Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan: “I Relish This”
By: Sean Crose
“Its a privilege to me to be in these types of fights,” Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan tells me. The 30-3 middleweight will be starting off the new year with a bang when he faces the 24-0 Jaime Munguia in the undefeated former world champion’s divisional debut. “It’s great to have this opportunity,” O’Sullivan says. “I relish this.” Some may argue the odds are stacked against the Cork, Ireland native heading into the January 11th Munguia fight. Munguia, after all, is taller, and over ten years younger, than O’Sullivan. What’s more, the fight is being held at San Antonio’s Alamodome, very close to Munguia’s native Mexico. O’Sullivan, however, is quietly confident.
“I’ve fought many people in their back yards,” he says. Plus, he has a genuine respect for Mexican fans, whose passion for boxing has remained strong through the sport’s ups and downs. He also has respect for Mexican fighters, and their famous come-forward style, a style he himself if known to employ in the ring. If anything, the battle with Munguia should be a colorful one. “I’m looking forward to it,” O’Sullivan says. It’s clear the man’s telling the truth, for O’Sullivan has proven he’s nothing if not a fighter willing to face the odds head on.
A prime example of this willingness was O’Sullivan’s quick return to the ring after being knocked out by David Lemieux in 2018. Many fighters might take a considerable amount of time off before slipping back in between the ropes. O’Sullivan got back in the ring as soon as possible, beating Gabor Gorbics less than three months after the Lemieux fight. “I wanted to get back in the ring,” O’Sullivan says. Although he credits Lemiuex with winning fair and square, O’Sullivan feels he could have truly won their battle. “If he hadn’t landed that punch,” he says, “I would have won that fight.”
The thirty-five year old isn’t planning on making any mistakes when he faces Munguia in a few weeks. He’s aware of the trouble Dennis Hogan gave the then WBO super welterweight champion last April by being able to land effectively on Munguia. “I believe,” O’Sullivan tells me after I bring up the fact Hogan doesn’t hit as hard as he does, “I definitely punch harder than Hogan.” Of course, Munguia punches hard himself, which is one of the reasons why O’Sullivan is working to enter the ring in prime form. I ask if he’s set up camp in his native Cork. “I’m training actually in Dublin,” he tells me, explaining that he returns to his family in Cork when camp is done for the week. It’s not an easy life, but O’Sullivan knows boxing isn’t an easy endeavor – and Munguia isn’t an easy opponent.
O’Sullivan does have an ace up his sleeve, however, when it comes to finding success in the toughest of sports: the fact that he’s colorful, both in and out of the ring. Whether he’s donning a handlebar mustache, offering a quick quip on a conference call or engaging aggressively in the ring, O’Sullivan is a fighter fans like to see in action. “I think it comes naturally to me,” he says of his persona. “It’s not a show.” Still, the fighter is looking to put on quite a performance when he faces Munguia on the 11th. The night should be anything but dull.
Media Conf Call Transcript: David Lemieux vs Spike O’Sullivan
ERIC GOMEZ: This fight will be part of the televised Pay-Per-View, as you know, for Canelo-Golovkin II and we are very excited about this fight. The former IBF middleweight championship Lemieux out of Montreal, he’s going to be fighting against the Irish Warrior, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, tremendous record, 28-2, 20 knockouts, from Cork, Ireland. This special fight will be live at the T-Mobile Arena on September 15, part of the undercard on the HBO Pay-Per-View where the main event will be Canelo-Golovkin.
This epic event will be produced by HBO beginning at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PT. We are excited to bring you both of these fighters, so you guys can ask them questions and you can talk about their fight.
As many of you know, they have gone back and forth a little bit on social media. Also, on the card, not on the call today, is the Mexican rising star Jamie Munguia defending his title against Brandon Cook, and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez will also be fighting against Moises “Moi” Fuentes on the card.
You can still purchase tickets at the T-Mobile Arena. You can go online at WWW.T-Mobile Arena.com or WWW.AXS.COM or 1-888-9AXSTIX. Closed-circuit tickets are available, and you can buy them at the MGM or at the Mandalay Bay, the Mirage or the Luxor. Those are moving pretty well, as well.
Before we introduce you to the fighters and have them say a few words, I do want to thank our amazing supporting sponsors: The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events.
Now, I want to first introduce you to Gary “Spike” Sullivan and I’ll have him say a few words.
Can you tell us about your training, how it’s going, and looking forward to this fight?
GARY SULLIVAN: I can’t wait. I’m really excited for this fight. My first time fighting in Vegas. Excited about the whole event and my training is going really good. Got some really good sparring partners. Saunders recommended some sparring partners that he used in preparation for Lemieux, so I’ve been using those guys and feeling really good.
That’s great. Thank you very much, Gary.
Now, the former champion, David Lemieux, if you can make some opening comments, as well, please.
DAVID LEMIEUX: It’s been a long time I’ve been waiting for a big fight like this. I’m extremely ready and I’m extremely excited. I expect — that I haven’t seen in a while. I’m very prepared for this fight. It’s been a long time I’ve had a preparation like this. It’s going to be devastating.
ERIC GOMEZ: That’s great. That’s great. Thank you.
Q. A question for both Mr. Lemieux and Mr. O’Sullivan. Some see this as a make-or-break fight for both of you. Do either of you see it that way or do you simply see this as a fight that you just need to focus on exclusively and not worry about the bigger picture?
DAVID LEMIEUX: This fight is about getting back on top, so I’m preparing myself for that.
GARY SULLIVAN: Firstly, nothing personal against Mr. Lemieux. I think it’s going to be a good night for me and I’m not really concerned about Lemieux. I’m looking at the bigger picture. I’m looking at Golovkin-Canelo, ringside to watch after I beat Lemieux, and I can’t wait for those guys.
Q. I spoke to Billy Joe Saunders, a common opponent of both of you guys, and he says that he has no doubt that Spike O’Sullivan is going to win. What do you say to that?
DAVID LEMIEUX: That’s because he didn’t fight Lemieux in top shape. I’m going to be in top shape against spike. So, Saunders, I wasn’t at my top, but I will be against Sullivan.
Q. Does that mean anything to you, that a common opponent is picking you in the fight?
GARY SULLIVAN: I think he’s correct. He went no Lemieux’s backyard and beat Lemieux convincingly in Quebec, whereas I went to London and walked into his own backyard and gave him a much better fight than Lemieux did, and I’m now a much better fighter than I was then. I’m going to be the one that’s going to win the fight.
Q. I know this match right now — maybe the winner for fighting Canelo or Golovkin, what is it going to take for these guys?
ERIC GOMEZ: Obviously both fighters are top middleweights. They are definitely in the Top-10, probably five, in the middleweight division.
So the winner is going to be in a very good position to fight any of the champions, whether it’s the winner of Canelo-Golovkin or any of the other champions. You know, both guys, this is to get to the next level and to get to that championship stage. This can very well be an eliminator to become one of the top contenders for any of the champions.
Q. I know O’Sullivan is having a great moment right now, was in the mix for Golovkin and for Canelo in December, so he needs to prove that he deserves this spot, and David Lemieux — he has the experience, the best opposition right now because this fight — to win this fight.
ERIC GOMEZ: I guess, David, you can answer first. How do you feel about being in this big position on this under card, and do you feel you’ll be ready if you win the fight to fight the winner of Canelo-Golovkin?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Definitely, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while now to get back on top and I’m very confident that I’m going to not just beat O’Sullivan but look amazing against him. I’m extremely confident and I can’t wait for fight night. Give the fans what they want to see.
ERIC GOMEZ: Same question for you, Gary.
GARY SULLIVAN: What is the question?
ERIC GOMEZ: The question was how do you feel being in this big spotlight, and if you win the fight, do you think that you would be in position to fight the winner? Do you think that qualifies you to fight the winner of Canelo-Golovkin?
GARY SULLIVAN: Who is going to get the start on September 15 — I’m ready for Golovkin or Canelo, would be fantastic display given what I just.
Q. My first question is for David. Obviously this fight is the most totally different style in terms of the matchup that you had with Saunders, but I wonder, I know that there’s been a lot of conversation that the winner of this fight could go on and challenge the winner of the main event. With a loss to Saunders that was totally one-sided, you did score a victory in your last fight in May against a journeyman opponent and you also had a fight that was cancelled — why do you think a fine over Gary O’Sullivan should put you into a title fight?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Well, you know, going back to the last few years, I’ve been working against a lot of injuries that has not been fixed and it’s been put in the past. I’m in tremendous shape and feeling great. I can use both my hands. I can use everything. I can use all my tools.
So I think Lemieux is back and about to demonstrate what I can do against O’Sullivan on the 15th. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised what I bring to the table, and it’s going to be an exciting fight. I’m not the guy I was against Saunders.
Q. When you look at a David Lemieux resumÃ©, you see several solid fights on there, several fights you won and several you lost. When you look at Spike’s record, he has a great record, also, but not necessarily the level of opposition that you have. When you look at his record, what do you see?
THE MODERATOR: I see whatever the opposition — that he lost and also quit when the opposition was really intense against Eubank. So there’s some flaws in his abilities that I’m going to take into consideration and on fight night, I’m going to execute and I’m going to use that against him.
Q. When you look at Lemieux’s resumÃ©, he’s been a world champion and he’s fought some of the best fighters including GGG, some other guys. What makes you think that you’re in position to take him out in this fight and move on to your goals of fighting for a world title?
GARY SULLIVAN: Well, you refer to my defeat against Eubank, I got an injury — I think — since I came up that I was going to fight him, I didn’t know a great deal about him. I watched him with Billy Joe Saunders, Toribio. He got up there, got knocked down easily.
