Refusing To Settle, Jeison Rosario Finds Himself A Unified Champion
By: Sean Crose
“We have absolutely nothing to lose,” Jeison Rosaio’s trainer, Luis Perez said in the leadup to Saturday’s junior middleweight bout between Rosario and WBA/IBF champion Julian “J-Roc” Williams. Unfortunately for Williams, Rosario ended up approaching the fight as if he had everything to lose. Thanks to a serious training camp, an extremely sharp ring performance and some punishing power, Rosario stunned the world by stopping Williams in the fifth round, making the fight an extremely early upset of the year candidate. Fight fans might not have known who Rosario was before this past Saturday, but they certainly will now that he holds the WBA and IBF belts.
Leading into this weekend, many – if not most – were viewing the match as a tuneup. In fact, Rosario was seen as a disappointment as an opponent for Williams. He was simply that unknown. Couple that with the fact the boxing public was looking ahead to a possible rematch between Williams and Jarrett Hurd, the man Williams won his titles from in a stunning upset of his own, and it’s easy to see why Rosario shook the world with his victory. Yet there had been evidence leading up to Saturday’s bout indicating Rosario was not a man to be taken lightly.
“This is the time,” Rosario told Fox’s PBC Countdown. “I’m going for what’s mine.” Fighters always say such things – but the accompanying footage of Rosario, his camp life, and his team, indicated something more was in play. Rosario was training out of Miami’s 5thStreet Gym and was residing monk-like in a humble home away from family and friends when he wasn’t working. A though he came across as extremely disciplined in the footage, Rosario’s team still kept a careful eye on him at all times so that the fighter wouldn’t engage in the easy day-to-day kinds of things the rest of the world does regularly.
The Williams’ fight was serious business – and Rosario was determined. “It is a fight that seems easy for Williams,” Rosario said on-camera. “When the bell rings the audience will have their jaws drop.”He was only off by four rounds. For it was in the fifth that Rosario, who had been battling Williams neck and neck, landed clean on his man, leading to a series of hard punching moments that led the referee to stop the bout and crown a new junior middleweight king. Credit Rosario and trainer Perez for refusing to settle for the role of easy opponent.
PBC On Fox Preview: Williams-Rosario
By: Sean Crose
Julian “J Rock” Williams earned more good will among boxing fans in a single night than most fighters could probably earn throughout a career. Having been seen as a legitimate rising start in the junior middleweight division, William’s upward trajectory came to a sudden and seemingly permanent halt when the Philly based fighter was bested by Jermall Charlo late in 2016. Rather than fall apart, however, Williams decided to grow form the experience. “I just dusted myself off,” Williams recalled years later. “It was just another fight to me.” That mentality served the man well. For when Williams faced the highly regarded Jarret Hurd last spring – he dominated. What’s more, he earned himself the WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles.
A rematch was expected but has yet to come to fruition. Therefore, Williams will be making the first defense of his belts Saturday night in his hometown of Philadelphia, at the Liacouras Center, in a scheduled twelve rounder that will be aired live on Fox. The 27-1-1 William’s opponent will be the largely unknown but talented Jeison Rosario, a 19-1-1 contender who can hit hard and who employs sound footwork in the ring. Few may be giving Rosario a chance, but the native of the Dominican Republic is a dedicated professional and, at the age of 24, is nothing if not determined to shock the world this weekend. Rosario’s last fight was a split decision win over Jorge Cota last April.
The interim WBA junior lightweight title will also be at stake this weekend when the undefeated Brooklyn based fighter Chris Colbert takes on the 23-3 Jezzrel Corrales in a scheduled 12 rounder. At 13-0, Colbert is confident, funny, and eager to take on Leo Santa Cruz in the future. First, though, Colbert will have to get past Corrales, who has already held a world title in the same division. Although he’s been knocked out by Alberto Machado and dropped a split decision loss to Ladarius Miller his last time in the ring, Corrales is an experienced vet who knows how to get the big win.
Rising middleweight Joey Spencer will also appear on the PBC card. The 19 year old already has a 9-0 record, with 7 knockouts to his name. The Californian will be facing the 13-3-2 Erik Spring in a scheduled 6 rounder. The 35 year old Spring’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Courtney Pennington last September. Spencer’s last bout was a September knockout of Travis Gambardella.
The Williams-Rosario card is being presented by Premiere Boxing Champions and will be aired live on Fox starting at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday.
What’s Next For Jermell Charlo?
By: Hans Themistode
When Jermell Charlo lost his WBC Jr Middleweight crown to Tony Harrison last year on the 22nd of December, it didn’t seem real. Most who saw the contest were in agreement that Charlo had done more than enough to bring home the victory.
Fast forward roughly one year later, and the two met up once again.
With all of the trash talking coming from the side of Tony Harrison, he turned many into believers. Before the two officially met in the ring, Charlo had one more thing to say to Harrison.
“Get the smelling salts ready.”
Boy was he not lying as he delivered three knockdowns on the night along with an 11th round stoppage.
The disdain that both men had for one another produced one of the best matches on the 2019 calendar. Now that it’s over, where does the now two time world champion go from here? Keep reading to find out.
Erickson Lubin Rematch
It almost seems hilarious for Charlo to grant a rematch to a man that he absolutely destroyed in the very first round when the two met up in 2017. Usually when you lose in the fashion in which Erickson Lubin did, you do whatever it takes to avoid facing off with that opponent anytime soon. Yet since the moment he picked up the first defeat of his career, Lubin has been calling for a rematch.
When he realized that his words couldn’t get him what he wanted, Lubin began running through his competition. Four straight wins later, including three stoppages, Lubin has now fought his way to a healthy spot.
Maybe the former ESPN prospect of the year was not ready when the two first squared off, but he certainly looks ready now.
Talk about a single win changing everything.
Patrick Teixeira was considered a fringe contender at best. He had the skills and the power but something seemed to be missing from his arsenal. Now that he is a world champion, he has seemingly put it all together.
The now WBO titlist looks like one of the best fighters in the division. His championship win over the never before beaten Carlos Adames was impressive. Now that he has vaulted up the rankings and is in possession of a world title, both Charlo and Teixeira should look to unify next.
It might be a bit difficult to put together due to them competing on different networks and for different promoters, but still, if they can somehow work out the political side of things, this matchup could be an explosive one.
Tony Harrison Part 3
Charlo may have gotten the recent win, but the scoreboard is still tied at one a piece.
Sometimes when a fighter loses to a particular opponent and immediately wins the rematch, the first contest is viewed as a bit flukey. Just check out what Lennox Lewis did to both Hasim Rahman and Oliver McCall or even more recently, what Anthony Joshua did to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Just because someone beats you the first time, it doesn’t mean it will happen again. In the case of Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo, you can easily make the case that a third fight between them could go either way. The first two fights between them have been too good. We all need to see a third in 2020.
Wilder vs. Ortiz and Santa Cruz vs. Flores Fight Previews
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will host a Pay Per View showdown between WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and his challenger Luis Ortiz.
Their first bout was a close fight until Wilder was able to stop Ortiz in the tenth round. Wilder was ahead with a score of 85-84 on all three scorecards at the moment of the stoppage.
Their rematch will be televised on Fox Sports PPV.
The co-main event of the evening will be between Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Flores for the vacant WBA Junior Lightweight title.
Other bouts on the card include a bantamweight bout between Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez and a junior lightweight bout between Leduan Barthelemy and Eduardo Ramirez. Other boxers on the undercard include Vito Mielnicki Jr., Omar Juarez, Viktor Slavinskyi, Arnold Alejandro, and Shon Mondragon.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1) vs. Miguel Flores (24-2); WBA Junior Lightweight Title
Leo Santa Cruz has been a champion in the featherweight division for a long time and now looks to capture a title in the junior lightweight division.
He’s still in his athletic prime at 31 years old and is four years older than Flores. They both have the same reach and Flores will have a very slight ½ height advantage on Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz does appear to have the edge in power as he has stopped nineteen of his opponents while Flores has only stopped twelve.
Inactivity may be an issue for Santa Cruz, as he has only fought once in 2019 and once in 2018, but he did fight twice in 2017. However, Flores hasn’t been very active either and fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017.
Santa Cruz’s lone loss was to Carl Frampton, which he later avenged. He has also defeated the likes of Abner Mares, Rafael Rivera, Kiko Martinez, Cesar Seda, and Chris Avalos.
Flores has losses to Dat Nguyen and Chris Avalos, and both times he failed to make it to the final bell. He notable wins include Ryan Kielczweski and Ruben Tamayo.
Santa Cruz also had the edge in amateur experience as he was a US National Silver Medalist while Flores has no notable amateur experience.
This fight looks to be an easier challenge for Santa Cruz in the junior lightweight division. It will be interesting to see if his power holds up in the higher weight class.
Deontay Wilder (41-0-1) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Deontay Wilder is the undisputed king of the heavyweight division. There used to be an argument about whether Wilder or Joshua is the top dog in the heavyweight division, but an upset loss by Joshua to Andy Ruiz has killed those talks.
Wilder is nearing the end of his athletic prime at 34 years old but is still six years younger than his opponent. Wilder will also have a three inch height advantage and about a five inch reach advantage over Ortiz.
Both boxers are known for their power, but Wilder’s knockout power is legendary. He has stopped forty of his opponents. Only Bermane Stiverne and Tyson Fury went the distance against Wilder, and Stiverne was stopped in the rematch and Fury was knocked down. Wilder has forty stoppage victories and Ortiz has twenty six.
Both boxers have been fairly active. Wilder fought once in 2019 and twice in 2018 and 2017. Ortiz fought once in 2018, three times in 2018, and once in 2017.
Wilder and Ortiz both has successful amateur careers. Wilder was a bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics and Ortiz is a former Cuban Amateur National Champion.
Wilder does appear to have an edge in his resume of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich. Ortiz previously lost to Wilder and has defeated the likes of Christian Hammer, Travis Kauffman, Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Lateef Kayode.
Their first bout was close, but Ortiz is getting older and you can age quickly in a sport like boxing. Wilder has to be considered the favorite as he looks forward to more lucrative matchups against either Tyson Fury or the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz fight.
Eubank, Korobov Ready For Middleweight Showdown At Barclay’s
By: Sean Crose
“It’s always been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.,” says middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. “Even with everything I’ve done in the sport over in the U.K, I’ve always felt there was something missing and I believe it was the urge to introduce myself and my fight style to the American audience of fight fans. Now I have my opportunity.” The 28-2 Englishman is going back down to middleweight to face the 28-2-1 Matvey Korobov at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center in a PBC match that will be aired live on Showtime December 7th. At stake will be the Interim WBA Middleweight Crown.
After an impressive win over James DeGale last winter at super middleweight, fans may have expected Eubank to remain where he was. The fighter has made it clear, however, that he feels more at home at middleweight. “I’ve never been a real super middleweight,” he concedes. “I walk around at 170 pounds out of competition and have to eat breakfast the day of my weigh-ins to make 168. I believe at 160 I am going to be a beast now that I have become accustomed to fighting much bigger fighters over the last three years.”
With that in mind, Eubank still admits that Korobov will be no easy task. “I think Korobov will be awkward,” he says, “until I pin him down and when I do, I will show the audience why I am a fan friendly fighter.” Korobov, too, is under no illusions as to what awaits him in December. “Eubank is a very good fighter, one of the best,” the Florida based boxer (by way of Russia) says. “I believe I am a more disciplined fighter. I think my technique is better, but he does some things very well. Let’s see on December 7. I don’t want to give away the weaknesses I see, but the style difference will make a very entertaining fight for the fans.”
In the end, Korobov feels it will all come down to fundamentals. “I think my skills are better,” he says. “I do not think weight will be an issue. He is professional and I am professional. If anything, perhaps it is a little more difficult for him to make 160 after years at 168. I will fight anyone between 160 and 168 pounds, so I don’t see any problem with weight for me, perhaps more for him. We will find out December 7.”
Korobov has lost twice in controversial fashion, once to Jermall Charlo, who will be headlining the Barclay’s card. Yet he claims he won’t be worried about judging when he slips in between the ropes to fight Eubank next month. “I do not focus on the past,” the 36 year old says. “I focus on the future because I can only control the future. I will be my best and my best will be good enough against Chris Eubank Jr. We’re doing everything possible in camp to make sure I’m ready.”
Castano Defeats Wale Omotoso Due To a Shoulder Injury; Fortuna Stops Cuellar
By Rich Lopez
It was an action packed night at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The event was part of Premier Boxing Champions and it was televised on Fox Sports 1. All four fights that were televised produced fireworks and none of the fights went to distance.
The main event was in the junior middleweight division. Brian Castano (15-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Argentina, defeated Wale Omotoso (28-4, 22 KO’s) of Nigeria, by a 5th round TKO. This was a result due to a shoulder injury sustained by Omotoso. However, Castano was very impressive last night and he overwhelmed Omotoso. Round one was a feel out round for both fighters. Castano was more in control of the round but using an effective jab to back up Omotoso for most of the round. The action picked up in round two and Castano was in charge. He continued to back up Omotoso with his sharp left jab. This time Castano was putting his combinations together well. He was starting to land his right hand and he was landing some good body shots as well. In round three, Castano continued the assault and hammered away at Omotoso. Castano was reeling off right hands and landing left hooks to the chin of Omotoso. The durable Omotoso was taking it and was fighting back, but he was also taking a lot of damage. In round four, Omotoso fought a little better as he was boxing and moving well, but it was not enough to win the round. As round five started, Omotoso seemed to hurt his left shoulder. Castano sensing that Omotoso was hurt, still kept the pressure on by landing hard right hands. At the end of the round, Omotoso could no longer continue the fight due his hurt shoulder. Castano was awarded a TKO victory at 3:00 of round number five. Wale Omotoso, who goes by the nickname “Lucky Boy,” was not so lucky in this fight. With the victory, we can see Castano against the other top junior middleweights of the division. In the post-fight interview, Castano said he is ready for anyone.
Photo Credit: Javier Fortuna Twitter Account
The co-feature was in the lightweight division. Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 24 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic, was also impressive last night. He blasted out Jesus Andres Cuellar (29-3, 22 KO’s) of Argentina in two rounds in a slug fest. In the opening round, Cuellar wasted no time and charged at Fortuna. Both southpaw fighters exchanged punches and went toe to toe. Towards the end of the round, Fortuna with his back against the ropes, landed a right hook that sent Cuellar flying on his back. Cuellar got up and was seriously hurt but was able to finish the round. In round two, Cuellar who only knows how to come forward, tried to bully Fortuna again. Fortuna was quicker and beat Cuellar to the punch. Once again with Fortuna against the ropes, he landed a straight left hand followed by a right hook to drop Cuellar again. Cuellar did get up but he was in really bad shape. Fortuna went for the finish landing power shots which prompted the referee to stop the fight. Fortuna scored the TKO at 2:01 of the second round. With the victory, Fortuna remains a force in the lightweight division. For Cuellar, it might be best to try to go back down in weight as he has been unsuccessful in the lightweight divisions.
In a bout before the co-feature, we got to see undefeated David Morrell Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) of Cuba, face off with Quinton Rankin (15-6-2, 12 KO’s) of Charlotte, NC. The fight was in the light heavyweight division scheduled for eight rounds. This was a big test for the Cuban standout but he made the fight look easy. The 21 year old Morrell started off fast. In round one, Morrell landed a nice right hand to the body that dropped Rankin. Rankin got up and Morrell went back to work. In round two, Morrell landed a straight left hand that wobbled Rankin. Morell then came underneath with crushing left uppercut that dropped Rankin again. The referee immediately stopped the fight. Morrell scored his second knockout at 1:01 of the 2nd round. Morell is starting off fast in his professional career as he was an outstanding amateur fighter. We will continue to see his progress in upcoming fights.
In the opening bout of the PBC telecast, Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (17-2, 11 KO’s) of Milano, TX, faced off with Bergman Aguilar (15-5-1, 5 KO’s) of Costa Rica. The fight was scheduled for ten rounds in the welterweight division. In round one, Aguilar came after Karl and both fighters started trading punches. As Karl was backing up Aguilar, Aguilar caught Karl with right hand and dropped him. Karl got up and the fighters started to trade punches. In round two, Karl had a better round. He backed up Aguilar for most of the round hammering Aguilar to the body. You can tell the body shots were wearing out Aguilar. In round three, Karl dropped Aguilar with a low blow. As the action continued, Karl stayed busy working the body of Aguilar. Karl continued his attack in round four. At the end of round four, Aguilar looked more tired. Karl remained in control of the fight in round five and continued to back up Aguilar. At the end of round five, Aguilar could not continue the fight due to a broken left hand. It was relieved that perhaps he broke his left hand in the 1st round after landing a hard jab on Karl in the replay. Karl was awarded a TKO victory at 3:00 in round five. This was Karl’s 3rd straight knockout.
Top Lightweight Javier Fortuna in Action This Weekend against Jesus Cuellar
By Rich Lopez
Fight fans will be treated with a lot of boxing action this weekend. Mostly everyone’s attention will be focused on the Canelo vs Kovalev fight in Las Vegas. Another action packed card will happen this weekend and it will take place at MGC National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Former lightweight title challenger and former super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna will be back in action. Also undefeated former super welterweight champion Brian Castano will be the co-feature of the night. The fights will be televised on Fox Sports as part of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
In the main event, Javier Fortuna will face off with Jesus Andres Cuellar for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title in a ten rounder.
Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 23 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic, is seeking a major title shot in the lightweight division. The 30 year old southpaw had good runs in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. Back in 2015, he won the vacant WBA Super Featherweight title against Bryan Vasquez. Fortuna lost his title against Jason Sosa the following year in 2016. Last year, Fortuna faced off with Robert Easter Jr for the IBF Lightweight title and lost a very close decision in a tough battle. Fortuna then moved up to the junior welterweight division and challenged Adrian Granados. That fight ended up in a no decision in bizarre circumstances as Fortuna fell out of the ring in the fourth round and could no longer continue. This year has been a better start for Fortuna, as he defeated Sharif Bogere in February by unanimous decision. Overall Fortuna has beaten many tough opponents. Even in his losses, he gave his opponents tough battles.
Jesus Andres Cuellar (29-3, 22 KO’s) of Argentina, will be looking to make a statement with a big win over Fortuna.
Cuellar, who is also a southpaw, was a terror in the featherweight division from 2013-2015. He had dominating victories over Claudio Marrero and Rico Ramos. That was followed up by knockout victories over Juan Manuel Lopez and Vic Darchinyan. The Darchinyan fight earned him the WBA Featherweight title. His title reign was short lived, as he lost by split decision to Abner Mares in 2016. After a two year layoff, Cuellar came back last year and moved up to super featherweight. He got a title shot against Gervonta Davis but was stopped in the 3rd round. Cuellar has had a good start this year with a knockout win over Carlos Padilla to bounce back from his loss.
This will be Cuellar’s second fight at lightweight and he will face one of the top lightweights in Fortuna. This should be a fan friendly fight, as both fighters provide action fights. Cuellar will come forward as usual in his aggressive style looking for the knockout and Fortuna will be the counter puncher. I believe Fortuna will win the fight by unanimous decision due to his quick hands and speed.
In the co-feature, another Argentine fighter will be in action, as Brian Castano will face off with the tough Wale Omotoso in a ten round super welterweight special attraction. Brian Castano (15-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Argentina, wants another title shot. Castano made a splash in the boxing scene last year when he won the WBA Interim Super Welterweight title against Emmanuel DeJesus in 2016. However it was his fight against Erislandy Lara earlier this year that showed what he was really about. In an exciting fight against one of the best fighters in the super welterweight division, Castano took Lara to distance and the fight ended in a split draw. Castano ended up vacating his WBA title over a contract dispute but hopes to land another title shot soon. Wale Omotoso (28-4, 22 KO’s) of Nigeria, will look to spoil Castano’s plans.
Omotoso is a strong fighter and has only lost to unbeaten fighters in which he took them all to distance. Omotoso’s last fight was almost three months ago and he looked great. He knocked out the hard punching Curtis Stevens, but we know Stevens has seen his best days. Omotoso should be a stiff test for Castano and we expect another good fight as well. I see Castano winning this fight but given Omotoso’s chin, I believe Castano will win by unanimous decision.
Joe Hands Promotions and PBC Begin Historic Commercial Deal
By: Hans Themistode
Engaging in a big fight is like no other. Whether it’s the UFC, WWE or in this case boxing, fans will always show a level of interest when it comes to combat sports.
With the help of Joe Hands Promotions, they will ensure that not only hardcore fans, but also casuals will get the opportunity to be informed on the biggest fights of the year.
Joe Hands Promotions has partnered up with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to distribute pay per view commercial fight content. This isn’t just a one time deal either. Both sides came to an agreement that will last for quite some time.
Nothing like this has ever been done in the sport of boxing and Joe Hands Promotions were ecstatic to be apart of such a monumental arrangement.
“This is a historic time for our company right now,” said Joe Hands Jr. “We just celebrated our 48th year in business and what better way to commemorate than with a deal that has never been done before.”
So what exactly does this deal mean for you? The consumer. Well, it means everything. For fans, they will now gain the opportunity to see pay per view events in not just their homes but in various sports bars across the world.
The promotion that will be given to some of the biggest boxing events of the year will now reach new heights.
“Usually we would do one offs and then move on to the next one, which would be roughly six months later. We were kind of an event to event promoter, but the people at PBC are doing such a terrific job of stockpiling great talented boxers that they are able to sustain and commit to doing a certain amount of fights every year. There stable of fighters and commitment to high quality pay per events made this partnership come to fruition and it just made sense.”
Taking one fight at a time is a common theme in the world pay per view promotions, but there is a down fall to it.
“Doing one fight at a time sometimes doesn’t allow every chain restaurant to get involved because they don’t have room in there budgets but when we can go to them early with a set number of fights than they jump on the opportunity. What a package deal does is it provides security, not just for us but for the PBC as well. We can now go to our chain restaurants early and tell them hey we have all of these fights coming up in the next few months, so now they get the opportunity to make a budget for it, as opposed to having a one off.”
Have you ever been to your local bar and wondered, why don’t they show more big time fights? They might offer one or two a year, but typically a boxing calendar has much more than that. Sometimes a sports bar just isn’t afforded the opportunity nor the proper budget to fit a specific fight into its schedule. Now, Joe Hands Promotions they can ensure that more sports bar are given the opportunity to show big time fights.
“We essentially want to sell the PBC fights as a subscription series, so that people know that there are a certain amount of fights coming every year. That makes their entertainment schedule in bars and restaurants much easier for them. They can commit knowing that there are a certain amount of fights coming. This is the first time we have been able to do that.”
The partnership between Joe Hands Promotions and PBC is something that they have been progressively working on.
“We promoted one particular fight for the PBC and it gave us both a chance to engage with one another. We have a very strong foundation of chain restaurants that support our events. When we did that first fight I think both sides were pleased with the results and from there, instead of doing a one off we both decided to go with a package deal.”
Promoting a pay per view event takes much more than simply putting together a few commercials and hoping that fans will see and automatically feed into them. Instead, it takes careful planning in order to make an event successful. Although boxing is the main topic because of the association with PBC, Joe Hands Promotions has years of experience with other combat sports and the results speak for themselves.
“We encourage the chain restaurants that we are associated with to promote these events in a specific way but offering them a helping hand in what has proven to be the most effective way. We emphasize the importance of putting it on their social media accounts and what to say as well. We also give them a timeline on what they should do in terms of ok, the fights are getting closer this is what we should do in order to get more awareness about this fight. But it isn’t just about us, we also get the fighters to shoot commercials promoting the fights which plays on a loop at every sports bar that is associated with us and it just gives people that constant reminder. It’s all about brand awareness. Seeing the PBC, WWE or UFC logo by millions of people that go into these establishments give fans a chance to always reminded of a big fight that is coming up.”
Although pay per view events are of the utmost importance, fights which take place that aren’t pay per view level are significant as well.
“When a fight is on Showtime network, we have a contract to sell the Showtime subscription series which is a boxing series. The pricing is different because those fights aren’t pay per view caliber but they are very good. Those subscriptions are critical because it allows customers to see that our chain restaurants show just about every event, not just big pay per view fights.”
It’s clear that Joe Hands Promotions has crossed their T’s and dotted their i’s in terms of covering all their bases. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. For years, they have provided some of the best promotional value that you will ever come across. In fact, it was Joe Hands Jr’s father, Joe Hands Senior, who ushered in a new way to watch championship level fighting decades ago.
“My dad is 83 and he is the chairman of our company. What he has done for the boxing business is incredible. When he started this business, back in the 1960s and early 70s when people wanted to watch a championship level boxing event, it was my dad who came up with the idea to start putting these fights on closed circuit television and movie theaters around the country. People would pay 20 bucks to come and see the fight at the theater because there was no pay per view television at the time. My dad was really the first pay per view guy in the theater. If it wasn’t for my dad starting that concept in the early years it would have never became what it is today.”
It’s clear why PBC has decided to have Joe Hands Promotions in their corner. The work that they have been able to do has always been top notch and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
With combat sports being accessible at an even higher rate, there is one thing that fans can’t help but be frustrated with.
Finding a bar which shows these events can be a pain. Calling your local bar to simply find out if they will be airing your favorite contest on the night can be a long process as well. Luckily for you, Joe Hands Promotions has you covered in that regard as well.
“If you go to the Joe Hands Promotion website, we have a bar finder on there, you click in the city or the zip code of where you are and immediately locations will pop up to areas that are showing the fight.”
With tons of fights at the fingertips of fans all around the world, all that needs to be done now is to sit back, relax and enjoy the violence.
Angulo Decisions Quillin – Knockouts Define Evening
By: Sean Crose
The Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield, California hosted a PBC on Fox Sports 1 card Saturday evening. The first fight offered one heck of a knockout as the 11-0 welterweight Jesus Ramos nailed the 12-4 Ricky Edwards with a thunderous left hook in the the third round of their scheduled eight round match. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the proceedings when it was clear that Edwards, who was lying face down on the canvas, wasn’t going to be able to continue. Although New Jersey’s Edwards had previously lost three of his last four fights, there was no taking away the powerful impression the eighteen year old Ramos’ left hand made – to fans as well as to poor Edwards.
Next up, the undefeated Terell Williams, 18-0, faced welterweight veteran Thomas Dulorme, 24-3-1, in a scheduled 10 round affair. Both men looked sharp in the first, though there wasn’t much action. Dulorme brought the pressure in the second while both men landed well. The third round saw both men do well – but Dulorme appeared to be landing the more impressive punches. Williams looked sharp in the fourth, but Dulorme was landing the showier – and sometimes lower – punches. Both men traded ferociously in the fifth – a round Williams may well have won.
Williams went on to look effective in the sixth, though Dulorme worked the body well. Dulorme made it clear in the seventh that he was absolutely focused on winning. The man simply kept coming forward in high energy style. Dulorme ended up with a considerable cut over his left eye in the eighth due to an accidental head butt. Williams was able to pick his shots well in the ninth. Dulorme sent Williams down with a terrific left in the tenth, then unloaded and nearly stopped his man. Williams survived the round – but Dulorme got the well deserved decision win.
The co-main saw the 12-0 Chris Colbert battle the 33-7 Miguel Beltran Jr in a scheduled 10 round affair in the super featherweight realm. Colbert’s fast hands told the tale for most of the first – then a blinding, earth shattering shot ended things before the bell. Like Ricky Edwards earlier in the evening, Beltran ended up flat on his face. It was a stunning knockout.
It was time for the main event. Former WBA and WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin, 34-1-1, battled popular veteran Alfredo Angulo, 25-7, in a scheduled 10 round super middleweight bout. Quillin employed an effective hit and run strategy in the first. Angulo was able to find and land on the elusive Quillin at the end of the second. Angulo furiously worked the inside in the third. Quillin moved and worked his jab quite well in the fourth, but a thunderous shot from Angulo clearly had Quillin rattled. The fifth was a battle between Quillin’s jab and Angulo’s aggression.
The sixth turned into a high octane affair, thought Angulo may have edged it. Angulo landed well in the seventh, but Quillin’s jab may have edged it. Angulo was again able to find and do damage in his man in the eighth. The ninth followed the pattern of many rounds before it – Quillin did a great job early on, then Angulo hurt his man in the final minute or so. The final round ended in exciting fashion. In fact, it was hard to say who would get the nod – the gritty Angulo or the slick Quillin.
The judges ruled it for Angulo via split decision.
Fight Preview: Colbert vs. Beltran Jr., Angulo vs. Quillin
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfile California will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions Card. This event will be shown live on Fox Sports 1.
The main event will be a Super Middleweight bout between former world titlist Peter Quillin and Alfredo Angulo. The co-main event of the evening will be between Miguel Beltran Jr. and Chris Colbert in the lightweight division.
The undercard is stacked with fights and well known contenders and prospects. Fighters on the undercard include Thomas Dulorme, Jesus Ramos, Gary Antonio Russell, Francisco Ochoa, and Gary Antuanne Russell.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Chris Colbert (12-0) vs. Miguel Beltran Jr. (33-7); Lightweights
The co-main event of the night will be between Chris Colbert and Miguel Beltran Jr. in the lightweight division.
Colbert is a high ceiling prospects that actually qualified for the 2016 Olympics but decided to not participate and turned pro instead. Colbert is a former Golden Gloves Champion. Beltran has faced some significant opposition as a professional, but has no notable amateur experience.
Colbert is only twenty two years old and is eight years younger than Beltran. Colbert has also been significantly more active ein the past two years. He fought three times in 2019 and twice in 2018. Beltran has yet to fight in 2019 and fought twice in 2018.
Beltran does appear to have an edge in power. Beltran has twenty two stoppage victories while Colbert only has four stoppage wins. However, Beltran has been stopped twice in his career while Colbert is undefeated.
It should also be noted that Beltran is 2-2 in his last four fights.
Beltran doesn’t have many notable wins. His biggest wins were against Fernando Garcia, Miguel Roman, and Eduardo Lazcano. He has losses to Yuriorkis Gamboa, Casey Ramos, Francisco Gabiel Pina, Luis Sanchez, Carlos Diaz Ramirez, Roman Martinez, and Joksan Hernandez.
Colbert has never been defeated as a pro. He has defeated the likes of Alberto Mercado, Mario Briones, Josh Hernandez, Fatiou Fassinou, Austin Dulay, and Titus Williams.
This should be an easier win for an uprising Colbert against a downward trending Beltran.
Peter Quillin (34-1-1) vs. Alfredo Angulo (25-7); Super Middleweights
Peter Quillin is a former belt holder in the middleweight division, until he lost it by TKO to Daniel Jacobs. Since then he hasn’t been very active and only fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and once in 2017.
Luckily he is facing someone who has fought only once in 2019, once in 2018 and zero times in 2017. Both Angulo and Quillin are past their primes, but Quillin is one year younger at thirty six years old. They are about equal in power, with Angulo having twenty one stoppage victories and Quillin having twenty three stoppage victories.
Quillin will have a four inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. Quillin also has a clear edge in speed over the at times plodding Angulo.
Quillin had a rather short amateur career and turned pro at a young age. Angulo competed for Mexico in the 2004 Olympics.
Quillin has defeated the likes of J’Leon Love, Michael Zerafa, Lukas Konecny, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Ronald Wright, and Craig McEwan. His lone loss was to Daniel Jacobs.
Angulo does not have the professional resume of Quillin. He has defeated the likes of Evert Bravo, Jorge Silva, Raul Casarez, Joachim Alcine, Joel Julio, Harry Joe Yorgey, and Gabriel Rosado. His losses were to Kermit Cintron, James Kirkland, Sergio Mora, Freddy Hernandez, James De La Rosa, Canelo Alvarez, and Erislandy Lara.
Angulo has struggled as of late and has gone 3-5 in his last eight fights. Even though Quillin is getting older, he still has the goods to dispatch of Angulo.
Lara Shines in Minneapolis
By Andrew Johnson
Cuba’s finest fighters were on display at the Armory in Minneapolis on Saturday night’s PBC on FOX event. Erislandy Lara (25-3-3, 15 KOs), Frank Sánchez (13-0, 11 KOs ) and David Morrell Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) recorded dominant victories against a trio of uninspiring opponents, but provided a glimpse of Cuba’s future in professional boxing.
The most dramatic moment of the weekend occurred at Friday’s weigh-in when Ramon Álvarez (28-8-3, 16 KOs) didn’t show up.
Photo Credit: Peter Johnson
Promoters paced in the lobby and frantically poked their cell phones trying to find the super welterweight with the famous brother. Their calls and texts were answered with bad news, Alvarez was reportedly seven pounds over the limit and no sauna on earth was going to get him close to 154 lbs. The contracts were hastily rewritten and Lara agreed to go ahead with what should be Álvarez’s last fight as a pro.
Lara outclassed Álvarez from the opening bell until the middle of the second round when referee Mark Nelson mercifully stopped the mismatch. The Cuban fighter looked sharp in the short fight, though he said he wasn’t planning on a knockout.
“I don’t train for a knockout” Lara told the BoxingInsider after the fight, “I prepare to let my hands go and if the knockout comes, it comes.”
With the victory and the WBA World Super Welterweight belt around his waist, Lara is now scheduled to fight fellow WBA belt holder Michel Soro (34-2-1, 23 KOs), but the 36 year-old veteran has his eyes on more lucrative match-ups.
“I do want to fight the best boxers out there in the division, or go up or down a division to fight Errol Spence Jr. or rematch Canelo Alvarez.” said Lara.
Heavyweight Frank Sánchez, who like Lara was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, was a late addition to the televised portion of the card when Caleb Truax had to withdraw because of a torn Achilles tendon.
Sánchez took advantage of the opportunity, looking both nimble and powerful in four rounds against Victor Bisbal (23-4, 17 KOs). Though Bisbal’s best rounds are clearly behind him, he gave an honest effort. His corner stepped in after the fourth round, deciding their fighter had absorbed enough of the Sáchez’s heavy-handed shots, and called the fight.
Earlier in the evening, David Morrell Jr. won his professional debut in just over a minute against Yendris Váldez (2-7, 2 KOs). Morrell (listed as Osvary in the amateur records) is being hailed as one of the best amateur fighters ever to come out of Cuba and just signed a long-term contract with Warriors Boxing Promotions.
Váldez had a decidedly different reputation coming into the fight after losing his last five bouts, he hardly threw a punch on Saturday night.
Morrell is a powerful, polished light heavyweight who will make his home and fight out of Minneapolis. His promotional team chose Minnesota because of the PBC’s affinity for the Armory and the renewed interest in boxing that the recent successes of Jamal James and Caleb Truax have inspired in the state. Look for him to return in December on the PBC’s next Minneapolis show.
Erislandy Lara vs. Ramon Alvarez Fight Preview
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
The Minneapolis Armory in Minnesota was ready to welcome back its pride and joy Caleb Truax on Saturday, August 31, until the hometown champion was scrapped from his rematch with Peter Quillin, leaving Erislandy Lara to carry the bill.
Lara, a former unified beltholder, meets Ramon Alvarez, of Mexico, elder brother to one Canelo Alvarez. In chief support, Sebastian Fundora puts his giant blue-chip reputation on the line against a standout southpaw in Jamontay Clark.
The broadcast begins on FOX at 8pm ET.
Erislandy Lara (25-3-3. 14 KO) vs. Ramon Alvarez (28-7-3, 16 KO), WBA super welterweight title
In more ways than one has Lara broken the mold of the boring, avoided Cuban stylist. First, he traded fire with Jarret Hurd over 12 rounds in one of the most exciting fights of 2018. Now, after losing his two world titles, he is this weekend being pushed back into the title picture.
Not only is the WBA allowing Lara to skip the line back to the top—note, without winning a fight in almost two years±he is clearly the A-side, the betting favorite to lift the strap against what could be described as a prizefighter’s dream come true: an opponent with a big name but subpar game. His opponent is Alvarez, that being “Inocente” Ramon, the more crude, the inferior sibling of the fighting family.
In 2014, Lara engaged in a stylistic clash with Canelo Alvarez. This after crashing the Mexican superstar’s post-fight presser, where Alvarez publicly accepted Lara’s challenge against behest of his promoter. The two fought the complete 12 rounds. Lara plied his trade, accurately tagging his front-foot opponent. The Cuban technically landed more punches than his counterpart (107 total punches to Canelo’s 97). But the ringside panel were not a fan of fighting in reverse, turning in a split-decision nod for Canelo.
The loss was just the second of Lara’s career. In fact every blemish of his career has come with some sort of asterisk.
Earlier this year, Lara fought Brian Fastano to a split-draw. Castano’s efforts were valiant, though Lara clearly controlled the mid-range fighting. In his fight before that, Lara against connected at a higher rate than his man. This time against Hurd, remaining neck and neck with the sizable champion until sugaring a score-swinging knockdown in the final round.
Alas, Lara settled for a split-decision loss—again. The same way he did against Canelo. And unsurprisingly it was a disputed decision that really introduced his immense skill to the boxing world back in 2011.
In New Jersey, Lara met the nightmarish fighter that was Paul Williams, a freakishly long southpaw. Williams was another underrated fighter, who had arguably at the time got the better of every man he fought: avenging himself against former contender Carlos Quintana and pushing middleweight luminary Sergio Martinez to the limit.
Williams employed his usual strategy against Lara, as he would anybody else. But Lara wasn’t anybody else. The Cuban matched Williams’ high output with supremely accurate counterpunching and Lara wasn’t shy about matching the bigger man’s holding and ruffian tactics.
Still a majority-decision loss was all that Lara was left with—HBO’s Harold Lederman memorably scored the widely in Lara’s favor. The state commission found the cards so poor that all there judges were barred from working in Jersey ever again.
Alvarez heads into the weekend with a much lighter reputation, banking on his familial name. He has never before fought for a world title, and will be making just his second stateside appearance. He somehow appeared on the WBA rankings in April after edging out Jose Carlos Paz, an unheralded veteran who had just been flattened by Anthony Fowler inside a round.
In his first fight in the U.S., Alvarez battled the ever-brawling Brandon Rios, who was interchanging wins and losses since 2015. Fighting far above the lightweight limit where Rios found short stardom for his brawling ways, the former champion eventually pounded out Alvarez in nine rounds.
The rest of Alvarez’s ledger includes a split-decision loss to Antonio Margarito—that being a washed, 2016, squinty-eyed version of Antonio Margarito. Alvarez also split a pair of fights with Omar Chavez, a ferocious puncher and another fighter unable to shake the shadow of their younger, more talented brother.
Given their contrasting career arcs and pedigree, the 36-year-old Lara is far and away the favorite to win—opening as high as -5000. Alvarez, 33, is sitting at 25-to-1 dog odds.
Sebastian Fundora (13-0, 9 KO) vs. Jamontay Clark (14-1, 7 KO)
Making his third appearance of the year, and for the second time in his career over the 10-round distance, Fundora continues to turn heads. The great Tommy Hearns was once marbled at for fighting around 154 pounds at a towering 6’3”. Fundora actually has nearly three inches on Hearns, and drastically more height than any of his current day competition.
Clark, for one, is no chump at the junior middleweight limit. He is 6’2” and is equal measure with Fundora’s staggering reach at 80 inches long.
There still isn’t a super welterweight—or middleweight or super middleweight—alive who can match Fundora’s massive frame. He is a spindly puncher, aged just 21, and will likely pack on much more weight over the years. But at the moment he is jarringly thin.
More shocking is his preference for fighting inside of his shorter opponents. To his credit, he doesn’t cower away from scraps, nearly having his head spun around in multiple fights, eating giant right hands from Ve Shawn Owens for example.
Still undefeated, Fundora has recently proven more adept at leveraging his giant arms. In February, the California native tore up the previously unbeaten Donnie Marshall, with a keen focus on his left uppercut, overwhelming Marshall along the ropes until the referee jumped between the two in the third round.
Previously, in June, Fundora added to his repertoire, pelting away at Mexican prospect Hector Manuel Zepeda: extending a long jab, and ripping left hands up and down. Zepeda’s corner couldn’t bring themselves to send him back out for the fifth period, resulting in the first loss of his career.
Clark, 24, has the athleticism to make him competitive. He will look to extend his record on the year, where he is already 1-0 after decisioning the previously undefeated southpaw Vernon Brown as a part of the PBC on FS1 undercard in March. The Ohio native does have a notable name on his ledger in the form of the standout sharpshooter Ivan Golub. But Clark’s decision over the touted Ukrainian has been widely disputed, aided by an incompetent judging panel.
Brandon Figueroa Retains Championship with 4th Round TKO Over Javier Chacon
By: Robert Contreras
The sooner Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KO) ended this one, the better. His challenger, by the name of Javier Nicolas Chacon (20-5-1, 9 KO), did not even have real boxing shoes on, opting to wear sneakers in a world title fight.
The partisan crowd did not mind. A short drive from Figueroa’s hometown, bordering Mexico and Texas, the defending champion was met with cheers when he pounded away at his overmatched opponent, ending the fight in the sixth round with a barrage of punches along the ropes.
Chacon, 38, added to the career the WBA has manufacture for him. His TKO loss to Figueroa represented the third title opportunity for the Argentinian veteran (now boasting a record of 0-3), each under the WBA. This one his worst yet.
Figueroa, 22, used his larger frame to leverage punches into Chacon, who was complacent to stand behind his raised gloves, and hardly throw a punch. The defending champ—the youngest in boxing today—was seemingly on stage by himself at times, landing more punches than Chacon threw. Figueroa ’s punches drilled Chacon, his uppercuts shined brightest, doing the most damage.
In the opening round, Figueroa switched stances back and forth. In Round 2, there was just no need. He pounded Chacon into the ropes—in no danger of return fire—and interchanged right and left hooks to set up left uppercuts. So immobile was Chacon when referee Rafael Ramos stepped in to tell Figueroa to raise his punches, the visiting fighter was ready to protest a stoppage. That alone convinced the Argentinian to swing away in the final couple seconds of the period. But with Figueroa nowhere in sight, he was just pushing air around.
Punches continued to lay into Chacon in the third stanza. A Figueroa jab was followed by overhand lefts and consecutive left hooks. As in most of his fights, Figueroa was building a wide lead in punches thrown. By the end of the beating, he would connect on 96 of his 297 total punches (32 percent). Chacon landed 18 of a paltry 69 punches thrown (26 percent).
Chacon continued to enjoy the best seat in the house to open the fourth inning: standing in front of Figueroa, hiding behind his gloves, daydreaming about cashing his check from the WBA. Finally with 80 seconds left, the champion punched Chacon back into the ropes, pressed his weight into him, and struck the challenger with a quick succession of right hands, slashing a right hand into his chin and then a right hook that visibly shook him up. His body blenched into an unstable condition.
There is when Figueroa poured on some eight unanswered punches that took his man’s feet out from under him. On all fours, Chacon tried to rise, but collapsed back down to earth—reduced to dust. Ramos waved things off, hopefully ending the WBA patsy’s stint at the championship level.
On fighting back in his hometown, Figueroa said he couldn’t write it better.
“It was one of the best moments of my life,” Figueroa said. “Fighting in front of my family and friends. These are my people.”
Figueroa cannot fight in Texas forever if he hopes to shed his interim title status. The WBA’s other champion Daniel Roman for example is in California. And so too with be a real fighter in real boxing boots.
Stephen Fulton (17-0, 8 KO) def. Isaac Avelar (16-1, 10 KO) by sixth-round TKO
Fulton was eager to extend his undefeated record, patiently nicking away at his opponent, making small incisions until finally Alevar cam unstuck in the sixth period from a devastating body blow.
The fight belonged the Fulton from the beginning. Th bell sounded and Avelar tossed out a lazy southpaw jab; Fulton quickly answered with a chopping left over the top. Jabs soon began to pour in from Fulton.
Over the next couple rounds, Fulton complimented his metronome jab with crisp straight right hands. Comfortable enough, he didn’t even bother circling away from Avelar’s strong left hand. When the Mexican brawler would look to string together punches, a rhythm-breaking jab would foil any hope of offense.
Fulton continually held his hands low, momentum securely in his corner. He also continued to split the guard of Avelar, who would go long stretches without landing much and had blood drawn from his right eye to show for it.
Avelar did his best to drive forward in the fourth round. But there was more jabbing and jabbing from Fulton fighting in reverse. Fulton was now not only throwing crosses off his jab but also pitching overhands. Avelar’s pressure remained uncreative as ever, watching stiff jabs repeatedly poke him between the eyes.
In the sixth, Avelar drifted backward toward the ropes, overwhelmed by the moment, odds, and fate pressing against him. An overhand right from Fulton raised Avelar’s perspective and a digging left hand plugged into his midsection. With the sticky left hand—sinking into Avelar’s liver—a grimace filled his face, and with his defenses down, another punch left him no choice but to take a knee and soon counted out.
According to the punch stats, Fulton landed 75 of 286 total punches (26 percent) and Avelar connected on 53 of 265 punches (20 percent).
In the post-fight interview, Fulton was beaming with confidence: “That’s the sixth undefeated fighter that came up short against me.” When asked about fighting Figueroa, he said, “I want all belthodlers. But we been supposed to fight anyway.”
Currently ranked Top 15 in the world by the WBA, Fulton has won every fight of his pro career and over his previous three fights picked up two stoppage victories.
Errol Spence: “This Is What I’ve Been Waiting For”
By: Sean Crose
“This is going to be an amazing event,” Errol Spence Jr said during a Tuesday press conference in Las Angeles. “The co-main event could be the main event on any normal (card), but this main event is going to be fire. You know it’s man down when I get in the ring and we’re going to show you just that on September 28.” Spence was promoting his upcoming welterweight title throwdown against Shawn Porter at the Staples Center in Las Angeles on a card that will air live on pay per view.
“Shawn is a warrior who always comes to fight and leaves his heart on the table,” the 25-0 Spence said good naturedly of his 30-2-1 opponent. “He always comes ready, but I’m in shape and ready for him too. We’re both always in exciting fights and that’s what we’re going to give the fans.” Spence, who was last seen in the ring easily besting Mikey Garcia earlier this year, currently holds the IBF welterweight title. Porter was last seen pulling off a unanimous decision win over Yordenis Ugas last March. He currently holds the WBC welterweight title
“This fight demands this kind of excitement and energy that we have here today,” said Porter. “We’re coming to the Staples Center for these fans, because they give us the energy that we need.” The Ohio native made it clear that the match between he and Spence would be nothing about a high end affair. “”People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on,” he said. “He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting. We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and out class each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.”
The welterweight division still remains perhaps the most interesting division in boxing as it settles into the post-Mayweather era. Besides Spence and Porter holding major titles, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford also hold major belts. “This is what I’ve been waiting for,” said Spence of the upcoming fight with Porter. “I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.”
Spence made it clear that he’s not only out for blood on September 28, he’s looking to bring at least some real clarity to the welterweight division. “My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage,” he said. “I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”
The card will also feature the 31-1-1 Anthony Dirrell facing the 21-0 David Benevidez for the WBC super middleweight title, and a WBA super lightweight title fight between the 24-0 Mario Barrios and the 7-0 Batyr Akhmedov. The vacant WBA belt will be handed to the winner of that match.
Adam Kownacki Stays on World Title Track, Decisions Chris Arreola
By Robert Aaron Contreras
As a part of a Brooklyn homecoming show on FOX, Adam Kownacki (20-0, 15 KO) extended his perfect record against the recognizable slugger Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KO), pouring it on over the entire 12 rounds, a punch output apparently unmatched by any heavyweight fight in the CompuBox history.
The judges had it 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 for Kownacki, who showcased his talent in front of a familiar partisan crowd at the Barclays Center. Competing there for the ninth time, finally on the main stage.
“I thought it was a good fight,” Kownacki told PBC correspondent Heidi Androl. “Close—but I know I pulled it out. Chris is an Aztec Warrior. I gotta keep sharpening my skills. Hopefully next year I get a title shot.”
The fireworks were off from the opening round. Thee proper heavyweight slugfest, Kownacki chugged along, moving forward behind his jab. Arreola was there to fight. The veteran did his best work up close and personal. Neither man’s fists stopped oscillating.
Almost entirely, and in both directions, the punches remained upstairs. Kownacki continually plugged away at one-two combinations. Hardly bending at the waist, he simply slung leather from an upright stance. Still generating power, his crisp blows reminded champion-turned-broadcaster Deontay Wilder of a poor man’s George Foreman.
Arreola had his own assortment of winging punches. But sometime in the the third round he took back the center of the ring only to have his head snapped back from uppercuts. It was that array of creative punching that was hedging the fight in Kownacki’s favor.
But in the fourth frame, Arreola’s best combo—a sloppy jab followed by an awkward, stiff overhand right—did find its target. Between rounds, his trainer Dan Goosen’s implored his fighter to double up on his punches.
Kownacki, however, outworked the older man. He strung together punches from every angle. His one-two began to vary, not always ending in a straight right hand but also the occasional chopping blow. He pelted away at the giant in front of him at a rate that amazed even heavyweight legend Lennox Lewis who was commentating ringside.
The opposing heavyweights mixed it up through the middle stages. And in the ninth round, Kownacki had seemed to make a dent in Arreola, who would drop his hands, and step back in exhaustion (or despair) with every exchange. Up close, Kownacki adjusted and took advantage of Arreola putting his head down, drumming the sides of the Mexican-American’s head.
Pushing 270 pounds, Kownacki had never seen the championship rounds of 11 and 12. So Arreola thought he was out of gas and sat back, willing to catch blows, waiting—one, two three shots bouncing off of him—and then return singular punches of his own.
In the end, Kownacki still delivered more accurate shots, more often. He connected on 35 percent of his total punches, compared to 26 percent for Arreola. Together, Compubox numbers recorded over 2,000 punches between both of them.
Arreola, 38, was still happy with his work. And, as it turned out, his career too.
“I honestly feel like it’s about time,” Arreola said, suggesting his retirement. “I let it hang out. Even after breaking my hand—there was no quitting. I know I cracked him with a few punches. But he kept coming.”
Kownacki, 30, is on an opposite trajectory. Now in prime position for a world title. Saturday marked his second victory of 2019, coupled with a quick knockout in January of Gerald Washington. He ranks in the Top 5 by both the WBC and IBF, making him eligible to fight either one of the world’s beltholders in Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr.
Jean Pascal upsets Marcus Browne for light heavyweight title
Pascal (34-6-1, 20 KO) rolled into Browne’s (23-1, 18 KO) backyard to take away his WBC light heavyweight belt—overcoming +1300 odds—knocking down the champion three times and eventually mauling him in the latter stages of a fight that would come to a screeching halt in the eighth period from a clash of heads.
Browne, dethroned, and blood above his eye, was not in the ring to hear the technical decision: 75-74 across the board for Pascal, who reclaimed championship gold at 36 years old.
“I dropped him three times,” Pascal said after the fight. “Even though it was close, I was winning the fight. We have the best rapper in the game—Drake. We have the NBA championship. And now I’m taking the light heavyweight belt back to Canada.”
Canadian faithful must have been holding their breath through the first three rounds, their man Pascal clearly on the losing end. Browne and his challenger traded power blows in the opening round, but Browne secured a lead, jabbing, and throwing at a higher output.
It was the same routine in the fourth frame. More jolting jabs from Browne before he began sitting down on winging lefts that backed up Pascal. But overconfident, he never saw the right hand Pascal would uncork later in the round that stretched out the champion.
Browne popped up and flashed a wide grin, beating the count, wherein Pascal chased him around with punches to close the inning.
The action picked up in the fifth, highlighted by a handful of phone booth exchanges. But with an adjustment, aiming punches to the midsection, Browne seemed to have stolen back the momentum, nicking the next two rounds.
As Pascal’s output continue to dwindle, Browne racked up more points: extending his right hand and timing a slashing left hook into Pascal leaning over. But lo! another buzzing right hand eventually clipped Browne, dropping him—again.
The champ got up smiling—deja vu setting in. But he was back on the canvas before the end of the seventh from a short exchange along the ropes, his legs unsteady.
Pascal did what he had to in the eighth round, bullying his opponent, chippy shots reigning down from all over. Just enough to snatch the remaining moments of this grudge match.
Eventually, the opposing fighters leaned into one another, a burst of sweat exploded from their colliding foreheads. Referee Gary Rosado immediately called for the ringside physician and the title tilt was over.
There was not word from Browne, who left early to lick his wounds. Tragic happenstance following his last fight, a title winning performance over Badou Jack, who was similarly cut open—cartoonishly gashed across the forehead.