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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.

The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.

Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights

Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.

Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.

Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.

Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.

Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.

Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.

Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title

Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.

He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.

Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.

Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.

Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.

It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.

Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.

Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.

Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.

This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.

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Horn To Possibly Face Crawford in New York; Pacquiao Rumored to be on Card


By: Sean Crose

Although nothing has been made official yet, indications point to WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn facing his mandatory challenger, Terence Crawford, at the historic Madison Square Garden in the spring. What’s more, Manny Pacquiao may be making his ring return (it will be his first fight since losing to Horn via controversial decision last summer) on the same card. Fox Sports Australia reports that “Horn’s welterweight world title defense against unbeaten American Crawford is likely to be officially confirmed soon, but it won’t happen in Las Vegas as first planned.” What’s more, Fox claims “Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has revealed he’s looking to book Pacquiao’s much-anticipated return to the ring on the same card.”

Horn (18-0-1) stunned the world when judges awarded him a surprise decision win against Pacquiao in July. Although many – perhaps even most – felt Pacquiao won the fight, the judges’ decision, rendered in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, made the now 29 year old Australian a world champion. Pacquiao afterwards returned to Filipino politics, where the iconic fighter works as a sitting senator. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Crawford (32-0) unified the junior welterweight division by destroying the 22-0 Julian Indongo in August before announcing that he’d be moving a division up, to welterweight.

There had been word that Horn would face fellow Australian 48-8 Anthony Mundine in a homeland superbout, but a match with the more challenging Crawford clearly took precedent. Having won a single defense against 17-1 Gary Cochoran since besting Pacquiao, Horn will be fighting in the United States for the first time, if and when the bout with Crawford (and it’s New York City location) becomes official. Should the planned MSG fight become a reality, it will be Crawford’s third match in the Big Apple. As for Pacquiao, it’s unknown who his opponent would be.

There have been rumors that the fighter known as PacMan was willing to go down in weight to fight wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko, or even cash in on a novelty bout with UFC star Conor McGregor. Neither of those possibilities (if they even were true possibilities) appear to have led anywhere, however, so it’s a bit up in the air as to who the legendary 59-7-2 multi-titlist will face next. With Crawford favored to best Horn, however, there is a belief that Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Crawford, might arrange for the two men to eventually clash.

The Madison Square Garden Horn-Crawford-Pacquiao card is expected to go down on April 14th.

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Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Diaz vs. Cruz, Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night two of the world’s best pound for pound boxers and most accomplished amateur stars will face off against each other at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York City.

The bout is such a big deal that the International Boxing Hall of Fame has already asked for the gloves of both contestants to enshrine.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams and Top Rank Boxing

Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko will meet in the main event of the night for the WBO Super Featherweight Title. The co-main event will be between Christopher Diaz and Bryant Cruz for the WBO NABO Super Featherweight Title.

Several of Top Rank’s high level prospects will be featured on the undercard, including Michael Conlan, Shakur Stevenson, and former heavyweight title contender Bryant Jennings.

The following is a preview of the two main fights on Saturday’s card.

Christopher Diaz (21-0) vs. Bryant Cruz (18-2); NABO WBO Super Featherweight Title

The opening bout of the night will be between Christopher Diaz and Bryant Cruz for the NABO/WBO Super Featherweight Title.

Christopher Diaz will have a five year age advantage on Diaz as he is only twenty three years old. He will also have about an inch height advantage and a four inch reach advantage.

Diaz also has the edge in power over Cruz. He has thirteen knockout victories while Cruz only has nine. Two of Bryant Cruz’s losses were by stoppage so his chin is also questionable.

Christopher Diaz has been very active the past two years. He fought twice already in 2017 and fought five times in 2016. Cruz has only fought once in 2016 but did fight twice in 2017.

The one area where Bryant Cruz appears to have an edge is in amateur experience. Cruz was a runner up in the National Golden Gloves.

Neither boxer has defeated great competition yet. Cruz has defeated noted veterans Angel Luna and Jonathan Perez, while Diaz has defeated the likes of Efrain Esquivias, Neftali Campos, and Ray Ximenez.

This is small step up for Diaz but Cruz shouldn’t present too much of a problem from Diaz to handle.

Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1) vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0); WBO World Super Featherweight Title

The main event of the evening is between two of the world’s best amateur boxers of all time.

Vasyl Lomachenko is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the gold for the Ukraine in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Guillermo Rigondeaux is also a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the gold medal in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.

Lomachenko will have a major edge in age as he is only twenty nine years old and is in the midst of his prime. Age may be a factor for Rigondeaux as he is thirty seven years old.

Even though Rigondeaux is thirty seven, this is a fight he’s been waiting for a long time. He stated at a recent press conference, “I’m very happy that everything has been put in place. I started on ESPN so I am very happy that this fight is taking place there and I would like to thank Roc Nation and Top Rank for putting it together. I have been anticipating this fight for a long time and now everything is concrete and the fight is on its way.”

Size will also be a factor as Lomachenko will have a two inch height advantage and has been fighting at a heavier weight. Rigondeaux will have a two and half inch reach advantage, but he is bumping up two weight classes to face Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has kept a fairly busy schedule and fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2017. Rigondeaux has not been as active and only fought once in 2017, 2016, and in 2015.

Lomachenko has a better knockout percentage rate. He has stopped seven of his opponents in only ten fights. Rigondeaux has stopped eleven of his opponents in seventeen fights.

Both boxers have challenged themselves from the start of their professional career. Guillermo Rigondeaux has defeated the likes of James Dickens, Drian Francisco., Hisashi Amagasa, Anusorn Yotjan, Joseph Agbeko, Nonito Donaire, Roberto Marroquin, Teon Kennedy, Rico Ramos, Willie Casey, Ricardo Cordoba. His lone blemish was a no contest with Moises Flores, a fight where he was clearly the superior boxers.

Vasyl Lomachenko’s lone blemish was a tough loss to the rugged Orlando Salido in only his second professional fight. He has defeated the likes of Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez.

This fight would have been a better fight if it was made in 2015 in the featherweight division. But Rigondeaux has been relatively inactive the past few years, is starting to push to the age of 40, and has to bump up two divisions to face the ultra talented Vasyl Lomachenko.

It will be a fascinating chess match to watch the first half of the fight, but Lomachenko’s youth and size difference should be enough to help him win a close decision victory.

It’s a fight that Lomachenko expects to win easily. He expressed his confidence by stating, “I said I am going to walk through him like a tank. They are two different things. I am going to walk through him like a tank and knock him out. They are two different impressions. I am like every single fighter – going into the ring I have in my mind ‘finish the bout before all the rounds are over and to get the victory before that. There is a good possibility that the fight will end before the twelfth round. I am not promising to knock him out but I am promising to squash him.”

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HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes

The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.

The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.

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There were no notable upsets on the undercard.

Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.

The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.

Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.

Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.

Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.

The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.

Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.

Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.

Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.

Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.

Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.

Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.

There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.

Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.

Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.

Undercard Quick Results:

Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.

Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.

Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.

Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the under appreciated Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC titles against former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz. This bout will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The co-main event of the night will be between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo in an IBF Lightweight eliminator. American prospect Shakur Stevenson will also be featured on the undercard.

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Top Rank will be the lead promoter on Saturday night and HBO will be televising the fights. The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.

Raymundo Beltran (32-7-1) vs. Jonathan Maicelo (25-2); IBF Lightweight Eliminator

The opening bout of the night will be between the rugged and entertaining Raymundo Beltran and contender Jonathan Maicelo.

Beltran is always a tough fight, but at thirty five years old his best days physically are likely behind him. He’s two years older than Maicelo and will be about one inch taller than him but will also be given up one inch in reach.

Beltran has the edge in power over Maicelo. He has twenty victories by stoppage and his last three wins have been by KO or TKO. Maicelo has twelve wins by stoppage but his last four fights were decision victories. Both boxers are able to be stopped, as Beltran has two stoppage losses and Maicelo has one.

Neither boxer has any notable international success as an amateur, though Maicelo did compete in several regional amateur tournaments in South America with a moderate amount of success.

Beltran’s last fight was a sensational knockout victory over Mason Menard. He has also defeated the likes of Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Henry Lundy, and David Torres. His losses were to Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., Sharif Bogere, and Ammeth Diaz. He stopped Takahiro Ao in the second round, but that bout was overturned due to a positive test for steroids.

Maicelo has defeated the likes of Jose Felix Jr., Samual Amoako, and Art Hovannisyan. His losses were to Darleys Perez and Rustam Nugaev.

Beltran is that type of contender that will seemingly always be in the title hunt and has a pressure style that is difficult for some boxers to overcome. Maicelo has never defeated a high level opponent and doesn’t seem suited to handle the forward pressure that Beltran is known for.

This should be a good fight, but despite his age Beltran has enough gas in his tank to squeak out a decision victory.

Terence Crawford (30-0) vs. Felix Diaz (19-1); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Title

Terence “Bud” Crawford is considered to be a possible future opponent for Manny Pacquiao and is one of the top talents on the Top Rank roster.
He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. His opponent, Felix Diaz, is thirty three years old. Crawford will also have a three inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.

Crawford has been fairly active the past two years. He has fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Diaz fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Both boxers have strong amateur backgrounds. Crawford had success on the national level as an amateur and won the Police Athletic League Championship as well as the United States Pan American Games. Diaz won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.

Crawford has looked sensational throughout his career and nobody has come close to defeating him. He has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andrey Klimov. Even though Crawford has fought many fights in his native Nebraska, he has shown a willingness to travel to fight as evident in his past fight with former champion Ricky Burns in Scotland.

Diaz is a technician but lacks power. He only has nine stoppage wins while Crawford has twenty one. The best opponents Diaz has defeated so far are Sammy Vasquez, Gabriel Bracero, Adrian Granados, and Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. His lone loss was a disputed loss to Lamont Peterson.

This writer thinks Diaz be one of the most difficult fights in Crawford’s career. He’s a technician and has a deep and successful amateur background. But Crawford has faced elite talent several times in his career and has defeated every opponent put in front of him. Diaz’s resume is void of any elite talent, and the one time he did face a legitimate title contender in Lamont Peterson he came up short.

Crawford should win the fight by decision.

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Terence Crawford To Face Felix Diaz At Madison Square Garden May 20th


Terence Crawford To Face Felix Diaz At Madison Square Garden May 20th
By: Sean Crose
Terence Crawford, the undefeated junior welterweight honcho, was supposed to fight at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on the 20th of May. Now, it seems, he’s fighting in New York. Not just in New York, but in New York City, and not just in New York City, but at Madison Square Garden, the most famed arena on earth this side of the Roman Colosseum. Crawford’s opponent will be the impressive Felix Diaz. The question, however, is just how big a deal Crawford’s trip to the Big Apple will be. The man called Bud is big among hard core fight fans, but he’s not well known outside of boxing’s core fan base.
August 24, 2015,  Omaha, Nebraska  --- WBO Jr. Welterweight  champion Terence Crawford(R) (26-0, 18 KOs) attends a  press conference in Omaha, Nebraska Monday to announce his upcoming title defense against world-rated contender Dierry Jean (29-1, 20 KOs), from Montréal, Québec, Canada. Jean lost his passport and was unable to attend.     Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, the Crawford vs. Jean championship fight will take place Saturday, October 24, at the CenturyLink Center. The championship event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.   ---   Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed)  copyright 2015
According to ESPN, Garden officials approached Top Rank when Top Rank fighter Michael Conlon debuted to much fanfare at the Garden theater this past Saint Patrick’s Day. They were interested in stealing Crawford away from New Jersey. And now the Omaha native will be fighting in the Garden’s huge main arena. This is a big jump from the theater, where Crawford bested Hank Lundy early last year. Although it’s highly unlikely that Crawford can do the kind of in-house numbers that Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs did when they fought in the Garden a few weeks ago, it’s clear Top Rank has its sights set on the future. Twenty thousand people may not show up to see Crawford-Diaz, but Top Rank is hoping they will at a point not too far down the road.
With that in mind, Diaz’ Dominican background might come in handy when it comes to putting rear ends in seats. Although there may not be as many Dominicans in New York as there are Puerto Ricans or Irish, there may certainly be enough for a huge Dominican presence to be felt, should Diaz prove to be an ethnic draw. Perhaps Crawford might bring in some fans from Nebraska, too, where the fighter has a considerable fan base of his own. Again, though, neither man is known to have a plus size following, at least at the moment.
Crawford is somewhat unique for a modern notable in that he’s pretty much no show and all go. He is, in a sense, the polar opposite of what junior welterweight peer Adrien Broner was not so long ago. Where as Broner was brash and flasy, Crawford is quiet, perhaps even sullen. And while there’s little doubt Crawford would be the favorite should he ever meet Broner in the ring, it’s the colorful Broner who gets to bring attention unto himself. People forget, though, that Mike Tyson wasn’t much of a talker in his early days. They also forget that Roberto Duran never spoke much English. The point? That you don’t have to be a big mouth to be a star if you can excite in the ring.
Having a big mouth certainly seems to help, though.

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HBO PPV Preview: Golovkin vs. Jacobs, Chocolatito vs. Rungvisai


HBO PPV Preview: Golovkin vs. Jacobs, Chocolatito vs. Rungvisai
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night one of HBO’s biggest stars, Gennady Golovkin, will face off against one of the PBC’s biggest stars, Daniel Jacobs, in a WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Title Unification bout live on HBO Pay Per View.

This bout will take place at the legendary Madison Square Garden and will also feature a WBC Junior Bantamweight Title fight between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

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Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/K2 Promotions

The Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight is one of the biggest fights that could be made in the middleweight division and is pay per view worthy. The winner will put himself in good position to possibly face Golden Boy Promotions’ cash cow Canelo Alvarez in the fall.

The following is a preview of both world title bouts on the HBO PPV telecast on Saturday.

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0) vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1); WBC Junior Bantamweight Title

Roman Gonzalez fought a close match with Carlos Cuadras the last time he stepped inside the ring and Cuadras fights on the undercard of Saturday’s PPV card. However, Gonzales has to get past Rungvisai before he can rematch Cuadras.

The undefeated Gonzalez has stopped thirty eight of his opponents and has never tasted defeated. Rungvisai has four losses but has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, including winning his past thirteen fights by stoppage.

Both boxers are roughly the same size at 5’3” and Gonzlaez has a very slight half an inch reach advantage. Rungvisai has been more active than Gonzalez and fought four times in 2016 and six times in 2015, while Gonzalez only fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Gonzalez won the light flyweight gold medal in the 2004 Central American Championships and turned pro at the age of 18. Rungvisai has no notable amateur background and a lot of his wins came against opponents with losing records.

Gonzalez is considered by many to be on e of the top pound for pound boxers in the world. He holds victories over Carlos Cuadras, Brian Viloria, Edgar Sosa, Akira Yaegashi, Juan Francisco Estrada, Omar Salado, and Rocky Fuentes.

Rungvisai has spent most of his career fighting in Asia, and three of his losses came in the first five fights in his career. His last loss was in 2014 to Carlos Cuadras. His other notable loss was to Akira Yaegashi. His notable victories pale in comparison to Gonzalez, but he has defeated the likes of Jose Salgado, Yota Sato, and Alvin Bais.

This isn’t a hard fight to pick the winner, and unless Rungvisai is able to use his power to stun Gonzalez in the early rounds it will be nearly impossible for him to win. If Gonzalez can survive the power shots of Brian Viloria, he can survive the power shots of Rungvisai.

Gennady Golovkin (36-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (32-1); WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Title

This is the best fight that Golovkin could have made outside of Canelo Alvarez. Daniel Jacobs also represents the biggest challenge to Golovkin’s titles ever.

Both boxers are known to be knockout artists. Golovkin has stopped thirty three of his opponents and his past twenty three opponents failed to make it to the final round. Jacobs has stopped twenty nine of his opponents and has twelve straight stoppage wins.

Both boxers also have good amateur backgrounds. Golovkin won the Silver Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and Jacobs is a former Golden Gloves Champion, a US National Amateur Champion, and a US Olympic Trials Runner Up.

Jacobs lone loss was by TKO to Dmitry Pirog in a major upset at the time. He has defeated the likes of Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, and Ishe Smith.

Golovkin has never been defeated and nobody has ever come close. He has defeated the likes of Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado.

Two things should be pointed out about both boxers. Jacobs has only fought once since the beginning of 2016 and may be rusty. The other is that Golovkin is thirty four years old and will be turning thirty five in less than a month. Age may be catching up with him and he didn’t look like his usual dominant self when he last fought Kell Brook.

However, Jacobs lone loss was by stoppage to a boxer who isn’t known for his power like Golovkin is. Also, Jacobs is a good boxer, but his competition has been suspect at best. His best victory came against Peter Quillin, his other wins were against pedestrian and above average at best opponents.

This should be an exciting bout and is one of the best bouts to be put on pay per view in awhile, but it’s a fight that Golovkin should win.

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The Pride of Ireland: Michael Conlan


The Pride of Ireland: Michael Conlan
By: Francisco Martinez

St. Patrick’s Day only comes once a year and this year you can bank on it that Michael Conlan’s debut will be one not to forget as the start of a promising career officially begins. Michael, or Mick, Micky as some call him enjoyed his 1st U.S. media day in Los Angeles, California but definitely not new to this media attention “I’m used to it. I like it. It’s just natural for me. It’s another part of the game and you got to enjoy what you do”

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With an estimate of 2 thousand family, friends, fans and supporters making the trip for Michael Conlan’s massive debut in the Theater at the Madison Square Garden this is what Conlan says they can expect from his pro debut “I’m gonna give them some entertainment. Some excitement and a happy ending and a nice party after” making it sound more like a concert than a boxing fight as the charismatic Conlan plans to treat his family and friends to an unforgettable March 17th Top Rank promotions show in New York.

Not even 1 fight into their careers, Michael Conlan & Shakur Stevenson already seem to be in a crash course to a mega showdown as promoter, the legendary Bob Arum is aiming for with his two new young guns who became part of Arum’s young stable additions to the likes of WBO 126lbs champion Oscar Valdez, WBO 122lbs champion Jessie Magdaleno, who both Conlan and Stevenson have sparred and WBO 168lbs champion Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez. BoxingInsider picked the brains of both Conlan & Stevenson just to see where they stand on this little rivalry that has been sparked by their promoter Bob Arum.

“I feel like me and Michael Conlan have some unfinished business that we didn’t get to handle in Brazil so, Michael Conlan is a great fighter and I like his style. I love his boxing style he a technician also and the fans are gonna want to see that, so…” says the young enthusiastic 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Shakur Stevenson. Kind but competitive words of his rival Michael Conlan who replied by saying “He’s a nice respectful kid. It’s a potential fight and I’m happy with that. That’s good for me down the line that’s a money fight. Everybody is in this business to make money so that’s a fight I would want. I rate him as a fighter and he’s a real good fighter. Very skillful so, it’s a fight that I really want and I’m really happy he signed with Top Rank so it’s possible for a future fight”

Conlan goes on to systematically break down Stevenson’s style “He’s very defensive. He’s a box fighter. More defensive very up right, shoulder roll kind of stance but I’m sure, I’m confident that I would have beat him in the Olympics. I’m confident I’ll beat him now. I’m confident I’ll beat him in the future so no matter what happens I’ll be ready when the time comes. I got the best team around me. The best management team, the best promotional team and the best coaching team so I have nothing to fear. I’m ready for anyone so bring it on”

In regards to St. Patrick’s Day being an Irish exclusive holiday and time of celebration it’s a no brainer that his debut will benefit from this Irish contingency as Michael Conlan would like to make this date an annual date in his career a lot like when Floyd Mayweather Jr. took over the Mexican dates of May & September. Dates that now belong to Saul Canelo Alvarez. Conlan says “I want to hold St. Patrick’s Day in the Garden every single year. That’s what I want, I want that to be my day and this is the start of it and it will continue. I feel it’s probably the best day in the year to fight in the Garden and maybe 2 years, 3 years time we’ll be fighting in the big Garden and that’s my aim. I want to sell it out in a world title”

Most should be informed by now that Michael Conlan has the co-sign of the great MMA fighter and fellow Irish countryman in Conor McGregor who will walk him out for his pro debut upon the request of Conlan who McGregor was kind enough to accommodate for his wishes. Conlan first came across McGregor by helping him select sparring for one of his fights with Nate Diaz. Now if we dig a little deeper into this friendship between Conlan & McGregor we’ll find a little truth to the so much talked about dream showdown between McGregor and Mayweather.

A fight that has grasp the attention of both sports and Mayweather who’s really pushing for this fight as he sees some serious dollar signs at the end of this tunnel. Perhaps a bigger pay day than a rematch with Manny Pacquiao and a bigger pay day than the actual 1st fight with Pacquiao which netted Mayweather something along the lines of $300 million. Even though some are critical of this possible circus act that will surely entertain we’re not sure how much this fight is really possible. However rumors as of late say the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas has been put on hold which only makes this dream scenario a more concrete one than ever before.

Michael Conlan shares a little insight as to who Conor McGregor is as a person and a little on how McGregor feels about a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. “He’s a guy who believes in his ability and if he gets the Mayweather fight 100% he believes he’ll win” as for possibly helping McGregor prepare for a fight inside of the ring other than the octagon Conlan said he wouldn’t sparr him “He’s too big. He’s like 170lbs at the minute or 180lbs. He’s a big man. His hands are like two sizes bigger than mine”

Michael Conlan previewed his speed, power & skills in front of dozens of media members and from what we saw the talent level in him is an extraordinary one. Great chemistry with trainer Manny Robles. Both being fond of each other as they competed in the World Boxing Series a few years back and managed to catch each other’s attention with their respective abilities as trainer and fighter. Fast forward a few years later now both a team and one that will surely be a great hit and formula for great success in boxing.

Tune in March 17th live in the Theater at the Madison Square Garden in New York, St. Patrick’s Day for the massive debut of this young future legend, the pride of Ireland, Michael Conlan.

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GGG-Jacobs Set For March 18th…On PPV


GGG-Jacobs Set For March 18th…On PPV
By: Sean Crose

First, the good news. Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin will be facing middleweight powerhouse Daniel Jacobs next March 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York. This after negotiations which seemed to drag on forever. Indeed, the fight was originally supposed to occur this month, but – this being boxing – things moved at the pace of a snail going in reverse. To be sure, there were those who were starting to feel the match might not happen after all. Now, however, fans can breath a sigh of relief, for Golovkin is finally getting to face an opponent who could prove to be a challenge.

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The flip side of this shiny coin, of course, is that the bout is going to take place on pay per view. That’s right, pay per view. Make no mistake about it, GGG-Jacobs is a big fight, it’s a legitimate one, too. That, however, does not make a bout pay per view worthy. At least it didn’t used to. Today, however, all bets seem to be off. HBO, under whose banner the fight will take place, once put on the Tyson-Holmes heavyweight title fight free for subscribers. Those days are long gone. Today we are told the network has budget issues. Needless to say, fans are paying for it.

Or not.

For fans are actually turning away from pay per view these days…and it’s doubtful GGG-Jacobs is going to break that trend. Indeed, Golovkin’s last fight – a huge affair against Britain’s Kell Brook – was on HBO. So was the Kovalev-Hopkins fight of just a few years back. Subscribers and boxing nuts are having a hard time accepting the fact that HBO is now the place for tuneups and low level matches. The fact that HBO hasn’t been too open about it’s recent boxing issues hasn’t exactly endeared it to fans, either. There have even been whispers that HBO is getting out of the boxing business – though it’s easy to see that assertion as being something of a stretch.

One fight that fans will indeed be willing to see on pay per view is a potential GGG fight with Canelo Alvarez. That particular pairing seems to be coming next fall, provided neither man loses in the interval. Canelo may fight Julio Caesar Chavez junior in what would surely prove to be a cash cow. By taking on Jacobs, however, GGG is arguably facing the more daunting challenge. To be sure, some might go so far as to say Jacobs may prove to be more of a challenge for Golovkin than Canelo might be.

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GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December


GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December
By: Sean Crose

“I understand my situation,” Gennady Golovkin told me some time ago, before his match with Daniel Geale. Since then, the man has become less patient, and with good reason. Still, it seems like now a big name middleweight will finally be willing to get in the ring with the feared GGG. For word is out that Golovkin may get it on with Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs, a hard hitting, exciting slugger who holds the WBA middleweight world title (Golovkin is WBAs super world middleweight champion, but let’s not get hung up on the silly details) this December.

