By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site of tonight’s Pay Per View card featuring a heavyweight match between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
This was a rare card where two competing promoters, Top Rank Promotions and Premier Boxing Champions, as well two competing networks, Fox and ESPN, partnered together to put on this event.
The first bout on the televised undercard was between Subriel Matias (15-0) and Petros Ananyan (14-2-2) in the featherweight division.
Matias controlled the early rounds with his jab, but was warned a few times with landing low blows. He had a strong pace early on and was landing hard uppercuts in the fifth round that had Ananyan bleeding from the mouth.
Matias had landed 203 punches by the sixth round, but was badly hurt in the seventh rounds from several looping right hands and was given a standing eight count.
Ananyan come on strong in the later rounds and likely won many of them. It was a close fight with Matias dominating the early rounds and Ananyan winning the later rounds.
The judges scored the bout 96-93, 95-94 and 95-94 for Petros Ananyan.
Next bout was between Amir Imam (22-2) and Javier Molina (21-2) in the welterweight division.
Imam pressed the action, and came forward behind his jab early on. He was setting the pace and established ring generalship. Molina was able to land some hard counters, but he wasn’t throwing as many punches as the more active Imam.
Imam landed some good shots on the inside in the fifth round, and had blood coming from the nose of Molina in the seventh round. But Molina was landing the stronger and better counter punches, and his were having a bigger effect than Imam.
Many rounds were close, but by the final round it appeared that Molina was slightly ahead. Imam was unable to catch up to Molina and score a knockdown.
The scores were 79-73, 78-74, 78-74 for Javier Molina
The first fight on the Pay Per View Portion of the card was a super welterweight bout between Daniel Lewis (6-0) and Sebastian Fundora (13-0-1) in the super welterweight division.
Fundora was very tall for a super welterweight, and towered over his opponent at 6’6”. Lewis was able to land some good shots and had blood coming from Fundora’s nose in the second round, but was out landed by the taller and lankier Fundora.
Lewis had some swelling on his face by the fourth round, but didn’t appear to be too worried about the power of Fundora. Lewis looked like he was tiring by the ninth round, but Fundora’s jabs were only landing at a 4% clip at this point.
Lewis needed a knockout in the final round to win, but Fundora’s best round of the night was the last round.
The judges scored it 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91 for Sebastian Fundora.
The next fight was between Emanuel Navarrete (30-1) and Joe Santisima (19-2) for the WBO Super Bantamweight Title.
Navarrete looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Santisima. He used his height and reach to his advantage and was popping Santisima from the outside early on.
By the third round Navarrete was cruising and landed good combinations to the body and head of his opponent.
Santisima landed a decent left hook in the fourth round that caused Navarrete to briefly lose his balance, but Navarrete won the remainder of the round.
Navarrete continued to dominate the middle to late rounds, and looked like he could have maybe stopped his opponent a few times if he stepped on the gas pedal, but he fought a smart and relaxed.
Navarrete unleashed a flurry of combinations in the tenth round and had Santisima on the defensive, but he wasn’t able to knock him down.
Navarrete finally go the finish in the eleventh round when he landed a multitude of unanswered punches and forced the referee to stop the fight.
Emanuel Navarrete wins by TKO at 2:20 of the eleventh round.
The last fight on the undercard was a heavyweight bout between Charles Martin (27-2-1) vs. Gerald Washington (20-3-1).
They started off by feeling each other out and not really taking many risks. Washington was able to land a decent straight right hand near the end of the opening round.
The second and third rounds were slow, but Martin was landing a few good shots. A straight left form Martin got a good reach from the crowd in the fourth round.
Martin knocked Washington down with a left hook right to the chin. Washington was able to get back to his feet before the count of ten, but was still on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the bout.
Charles Martin wins by KO at 1:56 of the sixth round.
Before great female fighters such as Ann Wolfe and Laila Ali took the boxing world by storm, Christy Martin helped place it on the map.
Martin recently sat down with Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, to discuss her induction into the boxing hall of fame. She also gave her opinion on Claressa Shields and what a showdown against Laila Ali would have looked like.
The career of a female boxer has never been known for its longevity. With both Ali and Wolfe’s career lasting nine years, Martin found a way to stick around the sport of boxing for 23 years. Throughout much of the 1990s and the early 2000s Martin was the face of women’s boxing.
The ridiculous amount of hard work that she put in has paid off as she will be inducted into the boxing hall of fame later this year.
It may have seemed like a no brainer decision for everyone else looking on the outside but Martin was left speechless when she heard the news.
“I remember being the Grand Marshall for the boxing hall of fame induction weekend back in 1996,” said Martin on Boxing Insider radio. “Just to be around all of those legends it was great. Never could I have imagined that I would be inducted into the boxing hall of fame. It’s a dream come true.”
Martin may have did all of the hard work inside of the ring, but her soon to be hall of fame career wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for her promoter, Don King.
“I was just really lucky to get Don King involved in my career. So I got the chance to fight on the undercard of Mike Tyson numerous times. Fighting in Vegas and Madison Square Garden. I got exposure like no other female fighter had ever gotten. I honestly think that Don King is the world’s greatest promoter. He bought a lot of excitement to boxing and he made every fight an event. I remember fighting on those pay-per-view shows and he had world champion 12 round fights on the undercard that didn’t even make tv time. He was great at what he did.”
Times have changed. Having a championship fight on the non-televised portion of a card today would simply never happen. Hell, it’s difficult just getting one in the co main event.
When we take a look at the resume of Martin, it resembles someone’s idea of a cruel sick joke as she fought a murderous row of competition. Martin ducked no one in her fighting career and it shows on her resume. It’s the very reason why she managed to get a spot in the hall of fame. It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been seven years since anyone has last seen her in the ring.
At age 51, she still looks like she can compete in the ring right now, but don’t count on it. With the sort of fighters she’s fought, Martin’s name isn’t mentioned nearly as much as it should in the discussion of who was the greatest woman of all time (G.W.O.A.T).
At the moment, the G.W.O.A.T title has been seemingly taken away by Claressa Shields. Her claim to that lofty status isn’t without merit. Not only does Shields have two gold medals but she also has world titles in three different weight classes. Yet, none of those accomplishments mean anything to Martin as she considers Shields claim to the mantle a tenuous one.
“My momma told me a long time ago that if you don’t have something good to say about somebody or something you shouldn’t say anything. Claressa Shields has accomplished great things as an amateur fighter. To get the honor to go to the Olympics is awesome. Of course that is something that wasn’t even available to the ones that came before her.”
If you ever took the time to sit down and watch a male boxer speak during a press conference, you’ll notice just how brash, cocky and maybe even board line delusional they can come across at times. Females on the other hand, are usually much more reserved.
Not Shields. She’s a great fighter, and she knows it, but she wants to keep reminding the world just how great she is.
That penchant for trash talk and giving herself all the praise in the world might bring in high ratings whenever she fights, but it doesn’t sit well with Martin.
“I think that she is young but she has great marketing people around her. I don’t know why they haven’t sat her down and told her that she needs to pay a little more respect for the people that came before you. Had it not been for them, your road would not have been so easy. You probably would not have been given the opportunity to even box, had these women not come before you.”
Cast aside the brashness of Shields and just view her as a talent. Simply put, she’s one of the very best that women’s boxing has ever seen. But much like every other great fighter in their respective sports, they are always compared to those that came before them.
In the case of Shields, her comparison partner has always been and always will be, Laila Ali. So just like any other comparison, the question becomes, who would win between the two?
If anyone can give a sound judgement on how a fight between Shields and Ali would play out had they fought in their primes, it would be Martin. She did after all lose via stoppage to Ali back in 2003. When asked the question, Martin didn’t hold back with her response.
“Laila would bust her ass. It is what it is,” said Martin. “Claressa Shields doesn’t fight coming forward and she can’t fight going backwards. She wants to cry about needing to fight three minute rounds so that she can knock girls out but I knocked out 31 girls in two minute rounds so I don’t understand why it takes so long, if you’re going to get it done, then get it done.”
While the opinion of Martin is respected, Shields has never been the type to hold her tongue for anyone. So it seems like it’s only a matter of time before she responds.
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night two of Britain’s best take to the ring for the World Boxing Super Series as 140lb number two, seed Josh Taylor of Scotland, fights undefeated American, Ryan Martin; while WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett of Belfast, steps in with future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. Watch the fight on DAZN.
Whether watching at home or inside the arena you’re sure to remember at least one thing from Josh Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series quarter-final vs. Ryan Martin, and that’s noise. When the ‘Tartan Tornado’ appears to the crowd for the first time on Saturday, the Scottish crowd will erupt. Covering Martin, in a cacophony of sound he’s never felt before as a boxer.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Taylor’s professional-breakout fight was in his five-round dismantling of super-lightweight gatekeeper, Dave Ryan at Meadowbank Sports Arena, in 2016 and since then, five out of Taylor’s six fights have taken place either in Glasgow or his home city of Edinburgh. The fan-base has grown and with it, the anticipation of what the Scottish fans will bring.
Saturday nights venue, SSE Hydro was the base for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, where Taylor won gold, so it stands to reason that he’ll be forever linked with the venue,
‘‘The Hydro is now my home. Every time I fight there I’m getting stronger and stronger and the fans are getting bigger and noisier.’’
The ‘Tartan Tornado’s’ last two fight have taken place at the SSE. Five months ago, the Scottish southpaw went head to head with former world champion, Viktor Postol in his most important professional fight to date.
His performance matched the event, as Taylor, now 13-0 (11KOs) battled through 12 exhausting rounds, dropping the Ukrainian in the 11th, to add another notch to his record and emerge as arguably, the biggest threat outside of the current 140lb world champions,
‘‘My style is based on hand speed and timing. I can punch hard as well…I know if I’m hitting you, I’m putting you down or hurting you. I don’t think there’s anybody that boxes the way I box.’’
‘‘I’ve seen every type of style, every type of fighting you can imagine… My ambition is to move forward, win this tournament and become world champion.’’
Before entering the WBSS, Taylor was making his way through the WBC rankings to eventually face one of the organisation’s belt holders, Jose Ramirez or already confirmed semi-finalist, Regis Prograis. If he wins on Saturday though, he’ll instead face the recently crowned IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk for that title and a place in the final to fight either Kiryl Relikh or Prograis.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin has fluctuated between lightweight and super-lightweight throughout his pro career. Currently 22-0 (12KOs) and training out of Big Bear under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Martin has won minor lightweight titles as an amateur and as a professional.
Towards the end of last year, he picked up the 135lb WBA Inter-Continental strap with a split decision victory over Francisco Rojo; as well as already being the owner of the WBC ‘Americas’ lightweight belt. However, his two fights this year came at the weight class above including a shut-out points victory over Briedis Prescott in May.
Though 22 bouts in, his professional record has been steady in its progress; Martin’s not the type of man who takes any opponent lightly,
‘‘I know Josh Taylor’s a very good boxer, I’m the most athletic, I have the most speed and that’s gonna make the most difference throughout the tournament.’’
‘‘I’ve heard the crowd in Scotland is gonna be a very different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in but I’m gonna soak it all in.’’
Although ‘Blue Chip’ won’t have fought in an atmosphere as raucous as Saturday’s is expected to be, he’s no stranger to performing on the big stage having already performed at venues such as, the StubHub Center in LA, Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena and, probably the most famous boxing venue of all, Madison Square Garden,
‘‘I’m a boxer-puncher. I love to entertain, I love to excite people…Nobody wants to see a boring fighter.’’
‘‘As fighter’s every time we step in the ring we’re risking something so why not risk it on the big stage.
As mentioned earlier, the man to emerge victorious this weekend will go on to face Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, who last week scored a 7th round stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit.
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final sees WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett step into the ring with ‘The Filipino Flash’, Nonito Donaire. The winner will progress to the semis to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
No one can say the 26-year-old Ryan Burnett hasn’t earned his place at the top table of 118lb boxers. The Belfast man has, on numerous occasions, been given reasons to quit boxing, his story, which he outlines in another brilliantly put together Super Series documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu4AaO7UGlc isn’t your regular hard knocks tale.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
He’s overcome neurological issues that he was told were career-ending and been homeless; all before even catching his break in the sport.
‘‘I’ve got a hunger that I know no one in there has.’’
‘‘For a year and a half, we learnt how the brain worked and we started pursuing it to prove that my health wasn’t in any danger…I just always had that mad belief that I am meant to be a world champion.’’
Since around 2014, Burnett has been trained by Adam Booth and since then, established a record of 19-0 (9KOs) which, most significantly, includes becoming a world champion in 2017, for the first time via a completely dominant decision victory over Lee Haskins, and then immediately unifying the WBA and IBF championships with a tough but unanimous points win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Before the WBSS second season fighters was announced, Burnett decided to drop the IBF strap, therefore avoiding a fight with WBSS semi-finalist, and now IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. Instead, Ryan’s one bout so far in 2018 was a fairly routine victory over Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker.
Like all of the top seeds across the Super Series, Burnett recognises the pressure on his shoulders, especially when he’s going up against the power that his Filipino foe is known for,
‘‘I don’t need to be nasty to people, I’m able to switch it like a light switch and I turn into a different person…I picked Nonito because, the better the fighter, the better I become.’’
‘‘We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world and the World Boxing Super Series are making that come true.’’
Currently 38-5 (24KOs), Nonito Donaire’s, last fight was also his latest defeat as ‘The Filipino Flash’ was beaten by Burnett’s fellow Northern Irishman, Carl Frampton.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, the four-weight world champion was asked about any similarities between the two men,
‘‘They (Frampton & Burnett) are similar because they’ve both got big balls. They’re there to fight and that’s something that I like… I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.’’
Nonito hasn’t fought at bantamweight since 2011 when he scored a unanimous decision over, a then 35-0-2, Omar Narvaez. That night in New York he became a two-weight world champion, picking up the WBC & WBO straps as well as improving his own record to 27-1.
He then shifted his sights to super-bantam and eventually the featherweight division where he accomplished world honours in both, but by his own admission, he didn’t feel all together comfortable fighting at the 126lb limit, and the tournament has given him the opportunity to add one more achievement to his already impressive accolades.
‘‘I’ve always come to fight the best out there…I’ve achieved pretty much everything in boxing…The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become the undisputed champion, and that’s the one thing that’s given me this fire.’’
It’s beneficial for both sides as well though as Donaire’s legendary status adds an extra bit of flavour to an already appetising class of fighters that has been whittled down to Naoya Inoue, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete.
‘‘This is a moment for me to rise. When one is driven to a point, there’s only one way to go and that’s going up and that’s rising beyond what I’m capable of.’’
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By: Oliver McManus
Martin Bakole and Billy Nelson aren’t, on paper, two names that you’d associate with one another but, forget paper, because the relationship that they have brings out the best in each other and it really is as simple as that with Nelson relishing the prospect of guiding his Congolese heavyweight to the very top.
Billy rang me on Monday, about 10 minutes after he and Martin touched down at the hotel in Sheffield – where they’ve been sparring Anthony Joshua – and Bakole started off by telling me about growing up in Congo, how his father used to be a boxer and that he and his brother, Ilunga Makabu, would bounce off each other trying to be the best.
There were relatively few details at this point with Bakole struggling to understand my thick Southern accent so for the duration of the interview I had to rely on Billy, kindly, relaying the questions back in his unmistakable Scottish voice.
Talking of Scotland and his relationship with Billy, the fighter told me, “Yes, I’m getting used to it (the rain), I am a vegetarian, not only in Scotland but everywhere…
… it doesn’t matter where the meat comes from Ollie, he won’t eat it, there’s actually an African shop nearby where he gets his stuff from but I do try to get him trying the Scottish stuff…
…but the relationship with Billy is a very good one, I trust him, it’s great, it’s lovely, lovely, I always listen to what he tells me and he knows what he’s doing. My career has moved on since I’ve met him, I’m getting better, I’m having bigger fights. He gets me good sparring and I’m happy”.
Billy echoed those sentiments and I asked him just how good Martin was in comparison to his former charges, “Martin is by far the best fighter I have ever trained, he is technically fantastic, naturally gifted which makes my job a bit easier but the most important part for me is just tweaking some of the areas, fight management and guiding him through, he really is a fast learner”.
11 and 0 as a professional boxer, having made his debut back in 2014, there was a refreshing honesty from Martin when it came to that first fight – against Cecil Smith, also making his debut, at Emperors Palace in South Africa – “It was scary, harder than I thought it would be, in the amateurs there are head guards and I wasn’t used to it”.
Any fears that he initially had have been long put to bed with the Airdrie resident first fighting in the United Kingdom in August 2016 and having seven fights since, his last two fights have been against DL Jones and Ali Baghouz which, whilst not the highest level of operators, Martin dispatched with quicker than Daniel Dubois and Tony Yoka, respectively, and yet there is a comparative lack of attention being shone on Bakole.
Nelson was tactful on this, insisting it was just a case of biding their time, “It’s a fair point, they are British heavyweights but I can assure you that Martin Bakole’s time will come and Daniel Dubois will not fight Martin Bakole, not in a month of Sundays, Martin is just far too good right now. As good a fighter as Daniel is, Ollie, Martin is far superior so we don’t worry about getting the hype around us, Martin does the talking in the ring”
Fighting DL Jones back in June saw Bakole drop the challenger on two occasions on his way to a 62 second knockout, including the count, but it was by far the test that the IBO Continental champion was hoping for with a, unnamed, former European challenger withdrawing from the bout –
“I was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t get an opponent, at least DL Jones stepped up to the plate but look at the difference between Martin’s first fight with me – against (Dominic) Akinlade – and a few months previously Akinlade had gone 10 rounds with Nathan Gorman who is well thought of, we’ve sparred him, but Martin destroyed Akinlade in one round. DL Jones went three rounds with Dubois, Martin Bakole broke his nose and fractured his eye socket in 62 seconds. But the thing is, if you look at the Top 12 in Britain, I’d say at least eight of them will say ‘no, thank you’.”
Martin interjected at this point, “I think that was my best fight, or the guy I fought before, it’s a difficult name to say (Ali Baghouz), but DL Jones was a good fight, I got a very good knockout and it made me happy”.
Finding opponents is an area Martin doesn’t have to worry about, with the Congolese giant saying, “I don’t mind who I fight, I will not pick, I just want to fight” but it is something that causes Nelson nightmares, “we’ve offered Dave Allen the fight two or three times but he won’t take it, he was a bit derogatory to Martin but we made up and sparred two rounds and that’s really concreted that he won’t fight Martin, after that. The thing is that Martin has been round the country to spar, he sparred Tyson Fury a few years ago, Dillian Whyte called off sparring the night before, everyone knows what Martin has done in sparring and I got a coach telling me “play the game”. I told him “we don’t play games”, we’re here to spar Anthony Joshua for the next week but Martin doesn’t seem him as a sparring partner, they both need quality sparring and you’d pay good, good money to watch the spars”.
Attention swiftly turned to Martin’s next fight, on October 13th, against Michael Hunter – former Oleksandr Usyk challenger – and Bakole seemed to relax in prospect of this fight, taking a deep breath before telling me, “I am ready to show to the world who I am, that I will be a future world champion and I’m not going to be scared, I’m going to show people how good I am with a big fight, I will stop people saying “Who is Martin Bakole?. I will make a statement, whenever I knock him out, it will be a statement.”
That confidence was expanded on when he opened up about sparring with Anthony Joshua, “it gives me good confidence, no-one else wants to spar me but Anthony Joshua and his coach know that I am the best so when I spar him it is very good sparring, high level and it keeps me focussed. Helps my intelligent and he always texts me after sparring saying thank you and it gives me confidence going into my fights”.
A much mooted fight was that of Joe Joyce, who claimed Bakole needed to bring more to the table, “Martin is fighting Michael Hunter, who knocked out Joe’s last opponent, Kiladze, so it’s hypocritical of him to say that, I think we’ll go down different routes now but we would fight him in a heartbeat.”
Despite hailing from the Congo, Bakole will be eligible for a British Boxing Board of Control License from next year, allowing him to fight for domestic and European titles, and I asked him if that was a fight (Agit Kabayel) that interested him, “I think I am better than that level, I am higher than that”.
It was pleasing to hear the quiet character showing such confidence and Billy was happy with the progress made under him, “the guys just don’t want to fight him but he’s knocked Akinlade, Baghouz, DL Jones out in one round and the only guy to go the distance under me was Sokolowski, no excuses that day because we travelled from Scotland to London at about 6.30 in the morning – I had three in title fights the night before but Martin didn’t want to go down with anyone else – and he gave that guy a hell of a beating, broke his nose, the worst broken nose I’ve ever seen and Sokolowski is one tough guy”.
This was another one of those rare occasion where Martin came in with a declaration of his own, “I will fight anyone, I will beat anybody, it doesn’t worry me who they are, I will not say this one or that one but whoever wants to fight me, I will be thankful but I will beat them. I would like to be out 4, 5 time next year.”
I asked him what he thought of fighting on TV and in his new home country of Scotland, “It is nice to be on TV, people watching me live and it makes me feel nice, thank you to them for watching and for Cyclone Promotions. I love fighting in Scotland. I like the people here, they make me feel loved and happy”.
The last word, fittingly, should go to Bakole who had a very simple, emphatic answer for me when I was cheeky enough to ask if anyone could beat him – “NO”.
By: Ste Rowen
Martin Murray earned a 12-round decision over Roberto Garcia to win the WBC ‘Silver’ strap in a disappointing bout that made fans wonder if it’s time for both fighters to call it a day.
Murray, now 37-4-1 (17KOs) had previously held and defended the ‘Silver’ belt in 2014, but each fighter was taking a cautious approach to the early stages of this matchup, with both fighting from the distance, looking to get up on the cards in the first few rounds. Garcia, somewhat harshly, was deducted a point early on for punching below the belt towards the end of the 2nd round, which no doubt dented the native Mexican’s morale as well as his scorecard.
Roberto sensed he wasn’t in for an easy night with the referee and looked to dominate the middle of the ring, and the pressure seemed to be showing at the end of the 3rd as Murray began to allow punches to slip through his high guard.
Martin, trained by former British junior middleweight champion Jamie Moore, was lacking the kind of enterprise that saw him earn a ‘dangerous contender’ status from 2011-2015. There seemed to be a lack of power when the St Helen’s fighter landed.
Into the 6th, Murray continued to fight off the back foot, now timing his counters off with a little more quality than in the earlier rounds. With 1:15 left of the round, both fighters received a warning for leaning in with the head. The bout was in danger of being overshadowed by dirty antics.
Expectations were pretty low heading into tonight, Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs) was a late replacement after all, so in that respect it didn’t disappoint, but in every other way it did let the O2 crowd down. Rounds 7, 8, 9 were carbon copies of one another, until the final seconds of the 9th when, for some reason, the referee called break, Garcia continued fighting, and the referee eventually took a point away from the defending WBC ‘Silver’ champ. Despite entering into the championship rounds, neither fighter seemed to change tact. Garcia fought on the front foot, Murray was on the counter, and the bout remained awkward to judge.
If you’re reading this without watching the fight, just watch the 10th and final round, to sum up tonight’s events.
Close, difficult and disappointing.
After post-fight in-ring arguments between the two fighter’s trainers subsided, the scorecards were returned as, 116-111, 118-109, 118-108 all to Martin Murray, the new WBC ‘Silver’ middleweight champion.
‘I’ve been around a long time and I knew what was needed to win.’ Murray said.
And to agree, yet again, to fight WBO champ Saunders?
‘For me, to do that again. You can’t trust the man. I do this for my family. I’m a fighting man. If there was an insurance policy in place I’d do it again.’
If it’s not Saunders next for Martin Murray, and if he truly wants a 2nd shot at unified champion Gennady Golovkin via the WBC route, then logic dictates he should realistically target the likes of Jason Quigley, Kamil Szeremeta or Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan next.
Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little
Dubois impressed in a 5th round stoppage of worthy challenger Tom Little, to become the new English heavyweight champion.
There was a bit of needle heading into tonight’s only heavyweight fight, but whether the pre-fight antics from Little affected Daniel or not, ‘Dangerous’ Dubois dispatched his latest foe in the same vicious style, if slightly delayed, that got rid of his previous 7 opponents.
In a scheduled 10-rounder, Dubois forced Little onto the back foot immediately and though the punches weren’t as clean as he would’ve hoped, it was obvious the unbeaten fighter was up on the cards early on.
Into the 2nd and the man who was stopped in 4 rounds by former Olympian, Filip Hrgovic five months ago, Little, was here to spoil and survive. With 30 seconds left of round 2, Dubois landed a barrage of punches, that kept Tom humble, but they were unable to get rid of the bookie’s outsider.
Round 3 saw more of the same domination from Dubois however, with less than a minute into round 4 ‘Dynamite’ landed a wonderful left hook to the body that dropped Little, but only temporarily. Tom rose, and though the body shot looked as if it had setup the finisher, he survived into the 5th.
It proved too far for the game challenger though, as in the 5th round, Dubois displayed the killer instinct that’s built up his big reputation. Daniel landed unanswered combinations of heavy head and body shots that forced the referee to step in and called an end to the fight.
Now 8-0 (8KOs), ‘Dynamite’ Dubois will not doubt be targeting both, British champion, Hughie Fury and Commonwealth champion, Joe Joyce. Not to forget fellow Queensberry Promotions stablemate, the unbeaten, Nathan Gorman, who two weeks ago dispatched of Sean Turner in three rounds.
Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek
Light heavyweight Anthony Yarde moved to 16-0 (15KOs) as he stopped 27-3-3, Dariusz Sek in 7 rounds to defend his WBO European and Inter-Continental straps.
Sek may have had the height advantage heading into the fight but with 50 seconds left of round 1, Yarde sent Dariusz sprawling to the canvas, but not hard enough to stop the eastern European surviving into the 2nd.
The Pol had previously never been stopped in 33 bouts, that included 3 losses and 3 draws, but ‘The Beast’ was putting that record to the test early on. Even as Sek looked to gain the middle ground Yarde came out the superior fighter, landing the cleaner punches in a more economical and effective way. Southpaw, Sek was more vigilante heading into rounds 3 &4 but he wasn’t able to keep Yarde off him anywhere near long enough to have a hope of stealing some rounds.
Rounds 5 and 6 saw Anthony remain dominant, looking to finish off Dariusz, though, despite the Brit seemingly teeing off on his opponent with ease, the Pol clearly had the chin to withstand the storm coming his way.
Anthony has only been taken the distance once as a pro, a 4-round bout with Stanislavs Makarenko in Yarde’s 2nd bout and he showed he was in no mood to go the scheduled distance for a 2nd time. In the 7th round Yarde, laid off heavy handed left and right hooks to the head and body forcing referee, Steve Gray to step in and call an end to the fight.
When asked who’s next, 26 year old Yarde was as succinct as a fighter can be,
‘Anybody. I’m not a promoter, I’m not a manager. My job is to fight. He’s (Sek) never been floored before, I floored him, I stopped him.’
There’s a lot of talent domestically for Anthony to eye up, with the likes of British & Commonwealth champion Callum Johnson, Frank Buglioni and Joshua Buatsi being possible fights in the near future.
Paul Kamanga vs. Ohara Davies
Fighting for the WBC ‘International’ super lightweight title, now 18-1 (14KOs), Ohara Davies knocked out Paul Kamanga in two rounds.
Neither fighter established themselves in the 1st round. Both choosing to tentatively fight from a distance, but then, after more of the same for 2:30 minutes of round 2, Davies landed a crushing right hand to the temple of Kamanga, which sent the DR Congo native face down onto the canvas and signalled the premature end of the bout.
By: Ste Rowen
If all had gone to plan for this weekend, Martin Murray would be fighting in a world title bout for the 6th time in his pro career, but due to a second injury pull-out from WBO middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders, Murray, who’s fought for championship honours at both 160 and 168, will be taking on Mexican, Roberto ‘La Amenaza’ Garcia for the WBC ‘Silver’ belt at London’s O2 arena.
‘The fact I’m fighting a dangerous fight and it’s a meaningful fight means a lot.’ Said Murray at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘I was gutted Billy Joe pulled out, but I’ve not took my eye off the ball.’
‘He’s the complete opposite to Billy Joe…He’s orthodox, come forward fighter, in your face. It’s gonna be a tough fight. You could say it’s a tougher fight in some respects.’
‘It’s about levels, and I’m a level above and I’ll show that on Saturday.’
Murray, 36-4-1 (17KOs), fought twice last year marking his return back down to middleweight after his brief, unsuccessful, spell up at 168, which included defeats to George Groves and Arthur Abraham. The St Helens native scored a decision victory over Gabe Rosado in April 2017 and then on the undercard of Smith vs. Skoglund, the 35-year-old scored a body shot KO of relative unknown, Arman Torosyan.
In fact, before those two bouts, Murray’s last fight at 160 was his 11th round stoppage loss to 31-0 at the time, Gennady Golovkin back in early 2015. But as Martin said himself, sometimes it is about levels and Murray’s level of opposition, win or lose, has been significantly greater than La Amenaza’s.
Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs), now a relative veteran of the game (his debut fight coming in 2001), will be hoping this is finally his time. The 38-year-old, despite an impressive record on paper is in danger of his defining fight being his 2010 defeat to Antonio Margarito who, after earning a 10-round decision over Roberto fought, and loss to Manny Pacquiao just six months later.
‘La Amenaza’ was last in the ring in August 2017 where he travelled to Mexico to take on Julio Cesar Chavez’s son, Omar for the WBC ‘Silver’ strap. For 10 rounds, Garcia rushed forward laying hands on his opponent, not allowing him to breath, as Chavez struggled to maneuverer and counter. Roberto emerged the unanimous victor that night and showed that he has more left to give to boxing even if he remains a few levels below the elite.
‘It’s been one hell of a ride. I’ve always been the B-side my entire career. I’ve always fought against all the odds. I’ve built a career on pulling off upsets.’
‘We took that fight (vs. Chavez) on 28 days’ notice and I do a full time. We went over there with everything for him, the judges, it’s nothing I’m not used to.’
‘I fight hard as hell and I’ve had many, many guys say they’re gonna rip my head off, but it always changes…I go as hard as I want to. I walk the line.’
Whether Murray will have a tougher time, as he put it, in the ring with Garcia than he would with Saunders is highly doubtful, but the change of opponent should make a for a much more exciting style matchup.
Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little
With the vacant English heavyweight title on the line, one of Britain’s most exciting prospects enters the ring in arguably his toughest test to date. 7-0(7KOs) Daniel Dubois will take on Tom Little, 10-5 (3KOs) in a fight that’s been simmering nicely over the past few weeks.
At the press conference, Little wasn’t shy in letting Dubois know he was in for a tough ride when the two meet,
‘He’s alright against whatever taxi driver you put in front of him. If you stand in front of him, he’s gonna cave your head in. Put him in with someone with an intelligent boxing brain then it’s gonna be a whole different story.’
‘I’m gonna take him into deep water and I’m gonna drown him very slowly.’
Not usually a big talker at press conferences, Dubois kept his time on the mic brief,
‘I’m a strong swimmer… Tom looks like a very weak man…You are a weak man and I’m gonna show you that on Saturday.’
Both fighter’s share a previous opponent in Dorian Darch. Dubois wiped out the Welshman in 2 rounds, whereas Little suffered his 3rd pro defeat to Darch back in 2014. The two seem polar opposites in terms of talk outside the ring vs style inside it, and the rate of which Dubois is climbing makes it seem, on paper at least, that both could in for an early night at the O2, but there does seem to be something in Little that’s got Dubois’ back up however, from what we’ve seen so far from ‘Dynamite’, that’s probably bad news for Tom.
Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek
Another of Britain’s exciting crop is back in between the ropes this weekend as, 15-0 (14KOs), light heavyweight, Anthony Yarde takes on southpaw, Dariusz Sek 27-3-3 (9KOs) for the WBO inter-continental and European belts.
Sek has lost two of the three occasions he’s fought outside of Poland, but he’s yet to be stopped and with Yarde on a 13-fight KO streak, things could get interesting when the two collide.
Asked about his opponent and the difference in training for a southpaw ‘The Beast’ said,
‘Doesn’t matter if they’re southpaw, west-paw, north-paw, east-paw, it’s a fight and we’ll see what happens on fight night…It’s a little bit different but I haven’t struggled.’
Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren also revealed that he rejected the offer to fight Sergey Kovalev the current WBO champion,
‘We were offered the fight against Kovalev and we turned it down. He’s not ready for that. He won’t want to hear that, he wants to fight, but Tunde (Ajayi) and I discussed it and he’s not ready for that.’
‘The objective is to win the world title and once you’ve won it, you’ve got to defend it and to do that you need experience.’
Miguel Cruz Defeats Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions returns to the Sands in Bethlehem’s Event Center putting on8 bouts over FS1. In the Main Event Miguel Cruz of San Juan, PR, defeated his opponent Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin of Chicago, IL,in January of this year.
In the rematch Miguel Cruz, 16-0 (11), of San Juan, PR, scored a pair of knockdowns to defeat Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin, 13-2 (5), of Chicago, IL, over 10 rounds.
Cruz scored knockdowns in the first and fourth rounds. In the fifth round Martin was complaining to referee Gary Rosato about low blows so when nothing was done he landed a low blow flooring Cruz face down on the canvas. After a five minute rest it was all Martin for the next four rounds. By the ninth round Cruz was back on top winning the last two rounds and the decision.
Judges Steve Weisfeld, John McNair and Dave Braswell along with this writer had it 96-92 for the winner.
Welterweight southpaw Clarence Booth, 15-3 (8), of St. Petersburg, FL, stopped Anthony Mercado, 10-3 (9), of Arecibo, PR, at 1:30 of the fourth round of a scheduled 8.
Booth dropped two of the first three rounds but came back in the fourth round swarming all over Mercado before referee Erik Dali called a halt with Mercado helpless on the ropes.
On the undercard in the fight of the night Dominican featherweight Isaelin Florian, 6-1 (3), Reading, PA, suffered his first loss in losing against Avery Sparrow, 7-1 (3), of Philadelphia.
Sparrow came out to go to war and found himself on the canvas in the first round. He would come back and return the favor dropping Florian in the second round only to be dropped again in the fourth round. Sparrow would fight back and take the final two rounds and the decision.
Judges Kevin Morgan, Braslow and McNair scored it 58-54 while this writer had it 57-55 all for the winner. Rosado was the referee.
Super welterweight southpaw Nicholas Hernandez, 7-2 (1), of Lebanon, PA, won a disputed majority decision over Grayson Blake, 6-5-1 (2), State College over 6 rounds.
Hernandez was loading up the entire fight while being outworked by Grayson who couldn’t match him punch for punch power wise. Each round was almost too close to call. By the end of the match both fighters were smiling having known each other from the amateurs.
Judge Braswell scored it 57-57 while judges Weisfeld and Morgan had it 58-56 for the winner while this writer had it 60-54 for the loser.
Lightweight Jesus Lule, 11-22-1 (1), of Ft. Myers, FL, scored a mild upset over local boxer Ismael Serrano, 4-2 (1), of Bethlehem, PA, who was returning to the ring after 21 months of inactivity by second round stoppage at 2:10 in a scheduled 4 round bout.
Serrano started out fast but was taking more punishment then he was giving out when pinned against the ropes by Lule when referee Dali called a halt. Serrano was not pleased with the stoppage. It was only the second stoppage for Lule in a career of 34 bouts.
In the opening bout former flyweight amateur star Dylan Price, 3-0 (3), of Sicklersville, NJ, stormed out and took out Manuel Guerra, 1-3-1 (0), of Reynosa, MEX, ending it with a chopping right to the head. Guerrea was on his back trying to sit up but fell back as he was counted out by referee Dali at 1:09 of the first round.
Super lightweight Jesus Perez, 3-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, scored a knockdown in defeating Christian Molina, 4-3 (3), of Allentown, PA, over 4 rounds.
Judges had it 39-37 and 40-35 twice as did this writer.
Super welterweight Devin McMaster, 1-2 (0), of Allentown, PA, seemed to get the short end of the stick losing to Rick Pyle, 1-0 (0) of Harrisburg, PA, over 4 rounds.
It was give and take for the entire fight was almost too close to call. McMaster took the opening round with Pyle coming back to take the second round with the final two rounds very close.
All 3 judges scored it 40-36 for the winner while this writer had it 39-37 for the loser. Rosado was the referee.
It was probably the biggest crowd in years with a lot of local Spanish boxers on the card their fans came out to support them and received a really good show by Kings Promotions. It was their second promotion in 3 days with the last on Saturday in South Philly.
Miguel Cruz and Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions returns to the Sands in Bethlehem’s Event Center putting on a pair of 10 round bouts over FS1 with four major players in the welterweight division. In the Main Event Miguel Cruz, 15-0 (11) of Lake Mary, FL, defeated his opponent Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin, 13-1 (5), originally from Chicago now living in Harvey, IL, in January of this year.
Cruz has also defeated co-feature southpaw Samuel Figueroa, 11-1 (4) Anasco, PR who takes on Jamal “Shango” James, 20-1 (9) of Minneapolis.
On the undercard is Dominican featherweight Isaelin Florian, 6-0 (3), Reading, PA, against Avery Sparrow, 6-1 (3), of Philadelphia. Super lightweight Clarence Booth, 14-3 (7), of St. Petersburg, FL, takes on Anthony Mercado, 10-2 (9), Arecebo, PR.
Super welterweight Nicholas Hernandez, 6-2 (1), Lebanon, PA, takes on Grayson Blake, 6-4-1 (2), State College.
Lightweight Jesus Lule, 10-22-1 (1), Ft. Myers, FL, takes on Ismael Serrano, 4-1 (1), Bethlehem, PA.
Former flyweight amateur star Dylan Price, 2-0 (2), Sicklersville, NJ, takes on Manuel Guerra, 1-2-1 (0), Reynosa, MEX. Super lightweight Jesus Perez, 2-0 (1), Allentown, PA, takes on Christian Molina, 4-2 (3), Allentown, PA. Super welterweight Devin McMaster, 1-1 (0), Allentown, PA, takes on Rick Pyle, 0-0, of Harrisburg, PA.
Doors open at 6pm with first bout at 6:30pm. FSI starts at 9:00pm.
Chasity Martin wins rematch in hometown of Pompano Beach
By: Ron Scarfone
Boxing fans filled Club Cinema in Pompano Beach, Florida to see Chasity Martin fight in her hometown for the first time as a pro. Martin is known as “The Queen of Pompano” and has gained a large local fan base. Martin is also popular throughout the United States due to her success as an amateur boxer.
However, Martin did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Martin believes that her fighting style is better suited for professional boxing and she has been correct in her assessment.
Martin’s trainer is Stacey McKinley who has become like a father figure to her. McKinley was Mike Tyson’s trainer for a decade and has also trained other world champions. Martin is the first female boxer that McKinley has trained and she has obviously improved under McKinley’s guidance. McKinley began training Martin when she was 14 years old.
Martin is now 20 years of age and she is still learning the ropes, but it is anticipated that she will be a world champion in the future. Martin’s previous fight was in Kissimmee, Florida against Ivana Coleman. Martin won that fight by unanimous decision, but Coleman is a tenacious boxer who never gives up. Coleman lost by unanimous decision to Shelly Vincent and Heather Hardy in 2012. Vincent and Hardy are both featherweight contenders now. Coleman is from New Orleans, Louisiana and she returned to Florida to face Martin in a rematch which was the main event of this fight card titled Night of the Rising Stars which was presented by Warriors Boxing Promotions.
Martin weighed a pound and a half over the 130-pound super featherweight limit. Coleman weighed about 127 pounds which was within the weight class. Martin performed even better in this rematch and connected many times to the head, but Coleman showed that she can take a punch. Coleman has never been knocked out in her career. Coleman is shorter than Martin, but she is like a bull that is always charging forward. It was a shutout on all three judges’ scorecards with Martin winning by unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36 in this four-round bout. Martin remains undefeated and is now 4-0, 1 KO. Martin is currently rated No. 39 by BoxRec in the super featherweight division. Coleman drops to 1-8, 0 KO. Coleman is 41 years of age, but she is a good litmus test for up and coming boxers even though she has a losing record.
The co-main event featured “Dangerous” Dyah Davis of Coconut Creek, Florida and Victor “The Spartan” Darocha of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dyah Davis is the son of Howard Davis Jr. Davis Jr. won a gold medal in boxing at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. Davis Jr. became a MMA trainer that specialized in teaching striking. A few years ago, Davis Jr. formed his own MMA promotional company. Davis Jr. died of lung cancer in 2015, although he did not smoke. Coconut Creek is a city near Pompano Beach, so many of the spectators were rooting for Davis to win. The 35-year-old Davis is rated No. 91 by the IBO in the super middleweight division. Davis is also rated No. 98 by BoxRec.com. Davis won the vacant NABF super middleweight title in 2012. This bout was scheduled to be in the super middleweight division, although both Davis and Darocha were both a tad over the weight limit. Darocha’s gloves touched the canvas in round two after a straight right by Davis. This was counted as a knockdown. Darocha was undeterred and fought valiantly for the rest of the round. However, Darocha was backpedaling in round five as Davis used his height and reach advantage to land more often. Davis punctuated the fight with a right uppercut to the head. The judges’ scores were 59-54, 59-54, and 57-56. Davis won by unanimous decision in this six-round bout. Davis improves his record to 25-4-1, 11 KOs. Darocha’s record falls to 7-2-1. 6 KOs.
Daniele Scardina of Miami Beach, Florida remains unbeaten at 8-0, 8 KOs after defeating Rashad Jones of Selma, Alabama. Scardina weighed about 172 pounds which was within the light heavyweight limit. Jones weighed about 180 pounds which was five pounds over the weight limit, but Scardina was still stronger. Scardina knocked down Jones in one of the ring corners in the first round. In round two, Scardina knocked down Jones again, but it was in another corner of the ring. Jones got up, but the referee stopped the fight at 2:26. Scardina won by TKO in the second round. Jones’ record falls to 4-11-3, 2 KOs.
There were two fights which resulted in controversial decisions by the judges. David Rodriguez of Miami Gardens, Florida was making his pro debut against winless boxer Devin “Bad Ass” Laney who is from Miami, Florida. This was a four-round bout scheduled in the middleweight division. Rodriguez weighed within the weight limit, but Laney was three pounds over at 163 pounds. Rodriguez landed more punches in round three, but the other rounds should have been won by Laney. Laney was effective with a right uppercut to the head and landed that punch more than once. One judge scored it 39-37 for Laney. The other two judges scored it 39-37 both in favor of Rodriguez. Rodriguez won by a split decision and got his first victory as a pro with a record of 1-0, 0 KO. Laney remains winless at 0-4, 0 KO.
An even more egregious decision was made in the fight with Tobias “Da Truth” Green of West Palm Beach, Florida and Yasmani Calzadilla of Miami, Florida. “Da Truth” is that Green should have lost. This four-round bout was in the super lightweight division. Both boxers were within the weight limit of 140 pounds. Calzadilla is a southpaw and is a little taller than Green. Green was being pummeled by Calzadilla in the fourth and final round and Calzadilla deserved to win every round. However, the judges scored it 39-37, 39-37, and 38-38. Green won by majority decision and remains undefeated at 6-0, 2 KOs. Calzadilla’s record falls to 1-3, 1 KO. This event could have been called Night of the Falling Stars if these two fights would have been scored correctly.
Ivan Jimenez of Miami, Florida remains unbeaten and improves his record to 7-0-1, 4 KOs after defeating Angel Albelo of Kissimmee, Florida. This fight was in the super featherweight division, but Jimenez weighed a half pound over the 130-pound weight limit. Albelo is a southpaw. There was not much action in this fight. Jimenez was only throwing sporadically. The three judges scored the fight 40-36 and Jimenez won by unanimous decision. Albelo’s record falls to 4-9-3, 1 KO.
Robert Daniels Jr. of Miami, Florida won his professional debut over Yendris Rodriguez Valdez who is also from Miami. This fight was in the light heavyweight division and both boxers weighed about 171 pounds. Daniels Jr. is the son of former world cruiserweight champion Robert Daniels who walked to the ring with his son. Daniels Jr. seems to have inherited the knockout power of his father. Daniels Jr. landed two left jabs to the head of Valdez and Valdez was subsequently knocked out. The fight was stopped at 1:21 of round one. Daniels Jr. won by KO and is now 1-0, 1 KO as a pro. Valdez’s record falls to 1-2, 1 KO.
Two boxers who have the same last name won their bouts. John David Martinez of Miami, Florida won by TKO in the first round against Harrison Melendez of Miami, Florida who was a late substitute for the original opponent. This fight was in the middleweight division, but Melendez weighed a pound over the 160-pound weight limit. Martinez knocked Melendez down twice in the first round. Melendez got up after the second knockdown, but the referee stopped the fight at 2:34 of round one. Martinez is now 2-0, 1 KO. Melendez is winless at 0-2, 0 KO.
Anthony Martinez Jr. of Miami, Florida won by split decision over Bruce Lutchmedial of Sunrise, Florida in a four-round bout. This fight was scheduled to be in the super welterweight division. Martinez Jr. weighed two pounds over the 154-pound weight limit. Lutchmedial was within the weight class. Two judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Martinez Jr. whereas the other judge scored it 39-37 in favor of Lutchmedial. Martinez Jr. is now 2-0, 1 KO. Lutchmedial is still winless at 0-3, 0 KO.
During the intermission, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields entered the ring and was holding her two gold medals that she won in the middleweight division for women’s boxing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Shields is originally from Flint, Michigan, but is currently living in Florida. Shields said that she will be making her pro debut on the undercard of the event which has Sergey Kovalev defending his world light heavyweight titles against Andre Ward. Shields’ opponent is also making her pro debut. Her name is Franchon Crews and she was also an accomplished amateur, but was an alternate in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics for the United States. Crews is known as “The Heavy Hitting Diva.” The date of this fight is November 19, 2016.
PBC on Fox Sports Results: Plant Cruises to Victory, Grayton and Gongora Win by TKO
By: William Holmes
The Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox Sports 1.
Three bouts were televised tonight, and the opening bout was between Carlos Gongora (5-0) and Ronald Mixon (7-0) in the light heavyweight division.
Mixon had a three inch in reach and height on Gongora, but both boxers were the same age. Gongora was a former two time Olympian for Ecuador.
Both boxers tried to feel each other out in the opening minute of the round, but Gongora was able to land a hard straight left hand by the ropes that momentarily stunned Mixon. Gongora followed that up with another straight left hand seconds later and Mixon dropped to the mat.
Mixon struggled to get back to his feet, but he was still clearly shot and struggled to even get to his knees. The referee waived off the fight 1:16 of the first round, giving Gongora a TKO victory.
The next bout was between Kareem Martin (8-0-1) and David Grayton (14-1) in the welterweight division.
Martin and Grayton were former sparring partners and they wasted no time in going after each other. Martin was the better defensive boxer and landed cleaner and harder counters. Grayton, a southpaw, had difficulty avoiding the counter rights of Martin.
Martin’s counter punching was on point in the second round and he was able to open up a cut over the right eye of Grayton. Grayton’s pressure was much more effective in the third round and he was able to walk through the punches of Martin.
There were some very good exchanges in the opening minute of fourth round, but Martin was able to land the harder shots. Martin showed more movement in the fifth round and was able to counter while avoiding risky exchanges.
Grayton came out firing at the start of the sixth round and had Martin backing up and holding on to try to slow the assault down. Martin was able to land a few hard shots, but Grayton took them well and kept up the intense pressure. Martin looked tired at the end of the round.
Grayton was told by his corner to walk Martin down before the start of the seventh round, and he responded to his corner with a high volume of punches to the body and head of Martin. Martin just could not keep up with Grayton.
Grayton jumped on Martin at the start of the eighth and scored a knockdown with a good left hand. Martin got back to his feet but was on wobbly legs and covered up while Grayton unleashed another combination on him.
Martin wasn’t able to answer and the referee jumped in and stopped the bout.
David Grayton defeats Kareem Martin by TKO at 0:41 of the eighth round.
A swing bout between Eric Newell (8-3-3) and Wes Triplett (3-1) in the heavyweight division was also shown. Wes Triplett won it by TKO at 0:27 of the third round.
Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (13-0) squared off against Juan De Angel (18-4-1) in the main event of the night in the middleweight division.
Plant, a Tennessee native, established control of the center of the ring in the opening round and was able to pop shot De Angel with jabs and lead hooks. De Angel was not able to mount much of an offensive attack.
De Angel was a little more aggressive at the start of the second round, but a good left to the body by Plant quickly slowed down De Angel. Plant had De Angel backing up in the third round and his right hand was finding it’s target with regularity.
Plant’s pressure paid off in the fourth round when he scored a knockdown with a left hook to the jaw of De Angel. De Angel was able to get back up before the count of ten and was able to survive the round.
Plant looked extremely comfortable in the fifth round and was battering De Angel from corner to corner while deftly avoiding any counter shots. Plant continued to outbox De Angel in the sixth round and was never seriously threatened. He mixed up his combinations well to the body and head in the seventh round.
De Angel was in pure survival mode in the eighth round and rarely went on the offensive attack. The only question in the final two rounds of the fight was whether or not Plant could stop De Angel, but that stoppage never came.
Caleb Plant won comfortably on the judges scorecards with scores of 100-89 on all three scorecards.
Ali-The Story They Dare Not Tell You
By: Ben Underwood
On March 8, 1971, as 300 million people gathered to watch Ali’s first major fight since he was convicted in 1967 for bravely refusing to fight in the unjust Vietnam war, a group of heroic antiwar activists plotted their burglary of the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania.
As the mainstream media praises Muhammad Ali for his boxing career and Parkinson’s while only glossing over his antiwar bravery, there are untold stories of how this amazing man changed the world.
One of these such contributions manifested through a terrible loss during Ali’s fight against the darling of the military industrial complex — Joe Frazier. Although Ali would take a knockdown and the first loss of his career, his fight provided cover for a heist that would expose the FBI’s secret spying, murder plots, and COINTELPRO that would change the world forever.
The noise from the fight would provide cover to the burglars as they broke into the office to expose the FBI’s heinous crimes. The group of eight activists would successfully expose the illegal spying operations of J. Edgar Hoover and how citizens across America were subject to the FBI’s black ops — including Martin Luther King, Jr.The group took every file in the office, and this cache would eventually lead to major congressional investigations and reform within the United States intelligence apparatus.
According to the Intercept:
‘The distraction of the fight helped the burglars, who called themselves the Citizens Committee to Investigate the FBI, walk away with more than 1,000 documents, including one that revealed the FBI’s secret COINTELPRO operations. These operations involved a panoply of dirty tricks that ranged from planting disinformation about antiwar activists, to planning the murder of a member of the Black Panthers, and sending innocent people to prison on the basis of false testimony by agents and informers.’
Also contained within those files was the entire life history of Muhammad Ali. The FBI had data on Ali dating back to elementary school.
‘There was some poetic justice in Ali providing cover for the burglary. As more and more secret FBI files became public as a result of the break-in, it was revealed that the FBI had kept tabs on Ali, beginning with its investigation of his Selective Service case. Some of his phone conversations were tapped, and FBI informers gained access to, of all things, his elementary school records in Louisville (teachers said little Cassius Clay, his original name, loved art). Informers also had diligently monitored and typed, word for word, what Ali said on his appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.’
The eight activists who carried out the burglary of the century were never caught and they never broke their silence until over 40 years later in a book written by Betty L. Medsger, titled, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI and for a and for a documentary titled, 1971, by Johanna Hamilton.
As the world mourns the loss of this great man, it is important we don’t let the media whitewash his antiwar efforts. The fights he endured in the ring were nothing compared to the ridicule and hate he faced from the pro-war establishment class. For taking a stand against killing innocent people, Ali suffered death threats and had his business shut down by the government.
The day after the fight, Ali, being the great man that he was, made the following statement playing down the loss of fight and highlighting the importance of everything else.
“All kinds of things set us back, but life goes on. You don’t shoot yourself. Soon this will be old news. People got lives to live, bills to pay, mouths to feed. Maybe a plane will go down with ninety people on it. Or a great man will be assassinated. That will be more important than Ali losing. I never wanted to lose, never thought I would, but the thing that matters is how you lose. I’m not crying. My friends should not cry.”
Fury – Joshua | The Great and the Glorious
By: Courtney Riley
Fighters work their whole lives, shedding gallons upon gallons of bodily fluids, to make their ascension to the summit of the sport by becoming the champ – the man who sits above the pile of hungry contenders who are steadily vying for their own chance at glory. Glory, however, comes from a victory in a title fight whereas greatness is attained from the actions that are taken thereafter. For instance, will the likes of Charles Martin (23-1, 21 KOs) be remembered as a ‘great’ after being dethroned in only his first title-defence to Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs)?
Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) is the lineal world heavyweight champion. In short, he is ‘the man’ in the sport’s ‘glamour division’. He was crowned king after traveling to the champion’s backyard in Germany to claim three of the four major belts. However, it is the new titlist, Anthony Joshua, who is basking in the adoration of the public. History has shown us that winning the belt alone does not automatically win over the hearts of the public. In fact, many losing fighters have transcended to become the ‘people’s champ’. Look at Frank Bruno (40-5, 38 KOs) for example, he lost three world title challenges to Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson, then Lennox Lewis before finally winning the coveted WBC belt from Oliver McCall in 1995; only to lose it in his very first defence to a post-incarcerated Mike Tyson in a rematch 6 months later. Frank Bruno was (and still is) one of Britain’s favourite ever boxers – the people’s champ. So what’s the trick? Is there a secret to unlocking hearts?
Tyson Fury is the fighter who took the hard road. He claimed the English, the British, the Commonwealth, then the European titles before taking on the undisputed world heavyweight champion in Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) to challenge for the World WBA, WBO, and IBF titles. He dared to be great but his glory was somewhat dampened when the IBF placed an order for him to fight their mandatory challenger in Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-1, 13 Kos). Fury was contractually bound to fight Klitschko in a rematch so could not fulfil his mandatory obligation to defend of the IBF belt. He was stripped of the title as a result. The IBF then mandated that their mandatory and their next-ranked challenger would fight each other for their vacant belt. Thus ‘Prince’ Charles Martin was born. He claimed the belt after Glazkov was forced to retire because of a twisted knee. Martin will receive no plaudit in this article for that victory.
