Devin Haney looking to make statement in DAZN debut

Devin Haney looking to make statement in DAZN debut
Greg Leon: The last time we had you on Boxingtalk it looked as though you'd be a part of the Wilder-Fury II PPV telecast. Quite a bit has changed since then, Fury went to ESPN so that show never happened. Now you're signed with DAZN. Talk to me about your decision to go with DAZN. Devin Haney: "Everything wound up playing out in my favor, I went with what was best for me. Of course I had a lot of multi-millionaire dollar offers on the table and we just went with the one that suited me best." 
 
GL: How has everything gone in preparation for Antonio Moran this weekend? 
 
Devin Haney: "Everything is going great. All of the hard work is done. Now it's just about making weight and getting a lot of rest."
 
GL: What do you know about Moran?
 
DH: "I know he's tall, every fight he comes to put up a good fight and he's coming to win. He's not coming to lay down so I got to bring my A game."
 
GL: What does a victory over him mean to you?
 
DH: "It would just be getting me one step closer to a world title. The WBC has mandated a tournament with me, Teofimo, and Javier Fortuna, and this win is going to get me one step closer to that world title."
 
GL: Do you feel disrespected that you were bypassed for a title shot in favor of Lomachenko?
 
DH: "I wouldn't say I feel disrespected or anything like that. It's like I said, I'm only 20 and my time will come. It's only going to give me more time to get stronger and get better."
 
GL: It also gives you more time to get older and grow. How much longer are you going to be able to hold 135lbs.?
 
DH: "Not much longer. 135lbs. is not easy for me to make. I'll make it a couple of more times if there's a title shot ahead, but if not I'm just going to move up to 140."
 
GL: Do you have a dietician or nutritionist on board to make the cut easier?
 
DH: "I don't have that, I don't need that. SNAC helps me a lot with that and cutting weight, so I just follow that."
 
GL: You said a couple of more times, when do you see yourself moving up to 140lbs.?
 
DH: "I don't know. It's like I said, if a world title is on the table and it's guaranteed, then I'll stay as long as possible, but everyday I'm getting bigger, everyday I'm getting stronger so I don't know. 140lbs. is definitely in the equation."
 
GL: Who will be the last man standing in the mandated WBC tourney?
 
DH: "C'mon now, that's a no brainer...me!"
 
GL: Who do you like in Lomachenko-Campbell?
 
DH: "I think it's going to be a good fight, but I'm going with Lomachenko. Campbell will give him problems early, but once Lomachenko starts putting that pressure on him he'll break down and win easy."
 
GL: Do you agree with a guy who is a champion of another sanctioning body getting a mandated title fight from a sanctioning body he doesn't currently represent?
 
DH: "I don't agree with that at all, but I don't make the rules. It's just how it goes, my time will come and I will not dwell on that, I'm just going to focus on Antonio Moran and the future. When the time comes for me to fight for a world title I will be ready."
 
GL: What does it mean to you to be the first American talent that everybody wanted to work with to sign with DAZN?
 
DH: "It's great. I'm blessed to be a part of DAZN and Matchroom. There's plenty of work to do though, I've still got to prove that I'm real deal and that they didn't make a mistake signing me."
 
GL: Are you showing out in your DAZN debut or what?
 
DH: "Hell yeah! At first I was just the co-main, but now I'm headlining so everything is falling into place and now it's time for me to show out."
 
GL: Is Moran going the distance?
 
DH: "I don't know. I'm definitely going in there to put a beating on him and if he can take it, he will and if he can't he won't."
 
GL: After back to back distance fights I imagine you're trying to get somebody out of there inside them rounds.
 
DH: (laughs) "Yeah, you're right about that, but as long as I get the win, that's the most important thing."
 
GL: I'm the sure the money and the terms are sexy for the deal you just made with DAZN, but as a young blossoming star in this sport are you concerned at all that DAZN won't have you in front of as many eyeballs as the platforms you turned down to sign with them?
 
DH: "No. Of course it's not as big as the other platforms yet, but I'm trusting in the process and I think that in the very near future everybody is going to be fighting on the streaming apps. They believe in me and I believe in them."
 
GL: At what point in time will DAZN have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world-- you?
 
DH: "Yo what's up with you asking me all these hard questions today G? You asking me all these tough ass questions cut that off, save that for after the fight." (laughs) 
 
GL: Fair enough. Here's a nice softball, what's your biggest advantage over Moran?
 
DH: "Speed, my speed. He's tall and I want to say he has the reach even though I'm not really sure how long his arms are. I just have the better speed with my hands and feet, he's slow on his feet and fights like a mummy."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
DH: "Tune in on May 25th, I'm live on DAZN and I"m going to put on a great performance. I'm going to showcase my full arsenal and beat the shit out of him."

Richardson Hitchins back on July 27th

Richardson Hitchins back on July 27th
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Alejandro Munera (4-2-3 4KO), can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Richarson Hitchins: "I did what I'm supposed to do with a guy like that. I punished him and got him out of there, I made him quit and just did what I was supposed to do. GL: Before the fight you made it crystal clear that you didn't want to fight these kind of guys no more and it was up to you to force your promoter into giving you more difficult fights. After this performance did you speak with your promoter to see if you're going to get your wish? RH: "Yes, they definitely said the next one was going to be a step up and it should be one. Put them in front of me and I'll beat them. I'm going to keep getting better as a young fighter. The guy was 4-1, but I don't put these guys in front of me. Floyd Mayweather was champion inside of two years, and when he fought his ninth fight he was in there against somebody that was 1-13. At the end of the day, does that really matter? It's about staying busy. I want to step up the competition and Leonard (Ellerbe) said they were going to step it up for me so hopefully I get what I want."
 
GL: Shobox sound about right?
 
RH: "Yes, but first I'm back on July 27th on the undercard of the Tank Davis card. Depending on how many rounds the commission gives Mayweather Promotions it could be a ten rounder, if not an eight and then I'll be back on Shobox in a ten rounder right after that. After July 27th, my next fight will be on a Shobox card."
 
GL: And you're hoping the July 27th fight is a step up with Shobox right behind that?
 
RH: "I've done my homework on this sport. A lot of fighters have taken their time with some of their opponents, even Floyd. Floyd was champion at 17-0, but he was so active and he was fighting so much that he was learning on the job. I think my promoter's job is to keep me active, I've fought three times already this year, I'm back again this summer and I'm on Shobox after that, and then it's onto bigger and better things before the end of winter."
 
GL: This is the movement you've been asking for.
 
RH: "I should be 12-0 right now and I can't blame my promoter for everything because fights have fallen off the day of or before the weigh-in and it's borderline impossible to find guys on that notice."
 
GL: If you know you're going to be fighting on Shobox in two fights, what's the point of taking a step up on an OFF tv fight?
 
RH: "Just to get me that experience. It doesn't matter who's watching because my stock is going up and my name is ringing bells. I want to show my promoters that I can handle the step up in competition, I can do the same things to guys of highter caliber. This is all about getting the comfortability because some guys won't go down with one or two shots, some guys won't quit, some guys will grab, some guys will do different things strategically so I just want to get more comfortable in there. I feel like I can handle any competition, this is boxing and I can box my ass off bro. Whoever it is on July 27th it's not going to be no different."
 
GL: Closing thougts for the fans.
 
RH: "July 27th I'm back on the Gervonta Davis undercard and I want all of my Baltimore fans to come out. I'm going to keep hitting chins, so all the fans out there keep supporting me because I'm the biggest thing coming out of New York. People might not believe it now, but I'm going to keep showing people that I'm the truth."

Rigondeaux accepts WBC eliminator

Rigondeaux accepts WBC eliminator

Former world 122-pound champion and double Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (pictured) has accepted a WBC elimiantor in his best weight class, 122 pounds. Rigondeaux (18-1) will face Mexico's Julio "Pollito" Ceja (32-3). The fight is scheduled for June 23rd at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of the elimination bout will be in line to challenge the undefeated Rey Vargas of Mexico, who has held the WBC title since 2017. source: wbc

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

West Philly lightweight Frank Nitty Trader (12-2-1) heads into a crossroads fight on June 15th gainst Jerome Conquest (10-3) of Strawberry Mansion, in an eight-round contest at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA. The 33-year-old Trader, a graduate of West Philly High School, turned pro 11 years ago and won his first five fights, then suffered a full or partial left shoulder dislocation in his sixth fight when he outpointed Francisco Palacios, of Stamford, CT, in a six-round fight at Bally's Atlantic City. Incredible as it seems, Trader never got his shoulder fixed and he kept fighting, going 10-2-1 through April, 2014. His losses were by close decisions to Adrian Perez, of Sarasota, FL, in 2012, and to Anthony Burgin of North Philly in a 2014 fight where he knocked Burgin down.
After losing to Burgin, Trader retired and got his shoulder fixed later in 2014. 

For the next four years Trader worked as a medical supply technician, a job he still holds. He also devoted his time to raising his four kids: Nadaish, 16; Nalah, 12; Frankie, Jr., 11; Noah, 2.
It's a cliche to say life has not been easy for Trader, but his 16-year-old brother was murdered in 2005, the same year his 36-year-old father died from drugs. He is determined to find a better life for himself and his family.

He always had the "boxing bug" and with his kids watching fights on TV and asking questions, he decided last year it was time to fight and and he reunited with long-time trainer Aaron Ford.
It wasn't easy finding fights so Trader signed with manager Shaheed Purnell, who owns Barber of Falah barber shop in West Philly. Trader has since defeated a pair of Mexican lightweights--Pablo Cupol in November and German Meraz in February. The June 15 fight with Conquest (10-3) is the biggest of his career and he knows it.

 

Tickets for the eight-fight card are on sale at Joe Hand Promotions (215-364-9000).

Introducing Cleveland featherweight Ramiro Hernandez

Introducing Cleveland featherweight Ramiro Hernandez
Greg Cohen Promotions and Rapacz Boxing have signed featherweight Ramiro Hernandez of Cleveland to a multi year co-promotional agreement. The 30 year-old Hernandez is 14-0 with 9 knockouts and has been making his fighting home in Minnesota where his manager Jesse Garza is based. Hernandez, who currently holds the Minnesota super featherweight championship, has fought his last six fights at Grand Casino Hinckley, MN and has become one of the state's biggest ticket sellers. Hernandez will return against an opponent to be named in a featured bout at Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN on August 9th. 
 
Hernandez is excited about about his signing. "I trust that we have built a good relationship with each other and together we will make a huge impact in boxing!"
 
"I couldn't be happier to sign featherweight prospect Ramiro Hernandez with my close friend and co-promoter Cory Rapacz," said Greg Cohen.   "We have big plans for Ramiro for the second half of 2019 and look forward to him competing for a world title in the next 12-18 months. The sky is the limit for this young man and I am pleased to be a part of his team."
 
"We're very excited about this signing that has literally been years in the making," said Cory Rapacz. "This is all about helping a young fighter reach his potential and get the right opportunities. We're very proud that Ramiro and his team have decided to trust us with the responsibility of taking his career to the national level."
 
Minnesota trainer and manager Jesse Garza has brought Hernandez up through the Minnesota fight scene, "Ramiro was suggested to me by Denny Nelson.   He saw something special in him and thought we would become a great team. When I met Ramiro I too saw that something special. He was a champion to be, a diamond in the rough and a man with great work ethics and desire to learn. We have become a great team and ready to continue in our journey. We'd like to thank, Greg Cohen and Cory Rapacz for the opportunity to continue our journey to achieve our ultimate goal."
 
 

UFC FightPass features female main event

UFC FightPass features female main event
Tunisia native Ikram Kerwat, a mother of two, headlines this Thursday in the initial female boxing main event streamed on UFC Fight Pass, live from Casino Del Sol's outdoor AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, Arizona. Kerwat (9-1, 5 KOs), fighting out of Frankfurt, Germany, throws down with Simone DaSilva (15-12, 6 KOs) of Brazil in the ten-round main event. DaSilva has the distinction of going 0-9 in various title fights. In the co-feature, bantamweight Max "The Baby Face Assassin" Ornelas (12-0-1, 4 KOs) clashes with Alex "Xhino" Rangel (17-9, 4 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round bout.  Tucson's Alfonso Olvera (11-5-2, 4 KOs) meets Carlos "Silk" Villa (14-3-1, 6 KOs), of San Antonio, in a six-round welterweight attraction, and undefeated middleweights Tucson's Nicholas Rhoads (5-0, 2 KOs) takes on Eduardo Ayala (4-0, 1 KO), of Phoenix in a four-round match.
 
 
Kerwat is trained by living legend Roy Jones, Jr., wjo is also the fight's promoter. "Ikram is an exciting fighter with awesome power and good hand speed," Jones evaluated his protege. "She's always looking to improve, and I look forward to her next voyage towards a world title."
 
The 35-year-old Kerwat will be fighting in the United States for the fourth time as a pro boxer. "Fighting in the U.S. was always one of my biggest dreams," she commented. "It's amazing. I already have a fanbase and they are really awesome. I like the enthusiasm and positive energy of U.S. people. I want to give a big shout out to my family and my coach and promoter, Roy Jones, Jr., his wonderful wife, Natlyn Jones, and, of course, the RJJ Promotions team for this opportunity and their kindness."
 
A pro since 2015, Kerwat first met Jones at the WBC Convention three years ago in Miami. "It's an honor for me to lean from a legendary boxer like Roy," she added. "He's a boxing guru! Before I met Roy, I was a brawler, more of an aggressive fighter. Now, I'd say I learned to skillfully box. I've made a lot of improvements and I developed more, boxing-wise. I grew mentally, which is the most important part in boxing and life."
 
Ikram doesn't feel that she's at a disadvantage because of her opponent's edge in quality experience. "My opponent is experienced, but this means nothing to me," she remarked. "I fear nobody, but I respect all boxers who step in the ring. I do not underestimate anyone, nothing more, and nothing less. I don't look at her, I look at myself. This is only thing I have control over. I do my job, live my dream, and I have fun doing it. I enjoy every single minute of it. This next step is very important for us. Every single fight brings me a step closer to my goal, which means that every single fight is significant for my career. Fights like this even more so."
 
Although she had only three amateur matches, including a gold medal performance in the Berlin Championships and taking bronze in the German Championships, Ikram is positioning herself for a world title fight in the not too distant future, assuming she gets past Da Silva. "I trained myself (as an amateur) and that wasn't easy for me, because I really wasn't a trainer, but I wanted it so bad and now even more," Kerwat concluded. "I have two kids and I used to say boxing is my third child. And it's the oldest. I protest and love it, making sure that I progress and develop, getting better and better.
 
UNDERCARD BOUTS
 
Undefeated Kazakhstan fighter Madiyar Asjkeyev (11-0, 6 KOs) faces Cecil McCalla (21-3, 8 KOs) to open the non-televised segment in a ten-round junior middleweight bout.
 
Former UFC fighter Joe "Diesel" Riggs (47-18-1, 1 NC), fighting out of Phoenix, makes his professional boxing debut versus pro-debuting Daviante Jones, also of Phoenix, in a four-round bout.
 
A pair of Tucson middleweights, Arturo Resendiz (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose "Raging Bull" Pena (2-1, 1 KO), are matched in the four-round swing bout.
 
 

Showtime All Access wins two Sports Emmy awards

Showtime All Access wins two Sports Emmy awards

Showtime All Access wins two Sports Emmy awards
Showtime Sports original documentary series All Access earned two Sports Emmy Awards on Tuesday night at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Award ceremony in New York City. These were the fourth and fifth Emmys overall for the All Access series, which debuted in 2013. Showtime Sports has now earned 12 Sports Emmy Awards in the last eight years. The original series took home the honors for Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage for All Access: Wilder vs. Fury Epilogue and Outstanding Edited Sports Special or Series for All Access: Wilder vs. Fury.
 
Accepting the awards on Tuesday was Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.  Espinoza recognized and thanked one of the main subjects, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who was in attendance (following his first-round knockout victory on Saturday night in Brooklyn) to present multiple awards at Fredrick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Espinoza also acknowledged Showtime Sports Senior Creative Director Jonathan (Jody) Heaps, one of the driving forces behind All Access since its inception, who is retiring after more than 30 years at the network.
 
This is the third Sports Emmy All Access has earned in the Edited Sports Coverage category. The series, which chronicles the buildup and aftermath of boxing’s biggest prizefights, has previously won for Epilogue installments following Floyd Mayweather’s wins over Canelo Alvarez and Andre Berto. 
 
Other nominees for Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage were Courtside at the NBA Finals (HBO), Mic'd Up: Super Bowl LIII (NFL Network), Road To The Super Bowl (CBS) and Tiger Woods - Return of the Roar (ESPN).  The nominees for Outstanding Edited Sports Special or Series were 24/7: The Match: Tiger vs. Phil (HBO), A Football Life (NFL Network). NFL 360: Steve Gleason (NFL Network) and UFC 25 Years in Short (UFC Fight Pass).
 
 

Keith Thurman: "I'm going to do to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya"

Keith Thurman: "I'm going to do to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya"
Keith Thurman will defend his WBA welterweight super championship on pay-per-view against boxing's only eight-division champion, Philippine Senator Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com.  Here is what the fighters had to say at a press conference Tuesday from Gotham Hall in New York City:

MANNY PACQUIAO

"I've never been scared of a challenge. I'm so excited for this fight against an undefeated champion. He's the kind of fighter that you can't underestimate. His record and successe gives me more motivation to work hard.

"I will make sure that I'm 100 percent and ready for this fight. We'll find out what happens on July 20, but it's going to be exciting. I like being the underdog for this fight because that gives me more focus in training.

"I've been careless and over confident in some fights, but this time around it's different. Keith Thurman is a good fighter and we're going to make sure the fans are happy on July 20th.

"It's a great honor for me to be fighting back in Las Vegas and on the Fox Sports pay-per-view. I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I chose Keith Thurman because he's undefeated and I want to prove that at age 40 I can still beat a great fighter like Keith.

"My time is not yet over. My journey is continuing. I'm going to prove that and more on July 20th against Keith Thurman.

"I'm the kind of fighter that I don't talk too much. I do my talking in the ring. I can do a lot of things in that ring. He can prove his words in the ring. I'm going to be a warrior on July 20 and show Keith Thurman what it's like to be in the ring with me.

"I will work hard for this fight. I haven't felt this motivated and excited since the Oscar De La Hoya fight. I feel like I'm back against the best fighters in the world.

"Our focus in every fight is on the speed and footwork, because those are advantages for me. We're going to work on avoiding Keith's offense.

"Fans should watch this fight because it's a once in a lifetime showdown. We're going to bring action and I'm confident I will be victorious."

KEITH THURMAN

"We're ready. This is a blessing to be here and a dream come true. I started boxing at the age of seven. I worked hard to be a champion and I've always wanted to fight the greatest names in the sport.

"Pacquiao wants a challenge and I'm very grateful to be sharing a ring with a legend. If you understand boxing history, you know that times change. I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20th, Pacquiao will disappear. He'll always be remembered in the sport, but I'm doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.

"This is a big fight. I've waited 22 months to get back in the game. We had our ups and downs, but Keith Thurman is back on the rise. I'm going to make a big statement.

"This training camp is going to start this Saturday. Once I get home, it's grind time and on July 20, it's going to be my time.

"July 20th is 23 years in the making. I've dedicated myself to this beautiful sport of boxing for so long and my first trainer Ben Getty told me that I had what it takes to be a great champion. I'm truly looking forward to having another chance to show it.

"We definitely had a stretch with a lack of activity. Not everyone knows who Keith Thurman is today. You could see that I wasn't at my best in January. But on July 20th, 'One Time' is back. I'm getting ready to have one of my best training camps for this fight.

"I had the knockdown in my last fight that was a reminder of what 'One Time' is all about. We brushed the dust off and we're taking that momentum into this fight.

"I'm excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is. He's a legend who's done great things. But I've never lost to a fighter who's lost seven times. I have no intention of losing this fight and I don't see him winning in any shape or form.

"Speed, power and overall ring IQ will be the difference. I'm one of the smartest fighters in the sport. I always find a way to win. I know Pacquiao comes in shape, but he's going to fall short of that finish line."

 

Caleb Plant announces title defense vs. Mike Lee

Caleb Plant announces title defense vs. Mike Lee
Undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweethands" Plant (pictured) will make the first defense of his title against unbeaten Mike Lee  on Fox and Fox Deportes on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  The free Fox coverage will precede a pay-per-view event that also takes place at MGM Grand and is headlined by Keith Thurman defending his WBA welterweight championship against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. To win the title, Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) turned the tables on the hard-hitting Venezuelan slugger Jose Uzcategui in their IBF championship fight in January. Going into the match the consensus was that Uzcategui was the harder puncher and that Plant would have to withstand his power to walk away with the belt. It was the 26-year-old Plant, however, who stunned Uzcategui by dropping him to the canvas twice on the way to a convincing unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who is from Ashland City, Tenn. and now lives in Las Vegas. He had dedicated his career-best victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.
 
"I'm more than ready to return to the ring on July 20th as the main event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas," said Plant. "I'll be defending my IBF world title in tremendous fashion and this is one fight you guys will not want to miss. I'm taking this fight just as seriously as my last opponent.  
 
"This guy is undefeated and looking to stay that way, but unfortunately for him, he took on the wrong challenge against the wrong guy. Come July 20th, he'll realize he's in deeper water than he's ever been in. My last fight was for Alia, but this fight I'm dedicating to my beautiful mother Beth Ann. May you Rest in Peace, Love you Momma."
 
 
"Caleb Plant put the boxing world on notice with his exciting title-winning performance in January and will look to build on that showing against an unbeaten contender in Mike Lee on July 20th," said promoter Tom Brown. "His first defense of the title will put Plant in primetime on Fox and Fox Deportes in Las Vegas and building up to the Pacquiao vs. Thurman pay-per-view event. With two undefeated fighters going toe-to-toe in this first main event of the evening, fans are in for a memorable night of action."
 
The 31-year-old Lee (21-0, 11 KOs) graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in business, but decided to pursue his boxing dreams rather than take a job on Wall Street. A native of Wheaton, Illinois who now lives in Chicago, Lee has made a steady climb up the ladder and has been campaigning at light heavyweight. He will be moving down to super middleweight to challenge for his first world championship. Lee is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jose Hernandez on last June 8.
 
"I've have dreamt of the opportunity to fight for a world title for years," said Lee. "All the years of hard work, pain and sacrifice have led me to this moment. On July 20 I will be victorious and prove everyone wrong that didn't believe I was good enough to even get here. 
 
"When I spent almost two years in and out of hospitals battling an autoimmune disease there were moments I never thought I could get back to this level and there were doctors who told me my fighting days were done. But I have won every fight since and I plan to prove that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I could not have done this without my Dad, my advisor Mike Borao and my trainers Jamal Abdullah and Julian Chua." 
 
 

Callum Smith title defense added to June 1st MSG show

Callum Smith title defense added to June 1st MSG show

Callum Smith title defense added to June 1st MSG show
Callum Smith, the WBA super champion and the most legitimate of the world title holders at 168 pounds, will defend against [recycled] Hassan N’Dam on the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. show at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1st, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) captured the WBA title following a stunning seventh-round knockout victory over British rival George Groves in Saudi Arabia last September in the World Boxing Super Series final. N’Dam (37-3, 21 KOs) [is Smith's former sparring partner]. N'dam has operated at world level since landing the WBA interim middleweight title in 2010. He lost on points to Peter Quillin in 2012 with the WBO middleweight crown at stake. A win over Curtis Stevens qualified the Frenchman for a shot at the IBF title in 2015, but he lost to David Lemieux.
 
In 2017, N’Dam took on London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ryota Murata for the vacant WBA regular title, which he won via [undeserved] split decision. The pair rematched five months later, again on Japanese soil, where N’Dam was forced into retirement in the seventh round. N'Dam most recently defeated long-time contender Martin Murray via twelve-round majority decision in December.
 
“I’ve had a good camp and I’m looking forward to walking to the ring as a world champion for the first time in my career,” said Smith. “I worked so hard to get where I am and now the task is to keep hold of my titles and target those big fights. To have my first defence at Madison Square Garden is going to be special and it’s another box ticked for me personally. People call it the Mecca of Boxing and I’ve always seen it as a venue that I’d love to fight at one day. The minute that there was a chance of it happening I pushed to make sure that I could be part of this show.
 
“N’Dam is a good fighter... He’s only lost to three top fighters and he’s got some great wins on his record. I had him over in England to help me prepare for George Groves so we know each other well. He’s a good mover, has good footwork and can move around the ring pretty well. Experience is on his side and he’s an awkward guy to face. Saying that, he’s definitely a fighter that I should beat and get rid of if I’m on my game.
 
“I believe that I’m improving all of the time – I’ve even improved since winning the [WBA] title. I believe that I’m the best super middleweight in the world. There’s a few fighters in my division who probably disagree with that and rightly so. If I am the best on the planet then I should be able to get rid of Hassan N’Dam and look good doing it.”
 
“I am confident I will create a big surprise in New York,” said N’Dam. “It is a true privilege for me to be given the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden for the first time in my life. At this stage of my career this is a beautiful opportunity for me to be able to change division and fight for both the WBA World and WBC Diamond titles.
 
“I am so pleased and proud for this opportunity to be offered to me and I would like to add that even though the challenge is a big one, this does not affect my focus and my determination. Callum Smith is an excellent boxer with many qualities. As he is tall he can impose his own boxing style on most of his opponents. I have much respect for him both as a boxer and a person. I believe it will be a very tactical fight.
 
“Being able to say that once in my life I have fought at MSG will be a great pride. Besides, I have the experience of boxing on big shows as I have participated in many and in front of thousands of people. I have always defended my titles abroad and I am used to pressure and know how to handle it.”
 
“This is a huge platform and one that Callum fully deserves,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “He has established himself as the number one 168 pounder in the World and will prove it at the Mecca of boxing on June 1. N’Dam always brings the action and I believe this will be a high level fight with plenty of fire. The mega fights await Callum and he can’t afford to slip up here, I know him and Joe Gallagher have prepared diligently for this challenge and he will be sending out a statement live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN.”
 
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “We’re very excited to add Callum Smith to a huge night at Madison Square Garden. He’s rightly regarded as the world’s best super middleweight after that win over George Groves – and we can showcase more of our best talent on the AJ bill.
 
“Callum has already been named as a possible opponent for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and there are massive nights ahead of him if he defeats the proven Hassan N’Dam. It’s going to be an action-packed evening for fight fans as Katie Taylor’s undisputed World title fight and the classy Josh Kelly are also in action before AJ lights up New York in the main event.”
 
Smith and N’Dam clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua’s World title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr. is supported by Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women’s World Lightweight championship, New Yorker Chris Algieri against Tommy Coyle in a 140-pound showdown and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week.
 

Alantez Fox ends inactivity with win, wants back on fast track

Alantez Fox ends inactivity with win, wants back on fast track
Greg Leon: Congrats on your stoppage victory over Nick Brinson (19-5-2). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Alantez Fox: "I heard the commentary on the fight, they gave it a B+ grade and I think that's a pretty good assessment. I got caught with some shots that I didn't need to get caught with, but at the same time, we got the job done. There's always things that we can improve and I'll be right back in the gym. I felt pretty good in there, I felt strong and I don't really think he expected me to be that strong." 
 
GL: Was there any rust?
 
AF: "Actually, no. The only thing I really felt was nerves because I hadn't been in the ring for eight months. That was it to be honest."
 
GL: You had him down in the first round, are you disappointed you didn't make it a very early night?
 
AF: "I was disappointed only because I kept hurting my right hand. My dad and my coaches kept pressing me to stay on him because he was folding and breaking down. I kept hurting my right hand throughout the fight though, I had some really bad gloves on. That one right hand I actually dropped him with, is what hurt my hand. I had to hit him and back off for a second because of the pain in my hand. I had to let it cool off before I kept going."
 
GL: How serious is this injury? 
 
AF: "It's not that serious of a hand injury. I think it was the bad gloves. The wraps were amazing, I just think it was the gloves."
 
GL: What kind of gloves were they?
 
AF: "Everlast MX. Me and my brother both don't think those are good gloves. I'm a Grant guy myself."
 
GL: Will this injury sideline you at all?
 
AF: "I talked to Lou DiBella and he's going to try to work on names. I'm looking to get at least two more in before the year closes."
 
GL: The last time you made 160 pounds on the button was in 2017 vs Andrade. In your last two fights you've been 162 1/2 and 163 1/4. Is there going to be any problem getting back down to 160? 
 
AF: "I'm not that worried. I can't lie, I'm only a little bit worried. The thing is to be given the right amount of time to prepare and focus. If I had eight weeks to do a cut as opposed to two weeks, it would be easy for me."
 
GL: Do you want to get another fight to get your feet fully under you or are you looking to get back into the fast lane right now?
 
AF: "I'm ready for the fast lane right now, there's bigger money there and I might as well start my legacy now. I want to get right back in the ring as soon as possible in the biggest possible fight."
 
GL: That's the fighter in you talking, but if the businessmen behind you decide to get you another fight to not only get you to the fast lane, but keep you there, are you going to be with their program?
 
AF: "I definitely would because the only thing it's going to do is make me more dangerous when I'm in there with upper echelon guys. If they give me more time to sharpen my tools, it's going to be be a lot worse for a lot of people."
 
GL: You're not 37 so there shouldn't be any extreme rush.
 
AF: "Exactly. It's no rush, but at the same time if they want to do the big money fight, I'm with that. If they want to give me something small again and let me sharpen up a little more, then I don't got no problem with that either."
 
GL: When are you hoping the next one takes place?
 
AF: "July or August would be great, then I could definitely have enough time to get another one in before the end of the year."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
AF: "I just want to thank Lou DiBella and Mike Borao for constantly working to get me these opportunities. I want to thank my team, Dream Team Boxing, my team is the dream and my stable is able. Shoutout to Mykal Fox and Greg Outlaw for coming off their victories too. My stable is able. Make sure you follow me on all social media @slyazafox"

Still too soon to judge Deontay's legacy

Still too soon to judge Deontay's legacy
You really can’t judge a boxer until his career is all said and done.  Before Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) beat Sonny Liston in 1964, most people wouldn’t have guessed that he would go on to be “The Greatest.”  Bernard Hopkins wasn’t considered a future Hall of Famer till he defeated Felix Trinidad.  And it wasn’t until the later part of his career, after many years in the trenches, that the public began to give Lennox Lewis his just due.  Now, I’m not about to put Deontay Wilder in the same category as those guys just yet, but hear me out on this one.  When I first became aware of Wilder, he was about 27-0 with 27 knockouts.  My first thought was that he was probably an overhyped fighter with a padded record.  When he beat Bermane Stiverne over twelve rounds for the WBC title, I was impressed that he went the distance effectively, given the fact that he had never gone past four rounds before.  Watching him struggle with Artur Szpilka, I could see his limitations, as well as his deadly power.  Against Luis Ortiz, his fundamental flaws were once again revealed, but he responded to the situation with a strong will to win.  Tyson Fury handled Wilder with relative ease, but Wilder retaliated by knocking him down twice.  In twenty years, I think people will look back and say that Wilder was that heavyweight champion who could be out-boxed by an ordinary fighter, but it was just a matter of time before he caught them.
 
A lot of boxing people are critical of Wilder’s technique, because he throws wild punches and because he can’t seem to solve even the simplest puzzle in front of him.  I’m sure a lot of trainers look at what they see and believe they could improve his boxing abilities.  But it might be that the way he fights is what’s best for him.  If he took a more patient and scientific approach, he might not be as effective as he is.  Maybe his faults are a blessing in disguise?  Based on everything I’ve seen, I give him the benefit of the doubt.  These knockouts aren’t happening by accident.  Before last weekend, he said he was going to take care of business with Dominic Breazeale in dramatic fashion and that’s exactly what he did.  Deontay Wilder seems to me like a man who has control of his destiny.  His record is now 41-0-1, 40 KOs, and he does it all with power and spirit.  I must say that I’m a big fan.  He’s exactly the kind of guy who can bring heavyweight boxing back.  I don’t like the showboating or some of the comments he makes, but when it comes down to it, I think he’s a decent person outside the ring.
 
Wilder has made such a strong impression that people are comparing him to heavyweight champions of the past.  While he has yet to cement his legacy as a great heavyweight champion, he can’t be completely discredited when these discussions come up.  Deontay Wilder vs. Mike Tyson would be a fearsome fight for as long as it lasted.  It’s easy to say that Tyson would tear him up, but we don’t know that for sure.  At this point, you have to figure that Lennox Lewis would beat Wilder, though he would have to be very careful.  What about Wilder against Wladimir Klitschko?  Klitschko was a more skillful and intelligent fighter, but Wilder has a much stronger hunger for combat.  These would all be great matchups.  The fight I’m dying to see, like everyone else, is Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua.  As much praise as I give Wilder, I would still favor Joshua to win.  At some point, Wilder’s attributes won’t be enough to make the difference in a close fight.  My opinion is that Joshua has enough skills and experience to come out on top, but it’s not a forgone conclusion.  Anything could happen in that fight. 
 
I’m a fan of the sweet science, and I admire fighters who can hit and not get hit, but I also love drama.  Deontay Wilder brings drama and he’s great for boxing.  He’s a gladiator in the purest sense, and it’s fighters like him that drew me to this sport.
 
Doveed Linder is the author of RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS AND BOXING INSIDERS, a trilogy of books, each consisting of 24 in depth interviews with various fighters, trainers, corner men, promoters, commentators, and officials, including “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr., Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Kathy Duva, Angelo Dundee, Bob Arum, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Lou DiBella, Ann Wolfe, Joe Souza, J Russell Peltz, Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Al Bernstein, Naazim Richardson, Harold Lederman, George Chuvalo, Steve Smoger, Winky Wright, Ronnie Shields, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Duane Ford, and Jackie Kallen.  The foreword for the first RINGSIDE book was written by Boxingtalk publisher Greg Leon, and is available on Amazon.com.
 

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov headlines Philly show

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov headlines Philly show

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov headlines Philly show

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov will take on Angel Luna in a eight-round featherweight bout that will headline a night of boxing on Saturday, June 22nd at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The show is promoted by King's Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions. Yunosuv, who represented Tajikistan in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, now resides in Philadelphia, and has record of 7-0 with three knockouts.Luna of Yamasa, Dominican Republic has a record of 11-5-1 with six knockouts. In an eight-round co-feature, Philadelphia junior welterweight Milton Santiago Jr. (17-0, 3 KOs) takes on Argentina's Ruben Lopez (12-14-4, 5 KOs).

The 32 year-old Yunusov is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon (5-1) on March 29th in Philadelphia.  Yunusov also has a fourth-round stoppage over Mike Oliver.

Luna, 29, is an eight-year professional has a win over previously undefeated Jose Lopez (15-0-1).  Luna was stopped in his bout by Jean Carlos Rivera on July 14, 2018 in New Orleans.

Santiago, now 22 years-old, turned professional at the age of 17 after receiving a special waiver to turn pro.  Santiago had an amateur record of 184-12 ,and won a staggering 59 tournaments. Santiago is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Jorge Luis Munguia on May 11, 2018 at The 2300 Arena.

Lopez Santa Fe, Argentina has a record of 12-14-4 with five knockouts. The 36 year-old is an eight-year professional. Lopez  has a wins over previously undefeated Diego Baez (5-0).  Lopez is coming off a decision loss to Frank De Alba on May 3rd in Bethlehem, PA.

