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$250K and a Shortcut to World Title Belt Awaits Winner of Epix Series The Contender


By: Vishare Mooney

Southern California middleweight fighters Shane “Sugarman” Mosley, Jr. (13 – 2) and Brandon “The Cannon” Adams (20 – 2) will face off tonight in a ten round bout at the L.A. Forum in what looks to be an exciting live finale for the Epix series The Contender. The top prize is significant for any fighter: $250,000 and a top ten WBA ranking. The latter effectively gives the winning Contender a shortcut to a world title belt. Current rankings for Mosley Jr. and Adams are 149 and Inactive respectively (Adams had been on a three year hiatus until the show). The co-main event will feature brawler Michael “The Silverback” Moore (17-2) and Contender fan favorite, Louisiana fighter Eric “The Babyface Assassin” Walker (17-2).

Though each fighter was portrayed in the unscripted twelve episode series, as an underdog in their own way, the two finalists may actually have been the most overlooked in terms of their boxing skills. Mosley, Jr. in particular seemed to have the reputation of riding on his father’s name. He was called out by Devaun Lee and Moore, among other fighters, who wanted a win against a Mosley Jr. under their belt. Mosley, Jr. seemed to hold his own and never took the drama bait that often occurred in the house and in reality tv. His demeanor was all business.

At an interview with Boxinginsider, Mosley Jr. spoke of his time at the Contender house. “I try to be true to myself and you know, I want to win so you can’t be involved with the crazy nonsense that’s going on in the house. Of course, you have to adapt a little and be involved in some of the stuff but for the most part you try to find your own space so that you can shine.”

Mosley Jr. soundly bested Devaun Lee in his first tournament fight with two knockdowns in a somewhat sloppy brawl. In his second win against Danny Valdivia, Mosley, Jr. showed impressive jabs and footwork. And in the close semifinal bout with Michael Moore, he impressed the judges with effective aggressive punches which rocked his opponent.

The legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, who will be in Adams corner tonight, said of Mosley Jr. at yesterday’s press conference, “I’ve seen Shane fight before and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight better than he did in the tournament. I think he did raise (his) level.” Mosley, Jr. prior to the show, was training at Roach’s Wild Card gym. “He fought better than I’ve ever seen him before,” said Roach.

And while Mosley, Jr. has been fighting to create his own “Sugarman” legacy and emerge from his father’s shadow, Brandon Adams, has been steadily working, training to emerge from obscurity. As can be the fate of many fighters, Adams had signed with a promoter that produced no fights for him – hence the forced hiatus from boxing until The Contender came calling to give him that opportunity. “This is boxing, anything can happen. I train for the “happen” to happen for me.” Adams and Mosley, Jr. were part of the same gym, Maywood Boxing, years ago and Adams has actually sparred with Shane and his dad.

Adams, in the three years not having a bout, has never stopped training or sparring. “I was sparring, training. I was training as if I always had a fight coming up.” He was more prepared than anyone realized. At The Contender, Adams quickly caught the attention and stole wins from the other contestants. Famed coach Nazim Richardson, who is Shane’s coach for the finals, gave props to Adams, “The names that he faced, were the names that everybody said were going to win.” In particular, Adams had a dramatic win over Eric “Babyface Assassin” Walker, the favorite to win the competition. Adams said of Mosley Jr. and tonight’s fight: “He’s grown, he’s a tremendous fighter, he made it to the finals, I’ve grown, I’ve made it to the finals. It’s bittersweet, but we both wanna win.”

As for fight predictions, Freddie Roach calls it even. “This is not an easy fight in the finals. This is a give and take fight. We’ve got two great fighters going against each other. To me, it’s a 50-50 fight.”

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Demetrius Andrade Looks to Grab His Slice of the Middleweight Title Pie


By: Sean Crose

“I take every fight very seriously,” says 25-0 middleweight contender Demetrius Andrade. “I have since day one.” Andrade’s fight this weekend, against the undefeated knockout artist Walter Kautondokwa at the TD Center in Boston for the WBO middleweight title, caps off a journey filled with down periods and frustration. Since having teamed up with promoter Eddie Hearn, however, Andrade is happy with how things are working out. “My situation,” he says, “is great right now…had I not made the move with Eddie, I would have been fighting in England, having tune-ups or waiting around still.”


Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account

After fighting only three times in a three year period, Andrade won two fights in 2018 against notable opponents Jack Culcay and Alantez Fox, and is now preparing for his shot at the head of what he says might become boxing’s latest “glamour division,” the middleweight realm. “I think Middleweight can be the new glamour division in boxing,” he says. “We have big names at 160lbs and if you look at 154lbs, those guys are going to grow and they’ll have to come up – look at Jarrett Hurd, he’s a big dude. The division is hot and it’s going to get hotter.”

With names like Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin sitting atop the middleweight heap, Andrade, who has always been highly regarded, will be breathing rarefied air should be get a belt of his own this weekend. “If everyone involved with the elite does their jobs,” the outspoken Rhode Islander claims, “we can make these big fights. The window is starting to close on those fights though, people get old, people move on, and people look to run around and fight lesser guys like the Charlos do.”

“I want to fight the best,” he adds, “only and often.” Andrade was supposed to face the highly regarded Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday. Unfortunately, Saunders was popped for having a banned substance in his system and was subsequently out of the picture. In stepped Kautondokwa, a largely unknown fighter with a terrific record of 16 knockouts in 17 fights. “When you are fighting lower level opponents,” says Andrade, “you can afford to get in there four or five times a year, but at the level I want to operate at, you can’t do that.” Here is a man who clearly wants to place himself at the top of the mountain.

“I’m going to take it one step at a time, do my job against Walter, come home with the belt and we will look to get out early in 2019,” says Andrade. “I know Eddie and DAZN want to keep me active and that’s great, and if it’s going to be the rest of the elite guys, then let’s go.” DAZN, the online streaming service, will be airing the fight live this weekend. In fact, it will be airing the entire card starting at 4:30 PM eastern standard time on Saturday.

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45 Year Old Fres Oqendo Gets Title Shot After 50 Months of Inactivity


By: Ken Hissner

After watching the Anthony Joshua and Joe Parker unification title fight did you see who is getting a WBA title shot on September 29th in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany?

The former two-time world title challenger has held minor titles such as USBA, NABF, WBA, WBC & WBO Latino belts. The 45 year-old Fres “The Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), of Chicao, IL, hasn’t fought since July 6th of 2014 which is some 50 months. He is ranked No. 2 and will be fighting champion Manuel Charr, 31-4 (17), born in Lebanon who fights out of Germany who defeated Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 34-1, for the vacant title in Germany on November 25th of 2017 and hasn’t fought since. It will be ten months since winning the title when he defends against Oquendo.

In Oquendo’s last bout he lost a majority decision to Ruslan Chagaev, 32-1-1, in Grozny, Russia. In Chagaev’s second defense he lost to Lucas Browne of Australia who gave the title up without a defense. Oquendo had won his first twenty-two fights including winning the NABF title. He defended it against David Tua and was stopped in the 9th round.

Russian Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-1 (24), back on May 30, 2014, knocked out Charr and is his No. 1 contender and being by-passed as usual. He holds the WBA Inter-Continental and the WBO International titles. The former 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist was in line to fight WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder but failed a drug test. He then took two more, passing and failing again.
To give you an idea how the WBA ranks their heavyweights BJ Flores, 34-3-1, who was a cruiserweight up until 2017 when he defeated Jeremy Bates, 26-18-1, in February and in his last fight in June of 2017 in a scheduled six rounder defeated Nick Guivas, 13-6-2. Those two wins earned him the No. 6 spot in the WBA rankings?
This isn’t just with the WBA but with other organizations that keep certain boxers in the rankings after over a year of inactivity. But to keep Oquendo ranked after 50 months of inactivity and having lost his last fight you have to wonder what the other contenders are thinking.

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Who Holds The Most Successful Title Defenses Record?


By: Ken Hissner

Since the 1940’s we’ve heard how heavyweight champion Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3 (52), held the most title defenses at 25. What you may have not read is there are two other boxers who have passed that record and are both at 27 defenses.

Louis still holds the record for the most defenses in the same division. The first boxer to pass 25 defenses was none other than Mexico’s Julio Cesar “J.C.” Chavez, 107-6-2 (86).

In September of 1984 Chavez won the vacant WBC World Super Featherweight title in his 44th fight improving his record to 43-0. He defeated Mexico’s Mario Martinez, 33-1-2, in the eighth round in L.A.

Chavez would make nine defenses of the WBC World Super Featherweight title before winning the WBA Lightweight title in November of 1987 stopping Puerto Rico’s Edwin Rosario, 31-2 in the eleventh round in Las Vegas. In a non-title bout in March of 1986 he improved his record to 50-0 knocking out Roberto Collins Lindo, of Costa Rica in Las Vegas. In his second defense he defeated WBC champion Jose Luis Ramirez, 101-6, of Mexico, by TD eleven rounds in a unification bout ahead 96-94, 95-93 and 98-91. He would give up the WBA title.

In Chavez’s next fight he won the WBC Super Lightweight title from Roger Mayweather, 34-5, by RTD 10, in Inglewood, CA. It was their second meeting with the first for Mayweathers Lightweight title. In his third defense he added the IBF title in a unification bout win over Philadelphia’s Meldrick Taylor, 24-0-1, at 2:58 of the 12th and final round. Taylor took his eyes off of referee Richard Steele when he saw his trainer Lou Duva coming up the steps. Steel prematurely waved the fight off with just two seconds to go. Taylor was ahead 107-102 and 108-101 but behind 105-104. It was Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year!” Chavez improved to 69-0. It would be four and a half years before Taylor got his rematch.

Chavez would defend both the WBC and IBF titles twice before giving up the IBF title. Five title fights later he would stop Greg Haugen, 32-4, in the fifth round in Mexico City before 132,247 in attendance in February of 1993.

After another defense Chavez tried moving up and taking the WBC Welterweight title from Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, 32-1, that ended in a majority draw in September of 1993 in San Antonio, TX.

Two fights later in January of 1994 Chavez lost his title to Frankie “The Surgeon” Randall, by split decision in Las Vegas. He was dropped for the first time in his career in the eleventh round and lost two points for low blows in rounds seven and eleven. Four months later in a rematch he re-won his title on a TD in eight. He was ahead 76-75 and 77-74 while behind 76-75.

