Miguel Berchelt-Francisco Vargas Rematch Set, 3/23 on ESPN; Winner Could Get Lomachenko
By Jake Donovan
Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas are prepared to do it all again—and this time, with even more at stake than just the 130-pound title.
A rematch to their Jan. ’17 thriller—which Berchelt won by 11th round knockout to dethrone the previously unbeaten Vargas—is set for March 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The bout will air live on ESPN, with the event to be presented by Berchelt’s U.S. promoter Top Rank, who’ve already teased a loftier prize for the winner.
“It’s very possible that the winner of this terrific rematch will go on to face lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko later this year,” promoter Bob Arum said of the bout.
Berchelt (35-1, 30KOs) has exploded onto the 130-pound scene, beginning with his systematic dismantling of Vargas in their first meet. The bout was competitive early and befitting their all-action styles, but with Berchelt eventually wearing down his battered countryman in lifting the title.
Four defenses have since followed, most recently scoring a 9th round knockout of countryman Miguel Roman in an entertaining—if not one-sided—ESPN+ streamed bout this past November in El Paso, Texas.
With the historic Forum playing host to the rematch, Merida, Mexico’s Berchelt plays the California circuit for the third time in his two-plus year title reign. His title win over Vargas took place in Indio, Calif., while The Forum itself played host to his first defense, a points win over former titlist Takashi Miura in July ’17.
Miura was responsible for the all-action title reign of Vargas (25-1-2, 18KOs), who overcame a 4th round knockdown to drop and stop the reigning champ from Japan in the 9th round of their unforgettable Nov. ’15 war.
The savagely brutal war not only stole the show from the evening’s far more prolific headliner—Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s historic World middleweight championship win over Miguel Cotto—but would go on to gain universal recognition as 2015 Fight of the Year.
It also appeared to take quite a bit out of Mexico City’s Vargas, who was sidelined for much of the first part of 2016 to allow several cuts to heal.
His ring return was hardly a let-up in competition, once again thrown the wolves in fighting former two-division titlist Orlando Salido to a 12-round draw in June. Once again, Vargas managed to produce a Fight of the Year-level performance, but the back-to-back wars showed its effect by the time he got to Berchelt.
Two wins have followed for the 34-year old slugger, scoring a technical decision win over veteran contender Stephen Smith in Dec. ’17 and—in his lone ring action of 2018—slaughtering overmatched Rod Salka in six rounds last April.
Given his lofty ranking among the World Boxing Council—whom recognizes Berchelt as its 130-pound champ—it was a matter of time before Vargas found himself back in the title picture. Still, it took for rival promoters to put aside their differences for the sake of reaching a deal as Top Rank (Berchelt’s co-promoter), with whom Vargas began his career before eventually moving onto Golden Boy Promotions in 2011.
“Look what’s happening in boxing. All the other promoters are cooperating with each other, Arum said of doing business with Golden Boy, while also taking a shot at another rival in adviser Al Haymon. “This show, we have our kid, Miguel Berchelt against Oscar de la Hoya’s fighter, Francisco Vargas.
“To survive at this level and in today’s market, you have to work with other promoters. We have a commitment to deliver the best fights in the world to ESPN and that’s what we’re doing here. The winner will have another big fight to look forward to, as we’d love to match (whomever is victorious) with our lightweight champion, the great Vasiliy Lomachenko.”
Josue Vargas: Boxing Is My Passion
By: Sean Crose
“I had a great amateur background,” super lightweight Josue Vargas tells me. “I’m ready for anything right now.” Having recently signed with the prestigious Top Rank Promotions, Vargas is especially ready for John Renteria, his opponent this Saturday night at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. For Vargas will be part of a card that will see pound for pound powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko pitted in the main event against Jose Pedraza. With an amateur career that saw Vargas face off against the likes of Shakur Stevenson, the Bronx native feels like he has the pedigree to rise to the top of the sport himself.
“I feel great about being with Top Rank,” he claims. “I trust them.” Although a New Yorker, Vargas headed west to California in order to train for this weekend’s match. “I was training with Robert Garcia,” claims Vargas, “and also with my dad.” While some fighters like to train close to home, Vargas is willing to travel in order to properly prep for a fight. “I didn’t stay home in New York because the winter started kicking in,” he says. “We fight in the heat…I went to California and took care of business.”
When he steps into the ring back in the east coast on Saturday, Vargas knows he will have supporters as well as detractors. “A lot of people come to support,” he says, adding that “a lot of people do hate and want to see you lose.” There are, after all, those who simply resent success. Yet Vargas is happy to be surrounded by those he feels he can count on. “My father’s my main trainer,” he tells me, “always making sure I’m prepared for every single fight.”
Vargas also has nothing but good to say about the men who guide his career. “Richard Roman,” he says, “one of the main guys who has always been there for me since I was 13 years old.” Vargas likewise has nothing but good to say about Gary Jonas. “He got me signed with Top Rank Promotions,” Vargas points out. “He’s the guy who got me 4 and 5 and 0.” With such support, the 20 year old feels like the future is his. “I see myself with a world title in about two years,” he says, adding that “I will always stay humble.”
“Boxing,” he claims, “is my passion.”
Vargas vs. Dulorme Post Fight Press Conference Quotes
In a night full of knockdowns from Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme fought to a majority draw after twelve rounds of back-and-forth action on Saturday night. DAZN’s first-ever boxing card from the U.S. also featured stoppages by Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, IBF Light Heavyweight Titlist Artur Beterbiev and WBA Super Bantamweight Titlist Daniel Roman, as well as Jessica McCaskill capturing the WBC Female Super Lightweight belt.
Post-fight ringside and press conference quotes, as well as the main card’s results are below.
On the fight overall: “He was better than I expected. All credit to him – he’s a very good fighter. He comes and gives it his all in each and every fight. Unfortunately we went in with a draw. I was looking forward to the victory.”
On his 12th round knockdown by Dulorme: “It really caught me by surprise, I’m not going to lie. I was really confident in the 12th round, thought I had everything in control. I started with a punch and then I went on the attack, I saw him coming, backed up, he caught me with the punch and I was knocked down.”
On the two cuts over his eye: “I’m scarred for life, but it comes with the territory. I don’t complain. It was a couple head butts, and I knew he was going to do that frequently, unfortunately it did happen and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.”
On how he feels on this draw vs. the Broner draw: “This one was a good fight. The fans liked it. The last one brings a sour taste. This one I felt like I had the edge but I can’t complain about the draw. If that’s what the judges saw, all I can do it respect it.”
On his next fight: “I’m going to leave that up to my promoter Eddie Hearn and my advisors. Whatever they say goes. I’m looking forward to coming back real soon, but for now, it’s back to the drawing board.”
On his TKO win: “I noticed that my size in coming forward, he missed a couple shots and he was winded from just missing. And so I know he knows I’m this big guy, I’m not going to be a sitting target, I’m going to keep coming forward. Have fun, that was it, go to the body, and mix up the middle a little bit.”
On a potential fight against Anthony Joshua: “When it comes to boxing, there’s boxing and trying to maneuver. Eddie Hearn is still keeping him away from me right now, but I think the AJ fight is going to come through sooner rather than later. It’s gonna be crazy, I can’t wait.”
On what he’s going to eat post-fight: “If Adamek invites me for dinner, I’m going to eat some pierogis too, Polish style.”
On how he feels about his TKO win: “This is boxing. It’s one experience for me, my career. I’m happy. I’m happy for that fight. I win. I won by a KO. It’s good, I think so, no?”
On when he got knocked down briefly by Johnson: “It’s boxing. Everyone can one time down, but it’s important if I win. I just remember he hit me not too strong. I remember that.”
On who he wants next: “I like to first see some proposals. I’m happy to take a unified fight. I’m happy to again defend my belt, no problem. Everything. It’s my work. It’s my job.”
On his TKO win: “It was a great test, Gavin McDonnell is a hell of a fighter. I didn’t take anything away from him, he gave it his best, it was my night.”
On who he wants next: “I want to challenge all the champions, I want all the belts. Rey Vargas, Isaac Dogboe, and the new IBF champion Terence Doheny – let’s unify. I want to fight the best in my division, and they’re considered the best. Let’s do it.”
On if he would entertain a fight with Diego De La Hoya: “Let him get a belt, and then we’ll make it happen.”
12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) and Thomas Dulorme (24-3-1, 16 KOs) fight to Majority Draw
115-111 for Vargas, 113-113 113-113
12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 12 KOs) def. Callum Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 4
12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
Jarrell Miller (22-0, 18 KOs) def. Tomasz Adamek (53-6, 31 KOs) by TKO at 51 seconds of Round 2
12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
Daniel Roman (26-2-1,10 KOs) def. Gavin McDonnell (26-2-2, 5 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 10
10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
Jessica McCaskill (6-2, 3 KOs) def. Erica Farias (26-3, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision
98-92, 97-93, 96-94
Vargas, Dulorme Fight To Draw, Highlighting Entertaining DAZN Card
By: Sean Crose
DAZN took to America on Saturday, offering a packed card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. First off on the live stream, Daniel Roman, 25-2-1, defended his WBA super bantamweight strap against
the 20-1-2 Gavin McDonnell. The first three of the scheduled twelve rounds saw Roman apparently edge his high energy opponent. As the fight creeped into the middle rounds, McDonnell looked like he might be starting to take over the tempo. Roman, however, was ultimately able to assert himself through his more accurate punching and stronger footwork.
In the sixth, Roman really started to impact his man. It looked like the end might actually be near. McDonnell, however, was a game and brave opponent. By the final portion of the bout, it was clear that Roman simply had a stronger skill set than McDonnell. In the tenth, it was over, with Roman landing hard and furiously. The California native walked out of the ring with his belt and a TKO victory in tow.
Next up, IBF light heavyweight champ, Artur Beterbiev, 12-0, defended his belt against the 17-0 Callum Johnson. Beterbiev dropped his man in the first, after Johnson seemed to come out of getting caught in the ropes. Johnson got up and survived the round. Then, shockingly, Beterbiev went down from a left in the second. Like Johnson, Beterbiev got up and survived the chapter. The third round saw both men throwing slow and heavy. So did the fourth. Beterviev was able to send his man down again at the end of that round, however. Johnson got up, but the referee smartly stopped the bout.
Next up was Jarrell Big Baby Miller. The colorful heavyweight, 21-0-1, stepped in to face Tomasz Adamek, 53-5. Miller did what he was widely expected to do – and that’s wipe his opponent out quickly. The fight lasted less than two rounds, all of it controlled by Miller, who was so much bigger and stronger it’s perfectly logical to call the match a wipe out. Likable, as always, Miller showed respect to the largely Polish crowd, and once more expressed his interest in facing Anthony Joshua for heavyweight supremacy.
It was time for the main event. The well known 28-2-1 Jessie Vargas entered the ring to face the 24-3 veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. The first round was close, though Dulorme seemed to have tagged his man in the final seconds. Durlorme, perhaps surprisingly, continued to look good in the second. In the third, Vargas actually seemed to a little hesitant to pull the trigger when it came to aggressive punching.
Both men started trading hard in the fourth – yet, again, Dulorme seemed to walk back to his corner the better man. The middle rounds proved to be a tight, entertaining affair, with both men landing crisply, though Vargas may have entered the eighth with the tempo working into his favor. Yet the eighth showed both men slowing down a bit. The ninth was tight. So was the tenth…until Vargas was able to drop his man. Dulorme got up and survived, but it was a huge moment for Vargas.
Things remained close again in the 11th. The 12th saw both exhausted fighters giving it their all…but it was Dulorme who made Vargas’ glove hit the canvas with a clean knockdown that told the tale. It was a VERY good fight.
The bout ended up being called a majority draw.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Beterbiev vs. Johnson and Vargas vs. Dulorme
By: Sean Crose
Artur Beterbiev will defend his IBF light heavyweight title on Saturday night when he faces Callum Johnson in a twelve round bout. The match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming network from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Johnson, an undefeated Englishman with an impressive 17-0 record, is the underdog walking into the bout, though he has expressed confidence that he will pull off the upset against the 12-0 Beterbiev. Johnson will have quite the challenge in front of him, as Beterbiev has knocked out every opponent he has faced. Johnson himself has some power, as all but five of his own bouts have ended by knockout.
LA’s Daniel Roman will also appear on Saturday’s card, putting his WBA super bantamweight strap on the line when he faces Gavin McDonnell in a twelve rounder. Roman, 25-2-1, will be making his first defense of his title when he steps into the ring to fight his 20-1-2 opponent. This will be Roman’s third title defense since besting Shun Kubo in 2017. It will be McDonnell’s second attempt at a title belt. He lost to Ray Vargas by decision last year in a contest where the WBC super bantamweight title was at stake.
Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account
Well known former welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas will be on Saturday’s card, as well. He’ll be fighting for the first time since battling Adrien Broner to a draw last spring. Vargas, who has faced such big name competition as Sadam Ali, Tim Bradley and the iconic Manny Pacquiao, will be fighting veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. It will be the 24-3 Dulorme’s first fight since dropping a decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2017. It will be the 28-2-1 Vargas’ first title bout since losing his WBO belt to Pacquiao in November of 2016.
Aside from the numerous title bouts that will go down in Chicago this weekend, colorful heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller will throw down against the popular Tomasz Adamek. Although the charismatic Miller is widely expected to win, there’s a lot at stake for the 21-0-1 Brooklyn native. For, perhaps by virtue of being connected to British promoter Eddie Hearn, Miller has hoped to find himself in line to face Hearn fighter Anthony Joshua, widely regarded as the king of the heavyweight division, sometime in the near future. The 53-5 Adamek, however, surely has plans of his own.
Saturday’s Beterbiev-Johnson card will begin at 9:00 PM Eastern Time through the DAZN streaming service.
12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
(Las Vegas) (Puerto Rico)
147 lbs. 146.4 lbs.
12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
(Montreal) (United Kingdom)
174.8 lbs. 174.8 lbs.
12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
317 lbs. 227 lbs.
12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
(Los Angeles) (United Kingdom)
121.6 lbs. 121.8 lbs.
10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
(Buenos Aires) (Chicago)
139 lbs. 138.4 lbs.
Final Press Conf Quotes: Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
At TAO Chicago on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a fully stacked Oct. 6 Matchroom Boxing USA fight night, as headliner Jessie Vargas will face off against Thomas Dulorme at the Wintrust Arena in one of four title fights on the card. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation and predictions ahead of the big night – which will be the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit DAZN Twitter Account
“We are building something strong and I’m en route to becoming a world champion once again. The WBC gold belongs to Shawn Porter but I look forward to challenging him very soon, in the near future. Then again, I’m not looking past Thomas Dulorme. He’s a tough task and I have to make sure that I come out victorious and continue my path to success. He’s a tough fighter and I know I have to be on point, every minute and every second of the fight.”
“I’m ready for the fight. Everybody, put your eyes onto Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. It’s the best fight Saturday night.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“I’m very proud to be before you today for the first Matchroom Boxing USA event. Obviously we have a lot to thank DAZN for, the new home for boxing and for giving us the opportunity to build 16 fight cards across the U.S., and to build a great stable of fighters. I think by just looking up here you can see what we’re trying to do in terms of entertainment and value for money for the sport of boxing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Wintrust Arena or watching on DAZN, I promise you, you will not leave without a smile on your face!”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America
“This is a historic moment: the first ever Matchroom USA event, broadcast live on DAZN, following our launch a few weeks ago. Our U.S. boxing journey starts here in Chicago, with a stacked fight card and what’s sure to be a memorable night in one of America’s greatest sports towns.”
“If you signed up for DAZN before the Sept. 22 Joshua vs. Povetkin bout in the UK, you’ll get 14 boxing and MMA events before your free month wraps up. That’s tremendous value and entirely indicative of what’s to come. We came in to disrupt the status quo, and it’s been interesting – to say the least – to see how boxing evolves with various broadcasters stepping up or switching up their game. It’s an exciting new era.”
“It’s been a long road. Every fight is more important than the next. I did not look past Adamek because of his age, or because he’s gotten his butt whooped a couple times in the ring. Did not look past that! I made sure I went to the gym, trained hard, to make sure I put on a good show for you guys. I’ve said before sometimes as a fighter, the wrong story comes across because we talk smack. I have nothing but respect for this guy…It’s nothing about disrespect, it’s about two fighters coming together and beating his behind.”
“You had too much food in here man, this is ridiculous! You have a bunch of guys in here who can’t eat no food, you got chicken lo mein, and sour chicken, and chicken duck, and everything chicken. This is messed up.”
“Thirteen years ago, I came to the United States in Chicago and got the title shots. I won, thank you god. Thirteen years later, I get proposed to fight again in Chicago…and I said “Absolutely!” I’m here, we had a good camp, and I’m ready for the show. It should be a good fight for everyone.”
On why he wanted 12 rounds instead of 10: “I’ll never go into ring not in shape because I’m a smart man. Twelve is twelve. When I win the show I want to give you something bigger. When I go into the ring I want to be best and show who is better.”
“I’m not a big talker, but hopefully in the ring on October 6th, I’ll show you everything.”
When asked by Eddie Hearn on if the fight will go long or short against Johnson: “Eddie, I’m interested myself, and that’s why I’m here.”
“I’m ready to come here and upset the odds. I’ve done everything in preparation to be able to do that and it’s something I’m really, really looking forward to Saturday night. It’s a dream come true for me – fighting for a world title in America – and I plan on taking that belt home and shocking the world.”
On why he stepped up to challenge Beterbiev: “It took me all of half a second to say yes. I’m not in the game to turn opportunities down like this. I know I’m fighting a real good fighter, he’s a feared man, but I fear no man. When it’s all said and done, we’re both human beings, we’re both going to be in that ring, we’re both looking for power and it’ll be what it’ll be.”
“Expect a great fight from me. It’ll be my third defense and I plan on taking the belt home, no disrespect to Gavin. I know he’s a great fighter. He fought for the world title before so he’s going to come at me with everything hungry, but we’ll be ready and we’ll be taking the belt back home.”
“As a fighter we always want to fight in America. It’s been a dream of mine to fight here in Chicago. It’s a lovely place and this is where my dreams are going be made.”
“It’s up to me to go out there Saturday night and achieve my dream, which is what I plan on doing. I plan on stepping on the world scene and making a big statement Saturday night. My journey is just going to start and Britain is going to get a new champion.”
“I’m very excited to be here, the first time I’ve been in the United States. It’s a dream come true to represent!”
“I’ve always thought about when I would have the opportunity to fight in the States. Now, it’s here with this amazing card and amazing event, and it will happen Saturday night with these great champions and facing Jessica McCaskill.”
“I’m really excited about this fight. I love the atmosphere that all the boxers bring. It’s nothing about disrespect. We have high goals for female boxing, boxing in general, and there’s nothing but love up here but we do want to beat each other up. That’s just how it goes. So thank you for coming.”
“To all my friends and family in St. Louis, get DAZN if you want to see my fight! Get DAZN, it’s on-demand afterwards. You can rewind, watch it, rewind, watch it.”
On potentially becoming a world champion is Chicago: “It means everything to be part of history. I feel if you’re going to do something like this and put your body on the line, it should be for great things. It’s great to win and it’s great to have a belt, but it’s amazing to be part of history and that’s what I’ve been trying do my whole career. Because of the lack of female boxing there’s been a lot of opportunities to do that, so I’m excited for the opportunity and excited to fight!”
Tony Bellew, Interviewed Offstage by DAZN Hosts Ak & Barak
On his Nov. 10 unification fight against Usyk on Nov. 10: “This is a really, really hard fight, a defining fight in my career and his. He’s trying to make his name big in the UK, because the UK audience is huge and the US audience is now also open with DAZN. So, this is a mega fight. I’m a name, he’s a name, I talk, he listens, and we’re going to see how it’s going to go on November 10thand I can’t wait. I know I can beat him. I can beat any cruiserweight in the world. There’s only one cruiserweight that would have whooped me and he’s long gone and that’s Evander Holyfield.”
On rumors of his retirement after the Nov. 10 matchup and what that would take: “Boxing’s a hard game because even when you win, you lose a piece of yourself. I’m hoping to lose the fight in me on November 10th. I’m going to win, but I’m hoping that it’s so hard that I’ve had enough.”
On why he’s in Chicago other than his fight camp nearby: “I’m here to support my gym mate, Gavin McDonnell, in a world title fight against Daniel Roman. It’s a stacked card and a brilliant event. I’m looking forward to not just my gym mate winning a world championship, but there’s also many other fights on the bill…I’m looking forward to seeing it all.”
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme Media Workout Quotes
Ahead of Saturday night’s Matchroom Boxing USA fight, the fighters went through their paces in the ring at Wednesday’s public workout in Chicago’s Millennium Park, just north of where the action will go down at The Wintrust Arena on Oct. 6. Spectators gathered to see Jessie Vargas, Thomas Dulorme, Jarrell Miller, and the rest of the card up close ahead of the big event. Saturday’s fight represents the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit: Jessie Vargas Twitter Account
“October 6th is coming very soon. I’m looking forward to it and I have all the energy in the world to perform for my friends. With the WBC Silver there’s a lot on the line because winner gets a title shot for the gold, and there’s a lot at risk so I have to make sure I come prepared and defeat Thomas Dulorme.”
“This is the best training camp I’ve had. I’ve been training hard every day, two to three times a day. My strength guys are great and I’m ready for Saturday night. My opponent Jessie is a great fighter, but I’m faster and bigger than Jessie. I don’t know if it will be decision or knockout, but I’m 100% I’m going to win this fight.”
“I’m going to knock him out!”
“I’m ready, we had a good camp. Sparring was everything you want and I’m excited for Saturday night. I want to do the best for my class, so I can sit in there with everybody. Many of my fans came to watch me! I’m ready for the fight and I want to show my class in the ring.”
When asked about Saturday’s fight: “I feel good.”
“Looking forward to the fight on Saturday and being involved in the DAZN show here in the USA. I predict a knockout!”
“Don’t miss the fight this Saturday night, it will be a great fight. Expect a good fight for myself and we’re ready to take the belt back home.”
“The twelve-week training camp went well. Everything we have done is the best we can and the work is being put in. It’s going to show on Saturday night! I look forward to getting in there and beating him. I want to make a statement to the world and other champions because I’m here to stay. It wouldn’t surprise me if I get a stoppage late that’s how good I feel.”
“In first place I’m very happy being here in the United States. It’s the first time I’m appearing in boxing here and it’s a great opportunity. I look forward to winning and having other opportunities.”
“I’m feeling really great. We had ten months to prepare for a big question mark, this is what fell into our lap, and I think we’re more than ready for it. Ten months of not fighting can drive you crazy, but this fight is going to be great, and I’m always going for the knockout!”
DAZN Boxing Results: Amir Khan Survives Knockdown, Decisions Vargas
By: William Holmes
Amir Khan (33-4) returned to the ring tonight at the Arena in Birmingham, England to face veteran welterweight Samuel Vargas (29-3-2) in the welterweight division.
This was Khan’s first fight with on DAZN and is one of their more marketable stars. DAZN made this fight available for free on their social media networks.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Khan, a strong favorite, showed no signs of a slow down in the opening rounds by pressing the action and using his superior speed.
Khan was doing well at keeping a safe distance and even sent Vargas down in the second from a combination that ended with a right han, but Vargas was able to land a straight right to the temple that sent Khan crashing to the mat after recovering from the knockdown.
Khan was able to recover, and went back to fighting at a safe distance and utilizing his quick combinations. Vargas was able to land a few good shots to test Khan’s chin, but Khan was able to withstand his power.
Amir Khan had Vargas bloodied by the fifth round and appeared to be close to knocking Vargas down. Vargas did have his moments, including momentarily stunning Khan in the tenth round and strong 11th round rally.
The final scores were 119-108, 119-109, 118-110 for Amir Khan.
Khan has bigger prizes on his mind, and noted that he’d like to face either Kell Brook or Manny Pacquiao next. The fight with Kell Brook should be easier for Eddie Hearn to make, but a fight with Manny Pacquiao would also be an entertaining fight.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas
By: Ste Rowen
At Arena Birmingham this Saturday night, Amir Khan takes on Samuel Vargas in a 12-round contest that will surely propel the winner to a shot at the biggest names in the welterweight division.
Since May 2016, the former unified super-lightweight world champion, has spent just shy of 40 seconds in the ring. On his first return to the ring since being wiped out by ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Amir Khan stepped between the ropes in March to decimate an overawed and overmatched, Phil Lo Greco in the 1st round.
‘‘I didn’t get a chance to show everyone what I had been working on during my time out, against Lo Greco.’’ Said Khan, 32-4 (20KOs), speaking to his promoter Matchroom last month. ‘‘But you saw the punch power, accuracy, speed and timing, and you’ll see it again against Vargas. I always make it exciting.’’
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Post-fight in April, Amir mentioned the likes of Adrien Broner as a potential next opponent but whilst Broner is otherwise engaged – trying to get Burger King employees to quit on the spot – Khan, and promoter Eddie Hearn, moved to make the Sam Vargas bout, and keep a historically inactive fighter in Amir busy, before an expected massive welterweight showdown with any of the division’s big names.
‘‘This will take me to the bigger and better fights, and that’s with no disrespect to Sammy. He’s going to come to win. He knows by beating me it propels him on to a whole new level…Vargas is a very tough and well-schooled fighter but if he wants to fight on the inside, I’ll be more than ready for it.’’
‘‘There’re big fights in the pipeline but I can’t afford to look that far ahead. Vargas has my full attention.’’
Colombian, Vargas was on a hot streak of four consecutive victories, since his stoppage loss to Danny Garcia in 2016, until he ran into Mauro Godoy two months ago. At Ontario’s Scotiabank Convention Centre, the two South Americans fought out a tit-for-tat majority draw, which did very little to wow the crowd.
The Canadian resident isn’t exactly renowned for his power, but his KO record isn’t holding him back from laying out to the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, exactly how dangerous of an opponent he will be,
‘‘If I touch him on the chin, he’s going down. That’s a guarantee…He’s been stopped really badly a couple of times, so we know it’s always there and we have 36 minutes to do it…Your body can only take so much before it gives out. Maybe this is the fight for him.’’
As mentioned earlier, Vargas, 29-3-2 (14KOs), isn’t a complete stranger to sharing the ring with the biggest talent. The current WBA-NABA champion has stepped in, and lost to WBC champ at the time, Danny Garcia – going 3 rounds further than Saturday night’s opponent could handle against the Philadelphian – and the 2015 tussle with a 15-0, Errol Spence.
‘‘I’ve been in there with the best. Obviously, I didn’t get the results that I wanted but those defeats have been my biggest lessons…I’m just a regular guy that decided not to quit and not give up, to get up and to keep on going. And here I am.’’
‘‘This is all or nothing for me.’’
This fight will also be Bolton native, Khan’s second under the tutelage of Joe Goosen. Hopefully fans get to see a little more of what the legendary trainer has been teaching him this time round.
Saturday night’s card also includes a number of domestic favourites including;
Current British middleweight champion, Jason Welborn will once again face-off against Tommy Langford, the man he took the Lonsdale belt from back in May, with a 12-round split decision.
British lightweight champion, Lewis Ritson is scheduled for a 10-round stay busy fight against Nicaraguan, Oscar Amador, 10-7 (1KO). The Newcastle native, 16-0 (10KOs), is already set to headline a card in his hometown on the 13th October, where he’ll come up against Belgian, Francesco Patera, 19-3 (7KOs), for the EBU European 135lb title.
2014 Commonwealth gold medallist at 69kg, Scott Fitzgerald, 10-0 (7KOs), takes on southpaw, Craig Morris, 10-1 (3KOs).
Sam ‘The Savage’ Eggington enters the ring for the 3rd time in 2018 when he takes on Tanzanian, Hassan Mwakinyo, 11-2 (7KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder. Eggington, 23-4 (15KOs) is currently 15th in the WBC’s junior middleweight rankings.
The Midlands Area junior middleweight champion, Ryan Kelly, 11-1 (5KOs), defends his strap for the first time, against the unbeaten Kelcie Ball, 9-0 (2KOs).
Showtime Boxing Results: Charlo and Davis Win by Knockout, Broner and Vargas Draw
By: Ken Hissner
Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotians and DiBella Entertainment on USA Showtime, at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY, put on a triple header Saturday night.
In the Main Event welterweights with former WBA World Super Lightweight champion Welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3-1 (24), of Cinn., OH, ended in a majority draw with former WBO World Welterweight champion Jesse “Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas, 28-2-1 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after exchanging jabs Broner landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. After over a minute of the round Broner landed a combination to the head of Vargas. It wasn’t until under a minute left in the round that Vargas landed a stiff jab to the chin of Broner. In the second round Vargas landed his first right of the fight to the chin of Broner. Broner with hands high is only using a jab in the round up to this point. Vargas landed half a dozen punches without return. Broner just shook his head as if to say “nothing on it!” Vargas landed a 3-punch combination in taking a good round.
In the third round Vargas used a jab to the mid-section of Broner. He followed upt with a good combination before Broner landed a good combination in return. Both exchanged body shots. The pace really picked up in the round. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the fourth round Broner counters with solid rights to the chin of Vargas. Both boxers landed well. Vargas landed a pair of rights to the head and Broner back with a right uppercut to the chin. Broner landed a good combination with Vargas countering with a right to the head at the bell.
In the fifth round Vargas continues to out work Broner until Broner rocked Vargas with a right to the chin. There was a mouse under the left eye of Vargas. Vargas landed half a dozen of unanswered punches as Broner came back just prior to the bell with a right of his own. In the sixth round Broner came out firing unlike previous rounds. Vargas landed an array of punches in what is a very good fight. Broner landed a 3-punch combination. Vargas landed a straight right to the chin of Broner who shook his head. With half a minute left Broner landed a low blow giving Vargas a half minute rest from referee Charlie Fitch.
In the seventh round Vargas comes out with a solid jab. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Broner who countered with a right of his own to the chin. Broner warned for using his elbow by referee Fitch. Broner ended the right with a right uppercut to the chin of Vargas. In the eighth round both boxers landed left hooks to the chin at same time. Broner landed Bof one another. Vargas continued landing good body shots. Vargas landed a right at the bell but was warned by referee Fitch for a late hit.
In the ninth round Broner came out dominating Vargas through the first minute. Vargas came back landing a big right to the head of Broner. Broner landed a good left hook with Vargas came back with a solid right to the chin of Broner. With half a minute left Broner turned up the heat getting the fans cheering with Broner rocking Vargas who almost looked like he was out on his feet at the bell. In the tenth round Broner went on the attack pushing Vargas back. Broner with hands to his side was trying to bait Vargas in. With half a minute left in the round Vargas landed a solid right to the head of Broner. Just prior to the bell Broner ended it landing a flurry of punches.
In the eleventh round Vargas is throwing rights to the head of Broner who is the aggressor. Broner landed a good right to the head of Vargas whose left eye is almost closed. It was a good close round. In the twelfth and final round Broner landed a good chopping right to the head of Vargas who is continuing backing up. Vargas started raising his hands at the halfway mark showboating. Vargas with less than half a minute to go landed a 3-punch combination to head and body of Broner. Broner’s new trainer Kevin Cunningham urged Broner throughout to do more. While Vargas trainer Mike “Body Snatcher” McCallum urged body work. It was an excellent fight.
Judge Lederman had it 115-113 Broner. Morgan and Marlinski had it 114-114. This writer had it 117-111 for Vargas.
Former World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, regained a world title when he stopped former WBA World Featherweight champion southpaw Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete” Cuellar, 28-3 (21), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:45 of round 3 for the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title, scheduled for 12 rounds.
In the first round Cuellar used a good jab while Davis was a little slower using his jab and a nice right uppercut to the body which may have hurt Cuellar with about a minute left in the round. Half a minute to go and Davis landed a right uppercut to the chin of Cuellar. Davis landed a good combination to the head of Cuellar right before the bell. In the second round Davis landed a lead left into the mid-section of Cuellar dropping him for the 8 count from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Cuellar was up and going after Davis for the remainder of the round until Davis landed a straight left to the chin of Cuellar.
In the third round after about a minute Cuellar landed a right hook to the left eye of Davis he shook his head from being hurt. Less than a minute to go in the round and Davis dropped Cuellar with his body landing three punches, body, head, body dropping him for a second time. Upon rising Cuellar had Davis all over him landing half a dozen punches with the final one a left hook to the chin dropping him for a third time in the fight causing referee Esteves, Jr. to wisely wave it off.
“I want to thank God,” said Davis. Upon being asked who he would like to fight next he answered “I would like to unify!”
Former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (22), of Houston, TX, knocked out Hugo “The Boss” Centeno, 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, at 0:55 of the second round for interim WBC World Middleweight title, 12 rounds.
In the first round Charlo came forward with a lot of feinting while Centeno was using his jab. It was into the final minute of the feeling out round before Charlo landed a double jab. The referee Steve Willis was slow breaking up the numerous clinches. In the second round Charlo landed a chopping right followed by another right and a left hook that had Centeno hurt, clash of heads and a left having Centeno going down and another right putting him on his back. Referee Willis didn’t have to count but did.
“I first want to thank God for who I wouldn’t be here without. Also, thank my manager, Al Haymon. I want Triple GGG, lets get it on,” said Charlo.
Adrien Broner Puts It All on the Line Against Jessie Vargas
By: Bryant Romero
Adrien “The Problem” Broner enters this Saturday arguably heading into the most important bout of his 10 year pro boxing career when he takes on Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) will be putting it all on the line including a 300k side bet with a colorful rapper he’s been beefing with on social media during fight week. Another devastating loss could spell the end of Broner as a main event headliner. There is no doubt Broner has to be feeling some type of pressure heading into this fight, knowing that the future of his career hangs in the balance if he doesn’t defeat Jessie Vargas this Saturday. However, Broner has kept a relatively low profile during his preparations in training camp, which could mean he’s putting a lot of his focus on his upcoming fight.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
““I’m very happy with this camp. It’s just what I needed. I’m catching up with sleep, eating well. The isolated training is really good. I love everything about this camp.
“Training in isolation is really good for me. I told everybody that they were not coming to Florida with me, that I will see them all after the fight and that if they really love me they will understand the situation and they will be cool with it.
“I actually did a camp with Coach Kevin before when Devon Alexander fought Timothy Bradley. And I’ve seen the way he is. We had our arguments and he cussed me out almost every day, but I was just missing the structure and that’s what I need,” Broner said.
After getting soundly defeated by Mikey Garcia last summer, Broner felt a major change was needed in the corner and he felt he needed a more authoritative voice. A voice that could keep him on his toes and keep him pushing a harder while in training camp, which is the major influence into why Broner decided to train with Coach Cunningham.
“I’ve known Coach Cunningham since my amateur days. We used to go up to St. Louis all the time and fight in his tournaments, on his shows. I have even fought for St. Louis in the Ringside Tournament. It was a great experience.
“I’ve known Coach Cunningham for a long time. He is the real deal He is not going to B.S. me. He’s going to keep me on my toes. I need that.
“There are coaches that change when their fighters get to certain levels. They still coach, but they don’t provide the structure the fighter needs. When I was fighting at 130, 135, Coach Mike [Stafford] will be at my door yelling ‘Get your butt up. We have to run. We have to train. Get up! Get up!’ But time went by and things changed.
“Coach Mike stopped being a coach and started being more of a friend. I needed him to keep being my coach. I need someone to keep me in line. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll always be like a father figure but when it comes to training and my career. I needed a change,” Broner said.
Broner has made the necessary adjustments in training camp that could help put on a better performance come fight night. Whether these changes could produce a great performance from Broner remains to be seen. The question is will Broner let his hands go? Against an experienced, confident and hungry fighter in Jessie Vargas who’s never shown a lack of discipline in his career.
The Vegas oddsmakers see Broner as a slight underdog in this fight, so expect a competitive battle this Saturday and perhaps a very controversial decision. Broner may never reach the heights where he was touted as being the next big boxing superstar, but a big win over Jessie Vargas will produce bigger opportunities in the future and help add to his accomplishments while remaining one of the sport’s most popular fighters.
Despite his multiple setbacks in the ring, Broner still feels he has plenty to give to boxing.
“I started my career young. I won titles in four weight classes. I’ve accomplished a lot and there’s still more to come. I got a lot of fighting left to do,” Broner said.
PBC on Showtime Preview: Davis vs. Cuellar, Charlo vs. Centeno, Broner vs. Vargas
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will be putting on a stacked card on Showtime live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Three fights are planned to be televised with a main event featuring the always entertaining Adrien Broner and former World Title Challenger Jessie Vargas. Jermall Charlo will also be fighting on the card for the vacant WBC Interim Middleweight Title. Gervonta Davis will also be taking on Jesus Cuellar for the WBA Junior Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
The undercard will feature boxers such as former Olympian Rau’shee Warren, two sport star Heather Hardy, as well as Dylan Price.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Gervonta Davis (19-0) vs. Jesus Cuellar(28-2); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Gervonta Davis, one of The Money Team’s best fighters in their stable, and Jesus Cuellar, a top contender in the featherweight division moving up to the junior lightweight division.
Davis is known for his knockout power, only of his opponents was able to make it to the final bell and he’s currently riding a ten fight win streak. However, Cuellar also has some power in his hands and has twenty one stoppage victories, though most of them came at a lighter weight.
Davis has been fairly active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. He is also eight years younger than Cuellar and will only be giving up a half an inch in reach and height. Cuellar has been very in active and did not fight in 2017 and only fought once in 2016.
Cuellar competed for Argentina at the Pan American Games several times as an amateur and Davis was able to win a National Golden Gloves Title.
Davis has defeated the likes of Francisco Fonseca, Liam Walsh, Jose Pedraza, and Cristobal Cruz. Cuellar has beaten the likes of Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His losses were to Oscar Escandon and Abner Mares.
This will be a good test for Davis, as Cuellar is a solid fighter with good technique who has been in the ring with several high level boxers. Both boxers are southpaws so it will be interesting to see if Davis can adjust to facing a southpaw. But Davis is simply too young and too powerful for Cuellar and he should be able to overwhelm Cuellar by the middle rounds.
Jermall Charlo (26-0) vs. Hugo Centeno (26-1); WBC Interim Middleweight Title
Jermall Charlo and Huge Centeno looks like it could be the most competitive bout of the night. Both boxers are twenty sveen years old and both only fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Charlo is the bigger puncher of the two, as he has twenty stoppage victories, including four of his past five fights. Centeno only has fourteen stoppage victories. His lone loss was also by stoppage.
Charlo will be giving up two inches in reach and about an inch and a half in height to Centeno.
Both boxers had relatively successful amateur careers, but Centeno has a slight edge in terms of success. Charlo has a reported record of 65-6 as an amateur, while Centeno was very successful in the Junior Olympics, National PAL Tournament, and other National Tournaments in the United States.
Charlo has the better resume of the two. He has defeated Jorge Sebastian Heilan, Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage. Centeno has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa and Immanuwel Aleem. His lone loss was to Maciej Sulecki.
The longer this fight goes the better the chances are of Centeno pulling off an upset. However, the Charlo brothers have been very impressive in the ring recently and should be considered to be the favorite.
Adrien Broner (33-3) vs. Jessie Vargas (28-2); Welterweight Division
The main event of the evening will be between the always controversial Adrien Broner and the very sound Jessie Vargas.
Both boxers are 28 years old, but Vargas will have a large four inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage. They both also only fought three times in the past two years, Broner fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Vargas fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Broner has the clear edge in power of the two. He has twenty four stoppage wins to his credit while Vargas only has ten. They both had successful amateur careers. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and had an amateur record of 300-19. Vargas was a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion and had an amateur record of 120-20.
Broner resume looks much better at the lighter weights in comparison to the heavier weight classes. His wins were over the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Carlos Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. He has losses to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Marcos Maidana.
Vargas has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Wale Omotoso, and Josesito Lopez. His losses were to Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Broner has been facing a lot of out of the ring issues recently and it may affect him on Saturday night. Vargas isn’t known for his power or an aggressive style that has been known to give Broner problems, but technically he’s sound and this writer has to give him a slight edge on Saturday night.
PBC on FS1 Results: Vargas and Molina are Victorious
By: Ken Hissner
TGB Promotions over Premier Boxing Champions USA Fox Sports 1 Friday promoted four ten’s that any could be a main event at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, CA.
Photo Credit: Pete Young: Premier Boxing Champions
Returning after 13 months the two-time division world champion Jessie “Ruthless” Vargas, 28-2 (10), of Las Vegas, NV, shut out an unwilling Aaron “La Joya” Herrera, 33-8-1 (22), of Yucatan, MEX, over 10 lopsided rounds.
In the first round both boxers were feeling each other out with Vargas easily outworking Herrera who hardly threw any punches. At the end of the round Vargas landed a right to the head of Herrera. In the second round Vargas opened up with a double left hook to the head of the defense minded Herrera. Herrera spent the first several minutes looking like he was shadow boxing with hardly throwing anything at Vargas.
In the third round it was more of all Vargas. For some reason Herrera is doing more bob and weaving than throwing punches. In the fourth and fifth rounds Vargas continued to box and land left hooks to the head of the defensive minded Herrera. In the sixth round while inside Herrera finally went to the body of Vargas with several body shots. Vargas came right back working the jab and halfway through the round Vargas landed a left and right dropping Herrera. Referee Jack Reiss gave him a good look and allowed Herrera to continue. Vargas didn’t go in for the finish allowing Herrera to get through the round.
In the seventh round Vargas with new trainer the former Hall of Fame boxer Michael McCallum fought very relaxed not rushing himself. His jab continued to set up Herrera. Herrera landed several body punches but was countered by a Vargas left hook to the head. In the eighth round Vargas kept the one sided bout at the end of his jab while Herrera showed a lot of wasted energy with little punching.
In the ninth round Vargas followed his jab with a left hook to the head of Herrera. Herrera had fought the entire fight like a man with his hands tied. Vargas started with a right of a 3-punch combination to the head of Herrera. Herrera landed a rare left hook to the head of Vargas who countered him with a combination to the head. In the tenth and final round Vargas looked to end it opening up on Herrera. A double left hook from Vargas with the second one rocking Herrera moved him back several steps.
The three judges and this writer had it 100-89. “First of All I am happy returning on PBC. I plan to improve with my next fight and was disappointed not stopping Herrera who kept coming forward. I look forward to coming back in March God willing”, said Vargas. Being off for 13 months Vargas went back to college.
In the Co-Main Event Welterweight Diego “La Joya” Garbriel Chaves, 26-3-1 (22), of Bueno Aires, ARG, was stopped by Jamal “Shango” James, 22-1 (10), Minneapolis, MN, at 2:12 of the third round.
In the first round there was no feeling out with both fighters throwing bombs. The taller James used a good jab while backing up. Chaves was coming forward landing with both hands. In the second round Chaves landed a double left hook making James holding on. With a minute left in the round James finally landed a big right to the head of Chaves. Chaves comes back with left hooks to the body of James.
In the third round the shorter Chaves jumped into James landing a left hook to the chin. James was using a good jab backing Chaves up. James landed five rights to the head of Chaves ending it with a vicious left hook to the mid-section dropping Chaves for the count.
John “The Gladiator” Molina, Jr., 30-7-3 (24), of Covina, CA, came back from a knockdown to stop Ukranian southpaw Ivan Redkach, 23-2 (16), of L.A., CA, at 1:27 of the fourth round.
In the first round Molina moved forward but hardly threw a punch with the southpaw Redkach outworking him. It was halfway through the round before Molina threw a right but missed hitting the ropes. Redkach landed a good left to the chin shortly afterwards. At the end of the round Molina hit Redkach on the left shoulder and Redkach went down but referee Eddie Hernandez, Sr. called it a slip. In the second round Molina got more accurate but Redkach got the better of it. In less than a minute left in the round Redkach dropped Molina after a dozen punches with only one coming back from Molina with Redkach landing a left followed by a right to the chin.
In the third round Redkach landed a straight left to the chin of Molina making him hold on. Molina was throwing wide punches hitting air. Suddenly Molina feinted several rights and threw one on the chin of Redkach dropping him knocking his mouthpiece out. Referee Hernandez tried putting the mouthpiece back in but the corner wouldn’t come up so Hernandez put it in. It gave Redkach some time to re-coup. Molina jumped on him landed wild wide punches that Redkach didn’t seem to be able to duck. In the fourth round Molina came out firing hurting Redkach with one right hand after another to the head. Redkach tried fighting back but was overwhelmed by Molina right hands. A left drove Redkach into the referee and down he went. The referee waved it off.
It was a slugfest with Molina showing his age at 35 but Redkach couldn’t match him with his power.
Super welterweight Nigerian Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso, 27-3 (21), of Oxnard, CA, won a hard fought decision over Freddy “The Rail” Hernandez, 34-9 (22), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds.
In the first round both boxers were using their jabs while Omotoso was missing with right hands. Shortly afterwards he was landing a left hook to the chin of Hernandez. In the second round after several misses with his right Omotoso landed one on the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez was landing with the jab until an Omotoso left hook to the chin of Hernandez. Hernandez landed a solid left hook to the chin of Omotoso. Then Hernandez pinned Omotoso in the corner landing well until Omotoso knocked out Hernandez’s mouthpiece with a left hook to the chin. It was a very close round.
In the third round Hernandez landed a solid straight right to the chin of Omotoso. After a clash of heads referee Jack Reiss checked both boxers. Omotoso went after Hernandez landing several right hands to the head. In the fourth round Omotoso being the smaller of the two had been counter punching which wasn’t his normal aggressive style. When he did come forward he did much better. Hernandez had some swelling near the left eye at the end of the round.
In the fifth round Hernandez was still the aggressor using his jab at all times. Omotoso needed to pick up his offense in the round. With less than a minute to go Hernandez was landing well backing Omotoso into a corner with no return punching. Halfway through the round it was close with Hernandez possibly holding an edge. In the sixth round Omotoso came out firing and backing Hernandez up in the first half of the round. With about a minute left in the round both boxers landed right hands to each others head. Hernandez landed a good right cross to the head of Omotoso who landed the final punch of the round a left hook to the chin.
In the seventh round the action began to pick up with Hernandez landing long rights over a good jab. Omotoso was landing with left hooks and throwing more in the past two rounds. In the eighth round Hernandez was doubling up on his jab and landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Omotoso. A left followed by a right from Omotoso had Hernandez hurt falling back and holding on when Omotoso moved in. It was a big round for Omotoso in the second half. At the end of the round Hernandez seemed confused thinking it was an eight round bout not a ten.
In the ninth round both were mixing it up good with Omotoso having an edge. Near the end of the round Omotoso accidently clashed heads with Hernandez who came out of it with a cut on the outside of his left eye. In the tenth and final round Hernandez may have sensed he was behind throwing long rights to the head of Omotoso. The fight was mostly all head punches from both.
It was a somewhat sloppy fight with neither boxer looking to be a threat to any of the champions in the super welterweight division.
Judges scores were 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 same as this writers.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Cotto Closes Career with Loss to Ali, Vargas Defeats Negrete
By: William Holmes
A champion in four divisions and a lock for the boxing hall of fame, the legendary Miguel Cotto fought the last fight of his career in the building that helped make him famous, Madison Square Garden.
Surprisingly, despite campaigning in the middleweight division, Miguel Cotto weighted in at 151.6lbs while Sadam Ali, who has fought in the welterweight division and is bumping up a weight class to face Cotto, weighed in at 153lbs. Many, including this writer, expected Cotto to weigh in at a heavier weight than Ali
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter
The opening bout of the night was between Rey Vargas (30-0) and Oscar Negrete (17-0) for the WBC Junior Featherweight Title.
Vargas, the taller fighter, was able to use his height to his advantage in the opening round and landed a high volume of punches to the body and head of Negrete. He was able to get a full extension on his shots in the second round and had Negrete taking some hard shots.
Vargas connected with three straight uppercuts followed by a right hook in the opening seconds of the third round. At one point in the third Negrete stepped on the foot of Vargas and knocked him over, but the referee correctly ruled it a push. Vargas’ sharp shots continued into the fourth round and fifth rounds but Negrete, to his credit, never stopped coming forward.
Negrete snuck in a few good shots of his own, especially when he was in tight, but Vargas’ combinations were numerous.
Negrete took some heavy body shots by Vargas in the sixth round, but did land his best punch of the night, a left hook, in the ninth round.
The eighth round was also tight as Negrete surprisingly landed some combinations, and Vargas had a cuts over both of his eyes. The referee checked it in the eighth and before the ninth rounds but let Vargas continue.
Negrete was out matched and out gunned, but continued to press the pace in the final rounds but took a barrage of punches in the process.
Vargas’ cut over his left eye looked pretty bad, but he was never in danger of being hurt.
The judges scored it 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Rey Vargas.
Miguel Cotto (41-5) and Sadam Ali (25-1) met in the main event of the night for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Cotto walked out to no walk out music so that he could hear the crowd.
The crowd loudly chanted for Cotto in the opening round, but Ali established he had the superior hand speed early on and connected with some surprising punches. Cotto was able to land his patented left hook to the body, but Ali looked like he was landing at a higher connect rate.
Cotto was badly hurt in the second round from a right cross by Ali. Cotto’s legs were wobbly, but Ali did not press the action to try and finish the fight. Ali slipped in the second round, but he definitely had Cotto hurt.
Ali’s length gave Cotto trouble in the third round but Cotto was pressing the action. Cotto was hurt once again in the fourth round by Ali, but was able to recover and come forward behind his jab.
Cotto’s attack to the body appeared to be effective in the fifth and sixth rounds, especially when he had Ali backed into a corner. Ali’s right eye began to swell in the seventh round but he was landing good shots to the head of Cotto.
Cotto had Ali backed into the ropes several times in the eighth and did his best work there, but Ali retook control in the ninth round as Cotto looked like he was tiring.
Ali landed a vicious left hook on Cotto in the tenth round that had Cotto on wobbly legs again and his mouth wide open. Cotto was on full retreat in the tenth and appeared to be close to going down.
Ali came out aggressively in the eleventh round and looked like he was going for the knockout. His corner had previously urged him to be more aggressive. Cotto survived and circled away from the attacking Ali.
Cotto came out aggressive in the final round but looked tired and slow. Ali was the fresher fighter and closed out the fight well.
The final scores were 115-113, 116-112, 115-113 for Sadam Ali.
In the post fight interview Cotto confirmed it was his last fight, and revealed he hurt his left bicep in the seventh round.
Cotto stated, “Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance. Something happened to my left bicep, seventh round. I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family.
“Thank you for all the fans, I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”
I worked hard for it.” Said Sadam Ali. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to Thank God, and also thank team Cotto, They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. ”
“I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th, I thought the fight was close. Whatever GBP has next, I’ll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.”
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali, Rey Vargas vs. Oscar Negrete
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will promote the last professional fight of Miguel Cotto’s illustrious career. He’ll be facing Sadam Ali at the famed Madison Square Garden on HBO’s World Championship Boxing telecast.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
A WBC Junior featherweight bout between Rey Vargas and Oscar Negrete will also be televised. Other undercard bouts include a WBO Junior Flyweight Title bout between Angel Acosta and Juan Alejo, a featherweight bout between Ronny Rios and Deivis Julio, and a junior welterweight bout between Zachary Ochoa and Erik Martinez.
Cotto, who was a world champion in four different weight classes, has insisted this will be his last fight. The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Rey Vargas (30-0) vs. Oscar Negrete (17-0); WBC Junior Featherweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Rey Vargas and Oscar Negrete for the WBC Junior Featherweight Title.
Both boxers had a successful amateur career. Negrete was a Gold Medalist at the 2010 South American Games in the Light Flyweight Division and Vargas was a 2009 Panamerican Gold Medalist.
Vargas, at the age of 27, is three years younger than Negrete. He will also have a two inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage. Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. They both fought two times in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Vargas is the boxer with more power in his hands. He has stopped twenty two of his opponents and five of his last ten opponents did not make it to the final bell. Negrete only has seven stoppage wins and two of his past five fights were victories by KO/TKO.
Vargas has the better professional resume of the two and Negrete appears to be aware that this is the toughest test of his career.
He stated at a recent press conference, “”I’m so excited for this opportunity. This is everything that I have worked for so far in my career. Being undefeated doesn’t make him [Rey Vargas] invincible. I’m a forced to be reckoned with. People may underestimate me, but I know what I’ve done to make sure I walk away with the victory.”
Vargas has defeated the likes of Ronny Rios, Gavin McDonnell, Alexander Munoz, and Alexis kabore. Negrete has defeated the likes of Sergio Frias, Victor Ruiz, and Neftali Campos.
Vargas is the naturally bigger man with an edge in power. He has been generating some buzz recently and this should be a showcase fight for him. Negrete has the amateur background to make this fight interesting, but it’s a fight that Vargas should win.
Miguel Cotto (41-5) vs. Sadam Ali (25-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
The legendary Miguel Cotto has decided to end his career.
He stated at a recent media conference call, “Like Oscar and people have said, it’s my final fight, and I’m working hard for making the final fight really good for everybody. All we have to do is wait until the day of the fight. We are ready for the fight.”
Many boxers have been known to claim that they’re going to retire only to change their mind later on, however with Cotto he appears to be sincere in his desires to stop fighting.
Cotto, at thirty seven years old, will be eight years older than his opponent Sadam Ali. Ali will also have a two inch height advantage and a six inch reach advantage.
That advantages for Ali stop there. Cotto is actually the naturally bigger man and has competed as high as the middleweight division while Ali usually campaigns in the welterweight division. The step up in weight is something that is not lost on Ali. He stated, “Yeah, it’s a huge challenge, a big step up. The biggest opponent in my career, and I’m also moving up to another weight class. But I love the challenge, and I’m ready to do whatever I have to do”.
Cotto has thirty three stoppage victories in his resume and has stopped three of his past five opponents. Ali only has fourteen stoppage victories and has only stopped one of his past five opponents.
Ali has been more active than Cotto and fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Cotto did not fight at all in 2016 and only fought once in 2017.
Both boxers had successful amateur backgrounds. Cotto represented Puerto Rico in the 2000 Summer Olympics and Ali represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Cotto clearly has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Yoshihiro Kamegai, Daniel Geale, Sergio Martinez, Delvin Rodriguez, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, Joshua Clottey, Alfonso Gomez, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paul Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, and DeMarcus Corley. His losses were to Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Austin Trout, and Canelo Alvarez.
Ali has defeated the likes of Johan Perez, Francisco Santana, and Luis Carlos Abregu. His lone loss was a TKO loss to Jessie Vargas.
Ali is a good boxer and surprisingly longer and taller, but Cotto’s depth of experience and size advantage will be too much for him.
Cotto seems confident going into this fight and has no regrets. He stated, “I enjoyed my whole career, and I can’t point at one fight, you know. I enjoyed my whole career. Every moment made me be the boxer I am right now, the person I am right now. I would have to say my whole career has been amazing for me”.
It’s a career boxing fans have thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a career that should end with a victory.