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Daniel Jacobs Plans on Honoring Patrick Day During Super Middleweight Debut


By: Hans Themistode

Whether it’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr or Gabriel Rosado, somebody is going to get the beating of a lifetime. At least according to former Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. 

The confusion surrounding Jacobs opponent for his December 20th, bout at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix Arizona is still a point of emphasis. 

Originally, Jacobs was scheduled to take on former Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. However, there has been plenty of speculation surrounding whether or not Chavez will be given the opportunity to actually compete in the contest. 

Just a few months ago, Chavez was due to undergo random drug testing but refused to do so. Because of his refusal, he is now temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Although the contest is due to take place in Arizona, thanks to the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a fighter cannot box in any other state if he is currently suspended elsewhere. 

A hearing has been set for December 18th, to decide whether or not Chavez will be able to take part in the contest. 

Luckily for Jacobs, promoter Eddie Hearn has already gotten his back up opponent ready in Gabriel Rosado. 

After killing his body in order to make the Middleweight limit, Jacobs has decided to leave behind the only division he has ever known. Jacobs is hoping that Chavez will be the one to welcome him to the Super Middleweight division but he has no gripes surrounding who his actual opponent will be. 

“Obviously if I don’t fight Chavez who we signed up to fight, that would be a huge disappointment. But that won’t deter me to go in and do my job, to put in a great performance for the fans. This is an opportunity to fight for the fans in Phoenix. There will be people who tune in to see a good fight so it’s my responsibility to do my job and put in a great performance.”

Jacobs isn’t the first, nor will he be the last fighter dealing with the possibility of changing opponents at the very last minute. In this scenario, no matter who he faces, Jacobs is dealing with fighters who possess a very similar fighting style.

“Whether I fight Chavez or Gabe Rosado, stylistically it’s similar,” Jacobs insists. “Certain guys, you need unique style for sparring. One guy has more pressure than the other but it’s around the same skill set. Chavez pressures fighters more so than Rosado. He has that more Mexican style of fighting that comes forward.”

Making a statement in a new division is something that is important to Jacobs. But something that holds even more importance to him is the statement he wants to make for his fallen friend Patrick Day. The former Jr Middleweight contender passed away due to injuries he suffered in the boxing ring, earlier this year. To honor him, Jacobs intends on wearing a robe with Day’s picture draped across the back of it.

“I spoke to [Day’s] brother earlier [Wednesday] and he thanked me for the idea of it,” said Jacobs of the robe he will be wearing to honor Day. “I knew that I wanted to do something special in his honor and this is just something small I could do. Patrick meant so much to me. People don’t know our relationship but Patrick really, really meant a lot to me. He changed me as a person — in my mindset, my thought process, how I look at things — so to me, he really matured me. This is just a small token that I can do to represent him in his honor and what he meant to not just me but to so many other people. They know me and Patrick had a special relationship. I can’t change the past and all I can do is move forward and I know that he would want me to not be sad. He would want me to continue with my dreams. He would want me to be the best version that I can be inside the ring because that’s who he was. He was a big supporter of everybody. But he was a supporter of me. We spoke all the time. We were sparring partners [for] numerous, numerous rounds in the ring. Countless times. He was a beautiful person and I know one thing about him, that he would want me to go on and keep striving.”

What turned into one of the most heartbreaking situations in the sport of boxing this year, Jacobs will look to play his part and turn a terrible situation into one that Patrick Day would have been proud of. Jacobs will now be given the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone as he can honor his dear friend Patrick Day and make a statement in his new division. 

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Jermell Charlo Will Pay For Patrick Day’s Upcoming Funeral


By: Hans Themistode

Boxing is an inherently dangerous sport. Serious injuries, mental anguish and unfortunately death is apart of the sport. Although the tragedies associated with the sport are common, they are still difficult to fully accept.

Each death that happens in the sport of boxing is an unfortunate one, but the recent passing of Jr Middleweight Patrick Day has left the sports world reeling.

Day, who was only 27 years of age and earned a Bachelors from Kaplan University, passed away after a knockout loss against former Olympian Charles Conwell. The former Jr Middleweight contender was dropped in the tenth and final round of his showdown on October 10th. He immediately lost consciousness and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery.

Following his procedure, Day remained in a coma until he unfortunately lost his life due to his injuries. The boxing community was deeply saddened by these unfortunate events. Boxing, although dangerous, has an ability to bring everyone together during difficult times. Such is the case now.

Day’s promoter, Lou Di Bella, took to Twitter to announce that a Gofundme page has been made in order to help pay for the medical expensive’s.

“Many have asked about helping #PatrickDay’s family with expenses. This ⁦@gofundme⁩ was set up by his best friend and his brother; proceeds will go to his Mom.”

Since Day’s gofundme has been created, more than $15,000 has been donated in just a few short hours.

The donations are surely appreciated, but former WBC Jr Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo has taken things a step further.

As first reported by Fightnights.com, Charlo has decided to pay for the entire funeral of Day. Such a kind act by the former champion has certainly taken off much of the financial burden away from Day’s family.

Charlo, who has been known as having a flashy and aggressive personality both in and outside of the ring, should be applauded for his generosity.

At the moment, Charlo is slated to take on current WBC Jr Middleweight titlist Tony Harrison in a rematch later on this year. Even with his focus on regaining his world title, Charlo has shown that Day’s passing has effected him as well.

Boxers risk there lives each and every time they step foot inside of a boxing ring, but it is refreshing to see everyone come together to make a sad situation some what better.

We encourage everyone to continue to donate to Patrick Day’s Gofundme as well. You can do so by clicking on the link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/medical-expense-amp-support-for-patrick-day039s-family

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The Loss Of Patrick Day Is Particularly Painful for Charles Conwell


By: Sean Crose

“Dear Patrick Day,” undefeated super welterweight Charles Conwell wrote in an open letter made public on Monday, “I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them.” Conwell was addressing his opponent from last Saturday night in Chicago, Patrick Day, of Freeport, New York. Conwell stopped Day in the 10th round on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon bout, which was aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Conwwell had dropped the game Day twice during the fight before finally knocking the 27 year old out later in the bout.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

Day lost consciousness and never recovered. He passed away Wednesday at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital from a brain bleed presumably suffered during, or as a result of, the fight. As of press time, Conwell had not publicly commented on Day’s death. It’s been abundantly clear, however, that the Cleveland, Ohio native is deeply distraught by what has happened.

“I replay the fight over and over in my head,” Conwell says in the letter, “thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel.” Conwell admits in the letter that he has considered quitting the sport since last Saturday.

“I see you everywhere I go,” he wrote, “and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and that’s what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time.”

Day’s trainer, Joseph Higgins, has offered his support to the man who bested his fighter. “Hello Charles, “ Higgins stated, via Twitter, “I am Patrick Day’s trainer Joe Higgins. I just wanted you to know that we do understand what you must be going thru as well. As devastated as we are we realize you are equally devastated. We know if it was the other way around we would be just as distraught.”

Conwell’s sorrow at the tragedy his opponent suffered at his hands has turned the rising fighter into a sympathetic figure in his own right. It’s a thoroughly horrible position for any person, especially someone as young as the 21 year old Conwell, to be in. Yet he has, in a sense, brought people to his aid as well. Higgins, who was the general in Day’s camp the night of the fight, knows all too well what Conwell is going through. “I too am distraught,” Higgins tweeted, “because I feel responsible, but do realize there is no fault. Stay strong and please don’t think we blame you.”

There are no villains in this story.

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Patrick Day: Gone Too Soon


By: Hans Themistode

The life of a boxer isn’t an easy one. Unlike other sports, an athlete can return home to his family and friends. Combat sports on the other hand, doesn’t always allow that to happen.

Fighters know and accept the risk that are associated with it. For them, the chance to bask in glory is well worth the price of admission. The loved ones of these fighters would beg to differ.

On October 12th, 2019 at the Wintrust arena, in Chicago, boxer Patrick Day entered the ring. Everything seemed normal. After all, Day had gone through those ropes 21 previous times as a professional, and countless other times on the amateur scene.

His opponent on this night, was the undefeated Charles Conwell.

It was a great back and forth fight, but one that Day had been losing. After getting dropped in both the fourth and eighth rounds, Day made it back to his feet. Like always, he wanted to fight to the end. In the tenth and final round. Day once again hit the deck. This time for good.

As the referee waved off the contest, Day was unconscious. This has always been a familiar sight in boxing, but this time around seemed different. Day wasn’t moving at all. Moments later he was stretched from the ring and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. It was reported that on his way to the hospital, Day suffered a seizure and needed the assistance of a breathing tube. Once he arrived, he underwent emergency brain surgery.

The pouring of love from the boxing community was immense. Everyone prayed and hoped for the best. Unfortunately for us all, the worst possible outcome has taken place.

On October 16th, 2019, just four days after his final contest, Day has passed away due to the traumatic injuries he suffered from that contest.

Patrick Day was a world class fighter. One who honed his craft in his hometown of Freeport, Long Island. His amateur career was a decorated one. The famed New York Golden Gloves tournament was a place he dominated on several occasions. He also managed to win two national titles as well. His amateur career reached its peak when he was selected for the Olympic Team as an alternate in 2012.

After dominating the amateur scene, Day decided it was time to take his talents to the pro ranks. He would win nine of his first ten contest, with a majority draw sandwiched in between. Day would go on to lose two contest in 2015, but was not discouraged in the slightest. The taste of defeat only served to motivate him as he would not only win his next six fights. Along the way, he also won the WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight title as well.

Day was on his way to stardom. He seemed bred for it. His effervescent personality coupled with his million dollar smile was perfect for the spotlight. Although he was a great fighter, he was far more than just that.

Day graduated from Nassau Community College where he majored in Food and Nutrition. Although an Associate’s degree is to the extent that many have gone in terms of their educational careers, for Pat, it wasn’t enough. He would go on to earn his Bachelors degree at Kaplan University while majoring in Health and Wellness

With Day’s recent passing, it is clear how much he meant to everyone as the sports world mourns his death.

“Rest In Peace Patrick Day… Fighters put their lives on the line for the love of the sport. Prayers to the family Dame.” Said NBA super star Damian Lillard.

“Heartbreaking to hear the news about Patrick Day… my thoughts, prayers and condolences go to his family and friends. Rest in paradise champion.” Said rising star boxer Michael Conlan.

“Devastated to hear the news of the passing of Patrick Day.I met him for the first time last Thursday, what a charming young man with a dream and a smile that lit up the room.Our deepest prayers are with his family, his trainer Joe Higgins, Charles Conwell and promoter Lou DiBella.” Said promoter Eddie Hearn.

It is unfortunate that someone with such a great heart and bright future had his life cut short because of unforeseen circumstances. Even with his passing, we all celebrate the life of Day.

Patrick lived by a moniker. One that many shouted out to him when they saw him.

Patrick Day. All Day. Every Day.

He might be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Rest in paradise Patrick Day.

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STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF PATRICK DAY


Patrick Day passed away today, October 16, 2019, succumbing to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in his fight this past Saturday, October 12, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL. He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins. On behalf of Patrick’s family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury.

Before establishing himself as a world class professional fighter, Pat was a highly decorated amateur. He won two Nationals titles, the New York Golden Gloves tournament and was an Olympic Team alternate, all in 2012. Day turned pro in 2013 and overcame early career struggles to become a world-rated super welterweight contender. He captured the WBC Continental Americas championship in 2017 and the IBF Intercontinental championship in 2019. In June 2019, he was rated in the top-10 by both the WBC and IBF.

He was also a dedicated college student, having earned an Associate’s degree in Food and Nutrition from Nassau Community College and, subsequently, a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness from Kaplan University. He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met. During his short life, boxing allowed Patrick to impact many communities, both big and small. In his hometown of Freeport, Long Island, he was a beacon of light and the star pupil at the Freeport PAL, the gym he trained in from the moment he began boxing until the last bout of his career. He was recognized as one of Long Island’s finest professional fighters for years. He was a fixture in the boxing community throughout New York City. Patrick was even known in Japan, which he visited to spar with his friend and colleague, world champion Ryota Murata.

Patrick Day didn’t need to box. He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living. He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.

It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this. This is not a time where edicts or pronouncements are appropriate, or the answers are readily available. It is, however, a time for a call to action. While we don’t have the answers, we certainly know many of the questions, have the means to answer them, and have the opportunity to respond responsibly and accordingly and make boxing safer for all who participate. This is a way we can honor the legacy of Pat Day. Many people live much longer than Patrick’s 27 years, wondering if they made a difference or positively affected their world. This was not the case for Patrick Day when he left us. Rest in peace and power, Pat, with the angels.

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Patrick Day Fighting For His Life Following Knockout Loss


By: Hans Themistode

Update: Patrick Day suffered a traumatic brain injury during his bout on Saturday night. He was rushed to Northwestern Memorial hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. As of Sunday evening, Patrick is in a coma caused by the injury and is in extremely critical condition. On behalf of Patrick’s team, we appreciate the outpouring of support, prayers, and offers of assistance from all corners of the boxing community.

Updates will be provided as circumstances change. In the meantime, we ask that the privacy of Patrick and his family be respected during this difficult time.

Patrick Day, a Jr Middleweight contender suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Charles Conwell this past Saturday night at the Wintrust arena in Chicago. The bout took place on the undercard of former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as he made his Heavyweight debut.

From the very start of the contest, Conwell proved to be the superior fighter. Day hit the canvas in both the fourth and eight rounds as Conwell connected with clean right hands. Day showed tremendous heart to continue in a fight in which he was being outclassed in. His heart however, cost him severely.

In the tenth and final round, Charles landed a series of punches which saw Day hit the deck once again. Unlike previous times in the bout, he was unable to pick himself up off the ground. It was a barrage of right hands which started the damage, followed by a left hook that not only put Day down for the count, but also knocked him completely unconscious as his head banged against the canvas as he went down.

Day, who is 27 years of age, was unresponsive while doctors attended to him in the ring. He was eventually taken out of the building on a stretcher and immediately brought to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

While being transported to the hospital, it is reported that Day suffered a seizure as well. Although the seizures eventually subsided, Day had a hard time breathing on his own and was given a breathing tube to assist him.

Following his arrival to the hospital, Day reportedly slipped into a coma and underwent emergency brain surgery. It is unclear if the coma was induced by doctors in order to give him time to heal from his injuries or if he went into a coma naturally.

The Jr Middleweight contender has a long fighting history and was a standout during his amateur days before turning pro. Day won the 2012 New York Daily News Golden Gloves and was apart of the U.S. Olympic team as an alternate. Following a bumpy start as a pro, Day finally began to find his rhythm in the pro ranks as he won 6 straight contests before losing back to back contest to Carlos Adames in his last contest and of course being stopped in his most ring appearance last night.

Day has always been one of the nicest young men outside of the ring. His popularity has grown over the years. He is supported by the entire boxing community as some of the most recognized and biggest names in the sport voiced their support for him and his dire condition.

“My prayers are with Patrick Day and his family,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. “May God bless the doctors and medical staff treating him and give his family strength during these difficult moments.”

Sulaiman wasn’t the only high profile name who voiced their support for Day.

“Please pray for Patrick Day,” said promoter Lou Di Bella. “Please. Such a good person.”

For now we are all in wait and see mode as we patently await further updates to occur. With Days fighting spirit and the entire boxing community behind him, we all are hoping that he will soon make a full a recovery.

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PBC on ESPN Preview: Shafikov vs. Herring, Szymanski vs. Campfort


PBC on ESPN Preview: Shafikov vs. Herring, Szymanski vs. Campfort
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will partner up with ESPN to broadcast the next installment of their series. Kings Promotions will be the lead promoter of the card.

At least two fights are expected to be televised. Denis Shafikov will face off against undefeated prospect Jamel Herring in a ten round lightweight bout in the main event of the night. The co-main event will be between Patrick Szymanski and Wilky Campfort in the junior middleweight division.

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The following is a preview of both televised bouts.

Patrick Szymanski (15-0) vs. Wilky Campfort (21-2); Junior Middleweights

On paper, this appears to be an evenly matched fight.

Campfort is thirty one years old and eight years older than his opponent. They are both 5’11 and have similar builds. They both have traveled the globe to fight. Szymanski has fought in places such as Poland, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Campfort has fought in places such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, and the United States.

Szymanski appears to have a slight edge in amateur experience, as he was a former Polish Amateur Elite Boxing Champion.

They are also both about even in power. Szymanski has nine stoppage victories and Campfort has twelve, but Campfort has been in eight more professional fights than Szymanski.

Both boxers have been active the past two years. Szymanski fought three times in 2015 and 2014, while Campfort fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014.

Szymanski has not faced any significant opposition so far. His best wins have come against Richard Gutierrez, Andrei Abramenka, and Mate Hornyak; and none of them are well known. Campfort has been in the ring with better competition. He has defeated the likes of Ronald Montes, Richard Guiterrez, Molton Nunez, and DeCarlo Perez by split decision.

One of Campfort’s two losses came early on in his career, in his second professional fight. His other loss was the Jermall Charlo in a world title bout.

It’s a hard fight to pick a favorite, and not many have seen enough of Szymanski to get a good gauge of his talent. Campfort is coming off of a knockout loss to Charlo and it can be quite difficult for a boxer to bounce back from that. But Campfort has to be given a slight edge based solely on experience.

Denis Shafikov (36-2-1) vs. Jamel Herring (15-0); Lightweights

The main event will feature a similar story line to the opening televised bout of the night. It will feature a rugged, tested veteran facing off against a relatively untested prospect.

Shafikov’s professional experience is far superior to that of Herring. Shafikov has fought all over the world, including places such as China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Finland, Latvia, Belarus, and the United States. Herring has fought exclusively on US soil as a professional.

Shafikov is thirty one years old, and despite the fact his professional experience far outweighs Herring’s, he is only one year older than his opponent. Shafikov will have a large physical disadvantage in that he will be giving up five inches in height to Herring.

They both has successful amateur careers, but Herring was able to compete in the Olympics for the United States in 2012.

Both boxers are southpaws, and both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Herring has fought four times in 2014 and 2015, and once in 2016. Shafikov has fought twice in 2015 and three times in 2014.

Shafikov has defeated the likes of Roy Mukhlis, Miguel Mandoza, Alisher Rahimov, Albert Mensah, and Brunet Zamora. His losses were to Miguel Vasquez and Rances Barthelemy in world championship fights. Herring has defeated nobody of note, but his most notable victories have come against Luis Eduardo Florez and Yakubu Amidu.

Shafikov has nineteen stoppage victories while Herring has eight.

Both boxers seem to realize that this is a big fight for them if they want to fight for a world title in the near future.

They stated, “I am just excited about the fight. I have been looking for a big step up to get me in title contention,” said Herring. “I started training before I got the call before the fight. I have been training in D.C. with Mike Stafford, Barry Hunter, Patrice Harris and Levi Smith and I feel after this fight, it will get me up to a championship fight. He is a tough guy. If you train hard and stay ready, you can make the fight a lot easier on yourself.”

“I am looking forward to facing Jamel Herring,” said Shafikov. “He is undefeated and a former Olympian. I have the experience of fighting for a title and I know with a win, it will get me another opportunity.”

Even though Herring doesn’t have the professional experience of Shafikov, his amateur experience should not be discredited and neither should his experience serving as a United States Marine.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Pedraza Wins by Decision, Russell Destroys Hyland


Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Pedraza Wins by Decision, Russell Destroys Hyland
By: William Holmes

The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut was the host site for tonight’s World Championship Boxing telecast on Showtime. Two world title fights were featured as Gary Russell Jr. defended his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the night and Jose Pedraza defended his IBF Junior Lightweight Title in the co-main event.

russell hyland weigh in

The first bout of the night was between Jose Pedraza (21-0) and Stephen Smith (23-1) for the IBF Junior Lightweight Title.

Smith started the bout off strong by taking control of the center of the ring in the first round and was accurate with his lead left hook, but neither boxer was threatened in the opening stanza and both were feeling each other out.

Pedraza came out firing in the second round and landed an early two punch combination followed by a straight right hand that hurt Smith. Smith was forced to tie up several times in the second round as Pedraza was able to land several hard shots.

Pedraza showed good head movement in the third and fourth round and boxed patiently. Smith was able to land a few blows to the body of Pedraza, but Pedraza remained in control.

Pedraza’s upper body movement appeared to confuse Smith in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Pedraza pressed forward more in the sixth round and was effective in landing from the outside.

Smith was able to offer some good flurries in the seventh and eighth rounds and may have stolen these rounds, but his shots were not hurting his opponent.

