Errol Spence, Jr. & Robert Easter Win in New York’s Barclay Center
By: Ken Hissner
At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, Saturday over Showtime Boxing and PBC, two IBF World champions were featured and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
IBF Welterweight champion and former Olympian southpaw “The Truth” Errol Spence, Jr., 23-0 (20), of Dallas, TX, stopped former IBF World, WBA Super World Super Lightweight champion and WBA Super World welterweight champion now No. 5 contender Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 35-4-1 (17), of D.C., who was returning after an eleven month of inactivity, at the end of the seventh round.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after half a minute Spence landed a chopping left hand to the chin of Peterson. Spence goes to the body and head with Peterson standing right in front of him defense minded. It was a lopsided round for Spence. In the second round Peterson countered a right hook by Spence to a left to the body. Spence landed a 3-punch combination hurting Peterson with a minute left in the round. Peterson landed his best punch of the round a left hook to the head of Spence with half a minute left in the round.
In the third round Spence started with a right hook and overhand left to the chin of Peterson. Spence continues landing good body shots. Peterson landed left hooks to the head of Spence who complained they were behind the head. Just prior to the bell Spence landed a straight left to the head of Peterson who countered with a left hook to the head of Spence. In the fourth round top Referee Harvey Dock warned Spence of landing a low blow. Peterson and Spence take turns being the aggressor. Spence kept using combinations well. Peterson landed a good right hand countered by a Spence left.
In the fifth round Peterson came charging out landing several punches hand from Spence to the side of the head dropped Peterson. Under a minute left in the round and Spence landed half a dozen punches without return from Peterson. The last 30 seconds both boxers went at it throwing punches.
In the sixth round a lead left from Peterson landed through the defense of Peterson. Spence landed a 3-punch combination. Peterson’s best punch has been a left hook. Peterson started back pedaling for the first time in the fight with a minute left. Peterson’s left eye under the eye brow started swelling. His corner took a good look and didn’t like what they were seeing. The ring physician came in to take a look at that eye.
In the seventh round Spence came out looking for a knockout landing many more punches than the back pedaling Peterson. It was a big round for Spence. The corner of Peterson stopped the fight before the round started in the eighth round.
Julie Lederman, Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld were the judges. This writer had it 70-62 at the end.
“I want to thank Lamont Peterson for taking this fight while others turned it down. He is a tough fighter who still wanted to continue at the end. You are going to see an improved fighter every time I enter the ring. Keith Thurman has to get in there with me,” said Spence. “I don’t question my trainer (Barry Hunter) when he stopped the fight. Spence is the best fighter I have met,” said Peterson.
IBF Lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr., 21-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, defeated the former WBA Super Featherweight champion and now No. 13 contender southpaw Dominican Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna, 31-2-1 ??? of Braintree, MASS, by split decision in a non-title bout due to Fortuna being over weight.
In the first round used his height advantage using an effective jab and lead right hands to the chin of Fortuna. At the halfway mark Fortuna missed three punches but landed the fourth with a left uppercut to the chin of Easter. In the second round Fortuna held Easter behind the neck while hitting with the left hand three times. Referee Ricky Gonzalez was yelling “stop, stop, stop” instead of getting in quick enough to break them up. Shortly later with Easter‘s head through the ropes Fortuna hit him which cost him a point by Referee Gonzalez who once again got there too late. Easter kept the pressure on Fortuna backing him into the corner landed a good left hook.
In the third round Easter backed Fortuna into the ropes landing a solid right to the chin of Fortuna. Fortuna came back landing solid left hands and roughing up Easter in a close round. In the fourth round it was another close one with Easter pulling it out while Fortuna does too much holding. In the fifth round Easter had Fortuna against the ropes landing a flurry of punches primarily left hooks to the head.
In the sixth round Fortuna did a step around landing a good right hook to the head of Easter. Fortuna continues his dirty tactics of holding and pulling down Easter’s head then leaning on him. Easter landed a long right hand to the chin but Fortuna landed a counter left hand to the chin rocking Easter.
In the seventh round both boxers were talking to one another to “come on!” Easter clearly took the round. In the eighth round Easter used his jab and reach more than at anytime in the fight keeping Fortuna at bay. It was a big round for Easter.
In the ninth round Easter continued out working Fortuna. Easter landing nice lead jabs to the chin of Fortuna. When Easter comes in low that is when Fortuna pulls his head down and ties him up. In the tenth round both let loose with punches at the start of the round unlike previously in the bout. Fortuna lands a good body shot which there was very little of during the fight by both boxers. While on the ropes it was Fortuna out working Easter right up until the bell.
In the eleventh round it continued to have Fortuna on the ropes but landing well. Coming in over weight may be the reason for the back pedaling Fortuna to spend so much time on the ropes. Fortuna came forward and landed a combination that seemed to surprise Easter. Both had words at the bell. Fortuna may have pulled out the round.
In the twelfth and final round inside of the first round Easter rocked Fortuna with a left hook to the chin. Halfway through the final round Fortuna is back pedaling instead of throwing punches. Fortuna continues to come in roughing up Easter inside. Whenever Easter comes in low he gets tied up. Referee Gonzalez warned him about coming in with his head.
Judge Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Easter, John McKaie 114-113 for Fortuna and Kevin Morgan 115-112 for Easter. This writer had it 116-111 Easter.
The best Ring Announcer in the business “It’s Showtime” Jimmy Lennon, Jr. did his usual great job. Fortuna did much too much holding to have won the fight. For some reason Showtime announced future fights on their network along with two of them that have been cancelled in the Danny Garcia fight and the Mikey Garcia fight with their opponents pulling out with injuries.
Light Heavyweight southpaw “Sir” Marcus Browne, 21-0 (15), of Staten Island, NY, stopped Francy Ntetu, 17-2 (4), of Congo and CAN, at 2:15 of the first round.
Heavyweight Adam Kownacki, 17-0 (14), of Lomza, POL, and Brooklyn, NY, stopped Iago Kiladze, 26-2 (18), of Sachkere, GEO, at 2:48 of the sixth round.
Anthony Peterson, 38-1 (24), of Memphis, TN, shut out Columbia’s Louis Eduardo Florez, 23-9 (19) over 10 rounds.
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.
How Good is Errol Spence, Jr.?
By Eric Lunger
Errol Spence, Jr. is a three-time amateur national champion. He was a 2012 Olympian reaching the quarter finals in the welterweight division. Turning professional seven years ago, he is undefeated in twenty-two fights and has scored nineteen KOs. He is ranked number eight in the world in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list, and number two at welterweight.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions
These are impressive facts, but to gauge how good Errol Spence, Jr. is, we have to go back to May of last year, when he traveled to Sheffield, England, to face the experienced IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs). Spence took home the belt, stopping the British champion in the eleventh round, and showed a mature mastery of all areas of the sweet science.
Despite a thunderous home crowd and massive stage, Spence was calm and poised, relaxed even. His ring IQ is so high that he always seems to anticipate what his opponent is going to do. No movement wasted, everything under control – Errol looked at times like he was sparring in his home gym, not facing one of the best welterweights in a hostile stadium.
Here are some of his strengths. Spence has quick and precise footwork, which in turn means he can control the distance from which he fights and the style in which he fights. He is a southpaw with an excellent jab, and behind that jab is world-class hand speed and punching accuracy. Spence’s defense is also highly technical, utilizing a high guard from which he can counter punch effectively.
Spence is rightly known for being one of the best body punchers in the division, and it showed in the Brook fight. He was also able to switch styles at ease, sometimes fighting on his back foot and countering, sometimes walking Brook down, and sometimes getting inside and fighting in the phone booth. Spence also showed excellent conditioning and pacing in the Brook fight, hitting a new and higher gear in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh rounds, a gear that the Sheffield fighter could not match.
Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect fighter. Where is Spence vulnerable? Maybe against a more athletic puncher – like Thurman, or even Peterson – Spence’s technical skills could be nullified. Peterson might need to get inside, lean on Spence, muscle him, in order to get the younger man off his game. Brook had some success leaning on Spence, holding and wearing him out, and working the body. In short, turning the fight into a brawl rather than a boxing match might be one way (the only way?) to negate Spence’s skill level.
Spence has never been in real trouble and had to fight his way out. He has never been on the canvas as a professional. The flipside of Spence’s poise and calm in the ring is that he can get casual and too comfortable, as he did in the sixth round of the Brook fight, where Brook caught the American and put him in momentary difficulty.
Then there are the intangibles: focus, resilience, drive, mental preparation, late-round confidence. Nothing in Spence’s career so far has shown that he has anything less than the highest ability in all these categories. Errol Spence, Jr. is an elite-level boxer and a world champion. How good can he be? He will take another step toward that answer this Saturday night against Lamont Peterson, live on Showtime starting at 9:00 PM.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Peterson, Spence, Diaz, Derevyanchenko, Davtaev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 9th to January 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Patrice Harris
Joseph Diaz to Defend NABO Featherweight Title Against Victor Terrazas
Golden Boy Promotions will continue its partnership with ESPN for this exciting new year with an explosive main event featuring 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABO Featherweight Title against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) on the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino inIndio, Calif.Doors to the Special Events Center open at 5:00 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout starts at 5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and the ESPN3 transmission will begin at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
Diaz Jr., a 25-year-old prodigy of South El Monte, Calif., was an exceptional amateur prospect who was part of the 2012 United States Olympic Team. After making his debut with Golden Boy Promotions in December 2012 at the now-defunct LA Sports Arena, Diaz, Jr. climbed the 126-pound rankings defeating one tough opponent after another. Diaz, Jr. had a great 2017 as he participated in two Pay-Per-View events. In the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Diaz, Jr. cruised to a 10-round unanimous decision victory against the previously undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila. Diaz, Jr. then defeated Rafael “Bing Bang” Rivera via dominant 12-round decision in the co-main event of the historic Canelo vs. Golovkin HBO pay-per-view event. Diaz, Jr. will look to continue his path to a world title with a win on Feb. 22.
“I look forward to making my 2018 debut,” said Diaz, Jr. “And what better way than by facing a tough former world champion in Victor Terrazas! I will remind everyone why I deserve a world title shot by headlining this card exciting fashion.”
Terrazas, a 34-year-old native of Jalisco, Mexico, is a former world champion who defeated Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares to capture the WBC Super Bantamweight Title. Terrazas, a student of the traditional Mexican school of boxing, has fought fighters at a world championship level from different parts of the world, and will bring years of fighting experience into his fight against Diaz, Jr.
“I have faced great fighters in my career,” said Terrazas. “And this fight against Joseph Diaz, Jr. will not be an exception. I think that my experience will be very important, and I have no doubts that I will leave with my hand raised.”
Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), a super lightweight prospect who has delighted fans with his tremendous knockout power, will return in the eight-round co-main event. After debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout, and he’s anxious to retain his 100% knockout rate in the year 2018. One must definitely not lose sight of this sensational Mexican American who has his roots in Michoacan, Mexico.
The explosive undercard will be stacked with the best and brightest prospects of the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable. Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action in his Fantasy Springs Resort Casino debut. Gonzalez is a hard-hitting prospect who is coming off two spectacular wins, the last of which was against Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz.
Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), after making his headlining debut in Sept. of 2017, will square off in an eight-round featherweight fight. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, California will start the year off with a bang in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.
Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr.(11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open the evening of very exciting combats in an eight-round super featherweight fight. In the night’s swing bout, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in a six-round lightweight fight.
Opponents for these exciting, rising prospects will be announced shortly.
Sergey Derevyanchenko Highlights Spence vs. Peterson Undercard
Unbeaten middleweight contender and IBF No. 1 challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs, WSB: 23-1, 7 KOs) will enter the ring for an eight-round bout as part of an exciting undercard on Saturday, January 20 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. taking on two-division champion Lamont Peterson live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Lightweight world champion Robert Easter squares up against two-division champion Javier Fortuna. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are priced starting at $50, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center or by calling 800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Additional action inside of the arena will see the brother of Lamont Peterson, once-beaten Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs), facing Luis Florez (23-7, 19 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup plus once-beaten welterweight Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round fight against Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa (38-14-1, 30 KOs).
Undercard fights continue with undefeated 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (3-0, 1 KO) entering the ring for a four-round welterweight fight against Preston Wilson (4-2-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia’s Dylan Price (4-0, 4 KOs) competing in a four-round super flyweight bout against Nestor Ramos (7-7, 3 KOs) and welterweight prospect Keyshawn Williams (1-0, 1 KO) taking on Denis Okoth (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round matchup.
Rounding out the night is a four-round showdown between unbeaten Desmond Jarmon and Dallas-native Charles Clark plus New Jersey’s Matthew Gonzalez in a six round middleweight fight against Alexander Serna.
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently earned the top spot in the IBF rankings with an impressive 12th round stoppage over Tureano Johnson. The 32-year-old also defeated previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in 2017 after his 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.
Derevyanchenko and Golub make it a pair of Ukrainian sluggers fighting out of Brooklyn who will compete on the undercard looking to put on impressive performances in their adopted hometown.
Russian Heavyweight Apti Davtaev Remains Undefeated
Several entertaining fights highlighted the untelevised undercard for two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields defense of her WBC and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York tonight.
In the main supporting bout, Detroit via Kurchaloi, Russia, heavyweight Apti Davtaev had a successful United States fighting debut by scoring a six-round unanimous decision over Philadelphia’s Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson.
Wilson didn’t make it easy. Fighting out of a crouch, the heavily muscled, but much shorter Wilson came up with enough wild haymakers to make the entire fight very interesting. Davtaev appears to have a heavy right hand, which he dropped onto the hard head of Wilson often enough to earn the close, but deserved nod. Davtaev warrants credit for going to war whenever one of Wilson’s looping swings connected.
Davtaev (now 14-0-1, 13 KOs) loses his perfect KO percentage, but walks away with a hard-fought victory over a foe who came to win. Wilson is now (18-14-1, 9 KOs).
The scores were 58-56 from all three judges.
An accidental headbutt brought an abbreviated end to the six-round super lightweight return of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Eyubov.
In against Lynchburg, Virginia’s Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8 KOs), the exciting slugger Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) was advancing behind active head movement and a tight shell when his head collided with the retreating Chalmers’. The cut that resulted was ruled too severe and the fight was ruled a No Decision at 1:59 of the opening round.
