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Showtime PPV Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Broner, Jack vs. Browne


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night, hall of famer Manny Pacquiao will be making his debut under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner when he faces off against Adrien Broner. This bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be distributed live on PPV by Showtime.

The co-main event of the night will be between Badou Jack and Marcus Browne for the WBA Interim Light heavyweight title.

Two other title fights will also take place. The WBC Bantamweight Title will be on the line when Rau’shee Warren takes on Nordine Oubaali. The WBA Interim Featherweight Title will also be on the line when Jhack Tepora takes on Hugo Ruiz.

Other fighters on the undercard include George Kambosos Jr., Rey Perez, Jayar Inson, Jonathan Steele, Genisis Libranza, and Carlos Buitrago.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Marcus Browne (22-0) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-3); WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title

The co-main event of the evening has the potential to be a very competitive fight.

Both Marcus Browne and Badou Jack are very solid boxers with strong amateur backgrounds. Browne was a National Police Athletic League Champion, a US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion, and represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics. Jack was a multi time Swedish National Champion as an amateur and represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics.

Browne is seven years younger than Badou Jack, who at thirty five years old is nearing the end of his physical prime. Browne will also have about a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage over Jack.

Browne has a slight edge in activity. He fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Jack only fought once in 2018 and fought twice in 2017. They both have decent power but neither is known as a true knockout artist. Browne has sixteen stoppage victories on his record while Jack has thirteen. However, Browne has stopped three of his past four opponents while Jack has only stopped one of his past four opponents.

Jack appears to have faced the better competition of the two as a professional, but fights in a lot of close matches. He has majority draws with Adonis Stevenson, James DeGale, and Marco Antonio Periban on his record. He has beaten the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Farah Ennis, and Rogelio Medina. His lone loss was an upset TKO loss to Derek Edwards.

Browne has never tasted defeat as a professional. His closest fight to date was a split decision win over Radivoje Kalajdzic. He has wins over Thomas Williams Jr., Sean Monaghan, Francy Ntetu, Lenin Castillo, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, and Aaron Pryor Jr.

This should be a close competitive fight, but the writer has to give a slight edge to Marcus Browne based on age, physical advantages such as reach and power, and more recent success and activity.

Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2) vs. Adrien Broner (33-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao is a living legend, but he’s now forty years old and his time at or near the top is coming to an end. He’ll be facing Adrien Broner, a high level boxer who was once considered to be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr., but hasn’t been able to reach that level of fame or success…yet.

Broner is still in the midst of his athletic prime at the age of twenty nine, while Pacquiao is no longer at his prime at the age of forty. Broner will only have a half an inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage over Pacquiao, which is actually a smaller advantage than what Pacquiao is accustomed to.

Pacquiao, as most know, turned professional as a teenager and doesn’t have the deep amateur experience of most professionals. Broner was a two time National Silver Gloves Champion as an amateur.

Pacquiao has thirty nine stoppage victories as a professional, but got his first TKO win in nine years when he beat Lucas Matthysse. Broner has twenty four stoppage victories.

Pacquiao has defeated an impressive list of well known opponents. His wins include Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.

Many of his losses are either disputed, or were losses he avenged or beat the opponent earlier. His losses were to Jeff Horn (disputed), Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez(beat twice), Timothy Bradley (disputed, avenged), Erik Morales (avenged), Rustico Torrecampo and Boonsai Sangsurat.

Broner hasn’t defeated the type of named opponents that Pacquiao. His wins include Adrian Granados. Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlons Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Gavin Rees, Antonio DeMarco, Jason Litzau, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. His losses were to Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia.

Pacquiao’s lack of activity in the past two years is concerning. He’s only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. However, Broner has only fought once in 2018 and doesn’t appear he’ll reach the potential many thought he once had.

This is a bout that Pacquiao should win, and if he wins convincingly his popularity and hall of fame resume will only get bigger.

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PBC on Fox Preview: Charlo vs. Harrison, Charlo vs. Korobov


By: Hans Themistode

Loud, brash, cocky and arrogant are words that can be used to describe the Charlo twins Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) and Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs). Explosive, confident, impressive and revered can be used as well. Whichever word you choose will lead you to the same conclusion.

They are must watch television.

Both will be returning to the big screen this Saturday night as they put their undefeated records on the line at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York live on the first PBC on Fox card.

Jermall, who is the number one contender for the WBC Middleweight title and also possesses the interim title was originally scheduled to take on two time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KOs). However with less than one week remaining until the night of the fight Monroe was busted by VADA for an adverse finding in his urine sample. He was subsequently removed from the card and replaced with Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs).

Although this is considered a short notice bout, it isn’t your typical one. Korobov was already in training for a matchup against Juan De Angel on this very undercard. The bout was scheduled to take place at 168 pounds but he had no trouble in trimming down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds as he weighed in at 159.8 this afternoon.

On paper Korobov will provide Jermall with his toughest opponent to date. Matt was a decorated amateur having defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Oleksandr Usyk to amass a record of 300-12. In the pros he has been impressive as well. He handed current IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui his first defeat in his biggest win to date. Korobov’s lone defeat came in 2014 at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee. Matt was ahead on the scorecards and in complete control of the fight before a right hand by Lee followed by a flurry of punches put a halt to the contest. He has gone on to win four bouts in a row since then. In short this will in many ways present a much tougher task for Jermall then his originally scheduled opponent.

The interim champion has looked great thus far but many would venture to say that he is still unproven and not quite ready for the elite of the Middleweight division. A win over Korobov won’t silence his doubters but a dominant performance just might.

Speaking of dominance, that is the exact word that can be used when describing Jermell’s title run at Jr Middleweight. The younger by one minute Charlo has knocked out four of his past five opponents. He will be looking to add another highlight reel knockout to his name when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the co main event.

Jermell has his eyes set on a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd. It would be a matchup of arguably the two best Jr Middleweights. As much as Jermell wants that fight to happen he would be foolish to overlook Tony Harrison.

Boxing ability, punching power, ring IQ. Tony has it all.

His biggest problem has always seemed to be his gas tank. He was stopped by both Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson in the ninth round of both contest while leading on the scorecards. Tony’s stamina failed him on both occasions. Coming in to this contest however, Tony has told anyone that will listen that he has solved his issues.

If he truly has found a way to keep a consistent pace for a full 12 rounds then he will pose plenty of issues for the champion.

Many have dismissed both Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison as easy fights for the Charlo’s. Both bouts will be anything but that. If the twins hope to continue their dominant run they will both have to overcome two great challenges ahead of them come Saturday night.

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BT Sport/ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Warrington vs. Frampton


By: Oliver McManus

An all-action, all-British grudge match to close the year out in style, listen not to the murmurings of a heavyweight event down South, Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton is the only fight you need this Saturday night.

Headlining a wonderful fight card at the Manchester Arena, Warrington-Frampton is the epitome of a 50-50 domestic clash. Neither fighter had to take this bout, there were options out there, but a desire to prove themselves as number one in 126lb division prevailed.

Warrington, the defending champion, has enjoyed a faultless career to date with an unblemished record after 27 bouts. Debuting in October 2009, Warrington made a name for himself on the small hall scene for the first four years in the paid ranks, gaining the experience at a young age.

Winning the English Featherweight belt over Chris Male in the back end of 2012, followed up by defences against Jamie Speight and Ian Bailey, elevated him to a position whereby Eddie Hearn came a-calling. The rest, as they say, is history. The perennial underdog, Warrington added the Commonwealth, British, European and WBC International straps to his name before he finally got a world title shot last year.

