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.
Jon Fernandez & O’Shaquie Foster On ShoBox on Friday
By: Ken Hissner
Spain’s Jon “Jonfer” Fernandez, 16-0 (14), won the WBC Silver title a year ago and this Friday makes his first defense against O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster, 13-2 (8), of Houston, TEX, on Showtime.
Since Fernandez has not defended in a year and is ranked No. 9 in the WBC while Foster is not ranked. The fight will take place at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, OK.
Fernandez has scored stoppages in 3 rounds in his last two fights scheduled for 8 rounds since winning the title a year ago. He has stopped Nicaragua’s Henry Maldonado, 20-6, in June and Panama’s Juan “Lil General” Huertas, 14-1-1 in April. He previously has wins over Juan “Pachito” Reyes, 14-3-3, Ismael Garcia, 7-0, Ernesto Garcia III, 7-1 and Mikael “Misha” Mkrtchyan, 16-1, all by stoppages.
In the co-feature is Super Featherweight Irvin Gonzalez, 10-0 (9), of Worcester, MASS, is taking on Ecuador’s Carlos Ramos, 9-0 (6), of Spain in a scheduled 8. The only time Gonzalez has gone the distance is in his lone 8 rounder. Ramos is a southpaw and will be making his US debut.
Lightweight Wesley Ferrer, 12-0-1 (7), of Brooklyn, NY, coming off a draw last December is taking on Philadelphia’s Steven Ortiz, 8-0 (3), who last fought in January of this year. The draw was Ferrer’s first 8 rounder. He had a very good amateur background.
For Ortiz who defeated Joshua Davis, 11-2, in 2 rounds in his first 8 rounder this is a bout between two top prospects scheduled for 8 rounds.
Super Featherweight James “Crunch Time” Wilkins, 5-0 (5), of Staten Island, NY, taking on Misael Lopez, 8-0 (4), of Denver, CO, scheduled for 8 rounds for the vacant American Boxing Federation Continental Americas Super Featherweight Title.
Wilkins is jumping from all 4’s to an 8 winning twice in June. Lopez has a pair of 8’s on his record and last fought in February scoring a decision win.
HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard
By: William Holmes
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes
On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.
They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.
Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.
Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.
David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights
David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.
They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.
They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.
They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.
Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.
Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.
O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.
If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.
This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.
Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.
He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.
Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.
Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.
Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.
On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.
Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.
Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.
Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.
Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.
Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.
Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.
Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.
The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.
This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.
ESPN Boxing Preview: Ramirez vs. Orozco
By: Ken Hissner
Unbeaten WBC World Super Lightweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez will defend his title Friday night against No. 3 ranked Antonio “Relentless” Orozco at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
This will be the first title defense for Ramirez, 22-0 (16) who won the vacant title in March defeating Amir “Young Master” Imam, then 21-1, at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
Orozco, 27-0 (17), from San Diego, CA, last fought in March winning an 8 round decision over Mexico’s Martin “El Brochas” Honorio, 33-13-1. He also defeated him back in May of 2014. He has wins over Emmanuel Taylor, 18-3, Steve Forbes, 35-13, Humberto “Little Fox” Soto, 65-8-2, Abner Lopez, 23-5, Ivan Hernandez, 29-3, and Keandre Gibson, 16-0-1.
Prior to the Imam fight Ramirez defeated Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, then 23-0. The 26 year-old represented the USA in the 2012 Olympics. He lost in the second round. He won five straight US championships and in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, AZE, he lost in the second round to current WBA Lightweight champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 16-9. In the 2012 Olympic Qualifier he won a Bronze medal losing to current unbeaten Dominican Wellington Romero, 14-0-1.
As a professional Ramirez won the NABF and WBC Continental Americas titles prior to becoming a world champion. He is trained by Freddie Roach and promoted by Top Rank.
The co-feature has Russian Alexander Besputin, 10-0 (8), living in Oxnard, CA, taking on Mexican Alan Sanchez, 20-3-1, of Fairfield, CA, for the vacant USBA Welterweight title. This has a loaded undercard.
Also, on the card are Japan’s WBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champ Hiroki Okada, 18-0 (13), taking on Argentina’s Cristian Rafael Coria, 27-6-2 (11). 2012 USA Olympian southpaw Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 17-2 (10), of Cinn., OH, taking on Filipino John Vincent “Mulawin” Moralde, 20-1 (10), for the vacant USBA Super Featherweight title.
Costa Rica’s Super Featherweight No. 4 WBA contender Bryan “El Tiquito” Vasquez, 36-3 (20), takes on Venezuela’s Carlos “El Profeta” Cardenas, 23-14-1 (14), living in Mexico. Vasquez in his last bout won the WBA Fedelatin title. He has wins over Sergio Thompson, 30-3, Jose Felix, Jr., 27-0-1, and losses to Javier Fortuna, for the vacant WBA World Super Feather title and “Sugar” Ray Beltran, by majority decision who in his next fight won the WBO World Lightweight title.
Showtime Boxing: Garcia-Porter Preview
by: Sean Crose
Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will meet in a highly anticipated showdown Saturday night for the WBC welterweight title that was vacated by Keith Thurman. The bout will be the featured attraction on a Showtime card that will begin airing live at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Both Porter, 28-2-1, and Garcia, 34-1, have lost close bouts to Thurman. What’s more, this is a match which is essentially seen as an even matchup…as well as a step towards a clearer picture of the welterweight pecking order.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
With Thurman still holding the WBA crown, rising star Errol Spence in possession of the IBF title, and Top Rank promoted Terence Crawford owning the WBO strap, the post Mayweather era has been a bit chaotic for the welterweight division. The infrequent ring appearances of many PBC (Premiere Boxing Champions) fighters like Thurman, Spence, Garcia, and Porter, coupled with promotional and network issues between PBC and Top Rank, have made the discovery of a true welterweight king very hard to arrive at. Still, simply knowing who among the top fighters in the division can best who offers at least some sense of clarity. Stylistically, Saturday’s match between the extremely aggressive Porter and the disciplined, sharp punching Garcia, might also make for intriguing viewing.
This weekend’s card will also feature a WBC weltwerweight title elimination bout between the 22-3 Yordenis Ugas and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrionuevo. Originally from Cuba and now living in Miami, Ugas has been on a hot winning streak since dropping two bouts in 2014. As for Barrionuevo, this will be the Argentine’s first bout on American soil, where he’s hoping to make a good impression on a road to bigger things. On top of the two welterweight battles, Showtime will also be broadcasting a heavyweight scrap from Brooklyn on Saturday night.
The 25-1-1 Charles Martin was briefly in possession of the IBF heavyweight title until he was trounced by Anthony Joshua in 2016. He’ll be on a two fight win streak when he faces the 17-0 Adam Kownacki on Saturday. Kownacki, originally of Poland, will be something of the hometown fighter, as he now resides in Brooklyn and has had numerous fights in the New York area. Having won all 17 of his bouts by knockout, he’s looking to leave his mark on the live television audience. With all but two of his own wins having been by knockout, however, Martin clearly wants re-establish himself as a top heavyweight.
Boxing guru Al Haymon’s PBC has recently signed a three-year extension with Showtime, which means top PBC bouts will be aired on Showtime for some time to come.
HBO Boxing Preview: Estrada vs. Orucuta, Nietes vs. Palicte
By: William Holmes
HBO has put on two previous cards featuring fighters all in the super flyweight division, and they dubbed it “Super Fly”. Saturday will feature their third Super Fly event, and it will be televised live on HBO from the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Three fights will likely be televised. Kazuto Ioka will face McWilliams Arroyo in a bout that will have future title implication. The co-main event of the night will be between Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte for the WBO Super Flyweight title. The main event of the night will be between Juan Francisco Estrada and Felipe Orucuta for the WBC Super flyweight eliminator.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Alexanderu Marin, Bruno Escalante, Joselitl Velasquez, and a WBC Women’s Strawweight title fight between Louisa Hawton and Brenda Flores.
The following is a preview of the two planned televised fights with implications for the WBC title.
Donnie Nietes (41-1-4) vs. Aston Palicte (24-2); WBO Junior Bantamweight Title
Donnie Nietes is one of the world’s best boxers that most American fans have never heard of.
However, he’s currently thirty six years old and is nearing the end of his prime. He’s also fighting in a new higher weight class. He’s nine years older than his opponent, and will be giving up four inches in height and about two and a half inches in reach.
Both boxers are from the Philippines, but Palicte appears to have had more success as an amateur. He represented the Philippines in the 2008 AIBA Youth World Championships.
It also appears Palicte is the bigger puncher of the two. Only four of his wins went the distance, while eighteen of Nietes wins went the distance.
However, as a professional, Nietes has had the better career and faced the better competition. He has beaten the likes of Juan Carlos Reveco, Komgrich Nantapech, Edgar Sosa, Francisco Rodriguez Jr., Raul Garcia, and Moises Fuentes. He was previously a WBO Light Flyweight World Titlist and a WBO World Minimumweight Champion. His lone lass was in 2004 to Angky Angkotta by split decision.
Additionally, Nietes has fought out of the Philippines nine times during his career, so his record isn’t based on beating up lesser known Filipinos in a friendly arena.
The one edge that Palicte might have over Nietes is his age and activity. Nietes fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2017. Palicte has fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Palicte has defeated the likes of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, John Apolinario, Oscar Cantu, and Vergilio Silvano. His losses were to Junior Granados and Romnick Magos.
Palicte size and age advantage should help close the gap in skill that exists between him and Nietes, but it likely won’t be enough to help him win the fight.
Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3) vs. Felipe Orucuta (36-4); WBC Junior Bantamweight Eliminator
When we last saw Estrada in the ring, he lost a close bout with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The fight was close enough for Estrada to remain in title contention.
Estrada is still in the middle of his athletic prime at 28 years old, and will be facing an opponent that is four years older than him. However, Orucuta will have about a three inch height advantage and about a two and a half reach advantage.
Both boxers are from Mexico, but Estrada has had the better amateur career. Estrada boasts an alleged record of 94-4 as an amateur.
Estrada has been fairly active the past three years. He already fought once in 2018, fought twice in 2017, and only fought once in 2016. Orucuta fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016.
On paper it appears Orucuta is the harder puncher. Estrada only has twenty five stoppage victories while Orucuta has thirty.
However, Estrada has clearly faced the better opposition. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Cuadras, Anuar Salas, Hernan Marquez, Rommel Asenjo, Giovani Segura, Milan Melindo, Brian Viloria. His losses were to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Roman Gonzalez, and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr.
Orucuta hasn’t really defeated anybody of note. His best wins so far were against Edgar Jimenez, Juan Jimenez, and Javier Gallo. His losses were to Omar Andres Narvaez, twice in title fights, Jose Cayetano, and Daniel Rosas.
Like to co-main event of the night, the size difference could be a factor. But Estrada is an elite level talent while Orucuta is not.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Jennings vs. Dimitrenko, Hart vs. Gavronski
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Top Rank Promotions will promote an eight fight boxing card to be televised on ESPN.
The main event and co-main event of the evening will likely have future title bout implications. Bryant Jennings will face Alexander Dimitrenko in a heavyweight showdown in the main event of the evening and Jesse Hart will face Mike Gavronski in the super middleweight division.
The undercard is packed with local prospects and rising contenders which will help bring in fans from nearby areas to Atlantic City. Shakur Stevenson from Trenton, New Jersey, Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey, Christian Carto from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Thomas LaManna from Millville, New Jersey are all fighters with local ties that could be up for a title shot in the near future.
The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Jesse Hart (24-1) vs. Mike Gavronski (24-2-1); Super Middleweights
Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is the son of legendary Philadelphia Boxer Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and recently lost a close decision to current WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto Ramirez.
