Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What Tyson Fury Said In 2017: Not So Crazy Now?

A boxing fan, or even one working in the field today, may likely imagine that you need more than just skills and physical power to beat Tyson Fury. In fact, we could say that prior to Fury's last few fights, that his last opponent, Deontay Wilder, had some of the highest willpower, or 'drive' in the division of heavyweight giants. A "will to win" that was perhaps unmatched, until facing his nemesis known as the "Gypsy King" Tyson Fury. 

Fury has done what most thought was "unlikely" in dominating Deontay Wilder, stopping him in round 7 to recapture a world title for the second time in his career. With this victory, he also captured one world belt Fury had never acquired in his career, the WBC title belt.

Let's revisit a quote during a period when most of us thought the comments were somewhat of a joke, or unfathomable at the time. When the majority of the boxing world didn't believe in "the comeback" of Tyson Fury. There were fans who believed he was just "cashing out" and had minimal interest in returning for more than one big fight. A few years ago, before the two memorable bouts with Deontay Wilder, such other "crazy talk" is now to be taken seriously today. Words directed at another World Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua.

Tyson Fury (2017)

I ain’t coming back to money, I tell you what I’m coming back for – to rid a fraud [Anthony Joshua] out of the heavyweight division.

I'm telling everyone now, from the bottom of my heart, I can play with that bodybuilder, no problem.

I’ll take one fight at a time, me. I like it when I’m supposed to lose, and that’s when you get the best Tyson Fury.

Let’s face it, I’ve been through depression, life and death situations, to come back against all the odds, turn it all around, get myself back in training.

When I say I’ve never been more confident, or more serious when I say something – I can play with that bodybuilder.

I mean play with him like a cat playing with a ball of wool. Hands behind my back, touching the top of my head, making a right mug of him.

If I get hit, I’ll be highly, highly disappointed if he can even land a blow on me, never mind beat me.

The fans know this tale to be something you almost only see in a Hollywood film. Fury's story is well known if you haven't heard it before. What soley went from getting back in shape, to working on his mental health and taking care of himself, has turned into one of the greatest comeback stories in boxing, arguably sports history. What was "the big two" heavyweights, has become "the big three" in Wilder, Fury and AJ.

Wether you rank Anthony Joshua, or Tyson Fury as the number one heavyweight is probably going to receive little argument. That, as well as the fact that their potential title fight being earth shattering and record breaking for both UK and world Heavyweight boxing as a whole. The other grasping visual is Tyson Fury's baffling ability to seemingly make his words a reality. The Gypsy King had stated he would take back his thrown, and as it stands now, boxing fans will think twice before doubting the two time World Heavyweight Champ. 

Photo - BoxRec.com

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wilder vs. Fury Preview and Predictions

As of Sunday, less then one week before Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, the William Hill Sports Book at Monmouth Park Race Track in Long Branch, NJ did not have prop bets posted. The moneyline had Wilder the favorite at -100 and the underdog Fury at a +100. On Tuesday, William Hill posted it's prop bets.

Two International Boxing Hall of Fame writers Nigel Collins and Bernard Fernandez weighed in on their view of the contest.

Fernandez:  If I can take Tyson Fury at his word-he claims he will meet Deontay Wilder in the center of the ring and swap haymakers and get him out of there in two rounds. That can only be a good thing for Wilder, a less slick boxer but a substantially harder hitter. Even if Fury tries to outbox Wilder over twelve rounds, that means more time for the “Bronze Bomber” to lower the boom. I’m going to call it Wilder by KO in eight rounds.

Collins:  “If switching trainers from Ben Davison to Javan Hill really does increase Fury’s punching power, the “Gypsy King” has a legitimate chance of beating Wilder. But at this stage of Fury’s career, that’s probably not possible. He is what he is. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine Fury boxing better than he did in the first fight, which would mean totally avoiding Wilder's bombs. This time the ref saves a groggy Fury after he gets up wobbly from a knockdown.

The plays on these two pundits predictions are:

Wilder to win -110

Wilder to win by KO TKO DQ +125

Will the fight go the distance:  No -140

With Bernard picking it to end within eight rounds, the under/over bet is 10.5 with under at +100

Eric Armit of England has been covering boxing for sixty years and was on this year's IBHOF ballot. Armit was in total agreement with his contemporaries  mentioned above. Hard one to predict. If Fury can stay out of trouble for twelve rounds he will win but for me Wilder will have learned more than Fury from the first fight. Wilder’s right hand will be the decider  as he stops Fury late in the fight.

Other predictions from around the world of boxing:

Sugar Ray Leonard - Wilder to win a 12 round decision.

Larry Holmes - Wilder to win by KO in round 7 or 8.

Thomas Hearns - Wilder to win a 12 round decision.

It was difficult to find anyone within the boxing community that chose Fury. Former world champions Paulie Malignaggi and Carl Frampton picked Fury, as did 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Michael Conlan.

Malignaggi:  Fury by twelve round decision. I feel like it’s going to be Fury on points. It’s a fight between the two best fighters in the weight division. The onus is Wilder making adjustments. Fury is a great boxer who can probably be better at avoiding the shot the second time around.

Frampton:  I think it’s a very difficult fight to call. Fury won the last one by a mile. I think Wilder will be more aggressive this time which will play into Fury’s hands  Wilder can win by KO at any moment but put a gun to my head and I’d say Fury by points.

Conlan:  Fury by decision. Fury needs to be even more careful this time. He looks like he’s put in some serious work and is ready to finish what he started the first time.

The plays on these boxing notables' choices:

Fury to win +100

Fury by decision or technical decision +160

Will the fight go the distance:  Yes +105

Under/Over 10.5  Over -130

Holding onto “old school” traditions this scribe will wait until the fighters hit the scales to render a selection. At that time, the Cadillac CTS will be fired up and pointed towards Monmouth Park.

Image result for tyson fury vs. deontay wilder 2 poster

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

NXT Takeover Portland

By Steve Ward

In an interesting scheduling change last month, there was no Takeover event the night before last month’s Royal Rumble but instead a Worlds Collide show that pit NXT and NXT UK against each other. With WWE making another cash-grab trek to Saudi Arabia in a couple weeks for their only RAW/Smackdown pay-per-view in February, the Superstars of NXT took center stage in a rare Sunday extravaganza. The six bout card featured the defense of all four NXT titles, and was headlined by Tomasso Ciampa’s stab at redemption as he battled Adam Cole for the NXT Championsip - a title he never lost.

NXT North American Championship
Keith Lee (c) vs. Dominic Dijakovic
Winner: Keith Lee via pinfall

Takeover got off to an electric start as two of the most agile heavyweights in the industry renewed their rivalry in a war. Dijakovic wasted no time delivering a move worthy of a “Mamma Mia” chant as he delivered a top rope moonsault to Lee who was seated in a chair positioned between the announce tables. Dijakovic appeared poised to earn his first NXT title after executing another spectacular move in the form of a top rope Spanish Fly, however, his back gave out in an attempt to subsequently hoist up Lee which opened the window for the champion to land the Big Bang and retain his title.

Street Fight
Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai
Winner: Dakota Kai via pinfall

Close friends became bitter enemies at NXT War Games when Dakota Kai viciously attacked Tegan Nox preventing her from participating in the match. The bitter rivalry came to a head this evening as the two battled in a Street Fight. Dakota Kai wasted no time bringing the fight to Nox as she launched an ambush while Nox made her entrance to the ring. What was a fairly solid match ended up being ruined by a mishap in the end. Raquel Gonzalez made her way to ringside as Kai was laid out on a table thwarting Nox’s attempt to put her away. Gonzalez first hung Nox up on the rope and pushed Kai off the table. Gonzalez then scaled the ropes, grabbed Nox by the throat, and propelled her toward the table - unfortunately the table didn’t break. This allowed Kai to seal the victory and apparently earn a new cohort in the process.

Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano
Winner: Finn Balor

After viciously attacking Gargano and putting him on the shelf, Balor made their feud personal. Gargano responded with a vow to use a victory over him to solidify his NXT legacy.  What began as a slow-paced bout, finished in a blaze of glory. Shortly after the fight had spilled to the outside of the ring, Finn sealed the deal with a gut-busting Coup de Grace followed by the 1916 DDT to put an exclamation point on an impressive victory.

NXT Women’s Championship
Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Bianca Belair
Winner: Rhea Ripley via pinfall

After an impressive showing in this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble match, Belair earned a shot for the title as she won a #1 contender’s battle royal on a recent installment of NXT TV. While Belair has made quite the name for herself since her debut, it has seemed inevitable that Ripley will defend her title against Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania - Flair only waiting to accept the challenge until after Takeover. Belair certainly pulled out all of the stops in arguably her best performance to date, however, it wasn’t enough as Ripley put an abrupt end to a very entertaining contest as she executed the Riptide for the pinfall. 

Following the match, Ripley’s celebration came to a crashing halt as Charlotte Flair emerged from the crowd and flattened the champion in the ring. Flair then requested a mic and told Ripley she would see her at Wrestlemania!

NXT Tag Team Championship
The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’ Reilly) vs. The Broserweights (Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle)
Winners: The Broserweights

Following their rather surprising chemistry and subsequent victory in the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, the Broserweights found themselves with a title opportunity this evening at Takeover. It appeared that a lack of experience as a team would bring about the demise of Dunne and Riddle in the closing moments after Dunne received an inadvertent spear, however, they overcame the superior tag team prowess of the Undisputed Era to win the NXT Tag Team Championships with an overwhelming flurry of tandem offense.

NXT Championship
Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Winner: Adam Cole

Adam Cole’s 260 day title reign was put on the line this evening as Tommaso Ciampa sought to regain the title he was forced to relinquish prior to his neck surgery. This bout was an absolutely visceral affair as both competitors left nothing on the table with the greatest prize in NXT at stake. Ciampa withstood a Panama Sunrise (Cole’s version of the Canadian Destroyer) at ringside to answer with Willow’s Bell and the Fairytale Ending but it wasn’t enough as Cole kicked out.

Cole’s Undisputed Era cohorts then made their way to ringside in an attempt to implement the number’s game, however, Ciampa briefly disposed of them with a vaulting corkscrew over the top rope. As if things couldn’t get more intriguing, the referee was then knocked out (of course). In what seemed to be a modest evening of the odds, Johnny Gargano arrived at ringside and grabbed the title belt. As Ciampa went to the ropes, Gargano struck him in the face with the belt all while wearing a DIY shirt in a shocking turn of events. This allowed Cole his opportunity to cover Ciampa for the victory as the referee conveniently reemerged to count the 1-2-3.

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Showtime Boxing: Russell Jr. vs Nyambayar Fight Results

By Chris Mealey

A stellar night of boxing embarked at the PPL Center, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where a World Featherweight title fight between Champion, Gary Russell Jr and Tugstsogt Nyambayar took place. The venue displayed performances from rising prospects, former world champions, and of course, the fight fans who came to support the event.

The Weigh-In: Your Home for Combat Sports will now breakdown and present the results from Saturday night's Premier Boxing Champions card, broadcasted on the Showtime network. Fights are listed in order, from the undercard bouts to the televised main event.

Fight 1: Marlon Bolen vs Larry Ventus (Welterweight)

The opening round was a stark and tenacious approach from Bolen, as he found continuous success in landing body shot combinations. It appeared Bolen had too much power and punch output for Ventus to handle, as the referee decided to jump in and stop the fight at the very end of round two.

Winner: Marlon Bolen via TKO [Round 2]

Fight 2: Rajon Chance vs Joseph Quintana (Super Bantamweight)

Rajon Chance wasted little time in his first professional boxing debut. Instantly charging his opponent, Chance managed to send Quintana tumbling onto the ropes from a crisp combination, which caused the official to step in, ruling what was a proper knockdown. Shortly after giving Quintana the count, Chance rushed back to inside fighting, smothering his opponent. The consistent damage became too much for the man in charge to allow, as this fight was stopped at 1:41 into the very first round. Not a bad way to start off a boxing career!

Winner: Rajon Chance via TKO [Round 1]

Fight 3: Gary Antonio Russell vs Jesus Martinez (Bantamweight)

Yes, the name Gary Russell is no stranger to boxing. Gary Antonio is one of the younger brothers of Russel Jr, the Champion and headliner for this event. In this bout, a few slips, trips and low blows from Martinez would be the only sore when watching these two fight. Rounds progressed with Russell controlling the pace landing thunderous left hands from a southpaw stance, seemingly frustrating Martinez. It was shortly after the 6th round, when Russell floored his opponent and after Martinez rose up, Russell continued the aggression, leaving the referee with little choice, stopping the bout at 1:30 in the 6th round.

Winner: Gary Antonio Russell via TKO [Round 6]

Fight 4: Jonathon Rodriguez vs Edwin Eduardo Neri (Bantamweight)

Rodriguez (Formerly known as Torres) was one of the crowd favorites in this Allentown event. The undefeated prospect was raving to fight and was relentless from the opening round, all the way to the end. Inside brawling, outside boxing and practically everything in between, Rodriguez's arsenal was executed at superb rates. These factors may help describe the courageous heart and durability from Edwin Eduardo, as the boxer would not go down and refused to back away from all that Rodriquez threw. This bout was the first to go to the judges last night, with two cards scored at 60-54 and the 3rd judge, scoring it 58-56, all in favor of Rodriquez

Winner: Jonathon Rodriguez [Unanimous Decision]

Fight 5: Gary Antuanne Russell vs Jose Marrufo (Super Lightweight)

Ah, another Gary Russell fighting on the undercard? A younger sibling of the World Champion strikes again. Gary Antuanne Russell is well known for his tenacious power, and made sure to make his presence known with that same punching ability. What seemed to be a competitive start, was over in a quick and ideally perfect combination by Russell, throwing the left downstairs, then catching Marrufo with a right hook on the chin, flooring him, leading to the declared knockout/wave off by the official in the ring at 2:12 in the very first round.

Winner: Gary Antuanne Russell via KO [Round 1]

Fight 6: Jamontay Clark vs Anthony Lenk (Super Welterweight)

The first round kicked off with patient boxing from both of the southpaw boxers. They measured with their jabs, scoping each other out. Clark, who seemed to be the bigger and stronger man in the ring, began to land stern pot-shots, one punch at a time, yet landing at will. Clark exhaled and shouted while he threw, which helped elaborate how hard the punches were thrown. Lenk had a shining moment in round 4, landing a stunning head shot over Clark, following up with pressure, which was a good redemption round for Lenk. Clark had found his rhythm again in the last two rounds, which would cement his decision victory, having two judges score the bout 79-73 and one judge scoring it 78-74

Winner: Jamontay Clark [Unanimous Decision]

Fight 7: Martino Jules vs Pablo Cupul (Super Featherweight)

You would have thought that the flashy Martino Jules was the main event of the night, after hearing the eruption from the Allentown crowd. What better way to shine in a sport than fighting in your hometown? The undefeated Jules made quick work In this bout against Cupul, as Jules backed Cupul into a corner, constantly landing at will. Just as Cupul was on his way down to the canvas, the referee jumped in to stop the fight at 2:39 in the first round.

Winner: Martino Jules via TKO [Round 1]

Fight 8: Jaime Arboleda vs Jayson Velez (Super Featherweight) - WBA Eliminator

Considering the constant action and close rounds, this was arguably the "fight of the night." Instant classic from start to finish. Velez would find much success in landing significant counter-punches, on top of landing his own combinations during inside exchanges. During virtually every round, Arboleda was landing just as many clean shots as Velez, making these rounds a nightmare for any boxing judge. The right cross counter seemed to be the moneymaker for Velez, but it was the last round where both boxers threw all they had, causing the crowd to burst with astonishment. Velez scored a knockdown halfway through this final round, but Arboleda found the strength to get up and finish the fight strong. A suspenseful reading of the score cards declared Arboleda the winner in a somewhat controversial split decision victory. One judge had the bout 115-112 for Velez, another scored the bout 115-113 for Arboleda. The final score was 114-113 for the winner Jaime Arboleda.

Winner: Jamie Arboleda [Split Decision]

Co-Main Event: Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Liborio Solis (Bantamweight) - WBA World Title

When it comes to skillful boxing tactics, or the art of "hit and don't get hit" - most cannot compare to the former pound for pound star, Rigondeaux. Unfortunately, that usually means displeased fight fans who just want to see action. It was not easy to watch this match with full attention, considering the immense booing from the crowd, yet this is something that rarely phases boxers, especially Rigo. Solis gave Rigo an honest first half of the fight, providing some difficult puzzles (especially in the first round). For one moment, in what felt like light speed, the booing from the crowd turned into loud cheers as Rigondeaux dropped Solis with a lunging uppercut during the middle of round seven. Rigo never gets carried away, always staying composed, rarely going in for the kill after dropping his opponents. Solis and Rigo would go back to patient chess-boxing, leading to another scorecard result. 115-112 for Rigo, 115-112 for Solis and the final card awarding a split decision victory for Rigondeaux at 116-111.

Winner: Guillermo Rigondeaux [Split Decision]

Main Event. Gary Russell Jr. vs Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Featherweight) - WBC World Title

It's always rewarding for everyone in the arena when the main event delivers the anticipated action that's desired in any night of boxing. The strong power puncher and challenger, Nyambayar, must've brought a Mongolian army with him to this Allentown venue. Though what was also a house full of Gary Russell fans, the crowd had Mongol flags waving around in each section. Throughout this fight, Tugstsogt was keen in applying pressure, but without giving up too much defense, even causing Russell to trip up and fall in the first round. Gary was established his famous hand speed and quickly got into his rhythm from round two onward. Blinding combinations, ring generalship and practically everything we've seen from Russell before, but this time against a hungry, well proven challenger who (in Gary's words) "has nothing to lose." Though Gary seemed to dictate most of the tempo and rhythm of this title fight, "King Tug," as the crowd referred to the Mongolian warrior, Nyambayar would keep this a honest and competitive fight despite the rounds he lost. A unanimous decision declared Gary Russell Jr the winner, with scores: 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110. 

Winner: Gary Russell Jr. (Unanimous Decision)

Showtime Boxing, Premier Boxing Champions, Kings Promotions and TGB Promotions had shined thoroughly well at the PPL Center in Allentown. It's always a bonus for all involved in the sweet science when fights are enjoyable, arenas are packed, loud and with the utmost energy leading up as boxers make their way to the ring. The Weigh-In looks forward to covering future pugilistic events as they emerge throughout 2020. 

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Video by Luis A. Cortes III

Support The Weigh-In: Your Home for Combat Sports by Shopping World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Products!


Video by Luis A. Cortes III

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

Quotes from the Gary Russell Jr. vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar Final Conference and Weigh-in

By Chris Mealey

My toughest challenger is myself. I never focus on my opponent. My toughest challenge is preparing myself to the best of my ability. I think he's a good fighter. I think he's going to bring his physical best. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose, but I feel as though he's going to need a little more than that. The difference will be my speed, punching power, ring generalship and boxing IQ.
I believe that all three of the Russell brothers can be world champions. I want us to be the set of brothers that makes history. I'll be in the corners for my brothers tomorrow night. It's fun. It's something that I genuinely enjoy doing, and supporting my younger brothers is definitely what I want to do. Hopefully, we'll all get these "W's" come tomorrow night.
I don't feel any pressure that my whole country will be watching. I'm a fighter and this fight is mine. I'm here to win. This will be a good fight and I'll be the next champion.
This is really my weight - 118. I fought at 122, but I feel very comfortable at 118. Boxing is like mathematics, so we're going to adjust to whatever my opponent brings. We can box and also, what you saw in my last fight, we can pressure. I can also bring that tomorrow.
There's always that same hunger to win a championship again. It's been a while, so I want it back. With faith in God, I will get it back tomorrow. I want to state that me and Guillermo are both warriors. We're both going to give a great show out there. If he comes out boxing, then I'll box him. If he comes out with pressure, like he did in his last fight, then I will come out that way. We both want this fight. We know it's a great opportunity and I'm going to show the best of me tomorrow.

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Gary Russell Jr. vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar Final Conference and Weigh-in

By Chris Mealey

The events leading up to the WBC World Featherweight Champion bout between Gary Russell Jr. and Tugstogt Nyambayar at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA have been what some may call the "calm before the storm." On one side of the table, a flamboyant, energetic champion, and on the other side, a man of few words, the hungry challenger who prefers letting his hands do the talking.

Nyambayar is a boxer with a young but impressive record of 11 victories, with 9 of those wins inside the distance. Earning two silver medals in both the 2009 Championship Games and the 2012 London Olympics. These feats are not to be overlooked, as the champion Russel Jr.,  knows not to look past his opposition.

"The Mongolian people are warriors." "I won't look past Nyambayar."

Though the Champion has stated he will not look ahead of his challenge on February 8th, he has still emphasized his will to face bigger names in the sport.

"I want to fight Gervonta Tank Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, all those guys"

Russell Jr. will make his first title defense this year, having been away from the ring since May 2019, while Nyambayar will be shaking more of the rust off from his last bout in January 2019.

Undercard matchups taking place before the Showtime main event will display a list of popular prospects who are aiming to make their presence known as they continue climb up the rankings.

Super Featherweight 4 Rounds:
Martino Jules vs Pablo Cupul

Super Bantamweight 4 Rounds:
Rajon Chance vs Joseph Quintana 

Bantamweight 8 Rounds:
Gary Antonio Russell vs Jesus Martinez

Bantamweight 6 Rounds:
Jonathan Torres vs Edson Eduardo Nero

Super Welterweight 8 Rounds:
Jamontay Clark vs Anthony Leno

Welterweight 4 Rounds:
Marlon Bolen vs. Larry Ventius

Super Lightweight 10 Rounds:
Gary Antuanne Russell vs Jose Marrufo

WBA World Super Featherweight Eliminator 12 Rounds:
Jamie Arboleda vs. Jayson Velez
*Jason Velez was one pound overweight.

Co-Main Event WBA World Bantamweight Championship 12 Rounds: 
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Liborio Solis

Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime will air at 9pm EST/ 6PM PT, while the doors open at the PPL Center at 5PM EST. 

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Matchroom Boxing USA's Super Bowl of Boxing

By Frank Bartolini

Miami Beach has palm trees, coconuts, Cuban sandwiches and ladies with inflated rear ends enveloping their thongs. Miami was hosting Super Bowl 54 and Miami Beach attracted the rich and famous. Driving by in a glaring white Bentley, Joe Pesce could barely see over the steering wheel. Enjoying the warm weather, Mark Cuban jogged down Collins Ave. High-end ticket scalpers only get to deal this week. For these ticket hawkers, the score on the big game only comes once a year and nothing compares except for the NCAA Final Four, World Series, NBA Championship and a Heavyweight Championship of the World fight.

Hoards of harlots arrived into town peddling flesh, whisking their Johns into nondescript dives on Collins Ave. You see Collins Ave. is off the strip and its beauty lies in the Art Deco architecture. Ocean Ave. aka The Strip is one block over and runs along the beach and restaurants that blare JLo, Rihanna, Beyonce and of course salsa music out onto their canopied decks filled with customers who have Margaritas and rum filled drinks. High-end shops that sell Gucci, Prada, Polo and other glitzy brands squeeze in between, but the action and fun lies on Collins Ave. Maxine's Bistro & Bar serves drinks and food all day and night. During this week, in the wee hours of the morning you can always find the boxing world's hardcore revelers strolling in for a drink and one last bite to eat. Matchroom Boxing USA's CEO Eddie Hearn chose this environment to promote a top notch night of fights the Thursday prior to Super Bowl Sunday.

For Eddie Hearn, what is referred to as football in his native England does not resemble the game by the same name in America. As a matter of fact, what Americans call soccer is the United Kingdom's football. With this knowledge in hand, Hearn decided to promote a night of championship battles and a side show act featuring two YouTubers with huge followings.

The venue, the Meridian at Island Gardens, was a steel makeshift building that was going to host concerts the following two nights, with Lady GaGa headlining Saturday night. On Sunday, pre- and post-Super Bowl parties were scheduled. Nicely done inside and out with bars and food stands under the roof and several entertainment booths outside, the building held five thousand seats and three thousand five hundred were filled in for the fights. By the following Wednesday, the Meridian Arena will be dismantled and carted away, leaving memories and an empty lot.

Two world championships changed hands. Trying to successfully defend his IBF Super Featherweight Belt for the fifth time, Tevin Farmer of Philadelphia, PA dropped a twelve round unanimous decision to Jo Jo Diaz of Downey, California. Diaz, the former WBA World Featherweight title holder, entered the ring with blonde locks and a piece of his left eyebrow shaved. He got on a plane back home with a record of 31-1 with 15 ko’s. This was Farmer's first loss in eight years as his record drops to 30-5-1 with 6 ko’s.

Entering the ring unified WBA and IBF World Super Bantamweight king, Danny Roman, Los Angeles Calif., was an unusual +250 underdog against Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Namangan, Uzbekistan. A give and take battle that could have went either way, Akhmadaliev won a twelve round split decision by scores of 115-113 twice and the other judge seeing it 115-113 for Roman. A rematch will be welcomed by all those who watched the contest. Roman is 27-3-1 with 10 ko’s. The new champ Akhmadaliev stays undefeated at 8-0 with 6 ko’s.

Only WBO World Middleweight Champion Demetrius Andrade of Providence RI, entered and left the ring with his belt around his waist. Only seconds after the opening bell chimed, southpaw Andrade had challenger Luke Keeler of Dublin, Ireland, eating resin dust from a straight left hand to the chin. From that point on, Keeler put forth a game effort until he was stopped in round ten. Keeler returns to the Emerald Isle 17-3-1 with 5 ko’s. Two weight division title holder Andrade remains undefeated at 29-0 with 18 ko’s.

Matchroom Boxing USA's next stop on its roadshow is Frisco, Texas on February 29, when Mikey Garcia takes on Jessie Vargas.

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