Category Archives: Blog

September 16, 2018
September 16, 2018
Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez

Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

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CANELO ALVAREZ defeated Gennady Golovkin via majority decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to claim the WBA and  WBC middleweight titles.

It was a better bout than the first as Canelo – widely expected to box and move – stood his ground impressively and ignored the famed power of Gennady Golovkin.

That’s not to say it didn’t land, though. Golovkin had long periods of success. At the end of 12 rounds, it looked like it could go either way.

GGG stormed from the ring at the end, after hearing two scores of 115-113 go against him. The third score was 114-114. Our score are below…

On the undercard exciting Mexican Jaime Munguia defended his WBO super-welterweight title against Brandon Cook, Spike O’Sullivan was taken apart in one round by David Lemieux, while Roman Gonzalez returned to winning ways against Moises Fuentes.

Scroll down for information on how we saw the night and fights unfold.

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September 14, 2018
September 14, 2018
Manny Pacquiao

Action Images/Reuters/Lai Seng Sin

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FINALLY it is here, Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez II. All of the trash talking is over and the most anticipated return fight of the year, perhaps for many years, will be over by Sunday morning. The bad feeling between the two fighters is genuine and so is the difficulty in predicting who will win. I slightly favour Golovkin so Gennady is my pick, but my dearest wish is a fight worthy of the occasion and a clear undisputed winner. Under this great fight David Lemieux vs Gary O’Sullivan promises mayhem with Lemieux looking down the slope if he loses and O’Sullivan hoping to get a fight against the winner of Golovkin vs. Alvarez. There is also Jamie Munguia and Roman Gonzalez fighting good level opposition. Munguia an exciting talent and he will be looking to blow away 20-1 Canadian Brandon Cook to build on his impressive power shows in wins over Sadam Ali and Liam Smith. Roman Gonzalez will be having his first fight for a year and be trying to salvage his career with a win over experienced Moises Fuentes. Two losses in the space of six months against Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai saw Gonzalez fall from high in the pound-for-pound rankings to being dismissed as over the hill.

It has been good to see some big fights announced and confirmed or in the case of Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury seemingly all systems go with only the final details regarding date and venue to be announced – hopefully. December 1 or 8 have been mentioned as possible dates. Both fighters seem to have made concessions; Tyson by agreeing to the fight being held in the USA and Wilder to a 50/50 purse split. There is some scepticism over whether it really will take place so let’s hope we see very soon a date and venue set and tickets on sale. Of course Wilder vs Tyson is bigger than Anthony Joshua vs. Alex Povetkin. The winner will have a strong hand when it comes to bargaining for the Joshua fight next year but both Wilder and Fury know that what they are engaged in is basically an eliminator with the winner going on to face Joshua next year for a “Money Mayweather” level purse. If Wilder vs. Fury does not come off then both fighters will have to scrape around trying to find another significant fight this year. Who knows perhaps the WBC might even insist Wilder fights the winner of the [likely] December 22 fight between Dillian White and Dereck Chisora. Of course if Povetkin beats Joshua then it’s a different ball game as the winner of Wilder vs. Fury vs. Povetkin instead of Joshua won’t have the same significance or the same money.

The other fights announced are Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza and Terence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez.  The Lomachenko vs. Pedraza fight on December 8 will be a unification contest with Lomachenko’s WBA lightweight title and Pedraza’s WBO title on the line.  Pedraza boxed well to win the title from Ray Beltran but I can’t see him stopping Lomachenko from adding another title to his collection,

Crawford vs. Benavidez will be held October 13 in Omaha. Crawford, who has just signed a long term extension to his contract with Top Rank, unified all four major titles at super-light and it will lead to some great fights if his aim is to do the same at welterweight. Crawford vs. Errol Spence, Crawford vs. Manny Pacquiao, Crawford vs. Keith Thurman, Crawford vs. Shawn Porter all fights to savour. As with Povetkin we have to hope Benavidez does not turn out to be a banana skin for Crawford. Not likely but in boxing anything can happen. Benavidez is not actually in the WBO ratings right now. That is because he is No 1 with the WBA and sanctioning bodies tend to omit a fighter if he is in the mandatory spot in another sanctioning body’s ratings but the next set of WBO ratings will soon solve that little detail. Both Crawford and the 6’2” Benavidez were top class amateurs but their time at the top did not coincide. In 2006 Crawford won a silver medal at the National Golden Gloves and a gold medal at the National Police Athletic League Championships. He turned pro after failing to make the US Team for the 2008 Olympics. In 2009 Benavidez won a gold medal at the National Golden Gloves and a silver medal at the US national Championships. Interestingly in winning a bronze medal at the 2006 US National Championships Crawford beat Mikey Garcia 18-7 but lost to Danny Garcia 20-21. He did beat Danny Garcia in another tournament that year but lost to Cuban Yordenis Ugas which ended his hopes of a place at the 2007 Pan American Games. At the 2006 US National Championships you could have seen Crawford vs. Mikey Garcia and Crawford vs. Danny Garcia in the space of a couple of days for a few dollars entrance fee. Now they would be million dollar fights. In those 2006 Championships you could have watched Rau’shee Warren, Gary Russell, Danny Garcia, Demetrius Andrade and Daniel Jacobs who took gold medals and went on to win world titles and Crawford, Keith Thurman Edwin Rodriguez and Shawn Estrada who won bronze and Mikey Garcia, Casey Ramos, Mason Menard, Sadam Ali, Charles Hatley, Hank Lundy, Brad Solomon, Abraham Han. Jorge Diaz, Jessie Belmontes and Ray Robinson who went home empty handed. All for just a few dollars. A real bargain.

