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Media Workout Notes & Quotes: Lomachenko and Linares Hit the Streets of NYC


Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares took their talents to the streets of Manhattan on Wednesday, as they participated in an open workout on the corner of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue, just outside Madison Square Garden.

Lomachenko, a two-weight world champion, is looking to conquer a third weight class when he challenges WBA/Ring Magazine lightweight champion Jorge Linares on Saturday at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Linares vs. Lomachenko headlines an evening of world-class action, as welterweight contender Carlos Adames will take on savvy veteran Alejandro Barrera in the 10-round co-feature.

Appearing on the undercard will be Irish sensation Michael Conlan in an eight-round featherweight bout against once-beaten Ibon Larrinaga, 2016 U.S. Olympian Mikaela Mayer in a six-round lightweight contest against Baby Nansen, and Brooklyn native Teofimo Lopez against Vitor Freitas in an eight-round lightweight bout.

This is what the fighters had to say.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Jorge Linares

“I am hungry to win and to continue with my reign as world champion. This is a high-level fight and a very important one for my career because I am going to prove that Lomachenko is not an invincible fighter. We will see what he is really made of when he faces me this Saturday. I believe in myself and I know that I will come out with the victory. I am here to win. I did not come here to quit.”


(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Vasiliy Lomachenko

“I want to put my name in the history of boxing, and this is one of the steps I have to take, to fight in different weight classes, different titles. That’s what will put my name in the history of boxing.”

“I don’t know what Linares will bring. After the fight, I can compare him with Rigondeaux.”

“I already proved where I am, and I plan on being at the top of the sport for a very long time. I do not plan on slowing down.”

“Linares is one of the best fighters in his weight class. I don’t think it’s going to be easy work.”

Carlos Adames

“This Saturday, the fans will all talk about ‘Caballo Bronco’. This will be the first step towards a world championship opportunity and also the first step on my way to becoming the new face of boxing in the Dominican Republic. I have the talent, the mentality and the dedication to represent my country with dignity. That’s why I’m going to give my best and leave everything in the ring to give the fans a good show”

Mikaela Mayer

“I love that Top Rank is putting me on big cards and exposing women’s boxing a bigger audience. There’s definitely an increased interest in women’s boxing, and I am proud to be part of that.”

“Do I want a knockout? Of course. I want the fans to see that women can be in exciting fights and score knockouts.”

“If Nansen wants to come at me, I’m going to be ready for it. I’m ready for anything.”

Michael Conlan

“Madison Square Garden is my home away from home, and I can’t wait to put on a great show for the New York fans. This is going to be a great night of boxing.”

Teofimo Lopez

“This is my third time fighting at Madison Square Garden, and we know what happened last time I fought here. I knocked out the guy {Ronald Rivas} with one shot. One left hook, and he was out.”

“I believe in my God-given talent. Shout out to New York City. I’m from Brooklyn, and I look forward to showing up and feeling the love from my hometown fans.”

“Big things are coming. I love big cards like this. The more people I see out there, the more pumped up I get. Look out for the knockout because it’s coming.

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Linares vs. Lomachenko and Adames vs. Barrera will be televised live and exclusively at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available through the ESPN App, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy Promotions, Teiken Promotions, and Madison Square Garden, tickets for the Linares vs. Lomachenko world championship card are ON SALE NOW. Priced at $506, $406, $306, $206, $106, and $56, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at MSG.com.

Use the hashtag #LinaresLoma to join the conversation on social media.

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Horn To Possibly Face Crawford in New York; Pacquiao Rumored to be on Card


By: Sean Crose

Although nothing has been made official yet, indications point to WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn facing his mandatory challenger, Terence Crawford, at the historic Madison Square Garden in the spring. What’s more, Manny Pacquiao may be making his ring return (it will be his first fight since losing to Horn via controversial decision last summer) on the same card. Fox Sports Australia reports that “Horn’s welterweight world title defense against unbeaten American Crawford is likely to be officially confirmed soon, but it won’t happen in Las Vegas as first planned.” What’s more, Fox claims “Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has revealed he’s looking to book Pacquiao’s much-anticipated return to the ring on the same card.”

Horn (18-0-1) stunned the world when judges awarded him a surprise decision win against Pacquiao in July. Although many – perhaps even most – felt Pacquiao won the fight, the judges’ decision, rendered in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, made the now 29 year old Australian a world champion. Pacquiao afterwards returned to Filipino politics, where the iconic fighter works as a sitting senator. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Crawford (32-0) unified the junior welterweight division by destroying the 22-0 Julian Indongo in August before announcing that he’d be moving a division up, to welterweight.

There had been word that Horn would face fellow Australian 48-8 Anthony Mundine in a homeland superbout, but a match with the more challenging Crawford clearly took precedent. Having won a single defense against 17-1 Gary Cochoran since besting Pacquiao, Horn will be fighting in the United States for the first time, if and when the bout with Crawford (and it’s New York City location) becomes official. Should the planned MSG fight become a reality, it will be Crawford’s third match in the Big Apple. As for Pacquiao, it’s unknown who his opponent would be.

There have been rumors that the fighter known as PacMan was willing to go down in weight to fight wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko, or even cash in on a novelty bout with UFC star Conor McGregor. Neither of those possibilities (if they even were true possibilities) appear to have led anywhere, however, so it’s a bit up in the air as to who the legendary 59-7-2 multi-titlist will face next. With Crawford favored to best Horn, however, there is a belief that Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Crawford, might arrange for the two men to eventually clash.

The Madison Square Garden Horn-Crawford-Pacquiao card is expected to go down on April 14th.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia, Jermall Charlo vs. Jorge Heiland


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Showtime and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will present one of the best boxing matches during the month of August as Adrien Broner takes on Mikey Garcia in the junior welterweight division. Jermall Charlo will also be making his debut in the middleweight division as he bumps a weight class to take on Jorge Sebastian Heiland.

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The undercard is also stacked and featured several entertaining fights and high level prospects. Jarrell Miller will face Gerald Washington in a matchup featuring two top ranked heavyweights. Katie Taylor and Rau’shee Warren are two former Olympians that will also be competing on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the televised portion of the bouts that Showtime will be televising live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Jermall Charlo (25-0) vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2); Middleweights

Jermall Charlo is dropping his junior middleweight title to bump up to his brother’s division and chase a world title there. He’s younger than his brother by one minute but they hope to hold titles in the same division as the same time.

Charlo is twenty seven years old and younger than his Argentinean opponent by three years. He’s from Houston, Texas and has been relatively active in the past two years. He fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2017. He stands at 6’0”, but has a pretty good reach of 73 ½”. Heiland has fought once in 2017, twice in 2016, and once in 2015.

Heiland is a southpaw and has four losses on his record. He doesn’t have the power of Charlo and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Charlo has stopped nineteen boxers.

Despite his four losses Heiland has been boxing well recently. He is currently riding an 8 win fight streak. Neither boxer has any notable amateur titles.

Charlo’s most impressive victory was in his last bout when he defeated Philadelphia native Julian Williams by knockout. His other notable victories include Austin Trout, Winky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.

Heiland’s only notable victory was a knockout over Matthew Macklin before Macklin retired. He has losses to Mateo Damian Veron, Billi Godoy, Nilson Tapia, and Sebastian Zbik.

Even though Charlo is bumping up a weight division, he’s facing an opponent that is not on his skill level. It’s a good first fight to feel out the middleweight division for Charlo.

Adrien Broner (33-2) vs. Mikey Garcia (36-0); Junior Welterweights

Adrien Broner has been in the news a lot recently, but not for boxing. He’s had a few run ins with the law, including an arrest in April of 2017 when the SUV he was driving was found to have bullet holes in it. Broner claimed at the time that his vehicle was shot at.

Broner is a boxer with amazing talents, but the outside issues could be a distraction and he’s facing an elite level talent.

Broner and Garcia are similar in age, with Broner being 28 years old and Garcia being 29. They are also similar in size and height. They are the same height and stand in at 5’6”. Garcia will have a slight reach advantage of one inch.

Neither boxer has been very active in the past two years fighting under the PBC banner. Broner only fought once in 2017 and 2016, but did fight three times in 2015. Garcia only fought once in 2017 and 2016, and did not fight in 2015 and most of 2014 due to contract issues with Top Rank Promotions.

Broner has defeated the likes of Adrian Granados, Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio Demarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Eloy Perez. His losses were to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana.

Garcia’s inactivity has cost him some possible big name matchups, but he still has a good list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dejan Zlaticanin, Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros.

Both boxers experienced some success on the national level as an amateur. Broner as a National Silver Gloves Champion and Garcia was a US Pal Gold Medalist and a US Junior Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.

Garcia’s inactivity and recent wins against subpar competition would normally big a cause of concern when facing a highly skilled opponent like Adrien Broner, but Broner’s recent run ins with the law and his two losses against top level opponents is a bigger concern.

This writer wouldn’t be shocked if Broner emerges victorious, but the edge has to go to Garcia.

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PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan


PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan

By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will return to the Fox network to broadcast a double header live from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island in Uniondale, New York.

Other bouts fighting on the undercard include boxers such as Artur Szpilka, Jamal James, Jo Jo Dan, Eliezer Aquino, and Brandon Figueroa.

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Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

The following is a preview of the two main bouts on the card.

Marcus Browne (19-0) vs. Seanie Monaghan (28-0); Light Heavyweights

This is an intriguing fight between two undefeated New York Light Heavyweights, and it’s a great fight to open up the televised portion of the card from Long Island, New York.

Monaghan, who was born in Long Beach, and Browne, who was born in Staten Island are familiar with each other and bring a local flair to this event.

Monaghan is undefeated, but aging, and is currently thirty five years old. A win against Browne could catapult him to a future title fight, but a loss will likely end any hopes he has of becoming a world champ. Browne is twenty six and nine years younger than Monaghan. He also has about a two and a half inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage on Monaghan.

Monaghan has some success on the local amateur circuit and lost in the finals of the 2009 New York Golden Gloves. Marcus Browne experienced success on the national level and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was also the 2010 Amateur PAL Champion.

Monaghan fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015. Brown fought once in 2017 and once in 2016, and four times in 2015.

Monaghan is signed to Top Rank Promotions, but has yet to face and defeat a big name opponent. His biggest wins to date have come against Donovan George, Elvir Muriqi, and Anthony Caputo Smith.

Browne has been facing an increasing level of opposition as he’s advanced as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Radivoje Kalajddzic, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and George Blades.

Browne and Monaghan are about equal in power. Browne has stopped fourteen of his opponents while Monaghan has stopped seventeen.

There should be a large number of fans in attendance to watch this bout between two native New Yorkers, but Browne’s physical advantages, age advantage, and amateur pedigree indicates that he should walk away the victor on Saturday night.

Omar Figueroa (26-0-1) vs. Robert Guerrero (33-5-1); Welterweights

Robert Guerrero’s career has taking a sharp downturn since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’s 2-4 in his last six fights and seems far removed from sniffing another world title shot.

He’s facing Omar Figueroa, an undefeated boxer seven years his junior. But Figueroa has been relatively inactive, he hasn’t fought since 2015 and has experienced issues with his hands recently.

Guerrero will have about an inch and a half height advantage but Figueroa will have a two inch reach advantage. Both boxers have eighteen stoppages to their record.

Guerrero has the better amateur accomplishments; he won a gold medal in the National Junior Olympics. Figueroa competed briefly as an amateur but turned pro at a young age.

Guerrero has defeated some good opponents, and they include Yoshihiro Kamegai, Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin, Michael Katsidis, Joel Casamayor, and Jason Litzau. However, Guerrero has had a rough stretch recently and has lost to many of the top welterweights in the world. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and a loss he later avenged to Gamaliel Diaz.

Most concerning for Guerrero is the fact he lost his last bout to an Argentinean cab driver by the name of David Peralta and he escaped with a lucky decision over Aaron Martinez.

Figueroa has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division but holds victories over notable boxers such as Michael Perez, Abner Cotto, Nihito Arakawa, Jerry Belmontes, Ricky Burns, and Antonio DeMarco.

This is a bout between a boxer who’s career has been on a steady decline and a boxer with a bright future. Guerrero’s recent performances have been disappointing and it’s hard to imagine him turning his career around against a young hungry fighter at the age of thirty four.

If Figueroa’s hands aren’t injured he should be able to defeat Guerrero.

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Jarrett “Swift” Hurd’s First Title Defense is a Serious Challenge


Jarrett “Swift” Hurd’s First Title Defense is a Serious Challenge
By Eric Lunger

There is a perception in boxing today that too many fighters, when they finally reach that goal of grabbing their first belt, spend too much time resting on their laurels, maybe trying to maximize their earning power by dusting a few weak challengers. And who can blame them, really? Success in boxing requires years of sacrifice and rigorous training, so once a fighter reaches the top, there is no hurry to risk that coveted position.

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So big respect to Jarrett “Swift” Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), who has set his first title defense against Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs). Hurd, who proudly hails from Accokeek, Maryland, won the IBF super welterweight belt last February in a tactical and very professional stoppage of well-regarded veteran Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs). Although it was Hurd’s first title fight, he approached the bout methodically and patiently, doing some serious bodywork with his left hook and waiting for an opening. Hurd was also surprisingly versatile in this bout, working behind the jab from range but also comfortable and effective on the inside. Hurd is classically trained, so to speak, and takes pride in being able to display all aspects of the craft.

Austin Trout, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, is a serious threat. He has a long professional resume — he fought Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, and Canelo Alvarez back to back — and he brings a tricky, southpaw style into the ring. Trout has a full professional tool kit and enough experience to make adjustments during the fight. His last bout, against rising star Jermall Charlo, was a close unanimous decision loss (116-112, 115-113, 116-112). While making no excuses, Trout was bitterly disappointed with his loss to Charlo, and the Hurd fight might be his last chance to regain a top spot in the division.

As I see it, Hurd still has some defensive issues that Trout may be able to exploit, while Trout is vulnerable to a short right counter when he fights on his front foot. This bout may hinge on ring IQ and ring adjustment — which fighter will be able to solve his opponent first?

This will be an exciting card, also featuringMikey Garcia vs. Adrian Broner. Garcia, a multiple division champ, is moving up to 140 lbs. Having put his legal issues behind him, Garcia destroyed an overmatched Dejan Zlaticanin in a scary knockout in January, and he is looking to make up lost time. Technically proficient, Garcia sits down on his punches, generates real power, and has a mean streak when he steps between the ropes. No disrespect to Broner, who is a warrior in the ring whatever problems he may have away from boxing, but I think Garcia will clean out most of the division, setting up a potential super-fight showdown with Terence Crawford.

Showtime is broadcasting the fight on July 29th and it looks like the card will land at Barkley’s Center in Brooklyn, a fantastic venue for boxing.

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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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PBC on Showtime Preview: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley


PBC on Showtime Preview: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York Showtime will televise at least two bouts in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The main event will be between two top contenders, Shawn “Showtime” Porter and Andre Berto in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The co-main event will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley.

Other boxers on the undercard include WBO Women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Serrano, Jose Miguel Borrego, Julian Sosa, and Richardson Hitchins.

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The following is a preview of the Porter vs. Berto and Charlo vs. Hatley bouts.

Jermell Charlo (28-0) vs. Charles Hatley (26-1-1); WBC Junior Middleweight Title

This bout is between two boxers who should be somewhat familiar with each other, Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley. Charlo and Hatley are both Texas natives and Charlo hails from Houston while Hatley hails from Dallas.

Charlo, the younger twin brother of Jermall, will be five years younger than Hatley and will have about a one inch height and reach advantage. Hatley, however, appears to be the harder puncher of the two. Hatley has stopped eighteen of his opponents and four of his past five wins have come by TKO. Charlo has only stopped thirteen of his opponents and only two of his past five opponents were stopped.

Both boxers have not been very active recently. Charlo only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, while Hatley did not fight in all of 2016 and fought twice in 2015.

They both had decent amateur careers, but Hatley was the more accomplished amateur. Hatley was the 2007 US National Amateur Welterweight Champion and the 2008 Olympic alternate. Charlo won the bronze medal in the 2005 Junior Olympics.

Charlo has the better resume as a professional. He has beaten the likes of John Jackson, Joachim Alcine, Vanes Martirosyan, Mario Lozano, Charles Bellamy, Gabriel Rosado, Demetrius Hopkins, and Harry Joe Yorgey. Hatley has beaten the likes of Emmanuel Augustus, Anthony Mundine, Saul Roman, and Jose Flores. His lone loss was to Lanardo Tyner, and he failed to go the distance in that bout.

At the age of thirty one and not having fought in over a year, ring rust is a serious concern for Hatley. Charlo is coming off a very good win against Jackson and momentum and age is on his side.

This should be a close bout early, but Charlo should take over in the later rounds.

Shawn Porter (26-2-1) vs. Andre Berto (31-4); WBC Welterweight Eliminator

This is a bout between two of the top contenders in the welterweight division that are looking for another chance at a welterweight title shot. Another loss for either boxer could spell the end of any hope of fighting for a title in the near future.
Both Porter and Berto had successful amateur careers. Porter was a World Golden Gloves Champion and came up short in qualifying for the 2008 US Olympic Team. Berto was a National Golden Gloves Champion, a bronze medalist in the 2003 World Championships, and represented Haiti in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Both boxers have had some difficulties as of late. Berto has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts while Porter has gone 4-2. Porter has losses to the likes of Keith Thurman and Kell Brook by close decisions. Berto has lost to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz, and Jesus Soto Karass.

Berto appears to have the harder punch of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, Porter is five years younger than Berto and will have a half an inch height advantage and about an inch reach advantage.

Neither boxer has been very active the past two years. They both fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Berto’s career started off strong but has since fizzled a little bit. He has wins over Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo and Freddy Hernandez.

Porter’s two losses could have gone either way, and he has defeated the likes of Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.

This should be a good bout and as typical for most Shawn Porter fights, will likely be very rough and chippy. Porter should be given the edge based on his edge and recent performance, but Berto has the power to stop the fight early if he lands a punch cleanly.

This writer believes Porter will win a close, and at times ugly, decision.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Wilder, LaManna, Rabii, Spadafora, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Wilder, LaManna, Rabii, Spadafora, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 20th to December 27th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

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Deontay Wilder’s Next Fight Set for February 25th

Deontay Wilder’s next fight has been reportedly set for February 25th against Andrzej Wawrzyk. The Tuscaloosa Times reported that this fight will take place in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wawrzyk lone loss on his record came at the hands of Alexander Povetkin three years ago, but he has since won six straight fights. Wilder is coming off a half a year layoff from multiple surgeries to repair his broken hand and torn biceps.

Read more at http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/sports/20161220/wilder-to-fight-next-bout-in-birmingham

Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna Returns to Action on Saturday, January 28th

Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will return to the ring in an eight-round junior middleweight bout on Saturday night, January 28th at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.

The bout will headline a card promoted by Rising Promotions.

LaManna of Millville, New Jersey has a record of 21-2 with nine knockouts.

The 25 year-old is coming off a defeat to undefeated Dusty Hernandez Harrison in a thrilling bout that took place on September 15th in Philadelphia.

In that bout, LaManna fought a good fight and had solid moments throughout the hotly contested bout that was for the USBA Welterweight title.

LaManna is moving back up to the 154 pound division where LaManna is undefeated (7-0 between 148-154 pounds) in the division for which he turned professional in 2011.

LaManna won his first 16 bouts, where enjoyed wins over Ashanti Gibbs and Jamaal Davis.

After suffering his first professional defeat to undefeated middleweight prospect Antoine Douglas, LaManna ripped off five consecutive victories that was highlighted by by a 4th round stoppage over Kendal Mena (20-3)

“I’m excited to be getting back in the ring at The Claridge! It’s like my adopted home in Atlantic City and the whole staff over there have been nothing but great to me and my Rising Star Promotions crew,” said LaManna. “My last fight with Dusty was a rough one for me, I feel I was robbed of a decision win or at least a draw. I took some time off, enjoyed time with family and friends but I’ve been training for the passed 2 months and camp has been going really well.”

“This is my second fight with new trainer Ray McCline and we expect to put on a show come January 28th.”

“I’m looking for big fights in 2017, possibly another title fight and TV exposure but my main focus is on January 28th.”

In the six-round-co feature, light heavyweight Chuck Mussachio (19-3-2, 5 KO’s) of Wildwood, New Jersey will fight Michael Mitchell (3-7-2, 1 KO) of Paterson, New Jersey.

Mitchell has faced terrific competition and has only been stopped once, and has fought four undefeated fighters.

Also scheduled to appear in a six-round bout will be:

Junior Welterweight John Bauza (5-0, 2 KO’s) of North Bergen, NJ & super middleweight Gabriel Pham (6-1, 2 KO’s) of Pleasantville, NJ.

In four-round bouts:

Ernesto Perez of Vineland, NJ will make his pro debut against Courtney McCleave (2-5, 1 KO) of Concord, North Carolina in a junior middleweight bout.

Jamil Simmons of Pleasantville, NJ will make his pro debut against Tomas Romain (0-1) of Brooklyn, NY in a lightweight bout.

Also scheduled to compete in four-round bouts will be heavyweight Quian Davis (4-0-2) of Mays Landing, NJ; junior welterweight Bryne Green (7-9-1, 3 KO’s) of Paulsboro, NJ; junior welterweight Dan Murray (1-0) of Lanoka, NJ; welterweight Yurik Mamedov (3-0, 1 KO) of Brooklyn, NY & bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-0) of Atlantic City.

Decorated Amateur Boxer Mohammed Rabii to Make Pro Debut February 18th

Moroccan amateur boxing sensation Mohammed Rabii will make his long anticipated professional debut February 18, fighting at home in Casablanca, at the Complexe de Sportif Mohammed V Arena.

The 23-year-old Rabii represented Morocco at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil, where he captured a bronze medal in the welterweight division, losing a disputed decision (0-3) in the semifinals to Uzebek boxer Shakhram Giyasov, who then lost (0-3) in the championship final to Daniyar Yeleussinov. Rabii had defeated Yeleussinov, of Kazakhstan, in the gold-medal championship bout of the AIBA World Amateur Championships. An average of 6 million Moroccans viewed each of Rabbi’s Olympic matches, providing testimony to his celebrity status back home.

A gifted orthodox fighter, Rabii was the past World Series of Boxing Fighter of the Year, who signed an exclusive, multi-year managerial contract last October with Nowhere2Hyde Management, which is owned and operated by international manager Gary Hyde, of Cork, Ireland.

“We are delighted to have signed one of the best amateur boxers in the world,” Hyde said. “Mohammed has a great style with knockout power in both hands. He will kick-star his pro career in front of his adoring fans in Casablanca February 18th. He is a national hero, so, the plan is to take full advantage by building him up at home in Morocco.”

Two other boxers managed by Hyde, former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight Simpiwe Vetyeka and middleweight Gevorg Khatchikian, will fight in the main event and co-feature, respectively, against opponents to be determined.

Vetyeka (29-3, 17 KOs), fighting out of South Africa, is currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA. The only two pro losses for Khatchikian (24-2, 12 KOs), a Netherlander, have been to present super middleweight world champions James Degale (IBF) and Gilberto Ramirez (WBO).

Tickets are now on sale for the Feb. 18 show in Casablanca, in which Rabii will be supported by three other Moroccan fighters.

Paul Spadafora in Trouble with the Law

Paul Spadafora is in jail for allegedly stabbing his brother in the thigh and then threatening officers who responded to the scene and hurling an object at them.

It is being reported that police had to respond with a stun gun and had to place a mask on his face in order to get Spadafora to stop spitting on them.

Spadafora was recently in trouble for allegedly attacking an older woman at a local bar and throwing her to the ground. Spadafora also served time in prison for shooting his girlfriend in 2003.

Read more at: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/18331623/boxer-paul-spadafora-stabbed-brother-fought-cops-according-police

IBF Flyweight World Champion John Riel Casimero to Relinquish Title and Campaign at Super Flyweight

Former IBF World Light Flyweight and current IBF Flyweight World Champion John Riel “Quadro Alas” Casimero and his team have made the decision to relinquish his title and campaign in the super flyweight division.

Casimero (23-3, 15 KOs), who stopped Englishman Charlie Edwards in 10 rounds last September at the O2 Arena in London, will now go gunning for the 115-lb division’s top dogs including IBF World Champion Jerwin Acajas and Nicaragua’s Román “Chocolatito” González.

26-year-old Casimero, from Cebu City, Philippines, says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to join the greats of Philippines boxing.

“To win my third title would be a great honor for me and put my name in with some of the best fighters my country has ever produced,” said Casimero. “I will be immediately looking to make an impact and fight the big fights that allow me the opportunity.

Casimero’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, says Casimero is more than ready for the move.
“He’s so strong and he keeps growing,” said Lewkowicz. “It is time for John Riel to move up and secure his place in Philippines boxing history. It is our hope to quickly face Acajas and Chocolatito next year. That is what we will work to make happen.”

New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017

The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by Ring 8, has announced its 15-member Class of 2017. The sixth annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), April 30, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.

“Once again, “said NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy, “we’re honoring New York’s finest in our sport. This is all about recognizing great fighters, as well as others involved in boxing, from the state of New York. We’re expecting another knockout night.”

Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include Manhattan welterweight Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega (131-39-6, 69 KOs), Yonkers’ world heavyweight title challenger Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes (39-8-1, 22 KOs), Yonkers middleweight Doug “Cobra’ Dewitt (33-8-5, 19 KOs), and “The Bronx Bomber,” world middleweight title challenger Alex Ramos (39-10-2, 24 KOs)

Posthumous participants being inducted are Queens’ former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Dick Tiger (60-19-3, 27 KOs), Brooklyn/Manhattan light heavyeight world champion Jose “Chegui” Torres (41-3-1, 29 KOs), and “The Nonpareil”, Williamsburg middleweight world champion Jack Dempsey (51-4-11, 23 KOs).

Non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are Queens’ International agent Don Majeski, Long Island matchmaker Ron Katz, Manhattan manager Stan Hoffman and past Ring 8 president/NYSAC judge Bobby Bartels.
Posthumous non-participant inductees are Brooklyn boxing historian Hank Kaplan, Long Island cut-man Al Gavin, Bronx referee Arthur Donovan and New York City columnist Dan Parker.

Each inductee will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his induction into the NYSBHOF.

The 2017 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair, Angelo Prospero and Neil Terens.

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GGG-Jacobs Set For March 18th…On PPV


GGG-Jacobs Set For March 18th…On PPV
By: Sean Crose

First, the good news. Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin will be facing middleweight powerhouse Daniel Jacobs next March 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York. This after negotiations which seemed to drag on forever. Indeed, the fight was originally supposed to occur this month, but – this being boxing – things moved at the pace of a snail going in reverse. To be sure, there were those who were starting to feel the match might not happen after all. Now, however, fans can breath a sigh of relief, for Golovkin is finally getting to face an opponent who could prove to be a challenge.

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The flip side of this shiny coin, of course, is that the bout is going to take place on pay per view. That’s right, pay per view. Make no mistake about it, GGG-Jacobs is a big fight, it’s a legitimate one, too. That, however, does not make a bout pay per view worthy. At least it didn’t used to. Today, however, all bets seem to be off. HBO, under whose banner the fight will take place, once put on the Tyson-Holmes heavyweight title fight free for subscribers. Those days are long gone. Today we are told the network has budget issues. Needless to say, fans are paying for it.

Or not.

For fans are actually turning away from pay per view these days…and it’s doubtful GGG-Jacobs is going to break that trend. Indeed, Golovkin’s last fight – a huge affair against Britain’s Kell Brook – was on HBO. So was the Kovalev-Hopkins fight of just a few years back. Subscribers and boxing nuts are having a hard time accepting the fact that HBO is now the place for tuneups and low level matches. The fact that HBO hasn’t been too open about it’s recent boxing issues hasn’t exactly endeared it to fans, either. There have even been whispers that HBO is getting out of the boxing business – though it’s easy to see that assertion as being something of a stretch.

One fight that fans will indeed be willing to see on pay per view is a potential GGG fight with Canelo Alvarez. That particular pairing seems to be coming next fall, provided neither man loses in the interval. Canelo may fight Julio Caesar Chavez junior in what would surely prove to be a cash cow. By taking on Jacobs, however, GGG is arguably facing the more daunting challenge. To be sure, some might go so far as to say Jacobs may prove to be more of a challenge for Golovkin than Canelo might be.

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The Questionable Career Path of Danny Garcia


The Questionable Career Path of Danny Garcia
By: William Holmes

On September 14th, 2014 Danny Garcia scored one of the biggest wins of his career when he defeated the hard hitting Argentinean Lucas Matthysse by decision to retain his WBA and WBC Super Lightweight World Championship.

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Garcia’s biggest win prior to this fight was a stunning knockout over a two loss Amir Khan. The sky was the limit for the Philadelphia prize fighter and many considered him to be the best boxer in the junior welterweight division and Philadelphia’s best world champion since Bernard Hopkins. His other big victories were over faded veterans such as Erik Morales and Zab Judah, but those types of fights were to be expected for a rising boxing superstar trying to establish a name for himself.

However, Garcia’s path to stardom has sputtered since that fight and the opportunities to grow his fan base have largely been ignored or have failed.

Garcia’s first fight after his win against Matthysse took place in Puerto Rico against Mauricio Herrera, an opponent with three losses that many felt Garcia should beat easily. It was thought that Garcia, a Philadelphia native with Puerto Rican decent, would gain more fans by fighting in Puerto Rico and winning impressively. Unfortunately for Garcia and his handlers, he looked lackluster in this bout and squeaked out a decision in a fight that many felt he lost. Herrera threw more punches, landed more punches, and landed them at a higher percentage than Garcia, but somehow still lost the decision.

Garcia failed to capitalize on the momentum from his major victory over Lucas Matthysse.

Five months after that bout Danny Garcia knocked out Rod Salka, a blown up lightweight that was one win removed from a loss against the unheralded Ricardo Alvarez, and who had two other losses to an aged Dorin Spivey and another unknown Guillermo Sanchez. Even though the knockout of Salka was highlight reel material, Garcia and his handlers are still mocked for selling that terrible mismatch to the public.

His next bout was against the always exciting Lamont Peterson in Brooklyn, New York. This was one of Garcia’s most exciting fights, but it was another fight that many felt he lost. Peterson came on strong at the end and looked like the fresher fighter, while Garcia’s face was badly bruised and swollen.

Garcia’s handlers had him fight in Brooklyn several times in order to build up his popularity with the Puerto Rican fan base that resided there, and he was beginning to develop a large following in Brooklyn. But Garcia heard a sound that was foreign to him in Brooklyn when the scorecards were read in his favor after his bout with Peterson…

Danny Garcia heard boos from the Brooklyn crowd.

Garcia had a plethora of good fights that could have been made in the junior welterweight division after his questionable win over Peterson. Adrien Broner also fought for Premier Boxing Champions and would have been a good choice as an opponent. Cross promotional foes such as Terence Crawford or even Timothy Bradley would have made fight fans salivate at thoughts of that matchup.

Even the legendary Manny Pacquiao was brought up by many in boxing circles as a possible future foe for Danny Garcia.

Instead, Garcia chose to fight a six loss Paulie Malignaggi, an excellent talker and great boxing commentator, but he was coming off of a devastating TKO loss to Shawn Porter. Garcia won that bout, but it did nothing to elevate his career.

Even though good options remained for Danny Garcia at the junior welterweight division, he bumped up in weight and took on Robert Guerrero, a man that previously held a featherweight title and had only won two of his previous four fights. One of those wins included a split decision victory over the unheralded Aaron Martinez in a bout that many thought he lost.

Garcia won the fight with Guerrero, but Guerrero went on to lose his next bout to David Peralta, a boxer who’s full time job was that of a cab driver in Argentina.

But despite all of these missteps and uninspiring victories by Danny Garcia, his biggest misstep was announced this week.

Danny Garcia, despite being a WBC Welterweight World Champion, will take part in a tune up fight against Samuel Vargas.

Who’s Samuel Vargas? That’s a good question, because he’s not well known. He played the role of punching bag to Errol Spence Jr. in April of 2015. The same Errol Spence that Danny Garcia said wasn’t ready for him, because Errol Spence had to prove himself to get big names in the ring.

Samuel Vargas’ other loss was to Pablo Munguia. Pablo Munguia has lost six of his past seven bouts, and has been stopped in over half of his eleven losses.

Samuel Vargas has done nothing to prove he belongs in the ring with Danny Garcia.

What’s even more outrageous about this fight is its timing. Boxing is struggling to find and grow new fans, and this is evident in the noticeable decrease in number of boxing gyms nationwide and the lack of boxing on US television in the month of October.

Danny Garcia is a Philadelphia fighter, and Philadelphia is a major player in the sport of boxing. Garcia has not fought in Philadelphia since 2010, and at first glance one would think that letting Garcia fight in front of his home town is a good idea.

Except for there’s another Philadelphia fighter fighting on November 12th, and he holds the UFC Lightweight Title. He’s also fighting the world’s most popular MMA fighter in Connor McGregor, for the first UFC card ever in the media capital of the world, New York City.

There’s no overlap of fans in boxing and MMA amongst the older generations, but you’d be foolish to think an overlap doesn’t exist in the coveted younger demographics. Fight fans under the age of thirty five that live in Philadelphia would pay attention to Danny Garcia fighting in their city on most nights, but not on a night that Eddie Alvarez is fighting McGregor.

You’d also be foolish to think the Philadelphia media won’t cover a local native like Eddie Alvarez taking on the biggest name in the UFC over a bout between Danny Garcia and an unknown in boxing like Samuel Vargas.

That fact alone, defeats the purpose of having Danny Garcia fight in his hometown.

I’m sure the promoters will stack the card with local fighters in an effort to get the local gyms to pack the Liacouras Center at Temple University to make it seem like it’s a triumphant homecoming for Danny Garcia.

But the majority of fight fans in Philadelphia will have their eyes on New York.

Win or lose, this fight for Danny Garcia is already a failure, and just another questionable decision in Danny Garcia’s career.

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GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December


GGG-Jacobs? It May Just Happen This December
By: Sean Crose

“I understand my situation,” Gennady Golovkin told me some time ago, before his match with Daniel Geale. Since then, the man has become less patient, and with good reason. Still, it seems like now a big name middleweight will finally be willing to get in the ring with the feared GGG. For word is out that Golovkin may get it on with Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs, a hard hitting, exciting slugger who holds the WBA middleweight world title (Golovkin is WBAs super world middleweight champion, but let’s not get hung up on the silly details) this December.

Feb. 16, 2016 , Los Angeles,Ca. ---  Boxing Superstar and Unified World Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG”Golovkin, 34-0 (31KO’s) and Undefeated Mandatory Challenger Dominic “Lights Out” Wade, 18-0 (12KO’s) and their teams will take part in the UNDEFEATED Cross-Country Press Tour to formally announce their showdown set for Saturday,April 23 at the Fabulous Forum.     Joining Golovkin and Wade at the Los Angeles PressConference will be Consensus #1 Pound-For-Pound Fighter and WBC Flyweight WorldChampion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 44-0 (38KO’s) andand his challenger, World Ranked Contender McWilliamsArroyo, 16-2 (14KO’s) who will battle in the co-feature on April 23.     Both bouts will be televised Live on HBO World Championship Boxing®beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.    Tickets for the April 23rd event priced at $400, $300, $200,$100, $60 and $30, are now on-sale through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000).    Golovkin vs. Wade is promoted by K2 Promotions, GGGPromotions and in association with TGBPromotions. Gonzalez vs. McWilliams is presented by K2 Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and PRBest Boxing Promotions.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - K2 Promotions   copyright 2016 ===== SOCIAL MEDIA: For moreinformation, visit www.K2Promos.com, www.GGGBoxing.com, www.TGBPromotions.com,  www.FabulousForum.com and www.HBO.com/boxing.  Follow on Twitter at Gennady Golovkin @GGGBoxing,Dominic Wade @_DomoWade,  Roman Gonzalez @chocolatitobox, TomLoeffler/K2 Promotions @TomLoeffler1, TGBPromotions @TGBpromotions, the Forum @theForum and HBO Boxing @HBOBoxingand become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/GGGBoxing, www.facebook.com/TheForum and www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.  Use the hashtags #GolovkinWade and #GomzalezArroyoto join the conversations on social media.

The truth is that HBO, which would air the bout, is going through some money woes – at least as its boxing broadcasts are concerned – so it hasn’t been able to air as many fights as it usually does. The injury Canelo Alvarez received fighting Liam Smith recently, however, means Canelo won’t be fighting again this year on HBO as planned. Hence talk of this potential middleweight unification. Should the fight be made, it will likely go down December 10th at Madison Square Garden in New York. After what will be a slow October for boxing, the more good news there is for fight fans, the better.

Golovkin, as most fight followers know, is the most avoided man in boxing with the possible exception of Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure enough, men like fellow middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders have openly admitted to being hesitant to face the Kazakh warrior. Boasting a record of 36-0 with 33 knockouts, Golovkin brings an impressive, patient skill set to go along with his furious punching power. Indeed, GGG can not only win a fight, he can beat an opponent severely. Case in point – welterweight champ Kell Brook, who went up in weight to fight GGG recently and had to have surgery as a result of his encounter with the man.

Jacobs, however, is no joke. Here is a fighter, after all, who has not only licked cancer, but who has earned himself a record of 32-1 with 29 knockouts. Sure enough, Jacobs is skilled as well as powerful. Peter Quilin, for instance, was dusted by Jacobs within one round and that was supposed to be a relatively evenly matched fight. Perhaps most importantly, though, Jacobs appears to be willing to fight Golovkin, a man even top fighters like Alvarez appear to be content avoiding.

That in an of itself is worthy of some kind of praise in this era of low risk/high reward.

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Is New York Shrugging Off Boxing While Embracing The UFC?


Is New York Shrugging Off Boxing While Embracing The UFC?
By: Sean Crose

Try though they did, fight promoters were unable to convince the New York State Athletic Commission not to enact legislation that could arguably impact boxing in the Empire state in extremely adverse ways. Just how adverse? Picture no more fights – or at least not many fights – in that state that brought the world Ali-Frazier I. As ESPNs Dan Rafael writes, it’s now “onerous for promoters to put on boxing events in New York.” At heart is a new rule that requires one million dollars’ worth of insurance to be on hand for each fighter should said fighters receive brain damage.

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That, simply put, is too much for most promoters to afford. It’s not too much for mixed martial arts outfit, the UFC, to afford, however, as it’s a single entity. Indeed, the insurance bump came as a result of legislation allowing the UFC to present fights in New York. Some feel a degree of political BS was involved in the proceedings, as less boxing (along with less MMA from smaller promotional outlets) means more room for the UFC, an extremely lucrative company with popular fighters who are warmly embraced by the mainstream media. Accusations, however, amount to nothing more than accusations without solid proof coming into the equation.

Indeed, Boxing Insider has reached out to the New York State Athletic Commission asking if it believes the new insurance rule will run much of the sport of boxing out of the Empire State. It also asked if the Commission particularly cares if that ends up being the case. To its credit, the Commission has responded promptly and professionally, essentially explaining its case. “While some combative sports industry professionals expressed concern over the premiums for the $1 million coverage,” the Commission states, “these amounts are as yet determined.”

“However,” the Commission adds, “from discussions with insurers about to enter the market, we believe the costs will be reasonable.” There may be those, of course, who will beg to differ. Ultimately, the future will tell whether boxing can stay healthy in New York or not. If business can be done in the state, then it will be done. If it can’t, then business might essentially move across the river to New Jersey, or across state lines to Connecticut casinos. Perhaps the Commission cares. Perhaps not. Truth be told, boxing and the NYSAC have had a rough history as of late. Boxer Magomed Abdusalamov, for instance, had to get his own ride to the hospital after suffering brain damage in a New York City fight a few years back.

That sort of thing hasn’t exactly been good for the Commission’s reputation. Sure enough, Boxing Insider’s Ivan Goldman wrote in the publication back in 2014 that the Commission was “consistently terrible.” And indeed, his argument was sound. “Ring deaths and crippling injuries,” Goldman wrote, “don’t seem to make much difference as New York fails again and again to perform its Number One mission – to keep fighters safe.” Now, of course, the Commission wants to make it known that it’s stepping up to the plate in order to assure fighter safety. “NYSAC’s primary objective,” the Commission informs Boxing Insider, “is to ensure the safest environment for combative sports in the nation so that combat athletes competing in New York State incur the fewest and least severe injuries possible.”

A fair and laudable objective, to be sure…though it’s easy to keep boxers from getting harmed in New York if they’re unable to fight in New York.

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Female Fighters Bring Some Much Needed Excitement To The Sport Of Boxing


Female Fighters Bring Some Much Needed Excitement To The Sport Of Boxing
By: Sean Crose

I had the pleasure of watching one of the best televised fights of the year this weekend. It went down at Coney Island and unfortunately was relegated to the NBC Sports Network. That’s too bad, because the brawl I witnessed between featherweights Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent was an all-out war, comparable in action to the much applauded Conor McGregor – Nate Diaz UFC match a day earlier. Watching the tide perpetually change between Hardy and Vincent this weekend, I kept thinking how ridiculous it is for people to claim boxing is dead. For what went on at Coney Island was, for lack of a more academic term, terrific stuff.

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Truth be told, I’m not even sure who I think really won – though the decision went to Hardy. Looks like I’ll have to watch it again. In the meantime, let me bring up another female fighter who deserves all kinds of praise now that the Rio Olympics have come and gone. For America’s Claressa Shields has now won not one, but two Olympic gold medals. What’s more, she’s the first American boxer, male or female, to ever do so. After being adorned with her second gold in Rio, Shields took the first gold medal she won out of her pocket (she got that one in London back in 2012) and placed it on her shoulders along with her newest hard earned prize.

There she was, an American boxer, standing on the podium with not one, but two gold medals around her neck. If that doesn’t tell fight fans something, I’m not sure what does. Truth be told, female boxers have essentially told us fans these past few days that things aren’t always as bad as they seem. While it appears that many – though certainly not all – male boxers have taken to playing it safe, their female counterparts appear to be daring to be great.

Back to Sunday evening. Engaging with “Boxing Twitter” while watching the Hardy-Vincent bout, I noticed fight followers doing something they aren’t generally apt to do – publicly show their appreciation for the combatants. The typical online snideness seemed to have vanished as Hardy and Vincent traded one shot after another. All that was left was a sense of “wow, this is a great match.” Someone even wondered in one hundred and forty characters why women fighters aren’t getting more exposure in the fight world right now.

It was a good question. The sport really needs competitors like Shields, Vincent and Hardy. After all, action, and gold medals, go a long way.

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PBC on NBC Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Leonard Bundu


PBC on NBC Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Leonard Bundu
By: William Holmes

On Sunday afternoon, at 5:00 PM EST, Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will broadcast a daytime event live on NBC from the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York.

Only one bout is scheduled to be televised on Sunday and it will be between former United States Olympian Errol Spence Jr. and Italian contender Leonard Bundu. They will be competing in an IBF Welterweight Title eliminator bout.

Photo Credit: Lucas Noonan / Premier Boxing Champions

Prospects Claudio Marrero and Heather “The Heat” Hardy will be competing on the undercard will have a chance at fighting on the televised portion of the NBC card if the Spence bout is over quickly. Heather Hardy will have the toughest test of her career when she faces fellow undefeated boxer Shelly Vincent.

Spence, who is perhaps the most famous United States Olympian boxer from 2012, will be fighting before the start of the closing ceremonies for the 2016 Rio Olympics and on the same network that will be broadcasting it.

The following is a preview for the bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Leonard Bundu.

Errol Spence Jr. (20-0) vs. Leonard Bundu (33-1-2); IBF Welterweight Eliminator Bout

Many pundits consider Leonard Bundu to be the toughest opponent that Errol Spence Jr. has faced at this point of his career.

At first glance that may appear to be true. Bundu, like Spence, competed in the Olympics and was successful on the national and international stage in the amateurs. Bundu was born in Sierra Leone but represented Italy in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Spence represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Both failed to medal.

However, the similarities end there.

The biggest difference between the two opponents is age. Bundu is fifteen years older than Spence and is past his prime at the age of forty one. Bundu will also be giving up about three inches in reach and three inches in height when he steps into the ring.

Bundu also has only competed once in 2015 and once in 2016, while Spence fought once in 2016 and four times in 2015. Spence has clearly been the more active fighter.

Spence has seventeen knockouts on his record for a high stoppage ratio of 85%. Bundu has only stopped twelve of his opponents, and has five less stoppage victories despite having sixteen more fights.

Spence has been in the ring with increasingly difficult opposition. He beat the brakes off of Chris Algieri and was able to stop him while Manny Pacquiao was unable to do so. He has also defeated the likes of Chris Van Heerden, the sparring opponent of UFC star Connor McGregor, Phil Lo Greco, Alejandro Barrera, and Ronald Cruz.

Bundu stepped up in competition to face the elite of the welterweight division when he faced Keith Thurman, but he lost to him by decision. He has defeated the likes of Frankie Gavin, Lee Purdy, and Daniele Petrucci.

Bundu is a good fight for Spence at this stage of his career and has a solid chin. He should be able to give Spence some rounds and an opportunity for Spence to showcase his skills in front of a nationally televised audience.

But, Bundu has little to no chance of defeating one of the most prized prospects in the United States on Sunday afternoon. Bundu can survive the whole bout, but will take a beating in the process.

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Santa Cruz And Frampton Would Rather Punch Each Other’s Lights Out Than Face Rigo


Santa Cruz And Frampton Would Rather Punch Each Other’s Lights Out Than Face Rigo
By: Sean Crose

Sure, Saturday’s bout between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz will probably be exciting. These are two fighters who can excite, after all. They’re both also quite popular and lucrative properties, to put it bluntly. Yet therein lies the problem to me. These guys are bringing in bucks and eyeballs while avoiding the biggest threat out there that either of them could face – Guillermo Rigondeaux. Sure, they could say that they’re in a different division than Rigo now, but everyone knows that’s crap. These two have been avoiding the slick Cuban for ages – so much so they’d rather punch each other’s lights out than be made to look foolish for twelve rounds.

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Look, I understand that boxing is “prize fighting,” and that it may well have been first designed to be a part of the entertainment business as opposed to the sport’s world. That doesn’t mean it should stay that way, though. The truth is, boxing isn’t pro wrestling, it’s ultimately a sport (whether it was originally designed to be one or not), and competition should be first and foremost on everyone’s mind. Indeed, the reality is that the New York Yankees might bring a lot more eyeballs to the World Series than, say, the Tampa Bay Rays…but baseball fans would be outraged if the top division teams didn’t get to play in the big one at the end of the season. Where is that sense of fairness among those of us who love the sweet science?

Well, it’s there when we want it to be, it seems, but only when we want it to be. We call bullshit when Canelo calls GGG into the ring, then gives up his title rather than face the man. We make Stevenson a virtual nonentity for not getting it on with Kovalev. We do not, however, charge Santa Cruz and Frampton of ducking Rigo. We simply nod our heads, laugh, and say Rigo is too boring to watch anyway. Fair enough, but we then need to remember that boxing is the entity we ourselves allow it to be. We either wish it to be about who is the best or we don’t.

What we need to remember, however, is that there’s consequences to our choices. When we pick an entertainment business over true competition, we avoid having to watch Rigo potentially bore the hell out of us in a twelve round snoozer. Yet we also get the Canelo-GGG scenario, and Danny Garcia facing less than challenging opposition. It’s a tradeoff, plain and simple.

And, for all our griping, it appears to be one we fight fans are willing to accept.

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