Pedraza finally scored a knockdown in the ninth round when he connected with a flush counter right hand. Smith was able to get back to his feet and held on when he could to try and survive the round, but not without taking some additional punishment.

Smith showed heart and clearly needed a knockout in the championship rounds to win the bout, but he was unable to do so.

The judges scored the bout 117-110, 116-111, and 116-111 for Jose Pedraza.

The main event of the evening was between Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) and Patrick Hyland (31-1) for the WBC Featherweight Title.

Patrick Hyland was a heavy underdog in this fight, and Russell’s hand speed was very evident in the first round as his jab was on point and he seemed confident in landing his combinations when he threw them.

Russell was able to score his first knockdown in the second round with a lightning fast right hook that sent Hyland to the mat for the first time in his career. He was able to get back to his feet but was knocked down a second time while falling back into the ropes. The referee allowed him to continue, but he only went down for the third and final time after a four punch combination for Gary Russell Jr. The referee, rightly, waived off the fight.

Gary Russell Jr. won by KO at 1:33 of round two.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Foxwoods Resort Casino will televised two world title fights live on Showtime as Gary Russell Jr. defends his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the evening and Jose Pedraza defends his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Stephen Smith.

russell hyland

Other noted boxers will appear on the undercard including Antonio Russell in the bantamweight division as well as former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson facing Cornelius White. Only two fights are currently scheduled to be televised on Showtime, but highlights of the undercard may be shown.

The following is a preview of both the televised championship fights.

Jose Pedraza (21-0) vs. Stephen Smith (23-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title

Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza had some considerable hype when he turned a professional for he represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics and medaled in several international events. He is the current IBF Junior Lightweight title holder and has a significant edge in amateur experience over his opponent Stephen Smith, despite the fact Smith won the gold medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games as an amateur.

Neither boxer is known for their power, as Pedraza has twelve knockouts on his record while Smith has thirteen. Pedraza is four years younger than Smith at twenty six years old. He will also have about a two inch height advantage as well as a four and a half inch reach advantage.

Smith has never fought outside of the United Kingdom and Saturday will be his first fight in the United States. Smith’s resume is lacking in big name victories, and his biggest wins to date were over Devis Boschiero, Mauricio Munoz, and Gary Buckland. Smith’s lone loss was by TKO to Lee Selby back in 2011.

Pedraza’s last victory was against Edner Cherry which he won by split decision. Other notable victories include Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Sergio Reyes.

This is a bout that Pedraza should win, quite easily. However, Pedraza has shown that he may have difficulty against crafty veterans as was evident in his bout against Edner Cherry. Unfortunately for Smith, he does not appear to have the power to catch Pedraza by surprise and he was stopped the last time he faced a big name opponent.

Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) vs. Patrick Hyland (31-1); WBC Featherweight Title

Gary Russell Jr. has a reputation for fighting boxers that are way overmatched, and Saturday night appears to be another fight that he should win easily.

Patrick Hyland is one half of the Hyland brothers and is more famous for his previous management deal with Snooki of MTV’s the Real World than for his actual boxing ability. Patrick was the better of the two Hyland brothers, but it appears he no longer has a working relationship with Snooki.

Both Hyland and Russell have fifteen knockouts on their resume. Hyland will have a significant height advantage as he is three and a half inches taller than Russell. Russell, however, is five years younger than Hyland.

Russell also holds an edge over Hyland in amateur experience. Russell qualified for the United States in the 2008 Olympics but failed to compete due to missing weight.

Despite the fact Russell has a reputation for fighting inferior opponents, he has a vastly better resume than Hyland. He has defeated the likes of Jhonny Gonzalez, Christopher Martin, Vyacheslav Gusev, and Christopher Perez. His lone loss was the current world champion and amateur standout Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell has two stoppage wins in his past five fights.

Hyland’s only notable victories came against Emmanuel Lucero and Frankie Arhculetta. His lone loss was to Javier Fortuna in 2012.

Hyland is the type of opponent that Russell should dispatch of easily. Russell does have problems when he’s facing someone that can match him in hand speed as was evident in his bout with Lomachenko, but Hyland will be outmatched in hand speed.

This is a bout that Russell should look incredible in, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Hyland pulls off the upset.

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