Tag Archives: Sullivan

Boxing Insider Interview with Kathy Duva: “So Much Opportunity for Elite Fighters”

Posted on 11/02/2018

By: Henry Deleon

During the Sullivan Barrera vs. Seanie Monaghan media workout at the Mendez Boxing club in NYC, Boxing Insider had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO of Main Events Promotion, Kathy Duva.

Boxing Insider – Boxing insider here with Kathy Duva. Kathy, what is your opinion on HBO no longer televising boxing?

Kathy Duva – Oh I feel like it’s a death! It’s been 45 years! longer than I’ve been in the sport and they’re aren’t too many things that have been in the sport longer than me. I’m really going to miss it.

Boxing Insider – Do you feel that with HBO getting out of the picture, is it going to have a huge impact on boxing how is being televised?

Kathy Duva – I think it’s happening already. When boxing went to HBO, all the big fights started going there. The other networks lost interest because they couldn’t compete. But now you can see them on ESPN they’re already out there. FOX is already out there and there may be others coming up soon too, you never know.

Boxing Insider – Rumor is that the Kovalev vs. Alvarez rematch is set to be on ESPN, is this true?

Kathy Duva – That is true. It’s going to be on ESPN February 2nd, 2019

Boxing Insider – How did you feel with the results of Kovalev’s last fight against Eleider Alvarez?

Kathy Duva – Obviously I was not too happy. I think we saw this happening in the Ward fights. He got so tired, first of all Ward’s people did an amazing job of getting into his head, It was like watching a master class and I think I learned from it. Sergey was convinced that you had to try harder and work harder, because you know you’re a guy who like to party and have fun, and the worst thing for a guy who’s in his mid 30’s to do is to try and work harder because when you get older you have to work smarter not harder. Unfortunately, Sergey being Sergey just did not believe that. As he got tired, he would just continue to work harder and all he did was set himself up so that he runs out of gas. So now you have a guy who is 35 and is trying to fight and train like he’s 25. He needs to learn to train and fight like he is 35 and he’s doing that now with Buddy McGirt. He has made some changes to his training regime and hopefully it will all work out.

Boxing Insider – So what you’re saying is we are going to see a different Kovalev come this rematch?

Kathy Duva – yeah, you know Buddy is the guy who brought back Arturo Gatti and responsible for the incredible resurgence at the back of his career. Buddy knows what to do with an old fighter, and Sergey at his age has to start fighting like an old fighter which is not something negative. Some of the greatest fights you’ve ever seen involved guys who have that experience and are now challenged in the sense that they don’t have the stamina they once did when they were younger. All that plays into a guy who is a really dominant fighter suddenly getting into fights that are very competitive. So, I believe we are going to see that and in the end the fans are going to be very entertained.

Boxing Insider – So coming into this rematch, do you feel Sergey will have a different outcome?

Kathy Duva – you know Sergey won 5 out of the 7 rounds. He is by far the better fighter. The problem was that he ran out of gas after the 6th round. I remember leaning over to Sergey’s manager before the 5th round and said “I don’t know how he’s going to keep up this pace, what is he doing?”. Sergey’s going to have to learn to beat Alvarez at a slower pace and he is going to have to learn to train in a way in where he doesn’t leave it all in the gym. If he does those things he’s going to win, and if he doesn’t do those things he’s going to lose. That’s what’s going to make this fight very interesting.

Boxing Insider – What is your opinion on what Eddie Hearn and DAZN are doing for boxing?

Kathy Duva – You have people who want to invest in boxing. It’s a great time to be an elite fighter, so much opportunity for elite fighters. How can one be opposed to that, it’s terrific!

Boxing Insider – What’s your take on Saturdays main event between Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan?

Kathy Duva – This is a terrific fight! This is the greater fight that isn’t happening in places like DAZN, ESPN, or FOX. You’re looking at high level elite fighter, fighters who are world title fighters. If you look at the history of our sport, and I did the other day. I looked at all the “fight of the year” fights and what I found, dating back to 1922, is how rarely the “fight of the year” is one of the “BIG” fights. Its usually a fight like this. Look at when Gatti and Ward fought, you had two guys who people considered to be on the downside of their career and look at what they did! This is one of those fights, now I will never say a fight will be as good as Gatti and Ward, but what I am saying is that you have the same dynamic in fight with Barrera vs. Monaghan. I think if our sport is missing anything right now, its fights like these.

Boxing Insider – Is there any other up and coming fighters under your promotion that you want fans to keep an eye out for?

Kathy Duva – We actually have quite a few. Some of them you will see on Saturday, others you will see in the upcoming months. Leshawn Rodriguez (9-0 7KO) unfortunately had to pull out due to an injury but he’s a terrific fighter. Cassius Chaney (13-0 6KO) is a terrific heavy weight fighter. We just signed Denis Douglin (21-6 13KO) he’s one of those guys who has a lot going for him. He took some bad advice on a fight once and suddenly his career was going to waste, but no we are going to make a career for him. We have Madiyar Ashkeyev (10-0 6 KO), Meriim Nursultanov (8-0 5KO), Enriko Gogokhia (8-0 3KO) and Frank Galarza (20-2-2 12KO). We have a lot of really talented young fighters who are going to be the next generation of people you hear about. We to say this last big group of the Pacquiao’s, the Mayweather’s, the Klitschko’s they all lasted beyond the prime of fighters of generations past because we know more about nutrition, and training. They’ve extended their athletic careers so, it’s been a while since a new crowd has come along and took over. I believe this is going to be the beginning of that and I hope that the people I just mentioned and a few others are going to be in the vanguard of that and I look forward to being part of it.

