Crawford vs Khan- Khan’s Road to Redemption or Another Reality Check?
By: Rahat Haque
2019 is turning out to be a very good year for boxing. Pacquiao showed he is here to stay after his victory over Broner. Keith Thurman made a comeback after a long layoff against Josesito Lopez, but he has shown enough vulnerability where it may convince some of the other top names in the division to get in the ring with him. After his victory over Ocampo, Errol Spence Jr is once again involved in a mega fight that is actually worth watching where no one is writing off the challenger just yet. Canelo, after fighting GGG twice, had accepted a much easier fight last December against the relatively inexperienced Rocky Fielding. But is once again involved in a legitimate scrap against one of the few tests left for him in Daniel Jacobs. But out of all the great fights that are lined up in 2019, the one to watch out for is Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan. Reason being, Khan never fails to entertain. With his style of boxing, he will always dazzle the opponent with a flurry of punches, but also leave his chin exposed and risk being knocked down or knocked out. Both of these occurrences happen in every Khan fight, where he bedazzles with speed, but also risks getting caught.
After all these years of seeing Khan go into fights with a shaky defense and susceptible chin, it is still frustratingly difficult to count him out. The fast hand speed foot speed combo style is tailor made for winning rounds, which he often does. Only time when he does not bag the rounds, is when he is hit flush with a power shot, leaving him vulnerable for further power shots. In the case of the Canelo fight, one left hook is all it took! But that was in 160. In 140 and 147, Khan usually takes the power shots well, but his legs give out, and he is left trying to grab the opponent or push them out using his forearms.
Before his loss against Danny Garcia, he was never perceived to be as much of a weak chinned opponent as he is now. His loss against Peterson was both close and controversial. No one judged him for that, and he was still one of the biggest names in boxing till then. But it was what happened versus Danny when he became the butt of all jokes. It should be noted that with the exception of the Canelo loss, Khan has not lost a fight till then! For a guy who has become the poster boy of weak chins, one would expect him to suffer another loss by now that was in either 140 or 147. The Canelo fight was a strategic low risk high reward fight. His fight against Crawford is Khan’s first major test since the Danny Garcia fight. A rematch with Danny Garcia, who himself has been taken down from his high horse in recent years with back-to-back losses, is also a future possibility. If victorious, it would be redemption for the former Olympic silver medalist.
But has he bitten off more than he can chew in terms of skills in choosing Terence Crawford? He did so versus Canelo, but that was in terms of weight and perhaps also skill, this is in terms of skill only. Certainly, he will not be able to use weight as an excuse this time as he has had five fights at 147 already, compared to Terence’s two. On the flipside, if victorious, nobody can say Terence was an easy opponent for Khan as they might with the Collazo and Alexander bouts, two of his most notable victorious after the Garcia slip up. This victory would put Khan’s name back in the list of an elite 147 fighters, a division which has improved even further despite Mayweather’s retirement! It can be called boxing’s flagship division, a praise once reserved for the heavyweight division.
In the welterweight division, you have three undefeated big names with outstanding resumes in Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, and Terence Crawford. Then you also have the legendary Manny Pacquiao, and the very game Shawn Porter, who like Khan makes every fight entertaining, not with his hand speed but with his dogged work rate. Then you also have the very game Jessie Vargas, whose only two losses to date have been against Pacquiao and now retired Tim Bradley. Thus a victory in this division would mean everything for Khan. But this is a man who was dropped by Julio Diaz and in more recent times, Sammy Vargas. While the knockdown versus Diaz is understandable, as he is a battle-tested veteran with a style known for generating power, the knockdown he suffered versus Vargas was more questionable. Boxing fans all over the world are wondering, if Sammy Vargas was able to do that to Khan, what will Crawford do to him? It is safe to say that Crawford is more technical and ruthless than Vargas, who is still very much a Canadian name, and has not been tested in the world arena yet. We will get a better picture of how good Vargas really is when he takes on experienced Luiz Collazo in his next fight.
One of the reasons this fight is so exciting is that the stakes are so high for both fighters. Only fighter to knock Khan out at 147 was Garcia, and Terence believes his skills are far superior to the Philly man, so he fancies his chances to knock Khan out clean, or in the same fashion as Garcia where the referee will stop the fight after judging Khan’s inability to continue. But if Terence loses, his value as a fighter will take a hit for sure, and Khan would have laid out a blueprint on how to get the better off the Nebraska native. For Khan, it is his first step to redemption if he wins this one. Though many will argue that the Alexander and Collazo victories were redemption enough, the amount of clowning Khan had to face from media and fans alike after the Garcia bout will be in the back of his mind. He was the favorite in that fight, and perhaps was too overconfident. For Khan, this is the chance to erase all those mistakes he made, both mental and physical. As far he is concerned, he is probably treating this as his pathway to avenge his loss against Garcia. If Khan loses, there is no way Danny’s team will risk rematching someone they beat already. If he wins however, his increased value gives them reasons to rematch him on the self-belief that Danny can replicate his strategy and find success again. The excitement is palpable for this one! It is long wait until April 20th. The tension is rising!
April 20: Crawford-Khan Lands at Madison Square Garden
Start spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/9a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.
“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I’ll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan’s British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”
“New York is undoubtedly one of my most favorite cities in the world, and it’s like a second home to me,” Khan said. “This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world’s best in Terence Crawford, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It’s a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”
“Terence Crawford is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, he always puts on a show at Madison Square Garden, and we’re excited New York fight fans will be able to see him fight again at The Garden on April 20,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events. “This will be an action-packed fight between Crawford and Amir Khan, and The Garden is excited to host this great night of boxing.”
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.
Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.
Crawford-Khan On For April 20th
By: Sean Crose
With the above words, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions let the world know, via Twitter, that WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford would indeed be facing off against the talented and well known Amir Khan on April 20th. The tweet was accompanied by a picture of both men squaring off and the hashtag #CrawfordKhan. Fans and analysts had expected the announcement to be made for at least several days, after it became clear that the two sides had reached an agreement.
The match will give Crawford a name opponent and Khan another chance at the glory that has eluded him over the years. The bout will be aired live on Pay Per View, courtesy ESPN, which has a deal with Top Rank. It has yet to be announced where the fight will take place. Crawford, who fights under Arum’s famous Top Rank Promotions banner, is widely regarded as one of the top fighters in the world. The fact that most known welterweights fight under rival Al Haymon’s PBC banner, however, has made it difficult for the Omaha, Nebraska native to face big name rivals. The announcement of the fight with Khan changes that.
England’s Khan, a former top Olympian, has long been known for his speed and gamesmanship inside the ring. He’s often come up short in big fights, however, and was avoided by Floyd Mayweather when the then pound for pound king instead decided to face Marcos Maidana in 2014. There had been talk that Khan would face countrymen and rival Kell Brook in a British superfight, but Khan opted for Crawford instead, presumably because a win over Crawford would establish him as one of the biggest names in the entire boxing business. Known for craving major fights, Khan has once again landed on a major pay per view event (he lost to Canelo Alvarez in a game but doomed Pay Per View broadcasted effort in 2016).
This will be ESPN’s first foray into the Pay Per View Market. British super promoter Eddie Hearn will also promote the fight on behalf of Khan, though he reportedly wishes that Khan would have faced his countryman Brook rather than Crawford. With a record of 33-4, Khan will clearly be the underdog in this fight. Still, the 34-0 Crawford has arguably not met anyone of Khan’s caliber at welterweight, where he has fought since unifying the junior welterweight titles in 2017 against Julius Indongo.
Crawford-Khan Expected To Be Announced At Jan. 15 London Presser
By Jake Donovan
It appears that Amir Khan has finally made his choice.
Weeks of speculation as to the next steps for the Brit as well as that of unbeaten pound-for-pound king and welterweight titlist Terence Crawford were finally answered on Friday. Top Rank, whom promotes Crawford, announced a major press conference to take place on Tuesday, January 15 in London.
Barring a curveball being thrown, the expectation is to reveal plans for an April 20 showdown between Crawford and Khan, which will likely headline an ESPN-distributed Pay-Per-View telecast.
Such details weren’t revealed in a cryptic press release sent through Top Rank’s press office, other than to confirm that both fighters as well as Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and representatives from Matchroom Boxing—Khan’s promoter in the United Kingdom—will be on hand for the session.
For months, Khan appeared to be on a collision course with longtime domestic rival Kell Brook, although the two spent more time bickering through the media than in coming to terms for a long-awaited all-UK showdown.
Such a fight even was a major factor in Khan (33-4, 20KOs) signing a promotional pact with Matchroom Boxing earlier this year. He has fought twice under Matchroom’s banner, scoring wins over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas after having spent nearly two years sitting on a May ’16 knockout loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas.
From the time between his win over Vargas and Brook’s scheduled homecoming versus Michael Zerafa last December, it was believed that the two would eventually reach a deal for a super fight in the first half of 2019. Promoter Eddie Hearn was even hopeful that Khan would turn out for the Brook-Zerafa card, which landed on his 32nd birthday and with the idea of announcing their fight shortly after the main event.
Khan threw a major wrench into this plans, however, at the start of fight week. The 2008 United Kingdom Olympic Silver medalist and former 140-pound titlist dropped a bombshell in making public a lucrative offer from Top Rank to instead face Crawford.
All parties involved acknowledged that Khan stands to make more in a domestic dustup with Brook, but he liked the idea of challenging whom believes to be the very best boxer in the world. His thinking was the public appeal for a Brook fight will always be there, as such a showdown will carry a theme of unfinished business more than any surrounding relevance.
In getting Khan to mull over—and now seemingly agree to—such a fight, Crawford finally gets an opponent with a big name. The switch-hitting rising star from Omaha, Nebraska was lukewarm on the prospects of a proposed bout versus Luis Collazo, which was originally slated for March 23 at Madison Square Garden.
Collazo—a 37-year old Nuyorican and former welterweight titlist—had long ago agreed to such a fight, where he stood to make a hefty seven-figure payday for his services.
Crawford, on the other hand, never signed the bout agreement, instead reminding the Top Rank family of his desire for big fights moving forward. There’s no question a showdown with Khan carries the bigger event feel.
The proposed clash will mark the second welterweight title defense for Crawford (34-0, 25KOs), who is coming off of a 12th round stoppage of previously unbeaten Jose Benavidez last October. The bout was frowned upon by most observers—and even several members of Crawford’s inner circle—but only went to show the 31-year old’s drawing power.
The ESPN-televised clash served as the most watched boxing event of 2018, drawing well north of 2 million viewers. As for the in-ring result itself, the feat marked Crawford’s 5th straight stoppage victory, also running his record to 12-0 (9KOs) in title fights spanning three weight divisions.
Assuming that Tuesday’s press conference does in fact confirm a Crawford-Khan showdown, also expected to be part of the reveal is the destination for such a contest. New York’s Madison Square Garden was the originally targeted location for both the initially proposed March 23 date as well as April 20, although there remains a distinct possibility of the show landing in Las Vegas.
Amir Khan: Kell Brook or Terence Crawford next?
By: Waqas Ali
Former two-time world champion Amir ‘King’ Khan is on the loop hole for a potential clash with either American Terence Crawford or domestic rival Kell Brook.
Khan, 32, who last fought back in September against Samuel Vargas, has opted the probable option of going for Crawford more than Brook.
Crawford, whose record stands at 34 victories and zero defeats is a three-weight world titlist and has had two wins in the welterweight division already.
The same division Khan (33-4) has been fighting in for the past four and half years.
Speaking to Express Sport in early December, he stated: “We’ve negotiated a lot at the moment and we are close to getting it done.
“But there are other fights out there at the moment, like pound-for-pound champions, that is on the table for me.
“And I think that’s a fight which might never, ever come in my lifetime again. The pound-for-pound title is back in the welterweight division.
“It’s Crawford. Crawford has the pound-for-pound title and I’ve got that fight right in front of me, so I want to take that one. It’s either that or the Kell Brook fight.”
Both fighters are virtuous stylistics fighters but the questions that need to be asked are: Who would be the bigger draw and who is the bigger threat?
With Crawford, 31, aka ‘Bud’ he has a reach of 74” and a height of five feet 8 inches with a knockout ratio of 74%.
In his last 10 bouts, eight of them were KO/TKOs.
Crawford’s boxing style consist of speed, power and footwork. He uses those assets very well including loading up his combinations and keeping the distance at long range.
He also switches stances every now to provide activity on both angles of conventional and southpaw.
His resume of competitive competition include Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, and Jeff Horn.
Only fought once outside the United States, when defeating Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight title in March 2014 in the UK.
Brook, 32, has a record of 38 wins and two losses. His reach stands at 69 inches and with a height of five foot nine.
The Pride of Sheffield’s style contains speed, agility and balance. His level of competition include Lovemore Ndou, Vyacheslav Senchenko & Shawn Porter. All three he won against.
Two high levelled competition he did lose to were Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.
With Porter however it was quite competitive and to Brook’s credit he utilised his jab well in order to keep the fight at distance and countered effectively.. Brook landed 158 of 441 punches – 36% connect rate.
After losing to Spence Jr at the welterweight division, Brook decided to move to junior middleweight where he felt was the right decision.
With a recent win over Michael Zefara, it raised the question of Brooks’ capability and style of wonder in the 154 weight division.
No doubt in anyone’s mind particularly the British fans, selecting Brook would be a huge pay-per-view draw. It could possibly land in one of the biggest domestics bouts in history.
Britain is no stranger when it comes to historical domestic clashes.
Michael Watson vs Nigel Benn
Chris Eubank vs Michael Watson 1 & 2
Chris Eubank vs Nigel Benn 1 & 2.
Chris Eubank vs Carl Thompson 1 & 2
Frank Bruno vs Lennox Lewis
Just to name a few.
Eddie Hearn, Brooks’ promoter, made it public that he had offered Khan £8m flat fee, plus an upside of the revenue to fight Brook.
The offer was made a week after Top Rank offered Khan £3.9m [$5 million] to face Crawford.
So by analysing the evidence upfront it would make sense to make the Brook fight happen. However with Crawford, Khan could potentially win the WBO belt from Crawford should the bout take place.
Therefore it is my belief that the Crawford is dubbed and rightfully should be as the bigger threat than Brook.
Crawford has more tools of weaponry against Brook and Khan, who has been down numerous times in his career.
Should Khan win, it would place him back in the spotlight of elite, considering the fact that Khan hasn’t won a title since early 2012 when the WBA awarded him the junior welterweight after Lamont Peterson tested positive for a banned substance.
Kell Brook Prepared To Move On As Khan Mulls Crawford Offer
By Jake Donovan
From the moment news leaked of a proposed opportunity to face unbeaten welterweight titlist Terence Crawford next March, many in the industry lauded Amir Khan for his career-long willingness to take on all comers.
However, you can count Kell Brook among the few not quite impressed with the Brit’s in-ring pursuits—and for several good reasons.
In a story first broken by the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, Khan revealed that plans for his next superfight wouldn’t be that of a long awaited showdown with longtime in-country rival Brook but a trip to New York’s Madison Square Garden to face the reigning pound-for-pound king in Crawford. The news stings in more ways than one, as it came at the start of fight week for Brook, who faces Michael Zerefa this Saturday at home in Sheffield, England.
The show lands on Khan’s 32nd birthday, which promoter Eddie Hearn hoped to help the former 140-pound titlist celebrate with the reveal of a superfight with Brook finally occurring in 2019. However, Khan—while still considering the lucrative offer from Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum—instantly spoiled those plans with a doubly stinging announcement of his own, that he won’t be in attendance and is more likely to head back to the United States for his next fight.
“Fighting for a pound-for-pound title would be amazing,” Khan (33-4, 20KOs) told the Daily Mail on Monday of his desire to face Crawford over Brook. “To win it would be even better, so I think I’m in a position where I can get that fight with the pound-for-pound champion.
“The Brook fight is always going to be there. It’s for no title, whereas I’m getting offered a world title and the pound-for-pound title. So why not?”
His countryman is more than happy to explain.
“It’s not [going to be there],” Brook (37-2, 26KOs) insisted in a recent interview with BBC Sport. “I am going to go after the big names in America and the fights all the fans want. I am going to do my thing. I don’t need him at all.”
The offer on the table for Khan is reportedly a $5 million guarantee, with incentives as a showdown with Crawford—if finalized—would land on Pay-Per-View as distributed by ESPN. It would also mark a return to the site of Khan’s stateside debut, as his first U.S fight came in a May ’10 stoppage win over Paul Malignaggi at MSG Theatre (now the Hulu Theatre).
Khan has fought 10 times overall in the U.S., his last trip abroad coming in a 6th round knockout loss to middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their May ’16 155-pound catchweight bout. He returned to the ring this past April, having won a pair of tune-up bouts atop shows promoted by Hearn with whom he joined forces earlier this year.
Their partnership was designed to lead to an eventual collision with Brook, but piecing together such an event has proven problematic, to say the least. The loss to Alvarez undoubtedly still resonates with Khan, who has demanded a rehydration clause be in place for a clash with Brook, a former welterweight titlist who is now campaigning in the super welterweight division.
Brook agreed to come down to welterweight for such a fight, but thus far has refused to commit to a rehydration cap. Khan has demanded a second-day weigh-in where neither boxer can gain more than 10 pounds from the contracted weight, whereas Brook’s position is that his coming down to the 147-pound limit is already a major concession.
It appeared as if both sides would find common ground in order to deliver good news this weekend. However, a window of opportunity for Khan to look elsewhere came when it was revealed by BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec that Crawford’s reported March 23 MSG headliner versus Luis Collazo wasn’t quite finalized.
Collazo—a former welterweight titlist whom Khan dominated in a May ’14 clash in Las Vegas—had long ago agreed to terms to make the short trek from Brooklyn to MSG. Crawford and his team, on the other hand, had been vocal in demands for bigger fights, and seemed convinced that something better was out there.
Such desire prompted Top Rank—who’d previously sought the services of former two-division titlist Danny Garcia for Crawford—to go after Khan, who seemingly has no problem walking away from a far more lucrative grudge match with Brook.
Should he agree to terms to face Crawford, it could be his last guaranteed big fight.
“I would like to have announced our fight in the ring and give fans an early Christmas present,” revealed Brook, who seeks his second win following a welterweight title reign-ending knockout loss to Errol Spence last May. “But it does not look like it will happen. It looks like he has run off again.
“I have done everything in my powers for it to happen. It is him who has let the public down. (But) it’s not the end of the world and I will move on. I am more established at welterweight being world champion. I will be hunting these guys and the weight above at light middleweight.”
Pacquiao Signing With Haymon Makes Khan vs. Brook Possible
By: Michael Kane
There are widespread reports that Manny Pacquiao has signed with Al Haymon, leading to a fight with Adrian Broner before a potential re match with Floyd Mayweather.
According to a SPIN.ph source, said to be a member of Pacquiao’s inner circle, a fight with Broner is expected in the second week of January.
This news has set in motion a chain of events in the UK, where Amir Khan had been hoping to face Pacquiao.
It now would appear that a long awaited fight between Amir Khan and Kell Brook is in the works.
Former IBF welterweight champion Brook has had his eye on Khan for a while, however until now Khan has never shown too much interest.
Eddie Hearn, Khan and Brook’s promoter told SKY Sports , “It’s the first time where we’ve probably actively negotiated and it has never happened before.
“Probably in five years trying to make this fight we’ve never been at a stage where we are actually going back and forth with information, planning fates, and things like that.
“There is a long way to go, but I do believe now that both guys have got it in their head that the fight will happen in February or March next year.
“Kell will probably box in Sheffield on December 8. He hasn’t boxed since March Amir obviously just boxed and I am hopeful and excited that this fight, that has eluded us for so long, could be close to happening.”
It’s been suggested by Khan that Brook has agreed to a 10 pound rehydration clause however Hearn said thats not been agreed as yet.
Brook is the current WBC Silver Super Welterweight Champion and has faced Gennady Golovkin at middleweight.
“Kell would like to fight at 150 lbs but Amir has got a point: ‘ I am a welterweight, if you want this fight, come to my weight’ and Kell can make 147.” Said Hearn.
“He’s already in camp and has been for a long time because he knows he can’t afford to make any mistakes if he’s going to make 147.
“He can make it, there is talk of a rehydration clause but nothing is confirmed on that.
“It’s not going to be easy, both guys are going to want their advantages going into this fight, but I just want to get it made.
“When those two come face to face and we announce that fight it’s going to be a very special moment for British Boxing, so fingers crossed we can get it over the line.”
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.