Top Australian Trainers Discuss Jeff Horn/Pacquiao “Controversy” and Crawford Fight
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Jeff Horn will need to produce the performance of his career to beat highly-rated American Terrence Crawford on the 9th of June, but he is far from a “paper champion”, according to top Australian trainers.
Although he is a hero to Australian boxing fans, Horn is regularly criticised by American pundits, who have labelled his upset victory over Manny Pacquaio a “robbery” and dismissed his chances of competing with the best in the Welterweight division.
One of Australia’s finest trainers, Gerry Murphy, says he can’t understand the negative press Horn has received overseas or the controversy surrounding the fight.
“I didn’t think it was controversial at all. Jeff won that fight 100%,” he says.
Murphy has been involved in the sport since 1973 and his self-named “Murphy’s Boxing Gym” has produced some of Australian boxing’s biggest names, including Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Brad Pitt and two-time Presidents Cup Bronze medallist Trent Rawlins.
Murphy says he knows a bad decision when he sees one because his current star, WBA (Oceania) Middleweight Champion Tej Singh, has been on the wrong side of a few.
“He has four losses on his record and every single one of them, he has won. So people underestimated him and didn’t realise how good he was,” according to Murphy.
WBA Oceania Middleweight Champion Tej Singh (middle) in sparring action with Gerry Murphy (right) watching on.
He feels that Pacquaio can have few complaints about the result as Horn boxed a smart fight, using his size and tenacity to wear the Filipino down.
He questioned Pacquaio’s conditioning, pointing out that he could have stopped Horn, but didn’t have enough in the tank to put him away.
“I don’t think Pacquaio rated Horn and I don’t think he trained for that fight,” Murphy says.
Predrag Galic, who has produced state and national champions in Boxing, Kick-boxing and Muay Thai out of “Prestige Gym” in Melbourne, agrees that complacency was Pacquaio’s greatest enemy.
“The guy was not prepared. From what I understand he did not train as hard as he should have,” he says.
Galic acknowledges that it can be difficult to get a close decision against a home-town fighter, but says the reality is “against a guy on home soil you must do more to win.”
Predrag Galic, owner of Prestige Gym, Melbourne, Australia
He says peoples’ judgement of the fight has been skewed by the damage he took in the 9th round, when Pacquaio hurt him several times with a barrage of lethal combinations.
“I think a bit of the controversy came from the fact that he was nearly stopped. He got hurt late in the fight, but you can’t score a fight on one or two rounds,” he says.
Whether you feel that Horn deserved the decision or not, Galic says no one could deny that he put on a fantastic performance against one of the best fighters of his generation.
“Controversy aside the guy stood there and fought,” he says.
“Regardless of the decision, for Horn to perform so well against a fighter like that and a southpaw, which would have been uncomfortable for him, I give him a lot of credit,” Galic says.
Although Pacquaio was a huge scalp for Horn, both trainers feel that Crawford represents the biggest challenge of his career.
Murphy has some inside knowledge on the former light-welterweight champion as his fighters watched Crawford spar at a training camp in Colorado.
“The whole Australian team watched him spar at a camp in Colorado and they said he was phenomenal. They said he was almost magical to watch,” he says.
“I think they’re making a bit of a mistake in fighting Crawford now. I would’ve given him a couple of more winnable fights first,” Murphy says.
“They said Crawford’s up there with Lomachenko. I don’t think Jeff can beat him,” says Murphy.
Galic says Crawford’s physical attributes could cause Horn some problems, explaining that “looking at those 2 fighters, Horn is definitely the bigger guy, but Crawford has a longer reach and this is something not many people realise.”
“Crawford’s a little bit shorter but he has a reach advantage. He is a very swift counter-puncher who covers 180 degrees, whereas Jeff Horn covers slightly past 90,” he says.
“Crawford is a volume puncher with a longer reach and a 70% knockout ratio. He’s very dangerous,” Galic says.
“I hope Jeff Horn’s team have looked at that and addressed it in training, otherwise they could be surprised,” according to Galic.
Regardless of the outcome in Las Vegas, Murphy and Galic believe Horn is a great example for young athletes around the world.
Murphy has met Horn at a few national events and says “he’s genuinely one of the nicest guys in boxing.”
He says that Horn doesn’t receive as much attention as he should, partly because “he doesn’t talk shit about his opponents.”
However, he admires the way the Queenslander carries himself and says “he’s a really genuinely nice person.”
Galic tells a similar story, recalling how Horn was so pleasant with all of his fans at a Golden Gloves event and that his newfound fame doesn’t seem to have gone to his head.
“if he really was lucky against Pacquaio, the next few fights will show it,” he says.
Horn will get the chance to prove his doubters wrong again in just a few weeks.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Bey, Peterson, Shields, DiBella, Singh, and more…..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 1st to August 8th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Singh Beats Chinese Rival then Gives Belt Back in Bid to Ease Tension Between Two Nations
Vijender Singh, an Indian boxer and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, recently defeated WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China on August 5th, 2017 in Mumbai.
However, Singh has handed Maimaitiali’s title back to him after the scores were announced. He told the media, “I don’t want tension on the border. It’s a message of peace. That’s important.”
China has been involved in a border dispute in a region in the Himalayas with India for several years. Singh won a close decision, with scores of 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94.
Team Shields Congratulates Boxing’s Newest Superstar, Claressa Shields, For Winning Unified World Titles in Fourth Pro Fight
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.
Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.
A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.
“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”
For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.
“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”
Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”
Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.
DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing Returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th
DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT’s acclaimed BROADWAY BOXING series will return to the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Friday, September 15, 2017, headlined by an excellent 10-round clash between popular heavyweight prospect ALEXIS SANTOS (18-1, 15 KOs), of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, and cross-town rival, Ireland’s NIALL KENNEDY (8-0, 5 KOs), promoted by Ken Casey’s Boston-based Murphys Boxing. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, priced at $125, $75 and $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 7:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I am happy to again bring Broadway Boxing back to our home away from home at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The series at Foxwoods has seen a number of terrific heavyweight brawls of late and New England’s own Alexis Santos battling Ireland’s Niall Kennedy promises to be very entertaining. Popular local stars Shelly Vincent, a great ambassador for women’s boxing from Rhode Island, East Hartford up-and-coming unbeaten welterweight Mykquan Williams, and Nicholas DeQuattro, in his pro debut, will appear on the stacked undercard, along with undefeated New York cruiserweight prospect Joe Williams.”
The 27-year-old fan favorite Santos returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on a five-bout winning streak highlighted by an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Barboza on November 19, 2016, in an action-packed bout from start to finish that had the crowd roaring throughout. With the victory, Santos seized the New England heavyweight championship.
Most recently Santos scored a first-round knockout of Andy Perez on February 24, 2017, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting again at Foxwood Resort Casino,” said Santos. “The fan support for my first fight there last November was fantastic.
“Niall Kennedy has more amateur experience than I, but I’ve had more fights as a professional. It’s a great crossroads fight and I can’t wait for September 15.”
Backed by longtime member of Boston’s famed Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, Kennedy, a native of Gorey, West Ireland, has become a fan favorite among the city’s Irish population, with knockout victories on the last two annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. Before turning pro in May 2015, Kennedy accumulated an impressive 130-20 amateur record. He is trained by the renowned Paschal Collins, brother of former world champion Steve Collins, out of Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin. In addition to his burgeoning boxing career, the 33-year-old has also worked as a police officer for the past 11 years.
In his last start, Kennedy finished off Barboza in the eighth round on March 18, 2017, to capture the Massachusetts heavyweight title, in Boston before a huge, festive crowd at the House of Blues.
Featured on the undercard on September 15 is junior lightweight contender SHELLY “SHELITO’S WAY” VINCENT (19-1, 1 KO), of nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Vincent will look to stay in the win column following an epic nationally televised battle with Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, which resulted in her first loss. The Ring Magazine called their grudge match the “Female Fight of the Year” for 2016. Vincent was also honored by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame as their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, becoming the first female recipient of the award.
In her last bout, Vincent won an eight-round decision over Marquita Lee on December 2, 2016, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This will be her seventh appearance at Foxwoods. Managed by Mike Criscio and trained by Peter Manfredo Sr., Vincent signed with DiBella Entertainment in 2016.
Just 19 years old, fast rising East Hartford welterweight prospect MYKQUAN WILLIAMS (7-0, 4 KOs) will look to stay undefeated as he makes his seventh start at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by Jackie Kallen, Williams returns to the ring following an impressive six-round decision over veteran Ariel Vasquez on June 3. Williams is trained out of Manchester Ring of Champions Society boxing gym by local legend and community leader Paul Cichon, whom he’s known since he was a child and looks upon as a surrogate father. His biological father was murdered when Mykquan was just a week old. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.
Heralded cruiserweight prospect JOE “MACK” WILLIAMS (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, fights for the first time at Foxwoods Resort Casino looking to capitalize on his quick start to 2017 with two dominant victories, most recently knocking out Felipe Romero in the third round on April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, the 29-year-old Williams began this year by making his national television debut on February 10, handing 15-0-1 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo his first defeat by way of eight-round decision, competing on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series. As an amateur, Williams was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, and a 2012 US Olympic team alternate. When he’s not boxing, Williams, a father of two daughters, works as an asbestos handler and is a union member with Local 78.
Rounding out the undercard, junior welterweight NICKY DEQUATTRO of Johnston, Rhode Island, will make his highly anticipated pro debut.
Additional information on the undercard will be announced shortly.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko to Face Tureano Johnson on August 25th
Powerful middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs) and Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) will square-off in a middleweight world title eliminator that headlines a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on August 25from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
“This is a very important fight for me,” said Derevyanchenko. “A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I’m training hard for this challenge and I know that Johnson will be prepared. I’m going to show that I’m ready for anybody in the middleweight division.”
“I fight to provide for my family, to bring pride to my country and because I know I have done the work necessary and am destined to become a world champion,” said Johnson. “I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way toward the championship, so I will defeat him.”
In an action packed co-main event, unbeaten Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) takes on once-beaten Hugo Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS telecast will be preceded by the live weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and all four episodes of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor on FS1.
“This is a great fight for me against a very good opponent,” said Aleem. “I want to build off my last performance and show even more dimensions to my game. Training camp is going well and I’m planning to execute my game plan on fight night. I’m trying to be a world champion and prove that I’m a force in this division.”
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I’ve been training hard since my last fight in December,” said Centeno. “I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this fight. I know a win of this quality will put me into another echelon in the division. It’s very motivating to be training at Wild Card Boxing with so many great champions as I prepare for this fight.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $25 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased by visiting BuffaloRun.com or by calling 918-542-7140.
“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds. The co-featured bout between middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno also figures to be a barnburner. This will be a terrific event.”
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently stopped previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in April. His 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.
A 2008 Olympian for his native Bahamas, Johnson enters this bout the winner of his last six contests, including a fifth round stoppage of once-beaten Alex Theran and a 12-round decision over once-beaten Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. The 33-year-old turned pro in 2010 and won his first 2014 before suffering his first defeat in the final round against Curtis Stevens.
Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In January he defeated then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov in a memorable back and forth battle that saw Aleem emerge victorious with a sixth-round TKO win. Aleem had previously defeated once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda and fought to a majority draw with Demond Nicholson in 2016.
The 26-year-old Centeno bounced back from his first defeat with a stoppage of Ronald Montes after three rounds in December 2016. Centeno won his first 24 pro fights after amassing a 90-8 amateur record including a highlight reel knockout of James De La Rosa and a decision over then unbeaten Gerardo Ibarra. The fighter out of Oxnard, California will fight in Las Vegas for the first time since a no contest against Julian Williams in 2013 that was called because of an accidental head butt.
Mickey Bey to Face Anthony Peterson on August 22nd
Former lightweight world champion Mickey Bey (22-2-1, 10 KOs) will face once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes August 22 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as part of an exciting week of events presented by Mayweather Promotions and leading up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor showdown on Saturday.
“It’s been over a year since I was in the ring and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career as a fighter and as a man,” said Bey. “I realize what’s important now and how I can protect my legacy as a fighter. I’ve put in more work fir this fight than I have for any other and I’m ready to let my performance speak for me. I’m focusing on my mental toughness and my ring IQ and I’m looking to put on a perfect performance on August 22.”
“I’m just happy to be back in the ring and fighting again,” said Peterson. “I’ve known Mickey Bey for years and he’s a good friend of mine. But business is business and on August 22 I will be all business when I step into the ring.”
The August 22 show will feature a showdown between former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Phoenix’s Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in 10 rounds of bantamweight action.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $50 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.
“This is an incredible event to kick-off the biggest fight week in the history of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We are proud to announce that some of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects will be featured on their own FS1 and FOX Deportes card, giving the fans nonstop action and excitement for the whole week. We have a great lineup in store with Mickey Bey and Anthony Peterson in the main event, and former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking on Alexis Santiago in the co-feature. It is truly going to be an action filled night of boxing.”
Originally from Cleveland but fighting out of Las Vegas, Bey steps back into the ring after challenging unbeaten two-division champion Rances Barthelemy last June. Bey won his world title in 2014 with a decision victory over long reigning champion Miguel Vasquez. He vacated his title due to injuries but returned in December 2015 to defeat previously unbeaten Naim Nelson by decision and earn his most recent title fight. Bey’s previous victories include triumphs over Alan Herrera, Carlos Cardenas and Hector Velazquez.
The brother of current welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, Anthony enters this fight the winner of his last seven bouts, including a dominant decision over once-beaten Samuel Neequaye last April. The fighter out of Washington, D.C., was unbeaten in his first 30 pro fights before dropping a title eliminator to Brandon Rios in 2010. He returns to the ring looking to take out a former champion on his way to another shot at a title.
The two-time Dominican Olympian Payano began his path towards another world title with a stoppage of Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January, after first becoming a champion via a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. The accomplished amateur won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games with victories over McJoe Arroyo and Yoandris Salinas. He defeated Jundy Maraon, Jose Silveria and Luis Maldonado on the way to his title shot and engaged in a pair of exciting fights with Rau’shee Warren that saw him defend his title in August 2015 and lose in June 2016.
A pro since 2009, the 26-year-old Santiago had won ten consecutive bouts before dropping a decision to Jose Cayetano in his last contest. The Phoenix-native defeated Gustavo Molina, Javier Gallo and Antonio Tostado Garcia in 2015 and and has also taken down once-beaten fighters Alex Rangel and Hanzel Martinez. He will make his 2017 debut against one of his most experienced foes to date in Payano.