Pacquiao Makes Peace with Top Rank, Amir Khan Targets Him Next
By: Sean Crose
“My post from the other day,” Manny Pacquiao declared on Instagram on Wednesday, “was a result of miscommunication between my Team and Top Rank. Everything has been clarified. I would like to thank Bob and Top Rank for helping guide my career and for the many great years of working together. We have accomplished so many amazing things together.” And with that, Manny Pacquiao seemed to drop the suit the world learned he was planning to employ in order to get back pay from Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.
The fight world was abuzz earlier this week when Pacquiao, or someone in his rather large camp, posted on Instagram that he was going to sue Top Rank for money owed him from last summer’s victory over Lucas Matthysse. “Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement,” the post read on Pacquiao’s page. “I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you.”
Pacquiao had long been teamed with Arum. Indeed, theirs was one of the most lucrative partnerships in the sport. The veteran promoter Arum led Pacquiao through blockbuster fight after blockbuster fight, guiding his man through one of the most decorated and lucrative careers in all of sports. For his part, the Filipino fighter was gold for Arum, earning Top Rank, Arum’s promotional outfit, vast sums of money over the years. The duo reached their peak in 2015, when a very difficult fight was made with fellow fight icon Floyd Mayweather (who walked out of the ring with a UD win that night).
Things have clearly changed for Pacquiao in recent years, however. Now an active, full time senator in his homeland, the Filipino legend is looking for lucrative (and perhaps not overly challenging) matches to add to his coffers. Reportedly past his peak, Pacquiao didn’t work with longtime trainer Freddie Roach for the first time in ages for the Matthysse fight, and his relationship with Arum is clearly not what it was. The question of money due, however, appears to no longer be an issue, something that certainly comes as a relief to all parties involved.
As for the future, England’s Amir Khan feels he and Pacquiao are on a collision course. “There’s been talks,” Khan told Good Morning Britain. “They are very interested in taking the fight. Manny and me are both in the same position where we are looking for an opponent at the end of the year, start of next year.” So confident is Khan that a big money fight between he and Pacquiao will happen that he told Good Morning Britain that the chances of a contract coming through are between sixty and seventy percent. Khan, who recently bested Samuel Vargas, has been longing for a major welterweight battle for years. It looked like he might land a coveted shot against Floyd Mayweather a while back – but Mayweather opted to face Marcos Maidana instead.
European Boxing Notebook: Khan, Laight, Taylor, and more….
By: Oliver McManus
Seeing as it’s the start of the new season, it seems only appropriate to resurrect the European Boxing notebook from its extended summer break so, without any further ado, let’s get straight into the action –
That Khan’t Be Good –
Amir Khan continued his comeback at the weekend just gone up in Birmingham with a unanimous points win over Samuel Vargas, taking the contest by scorecards of 1119-108, 119-109 and 118-110.
That level of comfort far belies how unimpressive the Brit looked over the course of 12 begrudging rounds – looking comfortable in the opening couple of rounds, Khan looked agile on his feet and was unleashing combinations in flurries as large as eight or nine.
Dropping Vargas to the canvas with a straight right in the second round, it looked as though this could be routine for Khan before a rocking overhand right from his opponent sent Khan sinking to the floor.
He was up as quick as he was down but he looked shell shocked and in fear of another crushing defeat, he worked his back into the fight and controlled the pace with ease and whilst he did far more of the busy work and, save for a spell in the 10th round where he was caught again, looked in control throughout.
Controlled, yes, but equally on the edge and wary, fighting on fear, a shadow of his former self.
Khan wants Manny Pacquiao next, potentially in December, putting the proposed showdown with Kell Brook on the backburner – perhaps for good – but if the Amir Khan from Saturday turns up in his next fight then there’s every chance he could be in for a very rude awakening.
Mr Reliable retires
The experienced and robust Kristian Laight recently called time on his career, bringing the curtain down on a show that had 300 showings – winning 12, drawing nine and losing the remaining 279.
But Mr Reliable, as he was known, was one hell of a boxer who prospects just getting started were fed to on a regular basis and, more often than not, taught the cold, hard, brutal reality of the sport.
Four rounds with Laight were worth far more than a thirty second knockout over your, traditional and stereotypical Latvian plumber, and over the course of his sixteen years in the pro game he was stopped a mere five times.
Cyclone set for a whirlwind return
Cylone Promotions – whom Josh Taylor fights under – have announced a stellar line up for their latest card, to be held at York Hall on October 13th with no less than three title fights and a further eliminator already added to the bill, live on Channel 5.
Lee McGregor headlines in only his fifth professional fight with the fiercely impressive IBF Youth champion challenging for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight title against Thomas Essomba – Essomba, 8 and 4, was originally slated to face Iain Butcher in a rematch on September 14th but the Scotsman has since pulled out.
Martin Bakole will defend his IBO Continental heavyweight belt against Michael Hunter, the former challenger to Oleksandr Usyk and will be looking to send a statement as he seeks to knock the American out in convincing fashion. Having target a bout with Joe Joyce, Bakole’s trainer Billy Nelson has not minced his words in calling the former Olympian “hypocritical” for claiming Bakole need to bring more to the table.
Chantelle Cameron and Chris Billam Smith round up the card announced thus far with Cameron defending her IBO World title against, vastly experienced and fluid, Dahiana Santana whilst Billam Smith fights in a Commonwealth eliminator against Robin Dupre.
Ritson goes for European glory
Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing’s card on October 13th, at the Metro Radio Arena, is starting to take healthy shape with plenty of fights, and fighters, to get excited about already-
In the headlining bout, the Geordie Golovkin, Lewis Ritson fights for the vacant European Lightweight title against Francesco Patera, former champion, after Edis Tatli vacated the belt and, first contender, Marvin Petit withdrew from the contest (an Oliver McManus exclusive, that was).
Glenn Foot will battle Robbie Davies Jnr in what promises to be an enthralling contest – Foot recently famed for his wars with Josh Leather and Jason Easton will look to add the British super lightweight title to the Commonwealth strap he already owns and will be doing so against one of Hearn’s latest signing, a ferocious Liverpudlian with the energy of, to be frank, a Chihuahua.
David Allen will continue his quest towards a British title with a fight against someone who isn’t Senad Gashi despite all the rumours surrounding the potential fight. It will, however, be against someone of a similar quality in order to best prepare for a potential title challenge in December.
Joshua Buatsi will defend his WBA International light heavyweight belt on the bill whilst Simon Vallily and Craig Glover meet over 10 rounds in the cruiserweight division and Thomas Patrick Ward, Chad Ellis, Darren Reay, John Docherty, Joe Laws and Lawrence Osueke round up the bill.
October 13th… the night for British Boxing!
Talking of October 13th there’s a strong argument to be made for it being THE night for British boxing with an endless array of shows gracing the country – obviously Eddie Hearn is up in Newcastle with Lewis Ritson and Co and, as detailed above, Cyclone Promotions are at York Hall but stay within London and Steve Goodwin is promoting at Tottenham Green Pools & Fitness with a sensational card –
Jumanne Camero and Jeffrey Ofori will face off for Camero’s Southern Area Lightweight title in a bout that sees two real nice guys going at it, Kay Propser will look to position himself in line for the English title as he fights Cassius Connor whilst Curtis Felix Jnr and Justin Menzie also meet in an eliminator contest; Deion Jumah and Jose Lopes fight for the vacant Southern Area cruiserweight title in a mouth-watering contest and there are 11 other fights on the card.
In the Paisley Lagoon Leisure CENTRE, Craig MacIntyre and Marek Laskowski clash in a fight for the vacant Scottish Area super lightweight title whilst Andrew Mackay and Thomas Dickson will look to get back in the title mix – Calvin McCord is on the card and Monty Ogilvie and Trigger Wood, among others, will look to continue their development.
Frank Warren announce Top Rank on ESPN deal
Frank Warren announced an “exclusive, landmark multi-year licensing agreement” that will enable Warren’s UK shows to be broadcast live and exclusive on ESPN and ESPN+, the agreement begins with October 6th’s Leicester card featuring Daniel Dubois, Jack Catterall vs Ohara Davies and Nicola Adams and comes on the back of Top Rank securing an “exclusive output deal” with, Warren-founded, Boxnation.
Erkan Teper vs Robert Helenius and European round-up
Following the withdrawal of Edmund Gerber, Erkan Teper will now face Robert Helenius for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. Teper, 3 and 0 since losing to Mariusz Wach, is looking to force his way up the IBF ratings having opted to withdraw from a proposed EBU-EU contest, also with Helenius, before it went to purse bids.
Helenius, on the other hand, comes in to the fight – taking place on September 29th – knowing that his last three performances, a loss to Dillian Whyte and two wins against Yury Bykhautsou have been far from impressive and the Nordic Nightmare’s stock is distinctly falling. A win against Teper would be expected from the Helenius hype back in 2015 but now it’s anything but a formality.
Staying in the heavyweight division and the EBU-EE-EU (External European Union) vacant title will be on the line come October 20th when Umut Camkiran, of Turkey, faces of with Adnan Redzovic in Podgorica, promoted by SESBoxing.
The EBU European flyweight title clash between Vincent Legrand and Andrew Selby looks to be back on, after Selby previously announced he was retired, with Jamie Sanigar winning the purse bids and a date TBA.
EBU-EU champion Otto Wallin has been installed as the mandatory challenger to full European champion Agit Kabayel with the two parties in negotiations, meanwhile Kabayel will make a voluntary defence of his belt on October 27th in Germany.
EU flyweight champion Mohammed Obbadi has been ordered to defend his belt against Commonwealth champion Jay Harris and with the two parties having failed to come to an agreement on terms the contest will go to purse bids on September 26th; Jay Harris, 13-0, will defend his Commonwealth title against Ross Murray on October 12th after a frustrating year for the Welshman.
Elliott Matthews, first contender, will see a proposed bout with Andrew Francillette go to purse bids on September 17th but the former English champion will fight for the Commonwealth belt on the 29th of this month against Rasheed Abolaji,
Finally, brining it full circle, Robert Helenius has been mandated to fight Petar Milas for the vacant EBU-EU heavyweight belt with purse bids due on September 26th.
The final word for this notebook goes to Ermal Dida, 2 and 0, from Bedford who says –
“I want to be Ermal Dida (in the ring), I don’t want to be an imitation
DAZN Boxing Results: Amir Khan Survives Knockdown, Decisions Vargas
By: William Holmes
Amir Khan (33-4) returned to the ring tonight at the Arena in Birmingham, England to face veteran welterweight Samuel Vargas (29-3-2) in the welterweight division.
This was Khan’s first fight with on DAZN and is one of their more marketable stars. DAZN made this fight available for free on their social media networks.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Khan, a strong favorite, showed no signs of a slow down in the opening rounds by pressing the action and using his superior speed.
Khan was doing well at keeping a safe distance and even sent Vargas down in the second from a combination that ended with a right han, but Vargas was able to land a straight right to the temple that sent Khan crashing to the mat after recovering from the knockdown.
Khan was able to recover, and went back to fighting at a safe distance and utilizing his quick combinations. Vargas was able to land a few good shots to test Khan’s chin, but Khan was able to withstand his power.
Amir Khan had Vargas bloodied by the fifth round and appeared to be close to knocking Vargas down. Vargas did have his moments, including momentarily stunning Khan in the tenth round and strong 11th round rally.
The final scores were 119-108, 119-109, 118-110 for Amir Khan.
Khan has bigger prizes on his mind, and noted that he’d like to face either Kell Brook or Manny Pacquiao next. The fight with Kell Brook should be easier for Eddie Hearn to make, but a fight with Manny Pacquiao would also be an entertaining fight.
A Look at the Options for Khan and Brook
By: Oliver McManus
Amir Khan and Kell Brook have had a long running, well-documented, rivalry with the “super-fight” being touted as “never being closer” on numerous occasions throughout the last five years and, indeed, despite that looking like the truth when Amir Khan and Kell Brook had a, tentative, face-off in the ring following the conclusion of Khan’s comeback in April, the likelihood of the bout taking place in the immediate future has since dwindled.
Here we take a look at the potential options for both Khan and Brook before discussing whether or not a meeting between the two can legitimately lay claim to the title “super-fight” –
On the basis that the pair don’t face each other next then the immediate option being bandied around is Manny Pacquiao with Khan being the front-runner for such a bout, to take place in America, and you get the feeling that, despite his performance against Matthyssse, this would be a matchmaking art-form.
A big fight in America and a big fight in the United Kingdom, we know that Eddie Hearn has been in talks with Pac Man to fight on DAZN so there’s definite potential for the fight and, let’s not forget, that the pair were supposed to fight on April 23rd last year, in the United Arab Emirates, before the bout got called off, supposedly due to a lack of funds.
With a world title to his name, the latest in a seemingly endless conveyor belt, there’s added spice to this bout with, for Khan, arguably the easiest route straight back to a world title and, dare we say it, a legacy defining bout for both boxers with an opportunity for Pacquiao to prove he’s not “over the hill” and Khan getting one MONSTEROUS name on his CV.
Hold up, hold up, let’s not get ahead of ourselves though because the fight with Pacquiao is a fight that Kell Brook wants as well and we’ve seen, over the course of history, that Brook is a guy with absolutely no fear heaving stepped up in weight to face Golovkin before taking on Errol Spence Jr, he lost on both occasions but the performances were stock-raising, nothing to be sniffed at, and he proved his heart and guts.
We know that he has the boxing ability to cause serious problems at the highest level and, indeed, packs some serious power as evident from his, most pertinently, sixth round TKO over Frankie Gavin but, equally, in his two round demolition jobs of Kevin Bizier and Siarhei Rabchanka – admittedly not the greatest quality opposition but you can only deal with what’s in front of you and Kell is consistently convincing.
A fight between Amir Khan or Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao is, truth be told, one of the only realistic bouts featuring the Filipino that gets me excited and I don’t really care which one of the Brits gets the shot but I want to see one of them in there.
BRING IT ON!
If we turn our attentions to the Sheffield superstar then, on paper, he has more, realistically, winnable options for a world title and that’s not just because he’s able to fight at 147 and 154 – the title holders at super welterweight are have more of an air of vincibility than those at welter.
Jaime Munguia, as heavy and explosive as he is, should be no match for the maturity and experience of Kell Brook and, whilst I confess this all hypothetical, there is then the scope for genuine showdowns with the likes of Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo.
Brook looks a more complete article at super-welterweight, as well, he looks naturally healthier and has significantly more energy, able to fight at a higher tempo and, rather obviously, packs that heavier artillery which enables him to really double-down and get the business done.
That’s not to say he’s not a threat at 147 because he, undoubtedly, is but it just seems to me that it’s about time in his career where he stops squeezing himself down to the lower weight and, indeed, Eddie Hearn has said that it takes him 16 weeks to get there so when all of that is taken into account it seems only logical that he remains at super welter for the long term because, yes, whilst this would probably rule him out of a couple of the bigger fights he would stand a far healthier chance of an extended career with, to his credit, huge clashes to be had with a trio of, simply, sublime Americans.
Amir Khan seems belligerent in adjusting weight, refusing the potential for a 150lb catch-weight fight with his longest rival which is shrewd on his part for maximising his natural advantages but does also allow the doubt in to creep in as to whether the fight will actually happen.
Looking further into the future then and there are plenty of tasty fights – Pacquiao and Brook, aside – that Khan could be involved with and this is where his time in America comes in handy because promoters over there want to have him on their shows, networks want him on TV and he’s very easy to market.
Danny Garcia is a man that Khan has publically said he wants to face, claiming he was “unfocussed” in their original clash back in 2012 – in which Khan was dropped on three occasions as the bout came to a swift conclusion in the fourth round – and it’s a fight that has appeal for both parties with, frankly, Garcia not quite the hot-shot that he formerly was and Khan is a route back into the headlines.
Having made a blistering return against, admittedly over-matched, Phil Lo Greco, Amir Khan didn’t prove anything new over the course of those forty seconds but he did show that he’s not lost any of his killer instinct, the ability to pounce on a subject as soon as a weakness is shown, and, boy oh boy, does he still have that hand speed.
So, we move until the bigger question on the horizon, is Amir Khan vs Kell Brook or, for that matter, Kell Brook vs Amir Khan still a) relevant and b) a mega-fight?
Let’s deal with “a” first and, to be brief, yes it is still relevant and it will continue to be relevant for as long as the two protagonists continue to target each other and whilst their still active in the sport because, make no mistake, there will always be an appetite to see the two of them square off in the ring purely because of the history, the deep rooted nature of this rivalry, and everyone wants to know, who ACTUALLY is the best?
Is it still a mega-fight? Well that depends who you are, it is certainly a big encounter and would be made even bigger if one of them were to capture a world title before such a showdown, it’s a stadium fight but it’s a fight that would have been way, way bigger in 2014. People will watch, of course they will, but the excitement won’t be as red-hot as it once was and it will almost be more of a sigh of relief if it were to happen as opposed to a never-ending crescendo of excitement.
Is it relevant in terms of the world scene? Well that’s a separate question and that particular relevance has been like a ticking time bomb over the past five years and there’s a nagging suspicion, from me, that we won’t see this bout until after there is any serious consequence. I could be wrong, mind.
I hope I am.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas
By: Ste Rowen
At Arena Birmingham this Saturday night, Amir Khan takes on Samuel Vargas in a 12-round contest that will surely propel the winner to a shot at the biggest names in the welterweight division.
Since May 2016, the former unified super-lightweight world champion, has spent just shy of 40 seconds in the ring. On his first return to the ring since being wiped out by ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Amir Khan stepped between the ropes in March to decimate an overawed and overmatched, Phil Lo Greco in the 1st round.
‘‘I didn’t get a chance to show everyone what I had been working on during my time out, against Lo Greco.’’ Said Khan, 32-4 (20KOs), speaking to his promoter Matchroom last month. ‘‘But you saw the punch power, accuracy, speed and timing, and you’ll see it again against Vargas. I always make it exciting.’’
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Post-fight in April, Amir mentioned the likes of Adrien Broner as a potential next opponent but whilst Broner is otherwise engaged – trying to get Burger King employees to quit on the spot – Khan, and promoter Eddie Hearn, moved to make the Sam Vargas bout, and keep a historically inactive fighter in Amir busy, before an expected massive welterweight showdown with any of the division’s big names.
‘‘This will take me to the bigger and better fights, and that’s with no disrespect to Sammy. He’s going to come to win. He knows by beating me it propels him on to a whole new level…Vargas is a very tough and well-schooled fighter but if he wants to fight on the inside, I’ll be more than ready for it.’’
‘‘There’re big fights in the pipeline but I can’t afford to look that far ahead. Vargas has my full attention.’’
Colombian, Vargas was on a hot streak of four consecutive victories, since his stoppage loss to Danny Garcia in 2016, until he ran into Mauro Godoy two months ago. At Ontario’s Scotiabank Convention Centre, the two South Americans fought out a tit-for-tat majority draw, which did very little to wow the crowd.
The Canadian resident isn’t exactly renowned for his power, but his KO record isn’t holding him back from laying out to the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, exactly how dangerous of an opponent he will be,
‘‘If I touch him on the chin, he’s going down. That’s a guarantee…He’s been stopped really badly a couple of times, so we know it’s always there and we have 36 minutes to do it…Your body can only take so much before it gives out. Maybe this is the fight for him.’’
As mentioned earlier, Vargas, 29-3-2 (14KOs), isn’t a complete stranger to sharing the ring with the biggest talent. The current WBA-NABA champion has stepped in, and lost to WBC champ at the time, Danny Garcia – going 3 rounds further than Saturday night’s opponent could handle against the Philadelphian – and the 2015 tussle with a 15-0, Errol Spence.
‘‘I’ve been in there with the best. Obviously, I didn’t get the results that I wanted but those defeats have been my biggest lessons…I’m just a regular guy that decided not to quit and not give up, to get up and to keep on going. And here I am.’’
‘‘This is all or nothing for me.’’
This fight will also be Bolton native, Khan’s second under the tutelage of Joe Goosen. Hopefully fans get to see a little more of what the legendary trainer has been teaching him this time round.
Saturday night’s card also includes a number of domestic favourites including;
Current British middleweight champion, Jason Welborn will once again face-off against Tommy Langford, the man he took the Lonsdale belt from back in May, with a 12-round split decision.
British lightweight champion, Lewis Ritson is scheduled for a 10-round stay busy fight against Nicaraguan, Oscar Amador, 10-7 (1KO). The Newcastle native, 16-0 (10KOs), is already set to headline a card in his hometown on the 13th October, where he’ll come up against Belgian, Francesco Patera, 19-3 (7KOs), for the EBU European 135lb title.
2014 Commonwealth gold medallist at 69kg, Scott Fitzgerald, 10-0 (7KOs), takes on southpaw, Craig Morris, 10-1 (3KOs).
Sam ‘The Savage’ Eggington enters the ring for the 3rd time in 2018 when he takes on Tanzanian, Hassan Mwakinyo, 11-2 (7KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder. Eggington, 23-4 (15KOs) is currently 15th in the WBC’s junior middleweight rankings.
