Connect with us

Featured Articles

Boxing’s Best P4P List Continues to Change

Ted Sares



Crawford & Lomanchenko

 1.  Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko. Lightweight 13-1-0 (10 KOs): The ageless Lomachenko recently KOd a normally difficult-to-KO Anthony Crolla but injured his middle knuckle in the process. The injury may have revealed the only weakness this uniquely skilled fighter has; namely, being injury prone. That said, sooner or later he will need to fight Gervonta “Tank” Davis and/or Teofimo Lopez to cement his status as Number One. An expected win over England’s Luke Campbell in an expected title bout won’t accomplish that.

2. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Middleweight 52-1-2 (34 KOs): A grizzled, albeit unmarked veteran with an old school record but still young (28) puts him firmly in the second spot and a red hair away from number one. His two close matches with Gennady Golovkin answered many questions. Undefeated Rocky Fielding was quickly dispatched and his subsequent workmanlike decision over a huge Danny Jacobs affirmed his all-around skills, especially defensive ones. The A-Side who now calls the shots, he is fast approaching “legendary” status in Mexico and that’s some status.

3. Terence “Bud” Crawford Jr. Welterweight 35-0-0 (26 KOs): Many think he should be number one, but others think he is caught up with having no viable opposition. A match with Errol Spence would be a mega fight and would answer the lingering question as to who is better. Meanwhile, stoppage wins over a taunting Jose Benavidez, Jr and aging Amir Khan have solidified his stature.

4. Earl The Truth” Spence Jr. Welterweight 25-0-0 (21 KOs): His UD over Mikey Garcia was so dominant some thought he might have been holding back in the last two rounds. Whatever the case, his upstairs-downstairs work is something to behold and hiding behind that innocent All-American exterior is a mean streak once the bell rings. Bud Crawford should be in his destiny and then we will know, and if Spence should win, a fight with Canelo could be as BIG as big can get.

5. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Middleweight 38-1-1 (34 KOs): New trainer Johnathan Banks hopes to turbo charge Gennady while Father Time lurks. Little-known Canadian fighter Steve Rolls will be his next opponent and most likely his next victim, but GGG will need a bigger scalp to move up on this list. Meanwhile, Rolls says, “When I beat Golovkin, that will be life-changing money…And once I’m victorious, it’s going to be like hitting the Super Lotto.” Uh huh.

6. Oleksandr Usyk. Moving to Heavyweight 16-0-0 (11 KOs): Another outstanding Ukrainian fighter associated with Egis Klimas management and who possesses superb technical skills. Unfortunately, his first heavyweight test against former world title challenger Carlos Takam has been cancelled due to a bicep injury, but his most recent crunching KO of Tony Bellew keeps him securely on the list. “He’s a great big champion and I lost to a fine man,” Bellew said of Usyk after their fight.

7. Naoya “Monster” Inoue. Bantamweight 17-0-0 (15 KOs): This practitioner of shock-type knockouts has moved up on the list and is becoming extremely popular among global boxing fans, as he has produced highlight reel material in almost every fight. He will be “tested” by undefeated Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0) shortly in Glasgow, Scotland, and if things go as expected, he likely will become a global road warrior showcasing his exciting stuff outside of Japan. In other words, follow the money.

8. Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk. Light heavyweight 17-0-0 (14 KOs): He did not impress in his last fight against Doudou Ngumbo but that was more the fault of Ngumbo than “The Nail,” as the native of the Democratic Republic Of The Congo proved to be a runner and ran himself into a bad leg injury. The skilled Ukrainian—almost a redundancy in boxing– is now trained by Teddy Atlas and the two seem to have a positive symbiosis going. The light heavyweight division is chockfull of Eastern European talent and as the best fight the best in exciting matchups, it will sort itself out.

9. Anthony “AJ” Joshua. Heavyweight 22-0-0 (20 KOs): Continues to be the best of the heavyweights but Tyson Fury is breathing down his neck. His last win over Alexander Povetkin was impressive but his next fight is with Andy Ruiz Jr and the risk -reward is not in AJ’s favor as he will be a prohibitive favorite. However, like Mayweather Jr, and Canelo, Joshua continues to be an “event fighter,” providing his opponents the rare opportunity to earn an early retirement payday.

10. Artur Beterbiev. Light Heavyweight 14-0 (14 KOs):This heavy-handed Russian who fights out of Canada and has a savvy team behind him has stopped each of his 14 opponents and is building toward a showdown with comebacking Sergey Kovalev who most recently avenged his shocking loss to Eleider Alvarez. Scott Christ of BLH nails it: “Beterbiev is — how should I put this? — an educated mauler with terrific close range power.”


There is no room for sentiment in boxing. Thus, lists can be unforgiving and that’s the case with lightweight Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) and junior bantamweight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41 KOs) who lost in their last fights.

Fast ascending super lightweight Regis Prograis has the right blend of talent and charisma to make a big splash, as does Teofimo Lopez.  Light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol lacks the charisma but not the talent.

Manny Pacquiao fans will demand to know why he is not on the list, but if he fights and beats Keith Thurman, he will quickly earn a spot. Tevin Farmer, Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, the Charlo twins, Demetrius Andrade, Jarrett Hurd, and Keith Thurman have Americans piqued with interest. Billy Joe Saunders can make waves but he must stay out of trouble. Talented Callum Smith and Josh Warrington have hit the scene. Thai minimum weight Wanheng Menayothin is 52-0 and it’s getting more difficult to ignore him as he continues to win and win.

Juan Francisco Estrada (39-3) has Mexican fans excited as do Daniel Roman, Miguel Berchelt, Rey Vargas, and Leo Santa Cruz.

An argument could be made for the inclusion of Pinoy slickster Donnie Nietes (42-1-5), but then an argument could be made for his exclusion.

Lists are subject to sharp criticism and attack and this one is no exception. Have at it.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active full power lifters and Strongman competitors. He is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Featured Articles

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.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

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

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

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

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading