Andy Townend and Maxi Hughes Secure Stoppage Wins in Doncaster

  • By Behind The Gloves
  • 27 Nov, 2017

Andy Townend and Maxi Hughes both secured stoppage victories in impressive fashion at the Doncaster Dome this past weekend, pushing themselves into the conversation for title shots in 2018.

Barnsley’s lightweight Townend dismantled Peter Cope in five rounds, repeating his victory over the Hartlepool man in 2014, whilst Hughes stepped up to lightweight and promptly demolished Danny Cassius Connor in four rounds to add a rare stoppage victory to his record.

Townend lived up to “KO Kid” moniker, putting Cope, who had started well off the back foot, down with a short right hand in the first round. Cope recovered well and the fight descended into a bit of a mess as the pair ended up on the floor three times after the feet got tangled up due to the mix of southpaw and orthodox.

However, Townend re-adjusted and his power shook Cope with every shot he landed. Another right hand put Cope down early in the fifth and from there the floodgates opened as Townend couldn’t miss. He was patient, pressing forward intelligently and took his opportunities when they presented themselves.

Cope was down twice more from the same shot, visibly getting angrier with himself, but he could have no argument when Mark Lyson stepped in to end the fight. Townend will now be hoping to get himself into contention for a major title shot, perhaps a rematch with Commonwealth champion Sean Dodd, who he also stopped back in 2014.

Townend’s stoppage was expected, however Hughes’ wasn’t and he stole the show with a superb performance against Connor, who had no answer for a more aggressive “Maximus”. The Rossington man bounded into the ring and he didn’t hang around, piling on the pressure from the opening bell.

His corner implored to remain calm, but Connor simply didn’t show up and Hughes took advantage, the left hand in particular proving his most dangerous weapon. Connor went down in the second, but saw out the round despite a ferocious onslaught from Hughes.

Things got worse for Connor as a clash of heads left him with a cut by his right eye in the third and he was down heavily from another left in the fourth. Hughes put his foot on the gas and pounced on Connor who was taking too much before his corner threw in the towel with 1:55 gone in round four.

Connor protested to his cornerman, but could have no real complaint as nothing was going his way and he had no answer to anything Hughes was throwing his way. Hughes remains undecided as to whether he will continue to campaign at lightweight or drop back down to super-feather where he has challenged for the British title.

Maxi 'Maximus' Hughes produced a stunning performance in stopping Cassius Connor in four rounds in the performance of the evening in Doncaster.

On the undercard, English lightweight champion Lee Appleyard was due to defend his belt against Marcus Ffrench, but instead found himself in with late replacement Zoltan Szabo over six rounds, a well known opponent on these shores, after Ffrench withdrew.

Szabo hadn’t come to make up the numbers and Appleyard was dragged into a war which had everyone on their feet. Appleyard’s nose was busted open in the second and at times he was wide open for Szabo, as he marched forward, loading up with his shots.

Thankfully for the popular Rotherham man, he turned it around in the final two rounds to deservedly edge it on Mark Lyson’s card 58-57, finally getting behind his jab and working the body of the Latvian, who has proven to be a real handful for many other British fighters.

Curtis Woodhouse continued on the comeback trail with a 60-54 points win over Lewis Van Poetsch. “The Miracle Man” who won his British title on an emotional night back in 2014 will now set his sights on more meaningful fights in 2018, starting with John Wayne Hibbert on February 24th.

Terri Harper got off to a good start to life in the professional ranks with a composed but dominant win over Pole Monika Antonik. It was unsurprisingly scored 40-36 to the hometown favourite. Harper is the first female boxer from South Yorkshire to turn over and looks to be one to keep an eye on as the spotlight on women’s boxing continues to grow.

Anthony “The Truth” Tomlinson picked up his first stoppage win as a pro, blasting through Marcin Ficner in just over 90 seconds. Tomlinson put the Pole down with the first shot of the fight and couldn’t miss with the right. However he finished matters with some sickening body shots to put a stamp on an early night.

Ross Blackwell picked up a good win over four rounds against Fonz Alexander. It was 40-37 in favour of Blackwell who picked up his second win of 2017 following a six year lay-off. Also picking up a points win was Christian Kinsiona, 40-35 over Raimonds Sniedze. Kinsiona scored a knockdown in the first, but the rest was dull to say the least, as Kinsiona simply couldn’t fathom how to get rid of Sniedze, who was fortunate not to lose a point for holding.

Finally, Muma Mweemba picked up a win on his debut, stopping a poor opponent in Yaddollah Ghasemi in the third. Credit to Mweemba who was patient and didn’t rush when he had the Iranian in trouble. Much harder tests await Mweemba, who was still in the crowd taking photos after the end had finished.

Article by: Matt Bevan

You can follow Matt on Twitter at: @Matt_Bevan68

By Behind The Gloves 10 Dec, 2017
Super Middleweight contender Erik Skoglund (26-1-0, 12 KO's) is facing his toughest battle, after being placed in a medically induced coma following a bleed on the brain sustained in training.

Skoglund, who is known to many for his appearance in the World Boxing Super Series against unbeaten British contender Callum Smith, underwent surgery at a nearby hospital after complaining of feeling unwell after a session in his hometown of Nykoping, Sweden.

A statement on behalf of Kalle and Nisse Sauerland, who promote Skoglund, was released yesterday afternoon on the pair's official Twitter page. It read "Heartbroken." - with an attached statement that can be found below:
By Behind The Gloves 10 Dec, 2017

Lee Selby boxed his way to a comfortable unanimous decision victory over Eduardo Ramirez. From the outset, Selby’s superior speed and footwork were allowing Ramirez limited success in the early rounds helping to build up an early lead.  

Selby entered the ring knowing his IBF Featherweight title was no longer at stake due to Ramirez weighing 8 pounds over the limit, too high to satisfy BBBoC demands for health reasons. Ramirez began the fight on the front foot, but Selby managed to keep out of range of the challenger’s wide, clumsy-looking shots. Throughout the first half of the contest, despite not being at his best, Selby continued to have success, displaying superior ring IQ to his opponent, picking off Ramirez with well-timed counters.  

Despite remaining competitive for large portions of the fight, Selby was just too good on the day for the Mexican. An aggressive twelfth round saw the champion wobble Ramirez on his way to a successful fifth defence of his title. This was the challenger’s first defeat in his 23 fight career so far and saw Selby improve his record to 26-1-0, 9 KO's.

By Behind The Gloves 10 Dec, 2017

Last night at Madison Square Garden, New York, we witnessed a once-promising boxing career fizzle out in ignominy as Guillermo Rigondeaux quit on his stool against Vasyl Lomachenko in their WBO super featherweight title fight after six one-sided rounds, citing a broken hand. 

In what many expected to be a high octane chess match, Lomachenko never got out of third gear. He didn’t need to as Rigondeaux was simply unable to get any kind of rhythm going and was reduced to little more than ducking and holding the entire fight. He connected with a miserable fifteen punches through six rounds compared to fifty five for Lomachenko, never landing more than three punches in a single round. 

For Rigondeaux’s part, he was quick to state in his post-fight interview that he had no excuses and praising Lomachenko’s technical ability, speed and explosiveness, but in the same breath describing the victorious champion as ‘normal’ and claiming that he lost because of his broken hand. Broken hand or not, Lomachenko was emphatically Rigondeaux’s superior in every department last night. Not to mention that numerous boxers throughout history have fought on - and even won - when experiencing far more severe injuries. Rigondeaux was never in serious trouble at any point during the fight. It seemed that, like Nicholas Walters before him, he simply did not want any more of the Ukrainian sensation.

It is a sad end – and indeed it is the end as far as any meaningful career goes - for the Cuban amateur legend, who has arguably been a victim of political circumstances and machinations like no other modern-day boxer: left out in the cold and shunned by his government, by promoters, by opponents and by fans. With few options available to him, he was compelled to move up two weight divisions to face perhaps the best pound-for-pound boxer today, an act deserving of respect and which will no doubt now be overshadowed by his ‘No Mas’ in the ring; boxing’s cardinal sin. 

This was the fight of Rigondeaux’s life and, in no uncertain terms, he blew it. Although he has made it clear that he intends to continue fighting, it is hard to see where he goes from here at thirty-seven-years-of-age. Beltless and coming off a defeat that may not have taken a great physical toll, but caused untold damage in PR terms. All that is left is for us to speculate on what could have been for one of the greatest natural talents to lace up the gloves.

Two thousand five hundred miles away at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, we witnessed another thirty-seven-year-old bring the curtain down on his boxing career, definitively and in vastly contrasting circumstances. 

If you were seeking the ‘anti-Rigondeaux’, look no further than Mexican warhorse Orlando ‘Siri Salido who fell to compatriot Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman - a man who has also been in his fair share of battles - in the ninth round of their HBO headline fight. It was the first time since 2000 that Salido has been stopped in a professional career that began all the way back in 1996. To put it into perspective, the youngest world boxing champion today, David Benavidez, had not even been born at the time. 

Salido exits the sport as a four-time former world champion (if you include the WBO interim super featherweight title which he held from 2014 to 2015) with a deceptive ledger of 44-14-4 (14 KO's). Half of his defeats came when he was little more than a kid fighting his way out of abject poverty against grown men on the brutal Mexican club circuit. The rest came against world-class opponents. Salido faced his fair share of them throughout his career, men such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez, Mikey Garcia, Roman Martinez and Francisco Vargas. Many of them were memorable fight of the year-style contests; in fact, the fight with Vargas was Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year for 2016. Salido shares one notable opponent with Rigondeaux and it is of course Lomachenko, who Salido faced in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight, using every veteran trick in the book - legal or not - to grit out a split decision victory. 

While Rigondeaux is an unapologetic adherent of the boxing school of ‘hit and not get hit’, Salido’s philosophy in the ring could best be described as ‘hit, get hit and hit back more’ - something which he never deviated from whether it was facing world class opponents or undistinguished foes like Weng Haya and Aristides Perez. It guaranteed two things: entertainment for the watching fans and the fact Salido would never have an easy night. He was indeed a frequent visitor to the canvas during his long career, sometimes multiple times in single bouts, but would always get back to his feet and come roaring back like a man possessed. That was until last night, when age and two decades of training, sparring, making weight and taking punishment finally caught up with him, as he conceded in his post-fight interview. 

Typically, his final fight against Roman was an all-out Mexican-style war, with Salido giving as good as he was getting right till the end when he went down for the last time under a barrage of punches, prompting referee Robert Byrd to step in and call a halt to the contest.

Salido achieved more as a professional boxer than he should have done for a man with his poverty-stricken upbringing, lack of an amateur background and physically-demanding style. His skill-set was underrated, but could never be spoken of in the same breath as that of a Rigondeaux. What he lacked in these departments he made up for with sheer courage, iron toughness and an unswerving will. There was not one inch of quit in him. If Rigondeaux’s decision to retire on his stool on Saturday night left a bitter taste in boxing’s mouth, the image of Salido throwing bombs to the end like a true Mexican guerrero and his visibly emotional retirement announcement in the ring afterwards is one to warm the heart. 

It was an appropriate and dignified exit for a former world champion who also won the respect of his peers, the press and fans alike. 

Adiós y gracias campeón.

Article by: Paul Lam

You can follow Paul on Twitter at: @PaulTheWallLam

By Behind The Gloves 10 Dec, 2017
Caleb Truax produced an upset of seismic proportions as he wrestled the IBF World Super Middleweight title with a stunning majority decision upset victory over James DeGale at The Copper Box Arena in DeGale's home city of London.

Following a prolonged lay-off after sustaining an injured shoulder against Badou Jack in January, DeGale returned to action against Truax in what many felt would be a routine defence of his 168lbs strap. However, things did not go to plan, with Truax tearing up the script with a relentless performance to rip the title from the 2008 Olympic gold medallist.

In the opening round, DeGale shot out of the blocks with zeal, throwing his surgically repaired lead hand as he sought to make a statement in-front of his home crowd. Despite a bright first session, DeGale found himself unable to capitalise and was seemingly reluctant to engage as he gave Truax an opportunity to settle into the fight... and settle in he did.

With DeGale unable to string together any noteworthy offense, Truax marched forward and asserted himself against the champion, landing clean and often on his worryingly stationary opponent. While the first four rounds were relatively even affairs, the fifth saw the challenger explode into action, uncorking a crunching right hand that appeared to break DeGale's nose. With the Harlesden man clearly in trouble, Truax pounced on his man, following up with a ferocious salvo that DeGale did well to survive as he reached the end of the round. Having done things the hard way in many of his recent contests, DeGale was once more in the unenviable scenario of having to tough it out in a messy, bloody dogfight.

However, unlike many of his other battles, he was simply unable to pull the trigger. Truax, who while showing tremendous determination and will to win lacked nuance and guile in his performance, was allowed to to march forward with little resistance from DeGale. The alarming ease in which Truax was able to hit the now ex-champion raise more than a few questions ringside.