The next fight would be the “re-match” with Taylor, 32-3-1, in September of 1994 some four and a half years later in Las Vegas. Taylor then went onto win the WBA welterweight title two fights later. He would attempt to move up to super welterweight losing to WBC Champion Terry Norris. In his next fight he would lose his welterweight title to Venezuela’s Crisanto Espana fighting out of the UK. He would win his next three fights before meeting Chavez again losing in the eighth round behind on two cards and even on one. Chavez would improve to 91-1-1.

In December Chavez made what would be his final successful defense against the former WBA World Lightweight Champion Tony “The Tiger” Lopez, 45-4-1, of Sacramento, CA, stopping him in the tenth in Monterrey, MEX. It was his twenty-seventh overall. He had nine at Super Featherweight, two at lightweight and sixteen at Super Welterweight.

Four fights later, Chavez would lose his title to Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 21-0, being stopped in the fourth round. After two defenses De La Hoya would move up to welterweight and defeat Whitaker. Three fights later Chavez would fight to a draw for his former WBC Super Lightweight title that ended in a draw against Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 42-1, in a vacant title bout. Chavez would try to win another title but lost in fights in De La Hoya and world champion Kostya Tszyu.

The other boxer who also has made twenty-seven successful defenses is Omar Andres Narvez, 47-2-2 (25), from Chubat, Argentina. This southpaw is still active at age forty-two. His upcoming fight with southpaw South African Zolani Tete, 26-3 (21), of the UK, will be for his WBO World Bantamweight title on February 10th in the UK.

Except for being held to a draw in his fifth and seventeenth fights Narvaez his record was spotless winning the WBO World Flyweight title when he was just 10-0-1. It was in July of 2002 winning a lopsided decision over Adonis “Caballo” Rivas, 17-2-1, of Nicaragua.

In the fourth defense for Narvaez he was held to his second draw by Italy’s Andrea Sarritzu, 17-1-1, in Italy in a rematch. He was the WBO Inter-Continental Champion. This bout took place in December of 2002. In their previous battle Narvaez took a split decision win also in Italy. Sarritzu would eventually win the European title and lose in another world title fight effort.

In March of 2007 Narvaez would defeat 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Frenchman Brahim Asloum, 21-1, over twelve rounds. In February of 2009 he would stop American Rayonta “Stingray” Whitfield, 22-0, in the tenth round in Argentina. In May of 2010 he would win the vacant WBO World Super Flyweight title defeating Everth Briceno, 32-5-1, of Nicaragua. He had sixteen title defenses at Flyweight.

After having three defenses Narvaez tried jumping up a division for Nonito Donaire’s, 26-1, WBC World Bantamweight title losing a lopsided decision in October of 2011 at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater. He would return to his natural weight division and score eight more defenses reaching twenty-seven defenses.

Narvaez was 43-1-2 when he lost in Japan to their Nayoya “Monster” Inoue, 7-0, being stopped in the second round in December of 2014. He would go onto win his last four bouts and is now getting ready for his bout with Tete.

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Jeff Horn to Defend WBO Welterweight Title Against Gary Corcoran in Australia


By: Ken Hissner

The new WBO Welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, 17-0-1 (11), makes his first title defense Wednesday at the Convention & Exhibition Centre, in Brisbane, Australia. He will feel at home living in Brisbane as he defends his title against his No. 10 contender the British and WBO Inter-Continental champion Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran, 17-1 (7), of London, UK.

Horn won the title in his last fight in July over former WBC World Flyweight, IBF Super bantamweight, IBF World Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC World Lightweight and WBO World Welterweight Champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 59-6-2, by scores of 117-111, 115-113 twice, at the Suncorp Stadium, in Bribane in July of 2017. The fight was close enough that Pacquiao has demanded a rematch in April in the Philippines when as a Senator of that country he is on break. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one!
The 29 year-old Horn has a win over former IBF World Welterweight Champion Randall “Knock Out-King” Bailey, 46-9 and the WBO African Champion Ali Funeka, 39-6-3. Corcoran’s trainer Frank Greaves has complained that Horn has a reputation for coming forward and using a head butt. The allegation is strongly refuted by the Horn camp.

The 27 year-old Corcoran has defeated other unbeaten boxers such as Rick Skelton, 13-0, Rick Goddine, 21-0-1, Liam Williams, 14-0-1, and in July in his last fight over Larry Ekundayo, 12-0.

The Horn camp may be looking past Corcoran having their eyes on Terence Crawford who holds all the four super lightweight title and recently announced he is moving up to welterweight. He is also targeting IBF Champion Errol Spence and WBA & WBC Champion Keith Thurman according to trainer Glenn Rushton. “Jeff has trained for a 12 round bout but I want him to score the knockout. I want this to be a big statement to the rest of the welterweight division,” said Rushton. Horn’s only non-win was against Rivan Cesaire in 2013 but stopped Cesaire in 2014. Horn has never fought out of Australia.

It’s already been announced that American Benjy Esteves, Jr., will be the referee. This writer considers him one of the world’s best having seen him on numerous occasions.

The championship fight will be broadcasted over ESPN 6:30AM EST.

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Big Time Main Event with Cintron vs. Brunson in Philly Saturday!


Big Time Main Event with Cintron vs Brunson in Philly Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner

There was a Tuesday night press conference at the 2300 Arena where former world IBF champion Kermit Cintron meets Philly’s Tyrone Brunson Saturday night at the 2300 Arena with a bang-up undercard.

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Kings Promotions CEO Marshall Kauffman was at the mic “this main event should be on television. We have two hard hitting fighters in former IBF champion Kermit Cintron, 39-5-3 (30) of Reading, PA, and Tyrone Brunson, 24-6-2 (22), of Philly fighting for the PA Super welterweight title Saturday,” said Kauffman.

He went on to talk about how competitive the undercard is with Anthony Burgin 10-3 vs Victor Vasquez 7-3; Marcus Bates 6-0-1 vs Roberto Pucheta 10-11-1; Jerome Conquest, 7-2 vs Jae Ho Kim, 6-3-1, Steven Ortiz 6-0 vs Tyrone Jones 4-0; Gregory Clark 2-1-1 vs Darryl Bunting 3-1-2; Colby Madison 4-0 vs Joel Caudle 7-0; Brandon Robinson 3-1 vs Rafael Valencia 3-7-1; Chaise Nelson 5-1 vs Jordan Peters 2-0-1; Nick Valliere 5-2 vs Randy Hedderick 2-7-1.

“The winner of the main event will move into the IBF’s top 15 at super welterweight,” said Kauffman.Trainer of Cintron Joe Pastore said “Kermit did this before working back to top. Everyone in boxing takes a risk when they enter the ring.” Brunson said “Thank God. I’ve been in training camp for 7 weeks. We sparred once and the winner Saturday will be from Philly.” Cintron chimed in “he’s a big puncher. I’ll do the job I’m supposed to do and come out the winner.”

Doors open 6:30pm and first bout 7:00pm.

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Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th


Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th
By: Sean Crose

It’s been a while, but Miguel Cotto will finally be returning to the ring on August 26th. His opponent will be the exciting Yoshihiro Kamegai in a battle for the WBO world super welterweight title, which Cotto’s last opponent, Canelo Alvarez, vacated in order to easily defeat Julio Caesar Chavez Jr a few weeks back. The bout, which will be held at California’s StubHub Center, will be featured on regular HBO. The fact that the fight won’t be a pay per view event is a refreshing change for fans, since bouts which used to appear regularly on outlets like HBO now seem to cost those fans extra money.

Miguel Cotto Greatest Hits

The last time Cotto was in the ring was way back in November of 2015, when he faced Canelo in a major fight that proved to be a rare pay per view success during the time following the Mayweather-Pacquiao bomb earlier that same year. It was a close bout, but Canelo walked away with a decision win. Since that night, names like Tim Bradley, James Kirkland and Juan Manuel Marquez have been attached, in varying degrees, to Cotto’s. The only major event in Cotto’s stalled career, however, has been his break with promotional entity Roc Nation Sports, which had been representing the Puerto Rican star.

Now, though, the man is set to face Kamegai in a bout that some may be calling a dud, but that, in reality, could prove interesting. For, at thirty six years of age, Cotto will not only be coming off a long layoff, but will be running from Father Time, as well. His 40-5 record is impressive, but it’s hard to imagine the man’s best days being ahead of him. His last victory will have been over two years earlier, after all, and that will have been against Daniel Geale, a quality, but certainly not great, opponent.

Still, there are those who see the 27-3-2 Kamegai as something of a tuneup for Cotto before he moves on to bigger and better things, possibly in the fall. The 34 year old Tokyo resident, however, has a shot at glory here. He also has some impressive wins on his resume that are worth considering. Although he may not be the favorite, there may be too many questions in play at the moment to just write the veteran warrior off as a glorified sparring partner for Cotto.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crawford should win the fight by decision.

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Never Mind The Post-Fight Hype, Joshua-Klitschko Was A Big Deal. Here’s Why.


Never Mind The Post-Fight Hype, Joshua-Klitschko Was A Big Deal. Here’s Why.
By: Sean Crose

Some people are driven insane by the kind of hyperbole that surrounds any major event. For instance, I get put off by fellow Star Wars nuts who simply praise all things Star Wars to the Yavin 4 moon, regardless of quality (Rogue One wasn’t all that great, people!). With that in mind, I can understand why some are already getting annoyed by the breathless accolades Saturday’s Joshua-Klitschko extravaganza has been receiving. Still, there’s something equally off-putting to me about those deflating types who are always apt to shrug at something others genuinely love and admire. I know such people, and I sometimes wonder if their chronic dismissiveneness is, in fact, some kind of strange psychological power play. Sure enough, a few of these naysayers appear to be weighing in on Joshua-Klitschko, as well.

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Let’s take a step back and try to view things objectively, then. On the surface, Anthony Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko in front of almost six figures worth of people in a back and forth heavyweight title fight. That’s it. Or is it? Was there really more to the bout than what was on the surface? Are those breathless masses right in this case? Upon consideration, I think they actually are. All the praise may get a bit much to swallow at times, but hey, this was one of those events that earned the loud chorus of cheers it’s receiving. If people are going to go bonkers for something, at least this time it’s for something worthwhile.

For starters, Joshua-Klitschko was held in front of ninety thousand people. That’s ninety thousand. Sure, that in and of itself might not be that impressive in the larger scheme of things (Didn’t Dempsey fight in front of bigger crowds on several occasions?), but Saturday’s live audience at London’s Wembley Stadium was absolutely electric. Watching the bout live on Showtime, it was literally hard to hear ring announcer Michael Buffer speak into a microphone over the uproarious crowd. That says something, and what it says is this fight brought with it more energy than most of us have seen in years. The crowd at Wembley was pumped up to epic proportions. Never mind boxing, I’ve never, to my knowledge, felt that kind of vibe through the television for a sporting event of any kind.

And that’s saying something.

Yet Joshua-Klitschko was also an electric fight. Seriously. This one played out like a super sized version of the first Leonard-Hearns throwdown, with one man dominating, then another, for round after round, until Joshua found the strength within himself to finish his masterful opponent off for good. That sort of thing, simply put, is good boxing. No, it’s great boxing. People will be talking about this bout – not the hype – the bout itself, for years to come. And with good reason. It may not have been as shocking as Tyson-Douglas, but it was enormously entertaining, perhaps the best heavyweight title fight in the past 25 years.

And that’s saying something, too.

What made the bout even more intriguing, however, was the knowledge that there were still questions to be answered afterwards. When Mayweather beat Pacquiao, the story was essentially over. Yet this particular story can go in a million different directions – and it’s not self-contained like the Floyd-Manny throwdown was. Will there be a rematch? Will Joshua get his match with a cleaned up Tyson Fury? Will the thunderously hard hitting Deontay Wilder end up stealing the heavyweight crown when the dust finally settles? And what of Joseph Parker? And what of Luis Ortiz? And what of…

Make no mistake about it, we live in an age where the volume is always turned up to full blast. On this particular occasion, however, the music is simply good enough to warrant it.

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WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko


WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
By: William Holmes

On Saturday afternoon one of the biggest heavyweight bouts in recent memory will take place at the famous Wembley Stadium in London, England.

This is such a major event that Wembley Stadium is expecting a record setting crowd of 90,000 fans in attendance. It is so big that Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 p.m. live while HBO will televise the replay at 11:00 p.m. on same day tape delay.

It’s rare to see two of the biggest broadcasters of boxing agreeing to televise the same fight.

Esther Lim Showtime
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Both boxers appear to realize the magnitude of the vent at the most recent press conference. Joshua stated, “ Even though this is such a great event, I always try to strip it down to what it really is and just focus that it’s just me and this man coming to blows and the best man will win. I’m not only prepared physically but mentally as well for any battle.”

Klitschko recognizes that many count him out as an old faded champion and stated, “ Can you imagine my next opponent is going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long he has been in boxing- 27 years? Can you image that? It’s a pretty amazing task. Is it a degradation that I’m actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in the sport? I don’t think so. I think it’s great”.

This is a huge bout, and will help determine if Anthony Joshua is the current kingpin of the heavyweight division and the reign of Klitschko is over, or if Klitschko’s time at the top is still ongoing.

The following is a preview of Saturday’s heavyweight title fight.

Anthony Joshua (18-0) vs. Wladimir Klitschko (64-4); WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title

This bout is between the next great big thing in the heavyweight division and a man who reigned over the heavyweight division from 2000-2015.

Both Joshua and Klitschko obtained the highest accolade one could achieve as an amateur boxer. Klitschko won the Gold Medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games for the Ukraine in the super heavyweight division and Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for Great Britain in the super heavyweight division.

Both Joshua and Klitschko are very large heavyweights. Both stand at 6’6” and Joshua will have a slight one inch reach advantage, but both men have a reach of over 80”.

Klitschko’s age is his biggest liability. He’s forty one years old and is fourteen years older than Joshua. Joshua’s biggest liability is his relative lack of experience in big fights. He’s only fought eighteen times and has never faced an opponent the caliber of Klitschko.

Klitschko’s inactivity may also hurt him. He fought zero times in 2016, partially due to a calf injury, and only fought twice in 2015. Joshua on the other hand has been very active and fought five times in 2015 and three times in 2016.

Klitschko has been absolutely dominant the past decade and has defeated almost every big name in the heavyweight division in that time frame. He has defeated the likes of Bryant Jennings, Kubrat Pulev, Alexander Povetkin, Mariusz Wach, Tony Thompson, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev, Hasim Rahman, Sultan Ibragimov, Lamon Brewster, Calvin Brock, and Chris Byrd.

Joshua doesn’t have the extensive list of defeated contenders on his resume as Klitschko, but he has still defeated some very good opponents. He has defeated the likes of Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.

Joshua has the clear edge in power as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced as a professional. Klitschko has stopped fifty three of his opponents but has been stopped three times in his career.

Klitschko’s two biggest concerns appear to be fighting a tall boxer as was evident in his fight with Tyson Fury, and fighting a hard puncher as evident in his three knockout losses.

Joshua is just as tall as Klitschko and has plenty of power.

Don’t forget Joshua will be fighting in front of his countrymen.

All signs point to Anthony Joshua winning on Saturday and ushering in a new era of heavyweight boxing.

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PBC on Fox Results: Breazeale, Hurd, and Deontay Wilder Win by Stoppage


PBC on Fox Results: Breazeale, Hurd, and Deontay Wilder Win by Stoppage
By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series was televised live from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

Two world title fights were televised tonight as Deontay Wilder defended his WBC World Heavyweight Title against challenger Gerald Washington, and Tony Harrison faced Jarrett Hurd for the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight Title.

This was the third straight fight that Wilder fought in Birmingham, Alabama.

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The opening bout of the night was between Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0) and Dominic Breazeale (17-1) in the heavyweight division.

Ugonoh was giving up several inches in height to Breazeale, but looked like he was in incredible shape.

Ugonoh circled Breazeale in the opening round and attacked the body with an occasional combination to the head. Breazeale seemed bothered by the speed of Ugonoh early on.

Ugonoh continued with the good body work in the third round and Breazeale was missing wildly with his punches. Breazeale had difficulty catching up to Ugonoh, and when he did he was hit with a low blow. Ugonoh ended the second round with a good two punch combination.

The third round was action packed and Breazeale turned the tide of the fight in his favor with a right hand that sent Ugonoh to the mat. Ugonoh was able to get back to his feet and survive an onslaught from Breazeale; before answering back with hard thudding right hands that had Breazeale wobbly on his feet. Both boxers were throwing and landing heavy blows as the third round came to an end.

Breazeale pressed the pace in the fourth round and was walking Ugonoh down early on. Ugonoh was able to hurt Breazeale with a right hand to the temple that sent Breazeale falling forward in a failed attempt to hold onto Ugonoh. Breazeale was wobbly when he got back to his feet but was able to survive the round.

Breazeale was recovered by the beginning of the third round and landed two heavy straight right hands to the temple of Ugonoh that forced him to take a knee. Ugonoh looked badly shaken when he got to his feet and was met with several more hard right hands to the temple that sent him crashing outside the ring.

The referee had seen enough and jumped in to stop the fight at 0:50 of the fifth round.

Breazeale showed incredible heart in a highly entertaining fight to get the TKO victory.

The next bout was between Tony Harrison (24-1) and Jarrett Hurd (19-0) for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title.

The opening round was a feeling out round with both boxers throwing their jab in an attempt to find their range. Harrison did look like he had the quicker hands and wider variety of punches.

Hurd was chasing Harrison in the second round and was eating a steady stream of jabs. Hurd kept up the pressure in the third round but Harrison landed several good counters and check left hooks.

Harrison continued to display the quicker hands in the fourth round while Hurd appeared to do little but walk into the jabs of Harrison. Hurd was able to land a good right uppercut in the fifth round but was still out landed by his opponent.

Harrison picked up the pace again in the sixth round and at one point hard Hurd hurt and backed into a corner; but Hurd turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the seventh round when he had Harrison badly hurt with good body shots and chopping right hooks.

Hurd kept up the pressure in the eighth round and appeared to be physically hurting Harrison with every punch that he landed. Hurd finally scored a thudding knockdown in the ninth round when he connected with a clean straight right hand that sent him crashing backwards to the mat.

Harrison got back up at the count of nine, but spit out his mouthpiece as the referee was talking with him. The referee immediately waived off the fight, despite the protest of Tony Harrison.

Jarrett Hurd wins by TKO at 2:24 of the ninth round.

The main event was between Deontay Wilder (37-0) and Gerald Washington (18-01) for the WBC Heavyweight Title.

Washington established his jab in the opening round and was causing Wilder some problems early on. Wilder was not used to facing boxers as tall as Washington and he had difficulty finding his openings in the second round and at times was moving backwards.

Washington landed some heavy body shots in the third round and was able to avoid the power shots of Wilder and had a good round. Washington was able to land some combinations in the fourth round and it looked like he had Wilder confused.

Wilder opened up the fifth round with a long reaching jab and a looping left hook, before he cracked a straight right hand to the head of Washington that sent him falling backwards on his butt onto the mat.

Washington was able to get up at the count of eight, but Wilder unloaded several hard shots to the head of a cowering Washington before the referee waived the fight off.

Deontay Wilder retains his WBC Heavyweight Title with a TKO victory at 1:45 of the fifth round.

After the fight, Deontay Wilder acknowledged the presence of WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker and stated he’s ready to fight him next and unify the titles.

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Kell Brook to Defend Title Against Errol Spence Jr.


Kell Brook to defend title against Errol Spence Jr.
By: Matthew N. Becher

​While Manny Pacquiao was telling the world that he would no longer be fighting in Australia and was going to take his talents to Dubai, as well as letting twitter fans vote on the actual opponent for that fight, Kell Brook let it be known that he was ready to accept the challenge for his IBF welterweight title against the Undefeated Errol Spence Jr.

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​Negotiations for the Brook v. Spence Jr. fight have been going on for quite some time now. Spence became the number one contender almost six months ago, after defeating Leonard Bundu in Coney Island, NY. Unfortunately, the fight was pushed aside, since Brook decided to take on Gennady Golovkin for the Middleweight championship in England. This wasn’t just unfortunate for Spence, who would have to wait on his shot at the IBF title, but also unfortunate for Brook, who ended up getting his orbital bone broken in the 4th round, by the champion Golovkin.

​After surgery to repair his broken face, Brook went in to negotiations with longtime rival, and fellow countryman, Amir Khan. The two should have fought already, but they still have not been able to come to an agreement on the monetary split. It seemed very close to final this time around, and again looked like Spence would be put on the back burner. Until Brook made an announcement on his Social Media page last night.

“All that work just to give it up? Never ducked a challenge in my life. Here to give the fans what they want. Errol Spence Jr. you are next”

​To be honest, this is great news for the sport. With Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman fighting to unify the division on March 4th, the second best fight to be made in the weight class would be Spence v. Brook and just like that, it will also happen this year.

​Brook should be commended for taking the challenge of a young undefeated Spence, right after coming back from facial surgery and right after fighting one of the top pound for pound fighters at a higher weight. This is definitely one that fight fans are not going to want to miss.

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NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?


NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?
By: Ken Hissner

Welterweight Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 34-3-1 (17), had an outstanding amateur record with many titles won. As a professional he held the interim WBO super lightweight and the WBA & IBF super lightweight titles. He’s been looking for a welterweight title fight since his last fight that goes back to October 2015 when he defeated Gold Medal Olympian Felix Diaz, 17-0, by majority decision. It didn’t happen.

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Soooooo Peterson takes off now for sixteen months and guess what? He has the opportunity on February 18th to fight for the interim WBA World Title against the champion Russian David Avanesyan, 22-1-1 (11), at the Cintras Center, in Cinn., OH.

Peterson started his career winning twenty-two straight when he faced his first real challenge and defeated Brazilian Antonio Mesquito, 34-0. It would be eighteen months at 27-0 before he got his first world title shot defeating Frenchman Willy Blain, 20-0, for the interim WBO World super lightweight title. In his next fight he fought for the WBO World title losing to Timothy Bradley, Jr., 24-0.

Two fights later Peterson fought to a draw with Victor Ortiz, 28-2-1, followed by a knockout win over Victor Manuel Cayo, 26-1. This earned him a title fight against the UK’s Amir Khan, 26-1, for his WBA Super World and IBF World super lightweight titles. It was in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C. and he took a split decision win. He was only interested in defending the IBF title defeating Kendall Holt, 28-5, by stoppage in D.C.

In May of 2013 the roof fell in on Peterson when he lost to interim WBC champion Lucas Martin Matthysse, 33-2, of Argentina losing in three rounds. Neither were Matthysse or Peterson’s titles on the line. In January of 2014 he defended his IBF title defeating Haitian Dierry Jean, 25-0, of CAN, in DC. Next was Edgar Santana, 29-4, who he stopped at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY.

It would be eight months by April of 2015 for Peterson to once again be fighting a world champion in against WBA Super and WBC super lightweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 29-0, in an overweight fight. This writer felt Peterson got the short end of the stick losing a majority decision to Garcia. He asked for a rematch in the welterweight division and never got it. Both he and Garcia would move up to welterweight and Garcia at No. 2 for some reason not wanting a rematch with No. 1 Kahn gets shop worn Robert Guerrero who was No. 6. No. 6? How did Peterson get overlooked?

It was six months after the Garcia fight that Peterson defeated Diaz that put him high into the rankings between Garica and Guerrero. Why wasn’t it him or Kahn in that title fight? In Garcia’s next fight he defeated Sammy Vargas. Though both were within the welterweight max of 147 it was listed as a non-title bout.

Now Garcia gets the biggest fight of his career fighting WBA champion Keith Thurman in March. With a victory for the No. 3 Peterson over the No. 1 Avanesyan for the interim WBA title will he get the winner? I’d say it is very doubtful. WBO champion Manny Pacquiao is defending against his No. 2 contender Australian Jeff Horn. IBF champion Kell Brook couldn’t come to terms with Kahn who is still the WBC No. 1 contender though not in the IBF rankings.

The WBC was to have a four boxer tournament with Peterson fighting Philly’s “The New” Ray Robinson currently ranked No. 9 in the WBC that never came about. Robinson has been begging for a fight with Garcia having won his last eleven fights. It seems they all want to fight Garcia who has a pair of disputed wins behind him so one may have to knock him out to get the win.

Peterson is not in easy with the Russian Avanesyan who hasn’t lost since the second bout of his career. In his last fight he defeated former champion Shane Mosley in May. Peterson finds himself only ranked in the WBA so getting a world title fight it seems it would have to take a Thurman victory. Peterson is trained by Virgil Hunter and being promoted by Al Haymon makes his chances to get that big fight for the title a lot better! That is his “Ace in the hole”.

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How Mixed-up Are the Heavyweight Champions?


How Mixed-up Are the Heavyweight Champions?
By: Ken Hissner

Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 64-4 (53), of the UKR, lost for the first time in eleven years, to Tyson Fury, 25-0 (18), in November of 2015 losing his three titles. Fury retired in 2016 making all the titles vacant. Klitschko for some reason is only ranked by the WBA and WBO. The 40 year-old former champion is scheduled to fight IBF champion Anthony Joshua, 18-0 (18), of the UK, on April 29th in London. Not only is Joshua’s IBF title on the line but so is WBA Super World title. Klitschko is not ranked by the IBF but is No. 2 in the WBA and No. 3 by the WBO.

Showtime Boxing Results: Deontay Wilder TKOs Eric Molina, Pedraza defeats Klimov

Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 37-0 (36), of ALA, holds the WBC title. After winning the title two years ago he has made four title defenses and not one with one of the top four contenders. At this time he awaits the winner of the former WBA World champion Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 31-1 (23), of Russia, and the former WBC champion and No. 2 contender Bermane Stivern, 25-2-1 (21), a Haitian out of Las Vegas, who lost to Wilder being the new champions only decision win in 37 fights. Povetkin has failed two of three drug tests but that didn’t stop the WBC from approving Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola who failed a drug test, to challenge Wilder in the champion’s last fight in July. The elimination match is on hold at this time. Povetkin has been the No. 1 contender for some time and it seems has been avoided by Wilder. Wilder’s next opponent is No. 12 Andrew Wawrzyk, 31-1 (19), of Poland whose only loss is to Povetkin. The site is in Birmingham, AL, where Wilder is from on February 25th.
The vacant WBO title was won by Joe Parker, 21-0 (18), of New Zealand, winning a majority decision over Andy Ruiz, Jr., in December. The former champion Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev, 34-3-1 (21), of UZB, now out of GER, lost this title to Australian Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne, 24-0 (21), in March of 2016. Browne failed his drug test and the title was declared vacant. No decision for the bout to be reversed or Chagaev retaining his title at this time. Both Browne and Chagaev have been dropped from the ratings. Former WBA champion David “Haymaker” Haye, 28-2 (26), of the UK, is the No. 1 contender and has a match scheduled in March against newly crowned WBC Cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, 28-2-1 (18), who is on a eight fight winning streak since moving up to cruiserweight.

The WBA title is vacant and this writer is awaiting an answer from the WBA to who will be fighting for that title. Rumors are No. 4 former WBO champion Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs, 60-6-1 (53), of Brooklyn, who came back in 2014 after a three and a half lay-off, and has won nine straight over non-contenders. The opponent mentioned is former WBC champion Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 57-14 (37), of VA, who is ranked No. 5. This writer questioned why McCall who hasn’t fought in two years can even still be in the ratings. Both Briggs and McCall are 45.

How the WBA would overlook No. 1 contender and former interim WBA champion Louis “King Kong” Ortiz, 27-0 (23), a Cuban out of Miami, and the No. 3 contender Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 33-1 (24), a Russian out of Belarus, makes no sense. Though Ustinov didn’t fight in 2016 he has been able to hold that high ranking. Since No. 2 contender Klitschko chose to fight for the IBF title he is not being considered.

There are once again too many champions among the four organizations. Boxing does not need four boxers being called “the world heavyweight champion!”

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Dillian Whyte Flags a Possible Next Opponent and Signals WBC Title Ambitions


Dillian Whyte Flags a Possible Next Opponent and Signals WBC Title Ambitions
By: G.E. Simons

Dillian Whyte has confirmed his interest in facing former WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne, in what could provide a final eliminator for the right to challenge current WBC heavyweight title holder Deontay Wilder.

Whyte’s options became more interestingfollowinghis wafer thin victory over Dereck Chisora in their chief supporting clash on the Joshua/Molinacard in Manchester, England on 10th December.

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Theirs was always going to be the fight most likely to ignite the Warehouse City night, before Anthony Joshua offered Eric Molina the opportunity to take a look at his IBF belt and enjoy a payday as part of his visit to the once industrial north – and so it was.

The dark vaudeville of the build up saw glasses of SKY Sports water thrown, press conference tables flipped and see-you-outside threats made, that ominously suggested the violence might be taken out of the workplace and into a far more domestic argument.

So it was no surprise that the fight itself played out with a brutal intensity reminiscent of a brawl between cuckolded steelworkers on a gravel car park illuminated by the headlights of parked up big rigs.

It was a great domestic settler, borne of genuine needle between two very similar fighters but at very different stages of their careers. The action confirmed the pugnacity that we know Chisora possesses and rubber-stampedthe toughness of Whytewhich we witnessed in his defeat to Anthony Joshua.

Dereck Chisora is unsurprisingly keen on a rematch because it sure was close, but a replay offersonly the revenues it will generate rather than the athletic challenge or the chess board move it represents for him career wise.

Chisora now finds himself check mated in the ‘bloody good opponent’ category for any rising young prospect and one who, for the next 24 months at least, will provide a searching examination of his opponent’s heart, chin and will to win.

Whyte however has now passed that examination, enjoys a #9 WBC ranking and payday aside, has no conceivable motivation to be re-examined by Del Boy.

Stiverne, the Las Vegas based Haitian, possesses a credible record in contemporary heavyweight terms, consisting of 25 wins with 21 stoppages, a single draw and just two defeats. The last of which being a defiant unanimous decision loss to Wilder in 2015, where the WBC title changed hands.

Since that loss Stiverne rebounded with an unremarkable points victory over professional opponent DerricRossy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
ADecember 17thdate in Ekaterinburg, Russia with Alexander Povetkin to contest the WBC Interim title was next.

But.

20 hours before the ring walks Povetkin returned positive results for the muscle-building substance obstarine, from tests taken on 6th December.

The WBC withdrew its sanctioning.

Andrey Ryabinsky,Povetkin’s promoter described the positive test as “not clear where it came from.”

Stiverne flew home to Las Vegas, saying “There’s no reason to fight if the WBC won’t sanction the bout.”

Povetkinscored a 6th round knock out of late replacement Johann Duhaupas in a then dubious and pointless work out.

A new sample provided by the Russian to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) a week after the original tests, returned a negative result

Povetkin has retained his #1 WBC ranking and is back in the mix, but the latest complications offerDillian Whyte the potential for real progression within the World Boxing Council landscape by slipping in to secure a fight with the man-sized, #2 rankedBermaneStiverne.

Elsewhere, the WBC ranks recent Matchroom Boxing acquisition Luis Ortiz at #3 and an active KubratPulev at #4, who also offer potentially interesting match ups for Whyte from within the WBC talent pool.

Whoever the opponent, Whyte appears to have wisely aligned himself with a sanctioning body in the WBC, where just one more fight could open the door to a crack at a title that connects Muhammed Ali to Larry Holmes to Mike Tyson to Lennox Lewis, against a current holder in Deontay Wilder who remains strangely disconnected from the general heavyweight discussion.

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