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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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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Miguel Berchelt vs. Miguel “Mickey” Roman


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas will be the host site for Top Rank Promotions latest offering on the streaming network, ESPN+.

WBC Junior Lightweight Champion Miguel Berchelt will defend his title against Miguel “Mickey” Roman in a fight that most think will be an action packed bout.

The co-main event of the evening will be between Miguel Marriaga and Jose Estrella in the featherweight division.

Other boxers on the undercard include Saul Rodriguez, Robson Conceicao, Sagadat Rakhmankul, Jose Estrella, Claudio Tapia, Joey Laviolette, and Vaughn Alexander.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The following is a preview of the main event of the evening.

Miguel Berchelt (34-1) vs. Miguel Roman (60-12) WBC Super Featherweight Title

Allegedly, this is a fight that’s been wanted by both fighters for a very long time. At an earlier pres conference, Berchelt told the media,” Roman and I have wanted this fight for a very, very long time. He asked for this opportunity, and I am happy to give it to him. This is going to be a great fight, but I know it will end with my hands raised. I am young and hungry. It doesn’t matter that we’re fighting in his backyard. El Paso and Juarez are going to be my towns when it’s over.”

However, Mickey Roman feels comfortable since the fight is taking place near his home town. Roman told the media, “He’s talking all of this stuff, that he’s going to take my head off and things like that. El paso is my town. If he thinks he’s going to come in here and be talking like that, he’s got another thing coming.”

Berchelt should be considered by many to be a strong favorite. He only has one loss while Roman has twelve, and he’s six years younger than Roman. He will also have about a two inch height advantage and about a four and a half inch reach advantage.

Both boxers have good power. Berchelt has stopped thirty of his opponents while Roman has stopped forty seven. Berchelt has been stopped once early in his career while Roman has only been stopped twice.

Berchelt and Roman are both pretty active. Roman already has over 72 professional fights. He fought twice in 2018, three times in 2017, and three times in 2016. Berchelt fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016.

Berchelt has an edge in amateur experience. He’s a three time Mexican National Boxing Champion in the elite category while Roman doesn’t have any notable amateur accomplishments.

Berchelt lone loss was to Luis Eduardo Florez. He has defeated the likes of Jonathan Victor Barros, Maxwell Awuku, Takashi Miura, Francisco Vargas, Suriya Tatakhun, and Rene Gonzalez.

Roman has defeated the likes of Michel Marcano, Orlando Salido, Nery Saguilan, Juli Giner, and Daniel Ponce DeLeon. His wins against Orlando Salido and Daniel Ponce DeLeon are his most impressive and occurred recently.

However, Roman has a history of losing when he steps up in competition, and he does have a large number of losses. He has losses to Genaro Garcia, Jorge Solis, Miguel Beltran Jr., Antonio Escalante, Jonathan Victor Barros, Javier Fortuna, Antonio DeMarco, Dante Jardon (lost the rematch), and Takashi Miura.

Roman is a dangerous opponent for Berchelt in that he’s an experience rugged fighter who has already been in the ring with some of the best. But Berchelt is a top rated prospects with a high ceiling, and he’ll have a significant size advantage and age advantage on Saturday night.

This fight will feature some fireworks, but at the end Berchelt will likely be holding his hand up high.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko, Machado vs. Evans


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City will host an IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergi Derevyanchenko.

The undercard will feature two other world title bouts. The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title fight between Alberto Machado and Yuandale Evans. The first fight of the telecast will be a rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title.

The fight between Hardy and Vincent was just recently added to the telecast and was originally scheduled to be on the untelevised undercard. Their first fight was a 2016 Ring Magazine Female Fight of the Year, and saw Hardy win by a majority decision.

Even though this writer does not remember their first fight being as close at the judges scored it, it was an action packed fight that should be entertaining for fight fans.

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

Alberto Machado (20-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (20-1); WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title

Alberto Machado is currently co-promoted by both Golden Boy Promotions as well as Miguel Cotto Promotions. He holds the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title and is considered one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

He’s in the midst of his athletic prime at 28 years old and is one year younger than Evans. He has 16 stoppage victories on his resume, two more than Evans, and has been more active. Machado has stopped three of his past five opponents. Saturday will be his second fight of 2018, after fighting three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Evans will be fighting for the first time 2018, fought twice in 2017, and didn’t fight at all in 2016.

Both boxers have been fairly successful as amateurs. Machado was a national champ at the Junior, Junior Olympics, and Cadet Categories. Evans won a bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Tournament.

Machado has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Rafael Mesnah, Jezreel Corrales, Carlos Morales, and Juan Jose Martinez. Every opponent that Machado has defeated since 2014 had a winning record.

Evans’ lone loss was to Javier Fortuna by TKO way back in 2012. He has notable wins against Luis Rosa and Billel Dib. Two of the past four fighters that Evans has faced had losing records.

Machado should win by a comfortable margin on Saturday, as Evans doesn’t have the experience of Machado and has been fairly inactive in the past few years.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (34-2); IBF Middleweight Title

Daniel Jacobs is one of Eddie Hearn’s top middleweights and he’s looking at potential bouts with either Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Billy Joe Saunders in the future on the DAZN network.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

But first he has to get past an under the radar Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who is better than most people realize.

Jacobs has 29 stoppage wins on his resume and nearly triple the number of professional fights than Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko only has 10 stoppage wins, but Derevyanchenko spent most of his early career fighting under the World Series of Boxing Banner, which don’t technically count as professional fights.

When Derevyanchenko fought for the World Series of Boxing he had over 23 fights and only lost once.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Jacobs was a Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves, and US National Champion. Derevyanchenko competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the most prestigious amateur event for boxing.

Jacobs two losses were a monumental upset to Dmitry Pirog back in 2010, and a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin. He has defeated the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, and Ishe Smith.

Derevyanchenko has never tasted defeat as a pro, but he did lose a World Series of Boxing match. He has beaten the likes of Dashon Johnson, Tureano Johnson, Sam Soliman, Kemahl Russell, Elvin Ayala, and Vladine Biosse.

The biggest notable difference on Saturday will be size. Daniel Jacobs will have at least a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a five and a half inch reach advantage. He looked even bigger when they faced off with each other. Both guys are still in their athletic prime, with Jacobs being 31 and Derevyanchenko being 32.

Jacobs shouldn’t overlook Derevyanchenko, for his amateur pedigree indicates he will be a tougher opponent than most expect. But Jacobs will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd with big fights on the horizon, this writer has a hard time imagining a scenario where he doesn’t walk out the victor.

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WBSS Preview: Prograis vs. Flanagan; Baranchyk vs. Yigit on DAZN


By: Ste Rowen

‘‘You walk up the street and people ask you ‘Did you win your fight?’ and you have to say no for the first time. ‘‘
Defeat never comes easy for an undefeated fighter. Terry Flanagan, the former WBO lightweight champion was 33-0 (13KOs) when he stepped into the ring with Maurice Hooker, at Manchester Arena four months ago. Watch the fight Saturday night on DAZN.

The north west native known as ‘Turbo’ isn’t the prettiest boxer even at his dominant best – see his WBO defences since winning the belt against the likes of Derry Matthews, Mzonke Fana and what felt like a never-ending bout with Petr Petrov. But the one running theme through Terry’s fights seemed to be the feeling he was a level above each and every opponent he faced.


Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account

Then he took the step up to super-lightweight after failing to secure unifications with the likes of former champions, Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares and current 135lb titlist, Lomachenko. Manager Steve Wood and promoter Frank Warren maneuvered ‘Turbo’ into a position to fight for the vacant 140lb strap, recently dropped by the undisputed, Terence Crawford, and after a delay caused by a hand injury for Flanagan, Hooker and Terry were set to meet on the 9th June.

On fight night in June, southpaw, Flanagan looked out of sorts while his American foe was composed and patient. ‘Turbo’ constantly led in with his head, which it was revealed after the fight, had the adverse effect and not just for the viewers. Terry apparently sustained a concussion from the clashing of heads and suffered through the final rounds as Hooker took pot-shots off the southpaw’s face to seal a unanimous decision win for the American.

Terry lost, but months later, managed to seal his spot in the Super Series and have an opportunity for immediate redemption. Now Flanagan travels to New Orleans to face another America. Unbeaten WBC champion and #1 seed of the tournament, Regis Prograis.

‘‘They’re expecting to wipe the floor with me but it’s not gonna be the case…I see the fight against Prograis as 50/50 with us both having our own strengths, but I just think my assets stop his and therefore I win. I think what I bring to the table neutralise his strengths and that is the difference. I expect to get the credit I duly deserve after winning this fight.”

“The world boxing series is a new chapter…I believe I’m the best fighter on the planet on my day and I’m looking to show that in this tournament.‘‘

Regis Prograis has had a quick rise into boxing stardom. A former standout amateur who always aims to please, Prograis is one of two current WBC 140lb champions – Jose Ramirez being the other – ‘Rougarou’ as Prograis is otherwise known by, has a record of 22-0 (19KOs) including impressive stoppage victories over Joel Diaz Jr, Hector Velazquez and arguably his biggest win to date, a 2nd round TKO of former unified champion, Julius Indongo.

“All my fights are explosive no matter who is in front of me. I always bring the fireworks.”

In all three of the mentioned bouts Regis displayed not just the power that makes him an obvious fan favourite and the tournament’s top seed, but outstanding boxing fundamentals. A thudding single jab, the continuous fluid head & body movement and the devastating efficiency with which once he senses the opportunity for an early finish, ‘Rougarou’ goes hard on the accelerator.

“Flanagan is a really tough dude, a former world champion. I want to fight top competition and that is why I picked him. I know I am good, but I never look at myself as the favourite…I am the number one in the world and everyone fighting me sees me as a big opportunity.”

Saturday’s venue is the Lakefront Arena in Prograis’ native home of New Orleans, and the way Regis is talking, it could be a long journey to nothing for Flanagan,
“I am the number 1 seed so of course there is pressure on me, but I feel a lot better than last time I fought in New Orleans, where it felt like work and the pressure weighed on me a bit. This time I think the pressure is out of the window. This time it is going back to being fun.”

“This is not just a boxing show, when I fight in New Orleans it is a big-time event.”
A fight in the semi-finals against WBA champion, Kiryl Relikh awaits.

Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit

Also on Saturday’s card is the 3rd super-lightweight quarter final between two unbeaten fighters, Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit with the vacant IBF belt on the line.

18-0 (11KOs), Baranchyk of Belarus has been progressing at the perfect pace ever since making his move the US. ‘The Beast’s’ first three pro bouts were in Minsk before he set flight to America and began to build his name against limited opposition. From 2015 Ivan’s quality of opposition rose, as did his performances as he picked up victories over the likes of a 17-1-2, Abel Ramos but more recently, a superb dismantling of Petr Petrov in March on the undercard of Prograis/Indongo.

The manner of the victory more than the win itself solidified Baranchyk’s status as future world title contender, and his attitude toward the sport backs that up,

“I’ve never known and couldn’t even imagine life without boxing…If there is no competition I simply just cannot live without it.”

Ivan may be known as the beast, but he’s more than willing to show his versatility as his pro career progresses,
“My boxing style is aggressive. I’m constantly attacking, fighting to the very end…I’m trying to learn the Cuban way of boxing as it is respected all over the world. Pedro (Diaz) is one of the best coaches in the world and I want learn everything from him.”

“Anthony Yigit is a good boxer, a good fighter…I know all his strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been waiting for him for a long time and on the 27th I will destroy him in the ring.”

The big talk from the Belarussian is unlikely to have an effect on his Swedish opponent, and fellow unbeaten fighter, Anthony Yigit. Speaking in the WBSS pre-fight documentary, the Swede, currently 21-0-1 (7KOs), isn’t short of self-belief,

“I’m a nice guy here but if you go into the ring with me I know you’re in my way of me reaching that goal of where I want to be. When I started boxing I believed I was gonna become a world champion…In Sweden we have nine million people and no world champion. I’m gonna be one in nine million.”

Yigit, a former 2012 Olympian where he was beaten by Ukrainian, Denys Berinchyk, has shown so far in the pro ranks that if he lacks anything, it’s probably power, but the Stockholm southpaw has no intention of losing to another man with ‘chyk’ in his name,

“When I saw Usyk lift the Ali trophy I said, ‘That’s where I wanna be’ and that’s where I’m gonna be! … People have been telling me they can see something in my eyes, something that wasn’t there before.”

Winner of this matchup will go on to face either Josh Taylor or Ryan Martin, who fight next week in Glasgow.

Check out the WBSS pre-fight documentaries for both of Saturdays bouts here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYbJzjdzbAA

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Fury vs. Pulev


By: Michael Kane

Hughie Fury travels to the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria this Saturday to face local favourite Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 12 round IBF title elimination bout.

Whoever wins will become the mandatory contender for Anthony Joshua’s IBF strap.


Photo Credit: Hennessy Spors Twitter Page

Pulev, 37, has been relatively inactive in recent years, with his last bout coming 18 months ago when he defeated Kevin Johnson by unanimous decision. Pulev’s only defeat was in his title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014 when he gamely tried to go toe to toe with the champion, succumbing to a 5th round KO.

The 24 year old, Fury, has only one defeat also, which came in his title challenge against Joshua Parker for the WBO title in September 2017. Fury gave a good account of himself, showing good movement however he didn’t let his hands go enough costing himself the victory.

Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) returned in May this year and took on Sam Sexton for the British title. It appeared Fury had learned a lesson from the Parker defeat as he threw and landed more, winning by TKO in the 5th round.

With the prospect of facing Joshua in a massive fight at Wembley next year, Fury said in a press release, “Those are the kind of fights I want and that fight in particular.

“I’m not looking past Pulev but whenever that Joshua fight is available, I’d take it with both hands. It’s a case of beating Pulev, getting that out the way and then we’ll talk business after that.

“Titles mean a lot more to me than money. I’ve never really been interested in money. I’m focused on one thing and that’s becoming a world champion.

“I feel stronger in myself and I’ve got more hunger, drive and motivation to get the job done. I’ve had disappointments in the past but they helped make me the person I am today.

“I’m looking forward to these fights, taking things one step at a time and following my dreams.”

In the press conference this week, Fury said,”Thank you to the people of Bulgaria for welcoming me. I’ve had a great reception – it’s a pleasure to be here again. It’s a country that I’ve been coming to since I was a teenager and I hope to come again soon.

“I can’t wait for the fight on Saturday. Camp’s been tough but all the hard work’s done now, now’s the easy bit. – the fight. It’s not long now, it’s only three days away. I’ve come over here to win. I’m prepared for whatever he [Pulev] throws at me, and if I have to go the distance to do that so be it. Believe me when I say it’s going to be one hell of a fight.

“I watched him [Pulev] in action at yesterday’s open workout and I don’t see anything to be worried about. I’ve done my preparation and I’ve got Plans A through to Z ready for whatever he comes at me with.”

Pulev said,“This is the first time such a high profile fight has been held in Bulgaria. It’s never happened before. My opponent is very strong and It’s a very serious fight at world level.

“Camp has gone well and I’m well prepared. I’m in a concentrated place. I believe my years of experience has led me to this day where I have the maturity to manage fights to the end. I work very hard and this is what I’ve been doing the last three months with my coach and team. I have developed my strength this past year, not just physically but also mentally. I’m in the best shape I can.

“The arena will be full on Saturday night. I have to win to make the home ground proud. They are incredibly supportive of me.”

With the fight taking place in Bulgaria, Pulev will be the favourite, Fury may have to try and KO the Bulgarian to have a chance of winning, if it goes to a decision, expect a Pulev win.

The fight will be shown on Channel 5 in the UK and ESPN+ in the USA.

Other notable fights on card are:

Vacant EBU European Union Cruiserweight title

Tervel Pulev v Leonardo Damian Bruzzese

Vacant WBA Inter Continental Female Super Middleweight title

Savannah Marshall v Yanina Orozco

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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Andrade and Kantondura Set to Collide on DAZN


By: Sean Crose

Major boxing returns to Boston on Saturday as Demetrius Andrade (25-0) faces Walter Kautondura (17-0) for the vacant WBO middleweight title strap. Andrade was originally supposed to face England’s Billy Joe Saunders, who won the belt after dominating David Lemieux last year. Saunders tested positive for a banned substance, however, and found himself without his title and without the ability to fight in Massachusetts. Therefore, Andrade will be facing a less well known opponent in Kantondura on Saturday, a knockout artist with a perfect record. Should he win, Andrade can expect an interesting future, especially now that middleweight kingpin Canelo Alvarez has signed on with DAZN, which airs Andrade’s fights.


Photo Credit: Demetrius Andrade Twitter Account

Tevin Farmer (26-4-1) will also be on the card. He’ll be defending his IBF Super Featherweight title against James Tennyson (22-2). Farmer, who is happy to now be teamed with DAZN, Eddie Hearn, and Lou DiBella, has his eyes on the future, but remains focused on Tennyson. ““I have a big fight on Saturday,” says Farmer, “and I’m not over-looking James. You don’t get to this level for no reason and I know he’s going to come to fight and try to beat me, but that’s not going to be easy – he needs to make sure he brings his A-game.” Should he emerge victorious on Saturday, Farmer has another known fighter in his sights.

“I want to fight Gervonta Davis,” he says.

Ireland’s Katie Taylor (10-0) will be fighting as well at the Garden this weekend. Making her third appearance in the United States, Taylor will be defending her WBA and IBF lightweight titles against the 27-5-3 Cindy Serrano of Brooklyn. Taylor is particularly pleased with the fight’s location. “The fact it’s in Boston means it’s going to be like a home from home for me in there with all the Irish support,” says Taylor.

England’s Kid Galahad will likewise be fighting on the card. The undefeated 24-0 Englishman will face the 25-1- Toka Kahn Clary. Both men will walk into the scheduled 12 round match with much to prove. An impressive win will help move the victor along in his career. Clary, who fights out of nearby Rhode Island, may have the advantage of having the live crowd before him. Yet Galahad is looking to impress as he makes his American debut.

The fights will air live on the DAZN streaming service beginning at 9 PM eastern standard time on Saturday evening.

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Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Ryoto Murata vs. Rob Brant


By: Michael Kane

Ryoto Murata, makes his second defence of his WBA Middleweight title against American Rob Brant at the MGM’s Park Theatre, Las Vegas, Saturday 20th October.

Murata (14-1, 11 KO’s) won the middleweight crown after winning a rematch against Hassan N’Dam Jikam winning by TKO in round seven in October 2017.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

This rematch came about after they both fought for the vacant title and Jikam won a controversial split decision, when most thought Murata had won.

Murata defended his belt for the first time in April against Italian Emanuele Blandamura winning by 8th round TKO.

During the press conference, Murata was asked about facing GGG or Canelo and replied, “Everything will happen after the result of this fight, so I’m not thinking ahead. I am looking forward to getting the victory on Saturday.

“I had a great training camp, and I am going to put everything out in the ring that I trained with. I am very prepared and very confident.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity, especially to Bob Arun and everyone at Top Rank and the team over at Teiken Promotions.”

Brant (23-1, 16 KO’s) has won the WBA-NABA Middleweight title and WBC Continental Americas Middleweight title while he was on a 21 fight win streak.

Brant entered the first season of World Boxing Super Series where he faced German Juergen Braehmer in the Super Middleweight division Brant suffered his first and only defeat losing by unanimous decision.

Brant returned to middleweight and defeated Colby Courter by 1st round KO in March and feels confident ahead of his fight against the Japanese superstar.

“We knew that Murata would be the challenge of a lifetime being an Olympic gold medalist as well as being a world champion. I knew I’d have to be here early working with (trainer) Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. We’re training specifically for Murata. I feel good. I feel confident.”

When asked about moving back to 160 after competing at 168 briefly, Brant said, “I feel like this is my natural weight. I feel a lot better at 160 pounds. I did my entire amateur career at 178 pounds at light heavyweight. Then I decided I had to lay off the McDonald’s a little bit and actually train. My body is actually very comfortable at 160, and that’s where I am going to stay at. And it’s where I am going to win my titles

In the co feature bout Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev defends his NABF Super Lightweight belt against former world champion Antonio DeMarco.

Dadashev (11-0, 10 KO’s) won the belt in his last outing against Darleys Perez in June by TKO in the 10th round.

The 28 year old Russian takes on a veteran in DeMarco (33-6-1 24 KO’s), the Mexican has won his last two fights having lost beforehand 3 in a row including losing his title to Jessie Vargas back in 2014.

Dadashev said at the press conference, “My opponent is a former WBC champion. Of course, he has really good experience and is a smart fighter. That’s it. But I’m also strong.

“I am working hard in the gym and am prepared for this fight. I had a good camp and (would like to fight for a world totle) as soon as possible.”

DeMarco has his eyes on becoming a world champion again.

“I’ve been through this before and I’ve seen this before. It’s truly a pleasure to be here.

“I want to thank Maxim and his management team for taking this fight. I feel good about it. I’m at peace. I’m very comfortable, and I want to become a world champion again.”

Also on the card is popular Irishman, Michael Conlan who makes his Las Vegas debut. Conlan has been on a bit of a tour since turning pro with Top Rank, with fights in New York, Belfast and Australia.

Conlan headlined a show in his home city, Belfast last time out and won comfortably against Adeilson Dos Santos winning by unanimous decision. Conlan takes on Italian Nicola Cipolletta in the featherweight division.

Conlan is looking forward to his Vegas debut.

“It’s my fourth fight of the year, and I plan to have another one after this. It’s a pleasure to be here in Las Vegas. It’s my first time fighting in probably the fight capital of the world at the minute.”

Conlan on his trainer Adam Booth.

“It’s been fantastic with Adam. I think now the pen has finally dropped. Everything seems to be falling into place. I know fighters say it all the time, and I get sick of hearing it myself, but it’s definitely the best training camp I’ve had. I feel like I’m becoming more of a complete fighter, and that’s what I want to show on Saturday night. I want to show how advanced my style is now.”

Conlan, who lost controversially as an amateur in the Olympics is looking to face his old for Vladimir Nikitin who also appears on the card.

Conlan said, “It would be fantastic to face Vladimir in the professional ranks. I have no ill feelings towards Vladimir. I know it wasn’t his fault, but revenge is something that I want. I have no anger towards him, but I will {fight} him with enjoyment, and I do believe I’ll get the victory when we face each other.”

The event will be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S and Boxnation in the UK.

ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET

Ryota Murata vs. Rob Brant, 12 rounds, WBA Middleweight World Championship

Maxim Dadshev vs. Antonio DeMarco, 10 rounds, NABF Super Lightweight Title

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET

Esquiva Falcao vs. Guido Pitto, 10 rounds, Middleweight

Michael Conlan vs. Nicola Cipolletta, 8 rounds, Featherweight

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov vs. Wilberth Lopez , 8 rounds, Super Lightweight

Adam Lopez vs. Hector Ambriz, 8 rounds, Featherweight

Joseph Adorno vs. Kevin Cruz, 6 rounds, Lightweight

Vladimir Nikitin vs. Clay Burns, 6 rounds, Featherweight

David Kaminsky vs. Noah LaCoste, 4 rounds, Middleweight

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World Boxing Super Series Preview: Rodriguez vs. Moloney, Dorticos vs. Masternak


By: Ste Rowen

In Orlando’s CFE Arena, a venue normally associated with basketball, World Boxing Super Series season one semi-finalist, Yunier Dorticos of Cuba faces Polish cruiserweight veteran, Mateusz Masternak for the right to face Andrew Tabiti in the next round of the Super Series tournament. Alongside the cruiserweight’s second, the 3rd round of WBSS bantamweights get underway as IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez fights, Jason Moloney for the chance to face Naoya Inoue.

Yunier ‘KO Doctor’ Dorticos hasn’t fought since his Fight of the Year contender vs. Murat Gassiev last February. The Miami resident was brave, and emotional, in defeat eight months ago as he went tit-for-tat with then IBF champion Gassiev until ultimately, the Cuban was nailed with a wonderful counter left hook, shot from the hip, by the Russian and handing Dorticos his first professional defeat.

However, ‘The KO Doctor’ is far from down about that loss, if anything, going off the WBSS YouTube pre-fight documentary, Dorticos is more confident than ever,

‘‘Masternak? Master of nothing…Things are going to get really ugly for him.’’

‘‘I have to train to entertain…My style is aggressive, and I’ve always been aggressive… I respect my opponents as people, but I don’t respect them in the ring. I go out to get them.’’

Now 22-1 (21KOs), Yunier has no intention of changing his style this time around,

‘‘The defeat to Gassiev hurt, but when you get knocked down you get up again…Believe me, I am going to KO everyone in front of me this season…I’m here today because of a lot of sacrifice…No one ever gave me anything…’’

Mateusz ‘Master’ Masternak is 31 now but turned professional over twelve years ago. Perhaps defined mostly by his defeats, of which include the supremely talented, but injury-ridden Grigory Drozd and future Usyk opponent, Tony Bellew; Masternak does have victories over potential future hall of famer Jean Marc Mormeck, and twice winning against, his and Dorticos’ shared opponent, Youri Kalenga.

Currently 41-4 (28KOs), ‘Master’ recognizes the enormity of both the bout, and the challenge his opponent represents,

‘‘This is the most important fight of my career. It will determine whether I’m a world class boxer or a second league player…Dorticos is a great boxer. He made a great impression on the first edition of the tournament…But the odds aren’t stacked against me. If we do what we plan, we’ll be celebrating success.’’

It’s not just the Cuban juggernaut heading his way that Mateusz has to deal with. The Pole opened up about his struggle with long term spinal injuries but also, post-Bellew fight in 2015, problems with his vision,

‘‘Following the fight with Tony, I had crossed eyes…There was a problem when I turned my head, I had double vision. So, I saw two heads, so in order to be able to fight I had to change my boxing style.’’

‘‘I’ve been a professional boxer for 12 years, and my dream is to become the world champion. Never before have I been this close to achieving my goal.’’

The remaining quarter-finals to take place, both on the 10th November at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion, in the cruiserweight WBSS are;

Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Gevor
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov

Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Moloney

In the third fight of the 118lb World Boxing Super Series, IBF champion, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Rodriguez comes up against undefeated contender, Jason Moloney of Australia.

When Rodriguez, 18-0 12KOs) faced Paul Butler for the vacant IBF 118lb title earlier this year, it was all but confirmed that the winner would enter the World Boxing Super Series. Extra motivation perhaps then as, the Puerto Rican dominated ‘Baby Faced’ Butler over 12-rounds to claim his first world honours and dream of being THE man at 118lb.

Now the man tournament favourite, Naoya Inoue, named the ‘‘…best fight for me’’, has the opportunity to impress the audience and maybe, the Japanese ‘Monster’,

‘‘It’s now or never…I’m in this to win. We’re not here just to make up the numbers.’’

‘‘We’re going to be fully prepared for Jason Moloney. We know he’s unbeaten. He’s the mandatory challenger and hungry to be the world champion, just as I was when I had the opportunity.’’

‘‘I know I have the tools to beat Jason Moloney and anyone else that gets in our way.’’

Jason Moloney, twin brother of superfly contender, Andrew, earnt his path into the WBSS thanks to a technical stoppage over Kohei Kono. Currently the Ring Magazine’s 7th ranked bantamweight, the Australian cut Kono via a punch in round 3, which subsequently forced the end of the fight as the same cut, above the left eye, led to the referee waving off the bout at the beginning of the 7th, with Moloney clearly ahead on the cards.

Fighting outside of Australia for the first time, Jason, 17-0 (14KOs), is keen to prove his place in the tournament isn’t down to good luck,

‘‘I know I am the underdog in this tournament…People write me off because they haven’t seen much of me yet but, that excites me…It doesn’t worry me who we’re fighting. Stylistically I think I match up very well with Rodriguez.’’

‘‘The fans can expect an explosive, entertaining, all action fight. It’s my time to show the world what I’m capable of…If I fight to the best of my ability, I’ll win the fight.’’

The winner of Saturday’s 118lb matchup will take on Naoya Inoue at the semi-final stage. The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final to take place will be between WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett and future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire, in Glasgow two weeks from this Saturday. The winner of that bout can look forward to a fight with WBO titlist, Zolani Tete, who grinded his way to victory over Mikhail Aloyan last weekend in Russia.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Yarde vs. Sequeira, Garton vs. Corcoran


By: Oliver McManus

This weekend sees Frank Warren promoting at the Brentwood Centre, live on BT Sport and streamed on ESPN+, with, his highly-touted light-heavyweight, Anthony Yarde defending his WBO Inter-Continental belt against Walter Gabriel Sequeira; Johnny Garton and Gary Corcoran face off for the vacant British Welterweight belt; and imposing prospects Umar Sadiq and Zak Chelli put their unbeaten records on the line at an early stage of their career.

Anthony Yarde looks to move 17 and 0 against an opponent who, truth be told, is underwhelming and whilst it’s understood that Sean Monaghan was initially touted for the bout, the calibre of Sequeira fails to impress.


Photo Credit: Anthony Yarde Twitter Account

Ranked number two by the World Boxing Organization, Anthony Yarde has dealt with his 16 previous opponents in convincing fashion and the widely held frustration of the reluctance to progress him faster seems to be holding him back from truly being appreciated.

The muscular stature of the Hackney-born fighter is imposing with the tattooed physique of Yarde looking bulky, even for the 175lb division, and the speed and power in his hands mark him out as a real threat throughout the duration of his bouts; the first man to stop Nikola Sjekloca and a merciless number over, vastly-underrated, Chris Hobbs are a testament to Yarde’s ability to turn up the heat.

Since that win over Sjekloca, back in December, that heat has cooled ever so slightly with Joshua Buatsi catching the eye of the British public with his consistently explosive performances and Yarde’s performances against Dariusz Sek and Tony Averlant this year seeing him look less energetic than we have become accustomed too.

A man of ferocious talent with anger in his hands, Anthony Yarde has all the assets to reach the top and it’s just a matter of WHEN we see him get that opportunity to showcase his skills; Walter Sequeira will not be that man that allows Yarde to really cement his authority as a player on the global stage – the Argentine national champion has fought once away from his home country, in his 25 professional contests, and lost convincingly to Avni Yilidrim in doing so.

Expect this to be a convincing display from Anthony Yarde and, if it’s not, I’d start to get a little worried.

Johnny Garton, 22-1-1, and Gary Corcoran, 18-2, will be facing off against each other for the vacant British welterweight title – relinquished by Bradley Skeete earlier this year – in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.

For Garton, now aged 31, the title shot has been a long-time with Skeete – close friend and gym mate – having the belt since the turn of 2016 but ‘The Pexican’ has more than earned his crack at the strap having pieced together an impressive CV over the past few years.

Having turned pro in 2011, Garton claimed the vacant Southern Area welterweight belt in 2014 with an 8th round knockout over Adam Battle and since then has overcame plenty of domestic challengers – Nathan Weise, Martin Welsh, Ryan Fields and Tyler Goodjohn – as he added the English title to his name.

Late last year the Peckham-man registered an explosive performance to dispatch with Mihail Orlov in the 10th round of their contest for the IBF European title. Garton made hard work of his opponent and didn’t look as fluid as we know he can but, typically, when he gets into a fight it is easy pickings with Garton working through the motions and piecing together his shots nicely.

Corcoran, on the other hand, will be in his second fight since losing out to Jeff Horn, for the WBO world title, in December last year and Hellraiser goes into the contest off the back of a 5th round TKO win in June.

A second crack at a British belt for Corcoran, who’s previously lost out to Liam Williams for the super welterweight strap, he’s likely to approach it as he does every other fight of his career with a brash, fast-paced, attacking nature.

Known for his fast starts, Corcoran will seek to catch Johnny of guard early doors and impose his own rhythm on his contest; in all honesty this has the hallmarks of a fire fight and both men will probably engage from the centre of the ring – a style particularly suited to Corcoran.

Perhaps the most fitting testament of Corcoran’s ability to mix it at a high level with a mixture of both technique and slug-fest guts is his split decision win against Larry Ekundayo, in July of last year, in a performance that gained the plaudits from all corners of the boxing community – if he brings that level of performance into the ring on Saturday then we’ll be in for a thrilling contest.

Moving onto the clash of the unbeaten super-middleweights as Umar ‘Top Boxer’ Sadiq looks to settle a rivalry against Zak Chelli that has been quietly bubbling under the surface for the past few months.

Possibly the classiest man both inside and outside of the ring, Umar Sadiq has already attracted a huge fan base thanks to his impressive performances and innovative use of social media.
What really matters is his ability in the ring and having come from a strong amateur background he already looks at ease, moving through the motions quickly, and stamping his authority over his three opponents thus far.

Back in June Umar looked at his most complete, yet, with a masterful control of the fight tempo, insightful shot select before unfurling a vicious left hook into the body of Kamil Al Temimi to send the Polish fighter crumpling to the canvas with consummate ease.

Arguably the most terrifying thing about Sadiq is that he’s not even looked out of breath upon the conclusion of his three professional fights – I know they’ve only been four and six rounders, thus far, but it bodes well for the big bouts.

And this is the first real “big” bout of Umar’s career – and, for that matter, Zak’s – because this is going to stand as the acid test for who is the real deal and Chelli, whose father was also a fighter, is supremely confident in his ability to be “Warren’s number one super-middleweight”.

Hand-speed is his biggest asset with a frightening aggression and killer instinct, once he locks onto a target then shots will rain down on his counterpart in an explosive flurry. It’s easy to make comparisons with Chris Eubank Jr because of that style of fighting and Chelli is used to sparring with the Brighton man and that’s where he says he’s doing most of his development –

“When it comes to sparring I find it quite easy to transfer the skills into a fight performance, what I learn on the pads I put to practice in the ring and I treat sparring as a fight so it’s the same, for me”

“I can tell where I’m getting better, when I first started I was rushing things and trying to prove stuff but I learned from Adam Jones that, actually, you don’t need to go chasing knockouts all the time, believe in your ability and the performance will materialize. At the start I was trying to force the knockout but I’m definitely more relaxed now.”

Despite being just 20 years of age, Chelli is freakishly mature in the way he speaks and handles himself out of the ring but equally he’s begun to mature in it, too, as he himself admits he is far less likely to rush out of the gate than when he first started and Sadiq, well he’s Umar Sadiq, he’s silky smooth in whatever he does. This is going to be a great fight – fight of the night, you heard it here first!

October 20th at the Brentwood Centre, Frank Warren showcases some sensational talent and as the Hall-of-Fame promoter himself would say, “IT’S ON!”… BT Sport and ESPN+.

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DAZN Boxing Preview: Lewis Ritson v Francesco Patera


By: Michael Kane

Lewis Ritson takes on Francesco Patera this Saturday for the vacant European (EBU) Lightweight title. In what is sure to be a partisan home crowd for Ritson with the bout taking place at the Metro arena in Newcastle.

Nicknamed the ‘Geordie Golovkin’ due to his power, Ritson will be hoping to showcase some of this power against the Belgian, Patera (19-3). However it may not be as straight forward as the Newcastle public expect, with Patera having held the European title last year, losing to Ebis Tatli, who has since vacated.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

The 25 year old Ritson is in fine form, having secured the Lonsdale belt, given to a boxer after 3 successful defences, in the fastest time in history. Ritson won the British title against Robbie Barret last October and took a total of four rounds to gain the Lonsdale belt, dispatching Joe Murray, Scott Cardle and Paul Hyland Jr.

“I feel fine, it won’t be until Saturday night when the crowd goes mad that the butterflies may start going.” Ritson told Sky Sports News.

“(I’m) very confident, we’re going to put on another good performance on Saturday in front of the Newcastle fans and we think we can be the first person to get Patera out of there.”

Patera believes he can become the first person to beat Ritson, Ritson replied, “ Well we’ll see about that won’t we? We’ve heard that a few times now but I cannot see anything in his game that is going to trouble us.

“I think it’s going to be a long night and we’ll get him out late. I don’t think it will go early as it has with other lads, I think we are going to get him out, but it will be late.

“It’s another step on the ladder. If I want to get to where I want to be then I need to deal with people like Patera and get him out of there. So it’s a good step for us and we’re ready.

“The Geordies have got right behind us and they’re going mad at the minute, so it’s good, and hopefully we can do a good performance Saturday and have that European title.”

Glen Foot defends his Commonwealth Super Lightweight title against Robbie Davies Jr, with the vacant British title on the line as well, in what could be a great fight.

Foot, from nearby Sunderland, put on a great performance to win the Commonwealth title in Glasgow in March against Jason Easton. Davies Jr, from Liverpool, is the current WBA Continental super lightweight champion, regaining the belt in a rematch to Michal Syrowatka in March.

Full card details:

Vacant EBU European Lightweight Title

Lewis Ritson (17-0) v Francesco Patera (19-3)

Vacant British Super Lightweight title

Commonwealth Super Lightweight title

Glen Foot (23-3) v Robbie Davies Jr (16-1)

WBA International Light Heavyweight Title

Joshua Buatsi (7-0) v Tony Averlant (26-10-2)

David Allen (14-4-2) v Samir Nebo (10-2-1)

Simon Vallily (13-1-1) v Craig Glover (8-1)

Anthony Fowler (7-0) v Gabor Gorbics (26-12)

Thomas Patrick Ward (24-0) v Tom Tran (6-1)

Lawrence Osueke (5-0) v Charles Adamu (32-10)

Hosea Burton (21-1) v TBA

Joe Laws (2-0) v Chris Adaway (8-43-4)

John Docherty (debut) v Alejandro Mostazo (3-5)

Darren Reay (3-0-1) v Michael Mooney (8-53-2)

Chad Ellis (4-0) v TBA

Terry Wilkinson (2-0) v Chris Truman (13-10-2)

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WBSS Preview: Tete vs. Aloyan; Tabiti vs. Fayfer


By: Ste Rowen

After last weekend’s fights in Yokohama, the World Boxing Super Series for the bantamweights and super-lightweights is well underway. Naoya Inoue and Kiryl Relikh, progressed through to their respective weight-class tournaments and this weekend in Ekaterinburg, Russia the second bantamweight quarter-final between WBO champion, Zolani Tete and Russian, Mikhail Aloyan takes place for the right to face either WBA champ, Ryan Burnett or Nonito Donaire at the semi-final stage.

Tete, the South African responsible for the quickest knockout in world title fight history (11-second wipe-out of Siboniso Gonya) shot himself into the wider audience’s view after he defended his IBF super-flyweight title for the first time, against Paul Butler, stopping the challenger in eight rounds.


Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account

Zolani decided against chasing unification, opting to have two homecoming bouts, returning to England 12 months on from the Butler win, and seek out the best at bantamweight. He would eventually achieve his aim of becoming a two-weight world champion after that same record-breaking Gonya KO meant Tete became the new WBO world champion, putting the rest of the division on notice.

Despite an underwhelming 12-round decision, first defence over Omar Andres Navaez, the South African southpaw, speaking at Thursday’s press conference, is confident he can score the knockout this Saturday,

‘‘As a world champion you need to adjust and adapt in each and every style that a boxer brings…Aloyan is one of the best fighters in the Super Series. I believe it’s going to be a good fight and definitely I’m gonna take him out…Whatever he is bringing, it won’t have any place to stay.

My focus is to become a unified world champion.’’

Zolani, 27-3 (21KOs) currently on a run of 11 straight wins, even set his future ambitions further than the WBSS,
‘‘After I win all the belts in the bantamweight division, we’ll move up to the next division.’’

Tete’s opponent on Saturday night has an interesting history. Born in Armenia but raised and fought for Russia in the amateurs, Mikhail Aloyan, 4-0 (0KOs), was an outstanding amateur picking up gold medals in the 2009 & 2016 World Championships. Aloyan briefly added the 2016 Olympic silver medal until tests came back positive for the stimulant, Tuaminoheptane and the Court of Arbitration of Sports ruled on stripping the silver from Mikhail.

Though the Russian maintains his innocence, he hasn’t let it affect his acceleration through the early stages of his pro career. Also a southpaw, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist has fought twice as at super-fly and twice at bantamweight, winning minor titles in both divisions. The combined record of his last three opponents is 46-1-2 (19KOs) and curiously, all four have so far all been from Nicaragua.

Aloyan, wasn’t allowing Tete’s talk of knockouts distract him at the press conference,

‘‘The fact that this fight takes place in Ekaterinburg, means we have an opportunity to bring out the best of our performance.

He is a strong opponent because he is a world champion…I’m not as experienced as a professional but we will see what happens on October 13th.’’

‘‘I will not speak about my opponent’s weaknesses.’’

The second season of the WBSS cruiserweights also gets going at the Ekaterinburg Expo, as unbeaten, American prospect, Andrew Tabiti steps into the ring with fellow undefeated fighter, Ruslan Fayfer, 23-0 (16KOs).

Tabiti, 16-0 (13KOs) was last seen sharing the ring with career-heavyweight, Lateef Kayode. An opponent ‘The Beast’ dispatched with inside 5 rounds with a precision right hand uppercut. It put to bed any demons left behind Tabiti’s controversial decision victory over cruiserweight veteran, Steve Cunningham on the Mayweather/McGregor undercard last year.
On Thursday, Tabiti, fighting outside of the US for the first time, was in confident mood,
‘‘I’m coming to this man’s country and take what he has. I’m on my A-game, I hope he’s on his A-game. It doesn’t matter how many fights he’s had; the quality of opponent is not anything for me to be afraid of.
I’m just coming to knock this guy out, that’s the only thing I’m worried about.’’

Ruslan Fayfer, 23-0(16KOs), born and raised in Russia, has mainly fought his career out above the 200lb limit, but in 23 fights, has yet to fight an outstanding name. The 27-year-old was taking a reserved approach in front of the media,
‘‘The fact I have more fights than my opponent does give me the ground to say I do have more experience than him…I am not going to reveal anything, I will show everything during the fight.
Everything you should see, you will see on Saturday night.’’

Saturday night’s winner of the cruiserweight showdown will fight either Yunier Dorticos or Mateusz Masternak.

The other WBSS cruiserweight quarter finals are as follows;
Yunier Dorticos vs. Mateusz Masternak – 20th October 2018
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian – 10th November 2018
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov – 10th November 2018

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Stevenson vs. Simion, Benavidez vs. Crawford


By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions will promote a card featuring arguably their best pound for pound fighter, Terence Crawford, in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska in the main event of an ESPN televised card.

Crawford will face fellow undefeated welterweight Jose Benavidez for Crawford’s WBO Welterweight title.

The co-main event of the night will be between former Olympian and high level prospect Shakur Stevenson and Viorel Simion in a junior lightweight bout.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The undercard will feature several intriguing fights, including a junior middleweight bout between Carlos Adames and Josh Conley, ad junior welterweight bout between Mike Alvarado and Robbie Cannon, and a female junior lightweight bout between Mikaela Mayer and Vanessa Bradford.

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

Shakur Stevenson (8-0) vs. Viorel Simion (21-2); Junior Lightweights

Shakur Stevenson is one of Top Rank’s most coveted prospects, and he was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. On paper he’ll be facing the toughest test of his career, Viorel Simion, a former Olympic participant in the 2004 Summer games.

Stevenson is still very young and will be sixteen years younger than his 37 year old opponent. He will also have a two inch height advantage.

Stevenson, a Newark, New Jersey native, has won three of his past five fights by stoppage and has never faced anyone with a losing record. He only has four stoppage wins on his resume, but has been very active since turning pro. He fought four times in 2017 and has already fought four times in 2018.

Simion, from Romania, has nine KO wins on his resume and isn’t known for his power. This Romanian boxer lost the two fights where he stepped up in competition, to Scott Quigg and Lee Selby. Simion has fought mainly in Eurpe and fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Carlos Ruiz, Aelio Mesquita, Roxberg Patrick Riley, and Juan Tapia. He also went 2-0 n the World Series of Boxing.

Simion has defeated the likes of Andoni Gago, Alexander Miskirtchian, and Ryan Sermona. The few times he stepped up his level of competition he was soundly beat.

This is a bout that Stevenson should win comfortably, but Simion is a good experienced boxer to gauge where Stevenson currently is in his professional development.

Terence Crawford (33-0) vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.(27-0); WBO Welterweight Title

Terence Crawford will be stepping into the ring with a younger, taller, and longer undefeated challenger on Saturday.

Crawford is still in his prime, but Benavidez is five years younger than him. Benavidez will also have about a six inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.

Crawford does appear to have an edge in power. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents, and seven of his past eight fights were stoppage victories. Benavidez only has eighteen stoppage victories, and three of his past five fights were by way of stoppage.

Both boxers had relatively successful amateur careers. Crawford was a former PAL National Champion while Benavidez was a former US National Golden Gloves Champion.

Both boxers have been fairly active in 2018 but Crawford has been the more active fighter of the two since 2016. Crawford fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and three times in 2016. Benavidez fought twice in 2018 and only once 2016.

Benavidez was also shot in 2016 and missed all of 2017 as a result.

Crawford has soundly beaten every man he has faced so far. He has beaten the likes of Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Hank Lundy, Dierry jean, Thomas Dulrome, Raymundo Beltran, Yoriorkis Gamboa, and Ricky Burns.

Benavidez does not have the professional resume of Crawford, but he has beaten some decent boxers. He has defeated the likes of Frank Rojas, Matthew Strode, Francisco Santana, Jorge Paez Jr., Mauricio Herrera, and Pavel Miranda.

However, his win against Herrera is disputed by many who thought Herrera deserved the decision in that bout.

This is a major, major step up in competition for Benavidez. Unfortunately for him, he has never faced anyone near the level of Terrance Crawford and it is this writer’s opinion that he will be in over his head on Saturday night.

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UFC 229 Preview: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will host the biggest pay per view of the year in either boxing or MMA as the UFC Lightweight Title will be up for grabs when undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov faces Conor McGregor in the main event of the evening.

McGregor is the UFC’s biggest draw, and Khabib is McGregor’s toughest test to date in MMA. This blockbuster event will be getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media leading up to Saturday.

The co-main event of the evening will be between Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson in the lightweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be in line for a future title shot against the winner of Khabib and McGregor.


Photo Credit: UFC Twitter Account

The undercard has some intriguing fights throughout. Ovince Saint Preux will face Dominick Reyes in the light heavyweight division, Derrick Lewis will face Alexander Volkov in the heavyweight division, Sergio Pettis will face Jussier Formiga in the flyweight division, and Michelle Waterson will face Felice Herrig in the Women’s Straweight division.

The UFC tends to show more fights on their pay per view offerings than boxing so five fights will likely be televised.

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

Anthony Pettis (21-7) vs. Tony Ferguson (23-3); Lightweights

The winner of the co-main event of the night will likely move on to a future title shot.

Anthony Pettis was once considered a top rated contender, but he has struggled recently and has only gone 3-3 in his last six fights, and actually has a losing record of 3-5 in his last eight fights.

Tony Ferguson has been on a roll and is currently riding a ten fight win streak. However, his activity is of some concern as he has only fought three times since the beginning of 2016, while Pettis has fought seven times since the beginning of 2016.

Ferguson is 34 years old and three years older than Pettis. Ferguson will have a very slight two inch height advantage on Pettis.

Both fighters like to finish their fight. Of Pettis’ 21 victories, 17 have come by way of stoppage. 18 of Ferguson’s victories have come by way of stoppage.

There really is no such thing as an easy fight in the UFC. Pettis has defeated the likes of Michael Chiesa, Jim Miller, Charles Oliveira, Gilbert Melendez, and Benson Henderson. His losses were to Rafael Dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Max Holloway, and Dustin Poirier.

Ferguson’s only losses were to Michael Johnson and two lesser known fighters very early in his career. He has defeated the likes of Kevin Lee, Rafael Dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson, Gleison Tibau, Abel Trujillo, and Danny Castillo.

Pettis might have a slight edge in striking, but Ferguson has a strong edge in grappling. Ferguson was a NCWA Collegiate National Champion in Wrestling and was a high school state champion in Michigan. Pettis didn’t pick up on grappling until later on in his life.

Ferguson should win this fight by decision. He’s never been stopped by strikes in his career, and that’s Anthony Pettis’ best weapon.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0) vs. Conor McGregor (21-3); UFC Lightweight Championship

As stated earlier, there really is no such thing as an easy fight in the UFC, and that’s why it’s very impressive for Khabib Nurmagomedov to have an undefeated record.

Khabib is a fighter with a very strong grappling background. He was born in Dagestan, Russia and has never lost. His win streak currently stands at 26 victories in a row.

Both Khabib and McGregor are 30 years old, though Khabib will have a two inch height advantage on McGregor.

Khabib has a history of injuries and trouble making weight, though he has made weight for this weekend. 16 of his 26 wins were by stoppage, with eight by TKO and eight by submission.

McGregor’s excitement as a fighter is much more than his personality. Of McGregor’s 21 victories, 18 have come by TKO/KO and one by submission. Only two of his wins were by judges decision.

Neither fighter can consider themselves to be super active since 2016. Khabib fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2016. McGregor did not fight yet in an MMA cage in 2018 or 2017. He fought three times in 2016 and was last seen competing in a boxing ring when he was stopped by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

McGregor has beaten the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Dennis Silver, Dustin Poirier, and Max Holloway. His losses were to Joseph Duffy, Nate Diaz, and Artemij Sitenkov.

Nobody has ever beaten Khabib. He has defeated the likes of Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Darrel Horcher, Rafael Dos Anjos, Thiago Tavares, and Gleison Tibau.

One of the biggest factors that jumps out at this writer is that McGregor’s three losses were all by submission and he’s facing a fighter who’s known for being a very strong grappler. Khabib has finished 8 previous opponents by submission.

If McGregor is going to win he’ll have to stop Khabib with strikes, it’s difficult to imagine him keeping the fight standing for five rounds.

Even though McGregor recently signed a lucrative contract extension with the UFC and is their most popular fighter, his recent inactivity and weakness in grappling will likely be issues that Khabib will exploit.

This writer feels that Khabib’s strengths will make for a very bad matchup for McGregor on Saturday.

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DAZN Boxing Preview: Beterbiev vs. Johnson and Vargas vs. Dulorme


By: Sean Crose

Artur Beterbiev will defend his IBF light heavyweight title on Saturday night when he faces Callum Johnson in a twelve round bout. The match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming network from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Johnson, an undefeated Englishman with an impressive 17-0 record, is the underdog walking into the bout, though he has expressed confidence that he will pull off the upset against the 12-0 Beterbiev. Johnson will have quite the challenge in front of him, as Beterbiev has knocked out every opponent he has faced. Johnson himself has some power, as all but five of his own bouts have ended by knockout.

LA’s Daniel Roman will also appear on Saturday’s card, putting his WBA super bantamweight strap on the line when he faces Gavin McDonnell in a twelve rounder. Roman, 25-2-1, will be making his first defense of his title when he steps into the ring to fight his 20-1-2 opponent. This will be Roman’s third title defense since besting Shun Kubo in 2017. It will be McDonnell’s second attempt at a title belt. He lost to Ray Vargas by decision last year in a contest where the WBC super bantamweight title was at stake.


Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account

Well known former welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas will be on Saturday’s card, as well. He’ll be fighting for the first time since battling Adrien Broner to a draw last spring. Vargas, who has faced such big name competition as Sadam Ali, Tim Bradley and the iconic Manny Pacquiao, will be fighting veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. It will be the 24-3 Dulorme’s first fight since dropping a decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2017. It will be the 28-2-1 Vargas’ first title bout since losing his WBO belt to Pacquiao in November of 2016.

Aside from the numerous title bouts that will go down in Chicago this weekend, colorful heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller will throw down against the popular Tomasz Adamek. Although the charismatic Miller is widely expected to win, there’s a lot at stake for the 21-0-1 Brooklyn native. For, perhaps by virtue of being connected to British promoter Eddie Hearn, Miller has hoped to find himself in line to face Hearn fighter Anthony Joshua, widely regarded as the king of the heavyweight division, sometime in the near future. The 53-5 Adamek, however, surely has plans of his own.

Saturday’s Beterbiev-Johnson card will begin at 9:00 PM Eastern Time through the DAZN streaming service.

Official Weights:

12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
(Las Vegas) (Puerto Rico)
147 lbs. 146.4 lbs.

12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
(Montreal) (United Kingdom)
174.8 lbs. 174.8 lbs.

12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
(Brooklyn) (Poland)
317 lbs. 227 lbs.

12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
(Los Angeles) (United Kingdom)
121.6 lbs. 121.8 lbs.

10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
(Buenos Aires) (Chicago)
139 lbs. 138.4 lbs.

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