Connect with us

Featured Articles

AMIR KHAN PUTS KELL BROOK ON BLAST

Published

on

Everyone in boxing seems to have an opinion about Amir Khan. By now, you have surely heard about Khan’s quest to dethrone the best in the sport and his rise to stardom, and also the takedowns, from those who deride his game and nitpick his choice of moves.

The Bolton native says nothing was handed to him. And he listens to boxing fans more than one would expect.

Kell Brook is itching to fight Khan. The Bolton native didn’t hold any punches when discussing a potential fight against the undefeated Brook. “There are levels to boxing,” he told me. “I think Kell Brook needs to understand that he is at a level below me.“

I spoke with Khan on Saturday afternoon to discuss the possibilities of fighting Brook, the winner of Mayweather/Pacquiao, and his potential next opponent, Chris Algieri. On Thursday, Khan made an announcement on his wife’s YouTube account stating he is fighting Algieri on May 30th. Two days later, Khan retracted his statement. Khan says, “The Algieri fight is not 100% confirmed.”

Khan spoke to me about the reactionary potential opponents; fight fans, and media surrounding his career. Khan also talked at length about boxing politics, how undeserving opponents, especially Brook, get thrown into the mix when they have not earned the opportunity.

“All I want is Kell to prove himself fighting A-list fighters, like I have done. Right now, he is just riding on my back. He is riding my name. I know it’s business but please stop fooling people and making me look small. Eddie Hearn and Kell Brook make me look like a liar.”

{youtube}Mrut8_rxmV0{/youtube}

In an in-depth interview about his history in the sport, and what the future holds, Khan attempts to explain better his career as a whole.

Ray Markarian: A few days ago, you made an announcement on YouTube saying that you are fighting Chris Algieri on May 30th. But you just told me the Algieri fight is not confirmed. What is going on with the Algieri fight?

Amir Khan: I made the video on YouTube because we thought the fight with Chris Algieri was a done deal. But I have been speaking with my team and there are some more options on the table. We are waiting things out. I hope to get my fight finalized this week.

RM:So, the fight with Algieri hasn’t been confirmed?

AK: No. Nothing is 100% confirmed yet. We could make an announcement in another couple of days. We don’t know if it’s Algieri just yet. My opponent on May 30th has not been confirmed. Nothing has been agreed upon. There are a lot of names out there. We just have to make the right decision.

RM:What about Adrien Broner? You think Broner wants the fight? He was calling you out.

AK: No. I don’t think he wants it. I think he hyped it up on social media. I told him that I am a 147-pound fighter. He was very respectful and said he wants to meet at 144 or 145. Why would I go to meet him at 144 or 145? If he wants to fight me then he should come meet me at my weight. I am getting messages that he really doesn’t want the fight. He is talking big on the social media. But when it comes down to taking the fight on May 30th, or even May 23rd, we hear nothing. He doesn’t want anything.

RM: What about Juan Manuel Marquez?

AK: Nothing. We haven’t heard much from them.

RM: What about the fight with Miguel Cotto? I know there were rumors about you fighting Cotto.

AK: Here’s one thing I want to the public to understand. I am the one that is challenging everyone. It’s me calling out these big names. The fight with Miguel Cotto would be great for me. But I heard he is working a deal to fight Bundrage. I think he has a date set in June. I want to fight at the end of May. And I can’t do June because of Ramadan.

RM: Right.

AK: Obviously I take Ramadan very seriously. I don’t want to rush into it. That’s why I want to fight at the end of May. I want to start preparing for Ramadan in June. Even though it doesn’t start until like the 17th, it’s important, and I want to start for preparing for it. So basically I am the one that wants to fight all the big names but people are trying to bring me down saying that I want to fight an easy option in Algieri. But like I said, the main reason we are considering Algieri is that the fight is going to be on primetime TV in the US. And it makes a lot of money for me. So, why not take the fight?

RM: OK. But, why wouldn’t you make a lot of money fighting Kell Brook?

AK: Kell Brook?

RM: Yeah. I think that’s the main question.

AK:Well, it’s all timing. I want to fight in America. And I want to fight before June. Brook is looking at mid June or the end of June. Here’s the thing with Kell Brook… I have always said it from day one; I have had all the toughest fights. I have gone through the gauntlet. I earned my stripes and I did it the hard way, fighting the likes of Maidana, Judah, Garcia, Peterson, Malignaggi, and Alexander. I am fighting all the top guys. I have proven myself. Brook can’t go into a fight with Amir Khan after beating Jo Jo Dan. All due respect to Dan. I respect every fighter, but Dan is a nobody. You think I am going to say, “Oh yeah, fight me next.” It doesn’t make sense for him (Brook) to fight me after the Jo Jo Dan fight. Why doesn’t he prove himself? I mean, look, he is fighting all of these C-Class opponents. Now he really thinks he has a chance to fight me? Why should I give him the opportunity to fight me when he has not taken a hard fight?

RM: Brook hasn’t paid his dues?

AK: Exactly. Don’t get me wrong, because there is going to be a lot of money on the table regardless. There will be a lot of money on the table fighting Kell Brook. But there will be a lot of money fighting Algieri as well. The reason I respect Algieri is because has faced some tough guys, like Provodnikov and Manny Pacquiao. I really believe the fight with Algieri makes more sense, in a way. Algieri has been in with the top guys. What if he beat Pacquiao? I mean, he lost the fight, but if he won then he probably wouldn’t even fight me. It’s not my job to defend Chris Algieri. But my opponent on May 30th hasn’t been confirmed. I am just saying that if it is Algieri, then here are the reasons why we would fight him.

RM:Algieri went 12 rounds with Pacquiao. That’s true. You have to respect him for that.

AK: Exactly. His last three fights were against some top guys, Provodnikov, Pacquiao, and Emmanuel Taylor. You can’t really disrespect him. I will tell you one thing, He is better than Jo Jo Dan. And I am hearing another thing about Eddie Hearn. I heard Hearn is looking at Brandon Rios or a guy named Antonin Decarie for Kell Brook’s next opponent. But Rios is naturally a 140-pound fighter and Decarie is another unknown name. It seems to me that Kell Brook’s team is picking the easy option. I think they are scared to lose to an A-Class opponent and lose the opportunity to fight Amir Khan. The only reason he wants to fight me is for the big payday. Otherwise, he would probably face some decent opponents. He is scared of losing the title. That’s all it is.

RM:Does the public criticism get under your skin?

AK: No Ray, it doesn’t bother me. I want to speak to you to get the message out to the general public. Sometimes the general public doesn’t really understand the boxing business. I do not disrespect any fighter. We work in a very tough profession. I think that people do not see how hard our job really is.

RM: The business outweighs the sport.

AK: It is a business. Eddie and Kell are fooling the fans and the media. Look at my last 10 opponents and look at Kell’s. Regardless if I won or lost. They say I am afraid. They put my name down of being afraid. All I want is Kell to prove himself fighting A-list fighters, like I have done. Right now, he is just riding on my back. He is riding my name. I know it’s business but please stop fooling people and making me look small. Eddie Hearn and Kell Brook make me look like a liar. If Kell really wants to fight me then he should fight a few A-list opponents and build his name. Instead of looking at the small picture look at the bigger picture. We can make the Amir Khan/Kell Brook fight like Mayweather/Pacquiao, if we do it smartly. But that’s only if Kell fights the likes of Maidana, Thurman, or Marquez. He has to prove himself against top guys, you know?

RM:You said that you would fight Kell Brook in a “winner take all of the purse” type of fight. You would really do that?

AK: Yes of course. That’s how confident I am. And I want to prove to him that at the end of the day, boxing is not about the money to me. I am blessed to have made a lot of money in this sport. I have been very lucky to surround myself with great people. I have been lucky in life. But boxing is not all about the money to me. But I know for him, (Kell Brook) it is all about the money.

RM:OK.

AK: And when I said, “winner takes all” I didn’t say it was going to be my next fight. It could be the end of the year or early next year. So, when and if I ever fight Brook that’s what I want to do. That’s how confident I am that I will beat him.

RM:I know you continue to say that Brook hasn’t really fought anyone but he beat Shawn Porter. Porter was an undefeated champion, you know?

AK: Yeah. He beat Shawn Porter. But it was a 50/50 fight. That was the only top guy he fought and it could have gone either way. That was a very close fight. A lot of people thought Shawn won. A lot of people thought Brook won. So, if that is the only A-Class opponent he fought and it wasn’t a clear victory, then I think he still needs more experience.

RM: So, you’re saying that Brook fought one “name” fighter, and won a close fight, but hasn’t truly proved himself?

AK: Exactly. Obviously, Kell has beaten one big fighter. But you can’t just beat one decent name and say you want to fight the world. You know what I mean?

RM: I hear you.

AK: You really think Brook has a chance with Manny Pacquiao or Mayweather? They don’t even know who Kell Brook is. You know what I mean?

RM: So, you paid your dues and Brook hasn’t paid his dues? That’s basically what you’re saying?

AK: He hasn’t earned it. That’s what the general public needs to understand. Kell Brook hasn’t done it the hard way. He has done it the easy way. But he is trying to win over the fans by putting me down. He puts me down and says he wants to fight me but we all know, realistically, he wants to fight me because he knows he will make more money. He just doesn’t want to risk losing to an A-Class opponent. If Kell Brook fought me it will be a life changing experience for him.

RM:You mean financially?

AK: Yeah. A fight between Amir Khan and Kell Brook will change his life. So, should I give him that opportunity? I don’t know.

RM: The cards are in your hands, huh?

AK: The cards are in my hands. Exactly. But you cannot disrespect who I fight and what I have done in my career. I have done more than what Kell Brook has done. Everyone knows I call out the big names but I don’t do it disrespectfully. I pay my respects to proven warriors. Kell Brook hasn’t done half of what I have done.

RM:You are looking out for yourself.

AK: Exactly.

RM: So, why is Amir Khan doing what is best for him and not worried about what Kell Brook wants?

AK: Well, here’s the reason. Let’s be real. I have faced everyone that they have asked me to fight, from my mandatory to the top guys; I didn’t have to take these fights against the big names. But I did. That’s the type of fighter that I am. But you can’t disrespect me because I might fight somebody else. Algieri is a tough fighter. No fight is easy. Like I said, Algieri is better fighter than Jo Jo Dan. If it’s ok for Kell Brook to fight Jo Jo Dan, and his next fight might be against some guy named Decarie, why can’t I fight Algieri? Why are they disrespecting me?

RM: If Chris Algieri fights Kell Brook, who wins?

AK: It’s a toss up. That’s a close fight. At the end of the day, Algieri is a good fighter. He went the distance with Pacquiao and showed a lot of heart in that fight.

RM: OK. So, in your opinion, what will satisfy the public?

AK: Man, I am just hearing so many things. Eddie Hearn said that I turned down a fight with Tim Bradley, the title eliminator. I would never turn down that fight. That’s crazy. That fight has never been offered to me.

RM: Wow.

AK: And if the Bradley fight was offered to me, I would take that fight in a heartbeat. Everyone knows I have offered to fight Bradley a long time ago. Bradley said he doesn’t want to fight. So, why would Eddie Hearn go out there and say I refused the fight against Bradley? Hearn doesn’t know anything. That (Bradley) fight hasn’t been brought to my attention.

