short left cross. Pacquiao lands a counter straight left hand. Pacquiao lands a good right jab and Vargas responds with a straight right hand. Pacquiao lands a right hook on Vargas. Pacquiao lands a two punch combination on Vargas. Pacquiao lands another straight left. Vargas connects with a jab. Vargas is bleeding badly. Pacquiao lands a short left hand followed by a good jab. Good action round.

10-9 Pacquiao; 76-74 Pacquiao.

Round 9:

Pacquiao is still pressing the action. Pacquiao lands a straight lead left hand on Vargas. Clash of heads when Pacquiao moves forward. Pacquiao lands a reaching right jab. They both land right hands at the same time, but Pacquiao lands a good straight left hand afterwards. Another clash of heads by the boxers. Vargas lands two jabs. Pacquiao lands a good lead left hand. Pacquiao connects with a hard right jab. Pacquiao connects with a check right hook. Vargas connects with two straight right hands. Pacquiao connects with another lead left hand.

10-9 Pacquiao; 86-83 Pacquiao

Round 10:

The cut over Vargas’ eye was ruled from a punch. Vargas lands two shots to the body. Pacquiao lands a three punch combination followed by a short uppercut. Pacquiao with a left hook and a jab on Vargas. Pacquiao has a lot of energy still. Pacquiao with a good straight left on Vargas. Pacquiao lands two good right hands on Vargas and Vargas smiles after getting tagged. Good exchange with both boxers landing punches. Vargas barely misses with a right hand. Pacquiao lands a jab and Vargas answers with a hook. Pacquiao lands a lead straight left hand. Pacquiao with another lead stragith left hand.

10-9 Pacquiao; 96-92 Pacquiao

Round 11:

Vargas opens up the eleventh round with a lead left hand and follows it with a hard jab and a two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a good jab. Vargas lands a good right cross counter. Vargas connects with two jabs and a straight right hand. Pacquiao misses with two jabs. Pacquiao lands a left hand and Vargas connects with a good straight right hand. Pacquiao lands a short left hand on Vargas. Pacquiao lands a right hook and Vargas touches the mat, but the referee rules it a slip.

10-9 Pacquiao; 106-101 Pacquiao.

Round 12:

Vargas probably needs a knockout to win. Pacquiao’s fans are chanting loudly for him. Pacquiao with a good jab on Vargas. Pacquiao dodges a combo by Vargas and answers with a combination. Hard straight left by Pacquiao. Vargas lands a body shot, and Vargas makes him pay with a short left uppercut. Pacquiao with a three punch combination and turns Vargas. Vargas with a straight right to the body of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a good right hook on Vargas. Pacquiao is very accurate this round. Vargas lands a left but the referee rules it a slip again.

10-9 Pacquiao; 116-110 Pacquiao.

The official scores were 114-113, 118-109, 118-109 for Manny Pacquiao.

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Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire


Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions televised three world title fights on their self-distributed pay per view live from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Three Asian boxers competed on the undercard, and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (8-1) opened up tonight’s card in WBO World Flyweight Title fight against Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2).
This match was rematch from November 23, 2014 when Shiming defeated Phaprom. Phaprom has since won twelve fights in a row.

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Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Shiming was active with his jab in the first round and looked like he was sitting on his punches more than earlier fights. Phaprom’s right eye was swollen by the end of the round.
Phaprom dominated the second round with quick combinations and connected with a short right hook to the chin that sent Phaprom down. Shiming’s timing was on pont in the third round and was picking Phaprom apart with jabs in the fourth round.

Shiming’s accurate pop shotting continued in the fifth and sixth rounds. Phaprom’s frustration was showing in the sixth round as he pointed to his chin to egg him on, and Shiming responded in kind by cracking Phaprom in the chin.
Shiming controlled the pace and distance in the seventh and eighth rounds and his punches were noticeably moving the head of Phaprom. Phaprom was rocked in the eighth round by Shiming and slipped to the mat after missing wildly.

Shiming displayed good footwork in the ninth round, but slipped twice to the mat. Phaprom looked close to going to the mat in the tenth round, but he was able to stay on his feet. Phaprom had a cut near his right eye at the end of the eleventh round and looked like he had no chance at wining the bout.

Phaprom needed a knockout in the last round, but never came close to knocking him down.

The final scores were 120-107, 120-107, and 119-108 for Zou Shiming.

The next bout of the night was between the Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire (37-3) and Jessie Magdaleno (23-0) for the WBO World Junior Featherweight Title.

The first round was a feeling out a round and didn’t feature much action, but the fight picked up in the second round as Magdaleno and Donaire started to freely exchange, but Magdaleno was the more accurate puncher and was the first to throw his combinations.

Donaire’s came back strong in the third round and was the aggressor. Donaire’s check left hook was finding it’s target. Magdaleno suffered a cut in the fourth round but it was ruled from a head butt, and it was noticeably affecting the vision of Magdaleno.

Donaire looked good in the fifth round and was more aggressive and landed solid combinations, but Magdaleno switched to a southpaw stance in the sixth round and was effective with his lead right hooks.

Donaire focused more to the body in the seventh round and re-established control, but Magdaleno retook control of the fight in the eighth round with crisp counter right hands and lead straight left hands to the head of Donaire. Donaire’s left eye was starting to show signs of swelling.

Magdaleno had Donaire hurt badly in the ninth round after he cracked Donaire with a check right hook with his back to the ropes. He had Donaire fighting defensively in the final minute of the ninth round and looked like Donaire was close to getting stopped.

Donaire opened up the tenth round with a hard left hand that had Magdaleno hurt and backing up in the opening minute. Both boxers connected with hard check hooks, but Donaire’s right hand was finding it’s target.

The fight was too close to call for either boxer in the final round, but Donaire landed the best punch of the round with a hard straight right hand that got the crowd’s reaction and he may have busted Magdaleno’s nose in the final round.

The final scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 for Jessie Magdaleno.

Oscar Valdez (20-0) and Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4) for the final fight on the undercard for the WBO World Featherweight Title.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance, and Osawa was a little wild early on. Valdez sat on his body punches on the opening round and established himself as the more powerful boxer early on.

Valdez was sharp with his jabs in the second round and had Osawa rocked with hard left hooks in the second round. Osawa looked like he was close to going down in the final minute of the round.

Valdez landed some bombs in the third round with both his left and right hands, but Osawa was taking the shots well.

Valdez landed a crisp left hook to Osawa’s chin in the fourth round and sent him to the mat suddenly. Valdez landed several hard right hands when Osawa got back to his feet, but Osawa somehow survived the round.
Valdez obliterated Osawa in the fifth and sixth rounds and barely got hit with any punches.

Valdez wobbled Osawa in the eighth round with a hard left hook and jumped on him with combinations by the corner. Osawa didn’t return any punches and the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.

Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 1:50 of the seventh round.

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Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa


Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Philippine Senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring and chase another world title as he faces Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO Welterweight Title.

Pacquiao has long been a mainstay with HBO Boxing and nearly all of his pay per views were distributed by them. However, HBO has chosen to go forward with the Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV bout in the month of November and is letting Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing distribute Pacquiao’s PPV on their own.

Top Rank has wisely decided to stack their card with four world title fights in what should be an entertaining night of fights. The card will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The following is a preview of all four world title bouts.

Zou Shiming (8-1) vs. Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2); WBO World Flyweight Title

This is a rematch of a bout that happened on November 23rd, 2014 in which Shiming defeated Phaprom by decision.

Zou Shiming was supposed to be Top Rank’s vehicle to grow the sport of boxing in China and establish a strong foothold there. He was successful in helping Top Rank break into the Chinese market, but he has lost some of his luster since losing to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF Flyweight Title fight in March of 2017.

Shiming is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the Bronze in 2004. He’s the most decorated amateur boxer to ever come out of China and is currently trained by Freddie Roach. Phaprom does not have the amateur accolades that Shiming possesses.

Both boxers are thirty five years old and neither can be considered to be in the midst of the physical prime. Shiming will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Shiming is not known for his power and many pundits question whether his amateur abilities can translate to the profressional stage He only has two stoppage victories on his resume while Phaprom has stopped twenty four of his opponents.

Phaprom has been very active and has fought five times in 2016. However, Phaprom has fought almost exclusively in Thailand and has only fought outside of it once, when he first faced and lost to Shiming. He also doesn’t have any big name victories on his resume, but has fought thirteen more times since losing to Shiming.

This will be Shiming’s third fight in 2016, and he has defeated the likes of Phaprom, Jozsef Ajtai, Natan Coutinho, and Luis de la Rosa. His lone loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng.

This rematch should play out in a similar fashion to their first bout, with Shiming ending the fight as the winner.

Nonito Donaire (37-3) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (23-0); WBO World Junior Featherweight Title

Nonito Donaire is the second most Filipino boxer in the world today, but this will be the first time he has ever fought on the same card as Manny Pacquiao.

Donaire’s best days might be behind him. He’s thirty three years old and will be nine year older than Magdaleno come fight night. However, he will be about one inch taller than Magdaleno and will have about a two inch reach advantage.

Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Donaire was a National Junior Olympics Flyweight Champion, a National Light Flyweight Champions, and a Silver Gloves Champion. Magdaleno was a US National Champion in the bantamweight division and a National Golden Gloves Champion in the bantamweight division.

Both boxers come from a family of boxers and have brothers who compete or have competed professionally. However, Donaire is a former title holder in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions while Magdaleno is still chasing his first world title.

Donaire has been in the ring with some of the best the sport has to offer. He has defeated the likes of Zsolt Bedak, Cesar Juarez, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel. His losses were to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, and Rosendo Sanchez in the second fight of his career.

This will be a big step up for Magdaleno, and he has never fought someone as a professional on the level of Donaire. He has defeated the likes of Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castandeda.

This might be the last swan song for Donaire. There’s been a noticeable drop in his speed and power since he lost to Rigondeaux and he was stopped, quite brutally, by Walters. He’s still a good boxer and is experienced enough to give Magdaleno a tough time inside the ring, but Magdaleno is just entering his prime and should be able to defeat the older Donaire.

Oscar Valdez (20-0) vs. Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4); WBO World Featherweight Title

Oscar Valdez is one of the most promising young champions on the roster of Top Rank Promotions. He’s also featured in one of the biggest mismatches of the night.

The one, and perhaps only, advantage Osawa will have on Saturday night is that he is about an inch and half taller and four inches longer than Valdez. However, Valdez is the better technical boxer, the more powerful puncher, the quicker fighter, and will be about six years younger than Osawa.

Valdez has an impressive eighteen knockouts and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Osawa stopped nineteen of his opponents but is currently riding an eight fight stoppage victory streak.

Valdez has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Osawa has no such amateur background.

Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Valdez fought four times in 2015 and fought twice in 2016. Osawa fought three times in 2015 and once in 2016.

Osawa has fought exclusively in Asia and his resume does not include any big name victories. He has losses to unheralded boxers such as Mitsuya Omura, JR Sollano, and Daiki Koide. Valdez only recently won WBO Featherweight title, and has impressive victories over Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Rueda, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, and Jose Ramirez.

Valdez is the most likely boxer to score a stoppage victory on Saturday night.

Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) vs. Jessie Vargas (27-1); WBO World Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao, despite being a Senator for the Philippines, is still considered a top talent in the welterweight division and one of the sport’s biggest draws.

He’s publically stated his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch, but he first has to get past a tough, young, opponent in Jessie Vargas.

Pacquiao, at the age of thirty seven, is ten years older than his opponent and considered by many to be past his physical prime. Pacquiao will also be giving up four and a half inches in height as well as four inches in reach to his younger opponent.

The one thing that Vargas does not have is power. He’s only stopped ten of his opponents, but he did stop Sadam Ali in his last bout. Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, but his last stoppage victory was in 2009, twelve fights ago, against Miguel Cotto.

Vargas has an impressive amateur background. He’s a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion. Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager and does not have the amateur accolades that Vargas has.

Vargas has a good professional resume but it still pales in comparison to Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Ray Narh, Aaron Martinez, Steve Forbes, and Josesito Lopez. His lone loss was a close bout to Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao, clearly, has a hall of fame resume. His notable victories include Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Shane Mosley, and Lehlo Ledwaba. His losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and three losses early on in his career to Singsurat, Torrecampo, and Erik Morales.

Pacquiao had erased any concerns about his demise in his last bout with Timothy Bradley Jr., which he won fairly convincingly. Vargas’ age and reach may give Pacquiao some problems early on, but it’s not something that Pacquiao hasn’t handled before.

Pacquiao should walk away with another decision victory, but it will be a tougher than expected fight.

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Manny Pacquiao returns. But, who really even knows?


Manny Pacquiao returns. But, who really even knows?
By: Ed Hitchins

During fight week in Las Vegas, the twitter-verse is usually abuzz with the details of the compelling action as fans file in to take in a piece of history.

Mayweather vs Pacquiao SUPERFIGHT

From hashtags to Instagram updates, we’re usually in the foray without having ever set foot in Sin City. Crowd shots, weigh-in videos and the like dominate updates concluding with finally, the match Saturday night.

This week, however one might find social media in Vegas more quiet than a high school study hall. While hashtags are still focusing on the events on Saturday night, they come from posts such as Montreal, New York and Japan; these posts tend to focus on the fight without actually being in the location.

What’s that? You don’t know what’s happening on Saturday? You’re joking. You mean to tell me Manny Pacquiao is fighting Saturday – this Saturday – And somehow you….didn’t…know?

When we last saw Pacquiao, the 8-division world champion and sure 1st ballot hall of famer, he was finishing his trilogy with Timothy Bradley.

He had said drenched in sweat and fresh off a unanimous decision victory, that “Yes. I am retired. I want to go home with my family and serve my people.”

That was the bang Pacquiao should have gone out with. Yet, 7 months later, here he is: fighting Jessie Vargas in a match for the WBO welterweight strap that Pacquiao coveted and held for so long.​
But, why?

Pacquiao offered a formulaic answer when asked during the build-up.

“I want to prove that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. I feel I still have a lot to prove. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old. I feel like I am still 27,” said Pacquiao.

While there may be some truth to that answer, the endless speculation of whether Pacquiao will get a rematch with Floyd Mayweather inevitably fans the flames of his motivation.

While he may crave that opportunity, it isn’t like the public is sharing that opinion:

3 out of Pacquiao’s last 4 fights (Rios, and the 2 Bradley contests) average around 400,000 buys. While still respectable it’s clear that the “fight of the century” failed to produce any fireworks and that caused irreprehensible damage to the casual fan base.

Add to that, his commentary about homosexuality may have helped his election victory in the Philippines, but caused damage to his brand on North American shores.

Bigger fights such as Kovalev/Ward are on the horizon. The HBO locomotive that produced gargantuan PPV mega-cards for Pacquiao left in the wake of the aforementioned comments about the LGBT community.

Simply put, Pacquiao has been left in the cold.

While it won’t necessarily be the disaster that was Mosley vs. Mayorga, an independently run and produced card by Top Rank isn’t turning any heads.

The undercard has a co-feature featuring Nonito Donaire, another Filipino fighter whos star has since faded, versus up and coming prospect Jessie Magdaleno.

While 400,000 buys looks realistic, it’s just sad that Pacquiao has to soldier on with a career and try to go onto goals that he’s already accomplished.

Pacquiao should have gone out with a bang. Instead, just like his opponent Jessie Vargas, he’ll go out with a fizzle instead of a blast.

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Why Manny Pacquiao Keeps Fighting


Why Manny Keeps Fighting
By: Sean Crose

“Pacquiao will have earned $500 million from boxing purses and endorsements during his two-decade professional career.”

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So wrote Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes last April, on the eve of Manny Pacquiao’s supposed last fight against Timothy Bradley. Clearly both the monetary amount and the title of “last fight” are now no longer valid. To be sure, Pacquiao is facing reliable if not brilliant welterweight Jessie Vargas this Saturday in yet another Vegas throwdown. He’s also set to make a whole lot of money in doing so. Make no mistake about it, the gravy train keeps rolling for Pacquiao.
For how long, though? And at what cost, at this point?

To be sure, there are those out there who are wondering why Pacquiao, who is now a senator in his homeland and inching closer to forty by the day, is still so eager to ply his trade. The truth, upon reflection, may come down to three simple – and not entirely incompatible – reasons. The first is that Pacquiao, believe it or not, possibly needs money. To be sure, Pacquiao is an exceedingly generous fellow, despite whatever flaws some may find in his character.

“I can’t,” Pacquiao said a short time ago, in the early leadup to Saturday’s fight, “rely on my salary as public official.” Beg pardon? Wasn’t the man who said this the same individual who earned well over a hundred million dollars for his fight with Floyd Mayweather alone? How much cash does a guy actually need to get by these days? Apparently quite a lot if others rely on him.

“I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well,” Pacquiao explained. “Many people also come to me to ask for help,” he added, “and I just couldn’t ignore them.” And therein may lie the problem. Pacquiao, for those who don’t know, comes from a background so harsh it fell well below substandard. Living in a hut. Being chased out of one’s home by armed soldiers – such things do not make for an easy childhood.

Nor, it seems, do they make for a cold heart once one finds success. A product of poverty, Pacquiao appears to be willing to go out of his way for those who feel its sting. Still, it would be a mistake to confuse the man with Mother Theresa. Pacquiao is known to have had a serious gambling problem, after all. There were also women other than his wife for a spell and perhaps the age old boxer’s problem of hanger’s on. To be sure, camp followers can damage a successful boxer more than a left hook can.

Yet there may be another big reason Pacquiao wants to keep fighting – one, specifically, with a 49-0 record who bested Pacquiao last year in a fight that disappointed untold numbers of fans and casual observers alike. I write, of course, of Floyd Mayweather, who has – and still does – represent the white whale of the entire boxing world, an elusive target both in and out of the ring who holds the promise of millions of dollars as well as ring glory, should he agree to a match.

While the very thought of Floyd-Manny, Chapter Two sends collective groans throughout the boxing world, it’s also pretty much a fact of life that all who piss and moan at the prospect would cough up hard earned money to see Mayweather and Pacquiao get it on again. In short, there’s a ton of money and potential glory to be found in that possible rematch. Mayweather knows it. Pacquiao knows it. And Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s outspoken promoter, knows it, too. Whether it would have made a difference or not, Pacquiao fought Mayweather hurt. Don’t think it doesn’t bother the man, no matter how much money, power, fame and love he receives.

Still, there’s no guarantee that the rematch no one wants – but will still watch, should it occur – will ever happen. Surely, Pacquiao and his camp are aware of this. Perhaps, then, the Filipino icon is simply driven by a desire for ring competition. To be sure, boxing is historically an exceedingly tough endeavor for its most successful practitioners to break from. The list of great fighters who hung on too long or who made ill advised comeback attempts is almost too numerous to count.

It’s curious, though, why Pacquiao would choose to face Vargas if he truly was sticking around for the sheer thrill of battle. There’s more challenging opponents out there, after all. Keith Thurman, for instance, has expressed a willingness to fight the man. And, if politics were to prevent a Thurman-Pacquiao fight from happening, fellow Arum fighter Bud Crawford would no doubt be happy to fill the bill for Pacquiao.

Why, one may well ask, is Pacquiao not facing men like Thurman and Crawford, when both would jump at the chance to face him? Is it victory he desires more than the battle itself? There is a fine line between the thrill of competition and the thrill of winning, after all. To be sure, only Pacquiao himself knows the answer. Or not. Indeed, sometimes it’s unknown forces within or own psyches which drive us. Or perhaps they’re forces we ourselves simply don’t want to know about. Could this be the case with Pacquiao?

Or could he just really, really want to fight Jessie Vargas?

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Why Pacquiao-Vargas Is Relevant


Why Pacquiao-Vargas Is Relevant
By: Sean Crose

Okay, first things first, I do not – I repeat, do not – think the Manny Pacquiao versus Jessie Vargas fight this weekend at the Thomas and Mack Center in Vegas is particularly pay per view worthy. Still, I believe it’s a pretty big bout. What’s more, I find it to be a pretty relevant, as well. Let’s just say I think Manny-Jessie is better than Manny-Chris or even Manny-Brandon. To be sure, Vargas (27-1) is the best opponent Pacquiao (58-6-2) has faced in forever not named Mayweather or Bradley. And even though the ridiculous realities of the boxing business placed this fight on pay per view rather than on HBO, where it clearly belongs, I’m nonetheless intrigued…and with good reason.

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For starters, Pacquiao is still, until proven otherwise, the best welterweight in the world now that Floyd Mayweather is out of the game. He’s beaten Bradley for the second time recently, after all, and I would favor him against Garcia, Thurman, Porter, Brook, and even Spence, as well. That’s just how I see it. Even if you disagree with me, it’s hard not to admit that Manny isn’t way up there in the current welterweight stratosphere, regardless. Sure, he’s getting old. Heck, he may really even be on his way out. We haven’t seen any indication of that, yet, however, and so Pacquiao is still well worth keeping an eye on.

As for his opponent, well, Vargas may be just the kind of man to make Pacquiao show his age in the ring. Sure, Bradley took Vargas to school, but Vargas also came close to knocking Bradley out towards the end of their match a while back. No, I don’t think Vargas got robbed that evening, but I do believe he showed he can hang with upper level guys. Could he beat a prime Manny? Not unless he brought a bat. Still, the Manny of today isn’t the human lawnmower he was just a few short years ago – at least not in the sense that he knocks people out. That makes things intriguing.

Let’s also remember that there’s a title at play here, if that sort of thing is important to you (I’m personally no longer interested in belts – too much corruption/incompetence surrounding them). Sure enough, the WBO welterweight strap is on the line. Now that Thurman and Garcia are (supposedly) going to fight in a welterweight unifier while Spence may well be on his way to battling for the IBF strap, Manny (or Jessie) may be the man to go through should one of Al Haymon’s top welterweights wish to become the undisputed welterweight kingpin somewhere down the line.

Perhaps most importantly, though, there’s a chance that a new star will be born here. Vargas has gone from a guy who people felt got gift decisions to a man who feels he was screwed over in the Bradley match. This truly is the California native’s big chance. Should he win on Saturday, it will send shock waves through the fight world – big ones. The fact that Manny is past his prime won’t matter nearly as much as the fact that he was beaten by a man few gave a chance to…a man who will then be the toast of the sport.

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Manny Pacquiao – The Lion In Winter


Manny Pacquiao – The Lion In Winter
By: Sean Crose

In reality, it truly does seem like a sitcom that’s gone on a season or two too long. Indeed, Manny Pacquiao’s jump from known boxer to household name occurred the better half of a decade ago. Since that time, the man has suffered three loses, become a political figure and has inched closer to forty. Truth be told, there will never be a fight as big as the one Pacquiao engaged in against Floyd Mayweather close to a year and a half ago – at least not during Pacquiao’s career. For the end is far closer than the beginning for the fighter known as Pac-Man – unless, of course, the Filipino icon engages in some Bernard Hopkins-style timelessness.

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But perhaps that’s part of the plan. Oh, Pacquiao would never go out and say he wants to fight into his fifties – and perhaps he doesn’t – but it’s clear the man still has at least a good amount of the old fire in his belly, at least if recent training videos of the welterweight are any indication. Sure enough, Pacquiao is preparing for yet another battle, this time against the talented and hungry Jessie Vargas on November 5th in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, of course, halfheartedly retired from the sport of boxing last spring after defeating Timothy Bradley – perhaps himself a future Hall of Famer – for the second (some would argue third) time in a row. That retirement, however, didn’t even last as long as the regular distance between one Pacquiao fight and the next. And so now he’s back – as if he’s ever left – throwing punches like pistons against pads held by longtime trainer Freddie Roach, looking as comfortable in the sport that’s brought him fame and fortune as he’s ever been. Yet time, as has been said countless times, waits for no one, and Pacquiao is no exception.

Indeed, great as he is, even the iconic Hopkins isn’t the fighter he once was. And, as people like to bring up, Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent in years (though that sort of thing tends to happen when one regularly faces top level opposition). Sooner or later, some young buck will likely come along to play Kovalev to the man’s Hopkins, or – worse yet – Marciano to his Louis. Such things tend to be inevitable if one wishes to continue competing at the top of one’s profession – provided that profession is boxing.

Yet here’s a sticky truth that many seem to overlook:

Pacquiao is still arguably the best welterweight in the world. He’s just bested Bradley and could conceivably best the likes of Danny Garcia, as well (we’ll see about Vargas, though Pacquiao has good reason to be favored). Sure, men like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Amir Khan and Kell Brook (should he return to welterweight) could pose a real challenge, but no one in his or her right mind would write PacMan off against those potential foes – at least not yet.

Until proven otherwise, this all-time great still may rule the roost at welterweight.

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Manny Pacquiao Begins Training for Vargas Title Fight


Manny Pacquiao begins training for Vargas Title fight:
By: Matthew N. Becher

​Eight Division world champion Manny Pacquiao has begun training for his November 5th fight against WBO Welterweight champion Jesse Vargas.

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Pacquiao, who is a current Senator in the Philippines, will be training exclusively in his native country, as to not interrupt his public duty. The 37 year old is coming off of a Unanimous Decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. in April. It was his best showing against Bradley, who he fought three times, but many concerns have been starting to arise with Pacquiao’s overall look as he trains alongside being a new member to the senate.

​Freddy Roach, Pacquiao’s long time Hall of Fame Trainer recently told the Manila Standard:

“I think he is getting a little tired. He looked a little flat.

The Work in the Senate is starting to get to him, so we’ll have to re-arrange
His schedule a bit and give him two days off a week instead of one.”

Pacquiao is sparring exclusively with Jose Ramirez, an undefeated up and coming fighter in the Top Rank stable. Ramirez agreed with Roach, in Pacquiao looking less than stellar in their recent training preparations. Is Pacquiao just too tired to compete as a top level boxer with his new duties as a senator or has age finally caught up to the legendary fighter?

​Videos were released yesterday of Pacquiao training on heavy and double-end bags, and most people saw a very different Manny than the one that Roach was describing a few days earlier. Pacquiao seemed to be his old self, moving quickly in and out and flashing the speed and powerful hands that have made him a force in the boxing world for the last decade.

​Eventually every boxer slows down, and Pacquiao may just be doing that. Working a full day as a Senator and then going to train for a top level boxing match at night would be almost impossible for any other person. But this is Manny Pacquiao and I believe we give him the benefit of the doubt until we see otherwise. His retirement was less than 3 months, and he will still have fought more times this year than other champions in the same weight class who are almost ten years younger than him. Time will tell, and we hope that the Pacquiao of Old is still inside this Old Pacquiao.

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Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”


Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”
By: Sean Crose

“Boxing is my main source of income,” Manny Pacquiao claimed amidst the hubbub of his public announcement that he will return to the ring this November to face WBO welterweight champ Jessie Vargas. “I can’t rely on my salary as public official,” he added. Considering these words come from a man who literally earned well over 100 million – that’s million – dollars for thirty-six minutes’ worth of work against Floyd Mayweather in last year’s superbout, the reality of Pacquiao’s situation may seem strange to most people.

Nov. 23, 2014, Macau, China    ---   Superstar Manny Pacquiao wins a 12-round unanimous decision over  WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris "Real Rocky" Algieri. at the Cotai Arena in The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau,China. ----    Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2014

Look, your author is no math expert, but if Manny’s been making a guaranteed 20 million per fight, as has been said, then his pay would have been close to 40 million dollars an hour if he punched a clock. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. There seems to be more than just immediate family for Pacquiao to support. “I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well,” he states. But that’s not all. “Many people also come to me to ask for help,” he adds, “and I just couldn’t ignore them.”

While it may be easy for people to accuse Pacquiao of being a sap, the truth is the man’s endured some grinding poverty and knows what it means to not have the basics like food and shelter to take for granted. First world judgements are easy to bandy about, after all. Pacquiao may not share one’s political, moral, or religious beliefs, but it’s hard to argue that the guy isn’t generous, nor that he doesn’t understand the plight of the needy.

Still, it’s clear one can’t provide for everyone and that history is littered with stories of boxers done in on account of their generosity before being thrown to the world’s wayside. Perhaps that won’t be the case with Pacquiao in the end, however, since he’s mentioned first that it’s his love of the sport that’s driving him back in the ring. That surely is discouraging to some Filipinos, since the guy is a sitting senator, but Manny feels he can be both politician and pug at the same time.

Only time will tell if he’s right or not. Just like only time will tell if he can keep competing at the top level. Jessie Vargas is a good fighter, but he’s not as highly regarded as Terence Crawford, who many thought should be the man Pacquiao got into the ring with this fall.

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