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USA Boxing Metro Guides “Ring Masters” On Its “Road to the Garden”
By: Sean Crose
Ring Masters Championships: Road to the Garden, New York’s premiere amateur boxing competition, has entered its third straight year. New York is famous for its output of legendary fighters, from Gene Tunney, to Mike Tyson, from Jake LaMotta to Riddick Bowe. Those who follow this year’s Ring Masters competition may indeed be looking at individuals who will someday enter that prestigious list of names. The tournament started last weekend in Jamaica, Queens, and will conclude this April at the famed Madison Square Garden. There are a total of 20 dates scheduled for this year’s tournament, which will cover a total of 19 locations.
It’s hard to write of Ring Masters without writing of Sonya Lamonakis, a professional fighter and Language Arts teacher from New York who dedicates yeoman’s time and effort to the competition. “We have around 500 entries for the tournament,” she says of this year’s Ring Masters. “Winners in the senior divisions get custom made championship rings. Junior Olympic, Masters, and Youth Champions get belts.” These are no small thing in the world of amateur boxing, when one considers just how big the New York fight scene is. “We have about 500 entrees for the tournament,” says Lamonakis.
Fighters move ahead bracket style in this year’s Ring Masters competition, as they did last year. “Brackets are posted after every show,” Lamonakis says, “on 2020 Ring Masters Championships The Road to the Garden : City Limits.” Just how big a deal is it for a fighter to do well in the Ring Masters Tournament? According to Lamonakis, last year: We had 2 winners from Ring Masters win gold at the National Golden Gloves. Krystal Dixon, Champs Boxing and Orville Crooks from Mendez Boxing.” For those who take the sport seriously, succeeding in the tournament can be a significant achievement. As Ring Championships points out: “Our first two shows have been sell out crowds. We have a packed schedule, hungry boxers, and an organization running the best tournament in the Northeast.”
As for Lamonakis herself, the teacher/boxer/organizer is keeping busy as always. “I’m recovered from my rotator cuff tear,” she says. “I’m back in the gym and looking to have a couple more fights before I retire. The problem is there are not a lot of female heavyweights. I have 15 pro fights and I’m not looking to box the same people again and again. There are a couple in Canada I would like to box.” Lamonakis also takes part in “Corporate Fighter,” a charitable endeavor that introduces donors to the challenge of the boxing ring.
“Corporate Fighter is in the recruitment stages now and will begin March 2,” she says,” “with the charity fight night on May 8. I’m excited to be working with this organization. They let the boxers pick the charity they want to box for from a wide variety of choices. They have had about 50 successful shows in Australia, and I think will be a big success in NY. After they set up shop in NYC they will be branching out to all major cities in America. There are a few slots available if anyone is interested (http://www.corporatefighter.com ).”
In an uncertain world, one thing seems to be inarguable – no one will ever accuse Sonya Lamonakis of being lazy.
Golovkin-Derevyanchenko Set For October 5th At MSG
By: Sean Crose
Canelo Alvaraez may be avoiding him (perhaps out of personal disdain rather than fear), but former middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin has a chance to be a major titlist once more, as it’s been announced the Kazakh warrior will be facing Sergey Derevyanchenko for the IBF middleweight crown on October 5th at Madison Square Garden. “Everyone knows that I consider Madison Square Garden as my home away from home,” Golovkin says, “and there is nothing better than fighting there again. It is old school.” Although the 13-1 Derevyanchenko isn’t as well regarded as Canelo, who the 39-1-1 Golovkin fought in two highly controversial bouts, Derevyanchenko isn’t seen as an opponent to be regarded lightly, either.
“On October 5,” Golovkin says, “it’s going to be a good fight. Every time I enter the ring I try to give my fans the fight they want to see, the show they deserve. This will be such a fight. We will bring back Big Drama Show to the ring of The Garden and to DAZN (which will be airing the broadcast live). Don’t miss it. You will see everything you love in the sport of boxing. See you in New York.” Although Golovkin, who recently signed with DAZN for a ton of money, was expected to face Canelo on the streaming service, Canelo, who most feel has yet to convincingly best Golovkin, has apparently shown little interest in giving the fighter known as GGG another chance (the judges ruled their first fight a draw, and the second a Canelo win). Although Canelo-GGG III would unquestionably be lucrative, the bad blood between Canelo and Golovkin is apparently so intense that Canleo (at least for the time being) would rather forfeit millions rather than face Golovkin again. All of which leaves Derevyanchenko, who was originally supposed to face Canelo, in a position to best the feared Golovkin.
“I’m very excited that my team has secured another opportunity for me to fight for the Middleweight championship of the world,” Derevyanchenko says. “I have a great deal of respect for ‘GGG’ and am looking forward to proving in the ring that I will be up to challenge and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a World champion.” Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, who is promoting the October 5th throwdown, is eager to showcase the fact Golovkin-Derevyanchenko is a high quality matchup.
“They call it the Big Drama Show,” he says, “and that’s exactly what the fans will enjoy at MSG on October 5, live on DAZN.” Hearn is also quick to bring up the fact that the fight has the makings of a high octane affair. “Gennady has a chance to regain his World Middleweight crown and Sergey will bring the fire – the styles should gel brilliantly for a brutal battle. We look forward to a fantastic event with a stacked card at the iconic Mecca of boxing.”
Golovkin last fought in June, where he predictably destroyed Steve Rolls at the Garden. Derevyancheno last fought in April, when he bested Jack Culcay by unanimous decision in Minneapolis. He previously fought for the IBF middleweight crown against Daniel Jacobs last October, where he ended up losing by split decision on the judge’s cards.
GGG to fight Steve Rolls at MSG on DAZN June 8
It’s a whole new ballgame for boxing’s pound-for-pound superstar attraction GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN! Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, brings his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” — Madison Square Garden for the first time in over two years in his eagerly-awaited DAZN debut on Saturday, June 8. Golovkin, whose resume includes a record 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), has consistently drawn packed houses to the five previous events he has headlined at The Garden, dating back to 2013. He will rumble with undefeated Top-10 contender and Kronk Gym alumnus STEVE ROLLS (19-0, 10 KOs), from Toronto, Canada, in a battle, scheduled for 12 rounds, at a maximum weight of 164 lbs.
Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the world’s fastest-growing sports streaming platform.
A two-city press tour, featuring both fighters, will take place next week, starting at Madison Square Garden on Monday, April 22, and concluding in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23. Details on those events will be forthcoming.
Promoted by GGG Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment, tickets to The Big Apple battle between Golovkin and Rolls go on sale This Saturday, April 20, at Noon ET. Priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including fees, tickets may be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.
Notably, this will be the second of two major boxing events The Garden will host on back-to-back boxing weekends – both of which will be live exclusively on DAZN. England’s Anthony Joshua will make his United States and Madison Square Garden debut in a defense of his unified heavyweight title against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on June 1, just one week before Golovkin’s highly anticipated return on June 8.
“I am very excited to be returning to the ring and bringing the Big Drama Show back to Madison Square Garden. The Garden’s fans are fantastic,” said Golovkin. “I love boxing and I promise to bring the best of me to everyone who will be watching me in an all-action fight with Steve Rolls. I am very happy that GGG Promotions has a new home at DAZN.”
“I want to sincerely thank DAZN and GGG himself for giving me the opportunity to challenge one of the best fighters in the world,” said Rolls. “But let me be clear: I’ve won national championships and represented my country, and Golovkin is just a man. I’m coming to win this fight and put my name among the best middleweights in the world.”
“Gennady Golovkin is one of the top middleweights of all-time, and as part of DAZN’s growing roster of premiere fighters and our ongoing promise to deliver the best fights to fans, we are thrilled to kick off this exciting partnership at the iconic Madison Square Garden,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America. “It will surely be an electric night and just the beginning of this next chapter of Golovkin’s impressive legacy.”
Golovkin, 37, has reigned supreme in the Middleweight Division for nearly a decade. Eighteen of his record 20 title defenses came by way of knockout — a 90% ratio — which is sure to remain the division’s highest knockout percentage for a world champion. Golovkin’s tenure as champion ended when he lost a hotly disputed majority decision in a rematch with Canelo Alvarez last September. A dominant amateur standout and Olympic Silver Medalist before turning professional in 2006, Golovkin’s career has been on a historic trajectory, including a 23-fight victory-by-knockout streak and unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO World Middleweight Titles. Golovkin has also proven himself to be box office gold. He has sold out the most iconic arenas of the world, including Madison Square Garden, T-Mobile Arena, O2 Arena, The Fabulous Forum, and StubHub Center.
Rolls, 35, making his debut at The Garden, will be looking to ice Golovkin with his version of a Canadian cold front. In his most recent fight, he won the vacant USBA middleweight title last December, via unanimous decision, over KeAndrae Leatherwood. World-rated No. 9 rated by the IBF, Rolls has stopped four of his last seven opponents while keeping his record perfect.
Joshua-Miller Pre-Sales Break Record At Madison Square Garden
By: Sean Crose
“Anthony Joshua’s World Heavyweight title clash with Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden is already the hottest ticket in New York after becoming the highest grossing pre-sale for a boxing event at the famous arena.” So beamed Matchroom Sports in a Friday press release boasting of its pre-sales for the Anthony Joshua – Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller showdown on June first at Madison Square Garden. The pre-sale numbers are nothing but good news for heavyweight kingpin Joshua and Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn, who is hoping to make Joshua as big a draw in the United States as he is in England, where the 22-0 multi title holder is able to literally sell out stadiums.
“We know that AJ is a huge box office hit in the UK,” said Hearn, “but to break the pre-sale record at the iconic Madison Square Garden is astounding…we are building a huge event on June 1 and we look forward to the all the build-up beginning with next Tuesdays press conference in New York.” Joshua’s American debut will put him up against the colorful Brooklynite Miller, who himself is undefeated, with a record of 23-0-1. The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
Like Hearn, Joel Fisher, the executive vice president of MSG Marquee Events, was quick to express his pleasure with reported pre-sales. “We are thrilled with the early excitement for tickets,” he said, “Anthony Joshua versus Jarrell Miller will be an epic event at Madison Square Garden and we encourage fans to purchase tickets now because this fight will sell out.” Boxing’s rejuvenated heavyweight division hit American shores, where it once dominated, in a big way last December when Tyson Fury battled WBC champion Deontay Wilder to a controversial, yet highly entertaining draw. An announcement for a rematch, which is also whispered to go down in the United States, is said to be imminent.
Joshua-Miller will be the second major heavyweight title fight in America in roughly six months. For Joshua’s WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO belts will be on the line when he squares off against Miller in the late spring. The winner of the match will surely be called on to face the victor of the presumed Wilder-Fury rematch in order to bring some much needed clarity to the divided heavyweight division. Although Joshua will presumably be the favorite leading up the Miller bout, Miller, the hard punching former kickboxing star, brings big power…and perhaps an underrated skill set of his own. What’s more, Miller is in possession of a showy, and outspoken personality, something that will surely be used as a selling point.
April 20: Crawford-Khan Lands at Madison Square Garden
Start spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena.
Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/9a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.
“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I’ll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan’s British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”
“New York is undoubtedly one of my most favorite cities in the world, and it’s like a second home to me,” Khan said. “This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world’s best in Terence Crawford, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It’s a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”
“Terence Crawford is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, he always puts on a show at Madison Square Garden, and we’re excited New York fight fans will be able to see him fight again at The Garden on April 20,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events. “This will be an action-packed fight between Crawford and Amir Khan, and The Garden is excited to host this great night of boxing.”
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.
Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.
David Lemieux To Appear on Alvarez-Fielding Dec. 15 MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
David Lemieux has been linked for at least two years as a potential future opponent for reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The pairing makes sense since they both fight under Golden Boy Promotions and compete in the middleweight division.
For the fourth time in that span, they will now also share the same fight card.
Whether or not Lemieux eventually lands a long-craved shot—and lucrative payday—at the biggest draw in North America remains to be seen. For now, the former middleweight titlist gets to remain active while on the hunt, as he will return to the ring on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City in news first reported by TVA Sports in Canada.
Photo Credit: David Lemieux Twitter Account
His bout—the third of 2018 and likely versus fellow Golden Boy middleweight Tureano Johnson (20-2, 10KOs)—will serve as the chief support to Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding in the main event. Both bouts will come as part of what is shaping up to be a loaded show to air live on sports streaming service DAZN-USA.
Lemieux’s manager, Camille Estephan confirmed to BoxingInsider.com his placement—along with another client, rising super lightweight contender Yves Ulysse Jr.—on the MSG show, although stopping well short of mentioning their opponents. Both slots are expected to be announced in a press conference due to take place later next week in Montreal.
Johnson—who represented his native Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Olympics—has not fought since Aug. ’17, suffering a 12th round stoppage to then-unbeaten contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko in their title eliminator. While his name comes as a surprise for a fight of this caliber given his inactivity, Lemieux’s involvement on the show was fully expected.
From the moment it was officially announced that Alvarez would make his NYC debut, it was strongly suggested that Canada’s Lemieux (40-4, 34KOs) would grace the undercard.
Both appeared on the same September 15 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez outpointed Gennady Golovkin in their rematch to reestablish his spot atop the middleweight division. More than an hour in real time separated Alvarez’ ring walk and Lemieux’s place in the evening’s final preliminary bout, needing less than a round to blow out his contentious rival Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.
Lemieux’s other two appearances on Alvarez undercards also came at T-Mobile Arena, scoring a 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes last May (Alvarez outpointed Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the main event) and knocking out Glen Tapia in four rounds exactly 52 weeks prior (Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in six rounds).
The win over Tapia was his first fight as an ex-titlist, having ended his reign in an 8th round knockout loss to Golovkin in Oct. ’15. That bout represented his lone other appearance at Madison Square Garden, having fought in New York just one other time when he stopped Gabriel Rosado in the 10th round of their Dec. ’14 battle at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Overall, Lemieux—who will turn 30 one week after the December 15 show—is 6-1 in his post-title reign. The lone loss came at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders in their title fight last December in Laval, Canada. That bout aired live on HBO, as did a March ’17 knockout win over Curtis Stevens, with his fights versus Golovkin, Reyes, Tapia and O’Sullivan all taking place on HBO PPV.
His forthcoming return to New York City will mark his debut on DAZN-USA, which launched in the United States in September. The streaming service made considerable headlines in October when announcing a record-breaking contract with Alvarez and long-term agreement for Golden Boy Promotions to showcase its entire stable on the platform.
The alignment puts Lemieux in perhaps the most favorable position of his career—including his brief title reign.
Lemieux is just 1-2 overall in title fights, the victory coming in a 12-round decision win over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in their June ’15 vacant title fight. His regin was short-lived, conceding the belt to Golovkin just four months later and then coming up miserably short versus then-titlist Saunders one year ago.
Still, his alliance with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN opens the doors for plenty of future opportunities.
Alvarez and recently crowned middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA outlet) both fight under the DAZN banner, which is soon expected to welcome another new 160-pound beltholder in Daniel Jacobs. RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger reported earlier this week that Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler is in advanced talks with the platform to bring aboard the middleweight superstar.
Visions of trekking toward the top of the middleweight division begin with the outcome of his December 15 date in New York City.
Lemieux’s addition beefs up a card that is already taking shape on paper. The balance of the undercard remains largely rumor-based and sans opponents, but so far suggested to ply their trade in chief support are 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and reigning lightweight champ Katie Taylor, both of whom appeared on the same October 20 show in Boston and emerged victorious in separate one-sided contests.
In the main event, both Mexico’s Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs) and England’s Fielding (27-1, 15KOs) fight in New York City for the first time in their respective careers.
Alvarez fights north of the 160-pound limit for just the second time in his career. The lone other occasion was his shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their May ’17 catchweight clash.
Fielding attempts the first defense of a secondary title he wrested from Tyron Zeuge in an upset 5th round knockout win this past July in Germany. The feat marked the sixth straight win for the 31-year old following his lone loss, a Nov. ’15 1st round knockout loss to Callum Smith who recently won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament.
The forthcoming defense versus Alvarez also marks Fielding’s U.S. debut and just second consecutive—and overall—pro fight outside of jolly old England.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.
The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.
Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights
Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.
Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.
Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.
Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.
Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.
Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.
Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title
Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.
He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.
Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.
Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.
It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.
Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.
Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.
Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.
This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes
The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.
The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.
There were no notable upsets on the undercard.
Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.
The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.
Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.
Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.
Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.
Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.
Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.
Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.
Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.
Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.
Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.
There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.
Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.
Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.
Undercard Quick Results:
Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.
Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.
Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.
Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.
Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the under appreciated Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC titles against former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz. This bout will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The co-main event of the night will be between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo in an IBF Lightweight eliminator. American prospect Shakur Stevenson will also be featured on the undercard.
Top Rank will be the lead promoter on Saturday night and HBO will be televising the fights. The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Raymundo Beltran (32-7-1) vs. Jonathan Maicelo (25-2); IBF Lightweight Eliminator
The opening bout of the night will be between the rugged and entertaining Raymundo Beltran and contender Jonathan Maicelo.
Beltran is always a tough fight, but at thirty five years old his best days physically are likely behind him. He’s two years older than Maicelo and will be about one inch taller than him but will also be given up one inch in reach.
Beltran has the edge in power over Maicelo. He has twenty victories by stoppage and his last three wins have been by KO or TKO. Maicelo has twelve wins by stoppage but his last four fights were decision victories. Both boxers are able to be stopped, as Beltran has two stoppage losses and Maicelo has one.
Neither boxer has any notable international success as an amateur, though Maicelo did compete in several regional amateur tournaments in South America with a moderate amount of success.
Beltran’s last fight was a sensational knockout victory over Mason Menard. He has also defeated the likes of Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Henry Lundy, and David Torres. His losses were to Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., Sharif Bogere, and Ammeth Diaz. He stopped Takahiro Ao in the second round, but that bout was overturned due to a positive test for steroids.
Maicelo has defeated the likes of Jose Felix Jr., Samual Amoako, and Art Hovannisyan. His losses were to Darleys Perez and Rustam Nugaev.
Beltran is that type of contender that will seemingly always be in the title hunt and has a pressure style that is difficult for some boxers to overcome. Maicelo has never defeated a high level opponent and doesn’t seem suited to handle the forward pressure that Beltran is known for.
This should be a good fight, but despite his age Beltran has enough gas in his tank to squeak out a decision victory.
Terence Crawford (30-0) vs. Felix Diaz (19-1); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Title
Terence “Bud” Crawford is considered to be a possible future opponent for Manny Pacquiao and is one of the top talents on the Top Rank roster.
He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. His opponent, Felix Diaz, is thirty three years old. Crawford will also have a three inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.
Crawford has been fairly active the past two years. He has fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Diaz fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Both boxers have strong amateur backgrounds. Crawford had success on the national level as an amateur and won the Police Athletic League Championship as well as the United States Pan American Games. Diaz won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.
Crawford has looked sensational throughout his career and nobody has come close to defeating him. He has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andrey Klimov. Even though Crawford has fought many fights in his native Nebraska, he has shown a willingness to travel to fight as evident in his past fight with former champion Ricky Burns in Scotland.
Diaz is a technician but lacks power. He only has nine stoppage wins while Crawford has twenty one. The best opponents Diaz has defeated so far are Sammy Vasquez, Gabriel Bracero, Adrian Granados, and Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. His lone loss was a disputed loss to Lamont Peterson.
This writer thinks Diaz be one of the most difficult fights in Crawford’s career. He’s a technician and has a deep and successful amateur background. But Crawford has faced elite talent several times in his career and has defeated every opponent put in front of him. Diaz’s resume is void of any elite talent, and the one time he did face a legitimate title contender in Lamont Peterson he came up short.
Crawford should win the fight by decision.
Conlon Wins Pro Debut As McGregor Proclaims He’ll Take Over Boxing
Conlon Wins Pro Debut As McGregor Proclaims He’ll Take Over Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Super bantamweight Michael Conlon had quite a pro debut for himself on Friday night in New York. Entering the ring in grand Irish fashion while being accompanied by MMA star Conor McGregor (who, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN, started screaming at some point during the evening about how he was going to take over boxing), the Belfast native was treated to a hero’s welcome at the Theater in Madison Square Garden. The wildly pro Conlon crowd cheered as if he was battling in his native Ireland rather than on the eastern American seaboard. His opponent? Tim Ibarra, an unknown with a record of 4-4. People weren’t at the Garden to see an epic match. They were there to watch a decorated amateur with a promising future make his first foray into the pro ranks.
Conlon instigated the action with one/two, jab/right hand combinations. Ibarra, however, didn’t offer much in the way of a challenge. Conlon looked sharper in the second and was was clearly determined to impress in his first big league bout. He was somewhat slower than one might expect, and perhaps his timing was a bit off, but the guy was dominating nonetheless. What’s more, Conlon showed as the fight entered the first half of the third round that he could do some damage to the body.
That damage gave way to head shots that Conlon started landing throughout the course of the third with alarming frequency. With just over a minute to go in the round, Benjy Estevez, the referee, stepped in and halted the bout. Ibarra had, simply put, become a punching bag. Conlon jumped on the ropes and spread out his arms as if he had just won a world title…and the crowd ate it up. So, how was this well regarded prospects’ debut? Not bad. Conlon showed he could hit – though it took him a bit of whaling on a man who wasn’t really fighting back to get the job done.
Conlon also showed determination, which is of primary importance. Here was a fighter who clearly wanted to put the world on notice. And as a potential money earner, Conlon certainly did just that. The man is bold, he’s Irish and he’s not without talent. That, as his friend McGregor could tell anyone, is catnip to contemporary American audiences. Still, Conlon certainly didn’t appear to be breathtakingly impressive in a professional fight. It’s a tall order to be breathtakingly impressive, though. Only a rarefied few can reek of greatness their first time out. And besides, time is on Conlon’s side – along with some big name support. Time, however, will also tell if the hype surrounding the man is legitimate.
HBO PPV Preview: Golovkin vs. Jacobs, Chocolatito vs. Rungvisai
HBO PPV Preview: Golovkin vs. Jacobs, Chocolatito vs. Rungvisai
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night one of HBO’s biggest stars, Gennady Golovkin, will face off against one of the PBC’s biggest stars, Daniel Jacobs, in a WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Title Unification bout live on HBO Pay Per View.
This bout will take place at the legendary Madison Square Garden and will also feature a WBC Junior Bantamweight Title fight between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/K2 Promotions
The Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight is one of the biggest fights that could be made in the middleweight division and is pay per view worthy. The winner will put himself in good position to possibly face Golden Boy Promotions’ cash cow Canelo Alvarez in the fall.
The following is a preview of both world title bouts on the HBO PPV telecast on Saturday.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0) vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1); WBC Junior Bantamweight Title
Roman Gonzalez fought a close match with Carlos Cuadras the last time he stepped inside the ring and Cuadras fights on the undercard of Saturday’s PPV card. However, Gonzales has to get past Rungvisai before he can rematch Cuadras.
The undefeated Gonzalez has stopped thirty eight of his opponents and has never tasted defeated. Rungvisai has four losses but has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, including winning his past thirteen fights by stoppage.
Both boxers are roughly the same size at 5’3” and Gonzlaez has a very slight half an inch reach advantage. Rungvisai has been more active than Gonzalez and fought four times in 2016 and six times in 2015, while Gonzalez only fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.
Gonzalez won the light flyweight gold medal in the 2004 Central American Championships and turned pro at the age of 18. Rungvisai has no notable amateur background and a lot of his wins came against opponents with losing records.
Gonzalez is considered by many to be on e of the top pound for pound boxers in the world. He holds victories over Carlos Cuadras, Brian Viloria, Edgar Sosa, Akira Yaegashi, Juan Francisco Estrada, Omar Salado, and Rocky Fuentes.
Rungvisai has spent most of his career fighting in Asia, and three of his losses came in the first five fights in his career. His last loss was in 2014 to Carlos Cuadras. His other notable loss was to Akira Yaegashi. His notable victories pale in comparison to Gonzalez, but he has defeated the likes of Jose Salgado, Yota Sato, and Alvin Bais.
This isn’t a hard fight to pick the winner, and unless Rungvisai is able to use his power to stun Gonzalez in the early rounds it will be nearly impossible for him to win. If Gonzalez can survive the power shots of Brian Viloria, he can survive the power shots of Rungvisai.
Gennady Golovkin (36-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (32-1); WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Title
This is the best fight that Golovkin could have made outside of Canelo Alvarez. Daniel Jacobs also represents the biggest challenge to Golovkin’s titles ever.
Both boxers are known to be knockout artists. Golovkin has stopped thirty three of his opponents and his past twenty three opponents failed to make it to the final round. Jacobs has stopped twenty nine of his opponents and has twelve straight stoppage wins.
Both boxers also have good amateur backgrounds. Golovkin won the Silver Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and Jacobs is a former Golden Gloves Champion, a US National Amateur Champion, and a US Olympic Trials Runner Up.
Jacobs lone loss was by TKO to Dmitry Pirog in a major upset at the time. He has defeated the likes of Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, and Ishe Smith.
Golovkin has never been defeated and nobody has ever come close. He has defeated the likes of Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado.
Two things should be pointed out about both boxers. Jacobs has only fought once since the beginning of 2016 and may be rusty. The other is that Golovkin is thirty four years old and will be turning thirty five in less than a month. Age may be catching up with him and he didn’t look like his usual dominant self when he last fought Kell Brook.
However, Jacobs lone loss was by stoppage to a boxer who isn’t known for his power like Golovkin is. Also, Jacobs is a good boxer, but his competition has been suspect at best. His best victory came against Peter Quillin, his other wins were against pedestrian and above average at best opponents.
This should be an exciting bout and is one of the best bouts to be put on pay per view in awhile, but it’s a fight that Golovkin should win.
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward
Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.
The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.
Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.
Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.
The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.
Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.
And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?
It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.
The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.
Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions has a tradition of putting on a boxing card in New York City during the weekend of the Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, and on this Saturday they will put on a card at the Theatre in Madison Square Garden.
HBO will televised this card live on their Boxing After Dark broadcast.
Two bouts will be shown. The first bout will feature fast rising Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo against Juan Jose Martinez in the lightweight division. The main event will feature amateur legend and former Olympic Gold Medaliast Vasyl Lomachenko bumping up a weight class to face Puerto Rican boxer Roman “Rocky” Martinez for Martinez’s WBO Junior Lightweight Title.
The following is a preview of both of the televised fights.
Felix Verdejo (21-0) vs. Juan Jose Martinez(25-2); Lightweights
Many felt Felix Verdejo would carry the Puerto Rican fan base for Top Rank Promotions when Miguel Cotto left the company, but Verdejo has lost some of his luster after his less than impressive performance in his last two bouts.
However, Verdejo remains undefeated at the age of twenty three and has stopped fourteen of his opponents. Martinez is seven years older than Verdejo and has stopped seventeen of his opponents.
Verdejo competed for Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympics and lost to Lomachenko, who is competing in the main event, as an amateur. Martinez has no notable amateur experience on the international circuit.
Verdejo has won two of his last five fights by stoppage, and fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Martinez has fought once in 2016 and four times in 2015.
Verdejo has defeated the likes of Jose Luis Rodriguez, William Silva, Ivan Najera, and Marco Antonio Lopez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Emanuel Lopez, Jairo Lopez, and Edgar Puerta.
Martinez has fought mainly in Mexico during his career, but has traveled as far as the United Arab Emirates to compete.
Martinez has two losses on his resume, and they were to Rey Bautista and Daniel Santillo in his second fight of his career.
Verdejo will need to be impressive if he wants to fight on HBO again, and Martinez appears to be the perfect type of opponent for him to look good against.
Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1); WBO Junior Lightweight Title
Lomachenko is one of the most decorated amateur boxers to ever step foot inside the ring as a professional. He won the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the Ukraine, and he was a gold medalist in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
He has an amateur record of 296-1 and he was able to avenge his lone loss twice.
Martinez does not have the amateur accomplishments of Lomachenko, but he is a three time world champ and is battle tested.
Martinez will have a one inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. However, he will be five years older than Lomachenko, and more importantly he has been in some brutal wars inside the ring and his in-ring age is much older.
Martinez received a gift split decision against Orlando Salido in his last bout, and he also has a split draw with Juan Carlos Burgos. His two losses were to Ricky Burns and Mikey Garcia. Garcia was able to stop Martinez.
Martinez has been able to defeat the likes of Orlando Salido, Diego Magdaleno, Miguel Beltran Jr., and Nicky Cook.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was to Orlando Salido in a foul filled affair and many feel he would be the favorite if they were to rematch. Lomachnko has defeated the likes of Romulo Koasicha, Jose Ramirez, Chonlatarn
Piriyapinyo, and he absolutely dominated the previously undefeated Gary Russell Jr.
The last time Lomachenko was in the ring with a crafty rugged veteran he had some difficulties, but Martinez does not have the power of Salido and Lomachenko’s footwork should give him issues.
This should be an easy twelve round decision victory for Lomachenko, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Martinez walks out the victor.