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.
Stipe Miocic Reclaims UFC Heavyweight title in Fourth Round TKO of Cormier
By: Jesse Donathan
Stipe Miocic is the new UFC heavyweight champion of the world, scoring a fourth-round technical knockout victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 in the Honda Center of Anaheim, California Saturday night. The final volley an impressive display of pure boxing technique that left no doubt who the baddest man in the world truly is.
Cormier was supposed to be retired by now, having previously vowed to hang his gloves up by the age of 40 before somehow finding the inspiration to fight on. Prior to Saturday night, Cormier would have walked away from the sport the defending UFC heavyweight champion who had captured the title against the sports only three time defending UFC heavyweight champion in Stipe Miocic, while simultaneously having held the UFC light heavyweight title prior to relinquishing the belt at UFC 232 to his eventual successor Jon Jones.
Just after Cormier’s crushing defeat Saturday night, the longtime Cormier nemesis Jones, who has a storied history with the now former champion, took to social media to praise the victorious Miocic, stating, “Stipe is hands down the greatest heavyweight of all time. I have nothing else to say.” Apparently changing his mind, looking to kick Cormier whilst he is down, Jones would later going on to remark, “I guess losses don’t matter when you’re getting paid so much on the front end.”
The front end of course, an apparent response to an August 12, 2019 social media post from Cormier whom had stated, “Of course he (Jones) wants to fight me, he’s fought 3 times this year and I’m gonna make more this weekend than he will even if he fights again this year lmao. O, how times have changed!”
Cormier was reportedly paid $4 million dollars for his lone title defense against challenger Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in 2018 according to an MMAMania.com report, meaning even though Cormier sacrificed immense bragging rights and pride in defeat Saturday night the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) representative must feel he is well taken care of by the organization.
In an August 18, 2019 MMAFighting.com article titled, “UFC 241 salaries: Stipe Miocic wins back heavyweight title, cashes biggest payday on entire card,” author Damon Martin writes, “Following a fourth-round knockout against Daniel Cormier in the main event, Miocic was paid an event high $750,000 according to salaries released by the California State Athletic Commission in a message to MMA Fighting on Sunday.” According to Martin, “Miocic didn’t receive a win bonus but rather a flat $750,000 fee while also taking home an additional $50,000 for ‘Performance of the Night’ for his stunning comeback victory to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title.”
Martin would go on to write, “Daniel Cormier left with the second biggest payday on the card as the now former heavyweight champion (and) was paid $500,000 as a flat fee for his performance.”
Incidentally, MMAFighting.com’s Damon Martin reported back in July of this year that Jones was set to receive an event high $500,000 for his split decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239. With sponsorship opportunities inside the Octagon limited according to MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi, Daniel Cormier may not be teaching Calculus anytime, but he is apparently bringing home the bacon. With both Jones and Cormier reportedly receiving $500,000 pay days at UFC 239 and UFC 241 respectively, Cormier’s algebraic expressions on social media are food for thought and unfortunately only leave more questions than answers.
The first round at UFC 241 Miocic vs. Cormier 2 started off with both fighters exchanging leg kicks, if it wasn’t for the fact the 5-foot-11 Cormier actually came into this fight six pounds heavier (236.5) than Stipe (230.5), I wouldn’t blame some fans from being under the mistaken impression the 6-foot-5 Miocic appeared to be the much bigger man in the Octagon. The fighters would exchange powerful leg kicks before Cormier fired off another leg kick that grazed Miocic’s cup, momentarily bringing a halt to the action as both fighters acknowledged the low blow in fair play by touching gloves.
In what was likely part of the game plan coming into the fight, Cormier would again return back to the leg kicks, scoring a powerful blow that noticeably buckled Miocic. Attempting to fight his way into the clinch, Cormier would lunge in with a failed attempted over hook, the same technique Daniel had chained together in finishing Miocic in their original matchup back in 2018. Unsuccessful as Miocic circled out, Cormier would club Stipe with a pair of hooks that got the firefighters attention.
Cormier would again hit with Miocic with a straight right that was all business before fighting for a single leg takedown attempt, eventually securing the hold and lifting Miocic up into the air, carrying the former heavyweight champions weight for 8-10 seconds before dumping Stipe to the mat and landing in dominant top position.
Immediately looking to improve his position to pound Miocic into unconsciousness, Stipe would grab Cormier’s wrists, two hands on Cormier’s one lone limb, stifling the champions ability to strike. Displaying his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu chops, Miocic would go on to make his way to guard, Cormier content to lay in top position pounding away at Stipe’s body as just over a minute remained in the round.
Cormier would work the body, occasionally mixing in head shots before eventually standing up and looking to attack, creating a scramble which enabled Miocic to make his way back to his knees, eventually standing himself before the bell sounding to mark the end of the first five minutes of action. It was a 10-9 round for Cormier in a high paced competitive fight that saw both fighters put in work as the end of the round drew to a close.
The second round would initially start off tentatively with both fighters exchanging leg kicks before Miocic began to open up with superior boxing technique against the American Kickboxing Academy representative, looking rather impressive in the stand-up department early on. The two would begin to open up, both fighters landing on one another in an entertaining affair that Stipe must have been getting the better of because out of nowhere Cormier lands an open gloved technique that raked Miocic’s eye, which referee Herb Dean apparently ruled legal, as he refused to intervene, the fight continuing despite Miocic being noticeably concerned with the apparent foul.
Upon instant replay, the technique appeared to be deliberate and with malicious intent, an attempt to eye gouge Miocic’s eye in a very reminiscent scene to their first encounter at UFC 226, which directly led to Miocic losing his title to Cormier by knockout.
Miocic appeared to even put his hand out in another good will gesture in acknowledgment of a foul, only to be answered with a stiff one, two for his efforts. With his back to the wall, Miocic would land an uppercut and fight his way out of a tight situation along the fence against a Daniel Cormier who was prepared to win at all costs.
The fighters would again begin to slug it out, the crowd noticeably enjoying the action in a competitive fight between the two elite heavyweights. The horn would sound to mark the end of the second round in a very entertaining main event showcase that saw Cormier edge Miocic in a close 10-9 round by my judges score card.
The third round would initially start off slow once again, reminiscent of the previous round, before Stipe would begin to touch Cormier up with well placed, surgically placed strikes. Cormier would again begin to advance with an open gloved approach on Miocic, at one point even drawing a warning from referee Dean about the seemingly on-going issue. Cormier would begin working the jab, scoring with alarming regularity and effectiveness, Miocic noticeably bothered by his right eye as he checked it mid-fight. With three minutes left in the third, Miocic would pin Cormier up against the cage for a meaningful period of time in a surprising show of physical dominance and wrestling ability. Eventually making their way off the fence, the fighters would duke it out along the perimeter of the cage.
With under a minute in the third, the fighters made their way to the center of the Octagon exchanging blows tit-for-tat, too exhausted to do much else but stand in front of one another and bang away. The horn would sound marking the end to another close five minutes of action, unfortunately for Miocic, perhaps another 10-9 round once again for Cormier.
If this wasn’t a five round championship fight, Daniel Cormier would have won a three round unanimous decision victory over Miocic, but unfortunately for the now former heavyweight champion it just wasn’t to be. Marking the start of the championship rounds in round four, Miocic would stalk Cormier around the outside of the cage before the predator-prey like scenario would momentarily switch roles with Cormier going on the hunt. Making their way back to the center of the Octagon, the action noticeably slowing from both fighters, the two would paw at each other throughout much of the round with Miocic looking to work the body on the tiring Cormier with repeated left hands that seemed to find their mark with increasing regularity.
Continuing to work the body and remaining elusive, seemingly finding his second wind, Stipe would begin to force Cormier to chase him around the Octagon. With Miocic’s superior conditioning beginning to shine through, his boxing technique appearing crisp and his legs fresh, Stipe would begin piecing the former two-time Olympian and UFC heavyweight champion up with skull numbing shots.
The end ultimately coming after another surgically placed left hook smashed into Cormier’s fire hydrant like body, followed up with a stinging one-two down the middle that found their mark. Miocic would turn the corner as Cormier was sent fleeing for safety, only to be trapped against the chain link fence with Stipe giving chase, sending the now former champion crashing to the canvas in a heil of punches. The referee, Herb Dean, rushing in to force a halt to the action before Cormier took any further damage. Miocic was the new heavyweight champion of the world, even dancing in a very Valentina Shevchenko like fashion in celebration of another impression performance by the most elite fighter in the UFC heavyweight division.
The main event at UFC 241 was a serious fist fight that saw Daniel Cormier bring everything and the kitchen sink into the Octagon in an effort to maintain his seat at the UFC heavyweight throne. A reality in combat sports, despite Cormier vs Miocic 2 being a highly competitive fight, there are inevitably going to be winners and losers. With the series tied at one win a piece, its not out of the question to suggest a rematch may be on the horizon despite Cormier taking note of his second career stoppage loss at the UFC 241 post-fight press conference in reflection of defeat. The option of hanging his gloves up for good and retiring clearly on the table.
Sosa and Gonzales Win in Philadelphia
By: Ken Hissner
On Saturday night the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia was the host site for a Top Rank Boxing, Raging Babe Events, and Peltz Boxing Promotions show on ESPN+. The card featured former super featherweight champion Jason Sosa back in Philadlephia for the first time since 2015. He moved up to the main event due to an injury suffered by 2-time world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton earlier in the week.
In the main event former WBA Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 23-3-4 (16), 129, of Camden, NJ, stopped Lydell “Hackman” Rhodes, 27-4-1 (13), 130.9, of Las Vegas, NV, at 1:08 of the seventh round.