In a wild women’s light heavyweight brawl featuring fists flying from every direction, wrestling holds and several MMA-style takedowns, Franchon “The Heavy Hitting Diva” Crews-Dezurn won a unanimous six-round decision over Tiffany “The Terminator” Woodard.
Crews-Dezurn, now 3-1, 1 KO, of Baltimore, Maryland, had too many weapons for Wilson, North Carolina’s Woodard (now 4-10-3, 3 KOs), so Woodard tried and succeeded to make things ugly. What followed was a wild punch-out featuring elbows and headlocks and takedowns that left both on the canvas more than once.
Woodard took a lot of hard leather and deserves credit for her toughness. Crews-Dezurn showed class in not taking the bait for most of the fight. She did lose a point in the sixth for a sneaky revenge takedown.
The scores were 59-53, 59-54 and 59-54.
Detroit via Magnitogorsk, Russia’s Alexey Zubov outworked a determined Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers of Hawley, Pennsylvania, on his way to a six-round majority decision.
An entertaining fight between hard-nosed cruiserweights, Zubov was cut over the right eye and took some good punches, but simply outworked the more selective Capers. Zubov showed his often-superior conditioning and worked behind an educated jab, while Capers was content to lay on the ropes and land hard pot shots often enough to keep it interesting.
A score of 57-57 draw was over-ruled by scores 59-56 and 58-56 for the tough Russian. With the victory, Zubov moves his record to 17-1, 9 KOs. Capers falls to 8-11-3.
Lamont Peterson Workout Quotes
Two-division world champion Lamont Peterson hosted a media workout in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Thursday as he prepares to take on unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING® and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features lightweight world champion Robert Easter battling former champion Javier Fortuna.
Here is what the workout participants had to say Thursday:
“I feel great. I’m already close to weight. I’m happy and eating up to five times a day. I feel strong and I’m ready for this fight.
“I have to look at this as really just another big fight. When you’re at the top, you try not to make too much of each fight. We know what’s at stake. I know that when I keep it simple, that’s when I perform best.
“Right now my body feels better than ever. I’m comfortable with everything that’s gone on in camp and I think you can see it in my body.
“I’ve always trained hard since the first day I came here as a child. That’s been instilled in me since a young age and it’s carried me throughout my career.
“Everything I do is for D.C. I’m trying to get as much recognition for this area the best way I can. That’s what we all strive for in this gym. This is the biggest one that’s been on the schedule for a while and I’m ready to bring it home.
“It gets easier and easier the more championship fights I’m in. I was in shape for all of them, but I definitely put more pressure on myself when I was young. I’ve improved each time and now I feel like I’m really at the perfect place in my career.”
Rances Barthelemy and Kyrl Relikh to Rematch on February 10th
Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh will both look to kick off their new year with a world title victory when they meet in a rematch for a vacant 140-pound title Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT and will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).
“Obviously the number one goal for 2018 is to bring home that belt on February 10,” said Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs). “Then I want to unify with all the other champions. My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with good people and win multiple world titles.”
“First I have to win this fight in February,” said Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs). “But then I have hopes of a great year defending my belt against the mandatory and eventually a unification fight. This will be the year I reach a new level in this sport.”
Barthelemy and Relikh will fight for the WBA’s vacant Super Lightweight World Title after their title eliminator bout in May ended in a debatable decision for Barthelemy. This time the fighters will look to leave no doubt with the full title on the line.
“This is my second time fighting for a world title and it will be a second lesson for me,” said Relikh. “This is my time to become champion. I need to do much more during this fight.
“I have to be aggressive right from the start. I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”
“Winning this title would be a dream come true for me,” said Barthelemy. “I’d be the first Cuban fighter in history to win a title in three different divisions. The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch.
“I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world. The key will be to stay disciplined and land hard shots all night.”
Both fighters have sacrificed in training camp on the road to what they hope will be a celebratory moment on February 10, training hard through the holiday season to stay on target for fight night.
“My whole team has done a fantastic job so far in camp,” said Barthelemy. “Ismael Salas and Joel Casamayor are giving me great tips and keeping me focused on my goal. One new thing I’ve added this camp is Bob Santos for nutrition and strength and conditioning. It’s made a big difference over the holidays where I usually eat too much. He’s kept me on a strict diet and training has never been better.”
“These last few weeks through the holidays have been the hardest of my camp, so there was no room for distractions,” said Relikh. “I spent New Year’s with my family and then I was right back into training camp in the morning.”
With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification after February 10.
“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”
“Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner,” said Barthelemy. “Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Bey, Peterson, Shields, DiBella, Singh, and more…..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 1st to August 8th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Singh Beats Chinese Rival then Gives Belt Back in Bid to Ease Tension Between Two Nations
Vijender Singh, an Indian boxer and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, recently defeated WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China on August 5th, 2017 in Mumbai.
However, Singh has handed Maimaitiali’s title back to him after the scores were announced. He told the media, “I don’t want tension on the border. It’s a message of peace. That’s important.”
China has been involved in a border dispute in a region in the Himalayas with India for several years. Singh won a close decision, with scores of 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94.
Team Shields Congratulates Boxing’s Newest Superstar, Claressa Shields, For Winning Unified World Titles in Fourth Pro Fight
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.
Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.
A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.
“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”
For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.
“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”
Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”
Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.
DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing Returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th
DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT’s acclaimed BROADWAY BOXING series will return to the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Friday, September 15, 2017, headlined by an excellent 10-round clash between popular heavyweight prospect ALEXIS SANTOS (18-1, 15 KOs), of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, and cross-town rival, Ireland’s NIALL KENNEDY (8-0, 5 KOs), promoted by Ken Casey’s Boston-based Murphys Boxing. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, priced at $125, $75 and $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 7:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I am happy to again bring Broadway Boxing back to our home away from home at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The series at Foxwoods has seen a number of terrific heavyweight brawls of late and New England’s own Alexis Santos battling Ireland’s Niall Kennedy promises to be very entertaining. Popular local stars Shelly Vincent, a great ambassador for women’s boxing from Rhode Island, East Hartford up-and-coming unbeaten welterweight Mykquan Williams, and Nicholas DeQuattro, in his pro debut, will appear on the stacked undercard, along with undefeated New York cruiserweight prospect Joe Williams.”
The 27-year-old fan favorite Santos returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on a five-bout winning streak highlighted by an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Barboza on November 19, 2016, in an action-packed bout from start to finish that had the crowd roaring throughout. With the victory, Santos seized the New England heavyweight championship.
Most recently Santos scored a first-round knockout of Andy Perez on February 24, 2017, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting again at Foxwood Resort Casino,” said Santos. “The fan support for my first fight there last November was fantastic.
“Niall Kennedy has more amateur experience than I, but I’ve had more fights as a professional. It’s a great crossroads fight and I can’t wait for September 15.”
Backed by longtime member of Boston’s famed Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, Kennedy, a native of Gorey, West Ireland, has become a fan favorite among the city’s Irish population, with knockout victories on the last two annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. Before turning pro in May 2015, Kennedy accumulated an impressive 130-20 amateur record. He is trained by the renowned Paschal Collins, brother of former world champion Steve Collins, out of Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin. In addition to his burgeoning boxing career, the 33-year-old has also worked as a police officer for the past 11 years.
In his last start, Kennedy finished off Barboza in the eighth round on March 18, 2017, to capture the Massachusetts heavyweight title, in Boston before a huge, festive crowd at the House of Blues.
Featured on the undercard on September 15 is junior lightweight contender SHELLY “SHELITO’S WAY” VINCENT (19-1, 1 KO), of nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Vincent will look to stay in the win column following an epic nationally televised battle with Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, which resulted in her first loss. The Ring Magazine called their grudge match the “Female Fight of the Year” for 2016. Vincent was also honored by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame as their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, becoming the first female recipient of the award.
In her last bout, Vincent won an eight-round decision over Marquita Lee on December 2, 2016, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This will be her seventh appearance at Foxwoods. Managed by Mike Criscio and trained by Peter Manfredo Sr., Vincent signed with DiBella Entertainment in 2016.
Just 19 years old, fast rising East Hartford welterweight prospect MYKQUAN WILLIAMS (7-0, 4 KOs) will look to stay undefeated as he makes his seventh start at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by Jackie Kallen, Williams returns to the ring following an impressive six-round decision over veteran Ariel Vasquez on June 3. Williams is trained out of Manchester Ring of Champions Society boxing gym by local legend and community leader Paul Cichon, whom he’s known since he was a child and looks upon as a surrogate father. His biological father was murdered when Mykquan was just a week old. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.
Heralded cruiserweight prospect JOE “MACK” WILLIAMS (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, fights for the first time at Foxwoods Resort Casino looking to capitalize on his quick start to 2017 with two dominant victories, most recently knocking out Felipe Romero in the third round on April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, the 29-year-old Williams began this year by making his national television debut on February 10, handing 15-0-1 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo his first defeat by way of eight-round decision, competing on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series. As an amateur, Williams was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, and a 2012 US Olympic team alternate. When he’s not boxing, Williams, a father of two daughters, works as an asbestos handler and is a union member with Local 78.
Rounding out the undercard, junior welterweight NICKY DEQUATTRO of Johnston, Rhode Island, will make his highly anticipated pro debut.
Additional information on the undercard will be announced shortly.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko to Face Tureano Johnson on August 25th
Powerful middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs) and Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) will square-off in a middleweight world title eliminator that headlines a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on August 25from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
“This is a very important fight for me,” said Derevyanchenko. “A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I’m training hard for this challenge and I know that Johnson will be prepared. I’m going to show that I’m ready for anybody in the middleweight division.”
“I fight to provide for my family, to bring pride to my country and because I know I have done the work necessary and am destined to become a world champion,” said Johnson. “I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way toward the championship, so I will defeat him.”
In an action packed co-main event, unbeaten Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) takes on once-beaten Hugo Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS telecast will be preceded by the live weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and all four episodes of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor on FS1.
“This is a great fight for me against a very good opponent,” said Aleem. “I want to build off my last performance and show even more dimensions to my game. Training camp is going well and I’m planning to execute my game plan on fight night. I’m trying to be a world champion and prove that I’m a force in this division.”
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I’ve been training hard since my last fight in December,” said Centeno. “I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this fight. I know a win of this quality will put me into another echelon in the division. It’s very motivating to be training at Wild Card Boxing with so many great champions as I prepare for this fight.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $25 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased by visiting BuffaloRun.com or by calling 918-542-7140.
“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds. The co-featured bout between middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno also figures to be a barnburner. This will be a terrific event.”
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently stopped previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in April. His 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.
A 2008 Olympian for his native Bahamas, Johnson enters this bout the winner of his last six contests, including a fifth round stoppage of once-beaten Alex Theran and a 12-round decision over once-beaten Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. The 33-year-old turned pro in 2010 and won his first 2014 before suffering his first defeat in the final round against Curtis Stevens.
Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In January he defeated then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov in a memorable back and forth battle that saw Aleem emerge victorious with a sixth-round TKO win. Aleem had previously defeated once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda and fought to a majority draw with Demond Nicholson in 2016.
The 26-year-old Centeno bounced back from his first defeat with a stoppage of Ronald Montes after three rounds in December 2016. Centeno won his first 24 pro fights after amassing a 90-8 amateur record including a highlight reel knockout of James De La Rosa and a decision over then unbeaten Gerardo Ibarra. The fighter out of Oxnard, California will fight in Las Vegas for the first time since a no contest against Julian Williams in 2013 that was called because of an accidental head butt.
Mickey Bey to Face Anthony Peterson on August 22nd
Former lightweight world champion Mickey Bey (22-2-1, 10 KOs) will face once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes August 22 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as part of an exciting week of events presented by Mayweather Promotions and leading up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor showdown on Saturday.
“It’s been over a year since I was in the ring and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career as a fighter and as a man,” said Bey. “I realize what’s important now and how I can protect my legacy as a fighter. I’ve put in more work fir this fight than I have for any other and I’m ready to let my performance speak for me. I’m focusing on my mental toughness and my ring IQ and I’m looking to put on a perfect performance on August 22.”
“I’m just happy to be back in the ring and fighting again,” said Peterson. “I’ve known Mickey Bey for years and he’s a good friend of mine. But business is business and on August 22 I will be all business when I step into the ring.”
The August 22 show will feature a showdown between former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Phoenix’s Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in 10 rounds of bantamweight action.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $50 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.
“This is an incredible event to kick-off the biggest fight week in the history of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We are proud to announce that some of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects will be featured on their own FS1 and FOX Deportes card, giving the fans nonstop action and excitement for the whole week. We have a great lineup in store with Mickey Bey and Anthony Peterson in the main event, and former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking on Alexis Santiago in the co-feature. It is truly going to be an action filled night of boxing.”
Originally from Cleveland but fighting out of Las Vegas, Bey steps back into the ring after challenging unbeaten two-division champion Rances Barthelemy last June. Bey won his world title in 2014 with a decision victory over long reigning champion Miguel Vasquez. He vacated his title due to injuries but returned in December 2015 to defeat previously unbeaten Naim Nelson by decision and earn his most recent title fight. Bey’s previous victories include triumphs over Alan Herrera, Carlos Cardenas and Hector Velazquez.
The brother of current welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, Anthony enters this fight the winner of his last seven bouts, including a dominant decision over once-beaten Samuel Neequaye last April. The fighter out of Washington, D.C., was unbeaten in his first 30 pro fights before dropping a title eliminator to Brandon Rios in 2010. He returns to the ring looking to take out a former champion on his way to another shot at a title.
The two-time Dominican Olympian Payano began his path towards another world title with a stoppage of Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January, after first becoming a champion via a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. The accomplished amateur won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games with victories over McJoe Arroyo and Yoandris Salinas. He defeated Jundy Maraon, Jose Silveria and Luis Maldonado on the way to his title shot and engaged in a pair of exciting fights with Rau’shee Warren that saw him defend his title in August 2015 and lose in June 2016.
A pro since 2009, the 26-year-old Santiago had won ten consecutive bouts before dropping a decision to Jose Cayetano in his last contest. The Phoenix-native defeated Gustavo Molina, Javier Gallo and Antonio Tostado Garcia in 2015 and and has also taken down once-beaten fighters Alex Rangel and Hanzel Martinez. He will make his 2017 debut against one of his most experienced foes to date in Payano.
Barry Hunter Interview: “To have gone through what they went through and still be standing, is outstanding.”
Barry Hunter Interview: “To have gone through what they went through and still be standing, is outstanding.”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Barry Hunter is a world class trainer out of the Bald Eagle Gym in Washington D.C. He is the trainer for World Champion Lamont Peterson, among many others. Hunter is an old school coach who is emotionally invested in his pupils. He can be seen in many of his fighter’s corners giving inspirational pep talks, even going so far as smacking a fighter to “wake up” in the middle of a bout.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
We were lucky enough to speak with Barry about his star fighters, The Peterson Brothers, as Lamont begins a comeback in the Welterweight division and how the two linked up with their eventual Mentor and trainer.
Boxing Insider: How long have you been training Lamont Peterson?
Barry Hunter: Ever since he was 10 yrs. old. He’s 33, so that is 23 years ago.
Boxing Insider: And how did you guys hook up initially?
Barry Hunter: His brother in Law was the one that initially brought him to the gym. He is, Patrice Harris, who is actually my right hand in the corner. So Patrice was the one that brought Lamont to me.
Boxing Insider: You also train his brother, Anthony?
Barry Hunter: I went to pick Lamont up one day and he, with a few of his siblings ran downstairs with him. Anthony was the one that showed interest towards boxing, so I was the one that brought him with us to the gym.
Boxing Insider: How quickly, training a 10 year old Lamont Peterson, did it take to know that he had something special?
Barry Hunter: The first day. The first day that I trained him, I trained him extremely hard. I would show him a combination or a punch, and if he got it wrong, he would get it right on the second go. But I knew he had something different. His comprehension skills were, at that age, unusual to me.
Boxing Insider: Have you ever seen anything like that before or after, with other kids?
Barry Hunter: After, maybe once or twice. But he was the first that I’ve ever seen like that before.
Boxing Insider: When taking him up the amateur ranks, how good was he?
Barry Hunter: He was definitely a special fighter throughout the amateurs. He had a stellar amateur career. He won many national titles, he was a member of the US team. He was voted athlete of the year, throughout all the sports by the Olympic committee. He was a member of the Pan Am team. Also fought in the Olympic Trials.
Boxing Insider: The Peterson brother’s early life is pretty well documented as being a very rough one. What happened with them as kids?
Barry Hunter: That is a true story. Their mother was in a bad way, which could happen to anybody. And they found themselves homeless at one time. They literally grew up surviving in the streets. They eventually went into foster care. I actually met him, shortly after he got out of foster care.
Boxing Insider: How did boxing “save” Lamont? He could have ended up in a number of other situations.
Barry Hunter: It was a way to express himself. It was an outlet for him and his brother. They could get out whatever inner anger they had. They are special individuals. I look at them as more spiritual then anything. To have gone through what they went through and still be standing, twenty something years later to me is outstanding. The average person would have broken down a long time ago, but they found a way to thrive throughout.
Lamont Peterson Interview: “I just love to fight, and regardless of who I’m fighting, I want to be at the top level”
Lamont Peterson Interview: “I just love to fight, and regardless of who I’m fighting, I want to be at the top level”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Lamont Peterson is a former IBF and WBA Jr. Welterweight World Champion. He has been in the ring with the likes of Tim Bradley Jr., Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, and Danny Garcia. Peterson has recently moved up to the Welterweight division and just recently on February 18th, won the WBA regular world title by outpointing David Avanesyan. This win puts Peterson in a very good position for a big fight this year, especially after this weekend’s unification between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. We were able to speak with the champ a little about moving up in weight, his future in the sport and the possibility of him fighting his longtime friend Adrien Broner.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Boxing Insider: You lost in 2015, in a very controversial decision against Danny Garcia. Since then you have moved up in weight and have fought a couple guys who are not as big of names as you were fighting. What has changed in that time?
Lamont Peterson: Nothing really, that’s just the business of boxing. Things just turned out that way. I don’t think it was any particular reason. I had opportunities to fight in bigger fights, but things just didn’t always work out.
Boxing Insider: So was it more of a promotional problem?
Lamont Peterson: Unfortunately with certain situations, just sometimes it’s just the way it is. It could be a problem with the promotion side or training or anything. Management, sometimes doesn’t work out. Sometimes certain guys just choose to fight other guys.
Boxing Insider: How is the higher weight working? How do you feel fighting at the higher weight?
Lamont Peterson: I like fighting at the higher weight. That extra seven pounds helps because of energy, strength and I can focus more throughout the training camp, without having to put extra time into making weight.
Boxing Insider: Does the endurance keep up at 147?
Lamont Peterson: Oh yeah, I feel like my endurance is actually better. Especially trying to get down to 140, I was experiencing body cramps.
Boxing Insider: You said recently that you would never fight Adrien Broner. You two are very close friends, but you are not related by blood and it’s a fight that fans may really want to see, since you both moved up to 147. Could it ever change, and you two may fight?
Lamont Peterson: What I said was, it is highly unlikely, is basically what I’m saying. Boxing is a business and if it makes sense, other than my brother (Anthony), damn right I’ll fight him. At the same time, I just don’t see it happening.
Boxing Insider: You’ve been with Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon since its beginning. What are your thoughts of its impact to the boxing world so far?
Lamont Peterson: I think it’s doing a good job at the things that PBC was setting out for. I think it is still heading in the right direction, I don’t think it’s over. It is definitely bringing more boxing fans and an audience from people that normally wouldn’t be watching boxing. I think it’s doing a great job and will probably do a better job in the future. I’m just happy to be a part of it and anything I can do to improve it, I will try.
Boxing Insider: You’ve won a world championship. You are 33 years old. What are your future goals right now?
Lamont Peterson: Just to compete at the highest level. Not too worried about fighting for titles, but just fighting the best competition at the Welterweight division. I’ll be happy with that. I’m not going to be a name chaser. I just love to fight, and regardless of who I’m fighting, I want to be at the top level. I’ll be happy with that. I see myself fighting for about six more fights and I’ll be done and happy with my career.
Boxing Insider: A lot of PBC fighters will be at the Garcia v. Thurman match this Saturday. Will you be in attendance and would you like the winner of that fight?
Lamont Peterson: Of course I would like the winner of that fight. The winner leaves undefeated and a lot of people will say they are the top guy at welterweight. I would definitely like a crack at that title, being the top guy at welterweight.
Boxing Insider: And finally, who do you have winning the fight between Garcia and Thurman?
Lamont Peterson: It’s still a hard pick. I go back and forth. I can see both guys winning. If they stick to their own game plans. Whoever is better prepared that night, mentally and physically will win the fight. I do see it as a 50/50 fight.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, and About Billions Promotions will televise three high caliber fights on the Showtime Network live from the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The opening bout will be between undefeated United States Olympian Marcus Browne and Light Heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. The co-main event of the evening will be between David Avanesyan and the returning Lamont Peterson in the welterweight division.
The main event of the night will be between Cincinnati native Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.
Marcus Browne (18-0) vs. Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2); Light Heavyweight Division
Marcus Browne represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics and is a former National Police Athletic League Champion. He comes from a deep amateur background but will be facing one of the toughest tests of his career when he takes on former Light Heavyweight Title Contender Thomas Williams Jr.
Both boxers are southpaws, but Browne will have a slight ½ inch height advantage and an imposing four and a half inch reach advantage. Both boxers have decent power as Browne has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Williams has stopped fourteen. However, it should be noted that both of Williams’ losses have come by stoppage, so his chin can be considered questionable.
Williams has been fairly active and has fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. His two losses were to Gabriel Campillo and Adonis Stevenson. He has defeated the likes of Edwin Rodriguez, Cornelius White, Yusaf Mack, and Otis Griffin.
Browne has never tasted defeat but won a very questionable decision over Radivoje Kalajdzic in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and Otis Griffin.
This will be Williams’ first fight since his devastating knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson. Williams was doing well in that bout, but unwisely chose to slug with a knockout artist. Browne isn’t considered by many to be a knockout artist, but he has a strong amateur pedigree and will likely be able to outbox and outlast Williams.
This is a good test for Browne and should be a compelling fight, but Browne should be considered the slight favorite.
David Avanesyan (22-1-1) vs. Lamont Peterson (37-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title
Lamont Peterson has been in some very entertaining fights during his career, but didn’t have any fights in 2016 and had no fights in 2015. He’s also thirty three years old and will be five years older than Avanesyan on fight night.
Avanesyan has spent most of his career fighting in Europe and Russia and wasn’t known by many until he defeated a washed up version of Shane Mosley. Avanesyan has been slightly more active than Peterson and fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Avanesyan will be giving up one inch in height and about four inches in reach to Lamont Peterson. Peterson is also the better knockout artist as he has stopped seventeen of his opponents and Avanesyan has only stopped eleven.
Peterson’s losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Lucas Matthysse, and a razor thin decision loss to Danny Garcia. He has beaten the likes of Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lanardo Tyner, and Victor Cayo.
Avanesyan’s professional resume pales in comparison to Peterson. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Herrera, Shane Mosley, Kaizer Mabuza, and and Charlie Navarro. His lone loss was to Andrey Klimov in the second fight of his career.
Hopefully ring rust won’t be a factor for Peterson, but he’s been known to start fights slowly and warm up to the end. If Peterson waits too long to attack the body he could give up some early rounds and lose another close decision.
But Peterson has been in big fights before and he’s used to the pressure of a nationally televised audience. This experience gives him the edge over Avanesyan on Saturday.
Adrien Broner (32-2) vs. Adrian Granados (18-4-2); Welterweight Division
A lot of people have been questioning Broner’s conditioning and commitment to boxing as he has recently requested that this fight be fought at the welterweight limit and he appears to be several pounds over his normal fighting weight at recent press conferences.
Broner and Granados are both twenty seven years old, but Broner will be giving up two and a half inches in height and four and a half inches in reach. Both boxers are also similar in that they both have a decorated amateur background. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and Granados was a Mexican Olympic Team Reserve and a Junior Golden Gloves Champ.
Broner is the bigger puncher of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Granados has only stopped twelve. They both went 5-1 in their last six fights.
Granados has losses to Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and Joe Juan Fuentes. He has beaten the likes of Amir Imam, Kermit Cintron, and Lanardo Tyner. His win over Imam was a major upset and likely got him this bout with Broner.
Broner has defeated the likes of Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina, Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jason Litzau. His losses were to Macros Maidana and Shawn Porter.
Broner’s recent appearances and social media drama gives this writer some concern going into Saturday, but this bout will be fought in Broner’s hometown and Granados, absent one upset victory, has never faced or defeated someone on the talent level of Adrien Broner.
Of the three televised bouts this one will likely be the biggest blowout.
The Return of Lamont Peterson
The Return Of Lamont Peterson
By: Sean Crose
It seemed to me as if Danny Garcia was the favored child of the powers that be in the lead up to his 2015 battle with Lamont Peterson. Needless to say, the iffy decision tossed Garcia’s way after he and Peterson had battled for twelve rounds didn’t re-establish my confidence in those powers. To my eye at least, Peterson had proved to be the more skilled, the more talented and the more in control fighter that April evening. Oh, the fight was close to be sure, but it certainly didn’t appear to me as if Garcia deserved the win. Peterson, I felt, couldn’t catch a break.
For indeed, Peterson was a quiet man. I had spoken to him on two occasions and felt like I knew him well enough to understand that he wasn’t showy enough for some people’s taste. That sort of thing wasn’t good when you were a professional fighter, but what was Peterson supposed to do? Turn himself into a Broner-style “problem?” Perhaps someday, I thought, Peterson would crack through and be judged based on his talent, rather than by his subdued personality and a positive drug test from a few years earlier.
Peterson, however, pretty much stopped fighting. After winning a controversial decision of his own against Felix Diaz the same year as the Garcia bout, Peterson disappeared from the scene. Was he sitting precious amounts of time out? Was he being sidelined by those same powers that be I suspected had been unfair regarding Garcia? Or was this all part of some grand master plan by the soft-spoken man who liked to don a large beard? It wasn’t easy to tell. Nor was it easy to tell when, if ever, the guy would return to the ring. At least now, however, the question of Peterson’s return has been answered.
For the 34-3-1 Washington DC native will be back on February 28th, when he has a welterweight showdown with 22-1-1 David Avanesyan on the Adrien Broner – Adrian Granados undercard in Cincinnati. The bout will be fought for one of the WBAs titles (if you’re into that sort of thing – which I myself am not), but the real point of interest will be how good Peterson looks in the ring after his long layoff. Time waits for no man, after all, and Peterson is no exception. What’s more, at thirty-three years of age, the guy might not have all the time in the world to really make his mark.
If Peterson’s skills haven’t eroded, however, he can indeed be a force to be reckoned with at welterweight. Perhaps some of the division’s top names might want to keep an eye out.
NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?
NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?
By: Ken Hissner
Welterweight Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 34-3-1 (17), had an outstanding amateur record with many titles won. As a professional he held the interim WBO super lightweight and the WBA & IBF super lightweight titles. He’s been looking for a welterweight title fight since his last fight that goes back to October 2015 when he defeated Gold Medal Olympian Felix Diaz, 17-0, by majority decision. It didn’t happen.
Soooooo Peterson takes off now for sixteen months and guess what? He has the opportunity on February 18th to fight for the interim WBA World Title against the champion Russian David Avanesyan, 22-1-1 (11), at the Cintras Center, in Cinn., OH.
Peterson started his career winning twenty-two straight when he faced his first real challenge and defeated Brazilian Antonio Mesquito, 34-0. It would be eighteen months at 27-0 before he got his first world title shot defeating Frenchman Willy Blain, 20-0, for the interim WBO World super lightweight title. In his next fight he fought for the WBO World title losing to Timothy Bradley, Jr., 24-0.
Two fights later Peterson fought to a draw with Victor Ortiz, 28-2-1, followed by a knockout win over Victor Manuel Cayo, 26-1. This earned him a title fight against the UK’s Amir Khan, 26-1, for his WBA Super World and IBF World super lightweight titles. It was in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C. and he took a split decision win. He was only interested in defending the IBF title defeating Kendall Holt, 28-5, by stoppage in D.C.
In May of 2013 the roof fell in on Peterson when he lost to interim WBC champion Lucas Martin Matthysse, 33-2, of Argentina losing in three rounds. Neither were Matthysse or Peterson’s titles on the line. In January of 2014 he defended his IBF title defeating Haitian Dierry Jean, 25-0, of CAN, in DC. Next was Edgar Santana, 29-4, who he stopped at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY.
It would be eight months by April of 2015 for Peterson to once again be fighting a world champion in against WBA Super and WBC super lightweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 29-0, in an overweight fight. This writer felt Peterson got the short end of the stick losing a majority decision to Garcia. He asked for a rematch in the welterweight division and never got it. Both he and Garcia would move up to welterweight and Garcia at No. 2 for some reason not wanting a rematch with No. 1 Kahn gets shop worn Robert Guerrero who was No. 6. No. 6? How did Peterson get overlooked?
It was six months after the Garcia fight that Peterson defeated Diaz that put him high into the rankings between Garica and Guerrero. Why wasn’t it him or Kahn in that title fight? In Garcia’s next fight he defeated Sammy Vargas. Though both were within the welterweight max of 147 it was listed as a non-title bout.
Now Garcia gets the biggest fight of his career fighting WBA champion Keith Thurman in March. With a victory for the No. 3 Peterson over the No. 1 Avanesyan for the interim WBA title will he get the winner? I’d say it is very doubtful. WBO champion Manny Pacquiao is defending against his No. 2 contender Australian Jeff Horn. IBF champion Kell Brook couldn’t come to terms with Kahn who is still the WBC No. 1 contender though not in the IBF rankings.
The WBC was to have a four boxer tournament with Peterson fighting Philly’s “The New” Ray Robinson currently ranked No. 9 in the WBC that never came about. Robinson has been begging for a fight with Garcia having won his last eleven fights. It seems they all want to fight Garcia who has a pair of disputed wins behind him so one may have to knock him out to get the win.
Peterson is not in easy with the Russian Avanesyan who hasn’t lost since the second bout of his career. In his last fight he defeated former champion Shane Mosley in May. Peterson finds himself only ranked in the WBA so getting a world title fight it seems it would have to take a Thurman victory. Peterson is trained by Virgil Hunter and being promoted by Al Haymon makes his chances to get that big fight for the title a lot better! That is his “Ace in the hole”.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Gamboa, Golden Boy, Peterson, Linares, Lara, Foreman, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Gamboa, Golden Boy, Peterson, Linares, Lara, Foreman, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 17th to January 24th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Yuriorkis Gamboa Joins Golden Boy Promotions
Former Olympic Gold Medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa has signed with Golden Boy Promotions to a multi fight deal. He was previously signed with 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions.
Gamboa is currently thirty five years old and has been very inactive since he left Top Rank Promotions. He is scheduled to fight Rene Alvarado on the undercard of the March 11th bout between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens.
This card will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark.
WBA Champion David Avanesyan to Battle Lamont Peterson in Welterweight Title Defense
WBA Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs) will defend his title against former two-time world champion Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs) in a 12-round matchup that serves as the co-main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, February 18 from the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Televised coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten light heavyweight contender “Sir” Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KOs) meeting hard-hitting former title challenger Thomas “Top Dog” Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round showdown. The event is headlined by former four-division world champion Adrien Broner taking on hard-hitting contender Adrian Granados.
“It is a great pleasure for me to be defending my world title in the U.S. against a very good opponent in Lamont Peterson,” said Avanesyan. “I am the champion and come February 18 I will remain champion. This fight gives me a great opportunity to let the U.S. know what I’m about and put me in a position to fight the top fighters in the division. This will be a difficult defense but I am ready to show everyone how good I am.”
“I’m extremely excited about getting back in the ring and fighting on SHOWTIME again,” said Peterson. “I’ve been working hard in the gym and I’m ready to give my fans the kind of show they deserve. I know this guy is coming in with a lot of confidence from that belt, but I believe I’m the better fighter and I’ll prove it on February 18.”
“I’m ready to go to work and fight,” said Browne. “It doesn’t matter if I am the underdog; so be it. Let me be the underdog. I just want to beat this guy up. This is who I wanted to fight. I am fired up about this one and I can’t wait until February 18.”
“On February 18, I’m not leaving anything up to the judges,” said Williams Jr. “I think Marcus has gotten some gifts in the past, so I’m not leaving this up to anyone but myself. I wanted to stay in the mix. I don’t need a tune-up. I’ve been fighting since I was five-years-old. I just need to get in there and fight. I think this is going to be a really good battle.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with TGB Promotions and K1 Boxing, are priced at $250, $100, $75, $50 and $30, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
Linares vs. Crolla to Televise on Showtime
Showtime has televised a large number of fights in recent years, and they just announced that they will be televising a lightweight title rematch between Anthoyn Crolla and Jorge Linares on March 25th.
This is a rematch from their September 24th bout that Linares won by a close decision in a fan friendly fight. This bout will be televised in the United States on Showtime and live on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Lara vs. Foreman Generates Impressive Ratings on Spike TV
Erislandy Lara, the WBA/IBO 154-pound champion, scored two knockouts in his match against Yuri Foreman in Miami on Premier Championship Boxing on Spike TV last Friday night. One in the ring to retain his world titles and another in the ratings. An average of 547,000 viewers, with a peak audience of 707,000, tuned in to watch Lara land a devastating uppercut that knocked out former world champion Foreman in the fourth round.
Spike TV’s viewership ratings for Lara vs. Foreman scored 11% higher than their last Friday night telecast, which showcased Danny Jacobs vs Sergio Mora. Look for Erislandy Lara to return to the ring sometime before summer.
“I want to thank Spike TV and everyone involved with the promotion for giving me the opportunity to fight in Miami, in front of all my fans.” said Erislandy Lara. “The last time I fought in Miami I got the knockout and that’s exactly what I wanted to do in this fight. I accomplished that goal and the fans got to see someone go down. Everyone loves the knockout. I’m happy to have delivered a positive rating for Spike TV. I can’t wait to return to the ring.”
Gerry Cooney to Appear in Spring Lake, NJ on March 12th
The Irish Centre, along with Peter Grandich Company and Trinity Financial, Sports & Entertainment Management Company, will proudly welcome former world heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney to the town of Spring Lake, N.J. on Sunday, March 12. Appearing as part of an Irish Celebration, Cooney will be present from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Irish Centre, which is located at 1120 Third Avenue in Spring Lake.
“Gerry Cooney is a dear friend of mine who wholeheartedly lives up to his nickname, Gentleman Gerry,” said Peter Grandich, owner of Peter Grandich Company and Trinity Financial, Sports & Entertainment Management Company. “For good reason, Gerry became a beloved figure when he was a professional boxer, and the affection that still surrounds him today becomes even greater when an individual is blessed enough to meet him in person. We welcome everybody to come experience my sentiments for themselves when he visits us on March 12 in the Heart of the Irish Riviera in Spring Lake, New Jersey.”
The first 100 visitors on March 12 will receive a free autographed photo of Gerry Cooney. Additionally, all are welcome to bring items to get autographed that afternoon, as well as take photos with him.
Before turning professional, Cooney was a decorated amateur fighter who won tournaments in England, Wales and Scotland, in addition to being a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion. He then won his first 25 bouts as a professional prizefighter, with none more impressive than his 54-second destruction of former world champion Ken Norton at Madison Square Garden in 1981. The crushing victory earned Cooney a date the following year with WBC Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes, where he gave a valiant 13-round performance against the unbeaten Holmes. After the fight, Cooney continued to box until his 1990 professional finale against George Foreman.
Despite his imposing 6-foot-6 posture, Cooney still remains one of the most beloved figures associated with the sport of boxing, regularly appearing at major fights in the region with Randy Gordon, former New York State Athletic Commissioner and his co-host on SiriusXM’s At The Fights.
Located at 219 Morris Avenue in Spring Lake, Peter Grandich Company and Trinity Financial, Sports & Entertainment Management Company provides business, retirement and estate planning services to individuals, business owners and professional athletes. Through a strategic alliance with York-Jersey Underwriters, the company offers professional advice and risk management services to business and personal insurance clients.
Burgin vs. Sparrow on March 10th in All Philly Rumble
The Burgin-Sparrow fight tops a nine-bout card at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at $40, $50 and $75 and they are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and at www.peltzboxing.com or www.2300Arena.com. The card is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., BAM Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions. It will be streamed live by www.glf.com and televised on delay by Comcast Sports Net.
The Questionable Career Path of Danny Garcia
The Questionable Career Path of Danny Garcia
By: William Holmes
On September 14th, 2014 Danny Garcia scored one of the biggest wins of his career when he defeated the hard hitting Argentinean Lucas Matthysse by decision to retain his WBA and WBC Super Lightweight World Championship.
Garcia’s biggest win prior to this fight was a stunning knockout over a two loss Amir Khan. The sky was the limit for the Philadelphia prize fighter and many considered him to be the best boxer in the junior welterweight division and Philadelphia’s best world champion since Bernard Hopkins. His other big victories were over faded veterans such as Erik Morales and Zab Judah, but those types of fights were to be expected for a rising boxing superstar trying to establish a name for himself.
However, Garcia’s path to stardom has sputtered since that fight and the opportunities to grow his fan base have largely been ignored or have failed.
Garcia’s first fight after his win against Matthysse took place in Puerto Rico against Mauricio Herrera, an opponent with three losses that many felt Garcia should beat easily. It was thought that Garcia, a Philadelphia native with Puerto Rican decent, would gain more fans by fighting in Puerto Rico and winning impressively. Unfortunately for Garcia and his handlers, he looked lackluster in this bout and squeaked out a decision in a fight that many felt he lost. Herrera threw more punches, landed more punches, and landed them at a higher percentage than Garcia, but somehow still lost the decision.
Garcia failed to capitalize on the momentum from his major victory over Lucas Matthysse.
Five months after that bout Danny Garcia knocked out Rod Salka, a blown up lightweight that was one win removed from a loss against the unheralded Ricardo Alvarez, and who had two other losses to an aged Dorin Spivey and another unknown Guillermo Sanchez. Even though the knockout of Salka was highlight reel material, Garcia and his handlers are still mocked for selling that terrible mismatch to the public.
His next bout was against the always exciting Lamont Peterson in Brooklyn, New York. This was one of Garcia’s most exciting fights, but it was another fight that many felt he lost. Peterson came on strong at the end and looked like the fresher fighter, while Garcia’s face was badly bruised and swollen.
Garcia’s handlers had him fight in Brooklyn several times in order to build up his popularity with the Puerto Rican fan base that resided there, and he was beginning to develop a large following in Brooklyn. But Garcia heard a sound that was foreign to him in Brooklyn when the scorecards were read in his favor after his bout with Peterson…
Danny Garcia heard boos from the Brooklyn crowd.
Garcia had a plethora of good fights that could have been made in the junior welterweight division after his questionable win over Peterson. Adrien Broner also fought for Premier Boxing Champions and would have been a good choice as an opponent. Cross promotional foes such as Terence Crawford or even Timothy Bradley would have made fight fans salivate at thoughts of that matchup.
Even the legendary Manny Pacquiao was brought up by many in boxing circles as a possible future foe for Danny Garcia.
Instead, Garcia chose to fight a six loss Paulie Malignaggi, an excellent talker and great boxing commentator, but he was coming off of a devastating TKO loss to Shawn Porter. Garcia won that bout, but it did nothing to elevate his career.
Even though good options remained for Danny Garcia at the junior welterweight division, he bumped up in weight and took on Robert Guerrero, a man that previously held a featherweight title and had only won two of his previous four fights. One of those wins included a split decision victory over the unheralded Aaron Martinez in a bout that many thought he lost.
Garcia won the fight with Guerrero, but Guerrero went on to lose his next bout to David Peralta, a boxer who’s full time job was that of a cab driver in Argentina.
But despite all of these missteps and uninspiring victories by Danny Garcia, his biggest misstep was announced this week.
Danny Garcia, despite being a WBC Welterweight World Champion, will take part in a tune up fight against Samuel Vargas.
Who’s Samuel Vargas? That’s a good question, because he’s not well known. He played the role of punching bag to Errol Spence Jr. in April of 2015. The same Errol Spence that Danny Garcia said wasn’t ready for him, because Errol Spence had to prove himself to get big names in the ring.
Samuel Vargas’ other loss was to Pablo Munguia. Pablo Munguia has lost six of his past seven bouts, and has been stopped in over half of his eleven losses.
Samuel Vargas has done nothing to prove he belongs in the ring with Danny Garcia.
What’s even more outrageous about this fight is its timing. Boxing is struggling to find and grow new fans, and this is evident in the noticeable decrease in number of boxing gyms nationwide and the lack of boxing on US television in the month of October.
Danny Garcia is a Philadelphia fighter, and Philadelphia is a major player in the sport of boxing. Garcia has not fought in Philadelphia since 2010, and at first glance one would think that letting Garcia fight in front of his home town is a good idea.
Except for there’s another Philadelphia fighter fighting on November 12th, and he holds the UFC Lightweight Title. He’s also fighting the world’s most popular MMA fighter in Connor McGregor, for the first UFC card ever in the media capital of the world, New York City.
There’s no overlap of fans in boxing and MMA amongst the older generations, but you’d be foolish to think an overlap doesn’t exist in the coveted younger demographics. Fight fans under the age of thirty five that live in Philadelphia would pay attention to Danny Garcia fighting in their city on most nights, but not on a night that Eddie Alvarez is fighting McGregor.
You’d also be foolish to think the Philadelphia media won’t cover a local native like Eddie Alvarez taking on the biggest name in the UFC over a bout between Danny Garcia and an unknown in boxing like Samuel Vargas.
That fact alone, defeats the purpose of having Danny Garcia fight in his hometown.
I’m sure the promoters will stack the card with local fighters in an effort to get the local gyms to pack the Liacouras Center at Temple University to make it seem like it’s a triumphant homecoming for Danny Garcia.
But the majority of fight fans in Philadelphia will have their eyes on New York.
Win or lose, this fight for Danny Garcia is already a failure, and just another questionable decision in Danny Garcia’s career.