Monday, March 25, 2019

Let the Renaissance Continue

By Luis A. Cortes III

After last week’s super fight in Dallas and the start of college basketball’s annual March Madness tournament, boxing didn’t exactly take a complete back seat in the world of sports.  Sure, opening day for baseball is set for later this week along with the continuation of college basketball’s tournament, but, unlike in other years when boxing would tend to take a hiatus during the weeks in the holiday season, all four major sports have key dates in October, the dog days of summer, and the spring.  Boxing this year continues to heat up on the calendar with several major shows still yet to take place.  This weekend shows, promoted by major outfits, found a way to fit into the already hectic sports schedule.  This is yet another indication that the sport is dealing with a renaissance with the various platforms that have invested in boxing.

Top Rank Promotions and ESPN used this weekend to showcase a returning former world champion and a top heavyweight contender in a fight that was more than just a stay busy assignment.  Former WBO Jr. Featherweight Champion Jesse Magdaleno (26-1)( 18 KOs) returned to the ring for the first time in close to a year with a ten round decision win over former world champion Rico Ramos (30-6)(14 KOs).  Last April, Magdaleno lost his jr. featherweight championship to Isaac Dogboe in a fight that was as brutal in terms of the physical punishment that both fighters absorbed.  While Magdaleno came up short, after an extended time away from the ring to regenerate his body and mind, Magdaleno returned this time making his debut in the featherweight division. 

It was a good performance by Magdaleno as he showed that although he was off for a full year, he didn’t seem to have any major lingering obvious effects from his war with Dogboe.  He was able to move fluidly as well as pull the trigger with both his jab and combination punching.  Ramos on the other hand had trouble letting his hands go and it looked as if he was overthinking the fight, while Magdaleno was fighting instinctively.  This is a good sign for Magdaleno, since many undefeated champions after a brutal loss can show signs of losing a step physically and mentally (confidence) in his abilities.  Although this fight with Ramos was a true cross roads fight for both men, it is indeed a good sign for Magdaleno that he seems to have put last April in the rearview mirror as his career begins its new journey.   

Moving forward there are some real good options for him for some big fights at featherweight.  One of those options was mentioned during the broadcast, a fight with his stable mate and current WBO champion Oscar Valdez.  Yes, it’s true they are friendly with each other, but business and championships shouldn’t get in the way of this fight being made.  When it is made, sign any boxing fan up to watch a fight that easily could be a fight of the year candidate.  From the looks of Magdaleno the featherweight, the only thing that was noticed was the fact that while he showed real good power four pounds lighter at jr. featherweight, fighting as a full featherweight may be the heaviest division for him to compete in in terms of his natural power.  Which again, will make a fight with Valdez even more interesting.

Heavyweights were the main event of the night, with Kubrat Pulev (27-1) (14 KOs) winning by TKO in the seventh round over the game Bogdan Dinu (18-2)(14 KOs).  Coming into the fight, Pulev was rated as the number one contender in the rankings by the IBF.  This means he could have easily waited for a chance to have the sanctioning body force a fight with their current champion Anthony Joshua, or have him fight for the vacated title if Joshua would chose not to fight him.  With Top Ranks recent signing of the lineal champion Tyson Fury, Pulev and Top Rank understood that it would be wise to showcase Pulev in a solid matchup to increase his name recognition to make a fight with Fury in the future more appealing.  This gamble was worth it both in terms of future business and entertainment for fans watching on ESPN.  Pulev survived some powerful right hands from Dinu that caused a serious cut over his left eye, that put the outcome in jeopardy for Pulev.  A sense of urgency took over and Pulev answered any questions about his grit and determination as he battled back to stop Dinu.  In the process, he gained the recognition needed to justify a shot against any of the top three champions in the division, as well as interjecting his name into the minds of the casual boxing fan that follows the heavyweight division.  It was a successful night for the fighters and thus a solid show for Top Rank Promotions during a weekend being dominated by what was taking place around the country on the hardwood.  

FS1 Card – Sunday

While Top Rank squeezed in their card on Saturday night, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) broadcasted their show on Sunday evening from Maryland featuring a welterweight fight between Lamont Peterson (35-5)( 17 KOs) and Sergey Lipinets (15-1)(11 KOs).  Going into the fight, with the welterweight division being the hottest in the sport outside of the heavyweights, Peterson and Lipinets were trying to stake their claims that their names should also be mentioned with the current champions and big-name contenders for future fights.  Peterson, for his part, had already fought most of the big names in the division and was trying to make one last run at championship glory.  Lipinets, was setting out to prove that after his lone loss at jr. welterweight against Mikey Garcia, was behind him and that he is ready to face key opposition as a welterweight. 

Normally my thoughts would include things that took place throughout the entire card, which included some entertaining fights.  However, in this case, the main event went above any expectations and turned out to be a solid fight.  With both fighters aware of their current career positions, they wasted no time trying to establish that it was going to be their evening.  Everything that Peterson did throughout the fight consisted of veteran moves, which at times had Lipinets confused.  Peterson dedicated his attack to the body with whipping right hands and left hooks.  At times, some of the shots wandered a bit south of the boarder to stop Lipinets from coming forward.

These veteran tactics were met and countered with energy from Lipinets, the fresher of the two fighters.  As the fight progressed, Lipinets was down on the scorecards, but continued to plow ahead and never wavered from his approach of applying pressure and throwing power punches.  After a ten-round war, Lipinets kept scrapping away with his punches, which caused Peterson to abandon his veteran moves and accept he invedibable.  After taking several last stands against his younger foe, Peterson was clearly hurt at the end of the ninth round and hung on to hear the bell. 

The inevitable came to fruition in the tenth round when Peterson was dropped to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight.  Bloodied and clearly beaten down, his trainer and father figure Barry Hunter decided that his champion had enough and threw in the towel.  It was clearly a decision that might not have been easy for other trainers to make on the behalf of Peterson’s well-being, considering that he was ahead in the fight.  However, for Hunter it was clearly an easy choice to make.  Once the announcement of the result was made, Hunter took the microphone and along with Peterson stated that his fantastic career had come to its end.

Thank you to Lamont Peterson for his entertaining career and dedication to the sport of boxing.  He always handled himself in a professional manner and gave fans and the media access to his incredible story that saw him rise from the streets of Washington D.C., as a homeless youth with his brother Anthony, to becoming a national champion and standout amateur before becoming a two-division world champion.  His five losses came only against other world champions, and aside from his losses to Errol Spence and Lucas Matthysse (during Matthysse’s solid run), Peterson was competitive in all his fights and gave everyone he fought fits.  His career best win came against Amir Khan in a great fight in 2011 and unfortunately there was never a rematch.      

As for Lipinets, his name will now be thrown around as a possible opponent for any of the welterweights affiliated with PBC.  He most likely will get his shot at one of the main names when the business of some of the bigger fights may get in the way from being made.  Fights against Thurman, Porter, and even a fighter like Ugas would be interesting while they last, however, those outcomes may be a little easier to determine considering the fact that a younger Peterson would have most likely had his hand raised in victory last night.    

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

“Where the Hell Are You Going?” Witherspoon Gets TKO after Silgado Exits Ring

By Steve Peacock, Ringside

Perhaps Panamanian boxer Santander Silgado misconstrued Mark Fratto’s words when the Rising Star Promotions ring announcer proclaimed “It’s go time!” late Saturday night. But just two rounds later in the scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight against Chazz “The Gentlemen” Witherspoon of Paulsboro, N.J., Silgado (28-7; 22 KOs) indeed decided to “go”—quite literally. Silgado exited the ring, enabling the referee to subsequently raise the hand of Witherspoon (38-37; 28 KOs), who won by way of TKO.

As Silgado began to traverse the decorative rug toward the Showboat-Atlantic City arena exit, multiple audience members, clearly angry and disappointed, peppered him with shouts of “Where the hell are you going?”

It remains unclear why he apparently abandoned basic boxing-sportsmanship protocol by failing to remain in the ring while the announcer formally revealed the winner.

It remains perplexing why Silgado—who intermittently unleashed jolting lefts to Witherspoon’s body and did not appear to struggle greatly with his otherwise undaunted opponent—would, so it seemed, spontaneously terminate his Main Event fight.  

One knowledgeable but anonymous observer of the fight expressed to The Weigh-In, however, that the answer was not as complex as it seemed. “It’s simple,” he said. “He quit. Plain and simple, Silgado quit.”

N.J. Welterweight State Welterweight Championship

Several attendees—this writer included—opined that the co-main event between Anthony “Juice” Young of Atlantic City and Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr., of Union City, N.J., unequivocally demonstrated combat qualities worthy of Fight of the Night designation, even if informally.

After the opening Round-One bell of this recently formed N.J. Welterweight State Championship title, Young (20-2; 6 KOs) wasted no time in asserting dominance. He landed a pair of powerful shots to the face of Rodriguez, who alternated between reciprocating and merely attempting to reciprocate, however aggressively, however unsuccessfully.

One notable but wild shot from Rodriguez missed yet no doubt would have stung Young if he had effectuated that desired fist-to-face connection.

“Juice,” however, dramatically if not with a hint of comedy feigned relief by slowly pretending to wipe his brow with his glove.  

Young soon after floored Rodriguez, albeit momentarily, and the first ended with both boxers solidly remaining in contention. In the next round, a resurgent Rodriguez reminded Juice it was not too late to get squeezed, connecting multiple punches to the face and body of Young, who appeared unfazed.

Over the next few rounds, a cadre of Rodriguez supporters in the audience repeatedly screamed “Watch out for his right! Watch out for his right!” It was a wise warning, particularly in the fifth when Young unleashed a battering barrage of blows that simultaneously demonstrated his vast endurance while exposing its limits.

This level of intensity, impossible to sustain indefinitely, was unmatched out of all ten Boardwalk Boxing bouts. Understandably, it also slowed Young’s punching pace.  Clearly exhausted and potentially vulnerable,  Juice nonetheless hit Rodriguez not only powerfully enough to deliver him to the canvass, but to send him tumbling end-over-end.

“The Beast” got to his feet and made a last-ditch effort to survive, but “Juice” immediately overwhelmed the wobbly and befuddled Rodriguez, who then stumbled into the ropes. The ref stopped the fight at the 1:12 mark of the sixth, and Anthony “Juice” Young was then crowned N.J. Welterweight State Welterweight champion.

Heavyweight Bout

Quian Davis (6-0; 2 KOs) of Vineland, N.J. from the start of this 4-round bout exhibited signs he might dominate  Larry Knight (3-17; 1 KO) of Birmingham, Alabama. Knight was no pushover, but he simply could not connect enough punches to be considered a viable threat. Unsurprisingly, Davis emerged victorious by way of unanimous decision.

Middleweight Special Attraction

Although Chris “Sandman” Thomas of Toms River, NJ, emerged victorious after six rounds by way of unanimous decision over Joe Hughes of Indianapolis, significant grumbling simultaneously emerged from the audience. Thomas (12-0; 7 KOs), who failed to make weight and literally had a sizeable advantage over Hughes (6-2; 4 KOs), was the target of derision from some audience members, several who lamented—in their opinion—the purported inadequacy of Sandman’s punching technique. Thomas, taller than his opponent, repeatedly leaned over and onto him clearly to further wear him down. The ref deducted a point for doing so, but Thomas maintained a narrow but wide enough margin point to secure the win.

Super Middleweight Bout

Gabriel Pham (10-1; 4 KOs) of Pleasantville, NJ, by way of TKO defeated Ronald Montes (18-12; 16 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia. Though appearing to be equals in the first, the start of the second prominently featured Pham slamming a sequence of rights into Montes, who returned the favor with some solid shots of his own.  After a brief delay following the third, Montes swiftly departed as the announcer stepped into the ring to declare Pham the winner.

Light Heavyweight Bout

Although scheduled for eight rounds, officials after four full rounds suddenly stopped the fight between Frederic Julan (11-0; 8 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Milton Nunez (35-22) of Miami. Considering there was minimal action worthy of mention, it remains unclear why the fight was halted.

Middleweight Bout

Jersey City’s Robert Terry remains undefeated (3-0) after beating Roanoke, Virginia’s Albert Delgado (0-7-4) by way of unanimous decision after four rounds. Each of the three judges scored the contest 40-36.

Welterweight Bout

Yurik Mamadev (11-1; 3 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. early in the bout exhibited an edge over  Jordan Rosario (3-7) of Jersey City, whom he peppered with a trio of left hooks but little else significant enough to warrant specific mention.  Rosario in the sixth briefly let loose an unexpected combo of shots that feasibly could have altered the outcome of the match; in the final seconds of the fight, however, Mamadev unleashed a brief battering of his opponent that seemed to say, “See, I told you I was on top.” All three judges score the fight 60-54 and Mamadev emerged victorious by way of unanimous decision.

Super Featherweight Bout

This “Garden State Battle,” as announcer Mark Fratto put it, pitted Andrew Bentley (5-3) of Jersey City against Vidal Rivera (9-1; 5 KOs) of Camden. Bentley early in the bout conveyed authority over the ring. Rivera in the second landed multiple shots which, at best, briefly stunned Bentley, who soon after turned around and dropped Rivera to a knee prior to Round Two’s conclusion. Despite this temporary setback, a resilient Rivera briefly pounded his opponent. Nonetheless, the fight was stopped at 2:14 of the fifth due to Bentley’s accidental head butt of Rivera. As the planned six-round bout had met and surpassed the NJSACB four-round minimum, all three of the judges’ scorecards—50-45, 49-46 and 48-47—unanimously were in favor of Bentley.

Lightweight Bout

Alejandro Salinas (10-1) of Youngstown, Ohio threw the first slaps of leather of the evening in his defeat of Pablo Cupul (10-29) of San Diego. After a Salinas punch sent Cupul stumbling backwards during the fifth of, the ref stopped by the fight, thereby giving Salinas the TKO victory.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

UFC Fight Night 148 Results: Pettis Shocks Wonderboy

By Justin Dohnson, The People's Red Head

Do you hear me knocking? Well, let me in! Finally! The People’s Red Head has come back to The Weigh-In!

UFC Fight Night 148 took place at the Bridgestone Arena Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Nashville Tennessee. It was an interesting card with most bouts going the distance. The main event was Anthony Pettis versus Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. The co-main event was Curtis Blaydes versus Justin Willis.

Anthony Pettis defeats Stephen Thompson via second-round knock out

Let us dive right into it people. Pettis knocks out Wonderboy Thompson in round two, with a superman punch. What a win for Pettis who was struggling the last couple years with a 3-6 record. Pettis said he feels good at 170lbs, and this showed in the fight. While he looks forward to what is next for him, hoping that it is the winner of Edson Barboza vs. Justin Gaethje, or a rematch with Rafael dos Anjos, we will have more to come, as information becomes available.

Wonderboy does not have much to look forward to. The fall for Wonderboy has been as fast as his rise to the upper echelon of the sport. We are talking about a fighter who took former champion Tyron Woodley the distance twice. Wonderboy falls to 1-3-1 in his last five fights. Fans may forget he lost a controversial decision to Darren Till.

It is likely that Wonderboy will have to fight his way back into contention. We will keep you posted as more information on his next fight becomes available. It is worthy of note that this is Wonderboy’s first knock out loss of his career.

Curtis Blaydes defeats Justin Willis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Blaydes redeems his loss to Francis Ngannou by dominating Justin Willis from start to finish. Willis talked a lot of trash leading up to the fight and it backfired. Blaydes will now move back up in the heavyweight division.


John Makdessi defeats Jesus Pinedo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Jussier Formiga defeats Deiveson Figueiredo by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Luis Pena defeats Steven Peterson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Maycee Barber defeats JJ Aldrich by way of second-round knock out

Special Thanks To:
Ward Bros. for Backyard Wrestling
CBS Sports for MMA and March Madness Coverage
Spittin Chiclets Podcast (Not a Big Deal)
Omaha Steaks (Just love that meat in my mouth)

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Devil is in the Details: Wilder Returns to Showtime May 18th

By Luis A. Cortes III

To say that the rumors swirling around the next fight for WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1)(39 KOs) were too many to count would be an understatement.  The biggest rumor circulating was that DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA had offered a three fight deal worth upwards of $100 million to the Wilder camp.  When it became apparent that Wilder, who is a promotional free agent and is managed by the legendary Shelly Finkel, would not take the large offer, outcry against the champion began to occur from many boxing insiders and fans throughout the world of social media.

Involved in the proposed deal was $20 million for a first fight in May against a top contender and his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale (21-1)(18 KOs), as well as two fights against the unified WBA/WBO/IBF champion Anthony Joshua (22-0)(21 KOs), with a reported $40 million for the first fight and a subsequent rematch being offered.  What was not accounted for was the fact that while the numbers were high and there were guarantees from the streaming service DAZN, the fights against Joshua would determine who the best heavyweight in the world is and would be tantamount to the largest business that the sport.  It would be the type of financial gain that would make past super fights like Lewis vs. Tyson look small.  These super fights between the two champions would no doubt equal a huge bump in terms of paid subscriptions to DAZN.  Something that Wilder in this first offer would not have any percentage of.

Guarantees from DAZN, while large, do not account for all the other revenue that would be generated.  Revenue from things like sponsorships, possible percentages from the purchases of pay-per-view buys, as well as the live gate.  While $80 million for two fights with Joshua sounds like a no brainer, in terms of where Wilder is as a brand name as the only current American heavyweight champion, the possibility to make more money and upwards of $50-$75 million for a single fight with Joshua, if it were broadcasted on pay-per-view, would make any fighter consider alternate routes.

DAZN, for their part will continue to broadcast title defenses from Joshua. However, until a business model is created where fighters who are not signed to Golden Boy Promotions or Matchroom Boxing can reap benefits from the revenue generated aside from a guarantee, such as the possibility of a percentage from new subscriptions generated from the announcement of the mega fight, or the monthly fee being raised from $9.99 a month to $25-$30 for the months that a Wilder-Joshua fights would be scheduled for, they will struggle to attract talent like Wilder.

With the monthly cost returning to its original $9.99 once the fights and months they are scheduled for are completed, these suggestions are just food for thought at this point and are things that will be kicked around by the brass and decision makers.  One thing is clear though, top tier champions and independent fighters like Wilder will continue to compete away from signing to streaming services if the details of super fights are not ironed out.  Wilder for his part is making it clear that like several past big named champions in the sport (Sugar Ray Leonard, Mikey Garcia, and Floyd Mayweather) is adamant that he will retain his independence from any promotional outfit, electing instead to continue to work with established relationships (PBC), unless an offer is made that he can’t refuse.

This brings us to the announcement today from Brooklyn that Wilder will indeed return to the ring on Saturday, May 18th against Breazeale.  While this seems to be a fight that can turn out to be entertaining, Breazeale, unlike Wilder's last opponent Tyson Fury does not carry a name large enough for the fight to be carried on pay-per-view.  As a result, and to the credit of Wilder, a deal was struck for the fight to be broadcasted live on Showtime.  Details of this deal have not been released, but it proves that Wilder is once again banking on himself as the premier heavyweight name (especially in America) as he continues to build his name and brand.  It’s a gamble on himself that if he continues to be victorious can pay off in the end when the eventual negotiations between the Wilder camp and Matchroom Boxing, the promoter of Joshua, start up again after Joshua’s title defense in June.

How this all plays itself out will be interesting to see.  One thing is for sure though, however this type of mega business is done to satisfy all parties involved could lead to a trickledown effect that will benefit boxing and its fans.  Other less lucrative super fights in the sport, such as Crawford-Spence or Lomachenko-Garcia, could in turn be figured out by the parties involved based off how Wilder-Joshua is eventually made.    

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Errol Spence Jr. vs Mikey Garcia - Live Updates

By Milo Taibi, Ringside

Image result for spence garcia

PBC/Magna Media: Unbeaten IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol "The Truth" Spence Jr. defends his title against undefeated four-division champion Mikey Garcia in a highly anticipated and historic showdown for pound-for-pound supremacy that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, March 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Weigh-In will be ringside at AT&T Stadium providing live updates and results! Stay tuned here for undercard and main card action from Arlington, TX.

Jose Valenzuela vs Christian Velez 
  • Walkout bout time! Thanks to the slew of early stoppages tonight, only one of 17 bouts will follow the main event. Valenzuela secured a knockdown in round one, Velez looking unsteady entering the next frame. Valenzuela floored Velez again 1:40 into the 4th round, and the referee waved off the contest. Jose Valenzuela improves to 3-0, which caps an action-packed evening in Arlington, TX.
Errol Spence Jr vs Mikey Garcia 
  • Feel-out round to open things up. Mikey has his moments in the second frame, but we've got two evenly matched rounds entering the third. Spence targets the body with more frequency in the third, he holds a 2-1 lead on my scorecard entering the 4th. 5-1 Spence at the halfway mark. Errol was really busting up Mikey in the 6th, and could run away with the fight unless Garcia switches up strategy. The pro-Mikey contingent has fallen silent at AT&T Stadium, as Garcia's getting picked apart. 6-1 Spence entering the seventh, with "The Truth" showing no signs of wearing down. We reach the final bell, and judges render 120-107, and 120-108 x2 scorecards for Errol Spence Jr. Dominant performance, but let's see Spence against a guy of his caliber next time...preferably a welterweight. 
David Benavidez vs J'Leon Love
  •  J'Leon Love and David Benavidez come out cracking in this 10-round co-feature. Biggest shot of the round was a left hook that wobbled Love. Benavidez (21-0) whales away on Love (24-3-1) to open the second round, and the fight is stopped 1:14 into the frame. Grumblings of an early stoppage on press row, but Love had nothing for the younger Benavidez- likely time for J'Leon to consider hanging 'em up.
Lindolfo Delgado vs James Roach 
  • This bout was added to the PPV after a string of early stoppages. 2016 Olympian Lindolfo Delgado (9-0) continued this trend, stopping Roach (5-2) at 2:59 of the first round. Wipeout from the opening bell.
Luis Nery vs McJoe Arroyo
  • The long, lean southpaw Nery makes his PBC debut after a controversial run in Japan. Arroyo and Nery feel one another out in the opening round. Arroyo is knocked down in the second round. He beats the count, but Nery inflicts further punishment before the bell rings. All Nery entering the third round. Arroyo was knocked down again in the third, and the former titleholder is facing an uphill battle to win on points. Arroyo is floored by another Nery flurry in the 4th, and this has turned into a blowout. He beats the count, but hits the canvas again shortly after. Referee Laurence Cole lets Arroyo continue, but his corner does the right thing by stopping the fight between rounds. Luis Nery improves to 29-0 in his US and promotional debut.
Chris Arreola vs Jean Pierre Augustin
  • Augustin comes out in a southpaw stance. He's looking to tangle up and frustrate Arreola, who would prefer to slug it out. Jean Pierre hits the canvas during the first round but it's ruled a slip. Augustin out-landed Arreola through two rounds, but ate a straight-right from Arreola to open the third round, and was staggered badly. Arreola secured a knockdown shortly after, and then stopped Augustin standing up when the fight resumed. Chris "The Nightmare" Arreola improved to 38-5-1, proving he still has gas left in the tank. 
Charles Martin vs Gregory Corbin
  • Martin busting Corbin up through the first two rounds. The 38-year-old Corbin is resilient, but plodding as he maneuvers the ring. Corbin has a point deduced for low blows in the fourth round, no warning given. Another point deducted from Corbin in the 5th round, he's getting routed and almost certainly will need a knockout to win tonight. Corbin has a THIRD point deducted for low blows in the 6th round. The most recent infraction could have been a DQ, Corbin's facing an insurmountable deficit on scorecards. Through seven rounds, Corbin had landed 24 punches...woof. Good grief, Corbin goes low again in the 8th, and this fight is mercifully stopped. Charles Martin (26-2-1) picks up a much-needed W, albeit a painful one. Corbin had three points deducted for low blows and landed 26 total punches over 7+ rounds...shameful performance.
Marsellos Wilder vs Mark Sanchez
  • Mark Sanchez (0-3) provided little resistance in a 90-second TKO loss to Marsellos Wilder (4-1). Marsellos, Deontay Wilder's little brother, needed a get-back win after his January upset loss to William Deets. 
Fernando Garcia vs Marlon Olea 
  • Fernando Garcia (12-0) remains undefeated with a TKO win over Marlon Olea (14-5). Stoppage came 2:50 into round five. Olea now on a 2-5 skid over his last seven bouts.
Amon Rashidi vs Gabriel Gutierrez 
  • Gutierrez was down three times in a TKO loss to Amon Rashidi (6-0). Stoppage came 24 seconds into the sixth round. 
Jesse Rodriguez vs Rauf Aghayev
  • Rodriguez (9-0) picks up a TKO after Aghayev was unable to continue in the third round. 
Thomas Hill vs Limberth Ponce
  • Thomas Hill (8-2) beat Limberth Ponce (17-4) via split decision. Scorecards were 60-54 Hill, 59-55 Ponce, 58-56 Hill. Very entertaining scrap between the two super welterweights.
Aaron Morales vs Fernando Robles
  • Morales scores a 2nd round knockdown. Robles beats the count, and makes it through the round. Morales (6-0) would go on to pick up a wide decision with 60-53 x2, 59-54 scorecards. Robles (2-1) gritted it out to hear the final bell.
Adrian Taylor vs William Deets 
  • Nebraska native William Deets (7-13) scored an upset TKO of Marsellos Wilder in his last outing, but had no such luck against Adrian Taylor (9-1) tonight. Taylor picked up a UD win with 40-36, 39-37 x2 scorecards. 
Luis Coria vs Omar Garcia
  • Garcia dropped in the first round by the heavy-handed Coria. Omar hits the canvas again early in the second round, and the referee waves the bout off. Luis Coria improves to 11-2 with a TKO 53 seconds into the second round. 
Burley Brooks vs Randy Mast
  • Randy Mast, whose nickname is "The Exterminator," gets dropped by a body shot early in the fight. Mast writhed in pain on the mat, and was quickly stopped on his feet when the action resumed. Burley Brooks (1-0) picks up a win 1:16 into the first round of his debut.
Robert Rodriguez vs Fernando Ibarra De Anda
  • The 2-0 Rodriguez fights out of a southpaw stance, with "BIGGIE" emblazoned on his trunks. Rodriguez outclassed Ibarra en route to a unanimous decision; 39x37, and 40x36 scorecards twice.

Mikey Garcia Reaches for Greatness

Throughout the promotional build up for the mega showdown between IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence (24-0)(21 KO’s) and current WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0)(30 KO’s), the common theme has been that Garcia is simply put too small to contend with Spence.  Granted Garcia, while going for a world championship in a fifth weight class, will be jumping up two weight classes from where he currently holds a championship.  Garcia has fought at the 140-pound limit before, winning the IBF version of the championship, and while Spence will indeed be the biggest natural fighter that Garcia has ever faced, he is an experienced fighter that has been across the ring from every type of fighter that you can think of stylistically.

It’s this type of experience that Garcia believes will guide him to victory over the supremely talented Spence.  Six years ago, while still fighting under the Top Rank promotional banner, Garcia took on Juan Manuel Lopez for a portion of the featherweight title.  Garcia was defending his title but wound up losing his title on the weight scale when he failed to make weight.  While the fight went on (ironically in Dallas), Garcia wound up re-hydrating 14 pounds over night and entered the ring the much larger man at 142 pounds.  Since that fight, over the next six years, Garcia has consistently taken on tough challenges as his career continued to rise both in the pound-for-pound rankings and heavier weight divisions. 

Having flirted with the welterweight division before competing against a couple of naturally bigger fighters at 140 pounds, Garcia recognized an opportunity to fight the current welterweight champion that many within the boxing industry have dubbed the next great champion.  Spence presents not just the biggest challenge in terms of physical size, but it’s also the type of challenge that will plant Garcia atop the pound-for-pound tree of the best fighters in the world.

For this challenge, Garcia enlisted the help of SNAC (Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning) to help his body, gain the proper type of strength for this monumental challenge.  “We had to build more mass, a little more muscle, leading up to this fight.  But we don’t want to compete against Errol with just size and muscle.  I want to use my other talents.  I want to use my other attributes, like my speed, reaction time, my explosiveness,” Stated Garcia during a recent phone interview.  It’s that type of skill set that has gotten Garcia to this point in his career. 

Garcia throughout his career has established himself as a fighter with some of the best timing during a fight.  He may not have the most powerful jab, the fastest jab, but he knows exactly when to throw it.  His foot movements along with the jab have helped him to control both the pace of the fight and the range.  The fact that he has been able to do this against every style he has faced thus far makes it even more impressive.

“We want to make sure that we kept all of my feet and muscle work and I feel very good with the results.  We had a great training camp and I don’t think the size is what I’m going to be using.  So that’s what we have focused on and making sure that everything else was done in the right way,” stated Garcia.  This is what makes this fight such an intriguing matchup.  We will find out just how much all of the work with SNAC in order to truly gain the right type of size to compete with Spence will translate into the actual fight. 

“We had to make adjustments, we had to figure out how to use my range and my timing against a bigger guy, against a left-handed fighter.”  Garcia also went on to mention that before the boxing training took over this camp, and he was still working with SNAC, his weight got up to 160 pounds.  It was the work back at his brother's boxing gym that helped him to shed the extra pounds of muscle and to get his weight back to the welterweight division.  While Spence will be taking fight week to make weight getting the extra pounds off and re-hydrating once the limit is met, Garcia will most likely only gain a couple of pounds between the weigh-in and the start of round one.     

Granted, Errol Spence is indeed the biggest fighter Garcia has ever faced when they fight.  However, size doesn’t always mean victory.  Even if the size is accompanied by a tremendous body attack and the type of power that any fighter would love to possess, skills and a high ring I.Q. also have their place in boxing, especially when you are dealing with fighters on this, the highest level of the sport. 

Garcia will look to establish the range against Spence with his well-timed jab.  It’s his jab along with a hard-right hand after he pivots to his left to avoid the return punch from Spence that Garcia will use early to score and warm up in the fight.  If he can land his hard jab consistently on Spence, whom for his part has never really shown that he naturally moves his head as he moves forward, he may be able to start to lock up Spence’s neck and this can have the same effect on an opponent that a vicious body attack can.

If Garcia sees this working in his favor and he is controlling the range and dictating the pace of the fight, look for him to start trying to get inside of the longer arms of Spence and once on the inside rip power punches on angles.  It’s the common opinion of many experts and boxing insiders that Spence’s body attack, hard left hands, and good right jab will not allow any of this to play out in Garcia’s favor.  Although this may be the case, the whole world of boxing agrees about one thing:  Garcia reaching out to take on this challenge to cement his legacy in the sport is something that makes the sport so unique from every other one.  It’s the reason why people are true fanatics of the sport, because we all enjoy witnessing when a fighter like Garcia reaches for greatness. 

Farmer Punishes Carroll over 12 Rounds in St. Patrick's Day Showdown

By Luis A. Cortes IIIRingside

The opening two rounds between Tevin Farmer (29-4-1)(6 KO's) and Jono Carroll (16-1)(3 KO's) were a bit slow as Farmer tried to get a feel for the type of fighter Carroll was.  In the third round, both fighters opened up as Farmer started to counter punch Carroll moving from side to side in order to avoid the punches from Carroll's high work rate.  These heated exchanges continued into the fourth round, but Farmer started to move away from Carroll until they started to exchange on the inside again.  

Farmer had a big fifth round landing clean counter punches that were powerful.  At one point, Farmer knocked the mouth piece out of Carroll's mouth.  The follow-up rounds saw Carroll bring a lot of activity to the fight, but he was constantly getting hit by the more accurate counter shots from Farmer.  Round eleven saw Carroll get beaten up by Farmer around the ring.  A huge right hook that Carroll didn't see rocked him, and he was a few more shots from being dropped.  

After twelve rounds of action all three judges scored the fight for the champion Farmer, 117-111 twice and 117-110.     

Taylor adds another belt to her impressive resume 

Unified featherweight champion Katie Taylor(13-0)(6 KO's) of Ireland and Rose Volante (14-1)(8 KO's) started fast as Taylor was able to land a short straight right that dropped Volante.  Following the knockdown, Taylor was able to control the early rounds with her skillful combination punching and footwork.  She caused a cut on the nose of Volante and punished her to the body with a left hook that stopped Volante's movement.  

Taylor came out in both rounds eight and nine throwing fast combinations in order to put a hurting on Volante.  She kept landing a beautiful left hook to the body that clearly was taking a lot out of Volante.  At the 1:40 mark of the ninth round, the referee stopped the fight.  With the victory, Taylor is now the unified WBA/WBO/IBF Featherweight Champion, and continues to move up the pound-for-pound ranks.    

Sulecki beats Rosado after he wars back in ten round battle

Things started out slow between Gabe Rosado (24-12-1)(14 KO's) and Maciej Sulecki (28-1)(11 KO's), until Sulecki caught Rosado bending down with a right to the ear that dropped him and wobbled the Philly native.  Rosado rose to his feet and finished the round, but as was the case in the second round,  Sulecki controlled the tempo and range of the fight with the harder punches.  In round three, Rosado was able to find a home with an overhand right that allowed him to control the round. 

Several of the next set of rounds started off with both fighters trying to use their jabs to establish control.  With the fight getting close in terms of the fighters exchanging winning rounds,  Rosado came out in the eighth round to try and get control of the fight.  As he threw a pair of power shots, Sulecki countered with a powerful left hook right hand combination that dropped Rosado.  Although he got up, Rosado was dazed and wobbled into a corner where he did his best to avoid power punches and make it out of the round.  

Round nine set the Liacouras Center on fire, as Rosado connected with a huge right hand that dropped Sulecki.  Rosado jumped all over his hurt opponent and mugged him with punches until he went down a second time.  They both warred in the tenth round, but it was Rosado landing upper cuts in close range that came away with the last round.  Sulecki was awarded the decision 95-91 twice and 95-93.  It was a great fight, that once again showed Rosado's warrior heart by making it an interesting ending.     

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Luke Campbell (20-2) (16 KO's) stopped Adrian Yung (26-6-2) (20 KO's) in the fifth round, after overpowering him with a great body attack.  

Former amateur standout Raymond Ford (1-0) won his professional debut over Weusi Johnson (3-11) with all three scoring the contest 39-36.  Ford landed a big left hand that floored Johnson in the first.    

Daniyar Yeleussinov (6-0) (3 KO's), the Olympic champion, remained unbeaten by beating rugged veteran Silverio Ortiz (37-24)(18 KO's).

Sparrow wins majority decision over Lundy in grudge match 

In the Philadelphia grudge match between lightweights Hank Lundy (29-8-1)(14 KO's) and Avery Sparrow (10-1)(3 KO's), it didn't take long for the action to heat up.  Lundy had a good first round, landing a big left hook that stopped Sparrow in his tracks and shook up his back leg to win the round.  Sparrow answered with a huge second round, by landing powerful over hand rights.  Lundy's glove touched the canvas for the first knockdown.  The second knockdown came from a fierce right during an exchange that dropped Lundy flat on his back.  He rose to his feet and finished the round.  

Rounds three, four, and five saw the pace slow down a bit, as Lundy turned a war into a boxing match.  It was back to exchanging bombs at the end of the sixth round, with both fighters landing big right hands.  After six rounds, the fight was close in terms of rounds won by each fighter.  However, Sparrow had the huge second round.  

Rounds seven and eight was a return to a boxing match.  With the fight entering the final two rounds, the fight was closer than the second round would have suggested it would be.  After the ten rounds of good action, the decision would be up to the three judges.  One judge scored the fight 94-94, while the other two scored it 96-92, and 95-93 in favor of Avery Sparrow.  

D'Mitrius Ballard (20-0) (13 KO's) stopped Victor Fonesca (17-10-1)(14 KO's) in the fifth round of a super middleweight fight to start the show.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Primal Fight Promotions Fight Night 3

By Chris Mealey, Cageside

The Robbinsville High School was roaring with energy and the need for combat as a near packed house of spectators filled the gymnasium for the third event hosted by Primal Fight Promotions. Six bouts, all of which were contests by promising amateur mixed martial artists. A story of each meeting will be told, ending with the extraordinary title fight that left the fans more than satisfied.

*Samir Zaimi vs Jarrod Musko (161 class)

Embarking on the night was the first contest between lightweights, kicking off with Musko charging in early and grappling which eventually led to a war on the ground. Each round had a close start, but it was Zaimi who scored the most points on top, landing body blows on the ground as well - cruising to a unanimous decision victory.

Seth Pattserson vs *Charles Lamantia (147 class)

Tactical start as both fighters patiently made their moves. Patterson displayed solid generalship around the cage and took chances on the outside, as Lamantia closed the distance. From the second round on to the end of the fight, Lamantia had maintained enough points through striking and ground control to earn himself a unanimous decision victory.

*Aram Monokian vs Damion Gilleo (147 class)

Both men showed no interest in backing down during this bout and for a brief time, each fighter scored on the outside through striking. A significant takedown by Monokian in the first round, with Marshall surviving with ground defense until the sound of the bell. With another big takedown in the second round, projected a similar display and almost looked like a repeat of the first. The successful wrestling by Monokian would pay off, and what looked to be the game plan from the start, was finding and securing the Arm Bar - causing Gilleo to tap out towards the end of the final round.

Chauncey Rudolph vs *Francis Marshall (168 class)

Two of the biggest warriors of the night to fight at welterweight competed in the shortest bout, that ended in a dramatic fashion. Marshall displayed brilliant ground control and did not let off after securing his leverage on the canvas. Pinning Mosley near the corner of Marshall's, would lead to constant advice in aiming for a seemingly huge target for the North/South choke, and the coaching payed off as that submission transitioned, causing Rudolph to pass out forcing the referee to stop the fight.

*Robert Mosley vs Jonathan McNatt (175 class)

Leading off with tight grappling for the first minute turned into a small brawl on the inside, as well as adequate striking on the outside by each Fighter. The first round was close and hard to score due to one take down a piece and the competitive exchanges on their feet. The second round appeared to be just as close until Mosley found huge success with the triangle choke, submitting McNatt at 1:25 of the round.

(TITLE FIGHT) Josue Del Rios vs *Adam Prieto (130 class)

Primal Fight Promotions main event was electrifying from the minute ring announcer Steve Peacock rallied the crowd, introduced the fighters, and from the time the first and final bells rang. Rios and Prieto  crash into each other,  throwing bombs for punches in the first round, with relentless tenacity that any fan would appreciate for a main event/title fight. The PFP Featherweight Title was on the line, and the warriors showed their grit continuing the action, with Prieto having the slight edge in the close, yet decisive rounds. There was a good balance of striking and ground tactics, leading to a unanimous decision victory for Adam Prieto, with one judge scoring the bout 29-28 and the other two judges both scoring the fight 30-27.

Ring Announcer and TWI Contributor Steve Peacock with Adam Prieto. Photo: Anthony Certa

Primal Fight Promotions will be holding their next event Fight Night 4 on April 27th.

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