McComb, Cully and Joyce Impress in Belfast
By: Oliver McManus
MTK Global began their year at Ulster Hall, Belfast on Saturday night with curtain-raising card. Nine fights featured, after some late drop-offs, with The Public Nuisance Sean McComb serving as the nominal headline act.
The 27 year old was looking to make it ten wins from ten having notched the previous nine in a matter of 14 months. His opponent was a second successive Argentine in the form of Mauro Maximilliano Godoy. Last time out, against Emiliano Rodriguez, there were rocky moments with McComb suffering a cut in the first round and being dropped in the fourth: aside from that it was quite a comfortable eight rounds.
Godoy brought with him experience totalling 38 fights at both super lightweight and welterweight. The 30 year old is a former national champion as well as a challenger at NABA and WBO Inter-Continental level.
McComb stood tall and long in the ring but Godoy matched him for stature. It was the Belfast fighter who fought on the front foot, though, pressuring his man backwards. After the first punch it looked as though his opponent was in two minds as to what he’d got himself into: there was the occasional erratic swing but, for the most part, he looked static and nervous.
The cagey, creative home fighter looked assured in his approach to the bout. He was picking punches off and responded well to the momentary moments of fire coming his way. McComb was able to soften the ambition of Godoy by controlling the pace of the fight with complete ease.
As the rounds went on and McComb’s on the contest tightened, the Argentine became more fast-and-loose in his punches. Several big swings flew well wide of the mark and, in contrast, McComb was making the most of short, sharp, pointed shots to keep Godoy in check. In the fourth round McComb stepped up the pressure and applied a smart array of artillery. Each punch saw the crowd get a little louder and it was intelligent work from McComb – varying his punches but with real spite behind them all. Godoy survived the round and perhaps those at Ulster Hall thought he was more hurt than he let on.
The fifth and sixth rounded were similar provided no shortage of entertainment. McComb looked in the zone and was piecing together punches together with notable fluidity. Godoy began to get pushed around the ring with McComb able to maneuver the fight into where he wanted it: chipping away at Godoy and not letting him take a single step forwards.
At the conclusion of the sixth round Mauro Godoy was withdrawn from the contest by his corner after complaining about his jaw. Little wonder, either, with McComb finding joy over the six rounds through a sustained, calculated breakdown of a gritty Godoy.
At lightweight the BUI Ireland National title was on offer for the winner between Gary Cully and Joe Fitzpatrick. The contest had ignited during the build-up with the pair going nose-to-nose at the weigh-in. Both men were undefeated (9-0 and 10-0, respectively) ahead of the evenly-matched, highly-anticipated fight.
Naas native Gary Cully, 9-0, came off the back of two six rounders in 2019 whilst Fitzpatrick, form Belfast, finished two fights inside the distance as he returned after an extended absence.
It was the southpaw, Cully, who made an electric start to proceedings. Significantly taller, he fought from distance and encouraged Fitzpatrick to close the gap – which he duly did. Cully cracked his opponent on the cheek, from the smallest of opportunities, and dropped his man. Fitzpatrick found his feet but far too quickly and he was on the backfoot thereafter. He was boxing aggressively but just couldn’t find the right rang and Cully was able to walk him down, once more, with a barrage of shots on the ropes. After about a minute and a half the referee had seen enough to wave the contest off and declare Gary Cully the new BUI National champion.
Davey Oliver Joyce and Lee Haskins kicked off the meaningful action with the pair contesting the vacant WBO European super bantamweight title. Joyce was in his first fight at 122lbs, having been WBO European champion at feather, and was up against a former IBF world champion. Haskins won world honours at bantamweight a couple years back before successful defences against Ivan Morales and Stuart Hall. Despite the pedigree he came into this contest as an underdog.
Mullingar’s Joyce, 32, saw defeat in his last fight as he succumbed to the heavy pressure of Leigh Wood (Commonwealth champion). His Bristolian opponent, 37, had two fights in two years coming into this contest: both routine six rounders.
Haskins emerged with a brace around his knee but moved unhampered. He quickly set about adopting his distinctive stance – leaning slightly over himself. The first round was a strong start as he planted feet and looked to flick punches off at a concerted rate. His right jab continually patted away at Joyce and some eye-catching combinations signalled his intent.
Pete Taylor, Joyce’s coach, was clear with his instructions: “you’re not punching enough.” The momentum stayed with Haskins, though, who was finding space to Joyce’s body with a left hook on a number of occasions. The former world champion was showing his experience in waiting for Joyce’s elbow to raise slightly before following through.
The Mullingar-man found his range after a couple of rounds and engaged proactively from the third round. He rallied with his punches and began to load up after, himself, finding tangible success. Shots were coming his way but, now, the heavier fighter was showing that weight advantage: walking forward and rifling shots towards Haskins. There was plenty of out-put but it wasn’t definitive as to how many were catching Haskins clean.
His opponent fought back and landed punches here and there that reminded you of his class. For the most part that was irregular and Joyce was able to keep his nose ahead with a more sustained body of work. The younger man was trudging forward and relaxing at the shoulders to land more significant shots. Haskins didn’t look overly troubled, mind, but was definitely on the back foot.
At the halfway stage the momentum was clearly in the home corner and Haskins hit the deck after swivelling on his leg. He looked in some discomfort as he rose – perhaps the strapped knee was hurt in the process – and Joyce was striking an open, target, almost, with the Bristolian stepping gingerly. Howard Foster stepped in as a result towards the close of the fifth and Davey Joyce was declared the winner after a thoroughly entertaining fight.
An under-the-radar eight rounder pitted Lewis Crocker and John Thain together in the welterweight division. Undefeated Crocker, 10-0, was greeted with rapturous respect from a home crowd for a real step-up contest. Thain, 17-4, hadn’t been seen a ring for nineteen months – last in action against Larry Ekundayo in July 2018.
Crocker led with his rangey right hand against a fighter who was continually on the move – twitching and shuffling his way across the ring. Belfast’s Crocker looked patient as he got to grips with Thain’s style and boxed within himself to an extent; just allowing himself time to think and adjust.
The eminently affable Scotsman stuck to his guns and enjoyed success with a sturdy jab that kept Crocker ticking over. Heavier shots came from Crocker but he was certainly being made to work by a wiley opponent. The undefeated home fighter boxed with more freedom as the rounds progressed and looked comfortable at the pace he was fighting. Comfortable stuff from Crocker: 79-73 he took the fight to advance to 11-0.
Earlier in the evening there were wins for Padraig McCrory who extended his record to 10-0 with six rounds against Lewis van Poetsch; Callum Bradley made it 4-0 at super feather after out-pointing Michael Horabin across four rounds; Ruairi Dalton beat Jose Aguilar 40-36 to record his second pro win; Damien Sullivan returned to winning ways with four rounds against Jiri Svacina to go 2-1 and; Pierce O’Leary went 4-0 after shutting out Liam Richards over four rounds.
Jack Catterall Dominates Timo Schwarzkopf and Vijender Singh Defeats Charles Adamu
By Rich Lopez
Saturday will be a huge day of boxing. Callum Smith vs John Ryder, Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado II, and of course, Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz II will all take place. The weekend started early with some live boxing action. A card brought to you by Top Rank took place on ESPN+ on Friday morning. It took place at Caesars Palace Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which is starting to become a new place for boxing. The card showcased undefeated fighters from around the globe.
The main event was a ten round super lightweight bout. Undefeated Jack “El Gato” Catterall (24-0, 13 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, scored a 10 round unanimous decision over Timo Schwarzkopf (20-3, 12 KO’s) of Germany. In the opening round, Catterall, the southpaw, boxed well firing straight left hands and right hooks to the body of Schwarzkopf. In round two, Schwarzkopf picked up the pace and was able to land a right hook on Catterall that bloodied his nose. Still, Catterall was landing the cleaner punches of the two fighters. Catterall still boxed well in round three but Schwarzkopf kept coming forward taking punches well. In round four, Schwarzkopf was getting closer to Catterall and started to land right hands to the head of Catterall. At the end of the round, Catterall was cut above his right eye in what seemed to be a clash of heads. Schwarzkopf came out hard in round five and landed hard right hands. The cut on Catterall opened up more and the blood was flowing. It was a rough round for Catterall and a better one for Schwarzkopf. In rounds six and seven, Schwarzkopf didn’t come forward as much and fought the pace that Catterall wanted. Catterall went back moving side to side and landing combinations on Schwarzkopf. The body work of Catterall was taking its toll on the German. In round eight, Schwarzkopf kept coming forward but was weak. Catterall landed some hard body shots that were now starting to buckle Schwarzkopf. An exhausted Schwarzkopf came out swinging in round nine but there was nothing left in his punches. Catterall continued with his combinations to the head and body. In the final round, Catterall closed the show with his better boxing skills. Schwarzkopf took a lot of punches but made it to the final round. Catterall dominated the fight and the judges scored it 100-91, 99-92, and 99-91.
Photo Credit: Frank Warren TV Twitter Account
Catterall, who is aiming towards a world title shot in the future, did what he was supposed to do and won his second fight of the year. He will need to be more active and keep winning in order to fight the top champions in the super lightweight division.
The co-feature was in the super middleweight division. Three time Olympian Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KO’s) of India, scored an eight round unanimous decision over the experienced Charles Adamu (33-14, 26 KO’s) of Ghana. In the first round, Singh used his reach well and landed some straight right hands to the head and body of Adamu. In round two, Singh landed a right to the body followed up with a right hand to the head that dropped Adamu. The Ghanaian got up and Singh went back to work. Singh continued to land punches and Adamu survived the round. Singh continued his attack and hammered away on Adamu in the third round. At this point, Adamu was just in survival mode. In round four, Adamu landed a right hand on Singh but there was no power in the shots. Adamu was also deducted a point in the round for head-butts. Singh continued with the attack in round five with Adamu taking heavy punches. In round six, Singh dropped Adamu for a second time with a right hand. Adamu once again got up and finished the round but took a beating. In round seven, Singh landed a right hand that hurt Adamu which caused the ref to issue a standing eight count. Singh went back to work to finish off Adamu but Adamu hung in there and survived the round. In the final round, Singh tried his best for the stoppage but Adamu showed a tough chin and a big heart. Singh won by a landslide with scores of 80-68 from all three judges.
Notably, Singh was the first Indian boxer to win a medal in the Olympics. He won the bronze medal in 2008 Olympics. This was Singh’s second win this year. He’s very popular in his country of India and he is also an actor over there. If Singh wants to make a mark in boxing, he needs to continue to stay busy and win.
In a super flyweight bout, Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem (9-1, 7 KO’s) of Pakistan, scored an eight round unanimous decision over former Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (36-10, 19 KO’s) of Mexico. Both fighters had a good opening round. Waseem was applying the pressure and landed some good shots. Lopez landed effective counter punches. It was a very close round. Lopez was effective in the second round. Waseem was coming forward but Lopez was doing a good job landing body shots and head shots on Waseem. In round three, Waseem was back pedaling and Lopez was the aggressor. Waseem had a better comeback round and he landed effective punches in the round. In round four, Waseem landed some nice flurries in the inside of Lopez’s body and showed to be the quicker of the two. Both fighters had their moments in round five. Lopez had the better counter punches in the round but Waseem landed some good shots as well. The six round was busy for both fighters again. Lopez did better and out landed Waseem. In round seven, Waseem decided to get back at Lopez. Waseem threw a lot of punches in the round and outworked Lopez. In the final round, both fighters went toe to toe and exchanged blows. It was another close round. The judge’s final tally was 77-75 (twice) and 80-73 in favor of Waseem in an entertaining fight. I agree with the 77-75 scorecards but the 80-73 score was off. This was a good stay busy fight for Waseem over a former world champion.
Another undefeated British fighter took center stage. In a super bantamweight fight, Thomas Patrick Ward (28-0, 4 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, won an eight round unanimous decision over Martin Casillas (20-11-1, 10 KO’s) of Mexico. In the first round, Ward boxed well. Casillas was the aggressor but was just following Ward around. Ward did some nice body work in the round. Ward continued the onslaught in round two, by landing body shots and hook shots on the charging Casillas. Casillas made a better effort in round three, but he was too slow for Ward. Ward continued to land punches at will on Casillas in round four. In round five, there was a slight shift in the fight and Casillas had his best round. Both men exchanged power shots in the inside and Casillas cut Ward above his left eye. Ward went back to work in round six moving side to side and boxing well. Ward was countering Casillas coming in and this continued in round seven as well. Casillas in desperation came out hard in round eight but Ward landed a nice left hook to the body to drop Casillas. The tough Mexican got up and Ward went for the attack.
Casillas hung in tough and finished the round. Ward dominated the fight and won the fight with all judges scoring it 80-71.
In a six rounder welterweight bout, another undefeated fighter was featured in the card. Rohan Date (10-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Ireland, scored a six round unanimous decision over Justice Addy (16-6-1, 14 KO’s) of Ghana. In the opening round, Date took control right away. Date applied the pressure and backed up Addy using his jab. Date also landed a few uppercuts when Addy came forward. In round two, Date continued to box well and kept up with the pressure. Date was also starting to land straight right hands of the head of Addy. Date continued with the pressure in round three. Towards the end of the round, both fights were in a clinch and Date nailed Addy with a left uppercut that floored him. Addy got up and the round ended. Addy was able to regroup in round four, but Date was still in control. Date landed some nice uppercuts in the round. If you are looking for a round to give to Addy, it might have been the 5th round as Date was less active in the round. Date closed the show in round six and came out firing with hooks to the body and head. Date went for the knockout but could not get it. Date won by scores of 60-53 (twice) and 59-54.
The opening bout of the ESPN+ telecast was a four rounder in the lightweight division. Fahad Al-Bloushi of United Arab Emirates made his pro debut and stopped Sandro Tughushi (1-6) of Batumi, Georgia in the 1st round. Al-Bloushi wasted no time. He came out fast and dropped Tughushi with a left jab to the stomach. Tughushi got up and then went down again complaining of a low blow. Tughushi got up and continued. Al-Bloushi trapped Tughushi in the corner and threw a flurry that dropped Tughushi again even though it seemed like nothing landed. Tughushi got up again and continued again. Al-Bloushi came after Tughushi and trapped him in the corner again. Al-Bloushi landed a right hook that dropped Tughushi for a 3rd time. The ref started to count but then waved the fight off. Al-Bloushi won by way of KO at 2:13 of the 1st round. A good start for Al-Bloushi in his pro debut while Tughushi seemed like he didn’t want to fight.
Pacquaio vs. Thurman Round by Round Results: Pacquiao Wins Close Decision
By: William Holmes
The legend Manny Pacquaio took on Keith Thurman in the main event of tonight’s Pay Per View offering for the WBA Welterweight title.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the venue for tonight’s fight, and was a star studded affair. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in attendance for Pacquiao’s 15th fight at the MGM Grand.
Keith Thurman was the first man to enter the ring to a muted reaction from the crowd. Pacquiao entered second to a positive reaction from the crowd.
The national anthem of the Philippines was performed first by the First Word Choir. The national anthem of the United States was sung by Lorena Peril.
The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.
Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) vs. Keith Thurman (29-0); WBA Welterweight Title
The crowd was clearly pro Pacquiao during fighter introductions. Pacquiao comes rushing out towards Thurman. Thurman goes to the body early, Pacquiao answers with a body shot of his own. Thurman barely misses with a jab. Pacquiao is reaching a bit for his punches. Pacquiao lands a good two punch combination. Thurman answers with a three punch combination of his own. Thurman lands a clean straight right hand. Pacquiao flings out his straight left hand. Thurman lands a good counter left hook. Pacquiao lands a two punch combination. Thurman bounces his punches off the guard of Pacquiao. Thurman lands another good straight right hand. Thurman lands a left hook that knocks Pacquiao backwards, and Pacquiao answers and rushes forward and lands a two punch combination and sends Thurman down. Thurman gets up before the count of ten and the round ends.
Thurman looks recovered from the earlier knockdown. Thurman throws to the body of Pacquiao. Lots of feints early on. Pacquiao with a quick jab. Thurman lands a good straight right and they both exchange. Pacquiao lands a good straight left. Pacquiao pressing on Thurman. Pacquiao is on the attack. Thurman lands a good jab on Pacquiao. Thurman quickly switched to southpaw. Pacquiao with a good lead right hook. Pacquiao with a three punch combination that is partially blocked. Pacquiao lands a good straight left. Pacquiao with a hard three punch combination. Pacquiao waives Thurman forward. Pacquiao mixing up his combinations to the body and head.
10-9 Pacquiao, 20-17 Pacquiao
Thurman active with his jab early on. Thurman is pressing the action early. Pacquiao still looks fast on his feet despite his age. Pacquiao throws to the body of Thurman. Thurman has Pacquiao back against the ropes. Pacquiao with a quick straight left. Pacquiao flicks out two quick jabs. Pacquiao with a good lead right hook. Good body shot by Thurman. Pacquiao covers up by the ropes. Throws out two quick combinations. Pacquiao is inviting Thurman on the inside. Thurman has a two punch combo blocked but Thurman than goes to the body. Pacquiao lands a combination upstairs. The body shots of Thurman appear to be bothering Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao, 30-26 Pacquiao
Thurman has Pacquiao backing up early and he attacks to the body. Pacquiao answers with two good body shots of his own. Thurman had Pacquiao by the ropes and lands some good shots to the body. Thurman lands another good hook to the body. Pacquiao lands two good hooks to the body of his own. Thurman lands to the body of Pacquiao again. Pacquiao comes forward and lands a two punch combo to the head. Pacquiao landing some good shots in the final minute of the round. Pacquiao looks like he is willing to exchange blows with Thurman. Thurman lands a hard left hook. Pacquiao with a good lead left cross. Good close round.
10-9 Thurman, 39-36 Pacquiao
Thurman lands two punches early on. Pacquiao looks a little tired. Pacquiao lands a lead right hook. Pacquiao keeps his jab in the face of Thurman. Thurman with some good body shots. Thurman lands two good right hooks on Pacquiao. Pacquiao with a good crisp jab on Thurman. Thurman lands another good straight right hand. Thurman with a good body head combination. Pacquiao lands two hooks to the body. Thurman’s nose is bleeding. Thurman lands a looping right hook followed by a jab. They exchange in the middle. Pacquiao lands some good combos in the middle of the ring. Thurman is bringing a lot of pressure on Pacquiao. Thurman flicks out several clean jabs. Pacquiao ending the round strong.
10-9 Pacquiao; 49-45 Pacquiao
Thurman pressing forward to start. Thurman lands some good body shots with some jabs. Thurman lands a good two punch combination. Thurman sticks another jab in the face of Pacquiao. Thurman gets tagged with a straight left. Pacquiao with three consecutive jabs. Thurman lands another jab. Good straight right by Thurman. Thurman is having a very good round. Thurman lands another good shot to the body. Pacquiao lead right hook shakes Thurman, but Thurman lands another good straight right. Thurman may have Pacquiao stunned a bit at the end of the round.
10-9 Thurman, 58-55 Pacquiao
Thurman comes out firing at the start of the round with combinations to the body and head. Thurman is keeping the pressure on Pacquiao. Pacquiao landed a good straight left hand. Thurman does well when he mixes up his combinations to the body. Thurman lands a good straight right hand. Thurman lands another good counter right. Pacquiao with a lead right hook followed by a jab. Thurman lands another good jab on Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a straight left but Thurman answers with a good two punch combo. Thurman lands a hard left hook straight right hand. Thurman is light on his feet and circling away from Pacquiao. Thurman is having another very good round. Pacquiao lands a good right uppercut that momentarily slows Thurman. Pacquiao felt Thurman’s power in this round.
10-9 Thurman, 67-65 Pacquiao
Thurman looks confident and is pressing forward. Thurman misses with a two punch combo. Pacquiao lands a good straight left then moves out of the way. Pacquiao pressing the action now. Pacquiao lands two shots to the body on a retreating Thurman. Thurman lands to the body and Pacquiao answers upstairs. Thurman lands another jab on Pacquiao’s face. Pacquiao is slowing down. They have had some fierce exchanges so far. Pacquiao lands a good straight left by the ropes. Pacquiao landed a good left hook. Pacquiao is looking for his lead right hook. Thyurman lands a good short right upstairs. Thurman ended the round strong.
10-9 Thurman, 76-75 Pacquiao
This fight is turning in Thurman’s favor. Pacquiao showing good upper body movement early on. Thurman is keeping his jab in the face of Pacquiao. Thurman lands a straight right hand. Thurman’s body work may be paying off. Pacquiao looks tentative to throw. Thurman landed three straight jabs. The pace is favoring Thurman. Pacquiao lands a lead right hook. Pacquiao’s punches appear to have lost some zap. Thurman lands a right to the body of Pacquiao. Thurman lands a good combination on Pacquiao. Pacquiao looks like he is fading.
10-9 Thurman; 85-85
The announcers appear to think Pacquiao is ahead. Thurman comes out aggressive and lands several hard hooks. Thurman lands another combination upstairs. Thurman lands another good combination on Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a combination that ended with a right hook. Pacquiao with a left to the body. Pacquiao with a good start to this round. Pacquiao lands a good hook to the body and Thurman appears to be hurt. Thurman is holding on. Looks like a body shot hurt Thurman. Pacquiao with another good combination. Thurman lands a good left hook right hook combination. This is a good round.
10-9 Pacquiao; 95-94 Pacquiao
This is a close fight. Thurman comes out aggressive on Pacquiao. Pacquiao looks a little fresher. Thurman lands a good straight right hand. Pacquiao with a good two punch combination to the body. Pacquiao with another good left hook to the body. Thurman is landing to the head of Pacquiao. Pacquiao lands a good jab. Thurman landed a vicious straight right hand on Pacquiao’s chin. Thurman landed a good lead left hook. Pacquiao lands a good short right hook. Thurman landed a good straight right hand, Pacquiao answers with a short combination.
10-9 Thurman, 104-104
Both corners implored their fighters they need to win this round. Thurman comes forward and lands some short shots. Thurman lands a straight right, Pacquiao answers with a check right hook. They both land at the same time. Pacquiao flicks out his jab. Pacquiao lands a left uppercut, followed by a two punch combination. Pacquiao lands a good straight left hand. Thurman had Pacquiao backing up against the ropes, and Pacquiao fights out of it. Thurman with a right uppercut to the body. Pacquiao landed a good jab to Thurman’s nose. Thurman with a good right hook. Thurman landed a good straight. Pacquiao lands a jab followed by a right cross.
Another very close round. 10-9 Pacquiao. 114-113 Pacquiao by Boxing Insider.
TThis was a great all action fight. The official scorecard was 114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao, 115-112 Pacquiao.
Joshua vs. Ruiz Undercard Fighters Press Conference Recap
By: Hans Themistode
This Saturday night on June 1st, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) will look to defend his Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) in Madison Square Garden. Although these two are receiving the lions share of the publicity, this won’t be the only great fight taking place that night as the undercard is filled with intriguing matchups.
WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) returns to the ring after more than eight months off to take on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-3, 21 KOs). For Smith, it will be his first time in the ring since winning the World Boxing Super Series. Smith is more than eager to prove his worth against N’Dam.
“N’Dam is a really good fighter. He’s only been beaten by the top fighters. I feel as though I am the best Super Middleweight in the world and that should be more than enough to beat N’Dam and in spectacular fashion.”
N’Dam is trying to build off of the upset he pulled off in his last contest when he defeated Martin Murray. This will be his first fight at Super Middleweight, but that doesn’t seem to bother him in anyway.
“Fighting at Super Middleweight won’t be a problem for me at all. Also I am very familiar with the fighting style of Callum because we have worked together on several occasions. I will be fully prepared come fight night to achieve my goals.”
Callum Smith and Hassan N’Dam wont be the only championship fight taking place on the undercard. WBA, WBO and IBF Lightweight world champion Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) will be looking to add the WBC Lightweight title to her collection when she takes on current champion Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs). To make this contest even more significant, the ring magazine title will be on thee line as well.
During Taylor’s short career she has been flat out dominant. Her contest against Persoon however, will be her toughest yet.
“Persoon is a great champion. She will by far be the toughest challegne of my career. I have had a really good training camp and I will be fully prepared. It wont be easy but I believe I will be able to get it done.”
The stakes are high for these undercard fighters. They have opportunity to be seen on the biggest stage of their careers. Expect them all to attempt to steal the show come Saturday night.
Showtime Boxing Results: Shields Dominates Hammer
By: Oliver McManus
Claressa Shields vs Christina Hammer, the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing without a shadow of a doubt. No pressure, then. The winner would become only the second female undisputed champion of the world and whilst Shields was the betting favourite, this was a genuine pick’em going into fight night.
Hammer, the WBO middleweight champion, stepped into the ring with a beaming smile on her face in stark contrast to the dead-pan nonchalance, borderline disgust, of Shields. The American, double Olympic champion, was in supreme confidence of adding a fourth governing body’s belt to her collection.
Her German counterpart, however, started off the liverlier fighter. Characteristically fighting tall, Hammer was using her three inch height advantage well and making her jab do the talking. Shields flailed her punches inwards for the opening round, attempting to cut into the body of Hammer but often catching the German on her arms.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The second round saw Shields looking to start fast and shell-shock Hammer but the 28 year old, a professional for 10 years, remained confident in her gameplan. Rocking on the balls of her feet and working sideways across the ring, Hammer had settled into a rhythm reminiscent of her previous contests.
Shields landed a couple of eye-catching shots, when Hammer was on the move, to signal her aggressive shot selection. A particularly pleasing overhand right, thrown when the American was almost tucked up into the armpit of Hammer, prompted a momentary clinch of recognition. The contest was being fought a good pace, producing an enjoyable fight, and Shields was upping her punch output with each passing round.
Hammer continued with her constant circling of the ring but was struggling to settle into a similar rhythm with the punches, and the pre-fight favourite was able to pick her off with the busier work. Such is the nature of two minute rounds that a well-placed flurry of shots could be enough to claim you a quiet round.
Interestingly as the fight progressed it was the movement of Shields that started to come to the fore, evading the downwards punches of Hammer with a casual duck-and-weave motion. It was smooth to watch the first time, even more glorious in slow-motion. More importantly it showed the different dimensions to the Flint based boxer; Hammer, as good a fighter as she is, was unable to adapt to the varying tactics coming her way.
Having began as the instigator, Hammer quickly struggled to replicate any of that initial impact as she ran firmly into a brick wall. Shields was dominant, it has to be said, and looked superfluous in every aspect. On the front foot she was capable of forcing the pace of the contest, landing with aggression. On the backfoot she was able to pick Hammer off with the jab and was defensively astute, too.
After several rounds of sheer frustration, the German eventually returned to her form from the first round. That trademark sideways movement appeared lost in certain rounds and it was no coincidence that, when she reverted to her light and bouncy footwork, she began to enjoy more success.
That success was immediately followed up with a huge round for Shields who simply went at it for the duration of the eighth round, knocking the gum shield of Hammer out and rallying relentlessly with an endless barrage of power punches that made her, 24 fight opponent, looked like a novice. Chilling accuracy from Shields, simply chilling.
The final two rounds were yet another dose of dominance coming from the home corner with cruise-control firmly engaged. There were two world champions in that ring but you would never have guessed given the way in which Shields stamped her authority over the contest.
98-92, 98-92, 98-92, to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Earlier in the night Otto Wallin opened up the televised broadcast from Atlantic City, a little after 9pm local time, with the Swedish southpaw looking to go 21-0 with a first win on American soil. Nick Kisner, a career cruiserweight, was in the opposite corner and was on a two-fight win streak since losing to, WBA International champion, Ryad Merhy.
Absent from the ring for 357 days, Ottomatic was looking to ease into life in the United States with an impressive victory. Ranked 5th by the WBA and IBF, Wallin had previously been mandatory challenger for the EBU belt before opting to pursue his options Stateside. When the fight began his size advantage was clear to see – some six and half inches the taller boxer.
The 28 year old immediately took to the centre of the ring, using the sheer scale of his legs to stand at distance and tower over Kisner. The American was caught within the first ninety seconds, what by was not instantly obvious, with a cut emerging to the side of the left eye. Blood smeared the cheek of Kisner, in rather un-warrior-like fashion, as he complained he was unable to see. The doctor was called with the referee, David Franciosi, repeatedly asking “can you see or not”.
Altogether the scenes were rather farcical with Kisner stating “I can see out of one eye”, prompting Franciosi to call a halt to the contest. Replays showed an obvious headbut – unintentional mind – and the bout went down as a swift no-decision. A rather anti-climatic debut for the talented Swede.
The second heavyweight of the broadcast was a scheduled ten rounder between Jermaine Franklin and Rydell Booker. Michigan’s Franklin had been hitting his media duties hard in the build up to this contest, declaring himself as “already the best heavyweight” all the while accompanied by montages of him flipping tyres and smashing hammers.
Franklin weighed in a tangerine over 245lbs, the heaviest he’s been in since May 2016, half a stone more than his counterpart but stood, officially, two inches the smaller man. Booker, meanwhile, arrived on a three fight win streak since resuming his professional career last year following a lengthy hiatus, largely spent in prison.
In carrying that excess weight, 18lbs more than his last fight, Franklin looked a little out of shape but snapped out his jab in sprightly fashion from the off. As he threw the jab he would shuffle his whole body into the punch, prompting Booker to sit firmly on the back foot. Constantly chipping away territorially, Franklin was landing the better of the punches but Booker had decent speed of movement in response.
Despite the punching pressure coming from Franklin it was Booker who seemed to be keeping the pace of the contest within his comfort zone – a steady, cooled down tempo. Franklin was looking for flashy shots to match his brash pre-fight braggadocio. Twisting his body into each shot, in a manner not too dissimilar to Samba dancing, the 25 year old was trying to look more impressive than the sum of his shots.
Thoughts of what might have been for Booker seemed to crop up throughout the contest as he made Franklin look, distinctly, average. The older fighter was looking composed in the face of wild, swinging shots and, despite possible assumptions, he simply was not tiring. The final couple rounds of the fight saw Booker having his best spells, some sluggish chipping uppercuts catching Franklin on the chin before the 38 year old followed up with classy combinations.
A fight that never managed to ignite into anything spectacular but rather produced frustrating viewing. Franklin landed with more frequency and consistency, catching Booker flush on a fair few occasions. It was learning fight, as the old adage goes, but, more frankly, it just wasn’t good enough. 99-91, 98-92, 98-92, in favour of Jermaine Franklin.
The story of the night belongs firmly to Claressa Shields who delivered on her promise of dominance. For the first time in a long time, as well, she did it in an entertaining manner. Her last few performances have been a relatively damp but this event, this occasion, seemed to bring out the superstar within her.
She became undisputed middleweight champion of the world with a frightening intensity. The greatest female fighter of all time? I can’t see anyone that comes close. Worryingly, too, she’s only just getting started.
Smith Stops Eggington; Fitzgerald Decisions Fowler
By: Ste Rowen
In his first fight in Liverpool for almost three years, former WBO junior-middleweight champion, Liam Smith made easy work of Sam Eggington, stopping the former European welterweight champion in five rounds to claim the WBC ‘Silver’ belt and hopefully send a message to the rest of the 154lb division.
‘Beefy’ Smith took the front foot immediately and dominated the early rounds, sticking Eggington in reverse and a small cut that that opened up on Sam’s right eye was the early signal of Smith’s dominance. There was nothing fancy in Liam’s display but the speed of which he threw his punches and the power that went into them were clearly far too much for Eggington to keep the bout competitive. ‘The Savage’ seems to know no other way of fighting, whether on top or in adversity, Eggington wants to swing, wants to fight, but Smith was too much.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
It proved as in round five, with his opponent stuck in the corner, Smith landed power shot after power shot without reply until the referee decided enough was enough and ended the main event.
‘‘Shot wise I was good, accuracy wise I was sloppy at times, my footwork.’’ Smith, now 27-2-1 (15KOs) said post-fight. ‘‘I didn’t really have respect for Sam’s power, I put it down to that.
I had the worst camp ever, niggly injuries…Give me two fights, then give me anyone at the end of the year.’’
Having held a world title at 154lb and, losing out to Mexican Jaime Munguia for his old belt last year, the target for Liam Smith must be for another shot at the championship belts before the end of 2019.
Anthony Fowler vs. Scott Fitzgerald
A domestic dustup that promised much and certainly delivered saw Scott Fitzgerald drop Anthony Fowler en route to a split decision victory in a fantastic 10-round bout.
It slowly but surely turned into the biggest fight of the card, even overshadowing tonight’s main event, but when junior-middleweight and domestic rivals, Fowler and Fitzgerald entered the ring, the atmosphere in Liverpool was palpable.
It was an intriguing battle for the middle of the ring in the early rounds, with both fighters mirroring the other for punches thrown, although Fowler’s variety of shots seemed more likely to appeal to the judges. But Fowler, 9-0 (8KOs) heading into tonight, suffered through the middle rounds, appearing to tire as Scott began to get more efficient with his punches. Anthony unleashed a barrage of punches in the 9th that clearly affected Fitzgerald as Scott threw very little for the rest of the round.
As volume from the crowd increased, as did Fowler’s attack. The scouser began to have his hands low and felt more comfortable throwing but it wasn’t enough to get his opponent out in that particular round. With just over a minute to go of the 10th and final round, Fitzgerald unleashed a power shot selection that dropped Fowler, and as we were to find out, the 10-8 round was crucial. The final scorecards were,96-94 for Fowler and 95-94 (x2) for Fitzgerald.
Now 13-0 (9KOs) Scott spoke post-fight,
‘‘He’s a tough, big, strong man who just doesn’t stop coming forward… I could hit him with a bat he’d still keep going.
The fight with Ted (Cheeseman) can be made and after that, the rematch.’’
Fowler was magnanimous in defeat,
‘‘I went down, I wasn’t hurt but, fair play I don’t know how he was still standing in the 9th. I don’t like the kid, but he was the better man tonight.’’
David Price vs. Kash Ali
A heavyweight clash to warmup the crowd saw a truly bizarre conclusion as in the 5th round of David Price vs. Kash Ali, the two men toppled over together, and it appeared that Kash Ali bit David whilst they were on the canvas. The Liverpudlian, Price landed a heavy right hook which shook Ali, who entered the fight unbeaten as a pro, and forced him to go for the clinch which resulted in a full-blown tackle, and while Ali lay on top of Price, Kash bit David and hard enough to leave a mark on Price’s body. The official result was confirmed as victory for David Price via disqualification.
Price, now 24-6, spoke immediately after,
‘‘It’s a disappointing way to win. He was in the fight and lost his head, but I hurt him to the body…I don’t wanna share the ring with an animal like that again.
I’ve got the win and we move on. The winner of Lucas Browne and Dave Allen is a fight I’m definitely interested in.’’
Joe Hughes vs. Robbie Davies Jr
One of two super-lightweight title fights on tonight’s Liverpool card saw Joe Hughes and Robbie Davies Jr go hell-for-leather for the EBU European and British belts and in what turned into a close shoot-out over twelve rounds, Davies Jr emerged the winner, with the mixed final scorecards coming back as, 118-110 115-113 115-114 all for Davies.
Robbie, now moves to 18-1 (12KOs) and, with a swollen right eye, spoke post-fight,
‘‘Just grinded it out like you wouldn’t believe. He was like a pitbull…When you have the British and the European, people take notice.
I’m just hoping to push on for a world title now. I honestly don’t believe anyone can beat me domestically.’’
Fighting for the Commonwealth super-lightweight belt, southpaw Philip Bowes improved to 20-3 (3KOs) and defended the rainbow belt for the first time since taking ownership of the title in February with a unanimous decision victory over home fighter, Tom Farrell. Final scorecards were returned as, 118-110 118-111 117-112 all for Philip but it was a lively back-and-forth, if scrappy at times, but the more composed, and measured in his punches-fighter in ‘Quicksilver’ Bowes, saw him get the nod from the judges.
Craig Glover suffered a surprise knockout defeat at the hands of the now, 14-7 Vaclav Pejsar of the Czech Republic. Glover, who impressed in his last outing with a stoppage victory over Simon Vallily, hit the canvas twice en route to a second-round stoppage loss, shifting his pro record now to 9-2 (8KOs).
Returning to the ring for the first time since her surprise first pro-defeat, Natasha Jonas, scored a 60-54 decision victory over 7-2, Feriche Mashauri. Jonas said she’s aiming for the rematch with Viviane Obenauf next.
UFC & ESPN+ Sign New PPV Deal Through 2025
By: Jesse Donathan
According to MMAFighting.com’s Shaheen Al-Shatti, “UFC and ESPN have inked a deal to make ESPN+ the exclusive new home for PPV’s until 2025 for fans in the United States.” The news comes on the heels of UFC president Dana White himself announcing his own new deal with the company. According to an ESPN report by Michael Rothstein, “The president of the UFC announced Monday that he has agreed to a new seven-year deal to continue running the world’s leading mixed martial arts circuit.” What this essentially means is that ESPN is all in, they’ve hedged their bets on mixed martial arts and ESPN and the UFC wanted to make sure Dana White was coming along with them for the ride in the process.
Al-Shatti would go on to elaborate on the UFC’s new signing, stating, “basically If you want to order UFC 236 or any PPV for the next six years, it’ll need to be through ESPN+.” The announcement is the latest in a series of moves from combat sport promotions who are aligning themselves to generate revenue away from the traditional pay-per-view model and moving into the digital platform age.
According to a December 12, 2018 nydailytimes.com article titled, “Oscar de la Hoya is out to kill pay-per-view with the help of Canelo Alvarez and a lot of cash from DAZN,” author Wallace Matthews explains that, “unlike the pay-per-view revenue stream of de la Hoya’s era, Alvarez’ money will be generated through the digital platforms of DAZN (pronounced Da-ZONE), a streaming service that sells for about $10 a month.”
“Pay per view is dead and we’re going to bury it,” de la Hoya said over lunch Tuesday in a Manhattan steakhouse.”
According to Matthews, “In reality, all the risk seems to be on DAZN, which is spending billions in trying to seize the U.S. sports market away from the likes of ESPN and Fox.” With news of the UFC committing to ESPN for the foreseeable future, the competition between DAZN and ESPN just got a little bit fiercer as the next piece of the puzzle has revealed itself in the bid for the U.S. sporting market supremacy.
De la Hoya and Dana White are no strangers to one another. In a December 12, 2018 Yahoo sports article titled, “Dana White escalates feud with Oscar De La Hoya: ‘He’s a liar and a phony’” journalists Kevin Iole writes, “The percolating feud between UFC president Dana White and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya boiled over on Wednesday when White went hard after the boxing Hall of Famer.”
“’The guy wants to come out and tell lies and say things that make no sense when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He knows nothing about this sport. He doesn’t know the [expletive] guys’ names who are fighting on his card. He’s a liar. He’s a phony and God help anybody who wants to go fight for Golden Boy,” said White.
Iole would go on to state that, “De La Hoya has chastised White for not paying his fighters enough and said he will promote another MMA show because so many UFC fighters are approaching him saying they’re underpaid.” Indeed, any alternative avenue that results in undervalued fighters getting paid after a career of getting short changed is a positive thing and a threat to the UFC’s compensation paradigm.
Interestingly, a January 3, 2019 mmanews.com article titled, “Oscar De La Hoya Claims His MMA Event Is Why PPV Is Dead,” author Jon Fuentes quotes Golden Boy front man de La Hoya as having recently told a fan, and I quote, “and that’s why it’s dead you dumbass” after having been confronted over Golden Boys inaugural MMA event between MMA legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz which had varying accounts of success depending on who you ask.
With the recent announcement between ESPN and the UFC, it looks like there was more bark to de La Hoya’s bite than what was initially thought as the UFC looks to follow in Golden Boy’s footsteps in moving to the digital platform model themselves with ESPN+’s video streaming subscription service.
So, while PPV doesn’t appear to be dead, it does appear to be flowing like water. Conforming to its new environment, taking the shape and form of whatever its new vessel may be. Whether or not de La Hoya killed PPV remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, change is in the air and the UFC’s alignment with ESPN is good business for everyone involved. Not the least of which will be the fans who will have the opportunity to be exposed to a healthy dose of mainstream mixed martial arts on a consistent, regular basis with ESPN rolling the dice and going all in for mixed martial arts broadcasting throughout the 2025 contractual agreement with the UFC.
HBO Boxing Results: Bivol Dominates Pascal, Akhmadaliev Stops Zarate
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s HBO Boxing card, one of the last ones before HBO closes the door in boxing.
The opening bout of the night was between Isaac Zarate (16-3-3) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0) in the junior featherweight division.
Akhmadaliev is a high level prospect with a deep amateur background, and was considered a heavy favorite despite only having four professional fights in comparison to the 22 of Zarate.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Akhmadaliev showed good movement in the opening two rounds and was able to land the heavier and harder power shots. Akhmadaliev was getting a little reckless in the second round and was victim to some uppercuts from Zarate, but still likely won the rounds.
Akhmadaliev landed some heavy body shots in the third round and had a left hook that had Zarate seeing stars, but he managed to survive the round.
Zarate made a better showing in the fifth round, but Akhmadaliev was landing some heavy body shots this round. Akhmadaliev continued to press forward in the sixth round and had Zarate retreating to safety in the corner multiple times.
Zarate appeared to have no power in the seventh round and was badly hurt from a body shot. Akhmadaliev continued to land heavy blows in the eighth round that looked like it would have stopped several fighters from the past.
By the ninth round the main question was could Zarate last all ten rounds? The answer was no, as Akhmadaliev landed a vicious right hand to the chin followed by a combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Akhmadaliev wins by TKO at 1:17 of the ninth round.
The main event of the night was between Dmitry Bivol (14-0) and Jean Pascal (33-5-1) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship.
It was clear in the opening moments of the fight that Bivol had the height advantage and was a much more accurate puncher. Bivol’s combinations had Pascal a little hurt at the end of the first round, and kept Pascal off balance in the second round and unable to launch and effective attack.
Bivol continued to land accurate jabs in the third round and looked like he wasn’t missing many punches. Pascal brought some heat in the fourth round, but that was short lived as a slip at the end of the round probably could have been scored a knockdown.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Bivol had Pascal backing up again in the fifth round and forced Pascal to be short with his punches. Body shots from Bivol in the sixth and seventh rounds appeared to suck the energy out of Pasal.
Pascal had a brief rally in the eighth round when he connected with a straight counter right, but Bivol remained calm and peppered Pascal throughout most of the round.
Pascal came out firing in the ninth round behind a steady stream of jabs, and may have stolen it from Bivol, who didn’t press the pace like he usually does.
Bivol landed a plethora of punches in the opening minute of the tenth round and he looked like he was going for the knockout, but Pascal was able to survive and throw back a flurries of his own. Pascal ended the round strong by pressing the attack, but Bivol still likely won the round.
Pascal needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout, but that never came.
Dmitry Bivol wins the decision with scores of 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109.
ShoBox Results: Jaron “Boots” Ennis Stops Ray “Tito” Serrano in Philly
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Victory Promotions on a card at South Philly’s 2300 Arena Friday night televised live on ShoBox in an all Philly Main Event before a packed house.
In the main event Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 22-0 (20), destroyed Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-6 (10), at 1:12 of the second round.
In the first round Ennis came out landing a solid right to the chin of Serrano. Ennis had Serrano backing up the entire round bewildered with the hand speed of Ennis who had him holding on at the bell. In the second round Ennis switching from southpaw to orthodox dropped Serrano with a left hook on the chin. Serrano beat the count but was out of it. Ennis dropped Serrano a second time with a right hand. He jumped on Serrano dropping him with a flurry for a third knockdown ending the mismatch.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
In the co-feature Kenny Sims, Jr., 13-2-1 (4), of Chicago, IL, lost a lopsided decision to Sammy Teah, 15-2-1 (7), from Liberia, residing in Philly, over 8 rounds.
In the first round there was no feeling out as both fighters were throwing punches in bunches. Teah used an effective right while Sims used a good left. Round could have gone either way. In round two both fighters mostly used a body attack. Teah rocked Sims with a right hand on the chin. Sims fought back but was hurt. Big round for Teah.
In the third round Teah worked well inside while Sims seemed to play into his hands trying to switch back and forth from orthodox to southpaw but with little effect. In the fourth round Teah used uppercuts to the body hurting Sims. Teah simply outworked the out of town fighter Sims.
In the fifth round Teah kept the pressure on the back pedaling Sims. It was another good round for Teah. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., warned Sims at the end of the round for using a back hander. In the sixth round Teah rocked Sims with a combination to the head. Teah landed a double left hook to the body of Sims who came back with a chopping right to the head. Teah had Sims in trouble the last ten seconds of the round as the bell sounded.
In the seventh round Teah kept the jab in the face of Sims who was coming forward looking for the big punch being far behind in the fight. Teah was still the better of the two round after round. In the eighth and final round Teah came out looking for the knockout but Sims knowing he needed one stood his ground. Teah never looked better in this writers eyes.
Scores were Braswell and Weisfeld 77-75 and Poturaj 79-73 This writer had it 79-73.
Super bantam Arnold “Arni” Khegai, 14-0-1 (9), of Philly, defeated Jorge Diaz, 19-6-1 (10), of New Brunswick, NJ over 8 rounds.
In the first three rounds Diaz worked the body of Khegai. Diaz in the fourth round drew blood over the left eye of Khegai. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on it between rounds.
In the fifth round Khegai finally started landing solid punches to the head of the ever ducking Diaz. Referee Rosato gave several warnings to Khegai for pushing the head of Diaz down but never took a point away. In the sixth round Khegai landed a solid left to the chin of Diaz dropping him. Diaz weathered the storm getting through the round.
In the seventh round Khegai had his best round trying to capitalize on the previous rounds knockdown. Diaz kept in the round as best he could. In the eighth and final round Khegai continued using dirty tactics and receiving warnings but landed solid punches to the fading Diaz. At the end of the round Khegai had Diaz out on his feet being saved by the bell.
Scores were LaRosa 79-72 while Weisfeld and Poturaj scored it 77-74. This writer had it 76-75 with the knockdown the difference.
Philly Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 13-1 (6), defeated Jerome Rodriguez, 7-11-3 (2), out of Allentown, PA, over 6 rounds for the NBA belt.
In the first round Pizarro landed several lead rights to the chin of southpaw Rodriguez. Pizarro landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rodriguez. In the second round a right hook from Rodriguez put a welt under the left eye of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a double left hook to the chin of Rodriguez. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on the welt of Pizarro’s between rounds.
In the third round inside being held by Rodriguez Pizarro landed three chopping rights to the head. Rodriguez used his jab while Pizarro was throwing twice as many in return followed by rights to the head. In the fourth round Pizarro landed half a dozen unanswered punches. After landing a combination Pizarro got his head snapped back by a Rodriguez jab. Pizarro with his hands to his side ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
In the fifth round Pizarro landed a combination to the head but got caught with a Rodriguez right hook on the chin. Pizarro turned southpaw for about ten secons before returning to orthodox. In the sixth and final round both opened up getting the fans into it. Rodriguez landed a hard uppercut to the chin of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
Scores were LaRosa 60-54 while Braswell and Poturaj as well as this writer had it 59-55. Esteves was the ref.
Super Featherweight Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa, 9-0 (7) of Ocala, FL, deated German Meraz, 61-51 (38), of Sonora, MEX, over 6 rounds for the NBA title.
In the first two rounds Rosa was on the offense going to the body of Meraz. Rosa landed a solid left hook to the chin of Meraz in the second round. In the third round there was too much clinching as referee Rosato handled it appropriately. Finally with 10 seconds to go Meraz got in his best punch of the night a left hook to the chin of Rosa.
In the fourth round Meraz unloaded with overhand rights to the head of Rosa. Rosa came back evening the score for the most part. In the fifth round Meraz switched to southpaw holding off Rosa for the most part. In the sixth and final round Meraz became the aggressor landing uppercuts to the body of Rosa. Meraz missed with an uppercut and was countered by a Rosa right to the chin.
Scores were LaRosa and Weisfeld 59-55, David Braswell 60-54 with this writer having it 59-55. Rosato was the ref.
Super Welterweight Kieran Hooks, 3-2-1 (1), of Philly, was stopped by Gledwin “Chico” Ortiz, 6-2 (5), of the Bronx, NY, at 2:27 of round one.
In the first round Ortiz landed a devistating right to the chin of Hooks who went down face first. Referee Esteves wisely immediately waved it over!
Super Featherweight Christian Tapia, 7-0 (6), of Coamo, PR, stopped Darnell Pettis, 3-13 (0), of Cleveland, OH, who couldn’t come out for the fourth round.
In the first two rounds it went back and forth. In the third and fourth Tapia took over hurting Pettis. By the end of the fourth referee Rosata with the advice of the ring physician stopped it in favor of Tapia.
Light Heavyweight Benjamin Sinakin, 2-0 (1), of Philly stopped southpaw Darren Gibbs, 1-6 (1), of Ferndale, MI, at 2:23 of the first round.
In the first round Sinakin dropped Gibbs with a right to the chin. Gibbs beat the count but Sinakin jumped on him having him hurt in a corner when referee Esteves wisely called a halt.
Cruiserweight David Stevens, out of Reading, PA, 1-0 (1), stopped Judd Brown, 0-2-1, (0), of Johnson City, TN, at 2:56, of the first round.In the first round Stevens was bombing Brown with solid shots landing a left hook followed by a straight right for a knockdown. The second knockdown was a right uppercut causing referee Rosato to call a halt.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Hooker Retains Title, Stops Saucedo in 7th
By: Michael Kane
Oklahoma will continue to wait for their first world champion since Sean O’Grady in 1981. Alex Saucedo was hoping to become Oklahoma’s second ever champion but fell short in his bid against the champion Maurice Hooker.
4102 fans were in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City to see if their man, Saucedo, could do it. Once again Hooker was on enemy territory, he won the WBO Junior Welterweight title in June when he travelled to Manchester to take on hometown favourite Terry Flanagan for the vacant title, winning by split decision.
There was to be no decision after this fight. Saucedo started well and landed a big right hand. This put Hooker on the canvas in the second, sending his fans into ecstasy. Hooker was bloodied but Saucedo didn’t finish him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Moving on to the 5th, Saucedo had Hooker against the ropes but the champ came back in the closing stages of the round.
In the 6th Saucedo’s eye was starting to look swollen.
The fight was over in the 7th as Hooker took control of the fight, Saucedo suffered a standing eight count after Hooker landed a right hand. Hooker went on to stop Saucedo later in the round, winning by TKO.
“Alex is a great fighter. He came to fight, and I came to fight,and I went right at him,” Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) said. “I knew the first couple of rounds would be tough, but eventually it would be my time to take over.”
Saucedo (28-1, 18 KOs) said, “He’s a champion for a reason. Now I am going to rest, enjoy my family, and come back stronger. I gave it my very best in the ring.”
In the other big fight on the card, NABF Welterweight champion Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0, 17 KOs) defended his strap against undefeated Roberto Arriaza (17-1, 13 KOs).
It took the Lithuanian 3 rounds to put the Nicaraguan, Arriaza away to retain his NABF title and add the WBO Inter-continental title.
Kavaliauskas now wants a shot at World champion Terence Crawford, who was ringside.
“I want the best in the welterweight division, and the best guy right now is Terence Crawford.” Said Kavaliauskas. “I am ready for that fight next.”
Arriaza said, “I know I had him in trouble. I was the one who was dominating and was in control of the fight. I’m sure that I was going to finish him within six rounds, but he surprised me with a punch to the back of the ear and then connected with me while I was on the canvas.”
In other results:
Super Lightweight: Cletus Seldin (22-1, 18 KOs), KO 1, :26, Nelson Lara (17-11-4, 9 KOs).
* Left hook to the body put Lara down for the count
Super Bantamweight: Jonathan Guzman (23-1, 22 KOs), unanimous decision, 10 rounds, Roberto Castaneda (23-11-1, 16 KOs). Scores: 99-91 3X.
Middleweight: Tyler Howard (16-0, 11 KOs), KO 1, 1:30, Isiah Seldon (12-2-1, 4 KOs).
Light Heavyweight: Trevor McCumby (25-0, 18 KOs), unanimous decision, 8 rounds, Felipe Romero (20-16-1, 14 KOs). Scores: 78-73, 78-72, 77-73.
Lightweight: Albert Bell (13-0, 5 KOs),TKO 6, 3:00, Carlos Padilla (16-9-1, 10 KOs).
Bantamweight: Aaron Morales (5-0, 3 KOs), unanimous decision, 6 rounds, Francisco Lapizco (8-9, 2 KOs). Scores: 59-55 3X.
Super Welterweight: Paul Kroll (2-0, 2 KOs ) TKO 2, :13, Antonio Wattell (1-6-1, 1 KO).
Super Bantamweight: Rasheen Brown (2-0, 0 KOs), majority decision, 4 rounds, Sebastian Baltazar (1-3, 0 KOs). Scores: 38-38, 39-37 2X.
Lightweight: John Rincon (1-0, 1 KO) KO 1, 1:24, Emanuel Williams (0-1).
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Yarde Defends Title, Corcoran and Garton Engage in a War
By: Oliver McManus
The Brentwood Centre played host to a fiddle of fine fights this Saturday night as Frank Warren promoted some of his most hotly-tipped talents with Anthony Yarde defending his WBO Inter-Continental belt against, Argentine champion, Walter Sequeira; Gary Corcoran and Johnny Garton went at it for the British Welterweight strap; and Umar Sadiq and Zak Chelli put their unbeaten records on the line over eight rounds.
Anthony Yarde, looking to move 17 and 0, was in the ring against Walter Gabriel Sequeira – a man who’s record is composed of 21 wins and 4 losses, although his comprehensive loss to Avni Yilidrim tells you all you need to know – in what was widely expected to be a routine victory.
The WBO’s #2 ranked light heavyweight entered the ring just before 23:00 UK time and the Hackney-born man needed to dispatch with his opponent in double-quick time in order to prove he is of the calibre that he is sold as.
The Beast looked monstrous in comparison to the visiting fighter – officially 5ft10inches but looking a fair sight smaller than that – and Yarde bounced out of his corner immediately, swaggering into the centre of the ring, throwing out a meaningful jab from early doors.
Sequeira offered no genuine counter-artillery during the course of their opening exchanges but was offering some shots back as a reminder of his presence, Yarde controlled the tempo of the fight with a relative ease and, whilst not pushing the cause, was on top of the contest from the off.
The Argentine sought to get in close to the body of Yarde at every possible opportunity, working the inside, forcing Yarde to create the space and angles in order to land convincing shots of his own, some strong body shots were landed by the home favourite as a tentative reminder of the power he carries.
Three rounds in and Yarde started to up the pressure, landing some strong uppercuts to check the chin of Sequeira before a couple of battering shots to head started to take their toll on the man from Argentina – rather tame and underwhelming stuff, in all honest, if truth be told.
“This is the round”, we were told between the third and fourth round, the round for Yarde to look for the finish off the back of a convincing third round but Anthony Yarde got caught up in the clinch far too often, almost refusing to find space of his own, to take a step back and explode into the shots.
Having spent a minute trying to paw around to create the angle, he landed a downwards right hand to Sequeira, from the clinch in order to send his man to the canvas before the contest started and Yarde moved through the motions, dropping Sequeria a second time.
Up again and a calm, composed shot selection from Yarde with two “big” rights and lefts sending the challenger to the canvas for a third and final time with the contest duly waived off – a stoppage victory, sure, but the underwhelming opposition will do little for his reputation.
Yarde looked in control and heavy-handed but not necessarily explosive and dyanamic, a good finish but there’s definitely work to be done.
Johnny Garton and Gary Corcoran were the co-main event as the pair faced off for the vacant British welterweight title – Garton, a patient man, had waited nearly three years for this opportunity having been in the shadows of his stablemate Bradley Skeete, who formerly held the belt whilst Corcoran was in the second British title fight of his career.
The crowd were bouncy and so were the fighters, looking eager to get to battle as soon as the fight began and both men came to the centre of the ring, boxing busy, and establishing their respective jabs with Garton edging the initial exchanges with solid one-twos.
Corcoran, the former world title challenger, was showing grit and standing firm at the centre of the ring – true to his words, Corcoran was delivering on his promise to go toe-to-toe with Garton and was throwing some lovely combinations to the body of The Pexican.
Taking a shot to land two, three, four of his own, Corcoran landed good left hooks to the body of Garton before varying up with uppercuts and landed with a dominant flurry in the corner of the rope to sign off the second round in signature fashion.
Fights began to erupt in the crowd in what was a boisterous and ferocious atmosphere as the scraps began to turn ugly but, back in the ring, quality work by both men who were doing their best to remain undistracted by events outside of their control and it was Corcoran who continued to land impressive body shots before a heavy shot cut Garton underneath the eye.
Garton paid little notice to the nick, walking forward himself and taking advantage of the Corcoran’s lack of head movement, firing in some good shots and ensuring Corcoran wasn’t having it all his own way – only three rounds in and it was shaping up to be a cracker.
A former English, Southern Area and IBF European title holder, Garton has been no stranger to pressure fights against an array of strong domestic contenders but it was Corcoran who, arguably, was landing the stronger shots as he pushed Garton to the ropes in a relentless fashion with shot after shot being thrown at the Peckham man.
The cleaner work and more crips shots were being landed by Garton but Corcoran was eye-catching in his work, fighting true to his nature and turning the fight into a real battle.
This rhythm continued as we neared the middle portions of the fight with both men standing their ground at the centre of the ring – no quarter asked and no quarter given – throwing their shorts and absorbing the punishment that was coming their way. A thrilling bout that ebbed and flowed with both men finding pockets of success, Corcoran the more rugged man whilst Garton looked to piece things together in a calmer fashion.
Calmer in this fight, make no mistake, was still ferocious in any other. Garton received a large cut to the head in the sixth round but came out fighting in the seventh as he continued to put together the more composed work.
Claret seeped across the face of Garton throughout the round with Corcoran looking to seize his opportunity, rallying with successive shots to the head of Garton but the fight was mainly being fought to the body with both men landing some brilliant punches.
Warriors, at the core of it, they kept on coming forward with each and every round, embroiling each other in physical warfare but the shots, as punishing as they were, took little toll on either man with both digging in and continuing the pace they began with.
If you were to be hyper-critical you could say Garton looked a little ragged in the eighth round as Corcoran found more openings more angles for success; Garton returned to the safety of the jab whilst Corcoran continued to march forward and throw solid right hands.
That criticism could be flipped completely on its head in the following round as Corcoran began to look the more scruffy fighter, conceding ground for the first time in the bout and being beaten to the punch on numerous occasions as Garton simply refused to relent, swinging the full weight of his body into the punches to force Corcoran onto the back foot.
Blood now decorated the face of both men, the shorts once white with blue trim and white with red, respectively, were gradually turning a pale shade of pink.
After the middle rounds saw Corcoran working his way into the fight and taking the upper-hand, it was Garton that rallied from the ninth round on with storming left hooks seemingly landing at will to snap the head back of his younger opponent but, regardless, Corcoran kept on coming back with fire of his own to keep Garton in check.
Stunning work, simply sensational work from both men who were showing just what the Lonsdale belt means to these guys in a fight full of heart that and as we entered the eleventh Corcoran staggered, almost, to his customary position at the centre of the ring but a ferocious left sent his legs stiffening to the ropes, he ducked and weaved but Garton kept on landing.
A left hook, that trademark shot, forced Steve Gray to step in and halt the bout with Corcoran deemed to be taking too much punishment, Johnny Garton claimed the British welterweight strap with a breath-taking display of guts and glory via an eleventh round TKO.
WHAT A FIGHT!
Umar Sadiq and Zak Chelli – three and four fights without defeat, respectively – were pitting their unbeaten records against each-other over the course of a scheduled eight rounds in a genuine 50-50 fight.
Chelli, the more explosive of the two, began the fight in the centre of the ring as he bounced in and out of the pocket before landing some right hands to the body of Sadiq – Chelli looked relaxed in his body language and comfortable in his footwork but Sadiq, himself, was staying busy with his footwork, staying at range.
A positive start from Chelli, still in full-time education, who retained the higher work rate whilst staying patient and composed in the process – the mild-mannered man was landing full-blooded right hands, seeking to unload with real bad inentions.
Sadiq, 10 years the elder fighter, looked to grow into the fight as he landed the rangy left hand with an increased frequency though an argument could be made for him using the jab more often in order to disrupt the rhythm of his, more combative, opponent.
Towards the halfway stage we went and Chelli maintained the more aggressive fight style but Sadiq was landing with more consistency now and landed a decent right hand as the bout began to warm up – a tepid start from the older fighter, an incredibly down-to-earth man, but things were starting to heat up as Sadiq began to push forward on his lead foot.
Neither fighter was landing with arrow-like precision but the sixth round saw a delightful over-hand right connect from Chelli, a punch that Sadiq walked onto in the process of trying to land a heavy shot of his own, and dropped his man to the canvas but the thirty year old shock it off, got back up and straight back into the fight. Around forty-five seconds later, the Ilford man landed a strong over-hand right of his own with Chelli scampering around the ropes.
A nip-and-tuck fight in which neither man solidified their individual advantages, it was Chelli who fought the more aggressive fight but, as rounds went on, Sadiq started to come forward more and walk his opponent down, popping out shots more frequently and bringing the pace of the bout back into his control.
The eight round saw the Umar Sadiq that many expected to see emerge as he began to impose a physically-commanding gameplan on that of Chelli, bullying his man around the ring, trading leather before a smacking left hook from Chelli, in the final seconds, saw the tide turn and the 20 year old began to unfurl an endless parade of shots, trying to take Sadiq out, but the bell rang to signal the end of a cracking eight rounds between two classy, classy, super-middleweights.
Zak Chelli won the bout by 77 points to 74 on the scorecard of Chas Coakley but that only just begun to whet the appetite… a rematch, for the vacant Southern Area belt, has surely got to be on the table?
It’s fair to say that the headlining fight as underwhelming, it was always going to be, but boy we were treated to some cracking fights on the undercard – Johnny Garton, he’s been patient, he’s bided his time, but now it’s his opportunity to seize everything that his talent and heart will bring.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Crawford and Stevenson Deliver Scintillating Knockouts
By: William Holmes
The CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, the hometown of welterweight champion Terence Crawford, was the host cite for tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.
The main event of the night was between Terrance Crawford (33-0) and Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0) for the WBO Welterweight Title.
But before the main event, undefeated former Olympian Shakur Stevenson (8-0) met Viorel Simion (21-2) in the junior lightweight division.
Stevenson, a southpaw, used a steady jab early in the first and was able to find his range early with his check right hook. Stevenson landed a crisp two punch combination that sent Simion down to the mat in the first half of the round. Simion got back to his feet but on wobbly legs, and Stevenson landed another combination on Simion who fell face forward again.
Simion got back to his feet again and had to try and withstand an onslaught from Stevenson. Stevenson landed another hard combination that ended with a hard left hook that sent Simion spinning to the ground again.
Simion arose on wobbly legs, and the referee waived off the fight as the round came to an end.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Shakur Stevenson wins by TKO at 3:00 of the opening round.
Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr. were involved in a scuffle at the previous night’s weigh ins, and appeared to have some legitimate bad blood leading into the fight
Benavidez entered the ring first to a loud chorus of boos while Crawford had the support of the crowd behind him.
Both fighters came out in an orthodox stance with Benavidez finding some success early on walking Craword down behind his jab. Crawford switched to a southpaw stance before the end of the first.
Benavidez continued with his jab in the second round, but Crawford began to the target the body. Neither boxer took many risks in the second and could have been scored either way.
Crawford began to land his combination both to the body and head of Benavidez in the third round, but Benavidez’s straight right hand was finding it’s home in the fourth round and he briefly caught Crawford off balance as the round came to an end.
Crawford was landing from unique angles in the fifth but Benavidez was landing some stiff straight right hands in the sixth. Both of these rounds were close, though Benavidez looked like eh was beginning to tire.
Crawford had a strong seventh and eighth rounds as he was continuing to get hit less and less while landing at a progressively higher clip. Benavidez wasn’t able to come forward effectively and looked hampered by his right knee.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Crawford looked like he was close to knocking Benavidez down in the ninth round and had Benavidez’s back to the ropes in the tenth. Benavidez attempted to lure Crawford into an exchange in the tenth and eleventh rounds with his back to the ropes, but when they did exchange Crawford looked like landed the better and more accurate punches.
Benavidez needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout and pressed forward in an attempt to finish the bout, but he got hit with a vicious right uppercut that sent him crashing to the mat in a violent fashion.
Benavidez somehow got back to his feet, but was hit with several hard combinations before the referee jumped in to stop the fight and award Crawford the TKO victory.
Terrance Crawford wins by TKO at 2:42 of the 12th round.
ShoBox Results: Devin “The Dream” Haney Defeats Juan Carlos Burgos
By: Ken Hissner
Under his own promotion Devin Haney Promotions the unbeaten Devin “The Dream” Haney took on Juan Carlos Burgos in the main event ShoBox: The New Generation. This card took place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing were also part of the promotion.
In the Main Event No. 15 IBF ranked Devin “The Dream” Haney, 20-0 (13), of Las Vegas, NV, won a lopsided decision over Juan Carlos “Miniburgos” Burgos, 33-3-2 (21), of Tijuana, MEX, for the vacant IBF North American Lightweight Title, over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
In the first round Haney moved using his jab while Burgos landed several left hooks. Burgos landed a long right to the head of Haney who was moving away at the time. In the second round Burgos kept throwing the left hook to the body while Haney mainly used his jab. Burgos ended the round with several left hooks to the body ending with a hook to the chin of Haney.
In the third round Haney missed quite a bit before landing a pair of chopping rights to the head of Burgos. Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney missed with a right but followed thru landing a left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney ended the round with a right to the chin of Burgos. In the fourth round Burgos from southpaw landed a lead left to the chin of Haney. Haney landed a chopping right to the head while Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney stalks while Burgos stays against the ropes moving side to side.
In the fifth round Haney sticks and moves while Burgos lands solid left hooks to the body of Haney. Haney landed a lead right to the chin of Burgos who keeps chasing Haney. Haney hurt Burgos with a right uppercut to the chin. In the sixth round while against the ropes Haney landed half a dozen rights to the head of Burgos. Haney’s hand speed has made a major difference but the fans are starting to boo as Haney does too much running and countering when he stops moving.
In the seventh round Haney decides to stand his ground for close to a minute at the start of the round before he started moving again landing the jab. Referee Zachary Young warns both boxers about talking to one another. There was little action in the round with the crowd booing again near the end. In the eighth round both started landing body shots while in the middle of the ring. Burgos warned for rabbit punch. Burgos landed three left hooks to the body of a moving Haney as the booing starts up again.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
In the ninth round Haney is going to work landing lead rights and chopping rights to the head of Burgos. With just under a minute left in the round Haney rocks Burgos with several rights to the head. Burgos did little fighting in the round. In the tenth and final round Haney landed a double left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney landed a solid right after landing the jab to the chin of Burgos who just can’t handle the hand speed of Haney. Burgos landed a double left hook to the head and body of Haney. The booing started again in the final minute. Haney landed the final punch of the fight a lead right to the head of Burgos.
Scores were 97-93 and 100-90 while this writer had it 98-92.
In a rematch Super Lightweight Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 13-0-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH, ended in a disputed split draw with Lightweight Armenian Zhora Hamazaryan, 9-1-1 (6), of L.A., CA, over 8 rounds. Mattice came in 3 pounds over the 135 contract weight.
In the first round Mattice starts out moving around the ring with Hamazaryan chasing. At the halfway point of the round Hamazaryan landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Just under a minute Mattice landed his best punch of the round a right cross to the chin of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan landed a right followed by a left both to the head of Mattice. In the second round Hamazaryan opened up with half a dozen unanswered punches. A left hook to the chin by Hamazaryan drove Mattice back several steps. Hamazaryan landed a left hook to the chin while Mattice came back with a chopping right to the head.
In the third round after each landing well Mattice got on his bicycle. Mattice is using his jab keeping Hamazaryan at bay. Hamazaryan warned for hitting Mattice behind the head. Mattice landed a combination at the bell. In the fourth round after both mixed it up Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin forcing Mattice to continue to hold for most of the remaining round. Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin driving him into the ropes.
In the fifth round Hamazaryan landed a 3-punch combination. Going into the final minute Hamazaryan was having his way with Mattice continuing to do more holding than punching. In the sixth round Hamazaryan landed a right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Mattice warned for hitting on the break. Mattice landed a combination and then started moving around the ring again. Mattice landed a solid right just after the bell. The referee Ray Corona has done little to prevent Mattice from fouling.
In the seventh round Mattice was warned for holding down the head of Hamazaryan. Mattice landed a hard left knocking out the mouthpiece of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan continued chasing Mattice landing punches and getting held and pushed by Mattice. In the eighth and final round Mattice was moving and jabbing until a right from Hamazaryan to the chin rocked Mattice. Mattice started showboating as Hamazaryan is all business. Hamazaryan landed the last punch of the fight a right to the chin of Mattice.
Scores were 77-75 Mattice, 77-75 Hamazaryan and 76-76. This writer had it 78-74 Hamazaryan.
German Super Middleweight Cem “The Champ” Kilic, 12-0 (7), of Sherman Oaks, CA, defeated DeAndre “The Axe Man” Ware, 12-1-2 (8), of Toledo, OH, over 8 action packed rounds.
In the first round there was no feeling out as both opened up. Originally set to be a middleweight bout Ware could not make it so they are in the super middle division. Kilic is much taller and landed several rights to the head of Ware. He landed four punches to the body. Both exchanged rights to the chin just prior to the bell. In the second round Kilic rocked Ware with a left hook to the chin while Ware came back with a solid right to the chin. Ware landed a hard right to the chin of Kilic. A Ware combination rocked Kilic just prior to the end of the round.
In the third round Ware landed a 3-punch combination. Kilic drove Ware into a corner but Ware came back rocking Kilic with a right hand to the chin. Ware worked his right well against the taller Kilic who used a good right uppercut. In the fourth round both came out throwing leather. Kilic showed blood from his nose. Kilic knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware with a right to the chin. Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches to the head and body.
In the fifth round Kilic started using his jab more setting up Ware with right hands. Ware landed three body shots at the halfway point of the round. Kilic landed a flurry of punches to the head and body of Ware. Both continue to throw a good amount of punches. In the sixth round Ware kept coming forward but walking into solid punches by Kilic. Ware landed his lead right to the chin of Kilic which has been his best weapon so far. Once again a Kilic right knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware.
In the seventh round Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches while Ware came back pushing Kilic with his head and gloves. Ware got a warning from Referee Tony Crebs for using his head. Both landed punches by bunches up to the end of the round. In the eighth and final round Ware came out throwing possibly he may be behind. It may have been the first clinch in the fight at the halfway point of the round. Ware has Kilic moving backwards. Kilic has never gone beyond four rounds. It was a very good fight.
Scores were 78-74, and 79-73 while this writer had it 77-75.
DAZN Boxing Results: Joshua Stops Povetkin, Maintains Claim to the Heavyweight Throne
By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s Heavyweight Championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin for the IBF, WBA, and WBO Heavyweight titles.
A mega fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was just announced for December 1st on Showtime, and the winner of the Joshua and Povetkin fight will likely, and hopefully, face the winner of tonight’s bout in the near future.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The undercard featured several good prospects. Sakhram Giyasov defeated Julio Laguna by a fourth round KO, Sergey Kuzmin defeated David Price by 4th round TKO, and Lawrence Okolie defeated Matty Askin by points.
The co-main event of the night was between Yvan Mendy and Luke Campbell in a lightweight eliminator for the WBC title. Luke Campbell was in clear control for a majority of the fight and pulled out the decision win with scores of 119-109, 118-111, and 116-112.
Anthony Joshua (21-0) and Alexander Povetkin (34-1) met in the main event of the evening before a very pro Anthony Joshua crowd.
Povetkin, the first man to enter the ring, was met with a loud chorus of boos and whistles.
Joshua towered over Povetkin, who had to use good head movement early on to avoid the jab of Joshua. Povetkin was able to land some good right hands to the body, and ended the opening round with a good combination.
Joshua came out aggressive in the second round but had a bloody nose by this point. Povetkin was able to land some good right crosses to the head and body, but Joshua started to pump his jab with more regularity.
Joshua opened up the third round with a solid short right hand, but Povetkin was able to answer with an over the top right hand. Joshua landed a few good uppercuts and left hooks and likely took the round with his accurate punching.
Povetkin had a cut open up by his left eye in the fourth round, and by the fifth round Joshua had landed 30 jabs to the 2 jab that Povetkin landed. But Povetkin was throwing and landing more power shots than Joshua at this point.
Povetkin got tagged with several good jabs by Joshua in the sixth round. Povetkin was aggressive and tried to hurt Joshua with short right hands, but often landed on the guard of Joshua or swung at air.
Joshua opened up the seventh round circling away from Povetkin, who was coming forward with straight right hands. Joshua landed a sudden straight right hand that hurt Povetkin and followed it up with a combination that ended with a right hook that sent Povetkin down.
Povetkin looked hurt but was able to get back to his feet, but was still badly hurt. Joshua jumped on Povetkin with another combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Anthony Joshua wins by TKO at 1:59 of the seventh round.
Golovkin vs. Canelo Undercard Results: Clean Slate of Knockouts for Chocolatito, Lemieux, and Munguia
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO Pay Per View Offering featuring a main event between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
Three fights were show on the undercard, and the opening bout was between former champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez(46-2) and Moises Fuentes (25-5-1) in the super flyweight division.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Fuentes looked like the taller and bigger fighter in the ring, but had to deal with Chocolatito’s jab and good head movement early on. Chocolatito was also able to land some decent left hooks to the body and outland Fuentes 22-6 in the opening round.
Chocolatito continued to rip hooks to the body and combinations in the second round and had Fuentes bleeding from his face as he walked to his corner.
Chocolatito continued to overwhelm Fuentes and had a solid up jab working in the fourth round. Fuentes was able to land a decent combination to the body in the fourth that momentarily slowed Chocolatito down, but he didn’t offer much more than that.
The end came in the fifth round when Chocolatito landed a short right hook to the chin of Fuentes with his back against the ropes, and he went crashing down and did not come close to getting up by the count of ten.
Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez wins by knockout at 1:44 of the fifth round.
The next bout of the night was between Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2) and David Lemieux (39-4) in the middleweight division.
Photo Credit:HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Lemieux outweighed O’Sullivan by about fifteen pounds by the time they stepped in the ring, and the difference in power showed early.
Lemieux was aggressive early and threw good hooks to the body and often tripled up on his jab. Lemieux applied heavy pressure and was landing strong shots, but did get momentarily stunned by an O’Sullivan jab.
Lemieux later responded with a resounding left hook that sent O’Sullivan spinning and crashing to the mat.
Lemieux wins by knockout at 2:44 of the first round.
The next bout of the night was between Jaime Munguia (30-0) and Brandon Cook (20-1) for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Munguia looked a weight class bigger than Cook and started off as the more aggressive fighter, landing combinations to the body and head early on. He was warned early for low blows, but continued to land heavy shots to the body and was pummeling him as the round came to an end.
Munguia took a right cross from Cook early in the second round, but retook control with a solid right uppercut followed by more blows to the body. He boxed more in control during the second round, but ended the round strong again with another barrage of punches.
Munguia opened up the third round with heavy digging hooks to the body, and knocked Cook down after a body head combination, including a punch that landed as Cook was falling to the mat.
Cook was able to get back up, but got obliterated with punches to the body that forced him to cover up. Cook was not fighting back and the referee jumped in to save him from further punishment.
Jaime Munguia wins by TKO at 1:03 of the third round.