Katie Taylor on the Verge of History
By: Shane Willoughby
Whilst all eyes are on Anthony Joshua this Saturday who is defending his titles at Madison Square Gardens, Katie Taylor can make history on the undercard.
Katie Taylor (13-0) has the opportunity to become the first Irish undisputed champion – male or female, with a victory over Delfine Persoon (43-1).
Like AJ, Taylor is the IBF, WBO and WBA champion and will be facing the number 1 lightweight in the world for her WBC crown.
The Brit has an amazing career undefeated in 13 fights but will have a tough task trying to dethrone Persoon who has held the title since 2014 and has won 34 consecutive fights.
Either fighter will be making history with a victory, as there has never been a Lightweight in the sport to hold all four versions of a world title at the same time.
Female boxing is on the rise and 2019 has already seen Claressa Shields headline an event and become Undisputed champion at middleweight. The winner of Persoon and Taylor will be 1 of 3 undisputed champions currently in women’s boxing.
Maybe the men might need to take a leaf from the women. Boxing fans around the world having been begging for the best to fight the best but to no avail. Women’s boxing is absent of all the politics that has diseased and contaminated the men’s game.
Unfortunately, in any other world an undisputed fight will be mainstream media and getting a great deal of coverage. Britain’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
But when Anthony Joshua is fighting, it’s no surprise that the undercard fighters are left in the shadows, neglected and starving from any form of attention.
However, when AJ is expected to receive $30 million, DAZN and matchroom must not have much money left in the pot to promote anyone else.
Katie Taylor On Delfine Persoon: “May The Best Girl Win”
By: Sean Crose
Heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua won’t be the only fighter of note stepping in between the ropes at Madison Square Garden on June 1st. Although the British multi-titlist will be making his American debut that night against the entertaining Andy Ruiz, another acclaimed titlist will be fighting on the card, as well. For Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be facing Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women’s lightweight championship of the world. The 13-0 Taylor currently holds the WBO, IBF, and WBA titles, while Persoon has held the WBC belt for over five years. Their match is scheduled for ten rounds.
“It’s great,” says Taylor, “to have the opportunity to have the chance to become the undisputed champion…every day in camp has been 100% focused on the task at hand so I won’t sit back and think about it until I’ve actually achieved it as that’s what I am like.” Taylor is also excited to return to Madison Square Garden, where she last fought in December. “The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG,” says Taylor, “I don’t think you could write a better script, it’s an absolute dream. Persoon is recognized as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it’s the best against the best. This is huge for women’s boxing.”
In Persoon, Taylor is facing a 43-1 champion with one of the most impressive records in the sport. “I think it’s going to be a really hard fight,” Taylor claims. “I’ve watched clips of her and she’s very tall and awkward, she punches non-stop for the ten rounds and I think it’s going to be a very physical fight. It’s a huge challenge but the one that I’ve wanted. She’ll bring the best out of me as I have the utmost respect for her and we’re going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win. The famous green belt and the Ring Magazine belts being on the line is just amazing.”
This will be Taylor’s fifth fight in a single year – an oddity in today’s fight boxing world, where top fighters rarely step into the ring more than once or twice. As for Persoon, it will be the Belgian titlist’s fourth fight – again, an oddity in today’s fight game.
Taylor Becomes IBF champ as Inoue Dismantles Rodriguez
By: Michael Kane
Josh Taylor is the new IBF Super Lightweight world champion after a dominant display against Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow.
In a night which saw Naoya Inoue put on a dazzling performance in his bantamweight semi-final bout against IBF champion Manny Rodriguez, the roof nearly came off the SSE Hydro Arena as Taylor was proclaimed IBF king.
The fight started off with Taylor working behind the jab and Baranchyk looking to land big body shots. Taylor was looking impressive working at range.
As the rounds went on Taylor abandoned his distance game and stood toe to toe with the Belarussian, with Baranchyk winning the 5th. The 6th started with Baranchyk landing some good body shots however the tide turned as Taylor landed a great shot to head that had Baranchyk on the floor. He got up quick only for Taylor to apply more pressure and have Baranchyk down once more to send the Glasgow crowd wild.
Baranchyk weathered that storm and was able to apply some pressure of his own and probably picked up the 9th round. He looked like he still could cause Taylor some problems.
All Taylor had to do as we moved into the 12th round was work at distance however the last 30 seconds of the rounds both boxers stood in the centre of the circle and traded shots.
As the final bell rang, Taylor was thrust in the air by his coach Shane McGuigan as the Glasgow fans waited expectantly for the decision.
The crowd were not to be disappointed as scores of 117-109, 115-111 and 115-111 would give the Scot a deserved unanimous decision win and Scotland a new world champion.
Taylor now moves on to the final and will face American Regis Prograis, the WBA Super champion, with both belts up for grabs.
Taylor said of the clash, “I feel I’m the best, he feels hes the best. We both did the job to get to the finals. I feel I’ll win the fight quite comfortable, I’m sure he believes the same.” Before leading the crowd in a rendition of Flower of Scotland.
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) May 18, 2019
In the other world title fight on the card, the Japanese superstar and WBA Regular champion Naoya Inoue would add Manny Rodriguez’ IBF bantamweight title.
Rodriguez was clearly unfancied among the Glasgow public, with some jeers from the crowd, Inoue on the other hand entered the arena as if he was one of Scotland’s own.
The first round started with both fighters landing some nice shots, Inoue landed several body shots that already looked like they could hurt Rodriguez.
It was to be all over in the second as not once, not twice but three times Inoue would have Rodriguez on the canvas as he worked the Puerto Rican’s body.
Rodriguez was widely expected to be Inoue’s toughest test to date but ‘The Monster’ blew yet another opponent away in an awe inspiring performance.
Inoue will now face 4 weight world champion Nonito Donaire in the final.
Taylor and Inoue Look to Advance
By: Oliver McManus
Naoya Inoue strolls into Glasgow at the weekend looking to steam-roll past yet another opponent in yet another world title fight. The WBA’s bantamweight world champion shouldn’t be pigeonholed by way of his slim anime-esque figure with the 26 year old possessing nonchalant fight-ending aggression. Punches thrown from the most innocuous of circumstances have his opponents fearing their safety from every angle, shuffle and punch.
That ability to finish bouts with split-second precision has been meticulously showcased throughout his career with just one of his twelve world title fights going the distance. Perhaps the best characterisation of his effortless brilliance came against Jamie McDonnell last year. McDonnell was granted the daunting task of defending the WBA title against Inoue, in the Japanese fighters first fight in the division, and was caught almost immediately by a mini-flurry of punches that dropped him to the canvas. McDonnell managed to find his senses but was shown no mercy and several shellacking shots to the body finished off the contest for good.
Saturday night at the SSE Hydro will see Inoue look to unify world titles for the first time in his career by taking on, IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. On paper this should be the toughest test since turning professional (in 2012) with his pathway to bantamweight supremacy barely causing Inoue to break a sweat. Eternal legacy is already secured in his homenation but this next stage of his career is about capitalizing on the Western markets – trying to break the UK and the United States. Inoue has already fought on HBO as part of their ‘Super Fly’ series of events, as well as ESPN+ and now Sky Sports, so he’s principally well endeared with the boxing fraternity: all that’s left now is to turn that frightening reputation into global stardom.
His opponent, meanwhile, will look to become the first Puerto Rican champion to unify belts since Miguel Cotto (unless you count Danny Garcia and his heritage) and move a step closer to a homecoming world title fight in the, not too distant, future. The 26 year old’s background is chequered having been held in high regard within his national amateur system but only garnering international success at a ‘youth’ level. In 2010 he received second-degree burns across a majority of his body whilst attempting to set alight a pickup truck and was on the sidelines for ten months.
Since turning professional in 2012, having failed to qualify for the Olympics, Rodriguez set about a fairly unassuming career picking up regional titles from the big governing bodies. Indeed, he was proving to be quite a threat within the South American circuit with knockout after knockout against domestic prizefighters – finishes that came as out-of-the-blue as Inoue’s but against a far diminished level of opposition. The big break for Rodriguez came last May when he fought Paul Butler for the vacant IBF title. Butler looked ragged but Rodriguez looked exceptional as he dropped his opponent twice in the first round and didn’t put a foot wrong in the following eleven to record scorecards of 120-106, 120-106, 118-108.
Suddenly, just like that, the Puerto Rican had announced himself as a major player but, actually, in his last contest (against Jason Moloney) he just couldn’t settle into a regular rhythm and his Australian challenger nipped at his heels throughout. What we have seen, however, is a robust and awkward style that means his opponents struggle to find repeated success in a contest. He’ll need that rugged defense to be as tight as taut rope if he’s going to give himself a foothold for success in the later rounds but, with Inoue in the opposite corner, that’s a big IF he gets into those later rounds.
Hometown hero Josh Taylor remains convinced he will be the first man to defeat, IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk and claim the first world title of his career in doing so. Taylor, the WBC Silver titleholder, has been a prodigious talent ever since he turned professional in 2015 – following Commonwealth glory – and the southpaw now gets his chance to cement himself on the world stage. Despite being one of few, genuine, big names not to have been snaffled up by Frank Warren or Eddie Hearn he is no stranger to the big scene having sold out the SSE three times already in his career.
In his last fight, against Ryan Martin, the 28 year old was able to ease into the semi-final with a comprehensive schooling. Martin looked sheepish on the night, perhaps daunted by the occasion, and Taylor capitalized with a punch-perfect display. Baranchyk, meanwhile, advanced to this stage of the competition with a gruesome stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit: his Swedish opponent was taking considerable punishment and the contest was stopped with Yigit’s eye ballooning up to the size of a snooker ball.
We’ve seen a few rough patches from Taylor since he became professional with him sometimes looking beleaguered but the real learning fight was against Viktor Postol. Postol, criminally written off, refused to wilt in the face of relentless attacks and doubled-down in return with pressure of his own. The Beast from Belarus is reminiscent of, his countryman, Kiryl Relikh in respect of his doggedness and tenacity so is a distinct potential banana skin on Taylor’s record and I expect him to find success. Taylor, you imagine, will have the superior class to keep his head above the choppy waters with the scorecards likely giving him a helping hand.
An “I was there” moment if ever there was one – arguably the scariest fighter on the planet making his UK debut and Scotland’s flag bearer looking to secure the first world title of his career.
WBSS Preview: Taylor vs. Baranchyk, Inoue vs. Rodriguez
By: Michael Kane
The World Boxing Super Series has rolled back into Glasgow this week ahead of arguably the biggest show in the UK so far this year.
The conclusion of the semi-final line up of the super lightweight and bantamweight tournaments takes place at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow.
Prestonpans Josh Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) will face U.S based Belarussian Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12KOs), for the IBF world title which Baranchyk won in the quarter final stage against Anthony Yigit. Taylor progressed to the semi-final after a comprehensive win in Glasgow against American Ryan Martin.
It’s only been a month or so since we knew the fight was definitely set after it seemed Baranchyk wasnt happy with World Boxing Super Series. It does go ahead this Saturday in what will be one of the biggest nights in Scottish boxing history as two world titles fights headline the event.
Taylor has fought several times at the Hydro Arena, from winning Commonwealth Games Gold in 2014 to beating former world champion Viktor Postol last year. With a large expectant home crowd it will be interesting to see how Taylor handles the pressure in his first world title shot and if Baranchyk will handle the red hot atmosphere sure to be created by the Scottish crowd.
The fight could be a close contest and the home support could be crucial to keep Taylor going to the end in a gruelling contest.
🗣️ @JoshTaylorBoxer: "This is the best vs the best!" 🔥
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) May 17, 2019
The other world title fight will see Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) defend his IBF Bantamweight title against Japanese superstar ‘The Monster’ Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15KOs), who will have his WBA regular belt up for grabs.
The press conference on Wednesday would see approximately 80% of the media being made up from Japan showing the popularity of Inoue in his home country.
There has been a bit of animosity between the two camps with a Rodriguez coach pushing Inoue’s father and head coach at the media work out.
This should be the three weight world champion Inoue’s biggest test to date and will be interesting to see how he handles the bigger Rodriguez, who is confident and how Inoue handles fighting away from the home comforts of Japan for the first time.
Rodriguez won his world title when he fought and beat Paul Butler in London last year so has experience of big fights in the UK.
This could be a great fight between two fighters in their prime and a bonus for the Scottish public to see a genuine sporting superstar in Inoue.
World Boxing Super Series will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) May 16, 2019
DAZN Boxing Results: Tevin “American Idol” Farmer & Katie Taylor Win in Philadelphia
By: Ken Hissner
The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday night was the host event as big time boxing returned to Philadelphia. The main event featured Philly’s Tevin “American” Farmer defending his IBF World Super Featherweight Title against No. 2 ranked Jono “Celtic Warrior” Carroll, of Dublin, Ireland. The promoters were Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment and J Russell Peltz’s Peltz Boxing Promotions. The event was well attended
IBF World Super Featherweight Champion southpaw Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 29-4-1 (6), defended his title for the third time in five months by defeating southpaw Jono “Celtic Warrior King Kong” Carroll, 16-1-1 (3), of Dublin, IRE, over 12 exciting rounds.
It was surprising to see the PA commission allowed Carroll to fight with a full beard.
In the first round Farmer gave Carroll a boxing lesson having the jab in an all southpaw match in his face the entire round until the last ten seconds when Carroll landed a combination. In the second round Carroll landed a flurry of punches to the body. Farmer fought Carroll’s round staying inside and getting outworked.
In the third round it was an inside brawl from both fighters. Farmer is quicker and referee Rosato is not warning Carroll’s low flows but from a distance motioning keep them up. The fans love the action. In the fourth round Farmer returned to boxing picking Carroll apart and rocking hin with a right hook to the chin. They are going back and forth inside with Farmer getting the best of it. Farmer ended the round with lightning punches to the body and head of Carroll. Carroll laughed going back to the corner. He is a lovable character.
Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing Twitter Account
In the fifth round Farmer countered Carroll with a left cross on the chin. Carroll is outworking Farmer inside. Farmer knocked out the mouthpiece of Carroll. Farmer is puttin on a show rocking Carroll. Farmer landed a right to the head and a left uppercut to the body. Farmer got warned for a low borderline punch by referee Rosato.
In the sixth round Farmer made Carroll miss a variety of punches and came back with a flurry landing every one. Carroll kept coming. Farmer stayed inside slipping punches and rocking Carroll with a left on the chin. Farmer had Carroll missing several punches at the bell. In the seventh round Farmer has Carroll following him and walking into punches. Carroll is touch as nails but Farmer is much slicker. Farmer landed a double left uppercut on the chin.
In the eighth round both fighters are landing solid punches all inside. Its all body shots from both fighters. Farmer is landing uppercuts at will. The Irish fans are loud at the end of the rounds but not so loud during the round. In the ninth round Carroll is throwing more but Farmer landed the more effective punches. Carroll has the hart of a lion. Farmer has been playing with him but needed to land more punches. Carroll’s got a cut over his right eye. Farmer is a slickster but you never know how the judges see it.
In the ninth round the action is furious. Farmer evades many punches and comes back with solid right hooks on the chin. Carroll is cut over both eyes. Farmer is showing his superior skills. Farmer has Carroll busted up with blood covering his face. Referee Gary Rosato pulled Carroll off as he was trying to land something after the bell in desperation.
In the tenth round Carroll’s glove was untied and his corner took too long to take care of it. Farmer is out there having fun as the Celtic Warrior has him against the ropes being desperate but dangerous. In the eleventh round Farmer will slip head shots but Carroll is landing to the body. Farmer is giving him a boxing lesson but Carroll never stops tring. Carroll landed a good body shot but Farmer has him a bloody mess with head shogts. A right hook rocked Carroll. The corner should have stopped it for Carroll.
In the twelfth and final round Farmer looks to finish it. He landed a right cross to the chin rocking Carroll. Farmer landed a combination to the head of Carroll having him near exhaustion. Carroll kept fighting back like the warrior he is but he is in with a better fighter tonight. The fans enjoyed this one especially the Philly fans.
Scores were 117-110 and 117-111 twice with this writer having it 118-110. The fans loved this one.
IBF World Female and WBA World Female Lightweight Champion and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Taylor, 13-0 (6), of Bray, IRE, stopped WBO World Female Lightweight Champion Rose “The Queen” Volante, 14-1 (8), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, in a unification match at 1:40 of the ninth round in a war now having three belts.
In the first round Volante rushed out landing the first punch. A minute later Taylor dropped her with a flurry of punches for an 8 count of referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. In the second round it was a lot of infighting with both taking the lead. Taylor landed a solid right on the chin but Volante came back with a right of her own driving Taylor into Volante’s corner landing a right to the chin at the bell.
In the third round Volante came out pressing Taylor who countered well. The crowd was yelling “come on Katie”. Volante countered a right with a right moving Taylor back several steps. In the fourth round Taylor landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body. Volante has surprised the crowd going punch for punch with the highly respected Taylor. This was another close round. In the fifth round the women are slugging it out to the delight of the fans. Volante looks like she has a bloody nose.
In the sixth and seventh rounds the women fought back and forth on even terms. In the eighth round Taylor rocked Volante with a flurry of solid punches to the head. Taylor landed a good left hook to the body. Volante came back forcing the action with a right on the chin. Taylor came right back with a right on the chin. Taylor landed three punches to the head. The fans were chanting “Katie, Katie”!
In the ninth round Taylor came out landing a pair of left hooks to the body. Volante came back with a right and got countered with a flurry from Taylor staggering Volante. Taylore landed a pair of left hooks to the body. She followed after a clinch with a flurry of punches to the chin. Volante looked like her nose might be broke as referee Esteves waved it off. The Volante corner did not complain. It was a very good fight from both champions.
After eight rounds this writer had Taylor ahead 77-74.
Volante had nothing to be ashamed of for she fought like a champ. Taylor is one of the most colorful boxers in the game. Humble and very approachable to the press.
Middleweight “King” Gabe Rosado, 24-12-1 (14), of Philadelphia, lost a decision to Maciel “Striczu” Sulecki, 28-1 (11), of Warsaw, POL, for the vacant WBO International Title.
In the first round a solid lead right on the chin from Sulecki dropped Rosado who got up on shakey feet. Referee Clark gave him the 8 count. Rosado was able to get through the round. In the second round Sulecki stalked Rosado who countered with a good right on the chin. Both exchanged rights to the chin. Rosado had the Philly crowd yelling and Sulecki had the Polish crowd yelling with red and white flags flying.
Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing Twitter Account
In the third round both fighters to war with Rosado getting the best of it. Sulecki backed him into a corner with a right to the chin. The fans were really into it. Rosado landed another wild right. In the fourth round Sulecki landed a solid right on the chin. Rosado scores with one right to Sulecki’s three but the fans go wild for Rosado. Rosado landed a right to the chin followed by a right uppercut to the chin. Rosado rocked Sulecki with a right having the fans on their feet.
In the fifth round both fighters exchanged solid rights to the chin. Sulecki landed a combination to the chin. Rosado landed a 3-punch combination to the chin. Sulecki landed a hard chopping right on the head. Good and close round. In the sixth round Suleci is pressing the fight but Rosado is outlanding him. Rosado has swelling on his face while Sulecki is unmarked. Rosado has the crowd behind him since his wild introduction.
In the seventh round Rosado came out using his jab effectively. He has the faster hands. Rosado rocked Sulecki with a right cross on the chin. Rosado landed an overhand right on the chin making Sulecki smile. Rosado landed an uppercut while the referee was breaking them. Then at the bell landed one slightly after the bell on the chin.
In the eighth round Sulecki landed a straight right on the chin. Rosado started showboating and Sulecki replied with a right to the chin. Sulecki missing two and got hit with a Rosado right. Rosado landed aright uppercut but got countered with a powerful right dropping Rosado on his back for the 8 count. Rosado ran around the ring with his hands up in the air trying to recover.
In the ninth round the lead was going back and forth. A right from Rosado dropped Sulecki who got up and got dropped again by Rosado!Rosado hurt Sulecki with a right on the side of the head. Rosado landed two solid punches hurting Sulecki who came back with a right to the chin. The fans were on their feet the entire round. Sulecki clinched and too three hard uppercuts from Rosado on the chin. It turned into a out and out brawl. Rosado won the round and the crowd!
Scoring was McKaie and Braslow 95-91 and Carter 95-95 while this writer had it 95-91 Rosado. Rosado can’t catch a break even in this home city. The crowd was stunned with the decision. All of press row but this writer had Sulecki ahead. Demitrius Andrade was in the crowd and told this writer they will fight in June.
Lightweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and WBC No. 1 ranked southpaw Cool Hand” Luke Campbell, 20-2 (16), of Yorkshire, UK, stopped Adrian “Chinito” Young, 26-6-2 (2), of Sinaloa, MEX, at 1:37 of the fifth round.
In the first round it was all Campbell until halfway through. Young became the aggressor the second half with Campbell wining the round. In the third round Campbell countered well but Young kept coming holding his own. In the fourth round Campbell landed a hard straight left on the chin. He followed with a right uppercut to the chin dropping Young for the 8 count. Campbell landed a pair of lefts to the chin just prior to the bell.
In round five Campbell took over landing punch after punch while Young was cut over the left eye. Young landed his one and only punch a good right on the chin. Campbell landed a flurry of punches driving Young into the ropes reeling until referee Dali wisely called a halt. The UK fans went wild!
Debuting Raymond “Savage” Ford, 1-0 (0), of Camden, NJ, made an impressive debut defeating a game Weusi Johnson, 3-11 (0), of Wilmington, DE, over 4 rounds.
In the first round an overhand left from southpaw Ford dropped Johnson for the 8 count by referee Gary Rosato. Johnson held his own surviving the round. Ford signed by Matchroom and a former National GG champion wanted to impress and did in the round. In round two Ford continued with more punches until Johnson came back quite well. Johnson being a late sub but coming off a win.
In the third round Ford and Johnson fought it out well. It was a close round with Ford getting the edge. In the fourth and final round Johnson knowing he needs a knockdown chases Ford. Ford landed a solid left to the chin that Johnson walked into. Ford seemed content to take the decision.
Scores were 39-36 by all 3 judges. This writer had it 40-35.
Welterweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist southpaw Danivar Yeleussinov, 6-0 (3), of KAZ, out of Brooklyn, NY, defeated Silverio Ortiz, 37-24 (18), of Yucatan, MEX, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Ortiz landed the first punch a right to the chin. Yeleussinov came right back with a combination to the chin. Then landed a hard right hook to the head. In round two Yeleussinov backed Ortriz against the ropes with a flurry of body shots. Ortiz landed a right to the chin getting off the ropes. Another close round.
In the third round Yeleussinov backed up against the ropes countering Ortiz with jabs and lefts to the chin. Ortiz is walking into punches trying to catch Yeleussinov. In the fourth round Yeleussinov warned for low punch by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Yeleussinov landed a hard left uppercut to the chin. Ortiz chased him the entire round.
In the fifth round Yeleussinov was dishing out wicked body punches. Ortiz halfway through the round landed a solid right to the chin. Yeleussinov worked the body for the most part. In the sixth round Yeleussinov would land three punches and Ortiz come back with one. Ortiz got a second warning for hitting behind the head. It was an entire round of in fighting.
In the seventh round Yeleussinov landed a powerful left on the head of a ducking Ortiz knocking him to the canvas but landed a punch while Ortiz was down. Referee Esteves is giving Ortiz all the time he needs to recover. The referee deducted a point from Yeleussinov. It turned into a brawl with inside fighting. Ortiz rocked Yeleussinov with a overhand right to the chin as the bell sounded. Ortiz pounded his chest.
In the eighth and final round Ortiz landed a solid right to the chin. Seconds later Ortiz landed a left hook to the chin. Knowing he is way behind he is looking to pull it out with a knockout but Yeleussinov had too much power for him to overcome.
Scores were 79-71 and 79-72 twice. This writer had it 79-71.
Lightweight Hank Lundy, 29-8-1 (14), of Philadelphia, lost a majority decision to Avery Sparrow, 10-1 (3), of Philadelphia, over 10 rounds of nothing but action! A Peltz Boxing rematch in the making!
In the first Sparrow landed the first hard punch a right on the chin. Luindy landed a hard left hook to the dhin having Sparrow against the ropes. sparrow came back seconds later landing a right on the chin. Sparrow is a much better defensive fighter but got tagged with a right and left hook on the chin seconds before the end of the round.
In the third round Sparrow ducked into a Lundy left hook to the body. Lundy was missing everything but a good jab. Avery landed the final punch of the round a lead right to the chin. In the fourth round Lundy missed with a wild left hook as Sparrow stepped to the side of it. Both are showing respect for one another only throwing jabs. Sparrow landed a right to the chin. Lundy came back missing three punches. It was a close round.
In the fifth round Sparrow landed a left hook to the chin and a right to the body. Lundy continues pressing the fight. He had good body work. In the sixth round Sparrow rocked Lundy with a right to the chin. Lundy works the body when inside while Sparros counters with a right to the chin. Sparrow landed a right to the chin and a left to the body. Both boxers talked to one another at the bell while referee Clark got between them.
In the seventh round Lundy flurried to the body backing Sparrow up. Lundy showed some of his defensive skills making Sparrow miss several punches. Sparrow landed the final punch a right on the chin In the eighth round both take turns pressing ahead. Sparrow landed a triple jab on the chin. Sparrow landed a right uppercut to the chin. Lundy turned southpaw which is his natural.
In the ninth round Lundy missed an overhand right but followed through with a left hook to the body. Sparros landed a lead right to the chin. Lundy landed a left hook to the chin. Sparrow landed a right to the chin. Lundy landing hard body shots. Sparrow landed the final punch a right to the chin.
In the tenth and final round Lundy warned for hitting behind the head by referee Clark. Sparrow missed with two punches but the third landed on the chin. Lundy landed a left hook to the chin. Both were throwing punches at the bell. This one lived up to the build up.
Scores were LaRosa 94-94, Worling 96-92 and Braslow 95-93 as did this writer have it.
John Joe Nevin, 11-0 (4), of Mullingar, IRE, Andres Figueroa, 9-3 (5),
In the first round
D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard, 20-0 (13), of Temple Hills, MD, stopped Victor “Sina” Fonseca, at 2:11 of the fifth round in a scheduled 10.
In the first round after a minute Fonseca landed a pair of rights to the rib cage. Ballard landed a chopping right while inside. Fonseca pushed Ballard against the ropes with a pair of body shots. Ballard landed a right uppercut on the chin at the ten second warning. In the second round both fighters mixed it up well. This is a rematch from when Ballard had stopped Fonseca earlier in their career.
In the third round Ballard landeded a 3-punch combination to the body. He is opening up this round. Again a 3-punch combination to he body and head. Fonseca went back to his corner pretty well beaten but it only takes one punch in this game to come back. In the fourth round Ballard picked up where he left off. There is no quit in Fonseca. Ballard landing hard right uppercuts looking for a knockout.
In the fifth round Fonseca is out landing Ballard until a Ballard low punch hurt Fonseca. Referee Eric Dali is giving him time to re-cooperate. Ballard continues to come forward working the body. A right on the chin and a left hook to the body hurt Fonseca. Fonseca came back with a overhand right on the chin. Referee Dali wisely called a halt after two minutes into the round Fonseca walked back to his corner spitting out his mouthpiece.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Carroll vs. Farmer, Volante vs. Taylor
By: Hans Themistode
Tevin Farmer (28-4-1, 6 KOs) will be looking to defend his IBF Super Featherweight title for the third time when he takes on the undefeated Jono Carroll (16-0-1, 3 KOs). These two will square off at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
Farmer is the definition of “Philly Tough”. Following a knockout loss at the hands of Jose Pedraza way back in 2012 Farmer hasn’t lost since reeling off an incredible 21 wins in a row. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.
In his last contest he easily defeated Francisco Fonseca to keep his streak going. Farmer has long been calling for a showdown with fellow champion, WBA title holder Gervonta Davis. Although that bout has yet to come to fruition there is growing optimism that it will come about soon. If Farmer wants to keep that contest alive, he will first have to get through Jono Carroll. The Ireland born fighter has spent his career fighting in his hometown of Ireland and in the United Kingdom. This will be his first fight on American soil.
For those unfamiliar with the style of Carroll, he is an excellent boxer who comes forward and lets his hands go early and often. He is also slick on the defensive side as well as enjoys making his opponents miss and pay. Farmer coincidentally enough has a very similar style but mostly relies on his defense to get the job done. Both fighters aren’t known for their power as they have a combined 50 fights between them but only 9 knockouts. The game plan for both men will be simple, hit and don’t get hit in return.
At this stage in Farmers career it isn’t just about simply winning fights but it is also about looking as dominant as possible as well. This contest will undoubtedly be the biggest in the career of Carroll as he will be looking to place Farmers world title around his waist. The odds are seemingly stacked against Carroll as not only is Farmer a terrific fighter but he will also have the support of his hometown crowd behind him.
Carrol won’t be the only one on this card looking to upset the odds as WBO Lightweight champion Rose Volante (14-0, 8 KOs) will look to defeat one of women’s boxing rising stars in Katie Taylor (12-0, 5 KOs). The winner of this contest will lay claim to three of the four major titles as not only will Volante’s WBO title be on the line but so will Taylor’s WBA and IBF titles as well. The pressure to perform will rest on both women but more so Taylor as she has been dubbed the next great woman’s boxer.
This amount of pressure is nothing new to Taylor as she has thrived under these circumstances. In 2012 she dominated the Olympic Games and brung home a gold medal in the process. After turning pro in 2016 she quickly won a world title in just her seventh pro fight as she won the WBA belt. In her ninth fight she would add the IBF title to her collection. To say that she is an accomplished boxer would be an understatement. She has all of the necessary tools needed in order to continue to dominate the sport.
With that being said however, she will have a very difficult time with Rose Volante come fight night. The current WBO champion is a skillful fighter who has plenty of power. In her two ring appearances in 2018 she stopped both of her opponents, needing no more than five rounds to get the job done. This won’t be a cake walk for Taylor by any means.
