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.
Showtime PPV Boxing Results: Oubaali, Ruiz, and Browne Win Decisions
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Several title fights were on this card in addition to the main event of Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner.
The first bout of the night was between <strong>Hugo Ruiz (38-4) and Alberto Guevara (27-3)</strong> in the featherweight division.
Ruiz was the taller and longer fighter of the two, and he had to face Guevara who had to step in as a last minute replacement, and his body looked like he hasn’t been training heavily in the past few weeks.
Ruiz was able to land two short right hands followed by two short left hooks in the first round that sent Guevara down to the mat, but he was unable to follow up on that and finish the fight early.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Ruiz was throwing a little more power into his shots in the second round, and was able to do good work to the body. Ruiz continued to walk Guevara down in the third and fourth rounds, but he wasn’t throwing enough combinations to seriously hurt or threaten Guevara.
Ruiz was warned for a low blow in the fifth round, but still landed more shots than Guevara despite the action slowing down. Guevara was able to land some counters in the seventh round, but was fighting off his back foot in the eight round and was not throwing enough punches to win an otherwise winnable round.
It looked like Guevara is fighting to just survive and not go for the win. He has to know he’s behind on the scorecards but he didn’t take any risks in the final two rounds of the bout.
Ruiz wins a lackluster decision with scores of 100-89, 99-90, and 99-90.
The next fight of the night was between <strong>Nordine Oubaali (14-0) and Rau’shee Warren (16-2) (</strong> for the WBC Bantamweight title.
Both Oubaali and Warren fought as southpaws, and they previously met in the Olympics when Oubaali was able to defeat Warren.
Warren showed good hand speed early on and Oubaali was a little short with his punches. Warren’s jab was accurate early, and he may have had Oubaali a little hurt in the third round.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Oubaali began to turn the tide of the fight in his favor in the fourth round when he landed a counter left hand near the end of the round, and he had a strong fifth round with some check right hooks and lead right hands.
The sixth round was a close one, but Oubaali may have hurt Warren at the end of the round with a good left hand. Warren unwisely got in a firefight with Oubaali in the seventh round and may have lost the round as a result. Warren, to his credit, continued to exchange with Oubaali in the eighth round.
Warren pressed the pace in the ninth round but got tagged with some good power shots, and Oubaali was more accurate with his counter shots in the tenth round.
Warren likely stole the eleventh round with his activity and pressure, but it appeared to many he needed a knockout in the last round in order to pull out a win.
That knockout didn’t come, but overall there were many close rounds.
The judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 for Nordine Ouaali.
The co-main event of the night was between <strong> Badou Jack (22-1-3) and Marcus Browne (22-0) </strong>for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Championship.
Browne had the slight height and reach advantage on Jack and was able to use it to his advantage early on. He pressed the pace more in the opening two rounds and kept control of the center of the ring.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Browne was able to land some good shots to the body in the third and fourth round, while Jack was unable to land any notable punches on Browne’s body or head.
Marcus Browne had a very good fifth round, he was able to land a strong left hook that had Jack hurt, but Browne didn’t press the pace and go for the knockdown. Browne looked very confident going into the sixth round, and wasn’t bothered by Jack’s power at all
Browne opened up a cut in the middle of Jack’s forehead after a headbutt and was later deducted a point in the seventh round. Browne was landing clean combinations in the eighth and ninth rounds, as the blood dripped from Jack’s forehead and he appeared to be losing his energy.
Badou Jack was able to make a brief comeback in the tenth round with a flurry of punches on Browne by the corner. Bit he wasn’t able to follow that up with any effective offense.
Jack looked like a defeated fighter going into the final two rounds of the fight, as Browne looked confident he was going to walk away the winner. Browne went in for the kill in the final round as the blood was pouring out of Jack’s cut. The ringside doctor came out to check Jack’s cut, but allowed him to continue. Jack was able to finish out the fight, but he had a crimson mask of blood.
The final scores of the fight were 117-110, 116-111, and 119-108 for Marcus Browne.
Edwards dominates Granados, Skeete’s comeback scuppered – BT Sport & ESPN+ Review
By: Oliver McManus
A veritable curtain-raiser for the next Saturday’s show-stopper at the 02, Frank Warren promoted at the Brentwood Centre tonight (15th December) with a whole host of fighters looking to set up a huge 2019. Sam Bowen was scheduled to defend his British title against Ronnie Clark and Daniel Dubois was due to face Razvan Cojanu but both fights were pushed back due to injury / illness.
Headlining instead were a pair of WBO International title fights with Bradley Skeete taking on Diego Ramirez and Sunny Edwards facing Junior Granados. Both men were ranked 13th with the WBO prior to fight night – in the super-fly and welterweight divisions, respectively – and looked to build on this ahead of next year.
Edwards, fresh off the back of a dominant victory over Ryan Farrag, was originally slated to contest the WBC International belt against his Mexican counterpart but opted to strengthen his reputation with the WBO, instead.
Granados returned to British Isles for the first time since 2015 when he took on Jamie Conlan – that particular contest held in Dublin. A thrilling fight over 10 rounds, Granados dropped Conlan twice in the seventh round before narrowly losing on points. A classic display of Mexican grit and, you suspected, the blueprint for Granados’ fight at Brentwood.
The fight began with Edwards, newly a father, beating Granados to the jab as both men looked get it popping. Circling in the middle of the ring, it was a tepid opening three minutes but Edwards landed the more meaningful punches.
Having found his range in the first round, Edwards looked lighter on his feet in the second and registered some accurate right hands to signal his intentions. Having pawed out with the left hand, he left himself open to a clubbing right hand from Granados. The first punch of significance from the Mexican sent the home fighter to the canvas, bolt from the blue, but a flash-knockdown rather than anything serious.
Edwards seemed to regain composure quickly and the 22 year old showed maturity to stick to his gameplan, not letting the adrenaline alter his mindset. As with his fight against Farrag, Edwards was showcasing his fluid footwork that marks him out as a technical threat – capable of fighting in the pocket and on the back foot.
The Croydon-man was easing through the rounds, staying alert to Granados’ attempted aggression, and began to tee off when up close. Granados, if we’re honest, showed a fraction of the heart we had expected and, for the most part, was being out-boxed by his younger counterpart. Less of an explosive performance than against Ryan Farrag but, still, an impressive body of work from Edwards.
An argument could be made for an increased work rate as the fight rattled into the final third as Edwards, up on the scorecards, could have looked to force the case. All being said, there was no real need to do so but it would have been good to see how much he had left in the tank. A switch-hitter, Edwards was predominantly impressing from the southpaw stance and looked comfortable throughout.
A rhythm emerged throughout the rounds as Edwards continued to walk down his opponent, out-boxing the South American, with bursts of trading occurring periodically. A cruising night of work for the super-flyweight, Edwards added the WBO International strap to his collection via scorecards of 99-91, 97-92 and 98-91. But surely, surely, Jay Harris and the British title await in 2019?
Bradley Skeete was attempting to capture the first new title of his career since he won both the British and Commonwealth belts from Sam Eggington in March 2016 – though, of course, he defended the British belt three times thereafter. Against Diego Ramirez he faced a former WBO Latino champion who had amassed 48 rounds in the last 12 months.
Ramirez was fighting in his trademark camouflage shorts, Skeete in a coral blue. The opening bell rang and Skeete took to the centre of the ring, keeping his hands around the midriff and looking to work an opening. In his last fight, against Demian Fernandez, the Argentine was guilty of him planting his feet a little too firmly and Skeete was clearly the lighter-mover through the opening phases.
A confident left jab opened up the body of Ramirez, allowing Skeete to land a couple of hooks to the exposed region. Ramirez offered little resistance, keeping his head tucked behind the guard and simply trying to evade the shots of Skeete. With a minute to go of the second round, the Argentine suddenly sprung to life with a looping left hook landing plumb to the face of Skeete – good timing, more than anything.
The Brit hit the floor heavily, seemingly dazed, and sought to hold on for dear life having beat the count. Ramirez continued his onslaught but with Skeete in the corner, Bob Williams was forced to intervene as Skeete struggled to find his bearings. A freakish recreation of his bout against Kerman Lejarraga, almost shot-for-shot.
Diego Ramirez pulled out a performance of a lifetime as scars remain from Skeete’s contest with Lejarraga. A rebuild mission for 2019 but the remaining question is, how much does he want it?
For Sunny Edwards it is onwards and upwards, the super-flyweight looks technically world class but will do well to get experience before pushing on. Skeete, on the other hand, his future is up in the air. For such a nice guy it would be an awful shame were this to be his final memories in the ring. Who said boxing was a simple sport?
HBO Boxing Results: Braekhus, Shields, and Estrada Win on Final Show
By: Hans Themistode
It was a clean sweep as Cecilia Braekhus (35-0, 8 KOs) and Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) both retained their titles with relative ease tonight.
For Claressa it was a dominant showing against the current Super Middleweight champion Fenke Hermans (9-2, 3 KOs). Fenke showed tremendous heart in finishing the bout upright but it was a clear victory for Claressa.
From the very beginning there was absolutely no feel out rounds for the reigning unified Middleweight champion. She came out of the gates fast looking to inflict damage on her opponent. Every round looked exactly the same as Claressa made her opponent miss while landing monstrous shots of own. It was the kind of performance from Claressa that showed exactly why she is a super star with only eight pro bouts.
For as dominant as Claressa was she takes a back seat to the current pound-for-pound queen and unified Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
The aforementioned Braekhus put on an absolute clinic. Her opponent Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-5-3, 1 KO) kept fighting until the end but just didn’t have the skill necessary to dethrone the champion.
To demonstrate just how dominate Braekhus was tonight she only lost one total round according to one judge.
Yes one. That is not a miss print.
The two female headliners absolutely showed out tonight but let’s not forget about Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs) who made a statement of his own tonight by stopping the tough Victor Mendez (28-4-2, 20 KOs). For Mendez it was the first stoppage loss in his career. The reason this is significant is because Mendez has shared the ring with several great fighters, most notably former WBC champion Luis Nery.
Estrada punished Mendez all fight long until he was forced to throw in the towel. Estrada has been itching for a rematch with current champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. With a performance like he had tonight there is no doubt he will be getting his wish very soon.
All of the fights were entertaining tonight. Those who were supposed to win did so and in dominant fashion. As much as I would love to continue to heap praise on these fighters, the attention should be placed on something much more important at the moment. Let’s acknowledge HBO here.
The network has officially left the world of boxing after 45 plus years of coverage. Of course the sport of boxing will go on but something will forever seem as though it’s missing. Some of the very best to lace them up both past and present have graced that platform. From Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran to current great fighters in Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. It is a sad day in boxing but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Farewell HBO, you will be missed.