After the results at the weekend the situation in the welterweight division became even more interesting but no easier to predict. IBF champion Errol Spence is in a situation where he can make a voluntary defence. The No 1 spot in the IBF ratings was vacant until Yordenis Ugas beat Cesar Barrionuevo on Saturday. Previously Ugas could not go to No 1 as he had not beaten a rated fighter but in the crazy sanctioning body world he can now be No 1for beating No11. Shawn Porter, the new WBC champion, has been challenged by Spence but is not taking the bait with Porter’s father throwing Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia again, Terence Crawford and Spence in the mix and saying that they will decide what Porter does next. There has been a suggestion that the WBC might make Ugas Porter’s mandatory but how can they jump a guy who was No 9 to No 1 for beating a guy who was No 8 escapes me – oh just a minute that’s exactly what the IBF will now do with Ugas!

Notable absentees from the discussions are Crawford’s mandatory contender Custio Clayton and also Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan. In an Instagram post Pacquiao threatened Top Rank with legal action over alleged non-payment of monies due to him from the US rights to his fight with Lucas Matthysse. That situation has been resolved.

 

Pacquiao is seeing his options shrink for with fights very recently completed or scheduled for Porter, Garcia, Thurman, Spence and Crawford they are all “unavailable” right now. Obviously that could work in Khan’s favour. Any fight with Pacquiao in it is a big fight for big money and Pacquiao is said to be talking to Eddie Hearn about the possibility of a DAZN show. Since Khan’s fight on Saturday was on a Matchroom show it raises the possibility of a Pacquiao vs. Khan fight. However, Khan has said that Pacquiao has ruled himself out by asking for too much money and Khan will look to fight Kell Brook, which strengthens Brook’s hand. The stumbling block to a Khan vs. Brook fight would be the weight with Khan preferring welterweight but Brook knowing he would struggle to make 147lbs. A catchweight compromise might provide a solution but then they have to talk money and that could be another difficult hurdle. A pity both Pacquiao and Khan are past their best but perhaps that is fortunate for Khan.

Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan

With Olek Usyk having signed with Eddie Hearn the drums are beating for Usyk vs. Tony Bellew. Not much drum rolling needed for what will be a big attraction which sells itself. However the WBA are insisting that Usyk faces Denis Lebedev. Whether Usyk does fight Lebedev or not the WBA will still be off a very embarassing hook that their multi-title greed has speared them. Right now they have a super champion in Usyk, a secondary champion in Beibut Shumenov and an interim champion in Arsen Goulamirian. At the start of this year Lebedev was their super champion. To tidy things up they tucked Lebedev out of sight as “champion in recess”. However Lebedev has come out of the little corner they tucked him into and now they have no title for him. It will be interesting to see how they deal with that on their next ratings. They will have to invent a title for Lebedev. How about “super secondary interim no longer in recess champion”. Ah what a tangled web we weave…

There are two possible solutions. Usyk could relinquish the WBA title or they can recant their mandatory order and agree to the Usyk vs. Bellew fight on the understanding that the winner of Usyk vs. Bellew agrees to fight Lebedev. Bellew’s last fight was his win over David Haye in a heavyweight bout in May. He has not fought at cruiserweight since beating B J Flores in October 2016. Although right up to and including their July 31 issued ratings the WBA had not rated Bellew at any position in any division he suddenly appeared at No 8 cruiser in their latest ratings. So is that a sign that they are going to approve Usyk vs. Bellew?

Excellent show building for New Orleans on October 27. Two quarter-finals of the WBSS super-light series will see Regis Prograis take on Terry Flanagan and Swede Anthony Yigit against Ukrainian Ivan Baranchyk.

I would really have liked to see Donnie Nietes become a four division champion putting him level with Nonito Donaire. I saw the contests last weekend as a close fight but thought he beat Aston Palicte. The 36-year-old Filipino is now 16-0-2 in 18 world title fights and 8-0-1 against former, current and future world champions. His only career loss came on a split decision in  2004 in Indonesian against local fighter Angky Angkotta when Angkotta came in 6lbs over the weight but Nietes still went ahead with the fight. Since then he is 30-0-4 in 34 fights. Hopefully he will get another shot at a version of the super fly title but some sources say that he could face Kazuto Ioka next. A very tough ask.

Good to see British super bantam Thomas Ward may get a chance to fight in a final eliminator for the IBF super-bantam title against Cesar Juarez. The 24-0 former undefeated British champion is currently No 8 with the IBF and Juarez No 6. With positions one and two vacant a win over Juarez could allow Ward to jump to No1. Juarez was stopped in five rounds by Isaac Dogboe for the interim WBO title in January but has scored three wins since then two against decent level opposition.

Still on the super-bantams WBO champion Isaac Dogboe has said he would love to fight WBA champion Daniel Roman in London. The young Ghanaian fought in the Junior and Senior Novice championship and won the English National title when campaigning as an amateur in Britain and boxed for Ghana at the 2012 Olympics in London. He was born in Ghana and the Ghanaians naturally reacted with anger to an attempt by a UK paper to try to claim him for England.

Another interesting cruiser fight will see Jai Opetaia (16-0) vs. Bilal Laggoune (23-1-2) in Liege, Belgium on 6 October. Laggoune’s IBF Inter-Continental title will be on the line. This figures to be a really tough test for Opetaia. Laggoune lost a split decision to Doudou Ngumbu in February last year but has won his last three fights. Opetaia is No 10 with the WBO and Laggoune No 11 with the IBF.

The fight for the secondary heavyweight title between the holder Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo is scheduled for 29 September Cologne – don’t forget to miss it. Seriously the machinations of the WBA are not the fault of either boxer and even though neither of them is remotely near world class they could still put on an entertaining fight. Charr has been angered by some of the press focusing on his not having a German passport. Charr is adamant that he feels himself to be German and will go into the ring under both the German and Syrian flags.  His citizenship papers have been under review for a very long time with the suggestion that some outstanding tax issues are delaying it.

As a sport we have a bad habit of shooting our self in the foot. As if we did not have enough manufactured titles yet another one has popped up. Last week Umar Salamov won the vacant Eurasian Parliament title. Aghhhhhhhhh. To paraphrase the words of Sir Winston “never in the field of human conflict has a sport made itself look so ridiculous”.

September 11, 2018
September 11, 2018
Tony Jeffries

Action Images

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EVERYONE has a plan until they get punched in the face! That famous quote by Mike Tyson is one I love.

Being in the boxing fitness industry now after a 17-year competitive boxing experience, I’ll always get the odd person to me and say: “I’ve been boxing training for six months now and I’m ready to fight”. I always tell them to slow down with dropping the words: “I’m ready to fight”.

Getting punched in the face – particularly the nose – for the first time isn’t easy or nice.

But even after you get over the bloody nose and the watering eyes – which I guarantee will happen – there is still an awful lot to get through to become a “fighter”, including the consistency of training. You can’t miss a session to go out with your mates or to take your partner to watch the new Avenger film. No matter how much they moan at you, you have to be dedicated and make sure you’re doing more than your opponent.

You can’t just order a takeaway when you get hungry; you have to plan out all your meals and think about everything that goes in your mouth as you want to be the lightest possible, so you don’t end up fighting a guy twice your size.

Now comes the hard part: taking centre stage, getting in front of hundreds of people, including some of your friends and family, to fight a guy who is going to try and not only punch you in the nose, but who really wants to knock you spark out.

All of that being said, if you fancy giving it a go, let me tell you this, there is no greater feeling than winning a fight, and there’s no greater experience than doing this.

This is why I have got huge respect for anyone and everyone who steps in that square circle to fight.

September 9, 2018
September 9, 2018
Amir Khan

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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AMIR KHAN deserves to remembered fondly when he retires. An Olympic silver medallist at the age of 17. A series of thrilling victories that came before and after crushing defeats. Two world belts claimed from top opposition. That stunning victory over Marcos Maidana. Stationing himself in the USA during his peak and becoming a bona fide attraction. And the kind of courage and determination that would make the countless keyboard warriors run for cover if they were presented with the opportunity to be so pathetically cruel to his face.

When that retirement comes, though, is unknown. And despite rallying from a near-disastrous second round knockdown against the unheralded Samuel Vargas to win a 12-round decision, Khan’s time is surely coming to an end. The speed remains, no question. So too much of the talent which made him one of Britain’s greatest. But the effects of ageing will heighten the mistakes he’s always made. And that wild and uncontrollable machismo is long beyond repair.

In the first round his speed came out to play and the end appeared nigh for Samuel Vargas, seemingly outclassed and unable to keep up. The mismatch so many predicted, including Boxing News, seemed on the money. Then Khan got nailed at the end of round two. His body crumpled [below] just like it crumpled against Breidis Prescott, Danny Garcia and Saul Alvarez. This time the ever-brave Khan, saved by the bell, survived. He deserves credit for going to the mill, for winning a gruelling fight. His matchmaker, too, for not aiming too high.

But the warning signs for his future are flashing red.

amir khan

It’s true he’s been here before. He’s emerged from scares. Thrived in them, almost. He’s experienced humiliating losses that would ruin lesser men and come back stronger. But this time it seems different. Even at the age of just 31. The horror crashes are piling up. The brain scrambling punches are leaving their mark. The longer he fights on, the more extreme the danger to his future becomes.

Some suggested that Khan should look to a new trainer, that Joe Goossen was somehow to blame for Amir’s performance last night. A new trainer is not what Khan needs. Oliver Harrison, Jorge Rubio, Freddie Roach, Virgil Hunter and Dean Powell, if he were still alive, would tell you that. Khan remains an awe-inspiring sight when in full flow but if those fine men could not harness his reckless abandon, no one can. Particularly this long into his career. Only Khan can correct his shortcomings but nobody can reverse the ageing process. The only way boxers cope successfully with fading reflexes is to adapt their styles accordingly. It’s a long shot for a fighter as electrifying as Amir Khan.

Boxing history is strewn with brave men who fought for too long, who failed to acknowledge the finishing line had come and gone.

Perhaps the Bolton superstar still has one more lap left to run. Perhaps he can prove us wrong yet again. Perhaps we’re writing him off unfairly. This was just the second fight after a two-year layoff, after all. Following a punishing loss to Danny Garcia in 2012 and an unexpected struggle against the unfancied Julio Diaz the following year, Khan went on to produce sublime victories over Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander in 2014. And that’s without mentioning the glorious rebuild he completed after the one-round defeat to Prescott way back in 2008.

But the Alexander victory was four years ago. A brutal loss to Canelo Alvarez came in 2016. One that left him motionless on the canvas and calling promoter Oscar De La Hoya from hospital to say he was okay. And this latest war came against Samuel Vargas, let’s not forget. Plucky, willing, but not world class. Not Alvarez, not Maidana, not even Julio Diaz.

All that matters for Khan is he got the win. His desire to continue, to chase that elusive showdown with Manny Pacquiao must be respected for now.

And perhaps we should be grateful that he’s calling out Pacquiao and not Errol Spence Jnr or Terence Crawford or Shawn Porter or even shouting Kell Brook’s name too loudly. That the target remains Pacquiao, himself 39 years old and war-torn and on the way down, is perhaps the most damning evidence yet that Amir Khan also knows the truth.

September 9, 2018
September 9, 2018
Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez fight time

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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SO many people show me their true face during and after the first fight with Canelo. I am talking about lots of different people. I know who I am and I know who Canelo is, and what he has become. I know what kind of people I am dealing with in this rematch, what everyone is about.

I do not think about the first fight anymore. I did not lose that fight. I walked out of the ring with all my belts, still the world champion. The second fight is much bigger and more interesting. The last fight was a good experience because it was a learning experience. Now it is a different situation. I understand the situation. I now know that boxing is not just a sport. It is a business. That is one thing I learned from the first fight. So from that I learned how to deal with this rematch. I learned how to deal with Canelo and his promoter. Now we have new judges and a new referee. The world will see a new fight and different sides of that fight.

I have worked very hard in this training camp, building myself up. It has been very exciting because I have been working on new things with Abel Sanchez. Every day has been a good day. I am very happy and very strong. This will be the biggest fight for boxing. I cannot wait to give the fans a great fight, an exciting fight, a Mexican Style fight. This is a battle between the two best middleweights. To me, it is a fight about honour. This time I am fighting for a lot more than my world championship belts.

canelo - ggg

Canelo vs. GGG 2 takes place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.

September 8, 2018
September 8, 2018
Amir Khan vs Samuel Vargas

Andrew Couldridge/Action Images

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WE need to know more about Amir Khan. He wants to prove that he can reclaim his place among the top welterweights in the world as he returns from a long lay off after a devastating loss to Canelo Alvarez. Tonight’s opponent Samuel Vargas is a long way from that level, but Khan’s one round blow out victory over Phil Lo Greco told us little. Vargas insists he will provide a sterner test than that for the British star.

The undercard promises entertainment. Jason Welborn rematchs Tommy Langford for the British middleweight title. Sam Eggington, Scott Fitzgerald, Lewis Ritson, Gamal Yafai and more will all be in action.

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September 1, 2018
September 1, 2018
Wanheng Menayothin boxing results

WBC

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THIS has been a memorable week for boxing in Thailand as Wanheng Meenayothin (Chayaphon Moonsri) won his 51st fight. It has been reported he’s now surpassed Floyd Mayweather’s unbeaten record but for that to truly happen,  Wanheng has either to retire now with 51 wins or not lose in the future.

The other milestone for a Thai fighter has also been achieved today (September 1). The 41-year-old former WBC bantam and super-featherweight champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (Sirimongkhon Iamthuam ) now has a 96-4 record, reaching 100 fights with victory over  Muhammad Nsubuga (0-7!) after a 24-year career.

I am not sure if any other Thai fighter has reached that total. He started out as a super-flyweight and in fight 100 he claimed the Thai light-heavyweight title which is curious considering Nsubuga is Ugandan. Between losing his WBC super-feather title to Jesus Chavez in 2003 and losing a fight to Uzbek Azizbek Abdugofurov for the WBC Asian Boxing Council middleweight title in February, he won 51 fights in a row.

That Sirimongkol vs. Nsubuga contest was typical of many abysmal matches in Thailand. Last weekend Tajik boxer Abdul Buranov lost to WBC No 3 flyweight Noknoi. Their respective records before the fight were Noknoi 66-5 and Buranov 0-3. In his four fights Buranov’s opponents records have been 64-5 (Noknoi), 21-1, 15-2 and Noknoi again with 66-5.

I can’t help but be disappointed that the WBSS are going to do another cruiserweight series. Let’s face it this is a competition for the also-ran or never ran. Mairis Breidis, Yunier Dorticos, Krzys Glowacki, Marius Masternak, Maksim Vlasov, Andrew Tabiti and Noel Gevor are all good fighters and Russian Ruslan Fayfer in unbeaten but it was the knowledge that it could end up with Oleksandr Usyk fighting Murat Gassiev that made the original so interesting and this tournament has no such star attraction.

It always seemed likely that the WBA would have to stand by the results of the purse bids-or should I say bid as there was only one-for the Ryota Murata vs. Rob Brant fight for their secondary middleweight title. If they had not done so but instead allowed Murata to fight Jason Quigley then the lawyers would have had a field day. Murata fights Brant in Las Vegas on 20 October and you can be sure that Bob Arum will be looking to get Quigley a fight with the winner or look for some other way to get the unbeaten Irishman a title shot.

African news has Joseph Agbeko returning to action on 8 September in Ho in the Volta Region of Ghana. He will fight fellow Ghanaian Ekow Wilson in defence of his WBO African title.

A couple of heavyweights will be in action on 8 September in Germany as Alex Dimitrenko makes a quick return after his loss to Bryant Jennings but no opponent named. In fact the New Jersey Commission gave Dimitrenko a suspension after the loss to Jennings which does not expire until 17 October!

The other bout features Croatian hope Filip Hrgovic against veteran Amir Mansour. Big test for Hrgovic even though Mansour is 46. This fight is for the vacant WBC International title. In Mansour’s last fight in November, a technical draw against Sergey Kuzmin, the result was changed to No Decision as Mansour tested positive for a banned substance.

Japan has only one fighter in the world ratings and that is Kyotaro Fujimoto. The WBO have him at No 7 on the basis of his winning their Asia Pacific title. His opposition has been very modest at best, certainly not enough to be rated above Bryant Jennings or Dereck Chisora, but he is. They are not taking any chances with him. He is due to fight on September 25 with the name being bandied about of Thai Suthat Kalakek a former OPBF super middleweight title challenger who lost his last fight to a 6-0 novice. Hope they come up with something better than this for a world rated fighter.

Former WBO super featherweight champion Jorge Barrios has applied to the Argentinian Boxing Federation for a licence to fight again. Now 42 Barrios was recently released from prison after serving three years and seven months for homicide and culpable injuries. When driving his car he ran down and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman and left the scene of the accident. He has served the sentence that they gave him but four years for what he did seems wholly inadequate.