Also seeing action in eight-round bouts:

Colby Madison (8-0-2, 5 KOs) of Owings Mills, MD takes on Robert Simms (8-3, 3 KOs) of Saginaw, MI in a heavyweight bout.

Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) of Saint Petersburg, FL fights Gabor Gorbics (26-17, 16 KOs) of Budapest Hungary in a welterweight fight.

In six-round bouts:

James Martin (4-0) of Philadelphia fights Kashon Hutchinson (4-5, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a welterweight contest.

Paul Kroll (3-0, 3 KOs) battles Hector Mercado (3-10) of Fort Myers, Florida via Veracruz, Mexico in a welterweight contest.

In four-round bouts:

Rasheen Brown (3-0) of Philadelphia fights Zoltan Horvath (2-1, 1 KO) of Szekesfeherver, Hungary in a bantamweight bout.

Romuel Cruz (3-0-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia takes on Jonathan Conde (1-2, 1 KO) of Miami, Florida in a featherweight bout.

Tickets can be purchased at www.2300arena.com  

 

For More information and credentials, Please contact: Marc Abrams at phillyboxing@gmail.com or 856 287 7611 

 

 

Algieri hopes win over Coyle leads to date with Hooker

Algieri hopes win over Coyle leads to date with Hooker
Ex-WBO 140-pound title holder Chris Algieri hopes that a win over Brit Tommy Coyle at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1st will move him a step closer to a shot at getting his title back (the WBO title is now held by Maurice Hooker. Algieri (23-3, 8 KOs) knows that a win could land him the opportunity to reclaim his title.
 
The New Yorker, who is promoted by Star Boxing, won his title by battling back from a pair of first-round knockdowns to outbox and upset Ruslan Provodnikov in 2014. He vacated his belt when he stepped up to welterweight to face modern legend Manny Pacquiao in a losing effort later that year. "Winning this fight, which is all that me and my team plan on doing, puts us in a very good position for some of the top guys in the division," said Algieri. "Potentially a world title fight with the current WBO champion Maurice Hooker who holds the title that I never lost in the ring. That's what I have in my sights. I still feel like part of that belt is mine. That's not to take anything away from the current champion Hooker, he earned it and he fought his ass off to get to the position that he's in. I feel like I need another crack at that title because essentially part of it is me."
 
Coyle (25-4, 12 KOs) produced a typically bullish performance as he outfought Ryan Kielczweski over ten rounds on his American debut in Boston in October last year. Coyle is renowned for his toughness but Algieri says he is prepared to take the Hull fighter into the trenches to get the win next week. "You know what you're going to get with Tommy Coyle. He's going to come over here in great shape and give it his all. He's a tough guy and he comes to fight. He's a blood and guts kind of guy, a kind of guy that I can get excited for. This is going to be a fun fight to watch and it's going to be a fun fight to be in!
 
"You've got a guy like him who's going to come forward. He's going to be throwing and he's going to be fighting and he's going to be hungry. Then you've got a guy like me who's a master boxer who's going to go out there and use his skills. At the same time, I've shown my ability to be tough, I've shown my ability to be gritty, and when I need that I can always tap into it."
 
Algieri and Coyle clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua's WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight title defense against Andy Ruiz Jr. is supported by Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women's world lightweight championship, Callum Smith defending his WBA super middleweight titles against Hassan N'Dam and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia's Ray Robinson - with more exciting undercard additions announced this week. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Raquel Miller Beasting Her Way Into Title Picture

Raquel Miller Beasting Her Way Into Title Picture
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Erin Toughill (7-5-1). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Raquel Miller: "Thank you I thought I had a solid performance, I had fun in there, I was relaxed, I went in there and boxed and had some fun. I got to bang a couple of rounds, I had some fun in there." GL: This was your first knockout in a couple of years. How did it feel to get somebody out of there inside the distance? RM: "It was fun, it was definitely good. I was shocked honestly, because I dropped her right after the opening bell and it took us both down. It was a good fight. She was game and came to fight, she had her moments in the fight, but I had fun in there though."
 
GL: What do you want this win to lead to?
 
RM: "A world title fight. I'm definitely checking for Maricela Cornejo [first]. She said I'm scared so let's make it happen. I'm talking to my team and it's a fight that makes sense for us, so it's onward and upward. We're excited, we're ready, we're working, we're in the gym and there isn't a better time to make it happen."
 
GL: How does a fight with you and Cornejo play out?
 
RM: "I'm going to stop her if she gets in that ring with me. It's going to be a fun fight, I'm going to enjoy it, but I'm getting in Cornejo's ass if she gets in that ring with me."
 
GL: Cornejo went the distance with Toughill, does it give you an extra sense of satisfaction knowing that you got her out of there inside the distance?
 
RM: "I tend to think that styles make fights, I'm not a person who looks at 'this person did that against that person.' I just believe that styles make fights and I just brought my A game to Toughill and I don't really worry about their fight. I just know that when I get in there with Cornejo, my hand is going to be raised in victory."
 
GL: What did you think of Claressa Shields' win over Christina Hammer?
 
RM: "I thought that it was a good fight, I thought that it was entertaining, I think that Christina Hammer is very talented, Claressa is talented and I'm looking forward to fighting both of them. When I watched the fight, I learned some things from both sides, but I think it was a tremendous fight for women's boxing and both ladies put on a helluva show."
 
GL: Did Hammer get exposed as a fighter who could only throw straight punches?
 
RM: "I think that Hammer hadn't really faced the level of opposition that she was going to face against Shields. I think that showed a lot in the fight, she relied a lot on straight punching in her other victories, but you've got to have more in your arsenal than just straight punches to be able to overcome adversity when you get to that level."
 
GL: This is boxing so things don't always go as you plan, but if you could write the script would it be Cornejo and then Claressa?
 
RM: "In a perfect world, I would fight Cornejo next, I would fight [WBA champion] Hanna Gabriels at 154 and take her title and then move up to 160 and take care of Shields."
 
GL: Would you be disappointed with anything less than a title fight moving forward?
 
RM: "I'm just going to be thankful for the movement to be honest with you. As women we don't really get that many opportunities, so I'm going to trust my team. Of course I'm very vocal with my team, and active in my career period. If it's not just title fights I'm not going to be super angry, but I do expect to keep taking step up fights against more experienced girls, more game girls. We're here now."
 
GL: I know it's the day after the fight, but is there any early indication as to when your next fight might take place?
 
RM: "There's no contract signed, but that is the chatter. There's other women out here who are equally talented to Cornejo. If it's not Cornejo and it's someone else like Tori Nelson or Kali Reiss, I'm happy because I'm going to get that title regardless. There has been some conversation between me and Cornejo and I'm hoping we can definitely make that fight happen for California."
 
GL: Two more fights before the end of the year?
 
RM: "Definitely so. I'm just trying to stay active and stay busy because I've got things to do and points to prove, with missions to accomplish."
 
GL: Gotta stay Pretty, gotta stay Beasting.  Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
RM: "You know what time it is. I want to thank you guys for supporting me, thank you for following me on this journey. One step up, onward, upward and it's going to be 'and the new' very soon. Thank you for all the support and the love, I appreciate you guys."

Haney:"the other lightweights better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster"

Haney:"the other lightweights better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster"

Haney:"the other lightweights better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster"
Devin Haney is ready to take the next step towards his goal of dominating the sport as he prepares to face Antonio Moran at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Saturday May 25th. Haney (21-0 13 KOs) went straight into main-event action after he penned a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing USA - and the lightweight is planning to put on a display that makes his case for world title credentials on the DAZN broadcast. CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR G. LEON'S INTERVIEW WITH DEVON HANEY.
 
"The Dream" will have his hands full against Moran (24-3 17 KOs) who was edged out by former two-division champ Jose Pedraza in June, but Moran returned to winning ways in December with a second round KO in Mexico.
 
Haney sayd he will not let his journey be derailed before he's hit the heights he believes his talent can take him. "There's nothing to stop me from getting to number one, it's just time," said Haney. "Timing is everything and my time is going to come. I am only 20 years old, the other lightweights out there better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster so the top guys need to fight me now.
 
"Boxing is something that I love so it doesn't feel like a job to me, but the job is not done, I want to be a multi-weight champion and I want to rule the sport as a pound-for-pound star. When I am the face of boxing down the line, who knows what will happen, but right now those big goals are keeping me motivated.
 
"Getting the fights I want has been a challenge, a lot of guys have turned me down, saying there's no point or not making enough money, so that's been a real challenge. It's me versus me, when I am in the gym I am so far ahead of a lot of guys that it's me challenging myself, pushing myself, seeing how far I can go rather than seeing how far I can outrun another guy - how fast can I push myself?
 
"The landscape is very interesting right now. A World title is very important to me, over money and anything else, being World champion is the ultimate goal. To be a World ruler at 20 would be history, the youngest in the game. My ring IQ at my age is crazy, I'm able to adapt and adjust, I've been in there with so many great fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and I'm able to adjust.
 
"When I first met Eddie and the Matchroom Boxing team it felt like the perfect fit. Me and my team spoke with Eddie about what we wanted and we were able to make it fit. Eddie recognizes me as a promoter, they are willing to work with me and build my brand and company at the same time.
 
"A lot of other promoters didn't recognize me as a promoter, they just wanted to give me money and buy me out. Matchroom Boxing see me as a top fighter that they want to get behind, I would be important elsewhere, but Eddie made it clear that they are going to push me and get behind me."
 
Haney's clash with Moran is part of a huge night of action in Maryland where rising heavyweight Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic taking on Gregory Corbin on his US debut... more heavyweight interest as Michael Hunter tackles Gregory Corbin... and WBC 140-pound title holder Jessica McCaskill looks to unify the division against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez.
 
 
 

Joshua says he's not overlooking Ruiz

Joshua says he's not overlooking Ruiz
IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua insists he hasn’t underestimated Andy Ruiz Jr. “one bit” ahead of their title clash at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday June 1, shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Ruiz, a California-based Mexican, is in his second world title tilt, having Joseph Parker to the limit in the Kiwi’s hometown in December 2016, being edged out by the finest of margins via a majority decision for the then-vacant WBO title. Joshua heads into his highly-anticipated US debut as a heavy favourite with many bookies but the British sensation says he is all too aware of the threats posed by his latest challenger, who he feels is deserving of a second World title shot after stepping up to the plate when others shied-away.
 
“It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end,” said Joshua. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.
 
“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round’. From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box? I always say that if you put ten bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.
 
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different – I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same – and he took the fight!
 
“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a World Champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight the Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.”
 
Joshua and Ruiz clash on a huge night of action at MSG with Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women’s world lghtweight championship; New Yorker Chris Algieri against Tommy Coyle at 140 pounds; and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week.
 
 

Thurman-Pacquiao tickets on sale

Thurman-Pacquiao tickets on sale
Boxing's only eight-division champion, Philippine Senator Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao (pictured) returns to challenge Keith "One Time" Thurman for Thurman's WBA welterweight super championship in a pay-per-view event on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. [While the other pay-per-view bouts have not yet been announced,] preceding the pay-per-view is a Fox PBC Fight Night at the same venue headlined by undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweet Hands'' Plant making his first title defense against unbeaten Mike Lee. Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
 
Possessing speed, power and tremendous boxing skills, Thurman represents the most dangerous challenger that the future Hall of Famer Pacquiao has faced in his recent ring appearances. This high-stakes match will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing's deepest and most talented divisions.
 
"Senator Pacquiao is thrilled to be back in 'Viva Las Vegas,' fighting at the best venue for boxing -- the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This is where the Pacquiao vs. Thurman world welterweight championship belongs,'' said Sean Gibbons, President of MP Promotions.  "We're excited to be working with our partners at PBC, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions. Manny is fighting in the biggest fights on a global scale and it doesn't get any more global than FOX Sports Pay-Per-View. Fans have always enjoyed watching Pacquiao and Thurman compete in the ring and we are confident they will, once again, give boxing fans worldwide everything they're expecting, and more. God bless Manny and Keith for stepping up to give us this fight!'' 
 
"We're looking forward to working with our partners in bringing yet another blockbuster back home to MGM Grand here in Las Vegas," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "This fight is a tremendous opportunity for both guys in terms of where they are in their respective careers. Pacquiao is currently the biggest name in the sport and Thurman is a young skilled undefeated fighter in the prime of his career, making for a compelling matchup. I know both fighters will be ready for the challenge that lies ahead of them come July 20, and I can't wait to see this one go off."
 
"This will be a sensational matchup between two great fighters and we're looking forward to hosting this championship event at MGM Grand in July," said Richard Sturm, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment and Sports. "Fans have always enjoyed watching Pacquiao and Thurman compete in the ring and we are confident they will, once again, give boxing fans worldwide everything they're expecting, and more."
 
"Fox Sports is thrilled to present our second Premier Boxing Champions Pay-Per-View featuring one of boxing's biggest stars, Pacquiao, facing the champion Thurman, who wowed nearly three-million viewers live on Fox in January with his latest title defense," said Bill Wanger, Fox Sports EVP, Programming, Live Operations and Research. "This promises to be a can't miss night of boxing with an unprecedented Fox Sports PBC doubleheader, as we open the evening with the Fox PBC Fight Night, headlined by newly crowned champion Plant defending his title against the undefeated Lee. Plant set the FS1 viewership record for a boxing show in January when he won his title, and we're sure this match up will deliver even bigger audiences leading into the Pacquiao vs. Thurman Pay-Per-View."
 
A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America's reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as Congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao's boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
 
In his last match on January 19th, Pacquiao defeated former four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of his illustrious career. It was his first time fighting in the U.S. in two years. Before that, he scored an impressive knockout over Lucas Matthysse to win his secondary version of the WBA welterweight championship in Malaysia last July 15.
 
"All my life I have confronted challenges -- in life, in politics, and inside the ring," said Pacquiao.  "Keith Thurman is the type of challenge I crave as a fighter. He is the biggest and best test. That is why I want to fight him. We are going to give boxing fans an exciting fight and a great night." 
 
The 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) is the longest reigning welterweight champion in boxing, having collected his WBA title with a stoppage victory over Diego Chaves in 2013. He has successfully defended that title eight times and became a unified welterweight champion when he defeated Danny Garcia by split decision to win the WBC title. Plagued by a litany of injuries, including bone chips in his right elbow that had to be surgically removed, Thurman was out of action for nearly two years before getting back into the ring with a hard fought victory against Josesito Lopez in January on FOX. 
 
Having taken up the sport when he was in grade school, the Clearwater, Florida native blossomed under the tutelage of his first trainer, Ben Getty, to become an outstanding amateur. Though Getty has passed away, Thurman still carries those boxing and life lessons with him whenever he steps into the ring with his current longtime trainer Dan Birmingham. His power punching earned him the nickname "One Time.'' 
 
"I'm extremely excited for this opportunity to get a fight that I've wanted for a long time,'' said Thurman. "The right circumstances have aligned for it to happen now and I'm grateful for that. Me and my team are looking forward to it. It's going to be an honor to be in the ring with Manny Pacquiao. It's going to be fun to go back to MGM Grand in my first pay-per-view with FOX Sports. I believe that Ben Getty would be very proud of what I've been able to accomplish. He said I'd be able to dominate the welterweight division and be a multi-million-dollar fighter and a star in the sport.
 
"Manny Pacquiao is beatable. He's been beaten before in his career. He's a fan favorite and a legend. For me his boxing tactics are predictable. He fights in spurts and you have to take advantage of that. You have to be respectful of his power. But I believe my movement, athleticism and ring knowledge will be able to present him something he's not seen in all his years of boxing.''
 

So Paulie is actually going through with this bare knuckles boxing thing

So Paulie is actually going through with this bare knuckles boxing thing

So Paulie is actually going through with this bare knuckles boxing thing
Former boxing champion Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi (pictured) and UFC veteran Artem "The Russian Hammer" Lobov went face-to-face Monday at a heated press conference in New York to promote their bare knuckles fight on Saturday, June 22nd, a pay-per-view event from Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall in Tampa, Fla. [NOTE: What the press release does not tell you is that Malignaggi spit in Lobov's face]. Also squaring off Monday before they battle on BKFC 6 were UFC veteran Chris Leben and longtime Bellator standout Brennan Ward. The June 22nd show will also feature Reggie Barnett against Johnny Bedford in a showdown for the BKFC Lightweight Championship. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday:
 
PAULIE MALIGNAGGI
 
"I've always been known as one of the toughest guys in boxing. Lobov is known as a punching bag with a loud mouth.
 
"If I had it my way, I'd knock him out in the last round. I want to pummel him from start to finish. He's going to come out trying hard, and then he's going to get gun shy. He's going to hesitate to even take a step.
 
"I'm always looking for my next challenge. I wasn't planning on this, but it was sold to me, and it appealed to me. Artem is a punching bag and I usually hit that for free.
 
"I never lie, because I don't have to fear anyone. You only lie because you're afraid. Why are Lobov and his team lying? You know why. I don't care what they think. I'm going to put this guy out next month.
 
"As I train, I realize that my hands are like razor blades. Get a good look at Lobov's face, because next month I'm going to make it look like a road map with lines all over it."
 
ARTEM LOBOV
 
"I feel I have the upper hand in this fight. With age, it's easier to get knocked out. He's never hurt anybody in the ring, so it's going to be a bad matchup for him.
 
"I see me stopping him. He doesn't want it anymore. In order to be a fighter and really compete, you have to have the fire. His fire is long gone.
 
"My strategy is to come in there and shove my fist down his throat. It's personal now with the way he's been talking and acting. I'm going to put him away.
 
"Paulie likes to hide behind the jab and feint. He never lets his hands go. He just hides and tries to make it to the end of the fight.
 
"I'm going to let it all go in that ring on June 22nd. I'm going to be the Russian Hammer from the start until the finish. I want to meet him in the ring and put him away like true warriors do.
 
"I never wrap my hands. Not when I spar, not when I hit the bag or anything. It's made them tougher. They may not look pretty, but they do a lot of damage.
 
"It's game over for Paulie. I heard he's known as the Magic Man, but I just hope he doesn't disappear before the fight."
 
CHRIS LEBEN
 
"Bare knuckle is definitely an exciting sport. It's all of the good stuff. Two guys going toe-to-toe. It's what I do best and it puts me in a dangerous position to hurt my opponents. When I first saw BKFC I felt like this sport was made for me.
 
"You can't really cover up without the glove as a shield in bare knuckle, so it changes how you defend. But it also changes how you hit and where your range is at.
 
"I think this sport was made for me and it's going to show in the fight. We're both heavy hitters. Brennan will be my toughest BKFC opponent to date and I'm not taking him lightly. I'm riding a resurgence and it's not going to stop.
 
"I'm pulling out all the stops and doing everything I can to prepare. Because on June 22, I'm knocking him out."
 
BRENNAN WARD
 
"Training camp has been going great. I'm really excited because I've been waiting to do a bare knuckle fight for a while. I knew right away that this was for me.
 
"I think I have a great skillset for bare knuckle. I'm quick and quick on my feet. I'm strong and have heavy hands. I'm able to brawl or box.
 
"It's basically a normal training camp for me, but with more boxing than ever. I've always boxed a lot anyway, so it's something that's come natural for me.
 
"I'm a different fighter than who Leben has fought in BKFC. This sport is so well-suited for me. I just want to brawl. I wasn't as into the other disciplines in MMA, so when BKFC came around, I was ready to sign on.
 
"I think I'm going to be a force to be reckoned with at BKFC. I'm going to find a nice home and do work in the ring."
 
DAVID FELDMAN, BKFC Founder & President
 
"This event is getting the kind of coverage it truly warrants. This is going to be a stacked pay-per-view event from top to bottom.
 
"The main event here is a highly anticipated battle. This is the biggest bare knuckle fight in history.
 
"We're really happy with what we've been able to build. If you've seen any of our events, you know that it's non-stop action from the start. We're proud of what we've delivered to fight fans.
 
"People originally said that Artem had no chance against Paulie, but once they saw Artem in his first BKFC fight, fans can see that this might be tougher than anticipated. This is different than boxing and different than MMA. Getting hit with that bare knuckle is different than anything you've experienced before.
 
"I'm so excited to bring this fight to Florida and bring this fight to their fans. June 22 live on pay-per-view, this is one you surely do not want to miss."
 
 
 

Introducing Olympic hopeful Keyshawn Davis

Introducing Olympic hopeful Keyshawn Davis
Team USA lightweight Keyshawn Davis has been preparing all of his young life to represent his country in the Olympics. If everything goes as planned and remains on schedule, the Norfolk, Virginia native will be boxing for gold next year in Japan [assuming boxing continues as an Olympic sport]. The 20-year-old Davis, who sports a 110-15 amateur record, is racking up medals at such a torrid pace that he desperately needs to expand his display case. He is a two-time Elite National (2017-18) and two-time National PAL (2013-14) champion, as well as a gold medalist at the 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier, 2017 Youth Open and 2017 National Golden Gloves.
 
Internationally, he's done some serious damage, too. The highlight of his amateur career, to date, is winning gold at last year's Strandja Tournament in Bulgaria. Davis recently captured silver at the 2019 Pan-American Games Qualifier in Nicaragua, in addition to the 2018 Chemistry Cup in Germany.
 
"I won my first International gold medal in Bulgaria," Davis agreed with it being the highlight of his amateur career. "I was also selected as the Most Outstanding Boxer."
 
His victory at the 2018 USA Nationals qualified him for the 2020 Olympic Trials for Boxing, while his silver at the Pan American Games Qualifier qualified him for the Pan American Games (July 27-August 2) in Lima, Peru. This year he will also be competing at the Elite Men's World Championships (Sept. 7-21) in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
 
"Qualifying for the Olympic Trials really wasn't much of an accomplishment for me because it was expected," Davis noted. "For me it was to get on Team USA, again and this is my second year on the team.
 
"There's no real competition for me to qualify for the USA Olympic Boxing Team. My last fight in The Nationals was a little bit of a challenge (vs. Dalis Kaleiopu), because I slipped and got up."
 
At the Pan American Games, Davis could very well face the Cuban boxer who defeated him by a score of 3-2 at the Pan American Games Qualifier, Andy Cruz, setting up a possible rubber match between the two elite boxers next year at the Olympic Games.
 
"There's a very good chance we'll fight again at the Pan-Am Games, most likely in Japan, as well," Davis added. "We have to win two rounds to qualify for the finals and for me to get my revenge. Cruz has a lot more International experience than I do. He's 26 years old and World Champion in our weight class."
 
 Davis started boxing when he was nine when, tired of Keyshawn and his two brothers fighting each other and in school, his mother asked if they wanted to go to the gym to learn how to box. They did and today, his older (Kelvin) and younger (Keon) brothers are also amateur boxers.
  
Not long after that he met Troy Isley, who is a fellow member of Team USA, and today they're as close as brothers.
 
"I met Troy way back, after I first started boxing," Davis remembered. "We'd meet up at the Nationals and other tournaments and hang together with my brothers. My coach retired, so I went to Troy's gym (Alexandria, VA) and started working with Coach Kay (Koroma, USA Assistant National Boxing Coach). We're getting close to our dream (representing the USA in the Olympics) that started so long ago that it seems unreal to be getting close. You can expect two boxers from Virginia to come back from Japan with gold medals. We're like brothers."
 
"Coach Kay first cornered me when I was 13. He's a great coach who wants us to succeed in life, not just in the ring. He wants the best for us. We have one of the best U.S. boxing teams in a long time and it's going to show in Japan. We always help each other out and this is a very exciting time for us right now."
 
Another close friend of Keyshawn's is, 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, who has been through what Keyshawn is approaching, and is now at the level as a professional prospect in which Davis aspires to reach.
 
"Shakur has always supported me," Davis continued. "We talk a lot. Honestly, it's hard for me not to think about turning pro, because my amateur career will be over after the Olympics. I've always been taught to have a plan, so I've been preparing, business-wise, looking into my options (manager and promoter), and to stay on the right track from the amateurs to pros."
 
If he wasn't a boxer, Davis figures he'd be a realtor, but he's thoroughly enjoying the life as a boxer.
 
"This has been a great experience," Davis spoke about his amateur boxing career, "especially this year getting ready for the Pan AMs. I've had opportunities to travel and meet people, but the best part is being part of a team like this. Boxing is an individual sport but, outside the ring, we're always pushing hard for each other.
 
"I thank God every day when I get up for putting me in this position. All I want to do is provide for me and my family. At my age, I'm ahead of the game."
 
 

Ghana boxer gets Scotland assignment

Ghana boxer gets Scotland assignment

According to Ghana Web, Ghanaian welterweight Justice Addy (16-5-1) has booked his trip to Livingston, Scotland to face comebacking Lee McAllister on June 15th. McAllister (35-3) had his last significant fight in 2012, a loss to Denis Shafikov. McAllister got an easy win in 2013 but hasn't fought since and is now age 37. Addy's last fight was a loss to Joseph Lamptey in December for Ghana's lightweight championship.

 

Late results: Duno wins in Indio, California

Late results: Duno wins in Indio, California

Late results: Duno wins in Indio, California
Romero Duno W9 Juan A. Rodriguez... Filipino lightweight "Ruthless" Romero Duno (20-1, 15 KOs) defeated Mexico's Juan Antonio "Mozo" Rodriguez (30-8, 26 KOs) via ninth-round technical split decision on Thursday in Indio, California. Duno won with scores of 85-84 and 86-83, while one judge scored the fight 85-84 for Rodriguez. "The referee asked me if I could see," said Rodriguez. "I said that it was hard for me to see, so they stopped the fight. I didn't have enough time to prepare, but that doesn't affect what happened. After all the head-butts and low blows, I guess the better man won."
 
Manny Robles III W10 Rigoberto Hermosillo... In the co-feature at the Fantasy Springs Casino, Los Angeles featherweight Manny "Chato" Robles III (18-0, 8 KOs) defeated Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico via majority decision in a ten-round slugfest. Robles won with scores of 97-92 and 96-93, while one judge scored it 95-94 for Hermosillo. "Rigoberto Hermosillo was a tough opponent," said Manny Robles III. "I take my hat off to him. But I felt I got the victory. I landed harder shots, and I landed more throughout the fight. I was smarter in there than he was."
 
MORE RESULTS
 
Genaro "El Conde" Gamez (9-0, 6 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. beat Daniel Evangelista (20-10-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico City, in the first round of an eight-round junior welterweight fight. Gamez won via knockout with time 2:43 of the aforementioned round. Gamez said afterwards,  "I feel excited. I got the knockout. We don't usually go for it but we got it. Of course I can still make 135 if there's a championship fight. There were personal things in the past, and that's why I was inactivate. But that's behind me, and I'm coming back stronger."
 
Carlos "The Solution" Morales (18-4-3, 7 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. defeated Pedro Navarrete (30-24-3, 19 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. via knockout in a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout. Morales stopped Navarrete at 2:02 of the fifth round.
 
Sean "Sugar Rush" Garcia (4-0, 2 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Martin Cardona (26-20, 18 KOs) of Tucson, Arizona in a featherweight battle. The fight was stopped at the end of the aforementioned round after Cardona refused to leave his stool to continue. "This is great. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Sean Garcia. "I'm ready for a promoter to take my career to the next level."
 
Mexico's Dihul Olguin (14-12-3 9 KOs) defeated Tenochtitlan "T-Dog" Nava (7-2, 1 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. via majority decision in a six-round super featherweight fight. Olguin won with scores of 56-58 and 55-59, while one judge scored it a 57-57 draw. Olguin said later, "I won this fight with a broken hand. I'm proud that I could get the win with just one hand."
 
Kevin Anton (1-0, 1 KOs) of Palmdale, Calif. defeated Lashawn Alcocks (1-6) of Queens, New York via knockout in the second round of a welterweight fight.  "It feels amazing to make my pro debut," said Kevin Anton. "It's been a long time coming. We're finally here, and we're going to make some noise. source for all results: golden boy press release 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"100% Free Agent" Gary Russell Jr. wants Santa Cruz or Berchelt next

"100% Free Agent" Gary Russell Jr. wants Santa Cruz or Berchelt next
Greg Leon: Congrats on another successful title defense against Kiko Martinez (39-9-2, 28 KOs) last night. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Gary Russell Jr: "I honestly got to take some time to look at the footage all over again. I feel like I controlled the pace of the fight, I feel like I controlled and dictated everything from round one until the conclusion of the fight."
 
GL: Before the fight you had a great line talking about you only come around once a year like Santa Claus. You obviously keep yourself in the gym because in each of these annual appearances you've never looked rusty at all. GR: "That's absolutely right, I'm always in the gym. I stay in the gym, we don't take off that much, birthday's, Holiday's, even sometimes anniversaries depending on what time of the year it is, we're in the gym. We don't take off."
 
GL: I don't believe you on anniversaries. On anniversaries you're busy making the next lil Russell.
 
GR: (laughs) "It's funny because we recently had a set of twins about six months ago, so that's funny."
 
GL: Were they conceived on your anniversary?
 
GR: (laughs very hard) "Hey man...that's funny."
 
GL: You made it clear to everyone in attendance and viewing on Showtime that you want Leo Santa Cruz next. How confident are you that the fight will happen?
 
GR: "I'm not sure. I want the fight to happen and I've been trying to get that fight for the past four years ever since I got the world title. The WBC made him the mandatory and he opted to take another fight, I'm not sure what the situation is. I just wanted to make it clear to the fans what it is that I want. I want a unification match and I'm willing to make it happen."
 
GL: Will you fight again in 2019?
 
GR: "I'm definitely planning on it. It's very, very possible. I'm going to sit down and spend some time with my babies. If I'm going to fight again this year I wouldn't want it to be against anyone other than Leo Santa Cruz. It depends on how willing they are to make the fight."
 
GL: If you're fighting again at 126 pounds, is Leo Santa Cruz the only fight that interests you?
 
GR: "Yes."
 
GL: So if it's not Santa Cruz you're hoping to get...
 
GR: (cutting in) "If not Leo, I'm looking to move in weight and fight Miguel Berchelt [WBC 130-pound champion]. I have the WBC title at 126 so that means I can immediately move up and challenge the champion in the next weight division."
 
GL: What do you think of Berchelt?
 
GR: "To be honest with you I haven't sat down and watched a full fight of his. I think he's strong, I think he's wide, he's slow, he's flat footed. I think he's tailor made for me. I think my speed and my boxing ability will take over in that fight."
 
GL: You don't get paid by the round, but after a year off are you disappointed you didn't get more rounds in the other night?
 
GR: "Not at all. As you can see, he got cut open really, really bad and it was from a punch. The quicker I can get these guys out of there, the less of a chance there is for me to catch an accidental head butt or an elbow, or even give the opponent the possibility of landing something of substance."
 
GL: You can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but in the first round it looked like you came out looking to assert yourself, backing Martinez up, on some "I can beat you with this way if I want to," and then in round two you began to let him walk into the fire. I really thought you were trying to catch him with a counter uppercut when he was leaning in.
 
GR: "That's absolutely right, oh my God I was trying to catch him with that uppercut. His corner did some funny stuff too, I don't know if you could catch it on TV, but his corner was literaly sticking their hand into a jar of vaseline and rub it all over his head and face. It was so crazy, because I would land a jab and look for the uppercut and the punch was completely sliding off him. I didn't land on him as cleanly as I wanted to because they had him so vaselined up."
 
GL: When we spoke before the fight you said Leo Santa Cruz and then Tank Davis. Now you're saying Leo and then Berchelt, or straight to Berchelt. Why is Tank no longer on the immediate things to do list? Do you just think the fight isn't doable?
 
GR: "To get a shot at the IBF title, I would have to work my way up the rankings in that sanctioning body. I would have to move up and fight somebody before I can fight him. With the WBC I can just move up and get the title fight immediately."
 
GL: Okay, so you don't want to fight in an elimination bout when you could move up snatch a belt and then unify with Tank, correct?
 
GR: "Exactly right. I can immediately relinquish my title and challenge the champion at 130, which would be Berchelt. After that I would definitely want to get a unification match."
 
GL: He's with Top Rank you're with the PBC. Isn't that a difficult fight to make?
 
GR: "We'll just have to deal with it at that point. That's something I want to do and I'm a complete free agent. I'm not with PBC. We have a great business relationship and we're working with PBC, but I'm not locked in to any manager, promoter or any specific network. I'm 100% a free agent."
 
GL: Based on the good business you've been doing with the PBC, I imagine it's not a situation you're willing to walk away from if they're backing you, is it?
 
GR: "It's got to make sense. At the end of the day we do this to provide a sense of stability and protection and foundation for our loved ones. If someone is willing to throw some money in my direction or create a deal that's more than PBC or Showtime is offering then that's more money for me to provide for my family and my loved ones, so it would only make sense for me to go with the better deal, and I have the ability and fluctuation to do so because I'm a complete free agent. 
 
I would love to stay with the team and I'm the only fighter who has made his pro debut on Showtime, no other fighter has done that. I'm the first fighter to do it, so I'm kind of a part of a fraternity with them, but at the end of the day the ultimate goal, and the reason I'm in this profession, just like you have the profession that you have is to provide a sense of foundation, protection and stability for your family. Whichever one is going to give me the best option to do so, it would only be right to go in that direction. I'm making the decisions for what's best for me and my family."
 
GL: As Rod Tidwell once said, show me the money.
 
GR: (laughs) "There you go. There you go."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
GR: "I hope I didn't let anybody down, I know you guys are probably upset that you had to see me destroy Kiko Martinez and make it look incredibly easy. I want Leo Santa Cruz, I want unification and if they want to make the fight happen, let's...make...it...happen!"

Mykquan Williams Post-Fight Interview

Mykquan Williams Post-Fight Interview
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Rickey Edwards (12-2, 3 KOs) on Friday. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Mykquan Williams: "Thank you. I thought I fought good, I was more aggressive than usual, I had some not anger I would say, but some good controlled aggression. For my first ten rounder I felt good and I can't complain, I thought I fought good and I thought I did good." GL: How did you feel going ten rounds for the first time? MW: "Yeah it felt good, I was zoned in. I was on point, my conditioning was real good, I was in shape and camp went well. I can't wait to get back in there."
 
GL: In your opinion is this the most impressive victory of your career?
 
MW: "I've been hearing that from other people, but I don't know. I thought I did real good, I got to watch the fight. Sometimes I don't even watch my fights and other times I do. People were saying for this to be my first ten rounder, this is the best performance they've seen."
 
GL: Was there anything about Rickey Edwards that surprised you at all?
 
MW: "Not at all. I didn't watch any tape on him so I can't be surprised if I didn't know anything about him."
 
GL: Without seeing the fight, is there anything that you feel you could've done to make it an easier night for you?
 
MW: "Not really. I was putting pressure on him, I was letting my hands go. I was breaking him down to the body because he was a taller opponent. As of right now I don't think I could have done anything that would have made the night easier for me."
 
GL: The judges scores were all over the place. One judge had it a shutout, another had it one round away from being a draw. How did you see the fight?
 
MW: "I didn't really pay attention to the scoring when it was announced, but I don't know what the hell they was watching. I don't feel like I gave a round away. Maybe one, two at the most. It definitely wasn't a close fight at all."
 
GL: Now that you've graduated to ten rounders, is it time for you to get in the faster lane? 
 
MW: "Definitely and I can't wait. I'm just taking it one fight at a time, I'm not rushing, but I'm definitey looking forward to seeing what the future holds."
 
GL: Is now the time for you to be in a Shobox type of fight?
 
MW: "I would think it is. I think so. I'm getting up there and it's time to get some TV exposure on bigger networks, but I know my team has a plan for me and they've got something in the works. I'm just waiting to see what it is."
 
GL: I've done post fight interviews with you before where you've already known when your next fight is going to take place. Is this one of those occasions?
 
MW: (laughs) "I don't know honestly, but I'm guessing it's going to be around August. I might be wrong, who knows?"
 
GL: So you basically see yourself fighting twice more this year?
 
MW: "Definitely. My manager (Jackie Kallen) would like me to get in there three times, but I definitely see myself getting two more in."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
MW: "Continue to support me, I want to thank everyone who already does, and thank you for reaching out like always my man. Stay tuned."

Alantez Fox wins in Washington D.C.

Alantez Fox wins in Washington D.C.
Alantez Fox TKO6 Nick Brinson... Alantez Fox scored a sixth-round stoppage ofr Nick Brinson in a super middleweight clash Saturday at The ESA Arena in Washington, D.C. Fox (25-1-1) landed a right hand in the opening frame that sent Brinson to the canvas. Fox never lost control of the encounter and worked very well behind his jab, landing power shots in every round.  By round five, it seemed like a matter of time before Fox would be able to get Brinson (19-5-2) out of the fight. In the next round he did, landing a heavy barrage that convinced the corner of Brinson to stop the bout. CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR BOXINGTALK'S INTERVIEW WITH ALANTEZ FOX
 
Tiara Brown TKO6 Angel Gladney... Washington, DC Police Officer Tiara Brown stopped Angel Gladney in the sixth round of their scheduled ten-round junior lightweight bout. Brown dominated the contest, repeatedly landing flush shots. In round six, she put her foot on the gas pedal, and landed hard flurry of punches and the bout was stopped 34 seconds into the contest. Brown of Washington, DC is 8-0 with six knockouts. Gladney of South Carolina is 10-15-1. 
 
MORE RESULTS
 
In an exciting back-and-forth brawl Jordan White and Christian Esquivel stood toe to toe in a war that saw White pound out a six-round unanimous decision in a super featherweight bout. They pounded away at each other with White landing more and he more significant blows. He had Esquivel in trouble several times, but Esquivel would either escape or land some good flush shots on White.  Both guys were cut on the forehead from an accidental headbutt. It was a terrific action fight that had the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the contest. White, from Washington, DC, won by scores of 59-55 and 60-54 (twice), and is now 8-1. Esquivel, 129 1/2 lbs of Mexico is 30-18-1...
 
Junior welterweight Patrick Harris remained undefeated via disqualification in round three over Anthony Woods of their scheduled eight-round bout. In round three, Woods was deducted a point for holding. Seconds later, Woods was docked again for holding. Again, it only took a few seconds for Woods to be deducted again, and the bout was stopped at  Harris is 16-0. Woods from the  Bahamas, falls to 10-24...
 
Renaldo Gaines won a four-round unanimous decision over Eduardo Melendez in a super featherweight bout. Gaines, 130 lbs of Maryland won by scores of 40-37 and 39-37 (twice) to raise his mark to 10-2. Melendez, 127 1/2 lbs of Puerto Rico falls to 5-26...
 
Maryland's George Harris (4-0, 4 KOs) kept his knockout streak alive by taking out Antwaun Taylor (4-11) in the second round of a heavyweight fight. In round one, Harris dropped Taylor with a left hook off the ropes. Later in the round, Harris dumped Taylor again with a harder left hook. Early in round two, it was a flurry of punches that sent Taylor down for a 3rd time, and the bout was stopped at 1:08...
 
Jonathan Conde ruined the pro debut for Taurean Venable by scoring an explosive first-round stoppage in their scheduled four-round junior welterweight bout. Conde drooped Venable with a hard right hand. Seconds later, Conde landed another booming shot that put Venable on his back, and the bout was stopped at 1:31. Conde, 137 1/2 lbs of Miami is 1-2 with one knockout. Venable, 142 1/4 lbs of Washington, DC is 0-1. source for all results: tricky entertainment / DC Fight/Night

Late results from around the United States

Late results from around the United States

Ardreal Holmes W6 Lanardo Tyner... Flint Michigan junior middleweight Ardreal Holmes went to 9-0 with a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Lanardo Tyner in Dearborn, Michigan. The 24 year-old Holmes of Flint, Michigan was systematic in winning by shutout tallies on two cards at 60-54 and 58-56 on the third to raise the former amateur star's record to 9-0.  The 43 year-old Tyner falls to 35-16-2.

 

Raquel Miller TKO7 Erin Toughill.. Raquel Miller moved a step closer to a world title shot, scoring a seventh-round stoppage over Erin Toughill in Hawaiian Gardens, California. Miller, from San Francisco, knocked Toughill down in the first round with a body shot, and then dropped Toughill with a combination punctuated by a left hook in the seventh round that sent Toughill to the canvas.  Toughill got up, but was in no condition to continue, and the bout was stopped at 1:01. With the win, the fighter dubbed "Pretty Beast" is now 9-0 with four knockouts. The 41 year-pld Toughill is now 7-5-1

Carlos Dixon TKO2 Jeno Tonte... Also on Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, 22 year-old super bantamweight Carlos Dixon stopped Jeno Tonte in the second round of their scheduled six-round bout. Dixon, who fought in his hometown, is now 8-1 with six knockouts. Tonte drops to 9-8 withhis fourth straight loss via stoppage. source for all results: split-t management 


 

Results from Denmark: Mock still winning at 47

Results from Denmark: Mock still winning at 47
Lolenga Mock W12 Mateo Damian Veron ... Age 47, and a 28-year pro, the incredible Lolenga Mock avenged a loss against Mateo Damian Veron (28-24-3) in Aarhus, Denmark. The local hero scored a split decision, twelve-round win over his Argentinian opponent.  The win reverses a January loss by Mock to Veron
 
Shakhobidin Zoirov TKO2 Mishiko Shubuitidze... On the same Danish show, Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan improved to 2-0 as a pro. Fighting as a super bantamweight, Zoirov halted Mishiko Shubuitidze (12-14-3) of the Republic of Georgia in the first round. Zoirov holds an amateur win over current WBC flyeight champion Charlie Edwards.
 
UNDERCARD
 
Zoirov’s compatriot – former world amateur king Hurshid Tojibaev-- was also a convincing winner as he outclassed Irakli Shariashvili (5-3-1)...
 
To complete a clean sweep for the MTK Global fighters on the night, Germany’s Thulasi Tharumalingam blasted his way to 6-0 and 4 KOs with a fourth-round stoppage of Giorgi Bliadze (8-15). Source: MTK Global Management
 

Felix Alvarado retains IBF 108-pound title

Felix Alvarado retains IBF 108-pound title
Felix Alvarado W12 Reiya Konishi ... The IBF light flyweight championship remains around the waist of Nicaragua's Felix Alvarado, who went to Kobe, Japan and defeated Reiya Konishi by unanimous decision. The first half of the fight was close, but Alvarado swept rounds eight through eleven on all three official scorecard to clinch the win. Alvarado is now 35-2. He claimed the vacant title last year against Randy Petalcorin. Konishi was fighting in his hometown, but fell to 17-2. Konichi's previous loss was to Carlos "Triple C" Canizales last year. Konichi conceded defeat afterwards, teling the Kyodo news agency, “He absolutely overwhelmed me. He was tougher than I thought he would be, and I was never able to seize the moment and turn things my way. I’m still some way from being good enough to take on the world.” source: japan times / kyodo

Wilder-Breazeale post-fight reaction

Wilder-Breazeale post-fight reaction
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder delivered the 40th knockout of his career in devastating fashion Saturday night, putting Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale flat on his back with a trademark right hand in front of a raucous crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Here is what Wilder (pictured) had to say afterwards:  "Everything just came out of me tonight.  I know it’s been a big build up.  There’s been a lot of animosity and a lot of words that were said and it just came out of me tonight.That’s what makes boxing so great. I just told Breazeale I love him and of course I want to see him go home to his family.  I know we say some things, but when you can fight a man and then you can hug him and kiss him, I wish the world was like that.  We shake hands and we live to see another day and that’s what it’s all about."
 
MORE DEONTAY WILDER QUOTES
 
“I saw him [Breazeale] slow up a little bit.  When I hit him with the right hand the first time his body language changed.  When you've been in with so many  guys you can recognize body language."
 
“I understand what Tyson Fury did [choosing not to fight Wilder in a rematch].  When you get dropped on the canvas like that, I understand you have to get yourself back together.  But the rematch will happen, like all these other fights will happen.  The great thing is all these fights are in discussion.  The big fights will happen.  I just want you to have patience. You know what the saying is, good things come to those who wait."
 
DOMINIC BREAZEALE
 
"I think the ref stopped it a little early because I could hear him saying seven and eight, but that's boxing. He did his job and kept us safe for our next fight. 
 
"I got on my feet and had my legs under me. It's the heavyweight division so there's going to big shots from guys with power. 
 
"This was a situation where he landed the big right hand before I did. I thought I was going to come on in the later rounds. I'll be back and go for the heavyweight title again."

Monster Inoue lays waste to Rodriguez to become three-division champ

Monster Inoue lays waste to Rodriguez to become three-division champ

Naoya Inoue TKO2 Emmanuel Rodriguez...  In Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, Japan's Naoya Inoue put on about the most devastating performance possible for a boxer, destroying a previously unbeated champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez in just two rounds. Today,  Inoue scored three knockdowns in the second round against Rodriguez (19-1), a man who had never before been knoced down as a pro. The first knockdown was a left that bloodied Rodriguez's nose. The second was a body shot that left the Puerto Rican grimacing in pain. Rodriguez barely beat the count, and was quickly down for a third time. To Rodriguez's credit, he beat the count but clearly was in no shape to continue. Inoue (18-0) is now a legitimate three-division champion, as he adds Rodriguez's IBF 118-pound title to the WBC 108-pound and WBO 115-pound titles he previously won. (Forget about the WBA regular 118-pound title Inoue carried into the ring, it is a secondary, paper championship). With this performance, Inoue forced his way into pound-for-pound conversation. Certainly Inoue belongs in any legitimate top five pound-for-pound list. The win over Rodriguez moves Inoue into the finals of the World Boxing Super Series against the real WBA champion, future hall of famer Nonito Donaire.   source: dazn

Wilder obliterates Breazeale in first round

Wilder obliterates Breazeale in first round
Deontay Wilder KO1 Dominic Breazeale... Say what you will about Deontay Wilder’s technique, the man hits hard.  Don’t ask Dominic Breazeale how hard though, because chances are he doesn’t remember.  The WBC heavyweight champion needed less than a round to settle matters at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. Things seemed to have settled down after a fierce exchange from both fighters halfway through round one-- Wilder closed in for the knockout but Breazeale landed two good punches to back Wilder off.  Just a few seconds later though, Wilder’s right hand came down the middle like a city-destroying dragon.  By the time the back of Breazeale’s head hit the canvas, it was already understood that this fight was over, regardless of referee Harvey Dock’s ten count.  Breazeale gamely tried to beat the count but was about two seconds slow and in absolutely no shape to continue. Official time of the knockout was 2:17.  Source: Showtime

Undercard results from Brooklyn

Undercard results from Brooklyn
Robert Alfonso D8 Iago Kiladze...  At Brooklyn, New York's Barclay Center, a battle between heavyweights Robert Alfonso (18-0-1, 8 KOs) of Cuba and Iago Kiladze (26-4-1, 18 KOs) of the Republic of Georgia ended in a split-draw. After eight rounds of [in]action, one judge scored the fight 77-75 for Alfonso, another had it 77-75 for Kiladze, with the third judge scoring it 76-76, resulting in the draw. With the stalemate verdict, Kiladze ended a three-bout losing streak.
 
Gary Antuanne Russell TKO3 Marcos Mojica ... Also entering the ring was 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell (9-0, 9 KOs), the younger brother of WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr., who dropped Marcos Mojica (16-4-2, 12 KOs) twice to earn a stoppage 2:13 into the third round. 
 
Richardson Hitchins TKO3 Alejandro Munera... Rounding out the three undercard attractions were streamed live on Showtime Sports' social platforms: Brooklyn-native and 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (9-0, 5 KOs) scored a TKO of Alejandro Munera (4-2-3, 4 KOs). It was a welterweight contest. Munera was knocked down in round three and unable to continue despite making it to the final bell of the round. source for all results: showtime press release

Tank Davis booked for hometown fight

Tank Davis booked for hometown fight
[Although social media beefs are swirling between Gervonta Davis and both Tevin Farmer and Gary Russell], it was announced on Saturday's Showtime telecast that Davis, the undefeated WBA 130-pound super champion, will instead defend his title against mandatory challenger Ricardo Nuñez on Saturday, July 27th. The bout will take place at an unspecified venue Dasvis' hometown of Baltimore. Showtime will televise. It will be a championship homecoming for the 24 year-old, who will fight for the first time as a champion in front of his hometown fans. The Floyd Mayweather protégé and youngest U.S.-born titlist in boxing has knocked out 20 of his 21 professional opponents, including KOs in all five of his world championship fights. Davis is coming off a first-round knockout of former bantamweight title holder Hugo Ruiz in February. The televised co-features and venue will be announced in the near-future. 
 
 
 

Russell stops Martinez on cuts

Russell stops Martinez on cuts
Gary Russell Jr. TKO5 Kiko Martinez... WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KOs) had Kiko Martinez (39-9, 28 KOs) on missile lock from round one.  Russell’s marksmanship was on display, his speed was blinding, and his level of superiority was as apparent as the blood on Martinez’s face by round three.  A former IBF 122-pound title holder, Martinez’s veteran savvy was apparent in its own right, as he did have fleeting moments of success.  While never shaking Russell with any single punch, Martinez landed some good body punches. Those brief moments of Martinez's success showed the makings of an interesting fight should it reach the final few rounds.  But long before that might have materialized, the action was stopped when referee Ricky Gonzalez asked the ringside doctor to check out the rather large cut on under what used to be Martinez’s left eyebrow.  Russell’s dominant performance came to a halt at 2:52 of round five when the doctor instructed Gonzalez to end things.  After the win, Russell expressed a passionate desire to face Leo Santa Cruz, stating that should that fight not materialize, he would be forced to move up in weight for a potential showdown with either WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis or WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt. Source: Showtime
 

New champion alert: Josh Taylor outguns Ivan Baranchyk for IBF 140-pound title

New champion alert: Josh Taylor outguns Ivan Baranchyk for IBF 140-pound title

Josh Taylor W12 Ivan Baranchyk... Scotland's Josh "The Tartan Tornado" Taylor had the kind of night every boxer dreams about. Fighting in his home nation, Taylor took away Ivan Baranchyk's undefeated record, became the IBF junior welterweight champion and punched his ticket for a World Boxing Super Series final bout, where he will unify vs. WBC champion Regis Prograis and compete for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Both men were cut from an early clash of heads, with Taylor getting the worst of it. It was an excellent, fast-paced fight. Taylor knocked Baranchyk down twice in round six, the first time from a right on the button, the second time just before the round ended. "If I had more time in that round, it would have been game over," said Taylor in his post-fight interview. Baranchyk proved himself to be in tremendous shape, comingout for the seventh fully recovered and continuing to press forward against his taller foe. Baranchyk landed some hard punches, but Taylor landed more, picking off Baranchyk on the way in, and generally controlling the action.  Taylor did, however, make the fight more difficult (and more exciting) than it needed to be, as he did not move around enough to take full advantage of his superior height and reach. The official scores were 117-109 and 115-111 (twice). Taylor is listed at 15-0 but had additional pro fights, including at least one loss in AIBA's World Series of Boxing competition. Prograis was in attendance and jokingly offered to fight Taylor in Scotland. The location of Taylor-Prograis will be determined by the World Boxing Super Series organizers. Baranchyk (19-1) should take a few months off after this tough fight, but he remains a world-level contender whose stock remains high.  source: dazn

Saunders picks up paper title vs. Isufi

Saunders picks up paper title vs. Isufi

Billy Joe Saunders W12 Shefat Isufi ... In his second fight back after a PED suspension, Billy Joe Saunders grabbed a soft title in Stevenage, England, defeating little-known Shefat Isufi of Germany for the vacant WBO super middleweight belt. The title became vacant when Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez vacated in order to campaign at light heavyweight. While Saunders can now call himself a two-division champ, this fight continued a disturbing trend of the WBO nominating unqualified B-sides to compete for vacant title (following the undeserving Walter Kautondokwa who lost to Demetrius Andrade when the middleweight title was taken away from Saunders after his positive PED test). Saunders won this one easily on the official scorecards, 120-108, 117-111 and 118-110. He is now 28-0. "I wasn't really pushed or anything in there, it was like good sparring practice for me," said Saunders afterwards. Isufi is now 27-4-2 and still has no notable victories. source: espn+

Mendez and Heraldez battle to a draw

Mendez and Heraldez battle to a draw
Argenis Mendez D10 Juan Heraldez... At Brooklyn, New York's Barclay Center, former 130-pound title holder Argenis Mendez held undefeated Juan Heraldez to a ten-round draw in a 140-pound contest. Judge Julie Lederman scored it 97-93 for Mendez, but she was overruled by two 95-95 scorecards. Heraldez was not that aggressive and gave away the last round, prompting Mendez (25-5-3) to say afterwards, "I thought I won the fight. He didn't do anything to me. How did he win the fight? My speed and my power made it difficult for him. I thought my counterpunching was really good. He tired toward the later rounds and that let me get a little closer to him to get my offense going." Heraldez (16-0-1) landed a few more punches than Medez did over the course of the fight (according to Compubox), and he too thought he won: "I didn't think it was a draw. He didn't do anything that hurt me at any point. I could have gotten started a little earlier. I could have boxed him and thrown more punches in the early rounds. I probably left myself open too much. I just need to clean that up a bit against a crafty veteran like that.  He wasn't really engaging with me. He was just trying to move around and pick his shots, but nothing I wasn't ready for. I'll either take the rematch with Mendez or move forward toward a my goal of a world title." source: showtime / press release
 
 
 

Joe Joyce pummels Alexander Ustinov

Joe Joyce pummels Alexander Ustinov

Joe Joyce KO3 Alexander Ustinov... Joe Joyce, one of a rising crop of British heavyweights, took a step forward in his career, defeating a long-in-the-tooth Alexander Ustinov inside three rounds in a chilly outdoor fight held in Stevenage, England (at time, you could see the boxers' breath).  Joyce is not the quickest heavyweight in the world, and old man Ustinov suited his pacing needs perfectly. Joyce dominated from the outset, causing a cut on Ustinov's forehead in round one. In the third, Ustinov landed one good punch before Joyce proceeded to beat him up steadily. The end came in the third when Joyce landed a hard left to Ustinov's ear. The big Belorussian fell to his knees, where he took a ten count. Joyce is now 9-0 with 9 KOs, but his last three opponents-- Joe Hanks, ex-WBC title holder Bermane Stiverne and now Ustinov, were all well past their best days. (Joyce had additional pro fights in the World Series of Boxing, including a loss to Oleksandr Usyk). Joyce, along with Nathan Gorman and Daniel Dubois represent the future of British Boxing behind Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte. Now working with trainer Adam Booth, Joyce will likely not be rushed into too tough of a fight next even though he is 33 years old. Ustinov, age 42, has now lost three in a row and falls to 34-4. There is little doubt he should retire. source: espn+

Fight announced between Koki Kameda and Tenshin Nasukawa

Fight announced between Koki Kameda and Tenshin Nasukawa

According to the Asian Boxing website, a major Japanese fighting event has been booked for June 22nd, but it remains to be seen whether this wil be a legitimate fight or a media circus. Three-division champion Koki Kameda is going to fight kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, the guy who was destroyed in a boxing exhibition by Floyd Mayweather. The rules of combat will be announced soon, and that will clarify how serious of a fight this is going to be. Kameda was 33-2 in his career and won WBA titles at 108, 112 and 118 pounds. The problem is, he has not fought since a 2015 loss to Kohei Kono. Though he looked terrible vs. Mayweather, the 20 year-old Nashukawa is an undeniable kickboxing superstar, undefeated in about thirty bouts. Asian Boxing reported the announcement came at the end of a television show in which Nasukawa defeated two opponents in kickboxing fights, one of them being former WBA 115-pound boxing champion Tepparith Kokietgym.

 

Yigit breaks down Baranchyk-Taylor

Yigit breaks down Baranchyk-Taylor
Danish boxer Anthony Yigit lost to IBF 140-pound champion Ivan Baranchyk in the opening round of the World Boxing Super Series. He also narrowly lost to Josh Taylor in the amateurs. Yigit may be the most qualified  person in the world to break down today's Baranchyk-Taylor fight in the World Boxing Super Series. Here is Yigit's analysis, which he posted on Reddit on Friday: This is indeed an interesting matchup and I wish I could be one of the fighters going up this weekend. Well, wishing ain't getting me anywhere so I am training harder than ever so hopefully it's just a question of when I'm fighting for the world title again. Meanwhile, let's take a seat and take a look at the two fighters whom I fought: Josh Taylor, as an amateur back in 2011 and Ivan Baranchyk, last year.
 
Though Taylor has improved a lot since he turned pro, I can still recognize some patterns from our fight all those years ago. The fight went as follows: I pressured and threw punches while he blocked and countered. It was a very close fight which he won by 1 point. (Everywhere online says 3 points but I remember clearly it being 1 point. I even have it in my amateur bout book-- anyways, I'm not salty about that). It was a good fight and he was very nice and humble, praising my boxing afterwards. I didn't notice anything special other than him being a great technician in the ring. I sparred him in 2015 and first thing I noticed was him being much stronger, more explosive and having some killer body shots. I saw he still had the same weakness from before, which I will get to shortly and it will have a major impact on what I think the outcome and odds for the fight will be.
 
Baranchyk: I saw him as a very raw, strong and aggressive fighter who fight more with his muscles than with his brain but he did surprise me in our fight several times. I could see that they had a game plan made for me (a southpaw) and that he executed what he had practiced well from time to time. The left uppercut that hit me cleanly in the beginning of the fight comes in mind.
 
My predictions:
 
One thing I noticed with Taylor from sparring him, fighting him and watching his fights as a pro is that he can still square up when pressured to the ropes. He'll be standing there, waiting for the punches you throw at him to stop before he continues to box. He's improved in this aspect but I can still see it happening sometimes and it's a dangerous habit against someone like Baranchyk. It's dangerous to give Baranchyk space to swing and lunge forward as he is a very hard hitter and Taylor have a tendency to lean back on the ropes. Baranchyk on the other hand wastes stamina quite recklessly and isn't really protecting his body. I noticed he felt a couple of body punches I hit him with in the sixth round before the doctor stopped our fight [Yigit had a grotesquely swollen eye] but watch that fight and look at Baranchyk and how heavy he breathes after the fight is over. There was still supposed to be half the fight left. We've seen Taylor do tremendous work to the body so him getting a KO to the body wouldn't surprise me.
 
I see Taylor win either on points if he boxes smart or over the distance as he is the taller fighter or KO to the body. However I think Baranchyk can also win but on TKO. They both hit hard but in different ways. Baranchyk's punches feels like someone throws a cannon ball at you while Taylors punches are more crisp and sharp. It feels like you're getting stabbed by a spear.
 
My odds are: Taylor wins 65% , Baranchyk wins 35%
 
This is just my own opinion based on what I've experienced. I'm in no way a boxing scientist and I'm sure someone has been watching them more than me and can give a better breakdown but I hope you guys can appreciate me giving my honest thoughts in this! All the best!