January 12, 2018
January 12, 2018
canelo-golovkin II

Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

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CANELO ALVAREZ has agreed terms for a rematch with Gennady Golovkin and the superfight looks likely for May 5 with New York’s Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena – the home of their opener – the frontrunners to host.

The sequel has been in the offing ever since the pair shared a contentious 12-round draw in September last year. The consensus from ringside that night was that Golovkin, 35, had done enough to win, before a crazy 118-110 card from Adelaide Byrd of 118-110 in 27-year-old Canelo’s favour blew the result wide open and all logic up in smoke. Subsequent scores of 115-113 from Dave Moretti for “GGG” and 114-114 from Don Trella confirmed the draw.

WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight king Golovkin is thought to be “hopeful” that the deal for the sequel can be concluded in the coming days. Some of the finer details need to be resolved and, in fights like this, there are likely to be plenty but none are expected to be problematic.

Canelo-Golovkin rematch
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, there is no clause in the contract for a third bout.

“It’s going to be another great fight, so it’ll likely be a natural to do another rematch, but it’s not in the agreement,” Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez said.

“We want to concentrate on getting done and then we can talk about a third fight later.

“We’ve exchanged contracts. We’ve gone through three revisions. I’m hoping for the last revision [imminently] and we’ll see.

“All the major points have been worked out. There’s some details that are important, but they’re not the major points.”

Prior to the controversy at the end, the September bout was a cracker with Canelo edging the opening round before Golovkin took over through the middle sessions. By the 10th round, it appeared to Boxing News that the Mexican – being outboxed and outfought – needed a knockout to win.

Buoyed by pleas from his corner, Canelo bossed the final three rounds to shorten the gap. A smattering of observers felt his rally had clawed back the deficit on the cards but nobody, Byrd withstanding, felt he had built a wide and commanding lead.

However, even without the controversy, Canelo’s success in the bout’s final third and Golovkin’s advancing years makes a rematch fascinating, with the winner as hard to call as it was before the first contest.

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
Claressa Shields

Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

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“I FEEL great. I [Claressa Shields] really pushed myself this camp. It was a longer camp than usual so I’ve had ample time to get ready. Tori nelson has been doing a lot of trash talking but I’m going to show her that she may be 17-0, but she’s never fought a girl like me before.

“I may only have 4 professional fights to my name, but I have plenty of amateur experience. I’ve fought girls that are 16-0, I don’t see anywhere on her record where she’s fought an undefeated fighter of that caliber.

“I’ve prepared for this fight the same way that I always do. I haven’t done anything special. I focus on myself, not my opponents.

“In the 6th or 7th round, Nelson goes down.

Claressa Shields

“Once I beat Nelson, I do want to fight Christina Hammer, but I’m taking it one fight at a time. I’d like to fight at least one time at 154 pounds before taking on Hammer.”

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
Dillian Whyte next fight

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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Dillian Whyte will defend his WBC Silver heavyweight title against Lucas Browne at The O2 in London on March 24, it was announced today (January 11).

Whyte is hunting world honours after he landed his current title in December against Robert Helenius, and the 29-year-old puts his WBC number one ranking on the line against Browne.

‘The Body Snatcher’ is gunning for WBC king Deontay Wilder, with the ultimate goal to land the title and set up a huge unification rematch with old foe Anthony Joshua. To do this, Whyte knows he must put an end to his bitter online feud with Browne.

“I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him,” said Whyte. “He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.

“I don’t think he really wanted this fight. A deal was in place before then he started to try and change the terms. He kept delaying things after we gave in to his demands and started saying there was a fight in America he was chasing. We’ve bent over backwards and up until now he’s been more interested in making excuses than taking the fight. It’s been frustrating but we’ve finally got over the hill now, so let’s go.

“He’s a big guy with an unbeaten record, so you have to rate him a bit. He carries some power. You have to respect heavyweight power. It only takes one punch.

“I’m not overlooking Browne; I’m focused on going to town on him. If I don’t knock him out, I will not be happy. The plan is to beat Browne and move closer to a world title shot. Beating him should make me a mandatory challenger for a world title. I’m highly-ranked across the board and I’ll be a more than credible world title challenger. I’ve been building my way up so we’re set for a big year.”

Browne is a dangerous opponent for Whyte, with the unbeaten Australian already tasting victory on the road at the very highest level when he KO’d Ruslan Chagaev in March 2016, climbing off the canvas in Russia to land the WBA title.

‘Big Daddy’ is no stranger to fighting in England, either, and will be looking to claim a fifth KO win in his sixth outing on English soil.

“I’m genuinely looking forward to coming over to the UK again and bashing Dillian,” said Browne. “If Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora hurt him, wait until he feels how I hit. I don’t like anything about him. He’s a loud mouth and I want to take his head off.

“I have absolutely no fears about coming to London and facing Dillian. After you go to Chechnya to fight, nothing else compares. I’ve fought in England five times already and love fighting there. I know if I stop Whyte impressively I’ll be getting another world title shot.”

Browne’s manager Matt Clarke added: “Lucas has an incredible fan base in the UK and Ireland. You’ll never see him turn down an autograph or a photo with fight fans and consequently he gets a lot of support.

“His social media is full of messages begging him to knock Whyte out and that’s exactly what he plans on doing. Knock out Whyte and then challenge for the world title. That’s our plan.”

“This is going to be an electric fight that I’m very happy to finally get over the line,” said Eddie Hearn. “There is no love lost between them and it’s a fight that is very important in the heavyweight landscape.

“These two can’t stand each other and I think that’s when you get the best out of Dillian. This is the high-profile fight that he has been craving now for some time. He is the number one challenger with the WBC and ranked highly with every other governing body. Win this and it’s a world title shot next for Dillian.”

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
left hook to the body

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I used to love throwing the left hook to the body and I used to stop a lot of my opponents with this shot, but every now and then I would spar with someone who had this counter locked down.

The two fighters who come to mind are Jamie Moore and Matthew Macklin. Ironically enough, these boys fought each other and had one of the best fights in British boxing history.

When I threw that hook to the body, these boys were so fast to catch it and counter both ways – countering with the left or right.

When someone does this it really makes you think twice about throwing the shot. I learned a lot by sparring with these boys who were both British and European champions in their careers.

On this video I give you two options of countering body shots and I’m going to be doing more educational stuff like this so please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our educational page on Instagram @BoxNBurnAcademy and if you want to learn how to teach boxing take our online certification course at www.boxnburnacademy.com

Here is the video link:

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
Jeremy Stephens

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THE UFC will be looking to kick off 2018 in style with a visit to St Louis’ Scottrade Center on January 14. It will be the first time they have put on a card in “The Gateway City” and headlining the action is a featherweight contest between Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi.

It is a welcome return to action for Choi, who sat out the whole of 2017 after his bruising encounter with Cub Swanson, a fight that earned fight of the year honours for many outlets in 2016. It was “The Korean Superboy’s” first loss in the Octagon, after he had previously dispatched three opponents in a combined time of less than a round.

He has already set his sights on a title shot in a red-hot 145lbs division and he doesn’t have much time to secure that, as he will soon be called back to South Korea for mandatory military service, similar to his compatriot and fellow ranked featherweight Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie”, who only returned this year after his losing effort against Jose Aldo in 2013.

Choi will have learned plenty from his loss to Swanson, a fight he specifically asked for and his stock rose even in defeat, and now he will find himself across the Octagon from another veteran in the division in Jeremy Stephens, who will be fighting in the UFC for the 27th time.

The 31-year-old is probably most famous for being on the receiving end of Conor McGregor’s “Who the f*** is that guy” line, but is an underrated fighter in the Octagon. He picked up a win in his last performance, where he shredded Gilbert Melendez’s legs with some nasty leg kicks in his last fight and a win over Choi sees the 145lbs gatekeeper back on the outskirts for his own potential shot at the belt.

Both carry power, Choi in particular, however “The Korean Superboy” will do well to get rid of Stephens, who has gone the distance with the likes Swanson, current champion Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis. As for Choi we will see if rust becomes a factor after a year on the sidelines. It’s an intriguing and potentially exciting way to start 2018.

In the chief support Uriah Hall has an opportunity to add a huge name to his ledger when he faces the legendary Vitor Belfort in a middleweight clash, who could well be making his final appearance in the Octagon.

Hall recently admitted that he considered quitting mid-fight last time out against Krzysztof Jotko, before having an epiphany in the corner and stopping the Pole in spectacular fashion to add to his considerable highlight reel. A similar stoppage of Belfort, albeit a diminished and less enhanced version, secures him another big fight.

Whether it is going to be Belfort’s last appearance in the Octagon, remains to be seen and he enters the fight off the back of a closely matched clash with the recently retired Nate Marquardt. Many have been calling for Belfort to call time on his career and another big loss to Hall will only intensify those calls.

The women’s flyweight division has now kicked off in earnest, following Nicco Montano’s crowning as champion at the end of the latest series of the Ultimate Fighter and two more will now look to their names into the hat to be the opponent in her first title defence.

Paige VanZant will return to the Octagon for the first time since December 2016, where she lost to Michelle Waterson, and will move up from strawweight after a year full of injury misery. She originally announced she would receive an immediate title shot, which was quickly shot down and she now has the chance to earn that title fight with Montano.

In the opposite corner will be Australian Jessica Rose Clark. She edged out Bec Rawlings, who was previously stopped by VanZant in 2016, by split decision in November to earn her current #10 ranking in the new division, although she did also miss weight after being called in as a late replacement.

VanZant has become more memorable for her achievements outside the Octagon and Saturday provides her with a chance to show us the talent that she possesses, although she will not have it all her own way against a durable and strong opponent in Clark.

Rounding out the main card will be a welterweight clash between two exciting prospects in Kamaru Usman and Emil Weber Meek. The fight was originally scheduled for UFC 219 in December, however a visa issue for Meek caused it to be re-scheduled to UFC 220 next week, before it was shifted to a higher spot on this card.

Usman won the 21st series of the Ultimate Fighter and has since embarked on a five fight winning streak to find himself ranked in the 170lb division. He sparked Sergio Moraes in stunning fashion last September after winning his previous four all by one-sided decisions.

Meek has found himself out of action since December 2016, after injury forced him to pull out of a scheduled fight Nordine Taleb last May. The win on his UFC debut over Jordan Mein was only the second time he had ever gone the distance in his career, with his 45 second win over former UFC and World Series of Fighting veteran Rousimar Palhares the definite standout moment.

His clash with Usman could well steal the show, although it could face stiff competition from Michael Johnson’s debut at featherweight, which will headline the preliminary card, when he comes up against Darren Elkins, who is currently on a five fight winning streak.
Johnson was half of a pulsating encounter with Justin Gaethje last year, however he has made the decision to drop down in weight and face Elkins, who enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2017. “The Damage” appeared seemingly indestructible in his comeback win over highly touted Mirsad Bektic last March and then earned a tight win over Dennis Bermudez in July. A win over Johnson earns him more name recognition.

Also on the preliminary card sees James Krause return at lightweight, whilst former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves is also in action. Headlining the Fight Pass portion of the card is Jessica Eye. She was scheduled to fight VanZant last year and makes her flyweight bow against Kalindra Faria. No doubt she will look to finally get her hands on VanZant, who she claims avoided her, providing both win.

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
robbie davies

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LIVERPOOL’S highly rated super-lightweight, Robbie Davies Jr, finally gets the chance for revenge over Poland’s Michal Syrowatka when the pair meet in an eagerly anticipated rematch at the Liverpool Convention Centre on 31 March.

In what many observers felt was one of the fights of 2017, the tough Pole took the talented scouser’s unbeaten record – and his WBA Continental belt – back in July courtesy of a 12th round TKO despite Davies flooring Syrowatka in the ninth and appearing to be ahead at the time of the stoppage.

An immediate, and contractually obliged, rematch was put on hold in the autumn however, after the Polish no.1 asked, firstly, for a delay due to an unspecified injury, and then, in December, personal problems. Despite these delays however, the date and venue for the one contest the talented switch hitter wanted more than any other has finally been confirmed.

Davies, already in training with coach Dave Tonks, said: “It’s taken a while to happen but I’m delighted everything is sorted now –thanks to my manager Neil Marsh for that – and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.

“He was a decent kid but I wasn’t at my best in the first fight and I won’t be making the same mistakes again. I know I’m better than him in every department; speed, power, skill, everything. And people will see this on 31 March. I aim to take back the [WBA continental] belt in style and then move on up through the rankings to bigger things later in the year.”

While not uncommon for boxers or their backroom team, the delays still came as a blow to Davies’ manager, Neil Marsh, who had prepared studiously ahead of the one contest his charge wanted above all others.

Marsh said: “We were all really disappointed in the news obviously, none more so than Robbie, but everything is sorted now and the entire team is focussed on 31 March. Sometimes you have to be patient in boxing and this is what I told Robbie. He wanted the chance to make a statement and didn’t want his loss to go unavenged.

“We also wanted to bring him back to his home city, to show the Liverpool boxing fans how good he is and this contest gives him the chance to do all of that. We want to win in style and then return to our journey to get back into the WBA top 5 and then work towards a world title.”

Marsh also revealed there is a chance the show could be on TV. He said: “We are hoping to get the show on TV and talks are ongoing at the moment.”

Expanding on the fact that Davies wanted the Syrowatka return more than any other contest despite a number of options being available, one of which was believed to be Ohara Davies, Marsh said: “We discussed alternatives, some of whom were supposed bigger names. Eddie Hearn offered us the O’Hara fight late last year and Robbie was keen – he wants to shut him up once and for all, especially for the disrespect he has shown Robbie on social media, but the offer wasn’t acceptable.

“It was nowhere near what we wanted to be honest – which makes us feel that they weren’t serious about it in the first place, but it’s no great loss; Robbie was adamant – this was the fight he wanted and, with a host of other local lads on the show, it should be a great night.”

While Marsh states, “a world class support contest is still to be finalised,” a number of local and NW-based fighters have been confirmed: Liverpool fighters, Brian Phillips and Lee Boyce will feature, as will Warrington pair Courtney Chadwick and Danny Craven. Southport’s Jake Barton will be in action as well as Ellesmere Port’s highly-rated duo, Mason Cartwright.

Tickets for the show, held in association with Kieran Farrell Promotions, will are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 VIP and £150 VIP Ringside. They are available from the Convention Centre from tomorrow (Friday 12 January) at 9am and from the boxers themselves.

January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018
Frank Warren

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FRANK WARREN claims rival promoter Eddie Hearn “has no respect for the sport” after his “stupid” decision to stage Amir Khan’s April 21 comeback on the same night that Warren promotes Carl Frampton’s Belfast showdown with Nonito Donaire.

It was announced on Tuesday this week that Frampton will take on Donaire in an appealing featherweight 12-rounder that will be broadcast in the UK by BT Sport and BoxNation. The following day came Matchroom’s news that Khan would make his return on the same night, on Sky Sports, at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Boxing News understands that Hearn was finalising the Khan deal, with the venue already booked, when news broke about Frampton-Donaire. Neither promoter, despite it likely splitting the potential viewing figures in half, will change dates.

“We announced ours first,” Warren told Boxing News, “we’re not going to change the date because Khan is now fighting on the same night.

“What I will say is that we’ve got a real fight in Frampton and Donaire. Let’s face it, Khan will be fighting a stiff whereas we’ve got two live fighters.”

The Hall of Fame promoter admitted that he had been in talks with Khan, who began his career under Warren’s guidance, about staging his comeback before the former WBA and IBF super-lightweight boss opted to go with Hearn.

Amir Khan
MONEY TALKS? Differences settled, Khan and Hearn put pen to paper

“Khan approached me,” Warren explained. “He wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao and that’s something we could have done. We had him [Khan] in his early days and we had some good nights with him, so we made him an offer but he obviously chose another route.

“Khan’s value of himself does not match our value of him – he’s been out of the ring for two years and he’s coming off a knockout loss.

“But he’s done his deal, and good luck to him.”

Warren added that he’d be happy to allow his welterweight Bradley Skeete take on Khan on April 21, but he did not expect Amir to take on “anyone with a pulse” in his first fight back. Yesterday, Hearn promised Khan’s opponent will be announced next week and would not be a “knockover”.

Whoever is to blame for the two fights taking place on the same night, it should be seen as a blow for the fans – and Sky Sports and BT Sport, who will both see significantly lower audiences as a consequence of the clash.

“It’s a stupid decision,” said Warren. “You wouldn’t have Manchester United and Manchester City playing in separate matches at the same time on two different channels would you? It just shows he [Hearn] has got no respect for the sport. It’s so stupid.”

Stupid, short-sighted or just plain pig-headed, it certainly highlights the need for promoters to communicate with each other.