Travis Kauffman, Gerald Washington, and Michael Hunter Win on Sunday
By: Ken Hissner
At the Pioneer Event Center, Lancaster, CA, Tom Brown’s TG Promotions and Premier Champion Boxing put on three ten round heavyweight fights plus ten more bouts Sunday night over FS-1.
In the main event Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 32-2 (23), of Reading, PA, pulled out a majority decision over late sub Scott Alexander, 14-3-2 (8), of L.A., CA, over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Travis Kauffman Twitter Account
In the opening round Kauffman dropped Alexander with short right to the chin. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth administered the 8 count. Shortly afterwards it was Alexander landing a left hook to the head knocking Kauffman to the canvas for an 8 count by Referee Hedgpeth.
Kauffman came in at one of his highest weights at 242 ½ compared to one of Alexander’s lowest weights at 224 last fighting in March. Kauffman was returning to the ring after fifteen months.
In rounds two thru five were all close with Alexander taking three of the four rounds after an even first round. In round six Kauffman used his jab to edge out Alexander.
In the seventh round Kauffman landed a right to the chin of Kauffman. He would box the rest of the way as Alexander seemed to “take the round off”. Kauffman landed a left hook to the chin of Alexander at the bell.
In the eighth round Alexander came out using his jab and a left uppercut to the body of Kauffman. Kauffman walked into a right to the chin from Alexander. Kauffman landed a right to the body as Alexander countered with a body shot of his own. Kauffman turned southpaw landing a left to the body and a right to the chin of Alexander. Good round for Alexander who had been yelled at by his corner after not doing much if anything in the seventh round. Alexander took the fight on a week’s notice and had only gone the ten round distance once in his career.
the ninth round Kauffman came out southpaw landing a right hook to the chin of Alexander. Alexander came back with a chopping right to the head followed by a right upper cut to the chin of Kauffman. Kauffman landed a right to the chin at the bell. Kauffman seemed to take the round.
In the tenth and final round both fighters came out landing body shots for the first minute. Kauffman landed a double right to the head of Alexander. Alexander came back with a left hook to the chin of Kauffman knocking out his mouthpiece. For some reason it was over a minute before Referee Hedgpeth stopping the action to retrieve the mouthpiece. Both fighters went at it the last thirty seconds punching until the final bell sounded.
Judge Fernando Villarreal scored it 95-95 while both judge’s Sergio Caiz and Ralph McNight scored it 96-94 as did this writer.
In the other two heavyweight matches Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, 19-2-1 (12), of Vallejo, CA, defeated John Wesley Nofire, 20-2 (16), of Miami, FL, by scores of 97-93 and 98-92 twice.
Michael Hunter II, 14-1 (9), of Las Vegas, NV, knocked out Georgian Iago Kiladze, 26-3 (18), of Brooklyn, NY, at 2:52 of the fifth round.
PBC Results: Santa Cruz and Charlo Entertain and Win
By: Ken Hissner
TG Promotions and Ringstar Sports with Showtime, promoted two world championship fights at the Staples Center in L.A., CA, Saturday.
In a rematch in the Main Event WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Mexico’s Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, 35-1-1 (19), of Rosemead, CA, won a majority decision over WBA World Featherweight champion Abner Mares, 31-3-1 (15), of Montebello, CA, over 12 rounds of action!
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round both fighters opened up on one another. The taller Santa Cruz is using a jab setting up Mares. The jab of Mares mostly falls short. Cruz landed a triple jab but got countered by a right uppercut to the chin from Mares. It was a close round. In the second round both fighters continue to throw punches yet show respect for one another by touching gloves when a infraction happens. Mares in close seemed to have an advantage being the shorter of the two.
In the third round Mares landed a chopping right to the head causing Santa Cruz to come right back at him. Santa Cruz landed a left hook to the chin of Mares midway through the round. Santa Cruz landed a solid right to the head of Mares. Mares twice countered a Santa Cruz miss with an overhand right to the chin.
In the fourth round Santa Cruz keeping his hands high blocks most of the punches from Mares. Santa Cruz landed a good right to the head but was countered with a combination to the head from Mares. Both fighters were throwing punches up to the bell.
In the fifth round Santa Cruz continues to use his longer reach landing with a right to the chin of Mares. Santa Cruz landed a double jab followed by a right to the chin of Mares. In the sixth round Santa Cruz lands and soon as he stops throwing Mares comes back countering Santa Cruz. At the bell both fighters were throwing punches as Referee Thomas Taylor stepped in.
In the seventh round Santa Cruz landed an overhand right to the head of Mares. Just over a minute left in the round both fighters landed right hands to the head of one another. Mares countered with three punches to the body. Once again both were throwing punches right up to the bell. In the eighth round Mares landed a good left hook to the chin of Santa Cruz. Mares kept backing Santa Cruz up. Santa Cruz was cut over the left eye due to a clash of heads. At the bell Mares landed a left hook to the head of Santa Cruz.
In the ninth round Mares came inside landing a flurry of punches. Santa Cruz landed a looping right to the head of Mares. Mares was warned about hitting behind the head. Mares seemed to be the busier of the two inside. In the tenth round Mares attacked the body of Santa Cruz well. Both throwing punches at the bell with the last one a left hook from Mares on the back of the head of Santa Cruz. Referee Taylor warned Mares about the late hit.
In the eleventh round Mares went to the body but got countered by a right uppercut from Santa Cruz. With just over a minute left in the round both were landing punches. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the twelfth and final round they embraced one another then opened up on each other. Mares was warned for hitting behind the head. Both were landing a flurry of body punches. The crowd was on their feet in appreciation of these two warriors who gave everything they had.
Judge Danesco 115-113, Weisfeld 116-112 and Young 117-111 while this writer has it 116-112.
“We may have not thrown as many punches as in the first fight but thank God I did my best. I like to please the crowd and that is who I fight for. I want Gary Russell or whoever to unify the titles,” said Santa Cruz. Mares said “I fight for you guy’s (the crowd). Leo is a great fighter and I do not want to question the judges. Santa Cruz is No. 1, I take my hat off to him and let’s do it again,” said Mares.
WBC World Super Welterweight champion, Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 31-0 (15), of Houston, TX, defended his title with a majority decision over the former IBF World Super Welterweight champion southpaw Austin “No Doubt” Trout, 31-5 (17), of Las Cruces, NM, over 12 rounds.
In the first round the southpaw Trout used his jab effectively. Charlo finally landed a solid right hand to the chin one minute into the fight. Charlo hurt Trout. In the second round Trout countered with a combination to the head of Charlo. With a minute left in the round Charlo landed a lead straight right to the head of Trout. Charlo dropped Trout or was it a slip? Referee Jack Reis called it a knockdown.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the third and fourth rounds Charlo kept the pressure on Trout who was doing his best to counter him. In the fifth round there was a clash of heads. Charlo continued staying ahead of Trout. In the sixth round Trout hit Charlo with a right hook off his shoulder onto the back of his head following with a left spinning him completely around. Trout landed a right hook to the head of Charlo who complained to the referee it was on the back of his head.
In the seventh round Trout landed a right uppercut to the chin of Charlo and came back with another right hook followed by a short left to the chin of Charlo. Under a minute left in the round Trout landed a combination to the head of Charlo having him in a neutral corner. In the eighth round Trout used his jab keeping Charlo at bay and followed at times with a counter left to the chin of Charlo.
In the ninth round Charlo landed a left hook to the head of Trout dropping him. Trout complained of the punch hitting him on the back of the head. Referee Reis disagreed giving him the 8 count. Under a minute Charlo hurt Trout with a right to the chin. Trout would come back with a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Charlo. In the tenth round Trout landed a solid left to the head of Charlo. Trout had Charlo on the defense with half a dozen punches. Charlo hit Trout with a left hook causing his head to go outside the ropes while Charlo hit him with a right to the head. Referee Reis warned Charlo about hitting him while his head was outside the ropes.
In the eleventh round Trout landed a lead left uppercut to the chin of Charlo. Trout realizing with the two knockdowns he needed a knockout. He did his best but his best was not enough. In the twelfth and final round Trout landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Charlo. Trout is keeping the fight in the middle of the ring. Charlo missed with a right while Trout countered with a left to the head of Charlo. Charlo just under a minute left in the fight landed a lead straight right to the chin of Trout. Trout landed a short left uppercut while inside with half a minute left in the bout. Charlo’s knockout streak was stopped by going the distance in this fight.
Judge’s scores were 113-113, 115-111, 118-108 while this writer had it 114-112 due to the two knockdowns. “If Hurd stands in front of me I will be the unified champion. Trout fought to survive,” said Charlo. “Both Charlo’s (being whom he fought both) were helluva fighters. I lost tonight due to the knockdowns but I am not done yet,” said Trout.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Cruz vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Trout
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will rematch from a 2015 fight that featured more than 2000 total punches thrown. This rematch will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on Showtime. Santa Cruz and Mares will be fighting for Santa Cruz’s WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.
The co-main event of the night will be an intriguing bout between the rising Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout, who is best known for defeating Miguel Cotto. This bout will be for Charlo’s WBC Junior Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The undercard is packed with fights such as Karlos Balderas and Pedo Lopez in the junior lightweight division, Arnold Alejandro and Elliot Brown in the Featherweight Division, Jose Balderas and Luis Montellano in the Junior Featherweight division, and Ivan Redkach and Brian Jones in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of both planned televised bouts.
Jermell Charlo (30-0) vs. Austin Trout (31-4); WBC Junior Middleweight Title
The opening bout will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout.
Trout had previously faced Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, and came up short. Charlo is four years younger than Trout and will have about an inch and a half height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
They both have decent power, Charlo has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Trout has stopped seventeen. Trout has only fought once in 2016, 2017, and 2018 while Charlo fought twice in 2017, once in 2016. Trout has struggled recently and went 2-2 the past four fights, Charlo has been on a tear and has never tasted defeated and is currently riding a four fight win streak.
Both boxers had a pretty good amateur career. Charlo was a Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist and Trout was a US Amateur Gold Medalist.
Charlo has defeated the likes of Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, and Gabriel Rosado. Trout has defeated the likes of Joey Hernandez, Daniel Dawson, Miguel Cotto, and Delvin Rodriguez. He has losses to Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd.
Unfortunately for Trout the Charlo brothers are very close and will likely be talking about how to defeat Austin Trout. Trout’s biggest victory of his career was against Miguel Cotto and a win against Charlo might be considered an even bigger upset, but his lack of activity the past three years plus his recent struggles against high level competition makes those prospects unlikely.
Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) vs. Abner Mares (31-2-1); WBA “Super” Featherweight Title
The first bout between Santa Cruz and Mares was an action packed bout with an abnormally high number of punches. Santa Cruz won a close decision when they first fought and Mares has been itching for a rematch ever since.
Santa Cruz is three years younger than Mares. He also has a three inch height and a three inch reach advantage. He will be the obvious bigger man inside the ring.
Both boxers are known for their ability to throw a high volume of punches and swarm their opponents. But Santa Cruz has been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Mares only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
Both boxers come from a successful amateur career. Santa Cruz won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics and Mares competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Santa Cruz has a slight edge in power. He has nineteen stoppage victories while Mares only has fifteen.
Mares has two losses, but was stopped in one of those losses, a mild upset to Jhonny Gonzalez.
Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos, Carl Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Cesar Seda, Eric Morel, and Cristian Mijares. His lone loss was to Carl Frampton, and it was a loss he later avenged.
Mares has defeated the likes of Andres Gutierrez, Jesus Cuellar, Jonathan Oquendo, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan. His losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz, and he hopes to avenge his loss to Santa Cruz on Saturday.
Unfortuntely for Mares he’s still fighting a bigger man who’s in the middle of his athletic prime, while Mares is hitting the age that boxers tend to show signs of slipping.
It seems likely that Santa Cruz will get a more convincing victory on Saturday night.
PBC on Bounce TV Tony Harrison vs Ishe Smith Preview
By: Bryant Romero
Super welterweight contenders Tony Harrison and former world champion Ishe Smith will face off with one another on Friday May 11 at the Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas with the winner of this bout inching closer to title contention. A lot is on the line for both combatants heading into this crossroads bout as the winner will move on to better things, which could mean a title eliminator in the near future. The loser will suffer another setback and will have to rebuild towards fighting at the world class level again.
Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions
The 39-year-old Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) is an 18 year veteran of the fight game and has been in the ring and sparred with the best in the world from different generation of fighters. Smith is looking to keep his momentum going as he’s coming off a close debatable loss to Julian Williams in his last bout, though many in attendance felt Smith was the deserved winner despite the scorecards awarding Williams with the unanimous decision win. Smith will now look to use his experience and veteran tactics to upset another young fighter who is looking to get back in title contention.
““Nobody has put on for Las Vegas like I have. I’ve done everything in my career the hard way. I took Cornelius Bundrage’s belt in his hometown. I’m not going to be beat on Friday night.
“I’ve been in this game two decades and I’ve seen the highs and the lows. If everything works out, I’ll be victorious on Friday night. I’m ready to go on the road and take on anyone,” Smith said.
Tony Harrison (26-2, 21 KOs) from Detroit is the odds favorite in this fight, though Harrison at the top level hasn’t proved whether he deserves to be as high as a 4-1 favorite heading into this bout and fighting in the hometown of Ishe Smith. Harrison showed promise early in his career and the Promotion had hoped with the charisma that he has, that perhaps they could’ve developed him into a marquee star, but he’s suffered setbacks in his two step up fights that would have taken him into another level had he won those fights.
Harrison has since bounced back with two wins in stay busy fights since the devastating stoppage loss to current unified super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd in Harrison’s only world title opportunity thus far in his career. The 27-year-old is very still motivated to get into the ring and get back into title contention with a win over Smith this Friday night.
“Every time I step into the ring I’m extremely motivated. I’m fighting to feed my family. I’m from Detroit so we go through wars all the time. I was ready to jump on this fight as soon as they asked me about it.
“This is a fight that will get me back to a world title fight. This can get me right back into a title eliminator. What better place to do it than the boxing capital of the world? Everybody who fights wants to be in the main event fighting in Las Vegas,” Harrison said.
In the co-feature bout, Andrew Tabiti (15-0, 9 KOs) will look to keep his undefeated record intact when he takes on veteran Lateef Kayode (21-2, 16 KOs) in a ten round cruiserweight bout.
Lopez vs. Cruz Headlines a Full PBC Card Saturday Night
By: Eric Lunger
Saturday night on Fox, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) presents a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito Lopez takes on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz in a ten-round welterweight clash, while Anthony Dirrell and Abraham Han are set for ten rounds at super middleweight. The televised card opens with featherweights Jorge Lara and Claudio Marrero.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) has been in the ring with quality opposition, including a losing world title effort against Canelo Alvarez in 2012. In that same year, however, Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in nine rounds, his most notable win. Since then, the Riverside, CA, native has posted mixed results, with losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto, but he comes into Saturday night’s looking to continue his two-win streak. Lopez is an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter who is willing to take risks. Confident and relaxed, Josesito just finished a solid camp with renowned trainer Roberto Garcia: “this is the kind of fight I can really display my skills,” Lopez said at the pre-fight press conference, “I am prepared for anything Saturday night.”
For Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), Saturday night is a huge opportunity. With only three ten-rounders under his belt, Cruz is relatively untested. His last two outings were unanimous decision wins, over Alex Martin last June and David Grayton in November. At five-foot-eleven, Cruz will have a two-inch height advantage over Lopez and a five-inch reach surplus. “I have to be smart and execute my game plan round after round,” Cruz said, “my jab will be key, and if I can use that and wear him down to the body, I think I’ll have a great chance to stop him.”
In the co-feature, former middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looks to continue his climb back into contention after a gritty sixth-round stoppage of Denis Douglin in November of last year. Two years ago, Dirrell lost his belt by majority-decision to Badou Jack, and he later stopped future IBF champion Caleb Truax in round one of their 2016 bout, so Dirrell knows what he can do, and he knows he belongs in the mix at the top of the 168 weight class. “Everybody knows I am a championship caliber fighter, and I’ll prove it again on Saturday. After this fight I’m ready to take on any of the super middleweight champions,” Dirrell said.
Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) is an El Paso native, and is excited to fight in front of his hometown fans. Han’s most notable win was over Marcos Reyes in November of 2014, a ten-round majority decision. Han comes into Saturday night’s bout riding a three-fight win streak, with two recent knockouts and one no-contest due to a head butt. “I hope the sport fans of El Paso come out and watch me put on a great performance,” said Han in the press conference this week. “I know the type of challenge I have in front of me, but I also know I have the skills to pull this off.”
The action will start with a televised undercard feature, pitting heavy-handed Mexican Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. With a combined seventy-percent knockout rate, this bout is unlikely to go the full distance.
The action begins live on FOX and FOX streaming 8:30 ET/5:30 PT.
Showtime Boxing Results: Charlo and Davis Win by Knockout, Broner and Vargas Draw
By: Ken Hissner
Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotians and DiBella Entertainment on USA Showtime, at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY, put on a triple header Saturday night.
In the Main Event welterweights with former WBA World Super Lightweight champion Welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3-1 (24), of Cinn., OH, ended in a majority draw with former WBO World Welterweight champion Jesse “Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas, 28-2-1 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after exchanging jabs Broner landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. After over a minute of the round Broner landed a combination to the head of Vargas. It wasn’t until under a minute left in the round that Vargas landed a stiff jab to the chin of Broner. In the second round Vargas landed his first right of the fight to the chin of Broner. Broner with hands high is only using a jab in the round up to this point. Vargas landed half a dozen punches without return. Broner just shook his head as if to say “nothing on it!” Vargas landed a 3-punch combination in taking a good round.
In the third round Vargas used a jab to the mid-section of Broner. He followed upt with a good combination before Broner landed a good combination in return. Both exchanged body shots. The pace really picked up in the round. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the fourth round Broner counters with solid rights to the chin of Vargas. Both boxers landed well. Vargas landed a pair of rights to the head and Broner back with a right uppercut to the chin. Broner landed a good combination with Vargas countering with a right to the head at the bell.
In the fifth round Vargas continues to out work Broner until Broner rocked Vargas with a right to the chin. There was a mouse under the left eye of Vargas. Vargas landed half a dozen of unanswered punches as Broner came back just prior to the bell with a right of his own. In the sixth round Broner came out firing unlike previous rounds. Vargas landed an array of punches in what is a very good fight. Broner landed a 3-punch combination. Vargas landed a straight right to the chin of Broner who shook his head. With half a minute left Broner landed a low blow giving Vargas a half minute rest from referee Charlie Fitch.
In the seventh round Vargas comes out with a solid jab. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Broner who countered with a right of his own to the chin. Broner warned for using his elbow by referee Fitch. Broner ended the right with a right uppercut to the chin of Vargas. In the eighth round both boxers landed left hooks to the chin at same time. Broner landed Bof one another. Vargas continued landing good body shots. Vargas landed a right at the bell but was warned by referee Fitch for a late hit.
In the ninth round Broner came out dominating Vargas through the first minute. Vargas came back landing a big right to the head of Broner. Broner landed a good left hook with Vargas came back with a solid right to the chin of Broner. With half a minute left Broner turned up the heat getting the fans cheering with Broner rocking Vargas who almost looked like he was out on his feet at the bell. In the tenth round Broner went on the attack pushing Vargas back. Broner with hands to his side was trying to bait Vargas in. With half a minute left in the round Vargas landed a solid right to the head of Broner. Just prior to the bell Broner ended it landing a flurry of punches.
In the eleventh round Vargas is throwing rights to the head of Broner who is the aggressor. Broner landed a good right to the head of Vargas whose left eye is almost closed. It was a good close round. In the twelfth and final round Broner landed a good chopping right to the head of Vargas who is continuing backing up. Vargas started raising his hands at the halfway mark showboating. Vargas with less than half a minute to go landed a 3-punch combination to head and body of Broner. Broner’s new trainer Kevin Cunningham urged Broner throughout to do more. While Vargas trainer Mike “Body Snatcher” McCallum urged body work. It was an excellent fight.
Judge Lederman had it 115-113 Broner. Morgan and Marlinski had it 114-114. This writer had it 117-111 for Vargas.
Former World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, regained a world title when he stopped former WBA World Featherweight champion southpaw Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete” Cuellar, 28-3 (21), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:45 of round 3 for the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title, scheduled for 12 rounds.
In the first round Cuellar used a good jab while Davis was a little slower using his jab and a nice right uppercut to the body which may have hurt Cuellar with about a minute left in the round. Half a minute to go and Davis landed a right uppercut to the chin of Cuellar. Davis landed a good combination to the head of Cuellar right before the bell. In the second round Davis landed a lead left into the mid-section of Cuellar dropping him for the 8 count from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Cuellar was up and going after Davis for the remainder of the round until Davis landed a straight left to the chin of Cuellar.
In the third round after about a minute Cuellar landed a right hook to the left eye of Davis he shook his head from being hurt. Less than a minute to go in the round and Davis dropped Cuellar with his body landing three punches, body, head, body dropping him for a second time. Upon rising Cuellar had Davis all over him landing half a dozen punches with the final one a left hook to the chin dropping him for a third time in the fight causing referee Esteves, Jr. to wisely wave it off.
“I want to thank God,” said Davis. Upon being asked who he would like to fight next he answered “I would like to unify!”
Former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (22), of Houston, TX, knocked out Hugo “The Boss” Centeno, 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, at 0:55 of the second round for interim WBC World Middleweight title, 12 rounds.
In the first round Charlo came forward with a lot of feinting while Centeno was using his jab. It was into the final minute of the feeling out round before Charlo landed a double jab. The referee Steve Willis was slow breaking up the numerous clinches. In the second round Charlo landed a chopping right followed by another right and a left hook that had Centeno hurt, clash of heads and a left having Centeno going down and another right putting him on his back. Referee Willis didn’t have to count but did.
“I first want to thank God for who I wouldn’t be here without. Also, thank my manager, Al Haymon. I want Triple GGG, lets get it on,” said Charlo.
Gervonta Davis Feels He is the One To Become the next American PPV Superstar
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is working his way and building towards becoming the next American PPV superstar in boxing. His next step towards that journey is a chance to become a two time world champion when he faces former champion Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) this Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In what the organizers of the event say is for the vacant WBA Super World super featherweight title. That is confusing since the WBA already promised not to create anymore title belts and if this bout is truly for the vacant Super title then Alberto Machado the current world champion for the WBA at super featherweight has been downgraded to regular title holder, in favor of Davis challenging Cuellar who hasn’t fought in 16 months and is coming off a loss in a lower weight category.
Nevertheless, Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) is a significant favorite to win the bout, but admits he hasn’t done much studying of his next opponent.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
““I’m not really into researching my opponents—or other fighters other than the ones that I like. I just train hard and fight who is in front of me. I know a little bit about him [Jesus Cuellar]. I know that he can hit, that he’s not going to back down and that he’s a tough opponent. I believe he’s my toughest opponent to date. On April 21, we will see if he is ready. I know for sure I will be,” Davis said.
Davis is coming off his best year as a professional prize fighter winning his first world title last January when he stopped previously undefeated Jose Pedraza in 7 rounds. He followed that up with an impressive stoppage win over mandatory challenger Liam Walsh in less than three rounds in his opponent’s backyard. However, he ended the year with a minor setback in losing his world title on the scales and not having the most impressive performance against the undefeated but unheralded Francisco Fonseca.
Because of the minor setback, Davis has decided to make a change heading into his second world title opportunity by heading to West Palm Beach to join veteran trainer Kevin Cunningham and train alongside with former 4 division world champion Adrien Broner.
““I was actually going to go to Colorado to train, but Adrien invited me to come down here to West Palm Beach to check out the camp. He said I should come to Florida to train with him and Kevin. So I came down, I saw Kevin’s routine and I really liked it.
“There were a lot of distractions in Baltimore and I think they were a problem for me. I needed to straighten my head and focus on the things I have to work on. It was time to set my camp somewhere else.
“I needed a change after my last fight. I let myself down. I learned to be a different fighter, more responsible. I let others down, but think I let myself down more than anything,” Davis said.
With the change of scenery and more added discipline, expect a more explosive performance this time around from Tank Davis this Saturday. What the future holds for this exciting young fighter is what’s truly intriguing as rumblings that a falling out with current promoter Floyd Mayweather could perhaps produce a change in representation for the career of Tank Davis in the near future.
Whatever happens, Davis obviously feels he’s the one, the next great American PPV superstar the boxing world is searching for.
““I want to win more belts. I want to become a big star in boxing. I am going to put my work in the gym, put on a great performance in the ring and get back on track to become a world champion again.
“Being a world champion again is just a step closer towards my goal: I want to be a pay-per-view star. I want to be able to fight on pay-per-view against the big fighters and do big numbers,” Davis said.
Jamal James Edges Abel Ramos in Minneapolis
By: Andrew Johnson
Jamal “Shango” James outlasted a sturdy and persistent Abel Ramos last Friday night in front of a loud, partisan crowd at the Armory in snowy Minneapolis. He won by the slimmest of margins, splitting the judges 95-95, 96-94, 96-94.
Clearly enthused to be fighting at home, James came storming out of the gate throwing flurries of punches behind sharp double and triple jabs. He appeared intent on scoring another early knockdown, building on the third-round KO he registered in December against Diego Chaves.
Photo Credit: Brian Schroeder / Premier Boxing Champions
Abel Ramos looked very comfortable at 147 lbs. and weathered the first-round storm. He steadied himself in his corner and launched his own offensive in the 2nd round, catching James with a left hook that nearly flattened the hometown fighter.
“I caught him with some tough shots and he was shaking them off,” James told the Boxing Insider immediately after the fight, “so I knew I had to keep boxing him.”
James’ strategy to use his length and quickness to outbox the shorter, slower Ramos proved to be a winning formula, but the victory wasn’t as easy or as decisive as Shango had hoped. In the first half of the fight, Ramos absorbed combination after combination from James, but he never flinched. In fact, Ramos kept pursuing the quicker fighter and by the middle of the fight he was starting to land with more success.
Solidifying his reputation as a difficult target, James ducked, dodged and leaned away from Ramos’ power shots. “I got slick on the inside because I knew he was going to keep pressuring me.” James said about his mid-fight strategy.
James was also aided by the 3,500 fans who braved the weather to back one of the best prospects Minneapolis has produced in the last two decades. Chants of “Shango! Shango! Shango!” started in the third round and were repeated throughout the fight. James appeared to draw energy from the supporting crowd in the late rounds when he was cut over his ear and losing steam.
The Armory felt like it was made for the sweet science and is poised to host future fights. It was a reminder that live boxing is best when the crowd has skin in the game and is emotionally invested in the main event. The vocal fans may have nudged a round or two on the judges’ scorecards towards James, as a number of rounds could have gone either way.
The WBA was already on board with Jamal James as a top contender at welterweight and it will be interesting to see if this fight will improve his standing with the other sanctioning bodies.
In the locker room after the victory, Shango was both elated and palpably relieved. He came through in the biggest fight of his life and defeated a tough opponent in front of his friends, family and a national audience.
Boxing Insider Interview with Bob Arum on Pacquiao, Lomachenko, ESPN, Haymon, and more…
By: Bryant Romero
Boxing Insider was able to catch up and talk boxing with the “Bobfather” Bob Arum CEO of Top Rank to discuss numerous topics surrounding the boxing world. In this sit down interview, Arum gives his thoughts on the disappointing Heavyweight unification bout between Joshua vs Parker, Pacquiao’s contract status with Top Rank, how he plans to do business with Al Haymon fighters, he also gives more details about the new ESPN plus app and so much more.
Photo Credit: Bob Arum Twitter Account
BR: I wanted to get your thoughts on the heavyweight unification matchup between Joshua and Parker were you surprised it wasn’t as explosive?
Bob Arum: “Well yea, I thought it would be a lot more explosive the fight. They both fought an extremely cautious fight and when that happens, the bigger guy has an advantage. Particularly a guy who is getting his jabs in like Joshua was more frequently than Parker. The downside it wasn’t a very exciting fight.”
BR: When it comes to Joshua’s performance, did that change your opinion of what will happen between a potential Joshua/Wilder fight?
BA: “No it has nothing to do with it. That’s sorta silly, I think Joshua is the better schooled fighter than Wilder. Wilder has a lot of flaws as a boxer, on other hand in the heavyweight division Wilder has more one punch power than any of the other heavyweights. So that makes it an intriguing match, but Joshua is a much better boxer than Wilder.”
BR: I wanted to talk about Manny Pacquiao’s next fight Bob, it’s been finalized for July 14th in Malaysia. What was the difference between this fight getting finalized? In the past Pacquiao tried to make fights outside of the United States.
BA: “Well, I guess the people that Pacquiao was dealing with and he dealt with them directly, put up the money and previously the people talked the money but never put it up. It’s as simple as that.”
BR: So they were able to show the money?
BA: “Yea apparently, they put up some initial deposits, which convinced everybody and because of the size of the deposits, that they were sincere and that the fight would go through.”
BR: Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor he made some statements to the press recently that he didn’t want to comment on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank. Would you be able to provide some comments on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank?
BA: “Well we have a very very good relationship with Manny. We can talk contracts from today till tomorrow but that seems like its controversial. There isn’t (controversy) for example in this fight. We’re not putting up the money, Manny got the money himself from Malaysia. Our role is to distribute the television, particularly in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and we’re happy with that.
“If Manny was looking to break his contract with us, he would’ve broken it by not having us being involved I assume. And now he’s talking if he wins this fight, fighting Lomachenko who is our fighter and we will be happy to promote a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight if that occured because that would be huge.”
BR: If Pacquiao defeats Matthysse Bob,would a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight take place in the United States?
BA: “That’s up to Manny. Obviously for me having it in the United States is preferable because that’s where the PPV market is and that’s where were most comfortable. But there is a substantial tax that a foreigner has to pay in the U.S. withholding and Manny may not be amenable to doing that in which case he’ll look to hold the fight outside the country. If we or he find people who put up the money for the site.”
BR: Bob you’re going to be traveling to Japan tomorrow to watch your fighter Murata. If he wins is there any real possibility of him fighting GGG at the Tokyo Dome this year?
BA: “I don’t know. The plan is if he wins to bring him this summer to Las Vegas to defend his title in Las Vegas and then we can certainly have that discussion with Loeffler and Golovkin. Right now is very difficult to discuss anything with them because the question is will there be a September fight between Golovkin and Canelo? And that’s something they can’t answer and we can’t answer until Nevada holds the hearing.”
BR: In your opinion does that fight (Canelo/GGG 2) get rescheduled?
BA: “I have no idea, I have no idea what the commision is going to do. They have a provision that the penalty is a minimum of 1 year, but they could cut it in half on various circumstances. If it’s a year, obviously the fight can’t happen, if they agree to cut it in half so it’s 6 months the fight can happen. Again I don’t know what the commision is going to do and even if the commission finds that the suspension is over in 6 months, maybe Golovkin doesn’t want anything to do with Alvarez.”
BR: Bob I wanted to get your comments about this. You recently revealed to the press not too long ago that Al Haymon fighters are practically free agents and promoters can approach them. Where are you in that situation? Are you close to signing any high-profile Haymon Fighters?
BA: “Your talking signing, we’re talking about using them on a fight by fight basis. Maybe we will sign them. We have an obligation to ESPN to put the best fights on the network and now on the ESPN Plus and to make the best fights. We have to go to other promoters to get their talent and place them with guys under contract with us. Certainly we will use Al’s fighters just the way we use Oscar’s fighters.
“We made Lomachenko/Linares and it was a provision of service agreement with Golden Boy for Linares. But we don’t have any contractual rights to Linares going forward and that’s fine. In other words, because if a fighter is fighting for Haymon, doesn’t mean if he makes a deal with us to fight one of our fighters or somebody else on our ESPN broadcast that they have to sign with us for the rest of their lives or even an additional fight.”
BR: Let’s talk a little bit about Horn/Crawford it has been rescheduled. I’m really looking forward to this fight Bob what do your matchmakers tell you about this fight? Do they tell you that Horn can beat Crawford?
BA: “No, they think that Crawford is probably either the best or one of the two best fighters in the world, even though he’s going up in weight. They’re anxious to see how he’s going to do against a much bigger guy because Horn is really a super-welterweight. He’s a big big welterweight and that’ll be interesting and he’s gutty rough guy. But as far as my Top Rank matchmakers are concerned, everybody at Top Rank, our position, our belief is that Crawford is unbeatable.”
BR: Could you give me some of your thoughts about Horn’s team comments? They don’t believe Crawford suffered an injury and they’re frustrated that the date couldn’t be changed.
BA: “Fighters who are training or are getting ready to train, when a fight is postponed because of an injury to the other guy, always feel that they’re being taken advantage of and say ‘I’m feeling great, I’m in good shape why is not this fight not happening?’ And they then take that and accuse the opponent of shaming an injury. Well I’ll tell you that it’s absolutely ridiculous, at least in Crawford’s case. We know exactly when it happened, that he was sparring and how it happened.
“At first I sent him to our orthopedic guy in Los Angeles and then he went out to Omaha to be treated by his orthopedic doctor and we know that in fact there was an injury. I give Crawford credit saying look ‘I’m not going to fight anybody with an injury to my hand. Not fair to me, and not fair to the public and I need some more time and then the hand will come around which it did. And that’s why the fight was postponed it’s as simple as that. I mean they (Horn’s team) can speculate all they want. I know what the facts are.”
BR: Lets talk a little bit about Lomachenko/Linares, how are tickets going for that event?
BA: “They’re sensational we’re opening up this weekend the balcony in Madison Square Garden and we’re looking to fill the place with at least over 15,000 people there. Tickets are going unbelievable and our gate will be well in excess of $2 million and it might exceed $2.5 million.”
BR: Can Lomachenko NoMasChenko Linares?
BA: “That remains to be seen. Linares I’ve always watched him because Mr. Honda my friend from Japan of Teiken Promotions has been the guy to develop Linares and co-promoted him with Golden Boy. So I’ve known Linares for years and I’ve always admired his ability, he’s a terrific fighter, he’s very experienced, and he’s much bigger than Loma, so it will be a real test.
“That being said, I also don’t believe there is anybody on the face of the earth 135 pounds or less that can beat Lomachenko. So we will see.”
BR: What’s next for Jose Ramirez?
BA: “Jose Ramirez is going to fight in July. The guy Prograis has the right to fight him in July. Both fighters may opt to take interim fights before they move on. That’s being discussed now and we’ll see how that comes out. If Prograis’s people say no they want to go right to the title fight, we’re happy to do that, so that’ll become clear sometime next week.”
BR: I wanted to talk a little bit about your light heavyweight Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk he’s in line to fight Stevenson Vs Jack winner what’s the better matchup for the nail?
BA: “Well I think Stevenson is the better matchup, Badou Jack is a slick guy, he’s come up to light heavyweight. He doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Stevenson, but he’s much more maneuverable and I think he creates bigger problems for Gvozdyk than Stevenson. I think Stevenson now particularly at his age is more stationary and Gvozdyk takes a terrific punch and I look for him to win that fight quite handily. Badou Jack is a tougher fight but I also like my guy.”
BR: Who wins Stevenson vs Jack?
BA: “The one thing I don’t know, you don’t know, and none of us know is what happens when Stevenson hits Badou Jack on the chin? Can he take what is a powerful punch, much more powerful than any punch he’s (Jack) probably taken with anybody else, so we’ll have to see. It’s a good fight, it’s an interesting fight, it’s very competitive.”
BR: Can you talk a little bit about the ESPN Plus app it’s about to drop on April 12th how did this come about?
BA: “Well ESPN and Disney believe that the future of delivering product whether it’s entertainment on Disney’s part or sports from ESPN that the future is direct to consumer. And they’ve been working on this package for a number of years, they’ve invested billions of dollars in the technical aspects of it. So we are very fortunate to have been selected to supply the boxing for this package which I think really represents the future.”
BR: With this new app in place will fights still be aired, televised on the regular ESPN channel?
BA: “The way it’s setup is approximately half will go on linear (ESPN) as we call it and the other half will go on ESPN Plus.”
BR: Is there anything else you like to add Bob?
BA: “It’s very exciting times and I would say as that press release said if a fight airs on regular ESPN, it will be shown on the delay basis every fight on ESPN Plus. If you don’t catch it live on ESPN and you have your subscription to ESPN plus, you will be able to watch the fight on a delay basis.”
