Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Julian Williams Press Conference

By Luis A. Cortes III

Check out audio from the Julian "J-Rock" Williams' (27-1-1, 16 KOs) press conference at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Williams discussed his January 18th match up against Jeison Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs), the Philadelphia boxing scene, and the current state of the super welterweight division, among many other topics.

You can listen to audio from the press conference on both SoundCloud and iTunes:

Julian William Press Conference on SoundCloud

Julian Williams Press Conference on iTunes


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Sunday, November 24, 2019

WWE Survivor Series 2019


The WWE Universe jam packed a sold out Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois this evening for Survivor Series. This year’s theme, as it has been several times, was the battle for brand supremacy. For this year’s 33rd installment, however, WWE decided to shake things up a bit and incorporated (in my opinion) the superior brand - NXT. With this dynamic, more superstars had the ability to take center stage but at the cost of several champions being tied up in non-title bouts hence lowering the stakes. Nonetheless, the seven match card still featured three title matches where the marquee championship from each brand was defended.

Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team RAW (Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Natalya, Sarah Logan, & Kairi Sane) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, & Toni Storm) vs. Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross, Carmella, & Dana Brooke)
Sole Survivior: Rhea Ripley (Team NXT) via pinfall

Survivor Series wasted no time diving right into a 5 on 5 on 5 triple threat elimination match. Surprisingly we witnessed NXT with an advantage late as Ripley, Storm, and Belair remained from NXT, Banks from Smackdown, and Natalyz from RAW (after dissention in their ranks saw Asuka spray the green mist in the face of Flair leading the Queen to get pinned by Lacey Evans). After Banks quickly turned on Natalya and rolled her up for a pinfall, she was left to go toe to toe with the towering Australian, Rhea Ripley. With Ripley seemingly moments from tapping out to the Bank Statement, Lerae and Shirai returned to ringside causing enough of a distraction for Ripley to land the Riptide allowing her to pin Banks for the victory.

Triple Threat Match
Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong
Winner: Roderick Strong via pinfall

This match pitted champion versus champion versus champion as Nakamura - WWE Intercontinental Champion, AJ Styles - WWE United States Champion, and Roderick Strong - NXT North American Champion did battle. This match ended in an arguably epic upset as AJ Styles took out Nakamura with the Phenomenal Forearm only to be unceremoniously dumped out of the ring by Strong who capitalized on the opportunity and pinned The Artist.

NXT Championship
Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall

Pete Dunne earned his shot at Adam Cole after he defeated Killian Dain and Damian Priest in a triple threat match last night at NXT Wargames. In the closing moments, Dunne was able to withstand the Panama Sunrise allowing him to attempt the Bitter End for a third time. This time Cole spectacularly reversed it driving Dunne’s skull into the canvas. The Undisputed Era leader quickly followed up with the Last Shot setting up the pinfall victory.

Universal Championship
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Winner: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt via pinfall

After defeating Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel, Wyatt attempted to defend his title for the first time against Daniel Bryan. While I’m personally a fan of both of these competitors, all this match did was give me eyestrain thanks to the exclusive red lighting for the duration of the match. Daniel Bryan did put up a good showing late in the bout as he delivered several missile dropkicks and Yes Kicks. Unfortunately for Bryan, these weren’t enough as Bray trapped him in the Mandible Claw leaving him subdued enough to earn the pinfall.

Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team RAW (Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, & Ricochet) vs. Team Smackdown (Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, Shorty G, King Corbin, & Braun Strowman) vs. Team NXT (Tomasso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Walter, Damian Priest, & Matt Riddle)
Sole Survivor: Roman Reigns

Dissention among the ranks reigned supreme again in this contest as Corbin and Reigns were at each other’s throats for the majority of the bout. Reigns finally hit his tipping point as he speared Corbin allowing Ciampa to eliminate him. This left us with Rollins from Team RAW, Reigns from Team Smackdown, and Ciampa and Lee from NXT remaining. Ciampa was the first eliminated after receiving the Curb Stomp from Rollins. Lee then shocked Rollins with a Jackhammer to eliminate him. Lee appeared poised to pull off the unthinkable as he thwarted Reigns spear attempt with a power bomb. Lee then attempted to execute a second rope moonsault but Reigns rolled out of the way and countered with a spear for the win.

WWE Championship No Holds Barred Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Winner: Brock Lesnar via pinfall

This match had been a couple months in the works. First, Brock laid waste to Rey and his son leading Mysterio to bring in Cain Velasquez for backup. Next, Cain Velasquez challenged Lesnar at Crown Jewel for the title only to lose via submission. This evening we reached the culmination of these recent acts as Mysterio challenged Lesnar for the WWE Championship in a No Holds Barred Match.  As Brock brutally beat down Rey, his son Dominic came to ringside. The two of them proceeded to get the upper hand, albeit briefly, after a low blow from Mysterio, however, Brock withstood a pinfall attempt only to suplex Dominic across the ring and subsequently F5 Rey to retain his title.

Triple Threat Match
Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley
Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission

The RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, the NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, and the Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley took center stage in the main event of the evening. After disposing of The Man at ringside, Baszler was able to finish of Bayley with the Kirifuda Clutch. Baszler then proceeded to celebrate at ringside on top of the announce table. Becky got a small measure of revenge as she took Baszler down and with her strewn across the table, Lynch stood on the ringside barrier and delivered a leg drop that put The Queen of Spades through the table.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Wilder vs. Ortiz Preview

By Steve Ward

The time is fast approaching again where one may need to make the crucial decision, “Do I want to give my local cable/satellite provider $74.99 to watch Wilder vs. Ortiz II?” Before we delve into this conundrum, we must explore why you are in this predicament in the first place. Perhaps your favorite bar/pub/brewery/Hooters/imbibement palace is not showing the fight. Perhaps you don’t have any friends (I know this is harsh but, hey, it’s possible). Maybe you’ve been ostracized by your peers for following in the footsteps of my esteemed colleague Justin Dohnson and have indulged in one too many Tecates at party after party until things have gotten weird one too many times. Or maybe being the “Party Man” is just too much for people to handle – especially since this fight falls on the original Party Man’s (Matt Ward's) birthday. Whatever your dilemma may be, the bottom line is you’ve arrived at a crucial decision to make.

Let’s look at the main event first. The undefeated Bronze Bomber (41-0-1, 40 KOs) heads into this fight with his nearly untarnished record – we won’t talk about the Fury fight right now – against a man who many believe was seconds away from defeating him in their first encounter back in March 2018. One could make the argument that his opponent, Luis Ortiz (31-1-0, 26 KOs) had a potential victory thwarted by the bell in conjunction with the long leash afforded to the champ by the referee because, let’s be honest, the champ didn’t know what zip code he was in when Ortiz was bringing the fight to him in round seven of their first encounter. Unfortunately for Ortiz, he fell victim (as so many have) to “the big one” – a devastating uppercut delivered by Wilder in round ten that promptly ended the fight. 

This time around could prove to offer a different narrative. While Wilder undoubtedly has mowed through the Heavyweight Division – except for the Gypsy King – could he be underestimating and looking beyond Ortiz since this is not the fight he wants? Possibly. Rather than undermine Ortiz, I’d prefer to focus on the fact that he is one of a select few fighters who’ve ever really gotten to Wilder and taken him deep into a fight. Additionally, Ortiz appears to have taken his conditioning to a new level for this rematch and if it hasn’t hindered his power, that makes him exponentially more dangerous in my opinion. Thanks to Luis Cortes, The Weigh-In got an up close and personal look at King Kong’s media workout and he looks so primed to go, I needed to do a double take of his picture to realize it was actually him.

The card will also feature Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) attempt to become a four-division world champion as he goes toe to toe with Miguel Flores (24-2-0, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBA Super Featherweight Title. This should prove to be a more than suitable fight as the first of three title bouts on the pay-per-view card. As long as you can get past Leo’s constant wrist turning – whether it be a nervous tick, timing mechanism, tool of deception for his opponent, etc. (if you didn’t notice it before, you will now so you’re welcome) - this should prove to be an exciting title bout. 

The co-feature on the card will pit Brandon Figueroa (20-0-0, 15 KOs) as he attempts to defend his WBA Super Bantamweight Title against Julio Ceja (32-4-0, 28 KOs). Figueroa, a fighter who I supplied ringside coverage of his battle with Oscar Escandon, when they aptly stepped into the main event slot of a card that was to be headlined by Victor Ortiz and John Molina – until Ortiz found himself in a legal quandary – proved he was ready for the spotlight and he now finds himself in his third fight of 2019.

So we now return to our initial question…Is the pay-per-view worth $74.99? Unfortunately, I can’t make that decision for you. All I can tell you is this is now a time for a little self-reflection and perhaps an opportunity for you to become a bit industrious and order the fight while charging a cover to your “friends.” Nonetheless, all of the action will come to you live this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Fox Sports pay-per-view and via the Fox Sports app for $74.99.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

AEW Full Gear Recap

By Steve Ward

AEW presented us with their first pay per view since the debut of their weekly show Dynamite on TNT this evening from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. The stacked card featured eight bouts and was co-headlined by “Le Champion” Chris Jericho (the youngest champion in AEW history) defending his title against Cody and Jon Moxley squaring off with Kenny Omega in an Unsanctioned Match. AEW continues to present wrestling fans with an experience not witnessed on such a large scale in many years, one so polarizing that it has brought masses of hibernating fans back to the forefront. This evening did not disappoint as the appreciative fans in attendance relentlessly showered the performers with chants of praise, hate, and unsettled delight (read on to see what I mean) with an energy that was unrelenting until they went off the air.


The Buy-In Preshow

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. Bea Priestley
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. via submission
The ladies of AEW got the raucous Baltimore crowd warmed up on the free pre show on the AEW YouTube channel as the doctor defeated Priestley with the Lockjaw.

After the bout, Brandi Rhodes lead Awesome Kong to the ring. Kong proceeded to lay waste to Bea Priestley and cut a lock of her hair off as some sort of trophy which resulted in a rather entertaining “You sick fuck” chant from the crowd.

Main Card

The Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz
Winners: Santana & Ortiz via pinfall
The crowd was at a deafening pitch throughout this phenomenal opening bout on the main card. Superkicks weren’t enough for the Young Bucks as Santana & Ortiz of the Inner Circle solidified a hard fought victory with the Street Sweeper for the pinfall.

PAC vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Winner: “Hangman” Adam Page
PAC and Hangman competed with reckless abandon leaving both covered in welts and bruises. In the closing moments of the match, PAC attempted to kick Page between the uprights with the referee’s view obstructed, however, The Hangman was ready and quickly countered with The Deadeye for the pinfall.

“The Chairman” Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard vs. “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela
Winner: “The Chairman” Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears used the numbers game as this bout reached it’s conclusion. Spears removed the turnbuckle cover which lead referee Earl Hebner to become distracted with an attempt to replace it. Spears proceeded to pick Janela up for a pile driver as Tully Blanchard jumped off the ring steps for the spike. Spears then rolled Asbury Park’s own Janela back into the ring where he executed the Death Valley Driver for the win.

AEW Tag Team Championship
Private Party vs. The Lucha Brothers vs. SCU (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) (c)
Winners: SCU via pinfall
This contest marked the first title defense for SCU, winners of the AEW Tag Team Title Tournament which crowned them inaugural champions of the promotion after defeating the Lucha Bros in the finals. Private Party made a name for themselves in the tournament as they shocked the world with an upset of the Young Bucks in the opening round and then defeated The Dark Order in the third place match to earn a spot in this match. This fast-paced bout reached it’s conclusion as Kazarian withstood a perfect shooting star press delivered by Marq Quen of Private Party and he and Scorpio Sky subsequently averted disaster as they reversed the Gin and Juice to land the SCU Later for the victory. After the contest, The Lucha Bros proceeded to attack SCU from behind. Before the attack could get out of hand, the lights in the arena went out and as they illuminated again, another man dressed as Pentagon Jr stood face to face with the real Pentagon Jr. After the real Pentagon Jr was dropped with an STO and Fenix was laid to waste with The Angel’s Wings, the man revealed himself as “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels!

AEW Women’s Championship
Emi Sakura vs. Riho (c)
Winner: Riho via pinfall
This match pit teacher versus student as Riho faced the woman who trained her, the Japanese legend Emi Sakura. The 98 lb Riho overcame the odds with a fundamental pinning combination to retain her title at the culmination of a bout that truly demonstrated the champ’s resolve and deceptive strength and durability.

AEW World Championship
Cody w/ Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Chris Jericho w/ Jake Hager
Winner: Chris Jericho via submission
After weeks of intense buildup that culminated with Cody cutting one of the most impressive promos of his career and Jericho treating us to a vignette that featured “The Olive Garden Meatsauce Messiah” Soultrain Jones (better known as Virgil/Vincent) on Wednesday, the time finally arrived for two of the biggest names in AEW to compete for the World Championship - all on Chris Jericho’s 49th birthday. Cody was put through a war in this bout that included having his forehead gashed early on leaving him temporarily with a crimson mask. Cody finally appeared to turn the tables as the match progressed when Jericho’s corner man Jake Hager was banned from ringside. As the match reached it’s climax, Jericho cinched in the Liontamer but Cody was able to escape. Jericho quickly locked it in again and suddenly a white towel landed in the ring, courtesy of MJF, which prompted the referee to call for the bell. After the match, MJF pretended to be apologetic initially only to end up kicking Cody in his manhood and yell “It’s my turn!” in his face.