RM: We are talking about Amir Khan fighting Hall of Fame fighters. You are one fight away from fighting Hall of Fame fighters.

AK: Well, my name is getting mentioned to fighting the winner of Mayweather/Pacquiao. But I have Kell Brook calling me out. There are levels to boxing. I think Kell Brook needs to understand that he is at a level below me.

You can follow Ray on Twitter @raymarkarian or email him at raymond.markarian@yahoo.com

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

The Hauser Report: The Women Take Center Stage at Madison Square Garden

Published

on

The-Hauser-Report-The-Women-Take-Center-Stage-at-Madison-Square-Garden

The Hauser Report: The Women Take Center Stage at Madison Square Garden

When DAZN launched in the United States in 2018, it promised subscribers “HBO-quality fights” on a monthly basis for one low monthly fee. Now its most notable offerings in America are on pay-per-view and its boxing program (as announced on January 10) includes a partnership with Misfits Boxing that will see KSI “fight exclusively on DAZN for the next five years” and a rumored series of boxing matches to be promoted by Jake Paul.

Looking at the larger picture, according to a January 11, 2023, report by Bloomberg, DAZN lost $2.33 BILLION in 2021 (a 79% increase over the previous year). That brought its total losses for the three-year period ending in 2021 to five BILLION dollars.

On February 4, DAZN limped into the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden with a nine-bout card promoted by Matchroom Boxing that featured five women’s bouts. Matchroom CEO Eddie Hearn was attempting to conjure up a sequel to his April 30, 2022, promotion that saw Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano captivate a sold-out main arena.

Words like “massive . . .epic . . . huge” were thrown about in advance of Matchroom’s February 4 promotion. But in truth, there wasn’t much pre-fight buzz. Tickets were selling for as little as $30 and a lot of freebies were given away to fill up the Hulu Theater. Serrano vs. Erika Cruz (the main event) was a good entertaining fight. The rest of the card was a “massive” disappointment with the favored fighter (coming out of the blue corner in each instance) winning nine out of nine bouts, often in lackluster fashion.

Hearn once told British boxing writer Ron Lewis, “If I put on a bad fight, I want people to say it’s a bad fight.”

For the most part, these were bad fights.

The men fought 32 rounds and the favorite won 31 of them.

Records can be deceiving. For example, in the opening bout, Aaron Aponte (6-0-1, 2 KOs) whitewashed Joshua David Rivera (8-1, 5 KOs) over eight tedious rounds. How did Rivera get to 8-1? As of last month, his nine opponents had a composite ring record of 22 wins in 254 fights with 150 KOs by.

That was followed by Harley Mederos winning every round en route to a sixth-round stoppage of Julio Madera. Yankiel Rivera Figueroa cruised to an eight-round decision over Fernando Diaz. And Richardson Hitchins won every round on each judge’s scorecard against John Bauza.

That brings us to the women.

One of the selling points for the Matchroom card was that it featured five women’s “championship” bouts. But let’s get real. John Sheppard (who oversees BoxRec.com) reports that, as of this writing, the four major sanctioning bodies have created 1,380 different women’s titles in 15 weight divisions that they offer to promoters (for a sanctioning fee, of course). Since there are 1,909 active women boxers, this translates to 1.4 titles being available for each woman’s fight.

Two of the fights on February 4 (Amanda Serrano vs, Erika Cruz and Alycia Baumgardner vs. Elhem Mekaled) were for “undisputed world championships,” meaning that all four major sanctioning body belts were on the line. “Undisputed” also means that the ring is littered with sanctioning body officials who position themselves on camera behind the ring announcer who, in turn, is obligated to introduce each of them and reference each sanctioning body.

Title unification is significant when the fighters are legitimate champions. Otherwise, it’s simply a marketing ploy that plays into the travesty of making belts more important than fighters. The stars of Ali-Frazier I, II, and III were Ali and Frazier, not the belts they were fighting for.

And let’s not forget; one reason that promoters have started putting women fighters on their cards is that the women get paid a lot less than the men.

The first women’s fight on February 4 saw Shadasia Green (11-0), 10 KOs) take on Elin Cederroos (8-1, 4 KOs) in a scheduled ten-round super-middleweight bout. Cederos is a big strong woman without much of a punch whose career has been built in large measure on the ability to take a punch. Green has a bit of Ann Wolfe in her and punched harder than Cederroos could take. KO 6.

That was followed by back-to-back dreadful fights characterized by 30-to-1 odds favoring two protected fighters. Featherweight Ramla Ali won nine of ten rounds against Avril Mathie in an encounter marked by a conspicuous lack of action and drama with each round evocative of Groundhog Day. Then Skye Nicolson (another featherweight) decisioned Tania Alvarez over ten equally long rounds. Writer Keith Idec put that bout in perspective, describing Alvarez as having an “ineffective strange style” before adding, “She often literally ran toward Nicholson and didn’t set her feet before throwing inaccurate punches.”

Baumgardner-Mekaled was more respectable. Ten rounds for Baumgardner’s WBC, WBO, and IBF 130-pound belts plus the vacant WBA women’s junior-lightweight title. Baumgardner (an 8-to-1 favorite) scored two knockdowns and won nine of ten rounds on the judges’ scorecards. I gave her all ten.

That set the stage for Serrano-Cruz.

Serrano, age 34, has held numerous titles, some of which genuinely matter. Her fight against Katie Taylor was arguably the most important women’s boxing event ever with Taylor winning a split decision that many observers (including this one) thought should have gone the other way. That night, Amanda was remarkably gracious in defeat.

