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Three Punch Combo: The Return Of Viktor Postol and More

Matt Andrzejewski




THREE PUNCH COMBO — This is beginning to sound like a broken record but we have another loaded week ahead of us on the boxing calendar. And as usual when this occurs, some fights fall under the radar, as is the case with the return of former 140-pound champion Viktor Postol (30-2, 12 KO’s) who takes on Mohamed Mimoune (21-2, 2 KO’s)  on Saturday. Showtime will televise the key crossroads showdown from Las Vegas.

Postol has sort of gotten lost in the shuffle the last few years. He’s only fought four times since winning a title belt in October of 2015 in an impressive performance against Lucas Matthysse and he lost two of those bouts. Whatever momentum he built in his career from the Matthysse victory went by the wayside.

But we need to keep in mind those two losses were to world class fighters. In July of 2016, he lost his 140-pound title by decision to Terence Crawford who, of course, is considered by many to be boxing’s top pound for pound fighter today. Two years later, Postol would drop another 12-round decision to rising star Josh Taylor. Postol was not blown out in either of these fights and his status in the 140-pound division should have remained relatively intact.

After a bounce-back win in November against Siar Ozgul, Postol is poised to make another run in what is a stacked 140-pound division. But in order to do so, he must first get by Mimoune who is currently ranked #3 by the WBC in the 140-pound division and is on 10-fight winning streak. This streak includes a win over Sam Eggington which at the time was considered a big upset. But given how Eggington has looked since that match in October of 2017, that win does not hold the merit it once did and Mimoune needs to re-establish his position in the division to garner a title shot.

Stylistically, Postol-Mimoune should be a high stakes chess match. Postol will look to control range from the outside behind his jab. He will also look to land his precision right uppercut as Mimoune presses forward.

Mimoune, a southpaw, is very slick and not easy to hit clean. We have all heard the saying in boxing “stick and move” and that is precisely what Mimoune will look to do all night against Postol. Mimoune will pick his spots to jump in on Postol and fire off combinations. And then, just as quickly, look to jump out of range before Postol can counter.

On paper, this is the most competitive fight of the upcoming weekend with oddsmakers having made it a “pick’em” contest at the time of this writing.  It’s certainly not going to be a slugfest but should be a high level competitive fight between two very good and evenly matched professional fighters.

More Streaming News and Thoughts

Just when it appeared the streaming market was tapped out for boxing another new service has come along. This week, Warfare Sports put out a press release announcing itself as boxing’s newest digital platform planning 24 live events over the next year along with shoulder programming.

It appears Warfare Sports will be working with U.S.-based promoters such as Star Boxing and King’s Promotions. They plan to go live in May and, at least according to the initial press release, the service will be free.

As I have touched upon before, we are in a new era in how we watch boxing and the amount of live content available is unlike anything we have ever seen before in this sport. But in order for all these streaming services to connect with fans and attract enough eyeballs, some must find a way to differentiate themselves from the pack, even if free.

As a die-hard fan, I am finding myself these days having to pick and choose what I can even watch. In the past, I could catch all available fights during any week (sometimes even re-watch them) but today, with most cards being jammed in on the weekends, I simply do not have the time to watch all that is available.

Is this a problem for the sport long term? Maybe or maybe not; time will tell. I am not going to harp on networks/streaming organizations coordinating events anymore as that simply does not seem realistic. However, I will make a suggestion, and that is for one of these streaming services to develop a consistent weekday series like we used to have with USA’s Tuesday Night Fight series.

This makes sense in so many ways. These streaming services need eyeballs and a weekday stand-alone series taking place when no other events are occurring is a good way to get viewership. Plus, back in its heyday the USA Tuesday Night Fight series provided a needed lifeline for the sport. Local promoters were kept active and their shows, as well as the fighters that appeared on them, received much needed publicity.

Fans responded well to the series because they knew when to tune in each week. There wasn’t a card on a random Thursday, followed by one on a Sunday, etc. This was a recipe for long-term success and something today’s streaming services need to take note of.

As a diehard fan, I watch as much boxing regardless of cost as I can in a given week but even I have had to draw the line. But there is still a desperate need for a consistent weekday series like we once had with USA’s Tuesday Night Fights. Maybe it will be this newest platform in Warfare Sports that capitalizes on this opportunity.

Who Could Be Next For Crawford? An Under The Radar Option

The big question in the aftermath of Terence Crawford’s TKO victory against Amir Khan this past Saturday is what will be next for Crawford? Given boxing’s current political climate, the answer is not so easy.

The fight that all fans want to see next for Crawford is against fellow welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. While there is no doubt in my mind that both Crawford and Spence badly want this fight, negotiations will likely be very delicate as well as lengthy. As such, I don’t think we see it until 2020.

Spence and most of the other top welterweights in the world are housed under the PBC banner. While making a fight for Crawford with, say a Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter, is not impossible, it also does not seem probable at the moment. PBC just does not seem interested in feeding one of their top fighters to Crawford unless the money is too big to turn down and it’s doubtful that Top Rank would be willing to make such a large financial commitment as they could be looking at a massive loss.

Looking at the other available options, the pickings are pretty slim. But there is a fighter with a recognizable name who is ranked highly by the WBO, the organization for whom Crawford holds his title, and that is Jessie Vargas.

Yes, political boundaries still have to be crossed. But Top Rank seems much more likely to work with Eddie Hearn, whose DAZN banner Vargas currently fights under, than PBC. Plus, Vargas would not come with nearly the financial demands of those other big name welterweights fighting under the PBC banner.

Vargas fights this coming Friday against Humberto Soto. With an impressive showing, Vargas will probably move to the front of the line to be the next opponent for Terence Crawford.

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Looking at the Heavyweight Calendar (Odds Review)

Miguel Iturrate



Joshua vs Ruiz

This past Saturday night saw Deontay Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title defense against Dominic Breazeale go down on Showtime. The fight lasted just 137 seconds as Wilder floored Breazeale with a cannonball of a right hand to end the night early.

With Wilder out of the way, Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr is up next. They meet June 1st at Madison Square Garden. Two weeks later, on the 15th of June, ESPN+ will deliver Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz, so fight fans will get a look at all three members of the “Big Three” all in a month’s time.

Wilder’s erasure of Breazeale this past weekend sent a message to the rest of the division as well as giving him a highlight reel to show during upcoming negotiations. Wilder entered a strong -1000 favorite at the sportsbooks for this fight.

Check out our pre-fight review of the Wilder vs Breazeale odds right here at TSS –

Looking forward, the odds posted for Joshua and Fury’s upcoming tussles are even less competitive. Let’s take a look at what the books are giving us as we await the two big Brits fighting in the USA.

Madison Square Garden – New York City – Saturday, June 1, 2019

Heavyweight 12 rounds –

Andy Ruiz Jr +1500 Over 6½ +100

Anthony Joshua -3000 Under 6½ -130

Ruiz Jr is 32-1 overall with his lone loss coming at the hands of Joseph Parker in a failed WBO world title bid. That same WBO belt is now in the hands of Joshua as are the WBA and IBF belts.

Joshua was a big favorite over Jarrell Miller, his original opponent, who was denied a license in New York after testing positive for a buffet of steroids. Ruiz Jr took the fight with less than a full training camp, but you have to believe that he is going to come in highly motivated. Ruiz Jr has been caught at a different type of buffet, the all-you-can-eat kind, but even when in the best of shape his body type isn’t “poster boy material.” Miller was big and bulky as well, but he was a near 300 pounder whereas Ruiz Jr will come in between 250 and 260 pounds, which is right around Joshua’s size. Rather than slaying a 300-pound giant, he is facing a guy who is shorter and fatter than him, making it very hard for Joshua to look great on paper.

At +1500 will people bite on Ruiz Jr? He is more experienced than Miller and he is probably a better fighter overall and though he is facing a formidable champion, Joshua is not a finished product. Perhaps Joshua will be chasing an early finish, feeling the pressure of Wilder’s performance, and if so will he make a mistake that Ruiz can exploit? We are roughly 10 days from finding out.

MGM Grand Garden – Las Vegas, Nevada – Saturday, June 15, 2019

Heavyweight 12 rounds –

Tom Schwarz +1800 Over 9½ -105

Tyson Fury -3600 Under 9½ -125

Tyson Fury closes out the run of top heavyweights with a very deliberately chosen showcase fight against Tom Schwarz. Schwarz is 24 years old and 24-0 but he is a fighter who has come up on the regional German scene and as the old boxing cliche goes, there are levels to this game.

Former contender David Haye mounted a 2016 comeback, booking fights against Mark De Mori (30-1-2) and Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0). It took Haye precisely 6:42 to dispose of both of them, and though Fury is a completely different beast than Haye, the level difference between he and Schwarz may be even as striking.

Wilder has gotten through his “challenge” and if Fury and Joshua also emerge as winners as expected, it will leave several open questions –

– Will Fury vs Wilder 2 happen first, or will Wilder vs Joshua go down first? Could Joshua and Fury meet and freeze Wilder out?


– Will we see any of these fights take place in 2019?

If Joshua or Fury stumble, it will only add to the chaos in the heavyweight division. But if the professional oddsmakers know anything, it isn’t likely to happen.

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Three Punch Combo: An Early Look at Inoue-Donaire and Under the Radar Fights

Matt Andrzejewski



Inoue vs Donaire

THREE PUNCH COMBO — This past Saturday, Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KO’s) punched his ticket to the bantamweight final in the World Boxing Super Series when he impressively knocked out Emmanuel Rodriguez in the second round of their scheduled 12-round fight. The win sets up a showdown with veteran Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KO’s) who punched his ticket to the final with an impressive knockout of Stephon Young last month.

As expected, Inoue has opened as a monstrous favorite in the betting markets. While this suggests a one-sided wipeout, I have some other thoughts.

Inoue is pound for pound one of, if not the, hardest puncher in the sport today and put that power on full display in his destruction of Rodriguez in the semi-finals. But having enormous power does not make him indestructible.

In watching that fight against Rodriguez, there were clearly flaws on display on the defensive side of Inoue’s game. For one, Inoue does not move his head at all and as such can be hit. Rodriguez landed several clean punches on Inoue in the first round. And Inoue frequently keeps his hands low looking to bait opponents into throwing to set up counter opportunities. It has worked so far but could be something he pays for down the road.

Donaire is a smart and skilled fighter and though he is 36, his last few fights have shown that he still has plenty left in the tank. Moreover, he possesses one thunderous left hook and has always been at his best when fighting below 122. He has all the capabilities to expose Inoue’s flaws and a left hook that can alter the course of a fight as we have seen him doing plenty of times in the past.

Unlike a lot of people, I do not consider Donaire to be another layup for Inoue. There is real danger in this fight for Inoue if he does not make changes to his game. Donaire has starched big punching rising stars before and I would not discount his chances to expose the significant defensive flaws in Inoue’s game.

 Under The Radar Fight

Boxing returns to ESPN on Saturday with a card from Kissimmee, FL headlined by 130- pound champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13 KO’s) who is making the second defense of his title against former US Olympian Jamel Herring (19-2, 10 KO’s). While I think this should be an excellent fight, the co-feature, which is flying deep under the radar, should be even better.

In this fight, former two division world champion Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KO’s) makes his return to the ring after losing his lightweight title to Vasiliy Lomachenko in December to face Antonio Lozada (40-2-1, 34 KO’s). Given their respective styles, this fight at the very least will provide plenty of sustained action.

Appropriately nicknamed “The Sniper,” Pedraza at his best is a precision puncher. A boxer-puncher by trade, he uses subtle movement inside the ring to create angles that are used to land sharp power shots on his opposition. He is also a very good inside fighter and will shift around on the inside to once again set up just the right angle to land his power shots with maximum efficiency. But despite being a good inside fighter, Pedraza has a tendency to stay in the pocket a bit too long which leaves him open to getting hit.

Lozada is best known for his upset TKO win against one-time blue-chip prospect Felix Verdejo in March of 2018. However, he failed to build momentum off that win and is coming off a lackluster split draw his last time out to 12-7-1 journeyman Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez.

Lozada certainly does not have the technical proficiency of Pedraza. He is slow and plodding. But what he does bring to the table is relentless pressure combined with a high volume of punches. He will press forward, recklessly at times, winging punches consistently hoping to wear down his opposition through attrition.  As such, he tends to get hit a lot and can be involved in shootouts.

Cleary, Pedraza is the more skilled fighter, but given Lozada’s all-offensive mindset as well as Pedraza’s willingness to stay in the pocket, the leather is all but guaranteed to be flying from the opening bell. Neither are big punchers either so I suspect we see a fight that goes rounds providing many exciting exchanges and one that could certainly steal the show on Saturday.

Another Under The Radar Fight

Also on Saturday, Fox Sports 1 will televise a card from Biloxi, MS featuring a crossroads fight between former 154-pound champion Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO’s) and former US Olympian Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO’s). But it is another 154-pound fight on the undercard that is receiving almost no coverage that I want to highlight. It pits Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO’s) against Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO’s).

Booker turned pro in 2016 after a successful amateur career and has kept up a fairly busy schedule. He is coming off a dominating 8-round unanimous decision over veteran Juan De Angel in January and now is taking a big jump up in his caliber of opposition in facing Omotoso.

Booker, a southpaw, likes to press forward behind a stinging right jab. He possesses elite level hand speed and likes to use that jab to set up quick power punching combinations. Booker is also an excellent counter puncher and possesses a very potent right hook coming from that southpaw stance. He will often hold his left low to bait his opponents into opening up to set up counter opportunities. However, he has also been clipped by his share of left hooks fighting in this manner and this is something he will need to tighten up against Omotoso. So just how will Booker respond to Omotoso’s pressure and heavy handed body attack? Depending on the answer, we will either see Booker step up to the next level or get exposed. And that’s what makes this fight so intriguing to me

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Serhii Bohachuk KOs Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez in Hollywood

David A. Avila



in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.-Super welterweight prospect Serhii Bohachuk got his first taste of upper tier boxing from Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez and gave him his best Sunday punch to win by knockout.

Bohachuk (14-0, 14 KOs) showed the excited Hollywood crowd he’s more than ready for former world title challengers like Hernandez (34-11, 22 KOs) or maybe even the current contenders with an exuberant display of pressure fighting at the Avalon Theater.

The smiling Ukrainian fighter has been steadily attracting fans to the 360 Promotions fight cards.

Trained by Abel Sanchez, the lanky and pale Bohachuk – whose nickname “El Flaco” fits perfectly – always moved forward against Mexico City’s Hernandez who has made a reputation of being crafty despite the strength of competition. With Bohachuk constantly applying pressure the Mexican fighter used the first round to touch and feel his way around the Ukrainian bomber.

In the second round a sharp counter right floored Hernandez who quickly got up and resumed the contest. It looked like the end was near until Hernandez caught Bohachuk with a solid right cross. It was a warning shot well heeded by Bohachuk.

Both fighters exchanged vigorously in the third round with the Ukrainian fighter’s youth a definite advantage. Hernandez was able to display his fighting tools more effectively in the third round but could it be enough?

Bohachuk was clearly the heavier-handed fighter but was finding it difficult to connect solidly against the Mexican veteran. But in the fifth round Bohachuk lowered his gun sights and targeted the body with a left hook that dropped Hernandez.  The fight was stopped by referee Wayne Hedgepeth at 1:40 of the fifth round.

Other Bouts

A battle of super featherweights saw Rialto, California’s Adrian Corona (5-0) rally from behind to defeat Florida’s Canton Miller (3-3-1) by split decision after six rounds.

Corona had problems with Miller’s speed in the first two rounds and was unable to track the moving fighter’s direction. But in the third round Corona began to apply more aggressive measures against Miller and was especially effective with lead rights. The momentum changed quickly.

Miller switched from orthodox to southpaw and it served to pause Corona’s momentum, but he seldom scored with solid blows. Though Miller landed quick soft blows, Corona was landing with strong shots and convinced two of the three judges that he was the winner by 58-56 twice. A third judge saw Miller the victor by the same score 58-56.

“It’s not my job to judge the judges,” said Miller. “It’s my job to just fight.”

Corona was happy with the victory.

“I could have put the pressure on him a little more,” said Corona. “It was a very technical fight and he put on a great fight.”

Other Bouts

George Navarro (6-0-1, 2 KOs) knocked out Cesar Sustaita (3-5) with a perfect overhand right that disabled the senses and forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to halt the fight at 1:37 of the first round.

“I worked hard to prepare for this fight,” said Navarro.

A super bantamweight clash saw Humberto Rubalcava (10-1, 7 KOs) knock out Daniel Constantino (3-3-2) and win by knockout after a flurry of a dozen blows went unanswered. Referee Angel Mendez stopped the battering at 1:39 of the first round.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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