Boxing Insider – Thank you so much Kathy. Wishing you all the best.

Kathy Duva has over 38 years of experience in the business of professional boxing and is the CEO of Main Events promotions. Kathy has helped promote many legendary careers such as Evander Holyfield, Fernando Vargas, Vinnie Pazienza, Lennox Lewis and many more.
Tune in Saturday Nov 3rd for Sullivan vs. Monaghan live globally on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT/ 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Sullivan Barrera: A Significant Fight

Posted on 10/30/2018

By Rich Mancuso

Sullivan Barrera is well aware of the implications of his upcoming fight Saturday evening against Sean Monaghan at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York. Barrera’s boxing future is on the line and a win could catapult him to a shot at a title.

The Barrera/Monaghan bout is the highlight of a Main Events promoted card that will be televised live on Facebook Watch as part of the “Golden Boy Fight Night Series.”

Photo Credit:Sullivan Barrera Twitter Account

Kathy Duva, the promoter of three of the top light-heavyweights, also has an interest in the result of this fight. “This is a career make or break,” Duva said. “In the meantime, only two guys can fight at once and the other champions will be looking for dance partners, and we have two possible candidates for them right here.”

If Barrera can defeat Monaghan, Duva would have a way to command the light-heavyweight division A realistic possibility exists where Barrera could meet WBC light-heavyweight title contender Adonis Stevenson or Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

However, this all depends on what Barrera brings to the ring. In March, Barrera fought WBA Light-Heavyweight Champ Dmitry Bivol and took him to the limit before being stopped in the 12th round. Barrera ran out of gas that night and Bivol took full advantage.

“Bivol, that was a tough fight,” Barrera said. “I have experienced, but every fighter is different. I’m learning by myself, at the gym, waiting for another opportunity to fight for a title. Right now, I’m at Seanie. [Monaghan] I have my mind focused on him.”

Barrera said it was not his night when he fought Bivol and would dearly like a rematch. In truth, Bivol was the better fighter than night. Duva has a history of promoting rematches. If you’re old enough, you can recall the epic wars with Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Duva said that the winner of Barrera/Monaghan can possibly face Bivol. That would make for good business but former champion Sergey Kovalev. “We have a really exciting division here,” she said. “Everything is up for grabs. Adonis Stevenson. We have a lot going on. Adonis is in a very dangerous fight on December 1st against Gvozdyk who is a terrific young fighter.

”Monaghan should not be taken lightly. “He’s a warrior too,” Barrera said. “We both go to the front. I think it’s going to be a great fight because we almost have the same style. For me, I don’t feel pressure. When I fought Andre Ward, (in 2016) I learned I want to have fun. That’s my mentality. It’s one more fight, just that.”

This is not one more fight because of what’s at stake for Barrera’s career. Monaghan was born and raised a few miles away from the Aviator Complex, so he’ll have a home advantage in a loud, makeshift Aviator arena that was once the home of a United States Air Force base.

Derik Santos, who is Barrera’s trainer, said, “Every fight, it’s the same amount of pressure to do well and win. There’s the same amount of danger. When you are a professional, you handle it.” Barrera will feel the “pressure” for what’s on the line and there will be no room for error.

The task is simple. Win the fight and get the chance for a rematch with Bivol. For the 36-year old boxer, it could be his last chance.

Comment: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum

Posted on 07/14/2017

Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
By Adam J. Pollack

On Saturday July 15, the Forum in Los Angeles will feature several highly entertaining matchups. The main event features WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt, 31-1, 28 KOs, vs. Takashi Miura, 31-3-2, 24 KOs, two punchers who love to fight. Although Berchelt likely will win, for he has the superior talent and skill, this is one of those fights that you watch simply because you know that regardless of the result, both guys will fight hard, in entertaining fashion. Miura forces the fight with hard punches and can take some big ones, and both of these guys can hit.

Photo Credit: Kyte Monroe/BoxStats

If you are looking for a really hard-punching intriguing 50-50 type match-up, in which the outcome truly is in doubt, Joe Smith, Jr., 23-1, 19 KOs, vs. Sullivan Barrera, 19-1, 14 KOs is the fight for you. The very heavy-handed Smith, Jr. has freakish power, such that regardless of what the score is in a fight, if hits his opponent, the fight can be over in the blink of an eye. Remember, he knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who although old, had never been stopped before, and was a guy who knew every trick and artifice of the game. He also knocked out Andrej Fonfara in the very 1st round, and Fonfara had gone the distance with Adonis Stevenson, knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and beaten Glen Johnson and Byron Mitchell.

Smith Jr. is going up a very tough man in Sullivan Barrera, a guy whose only loss was a decision to Andre Ward. Barrera knocked out Jeff Lacy in 4, Karo Murat in 5, and handed the hard-punching then 17-0, 14 KOs Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy his only loss, stopping him in the 7th round. Like Smith Jr., Barrera can punch. So this is likely to be another hard-punching bang-‘em-out war. The likely winner is unclear.

Also on the card, undefeated WBA Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, 24-12, 14 KOs, who recently stopped former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight. Castellanos has managed to score several upset victories, defeating Rocky Juarez and then-undefeated Ronny Rios, in addition to Gamboa, so he seems to thrive on his underestimated underdog status. The undefeated Corrales won the championship by handing then undefeated Takashi Uchiyama his first losses, both by knocking him out and winning the rematch by decision. This is a really solid, competitive contest.

Other quality match-ups on the card include:

Mercito Gesta, 30-1-2 vs. Martin Honorio, 33-10-1
Manny Robles, Jr. 12-0 vs. Christian Esquivel, 30-11
Horacio Garcia, 32-2-1 vs. Diuhl Olguin, 11-16-3
Ryan Garcia, 9-0, vs. Mario Antonio Macias, 28-21

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Sullivan Barrera Interview: “With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out”

Posted on 06/08/2017

Sullivan Barrera Interview: “With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out”
By: Matthew N. Becher

Sullivan Barrera (19-1 14KO) is a Cuban Light Heavyweight, who defected from his native country and now resides in Miami, Florida. He is 35 years old and comes from the famous “Cuban School” of boxing, sporting an impressive amateur career and late start to the Professional ranks. Barrera has wins over Jeff Lacy, Karo Murat, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and his lone loss came to the hands of one of the best fighters in the world, Andre Ward.

Sullivam Barrera vs Karo Murat          (Rd 5) 12 Rds Light Heavyweights IBF Title Eliminator  referee: Wayne Hedgpeth In an IBF light heavyweight eliminator, undefeated Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over Karo Murat (27-3-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday night at the Glendale Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California. Barrera dropped Murat at the end of round four, and got the TKO in round five with a barrage of punches. Time was :25. Murat complained to referee Wayne Hedgpeth about a quick stoppage. Barrera is now mandatory IBF challenger for Main Events stablemate Sergey Kovalev, who was at ringside watching. Photo credit: WILL HART
Photo Credit: HBO BOxing

On July 15th at the Famous Forum in Inglewood, California, Barrera will headline a big time fight, live on HBO against the extremely strong and risky Joe Smith Jr. We were able to speak with Sullivan yesterday during his training camp.

Boxing Insider: How have you been preparing to fight someone with the style of Joe Smith Jr.?

Sullivan Barrera: I am preparing in the gym very hard. I am studying a lot of tape and seeing a lot of the mistakes that he makes and so far everything is running smooth.

Boxing Insider: What did you think of Smiths last two fight against Fonfara and Hopkins?

Sullivan Barrera: I have reviewed the fight with Fonfara several times, and even though it was a short fight, Fonfara had Smith really hurt. With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out, but he wasn’t prepared for what Smith did. That is why you have to respect a guy like Smith, he is a guy that you have to be on your toes with. I respect Hopkins greatly, he was a great fighter. At the end of the day, Joe Smith just did what he had to do and I respect Joe Smith.

Boxing Insider: At 35, is this a make or break fight for you?

Sullivan Barrera: Yes of course I realize this is a make or break fight for me. I realize everything that is against me. I will give 100% to win this fight.

Boxing Insider: What did you learn in your lone loss to Andre Ward?

Sullivan Barrera: One of the most important things that I learned, fighting the best fighter in the world, is that every time I get in the ring is that I have to have fun. The experience I got from the Ward fight, was being on the big stage, in front of all the fans. It was an intimidating thing for me. I look at it now, that when I get into the ring, I have to have fun and enjoy myself and do what I know how to do best.

Boxing Insider: What should the fans expect on July 15th?

Sullivan Barrera: Like always I am going to give it my all. I am going to give the fans a real good show, very entertaining. This fight will define a lot for the remainder of my career. I am going to give everyone a great show and I will come out with the victory.

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Barrera Blasts Through Parker On HBO Latino Card

Posted on 04/16/2017

Barrera Blasts Through Parker On HBO Latino Card
By:Sean Crose

The ballroom at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut featured Main Events Boxing’s Rising Stars program on Saturday night in a card that featured light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera. A former opponent of Andre Ward (who beat him by decision) Sullivan was still in the division’s upper echelon when he stepped into the ring against Toledo’s Paul Parker in a ten round scrap. First, however, middleweights Vaughn Alexander and Andres Calixto opened the HBO Latino card with a scheduled ten rounder.


The 7-0 Alexander literally started with a bang in the first. It was clear early that the St. Louis native was looking for an impressive KO. The way he was dominating and throwing power punches made his intentions abundantly clear. Calixto, who entered the ring with a record of 14-3, tried mocking his man, so Alexander hit him some more. It was an interesting first three minutes. The second looked like a replay of the first. If there was one weakness to Alexander, it was that he wasn’t moving his head much. Then again, perhaps he felt he didn’t have to. By the third, Calixto seemed as if he was simply fighting to get through the round rather than truly win. To be sure, when he actually threw, his punches lacked pop.

What’s more, by the end of the second, the Mexican native looked to be getting hurt. To his credit, Calixto continued to brawl, even becoming the aggressor in the second half of the third. In truth, though, he simply didn’t seem to have the strength to truly dominate. Or did he? The man landed himself some very clean and solid shots as the round wound down. The two men were exchanging hard, crisp punches. It was becoming a fight. Alexander returned to dominate the fourth while Calixto returned to mocking his opponent without throwing back.

Things developed into a pattern in the fourth, fifth and even the sixth, with Alexander landing hard shots, before occasionally stepping off the gas and letting Calixto have his moments. By the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds, things had reached a more or less steady pace. Alexander was obviously dominating, but it was clear he wasn’t getting the KO he desired. The referee deducted a point from Calixto in the tenth (it was a bit confusing from ringside as to why) and Alexander went on to win a well deserved unanimous decision victory.

It was time for the main event. Both Barrera, at 18-1, and Parker, at 8-1, looked confident and loose upon entering the ring. Barrera’s well oiled skill set told the tale for most of the first, though Parker landed in impressive fashion by round’s end. One thing was clear in the second round, this was not the one sided affair some thought it would be…at least not yet. Barrera may have been winning the early rounds, but Parker was a live opponent.

Still, Barrera started to assert himself in the third and fourth chapters, landing effectively and perhaps slowly taking control of the bout. Parker went down in the fourth from what referee Harvey Dock claimed was an accidental head butt. The ring doctor came in and Parker was given a full five minute break, much to the crowd’s dismay. People got no happier when Parker literally took a knee like a medieval saint and took what seemed to be a long time to recover, although he appeared no worse for wear (though, in fairness, one really never knows about these things).

Barrera came out like a pit bull when the round finally resumed, but there were only a few seconds left until the bell rang. Early in the fifth, though, Barrera subsequently beat his man down to the canvas. Parker got up, and the fight was subsequently stopped due to another head butt seconds later. Fortunately, the bout resumed quickly on that particular occasion, however. Barrera then knocked Parker through the ropes. The brave Ohian got up again, but was subsequently pummled, causing Dock to stop the fight.

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Sullivan Barrera Looking To Shine On HBO Latino Card

Posted on 04/13/2017

Sullivan Barrera Looking To Shine On HBO Latino Card
By: Sean Crose

The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut is home to Main Events Boxing’s Rising Stars Series, which offers glimpses at some possible future stars in regularly presented fight cards.


With the likes of Sergey Kovalev on its roster, it’s clear Main Events knows how to build up a talent, so the matches offer up and coming fighters the possibility to truly make their marks. On this Saturday, however, Main Events and Mohegan Sun will present a showdown with one of the light heavyweight division’s top ranked fighters. For Sullivan Barrera (18-1) will be facing Paul Parker (8-1) in a ten round battle.

Barrera, a Cuban slugger who now resides in Miami, was a rising star who was given the opportunity to face Andre Ward just over a year ago on Ward’s home turf of Oakland. Ward pulled away with a unanimous decision win, but Barrerea was able to come back with a knockout victory against the undefeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. Barrera was then lined up to face acclaimed contender Artur Beterbiev in a title eliminator, but the fight fell through. Enter Parker, who was last seen winning a split decision over Lionell Thompson on the PBC back in February of 2016. Before that, Parker had been stopped by Shabranskyy in Philadelphia.

Although not well known, it has to be noted that Parker possesses an awkward style which accompanies his lanky frame.

Furthermore, Parker has been in the spotlight before (there was that PBC fight), which may well help him, as his bout with Barrera will be aired live on HBO Latino. Still, it might be hard to imagine the Toledo, Ohio native getting past his more well known foe on Saturday.

Barerra, simply put, may just be too sharp and disciplined in the ring for Parker to take real advantage of him.

Still, one never knows what will happen if Parker is able to land solidly with that overhand right he likes to throw.

This weekend’s card will also feature a crop of up and coming fighters, hoping to establish themselves in the business (this is a Rising Stars card, after all). Notable among undercard fighters is Vaughn Alexander, a 7-0 middleweight who has knocked out all but two of his opponents. He’ll be facing the 14-3-9 Andres Calixto Rey on the televised portion of the card, as a fight between Arif Magomedev and Elias Espadas had to be called off due to a sickness. Needless to say, it’s an enormous opportunity for St. Louis native Alexander.

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The Heavyweight Title Fight That Was Also The First Full Length Motion Picture

Posted on 02/13/2017

The Heavyweight Title Fight That Was Also The First Full Length Motion Picture
By: Sean Crose

James J Corbett ruled supreme after besting John L Sullivan in 1892 in order to win the heavyweight championship of the world. Indeed, Corbett did not come across as a run of the mill boxer. Or at least he didn’t WANT to come across that way. Here, after all, was a pro fighter who went by the name of “Gentleman Jim,” and who had a reputation for using slickness and smarts to defeat opponents. No doubt, some felt Corbett gave his profession some legitimacy, as he came across as a sportsman as opposed to a brawler. Image is far from everything, though, and Corbett was champion for a reason – namely, that he was a top level ring tactician.


Footwork, timing, well placed jabs, defensive prowess, these were all things that led Corbett to rise above the pack when it came to boxing. And, unlike Sullivan, the man he had bested, Corbett didn’t seem intent on abusing himself by drinking all the way to the edge of the abyss. Here, in a sense, was a consummate professional. Yet Corbett was more than just temperate and skilled. The guy was tough as nails when the situation called for it. When Corbett had faced Peter Jackson, for instance, he had to become brutally aggressive in order to pull out a draw from the jaws of defeat.

In other words, there was more to Corbett than just the glistening image he presented to the world. No doubt, however, that Bob Fitzimmons was aware of the real threat Corbett presented in the ring. Like Corbett and Sullivan before him, Fitzimmons – himself a product of England and New Zealand – was of Irish stock. According to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Fitzimmons also worked as a blacksmith and carriage painter. The man made his name, however, as a boxer.

After making his presence felt in Australia, Fitzimmons came to the States, where he eventually won the middleweight championship. He defended his middleweight crown a single time before setting his sights on the biggest prize of all – the heavyweight championship, currently in the possession of Gentleman Jim. A date was settled for the two men to meet in the ring: March 17th, 1897, Saint Patrick’s Day. The bout would be held outdoors, in Carson City, Nevada. The referee would be none other than the legendary Western gunfighter Bat Masterson. And if that weren’t enough, the bout would be recorded as a motion picture.

Movies were a new phenomenon at the time, to be sure. In fact, feature length motion pictures as we know them today had yet to make their entrance into popular culture. That, however, was all about to change, for the complete film recording of Corbett-Fitzimmons would later be shown throughout the nation to fans and the curious alike. For the first time in history, people who weren’t at a sporting event live and in person could see that event as it had happened – albeit in crude black and white. What’s more, the public would find itself being presented with moving pictures that ran on for more than a brief amount of time. A new age was about to dawn.

In spite of all the big name and high tech accompaniment, however Fitzimmon’s bold dash at glory may have come across like a fool’s dream in the lead up to the bout. Fitzimmons was over thirty when he stepped into the ring with Corbett.

What’s more, he weighed over fifteen pounds less than the champion – who himself was a very small heavyweight. No matter. The lean man with the red hair and a thunderous punch was nothing if not determined. According to Robert H Davis, Fitzimmons trained hard, extremely hard – in camp, focusing particularly on roadwork. His endurance would not be an issue.

As for Corbett, the man arguably still knew the value of holding a mental edge over his opponent. Shortly before the fight, both he and Fitzimmons, along with their respective camps, met on a road near Fitzimmons’ training facility. As Davis tells it, both men went to shake hands, only for Corbett to pull his hand away. It was a small matter, true, but fights can be settled on such small matters. Corbett had now lodged himself inside Fitzimmons’ head thanks to perhaps a slight bit of mastery that ultimately shouldn’t have mattered in the least.

Once the two men met in the ring for the fight, however, it was Fitzimmons who refused to shake hands with Corbett.

Mental chess, it seemed, could be played by two. Besides, who knew whether or not Corbett would snatch his hand away again?

Soon, however, all petty matters vanished into the Nevada air as the two men engaged each other in the bout. Corbett, as always, was incredibly slick and extremely hard to hit. Fitzimmons, however, was in phenomenal shape. What’s more, Davis claims Fitzimmons came around to feeling Corbett couldn’t hurt him.

Still, he couldn’t land hard on the lauded Gentleman Jim, either. Corbett, it appeared, was simply too advanced a fighter for the scrappy challenger. Late in the thirteenth round, however, Fitzimmons was said to have landed effectively to Corbett’s body. What’s more, Corbett looked to be genuinely impacted by the punishment.

It wasn’t until the fourteenth round, however, that Corbett learned just exactly how hard the determined Fitzimmons could wallop. The recorded footage of the battle says it all.

Corbett appears to attempt to angle to Fitzimmons’ left. Fitzimmons then goes to Corbett’s body. And Corbett goes down. The champion stumbles a bit, then gamely tries to get up, but the body shot is too damaging. Masterson counts…then the fight is stopped. Fitzimmons, that most unlikely of candidates, is the new heavyweight champion of the world.

Corbett desperately wanted a rematch with Fitzimmons, but the fight never happened.

Corbett would, however, get another chance at glory down the road. As for the Fitzimmons fight, the remaining footage says it all (fortunately, the ending of the bout is still available), and has said it all in the hundred plus years since the fight actually occurred.

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Did A Boxing Match Give Birth To Pop Culture?

Posted on 02/04/2017

Did A Boxing Match Give Birth To Pop Culture?
By: Sean Crose

After having been regarded as heavyweight champion of the world for about a full decade, John L Sullivan was still the man to beat in 1892. While it was true the guy hadn’t had a major fight for himself since 1889, Sullivan was still “the champ,” and, until bested, would remain “the champ” until he finally retired. No matter that he didn’t defend his title against black fighters. No matter that he didn’t defend his title against anyone at all for years on end. It was a different era, one where popular culture as we know it seems to have been on the cusp of being born. Sports icons, too, appear to have been a new development of the time.


And so, since Sullivan was basically the sole founding father of sports celebrities – and perhaps even all celebrities – the guy could pretty much do as he pleased until someone proved to be the better man in the ring. Yet boxing, like time, waits for no man, and there was no denying the fact that John L was now in his thirties and had led quite a hard, boozy life for himself on top of it. He had money. He had fame. He had influence. He undoubtedly still had power in his fists. Sullivan did not, however, have much time left in his reign as the dominant figure in the fight game. For up and coming fighter James J Corbett was calling.

The days of tough guys beating the hell out of each other with bare knuckles were over. The days of physical contests being held on barges away from the grasp of authorities were done, as well. In other words, the world that made Sullivan famous was fading away. To be sure, it was Sullivan himself who chose to fight under the Marquis of Queensbury rules when he agreed to face Corbett in September of that year. That meant the fight would go down in a ring, with three minute rounds and with both fighters wearing padded gloves.

What’s more, the bout would be held at night, in an indoor arena equipped with electronic lighting. Make no mistake about it, the Sullivan-Corbett bout may have rung in the dawn of modern American pop culture. Sport, spectacle and the latest in technological advancement were employed. To be sure, the lead up to the match was such a big deal that round by round updates were to be delivered to Times Square in New York City, so that the world could be kept up to snuff on the action in New Orleans, where the fight was to be held. America at the time was in the midst of a Presidential election. Guess what event, however, is said to have generated bigger headlines?

In truth, it’s hard to think of any other boxing match, or Super Bowl, or modern Olympic Games, or World Series that could match the significance of this single contest between two men from a looked down upon ethnic background. Yet Sullivan and Corbett, unalike accept for the fact that both were Americans of Irish stock who fought for a living, might well have ushered in a new era. Never mind the gamblers who placed money on the fight, masses of people were now keenly interested in a single event which had no direct bearing on their everyday lives. Attention was now being paid to something that didn’t directly involve politics, war, the overall state of the economy or scientific advancement. The times, quite simply, were changing.

As was the sport of boxing. Sullivan was a world class tough guy, but Corbett was a BOXER. More than anyone else, the San Francisco native drew the line between brawler and sportsman. Corbett’s style may not have made for good fighting, but it made for great boxing. Sullivan was essentially a fighter. Corbett was essentially a skilled boxer who employed a scientific and psychological approach to his craft in order to maximize the rules of the prize ring. Considering Sullivan’s age and lifestyle, the bout, for all intents and purposes, was over before it even began.

As Corbett went on to state in his autobiography, however, it was Sullivan, the bigger man with the meaner reputation, who was the betting favorite of the two. When the match finally began on the evening of September 7th, though, it soon became clear who the night belonged to. For Corbett employed footwork and timing to thoroughly frustrate his opponent for round after round. What’s more, when he unloaded on the famed champion, Sullivan felt it. Sure enough, in the 21st round, Corbett gave Sullivan everything he had. Sullivan went to the floor, the referee counted to ten…and an age was over. James J Corbett, who weighed less than one hundred eighty pounds, was now heavyweight champion of the world.

Corbett, ironically enough, was turned off by the crowd’s fickleness. The fans had started off being Sullivan’s supporters, Corbett later wrote. The fact that they were now cheering for the victor after Sullivan had been bested simply seemed tasteless to the newly crowned champ. It’s worth noting that Corbett also had the good grace to go on to write in his autobiography that the Sullivan he defeated in New Orleans was not the Sullivan of earlier times. As for Sullivan, he addressed the crowd after the fight to announce he was glad to have been bested by an American. For Sullivan, despite his flaws, was game enough to admit he’d been beaten, and grateful enough to give credit to the country that offered opportunity for men such as he and Corbett to find true success in. `
He may have been an alcoholic, a racist and a braggart, but Sullivan managed to leave the ring in good taste. It was, simply put, the man’s greatest moment.

Defeat brought out the best in him. As for Corbett, it was his moment in the sun. And, in more than one sense, it was boxing’s moment in the sun, as well. For a new type of athlete had arguably dragged boxing across the line from brawling to legitimate sport. And a quite popular one at that.

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Bare Knuckle Brutality: The Sullivan-Kilrain Fight

Posted on 01/20/2017

Bare Knuckle Brutality: The Sullivan-Kilrain Fight
By: Sean Crose

Fame became John Lawrence Sullivan. Born in the 1850s in the Boston area to Irish parents, Sullivan wasn’t the type of person one would expect to go on to great things. To be sure, the Irish weren’t taken to kindly back then. And an Irishman who was good with his fists might have well have been laughed or shrieked out of polite society. Sullivan, however, was a self promoter. Even more importantly, the young man could back up his words with action. And so, an obscure product of Massachusetts would go on to become America’s first great sports celebrity. Names like Ali, Jordan, Ruth, Bryant and countless others have surely followed after him, but Sullivan looks to have been the original.


First off, Sullivan knew his craft, which was boxing. Here was a man who engaged in bare knuckle combat and laid out opponent after opponent, year in and year out, in a sport which was essentially illegal at the time. It was a hard way to make a living, true, but Sullivan was good at it. He was also good – scratch that, he was great – at making his presence felt. To be sure, Sullivan let the world know, whether through tough talk, or through tough looking photographs, that he was the roughest son of a bitch on earth. Again, the man was a forerunner. For Sullivan started a tradition that men like Jack Johnson, Ali and, less impressively, Adrien Broner would successfully follow years afterwards.

What’s more – Sullivan was willing to prove what a hard case he was in the ring. And, after he knocked out fellow hard case Paddy Ryan in Mississippi in 1879, the Boston Strong Boy, as Sullivan was called, became widely renowned as Heavyweight Champion of the World. The man toured. He offered money to anyone who could knock him out (he always won). He went to Europe and fought there. Oh, and he drank. And drank. And drank.
Things eventually got so bad that it’s said a priest was once called to Sullivan’s bedside. After a point, it became clear the man was no longer at his best.

What’s more, there was tough competition on the horizon. Jake Kilrain was a lean scrapper, who – like Sullivan – was a product of the Boston area. Kilrain was also known as a terrific wrestler, which was important in the era of bare knuckle fighting, as competitors were allowed to toss each other to the ground. Newspaper man Richard K Fox, an individual who was no fan of Sullivan’s, subsequently decided that Kilrain, not Sullivan, was the true heavyweight champ. Needless to say, a fight was arranged that would settle matters.

Sullivan, however, was far from fighting shape. To the man’s credit, though, he was smart enough to take Kilrain seriously. Therefore, he employed the help of William Muldoon, an early version of what we today would call a strength and conditioning coach. Heading to Muldoon’s New York farm, Sullivan kept from going on benders, ate wisely, and walked long distances while also engaging in such exercises as wrestling with Muldoon and bag work. In short, the man got himself into fighting shape. The training would prove to be well needed.

The two men finally met on July 8th, 1889 in Missouri, at a farm in a town called Richburg. Being under the London Prize Ring rules, the bout was fought with bare knuckles. The temperature that day was over one hundred degrees. Oh, and the fight lasted seventy-six rounds and ran over two hours from start to finish. It was a brutal affair indeed, with both men essentially becoming endurance incarnate.

