Golden Boy on ESPN Results: Garcia shows his Class and O’Sullivan Cruises
By Eric Lunger
From the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, another chapter in the venerable Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry was written, albeit in this case Mexican-American, as 19-year-old sensation Ryan “El Flash” Garcia took on hard-hitting veteran Jason Velez in a ten-round junior lightweight clash.
With his boyish good looks and undeniable charisma, Garcia is a worthy member of the Golden Boy stable and heir-in-waiting to Oscar de la Hoya’s legacy as a Los Angelino and proud son of Mexico.
Velez came out in the first working inside and pounding the body. Garcia was patient, but seemed unaccustomed to the tactics he was facing. The second was an even round, with Garcia landing a few powerful counters that may have swayed the judges.
In the third, Garcia showed more confidence in handling Velez’s pressure and countering as the Puerto Rican fighter came in. In the final minute of the round, Garcia caught Velez with some solid combinations, wobbling Velez momentarily. Garcia’s accuracy and hand speed are impressive, indeed, elite level, and he showed a poise beyond his years in the middle rounds, not chasing the knock out.
Accuracy again was the theme of the fifth round, when Garcia landed the cleaner and more accurate shots. By contrast, the sixth featured a lot of clinching and holding until the last minute, when Garcia unleashed a barrage of combinations. As the rounds ticked by, Velez continued to hold and work inside, while Garcia continued to use his accuracy to score. It was hard to see Velez winning any rounds that way. Did Velez’s plan succeed in slowing Garcia down? In the eighth, it did not seem so.
In the ninth, Garcia began to move and circle, to the dismay of the crowd. But again, Garcia fought with composure, doing enough to score and win the round. In the final frame, Velez gave everything he had, and Garcia handled it skillfully and maturely. It was a good fight by both men, but Velez never did enough to break through nor to avoid Garcia’s counters. The judges scored the bout 99-91 across the board for Ryan Garcia.
In the co-feature, rugged and determined Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) of Ireland took on Berlin Abreu (14-1, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. O’Sullivan, 33, sports facial hair from the 1910s, but his boxing skill-set and strength are very modern. Abreu, a full decade younger than O’Sullivan but moving up in weight, was coming off a career-defining win over Argentine David Peralta in December of 2107. Nonetheless, O’Sullivan presented a definite step up in class.
O’Sullivan is a pressure fighter and a power puncher, as Abreu found out in the first round. The Dominican seemed willing to absorb O’Sullivan’s punches, but it seemed a questionable game plan. It was more jabs and hooks from O’Sullivan in the second, though Abreu did respond with momentary offense of his own. That said, the Irishman landed some clean and hard punches. At the end of the round, Abreu seemed to think he had seen something, as he started to drop his hands and look for a big upper cut.
The third round was lopsided, as O’Sullivan landed repeated left hooks to the body and powerful short rights to the head. With 34 seconds to go in the round, Abreu contemptuously spit his mouth piece, or perhaps he was frustrated with the beating that he was taking. Referee Gerard White had no choice but to deduct a point. In the corner between rounds, Abreu’s corner surrendered, and Abreu made a quick exit to the boos of the crowd.
O’Sullivan runs his record to 28-2 with 19 KOs, and remains a candidate to face middleweight kingpin Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at some future date.
The Defenders, Contenders and Prospects: Four Undefeated Fighters to Watch This Weekend
By Vishare Mooney
Cinco De Mayo is upon us bringing with it a fantastic weekend of boxing as four undefeated fighters take to the ring to defend their records or the right to keep their championship belts. There are some interesting storylines, here’s what to watch.
History in the making: Challenges for two boxing giants Gennady Golovkin and Cecilia Breakhus
This is not the big drama show a Canelo rematch would have brought, but the Golovkin v. Martirosyan is still a challenging fight for the undefeated champion, Gennady Golovkin (36-0-1, 33KO); all his belts are on the line as he goes up against two-time world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 23KO). Though Martirosyan is going up a weight class to fight Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler has called the matchup “a dangerous fight” while Golovkin humbly suggested “one punch can change everything.” At Wednesday’s press conference, Don King, Martirosyan’s promoter, struck a foreboding tone, predicting that the stars above the StubHub Center will be aligned for the champion’s first loss. He addressed his remarks to Golovkin, “The inimitable words of Mohammed Ali says, you have to lose to be a whole champion, there’s no disgrace in losing.” And of his fighter, Martiroysan, King said, “This may be the opportunity that Vanes is waiting on because yesterday’s nobody, becomes tomorrow’s somebody.” Pre-fight hype? Not for Golovkin, “I understand my situation, this is not an easy fight, this is a huge fight for us. I promise, we bring amazing show, amazing event.” This fight is without doubt not one to miss.
If there is an active fighter with more titles and accolades than Golovkin, it is Cecilia Braekhus (32-0, 9 KO and 22-0 in championship matches.) The Columbian-born boxer who fights out of Norway, is embarking on the 22nd defense of her titles IBF-WBA-WBC-WBO. She has heen the welterweight world champion for the past nine years. And yet, this fight, set as a co-feature to the GGG-Martirosyan, and having the distinction of being the first live broadcast of a woman’s bout on HBO, is not necessarily a walk in the park for Braekhus. Her opponent, former world WBC middleweight champion, 27-year-old Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KO) will still have a size and youth advantage as she goes down two weight classes to fight the 36-year-old Braekhus. Says Braekhus, who continues to hone her skills as she matures, “I am definitely another fighter today than I was ten years ago, and I always have to adapt to that, I always have to adapt to stay sharp.” She added, “I feel the young girls, you know, they are breathing down my neck, I always need to be sharp.” Boxing legend Lucia Rijker, who has been training Braekhus for this fight will be in her corner Saturday night. The moment in history is not lost in Rijker, who said to boxinginsider.com at a recent interview, “ I know my place as a coach, this is the time for the new generation and I’m honored to be a part of it with a humble heart.” All the women will have the platform at StubHub, under the stars to show the world, women’s boxing belongs on primetime along with men’s. Challenger Kali Reis, understands the the opportunity and the significance of this bout, “It’s not just live boxing on HBO, its the co-main event, that is huge. Not only for myself, not only for Cecilia, but for women’s boxing as a whole…We’re in it to fight and we can fight.” Tune into this one, it will likely be the best fight of the night.
Golovkin v. Martirosyan and Braekhus v. Reis, May 5, HBO, 8pm PT
Boxers On the Rise: Ryan Garcia and George Kambosos Jr.
It’s likely ESPN’s 2017 Prospect of the Year, 19-year-old Ryan Garcia (14-0, 13 KO), from Victorville, CA, with meticulous grooming of his boxing career by Golden Boy Promotions and supported by Garcia’s fast growing 800k Instagram followers, needs little more highlighting. On May 4th, the junior lightweight may actually have a worthy contest in the seasoned 30-year-old Puerto Rican fighter, Jayson Velez, (26-4-1, 18 KO). Garcia will want to feed his ambition of fighting Gervonta Davis and being the youngest pay-per-view star, as well as his growing fan base, with another decisive win. With such heightened media exposure at such an early time in his professional career, it seems Garcia is defending his fame rather than ascending to it. Nonetheless, fans shouldn’t miss out on watching this fighter’s impressive ability to “see and catch” his opponent’s next moves and launch a powerful and fast knockout punch. He described his technique to boxinginsider.com, “I see where he (the opponent) goes, and once he makes a little tiny mistake, my punch is there and I deliver my full ability” Coming off the lightning fast first round knockout of Fernando Vargas, just six weeks ago, boxing fans get another chance to see KingRy impress. May 4th, 7:30PM PT on ESPN2 and ESPN Desportes.
If you want a chance to see a future title contender in his first US fight, watch George “Ferocious” Kambosos, Jr. (13-0, 7 KO), the undefeated 24-year-old Greek-Australian prospect. Kambosos Jr. is currently ranked #5 by the WBA , #11 by WBO and holds the WBA Oceania lightweight title. Kambosos Jr., recently signed with powerhouse promoter Dibella Entertainment. He will headline the Broadway Boxing event at Foxwoods Resort Casino and fight against Jose “El Tigre” Forero (13-6-1, 11 KO). Kambosos Jr. moved from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles earlier this year to train under renowned coach, former heavyweight contender and long time Pacquiao cornerman Justin Fortune. His sights are set firmly on making a name for himself here in the U.S. “America is the mecca of boxing, to become world champion and to become recognized, you gotta be here.” Kambosos Jr., in addition to holding title belts, has sparred with Manny Pacquiao for over 50 rounds and brings shades of Pacquiao’s fast and furious high volume punching to the ring along with some impressive footwork. When asked what fans can expect of him in the ring, Kambosos Jr. told boxinginsider.com, “I’m an action packed fighter..fans can expect fireworks from round one.” Kambosos Jr. said he’s had a hundred rounds of sparring to prepare for his US debut and is ready for anyone. “We’ve left no stone unturned, we’ve had an awesome camp, if they pulled him (Forero) out today, and brought in a world champion, we are ready to go, we are ready to fight and ready to win.” May 5th, 9PM ET at CBS Sports HQ and Live.DBE1.com
ESPN Boxing Preview: Garcia vs. Velez, O’Sullivan vs. Abreu
By: Eric Lunger
While Saturday night is Cinquo de Mayo, a traditional Red Letter day on the boxing calendar, boxing fans should not miss Friday night’s ESPN/ESPN Deportes broadcast of the Golden Boy Boxing card from Carson, CA, featuring Ryan Garcia vs. Jayson Velez at junior lightweight and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan vs. Berlin Abreu at middleweight.
The headline bout features a young (19 year-old) undefeated, and charismatic prospect from Los Angeles, Ryan “the Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs). Riding a nine-fight knockout streak, Garcia recently stopped tough veteran Fernando Vargas in the first round in March of this year. Velez will be clearly the most challenging opponent of Garcia’s young career, but he is sure to have the StubHub crowd behind him: Garcia proudly enters the ring with the Mexican and American flags in his entourage. And, classically, his opponent hales from Puerto Rico.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Twitter Account
Jayson Velez (26-4, 18 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a twelth-round TKO of Puerto Rican star Juan Manuel Lopez, also in the March of this year. Other notable fights for Velez include an unanimous decision (on wide cards) over noted prospect Alberto Mercado in March of 2017, an unanimous decision loss to rising star JoJo Diaz in March of 2016, and a failed IBF world title shot against Evgeny Gradovich (split decision draw) in 2014.
Some might characterize this fight as the “young prospect versus declining veteran” type of cross-roads matchup, but it promises to be more competitive and compelling than that. Velez is coming off a career-making win, headlining a nationally televised card, and looking for another title shot. He is going to be hugely motivated. Garcia has knockout power, is trying to take the next step on the ladder to greatness, and is fighting in front of his hometown fans — he will be under serious pressure to perform. It should be an excellent bout.
In the co-feature, Irishman Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan will try to continue his three-fight knockout streak. O’Sullivan is an entertaining fighter to watch, and he is damn good. He’s beaten everyone he’s faced except for Chris Eubank, Jr. (December 2015) and Billy Joe Saunders (July 2013). O’Sullivan is coming off a seventh-round stoppage of Antoine Douglas on the Lemieux vs. Saunders undercard last December. At age 33, with a lot of tough miles in the tank, this might be O’Sullivan’s last run at another title shot. But don’t let the age fool you; O’Sullivan is tough, highly conditioned, and will punish any mistakes by the man in front of him.
Abreu, 23, was born in Puerto Rico but currently resides in the Dominican Republic. He is coming off a ten-round split decision win over rugged Argentine David Peralta in December of last year. With Saturday night being his second foray at the ten-round distance, this bout more accurately fits the “cross-roads” appellation. Youth and desire from Abreu faces grit and experience from O’Sullivan.
The broadcast begins live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 ET/7:30 PT.
Interview with British Prospects Ryan Charles, Mitch Frearson, and Liam Dillon
By: Oliver McManus
As I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for a long time now, boxing in Britain is BOOMING and has an overflow of talent flooding through the veins at the moment – hot talents are making their debut on a weekly basis all of whom are capable of causing some serious carnage at the top of the game.
The three fighters featured below are no different – Ryan Charles, Mitch Frearson and Liam Dillon are all represented by Portobello PR and are set to make massive statement, I caught up with all three to find out more;
First up is Ryan Charles, a cruiserweight signed with British Warriors who represented St Lucia at the Commonwealth and World Amateur Championships, scheduled to turn pro last year he was beset by cancelations and will FINALLY be making his debut on the 28th;
Obviously you’re making your debut at the end of the month, how’s preparation been going, how are you feeling?
Yeah preparation has been good, I’ve been really ready for this for a while because I was due to box last year but a couple of cancellations and things meant I couldn’t but I’m training down at Miguel’s Gym with a lot of good fighters – Richard Riakporhe, Isaac Chamberlain, Chris Kongo – so yeah, it’s going well. Really well.
You were at the 2014 Commonwealth games, was it on your mind to turn pro straight away or did you always want to wait a bit longer?
Basically after the 2014 Commonwealth’s, I don’t know if you remember but I kind of got robbed really badly, I gave the guy two standing counts in the round and it was still only scored a 10-8 round by one of the judges and the guy won the fight on points, so honestly it put me in a bad place.
I kind of took a bit of a break from boxing, from 2014 to the end of 2015 I weren’t really training, I started again in 2016 and then I decided I wanted to turn pro and started the process from there – as I said I was due to box last year.
When you look back at the Games is it hard to take positives or do you just move on and change it into something positive?
It can be hard, yeah, obviously it’s the Commonwealth’s now and it’s on TV as we speak. I’m just watching some of them and thinking like “one of those medals should have been mine” but everything happens for a reason. It wasn’t meant to be so I’ve just got to treat it as a learning experience and say “ok, just move on and in the future once you’ve got someone hurt make sure you finish them off, don’t give them a chance” because if I really went for it I could have got him out of there.
When you do get in the ring on the 28th are you looking for rounds or do you want to right some wrongs and make a big statement?
You know what, either way, I wouldn’t mind getting a few rounds but the sooner the better, if I can get them out of there then that’s even better and I can make a bit of a statement, that’s good and I can move onto the next one earlier.
You’re quite a big cruiserweight, could we ever see you at heavy?
Potentially yeah, potentially. As an amateur, when I started off I boxed at Super Heavyweight, then I went down to 91kg (heavyweight) and I stayed there for a bit, then I went down to cruiserweight which is 86, then I went back up to 91. I decided, “let me get all the way down” so I went to 81kg so between light heavy and heavyweight (in the pro ranks) I can box between them. I reckon for me my optimum weight is probably 14 ½ stones, so about 91kg.
In the future I could potentially go up, it’s just the height factor, I’m not the tallest of cruiserweights so it may be a problem.
I won’t keep you much longer because it’s incredibly noisy here (I was at York Hall) but what are you looking to achieve over the next 12 months?
Definitely in the next 12 months I want to be pushing towards area titles, maybe secure an area title and then move on from there – this game is cutthroat and you’ve got a short career, I’ve got to try do as well as I can. I think all the international experience I’ve got will put me in good stead already – I think I’ve fought, 3 Olympians, Commonwealth gold medallist, world and American champs. I think that will help me in the pros as well. I just want to try and get as many fights as possible.
Mitch Frearson is next up, signed by MTK Global and making his debut on the 28th April – down to earth, humble, great fighter, he’s the real deal;
The phone rang about 5 seconds after I texted Mitch to set the interview up, immediately coming across as a great gentleman.
Your debut is coming up, how are you feeling, how’s the prep?
It’s been going well, it’s been a lot, started camp end of / middle of December really so I’ve just been working my way into it doing bits and bobs before getting serious in the New Year when everything was official and I knew I had a set date on the 28th.
Yeah and once you get the date does it become easier to motivate yourself to train or are you always up for it?
I’m always motivated regardless but, obviously, when you’ve got that date, you get that little switch that goes in your head and you know that is you the, you know you’re fighting and you have to turn it on a bit and ramp the training up a bit more.
When you’re in the ring do you want to make a big statement early on or do you want to get some experience under your belt?
I’m not entirely fussed about making a big statement, I just want to get the rounds. As long as I box well and I’m happy with myself then I don’t care how the fight goes – other than me winning, obviously – but as long as I put into play what I’ve been practising in the gym then I’m not fussed how it’s perceived on the night as long as I’m happy, my trainer’s happy.
I’ve heard it said you’re sort of “here for a good time” are you more up for having some good fights?
Nah, it’s not like I’m just here for a good time, I want to progress quickly and work my way up in the sense of like other fighters round the area who would make a good fight…
… you want to put on a show as opposed to just journeyman?
Yeah, basically, yeah I want to put on a show. You’re asking people to pay 40, 60 quid for tickets, you need to turn up and box – obviously I’m under no illusion that I will box journeyman at the beginning – but as long as it puts on a good show, that’s all I care about.
How many tickets are you looking to sell for your debut?
Probably between 100 to 150, I could sell more but where I work still, it’s about balancing time and delegating to tickets, working or training. I’ve got a few people helping me out but I’ve basically been doing it all myself, I could get more tickets out but I’m not too fussed at the minute.
Does it always add extra motivation or is it sometimes unwanted pressure?
From boxing in the amateurs I only boxed in front of about five people, well that I brought myself, there was a few others around but there is subconsciously an added pressure but I’ve been boxing long enough to deal with pressure. It’s no different to any of my amateur bouts – just a few more people!
Are you sort of taking the attitude that it is just amateur but on a bigger scene? Not overthinking it?
I’m a massive overthinker, it’s my one downfall. In this camp moving forward as a professional boxer my one thing was not overthink, just enjoy the moment, go through the process and just see where I end up instead of just overthinking and stressing myself out.
I’m training hard, I believe in myself and go from there.
In about a year have you got somewhere specific you want to be or just keep the fights coming?
I’m not going to be one of those guys that say “I wanna win this, I wanna win that”, I’m in charge, really, of how I progress and that so I want to progress quite quickly and if that’s domestic titles then yeah I’ll crack on with that but I just want to improve as boxer, fit nicely into the programme and set myself up for a good career.
Finally in this trio of interviews is Liam Dillon, a 22 year old lightweight carrying an unbeaten ledger into his sixth professional fight on the 26th May at York Hall – having secured five comfortable points victories over the four round distance, Dillon steps up to six in his next contest and the high pressure fighter will be looking to pile on the pressure at the top of the domestic lightweight division in the not-too-distant future;
Firstly, you’ve had 5 fights in your pro career so far, how would you assess them and what can we expect from you in 2018?
I’ve boxed 5 tough boys all very experienced, myself and my team have seen a massive improvement between my first professional outing and my 5th. I hopefully would like a belt around my waist by the end of 2018.
Absolutely, are you hoping to be out as frequently this year or would you rather fewer, but tougher, fights?
I’m hoping to keep active this year. Same as last year. I’m always in shape. I want the big fights. The fights that’ll move me up the rankings.
And when you talk about the big fights have you got a particular route in mind or will you just see what opportunities arise?
I’ll like take the best opportunities available. Listen to my coaches and my team as I think they know what’s best for me.
How does your relationship with your coaches and gym mates affect your motivation for fight night – do you almost want to do well for them as well as for yourself?
Yeah I don’t just fight for myself, I go out to represent my team, I believe I’ve got one of the best teams in the country around me, my coaches Steve Kipps and Bob Kipps have trained fighters at world level, Ian Wilson (who owns the gym) has put so much effort and belief in me, he’s another brilliant coach. Mathew Chanda, a boxer I train with, is the best I’ve ever trained with. I learn so much from him and after we spar or he watch me spar someone else, he always gives me advice after. Another guy I train with Patrick Sandy is a fitness coach, he gets me in brilliant shape, he puts me through old school training methods. My nutritionist Paul O’Neil from pro- nutrition does a great job helping me maintain weight and all the guys from team Sparta in Chingford. It’s a great gym to train at and there’s no other place of rather be.
Sounds like a really solid team – I was going to ask about Matty Chanda actually, does having some so experienced (Commonwealth level) in the gym make it easier to motivate yourself on the days you’re feeling rough?
Yeah definitely, it’s great to have a fighter of that calibre in your stable, it motivates me to get to that level myself, and Matty always giving his input into my training and helping me get to that level.
You’re quite well known for being a good pressure fighter but what do you think are the strongest areas of your game?
I’ve been told I’m very physically strong for my weight, I’ve hard to push back, I’ve never been good at boxing on the back foot so I just keep going forward.
Finally from me, when you fight at the end of May what can we expect from you? & at only 22 how long can you be in the sport for?
I’m in it for the long run as long as everything runs smoothly. I hope to have a long career in the sport. At 22 I hope I can have at least another 10 years in the sport filled with big fights.
And there we have it, three of the most exciting fighters to grace the “small halls” of the United Kingdom over the next month – they’ll all be looking to make explosive statements – don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Ryan “Kingry” Garcia and Eddie “E-boy” Gomez Score KO Wins
By: Ken Hissner
At the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, Thursday night over ESPN promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions Ryan “Kingry” Garcia and Eddie “E-boy” Gomez scored KO win’s.
In the Main Event, 19 year-old Super Featherweight Ryan “Kingry Flash” Garcia, 14-0 (13), of L.A. stopped Fernando Vargas, 32-14-3 (21), of Tijuana, MEX, at 2:55 of the first round in defense of his NABF Junior Super Featherweight title.
In the first round the shorter Vargas missed a right hand. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Garcia. Garcia used a long jab keeping Vargas at bay. Garcia landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. Garcia landed a right to the chin of Vargas. As Vargas came forward Garcia led with a right following with a left hook to the chin of Vargas and down he went. He wasn’t beating the count as referee Jerry Cantu waved it off.
“I called it with my left hook. I was nervous in my first main event. I knew when I landed a jab I knew I would catch him,” said Garcia.
In the co-feature Welterweight Eddie “E-boy” Gomez, 21-3 (12), of the Bronx, NY, stopped Keandre Gibson, 18-2-1 (7), of St. Louis, MO, at 0:54 of round 2 in a scheduled 10 rounds.
In the first round there was hardly a punch landed. Talk about a “feeling out” round. In the second round Gomez countered a right over a Gibson jab to the chin and down went Gibson. He beat the count at 8 by referee Tony Kreb but didn’t make eye contact so Kreb waved it off to the objection of Gibson.
Featherweight Joet Gonzalez, 19-0 (11), of L.A., stopped Rolando “Smooth Operator” Magbanua, 28-7 (20), of Pigkawayan, PH, at 2:06 of the 5th round of a scheduled 10 rounds.
Super Bantamweight Emilio Sanchez, 15-1 (10), of North Hollywood, CA, was upset by Eugene “Rambo” Lagos, 13-5-2 (8), of Valencia City, PH, who scored a second round knockout at 0:35 of a scheduled 8 rounds.
Super Welterweight 2016 Olympian Raul “Cougar” Curiel, 3-0 (2), of Guadalajara, MEX, scored 2 knockdowns in stopping Quantavious Green 1-2-1 (1), of Shreveport, LA, at 1:29 of round 2 of a scheduled 6 rounds.
18 year-old Welterweight Aaron “The Silencer” McKenna, 2-0 (1), of Ireland, living in L.A. stopped Jose Palacious, 0-2 (0), of CO, at 2:40 of the first round of a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round McKenna pressed the action and after approximately two minutes into the round landed a left to the body dropping Palacious for an 8 count. McKenna jumped on Palacious landing a double left hook to the body of Palacious. A lead right uppercut by McKenna to the chin of Palacious hurt him and he complained of getting hit behind the head but didn’t choose to continue as referee Edward Hernandez had no choice but to halt the fight.
PBC on Fox Sports Preview: Dirrell vs. Douglin on a Friday Edition of Toe to Toe
By: Eric Lunger
Premier Boxing Champions presents a special edition of Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays this Friday on Fox Sports One. Headlining the card from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan, is former 168-pound world champion Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs), who takes on Denis Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs) in a ten round super middleweight clash. Dirrell, 33, is a Flint native, and Friday night will mark his third appearance in his hometown.
Photo Credit: Anthony Dirrell Twitter Page
Dirrell, six-foot-two with an orthodox stance, is a serious professional who held the WBC super-middleweight belt for two years until relinquishing it in a tough majority decision to Badou Jack in April of 2015. Since then, Dirrell has reeled off three wins, including a ten-round unanimous decision over tough Mexican veteran Marco Antonio Rubio.
Denis Douglin, a five-foot-eight southpaw from Marlboro, NJ, has been in the ring with some elite level competition, including George Groves, Jermell Charlo, and David Benavidez, to whom Douglin lost in his last outing by way of a tenth round TKO.
“Douglin has fought a lot of good fighters and I respect him, but he’s standing in the way of my title shot,” said Dirrell via press release. “This is a chance for me to showcase my skills. I’m going for a stoppage, and I think I’m going to get it in the middle rounds. I want to put on a great performance and give the fans something to see.”
For his part, Douglin is not intimidated by the venue or by his opponent: “I’ve taken a lot of fights on short notice and that’s hurt me in the past, but I’ve had ample time and a great training camp to prepare for this fight,” said Douglin. “I think Dirrell has a problem with guys who aren’t afraid of him and who will actually give him a fight. With my style and determination, I’m going to bring a lot more than he’s expecting.”
On the televised undercard, undefeated welterweight prospect Jamontay “the Quiet Assassin” Clark (12-0, 7 KOs) takes on Ukrainian born Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in a rematch of their June bout, which Clark won on unanimous cards. The first tilt was an action fight, to be sure, with Golub bringing a sustained body attack, and Clark countering and boxing. Golub will be looking for payback, as he felt the decision by the judges in June was an incorrect one. Having scored seven knockouts prior to the Clark fight, the Ukrainian will be extra motivated to see to it that the fight doesn’t go the distance.
Opening the televised coverage is an eight-round junior welterweight clash between Houston-based Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (14-1, 9 KOs) and Kareem Martin (9-1-1, 3 KOs) of Washington, DC. Karl, 25, was stopped in the ninth round by Eddie Ramirez last February, but since then won an unanimous decision against Carlos Winston Velasquez. Martin, 22, is in a similar position, having lost once and coming off a recent win against Evincil Dixon in August.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Recap: Abreu Stops Soto Karass, Garcia Defeats Valenzuela
Live from the Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, Golden Boy Promotions presented a handful of fights that were aired on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
In the fourth round of the first televised fight, Cesar Diaz (5-0) forced Pedro Melo (17-18-2) to his knees with a body shot. Melo, however, complained of a shot to the back of the head and the referee did not give him a count. It was at this point that the excuses began for Melo. In the fifth round, he was knocked down again and before he got up started rotating his shoulder. The referee gave him his count. Melo got up and started walking around, still making a theatrical show of his injured shoulder. He had found his “out.” The referee asked if he wanted to continue. Melo shook his head. And so Diaz won by an uneventful TKO.
Up next Rafael Gramajo (9-1-1) fought German Meraz (58-45-2), who was a last-minute replacement for Sergio Najera. A veteran of over a hundred fights, Meraz made this fight fun to watch. He wasn’t there just to collect a paycheck. He was there to win and to entertain the crowd while doing it. The more experienced Meraz may not have dominated, but he did control the fight. Jerky, and a bit hyperactive, Meraz even slipped once, but that did not stop the crowd from rooting for him. The fight was ruled a draw, by majority decision, but one judge had Gramajo winning. Who knows what that judge was thinking.
The Hector Tanajara vs. Jesus Serrano fight was mostly uneventfully, except for an exciting fifth round exchange. Tanajara won, but not as decisively as the judges thought. Serrano was a last-minute replacement and gave Tanajara more trouble than he expected. Tanajara initially prepared to face Oscar Eduardo Quezada, and perhaps he was a bit unprepared to deal with a southpaw.
The co-main event was Ryan Garcia (11-0) vs. Cesar Valenzuela (14-5-1). Garcia’s power was on full display in the first round when he knocked Valenzuela down with a sharp left hook to the head. Garcia calls himself a boxing historian and his short shorts are certainly something from another era. Garcia knocked Valenzuela down two more times before the referee stopped the fight. Garcia has the potential to become a star. He’s veritable force of nature, a kid with enviable speed and power.
The main event was Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4) vs. Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1). The 35-year-old Soto Karass started out slow, spending much of the first-round walking into Abreu’s hardest shots. Abreu ended the 1st round with a shot to the head that landed after the bell. In the 3rd round, there was a great exchange between both men, and Soto Karass landed a solid left hand to the head. Over the next two rounds, the flat-footed Soto Karass kept coming forward as Abreu kept skipping around. The younger Abreu looked fresh and more alive. Soto Karass slowed in the fifth. His punch count was down from previous fights. But he began to open up with his hands by the end of the sixth. Soto Karass kept up the pace into the seventh, but he continued to take punishment. Then, in the seventh round, Abreu knocked him down. Soto Karass staggered to his feet. The referee should have called off the fight then, but he let it continue. Moments later, he jumped in and called the fight off when Abreu caught Soto Karass on the ropes.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Preview: Soto Karass vs. Abreu, Tanajara vs. Quezada, Jesus Serrano vs. Genaro Gamez, Ryan Garcia vs. Cesar Valenzuela
By: B.A. Cass
After suffering a first-round KO from Henry Lebron in July, Oscar Eduardo Quezada (6-4) went on to beat Ernesto Gutierrez (0-7-1) in September. Now Quezada is being used as an opponent for the Hector Tanajara (10-0), the San Antonio super featherweight who hopes to be Golden Boy Promotions newest star. Tanajara still needs some development, but he’s young and fast. And he is unbeaten for a reason. Tanajara is a boxer, not a brawler. He has a three-inch height advantage over Quezada, and we can expect him to use his jab to keep Quezada at a safe distance, as he has effectively done with opponents in the past.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
The fight between Jesus Serrano (17-4-2) and Genaro Gamez (6-0) should be much more exciting. At first glance, Serrano may seem like the more experienced fighter on a downward slide, a journeyman sent in to fight a younger, up-and-coming fighter who needs some credible wins on his resume. However, the four losses and two draws on Serrano’s record happened earlier in his career and is on a nine-fight winning streak. He has also knocked out over half of his opponents. As for Gamez, he may have less professional experience, but he’s a dangerous fighter: of the six fights he has fought, four have ended in first round KOs. Both fighters like to keep their hands down. Expect a brawl.
Ryan Garcia (11-0) vs. Cesar Valenzuela (14-5) is the fight on the undercard that you won’t want to miss. Valenzuela is a strong, more experienced opponent, but Garcia, who looks about twelve years old, has a knockout record that rivals Deontay Wilder’s. He’s sharp too, and when his punches connect (as they often do), the result is devastating. He was last seen in the ring in September when he knocked out Miguel Carrizoza with a powerful shot to the head that was so fast it was almost invisible.
Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4) wants to show the boxing world that he isn’t just another aging gatekeeper. He’ll get his chance this Thursday, Nov. 2 when he encounters Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1), the aggressive Dominican fighter who likes to taunt his opponents as he stalks them around the ring. Karass has beaten some decent talent, including Andre Berto. Recently, however, he’s lost more than he’s won. This fight may be his last chance to prove himself, and he’s sure to give everything he’s got.
Hosted by Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, this 10-round main event will be aired at 11 PM (EST) on ESPN2.
ESPN3 will stream the undercard fights starting at 9:30 PM (EST). Make sure to tune in early so that you don’t miss the fight between US Olympian Marlen Esparza (3-0) and Karla Valenzuela (3-16-3). It should be a one-sided affair, but Esparza is supremely talent and it will be fun to watch.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
PBC on ESPN Results: Ugas and Flores Win Decision Victories
PBC on ESPN Results: Ugas and Flores Win Decision Victories
By: William Holmes
The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona New York was the host site for the night’s PBC on ESPN broadcast. King’s Promotion was the lead promoter for tonight’s card.
The co-main event of the night was between late replacement Jamal James (20-0) and former Cuban amateur standout Yordenis Ugas (15-3) in the welterweight division.
Jamal James took the fight on short notice and replaced undefeated Bryant Perella who had to withdraw due to an injury to his hand.
Ugas, a former Olympic bronze medalist, was surprisingly caught with a lot of jabs and quick combinations to the head in the opening round. However, Ugas stayed consistent with his attacks to the body and looked to work the trunk of his lanky opponent.
By the second round Ugas must have realized that the power of James would not hurt him, as he walked forward more and focused on snapping the energy of James with right hooks to the body. James was matching Ugas punch
for punch in the fourth round, but Ugas’ punches were getting through James guard at a higher clip.
The pace favored Ugas in the middle rounds, and he stayed patient and was crisp with his counter rights and even knocked out the mouthpiece of James in the sixth round. James’ looked like he was tiring in the eighth and ninth rounds and did not have the ability to seriously hurt Ugas, who looked like he was content on winning a decision victory.
Ugas returned from a two year layoff to win the decision victory with scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 96-94.
The main event of the evening was a super featherweight belt between Miguel Flores (20-0) and Ryan Kielczweski (25-1).
Neither boxer was known for their power and both fought out of an orthodox stance.
Kielczweski looked to be bigger and thicker than Flores, but he could not match the speed of Flores. Flores focused his attacks to the body of Kielczweski in the opening two rounds, and besides a right hand from Kielczweski in the opening round on a backward moving Flores, Flores dominated Kielczweski with a high volume of shots to the body.
Kielczweski was able to momentarily trap Flores by the ropes in the opening minute of the third round and land some good shots to the body, but Flores ‘ work rate was just too much for Kielczweski to keep up with.
Flores remained in control in the fourth and fifth rounds and the cumulative effects of his punches were starting to wear down Kielczweski. He remained in the pocket several times and freely threw quick combinations at Kielczweski, but Kielczweski did have his moments in the fifth round.
Kielczweski pressed the pace in the sixth round but Flores was able to deftly stick and move and avoid taking any serious damage. Kielczweski took several more hard combinations in the seventh round but showed he had the chin to take the best shots of Flores.
Kielczweski fought valiantly in the final three rounds, and was able to land some of his power shots, but Flores landed two punches to every one that Kielczweski landed.
Miguel Flores remained undefeated with a decision victory with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 96-94.
New Toronto Promoter Hoping to Follow Quebec’s Lead
New Toronto Promoter Hoping to Follow Quebec’s Lead
By: Ed Hitchins
When Ryan Frazer talks about boxing in Canada, he points to one place known for its resounding success.
“Quebec has winners,” Frazer says. “David Lemieux has been around the world and back. Otis and Howard Grant. Their commission supports them.
Trainer DeWith Frazer (second from left) is hoping his network, which includes stars such as (from left) Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis and Roy Jones, will launch his son Ryan’s forte in promoting to a high level.
“Their amateur shows are bigger than ours. Guys like myself and other promoters need to show up at these amateur shows and help these kids,” he says.
It’s part of the 23-year-old’s motivation to start North Corner Promotions in Toronto, Ont. Fresh out of St. Lawrence College in with a degree in marketing, Frazer says couldn’t see himself in a long-term, 9-to-5 situation.
“I came home from college and I see the boxing scene in Toronto isn’t that great,” Frazer says. “I felt I could really spice things up around here. My father told me if I pursue it, I can really make a difference for boxing in Ontario.”
His dad would know a thing or two about that.
Trainer Dewith Frazer has been involved in boxing for the better part of 30 years, and some of his notable clients including 1988 Olympic silver medalist Egerton Marcus, as well as former IBF champion Steve Molitor.
The elder Frazer says Ontario has lagged in boxing for a generation for a multitude of reasons, finances being a major problem.
“What we’ve been suffering from here is something called ‘not-to-many-action,’” Dewith says. “You may see a fighter fight in June. But you won’t see him until the next June.
“That can’t work. Especially with a young guy coming up, they need to be active. Not only to get publicity, but also to grow,” says Dewith at his studio in Mississauga, Ont.
He says that during the past three decades, most promoters in Ontario aren’t boxing promoters.
“They don’t know the environment,” Dewith argues. “Boxing is a very small business. If they don’t know you, they won’t do business with you. There hasn’t been anyone here that has been known to the boxing community.
“We see Lennox [Lewis] come into the mix,” he says. “He could make a difference, because he is a known commodity.”
Dewith believes his experience and networks linking top people will be able to help his son’s endeavour create a fan base in order to harness and nurture developing talent.
“When I need a fighter that we’re having a problem, we could call Roy Jones,” he says. “Bob Arum and Top Rank do sign fighters from here. I know about Zsolt [Daranyi Jr] who’s contract was recently bought by Cameron Duncan from Top Rank. We have local fighters from here that Top Rank or Golden Boy have no problem allowing us to promote them in our city.
“It is a huge asset to know that,” Dewith says.
However, in a congested sports market that includes teams in Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL, the Frazers face an uphill climb promoting in the Canada’s largest city.
Dewith however is not deterred by that.
“The thing is, we have talent here,” he says. “Talent sells. We have kids that have the talent.
“We have to teach them how to speak to the media, how to dress, how to do charity work. We also have to teach the value of our sport,” Dewith says. “That’s what people are looking for right now, a leader.”
Hoping to put together their first show later this summer, Ryan has very lofty expectations. And he hopes to host the regular shows that are the norm in La Belle Province in just a few years.
“I want to make Casino Rama (in Rama, Ont.) the spot within five years,” Ryan says. “That’s the only resort we have like Vegas around here. I feel if I can make it there, I can possibly do Fallsview Casino (In Niagara Falls) as well.
“The boxing community is here, we just have to work together,” Ryan says.