WBSS on DAZN Preview: Taylor vs. Martin; Burnett vs. Donaire
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night two of Britain’s best take to the ring for the World Boxing Super Series as 140lb number two, seed Josh Taylor of Scotland, fights undefeated American, Ryan Martin; while WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett of Belfast, steps in with future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. Watch the fight on DAZN.
Whether watching at home or inside the arena you’re sure to remember at least one thing from Josh Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series quarter-final vs. Ryan Martin, and that’s noise. When the ‘Tartan Tornado’ appears to the crowd for the first time on Saturday, the Scottish crowd will erupt. Covering Martin, in a cacophony of sound he’s never felt before as a boxer.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Taylor’s professional-breakout fight was in his five-round dismantling of super-lightweight gatekeeper, Dave Ryan at Meadowbank Sports Arena, in 2016 and since then, five out of Taylor’s six fights have taken place either in Glasgow or his home city of Edinburgh. The fan-base has grown and with it, the anticipation of what the Scottish fans will bring.
Saturday nights venue, SSE Hydro was the base for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, where Taylor won gold, so it stands to reason that he’ll be forever linked with the venue,
‘‘The Hydro is now my home. Every time I fight there I’m getting stronger and stronger and the fans are getting bigger and noisier.’’
The ‘Tartan Tornado’s’ last two fight have taken place at the SSE. Five months ago, the Scottish southpaw went head to head with former world champion, Viktor Postol in his most important professional fight to date.
His performance matched the event, as Taylor, now 13-0 (11KOs) battled through 12 exhausting rounds, dropping the Ukrainian in the 11th, to add another notch to his record and emerge as arguably, the biggest threat outside of the current 140lb world champions,
‘‘My style is based on hand speed and timing. I can punch hard as well…I know if I’m hitting you, I’m putting you down or hurting you. I don’t think there’s anybody that boxes the way I box.’’
‘‘I’ve seen every type of style, every type of fighting you can imagine… My ambition is to move forward, win this tournament and become world champion.’’
Before entering the WBSS, Taylor was making his way through the WBC rankings to eventually face one of the organisation’s belt holders, Jose Ramirez or already confirmed semi-finalist, Regis Prograis. If he wins on Saturday though, he’ll instead face the recently crowned IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk for that title and a place in the final to fight either Kiryl Relikh or Prograis.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin has fluctuated between lightweight and super-lightweight throughout his pro career. Currently 22-0 (12KOs) and training out of Big Bear under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Martin has won minor lightweight titles as an amateur and as a professional.
Towards the end of last year, he picked up the 135lb WBA Inter-Continental strap with a split decision victory over Francisco Rojo; as well as already being the owner of the WBC ‘Americas’ lightweight belt. However, his two fights this year came at the weight class above including a shut-out points victory over Briedis Prescott in May.
Though 22 bouts in, his professional record has been steady in its progress; Martin’s not the type of man who takes any opponent lightly,
‘‘I know Josh Taylor’s a very good boxer, I’m the most athletic, I have the most speed and that’s gonna make the most difference throughout the tournament.’’
‘‘I’ve heard the crowd in Scotland is gonna be a very different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in but I’m gonna soak it all in.’’
Although ‘Blue Chip’ won’t have fought in an atmosphere as raucous as Saturday’s is expected to be, he’s no stranger to performing on the big stage having already performed at venues such as, the StubHub Center in LA, Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena and, probably the most famous boxing venue of all, Madison Square Garden,
‘‘I’m a boxer-puncher. I love to entertain, I love to excite people…Nobody wants to see a boring fighter.’’
‘‘As fighter’s every time we step in the ring we’re risking something so why not risk it on the big stage.
As mentioned earlier, the man to emerge victorious this weekend will go on to face Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, who last week scored a 7th round stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit.
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final sees WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett step into the ring with ‘The Filipino Flash’, Nonito Donaire. The winner will progress to the semis to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
No one can say the 26-year-old Ryan Burnett hasn’t earned his place at the top table of 118lb boxers. The Belfast man has, on numerous occasions, been given reasons to quit boxing, his story, which he outlines in another brilliantly put together Super Series documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu4AaO7UGlc isn’t your regular hard knocks tale.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
He’s overcome neurological issues that he was told were career-ending and been homeless; all before even catching his break in the sport.
‘‘I’ve got a hunger that I know no one in there has.’’
‘‘For a year and a half, we learnt how the brain worked and we started pursuing it to prove that my health wasn’t in any danger…I just always had that mad belief that I am meant to be a world champion.’’
Since around 2014, Burnett has been trained by Adam Booth and since then, established a record of 19-0 (9KOs) which, most significantly, includes becoming a world champion in 2017, for the first time via a completely dominant decision victory over Lee Haskins, and then immediately unifying the WBA and IBF championships with a tough but unanimous points win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Before the WBSS second season fighters was announced, Burnett decided to drop the IBF strap, therefore avoiding a fight with WBSS semi-finalist, and now IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. Instead, Ryan’s one bout so far in 2018 was a fairly routine victory over Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker.
Like all of the top seeds across the Super Series, Burnett recognises the pressure on his shoulders, especially when he’s going up against the power that his Filipino foe is known for,
‘‘I don’t need to be nasty to people, I’m able to switch it like a light switch and I turn into a different person…I picked Nonito because, the better the fighter, the better I become.’’
‘‘We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world and the World Boxing Super Series are making that come true.’’
Currently 38-5 (24KOs), Nonito Donaire’s, last fight was also his latest defeat as ‘The Filipino Flash’ was beaten by Burnett’s fellow Northern Irishman, Carl Frampton.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, the four-weight world champion was asked about any similarities between the two men,
‘‘They (Frampton & Burnett) are similar because they’ve both got big balls. They’re there to fight and that’s something that I like… I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.’’
Nonito hasn’t fought at bantamweight since 2011 when he scored a unanimous decision over, a then 35-0-2, Omar Narvaez. That night in New York he became a two-weight world champion, picking up the WBC & WBO straps as well as improving his own record to 27-1.
He then shifted his sights to super-bantam and eventually the featherweight division where he accomplished world honours in both, but by his own admission, he didn’t feel all together comfortable fighting at the 126lb limit, and the tournament has given him the opportunity to add one more achievement to his already impressive accolades.
‘‘I’ve always come to fight the best out there…I’ve achieved pretty much everything in boxing…The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become the undisputed champion, and that’s the one thing that’s given me this fire.’’
It’s beneficial for both sides as well though as Donaire’s legendary status adds an extra bit of flavour to an already appetising class of fighters that has been whittled down to Naoya Inoue, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete.
‘‘This is a moment for me to rise. When one is driven to a point, there’s only one way to go and that’s going up and that’s rising beyond what I’m capable of.’’
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Ryan Garcia Joins Eddy Reynoso’s Stable, Will Return 12/15 on Canelo-Fielding MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
Never one to settle for what he’s accomplished as the best he can do, Ryan Garcia continues to prove wise well beyond his youthful existence.
The unbeaten 20-year old super featherweight from Los Angeles—already earning Prospect of the Year honors by several major outlets in 2017—has always made sure to surround himself with the right people in his career. Another strong entity has been added to the team, as Garcia announced that he will begin working with famed trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“Big announcement,” Garcia (16-0, 13KOs) alerted his massive social media following, including well beyond one million followers on his verified Instagram account. “I am now (training) with Eddy Reynoso (as) well as my dad.”
Reynoso is best known for his career-long work with boxing superstar and reigning World middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. It’s been quite an amazing second half to 2018 for the A-list trainer from Mexico, who this past summer has begun working with unbeaten featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez.
“I’ve seen him throughout his career,” Reynoso told BoxingInsider.com via translator. “I know how he is. We are going to work on his defense, on his counter punching and on other things to (complement) his natural abilities.”
The two will begin working together immediately, a move that is as necessary as it is convenient. The other major development this week in Garcia’s career came in his being informed of his next fight date.
“I will be fighting December 15th at Madison Square Garden,” Garcia announced on Tuesday. “I’m honored to fight at such a legendary venue. I’m coming to New York. So all my fans from out there will finally get to see me.”
The bout—versus a yet-to-be-determined opponent—will come on the undercard of Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Both Alvarez and Garcia will make their respective MSG debuts, neither having ever previously fought in New York or anywhere in the U.S. east of Texas.
The show will air live on DAZN, the first show under a new pact formed between the sports streaming service and Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes both boxers. Alvarez’ own deal with the platform is the richest guaranteed contract in sports history, with the December 15 show the first of an 11-fight, $365 million agreement.
Golden Boy’s end secures fight dates for its young and growing stable, including boxers such as Garcia who is already a sizeable draw in the SoCal area and a major presence both on TV and online.
His pairing with Golden Boy was a natural fit, joining Oscar de la Hoya’s California-based outfit after his sixth pro fight. The early portion of his career took place in Mexico, fighting as a 17-year old following an incredible amateur career which boasted an eye-popping 285-15 ring record along with 15 National Gold medals.
Garcia’s first fight in the U.S. came shortly after his 18th birthday, signing with Golden Boy two months later. His rise to early fame has been well publicized, including a quick transition from new recruit to bona fide prospect in 2017.
After earning Prospect of the Year honors from several outlets including ESPN.com, Garcia and his team opted to step up the competition level in 2018. The results have been mixed, although he’s found a different way to win in each of his three ring appearances this year.
Less competitive wins over Fernando Vargas and Jayson Velez earlier this year were overshadowed by his most recent bout in September. Garcia managed to draw an audience for his Facebook Live-streamed headliner, but struggled at times in a majority decision win over durable trialhorse Carlos Morales.
By his own admission, there remain elements of Garcia’s game that require vast improvement, including stamina and defense. It’s easy enough to chalk it up to growing pains, but Garcia and his team refused to leave anything to chance.
Now, he’s prepared to leave the next step in the capable hands of one of the very best cornermen in boxing today.
“We will start (Thursday),” Reynoso informed BoxingInsider.com “We’ve had two meetings, and for me he is a very dedicated, eager and disciplined fighter. You see he likes to learn.”
Is Ryan Garcia Ready to Rule?
By: Kirk Jackson
Rising star Ryan Garcia (16-0, 13 KO’s) improved his record last weekend earning a very tough ten-round majority decision victory against contender Carlos Morales (17-3-3, 6 KO’s) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
The fight headlined Golden Boy Promotions’ latest offering of Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch.
The success of the event regarding viewership exemplifies “King Ry’s” rising stock and popularity as a fighter, while displaying the potential and traits necessary to becoming a transcendent star.
As far as the actual fight, Garcia struggled albeit in a winning effort.
The hand speed was there, showcasing the ability to fight from the outside, while clinching when necessary on the inside and Garcia again showed he can go the long distance of 10 rounds.
When Garcia places his punches together, he looks exceptional and also displayed his ability to counter-punch effectively.
However there are glaring holes defensively and often times Garcia looks stiff; often squaring up with his chin high in air, leaving himself open, often leaving his left hand down and creating greater opportunities for his opponent.
Garcia has not displayed the ability to fight effectively on the inside as evidenced by his excessive holding. As the headliner, he is fortunate to not be penalized for that at this stage of his development.
As he progresses and faces tougher opposition across grander stages, some of these advantages as the headliner may dissipate along with some of the advantages he has against lower level opposition.
Observers may notice the quick, flashy hand speed, be dazzled by his charm and way with words, but hand speed can’t mask every weakness.
Speed can be negated by effective timing and as former young phenom and youngest heavyweight champion of all-time famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
The most important factor to becoming that star is the component of winning. The scorecards read as a majority decision, the overall experience served as a valuable lesson because Garcia added rounds against a tough, experienced opponent, but based on the past few appearances from Garcia, what is his ceiling?
Due to his growing popularity – maximizing the benefits of social media, overall star potential and penchant for headline grabbing quotables, Garcia’s will be psycho-analyzed from here on out.
And with this analysis and at times over-analysis comes additional pressure. Pressure can make or break a person; there’s an old saying mentioned by many an athlete, “Pressure busts pipes. But pressure can also make a diamond.”
Although Garcia wants the bigger names around his weight class – Gervonta Davis, Mikey Garcia and Devin Haney, Garcia like Haney, is still considered a rising prospect and rightfully so.
Just turning 20-years old last month, under the traditional sense, Garcia has ample time to develop.
But nothing about Garcia appears to follow the traditional trajectory of the development of a fighter. Garcia is still in the learning stage and his opponent selection will exemplify just as such.
The question is will his learning leash be lessened as he continues to build his profile. Detractors may grow in number and will want to see him tested.
As Garcia continues to build his buzz, more fighters will want to test him. All publicity, attention, whether it’s negative or positive is good publicity.
And speaking of drawing attention, two former fighters Garcia speaks highly of, emulates style/persona wise and wants to surpass from an overall career standpoint is that of his promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his promoter former in ring rival –turned promotional rival Floyd Mayweather.
While the aforementioned legends relied on their amateur accomplishments which included (Olympic medals), strong promotional push from Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, King Ry is more reliant on social media to emphasis his point and add to his profile.
March 22 Espn 10 rounds Main Event at fantasy springs casino Indio ca pic.twitter.com/O6eMcaaj4u
— Ryan Garcia (@Ryankingry) January 23, 2018
Times are different in this era and Garcia has huge footsteps to follow.
At age 21, De La Hoya and Mayweather became world champions. Mentioning Mike Tyson earlier, he was the heavyweight world champion at 20-years old.
By next year it’s possible Garcia can match the same feat of attaining a world title like the fighters he admires. He has the connections to make that dream a reality.
Based on the eye test however, Mayweather, De La Hoya and Tyson obviously look more polished at the respective marks in their careers.
Are the comparisons fair? Perhaps not, but when you talk big you’re going to be compared to the great ghosts of the past.
How does Garcia compare to his contemporaries? As talented as Garcia is, there is a fresh group of extraordinary young talent – some of which may cross paths with the man claiming to be king.
Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, Teofimo Lopez, Money Powell IV, Joey Spencer, Karlos Balderas, Ruben Villas are all young talented fighters with potential to win world titles.
Regarding Garcia’s ceiling, it’s cliché but the sky is the limit. The talent is there and the technical aspects can be worked on.
The mental aspect is the most important thing and Garcia appears to take ownership for his performances. If he can take the positives from his criticisms and constructively apply adjustments in the gym, he’ll continue to excel.
Question is will the uncrowned king claim his crown?
Golden Boy Boxing on Facebook Results: Macias Overwhelms Cabrera, Garcia Decisions Morales
By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotion seven fights on facebook live from the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California. This is a newer venture for Golden Boy as promotional outfits worldwide are increasingly turning to streaming to deliver their product.
Ryan Garcia was able to sell out the Fantasty Springs Resort and Casino for the second time.
Several undercard fights were shown, but the main event of the evening was between Ryan Garcia and Carlos Morales in the lightweight division and the co-main event of the night was between Marvin Cabrera and Neeco Macias.
Marvin Cabrera (8-0) and Neeco Macias (16-0) met in the junior middleweight division. Both boxers are undefeated, but Cabrera has been the more active fighter the past two years and had former world champion Daniel Ponce DeLeon in his corner.
Macias had a good contingent of fans in attendance, and he made it known immediately why. They both came out swinging in the opening round but Macias took the best shots of Cabrera well and continued to come forward, while smiling. Macias didn’t appear to have a whole lot of power and was taking some good left hands from Cabrera, but he threw over twice the number of punches than Cabrera. Macias threw 147 punches in the opening round while Cabrera threw 72, and it was a sign of things to come.
Macias stayed in tight during the second round and didn’t appear to land many hard punches, but he applied an incredible amount of pressure and appeared to overwhelm Cabrera. He continued that output into the third round when he threw 196 punches and appeared to be visibly wilting Cabrera.
Macias opened up the fourth round with a looping left hand went right back to work. He was swarming Cabrera and was really snapping the head of his opponent.
Cabrera’s back was stuck next to the ropes and corner often in the fourth and fifth rounds and wasn’t really able to throw much in response to the aggression of Macias. Whenever Cabrera backed away in an attempt to escape and breathe Macias would quickly close the distance and pound away at the body and head.
Cabrera looked exhausted in the sixth round and took a hard left hand in the opening seconds of the sixth. Cabrera was stuck in the corner often and was getting beat from corner to corner.
Cabrera’s corner wisely stopped the fight before the start of the seventh round. Macias wins by knockout at 3:00 of the sixth round.
The main event of the night was between Ryan Garcia (15-0) and Carlos Morales (17-2-3) in the lightweight division.
Garcia held the NABF and NABO Super Featherweight Championships while Morales held the NABA Super Featherweight Championship.
Garcia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ high ceiling prospects and is only twenty years old. Garcia looked like the bigger fighter and was able to establish himself as the boxer with the quicker hands early on. Garcia was able to land some good left hooks in the first two rounds and had a good jab working.
Garcia did trip and fall backwards in the second round but Morales was warned by the referee for pushing his opponent.
Garcia was shifty in the third round and was able to land his counter right hands. One of his punches opened up a cut on the bridge of the nose of Morales.
Morales was able to land some right hands to the body of Garcia in the fourth round, but Garcia appeared to land the better shots and even had Morales shaking his head no after landing a combination.
Garcia’s timing was on point in the fifth and sixth rounds and was able to touch Morales whenever he got into range. Both boxers were warned by the referee for wrestling during these rounds.
Morales’ corner think he hurt Garcia in the seventh round and even wobbled the legs of Garcia after landing a jab. Morales pressed the pace afterwards, but Garcia recovered quickly and lasted the round.
Morales continued to attempt apply the pressure in the eighth and ninth rounds but with the exception of a few body shots wasn’t able to hurt Garcia again. Garcia however appeared to be tiring and looked at the clock continuously.
Morales probably needed a knockout in the final round to win, but Garcia had caught his second wind by then and threw enough punches in the final round to win it.
The judges scored it 98-92, 95-95, 98-92 for Ryan Garcia by majority decision.
Golden Boy Boxing on Facebook Preview: Cabrera vs. Macias, Garcia vs. Morales
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will continue their partnership with Facebook Live to broadcast what appears to be seven fights live from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Sergey Lubkovich, George Rincon, Daniel Perales, Alex Rincon, Patrick Teixeira, and Nathaniel Gallimore.
The main event of the evening will be a lightweight fight between Ryan Garcia and Carlos Morales in the lightweight division. The co-main event of the night will be between Marvin Cabrera and NEeco Macias in the junior middleweight division.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Marvin Cabrera (8-0) vs. Neeco Macias (16-0); Junior Middleweights
This is a rare bout between two southpaw boxers, so expect some awkwardness at first and tangled up feet.
Cabrera is a young prospect who has been fairly active recently. He fought twice in 2018 and four times in 2017 and started competing as a professional in 2016. He has moderate power and has stopped six of his opponents.
His opponent, Neeco Macias, is two years older than him and has twice the number of professional fights. But he has not been as active as Cabrera in the past two years. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. He has stopped seven of his opponents, including stopping three of his past four opponents. However, his three past opponents had losing records.
Cabrera has the better amateur career of the two. Macias has no notable amateur accomplishments and Cabrera has competed in the Pan American Games as an amateur with moderate success.
Cabrera will have about three inches in height on Macias, but both boxers will have about the same reach.
Cabrera has defeated the likes of Wilfrido Buelvas, Hector Velazquez, and Esau Herrera. Macias’ record is filled with guys with sub .500 records, but he does have notable wins over Rolando Garza and Limberth Ponce.
Macias has a good record, but he hasn’t faced any significant opposition and his lack of activity the last two years is telling. Macias appears to have the power to stop Cabrera, but Cabrera’s amateur background should lead him to a decision victory.
Ryan Garcia (15-0) vs. Carlos Morales (17-2-3); Lightweights
Ryan Garcia holds the NABF and NABO Super Featherweight Championship while Carlos Morales holds the NABA Super Featherweight Championship.
Garcia however, is the prospect with a much higher ceiling and has the promotional muscle of Golden Boy Promotions supporting him.
Garcia is only twenty years old, but has already fought fifteen times and fought twice in 2018 and six times in 2017.
Morales is twenty eight years old and didn’t fight at all in 2018, but fought three times in 2017. Morales isn’t known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents.
Garcia will have a sleight one inch height advantage on Morales. They both have a 70” reach and box orthodox.
Garcia has been stepping up his competition recently. He has beaten the likes of Jayson Velez, Fernando Parra, and Cesar Valenzuela.
Morales has beaten the likes of Dardan Zenunaj, Cesar Valenzuela, Charles Huerta ,and Luis Franco. He has losses to Alberto Macahdo and Allan Benitez.
Morales has two losses on his record, but has never been stopped. He’s a good opponent for Garcia in that he should give him some good rounds and good work, but Garcia should be a large favorite on Saturday.
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.