After dominating the middle rounds, Truax appeared to take his foot off the gas in the final stages of the contest, seemingly content with the points piled up throughout the fight. While many were expecting a late surge from DeGale in a bid to snatch victory, the push simply never came and the bout drew to a close with many observers scoring the fight to the visitor by a considerable margin.

Despite a frankly embarrassing scorecard of 114-114 offered by the shamefully-inept Dave Parris, Truax was rightfully awarded the majority decision with the remaining cards of 115-112 & 116-112 to snatch the title from DeGale in a monumental upset. With bookmakers making him a staggering 100-1 underdog before the bout, Truax made light of the scale of his victory in his post-fight interview with Behind The Gloves.

"I wish I would have bet it!" he said.

"We knew James was going to come out of the blocks fast early, but we just continued to apply the pressure and force the pace."

Following a fight week that was dominated with talk of DeGale's next opponent, with many alluding to a potential showdown with the winner of the World Boxing Super Series, it would appear that 'Chunky' may have taken his eye off of the ball in the form of Caleb Truax: and he has paid the ultimate price.

Article by: Rob Tebbutt

You can follow Rob on Twitter at: @RobTebbutt
By Behind The Gloves 10 Dec, 2017
Vasyl Lomachenko has retained his WBO World Super Featherweight title after a bizarre sixth round retirement from Guillermo Rigondeaux.

The historic bout, which pitted two double-Olympic gold medallists against each other for the first time in the sport's history, never really caught fire, with the most competitive round of the contest coming in the opener - a session made up largely by posturing by both men.

Lomachenko would prove to be the busier, fresher and more active fighter throughout, finding a home for his jab while negating the sparse return fire from his opponent. The fourth round saw Lomachenko force the action, landing a succession of uppercuts that caught Rigondeaux on the chin. The action - if you could call it such - was interrupted frequently by spoiling and clinching from both men, with Rigondeaux warned several times by referee Steve Willis for excessive holding and ducking below the waist.

As the contest continued, Rigondeaux was unable to establish any sort of rhythm in the bout, becoming less and less active in landing fewer than three punches in each of the completed six rounds. Lomachenko, who started the bout in watchful fashion, became more and more adventurous in the fifth round, and appeared to shake Rigondeaux with a left hand to the top of the head.

Following numerous warnings for fouling, Rigondeaux was docked a point in the sixth (and final) round before being caught again by a southpaw left from Lomachenko shortly after.

With Lomachenko firmly in the ascendancy in the sixth round, the bout was called to a halt in bemusing circumstances, as Rigondeaux retired from the bout - seemingly on impulse - at the end of the sixth: shaking his head at trainer Pedro Diaz, to bring the fight to a premature and, frankly, disappointing end.

"I think I should change my name." said Lomachenko in his post-fight interview.

"I think they should call me 'No-Mas-chenko'!" he joked, in reference to making his last four opponents retire in their corner.

Rigondeaux's post-fight soundbites were of a less jovial nature, where he revealed a supposed injury to his left hand at the end of the second round as the reason - and the only reason - he lost the fight.

"Lomachenko is a good fighter, but he is a normal fighter." said the previously unbeaten Cuban.

"I make no excuses, but he didn't win the fight. I lost the fight because I hurt my hand in the second round and couldn't do anything." he finished, amidst the disapproving hisses of a short-changed live audience.

The bout, in truth, failed to reach anywhere near the level of excitement many fans who had wished for the bout had hoped for: with the speed and youth advantage of Lomachenko apparent from the second round onwards. For Rigondeaux, who seemed to have no clear game-plan in dealing with the Ukrainian maestro, it is - you would imagine - a frustratingly apt end to his boxing career.

With no belt to offer (having been stripped the the WBA at the conclusion of the fight), his lacklustre performance will certainly do him no favours in appealing to the networks that have shunned him throughout his professional vigil.

... Be careful what you wish for, boxing fans. You just might get it.

Article by: Rob Tebbutt

You can follow Rob on Twitter at: @RobTebbutt
By Behind The Gloves 09 Dec, 2017

It was a successful night for the GB boxers on Thursday evening, at the annual GB Boxing Championships at Sheffield’s Institute of Sport, as they came away with victory in all but one of their fights.

Harris Akbar and Louis Lynn led the way with superb performances to claim the welterweight and bantamweight titles respectively, however a few of the UK’s leading amateurs were involved in some close calls on their way to domestic glory.

Akbar dazzled against Scotland’s Stephen Newns, showing his class to add to the English title he won back in April. Newns gave it everything he had, but the flashy Akbar got better as the rounds wore on, picking him off with ease on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Lynn was simply dominant as he breezed past Welshman Kyle Morrison, who took some big shots and did well to survive past the first round. Morrison was given a standing count and was wide open all night for Lynn to clatter him with some stinging shots. The Englishman unsurprisingly won by unanimous decision.

Popular middleweight Jordan Reynolds came through a tough test with Lewis Richardson, suffering a cut around his right eye in the process as he earned his unanimous decision win, whilst George Crotty was dominant in the end over Harry Woods, as he added light-heavyweight gold to his growing resumé.

Conor Loftus left with a convincing victory over Martin McDonagh, pressing the action and landing some heavy shots to win light-welterweight gold, whilst a sharp Mickey McDonagh won the lightweight title with a sharp performance, although he didn’t have it all his own way, against Thomas Hodgson by split decision.

Lewis Williams was the sole loser for the GB squad, as he was beaten by Natty Ngwenya in the heavyweight division, in a clash that the Army man really grew into and deserved the split decision win. Hosea Stewart and Mitchell Barton clashed in an entertaining super-heavyweight battle, which saw England’s Stewart get the better of the Scot by unanimous decision.

Matthew McHale secured himself a shot at a GB assessment, as he left with the flyweight crown, edging a tight battle with Muzzy Fuyana, representing England. Lisa Whiteside capped off another good year with victory over Carly Skelly in a very tight affair at flyweight, which could have gone either way, with the judges favouring Whiteside by split decision.

Crystal Barker performed well under the constant pressure of Nina Hughes to win the featherweight crown by split decision, whilst Megan Reid of Scotland could perhaps feel slightly hard done by, as she came out of the wrong end of a split decision against GB’s Claudia Havranek at light-welterweight.

GB’s Lauren Price put on an excellent display to get past Stephanie Wroe by unanimous decision at welterweight, whilst Natasha Gale was a level above Roseanna Cox in the middleweight final, dominating the three rounds from start to finish to win by unanimous decision.

Earlier in the night, two other bouts took place, led by Sean Lazzerini’s win over Boris Crighton in a box-off to secure his place on the Scottish team at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year. Lazzerini will represent his country in the light-heavyweight division on the Gold Coast.

Finally, the closing bout of the night saw GB’s Omarah Taylor prove too good for Scotland’s Gardner Moore in their welterweight exhibition. Taylor won by unanimous decision, which also saw Moore given a standing count in the third.

Article by: Matt Bevan

You can follow Matt on Twitter at: @Matt_Bevan68

By Behind The Gloves 09 Dec, 2017

Rob Tebbutt ( @RobTebbutt ) - Head of U.K. Operations

Vasyl Lomachenko is, in my opinion, the best fighter in the world. He is a unique, mesmeric talent and my favourite fighter in the sport. That being said, I cannot help but pull for Rigondeaux in this fight. His career has been blighted by inactivity and a lack of opportunity - largely through no fault of his own - and he now sees himself in a position where he has to take a fight against a prime pound-for-pound fighter two weight classes heavier than him, or risk falling completely into oblivion. It's a tough ask against anyone, but against Vasyl Lomachenko it is virtually impossible.

Taking my personal feelings out of the equation, I think the activity of Lomachenko will be enough to see him pull away down the stretch. He has fought regularly and against good - albeit not great - opposition, and is undoubtedly the "form" fighter coming into the contest. I see Rigondeaux being able to be highly competitive in the early rounds, due to his extensive pedigree over the shorter format (not that Lomachenko doesn't have the same experience!) - but I feel that Lomachenko's freshness and recent in-ring experience will play a pivotal role in the mid-to-late sessions.

Rigondeaux deserves enormous credit for taking the fight, which should he lose, I am certain he will not  get - but it is just too tall an order for the diminutive Cuban. Should he win, I think there is little doubt that he would become the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing and it would go down as one of the greatest victories in the history of the sport. Lomachenko is young enough and talented enough that he can forge a 'Hall of Fame' legacy - even off the back of a defeat - but for Rigondeaux, a loss would almost certainly spell the end of a career that deserved so much more.

Lomachenko by decision in a very competitive fight.

Paul Lam ( @PaulTheWallLam ) - Staff Writer

For all the criticism he has faced for his supposedly ‘boring’ style, Guillermo Rigondeaux deserves massive respect for moving up not one but TWO weight divisions to face a beast like Vasyl Lomachenko. The Cuban phenom is one of the most talented fighters of his generation, but in Lomachenko, he will face an opponent boasting a skill-set and athleticism comparable to his own and who happens to be the bigger, younger, stronger man. Loma rarely gets hit flush, but when he has taken shots, from fully fledged featherweights and super featherweights who can punch, he has taken them well. On the other hand, we have seen Rigondeaux hurt by the likes of Robert Marroquin and Hisashi Amagasa. Moreover, he is not known for a high work-rate, whereas Lomachenko has volume to complement his punching accuracy. I expect Rigondeaux to hold his own and set Lomachenko problems that he has never had to deal with in a professional ring, but ultimately I believe the age-old adage that ‘the good big man always beats the good little man’ will hold true in this fight.

Lomachenko by unanimous decision or late stoppage in a competitive, compelling fight .

Gareth Gonet ( @garethgonet ) - Staff Writer

I’m expecting a fascinating chess match between the pair, in which each will be looking to set traps for the other. If Rigondeaux is to win, he will have to take the initiative: something he is unaccustomed to doing. I cannot see him winning by sitting back and picking single shot counters. Lomachenko is likely to land at a higher connect percentage than any previous Rigondeaux opponent, and thus the Cuban will need to exceed his average punch output to win the fight.

I don’t envisage size being as telling a factor as some are making out, due to both Rigondeaux’s defensive awareness and the fact that Lomachenko is unlikely to enter the fight with a view to imposing his physical advantages on the naturally smaller man. That said, Rigondeaux has been dropped several times at 122lbs. However, if he is to be hurt by Lomachenko, I believe that it will be down to skill rather than size.

A Rigondeaux victory would see him go down among the best ever to lace up the gloves. As I touched on previously however, this would require him to put it all on the line by taking the fight to the Ukrainian. All things considered, I give Lomachenko the edge on account of the fact that he is the naturally busier fighter, and it is unlikely that Rigondeaux will be able to completely neutralise his attack as has been the case against each of his previous opponents.

Lomachenko by decision in twelve rounds of pugilistic pornography.

Navi Singh ( @hombre__obscuro ) - Staff Writer

I'm backing the underdog, but he has a tremendous obstacle to overcome in the volume-punching Lomachenko. I think Rigondeaux's key to victory is to slow the overall pace of the fight down, by somehow keeping the Ukrainian honest and gaining his respect, preferably early on. Rigondeaux's strategy, in my opinion, should be to deter his opponent's forward advances with sharp, accurate counter-punching. However, realistically, I think at the end of the day Lomachenko will be too big, too busy and too dynamic for Rigondeaux - who is definitely punching above his weight - and will provide the Cuban with the first loss of his career.

Lomachenko via a lopsided decision or a mid-to-late stoppage.

Daniel Gregory ( @mrdanielgregory ) - Staff Writer

As they always say - a great big guy beats a great small guy, and I expect Lomachenko to win this one. The fact Rigo has taken this fight just goes to show how much he is avoided at his own weight, which is a shame. I'm predicting Lomachenko to take a wide points decision from a technical, tactical fight.

Lomachenko by decision.

Matt Bevan ( @Matt_Bevan68 ) - Staff Writer

Lomachenko will win it but Rigondeaux will not be overwhelmed by the dynamic Ukrainian. Rigondeaux has the ability to stink out the joint or flatten you with a single left hand, however landing cleanly on Lomachenko is a challenge in itself. He has made good fighters look like rank novices, but to just call Rigondeaux a good fighter is disrespectful to the Cuban star. If Rigondeaux can neutralise the movement of Lomachenko then he can pull this off, but that is about as difficult a thing to do as there is in world boxing. It won’t win any fight of the year contests but you won’t be able to do anything else but admire the skills that are on display with this pair.

Lomachenko will take it on points in a fight you won’t be able to take your eyes off.

Luke Madeira ( @lukemadeira15 ) - Staff Writer

For me, Lomachenko is simply going to be too big for Rigondeaux. The fight will be an intriguing one as the pair are without doubt the best technical boxers in the world, but Lomachenko has all of the natural attributes in his favour. Rigondeaux has shown he can beat bigger opponents (most notably in Hisashi Amagassa) but with the ability that Lomachenko possesses, there are very few (if any) people that can beat him, in my opinion.

