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Don't Duva Me Like That: Promoter Kathy Duva Puts Al Haymon On Blast

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Kathy Duva quite likely would have been in a much different mood on Tuesday afternoon, during a mini presser at the Croton Reservoir Tavern on W. 40th St., if Adonis Stevenson hadn't gone and sent the best laid plans of Main Events and HBO and his own promoter awry.

Stevenson, the Haitian-born Canadian, did something a whole lot of pugilists have been doing lately, and signed on with Team Al Haymon on Feb. 18. If he had went with the flow which was funneling towards a showdown with Sergey Kovalev, in the most intriguing light heavy matchup in many moons in September, then Duva's face and voice wouldn't have featured twinges of ire, as they did when she relayed her disappointing day.

But the 36-year-old Stevenson decided, or was helped to decide and then signed off on a completely different plan than what Duva told me she'd hashed out, along with HBO, and Yvon Michel, the promoter for Stevenson.

“We had a deal done two months ago,” Duva revealed. She said that on Jan. 23, she and Team Kovalev and then Michel decided on mutually agreeable terms which would net a Sergey-Adonis showdown. Michel was on board, and all assumed that Adonis was in the fold.

The next day, Jan. 24, Duva continued, Michel and HBO matchmaker/exec Peter Nelson agreed to terms, which included fights beyond the interim one, and the biggie, for both boxers. Michel told Duva his lawyer would type up a contract, and then send it over. She's still waiting, she said. At first, when no contract with specifics requested from the Stevenson/Michel side arrived, she didn't get worried.

“The foot dragging, I'm used to it,” she said. “We had a deal. We exchanged emails.”

And then they didn't…

Stevenson hurled a drop-off-the-table curveball, hooking up with uber advisor Haymon, and suddenly, the two fight plan of attack was in flux. Now, the early fall faceoff between the two men who'd been on a parallel track, who'd fought on the same card last November, to help whet fans' appetites, get them savoring the prospect of this clash of 175 pound titans was not on the to do list. Instead, as it stands today, Stevenson is aligned with Haymon, and is a Showtime fighter.

Yes, the Cold War trenches have been dug deeper, with Duva aiming icy barbs at Haymon, who she said is well known for keeping fight fans from seeing the events they crave. “He's the man best known for making sure the public doesn't get to see the fights they want,” she told me. “It's true, isn't it? Ask Mayweather and Pacquiao.”

So, is the prospect of a Kovalev-Stevenson fight dead? “Not this year,” she said. “But Adonis is running. He's running.” Her ice storm dropped some pellets on Showtime, which she said features stars built by HBO.

Duva said that if she chose to bring this matter to a courtroom, she is confident she'd prevail, she'd be able to convince an arbiter that a contract, of sorts, had been fashioned, mostly via email exchanges, with the pertinent principals.

“My husband (the late promoter Dan Duva) used to say, 'Contracts don't fight, fighters do,'' she stated, indicating that her likely reaction will be to push to elevate Kovalev, without indulging in lawyer-centered undercard action. “We're going to let HBO build Sergey into a star, as they've done countless times, since they started in boxing…In the light heavyweight division, he is the best fighter in the world.”

Two weeks ago, IBF champ Bernard Hopkins was in NYC, talking up his April 19 clash in DC, against Beibut Shumenov, who holds the WBA crown at 175. Hopkins made it clear he was angling toward a fall clash with WBC champ Adonis, who'd just announced his allegiance to Haymon. WBO champ Kovalev and company still held out hope that the parallel path of him and Adonis hadn't been altered since then, and, in fact, it was only today when an HBO boxing person told me that HBO had decided they weren't going to pursue a May 24 Stevenson bout against Andrezj Fonfara, which was on their docket. That decision to blow off that May pairing came, I was told, when Adonis' new representation wanted to tweak terms ie money already agreed to by the old team Adonis.

Now, with Haymon calling shots, Stevenson was asking for “a significant increase” to his purse to fight Fonfara. Not only that, but there was no longer a package deal, for a Fonfara fight, and then a match with Kovalev, on the table. That indicated to HBO, the source said, that Stevenson wanted to jet. The HBO source too said they weren't closing the door on a Kovalev-Stevenson fight, it must be noted. “We're happy to discuss it for the fall,” I was told. Bottom line, according to the HBO source: “We had a deal. It changed. It is not the way we do it.”

I requested a comment from Al Haymon, who takes press queries about as often as I get haircuts, through an emissary, and hadn't heard back at posting time.

I also emailed Yvon Michel, to get his side of the story, and a response to the assertion that a deal had been hashed out, and then rescinded, but also hadn't heard back at time of posting.

Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza did return a request for comment. He said that indeed, Stevenson, whose talents he said he's admired for several years, would be fighting Fonfara, on Showtime, in May. “When we heard that Adonis had no deal in place (with HBO), that he was available, wasn't locked up, we made an offer for his next fight,” he said. HBO, it was his understanding, he said, had the right to match those terms, and declined. Espinoza said Adonis had been slated to fight on the Jean Pascal-Tavoris Cloud undercard, on an August 2012 promotion which got scrapped because of a Pascal injury. “This opportunity came, and we jumped at the chance,” he said, of the May 24 Adonis-Fonfara clash, slated for the Bell Centre in Montreal. “The Hopkins vs. Adonis fight is a natural for both, they're both interested, but both have business to deal with first, so it's a little premature to delve into that.”

Duva clearly isn't enthralled by the pairing. Hopkins, she said, breathing down on age 50, is going to be “irrelevant” in the next year or two. She's betting that Kovalev won't much miss a beat, that HBO will do their thing, and craft compelling scraps for him, raising his profile to an exalted space. “Sergey is going to become that with or without Adonis, who is what, 38?”

Much or all of the motivation for this move by Adonis, she thinks, is because he is avoiding a clash with the the 30-year-old Russian. She thinks that Adonis might not even come out better financially, because she can't see Hopkins taking a smaller slice of the pie, even if Adonis and Bernard fight in Montreal, where Adonis will fill the room, whereas Kovalev would have made a concession to Adonis' ability to put arses in seats.

“Hopkins won't take the short end,” Duva opined. “Also, I think Adonis is scared to death of Kovalev. And the fans are getting screwed. And Al Haymon owns that.”

She said she was reserving the option to pursue a legal route to dealing with the screwed up Kovalev-Stevenson formulation, because, she said, “We exchanged writing, and that's a contract. Bottom line, Adonis Stevenson was scared to make a deal to fight Sergey…as well he should be.”

Oh yeah, Cedric Agnew was in the room, game face on, while this matter was being discussed and Duva was venting. The Chicago-born hitter, training in Houston, was hard to hear when he was talking about his confidence going into the Saturday clash, which will unfold in Atlantic City, and on HBO. I tried to read his brain, wondering if his chill 'tude indicated he might be a little tight. Duva said that she thinks Agnew, who owns a 26-0 mark (13 KOs) against B- level foes, and under, is coming to mess up Kovalev's path as much as Stevenson did.

Duva, on an up note, said that tix are moving well, a testament to Kovalev's burgeoning fan-base, which had her breathing a sigh of relief, considering we're heading into Final Four hoops territory, which can make ticket sales for fights sluggish. Agnew did pass, I think, a test I often pose to an underdog, when I asked him if he was sure he'd beat Kovalev. “Yeah,” he said, not in the most forceful of fashions.

“No doubt?” I pressed.

“No doubt” he would, he said, more firmly.

Duva apologized well into the Q n A, for getting off track, into the Stevenson/Haymon affair, after Team Agnew advisor Bill Benton made it clear that people in that room, mostly press, weren't seeing his kid as a viable foe. He handled ex heavyweight contender Ike Ibeabuchi many moons ago, he said, and writers who hadn't done their homework before Ike fought David Tua had to hustle to get in the know after he got the better of Tua. “After the fight, they knew who he was,” Benton said, making clear we'd have to get up to speed on Agnew Saturday night. “Everybody's overlooking him, God I hope so.”

His son Bobby Benton, at 35 one of the most baby-faced trainers you'll see holding a bucket, helped in the Austin Trout corner when he beat Miguel Cotto two years ago, and he said he'll be on the winning side in AC, too. He said the chill Agnew, who actually broke into a couple of grins when I split him off, and chatted with him, the Benton and promoter Malcom Garrett, has a nasty side, and can show it in the ring. Bill Benton, in the game since 1977, compared him to Matthew Saad Muhammad, and said if the judges are on point, “and we get a fair shake, he'll have his hand raised Saturday. His speed is unbelievable.”

But the Cold Warring, with Duva not being shy about Haymon presence being a net detriment to the sport, dominated this event. Sure, Kovalev had a happy face on, considering he was exulting in the multi-fight deal he'd inked with HBO that day. But the mood in that room was set, I venture to say, by Duva, who was mad as hell, and not shying away from saying why. Haymon's wide angle sphere of influence was now going to result in a must-see bout being yanked away from the fans, she said, and she wondered why some of the bigger name boxing writers weren't examining those chips falling the way they had been of late, and noting a tectonic shift in the way business was being conducted by people who'd she'd regarded as business contemporaries, but now seemed to have been relegated into the bitter adversary zone.

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Abel Sanchez Candidly Shares His Feelings About GGG and Andy Ruiz

Arne K. Lang

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The noted trainer Abel Sanchez has taken his lumps lately, but he was as congenial as ever as he conversed with this reporter during a lull in the action on last Saturday’s show at the MGM Grand Garden. Earlier in the evening, one of Sanchez’s newest proteges, Guido Vianello, had advanced his record to 4-0 with a second round stoppage of sacrificial lamb Keenan Hickmon. A six-foot-six heavyweight from Italy, Vianello was “awarded a scholarship” to Sanchez’s boxing academy by Bob Arum after signing with Arum’s Top Rank organization in November of last year.

Our talk inevitably turned to his fractured relationship with Gennady Golovkin. When we visited “The Summit,” the name of Sanchez’s training facility in Big Bear, California, in March of 2016, the fighter from Kazakhstan and his Mexican-American coach appeared to have an unbreakable bond. When in training, GGG resided in the compound that Sanchez built as a combination dormitory and training facility, a 5,200 square foot complex with a gym in the lower level. Sanchez spoke highly of GGG back then, not just as a boxer but as a person. Despite his growing fame, said Sanchez, GGG was as unspoiled as the day they first met in March of 2010.

In his first fight under Sanchez’s tutelage, Golovkin went to Panama City and won the WBA middleweight title with a 58-second blowout of Milton Nunez. He would go on to unify the title while tying Bernard Hopkins’ record for successful middleweight title defenses (20).

In April, GGG severed the relationship. This came shortly after he signed a three-year, six-fight deal with DAZN worth a reported $100 million. He subsequently hooked up with Johnathon Banks, a protégé of Emanuel Steward. Banks was in GGG’s corner not quite two weeks ago when GGG bombed out overmatched Steve Rolls.

The break-up was over money. When GGG signed his lucrative deal with DAZN, his German advisors decided that henceforth Sanchez would receive a flat rate instead of his customary percentage. “Take it or leave it,” they told Abel. He left it.

“Money (often) corrupts character and values,” said Sanchez, who was deeply wounded when GGG turned his back on him. And although we didn’t delve into it, he likely had flashbacks to 1992 when the very same thing had happened to him with Terry Norris.

Terry Norris was Abel’s first prominent fighter. He trained Terry and his older brother Orlin Norris, a budding word cruiserweight champion, for the late Joe Sayatovich at Sayatovich’s training facility on a 30-acre ranch in the high desert community of Campo, California, five miles from the Mexican border. Sayatovich owned a construction company, as did Sanchez, a second generation California home builder.

In July of 1989, Terry Norris was bombed out in two rounds by Julian Jackson in Atlantic City in a bid for Jackson’s WBA 154-pound title. But Sanchez orchestrated a rebound and Norris went on to carve out a Hall of Fame career, preceding Julian Jackson into the International Boxing Hall of Fame by 14 years.

Norris was a world champion, but yet one of the lesser known champions until winning a lopsided 12-round decision over Sugar Ray Leonard on Feb. 9, 1991, at Madison Square Garden, plunging Sugar Ray into a six-year retirement. That increased Norris’s marketability enormously and spelled the beginning of the end of the Norris-Sanchez partnership. In November of the following year, Sanchez received a letter co-signed by Sayatovich and Norris (whose signature was apparently forged) telling him that he had been dismissed.

A story in the San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Sayatovich as saying that Abel had to go because he had become “too greedy,” balking at taking a smaller percentage of Terry Norris’s purses now that the fighter had punched his way into the upper echelon of wage earners. But the break-up did not disturb Sanchez’s relationship with Orlin Norris, or with the father and official co-trainer of the Norris brothers, both of whom jumped to Abel’s defense, saying he had remained loyal to Sayatovich and that Sayatovich ought to have reciprocated that loyalty.

There’s an old saying in boxing that a trainer or manager should never become too emotionally attached to a fighter as that fighter will break his heart someday. Abel Sanchez knows the feeling.

Terry Norris, detached from Sanchez, lost his WBC diadem in his 11th title defense when he suffered a fourth round stoppage at the hands of Simon Brown in Puebla, Mexico. A win over Brown would have propelled Norris into a match with Pernell Whitaker, and had he succeeded in beating Whitaker, he would have been the runaway pick for the top spot on the pound-for-pound lists.

Abel Sanchez wasn’t surprised that Norris was upended by Simon Brown, a huge underdog. “We watch him in the gym and he’s gotten away from basic fundamentals,” he told LA Times writer Tim Kawakami. “He’s going out there winging and trying to bomb everyone out. And when you do that you’re going to get hit.”

We mean no disrespect to Johnathan Banks, a fine trainer, but we can’t help but wonder if Gennady Golovkin’s career will take the same turn.

ANDY RUIZ

Abel Sanchez first met Andy Ruiz when Ruiz, an aspiring Olympian, was 17 years old. Ruiz’s father brought Andy to Abel’s gym. When they put the boy on the scale, he weighed 307 pounds. Ten years later, Sanchez would train Ruiz for Ruiz’s match with Joseph Parker in Auckland, New Zealand. Several fights later, Ruiz bought out his contract with Top Rank, signed with Premier Boxing Champions, and acquired a new trainer, Manny Robles.

We wondered what went through Abel’s mind as Andy Ruiz was chewing up Anthony Joshua and then rapturously celebrating with his cornermen in an unforgettable scene at Madison Square Garden. Did Abel think to himself, “well, darn, if I had played my cards right, that could have been me.”

To the contrary, Sanchez thought it was wonderful. “It was good for boxing,” he said, “I’m so happy for Andy and Manny.”

Sanchez agreed with our assessment that the quick turnaround after his bout with six-foot-seven, 260-pound behemoth Alexander Dimitrenko was actually a blessing in disguise. “On paper,” said Sanchez, “he had only five weeks to prepare but it was more like 14 weeks. Andy didn’t have time to go out and party.”

“Andy would not be denied,” said Sanchez who hopes that Ruiz brings the same mindset to the rematch. “I hope that his victory over Joshua doesn’t come to be seen as a fluke,” he said, “because Andy can really fight.” He doesn’t pack the biggest punch, noted Sanchez, but he can stop an opponent in his tracks with four- and five-punch combinations, a rare attribute in a heavyweight.

As what to expect in the rematch, Sanchez said, “Andy Ruiz will have to be even better than the first time around.”

Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan photos / Golden Boy Promotions

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The Gypsy King: Enjoy Him While You Can

Ted Sares

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Gypsy King

Tyson Fury —The Gypsy King– possesses a sharp Irish wit. True, he’s putting everybody on half the time, but that’s what blarney is all about. He’s a born showman and is rarely at a loss for words or afraid to throw stuff out there. Heavyweight boxing hasn’t had this type in a long time—maybe not since Ali.

Curiously, the forgoing was written before he went into the deep depths of hell brought about by depression and substance abuse. He was pretty much written off as a one-off phenom. In fact, things got so bad that David Haye once said, in response to Fury’s homophobic tweets,: “It seems @Tyson_Fury needs to ease up on his ‘Medication’ or seek an Exorcist, or he’ll get sectioned at this rate #StraightJacketRequired”

Fast Forward

But lo and behold, that was then and this is now and he has made one of the greatest comebacks in sports history (with a nod to George Foreman and Tiger Woods) showing a will and determination rarely seen anywhere. This should not be downplayed. When combined with his ability to get up from Deontay Wilder’s best shot in the final round of their fight, that determination—that will, borders on the surreal.

And he is an entirely different person. This is not the same person who told reporters they can s**k his balls. No, this Fury donated his entire purse from the Wilder fight to several UK charities that specialize in providing housing for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Said Fury, “I did give away my last purse, but I don’t do charity work for a pat on the back…I do it to help people, but I do not want praise for it, I don’t want to be called a do-gooder.”

This is not a Nikolai Valuev or a Primo Canera. The new Fury is fast, fights backwards, forwards, orthodox, southpaw, and has great upper body movement. He fights in a relaxed and fluid manner, but is a ruthless closer. This Fury enjoys what he does unlike fellow-Brit Anthony Joshua who seemed visibly uncomfortable in New York City recently. Heck, Fury is made for The Big Apple.

Anyone who is 6’9” and can switch stances and slip seven punches in a row much like Pernell Whitaker was able to do and then immediately come back with a deadly volley to initiate the beginning of a ruthless end (with Schwarz bloodied and under brutal attack, the bout was waved off), warrants the attention of every serious boxing fan.

After referee Kenny Bayless finished his count, Fury came across the ring after the poor German like something out of a horror movie as he closed the show. It bears a second and third look.

“I got a big man out of there by switching it up. He caught me with a couple but you can’t go swimming and not get wet.” said Fury (now 28-0-1). As an aside, the Gypsy King went to Schwarz’s locker room to console him after the fight.

“He needed to make a statement tonight. When he walks to that ring, he becomes someone else. All that he has in the back of his head, is Deontay Wilder. He wants that revenge. He showed strength, power, determination and that killer instinct.” — Tyson’s father John Fury.

He made that statement.

The Future

Now attention turns to his next fight with Kubrat Pulev, his IBF mandatory, his most like likely opponent. (Of course, Pulev must refrain from kissing his female interviewers.) Such a matchup would be more competitive and even risky. As Caryn Tate of Boxing.com says, “The sooner Fury and the rest of the heavyweights at the top of the division fight each other, the better. The plethora of tune-ups in this sport have got to stop.”

In a sport/business that overwhelms us with nonstop legal bickering and suspected/real use of PEDs, this affable and candid giant is a breath of badly needed fresh air.

“I was in the car on the way with my wife and I said ‘I think we’ve made it Paris’. She said why and I said ‘We’re headlining in Vegas! This is it!’” — Tyson Fury

Later, he said, I came here to have fun and enjoy myself. I don’t take it too seriously. I thought I put on a good show and the fans got what they paid for.”

Ted Sares is a member of Ring 8, a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

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Three Punch Combo: Looking Ahead to the 2020 IBHOF Class and More

Matt Andrzejewski

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THREE PUNCH COMBO — Last weekend, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY, held its annual induction ceremony. Julian Jackson, Donald Curry and James “Buddy” McGirt were enshrined in the modern category. With the 2019 induction weekend now complete, it is now time to look forward to the 2020 class in the modern category.

For those not familiar with the process, each year three boxers are elected in the modern category. No more and no less. The modern category is comprised of fighters who had their last bout no earlier than 1989 and have been retired from the sport for five years. So to be considered for the 2020 ballot, the boxer’s last fight would need to be no later than 2014.

Last year’s class was dominated by holdovers who weren’t elected to the IBHOF the first time they were eligible and appeared on the ballot multiple times before finally getting inducted. We also saw something similar in 2016. But for the class of 2020, we have a strong list of first time eligible candidates and given the current voting criteria it is probable that the class of 2020 will be comprised of fighters from this list.

The five notable first time eligible candidates are Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KO’s), Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s), Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KO’s), Jorge Arce (64-8-2, 49 KO’s) and Marcos Maidana (35-5, 31 KO’s).

Of the five, I think Arce and Maidana can safely be eliminated from serious consideration for the class of 2020. They don’t have near the resumes of the other three.

Juan Manuel Marquez (pictured) would seem to be a lock. He is a former multi-division champion who fought in some of the most prominent fights of his era and holds wins against some of the best fighters of his generation. This includes wins over Hall of Famer Marco Antonio Barrera and future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.

Sergio Martinez is also a lock. The Argentine may have been a late bloomer but he had a dominant four-year middleweight title reign after defeating Kelly Pavlik in 2010 for the title. During this reign he scored an emphatic second round knockout of Paul Williams which avenged a previous loss and won a decisive 12-round decision over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

I sense there will be some debate regarding Froch but I think he will get the nod his first time around. He is a former 168-pound champion and has an incredibly deep resume that includes wins against many of the best in the division of his era. Of his two losses, one was avenged to Mikkel Kessler and the other was to future first ballot Hall of Famer Andre Ward. The resume just speaks for itself and should be more than enough to earn Froch enshrinement on his first go-around.

Of the holdovers, the two most likely to push Froch for the third and final spot are Rafael Marquez (41-9, 37 KO’s) and Vinny Paz (50-10, 30 KO’s). Marquez garnered a lot of support in his first year of eligibility last year and a lot were surprised when he did not make the final cut. With his brother likely getting inducted this coming year, there could be a push to put the brothers in together. As for Paz, he also picked up some steam last year and seemed to sway more voters to his side.

The Case For Yaqui Lopez

Every year I like to touch upon some fighters who I feel have gone overlooked by IBHOF voters. In past years for example, I have made cases for both Kevin Kelley and Junior Jones. This year, I wanted to go back a little further to a different era and point out a fighter who I think deserves serious consideration in Yaqui Lopez (61-15, 39 KO’s).

Lopez never won a world title and I am quickly reminded of that whenever I bring up his candidacy. He fought in an era that not only did not have an abundance of title belts but also featured some of the all-time greats of the light heavyweight division. Lopez lost two close decisions in world title bids to Hall of Famer Victor Galindez. Lopez also was competitive on two occasions in challenging Matthew Saad Muhammad for his light heavyweight title. Their second fight in 1980 was the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. And Lopez also gave future Hall of Famer Michael Spinks a test before being stopped in the seventh round.

The losses were competitive to these all-time greats. In any other era Lopez would have been a world champion. But there are yet many good wins on his resume, most notably a sixth round stoppage of Mike Rossman in March of 1978. Six months later, Rossman would knock out the aforementioned Galindez to become the light heavyweight champion.

There is another side to the argument for Lopez. Some people hate when I mention this but entertainment matters when considering candidates qualifications. The floodgates were opened by voters in this regard with the elections of Arturo Gatti and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and there is no going back. Lopez was not only a very accomplished fighter but one of the most exciting fighters of his era, he was involved in many memorable wars. Add this fact to his resume and Lopez more than meets all the criteria to be inducted into the IBHOF.

Under The Radar Fight

 ShoBox returns on Friday from the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, Iowa with a tripleheader featuring six fighters with a combined record of 91-1. Though I am very interested in all the fights, I am especially interested in the main event, a 154-pound contest between fast rising prospect Sebastian Fundora (12-0, 8 KO’s) and Hector Manuel Zepeda (17-0, 4 KO’s).

Fundora stands 6’7” tall and is appropriately nicknamed “The Towering Inferno.” For a man who stands that tall, he is incredibly athletic and fluid inside the ring. Working from a southpaw stance, Fundora likes to use his height to pepper his opponents from the outside with a sharp right jab. He will work very fluid, heavy handed combinations behind that jab and makes his opposition pay a heavy toll when they attempt to close the distance. And if opponents do manage to get inside, Fundora has shown himself to be a very accomplished fighter at close range.

Defensively, Fundora has some things to clean up. He tends to get involved in exchanges and when he does so will stand straight up with his chin exposed. He’s been clipped clean on a few occasions and that will need to be corrected as he moves up in caliber of competition.

There is not a lot of video available on Zepeda but from what I have seen he is a technically astute fighter. He is a boxer puncher by trade who will use frequent lateral movement working behind the left jab from the orthodox stance. Zepeda likes to be first instead of looking for counters and from the fights I have seen has shown to be a volume puncher. As the record indicates, however, he is not a big puncher.

If Zepeda fights the way that I have seen on video, I think we are going to get a fast paced, good action fight. Fundora is clearly the “A” side here and is supposed to win. But make no mistake, Zepeda can fight and this is a step up in class for Fundora.

This is a classic ShoBox fight in which the “A” side could get pushed and I am very interested to see this one on Friday.

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