Feb. 16, 2016 , Los Angeles,Ca. ---  Boxing Superstar and Unified World Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG”Golovkin, 34-0 (31KO’s) and Undefeated Mandatory Challenger Dominic “Lights Out” Wade, 18-0 (12KO’s) and their teams will take part in the UNDEFEATED Cross-Country Press Tour to formally announce their showdown set for Saturday,April 23 at the Fabulous Forum.     Joining Golovkin and Wade at the Los Angeles PressConference will be Consensus #1 Pound-For-Pound Fighter and WBC Flyweight WorldChampion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 44-0 (38KO’s) andand his challenger, World Ranked Contender McWilliamsArroyo, 16-2 (14KO’s) who will battle in the co-feature on April 23.     Both bouts will be televised Live on HBO World Championship Boxing®beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.    Tickets for the April 23rd event priced at $400, $300, $200,$100, $60 and $30, are now on-sale through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000).    Golovkin vs. Wade is promoted by K2 Promotions, GGGPromotions and in association with TGBPromotions. Gonzalez vs. McWilliams is presented by K2 Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and PRBest Boxing Promotions.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - K2 Promotions   copyright 2016 ===== SOCIAL MEDIA: For moreinformation, visit www.K2Promos.com, www.GGGBoxing.com, www.TGBPromotions.com,  www.FabulousForum.com and www.HBO.com/boxing.  Follow on Twitter at Gennady Golovkin @GGGBoxing,Dominic Wade @_DomoWade,  Roman Gonzalez @chocolatitobox, TomLoeffler/K2 Promotions @TomLoeffler1, TGBPromotions @TGBpromotions, the Forum @theForum and HBO Boxing @HBOBoxingand become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/GGGBoxing, www.facebook.com/TheForum and www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.  Use the hashtags #GolovkinWade and #GomzalezArroyoto join the conversations on social media.

The truth is that HBO, which would air the bout, is going through some money woes – at least as its boxing broadcasts are concerned – so it hasn’t been able to air as many fights as it usually does. The injury Canelo Alvarez received fighting Liam Smith recently, however, means Canelo won’t be fighting again this year on HBO as planned. Hence talk of this potential middleweight unification. Should the fight be made, it will likely go down December 10th at Madison Square Garden in New York. After what will be a slow October for boxing, the more good news there is for fight fans, the better.

Golovkin, as most fight followers know, is the most avoided man in boxing with the possible exception of Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure enough, men like fellow middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders have openly admitted to being hesitant to face the Kazakh warrior. Boasting a record of 36-0 with 33 knockouts, Golovkin brings an impressive, patient skill set to go along with his furious punching power. Indeed, GGG can not only win a fight, he can beat an opponent severely. Case in point – welterweight champ Kell Brook, who went up in weight to fight GGG recently and had to have surgery as a result of his encounter with the man.

Jacobs, however, is no joke. Here is a fighter, after all, who has not only licked cancer, but who has earned himself a record of 32-1 with 29 knockouts. Sure enough, Jacobs is skilled as well as powerful. Peter Quilin, for instance, was dusted by Jacobs within one round and that was supposed to be a relatively evenly matched fight. Perhaps most importantly, though, Jacobs appears to be willing to fight Golovkin, a man even top fighters like Alvarez appear to be content avoiding.

That in an of itself is worthy of some kind of praise in this era of low risk/high reward.

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Barclays Center Is Becoming A Boxing Hotspot


Barclays Center Is Becoming A Boxing Hotspot
By: Sean Crose

Danny Garcia fights there regularly. So does Chris Algieri. Deontay Wilder laid out Artur Szpilka there in frightening fashion last winter and then Tyson Fury got in the ring and made a scene. Madison Square Garden may indeed be the Mecca of Boxing, but Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is becoming a boxing hot spot of its own. Although the relatively new – it just opened in 2012 – arena hasn’t hosted the kind of major bouts that constitute superfights, it’s proven to be a fan friendly, and affordable, outlet. Sure enough, this weekend’s Keith Thurman – Shawn Porter throwdown is perfectly suited for the Center.

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A major, relevant matchup that’s not quite big enough for pay per view yet exciting enough on paper to warrant some real attention, Thurman-Porter truly has the makings of a fight that’s “for the fans.” You don’t have to be well connected to get in to see this one live, either. While it may not be cheap to get to any professional sporting event, Thurman-Porter at the Barclays Center is still relatively affordable. Expect a good sized crowd this Saturday when the fight airs live on CBS – the first fight to do so in primetime since the Ali era. Again, this is a high quality matchup (hopefully the fight will live up to its potential).

When one steps back and observes things objectively, however, the Barclays Center is a perfect outlet for boxing in the northeast. The sweet science may not be what it was in the stretch between New Jersey and New Hampshire, but Brooklyn, where the Barclays is located, is perfectly suited to draw in local fans. For the greater New York area is home to large numbers of African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Eastern Europeans, Russians and Irish. And each of those demographics have fight friendly populations within their ranks. There’s a reason to have fights take place in Brooklyn, after all, rather than a few miles up the road on the Connecticut “Gold Coast.”

The main reason the Barclays may be becoming a boxing hot bed, however, is the fact that the people who run it want it to be. If one wants to host fights, one simply has to show a willingness to. And the Barclays has been willing to host fight card after fight card since its opening several years ago. Naturally, fight fans and promoters have returned the favor. Something must be working, otherwise both the Barclays and the boxing world would cease working together. Business is business, after all.

Here’s hoping business keeps rolling along in Brooklyn.

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What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?


What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward

Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.

The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.

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Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.

Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.

The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.

Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.

And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?

It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.

The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.

Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.

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HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez


HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions has a tradition of putting on a boxing card in New York City during the weekend of the Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, and on this Saturday they will put on a card at the Theatre in Madison Square Garden.

HBO will televised this card live on their Boxing After Dark broadcast.

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Two bouts will be shown. The first bout will feature fast rising Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo against Juan Jose Martinez in the lightweight division. The main event will feature amateur legend and former Olympic Gold Medaliast Vasyl Lomachenko bumping up a weight class to face Puerto Rican boxer Roman “Rocky” Martinez for Martinez’s WBO Junior Lightweight Title.

The following is a preview of both of the televised fights.

Felix Verdejo (21-0) vs. Juan Jose Martinez(25-2); Lightweights

Many felt Felix Verdejo would carry the Puerto Rican fan base for Top Rank Promotions when Miguel Cotto left the company, but Verdejo has lost some of his luster after his less than impressive performance in his last two bouts.

However, Verdejo remains undefeated at the age of twenty three and has stopped fourteen of his opponents. Martinez is seven years older than Verdejo and has stopped seventeen of his opponents.

Verdejo competed for Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympics and lost to Lomachenko, who is competing in the main event, as an amateur. Martinez has no notable amateur experience on the international circuit.

Verdejo has won two of his last five fights by stoppage, and fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Martinez has fought once in 2016 and four times in 2015.

Verdejo has defeated the likes of Jose Luis Rodriguez, William Silva, Ivan Najera, and Marco Antonio Lopez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Emanuel Lopez, Jairo Lopez, and Edgar Puerta.

Martinez has fought mainly in Mexico during his career, but has traveled as far as the United Arab Emirates to compete.

Martinez has two losses on his resume, and they were to Rey Bautista and Daniel Santillo in his second fight of his career.

Verdejo will need to be impressive if he wants to fight on HBO again, and Martinez appears to be the perfect type of opponent for him to look good against.

Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1); WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Lomachenko is one of the most decorated amateur boxers to ever step foot inside the ring as a professional. He won the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the Ukraine, and he was a gold medalist in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.

He has an amateur record of 296-1 and he was able to avenge his lone loss twice.

Martinez does not have the amateur accomplishments of Lomachenko, but he is a three time world champ and is battle tested.

Martinez will have a one inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. However, he will be five years older than Lomachenko, and more importantly he has been in some brutal wars inside the ring and his in-ring age is much older.

Martinez received a gift split decision against Orlando Salido in his last bout, and he also has a split draw with Juan Carlos Burgos. His two losses were to Ricky Burns and Mikey Garcia. Garcia was able to stop Martinez.

Martinez has been able to defeat the likes of Orlando Salido, Diego Magdaleno, Miguel Beltran Jr., and Nicky Cook.

Lomachenko’s lone loss was to Orlando Salido in a foul filled affair and many feel he would be the favorite if they were to rematch. Lomachnko has defeated the likes of Romulo Koasicha, Jose Ramirez, Chonlatarn
Piriyapinyo, and he absolutely dominated the previously undefeated Gary Russell Jr.

The last time Lomachenko was in the ring with a crafty rugged veteran he had some difficulties, but Martinez does not have the power of Salido and Lomachenko’s footwork should give him issues.

This should be an easy twelve round decision victory for Lomachenko, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Martinez walks out the victor.

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