Martin then proceeded to ‘call out’ the sweetheart of British boxing in Anthony Joshua for his first title defence. We all saw how that ended; the paper-champ flew into London and was torn to shreds inside two rounds by the same counter right hand that had floored him a few seconds earlier. He failed to beat the count after sitting down on what he proved himself to be – a bum. No credit is being taken away from Joshua though. The lad is immensely talented and has all the attributes to go on and dominate the division like a Lennox Lewis or a Wladimir Klitschko before him. He won the title in only his 16th fight after destroying all previous challengers via knock-out. The boy is a beast and is a specimen of a man. His good looks has wooed the women and his humility has resonated with the public. His events are always a sell-out and soon enough, even your momma will know his name, I can bet that your sister already does. The boy is fast becoming a household name under promoter Eddie Hearn’s guidance, but no one can justifiable call him a hype-job. It is true that he has yet to fight anyone of note, and even his world title victory was against what is quite possibly the worst heavyweight world champion that I have ever seen. But the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist can fight. He is still a learning his trade in the professional game and he has already claimed a world title after only 16 fights. That is a noteworthy achievement. Tyson Fury is a veteran in comparison even though he is only a year older than Joshua. Fury has fought much better opposition and has claimed the right to be called the legitimate world champion after his victory over Klitschko. He has a chance to banish any idea that the public may harbour about his victory in Germany being a fluke when he meets Klitschko in a rematch in July. This should pave the way for a massive unification bout for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world against the winner of the WBC title fight between Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) and Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs). Those big high-profile fights would generate more than enough coin to line the pockets of generations of Furys, as well as solidifying his credentials as a great among the pantheon of boxing legends. He could then go out by having an all-British showdown against Anthony Joshua to win over the hearts and minds of the British public. Joshua on the other hand, should he continue his winning ways, will have the chance to claim all the belts and turn all of is glory into greatness.
It is a fantastic new era to be a boxing fan. And I, for one, I am loving it.
Showtime Boxing International Results: Selby Wins by Decision, Joshua Demolishes Martin
By: William Holmes
Showtime boxing was broadcast live from the O2 Arena in London, England and televised two world title fights. Two British boxers participated in tonight’s bouts as Lee Selby defended his IBF Featherweight Title against Philadelphia native Eric Hunter and former Olympic Gold Medalist
Anthony Joshua took part in his first title fight against Charles Martin.
The opening bout of the night was between Lee Selby (22-1) and Eric Hunter (21-3) for Selby’s IBF Featherweight Title.
Both boxers started off in an orthodox stance and Hunter looked like he was trying to stay on the outside early on while Selby pushed the pace. Selby was able to momentarily trap Hunter a few times in the first round and was able to land a few straight right hands and left hooks upstairs.
Selby started off the second round strong with a solid right cross followed by a snapping jab. Selby, however, at one point got reckless and was cracked with a counter left hook that sent him to the mat. He was able to beat the count and survive the round, but he did suffer a clean knockdown.
Selby was able to recover by the third round and re-took control of the fight by staying more active and connected often with his jab. The fourth round featured a little more back and forth and could have gone either way, but Selby looked like he was fighting his style of fight.
Selby was able to rock Hunter in the fifth and sixth round with clean straight right hands and was beginning to visibly frustrate Hunter.
A low blow landed for Hunter in the seventh round and Selby responded by landing stiff combinations. Hunter’s frustration continued in the eighth and ninth round as he continued to land low blows. He was deducted a point in the eighth round and was warned again by the referee.
Hunter pressed the pace in the championship rounds and appeared to be looking for a big hook to end the fight, but Selby relied on his boxing prowess and was able to box safely and effectively to win a decision victory.
Lee Selby retained his title with a decision victory with scores of 115-111, 116-110, and 116-110.
The main event of the night was between British Phenom Anthony Joshua (15-0) and IBF Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin (23-0-1). Both boxers were known for their knockout power and the crowd at the O2 Arena appeared to sense that this fight might not go the full twelve rounds, as they were singing loudl
Anthony Joshua, despite being the hometown fighter, came into the ring first and was met with a positive reaction while Martin was greeted with mainly boos and jeers.
Anthony Joshua looked to be in incredible shape and was walking the southpaw Martin down early. Joshua was sharp with his jab early and was moving Martin backwards. Anthony Joshua had Martin fearing his shots early on and took control of the first round.
Martin came out in the second round looking determined and was throwing out a few jabs. Joshua, however, pressed forward and was landing his jab and right hooks. Joshua blew open the gates with a straight right hand in the second round and sent Martin to his butt on the canvas. Martin was barely able to get up at the count of nine, and the referee allowed the fight to continue. Joshua left little to chance and connected with another hard straight right hand that sent Martin to the canvas for a second time. He got up at the last second, but the referee waived off the fight while Martin protested.
Some referees would have let the fight continue, but Martin was badly hurt.
Anthony Joshua won the IBF Heavyweight Title by knockout at 1:32 of round two.
Just Who Is Charles Martin?
By: Sean Crose
Okay, if you’re reading Boxing Insider, then it’s a pretty safe bet you KNOW who Charles Martin is. Still, the IBF world heavyweight champ remains a largely an unknown commodity – even as he prepares to step into the ring to defend his title against the widely lauded Anthony Joshua on Joshua’s own British soil on Saturday. Sure, a lot of people saw his victory earlier this year over Vyacheslav Glazkov, but Martin will still be entering the ring this weekend as a relatively huge question mark to international fight fans. Indeed, many are viewing him as a mere stepping stone for the undefeated Joshua as the Englishman makes his way along a brilliant career.
Are these people right, though? Is Martin that easy to brush off? Let’s look at the facts. For one thing Martin can hit. Really hit. His previous opposition may not have been phenomenal, but one simply doesn’t chalk off 21 knockouts in 23 wins to everyone out there having a glass chin. Check out the undefeated (the only thing close to blemish on his record is a draw to Alvaro Molares back in 2013) Martin’s straight left hand destruction of Vincente Sandez last year if you want to know what a good puncher looks like. While it’s certainly true the 15-0 Joshua can pack a wallop, Martin certainly can, too. That’s something to keep in mind.
Another notable trait of Martin’s is that the guy keeps active. In 2012 he fought three times. In 2013, eleven – that’s right, eleven – times. In 2014, five times. Then, in 2015, four times. Saturday will mark the second time the man has entered the ring this year – as a heavyweight titlist. That’s impressive for any fighter, much less one who has found himself atop boxing’s heap.
Of course there are things about Martin which lead some to question exactly how qualified the man is to hold a major title belt. For one thing, he certainly doesn’t have the Adonis-like physique of Joshua. In fact, there’s some flab to be found on the man’s frame – at least there has been in the past. Martin has also been known to throw punches at a rather slow pace. This is no Ali we’re talking about here. Lastly, there’s the matter of experience. Sure, Martin has gotten an impressive resume for himself, but against who? Glazkov was unquestionably a legitimate opponent, but who else has there been?
With all due respect to men like Rafael Pedro and Vashawn Tomlin, their names aren’t quite as telling as those of say, Luis Ortiz or Bryant Jennings, much less those of Tyson Fury or Wladimir Klitschko. That doesn’t bode well for the Carson, California native as he steps under the bright lights of top level competition. Then again, Joshua hasn’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of opposition, either. While Dillian Whyte was a solid enough foe, he’s pretty much the only truly formidable name (except for perhaps Gary Cornish) on the man’s resume. What’s more, Whyte gave Joshua a legit fight in their match last December – something to keep in mind.
So, now that we know who Charles Martin is, it’s time for us to all see what he’s made of. Saturday in London should be quite indicative…of both he and his opponent’s true skill levels.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley and Joshua vs. Martin Weigh In Results
By: William Holmes
Tomorrow night HBO will present the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. on Pay Per View. Across the pond a few hours earlier in the day Charles Martin will put on the line his IBF Heavyweight Title belt against former Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Joshua at the 02 Arena in London, England live on Showtime.
Both of the cards held their weigh-ins today and the official weights are listed below.
HBO PPV Boxing Card
WBO International Welterweight Championship
Manny Pacquiao -145.5 pounds
Timothy Bradley -146.5 pounds
WBO Super Middleweight Championship
Arthur Abraham -168 pounds
Gilberto Ramirez -168 pounds
WBO NABO Featherweight Championship
Oscar Valdez -125.5 pounds
Evgeny Gradovich -126 pounds
Showtime Championship Boxing Card:
IBF Heavyweight World Championship
Charles Martin – 245 Pounds
Anthony Joshua – 244 Pounds
IBF Featherweight World Championship
Lee Selby – 125 Pounds
Eric Hunter – 125 ¼ Pounds