Connect with us

Featured Articles

Avila Perspective, Chap. 121: Prizefighting in 2021

David A. Avila

Published

on

Avila-Perspective-Chap-121-Boxing-in-2021

Prizefighting actually dipped underground for the past nine months with professional boxers training illegally in darkened gyms behind shuttered windows and locked doors.

It still remains an underground sport.

The slow death cloud of the coronavirus led to government restrictions forbidding large gatherings especially in enclosed facilities. Boxers still train.

It was a primary reason that prizefighting among the elite was never more bare.

When Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder met at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for their rematch, a crowd of more than 15,000 fans witnessed the heavyweight spectacle. That took place on February 22, and it was the last hurrah in 2020.

A new year begins but the old ways of doing things are no longer in place. Those large purses are unattainable without fans, but it’s difficult to convince the prizefighters. All they know is they want to get paid with pre-2020 checks.

Very few of the top male prizefighters took to the prize ring.

One leading American matchmaker, who did not wish to go on record, said fighters do not understand that ticket sales are an important aspect of the fight game. Many prizefighters feel they are underpaid and being cheated when offered purses that fall under their pre-2020 monies.

No fans, no money.

Television or streaming app revenue is not enough without the clicking of the turnstile.

Fans are the reason that fighters get paid and without fans prizefighting does not exist.

Reality in 2021

Before the advent of television, prizefighters were paid strictly on the basis of ticket sales. The more fans a fighter could attract, the bigger the purse. When television arrived it drastically changed the landscape.

Television networks who delve into boxing bring their own budgets and cable networks like HBO and Showtime drastically changed the landscape. Instead of thousands, millions were being paid to the stars. Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather were the prizefighters leading the way past $20 and $30 million dollar purses. MMA still hasn’t reached those figures. Not even close, unless they are fighting against a boxer as Conor McGregor did several years ago.

During the past three years new players arrived with streaming apps like ESPN+ and DAZN entering the boxing world. One primary advantage has been its worldwide ability to transmit boxing events. However, because not all of the world has access to high tech, those streaming apps are still in the pioneering phase when it comes to building a fan base. At the moment, television still holds the upper hand but the gap is closing quickly.

Lately, DAZN has taken to inserting sponsors logos into their live programming without skipping a beat. It was only a matter of time before they realized the capabilities of inserting commercials digitally. It’s not a new idea; it was explored decades ago by our own BoxingChannel.tv.

Still, as long as the pandemic exists and fans are unable to attend boxing cards the mega fights that drive prizefighting will not take place. The arrival of various vaccines for the coronavirus are a big plus for the sport emerging out of the underground state of boxing. But the fighters need to fight.

Tyson Fury needs to meet Anthony Joshua in a battle for the heavyweight championship and Errol Spence Jr. must fight Terence Crawford this year. Others like Teofimo Lopez are doing their part to open the eyes of fans to the new breed of prizefighters who can fight, talk and excite with their electrifying skills.

Potential stars like Serhii Bohachuk, Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Charles Conwell are catching the eye of fans and all are basically around the same weight classes. They took advantage of the openings for television and streaming spots.

Prizefighters everywhere need to understand this pandemic may last longer than you think. God forbid, but there could be another looming around the corner. It’s time to go for broke and get back in the prize ring. Time is not on your side.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Featured Articles

Late Sub Jonnie Rice Bursts Michael Coffie’s Bubble on a PBC Card in Newark

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Late-Sub-Jonnie-Rice-Bursts-Michael-Coffie's-Bubble-on-a-PBC-Card-in-Newark

Every thing that could go wrong went wrong as promoter Al Haymon and his associates were patching together tonight’s card at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. But it couldn’t have worked out better for journeyman heavyweight Jonnie Rice who turned his career around with a smashing TKO of heavily favored and previously undefeated Michael Coffie.

Positive Covid tests scuttled two 10-round fights on the undercard. The main event had already been disheveled when Coffie’s original opponent Gerald Washington flunked his Covid test. Enter Rice (pictured on the right) who was on standby and seized the moment.

Rice, a Columbia, South Carolina native who has been living and training in Las Vegas, came in sporting a 13-6-1 record but five of his wins had come against no-hopers in Tijuana and he had yet to defeat an opponent in a match where he was the “B” side. But these facts were misleading as five of his six losses had come against hot prospects with undefeated records and he had honed his craft sparring against the likes of Tyson Fury, Filip Hrgovic, and Michael Hunter.

Based on “strength of schedule,” Rice, 34, had the edge over Coffie, the 35-year-old ex-Marine who brought a 12-0 record but was relatively untested. And Rice, who started fast, took the fight to Coffie and out-landed him. Coffie’s left eye was swelling and he wasn’t firing back when the referee waived it off in the fifth round.

Dirrell-Brooker

Tonight’s PBC fare came in two helpings with appetizers and the main event on FOX preceding a club-level show on FOX’s affiliate FS1. The main event of the nightcap was a 10-round light heavyweight bout between Andre Dirrell and Christopher Brooker.

Dirrell, who previously held an interim version of the IBF 168-pound world title, looked very sharp coming off a 19-month layoff, scoring three knockdowns before the fight was waived off in the third round. The Flint, Michigan native improved to 28-3 (18). Philadelphia’s Brooker fell to 16-8.

More

Junior middleweight Joey Spencer (13-0, 9 KOs) scored an 8-round unanimous decision over James Martin (7-3). Spencer won comfortably on the scorecards – 80-72 and 79-73 twice – but was unimpressive.

Local fan favorite Vito “White Magic” Mielnicki Jr (9-1, 5 KOs) rebounded from his first pro loss with an impressive second-round stoppage of Noah Kidd (6-4-2).

Philadelphia welterweight Karl Dargan (20-1, 9 KOs), a former two-time national amateur champion, returned to the ring after a long absence and  stopped LA’s Ivan Delgado (13-4-2) in the third round.

New Jersey heavyweight Norman Neely advanced to 9-0 (7) with a unanimous decision over rugged Texas brawler Juan Torres (6-4-1). Neely won all six rounds on all three cards.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Leigh Wood’s Big Upset Spangles the Rebirth of Eddie Hearn’s Garden Party

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Leigh-Wood's-Big-Upset-Spangles-the-Rebirth-of-Eddie-Hearn's-Garden-Party

Last summer, hamstrung by the pandemic, Eddie Hearn hit upon the idea of holding boxing events outdoors in the expansive backyard of the family estate on the outskirts of London (now Matchroom Sport headquarters) where he grew up. Four shows were staged there.

The series has been revived. Today was “episode 1” of Season Two of Matchroom Fight Camp, otherwise known as Eddie Hearn’s Garden Party. Two more shows are penciled in over the next two weekends.

The match-up getting the most buzz was the welterweight contest between fast-rising Conor Benn and battle-tested Adrian Granados. Unfortunately, Benn tested positive for Covid-19. But the main event, a WBA world featherweight title defense by Can Xu (aka Xu Can) against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood stayed intact and produced a memorable upset.

Xu, who is co-promoted by Oscar De La Hoya, was installed a 4/1 favorite. Although he wasn’t a big puncher with only three knockouts to his credit in 20 starts, he rode into Hearn’s backyard riding a 15-fight winning streak for the third defense of his WBA “regular” title. But he started slow, perhaps the result of ring rust — it was his first fight of 2021 after missing all of 2020 – and he never did crank up the volume that had carried him to victory in his three title fights.

Wood, a stablemate of Josh Taylor who has made great gains since hooking up with Ben Davison and Lee Wylie, landed the heavier punches and was ahead on the cards when he took the fight out of the judges’ hands in the final minute of the final round. He decked Xu with a hard right hand and then trapped him on the ropes, forcing the stoppage that came with only 17 seconds remaining.

The 32-year-old Wood improved to 25-2 (15). Xu falls to 18-3. The deposed champion has a rematch clause so we may have a sequel.

Other Bouts

Chris Billam-Smith, trained by Shane McGuigan, won a hard-fought 12-round split decision over Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy in a cruiserweight scrap with three domestic titles at stake. The judges had it 116-112 and 115-114 for Billam-Smith, now 13-1, with the dissenter favoring McCarthy (18-3) by a 115-114 tally.

McCarthy wobbled Billam-Smith late in the first round with on overhand right, but could never land his Sunday punch on the Bournemouth fighter in a see-saw struggle with many close rounds. There were no knockdowns but McCarthy suffered a cut over his right eye near the end of round six from an apparent head butt.

McCarthy had Carl Frampton helping out in his corner which infused the contest with the aura of a grudge match. Frampton was the best man at Shane McGuigan’s wedding, but their friendship dissolved in a bitter court fight. At the end of the grueling fight, Billam-Smith and McCarthy embraced in a show of mutual respect.

Liverpool super-welterweight Anthony Fowler whose lone setback came at the hands of Scott Fitzgerald (a split decision) won his sixth straight with an eighth-round stoppage of Germany’s Rico Mueller whose cornerman was on the ring apron when the slow-acting referee waived it off at the 2:12 mark. Fowler, who is also trained by Shane McGuigan, improved to 15-1 (11). His next bout is expected to come against fellow Scouser Liam Smith in October. This was the second fight this month for the game but out-gunned 33-year-old Mueller (28-4-1) who was subbing for veteran Tex-Mex campaigner Roberto Garcia who pulled out with a back injury.

Also, Jack Cullen (20-2-1, 9 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Avni Yildirim (21-4) in a 10-round super middleweight contest. Yildirim, from Turkey, was looking to atone for his hollow performance against Canelo Alvarez this past February. While he had his moments, he was out-worked by the lanky Lancashire man who won by scores of 100-90, 08-92, and 97-93.

Photo credit: Alan Walton / Matchroom Boxing

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Avila Perspective, Chap 146: De La Hoya Returns Plus Other Boxing Notes

David A. Avila

Published

on

Avila-Perspective-Chap-146-Oscar-Returns-Plus-Other-Boxing-Notes

Sitting in front of several dozen reporters, the favorite son of Los Angeles area boxing, Oscar De La Hoya, and former MMA champion Vitor Belfort spoke about their mutual return to prizefighting.

“I can’t lie. I miss getting hit,” said De La Hoya.

It was a statement also shared by Belfort.

After years away from the prize ring, both return to exchange hits as boxing’s De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) meets MMA’s Belfort (26-14, 18 KOs) on Sept. 11, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Triller Fight Club card will be shown on pay-per-view via FITE.tv and other modes.

De La Hoya, 48, last absorbed hits from a fighter when Manny Pacquiao battered him almost 13 years ago back in December 2008. It was a shock to the senses to see the great East L.A. fighter take blow after blow while unable to hit back.

He was only 35.

Many attribute that loss to a ridiculous agreement to weigh under 145 pounds before facing Pacquiao. At the time De La Hoya was the real gate attraction and pay-per-view king. He held all the cards but agreed to the demands acutely devised by Freddie Roach. It proved to leave De La Hoya too weak to fight back and after eight rounds the one-sided beating was stopped.

De La Hoya retired after that fight. Ironically, he called for a press conference and it was held right where he recently announced this upcoming fight against Belfort. It’s also near a statue built in his honor.

Sitting nearby, Belfort patiently waited his turn to speak. For the Brazilian MMA fighter, it’s only been a mere three years since he exchanged blows in a prize fight. It was a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 in Brazil.

When Belfort spoke to the media, he expressed a desire to get hit too.

“Its fun. I’m going to have joy when I get hit. You cannot get better than that,” said Belfort.

It’s a common sentiment held by former greats. I’ve heard the same comments from James “Lights Out” Toney who ridiculously was not voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this past year.

Getting hit becomes as common as breathing for most professional fighters, especially those that began boxing at a young age such as De La Hoya.

“The truth is I miss it. I miss it very much,” said De La Hoya who began lacing up gloves as an amateur at five years old.

According to oddsmakers, Belfort is the favorite to win. Probably for a number of reasons including he fought a mere three years ago. Belfort is the heavier fighter and has fought foes in the 205 pound-division called light heavyweight in MMA. Plus, he is simply bigger than his foe.

“I hope I don’t end up killing him, but everything is on the table,” said Belfort. “If he doesn’t have joy in what he does he could come back in a coffin.”

Prizefighters are masochists. All truly good fighters have a streak of masochism inside. They know they’ll be pummeled with blows that truly hurt and they look forward to it. But the bitter truth is taking hits in your 30s and taking hits near your 50s are two vastly different scenarios.

It’s an extremely dangerous fight for both.

As someone who spent nearly a month in a hospital after experiencing a cerebral hemorrhage, otherwise known as a “brain bleed,” I’m stunned by the fact that more boxers are not damaged from brutal blows. I pray nothing like this occurs to De La Hoya, Belfort, or any retired boxer who returns to the prize ring for a possible payday.

They are prizefighters and like any former high-performance athlete, they miss competition.

“When you love it, no matter what happens, I’m ok with it,” said De La Hoya.

Fans will attend Staples Center by the thousands simply to see “the Golden Boy” once again and pay tribute to one of the greats. Many of those attending will be praying silently for the fighter’s safety.

I know I will.

England Fights

WBA featherweight titlist Xu Can (18-2, 3 KOs) defends against Leigh Wood (24-2, 14 KOs) on Saturday July 31, at Brentwood, England. DAZN will stream the world title fight.

This is the third defense for Can who has not fought in almost two years. The last defense was at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California when he soundly defeated Manny Robles III.

Can took the title from Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas, a rough and tumble fighter who takes a pound of flesh from everyone he faces. Against Can he was unable to deal out the usual punishment.

Wood is a former super bantamweight contender who has never really faced international competition. He did face former world champion Gavin McDonnell but was stopped. Perhaps the move up in weight will help.

Fights to Watch

Fri. Estrella TV 7 p.m. Erick Leon (14-1) vs Juan Marcos Rodriguez (10-3).

Sat. DAZN 11 a.m. Xu Can (18-2) vs Leigh Wood (24-2).

Sat. FOX 5 p.m. Michael Coffie (12-0) vs. Jonnie Rice (13-6-1)

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Pac-Man-Touches-Down-in-LA-Leaving-Behind-a-Political-Firestorm
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Pacquiao Touches Down in L.A., Leaving Behind a Political Firestorm

Avila-Perspective-Chap-144-Charlo-&-Castano-Battle-for-Undisputed-Status-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 144: Charlo & Castano Battle for Undisputed! and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-GGG-III-and-Oregon's-White-Delight
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo – GGG III and Oregon’s ‘White Delight’

Charlo-and-Castano-Battle-to-a-Draw-in-a-San-Antonio-Firefight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Charlo and Castano Battle to a Draw in a San Antonio Firefight

Steen-Bocachica-and-Martino-Jules-Stay-Unbeaten-in-Cornhuskerland
Featured Articles1 week ago

Steen, Bocachica, and Martino Jules Stay Unbeaten in Cornhuskerland

Fast-Results-from-London-Massive-Heavyweight-Joe-Joyce-Keeps-on-Rolling
Featured Articles1 week ago

Fast Results from London: Massive Heavyweight Joe Joyce Keeps on Rolling

The-International-Olympic-Committee-Sets-The-Gold-Standard-for-Scandal
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The International Olympic Committee Sets the Gold Standard for Scandal

Chris-Colbert-Beats-Nyambayar-and-Rivera-KOs-Fernandez-in-Carson
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Chris Colbert Beats Nyambayar and Rivera KOs Fernandez in Carson

The-Latest-News-on-the-Fury-Wilder-III-Blunder
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Latest News on the Fury – Wilder III Blunder

USA-Olympic-Boxing-Team-Sputters-After-a-Strong-Start
Featured Articles4 days ago

USA Olympic Boxing Team Sputters After a Strong Start

Avila-Perspective-Chap-146-Oscar-Returns-Plus-Other-Boxing-Notes
Featured Articles3 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 146: De La Hoya Returns Plus Other Boxing Notes

Tim-Tszyu-Continues-His-Wave-of-Destruction-Blasts-Out-Late-Sub-Steve-Spark
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Tim Tszyu Continues His Wave of Destruction; Blasts out Late Sub Steve Spark

Literary-Notes-George-Dixon-by-Jason-Winders
Book Review3 weeks ago

Literary Notes: “George Dixon” by Jason Winders

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-WBA's-50-Year-Old-Cruiserweight-Contender-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: The WBA’s 50-Year-Old Cruiserweight Contender and More

Renowned-Sportswriter-Dave-Kindred-Reflects-on-a-Life-Well-Lived
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Renowned Sportswriter Dave Kindred Reflects on a Life Well Lived

The-Gold-Medal-Drought-for-the-US-Olympic-Boxing-Team-is-Expected-to-Continue
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Gold Medal Drought for the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team is Expected to Continue

A-Dissenting-Opinion-Jeffrey-Freeman's-Round-by-Round-Breakdown-of-the-Charlo-Castano-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Dissenting Opinion: Jeffrey Freeman’s Round by Round Breakdown of the Charlo-Castano Fight

Getting-to-Know-Jared-Anderson-Boxing's-Next-Big-Thing
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Getting to Know Jared Anderson, Boxing’s ‘Next Big Thing’

Late-Sub-Jonnie-Rice-Bursts-Michael-Coffie's-Bubble-on-a-PBC-Card-in-Newark
Featured Articles2 days ago

Late Sub Jonnie Rice Bursts Michael Coffie’s Bubble on a PBC Card in Newark

Avila-Perspective-Chap-145-Olympics-Women's-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 145: Olympics, Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame and More

Late-Sub-Jonnie-Rice-Bursts-Michael-Coffie's-Bubble-on-a-PBC-Card-in-Newark
Featured Articles2 days ago

Late Sub Jonnie Rice Bursts Michael Coffie’s Bubble on a PBC Card in Newark

Leigh-Wood's-Big-Upset-Spangles-the-Rebirth-of-Eddie-Hearn's-Garden-Party
Featured Articles2 days ago

Leigh Wood’s Big Upset Spangles the Rebirth of Eddie Hearn’s Garden Party

Avila-Perspective-Chap-146-Oscar-Returns-Plus-Other-Boxing-Notes
Featured Articles3 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 146: De La Hoya Returns Plus Other Boxing Notes

USA-Olympic-Boxing-Team-Sputters-After-a-Strong-Start
Featured Articles4 days ago

USA Olympic Boxing Team Sputters After a Strong Start

The-Agony-of-Defeat
Featured Articles5 days ago

The Agony of Defeat

Top-12-New-England-Boxing-Ratings-as-of-July-2021
Featured Articles6 days ago

Top 12 New England Boxing Ratings as of July 2021

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-WBA's-50-Year-Old-Cruiserweight-Contender-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: The WBA’s 50-Year-Old Cruiserweight Contender and More

Fast-Results-from-London-Massive-Heavyweight-Joe-Joyce-Keeps-on-Rolling
Featured Articles1 week ago

Fast Results from London: Massive Heavyweight Joe Joyce Keeps on Rolling

Steen-Bocachica-and-Martino-Jules-Stay-Unbeaten-in-Cornhuskerland
Featured Articles1 week ago

Steen, Bocachica, and Martino Jules Stay Unbeaten in Cornhuskerland

Les-Bonano-Mr-Boxing-in-New-Orleans-Enters-the-NOLA-Sports-Hall-of-Fame
Featured Articles1 week ago

Les Bonano, Mr. Boxing in New Orleans, Enters the NOLA Sports Hall of Fame

Avila-Perspective-Chap-145-Olympics-Women's-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 145: Olympics, Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame and More

The-Gold-Medal-Drought-for-the-US-Olympic-Boxing-Team-is-Expected-to-Continue
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Gold Medal Drought for the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team is Expected to Continue

A-Dissenting-Opinion-Jeffrey-Freeman's-Round-by-Round-Breakdown-of-the-Charlo-Castano-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Dissenting Opinion: Jeffrey Freeman’s Round by Round Breakdown of the Charlo-Castano Fight

Excitement-was-the-Name-of-the-Little-Bird's-Game
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Excitement was the Name of ‘The Little Bird’s’ Game

When-Betting-on-Boxing-It's-Buyer-Beware-as-Connor-McGregor-Reminded-Us
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

When Betting on Boxing, it’s ‘Buyer Beware’ as Conor McGregor Reminded Us

Renowned-Sportswriter-Dave-Kindred-Reflects-on-a-Life-Well-Lived
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Renowned Sportswriter Dave Kindred Reflects on a Life Well Lived

Charlo-and-Castano-Battle-to-a-Draw-in-a-San-Antonio-Firefight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Charlo and Castano Battle to a Draw in a San Antonio Firefight

Every-Joe-Gans-Lightweight-Title-Fight-Part-8-Willie-Fitzgerald
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Every Joe Gans Lightweight Title Fight – Part 8: Willie Fitzgerald

The-International-Olympic-Committee-Sets-The-Gold-Standard-for-Scandal
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The International Olympic Committee Sets the Gold Standard for Scandal

Remembering-the-Late-Craig-Gator-Bodzianowski-Boxing's-One-Legged-Wonder
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Remembering the late Craig ‘Gator’ Bodzianowski, Boxing’s One-Legged Wonder

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement