Fury Open to Facing Whyte for WBC Diamond Belt
By: Michael Kane
Last week WBC supremo Mauricio Sulaiman suggested that he wanted to make an interim title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Dillian Whyte was quoted as saying he didn’t think Fury would accept.
Well Fury has responded, he doesn’t want an interim title fight, he wants the fight to be for the WBC Diamond belt.
Both Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Whyte have fights scheduled for the next couple of months. Fury takes on German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in the first fight of a big TV deal with Top Rank and ESPN on June 15th in Las Vegas.
Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) will face Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) in London in July, a fight he had wanted to be confirmed as mandatory for the WBC title.
Fury took to Instagram to set his only condition on accepting the Whyte fight.
“I propose that we make me and Dillian Whyte for the WBC Diamond belt and not the interim belt.”
“I’ll take care of Dillian Whyte,” he continued, “and knock him out within six rounds. I accept the challenge, thank you very much.
“I’d fight Dillian Whyte and day of the week and twice on a Sunday . Make it for the Diamond belt, not the interim version and you’ve got a deal. Let’s get it on!”
Whyte was quick to reply on the post by saying, “Let’s do it then, Tyson Fury. I’d fight you anytime, anywhere, seven days a week and five times on a Sunday. I look forward to putting you to sleep. Let’s go baby!”
Both fighters need to get past their immediate opponents before any such fight can take place.
WBC Wants Fury to Face Whyte in Final Eliminator, Whyte Says He Will Face Anyone
By: Michael Kane
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is interested in making a final eliminator bout between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.
Sulaiman said in a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice that Whyte’s team have rejected that proposal.
Whyte has replied saying he will fight anyone including Tyson Fury.
“I’m the ‘can man’ whoever wants it can get it,” Whyte told Talksport.
“I’ve been trying to fight Tyson Fury for a number of years now. We’ve made multiple attempts and it never happened.
“If Fury wants to fight, he knows where I am. But I can’t see the fight happening.
“If Tyson Fury can walk away from a rematch with Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight world title, why would he fight me for the ‘interim’ title? It doesn’t make sense.”
Whyte feels he has been harshly treated by the WBC having been expected to face Dominic Breazeale in a final eliminator for the ‘interim’ title. The plans for this fight were scrapped once Breazeale stepped in to face champion Deontay Wilder on May 18th.
Breazeale was deemed to be the mandatory after winning a final eliminator in 2017 against Eric Molina.
“There’s a lot of things going on with the WBC at the minute,” Whyte explained.
“Everyone knows I’m very angry at them and the way I’ve been treated.
“Everyone knows Deontay Wilder should’ve been fighting me and not Domonic Breazeale. But for some reason the WBC insist on protecting him.
“It’s a funny subject, I can’t really say too much, a lot of these boxing authorities are very touchy.
“The public can see what I’ve done, how many WBC title fights I’ve had, how many times I’ve defended my number one position. Its crazy, I don’t understand it.
“Now, with the WBC, I think it’s just delaying tactics by them. It’s frustrating, it’s stressful, it’s a but disheartening to be honest.
“Tyson Fury could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, Anthony Joshua could’ve fought Oscar Rivas, he said no, look who they’re fighting.
“It just goes to show there’s only one man who’s willing to fight anyone. I’m not losing faith in boxing because I know this sport I’d just full of nastiness, man.
“It’s part of the game, you’ve gotta take the ups and the downs. My time will come. I just keep working, they can’t hide forever.”
WBC Orders Lomachenko-Campbell Bout
By: Sean Crose
Mandatory lightweight contender Luke Campbell, 20-2, was in line to face WBC champion Mikey Garcia before Garcia decided to move up in weight to face Errol Spence in an ill fated attempt at welterweight glory earlier this year. After being soundly bested by Spence, Garcia subsequently gave up his lightweight crown (although he remains Champion Emeritus), presumably leaving Campbell to face off against another contender. This being boxing, things didn’t end up as expected, for the WBC announced Tuesday that it was ordering Campbell to face none other than Vasyl Lomachenko himself for the green belt.
Bob Arum, Lomachenko’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, Campbell’s promoter, are reportedly discussing the matter. Lomachenko is currently in possession of the WBO and IBF lightweight titles, meaning the winner of his fight will be unified champion of the division – though not undisputed champion – as the WBA belt won’t be up for grabs. “Excited,” the 31 year old Campbell told Boxing Social after the WBC made its announcement. “That’s the first word that comes to mind.” Campbell is clearly pumped about the prospect of facing the man who is perhaps the most highly regarded fighter in the sport. “I’m fighting the pound for pound number one,” he says. “This is where I make my mark.”
Lomachenko is now one of the fight game’s biggest stars. Not only does the man win, he tends to make his opponents quit – frequently. High level opposition such as Nicholas Walters and Guillermo Rigondeaux have refused to answer the bell after facing the Ukrainian’s use of angles and intense pressure. It’s been suggested that Lomachenko’s dominance has faded a bit as he’s moved up in weight, but the fact the multi division titlist has stopped the likes of Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla in the past year suggests otherwise.
As for Campbell – the fighter has won his last three fights since dropping a 2017split decision to the same Linares Lomachenko faced. He’s never battled anyone of Lomachenko’s caliber, but the 5’9 southpaw may well square off against the intimidating 13-1 Lomachenko at home. According to the LA Times, Arum is willing to have the bout take place in England. “I’ve already talked to Eddie Hearn,” Arum is quoted as saying, “and he’s looking for an appropriate venue in the U.K..” With boxing now being a major draw in Britain, the image of a large, hyped crowd suddenly comes to mind.
“This is going to be one hell of a fight,” says Campbell.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Atlantic City, Khan, Crawford, Judah, WBC, and more..
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 9th to April 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Amir Khan Confirms First ‘Ring the Changes’ Initiatives to Help Young People Across the UK
Boxing superstar Amir Khan and online financial trading broker ThinkMarkets have confirmed their first partnerships as part of the ‘Ring the Changes’ initiatives aimed at providing support and opportunities for under-privileged young people across the UK.
More than 35 young people have been murdered in London already this year and Khan will work with ThinkMarkets and charity partners to raise funds and support initiatives to help young children get off the streets using financial education and the power of boxing.
The London Institute of Banking & Finance will offer young people access to their Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) course to teach young people about the world of finance. Amir Khan will be actively working with ThinkMarkets to reach out to boxing clubs across London to invite young people on to the programme.
Youth Employment UK is not for profit organisation that helps 14-24-year-olds to kick-start their careers and will provide support specifically through their Young Professional programme which helps young people develop the work ready skills that employers are looking for.
This ties in with Amir Khan’s aims with ThinkMarkets to secure employment in the City for 100 young people from disadvantaged families by 2022.
Amir Khan said: “My ‘Ring the Changes’ initiative with ThinkMarkets WILL have an impact on youth crime and disenfranchisement and make a real difference.
“I’m focused on training for my fight against Terence Crawford in a few days but it’s tragic seeing the increasing devastation families are facing as young people are being killed or maimed in knife attacks.
“We have to give young people hope and opportunities and I believe that ‘Ring the Changes’ can go some way to providing inspiration for young people who may feel lost. Together with ThinkMarkets, we will not forget them and we will provide ways to help.”
Alison Pask, Managing Director, Financial Capability and Community Outreach at The London Institute of Banking & Finance added: “The Ring the Changes campaign helps young people combine the advantages of sports and financial knowledge to develop their skills and confidence.
“Over 70% of young people regularly worry about money and want to learn more. The role that initiatives like this can play in building financial resilience is critical. But more than that, initiatives like these can help open doors to career opportunities – and there are lots of those in the finance sector.
“We hope this programme will help raise the aspirations of young people, opening doors to careers and opportunities they may not have thought possible. We’re very proud of the role we can play.”
Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Employment UK, added: “The combination of sports, financial education and employability programme will provide young people with the necessary tools to further their career goals. By collaborating with ThinkMarkets under the Ring the Changes campaign we believe we can really make a difference to the future generations.”
Khan has a long history of helping charitable causes around the world and set up his own Foundation in 2014, something that attracted ThinkMarkets to working with the former Olympic silver medalist.
Nauman Anees, Co-founder of ThinkMarkets, said: “We wanted to take our time to get the right partnerships in place and have worked closely with Amir Khan before securing the London Institute of Banking & Finance and Youth Employment UK.
“’Ring the Changes’ WILL make a difference to the lives of a great many young people in the UK through a combination of philanthropy, opportunity and inspiration.”
ThinkMarkets aims to teach youngsters the importance of mental discipline and provide them with key skills to help them achieve their goals.
Khan’s partnership with ThinkMarkets is the first of its kind, with ThinkMarkets becoming the first UK broker to sponsor a professional boxer.
Earlier this year, ThinkMarkets announced another sporting partnership, with legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath supporting young people in Australia and the UK.
WBC Champs Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton Are All in for Autsim
This past weekend was one stacked with Women in Boxing no doubt! The World Boxing Council, WBC Cares program with Chairperson, Jill Diamond, WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman and the entire WBC Family are very grateful to our WBC Champs, Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton who donated their time Saturday evening to raise money for Autism Awareness. With World Champions in attendance like MLB World Series Champ, Scott Erickson, Former Dallas Cowboys, and NFL Superbowl XXVI MVP, Mark Rypien along with many other celebrities, it was a fun filled night where the Champs played, laughed and rewarded the winners of the table that knocked them out with WBC Medals!
April is Autism Awareness Month and we at the World Boxing Council are honored Pam Phillips and the Gemini Family have invited us to be a part of this event another year! The difference begins within each one of us. Let’s spread awareness just like our Champs Seniesa and Lulu!
For information on how Gemini helps those in the Autism Spectrum, go to Gemini.org
Judah vs. Seldin to Battle At Turning Stone Resort Casino
Preparations are well underway as Central New York prepares to host boxing’s biggest weekend of the year, International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. Star Boxing, in partnership with Turning Stone Resort Casino, today announced a new event for an already impressive boxing weekend – Zab “Super” Judah (44-9, 30 KOs) vs. Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (23-1, 19 KOs). The fight will take place in the Turning Stone Event Center on Friday, June 7, 2019, as part of the 30th Anniversary of Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. The evening’s co-main event will feature James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (27-3-1, 14KO’s) facing off against David Papot (22-0, 3KO’s), the same weekend his father James “Buddy” McGirt Sr. will be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Boxing fans will also have an opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in boxing, including boxing VIPs and Hall of Famers. Turning Stone will offer a unique boxing fan experience for guests who purchase tickets for the June 7thJudah vs. Seldin fight. For $50 (plus the purchase of a ticket), guests will receive access to the Boxing Hall of Fame Lounge, where boxing VIPs will be socializing throughout the night.
Tickets for Judah vs. Seldin are now available at the Turning Stone Box Office in person or by calling 315.361.7469 and 12:00 p.m. online at Ticketmaster. Prices start at only $35, with ringside seats available for $89 and $75.
June 7th’s main event features, Zab “Super” Judah (Brooklyn, NY), a six-time world champion, and the last undisputed welterweight champion of the world. The three-time New York Golden Glove champion made his professional debut at the age of 18, later holding world titles in three weight classes, capped off by his undisputed welterweight reign. Judah has defeated some of the most notable names in the business, including, Micky Ward, Lucas Matthysse and Cory Spinks (Undisputed Welterweight Title), and fought many other top fighters including Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Miguel Cotto .
Opposing the six-time and former undisputed champion will be New York’s feared knockout artist, Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (Shirley, NY). Born from a tough line of Jewish-Americans, Seldin won the Ringside Amateur World Championship in 2009. As a professional, Seldin created buzz throughout New York as a knockout artist packing the Paramount with his “Hamma Head” fans. He broke on to the national scene when he devoured Roberto Ortiz at the Nassau Coliseum in a featured HBO fight. One month later, Seldin became the first boxer alongside Hall of Fame world champions, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. to fight in featured fights on back to back months on HBO. 83 percent of Seldin’s wins have come via knockout.
The veteran craftsmanship of former undisputed champion Judah, will have to weather the storm of the heavy-handed New York brawler in Seldin. On the biggest weekend in boxing, with many Hall of Famer’s in attendance, #JudahSeldin is bound to set off fireworks at Turning Stone on June 7th.
In the co-feature bout, James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (Vero Beach, FL) will look to tip his hat to his father, James McGirt Sr. who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame during the same weekend, when he takes on tough Frenchman David Papot (Saint-Nazaire, France). McGirt compiled an impressive amateur record of 44-4 winning the Sunshine State Games and the Southeastern Regional. As a professional McGirt has also found success and has faced some well-regarded fighters in his division, including, Carlos De Leon Jr., Edwin Rodriguez, and Raymond Joval. His opponent, undefeated Frenchman David Papot is taking the trip across the Atlantic Ocean with intentions of ruining the McGirt family weekend. Papot had 102 amateur bouts, 30 of which were with the French National team, earning French National Champion honors two times. In 2017 Papot earned the WBA Continental Middleweight Title, and later that year became the French National Super Welterweight Champion, having since defended the title three times.
Crawford vs. Khan PPV Details Revealed
The undefeated pound-for-pound king, three-division world champion and reigning WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will headline the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view broadcast against former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan Saturday, April 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Madison Square Garden.
Crawford vs. Khan will be available via all major cable and satellite providers with a suggested retail price of $59.95 (SD) or $69.95 (HD).
All undercard bouts will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the fighting pride of Omaha, Nebraska, unified all four super lightweight titles in August 2017 and moved up to the welterweight division intent on doing the same. In June 2018, he won the WBO welterweight title with a dominant ninth-round stoppage over Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. Four months later, in front of a packed hometown house at the CHI Health Center Omaha, he stopped bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in the 12th round.
Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who captured an Olympic silver medal in 2004 for Great Britain at the age of 17, has long been one of boxing’s most captivating performers. He won his first world title in 2009 and has victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. He is undefeated as a welterweight and is once again attempting to prove his greatness against boxing’s best.
In other action on the pay-per-view broadcast:
• Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) will face former world title challenger and two-time European lightweight champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) in a 12-round co-feature. Lopez is ranked in the top five by all four major sanctioning organizations and is coming off a savage seventh-round knockout over Diego Magdaleno.
• In the other co-feature attraction, Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs), the 21-year-old featherweight phenom who earned a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will face former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
• Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), one of Puerto Rico’s most popular fistic attractions, will fight former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight duel with potential world title implications.
CRAWFORD vs. KHAN is a 12-round fight for the WBO welterweight championship of the world, presented by Top Rank in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions. The event is sponsored by Geico. CRAWFORD vs. KHAN will take place Saturday, April 20, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Madison Square Garden
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Announces Opening of It’s Legends Café
The ACBHOF is pleased to announce the opening of its Legends Café during their 3rd Annual Celebration and Induction Weekend. For the third year, the Claridge A Radisson Hotel will serve as ACBHOF’s partner and backdrop for this historic event to be held June 21 – 23, 2019.
On Friday, June 21st the ACBHOF VIP Cocktail Reception will kick-off the weekend with the opening of the Legends Café and a special screening of the movie “ME WHEE” — a 30-minute documentary of Muhammad Ali.
“It is with tremendous pride that The Claridge-A Radisson Hotel welcomes The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame during this induction weekend. We are privileged to join in this partnership, a blending of the rich history that we both share here in Atlantic City. The Legends Café is an extraordinary, unique, and unforgettable opportunity for immersion into the legendary world of boxing that has evolved in this city over the years.” – A. Cem Erenler V.P. Operations & Development.
On Saturday, June 22nd the ACBHOF will invite boxing enthusiasts to join us for conversation and coffee in the Legends Café where an engaging panel discussion will take place. The panel will be moderated and activated with a panel comprised of top boxing historians from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Café will host exciting exhibits and art on display by Patrick Killiam from Newport, Wales, and other talented artists and Exhibits that will be on display: Jack Johnson, Joe Frazier Legacy Exists, Deborah King, James O’Neal Sculptures, Boxing Apocalypse and the SparBar.
Also, on Saturday the ACBHOF will be inside the Orange Loop for good food and music at the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall; where guests and fans alike will be interacting up close and personal with boxing legends on hand for autographs and photo opportunities.
“Our mission is to honor, preserve and celebrate the excellence of Atlantic City’s rich Boxing History and there’s no better place to highlight this tradition than at the historic Claridge-A Radisson Hotel. My team and I are excited about this collaboration.” – Ray McCline President of Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The weekend will culminate with the Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 23rd where the ACBHOF Class of 2019 will be enshrined into the hall of fame history.
The Class of 2019 Participants: Bernard Hopkins, Tim Witherspoon, Iran Barkley, Roberto Duran, Micky Ward, Kevin Watts, John Brown, Virgil Hill, Butch Lewis, English Bouie Fisher, Ace Marotta, Jimmy Binns, Sr., Stan Hoffman, Nigel Collins, Henry Hascup, Tom Kaczmarek, Tony Orlando Jr., and Rhonda Utley-Herring.
WBC Threatens to Make Wilder vs. Fury a Non Title Fight
There are reports today that the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury bout could become a non title fight.
This comes after WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said that if Fury doesn’t enrol on the WBC Clean Boxing Program by the end of this week he will not be able to win Wilder’s WBC heavyweight world title.
Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account
Fury failed a test for steroid nandrolone in 2015, which he then had a back dated ban that ended in 2017.
Fury has promised Sulaiman he will enrol immediately.
“Fury is not enrolled with the WBC Clean Boxing Program and he promised me personally, and even on Twitter, that he was enrolling. If he doesn’t, the fight with Wilder will not be for the WBC title,” Sulaiman told Boxing News.
“I have been in touch with Fury and his trainer (Ben Davison) and they tell me it is just a matter of paperwork. They have the papers, they say. I don’t want to put a deadline on it that it is not reasonable but it has to happen this week. That is plenty of time. If I don’t get those papers, the WBC will not sanction the fight.”
“There will be VADA testing for the fight,” Sulaiman insisted. “there are two types of testing. In-competition and out-of-competition random testing for any fighter who is enrolled. There is contracted fight testing. As yet, I do not know if the promoters of this fight have requested that.”
Sulaiman then noted the cost implications for all fighters to have out of competition testing, and would like the burden to be shared so it’s not just the WBC that have to cough up.
“If we have a fighter in Thailand and a fighter in Nicaragua, when their training camps are so far apart, it’s very costly to do testing,” Sulaiman said. He is happy when promoters help cover these costs. “But we are very happy for those promoters who contract that testing.
“The more drug testing the better. The problem is that there are a lot of legalities involved, failed tests can go to lawyers and cases appealed. Unfortunately, though the WBC have implemented the Clean Boxing Program, there is no one entity in control of drug testing throughout the sport.
“There are so many tests. Some are done by the organisation, some by the promoter, some by the local commission. There is no uniformity. We are working to improve that situation”.
When asked that if a good starting point would be for high profile contests, such as Wilder v Fury, that drug testing should be in place before the contest is announced, Sulaiman replied that, yes, he wished every title fight had out of competition testing, and they won’t discriminate due to the magnitude of the bout.
“We don’t fall into discrimination where one fight is deemed more important than another. Just because a fight is for the strawweight title doesn’t make it less important than a fight for the heavyweight title. A fight for a WBC championship should be the greatest fight,” Sulaiman said. “Yes, I wish every fight had fighters in who had been subject to out-of-competition testing. We’re working towards that.”
WBC Offers Update on Alvarez-Golovkin-Charlo Middleweight Muddle
By Jake Donovan
After spending most of the past year creating a mess, the World Boxing Council has done its best to clear up the middleweight muddle.
Somehow, they have only created more confusion in the process.
The WBC unanimously approved Golden Boy Promotions’ official request for middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to make a voluntary defense in his next fight. The decision came Wednesday during the “Mandatories” session of the annual WBC Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.
Alvarez regained his title in a 12-round win over Gennady Golovkin in their high-profile rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was rescheduled from its original May 5 date, which was scratched after Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol for which he received a six-month suspension.
The delay in staging the rematch to their highly controversial Sept. ’17 draw raised questions as to when Jermall Charlo would get his due title shot. The unbeaten middleweight from Houston became the mandatory challenger after claiming the sanctioning body’s interim title following his knockout win over Hugo Centeno this past April.
Much to his dismay, Charlo was told to sit and wait out the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch before learning his fate. It now seems he will have to take one more fight in order to remain eligible for a crack at the WBC belt.
A compromise offered by the WBC in approving an Alvarez voluntary defense—which will likely come versus former IBF beltholder David Lemieux, as both are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions—was to have Charlo and Golovkin meet in a final eliminator, with the winners to be ordered to a straight-away championship clash.
The latter proposal was the WBC’s counteroffer to a protest filed by Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler in hopes of securing an immediate return go versus Alvarez. The basis of the complaint stemmed from what their side deems as controversial scoring, as the majority of viewers saw the rematch as either a draw or a close win for Alvarez.
While Golovkin’s team has gained sympathy from the media over the manner in which his record-tying title reign ended, there remained little chance of it serving as sufficient grounds to field such a protest. Far greater controversy stemmed from their first fight, in which most viewers saw Golovkin as a clear winner only to have to settle for a controversial draw.
That said, the WBC did provisionally approve an immediate rematch on the supporting conditions of Alvarez not taking a voluntary fight and a Charlo-Golovkin clash failing to materialize.
Confused? You’re not alone.
What has yet to be clarified is the terms that would satisfy a Charlo-Golovkin clash not taking place—specifically which side would have to not accept in order for the WBC to grant Golovkin a clear path to a third fight.
For the moment, Charlo is keen on a bout with either Alvarez or Golovkin, and for good reason. Each represent by far the most lucrative options in and around the middleweight division. However, he’s also rumored to return to the ring in December, either on the preliminary portion of the December 1 Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury or as part of the first show under the restructured Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox primetime boxing series.
Golovkin will likely not fight again in 2018, and even if so it won’t come on either of those two cards. Nor is it clear which network would house his next ring appearance. The former unified titlist—who made a divisional record-tying 20 title defenses of at least one alphabet title before being dethroned by Alvarez in September—has served as a staple of HBO’s boxing series since his stateside debut in 2012.
That will obviously not be the next case for his or Alvarez’ next fight, as HBO announced in late September its intentions to cease live boxing coverage in 2019 and likely well beyond.
The announcement leaves Golovkin and Alvarez as the sport’s most high-profile network free agents. Several outlets—including Showtime (and functionally Fox, as both are tied to PBC), ESPN and new streaming kid on the (U.S.) block DAZN—are already prepared to aggressively bid for their services.
Charlo is aligned with Showtime and Fox, as is the case with all boxers under the PBC umbrella.
WBC Orders Golovkin to Face Charlo for Interim Title
By: Michael Kane
Any hopes that Gennady Golovkin had of an immediate rematch, to complete the trilogy, with Canelo Alvarez have been dashed.
The WBC announced today that GGG is to face Jermall Charlo (27-0 21 KO) with the winner to face Canelo.
Canelo will be allowed a voluntary defense this year.
Charlo, 28, the former IBF light middleweight champion has been waiting for his chance to take on one of the two big guns in the division and finally gets an opportunity.
Charlo won the interim title last time out when he defeated the then undefeated Hugo Centeno Jr in two rounds.
Golovkin who felt hard done by the results in the two matches with Canelo may decide this is the best route back for the trilogy opportunity, with Canelo expected to fight again later this year against an as yet unnamed opponent.
With the news that HBO has left the boxing business, GGG and other HBO tied up fighters can now make deals with different TV companies which could make deals easier to make, especially with Charlo signed to Showtime.
Super Fly 2 Is Highlight of HBO’s Thin Schedule
By: Bryant Romero
The Super Fly 2 card which takes places this Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California is so far the highlight of HBO’s so far thin schedule. The card will feature 2 world title fights and a matchup between top contenders in the super flyweight division as part of a triple header on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” telecast. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) is the main event headliner as he will put his WBC super flyweight strap on the line against former two-belt flyweight champ Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) in a mandatory title defense.
The main event is a can’t miss fight between two top operators in the Super Flyweight division that is not a foregone conclusion on who will win, which has been norm so far in the HBO boxing 2018 schedule. The fans are genuinely interested and looking forward to the event as once again people from across the country and all over the globe will be flying in for this show.
It’s ironic that a card featuring some of the smallest fighters in the world is the can’t miss event of the year so far on HBO. There was a time when the network hardly ever showcased fighters south of 118 pounds. But former pound-for-pound King Roman Gonzalez paved the way for the smaller fighters to showcase their skills on a premium network in the U.S. And with the success of the previous Super Fly card at the Stubhub Center that also featured quality matchups, promoter Tom Loeffler has no doubt that Super Fly 2 will leave a greater mark on TV, which will mean even more cards in the future featuring the smaller weight classes on HBO’s airwaves.
The times though have certainly changed as HBO boxing is no longer the 800 pound gorilla in the industry and now no longer considered as the best premium platform to watch boxing. Showtime has been giving them a run for their money over the past year and it remains to be seen if HBO can continue to produce quality matchups on a more consistent basis on their flagship network and not matchups that the public will have to pay extra on PPV.
Also on the Super Fly 2 card, three-weight champion Donnie Nietes (40-1-4, 22 KOs) will be opening the “Boxing After Dark” telecast when he defends his IBF flyweight title against mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Reveco (39-3, 19 KOs) and the middle bout will feature the return of former champion Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) in a crossroads bout with the hard hitting McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs) in a ten round bout.
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.
More Boxing History
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.”
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.
2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields Wins World Titles
By: Ken Hissner
At the MGM Grand in Detroit, MI, Friday night Salita Promotions, MGM Grand and ShoBox headlined with 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields winning both the WBC World Female and IBF Female Super middleweight titles!
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing
In the Main Event the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, 4-0 (2), of Flint, MI, stopped the WBC World Female Super Middleweight champion Nikki Adler, 16-1 (9), of Augusburg, Bayem, Germany taking her title and the vacant IBF title at 1:34 of the fifth round of a lopsided fight.
In the opening round Shields landed the first punch a left uppercut to the chin of Adler. Halfway through the round a Shields right hand to the chin buckled the knees of Adler. A miss from a right hand by Adler was countered by a right to the chin from Shields. Already there were marks on the face of Adler. It was a big round for Shields. In the second round Shields went head hunting pounding the head of Adler who had no answer for this. A left hook from Shields to the head of Adler drove her into the ropes and could have been called a knockdown from referee Michael Griffin. It could have been a 10-8 round for Shields. That is how lopsided it was in favor of Shields. In the third round Shields came out on the attack once again as Adler stayed in the pocket with hands held high. Shields got through the defense of Adler with a pair of rights to the head making Adler hold on. As the bell sounded Shields was all over Adler.
In the fourth round Shields finally went to the body with lead rights followed by left hooks to the head of Adler who seems overwhelmed. A right hand lead miss by Adler was countered by a right from Shields to the head of Adler. Shields landed three body shots just prior to the bell. In the fifth round a 3-punch combination from Shields to the head of Adler had her stunned. With a minute left Shields started showboating with hands to her side. A left hook from Shields rocked Adler and Shields followed up with a combination to the head of Adler forcing referee Griffin to step in and stop the mismatch.
“Oh man that was crazy. It’s clear I am happy and blessed having trained for a hard fight and not a war. (Asked to compare this win to her Olympic Gold Medals) I’m more happier now than winning in the Olympics here among my friends,” said Shields. Also in the ring was WBO and WBC World Female middleweight champion Christina Hammer, 21-0 (9), born in KAZ now living in Germany with both talking about a meeting in 2018.
In the co-feature making his US debut southpaw Super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov, 16-1 (9), of St. Petersburg, Russia, lost for the first time in his career to southpaw Jesse Angel “The One” Hernandez, 9-1 (7), of Ft. Worth, TX, at 2:25 of the fifth round.
In the opening round Hernandez switched from southpaw to orthodox and back to southpaw as he pressured southpaw Tikhonov who boxed well in a close round. In the second round Tikhonov was landing more punches but Hernandez the stronger punches. Hernandez landed lead rights to the chin of Tikhonov on several occasions out of the orthodox style. It was a good round for Hernandez. In the third round Hernandez made Tikhonov mix it up by pressuring him. Halfway through the round Hernandez landed a right to the chin that knocked Tikhonov off balance as he was going backwards. Tikhonov came in and clashed heads with Hernandez and pushed him back. Hernandez ended the round with a right hand on the side of Tikhonov’s head knocking him halfway through the ropes as the bell sounded.
In the fourth round Tikhonov landed a hard right hook to the head of Hernandez but Hernandez came back strong rocking Tikhonov with combinations. Tikhonov pushed Hernandez off when he was inside.
In the fifth round Tikhonov butted Hernandez purposely and brought a warning from referee Ansel Stewart. Hernandez came back with much pressure driving Tikonov back again and again. When a left hook from Hernandez knocked the head of Stewart back referee Stewart waved it off to prevent Tikonov from suffering anymore punishment.
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.
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.
Chayaphon Moonsri goes to 47-0 defeating Omari Kimweri!
Chayaphon Moonsri goes to 47-0 defeating Omari Kimweri!
By: Ken Hissner
WBC Minimumweight champion Chayaphon Moonsri, of Thailand, improved his record to 47-0 (17), defeating No. 4 contender Omari “Lion Boy” Kimweri, 16-4 (6), from Tanzania fighting out of Australia over 12 rounds.
Moonsri received a cut on his left eye lid in the first round which referee Bruce McTavish deducted a point from Kimweri. It was the seventh title defense for the champion and the second in 2017 along with a non-title win. 17 of his 47 wins were against opponents without winning records.
Scores were 117-110 and 118-109 twice. The bout was on June 3rd at the Provincial Stadium, Rayong, Thailand.
Moonsri continues to approach the 49-0 record held by Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Showtime World Championship Results: Adonis Stevenson Blitzes Past Fonfara, Alvarez Defeats Pascal
Showtime World Championship Results: Adonis Stevenson Blitzes Past Fonfara, Alvarez Defeats Pascal
By: William Holmes
Reigning WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal fought again in the familiar confines of the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada as he defended his title against an opponent he had difficulty with before, Polish light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara.
The opening bout of the evening was between former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1) and the undefeated prospect Eleider Alvarez (22-0). Despite Pascal’s recent losses, he still remains a popular boxer in Canada.
Alvarez, the taller fighter, took the center of the ring in the opening round and was sharp with his jab and the more aggressive boxer early. Pascal rallied late in the first round with some good shots to the body and may have stolen that round.
Alvarez’s straight right hand forced Pascal to clinch in the second round and was able to land some hard uppercuts. His aggressiveness continued into the third round which featured a fierce exchange between both boxers as the round ended.
Pascal was warned for punching after the break in the fourth round as Alvarez’s sharp jab was forcing Pascal to hold on often. Alvarez’s jab continued to be effective in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds and were noticeable effecting Jean Pascal.
Pascal was able to land some good flurries in the eighth round including two right hooks to the temple and a double left hook. But Alvarez retook control in the ninth round and landed two head snapping right uppercuts that had Pascal hurt.
Pascal may have stolen the tenth and eleventh rounds with late flurries near the end of the rounds, but in the final round Alvarez looked like the fresher fighter and was able to close out the bout strong.
The final scores were 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112 for Eleider Alvarez.
The main event of the night was between WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson (28-1) and Andrzej Fonfara (29-4).
Fonfara started off aggressively and was coming at Stevenson with his jab, but his momentum was short lived. Stevenson landed his straight left and followed it up with a clubbing straight left that sent Fonfara down to the mat. Fonfara was able to get back to his feet, but Stevenson swarmed on Fonfara and landed several hard straight left hands that had Fonfara hurt. Stevenson was unloading on Fonfara by the corner as the opening round came to an end.
Stevenson landed several hard straight left hands to open up the second round and he had Fonfara backing up and not throwing many punches back towards Stevenson’s way. Virgil Hunter then stepped on the apron to stop the fight before his boxer would take any additional damage.
Adonis Stevenson destroys Andrzej Fonfara by TKO at 0:28 of the second round.