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BoxNation World Championship Boxing Preview: The Return of Carl Frampton


By: Oliver McManus

Boxing returns to Belfast in a couple of weeks’ time with Carl Frampton returning to the ring for his first fight in Northern Ireland since February 2015.

With two World Title fights on the bill, it’s hard to decipher who the real headline act is but a cracking night of action is guaranteed on Saturday 18th. Promoted by Frank Warren and live on BT Sport & BoxNation, the card features Zolani Tete, Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Darryll Williams and, of course, The Jackal himself.

Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF World Super Flyweight against, Belfast’s own, Jamie Conlan; Ancajas has been steadily building up his profile in the Asian hemisphere, having captured the title back in September last year against McJoe Arroyo – since then he’s made two defences against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez and Teiru Kinoshita, to move his record 27-1-1.

Jamie Conlan will be in his first fight for 8 months, his last runout saw him take the vacant WBC International Silver title to move him up to 4th in the IBF Rankings and 3rd with the WBO. 19 and 0 with 11 knockouts, Conlan has already won the Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title as well as an array of Continental belts but gets his first World Title shot at the age of 31.

Conlan will be facing his first southpaw since, journeyman, Elemir Rafael way back in January 2012 so he could find it tricky to deal with Ancajas’ cagey nature in the opening rounds but will look to get on the front foot quickly, establishing his open stature and giving room for his sharp, snappy, right hand.

Ancajas, known as Pretty Boy, has built a growing reputation based on a patient fighting blueprint with deceptive knockout power. With a strong, powerful, right hand jab, he’s capable of keeping his opponent at length before turning on the fast, flashy, footwork to throw a trademark left hand hook.

His movement is unquestionably better than Conlan who has often been criticised for being “flat-footed”, and Ancajas’ lucid body movement could prompt flush air-shots from The Mexican.

Nonetheless Conlan always comes ready for a scrap, a brawl, and is never afraid to just let shots fly if he feels the heat start to crank up – home advantage is nothing to be sniffed and with 11,000 Irish fans roaring him on, you could do worse than put your money on the 11/4 priced amateur legend.

Carl Frampton is next up, he’ll be facing Horacio Garcia – a fringe fighter from Mexico, with a 33-3-1 record. Scheduled for 10 rounds, this will be the 30 year old’s first bout since his majority decision loss against Leo Santa Cruz in their second encounter.

With Frampton’s previous fight cancelled after his opponent, Andreas Gutierrez, suffered facial cuts and broken teeth the night before their clash, this will be his first bout under MTK management and with promoter Frank Warren.
Although The Jackal, with a record of 23-1, narrowly missed the weight for that postponed battle, he’s decided to stay at the Featherweight division and a convincing win against the 27 year old Mexican could set him up for an instant return to World level and, indeed, a tantalising trilogy with Santa Cruz.

Horacio Garcia seems an uninspired choice of opponent given that he’s never competed at anything higher than regional level – he’s challenged twice for NABF titles but never taken home the belt. Consider that less than 4 months ago he was outboxed over 8 rounds by Diuhl Olguin (at the time 11-6-3) and it’s clear that Garcia is already on the downward slide.

Carl Frampton will be looking to go through the motions once more and shake off any ring rust that he may be suffering; having reduced his sparring workload by ½ in order to prevent lasting brain injuries, any competitive rounds under his belt will always be useful but the 2-time World Champion will want to utilise his fast, flying hands, to make a statement to the rest of the division.

Having already conquered the Featherweight and Super Bantamweight divisions, should Frampton come through this with ease and go on to avenge his sole loss, we could see him attempt to become Northern Ireland’s first ever three-weight World Champion and capture the crown of the Super Featherweight division.

Also on the card is the WBO World Bantamweight Title fight between, the champion, Zolani Tete and, challenger, Siboniso Gonya; Tete was installed as champion following Shohei Omori’s transition to Super Bantamweight, having already captured the interim title against Arthur Villanueva in April this year.

Born in South Africa but fighting in the United Kingdom, Last Born has quickly been adopted by the city of Liverpool as one of their own – in no part hindered by his explosive power and all-round cheeky nature.

Fighting from a southpaw stance, Tete has been with Frank Warren since March 2015 and has been described as a “modern day road warrior”. With a come-forward style, the two-time World Champion has a fast fighting nature and utilises two quick straight jabs before unleashing a sharp under-hand hook.

Not one to be involved in boring, slow fights, Tete has on occasion literally jumped around the ring and is as evasive as he is powerful with opponents finding it near on impossible to connect with any real power shots – from his 25-3 record, the Eastern Cape fighter has suffered just one knockout defeat, to Moruti Mthalane in the 5th round way back 7 years ago.

Since then his jaw has more than improved to the point where he is, in my opinion, the number one bantamweight in the world.

Siboniso Gonya, on the other hand, is a relative novice to the fighting world with a mere 12 professional fights consisting of 11 wins a singular loss – incurred against Thabo Siswane, a point’s decision against the overwhelming favourite.

Since that defeat 4 years ago, Gonya has fought for, and defended, the WBA Pan African Bantamweight Title on 3 occasions with the two defences coming by way of knockout. His last fight came in April against, former World Title challenger, Immanuel Naidjala and having overcame the roaring away crowd in Namibia, Gonya took a unanimous decision over The Prince to prove his pedigree.

And that’s the thing because despite the fact literally no-one will have heard of Siboniso Gonya before, he is a very good fighter who’s definitely worth of a shot at Tete’s title; the fact it’s going to domestic dustup only adds to the intrigue and Gonya is going to throw some shots in the early stages before, I suspect, eventually falling fowl to Zolani Tete’s superior power and movement.

Also on the card and getting an honourable mention is Darryll Williams (16-0) who defends his English Super-Middleweight title against Birmingham’s Lennox Clarke (15-0-1), having come through to sensational fights with Jahmaine Smyle in April & July of this year. Clarke is 18 months younger at 26 but has no real names on his record thus far – although both men share a 1st round knockout over Richard Horton – despite that though, this fight feels like a 50-50 because both men will be giving it there all. A real burner in Belfast, bring it on!

Paddy Barnes features in his 5th professional fight, he’ll be attempting to gain his first ever knockout against an as-yet unnamed opponent slated for his first defence of the WBO European Flyweight title that he won against Silvio Olteanu back in June. By his own admission, his last outing against Juan Hinostroza was not a vintage performance from the Olympic bronze medallist and The Leprechaun will be looking to shake off some rustiness before building to a potential World Title shot towards the back end of 2018.

A thrilling card that promises not to disappoint, the SSE Arena is going to be absolutely bouncing come Saturday 18th with 11,000 Irishman cheering on their hero Carl Frampton as well as revelling in two, top-class world title clashes.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia, Jermall Charlo vs. Jorge Heiland


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Showtime and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will present one of the best boxing matches during the month of August as Adrien Broner takes on Mikey Garcia in the junior welterweight division. Jermall Charlo will also be making his debut in the middleweight division as he bumps a weight class to take on Jorge Sebastian Heiland.

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The undercard is also stacked and featured several entertaining fights and high level prospects. Jarrell Miller will face Gerald Washington in a matchup featuring two top ranked heavyweights. Katie Taylor and Rau’shee Warren are two former Olympians that will also be competing on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the televised portion of the bouts that Showtime will be televising live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Jermall Charlo (25-0) vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2); Middleweights

Jermall Charlo is dropping his junior middleweight title to bump up to his brother’s division and chase a world title there. He’s younger than his brother by one minute but they hope to hold titles in the same division as the same time.

Charlo is twenty seven years old and younger than his Argentinean opponent by three years. He’s from Houston, Texas and has been relatively active in the past two years. He fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2017. He stands at 6’0”, but has a pretty good reach of 73 ½”. Heiland has fought once in 2017, twice in 2016, and once in 2015.

Heiland is a southpaw and has four losses on his record. He doesn’t have the power of Charlo and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Charlo has stopped nineteen boxers.

Despite his four losses Heiland has been boxing well recently. He is currently riding an 8 win fight streak. Neither boxer has any notable amateur titles.

Charlo’s most impressive victory was in his last bout when he defeated Philadelphia native Julian Williams by knockout. His other notable victories include Austin Trout, Winky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.

Heiland’s only notable victory was a knockout over Matthew Macklin before Macklin retired. He has losses to Mateo Damian Veron, Billi Godoy, Nilson Tapia, and Sebastian Zbik.

Even though Charlo is bumping up a weight division, he’s facing an opponent that is not on his skill level. It’s a good first fight to feel out the middleweight division for Charlo.

Adrien Broner (33-2) vs. Mikey Garcia (36-0); Junior Welterweights

Adrien Broner has been in the news a lot recently, but not for boxing. He’s had a few run ins with the law, including an arrest in April of 2017 when the SUV he was driving was found to have bullet holes in it. Broner claimed at the time that his vehicle was shot at.

Broner is a boxer with amazing talents, but the outside issues could be a distraction and he’s facing an elite level talent.

Broner and Garcia are similar in age, with Broner being 28 years old and Garcia being 29. They are also similar in size and height. They are the same height and stand in at 5’6”. Garcia will have a slight reach advantage of one inch.

Neither boxer has been very active in the past two years fighting under the PBC banner. Broner only fought once in 2017 and 2016, but did fight three times in 2015. Garcia only fought once in 2017 and 2016, and did not fight in 2015 and most of 2014 due to contract issues with Top Rank Promotions.

Broner has defeated the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio Demarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Eloy Perez. His losses were to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana.

Garcia’s inactivity has cost him some possible big name matchups, but he still has a good list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dejan Zlaticanin, Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros.

Both boxers experienced some success on the national level as an amateur. Broner as a National Silver Gloves Champion and Garcia was a US Pal Gold Medalist and a US Junior Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.

Garcia’s inactivity and recent wins against subpar competition would normally big a cause of concern when facing a highly skilled opponent like Adrien Broner, but Broner’s recent run ins with the law and his two losses against top level opponents is a bigger concern.

This writer wouldn’t be shocked if Broner emerges victorious, but the edge has to go to Garcia.

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