Showtime Boxing Results: Hurd Wins Thriller Over Lara, Williams and DeGale Victorious
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.
The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.
Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.
Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.
It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.
After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.
The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.
Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.
The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.
Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.
DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.
Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.
The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.
The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.
The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.
Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.
Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.
Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.
The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.
The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.
PBC on Showtime Results: Danny Garcia Knocks Out Rios, Benavidez and Ugas Victorious
By: Ken Hissner
Saturday February 17th USA Showtime featured three bouts all worthy of main event status with former champions Garcia and Rios in the main event. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Event Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Former 2-Division Champion Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia, 34-1 (20), stopped former WBA World Lightweight Champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 34-4-1 (24), of Oxnard, CA, at 2:25 of the ninth round in an exciting fight from start to finish. Garcia’s stoppage was the highlight of the night of three great fights!
In the first round Garcia had his way for the most part with the quicker punches and foot work with Rios coming forward as always. In the second round it was Rios pressing and landing more than Garcia through the first half of the round. Garcia started using his jab and throwing combinations to offset the fast start by Rios. In the third round Garcia landed a double left hook to the body of Rios. As Rios pushed Garcia to the ropes Garcia landed half a dozen punches. Rios came back driving Garcia to the ropes with Garcia jabbing his way out of trouble. Rios landed a hard right hand to the chin of Garcia. Just under a minute Rios landed a hard overhand right to the side of the head of Garcia. Garcia came back with a hard right to the chin of Rios. The fans really got into the action.
In the fourth round the boxer-puncher Garcia countered well but the aggressive Rios was backing Garcia up. Garcia landed a good right uppercut to the body but Rios came back with a good right to the chin. With last than half a minute left Garcia rocked Rios. In the final 20 seconds Garcia hurt Rios with a right to the chin. The action was fast and furious. In the fifth round Garcia rocked Rios with a right hand only to have Rios come back with a right uppercut to the chin of Garcia. Garcia landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Rios. In the final minute of the round Garcia gave Rios a wicked body beating. Garcia rocked Rios with a left uppercut to the chin at the bell.
In the sixth round Rios landed a solid short right to the chin of Garcia. At the halfway point Rios had Garcia on the defense. Rios countered a Garcia right with a right to the chin of his own. It was a big round for Rios. At the halfway point of the fight it looked even. In the seventh round Rios was driving Garcia around the ring with Garcia doing his best to keep him off with a jab and landed a good right to the chin with a minute left in the round. With half a minute left in the round Garcia was moving well and landing well. Garcia may have stolen the round at the end.
In the eighth round Garcia landed a 3-punch combination. Rios came back with good body work. At the halfway mark Garcia landed quick left hooks to the body of Rios. Rios pinned Garcia to the ropes but was countered well by Garcia. There was action right up to the end of the round. In the ninth round Garcia boxed well and at the halfway point Garcia rocked Rios with right hands. Out of nowhere came a powerful right cross by Garcia dropping Rios hard to the canvas. As Rios beat the count he was asked by referee Kenny Bayless to step forward and it was obvious Rios was finished making Bayless to wisely call a halt.
“I first want to thank God and Al Haymon and my dad when of the best trainers in the world. I want to thank my family. I noticed he was open in the middle of the ring when I landed that punch to drop him. I would like to have a rematch with Keith Thurman but that’s up to him (has a fight in May),” said Garcia. Unfortunately Shawn Porter got into the ring while Garcia was being interviewed by Jim Gray causing a shouting match back and forth. Garcia got the best of that shouting match.
The judges had Garcia in front 78-74 from Dave Moretti and 77-73 by Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Trowbridge. This writer had Garcia in front 77-75 taking the last two rounds big. Garcia’s power proved to be the difference. He and Thurman are on a collision course for a rematch in what is possibly the most talented division in boxing today.
Philadelphia southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3 (12), was knocked down twice losing in an upset to Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 21-3 (10), out of Miami, FL, at 1:05 of the seventh round with Ugas becoming No. 2 in the IBF rankings.
In the first round Robinson’s jab keeps Ugas on the defense though coming forward. A right from Ugas to the chin of Robinson drops him. Whether he stepped on Robinson’s foot it wasn’t clear. Both boxers landed solid exchanges bringing the fans cheering. In the second round Ugas kept stalking Robinson landing a lead right to the chin of Robinson. Robinson came back using a good jab keeping Ugas honest. In the third round Robinson missed with a right hook and got countered to the body by Ugas. Ugas landed an overhand right followed by a left jab keeping Robinson from countering.
In the fourth round Ugas lands right leads to the head of Robinson. Ugas landed a combination to the mid-section of Robinson. Ugas landed at the bell with a right while Robinson landed a punch after losing a point after dropping Ugas. In the fifth round Robinson is not doing well with the left hand keeping the jab on the most part to score points. Ugas is landing well with the rights to the head of Robinson.
In the sixth round Robinson started landing the left more but Ugas seemed to get the better with his right hand. Just prior to the bell Ugas landed a hard right to the chin of Robinson causing Robinson to complain to referee Robert Byrd. In the seventh round a powerful wide right hand to the chin dropped Robinson. He got up but on shaky legs. Ugas jumped on him landing a flurry of punches causing referee Byrd to stop the fight with Robinson throwing the last two punches. Robinson complained to the stoppage by Byrd. Ugas was ahead at the end on all the judges scorecards.
In the co-feature WBC World Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 20-0 (17), of Phoenix, AZ, in a rematch with Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-3-1 (14), out of Las Vegas, NV, pitched a shut out in what was an exciting brawl over 12 rounds.
In the opening round it only took Benavidez 10 seconds to land a right after a jab to the head of Gavril. This was a rematch from Benavidez winning a split decision over Gavril. Benavidez was landing right hands to the head of Gavril. With a minute left in the round Gavril landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Benavidez. Benavidez using a good jab and a follow-up right had a good round. In the second round Benavidez controlled with his jab. It took Gavril a minute into the round to land a solid right to the head of Benavidez. Gavril was pressing forward but getting countered well by Benavidez. Benavidez is landing a hard right almost at will in the last 20 seconds of the round.
In the third round it took 20 seconds when Benavidez hurt Gavril with a powerful right hand to the chin. Benavidez landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Gavril. Gavril out of frustration pushed Benavidez back without warning from referee Russell Mora. Benavidez landed a 3-punch combination having his way with Gavril. In the fourth round Gavril came out aggressively and got caught with a right hand and left hook that had him almost out on his feet as he was driven into the ropes. Gavril at the halfway point of the round fought back but Benavidez answered with rights to the head. Benavidez landed half a dozen punches without return from Gavril. Benavidez ended the round bouncing right hands off the head of Gavril.
In the fifth round halfway through the first minute of the round Benavidez landed a solid right to the head of Gavril. Not only was Benavidez quicker but punched harder. With 20 seconds left in the round it was Gavril landing a combination with the right to the head of Benavidez rocking him. In the sixth round Benavidez continued to dominate Gavril up to the final minute before Gavril came back on solid punches of his own. Benavidez came back near the end of the round as the fight started to heat up even more.
In the seventh round it turned into a battle with Benavidez still getting the best of it though Gavril got in some right hands to the head. In the eighth round Gavril comes out throwing more punches through the first minute of the round but got caught with several uppercuts from Benavidez. It turned into a war in this round. For the first time in the fight Benavidez backed into the ropes allowing Gavril to throw punches. Benavidez smiled and started punching Gavril backwards with solid combinations highlighted by a left uppercut to the chin. The fans loved the action.
In the ninth round Benavidez came out with triple jabs followed by a right to the head of Gavril. Gavril’s corner is yelling “show us something Ron.” He has been taking a beating in this round from Benavidez. With less than a minute left in the round Gavril tries landing punches but Benavidez answers with more fire power. Gavril’s nose was bleeding at the end of the round. In the tenth round Benavidez was having his way up until the halfway point when a game Gavril flurried until a solid right from Benavidez to the chin stopped Gavril’s offense. It looked like Benavidez was wondering how Gavril is still standing at the end of the round. The ring physician checked Gavril between rounds.
In the eleventh round Gavril continues to come forward looking for that one punch knowing he is way behind on points. Benavidez has kept his hands to his side the entire fight but his quickness of hand he still beats Gavril to the punch. He ends the final 20 seconds painting the face of Gavril with his jab. In the twelfth and final round Benavidez keeps ahead backing up landing his jab. At the halfway point it was Gavril rocking Benavidez with a solid right to the head. Just under a minute left in the fight Gavril backs up Benavidez into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Gavril knows he needs a knockout and he is doing his best to land that punch. The fans loved this one with both fighters giving them their monies worth. Gavril was marked up at the end but what a gallant effort on his part taking twice as many punches than he landed.
Judge Julie Lederman had it 119-109 while Robert Hoyle and Glenn Feldman had it 120-108 as did this writer.
“I kept punching (questioned about hand injuries) for I am a warrior. I want to thank Al Haymon and my team (then went into Spanish thanking the Mexican fans for their support),” said Benavidez.
PBC on Fox Results: Alexander and Ortiz fight to a Draw.
by Eric Lunger
Tonight, on PBC on Fox, the talented but enigmatic Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) took on former world champion Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash. No belt was on the line, but both fighters knew what was at stake: the winner would have a meaningful claim in the deep welterweight division, while the loser very well might mark the end of his career.
In a close, professional first round, both men boxed from range, and Alexander just nipped the round, landing one clean shot. Ortiz was looking to land a lead hook in the second round, feinting his way in. Alexander’s hand speed was noticeable, however, and Ortiz suffered a cut on his forehead. It was another extremely close round. Alexander looked the better fighter in the third round, showing world-class accuracy and speed.
In the fourth, Alexander continued to land precise shots, with Ortiz’s left eye noticeably swelling. The pattern continued in the middle rounds, with Ortiz trying to feint his way in, but Alexander timing him with precise, short shots. Ortiz did get inside at the end of the fifth, but could not do any significant damage. In the seventh, Ortiz bulled his way in, and there was a lot of leather exchanged at close range. The eighth was an exciting round, two professionals exhibiting a high level of skill and courage. It might have been Ortiz’s best round, but Alexander seemed none daunted.
The ninth was full of action, but Alexander’s footwork allowed him to dictate the range (most of the time), and thus Ortiz could not make it an inside brawl. In the eleventh, Ortiz was looking to land some wide hooks, while Alexander remained sharp and accurate. In the final frame, Ortiz fought with urgency but he seemed unable to summon enough energy after a tough and exhausting effort. For a fighter who has taken a lot of criticism regarding his heart, Ortiz fought like a lion.
The scorecards came a stunner. Inexplicably, a majority draw with two cards 114-114, and one card 115-113 for Ortiz.
In the co-feature, undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) took on rugged and experienced Rogelio “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in a twelve-round world title eliminator at 168 pounds. Sold as America vs. Mexico, the storyline was more interesting as undefeated prospect against tested and tough veteran. Medina failed to make weight, however, and appeared in the ring with a brace on his left knee.
Plant showed a strong left jab in the first round, taking no risks. In the second, Plant dropped his left hand, and allowed Medina to come forward and dictate the action. Plant spent a significant portion of the round back-peddling, earning a Bronx cheer from the crowd. But in the third round, Plant appeared looser and more confident, bouncing on the balls of his feet and landing some clean counters. Medina had no answers and began to take real punishment.
Medina had some success in the fourth, but Plant landed more jabs and used his footwork to frustrate the Mexican veteran. In the middle rounds, Medina could not negate Plant’s advantage in reach and Plant’s jab. Plant was winning rounds jabbing and countering, but he never seemed like he wanted to get Medina out of there.
In the late rounds, Plant remained in control, always boxing, always safe. Medina showed a ton of heart and desire, but could not make inroads against Plant’s defensive footwork. Going twelve rounds for the first time in his career, Caleb Plant earned the decision 120-108, 119-109, 117-111, running his record to a perfect 17-0.
In earlier action, US Olympian Carlos Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs) showcased his elite-level skills, outpointing Jorge Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round lightweight bout. Prior to the televised bouts, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) stopped George Sosa (15-12, 15 KOs) in the fifth round, for Harrison’s second win since losing to Jarrett “Swift” Hurd in February of 2017.
PBC on Fox Preview: Devon Alexander vs. Victor Ortiz
By: Eric Lunger
Former welterweight world champions Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander look to climb back into the top echelons of the division, as they face off on Saturday night in a twelve-round welterweight bout, live on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Alen Mena/PBC
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) held the WBC title in 2011, losing it to Floyd Mayweather on a bizarre knock out, after Ortiz had inexplicably head-butted Mayweather and was still attempting to apologize. Ortiz, 31, has been erratic since then, winning three and losing three over a five-year span, but he is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Saul Corral in July of last year. A southpaw with a fluid and entertaining style, Ortiz is a pressure fighter who can leave himself open to being countered.
“I’m ready to give all I have to get my crown back,” Ortiz said via PBC press release. “My priority is to make a strong comeback and put myself in position to have my straps once more. I’m facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I have known since we were kids. I don’t hate him, but I won’t be his friend on fight night.”
Alexander, also 31, won the IBF welterweight title in November 2012, but lost it a year later, in his second defense of the belt, to Shawn Porter. Alexander held the IBF and WBC super lightweight titles in 2010-2011. The St. Louis native is a southpaw as well, and he brings to the ring a well-rounded style with solid defense and potent offense. Alexander has a strong jab and a dangerous straight left, but he can also bang the body with the left hook.
After battling some on-and-off health issues over the last three years, Alexander is eager to get back on track. Coming off a UD victory over Walter Castillo in November, a big win Saturday night could jump start his career. “I’m excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz,” Alexander told PBC. “My speed, quickness, and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can’t hit you, so my skills will be the difference.”
With fights against Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana, and Timothy Bradley on his resume, Alexander is no stranger to the big stage. Both he and Ortiz have a lot of hard-earned experience between them; both of them are very talented. The fight should come down to which fighter can impose his game plan on the other.
In the co-main event, undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) will take on tough veteran Rogelio Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in a twelve-round world title eliminator at 168 pounds. At super welterweight, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) will face off against Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) of Mexico in a ten rounder. Harrison, a real technician of the sport, was stopped by Jarrett Hurd in February of last year in an IBF title fight. In addition, 2016 US Olympian Carlos Balderas will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
PBC on Showtime Preview: Garcia vs. Rios, Benavidez vs. Gavril, Ugas vs. Robinson
By: B.A. Cass
On Saturday, February 17, Premier Boxing Champions brings us a tripleheader that includes an IBF eliminator fight and the title shot for WBC Super Middleweight belt. The SHOWTIME coverage is set to begin at 10 PM EST.
The main event will be between the matched Danny Garcia and Brian Rios. The co-main event will the rematch between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril. And the first televised fight will be between Yordenis Ugas and Ray Robinson.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Yordenis Ugas (20-3) vs. Ray Robinson (24-2); Welterweight
After losing to Shawn Porter in 2010, Robinson has stacked up 13 consecutive wins. The talent he has faced has not been exceptional. Nevertheless, he will step into the ring on Saturday night feeling supremely confident. “I’m an old-school fighter,” he said on Wednesday at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. “I love fighting guys that look good on paper and nobody knows who’s going to win and it’s up to his camp and my camp. I haven’t been this excited for a fight in a long time.” Robinson expects Ugas to give him hell, and he expects to give him hell back.
The Cuban-born Ugas, who fights out of Miami, rose to some prominence after winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics. As a professional, he has suffered three losses. “I know what’s at stake,” he said on Wednesday. “It is the biggest fight of my career.”
This is about as even as boxing fights get. Robinson is 32; Ugas is 31. And neither fighter can claim a significant height or reach advantage.
However, the prize for winning is essentially an opportunity to meet defeat: this is an IBF 147-pound eliminator, and the victor will face Errol Spence Jr.
David Benavidez (19-0) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2); Super Middleweight
When Benavidez defeated Gavril last September by split decision, he won the WBC Super Middleweight title and became the youngest ever world champion in the super middleweight division. “Winning the title changed my confidence but it changed my work too,” he said on Wednesday at the press conference for the fight. “Now I know everybody is gunning for my title and I don’t want to let it go. All the work and sacrifice it took for me to get this – I’m not going to let it go.”
One of only two men who has gone the distance with Benavidez, the older Gavril (he’s got ten years on Benavidez) surprised a lot of fight fans last time around. It was a close fight. Gavril got rocked in the eleventh round but came back the twelfth round with a blow that knocked Benavidez on his ass. As a late replacement, Gavril had only four weeks to prepare for his first fight with Benavidez. He had a full ten-week training camp this time around. If he wins, he’ll be able to bring WBC belt back to his home country of Romania. “I’m not looking for a knockout,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m looking to win every round.”
Benavidez doesn’t intend to give up his championship belt. “I don’t think Gavril can do any better than he did in the last fight. He’s a one trick pony and he doesn’t have many tricks left. He’s getting old.”
The WBC did not mandate this fight, which means Benavidez took it willingly. There can be only one reason for that: he wants to put all doubts about his supremacy to rest. “I’m thinking it will be a knockout around Round 5,” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of the body and chin.”
Danny Garcia (33-1) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3-1); Welterweight
Garcia is still talking about Keith Thurman, who delivered Garcia his only professional loss. “I don’t blame Keith Thurman for not wanting to fight me again,” he said at the press conference Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want to fight me two times in a row.” Garcia hasn’t fought since losing to Garcia, which means when he steps into the ring he’ll be coming off an 11-month hiatus. He has an opportunity to impress, and he doesn’t intend to lose.
After being by dominated by Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2015, Rios retired from the sport. However, he came back 19 months later to defeat Aaron Herrera. Rios took a lot of shots before he finally KO’d Herrera. If he’s smart, Garcia will look to exploit this vulnerability.
Although Garcia is the clear favorite, Rios isn’t coming for just a paycheck. He a pressure fighter and knows how to make necessary adjustments. He’s ready to fight, and he’s excited to face Garcia. “One thing I like is he doesn’t move or run,” Rios said of Garcia. “He likes to bang it out, and that suits my style better. But if he does run, we’ll be ready for that too.”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson, Robert Easter Jr., vs. Javier Fortuna
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will televise one of the first big fights of 2018 on the Showtime Network.
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. will defend his IBF Welterweight Title against the entertaining and always tough Lamont Peterson in the main event of the night. The co-main event will be between Robert Easter Jr. and Javier Fortuna for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
Errol Spence has been calling out all the top welterweights and Lamont Peterson is one of the few to answer his call. A victory for either could lead to a welterweight unification fight with Keith Thurman.
The following is a preview of both televised world title bouts.
Robert Easter Jr. (20-0) vs. Javier Fortuna (33-1-1); IBF Lightweight Title
This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Lightweight Title, but Javier Fortuna came in at 136.8lbs during the weigh ins and had two hours to lose the two pounds for fight for the belt. It appeared unlikely that he will make it.
Easter is twenty six years old and two years younger than Fortuna. He will also have a very large five inch height advantage and a seven and a half inch reach advantage.
Both boxers had a successful amateur career, but Easter was able to become an Olympic alternate for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Fortuna has the edge in power. He has stopped twenty three of his opponents while Robert Easter only stopped fourteen of his opponents. Easter has been fairly active and fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Fortuna was able to fight twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Fortuna has spent most of his career fighting in the super featherweight division so size will be an issue for him. His lone loss was a shocking TKO loss to Jason Sosa in Beijing in June of 2016. He has defeated the likes of Omar Douglas, Marlyn Cabrera, Carlos Velasquez, Bryan Vasquez, Patrick Hyland, Yuandale Evans, and Abner Cotto.
Easter has never tasted defeat as a professional but won a close bout against Denis Shafikov in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, Argenis Mendez, and Juan Solis.
The fact that Fortuna failed to make weight his first time on the scale is concerning, especially since he’s used to competing at a lighter weight class. Robert Easter’s size and reach advantage will be too much for Fortuna to overcome.
Errol Spence Jr. (22-0) vs. Lamont Peterson (35-3-1); IBF Welterweight Title
Errol “The Truth” Spence is one of the welterweight division’s biggest stars. Many consider him to be the next kingpin of the division post Pacquiao and Mayweather. His opponent, Lamont Peterson, is always in a good fight but this may be his last chance at a world title.
Spence is in the middle of his athletic prime at twenty seven and is six years older than Lamont Peterson. They have the same reach and Spence will have a slight one inch reach advantage on Peterson.
Spence has the edge in power and speed. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and is currently riding a nine fight stoppage streak. Peterson has only stopped seventeen of his opponents, and only one stoppage victory in his past five fights.
Peterson was a national golden gloves champion and experienced moderate success on the world stage as an amateur. Spence was also a national golden gloves champion, but he also was a member of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Spence has looked sensational recently, but only competed once in 2017 and twice in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, and Ronald Cruz.
Peterson has not been so active and fought once in 2017 and twice in 2015. He has defeated the likes of David Avanesyan, Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, and Amir Khan. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Peterson’s biggest issue is his consistency. When he’s aggressive to the body he looks, at times, unstoppable. But as evident in his fight with Danny Garcia, he can be a slow starter and that often hurts him on the scorecards.
Peterson was impressed with Spence’s victory against Kell Brook. “”Errol even taking the Kell Brook fight was impressive to me. Most guys in his position take their time leading up to the first title shot, but he ended up fighting someone in his prime in his country. To will himself to that win was very impressive.”
Spence has looked untouchable and was very impressive in his fight against Kell Brook, in Kell Brook’s backyard.
Even Spence appears to know Peterson is a real challenge. He stated, “”I think it’s going to turn into a war. A lot of people have thought this would be an easy fight for me. But if you follow Lamont Peterson, you know this will be tough. He’s always in great shape and has a lot of skills. IT might be a dog fight and that’s what I wanted. He’s the guy who wanted to fight and I said of course. It’s going to be a rugged fight. Later on in the fights, he always gets rough and stands toe-to-toe.”
Even if Peterson is fighting at his best for all twelve rounds, it’s hard to imagine him beating Errol Spence.