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Three ‘Under-The Radar-Type’ Fights I’d Like to See in 2019

Matt Andrzejewski




THREE PUNCH COMBO — We all know the big fights everyone wants to see in 2019. These wish lists have already been detailed in depth. What I would like to focus on are some makeable under-the-radar-type fights that I’d like to see happen this year.

Raymundo Beltran vs. Alex Saucedo

In February of 2018, Raymundo Beltran (pictured) realized his dream of becoming a world champion when he captured the vacant IBF lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Paulus Moses. But six months later in his first defense, Beltran lost his title to Jose Pedraza. That loss also wiped out a potential big money fight for Beltran against Vasyl Lomachenko. Now 37, Beltran is looking to make one last title run, this time in the 140-pound division.

Like Beltran, Alex Saucedo had his own highs and lows in 2018. In June, Saucedo had his career best win stopping Leonardo Zappavigna in round seven to earn a title shot in the 140-pound weight class. Saucedo vs Zappavigna was a strong candidate for Fight of the Year and many thought it was Saucedo’s coming out party as a future star in the sport.

But in that title shot against Maurice Hooker, Saucedo would suffer a major career setback when he was stopped in round seven. Saucedo’s defensive flaws proved to be a major determining factor in the outcome and now it is back to the drawing board to reset his career.

Beltran will be making his 140-pound debut against Hiroki Okada in February. Though Okada is 19-0, he struggled mightily in his US debut against journeyman Cristian Rafael Coria last September and I suspect Beltran will have little trouble dispatching him. Beltran will then set his sights on bigger fish.

Saucedo does not have a fight scheduled but I suspect he will get an easy confidence building tune-up type fight this spring. Afterward, he will look to get back into contention against a bigger name.

With both Beltran and Saucedo in need of a big fight and with both being under the Top Rank banner, the fight is a natural. It is a fight ESPN certainly would be interested in as stylistically it should be a fan friendly contest.

Both Beltran and Saucedo are aggressive, offensive-minded fighters who are not afraid to get into exchanges. Saucedo is younger with the much faster hands and more power behind his punches. But Beltran is a savvy veteran who can certainly make Saucedo pay for his lack of attention to defense. I see a competitive fight that will probably have plenty of back and forth action. With the stakes raised as well and so much on the line for both men, this could be just the type of fight that becomes a Fight of the Year candidate.

Tevin Farmer vs. Joseph Diaz

One fight that many, including myself, hope to see in 2019 is a unification fight in the 130-pound division between Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis (who is expected to beat Abner Mares when they meet on Feb. 9). However, politics and network affiliations probably do not make this a makeable fight in 2019. Since I am touching only upon makeable fights, how about instead we see Farmer face former U.S. Olympian Joseph “JoJo” Diaz?

Diaz is signed with Golden Boy Promotions and will be moving to the 130-pound division in February to face Charles Huerta. This fight will be streamed on DAZN with whom Golden Boy formed a recent alliance.

Farmer is also aligned with DAZN due to his co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn (Farmer is also promoted by Lou DiBella). It appears Farmer is ticketed to a date in March against Jono Carroll. Assuming both Diaz and Farmer win their respective bouts (and they will each be substantially favored), matching them makes a lot of sense later in the year.

Farmer is a slick counter puncher with quick hands. He is also a defensive wizard and a tough puzzle for anyone to solve inside the ring. Diaz is an aggressive boxer-puncher who often throws a high output of punches. He is comfortable both with initiating an attack and countering. It would be very interesting to see if Diaz could solve the defensive puzzle of Farmer and how Farmer would deal with the athletic skilled volume puncher in Diaz. On paper, barring unforeseen developments, it is a true 50/50 bout.

Adam Kownacki vs. Andrey Fedosov

I am going to make a transition here from what would be a highly skilled bout between Farmer and Diaz to what would be a plain out heavyweight barroom brawl.

Adam Kownacki, a high volume puncher with deceptively quick hands, is an all offensive minded heavyweight who has shown a propensity to get involved in slugfests. There are some very good parts to his offensive game but also a severe lack of defense in his overall game. He is not afraid to get hit or get drawn into a street fight.

Kownacki is affiliated with PBC and I suspect those running things know exactly what they have in him. Though he is climbing the ladder, his lack of defense would clearly be a major issue against the elite of the heavyweight division. But matched right, Kownacki could certainly make for some fun fights.

PBC has a relatively new deal with Fox and will be showcasing Kownacki on the network later this month against veteran Gerald Washington. I suspect we see a typical Kownacki performance in which he gets hit plenty but ultimately prevails. And my guess is that after this fight the executives at Fox will want to bring him back.

This leads me to Fedosov. Stylistically, he is very similar to Kownacki. Fedosov is a come forward aggressive brawler who is not afraid to take a few punches to get in his own shots. He lacks some of the athletic qualities of Kownacki but is just a bit more technically sound in his overall game.

Fedosov currently has no network affiliations so a fight against Kownacki would not be difficult to put together. And there is no way this fight would be anything other than a phone booth war. While Kownacki would be favored, there is enough subtlety to Fedosov’s game as well as enough lack of defense on Kownacki’s part to make for a highly entertaining and competitive heavyweight slugfest.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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