Cruz (the WBA featherweight beltholder) lacks power (3 knockouts in 17 bouts). Serrano-Cruz was for the four major featherweight belts. Amanda was a 7-to-1 favorite.

It was a good action fight.

Cruz won the first two rounds, bulling her way inside and going effectively to the body (which one doesn’t see often enough in women’s boxing). She was acquitting herself well in round three when an accidental clash of heads opened an ugly gash on her forehead. Blood flowed from the wound thereafter despite the best efforts of Erika’s cutmen to stop it.

Serrano fought Cruz’s fight for much of the night, trading punches when she could have done more to evade the blows and set up her own punches by moving and jabbing. There were more than a few firefights.

As the rounds passed, Cruz tired and began to lose form, overreaching with her punches and extending her head beyond her front knee. That left her wide open for counters. By the late stanzas, she was fighting on heart and not much more. In round ten, Erika put everything she had into going for the knockout that she knew she needed to win. But her gas tank was down to fumes and her efforts were to no avail.

Serrano won a well-earned 98-92, 98-92, 97-93 decision. Next up, a rematch against Katie Taylor on May 20 in Ireland.

*         *         *

In round one of Richardson Hitchens vs. John Bauza at Madison Square Garden, referee Charlie Fitch made a mistake. The fighters’ feet got tangled, Bauza went down, and Fitch mistakenly called the incident a knockdown. It had been a close round up until that point. Fitch’s call could have resulted in a three-point swing on one or more of the judges’ scorecards.

Well-run state athletic commissions rely on instant video review to remedy errors of this nature. The New York State Athletic Commission isn’t well-run. Fitch’s call was allowed to stand. It didn’t change the outcome of the fight. But it could have.

Contrast that with what happened on January 14 when Guido Vianello (a previously undefeated heavyweight being groomed by Top Rank) fought journeyman Jonathan Rice at Turning Stone Resort and Casino (a facility on Native American land in Verona, New York). Vianello was comfortably ahead on the judges’ scorecards when a sharp right hand from Rice opened a horrific gash above Guido’s left eye in round six. In round seven, the fight was stopped because of the cut.

Referee Benjy Esteves (the third man in the ring for Vianello-Rice) blew the call. It’s understandable that Fitch might not have seen two fighters get their feet tangled. Esteves, by contrast, did something that no referee should do. He ruled that Vianello’s cut had been caused by an accidental head butt that Esteves couldn’t possibly have seen because it never happened. He then told the judges to score the partially-fought seventh round after which, in his view, the winner would be determined by the scorecards. That would have led to Vianello being declared the victor.

Fortunately, the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission (which oversees boxing at Turning Stone) utilizes instant video review. ESPN put the punch on a monitor at ringside for commission officials to review and the result was a TKO in Rice’s favor.

There have been complaints in the past that the 68-year-old Esteves lets fights go on too long. The most notable examples of this are his handling (or mishandling) of Magomed Abdusalamov vs. Mike Perez and Arturo Gatti vs. Joey Gamache. His ruling in Vianello-Rice raises a different issue. A referee shouldn’t call a head-butt unless he sees one. Moreover, Rice delivered the punch in question from long range, so there was no question about the cause of the cut.

Instant video review is a valuable tool. More commissions should use it.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

Thomas Hauser’s email address is thomashauserwriter@gmail.com. His most recent book – In the Inner Sanctum: Behind the Scenes at Big Fights – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. In 2019, Hauser was selected for boxing’s highest honor – induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Amanda Serrano Wins Another World Title; Serrano-Taylor II confirmed for Dublin

Published

on

Amanda-Serrano-Wins-Another-World-Title-Serrano-Taylor-II-confirmed-for-Dublin

It was another bloody Puerto Rico versus Mexico war and Amanda “the Real Deal” Serrano powered her way to victory over the gutsy Erika “Dinamita” Cruz to win the undisputed featherweight world championship on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“Now I’m one of the undisputed world champions, but I’m the only seven-division world champion,” said Serrano.

Now it’s on to Ireland.

Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KOs) became the seventh female fighter to become an undisputed champion in defeating Mexico’s Cruz (15-2, 3 KOs) and now has a date set to meet Katie Taylor in Dublin on the 20th of May.

But it was not easy in this lefty versus lefty battle.

On a night with five female 10-round bouts, Serrano’s battle with Cruz proved to be the highlight of the night. The men also fought too.

In the main event with a history of multiple Mexico-Puerto Rico wars setting high expectations, Cruz and Serrano battled toe-to-toe with neither willing to give ground or change pace.

Each round was difficult to score because of the two-minute limit. It was not long enough for separation.

Both fired combinations and both refused to slow down until a clash of heads saw Cruz emerge with a cut on her braided parted hair. Serrano winced but no cut was caused. Soon, before round three ended, blood dripped readily over the Mexican fighter’s face.

It was a bad omen.

After the referee and ringside physician looked at the cut the fight was allowed to continue. Both fighters incredibly increased their punch output and the war resumed. Blood be damned, a fight is a fight.

“I’m just glad they let the fight go past the fourth,” said Serrano because anything less than four rounds and the fight would not have been long enough to rate a technical decision. Surprisingly the fight lasted 10 rounds.

Cruz refused to be out-punched by the heavier blows from Serrano and seemed to be able to match the Boricua’s blows until the sixth round when a right hook and left staggered the Mexican briefly. Serrano recognized the look of near paralysis on Cruz and stepped on the gas. Cruz held briefly and managed to rally slightly to keep from being overrun. But it was close.

After a 20-second delay due to excessive water in Cruz’s corner, the fight resumed and the war surprisingly continued.

Serrano was told from her trainer Jordan Maldonado to go back to using down-the- middle punches with straight one-two combinations. The change worked well against the wider punching Cruz.

Serrano said she was advised to “go back to basics 1-2, 1-2.”

Still Cruz refused to be over-powered and maintained her output with six- and seven- punch combinations. Her corner advised to go to three-punch combinations when Serrano began using that tactic late in the fight.

Though still willing to fight, Cruz was visibly tiring while Serrano’s blows still maintained power.

Despite blood on her face for seven rounds Cruz never slowed and seemed angry with her corner. She began shrugging off the cut man’s attempts to wipe her face and the trainer’s advice. She simply seemed to want to rest her mind to prepare for battle again against one of the most feared punchers in the world.

The last three rounds saw both Serrano and Cruz attack the body and head with the Puerto Rican brunette using jabs and one-twos to gain separation. Her punches remained strong and straight.

After 10 rounds two judges scored the fight 98-92 and a third 97-93 all for Serrano the new undisputed featherweight world champion. The sound of that announcement seemed to bring tears of emotion for the Brooklyn-based Serrano.

“I’m just emotional. I finally got the undisputed title for my island,” said Serrano. “Erika is Mexican. I knew she was not just going to let me take her title belt.

Now the rematch was formally set to meet Katie Taylor in her native Ireland. It will be the undisputed lightweight champion’s first professional match in her country.

Alycia Baumgardner Undisputed Too

Alycia “the Bomb” Baumgardner powered her way to victory over France’s Elhem Mekhaled to win the undisputed super featherweight world championship. She nearly ended the fight early in the third round but settled for a one-sided unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

Baumgardner entered the prize ring known as a dangerous right-hand hitter, but it was the left hook that stunned Mekhaled and a right dropped her in the third round. The French fighter survived but was delivered to the canvas again with a volley of blows by heavy-handed Baumgardner.

Somehow Mekhaled survived though hurt several more times during the 10-round fight. She even managed to win a couple of rounds when Baumgardner tired from the attempt to gain a knockout. But the American fighter still kept a firm control of the match to decisively maintain a big lead and win by decision 99-89 twice and 98-90 on a third card.

“I had to fight when I had to fight,” said Baumgardner. “Plus, I had my period today.”

Baumgardner was gracious about the battle Mekhaled gave, refusing to quit.

“Mekaled has plenty of heart,” Baumgardner said. “I was throwing bombs in there and using my jab.”

It was Baumgardner’s third defense of her titles and she acknowledged that a possible rematch with Mikaela Mayer, who was in the audience, is a strong possibility.

“We want big fights, mega fights,” Baumgardner said.

Other Fights

Richardson Hitchins (16-0, 7 KOs) won a rivalry fight over John Bauza (17-1, 7 KOs) to win a regional title and remain undefeated and gain position for a super lightweight world title bid.

Puerto Rico’s Yankiel Rivera (3-0) beat Riverside, California’s Fernando Diaz (11-3-1) in an eight round flyweight match.

Harley Mederos (5-0) battered Mexico’s Julio Madera (4-3) to win by decision after a six round lightweight match.

Featherweight clash

In an ugly fight driven by constant holding, Australia’s Skye Nicolson (6-0) won by unanimous decision against Spain’s Tanya Alvarez (7-1) to win a regional title.

Nicolson walked in the ring with all the advantages but resorted to grab-and-hold tactics to slow down the bull-rushing Alvarez who walked in with little regard for defense. The Aussie fighter was the sharper puncher but could not hurt Alvarez who bore in looking to connect with body and head shots.

Unable to hurt Alvarez, soon Nicolson began holding excessively from the third round on and that slowed down the fight and eventually allowed Alvarez to score to the body. Though Nicolson was scoring more than her foe, the gap got closer and closer each round.

From the sixth round on Alvarez began to connect more and more as Nicolson spent most of every round holding instead of punching. Though Alvarez was unable to land many big shots to the head, her attacks to the body were mounting.

Perhaps because of her grabbing tactics, Nicolson seemed to tire in the last three rounds and that allowed Alvarez to take more advantage. Each round Alvarez began scoring more and more as the fight proceeded. Though Nicolson landed some blows in between holding, the strong Spanish fighter was landing more blows, mostly to the body.

Nicolson was lucky to not be deducted a point for holding. She was warned but never penalized by referee Sparkle Lee. After 10 rounds Nicolson was deemed the winner by decision 100-90, 98-92, 97-97.

Is she ready for a world title fight?

Definitely not yet.

Super Bantamweights

The battle between super bantamweight models saw Ramla Ali (8-0) use accuracy to take away Avril Mathie’s undefeated record (8-1-1) and win by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

Ali was deadly accurate from the first round on as she beat Mathie to the punch during the exchanges and was able to connect first and last. Still, Mathie was game.

The two tall super bantamweight fighters willingly exchanged with neither fighter looking to run and both taking shots when they landed. The first half of the fight belonged to Ali but Mathie seemed determined and was not slowing down.

Mathie never faltered in the punch output department but was lacking in accuracy. Though Ali used head movement and angles to avoid many of the incoming shots, Mathie just seemed inaccurate compared to Ali. But her heart was big and that kept her in the fight.

The last three rounds saw Mathie take advantage of Ali slowing down and began scoring more to make the rounds seem more difficult to score. No longer was Ali winning the rounds decisively and Mathie was not slowing down.

After 10 rounds the judges scored in favor of Ali and her accuracy by scores of 99-91.

Super Middleweights

Super middleweight contender Shadasia Green (12-0, 12 KOs) allowed former champion Elin Cederroos (8-2) to take the early rounds until she lowered the boom with powerhouse rights to win by technical knockout.

Green wins the elimination bout to be next in line for undisputed champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn who defeated Cederroos last year to become champion.

Cederroos looked good for a few rounds as she out-punched Green early in the fight. But early on it was obvious that the American fighter was looking to land counter rights and did occasionally in the third and fourth round.

Then, in the third round, Green connected with a counter right that floored Cederroos and the momentum changed dramatically. From that moment on, though Cederrroos tried to respond, Green took control and looked intent on scoring a stoppage.

Green walked in confidently in the sixth round looking to land the right. The former college basketball player opened up with sixth consecutive rights that stunned Cederroos and added a left and right that forced the referee to halt the fight at 1:08 in the sixth round. Green won the elimination fight by technical knockout.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

The Inevitable Triple Crown of Emanuel Navarrete: Demystifying Alphabet Titles

Published

on

The-Inevitable-Triple-Crown-of-Emanuel Navarrete-Demystifying-Alphabet-Titles

The Inevitable Triple Crown of Emanuel Navarrete: Demystifying Alphabet Titles

The thing which most needs to be understood concerning alphabet sanctioning bodies and the fighters who wear their belts is that the relationship is primarily one of customer and supplier.  Fighters pay to wear the alphabet belts that so profligate in the sport of boxing and they are in receipt of a service.  The service is twofold. Firstly, they are supplied with hardware. Belts for the “WBO Asia Pacific” middleweight title holder. Belts for the “World Boxing Council Silver flyweight title holder. Belts for the “World Boxing Association International” cruiserweight title holder. Belts for everyone.

Depending upon who you feel like recognising there can be around a thousand title belts floating around the world of boxing at any given time and the great percentage of these are not “world titles” but regional titles, pre-title titles (you read that right) and completely made-up titles for special occasions. Whenever you see a title, someone is paying a portion of their fight fee to the relevant sanctioning body. This is why fringe companies like the WBF and IBO spring into existence – where there is a belt there is cash.

This brings us to the second function served by the thousand belts sucking money out of boxing: they do make financial sense for the fighters and are directly profitable in the case of “world” titles.  Take the case of Padraig McCrory (16-0) out of Belfast.  He is a fine 175lb prospect with good power he has not yet quite harnessed into a fulsome skillset fighting just below national title level often on Michael Conlan undercards.  He’s also the light-heavyweight champion of the world according to the IBO, who crowned him for defeating Lean Bunn, a German who had never contested a fight longer than eight rounds before. He folded to McCrory in six.

Now McCrory can put “world light-heavyweight champion” on his fight-posters. For those that consider the IBO a body of minor reputation, that is fair, but boxing should not kid itself that IBO means more to most members of the paying public than WBA does – and nor should it, in this writer’s opinion. They are all in the same business and if it seems the fighter makes the title, keep in mind that Oleksandr Usyk wears an IBO heavyweight crown and Gennady Golovkin an IBO middleweight strap.

I was interested to see then that Emanuel Navarrete was set to step up to his third weight class and box for a “title” in the shape of the WBO 130lb world championship. The reigning 126lb WBO title holder, Navarrete is a fine example of a modern-day boxing customer to the bodies who are meant to police them. He has been paying the WBO for years.

I have to say here that there is no implication that Navarrete has done anything illegal nor even anything morally wrong within the culture of the industry he inhabits. Everyone pays sanctioning fees. Anthony Joshua, who is boxing’s second biggest earner since Floyd Mayweather’s retirement, is rumoured to have sunk well over a million dollars into sanctioning fees. Generally, champions and challengers will pay 2-3% of their fight purse to a roof of around $250,000 depending upon which ABC they are working with; some alphabets charge a registration fee to promoters, also. This means that for the likes of Joshua, Canelo Alvarez, and Floyd Mayweather the sanctioning fees can become quite prohibitive. Mayweather himself dropped belts to avoid paying these monies. The wonderful Erik Morales at one point completely ceased co-operating with his suppliers.

But generally, fighters do as Navarrete does and they pay for the gold. The proliferation of minor regional titles I describe in paragraph one was something that Navarrete neatly sidestepped. That is because he was very much the opponent for his 2018 fight with Isaac Dogboe, who had paid for regional title belts since 2015 at one point somehow being named both the WBO “African Featherweight” champion and the WBO “Oriental Featherweight” champion. Dogboe is British but was born in Ghana. Paying for these titles got him onto the WBO on-ramp, establishing him as a customer of this organisation and allowing relationships to be built between the WBO and Dogboe’s promotional organisation – again, if this sounds like a form of corruption, it should be noted that this is normal, no accusations of legal wrongdoing are being made.

When Dogboe surprisingly dropped his 122lb title to Navarrete, the WBO had a new customer – and a good one. Navarrete boxes in America and on American television, which is still the best way to enhance a purse without a pay-per-view audience. His most recent paydays are estimated at around a million dollars. This meant that when Navarrete decided that he could no longer make 122lbs, the WBO had a problem, namely that it was losing money on Navarrete’s purses as he no longer held a WBO strap. Navarrete also had a problem – he couldn’t leverage television or the paying public with a “world championship.” So, after boxing a fighter named Uriel Lopez Juarez who had lost his last three fights, Navarrete was deemed for a title shot at 126lbs, against another WBO customer, Ruben Villa, who had been paying to wield a regional WBO strap for the past year.

Villa was in no way qualified to face Navarrete. There is absolutely no question of the WBO fixing fights, but there they mandated a contest that would have genuinely shocked had it produced a Navarrete loss. This type of match-making is as old as the sport, where lesser fighters are sacrificed at the alters of the sport’s cash cows to fatten their records and progress their careers: but it is not, until recently, that this became normal for sanctioned “world title” fights.

Villa had never boxed over twelve rounds before in his career. Although he was clearly able to defend himself, Villa was dumped twice by Navarrete who won a clear points decision win. What we saw this Friday night in Glendale was a repeat of this exercise as Navarrete, once more struggling with the weight limit in his new division, departed for pastures new and 130lbs. The soft opponent this time would be Liam Wilson, an Australian, like Villa before him a loyal WBO customer having wielded both their “WBO Asia Pacific” 130lb title and their “WBO International” 130lb title in his short career (now 11-2). This is the first piece of the alphabet puzzle when trying to decipher who the most valued customers of an alphabet organisation are: is the championship match against a soft opponent who is expected to lose?

Look closer though, and you can sometimes see more.

Liam Wilson was astonished at the weigh-in when he was announced at just over 126lbs, nearly four pounds below the divisional weight-limit.

“Something happened with the scales,” he told Australian media.  “I’m sure they’ve been tampered with. I weighed in 20 minutes prior to the weigh in. I was just under weight. I went on the official scales for the official weigh-in and I was four pounds under, magically. So, in twenty minutes I lost four pounds, two kilos in Australian weight.”

Fighters sometimes sit in saunas forgoing water and sweating the best part of themselves into a tightly wrapped arrangement of plastic to lose this sort of weight. It is an enormous difference for Wilson, a man who has not weighed in close to 126lbs since the Oceanian Youth & Junior Championship – in 2012.

“I think he’s come in overweight and they tampered with the scales to make it seem like he made it.”

This is a significant accusation, and one that has not been proven. From the WBO’s own regulations:

The President of the Organization shall attend or designate a WBO Supervisor to attend every World Championship contest sanctioned by the WBO. The duties of said Supervisor shall be to represent the WBO at the Championship Match and prefight events including the weigh in…if a World Champion fails to make the prescribed weight for his category, the Champion shall lose the title at the scales, and the Championship shall then and there be declared vacant, whether or not the challenger makes weight.

The WBO then, is responsible for making sure the weigh in is conducted fairly to both parties.  Currently, there is no evidence that this was not the case.

Happily, the fight itself was a good one and a competitive affair before Navarrete lifted the vacant strap by technical knockout in the ninth. Navarrete, with limited experience of the 130lb punch was caught with a flush left hook in the fourth which Wilson followed up with good pressure and punching to ditch his man. Navarrete had the experience to spit the gumshield out while receiving a standing eight, clearly in trouble; Wilson did not have the experience to follow up against a hurt Navarrete who had bought himself some extra time.

That is why good customers tend to get inexperienced opponents when fighting for a favoured organisation’s strap. Imagine Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov or Roger Gutierrez chasing a hurt Navarrete across the ring in what, after all, is supposed to be a world-title fight. That is the key. There was nothing wrong with making Navarrete-Wilson; it was a good fight conducted in what were difficult circumstances for the Australian and one he nearly won, but for a world-title to be perpetrated upon the boxing public at the end of it is unreasonable.

It is also inevitable. As soon as the people who are policing the fighters become a service industry for those fighters, the type of easy night we repeatedly see for WBO favourites becomes nothing less than a part of the fabric of the sport. Even so, a fighter becoming a triple-crown champion by defeating not one but two fighters who have never boxed the championship distance seems shocking, even for this sport.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-A-New-Foe-for-Broner-and-an-Intriguing-Heavyweight-Matchup
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A New Foe for Broner and an Intriguing Heavyweight Match-up

Jermaine-Wallin-and-Otto-Wallin-Losing-Can-Be-Winning-or-Not
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin; Losing Can Be Winning, or Not

Artur-Beterbiev-I'd-prefer-to-fight-Bivol-because-he-has-the-one-thing-I-need
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Artur Beterbiev: “I’d prefer to fight Bivol because he has the one thing I need”

A-Shocker-in-Manchester-Liam-Smith-Stops-Chris-Eubank-Jr-in-Four
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Shocker in Manchester: Liam Smith Stops Chris Eubank Jr in Four

Anthony-Yarde-I-am-at-my-bst-when-I-fight-fire-with-fire
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Anthony Yarde: “I am at my best when I fight fire with fire.”

Saul-Rodriguez-Showcased-in-Garcia-Promotions-Event.jpg
Featured Articles1 week ago

Garcia Promotions’ Event in San Bernardino was a Showcase for Saul Rodriguez

Swamp-King-Jonathan-Guidry-Vanquishes-Bermane-Stiverne-in-Miami
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Swamp King’ Jonathan Guidry Vanquishes Bermane Stiverne in Miami

R.I.P.-Former-Heavyweight-Champ-Gerrie Coetsee-aa-South-African-Sporting-Icon
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

R.I.P. Former Heavyweight Champ Gerrie Coetzee, a South African Sporting Icon

Tank-Davis-TKOs-Garcia-Boots-Ennis-Shuts-Out-Chukhadzhian
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Tank Davis TKOs Garcia; Boots Ennis Shuts Out Chukhadzhian

Guillermo-Rigondeaux-Refuses-to-Hang-Up-His-Gloves
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Guillermo Rigondeaux Refuses to Hang Up His Gloves

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Roiman-Villa's-Remarkable-Rally-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Roiman Villa’s Remarkable Rally and More

The-Greatest-Boxing-Book-Never-Written-and-More-Literary-Notes
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

The Greatest Boxing Book Never Written and More Literary Notes

Naoya-Inoue-Puts-the-Super-Bantamweight-Division-on-High-Alert
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Naoya Inoue Puts the Super Bantamweight Division on High Alert

David-Dynamite-Stevens-KOs-Sean-Hemphill-on-ShoBox
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

David “Dynamite” Stevens KOs Sean Hemphill on ShoBox

Adrien-Broner-has-a-bew-Opponent-Ivan-Redkach-is-Out-Hank-Lundy-is-In
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Adrien Broner has a New Opponent: Ivan Redkach is Out; Hank Lundy is In

Andy-Ruiz-and-Filip-Hrgovic-on-the-Road-toOleksandr-Usyk
Featured Articles6 days ago

Andy Ruiz and Filip Hrgovic on the Road to Oleksandr Usyk

Romain-Villa-Storms-Back-in-the-Final-Frame-to-Upset-Rashidi-Ellis-on-Showtime
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Roiman Villa Storms Back in the Final Frame to Upset Rashidi Ellis on Showtime

Devin-Haney-vs-Vasily-Lomachenko-A-High-Stakes-Duel
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Devin Haney vs Vasily Lomachenko: A High Stakes Duel

Avila-Perspective-Chap-221-El-Maestro-and-More-Boxing-News-and-Notes
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 221: ‘El Maestro’ and More Boxing News and Notes

Efe-Ajagba-and-Jonnie-Rice-Bring-Home-the-Money-at-Turning-Stone
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Efe Ajagba and Jonnie Rice Bring Home the Money at Turning Stone

The-Hauser-Report-The-Women-Take-Center-Stage-at-Madison-Square-Garden
Featured Articles3 hours ago

The Hauser Report: The Women Take Center Stage at Madison Square Garden

Amanda-Serrano-Wins-Another-World-Title-Serrano-Taylor-II-confirmed-for-Dublin
Featured Articles23 hours ago

Amanda Serrano Wins Another World Title; Serrano-Taylor II confirmed for Dublin

The-Inevitable-Triple-Crown-of-Emanuel Navarrete-Demystifying-Alphabet-Titles
Featured Articles1 day ago

The Inevitable Triple Crown of Emanuel Navarrete: Demystifying Alphabet Titles

Rey-Vargas-The-Featherweight-Title-is-Absolutely-Still-Mine
Featured Articles2 days ago

Rey Vargas: “The featherweight title is absolutely still mine”

Navarrete-Overcomes-Adversity-to-TKO-Wilson-in-a-Corker
Featured Articles2 days ago

Navarrete Overcomes Adversity to TKO Wilson in a Corker

Avila-Perspective-Chap-223-Am-Act-of-War-Benavidez-vs-Plant-Press-Confab
Featured Articles2 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 223: An Act of War Benavidez vs Plant Press Confab

Bazinyan--Improves-to-29-0-but Gollaz-and-Gaumont-Steal-the-Show-in-Montreal
Featured Articles3 days ago

Bazinyan Improves to 29-0, but Gollaz and Gaumont Steal the Show in Montreal

Alycia-Maumgardner-vs-Elhem-Mekhaled-Amanda-serrano-Erika-Cruz-Choi Hyun Mi-Mikaela-Mayer-Delfine-Persoon
Featured Articles3 days ago

Alycia Baumgardner vs Elhem Mekhaled: Female Splendor at MSG 

How-good-is-Jake-Paul-Shane-Mosley's-Answer-May-Surprise-You
Featured Articles4 days ago

How good is Jake Paul? Shane Mosley’s Answer May Surprise You

Amanda-Serrano-Seeks-Undisputed-Status-at-126=with-Katie-Taylor-on-the-Horizon
Featured Articles4 days ago

Amanda Serrano Seeks Undisputed Status at 126 with Katie Taylor on the Horizon 

Beterbiev-Remains-Focused-on-Dmitry-Bivol-after-Knocking-Out-Anthony-Yarde
Featured Articles5 days ago

Beterbiev Remains Focused on Dmitry Bivol after Knocking Out Anthony Yarde

Andy-Ruiz-and-Filip-Hrgovic-on-the-Road-toOleksandr-Usyk
Featured Articles6 days ago

Andy Ruiz and Filip Hrgovic on the Road to Oleksandr Usyk

Artem-Dalakian-Sunny-Edwards-and-the-Most-Storied-Title-in-Boxing
Featured Articles7 days ago

Artem Dalakian, Sunny Edwards, and the Most Storied Title in Boxing

Emanuel-Navarrete-Aims-to-Become-Champion-in--Third-Weight-Class-on-Friday
Featured Articles1 week ago

Emanuel Navarrete Aims to Become Champion in a Third Weight Class on Friday

Saul-Rodriguez-Showcased-in-Garcia-Promotions-Event.jpg
Featured Articles1 week ago

Garcia Promotions’ Event in San Bernardino was a Showcase for Saul Rodriguez

Alexis-Rocha-KOs-Brave-but-Overmatched-George-Ashie-on-DAZN
Featured Articles1 week ago

Alexis Rocha KOs Brave but Overmatched George Ashie on DAZN

Artur-Beterbiev-TKOs-Anthony-Yarde-in-a-London-Firefight
Featured Articles1 week ago

Artur Beterbiev TKOs Anthony Yarde in a London Firefight

Jake-Paul-vs-Tommy-Fury-onFeb-26-in-a-Potential-Pay-Per-View-Blockbuster
Featured Articles1 week ago

Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury on Feb. 26 in a Potential Pay-Per-View Blockbuster

Avila-Perspective-Chap-223-A-Lively-Weeend-in-SoCal-with-Three-Fight-Cards-in-Two-Days
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 223: A Lively Weekend in SoCal with Three Fight Cards in Two Days

Artur-Beterbiev-I'd-prefer-to-fight-Bivol-because-he-has-the-one-thing-I-need
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Artur Beterbiev: “I’d prefer to fight Bivol because he has the one thing I need”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement