Tag Archives: joe

80th Anniversary of Joe Louis’ Knockout Over Jack Roper


By: Aaron Sutcliffe

“Some of the fans are already calling him the greatest champion of all-time” – two minutes and 20 seconds later, Joe Louis has successfully retained his World Heavyweight title for the sixth time.

On the 17th of April 1939, 80 years ago to the day, the “Brown Bomber” was embarking on what remains the longest individual heavyweight championship reign in the history of the sport – 11 years, eight months and eight days.

His victim that Monday evening in April 1939 was Jack Roper, one of 25 opponents Louis would beat as champion.

Alabama born Louis racked up 24 professional wins before suffering his first defeat to German Max Schmeling, who had Louis down in the fourth round before knocking him out in the 12th with the fight named as Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year” for 1936.

Louis responded by winning his next seven fights before claiming the Heavyweight title from James J. Braddock, despite being knocked down in the first, which would start his 140-month reign as champion.

He was the clear favourite heading into the Roper bout, having won his previous two fights with first-round knock-outs, which included avenging his sole career loss to Schmeling.

Louis became an American hero with that victory over Schmeling, with the fight being dubbed as Nazism against democracy by American press (despite Schmeling not being a Nazi), becoming one of the first widely admired African American’s.

His opponent, Roper, was on one of the best runs of his well-travelled career, which included impressive back-to-back wins against Patsy Perroni and Jorge Brescia, but lacked consistency as a fighter, having endured 39 professional losses before his bout with Louis.

Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California, was selected as the venue for the fight, with 25,000 spectators blissfully unaware they were about to witness arguably the greatest boxer of all-time claim yet another first-round knock-out victory.

The “Brown Bomber” weighed in three pounds lighter than the challenger (201lbs to 204lbs) with Roper’s game plan clear from the offset – trying to get on the inside of Louis.

But as Louis once famously quipped: “Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit”.

A short, sharp left hook from Louis would be Roper’s downfall after some fiery exchanges of punches between the pair, the champion followed up with several vicious crosses and hooks to the head.

Roper tried to get back to his feet, only to fall back down to the canvas, failing to beat the count as so many of Louis’ foes did, with the first heavyweight title fight in California for 30 years over in just two minutes and 20 seconds.

The pugilist that Louis was meant he showed nothing but respect to his veteran opponent after the bout with the Ludington Daily News reporting that when speaking of Roper, Louis said: “He threw a left that I sure felt and was more than Max Schmeling or John Henry Lewis did”.

Roper painted a blunter picture, saying: “That Louis hits like a load of dynamite”.

Whilst this particularly victory may be forgotten about, considering the legacy Louis’ left not only for boxing but also African American’s, his own words best describe his attitude to life.

“I done the best I could with what I had”.

More Boxing History

DAZN Boxing Preview: Bivol vs. Smith Jr., Hooker vs. LesPierre


By: William Holmes

The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York will be the host site for Saturday’s latest boxing offering by DAZN and will feature two separate title fights. The co-main event will be between Maurice Hooker and Mikkel LesPierre for the WBO Junior Welterweight Title and between Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr. for Bivol’s WBA Light Heavyweight Title.

The undercard also features some entertaining and competitive bout. Callum Johnson will meet Seanie Monaghan in the light heavyweight division, Sergey Kuzmin will meet Joey Dawejko in the heavyweight division, and Yamaguchi Falcao and Paul Mendez in the middleweight division. Prospects such as Otha Jones III and Junior Younan will also be featured.


Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing USA Twitter Account

The following is a preview of the two title fights on the card.

Maurice Hooker (25-0-3) vs. Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1); WBO Junior Welterweight Title

Maurice Hooker exploded into the boxing scene when he won the WBO Junior Welterweight Title over Terry Flanagan at the Manchester Arena in Manchester.

He has defended the title once since then and looks to defend again against Mikkel LesPierre.

Hooker will have a three inch height advantage over LesPierre. He will also be five years younger than LesPierre, who is thirty four years old.

Both boxers have been relatively active recently. Hooker fought twice in 2018 and in 2017. LesPierre fought three times in 2018 and three times in 2017.

Both boxers had moderate success as an amateur. Hooker was a Dallas Regional Golden Gloves Champion and LesPierre competed as an amateur with moderate success.

Hooker has beaten the likes of Alex Saucedo, Terry Flanagan, Courtney Jackson, Cristobal Cruz, and Ty Barnett. He had draws with Darleys Perez, Abel Ramos, and Tyron Chatman.

LesPierre has beaten nobody of note. His biggest wins to date were against Gustavo David Vittori, Noel Murphy, and Mario Beltre.

This doesn’t appear to be a very competitive fight for Maurice Hooker. Les Pierre turned pro late and has never faced someone on Hooker’s level. Hooker should walk away with the win.

Dmitry Bivol (15-0) vs. Joe Smith Jr. (24-2); WBA Light Heavyweight Title

Dmitry Bivol is considered by many to be the best light heavyweight in the world. The former amateur Russian National Champion will face the heavy handed Joe Smith Jr.

Both boxers are in their prime with Bivol being 28 years old and Smith being 29 years old. Both boxers are also six feet tall. Bivol does have an edge in amateur experience as e was Russian National Champion and Smith was a New York Golden Gloves Champion.

Smith however, had a big edge in power as he had twenty stoppage victories while Bivol has eleven.

However, Bivol appears ready to face the power of Smith. He stated, “I am ready to fight. I hope Joe is ready too. We will make a great fight.”

Bivol has been the more active boxer of the two. Bivol fought three times in 2018 and four times in 2017. Smith only fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and three times in 2016.

Bivol has defeated the likes of Jean Pascal, Isaac Chilemba, Sullivan Barrera, Trent Broadhurst, Cedric Agnew, and Samuel Clarkson.

Smith has defeated the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Andrzej Fonfara, and Will Rosinsky. His losses were to Sullivan Barrera and Eddie Caminero.

Despite the fact Smith has been defeated before, the magnitude of this title fight is not lost on him. He recently stated, “This is what every fighter dreams of, to get a shot at a world title and this is my shot.”

It will be interesting to see how Bivol responds to a power shot from Smith, if he’s able to land one, but Bivol is a very good technical boxer and he should be able to walk away with the decision.

More Headlines

Joe Smith Jr. Plans to “Outwork” Bivol


By: Sean Crose

“Winning a World title would mean everything to me,” light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr says. “It’s everything I have worked towards my whole life. I cannot even express how I will feel when I win this title.” Smith, who will be facing WBA World Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol this Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, is aiming to grasp the holy grail of the professional boxer – a world title belt. “Dmitry is a great fighter,” Smith says of defending champ, Bivol, “very busy and active. My plan is to stay just as active and be busier than him, to outwork him. I plan to punch when he punches and make it a great fight.”

Jan 18, 2019; New York, NY, USA; WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr. pose after press conference announcing the March 9, 2019 Matchroom Boxing USA fight card which will take place at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY . Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Smith made his mark by knocking out Bernard Hopkins in the great fighter’s final match back in December of 2016. In his next fight, however, Smith was bested by Sullivan Barrera via unanimous decision in July of 2017. Smith came back by knocking out Melvin Russel in June of last year. “The fans are in for a great show on Saturday,” Smith says.“They will see a new and improved Joe Smith Jr., the new Light-Heavyweight champion of the world.” As for Bivol, his last fight was a UD win over popular veteran, and former world champion, Jean Pascal last November in Atlantic City.

The Bivol-Smith battle will be broadcast live on the DAZN streaming service, and will be presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Matchroom Boxing. “I would like to thank Joe DeGuardia, Star Boxing, DAZN and Matchroom for this opportunity,” says Smith. “I am looking forward to raising that belt, and finally reaching my dream of becoming a World champion.” Although the 24-2 Long Island native is going to have his hands full against the undefeated, 15-0, Bivol, he would insert himself into the heart of the highly competitive light heavyweight division should he once again score a considerable upset.

“Smith Jr’s clash with Bivol is part of a huge night of action at Turning Stone Resort Casino,” Matchroom Boxing states, “with a second mouthwatering World title fight on the bill in the shape of Maurice Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) defending his WBO World Super-Lightweight title against Brooklyn’s Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs).” Saturday will represent the 29 year old Smith’s first shot at a world title, though he’s fought for, and held the World Boxing Council International Light Heavyweight Title.

More Headlines

Showtime Boxing Results: Eubank Defeats DeGale, Joyce Batters Stiverne


By: Ste Rowen

Chris Eubank Jr forced himself into the super-middleweight world scene tonight with a deserved unanimous decision victory over former world champion, James DeGale.

Now improving his record to 28-2 (21KOs), the victor spoke post-fight,

‘‘I knew he was gonna come in there and run and use his boxing skills. I’ve been working a lot on my jab…The game plan worked. Smart pressure. Not getting too ahead of myself.
I dominated pretty much every single round…A lot of people said I was gonna lose, and now I’m onto big and better things.’’


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

The defeated DeGale, now 25-3-1 (15KOs), sounding a little dazed also spoke, ‘‘I’ve left my mark in boxing…I didn’t do enough, but when you’re in there with someone like Chris on you; punches you don’t even see.

I’ve been to the heights of boxing. If I call it a day now…’’

It was cold in the O2 Arena, but not for long.

As James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr drew nearer, the atmosphere felt more claustrophobic. As though the crowd was inching their seats forwards every time the stewards looked away. By the time the main-event fighters were in the ring, the audience was practically breathing down their necks.

From the 1st round it was setup perfectly, DeGale in all-black, Eubank in all-white but both decided to size each other up through the first. DeGale, in the southpaw stance, allowed himself to become a little too susceptible to Eubank’s right hand which forced a small cut to James’ left eye early on.

The first minute of round 2 is where the action came alive. Eubank Jr landed a sharp left hook that unsteadied DeGale and, through a flurry of punches, eventually forced the referee into recognising that James had been knocked down. DeGale’s experience was telling as he survived the rest of the round, but it was obvious that Chris was well on top.

In the corner, the former IBF champion was complaining about something in his eye – it was a bad sign for a man already behind. But Eubank, like his opponent, sustained a cut this time under his right eye, it didn’t stop the Brighton-man from ending the 4th the stronger. Through to the 7th, Eubank stalked the perceived boxer across the ring whilst the former gold medallist did very little to reply.

As round 7 ended, DeGale stuck his tongue out to his opponent, which was an odd move considering Chris seemingly bossed the end of the round. DeGale kept switching between southpaw and orthodox, but neither was breaking through.

As the fight headed into the 10th Eubank seemed well on top. DeGale hit the canvas for the second time as Eubank landed a beauty of a left hook that shook up the former world champion, forced James onto the ropes and eventually the ground. DeGale survived, but it was clear he needed the KO, but it was Eubank Jr that came out swinging. By the end of the 11th, career-southpaw DeGale was orthodox and everywhere.

Both fighters raised their arms as the final bell rang but it seemed cleared who’d won. DeGale, the legitimate former world title holder had fallen well short.

Of course it’s never a chore to hear Jimmy Lennon Jr and it wasn’t this time as he read out the judge’s cards of, 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 all for Eubank Jr.

Joe Joyce vs. Bermane Stiverne

Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce took another step up in quality tonight as the British Olympian (2016 Silver) scored a 6th round stoppage of former world champion, Bermane Stiverne.
Dominant from beginning to end, the Commonwealth champion, now 8-0 (8KOs), spoke post-fight,

‘‘Big respect to Stiverne. He was very tough, still game, still tough. Only Wilder with that phenomenal power could take him out…My able condition in Big Bear.

Big things to come. Next one for the WBA ‘Regular’. Couple of weeks off and then back in the gym…I’ve barred all (The top heavyweights) bar Wilder, but I’m coming.’’

In a fight designated as a WBA eliminator Joyce had his chin checked at least twice in the 1st round but seemed unaffected and continued to pursue his prey. His shots may look slow, but Joe’s arms are long and thudding once landed and clearly leave an effect. Stiverne looked apprehensive as he stepped off his stool for the 2nd however he did begin to throw back, but only for a brief spell. The ‘Juggernaut’ fired clubbing shot after clubbing shot without reply for most of the round. Testament to the former world champion, Bermane for staying upright.

Round 3 brought the first knockdown as Joyce landed a lengthy right hook that sent the American into the ropes and forced the knockdown. Bermane continued but it felt pointless. Stiverne looked drunk as he tried to evade Joyce’s heavy combinations but survived into the 6th.

Joe dominated behind the left-hand jab until he seemed to switch flavour and fired hook and power shot continuously, forcing referee Howard Foster into stopping the fight midway through round six. There were no complaints from the away fighter.

Lee Selby vs. Omar Douglas

Fighting in his first lightweight bout, and for a minor title at 135lb, Lee ‘Lightning’ Selby bounced back from his May 2018 defeat to Josh Warrington to rough it out in a twelve round unanimous decision victory over American, Omar Douglas.

‘‘That was one of the toughest.’’ Selby said. ‘‘In the fight I kept on undoing their (His cut-men’s) good work.

Douglas was supposed to be a big puncher and I held his shots well…If my management says I’m fighting Anthony Joshua tomorrow, I wouldn’t turn it down.’’

In his signature white and gold shorts, Selby of Wales, forced an energetic start onto the American. Lee clearly wanted to make an early impression in what was a new division for him. Douglas’ dreads (white at the start but red by the end) were wrapped up much like his hands, so every time Selby landed a clean jab, Omar’s head fired back and made him look like Ridley Scott’s Alien.
But towards the end of round two a bloody cut on the eye of Lee Selby opened up, much like in his fight vs. Warrington. It didn’t stutter his performance for that round, but it did create a new element to the fight. The Welshman continued to fire off well, despite the cut, but it was clear Lee wasn’t as urgent in his offence as before the cut.

Omar has spent his career bouncing between 130-135 and as the rounds drew on he was giving Lee, who’d jumped 9lb in weight, a rough entry into the lightweight division. By the time of the final bell it was close as well as clear that ‘Lightning’ had taken the rough alleyway to enter 135lb.

Final scorecards were 116-112, 116-112, 115-114 all in favour of Lee Selby.

More Headlines

Demetrius Andrade vs Billy Joe Saunders: The Makings of a Great Technical Fight


By: Waqas Ali

As we edge closer to the making of this bout, fans are filled with anticipation.

Former champion Billy Joe Saunders looks like he will get a chance to recapture his WBO middleweight crown as he appears to be close to fighting Demetrius Andrade, who holds the belt.

October 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Demetrius Andrade and Walter Kautondokwa during their 12 round bout for the vacant WBO middleweight championship at the TD Garden in Boston, MA. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

The pair were initially meant to fight on October 20th 2018, but when Saunders tested positive for a banned substance called Oxilofrine in August, it cost him a licence from the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.

Saunders then vacated the belt in fear of being stripped.

Andrade (27-0) fought for the belt against Walter Kautondokwa and won by unanimous decision.

He then recently stopped Artur Akavov in the 12th round to make his first successful defence of the belt.

Andrade, 30, was then ordered by the WBO to negotiate a deal with Saunders within 30 days.

“They’ve called purse bids,” Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren said.

“We’ve got a negotiation period then we’ll go to purse bids.”

He continued, “Good news for Bill, we worked very hard to get him back in the number one spot. He should be the champion.”

Currently, Saunders is the no.1 challenger by the WBO and ranked no.3 by Ring Magazine in the middleweight division.

His recent bout was over a month ago when he fought on the undercard of Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton in December 2018.

Saunders, 29, defeated Charles Adamu via fourth-round TKO. But the bout itself was not part of BT Sport’s live TV coverage.

It was his first win since defeating David Lemieux in December 2017.

Amongst boxing fans on social media Saunders is the favourite to win against Andrade.

According to a poll conducted by boxing fan page Editinking on Twitter, out of 4,900 plus voters, 65% of them picked Saunders by decision, 15% by KO/TKO and only 14% for Andrade by points.

Saunders even tweeted as a response upon hearing the WBO’s request for Andrade to fight the Englishman.

Saying: “I’ll take that thank you ‘ #ITsMeAgain”

The scorpion inside the system of Saunders is suddenly starving for its prey.

But what styles and statistics support each fighter?

Saunders has a record consisting of 27 wins and zero losses.

His height is five feet 11 inches and a reach of 71”. He’s fought once outside the UK and averaged 716,000 in terms of viewership for the main event against Lemieux, according to Showbuzz Daily.

In terms of competition, he’s fought Chris Eubank Jr, Andy Lee and David Lemieux.

According to Compubox review, Saunders throws more jabs (25) than he does with power (13) punches per round.

The average middleweight throws around 57 and lands at a rate of 16 per round. Whilst Saunders only lands at 10. His connecting of jabs rate at six, whereas the average fighter lands at four.

The defence of Saunders is a plus point when only 18% of punches landed by his opponents with seven landing per round. That’s only half of the middleweight average.

Saunders is often known to be a 12 round fighter and hardly looks for a knockout. Considering the fact that 13 of his 27 wins were by decision. In his last six wins, four of them were point’s wins.

He starts off cleanly using his footwork and jabbing to the head and body. He uses his head movement really well and avoids exchanges.

Andrade is a bit taller at 6 foot 1 and a reach of 73”. He is already a two-weight world champion and 17 of his 27 wins come by KO. In his last six wins, three were by decision and three by KO.

Andrade’s activity level is reasonably high, considering the fact that he throws around 60 punches per round and lands around 18.

Another stat of a plus point is the power punching department. He throws around 32 and lands at 14 punches per round. That is three times higher than the average middleweight. He has a connect percentage of 45% and rest of the middleweights land at 37%.

One must keep in mind that Lemieux also had a higher activity and landing rate than Saunders but did not do enough to win and had no solution whatsoever to the style of Saunders.

Nobody can underestimate the talent of both fighters and the kind of skills, styles and seriousness they bring to the table. The compatibility is great. The numbers suggest the kind of game each fighter likes to play. Saunders is more of a chess player and could as well lead in the jab category. Andrade could as well lead in the power and connecting rate. But many questions will be asked. How will Andrade keep up with the footwork and timing of Saunders? Will he be able to keep up with the activity rate? Will Saunders produce a thrilling performance against Andrade as he did with Lemieux?

More Columns

Billy Joe Saunders Added To Warrington-Frampton 12/22 Manchester Bill


By Jake Donovan

Billy Joe Saunders will get to fight in 2018 after all.

The unbeaten former middleweight titlist will end more than a year’s worth of inactivity when he steps into the ring on December 22 in Manchester, England. Frank Warren, Saunders’ promoter announced that the Brit will appear on an already loaded undercard in supporting capacity to the sizzling main event between defending featherweight titlist Josh Warrington and former two-division champion Carl Frampton.

Saunders’ appearance is largely of the showcase variety, as his last-minute placement comes with a last-minute type of opponent. Awaiting the 29-year old will be Hungary’s Zoltan Sera (32-17-1, 22KOs), a 33-year old globetrotter who has been knocked out nearly every time he’s strayed from the Hungary/Slovakia region.

Still, it’s as uplifiting an ending that Saunders (26-0, 12KOs) can enjoy in what has otherwise been a year to forget.

The brash boxer represented Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a tour which ended in controversy and hasn’t come close to slowing down on that front since turning pro one year later. His career-best highlights—wins over Andy Lee to claim the middleweight title and a dominant decision win over former champ David Lemieux last December—were both squandered by inactivity due to injuries and a series of questionable out-of-the-ring decisions that have left him with just three fights in the past three years.

In the ring, Saunders remains as formidable a challenge as any middleweight on the planet. Getting him in the ring, however, has proven to be the greatest challenge of a career approaching 10 years in service. He was due to face countryman Martin Murray (who also appears on the December 22 undercard versus former tiltist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam), but twice withdrew due to injury. The latter fallout was largely questioned by Murray and many in the industry, its timing interestingly convenient with Saunders being named as a possible foe for Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at a point when the two middleweight superstars were in a stalemate in attempting to renegotiate plans for their rematch. Once they finally reached terms for their eventual September clash, Saunders moved on to a scheduled October title defense versus a fellow unbeaten 2008 Olympian in Rhode Island’s Demetrius Andrade in Boston, Massachusetts.

As has been the case throughout his three-year title reign, the end result was yet another canceled fight—this one resulting in Saunders being stripped of his middleweight title after testing positive for a banned substance. The Brit attributed the anomaly to an adverse effect from a nasal decongestant inhalation, but the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission didn’t buy his alibi in denying him a license during a special hearing less than two weeks out from fight night. Andrade went on to win the vacant title in a lopsided 12-round decision over Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa, while Saunders vowed to get his career back on track and his belt back around his waist.

December 22 will mark the first step towards that rebuilding process—barring any more mishaps in Saunders’ bizarre career.

The show will air live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN+ in the United States. Also appearing on the bill, unbeaten featherweight Michael Conlan—a 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist in Rio and a highly controversial casualty of the 2016 Rio Olympics for Ireland—faces Jason Cunningham, while his good friend Paddy Barnes—a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic Bronze medalist for Ireland—returns for the first time since a suffering a knockout loss in a failed title bid versus champ Cristofer Rosales earlier this year.

More Headlines

Showtime PPV Undercard Results: Hurd, Ortiz, and Joyce Stomp their Competition


By: William Holmes

The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

The opening bout of the night was between Joe Joyce (6-0) and Joe Hanks (23-2) in the heavyweight division.

Joe Joyce was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics and has stopped every opponent he has faced as a professional.

Joyce was the taller fighter, but looked a little awkward around the ring and was stunned with some decent combinations by Hanks early on. However, when Joyce connected with a straight right hand it hurt Hanks and had him momentarily stunned. Joyce was able to follow that up with a jab and a left hook to the chin that sent Hanks crashing to the mat.

Hanks struggled to get up by the count of ten and protested when the referee waived the fight off, but he looked badly hurt at the time of the stoppage.

Joe Joyce wins by way of knockout at 2:25 of round one.

The next fight of the night was between Luis Ortiz(29-1) and Travis Kauffman (32-2) in the heavyweight division.

Ortiz is an elite fighter with a deep amateur background and the difference in talent was evident early on. Ortiz had Kauffman backing up early on with a stead streak of jabs and kept it up throughout most of the fight.

Kauffman got hit with a low blow in the third round and got some time to recover, but got tagged with a good combination by Ortiz after his break in what may have been the best shots of the night at that point.

Kauffman continued to get moved corner to corner in the fourth and fifth rounds as he was backwards. Ortiz landed a vicious straight left hand in the sixth round that sent Kauffman to the mat and Ortiz celebrating jumping in the corner. But it may have ben premature as Kauffman got back to his feet.

Ortiz picked Kauffman apart for the remainder of the sixth round and landed some solid straight right hands but wasn’t able to finish Kauffman off.

Ortiz had Kauffman backing up in the seventh round and sent him to the mat again in the eighth round with an overhand right to the temple. Kauffman got back to his feet again and took several more hard shots, including a left uppercut, but was able to survive the round.

Ortiz went for the stoppage in the final two rounds, an landed a low blow and a near knockdown in the ninth round that was ruled a push. He did land a left hand in the tenth and final round to score his third knockdown of the fight, but Kauffman got up to his feet again, only to get tagged with another left hook that had him badly hurt before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Louis Ortiz at wins by TKO at 1:58 of the tenth and final round.

The final fight on the undercard was between Jarrett Hurd (22-0) and Jason Welborn (24-6) in the super welterweight division.

Welborn was pressing the pace in the opening round and kept his head in the chest of Hurd and fought the fight in close and appeared to do well.

Hurd pressed behind his jab in the second round and appeared to throw a large number of left jabs and hooks. Hurd was rolling well with the punches of Welborn in the third round, but Welborn may have stolen that round with a flurry at the end.

Welborn opened up the fourth round with some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes and connected with some clean hooks to the head while Hurd’s back was against the ropes. Hurd covered up and took the shots of Welborn before unloading a right uppercut to the body that sent Welborn to the canvas.

Hurd took some heavy shots in the process, but wins by knockout at 1:55 of the fourth round.
Rd 4: Weblron landed some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes. Some hard combos. Hurt taking on some good shots. Hurd fighting back. Body shot sends him down. For ten. KO!!

More Headlines

Was Calzaghe the Greatest Super Middleweight?


By: Ken Hissner

After compiling a 110-10 amateur record Joe “Pride of Wales/Italian Dragon” Calzaghe turned professional in November of 1993 and won his first 9 fights by knockout. In his 17th fight he defeated Mark “Del” Delaney, 21-0, by TKO 5 in his first BBBofC British title defense he won in Oct 1995 stopped Stephen Wilson, 11-1.

In June of 1997 Calzaghe stopped Luciano “Toto Dodo” Torres, 45-2, of Brazil, to earn a title fight in his next fight with Chris “Simply the Best” Eubank, 45-2-2, for the vacant WBO World Super Middleweight Title. He had Eubank down in the first round and went onto win a lopsided 12 round decision.


Photo Credit: Joe Calzaghe Twitter Account

In Calzaghe’s third defense he won a split decision over Robin “Grim Reaper” Reid, 26-1-1. In August of 2000 he stopped Omar Sheika, 20-1, of the US. In his following fight he stopped Richie Woodhall, 26-2.

In Calzaghe’s next fight in April of 2001 he scored a first round stoppage of Germany’s Mario Veit, 30-0, having him down twice. In April of 2002 he defeated former IBF Champion Charles “Hatchet” Brewer, 27-8, of the US in his tenth defense.

In June of 2003 Calzaghe stopped former WBA Champion Byron “Slamma from Bamma” Mitchell, 25-2-1, coming off the floor for the first time in the second round. He got up and floored Mitchell in the same round. In his next fight he stopped Armenian Mgr “Matador” Mkrtchyan, 18-1, of Russia. Next he defeated Kabary “Egyptian Magician” Salem, 23-3, coming off the floor in the fourth round. He had Salem down in the twelfth.

In May of 2005 Calzaghe went to Germany in a rematch with Germany’s Mario Veit, 45-1, stopping him in the sixth round for his sixteenth defense. Next he won every round on two of the judge’s cards defeating Kenya’s Evans “African Warrior” Ashira, 24-1, of Denmark. In March of 2006 he added the IBF World Title defeating Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, 21-0, having Lacy down in the twelfth round.

In October Calzaghe defeated Cameroon’s Sakio “The Scorpian” Bika, 20-1-2, out of Australia, who would win the WBC title in 2013. In April of 2007 in his twentieth defense he stopped Peter Manfredo, Jr. 26-3, of the US. In July he added the WBA Title defeating southpaw Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler, 39-0, of Denmark. This would be his twenty-first and last defense.

In April of 2008 Calzaghe went to America for the first time in an overweight bout coming off the floor in the first round winning by split decision over former WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, 48-4-1, in Las Vegas, NV. Hopkins was far from finished as he went onto win the WBA, WBC and IBF Light Heavyweight titles.

In Calzaghe’s final fight he defeated former IBF Middle, Super Middle, WBC, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight champion who also won the WBA Heavyweight Title Roy Jones, Jr., 52-4, coming off the canvas in the first round to do it. All three judges had it 118-109. The bout was held in the Madison Square Garden, in New York. On February 5th, 2009 Calzaghe announced his retirement with a 46-0 record with 32 knockouts.

Calzaghe was trained by his father Enzo and promoted and managed by Frank Warren. “I’ve had more broken bones than I can remember. My hands are crippled. They ache every single day from all the breaks. I have a really bad back too. I’m on pain killers a lot and I’m going to have bad arthritis when I’m older. I was happy to retire. I retired at the top. Yes, it was hard to fill the adrenaline rush for a while and that pisses you off but it’s nice to just be normal. Now I’m a dad and live the quiet life. I never wanted to be a celebrity. It was all about the boxing,” said Calzaghe.

In 2014 Calzaghe was inducted into the IBHOF in New York along with Felix “Tito” Alvarez and Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya who both lost to Hopkins who Calzaghe beat. I did an article stating “Calzaghe should not be in the shadows having beaten the man (Hopkins) who beat both Trinidad and De La Hoya. My editor at the time informed me Calzaghe’s father Enzo loved the article.

Calzaghe’s was 46-0 with 32 knockouts and had 21 title defenses. He held the WBO, WBC, WBA and IBF Titles. Was he the best Super Middleweight in the history of boxing? The record speaks for itself!

More Columns

Joe Smith Jr. Ponders Next Move After Beterbiev Fallout


By Jake Donovan

Less than a month ago, Joe Smith Jr. was in the favorable position of being able to choose between two offered title shots.

Today, he’s left to await his next move—but remaining ready for the first chance to return to the ring.


Photo Credit: Joe Smith Junior Twitter Account

The Long Island-based light heavyweight contender is left without a major fight for the moment, after watching a planned December showdown with unbeaten titlist Artur Beterbiev put on the back burner. A penciled-in December 15 clash at Madison Square Garden in support to reigning World middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding was scrapped when Beterbiev decided upon returning to training camp that he was best served to sit out the rest of 2018.

Beterbiev (13-0, 13KOs) would’ve been making his second title defense in the span of just over two months, having recently turned away previously unbeaten Callum Johnson in four rounds this past October in Chicago. However, the Canada-based Russian traded knockdowns with his challenger, still feeling lingering effects in early stages of training after having previously agreed to terms for a title defense versus Smith Jr.

While the decision is understandable from a safety aspect, it still leaves a hole in the schedule of Smith Jr. (24-2, 20KOs) who remains in training but not entirely sure of when he will return to the ring.

“It’s disappointing, but Joe always remains positive and hard at work in the gym, ready for anything,” Phil Capobianco, Smith Jr.’s manager told BoxingInsider.com. “We’re exploring several opportunities to figure out what’s the best fit for Joe.”

One such possibility was remaining on the Alvarez-Fielding undercard, taking a stay-busy fight against a yet-to-be-determined opponent while surveying the entire light heavyweight landscape. Aside from Beterbiev, all of the division’s major titlists have bouts scheduled between now and early February.

Among the lot is Dmitry Bivol, who will put his title and unbeaten record on the line versus former lineal champion Jean Pascal. The same opportunity was once available for Smith Jr., who was in advanced talks for the HBO-televised title fight in Atlantic City, some three hours from his hometown in Eastern Long Island.

Instead, Smith Jr. and his team agreed to terms for a shot at Beterbiev. The move was coupled with promoter Joe DeGuardia entering a three-fight co-promotional pact with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA, who also co-promotes Beterbiev along with Yvon Michel and is the primary content provider for boxing on sports streaming platform DAZN USA.

Early whispers now have such a title fight taking place sometime in the 1st quarter of 2019, but doesn’t at all impact Smith Jr and DeGuardia’s aforementioned arrangement with Hearn. In fact, it leaves the door open to still fight in December, a desired route given he’s fought just once since a 10-round loss to Sullivan Barrera last July, scoring a 1st round knockout over Melvin Russell this past June in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The quick hit was just enough to shake off some rust, but nowhere the level of competition he’s enjoyed in recent years. Smith Jr. enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2016, scoring a massive upset in a 1st round knockout of Andrzej Fonfara live in primetime on NBC, then going on to send future Hall of Fame legend Bernard Hopkins into retirement with a 9th round knockout in their Dec. ’16 HBO headliner.

The hot streak opened up the possibility of challenging for a world title but settled on a crossroads bout with Barrera last July. Smith Jr. scored an early knockdown but suffered a broken jaw shortly thereafter, fighting through excruciating pain in dropping a decision.

Following his quick hit of Russell earlier this year, Smith Jr. and his team immediately began exploring title opportunities before landing on Beterbiev. The matchup still remains very much in play for the near future, but also leaves wiggle room for the 29-year old to consider a tune-up and then instead challenging the likes of Bivol, or the winners of the December 1 clash between lineal champ Adonis Stevenson and Oleksandr Gvozdyk or the title fight rematch between unbeaten titlist Eleider Alvarez and former champ Sergey Kovalev.

“We just want to make sure we’re not waiting around for Beterbiev and then he decides he doesn’t want the fight (at all),” suggest Capobianco. “If that’s the next big fight for Joe, we’ll be ready and willing. If not, there are a lot of big fights out there and we consider all of the (titleholders) in play.”

More Headlines

Fury Speaks Of Battles In And Out Of The Ring


By: Sean Crose

I had the hunger to beat Wladimir Klitscko,” Tyson Fury told Joe Rogan on Thursday, “but not to carry on and continue.” Fury, who is training to face WBC champ Deontay Wilder on December 1st at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, was a guest on Rogan’s popular podcast for over a full hour. During the lengthy conversation he discussed beating Klitschko, his battles with mental illness and addiction, and of course Deontay Wilder. Fury was the toast of the fight game after he stunned Kltischko to win the heavyweight title back in 2015. After that, however, the Englishman’s life spiraled out of control.

“I was depressed as depressed can be on a daily basis,” he said. “It just went from bad to worse.” Fans of the fight game are familiar with Fury’s spectacular fall from on high. Within a short time, he went from heavyweight king to former champ. What’s more, Fury’s emotional issues seemed to have clearly gotten the best of him after a certain point. “I hit the drink heavily on a daily basis,” he said. “I hit the drugs. I was out all night partying with women of the night, just coming home.” Things were so bad that Fury wanted out on life. “I just wanted to die, and I was going to have a good time doing it.”

After nearly intentionally killing himself in his vehicle and having a moment of realization, Tyson attempted to turn his life around. “You can only change your life if you want to change it,” he told Rogan. Crediting his faith in God, Fury is now engaged in prepping for what is surely a lucrative (and perhaps career defining) battle with Wilder, a fighter about as colorful as he is. Still quick with a wise crack, Fury joked about the WBC champions’ awkward style. “It reminds me of Bambi on ice,” he quipped. Still, he admitted to admiring Wilder for being willing to take on the big challenges.

“He could have picked much easier opponents and made similar money,” said Fury in his British accent. “I take me hat off to him.” Unlike many in the fight game, Fury was also quick to praise Widler’s team, which of course, includes the enigmatic and often maligned Al Haymon. “They were the most fairest most straight going people I ever worked with,” he said outright. “There was no hard negotiations. It was very, very simple.” Fury didn’t have such kind words for the team of heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua. According to Fury, Wilder’s camp offered “Joshuas team 80 million dollars for a 2 fight deal…and they declined that.” Fury then made it clear that his words were more than just gossip. “My lawyer, Robert Davis, he saw proof of funds from Al Haymon,” he told Rogan.

Although he was critical of both Joshua and Wilder, Fury showed on the podcast that he can be self critical, as well – or at least honest regarding himself. “My biggest fight in my whole career,” he said of his battle with Klitchko, “was a twelve round snooze fest. I’m man enough to say that.” Fury also credited Steve Cunningham, who he faced in his American debut, as being his most difficult opponent to date. “I’m not going to make any excuses,” he told Rogan. “Steven Cunningham was a better boxer than me.”

In the end, of course, Fury was able to rise to the occasion and defeat Cunningham. He plans to continue rising to the occasion. “The way to beat mental health is setting goals,” he said, “giving yourself short term and long term goals.”

More Headlines

Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. Title Fight Targeted For December


By Jake Donovan

The biggest knock on Artur Beterbiev in recent years has been his criminally infrequent fight schedule. His team has taken note and is now making up for lost time.

The unbeaten light heavyweight titlist from Canada by way of Russia will make the second defense of his title in late December, in a development first reported by RDS Canada. Beterbiev’s promoter, Yvon Michel has revealed the defense will come versus New York’s Joe Smith, landing on either December 15 in New York City or December 22 in Atlantic City.

Several moving parts will dictate when exactly the 33-year old knockout will next fight. The good news is that either date puts Beterbiev (13-0, 13KOs) back in the ring less than three months after his most recent start, a 4th round knockout of Callum Johnson on October 6 in Chicago, Ill.


Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account

“It is almost certain that Artur will fight against Joe Smith,” Michel told RDS CA on Monday. “What is less certain is (the exact date). One thing is for sure; (Beterbiev’s) next fight will take place in 2018.”

Sports streaming app DAZN USA will carry the event, regardless. Whether it’s on December 15 or December 22 depends almost entirely on the streaming service securing the rights to the December 15 showdown between secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding and reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

A press conference to formally announce the event—which will take place at Madison Square Garden in NYC—will be held on Wednesday in NYC. It has been widely speculated that DAZN will win the sweepstakes, although HBO—with whom Alvarez enjoyed an exclusive contact since 2014, but is now exiting the boxing business—very much remains a contender, in what could be (through its Pay-Per-View arm) its final boxing broadcast of a storied 45-year run as the industry leader.

Should DAZN win the sweepstakes, Beterbiev’s title defense will land as the chief support. Otherwise, he will headline a separate card in Atlantic City. Either scenario will mark the East Coast debut for the hard-hitting light heavyweight, who earlier this month traded knockdowns with Johnson before putting away the previously unbeaten Brit in a bout that served on the stateside debut of DAZN USA’s boxing series.

The win was Beterbiev’s first piece of ring action since a 12th round stoppage of Enrico Koelling last November in Fresno, California. He hadn’t fought in 11 months prior to that bout, having boxed just twice in each of the prior two years (2015 and 2016).

It’s been a frustrating past few years for the former amateur standout and two-time Russian Olympian, but an alignment with promoter Eddie Hearn—DAZN’s primary content provider—is already promising better days ahead.

“Artur Beterbiev (versus) Joe Smith Jnr for the IBF World title done for DAZN USA in December,” Hearn announced via his verified social media account on Monday. “(It’s) going to be a WAR! Date and venue announced very soon!”

Meanwhile, news of the title shot is still resonating with Smith since he was already training for another heavily rumored opportunity.

The full-time union worker and top-rated light heavyweight contender from Eastern Long Island was previously linked to a November 24 title challenge versus unbeaten Dmitry Bivol. That bout was due to headline on HBO, but is now just left as Bivol headlining the show although former champ Jean Pascal has since been suggested as the new opponent.

Regardless, it remains the first career title fight for Smith Jr. (24-2, 20KOs), who is best known in boxing circles for his knockout win over future Hall of Famer and retiring former two-division champ Bernard Hopkins in Dec. ’16. The feat came six months after he scored a shocking 1st round knockout of then top-rated contender Andrzej Fonfara, in a bout which aired live on free-to-air NBC in primetime.

The win over Hopkins was the first of two HBO appearances for Smith Jr., who seven months later returned to the network in a 10-round loss to perennial top contender Sullivan Barrera. The setback was not without its moral victory, as the now 29-year old New Yorker was celebrated for having fought through a broken Jaw for most of the fight.

Just one fight has since come from the healing process, a rust-shaking 1st round knockout of Melvin Russell this past June in Uncasville, Conn. It was enough to put him back in the title mix, not having to wait very long – or wasting any time in preparing for the life-changing opportunity.

“All I can tell you is that Joe Smith is training very hard,” Phil Capobianco, Smith’s manager told BoxingInsider.com on Monday. “He will definitely fight (for the title) before the end of the year.”

More Headlines

Andrade-Kautondokwa Now For Full WBO Title; Saunders Relinquishes Crown


By Jake Donovan

Demetrius Andrade and Walter Kautondokwa no longer have to worry about vying for interim title status, as their October 20 clash in Boston will now come with the full World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight title at stake.

The development is just the latest plot twist in a main event that continues to change in principals and significance.

“Just confirmed from (Francisco) Paco Valcárcel (WBO President)—Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade (versus) WBO #2 (Walter) Kautondokwa will now be for vacant 160 lb. WBO world title,” Eddie Hearn, Andrade’s promoter confirmed Thursday on social media.

The bout—which will air live on streaming service DAZN USA—itself is Plan B to the originally scheduled title fight showdown between unbeaten challenger Andrade and undefeated British middleweight Billy Joe Saunders for the latter’s title. Those plans were scrapped on Tuesday, when Saunders—who tested positive for banned substance Oxilofrine on August 31—was denied a boxing license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.

Saunders and his promoter, Frank Warren threatened to appeal the outcome as well as any negative ruling that would come from WBO who previously stated that the defending titlist would be stripped should be not be able to compete on October 20.

Such actions are well within the bylaws of the WBO, who earlier in the week declared that Andrade and Kautondokwa would compete for the interim title. They were prepared to hear Saunders’ case before making a final decision, but instead had it made for them.

“We did not strip (Saunders) of the title,” Valcárcel clarified to BoxingInsider.com when asked of Saunders’ current status. “He relinquished the belt voluntarily. The (Andrade-Kautondokwa) fight will now be for the vacant title.”

Just like that, Andrade (25-0, 16KOs) is now right back in the mix to compete for a major title in his second weight division. The 30-year old from Providence, Rhode Island has seen an uneven run in the pro ranks following his time as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team, but has remained undefeated and managed two title reigns at 154 pounds.

Andrade only managed one defense between the two tours—a 7th round stoppage over mercifully outgunned Brian Rose in June ‘14—before being stripped while his career fell in promotional disarray.

Inactivity has plagued his career, but he still managed to position himself for a title fight with Jack Culcay last March. Andrade traveled to Germany and managed a split decision win on the road to win a secondary title, but vacated without a single defense in favor of a middleweight campaign. Just one fight has followed, a 12-round victory over Alantez Fox last October—which will have come exactly 52 weeks ago come fight night.

Meanwhile, Kautondokwa (17-0, 16KOs) takes a major step up in class as he also makes his stateside debut.

The 33-year old from Namibia has not fought since registering a 5th round knockout of Argentina’s Billi Godoy in his hometown of Windhoek, Namibia, where the bulk of his five-year career has taken place. As far back as his knockout win over Obodai Sai last June in Ghana–his one career bout outside of Namibia—he has lobbied for a shot at Saunders.

Now he winds up taking his place.

By relinquishing his title, Saunders officially ends a title reign that dates back to his Dec. ’15 win over Andy Lee but has been marred by injuries, numerous fight cancellations and erratic out-of-the-ring behavior.

In all, just three defenses came of Saunders reign—none since a 12-round whitewash of former titlist David Lemieux last December—while seeing more than a half-dozen fights either canceled outright or falling apart at the negotiating table.

The past several weeks haven’t been too kind, to say the least. Saunders found himself in the midst of a food fight with heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder in August, flinging a chicken dinner at the unbeaten American before fleeing the scene.

The two hugged it out the very next day, but it was the least of Saunders’ troubles. He was issued a hefty £100,000 fine by the British Boxing Board of Control for having offered a local woman (and apparent drug addict) £150 worth of drugs to perform a sex act. The incident was not only captured on video, but posted on social media by Saunders, who later apologized for his actions and accepted the fine.

His troubles further compounded in late September, when it was revealed he’d failed an August 31 test through Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA). Because the substance for which he tested positive came “out-of-competition”, he was cleared by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the BBBoC.

The Massachusetts commission wasn’t as kind, as stateside commissions tend to take VADDA test results at face value. Simply, a zero tolerance policy is recognized rather than distinguishing between substances being ingested in or out of competition.

No other disciplinary action has come of the session, although Valcárcel announced on Thursday his intentions to suggest to the WBO Executive Committee that Saunders be issued a six-month suspension for his action.

More Headlines

Billy Joe Saunders Denied License in Massachusetts; Andrade, Kautondokwa To Vie For Interim Title


By Jake Donovan

Billy Joe Saunders’ year has gone from bad to worse in a hurry.

BoxingInsider.com has learned that the unbeaten but troubled British middleweight was denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) during the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday. The ruling greatly affects a planned October 20 show at TD Garden in Boston, where Saunders was due to defend his title versus Demetrius Andrade.

Saunders was asked to appear before the board to review his application status on Tuesday, which he did via speakerphone from England. His specific purpose for appearing was to detail the events that led to his testing positive for banned substance Oxilofrine on August 31 through testing conducted by Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA).

Trace amounts of the drug were evident in his system, to which he attributed to having ingested nasal decongestant spray upon learning of the results in late September and again at Tuesday’s hearing.

Saunders made a similar—and successful argument—back home, where he was cleared by the British Boxing Board of Control. His clearance stemmed from his status being classified as “out of competition”, per United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) which follows the code set forth by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Simply put, any test conducted prior to fight night is deemed out-of-competition, a point which Saunders and his representatives argued with MSAC.

While the excuse wasn’t necessarily dismissed by the commission, it also wasn’t found sufficient enough to sway the board who unanimously voted to deny his license, according to BI source Cory Blamire, a local freelance writer who was in attendance.

The incident drew comparisons to that of Major League Baseball pitcher Michael Kopech, who was handed a 50-game ban for testing positive for the very same substance as a 19-year old in the Boston Red Sox minor-league system. Kopech, now with the Chicago White Sox, denied that he willingly took the substance but nevertheless apologized for the outcome and was forced to accept his punishment.

Appearing before a state athletic commission residing in Red Sox country—with at least two board members boasting baseball roots—proved to be a detriment for Saunders’ cause. The British Traveller didn’t take too kindly to the ruling, at first confused as to his license status before reportedly telling the board to “suck my p***k.”

The show will still go on, but without Saunders who not only is off the show but now sees his days as a middleweight titlist come to an end. Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel declared prior to the hearing that any such ruling that would result in Saunders not being able to compete on October 20 would result in his being stripped of the title.

As Saunders is granted an appeals process, Andrade (25-0, 16KOs) will remain eligible to fight for the organization’s interim title, as the unbeaten middleweight from Providence remains as the mandatory challenger. As earlier reported by BoxingInsider.com, the 2008 U.S. Olympian and former 154-pound titlist will now face the next highest-rated contender in the WBO middleweight rankings, Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa.

Should Saunders’ appeal be denied, Valcárcel confirmed to BoxingInsider.com that the October 20 winner would then be elevated to full titlist.

Promoter Eddie Hearn—who will present the October 20 show through his Matchroom USA promotional outfit live on streaming app DAZN—was wise enough to secure a contingency plan in the event Saunders would not be able to compete. Kautondokwa (17-0, 16KOs) signed a contract on September 28 provisionally agreeing to face Andrade should the title become vacant.

The bout will mark a massive leap in competition for Kautondokwa, a former member of Namibia’s national amateur boxing team before turning pro in 2013. The unbeaten knockout artist—who turns 34 in November—will also be making his stateside debut, taking on a vastly more experienced boxer in Andrade, who will be fighting less than an hour from his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.

Andrade hasn’t fought since a 12-round win over Alantez Fox last October, with the upcoming show marking 52 weeks to the day of that very ring appearance.

Meanwhile, Saunders will have to turn elsewhere for his next payday.

The 29-year old was due make the fourth defense of the title he won in a 12-round decision over Andy Lee in Dec. ’15. His title reign has been plagued by injuries and more infamously known for the fights that didn’t happen than the few defenses he’s managed in nearly three years.

For this event, Saunders (26-0, 12KOs) to earn a career-high purse for this event, which in part would help subsidize a £100,000 fine handed down by the BBBoC for his role in a social media video where offered a local woman (and apparent drug addict) £150 worth of drugs to perform a sex act.

It was hoped by Saunders and his team that he would at least be cleared to fight on October 20, which would’ve at least provided a high note to an otherwise miserable year. He came into 2018 on the heels of a 12-round whitewash of former middleweight titlist David Lemieux last December, but has now seen three scheduled bouts this year fall by the wayside.

Saunders was due to face countryman Martin Murray this past March, a bout that was postponed to June but ultimately canceled altogether when the reigning titlist claimed a training camp injury. It was widely speculated—by Murray, among others—that Saunders withdrew to instead make himself available in the event that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin were unable to reach terms for their rematch.

It became moot when Alvarez and Golovkin fought again on September 15, four months pushed back from their original May 5 date. The postponement was due to Alvarez receiving a six-month suspension for having tested positive for Clenbuterol earlier in the year. The wildly popular boxer from Mexico attributed it to contaminated meat, an ongoing epidemic in his home country.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission accepted his response and documented proof that came with it, but still held him responsible for any substance that enters his body, regardless of means of consumption. Saunders was among Alvarez’ most vocal critics, his comments having since coming back to haunt him in light of recent developments.

More Headlines

Billy Joe Saunders Team Issues a Statement in Response to Positive Test


By: Michael Kane

Billy Joe Saunders team have been quick to release a statement in response to report a earlier that Saunders has failed a VADA drug test.

According to the statement released on Frank Warrren’s website the product concerned is allowed to be used out of competition and the British Boxing Board of Control have confirmed Saunders is not in breach of BBBoC or UKAD (United Kingdom Anti Doping agency) regulations.

It suggests his fight in October is not in doubt.

The statement also says the product was a common decongestant nasal spray.

Following reports of an adverse analytical finding in a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (“VADA”) on WBO World Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, we can confirm that the product concerned is permitted to be used ‘Out of Competition’ by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (“UKAD”) in line with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”).

For the avoidance of doubt, the product in question was a common decongestant nasal spray.

The British Boxing Board of Control (“BBBofC”) under whose jurisdiction Billy Joe Saunders is licensed are affiliated only to UKAD/WADA.

Today the BBBofC have confirmed that Mr Saunders is not in breach of BBBofC or UKAD anti doping regulations and is therefore in good standing and is licensed to box and defend his World Title on October 20th.

Mr. Saunders has been tested a number of times in 2018, all negative, his last out of competition test by UKAD was on 24th September 2018.

More Headlines

Billy Joe Saunders Reportedly Fails VADA Test


By: Michael Kane

It’s not been a great few days if you are Billy Joe Saunders.

First he was fined £100000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for a video he posted in which he appeared to offer a woman money for a sex act then told her to punch a man walking along the road, which she did, Saunders then drove away laughing.


Photo Credit: Billy Joe Saunders Twitter Account

Now there are reports he has failed a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association drug test.

The reports suggest he tested for the banned substance oxilofrine, which is a stimulant. ESPN’s Dan Rafael was the first to break the news.

Saunders, the current WBO middleweight champion, is due to defend his belt against Demetrious Andrade om October 20th. However this news will put that bout seriously in doubt. Saunders could also face being stripped of his title.

Oxilofrine is a stimulant that can increase performance as it helps to burn fat, it could increase adrenaline production, endurance and help with the oxygenation of the blood.

Several athletes have tested positive for the drug in the past.

It seems Saunders has taken to Twitter to laugh the claims off,

More Headlines