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Where Do Philly Boxers Garcia, Cunningham and Hopkins Go From Here?


Where Do Philly Boxers Garcia, Cunningham and Hopkins Go From Here?
By: Ken Hissner

Starting with Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-1 (19) the former super lightweight and welterweight champion who just lost to his toughest opponent in Keith “One Time” Thurman and his WBC belt. As a super lightweight Garcia he scored wins over Amir Kahn, 31-4 (19), in a shootout who gets to who first and gave overblown featherweight Erik Morales a rematch? How about Kahn? How about Herrera? How about Peterson? His win over Lucas Matthysse was possibly his biggest accomplishment.

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Garcia took on Rod Salka a 132 lightweight and made him come in at over 140 in a non-title bout. When asked who made this choice he said “my manager.” Al Haymon? What about “The New” Ray Robinson or “Hammerin” Hank Lundy who have been calling him out since their sparring days with Garcia? Two Philly fighters who could have brought some fans out even in Philly.

As the No. 2 welterweight contender in the WBC Garcia won’t fight No. 1 Kahn so “he gets” No. 6 the over the hill Robert Guerrero in a vacant title fight? He finally steps up and takes on Thurman and we saw how that turned out in not a great fight but an interesting one. Where does Garcia go from here? No rematch I’m sure with Thurman. No. 5 Shawn Porter and No. 7 Andre Berto have “an elimination bout” coming up? Granted Kahn is No. 1 but is supposed to get a shot at WBO champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquaio’s title though Kahn hasn’t fought since May of 2016 getting knocked out by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and isn’t even in the WBO ratings. So where is Garcia going to land in the next WBC ratings? No. 1 is not automatic for former champs. Ask Sergey Kovalev about that.

Lamont Peterson, 35-3-1 (17), is now holding WBA World belt. IBF champion Kell “Special One” Brook, 36-1 (25), is tentatively going to defend against his No. 1 contender in Errol Spence, 21-0 (18), having not fought since September when Gennady “GGG” Golovkin injured his eye socket in an interesting fight.

Then there’s former 2-time IBF champion Steve “USS” Cunningham, 29-8-1 (13), who entered last Saturdays ring in Reading, PA, in a scheduled 8 round bout reduced to a 6 winning every round from overweight former light heavyweight Felipe “El Indio” Romero, 19-12-1 (13), so Cunningham can “get the rust off” after with a promise from his manager Al Haymon getting him a title fight. He isn’t ranked anymore and all four champs are from outside the US. Cunningham had to go to Europe to get those titles so it won’t be like a first time for him.

Starting with WBC champion Tony “The Bomber” Bellew, 29-2-1 (19), of the UK who just stopped former champion David Haye and whose No. 1 challenger is MairisBriedis, 21-0 (18), from Latvia who is scheduled to fight for the interim WBC title April 1st against former champion Marco Huck in Germany whom Cunningham stopped in 2007.

The WBA champion Denis Lebedev, 29-3 (22), only defended his IBF title in Russia against fellow Russian Murat “Iron” Gassiev, 24-0 (17), losing a split decision. There may be a rematch in that one. The IBF doesn’t have any challengers in the number one or two spot but have No. 3 Noel Gevor, 22-0 (10), an Armenian out of Germany who is also the No. 1 contender in the WBO where the champion if OleksandrUsyk, 11-0 (10), of the UKR. He is defending his title in Oxon Hill, MD, April 8th against Michael Hunter, 15-0. So Cunningham may be able to get the winner in the US. Gevor is scheduled to go to Poland to fight the former champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, on May 20th who split it two fights with Cunningham.

So it’s a matter of Cunningham getting ranked again which shouldn’t take much based on his record and being a former champion. Who knows he may not have to leave the US to get that shot. The man is always in tip top shape and though having fought at heavyweight a bit makes 200 easily.

This leaves us with 52 year-old Bernard “the Executioner” Hopkins, 55-8-2 (32), who is from Philly and was living in Hockessin, DE, but also I understand had a place in Philly and may be back there. After witnessing former 3-division champion another “ageless” boxer pack them in at the Chase Center in DE recently could there be a “rubber match” between Jones and Hopkins at the Chase Center? Jones is 48 but you would never know it in his win over Bobby Gunn in his last fight. Neither he nor Hopkins may never get another title fight but then who knows. Both are future IBHOF boxerswho don’t seem to go away.

I’m sure Hopkins would like to retire with a win in his last fight that seems to have been difficult to do since losing his last two fights to Sergey Kovlev and Joe Smith, Jr. Just prior to that he held the IBF and WBA titles defeating Shumenov but lost those titles to Kovalev who got robbed by Andre Ward losing all three titles and may never get a deserved rematch. Though both are no longer ranked don’t be surprised if their names appear in a title fight in the near future.

Philadelphia is again without a champion but has a ton of young prospects with “champion” written all over them such as 19 year-old Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 9-0 (8), who fights March 31st back in Philly. It will be ten fights in twelve months for this talented welterweight whom this writer calls “the best Philly prospect since 1984 Olympic champion Meldrick Taylor”. His brothers “Pooh” and Farah held USBA and NABF titles while their father “Bozy” is the best trainer in Philly and one of the best in the world.

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PBC on Spike Preview: Guerrero vs. Peralta, Angulo vs. Hernandez, Gausha vs. Martinez


PBC on Spike Preview: Guerrero vs. Peralta, Angulo vs. Hernandez, Gausha vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes

On Saturday Night the Honda Center in Anaheim, California will be the host site for the next Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) broadcast on Spike TV.

Three bouts are scheduled to take place, including a main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta. This card is being promoted in conjunction with a Bellator MMA card that takes place the night before.

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Photo Credit: Mario Serrano/Team Guerrero/Premier Boxing Champions

The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.

Terrell Gausha (18-0) vs. Steve Martinez (16-2); Junior Middleweights

The opening bout of the night will feature a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team, Terrell Gausha.

Gausha had an impressive amateur career and was also a former two time US National Amateur Champion, but his opponent Steve Martinez was a former National Golden Gloves Champion and also had some success as an amateur on the national stage.

Gausha, despite being a recent Olympian, will be two years older than Martinez at the age of twenty eight. He will also be giving up both height and reach and will be about two inches shorter than Martinez.

Gausha has been very active in the past two years and fought four times in 2015 as well as six times in 2014. Martinez on the other hand has only fought once in 2015 and three times in 2014.

Gausha’s biggest victories have come against Orlando Lora, Eliezer Gonzalez, Luis Grajeda, and Norberto Gonzalez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Jorge Melendez and Jay Krupp.

On paper, this a fight that Gausha should win. However, it is refreshing to see a recent Olympian challenge himself against a good opponent that is actually younger than him instead of older. This should be one of the more competitive fights of the night.

Alfredo Angulo (24-5) vs. Freddy Hernandez (33-8); Super Middleweights

The next bout of the night is between two veterans that have been in the ring with some of the best in the sport. It’s unlikely either Angulo or Hernandez will ever get another crack at a world championship, and both are now fighting in the super middleweight division after spending most of their career fighting as a junior middleweight, but this bout is a must win for either boxer if they want to remain relevant.

Angulo has gone 2-3 in his past five fights while Hernandez has gone 3-3 in his past six fights. Angulo is a former Olympian and competed in the 2004 Olympics. He’s thirty four, but will be three years younger than Hernandez. He will be giving up about a half inch in height and will also be giving up a large six inches in reach.

Both boxers have lost to some of the best the sport of boxing has to offer. Angulo lost to the likes of James De La Rosa, James Kirkland, Kermit Cintron, Canleo Alvaraez, and Erislandy Lara. Hernandez has lost to Brad Solomon, Julian Williams, Francisco Santana, Delvin Rodriguez, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, and Andre Berto.

Angulo has the better professional resume and has beaten the likes of Joel Julio, Harry Jor Yorgey, Gabriel Rosado, Richard Gutierrez, and Joachim Alcine. Hernandez has beaten the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Ben Tackie, Luis Collazo, and Jesus Soto Karass.

Neither boxer has looked good in recent bouts, but both have a lot to fight for. There’s a chance this match could turn into a brawl, but it’s likely this bout won’t be very entertaining for the viewers. Angulo should win and maybe get one more chance at a relevant fight.

Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) vs. David Peralta (25-2-1); Welterweights

Robert Guerrero lost his last fight to Danny Garcia and was barely able to pull out the victory against Aaron Martinez.

However, Guerrero is still a relevant name in the sport of boxing and win on Saturday could land him another fight against a top opponent in the welterweight division.

Guerrero has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts but has fought some of the best the sport has to offer. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Gamaliel Diaz early on in his career.

Guerrero is a former featherweight champion and has beaten the likes of Gamaliel Diaz in a revenge match, as well as Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis, Selcuk Aydin, Andre Berto, Yoshihiro Kamegai, and Aaron Martinez.

Guerrero, a southpaw and thirty three years old, will be facing off against a relative unknown in the United States in Peralta. Peralta is also thirty three years old.

Not much is known of Peralta in the United States because he has never fought outside of his home country or Argentina. He has fourteen knockouts, which is four less than Guerrero, and his two losses were to the unheralded Cristian Nestor Romero and Claudio Alfredo Olmedo.

He has no notable victories, and his last bout was against an opponent with a sub .500 record. Guerrero should win this bout easily, and a loss for him would be a major upset.

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