Whyte vs. Povetkin Fight Preview
By: Oliver McManus
Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp concludes, in its current guise, this coming Saturday (August 22nd) with a Box Office night at Matchroom HQ. Topping the bill is a heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for the interim and diamond WBC heavyweight titles.
With Whyte having to wait around for his crack at the full WBC title, The Body Snatcher will look to remind the governing body just why he is their number one contender. On paper you’d suggest there are few heavyweights with such an impressive resumé over the past few years as Whyte. Champions aside, though even they’ve faced several soft touches, very few heavyweights have racked up such a solid catalogue of wins.
Whilst the names of Dereck Chisora (twice), Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas and Lucas Browne all look good there is more to the tale then the green W on Boxrec suggests. The first contest against Chisora, way back in 2016, highlighted the fragilities of his defense that we all knew existed and Whyte was fortunate to take the split decision; when they met again two years later it was a similar affair with Chisora out-slugging Whyte for large parts of the contest before getting knocked out in the eleventh round.
Against Helenius he looked dreich and dour; against Parker he was wobbly but just about hung on in the end; against Lucas Browne he looked superfluous with a beautiful body shot but, really, Lucas Browne is a very average fighter. There are always signs of brilliance with Whyte and his destructive power is clear for all to see. It’s entertaining, no doubt, and so too is the fact he’s yet to quite put all the pieces together to ensure you’re confident he’ll see out a fight without any danger.
For this contest he has split with Mark Tibbs and teamed up with Xavier Miller: a left field decision but Miller a reputable mentor in his own right. It will be interesting to see the effect Miller has on Whyte’s mentality and how that unfolds on fight night but this could well be the step required to refresh and revitalise Whyte’s renaissance.
Alexander Povetkin is a man that seemingly never ages but will turn 41 on September 2nd. Having been a professional since 2005 it does seem as though Sasha has been there or thereabouts pretty much since the turn of the decade: losses to Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua the only blemishes on his record.
Thanks to wins over Hughie Fury and David Price, Povetkin has managed to angle his way back into vision of the UK boxing fraternity and has impressed in the process. Against Price we saw a real demonstration of the sheer bludgeoning power possessed by the Russian. Yes, Price had marginal success in the opening rounds but as soon as Povetkin landed anything of meaning it was a case of ‘sladkiye mechty’ (sweet dreams) for David Price.
Add to the mix the fact that Povetkin provided, at the time, the sternest test of Anthony Joshua’s career and this fight shapes up to be intriguing. He followed in the footsteps of Whyte in terms of applying pressure to AJ early on and ensuring he was first to the punch, something that Andy Ruiz later capitalised on to greater effect, and had Joshua racking his brain for a good five, six rounds. Ultimately Povetkin hit the canvas twice in the seventh round to see the fight waved off but promising signs were there: can he go one step further against Dillian Whyte and finish the job?
The undercard sees Katie Taylor take on Delfine Persoon for the undisputed lightweight title with ALL the marbles on the line – WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF. Despite Taylor edging their first meeting last June it will likely be the Irish fighter seeking redemption with many onlookers considering her fortunate to retain her titles.
Persoon can harness some Jessica McCaskill’s energy – McCaskill another former opponent of Taylor – who pulled off a stupendous upset Cecilia Braekhaus on August 15th. Belgium’s Persoon has been a long time figurehead of female boxing having been at the top of the game since 2012 but it could well be argued Taylor is the only truly elite fighter she’s ever crossed paths with.
What’s Next for Povetkin?
By: Shane Willoughby
After his recent win over Hughie Fury, Povetkin has found himself in a very tricky position.
The Russian rolled back the years to outwork and defeat someone young enough to be his son. Povetkin proved that not only is he still a threat to many fighters in the division but age is only a number.
Although Povetkin was favourite before the bout, not many had Povetkin picked him to win on points and so comfortably. As the fight got on ‘Sasha’ defied the laws of nature and got stronger.
With all that said Povetkin is now 40 years old and has a lot of miles on the clock so, it’s only a matter of time before he hangs up the gloves. But when?
After being stopped in the 7th round last September against former unified champion Anthony Joshua, many thought that his chances of a world title are gone, and his retirement was looking imminent.
Since then Povetkin has been linked with fights against Dillian Whyte, Oleksandr Usyk, Michael Hunter and Tyson Fury. All of those are more than substantial and a win over one of those fighters will propel him back into title contention.
Whilst it doesn’t look this way, logic will say that his days at the top level is numbered, with maybe a few big fights left. So with time being so limited, he cannot afford to be so inactive.
Povetkin has only fought once in the past year and with all due respect to Fury, his level of competition hasn’t been very high. The former WBA champion has expressed his desire to face the Gypsy King at the end of the year which is a big step up from his cousin.
But with Tyson Fury set to face Wilder next February, it’s hard to see him take such a big risk and face the Russian. Plus with Usyk and Hunter already with fight dates, it looks as if Povetkins chance of a big fight this year is slim.
However, Eddie Hearn has a massive stable of heavyweights and one fight that is extremely likely for Povetkin is the winner of Chisora vs Parker. However with Chisora and Parker set to fight this October, the fight with Povetkin won’t happen until next year.
The 40-year-old is highly ranked with all of the governing bodies so many fighters coming up could look at Povetkin as a fight with a lot to gain, not to mention the fact that he is a great name to have a win over.
Whatever Povetkin decides to do next, he has to make his decision soon because father time is knocking at the door.
DAZN Boxing Results: Joshua Stops Povetkin, Maintains Claim to the Heavyweight Throne
By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s Heavyweight Championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin for the IBF, WBA, and WBO Heavyweight titles.
A mega fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was just announced for December 1st on Showtime, and the winner of the Joshua and Povetkin fight will likely, and hopefully, face the winner of tonight’s bout in the near future.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The undercard featured several good prospects. Sakhram Giyasov defeated Julio Laguna by a fourth round KO, Sergey Kuzmin defeated David Price by 4th round TKO, and Lawrence Okolie defeated Matty Askin by points.
The co-main event of the night was between Yvan Mendy and Luke Campbell in a lightweight eliminator for the WBC title. Luke Campbell was in clear control for a majority of the fight and pulled out the decision win with scores of 119-109, 118-111, and 116-112.
Anthony Joshua (21-0) and Alexander Povetkin (34-1) met in the main event of the evening before a very pro Anthony Joshua crowd.
Povetkin, the first man to enter the ring, was met with a loud chorus of boos and whistles.
Joshua towered over Povetkin, who had to use good head movement early on to avoid the jab of Joshua. Povetkin was able to land some good right hands to the body, and ended the opening round with a good combination.
Joshua came out aggressive in the second round but had a bloody nose by this point. Povetkin was able to land some good right crosses to the head and body, but Joshua started to pump his jab with more regularity.
Joshua opened up the third round with a solid short right hand, but Povetkin was able to answer with an over the top right hand. Joshua landed a few good uppercuts and left hooks and likely took the round with his accurate punching.
Povetkin had a cut open up by his left eye in the fourth round, and by the fifth round Joshua had landed 30 jabs to the 2 jab that Povetkin landed. But Povetkin was throwing and landing more power shots than Joshua at this point.
Povetkin got tagged with several good jabs by Joshua in the sixth round. Povetkin was aggressive and tried to hurt Joshua with short right hands, but often landed on the guard of Joshua or swung at air.
Joshua opened up the seventh round circling away from Povetkin, who was coming forward with straight right hands. Joshua landed a sudden straight right hand that hurt Povetkin and followed it up with a combination that ended with a right hook that sent Povetkin down.
Povetkin looked hurt but was able to get back to his feet, but was still badly hurt. Joshua jumped on Povetkin with another combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Anthony Joshua wins by TKO at 1:59 of the seventh round.
Anthony Joshua – Damage Control
By: Kirk Jackson
Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20 KO’s) is scheduled to duel with mandatory WBA challenger Alexander Povetkin 34-1 (24 KO’s) at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.
If triumphant, Joshua is expected to follow suit facing former foe Dillian Whyte at the same venue on April 13, 2019.
The 39-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion only tasted defeat once in his professional career, a loss to former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, where Povetkin suffered four knock downs in route to losing a unanimous decision.
Povetkin is what we can refer to as “Damage control.”
Povetkin is quite the accomplished fighter; strong amateur background, Olympic medalist, former world champion and possesses name recognition. This fight is designed for Joshua to leave an impression with the audience come Saturday night.
“I’m focused,” Joshua said. “I’ve come to a stage now where I have a deep [will] and my heart’s big. In sparring, I’ve tested myself time and time again. My coaches wonder what I’m doing in sparring, so sometimes I tell them to hit me because I know how to throw punches. I know how to fight, but the question is what I can take when it comes back.
“So with Povetkin, I’m completely focused, but also focused on having a good scrap and don’t mind coming away with a black eye and a cut nose, because I want to give a bit to take a bit.”
On paper, Povetkin looks the part. And that’s not to say he doesn’t have a chance at all; he certainly has a puncher’s chance.
The former WBA heavyweight title-holder will have to overcome significant size disadvantage if he is to pull off a big upset Saturday night. The 39-year-old Russian weighed in at 222 lbs., more than 24 lbs. less than Anthony Joshua. The 6-feet-6 Joshua also stands about four inches taller than Povetkin.
This particular fight, match-up, favors the champion Anthony and is one that he can control. Joshua wants to seize and maintain control; whether it’s in the ring with his large frame and imposing jab along with matters outside the ring ranging from contract negotiations, weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, everything.
He wants control like his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn wants control as far as owning fighters, selecting venue, dates and regulating the cash flow. This is to be expected of a successful promoter and businessman.
Everything is carefully orchestrated and carried out to plan. Joshua’s entrance song in his previous fight against Joseph Parker illustrated such.
Paid in Full by Eric B and Rakim informs the audience of Joshua’s intentions.
Famous lines such as, “Thinkin of a master plan, cause ain’t nothin but sweat inside my hand,” and continued with “So I start my mission, leave my residence, Thinkin how could I get some dead presidents?”
His walkthrough entrance, the fight with how the referee favorably kept the fighters from working on the inside, the post-fight interview sequence, disallowing the presence of Deontay Wilder to enter the ring (as there were negotiation talks at that time), everything coordinated like a political campaign.
The Olympic gold medalist and unified professional world champion Joshua is en route to accomplishing his goals; filling out arenas across the United Kingdom and winning world titles, but Joshua has yet to leave his place of residence.
Joshua wants world domination; he wants to be recognized as the baddest man on the planet, as Anthony Joshua, not Anthony Johnson.
His route towards that distinction includes a pit stop in the United States of America. Fellow compatriot Amir Khan believes as such.
“Yeah, if you want to be global, you have to go to America,” said Khan when speaking to David Anderson of the Daily Mirror. “My dream was to fight in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden — all those places where Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson fought.
Joshua has yet to make his mark on American soil. Another landmark Joshua must consider, is if he wants to obtain heavyweight supremacy, he must go through American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39 KO’s) or the lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 27-0 (19 KO’s).
Just told that the “dream” bouts under @BronzeBomber and Fury @STAPLESCenter would be a @leosantacruz2 Gary Russell Jr. featherweight unification and an @abnermares @Gervontaa title fight. That’d be an epic PPV…
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) September 20, 2018
With Wilder and Fury inching closer to a fight date, news of that match-up materializing takes some of the power away from Joshua as far as attention due to the importance of that bout between undefeated champions.
Especially considering there is a contingent of the boxing audience believing Joshua is avoiding a fight with Wilder.
Wilder was originally scheduled to fight Povetkin in Russia in the year of 2016. The fight failed to manifest due to failed drug tests from Povetkin.
Subsequently, Wilder defeated former champions Chris Arreola, Bermane Stirverne and one of boxing’s most avoided fighters Luis Ortiz.
Within that same timespan, Joshua defeated former champions Klitschko, Parker and contender Carlos Takam. Joshua facing Povetkin is just another measure of seizing control of the Wilder situation and implementing mind games.
In spite of the nuances of each situation, Joshua and Hearn can play public perception and state Joshua is the unified champion and is fighting opponents Wilder failed to face. They want to maintain control of the terms and conditions if they are to fight in the future.
Joshua vs. Povetkin is the first boxing main event for Eddie Hearn’s DAZN app/network. Hearn promotes Joshua and it makes sense for Joshua to be on the forefront debut of this service. Which may also explain the selection of Povetkin as an opponent for this particular fight, as opposed to seeing Joshua come to terms with facing the likes of Wilder?
Wilder is an uncontrollable variable – whether it’s in the ring with his style and controlled aggression, or outside the ring regarding negotiations for the biggest fight that can be conjured in all of combat sports.
Joshua should win this weekend and appear dominant while doing so. Everything is going as planned.
Can Povetkin Pull Off a Wembley Upset?
By: Ste Rowen
September has already given us the return of ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Superfly 3 and Canelo/GGG 2, so you could be forgiven for forgetting that this weekend sees the unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, return to the ring to face the under-the-radar threat of Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
It feels a long time since AJ added the WBO to his ever-expanding belt collection, which is now only missing Deontay Wilder’s WBC and the vacant Ring Magazine title, but it seems an age ago since Povetkin took on Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 for his first, and so far, only attempt at the full world championship belts.
By some, the Russian was hailed as the chosen one, the man who could end the Klitschko brother’s heavyweight duopoly. He entered the pro ranks riding a wave of hype having won gold medals at the 2003 world championship and the 2004 Athens Olympics. Fighting between Germany and Russia, Alexander steadily built his record with wins over gatekeepers and fringe contenders but when his breakout happened, it happened quickly.
In 2007, just 2 years as a professional, Povetkin, at 13-0, took on Chris Byrd, who 18 months previous, had been stopped in seven rounds by the now, IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko. That night in Erfurt, Alex engaged in an entertaining back and forth with the American southpaw until ultimately forcing the stoppage in the 11th round. Just three months later, the Russian was back in the ring to take on 30-0, Eddie Chambers. This time in Berlin, the rising star from the East completely dominated Chambers. The only thing missing was the knockout.
It didn’t matter too much, from there it was all about biding his time, staying busy until he was finally given his shot at either Klitschko. By the time of the Moscow bout, ‘Sasha’ was 26-0, held the WBA ‘Regular’ title, and had added names to his growing record such as Ruslan Chagaev, Marco Huck, a faded Hasim Rahman and an unbeaten Andrzej Wawrzyk.
But in the end, Wladimir was a bridge too far. Dropped four times en route to a unanimous decision defeat, the Ukrainian was a level above. All of ‘Sasha’s’ best attributes were nullified; unable to land his looping overhand-right, rarely successful with left hooks to the body and what seemed most demoralising of all, Klitschko’s size eradicating the 2004 gold medallist’s attempts inside. It’s an issue Povetkin will no doubt have worked on in preparation for facing another bigger man in Joshua.
‘‘I need to work on my conditioning…Just a single punch could’ve turned it all upside-down…I lost the battle, but I’ll win the war.’’ Povetkin said post-fight that night, perhaps more hopeful than realistic. He never got the opportunity for revenge and ever since the Klitschko loss it’s felt as if the current WBA’s #2, has been in search of a big-name fighter to propel him into boxing’s mainstream and redeem himself for that defeat. It should have been Wilder, but the Russian has only himself to blame for those bouts falling through.
Whatever your views on Povetkin’s suspect history with PEDs, purely in terms of resume of opponents to earn another shot at a full world title; since 2014, ‘Sasha’ has those names, including stoppages over Carolos Takam, Manuel Charr, Mariusz Wach and most recently a chilling two-punch destruction of David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard in March.
At today’s press conference, Alexander, like the rest of the build up to this bout, continued to be understated,
‘‘I’ve been concentrating on strength and endurance…There’s nothing else to add. The fight will show everything that we’ve got.’’
‘‘When I fought Klitschko I was much weaker and much worse shape than I am now…I never like to say what will happen ahead of time. You will see everything on Saturday night.’’
The Russian, currently 34-1 (24KOs), will step into the ring with what many view as no more than a puncher’s chance. Perhaps the lack of hype heading into his 2nd super fight will see the 39-year-old excel.
Joshua is already set for yet another Wembley stadium bout in April 2019, where the opponent is expected to be Dillian Whyte in a rematch of their 2015 domestic dustup. It’s up to ‘Sasha’ to scupper those plans and upset the masses.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
By: William Holmes
The buzz behind DAZN has been growing louder and louder, and their first “official” card will happen this Saturday at 4:30PM ET. Undefeated heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua will face top rated contender, Alexander Povetkin, for Joshua’s IBF, WBA, and WBO Heavyweight titles.
This bout will take place at a sold out Wembley Stadium. Joshua has fought in London several times before, mainly at the O2 Arena, but this will be Joshua’s first fight at Wembley Stadium since he defeated Wladimir Klitschko.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Joshua nearly didn’t fight Povetkin, as there were ongoing negotiations with US Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, but Joshua and Eddie Hearn hope to make the Povetkin fight in 2019 and have move forwarded with the Povetkin fight.
The undercard looks to have solid fights. Luke Campbell will face Yvan Mendy in the co-main event of the night. Matty Askin will defend his British Cruiserweight Title against Lawrence Okolie. Sergey Kuzmin will meet David Price in the heavyweight division, and Shakhram Giyasov, Julio Laguna, Dana Zaxo, and Tony Bilic will be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the main event of the evening:
Anthony Joshua (21-0) vs. Alexander Povetkin (34-1) IBF, WBA, WBO Heavyweight Title Fight
Most consider Anthony Joshua to be the best heavyweight fighter in the heavyweight division, and that belief is backed up by Joshua’s resume. But he will be facing one of the toughest tests of his career in Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.
The challenge in front of him is not lost on Joshua. He stated, “ We both have a big heart and we can dig deep, so that always turn out for a good fight. The one who’s toughest will come out victorious. When I look at this weight, he’s one of the lighter heavyweights, but that means he’s got a lot of speed and is a quick fighter. But I train against amateur guys that are just as quick as him..with a good fight, I’ll always find a wa.”
He’s twenty eight years old and is eleven years younger than Povetkin. He will also have a significant four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage on Povetkin.
Both boxers have considerable power, but Joshua has the edge in this department. He has stopped twenty opponents, every single man he has faced except Joseph Parker failed to reach the final bell. Povetkin has twenty four stoppages, including three of his past five fights, but his power is not on Anthony Joshua’s level.
Povetkin is very aware of the power of Joshua. He stated, ”Anthony Joshua is one of the strongest in the division.”
Both boxers have had highly successful amateur careers. Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics while Povetkin won the Gold Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Activity is also in Joshua’s favor. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and three times in 2016. Povetkin fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and once in 2016. Povetkin might have been able to fight more often, but two positive steroid tests have led to periods of suspensions.
Even though Joshua has only been fighting as a professional 2013, but his professional resume for someone with 21 fights is very impressive. He has defeated the likes of Joseph Parker, Carlos Takam, Wladimir Klitschko, Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
In fact, Joshua has only fought two guys with losing records during his entire career.
Povetkin has been boxing as a professional since 2005 and also has an impressive list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of David Price, Christian Hammer, Andriy Rudenko, Johan Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Mike Perez, Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr, Andrzej Wawrzyk, Hasim Rahman, Marco Huck, Ruslan Chagaev, Eddie Chambers, Chris Byrd, and Larry Donald. His lone blemish was to Wladimir Klitschko.
Povetkin’s lone loss, to Wladimir Klitschko, was a route and Klitschko has similar size and reach in comparison to Anthony Joshua. Joshua had a good fight with Klitschko, but was able to turn up the pressure and stop him in the later rounds after getting knocked down himself.
Povetkin is a live underdog, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to pull off the upset at the age of 39 and with no banned substances in his system.
Final Press Conference Quotes: Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin
At Wembley Stadium on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a historic night for the fight sports world, as Anthony Joshua will face off against Alexander Povetkin in front of more than 80,000 people. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation, what it will be like to fight at Wembley Stadium, and their predictions.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing
“We both have a big heart and we can dig deep, so that always turns out for a good fight. The one who’s toughest will come out victorious. When I look at this weight, he’s one of the lighter heavyweights, but that means he’s got a lot of speed and is a quick fighter. But I train against amateur guys that are just as quick as him… With a good fight, I’ll always find a way.”
Povetkin is one of my toughest challengers to date so that’s where my focus has been… My body has been broken down and rebuilt back up through this camp like never before.”
On fighting at Wembley Stadium:
“Coming back here is a blessing… This is home.”
“Anthony Joshua is one of the strongest in the division.”
On a prediction:
“I never try to say anything ahead of time, so you will see everything on Saturday fight night.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“It’s an absolute honor to be back at a national stadium, Wembley Stadium, for another huge night of boxing. Four world champion belts on the line, 80,000 people out there singing and dancing trying to see if Anthony Joshua can continue to reign supreme as the No. 1 star in the sport.”
On DAZN making its U.S. debut:
“DAZN is a major move in the U.S. market, and it’s a must-have for fight fans.”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America
“DAZN is different and we will quickly become an absolute must-have for fight fans. Via our partnerships with Matchroom, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas, we will deliver more than 80 fight nights in our opening 12 months – and we’ll deliver them for just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Superb value, without doubt. And that value offering is immediate from this weekend. If you sign up for DAZN today, you’ll get 14 premium boxing and MMA events from DAZN in your free trial month. That is unmatched value for U.S. fight sports fans. Full stop.”
“Our entrance into the U.S. market has caused quite a stir. Since our launch announcement earlier in the year, we’ve seen other promoters and broadcast networks making their own grand announcements. It’s been a lot of fun to see how this has shaken up the community – because it only benefits fight fans as everyone steps up their game.”
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing
Participants from Saturday’s undercard also spoke with the press on Thursday.
• Sergey Kuzmin vs. David Price – Heavyweights
• Matty Askin vs. Lawrence Okolie – Cruiserweights
• Luke Campbell vs. Yvan Mendy – Lightweights
“I’m happy to be part of such a significant event here at the arena. I’ve gone through very hard and tedious training, and I’ll demonstrate all that I’ve achieved during this training on Saturday night.”
“I can’t lose… The upside of winning this fight is life-changing so I’ll be going in there and doing whatever it takes to win.”
On his rematch against Yvan Mendy:
“This for me is a fight I’ve wanted the last three years. I’ve had a great training camp. Physically and mentally, I’m all there.”
“I have a lot of self belief because of the training I put in, and I know what I’m capable of. I’m looking forward to it – skill for skill will show that I’m on another level. My attributes are overlooked.”
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.
DAZN Ushering in a New Era with Joshua vs. Povektin
By: Oliver McManus
A landmark moment for the broadcasting of boxing – if you believe the press releases, that is – Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin will be broadcast over in the States on the DAZN platform ahead of their extended, $1billion commitment (over eight years) to the airing of Matchroom USA shows.
In many ways the nature in which we consume our content is ever evolving so let’s talk about that quickly before we move onto the big heavyweight contest taking place at the weekend –
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
With boxing becoming increasingly popular both sides of the Atlantic, broadcasters are all looking to cash in on the action whilst the boom is still hot – as of late we’ve seen MTK Global sign a 12 date deal with BoxNation in the UK, Frank Warren has transitioned over to BT Sport and, in America, there have been renewed deals for PBC and Top Rank on ESPN as well as the new boys in DAZN.
All of this means that the shows we are getting tend, and I say tend because they’re not always, to be better than the quality of card we would have seen, say, five years ago with everyone involved acutely aware that, hey, if they’re product isn’t good enough then there are viable alternatives.
But it’s not just your traditional TV stations that are starting to emerge as big players in the world of boxing broadcasting – we already know about DAZN and their huge plans in America but look at ESPN+ which costs $4.99 a month, airs exclusive undercard coverage and, indeed, full fight nights from Top Rank.
It’s clear then that there is a desire to move away from the traditional and start capturing new audiences, a younger audience that, yes, consumes content on the go and doesn’t always want to sit in front of a television set, they want to watch it when they’re on a train, at a café, all sorts of things and we are seeing companies adapt to the habits of modern society.
Streaming is fast becoming an increasingly popular way of accessing live boxing and I’m not just talking about when you don’t fancy £19.95 for a pay per view; IFL TV and Boxing Social are the leaders of this particular game in Great Britian with the two platform, both on YouTube, having started off with a devotion to interview but quickly finding their feet by showing some of the best shows around the country from the likes of MTK and Carl Greaves.
And platforms like this are providing opportunity for the fighters, not just fans, to get added exposure and, potentially, extra ticket sales because gone are the days where the likes of Sam “Bullet” Bowen’s British title fight against Maxi Hughes would go unwitnessed except for those on the night – it allows larger numbers to view the sport for the first time, for free, it even helps if you’re the opponent because now you can get your hand on the footage.
DAZN promises to be an, almost, wraparound service with full fight week coverage because there can be no scheduling clashes – this is a platform where you can choose which stream – and we’ve seen Matchroom already make strides in this area with three new shows, STREAMED, in the run-up to a fight (hosted by Chris Lloyd and Darren Barker).
You’ll notice how often I’ve said the word stream because I cannot emphasise enough how key this market is to the future of boxing.
Ultimately we can take two things for the way boxing is going – a) more, better content and b) lighter wallets. But, hey, it’s a price to pay!
Let’s talk the big fight then – Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin – in a bout for the unified WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Championship of the World that sees AJ looking to go 22 unbeaten.
Povetkin was showcased to the British fans, on the undercard of Joshua’s victory over Joseph Parker, when he beat and bloodied David Price over five rounds and that performance showed us that, whilst Povetkin is still crisp and powerful with his punch, he is there for the taking.
Price rocked Povetkin, sending him collapsing into the ropes, and there can be no doubt that Joshua is of a far superior technical quality to Price – Anthony’s shot selection, timing, footwork, hand placement, it’s all in a league above – so there should be no valid reason why Joshua can’t go through the gears and stop the Russian.
Of course if he attempts to get embroiled in a real fire fight then that’s where we could see some issues because nothing makes Povetkin perform like pressure, like feeling on the cusp of defeat, he’ll just come back and punch you even harder.
And when you get punched by Povetkin, you know you’ve just been hit with something real.
Having said that you would still back the heavyweight kingpin to be able to withstand the best that his challenger has to offer ahead of a, hopefully, super fight in April next year.
A new era begins with DAZN but, if you ask me, that heavyweight crown will still be on the shoulders of Anthony Joshua come Sunday morning.
Anthony Joshua Prepared To Face Alexander Povetkin – And His Critics – This Saturday
By: Sean Crose
The last time the world saw Anthony Joshua in the ring, the Englishman cruised to victory over New Zealand’s Joseph Parker. Throngs of people had gathered live and in person to watch the reputed best big man in boxing ply his trade that March evening in Wales. They were not disappointed. Although he didn’t score a knockout, Joshua let the tens upon tens of thousands gathered in Cardiff know that he was numero uno in boxing’s most historically esteemed division. It was most certainly a shining moment for the undefeated (now 21- 0) champion. Since that time not all that long ago, however, things have changed.
There’s a perception throughout much of the fight world that Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been, if not outright avoiding, then dragging their heels regarding a major unification bout with American knockout artist (and WBC champ) Deontay Wilder. Although many, if not most, feel a battle between the two men is inevitable, some of the shine of Joshua’s heretofore sterling reputation has clearly waned. The fact that Wilder appears ready, eager and willing to get it on with former undefeated heavyweight king Tyson Fury only serves to make team Joshua look more suspect. Eagerness on the parts of the two most highly regarded heavyweights not named Joshua to face off simply puts Joshua’s seeming standoffishness to face Wilder in stark relief.
Still, Joshua is certainly not taking on a cherry picked opponent when he faces Russia’s 34-1 Alexander Povetkin this Saturday night at London’s Wembley Stadium. Povetkin, whose only loss came to a younger Wladimir Klitschko than the one who almost bested Joshua in a classic not so long ago, is considered one of the top operators in the heavyweight division. He’s been popped for PED use several times, but Eddie Hearn has told the media Povetkin has been thoroughly tested in the lead up to this weekend’s bout. Povetkin last fought on the same Cardiff card Joshua did, smashing the well-known David Price in the fifth round of a title eliminator. In short, Povetkin is Joshua’s mandatory, not some tuneup opponent.
Now within days of the fight, Joshua makes it clear he knows the bloom is somewhat off the rose of his reputation – at least for the moment. “I can’t please everyone anymore,” the IBF, WBO, and WBA champ, ever the level head, told the BBC, “so I get that and so it’s my game now.” Joshua is widely regarded to have proved himself a true top level champion after getting up off the mat in his war with Klitschko in 2017. He doesn’t appear willing to let the shots of naysayers lay him out now. “Either I get stronger from it,” he said of his criticism, “or I get drained by it.” Say what one will about the 28-year-old, he’s not known to drain easily.
Joshua, Povetkin, Wilder and Whyte – Amidst the Heavyweight Jungle
By: Daniel Smith
Alexander the “White Lion” Povetkin is certainly no palooka Joe opponent for the current WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. The Russian bulwark and former WBA champion comes equipped with explosive hooking-bombs and an attacking ferocity that’s set to a hair trigger. A steely seasoned pro, a lethal brawling-scrapper who conducts his affairs inside the ring without pomp, pretence or pantomime grudges for that matter. A rough, tough fighter, who’s more than ready to upset the order of the food-chain amidst the heavyweight jungle!
Let’s take an analysis of the hardboiled Russian’s attributes.
Povetkin – a 6ft 2″ and 16 stone, solidly conformed, power-punching, pit-bull of a man. A heavyweight brusier who blasts out opponents from his inside fighting style and punishing combinations. Povetkin’s not a man to be tangled with, as his impressive record of 34 wins in 35 fights demonstrates his fighting caliber. The former two time heavyweight, Ring Magazine, Lineal and WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko is only man to have beaten the “White Lion” – a win that came by unanimous decision, not before the Russian was knocked-down in round 2 from a quick left hook, and 3 knockdowns in round 7.
However, since his defeat against “Dr Steel-Hammer”, Povetkin has showcased and examplified his brutish-brawling aptitude by contiuing his winning streak in his last six bouts – his most recent victory coming by way of a chilling knockout against the 6ft 7″ heavyweight, British contender, David Price. Povetkin, prior to the knockout was staggered backwards, crashing into the ropes in round 3 before recovering and deploying a sledge-hammering hook to the chin that rendered Price out for the count in round 5.
In addtion to the hardboiled Russian’s rampart-esque attributes; Povetkin is “no piece of cake” for any fighter, including Mr Joshua. His resilience, grit, iron-determination and his rapcious pangs to be world champion once again, position him within the mix of top-tier heavyweight lions that trade leather in the squared cirlce.
AJ – some have regarded the heavyweight champion as the ‘complete boxer’. A fighter who posseses a furnished slew of a proficient pugilistic attributes, whilst equally equipped to slug it out in a gritty brawl when the chips are down. You just have to look no further than his win over Wladimir Klitschko, back in 2017.
Joshua is a boxer who appears to prefer fighting guys of similar height and weight. In his last two bouts, AJ fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker – two relatively smaller fighters within the division and two guys who he didn’t blast out of the ring or chin with smashing uppercuts. But that said, I feel the days of Anthony whamming fighters across the ring, maybe drawing to a close.
Nowadays, AJ seems to tread with caution, taking a more strategic chess- match enforcement; utilising dynamics, fundamental advantages, such as speed, skill, reach, knowledge and now, experience, rather than emptying his tank after six or seven rounds from firing-out a barrage of sheer velocitised power-punchers. Joshua seems to struggle slightly when figting the smaller heavyweights – his punching power becomes somewhat blunted with the shift of gravitational direction, from channelling his momentum downwards instead straight ahead or up.
But I’m confident Josh’s record will be sporting another notch come September, 22nd, 2018, for he’ll undoubtedly treat the Povetkin fight with the respect and earnestness it demands, not looking past the extremely dangerous opponent who thretens his rein. However, if he does emerge as the victor against the solid Russian; would the unfication bout between himself and Deontay Wilder be back on the cards in 2019? I have to be honest – I’m not completely sure it will come to fruition.
And here’s my thoughts as to why.
Not for a moment do I believe AJ harbors any fear or doubts in his ability to beat Wilder, nor do I believe he is ‘ducking’ the WBC champion (even though that’s how it may appear to some). However, I do believe Joshua is conscious he would be facing an opponent that is capable of destryoing his Lineal champion dreams, by sparking him out-cold. It may well in fact be Matchroom who are calculating the “risks vs. benefits” assessment of a unification battle with “the bronze bomber”, Deontay Wilder. And it’s a possibilty Hearn who’s avoidng the clash, in an attempt to have another ‘sing-song around the money tree’ or to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, as the old phrases go.
So, what are the risks and benefits of the WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, (21-0) Anthony vs. the WBC world heavyweight champion, (40-0), Deontay Wilder?
Let’s take a look.
Wilder – a formidable powerhouse banger who dishes out brutal beatdowns like they’re going out of style. A dangerous fighter, a certified knockout merchant whose punching power detonates on impact like brass knuckles shattering a glass jaw. A man whose boxing forte is not within the parameters of pugilistic sophistication; nor could he lay claim to any proficient technique or graceful footwork. However, Wilder more than compensates and counters with a raw, brutal strength and a primal-predatory ferocity that detects fighters vulnerabilities and weaknesses, like a shark sensing a mere droplet of blood in miles of ocean before attacking its prey.
A towering 6ft 7″, 15stone 10lbs, physical heavy weight- hybrid whose lanky- skinny legs scaffold a lean and muscled statue that configures a physique that becomes a perilous weapon of mayhem and destruction, throwing a torrent of hard-solid shots, wildly swinging muscly spaghetti-like arms in a frenzied punching onslaught, demolishing and obliterating fighters into a straggled heap.
Deontay is understandably frustrated, as he’s not being given the opportunity to display his devastating punching aptitude against AJ – and I’m sure he’s rehersed the fight a million times, as he envisions himself beneath the lights of the squared circle, in the midst of a sell-out rip-roaring, blood-thirsty arena crowd, while he throws mostrous knockout shots before the ref waves off the fight and he emerges as unified heavyweight champion of the world; carving out a legacy along with the memories of career best performance within a battlegound domain that’s embellsihed with the blood, sweat and spit of a classic bout between two hard-hitting heavyweights – the best of their era.
In my opinion, Joshua would be taking the greater risk in this bout as he would be trading leather with an extremely ferocious opponent in Wilder, with an uncalibrated distribution of the belts at stake. I suppose that’s why the proposed uneven see-saw of financial spoils are being generously distributed in Matchroom and AJ’s favour.
It’s fair to say, only relevant people involved from both camps truely know what’s going on and when or if the fight will ever happen. It’s evident there are risks involved for both men, as it’s the heavyweight divsion and it the world can come crasing down with one big punch.
So there’s obviously a lot going on behind the scenes we don’t know about. However, what we do know is Anthony Joshua’s takes on Povetkin, while Wilder will probably have to defend his title to the mandatory challenger, Dominic Breazeale (19-1).
However, outside Joshua and Wilder, Dillian “the body snatcher” Whyte is the one to watch and possiblly the sleeping, unification giant of the heavyweight divsion – providing he makes an example of Joseph Parker by way of knockout. A potential cracker-jack of a fight that takes place on July 28th, 2018 at London’s O2 arena.
DAZN Kicks Off Stacked Fall Lineup of Boxing and MMA with Heavyweight Title Fight: Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live and on- demand sports streaming service, today announced the details of its expansion into the U.S. This follows parent company Perform Group’s $1 billion joint venture with Matchroom Boxing, one of the world’s leading boxing promoters, and a nine- figure multiyear global distribution agreement with Bellator MMA, a leading global combat sports franchise owned by Viacom. The first-ever fight night will be headlined by heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua OBE and Alexander “The Russian Warrior” Povetkin as the two battle for Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO titles on Sept. 22 live from Wembley Stadium in London.
Scott Coker, Bellator President and CEO, announced today the invited participants and some of the matchups for its stacked Welterweight Grand Prix. The tournament begins with Douglas Lima taking on Andrey Koreshkov as part of the star-studded “Bellator: Mousasi vs. MacDonald” event on Sept. 29 from the SAP Center in San Jose. Additional fights in the tournament include Jon Fitch vs. Neiman Gracie and Ed Ruth vs. Yaro Umasov. The 10-fighter tournament will play out over the next year exclusively on DAZN.
Additionally, Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director, announced plans for a stacked Oct. 6 card at Wintrust Arena in Chicago featuring new signings and former world titleholders Jessie Vargas and Demetrius Andrade as well as world-rated heavyweight Jarrell Miller, in separate bouts. The card will also include IBF light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson and WBO, IBF women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor vs. Cindy Serrano. At today’s event, Hearn announced the signings of WBO super lightweight titlist Maurice Hooker, WBA super bantamweight titlist Daniel Roman and several promising American amateurs to Matchroom U.S.A.
Going live in the U.S. on Sept. 10, the Over-the-Top (OTT) sports streaming service made by fans, for fans, will be reshaping the way fans experience the sports they love by making the viewing experience simpler, more affordable and more accessible to all – starting with fight sports. The global streaming platform with millions of subscribers will provide viewers with unlimited access to premium sports content anytime, anywhere for a single subscription price of $9.99 per month following a one-month free trial. All matches streamed on the service will be available both live and on-demand, on a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles.