In the first round Sosa used all his know how as Rhodes did a lot of clinching. Sosa may have hurt Rhodes early making him run and grab. In the second round Sosa continued having his way while Rhodes gave top referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. plenty of work holding.
In the third round it was a big one for Sosa getting in numerous body shots mostly. In the final ten seconds the fans were yelling “Sosa, Sosa!” In the fourth round between getting held Sosa got in more than enough to take the round hurting Rhodes as the ten second left in the round signal went off with Sosa getting in a body shot. Half a minute later a chopping right from Sosa on the head of Rhodes and down he went for a second time. He beat the count of referee Esteves barely.
In the fifth round a vicious left on by Sosa on the chin of Rhodes and down he went barely beating the count of referee Esteves, Jr. In the sixth round Sosa suffered a cut from an accidental clash of heads by his left eye. He controlled the round with a vicious body attack.
In the seventh round referee Esteves, Jr. wisely stopped the beating Sosa was putting on an unwilling Rhodes when the latter’s corner signaled the end.
Featherweight 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Cuban southpaw Robeisy “La Tren” Ramirez, 0-1 (0), 125, of Gulphport, FL, suffered a major upset losing in his debut to an outstanding performance by Adan Gonzales, 5-2-2 (2), 125.3, of Denver, CO, by split decision in 4 with a first round knockdown a big reason.
In the first round a chopping left hand on the chin from Gonzales dropped Ramirez for 8-count. of referee Gary Rosato. Ramirez came back well the remainder of the round. In the second round both boxers had their moments.
Gonzales has surprised the Olympic star showing him no respect and landing the lead right. Gonzales left uppercut has been his best punch so far.
In the third round it was back and forth with each boxer getting their licks in. Ramirez may have pulled it out. In the fourth and final round both had their moments with Ramirez twice rocking Gonzales who otherwise seemed to have an edge but Ramirez may have won the round but seemed to need a knockout.
Scores were David Braswell 38-37 Ramirez, Alan Rubenstein 39-36 Gonzales and Rose Lucenda 40-35 Gonzales. This writer had it 38-37 Gonzales. Gary Rosato was ref. “I won it and give Jesus Christ all the glory,” said Gonzales. In the winners corner was Donald and Juaquin Camarena and Steve Mestas.
Middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 12-0 (12), of Brooklyn, NY, 162.3, continued his first round stoppages at 2:24 of the first round over Gregory “Nounou” Trenel, 11-5-2 (3), 162.2, of Dainville, France, in a scheduled 8.
In the first round a right from Berlanga dropped a game Trenel. Upon rising from an 8-count by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Trenel was suffering too much punishment when the referee wisely halting the bout for Berlanga’s 12th straight first round ko.
Welterweight Olympian Paul “The Punisher” Kroll, 5-0 (4), 147.9, of Philadelphia, PA, defeated Shinard Bunch, 2-1 (2), 146.6, of Trenton, NJ, over 6 rounds.
In the first round of a very competitive round Kroll had an edge. In the second round Kroll fought southpaw as Bunch ran and grabbed with Kroll easily winning the round. In the third round Bunch landed a right to the chin of Kroll making him go back to orthodox. Kroll went on to control the round.
In the fourth round a Kroll 3-punch combination rocking Bunch against the ropes highlighted the round. In the fifth round Bunch did more holding getting in a couple shots to the chin of Kroll who had much too much ammo for Bunch who spent more time bending over. In the sixth and final round Kroll landed a 4-punch combination. Bunch in only his third fight should have never jumped into a 6 especially with a seasoned former amateur star like Kroll.
Scores 58-56 by Weisfeld and Braswell while Rubenstein had it 59-55 as did this writer.
Heavyweight prospect Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, 4-0 (3), 214.5, of South Philadelphia, PA, easily defeated Guillermo Del Rio, 2-3-1 (2), 225.5, of So. Houston, TX, over 4 rounds scoring a knockdown.
In the first round it was all the taller Conto teeing off on Del Rio with shots to the body and head hurting him once with a body shot. In the second and third rounds it was more of the same with Conto dominating a game Del Rio with vicious body work. In the fourth and final round Conto dropped Del Rio with a vicious left hook to the body for an 8-count from referee Esteves, Jr. Del Rio managed to be the first of young Conto’s 4 opponents to last the distance. “It was good for him to get some rounds in,” said Frank Conto.
All four judges and this writer had it 40-35. In the winner’s corner were trainer Mickey Rosati, cut-man Joey Eye and assistant Frank Conto. He’s signed with one of Boxing’s top managers David McWater who was at ringside.
Featherweight southpaw Donald “No Love” Smith, 10-0 (6), 126.5, of S.W. Philadelphia, PA, easily defeated Raheem “Bazooka” Abdullah, 3-3 (0), 124.6, of Colorado Springs CO, over 6 rounds.
In the first round within seconds a lead left from Smith on the chin and down went Abdullah for an 8-count from referee Rosato. The much shorter Abdullah managed to get through the round by covering up but not backing off Smith.
In the second round a lead left from Smith on the chin of Abdullah drove him into the ropes. Midway in the round Abdullah landed a lead overhand right on the chin of Smith. Smith ended the round with a combination to body and head of Abdullah.
In the third round a wild right on the chin from Abdullah made Smiths legs almost give in while in a corner. The rest of the round was interesting between the two with Abdullah pressing forward. In the fourth round midway with Smith doing as much coming forward so far a lead left to the body and following with a right hook to the chin was the most action of the round.
In the fifth round a low punch from Abdullah gave Smith a five minute rest. Referee Rosato deducted a point from Abdullah. When action resumed Smith was throwing more punches than previously in the fight. In the sixth and final round Abdullah ran around the ring content in going the distance with Smith landing some body shots.
Scores were 59-53 by LaRosa and Weisfeld while Rubenstein had it 60-52 as did this writer. Lamar Smith worked corner of Smith.
Super Bantamweight southpaw Jeremy “Majic Hands” Adorno, 2-0 (1), 121.9, of Allentown, PA, stopped Fernando Robles, 2-2 (0), 121, of Pearland, TX, at 2:01 of the third in a 4 rounder.
In the first round it was all Adorno moving around the ring like a veteran boxer controlling with his jab and lead left to the mid-section of Robles who may not have landed a punch.
In the second round Adorno landed a double left to the chin of Robles a minute into the round. Adorno was landing on the chin with both hands. In the final ten seconds Robles landed several body shots.
In the third round after half a minute Adrono went inside and got hit in the eye making him blink repeatably. He then shook it off and continued his attack once he stopped moving. His speed of foot and hanld are to quick for Robles. Adorno was warned by referee Esteves, Jr. about using a straight arm. Before you knew it a wicked right hook ro the body of Robles for the full count. Can’t say Robles didn’t make an effort but Adorno is following in his brother Joseph’s footsteps at this point. It was quite a performancee by the young Adorno. His father-trainer Anibal was in the corner.
Ring Announcer in the preliminaries was Lupe Contreras. Jimmy Lennon did the ESPN+ final 3 fights. Timekeeper Fred Blumsteien.
Top Rank IBHOF team of Lee Samuels and Bruce Trampler were working the show in attendance.
Charlo Demolishes Cota, Rigondeaux Victorious
By: Sean Crose
After losing his WBC super welterweight title to Tony Harrison by unanimous decision last December, Jermell Charlo was eager to regain both his title and his winning ways. A rematch was scheduled, but Harrison had to pull out due to an injury. Charlo indicated he didn’t buy Harrison’s reason for stepping away from the bout, but the Houston native ended up impressing in his return fight regardless. For the 31-1 Charlo faced the 28-3 Jorge Cota on Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas before PBC cameras in a battle that was aired live on Fox. Needless to say, Charlo made a distinct point by destroying Cota in the third round.
Although widely expected to win the fight, Charlo ended matters in disturbing fashion by laying Cota out on his back with a picture perfect straight right hand. Cota, who had previously been down only moments earlier, could be seen by FOX cameras lying under the ropes with his eyes wide open, completely out of commission. Referee Jay Nady didn’t even bother with a count, waving the fight off as soon as Cota hit the mat for the second time. There was criticism of Nady after for the bout for letting Cota resume fighting immediately after the first knockdown.
In truth, Cota did well for himself in the early portion of the very quick match. His awkward style kept Charlo from steamrolling him right at the bell and the judges even awarded Cota the opening round on the cards. Still, the man ended up being no match for Charlo, who merely had to figure out Cota’s style before finishing the southpaw in devastating fashion. Cota, who had last fought in April, suffered his second loss in a row. WBC champ Harrison watched the proceedings in person.
Earlier on in the evening, Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was once ranked high on the pound for pound list, returned after a long absence from the ring to stop Julio Ceja in the eighth round. The super bantamweight, who was last seen quitting on his stool against Vasyl Lomachenko back in 2017 (in what was the fighter’s only loss), had long ago earned himself a reputation as a “boring” fighter. Rigondeaux threw that reputation out the window on Sunday, engaging in a fan friendly war, and earning his 19th win the hard way. The game Ceja entered the ring with a record of 32-3. The highly skilled Rigondeaux ended up handing the Mexican fighter his second loss in a row.
NXTGEN Results: An Early Night For Benn, Whilst Cheeseman & Conway Fight to a Draw
By: Ste Rowen
At the York Hall in London, Conor Benn dealt with Jussi Koivula inside two rounds to defend his minor WBA belt; Ted Cheeseman and Kieron Conway fought out a rough but action-packed draw; whilst Craig Richards settled a domestic rivalry.
Benn, 14-0 (9KOs) rushed out and tried to dominate the middle ground early but his Finnish foe was ready to fight back and did his best to avoid a 1st round blowout. Jussi had a decent looking record heading into tonight (24-6-1) but hasn’t actually beaten a fighter with a winning record since June 2015 when he decisioned 5-3, Michael Obin.
And it showed, as though Joivula made it to round two, he was dropped twice in the 2nd with a vicious attack from Benn who, once he sensed the ending, went in for the kill. ‘The Destroyer’ fired off on the Finn as he was backed up on the ropes and the referee was forced to wave off the bout.
Speaking post-fight, now 15-0 (10KOs) and still WBA ‘Continental’ titlist, the victor with the famous name spoke post-fight,
‘‘He tried to throw me out of my game plan, thought I’m a little boy and I knew he was gonna come out and thought he was gonna bully me but I weren’t having none of it.
He caught me with some good shots, didn’t faze me so I thought, ‘You know what? Gonna let my hands go.’ I wanted to get my balance; the old Conor Benn and then the new and improved.
I think I did box, I just applied the aggression…The injuries have done me good, it’s about treading carefully.
Everybody wants to see blood and when I wanna see blood it is what it is. I don’t need that much stirring on.’’
On the undercard…
Ted Cheeseman and Kieron Conway fought out a draw in their British junior-middleweight matchup. Cheeseman was hoping for an immediate victory after his European title bout loss to Sergio Garcia last February, but it wasn’t to be as both men went hell for leather in the final round which kept it close on the scorecards, and ultimately a draw.
The current British junior-middleweight champion was also looking to defend the rainbow strap for the first time and was firing off the more efficient shots in the early rounds. Conway, 12-1 (3KOs), consistently looked to wrap up the big betting favourite but struggled to get a hold of Ted. ‘Too Class’ Conway continued to fight off the back foot into the middle rounds of the schedule twelve-rounder but was having success at times with his quick flurry attacks, Cheeseman’s relentlessness to come forward was doing a good job of supressing the challengers best moves.
By round nine Ted had seemed to be happy to resort roughhousing tactics, attempting to be stuck on the chest of Conway, and fire on the inside. 23-year-old Kieron was moving relatively well at times and though it may have looked as if Cheeseman was dominating the action, ‘Too Class’ was showing his class in spots with his defensive work.
The fight made its way to the 12th and final round with the more of the same tactics being employed by both fighters. ‘The Big Cheese’, 15-1 (9KOs) heading into tonight, was consistently let off with rabbit punches but Conway wasn’t one to complain as both men kept swinging to avoid going to the scorecards. But it was to the scorecards we went, and the final cards were returned as, 116-113, Conway, 115-114 Cheeseman and 114-114; a draw. Ted is now set to face his mandatory, Scott Fitzgerald next.
In arguably the most anticipated bout of the night Craig Richards score a unanimous decision over unbeaten light-heavyweight, Andre Sterling over twelve rounds. The victory now puts Richards in prime position for a shot at British champion, Joshua Buatsi for the Lonsdale belt.
‘Spider’ Richards made sure to fight behind a solid jab in the early rounds. The obviously taller man was keeping Sterling at bay and kept his from laying a significant hand on Craig. The best Andre could muster was to swing and hold, attempting to spoil his opponents biggest advantage. The end of round five brought a little more action but only brief as both men successfully landed big right hooks, but it was in round six that got the crowd excited.
Following a barrage of sloppy looking, but clearly effective punches from Richards, Sterling, 10-0 (4KOs) hit the deck for the first time tonight but rose relatively quickly and made it to the end of the round. Sterling found his way to the 12th almost despite himself at times, but the occasional hook that landed gave him and his corner hope of victory.
It wasn’t to be however, as even though the unbeaten man made it to the final bell, it was ‘Spider’ who took the win after the judges scorecards were returned as 117-111, 116-111, 115-112 all in favour of Craig Richards. Craig Richards, 15-1 (8KOs)
American super-featherweight, Otha Jones III improved to 2-0 (1KO) with a comprehensive showing against 2-12, Michael Horabin. Jones forced Horabin to the canvas twice in the 1st and there was no return for his foe on the second time of asking. At times Otha looked a little careless but it was almost definitely due to the quality of opponent. At just 19-years-old, there’s a lot of time for improvement in Jones III.
Reece Bellotti finished off overmatched Josue Bendana with a vicious left hook body shot in the 4th round, which could be felt through the Arena. Bellotti, who has lost out to Ryan Walsh last time out for the British featherweight strap, now moves to 14-2 (12KOs).
Ivan Redkach Blasts Devon Alexander in Round 6
By: Robert Contreras
From the Soboba Casino, in San Jacinto, California, Ivan Redkach put it all on the line against Devon Alexander in the main event of the PBC’s latest telecast on FOX Sports 1.
Jumping up to 147 pounds to face a perennial contender and former world champion, Redkach faced huge underdog odds. But he had an equalizer or two tucked away in his left hand to blow up his opponent’s night.
The bookies were in for a beating all night as the show opened with the completely unheralded Rodney Hernandez flipping the script and punching out the acclaimed Olympian Onoriode “Godzilla” Ehwarieme inside of three minutes.
Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KO) def. Devon Alexander (27-6-1, 14 KO)
Having boxed the ears off Randall Bailey, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse consecutively, there was a time when Alexander would not have had a problem walking through a puncher like Redkach. But after spells of drug addiction and inactivity, Redkach on Saturday jumped all over him, putting the American on the canvas three times in the fateful sixth round for a shocking knockout win.
Redkach, 33, faced an early deficit via a surprisingly aggressive start from Alexander. But he closed the show dominantly as he turned the fight around with crushing combination punching. His latest knockout also marked a successful debut at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds—a designation Alexander could not be bothered to make (weighing officially at 151 pounds).
Alexander just played the wrong game with Redkach, moving away from his jab, and sitting on his punches as his opponent gained more and more momentum as the fight progressed.
When PBC correspondent Jordan Hardy asked the victorious slugger how he felt about his performance, Redkach could muster up one word: “Unbelievable.”
Continuing, he shared: “I’ve been working on that same punch that I threw tonight, everyday. I’m more fresh. I’m ready for everybody at 147 pounds—anybody. Danny Garcia or Mr. Shawn Porter, everybody. I’m ready.”
Redkach was clearly ready for Alexander, who was coming off a loss but a close decision that left him with all the momentum and the betting odds behind him (-700).
Alexander affirmed those odds in an eventful opening round. The 32-year-old former champion pushed the pace, interchanging a sharp jab and chopping left hands. The powerful blows even forced Redkach into the corner from time to time. Redkach returned with left hooks but Alexander was ready to meet him with one first. Eventually a left hand from the betting favorite skipped across Redkach’s chin, nearly buckling his knees.
Continuing to press forward in Round 2, Alexander jabbed his way in behind his shoulder, remaining off-center so as to avoid damage. Redkach, to his credit, slightly adjusted and began firing jabs to his opponent’s midsection but Alexander easily negated the attack with two-handed parries.
And lo! In the final 15 seconds of the period, Redkach finally busted through Alexander’s guard with a left hand and then followed up with a flurry of shots that drummed the sides of the former champ’s head. It may not have been enough to steal the round but it acted as a nice foreshadowing because Alexander was tentative going forward.
The two southpaws circled one another in the third and fourth stanzas before taking turns shooting into the other. Referee Thomas Taylor would need to step in for inadvertent headbutts. In this kind of fencing, Redkach was no match with singular punches but his one-two, ending with a long straight left, was closing the gap between him and Alexander.
Redkach opened Round 4 with that same series of punches and the center of the ring was his from there. He went ahead and demonstrably poured in the higher output in the sixth frame.
By this point, Alexander assented to sitting on his punches, looking to time his opponent coming in with searing left hooks. But the only thing really catching Redkach’s attention were more headbutts, which he implored referee Taylor to do something about.
It did not matter as just 25 seconds into Round 6, Redkach pumped out a three-punch combo, resulting in a left uppercut that sent Alexander to the mat face-first. Alexander beat the count but could only try to wrap up his man when the action continued. As the referee began to step in, Redkach on his own created enough space to floor Alexander again with a left hook.
The fight somehow went on and Redkach dealt another one-two that placed Alexander on the ground yet again and for good. Referee Taylor threw his hands up and Redkach was victorious.
The win pushed Redkach’s win streak to three straight. And in a new weight class, he seems revitalized despite turning 33 this year and spending the crux of his career at 135 pounds. At lightweight, he was chopped down and outclassed by the likes of Dejan Zlaticanin and Tevin Farmer.
So after another knockout loss to John Molina at 140 pounds, another seven pounds north seemed to signal the end for Redkach and aptly closed as a three-to-one underdog. But his trainer Shane Mosley would tell Jordan Hardy after the fight that he believed in his through and through and the only way they were coming out on top was finishing Alexander.
“We felt going the distance with a champion, well, you never want to leave it in the hands of the judges,” Mosley said. “You need to go out there and knock him out—and that’s what he did.”
According to the Fight Night stats, Redkach landed 51 of 223 total punches (23 percent) while Alexander connected on 60 of 271 total punches (22 percent).
Willie Monroe Jr. (24-3, 6 KO) def. Hugo Centeno Jr. (27-3, 14 KO) by unanimous decision
In contrasting styles, Monroe Jr. and Centeno met for 10 rounds in a tight contest that in the end went the way of Monroe on scores of 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94.
Monroe was a step ahead of his counterpart. Maintaining lead foot dominance, his jab repeatedly speared into Centeno like out of a phalanx. Though he did gladly meet Centeno up close to win over the fans rather than just the ringside judges.
Centeno couldn’t catch up with Monroe until the second half of the bout more often than not in the center of the ring. But it the spurts of success were not enough to eclipse Monroe’s cleaner work.
In the post-fight interview, Monroe was proud of himself, traveling from New York, and he was eager to call out his next challenge.
“I think I stepped it up a little more,” Monroe said. “People are used to watching me box but we’re in [Centeno’s] backyard so I wanted to make sure I took those rounds solidly. Oh, and tell Charlo that I’m coming.”
Monroe was slated to face Jermall Charlo at the end of 2018 before the “Mongoose” failed a pre-fight drug test a week out from the championship fight.
Jacobs vs. Canelo Round by Round Results: Canelo Outclasses Jacobs
By: William Holmes
The main event of tonight’s card was between Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2) and Daniel Jacobs (35-2) for the WBC, WBA, and IBF Middleweight Titles.
Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Promotions put on this event, and it was streamed live on the DAZN Streaming network.
Daniel Jacobs had a clause in his contract where he was only allowed to weigh in at 170lbs the day after the weigh ins, but he came in at 173.6lbs and had to pay a fine of 250k per pound.
But that may have been done on purpose, as this was the biggest fight of his career.
Carlos Rivera sung the Mexican National Anthem and Lisa Marie Smith sung the national anthem of the United States.
Daniel Jacobs entered the ring first after what appeared to be some technical difficulties with the audio from DAZN, and Canelo entered second to a loud chorus of cheers.
The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account
Jacobs looked like he has a significant height advantage when they met in the middle for prefight instructions. Both boxers are in an orthodox stance. Canelo has a knee pad on his left knee. Canelo paws out a jab at Jacobs. Canelo misses high with a left hook. Jacobs is circling away from Canelo and flicks out a jab. Jacobs flicks out another jab. Jacobs lands two jabs followed by a right cross to the body. Canelo lands a hard right ot the body. Canelo bounces a left hook off the high guard of Jacobs. Jacobs is active with his jab to the head and body of Canelo. Good right to the body by Canelo. Jacobs looks a little weary of Canelo’s power. Jacobs lands two shots to the body of Canelo. Jacobs switches to a southpaw stance, but then goes back to an orthodox stance. Close tight round, Canelo may have landed the harder shots.
Jacobs throws out two pawing jabs. Jacobs with another double jab and Canelo answers with a left hook upstairs. Canelo lands a good right to the body of Jacobs. Jacobs lands two quick jabs. Canelo comes in with a right hook behind a feint. Jacobs jab to the body is accurate. A jab from Canelo gets Jacobs off balance. Canelo lands a good left hook to the body of Jacobs. Jacobs lands a short right to the body. Jacobs lands two good hooks to the body of Canelo. Canelo lands a good right hand upstairs and follows it up with two uppercuts to the body. Canelo barely misses with a left uppercut and Jacobs makes him pay with a combination to the body. Good jabs from Jacobs. Good shots by both at the end of the round.
10-9 Canelo, 20-18 Canelo
Canelo flicks out a jab at Jacobs and has him backing up early. Canelo pressing forward and Jacobs attempts to keep him away with a jab to the body. Jacobs switches to a southpaw stance and throws out a straight left hand. Jacobs lands two jabs to the body and Canelo lands a short right hook. Canelo lands a hard body head combination on Jacobs. Canelo seems to be finding his groove. Jacobs then answers with a good combination in the middle of the ring. Jacobs with three straight jabs followed by a short right hook. Jacobs ducks under a Canelo right hook. Canelo lands a jab to the body of Jacobs and Jacobs answers with two shots of his own to the body. Good left hook to Jacobs’s chin by Canelo. Jacobs paws out two jabs on Canelo and Canelo answers with an uppercut to the body.
10-9 Canelo, 30-27 Canelo.
Canelo is showing good upper body movement. Canelo partially connects with a three punch combination. Jacobs is sticking to his jab. Jacobs is very active with his jab, but not landing any hard punches. Jacobs barely misses with a straight right hand. Jacobs throws out two jabs followed by a hook to the body. Canelo lands a good sweeping right hook to the body of Jacobs. Jacobs with a jab followed by a left hook. Canelo lands a clean straight right to the chin of Jacobs. Canelo is a hard target to hit and landing from good angles. Canelo lands a rising left hook on Jacobs. Canelo’s upper body movement is making it very difficult for Jacobs to land a punch. Canelo had a great round.
10-9 Canelo, 40-36 Canelo.
Jacobs misses wildly with a three punch combination. Canelo continues to slip the punches of Jacobs. Canelo continues to come forward while showing great upper body movement. Canelo lands two good hooks to the body of Jacobs. Canelo flicks out three straight quick jabs. Canelo lands a sharp quick jab. Canelo’s jabs are landing while Jacobs is using his more as a range finder. Canelo looks to be in complete control. Canelo lands a jab and follows it with a two punch combination. Canelo lands a good left to the body of Jacobs. They get a little bit chippy as the round ends.
10-9 Canelo, 50-45 Canelo.
Canelo still pressing forward and showing excellent upper body movement. Canelo barely misses with a lead left hook. Canelo is outlanding Jacobs 60-43 at this point in the fight. Canelo able to easily avoid the combination of Jacobs. Canelo follows a jab with a connecting lead left hook. Jacobs able to land a few shots on Canelo when in close. Canelo lands a good reaching jab. Jacobs goes into a southpaw stance. Jacobs still can’t find his target even in a southpaw stance. Canelo with a good right hook to the body of Jacobs. Canelo still stalking Jacobs. Jacobs lands two short hooks to the body of Canelo. Canelo lands a good uppercut on Jacobs.
10-9 Canelo, 60-54 Canelo
Jacobs starts off this round in a southpaw stance. Canelo pressing forward on Jacobs still and has Jacobs on the run. Canelo lands a good hook to the body after a straight right hand misses. Canelo has Jacobs back against the ropes and gets in a few shots to the body. Jacobs paws with the jab in a southpaw stance. Canelo looks fresh despite using a lot of energy. Jacobs lands a good short right hook, perhaps his best punch of the night. Jacobs has Canelo’s back against the ropes and lands a few punches to the body. Jacobs remains in a southpaw stance. Jacobs is keeping his jab in the face of Canelo and lands a left to the body of Canelo. Jacobs throws his jab in the face of Canelo but eats a counter left hook. Canelo lands another hook to the body and Jacobs throws out a flurry as round ends.
Closer round, but still 10-9 Canelo, 70-63 Canelo.
Jacobs is back in an orthodox stance. Canelo still pressing forward and digs in two hooks to the body of Jacobs. Canelo connects with a lead left hook and Jacobs answers with a short uppercut. Jacobs just can’t find his target with his punches. Canelo’s defense is masterful at this point. Jacobs misses with a three punch combination badly. Canelo lands a good short left hook. Jacobs has Canelo back to the ropes and lands a combination to the body and head. Canelo lands a hard left hook that may have stunned Jacobs. Canelo is landing some heavy shots as Jacobs tries to open up his offense. Canelo is hurting Jacobs. Canelo with a good body head combination. Jacobs was on the offensive as round ends, but still a Canelo round.
10-9 Canelo, 80-72 Canelo.
Canelo comes out aggressive this round behind his jab. Canelo barely misses with a straight right hand and Jacobs goes in a southpaw stance. Jacobs throwing out a lot of right jabs in the face of Jacobs. Jacobs’s straight lefts look weak though from this position. Canelo lands a heavy punch to the body of Jacobs. Jacobs gets tagged with a left hook as he lunges forward. Canelo with more heavy body shots. Canelo lands a good straight right to the chin of Jacobs. Good left hook by Canelo followed by a combination. Jacobs lands a short left hook and snaps the head of Canelo with a heavy right hand. Jacobs is back in an orthodox stance. Jacobs takes a deep breath then throws out a combination and lands a few good punches. Better round for Jacobs.
10-9 Jacobs; 89-82 Canelo.
Canelo presses forward to start the tenth round. Jacobs is in a southpaw stance. Canelo lands a good jab in the face of Jacobs. Jacobs has Canelo’s back near the ropes and lands a few shots in tight. Canelo lands a hard right hand on Jacobs in the middle of the ring. Canelo lands a good left hook to the body of Jacobs. Canelo flicks out a sharp jab and follows it with a hook upstairs. Good exchange in the middle of the ring and Jacobs may have landed the harder punches. Canelo is clearly out boxing though. Jacobs has Canelo back against the ropes and lands some good punches to the body and head. Canelo barely misses with a looping left hook. Jacobs goes back into a southpaw stance. Canelo lands a good straight right.
10-9 Canelo; 99-91 Caenlo.
Jacobs clearly needs a knockout to win this fight. Canelo lands a good heavy left hook to the body. Jacobs is back in an orthodox stance but then switches to a southpaw stance. Canelo bounces a right hook off the guard of Jacobs. Canelo lands a good straight right hand on Jacobs. Canelo lands a clean jab. Jacobs lands a combination to the body of Canelo. Canelo isn’t really bothered by the punches of Jacobs. Canelo bounces two jabs off the face of Jacobs. Crowd booing the action in the ring. Canelo lands a straight right hand. Jacobs lands two punches upstairs but then Canelo ties up. Canelo lands a short right uppercut followed by two jabs. Announcer says Jacobs is having a good eleventh round but he’s not landing any punches of note. Canelo lands a hard right hand. Canelo clearly wins this round.
10-9 Canelo, 109-100 Canelo.
Jaobs is in an orthodox stance, but probably needs a knockout to win. Jacobs badly misses with a left hook and slips to the mat. Jacobs complains about a wet spot in the middle of the ring and the referee dries off the mat. Canelo looks like the fresher fighter. Canelo lands a hard left hook and Jacobs lands at air. Jacobs has Canelo’s back near the ropes but misses and Canelo is able to get Jacobs to back up with combinations. Good straight right by Canelo. Canelo lands a hard uppercut on Jacobs. Crowd is starting to boo the action in the ring again. Jacobs misses with a looping hook to the body of Canelo. Jacobs is unable to score a knockout in the final round.
10-9 Canelo; 119-109 Canelo.
The judges scored the bout 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112 for Canelo Alvarez.
Dubois Defeats Lartey, Richards and Edwards Ease to Victory
By: Oliver McManus
Daniel Dubois looked to impress in front of, new stablemate, Joe Joyce ahead of a potential British title fight with the Juggernaut. Though each passing day does see that “agreed contest” seemingly further apart. Dubois had to deal with his latest challenger, anyway, as he took on Richard Lartey for the WBO “Global” heavyweight title. The English and WBO European champion was up against an imposing Ghanaian sporting a ginger beard – not much was known about Lartey and any available footage was grainy and untelling.
Indeed Lartey was supposed to face Joe Joyce in the Summer of last year, for the Commonwealth title, but failed to turn up for the fight. He emerged looking to swing, landing a right hand with his long levers as he sought to immediately derail Dubois’ momentum. Dubois looked unfazed in the face of an erratic opponent, despite getting dragged into a clinch, and was popping away with a measured jab.
Lartey, not pronounced like the coffee, was warned about his constant bear-hugging before taking time-out due to an accidental low-blow. Dubois was finding his target by now, halfway through the second, but wasn’t allowing himself much variety – staying focussed on the jab. The 27 year old Ghanaian fancied his chances at catching Dubois with an overhand right and after being caught with a flush left to the chin he simply swung for glory. Warren’s bluechip heavyweight stumbled across the ring but didn’t look seriously troubled.
Photo Credit: BT Sport Twitter Account
This was the first fight of Dubois, eleven contest, career in which he was actually taking meaningful punches and he seemed to pass the chin-check comfortably – though, of course, Lartey’s power is of unknown proportions. In the fourth round Lartey was slow in pulling up his defence and was battered with a stunning right hand, thrown over the top, that slammed into the cheek of the Ghanaian. Catching him with his feet stock square, Dubois felled his man like a tree.
A fourth round knockout against a livewire opponent saw Dubois advance his record to eleven without defeat in thunderous fashion.
The most evenly matched contest, certainly on paper, saw Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford battling it out for the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International titles. The fight marked a return to the ring for Richards after a considerable thirteen months away from the ring; Langford was in just his second fight at the weight, having moved up at the turn of the year following a disappointing 2018.
Langford hit the scales marginally heavier at 167lbs and despite being a former British champion at middleweight he was a considerable betting underdog with odds of 13/5 available as the bell rang. Richards, sporting furry bumble bee shorts, carried the greater aesthetics with foreboding shoulders but the opening rounds were cautious, to say the least. Richards edged forwards against an opponent who was looking to engage but, perhaps weary of his previous losses, refused to commit.
No meaningful punch was landed in the first round and the same could be said for the second, though there was more action. Richards extended his jab but didn’t really look for variety whilst Langford was frequent in changing levels, flexing at the knees, and looking to land a lurching hook to the body of his opponent. The younger gentleman was wise to this threat and was able to take a step back and move out of range.
The fight had echoes of Ohara Davies vs Jack Catterall, with the lure of the limelight leaving both competitors overly cautious and not wanting to over-commit. In honesty this was Langford’s last opportunity to a level whereby he can really push on – a loss and you feel as though he has found his ceiling. At the third-way mark the Langford corner urged their charge for “a big, really clear round”, in order to gain a foothold in the contest. The workload was comparable but it always seemed as though Richards was on a upwards trajectory whereas Langford was remaining stagnant in first gear.
Sniper the Boss was living up to his nickname with a preference for precision punching as opposed to a machine-gun splatter of shots. He was holding his ground now, no longer stepping back out of range when Langford looked to come in low but countering the Birmingham man.
Langford, who in his two losses to Jason Welborn made a similarly slow start, was loosening up with his feet within the middle rounds and began to land shots with more frequency. Certainly he wasn’t getting dominated by Richards but it was his opponent who was picking up the rounds in, relatively, comfortable fashion. The former British title holder was looking to force openings with the worried words of his corner ringing in his ear. There was a distinct feeling of frustration and an acceptance he was behind, as he began to chip forward with more urgency.
This renewed urgency prompted a more composed Richards to find greater success, timing his shots to perfection to counter the come-forward nature of Langford. A superb technical display from the New Malden fighter, a former Tesco worker, who showed the ability to adapt to style of Langford and control the contest at will. A spiteful combination in the tenth round showcased just how in-tune he is with timing and precision, landing his shots on the duck’s beak – a thrilling South American football expression.
A mature display from Lerrone Richards who showed just what boxing has been missing over the last thirteen months; it started off cautiously but he relaxed into the contest and found a rhythm easily enough. 118-110, 116-113, 118-111 all in favour of the 26 year old who becomes the new Commonwealth and WBO International champion – well deserved, no bones about it, and a fighter with plenty more to offer.
Sunny Edwards was the co-main event for this Wembley card and the 23 year old defended his WBO European title in comfortable fashion against Pedro Matos, from Portugal. His opponent was eight years older and has campaigned at bantamweight for much of his career and found himself a punch-bag pretty much from the off. Edwards, switching stances, was chopping punches with vigour. A left hand to the side of the head would set up a brutal left hook, landing around the ear-drum, and the face of Matos was reddened by the halfway stage of the first round.
It’s fair to say Matos was overmatched but, at the end of the day, it is very hard to find consistent tests for developing European flyweights simply because there is a limited pool to choose from. Edwards, in fairness, has stated his desire to test himself at a domestic level against the likes of Tommy Frank or Jay Harris so it’s hunger is not a criticism you can direct towards him.
One half of the Croydon Klitschkos – his brother Charlie, the WBC champion – it’s fair to say he offers more entertainment than either of those, former,heavyweight kingpins. Not only in his shot selection but his fleet footwork, making use of the full ring dimensions and switching between orthodox and southpaw with a lucid fluidity. Matos was swinging with gusto, gleeful in letting his gloves go, but Edwards returned with interest. Chopping shots straight down the gully, busting up the nose and snapping the head back on frequent occasion. A huge shot on the bell of the seventh saw Matos grab the rope for balance, he emerged for the next round a shaken man and started to soak up the punishment. The ref jumped in, rightfully so, calling a halt to the contest in the eighth round.
The rest of the undercard saw Zak Chelli claim the first title of his career with a scrappy, yet comprehensive, performance against Jimmy Smith. Chelli won the Southern Area super middleweight belt by 100-89; Denzel Bentley battered Pavol Garoj but didn’t look to force the stoppage against a durable opponent, 60-54; Jack Catterall and Caoimhin Agyarko both registered third round stoppages, against Oscar Armador and Martin Kabrhel, respectively; Chris Bourke made it three stoppages from three fights, stopping Stefan Slavchev in two; Umar Sadiq forced Chris Dutton to retire on his stool following two rounds whilst Archie Sharp and Hamzah Sheeraz also picked up second round finishes; Shakiel Thompson’s Queensbury debut lasted just one round and; Mohammed Bilal Ali and Alfie Price secured convincing points victories over four rounds.
Top Rank PPV Round by Round Results: Crawford Wins Fight When Khan Refuses to Continue
By: William Holmes
Amir Khan and Terence Crawford met in the main event of tonight’s pay per view offering by Top Rank Promotions and ESPN. Madison Square Garden was the host site of tonight’s card.
Three bouts were shown on the pay per view portion of the undercard and they showed some videos after the undercard to hype up the main event.
Danny Walter sung the national anthem of the United Kingdom. The national anthem of the United States was sung by Marissa Ann. Amir Khan entered the ring first and Terence Crawford came in second.
The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.
Terence Crawford (34-0) vs. Amir Khan (33-4); WBO Welterweight Title
Crawford looked intensely at Khan during the referee instructions. Both boxers start off in an orthodox stance. Khan goes with a body head combination but doesn’t land much. Crawford misses a check left hook, but follows it with a short left hook that partially lands. Khan comes forward with a double jab. Crawford is light on his feet. Khan misses with a two punch combination but lands a short left hook upstairs. Amir Khan throws out a few more jabs. Crawford lands a good short right hand and follows it with a two punch combination that knocks Amir Khan down. Crawford is looking for the knockout an dis pressing the pace. Khan is attempting to tie up at end of round and Crawford lands some heavy right hands as round comes to an end.
Khan was rattled as he walked to his corner in the previous round. Crawford paws out a few jabs and looks ready to surge forward. Khan circling away throwing out a few soft jabs. Khan with a two punch combination. Crawford throws out another two punch combination and bounces some off the guard of Khan. Khan lands a good straight right hand on Crawford. Khan is reaching for his punches a bit. Crawford lands another lead right hand and momentarily wobbles Khan. Crawford lands a good right to the body. Khan lands a good short left hook on Crawford. Khan may be recovered from that first round knockdown.
10-9 Crawford; 20-17 Crawford.
Crawford lands an early jab. Khan comes forward and lands a good two punch combination. Crawford flicks out another jab and has Khan backing up. Crawford lands a good straight right hand. Khan lands a looping left hook. Crawford is controlling the territory of the ring. Khan’s hand speed is giving Crawford a little trouble. Crawford is more patient this round and looking for counters, but Khan may be stealing it by throwing first. Closer round.