Unsanctioned Lights Out Match
Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega 
Winner: Jon Moxley
This match was supposed to happen at ALL OUT until Jon Moxley ended up with a staph infection that took him out of action. One word describes this match - visceral. There were barbed wire bats, barbed wire brooms, and even a barbed wire webbed platform type structure. If that’s not enough for you, throw in tables, chairs, an icepick, and broken glass. All of these instruments of pain were used with unimpeded violence. With both men already broken and bloodied, Jon Moxley proceeded to remove the ring apron, canvas, and padding leaving only the wood planks exposed. Moxley finally put “The Cleaner” out of his misery as he performed a brutal Paradigm Shift for the pinfall. The former Dean Ambrose has certainly elevated himself to heights once unimaginable as he continues his meteoric rise in AEW. Needless to say, this is not the pink-haired Jon Moxley who once jobbed out on WWE Velocity many years ago.


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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Berchelt-Sosa: Many reasons why this should be a classic

By Luis A. Cortes III

While the bright lights of the strip in Sin City may be the focal point for most of the boxing world tonight, 275 miles southwest of the strip (about a 4-hour drive), a battle will take place that has all boxing fans salivating.  Jason Sosa (23-3-4) (16 KO’s) a former WBA super featherweight champion of the world reaches for a type of glory that has seemed to slip away from him in recent years, against Mexico’s Miguel Berchelt (36-1) (32 KO’s).  These two warriors are set to go to war over the WBC super featherweight title at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California (live on ESPN at 10pm ET), a site that over the past generation of championship boxers has become synonyms with some of the most memorable fights.

Future Hall of Famers over the past generation have left ounces of both blood and sweat on the canvas inside of the ring in that stadium. In some cases, like in the first and third fight of the brutal classic four fight series between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, fighters have left pieces of their souls.  Timothy Bradley, who will be calling the fight as part of the ESPN broadcast team had one of his most memorable victories of his future Hall of Fame career against Ruslan Provodnikov at that venue.  A fight in which, Bradley the more superior athlete and boxer, elected to trade power punches with the heavy fisted Russian.  The result proved to be Bradley suffering concussions during the fight in such a brutal manner that he admitted that there are portions of that fight he doesn’t remember.


Fighters with the type of temperament of a Sosa or Berchelt are aware of the venue and the recent history that has been made there.  Venues like this with the type of history that it has created, at times, inspire fighters making their first venture into its confines to reach deep within themselves to allow for their names to create new history.  Fight fans are hoping that’s what takes place tonight between Sosa and Berchelt, and it seems as though both fighters are in the perfect position in their careers when they are finally meeting not to disappoint.


Yes, the venue does inspire and can bring out a vicious competitive streak from the fighters calling it their office on any given fight night.  However, what does get overlooked at times is the reason why the fighters give fans so many classic performances.  When Bradly faced Provodnikov, he had just defeated Manny Pacquaio in a fight that most had felt he lost.  It was a disputed decision that left a bad taste in the mouth and mind of the prideful champion.


After suffering from depression and even contemplating suicide, he took on the tough Russian in his next fight.  Bradley gave the many of the undeserving fight fans who were critical of his previous victory a classic performance by risking his life, and by going toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow with the stronger challenger that night.  He did it in many ways because maybe he needed to prove to himself that he was the warrior and champion who he thought he was.  Or maybe it was his way of showing the world what he already had no doubt of.  Either way, his legacy was cemented on that night.


In the case of Sosa and Berchelt, both men, regardless of challenger or champion status see this as the type of fight that with a victory can position their career for a different level of financial possibilities.  As the WBC champion, Berchelt is on the cusp of getting bigger pay days against some of the other champions in the loaded super featherweight division.  One of those other champions is the IBF titlist, whom also happens to be a stablemate of Sosa, Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer.  Fights with the other champions such as Jamel Herring, should he retain his title, and Andrew Cancio, should not be difficult to make.  For Berchelt, should he get by Sosa, the road for the Mexican champion,who is in his physical prime, to becoming undisputed champion at super featherweight is open.  There is also the chance for him to move up in weight into the talent rich lightweight division and try his luck at wining a world title in another weight class, which also has the types of names that would equal life changing money if he were to fight them.


As for the challenger Jason Sosa, unlike his younger opponent, at the age of 31, he is coming to the point in his career where the well of opportunities for that life altering money may be starting to run dry.  One thing can never be said about Sosa and his career, and that is that anything was handed to him.  Everything that he has earned has been through a determination level that few fighters possess.  Unfortunately, the success that he has gained inside of the ring, which offered him new financial opportunities, didn’t translate into business ventures away from the sport.  Part of it was due to the devastating path of destruction laid out across his native Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.  Other personal reasons have also played their role in him finding himself back in the position he was before he won his first world championship.


Both fighters have the incentive of an even bigger set of brass rings available to them if they come out victorious tonight.  Add the extra spice to this fight that both fighters represent one side of one of the best and most historic ethnic rivalries in the history of boxing.  Mexico vs. Puerto Rico.  All these reasons: financial reward, glory, and national pride, are just added gas to the fire that burns internally of both fighters.  Again, Berchelt and Sosa are two fighters that always come to fight no matter what.  With those added pieces, fight fans should have felt no shame for having to wipe the dribble off their chin when this fight was signed.




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Friday, November 1, 2019

Dylan Price Interview


Dylan Price (10-0) (7 KO's) defeated Elias Joaquino (12-5-2) (6 KO's) by TKO in the sixth round of a scheduled eight round contest this evening in Las Vegas. Following his victory, I caught up with this 2017 Briscoe Award winner and Mayweather Promotions' prospect tonight in Las Vegas. 


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Ernest Gabion Interview


I caught up Ernest Gabion, Fighter Relations for Golden Boy Promotions, at the media roundtable for welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. We discussed the prospect's career as well as today's big promoters, including GBP. 

You can stream our interview on both SoundCloud and iTunes:

Ernest Gabion Interview with Luis Cortes on SoundCloud


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Blair Cobbs: Boxing is his Sanctuary

By Luis A. Cortes III

Saturday night’s mega fight card live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is indeed being headlined by the historic showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev.  While this matchup between the reigning middleweight king and the current WBO light heavyweight champion has brought members of the boxing media to Sin City from all over the country, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1) (8 KO’s) is aware that this is his moment to establish himself, make believers out of everyone watching, and prove he is the future of boxing. Tomorrow night, Cobbs will meet Carlos Ortiz (11-4) (11 KO's) in a 10-round fight for the NABF welterweight title. 

This is the type of opportunity (being in the opening fight of the main portion of the televised card) that Cobbs has been working towards as a professional fighter for the past six years.  Not only will a victory for Cobbs announce his presence to the sport, as he makes the transition from welterweight prospect to championship contender (this fight will be for the vacant NABF title), it’s the first step that he needs to take in trying to do what all fighters crave to ultimately do... Become a bankable transcendent star.

As he stands inside of the MGM Casino with his team at his side just outside of a casino bar moments after finishing an open workout for fans and media, this version of Blair Cobbs is a much more subdue man than the one who was just entertaining the crowd and shouting that he “is the baddest, most exciting man in boxing today.”

With a frenzy taking place and fans screaming for free promotional gifts as other undercard fighters shadow boxed and skipped ropes to help promote Saturday night's event, Team Cobbs arrived for their turn. The polite, soft spoken, and thoughtful twenty-nine-year-old flipped a switch as he stepped through the ropes.  By the time his feet landed inside of the ring he had transformed into the “The Flair,” and started shouting into the cameras and towards the fans.  Instantly understanding and showing the world that inside of the ring is not only his sanctuary, but also his stage.

Cobbs even showed off one of his unique training techniques to the crowd.  After spinning around in a circle to off-set his balance, Cobb was tossed three balls that he started to juggle.  The thought process being that he can train his body and mind to successfully juggle three balls while dizzy.  This form of training will lead to an improved ability to fight and maintain coordination if he is ever hurt and dazed from a punch.  Once his time inside of the ring ended, Cobbs left the ring and the public workout area.  Minutes later, he had internally flipped the switch back off and was once again, Blair.

The road for Cobbs arrival to fight week has been nothing but unorthodox, even for the often-crazy unpredictable world of boxing.  His backstory and road to the sport is something the best screenwriters and producers in Hollywood couldn’t even come up with.  “There are many chapters that explain my life.  I was born in Philadelphia and lived in Beverly Hills where I went to high school.  Another chapter was having to move with my father and sister to Guadalarja, Mexico.  That’s where I learned to box.  Boxing and that ring became my sanctuary,” stated Cobbs.

It was back in 2004 that Cobbs and his sister were suddenly moved to Mexico by their father.  Eugene Cobbs was a prime target of the FBI who were searching for him in connection with an air plane crash in West Virginia.  Eugene had allegedly crashed a private plane and fled the scene because inside of the plane was 525 pounds of cocaine.  With the U.S. Marshals closing in on him and his family, Mexico became home for the Cobbs family.

Once in Mexico, Cobbs tried his best to adapt to his new surroundings by picking up the language, which he speaks fluently.  He wandered into a boxing gym and took to the sport like a fish to water.  Cobbs would keep a low profile to keep his family together everywhere except for inside of the gym.  “I was fighting like every weekend and it was great.  I was in some real knockdown drag out fights,” recalled Cobbs.  In 2007, Eugene was captured and Blair was set free as he was able to return to his home country.  He found himself back in Philadelphia after a stint in New York, but with no money and no prospects for financial gain.  Cobbs once again found sanctuary behind the walls of a boxing gym.

“I was unprepared for the streets of Philadelphia.  I was all over the city, West, North, Germantown.  Surviving those city streets is hard.”  Through boxing Cobbs was able to make his name in the city in the same fashion that he did while fighting and trying to survive in Mexico.  After turning professional in 2013 he found some success in and out of the boxing ring.  Cobbs still had no financial stability but was training locals at the Joe Hand Boxing Gym and using whatever money he could put together to eat properly and train.  While living out of his car, he finally received a break when he was noticed by former associates of Bernard Hopkins.

Once again, Cobbs decided that it would be best to try and establish himself in a new environment to continue his path in boxing, so he moved to Las Vegas.  This move occurred because, despite knowing associates of a legend, he couldn’t get a fight on the grounds that no one wanted to face him.  His career was at a turning point, thus the move out west.  Former WBA bantamweight champion Clarence “Bones” Adams was serving time and met Cobbs' cousin.  They spoke about Blair and Adams agreed to meet with the young talent upon his release.

They immediately connected not just through boxing, but through their shared experiences and similar backgrounds.  Adams was so convinced that Cobbs was a special talent that he got Brandon Woods, his former trainer, to return to Las Vegas to help with training and Cobbs' development.  Finally having a steady home in Las Vegas and a stable team to support his growth as a fighter and man, Cobbs won several fights in a row. He reconnected with the former associate of Bernard Hopkins in Vegas, and after a few more wins, signed a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions.

With boxing being Blair Cobbs' sanctuary in Mexico, New York, Philadelphia, back to Mexico wining professional fights, and now in Las Vegas, at 29, Cobbs needs to make a splash before his physical prime runs its course.  After all, father time waits for no man, not even the Flair.  He is aware of this and along with his back story, his ability to speak fluent Spanish (which opens him up to the Latino market), his fan friendly fighting style, and his willingness to interact with fans, Cobbs has finally reached the moment for his career to start taking off towards bigger fights, which also means bigger pay days.  The first step for Cobbs to take towards his ultimate goals starts tomorrow night when he steps through the ropes and into the ring, which after all, is the place he also calls his “sanctuary."


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Photo - BoxRec.com


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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Coach Larry Wade Interview

By Luis A. Cortes III

While in Las Vegas for the big fight weekend, I caught up with strength and conditioning coach Larry Wade at Luis "King Kong" Ortiz's Media Day. Wade and I discussed Ortiz's upcoming fight with Deontay Wilder on November 23, 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

You can stream our interview on both SoundCloud and iTunes:


Coach Larry Wade Interview with Luis Cortes on SoundCloud


Coach Larry Wade Interview with Luis Cortes on iTunes






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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Showtime Boxing - Lubin vs. Gallimore, Easter vs. Granados results

By Chris Mealey

Showtime boxing returned to Reading, Pennsylvania for the first time since 2002, and delivered over a dozen exciting match ups, on top of displaying the admirable performances from the boxers.  The Weigh-In tackled down these bouts and will summarize each fight in order.

///Undercard///

Fight 1: Brandon Glanton vs Jose Corral (Cruiserweight) 6 rounds

Pressure was established early on by Glanton. The jab was consistent and Corral survived the first round, but took some brutal body punishment to get by.

Almost a repeat of the first round, Corral needed to show more improvements that he just couldn't find for the next two rounds. It was in the third round, when Glanton stormed in with a quick combination, Corral was sent to the canvas, which was ruled a slip due to bad balance with the punch connecting. Corral would then retire this fight on the stool, leaving Brandon Glanton as the winner via TKO before the fourth round.

Winner: Brandon Glanton

Fight 2: Darrion Lawson vs Rene Nazare (Super Middleweight) 4 rounds

A patient start by the southpaw from Flint, as Lawson was trying to time and potshot Nazare. A somewhat close opening round with Nazare keeping Lawson in a honest fight. Pressure was strong by Lawson, finding success with the lead right hook off the southpaw stance. An incredible lead hook floored Nazare, leaving him out cold. This was a big win for Lawson via 2nd round KO, elevating his record to 2-0

Winner: Darrion Lawson

Fight 3: Jose Miguel Borrego vs. Likar Ramos (Welterweight) 8 rounds

Generalship and control in the center of the ring was executed by Borrego.  His defense and level of calm was almost methodical, giving Ramos problems. Borrego shifted into second gear during round two, putting a lot of stern pressure on Ramos, almost rattling him with the lead left hook. Ramos showed heart and survived the round. Borrego came back with more pressure and sent Ramos down with a left hook to the body. Incredible as Ramos got on his feet, but was soon sent back by a right hook to the body, a switch hit from Borrego that kept Ramos down to conclude the fight before round four.

Winner: Jose Miguel Borrego

Fight 4: Norman Neely vs. D'Angelo Swaby (Heavyweight) 4 rounds

Hooks off the jab by Neely controlled the opening round. Good counter right hands by Swaby got Neely to come forward and aim combinations on the inside. A crisp uppercut sent Swaby down and he was hurt. Neely quickly took advantage of the situation and landed sharp combinations, forcing the official to stop the bout two minutes into the very first round.

Winner: Normam Neely

Fight 5: Jonathan Torres vs. Julio Garcia (Bantamweight) 6 rounds

Torres continued to show dominance and improvements  in each and every fight. Garcia doesn't have any answers as Torres lands at will, with both inside and outside fighting.Torres gets right back into his rhythm in round 2, sending Garcia down with a series of body shots. Garcia gets up, only to face more deadly combinations and goes down again. A final third time to the canvas leaves the ref with little choice and stops the fight 2:04 into the 2nd round, elevating Torres to a record of 7-0 (3 KOs)

Winner: Jonathan Torrres

Fight 6: Eimantas Stanionis vs. Evincii Dixon (Welterweight) 6 rounds

A rugged first round as Stanionis kept the fight close and inside, not abandoning the body pressure. Only two minutes into the opening round was all it took for Stanionis to land the money shot to keep Dixon down for the ten count. Stamionis elevated to 9-0 with 6 KOs.

Winner: Eimantas Stanionis

Fight 7: Zamy Larry vs. Antonio Hernandez (Middleweight) 4 rounds

Clean boxing and a chess match by both fighters. Close opening round to the end, but Zamy Larry may have stole it in that last minute. Round two was action packed like the first. Hernandez landed flurries of combinations and Larry took three to land one, which didn't seem to be enough. Big round three for Hernandez as he landed his best punches of the fight. Rotating action made this a brutal fight and easily one of the best undercards. Occasional low blows from Larry forced a break, giving Hernandez time to recover in round four, followed by the sound of the bell in the final round. This went to the cards with scores of 38-38 and 39-37 (x2) - in favor of Antonio Hernandez.

Winner: Antonio Hernandez

Fight 8: Zach Dubnof vs. Brent Oren (middleweight) 4 rounds

Tenacious start with shocking straight punches from Oren, that appeared to hurt Dubnof. A huge opener for Oren out of the blue corner. Oren continued to control this fight on the outside, frustrating Dubnof. A near repeat of the first round as Oren utilized a very slick, yet awkward outside style, clearly puzzling Dubnof. A turn of events as Dubnof hit Oren below the belt in round three. After recovery time, Oren was then jumped by extra pressure from Dubnof. The closest round yet. Dubnof found success going to the body and remained persistent with the approach, trying hard to earn back the fight during this final round. The cards read 38-36 x3 for Brent Oren.

Winner: Brent Oren

Fight 9: Raeese Aleem vs. Saul Hernandez (Super Bantamweight) 8 rounds

This bout was a close chess match, with occasional overhands to the body by Aleem, who appeared to land the bigger shots in this close bout. Power shots from Aleem to kick off round two. Hernandez remained composed and was staying in the fight, but lacked punch output. Good fight, but in Aleems favor. Hernandez took a lot of punishment in all of round three, and was encourged by his corner to stop the fight before the start of the next round.

Winner: Raeese Aleem.

Fight 10: Jessy Cruz vs. Ernesto Guerrero (Super Featherweight) 6 rounds

A somewhat dull and slow start with little action would quickly change by round two. Cruz and Guerrero were both patient on the outside, yet a sudden body shot from Cruz sent his opponent down, bringing more energy to the fight. The action was slowly diminishing, making it a hard fight to score until the last and most action packed round. Cruz got wobbled by a 1-2 combination that looked to hurt him bad, yet he was able to recover well and boxed his way back well. Going to the cards with scores of 59-54 - the winner was Jessy Cruz.

Winner: Jessy Cruz

Fight 11: Ricky Lopez vs Joe Perez (Super Featherweight) 10 rounds

Close chess match for the opening round between these super featherweights. Lopez and Perez tried to time each other on the outside, fighting in close rounds. The strong counters by Lopez started to bring the energy to this fight, even bringing the crowd out - chanting Ricky- Ricky! This kept the momentum high. Lopez would have the most success in the repetitive and close rounds up until the final bell, going to the cards with scores of 98-92 across the board For Ricky Lopez

Winner: Ricky Lopez

//Televised Showtime Bouts//

Fight 12: NABO Heavyweight Championship Frank Sanchez vs. Jack Mulowayi 10 rounds

First half of the opening round was patient outside fighting by both boxers. The Cuban flash, Sanchez, looked to land the lead left hook, which soon found its home as he kept Mulowayi on the ropes. Sanchez found most success on the outside and the occasional inside game was also on display, giving Mulowayi trouble. Big body shots from Sanchez opened up the the third round and Mulowayi seemed hesitant to engage. The dominance by Sanchez made this a non -friendly one-sided fight, but still a impressive display of skills from Sanchez as he earned the decision victory.

Winner: Frank Sanchez

Fight 13: Easter Jr. vs. Granados (Super Lightweight) 10 rounds

These two popular boxers could have been the main event based on their names,  but the fight alone said more about the quality of fighters Granados and Easter really are. Fighting at 140, both men were at their comfort weight. Easter pushed the jab early, looking sharp in round one, as he landed a significant uppercut. Granados tried to make this a phone booth brawl in return. Easter continued working the outside for the most part, but Granados had his relentless pressure that was hard to knock off. Granados took a huge left hook, but landed power of his own, later forcing Easter to engage in a brawl which is something he did not need to do. Granados won on the inside, Easter on the outside. In the final round, a huge rally from the crowd, chanting BUNNY! BUNNY! really maintained the hype in what was already the fight of the night. This bout appeared a lot closer than how the judges had scored it, with cards that showed 97-93, 98-92, and 100-90 all for Easter Jr.

Winner: Robert Easter Jr.

Main Event: Erickson Lubin vs Nathaniel Gallimore (Super Welterweight) 10 rounds

Patient and slow start in this main event, which was surprising considering the tension these fighters emitted at the press conference and weigh-in. Both pawed the jab and felt each other out. Lubin with some body straights would be setting the pace for this bout. Gallimore had his best moment in round three, which sparked a brawl with Lubin, making it the closest round yet. Lubin regained his zen and started to control the ring at a phenomenal rhythm, landing superb counter shots that surprisingly never put Gallimore down. This consistency by Lubin would be the norm for the rest of the fight, but with no backing down from Gallimore, who just couldn't seem to increase his punch output. This went to the judges cards and all three would see it the same, making Lubin the clear winner. Cards: 99-91 (x3) for Lubin.

Winner: Erickson Lubin

A fantastic night of boxing and a real treat for the city of Reading. Showtime, TGB, and Kings promotions came together for the fighters, fans, and all the viewers around the world. The Weigh-In is looking forward to next time and are ready to give you all the breakdowns in boxing shows to come. At the end of the day, boxing will always be the sweet science in the world of sports and the Red Dot City of Reading certainly wears this sport on their sleeve, providing one night of fights to remember.


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