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).
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker Preview
On Saturday night, London’s O2 arena will once again hold host to a Dillian Whyte headline bout as the WBC’s number 1 challenger takes on former WBO heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker for the status of, ‘Best of the Rest’ and a future shot at the true heavyweight honours.
Whyte, 23-1 (17KOs) is fighting at the O2 for the 5th time in his career and the 3rd time as one half of the headline fight. Last time out, Dillian took just 6 rounds to KO the previously unbeaten, Lucas Browne of Australia in impressive fashion. Dominating from the first bell, Whyte seemed to know within the first few minutes that Browne had come to survive. The ‘Body Snatcher’ held his punches a lot better than in previous bouts and, in stark contrast to his awkward encounter with Robert Helenius in 2017, the Jamaican-born heavyweight timed his attacks well, and didn’t throw desperately, when Browne occasionally avoided his assaults. It all culminated in an evil left hook, arguably the best punch Whyte has thrown in his pro career, landing on the Australian’s wide-open chin, sending him face down and conclusively ending the fight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
That March matchup came a week before Parker took on Joshua at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, and winning that bout appeared to put Whyte to the front of the heavyweight line waiting for a shot at the belts. Saturday’s fight won’t be for world championship honours, but Dillian, speaking to ‘Give Me Sport’ recognises how close he is to the shot he’s been working for, for so long,
‘‘Anyone that’s successful in life, whoever and wherever they are, have had to take a lot of risks and chances…That’s why I signed with Matchroom. That was a risk because I knew they had Joshua, and Joshua’s the golden boy.’’
And the challenge of facing the former WBO champion,
‘‘I’ve fought everyone that’s been asked of me to fight. I feel good…If he (Parker) didn’t come to fight against Joshua, the biggest fight of his career, what’s he going to change now? He could have come back and had an easier fight, but he didn’t. I respect him for that.’’
‘‘Who knows. They might surprise us, and he might come out and go for it in the first couple of rounds…I don’t expect Parker to try and come and mix it with me in the centre of the ring, because if he does that, he gets dropped early.’’
Saturday’s bout will mark Parker’s return to the ring since losing a 12-round decision to Anthony Joshua; a loss that took his ‘0’ and his WBO world strap.
‘‘The body’s looking better than last fight,’’ Said the Samoan-born boxer, speaking to ‘RadioSport’ in New Zealand. ‘‘It’s stronger than last fight. I feel I do need a stoppage. There might be a bit of favouritism here for the local fighter. We’ve given our thoughts on the officials.’’
‘‘When you have two fighters like myself and Dillian Whyte going at it I think it probably won’t reach the 12th round…His fight plan is just to stand there and throw bombs and he wants me to get sucked in to his plan.’’
‘‘I think this is a must win. The winner of this fight elevates to the top for a world title fight with Joshua, maybe Wilder and then all of these fights with Tyson Fury and the big names.’’
This will be Parker’s, 24-1 (18KOs), 3rd fight in a row in England, after also defending his belt in a drab of a scrap against Hughie Fury last September, in which the New Zealander won via a split decision. The talk is big from Joseph in the build up to the weekend’s main event, but he’s struggled to really impress since his 3-round KO of Alexander Dimitrenko back in late 2016.
As has been mentioned multiple times about this matchup, the winner should maneuverer there way into a world title fight next. The WBC ‘Silver’ and WBO ‘International’ straps aren’t just there for decoration alone. They might be meaningless when they’re wrapped around the winner for post-fight photos, but the belts signify an elevated status in the rankings and if the victor’s follow up bout to Saturday night isn’t a world championship bout, they’ll have a pretty big target on their back with the best of the rest of the division ready to shoot.
Eddie Hearn Announces American Streaming Service
By: Sean Crose
British super promoter Eddie Hearn has officially launched a streaming service here in the United States. According to the press release: “Matchroom Boxing, a world leading boxing promoter, and Perform Group, the digital leader in global sports media, have today announced the creation of a landmark $1billion joint venture and the biggest-ever deal in boxing.” Matchroom is Hearn’s company and it’s clear he’s making it a major player in US boxing. Hearn announced the deal on Thursday with Perfom Group CEO Simon Denyer.
“This is a historic moment for Matchroom and the sport of boxing,” said Hearn “Since our expansion to the US, we have been looking for a partner that shares our vision and that can give us the volume of dates and rights fees required to build the strongest stable in world boxing and take it to a new level.” Hearn intends to showcase 16 Matchroom promoted cards in America this year, along with another 16 from Great Britain. Matchroom will also include all the Pay Per View cards he airs across the Atlantic. “None of the fight nights will be on PPV,” the press release claims. “All will be available for one monthly fee and no long term contract.”
“This is a dream scenario for us,” said Hearn. “We can build a formidable team of fighters and also put our stamp on events from production to talent to in arena experience. Our plan is to make DAZN the home of boxing and with 32 big fight nights already confirmed from the US and UK we are nicely on our way…America – we have well and truly arrived, let the fun begin!” According to the LA Times, Hearn claims he “has $110 million per year to spend on the eight-year deal.” Such a bank account may allow Hearn to bring in the kinds of big American names he hopes to.
Denyer claimed that “Perform Group has a rich history of long term strategic partnerships with the best rights holders in world. I’m excited about working with Matchroom; we share the same passion and vision for reigniting boxing in the US and it’s time for DAZN to provide an exciting new platform for these great events. It’s a better deal for everyone – especially fight fans.” Streaming is making a huge impact on the sport of boxing recently. Aside from Hearn’s Matchroom deal, ESPN has recently begun its own streaming service.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Seldin vs. Ortiz, Miller vs. Wach, Jacobs vs. Arias
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Eddie Hearn’s latest acquisition, Daniel Jacobs, will be on display on HBO. He will be facing Luis Arias in the main event of the evening. Two other bouts are also planned to be broadcast, a heavyweight fight between Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller and Mariusz Wach in the heavyweight division and a junior welterweight bout between Cletus Seldin and Roberto Ortiz.
The NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York will be the host site for Saturday’s boxing card.
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing
The following is a preview of Saturday’s HBO card.
Cletus Seldin (25-0) vs. Roberto Ortiz (35-1-2); Junior Welterweights
The opening bout of the night will be between Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Roberto Ortiz in the junior welterweight division.
Seldin is a local fighter with a large, supportive fan base. He’s fought in New York for most of his career with a large majority of his fights taking place at the Paramount Theatre. He’s undefeated, but he is currently thirty one years old and his window of opportunity for a legitimate world title fight is getting smaller.
His opponent Roberto Ortiz is the same age and has fought mainly in Mexico. He fought one time in the United States and was stopped by Lucas Matthysse. Ortiz will have a slight two and a half inch height and reach advantage.
Neither Seldin or Ortiz has a notable amateur background in boxing. However, Seldin does have experience in wrestling and judo. He also was a finalist in the New York Golden Gloves tournament.
Both boxers have decent power. Seldin has sixteen stoppage wins on his resume while Ortiz has twenty six. Seldin has never tasted defeated while Ortiz was stopped in his one fight against a big name opponent.
Neither boxer has any big name victories. Seldin’s best wins were against Jesus Selig, Johnny Garcia, and Bayan Jargal. Ortiz’s best wins were against Reyes Sanchez and John Aparicio.
This is an excellent test for Seldin and it will be the toughest of his career. Ortiz has a good record, but lost the only fight in which he faced a good opponent. Seldin should be able to win a close victory, but we’ll definitely have a better idea if he’s a legitimate contender on Saturday night.
Jarrell Miller (19-0) vs. Mariusz Wach (33-2); Heavyweights
Jarrell Miller is an intriguing heavyweight prospect in that he has experienced some surprising success in another combat sport, that being kickboxing.
He was able to defeat UFC veteran Pat Barry in a kickboxing match and went 19-0 in Muay Thai before going to kick boxing. He found some success in kickboxing’s prestige league, K1, and lost to UFC veteran Mirko Cro Cop twice by decision.
He has been very successful since switching to boxing. He’s undefeated and has seventeen stoppage wins, including eight stoppage victories in a row. He fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Miller does have some amateur boxing experience. He made it to the finals of the New York Golden Gloves and lost to Tor Hammer on points. His opponent, Mariusz Wach, also had a successful amateur career and was a Polish National Champion and an Olympic alternate.
Miller will have an eight year age advantage on Wach, who is currently thirty seven years old. Wach will have a height advantage of about three and a half inches and a reach advantage of four inches.
In addition to being tested as a kickboxer, Miller also has defeated some notable heavyweights. His notable wins include Gerald Washington, Fred Kassi, and Donovan Dennis.
Wach’s biggest wins have come against Tye Fields, Kevin McBride, and Jason Gavern. His losses were to Alexander Povetkin and Wladimir Klitschko.
Wach’s age and relative inactivity is a concern. He fought only once in 2017 and once in 2016, against less than impressive opposition.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about a potential heavyweight fight between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, but an impressive win by Miller could result in him getting a title shot before Wilder and Joshua meet inside the ring.
Daniel Jacobs (32-2) vs. Luis Arias (18-0); Middleweights
Daniel Jacobs earned the title of “Miracle Man” after defeating a diagnosis of bone cancer in 2011. He was previously signed to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) but has recently decided to sign with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport.
Jacobs had a very successful amateur career. He was a Junior Olympics National Champion, a Police Athletic League (PAL) National Champion, and a National Golden Gloves Champion. His opponent, Luis Arias, also had a very successful amateur career. He was a US National Champion at middleweight in 2008 and 2010 and was also a Gold Medal PAL winner.
Arias is twenty seven years old and three years younger than Jacobs. Jacobs will have a very sleight half an inch reach advantage over Arias.
Jacobs has a large edge in power over Arias. Jacobs has stopped twenty nine of his opponents and nine of his past ten fights were TKO victories. Arias only has nine stoppage victories, but three of his past four fights were TKO victories.
Jacobs has the better professional resume of the two boxers. He has defeated the likes of Ishe Smith, Jarrod Fletcher, Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora, and Peter Quillin. His losses were a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin and a shocking knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog.
Arias has defeated the likes of Arif Magomedov, Scott Sigmon, and Jorge Silva.
Arias does have an edge in activity. He already fought twice in 2017 and fought three times in 2016. Jacobs has only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
This should actually be a tougher fight for Jacobs than most expect. Arias has the amateur background to match Jacobs and he has never tasted defeat. He’s also been in the ring more often than Jacobs and won’t have to worry about ring rust.
However, Jacobs was very impressive in his defeat to Gennady Golovkin and is filled with confidence. Arias has never felt the power of a boxer like Jacobs and has never been in the ring as a professional with someone of Jacobs’ caliber.
This is Daniel Jacobs’ fight to lose, but Arias has enough talent to make it closer than expected.
Daniel Jacobs: “At The End Of The Day It’s About What You Do Inside The Ring.”
By: Sean Crose
Top middleweight Daniel Jacobs may be taking his November 11th opponent, Luis Arias, seriously as a foe. What Jacobs is not doing, however, is taking Arias seriously as a talker. “It is kind of hard to listen to him because he is trying to force you guys into believing something that does not exist or really is not there,” Jacobs said of Arias on a recent conference call. Still, Jacobs claimed he wasn’t shocked by Arias’ words, as Arias was once part of Floyd Mayweather’s stable of fighters.
Photo Credit Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing
“You have to realize that this guy is a former TMT (The Money Team) guy,” said Jacobs. “He is used to the brash talk.” There’s little doubt that the 18-0 Arias is at least talking a good game in the lead up for a bout most expect him to lose. “I’m going to rough him up,” he told me. “I’m going to be in his face all night.” Some might argue that’s not the best strategy to employ against a man with an over eighty percent knockout ratio, but Arias appears confident as his showdown with Jacobs at New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum approaches.
“I do think he’s over-rated,” he said, referring to Jacobs. “If you go and look at his record,” Arias went on to add, “there is nobody there that he beat.” British promoter Eddie Hearn, who has recently teamed up with Jacobs, wasn’t willing to sell Milwaukee’s Arias short. “Maybe I’m a little bit different,” Hearn claimed. “Maybe I’m too much of a fan – it the upset comes, the upset comes.” Not that there was any questions where the man’s loyalty could be found. “Of course Danny Jacobs is our guy,” he said, “and I want him to win but if Luis Arias goes out there and gets the victory – good on him.”
I asked Hearn if Jacob’s impressive performance against Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden last winter had anything to do with his interest in the Brooklyn native. “Many felt that he won,” Hearn said of that fight. “You know that he’s on that level.” The promoter made it clear, though, that he was well aware of the cold, hard facts of the matter. “He (Jacobs) didn’t win (the Golovkin fight),” he stated, “and that’s the reality of it.”
Jacobs also came across as a practical man on the call. After admitting he’d like to knock Arias out, Jabobs went on to say that he “would be completely fine getting a decision.” A decision? Against a man he’s clearly supposed to be better than? “I’m a boxer puncher,” Jacobs explained, “and I love to box.” In fact, Jacobs is such a realist that he made it clear where he feels he stands in relation to Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, who Golovkin recently fought to a draw. “I know,” he said, “that even though these guys aren’t really fearful of me, right now I’m in a lose-lose situation with those guys because I am not technically a champion.”
“They know it’s not worth it to step in there with a guy like me,” Jacobs continued. “I’d rather continue to do my job, climb the ladder, get a title eventually and maybe chase these guys, but to fight me right now? I don’t see that happening.” And so, for the moment at least, there’s Arias. “My job is to continue what I’ve been doing,” said Jacobs. “I’m a professional and have to act accordingly and the goal is to get the job done and look impressive.”
What’s next for WBA super-flyweight champion Kal Yafai?
By: Dale Josephs
Khalid “Kal” Yafai finally revived Birmingham boxing by bringing world championship boxing back to the region earlier this year, with a lively card of extremely high quality bouts, as well as a WBA world title on the line.Suguru Murunaka was the preferred opponent for Yafai’s first voluntary defence; a durable Japanese fighter who’s never been stopped but had previously only ever fought in his home surroundings of Korakuen Hall, Tokyo.
Eddie Hearn, the figurehead of Matchroom Boxing, delivered once again with a truly enjoyable spectacle which witnessed local Brummies compete; younger brother Gamal Yafai, Sam Eggington and Frankie Gavin emerged victorious from their bouts. Still WBA super-flyweight world champion, Kal Yafai, headlined the Birmingham bill which enticed a rammed arena to cheer, jeer, and drink plenty of beer. The Barclaycard Arena, which sits next to Brindley Place overlooking the famous canals, was occupied by a energetic, vibrant crowd which, along with the lights, music and fighters, created a thrilling atmosphere.
Admittedly, fans wereentirely anticipating Yafai to unite both his raw talent and ferocious power to make easy work of Murunaka. Yet, the Japanese fighter showed heart, courage and commitment to ensure Kal had to work to retain his belt. Despite the contest lasting 12 rounds being seen as extra, unnecessary ring time, it did mean the super-flyweight champion was allowed to showcase his superior boxing ability. Over the distance, Murunaka was completely out-boxed.And, considering Yafai’s hands were immediately in ice following the fight, Murunaka proved he is very tough and durable and is able to take a volume of big punches. Kal was clearly a fan favourite in his home town and he made certain the fans observed a successful defence of his prestigious title.
Now, despite Yafai allowing his bruised hands to heal thoroughly before he advanced any further in his career, the next move in his so-far perfect career has now been plotted. Later this year, the Birmingham based boxer will encounter a Japanese fighter for the second successive fight, and yet another fighter with an unblemished record. The second defence of Yafai’s WBA super-flyweight title will see him share the ring with 25-year-old, Sho Ishida.
So, will this Japanese fighter be able to achieve what the previous one couldn’t and inflict a first defeat on Kal Yafai’s record?
Well, Yafai himself seems to think this will be his most difficult fight to date, and believes Ishida’s unusual height for a super-flyweight will potentially cause him problems. He told Sky Sports, “I’ve watched a few bits of him and the first thing about him is he is very tall. He’s very, very tall for a super-fly so I have no idea how he does that, but he actually looks very good as well.”
Alongside his incredible 5 foot 8 frame, which is 4 inches more than Yafai, he also possesses natural, fierce power which has enabled him to win 13 out of his 24 professional wins inside the allotted distance. But, it’s his range and boxing ability that could prove to be the difference, with a huge reach advantage of 10cm, Kal may discover an extreme difficulty in getting close enough to land his own decisive shots. Although, Yafai is a big body puncher and has showed time and time again his ability to land ferocious punches to his opponents’ ribs and midriff. With that in mind, if he can reduce the gap between himself and Ishida, hurtful body shots could take its toll on a taller, thinner opponent.
Providing Yafai successfully defends his title and retains the WBA super-flyweight belt, an obvious progression would be to establish himself in America and aim to unify the division. Even though Roman Gonzales was finally conquered by Srisaket Sor Runvisai, he remains a colossal name within the 115lbs division, and still has an opportunity to acquire revenge in his rematch with Runvisai. So, along with Roman Gonzales, other opponents which could assist Yafai in creating a legacy would be the other champions; IBF champion Jerwin Acajas, WBO title-holder Naoya Inoue or even WBC champion Srisaket Sor Runvisai if he beats Gonzales for the second time would set up massive clashes in the super-flyweight bracket.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook
By: William Holmes
On Saturday afternoon at the Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England one of the best fights that could be made in the welterweight division will occur.
Uber prospect Errol Spence Jr. will take on IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook in Kell Brook’s home town and this bout will be televised on Showtime in the United States.
Eleven bouts are currently scheduled to take place on the undercard, including a WBA Super Middleweight Title bout between George Groves and Fedor Chudinov. It’s unlikely that the Groves bout will be televised in the United States absent a quick stoppage.
The following is a preview of the IBF Welterweight Title fight. The lead promoter for this bout is Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Kell Brook (36-1) vs. Errol Spence Jr. (21-0); IBF Welterweight Title
The welterweight division has always been a stacked division full of talent. Keith Thurman currently holds the WBA and WBC World Titles, Kell Brook holds the IBF Title, and Manny Pacquiao holds the WBO title, but only Kell Brook had the courage to move up two weight classes to face Gennady Golovkin and give him a better fight than most expected.
Brook could have taken an easy fight after his bout with Golovkin and most boxing experts would not have blamed him. However, Brook has decided to take on one of the most dangerous prospects in the sport today, Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.
Errol Spence was an amateur star on the United States amateur scene and was a 2011 US National Champion and a 2012 Olympic team member. Kell Brook didn’t compete in the Olympics, but was able to experience a good amount of success as an amateur in England, including two Amateur Boxing Association of England titles.
Spence appears to have the advantage in the physicals. Spence will have about a half an inch height advantage, a three inch reach advantage, and is four years younger than Brook. Spence also appears to have the edge in power. Spence has stopped eighteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight stoppage streak.
Brook also has power in his hands as he has stopped twenty five of his opponents. Seven of his past eight wins were stoppage victories, but his last bout was a TKO loss.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Spence fought twice in 2016 and four times in 2015. Brook fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Spence has soundly defeated the likes of Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Alejandro Barrera, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, Ronald Cruz, Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. Kell Brook has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin, Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, Michael Jennings.
This is a tough bout to choose the winner. Spence will be in enemy territory and the 30,000 expected fans in attendance will be loudly cheering for Brook. However, Brook is coming off a TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin and has not been seen in the ring since.
Additionally, Brook will have to make the cut back down to 147 again after competing in the middleweight division.
This is a rare time that we get to see a young prospect with high expectations take on an established champion still in the midst of his athletic prime, and it’s a fight that hardcore boxing fans are looking forward to.
It’s a fight that this writer expects Errol Spence Jr. to officially announce to the world that he is, in fact, the next big thing with a convincing and clear victory.
Why Joshua-Klitshcko Looks To Be A Superfight Done Right
Why Joshua-Klitshcko Looks To Be A Superfight Done Right
By: Sean Crose
One of the downsides of boxing is that you never know just how good a given match will turn out. Hagler-Hearns was magnificent. Pacquiao-Clottey, not so much. If there’s one thing that burns fans and non-fans alike, however it’s a superfight that falls flat. The highly lucrative, widely panned Mayweather-Pacquiao fiasco of 2015 is a prime example of a superfight done wrong. This month’s Joshua-Klitshcko heavyweight title matchup, the first true superfight since May-Pac, on the other hand, appears to be done right. Why? Because those involved look to have firmly grasped the four basic concepts that go into making a superfight effective.
ONE: THAT PROMOTERS RECOGNIZE WHAT BOXING IS WHEN IT’S AT ITS BEST
Boxing, at its best, answers a simple question of who would win in a fight. Could Leonard come back and best Hagler? Could Holyfield possibly best Mike Tyson? Could Ali beat the ferocious young George Foreman? These are the sorts of questions that draw in lots of eyeballs, lots of buzz and, yes, lots of money. A great many people, millions perhaps, want to know who would win in a fight between old lion Wladimir Klitschko and rising star Anthony Joshua. At this point, it seems close to one hundred thousand individuals will even be seeing Joshua-Klitshcko live and in person. Why? Because this contest is a tough one to call walking in.
TWO: THAT FANS FEEL THERE’S AN ACTUAL CHANCE THAT BOTH FIGHTERS CAN WIN
If a Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather boxing match ever goes down, it will be a massive event on a global scale. It will never, however, be a superfight. That’s because no one with an ounce of objectivity feels McGregor has much of a chance of winning. There’s no real question involved in the scenario. It’s all just spectacle. Look at it another way: Tyson-Douglas was a fight for the ages, but it was no superfight. Why? Because no one gave Douglas a chance of winning (well, I did, actually, but that’s for another time). It was simply to be another televised beatdown for Iron Mike. The suspense, then, came during the bout, rather than before it. There’s a reason that classic match wasn’t aired on PPV. Joshua-Klitshcko, on the other hand, could obviously go either way, hence, the suspense and excitement in the leadup to the opening bell.
THREE: THAT THE FIGHTERS INVOLVED ACTUALLY BELONG IN A SUPERFIGHT
Canelo Alvarez can fill Cowboys Stadium with as many fans as he wants – he won’t be engaged in a superfight so long as he’s throwing down with the likes of Liam Smith. Same goes for Manny Pacquiao fighting in Australia. His battle with Jeff Horn will be enormous in the land down under, but everywhere else? Not so much. Liam Smith may someday blast his way to superstardom. And who knows? Horn may stun Pacquiao. At the moment, however, neither opponent warrants a superfight, no matter who he battles. Needless to say, both on-the-rise Joshua, and Klitschko, the long time former heavyweight king, have backgrounds that warrant a match of superfight proportions.
FOUR: THAT THE EVENT IS PROMOTED PROPERLY
While no one can deny that the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout was a superfight, it certainly wasn’t an effective one. Why? Well, because it marinated…and marinated…and marinated….for just about half a decade. I love marinaded meat myself, but after a few hours, I begin to lose my appetite. Furthermore, the entire affair was an over-powered money vacum. I’ll never forget Bob Arum’s flippant dismissal of the boxing media in the lead up to the bout. He didn’t need run of the mill fight writers anymore, he needed journalists fresh from the top of Mount Olympus. Bye-bye ringside reporter, hello Merideth Vieria! And people wonder why non-boxing fans were so grossly disappointed with how Mayweather-Pacquiao turned out. They were listening to and reading the words of people who knew absolutely nothing about the sport. Joshua-Klitshcko, on the other hand, was made as quickly as possible, considering the seriousness of the nature and the popularity of the players involved. What’s more, one suspects the goal here is to please boxing fans and non-fans alike. Too bad it won’t air live on network television in the states. It would be nothing but good for the sport.
Showtime Boxing International Results: Jorge Linares Outclasses Anthony Crolla
Showtime Boxing International Results:
By: William Holmes
The last time Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares faced each other their bout was televised in the United States on A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) Network.
However, their bout was so good that Showtime decided to televise the rematch, with the winner likely to face Mikey Garcia.
The Manchester Arena in Manchester, England was the host site for tonight’ fight and the arena was rocking for local favorite Anthony Crolla.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom
Anthony Crolla (31-5-3) and Jorge Linares (41-3) met in the main event of the card for Linares’ WBA Lightweight Title.
The opening round was a close round and the ring was smaller than the last time they fought. Most of the punches of Crolla were blocked by Linares, but neither boxer landed a dominant punch or combination to clearly win the round.
The second round was a clearer round for Linares, who used good lateral movement and a steady jab to keep Crolla at a safe distance. Crolla was able to land a few good jabs, but Linares landed the higher number of punches.
Crolla was warned for a low blow in the third round, but was met with a lead left hook almost immediately afterwards and was tagged with several sharp and crisp combinations form Linares for the rest of the round. The right uppercut by Linares found it’s home several times in the third and fourth round as Linares’ hand speed looked like it was too much for Crolla to handle.
Crolla was able to land a couple of jabs in the fourth round, but nothing of note that had Linares hurt.
Linares confidence appeared to be very high in the fifth and sixth rounds as he was masterfully out boxing Crolla and landing punches and combinations at will. Linares had the Manchester crowd quiet and had the face of Crolla swollen by the end of the sixth.
By the seventh round in their last bout their fight was close to even on the judges’ scorecards. In this fight Linares was clearly ahead.
Linares landed a looping left uppercut that caught Crolla by surprise and sent him to the mat in the seventh round. Crolla was able to get back to his feet and survive the onslaught by Linares, and even landed some good punches of his own as the round came to an end, but the left uppercut had badly hurt him.
Crolla picked up the pressure in the eighth round and tried to get in on the inside with Linares, but he had difficulty doing so and ate several hard right uppercuts. Crolla had his moments in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Linares was quick to land sharp uppercuts and combinations every time Crolla started to build up some momentum.
Crolla’s left eye had a bad cut over it before the start of the tenth round and he continued to press forward in an effort to back up Linares and test his chin. But Linares’ accuracy and hand speed showed no signs of slowing down as he was able to pop shot Crolla and then move out of danger’s way.
Anthony Crolla clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the title. But in the eleventh round Linares was closer to knocking down Crolla than Crolla knocking down Linares and Crolla’s corner seemed hesitent to send him out for the final round.
The knockout punch that Crolla badly needed never came in the final round.
Jorge Linares wins convincingly on the judges’ scorecards with scores of 118-109, 118-109, and 118-109.
Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson
Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson?
By: Ken Hissner
Have you ever noticed when one of the organizations four champions talk about their next opponent or challenging one of the other champions the name Louis “King Kong” Ortiz never comes up? The 6:04 Cuban southpaw will be 38 before the month is out. He is 27-0 (23), and still waiting for a shot at one of those four titles. He is managed by Juan L Jimenez who has 7 other Cuban boxers under management. His promoter was Golden Boy Promotions and later Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport in 2016.
The amateur record of Ortiz is reported to be 343-19. The most outstanding award was winning the Pan American Games Gold Medal in 2005 in Brazil. In 2006 he won a Gold Medal to make the Cuban National team. He wouldn’t turn professional until February 16, 2010 at the age of 30 in Hollywood, FL. It wasn’t easy getting out of Cuba for Ortiz.
In just the third fight for Ortiz he won his first minor title defeating Kendrick Releford, 22-13-2, for the vacant WBC FECARBOX heavyweight title. In his fifth fight he would defeat Puerto Rico’s Francisco Alvarez, 12-1, at the end of 2010 by stoppage. In his eighth fight he stopped former title challenger Bert Cooper, (38-22) in Miami.
In his eleventh fight Ortiz added the vacant WBA Fedelatin title to his WBC FECARBOX one knocking out Luis Andres Pineda, 22-9-1, of Panama in 6 roundsat Panama City in June of 2011. In his fifteenth bout he won the vacant WBO and WBC Latino titles by DQ7over Epifanio Mendoza, 32-13-1, in Palm Bay, FL, for an intentional low blow. In February of 2012. He had 9 fights in 2011 besides Panama he fought in Costa Rica and Dominican Republic.
In 2012 Ortiz added Nicaragua to his travels winning another 5 bouts. He won 3 of them in DR over an 18 day period. In 2013 he was limited to 2 bouts with one a NC due to his opponent accidently falling out of the ring in the fourth round in North Carolina. The bout would have had to have gone 4 rounds for a decision. The other bout was knocking out Puerto Rico’s Alex Gonzales, 20-8, into retirement at Sunrise, FL. In his first fight in 2014 Ortiz put veteran Monte Barrett, 35-10-2, in retirement scoring a knockout in Indio, CA. This lead to an interim WBA World title fight against LateefKayode, 20-0, and another NC, in September of 2014.
Ortiz landed 15 unanswered punches in the first round and down went Kayode who would later appeal it was from a slip and a premature stoppage in an appeal. Ortiz had the stoppage changed to the NC when he tested positive for a banned substance. He received a 9 month suspension before returning to the ring in Montreal, CAN, stopping Byron Polley, 27-18-1, in the first round. In Octiber of 2015 he would have another shot at the interim WBA World title knocking out Argentina’s Matias Ariel Vidondo, 20-1-1, at Madison Square Garden in NY, in 3 rounds. Ortiz was to fight former WBC champion BermaneStiverne who promoter Don King refused to sign the contract after agreeing to the match with Vidondo taking it on short notice.
Just 2 months later Ortiz would make his first and only title defense stopping Philly’s Bryant Jennings, 19-1, in the seventh round at the Turning Stone resort & casino, in Verona, NY. Earlier in the year Jennings lost a 12 round decision against WladimirKlitschko for his WBO, WBA and IBF titles. That was in December of 2015 and Jennings hasn’t fought since.
In March of 2016 Ortiz knocked out Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, 40-6, in DC, after scoring 3 knockdowns in 6 rounds, but since Thompson was not ranked in the top 15 the title was not at stake. Ortiz was to fight Russia’s Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 33-1, living in Belarus, but the fight never materialized. So after this Ortiz signed a promotional contract with UK’s Eddie Hearn’s in October of 2016. Ortiz took on and defeated Malik Scott, 38-2-1, winning the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title in November of 2016. Just 4 weeks later Ortiz stopped David “White Rhino” Allen, 9-1-1, in the seventh round in Manchester, UK.
French heavyweight Carlos Takam, 34-3-1, was to fight Ortiz but passed to take another fight. Now Ortiz is told that the winner for the IBF and WBA titles between IBF champion Anthony Joshua and former champion WladimirKlitschko who is No. 2 in the WBA is to meet Ortiz. Even Tyson Fury is back! Ortiz is ranked No. 1 by the WBA, No. 2 by the WBC and No. 8 by the IBF and no ranking by the WBO. The winner will probably give up the WBA title and keep the IBF one.
Why the WBA is allowing the IBF champion Joshua and No. 2 Klitschko fight for the vacant title instead of Ortiz who is No. 1 in the WBA is simply not right. Ortiz either has opponents pull out or get by-passed by the organizations. It makes one think, ”is Luis “King Kong” Ortiz the most feared heavyweight since Mike Tyson?
David Haye vs Tony Bellew? There Is Only One Winner I’m Afraid
David Haye vs Tony Bellew? There Is Only One Winner I’m Afraid
By: Oz Ozkaya
Hats off to Tony Bellew. No, really. His camp has been extremely smart and effective in the way that they’ve redefined him as a fighter, and then subsequently by moving him up to Cruiserweight after the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Adonis Stevenson in Quebec, Canada, back in November 2013. Almost 3 years later, and after avenging his only other loss to Nathan Cleverly before going on to win the WBC Cruiserweight title (his first), Bellew is now in a position to make a serious name for himself, as well as some serious cash with a potential match up against David ‘Haymaker’ Haye now in the pipeline.
At present, Bellew is on an 8 fight undefeated streak where 6 of those victories have come by a way of knockout. Credit to Bellew, his career record at (28-2-1) and his recent stunning defence against BJ Flores make him look like an extremely solid bet going forward. At 33 though, he, like David Haye (36), is coming to the latter stages of his career. Still, that isn’t to say that neither of them could defy the laws of physics, reinvent their styles and become a Bernard Hopkins or an Evander Holyfield.
“I’m not going to go back down to a less-glamorous division than the one I’m in now for a loud-mouthed guy like him,” said Haye when asked about the possibility of fighting Bellew in the future. However, Bellew would much rather face Haye at cruiserweight, despite his promoter Eddie Hearn believing that if the right money is on the table then Bellew would step up no doubt. It doesn’t surprise me to here Hearn talk in such a way, particularly as both of these men have been longing for a big pay day for quite some time. Bellew did, however, manage to sell out Goodison Park in Liverpool earlier on this year when he emphatically knocked out Illungu Makabu after 3 rounds for his current WBC world title.
Regardless of the weight issue, the fight is still undoubtedly going to happen. Firstly, Haye is yet to name an opponent for his next match and with Shannon Briggs chasing him halfway across the country, to no great avail it must be said, it would appear obvious that he has been waiting for an opportunity like Bellew to come along. After his last two mediocre showdowns, where he fought opponents that nobody had ever even heard of, it would be fair to assume Haye’s loyal fans are long overdue a decent fight with a credible opponent. “A proper David Haye comeback,” some would be quick to add.
Secondly, can either of them realistically make better money anywhere else at this current moment in time? For David Haye, possibly. For Tony Bellew, no. In short, neither Cruiserweight champions Lebedev (WBA & IBF champion) and Usyk (WBO champion) hold big a enough name to be thrown into a paper view fight with Bellew. Well, maybe to a certain extent they do but not quite to the numbers that a fight with Haye would garner. We love an all-British affair over here!
For Haye, there are evidently bigger fights out there, but it seems apparent that he doesn’t believe he is ready for them just quite yet. In Haye’s mind, he knows that one more loss to a good opponent is going to be curtains for him. If he fights and beats Bellew, that sustains his career for another 6 months and keeps people guessing about his ability. This may not do him much in the divisional rankings, but in terms of stock, absolutely. Haye could have fought Wilder, Joshua, Ortiz, Browne or even the up and coming undefeated New Zealander, Joseph Parker by now if he had sought after those opportunities. However, he has been very steady. Maybe he shouldn’t be fighting, after all, he did say the Dr’s told him his shoulder was too bad to fight with after he bailed on, what were, two eagerly anticipated Tyson Fury fights.
Thirdly, and most crucially, the panache and intuition of Match Room promoter Eddie Hearn mean that he especially is definitely not going to be the one to pass up on such an opportunity. So much so, in fact, that he has already “opportunistically” booked March 4th, 2017 as a Sky Box Office date and claims Bellew-Haye would be a huge fight. Talking to the mirror.co.uk Hearn said: “Haye will be driving home [after the Bellew fight]maybe thinking ‘that’s a big fight’ as he looks on Twitter after what happened tonight, but he may want a belt instead. It would do monster business on pay-per-view. I think Tony would do it at heavyweight. I think he would look at fighting Haye rather than ‘I’ll move up and be a two-weight world champion’.” From this perspective it looks like Eddie has got all his angles covered, it will just be down to Haye’s team getting together, agreeing on figures and signing the deal that’s put in front of them.
The one thing that does throw the potential fight into doubt though is the discarded Tyson Fury’s belts after he was taken ill last week, and subsequently suspended following his cocaine shame. With Haye ranking rather highly on one of those divisional charts, there is a likelihood he may be placed in an eliminator for a future match up regarding one of the world title belts.
Back to last Saturday night, just before he got slightly over-excited in his victorious mode and started haranguing Haye who was stood at Ringside, Bellew actually produced a pretty good performance that many thought he wasn’t actually capable of. He wanted to make sure that a lot of critics and myself alike knew that he meant business. With almost a stone the difference between himself and Haye, the onus is going to be on Bellew to get into the better physical shape, as Haye will undoubtedly be the heaviest and hardest opponent he has ever before thought. With Bellew undeniably being slower and slightly less powerful than Haye, it may be up to him to find a way of bulking efficiently. Haye has much more class, experience and technique so will easily pick him off for 12 rounds if needs be.
The best way for Bellew to approach the fight with Haye will most likely have to start on the investment in camp and sparring partners. It’s an old cliché that ‘figths are won and lost in camps’ so on that advice if Bellew can get the right men in, then this will most definitely play to his advantage come that assumed fight night which is now well and truly looking likely. “I could probably beat Bellew with one punch,” said Haye, who had at first praised Bellew’s performance in the post-fight Sky interview. “I’m a heavyweight and when I hit him he will stay hit. He has no idea and he thinks that being a proper heavyweight is just about putting on a few pounds.” Haye would not be able to safely lose enough weight to fight for his old title at under 200 pounds, and that would mean Bellew coming up in weight, which only adds to Haye’s natural advantages. Only time will tell of course.
So, until that date, we shall have to wait to see what the stipulations are, where the fight is going to be and in what kind of shape they are both in come fight night. I think Haye would most likely punish him in the middle to later rounds, before going on to claim a TKO or Knockout in the closing rounds. Bellew will be most dangerous early on, as he has proved in his last two fights. It won’t be a repeat of the Chisora fight for Haye, though, and that is because largely Bellew is much more defiant, has similar height and a similar reach to that of Haye. He should be able to jab effectively and make Haye work for the victory. Nevertheless, with Haye not having really fought a “competitive” fight for (what will be) over 4 years at the time of this assumed fight, I think it is safe to say Bellew has at least some chance.
Ortiz vs. Takam falls through; Malik Scott Possible as New Opponent for “King Kong” Ortiz
Ortiz vs. Takam falls through; Malik Scott Possible as New Opponent for “King Kong” Ortiz
By: Eric Lunger
Boxing fans are looking forward to an action-filled November when Manny Pacquiao comes out of retirement to challenge Jessie Vargas for the latter’s WBO welterweight title on November 5; Sergei Kovalev puts several light heavyweight belts on the line against Andre Ward on November 19; and rising star and WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko takes on Nicholas Walters on November 26.
However, one fight that may go under the radar in November features Heavyweight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (25-0, 22KO’s). The Cuban southpaw was set to step into the ring against Carlos Takam (33-1-1, 25 KO’s) of France on November 12 in Monaco, according to a recent report in El Nuevo Herald. However, negotiations failed at a late stage, according to trainer/manager Juan Jimenez. “Takam pulled out late, even though we had the fight set,” Jimenez told boxinginsider.com on Saturday.
The date and venue are still being retained. “Right now we are looking at Malik Scott,” said Jimenez, but several other fighters remain possible options. Scott, 35, hails from Philadelphia, PA and has a long professional resume (38-2-1, 13 KO’s). He suffered a first round TKO loss to WBC Champion Deontay Wilder in March of 2014, and has been in the ring twice since then, defeating Alex Leapai (30-5-3) and Tony Thompson (40-5), both by unanimous decisions.
Ortiz’s last outing was also against Tony Thompson in March of this year, and Ortiz stopped Thompson in the sixth after a rather lopsided affair. Ortiz has the extensive technical arsenal typical of a Cuban-trained fighter, but he also has wicked power in his left hand. Dynamic and skillful, “King Kong” Ortiz appeals to the aficionado as well as the casual fight fan. In a month of stellar dates, be sure to keep November 12 on your calendar.