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17 Year Old Vito Mielnicki On Boxing Insider Radio To Discuss His Win on wilder Fury 2 Undercard


In an interview on Boxing Insider Radio, young Vito Mielnicki sat down with the crew to discuss his recent performance and his fast rise up the boxing charts. Boxing Insider Radio provides fans with the sort of content they won’t be able to find anywhere else with tons of high profile guests every week. To tune into the discussion that airs every Tuesday, simply subscribe at iTunes, Spotify or on Boxinginsider.com.

What are the characteristics of a superhero? 

Sure they are often young, strong and seemingly unbeatable. But they also have an alter ego as well. In the case of Superman, his alter ego was the meek and unassuming Clark Kent. Spiderman on the other hand, often walked around as the frail and seemingly always happy Peter Parker.

Not many of us have to assume this role. Who we are throughout our normal everyday lives is just fine. 

For young boxing prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr however, he has no choice but to have an alter ego of his own. 

From the outside looking in, Mielnicki seems like your typical kid. He currently attends West Essex High School, in New Jersey. The high school senior gives off the impression that he enjoys what normal kids his age does. Hanging around friends, going to class, goofing off and playing sports. 

Nothing about Mielnicki would suggest that he isn’t out of the ordinary. Yet, once you take a deep dive into his life, you quickly find out that he is far from that. 

At the age of 17, Mielnicki decided it was time to get a job. No, he did not choose to flip burgers at your local fast food place like normal teenagers. He also did not want to try his hand at retail as well. Instead, Mielnicki jumped into the one and only profession he had his eyes on since he was a young kid. Professional boxing. 

Yes, when Mielnicki isn’t busy in the classroom studying he’s in the boxing gym working on his craft. 

In a sport that is often times dominated and headlined by grown men, Mielnicki has found a way to carve out his niche. Starting a career at such a young age would lead to criticism and second thoughts, but after an undefeated start through five fights with three of those wins coming via knockout, he quickly proved that he made the right choice. 

In Mielnicki’s most recent ring appearance, he stepped onto the biggest stage of his young career. 

On February 22nd, 2020 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mielnicki was given a spot on the undercard of the Heavyweight mega showdown between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. His opponent would be Corey Champion on the night. 

The main event of this card has reportedly received close to one million pay-per-view buys. That number alone would make just about any other fighter do back flips due to the exposure, but not Mielnicki. He may only be 17 years of age, but this isn’t his first time on the pay-per-view stage. 

Fighters have gone their entire careers without making it on the pay-per-view platform. Yet, Mielnicki has already gotten there on multiple occasions. So what is the exact words that best describes how he feels about his current situation? 

Blessed.

“I want to thank Al Haymon for continuing to put me on the biggest stage possible,” said Mielnicki on Boxing Insider Radio. “I’ve already fought on two pay-per-view cards. I’m just blessed with where I’m at in my career. To be on that kind of card where it was one of the most anticipated cards for years prior to that and years to come so I’m truly blessed.”

In terms of one day headlining his own pay-per-view, Mielnicki is still a long way away from pulling that off. But if he continues to put on the sort of performances that he did this past Saturday night, then it might happen much sooner than he realizes.

“It was a good fight for me and the atmosphere was crazy in the arena to say the least. It felt like the place was going to collapse, that’s how loud it was in there. It was just another great experience for my career overall. I dominated the fight so I felt great.”

Boxing wouldn’t quite be what it is if there weren’t any comparisons. It isn’t simply about winning. The bigger goal is to do so in impressive fashion. When Mielnicki signed up to take on Corey Champion, he did so knowing that one of his good friends already did. The undefeated Xander Zayas. The aforementioned Zayas looked impressive in his win over Champion, but one could argue that Mielnicki out performed him on the night. 

The two are undoubtedly good friends and exceptional boxers. It might be a tad bit too early in their careers, but if all goes well, that could be a huge fight down the line.

For now however, Mielnicki just wants them both to succeed.

“Me and Xander finished off our amateur careers together. We’re close friends and actually we were on the Jr USA team together in Colorado Springs. We got a chance to be roommates together. He’s doing great and I’m doing great so it’s great to see us both succeeding right now in the pros.”

Mielnicki is doing more than just succeeding. He is slowly building up his profile and his name. All of the hard work that he has placed in the gym has helped lead him to where he is today but he can’t take all of the credit for the prosperity that he is enjoying. The high school Senior fully understands that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the help of many people behind the scenes. Including his manager.

“Ever since me and my manager Anthony Catanzaro got together he has been helping my career. He’s just the perfect guy for me. That’s the reason why I chose him as my manager. He furthers my career and gives me nothing but positives.”

For now, Mielnicki doesn’t have a fight lined up but he expects to get the call soon. But until then, he spends his time both in the gym working on his boxing abilities and in the classroom trying to keep his grades up. 

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Larry Holmes Gives Boxing Insider Radio His Take On Wilder vs Fury 2


Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone is qualified to give an educated one. 

When Lineal Heavyweight champion and newly crowned WBC titlist Tyson Fury destroyed former belt holder Deontay Wilder this past weekend, not only did he begin what could be a lengthy reign for himself, but he also seemingly gave birth to an unprecedented amount of so called pundits as well. 

From the moment the two big men entered the ring at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, something just didn’t look right about Wilder. His aggressive come forward style was nowhere to be found. The ridiculous power that has carried him through every single one of his previous fights, seemingly took a vacation on the night. 

Wilder looked unsteady, discouraged and unsure of himself all night long. Words that are never usually associated with the former champion. During the few moments in which he was able to mount a bit of offense, not much of it was mustered. The right hand landed, but it looked ordinary. 

Throughout the entire career of Wilder, his skills have always looked normal. Maybe even subpar, but his power has always carried him through. But not on this night.

With Wilder unable to land anything of note all night, he was essentially helpless as Fury sent him down to the canvas on two separate occasions before his corner ultimately ended the bout in the seventh. 

Fans around the globe instantly became boxing experts. Many believed that nothing was wrong with Wilder, while simultaneously heaping praise on Fury for being the much better boxer on the night. 

Taking away credit from what Fury was able to accomplish would be unfair, but it would also be unjust if the obvious signs of Wilder having more than just a bad night went unmentioned. 

The opinions of those who were watching the fight from the sidelines are always welcomed. But the viewpoints of those who have actually stepped inside of the ring and competed at the highest level is even more so.

Throughout the entire history of boxing, not many can compare to the insight that former Heavyweight champion and hall of fame boxer Larry Holmes can provide. 

During a recent interview with Boxing Insider Radio, Holmes stopped by to give the crew a bit of his time and insight on what went wrong for Wilder on the night. The usually soft spoken Holmes held absolutely nothing back.

“Wilder didn’t train properly or he overtrained because he had no energy,” said Holmes on Boxing Insider Radio. “He has guys working with him in his corner that still need to take lessons in boxing. He got Mark Breland in his corner but he’s not really telling him what to do. Mark knew how to fight but he never fought at Heavyweight, he fought little guys. So I hold that against him. There’s a lot of things that I thought he should have done but he didn’t do it.”

The criticism of Breland was a harsh one from Holmes, but it was only the tip of the iceberg.

“Mark Breland needs to learn how to teach people. He didn’t put any water on top of his head to keep him cool. Wilder is bleeding out of his ear and he didn’t put anything in there to get the blood out of there. Wilder probably had an equilibrium problem because of it. Just nobody was telling him anything.”

Unlike most critics who have nothing else to provide other than hollow words, Holmes was a former champion that is universally recognized as one of the best to ever do it. 

Not only did Holmes cast blame on Wilder and his team, but he also gave his opinion on the adjustments that Wilder should make going forward.

“I would tell him hey man you got to jab, he doesn’t know how to jab. At one point I was trying to teach him how to jab when he was here but he never learned. He’s got to learn how to throw punches and just get the guy out of there. Most importantly he can’t overtrain because if you look at the fight he was tired after the second or third round.”

Something as simplistic as jabing is what Holmes built his career on. The overtraining comments are also an interesting point. Wilder did in fact come out flat at the very beginning of the contest and was seemingly out of gas from the moment he threw his very first punch. Holmes attributes those issues to over training, while Wilder on the other hand believes his pre fight costume was too much for his willowy body. 

The 40 pound tribute to black history month was an eye catcher. If there was any way to make Wilder even more intimidating than he actually is, then he certainly found it. Yet, as soon as the mask, robe, chest plate and batteries (yes it was battery operated) was removed from his body, he was a shell of his former self.

Recently, Wilder revealed that the costume was far too heavy. When considering the long wait for Fury to make his way to the ring along with his own ring walk which included a rapper reciting several verses before Wilder even made it to the isle, Wilder sauntered his way to the ring with nothing left.

Coming from a fighter who used absolutely no excuses for his own shortcomings in the ring, Holmes has plugged both ears as if to shield himself from Wilder’s unnecessary explanation.

“I don’t want to hear that. When I fought all of these guys I won because I threw the right punches. How many jabs did he throw? He didn’t throw any. If you go back and look at the tapes of when I fought Ernie Shavers, Ken Norton and all of the guys that I fought, I didn’t stay there to get hit with the punches. These guys take the punches to prove what? That you’re tough? No you’re not tough. You’re tough when you win and win and win.” 

Win, win, win was something that Holmes did a lot of over his nearly 30 year career. The hall of famer does after all hold the third most title defenses in Heavyweight boxing history with 20 consecutive. 

Wilder, on the other hand, was going for his 11th. 

For as great as Holmes was during his career, he dealt with plenty of setbacks of his own. 

Much like Wilder who not only dressed himself in a ridiculous 40 pound costume, he also wore a cloak of invincibility. Holmes lost his own edge and illusion of indestructibility after starting his career 48-0. Back to back losses to Michael Spinks sent Holmes into a temporary retirement. Once he made his way back to the ring, he was quickly sent back to his retirement home at the hands of some guy named Mike Tyson. 

After three years away from the sport, Holmes once again came back and this time, fought his way to becoming a legitimate title contender. His story sounds almost fairytale like. But Wilder’s tale is a bit different. 

There isn’t exactly a clear direction in which the former champion can go. The only other champion that he could set his eyes upon is Anthony Joshua. But with two mandatories and a long list of other contenders, that contest seems doubtful.

Even if boxing was deprived of politics and streets that separated fighters, a contest between Wilder and Joshua would be doubtful. Not because Joshua wouldn’t agree to it, but more so because of the fashion in which he was dominated. 

Losses aren’t difficult to come back from. Everyone loses. But not everyone gets their butt kicked. 

With Wilder already enforcing his immediate rematch against Fury, Holmes has just one question. Why?

“No, third fight for what?”

For what? Revenge of course. 

At this point, revenge seems virtually impossible as Wilder, Joshua and every other Heavyweight seems ill-equipped to deal with Fury. But how about Holmes? 

No, at age 70 he won’t be making his fifth comeback to the ring. But if he was in his prime, there’s no doubt how a dream match would have played out between them.

“I would’ve knocked Fury out. I would’ve hit him in the body, head then circled around. Hit him with right hands and left hooks. I ain’t going to stand there and trade with him like Wilder did.”

No matter the sport, it always seems as though athletes of the past will always be incredulous to believe that the new generation could compete with their own. Things were harder in their time wasn’t it? The competition was stiffer and things were never handed to them. To ask Holmes the question of how the competition of today stacks up against his own, isn’t much of a question at all.

“It ain’t no match. You think Ernie Shavers would have been out there and quit? Muhammad Ali would quit? No. Joe Frazier quit? No. Kenny Norton would quit? No. None of those guys would quit. They would fight you until you ain’t got no fight left in you. But Wilder quit. He quit because his ears were bleeding.”

Do what you want to a boxer. Push him down a flight of stairs, stab him with a kitchen knife or shove him out of a moving car. Any of the above would be appropriate. Just don’t call them a quitter. 

Still, Holmes doubled down on his quitting statement.

“He wanted to quit. He didn’t want to go anymore. He quit man. The guy quit.”

The harsh take of the former champion didn’t stop with criticism of this new generation of boxers. It also extended to his own as well.

“Lennox Lewis should have never quit boxing, he should be Heavyweight champion right now. But he doesn’t have any heart.”

For now, it doesn’t seem as though Holmes will be backing down from any of statements, no matter how much push back he receives from the public. The former champion seems to carry much of that same fire that helped him carve a hall of fame level career. 

If Wilder wants to quiet his doubters, including Holmes, then there is only thing that he has to do.

Beat Tyson Fury.

Boxing Insider Radio continues to bring boxing fans the sort of coverage that they need. With weekly guest stopping by the show to give their take on the state of boxing, make sure that you don’t miss the the conversation. The show airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on of course on Boxinginsider.com.

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Victor Ortiz Opens Up About His Career On Boxing Insider Radio


One of the most difficult things to accomplish in any sport, let alone in boxing, is championship status. For many athletes it essentially represents the mountain top. 

Getting to the top of that aforementioned mountain is difficult in itself but staying there, is a more arduous task. 

For former Welterweight champion Victor Ortiz he’s been through the entire cycle. From prospect to contender, to champion to contender once again. 

It’s almost hard to believe that Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) is only 32 years old. That’s still a relatively young age in boxing terms but its feels as though he’s been around forever. 

In an interview with Boxing Insider radio, which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, Ortiz caught up with the panel to discuss several parts of his career including his infamous matchup with Floyd Mayweather, his absolute war with Andre Berto back in 2011, his views on the current state of the Welterweight division and where he sees himself fit in amongst this current group.

Even if you don’t like Victor Ortiz on a personal level, the relentless attitude he’s shown during his career is something to be admired. When Ortiz kicked off his career back in 2004, he looked like your typical star prospect. Seven fights resulted in seven wins, with five of those coming via stoppage. He had a bit of a slip in his 8th professional bout. A disqualification loss. But if you actually seen the contest, you would understand that it wasn’t through the fault of Ortiz. So that so called loss was swept under the rug.  

Nine more fights resulted in nine more wins for Ortiz, but then another blimp on the radar appeared. During the first round of a matchup with Marvin Cordova Jr in 2007. During the bout, Ortiz was the recipient of a nasty elbow to the head in the first round. The blow opened up a gash big enough to fit two full sized quarters into it. Needless to say, the contest was stopped. 

After eight more wins, with all coming by knockout, Ortiz was clearly on his way to making a name for himself. Yet, after a stoppage loss to Marcos Maidana he quickly coupled it with a majority draw with Lamont Peterson. 

The jury was out on Ortiz. He was a solid fighter, but nothing special. So when he was called upon to take on then champion Andre Berto for the WBC Welterweight title, he wasn’t expected to do much of anything. 

“I remember when I got down there and I seen all of the stats they had, and how badly I was going to get destroyed. They were pretty much giving me no chance,” continued Ortiz. “I was walking through the arena and I met some guy who was one of the promoters, I forgot his name but he was with a young woman and he told her, hey babe let me introduce you to the tomato can that we hired to get knocked out.”

As you might expect, Ortiz didn’t take those words too well.

“ I told him, hey you done f*cked up a beautiful career. I’ll see you tomorrow, then boom a few hours later, I became a world champion.” 

The doubts coming from everyone we’re justifiable. The record of Berto was spotless and his performances were outstanding. Ortiz on the other hand, already had several losses and draws plastered all across his resume. None of it mattered.

With professional athletes, their motivation usually comes from the same source, the doubt of everyone else in their skills. Ortiz had plenty of doubt going into that contest but his motivation didn’t simply come from his doubters, but it also came from everything that was going on in his personal life. 

“I had two jobs that year. I was working for Red Bull as a merchandiser and I was working for construction. On top of that I was going to college. I asked my college classes if they could give me the week off because I was going to go fight in Connecticut but they pretty much said do you know what the statistics are of you going out there and actually performing something that big, but I told them that I just need the time. They told me that I couldn’t miss the midterms but I told them hey I can pass them if you let me take them today or even when I come back I’ll take them but they wouldn’t let me so I had to drop out of college.”

“From there, I went to my job at Red Bull and they were saying that they couldn’t give me a week off but go handle your business and when you come back lets see if your still around. When I went to my construction job they said Vic, just come back with that damn belt or don’t come back at all.”

Ortiz did in fact come back with that damn belt but ask yourself this question, would you really go back to your job after you’ve become a world champion? The misconception in boxing is that, once you have become a world champion, the money comes in droves. 

“That morning after the fight, I actually went straight to work. I only made $25,000 for the fight so it’s not like I made a ton of money.”

The money may not have been there but with such a huge victory under his belt, you would think that the fame and notoriety would be coming his way. Nope. Ortiz went back to his normal 9-5 and lived a very modest life. Of course, at times boxing fans would notice the newly minted world champion and take pictures with him but there was one story in particular that sticks out to Ortiz more than others.

“So there was this guy that I was stacking up this refrigerator of Red Bull for. And he says I look like this kid that just fought this past weekend so I tell him really? So I asked him what was the guys name and he says mines and I say no way that’s me!” Said Ortiz while laughing. “He was saying that the guy was on tv and had a tattoo on his back so I showed him the tattoo on my back and he was just like what are you doing working for Red Bull? I told him hey you gotta make a living bro.”

Ortiz may not have gotten the payday that he was looking for after his fight with Berto, but he did get the opportunity of a lifetime in his next fight when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to share a stage with someone like Floyd Mayweather. I personally think that we have unfinished but that’s just my opinion.”

That unfinished business that Ortiz is alluding to is when Mayweather left Ortiz staring up at the ceiling lights courtesy of a right hand in the fourth round. It was a bit of a cheap shot from Mayweather but something Ortiz warranted due to his constant headbutts throughout the match.

“I was young, 23 years old and I went into the fight with one of the biggest fighters in the world so I believe that not only did I have stage fright but also the fact that I was trying to perform with the elites.”

The lights may have been a bit too bright for Ortiz but the roughhouse tactics of Mayweather was what drove him over the edge.

“He kept hitting me with elbows. I took about 15 of them before I told the ref, elbows! But he kept hitting me with them. The last one that he hit me with felt like I was going to go blind or something so I launched a headbutt. But I only did that because my corner told me hey hit him with a headbutt an I’m sure he won’t do it again. Next thing you know the ref stops the action and I have my hands down and I get hit with a few punches and down I go.”

After his loss to Mayweather, Ortiz would go on to lose his next two contest to Josesito Lopez and Luis Collazo, both by stoppage. He’d get back on track by winning back to back fights since then but would come up woefully short in a rematch with the same man who helped make a star in the first place, Andre Berto. 

If beating Berto in their first encounter back in 2011 represented reaching the mountain top of the Welterweight division, then losing to him five years later represented the bottom of it. 

Over the last few years Ortiz has been inactive and its shown in his results in the ring. He’s fought just once time in 2017 and 2018. Scoring a knockout win against Saul Corral and a majority draw against former champion Devon Alexander. 

With the time spent outside of the ring, the Welterweight division no longer resembles the one that he grew up competing in. Champions such as Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford are now considered the elite of the weight class. 

There aren’t many observers who view Ortiz as a huge threat in the division anymore. Inactivity to go along with inconsistent performances have left his case for a top spot extremely tenuous. But the former champion just doesn’t see it that way.

“I’ll be honest man, I’m one of the most dangerous guys out there. Why? Because I have nothing to lose. I have losses, draws and a lot of knockouts. I have all of the experience in the world and I’m left handed. At this point in time, the real question is, who would really take that fight against me? I believe I’m still in the top 5 in the division or at least in the top 10.”

Juxtaposing Ortiz to any other current Welterweight champion or top tier contender would seem to leave him at a disadvantage. Simply put, he just doesn’t compare to his peers at the moment. 

With that being said however, did anyone expect him to beat Andre Berto back in 2011? No, from the moment that contest was announced, there was apprehension from everyone as to what was going to take place. Ortiz beat the odds before and placed himself amongst the elite of the division. At only 32 years of age, he still has time to jump start his career. But with nearly two years away from the sport of boxing, time isn’t exactly on his side.

“For me personally, I would have been back in the ring long ago but I’m dealing with some personal stuff so I’m just trying to work through it. I’m with Freddie Roach now and we’re just working hard and staying ready. The moment my issues are behind me my life will go back to normal.” 

For now, Ortiz plays the role of a spectator as he watches some of the world’s greatest fighters from a distance. 

“I’m still a fan. I always enjoy watching Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford and some of Canelo every once in awhile.”

The sidelines that Ortiz currently sits on has certainly become arduous to do so. If Ortiz can simply get his personal issues in order, he could be well on his way to another title run. 

Unlikely? Maybe. But so was his first championship run to begin with.

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Christy Martin Gives Her Opinion On Laila Ali vs Claressa Shields On Boxing Insider Radio: “Laila Ali Would Bust Her Ass”


Before great female fighters such as Ann Wolfe and Laila Ali took the boxing world by storm, Christy Martin helped place it on the map. 

Martin recently sat down with Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, to discuss her induction into the boxing hall of fame. She also gave her opinion on Claressa Shields and what a showdown against Laila Ali would have looked like.

The career of a female boxer has never been known for its longevity. With both Ali and Wolfe’s career lasting nine years, Martin found a way to stick around the sport of boxing for 23 years. Throughout much of the 1990s and the early 2000s Martin was the face of women’s boxing. 

The ridiculous amount of hard work that she put in has paid off as she will be inducted into the boxing hall of fame later this year. 

It may have seemed like a no brainer decision for everyone else looking on the outside but Martin was left speechless when she heard the news.

“I remember being the Grand Marshall for the boxing hall of fame induction weekend back in 1996,” said Martin on Boxing Insider radio. “Just to be around all of those legends it was great. Never could I have imagined that I would be inducted into the boxing hall of fame. It’s a dream come true.”

Martin may have did all of the hard work inside of the ring, but her soon to be hall of fame career wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for her promoter, Don King.

“I was just really lucky to get Don King involved in my career. So I got the chance to fight on the undercard of Mike Tyson numerous times. Fighting in Vegas and Madison Square Garden. I got exposure like no other female fighter had ever gotten. I honestly think that Don King is the world’s greatest promoter. He bought a lot of excitement to boxing and he made every fight an event. I remember fighting on those pay-per-view shows and he had world champion 12 round fights on the undercard that didn’t even make tv time. He was great at what he did.”

Times have changed. Having a championship fight on the non-televised portion of a card today would simply never happen. Hell, it’s difficult just getting one in the co main event.  

When we take a look at the resume of Martin, it resembles someone’s idea of a cruel sick joke as she fought a murderous row of competition. Martin ducked no one in her fighting career and it shows on her resume. It’s the very reason why she managed to get a spot in the hall of fame. It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been seven years since anyone has last seen her in the ring. 

At age 51, she still looks like she can compete in the ring right now, but don’t count on it. With the sort of fighters she’s fought, Martin’s name isn’t mentioned nearly as much as it should in the discussion of who was the greatest woman of all time (G.W.O.A.T). 

At the moment, the G.W.O.A.T title has been seemingly taken away by Claressa Shields. Her claim to that lofty status isn’t without merit. Not only does Shields have two gold medals but she also has world titles in three different weight classes. Yet, none of those accomplishments mean anything to Martin as she considers Shields claim to the mantle a tenuous one. 

“My momma told me a long time ago that if you don’t have something good to say about somebody or something you shouldn’t say anything. Claressa Shields has accomplished great things as an amateur fighter. To get the honor to go to the Olympics is awesome. Of course that is something that wasn’t even available to the ones that came before her.”

If you ever took the time to sit down and watch a male boxer speak during a press conference, you’ll notice just how brash, cocky and maybe even board line delusional they can come across at times. Females on the other hand, are usually much more reserved. 

Not Shields. She’s a great fighter, and she knows it, but she wants to keep reminding the world just how great she is.  

That penchant for trash talk and giving herself all the praise in the world might bring in high ratings whenever she fights, but it doesn’t sit well with Martin.

“I think that she is young but she has great marketing people around her. I don’t know why they haven’t sat her down and told her that she needs to pay a little more respect for the people that came before you. Had it not been for them, your road would not have been so easy. You probably would not have been given the opportunity to even box, had these women not come before you.”

Cast aside the brashness of Shields and just view her as a talent. Simply put, she’s one of the very best that women’s boxing has ever seen. But much like every other great fighter in their respective sports, they are always compared to those that came before them. 

In the case of Shields, her comparison partner has always been and always will be, Laila Ali. So just like any other comparison, the question becomes, who would win between the two? 

 If anyone can give a sound judgement on how a fight between Shields and Ali would play out had they fought in their primes, it would be Martin. She did after all lose via stoppage to Ali back in 2003. When asked the question, Martin didn’t hold back with her response.

“Laila would bust her ass. It is what it is,” said Martin. “Claressa Shields doesn’t fight coming forward and she can’t fight going backwards. She wants to cry about needing to fight three minute rounds so that she can knock girls out but I knocked out 31 girls in two minute rounds so I don’t understand why it takes so long, if you’re going to get it done, then get it done.”

While the opinion of Martin is respected, Shields has never been the type to hold her tongue for anyone. So it seems like it’s only a matter of time before she responds.

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Franchon Crews Dezurn Discusses Her Recent Loss and New Found Beef with Rapper Snoop Dogg


By: Hans Themistode

The unpredictability of boxing was on full display on Saturday, January 11th, at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, as former Super Middleweight champion Franchon Crews Dezurn lost her WBC and WBO world titles at the hands of Alejandra Jimenez. 

In the sport of boxing, a storyline always exists. For Dezurn, it was simple. Defeat Alejandra Jimenez, than take on fellow unified champion Elin Cederroos. From there, Dezurn would be the undisputed champion and set up a highly anticipated rematch against Claressa Shields. 

Now, none of those aforementioned chain of events will take place. At least not now. 

During an interview that took place on Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on BoxingInsider.com, Franchon Crews Dezurn opens up about her loss and her new found beef with rapper Snoop Dogg.

The loss to Jimenez wasn’t the first in the career of Dezurn, but it was the most puzzling. During the contest, Dezurn threw the entire kitchen sink at her opponent. She landed the sort of shots that could have put down anyone in the division. Jimenez on the other hand, simply walked through them seemingly unfazed.

“It was different,” said Dezurn on Boxing Insider Radio. “I’ve fought around the world, remember I used to fight at Light Heavyweight as well. I’ve sparred men but it was different. Something was different that’s all I can say. I hit like a Heavyweight, I’ve done testing with USA boxing and I hit as hard as a man but some of the punches she was taking wasn’t normal.”

It wasn’t just the contest that seemed to be a bit out of the ordinary but so was the entire matchup. At one point, Jimenez campaigned at the Heavyweight division. In just a short amount of time, she managed to shed a ton of weight to make the Super Middleweights 168 pound limit. Even more recently, following her win, Jimenez has dropped in weight yet again. This time with an eye on Claressa Shields. With Jimenez seemingly able to move down in weight without much issue, Dezurn wants to find out how.

“I wouldn’t have agreed to fight unless VADA was involved. I was tested four times from the time the fight was announced up until after the fight so I assume she was tested as well. I’m actually waiting for my attorney to get me the results of her tests. She never weighed 154 in her whole career, the lightest she ever weighed was 176 and she came in under me so it’s just weird. Whatever they did, they need to sell it in the store. Wrap that shit up and sell it in the store.”

Dezurn isn’t only pointing a suspicious finger in the direction of her opponent, but also at her promoter as well.

“Her promoter is very powerful that’s all I can say. He hosted the WBC 57th convention that we went to last year, so it is what it is.”

The story of the night should have been focused on the contest between the two women. Regardless of the outcome, they produced an early fight of the year contender. Yet, the fight in itself was not the main storyline. 

During the latter half of the fight, Dazurn suffered a malfunction if you will. The weave that she was wearing throughout the bout began to fall from her head. Her corner did their best to fix the issue but when they came to the conclusion that it was becoming a deterrent, they got it removed from her head entirely. Men might not understand the big issue, but for women, their weave means everything. For Dezurn, she could have kept it, but instead, she chose to focus on keeping her titles around her waist.

“I just want people to know that when that happened that was a moment of me coming out because I had to make a choice of whether I was going to do my hair or do some type of fake thing or was I going to fight for something that was real like my legacy and belt. My coach and husband pulled me through and I felt amazing honestly. Like I’m actually natural now, I went and got my hair done like fuck it I went and got my hair done.”

In a moment that many would have considered embarrassing, Dezurn has since turned it into a great opportunity. The former champion has gone on to create shirts that read “#FXCKTHATHAIR I Want The Belts” on her Instagram page. It has become a moment that she can look back and laugh at while also profiting from. 

Although it was all fun and games, one moment that Dezurn did not find amusing in the slightest is when rapper Snoop Dogg went on his Instagram page to post a video of Dezurn getting her wig placed back on her head. The video in itself isn’t the issue, but the caption in which accompanied it was. “Beat the wig off dat hoe” said Snoop Dogg on his Instagram page. It may have been nothing but a harmless joke to Snoop Dogg, but Dezurn did not find it amusing in the slightest. 

“This is why women and black girls are scared to be themselves because you’re not boosting their confidence. Whether I have on a wig on or not I’m out here risking my life and I’m doing good.”

While Dezurn was disappointed in Snoop Dogg’s choice of words, she is a fighter and wants her chance to prove to Snoop Dogg that whether she wears a wig or not, that she will beat him down if they ever fought in the ring.

“I posted on my page a video of him boxing and he was looking a little hoeish. Oscar De La Hoya got on my page and said he would promote a fight between us at the MGM in Vegas, so I said hey make that shit happen. He can get this work.”

A matchup between Snoop Dogg and Dezurn would be entertaining but it is highly unlikely. A contest that isn’t out of the realm of possibility, however, is a rematch with Shields. First things first, she needs to rebuild herself from the ground up.

“Shields has done so many amazing things and anybody that faces her it is a great opportunity. My goal is to continue to building my name so that when we do get on the same page to fight it’s going to be worth it. We’re going to break the bank with this one. I’ll be back, this is just a small setback.”

Boxinginsider.com Radio brings the Boxing Gym to the radio studio every week. Subscribe to BoxingInsider Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and other platforms and listen on boxinginsider.com

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Michael Seals Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Upcoming Contest Against Eleider Alvarez


Opportunities aren’t afforded to everyone, especially in the sport of boxing. There has been numerous fighters throughout the history of the sport who have gone their entire careers without being given a shot at a world title. 

For 37 year old Light Heavyweight contender Michael Seals, he has the chance to move one step closer to the goal that many aren’t given.

 

During an interview on Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com, Micheal Seals discussed his excitement for the biggest fight of his life against Eleider Alvarez on January 18th, along with his future plans should he come away with the win.

It’s been a long 12 year career for Seals, who originally grew up in Alabama. If you’ve been down south, you know full well just how much the sport of football reigns king. Seals was once a football player, and a good one in his own right. After realizing that his dreams of turning into a professional football player was unlikely to come true, Seals decided to switch sports. 

26 fights later, Seals will now be given the opportunity of a lifetime when he takes on former world champion Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York, on January 18th.

“This is a big fight, the winner of his goes on to fight for a world title,” said Seals on Boxing Insider Radio. “This would be a career defining victory. The minutes and hours are moving in slow motion is what it feels like.”

There is nothing on the resume of Seals (26-2, 18 KOs) that would indicate that he is ready for an opponent the caliber of Alvarez. That statement might ring true in terms of professional boxing resumes, however, Seals has the sort of experience both in and out of the ring that you just can’t teach.

“We prepared for everything because he is a dynamic fighter. I’m prepared for a war but I’m also prepared for a high level boxing match. Whatever he brings I’m ready for it. I don’t have a ton of amateur experience but I’ve sparred a lot of contenders and champions when I was coming up.”

Amongst an impressive list of sparring partners is former Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko. It may have been a great learning experience but Seals quickly found out why Klitschko had one of the most dominant runs in boxing history.

“He hit me with a right hand man, I felt it in my toes,” said Seals while laughing. “I toughed it out though man and I gave him some good work.”

The lessons from Klitschko may have been a painful one, but they have definitely helped him reach the stage that he is currently standing on. Still, even with the valuable experience that he has gained throughout his career, no one is expecting him to come out with the victory.

“A lot of people are counting me out. There making me a crazy underdog which I get where they are coming from but they don’t know me, I know me.”

Seals may believe everyone is crazy for counting him out against Alvarez, but if he does manage to win, his preference in his next opponent would lead many to believe that maybe he really is.

“Beterbiev, that’s who I want next.” 

If Seals can do what many think he can’t, which is actually pull off the upset victory, then a date with Beterbiev will be waiting for him next.

Boxinginsider.com Radio brings the Boxing Gym to the radio studio every week. Subscribe to BoxingInsider Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and other platforms and listen on boxinginsider.com

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Edgar Berlanga Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Bright Future


By: Hans Themistode

Overtime usually means one thing in the working community, more money. 

In the case of a professional boxer however, whether the contest goes the distance or ends quickly, they get paid the same. 

If you had the choice to get paid the same amount to work either an eight hour shift or a five minute one, you, just like everyone else would choose the latter.  

Undefeated Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga has grown accustomed to quick nights at the office. He sat down with Boxing Insider Radio to discuss his latest knockout win and how he plans on living up to the lofty expectations that are being placed on his career. 

Edgar Berlanga might be just 22 years of age, but with his penchant for knockouts, he has quickly gained a ton of attention. 

On December 14th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Berlanga made it look easy against Cesar Nunez. It was the 13th contest of his career and the 13th straight first round knockout. 

As body after body hits the canvas, the name Felix Trinidad has floated around in terms of a comparison.

“It’s a blessing that everybody is comparing me to him,” said Berlanga. “It’s obviously because I’m doing something good so I’m just going to continue to do what I’m doing.” 

To help his career continue on the right track, Berlanga has cut no corners and has recently brought aboard Andre Rozier who has helped shape the careers of several world champions. His decision to bring Rozier onboard has already proved to be a wise one as he helped lead Berlanga to his victory on the 14th of December.

“It’s just about getting the experience. Andre has been there already. He’s been at that level so I know there won’t be an issue with him getting me to that level. The first week that I got with him I was flown out to California to help Sergiy Derevyancheko get ready for the Golovkin fight. That was just a blessing in disguise because I just got with the man and he is already putting me in a position to get so much experience at such a young age.”

The relationship between Berlanga and Rozier might be going smoothly, but he soon found out that Rozier is a no nonsense sort of trainer. 

“He was telling me to throw a jab the whole fight and I did not throw a single jab so he told me hey you didn’t throw any jabs, get down and gimme 20 push ups right now.” 

Instead of complaining about having to do 20 push ups even after a spectacular win, Berlanga simply got down and did what he was told. His huge six feet one inch frame might be imposing on the outside, but on the inside, he is simply a student of the game and wants to continue to get better. 

The sport of boxing has a tendency of attacking people like Berlanga. With his highlight reel knockouts and popularity soaring, the game has a way of chewing you up and spitting you out. 

To help avoid any distractions he could face on his way to championship gold, not only has Berlanga signed with manager Keith Connolly, but he is also guided by one of the biggest names in the entire world. 

“I signed with one of the best advisors/managers in the game right now. He’s going to take me to another level financially. Now I can focus on training and winning a fight instead of worrying about the business side. Not only is it great having Connolly but also Fat Joe. He is apart of my family now. It’s crazy that I can just get him on the phone now if I need him. He tells me to stay in a straight line and don’t get sidetracked by the women, jewelry, money, cars and just to stay focused. I try not to fall in love with that stuff because it’s here today and gone tomorrow.”

At this point, Berlanga is still in the infancy stages of his career, yet something seems tells me he is someone to keep an eye on.

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Josue Vargas Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Future Plans After His Recent Title Win


Fresh off his first world title, Josue Vargas sat down with Boxing Insider radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, to discuss what it felt like to bring home the IBF North American title and his future plans.

When you’ve been given the nickname “The Prodigy” you immediately deal with pressure from the boxing public. Such is the case for Josue Vargas. 

At 21 years of age, Vargas is still in the infancy stages of his career. Yet this past Saturday night on December 14th, at Madison Square Garden, Vargas took a huge step forward in his career by defeating Noel Murphy and taking home the vacant IBF North American Super Lightweight world title. 

The punches that Vargas swarmed Murphy with on the night were nothing in comparison to the swarming fans who congratulated him after his victory. 

“It feels great, I feel excited,” said Vargas on Boxing Insider Radio. “It’s just the beginning. This is my first title as a professional fighter so it means a lot to me and my family.”

The IBF North American title is viewed as a smaller trinket in the world of boxing. A stepping stone, if you will. No big name fighter values this belt, but no other fighter who has worked their way to the top of their respective division has gone on to become a legitimate world champion without it either. 

It’s a process. Unless your name is Vasiliy Lomachenko, who won his first world title in his third professional contest, just about every fighter goes through these steps. 

Before Vargas nabbed his first world title, he was considered nothing more than a prospect. A fighter with promise and one that many of us had to keep an eye on. From there, it was up to him to grab our attention even more. Through 17 professional contests he has won 16 of them, but truthfully, he won every single fight of his career. 

In the 7th contest of his career, Vargas was dominating against Samuel Santana. He was clearly on his way to victory, until he was called for an illegal blow during the break and was subsequently given the loss via disqualification because of it. 

If you want to call that a loss, then fine. Technically, you would be right. But anyone who has seen the contest knows that he should have a spotless record. Nevertheless, Vargas hasn’t lost a fight since, and can now call himself a world champion. By no means was it easy, but it was certainly worth it.

“I have a lot of respect for Murphy. He came ready to fight and in shape but as you can see in the later rounds he just couldn’t hang with me anymore. I was just too much for him. The more rounds it goes the stronger I get.”

Up until this point in his career, everything had come easy for him. Whenever Vargas is seen outside of the ring, he always flashes a bright smile from ear to ear. Whether you seen him after a boxing match or simply on his way to the store, he always looked the same. The reason behind that is his opponents could seldom ever touch him in the ring. He was simply too slick. In his contest against Murphy however, that just wasn’t the case.

“In the beginning of the rounds it was a bit of a chess match. But in the 4th round my dad started yelling at me so that’s when I decided I’m just going to bring it to him because he had nothing left in the tank. I said to myself that I’m going to walk him down and not respect him. If I would’ve started the way that I did in the second half of the fight, it would’ve been a stoppage in the sixth or seventh round.” 

Vargas might be sporting a black eye now, but he also sports a championship belt around his waist as well. 

There is often times a chain reaction whenever a fighter captures championship gold, he wants more and more. He’ll get exactly that and a full schedule of fights in 2020.

“It’s going to be a busy, busy, busy 2020. They are going to have me fighting March 14th, again at MSG defending the title and adding another title on top of that so they’ll be two titles on the line.”

Becoming overzealous is something that trainers and promoters would like to stop their fighters from becoming. Vargas is clearly on the fast track to stardom, but don’t tell him that he is moving too quickly. 

The 140 pound division is lined up with killers from top to bottom, but Vargas views himself in the same vein as the other top dogs in the division. The picture of Vargas can be viewed if you ever looked up the word confident in the dictionary, because according to him he’s ready for whomever is placed in front of him, including the elite at 140.

“Styles make fights and everybody has a different style and fights different. I’ve been in the ring with Jose Ramirez. We’ve sparred over 40 rounds because I was his sparring partner in Cali. So I know how that would be. He’s undefeated and the WBC and WBO champion for a reason, he’s been doing a great job so I give him a lot of respect. I think that would be a great fight. I’ve been in the ring with all of these world champions like Floyd Mayweather, Gervonta Davis, Mikey Garcia so none of these guys put fear in my heart. I feel like I can give them a great fight and even take the title from them. I think I will fight for a world title in early 2021.”

A title shot could very well be in the future of Vargas, but not immediately. For now, he plans on continuing his winning ways in 2020. 

It almost doesn’t make any sense that a fighter who has only just recently been given the green light to drink alcohol, to possess such sublime boxing skills. His work ethic and natural talent should has always been apparent, but if it was not for his trainer Jose Guzman, none of this would be possible.

“I call him my brother. I watched him growing up and training and going to his professional fights, to him now working my corner and being in my corner and doing the mitts with me. Giving me instructions and guiding me the right way. Every time before the weigh ins, he makes sure I don’t eat any candy or drink any soda,” said Vargas while chuckling. “You got to have somebody like that on your team who will watch you 24/7 because he knows boxing and he’s been there and done that so you got to have people like that on your team.”

Adding to his already impressive team is one of the very best trainers in the world in Andre Rozier. His work with world champions should give an indication of the career trajectory of Vargas.

“It means everything,” said Vargas of Rozier joining his corner. “He had Danny Jacobs and on that night he had Richard Commey so he’s another guy who has a lot of experience training world champions. For him to be in my corner and giving me the right instructions as well it just means everything to me. And of course, you have my father who is always hyping me up and making sure that I step on the gas and take my opponents out of there.”

All of the pieces are in place for Vargas, but he does have a few questions surrounding him and his ability to compete at an elite level. The skills are there, but he has more to prove going forward. 

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Dennis Hogan Tells Boxing Insider Radio His Fight Predictions For Ruiz vs Joshua and His Own Upcoming Bout


With his championship title challenge just a few days away, Dennis Hogan sat down with Boxing Insider Radio to discuss how he sees his fight against Jermall Charlo playing out, who he expects to win the Joshua vs Ruiz rematch and who he believes is the greatest fighter ever out of Ireland. His answer might just surprise you.

Following one of the most controversial decisions in boxing this year, Jr Middleweight contender Dennis Hogan is ready to move on.

Hogan was last seen in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico as he took on then WBO Jr Middleweight belt holder Jamie Munguia. Hogan has never been viewed as a true title contender, but that perception has quickly changed following his performance.

In front of a crowd that was completely against him, Hogan seemingly out boxed Munguia and won his first world titles. It was a major upset and one that placed Hogan on the boxing map.

Well, at least, that was supposed to be the headline. Hogan lost via majority decision to Munguia in a contest in which many believed he did more than enough to win. With such a devastating defeat the belief in one’s self could understandably wane, but what could he do?

Two choices emerged from the smoke that emanated from the controversial decision. Either continue to sit and complain about it or get back to work and prove that you deserve to be a world champion. Dennis Hogan chose the latter.

“Going to Mexico and out boxing the champion was something that I knew I could do,” said Hogan. “My confidence has been lifted since then. We went out there on six weeks notice and I was able to do that. I know that I can do a whole lot better and that will show on Saturday. That loss did not drop my confidence, it only lifted it.”

Before Hogan received an offer to face off against WBC Middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs), he initially wanted an immediate rematch with Munguia. Once it had become painfully clear that it would not happen, Hogan turned his attention to a new challenge. One that might prove to be even more difficult than his last.

“Charlo is a great fighter. I know that he is a two time world champion and he obviously deserves all of the accolades but this is my time now. I fully believe it and I am ready to go.”

The move to a brand new division is always a difficult one, but meeting a fighter the caliber of Jermall Charlo is certainly an arduous task.

Luckily for Hogan, he does have a bit of experience fighting at the Middleweight division, although he hasn’t done so in over five years. To help him prepare for a war against Charlo, he has received the help of several contenders but also former champions as well.

“I was able to get some really good sparring partners. Luis Arias is a guy that gave me some good rounds and so has Jeff Horn. There has been a number of high quality guys in camp that has given me some great rounds.”

No matter the preparation, Hogan won’t be ready for what is coming his way this Saturday night. At least according to Charlo.

“You hear fighters say that they’re not going for the knockout, but I am,” said Charlo on an interview a few months ago. “If I hit Hogan with something flush, he’s going to sleep.”

Charlo has always gotten under the skin of his opponents. His demeanor gives off a certain aura. One of extreme confidence and also maybe borderline delusion as well. For what it’s worth, Charlo has backed up his words time and time again. He hasn’t lost a single fight and he hasn’t exactly been in a close one either. The WBC titlist doesn’t believe that this contest will be close either. Predicting a third round knockout.

The comments of Charlo does nothing to enrage Hogan. In fact, he hopes it continues as it will lead to the detriment of his opponent.

“It doesn’t phase me in the slightest. It’s just words. I don’t know why he thinks that he can just do that but he is putting a lot of pressure on himself. Munguia said he’ll stop me in the fourth round but after the fourth round went by I was still good and gaining momentum and that brings people to a very bad place in their minds. To call a third round knockout, I think is doing me a great service so I’m glad he did that and I’ll be ready to put the pressure on as the rounds go by.”

Both Charlo and Hogan possess two completely different fighting styles. While Charlo enjoys ending his nights early, Hogan on the other hand is more known for his ability to out box his opponents. He has not scored a knockout win since stopping David Galvin back in 2014.

Be that as it may, that hasn’t stopped the Ireland born fighter in believing that if given the chance, he will put an end to the contest before the judges get involved.

“If I get a chance I will be going in to try and finish him. If I get a sniff of that I’ll be moving in. I can go for as long as I need and I can go high intensity for a longer time. Remember for the Munguia fight I only had 6 weeks to prepare. This time around I had a full 12 so I will be fully ready.”

Scoring a knockout victory, although unlikely, would certainly be in the best interest of Hogan. The last time he left his fate in the hands of the judges, he was given a raw deal.

“I need to get the judges eye early and let them know that I am in there. One thing that will be in my favor is that we will have the Irish and the Austrians there and they make a lot of noise. That always plays a factor because when the judges see me land a punch the fans will make noise every single time. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. I know that I can out box Charlo and hopefully they will give me the decision.”

Hogan not only possesses the skill and will to make this a very interesting contest, but he has seen his fellow countrymen and women prosper as of late.

“Unbelievable,” said Hogan when describing boxing star Michael Conlan. “I’ve seen him box and win national Irish titles and win world championships in the amateurs. He’s been making massive waves. I wish him all the best and he will be a world champion, there is no doubt in my mind.”

With fighters such as Conlan, Hogan and of course, UFC star Conor McGregor. It would be a difficult decision to make in terms of who is the best fighter amongst them. But not for Hogan. Not only was it an easy choice, but it was a name that was not mentioned amongst that group.

“Katie Taylor is Ireland’s greatest fighter ever. I’ve had training sessions with her and she is unbelievable. She is a brilliant person both in and out of the ring.”

Dennis Hogan vs Jermall Charlo is certainly a big fight but there is another contest that is taking place on the same night that, with all due respect to Charlo, Hogan and everyone else fighting on this card in Brooklyn New York, dwarfs it considerably.

That would be the mega showdown between unified Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua, taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Hogan’s full attention might be on Charlo, but he will certainly have his eyes on the massive event that will be taking place halfway across the world.

“I’m going with Joshua. I think he had some anxiety before the first fight. I’ve never seen a fighter unhappy walking into the ring and happy when the fight is over. Something just wasn’t right in his mindset but if he has gotten that right then I believe he will win.”

As for his predictions for his own contest, he made sure he did not mince his words.

“My hand will get raised in victory and the green belt around my waist. This is something that I truly want and believe. You guys just sit back, relax and enjoy.”

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