Hart, to his credit, has remained active since that loss and is back to his winning ways. He fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016. Four of his past five wins have been by KO/TKO.
Gavronski is a good boxer with a decent record. However, he is three years older than Hart and will be giving up about three inches in height and six and a half inches in reach.
He also fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Gavronski did not fight yet in 2018.
Jesse Hart also has an edge in power over Gavronski. He has twenty stoppage victories while Gavronski has fifteen. Hart has also never been stopped while Gavronski has been stopped once.
Hart also has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2011 National Golden Gloves Championship and placed 2nd in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. Gavronski has no notable amateur accomplishments to speak of.
Hart has beaten the likes of Demond Nicholson, Thomas Awimbono, Alan Campa, Andrew Hernandez, and Aaron Pryor Jr. His lone loss was a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez.
Gavronski has beaten the likes of Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono, and Brian Vera. His losses were to Dashon Johnson and Tureano Johnson.
Dashon Johnson is a man that Hart beat in 2016.
Hart appears to have too much fire power for Gavronski to handle.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Bryant Jennings (23-2) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3); Heavyweights
Bryant Jennings is a solid heavyweight boxer who previously fought for the title but came up short against Wladimir Klitschko.
He’s fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017 and is looking for another title shot.
Jennings is facing a boxer that many consider to be past his prime in Alexander Dimitrenko.
Jennings, at the age of thirty three, is three years younger than Dimitrenko. He will also be giving up about four inches in height, but Jennings will have a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers aren’t necessarily known for their power. Dimitrenko has twenty six stoppage victories while Jennings has thirteen.
Both boxers have been stopped in their career. Dimitrenko has two stoppage losses while Jennings only has one.
Jennings had a brief amateur career but it was rather successful. He made it to the finals of the 2009 PAL Nationals and was a National Runner Up in the Golden Gloves National Championship. He also defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion , Stipe Miocic, as an amateur. To this writer’s knowledge, Dimitrenko has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Jennings losses were to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz. He has defeated the likes of Joey Dawejko, Akhror Muralimov, Don Haynesworth, Mike Perez, Artur Szpilka, Andrey Fedosov, Bowie Tupou, Steve Collins, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Maurice Byarm,
Dimitrenko fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018. His losses were to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, and Eddie Chambers. He has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Albert Sosnowski, Adrian Granat, and Miljan Rovcanin.
His win over Miljan Rovcanin is contested by many though and that was his last bout. The bout was originally ruled a split draw, but Dimitrenko team protested the result. It was later ruled a win for Dimitrenko because Rovcanin had three points deducted and accordingly he should have been disqualified after the third point deduction.
Jennings experience in fighting a taller elite fighter like Klitschko might prove valuable in Saturday’s fight. Dimitrenko won his last bout, but didn’t look particularly good doing so. Jennings isn’t known for his power, but he should be able to box intelligently and win a decision.
HBO Boxing Preview: Bivol vs. Chilemba, Kovalev vs. Alvarez
By: William Holmes
Atlantic City has seen a surge in the past year in the number of boxing events held in the local casinos, and with Sports Betting now legal in New Jersey, it appears that the surge will continue.
On Saturday night Main Events Promotions will promote a solid fight card at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Two light heavyweight world title bouts will be featured on that card, the main event of Sergey Kovalev vs. Sleider Alvarez and the co-main event between Dmitry Bivol and Isaac Chilemba for Bivol’s title.
The undercard will feature several prospects and local fighters, including Karl Dargan, Vaughn Alexander, Denis Douglin, Frank Galarza, and Bakhram Murtazaliev.
The following is a preview of the two televised fights.
Dmitry Bivol (13-0) vs. Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2); WBA Light Heavyweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be a light heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Isaac Chilemba.
Bivol is a Russian boxer with a deep amateur background. He was Russian National Gold Medalist as well as a World Cadet Championship gold medalist. Chilemba does not have the amateur credentials of Bivol.
Chilemba will have a slight one inch height advantage over Bivol. However, Bivol is the harder puncher of the two. Chilemba only has ten stoppage victories on his resume while Bivol has stopped elevent of his opponents, only two went the distance.
Inactivity should be of some concern to Chilemba. He only fought once in 2018, zero times in 2017, and twice in 2016. Chilemba has also gone 1-3 in his past four fights.
Bivol has been more active than Chilemba. He fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017. By his eleventh professional fight Bivol was already a world champion.
Chilemba has some big losses on his resume. He has losses to Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Eleider Alvarez, and Tony Bellew. His notable wins include Blake Caparello, Vasily Lepikhin, Denis Grachev, and Edison Miranda.
Bivol has been fairly dominant in his career. He has beaten the likes of Sullivan Barrera, Trent Broadhurst, Cedric Agnew, and Samuel Clarkson.
Bivol appears to be following Sergey Kovalev’s career path and has beaten some opponents that previously faced Kovalev. Chilemba will likely be no different.
Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (23-0); WBO Light Heavyweight Title
Sergey Kovalev was long considered one of the top boxers in the light heavyweight division, but back to back losses to Andre Ward has faded his shine a little bit. But he’s still a very dangerous boxer and one of the top guys in the light heavyweight division.
However, he’s facing one of the biggest tests of his professional career in Eleider Alvarez.
Both Kovalev and Alvarez has extensive amateur backgrounds. Kovalev is a former Gold Medalist in the Russian National Championships and Alvarez represented Columbia in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Both boxers are slightly past their athletic primes. Kovalev is 35 years old and Alvarez is 34 years old. Kovalev will have a two inch height advantage and about a three inch reach advantage on Alvarez.
Both boxers have been fairly active in recent years. Kovalev fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017. Alvarez fought twice in 2017 and 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018.
Kovalev’s only losses were to Andre Ward, an all time great. He has defeated the likes of Igor Mikhalkin, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib Mohammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Nathan Cleverly, and Gabriel Campillo
Alvarez has defeated the likes of Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, Isaac Chilemba, Robert Berridge, and Alexander Johnson.
This writer feels this bout will be very close and competitive. Alvarez has been on a hot streak recently with some impressive wins, but has never fought someone on the level of Kovalev.
If Kovalev can use his reach and height advantage well he should win this bout, but an upset wouldn’t be surprising.
PBC on Bounce TV Preview: Miller vs. Galarza, Heraldez vs. Watts
By: William Holmes
Floyd Mayweather’s TMT Promotions will televise a card on Bounce TV live from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening will be between Ladarius Miller and Dennis Galarza in the lightweight division, and the co-main event of the evening will be between Juan Heraldez and Kevin Watts in the junior welterweight division.
The undercard will feature several solid contenders and up and coming boxers, including Sharif Bogere, Omar Douglas, Kevin Newman, and others.
Photo Credit: Mayweather Promotions
The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.
Juan Heraldez (13-0) vs. Kevin Watts (12-2); Junior Welterweights
Both Heraldez and Watts are in the middle of their athletic prime and have under fifteen fights under their belts. Watts is twenty six years old and Heraldez is twenty nine years old. Watts is a little tall for the junior welterweight division, he stands at 5’10” with a 70 ½” reach.
Watts’ activity has been ok. He’s fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2016. Heraldez hasn’t fought yet in 2018, but fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Neither boxer has a notable amateur career to write of.
Watts has gone 1-2 in his past three fights. He has losses on his resume to Jose Miguel Borrego and Eddie Ramirez. He had an impressive win over Ryan Karl in his last match, and also has defeated the likes of Michael Chuedcki, and Manuel Damairias Lopez.
Heraldez has already defeated on opponent that Watts has lost to, and that’s Jose Miguel Borrego. He has also defeated the likes of Alfonso Alvera, Reyes Sanchez, and Adam Mate.
Watts length and reach could be an issue for Heraldez, but Watts’ two losses were by stoppage and they came recently. Heraldez has a decent amount of power with eight stoppage wins, so it seems like he should be the favorite going into their bout on Friday night.
Ladarius Miller (16-1) vs. Dennis Galarza (16-3); Lightweights
The main event is between two contenders that are twenty five years old and are gunning for title shots in the near future.
Miller’s is one of Floyd Mayweather’s better fighters in his stable. He’s been fairly active and fought twice already in 2018, twice in 2017, and four times in 2016. He’s been on a solid seven fight win streak and is looking to make it eight in a row against Galarza.
Galarza has also been fairly active. He fought once already in 2018 and three times in 2017. However, he’s gone 3-2 in his last five fights and struggles against good competition.
Neither boxer has a notable amateur career. Miller will be giving up about one inch in height to Galarza but will have a two inch reach advantage.
Miller’s lone loss was to Rolando Chinea early on in his career. He has beaten the likes of Carlos Padilla, Jesus Gutierrez, and most impressively he beat Jamel Herring.
Galarza has losses to Edner Cherry, Cesar Alan Valenzuela, and Vincent Jennings His notable victories include Omar Tienda, Jonathan Perez, and Bernado Gomez.
Mayweather seems high on Miller, perhaps because Miller reminds him of himself. Miller only have five stoppage wins on his resume, but he’s known as an excellent defensive fighter.
Galarza has some power, as he has stopped nine of his opponents, but on paper it looks like he’ll need a knockout to win against Miller, because Miller is the better technical fighter.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Billy Dib vs. Tevin Farmer
By: Ste Rowen
Tevin Farmer vs. Billy Dib
Philadelphian southpaw, Tevin Farmer will be hoping it’s second time lucky this Friday when he takes on Australian, Billy Dib in a fight for the vacant IBF super-featherweight world championship, at Redfern’s, Technology Park in Australia.
Farmer, 25-4-1 (4KOs) was last seen in the ring in December when he challenged for the IBF strap vs. Kenichi Ogawa. It was a bout that was controversial on multiple levels. Firstly, the belt was only vacant because Gervonta Davis missed weight before his fight with Francisco Fonseca last August. The matchup between Farmer and Ogawa was then made and though it went the distance, it seemed the Philadelphian had clearly won the bout. Two of the judges begged to differ, returning scorecards of, 115-113, 116-112 and 112-116, handing the Japanese a split decision victory and the IBF belt.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
But the controversy wasn’t over just yet as, in April of this year, it was reported that Kenichi tested positive for two forms of synthetic testosterone and was subsequently banned and stripped of his title, leaving it vacant once again and opening the door for Tevin, #4 in the IBF rankings, to take his second chance at world honours.
‘‘When you go on the road and get it, I think people respect you more.’’ Farmer told ‘FightHype’. ‘‘I had a lot of setbacks in 2017…He’s gonna catch everything I’ve been feeling these past two years.’’
‘‘It goes like this. Beat Billy Dib for the IBF. Next fight Davis for the WBA, then fight Miguel Berchelt for the WBC. I want these fights back to back.’’
Dib, 43-4 (24KOs), a former IBF featherweight champion, was last involved in a world title fight over three years ago when he was knocked out by, then WBC 130lb titlist, Takashi Miura in Tokyo. And the ‘The Kid’ hasn’t fought in a scheduled 10-rounder since July 2016 when he went the distance with Thai, Amphol Suriyo. Since then Billy has fought three times, 11 rounds, including a ‘no-contest’ result where he clashed heads with Yardley Armenta Cruz on the Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner undercard.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’ in Australia, the IBF’s ranked #3 said,
‘‘Ever since Jeff Fenech and I teamed up, back in early October, we’ve sort of had our eyes on either Gervonta Davis or Tevin Farmer…Both guys are southpaws, so we’ve been preparing mentally for southpaws and I think it’s gone really well.’’
‘‘With a loss, I’d definitely give my goodbyes to the sport of boxing.’’
The winner will join 130lb belt holders Berchelt (WBC), the recently crowned Masayuki Ito (WBO) and both – yes both – WBA champions, Alberto Machado & Davis; which should make for some interesting unifications, if all parties are willing, and ready to fight.
Tim Tszyu vs. Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus
Also fighting on Friday’s Technology Park card is, Tim Tszyu, son of former super-lightweight unified world champion, Kostya Tszyu. Tim, 9-0 (7KOs) will be up against Indonesian road warrior, Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus, 27-15-1 (14KOs) in Tszyu’s 2nd defence of the WBC ‘Asian Council Continental’ junior-middleweight strap.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’, Tszyu was keen to outline his own path, separate from his father’s success.
‘‘Through my ability and my training, I’m showing that I’m taking the right steps forward for my own career, not as the son of Kostya Tszyu…Everyone was born for a certain reason, and I was born for this.’’
‘‘This is the first time I’ve had 8-10 weeks (training) so we’ve had a strength time, a sparring time and now it’s just the finishing touches…I’ve only had 9 fights, so this is only the start.’’
PBC on Fox Preview: Quillin vs. Love, Alexander vs. Berto
By: Daniel Smith
This Saturday night, on August 4th, former welterweight world champs Andre Berto and Devon Alexander will mix it up within the square jungle in a 12-round main event. The undercard of the fight features former middleweight champ Peter Quillin vs. contender J’Leon Love in a super middleweight bout. The event takes place at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and will be televised live by FOX.
First and foremost, let’s sample the undercard before the main event.
Peter Quillin vs. J’Leon Love (Super Middleweight Division).
At thirty-five- years of age, the former WBO middleweight world champion, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin is chomping at the bit for another world title shot. A shot and prospect which he believes is potentially within touching distance.
However, he first needs to eradicate his opponent and younger contender, J’Leon Love, from a long line of rapacious super middleweight fighters within a rough, tough and dangerously competetive division.
Both Quillin and Love’s professional records are blemished with a loss and draw a piece, and both men will be more than prepared to rage against the tide and be dragged into deep waters; dissolving all strategic-game plans, scrapping it out in a brutal tear-up in order to advance to the next phase of their careers and compete at the top level for a super middleweight title.
Until 2015, Peter Quillin was ploughing his way through middleweight boxers, accumulating and notching up an impressive score of 23 knockouts on his professional record. However, since suffering a vicious first-round TKO at the fast-flurrying, lethal hands of Daniel Jacobs back in 2015, Quillin began re-scaffolding his boxing career, and in 2017, he fought for twelve rounds and earned a unanimous decision against Dashton Johnson.
Now, “Kid Chocolate” seems raring to go and ready to steamroll his way to victory against the (24-1-1) J’Leon Love. But can he achieve it? Can Quillin, at 35, return to the sport after a hefty 21 month lay off, only to come back in heavier weight class and present a challenge to the top, youthful, title-hungry super middleweight lions? Well, all will be revealed this commencing Saturday night, where a cracking night of boxing should be on the cards!
The former Olympian, sports a professional career of (24-1-1) – a fairly decent record with its sole defeat coming from a the Rogelio Medina fight, where a steely left hook rendered Love out by the eight count. However, this fight is a “must-win” if he is to be thrown into the blend of fighters that present a serious threat to the division’s reigning champions, Groves (WBA), Benavidez (WBC), Ramirez (WBO) and Uzcategui (IBF). If so, J’Leon needs to execute his game-plan with precision and effect; deploying and detonating with hard, clean-crisp punches and convincingly winning the bout to aid his ascending climb on the competitive super middleweight ladder.
This weekend, we’ll see if Love has the skill, determination and calibre to be regarded as a genuine contender that possess champion material.
The Main Event – Berto vs Alexander (Welterweight Division)
The main event will showcase Devon Alexander vs. Andre Berto. The former two-weight class, unified world champion, Devon Alexander – a man whose held the WBC and IBF light welterweight titles as well as the IBF welterweight belt, will trade leather against the two-time former welterweight world WBC, IBF and WBA champion, Andre Berto. Berto will clash with the No 4 ranked IBF, welterweight contender in a fight (if he’s successful) that will potentially hurl him back in contention with the division’s elite welterweight warriors.
Let’s take a preview and analysis of both men going into the bout.
Devon Alexander “The Great” (27-4-1) needs to be sharp and slick in this fight when utilising his solid three punch combinations. It’s clear that Alexander is capable and prepared to stand toe-to-toe and involve himself with terse and brutal, “fighting in a phone booth” slugfests – his battle against Ortiz springs to mind. However, “The Great” should get behind his jab, set traps and fire “in and out” with poised, venomous shots that rattle and breakdown his opponent.
With the No. 1 slot vacant for the IBF title, Alexander, absolutely needs to make this one count and do it in style, too if he’s to knock the top welterweight dogs from their championship spots.
Andre “The Beast” Berto – with 36 fights, 31 wins and 5 losses in his repertoire; Berto should be licking his lips at the prospect of causing an upset by defeating the bookies favourite in this contest. If “The Beast” emerges victorious as the underdog going into the fight, then it would certainly raise his stock and add further spice to an already fiery division. But only time will tell.
For this fight, both men should prepare for vicious trades within an ugly, Gran Prix paced scrap that displays fast hands, rapid combinations and hard, solid punishing blows. Both fighters can’t afford to get caught cold and both need to be vigilant and wired-up, yet capable to dispatch a dynamite, powerhouse ferocity that explodes “at the ready.” Essentially, a convincing win is definitely required from one of the two boxers. But who wins and who goes away with second prize from a two horse race?
Showtime Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Cojanu, Garcia vs. Easter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will broadcast three bouts live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This fight card will be presented by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the night will be between Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. in a WBC/IBF Lightweight Title Unification Bout. The co-main event of the night will feature the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he takes on Razvan Cojanu.
Other boxers on the undercard include Mario Barrios, Jose Roman, Roberto Marroquin, and other prized prospects. The Barrios vs. Roman fight looks likely to be broadcast on Showtime in addition to the Easter-Garcia and Ortiz-Cojanu bout.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Luis Ortiz (28-1) vs. Razvan Cojanu (16-3); Heavyweights
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz fought a hard battle against Deontay Wilder in his last match but eventually succumbed to Wilder’s power.
He returns on Saturday against Razvan Coajnu, a three loss Romanian heavyweight that should be viewed as a comeback opponent that stands little chance of winning.
Cojanu will have a rather large five and a half inch height advantage, but will still be giving up about three inches in reach. Ortiz is eight years older than Cojanu.
Ortiz has a strong edge in amateur experience. Cojanu has no notable amateur accomplishments while Ortiz was a multi time National Champion in boxing mad Cuba as an amateur.
Ortiz’s age and recent inactivity could be a factor. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017 and is pushing 40. Cojanu fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016, but it should be noted that two of his past three wins were against opponents with losing records.
Ortiz has beaten the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. His lone loss was to Deontay Wilder.
Cojanu doesn’t have any big wins on his resume, but his best wins have come against Zhiyu Wu, Ed Fountain, and Manuel Alberto Pucheta. His losses were to Alvaro Morales, Joseph Parker, and Donovan Dennis.
This fight will likely not be competitive. Ortiz should stop Cojanu within the first six rounds.
Mikey Garcia (38-0) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (21-0); WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles
Mikey Garcia is considered by many to be one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters. He’s held world titles in four different weight classes spanning from featherweight to the junior welterweight divisions.
Garcia is facing a fellow undefeated fighter in Robert Easter Jr. Garcia is only thirty so he’s still in his athletic prime, but Easter is three years his younger and will have a large four inch height advantage and an even larger seven inch reach advantage.
Garcia does have an edge in power. He has thirty stoppage victories on his resume while Garcia only has fourteen. Garcia has stopped two of his past five opponents while Easter has stopped one of his past five opponents.
Easter had a close win against Javier Fortuna in his last bout. He has also defeated the likes of Denis Shafikov, Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, and Argenis Mendez.
Garcia has enver tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Brugos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido.
Garcia did have an extended break from boxing from January of 2014 to July of 2016 while he was working out promotional issues, but has been fairly active since then.
Both boxers enjoyed moderate success as amateurs in the national scene. Garcia was a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves while Easter was a US Olympic Team Alternate.
Technically, Garcia is one of the best in the sport. The height and reach of Easter should give Garcia problems early on, but Easter doesn’t have enough power for Garcia to worried about trying to force his way on the inside.
The opening few rounds should be close, but Garcia should be settled and win a comfortable decision victory when the final bell rings.
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker Preview
On Saturday night, London’s O2 arena will once again hold host to a Dillian Whyte headline bout as the WBC’s number 1 challenger takes on former WBO heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker for the status of, ‘Best of the Rest’ and a future shot at the true heavyweight honours.
Whyte, 23-1 (17KOs) is fighting at the O2 for the 5th time in his career and the 3rd time as one half of the headline fight. Last time out, Dillian took just 6 rounds to KO the previously unbeaten, Lucas Browne of Australia in impressive fashion. Dominating from the first bell, Whyte seemed to know within the first few minutes that Browne had come to survive. The ‘Body Snatcher’ held his punches a lot better than in previous bouts and, in stark contrast to his awkward encounter with Robert Helenius in 2017, the Jamaican-born heavyweight timed his attacks well, and didn’t throw desperately, when Browne occasionally avoided his assaults. It all culminated in an evil left hook, arguably the best punch Whyte has thrown in his pro career, landing on the Australian’s wide-open chin, sending him face down and conclusively ending the fight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
That March matchup came a week before Parker took on Joshua at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, and winning that bout appeared to put Whyte to the front of the heavyweight line waiting for a shot at the belts. Saturday’s fight won’t be for world championship honours, but Dillian, speaking to ‘Give Me Sport’ recognises how close he is to the shot he’s been working for, for so long,
‘‘Anyone that’s successful in life, whoever and wherever they are, have had to take a lot of risks and chances…That’s why I signed with Matchroom. That was a risk because I knew they had Joshua, and Joshua’s the golden boy.’’
And the challenge of facing the former WBO champion,
‘‘I’ve fought everyone that’s been asked of me to fight. I feel good…If he (Parker) didn’t come to fight against Joshua, the biggest fight of his career, what’s he going to change now? He could have come back and had an easier fight, but he didn’t. I respect him for that.’’
‘‘Who knows. They might surprise us, and he might come out and go for it in the first couple of rounds…I don’t expect Parker to try and come and mix it with me in the centre of the ring, because if he does that, he gets dropped early.’’
Saturday’s bout will mark Parker’s return to the ring since losing a 12-round decision to Anthony Joshua; a loss that took his ‘0’ and his WBO world strap.
‘‘The body’s looking better than last fight,’’ Said the Samoan-born boxer, speaking to ‘RadioSport’ in New Zealand. ‘‘It’s stronger than last fight. I feel I do need a stoppage. There might be a bit of favouritism here for the local fighter. We’ve given our thoughts on the officials.’’
‘‘When you have two fighters like myself and Dillian Whyte going at it I think it probably won’t reach the 12th round…His fight plan is just to stand there and throw bombs and he wants me to get sucked in to his plan.’’
‘‘I think this is a must win. The winner of this fight elevates to the top for a world title fight with Joshua, maybe Wilder and then all of these fights with Tyson Fury and the big names.’’
This will be Parker’s, 24-1 (18KOs), 3rd fight in a row in England, after also defending his belt in a drab of a scrap against Hughie Fury last September, in which the New Zealander won via a split decision. The talk is big from Joseph in the build up to the weekend’s main event, but he’s struggled to really impress since his 3-round KO of Alexander Dimitrenko back in late 2016.
As has been mentioned multiple times about this matchup, the winner should maneuverer there way into a world title fight next. The WBC ‘Silver’ and WBO ‘International’ straps aren’t just there for decoration alone. They might be meaningless when they’re wrapped around the winner for post-fight photos, but the belts signify an elevated status in the rankings and if the victor’s follow up bout to Saturday night isn’t a world championship bout, they’ll have a pretty big target on their back with the best of the rest of the division ready to shoot.
HBO Boxing Preview: Machado vs. Mensah, Munguia vs. Smith
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada will host a two world title fights to be televised on HBO.
Golden Boy Promotions is the lead promoter for this card which will feature a WBO Junior Middleweight Title Fight between Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith. The co-feature of the night will be between Alberto Macahdo and Rafael Mensah for the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Munguia has gained some prominence with his resounding victory over Sadam Ali to capture his first world title and was mentioned as a possible replacement opponent for Gennady Golovkin when the rematch between him and Canelo had to be rescheduled.
The following is a preview of both world title fights.
Alberto Machado (19-0) vs. Rafael Mensah (31-0); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is a champion who just won his title with a mild upset over Jezreel Corrales by knockout in his last fight. He’s 27 years old and has a very large reach of 72” for his weight class.
His opponent, Rafael Mensah, fights out of Ghana and not much is known about him except for his record. He’s never fought outside of Ghana but is the number one contender for the WBA Title.
Macahdo has been very active recently and fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Mensah has also been active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016, but his last two opponents that he beat had losing records.
Win two fights against below .500 opponents gets you a title shot in the WBA.
Machado had moderate success as an amateur and was a National Champion at the Junior Olympics. Mensah has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Machado has defeated the likes of Carlos Morales, Jezreel Corrales, Juan Jose Martinez, and Miguel Mendoza.
Mensah has defeated nobody of note, but opponents with good records that he has defeated include Fatiou Fassinou and Abdul Jabir.
Macahdo hasn’t been taking Mensah lightly. He stated at a recent press conference,” Rafael is the Number 1 contender for a reason. I’ve got great training at the Wild Card Boxing Club where everyone is very strong. I thank Freddie Roach for focusing on me for the past several weeks. I’m going back to Puerto Rico a world champion.”
Machado probably could probably take the unproven Mensah lightly and still be a heavy favorite.
Jaime Munguia (29-0) vs. Liam Smith (26-1-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Liam Smith was originally scheduled to face Sadam Ali for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title, but had to pull out and was replaced by Jaime Munguia, who won the title with a dominating TKO victory.
On Saturday they will face each other for that WBO Title.
Munguia has twenty five stoppage wins on his record and will have about a two and a half inch height advantage over Smith. Smith has fourteen stoppage wins on his record.
However, Munguia has six stoppage wins in a row. He is also only twenty one years old and eight years younger than Smith.
Even though Munguia has advantages in power and height, he is not taking Smith lightly. He recently stated, “Liam Smith is a tough fighter. We know what kind of style he has. He’s the type of fighter who will come forward and throw a lot of punches. He has an advantage because he’s been in big fights before. But I have a lot of experience as well. I’ve had over a hundred amateur fights and I have fought all over Mexico. We also know what style he will bring. Smith is the kind of fighter who will stand in front of you with a high guard and then suddenly throw a lot of punches. We both come forward and we both throw a lot of punches, so there is a high possibility that this fight will end in a knockout. If we don’t get the knockout, I’m prepared to go the 12 rounds. This has been the best camp of life. I am very prepared. My sparring has gone well. I feel great and I will show that on Saturday. Don’t miss this big fight!”
Smith looks ready for the challenge. He stated,” I was kept in the mandatory position and now I’ve got my shot against a good champion. It should be an exciting fight. He’s an exciting combatant who comes to fight. He’s young and he’s hungry. But you know me. I’m not going to come here and lie down. It’s not the Jaime Munguia show for me. I’m here to do my job. I’m here to do what I set out to do and get my title back.”
Munguia has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Johnny Navarrete, Uriel Gonzalez, and Juan Macias Montiel. He has fought three times in 2018 already and fought seven times in 2017!!
Munguia was a national gold medalist as an amateur and turned pro at the age of 16.
Smith fought three times in 2017 and his lone loss was to Saul Alvarez. He has defeated the likes of Liam Williams, Predgrag Radosevic, Jimmy Kelly, and John Thompson. He was an English ABA National Champion as an amateur.
Smith’s stoppage loss to Canelo should be concerning for his fans, as Munguia is also known for being a strong puncher. Munguia activity as a boxer is rare in today’s age and that should be helpful for him on Saturday.
The hype of Munguia has slowly been gaining steam, and this writer expects it to pick up more steam with a resounding win on Saturday.
Braekhus vs. Sagaydakovskaya & Undercard Preview
By: Ste Rowen
As Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev are preparing to go at it to claim the status of ‘Undisputed’ cruiserweight champion, the only other current undisputed boxer across the sport, will be in the ring, and no doubt impressing the Moscow crowd, as welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus, 33-0 (9KOs) defends her WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO belts against 7-0 (3KOs), Inna Sagaydakovskaya of Russia in 10x2minute rounds.
The self-proclaimed ‘First Lady’ was in the ring just two months ago when she fought on the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan undercard against the former WBC champion Kali Reis. She eventually came out the clear winner with a 10-round unanimous decision victory that night, but she had to weather a few rough rounds late on when she took a knee in the 7th and was visibly shook by a right hand in the 8th. Once again though, she proved her elite credentials by regaining control and comfortably seeing out the final rounds, but the unbeaten 147lber, speaking to ‘ESPN Digital’, insists every fight, is a legacy fight,
‘‘It’s a legacy because it’s not just another fight, it’s a fight that is part of a very important card…For me every fight is harder, but they have made me feel at home and I know I can achieve a clear victory against my rival, who comes from a heavier division to try to dethrone me.’’
Her opponent on Saturday will be Russian, Inna Sagaydakovskaya. The ‘Ice Queen’ has earnt her shot at Braekhus in her last two bouts, defeating former IBF junior middleweight champion, Maria Lindberg over ten rounds, and more recently, stopping Jennifer Retzke in impressive fashion, inside two rounds at Almaty Arena, Kazakhstan.
Speaking to ‘Women of Boxing’, Inna was adamant she’s done more than enough to share the ring with the ‘First Lady’,
‘‘I’ve boxed for the national team for many years. I have a lot of experience and it’s not even about how many fights, but who is more prepared and more ready to win on July 21st.’’
Whether it’s bookie’s favourite, Braekhus, or the home crowd’s favourite, Sagaydakovskaya, whoever emerges the victor will have a host of fellow welterweights circling for their opportunity at all the belts with the likes of, American and WBC #1 Layla Carter, unbeaten Zambian, Lolita Muzeya and IBF #1 and Cecilia’s former foe, Klara Svensson readying themselves to be up next.
Mairis Briedis vs. Brandon Deslaurier
As long as there are no unexpected injuries between now and fight night, World Boxing Super Series semi-finalist and Saturday night’s main event reserve, Mairis Briedis will take on 11-1 (1KO), Brandon Deslaurier of France.
The Latvian and former WBC champion proved himself a worthy addition, even in defeat to Usyk, back in January and his bout this weekend is expected to be a relative walkover for the man most view as the 3rd best cruiserweight in the world. Speaking to the WBSS website earlier this month, Mairis seemed happy enough to be included on the card, and be kept in sight of the winner of Usyk/Gassiev,
‘‘I can’t wait to fight again. I’m looking forward to a quality WBSS event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans.’’
Fedor Chudinov vs. Nadjib Mohammedi
Former WBA super middleweight champion, Fedor Chudinov will take on Frenchman, Nadjib Mohammedi for the WBA ‘International’ strap Fedor won back in December.
Chudinov, 17-2 (12KOs) is 3 for 3 since his stoppage lost to George Groves back in 2017, and the Russian, with a victory of course, will be adding his name to the exhaustive list of matchups that can be made at 168lb between champions and challengers.
Speaking to ‘Soviet Sport’ he said,
‘‘It will be a very difficult and beautiful battle. I can say that I am ready now as never before. In the past I was not completely sure but now I clearly know my strength.’’
‘‘This time I was trained in America.’’ Fedor now trains out of Big Bear with Abel Sanchez. ‘‘I saw a different look at boxing in general training…He looks and develops the best qualities in the boxer…We run every day on the mountains for 4 miles. We train 6 days a week.’’
Mohammedi, who’s most significant fights have been at light heavyweight, most notably defeats to Kovalev, Cleverly and most recently Gvozdyk, is unbeaten at the super middleweight limit. He made the move down to 168lb in 2016 and is undefeated in his last three bouts.
Serhii Bohachuk vs. Nikolozi Gviniashvilli
The highly rated Ukrainian Serhii ‘El Flaco’ Bohachuk returns to the ring one month on from his 2nd round KO of Cesar Soriano Berumen at The Avalon in California. Bohachuk, who also trains out of Big Bear, is fighting outside of the US as a pro for the first time as he takes on the 19-11-4 (15KOs) Georgian, Nikolozi Gviniashvilli.
‘El Flaco’ currently 9-0 (9KOs) and fighting at junior middleweight has impressed crowds with each limited opponent put in front of him so far and the hope for the weekend is that the former amateur standout will face a sterner test, whilst still being able to dazzle the Moscow crowd, over 8 rounds against Gviniashvilli.
Magomed Madiev vs. Guido Nicolas Pitto
Fighting for the WBA ‘Asia’ and IBF ‘International’ titles, Magomed Madiev, 11-0 (4KOs) of Russia, comes up against Argentine, Guido Nicolas Pitto, 25-5-1 (5KOs).
Madiev, 23, spoke at the end of last year, after Lomachenko had just stopped Rigondeaux, to ‘Soviet Sport’, of his desire to attempt to replicate Loma’s incredible run of victories in so few fights
‘‘I aspire to this. For me, it will be soon. But not all at once. We’ll catch up with Lomachenko…We plan to do it (Title Fights) in the near future. We will try to organise serious battles.’’
His opponent, Pitto was the first man to beat Jack Culcay in 2013, only to lose the rematch six months later. Since then he’s kept mainly to Argentina fighting for national titles. Magomed’s best measurement of success for this weekend will be whether he can get Guido out of there early.
Konstantin Ponomarev vs. Sergey Vorobiev
Another student of Abel Sanchez will take to the ring when 34-0 (13KOs), Konstantin Ponomarev matches up against fellow Russian, Sergey Vorobiev, 6-0 (6KOs).
Up until last year, Ponomarev was campaigning at welterweight, having twice turned down IBF eliminators against Errol Spence and then Carlos Ocampo. Instead the 25-year-old, jumped up two weight classes to challenge for the Russian middleweight belt, which he won via an underwhelming 10-round decision over Pavel Momontov.
The Moscow crowd will be hoping to see more of the welterweight version of Konstantin when the first bell rings against Vorobiev, who could be a potential banana skin in his Russian foe’s momentum.
Denis Shafikov vs. Jhon Gemino
Just over a month on from his 8-round decision victory over Mexican, Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez in California, Denis Shafikov, 39-4-1 (20KOs) takes on Philippine super bantamweight, Jhon Gemino in a stated 10 round super featherweight contest.
It’s a strange matchup, even for a supposed stay busy fight for the Russian. Shafikov is a career lightweight, whilst Gemino, 17-10-1 (7KOs) has won only 2 of his 6 fights above 126lb, but maybe as one man moves down, and another jumps up, the stars will align to give us an unexpected undercard barnstormer.