May 19th, a night that will go down in Leeds folklore, Warrington faced an embittered Lee Selby in front of a raucous home crowd. Few gave him the nod pre-fight but the underdog came out and fought masterfully on the front foot – a split decision win, one that few could argue with.

Against Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington retains that moniker of underdog, the asterisk against his name that has followed him his whole career. Warrington will go in as he always does, hungry. For many Carl Frampton has little left to prove, he’s had a dazzling career and is, arguably, Britain’s number one pound-for-pound but Josh Warrington is still that ‘lucky lad from Leeds’, isn’t he?

Far from it, the lucky lad is now a bona fide champion having done it the hard way. My expectation is that Warrington will approach this contest looking to take it to Frampton, try and force his opponent into faltering. Warrington will be in Frampton’s face from the off, there little chance of this being a highly-technical encounter. That’s not a slur on the ability of Warrington, by no stretch, but he performs better when setting a high-tempo, fighting hard and giving no quarter.

Carl Frampton, then. The challenger. And what a challenge it is as he faces the toughest domestic opponent possible, his toughest night since Leo Santa Cruz, but the route back to where he wants to be. Unification fights with Oscar Valdez, Santa Cruz and Gary Russel Jr will await the winner, Frampton is no stranger to that glory.

Four months on from a devastating beat-down of Luke Jackson – the Australian a hardy warrior – Frampton will enter the ring in Manchester looking to claim the fourth different world title to his name. The last two fights – Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson – have seen Frampton return to form approaching his best and that consistency over the year, a fight every four months – will stand him in good stead.

The Jackal looks relaxed when he’s fighting, he looks content, and the style of Warrington has potential to play into his hands. Demonstrating a wonderful ability to box on the back foot, Frampton has landed some beautiful counter-right hooks in his last couple of fights. Oftentimes an opponent has looked to be in the clear, with Frampton at range, but before you know it he’s in your face.

Styles produce great fights and Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton have the perfect styles to produce a genuine Fight of the Year – what more could you ask for?

How about a sensational dust-up between Mark Heffron and Liam Williams for the British middleweight title? A long time mandatory, Heffron was granted a “free shot” at the title after Jason Welborn relinquished the crown in order to fight Jarrett Hurd.

Make no mistake, though, Williams will be as strong a challenger as they come and the Welsh boxer will enter the ring on the back of two thunderous knockout victories this year. The rebuild from back-to-back losses against Liam Smith saw Williams join Dominic Ingle and the boxer has looked crisp and rejuvenated in the ring.

Having been in camp preparing for a 50-50 clash with JJ Metcalf, Williams steps up in weight to challenge for the British title and will carry his power into the new division with relative ease. With Williams looking to pursue higher honours, the change in weight seems a sensible move and the former British & Commonwealth super-welterweight champion is jumping straight into the deep end.

Heffron, himself, has been preparing for a British title for the best part of four months and produced a super performance back in June when he stopped Andrew Robinson in the 6th. That fight saw Heffron claim the WBC International strap and Kid Dynamite looked classy in the ring with a strong control of the tempo, working the angles and remaining patient before seizing his opportunity.

Martin Murray, WBC Silver middleweight champion, takes on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in a fight that packs fireworks. Murray, scheduled to face Billy Joe Saunders on two occasions this year, has not hidden the fact that this is his last crack at the route to a world title. N’Dam, WBA Regular champion last year, lost the title in a rematch with Ryota Murata last October but is a fighter who knows nothing but aggression. The French-Cameroonian offers Murray the opportunity to enhance his spot in the rankings ahead of a 2019 world title tilt but, make no mistake, this isn’t going to be one-way traffic.

Nathan Gorman was scheduled to take on Alex Leapai until the Australian withdrew last week. The challenge in front of Gorman, now, is Razvan Cojanu who faced Joseph Parker for the WBO title last year. Scheduled for 10 rounds and in defense of his WBC International Silver title, Nathan Gorman has a real opportunity to add a scalp to his record – by no means someone to be sniffed at – and move one step ahead of Daniel Dubois on the heavyweight ladder.

Michael Conlan will look to go 10 and 0 in only his second professional fight in the United Kingdom as he takes on, former Commonwealth champion, Jason Cunningham whilst the stacked undercard is completed by the additions of Billy Joe Saunders, Lyndon Arthurt, Jack Massey, Paddy Barnes, Tommy Fury, Sam Maxwell, Troy Williamson and Danny Wright.

Box Office entertainment at its finest… I hope you’ve got your purple card ready because it’s going to be a blockbuster!

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DAZN Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Rocky, Farmer vs. Fonseca


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions top promotional star, Canelo Alvarez, will make his debut in New York City and on the DAZN Streaming Network when he faces off against Rocky Fielding for Fielding’s WBA Super Middleweight title.

This bout will take place at the famed Madison Square Garden and features a rather stacked undercard. The co-main event of the night was originally supposed to be between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, but Lemieux had to withdraw due to dehydration issues and the bout between Tevin Farmer and Francisco Fonseca will take it’s place.

Other notable undercard fights include a welterweight bout between Sadam Ali and Mauricio Herrera, an IBF/WBA Women’s Lightweight Title bout between Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom, and two bouts featuring high rated prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr.

DAZN has gone all in with their partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez, and this is the first of an eleven fight contract that they have with Canelo.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.

Tevin Farmer (27-4) vs. Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title

Tevin Farmer is one of those feel good stories in the sport of boxing. He wasn’t a heralded amateur and started his career with a 2-2 record, but he has shown significant improvement since his professional debut and was able to win the IBF Super Featherweight Title.

Farmer only had sixteen amateur fights so he had to learn quickly on the job. He’s not known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents and was stopped twice in his career. He lost by TKO in his very first professional fight and was later stopped by Jose Pedraza.

His opponent, Francisco Fonseca, has stopped sixteen of his opponents and was only stopped one time in his career, a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. Fonseca will have a slight inch and a half height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Fonseca has fought mainly in Panama and Costa Rica against suspect opposition. He lost his only fight outside of Central America. His biggest win to date was against a 13-3 Daniel Miranda. He’s been fairly active and fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017.

Farmer fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. He’s shown significant improvement since his debut, especially defensively, and has beaten the likes of James Tennyson, Billy Dib, Arturo Santos Reyes, Ivan Redkach, and Angel Luna.

This is a bout that Farmer should win by decision. Farmer is angling for a future fight with Gervonta Davis and he’ll need an impressive performance to get the boxing community talking about a potential fight with Davis.

Rocky Fielding (27-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2); WBA Super Middleweight Title

Canelo Alvarez is arguably boxing’s biggest, active star. He’ll be chasing history on Saturday night as he looks to win a title in his third weight class, and become the ninth Mexican boxer to do so.

Canelo is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old and is three years younger than his opponent. However, Canelo is the smaller man and will be giving up height, reach, and size to Fielding.

Canelo turned pro at the age of fifteen, so Fielding has more amateur experience than Canelo as he experienced some success as an amateur on the English circuit.

Canelo also has significantly more power in his punches than Fielding. He has stopped 34 of his opponents while Fielding has only stopped fifteen. Fielding also has a TKO loss on his record when he was stopped by Callum Smith. Canelo’s lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. five years ago and he has never been stopped.

Both fighters have been fairly active. Canelo fought twice in 2017 and once in 2018 while Fielding fought twice in 2018 and in 2017.

Canelo has a long list of accomplished opponents that he has beaten. He has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Carlos Baldomir.

Fielding’s biggest wins were against Tyron Zeuge for the WBA Super Middleweight title, David Brophy, John Ryder, and Brian Vera. This will only be his second fought outside of the United Kingdom and his first fight in the United States.

It’s likely Fielding’s size advantage will give Canelo some problems early on, but Canelo’s skill is levels above Fielding and he should win quite comfortably in his New York City debut.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Hart vs. Ramirez 2


By: Hans Themistode

WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs) will step into the ring for third time this year when he takes on the man that gave him his toughest bout of his career in Jesse Hart (25-1, 21 KOs). The matchup is scheduled to take place tonight in Corpus Christi Texas at the American Bank Center.

For Ramirez his reign as champion has spanned over two years but has featured underwhelming competition as he was able to blow through his opponents. His first bout against Hart last year however was his toughest to date. The victory presented Ramirez with the best win of his career.

The first fight between these two can be deceiving. Two judges scored the contest 115-112 while the third judge had it 114-113 all in favor of the champion. The nature of the close scorecards did not seem indicative of how the actual bout played out. Although Hart undoubtedly has his moments it was the champion who seemed to be in much more control. An early knockdown in round two for the champion followed by several punishing blows almost forced the referee to put a stop to the contest. The compubox numbers also spoke to the dominance of Ramirez. The champion connected on almost 100 more punches than his opponent, 220 to 132 while also connecting at a higher percentage. In short, Ramirez seemed to dominant.

Since Hart’s decision loss to Ramirez he has gone on to fight three times with all three fights ending in a knockout victory. Hart will not only be looking for his fourth straight stoppage victory of this calendar year but he will also look to even up the score with Ramirez while capturing his first world title.

The motivation for Hart will be at an all time high. Sure he will be looking to avenge the first defeat of his career and yes the thought of becoming a world champion is tantalizing as well but more then anything he will be looking to do so for not just himself but for his father as well. Eugene “Cyclone” Hart was a former top contender at Middleweight in the 1970s but never received his shot at the title. Winning this title would mean so much to not just Jesse but to his father as well.

Ramirez is not only the WBO champ but he may also be the best current Super Middleweight as well. Hart undoubtedly will have a tough task. Ramirez will be looking to make an emphatic statement this time around.

However with the current roll Hart is on along with the motivation that he will bring into this contest it should lead to another great fight tonight.

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HBO Boxing Preview: Shields vs. Hermans, Estrada vs. Mendez, Braekhus vs.


By: Hans Themistode

This Saturday night from the StubHub Center in California, HBO will be presenting a triple header for the final card on their boxing platform.

Current unified Women’s Middleweight world champion Claressa Shields (7-0, 2 KOs) will be looking to defend her titles against Femke Hermans (9-1, 3 KOs).


Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos

For those unfamiliar with Femke she is not only a skilled and tough fighter but she is also the current WBO Super Middleweight champion. Femke dropped down in weight in order to make this fight happen. Femke won the WBO title earlier this year when she dethroned Nikki Adler for the vacant crown. Since then she has gone on to defend her title twice this year. Realizing that the Shields fight was a possibility Femke decided to drop down in weight in order to make the bout a reality.

For Shields taking on yet another champion is something she has grown accustomed to. The two time Olympic gold medalist has built her short career on taking the most difficult challenges.

In just her second pro fight she captured the NABF Super Middleweight title. In her fourth bout she snagged a legit world title by defeating Nikki Adler for both the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight titles. Earlier this year she entered the record books by becoming a two weight world champion when she dropped down in weight and captured both the IBF and WBA Middleweight titles.

Shields is attempting to defend her titles while also fighting on short rest. Just three weeks ago Claressa defended her IBF and WBA titles while capturing the vacant WBC title. Yes just three short weeks later and she’s back in the ring once again. Don’t expect Shields to be fatigued going into this bout as she has grown accustomed to a busy schedule. Both of these women are sure to bring their A games to this matchup.

Claressa will be sharing the spotlight this Saturday night with two other bouts of note.

Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25 KOs) will be looking to get back in the mix for a title shot when he takes on Victor Mendez (28-3-2, 20 KOs). Estrada won’t just be looking to secure a victory but he will try to do so in dominant fashion.


Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos

Earlier this calendar year Estrada engaged in a fight of the year caliber contest against current WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Although the bout was close Estrada ultimately lost by majority decision. He is itching to get his chance at redemption but will first have to knock off the tough and durable Victor Mendez. For the aforementioned Mendez this is his opportunity to vault up the rankings and secure his own shot at a world title. Since losing to Arthur Villanueva in November of 2016, Mendez has reeled off four straight victories with his last two coming via knockout.

Mendez will be the bigger man come Fight night as he has a three inch height advantage. Checking in at 5’7 compared to 5’4 for Estrada. He has also given contenders a tough time. Just ask former WBC champion Luis Nery as he matched up with Mendez in 2014 and only managed to win by a close split decision.

In short, Mendez is no push over. If Estrada is hoping to land a title shot in the near future he will have to leave an impression in this fight. However as we have seen with Mendez time and time again that will not be an easy task.

Headlining the card is the consensus pound-for-pound best female fighter in the world Cecilia Braekhus (34-0, 9 KOs) and Undisputed Welterweight champion. She will be looking to defend her titles against Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-4-3, 1 KO).


Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos

Magdziak-Lopes is not new to challenging for a world title as this will be her third effort. Her first two attempts came in losing efforts to Mikaela Lauren and Ewa Piatkowska. Magdziak-Lopes however is hoping that the third time truly the charm.

Winning her first world title won’t be easy as she’s facing her stiffest competition in Braekhus.

Let’s be honest here. The deck is stacked mightily against Aleksandra. She has never faced someone with the skill nor pedigree of Braekhus. However with that being said Aleksandra can take solace in her present form. She has not lost a fight in over two years while defeating the likes of Patty Ramirez and Lisa Noel Garland.

Aleksandra also has nothing to lose at this point. If she loses then she was supposed to. There can be no shame in losing to who many regard as being the best fighter on the planet. If she wins however then her life can be changed forever. She has nothing to lose but plenty to gain. It will take Herculean effort to dethrone Braekhus but Magdziak-Lopes seems up to the task.

HBO has been the home for almost five decades for the world of boxing. “Prince” Naseem Hamed, Bernard Hopkins, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few have all graced this platform. As HBO bows out of the sport it is fitting that they are doing so with the Queen of boxing leading the charge.

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DAZN Boxing Preview: ‘Reborn’ Brook Ready For Big


By: Ste Rowen

Will they? Won’t they? Kell Brook vs. Amir Khan. It’s a question that’s been lingering on for so long that maybe the answer these days is, who cares?

But, although the wait for Brook/Khan is more Ricky Hatton vs. Junior Witter than Mayweather/Pacquiao, there are those, not just called Hearn, that want to see the two British fighters get it on.

Unfortunately for them, this weekend at Sheffield Arena ‘Special K’ will not be fighting Amir but instead takes on 25-2 (14KOs) Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa.


Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Kell made sure he got in a dig at ‘King Khan’, as well as talk up future bouts,

‘‘Amir Khan is a con man, they should call him Amir ‘Con’. He’s mugged you off Eddie.

Now 37-2 (26KOs), Saturday night is setup as Kell’s Sheffield swansong before aiming for the legacy fights that will abolish the memory of stoppage losses to Errol Spence and Gennady Golovkin.

He may have proved in his stoppage victory over Sergey Rabchenko back in March, that he’s got the ability to matchup with the 154lb fringe contenders but the chasm between the junior middleweight fringe and the junior middleweight champions is huge. From WBA & IBF champion, Jarrett Hurd, to WBC titlist, Jermell Charlo; Kell’s best chance of becoming a two-weight world champion, if that it is his ultimate aim before retiring, will come against WBO belt-holder, 22-year-old Jaime Munguia whose star continues to quickly rise having fought five times in 2018, two of those being world title defences.

Although Saturday night’s fight and his comeback fight in March are at 154lb, Brook told the press that he’s still capable of making welterweight,

‘‘I could weigh in at 147 tomorrow, I’ve got that buzz again…Shaun Porter’s got that WBC title. I would love to bring back Errol Spence in the summer and get the win cos I’m an animal.’’

But before he can think of world titles or domestic super-fights in 2019, ‘Special K’ must display the heavy handedness, and confidence that helped him dispatch with Rabchenko. That night in March, Brook got over his previous two eye injuries sustained against Golovkin and Spence in consecutive bouts. The drop off in quality of his opponent was obvious but Kell countered and put together combinations superbly, bullying the Belarussian for just less than 270 seconds before the referee brought Kell’s successful injury-comeback fight to an end.

‘‘If you roll back twelve months ago, I’d probably give myself twelve months before I hung them up, but I feel reborn. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am so happy…No disrespect to him (Zerafa) I’ve no interest in what he’s gonna do. I’m 100% and there’s not gonna be no man that can deal with me…I’m looking to put up a serious performance.

‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa of Australia is most likely known for his action-packed but ultimately, knockout loss to Peter Quillin up at middleweight – his one other defeat coming to a rising Arif Magomadov. Currently on an 8-fight win streak, Saturday will be a serious step up in quality for the man who hasn’t won when he’s stepped outside of Australia,

‘‘It’s a huge opportunity for me and the team. We know it’s gonna be a hard fight, but we’ve come prepared…No stone’s been left unturned. He’s just a name, there’s gonna be fireworks.’’

If Zerafa does spring the upset at the weekend, the chances of Brook vs. Khan at [Insert any English soccer stadium] drops even further down to the status of ‘Slim to none’ and Slim probably left town a couple of years ago.

Jono Carroll vs. Guillame Francois

Fighting in what will surely be the bout that solidifies his status as IBF super-bantamweight champion, Tevin Farmer’s mandatory, Jono Carroll of Ireland takes on experienced Frenchman, Guillame Frencois., who’s last defeat came over five years ago.

Last seen picking shots at Declan Geraghty in June, southpaw, Carroll, 16-0 (3KOs) may have what Eddie Hearn called ‘the greatest beard in world boxing’, but the bearded man recognises how close he is to the dream of fighting for world championship belts,

‘‘I wanna show Tevin Farmer, ‘little peanut head’, I’m gonna eat him alive when his time comes…Frenois is a banana skin. If I don’t win on Saturday night, then there is no Tevin Farmer. Trust me I will be performing on Saturday night.’’

That night in Belfast against Geraghty, Jono dominated most of the nine rounds before ultimately forcing the referee into stopping the fight due to the volume with which Carroll was landing, and the ‘Celtic Warrior’ is ready for the same style of fight if needs must on Saturday,
‘‘I don’t work so hard in the gym, blood, sweat and tears to just fight journeymen…This Frenchman is very experienced, and I hope he is ready for a war because us Irish love to go to war and I’m ready for anything.’’

Also a southpaw, Guillame Frencois has fought almost the entirety of his pro career in his home country of France, and usually up against very limited opposition. His record of 46-1 (12KOs) looks impressive but ‘L’Expert’ has rarely fought a recognised name and, in his most significant bout for the EBU European strap, was defeated via unanimous decision to a then, 33-1 Devis Boschiero.

Despite this, Frencois has taken his preparations seriously and is ready just as much as Carroll to make it a battle,

‘‘I’m very pleased to be here in Sheffield, great place for boxing. I was determined to take my chance when the IBF ordered this eliminator and after a two-month camp I’m ready to win…You may know the Irish warrior, but you will know the French warrior on Saturday.’’
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Josh Kelly vs. David Avenesyan

Former Olympian, Josh Kelly continues his accelerated rise in the pro ranks with a scheduled 10-round matchup with former WBA ‘regular’ challenger, David Avenesyan.

‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly, 8-0 (6KOs) will be fighting for the fourth time in 2018 and overcame his biggest challenge to date in his first fight of the year when he decisioned the experienced, Carlos Molina on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker. However, the Sunderland native acknowledges that he needs that step up to really prove his talent,

‘‘I need someone to really come and try and take my head off. When I get in the ring people wanna take my head off because I look like this arrogant guy, but I’ve got a switch. I’m not the same guy I am in the ring…Four weeks since the last fight and I’m just feeling relaxed.’’

David Avenesyan, 23-3-1 (11KOs) is undoubtedly the biggest obstacle his British opponent has come up against so far as a pro, but the Russian native has lost two of his last four bouts, fighting just four times in the past 2 ½ years – including a 12-round decision over a faded Shane Mosley.

Avenesyan kept his press conference contribution short and simple,

‘‘This is a big fight for me…I like this fight, I want this fight, I’m hungry. David right now is ready for this fight.’’

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Dogboe vs. Navarrete, Lomachenko vs. Pedraza


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Top Rank Boxing will take two of their top stars, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Isaac Dogboe, to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for another Top Rank Boxing on ESPN telecast.

Pound for pound star, Vasiliy Lomachenko, will put his WBA Lightweight Title on the line against WBO Champion Jose Pedraza in the main event of the night. The co-main event of the evening will be between Isaac Dogboe and Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO Junior Featherweight Title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The undercard will feature boxers such as Teofimo Lopez Jr., Mason Menard, Alexander Besputin, Juan Carlos Abreu, Josue Vargas, and Michael Perez.

The following is a preview of the main two fights of the night.

Isaac Dogboe (20-0) vs. Emmanuel Navarrete (25-1); WBO Junior Featherweight Title

Isaac Dogboe burst onto the scene and minds of boxing fans worldwide with his shocking upset of Jessie Magdaleno for the Junior Featherweight Title.

He’s a champion to keep an eye one, and the twenty four year old boxer from Ghana brings into the ring a wealth of amateur experience, including a trip to the 2012 Olympic Games.

His opponent, Emmanuel Navarrete, does not have the amateur experience of Dogboe and has never fought outside of his native country of Mexico.

Navarrete will have a large height advantage over Dogboe, approximately five inches. They both are relatively young, Dogboe is twenty four years old while Navarrete is twenty three.

Dogboe has been fairly active, especially in 2018. He has already fought three times in 2018 and fought once in 2017. Navarrete fought three times in 2018 and five times in 2017.

At this point in their careers, Dogboe has defeated the better boxers. He has defeated the likes of Hidenori Otake, Jessie Magdaleno, Cesar Juarez, and Javier Chacon.

Navarrete has fought exclusively in Mexico and his biggest win to date was over Jose Sanmartin. He has no other notable victories, but it should be noted he has only faced one opponent with a losing record and his lone loss was way back in 2012 to Daniel Argueta.

Both boxers have considerable power. Navarrete has twenty two knockouts on his resume, and he has stopped his past eight opponents. Dogboe has stopped fourteen of his opponents, including five of his past six.

Navarrete isn’t quite yet a well known opponent in the United States and this is first fight in soil outside of Mexico. This is a bout that Dogboe should emerge victorious.

Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1)vs. Jose Pedraza (25-1); WBA/WBO Lightweight Title

Lomachenko, despite a loss early in his professional career to former world champion Orlando Salido, is considered by many to be the best pound for pound boxer on the planet.

He’s thirty years old and only one year older than his opponent Pedraza. Pedraza will have a slight one inch height advantage and a more pronounces five and a half inch reach advantage.

Lomachenko fought three times in 2017 and only once in 2018. Pedraza has fought three times in 2018 but only once in 2017. Both fighters have been fairly active recently.

Both boxers competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics as an amateur, but only Lomachenko can claim to have won a medal. In fact, Lomachenko has won two gold medals as an amateur boxer.

Lomachenko has defeated the likes of Jorge Linares, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez. He has won his last eight fights by stoppage.

Pedraza’s lone loss was to Gervonta Davis by TKO. He has defeated the likes of Raymundo Beltran, Antonio Moran, Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, and Micahel Farenas. Pedraza, in contrast to Lomachenko, hasn’t had a stoppage victory in eight fights.

Pedraza’s length and height might give Lomachenko some problems early on, but Lomachenko is too good of a technical boxer to not figure out the reach and timing of Pedraza. Pedraza is a boxer with heart and will likely make it an entertaining fight, but he has little to no chance of beating Lomachenko.

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Showtime Boxing PPV Preview: Wilder vs. Fury


By: Sean Crose

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will meet for heavyweight glory this weekend when they face off in a scheduled 12 round bout for numerous accolades. Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title is at stake, as is a claim to the lineal heavyweight championship, which Fury earned in stunning fashion by besting long standing lineal champ Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015. Also possibly at stake is a future battle with widely regarded heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, who holds every other meaningful heavyweight recognition besides those held by Wilder and Fury. Both Wilder and Fury are reportedly earning a combined sum of well over 20 million dollars for their fight. The match will be aired live via Showtime PPV.


Photo Credit: PBC Twitter Account (@premierboxing)

America’s Wilder and England’s Fury are undefeated fighters. Wilder holds a record of 40-0. All but one of his fights has ended via knockout. An incredibly powerful puncher, the Alabama native most recently defeated the lauded and undefeated Luis Ortiz, a crafty and hard hitting contender who gave Wilder a considerable amount of trouble. Wilder was finally able to take his man out, however, proving that he could indeed meet and beat a top level contender. Although awkward, Wilder arguably works to land his big punches, rather than simply relying on them to carry or rescue him on the road to victory.

Fury, on the other hand, is known to rely on a slick skill set. Boasting of a record of 27-0, Fury’s greatest win was the victory over Klitschko. Afterwards, Fury lost his belts and also descended into a black hole of booze, drugs, food and depression. Fortunately, the fighter was able to pull himself out of the mire and went on to win two fights in the past year (against less than top opposition). He has reportedly lost over a hundred pounds since deciding to return to the ring after his over two-year absence, and has looked quite sharp in training for this weekend’s fight.

Although Wilder is favored to walk away with another win on Saturday – he isn’t favored overwhelmingly, as Fury is known to fight in a quirky, frustrating style that stopped future Hall of Famer Klitschko in his tracks. Fury is also a master of mind games, and has been said to have gotten into Wilder’s head in the leadup to this weekend’s bout. The general consensus, however, seems to be that Fury, slippery though he may be (especially for a man of his enormous size), can’t avoid Wilder’s devastating power all night, and that the American’s punches will ultimately tell the tale.

Also on the Pay Per View portion of the card will be a junior middleweight title bout between the 22-0 Jarrett Hurd and the 24-6 Jason Wellborn. At stake are Hurd’s IBF, IBO, and WBA titles. This fight is expected to end in a Hurd victory, as Wellborn isn’t a top name in the division and Hurd, who is coming off of surgery, recently bested the very impressive Erislandy Lara last spring. Wilder victim Ortiz will appear on the card, too. He’ll be facing the 32- 2 Travis Kauffman in order to improve his own record to 30-1. This will be Ortiz’ second fight since his lost to Wilder, having knocked out Razvan Cojanu last summer.

Saturday’s Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury Pay Per View Card will begin airing at 9 PM Eastern time, bringing with it a price tag of $74.99.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Stevenson vs. Gvozdyk


By: Hans Themistode

With all of the buzz that Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury has received and rightfully so I might add. It is easy to forget that current WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) will be entering the ring this Saturday against the dangerous and undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs).

Stevenson has ruled over the Light Heavyweight division ever since he starched former champ Chad Dawson in the first round of their 2013 matchup.

To the chagrin of many the competition faced by Stevenson has been subpar to say the least. Now it’s not say that he has been ducking all challengers. However facing the likes of Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara (twice) and Tommy Karpency does not exactly scream murderers row.

Ring activity has also been something that Stevenson has been against as well. This will be the first time in two years that Stevenson has fought at least twice in a calendar year.

Let’s be honest here. Stevenson had several opportunities to take on much tougher opposition but he seemed content with milking his title with easy pay day fights. That narrative however is now over.

In the first half of 2018 Stevenson took on former Super Middleweight title holder and current Light Heavyweight contender Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs). Although Stevenson only came away with a draw in that fight he will be looking to build off of his solid performance by defeating his upcoming Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

For those of you unfamiliar with Gvozdyk and are just assuming that Stevenson is taking on yet another soft touch, think again.

His destruction of former title contender Yunieski Gonzalez (18-3, 14 KOs) was awfully impressive. He also seemingly has the pedigree as he was a 2012 bronze medal winner in the olympics. Gvozdyk also shares the same team used by both pound for pound stars Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.

In short Stevenson will have quite the fight on his hands this Saturday night. The champion will have a slight one and a half reach advantage while also having his hometown fans behind him. He will also have the edge in both pro experience and having fought the better opposition.

Gvozdyk however will carry with him in to the ring a three inch height advantage and also plenty of momentum.

The Wilder vs Fury fight will be a tremendous one. Two undefeated big guys in their prime going head to head should lead to a special night.

However Stevenson vs Gvozdyk should receive their share of attention as well. It is a legitimate 50/50 matchup. Will Stevenson continue his reign that has spanned five plus years? Or will Gvozdyk finally bring that reign to an end and continue to usher in this new era of Ukrainian boxing?

This matchup may not have the buzz surrounding it that the Heavyweights do but nonetheless it’s sure to be one helluva fight.

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DAZN Monte Carlo Preview: Lebdev vs. Wilson, Yafai vs. Gonzalez, Hunter vs. Ustinov


By: Ste Rowen

Ever since Matchroom and DAZN USA have linked up, they’ve been crying out for a card that will really make its mark on the American scene. With its lack of hype and underrated fights, Saturday’s listing of matchups at Casino de Monte Carlo could be just that card.

Headlining in Monaco on Saturday will be former WBA cruiserweight champion, Denis Lebedev vs. American, Mike Wilson 19-0 (8KOs). Okay, hands-up you got me at the first hurdle. The headline act on paper is not one to catch the eye. Lebedev’s experience and accomplishments vs Wilson’s professional record, make this look somewhat of a mismatch however, ever since Denis was beaten on points by fellow Russian, Murat Gassiev in 2016, he’s fought and won twice in two extremely disappointing bouts.


Photo Credit: Kal Yafai Twitter Account

A decision victory over Mark ‘Bam-Bam’ Flanagan in 2017 and his only fight of 2018 so far, a third-round stoppage over 30-2-0, Hizni Altunkaya. The Altunkaya fight was the first time Lebedev has weighed in over the 200lb limit (212lb) since 2009, and it showed. For just over seven minutes, the boxer many viewed as the man to beat at cruiserweight just two years ago left himself wide open throughout, and although the Russian has one of the best chins in the game this seemed more of a reflex issue than anything else. The Flanagan bout last year was even worse, but the 39-year-old did get the win, and a stoppage although his Turkish opponent looked as if he wanted out after the first 30 seconds.

Mark ‘White Delight’ Wilson may be unbeaten but he’s going to need an already passed his best Lebedev to have entered the ‘washed’ stage of a boxer’s career. Wilson was a fairly accomplished amateur heavyweight winning national titles in the mid 2000’s and taking part but losing in the trials for the 2008 Olympics. The Oregon resident does have attributes that can make life awkward for Lebedev such as his superior reach and his willingness to shift and move rather than plod forward.

With Aleksandr Usyk currently in possession of every single belt at cruiserweight, and the second season of the 200lb World Boxing Super Series into its semi-final stage, there’s no guarantee that WBA ‘Champion-in-recess’, Lebedev or WBA ranked #11, Wilson will fight for the proper championship strap in the near future. And as Wilson himself said to the ‘Mail Tribune’ last month, Lebedev ‘‘…is long in the tooth now.’’ Let’s see if the American regrets saying age is in his favour when he fights the former cruiserweight king.

Khalid Yafai vs. Israel Gonzalez

WBA Super-flyweight champion of the world, Kal Yafai takes on Mexico’s, Israel Gonzalez which is setting itself up nicely for the gateway bout to unification battles that Yafai, 24-0 (15KOs) has spoken about so regularly.

‘‘Jerwin Ancajas and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai are obviously the two names that stick out.‘‘ Yafai told Sky Sports News. ‘‘Donnie Nietes and Kazuto Ioka are fighting for the vacant WBO title on New Years Eve so the winner of that is an option.‘‘

Challenger on Saturday, Gonzalez, 23-2 (10KOs) fought the aforementioned Ancajas for the IBF strap earlier this year where he was competitive in the early rounds, but the Filipino champion took over and scored a 10th round TKO. Yafai, who has fought just once this year (7th round stoppage of David Carmona), predicts a similar kind of effort from Israel this weekend,

‘‘I expect him to be looking to counter early on but then as the first three or four rounds go by, if it goes that far, he’ll realise that he can’t outbox me or counter me.‘‘

Kal enters as the heavy favourite and the prize-fights that await next year should be more than enough motivation for him to make the 4th defence of his WBA title. However, if he’s not at his championship best, the style of his Mexican foe will be perfect to make it a rough night.

Michael Hunter vs. Alexander Ustinov

Originally, Alexander Ustinov was set to be going up against unbeaten Chinese giant, Zhilei Zhang but due to visa issues, Michael ‘The Bounty’ Hunter has been brought in to arguably make an even more intriguing about.

Just over one month ago, former Usyk challenger at cruiserweight, Hunter shocked a packed-out York Hall when he stopped heavyweight prospect, Martin Bakole in the 10th and final round. Now 15-0 (11KOs), Hunter entered the fight as the underdog, viewed by many as a ‘stepping-stone’ fight for Bakole, who trains out of Scotland, to then move on to title fights in 2019.

That’s not quite how it went though as despite being equals going jab-for-jab, Hunter’s hooks and combination assaults were so much more effective and punishing to the Congolese fighter, who towards the end of the fight appeared to dislocate his shoulder and between rounds told trainer, Billy Nelson, that he wanted to quit.

He probably should of because the 10th was a complete onslaught from Michael who relentless attack, if sloppy at times, forced the referee into stepping in and calling an early end to the fight. As long as he avoids getting caught early on, the California native would do well to employ similar tactics when he faces off against Russian, Ustinov.

Hunter has faced the great and the good in the amateurs including Tyson Fury and Artur Beterbiev and the American isn’t talking down his chances as he looks to continue his heavyweight progress, as he told ‘Boxing News Online’ before the Bakole bout,

‘‘I beat Fury damn near to death in three rounds and actually he got the victory…I definitely thought I won that fight. I was very confident, I’m still very confident because I’ve already been in the ring with him…I heard that he (Usyk) was going to move up to heavyweight, so I hope to meet him there.‘‘

By the time Alexander ‘The Great’ Ustinov, 34-2 (25KOs) steps into the ring it will be one day shy of a year since he last fought; 18 months since his last victory. Last November Ustinov was out-fought and out-pointed by WBA ‘Regular’ champion, Manuel Charr. Consistently beaten to the punch by the smaller man that night means a lack of activity by Ustinov might not be his biggest issue when the first bell rings against Hunter. Before then, the now 41-year-old heavyweight was on a 7-fight win streak but, despite always being rumoured to be on the fringes of big heavyweight fights, the quality of his opposition has been subpar ever since he was stopped by Kubrat Pulev in 2015.

If Hunter comes at Ustinov with the same ferocity and fearlessness as he did against Martin Bakole, it could end being an early night for the aged Russian.

Frank Buglioni vs. Fanlong Meng

One of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend sees former British light-heavyweight champion, Frank Buglioni step in with former Chinese Olympian, Fanlong Meng for the IBF ‘Intercontinental’ title.

‘Wise Guy’ Buglioni, 22-3-1 (16KOs) heads into Saturday off the back of a run of the mill stoppage against the overmatched Emmanuel Feuzeu; Buglioni’s first fight since being knocked out by Callum Johnson last year. A victory over Meng on Saturday night, in Frank’s view, will see him not too far away from the best at 175lb,

‘‘The Light-Heavyweight division is buzzing and a good win over Meng will re-establish me as one of the top guys out there.’’ ‘Wise Guy’ told ‘RingNews24’. ‘‘A win would certainly put me back at the top of the pile domestically and possibly Europe too, I won’t be far off World level.’’
‘‘A shot at a World title is the dream…I like fighting southpaws and if an opportunity to fight Adonis Stevenson arises then why not?’’

Fanlong Meng, 13-0 (8KOs) is a southpaw who isn’t on WBC champion, Stevenson’s level just yet, but the former Olympian should be a good measurement of whether Buglioni still has what it takes to make a dent on the world scene.

Meng turned pro in 2015 and moved quickly and globally to boost his name in the professional ranks having already fought in the US & Puerto Rico, China and Macao. Victory over the former British champion would represent the first ‘big’ name on Fanlong’s resume and propel him up the rankings from the 11th position he currently resides with the IBF.

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DAZN Boxing Preview: Shields vs. Rankin, Miller vs. Dinu


By: William Holmes

On Saturday, November 17th Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing will put on a stacked card live from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas on the DAZN streaming service.

The card was originally scheduled to take place in Atlantic City, but the addition of Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez, already a big draw in Kansas, was a factor in the change of venues.

The card is stacked with talent, including fighters such as Anthony Sims, Gabriel Rosado, Luis Arias, Nico Hernandez, and Canelo’s older brother Ramon Alvarado.

The main event of the evening is a heavyweight bout between Jarell Miller and Bogdan Dinu, with future title implications on the line. The co-main event of the evening is between Claressa Shields and Hannah Rankin for Shield’s IBF and WBA titles as well as the vacant WBC Middleweight Title.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.

Claressa Shields (6-0) vs. Hannah Rankin (5-2); IBF/WBA/WBC Women’s Middleweight Titles

Claressa Shields is one of the biggest names in woman’s boxing, and she has her sight set on some possible big money matches against Christina Hammer, she first has to get past Scottish boxer Hannah Rankin.


Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account

Shields is easily one of the top pound for pound female boxers in the sport today. She’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and her only loss as an amateur was to Savannah Marshall. She’s never tasted defeat and has two stoppage wins on her record. She’s the same size as Rankin, both stand at about 5’8”. But she’s five years younger than Rankin as Shields is only 23 years old.

Rankin only has one stoppage win on her resume and she did not have the amateur success that Shields enjoyed. Rankin however, has never been stopped but did lost her last bout

Both boxers have been fairly active. Shields fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017. Rankin fought three times in 2018 and four times in 2017.

Shields only has six professional fights but has never faced an opponent with a losing record. She has defeated the likes of Nikki Adler, Tori Nelson, Hanna Gabriels, and Szilvia Szabados. Rankin’s best win to date was against Sanna Turunen. She has lost to the likes of Joanna Ekedahl and Alicia Napoleon. Her wins include wins against opponents with records of 10-47-3 and 2-21-1.

Shields is an exciting fighter to watch, but Rankin is an opponent with little to no shot of winning. Shields should win easily on Saturday.

Jarrell Miller (22-0-1) vs. Bogdan Dinu (18-0); WBA “World” Heavyweight Title

Jarrell Miller is a very large heavyweight boxer who had a prior successful career as a kickboxer. He’s thirty years old, two years younger than his opponent, but will be giving up about one inch in height to Dinu. But Miller will undoubtedly be heavier than Dinu.


Photo Credit:DAZN USA Twitter Account

When he fought Gerald Washington he weighed in at 298 pounds.

Miller is known for his knockout power. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and only one of his past ten opponents made it to the final bell. However, Dinu also has considerable power. He has stopped fourteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight win by stoppage streak.

Miller had some success in the United States as an amateur. He was a NY Golden Gloves Finalist. Dinu had some success on the European Amateur Circuit as a child, but neither boxer was highly successful on the international stage.

Miller has fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Dinu has yet to fight in 2018 and had two fights in 2017 and two fights in 2016. Inactivity may be an issue for Dinu.

Dinu has fought exclusively in Romania and Canada and has not faced the level of competition that Miller has faced. His best wins to date were over Marino Goles and Kertson Manswell.

Miller has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Tomasz Adamek, Johan Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Gerald Washington, and Fred Kassi.

This is a fight that Miller should win, but Dinu has the power to test Miller’s chin and the height to match Miller. A win for Miller could lead to a future showdown with fellow DAZN fighter, Anthony Joshua.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Hooker vs. Saucedo


By: Michael Kane

Home town fighter Alex Saucedo is challenging champion Maurice Hooker for the WBO Super Lightweight title at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma on Friday 16th November.

This will be Hooker’s (24-0-3, 16 KOs) first defence of the belt he won back in June when he beat Terry Flanagan in Manchester, England. The Texan it seems doesn’t mind travelling to his opponents back yard.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) is looking to emulate Sean O’Grady, by becoming Oklahoma’s second world champion. Its been a long wait, 1981 was the year O’Grady won the WBA Lightweight title. Saucedo last fought in June, when he stopped Leonardo Zappavigna in a fight of the year candidate.

Both boxers used to spar and train together when they were younger so should know plenty about each other.

“We both were young back then. We got better. I got better. He’s better. I just got a little more better than him. It’s going to be a good fight come Friday. I’m here in Oklahoma. I don’t care where I fight. It’s on.” Hooker said when asked about their past history at the press conference.

Hooker is unfazed fighting in Oklahoma, “l’ll fight anywhere. Outside your house, in front of your house, in the ring, on the sidewalk. I don’t care where I fight as long as I fight. I’m a fighter. I love to fight. I can outbox him. I can fight you on the inside. Come Friday, we’re going to see a good fight.”

Saucedo is dreaming of becoming the 2nd world champion from Oklahoma. He said, “I grew up just around the corner I always had the dream to bring championship fights back to Oklahoma, and now its here. I’m not going to let this opportunity go. I’m ready. We prepared ourselves in Big Bear for a very good fight. Like I’ve said, I’m ready for anything Maurice brings that night. I’m going to take that belt from him.”

When asked about his fight with Zappavigna, Saucedo replied, “It was a very tough fight. Everyone enjoyed it. I’m glad we’re here at this fight now. That fight got me to this point. Like I said, I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Also on the card, Californian based Lithuanian Egidijus Kavaliauskas defends his NABF welterweight tiltle against Nicaraguan Roberto Arriaza (17-0, 13 KOs).

Kavaliauskas (20-0, 16 KOs) won the NABF belt Mahonry Montes in September last year and has went on to successfully defend it twice.

Arriaza last fought in May and recorded a unanimous decision win over Juan Ruiz. Arriaza won the WBO Inter-continental title in March when he KO’d Sammy Valentin in the first round.

Press Conference quotes:

Egidijus Kavaliauskas

“Every fight for me is a step toward my dream. My dream is to become a world champion, so every fight for me, I’m bringing 100 percent of me because it’s a step. A big step. This fight is the same.”

“Big respect to Roberto. He’s a very good fighter. He and I have a similar style, so I know it will be a great fight.”

Roberto Arriaza

“I think this is a great opportunity. This is the opportunity of my life. I want to thank everyone involved for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been working hard for this.”

“I know he’s a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. Like always, I have a lot of faith, and in the name of God, I’m going to be victorious once again.”

Bob Arum

“It’s great to be back in Oklahoma City. It’s our second time here this year. {Sean O’Grady} is the pride of Oklahoma City. I never promoted Sean here, but he won the title from Hilmer Kenty of the Kronk group in Atlantic City, the {WBA} lightweight championship.”

Sean O’Grady

“I’ve kept my eye on Alex Saucedo since he was about 12 years old. And I can tell you right now, the kid can fight. He grew up in the amateurs. He was a great little fighter, even as a young man. At 12, 13, 14 years old, he was a great little fighter.”

“I like Maurice Hooker. He too has a great background in the sport of boxing. This is going to be a terrific matchup.”

ESPN, Midnight ET

Maurice Hooker (champion) vs. Alex Saucedo (challenger), 12 rounds, WBO junior welterweight world title

ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET

Egidijus Kavaliauskas vs. Roberto Arriaza, 10 rounds, Kavaliauskas’ NABF welterweight title

Cletus Seldin vs. Nelson Lara, 10 rounds, super lightweight

Jonathan Guzman vs. Roberto Castaneda, 10 rounds, super bantamweight

Albert Bell vs. Carlos Padilla, 8 rounds, lightweight

Trevor McCumby vs. Felipe Romero, 8 rounds, light heavyweight

Tyler Howard vs. Isiah Seldon, 8 rounds, middleweight

Aaron Morales vs. Francisco Lapizco, 6 rounds, bantamweight

Rasheen Brown vs. Sebastian Baltazar, 4 rounds, super bantamweight

Paul Kroll vs. Travis Conley, 4 rounds, super welterweight

John Rincon vs. Emanuel Williams, 4 rounds, lightweight

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WBSS on DAZN Preview: Briedis vs. Mikaelian, Glowacki vs. Vlasov


By: Hector Franco

This weekend at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois the World Boxing Super Series will be in full effect with the quarterfinals of the Cruiserweight division portion of the tournament. In the main event, Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) will be taking on Germany’s Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KOs) for the WBC cruiserweight diamond belt. Join DAZN free for 30 days and live-stream fight night anywhere!

Fans may remember Briedis for his stint in the first season of the World Boxing Super Series. At the time of the tournament, Briedis was the WBC cruiserweight champion winning the vacant title from former cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in early 2017. Entering the tournament, Briedis was considered one of the tournament favorites including Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev. In the first round, Briedis won a clear unanimous decision over former heavyweight contender Mike Perez. The Latvian cruiserweight would then go on to face the eventual winner of the tournament in Usyk. Looking back at the level of dominance Usyk has displayed thus far throughout his career, Briedis was able to give the Ukrainian his toughest test falling short in a close majority decision loss.


Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account

Briedis’ ability to give one of the best fighters in the sport a run for their money makes him this year’s tournament favorite this season. Briedis’ opponent, Noel Mikaelian, is not well known in the United States; however, his only defeat came at the hands of Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk who also participated in last season’s cruiserweight tournament. What will be detrimental to Mikaelian is that he has been inactive for the last 14 months with his last victory coming in September of 2017 against Isiah Thomas. The fight with Briedis will be Mikaelian’s first time-fighting in the United States and just the second time for the Latvian fighter.

For a first-round opponent, it may not get any tougher than having to face Briedis. For that reason, he will be the heavy favorite to advance to the semi-finals.

The main co-feature fight will be another quarterfinal tournament bout in the cruiserweight division featuring former WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs) taking on Russia’s Maksim Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs). Glowacki is best known for his exciting, action-packed style that has provided fans with some of the best cruiserweight fights of this era. The Polish fighter’s 2015 bout with Marco Huck was one of the best fights of that year and showed that he could bounce back from being knocked down earlier on to come back to win by knockout. As is the case with a vast majority of top cruiserweights, Glowacki’s only blemish on his record stems from a bout with Usyk in September 2016.

Glowacki’s opponent Vlasov has fought as low as the middleweight division with his last defeat coming at the hands of current WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez in 2015. Since then, Vlasov has won 12 fights in a row with ten of those victories by way of stoppage. The only other defeat on Vlasov’s record is against light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba. Needless, to say that while Vlasov has not faced the elite at cruiserweight the gap in competition between him and Glowacki is not as extensive as one would think.

The city of Chicago has one of the largest Polish immigrant populations in the United States, and as seen in his fights with Huck and Steve Cunningham, Glowacki will have a large contingent of supporters in the arena. Fans in attendance can expect an action-packed battle between Glowacki and Vlasov who are the same age (32) and will continue the international rivalry between Russia and Poland.

The fights will stream live on DAZN this Saturday, November 10th at 8:00 pm ET.

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DAZN Boxing Preview: Usyk vs. Bellew, Crolla vs. Yordan


By: Oliver McManus

This Saturday witnesses a monumental moment in boxing as the Manchester Arena plays fiddle to Oleksandr Usyk’s “all-the-belt’s” defence against Tony Bellew who seeks to do the unthinkable and claim one of the biggest upsets in memory. Join DAZN free for 30 days and live-stream fight night anywhere!

Bellew, who has repeatedly upset the odds, will look to produce the performance of a life-time against the undefeated, undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world but does so in front of 20,000 partisan fans.


Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account

Having recently defeated David Haye across two ill-tempered bouts there was speculation that Bellew was set for a three fight cash-out at heavyweight but the chance of history came a calling.

Make no mistake, the odds are stacked against Bellew and few outside of the inner circle believe there is a realistic chance of an upset. For Bellew to come triumphant he will need to impose a disruptive game-plan that nips Usyk’s technical superiority in the bud before the Ukrainian can really get into the swing of things.

For want of a better word Bellew will need to bully the undisputed champion, stand square in the centre of the ring and just throw everything and the kitchen sink – what’s he got to lose? Precisely nothing, there is nothing to lose for the home fighter, no-one expects him to win.

Let’s turn attention to the main man, then – an amateur who claimed glory at every turn and has looked flawless since turning professional. People will say that Bellew’s best chance is to land a flush punch but Usyk has taken shots from Murat Gassiev and Mairis Briedis as though they were tickling him.

Technically outstanding, Usyk is one of the most well-rounded boxers who, whilst capable of brawling and throwing fire, can make even the closest challengers look average. Gassiev, for many, was the toughest test for Usyk and he absolutely walked through the Russian contender.

The agility of, countryman, Vasyl Lomachenko and the power of, say, Anthony Joshua, Usyk is sublime in everything he does. Harsh as it sounds, heart won’t win you fights against boxers of such calibre, it takes a different level to be able to mix it with Oleksandr Usyk.

The fairytale ending would have Bellew winning – the real life Rocky story – but Usyk has seen and conquered every challenge that has preceded Bellew. Logic suggests he takes this in his stride and his continues on his quest as one of the greatest, purest, fighters of all time.

Anthony Crolla fights in the co-main event with the Manchester-man looking to become mandatory challenger to, WBA champion, Vasyl Lomachenko. Standing in the way of that status stands Daud Yordan – a 31 year old who formerly challenged for the featherweight world title.

Crolla, himself a former WBA belt-holder, has bounced back from his two losses to Jorge Linares with a bruising win against Ricky Burns last October and a comfortable 10 round points win over Edson Ramirez in March of this year. Against Yordan, Crolla steps into the mild unknown with the Indonesian not being the most “known” opponent.

A man with 26 KOs from 38 victories and losses coming only to world champions or challengers – Celestino Caballero, Chris John and Simpiwe Vetyeka – the 31 year old is a classy operator with a vicious punch. Yordan has a tendency to open up as the rounds progress allowing himself the opportunity to launch sterling counter attacks but, in doing so, finds himself susceptible to walking onto a punch.

Eight wins on the trot since moving up to lightweight, skipping super-feather completely, the heavy weight division has seen Yordan gain considerable success and, despite his aging years, he’s looked serene and youthful in the ring, as of late.

Million Dollar is at a point in his career where he wants to be taking big fights only and Yordan is a sensible stepping stone in that direction. Across his career we’ve seen Crolla’s class with endless heart being shown in the 12 years since he turned pro.

Typically targeting the body of his opponents, you only have to look at his knockouts against Darleys Perez and Ismael Barroso for picture-perfect displays of the constant threat he poses. In a ram-packed 135lb division that bustles with domestic talent Crolla will be looking to prove he’s still a step better than the young crop with a peerless display on Saturday.

The winner becomes mandatory challenger to Vasyl Lomachenko in what would be a legacy-defining bout but, before all that can even be dreamt about, someone needs to rise to the occasion and seize their opportunity – Crolla will be favourite but Yordan’s not going to make it easy.

Saturday night witnesses one of the biggest fights in British boxing history – whether you like that or not – with “that fat scouser” putting it all on the line for one shot at ultimate glory. We’re going to see plenty of grit from the Brit as he seeks to produce a seismic shock but with Bellew you simply never know what’s going to happen.

Get some popcorn at the ready because it’s going to be a blockbuster!

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