Braekhus vs. Sagaydakovskaya & Undercard Preview
By: Ste Rowen
As Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev are preparing to go at it to claim the status of ‘Undisputed’ cruiserweight champion, the only other current undisputed boxer across the sport, will be in the ring, and no doubt impressing the Moscow crowd, as welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus, 33-0 (9KOs) defends her WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO belts against 7-0 (3KOs), Inna Sagaydakovskaya of Russia in 10x2minute rounds.
The self-proclaimed ‘First Lady’ was in the ring just two months ago when she fought on the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan undercard against the former WBC champion Kali Reis. She eventually came out the clear winner with a 10-round unanimous decision victory that night, but she had to weather a few rough rounds late on when she took a knee in the 7th and was visibly shook by a right hand in the 8th. Once again though, she proved her elite credentials by regaining control and comfortably seeing out the final rounds, but the unbeaten 147lber, speaking to ‘ESPN Digital’, insists every fight, is a legacy fight,
‘‘It’s a legacy because it’s not just another fight, it’s a fight that is part of a very important card…For me every fight is harder, but they have made me feel at home and I know I can achieve a clear victory against my rival, who comes from a heavier division to try to dethrone me.’’
Her opponent on Saturday will be Russian, Inna Sagaydakovskaya. The ‘Ice Queen’ has earnt her shot at Braekhus in her last two bouts, defeating former IBF junior middleweight champion, Maria Lindberg over ten rounds, and more recently, stopping Jennifer Retzke in impressive fashion, inside two rounds at Almaty Arena, Kazakhstan.
Speaking to ‘Women of Boxing’, Inna was adamant she’s done more than enough to share the ring with the ‘First Lady’,
‘‘I’ve boxed for the national team for many years. I have a lot of experience and it’s not even about how many fights, but who is more prepared and more ready to win on July 21st.’’
Whether it’s bookie’s favourite, Braekhus, or the home crowd’s favourite, Sagaydakovskaya, whoever emerges the victor will have a host of fellow welterweights circling for their opportunity at all the belts with the likes of, American and WBC #1 Layla Carter, unbeaten Zambian, Lolita Muzeya and IBF #1 and Cecilia’s former foe, Klara Svensson readying themselves to be up next.
Mairis Briedis vs. Brandon Deslaurier
As long as there are no unexpected injuries between now and fight night, World Boxing Super Series semi-finalist and Saturday night’s main event reserve, Mairis Briedis will take on 11-1 (1KO), Brandon Deslaurier of France.
The Latvian and former WBC champion proved himself a worthy addition, even in defeat to Usyk, back in January and his bout this weekend is expected to be a relative walkover for the man most view as the 3rd best cruiserweight in the world. Speaking to the WBSS website earlier this month, Mairis seemed happy enough to be included on the card, and be kept in sight of the winner of Usyk/Gassiev,
‘‘I can’t wait to fight again. I’m looking forward to a quality WBSS event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans.’’
Fedor Chudinov vs. Nadjib Mohammedi
Former WBA super middleweight champion, Fedor Chudinov will take on Frenchman, Nadjib Mohammedi for the WBA ‘International’ strap Fedor won back in December.
Chudinov, 17-2 (12KOs) is 3 for 3 since his stoppage lost to George Groves back in 2017, and the Russian, with a victory of course, will be adding his name to the exhaustive list of matchups that can be made at 168lb between champions and challengers.
Speaking to ‘Soviet Sport’ he said,
‘‘It will be a very difficult and beautiful battle. I can say that I am ready now as never before. In the past I was not completely sure but now I clearly know my strength.’’
‘‘This time I was trained in America.’’ Fedor now trains out of Big Bear with Abel Sanchez. ‘‘I saw a different look at boxing in general training…He looks and develops the best qualities in the boxer…We run every day on the mountains for 4 miles. We train 6 days a week.’’
Mohammedi, who’s most significant fights have been at light heavyweight, most notably defeats to Kovalev, Cleverly and most recently Gvozdyk, is unbeaten at the super middleweight limit. He made the move down to 168lb in 2016 and is undefeated in his last three bouts.
Serhii Bohachuk vs. Nikolozi Gviniashvilli
The highly rated Ukrainian Serhii ‘El Flaco’ Bohachuk returns to the ring one month on from his 2nd round KO of Cesar Soriano Berumen at The Avalon in California. Bohachuk, who also trains out of Big Bear, is fighting outside of the US as a pro for the first time as he takes on the 19-11-4 (15KOs) Georgian, Nikolozi Gviniashvilli.
‘El Flaco’ currently 9-0 (9KOs) and fighting at junior middleweight has impressed crowds with each limited opponent put in front of him so far and the hope for the weekend is that the former amateur standout will face a sterner test, whilst still being able to dazzle the Moscow crowd, over 8 rounds against Gviniashvilli.
Magomed Madiev vs. Guido Nicolas Pitto
Fighting for the WBA ‘Asia’ and IBF ‘International’ titles, Magomed Madiev, 11-0 (4KOs) of Russia, comes up against Argentine, Guido Nicolas Pitto, 25-5-1 (5KOs).
Madiev, 23, spoke at the end of last year, after Lomachenko had just stopped Rigondeaux, to ‘Soviet Sport’, of his desire to attempt to replicate Loma’s incredible run of victories in so few fights
‘‘I aspire to this. For me, it will be soon. But not all at once. We’ll catch up with Lomachenko…We plan to do it (Title Fights) in the near future. We will try to organise serious battles.’’
His opponent, Pitto was the first man to beat Jack Culcay in 2013, only to lose the rematch six months later. Since then he’s kept mainly to Argentina fighting for national titles. Magomed’s best measurement of success for this weekend will be whether he can get Guido out of there early.
Konstantin Ponomarev vs. Sergey Vorobiev
Another student of Abel Sanchez will take to the ring when 34-0 (13KOs), Konstantin Ponomarev matches up against fellow Russian, Sergey Vorobiev, 6-0 (6KOs).
Up until last year, Ponomarev was campaigning at welterweight, having twice turned down IBF eliminators against Errol Spence and then Carlos Ocampo. Instead the 25-year-old, jumped up two weight classes to challenge for the Russian middleweight belt, which he won via an underwhelming 10-round decision over Pavel Momontov.
The Moscow crowd will be hoping to see more of the welterweight version of Konstantin when the first bell rings against Vorobiev, who could be a potential banana skin in his Russian foe’s momentum.
Denis Shafikov vs. Jhon Gemino
Just over a month on from his 8-round decision victory over Mexican, Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez in California, Denis Shafikov, 39-4-1 (20KOs) takes on Philippine super bantamweight, Jhon Gemino in a stated 10 round super featherweight contest.
It’s a strange matchup, even for a supposed stay busy fight for the Russian. Shafikov is a career lightweight, whilst Gemino, 17-10-1 (7KOs) has won only 2 of his 6 fights above 126lb, but maybe as one man moves down, and another jumps up, the stars will align to give us an unexpected undercard barnstormer.
Pedraza, Stevenson, Ready To Impress On Horn-Crawford Undercard
By: Sean Crose
“Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza is nearing a title shot,” a Top Rank press release declared on Tuesday, “while Shakur Stevenson is well on his way.” Both Top Rank fighters will now find themselves on the undercard of much anticipated WBO welterweight title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza will put his 23-1 record on the line by facing the 22-0 Antonio Moran. “I am excited because this will be my first fight in Las Vegas, which everyone knows is the fight capital of the world,” Pedraza claims. “I am determined to give a great performance…I know Moran is a good fighter and coming to upset my plans, but I have worked very hard to make sure that does not happen. I expect to be victorious on June 9 and will continue to show I am a force at lightweight.”
The WBO Latino Lightweight title will be at stake when Pedraza faces Moran on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The bout will be aired on ESPN+, along with the Crawford-Horn main event. As for Olympic star, Stevenson, the 6-0 New Jersey native will face the 16-1 Aelio Mesquita in an eight round affair in the featherweight division. “I’ve gotten the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden,” says Stevenson, “and now I’m ready for my Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand on June 9…there have been so many historic fights in that arena and now it’s my turn. It’s always fun to fight on Terence’s undercards. The Crawford family has adopted me, so I’m going to put on a great performance for them and everyone watching at MGM and on ESPN+.”
The 26-0 Jose Benavidez will also be battling that night as he faces the 22-0 Venezuelan Frank Rojas. Having won all but one of his fights by KO, the hard hitting Rojas will present quite a challenge for Benavidez when they meet in a 10 round welterweight affair. “I have 21 knockouts in 22 fights,” Rojas claims. “On June 9, I will add another knockout to my record…I’m coming for you, Benavidez! I’m 100 percent ready to give the fans a great fight. I hope you are ready because I’m going to knock you out. I’m going to rip his head off. Get ready.” As for Benavidez, he appears eager to face the challenge. “”I hope that Rojas trained hard and that he comes well prepared,” he says, “because I’m determined to stop him.”
“Rojas will not touch me at all,” Benavidez adds. “He will not rip my head off because I’m going to rip his head off first.”
Bellew vs. Haye Undercard Preview
By: Ste Rowen
With domestic dust ups, commonwealth honours and a world title fight, Bellew vs Haye isn’t the only intriguing bout taking place in London on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter Account
Paul Butler v Emmanuel Rodriguez
First up is a bout for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title, recently dropped by Ryan Burnett. Paul Butler, 26-1 (14KOs) takes on Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez in an attempt to reclaim the belt he previously held in 2014 when he beat Stuart Hall via split decision. Eight months after that fight, Butler had vacated the bantamweight title to fight for the super flyweight version of the IBF. That night, the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had his first taste of defeat when he was dominated, and ultimately stopped by South African, and currently WBA ‘Super’ bantamweight champion, Zolani Tete. Butler has rebuilt well since then, with a nine-straight win streak including a unanimous decision victory in a rematch with Stuart Hall, and although he heads into Saturday’s fight as the underdog, speaking to Sky Sports, Paul’s not falling for the hype surrounding Rodriguez,
‘When you watch him, you think he’s a special kid, but go through the rounds, watch his mistakes, there’s loads we’ve picked up on. He goes to his left pretty much every time, he’ll take a step to his right and then he’ll come straight back to his left.’
‘We’ve both got pretty similar styles, we both love a left hook to the body, we both love going head to the body…I know I’ve trained hard and I’m physically well, I’m sparring well. I believe under Joe (Gallagher) I can get in there with anyone and win.’
Emmanuel Rodriguez, 17-0 (12KOs) is yet to go the 12-round distance. The furthest ‘Manny’ has gone is 10 rounds, when he came up against Albert Guevara in 2016, earning a clear victory across all three scorecards. This will also be the first time Rodriguez fights outside of North America, with previous matchups taking place in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the US. Though on the surface Butler is showing no signs of concern for the momentum ‘Manny’ has gathered, there’s certainly attributes that will worry him. The Puerto Rican may have been taken the distance by Guevara, but he was teeing off variations of the left hand all night, and he’s not limited to his left. His precision of the right-cross has setup the finish against previous opponents.
Zolani Tete’s record going into the Butler fight wasn’t much to look at, and we saw what happened there. Speaking earlier this week, Rodriguez was eager for fight night to come around,
‘It has been a long road to this fight, but I am ready to win my first world championship. Paul Butler is a good fighter, but nothing can stop me…It doesn’t matter that we’re in his backyard, I’ve done everything right getting ready for this and I look forward to bringing the belt back to my beloved country of Puerto Rico.’
Lenroy Thomas v Joe Joyce
The sole heavyweight bout to grace Saturday’s card sees Commonwealth champion, Lenroy Thomas take on 2016 silver medallist, Joe Joyce.
Thomas, 22-4-1 (11KOs) was last seen in his ill-fated rematch with David Allen in March. That night, the two boxers clashed heads in the first round, cutting Allen enough for the fight to be called a technical draw. The Jamaican is yet to defend his commonwealth title since beating Allen in their first fight last year, fighting just once – discounting the Allen rematch – in an 8-round decision victory over 12-2, Ed Fountain, on the Wilder vs Stiverne 2 undercard.
Much like his fellow 2016 Olympians Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka, Joyce, 3-0 (3KOs) is being fast tracked through the rankings with previous bouts including a debut stoppage win over 12-3-1 at the time, Ian Lewison and more recently, a 38 second KO of big talking, big framed, but little fight, Donnie Palmer.
John Ryder v Jamie Cox
John Ryder will take on fellow southpaw Jamie Cox in a domestic showdown that’s sure to get the crowd going before the main event.
Ryder’s last outing was his explosive 5th round knockout of Patrick Nielsen on the undercard of Jamie Cox vs George Groves in October, and the Londoner wasn’t too concerned about having to wait so long for this next fight,
‘There was talk of other fights we were looking at, but they didn’t come off, that’s boxing. It was about picking the right fight, rather than going in there against anyone…I think our styles are geared up for a good fight, it’ll be a real treat for the fans.’
Jamie Cox’s Matchroom career hasn’t exactly set alight since making the switch from Frank Warren’s, Queensberry Promotions back in early 2017. Aside from the stoppage defeat to Groves, Cox has fought four times; 16 rounds against very limited opposition, but he recognises the step up in opponent he’ll be taking this weekend,
‘I’m expecting the best John Ryder. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him…He’s ranked across a couple of the governing bodies and it’s my goal to become a world champion. Beating John will open more doors…He likes to come forward and have a go and I’m always up for the fight.’
With Rocky Fielding vacating the British title, a win for either of these two, puts them firmly in place for the next shot at the Lonsdale belt.
Martin Ward v James Tennyson
With the Commonwealth, EBU and WBA ‘International’ super featherweight titles up for grabs, there’s a lot to play for when Martin Ward and James Tennyson enter the ring.
Ward, 19-0-2 (9KOs) has world honours in his sight heading into Saturday,
‘I’ve gone the traditional route and I’m glad I’ve done that…I want to progress to the world stage now. I’ve won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards world level.’
Tennyson, 21-2 (17KOs) who puts the WBA ‘International’ belt on the line, heads into the bout as the underdog but, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, ‘The Assassin’ believes his time is now,
‘Within the last year I have won an Irish title and the WBA ‘International’ title and won three 50/50 fights by stoppage…Now I’m going onto the biggest stage, and I can’t wait…Ward is quick and sharp and it won’t be easy, but we have our game plan and I’m ready for 12 hard rounds.’
Anthony Joshua v. Joseph Parker Undercard Preview
BY: Ste Rowen
Controversy, Olympians and a world title fight. Here’s the breakdown of this weekends Joshua vs Parker undercard.
Alexander Povetkin v David Price
The most high profile, and controversial bout of the undercard pits Alexander Povetkin, 33-1 (23KOs) a man who failed multiple drug tests in 2016; resulting in two aborted fights with Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne; vs David Price, 22-4 (18KOs) a man whose 3 of 4 career defeats have come against two men who went on to fail drugs tests in Tony Thompson and Erkan Teper. All three controversial defeats to Price were punishing stoppages, which makes it even more remarkable that Price has offered himself up as some form of sacrificial lamb for the extremely talented, but unbelievably tainted Russian.
Povetkin was last in the ring in December, scoring a whitewash, 12-round unanimous decision victory over the last man to overwhelm David Price to a 7th round stoppage, Christian Hammer. Price’s only fight since the Hammer defeat was a 6-round decision victory over one of Britain’s favourite heavyweight gatekeepers, Kamil Sokolowski.
On paper, this fight is the definition of ‘a puncher’s chance’ for David Price. In reality, it’s a stepping stone bout for Povetkin to attempt to setup a fight with Anthony Joshua in the near future. That is, as long as his consequent drug tests come back negative…don’t count on it.
Ryan Burnett v Yonfrez Parejo
The world title fight on the undercard sees WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett take on mandatory challenger, Yonfrez Parejo, 21-2-1 (10KOs). Burnett, 18-0 (9KOs) was forced to vacate the IBF strap he won when he defeated Lee Haskins last year, due to an interim bout between Haskins and Emmanuel Rodriguez falling through, meaning Rodriguez’s team called for purse bids with Burnett, after Matchroom had already made a deal for the Parejo bout.
Parejo, currently on a 4-fight win streak, last tasted defeat at the hands of Burnett’s most recent adversary, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, when he lost a 12-round split decision back in 2015. Burnett hasn’t fought since earning a correct, but unjustly wide decision on all three scorecards over Zhakiyanov back in October. He suffered a ruptured ligament in his neck, which scuppered talks of an immediate fight with Rodriguez, and subsequently lost him the IBF belt, but the Northern Irishman didn’t seem too concerned at the thought of dropping a belt back in February,
‘I don’t really get involved in the politics, but we knew that when we faced Zhakiyanov that it was likely we may have to vacate one of the belts because of mandatories, but I’ve unified the division and now we move on to new challenges.’
Josh Kelly v Carlos Molina
One of Britain’s most exciting prospects, Josh Kelly, 5-0 (4KOs) takes on former super welterweight world champion, Carlos Molina.
Kelly, who fought to the last 16 at the 2016 Olympics, defeated by eventual gold medallist, Daniyar Yeleussinov, is being accelerated though the early stages of the pro ranks by trainer, Adam Booth who’s no passenger when it comes to recognizing talent.
Molina is currently on a two-fight losing streak, so it seems like the perfect time for Kelly to step in with someone as experienced as the Mexican. A real statement to the rest of the welterweight scene would be for Kelly to become the first man to stop Molina.
Anthony Crolla v Edson Ramirez
Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla returns to the ring since earning a competitive decision victory over Ricky Burns in October. Crolla, 32-6-3 (13KOs) takes on Mexican, Edson Ramirez, 18-2-1 (8KOs) in an 8-round contest. The former WBA world champion is aiming to get back into the world title mix at lightweight but, speaking to The Independent, wouldn’t rule out a domestic dustup with Luke Campbell.
‘I need to get out there and get another win and then we can look for a big fight in the summer…Luke Campbell and I both want to win world titles and I don’t think either of us would have a problem fighting the other…I’m not targeting anyone in particular, I just want a world title shot. I’ll take any of the champions.’
Joe Cordina v Hakim Ben Ali
Hometown favourite, Joe Cordina fights for his first professional title when he takes on late stand in, Hakim Ben Ali, 19-5 (1KO) for the WBA International lightweight title.
Cordina, 6-0 (5KOs) hasn’t had quite as an accelerated start to his pro career as his fellow 2016 Olympian, Josh Kelly.
This weekend’s fight will be just the second time he’s stepped in the ring with a fighter holding a wining record. He was originally set to face Andy Townend, 21-4 (14KOs) who had to pull out last week due to injury.
Joshua Buatsi v Bartlomiej Grafka
The third 2016 Olympian on the card, Joshua Buatsi comes up against journeyman, Bartlomiej Grafka, 20-28-3 (5KOs). The real test for Buatsi will be if he’s able get Grafka out early, if not, expect a relative 6-round sparring session for the exciting prospect.
Will Madera: Life on the Undercard
By: Marcus Navarro
Boxing and humility mix like water and oil. Maybe it just comes with the territory; fighters need to think they are the best to be the best. Or perhaps, all the modesty within the sport belongs to Will Madera.
“Ill” Will Madera from Albany, NY had a solid amateur career but turned to professional boxing after a motorcycle accident in 2012.
“I was just being dumb; I was going too fast on a turn,” Madera said. Luckily, he walked away with only a few road rashes and a gash, but it was a turning point. “It was a reality check, man. Anything could happen, and life could be over that quick. It was all about making smart decisions after that.”
He fights at 135 lbs and 140 lbs and has a record of 11 wins, 5 by way of knockout, 0 losses, and 1 draw as a pro. This Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, he’ll attempt to improve to 12-0-1 against an opponent who has never been knocked out, a streak that he hopes to end.
Anyone who talks to Madera will immediately get the impression that he isn’t too interested in talking about himself. Not that he’s shy, but he’s focused and cares little about boasting.
It’s possible that he’s simply too tired to talk, after all, he is a pretty busy guy. A typical day for Will means he takes care of his younger kids in the morning and gets some rest before he picks up his two oldest of six kids in the afternoon. Then he trains at the gym for a few hours before he heads to his overnight shift at the Center for Disability Services. For nearly ten years, Will worked as a residential counselor.
“It’s really tough with the schedule I have, but it’s more mental than anything. Certain days, I don’t even want to come to the gym, but I push myself to do it that way I can stay on top,” Madera said.
His work ethic and drive are centered around providing for his family. One of those smart decisions he spoke of was switching to Schott’s Boxing after feeling stagnated at his old gym, according to his trainer, Andy Schott.
Andy co-trains Will with Kyle Provenzano and the trio have worked together for roughly three years. The setup is a little out of the ordinary, having co-trainers is like having two head coaches for a football team; who’s orders do you follow?
However, it works for Kyle and Andy, who’ve worked together for 19 years. Andy even trained Kyle as an amateur fighter. It works because they are always on the same page and egos don’t get in the way.
“Will is more important than Kyle, and Will is more important than Andy,” Schott said.
The trio’s next challenge is to stay undefeated. Alberto Alejandro Morales Bautista, a Mexican journeyman, stands in the way. Although, it was a frustrating road to get to their March 24th bout in Toronto.
Madera was supposed to fight highly rated prospect, Teofimo Lopez, who signed with Top Rank after his display at the 2016 Olympics. Madera and Lopez were scheduled to fight at Madison Square Garden this month. However, Lopez got cut during his fight in February, where he improved to 8-0. The bout got pushed to April in Las Vegas, but that card got canceled. Talks for a May fight began, but instead, the fight got called off altogether. This fight would have been Madera’s biggest opportunity to take that next step in boxing.
“It’s all about maintaining composure, even though one fight may fall off, another one will come,” Madera said.
Although disappointing, Kyle and Andy decided to take the Bautista fight rather than to wait and try to force the Lopez fight. “Will is an assassin in the ring, we have to be assassins outside the ring,” Schott said.
It’s a frustrating situation and one that Madera has seen before. He had a 14-month layoff because opponents, for one reason or another, kept canceling. However, you must have a short memory.
“It’s a little bit of a let down for him, but we’ve got to focus on this guy now because if we lose to this guy, we don’t get the other one,” Provenzano said. To his credit, Will stays sharp, during that long layoff, he was still in the gym every day.
“A lot of times in this sport your best opportunities are going to come up because you’re ready. If you’re ready and no opportunities come up, that’s okay. But if an opportunity comes up and you’re not ready, that’s a shame, and a lot of fighters lose out because of that,” Schott said.
That is the life of an up and coming fighter. You work hard outside the ring to provide for your family, and you train hard in the gym while waiting for that big chance. Another boxer trained by Schott commutes an hour and a half to work construction and still finds the time to come to the gym.
It’s a hard life, but it’s rewarding when you finally get that shot. Moving up the boxing ranks the hard way is like trying to win the lottery at times, but you need to be prepared to handle that jackpot money.
His maturity shows, and his lifestyle and personality help. “He never gets too high, never gets too low, very even-keeled… he’s a pleasant guy, he’s not on social media acting like an idiot,” Provenzano said.
Madera doesn’t drink or smoke, he’s not a partier, and he doesn’t bring any negativity to the gym. He stays focused. “You can’t be a rockstar and a champion at the same time, you have to be one or the other,” Provenzano said.
Fighters do win the lottery, Albany boxer Amir Imam fought for the vacant WBC World Super Lightweight Title this past Saturday. Imam fought valiantly against undefeated Jose Ramirez and lost a unanimous decision.
Andy Schott has plenty of stories of boxers waiting for their chance and making the most of it. Stories like of Keith Mullins in the late 90’s who took a championship fight against Terry Norris on a week’s notice and won.
Madera is waiting for his big shot, but in the meantime, he needs to translate all the new things he, Kyle, and Andy have worked on in training into the ring. Looking past his Saturday night date with Bautista, all three want Will to keep climbing the ranks.
“I would like Will to find out how good he can really be. I’d like him to get the right fights at the right time… so that Will’s career can go as far as it can go and there are no questions,” Schott said.
Joshua vs. Takam – The Undercard
By: Ste Rowen
Despite the late change of opponent, the biggest draw on Saturday night remains the main event, with Anthony Joshua taking on Carlos Takam for the WBA, IBF and IBO Heavyweight World title belts. However, hidden gems may lie in the undercard.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime
Yafai v Ishida
Chief support to Joshua’s bout sees WBA Super Flyweight Champion Khalid Yafai take on Sho Ishida in his second title defence. Kal (22-0-0 14KOs) won the vacant WBA belt back in December 2016 from Luis Concepcion, who’d come in over the limit in two attempts at the scales, meaning the only Yafai could win the belt. Then in May this year Kal got his first defence in the bank when he dominated Suguru Muranaka. Yafai was mightily impressive in both bouts, scoring legitimately wide scorecards. He’ll be hoping that this is the stepping stone fight to being included on HBO’s ‘SuperFly 2’ in early 2018. His opponent Sho Ishida’s record is good on paper, 24-0-0 (13KOs) however that does include six debutants including his last two bouts in which Ishida stopped first timers Patiphon Saithonggym and Phetnamnung Sisaketphattana in rounds three and two respectively. This will also be Sho’s first fight outside of Japan, he’ll be hoping to upset the Brit’s party and join his countryman, Naoyo Inoue at the top table of the Superfly division.
Whyte v Helenius
Dillian Whyte (21-1-0 16KOs) is looking to turn up the heat on the current Heavyweight belt holders when he goes up against Robert Helenius. In his most recent outing Whyte made quick work of Malcolm Tann on the undercard of Crawford v Indongo in Nebraska. Though sloppy at times, he made sure his keep-busy fight didn’t last long, dropping Tann for a third time with a body shot in the third round. A stark contrast from his split decision win previous to that, when he fought in a Fight of the Year contender, going all twelve in a heavyweight war against Dereck Chisora. His opponent, Robert Helenius (25-1-0 16KOs) was once the man to beat in the European Heavyweight scene. A sparring partner of Anthony Joshua’s leading up to the Klitschko fight, Helenius was racking up victories including a controversial decision over Chisora in 2011 and knocking out an unbeaten Gregory Tony in 2010. His steady rise took a big hit in 2016 though when he was knocked clean out by a big 1-2 from Johann Duhaupas. He’s on a three-fight win streak and will be looking to take Whyte’s status as a number one contender for the belts.
Sanchez v Taylor
Katie Taylor (6-0-0 4KOs) fights for her first world title in just her seventh fight when she takes on Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA Lightweight belt. It will be Taylor’s second schedule ten round fight, in her second stadium fight, and the omens are good because in that ten-rounder at Wembley Stadium last April, Taylor continued to show her class when she dispatched of unbeaten Nina Meinke in the seventh. In her one fight since, the Irishwoman beat up Jasmine Clarkson for three rounds before the American’s cornerman pulled her out. Anahi Esther Sanchez, as expected should represent Taylor’s biggest challenge yet. Sanchez (17-2-0 9KOs) has previously held a world title when she won the IBF Super Featherweight belt in March 2016. She’s also fought and lost twice in world title fights. Once in December 2016 via a unanimous decision to Nina Wahlstrom for the WBC Super Feather title and again in May this year, when she was given two standing counts and eventually stopped in the fourth for her old IBF title. She bounced back quickly, and in her second fight at the 135lb limit, stopped Cecilia Sofia Mena for the WBA belt, that will be on the line this Saturday.
Cult hero Dave ‘White Rhino’ Allen (12-3-1 9KOs) was looking to exact revenge on Commonwealth Champion, Lenroy Thomas when the two were set to meet for the second time on Saturday night for an immediate rematch of their May 2017 split decision. However, the Jamaican has pulled out due to a virus. Allen is expected to remain on the undercard in a six round keep busy fight before going again for the British and Commonwealth belts.
Buglioni v Richards
Another late change to Saturday’s card sees British Light Heavyweight Champion, Frank ‘Wise Guy’ Buglioni take on Craig ‘Spider’ Richards. Buglioni (20-2-1 15KOs) was due to fight Callum Johnson in a mandated bout but Johnson withdrew last week, leaving the door open for Craig Richards (9-0-0 3KOs), who has been campaigning mainly at Super Middleweight up to this point.
Three of Matchroom’s 2016 Olympic signings will also be on the card. Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie (5-0-0 4KOs), taken the distance for the first time in his last fight with Blaise Mendouo. Super Featherweight and Welshman Joe Cordina (4-0-0 4KOs) fighting in Wales for the first time in his pro career. And Light Heavyweight Joshua Buatsi (2-0-0 2KOs) a bronze medallist in Rio, and arguably Britain’s most highly thought of from the class of 2016.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions
By: William Holmes
Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.
Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.
Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.
Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.
Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.
Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.
Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.
The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.
The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.
The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.
Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.
De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.
Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.
Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.
Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.
The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.
Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.
Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.
Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.
Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.
Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.
The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.
Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:
Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.
Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.
Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.
Mayweather vs. McGregor PPV Undercard Results: Davis and Badou Jack Win by Stoppage, Tabiti Decisions Cunningham
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV attraction between all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC super star Conor McGregor.
Fight fans were treated to three bouts on the televised portion of the pay per view card, including two world title fights.
Photo Credit: USA Today
The first fight of the night was between Andrew Tabiti (14-0) and Steve Cunningham (29-8-1) in the cruiserweight division.
Cunningham is a former world champion in the cruiserweight division and Tabiti is prized prospect in the Mayweather Promotions stable.
Cunningham had the height advantage and looked to be in great shape. Tabiti was able to stay out of range in the first two rounds, but Cunningham was the more aggressive fighter and forced Tabiti to tie up often. Tabiti’s jab was landing in the second round and he landed a hard right uppercut at the end of a combination.
Cunningham’s punches were missing with increasing regularity from the first round to the fourth round and Tabiti remained an elusive target. Tabiti’s hands were faster and more accurate but Cunningham’s chin was able to take his best punches.
The fifth round featured two blistering combinations by Tabiti in the center of the ring. Tabiti was able to land his jab to the body and head of Cunningham in the sixth round. Cunningham’s frustration with his inability to mount an offensive attack continued into the seventh round.
Cunningham, to his credit, still came forward in the eighth round despite clearly being behind on the cards. He was able to force a few exchanges but Tabiti got the better of them.
Cunningham needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came.
Andrew Tabiti remained undefeated with a decision victory with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 100-90.
Nathan Cleverly (30-3) faced Badou Jack (21-1-2) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Title.
Jack established himself as the more accurate puncher in the first round and was able to do land some good body shots in the opening round. Cleverly looked like the bigger fight and was able to land some hard straight right hands at the end of the round.
Jack continued his body attack in the second round and he was able to land hard right uppercuts in the third round. Jack’s assault was more vicious in the fourth round and he had Cleverly’s nose busted from numerous uppercuts and left hooks.
Jack came out aggressively in the fifth round and obliterated Cleverly from corner to corner. Cleverly was taking several hard combinations without answering back. The referee let Jack batter Cleverly perhaps longer than he should have, but he finally stopped it near the end of the round.
Badou Jack wins the WBA Light Heavyweight by TKO at 2:47 of the fifth round.
Afterwards, Badou Jack called out Adonis Stevenson.
The final undercard bout was between Gervonta Davis (18-0) and Francisco Fonseca (19-0-1). This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Super Featherweight Title but Davis failed to make the contracted weight.
Fonseca looked awkward in the first round and Davis was able to land hooks and uppercuts to the body. Fonseca ate some heavy combinations in the second round but was able to take some of Davis’ best shots and reply with punches of his own.
Fonseca kept a high guard in the second round but had to absorb blows to the body. Davis began to showboat in the fourth round and landed a few left hooks after putting his hands behind his back, but Fonseca connected with enough punches to maybe steal the round.
Fonseca pressed the action in the fifth round and landed some good combinations to the head and body. Davis was telegraphing his punches and may have lost this round solely based on Fonseca’s activity.
Davis stopped showing off in the sixth round and stuck to a traditional boxing stance and was able to land sharp jabs and hard straight left hands. Davis finally stunned Fonseca in the seventh round with hard hooks but Fonseca stayed on his feet.
Davis opened up the eighth round with a stunning straight left hand and had Fonseca stuck in the corner. He connected with a left hook that may have landed on the back of Fonseca’s head, but Fonseca went to the mat holding the back of his head and was unable to get up.
Gervonta Davis wins by knockout at 0:39 of the eighth round.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Dmitry Bivol Interview: “If I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it”
Dmitry Bivol Interview: “If I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Dmitry Bivol is a highly touted young prospect from St. Petersburg, Russia. He sports an undefeated record of 10 wins with 8 coming by way of the knockout. Bivol is only 26 years old, and is already the WBA #1 contender in the light heavyweight division. On June 17th he will fight on the HBO pay per view undercard against his toughest challenger yet, the crafty veteran Cedric Agnew. We spoke with Dmitry as he was putting the last touches on his training camp.
Boxing Insider: How is training camp going?
Dmitry Bivol: The training camp has gone very well. Tomorrow we will have the final sparring and today we had a good run. Yeah, everything is good and we are just waiting for the fight.
Boxing Insider: What is your game plan for a veteran like Agnew?
Dmitry Bivol: I think I don’t have to waste too much energy in the beginning, because he tends to be very defensive. I think I should keep the distance and I should find the openings in his defense to react to. I think those are the three things I should focus on.
Boxing Insider: Is it more important for you to make this fight last longer and get some rounds under your belt, or to look for a quick stoppage?
Dmitry Bivol: I think the knockout is always a good result, but I am ready to go the distance, to go all the rounds, I am prepared for that. To be honest, if I see the opportunity to end the fight I will go for it. But we will have to see during the fight. I am ready to go all the rounds, but I am also ready to end the fight.
Boxing Insider: What are your goals for the rest of 2017?
Dmitry Bivol: I don’t like to look too much ahead, I tend to focus on what is right in front of me. I’m just looking at this fight that is happening on June 17th. As far as plans go, we’ll see after this fight, the only thing I can say is I will look to fight once or maybe twice more by the end of the year.
Boxing Insider: How are you feeling fighting on such a big pay per view event in such a big venue?
Dmitry Bivol: I’m very happy to be fighting on this card, it is very big. I am happy to be fighting on the network and in that arena. I’m very motivated and it is a great achievement of my team, because it’s my 11th fight and it’s such a big magnitude, such a big event, so I’m happy.
Boxing Insider: Since you are fighting on the Ward v. Kovalev card, who do you think is going to win?
Dmitry Bivol: It is a very tough questions. I am sure I will be rooting for Kovalev. We know each other and have mutual friends and he is Russian, so I will be rooting for him. But I do have to say that I think this time the fight will play out a lot different, and Kovalev will have a lot more challenges. It will be a very interesting fight.
Luis Arias Interview: “The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year”
Luis Arias Interview: “The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Luis Arias is a young (26), undefeated (17-0 8KO), American middleweight boxer who will be appearing on the June 17th HBO pay per view showing of the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
Arias will look to make a big statement in the division as he takes on top ten ranked Arif Magomedov. Boxing Insider was able to speak with Arias as he took a break from his training camp in Florida.
Boxing Insider: Tell the fans a little about yourself and your fighting style.
Luis Arias: I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I picked up boxing at a young age, at about 7, 8 years old. I then had my first amateur fight at 8. I was an American amateur, seven time national champion, Olympic trial finalist. I’m currently 17-0 as a pro and ranked in more than one of the sanctioning bodies organizations. I have a very fan friendly style. Considered more of a boxer puncher, but I like to be more of a puncher first. I’m a little aggressive, I like breaking my opponent down. I like to go to the body like no other, I feel like I’m one of the best body punchers in the game and I’m ready to prove it.
Boxing Insider: You are a young fighter, what does it feel like to be fighting on the undercard of such a big event?
Luis Arias: It feels great. It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s like every fighters dream to make it to HBO. To have my first televised fight to be on a HBO pay per view card is amazing. It’s just truly a blessing and goes to show you that hard work really pays off. I’ve been working hard for this and my time has come.
Boxing Insider: What do you know about your opponent Arif Magomedov?
Luis Arias: Well, I know everything there is to know about him. I studied him, my team has studied him. I know he’s a tough guy, young, aggressive. I know he comes to fight. But he does already have a blemish in his record, he’s been beat before and come June 17th I have the perfect game plan to beat him again.
Boxing Insider: Do you feel that a win against Magomedov puts you as one of the top 20 middleweights in the world?
Luis Arias: Well, I’m already one of the top 20 middleweights in the world, but once I get this guy out of the way I will definitely be in the top ten. All I have to do is put on an A class performance, show the crowd that I am a threat to anyone in the division. I will be defending my belt (USBA) for the second time and I will definitely be in the top ten. The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year.
Boxing Insider: That leads into my final question, what are your overall goals for 2017.
Luis Arias: My goal is to creep up that ranking, keep climbing and to be the number one contender. GGG and Canelo are having a big showdown in my weight division. Once their fight is over with both are going to have to fight someone early next year, and my plan is to be the number one contender and force the winner of that fight to fight me. I want top 10 after June, by the end of the year be at least top 5 and just keep climbing and go from there.
Canelo vs. Chavez Undercard Results: Diaz, Matthysse, and Lemieux Win Convincingly
Canelo vs. Chavez Undercard Results: Diaz, Matthysse, and Lemieux Win Convincingly
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has quickly become the new hotspot to for big fights time pay per view fights and was the host site for tonight Golden Boy Promoter pay per view card headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.
The first bout of the under card was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (23-0) and Manuel Avila (22-0) in the featherweight division.
Avila pressed forward in the opening moments of the first round but was a little short with his punches while Diaz was sharp with his straight left right hook combination. Diaz’s jab controlled the distance in the first and second rounds.
Diaz stayed disciplined in the second and selectively slipped through his counters. Avila slipped at the end of the second round and looked slightly off balance.
Avila had a good third round with some good shots to the body, but Diaz ended strong with a straight left followed by a short left hook Avila forced his combinations in the fourth and fifth round and may have landed more punches, but Diaz landed the harder counters but wasn’t as active as Avila.
A cut above Avila’s left eye was bothering him in the sixth round and Diaz took advantage by pressing his attacks and landing hard straight left hands. The sixth was Diaz’s most dominant round of the night at this point of the fight.
Diaz’s seventh round was just as good as the sixth. His right hook to the head and body was especially on point, and the highlight of this round was a Diaz combination on Avila by the corner.
Diaz was in clear control in the eighth round and landed some good shots to the body of Avila. Diaz staggered Avila twice in the ninth round and nearly scored a knockdown.
Avila needed a knockout in the final round to win, but he didn’t come close to achieving it.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91 for Joseph Diaz.
The next bout of the night was between Lucas Matthysse (37-4) and Emmanuel Taylor (20-4) in the welterweight division.
This was Matthysse’s first fight since his knockout loss to Postol, but he came out strong behind his double jab and landed good shots to the body and head. Matthysse landed a straight right at the end of the first round that hurt Taylor, but Taylor was able to survive the round.
Taylor was pensive of Matthysse’s power in the second round and was taking several hard combination. Matthysse had Taylor covering up by the ropes on more than one occasion in the second.
Taylor came out aggressively in the third round but head butted Matthysse early on and forced the referee to momentarily stop the bout. Taylor came right at Matthysse when the fight resumed, but was tagged with a straight right hand that send him down to the mat. He was able to get back up and shake off the punch, but the power of Matthysse was being felt.
Matthysse’s aggression carried him through the fifth and sixth rounds as Taylor’s power paled in comparison to Matthysse. Matthysse landed a a hard combination on Taylor by the ropes in the fifth round that busted the nose of Taylor and sent him crashing to the mat.
Taylor as able to get up before the count of ten, but he was still on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the bout.
Lucas Matthysse wins by KO at 2:21 of the fifth round.
The final bout on the undercard was between David Lemieux (37-3) and Marcos Reyes (35-4) in the super middleweight division.
Lemieux comes out showing good head movement, but Reyes was able to land his jab in the first thirty seconds in the bout. Lemieux connected good shots to the body and was chasing Reyes around the ring and invested in the body. Reyes was able to land some good jabs, but Lemieux was clearly the aggressor.
Lemieux was able to open up a cut over the eye of Reyes in the second round and forced Reyes to grab on nearly every time he landed a shot. Lemieux hard a dominating third round and was landing some heavy, heavy, power shots. Reye’s right eye was bleeding badly and his chin was tested often this round, but somehow he stayed on his feet the entire round.
Lemieux’s power display continued in the fourth round with a straight right hand that knocked out the mouthpiece of Reyes. However, Reyes was able to land some surprising right hands near the end of the round that may have stunned Lemieux.
Reyes is a little more active in the fifth round and lands some good punches on Lemieux and even outboxes Lemieux. Reyes chin tested often, but it somehow stays strong and he may have landed more punches than Lemieux in the fifth.
Lemieux appeared to be fighting more cautiously in the sixth round as his activity slowed down, Reyes however picked up his activity and threw a high volume of punches.
Lemieux was able to regain control in the seventh round with a vicious left hook that forced Reyes to hold on and slowed him down significantly. That control continued into the eighth round as Reyes badly needed a knockdown to turn the tide of the fight around.
Reyes fought valiantly and displayed great heart and a sturdy chin in the final two rounds, but he was not match a boxer with the pedigree of Lemieux.
David Lemieux wins by decision with scores of 99-90, 99-90, and 98-91.
GGG-Jacobs Undercard Results: Cuadras Victorious
GGG-Jacobs Undercard Results: Cuadras Victorious
By: Sean Crose
New York was home to one of the year’s top fight cards on Saturday as middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin threw down with the man who was widely regarded by many as his preeminent threat, Daniel Jacobs. There was also a fairly stacked undercard to behold, starting with former middleweight titlist Andy Lee, who returned from a lengthy layoff to face KeAndre Leatherwood. The southpaw Lee, 34-3-1, came out with a probing jab against Leatherwood, 19-3-1, in the first. It proved to be a tentative affair early on, with the still-arriving crowd starting to boo. Lee remained patient, however.
Things remained quiet throughout the second, as Lee tried to rid himself of ring rust and Leatherwood struggled with what seemed to be uncertainty. As the fight progressed, there looked to be an unwillingness on the part of Leatherwood to work the body, or to truly instigate any action. Perhaps it was due to the bright lights and a big name opponent, but he wasn’t challenging Lee a great deal. Halfway through the eight round affair, it became obvious that Lee might be willing to simply put in rounds.
Lee came alive in the 6th, however, landing clean and closing in effectively. Not an enormous amount of action came from it, though, and Lee essentially cruised to a unanimous decision win in a disciplined, if not exactly thrilling affair.
Next up was up and coming lighweight Ryan Martin, who put his undefeated, 17-0 record on the line against Bryant Cruz, 17-1-0 in a scheduled ten round match. Martin, who goes by the name of Blue Chip (get it?) looked sharp throughout the first four rounds, but Cruz was definitely game. By the fifth Martin was banging away, but Cruz – to his credit – showed he had a beard. That being said, there was little doubt Martin was the man in charge. And so the slow breakdown continued. Cruz was brave, but he couldn’t hold on forever. By the eighth, referee Harvey Dock stopped the bout.
It was time for Carlos Cuadras. The charming rogue of a super flyweight walked in the ring with a 35-1-1 record to face the 20-3-5 David Carmona. Cuadras was patient in the first and continued to dominate through the first three. Carmona had come to fight, though, which meant Cuadras had to box smart rather than whaling away. Things continued along at a fast pace throughout the next few rounds. By the seventh, though, it looked like Carmona might be coming on. And, to be sure, the following two rounds were competitive.
The last one was no blow out for either fighter, either. The judges gave Cuadras the nod – but he didn’t look like he did against Roman Gonzalez not all that long ago.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, Hooker Draws with Perez
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, and Hooker Draws with Perez
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO PPV card featuring a main event betweenSergey Kovalev and Andre Ward for the Light Heavyweight Championship.
Three bouts were featured on the undercard, and the opening bout was between Curtis Stevens (28-5) and James De La Rosa (23-4) in the middleweight division.
De La Rosa was rocked by a rising left hook from Stevens in the first round and he was on the defensive for most of the opening round. Stevens was able to land a left hook that knocked De La Rosa in the last thirty seconds of the round, but De La Rosa was able to get back to his feet.
De La Rosa had a cut by his left eye in the second round and took heavy shots to the body. However, he was able to start to land his jab in the last minute of the round.
Both fighters let it all fly in the third round and both landed several hard combinations. Stevens got the better of De La Rosa and landed the stronger shots, but he may have spent all of his energy.
De La Rosa began to relay on his jab in the fourth round and was able to keep Stevens at bay, and that jab continued to be successful for De La Rosa in the fifth and sixth rounds and even had Stevens trapped in a corner at multiple points.
De La Rosa looked like the fresher fighter in the seventh round and Stevens was short with most of his punches. Stevens crowded v in the eighth and was able to land some heavy hooks to the body, but he was deducted a point by the referee for landing a low blow.
The announcers felt Stevens may have hurt his left hand in the ninth round since he wasn’t throwing his patented left hook counter like he usually does. The HBO cameras were able to capture Stevens telling his trainer he hurt his left hand in the fourth round
Stevens pressed the action in the final round and landed some heavy shots over the top of De La Rosa’s guard which reopened the cut of De La Rosa, but it was De La Rosa who was raising his hands in the air at the final bell as if he won the fight.
The final scores were 98-90, 96-92, and 96-92 for Curtis Stevens.
The next bout of the night was in the light heavyweight division between Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0).
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Gvozdyk was backing Chilemba up early with his contant jab. Chilema was able to land his check left hook near the end of the round, but it could have been scored either way.
Chilemba was missing with his hooks in the second round while Gvozdyk was finding a home for his right cross. Gvozdyk was landing at a higher clip than Chilemba in the third round, and he had Chilemba covering up in a defensive shell with his back against the ropes while Gvozdyk unleashed several combinations on him.
Chilemba had a strong fifth round and was able to land some short uppercuts on the inside, but Gvozdyk took back over in the sixth round and looked like he was wearing his opponent down.
Gvozdyk outworked Chilemba in the seventh round and Roy Jones Jr. threatened to stop the fight if he didn’t pick up the action in the eighth round. Chilemba was able to catch Gvozdyk by surprise in the opening thirty seconds of the eighth round, but Gvozdyk took back over in the final minute and had Chilemba’s nose bleeding badly.
Chilemba told his trainer, Roy Jones Jr., before the start of the ninth round that he was done and couldn’t fight anymore, and Jones told the referee the fight was over. Chilemba believed his right hand was broken.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.
The final fight on the undercard was between Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) and Darleys Perez (33-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Hooker was a lot taller than Perez and used it to his advantage by keeping a jab in the face of Perez in the opening round. However, Perez looked comfortable with Hooker’s power in the second round and was able to catch Hooker by surprise with some well timed hooks, and he had him hurt in the opening minute of the third round with a clean looping right hook.
Perez appeared to score a knockdown in the fourth round when he tagged Hooker with a right cross and sent him tumbling backwards and to the mat, but the referee ruled it a slip.
Hooker had a good fifth round with an active jab, but Perez again caught Hooker with looping right hooks in the sixth round.
Perez remained the aggressor in the seventh round and took some of Hooker’s best punches but kept on moving forward. Perez remained the aggressor in the eighth round and had Hooker circling away from his opponent and moving backwards.
The final two rounds played out like the earlier rounds, with Perez pressing forward and landing an occasional right hook or right cross while Hooker would land a number of jabs while moving backwards.
A lot of rounds could have been scored either way, but the judges appeared to agree by scoring the fight 97-93 Perez, 97-93 Hooker, 95-95 making the bout a draw.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily, Monroe Decisions Rosado
HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily,
By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotions and HBO put on a four fight pay per view card tonight live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Diego De La Hoya (15-0) , the nephew of Oscar De La Hoya, opened up the card in the division against Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2) in the super bantamweight division. This bout was for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight Championship.
De La Hoya was seven years younger than Del Valle and was taking a big step up in competition. De La Hoya was looking for his straight right counter early in the first round but was able to find range with his jab. Del Valle was knocked stumbling backwards into the corner in the middle of the round from a three punch combination, and the few punches he landed didn’t phase De La Hoya.
The second and third rounds were similar in that Del Valle would start off strong and De La Hoya would finish the roung strong. Del Valle showed he was willing to exchange with De La Hoya and held his own during their exchanges, but by the end of the third round it was De La Hoya who was winning the exchanges more frequently.
De La Hoya was tagged early in the fourth round with a sharp right cross, but he fired back with digging body shots. De La Hoya remained the aggressor for the remainder of the fourth and looked like he hurt Del Valle several times. De La Hoya also had control during the fifth round and was able to pop shot Del Valle at a safe range.
Del Valle was hit hard with a straight right counter in the first minute of the sixth round, and he remained tentative for the remainder. By the seventh round Del Valle’s right eye was showing signs of swelling. De La Hoya punished Del Valle to the body and to the head and was physically imposing his will.
Neither boxer stepped on the gas pedal in the eighth and ninth rounds, but De La Hoya was in clear control and landed the higher number of punches.
Del Valle needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout, but that knockout never came.
Diego De La Hoya remained undefeated with decision victory with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.
Joseph Diaz Jr. (21-0) and Andrew Cancio (17-3-2) was the next bout of the night in the featherweight division.
Joseph Diaz was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and was four years younger than Cancio.
Diaz, a southpaw, stuck to the body in the opening two rounds and was looked very comfortable in the ring. He was able to avoid the punches of Cancio with solid upper body movement and kept his head an elusive target.
Cancio was able to get within striking range in the third round, but took a pounding from Diaz when he got in tight and got his nose busted in the process. Cancio was unable to handle the hand speed of Diaz.
Cancio was able to briefly trap Diaz in the corner in the opening minute of the fourth round and landed some solid body shots, but Diaz took control in the final two minutes and had the head of Cancio snapping backwards from several crisp punches.
Diaz really turned up the pressure in the fifth round and pounded Cancio throughout with combinations at will. Cancio looked outclassed and bewildered, and was simply out of his league.
Diaz’s dominance inside the ring wasn’t impressing the crowd as a wave broke out at the stadium in the sixth round, but at this point it was even clear to the regular fans in attendance that Cancio stood no shot.
Cancio corner was thinking about stopping the fight before the start of the seventh round but they sent him back into the ring. But this round was no different from the previous rounds and he was a punching bag for the talented Diaz.
Diaz’s offensive output dipped in the eighth round, but he still landed at a higher clip and the harder punches. Cancio’s corner repeatedly asked him if he wanted them to stop the fight, but Cancio refused and went back out for the ninth round. Hwoever, in the middle of the round Cancio’s corner wisely decided to stop the fight.
Joseph Diaz impressed with a TKO victory at 2:27 of the ninth round.
Gabriel Rosado (23-9) and Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2) met in the final bout of the televised undercard in the middleweight division.
Rosado looked like the taller fighter, but he was standing straight up while Monroe was boxing with his knees slightly bent. Monroe was able to stay out of Rosado’s range for most of the first round and boxed Rosado effectively by landing the higher number of punches, but none of them could be considered power shots.
Neither Monroe nor Rosado took many risks in the second or third round, but Monroe was landing more punches than Rosado and fought very defensively. The fans started to boo and whistle the lack of action in the third round.
The wave started again in the fourth round, and Monroe continued to safely outbox Rosado. Rosado complained to the referee in the fifth round from an apparent backhand landed by Monroe, but offered little offense after the complaint.
Monroe was sharp in the sixth round and landed several straight left crosses and quick counter jabs. Monroe was able to continue to stay out of the range of Rosado in the seventh round as Rosado was mainly landing at air when he threw punches, but he was pressing the pace and that could have factored in his favor in the eyes of the judges.
Rosado was able to land a few flurries at the end of the eighth round and may have stolen it. It was his most effective offensive output at this stage of the bout.
A cut opened up near the back of the head of Rosado in the ninth round and the referee briefly stopped it to get it attended to, but afterwards both boxers finally threw power shots and both landed heavy shots. Rosado may have scored a knockdown at the end of the round, but the referee ruled it a slip.
Rosado was pressing forward more in the tenth round, but he was not able to land any punches of note while Monroe side stepped him and pop shotted him from the outside.
Rosado needed at least a knockdown in the final two rounds in order to win the bout,but a headbutt in the eleventh round badly swelled and cut the left eye of Rosado and made it much more difficult. Rosado ended the fight better than he started, but it was too little too late.
The judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110, 117-111 for Willie Monroe Jr.
HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decisio
HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decision
By: William Holmes
Tonight’s HBO Pay Per View was presented by Top Rank Promotions from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As typical for Las Vegas, the Grand Garden Arena was nowhere near filled by the time the opening bout started.
The opening bout of the night was between Manny Perez (25-11-1) and Jose Ramirez (16-0) in the super lightweight division.
Jose Ramirez is a high ceiling prospect with a lot of hype behind his name. He began the opening round strong and landed multiple jabs, but Perez showed he was here to fight and connected with several stinging straight right hands in a row in the last minute of the first round.
Ramirez had settled down by the second and third round and stayed active with his jab and Perez at bay. Perez was able to land some shots to the body in the third round, but Ramirez had a very strong fourth round and nearly doubled the number of punches connected.
Perez was able to match Ramirez in activity in the fifth and sixth rounds and had some success to the body, but Ramirez landed the harder and crisper punches and Perez’s face was starting to show signs of swelling. By the seventh round he had blood pouring out of his face.
Perez showed incredible heart and did his best to make it a fight, but he was getting beat badly and was fading badly as the rounds progressed.
Jose Ramirez remained undefeated with a decision victory over a very game Manny Perez with scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.
The next televised bout was between Evgeny Gradovich (21-1) and Oscar Valdez (18-0) in the featherweight division.
Valdez looked comfortable early on in the bout and was landing clean counters in the first round. Valdez mixed up his combinations to the body and head in the second round and battered Gradovich whenever he tried to get in close.
Gradovich’s face was red by the third round and Valdez tagged Gradovich with nearly every punch he threw. He began to really throw some power behind his shots this round and was landing some vicious ones.
Gradovich finally went down in the third round from a hard right hook left hook combination by Valdez. Gradovich was able to get back to his feet before the count of ten but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Valdez was extremely impressive and obliterated a former world champion.
Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 2:14 of the fourth round.
The final bout on the undercard was between Arthur Abraham (44-4) and Gilberto Ramirez (33-0) for the WBO Super Middleweight Title.
Ramirez, a southpaw, was obviously longer and taller than Abraham. Abraham was content with fighting defensive early on and kept a high guard, while Ramirez threw a high volume of punches and outworked the older Abraham.
Ramired’s activity continued in the second round and Abraham’s face was showing signs of damage. Abraham was able to land a hard right uppercut in the second, but was countered with a left hook that forced Abraham to back into a corner.
Ramirez had a strong third round and was ending several of his combinations with stiff body shots. Abraham was able to throw a few wild bombs at the end of the fourth round but did not land many shots.
Ramirez continued to stick and move in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds and was dominating the action. Abraham’s best round of the three was the sixth as he was able to land a few right hands when he let his hand go.
By the seventh round Ramirez had connected with eighty four punches while Abraham hand connected with only forty nine. Abraham was momentarily wobbled with a left hand in the seventh.
Ramirez was warned for low blows in the eighth round but continued to batter his opponent and kept up a strong pace. Ramirez connected with a thudding straight left hand in the eleventh round and only needed to play it safe in the final round to win a decision.
Abraham was never able to effectively push the pace and seriously threaten Ramirez. The judges scored it 120-108 on all three scorecards for Gilberto Ramirez.