The Midlands Area junior middleweight champion, Ryan Kelly, 11-1 (5KOs), defends his strap for the first time, against the unbeaten Kelcie Ball, 9-0 (2KOs).
DAZN to stream Amir Khan vs Samuel Vargas on Facebook and Twitter for Free
Ahead of DAZN’s U.S. launch, the live and on- demand sports streaming platform announced it will make Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas available for free on Facebook and Twitter. The Matchroom Boxing fight card will air live on Saturday, Sept. 8 from Arena Birmingham in the U.K. with the main event beginning at approximately 5 p.m. ET.
The fights will appear on the @DAZNUSA Facebook page and via the @DAZN_USA Twitter handle, and fans won’t need to be signed up for DAZN to watch the fight.
“As part of our joint venture with Matchroom Boxing, we held the rights to Khan vs. Vargas but DAZN doesn’t go live in the U.S. until Sept. 10. We fully recognize Khan’s broad appeal and will work with Facebook and Twitter to give U.S. fight fans an opportunity to see his fight for free,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America. “Cheers! This one is on us.”
Former unified light welterweight world champion Khan (32-4, 20 KOs), back in action following his knockout of Phil Lo Greco in just 39 seconds, will take on Colombian-Canadian contender Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) in the 12-round welterweight main event.
“One of my aims this year was to be as active as possible, so I’m very happy to get back in the ring again so soon against Samuel Vargas,” said Khan when the fight was announced in June. “Vargas is a tough and well-schooled fighter who has shared the ring with some top welterweights, including Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr.”
The Facebook and Twitter streams will begin at approximately 3 p.m. ET, featuring the Jason Welborn vs. Tommy Langford rematch following Welborn’s snatching of the British middleweight title from Langford via split decision in May, as well as the junior middleweight tilt Ryan Kelly vs. Kelcie Ball.
“Amir Khan is back and although there is a lot of talk about massive fights on the horizon he must come through this test against Vargas in style. With DAZN launching later this month, we wanted to give Amir the biggest audience possible so U.S. fans can see how sharp and determined he looks,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom President. “Enjoy this card on us and then come back to check out DAZN’s top-notch platform and live sports production starting Sept. 22, when the heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua defends his belts against Alexander Povetkin.”
DAZN’s stacked fall lineup of exclusive fights features Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22, Bellator 206 on Sept. 29, Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme on Oct. 6, Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade on Oct. 20, among many others. Fans can sign up for DAZN by registering
at DAZN.com or by downloading the DAZN app on a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles, when the service goes live on Sept. 10.
Toka Kahn Clary & Sacred “Diamond” Downing Win at Boardwalk Hall in AC
By: Ken Hissner
Real Deal Sports & Entertainment along with Mis Downing with matchmaker Kevin O’Sullivan presented a ten bout card Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, NJ, over USA CBS Sports Network.
In the Main Event Liberian Featherweight southpaw Toka Kahy Clary, 25-1 (17), of Providence, RI, defeated Emmanuel “Venanzo” Dominguez, 22-7-2 (14), of Agumscalientes, MEX, 10 rounds for the WBA-NABA Featherweight title.
In the opening round the taller Dominguez edged out the heavy favorite Clary. It would seem to be the last round that he would win. Though the aggressor, Dominguez was met with right crosses from the smaller southpaw Clary landing them to take the round. In rounds 3 through 6 Clary had his way staying one step ahead of Dominguez.
In the seventh through the tenth and final round Dominguez made a fight of it but seemingly never quite doing enough to take a round.
Judges scores were 98-92 twice and 97-93 with this writer having it 99-91. Benjy Esteves, Jr. did his usual good job as the referee.
In the co-feature of the evening this bout filled in for 3 scheduled bouts that fell through.
Russian Cruiserweight Alexey Egorov, 5-0 (4), of Obninsk, RUS, destroyed Luther Smith having him down twice and halfway through the ropes causing Referee David Fields to stop the onslaught in the first round.
Welterweight Greg Outlaw, 5-0 (2), of Bowie, MD, brought many fans with him from home as he stopped Dan Murray, 3-2 (0), of Lanoka Harbor, NJ, at 1:47 of the second round in a scheduled 6.
In the second round referee Ron Bashir had seen enough after the first knockdown. By the second one he wisely waved it off.
The long awaited professional debut of Super Bantamweight Sacred Downing, 1-0 (0), of Trenton, NJ, finally took place. There wasn’t a lot of action but Downing dominated for 3 rounds. In the fourth round a nasty cut above the left eye of Hart’s stopped it in a scheduled 4. Downing was an Olympian who had won many titles and is now a pastor. All 3 judges and this writer had it 40-36.
Welterweight southpaw Poindexter Knight, 5-0 (2), of Philadelphia, PA, defeated a game Jean Carlos Sepulveda, 0-1-1, over 6 rounds.
Judges scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37 as did this writer score it. Ron Bashir was the referee.
Super Lightweight Daiyann Butt, 1-0 (0), of Haverford, PA, won an easy 4 round decision over Samuel Forjoe, 0-3, of Ghana and Bronx, NY.
Forjoe seemed content just to go the distance. The much taller Butt used an effective jab and hit him with everything but the kitchen sink. One had to wonder about his lack of punching power. The Referee was Sparkle Lee.
Bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez, 2-0 (0), of New Hope, PA, won a hard fought decision over Dallas Holden, 1-3 (0), of Atlantic City, NJ, over 4 rounds.
Judges had it 39-35 twice and 40-34 as did this writer. Ron Bashir was the Referee.
There were many boxers there with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame inductions being on Sunday. The press sat so far back they had to send in pigeons since we couldn’t hear the scores.
Amir Khan Blasts Lo Greco in First Round
By: Eric Lunger
It was a sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK, that saw the return of former Super Lightweight Champion Amir Khan to the ring after an almost two-year hiatus from the sport. For Khan (31-4, 19 KO’s) there were two main questions to be answered. First, how much did the time off diminish his hand-speed and timing? Second, what effect (if any) did the scary Alvarez knock out have on the Bolton, UK, native?
Unfortunately, the bout didn’t really last long enough to get definitive answers to those questions. In the first round, Lo Greco came out fighting behind an awkward high, pawing jab. Almost immediately, Khan blasted an overhand right straight past Lo Greco’s defense, and the Canadian went down hard. Lo Greco got back to his feet, smiling as though he couldn’t believe he could be so careless. But Khan pounced — exhibiting his hand speed of old — and Lo Greco had no answers for Khan’s sudden onslaught. That was it, Khan wins by TKO in the first round.
In the post-fight interview, Khan acknowledged the supportive fans: “I was a little nervous, coming back to a full Liverpool crowd, but guess what: I’m back! Khan is back!” He went on to promise that he would continue to fight in the UK, “I want to be a world champion again, to bring a big name back to England and fight him here.” Khan also insisted that his future was in the welterweight division, not at 154 lbs.
The broadcast team tried to goad Khan into calling out former IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook, who was ring-side as a SKY Sports commentator, but Khan repeated his intention to fight next at 147. When Brook entered the ring, the boxers went on a fairly conventional (and artificial) verbal sparring match that lasted longer than the actual main event.
In the featured undercard bout, Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle (24-4, 11 KOs) took on Commonwealth Lightweight Champion Sean “Masher” Dodd (15-3-1, 3 KOs). It was a competitive and entertaining bout from the opening bell, with both fighters taking risks and throwing offensive punches. Coyle caught Dodd with an overhand right with ten seconds left in the fourth round, but Dodd managed to survive till the bell. In the sixth, Coyle landed a perfect right counter, dropping Dodd awkwardly to the matt, and the former champion banged his gloves in rueful frustration before rising to his feet. This time, however, Coyle piled on, leaving Dodd’s corner no choice but to throw in the towel.
It was a treat for US boxing fans to be able to stream a SKY Sports broadcast, via the new ESPN+ service. The next ESPN+ boxing live stream on June 9th features WBO Welterweight Champion Jeff Horn taking on American superstar Terrence “Bud” Crawford, as the Omaha fighter moves up to 147 lbs.
Amir Khan Returns to the Ring against Phil Lo Greco
By: Eric Lunger
This Saturday, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK, former unified super lightweight champion Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) returns to the ring after an almost two-year hiatus from the sport. His opponent is Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs) of Toronto, Canada. The bout will stream exclusively in the US at 5:30 ET as part of the Top Rank on ESPN series.
Photo Credit: Amir Khan Twitter Account
Khan, 32, is a Bolton, Lancashire native, but Saturday marks his first appearance in the UK in almost five years. A star since his break-out year in 2009 when he won his first world title, Khan has racked up wins over Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, and Zan Judah. In 2011, Khan suffered a tough, split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson, followed seven months later by a TKO loss to Danny Garcia. None daunted, Khan returned to the ring in December of 2012 and rang off a series of five wins over the likes of Carlos Molina, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander, and Chris Algieri.
This string of impressive victories set up a WBC world welterweight title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Giving away a serious weight advantage (made all the more frightening by Canelo’s recent clenbuterol controversy), Khan took one-too-many left jabs to the body. When Alvarez feinted another left jab and Khan dropped his hands, Alvarez delivered a crushing straight right to Khan’s chin, dropping the British fighter and silencing the T-Mobile Arena crowd.
Phil Lo Greco has fought almost all of his professional career at super welterweight, though he generally weighs in around 150 lbs. Fighting almost exclusively in Canada and Europe early in his career, Lo Greco has two big-name fights on his resumé. In 2013, he dropped a twelve-round unanimous decision to Shawn Porter on wide cards, and in 2015 he lost to rising star Errol Spence, Jr., by third-round TKO. Since then, Lo Greco has gone 2-1 against second-tier opposition.
Nonetheless, Lo Greco feels confident and prepared. Noting that he had an extensive eleven-week camp, he told Sky Sports: “I’m physically and mentally ready, I’ve lost a lot of weight.” The Canadian fighter gave Khan his due, saying, “He has done great [things] for British boxing, but his time is past. Athletes always thing they have one more in them.”
For Khan, he must put the ghost of the Alvarez knockout behind him. It would be easy to walk away from the sport after such a scary loss, but Khan is a warrior – just check out the Maidana fight. While Khan’s ring movement and hand speed can be dazzling one wonders how much his skills have rusted during the almost two-year break. Finally, there are the intangibles, like hunger, focus, and mental preparation, all of which are crucial for success at the top level of the sport. Khan can be an impulsive and emotional fighter, letting his will to tangle get himself in trouble.
“I am one of those fighters with a huge heart, I like to get into tear-ups,” Khan told ESPN, “and I like to mix it up.” Coming home to the UK, will Khan want to put on a show for his home fans? Most definitely, but he will have to minimize his risk-taking if he wants to keep Lo Greco from landing a fortuitous power-shot.
Streaming live at 5:30 ET on Saturday evening, fans can stream ESPN+ on the ESPN app on mobile and TV-connected devices, or on ESPN.com. ESPN+ is a new, direct to consumer streaming service from the Walt Disney Company, in partnership with ESPN.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones Jr., Khan, Bowe, Kovalev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 30th to February 6th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roy Jones Junior Quotes for his Last Fight
One of the greatest careers in ring history will come to close this Thursday night, when the legendary Roy Jones Junior competes in his final bout as a professional boxer bout as a professional boxer.
Widely considered one of the very best pound-for-pound fighters of all time Jones, 65-9 (47KOs), competes in cruiserweight (200lbs) bout vs Scott Sigmon, 30-11-1 (16KOs). The 10-rounder serves as the main event to a five fight Island Fights main card which features both boxing and mixed martial arts bouts.
The event will be live-streamed and available on video-on-demand basis exclusively on UFCFIGHTPASS, the UFC’s digital streaming service.
Joining combat sport play-by-play veteran TJ De Santis in the commentator booth will be Jeff Lacy. Known as “Left Hook” during his boxing career, Lacy represented the United States at the 2000 Olympics and went on to win the same IBF super-middleweight title Jones had annexed a decade earlier. Lacy also fought Jones in 2009 (the entire fight is available on UFC FIGHT PASS) and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the event.
ROY JONES JUNIOR FLASH QUOTES:
ON FIGHTING ON UFC FIGHT PASS
“This is the first live boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS. I love being the first to do something, so to be the first boxing event on UFC FIGHT PASS is cool. When I turned pro back in 1989, I said I wanted to bring new audiences boxing and that’s what I tried to do. By having my last night as a fighter on the
UFC’s (streaming service) I’m bringing new eyeballs to boxing and I’m throwing a spotlight on the boxing and MMA fighters who are on the event.
“I’m been a fan of the UFC for years. Me and (UFC President) Dana White have been friends for a long time, since before he even got started with the UFC. We’ve talked about FIGHT PASS showing a fight (of mine) and it has come about perfectly.”
ON HIS FINAL FIGHT
“It feels different. I’m emotional even thinking about how I’m going to feel on the day. I’m almost tearing up talking. I’m worried about how I am going to feel all day of the fight. I may be crying all day – but once I am in the ring I’ll have to put those tears away because there’s gonna be a guy in the other corner looking to beat me. Scott Sigmon won’t care about those tears. He cares about getting the win, that’s the reality.
“I turned professional in May 1989 in this same arena, but I’ve been doing this since 1979. In 39 years there’s not been a single day where I didn’t put on glove, skip, watch tape or spend time thinking about boxing.
“Boxing has been my life and it is my life. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. So much of it is still fresh (in my mind), not one thing but so much jumps out when I look back… representing my country at the Olympics in 1988, becoming a world champion for the first time, becoming the No.1 pound-for-pound vs James Toney, winning the world heavyweight title… like it was all yesterday.”
ON GETTING OLDER
“I’m not sad to get older, we all get old. I had a great prime. I was good in my prime, y’know? I wasn’t surprised that I was getting old, and that my abilities were getting more limited. Everybody knows everybody gets old, but I think some guys really don’t think their body will get old.
“I accepted it. People told me to retire but I knew what I could do and I’ve never let anyone tell me what to do.