Lomachenko by decision.

Isaiah Benjamin ( @Mr_IsaiahG ) - Staff Writer

I expect a cautious, chess match type of start with both looking to set traps and establish a rhythm. It’d be surprising if Rigondeaux were to change his style, the world class operator out of Cuba won’t waste any punches, will throw them when he is least likely to be hit and look to land with great precision.

Lomachenko is renowned for his entertaining style but can leave himself open and Rigondeaux, the bigger puncher of the two, is capable of exploiting that. For that reason I feel Lomachenko will begin patiently and up the tempo as the fight progresses, using his lateral movement and work rate to overwhelm the unbeaten 37-year-old. Rigondeaux moving up two weight divisions to Super Featherweight will play a part in this fight and I predict Lomachenko to win on points.

Lomachenko by decision.

Emmily Simcock ( @emmily_jane ) - Staff Writer

I think this will be a very interesting tactical fight for the boxing fans. Lomachenko, the bigger fighter, has amazing footwork and will attack from all angles, whereas Rigondeaux has some of the best defensive skills in the business making him an elusive target. He also enjoys a three inch reach advantage over Lomachenko.

I think the fight goes 12 rounds with Lomachenko winning by decision.

Michael Rueda ( @wolf2988 ) - Staff Writer

This match-up is a hardcore boxing fans dream. It is a fight with many intangibles. Who is the better technician? Can Rigondeaux neutralise Lomachenko's offensive strengths? And after showing vulnerability throughout his career, can he handle the power of the naturally bigger man? For Lomachenko, can he land cleanly on the elusive Cuban maestro? If Rigondeaux's power carries up and he is able to catch Lomachenko, how will the Ukrainian react? Will the size difference play as big a part as many expect? In my opinion, I believe it will be a chess match in the beginning, and Rigondeaux will frustrate Lomachenko en route to building an early lead. I believe the constant pressure from Lomachenko will start to tell in the mid-to-late rounds, with Lomachenko being the more active fighter working to his advantage.

Lomachenko by ninth round stoppage.

Will Lott ( @WillLott27 ) - Staff Writer

I’m going to go for a Lomachenko stoppage win. I feel Rigondeaux’s inactivity and against top opposition - through no fault of his own - will play a part in his downfall. Lomachenko will be too fast, throwing powerful combinations and displaying superior ring IQ. However, I cannot take anything from Rigondeaux: he is still a smart fighter with solid power, but I think Lomachenko will be just too good.

Lomachenko by stoppage.

Jaime Ingleby ( @jaime_ingleby79 ) - Staff Writer

Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux are difficult to split. Both men are double Olympic champions, professional World champions and personal favourites. A look at history offers evidence to back both men for the victory. Lomachenko starts as the favourite, with many people pointing towards his size and weight advantage. While Rigondeaux undoubtedly has the skill to counteract his physical inferiority. In the end: they are both that good. I’ve long been a fan of the Cuban style of boxing and one of its greatest exponents in Guillermo Rigondeaux: and I am picking the little man to upset Bob Arum once again, as he did against Nonito Donaire.

Rigondeaux by decision.

Allan McGoldrick ( @AMCGUK ) - Staff Writer

Lomachenko is the naturally bigger man, having won a lightweight gold medal in the 2008 Olympics before beginning his professional career at Featherweight - still heavier than Rigondeaux has been at any stage of his boxing career. However, Nonito Donaire was also significantly bigger and came up well short against the Cuban in their heavily-hyped 2013 clash. Rigondeaux brings something else to the table than Lomachenko’s previous opponents, and I believe he will pull off the upset with a shocking points win.

Rigondeaux by decision.

Jack Hopgood - Staff Writer

Lomachenko comes into the fight with nearly every advantage, and even Rigondeaux at his very best would have a tough time winning. My prediction is Rigondeaux is not able to set up any real offense, and after the first three rounds, Lomachenko picks up the pace and stops him around the 6th to 9th round. The many hardcore fans hoping for a great technical chess match will be disappointed when Lomachenko makes Rigondeaux look old. I think the cracks have been showing for a while now, and this may be Rigondeaux’s final fight.

Lomachenko by mid-rounds stoppage.


Lomachenko - 12

Rigondeaux - 2

By Behind The Gloves 09 Dec, 2017

Former World Champion Jean Pascal Stops Previously Unbeaten Ahmed Elbiali in Round Six of the Main Event of a Special Friday Night Edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 & BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida

Top Heavyweight Contender Luis Ortiz Scores Second Round Knockout of Daniel Martz with Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder Ringside

Bryant Perrella Earns Unanimous Decision Over Alex Martin & Stephen Fulton Defeats Adam Lopez in Battle of Unbeaten Prospects

MIAMI (December 9, 2017) -The co-main event of the telecast saw top heavyweight contender Luis "King Kong" Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) deliver a second round knockout of Daniel Martz (16-6-1, 13 KOs) and swiftly call out heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder, who had joined the FS1 broadcast ringside.

The towering heavyweights exchanged words in the ring after the fight, with both men looking forward to a possible matchup in 2018.

"I've wanted you and I'm going to bless you again with another opportunity," said Wilder. "I was ready the first time. This is a new day for you. I think you're one of the best heavyweights in the world and I want to prove that I am the best. We must fight each other. You will have your fight."

"Anthony Joshua doesn't want to fight either of us, let's give the world this fight," said Ortiz. "There will be no excuses. I will be ready to do this for Cuba!"

Ortiz made quick work of his opponent, knocking him down with body shots in round one before delivering a counter left hand that put Martz down and prompted referee Samuel Burgos to stop the fight 43 seconds into round two.

Additional televised action featured welterweight prospect Bryant Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs) return to the ring to drop Alex Martin (13-3, 5 KOs) on his way to a unanimous decision victory."I felt pretty good about the fight," said Perrella. "There are some things I'd like to have done different, but considering I was out for 15 months and injured for a long time, I'm pleased with what I was able to accomplish. I didn't get the knockout after hurting him, but I was able to handle him better than anyone else before me."

Perrella got off to a fast start when he landed a thudding lead right hook from the southpaw stance that put Martin on the canvas. Martin was able to recover enough to survive the round and rebounded to put together several good rounds while showing off impressive boxing ability.

The Florida-native Perrella was able to stabilize his lead and ride the momentum from the early knockdown to victory as he picked up his jab and overall aggressiveness in the second half of the fight. After 10 rounds the judges saw the fight in favor of Perrella by scores of 79-72 twice and 77-74.

The opening bout of the telecast saw a battle of unbeaten featherweight prospects as Philadelphia's Stephen Fulton (12-0, 5 KOs) earned a majority decision victory over Adam Lopez (8-1, 3 KOs).

"I worked hard to get the win," said Fulton. "I had to adjust after the first two rounds but I took the fight to him and controlled the pace. He thought he had me hurt in round two, but it wasn't anything. He landed a good shot but that was it. I never stressed about how the fight would turn out as long as I stuck to the game plan."

Lopez had his best moment of the fight late in round two when he staggered and appeared to hurt Fulton, who took a series of right hands before hearing the bell. Fulton was able to adjust and use his jab effectively while countering and rarely allowing Lopez to cut off the ring. Lopez was successful when he was able to get Fulton pinned against the ropes, but after eight rounds the judges ruled in favor of Fulton by scores of 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76.

By Behind The Gloves 08 Dec, 2017

Tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KO's) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KO's) go on sale on Monday December 11th at 12.00 (Noon) CET, via  with prices starting at €50.

This biggest Cruiserweight unification fight for several years, takes place at the Arena Riga in Latvia on January 27, 2018.

“Usyk, World Champion and the number one seed in the tournament collides with Briedis, national hero and World Champion. It doesn’t get much bigger than this,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. "The noise from 10.000 fans when Mairis Briedis faced Mike Perez at the Arena Riga in September was one of the highlights of the quarter-finals in the World Boxing Super Series."

And Ukrainian Usyk promises another night to remember for boxing fans at the arena and around the world: “Fans at the arena and in front of their TV’s can look forward to a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”

Said Briedis: “I am looking forward to fight once again in front of the incredible crowd at the Arena Riga and I will do everything to make them proud with another victory.”

Fans are asked to sign-up for ticket alerts at  to receive the ticket link emailed directly to their inbox and avoid disappointment.

Source: World Boxing Super Series [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 08 Dec, 2017
ERROL SPENCE JR., Undefeated Welterweight World Champion
DERRICK JAMES, Spence's Trainer
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