“We launched DAZN to disrupt the status quo and change the way the world sees sports,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “When you get DAZN, you’ll get all the fights; we won’t stash our best matchups for PPV, linear TV or a higher-tier package. And you’re going to get the entire card live, no matter the time zone and without constraints for one affordable price.”
As the first global pure sports OTT platform, DAZN will be embarking on its September launch with a stacked line up of 70+ fights – more than one fight night a week on average – through partnerships with Matchroom Boxing U.S.A., Bellator MMA and the World Boxing Super Series. Fans will also enjoy access to a robust content portfolio ranging from new shows premiering on the service, behind-the-scenes features leading up to big events and real-time news stories about the upcoming matchups, making it a must-have for fight fans in the U.S.
“DAZN is Perform Group’s most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as a global streaming leader,” said John Skipper, Perform Group Executive Chairman. “In the last two years we’ve expanded into seven countries across three continents attracting millions of subscribers and creating long-term global partnerships with the best in the industry to bring our fans what they want at an affordable price.”
Fight fans who take advantage of DAZN’s one-month free trial just ahead of Sept. 22 will be treated to the following fight nights already scheduled:
• Sept. 22 – Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
• Sept. 29 – Bellator: Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald
• Oct. 6 – Card featuring Jessie Vargas, Demetrius Andrade
• Oct. 12 – Bellator: Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader***
*** Simulcast with Paramount Network
For more information on the fight cards, visit www.matchroomboxing.com and
Additionally, fight fans will feel right at home as International Boxing Hall of Fame fight announcer and the “voice of champions” Michael Buffer will be partnering with DAZN and Matchroom to bring his iconic “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” call to all fight nights as part of the joint venture.
Fight sports is just the first chapter in DAZN’s multisport plans for the U.S. The platform, which first launched in Europe and Asia two years ago, has developed long-term relationships with rights holders around the world, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, EPL and UEFA among others. The sports streaming service has ambitious plans to expand the portfolio as more rights become available and make DAZN the true sports fan’s home, offering sports content from all over the world that’s viewable anytime, anywhere at one affordable rate. DAZN is already available as a multisport service in markets including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and most recently Italy. Fans can pre-register for the subscription service on www.DAZN.com, as well as receive news about the platform and the sports and games it will show. They can also follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels @DAZNUSA on Facebook and @DAZN_USA for Instagram and Twitter.
Joshua-Wilder Negotiations Fall Flat- Joshua to Face Povetkin Next
By: Sean Crose
After much hype and speculation about multi-tilist Anthony Joshua facing off against WBC titlist Deontay Wilder in a superfight for heavyweight supremacy, news has arrived that a Joshua-Wilder match won’t be happening in the near future. Instead, England’s Joshua will be facing Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, a mandatory for Joshua’s WBA belt. “We’re fighting Povetkin in September,” said Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn, “and we’re looking at multiple venues and dates.”
The thirty eight year old Povetkin was supposed to fight Wilder in May of 2016, but Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, which led to the bout being scratched. Known as a formidable heavyweight, Povetkin’s one loss in 35 fights came against Wladimir Klitschko back when the Ukrainian dominated the division in 2013. Since that time, Povetkin has gone on to win eight straight, his last victory being a fifth round knockout of David Price in March of this year.
Joshua, on the other hand, boasts a 21-0 record and has ended all but one fight by knockout. He’s known to sell out entire stadiums in Great Britain and is now regarded as the sport’s biggest star aside from Canelo Alvarez. The WBA reportedly demanded Joshua fight Povetkin, under the threat of taking their title from around his waist.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder,” WBA President Gilberto Mendoza claimed on Tuesday. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.” Hearn subsequently responded that team Wilder would adhere to the WBA’s demands.
Some took to the internet to declare that the entire matter was concocted so that Joshua could avoid Wilder, his 40-0 American counterpart (like Joshua, Wilder has won all but one of his victories by knockout). Although both camps blame the other for a Joshua-Wilder throwdown not happening in the fall, Hearn has taken to pushing the chances of Povetkin in the September contest. “I think it’s a mad fight to take with the Wilder fight at the door,” said Hearn of the Povetkin bout, “but that’s AJ.”
“By (Joshua) fighting these guys,” Hearn claimed, “Wilder can’t say he’s afraid to fight him.” Wilder’s very public comments on the matter have suggested otherwise. “You coward ass bitch,” Wilder tweeted on Tuesday. “Had the world waiting for 3 months playing games just for this moment. You’re not a true champion!! You’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal. #Facts”
The most telling quote on the entire matter may have come from former heavyweight king Lennox Lewis, who weighed in on Thursday. “They way I see, it” he tweeted, “AJ is the man. He gets to choose time and place for first fight. I’d make Wilder come to me also… but from what I see from Wilder, he’s willing to… and this is same attitude i would have. When the HW division finally has a pulse, we need action not talk!”
Anthony Joshua v. Joseph Parker Undercard Preview
BY: Ste Rowen
Controversy, Olympians and a world title fight. Here’s the breakdown of this weekends Joshua vs Parker undercard.
Alexander Povetkin v David Price
The most high profile, and controversial bout of the undercard pits Alexander Povetkin, 33-1 (23KOs) a man who failed multiple drug tests in 2016; resulting in two aborted fights with Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne; vs David Price, 22-4 (18KOs) a man whose 3 of 4 career defeats have come against two men who went on to fail drugs tests in Tony Thompson and Erkan Teper. All three controversial defeats to Price were punishing stoppages, which makes it even more remarkable that Price has offered himself up as some form of sacrificial lamb for the extremely talented, but unbelievably tainted Russian.
Povetkin was last in the ring in December, scoring a whitewash, 12-round unanimous decision victory over the last man to overwhelm David Price to a 7th round stoppage, Christian Hammer. Price’s only fight since the Hammer defeat was a 6-round decision victory over one of Britain’s favourite heavyweight gatekeepers, Kamil Sokolowski.
On paper, this fight is the definition of ‘a puncher’s chance’ for David Price. In reality, it’s a stepping stone bout for Povetkin to attempt to setup a fight with Anthony Joshua in the near future. That is, as long as his consequent drug tests come back negative…don’t count on it.
Ryan Burnett v Yonfrez Parejo
The world title fight on the undercard sees WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett take on mandatory challenger, Yonfrez Parejo, 21-2-1 (10KOs). Burnett, 18-0 (9KOs) was forced to vacate the IBF strap he won when he defeated Lee Haskins last year, due to an interim bout between Haskins and Emmanuel Rodriguez falling through, meaning Rodriguez’s team called for purse bids with Burnett, after Matchroom had already made a deal for the Parejo bout.
Parejo, currently on a 4-fight win streak, last tasted defeat at the hands of Burnett’s most recent adversary, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, when he lost a 12-round split decision back in 2015. Burnett hasn’t fought since earning a correct, but unjustly wide decision on all three scorecards over Zhakiyanov back in October. He suffered a ruptured ligament in his neck, which scuppered talks of an immediate fight with Rodriguez, and subsequently lost him the IBF belt, but the Northern Irishman didn’t seem too concerned at the thought of dropping a belt back in February,
‘I don’t really get involved in the politics, but we knew that when we faced Zhakiyanov that it was likely we may have to vacate one of the belts because of mandatories, but I’ve unified the division and now we move on to new challenges.’
Josh Kelly v Carlos Molina
One of Britain’s most exciting prospects, Josh Kelly, 5-0 (4KOs) takes on former super welterweight world champion, Carlos Molina.
Kelly, who fought to the last 16 at the 2016 Olympics, defeated by eventual gold medallist, Daniyar Yeleussinov, is being accelerated though the early stages of the pro ranks by trainer, Adam Booth who’s no passenger when it comes to recognizing talent.
Molina is currently on a two-fight losing streak, so it seems like the perfect time for Kelly to step in with someone as experienced as the Mexican. A real statement to the rest of the welterweight scene would be for Kelly to become the first man to stop Molina.
Anthony Crolla v Edson Ramirez
Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla returns to the ring since earning a competitive decision victory over Ricky Burns in October. Crolla, 32-6-3 (13KOs) takes on Mexican, Edson Ramirez, 18-2-1 (8KOs) in an 8-round contest. The former WBA world champion is aiming to get back into the world title mix at lightweight but, speaking to The Independent, wouldn’t rule out a domestic dustup with Luke Campbell.
‘I need to get out there and get another win and then we can look for a big fight in the summer…Luke Campbell and I both want to win world titles and I don’t think either of us would have a problem fighting the other…I’m not targeting anyone in particular, I just want a world title shot. I’ll take any of the champions.’
Joe Cordina v Hakim Ben Ali
Hometown favourite, Joe Cordina fights for his first professional title when he takes on late stand in, Hakim Ben Ali, 19-5 (1KO) for the WBA International lightweight title.
Cordina, 6-0 (5KOs) hasn’t had quite as an accelerated start to his pro career as his fellow 2016 Olympian, Josh Kelly.
This weekend’s fight will be just the second time he’s stepped in the ring with a fighter holding a wining record. He was originally set to face Andy Townend, 21-4 (14KOs) who had to pull out last week due to injury.
Joshua Buatsi v Bartlomiej Grafka
The third 2016 Olympian on the card, Joshua Buatsi comes up against journeyman, Bartlomiej Grafka, 20-28-3 (5KOs). The real test for Buatsi will be if he’s able get Grafka out early, if not, expect a relative 6-round sparring session for the exciting prospect.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Molina, Pascal, Cotto, Lara, Povetkin, Kirkland, King, and more….
Boxing Insider Notebook: Molina, Pascal, Cotto, Lara, Povetkin, Kirkland, King, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 13th to December 20th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland Showdown Set for February 25th
Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are pleased to announce that Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, February 25, 2017 when he takes on James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Coming off respective losses to Canelo Alvarez, both fighters will be seeking redemption in a 12-round junior middleweight showdown. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Cotto and Kirkland will join Roc Nation Sports and the Dallas Cowboys organization on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. CT for a press conference at Ford Center at The Star to officially announce the fight. This will be the first event of its kind to be held at the state-of-the-art, 510,000 square foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s high schools. Ford Center at The Star is also the home to the Dallas Cowboys Football World Corporate Headquarters.
Tickets priced at $304, $204, $154, $104, $79, $54 and $29 not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. local time and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.
“I’m excited to return to the ring and put on a great show. I can’t wait to start training camp and get ready for February 25,” said Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto. “Fighting inside the beautiful Ford Center, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy’s newest creation, and headlining the first ever boxing event there pumps me with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.”
“I’m very excited to get back into the ring against a legend like Miguel Cotto. I’m going to train like never before so I can show the world that the old James Kirkland is back,” said James Kirkland. “You know the fight will be exciting while it lasts. February 25 can’t come soon enough.”
“Miguel Cotto is back and ready to put on an exciting show against the always tough James Kirkland,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “We can’t wait to see Miguel back in the ring on February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“On behalf of Roc Nation Sports, we are so thrilled about Miguel Cotto’s return to the ring and to bring the first public event to Ford Center at The Star,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “This will undoubtedly be a historic event with an exciting, all-action bout in store for the fans in Frisco and all of North Texas along with those watching from home on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“We are excited to host an incredible matchup for the very first boxing match here at Ford Center at The Star,” said Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager. “This venue was designed with the idea of versatility in mind, and we expect a great crowd in Frisco, Texas to experience a world class fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland.”
“Throughout his brilliant ring career, Miguel Cotto has never backed down from a challenge and on February 25 he takes on a dangerous knockout specialist in James Kirkland,” said Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View. “Fans watching live in Frisco and those tuning in on pay-per-view should not blink in what should be an all-action slugfest.”
Don King Responds to WBC and Povetkin-Stiverne Drug Tests
Top rated heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne were scheduled to fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Interim Heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Ekaterinburg Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia. However, the WBC withdrew it’s sanctioning of the bout due to a Povetkin failed drug test. The WBC informed both camps of their decision Friday evening and advised the Stiverne camp they should not go through with the fight. The WBC abides by “Safety First” protocol in their Clean Boxing Program.
Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs) from Checkhov, Russia was going into the fight rated No. 1 by the WBC. No. 2 rated Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) was born and raised in Haiti, now residing in Las Vegas. They were to fight for the WBC Interim Heavyweight Title, the winner becoming mandatory challenger to current champion Deontay Wilder, who has been incapable of defending due to injury.
The WBC uses VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) to administer their drug testing. VADA uses random testing and athletes may be tested at any time. This is the second fight in which Povetkin has tested positive for a banned substance – this time Ostarine. Povetkin’s positive sampling was taken December 6 and the WBC and both fight camps were notified of the test results Friday night. Within a couple of hours of the notification, the WBC tweeted it was “Withdrawing its recognition of Povetkin vs Stiverne due to the positive result of Povetkin for Osterine,” and shortly thereafter wrote in its ruling “The WBC hereby withdraws its sanctioning of the bout for the heavyweight interim world championship and will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the case and will issue subsequent rulings as required.”
Statement from Stiverne’s promoter Don King: “To say that I am very saddened and extremely disappointed that Alexander Povetkin was caught again using banned substances would be an understatement. What is the WBC going to do about it will be the answer. Bermane Stiverne deserves better than that. Bermane should be declared the interim title holder. This is the second time Alexander Povetkin is in the drug abuse program and has embarrassed the WBC causing the WBC’s sanction of the fight as a world title fight being withdrawn. The firs time was the Deontay Wilder vs. Povetkin May 21 in Moscow.
“Even though it hurts Bermane economically, psychologically and especially psychologically, I want to congratulate the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman did himself and his organization, the WBC, proud by withdrawing their sanctioning of the fight.. Thank you WBC, thank you Mauricio Sulaiman, thank you for your honest, dynamic leadership.”
Ostarine is known to increase muscle mass and fat loss as well as increase stamina. Previously Povetkin was to face WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder on May 21, but tested positive for Meldonium a week prior to the fight. Meldonium is known to increase blood vessel size, increasing blood, hence, improving once again, stamina.
Erislandy Lara to Defend Title Against Yuri Foreman
Super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (23-2-2, 13 KOs) will take on former world champion Yuri Foreman (34-2, 10 KOs) in a world title showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Spike on Friday, January 13 from Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Miami.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT with former super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (29-1-1, 23 KOs) battling Hungary’s Norbert Nemesapati (24-4, 17 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
“I’m very excited to be making my return to the ring in front of my Cuban fans in Miami on Spike on January 13,” said Lara. “Yuri Foreman is a former world champion who is dedicated to this sport and will be looking to win another world title. I expect nothing but the best from him. On fight night, I’m making another statement and going for the knockout! After this fight, it’s time to unify the division, then move up to win the middleweight titles. Everyone should tune-in because it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”
“I’m thrilled to be fighting for the world title,” said Foreman. “I’m really looking forward to showcasing my skills and talent and becoming a two-time world champion. At this stage of my career, it would be a tremendous accomplishment. Lara is very crafty and many elite fighters have had trouble dealing with his style, but I have studied him and am very confident that I will defeat him by presenting him with something he’s never seen before.”
The Cuban Lara will be making his fifth defense of his title as he heads to Miami to fight in front of the many Cuban boxing fans in the city. The consensus best fighter at 154-pounds, Lara will be challenged by an experienced Foreman, a former 154-pound champion in his own right, who has fully recovered from physical ailments that almost derailed his career. Now, Foreman looks to establish that he can still challenge at the elite level as he prepares to solve the crafty champion.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing, are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and $125, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.myticketforce.com by clicking HERE, by phone at (877) 840-0457 or at the Hialeah Park casino cage.
Barrerra Taunts Pascal, “Did My KO of Shabranskyy Scare You?”
Fresh off of his crushing 7th round knockout of the previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, top rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera has his next victim in mind.
The former amateur standout from Cuba wants to avenge his countryman Yunieski Gonzalez’s defeat to Jean Pascal. Shabranskyy is the only other fighter to defeat his compatriot.
“I knocked out Shabranskyy to get revenge for my friend and I will knockout Pascal too. We can fight anywhere in the United States. Hell, I would go to his country of Haiti and fight him. I just want to get my hands on him,” Barrera stated.
Barrera has been chasing Pascal for two years but has had no luck getting the former champion in the ring. With Barrera’s main two targets – Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev – locked in for a year rematch in the first half of 2017, Barrera knows a fight between himself and Pascal would produce a worthy challenger for either one of them in the second half of next year.
“I want a rematch with Ward or a fight with Kovalev but I know they are fighting again so I can’t just sit around. Pascal needs to man up and fight me. If he beats me he can get a Ward fight. If I beat him I can get a Ward rematch or a Kovalev fight,” said Barrera.
“I can’t fight in Canada but I am willing to fight him anywhere else in the world. I will fight him in the backyard of his parent’s house in Haiti if he wants. Pascal, you need to stop running from me and give the fans the fight they want. Did my knockout of Shabranskyy scare you? Me and you toe to toe is guaranteed to end in a knockout! Congratulations on your win on Friday but now it is time for me and you to get in the ring!”
Adam Lopez Faces Danny Roman in Matchup of Top 10 Ranked Super Bantamweights in Main Event of ShoBox
Undefeated, WBA No. 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will face the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Jan. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
The first ShoBox telecast in 2017 features eight fighters with a combined record of 115 wins against just seven losses.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 1 NC, 10 KOs) will face off with Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round 168-pound matchup of ShoBox veterans.
In another eight-round featured bout, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) and Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will clash in an eight-round matchup of up-and-coming, unbeaten super lightweights making their ShoBox debuts in their toughest assignments to date.
In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated bantamweight Stephon Young (15-0-3, 6 KOs) takes on Mexican veteran and two-time interim world title challenger Daniel Rosas (19-3-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Kings Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing (the main event) and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, are $125, $100 $75 & $50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000
Warriors Boxing Congratulates King Carlos Molina for Victory Saturday Night
Warriors Boxing sends congratulations out to Former IBF junior middleweight world champion “King” Carlos Molina for winning his sixth consecutive (and fifth this year) fight on Saturday night.
Fighting at the Gran Oasis Arena in Cancun, Mexico, Molina (28-6-2, 8 KOs) won a unanimous shutout (80-72 X3) decision over Diego “Demoledor” Cruz (17-4-1, 13 KOs). The 33-year-old Molina is currently rated #9 at welterweight by the WBC.
“I feel very comfortable at 147; this is my natural weight,” said Molina, post-fight. “I am at weight after working out and I feel faster in my fights. For this fight, I worked on utilizing my jab and being more effective with it. Over all I am happy about how things came together. I will continue to work hard to get back to a world title fight.”
Molina says he likes the hectic schedule he maintained this year, in fighting five times against respectable opposition.
“I want to stay busy. The activity I experienced this year was excellent and I want to continue being busy. I want bigger fights with anyone in the top 10 at 147. I want the fights that will lead to a second world title. I am a problem for anyone at 147 and in 2017, I want to be challenged with the best the division has to offer.”
“Carlos was one of the best in the world at 154,” said his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. “But at 147, he could very well be the best in the world. He is a true technician with a difficult style to solve for anyone. Now that he’s bigger and stronger than his opponents, he’s in very serious contention for a second world championship once again. He had a great year and I congratulate him.”
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
By: Eric Lunger
It was a weekend of regret, as two bouts on different continents made a mockery of professional boxing. Karl Marx once observed that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. In Russia, Alexander Povetkin, by failing PED screening for a second time in less than a year, made a farce of whatever governing body sanctioned his heavyweight bout. And at the Forum in Los Angeles, veteran Bernard Hopkins was literally knocked out of the ring for the second time is his career, in what was supposed to be some sort of triumphant farewell/ retirement fight.
The Povetkin debacle was hard to fathom from the moment stories broke that he had failed another drug test. Seven months ago Povetkin was caught with meldonium in his veins, a now well-known PED employed systematically, it seems, by Russian athletes. There is something particularly vile about drug cheating in boxing: its one thing if the Russian bobsled team gets a faster start, and quite another thing when a heavyweight boxer has an unfair advantage. Boxing is dangerous enough as it is. Bermane Stiverne, Povetkin’s opponent, had worked very hard to position himself back in line for a WBC title shot, having lost a tough twelve rounder to Deontay Wilder in January of 2015. It also takes guts to enter the lion’s den by traveling to Moscow to face Povetkin in front of a home crowd, so imagine Bermane’s frustration and disgust when he awoke, on fight day no less, to the news that the WBC had withdrawn its sanction for the bout, which, by the way, is the only ray of light in this dark hole.
It appears that the WBC did the right thing immediately by withdrawing their sanction for the bout. Povetkin was on a voluntary random testing regime, a result of his previous violation under the WBC, which is trying to implement a rigorous anti-doping regime by partnering with VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Bizarrely, Povetkin was immediately provided with a replacement opponent, Johann Duhaupas of France, though no one knows why he was in Russia and available. It takes no giant leap of imagination to suppose that World of Boxing, the Russian promotion company that represents Povetkin, was holding Duhaupas in reserve for just such an eventuality. And to end the whole sordid story, Povetkin knocked out Duhaupas in the sixth round, with a vicious and presumably steroid enhanced left hook. Congratulations to a drug cheat.
The Hopkins vs. Smith fight was farce of a different nature, less malevolent but just sad. Sad to see a legend of the ring end his career on such an unnecessarily low note. After being dismantled and slightly embarrassed by Sergey Kovalev in November of 2014, Hopkins just couldn’t stay away. He had something to prove to himself, I suppose, because I can’t imagine anyone in the entire boxing world would have begrudged him his retirement at that point. So Saturday night, after needlessly disrespecting Joe Smith, Jr. at the prefight press conference, we were treated to the ridiculous executioner show, the silly hoods and fake axes, etc. I guess I’m just not a fan of the elaborate ring walk and masks and costumes. And the fight itself was hardly a fight, rather a boxing exhibition – and a bad one at that. Hopkins’s footwork was slow and ponderous, and the head butt in round two looked to me to be intentional, a dirty and unbecoming foul that was depressing to see from such a great champion. I don’t want to bash Hopkins, and I think I can understand how hard it must be for a proud, professional athlete to finally give up a sport that has defined his identity for so long, but when Smith bludgeoned him through the ropes and out of the ring, it felt as though boxing itself had ejected Hopkins from the sport. Only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would argue that Smith pushed him through the ropes. But then, only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would be prize fighting at age 51.
There were several good fights this weekend, and congratulations to Oleksandr Usyk, Joseph Diaz, Jr., and Sullivan Barrera, all of whom put on excellent shows and won technically fine bouts. But shame on Povetkin, and a sad farewell to Hopkins.