Brandun Lee Easily Scores A Third Round TKO Over Camilo Prieto
By: Rich Lopez
It was indeed a Friday the 13th for Shobox which took place at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. That’s only because there were no spectators in attendance due to the Coronavirus disease. Still, the show moved forward for the viewing TV audience only. Four fights were televised and overall it was a good night of boxing.
In the main event, Brandun Lee (19-0, 17 KO’s) scored a third round TKO over Camilo Prieto (15-3, 9 KO’s) in a super lightweight bout. In round one, both fighters were feeling each other out. Towards the end of the round, Lee took charge and landed two straight right hands on the head of Prieto that were the most significant punches in the round. In round two, Lee continued to stay busy and come forward. He landed right hands and left hooks on the head of Prieto that was causing damage. Prieto was not doing anything or firing back any punches in return. In round three, Lee came out firing power right hands that landed on the head of Prieto. Prieto just tried to survive with his guard up. Lee threw combinations to the head and body that stunned Prieto. Lee then threw a barrage power shots at Prieto which prompted the referee to stop the fight. Lee scored a TKO in round three with a time of 2:34. As the other fights on the telecast went to distance, Lee turned up the notch and got the stoppage in the fight. Lee looked good once again and hopefully next time we will see him against a higher caliber fighter. Either way Lee was the big winner of the night. He got more exposure to TV audiences as all other US boxing cards were cancelled this weekend and many more will going forward.
In the co-feature, Brian Norman, Jr (17-0, 14 KO’s) won a seventh round technical decision over Flavio Rodriguez (9-2-1, 7 KO’s) in a welterweight bout. In round one, both fighters started out fast with Norman getting the better of the exchanges. He landed quick punches to the head and body of Rodriguez. In round two, both fighters traded shots in the middle of the ring. It was a very close round with Norman getting a slight edge. In round three, both fighters were fighting in close quarters once again with Norman seemingly getting the edge. In round four, both fighters were competitive in another close round. In round five, Rodriguez landed the better punches with effective shots to the head and body of Norman. In round six, Norman put the pressure and pushed Rodriguez to the ropes. Both men traded punches on the inside with Norman outworking Rodriguez. In round seven, both fighters collided heads which caused a cut on the forehead of Rodriguez. The fight was called off at 57 seconds of the seventh round and went to the scorecards. The scores were 69-64, 68-65 (twice) for Brian Norman, Jr. Norman looked good and was forced to go more rounds this time against a tougher opponent.
In an action packed lightweight bout, Alejandro Guerrero (12-0, 9 KO’s) won a hard fought eight round majority decision over Jose Angulo (12-2, 5 KO’s). In the opening round, Angulo showed quick hands and landed body shots on Guerrero. Round two was a better round for Guerrero. He applied pressure and landed right hands to the head of Angulo. However, Angulo came back and exchanged punches with Guerrero. In round three, Angulo kept the fight in the middle of the ring and outworked Guerrero. He landed straight punches to the head and body of Guerrero. In round four, Guerrero spent most of the round moving around and backing up. Angulo had an effective round moving forward and staying busy. In round five, Angulo had another good round. He boxed well and used his left jab effectively. Angulo also displayed good side to side movement. In round six, Guerrero landed a right hand that stunned Angulo. Both fighters traded shots on the inside and it was a very close round. In round seven, Angulo boxed well as he continued to work the body of Guerrero. Towards the end of the round, Guerrero landed straight right hands to the head of Angulo that hurt him. Guerrero finished out the round strong. In the final round, both fighters exchanged punches in the middle of the ring. Angulo was more tired and Guerrero landed hook shots to the head of Angulo that stunned him. Guerrero went for the knockout but Angulo hung in there and made it to the final bell. The final scores were 76-76, 79-73, 78-74 for Guerrero by majority decision. Guerrero won but it was a tougher fight than he expected.
The opening bout of the card was also entertaining and a battle of unbeaten featherweights. Aram Avagyan (10-0-1, 4 KO’s) won a tough eight round majority decision over Dagoberto Aguero (15-1, 10 KO’s). In the first round, Avagyan started the round strong by establishing a quick jab. In an exchange between the two fighters, Aguero landed a right hand on the chin of Avagyan that dropped him. Avagyan managed to get up and Aguero finished the round strong landing hooks to the body of Avagyan. In round two, Avagyan came out strong again and both fighters exchanged blows. Aguero landed a straight right hand to the chin of Avagyan that floored him once again. Avagyan got up and was able to recover. The fight then turned around. In round three, Avagyan made a comeback. He finished the round strong with landing body punches on Aguero. In round four, Avagyan kept a busy work rate and outworked Aguero. Avagyan did a good job landing body shots on Aguero throughout the round. In round five, Avagyan continued to outwork Aguero. In round six, Aguero came back and landed some good right hands on Avagyan but Avagyan still outworked him. In round seven, Aguero was noticeably tired and kept holding. Avagyan poured on the pressure on Aguero. Avagyan landed a right hand to the chin that hurt Aguero. Aguero stumbled and dropped down on his knee but the referee didn’t call it a knockdown. In the final round, Avagyan continued the pressure. Aguero landed a flurry of punches that landed on Avagyan but that was his only moment. Avagyan still out landed Aguero. The final scores were 75-75, 76-74, 77-74 for Avagyan by majority decision. A good comeback for Avagyan who tasted the canvas twice in the fight but managed to fight his way back to earn a decision.
Gary Russell Jr. Defends Title in Unanimous Decision Over ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar
Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KO) turned away a dangerous challenger Saturday night. He put together a hefty lead and pranced across the finish line against Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KO), earning a unanimous-decision victory at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Russell, defending his WBC crown for the fifth time, was too fast for Nyambayar early on until things evened up in the championship rounds when Russell’s gas tank took a hit. Still, Russell, behind flaring jabs and zipping combinations, bested his opponent, winning 118-110, 116-112, and 117-111.
The oldest beltholder at 126 pounds, the points win may have been his featherweight envoi.
“We wanted Leo Santa Cruz… we wanted Gervonta Davis,” Russell told Jim Gray after the fight. “If we gotta move up in weight for these guys to feel as though they have some sort of advantage to take the fight, then we’ll do so.”
Holding onto the belt for five years, itching for a new division may give the impression that Russell has cleaned out the ranks at featherweight. But not so. Fighting once per annum, this was just his fifth defense. Anticipation was still high, despite the challenger’s light record on paper, given Nyambayar’s power and Olympic pedigree.
Through the first four rounds, at least, Russell had Nyambayar in check. Both men opened the fight from a crouched position before the challenger took initiative and the center of the ring. Feints and right crosses made up the Mongolian-born technician’s initial attack. Meanwhile flashing double and triple jabs from Russell secured an early lead.
Russell, 31, continued fighting in reverse while southpaw jabs kept flying. It was disciplined maneuvering and a technical jockeying for position in both directions.
Nyambayar, 27, attempted to parry and cut off the ring but was unable to solve the fluttering puzzle in front of him. Russell, occasionally found himself backed into a corner, yet subtly side-stepped out of danger and, at times, simultaneously skid a right hand across his opponent’s chin.
Nyambayar would eventually get a finger on the trigger in the fifth and sixth stanza. Hooking off his jab and upping the pressure, he touched Russell here and there. Soon enough he found especial success targeting the champion’s body with left hooks.
Quick exchanges opened the seventh session. It began a pattern of Russell’s, who would step into the trenches at the bell before resorting back to circling the outline of the ring. From a comfortable distance, Russell put together his hands upstairs. Through the next handful of rounds Nyambayar forgot about his left hook and instead gladly ate whimsical one-two combos for a chance at a big right hand.
In Round 10, Russell got off to another good start: his hands moving in short bursts but with little venom. It did not stop Nyambayar from getting off his best moment of the fight. Walking Russell into a corner, the American tried turning out of it to his left, but “King Tug” had a right hand waiting for him. The punch was clean. Russell’s eyes lit up and Nyambayar stung him with another two-handed volley.
Russell gathered himself but seemed sapped in the eleventh frame. Grappling became more prevalent and he was visibly less elusive. Up close, Russell still had an edge in hand speed: initiating phone booth combos with a throw-away punch to Nyambayar’s elbow before immediately following up tp his man’s head with a right-left salvo.
Naturally, there would be no floating like a butterfly in Round 12. Nyambayar assumed the center of the ring and punched through Russell’s guard. Now capable of parrying the champion’s feeble jabs, the Mongolian puncher swiped away incoming blows and stuck out a right hand to mask sweeping left hooks to the body: digging and digging some more. A light shiner emerged under the left eye of Russell. But no matter Nyambayar’s closing effort, the fight was still out of reach.
Running out the clock, a smile crossed Russell’s face.
“I’m a perfectionist,” said Russell, who extended his win streak to seven in a row. “We put the work in the gym. I’m one of the longest reigning champions for a reason.”
While the scorecards leaned significantly toward the defending champion, the punch states were nearly dead even. Russell landed 134 of 867 total punches (15 percent), including 104 of 399 power shots (26 percent). Nyambayar, to his credit, connected on 122 of 707 total punches (17 percent) and 101 of 482 power punches (21 percent).
Rigondeaux is champion again
Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KO) won a split decision over former champion Liborio Solis (30-6, 14 KO) to claim a vacant WBA bantamweight title, gaining the nod from the judges who had the bout 116-111 and 115-112 in Rigo’s favor and 115-112 for Solis.
In pursuit of a second divisional crown, Rigondeaux, 39, has been full surprises. First, opting to drop down to bantamweight—the opposite direction of most aging fighters. Then doling out fireworks in his eighth-round TKO over Julio Ceja last summer.
Rigondeaux continued his personal renewal in the opening round. Directly in the face of Solis, Rigo was unconcerned with the brawling attack from his opponent, who let loose left uppercuts and hooks. Most were blocked by the Cuban maestro, who would wait for Solis to open up and hurl, vicious straight left hands into the Venezuelan’s exposed chin.
The gameplan worked well enough at first. That is until a minute later one of those left hooks from Solis landed flush and left Rigo momentarily stunned. Rigondeaux collected himself but just before the bell, Solis caught him again, this time turning, cracking him with a winging right hand, visibly shaking his senses.
Rigondeaux would not take anymore chances. He entered the second round with a new philosophy—better known as his old, tried-and-true approach of technical proficiency. Called boring by most.
So now pawing from mid-range with a jab, the rounds piled up in his corner. Unsurprisingly, followed by audible booing from the audience.
In Round 7, Rigo did punch in a knockdown. His back against the ropes, he timed Solis perfectly with a long left uppercut. And combined with consecutive heavy left hands, Solis fell into the ropes, which he otherwise would’ve hit the deck. As much was clear to referee Benjy Esteves Jr. who initiated an eight-count.
Solis was also rattled in the tenth inning. But the only takeaway were the additional boos from the crowd when Rigondeaux ran out the clock six minutes later.
A storied amateur career long behind him, and a bewildering quit job to Vasyl Lomachenko still haunting his record, Rigondeaux lacks direction. Against Ceja, and the opening round here, he seemed eager to shake off his dull reputation with the one language every fan speaks: action. But all it took was one clean punch from Solis to convince him otherwise.
Vladimir Shishkin Dominates Ulises Sierra, Ergashev Steals the Show
By Rich Lopez
Shobox: The New Generation started the New Year off in Sloan, Iowa to showcase upcoming prospects. Shobox is celebrating their 19th year and last night’s show was its 250th episode. Even though the weather was treacherous in Sloan, Iowa, fans still came out for the fights to witness the future in boxing.
The main event was between two undefeated fighters. Vladimir Shishkin (10-0, 6 KO’s) of Russia, made his second appearance on Shobox and it was a successful one. He defeated Ulises Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KO’s) of San Diego, California by a ten round unanimous decision in the super middleweight division. As the fight began, Shishkin started out fast and he put the pressure on Sierra. He threw punches to the head and body of Sierra. Sierra was also having some success by landing good counter shots but the Russian was outworking Sierra. Shishkin continued this in round two while Sierra was still having his moments with some good counter right hands. Round three was more of the same with Shishkin landing combinations and he was the busier of the two fighters. Sierra was only landing one shot at a time.
Sierra did pick up the pace in round four and he had his best round. He outworked Shishkin and displayed good defense by blocking his shots. Sierra started round five well with good combinations to the head of Shishkin, but it was short lived. Shishkin finished the round strong and backed up Sierra. As round six got underway, Sierra was looking more tired. Shishkin was mixing straight punches to the head and body of Sierra. In rounds seven and eight, Shishkin continued the attack backing up and breaking Sierra down. Sierra landed punches in spots but could not keep up the pace of Shishkin. Shishkin threw power shots in round nine and was landing hard right hands to the head of Sierra. It looked like Sierra was ready to go as he was taking a lot of damage. In the last round, Shishkin went for the knockout but Sierra hung in tough and went to distance. The final scores were 100-90, 99-91 (twice) all for Shishkin.
Shishkin dominated the fight and Sierra had his moments. The difference was Shishkin had a better work rate. Expect to see Shishkin again on Shobox as he steps up the competition.
The biggest moment of the telecast was in the co-feature. Hard hitting super lightweight Shohjahon “Descendant of Tamerlane”Ergashev (18-0, 16 KO’s) of Uzbekistan, showed why he may be the future of the division. He destroyed Adrian “Diamante”Estrella (29-5, 24 KO’s) of Mexico in the 1st round for his fourth appearance on Shobox. Even though Estrella is from the smaller weight classes, he brought in power and experience to test Ergashev. None of that mattered in this fight. As expected, Ergashev was full of energy once the bell rang for the 1st round. The southpaw was already looking to set up the knockout shot on Estrella. He already had Estrella backing up. All of sudden, Ergashev landed a powerful left hook to the liver of Estrella. Estrella immediately dropped on pain and could not get up. He was counted out. The knockout came at 1:32 of the 1st round.
What a statement by Ergashev and we have a new player in the super lightweight division which is wide open. It was expected for Ergashev to win this fight but the way he did it was impressive. Ergashev is entertaining and he goes for the knockout in every fight. Expect to see him back real soon as he continues to rise in the rankings
In the opening bout of the telecast, Jarico “The Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Detroit, Michigan was successful in his Shobox debut. He defeated Oscar “Chapito”Vasquez (15-3-1, 3 KO’s) of Reno, Nevada by an eight roundunanimous decision in the bantamweight division. O’Quinn got to a good start in the beginning of the 1st round, but Vasquez closed the gap. Vasquez was successful in the inside and landedgood right hands to the head of O’Quinn. In rounds two and three, both fighters were landing good punches on each other. The difference was O’Quinn was a little busier of the two fighters. The fighters were only throwing hooks, punches and no jabs. Vasquez had a good round four as he backed up O’Quinn and he landed some good right hands. O’Quinn got busier in round five and backed up Vasquez. In spots, Vasquez would land a right hand on O’Quinn but he lacked punching power. Vasquezstarted round six well, but O’Quinn picked up the pace and landed good combinations. In round seven, O’Quinn kept the fight in the middle of the ring and kept his combinations going. O’Quinn went for the knockout in the final round by throwing all power shots. He did land a right hand that stunned Vasquez. O’Quinn also landed a few hard body shots to finish the round. All the judges scored it the same at 79-73 for O’Quinn.
It was a one sided fight but a very entertaining one. O’Quinn showed his skills and speed while Vasquez showed his toughness. O’Quinn looked good overall and he would need to improve his defense but that will come with time.
Xavier Martinez Scores Quick Knockout on ShoBox
By: Ken Hissner
On Friday night Mayweather Promotions put on a card at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada. This card was broadcast on Showtime and featured Xavier Martinez scoring a sensational knockout over Jessie Cris Rosales.
Super Featherweight Xavier Martinez improved his record to 15-0 (11) when he scored the knockout over Filipino boxer Jessie Rosales, 22-4-1(10) when he scorched him at 0:21 of the first round.
Martinez stung Rosales about ten seconds from the start and immediately followed it with a left hook and right on the chin of Rosales and down he went. Referee Vic Drakulich immediately waved it off.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the co-feature Welterweight 2016 Olympian Richardson Hitchins, 10-0 (5), #144, of Brooklyn, NY, defeated Kevin “Thunder Storm” Johnson, 7-2 (4), #143 1/4, Las Vegas, NV, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Hitchins was much stronger outlanding Johnson. In the second round it was another close one with Hitchins countering well. In the third round after a minute of action Johnson landed a solid right to the chin of Hitchins. It was a close round with Johnson getting the edge.
In the fourth round the closeness of the rounds continued. Hitchins seemed the stronger of the two landing more than a jab at a time like Johnson. In the fifth round Johnson landed a looping right to the chin halfway through the first minute. Hitchins continued to outwork Johnson the rest of the way.
In the sixth round halfway through the round Hitchins landed several combinations while Johnson depended on his jab. In the seventh round Johnson kept his distance instead of getting closer inside. Halfway through the round Johnson finally got inside landing four consecutive body shots. Hitchins showed his power in his right whether countering or leading with it.
In the eighth round Johnson had his mouth opened yet made it close by the end of the round which could have gone either way. In the ninth round Johnson sencing he was behind became more aggressive. In a close round Johnson may have won it.
In the tenth and final round at the halfway mark Johnson landed several rights on the chin of Hitchins. Sensing he may need a knockout to win Johnson outlanded Hitchins.
Scores were 96-94, 97-93 twice.
In a rematch Super Middleweight Mark “Madman” Anthony Hernandez, 14-3-1 (3), #165, of Fresno, CA, lost to Kevin “The Second Coming” Newman II, 11-1-1 (6), #165, of Las Vegas, NV, getting his revenge over 8 rounds.
In the first two rounds Newman seemed to win with his hand speed and footwork.
In the third round Hernandez pinned Newman against the ropes but Newman returned as many body punches as Hernandez. Newman’s jab seemed to be the difference of the two. In the fourth round Hernandez fought better but Newman’s hand speed kept him ahead.
In the fifth round there was too much holding on both parts. Hernandez continued to be the aggressor for the most part. In the sixth round Newman rocked Hernandez in the first minute with a right uppercut to the chin. Newman finished strong possibly enough to win the round. The action slowed down in that round.
In the seventh round Newman seemed to get his “second wind” being more accurate. A Newman right uppercut to the chin of Hernandez rocked him. Newman had a right blocked in the final minute but followed with a left to the chin of Hernandez. In the eighth and final round in the first minute Hernandez landed a solid left hook to the chin of Newman. Seconds later Newman came back with a flurry of punches. Halfway through the round Newman landed a double left hook to the body and head. It looked like Newman got his revenge.
Scores were 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
Flyweight Ava Knight, 19-2-5 (5), of Las Vegas, NV, defeated Colombian Luna del Mar Torroba, 12-10-3 (2), of LaPampa, ARG, over 8 rounds.
Super Flyweight prospect Dylan Price, 10-0 (7), of Sicklerville, NJ, stopped Elias Joaquino, 12-5-2 (6), of Cebu, PH, at 1:48 of the 6th of an 8 rounder.
Lightweight Cris Reyes, 9-0 (8), of Renton, WA, stopped Recky “The Terror” Dulay, 11-7 (8), of Makati City, PH, at 1:55 of the 4th of an 8.
Lightweight Rolando “Rolly” Romero, 10-0 (9), #138, of Las Vegas, NV, knocked out Juan Carlos Cordones, 14-2 (9), #141 1/2, of La Romana, DR, at 2:14 of the first round in a 6 rounder.
In the first round a left hook from Romero dropped Cordones getting up quickly receiving an 8-count from Referee Robert Byrd. Half a minute later a right on the chin dropped Cordones a second time. He showed little effort to beat the count.
Super Featherweight Malik Warren, 2-0 (2), of Baltimore, MD, stopped Shauncy Perry, 0-1 (0), of Jonesboro, AR, at 1:09 of the second in a 4 rounder.
Erickson Lubin Wins Showtime Main Event by Wide Decision
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Erickson Lubin (221-1, 16 KO) was not the only big name of the card—helping bolster a Showtime broadcast that included former champion Robert Easter Jr. and heavyweight upstart Frank Sanchez—but his big left hand was a big reason he headlined the show and more importantly walked away a clear winner over late-replacement Nathanial Gallimore (21-4-1, 17 KO).
Lubin, 24, overcame Gallimore’s heavy fire early in the fight as well as his mind games later in the action to earn a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the bout 99-91 for Lubin, who was originally expected to face U.S. Olympic standout Terrell Gausha for a crack at the WBC championship before a hand injury took Gausha off the card. Just this month Gallimore stepped in on short notice. The schedule change did nothing to impede the work put in by Lubin and his new trainer Kevin Cunningham.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
“I had a tremendous training camp,” Lubin told correspondent Jim Gray following his fourth consecutive victory. “Thanks to Kevin Cunningham. We been at it for about 10 weeks. Gallimore, I appreciate you stepping up to the plate. You gave me a tough, tough fight. We gave the fans what they wanted.”
The scorecards turned in, and the fighting seemingly over for the night, Lubin still had some jabs left over for his would-be opponent.
“At first we had Terrel Gausha,” Lubin added. “He pulled out the fight due to whatever he got going on—I think he’s pregnant or something.”
Stepping into the ring with an exceptional KO percentage, it would take a more calculated approach from Lubin to befuddle a sizable junior middleweight like Gallimore. Lubin, giving up two inches in height, relied on his jab to take the opening frame. Gallimore was able to brush Lubin back with a mean right in the third period. But that about concluded Lubin’s trouble for the night.
Often punch-drunk behind massive overhand lefts, Lubin in the fourth round fired away with a lead right hook (a crucial component to a well-rounded southpaw), making Gallimore’s head spin and even knocking his mouthpiece out.
Cunningham, who Lubin teamed up with in 2018 following the American puncher’s lone loss, has a growing reputation as a “southpaw whisperer” of sorts. Years handling former welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander counts as Cunningham’s shining accomplishment. But serviceable as Alexander was, Lubin is a generational talent. After the fight, Cunningham’s new charge could not help gushing over his new lead cornerman.
“Kevin is a real strict trainer,” Lubin said. “And he’s a southpaw specialist. He deals with southpaws very well. We’ve been improving our game everyday.”
On their strategy, Lubin added: “I measured [Gallimore]. And made sure to read body language to see what shots he threw most of the time. And I would time him and I was able to land my power shots because he was opening up.”
Lubin began working in his giant left hand in Round 5, closing out the stanza with violent sequences that again left Gallimore reeling.
The sixth and seventh were all Lubin until action erupted in the eighth inning. Still despite the two-way action the rounds belonged to Lubin. Over the final stretch Gallimore’s best work was a variety of gibes and taunting exercises: throwing his hands in the air as if it was Lubin who was not pushing the pace, or sticking his tongue out. The end of the fight was no different. In the waning seconds of the final round, with Lubin’s combinations careening in from every direction, Gallimore quickly picked up his head from the unending stream of punches and stuck out his tongue, of course as expecting eating more right and left hands for his trouble.
Gallimore, 31, deserves credit for staying in well enough shape to answer the call from a desperate promoter. He, too, is more than deserving of nearly getting shutout. The Chicago transplant, by way of Jamaica, has dropped three of his last four bouts. He has still never been finished inside the distance which is a real cap in his feather having competed against Brazilian puncher Patrick Teixeira, unified champion Julian Williams, and now extending a bludgeoning hitter like Lubin.
Lubin’s win streak has been a renewal from the downfalls of a failed world title shot in 2017 against Jermell Charlo, undefeated since then and now 3-0 with Cunningham at his side.
“I definitely want Jermell Charlo again,” Lubin said. “Whatever my team says, that’s what we’re going to do. But my goal is to get revenge.”
Robert Easter Jr. def. Adrian Granados by unanimous decision
Easter Jr. (22-1-1, 14 KO) and Granados (20-8-2, 14 KO) met in the ring, both having been defeated in their last bout. Granados, after years battling (and failing) against the popularizers of the welterweight divisions, needed a signature win. But Easter Jr., no longer with a title claim at lightweight, denied him that pipe dream, picking up his first win at 140 pounds by way of a unanimous decision on scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 100-90.
Taller, with a longer reach to boot, Easter seared right hands into Granados from the opening bell. His sharp combinations stood in contrast with Granados’ bodywork, which did come to life by the third round, making for even action through the middle stages. The Mexican-born brawler would even outwork Easter in the fifth frame. But when Easter remembered to take advantage of his length, the leverage to the former champ’s punches earned round after round from the ringside panel.
Beginning in the sixth round was when both men laid into each other. It comes naturally for both despite their differing body frames—affirming that that violent streak runs through the heart of all boxers, white, black, short or tall. The war continued in Round 7. Granados’ voluminous assault never let up, even when he was put on shaky legs at the end of the eighth stanza.
It was the same story for the final couple of rounds: shaper combos from Easter versus Granados’ output. The judges knew what they preferred, even if they were too kind to Easter.
Considering the way Granados was recently beat into submission, Easter may not carry exactly a lethal punch above the lightweight limit but again proved nobody is too tough for him.
Fight Preview: Lubin vs. Gallimore, Easter vs. Granados
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
Erickson Lubin’s first world title shot did not take long—aged just 22 when he challenged Jermell Charlo in 2017—but his second will take longer than expected. Originally set to face Terrell Gausha in a WBC eliminator, Lubin (21-1, 16 KO) is still headlining this weekend’s PBC on Showtime bill from Reading, Pennsylvania, but after a hand injury forced Gausha off the card, the Orlando-born popularizer is in line to fight divisional gatekeeper Nathanial Gallimore (21-3-1, 17 KO).
Gallimore, a 31-year-old Jamaican transplant, showed no qualms about answering a late-notice call recently as the second week of October. Gallimore falls short of Gausha’s amateur pedigree but has shown signs of being as equally an athletic jigsaw puzzle, with his pushing six-feet in height and even higher punch output. The title implications become unclear considering Gallimore is nowhere to be seen in the WBC’s top-15 junior middleweight ranking. An honest showing from Lubin at least could still push him back onto the championship stage.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Lubin’s first taste at the sport’s highest level did not go as planned. But he has been on a roll since suffering his first professional loss, an early knockout to Charlo. A win this weekend would extend his win streak to three straight—all knockouts.
The resurgence has also coincided with a new trainer. Lubin joined Kevin Cunningham in 2018. Cunningham, who is best known for his longtime handling of welterweight Devon Alexander, has made a career out of rebuilding southpaws.
The results speak for themselves. Lubin and his team are 2-0 in 2019. First competing in February where the upstart became the first man to stop veteran Ishe Smith inside the distance. Smith could not keep up his younger opponent. Lubin especially whipped Smith around in the second round, scoring three knockdowns, initially taking Smith’s feet out from under him with cracking one-twos. A fourth knockdown in the fateful third round signaled the end. In the corner, the referee called a halt to action, unwilling to send Smith out for more punishment.
In June, Lubin was back in the ring competing on the undercard of the other Charlo brother. There, the southpaw puncher overwhelmed a former European champion, the standout Frenchman Zakaria Attou. Sitting on his left hands, Lubin touched up his man early. Attou mostly looked to wrap up after feeling the American’s might overhand left. Finally Attou went down in the fourth round. He picked himself up, but the corner recognized his glassy eyes and shaky legs, and thew in the towel.
The destruction left in his wake makes Lubin a heavy favorite (-2000) opposite Gallimore. The 24-year-old quickly broke into the pro ranks with a real reputation. Never fighting in the mold of the typical “slippery southpaw,” or the reticence associated with that stereotype, Lubin’s game couples his supreme athleticism with a menacing clubbing ability, at his best when probing a stiff right jab followed by throwing his weight into an overhand left, to the head and body.
It was none other than Mike Tyson who took notice of Lubin early on. Lubin was a teenager when the legendary heavyweight convinced him to forego the Olympics and sign a promotional deal. Tyson’s company eventually went under. But Lubin carried on. And by 2016, both ESPN and The Ring Magazine named him their annual Prospect of the Year.
With less fanfare, Gallimore left Jamaica as a preteen and found a home in Chicago. He did not turn professional until his late-20s but carved out a respectable career competing between 154 and 160 pounds. In his most recent outing he helped headline a club show in Atlanta. There he decisioned the hometown man, Antonio Todd.
In 2018, a competitive showing against Julian Williams, who would later unify the super welterweight division, left Galllimore with a majority-decision loss. But the performance pushed him into a title eliminator with Patrick Teixeira that very same year. The parvenu was not afraid to pull the trigger, punching away at the house fighter with abandon. Teixeira remained calculated and counterpunched his way to a clear points win. In all bringing Gallimore’s record to 1-2 over his last three bouts.
Robert Easter Jr. (21-1-1, 14 KO) vs. Adrian Granados (20-7-2, 14 KO)
Deprived of the sweet taste of victory, Easter Jr. is looking for his first win in over 20 months. His bout against Granados also represents his first fight since 2016 with no championship belts on the line.
Earlier this year, Easter saw his IBF share fo the lightweight crown ripped from his grasp by Mikey Garcia. Next he was met with a sizable challenge in Rances Barthelemy, a Cuban switch-hitter. There were two titles on the line but somebody forget to let the boxers know because neither seemed excited to be there. The excruciating 12-round staring contest resulted in a split-draw.
Unlike the Cuban stylist, Granados has the banger mentality to drag a fight out of Easter. Back in 2015, the hard-hitting Amir Imam could not keep Granados off of him and succumbed to his attack in the eight rounds–a giant upset.
The shocking victory secured repeated opportunities for Granados against some of boxing’s biggest names.
Over the last three years, the Mexican-born brawler (now fighting out of Illinois) tussled with Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia. That meeting with Garcia represented Granados’ most recent contest, and to be honest his worst beating to date. Granados came out the gates well, outlanding his superstar opponent in the opening frame. But it was all down hill from there, coming undone in the seventh round for the first TKO loss of his career.
Granados at this point is worse for wear, pegged at nearly four-to-one dog odds against a sharp boxer like Easter, the considerable betting favorite who opened at -600.
PBC Results: Deontay Wilder Quickly and Violently Disposes of Breazeale
By: William Holmes
Al Haymons’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was broadcast live tonight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and was televised live on the Showtime networks.
The main event of the night was a heavyweight showdown between current heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The opening bout of the night was between Juan Heraldez (16-0) and Argenis Mendez (25-5-2) in the super lightweight division.
Mendez had many fights in the lightweight division and Heraldez spent most of his career fighting at 140 or 147lbs.
Heraldez was a highly touted prospect, but Mendez was a cagey veteran who presented a good challenge for Heraldez and was able to keep the fight at a slower pace early on.
Heraldez had a strong fifth round and was able to crack Mendez with some heavy shots in the middle of the round, but Mendez had his moments and landed a straight right hand that had blood coming from the nose of Heraldez.
Mendez was the one who pressed forward in the seventh round, but Heraldez showed good movement while circling away and appeared to be the slightly more accurate puncher.
Heraldez did have Mendez briefly trapped by the corner in the eighth, but appeared hesitant to really let loose and go for the knockdown.
Mendez had his moments in the ninth round, but Heraldez looked like he did enough to slightly win the later rounds.
A lot of rounds could have been sored for either fighter, but the judges scored it 97-93 for Mendez, and 95-95 on the other two scorecards.
The fight was ruled a majority draw.
The next bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. a (29-1) and Kiko Martinez (39-8-2) for the WBC Featherweight Title.
Russell was able to move in and out with ease in the opening two rounds and appeared to be able to pop shot Martinez at will. Russell’s combinations caused a mouse to form under the left eye of Martinez in the second.
Martinez was able to land some body shots in the third round, but Russell’s superior hand speed won him a majority of their exchanges. Russell turned up the power in the fourth round and forced a cut over Martinez’s eye to begin to bleed badly.
Russell’s jab was focused on the cut of Martinez’s eye in the fifth round and made it open up to a dangerous sized gash. The referee asked the ring side doctor to take a look at it, and he advised the referee to stop the fight.
Gary Russell Jr. wins by TKO at 2:52 of the fifth round.
The main event of the evening was between Deontay Wilder (40-0-1) and Dominic Breazeale (20-1) for the WBC Heavyweight Title.
Breazeale and Wilder were listed at identical heights but Wilder looked like he had a few inches on Breazeale at the referee introduction. Wilder looked extremely confident and gave Breazeale a death stare, who looked a little timid.
Wilder had a sharp jab early on and was able to connect with a two punch combination in the opening minute. A right hand form Wilder knocked Breazeale back a few steps who appeared to be stunned, but Breazeale landed two hard overhand rights that briefly stopped Wilder’s momentum.
Both fighters were in a clinch and Breazeale landed a few short punches before the referee separated them. Wilder than landed a booming right hand that sent Breazeale crashing to the mat.
Breazeale began to attempt to get up around the count of eight, but he was unable to get to his feet before ten and he was still badly hurt.
Deontay Wilder wins with a stunning knockout at of the 2:17 first round.
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Recap
By: Hans Themistode
Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) kicked off his media workout in the evening hours of Gleason’s Gym, May 14th. More than 75 media members gathered around the ring as the current WBC Heavyweight champion went through an extensive workout.
Wilder, is of course defending his crown against number one contender Dominic Breazeale. (20-1, 18 KOs). The contest is slated to take place at the Barclay Center, this Saturday night on March 18th. Wilder, will be looking to defend his title for the ninth time.
For Wilder, motivation could be in question. After coming off a fight of the year candidate against Tyson Fury in his last matchup many were expecting a rematch to take place after the first contest ended in a draw. Unfortunately for Wilder and boxing fans, the business of boxing put an end to that notion.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Instead of a highly anticipated rematch we now get a showdown between the champion and Dominic Breazeale. Although Wilder wanted to settle the score with Fury, he fully embraces the challenge of Breazeale as these two have a long history as well.
“Dominic has been asking for this, just remember. Ask and you shall receive.” Said Wilder during his media workout.
Wilder, who’s title reign began in 2015, has fought stellar opposition up until this point. As for where he would rank Breazeale in terms of who he has fought, Wilder gave his May 18th, foe no respect.
“He’s at the bottom. He don’t even belong in the same ring as me.”
Since suffering his lone defeat at the hands of Anthony Joshua back in 2016, Breazeale has reeled off three wins in a row all via stoppage. Still that doesn’t impress Wilder.
“Look at who he’s fought. He’s supposed to do that. If you put me in the ring with the type of opponents that he’s fought then I would do the same thing. The only difference is that it would be in much more impressive fashion.”
After getting a full sweat going during his workout which included, hitting the mitts and shadow boxing, Wilder seemed more than ready for his big showdown come Saturday night.
“I just don’t like the guy. The time for talking has come to an end. Now it’s time to handle business, and that is exactly what I am going to do come Saturday night.
The WBC champion on any given night will be hard to defeat but, a fully motivated one will be increasingly even more difficult to overcome. Saturday night just can’t get here fast enough.
Showtime Boxing Results: Shields Dominates Hammer
By: Oliver McManus
Claressa Shields vs Christina Hammer, the biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing without a shadow of a doubt. No pressure, then. The winner would become only the second female undisputed champion of the world and whilst Shields was the betting favourite, this was a genuine pick’em going into fight night.
Hammer, the WBO middleweight champion, stepped into the ring with a beaming smile on her face in stark contrast to the dead-pan nonchalance, borderline disgust, of Shields. The American, double Olympic champion, was in supreme confidence of adding a fourth governing body’s belt to her collection.
Her German counterpart, however, started off the liverlier fighter. Characteristically fighting tall, Hammer was using her three inch height advantage well and making her jab do the talking. Shields flailed her punches inwards for the opening round, attempting to cut into the body of Hammer but often catching the German on her arms.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The second round saw Shields looking to start fast and shell-shock Hammer but the 28 year old, a professional for 10 years, remained confident in her gameplan. Rocking on the balls of her feet and working sideways across the ring, Hammer had settled into a rhythm reminiscent of her previous contests.
Shields landed a couple of eye-catching shots, when Hammer was on the move, to signal her aggressive shot selection. A particularly pleasing overhand right, thrown when the American was almost tucked up into the armpit of Hammer, prompted a momentary clinch of recognition. The contest was being fought a good pace, producing an enjoyable fight, and Shields was upping her punch output with each passing round.
Hammer continued with her constant circling of the ring but was struggling to settle into a similar rhythm with the punches, and the pre-fight favourite was able to pick her off with the busier work. Such is the nature of two minute rounds that a well-placed flurry of shots could be enough to claim you a quiet round.
Interestingly as the fight progressed it was the movement of Shields that started to come to the fore, evading the downwards punches of Hammer with a casual duck-and-weave motion. It was smooth to watch the first time, even more glorious in slow-motion. More importantly it showed the different dimensions to the Flint based boxer; Hammer, as good a fighter as she is, was unable to adapt to the varying tactics coming her way.
Having began as the instigator, Hammer quickly struggled to replicate any of that initial impact as she ran firmly into a brick wall. Shields was dominant, it has to be said, and looked superfluous in every aspect. On the front foot she was capable of forcing the pace of the contest, landing with aggression. On the backfoot she was able to pick Hammer off with the jab and was defensively astute, too.
After several rounds of sheer frustration, the German eventually returned to her form from the first round. That trademark sideways movement appeared lost in certain rounds and it was no coincidence that, when she reverted to her light and bouncy footwork, she began to enjoy more success.
That success was immediately followed up with a huge round for Shields who simply went at it for the duration of the eighth round, knocking the gum shield of Hammer out and rallying relentlessly with an endless barrage of power punches that made her, 24 fight opponent, looked like a novice. Chilling accuracy from Shields, simply chilling.
The final two rounds were yet another dose of dominance coming from the home corner with cruise-control firmly engaged. There were two world champions in that ring but you would never have guessed given the way in which Shields stamped her authority over the contest.
98-92, 98-92, 98-92, to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Earlier in the night Otto Wallin opened up the televised broadcast from Atlantic City, a little after 9pm local time, with the Swedish southpaw looking to go 21-0 with a first win on American soil. Nick Kisner, a career cruiserweight, was in the opposite corner and was on a two-fight win streak since losing to, WBA International champion, Ryad Merhy.
Absent from the ring for 357 days, Ottomatic was looking to ease into life in the United States with an impressive victory. Ranked 5th by the WBA and IBF, Wallin had previously been mandatory challenger for the EBU belt before opting to pursue his options Stateside. When the fight began his size advantage was clear to see – some six and half inches the taller boxer.
The 28 year old immediately took to the centre of the ring, using the sheer scale of his legs to stand at distance and tower over Kisner. The American was caught within the first ninety seconds, what by was not instantly obvious, with a cut emerging to the side of the left eye. Blood smeared the cheek of Kisner, in rather un-warrior-like fashion, as he complained he was unable to see. The doctor was called with the referee, David Franciosi, repeatedly asking “can you see or not”.
Altogether the scenes were rather farcical with Kisner stating “I can see out of one eye”, prompting Franciosi to call a halt to the contest. Replays showed an obvious headbut – unintentional mind – and the bout went down as a swift no-decision. A rather anti-climatic debut for the talented Swede.
The second heavyweight of the broadcast was a scheduled ten rounder between Jermaine Franklin and Rydell Booker. Michigan’s Franklin had been hitting his media duties hard in the build up to this contest, declaring himself as “already the best heavyweight” all the while accompanied by montages of him flipping tyres and smashing hammers.
Franklin weighed in a tangerine over 245lbs, the heaviest he’s been in since May 2016, half a stone more than his counterpart but stood, officially, two inches the smaller man. Booker, meanwhile, arrived on a three fight win streak since resuming his professional career last year following a lengthy hiatus, largely spent in prison.
In carrying that excess weight, 18lbs more than his last fight, Franklin looked a little out of shape but snapped out his jab in sprightly fashion from the off. As he threw the jab he would shuffle his whole body into the punch, prompting Booker to sit firmly on the back foot. Constantly chipping away territorially, Franklin was landing the better of the punches but Booker had decent speed of movement in response.
Despite the punching pressure coming from Franklin it was Booker who seemed to be keeping the pace of the contest within his comfort zone – a steady, cooled down tempo. Franklin was looking for flashy shots to match his brash pre-fight braggadocio. Twisting his body into each shot, in a manner not too dissimilar to Samba dancing, the 25 year old was trying to look more impressive than the sum of his shots.
Thoughts of what might have been for Booker seemed to crop up throughout the contest as he made Franklin look, distinctly, average. The older fighter was looking composed in the face of wild, swinging shots and, despite possible assumptions, he simply was not tiring. The final couple rounds of the fight saw Booker having his best spells, some sluggish chipping uppercuts catching Franklin on the chin before the 38 year old followed up with classy combinations.
A fight that never managed to ignite into anything spectacular but rather produced frustrating viewing. Franklin landed with more frequency and consistency, catching Booker flush on a fair few occasions. It was learning fight, as the old adage goes, but, more frankly, it just wasn’t good enough. 99-91, 98-92, 98-92, in favour of Jermaine Franklin.
The story of the night belongs firmly to Claressa Shields who delivered on her promise of dominance. For the first time in a long time, as well, she did it in an entertaining manner. Her last few performances have been a relatively damp but this event, this occasion, seemed to bring out the superstar within her.
She became undisputed middleweight champion of the world with a frightening intensity. The greatest female fighter of all time? I can’t see anyone that comes close. Worryingly, too, she’s only just getting started.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Shields vs. Hammer
By: Oliver McManus
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City will be the location for Claressa Shield’s attempt to become the undisputed champion of the world. This Saturday, in only her ninth professional contest, T-Rex will look to add the WBO Middleweight title to her already impressive collection. Of course Shields is just one half of that contest and, in the other corner, Christina Hammer will be confident in her own ability to pull off a perceived upset.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Hammer, born in Kazakhstan and living in Germany, has been a professional since her opponent was just 14 years of age. In ten years of professional boxing Hammer has been at the forefront of European female fighting. Cecilia Braekhus is the obvious flagbearer – and, indeed, the only other undisputed champion – but Hammer has been regularly showcased on German terrestrial television and was one of the first female fighters to gain mass media attention.
A bona fide world champion since 2010, she has subsequently been involved in 15 world title fights in which she’s unified – at one time holding both WBO and WBC belts – and became a two weight world champion.
The 28 year old naturally boxes from range with, genuinely, light and bouncy footwork. She tends to work her way sideways around the ring, as opposed to just marching forward, and peppers away with the left jab. A fighter who looks to control the fight and pick off the rounds instead of chasing the finish, Hammer uses her height to advantage and doubles up on her punches well. A real highlight, for me, is a rolling right hook that often breaks through the guard of her opponent.
Shields, the betting favourite at 1/4 (Hammer can be found at 3/1), is equally methodical in her approach to each contest with three of her last fight bouts ending in shut-out victories. Flak has been attracted for such an approach with critics labelling her fight-style as ‘boring’ but, evidently, it’s effective and continuing to flourish for the American.
Two times an Olympic champion, Shields is no stranger to dominant success and has found herself at the top of the women’s game pretty much since she turned professional in 2016. Self marketed as “The Greatest Woman of All Time”, here she is headlining the fourth televised card of her career – something unprecedented a mere five years ago.
It is likely that she will box reactively, as opposed to proactively, come Saturday night and respond to the work-rate of her German opponent. In doing so she will be able to take a measured approach to nullify the threat posed by Hammer. Fireworks are unlikely but this is a genuine “super fight” of women’s boxing and it’s by no means a foregone conclusion.
The undercard features two exciting heavyweight contests – and I’m not talking about Samuel Peter vs Mario Heredia – with Jermaine Franklin taking on Rydell Booker and Otto Wallin fighting Nick Kisner. Both contests will be over 10 rounds.
Franklin will be looking to record the 18th victory of his professional career, after nine months without a fight. The Saignaw-fighter has been doing the media rounds ahead of this particular contest and recently declared himself “the best heavyweight prospect, period”. That statement is questionable given the meteoric rise of talents such as Filip Hrgovic and Joe Joyce.
The unbeaten fighter is determined to vindicate Dmitry Salita, who signed the heavyweight last year, and start proving his worth at the top end of the heavyweight division. Booker, 13 years older at 38, will look to record his fourth consecutive win and advance his record to 26-1. That single loss came at the hands of James Toney, in a WBC title eliminator, back in 2004. His career stalled in the aftermath with a lengthy spell in prison for drug-related offences. A win against Franklin would put his name back on the map of American heavyweights, who seem to always stumble into fights they rarely deserve.
Otto Wallin is a big, angry Swedish fighter who has been knocking around the European scene for a while, now. Hopes have been high but, for varying reasons, we’ve yet to see Wallin really kick on. Now based in New York, signing with Salita Promotions, he’ll look to crack the American market. 20-0, the 28 year old’s best win was in his last fight, 52 weeks ago, against Adrian Granat. Wallin controlled the, all-Swedish, contest with considerable ease and displayed his ability to box and move, whereas in previous fights he has been boxed in as a brawler.
Having given up a mandatory challenger position for the European title – against Agit Kabayel – he won’t be looking to hang around and Nick Kisner, let’s have it straight, is merely an opponent designed to ease Wallin back in after over a year out. Having campaigned almost exclusively as a cruiserweight, don’t expect him to be able to live with the physicality of his southpaw opponent.
Shields vs Hammer, then, to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Boardwalk entertainment, befitting of Broadway.
ShoBox Results: Angelo “El Chinito” Leo & Xavier Martinez Emerge Victorious
By: Ken Hissner
Sam’s Hotel & Gambling Hall was the host site for Friday’s Mayweather Promotions card on ShoBox. The main event Featherweight Angelo “El Chinito” Leo of Las Vegas and Neil “The Beast” John Tabanao of the Cebu, Philippines.
In the Main Event Featherweight Angelo “El Chinito” Leo, 17-0 (8), of Las Vegas, NV, defeated Neil “The Firey Lion” John Tabanao, 17-5(11), of Cebu City, PH, over 10 action rounds.
In the first round after some feeling out at the halfway point both fighters opened up. Tabanao showed good hand speed while Leo more power in a good round for Leo. In the second round Leon countered a short jab landing a solid right to the chin. In the second round Leo kept up the pressure until Tabanao landed a right cross to the chin. It was a very competitive round but Leon seemed to pull it out.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the third round Tabanao landed a double jab but got countered by a Leo right to the chin. Leo was warned for a right border line low blow. In the fourth round Tabanao had Leo against the ropes but both were landing punches. Tabanao seemed to take the edge.
In the fifth round referee Jay Nady again warned Leo for landing a punch low. In the final minute with both swinging wildly a left hook from Leo landed on the chin. In the sixth round a clash of heads caused Leo to have swelling over the right eye. In the final minute of the round Tabanao seemed to get the best of it.
In the seventh round both boxers landed well. Leo landed a double left hook to to the chin. It was a good round for Leo. In the eighth round a Leo left hook knocked Tabanao’s head sideways. In the final fifteen seconds of the round Leo was landing half a dozen punches without return.
In the ninth round Leo seemed to have his way. In the final minute Leo had Tabanao against the ropes landing well with little return from Tabanao. In the tenth and final round both fighters fought well with Leo seemingly wrapping up a win. Both boxers showed good portsmanship throughout.
Scores were 100-89 and 100-90 twice. This writer had it 98-92.
In the co-feature Super Featherweight Xavier Martinez, 14-0 (10), of Sacramento, CA, stopped John “Mulawin” Vincent Moralde, 21-3 (11), of General Santos City, PH, at 1:11 of the third round.
In the first round Martinez landed the first non-jab with a right uppercut to the chin within 20 seconds of the round. Martinez kept coming forward looking for an early stoppage. Martinez landed a hard left hook to the chin driving Moralde half a dozen steps backwards into the ropes. Moralde seemed overwhelmed in the round. Martinez landed the last four punches of the round having Moralded pinned in a corner.
In the second Martinez picked up where he left off landing many punches before a return from Moralde. Martinez rocked Moralde with a right cross on the chin. Moralde had taken so many punches the fight could be stopped in between rounds.
Before the third round started referee Tony Weeks went to the Moralde corner and said he wasn’t going to allow him to take more punishment. Moralde had swelling around both eyes. A left on the chin from Martinez got there before Moralde’s left hook dropping Moralde. He got up in no condition but was allowed to take half a dozen more punches before referee weeks stopped it.
Super Featherweight Andres Cortes, 11-0 (6), of Las Vegas, NV, defeated Jamal Dyer, 9-2 (5), of Baltimore, MD, over 8 rounds.
The first two rounds were close with Dyer taking the first and Cortes the second. In the third round things picked up with more action with Dyer getting the better of it.
In the fourth round Cortes landed a counter right on the chin. Dyer considering how hurt he was at the end of the previous round has done well to hold his own and suddenly a right on the chin from Dyer dropped Cortes. Cortes got up very angry taking it to Dyer to a slugfest to the bell. In the fifth round both fighters landed right uppercuts at the same time to the chin. With a minute left in the round Cortes landed several right hands to the chin.
In round six Cortes landed a left to the body followed with a right to the head. Halfway through the round Cortes rocked Dyer with a right on the chin. In the seventh round Dyer backed Cortes up for the most part. Cortes had swelling under his right eye. It was a good round of action.
In the eighth and final round it was close but Cortes seemed to get the better of it.
Scores were 78-73, 79-73 and 78-74 while this writer had it 77-75 Cortes. Jay Nady was the referee.
Welterweight Sanjarbek Rakhmanov, 11-2-1 (5), of UZB, out of Las Vegas, lost a split decision to Keith “The Bounty” Hunter, 10-0 (7), of Las Vegas, NV, over 8 rounds.
Super Middleweight Kevin “The Second Coming” Newman II, 9-1-1 (5), of Las Vegas, knocked out Cesar “Principe” Lopez Ugarte, 8-4 (6), of Augascalientes, MEX, in the first round.
Lightweight Kingdamon “Don’t Blink” Antoine, 9-0 (7), of Akron, OH, scored a shutout over Raheem Abdullah, 3-2 (0), of Colorado Springs, CO, over 6 rounds.
Super Lightweight Maurice “Ambitious” Lee, 10-1-2 (5), of Woodland Hills, CA, defeated Andre Byrd, 7-6-2 (1), of Jacksonville, FL, over 6 rounds.
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder Defends Against Mandatory Challenger Dominic Breazeale
Undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will put his title on the line for the ninth time when he steps into the ring against hard-hitting mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, May 18 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Wilder vs. Breazeale promises the type of explosive displays of power that fans have come to expect from the red-hot heavyweight division as the two knockout artists have combined for 57 knockouts in 62 professional bouts. Both men stand at 6-foot-7-inches tall, have engaged in numerous dramatic clashes and are fan-favorites at Barclays Center. Wilder will be fighting at the arena for the fourth time and Breazeale will be making his third appearance.
Tickets for this BombZquad event go on sale Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Beginning Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. ET, tickets can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) is the most exciting heavyweight in the world with a power-punching style that has fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish, knowing the tide of a fight can change in the blink of an eye. He has only gone the distance twice in his career with 39 of his 41 matches ending inside of the distance. He battered Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds to win a lopsided unanimous decision and claim the WBC title on Jan. 17, 2015. In the rematch two years later Wilder crushed Stiverne with a brutal first-round knockout that left the challenger crumpled on the bottom rope.
The 33-year-old Wilder is coming off a thrilling battle with British heavyweight contender Tyson Fury that resulted in a split draw on Dec. 1. Wilder scored knockdowns in the ninth and 12th rounds of the fight. The last knockdown appeared to finish off Fury, but he beat the referee’s count and made it to the final bell.
Born in and still living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Wilder picked up the nickname “The Bronze Bomber” in honor of Joe Louis, who was known as “The Brown Bomber” after he won the bronze medal as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team. Wilder got a late start as a boxer, taking up the sport at age 20 hoping to become a professional and earn enough money for the medical treatments of his daughter Naieya, who was born with spina bifida. He won the U.S. Olympic trials with just 21 amateur bouts under his belt.
“I’m very happy that I get a chance to get a mandatory out of the way, because I consider mandatories like flies buzzing around my head,” said Wilder. “They bother me. I’m busy. I have things that I want to do. I want to get him out of the way. I’m about to smash this fly. This is a personal fight for me. As the universe works this is the perfect time. I haven’t been this excited about destroying an opponent since Bermane Stiverne. I’m also excited to have the very first event for BombZquad Promotions at what I consider one of best arenas in the country, Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s go time baby. I can’t wait.”
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) is nicknamed “Trouble” and that’s exactly what he has been for his opponents. The 33-year-old has a durable chin and a slugger’s mentality, throwing heavy-handed shots that have seen him score 18 knockout victories in his 21 professional fights.
Breazeale, who was born in Glendale, California and now lives in Eastvale, California, was an outstanding high school football player who played quarterback at Northern Colorado University before taking up boxing. The 6-foot-7 Breazeale was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team.
He put himself into position to challenge for the WBC world title by ripping off three straight knockout victories following the only loss in his career, a seventh-round TKO to Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title match in 2016. In December he scored a knockout victory in Brooklyn over Carlos Negron for his second-straight win at Barclays Center.
“I’m excited for the event more so than just fighting Deontay Wilder,” said Breazeale. “I want that WBC title. What I bring to the fight is excitement and consistent action. I’m going to bring the action all night. I’m not scared to stick my nose out there and look for the big shot. I know the big shot is coming as long as I set it up the right way.”
Showtime Boxing Results: Lara Battles Castanao To A Draw
By: Sean Crose
Boxing returned to Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center on Saturday night, as Erislandy Lara battled Brain Castano for the WBA super welterweight title. First though, the card, which was aired on Showtime, presented featherweights Bryan DeGarcia (24-1-1) and Eduardo Ramierez (21-1-3) in a scheduled 12 round affair. The first three rounds were fast paced, and close, but generally uneventful. The fourth saw Ramirez apply pressure effectively while DeGracia employed strong body work. The end of the fifth saw DeGracia unload nicely on his man…though Ramirez fought back gamely. DeGracia continued to land well in the sixth. The active DeGracia looked to be carrying the fight as the match headed into the later rounds. In the ninth, however, Ramirez suddenly caught DeGracia – and unloaded. Referee Benjy Esteves stepped in and stopped the bout.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Next up was heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (30-1) who was looking to get another crack at a heavyweight title by looking good against Germany’s 24-5 Christian Hammer in a scheduled 10 round battle. Ortiz won the first courtesy of an active jab and clean punching. Hammer caught Ortiz hard early in the second. Later in the round, Ortiz landed on Hammer. It was a close, exciting round, punctuated by a hard Ortiz body shot. The third saw both men trade punches. Hammer was trying to set traps, while Ortiz was a bit more active. The fourth saw both men trading leather. Something to note: many of Ortiz’ seemingly hard shots were hitting Hammer’s gloves. The fifth saw more of the same…Ortiz was winning, but it was clear he was in a fight. After a dominant sixth, Ortiz was heading into the second half of the fight seemingly in control of the scorecards.
Ortiz’ jab told the story in the seventh. In the eighth, however, it looked like Ortiz might (“might” being the operative word) be tiring a bit. Hammer was looking stronger late in the fight, possibly winning the ninth on the cards. Ortiz dominated the tenth, assuring himself the UD win he was ultimately granted by the judges. It wasn’t the heavyweight’s best fight, but he got the win, nonetheless.
It was time for the main event. Lara (25-3-2) was looking to reestablish himself as a top man in his division while the undefeated yet widely unknown champion Castano (15-0) was eager to make his mark on the world. The first round was a close affair. The second saw the slickster, Lara, trying to keep off Castano with his southpaw jab. Castano seemed to tough his way through the third, pinning his man against the ropes and landing with some effectiveness. Castano continued to be aggressive in the fourth, but many of his shots were landing on Lara’s gloves. Although he kept aggressive in the fifth, Castano took a lot of clean punches from Lara. The sixth was fast paced, exciting and very close.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Lara’s sharp shooting told the tale in the seventh. By the eighth, it became a matter of taste. People who enjoy pressure fighters would most likely prefer Castano. People who enjoy clean punching and defensive acumen would most likely prefer Lara. Castano landed to the body in the ninth, and Lara continued to land clean to the head. The tenth ended up being a high octane round with both men trading some nice shots. Castano’s relentless aggression may have won him the eleventh. The twelfth was also a high energy chapter, intense and hard to choose a winner from. Ultimately, the cards ruled it a draw, which was understandable considering the close nature of the fight.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Hammer, Lara vs. Castano
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will televise a card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York live on Showtime. Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions and Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment are the co-promoters of this card.
The main event of the evening will be between Brian Castano and Erislandy Lara for Castano’s WBA “Regular” Junior Middleweight Title. The co-main event of the evening will be a heavyweight clash between Luis Ortiz and Christian Hammer.
The undercard will feature prospects and contenders such as Bryan De Gracia, Eduardo Ramirez, Edward Rodriguez, and Antonio Russell.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime Boxing
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Luis Ortiz (30-1) vs. Christian Hammer (24-5); Heavyweight
Luis Ortiz challenged for the heavyweight title in 2018 in an exciting bout with Deontay Wilder but faded at the end and was stopped before the final bell. Since then he has come back to defeat Travis Kauffman and Razvan Cojanu as he attempts to get another shot at a heavyweight title.
On Saturday he’ll be facing Christian Hammer, a fighter who is about 8 years younger than him and about two inches shorter. Hamer fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017 and has five losses on his record. Ortiz, despite his advancing age, has also been active and fought three times in 2018 and once in 2017.
Ortiz has the edge in most comparable stats. He also has the knockout power edge as he has stopped twenty six of his opponents while Hammer only stopped fourteen of his opponents. Ortiz also had a better amateur career as he was a multi-time Cuban National Champion while Hammer was a former Romanian Amateur Boxing Champion.
Ortiz has defeated the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. Hammer has defeated the likes of Michael Wallisch, David Price, Erkan Teper, and Kevin Johnson.
However, Hammer has also lost to the likes of Mariusz Wach, Taras Bidenko, Tyson Fury, and Alexander Povetkin.
Ortiz’s age is of concern, but he’s still an elite level boxer with considerable power. Hammer is basically a fringe contender.
Saturday should be a relatively easier fight for Ortiz.
Brian Castano (15-0) vs. Erislandy Lara (25-3-2); WBA Junior Middleweight Title
Erislandy Lara has long been considered a pound for pound great and one of the best boxers in the junior middleweight division. However, he has lost some of his shine since his loss to Jarrett Hurd and his advancing age of thirty five.
On Saturday he will be facing a tough young opponent in Brian Castano, who is six years younger than Lara.
Lara will have a significant edge in height of three inches and reach of seven inches. Lara does have fourteen stoppages on his resume, three more than Castano, but he fought twice the number of fights.
Castano had a good amateur career and was a gold medalist in the South American Games. He also beat current pound for pound great Errol Spence Jr. as an amateur. Lara was a Cuban National Champ and a World Champ as an amateur which gives him the slight edge in amateur experience.
Lara has lost to the likes of Jarrett Hurd, Canelo Alvarez, and Paul Williams. He has defeated the likes of Terrell Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith, and Austin Trout.
Castano has defeated the likes of Cedric Vitu, Michel Soro, Emmanue de Jesus, and Marcus Upshaw. At this point in their careers, Lara has defeated the better fighters.
However, Lara is advancing in age and showed signs of it when he lost to Jarrett Hurd. Castano is known for being an aggressive fighter who throws a high number of punches, a style that will usually give an older fighter fits as the fight progresses to the later rounds.
This writer feels this will be Castano’s breakout fight and will score an upset over Lara.
Showtime Boxing Results: Eubank Defeats DeGale, Joyce Batters Stiverne
By: Ste Rowen
Chris Eubank Jr forced himself into the super-middleweight world scene tonight with a deserved unanimous decision victory over former world champion, James DeGale.
Now improving his record to 28-2 (21KOs), the victor spoke post-fight,
‘‘I knew he was gonna come in there and run and use his boxing skills. I’ve been working a lot on my jab…The game plan worked. Smart pressure. Not getting too ahead of myself.
I dominated pretty much every single round…A lot of people said I was gonna lose, and now I’m onto big and better things.’’
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The defeated DeGale, now 25-3-1 (15KOs), sounding a little dazed also spoke, ‘‘I’ve left my mark in boxing…I didn’t do enough, but when you’re in there with someone like Chris on you; punches you don’t even see.
I’ve been to the heights of boxing. If I call it a day now…’’
It was cold in the O2 Arena, but not for long.
As James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr drew nearer, the atmosphere felt more claustrophobic. As though the crowd was inching their seats forwards every time the stewards looked away. By the time the main-event fighters were in the ring, the audience was practically breathing down their necks.
From the 1st round it was setup perfectly, DeGale in all-black, Eubank in all-white but both decided to size each other up through the first. DeGale, in the southpaw stance, allowed himself to become a little too susceptible to Eubank’s right hand which forced a small cut to James’ left eye early on.
The first minute of round 2 is where the action came alive. Eubank Jr landed a sharp left hook that unsteadied DeGale and, through a flurry of punches, eventually forced the referee into recognising that James had been knocked down. DeGale’s experience was telling as he survived the rest of the round, but it was obvious that Chris was well on top.
In the corner, the former IBF champion was complaining about something in his eye – it was a bad sign for a man already behind. But Eubank, like his opponent, sustained a cut this time under his right eye, it didn’t stop the Brighton-man from ending the 4th the stronger. Through to the 7th, Eubank stalked the perceived boxer across the ring whilst the former gold medallist did very little to reply.
As round 7 ended, DeGale stuck his tongue out to his opponent, which was an odd move considering Chris seemingly bossed the end of the round. DeGale kept switching between southpaw and orthodox, but neither was breaking through.
As the fight headed into the 10th Eubank seemed well on top. DeGale hit the canvas for the second time as Eubank landed a beauty of a left hook that shook up the former world champion, forced James onto the ropes and eventually the ground. DeGale survived, but it was clear he needed the KO, but it was Eubank Jr that came out swinging. By the end of the 11th, career-southpaw DeGale was orthodox and everywhere.
Both fighters raised their arms as the final bell rang but it seemed cleared who’d won. DeGale, the legitimate former world title holder had fallen well short.
Of course it’s never a chore to hear Jimmy Lennon Jr and it wasn’t this time as he read out the judge’s cards of, 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 all for Eubank Jr.
Joe Joyce vs. Bermane Stiverne
Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce took another step up in quality tonight as the British Olympian (2016 Silver) scored a 6th round stoppage of former world champion, Bermane Stiverne.
Dominant from beginning to end, the Commonwealth champion, now 8-0 (8KOs), spoke post-fight,
‘‘Big respect to Stiverne. He was very tough, still game, still tough. Only Wilder with that phenomenal power could take him out…My able condition in Big Bear.
Big things to come. Next one for the WBA ‘Regular’. Couple of weeks off and then back in the gym…I’ve barred all (The top heavyweights) bar Wilder, but I’m coming.’’
In a fight designated as a WBA eliminator Joyce had his chin checked at least twice in the 1st round but seemed unaffected and continued to pursue his prey. His shots may look slow, but Joe’s arms are long and thudding once landed and clearly leave an effect. Stiverne looked apprehensive as he stepped off his stool for the 2nd however he did begin to throw back, but only for a brief spell. The ‘Juggernaut’ fired clubbing shot after clubbing shot without reply for most of the round. Testament to the former world champion, Bermane for staying upright.
Round 3 brought the first knockdown as Joyce landed a lengthy right hook that sent the American into the ropes and forced the knockdown. Bermane continued but it felt pointless. Stiverne looked drunk as he tried to evade Joyce’s heavy combinations but survived into the 6th.
Joe dominated behind the left-hand jab until he seemed to switch flavour and fired hook and power shot continuously, forcing referee Howard Foster into stopping the fight midway through round six. There were no complaints from the away fighter.
Lee Selby vs. Omar Douglas
Fighting in his first lightweight bout, and for a minor title at 135lb, Lee ‘Lightning’ Selby bounced back from his May 2018 defeat to Josh Warrington to rough it out in a twelve round unanimous decision victory over American, Omar Douglas.
‘‘That was one of the toughest.’’ Selby said. ‘‘In the fight I kept on undoing their (His cut-men’s) good work.
Douglas was supposed to be a big puncher and I held his shots well…If my management says I’m fighting Anthony Joshua tomorrow, I wouldn’t turn it down.’’
In his signature white and gold shorts, Selby of Wales, forced an energetic start onto the American. Lee clearly wanted to make an early impression in what was a new division for him. Douglas’ dreads (white at the start but red by the end) were wrapped up much like his hands, so every time Selby landed a clean jab, Omar’s head fired back and made him look like Ridley Scott’s Alien.
But towards the end of round two a bloody cut on the eye of Lee Selby opened up, much like in his fight vs. Warrington. It didn’t stutter his performance for that round, but it did create a new element to the fight. The Welshman continued to fire off well, despite the cut, but it was clear Lee wasn’t as urgent in his offence as before the cut.
Omar has spent his career bouncing between 130-135 and as the rounds drew on he was giving Lee, who’d jumped 9lb in weight, a rough entry into the lightweight division. By the time of the final bell it was close as well as clear that ‘Lightning’ had taken the rough alleyway to enter 135lb.
Final scorecards were 116-112, 116-112, 115-114 all in favour of Lee Selby.