He talks about knocking me down and putting me out cold and all that. I’ve never even been on the canvas my entire career and he’s been down numerous times. He’s been beaten by several different opponents of several different stylistics fights, like Toribio — all different styles of fighter have beaten him. I think it’s going to be a really good night for me. I’m going to shine. It’s going to be nice beating a former world champion, as well. Looks good on paper.
Q. Do you look at this match up with David as an opportunity to have sort of your coming-out party? You’ve had televised fights in America, you fought Douglas on television. This is the first real big-name opponent that you’ll be in with. Is this the Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan Coming Out Party?
GARY SULLIVAN: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think the night in Quebec was a great fight there, and Douglas — beating Lemieux — I think Lemieux is going to be an easier fight for me than Douglas, no doubt about that.
Q. If you were to win the fight, do you have a preference of the champion that you would want to fight, either GGG or Canelo, one of those two guys?
GARY SULLIVAN: I have no preference. Both great fighters and I’d like to fight either one of them.
Q. David, that same question. If you win this fight against Gary on the 15th, do you have a preference of who you would like to fight for the title? Would you like a rematch with GGG or could you like to fight Canelo? Which is the guy you fight?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I’m going to fight Canelo first and then I’m going to get my revenge versus GGG — after Gary O’Sullivan.
Q. David mentioned earlier in the call that he’s not the same fighter that he was when he fought Saunders. He said he was injured in training camp in that fight. What do you make of what he has said was the reason why he lost to Billy Joe Saunders?
GARY SULLIVAN: I think it’s just an excuse. You look at David, distant look like a guy that trains like I do, doesn’t train like he’s an athlete — gets tired in a lot of his fights. Doesn’t look like a guy that trains as hard as I do. I don’t think he’s going to win this fight.
Q. What did you think that night? Did you think it was going to be as convincing of a win for Billy? Did you think he would beat David in that way?
GARY SULLIVAN: No, I didn’t. I had a good feeling he would beat him but I didn’t think he would beat him as convincingly, Lemieux being a former wormed champion and that. I thought he was a better fighter.
Prior to that I thought he was better than that. I didn’t know a great deal about him and the more I look into him, all the fights, I’ve watched a lot of his fight, and I’m not surprised Billy Joe could beat him like that. I didn’t think it was going to be as easy as that, as it was for Saunders.
Q. Without giving away any of your game plan, what have you noticed when you’ve studied David Lemieux?
GARY SULLIVAN: I think he’s a one-trick pony. He does the same thing over and over again in all his fights, all the fights I’ve watched. He’s just does the same thing over and over and over again. So, you know what’s going to be coming.
Q. You mentioned a few minutes ago that you think the fight will be even easier for you than the Douglas fight was. Why do you feel that way?
GARY SULLIVAN: He’s more similar in size to me. He’s there to be hit and I hit hard and I’m accurate. So I think I’m going to be able to land on him with more frequency than I was on Douglas, with footwork and speed and longer irons — a tougher task against Douglas than it will be against Lemieux.
Q. Spike, I wanted to ask you about the fact that you mentioned that you’re using sparring partners like Billy Joe Saunders used when he prepared for Lemieux. Billy Joe obviously really dislikes David Lemieux a ton. Curious if he went out of his way to offer you some advice on this fight or if you reached out to him?
GARY SULLIVAN: I think Lemieux — making up excuses and coming out with that crap. I think that kind of pissed off Billy Joe — I think Lemieux pissed him off and so he wanted to diss me and getting the sparring partners to replicate Lemieux — (indiscernible. )
Q. After the Billy Joe fight, you said that you weren’t 100 percent and dealing with some injury stuff but you say for this fight you’re on your game and you’re in shape. If this fight doesn’t work out for you, what do you think that says about — I’m wondering if this fight doesn’t go your way, do you reconsider if this is something that is boxing — at this level, really what David Lemieux is capable of?
DAVID LEMIEUX: This fight is definitely going to go my way. You guys watch and see, and I’m going to make spike eat all his words. To say any excuses against Billy Joe or whatever — I’m not giving uses. I’m giving facts. But now let’s see what happens on September 15. The fight is done and let’s just walk the walks and see what’s up.
Q. This obviously is meant to be a really action-packed fight and you guys both come forward. Are you looking to steal the show from — obviously it’s the biggest fight of the year in the main event but are you looking to turn some heads just with this being an action-packed fight?
GARY SULLIVAN: There’s no doubt about that, I’m going to steal the show in spectacular fashion and I’m going to absolutely obliterate Lemieux.
David, you know, it’s nothing personal. I wish you good health with your family after the fight, man. It’s nothing personal. You’re just on my road and I got to get you out of my road to get to the bigger fight. As I say, I wish you health in the future man and I wish you a happy time with your family. I’m sorry but you’re in my way and I’m just going to have to beat you.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Won’t worry, I’m going to beat your ass. It’s not going to be no walk in the park. Don’t think it’s going to be an easy fight. I’m not coming here to lose. I’m going to come here to destroy you. You’ll see. You’ll see September 15th. Keep training hard at the gym. You’re going to need it. You’re going to need every round, you’re going to need it, trust me.
GARY SULLIVAN: Maybe I’ll bring my dogs leash to bring you for a walk then on the night.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Keep talking, you’re going to see.
Q. How do you see the main event playing out?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I think Golovkin has the edge. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Golovkin is a great fighter. Canelo is a great fighter. I thought it was very — I thought it was Golovkin’s fight in the first one, so we’ll see how they train. I think if Canelo really wants to fight, he’s got the talent to do it but I think Golovkin is not an easy fighter to beat.
GARY SULLIVAN: It’s going to be hard to call. The first fight was a very good fight and I expect this one to be a very good fight. I’m not sure who is going to win it but it’s going to be interesting to watch, though.
Q. Spike, you said that you improved a lot — you were impressive against Douglas. How specifically do you think you’ve improved?
GARY SULLIVAN: Specifically, I’m more dedicated. I’m a proper athlete these days. I’m very dedicated to my training, which I wasn’t always throughout my career. The past, I suppose two years, I’ve been very dedicated to being a proper athlete.
I think the old Spike, there’s no comparison. I see that in my weight. I make weight really easy now. I look different. My body shape is different to before and you know, it’s easier when I come to training camp now. I’m just working on my technique and boxing skills, rather than what David does, losing weight in camp. I used to do that one time, as well, myself, and it’s not so good. It’s more like Weight Watchers than training camp for a fight. That’s the difference in me right now.
Q. How much do you believe in momentum and confidence, coming off the big win over Douglas, the same day you lost to Saunders, how much will that play into the fight? How much do you beat in momentum?
GARY SULLIVAN: I believe obviously the momentum is with me. I’m a pressure fighter. I believe David’s time has come and gone. He’s had his time in the past and he’s had a few heavy losses. He’s got a number of beatings and so I think the ball is certainly in my court.
Q. David, you talked a lot about the injury against Saunders. Just how bad was your shoulder, and did you have to have surgery?
DAVID LEMIEUX: It was pretty bad. Surgery was something I looked into, but I didn’t want to be off for a full year so I tried to avoid it as much as I could and leading up to the Saunders fight, I said it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, but you know, obviously it wasn’t.
So we tried different things, and finally, we tried different things and something worked and it’s been good ever since. We’re sticking with that plan and it’s been going great, so we don’t need the surgery right now. I keep training, and everything is solid. I have my left hand back, so I’m back to 100 percent and not 50 percent.
Q. What exactly was the injury?
DAVID LEMIEUX: It was a tear in the labrum.
Q. You’ve been in this position before where you’re coming off the GGG loss and you were fighting a fellow puncher in Curtis Stevens, you and got the big knock out. Do you think you can replicate that against spike?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I think Spike resembles a Curtis Stevens style, but I think he’s less of a boxer than Steven was. Maybe a little more of a puncher, Steven — I didn’t see much of his punches. Maybe he’s a bit harder of a puncher.
But I’m not really worried. I’m the hardest puncher in the ring on September 15, so I’m very confident in my abilities and everything I’m going to bring. I’m going to be in great shape. I’m concerned about absolutely nothing. All the skeptics, you know, that say, oh, is Lemieux going to come back. Well, I’m going to show you all on September 15: Lemieux is going to come back and Lemieux is going to do a lot of damage in the middleweight division.
And the weight issue is no longer an issue.
Q. The weight issue, how have you cleaned that up?
DAVID LEMIEUX: The weight issue, it’s been cleaned up. I changed a lot of things. As I fighter, I think all fighters know that it’s easy to mess up with the weight, but changed a lot. Changes have been made. I’m stronger than ever and my body is going to be much different, so you guys will see on September 15.
Q. Where do you see yourselves in the fight? Do you see yourselves as the favorite or as the underdog?
GARY SULLIVAN: I see myself as the favorite. Easily the favorite. I have to be the favorite.
DAVID LEMIEUX: I’m the favorite. There’s been — I’m the favorite in the fight. Everybody knows that, and there’s been some surveys done on the Internet and all of them point out to me. I think I know what to expect.
Lemieux is back.
GARY SULLIVAN: You’ll be on your back.
DAVID LEMIEUX: You’re going to see who is going to be on whose back.
Q. Like to say hello to David and Spike. My first question goes to Spike. There’s a lot of young fighters in this Irish boxing scene right now. Is there a young fighter that in particular is keeping an eye on and do you expect a large Irish crowd come September 15?
GARY SULLIVAN: Yeah, there’s a great core. Sean O’Kern (ph) he’s a really good fighter. I think he’s about 15-0. He’s trained at my gym in Ireland. A good fighter moved through the ranks. I think he’s the one to watch out for mostly in my opinion.
I think the Irish love Vegas. There will certainly be a good few Irish at the fight.
Q. It seems like coming off a loss, you only get stronger mentally. You have a great knockout over Curtis Stevens, a few big wins. Seems like you almost have something to prove mentally going into this fight. Is that how you feel just coming off a loss that you have something to prove to show the people that you are an elite level fighter and you’ve just caught a bad break in the Golovkin and Saunders fights?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Yeah, well, actually I have a lot to prove. The last two years haven’t been in my favor but things have changed. I’m ready to be back on top, so I’m ready to give the best of what I got, and I’m ready and I’m more ready than ever to do it against a guy like Spike O’Sullivan. Let’s give the fans a great show.
ERIC GOMEZ: Thank you very much.
Canelo vs. GGG 2 is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. Munguia vs. Cook is a 12-round battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Promotions. Lemieux vs. O’Sullivan is a 12-round middleweight clash presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management in association with Murphy’s Boxing. Gonzalez vs. Fuentes is a 10-round super flyweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and Zanfer Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Lara Knocks Out Foreman!
Lara Knocks Out Foreman
By: Sean Crose
Anthony Dirrell (29-1-1) fought Norbert Nemesapati (24-3) in Miami Friday in a super middleweight affair that was part of a PBC card airing live on Spike. Dirrell looked a bit sharper in the first, his punches landing harder and cleaner. Things got more physical in the second, with both men pressing against each other. Still, the round belonged to the effective puncher Dirrell. Nemesapati landed clean a few times towards the end of the second, to be sure, but Dirrell’s beard was too strong. Needless to say, Dirrell ended the round banging away at his opponent.
Dirrell’s big punches started taking their toll in the third. Indeed, by the end of the round, the game Nemesapati looked in trouble. To be sure, the man had provided no answers for Dirrell up to that point in the bout. Things began to get brutal in the fourth. Dirrell thudded away while Nemesapati did nothing more than stay on his feet. It was time for the man’s corner to decide whether or not it was time to call it a night.
By the fifth, Dirrell was mocking his man, holding his hands behind his back and daring him to swing. Nemesapati, however, was still standing. He was taking an endless beating, but he was standing. By the sixth round, Dirrell actually seemed to be slowing down. Nemesapati may not have been capitalizing on the situation, but Dirrell was no longer able to keep slugging away at will. Fortunately, Nemesapati’s corner stopped the proceedings after the sixth. It was the right decision to make. Their man had simply had enough.
The second televised fight of the evening featured Juan Carlos Payano (17-1) and Isao Carranza (15-7-1) in a bantamweight affair. Payano landed some solid shots in the first. Carranza may have had the height advantage, but it didn’t do much for the man in round one (though Carranza did push forward hard in the final seconds). The second round showed good movement on the part of Payano, as well as more effective punching, thanks in part to a very effective southpaw jab.
Payano continued to glide along through the middle rounds. In truth, the one sided nature of the fight made the bout monotonous. Indeed, the referee had seen all he needed to by the 7th, and put Carranza out of his misery by wisely stopping the bout. It was now time for the main event between IBO and WBA super welterweight champ Erislandy Lara (23-2-2) and the former WBA world super welterweight champ, Yuri Foreman (34-2).
Round one, frankly, was close, though Lara may have edged it. The second round was also a tentative affair. People expecting Lara to blow Foreman out were so far sadly mistaken, though Lara did get a clean shot in during the final seconds of the round. Lara started taking control in the third – though a slip ruled as a knockdown against Foreman was a bit unfair. A thunderous uppercut took Foreman down in the fourth – and that was that. The referee stopped the fight as a wobbly Foreman gamely tried to get up and stabilize himself. It looked like Foreman may have hurt his leg – which had given him trouble in the past – but it was impossible to confirm at the time.
PBC on Spike TV Results: Peralta With Upset Decision Over Guerrero, Gausha and Hernandez Vicotorious
PBC on Spike TV Results
By: William Holmes
The Honda Center in Anaheim, California was the host site for last night’s Bellator MMA card and was the host site for tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on Spike TV.
Three bouts were scheduled to be televised on tonight’s card and featured a welterweight main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between US Olympian Terrell Gausha (18-0) and Steve Martinez (16-2) in the junior middleweight division.
On paper, this looked to be the most competitive fight of the night.
Martinez looked like the bigger boxer and both fighters fought out of an orthodox stance. Martinez’s jab was accurate in the first round and he mixed up his shots to the head and body, but Gausha was able to end the round with a stiff counter right.
Martinez out threw Gausha in the second round, but Gausha was connecting with the cleaner counters. There were several good exchanges in the third and fourth rounds, but it looked like Gausha was making Martinez miss more while landing at a higher percentage.
Martinez’s pressure was constant in the middle rounds and could have won him some rounds in the eye of the judges. Gausha was more active in the seventh round than in the previous rounds, and both boxers were willing to stand in the pocket and exchange blows.
Gausha’s jab and lead uppercut were effective in slowing down Martinez in the eighth round, and the ninth round opened up with a flurry with both boxers taking and landing hard shots.
By the final round the fight could have been scored for either fighter and both boxers tried to leave it all in the ring and let their hands go, but neither man was able to score that definitive knockdown to lay claim to a convincing victory.
The judges scored the bout 95-95, 97-93, and 97-93 for Terrell Gausha.
The next bout of the night was between Alfredo Angulo (24-5) and Freddy Hernandez (33-8) in the Super Middleweight division.
Both boxers have spent most of their career fighting in the junior middleweight division, and a loss for either would likely signal the end of any future title shots, and they fought like it in the opening round. Neither Hernandez nor Angulo spent any time feeling the other out and freely exchanged power shots. Hernandez was landing with more frequency and the cleaner shots in the opening round.
Hernandez started off as the more accurate boxer in the second round, but Angulo took some of the best punches that Hernandez threw and was beginning to get within range and land hard punches of his own.
Hernandez had a very strong third round and was able to pop shot Angulo at will
with multi punch combinations. Hernandez’s dominance continued into the fourth round and Angulo was visibly frustrated at the end of the round.
Angulo had a little more success in the fifth round and was able to stun Hernandez with a low blow and a wild left and right hook to the head of Hernandez. Angulo was able to open up a cut over the left eye of Hernandez, who was starting to breathe heavily from his open mouth.
Hernandez’s corner did a good job at closing up his cut before the start of the sixth round and Hernandez was able to go back to pop shotting Angulo from the outside. Hernandez’s cut was re-opened in the final minute of the sixth round from a good right hand by Angulo.
Hernandez had a difficult time keeping Angulo at a good range in the seventh round and his eye was bleeding profusely, but he still out landed and out threw Angulo.
The action was intense and the volume of punches thrown in the final three rounds was high, but it appeared to be Angulo who was landing the harder punches while it was Hernandez who landed the higher number of punches.
The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93, and 97-93 for Freddy Hernandez.
The main event of the night was between Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) and David Peralta (25-2-1) in the welterweight division.
Guerreo was a former two division world champion and has been in the ring with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Danny Garcia. David Peralta has spent his entire career fighting in Argentina and has never fought in the United States.
Guerreo, a southpaw, started off by pressing forward more and showing head good head movement. He looked like he was giving up several inches in height to Peralta. Guerreo was able to get past the jab of Peralta in the opening round and land several hard left hands to the chin.
Guerreo spent most of the second round patiently looking for a clean counter to land while Peralta seemed content on throwing his range finding jab but not much else.
Peralta was able to catch Guerreo by surprise with two quick counter right hands but Guerreo was accurate with his counter punching afterwards in the third round. Guerreo did open up a cut near the hairline of Peralta in the third.
Guerreo was able to snap the head of Peralta backwards several times in the fourth round with hard straight left hands. However, Peralta was able to answer with a strong fifth round and even stunned Guerreo with a combination that ended with a straight left jab. Peralta continued the positive momentum into the sixth round and his style was appearing to baffle Guerreo.
Guerreo fought with increased desperation in the seventh round and likely won the round based on his aggression. However, that aggression disappeared in the eighth round and Peralta used his height to his advantage with an effective and accurate jab.
Peralta had Guerreo backing up in the ninth round and was more willing to throw combinations and even sent Guerreo backwards into the corner with a hard straight right hand. Guerreo hit the ropes and was able to pop back up, but would have been knocked down if the ropes were not there. The ninth round was a very strong round for Peralta.
Peralta’s punches were snapping the head of Guerreo in the tenth round and Guerrero was not able to launch an effective offensive attack in the eleventh.
There were a lot of close rounds, but this writer felt Peralta was ahead on the scorecards going into the twelfth and final round. Peralta finished strong by looking like the fresher fighter and by being the aggressor.
The judges scored the bout 115-113 Peralta, 115-113 Guerrero, 116-112 Peralta in a major upset.
Can Thomas Williams Pull Off The Upset Against Adonis Stevenson?
Can Thomas Williams Pull Off The Upset Against Adonis Stevenson?
By: Sean Crose
Adonis Stevenson may not be popular, but; make no mistake about it, the 27-1 WBC light heavyweight champion is a dangerous and talented fighter. Just ask Chad Dawson. Or Tony Bellew. Or Darnell Boone. For all those men have been taken out by the Haitian-Canadian powerhouse. The problem, of course, is that Stevenson has been accused – fairly or not – of avoiding Sergey Kovalev. He’ s also, let’s face it, faced less than stellar competition as champ. In a world where fellow champ Kovalev is going up against pound for pound honcho Andre Ward, opponents like Sakio Bika and Dmitry Sukhotsky just don’t seem formidable.
Stevenson may be in for a real go this Friday in Quebec’s Videotron Center, however. For the 20-1 Thomas Williams Jr can pack a wallop himself. A big wallop. Just ask Edwin Rodriguez, who Williams laid out during a nationally televised bout last April. Now that he’s got a chance at the big time, Williams will undoubtedly make the most of his opportunity, even if it is in Stevenson’s adopted Canadian homeland. Does Williams have what it takes, though? He hits hard, no doubt, but he can also be sloppy in the ring.
Then again, Stevenson is pushing forty and will stand a good ten years older than his opponent this weekend. What’s more, the guy called Superman also has a chin that makes some wonder. He was dropped by Andrzej Fonfara back in 2014, after all, in a bout which ended up being far closer than most may have expected. What’s more, Stevenson has only fought once in the past year, against the less than intimidating Tommy Karpency. While Stevenson may indeed have taken it easy these past few years, going essentially unchallenged sometimes has its drawbacks. Sure enough, Stevenson hasn’t had a real challenge since Fonfara, and that fight was over two years ago.
As for Williams, it’s hard not to like the guy. After his one loss to Gabriel Campillo in front of ESPN cameras several years ago, he apologized profusely to trainer/commentator Teddy Atlas, who Williams idolizes, for letting Atlas down. Atlas gave him a pep talk that night – and did so again on ESPN this past month (livening up one of the worst televised cards in this writer’s memory) in the lead up to Friday’s fight. Still, Stevenson is no joke, and unless his skills have deteriorated considerably, Williams may be in for a tough go when he and Stevenson trade punches during the live PBC broadcast (to be aired on Spike).
Then again, who’s to say Williams won’t return home to America with more than just the luggage he left with? Boxing is a crazy sport, after all, and no one – not even Stevenson – can be guaranteed to avoid trouble forever.
PBC on Spike Preview: Dirrell Brothers Take on Truax and Caparello in Atlantic City
PBC on Spike Preview: Dirrell Brothers Take on Truax and Caparello in Atlantic City
By: William Holmes
On Friday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will broadcast a live boxing card from the Taj Mahal Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey live on Spike TV.
The Dirrell brothers, along with the Charlo brothers, are perhaps the most recognizable pair of American brothers in the sport of boxing today. However, neither of them holds a title and both came up empty handed in their last title bout.
They will both face decent opponents on Friday that should not be considered an easy fight. The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts on Spike TV.
Anthony Dirrell (28-1-1) vs. Caleb Truax (26-2-2); Super Middleweights
Anthony Dirrell is the younger of the Dirrell brothers and will be thirty one years old at the time of the fight. Many consider Anthony to be the more powerful puncher of the two, as he has twenty two knockouts on his resume. His opponent, Caleb Truax, is one year older than Dirrell and only has sixteen knockouts on his record.
Dirrell will have about a two and half height advantage over Truax, but they have the same reach. Dirrell also holds a significant edge in amateur success. Dirrell is a former national champion as an amateur and had over 190 amateur bouts. Truax had experienced some success as an amateur, but only got into boxing after entering a local tough man tournament.
Anthony Dirrell’s heart should never be called into question, as he had battled non-hodgkins lymphoma and went through chemotherapy before returning to the ring.
Dirrell has not been very active in the past two years, as he had fought once in 2014 and twice in 2015. He has gone 2-1-1 in his last four bouts. He has beaten the likes of Sakio Bika, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Anthony Hanshaw. He lost his world title to Badou Jack, in a close bout, and had a split draw to the always tough Sakio Bika.
Truax has gone 3-1 in his past four fights. He fought once in 2016, once in 2015, and twice in 2014. His biggest wins to date have come against Melvin Betancourt, Scott Sigmon, Derek Ennis, and Donovan George. He has lost to Jermain Taylor and Daniel Jacobs. His loss to Jacobs was by TKO.
Truax really don’t have the power to threaten Dirrell and his last loss was a knockout loss. Dirrell has the power to test Truax’s chin and it will be tested on Friday night. It will be a tough fight, but it should be a bout that Dirrell wins.
Andre Dirrell (24-2) vs. Blake Caparello (21-1-1); Super Middleweights
Andre Dirrell was originally scheduled to face Blake Caparello in October of 2015, but had to withdraw due to medical reasons.
Dirrell is the older of the two brothers, and is considered by many to be the better boxer of the two, but he doesn’t have the same number of knockouts as Anthony. Andre Dirrell has sixteen stoppage victories to his resume. That number still dwarfs the paltry six knockouts that Blake Caparello has on his record.
Dirrell will be giving up a slight ½ an inch height advantage to Caparello, and will have about a one inch reach advantage. Dirrell is a southpaw, but Caparello has been sparring with southpaw Derrick Webster in preparation for Friday’s bout.
Caparello is actually three years younger than his opponent and has experience fighting as a light heavyweight. He should be the naturally bigger man inside the ring.
Andre Dirrell clearly has the edge in amateur experience. He won the bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics, while Caparello has no notable international amateur accomplishments.
Dirrell’s two losses were to James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight Title and to Carl Froch by split decision. His wins have come against Derek Edwards, Nick Brinson, Arthur Abraham (by DQ), Derrick Findley, Anthony Hanshaw, and Curtis Stevens.
Caparello has only fought outside of the United States once, and when he did he lost by TKO to Sergey Kovalev. All of his other fights occurred in Australia, and his only notable victories have come against Evlir Muriqi and Alan Green.
Andre Dirrell appears to have the easier fight of the two brothers and he should be able to dispatch Caparello quite easily.
More Atlantic City Boxing
PBC on Spike Preview: Easter vs. Mendez, Broner vs. Theophane
PBC on Spike Preview: Easter vs. Mendez, Broner vs. Theophane
By: William Holmes
On Friday night the D.C. Armory in Washington, DC will be the host site for Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike TV’s broadcast. At least two bouts will be televised as Adrien Broner will defend his WBA Junior Welterweight title against Mayweather Promotions fighter Ashley Theophane and rising prospect Robert Easter Jr. will take on former world champion Argenis Mendez in the opening bout of the night.
Several highly rated prospects and contenders will be competing on the undercard and it wouldn’t be surprising if a few of them made it to the televised portion of the card on Friday night. Boxers such as Gervonta Davis, Anthony Peterson, and J’Leon Love will be fighting on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the main event of co-main event of the night.
Robert Easter Jr. (16-0) vs. Argenis Mendez (23-3-1); Lightweights
The first televised bout of the night will be between rising prospect Robert Easter Jr. and former world champion Argenis Mendez. This bout is a major step up for Easter and Mendez is a former world champion that is still in his athletic prime.
Easter does have an advantage in the physicals as he has a two inch height advantage as well as a five inch reach advantage. Easter is also three years younger than Mendez.
At this point in their careers Easter has the heavier hands of the two boxers. Easter has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Mendez only has twelve knockouts despite having seven more fights. Both boxers have a strong amateur background. Easter was a 2012 US Olympic Team Alternate and Mendez represented the Dominican Republic in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Easter has been very active in the past two years and fought four times in 2014 and four times in 2015. This is his first fight in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Juan Solis, Miguel Mendoza, and Alejandro Rodriguez; but he has not faced anyone near the level of competition that Mendez presents.
Mendez, who is trained by Virgil Hunter, fought two times in 2015 and two times in 2014. He has gone 2-1 in his past three fights and has defeated the likes of Miguez Vazquez, Daniel Evangelista Jr., and Juan Carlos Salgado. His losses have come to Juan Carlos Salgado in their first meeting, Rances Barthelemy, and Jaime Sandoval by split decision early on in his career.
This will be a good fight and Mendez has never been stopped before. But Easter will be too tall and too long for Mendez and should win this bout by a decision.
Adrien Broner (31-2) vs. Ashley Theophane (39-6-1); WBA Junior Welterweight Title
Adrien Broner has been the subject of a lot of controversy in the past few years, and is currently facing pending robbery charges. However, the commission has allowed the fight on Friday to proceed despite the fact he’s facing serious charges.
Broner’s opponent, Ashley Theophane, is a past his prime journeyman fight with no major victories to his credit. Theophane, however, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and that alliance may have helped him last this fight.
Broner has twenty three stoppages to his credit and has gone 4-1 in his past five fights. Theophane isn’t known for his power and only has eleven stoppages on his resume, but he is currently riding a six fight win streak and has never been stopped.
Broner is nine years younger than Theophane, but will be giving up about an inch and a half in height. However, Broner does have a two and a half inch reach. Both boxers have been active the past two years as Broner fought three times in 2015 and Theophane fought twice in 2015.
Broner has defeated the likes of Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, and Daniel Ponce DeLeon. Broner is also a former National Silver Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur.
Broner does have trouble when a boxer turns the fight into a brawl, as is evident in his two losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter.
Theophane has not defeated the quality of opponents that Broner has. Theophane’s biggest wins have come against Steve Upsher Chambers, Jason Cook, Lenny Daws, Delvin Rodriguez, and DeMarcus Corley. However, Theophane’s six losses are glaring and some of them have come against subpar competition. He has lost to the likes of Pablo Cesar Cano, Darren Hamilton, Danny Garcia, and Ali Oubaali.
This is a bout that Broner should win easily. Broner has handled distractions well before, and Friday will be no different. If Theophane can turn the bout into a brawl he stands a chance, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to solve the problem.