“There are things I wanted to accomplish that I knew were no longer within my reach. I love boxing, even out of my prime I love boxing like I did when I was champ. But you can’t go on forever no matter how much you love it. It’s time, I’m ready to say goodbye.”
After MTV Super Fight League Ropes in Fox Networks Group for an Asian Broadcasting Deal
FOX Sports Asia has entered into a brand new one-year exclusive multimedia and broadcastrights agreement for the second season of Super Fight League, the world’s first mixed martial arts tournament, promoted by British businessman and sports enthusiast Bill Dosanjh and British professional boxer Amir Khan on their television and digital platforms in Asia.
Promising reach in more than 500 million homes by broadcasting action pack content, the licensed territories include Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam . Earlier this year, SFL came to one-year agreement on a broadcasting deal with MTV, Viacom 18 in India to broadcast all matches for season 2 (till 2019)
Having garnered over a whopping 100 million views in 5 years for 67 live televised events, Super Fight League is ranked as the third biggest Mixed Martial Arts brand in the world and second most watched sport in India after cricket apart from being the fastest growing combat sport.The franchise-based league that is being organized in association with the All-India Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) will entail prize money of INR 4 crores as well as 96 players and 8 teams as listed below –
Bill Dosanjh, CEO & Founder of Super Fight League stated, “We are excited to be partnering with FOX Networks Group, the leading multi-platform entertainment group across the world. This association will further capitalize on our long term vision of taking SFL to different markets. In the next 3 years we would like to take SFL to the Asian markets where MMA is more popular than a sport like cricket and comes second after soccer. The opportunity to have our premier content available in over 500 million homes will immediately accelerate the growth of the SFL brand and the sport of MMA across the region. The emergence of young Indian mixed martial artists coupled with FOX’s marketing muscle and distribution, will allow us to expand our event output beyond India and into the rest of the world in the coming years.”
Brian Sullivan, President of FOX Networks Groupadded, “This new agreement allows us to continue adding value to our uniquely holistic entertainment experience, aiming to suit all our fans’ preferences. We are quite delighted to deliver first class MMA content through our channels and digital platforms. The passion of Asian fans for mixed martial arts makes this category key to our content offering, and we will contribute with our know-how to make the experience of living it in our portfolio unbeatable.”
Elaborating Asian athlete and two-time world champion Amir Khan states, “I think we’ll be considered mainstream just like the NFL and NBA now. To be on the Fox platform, we’re not second class anymore. This new agreement represents a great opportunity and will allow us to attract a new fanbase for the sport where MMA has a strongly established tradition as well as huge potential to gather and galvanize new fans.”
Formed in 2012 by British-Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Dosanjh with an intent to give Indian mixed martial artists a platform to compete and hone their talent in their country of origin whilst bringing in talented fighters from different parts of the world, SFL is a revolutionary approach to combat and is the first MMA organization to feature female fighters. MTV SFL 2018 will promote gender equality through a fair and unique platform with women having the same influence on the team as men. The league entails a group ‘A’ and ‘B’, consisting of four teams each. Every team has six players—five male fighters and one female—and six back-ups, belonging to six different weight categories. The teams within the group compete with each other in 12 league-level matches.
The second season of the leading MMA league will be conducted at MTV SFL Arena, Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai from February 9, 2018 to March 17, 2018.
Riddick Bowe to be Special Guest for February 22nd Golden Boy Boxing Card
Former Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe will be the special VIP guest for the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The highly anticipated headlining matchup will feature 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABF and NABO Featherweight Titles against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
Doors to the Special Events Center open and first fight begins at 5:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and streaming on ESPN3 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
A certified Hall of Famer, “Big Daddy” Bowe is known as the only Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion to have earned belts from all four main sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO. The controversial heavyweight faced some of the best fighters of his era, including Andrzej Golota, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, Herbie “Dancing Destroyer” Hide, and Michael “Dynamite” Dokes. Bowe is also one of five former heavyweight champions to have never suffered a stoppage defeat in the span of more than 40 fights in his career. Bowe will be in attendance for this event to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN transmission begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
Tickets for the event start at $25 and are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
Chief support to the main event battle will be knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), who will participate in the eight-round co-main event for the vacant Junior NABF Super Lightweight Title against the dangerous Jesus “Carambolas” Alvarez (15-3,11 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico. Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout and will be putting his spotless record on the line as he takes a step up in competition and fights for his first regional title.
Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action and will kick off the ESPN3 coverage.Gonzalez will face Rey “Flash” Perez (21-9, 6 KOs), a Filipino fighter who now calls Los Angeles home and who was last seen giving Lamont Roach, Jr. trouble in the main event of the Nov. 30 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), who is trained by his world-renowned father, Manny Robles, Jr., will participate in an eight-round featherweight affair. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, Calif. will participate in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.
San Diego’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in an eight-round lightweight fight, and Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. (11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open up the stacked card at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a scheduled eight-round super featherweight fight.
Opponents for all these exciting prospects will be announced shortly.
AIBA Releases Progress Report on Governance
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board decided to maintain the financial suspension of AIBA and demanded a new report on AIBA governance by April 30th . This decision was made despite AIBA’s fulfilment of the IOC’s request to submit a Progress Report outlining all steps AIBA was asked to take and continues to take to improve its governance. To access the full AIBA Progress Report, please see the AIBA website.
This decision is extremely disappointing for AIBA as it hoped the IOC Executive Board would have understood that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require more time and that the positive steps already taken in recent times are evidence of AIBA’s strong efforts and willingness to reform.
Over the next six months AIBA will be in the process of a complete organisational review, which will lead to the ‘New Foundation Plan’ for AIBA. This plan and the recommendations produced will be discussed during the AIBA Executive Committee meeting in July and an update will be provided to the IOC in the requested April 30th report.
In the meantime, AIBA will continue its efforts to convince the IOC of its determination to not repeat any of the past mistakes and its commitment to a fresh, positive future centered on good governance and sound management.
Tickets on Sale for Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin
Tickets are on sale for the upcoming showdown between two-time Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) versus Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) versus Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs), which takes place on Saturday, March 3 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for this exciting event are priced from $50 to $300 and are available through ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden box office.
Promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions, the event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.
About March 3: The Saturday, March 3 main event between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Igor Mikhalkin is a 12-round match-up for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The co-main event features WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol versus Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round title fight. The event is promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Tickets range from $50 to $300 and will be available through TicketMaster.com, the Madison Square Garden Box office and the Main Events office by calling 973-200-7050 or emailing [email protected]
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Anderson, Garcia, Rios, Joshua, Khan, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 19th to December 26th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
USA Boxing Nationals Champion Jared Anderson America’s Next Great Heavyweight?
Christmas came early for Jared Anderson, who not only won the heavyweight title at the recent USA Boxing National Championships, the 18-year-old also captured the Most Outstanding Boxer Award in the Elite Division.
Seeded No. 7 in eight-boxer field at The Nationals, Anderson, in order, defeated No. 2 Jesus Flores in the opening round, 5-0, edged No. 3 Adrian Tillman in the semifinals, 3-2, and upset five-time national champion Cam F. Awesome, 5-0, in the championship final.
In USA Boxing’s most recently listed heavyweight ratings (Nov. 17, 2017), Tillman and Awesome are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, Flores is No. 5, and Anderson is unranked.
“I think that’s going to change,” Anderson noted. “Winning the heavyweight title and Most Outstanding Boxing Award meant the world to me. Maybe some people had never heard of me, but I’ve been boxing since I was eight, and I’ve faced a lot of different styles.
“I had a vendetta going with Tillman and, instead of boxing, I tried to take his head off. Simple work allowed me to beat Awesome. He is a good fighter. Cam does what he wants in the ring — throws jabs, sits there and builds up points – and intimidates some opponents. I took the fight to him. Not wild, though, because he’d have been there in the ring, calm and smiling, and I would have lost. I used my jab more than anything against him.”
One of 11 siblings in two households, Anderson is another USA Boxing success story. Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Anderson was constantly getting into trouble in school and boxing eventually saved him. His mother convinced her son to meet a local boxing coach, who introduced Jared to boxing, drilling discipline into him, something Jared desperately needed at that point in his young life.
Boxing in Toledo has also aided his overall development in boxing. “We push each other,” Anderson explained. “We support each other and perfect our crafts. There’s a lot of support here at all the gyms in Toledo.”
Anderson represented Team USA at this past August’s 2017 Bradenburg Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, at which Anderson won the heavyweight title, as well as the Most Outstanding Boxer Award, which should have been a warning for other leading U.S. heavyweights.
As a young boxer, Anderson admired three legends who were all products of USA Boxing, U.S. Olympians and Olympic medal winners: 1. Sugar Ray Leonard – “Fast hands, speed, a phenomenal boxer.” 2. Evander Holyfield – “A warrior who could bang or box. Moved up successfully from cruiserweight to heavyweight.” 3. Muhammad Ali — “Not just because he was a great boxer, but more so because of his life.”
Right now, Anderson stand 6′ 2 and weighs 200 lbs., but he’s only 18 and should continue growing even larger. Ultimately, he wants to be heavyweight champion of the world, but Jared does have a plan.
“I want to stay as active as possible next year, competing in tournaments, and turn pro but not until after the (2020) Olympics,” Anderson concluded. “I’m not turning pro until after the (2020) Olympics. I want to win a gold medal, turn pro and win the world heavyweight title, so I can move my mother out of the ‘hood.”
Remember the name, boxing fans, Jared Anderson has the potential to be America’s next great heavyweight.
Eddie Hearn Releases Potential 2018 Fight Dates for Anthony Joshua
Boxing superstar Anthony Joshua has been the target for many of the world’s top heavyweights, including American rival Deontay Wilder.
Eddie Hearn recently indicated that they are close to confirming the next opponent for Anthony Joshua. They are looking for date on a Saturday night either near the end of March or the beginning of April.
“We’re getting there,” Hearn recently told Sky Sports. “As AJ says, he wants the belts, he wants to be the undisputed king of the division. That’s the aim, and to do that he has to win two belts.”
He continued, “We’re looking at March 24, March 31 and April 7 as potential dates for his next fight, with various different venues in London and Wales, even other venues and cities around Europe as well.”
Joseph Parker looks like the next likely opponent for Anthony Joshua.
Danny Garcia to Face Brandon Rios
Danny Garcia is scheduled to face Brandon Rios on Saturday, February 17th. This fight will be taking place on Showtime. The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada is the announced venue.
Garcia hasn’t been seen inside a ring since his close split decision loss to Keith Thurman in March of 2017 and will have sat out for nearly a year in between fights. Rios only fought once since his loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. in November of 2015.
A loss for either fighter will likely remove them from future title shots.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Challenges Kobe Bryant to a Game of 1 on 1
Kobe Bryant, one of Basketball’s all time greats, recently had the honor of having both of his jersey numbers retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant posted on instagram thanking his fans, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. responded to his post. He wrote, “@ kobebryant I’m ready to play you one on one for $1,000,000”.
It’s not yet clear if this post was made in jest or if it’s for charity, but Mayweather has thrown out the challenge to Kobe.
Amir Khan Receives Death Threats for Photo of Christmas Tree
British Boxer is a practicing Muslim who recently posted a photo of a Christmas tree on his instagram.
Khan posted the Christmas tree on Instagram with the following caption, “While everyone’s asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up. Lamaisah’s going to be happy. #Christmas #MerryChristmas2017
However, some of Khan’s followers were not happy and posted threatening messages in response.
He was accused of betraying Islam and many told him to go to hell. One person wrote, “Allah is definitely judging him for that and will surely punish those who imitate the kuffar by celebrating and joining in their pagan festivals.”
Another wrote, “You must be dead and your family will be death I promise and Allah must promise I and Allah see you and check you your angel death came to see you.”
However, some people wrote positive messages such as, “He lives in England in a western culture where Christmas is celebrated. It’s about respect just like if you were in another country. It’s for his daughter.”
Amir Khan: “Can’t Wait To Get Back In The Ring, Where I Belong”
By: Sean Crose
“Can’t wait,” Amir Khan tweeted this week, “to get back in the ring, where I belong.” Sure enough, the last time fans saw the lighting fast former British Olympian was back in 2016. It was then that Khan was knocked out in brutal fashion by Canelo Alvarez after Khan had bravely jumped up the weight scale in order to land a long desired major pay per view event. For the record, Khan presented himself extremely well in the fight, but the power of the Mexican star proved to be too much. Once Canelo found his mark, the results were nothing short of frightening.
Now Khan wants back in the ring. The 31-4 Bolton native is currently thirty years old – which is no longer as old as thirty used to be for a professional boxer. Still, the man has taken some punishment over the years. Besides the thunderous shot Canelo rocked him with last year, Kahn has also fallen victim to the fists of Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott. Marcos Maidana also gave Khan the brawl of his life in a 2010 fight where Khan emerged victorious. These bouts, coupled with a long time away from the ring, leave fans and analysts with a considerable amount of questions.
Will Khan, for instance, still have the speed which he has relied on? Will he still have the quick reflexes? Although well known for the times he’s come up short, Khan certainly has an impressive record for a professional boxer. He’s beaten the likes of Zab Judah, Chris Algieri, Paulie Malignaggi and Marco Antonio Barrera. He was also proving to be quite the challenge for Canelo and Garcia before his famous glass jaw shattered on him. Some may wonder now, however, if the gifts which made Khan such a formidable opponent in the past are still with him.
There’s also the matter of Khan’s rather unconventional personality, which can make his career decisions somewhat unpredictable. The man appeared desperate for a Floyd Mayweather match during the “Money” era, but seemed to some to be completely unwilling to face Kell Brook when a battle between he and his fellow Englishman would have made for quite an interesting fight. Throw in very public personal issues and it’s sometimes difficult for even the most acute of analysts to discern what Khan is up to.
Still, the man has proven to be a very talented and competitive fighter. He also has a style that makes for good viewing. Should he come back, as he says he will, Khan will definitely generate interest. It’s up to Khan to ultimately step back into the ring, however. Until he does, fans will be left to wonder…or, worse still for Khan, move on.
Breaking News: Pacquiao-Khan Fight A No Go
Breaking News: Pacquiao-Khan Fight A No Go
By: Sean Crose
It ain’t happening, folks. Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan are not going to be meeting in the boxing ring, at least not anytime soon. Talk was that the phantom superfight would go down in the Middle East this spring. What’s more, both Pacquiao and Khan announced over Twitter that they would, in fact, be facing one another. As Boxing Insider reported earlier this week, however, there was a potential air of unreality about the entire affair.
And now word arrives that the fight simply won’t be happening. ESPNs Dan Rafael writes that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum informed ESPN “that the UAE deal for Pacquiao-Khan was dead.” UAE, which stands for United Arab Emirates, was said to be the proposed location of the hoped for megabout. What Pacquiao will do now is anyone’s guess, never mind Khan.
Pacquiao was originally supposed to face the widely unknown Jeff Horn, possibly in Horn’s homeland of Australia. That idea was clearly not in keeping with what Pacquiao wanted, however. Now that the potential of a big money dream match with Khan has morphed into a dream deferred, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
By: William Holmes
Noun: A freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.
Verb: Lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona
MTV’s popular catfish television show has been on air for six years and is extremely popular and shows no signs of slowing down.
This show highlights unsuspecting and naïve romantics falling in love with an online persona that’s often being controlled by someone that is not who the victim thinks they are. The popularity of the show lies in the drama and heartbreak that is shown when the lie is ultimately revealed to the heartbroken Romeo.
The naivety of these victims is hard to believe, and the desperation of these victims makes it hard for them to see past the smoke and mirrors of an obvious con.
Which leads us to the latest talk of Manny Pacquiao facing Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Khan was expressed his desire to fight a big fight in the UAE since the mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather in 2015, and has established financial connections to that area as evident by a recent MMA gym he opened in Dubai.
When Pacquiao and Khan originally announced their fight on social media it was scheduled to take place on April 23rd, with no pay per view partner or network partnership announced.
If Pacquiao and Khan, as well as Pacquiao’s long time advisor Michael Koncz, are announcing that the parties have come to an agreement, surely an official announcement will soon follow.
But there’s one man who hasn’t confirmed the fight is official, and he’s the only man that can make it a reality.
That man is Bob Arum.
He’s gone as far as to call the reports of the fight “total and complete bu****t”. The short time to the date of an April fight would make it nearly impossible to make it with the proper promotional muscle. Reports have been put out there that the fight has since been moved back to May 20th.
But even that seems questionable. A fight in May would require Pacquiao to go back on his promise to not miss any sessions in the Filipino senate due to boxing, and Ramadan the Muslim holy month, begins on May 26th.
So why hasn’t Bob Arum given his blessing for a fight in the UAE? The likely answer is money, or the lack of guaranteed money.
When Pacquiao fought Mayweather he made an estimated career high of $120 million. But his purses since then have been decreasing in size. His third fight with Timothy Bradley netted him an estimated $20 million, and his fight with Jesse Vargas only earned him a guarantee of $4 million, with a percentage of Pay Per View Sales added on top of it. He made more than $4 million for his fight with Vargas, but nowhere near the money he made with Mayweather and still likely less than what he made for Bradley.
Pacquiao was rumored to face Jeff Horn before the talks of a fight with Khan emerged, but his purse was only reported to be a guaranteed $7 million, with an unrealistic shot at high Pay Per View sales.
Amir Khan’s value is also no longer what it used to be. It was rumored that Khan made upwards of $13 million when he fought Canelo Alvarez; but he was brutally knocked out for the third time in his career.
Many consider Khan to be damaged goods.
Khan’s financial prospects in the sport of boxing have decreased even further when his longtime rival Kell Brook officially signed to fight Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao’s declining value must be of great concern to him and his team, and to Arum. But Bob Arum has been one of boxing’s most successful promoters for decades for good reason: he knows how to make money, and knows the difference between a good deal and a bad one.
Much like the hopeless romantic that gets so easily suckered by a fake online profile, Khan and Pacquiao appear to be desperate in their search for another big payday.
The question remains as to who is putting up the money for this big time fight to be made in the UAE? The logistics alone of putting a major title fight in the Middle East would be extremely difficult, and the time zone difference would have a negative effect on pay per view sales.
Bob Arum is a businessman, and he knows a good deal when he sees it and is willing to jump on it if it presents itself. The guaranteed money must be missing from this deal for Arum to refute reports of the fight not being made. It’s hard to imagine Arum turning down this fight if there was real money to be made for all parties involved.
Where’s the money coming from?
Does Khan have a Middle Eastern Prince in his back pocket that’s willing to finance the fight regardless of the financial risks involved? A third party has to be involved for Khan and Pacquiao to get the guaranteed money $30 million they think they’ll receive.
Pacquiao and Khan appear to believe that this group is willing and able to guarantee the purses they seek, but until Arum announces the fight as being official…
Pacquiao and Khan might have been catfished.
Pacquiao-Khan Reportedly Rescheduled for May 19th
Pacquiao-Khan Reportedly Rescheduled for May 19th
By: Sean Crose
It appears that Manny Pacquiao’s April date to fight Amir Khan has been pushed back to May 19th. According to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, Pacquiao’s money man, Michael Koncz, spoke with Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, and the feisty octogenarian finally gave his blessing to a Manny-Amir throwdown – with the date rescheduled in order for there to be more time to promote the event.
Arum had at first wanted Pacquiao to face Australia’s Jeff Horn, perhaps in Horn’s homeland. Now, though, it looks like Arum is willing to go along with the desire of his star fighter, Pacquiao, who clearly wanted a more prestigious opponent for his next bout.
Pacquiao actually ran a poll recently to see who his fans wanted him to face. Khan won the poll, just like he had previously won a similar poll run by Floyd Mayweather. This time, however, Khan actually got the fight (Mayweather went on to face Marcos Maidana after Khan won his particular poll). The fact that many of the Khan votes came from the pay per view lucrative United States seems to have convinced team Pacquiao that the speedy and exciting Brit was the way to go. After some turbulence, Koncz now looks to have gotten the blessing from Arum he was looking for.
Although Pacquiao has clearly lived out his prime already, and Khan had lost in brutal fashion to Canelo Alvarez in his last fight, a Manny-Amir bout presents an intriguing matchup. Presumably a welterweight fight, it will be one of three major throwdowns in that division throughout the first half of 2017. Keith Thurman will face Danny Garcia in a title unifer this week, while Khan’s fellow Brit, Kell Brook, will be facing American wunderkind Errol Spence Jr in a IBF title bout the day after Pacquiao and Khan are supposed to fight.
The Pacquiao-Khan fight looks to be taking place in the United Arab Emirates. That means the event will officially be on the 20th of that country’s calendar, but on the 19th in the United States.
Although both Pacquiao and Khan are top fighters, there’s no guarantee the bout will be a huge success as far as pay per view buys go. The major Alvarez-Julio Caesar Chavez Jr match will be aired on pay per view a few weeks earlier. What’s more, Pacquiao hasn’t come close lately to breaking the records that he did when he faced Floyd Mayweather on pay per view back in 2015.