Connect with us

Featured Articles

Three Bold Predictions for 2019

Matt Andrzejewski



bold predictions

THREE PUNCH COMBO: In the final edition of “the combo” for 2018, I will get the crystal ball out and look ahead with three bold predictions for the upcoming year.

Bold Prediction One – Manny Pacquiao-Errol Spence Will Be The Biggest Event of 2019

When Manny Pacquiao added Al Haymon as his advisor late in 2018, it was widely assumed in the industry that this would facilitate a big money rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime in 2019. While this is certainly possible, I see a different course for Pacquiao, at least in the near term.

First of all, if Mayweather wants the Pacquiao rematch then it will happen. And Mayweather will unquestionably be watching Pacquiao’s upcoming bout with Adrien Broner on January 19th with vested interest. But I think after Mayweather watches Pacquiao-Broner that he will sour on the idea of facing Pacquiao later this year.

As we all know, styles make fights. Stylistically, I think Broner is the perfect opponent for Pacquiao at this point in his career. As a matter of fact, I would go as far as stating that Pacquiao is going to look close to the 2009 version of himself in this fight. Why? Broner is frankly a lazy fighter. He fights only in spots. Even a 40-year-old Pacquiao can easily out-work and out-hustle him.

But there is more. Broner also makes a lot of defensive mistakes and despite his lengthy history in the ring has never corrected these flaws. He does not move his head and often squares up to his opponents, making him an easy target to hit clean. Plus when he does let his hands go, he stands and poses after throwing. allowing himself to be easily countered.

Much like Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia exposed Broner’s flaws, so will Pacquiao. His hand speed and dazzling combinations will be on full display; PacMan will look sensational. And this will be cause for some concern for Mayweather who as we all know selects his opposition very carefully.

With Mayweather waffling, Haymon will be forced to look at other options. With Errol Spence in need of big name opponents, expect Haymon to look to make a super fight between Spence and Pacquiao later this year.

Of course, this assumes Spence beats Mikey Garcia in March. While I don’t think this will be an easy fight for Spence, it is one that I do see him ultimately winning. With Spence’s growing reputation and a win against Garcia under his cap, it will be tough to entice other top welterweights to face him unless they are heavily compensated. If someone is going to be heavily compensated to face Spence, they better bring a large audience with them. There is one fighter that could fit that criteria and that is Pacquiao.

Pacquiao-Spence would draw a lot of attention and sell big on pay-per-view. And for all these reasons, I expect the fight will happen.

Bold Prediction Two – Andre Ward Returns to Face the Winner of Alvarez-Kovalev II

Andre Ward is going to make a return to the ring. His cryptic social media posts as well as discussions with boxing media this past year can lead to no other conclusion.

But at what weight class will he return and whom will he fight? I speculated earlier this year that he could test the waters as a heavyweight. However, I now feel a return to the light heavyweight division seems more likely given recent happenings in the sport. And his opponent could very well be the winner of the February 2nd rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev.

Follow me here for a second before dismissing this notion. ESPN and Top Rank purchased the rights to the Alvarez-Kovalev rematch despite not having a promotional tie to either fighter at the time (although Top Rank did eventually sign Alvarez to a co-promotional deal). This raised some eyebrows in the industry. Clearly, ESPN and Top Rank had something in mind down the road in purchasing this fight.

Ward currently serves as an analyst for ESPN. He is a very sharp person with a bright mind for the sport.  The tail end of Ward’s career was managed brilliantly from a risk versus reward perspective and no doubt Ward had plenty of input as to how his affairs were handled.

In a comeback bid, Ward will look to maximize financial value while mitigating risk in a similar manner to how his career was managed leading up to his initial retirement. And given his relationship with ESPN/Top Rank, it would be fully expected that a Ward comeback would take place under their banner.

Thus, facing the winner of Alvarez-Kovalev II makes perfect sense. From Ward’s prospective, he’d be returning to face an opponent whom he’d be favored to defeat while making a very nice payday. If it is Kovalev there is a natural rivalry to sell as well as the controversies from each of the two fights.

ESPN and Top Rank have been looking to get into the pay-per-view market. An Andre Ward comeback against with Alvarez or Kovalev would sell and be the perfect way to test the pay-per-view waters.

Bold Prediction Three – Promoters and TV Networks Play A Bit Nicer With One Another In 2019

In 2018, we saw more events compete directly with one another for eyeballs than I can ever recall. Granted, a lot of that had to do with an unprecedented amount of live boxing that was available on either traditional television networks or live streaming services. With promoters having to fill so much air time, I guess some overlapping of fight cards was inevitable.

However, common sense dictates that whenever eyeballs are split between competing cards everyone loses. My guess is that at some point in 2019 we see promoters and TV networks begin to work together to alleviate this problem.

Top Rank and Golden Boy set the blueprint in 2018 for one way promoters can work with instead of against one another when they each have televised shows. On May 12th, Top Rank and ESPN moved up the start time of their card so the main event between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares did not interfere with the start of Golden Boy’s card on HBO. Fans were able to watch the main fights on both cards and eyeballs were not split so everyone won. Granted, this was a unique situation but at the very least this did provide a blueprint for how promoters can work together on such matters in the future.

Also, I see a scenario in 2019 where a deal is cut between major platforms to avoid competing cards. I don’t know who will do it but again it is to everyone’s benefit not to split eyeballs. Maybe Top Rank/ESPN cuts a deal with PBC or DAZN. Or PBC and DAZN come to some sort of an agreement. With so much money involved, business interests will at some point supersede the egos of the various parties. It is just common sense. And in 2019, I think we see rival promoters and networks come together at times to coordinate events for everyone’s mutual benefit.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment of this article in the Fight Forum, CLICK HERE


Featured Articles

Fast Results From Latvia: Mairis Briedis and the KO Doctor advance in the WBSS

Arne K. Lang



briedis vs glowacki

The semifinal round of the Wold Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament played out today in Riga, Latvia, the hometown of Mairis Briedis who was matched against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki. Both fighters had only one blemish on their ledger and in both cases their lone defeat came at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.

The fans left happily after Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Glowacki (34-2) in the third frame. But it was messy fight that invites a lot of second-guessing and likely a challenge from the Glowacki camp.

After a feeling-out first round, Briedis cranked up the juice. An errant elbow landed behind Glowacki’s head, putting him on the canvas. For this discretion, Briedis was docked a point. A legitimate knockdown followed — Glowacki was hurt — and then another knockdown after the bell had sounded. The referee could not hear the bell in the din. It was a wild scene.

The fight was allowed to continue, but didn’t last much longer. Coming out for round three, Glowacki wasn’t right and Briedis pounced on him, scoring another knockdown, leading referee Robert Byrd to waive the fight off at the 27 second mark. It wasn’t Byrd’s finest hour.

The tournament organizers anticipated the complication of a draw and assigned extra judges to eliminate this possibility. They did not anticipate the complication of a “no-contest.” If the outcome isn’t overturned, Briedis, a former WBC cruiserweight champ, is the new WBO title-holder.


In the co-feature, Miami-based Cuban defector Yunier Dorticos, nicknamed the KO Doctor, lived up to his nickname with a smashing one punch knockout of previously undefeated Andrew Tabiti. The end for Tabiti came with no warning in round 10. An overhand right left him flat on his back, unconscious. Referee Eddie Claudio didn’t bother to count. The official time was 2:33.

It was easy to build case for Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs). He was three inches taller than Tabiti, packed a harder punch, and had fought stronger opposition. But it was understood that Tabiti, now 17-1, had a more well-rounded game. Moreover, there were concerns about Dorticos’ defense and stamina.

Dorticos was ahead on the scorecards after nine frames. He rarely took a backward step and let his hands go more freely. And it didn’t help Tabiti’s cause that he was docked a point for holding in the sixth frame. Earlier in that round, an accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut over his right eye. The ringside physician was called into the ring to examine it and let the bout continue.

With the victory, Dorticos became the IBF world cruiserweight champion and moved one step closer to acquiring the coveted Muhammad Ali trophy in what will be, win or lose, the most lucrative fight of his career.

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Angel Ruiz Scores 93 Second KO in Ontario, CA




Angel Ruiz

(Ringside Report by Special Correspondent Tarrah Zeal) ONTARIO, CA – “Path to Glory” featured some of Southern California’s hottest prospects carving their image into the boxing world through the Thompson Boxing Promotions platform at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA Friday night.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Angel Ruiz (14-0, 11 KO) of Maywood, CA finished veteran Miguel Zamudio (43-13-1, 27 KO) from Los Mochis, Mexico with an impressive stoppage at 1:33 in the first round scheduled for eight.

At 21 years young, Ruiz (pictured) came into the night with four KO wins in his last four bouts and looking to continue his streak. A second-round body shot win over Gerald Avila (8-17-3) on May 10th and first round KO win against Roberto Almazan (8-9) just this year.

Ruiz was just getting started in the ring using his long distance and power punches to punish Zamudio.

Twenty seconds into the opening round, Ruiz’ mouthpiece went flying out and a timeout was called. Once the mouthpiece was placed back in, Ruiz administered a quick flurry of punches but with no exchange from Zamudio, referee Raul Caiz stepped in and stopped the main event fight.

After the fight interview Ruiz was asked about what he saw in the fight, “I see this guy. He wants to fight. He was trying to fight but I’m too hard. I got you.” Ruiz said. “I feel ready. I want to fight with the best.”

With 89 amateur bouts under his belt, although not signed with any promoters, Ruiz is verbally challenging Vergil Ortiz, “Vergil if you see this video, remember me”.


In he co-main event, a six round junior middleweight bout, Richard “Cool Breeze” Brewart (6-0, 2 KO) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA won a unanimous decision over Antonio “El Tigre” Duarte (2-1) of Tijuana, Mexico.

Brewart was coming into the fight looking like the faster, more technical fighter of the two. Duarte over-telegraphed all of his punches, allowing Brewart to use his overhand right and awesome agility to angle out of reach.

Even after Duarte checked Brewart on the chin with a strong punch, Brewart’s power punches always ended the rounds. The judges scored the bout 60-54 twice and 59-55 for Brewart.

Other Bouts

A victorious unanimous decision at the end of a six-round toe-to- toe bantamweight fight was given to Mario “Mighty” Hernandez, (8-1-1, 3 KO) of Santa Cruz, CA over lefty Victor “Lobo” Trejo Garcia (16-11-1, 8 KO) from Mexico City, Mexico.

Continuous hard punches were exchanged from both brawlers starting at the bell of round one. Fans were excited after a flurry of punches and then a clear push from Hernandez sent Trejo to the floor at the end of round three, giving the crowd excitement for the coming rounds.

It deemed to be a bit of a challenge for both, as orthodox Hernandez managed to match southpaw Trejo’s overhand right punches with his own in response. After six rounds of continuous action two judges scored the bout 57-56 and one 59-54 for Hernandez.

In what would be an exciting and entertaining four-round heavyweight bout, Oscar Torrez (6-0, 3 KO) from Riverside, CA took on Allen Ruiz (0-2) of Ensenada, Mexico.

A surprising uppercut from Ruiz, in the beginning of round one, put Torrez on the canvas and every eye in the room were all fixated on both brawlers. The look in Torrez’ eyes were more calculated, as he was careful from then on.

Wild punches were being thrown from Ruiz without fear of repercussion, but then a quick liver shot from Torrez sent him to his knees. After a couple of seconds to adjust back into the bout, Ruiz was then checked again by left hook to the chin knocking out his mouthpiece. There were 20 seconds left in round two and the round ended with no mouthpiece.

Torrez showed he was stronger and the more technical fighter and finally ended the bout by KO with a right hook to Ruiz’s body at 1:08 in the third round.

Jose “Tito” Sanchez, a rising featherweight prospect with two knockouts in his first two fights and training under star trainer Joel Diaz, out of Indio, CA, took on veteran Pedro “Pedroito” Melo (17-20-2, 8 KO). Even with his low experience in the professional boxing world, Sanchez showed his maturity in the ring by controlling the fight when following Melo around the ring and landing clean left hooks and powerful body shots. After four rounds Sanchez won by 40-36 on all three cards.

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

Is the UFC Purchasing Premier Boxing Champions?

Miguel Iturrate



UFC Purchasing PBC?

Several news outlets are reporting that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company Endeavor is in talks with Al Haymon to purchase the Premier Boxing Champions. The deal is far from happening and will be complicated if it is completed. Let’s look at some of the details.

Dana White has been the face of the UFC since the brand was purchased by Zuffa in 2001 and over the years he has repeatedly hinted about invading the world of boxing. In his early days as the UFC’s head honcho, White even challenged his biggest star, Tito Ortiz, to a boxing match. The match never happened but to this day White will tell you he would have beaten Ortiz in a fight under Queensberry rules.

In more recent years the UFC co-promoted the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather Jr match and White, although he would vehemently deny it, also had to have at least tacitly approved of Oscar De LaHoya’s promotion of the third bout between Ortiz and his rival Chuck Liddell. That match-up was likely assessed by White this way: “If Oscar wants to promote MMA let him lose his money,” but he didn’t stand in the way of De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions.

White’s name has also come up in connection with Anthony Joshua. White is said to have had a huge offer ready for the then heavyweight champion, but he backed off when the realization hit that he could not make matches for Joshua in the way he is accustomed because he had no roster of potential opponents. However, White has been insistent that the UFC will “100 percent get into boxing.”

Under new owners Endeavor, White cannot operate like he did under old owners Zuffa, but if the deal goes down it is likely because White crafted some type of long term vision that he sold to Endeavor co-founder and CEO Ari Emanuel (pictured).

When Endeavor purchased the UFC in July of 2016 for a reported $4.05 billion, White agreed to guide the company for at least five more years, of which roughly two are up.

On the flipside, it is difficult to see Al Haymon relinquishing control of PBC. More than likely Haymon would stay in charge of the PBC wing and Endeavor would serve as a cash cow to keep what he has built going.

Haymon must stay aboard for another reason, though few will say it. The reason is ethnicity. If Haymon is left out, that would basically leave Leonard Ellerbe and his boss Floyd Mayweather Jr as the only prominent African-American promoters in boxing and that would not be a healthy situation.

Premier Boxing Champions has a diverse group of fighters among the over 200 pugilists under contract. Some are African-American as are many of Haymon’s key employees and associates. Frankly, at least a portion of those fighters and employees would not feel the same comfort level they have with Haymon if Emanuel, a member of an influential Jewish family (his brother is former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel) and Vegas power broker White were abruptly substituted.

Another effect on the PBC model is on the promotional end. Haymon has cobbled together a group of promoters that operate regionally under his PBC umbrella. The model that Endeavor brings with the UFC will have a more centralized approach to promotion. How will the new owners deal with Lou DiBella in NY, James Leija and Mike Battah in Texas, and Tom Brown in California? Throw in the aforementioned Ellerbe and Mayweather, who operate primarily in Vegas but also in the Washington DC and Baltimore area. How will the promoters who work with the PBC see their relationship change if Haymon left and Dana White was in charge?

Haymon has built the PBC over the years into a big business. He has the PBC on FOX and Showtime whereas the UFC, which previously partnered with FOX, now has a long-term deal with ESPN. This suggests that if a deal is made, PBC and the UFC will have to operate as completely separate entities under the same umbrella, at least for the foreseeable future. And even that might be further away from happening than most people realize.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading