Tag Archives: wba

How Did the Four Organizations Get Started & What Have They Accomplished?


By: Ken Hissner

The WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO have taken 8 divisions to 17 and a top 10 contenders list to 15 but has it been good for boxing? Let’s see and find out what they have done.

The oldest is the World Boxing Association which in 1921 was founded as the National Boxing Association. In 1962 it became the WBA. It has bounced back and forth from 1975 in Panama to Venezuela in the 1990’s and early 2,000’s and back to Panama in 2007.

Gilberto Mendoza of Venezuela was President from 1982 until his death in 2016. His son Gilberto Jr. took over at that time. It’s been said they are the worst for honoring champions.

The World Boxing Council came about in February of 1963 when Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos called a meeting and under 11 countries including the US, PR, ARG, UK, FR, MEX, PH, PAN, Chile, Peru, VZ & BRZ. Presidents included Luis Spota, Ramon G. Velazqez both of Mexico. Then Justinano V. Montano, Jr. of the Philippines with Jose Sulaiman of Mexico becoming President from 1975 until his death in 2014. Then his son Mauricio took over.

The started drug testing first. They have increased the champions from 8 to 43. They have Silver, Green, interim and many off shoot belt holders.

The International Boxing Federation (then USBA) was formed in the US with a strong contingence from South Korea. In December of 1983 Heavyweight champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” was complaining (what’s new with him?) about fighting these “young lions” so Bob Lee who had failed in an attempt to become the WBA President in 1982 formed the IBF. Holmes then could defend against such boxers as Scott Frank and Marvis Frazier whose father “Smokin” Joe Frazier put him in with Holmes though his son only had 10 fights. Holmes was 44-0 at the time with 17 defenses. Needless to say Marvis only lasted 2:57. After the mismatch Holmes declared “that’s for all the whippings your daddy gave me in the gym!” Lee already headed the United States Boxing Association out of New Jersey so making boxers like Holmes champion automatically would bring in financial gains for Lee.

The two paragraphs prior to this were from this writer. The following is right from the IBF in part which I am thankful for their contribution.

The idea to form the United States Boxing Association (USBA) materialized in September of 1976 when the organizers decided it was time to form a new organization based in the US and comprised of legitimate boxing commissioners from the United States and its territories. Twenty-four US Commissions came together in April of 1977 to consider the structure or the organization. The association’s first convention was held in December 1977 at which the constitution and by-laws were adopted and the USBA was well on its way to play a major role in US boxing.

In its early years the USBA served as a springboard for it boxers to the rankings of the World Boxing Association (WBA), one of the two international sanctioning bodies at the time. In April of 1983 the members of the USBA voted to expand the organization and create an international division during the annual convention in Atlantic City, NJ.

The move to branch out was led by Robert W. Lee, Sr., who subsequently was voted the entity’s founding president. He was working as deputy commissioner for the NJ State Athletic Control board. He had reached the position of second vice-president of the WBA and had run for the presidency in 1980 and lost. It was then that he began seeking support to expand the USBA internationally.

In 1984, a vote was passed to change the name of the organization to the name it currently operates under, the International Boxing Federation. The IBF began rating female boxers in June of 2010, and crowned its first female champion Daniella Smith, in November of the same year.

As the organization continued to grow and prosper on a global scale, its leaders convened once again to address the organization’s name. In January 2018, the sanctioning body announced it would conduct business as the IBF. The USBA title would still exist as a regional title under the umbrella of the IBF.

The last to join the organizations and is still sometimes left out is the World Boxing Organization (WBO) founded in 1988 in Puerto Rico as a non-profit after attending the WBA convention. Its first president was Ramon Pina Acevedo of the Dominican Republic. He would be followed by former world champion Jose Torres of PR. In 1996 he retired being replaced by the current President Francisco Varcacel a PR lawyer.

In 2004 the WBC started putting the WBO champions in their ratings while the IBF didn’t until 2007. One of their most recognized champions would be Joe Calzaghe from Wales who made 21 defenses in the Super Middleweight division retiring with a 46-0 record. He didn’t come to the US until his last 2 bouts defeating Bernard “the Executioner” Hopkins and Roy Jones, Jr.

The WBO’s first heavyweight champion to oppose the other organizations Mike Tyson was Italy’s Olympian Francisco Damiani. “Merciless” Ray Mercer took care of Damiani with one uppercut to the nose in 1991. In Mercer’s next fight after blasting out Tommy “The Duke” Morrison he vacated the title. Then got out boxed by a much older Holmes. In 1992 he tried to re-gain the title which was held by Wladimir Klitschko of the UKR getting stopped in 6 rounds.

The WBO was mainly recognizing European and Asian with the UK boxers to follow in the beginning before coming to the US with success. The WBO has now some 16 world champions.

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Out of the Slums of Haiti Evens Pierre is the No. 1 WBA Contender


By: Ken Hissner

Sun City is one of the world’s poorest, crime and disease ridden places in the world. It’s a sprawling shanty town on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hope seems to have no place in this wretched, forbidden area of the Earth. Out of this comes Evens Pierre who has worked his way up to the No. 1 contender for the title WBA champion Jorge Linares now holds at lightweight.

Pierre is 29-1 (19), at 33 years of age. He goes by the nickname “The Sun City Kid”. He is promoted by Jacques Deschamps a businessman of French extraction who has put time and money into the career of Pierre because Pierre is a role model. His hope is to have Pierre fight Linares for the title.

Pierre goes to Evangelical groups to speak against drugs and crime. He buys food that he sends to Sun City. He plans to open a boxing school. If Deschamps is able to have Pierre fight in Haiti, it will be a momentous event probably held at the national soccer stadium that can probably hold 20,000 people. The poor people in Haiti have very little to cheer about and having Pierre fight for a world title would make that unlucky country proud. “Even if I make a lot of money I will never leave Sun City,” said Pierre.

Pierre holds the WBA Fedelatin Lightweight title that he won stopping Nicaraguan Rene Gonzalez, 31-6-1, back in November of 2014 for the second time. In his lone fight in May of 2015 he defended that title defeating Jesus Cruz Biblano, 15-9, of Mexico, by an 11 round decision. In 2016 he defended that title twice. In April he defeated Tomas Mendez, 21-6, of the Dominican Republic and in November in his biggest win he defeated former WBA & IBF champion Juan Carlos Salgado, 26-6-1, of Mexico. In March of 2017 he stopped Alfonso Perez, 12-8, of Venezuela, in 8 rounds in a non-title bout. In his most recent fight in October he defended the title and knocked out Jesus Laguna, 21-10-2, of Mexico in five rounds.

Pierre’s first twenty-four fights were in Panama up until the Gonzalez fight at the Caribe Convention Center in Petionville, Port-au-Prince, where his last six fights have taken place.

Linares, 43-3 (27) is from Venezuela but resides in Japan and has defended his WBA title he won in September of 2016 twice. He lost in his first attempt in 2011 for the WBC title but won that vacant title in 2014 in his last appearance in Japan. He defended it twice and gave it up to win the WBA title. Three of his title fight have been in the UK, one in Venezuela and the last at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, defeating the now No. 3 contender Luke Campbell of the UK. Linares held the same title that Pierre now holds when he fought for the world title.

Pierre’s only loss was in his thirteenth fight losing to Rosano Lawrence, 12-9-1, of Panama, in April of 2010, due to the fact the referee penalized him three points. He reversed that loss three fights later stopping Lawrence in six rounds. He is on a seventeen fight win streak since his only loss. He won the WBA Fedelatin title back in July of 2010 just prior to the re-match with Lawrence defeating Augusto Pinilla, 14-3-1.

Pierre is not only a No. 1 contender but an example how someone from one of the poorest countries in the world can make something out of himself and be a role model on top of it. With his promoter Deschamps backing him he should be fighting for the WBA world title in 2018. The only question is “where?”

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Valdez, Conlan, and Ramirez Entertain and Win


By: William Holmes

Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and featured two world title fights which featured two popular Mexican boxing stars.

The co-main event of the night was between Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Jessie Hart for Ramirez’s WBO Super Middleweight Title and the main event was between Oscar Valdez and Genesis Servania for Valdez’s WBO Featherweight Title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing

The undercard featured several up and coming prospects, including Irish Olympian Michael Conlan. Tonight’s card was supposed to start on ESPN, but the baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers ended later than expected and the fight card started on ESPN News.

Michael Conlan (3-0) opened up the telecast against Kenny Guzman (3-0) in the featherweight division in a six round bout.

Conlan has 340 fights as an amateur compared to 47 amateur fights for Kenny Guzman, who also works a full-time carpenter.

The first round was more of a feeling out round as Guzman was able to land some decent shots but Conlan was clearly the better technical boxer. Conlan switched to a southpaw stance midway through the first round with some moderate success.

Conlan switched back into an orthodox stance and was sitting on his punches more in the second round. Guzman’s left eye was showing signs of swelling and blood was coming from his nose as he was taking some heavy shots from Conlan. Conlan landed a heavy right hand in the final ten seconds of the second round that sent Guzman falling backwards to the mat. He was able to get back up before the count of ten but was still wobbly and the referee waived off the fight.

Michael Conlan wins by TKO at 2:59 of the second round.

The next fight of the night was for the WBO Super Middleweight Title between Jesse Hart (22-0) and Gilberto Ramirez (35-0).

Ramirez was slightly taller than Hart, who was active with his jab early on. Hart was very active while circling and was able to stay on the outside in the opening round.

Hart continued to stay active with his jab into the second round and appeared to be a little hesitant of Ramirez’s power. Hart had a habit of ducking his head low when he gets in tight and Ramirez was able to take advantage of that with a short right uppercut that sent Hart crashing to the mat. Hart was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but he was badly hurt.

Hart had a decent third round and was given time to recover from a low blow by Ramirez, but Ramirez had an excellent fourth round and appeared close to stopping Jesse Hart several times during that round.

Ramirez kept up the pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds and was landing a high number of power shots. Hart was able to slip in a few shots of his own, but he also lost his balance several times in the corner of the ring.

Hart may have stolen some of the middle rounds from the sixth round to the ninth as he was able to land some decent counter shots and avoid getting hurt again. Hart had a very strong ninth round with good straight right hands, but Ramirez showed a strong chin and was able to continue to walk forward.

Both boxers left everything in the ring in the championship rounds with both boxers landing heavy blows and absorbing heavy punishment. But Ramirez ended the final round as the aggressor.

It was an entertaining and competitive bout. The judges scored it 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113 for Gilberto Ramirez.

The main event of the night was between Oscar Valdez (22-0) and Genesis Servania (29-0) for the WBO Featherweight Title.

Servania is a Filipino boxer who trains in Japan. This was his first professional fight outside of Asia.

Servania showed a lot of head movement early on and had some success with his left hook, but Valdez was far more active and was landing good shots to the body.

Valdez was in control in the second and third rounds and simply out landed the constantly coming forward Servania.

Servania was able to score a flash knockdown in the fourth round on Valdez as he was backing away with his hands down. Valdez was in some trouble at the end of the round when Servania was able to catch him off guard with a good combination.

Valdez turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the fifth round when a clean left hook sent Servania crashing to the mat. Servania was able to get back to his feet and slug it out with Valdez as the round came to an end, but he was badly hurt.

Servania may have stolen the sixth round with a round ending combination, but Valdez outworked Servania for most of the round. Valdez appeared settled in the seventh round and was the more aggressive fighter.

Valdez’s body work won him the eighth round and he was cruising by the ninth. Sevania, to his credit, never stopped coming forward despite the constant barrage of punches.

Servania was reaching for his punches in the tenth and eleventh round and never had Valdez in trouble. Vadez just continued to pile up the points by throwing at Servania whenever he got in range.

The final round was exciting as Servania came right at Valdez to exchange to start the final round and took several risks throughout, but his punches just weren’t powerful enough to hurt Valdez or put him down again.

Oscar Valdez defends his title with scores of 116-110, 119-111, 117-109.

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What’s next for WBA super-flyweight champion Kal Yafai?


By: Dale Josephs

Khalid “Kal” Yafai finally revived Birmingham boxing by bringing world championship boxing back to the region earlier this year, with a lively card of extremely high quality bouts, as well as a WBA world title on the line.Suguru Murunaka was the preferred opponent for Yafai’s first voluntary defence; a durable Japanese fighter who’s never been stopped but had previously only ever fought in his home surroundings of Korakuen Hall, Tokyo.

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Eddie Hearn, the figurehead of Matchroom Boxing, delivered once again with a truly enjoyable spectacle which witnessed local Brummies compete; younger brother Gamal Yafai, Sam Eggington and Frankie Gavin emerged victorious from their bouts. Still WBA super-flyweight world champion, Kal Yafai, headlined the Birmingham bill which enticed a rammed arena to cheer, jeer, and drink plenty of beer. The Barclaycard Arena, which sits next to Brindley Place overlooking the famous canals, was occupied by a energetic, vibrant crowd which, along with the lights, music and fighters, created a thrilling atmosphere.

Admittedly, fans wereentirely anticipating Yafai to unite both his raw talent and ferocious power to make easy work of Murunaka. Yet, the Japanese fighter showed heart, courage and commitment to ensure Kal had to work to retain his belt. Despite the contest lasting 12 rounds being seen as extra, unnecessary ring time, it did mean the super-flyweight champion was allowed to showcase his superior boxing ability. Over the distance, Murunaka was completely out-boxed.And, considering Yafai’s hands were immediately in ice following the fight, Murunaka proved he is very tough and durable and is able to take a volume of big punches. Kal was clearly a fan favourite in his home town and he made certain the fans observed a successful defence of his prestigious title.

Now, despite Yafai allowing his bruised hands to heal thoroughly before he advanced any further in his career, the next move in his so-far perfect career has now been plotted. Later this year, the Birmingham based boxer will encounter a Japanese fighter for the second successive fight, and yet another fighter with an unblemished record. The second defence of Yafai’s WBA super-flyweight title will see him share the ring with 25-year-old, Sho Ishida.

So, will this Japanese fighter be able to achieve what the previous one couldn’t and inflict a first defeat on Kal Yafai’s record?

Well, Yafai himself seems to think this will be his most difficult fight to date, and believes Ishida’s unusual height for a super-flyweight will potentially cause him problems. He told Sky Sports, “I’ve watched a few bits of him and the first thing about him is he is very tall. He’s very, very tall for a super-fly so I have no idea how he does that, but he actually looks very good as well.”
Alongside his incredible 5 foot 8 frame, which is 4 inches more than Yafai, he also possesses natural, fierce power which has enabled him to win 13 out of his 24 professional wins inside the allotted distance. But, it’s his range and boxing ability that could prove to be the difference, with a huge reach advantage of 10cm, Kal may discover an extreme difficulty in getting close enough to land his own decisive shots. Although, Yafai is a big body puncher and has showed time and time again his ability to land ferocious punches to his opponents’ ribs and midriff. With that in mind, if he can reduce the gap between himself and Ishida, hurtful body shots could take its toll on a taller, thinner opponent.
Providing Yafai successfully defends his title and retains the WBA super-flyweight belt, an obvious progression would be to establish himself in America and aim to unify the division. Even though Roman Gonzales was finally conquered by Srisaket Sor Runvisai, he remains a colossal name within the 115lbs division, and still has an opportunity to acquire revenge in his rematch with Runvisai. So, along with Roman Gonzales, other opponents which could assist Yafai in creating a legacy would be the other champions; IBF champion Jerwin Acajas, WBO title-holder Naoya Inoue or even WBC champion Srisaket Sor Runvisai if he beats Gonzales for the second time would set up massive clashes in the super-flyweight bracket.

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The World Boxing Super Series Begins


The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher

Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.

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In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.

The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.

1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)

Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)

The first round of the tournament looks like this.

Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)

Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.

The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.

“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).

This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crawford should win the fight by decision.

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


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

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

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

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

Esther Lim Showtime
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night in Oxon Hill, Maryland the Theater at the MGM National Harbor will be the host site for the next installment of HBO World Championships Boxing.

Three bouts will be televised, including a junior lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa in the main event of the night, a light heavyweight fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yuniesky Gonzalez, and a cruiserweight title fight between Aleksandr Usyk and Mike Hunter.

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The non-televised undercard will feature boxers such as Mike Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.

The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) vs. Yunieski Gonzalez (18-2); Light Heavyweight

The opening bout of the night will be between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yunieski Gonzalez in the light heavyweight division.

Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds. Gonzalez was a member of the Cuban Amateur Team and had a record of 345-27. Gvozdyk represented the Ukraine in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won the bronze medal.

Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and will be about three inches taller than Gonzalez. Gvozdyk has also been incredibly active the past two years and four times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Gonzalez fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and stopped ten of his opponents and currently has six straight stoppage wins. Gonzalez lost twice and went 2-2 in his past four fights.

Gvozdyk has already beaten the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Tommy Karpency, and Nadjib Mohammedi. Gonzalez doesn’t have the resume of Gvozdyk and has beaten the likes of Maxwell Amponsah and Jackson Junior. His losses were to jean pascal and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.

Gonzalez is a good test for Gvozdyk and this is a rare fight where we see two notable international amateur stars face off in the ring early before their twentieth professional fight. But Gvozdyk is the better skilled boxer and has the bigger wins, he should emerge victorious.

Oleksandr Usyk (11-0) vs. Michael Hunter (12-0); WBO Cruiserweight Title

Oleksandr Usyk is one of the Ukraine’s most prized prospects and he will be stepping into the ring with a former United States Olympian.

Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers. Usyk has stopped ten of his opponents and Hunter has stopped eight. Usyk will have a slight one inch height advantage but Hunter will have an inch and a half reach advantage.

Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds, but Usyk experienced a lot of success on the international stage while Hunter experienced success on the national stage. Hunter is a former US National Amateur Champion and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics but failed to medal. Usyk was a gold medalist in the 2012 Olympic games.

Usyk has defeated the likes of Thabiso Mchunu, Krzystzof Glowacki, and Pedro Rodriguez. Surprisingly, all of his wins thus far in his career have come against opponents with winning records.

Hunter has yet to face any significant opposition and has defeated the likes of Isiah Thomas and Phil Williams.

This should be an easy win for Usyk, despite the fact his opponent has a good amateur background.

Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) vs. Jason Sosa (20-1-4); WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, pound for pound boxer in the world. He fought for a world title in only his second professional fight and is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two time World Amateur Champion.

His opponent, Jason Sosa, has more of a Rocky upbringing in the sport of boxing than Lomachenko. Sosa has no notable amateur achievements on the international stage and was born and raised in poverty stricken Camden, New Jersey. He won a world title with an upset stoppage victory over then WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Javier Fortuna and is now in the biggest fight of his life.

Lomachenko will have about a one inch height advantage on Sosa but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Lomachenko’s lone loss was a disputed split decision loss to an overweight Orlando Salido early on in his career. He has since destroyed every other opponent he has faced.

He has already defeated the likes of Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Suriya Tatakhun, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez before he even competed in his tenth professional fight. Lomachenko has stopped five of his opponents.

Sosa has fifteen knockouts to his credit and one stoppage loss. His lone loss was to Tre’Sean Wiggins in 2010, early on in Sosa’s career. He has defeated the likes of Javier Fortuna, Stephen Smith, Jerry Belmontes, Michael Brooks, and Angel Ocasio. Sosa did have a disputed draw with Nicholas Walters, but many felt he lost that fight.

Jason Sosa is a good gritty boxer that consistently puts on entertaining bouts. He has the heart of a champion, but Lomachenko is on a different level than Sosa and that should be immediately apparent.

It’s hard to envision a scenario where Sosa gives Lomachenko problems and this should be a relatively easy bout for Lomachenko.

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Showtime Boxing International Results: Jorge Linares Outclasses Anthony Crolla


Showtime Boxing International Results:
By: William Holmes

The last time Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares faced each other their bout was televised in the United States on A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) Network.

However, their bout was so good that Showtime decided to televise the rematch, with the winner likely to face Mikey Garcia.

The Manchester Arena in Manchester, England was the host site for tonight’ fight and the arena was rocking for local favorite Anthony Crolla.

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Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

Anthony Crolla (31-5-3) and Jorge Linares (41-3) met in the main event of the card for Linares’ WBA Lightweight Title.

The opening round was a close round and the ring was smaller than the last time they fought. Most of the punches of Crolla were blocked by Linares, but neither boxer landed a dominant punch or combination to clearly win the round.

The second round was a clearer round for Linares, who used good lateral movement and a steady jab to keep Crolla at a safe distance. Crolla was able to land a few good jabs, but Linares landed the higher number of punches.

Crolla was warned for a low blow in the third round, but was met with a lead left hook almost immediately afterwards and was tagged with several sharp and crisp combinations form Linares for the rest of the round. The right uppercut by Linares found it’s home several times in the third and fourth round as Linares’ hand speed looked like it was too much for Crolla to handle.

Crolla was able to land a couple of jabs in the fourth round, but nothing of note that had Linares hurt.

Linares confidence appeared to be very high in the fifth and sixth rounds as he was masterfully out boxing Crolla and landing punches and combinations at will. Linares had the Manchester crowd quiet and had the face of Crolla swollen by the end of the sixth.

By the seventh round in their last bout their fight was close to even on the judges’ scorecards. In this fight Linares was clearly ahead.

Linares landed a looping left uppercut that caught Crolla by surprise and sent him to the mat in the seventh round. Crolla was able to get back to his feet and survive the onslaught by Linares, and even landed some good punches of his own as the round came to an end, but the left uppercut had badly hurt him.

Crolla picked up the pressure in the eighth round and tried to get in on the inside with Linares, but he had difficulty doing so and ate several hard right uppercuts. Crolla had his moments in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Linares was quick to land sharp uppercuts and combinations every time Crolla started to build up some momentum.

Crolla’s left eye had a bad cut over it before the start of the tenth round and he continued to press forward in an effort to back up Linares and test his chin. But Linares’ accuracy and hand speed showed no signs of slowing down as he was able to pop shot Crolla and then move out of danger’s way.

Anthony Crolla clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the title. But in the eleventh round Linares was closer to knocking down Crolla than Crolla knocking down Linares and Crolla’s corner seemed hesitent to send him out for the final round.

The knockout punch that Crolla badly needed never came in the final round.

Jorge Linares wins convincingly on the judges’ scorecards with scores of 118-109, 118-109, and 118-109.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares
By: William Holmes

In the early evening on Saturday Showtime will broadcast an international boxing event between Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla for Linares’ WBA Lightweight Title. This is a huge bout in England and will take place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Linares and Crolla met in September in Manchester which saw an exciting back and forth affair in which Linares won with scores of 115-114, 115-113, and 117-111 by unanimous decision. It was the first time that Linares went the full twelve rounds in his career.

TWO WORLDS COLLIDE PROMOTION, MANCHESTER ARENA PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG WBA WORLD & WBC DIAMOND LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP @ 9ST 9LBS ANTHONY CROLLA V JORGE LINARES
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

Mikey Garcia, who will be a guest commentator, has been mandated by the WBC to face the winner of this bout.

The following is a preview of the upcoming WBA Lightweight Title fight.

Jorge Linares (41-3) vs. Anthony Crolla (31-5-3); WBA Lightweight Title

Prior to facing Crolla in September, Linares had never gone twelve rounds in his career. However, that does not mean he has never tasted defeat.

Linares is one year older than Crolla and will have a two inch reach advantage and a slight half an inch height advantage. Both boxers have not been very active in the past two years. Linares fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015 while Crolla fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Linares had the edge in power as he has stopped twenty seven of his opponents while Crolla has stopped thirteen. Crolla only has one stoppage loss. However, every single defeat of Linares was by stoppage and his chin is highly suspect.

Linares has beaten the likes of Anthony Crolla, Ivan Cano, Kevin Mitchell, Rocky Juarez, and Oscar Larios. He lost to Juan Carlos Salgado, Antonio DeMarco, and Sergio Thompson. Linares’ last loss came over four years ago and he won his four of his past five fights by stoppage.

Even though Linares beat Crolla last time, he understands that Crolla will be better prepared this time. He stated at a recent press conference, “Crolla could come better prepared than last time. Maybe he will throw more punches, maybe he will box more, I don’t really know. The most important thing is I hope he has worked really hard and comes in great condition so there are no excuses and no doubts after the fight.”

Crolla has defeated the likes of Ismael Barroso, Darleys Perez, John Murray, and Gavin Rees. He has lost to Derry Matthews, Gary Sykes (x2), Jorge Linares, and a relatively unknown Youssef Al Hamidi early on in his career.

Crolla has acknowledged he needs to come in with a different game plan in order to win. He stated, “This time I know I need to deal with the flashy combinations better, cut the ring off better and capitalize when he is open for shots.”

Linares has a slight edge in amateur experience as he was a national champion in Venezuela as an amateur.

This should be a good fight like last time, and Crolla will get a much needed boost from the hometown crown spurring him on. But, the result will likely be the same as last time if Crolla doesn’t take risks and try to test the questionable chin of Linares.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night HBO and Top Rank Promotions will team up to televise three bouts from two different locations.

Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC Junior Welterweight titles in the main event of the evening against John Molina live from Omaha, Nebraska. Additionally, lightweight contender Raymundo Beltran will compete against rising prospect Mason Menard as the co-main event of the Nebraska card.
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It was also recently announced that Top Rank will promote Joseph Parker in the United States; and HBO has decided to show the WBO Heavyweight Title Bout between Parker and Ruiz on a same day tape delay from Auckland, New Zealand.

The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.

Joseph Parker (21-0) vs. Andy Ruiz (29-0); WBO Heavyweight Title

Joseph Parker will be fighting in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand and will be the favorite coming into this bout.

He has already fought four times in 2016, and four of his past five fights have been by TKO/KO. He is twenty four years old and is three years younger than his opponent. He will also have a two inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage on Ruiz. Ruiz has also been fairly active and has fought three times in 2016.

Joseph Parker has the heavier hands of the two boxers. He has stopped eighteen of his opponents, and four of his past five fights have ended by TKO/KO. Ruiz has stopped nineteen of his opponents, but only two of his past five opponents failed to go the distance.

They both have had moderate success as an amateur. Ruiz was a Mexican National Amateur Champion and Parker medaled in several international competitions as an amateur.

Parker has a slight edge in quality of opposition. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, and Bowie Tupou. Ruiz has defeated the likes of an aged Ray Austin and Siarhei Liakhovich.

Ruiz is a good enough of a boxer to last all twelve rounds, but it will be extremely difficult for him to pull out a victory in Parker’s home country of New Zealand.

Raymundo Beltran (31-7-1) vs. Mason Menard (32-1); Lightweights

The opening bout of the night in Omaha, Nebraska will be between Ray Beltran and Mason Menard in the lightweight division.

Beltran is a former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao and is a rugged, tough, durable opponent. He’s much better than his record suggests and is known for having excellent stamina.

However, Beltran is thirty five years old and will be seven years older than his opponent, Mason Menard. Beltran will have about a two inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

Menard does have a slight edge in power. He has twenty four knockouts on his record while Beltran only has nineteen.

Menard became well known with some upset victories on national television, including wins over Bahodir Mamadjonov and Eudy Bernardo. But prior to those wins he faced mainly non-descript opponents and most of his bouts were in his home state of Louisiana.

Beltran has defeated the likes of Ivan Najera, Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, and Henry Lundy. He also has several losses, but most of them have come against good opposition. He has lost to the likes of Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., and Sharif Bogere.

Neither boxer was very active in the past two years. They both fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. Neither boxer experienced a great deal of success on the international stage as an amateur.

Menard has surprised many with his two latest victories, but Beltran is a big step up in competition for him and isn’t past his prime yet. This should be a fight that Beltran wins through a hard fought decision.

Terence Crawford (29-0) vs. John Molina (29-6); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Titles

Terence Crawford is one of Top Rank Promotions’ biggest stars and has been a rumored opponent for Manny Pacquiao in the future.

Crawford regularly fights in Omaha and will have a nearly sold out venue cheering him on.

He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. He’s four years younger than Molina, but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height as well as an inch in reach.

Crawford has been fairly active for a champion and fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015. Molina has only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Crawford has twenty stoppage victories and three of his past five fights did not go the distance. Molina has twenty three stoppage wins, but has gone 3-3 in his past six fights.

Molina is always a dangerous fighter, and this was evident in his last upset victory over the hard hitting Provodnikov. He has also defeated the likes of Mickey Bey, Dannie Williams, and Henry Lundy. However, Molina also has an impressive list of opponents that he has lost to. These fighters include Antonio DeMarco, Andrey Klimov, Lucas Matthysse, Humberto Soto, and Adrien Broner.

Crawford has never been defeated and has been slowly increasing the level of competition that he faces in the ring. He has defeated the likes of Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymondo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andre Klimov.

Crawford was also very successful as an amateur on the national level, and has even won a Police Athletic League Boxing Championship.

This is a fight that very few expect Crawford to lose. He’s a more technically skilled boxer than the last man that Molina beat and should be able to stop Molina.

Molina has been known for upsetting the apple cart from time to time, but Saturday is unlikely.

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The Heavyweight Crown is Up for Grabs


The Heavyweight Crown is Up for Grabs
By: Matthew N. Becher

​A little over a week ago, the reigning (yet non-defending) Lineal Heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, was forced to relinquish his titles. He had not fought it close to a year, was/is battling with an undisclosed “medical” or “mental” condition and has tested positive for cocaine usage. So with this event taking place, three major belts are currently sitting in a vacant state (four if you count the IBO title).

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​The WBC belt is currently held by American Deontay Wilder. Wilder has yet to fight a real formidable opponent, one of the Top of the heavyweight food chain. With that aside, he is a heavyweight champion and owns at least 1/5th of the ultimate piece of the pie. Wilder won his belt in 2015 and has defended it 4 times so far. Against the likes of Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka and Chris Arreola. Wilder was injured in his last fight and will look to defend his title again next year. Getting to the point of unifying the division.

​The IBF belt is currently held across the pond by the 27 year old British heavyweight Anthony Joshua. Joshua is a former Olympic Gold Medalist, who won his title earlier this year, blasting away at then champion Charles Martin in only 2 rounds. Joshua has a date set to defend his title in England on December 10th. Talk of him taking on former unified heavyweight champion Wladamir Klitschko were making the rounds for a bit, but seem to have stalled. Joshua will most likely fight against a lesser than opponent and wait until next year to possibly try and add another belt around his waist.

​So where do the other belts end up?

​The WBO has ordered a fight between New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (21-0 18KO) and Mexican American Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-0 19KO) to take place in Auckland on December 10th. Both men have stellar records, against little known opponents. Parker at 24 and Ruiz at 27 would make either a very young champion and would also surely set them up against one of the upper echelon of the heavyweight division next year.

​The WBA is a bit trickier, in that they have a “Regular” champion and a “Super” Champion. The “Regular” champion is undefeated Cuban Luis Ortiz (25-0 22KO). Ortiz will defend that title November 12th against veteran Malik Scott. If Ortiz can pull through, he should be set up with a chance to fight for the “Super” title, sometime next year.

​All the belts are right now up for grabs and if you noticed, all of the names that have been brought up, sans Klitschko, are of fighters with undefeated records.

Most have yet to test themselves against one another, and the top men in the most glamorous division in all of sport will be put on the spot to finally validate themselves. By this time next year, we should see at least two unified champions, if not one lineal, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. If this doesn’t happen, then who knows where the belts will be, most likely around peoples waist that hardly deserve them.

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Boxing on AWE Results: Linares Defeats Crolla In Front of a Rowdy Manchester Crowd


Boxing on AWE Results: Linares Defeats Crolla In Front of a Rowdy Manchester Crowd
By: William Holmes

The Manchester Arena in Manchester, England was the host site for tonight’s WBA/WBC Diamond/ and Ring Magazine Lightweight Championship. Matchroom Boxing was the lead promoter for the card tonight.

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The first bout of the night was in the light heavyweight division between Fernando Castaneda (24-10) and Hosea Burton (17-0).

Burton, the British light heavyweight champion, looked to be the taller and better boxer early on and was able to keep Castaneda at bay with his long reaching jab early on. Burton looked significantly bigger than Castaneda, who looked like he could cut down to the middleweight division or lower easily.

Burton took his time in the first two rounds, but was able to end the fight in the third round after scoring two knockdowns. Burton wins by TKO at 2:18 of the third round.

The next bout of the night was in the welterweight division between Ross Jameson (1-0-1) and Conor Benn (4-0).

Conor Benn, the son of Nigel Benn, fought his first six round fight against a game but overmatched opponent. Benn was able to bust the nose of Jameson in the opening round and showed good head movement and choice of combinations.

Benn pressed the action the whole fight and kept up a good pace. Jameson was able to land a few shots of his own, but wasn’t able to score a knockdown or convincingly win a round.

Conor Benn won the decision with scores of 60-55 on all three scorecards.

The next bout of the night was between Callum Johnson (15-0) and Willbeforce Shihepo (23-8) for the Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Title.

Shihepo, the WBO African Champion, was aggressive in the first round and presented an awkward style that gave Johnson fits early on. Johnson was looking to time his counters in the second round, but wasn’t able to land anything of note.

Johnson turned the fight in his favor in the third round when he hurt Shihepo with a left hook, and he hurt Shihepo again in the final minute of the fourth and sixth rounds.

Johnson was strong in the early parts of the seventh round as Shihepo was forced to tie up whenever they got in tight. Johnson scored a knockdown in the seventh round when a body shot forced Shihepo to sit on the ropes which kept him from going down. Shihepo was able to get up before the count of ten, but tied up for the remainder of the round.

Shihepo looked like he was close to going down again in the eighth round, and looked exhausted by the start of the ninth round, but he dug in deep and landed some good shots on Johnson by the corner. However, Johnson landed a brutal combination that sent Shihepo down to the mat again, but this time for the full ten count.

Callum Johnson wins by knockout in the ninth round.

The next bout of the night was an uneventful fight between John Ryder (23-2) and Jack Arnfield (20-2) for the WBA International Middleweight Championship.

The crowd lost interest in this bout quickly, and began chanting for Crolla while ignoring the action in the ring. Arnfield’s reach was used well throughout.

Ryder had his moments, but Arnfield won a majority of the rounds.

The final scores were 117-114, 118-110, and 115-114 for Jack Arnfield.

Anthony Crolla (31-4-3) met Jorge Linares (40-3) in the main event of the night. The crowd loudly serenated “Sweet Caroline” before the boxers entered the ring.

Jorge Linares was introduced first and entered the ring the to a chorus of boos. The crowd was electric and sung loudly as Anthony Crolla entered the ring.

Linares circled towards the left hand of Crolla in the opening round and Crolla was able to stop that movement with early shots to the body. Linares began to heat up in the last thirty seconds of the round and landed a quick three punch combination, but the action and tension was tight.

Linares was crisp in the second and third round and was able to land several good combinations. However, Crolla ket up the pressure and was able to back Linares up to the corner.

Linares was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, and the back and forth action began to pick up. Both boxers were able to land their share of hard body shots. Crolla’s pace seemed to effect Linares in the fifth round as he was able to land short jabs and shots to the liver while keeping in tight with Linares.

Crolla kept up the pressure in the sixth rounds and was dominant in the first two minutes, but Linares cracked a hard right hook to the cin of Crolla in the final minute and had him hurt badly. Crolla looked like he was still on wobbly legs in the seventh round, but recovered halfway through and was able to trap Linares in the corner and land hard shots to the body.

The eighth and ninth rounds were close and both boxers looked like they were tiring, but Crolla may have been the slightly more active fighter.

However, Linares caught his wind in the championship rounds and closed out strongly. Crolla’s punches had lost their snap and Linares looked comfortable pop shotting Crolla and showing off his incredible hand speed.
Linares most dominant rounds of the fight were the tenth and eleventh round. Crolla needed a knockdown or knockout in the final round to win, but he was unable to hurt Linares.

The final scores were 115-114, 117-111, and 115-113 for Jorge Linares.

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Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares Lightweight Title Fight Preview


Anthony Crolla vs. Jorge Linares Lightweight Title Fight Preview
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night, Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla will face Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares at the Manchester Arena live at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. This bout will be televised live on AWE, A Wealth of Entertainment, and will also be shown live on the internet at www.klowedtv.com.

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Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom Boxing

This bout will be a unification bout in the lightweight division and will be for the WBA, WBC Diamond, and the vacant Ring Magazine Lightweight Championship.

The light heavyweight commonwealth title will be on the line on the undercard and will be between Callum Johnson and Willbeforce Shihepo. Additionally, Isaac Lowe will defend his commonwealth featherweight title against Tshifhiwa Munyai.

The following is a preview of the main event of the night.

Anthony Crolla (31-4-3) vs. Jorge Linares (40-3); WBA Lightweight Title

This is a matchup between the two top rated boxers in the lightweight division, a division that is quite frankly lacking in big time names.

Linares was once considered a future pound for pound star, but three losses by stoppage have since hurt his value. However, he’s still considered to be the best boxer by many in the lightweight division and is a three division champion.

Linares is thirty one years old and is two years older than Crolla. Linares will be giving up a half inch in height to Crolla, but has a two inch reach advantage. Linares has traveled the world to fight and has fought in locations such as Japan, Venezuela, Mexico, the United States, and England. Crolla has only fought once in the United States and has spent most of his career fighting in England.

Crolla will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Manchester, and this is a fact that does not escape Linares.

“I love fighting in my opponent’s back yard with all the noise that comes with it from their fans,” said Linares. “The supporters cannot get in the ring with their fighter, it’s just me and him.”

Linares won several tournaments as an amateur on the national level in Venezuela, but did not win any medals in any major international tournaments such as the world amateur championships or the Olympics. Crolla doesn’t have the amateur success of Linares, and he seems to recognize the technical prowess of Linares.

Crolla stated, “I rate Linares very highly, he’s technically brilliant. Everyone in the gym loves to watch him fight, and he’s the kind of fighter young kids should watch.” He went on further to state, “He likes to fight at his pace and I can’t allow that. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ve got to take advantage of some weaknesses that I think I’ve seen there. I’m confident I can do that.”

Linares’ one glaring weakness is his chin. He has three losses and they have all come by KO or TKO. His losses were to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and an upset of the year loss to Juan Carlos Salgado. He has notable victories over the likes of Kevin Mitchell, Nihito Arakawa, Francisco Contreras, and Rocky Juarez. However, Linares has won six fights in a row and four of his past five victories have come by way of stoppage.

Crolla has four losses on his record but only one knockout loss. His losses were to Gary Sykes (twice), Derry Matthews, and Youssef Al Hamidi. He holds victories over Ismael Barroso, Darleys Perez, John Murray, and Gavin Rees.

Crolla doesn’t have the stoppage power that Linares has. Linares has stopped twenty seven of his opponents while Crolla has only stopped thirteen. Both boxers have been very active recently. Crolla fought three times in 2014, twice in 2015, and once in 2016. Linares fought twice in 2015 and three times in 2014.

If Crolla was known for his power he’d have a good chance at pulling off the upset victory. However, he is not known for stopping his opponents and he will be in the ring with a very skilled, technical boxer. If Linares’ chin can hold up, he should win a wide decision victory. But he may want to go for the stoppage since he’s fighting in Crolla’s backyard.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Chocolatito vs. Cuadras, Golovkin vs. Brook


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Chocolatito vs. Cuadras, Golovkin vs. Brook
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night HBO will broadcast two world championship fights from two different venues. Pound for pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will be bumping up to the junior bantamweight division to chase after another world title when he faces off against Carlos Cuadras. If he is successful he will have won titles in four different weight classes. Earlier in the day knockout artist Gennady Golovkin will be defending his middleweight titles when he faces welterweight world champion Kell Brook.

The Gonzalez vs. Cuadras bout will take place at the Forum in Inglewood, California and the Golovkin vs. Brook bout will take place at the O2 Arena in London, England on Brook’s home turf. HBO will also be televising a rematch between Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto-Karass in the junior middleweight division. Their previous fight was considered by many to be a fight of the year candidate.

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The following is a preview of both world title fights.

Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1) vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0); WBC Junior Bantamweight Title

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is a three division world champion and considered by many to be the best pound for pound boxer in the world today. However, there are limits to how many weight classes an individual can be a champion in and he’s facing a legitimate junior bantamweight world champion.

Gonzalez will be giving up five inches in height and two inches in reach to Cuadras. Cuadras is also one year younger than Gonzalez, but both are in their physical primes.

They both have been fairly active in the past two years. Cuadras fought three times in 2014 and in 2015, and already fought once in 2016. Gonzalez fought four times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once so far in 2016.

They both had experienced success as an amateur. Cuadras is a Pan American gold medalist and a gold medalist in the International Junior Olympics. Chocolatito has an alleged record of 88-0 as an amateur, but does not have any notable international amateur tournament victories.

Chocolatito has beaten the likes of Yutaka Niida, Juan Francisco Estrada, Rocky Fuentes, Akiri Yaegashi, Edgar Sosa, Brian Viloria, and McWilliams Arroyo. Cuadras has defeated the likes of Marvin Mabait, Luis Concepcion, Dixon Flores, Koki Eto, and Richie Mepranum.

Gonzalez has more world title fight experience and has a record of 14-0 in world title fights. Cuadras has a record of 6-0 in world title fights.

Both boxers have considerable power. Cuadras has twenty seven stoppage victories, and three of his past five fights were by stoppage victory. Gonzalez has thirty eight stoppage victories.

It will be interesting to see how Gonzalez handles the length and reach of Cuadras. Gonzalez, who was a world champion in the minimumweight division, will likely be unable to jump additional weight classes if he’s victorious on Saturday and he has a very tough test ahead of him. This should be an entertaining and technical bout, but Gonzalez should be able to pull off the decision victory, but may have his chin tested in the process.

Gennady Golovkin (35-0) vs. Kell Brook (36-0); WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Titles

Don’t let the fact that Kell Brook is jumping up two weight classes to fight Gennady Golovkin fool you. Brook is a large welterweight and Golovkin is a smaller middleweight. In fact, Brook has been weighing in heavier than Golovkin in the weeks leading up to the fight.

One of the biggest question marks about Golovkin is his age. He’s thirty four years old and doesn’t have many years left in his prime. His opponent is four years younger than him. Golovkin, however, will have a slight one and a half inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

Despite the fact he’s a major star in boxing, Golovkin has kept a fairly active schedule. He has fought once in 2016, three times in 2015, and three times in 2014. Brook has been having trouble finding a big fight in the welterweight division and fought twice in 2014 and in 2015, and once in 2016.

Golovkin’s power is well known and can be considered legendary. He has thirty two knockouts on his resume and is in the midst of an incredible streak that consists of twenty two wins by knockout in a row. Brook’s power can’t be overlooked, he has stopped twenty five opponents and has one four of his past five fights by stoppage.

Brook will be fighting in front of his home crowd at the O2 arena and that will be a big advantage for him. He has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin, Ionut Dan Ion, Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Matthew Hatton, and Luis Galarza.

The last person to go the distance against Golovkin was Amar Amari in 2008. He has steamrolled every boxer he’s faced since then. He has defead the likes of Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Nobuhiro Ishida, Gabriel Rosado, Kassim Ouma, and Grzegorz Proksa.

Golovkin has to be very careful to not overlook Kell Brook. Brook is a very good, technical boxer and is considered by many to be a top 10 pound for pound fighter. Golovkin’s power should be able to lead him to victory, but don’t be surprised if he knockout streak ends on Saturday night.

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