Tevin Farmer and Jono Carroll headline this great card but both Katie Taylor and Rose Volante will absolutely put on a show.
Katie Taylor: “ Everyone Raises Their Game When They Fight Me”
By: Sean Crose
“This could be a monumental year for me, the biggest of my career both amateur and pro,” says IBF and WBA Lightweight Champ Katie Taylor. “I believe that by the end of the year I can look back at being the undisputed Lightweight champion and have had huge fights with Amanda (Serrano) and Cecilia (Braekhus). They want those fights as well, but I have to keep winning and everyone raises their game when they fight me.” Since turning pro just over two years ago, the Irish fighter has become a sensation in women’s boxing, with some considering the 12-0 Taylor to be the best in the sport.
At the moment, however, Taylor must get by the 14-0 Rose Volante, the WBO lightweight champ.“When I sat down with Eddie Hearn a few years ago,” says Taylor, “and talked about turning pro, the one thing we talked about was to fight 3/4 times a year and he’s never let me down, I’m fighting regularly and they are great fights too. I have the chance to win my third World title belt inside two years as a pro, and I’d love to have four fights again this year, but Rose is the only fight in front of me.”
Which means that, although she’s achieved great success under the guidance of Matchroom honcho Hearn, Taylor realizes she can’t sleep on the undefeated Volante. “Rose is a great champion,” says Taylor. “She’s strong and has a big right hand, she’s undefeated too so she’s a proud fighter and she’s chasing the same prize as me. We want each other’s belts and unbeaten records, but I have had a great camp and I am full of confidence. I think I am getting better and I think it will show on the night. This could be a very physical fight and I am prepared for that.”
An interesting aspect of Taylor’s personality is that she appears to be aware of her limitations, as well as her strengths. “I’m at 135 now,” she says, “and I make the weight very comfortably. I could move up to 140lbs but 147? That could be a stretch but maybe I could make it; but anything past that I am not big enough for – so Welterweight would be my maximum. I couldn’t go down from 135, I love food too much!” Ultimately, however, Taylor is supremely confident.
“My speed is going to be key in these big fights,” she says, “and I think that technically I am better than a lot of the other girls as well. I feel I have a great team around me, the best coach in the world in Ross Enamait, I feel so prepared going into every fight. But each one is harder than the last and I am aware of that, but I have a lot of confidence and belief in myself, I really feel that no-one can beat me.”
The Taylor-Volante bout will go down Friday night at Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center. It will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
Katie Taylor Looking To Impress On Canelo-Fielding Undercard
By: Sean Crose
The last time 11-0 IBF and WBA world lightweight women’s champion Katie Taylor stepped inside the ring, it was last fall at Boston’s TD Center. Her opponent? The popular and well regarded Cindy Serrano. Some felt Taylor might have trouble on her hands with Serrano. They felt wrong. Taylor won the bout in such lopsided fashion that the Irishwoman herself even appeared frustrated at Serrano’s lack of ability and/or ambition. This Saturday, Taylor will have an new opponent – and a new venue. For Taylor will be facing off against the 22-0-1 Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden as part of the undercard for the Canelo Alarez- Rocky Fielding super middleweight title throwdown.
Promoter Matchroom Boxing describes Ireland’s Taylor as “an amateur star in the Emerald Isle with an Olympic gold medal added to five World championships and six European golds.” Matchroom adds that Taylor “is hunting unification bouts at 135lbs in 2019, but in unbeaten Finn Wahlstrom, the 32 year old faces the stiffest test of her pro career.” Wahlstrom certainly isn’t any old fighter. Matchroom claims the Helsinki, Finland native “is aiming to become a two-weight World champion…the long-reigning WBC Super-Featherweight champion steps up to Lightweight to achieve that goal on December 15.”
Strangely enough, the two women fought in the amateurs almost fifteen years ago, so there’s a bit of familiarity at play here. “Eva,” says Taylor, “is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs. I was actually drawn against her in my very first international competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a major competition after that she was in the draw!.” Taylor clearly respects her undefeated opponent. “She was always a really tough opponent,” says Taylor, “so it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to have a great professional career. I think this fight will really showcase the best that women’s boxing has to offer and I’m really looking forward to it.”
“I have stated for a longest time,” Wahlstrom states, “that I am ready and I want to engage in toughest fights available. This is the ultimate, biggest and toughest fight anywhere and to have it in the legendary Madison Square Garden is a huge honor.” Like Taylor, Wahlstrom remembers the past she has shared with this weekend’s opponent. “I lost to Katie few times in amateur days,” she says, “but I am sure I won her respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be totally different game with all new avenues to avenge those defeats.”
The fight, which will be aired on the DAZN streaming service – along with the entire card – has the approval of Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn. “This is an amazing opportunity,” he says, “for Katie to fight at MSG. This is by far the toughest fight of her career so far and hugely important moving into 2019.”
“There will,” claims Hearn, “be great Irish support in New York and she (Taylor) adds even more superstar status to this brilliant night of boxing on DAZN.”
WBSS on DAZN Preview: Taylor vs. Martin; Burnett vs. Donaire
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night two of Britain’s best take to the ring for the World Boxing Super Series as 140lb number two, seed Josh Taylor of Scotland, fights undefeated American, Ryan Martin; while WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett of Belfast, steps in with future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. Watch the fight on DAZN.
Whether watching at home or inside the arena you’re sure to remember at least one thing from Josh Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series quarter-final vs. Ryan Martin, and that’s noise. When the ‘Tartan Tornado’ appears to the crowd for the first time on Saturday, the Scottish crowd will erupt. Covering Martin, in a cacophony of sound he’s never felt before as a boxer.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Taylor’s professional-breakout fight was in his five-round dismantling of super-lightweight gatekeeper, Dave Ryan at Meadowbank Sports Arena, in 2016 and since then, five out of Taylor’s six fights have taken place either in Glasgow or his home city of Edinburgh. The fan-base has grown and with it, the anticipation of what the Scottish fans will bring.
Saturday nights venue, SSE Hydro was the base for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, where Taylor won gold, so it stands to reason that he’ll be forever linked with the venue,
‘‘The Hydro is now my home. Every time I fight there I’m getting stronger and stronger and the fans are getting bigger and noisier.’’
The ‘Tartan Tornado’s’ last two fight have taken place at the SSE. Five months ago, the Scottish southpaw went head to head with former world champion, Viktor Postol in his most important professional fight to date.
His performance matched the event, as Taylor, now 13-0 (11KOs) battled through 12 exhausting rounds, dropping the Ukrainian in the 11th, to add another notch to his record and emerge as arguably, the biggest threat outside of the current 140lb world champions,
‘‘My style is based on hand speed and timing. I can punch hard as well…I know if I’m hitting you, I’m putting you down or hurting you. I don’t think there’s anybody that boxes the way I box.’’
‘‘I’ve seen every type of style, every type of fighting you can imagine… My ambition is to move forward, win this tournament and become world champion.’’
Before entering the WBSS, Taylor was making his way through the WBC rankings to eventually face one of the organisation’s belt holders, Jose Ramirez or already confirmed semi-finalist, Regis Prograis. If he wins on Saturday though, he’ll instead face the recently crowned IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk for that title and a place in the final to fight either Kiryl Relikh or Prograis.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin has fluctuated between lightweight and super-lightweight throughout his pro career. Currently 22-0 (12KOs) and training out of Big Bear under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Martin has won minor lightweight titles as an amateur and as a professional.
Towards the end of last year, he picked up the 135lb WBA Inter-Continental strap with a split decision victory over Francisco Rojo; as well as already being the owner of the WBC ‘Americas’ lightweight belt. However, his two fights this year came at the weight class above including a shut-out points victory over Briedis Prescott in May.
Though 22 bouts in, his professional record has been steady in its progress; Martin’s not the type of man who takes any opponent lightly,
‘‘I know Josh Taylor’s a very good boxer, I’m the most athletic, I have the most speed and that’s gonna make the most difference throughout the tournament.’’
‘‘I’ve heard the crowd in Scotland is gonna be a very different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in but I’m gonna soak it all in.’’
Although ‘Blue Chip’ won’t have fought in an atmosphere as raucous as Saturday’s is expected to be, he’s no stranger to performing on the big stage having already performed at venues such as, the StubHub Center in LA, Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena and, probably the most famous boxing venue of all, Madison Square Garden,
‘‘I’m a boxer-puncher. I love to entertain, I love to excite people…Nobody wants to see a boring fighter.’’
‘‘As fighter’s every time we step in the ring we’re risking something so why not risk it on the big stage.
As mentioned earlier, the man to emerge victorious this weekend will go on to face Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, who last week scored a 7th round stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit.
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final sees WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett step into the ring with ‘The Filipino Flash’, Nonito Donaire. The winner will progress to the semis to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
No one can say the 26-year-old Ryan Burnett hasn’t earned his place at the top table of 118lb boxers. The Belfast man has, on numerous occasions, been given reasons to quit boxing, his story, which he outlines in another brilliantly put together Super Series documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu4AaO7UGlc isn’t your regular hard knocks tale.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
He’s overcome neurological issues that he was told were career-ending and been homeless; all before even catching his break in the sport.
‘‘I’ve got a hunger that I know no one in there has.’’
‘‘For a year and a half, we learnt how the brain worked and we started pursuing it to prove that my health wasn’t in any danger…I just always had that mad belief that I am meant to be a world champion.’’
Since around 2014, Burnett has been trained by Adam Booth and since then, established a record of 19-0 (9KOs) which, most significantly, includes becoming a world champion in 2017, for the first time via a completely dominant decision victory over Lee Haskins, and then immediately unifying the WBA and IBF championships with a tough but unanimous points win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Before the WBSS second season fighters was announced, Burnett decided to drop the IBF strap, therefore avoiding a fight with WBSS semi-finalist, and now IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. Instead, Ryan’s one bout so far in 2018 was a fairly routine victory over Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker.
Like all of the top seeds across the Super Series, Burnett recognises the pressure on his shoulders, especially when he’s going up against the power that his Filipino foe is known for,
‘‘I don’t need to be nasty to people, I’m able to switch it like a light switch and I turn into a different person…I picked Nonito because, the better the fighter, the better I become.’’
‘‘We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world and the World Boxing Super Series are making that come true.’’
Currently 38-5 (24KOs), Nonito Donaire’s, last fight was also his latest defeat as ‘The Filipino Flash’ was beaten by Burnett’s fellow Northern Irishman, Carl Frampton.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, the four-weight world champion was asked about any similarities between the two men,
‘‘They (Frampton & Burnett) are similar because they’ve both got big balls. They’re there to fight and that’s something that I like… I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.’’
Nonito hasn’t fought at bantamweight since 2011 when he scored a unanimous decision over, a then 35-0-2, Omar Narvaez. That night in New York he became a two-weight world champion, picking up the WBC & WBO straps as well as improving his own record to 27-1.
He then shifted his sights to super-bantam and eventually the featherweight division where he accomplished world honours in both, but by his own admission, he didn’t feel all together comfortable fighting at the 126lb limit, and the tournament has given him the opportunity to add one more achievement to his already impressive accolades.
‘‘I’ve always come to fight the best out there…I’ve achieved pretty much everything in boxing…The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become the undisputed champion, and that’s the one thing that’s given me this fire.’’
It’s beneficial for both sides as well though as Donaire’s legendary status adds an extra bit of flavour to an already appetising class of fighters that has been whittled down to Naoya Inoue, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete.
‘‘This is a moment for me to rise. When one is driven to a point, there’s only one way to go and that’s going up and that’s rising beyond what I’m capable of.’’
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DAZN Undercard Results: Taylor Dominates Serrano
By: Sean Crose
DAZNs main undercardcard from Boston’s TD Garden arena on Saturday began with England’s 24-0 Kid Galahad making his US debut against fellow featherweight, Toka Kahn Clary; 25-1, of Rhode Island, in a scheduled 12 round affair.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The first portion of the bout was surprising in that Clary, trained by Freddie Roach, was landing more effectively than his European adversary. Perhaps even stranger, Galahad never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm with the counter punching southpaw. Galad gained steam at the end, though perhaps not enough to warrant the UD win he was rewarded with.
Next up, the 26-4-1 Tevin Farmer defended his junior lightweight title against the 22-2 James Tennyson in a scheduled 12 round affair. Farmer looked like he was having a hard time with Tennyson’s pressure but then dropped his man with a body blow in the fourth. Tennyson beat the count but it was a surprising turn from Farmer, a man not known for power punching.
Yet Farmer continued to surprise by stopping his man with yet another body shot the following round.
Afterwards, Katie Taylor entered the ring to the loud jubilation of the many Irish fans in the crowd. Taylor, 10-0 was then set to face off against the 27-5-3 Cindy Serrano in a 10 round bout for her lightweight titles.
Taylor easily dominated the first two rounds with sound footwork and effective aggression. Things essentially stayed the same through to the midpoint of the fight. Serrano did so little that by the 7th Taylor literally motioned her forward. Later in the round, Serrano actually threw punches at air, inches away from a relatively stationary target. it was a truly dreadful affair. Taylor couldn’t finish Serrano…and Serrano simply refused to fight.
Taylor walked out with a UD win after the bell mercifully sounded to end the final round.
Katie Taylor: “I Am Loving The Pro Game”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m so excited about this fight. The fact it’s in Boston means it’s going to be like a home from home for me in there with all the Irish support.” These words, which come from the mouth of Ireland’s Katie Taylor, the women’s WBA and IBF lightweight titlist, make one thing clear – she’s looking forward to facing the 27-5-3 Cindy Serrano at Boston’s TD Center Saturday night on the undercard of the Demtrius Andrade – Walter Kautondokwa middleweight title bout. This weekend will mark the 10-0 Taylor’s third fight stateside and will be aired live via DAZN streaming service.
Photo Credit: Katie Taylor Twitter Account
Taylor is quick to credit promoter Eddie Hearn with a good portion of her success. “Eddie was as excited as me about the future,” she says, “and now I have the chance to be a part of the new venture with DAZN too which is great for me.” The former Olympic Gold medalist isn’t one to rest upon her laurels. “I am developing a fan base in the US as well as back home in Ireland and the UK,” she claims. “It’s such an exciting time for me and I am loving the pro game.”
Things have clearly gone well for Taylor since she turned pro back in 2016. “I love fighting in the US and this is a really big fight with a big name on a huge platform in Boston and on DAZN,” she says. “These are the kinds of fights that I am in the sport for.” Fighting in Boston, with its huge Irish American population, will unquestionably give the 32-year-old a boost.
As Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing states: “Katie Taylor believes another show-stealing performance in her WBA and IBF World Lightweight title defense against Cindy Serrano at the TD
Garden on Saturday night, live on DAZN can make her become a household name in Boston.”
Things haven’t always been easy on Taylor. A documentary, “Katie” details the fighter’s struggles both in the ring and with her family. With that in mind, the fighter has been able to forge herself a perfect record in the nearly two years since turning pro and has no intention of letting up as she watches her star begin to rise. Serrano, however, clearly has other plans. The Brooklyn based fighter hasn’t lost since 2012. She’s also the sister of noted champion Amanda Serrano, owner of the WBO women’s super-lightweight title.
Josh Taylor Confident Ahead of World Boxing Super Series Debut
By: Michael Kane
The World Boxing Super Series rolled into Glasgow today for a press conference ahead of their November 3rd show at the SSE Hydro Arena.
Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9 KO’S) defends his WBA ‘Unified’ championship against former multiple division world champion and legend of the sport Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24 KO’s)
However all eyes today were on a boxer, in which Scottish hopes of another world champion rest on, Prestonpans Josh Taylor.
Taylor (13-0, 11 KO’s) takes on American Ryan Martin (22-0, 12 KO’s) in a quarter final tie, with Taylor defending his WBC Silver Super Lightweight Title.
Taylor will be returning to a familiar venue having fought his last two fights at the Hydro, beating Winston Campos by 3rd round TKO in March and then an unanimous decision over former world champion Viktor Postol in June. Taylor also won gold at the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow in 2014 as an amateur.
When asked about appearing at the Hydro Taylor said, “Its brilliant, I feel the Hydro is now my home, I’ve had such great success there since 2014.
“My biggest victories as a professional have been in the Hydro as well, so it definitely feels like my home. Looking forward to get travelling, going around the world as part of this tournament and seeing different places.”
What does Taylor expect to face from Martin?
“I’ve only seen bits and bobs of him, I’ve studied enough of him to know what I need to watch for.
“I know he’s a very well rounded fighter, got fast hands, good defensively. Good variation of punches and knows his way around the ring. He’s obviously got power as well although his record doesn’t say, only got 12 stoppages in his 22 wins.
“I know he’s going to throw punches and be strong and I’ll have my hands full. I’m fully confident I’m going to come out on top.”
Taylor continued to say how he feels great in training and more settled.
“The way I’ve been performing in the gym, I’m more settled now, got myself my own place down in London. So I’m settled, happy and I’m firing in the gym.
“I feel this is the best shape and condition I’ve been in since I turned professional, so feeling really confident.”
Taylor went on to say how he feels invincible fighting in front of his own fans.
“I think it’s brilliant, I don’t think there is anybody that will beat me in front of those fans at the Hydro.
“The atmosphere they make, the noise they make and the support they give me, they throw every single punch with me. So there is no way anybody will beat me in the Hydro, definitely no!”
There are a host of quality Super Lightweight fighters in the tournament, Regis Prograis, former world champion Terry Flanagan and WBA champion Kiryl Relikh. Does Taylor fear any of them?
“I’m not really fussed about any of the opposition. I feel I can beat every single one of them that’s in this competition.
“With that being said, they’re all good fighters, with good amateur careers and very tough fighters. They’re all undefeated, I think. Yeah it’s stiff opposition but I’m fully confident I’m going to come away with the trophy.”
With the World Boxing Super Series being a tournament, Taylor already knows who he could face in the semi finals should he over come Martin. He will face the winner of Ivan Baranchyk v Anthony Yigit who are fighting for the vacant IBF world championship.
Does Taylor have a preference?
“I don’t care. I think Baranchyk will probably get through that and if so I’m confident I can win that.
“And if Yigit wins it I know I will win that fight as well. I’ve had experience of him in the ring as a professional and experience of him in the amateurs as well. So I’m fairly confident of winning that fight so I’m not bothered who I face.”
With all indications pointing to a packed Hydro Arena backing Taylor, few would bet against him beating Martin and making it to the semi final for a chance at his first world title shot.
The hopes of Scotland rest on his shoulders to add another world champion to a list that includes Benny Lynch, Ricky Burns, Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan.
Scotland’s Sensational Seven
By: Oliver McManus
Scotland has a proud history of fighters and I’m not just talking your modern day Ricky Burns, the last superfluous talent hailing from north of the border to hold a world title, but look back through the time-honoured history of boxing and you’ll see, again and again, the burning blood of a Scotsman – Benny Lynch, Ken Buchanan, Jim Watt, Alex Arthur, Jackie Patterson to name just a few – so who could be next to stoke the fires of such a fiercely patriotic nation?
Well the immediate choice that springs to mind, perhaps patently obvious to many, is Josh Taylor who, for a long time now, has had, not just Scotland, but much of the world set on notice as to his sublimely ridiculous boxing ability.
The Super Lightweight has a world title of his own firmly on the horizon with his participation in the 2018/19 World Boxing Super Series potentially resulting in three of the sport’s most prestigious rewards belonging to The Tartan Tornado come the end of 2019.
One of the purest talents in boxing at the moment, Taylor’s rise to the top of the 140lb division has been as quick as it was predictable and his ability to dictate the pace of bout from the centre of the ring, utilising the full area of the canvas, ensures that he always looks in full control – even against Viktor Postol when the Ukrainian rallied forward, Taylor was able to remain calm and collected.
And, talking of Viktor Postol, that fight seemed to be a potentially defining moment in the development of the 27 year old with the bout being a perfect display of timely match-making which, whilst far from the most complete performance, produced plenty of aggressive intent – Taylor kept his left foot on the outside of Postol’s lead leg, allowing him the freedom of movement not often allowed to southpaws and, indeed, a failure to do this from Terry Flanagan saw him embroiled in a firefight with Maurice Hooker earlier in the year.
Simple things but they don’t half make life easier when done well.
Looking towards Josh’s immediate future, specifically the WBSS, then you would say it is hard to see who, from the chosen eight competitors, has the capability of beating him. Regis Prograis is the one who would come closest but you’d still put good money on the 2014 Commonwealth gold medallist to do the job and, equally, to do it in style.
From the established contender to the emerging talent and I’m actually going to double up on this category with both Willy Hutchinson and Lee McGregor already looking like a couple of classy prospects with big futures ahead.
McGregor has had a torrid time out of the ring with three family deaths last year but, in spite of all that, the bantamweight is refusing to let his motivation waver with a renewed desire to fulfil his potential and make his family proud.
With Shane McGuigan in the corner it’s not hard to see where the 21 year old gets his grit and determination from with McGregor taking his, relatively, limited amateur experience and continually learning on the job but learn he does with each fight marking a clear progression in his ring maturity.
Against Goodluck Mrema in June we saw a calculated display against a vastly more experienced competitor as Lee immediately controlled the bout with a peppering left jab from his crouched stance before piecing together some well-thought-out three, four punch combinations to stop Mrema in the fourth round – a fourth stoppage from four fights – to claim the IBF Youth title.
Evidently still in the early phase of his career, you’d like to see him cut off the ring a bit more and press the tempo a bit more but that’s something that will come when he gets in the ring with a higher of calibre of opponent so it’s more of a nitpick than any major concern but, certainly, it’s all looking good for Lightning as he looks to make a flashing impact on the bantamweight scene.
If we then move up to the light-heavyweight division you’ll find Hutchinson campaigning under, Frank Warren’s, Queensbury Promotions banner with the Carstairs-resident possessing a five and 0 record just 10 months into his career.
Having started life in the paid ranks as part of the, ambitious, Hayemaker-Ringstar platform, the move to Warren coincides with a readiness to start challenging for titles of some sort or other and, like with many, his biggest learning fight came against the experienced Adam Jones.
Jones, 7-32-6 at the time, is one of the durable, awkward journeyman in and around the division and has caused issues for more than a handful of prospects – Dan Azeez, Andre Sterling, Charlie Schofield, Fred Evans, Paul Upton, the list goes on and on – but the, relative, threat of Jonesy was nullified pretty easily by Hutchinson who swept his way to a 40-37 decision win.
Freakishly lanky for a 175lb campaigner, Scotland’s most successful amateur boxer, has the requisite skill-set to enable him to box successfully at range as well up close and in the pocket but tends to start in a blistering fashion with an immediate flurry of punches being thrown in the direction of his opponent.
Strong punch variety, mixing up the shot selection and working the angles with a ramrod left jab followed by protruding shots to the head and body, Hutchinson has the firepower to finish off many an opponent and with many years ahead of him, he’s only going to get better.
Rising up the rankings across multiple weight divisions in the women’s game is, aptly named, Hannah Rankin who has already been making huge waves just seven fights into her professional career.
A former white collar boxer, Rankin made the transition into the professional game in May of last year and has had more than her fair share of issues when it comes to finding opponents – a shot at the Commonwealth title in April had to be cancelled due to visa issues but in the back half of 2018, Rankin’s stock has risen immeasurably.
Up against Saana Turunen, for the WBC Silver title, Rankin went 10 rounds for the first time in her career and did so with ease, picking off her Finish opponent comfortably and stamping her authority on the bout.
A world title shot followed a mere seven weeks later, again going up in weight, as she challenged Alicia Napoleon for the WBA Super Middleweight belt and – outrage about it not being shown on the Fox broadcast aside – despite losing the contest by a margin of six, eight and six rounds on the scorecards, Rankin put in one hell of a fight to emerge with a bolstered reputation.
Mentored by the great, Sweet D, Derek Williams and managed by Sam Kynoch, the professional bassoonist has invigorated a whole new demographic into the women’s boxing scene and with a comparatively small pool of fighters, the 28 year old has the class and pedigree to compete at the top for a long, long time.
Always producing fireworks, Rankin may very well be the spark that ignites a whole new generation of boxers to take risks, refuse to believe supposed limitations and just take the dive into the deep end.
It is curveball time because this next man isn’t Scottish but, well, rather a Congolese heavyweight based in Airdrie and coached by “Scotland’s most successful professional boxing gym” with Billy Nelson – so whilst Martin Bakole doesn’t strictly count, I wanted to include as much for how much Nelson rates him as anything else.
Those that have seen him spar Anthony Joshua repeatedly declare that Bakole is “a handful for any heavyweight” and Dave Alllen is one of those guys that think the IBO Inter-Continental champion has the attributes to go all the way to the top.
A fixture on Channel 5’s broadcasts, Bakole has hit his stride as of late with two successive first round knockouts – over Ali Baghouz and DL Jones, namely – and whilst a fair few are quick to denounce those wins as bums, nobodies, journeyman (Twitter is a wacky place), the manner in which Bakole has dispatched of the two was nothing short of destructive.
Indeed what’s more impressive is that he managed to beat Baghouz and Jones in a quicker fashion than two of the more hyped world heavyweight prospects in Daniel Dubois and Tony Yoka. Despite that, Bakole has a distinct lack of attention being shone his way which, in part, is down to his quiet and humble demeanour.
Heavy-handed from the opening bell, Bakole comes out firing punches with bad intentions, immediately settling into a rhythm and looking to detonate the, almost, rhythmic right hook of his with consummate ease.
Martin Bakole is next out on October 13th, in London, with his proposed opponent being a former world title challenger – a chance, presumably, for Bakole to test himself against somebody of note.
Back from that minor detour to a full-blooded Scot and, quite possibly, the most Scottish boxer there is in Gary Rae and the bantamweight has found his a delightful consistency with his trainer, Mark Breslin, who has overseen his progression from an amateur all the way back in 2010.
A relationship that Gary describes as “like father and son”, the 30 year old thinks their bond is something that separates him from his rivals –
“For me it’s so important, the continuity, I need that and Mark has looked after me ever since I started… I’ve got a really good bond with Mark, there’s a mutual trust and a genuine care for each other. Not many others have that relationship with their coach, other than when they train with their dad, but I trust him completely and, hopefully, it’ll stand me in good stead”.
At 5ft9, Rae has had to adapt to punching downwards in the 122lb division but likes to stick to the basics, keeping his distance, landing some nice body shots before jumping into the inside and landing a quick 1, 2, 3. It’s this pattern of his that he uses to keep the fight flowing and in his control before the time comes to crank up the pressure.
As good as he is in the ring, for Gary the key strengths lie outside of it, in his mentality and the people around him and it’s his slightly obsessive personality that gives him the edge –
“I always want to do the best job and I will always give 100%, blood, sweat and tears. If I don’t win I want to be able to say it was by the better man not because I didn’t give everything and I will never cut corners, I need to know I’ve given myself the best opportunity.”
Fighting on October 6th, in Paisley, against Scott Allan for the vacant Celtic Bantamweight title, the full-time painter is looking to get the title under his belt in order to fulfil his aspirations of turning fully professional by the end of next year; with a desire to move through the weights and a determination stronger than iron, Gary “Bueno” Rae is the one guy you’d put your money on to deliver the goods.
And as if to bring this whole article full circle, dare we even rule out Ricky Burns? 50 fights as a professional and still going strong, in a division where one or two good wins can earmark you for a world title shot, Burns is well placed to chase those legacy-defining marquee fights as he enters the final stage of his career.
Looking at the landscape of Scottish boxing, you’d be hard-pressed to say the future doesn’t bode well with experienced wise guys and blazing young challengers carving their own paths through the divisions – some are seeking one last shot at glory, some are building to an ever-lasting legacy whilst others, well others, are just doing it for the love of the sport but every fighter starting out, winding up, has the proud blood of Scotland running through their veins with the knowledge that, win or lose, they’re giving it their all and doing a nation proud.
Sanjarbek Rakhmanov Prepares For “War” Against Marquis Taylor
By: Sean Crose
“When I was young,” welterweight Sanjarbek “War” Rakhmanov tells me, “twelve, thirteen years old, Las Vegas was my goal.” Not just Las Vegas, perhaps, but also the kinds of big fights that Las Vegas offers. If reaching great heights was the endgame, the undefeated Rakhmanov, can perhaps consider himself on his way. Not only does the native of Uzebekistan live and fight in Vegas now, he is also a part of Floyd Mayweather’s prestigious Money Team. “I have a good team,” he tells me. “I’m really proud of that.” So far, at least, the man is more than keeping up his end of the bargain. With an undefeated record and a fight coming up this Friday against Marquis Taylor at Vegas’ Sam’s Town, it’s clear the fighter is on a roll.
“He’s a tall guy,” Rakhmanov says of Taylor. “He’s boxing good…it will be a good fight. We have different styles.” The thought of fighting once again in his adopted hometown, where all but two of his previous fights have occurred, appeals to the twenty-eight-year-old. “I love that place,” he says of the boxing Mecca. Coming to America and being part of the Money Team was a sensible transition for the man after a standout armature career. “In my country,” he says, “I was number one in my division.” His pedigree was not something that went unnoticed for those eager to sign new talent.
And, sure enough, Rakhmanov has his sights set on the future. A man who knows how to pressure effectively, feint, and pick his shots for maximum effect. Rakhmanov claims that he and his team “have big goals.” He’s not about to rush things, however, as too many fighters tend to on the way up. “I think a couple of fights,” he says when I ask when he thinks he’ll be ready for a title shot. “Maybe two or three.” First, though, he’ll have to get past Taylor, a man with a solid 9-1 record of his own. Rakhmanov feels ready. “Training’s going very good,” he says.
The Money Team clearly has faith in its rising fighter. As it states on its website: “The welterweight prospect is patient and takes something away from each fight, enabling him to continue developing his technique and climb the ranks.” Rakhmanov doesn’t intend on letting anyone down. “I love my team,” he says. “I want to just say thank you to everyone whose supporting me,” he states later in the interview. If the fighter, who’s known as “War,” continues winning, he may start having a lot more people to thank.