According to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Sullivan – more the striker of the two – took Kilrain down twice in the beginning, only to be dropped by his game opponent in the third. From there on out, however, it was all Sullivan. To be sure, the Boston Strong Boy was able to land on his opponent, and that proved to be all the difference. Kilrain, however, was not a man to give up – not, apparently, under any circumstances. To be sure, the bout turned into a grotesque affair, Sullivan got a cut on his foot. He also apparently got on top of Kilrain and tried choking him. What’s more, Sullivan is said to have absorbed whiskey that had been mixed with tea in between rounds.

Indeed, at one point, we’re told that Sullivan threw up, only to claim that he had merely vomited tea while maintaining the whiskey in his system. Such, it seems, was the scene on that sweltering July day. Ultimately, the bout was stopped by Kilrain’s corner between the 76th and 77th rounds, after a doctor in the audience reportedly made it clear that he believed Kilrain would die if he were to continue fighting. Needless to say, Kilrain was said to be quite displeased with his camps’ decision. Thus ended what’s considered the last of the major bare knuckle matches.

Yet, while boxing was still largely an illegal affair nationwide, the Sullivan-Kilrain fight was indeed a big deal. Lots of people showed up to that farm in Missouri. Lots of money changed hands. The fight had generated significant publicity, as well. To be sure, famed reporter Nelly Bly had interviewed Sullivan in training camp beforehand. Whether the powers that be liked it or not, boxing had become a force to be reckoned with. Things, however, were going to change for the sport. Sullivan-Kilrain was nothing if not an insanely harsh and, yes, dangerous affair.

Boxing, in short, would need to become a true sport and not a barbaric enterprise if it were ever to be embraced by American society in general. Better rules would have to be regularly employed. Matters like fighter safety would have to be of greater concern. Boxing could still be tough and grueling, but it would have to be more than two men brutalizing each other if it were to become at all respectable…or technical. Sullivan may have been in his exhausted glory after the Kilrain fight…but it would be the final shining moment of the man’s career, as well as of his raw style of boxing.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…

Posted on 08/23/2016

Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Smith, Bradley, Chisora, and more…
By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 16th to August 23rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions

Promo Video Released for Canelo vs. Smith

Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith are set to face each other on HBO PPV on Saturday, September 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. A promo video has been released for this fight and can be viewed below:

Canelo vs. Smith Undercard Announced, to Include Rosado vs. Monroe

Most boxing fans wanted to see Canelo Alvarez box Gennady Golovkin in his next face, but instead have to wait for Canelo to fight Liam Smith before he steps into the ring with Golovkin. However, fight fans will get a chance to see two opponents that Golovkin was able to beat, handedly, in the co-main event of the upcoming HBO Pay Per View.

Golden Boy Promotions recently announced that Gabriel Rosado will step into the ring to face Willie Monroe Jr. on September 17th. Two other undercard bouts have also been announced, and they include Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Andrew Cancio and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando del Valle.

Timothy Bradley Jr. Resigns with Top Rank Promotions

ESPN’s Dan Rafael has reported that Timothy Bradley Jr., a former two division champion, has resigned with Top Rank Promotions for a two year extension. Timothy Bradley has been in some big fights with Top Rank Promotions, including three fights with Manny Pacquiao and one fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Top Rank’s stable includes rising stars such as Terence Crawford and Jesse Vargas and Top Rank is even willing to do business with Al Haymon fighters. Plenty of options remain for Tim Bradley that does not include Manny Pacquiao.

Dereck Chisora Back in the Ring on September 10th

Dereck Chisora (25-6, 17 KOs) returns to the ring on September 10 with an eight-round contest against Drazan Janjanin (13-7, 12 KOs) at the Hovet in Stockholm.

The former British, Commonwealth and European Champion is the latest addition to a stacked card in the Swedish capital topped by the female grudge match between domestic rivals Mikaela Laurén and Klara Svensson.

Chisora missed out on a second reign as European Champion in May, losing via split decision to Pulev, but having regrouped, the British boxer and his team will attempt to launch another title assault, starting with a keep-busy contest against the big punching Bosnian Janjanin.

‘’This is the fight game,’’ said Chisora. ‘’If you lose, you have to rebuild and come back. I lost a close fight to Pulev, but I’m still in a good position. I want a rematch, but let’s see if they give it to me. Either way, there are a lot big fights out there for me, and I’m ready to fight anyone.’’
The 32 year-old says he is looking forward to fighting in Stockholm, having never visited the city before, and will be ringside supporting local fighter Anthony Yigit and watching the main event unfold as Laurén and Svensson battle it out for the interim WBC Female World Welterweight title.

‘’I’m excited to be fighting to Sweden,’’ he says. ‘’This will be my first time in Stockholm, but I’ve heard it’s a great place. That is one of the good things about working with a big promoter like Team Sauerland – you get to fight all over Europe, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign with them.

Sullivan Barrera Frustrated with Inactivity, Wants a Top Contender

Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera has been diligently working on his craft in the hot Florida summer under the guidance of trainer Derik Santos.

The former Cuban amateur standout has inexplicably been out of the ring since coming up short against Andre Ward on March 26th in the top pound-for-pound fighter’s backyard. The loss was Barrera’s first and after producing knockout victories in his prior six fights, he is surprised that he hasn’t been back in action.

“I don’t understand it. I’ve been putting on great fights. People have seen my knockouts on ESPN and on HBO Latino. I thought I would have fought again in the summer or at least had a fight lined up by now,” said Barrera.

With a number #4 ranking by the WBA, #8 by the IBF and #12 by the WBC, Barrera is a worthy rival for any upper level opponent.

