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RINGSIDE REPORT Mayweather Defeats Canelo; Garcia Beats The Machine

David A. Avila

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LAS VEGAS-Floyd “Money” Mayweather made his money, shut down the large Mexican crowd, and also stymied Mexican hero Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s best efforts, winning by majority decision on Saturday.

Mayweather (45-0, 26 Kos) looked a little slower and tired a little sooner, but once again he put another notch on his belt by adding Alvarez’ (42-1-1, 30 Kos) WBC junior middleweight title to his growing resume. A crowd of 16,746 showed up at the MGM Garden Arena and witnessed another Mayweather party.

It wasn’t one-sided but Alvarez’s youth had something to do with that.

Feints and movement dictated the first round as Mayweather initiated contact with some jabs through Alvarez’s guard. A right by Mayweather was countered with a left hook from the Mexican fighter. But Mayweather had landed a few more punches in round one in a test for both boxers who seemed tight.

“If my dad said I was tight, he was right,” said Mayweather, 36, who was told that his father-trainer Floyd Sr. said his son was not up to par.

Mayweather got closer in round two which allowed Alvarez to land some shots to the hip. Then came the Mayweather jabs and a quick combo. Alvarez landed a solid jab too that connected soundly.

Alvarez had a pretty good round in the third especially after Mayweather seemed to wake him up with a crisp one-two combination. Jabs from Alvarez landed and a three-punch combination from the redhead sparked the crowd.

Mayweather opened up the arsenal in the fourth and Alvarez followed his path. Both swung away but it was the Las Vegas speedster that landed the more crisp blows.

Alvarez had a good fifth round with some accurate left hooks. Mayweather attempted to unleash some combos but ran into a left hook that forced him to back off. Some rights by Mayweather landed but the left hooks were the best blows of the round.

Both fighters seemed angry in round six and it showed. Left hook was met with left hook and uppercuts flowed from both fighters. Mayweather was slightly more accurate especially with the right hands.

After Mayweather landed consecutive right hands in round seven, he seemed to sense a momentum change and began to corner Alvarez. But the Mexican waited patiently and dropped two right hands on Mayweather. Still, he lost the round but seemed to gather respect from Mayweather.

In the eighth round Mayweather cut loose with some vicious combinations. Alvarez landed his best combo, a right hand and left hook, but Mayweather repeatedly fired combinations that snapped the sweat off of Alvarez’s head.

Mayweather took round nine off and slowed his punch output. Alvarez landed a few more punches in a close round and seemed to have the punch advantage though he did eat a solid right cross from Mayweather.

Jabs and more jabs snapped from Mayweather in round 10 as Alvarez also withstood a fierce four-punch combination. Alvarez tried to rally with a six-punch combination but only one punch seemed to land as the crowd roared. Mayweather went back to the jab and moved at his own leisure.

Mayweather took the 11th round off a bit and allowed Alvarez to land some combinations though nothing penetrated enough to hurt the Las Vegas speedster. In the final round, Mayweather used jabs and movement to skirt around Alvarez who put his hands down to signal for Mayweather to fight, not run. Mayweather obliged but not enough to risk a knockout loss. Jabs shot out from Mayweather until the final bell.

“He’s a young strong champion,” said Mayweather. “Mexico has some great champions throughout the years.”

One judge, CJ Ross, scored it a draw 114-114. Judge Dave Moretti had it 116-112, Craig Metcalfe had it 117-111 for Mayweather.

Alvarez analyzed his first loss as a pro.

“He’s very intelligent. He’s very elusive. I couldn’t catch him,” said Alvarez, 23. “He has a lot of experience. He’s simply a great fighter.”

Danny Garcia Beats Matthysse
Most of the boxing world knew that junior welterweight world champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 Kos) could punch with the best. This time he was facing the best and most feared puncher in Argentina’s Luca Matthysse (34-3, 32 Kos). But few realized that both could withstand a big blow with the best of them as Garcia won by decision.

Matthysse was attempting his third world title bid and thought the charm might come against Philadelphia’s Garcia.

In the first half of the fight the Argentine looked to have an advantage as he pounded away with four-punch combinations. Then a clash of heads resulted in a swelling, and Garcia added to that with a left hook and soon the eye closed nearly shut in round seven.

Everything changed and Garcia soon forged ahead, especially after his father and trainer Angel Garcia slapped him during the rest period.

Garcia took advantage of a more careful Matthysse and began to open up with the fast combinations. Matthysse was wary of Garcia’s power after withstanding several left hooks and Garcia opened up with even more aggression.

“Matthysse is a great warrior. He kept coming at me,” said Garcia, 25.

When Matthysse got entangled in the ropes, Garcia took advantage and knocked down the Argentine with a one-two in round 11.

“I’m a champion of the world, I’m not afraid of nobody,” Garcia said. “If you can make it out of Philadephia, you can make it out of anywhere.”

The judges scored it for Garcia 115-11 and 114-112 twice.

Matthysse was gracious in defeat.

“He’s a great champion,” said Matthysse. “Unfortunately I had only one eye for half of the fight.”

Other bouts

Chicago boxer Carlos Molina ( 22-5-2, 6 Kos) grabbed the IBF junior middleweight title from Ishe Smith (25-6, 11 Kos) who was making his first title defense. Molina was the more aggressive fighter though both fighters rarely landed blows. Their counter-punching style was not conducive to excitement. One judge scored it 116-112 for Smith but two saw it 117-111 and 116-112 for Molina.

“I’m never happy with my performance,” said Molina, but added that he is happy winning the title. “I want the winner of tonight’s fight. It makes sense.”

Mexico’s Pablo Cano returned to the win column with a withering body attack to obtain a split decision victory over United Kingdom’s Ashley Theophane (33-6-1, 10 Kos) after 10 rounds in a welterweight bout. Cano hurt Theophane several times during the fight and took some punishment too. But there were no knockdowns after 10 rounds. Cano’s last fight was a loss to Sugar Shane Mosley.

Cuba’s Luis Arias (7-0, 3 Kos) bludgeoned James Winchester (16-9, 6 Kos) all six rounds in winning a one-side six round super middleweight contest. Arias was the faster and harder puncher but Winchester had a pretty good chin.

Las Vegas boxer Ronald Gavril (7-0, 5 Kos) used a body attack to open up firing lanes in defeating Michigan’s Shujaa El Amin (12-5, 6 Kos) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 79-73 for Gavril, who fights for Mayweather Promotions.

Former amateur star Chris Pearson (12-0, 9 Kos) blitzed Joshua Williams (9-6, 5 Kos) behind a stiff jab and some lightning combinations. It could have been a difficult fight, especially when you have two southpaws. But Pearson made it look easy with his pinpoint jab and left cross. Referee Russell Mora saw enough and stopped the already bloody Williams from taking more punishment at 1:14 of the first round.

Compton’s Lanell Bellows (6-0-1, 5 Kos) wasn’t rushed but when he saw an opening in Jordan Moore’s (3-1) defense he struck quickly with a right to the body and right to the head. West Virginia’s Moore did not beat the count and lost by knockout at 2:30 of the first round of the super middleweight fight.

 

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Season 2 of the World Boxing Super Series Concludes on Saturday in Munich

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PRESS RELEASE: The hotly-anticipated World Boxing Super Series Season II Cruiserweight Final between Mairis Briedis and Yuniel Dorticos takes place behind-closed-doors in a film studio at Plazamedia Broadcasting Center in Munich, Germany on Saturday, 26 September. On the line: The Muhammad Ali Trophy, IBF World Title, and vacant Ring Magazine 200 lbs belt.

The final will be shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

“A final for the Muhammad Ali Trophy has proved to be something extraordinary. We have seen that it brings out the best in boxers which reflects the DNA of our tournament as to deliver and continue to deliver boxing at its very best to fans of the sport,” said Andreas Benz, CEO of Comosa, the event organizer.

“Plazamedia is a phenomenal solution, the studios are providing a controlled environment which is of huge benefit to us and the production team to keep everyone safe while also putting on a great show.

“At the same time, we have done everything to secure fair conditions for both teams, and to ensure they remain healthy and isolated until the action starts.”

Mairis Briedis, tournament No. 1 seed, qualified for the final through wins over Noel Mikaelian (UD) and Krzysztof Glowacki (TKO3), while Dorticos, No. 2 seed conquered Mateusz Masternak (UD) and Andrew Tabiti (KO10) to enter the 200 lbs decider.

“We are very happy about the announcement of the final,” said Latvia’s Mairis Briedis. “I love the fact that it will be in Munich as it reminds me of every time I went to train with the Klitschko brothers in Germany and the flights were always via Munich. Those are some great memories of the time spent with them there.”

Said Miami-based Cuban, Yuniel ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos, IBF World Cruiserweight Champion: “To all my fans worldwide, In Europe and especially in Munich, Germany: I am super happy the World Boxing Super Series final will take place in Munich, Germany, and I will see you all on Saturday, September 26th. The KO Doctor is back and ready to prescribe another dose of pain and take the Muhammad Ali Trophy back to Miami.”

Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of the WBSS, said: “On 26 September we will not only crown the best cruiserweight on the planet but also send a sign to the world that boxing is back with the first major transatlantic championship bout between the undisputed number one and two in their division.

The final is not only about honour and glory, but cementing a legacy. The winner will become a member of an exclusive ‘Ali Trophy Winner Club’ that includes Oleksandr Usyk, Callum Smith, Naoya Inoue and Josh Taylor. It doesn’t get much bigger in boxing, and we expect Briedis and Dorticos to have an absolute barnstormer!”

The Muhammad Ali Trophy was created by the late world-renowned artist Silvio Gazzaniga who also designed the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy.

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 106: Return of LA Boxing, Josh Taylor, Charlos and More

David A. Avila

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Avila Perspective, Chap. 106: Return of LA Boxing, Josh Taylor, Charlos and More

Let’s call this week the Big Build Up.

Back in the 1920s to the 1950s the City of Angels was known as the place where Humphrey Bogart lived and played characters out of Raymond Chandler’s novels. Books like the “Big Sleep” and “Lady in a Lake” were made into movies based in Los Angeles.

Well, here we are back where boxing thrives, people or not.

Los Angeles kicks off the big boxing week starting with a televised fight card that features home grown featherweight Vic Pasillas at the Microsoft Theater in the downtown area. Fox Sports 1 will televise the Premier Boxing Championship card on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Pasillas (15-0,8 KOs) faces Dominican fighter Ranfis Encarnacion (17-0, 13 KOs) in the co-main event at a fan-less event that begins a crowded week of boxing as we near the end of 2020.

“Coming out on top against Encarnación is going to catapult me into some big fights at featherweight. The division is wide open and I know with hard work I can take it over,” said Pasillas who is originally from Los Angeles. “This is by far the most important fight of my career. I’m coming with everything I got, because I know this is the turning point that will lead to bigger and better fights. I am ready to bring an exciting fight to the fans and get my hand raised in victory.”

Both Pasillas and Encarnacion are undefeated and unknown to most of the boxing world. A win changes everything especially when it’s difficult to even stage a boxing card.

Promoters are anxious to get their fighters in the ring by any means necessary.

On Thursday in Biloxi, Mississippi, super lightweight Michael Williams Jr. meets Thomas Miller in the headline attraction of a boxing card that will be streamed by UFC Fight Pass.

On Friday in southern Mexico, Serhii Bohachuk (17-0, 17 KOs) meets Alejandro Davila (21-1-2, 8 KOs) in Merida, Yucatan. No word if it will be streamed. The super welterweight from Ukraine has a 17-fight knockout streak and has become a main attraction in Hollywood, California for 360 Promotions.

“Serhii has become one of the most talked about rising stars in boxing,” said Tom Loeffler, promoter of 360 Promotions. “Boxing fans are excited to see if he can continue his knockout streak against Alejandro Davila, the toughest opponent he’s faced. He’s been training very hard with Manny Robles for this fight and if victorious, we’re certain there will be bigger opportunities for him in the near future.”

These are all tasty appetizers for the big buffet coming on Saturday.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Saturday morning, especially if you live in the California area, ESPN+ will showcase the IBF, WBA super lightweight world title fight between champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) and Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) in London. It will be streamed live on Sept. 26, Saturday morning, starting at 11 a.m PST.

This is an important match for Taylor (pictured on the left) who needs a win to nail down a unification clash with Jose Carlos Ramirez the WBC and WBO titlist. If Scotland’s Taylor emerges victorious the super lightweight clash will be one of the top fights of the year.

And if that fight happens to take place, then that winner more than likely meets WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

But first things first. Taylor needs to defeat Thailand’s Khongsong on Saturday.

“I didn’t want a warm-up fight, so getting straight back in there against my mandatory challenger is great, as it’s kept me fully focused. I want big fights in my career, so this is an important fight with my belts on the line,” said Taylor.

Charlos Pay-per-view

The Charlos brothers asked for it and they got it.

Long have the brothers from Houston, Texas asked for a pay-per-view fight card and it never seemed possible until now. The Charlos will headline a pay-per-view double-header on Saturday via Showtime.

Beginning at 4 p.m PT/ 7 p.m. ET the Showtime pay-per-view card begins with three top notch bouts:

WBO bantamweight titlist John Riel Casimero (29-4) vs Ghana’s Duke Micah (24-0, 19 KOs).

WBA super bantamweight titlist Brandon Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KOs) vs Damien Vazquez (15-1-1, 8 KOs).

WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) v Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs).

Charlo was not impressed with Derevyanchenko’s performances against Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin because both were losses. He expects to dominate.

Derevyanchenko says he’s ready for Charlo.

“Golovkin is a very different fighter than Charlo, but Jacobs is similar stylistically, so that’s something I’ll be used to,” said Derevyanchenko. “This training camp has been very similar to camps for my previous fights though. We just brought in different sparring partners for this one. We’re using fighters who can show us what Charlo will bring to the ring.”

After a 30-minute intermission the second half of the boxing card begins.

Former bantamweight world champion Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) moves up in weight to face Aaron Alameda (25-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBC super bantamweight world title. Both fighters are from Mexico.

Former super bantamweight titlists Danny Roman (27-3-1) and Juan Carlos Payano (21-3) meet in a 12-round bout.

In the grand finale WBC super welterweight titlist Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) challenges IBF and WBA super welterweight titlist Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) in a fight for all three belts.

“We lions,” said Charlo.

It’s a very big week for boxing that begins on Wednesday and ends Saturday.

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The Return of Wednesday Boxing Evokes Memories of a Golden Era

Arne K. Lang

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There’s a Wednesday card on the boxing docket this week. The card, which features several undefeated up-and-comers of the sort usually found on Showtime’s developmental series, “ShoBox: The New Generation,” will play out at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and air on Fox Sports 1.

Not to be out-done, “ShoBox” is returning. The long-running series, which suspended operations in March in obeisance to COVID-19 restrictions, returns on Oct. 7 with a show emanating from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino. The contestants in the main go of the four-fight card, Charles Conwell and Wendy Toussaint, have identical 12-0 records.

It just so happens that Oct. 7 is also a Wednesday. And these upcoming Wednesday shows transported this reporter back to his boyhood when boxing was a fixture on radio and television on Wednesday nights. The Wednesday series sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon beer ran from 1950 to 1960, airing the first five years on CBS and then on ABC.

Fights were all over the TV dial during the 1950s, not that there was much competition. The Big Three — NBC, CBS, and ABC — ruled the airwaves with DuMont a very distant fourth and cable television well off into the future. (For a time, the short-lived DuMont network aired boxing shows on Mondays.)

When televisions first came out, they were a big-ticket item. In 1948, RCA’s cheapest model sold for $395. That’s the equivalent of $10,400 today. By 1954, the cost of the least expensive model had declined to $189 and it came in a bigger box, with a 17-inch screen compared with the 13-inch screen that was standard six years earlier.

With the cost of the coveted contraption beyond the means of many wage earners, saloonkeepers cashed in. Boxing fans flocked to the neighborhood tavern to get their boxing fix. The saloonkeeper could write off his television sets on his taxes as a business expense.

Those were the days, and I date myself, when every town had a TV repair shop and the repairman, like the family doctor, made house calls.

The Wednesday Night Fights were a spin-off of the Friday Night Fights on NBC. The matchmaker for both series (through 1958) was the International Boxing Club which was headquartered at Madison Square Garden. The president of the IBC was James D. Norris (who would come to be seen as a puppet for mobster Frankie Carbo, but that’s a story for another day).

James D. Norris inherited a vast fortune from his father, Canadian businessman James E. Norris. The elder Norris was a big wheel in the sport of hockey and had a financial interest in the arenas that housed NHL teams in Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis. He made these arenas available to his son and the Wednesday fight cards moved around, unlike the Friday fights which were pinned to Madison Square Garden.

Both series would eventually venture out at times into virgin territory, but the Wednesday series was the trailblazer. The first nationally televised boxing show from the West Coast was a Wednesday affair. Jimmy Carter defended his world lightweight title against LA fan favorite Art Aragon, the original Golden Boy, at the Olympic Auditorium on Nov. 14, 1951. Aragon had upset Carter in a non-title fight 11 weeks earlier, but Carter took him to school in the rematch, winning a lopsided decision.

The Friday boxing series, which took the name “Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,” would come to be more fondly remembered, but once the TV became a living room staple, which happened fast, the Wednesday series drew higher ratings. This was predictable as more folks stayed home on Wednesday nights than on Friday nights. And although the Friday series had a larger budget, some of the most important fights of the era were staged on Wednesdays.

One of the highlights of the 1951 season was Ezzard Charles’ world heavyweight title defense against Jersey Joe Walcott at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. It was Walcott’s fifth crack at the title and he was considered ancient at age 37, but he avenged his two previous losses to Charles with a thunderous one-punch knockout.

Carmen Basilio appeared in The Ring magazine Fight of the Year in five consecutive years (1955-1959). The first two — his second meeting with Tony DeMarco and his second meeting with Johnny Saxton – were televised on a Wednesday.

Although he would be quickly forgotten, the Wednesday series brought Bob Satterfield a cult following because of his unpredictability. He certainly left an impression on octogenarian boxing writer Ted Sares who recently named Satterfield his all-time favorite fighter.

To conjure up a portrait of Satterfield, think Deontay Wilder and then fix Wilder with a glass jaw. Satterfield, whose best weight was about 182 pounds, was a murderous puncher, but during his career he was stopped 13 times.

LA’s Clarence Henry and Pittsburgh’s Bob Baker were ranked #3 in the heavyweight division when they ventured to Chicago to tangle with Satterfield, Henry in 1952 and Baker the following year. Henry knocked out Satterfield in the opening round. Satterfield hit the canvas so hard, said a ringside reporter, the resin dust flew up.

The Satterfield-Baker fight would also end in the opening round. Baker out-weighed Satterfield by 34 pounds, but Satterfield flattened him. Later on, in a non-Wednesday fight, Satterfield knocked out Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams in the third round. Williams, 33-1 heading in, was the larger man by 25 pounds.

One bet on or against Bob Satterfield at one’s own peril.

The Wednesday Night Fights had a nice run before the series was cancelled and supplanted in its time slot by “The Naked City,” a critically acclaimed police drama series. Perhaps the return of boxing on Wednesdays augurs well for another mid-week boxing series, but we won’t hold our breath.

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