Tag Archives: PBC

Spence-Garcia Set For November Pay Per View

By: Sean Crose

“Undefeated unified welterweight world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) returns to defend his titles against two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) in one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.” So claimed Premiere Boxing Champions in a Saturday evening press release.

The Covid-19 pandemic has kept many top fighters out of action. Spence and Garcia have been no exception. The 26-0 Spence was last seen besting another Garcia in 2019. That’s when he topped the weight skipping Mikey Garcia in one sided fashion. Spence has kept in the news, however, by virtue of a horrible car crash he miraculously survived last autumn. Before then, however, the Texan was on a huge ride to the top. Aside from Mikey Garcia, the standout earned wins against Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, and Shawn Porter.

Garcia, whose last battle was a January win over Ivan Redkach, has fought some of the biggest names the fight game has seen in the past ten years. Amir Khan, Erik Morales Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse and Paulie Malignaggi have all been bested by the Philly native. Even Garcia’s losses have been noteworthy. He may have dropped decisions to Keith Thurman and to Porter, but both those fights were close and exciting to watch. At thirty-two years of age, Garcia is still one of the top names in the welterweight division.

Spence, on the other hand, is considered one of the five biggest talents in the sport. It’s been long wished that the 30 year old would face fellow welterweight kingpin Terence Crawford, although promotional conflicts make the possibility of such a fight challenging. Manny Pacquiao has been considered a possible opponent for both Spence and Garcia. For now, however, the two men will be facing each other. Although Spence will most likely be the favorite, it will be hard to write off the skilled Garcia, especially when it’s unclear how recent events will have effected Spence.

The Spence-Garcia fight will be the first major boxing event in months. For it’s been since last winter that a major card went down. That was in February, when Tyson Fury bested Deontay Wilder in the rematch of their controversial 2018 matchup. Since that time, Covid-19 has largely put the sport on halt, though entertaining smaller cards have been making the rounds throughout the summer.

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PBC on Fox Results: Juarez-Shaw

By: Sean Crose

The 7-0 Omar Juarez took on the 12-1 Willie Shaw in an 8 round junior welterweight bout that was aired live on Fox from Los Angeles on Saturday. Juarez began the fight aggressively, working his way around the ring and firing shots with frequency. Juarez was clearly a man looking for impress, and although he didn’t always land, his and activity were making their presence known.

Shaw tried to find some success of his own, but his moments of effectiveness were few and far between. Juarez, simply put, was the more aggressive of the two fighters as he earned himself an unanimous decision win by scores of 58-56, 60-54 and 59-55.

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“Inside PBC” Cancelled By Fox

By: Sean Crose

“FS1 is scaling back production on its boxing and WWE shoulder programming. “WWE Backstage will not longer be produced weekly. It is eliminating “Inside PBC.” Double digit job losses as a result. SBJ Media will have the full story tonight.” 

These words, tweeted by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, should probably come as no surprise to boxing fans. It’s hard for sports shows and sports journalism to survive when there’s no sports – and the past several months have been a veritable sports free zone thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from the primary and horrible news that many will be losing their jobs because of this development, the loss of a boxing related program is never a good thing for the sport. 

This is especially true in the case of “Inside PBC,” which was a rarity in that it was not often criticized by fans. Boxing, like pretty much everything else these days, has a fractured following. People cheer on organizations as if they were teams. “Inside PBC,” however, was well presented and entertaining enough to avoid the scorn of many – even though it generally focused on boxing material that fell under the Premiere Boxing Champions promotional banner. 

Premiering on December 15th, 2018, “Inside PBC” offered insight into the fighters and news around Premiere Boxing Champions. Perhaps realizing that the popularity of boxing in the 70s and 80s stemmed in large part from networks focusing on particular fighters and fights, those behind the show presented a fan friendly perspective designed to make and keep interest levels high. 

“FOX Sports is thrilled to be expanding PBC boxing programming with this studio show,” Fox Sports Steve Becker claimed at the time. “We look to go inside the stories of the PBC boxers with in-depth interviews and feature profiles, as well as previews of upcoming fights and breakdowns of the most-recent, thrilling matchups.” With host Kate Abdow at the helm, name fighters like Shawn Porter and Abner Mares would offer their takes on the matters being presented each episode. 

With a glossy set and segments one might find on a show dedicated to the NFL or NBA such as panel discussions, “Inside PBC” brought a degree of broadcast professionalism and seriousness some find lacking in the sport. In the end, however, the program, as well as WWEs “Backstage,” might not have been able survive a pandemic which has essentially put the world on hold. With boxing slowly returning to live broadcasting PBC itself is expected to resume showing fight cards with regularity in the near future. At the moment, no full schedule is present at the PBCs official web page.  

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Coronavirus Forces PBC, Top Rank and Several Other Promoters to Postpone All Boxing Events

By: Hans Themistode

Fans that were in search of a reprieve from the Coronavirus pandemic, won’t be receiving one anytime soon.

Over the past few days, boxing events all around the world have been postponed. From big name fighters such as Shakur Stevenson and Naoya Inoue, to lesser known names and shows such as Michael Conlan and his annual headlining card which was due to take place in Madison Square Garden, in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Every single one of those aforementioned shows have fallen victim to this pandemic that has affected not just boxing, but every sport around the world. 

Still, even with the immediate future of boxing appearing extremely bleak, fans were thrown a lifeline of sorts. 

Over in Hinckley, Minnesota at the Grand Casino, a small card headlined by undefeated prospect Brandun Lee took place in front of a crowd of absolutely no one on March 13th. It wasn’t exactly the most exciting card as Lee cruised to an easy third round stoppage victory. But for fans who have been deprived of sports for what feels like forever, they gladly accepted it. 

If obscure names such as Brandon Lee and Camilo Prieto could be given the chance to fight and entertain those watching at home, then it gave fans everywhere hope that the big names associated with the sport could continue to enter the ring. 

That last glimmer of hope however, has officially been taken away. 

Promoters from every part of the world have officially waived the white flag in regards to future shows that were set to take place. Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) has pulled the plug on their March and April events. Including a Phoenix, Arizona card headlined by WBC Super Middleweight champion David Benavidez.

“Due to the growing concerns over COVID-19, Premier Boxing Champions scheduled events for March and April have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date,” said PBC through an email statement.

“At this time there’s no information regarding future shows. The health and safety of the boxers, fans and those working the events are of utmost importance to us,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions and lead promoter for the cancelled shows. “We are all disappointed and as we get more information we will address future events.”

PBC, was soon followed by other heavy hitting boxing promoters such as Bob Arum and Top Rank.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Top Rank has postponed all events scheduled for March and April. We are monitoring the situation closely. We will reschedule the shows as soon as it’s safe and reasonable to do so.”

“The health and safety of our fighters, staff and ESPN’s incredible production team is the most important thing as we plan our next steps,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We look forward to the day when we can bring our loyal fans world-class boxing once again. But exercising caution is the most prudent thing to do at this moment.” 

Even stars who seem to be bigger than life such as four division champion Canelo Alvarez have been forced to take a backseat. His upcoming May 2nd, contest against Billy Joe Saunders will now be pushed back to at least June, if not later. 

Those who were looking to beat the rush and purchased their tickets early on Ticketmaster, will be issued a full refund for every event.

All ticket orders will be refunded from your original point of purchase. If you have purchased online through Ticketmaster, all orders will be refunded automatically. Orders purchased with a credit card will be refunded to the credit card used for purchase. For third party purchases, please reach out to your original point of purchase for information regarding your credit. Please allow up to 30 days for this refund to reflect with your financial institution. If you have any questions, please contact Ticketmaster’s Customer Service line at 1-800-653-8000.

As is always the case in all parts of life, there is always a rebel. One person or entity that laughs in the face of those who are following the rules. In this case, UFC President Dana White plays the role of that rebellious figure. This past weekend on March 14th, White went through with his UFC event which took place in Brazil. 

It may not have been in the best interest of his fighters, but fans who were stuck inside of the house searching for something other than Spongebob to watch, were ecstatic to actually see sports on their television screens. No fans were in attendance, but the fights took place without a problem. 

Hopefully fans cherished that moment, as that could be the last time they see any new sports related content for quite some time.

“We can’t do it,” said White. “We have no choice now but to postpone these fights.”

White’s new comments were a far cry from the statement he made just a few days prior. The change of heart from White came from President Trump and his recommendation to postpone his events.

Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; UFC president Dana White in attendance during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re not stopping,” said White when asked if he would consider postponing fights last week.

Now, just like every other sport, the UFC is at a complete standstill. 

The sport of boxing and UFC are different in many ways. But they believe in the same concept. Beat your opponent up until they quit. 

At this point in time, it seems as though both the UFC and boxing have been given no choice but to do just that. At least temporarily. 

Boxing, UFC, basketball and every other sport across the world has waived the white flag. The Coronavirus has won. 

For now.

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The Nordic Nightmare Robert Helenius Stops Adam Kownacki in a Shocker

By: Rich Lopez

Premier Boxing Champions returned back to FOX with three fights in the heavyweight division. The card was staged at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. A huge Polish crowd was on hand hoping for another great performance from their countrymen Adam Kownacki. However, his challenger Robert Helenius did not follow the script. 

In the main event, Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius(30-3, 19 KO’s) shocked the world and scored a TKO overAdam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-1, 15 KO’s) in the fourth round. This fight was a WBA World Heavyweight Title Eliminator. In the opening round, Helenius started to use his jab in long range but Kownacki wasted no time coming forward. Kownacki got close to Helenius and landed body shots. In round two, the action picked up. Kownacki came forward and was able to land a right hand on the chin of Helenius. Helenius then backed up Kownacki with two right hands on the chin. Kownacki then finished the round coming forward and both men traded shots.

Photo Credit: Katie von Photography

In round three, Kownacki worked the body of Helenius. He backed up Helenius on the ropes and landed punches to his body and head. Once again, Helenius fired back with right hands that landed on the head of Kownacki. In round four, as Kownacki came forward, both fighters traded punches. In an exchange, Helenius landed a right hand on the chin of Kownacki that dropped him. However, the ref did not rule it a knockdown. Once Kownacki got up, Helenius landed a right hand that dropped Kownacki. Once Kownacki got up, Heleniuswent for the finish. He landed a barrage of punches on Kownacki that prompted the referee to stop the fight. The shocking ending came at 1:08 of the fourth round. 

This was another shake up in the heavyweight division. Kownacki was expected to win this fight for a chance at a title shot or land a bigger fight. However, anything can happen in the heavyweight division when you have big punchers hitting each other. For Helenius, he just resurrected his career and is once again a top world heavyweight. Now, he will be lined up for a world title shot. Quite a comeback story for Helenius. Good action fight from both men that ended in a stunner.

In the co-feature, Efe Ajagba (13-0, 11 KO’s) scored a ninth round TKO over Razvan Cojanu (17-7, 9 KO’s). Ajagba stalked Cojanu in the first round. He focused on landing his left jab and his right hand to the head of Cojanu. In the second round, Cojanu came out and put the pressure on Ajagba. Cojanu landed a few hooks to the body of Ajagba. Both fighters stayed close to each other and worked well in the inside in round three. Ajagbalanded good left hooks to the body of Cojanu. Both fighters were busy in round four. Ajagba landed a few overhand rights on the head of Cojanu. Cojanu started to come forward in round five and he worked the body of Ajagba. Ajagba returned the favor and landed his own body shots. Things heated up in round six. Ajagba landed a series of right and left hooks to the head of Cojanu. Cojanu did some good body work on Ajagba. In round seven, Ajagba concentrated on the body of Cojanu and had success. In round eight, a right hand by Ajagba landed on the head of Cojanu. Cojanu went down on his knee and he got up on the count of nine. Ajagba went forward and landed a right hand followed by a left hook to finish the round. In round nine, a battered Cojanu made a final stand and traded with Ajagba. Ajagba threw all power shots to the head of Cojanu and Cojanuwent down on his knee again. The referee saw enough and waived off the fight. The time of the stoppage was 2:46 of round nine. 

Ajagba scored another stoppage and against his toughest opponent up to date. It was an impressive performance from Ajagba. Not only did he display his power again but we saw a different wrinkle in his game. Ajagba boxed well throughout the fight. He used his jab well and kept a high guard. He also mixed his attack with body shots that eventually broke down Cojanu. 

In the opening bout of the telecast, Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez (15-0, 11 KO’s) dominated Joey “Tank” Dawejko (20-8-4, 11 KO’s) to earn a ten round unanimous decision. The opening round was a feel out round. Both guys started using their jabs. Sanchez out landed Dawejko on jabs in the round. In round two, Sanchez continued to stay busy with his jab while Dawejko relied only on his defense. Sanchez landed a few straight right hands to the body and head of Dawejko in round three. Dawejko was still waiting around to land a counter while talking to his opponent. At the end of the round, Sanchez landed a left jab that popped the head of Dawejko. In round four, Dawejko made an adjustment of coming forward, but Sanchez did not let him get in close. Sanchez used his left jab well and showed good side to side movement. Sanchez landed a good right hand on the head of Dawejko in round five. The fighters ended up bumping heads which cut Dawejko’s left eye. In round six, Sanchez continued to move and box while Dawejko was just following Sanchez around. Dawejko was coming forward inround seven but was not effective. In round eight, Dawejkocame forward and tried to get close again. He landed a body shot on Sanchez but it was not enough. Sanchez continued to popDawejko with left jabs and straight right hands. Sanchez started to land combinations in round nine. At the end of the round, Sanchez landed a right hand on the head of Dawejko and Dawejko landed a quick counter right hand on the head of Sanchez. In the final round, Dawejko had a better round and got closer to Sanchez. In the inside, Dawejko landed a few body shots and Sanchez kept boxing and moving. The final scores of the fight were 98-92, and 100-90 (twice) all for Sanchez.

It was a good win for Sanchez who displayed good boxing skills. He out boxed and outclassed a durable challenger in Dawejko. Sanchez did not get a knockout but Dawejko is a tough guy with a good chin. We should see Sanchez against a tougher opponent in his next outing.

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Fight Preview: Adam Kownacki Closer to a Title Shot but Needs to Get Past Robert Helenius

By: Rich Lopez

Premier Boxing Champions returns back to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday. Three fights are scheduled to be televised on the Fox telecast and the focus will be on the heavyweight division. Three undefeated heavyweights are looking to make a name for themselves and all three will have worthy challengers.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

In the main event, one of the most exciting heavyweights is back and now aiming closer to a world title shot. Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KO’s) of Poland, will be making his tenth appearance at the Barclays Center. Kownacki was a good amateur boxer who won the 2006 and 2009 New York Golden Gloves Championships. He started his professional career in 2009 and he had a brief absence from the sport from 2011-2012 due to injuries. He resumed his career in 2013 and he started to make a name for himself. In 2017, Kownacki really opened our eyes when he stopped fellow countrymen Artur Szpilka in an all-out Polish showdown. Kownacki made a huge statement and stopped Szpilka in the fourth round. He had a stellar 2019 with two impressive victories over Gerald Washington and Chris Arreola. His fight with Arreola was one of the best fights of 2019. Both men slugged it out for twelve rounds which produced a CompuBox heavyweight record of 667 punches landed and 2,172 punches thrown from both fighters combined. This is one of the reasons why Kownacki is must see TV. He is an action fighter that is aggressive. He also has power and he throws many punches.

On Saturday, he will be fighting in a WBA World Heavyweight Title Eliminator and his opponent will be Robert Helenius (29-3, 18 KO’s) of Finland. Helenius, who is known as “The Nordic Nightmare,” was actually a top heavyweight when Kownacki was just getting started in his pro career. Helenius secured victories over Samuel Peter, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Dereck Chisora in 2010 and 2011. He was being talked about as an opponent to possibly dethrone Wladimir Klitschko at that time. From 2012-2014, his career was set back due to injuries and layoffs. Since returning to the ring in 2015, Helenius has struggled to get back on top and has lost when stepping up in competition. Most recently, in his American debut last year, he was stopped by Gerald Washington in the eighth round. He did bounce back with a win in November against easy competition with a TKO over Mateus Roberto Osorio.

Kownacki will be looking for another knockout victory in his hometown in front of his Polish fans. He is getting closer to a bigger fight but he needs to get past Helenius first. As for the 36 year old Helenius, this will probably be his last shot in a big fight and he will try to make the most of it.

In the co-main event, Efe Ajagba (12-0, 10 KO’s) of Nigeria, looks to continue his rise in the heavyweight division. Ajagba is a former 2016 Olympian that has gotten a quick start to his professional career and has gained a lot of attention. Since he started his pro career in 2017, he has kept a busy schedule with most of his knockout victims not seeing past the fifth round. The 6’6” heavyweight is a fearsome puncher with a devastating right hand. Ajagba is also known to be involved in the shortest boxing match in history in 2018. His opponent Curtis Harper walked out of the ring in the first round when the bell rang which resulted in a disqualification win for Ajagba. In Ajagba’s last fight in December of last year, he had to battle through adversity. After dropping his opponent Iago Kiladze in the first round, Ajagba was dropped in the third round. Ultimately, Ajagba recovered and stopped Kiladze in the fifth round. On Saturday, Ajagba will square off with battle tested Razvan Cojanu (17-6, 9 KO’s) of Romania. Cojanu is 1-4 in his last five fights but on paper this will be a solid test for Ajagba. Cojanu has only lost to top fighters in his career.

In the opening bout of the telecast, Frank Sanchez (14-0, 11 KO’s) of Cuba, is also looking to continue his rise in the heavyweight division. Sanchez was a decorated amateur who got his start to his professional career in 2017. Sanchez has been on a quick start and has looked good so far in his career. He has shown quick hands and good power. He will take on his toughest opponent up to date. His opponent will be Joey “Tank” Dawejko (20-7-4, 11 KO’s) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Don’t be fooled by the record. Out of his seven losses, he was only stopped once earlier in his career which was to former heavyweight champion Charles Martin. Dawejko is solid and has good skills and should serve as a solid test for Sanchez.

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Plant Dominates In Front Of Hometown Crowd In Nashville

By: Sean Crose

IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant performed well, as expected, Saturday night in front of a hometown crowd in Nashville, Tennessee as he dominated a way-over-his-head Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany for nine plus rounds.

In truth, the 31-2 Feigenbutz was never truly in the fight, for the taller, much sharper 20-0 Plant completely overwhelmed him with fast, crisp, hard punching. Plant also employed excellent defense and maintained range throughout the one sided battle. Feigenbutz was game, but the fight never changed course throughout it’s duration. Plant fired stinging shots and effectively slipped or blocked most of his opponent’s punches.

Taking mercy on the outclassed challenger, referee Malik Waleed mercifully stopped things in the tenth in order to keep Feigenbutz from receiving further punishment. 

The question now is who will Plant face from here? Confident and extremely talented, the Tennessean shares belts at super middleweight with other undefeated, blue chip names such as David Benevidez and Callum Smith. Plant went so far as to call Benevidez out after the fight. “Everybody knows,” he said, “I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” In an era where politics rules supreme in boxing, a Plant-Benavidez match might not be too difficult to make, as both men fight under Al Haymon’s PBC banner. 

Although Plant was without doubt the featured attraction Saturday night at Bridgeville Arena, the most thrilling fight on the Fox aired card was the scheduled 10 round welterweight battle between the 17-3 Bryant Perella and the 26-3-2 Abel Ramos. Perella was cruising along on his way to a win when, in the tenth and final round, Ramos sent him to the mat twice. Perella got up both times, but referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout when Perella didn’t respond to his instructions to step forward. There were mere seconds left in the bout, making the whole affair reminiscent of 1990’s still controversial Julio Caesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor fight, where referee Richard Steele stopped the bout with seconds to go, giving Chavez a highly controversial win.

Saturday’s card also saw the 32-3 Diego Magdaleno face the 13-2 Austin Dulay in a scheduled 10 round lightweight affair. It was a grueling fight, but Magdaleno used a thudding body attack to earn himself a comfortable unanimous decision win. Although Dulay was a product of Nashville, his performance couldn’t earn him a victory in front of his hometown crowd, even though referee Jack Reiss had taken a point from Magdaleno for hitting low. 

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Fight Night in Nashville Preview: Caleb Plant vs. Vincent Feigenbutz

By: Alex Perl

This Saturday a fight card will be underway which is in unfamiliar territory for most boxing fans. Nashville, Tennessee will be hosting a card headlined by IBF super middleweight champion and hometown hero Caleb Plant. The night will consist of nine total fights, but this preview is going to talk about the two main fights.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Bryant Perrella vs Abel Ramos is a welterweight fight that should catch some attention.  Ramos may be a familiar name to some as he has faced some well known opposition.  Some of the opponents that the 28-year old Ramos (25-3-2) has fought along the way include former champions in Regis Prograis and Ivan Barachyk.   Ramos came up short against Prograis and Barachyk, but despite these losses, Ramos actually had a draw with former WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker.

Perrella (17-2) is no fluke himself.  His only two losses were to familiar names Luis Collazo and Yordenis Ugas.  The hard hitting Perrella has knocked out 74% of his opponents.   You can expect a dog fight in this one, with a very possible knockout from one of the two power punchers.

The main event should be an interesting fight. 27-year old champion Caleb Plant looks to defend his title in his home state of Tennessee. Plant (19-0) from nearby Ashland City, will defend his belt for the second time against challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2) of Germany. The 24-year old Feigenbutz, despite being three years younger then Plant, is the more experienced of the fighters, with 33 total professional bouts.

Although the competition for Feigenbutz has not been at the level of Caleb Plant, Feigenbutz has not lost a fight in four years. Although the undefeated Plant is a heavy favorite in this hometown fight, you can never quite call anyone out of it in this sport and Feigenbutz will be looking for the upset. If Feigenbutz could pull an upset in this hometown reunion for Plant, it could be reminiscent of Julian Williams upsetting Jarrett Hurd in his hometown fight in Virginia.

One thing is for sure, we will not know who takes this one until the bell rings, with that being said, expect some fireworks from this one with both fighters possessing more than their fair share of power.

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Gary Russell Jr. Defends Featherweight Title Against ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar

By Robert Aaron Contreras

Gary Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KO) does not move at the same speed as everybody else. Quick to strike but slow to sign, he finally has another worthy challenger, facing Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0, 9 KO) in defense of his WBC featherweight championship, headlining a PBC on Showtime billing on February 8 from the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The fight comes a week after a scalp of Russell’s, that being JoJo Diaz, dethroned former titleholder Tevin Farmer by decision. His own points win over Diaz only looks better in hindsight. And without doubt the oft-criticized American could use the goodwill. Totaling four title defenses since lifting the WBC’s green belt, Russell has routinely maneuvered his way into easy touches and sparse ones at that, turning away Diaz two years ago already.

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime Boxing

Fighting on Saturday will be his first since May 2019: par for the course, having fought once a year since 2014. That same year he was wildly outboxed by Vasyl Lomachenko. A year later, in 2015, Russell astonishingly lifted the strap from Jhonny Gonzalez, at the time featherweight’s most lethal hitter.

That was March 2015 when Russell ripped Gonzalez apart, earning a fourth-round TKO. His fists moving in blinding patterns, it was his masterwork. But the frustration surrounding Russell has little to do with him as a fighter instead Russell, the champion, who like his fists, operates at a different frequency, a timetable only he can decipher.

Five years on, Russell, 31, is preparing for just his fifth defense, making an art of inactivity and manipulating time: pushing the sanctioning body’s patience from the sidelines before slipping in a mandatory defense at the eleventh hour. Russell enjoys the throne, transfixed and immovable at the center of a raging continuum. Last May, he even seemed to go backwards in time in order to resurrect Kiko Martinez, presumably from the coffin he had been laying in since his past days as as super bantamweight contender.

Unsurprisingly, Martinez did not last five rounds with Russell. But against every boxer’s will, the clock keeps ticking. Father Time (and gravity, they are related after all) having recently forced out Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez to junior lightweight, Russell is by far the oldest beltholder at 126 pounds. Older than Shakur Stevenson by practically a decade. Of TBRB’s top-8 featherweights in the world, Russell is the only one over the age of 30. Helping round out the Top 10 is Oscar Escandon, 36, who lost three straight before a miraculous upset over Jhack Tepora propelled him into the rankings.

In 2018, Russell pulverized Escandon. It took the champion seven rounds to do it. And that was seven too many for most as the the fight was chided when it was announced. Escandon being only 3-2 in his previous five fights, it was deservedly labeled a squash match.

So what was the difference when a year later Nyambayar, commonly referred to as “King Tug,” did the same thing to Escandon? For starters, Nyambayar did it faster: ending his man’s night in three rounds. Knocking him out in fewer than his previous opponents was just what the former Olympian should aim for. Moreover, the 27-year-old California transplant was just nine bouts into his career, laying the foundation to a healthy career after a notable rise out of Mongolia.

King Tug’s two-handed sequence that left Escandon on his back was a tremendous follow-up to the flash knockdown he suffered just before that against Filipino veteran Harmonito Dela Torre. Nyambayar would otherwise have little trouble, winning a wide decision verdict over eight rounds. But nothing was more impressive than his most recent appearance.

In a WBC eliminator, Nyambayar met Claudio Marrero, who is no slouch of a puncher, and a well scienced southpaw. It was a sink or swim contest for Nyamabar, a hump every blue-chipper has to get over, but not one every blue-chipper welcomes after just 10 fights. He would handle Marrero, stunning him early and eating his opponent’s biggest shots to earn a unanimous decision victory and a date with Russell.

Rigondeaux highlights undercard

In chief support, Guillermo Rigondeaux will be trying his fragile hands at bantamweight. Unlike most aging fighters found ballooning up in age, the 39-year-old Rigo is moving down, from 122 pounds to 118.

Rigondeaux (19-1, 13 KO) will be welcomed to the category with a WBA title fight against Liborio Solis (30-5-1), who years ago briefly held a belt at 115 pounds. The contest will be Rigondeaux’s third performance under the handling of Al Haymon. Opting to sign an exclusive contract with the PBC after calling “no mas” opposite Lomachenko in 2017. The Cuban legend has since won two straight, each by knockout.

Solis 37, is no spring chicken. But his recent run fighting in Latin America, after a failed series of bouts with Jamie McDonnell, has paid off, winning five in a row, including three by KO. Rigondeaoux, despite pushing 40, is still leagues above that competition Solis saw, made up of part-timers and tomato cans.

In other bouts scheduled for the show, Russell’s brothers are also suiting up for action. Sharing the same first name, both Gary Antuanne and Gary Antonio are the undefeated, younger siblings to the featherweight champion. Antuanne, 23, competed in the 2016 Olympics and Antonio, 27, was a runner up in the national amateurs.

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Yordenis Ugas Wins with a Stoppage Over Mike Dallas Jr.

By: Rich Lopez

Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was back and hosted a card on Super Bowl Eve. It took place at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi and it was televised on FOX Sports. The spotlight was on former welterweight world title challenger Yordenis Ugas of Cuba. Ugas had a decent 2019. He lost a razor thin decision loss to Shawn Porter for a world title but then bounced back with a dominating victory over Omar Figueroa Jr. Ugas started the New Year with an impressive victory.

In the welterweight main event, Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (25-4, 12 KO’s) dominated and stopped Mike “The Silent Assassin” Dallas Jr (23-4-2, 11 KO’s) of California, in the seventh round. In the opening round, Ugas started fast and came out firing punches to the head and body of Dallas. Ugas continued his onslaught in round two, landing hook shots to the body of Dallas. Ugas landed a right hand that hurt Dallas towards the end of the round. Ugas kept up with the body work in round three. Ugas landed an overhand right that hurt Dallas in the round. Dallas did his best to land punches on Ugas, but many shots were being blocked by Ugas. Ugas continued his pressure and stalked Dallas in round four. Ugas still continued his work to the body of Dallas. Round five was more of Ugas applying the pressure and Dallas doing his best to fight back, however Ugas was in command. In round six, Dallas stood his ground and he put a good effort, but the pressure and the work rate of Ugas was too much. In round seven, Ugas stalked Dallas and threw combinations to the head and body. Dallas did land a left jab followed by a right hand but he was outworked once again in the round. Once Dallas returned to the corner, his corner felt he took too much punishment and stopped the fight. The fight was ruled a TKO at 3:00 of the seventh round.

Ugas was impressive as expected and now he looks for another title shot in the near future.

In the lightweight co-feature, Michel “La Zarza” Rivera (18-0, 11 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic, stopped Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr (27-5-1, 20 KO’s) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the tenth round. Maldonado started putting the pressure on Rivera. Rivera did a good job of boxing and moving. He landed a right hand that was the most telling punch of the round. Rivera picked up the pace in rounds two and three. He started to back up Maldonado landing straight punches to the head and body. Maldonado did better in rounds four and five, but Rivera had the better work rate. Rivera applied a lot of pressure on Maldonado in round six, which forced Maldonado to hold. Rivera continued his onslaught in rounds seven and eight. Rivera was firing straight punches that were snapping the head of Maldonado. In round nine, Maldonado tried to mix it up with Rivera, but he kept getting caught with the same straight punches from Rivera. In the final round, Rivera finally got to Maldonado. Rivera landed a few body shots that made Maldonado cover his body. Rivera then landed a right hook that dropped Maldonado. Maldonado got up and Rivera landed a few shots to the head of Maldonado which prompted the ref to stop the fight. The time of stoppage was 1:40 of the tenth round. Rivera performed well against his toughest opponent up to date.

In a six round super welterweight bout, Clay Collard (6-2-3, 2 KO’s) of Las Vegas, Nevada, stopped Raymond “Tito” Guajardo (5-1, 4 KO’s) of San Antonio, Texas, in the second round.

The fight was a slug fest.

In the opening round, Guajardo went for the knockout immediately. He threw nothing but power shots that were landing to the head of Collard. However, Guajardo had his hands down and his head was wide open. Collard dropped Guajardo with a left hook. Guajardo got up and Collard went for the finish. Collard landed a couple straight punches that stunned Guajardo again and Guajardo went down for the second time. As Collard went to finish off Guajardo again, Collard got caught with a right hook that dropped him to the canvas. Collard got up and both fighters traded shots until the end of the round. In round two, Guajardo went to the body of Collard but then Collard returned body punches back. Collard landed a right hook to the midsection that hurt Guajardo. Collard finished off Guajardo with straight punches to the head. The ref saw enough and stopped the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:42 of the second round.

In the opening bout of the telecast, Omar “El Relampago” Juarez (7-0, 4 KO’s) of Brownsville, Texas scored an eighth round unanimous decision over Angel “El Arcangel” Martinez (19-19-1, 12 KO’s) of Mexico, in the super lightweight division. Juarez moved and boxed well from rounds 1-3. He used his jab effectively and he also mixed punches to the head and body of Martinez. In round four, Martinez opened up more and let his hands go but his shots were being blocked by Juarez. Juarez continued to box well in rounds five and six. Juarez landed a left hook that dropped Martinez in round seven. Martinez got up and both fighters clashed heads which cut Martinez on the left side of his head. Juarez decided to just box and move in the final round. The final scores were 80-71 (twice) and 79-73 all for Juarez.

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Danny Garcia Decisions Ivan Redkach, Eyes Fight with Spence or Pacquiao

By: Robert Aaron Contreras

On Saturday, former champion Danny Garcia was clearly levels above his opponent as he pummeled Ivan Redkach over the full 12 rounds, walking away the winner of a wide unanimous-decision victory at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia’s adopted home.

Garcia (36-2, 21 KO), competing before a partisan Brooklyn crowd for the eighth time, got off to a great start whipping around Redkach, who had some bite to him (actually gnawing at Garcia’s shoulder in the ninth round) before cooling off down the stretch, scoring no knockdowns, making for a performance equal parts dominant and underwhelming, winning 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110, to set the stage for a megafight, possibly against Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao. 

“I thought the referee was going to stop it,” Garcia, fooling no-one, told Showtime correspondent Jim Gray. “I was punishing him—I wanted to get the KO.” More importantly, Gray couldn’t let him go without asking to confirm if Redkach bite him. 

Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

Garcia explained, “He bit me… [Redkach] said ‘Mike Tyson’ when he bit me. That’s my first time ever getting bite in a fight.”

Coming off that upset over Devon Alexander, enjoying new KO power at welterweight, Tyson-esque biting wasn’t the kind of savagery Redkach’s handlers thought he would be able to offer Garcia. Instead he opened the contest experimenting with long body jabs. Garcia routinely parried his opponent’s offense and tagged Redkach with one-twos to dissuade the tactic. 

Redkach’s left hand did come flying toward Garcia in the second frame. With little zip behind them, and Garcia being the natural counterpuncher he is, the crowd favorite threw light jabs right back at Redkach, curving over the Ukrainian’s extended arm.  

Asserting his will, Garcia pulled away from Redkach. His combos and powerpunching were too much. He expertly stalked Redkach in the third round, baiting him to attack, before exploding into dipping, winging right and left hooks.

Garcia’s mixed up his punch selection and, better, his points of entry. Moving diagonally to his right, Garcia touched Redkach lightly upstairs with a right hand before immediately turning the same hand over into a body punch. Timing incoming hooks from Redkach, and won the quick exchanges with left hooks of his own. By and by, Redkach was a sitting duck, open to absorb sweeping shots from Garcia to end of the sixth stanza. 

Redkach was just not a threat by the midway point of the 12-round contest. His output so low, Garcia at times fired four consecutive uppercuts. Eventually a heavy right hand from Garcia buckled Redkach’s knees at the end of Round 7. The bell rank and Redkach turned toward the camera to reveal ruddiness outlying his left eye, including above his eyebrow.

Garcia’s two-fisted waves coincided with long stretches of inactivity from Redkach: too busy sticking his hands up to returning anything of note. There was a quick consultation with the doctor before the ninth inning. But Redkach was thrown back out there to be on the receiving end of Garcia’s patented, no-look hooks, catapulting the bricks from seemingly across the ring.

Redkach antics mounted. He gave Garcia a nibble and afterwards repeatedly stuck out his tongue at Garcia, but using his hands to wrap up his assailant, not return fire, as punches reigned down on him. Garcia was unbothered, resuming his lunging haymakers.

The eleventh round, though, saw Garcia’s little tenacity dissipate. Here on out, through the final round, Redkach demonstrated more bounce to his step with fewer raging fists coming his way. He tossed out left hands, making little contact, but simply happy to see Garcia recoil and take a step backwards.

Garcia was still far and away ahead of his man in the final CompuBox totals. He connected on 195 of 568 total punches (34 percent), compared to Redkach’s landing 88 of 578 (15 percent).

This makes two wins in a row for Garcia since dropping a decision to Shawn Porter. A long stint in the pound-for-pound ranks, and domain over the junior welterweight division, far behind him, greater splendor could be his with a successful showdown against Spence or Pacquiao.

Which one exactly doesn’t seem to matter to Garcia.

“Either or,” he said after the fight. “Either of those fights I would like to have. I think my style fits great with both fighters.”

Jarret Hurd (24-1, 16 KO) def. Francisco Santana (25-8-1, 12 KO) by decision

Former unified junior middleweight titlist Jarret Hurd, returning for the first time since losing his belts, outmaneuvered and outpunched Francisco Santana en route to a points win in the evening’s 10-round co-main event.

Too bad it wasn’t the usual, incensed action Hurd typically produces but that was all by design.

“We came out here and did what we wanted to,” Hurd said in the post-fight interview. “We wanted to work behind the jab—we didn’t want to go toe to toe, we didn’t want to go to war.”

Though Santana would’ve likely obliged a warring Hurd, the 29-year-old Maryland destroyer resolved to fight in reverse. In the first round, Santana wasn’t so much stalking but chasing the bigger man around.

Hurd controlled the pace with pawing jabs—not exerting himself. Santana was consistently creeping forward. When he could stringing together bursts of short, shoveling attacks—doing little damage.

The geography of the fight shifted in Round 3 where Hurd wasn’t so keen on giving up the center of the ring, firing stiff jabs at Centeno as “Chia” moved in semicirlces in search for an opening. More stiff jabs landed. Centeno found short success with left hooks as Hurd tested out, or at least attempted, to show off upper body movement. But Hurd returned to racking up points with slicing uppercuts to his man’s head. 

Centeno was at least getting his workout in: bobbing here and there, audible grunts accompanying his chippy blows. None of which landed flush, brushing Hurd’s shoulders, and overhands unable to reach the head of his opponent.

Hurd was dealing out more powerful blows in the fifth stanza. Even in close distance, he was safe, leaning back, out of the reach of Centeno, patiently waiting for the shorter man to offer up helpless punches, and returning left-right hooks: more and more damaging as the round progressed. 

The rest of the way, Centeno, desperately, pressed his weight into Hurd. Tossing up clenched fists but to no avail: eating punches along the way. Oversized and overmatched. More fluid movement from Hurd to end the sixth round, moving laterally, motioning out and way before springing back toward his man with punches across his body.

The action slipped into a lull through the next couple rounds. There was clumsy punching, both fighters crawling over each other. So Hurd got back on track in Round 9: moving backwards again, now sticking out his off-hand, occasionally tuning it into a long hook. Santana’s arms were still oscillating but touching Hurd with minimal force. 

There was finally a knockdown in the waning seconds of the 10th frame. Hurd applied pressure, as he does best, blanketing the smaller man with his size: consuming him. Santana flailing his arms in retaliation. But two winging left hooks ricocheted off Santana’s head and allowed Hurd to tee off a right uppercut that slowly crumbled Santana to the ground. A last-second knockdown. But an inconsequential one, to be sure, manifesting when the fight had already been decided and fans no longer cared.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Patrick Teixeira 

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.

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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.

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