“Over the past few months there have been talks to face Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Slava Shabranskyy but when it comes down to signing a contract, nothing ever happens. I am willing to fight any of these guys. I went to Ward’s backyard. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. Ward and Kovalev isn’t official. Maybe he can give me my rematch. One of these guys needs to step up so we can give the fans a war!” Barrera stated.

Barrera has been very active, fighting 9 times since December, 2013 and he doesn’t see why he doesn’t have a fight scheduled. His frustration stems from his inactivity. He is used to fighting often.

“I don’t have any problems with my manager or my promoter which is usually why a lot of guys aren’t fighting. Everyone knows I am willing to go to Canada to fight Pascal and I am ready to fight Hopkins anywhere! I heard he is looking to have a final fight and I have no problem sending a legend out with a loss! There were talks of both of these fights. One of these guys needs to sign a contract! Seanie Monaghan hasn’t fought in a while. Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarrez – I would take their ‘0’s’ away too. Just give me a fight!”

Kenneth Sims Jr. Signs with GH3 Promotions

GH3 Promotions is proud to announce the signing of undefeated junior welterweight prospect, Kenneth Sims Jr. to promotional contract.

GH3 Promotions will co-promote Sims with Antonio Leonard Productions.

Sims of Chicago is perfect as a professional, as he sports a record of 7-0 with two knockouts.
Sims was a highly acclaimed amateur, who amassed over 200 fights who became a 2-time National PAL Champion, Sims Jr. was also the 2013 USA National Champion, a Silver Gloves Champion, a Junior Olympic Bronze Medalist, a 3-time Ringside World Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials Semifinalist.

Sims turned professional on March 7, 2014 with a win over Corey Mudrew and has racked up six wins since, with the latest being a six -round unanimous decision over Tavorus Teague on March 11, 2016 in Tustin, California.

Sims will be back in action on September 15th as part of the televised undercard that will feature Thomas LaManna and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison from Philadelphia on the CBS Sports Network.
“This is another key signing for us,”said GH3 Promotions CEO, Vito Mielnicki. “Kenneth is another young and talented fighter who fits in with the blueprint we have set up for our athletes. Young, good amateur career and guys who are looking to fight often and are willing to step up. I am happy to be partnering with Antonio Leonard Productions and working with Kenneth’s manager James Prince and I will be looking to work with them more in the future with other fighters.”

“I am excited to be back boxing and getting back to work,” said Sims. “I am looking forward to being on television. This fight will get me the exposure and people who will know me.”

Like other GH3 Promotions fighters, look for Sims to be fighting regularly. That is a schedule that Sims will relish.

“I am looking forward to staying busy. I had only two fights last year and staying busy will help me make my way up the ladder to winning championships.”

At just 22 years-old, Sims has a good attitude and wants carve out an identity, not only in the boxing world, but be known in his hometown.

“I am trying to make a name for myself and do the best and do something for my city..

Sims is known for his boxing ability, who likes to work the body.

“It has been seven months since I fought and I am ready to put on a show. Philly is a great fight town and I am so excited to fight there.”

Said Sims father, Kenneth Sims Sr., “I am so happy to get back to doing what we love to do. We are happy GH3 Promotions picked us up, and those who didn’t will regret it. On September 15, business will be taken care of.”

Sims co-promoter Antonio Leonard has been by his side since he turned professional and had his eye on an emerging talent since his amateur days.

“I have always felt that Kenneth was a tremendous fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs helping with the U.S. Olympic team. The sparring sessions with him and (2016 Silver Medal winner) Shakur Stevenson were amazing.”

“He has the potential to be a great star. He is a grounded kid and with the help of Vito Mielnicki and GH3 Promotions, there is a good chance he could fight for a world title.”

Sims has been the main sparring partner at different times for the sport’s two biggest names and has performed well and gained incredible experience by working with Floyd Mayweather as he prepared for Andre Berto and with Manny Pacquiao as he was getting ready for Mayweather.

Dee Lee Promotions Presents “Heroes on the Sand” for a Tribute to Our Military

Presented by Vans for a special Tribute to our Military, Thursday, August 25th, 2016 on the beach at the 54th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship, Virginia Beach, VA. Super middleweight Frank “THE FREIGHT TRAIN” Filippone (21-5-1/7 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA will headline this exciting card of knockout artists. Filippone, a Virginia Beach Police officer and former WBA-NABA Light Heavyweight Champion is set to take on, Timothy “The Boss” Hall (9-22-0/5 ko’s) of Athens, GA, in the 6 round Main Event on the Beautiful Beach in Virginia.

The Exciting Co-Main features another local favorite, Portsmouth, VA lightweight Dorin Spivey (46-7-0/33 ko’s). Spivey has fought 7 times for carious portions of the lightweight belts and has actually fought for, captured, defended and relinquished the WBA-NABA Lightweight Championship Crown 5 different times!! Spivey, is matched up against Larry Darnell Ventus (6-10-1/3 ko’s) of Detroit, MI.

Also featured on the Professional portion of this fight card is Jerry “SLUGGER” Forrest (13-2-0/12 ko’s) of Newport News, VA vs. Willis “The Prophet” Lockett (14-18-5/5 ko’s) Takoma Park, MD; First Class Petty Officer Carlos Moore (2-1-1/2 ko’s) of Virginia Beach, VA vs. William Lorenzo (3-19-1/1 ko’s) of Columbia, SC; and Defense Department Diver Roger Belch III (6-0-0/6 ko’s) vs Anthony Dave (0-12-1) of Canton, OH round out the professional end of this mixed Pro/Am fight card.

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