10-9 Khan, 29-27 Crawford
Crawford paws out a few jabs. Crawford in a southpaw stance. Crawford connects with a straight left hand. Crawford pawing out a few jabs, lands a good straight left hand. Khan lands a good multi punch combination upstairs on Crawford. Good body shot by Khan gets a tongue out response from Crawford. Khan rushes forward with a combination and Crawford ducks under. Khan lands a good straight right hand and Crawford answers with a combination to the body and head. Crawford’s punches do more damage than Khan. Crawford landing some heavy body shots on Khan. Khan getting hammered by Crawford. Good straight right by Khan at end of the round.
10-9 Crawford; 39-36 Crawford
Crawford lands an early jab on Khan. Khan throws a double jab to the body of Crawford. Crawford lands a vicious two punch combination on Khan with his back against the ropes. Crawford lands a vicious right hook on Khan. Crawford starting to put a beating on Khan this round. Khan is reaching a bit for his punches, and Crawford makes him pay with good counters. Crawford with two more heavy shots to the body of Khan. Crawford looks extremely confident and barely misses with a windmill uppercut. Khan lands a reaching hook. Amir Khan lands a good right hand at the end of the round.
10-9 Crawford; 49-45 Crawford
Khan misses with a jab to the body. Crawford is dictating the pace and barely misses with a two punch counter. Khan lunges forward on his attacks. Crawford lands a low blow and Khan visibly reacts. Khan is given time to recover.
The fight was stopped due to the low blow as Amir Khan is unable to continue.
The referee has to determine if the low blow was accidental or purposeful. If it is determined to be accidental the fight will go to the scorecards.
However, it appears the fight was not stopped due to a low blow, but due to Virgil Hunter asking Amir Khan if he wanted to continue and he said no. Therefore, Crawford gets a TKO victory since Amir Khan could not continue.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at 0:47 of the sixth round.
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Verdejo, Stevenson, and Lopez Win Impressively
By: William Holmes
The televised undercard of tonight’s PPV featured three fights before the main event between Terence Crawford and Amir Khan.
This event was held at Madison Square Garden and televised live on Pay Per View in a partnership between Top Rank Promotions and ESPN.
The first fight on the undercard was between Felix Verdejo (24-1) and Bryan Vazquez (37-3) in the lightweight division.
Verdejo took control of the center of the ring early on and was landing crisp jabs in conjunction with decent body shots. Vazquez kept a good tight high guard, but he wasn’t very effective when he went on the offensive.
Verdejo landed a good short left hook in the third round but had a small cut under his left eye in the fourth round. Verdejo looked like the fresher fighter in the fifth round and was able to land some good body shots in the sixth.
Vazquez had a strong seventh and eight round and may have stolen them on the judges’ score cards. Verdejo however was the aggressor in the final two rounds and likely took them from Vazquez.
The final scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92 for Felix Verdejo.
The next fight on the undercard was in the featherweight division between Shakur Stevenson (10-0) and Christopher Diaz (24-1)
Stevenson, a southpaw, started off the fight by circling away from the power hand of Diaz and stayed on the outside. Stevenson picked him apart in the second round with a jab and looked to be in good control
Diaz attempted to keep the distance tight in the third and fourth rounds but Stevenson was too accurate of a puncher to be in danger.
Stevenson had a real strong fifth round as his superior hand speed was just taking it over. Diaz had a better sixth round and both fighters crossed feet in the seventh round. Diaz looked like he was reaching for his punches a bit in the eighth round as he was behind on the cards at the time.
Stevenson looked extremely confident going into the final two rounds and coasted to a comfortable victory.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 for Shakur Stevenson.
The final fight on the undercard was a lightweight fight between Teofimo Lopez (12-0) and Edis Tatli (31-2) .
Lopez was sharp with his jab early on and landed some good check left hooks in the opening round. He continued to press in the second round and was able to land some good shots to the body.
Lopez continued to press the pace in the third round and had Tatli in full retreat in the fourth round. Lopez went for the stoppage in the fourth as he was winding up on his power shots, but Tatli was able to stay on his feet.
Lopez finished the fight in the fourth round with a vicious body shot that sent Tatli to the mat for the full ten count.
Lopez wins by knockout at 1:32 of the fifth round.
DAZN Boxing Report: Gill Blasts Out Dominguez; Riakporhe Stops McCarthy
By: Ste Rowen
Jordan Gill set Peterborough alight on Saturday with a stunning 3rd round stoppage of Emmanuel Dominguez and made time to call out the recently crowned WBA ‘Regular’ featherweight champion, Xu Can,
‘‘I want Kiko Martinez for the European. If not I want another big name in the top 15. What’s that Chinese fella’s name, who’s the WBA champ? Can Xu? He’d want it on DAZN, you’ve got DAZN, I’m gonna be in the DAZN. Let’s have it.’’
‘The Thrill’ Gill, who improved his record to 23-0 (7KOs), continues his run of victories and collecting minor titles, this time the WBA ‘International’ belt, and spoke with as much confidence as he fought with,
‘‘I really enjoyed tonight. The crowd lifted me, they boosted me. I heard them with every punch in there…I know if I hit someone with 8oz gloves, despite my record, I can actually punch.
Dave’s (Coldwell, Gill’s trainer) working on things in the gym that I’ve never even seen before. We’re starting on the basics and it’s gonna get bigger and better.’’
It was fast paced from the start as Dominguez looked to feint his way to an upset win, but the pressure was telling as Jordan, fighting in his home-town for the first time since 2014, proved the sharper man. He evaded much of what his Mexican opponent threw and by the end the 2nd round was looking very comfortable.
Then came the finish in round 3. With just over 60 seconds gone, Gill threw swift left and right hooks, landing each time to send Dominguez to the canvas for the first time. Emmanuel was clearly out of ideas from there. Jordan rushed in shortly after to drop his foe yet another classy right-left-right combination. The Mexican was allowed to stand and continue but as soon as Gill began to land once more, there was no need for it to continue and referee, Robert Williams called an end to the bout, handing Gill his third straight TKO win.
Richard Riakporhe vs. Tommy McCarthy
The big fight of the undercard saw Richard Riakporhe stop 13-1, Tommy McCarthy in four rounds.
Defending the WBA ‘Inter-Continental’ belt for the first time, Riakporhe in white shorts with a shock of red, Richard made the Irishman look a lot smaller than McCarthy actually is, but it didn’t seem to daunt Tommy from swinging forward. Both men cancelled the other’s attack through the opening rounds.
With a minute left of the 4th, Riakporhe landed a huge overhand right that wobbled McCarthy and had him in desperate need of a break. He got it when he dropped to the canvas and took an 8-count, but it clearly wasn’t enough. It was survival mode from there on, but Richard wasn’t letting up. With every punch he landed Tommy had no way out, no defensive instinct to recover in the moment. The referee stepped in as McCarthy was stuck on the ropes with 15 seconds left of the round and hand Riakporhe the stoppage victory.
The London native improves his record to 9-0 (8KOs) and spoke post-fight,
‘‘This is a big statement I’ve made. A lot of people think I just have power and not a boxing brain but just remember…I can go all the way to the top with a good team around me.
He (McCarthy) called me a novice, I took that really personal in the press conference but I wanted to show I could box, and I did.’’
Showtime Boxing Results: Eubank Defeats DeGale, Joyce Batters Stiverne
By: Ste Rowen
Chris Eubank Jr forced himself into the super-middleweight world scene tonight with a deserved unanimous decision victory over former world champion, James DeGale.
Now improving his record to 28-2 (21KOs), the victor spoke post-fight,
‘‘I knew he was gonna come in there and run and use his boxing skills. I’ve been working a lot on my jab…The game plan worked. Smart pressure. Not getting too ahead of myself.
I dominated pretty much every single round…A lot of people said I was gonna lose, and now I’m onto big and better things.’’
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The defeated DeGale, now 25-3-1 (15KOs), sounding a little dazed also spoke, ‘‘I’ve left my mark in boxing…I didn’t do enough, but when you’re in there with someone like Chris on you; punches you don’t even see.
I’ve been to the heights of boxing. If I call it a day now…’’
It was cold in the O2 Arena, but not for long.
As James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr drew nearer, the atmosphere felt more claustrophobic. As though the crowd was inching their seats forwards every time the stewards looked away. By the time the main-event fighters were in the ring, the audience was practically breathing down their necks.
From the 1st round it was setup perfectly, DeGale in all-black, Eubank in all-white but both decided to size each other up through the first. DeGale, in the southpaw stance, allowed himself to become a little too susceptible to Eubank’s right hand which forced a small cut to James’ left eye early on.
The first minute of round 2 is where the action came alive. Eubank Jr landed a sharp left hook that unsteadied DeGale and, through a flurry of punches, eventually forced the referee into recognising that James had been knocked down. DeGale’s experience was telling as he survived the rest of the round, but it was obvious that Chris was well on top.
In the corner, the former IBF champion was complaining about something in his eye – it was a bad sign for a man already behind. But Eubank, like his opponent, sustained a cut this time under his right eye, it didn’t stop the Brighton-man from ending the 4th the stronger. Through to the 7th, Eubank stalked the perceived boxer across the ring whilst the former gold medallist did very little to reply.
As round 7 ended, DeGale stuck his tongue out to his opponent, which was an odd move considering Chris seemingly bossed the end of the round. DeGale kept switching between southpaw and orthodox, but neither was breaking through.
As the fight headed into the 10th Eubank seemed well on top. DeGale hit the canvas for the second time as Eubank landed a beauty of a left hook that shook up the former world champion, forced James onto the ropes and eventually the ground. DeGale survived, but it was clear he needed the KO, but it was Eubank Jr that came out swinging. By the end of the 11th, career-southpaw DeGale was orthodox and everywhere.
Both fighters raised their arms as the final bell rang but it seemed cleared who’d won. DeGale, the legitimate former world title holder had fallen well short.
Of course it’s never a chore to hear Jimmy Lennon Jr and it wasn’t this time as he read out the judge’s cards of, 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 all for Eubank Jr.
Joe Joyce vs. Bermane Stiverne
Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce took another step up in quality tonight as the British Olympian (2016 Silver) scored a 6th round stoppage of former world champion, Bermane Stiverne.
Dominant from beginning to end, the Commonwealth champion, now 8-0 (8KOs), spoke post-fight,
‘‘Big respect to Stiverne. He was very tough, still game, still tough. Only Wilder with that phenomenal power could take him out…My able condition in Big Bear.
Big things to come. Next one for the WBA ‘Regular’. Couple of weeks off and then back in the gym…I’ve barred all (The top heavyweights) bar Wilder, but I’m coming.’’
In a fight designated as a WBA eliminator Joyce had his chin checked at least twice in the 1st round but seemed unaffected and continued to pursue his prey. His shots may look slow, but Joe’s arms are long and thudding once landed and clearly leave an effect. Stiverne looked apprehensive as he stepped off his stool for the 2nd however he did begin to throw back, but only for a brief spell. The ‘Juggernaut’ fired clubbing shot after clubbing shot without reply for most of the round. Testament to the former world champion, Bermane for staying upright.
Round 3 brought the first knockdown as Joyce landed a lengthy right hook that sent the American into the ropes and forced the knockdown. Bermane continued but it felt pointless. Stiverne looked drunk as he tried to evade Joyce’s heavy combinations but survived into the 6th.
Joe dominated behind the left-hand jab until he seemed to switch flavour and fired hook and power shot continuously, forcing referee Howard Foster into stopping the fight midway through round six. There were no complaints from the away fighter.
Lee Selby vs. Omar Douglas
Fighting in his first lightweight bout, and for a minor title at 135lb, Lee ‘Lightning’ Selby bounced back from his May 2018 defeat to Josh Warrington to rough it out in a twelve round unanimous decision victory over American, Omar Douglas.
‘‘That was one of the toughest.’’ Selby said. ‘‘In the fight I kept on undoing their (His cut-men’s) good work.
Douglas was supposed to be a big puncher and I held his shots well…If my management says I’m fighting Anthony Joshua tomorrow, I wouldn’t turn it down.’’
In his signature white and gold shorts, Selby of Wales, forced an energetic start onto the American. Lee clearly wanted to make an early impression in what was a new division for him. Douglas’ dreads (white at the start but red by the end) were wrapped up much like his hands, so every time Selby landed a clean jab, Omar’s head fired back and made him look like Ridley Scott’s Alien.
But towards the end of round two a bloody cut on the eye of Lee Selby opened up, much like in his fight vs. Warrington. It didn’t stutter his performance for that round, but it did create a new element to the fight. The Welshman continued to fire off well, despite the cut, but it was clear Lee wasn’t as urgent in his offence as before the cut.
Omar has spent his career bouncing between 130-135 and as the rounds drew on he was giving Lee, who’d jumped 9lb in weight, a rough entry into the lightweight division. By the time of the final bell it was close as well as clear that ‘Lightning’ had taken the rough alleyway to enter 135lb.
Final scorecards were 116-112, 116-112, 115-114 all in favour of Lee Selby.
UFC 234 Results: Israel Adesanya Edges Anderson Silva
By: Jesse Donathan
Unfortunately for everyone involved, UFC 234 was marked with late news on Saturday, the day of the fight, that the much-anticipated main event, a 185-pound middleweight title fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whitaker was canceled due to the discovery of a hernia which forced the champion Robert Whitaker to withdraw from Saturday nights contest in Melbourne, Australia.
Sherdog.com’s Tristen Critchfield reported in his February 9, 2019 article titled, “Hernia Forces Robert Whittaker Out of Title Defense vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234” that, “UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN on Saturday. Whittaker experienced pain in his abdomen late last night and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia.”
In a response released from Gastelum via his official Twitter account Saturday night, the challenger would go on to state, “With much sorrow I write that my fight for the middleweight title is off. I’m sorry to everyone that was expecting this great fight, Family, friends and followers around the world.” Kelvin Gastelum is a great fighter, he has earned this title shot and we can only hope he is able to maintain this number one contender position without penalty and get the title shot that is rightfully his.
The UFC released a video Sunday evening via Twitter of the still hospitalized champion Robert Whittaker apologizing for the fight cancellation and detailing a very serious emergency surgency he underwent for a collapsed bowel and internal hernia. According to Whittaker, the UFC spared no expense in his treatment and the champion sounded very grateful for their kindness. Fans around the world are wishing Whittaker good health and a speedy recovery. This man is a true warrior and a wonderful mixed martial arts champion.
As a result, the UFC 234 co-main event between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya was promoted to the headlining contest, though curiously enough remained a three-round affair. This is significant because Jose Aldo is reported to have turned down headlining UFC Fight Night 144 on ESPN+ due to the then customary five round main event requirements at the time. It appears an exception has been made or reason has finally come upon the ears of the corporate fight world if only momentarily.
There are any number of potential hardships that can befall a fight camp when an event is cancelled last second, and depending on how a fighter’s contract is framed there may be little to no financial recourse for those who may have promised or invested in training partners and/or any number of coaches, experts, specialists etc. in their quest for a championship run. All of whom may be adversely affected financially by news of a fights complete removal from a card barring the good graces of the promotion themselves.
There is a lot of time, hard work and sacrifice involved in preparing for these fights and for something to go wrong where a fight is cancelled last second is truly a nightmare scenario. Barring a well written contract or the UFC’s mercy, fighters do not get paid if they do not fight. And the money lost by the promotion themselves in marketing the fight is simply unconscionable.
Depending on the event, last second cancellations can result in fans who had pre-ordered pay-per-view events, purchased tickets to the event itself or subscribed to channels which required additional billing becoming very dissatisfied customers with the last second change of plans. In other words, news of Robert Whitakers withdraw Saturday night was a complete catastrophe. And this coming off the heels of UFC 232, where Jon Jones was unable to secure a license to fight in the state of Nevada and the event was completely moved to a new venue in Inglewood, California virtually last second.
Aaron Bronsteter, UFC reporter and content editor for TSN Sports, reported via Twitter Saturday afternoon that ESPN analyst and former two-time UFC challenger to Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, had obtained special permission from Scott Coker and the UFC’s rival promotion, Bellator, to step in to fight Anderson Silva on short notice should the UFC have wanted to make Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum for an interim title fight. According to Sonnen, all he would have required was, “a mouthpiece, gloves and an XXXL size cup.” Unfortunately for the fans, this particular scenario did not materialize because it would have been an epic and exciting turn of events.
According to a February 8, 2019 sherdog.com article titled “Israel Adesanya Questions Anderson Silva’s Choice to Bring in Alex Pereira For Training” author Nathan Zur writes that Anderson Silva brought in top-tier training partners in preparation for Israel Adesanya:
“For this fight against the rising super star Adesanya, “The Spider” has brought in Brazilian world champion Glory kickboxer Alex Pereira who has beaten “The Last Stylebender” on two occasions, first when they met back in 2016 at the “Glory of Heroes” event with Pereira winning by unanimous decision and then again in 2017 at “Glory of Heroes 7” with the Brazilian Pereira knocking out the rising UFC star.”
The anticipation of the Adesanya vs. Silva fight may not have lived up to everyone’s expectations, but it was an entertaining fight nonetheless. There was plenty of showmanship throughout the fight from both fighters and the Melbourne, Australia crowd seemed genuinely entertained despite the last second cancellation of the previously scheduled main event. Adesanya’s strategy in the first appeared to be to attack low and go high, setting Silva up with a predominantly low strike-oriented attack to continuously draw Silva’s hands and attention low in order to set up a potentially game changing technique thrown high. Interestingly enough, Anderson Silva seemed to be well prepared for this game plan, even expecting it, likely the result of training with Alex Pereira. In what was likely Anderson Silva’s plan all along, round one was marked with Adesanya being the more active fighter in the cage and there is little question Israel took round one 10-9.
The second round was a different story however, as Anderson Silva came alive and was noticeably more active throughout. Silva had Adesanya on the run a handful of times, at one-point Silva even dropped his hands and met Adesanya in the middle of the cage with a very determined look on his face attempting to draw Adesanya into a brawl. This was an entertaining fight, though perhaps marked with too much showboating at times from both competitors which the enthusiastic Melbourne crowd seemed to have loved despite my objections. To the delight of many, Anderson Silva’s legendary head movement and reflexes returned in this fight, though if only briefly. Round two was a 10-9 round for Silva, who showed Adesanya there is a reason “The Spider” is a respected standup fighter in the UFC.
Under the 10-point must system, a round is rarely scored an even 10-10. Unfortunately, it must be ruled at least a 10-9 for a fighter despite the fact these contests are regularly marked with rounds which there was no decisive edge by either athlete in the ring or cage. Otherwise, I personally would have scored round three of Silva vs Adesanya a 10-10 because it wasn’t particularly eventful. Though both fighters had their moments, if I was absolutely forced to give the final five minutes to someone it would have been Adesanya for being the predictably more active, fresher fighter within the closing minute of the fight. The judges ultimately scored this contest 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for the winner Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision.
In other news from UFC 234, Devonte “King Kage” Smith took Dong Hyun Ma (16-9) behind the wood shed, dispatching the veteran South Korean mixed martial artists by knockout at 3:53 in the first round. With Saturday nights victory Smith moves to a very impressive 10-1, with all of those victories but one coming by way of KO or TKO. In Tristen Critchfield’s February 9, 2019 sherdog.com article titled, “UFC 234 Bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva Garner ‘Fight of the Night’ Honors” Devonte Smith is quoted as having received a well-deserved $50,000 fight bonus for “Performance of the Night” honors along with Montana De La Rosa for her armbar submission victory over Nadia Kassem.
UFC Fight Night 144 on ESPN+ Results: Aldo Emerges Victorious
By: Jesse Donathan
There didn’t appear to be an empty seat in the house Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 144 in Fontaleza, Ceara, Brazil. The main event saw Raphael Assuncao (27-6) lose to the surging Marlon Moraes by submission in the first round of the 135-pound bantamweight division featured contest. “Magic” Moraes (22-5) has won four in a row, bringing an end to Assuncao’s own four fighting winning-streak, securing victory in front of the packed house with a mounted guillotine choke. The finish was set up by some vicious striking from Moraes, creating a scramble with Assuncao that culminated in the fight hitting the mat and Moraes wrapping up his opponent like an Anaconda, constricting his opponents will to fight. Resistance proved to be futile, coaxing the tap at 3:17 into the first round.
As reported in a cbssports.com article titled, “UFC Fight Night 144 results, highlights: Marlon Moraes makes quick work of Raphael Assuncao” by Brian Campbell, “Magic” went on to state after the bout, “You almost lost the main event. I had diarrhea all week bad.” According to Moraes, “I caught the mosquito here and it messed me up bad. “It was a very tough week for me. I was really tested and it was really God that made me come here tonight.”
Catching the mosquito, an apparent allusion to Malaria perhaps? Bringing into focus some of the hurdles professional fighters face beyond just having to worry about another trained killer attempting to separate them from consciousness in the ring or cage. If true, the fact Moraes was able to secure victory Saturday night is no small feat to have accomplished, bordering on the incredible in fact.
The Co-main event saw mixed martial arts legend Jose Aldo compete against Renato “Moicano” Carneiro in what was reported to have been the originally planned main event for UFC Fight Night 144 before Aldo is said to have declined to participate in the mandatory five round affair. Round one proved to be a feeling out process for Aldo, who remained rather disciplined in his approach, pumping the jab throughout the round in an attempt to control the distance against the lengthier “Moicano” who was the far more active fighter throughout the first five minutes.
Round two saw the former UFC champion turn up the volume. Ditching the more disciplined approach from round one, Aldo went right after Carneiro with a blitzkrieg style offensive barrage of punches and knees. “Moicano” was overwhelmed, unable to turn the tide of Aldo’s relentlessly high pace, referee Jerin Valel was forced to intervene and call an end to the contest at just 44 seconds into round two. The crowd was ecstatic with the victory, the atmosphere very reminiscent of a World Cup soccer event, with Aldo himself overwhelmed with joy as if a great burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
Leaping over the cage and into a sea of a thrilled spectators, shades of the UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov infamously taking flight up and over the chain link fence at UFC 229 flashed before my eyes. Only Aldo’s intentions were anything but nefarious, showing and receiving great love from those in attendance. This was the true main event at UFC Fight Night 144 and if the crowd’s reaction to Aldo’s TKO victory was any indication of success, the UFC knocked it out of the park with Saturday night’s co-main event.
In other news from UFC Fight Night 144, Demian Maia (26-9) proved to be too much for Lyman Good, who falls to 20-5 overall, succumbing to a rear naked choke at 2:38 into round number one to the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master. In victory, the 41-year-old Maia snaps a three-fight losing streak, having lost to a deaths row of competitors in the welterweight division to include the champion Tyron Woodley, former interim champion Colby Covington and the divisions number one contender Kamaru Usman back-to-back-to-back.
An immense amount of recognition and respect needs to be given to an almost pure Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master for competing at the sports highest level in mixed martial arts competition with what is an almost purely submission-based plan of attack. In an era where conventional wisdom holds that the Royce Gracie’s of the world are a thing of the past, Demian exists to show the experts that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is sill a force to be reckoned with in the modern era. For this reason alone, Demian Maia is a modern-day Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts hero.
ShoBox Results: Ronald “Akeem” Ellis Upset by Ware
By: Ken Hissner
Super Middleweight Ronald “Akeem” Ellis lost a majority decision to DeAndre Ware for the vacant NABA, USBO and WBC Continental Americas Super Middleweight Titles. Vito Mielnicki’s GH3, Split-T Management and Greg Cohen Promotions promoted Friday night’s event over ShoBox at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, NY.
In the Main Event Super Middleweight Ronald “Reckless” Ellis, 15-1-2 (10), of Lynn, MASS, lost a majority decision to DeAndre “Axeman” Ware, 13-1-2 (8), of Toledo, OH, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Ware forced the action with Ellis looking over anxious not as busy. The shorter Ware seemed to use his jab better than Ellis. In the second round Ellis settled down more using his reach to an advantage. Ellis never backed up jabbing and using body punching. Ellis landed a long right to the chin just prior to the bell having a better round.
In the third round Ellis landed a chopping right to the head. Into a minute of the round Ellis landed a combination to the head. Ware landed several jabs followed by a right to the chin. Ellis landed a counter right to the chin.
Inside a minute left in the round Ware landed a solid right to the chin. Ware landed a double left hook to the body.
In the fourth round Ellis used a good jab. Ware landed a solid right to the chin. Ellis landed several jabs followed by a right to the chin. Too many clinches in the round for referee Michael Griffin.
Ellis had a better round using his jab. In the fifth round Ellis finally took the lead with Ware backing up for the first minute before Ware once again started moving forward. Ware walked into a right uppercut from Ellis. Ellis landed a solid right uppercut with half a minute left in the round. Ware with less of a reach seemed to land as many jabs.
In the sixth round more movement than punches landed for the first half of the round with Ware chasing Ellis. Finally getting inside Ware landed a right uppercut. Ware walked into a right uppercut. In the seventh round both went toe to toe for half a minute at the start of the round. Halfway through the round Ware landed a good uppercut. With less than a minute left in the round Ware landed a flurry having Ellis against the ropes. Ellis kept moving working his jab. Ware finished strong landing a flurry at the bell.
In the eighth round Ware came out throwing but Ellis matched him punch for punch. Halfway through the round Ware landed a flurry of punches to the head. Ware never stops coming forward. Ellis landed a combination. He kept using his jab but Wade landed several solid punches up to the bell.
In the ninth round Ellis is using his jab moving backwards. Ellis came into this fight recovering from a right hand injury and has only been using it sparingly. Ware punched Ellis to the ropes but got countered well from Ellis. Inside Ware landed a chopping right to the head of Ellis who was leaning in. Ware drove Ellis into the ropes with body shots.
In the tenth and final round with Ware pressing in Ellis landed a flurry of punches to the head. Inside Ellis landed a left hook to the chin. Ellis flurried to the body. Halfway through the round Ware and Ellis mixed it up inside. In the final minute Ware bullied his way in but was not throwing punches as Ellis had him walking into punches.
Scores were 96-94 twice and 95-95 as did this writer have it.
In the Co-Feature Lightweight Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 13-1-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH, lost a mild upset to “Ill” Will Medera, 13-0-2 (6), of Albany, NY, over 8 rounds of action.
In the first round Medera pushed the action with several body shots. After a minute of mostly jabs Mattice opened up with a combination. Halfway through the round Medera landed a lead right to tht chin of Mattice. Mattice came back seconds later with a right of his own to the chin. Mattice used a good steady jab while Medera threw more heavier punches.
In the second round Mattice landed a good left hook to the head of Medera. Medera continued coming forward working the body. After a minute of action Medera landed a solid right to the head of Mattice. Mattice came back with a right uppercut to the chin of Medera. Medera missed with a right that was countered by a Mattice left hook on the chin. Medera landed a 3-punch combination ending with a right to the chin. Medera landed a solid left hook to the chin of Mattice just prior to the bell.
In the third round both fighters landed rights to the chin of one another. Mattice landed a flurry of four punches. Mattice finally stayed in the middle of the ring landing a solid right to the chin. Then he started moving once again. Inside a minute left in the round Medera landed several good body shots. With less than half a minute to go referee Charley Fitch had to break up the first clinch.
In the fifth round Medera kept coming forward working the body until he was countered by a right from Mattice on the chin. Mattice landed a lead right to the chin. Mattice landed a double left hook to the body and head. Medera landed a flurry of body punches but was countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.
In the sixth round Mattice landed a double left hook ending with a right to the chin. Mattice landed his best punch of the fight a right after a lead jab to the chin of Medera. Mattice landed half a dozen punches without return to the head of Medera.
In the seventh round both fighters opened up with power punches with Medera still working the body while Mattice landed a good uppercut after a variety of jabs. Medera continued working the body with Mattice jabbing and landing counter rights. This was the closest round of the fight.
In the eighth and final round Medera continued going mostly to the body while Mattice landed jab after jab. Neither fighter seemed to go all out in a very close fight being it was the final round. Mattice landed a flurry at the bell.
Scores were 78-74 and 77-75 twice. This writer had it 76-76.
Middleweight Dominic Wade, 19-1 (13), of Largo, MD, returned to action since losing a title fight to GGG scoring a knockout over Martin Fidel Rios, 23-19-4 (13), of Parea, LaPampa, ARG, at 1:48 of the first round.
Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber.