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Catchweight the Topic At Cotto-Geale Presser in NYC

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A pretty fair middleweight tangle should unfold on Saturday night in Brooklyn, but the main topic of conversation at the press conference in Manhattan days out from the clash between Miguel Cotto and Aussie challenger Daniel Geale was the “catch weight” clause in the contract between the two pugilists.

Cotto holds the WBC 160 pound belt, which he wrested from Sergio Martinez last summer. But he’s “requested” that Geale hit the scale Friday as a sub-middleweight, that the 31-3 hitter adhere to a 157 pounds or less limit.

Geale, a soft spoken, most unfailingly polite sort, told the media he is OK with that, but his promoter wasn’t as accepting. Gary Shaw took pains to tell Cotto he respects the heck out of him, and his career, and his legacy—but catchweight fights shouldn’t be in play for title fights, he stated.

Cotto told the press that he had to play the catchweight game a few years ago, when he faced off with Manny Pacquiao. That “welterweight” clash in 2009 was set for a 145 pounds or less limit, and no one really squawked and he didn’t make waves, he told us.

His current trainer, “Dedham” Freddie Roach, was in Manny’s corner that night, the 35-in-October-year-old Puerto Rican icon said.

Shaw told me that there are no “teeth” in the contract, that there is no penalty called for if Geale, the 34-year-old who held the IBF 160 strap in 2011-2013, doesn’t make 157. The plan is for Geale to honor what amounts to a gentleman’s agreement…though, Shaw said, it was made clear to him that Cotto reserves the right to call off the fight if Geale doesn’t make 157. That, I dare say, would not be in the cards, so I guess we will cross that bridge if we come to it, which we hopefully won’t.

Roc Nation, which signed Cotto to a mega-million deal, beating out long-time promoter Top Rank for his services, is promoting the Saturday card. HBO will show the main event.

There is a tentative working plan, if all goes according to the Cotto plan, for Miguel to meet up with Mexican hitter Canelo Alvarez in the fall, on a pay-per-view scrum, should Cotto best Geale. So, there were questions to Cotto about Canelo, and also about future potential foe Gennady Golovkin, who holds some other 160 pound crowns, and will be in Brooklyn Saturday, to scope out Cotto. He is pressing hard for the Puerto Rican to step to the line, and accept the challenge. Patience, Cotto has advised; those mega-fights fan crave will occur but on his time frame, he noted. And, it was implied, on his terms. He’s the A side, to the A minus sides Canelo and Golovkin…as for Geale, he seems to get everyone is seeing him as a B-guy…but he stared down Cotto hard at the photo face-off at BB Kings, and nothing in his face suggested he didn’t think he’d have his hand raised come Saturday night, no matter what he’s tasked to weigh in Friday.

Here is the release which went out after the presser:

MIGUEL COTTO VS. DANIEL GEALE

FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

 

WBC & RING MAGAZINE MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION COTTO

TO FACE FORMER TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION GEALE

ON JUNE 6, 2015 AT BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN LIVE ON HBO®

 

PRESENTED BY ROC NATION SPORTS + MIGUEL COTTO PROMOTIONS

NEW YORK (June 3, 2015) -Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions hosted the final press conference for the June 6 showdown between WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Miguel Cotto and former Two-Time World Champion Daniel Geale on Tuesday, June 2 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City. Along with the main event participants, undercard fighters Junior Younan and Zhang Zhilei were also in attendance. Other speakers included Michael Yormark (President & Chief of Branding and Strategy of Roc Nation), Hector Soto (Miguel Cotto Promotions), Freddie Roach (Cotto’s Trainer), Gary Shaw (Gary Shaw Productions), Graham Shaw (Geale’s Trainer), Brett Yormark (CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets), Peter Nelson (VP HBO Sports Programming), David Berlin (Executive Director of the New York State Athletic Commission) and Ululy Martinez (Vice Chairman of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board of Directors). The press conference was emceed by Brooklyn Nets Public Address Announcer David Diamante.

Here’s what press conference participants had to say:

Miguel Cotto – WBC & Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion

“I want to thank my lovely family for being here with my. My kids, my wife, my lovely mom. Thank you for always supporting my career no matter how hard it seems or looks to you. I love you.”

“I think that people are making a big issue where there does not need to be a big issue with catch weights. Freddie, back in 2009, made me go down from 147 to 145. Did anyone hear anything about Miguel Cotto disagreeing with the catch weights? No, I was a gentlemen the whole way. Catch weights were our main point to make this fight happen. Daniel and his team agreed to going down to 157 and I hope he can make weight on Friday. I hope to see everyone there on Saturday night.”

“Freddie brings the confidence back to Miguel. He comes every day no matter what he feels and gives his best to me. When you have this kind of person in front of you giving you his best and making sure that you are going to do your best, the only way you can pay him back is bringing your best too. We only talk about boxing when we are in the gym. He’s my trainer there, but as soon as we finish our training session, he’s my friend.”

Daniel Geale – Former Two-Time World Champion

“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited. We’re so excited as a team that this fight is taking place. We’ve put a great training camp in for this fight and I’m feeling as good as I ever have. There’s no excuses. I’m going in as the best fighter I can possibly be. I’m hoping Miguel Cotto is the best fighter he can be as well. I want the fans to enjoy a great fight and I believe it will be a great fight. I can’t wait to walk away with another title. I’m going in very confident and I know a lot of people aren’t giving me much of a chance, but I have a huge amount of confidence in myself knowing I’ve completed a great training camp. Knowing that I have put everything that I possibly can into it and knowing that I have such a great team. I look forward to Saturday night.”

Freddie Roach – Cotto’s Trainer

“We’ve had a great training camp. Miguel is in great shape. Our sparring partners on our team have been great. And we’re ready for this fight. Gary’s been making a big deal about catch weights, but they have been around for a long time and he knows how to read a contract and he’s had that contract for a long time now, so I don’t think that’s an issue. We look forward to seeing you at the fight.”

Michael Yormark – President & Chief of Branding and Strategy of Roc Nation

“Led by our Chairman JAY Z and his partners, Roc Nation was founded to work with artists and entertainers to guide them and help them build their careers even beyond the boundaries of the music industry. It is fitting then, that today we stand in a setting named for the legendary BB King – may he rest in peace – an artist and a man that knew no boundaries during a career that transcended his art. In a few short years, Roc Nation itself has expanded beyond the world of music, diversifying in a way that many never thought possible. Today we begin to celebrate a landmark in that expansion, as another legend, World Champion Miguel Cotto, prepares to headline Roc Nation’s first major fight on Saturday night against Daniel Geale, live at Barclays Center and on HBO.”

“When Roc Nation founded its boxing division less than a year ago, we committed to doing things differently, and what you will see on Saturday night will be different. The eyes of the boxing world will be fixed on Barclays Center on Saturday, with celebrities and VIP’s lining the ring and a captivated audience watching at home. They will watch with anticipation, awaiting not only a masterful performance from the champion Miguel Cotto against a formidable opponent, but also an electric appearance from Roc Nation artist and hip-hop superstar Big Sean, as well as the voice of New York Angie Martinez, and a host of other surprises that will make this live boxing experience different from anything you’ve ever seen before.”

“Saturday is the start of something new and fresh for the boxing industry. It is a chance for all of us to show boxing fans, and sports and entertainment fans around the world, that the action on fight night can and will live up to the hype.”

Hector Soto – Miguel Cotto Promotions

“It has been several months of hard work and dedication. Puerto Rico will shine again on the night of June 6 when Miguel Cotto defends his titles successfully.”

Ululy Rafael Martinez – Puerto Rican Day Parade

“We’re really happy this year to formalize a relationship with Miguel Cotto thanks to Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions. I also want to thank Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions for contributing to our scholarship fund. They are helping us empower young high school students and college students we provide scholarships to so they can further their education. I’m encouraging everyone planning on coming to the Parade on June 14 to support our man Miguel Cotto On Saturday, June 6 at Barclays Center for the boxing match of the year.”

David Berlin – New York Athletic Commission

“Miguel Cotto and Daniel Geale represent the best in boxing. These are men that carry themselves with dignity both inside and outside the ring. Men who can be respectful because they don’t have to prove themselves with words. Where they prove themselves each and every time they fight is inside that ring.”

“Now that I am with the commission, I no longer root for fighters. I’m in a neutral role, but I do root for fights. I root for fights when fighters come into the ring and they fight hard but they leave the ring safely. I root for fights that satisfy the fans and fights where the right man has his hand raised at the end. That of course is where the New York State Athletic Commission comes in.

“This promises to be a competitive fight. Obviously a competitive fight means it’s a hard night for judges, but what I’m committing to the fighters and fans is that we are going to have competent, qualified and neutral officials in place and the right man is going to have his hand raised at the end of the fight. I wish both men good luck on Saturday night.”

Brett Yormark – CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets

“We’re expecting a great night on Saturday night. So, hopefully we see all of you. Tickets are still on sale. Saturday night represents our 13th night of championship boxing at Barclays Center since we opened the building 32 months ago and boxing plays a huge role in what we do in Brooklyn.”

Peter Nelson – Vice President, Programming, HBO Sports

“We look forward to two fighters who have always rose to every challenge that has been put in front of them. Daniel Geale had a lucrative opportunity at one point in time to make his HBO debut and he actually decided instead to go to Germany, to Felix Sturm’s backyard, fight him for his world titles and ended up lifting the titles away from him. He is naturally the largest opponent that Miguel Cotto has ever fought and he’s stepped up to every challenge that’s ever been put in front of him.”

“Miguel Cotto…the last time he stepped into the ring, he entered it an underdog and he ended up leaving it the lineal middleweight champion. He joined just a handful of fighters ever to win four world titles in four separate divisions and he was the first man from Puerto Rico ever to do so. He performed what I saw as one of the strangest punches ever in boxing when he touched a man on the temple and it caused his knee to twist into a knot. I’ve never seen that happen. It was an extraordinary performance.”

“We look to see in this fight, fighters who are going to give us moments of great bravery and great courage. These are the kind of men we want to have on the network. That’s what makes great fights.”

Gary Shaw – Gary Shaw Productions

“I have a personal problem with catch weights. We accepted the catch weight of 157 and I’m not here to complain about the catch weight. We’re going to make the weight. It’s going to be tough. I believe that if a fighter wants to fight at any weight that he wants to fight at, he has that opportunity, but he shouldn’t stop the opponent from fighting at the sanctioned weight which in this case is 160.”

“I believe Daniel Geale is going to win the fight. I believe that Miguel and his team made a mistake. If they were looking at the Golovkin fight, thinking that’s the Daniel that is going to come into the ring…it will not be that same Daniel Geale.”

“It’s truly an honor to represent Daniel Geale because he’s a different young man. The first time I met him, I flew to Germany. I looked around and I couldn’t identify Daniel Geale. Little did I know, he was standing against the back wall. After taking my seat at the dais, Daniel Geale walked up. I looked at him and I said “we’re in trouble! This kid looks like a choir boy not a fighter,” but he gave it all he got and he won the fight. He’s a family man. Doesn’t travel with an entourage. Always on time. Trains hard. Does everything that a true champion has to do.”

Cotto vs. Geale, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships, takes place Saturday, June 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be televised live on HBO. The fight, which is presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions, will be the official kick-off event of the 2015 National Puerto Rican Day Parade Week and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, Jaybird, TapouT, Tequila Cazadores, Venue Kings and Nüe Resource. In addition to the great action inside the ring, the event will feature several notable Roc Nation touches that will further serve spectators with an enhanced fan experience, including Roc Nation and Grammy nominated artist Big Sean taking to the ring for a special performance prior to the main event. The event will be hosted by notable emcee “The Voice of New York” Angie Martinez and will also feature hit master DJ Lobo who will serve alongside Martinez throughout the night. Tickets priced at $500, $250, $200, $150, $100, $80, $50, $35 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Doors open at 6:00 PM, the first fight begins at 6:15 PM and the HBO telecast begins at 10:30 PM ET/PT.

For more information please visit www.rocnation.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.  

For more information, visit www.hbo.com/boxing, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.

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In Dismantling Povetkin, Joshua Recaptured His Swag among the Heavyweights

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He was in against a very crafty and experienced opponent in former WBA titlist Alexander Povetkin 34-2 (24). And although he was troubled by the dangerous Russian fighting small as he tried to inch his way in and time him, AJ adjusted well and started to take the initiative and dropped and stopped Povetkin in the seventh round, retaining his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles and thus becoming the first fighter to ever stop Povetkin, something Wladimir Klitschko failed to do.

During the fight AJ was forced back. He had to adapt to Povetkin making him punch down and that caused him to be a little tentative, especially after being bloodied from a broken nose in the first round. And early on, AJ was a little confused and busy trying to keep Povetkin occupied from outside so he couldn’t get in on him. His most effective weapon in doing such was his left jab, delivered to the head or body, although the fight really turned when he began putting his one-two together. Then after a fairly evenly-paced bout, AJ slowed some with the hope it would lure Povetkin to close in a little harder, and he did.

As Povetkin, who came to fight, became more assertive, he became more vulnerable. AJ found the openings for his big right hand and left hook. With the first really solid right hand that bounced off his chin, Povetkin buckled and instinctively went back. Joshua pursued him and then, with near Joe Louis-like accuracy, put his right hands and hooks together, along with a beautiful right to the body in the middle of the assault and finished his game opponent.

Once again it was shown that trading with AJ is almost certain suicide. Povetkin was in great shape and would’ve been a handful for any other heavyweight in the world because he no doubt brought his A-game. Sometimes it takes AJ a little while to get going, and if you don’t do anything to bother him or wake him up, he doesn’t fight with the urgency of a “Smokin” Joe Frazier. However, when you wake him up and force him to cut loose, he’s so dangerous that he doesn’t need too many clean shots to end it. And making Joshua more lethal is that he has both short and inside power in both hands.

After months of hearing how Povetkin was the most serious threat to Joshua, that’s now finished business. Prior to the bout The Ring magazine rated the top six heavyweights in the world as follows…..Joshua, Wilder, Povetkin, Ortiz, Whyte and Parker, in that order. Now Joshua is 3-0 (2) versus Povetkin, Whyte and Parker which squashes the narrative that he has fought weaker opposition than WBC title holder Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39) who has only faced Ortiz among the top six.

Today, the most widely levied criticism of any elite fighter is that he didn’t fight the best man or men in his division. Fighters can’t control who their contemporaries are but they can control fighting the best of their era. Rocky Marciano’s era wasn’t stellar, but he fought every top fighter who was in line to challenge him. Floyd Mayweather fought in a stout era – the difference is an overwhelming majority of his bouts with big name opponents were strategically manipulated so that he faced them on the downside of their career – and that’s a fact, not a theory.

Forty years after his last victory in a title fight, Muhammad Ali is respected and revered as a fighter even by those who don’t claim to be a fan of his. Why? He wasn’t the most fundamental boxer in heavyweight history nor was he the biggest puncher, and not all of his fights were edge of your seat exciting. The thing that’s often cited as to why he was a marvel is that he fought the best of the best during one of the deepest eras in heavyweight history. There were a few times between 1975-77 that he held a win over every fighter ranked among The Ring magazine’s top-10. Sure he fought a few Brian London’s and Jean Pierre Coopman’s, but London was encompassed by Sonny Liston and Ernie Terrell during the 1960s and Coopman by Joe Frazier and Ken Norton during the 1970s.

Anthony Joshua hasn’t yet sniffed the greatness of Ali on many levels, but he is on the same trajectory in regards to meeting and defeating the best of his generation. By the end of this month, the WBC heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and former champ Tyson Fury will likely become official with them meeting in early December. And regardless of who wins, Joshua, if he really wants to etch a great legacy, must pressure the winner to meet him in their next bout. In addition to that, he must tell his brain, aka Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, to forget about winning the purse war if it is the only stumbling block. If the winner of Wilder-Fury is impressive, he will have earned a 50-50 split.

During the faux negotiations between the Joshua and Wilder camps this past summer the purse split was the focal point. And prior to the prospect of Wilder and Fury meeting, Joshua clearly held the better hand based on his resume and owning three titles to Wilder’s single title.  But the Wilder-Fury winner will have closed the gap and the fight him and Joshua needs to be next while the fighters are at or near their prime. The fact is Joshua versus the Wilder/Fury winner will be the most widely anticipated fight in the heavyweight division since Lewis-Tyson and maybe even since Tyson-Holyfield I. The onus is on the fighters to make it happen and they both have the clout to make sure it does, especially Joshua.

Interviewed in the ring after dispatching Povetkin, AJ said it didn’t matter to him who he fought next as long as it’s Wilder or Fury, but it was obvious that he preferred Wilder. A lot depends on how Wilder fares with Fury, but until then, here’s what we know…..Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz are about on the same level; having never faced each other, it’s a tossup as to who’d win. Both Joshua and Wilder scored impressive stoppages over Povetkin and Ortiz respectively…AJ needed seven rounds and Deontay needed ten rounds. During his bout with Ortiz, Wilder was knocked around the ring and had to endure a few big exchanges, some of which he came out second-best. Wilder was also nearly stopped in the seventh round but battled back, summoning great courage and reserve to win a fight he was losing. Against Povetkin, Joshua was more troubled than he was beaten up. And once he found his range and pace and began putting his punches together, the fight ultimately ended when AJ got off with his best stuff. In essence, Joshua was more impressive against Povetkin and had fewer close calls than did Wilder against Ortiz.

Between now and the time Wilder fights Tyson Fury, it’ll be debated as to who was more impressive – Joshua against Povetkin or Wilder against Ortiz; the answer is clearly Joshua for the reasons stated. Moreover, when analyzing a fight, A + B doesn’t equal C. Joshua will be favored over either Wilder or Fury, but probably along the line of 7-5 and nothing will change that.

The thing that emerged from Joshua dismantling Povetkin is that AJ recaptured some of the limelight and swag he ceded to Wilder this past March. AJ is again the fighter to beat in the heavyweight division and will probably get the bigger purse split regardless of whether he faces Wilder and Fury.

That said, he better not let the fight fall through over it!

Between 1977 and 1982, Frank Lotierzo had over 50 fights in the middleweight division. He trained at Joe Frazier’s gym in Philadelphia under the tutelage of the legendary George Benton. Before joining The Sweet Science his work appeared in several prominent newsstand and digital boxing magazines and he hosted “Toe-to-Toe” on ESPN Radio. Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@gmail.com

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Tanaka vs. Kimora: A Monday Morning Treat For Serious Fight Fans

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Kosei Tanaka was just 4-0 the first time he was appraised on The Sweet Science back in 2015; the question then was, is Tanaka the world’s brightest boxing prospect? The question now is whether or not Tanaka is about to add a strap at a third weight to an already glittering career that has seen him annex belts at 105 and 108lbs in just his first eight fights.

Now 11-0 with seven knockouts he prepares, this coming Monday, to duel Sho Kimura in Nagoya, Japan and with a lot more than just the WBO trinket on the line.

Hearts and minds, as always, translate into dollars and yen. The winner of this all-Japanese contest will find himself buoyed in fame, glory and gold in his home country, which also happens to be one of the few places on the planet where a boxer can collect a small fortune without ever leaving his native shores. Should the winner dare to dream a wider dream, then that too can be facilitated by the win.  Even fistic denizens of boxing strongholds in Japan and Britain feel a shiver run down their spines when the words “Las Vegas headliner” are whispered into their ear.

The favored man among the hardcore in the west is Tanaka. He is still very young at just twenty-three years old and is slick and quick, what the west expects of a Japanese force. Interestingly enough, however, the Japanese seem to be leaning towards Kimura: older, at twenty-nine, armed with a superb work-rate, good power, limited technique but the conqueror of Chinese superstar Shiming Zou who he stopped in the summer of 2017. Zou may have had his bubble burst by the Thai brawler Amnat Ruenroeng in 2015, but it was Kimura who sent him stumbling into retirement and at a time when the talk was of China stealing Japan’s thunder as boxing’s home in the east.

Kimura was indeed impressive that night in Shanghai. He maintained pressure with wonderful variety, eschewing the jab, perhaps, for spells, but filling those gaps with an assortment of wonderful punches, most of all his body attack, which was persistent, withering, and apparently went unscored by two of the three judges who somehow had the Chinese ahead at the time of the eleventh round stoppage. Zou had shown a skill for flurrying while fleeing and Kimura had shown him how to fight.

Now a strapholder at 112lbs, Kimura staged two defenses in the following twelve months. The first was against Toshiyuki Igarashi, the man who beat Sonny Boy Jaro, the man who had beaten the superb champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam before a softer fight against Froilan Saludar. He won both by stoppage.

Kimura, then, rather came from nowhere but made the most of his arrival. What he displayed in all three of these fights was a determination to offer pressure and footwork educated enough to do it while taking many fewer steps than his harried opponent. A tad overrated as a puncher, I suspect, he places himself in hitting position often enough that his default fight plan – chase, harass, throw – makes him capable of hurting his opponents by way of persistence and pressure.

He left Zou, Igarashi and Saludar, broken in his wake.

In short, he is the type of opponent Kosei Tanaka has been waiting for.

There have been calls for Tanaka to be considered a pound-for-pound talent should he overcome Kimura this Monday. I understand the impulse. Tanaka, were he to triumph, would become a three-weight world champion and he hails from a boxing territory which has little direct control over the meaningful pound-for-pound lists, if such a statement is not a contradiction in terms.

In short, it is felt he would be undervalued.

Tempering these calls is the fact that he has never beaten a divisional number one and that Kimura would be, by far, the best opponent he would have bested, and the most proven. Some Tanaka opponents have come good after he defeated them, some were ranked in the lower reaches of their respective divisional top tens when he matched them, but none are scalps as impressive as those dangled by the likes of Errol Spence or Anthony Joshua, who populate the nine, ten and eleven spots in reputable lists.

But this is neither here nor there; the key is not what Kimura does not represent, it is what he does represent. He is the best that Tanaka has met and, I would argue, the first truly elite fighter that Tanaka has met. He is the litmus test and he is one with a stylistic advantage.

Tanaka can punch. Here we will find out whether or not he punches hard enough to keep Kimura off him. Personally, I doubt it and that means that Kimura is going to hand him a serious gut check.

Interestingly, it will not be Tanaka’s first. The first time I wrote about him I stressed that his chin was essentially untested. That is no longer true. Tanaka, who is reasonably sound defensively, can be lazy in minding himself and foolish in pursuing the attack.

Thai puncher Rangsan Chayanram checked him in 2017, delivering a serious eye injury among other ignominies before succumbing in nine; puncher Angel Acosta, a ranked fighter if not a great one, hit and hurt Tanaka repeatedly late in their 2017 contest. If Tanaka has been learning these lessons, expectations concerning his potential may be realized. If he is not, he will fall short. Kimura is the man to test him.

Kimura’s experience and seemingly limitless twelve-round stamina are to be pitted against Tanaka’s skill, proven heart and taut footwork. It sees a superior technician – Tanaka – who has shown a propensity for being drawn into a cruder fighter’s wheelhouse matching an aggressive stalker – Kimura – who specializes in drawing technically superior foes into knockdown-drag-out scraps.

It is framed both as a fight that is likely to finish a future pound-for-pounder’s education and a fight where a young pretender is found out by a grizzled veteran.

Best of all, it is a fight that fight fans can watch for free, simply by clicking here.  The Asian Boxing website has secured exclusive international rights to the fight and will broadcasting it, free of charge, to anyone with an internet connection. As can be seen here, the fight is due to start at 4pm Japanese time.

All the reader has to do is find out what that means for timing in their own corner of the globe and a potential fight of the year will unfold before his or her eyes free of charge.

World class boxing being broadcast for free and including two of the best below 115lbs; a stylistic crossroads contest that opens up the on-ramp to pound-for-pound recognition for at least one of the combatants – on a Monday.  All facts worth keeping in mind the next time that someone tells you boxing’s prime was any number of decades ago.

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Fast Results From London: Joshua Takes Out Povetkin in the 7th

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UK sporting

It was a very wet night at Wembley Stadium, but the dampness didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd which welcomed UK sporting hero Anthony Joshua into the ring with a thunderous ovation. And Joshua didn’t disappoint. After six relatively even rounds, he found his range in the seventh and became the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin. A three punch combo that began with an overhand right sent Povetkin sprawling into the ropes. The Russian beat the count, but Joshua smelled blood and as soon as the ref allowed the proceedings to continue he moved in for the kill. The official time was 1:59.

Povetkin started fast and in the eyes of many observers won the first three rounds. A sharp right hand in the waning seconds of round one reddened Joshua’s nose which leaked blood in the next round. The tide began to turn in round four when Povetkin suffered a cut above his left eye.

Povetkin (now 34-2), was the lighter man by 23 pounds. Joshua had a four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage. And it mattered greatly that AJ was the younger man by 10-plus years. Povetkin wasn’t intimidated by Joshua and had several good moments but, at age 39, his reflexes betrayed him once the fight had crossed the midpoint.

Joshua, who owns three of the four meaningful heavyweight title belts, improved to 22-0 with his 21st stoppage. His next fight is penciled in for April 13 of next year against an opponent to be determined. His promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved that date at Wembley Stadium.

Other Bouts

In a 12-round lightweight bout, Joshua’s Olympic Games teammate and fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell (19-2) avenged the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-111,116-112) over France’s Yvan Mendy (40-5-1). This was Campbell’s second start since coming up short in a bid for Jorge Linares’s lightweight title and his first fight under his new trainer Shane McGuigan.

In their first meeting in December of 2015 at London’s O2 Arena, Mendy won a split decision that should have been unanimous. Campbell insisted that he had improved greatly in the interim and tonight’s fight bore witness. However, he needs to develop a harder punch to rank among the top lightweights in the world, a list headed by Mikey Garcia. As this fight was framed as a WBC title eliminator, Campbell is next in line to meet Garcia, but Mikey has indicated that he will pursue bigger game.

Lawrence Okolie, a 2016 Olympian who trains with Anthony Joshua, won a Lonsdale belt in only his 10th pro start with a 12-round decision over defending BBBofC cruiserweight champion Matty Askin in a messy fight. The undefeated Okolie had a point deducted in round five for leading with his head and had two more points deducted for holding, but banked enough rounds to get the nod on all three cards: 116-110, 114-112, and 114-113. Askin, who declined to 23-4-1, had won five straight heading in.

A 10-round heavyweight match between Sergey Kuzmin (13-0, 1 NC) and David Price (22-6) ended suddenly when Price retired on his stool after four relatively even rounds. The six-foot-eight, china-chinned Price claimed to have aggravated a biceps tear.

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