NEWS

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.


TOTAL: 

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 bilesuserviss.lv  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 worldboxingsuperseries.com  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
DEADLINE TO DONATE A GIFT - MONDAY, DECEMBER 18
 
WHO:            
ERROL SPENCE JR., Undefeated Welterweight World Champion
DERRICK JAMES, Spence's Trainer
By Behind The Gloves 08 Dec, 2017

Ahmed Elbiali arrived in New York with his mother and brother when he was just four years old.

Soon, his father began working in Miami, and the family joined him there, where they settled, raising a family just like any other American couple.

Elbiali would travel back to Egypt, his native land, every year since age 11 to see relatives, but that soon became impossible.

You see, he’s a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Action) recipient, and the Trump Administration is seeking to end the program. Elbiali is one of the 800,000 or so Americans protected by DACA, children who arrived in the United States as illegal immigrants.

With DACA in limbo, Elbiali says he can’t even leave the country.

Luckily, the biggest fight of his career, a Friday meeting with former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, takes place minutes outside Miami in Hialeah (9 p.m. ET, FS1).

“I’m living on the edge right now, but I just renewed (my DACA request) in November, I have two years,” Elbiali said during a phone interview with RingTV.com . “I’m Gucci for two years. I’m checking my iPhone every day (for DACA news).

” … It’s only going to last so long. I can maybe have a positive influence on other kids like me. There’s so many better kids than me. Tennis (players) and physicists and doctors. They’re doing good things and they’re DACA, too.

Elbiali (16-0, 13 knockouts) tried out for Egypt’s national team, but after that, the Arab Spring crisis occurred, a series of violent and non-violent demonstrations that broke out in North Africa and the Middle East on December 17, 2010.

The revolutionary wave of protests, riots, coups and civil wars stopped Elbiali from visiting home since 2011. The uprising ended in 2012, but now he can’t go back at all.

Through boxing, he may soon be able to return. But to do, he must keep winning, beginning with his toughest test yet. Pascal is well past his best days, with just two wins in his last five fights. But the Canadian is still a savvy vet levels beyond anyone Elbiali’s faced.

If Elbiali, 27, can rise through the ranks of one of boxing’s most loaded divisions, he can apply for citizenship. To obtain an EB-1 green card, you must show proof of “exceptional ability” in a field, like sports or music.

Winning a title at 175 pounds would certainly prove that, but it’s no easy task. The titleholders right now include Sergey Kovalev, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev and Adonis Stevenson.

An impressive victory over Pascal will bring Elbiali one step closer to his dual dream of becoming a citizen and a champion, too.

“I just have to keep winning and my time will come, it’s inevitable,” said Elbiali, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology FIU, with a Master’s in international business from Nova Southeastern on hold while he focuses on boxing. “My weight class has the best fighters in it, and it’s a weight class that’s going to be remembered forever. God willing, I’m a part of it, so it’s exciting.”

Elbiali realizes Pascal, 35, is calling this his last fight, but he doesn’t care. He needs to win. Not just to advance his career from prospect to contender, but to bring himself one step closer to staying in the country he loves.

He also knows that if he continues to rise through the sport, he could become the first ever champion from not just Egypt, but the Middle East. Amir Khan and Prince Naseem Hamed are of Middle Eastern descent, but Khan wasn’t born in Pakistan and Hamed wasn’t born in Yemen. They both are natives of England.

“I can help them break through,” Elbiali said. “There’s a ton of good champions from Egypt. … I’m in to win it. I’m here to throw big punches.”

A punch that could secure his ticket back to Egypt, and in the United States for good.


Article by: Mike Coppinger (Ring TV)

You can follow Mike on Twitter at:  @MikeCoppinger 

By Behind The Gloves 08 Dec, 2017

East London's Copper Box Arena plays host to an evening of championship boxing tomorrow night, as James DeGale makes the fourth defence of his IBF super middleweight title, returning from an eleven-month lay-off against American Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KO's). 

It has been a somewhat frustrating 2017 for the Harlesden southpaw switch-hitter, after being ruled DeGale out for several months following injuries sustained from an unsuccessful unification attempt against then-WBC champion Badou Jack in January.

In an entertaining contest where both men exchanged knockdowns in the first and last rounds respectively, WBC champion Jack rose to his feet and fought in characteristically tenacious fashion for the remainder of the fight. Cheered on by promoter Floyd Mayweather at ringside, 'The Ripper' dramatically floored DeGale in the final round to secure a majority-draw on the scorecards, a verdict many felt was the least Jack deserved on the night.

The loquacious, talented 'Chunky' has made numerous defences of his IBF championship against accomplished operators at 168lbs, and will undoubtedly be looking to assert himself among the division's elite with an emphatic victory on Saturday night.

Also in action, DeGales' featherweight counterpart, Lee Selby (25-1-0, 9 KO's) defends his own IBF strap against undefeated Mexican Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KO's).

Welshman Selby initially captured the title two years' ago with a dazzling display against Russian Evgeny Gradovich, and will most likely be facing his mandatory challenger - undefeated Leeds fan favourite Josh Warrington - in the new year, provided he emerges triumphant from his title defence this Saturday night.

Heavy-handed light heavyweight prospect Anthony Yarde (13-0-0, 12 KO's) faces an opponent who has never been stopped in Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1, 11 KO's). Nevertheless, the fighter from the Balkans will making his debut at 175lbs against one of the most devastatingly powerful contenders in the division, and it appears unlikely that he will be able to withstand the onslaught that Yarde will unquestionably bring.

Also featured on the card is 6'5" Heavyweight prodigy Daniel Dubois (5-0-0, 5 KO's), a monstrous puncher by all accounts and someone who allegedly knocked down Anthony Joshua in a sparring session. Incidentally, the 20-year-old Dubois is up against former AJ opponent Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KO).

Meanwhile, DeGale, the bonafide main event attraction on the card, has stressed his desire to trade leather with his triumvirate of primary domestic rivals (Smith, Groves, Eubank) - irrespective of who ultimately wins the WBSS – in addition to unifying against the likes of WBC champion David Benevidez and WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez.

A win in style on Saturday night therefore represents a crucial stepping stone for DeGale to realise his aspirations.


Article by: Navi Singh

You can follow Navi on Twitter at: @hombre__obscuro

By Behind The Gloves 07 Dec, 2017
This past Tuesday, WBC Cares gathered together with local Champions and fighters from the Los Angeles community to fulfill a promise WBC made to the Veterans Home in Barstow earlier this year, to come spend a Holiday Lunch with our U.S. Veterans, our Heroes. Due to the California Wildfires, a few couldn't make it because of road closures, but we still had great attendance from Champions and WBC Cares Ambassadors, like Golden Boy's NABF Featherweight Champion, Joseph "Jo Jo" Diaz Jr., WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel Roman, Former World Champion Paul Banke, Former World Championship Contenders Ruben Castillo and Mando Muniz, Professional fighter and Officer for L.A.P.D., Juan Bustamente, Cutman Sergio Estrada and lastly the WBC Los Angeles team, Pepe & Cecy Sulaiman, Nancy Rodriguez & kids.

President Mauricio Sulaiman, and WBC Cares Chairperson Jill Diamond wanted to make sure our heroes received a special gift, the WBC presented all Veterans with an official WBC patch personalized with "CAL VETERANS" as well as a special plaque for the Veterans Home presented by Pepe Sulaiman to the Home administrator.

The visit started with our WBC Cares Ambassadors Daniel Roman, Joseph Diaz Jr. Juan Bustamante, Marissa Rodriguez and Ruben Castillo helping serve the veterans and staff a special Holiday Lunch. the Vets had a great time laughing through the line with Ruben Castillo's jokes and great smiles behind the kitchen line, while the rest of the WBC Family Paul Banke, Sergio Estrada, Mando Muniz ate in the cafeteria with the Vets and had great conversations. After the lunch, WBC presented special gifts to all the Vets who answered Boxing questions, some were present as fans for the Ali vs. Frazier fight! Great stories to hear! Pepe Sulaiman then presented the Home with a Plaque in appreciation for all they do for our heroes, the kids and Ambassadors passed out patches as well as a special WBC cake for all present. The visit ended with many photos and autographs for the Veterans and many smiles.

Barstow is over a two hour drive from Los Angeles, the WBC is very grateful to our ambassadors for taking the time to make the drive out to Barstow and helping bring beautiful smiles to our heroes faces this Holiday season.
By Behind The Gloves 07 Dec, 2017
1. Soon one will be obliged to acknowledge the undeniable superiority of the other. Lomachenko will attempt to force an increasingly fast pace and Rigondeaux will want to slow things down. The outcome rests on who is able to dictate the pace, land the more authoritative shots and not get caught in return. I don't believe we've seen the best of either man yet and for that reason I see this being a competitive fight for the first 7 or 8 rounds. Should one hurt other don't expect the damaged fighter to survive. Both men are merciless finishers.

2. To the onlooker, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux seem to have more attacking variation than other boxers due to the combination of perfect balance and the impeccable delivery and timing of their punches. And both will have crossed their t's and dotted the i's in preparing for the other. Many traps will be set during the course of this fight. What separates the very best boxers from the next level below them is the ability to remain several steps ahead of the opponent at all times. Both of these guys are the very best in the game at doing just that. Rigondeaux outclassed Nonito Donaire and made him pay for being overly aggressive. Lomachenko made light work of Nicholas Walters because he knew what Walters was going to do before he did it. For the boxing purists among us there isn't a better match up in the sport.

3. Bob Arum's barely disguised belligerence towards Rigondeaux, his former client at Top Rank, will be given full reign should Lomachenko, a current Top Rank boxer, emerge victorious. Bob Arum and the WBA basically want Rigondeaux gone from the big picture. If you didn't know, the WBA have ruled that should Rigondeaux lose this fight he will be stripped of his 122lb super bantamweight world title. Again! Remember the WBA already stripped Rigondeaux once before then reinstated him. Their stupidity and greed know no bounds. Arum would like nothing more than for Rigondeaux to take a bad loss here. But he may have roused a sleeping tiger. Rigondeaux will not fade quietly into the night. If the Cuban boxing master pulls the upset, someone will have to pick Arum up from the floor.
By Behind The Gloves 07 Dec, 2017

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 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) hits the Arena Riga, Latvia on January 27, 2018.

“The stand-out atmosphere in the quarter-finals was the noise the fans made in the sold-out Arena Riga,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.

“We are very excited to bring the Ali Trophy to Latvia on January 27. Usyk is Olympic Champion, World Champion and the number one seed in the tournament but when he collides with national hero and World Champion Briedis he will meet by far his toughest challenge in his career. This is the biggest unification fight in the division since many, many years.”  

2012 Olympic Champion, 30-year-old Usyk expressed before the tournament his desire to unify the belts in the cruiserweight division and to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. And he kicked off in style:

The Ukrainian went to Berlin in Germany on September 9 in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round. Now he travels to another opponent's backyard to face a current champion.

“I do not care where I fight,” said Usyk, the tournament’s number one seed.

“In Riga, there will be 10.000 fans and that's great. The fans should expect a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”

32-year-old Briedis excited an ecstatic hometown crowd at a sold-out Arena Riga on September 30 to score a unanimous decision in his quarter-final over the tough Cuban challenger Mike Perez.

“I had a gut feeling that the World Boxing Super Series might return to Riga because of the incredible crowd at the Arena Riga in the quarter-final bout against Mike Perez,” said Briedis, the tournament’s third seed.

“I’m really happy with how it has turned out. I am thankful to the Latvian fans who made it possible by being so passionate and devoted. Now it’s all about preparing for Usyk and put up a great show when January comes.”

Usyk and Briedis will soon come face-to-face at a kickoff press conference in Riga and tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final between are going on sale next week with the exact time to be announced shortly. Fans are asked due to the huge demand to sign-up for ticket alerts at worldboxingsuperseries.com  to avoid disappointment.


Source: World Boxing Super Series [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 06 Dec, 2017

We are now just a few days away from one of the most highly-anticipated - and potentially best - fights of the year when Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0-0, 11 KO's) takes on WBO World Super Feathereight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-0-1, 7 KO's) in the iconic settings of Madison Square Garden, New York on December 9th. 

In a historical first, two double Olympic gold medallists will square off in the professional ranks. History aside, boxing fans are going to be treated to one of those rare spectacles when the best really do face the best. Both men feature on most boxing pound-for-pound lists and there are many who would have Lomachenko right at the top: a point not lost on Rigondeaux.

"He is not number one pound-for-pound for nothing." said the prodigious Cuban of his opponent in an exclusive interview with  Behind The Gloves.

While acknowledging the magnitude of the challenge that awaits him on Saturday night, Rigondeaux remains unfazed by the prospect: despite the fact that he will also be moving up not one but  two  weight divisions for the contest. While he has fought his entire professional career at the Super Bantamweight limit of 122lbs, Lomachenko is a seasoned campaigner over 130lbs, both as a professional and amateur.

"I am one of those boxers that will fight anyone anytime, no questions asked." declared Rigondeaux.

"Even if I were to fight Lomachenko at 126lbs, it would be a great challenge. I am taking this fight very seriously and size difference will not be an excuse regardless of the outcome."

As well as a potentially significant size deficiency, Rigondeax faces the additional disadvantage in the eyes of many of being the older man. At thirty seven, he is past the physical prime of most athletes, and is is Lomachenko’s senior by eight years: a factor which has led the defending champion to openly cast doubt on whether Rigondeaux’s vaunted speed and lightning reflexes will still be the same. 

"He can say and believe whatever he wants." retorts Rigondeaux. "Saturday night will be my coronation."

By Behind The Gloves 06 Dec, 2017

The mission of USA Boxing shall be to enable United States' athletes and coaches to achieve sustained competitive excellence, develop character, support the sport of boxing, and promote and grow Olympic style boxing in the United States. The responsibility of USA Boxing is not only to produce Olympic gold, but also oversee and govern every aspect of amateur boxing in the United States.
The fledgling USA Boxing Alumni Association will host a gala reception this Friday night (Dec.) 8, highlighted by the induction of the inaugural class of the USA Boxing Alumni Hall of Fame, at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Salk Lake City, Utah.
 
The reception is being held in conjunction with the 2017 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, Dec. 5-9, also held in Salt Lake City.
 
Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing's future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
 
"The Alumni Association will bring together former boxers, coaches and official who have reached all levels of success in amateur boxing, as well as people who have all over for Olympic-style boxing," explained Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director. "This association will help expand our grassroots and create fight champions of USA Boxing and alumni members."
 
"The Greatest" and "The Real Deal", respectively, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, will be the first boxers inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, joining two others, veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter, also being inducted as charter members.
 
The late Ali is the lone three-time lineal world heavyweight champion of all-time, who as an amateur (known then as Cassius Clay), captured a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
 
Holyfield was the first and remains the only undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Holyfield won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight, after a he suffered a questionable disqualification in his semifinals match. Earlier this year, Holyfield started his promotional company, The Real; Deal Boxing.
 
A 1993 USA Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Roosevelt coached the U.S. Marines boxing team in 1975-1978 and 1988-2000. He also served as assistant coach on the USA Olympic boxing teams in 1984 and 1992.
 
Coulter has been a boxing coach for more than 62 years, continuing to conduct boxing clinics today around the glove. In addition to coaching the iconic 1988 USA Olympic boxing team, which captured eight individual medals, he was a consultant for the 1996 squad that won 14 meals. A national boxing champion at Syracuse University, Coulter also coaches the U.S. Army Boxing Team.
 
International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Al Bernstein will serve as Master of ceremonies for Friday's event. "USA Boxing makes a positive difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of young people ion a daily basis," the voice of Showtime Boxing said," and I am so honored to serve as emcee for the inaugural USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame Reception. This new arm of USA Boxing will be a terrific addition to an already great organization. I look forward to it.".
 
Four Olympic medalists from Team USA will be in attendance: 1984 gold medalist Paul Gonzales, 1984 and 1988 silver medalists, respectively, Virgil Hill and Michael Carbajal, and 1972 bronze medalist Jessie Valdez.
 
Other boxing dignitaries who are confirmed attendees include 1992 Olympian Raul Marquez, Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger, National Golden Gloves champion and NBC boxing announcer B.J. Flores, three-time New England Golden Gloves champion "Irish" Micky Ward, former Air Force Academy coach Eddie Welchers, Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves franchise tournament director Larry Fullmer and others.
 
The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including Friday evening's USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.
 
To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org  for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.
 
INFORMATION:
Twitter: @USABoxing
Instagram: @USABoxing
Facebook: /USABoxing
By Behind The Gloves 05 Dec, 2017

The much-anticipated rematch between Tony Bellew and David Haye will take place on Saturday May 5th at The O2 arena, London, Live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Haye and Bellew were set to renew hostilities on December 17th, however the fight was postponed after David Haye injured his bicep in a freak accident.

Tony Bellew commented: “ I’m pleased to get a new date in the diary and I look forward to giving boxing fans a great night on May 5. To be honest I was looking forward to a great victory in December and a relaxing family break over Xmas but my mind is still very much on this fight and I will punish him for that.

I now have a very clear plan for 2018 and that is to knock out David Haye and then knock out Tyson ‘Stavros Flatley’ Fury and end both their careers but first things first I need to rid the sport of David Haye on May 5 and I look forward to doing this in what I believe will be an explosive fight.”


David Haye commented: I’m thrilled to confirm that The Rematch between myself and Tony Bellew will take place on Saturday 5th May, returning to The O2 Arena.

Whilst the first chapter of the Haye Bellew saga didn’t go my way, fans were left on the edge of their seats throughout the thrilling eleven round battle. The Rematch in May will no doubt eclipse this, Tony has boasted that The Rematch gives him the opportunity to force me into retirement. Unquestionably, I step into the ring on Saturday 5th May with both my career and legacy on the line.

After my freak accident down a stairwell last month I was heartbroken not to give everyone the ending to 2017 I wanted. Since then I had to accept the cards I had been dealt, remain positive and focus on factors which are within my control; rehabilitation and rescheduling the fight.

Over the past five years, I’ve had a number of challenges to overcome, but learnt often during times of adversity we learn and grow. As a result, come May 5th, Tony will be faced with a more experienced and more determined opponent.

On Saturday 5th May, whether you are lucky enough to witness the showcase live, or tune in from home on Sky Box Office, you will not be disappointed. I will give fans the ending I have promised.

In 2018 the Hayemaker will be back and I will once again give fans the biggest, most explosive, blockbuster fight nights they deserve”


Tickets for the original 17th December date are still valid for this event. If you require a refund, please contact your point of purchase.

Any returned tickets will be returned on general sale via www.theO2.co.uk  on Thursday 14th December at midday

By Behind The Gloves 05 Dec, 2017

The World Boxing Super Series has been a roaring success so far, and will no doubt continue to grow in popularity with the mouth-watering domestic semi-final clash between domestic rivals George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr.

The pair will meet at the Manchester Arena on February 17th with Groves and Eubank Jr.'s WBA 'Super' and IBO World Super Middleweight titles at stake respectively. As well as lure of World title hardware, the winner will advance to the finals of the tournament, meeting the winner of Callum Smith and Juergen Braehmer for the chance to claim the coveted Ali Trophy. 

Both boxers impressed in each of their quarter-final bouts, with Groves besting another domestic rival, Jamie Cox, with a devastating body shot to record a fourth round stoppage victory. The week prior, IBO beltholder Eubank Jr. produced a brutal display in dismantling the previously unbeaten Avni Yildrim with an equally impressive third round knockout. The performances of the two men lit the touch paper for the World Boxing Super Series, and served up a tantalising appetiser to their monumental all-British showdown in 2018.

Last week, Groves and Eubank Jr. came head-to-head for the first time at the media press conference at The Savoy Hotel in Covent Garden. With both considered to be among the most polarising figures in the sport, the heavily-hyped clash got off to an expectedly exciting start, with barbs traded between the two camps from the get-go.

“He’s [Eubank Jr.] in a fight that he can’t win." said WBA 'Super' Champion George Groves, speaking to Behind The Gloves .

“If he shows up and I show up and we’re both on form: he loses. It’s probably the first time he’s been in this situation, apart from his loss."

In reference to previous sparring sessions between the pair - of which Eubank Jr. claimed to have dominated - Groves poured cold water on the claims from his opponent.

“I definitely refute that." he said.

"There was the odd occasion where he gave a really good account of himself but at the end of the day he was my sparring partner. I paid him, I fed him, I told him what time to get to the gym.

“He was good work. He used to jump in and let his hands go which was just what we wanted. Sometimes he came out on top, but the vast majority of time I was in full control."

When asked for a prediction of the fight, 'Saint' George was in little doubt as to the outcome.

“I’m gonna chin him. I think I'll chin him early.”


Click below for the full interview...

By Behind The Gloves 05 Dec, 2017
Hammer hitting Newport middleweight Lee Churcher could experience a resurrection of biblical proportions if he can spring an upset against Essex ticket seller Joe Mullender on Frank Warren’s Xmas bonanza at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday evening.

Less than three years ago, the then reigning Welsh champion – a father of four – was languishing in a prison cell reflecting on the folly of supplying cocaine; his promising ring career seemingly in tatters.

But a stunning victory over leading contender Mullender in their spat for the IBF European belt this weekend could be rewarded with a British title challenge at the ripe old age of 37.

'It was very bad timing, very frustrating to lose that time, something I hugely regret,’ says the plasterer who served five years in the British Army.

‘But I’ve been able to take a lot of positives from it. It was a turning point both in my life and my career. I was training stupid and my lifestyle wasn’t right. Thankfully, I’ve come out the other side.

‘Victory next Saturday could earn me a fight for the Lonsdale Belt – a beautiful thing – and get me a top 15 world ranking.’

Cruncher Churcher’s ring journey started at the age of 12 when he laced up hoping to learn how to defend himself. His career in a singlet spanned 14 years but just 26 bouts and peaked with an appearance in the 2009 Welsh ABA final.

He was already 28 when he chanced his arm with the profession in 2009 but the popular ticket seller triumphed in just six of his first ten and twice suffered crushing stoppage losses inside five minutes.

‘I’ve always had plenty of power – all of my knockout wins have been one punch jobs – but early in my career my former manager told me to carry the journeyman otherwise I’d get no work,’ recalls Lee.

‘Trouble was, my fans who buy the tickets started to question why I wasn’t finishing guys off after I’d wobbled or dropped them. I started listening to my mates rather than my manager and twice copped big right hands on the chin. You can’t argue with them!’

However, either side of his ‘interruption’, Churcher has won seven straight – with several victories achieved by chilling kayos - and insists he isn’t visiting London this weekend for a spot of sightseeing.

‘It’s by far the biggest test, biggest opportunity of my boxing career but there’s no pressure at all on me and I love that,’ says Churcher who has lost just three of 17.

‘I’ve always had a successful building company so I’ve never really boxed for money. I just want to get as high as I possibly can. Any money is a bonus.

‘Joe Mullender’s an interesting fighter, very big for a middleweight. But whereas Joe can only come forward, I’ve got options. I’m known as a powerful puncher and a skilful puncher but I can box front or back foot, move laterally or plant my feet and unload my bombs. Mullender will have to wait to see what I choose.

‘He’ll discover I’m a huge puncher. As a plasterer, moving my arms up and down walls all day helps develop real power and 12 rounds is a long time for him to avoid getting hit clean. If he hasn’t got a granite chin, he’s going to sleep.

‘It’s a well matched fight and I’m really looking forward to it. I believe I win because I’m a better boxer and I hit harder.’
 
Coach Gavin Rees, the former WBA Light-Welterweight Champion adds: ‘ Not many have heard of Lee but he’s got a decent record and we believe he could pull off a shock. He’s got a nice dig on him; hits far harder than his record suggests.

‘Lee’s a lot fresher 37 year old that I am. Ok, he’s been to jail but everyone makes mistakes in life and honestly, he’s a lovely kid.

‘At his age, you can’t turn chances like this down. It’s a great opportunity to finally showcase what he’s about. Better late than never. You don’t know what might come off the back of it.

‘For once Lee has had six or seven weeks notice. He’s trained very hard and we’ve got him as good as he’s gonna get. Joe Mullender is very fit but, from what I’ve seen, he’s not the best technically, doesn’t bring much fire power.

‘Mullender will be in Lee’s face and it’ll be a brawl. Lee will have to hold his ground and bang back. Our plan is to take him out early. Lee’s certainly capable of that.’

James DeGale MBE (23-1-1, 14 KOs) tops an unmissable evening of boxing in the capital when he makes the fourth defence of his IBF Super-Middleweight World Title against American Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs); Lee Selby (25-0-1, 9 KO's) defends his IBF Featherweight crown against Mexico's Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KO's);

Light-Heavyweight ‘Beast’ Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs) defends his WBO Intercontinental and European belts against Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1, 11 KOs), Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs) aims to continue his KO streak when he faces former Anthony Joshua opponent Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KO) in his sixth contest;
 
Hugely-popular former English Welterweight Champion Johnny Garton (20-1-1 7 KOs) fights for the Vacant IBF European Welterweight title;

WBO European Lightweight Champion Craig Evans features in an eight round International contest and rising talents Archie Sharp (Welling), Sanjeev Sahota (Hornchurch), Ben Smith (Wycombe), Hamza Sheeraz (Ilford), Umar Sadiq (Ilford) and debutant Harvey Horn (Chigwell) complete an action-packed night of boxing.

Remaining tickets for The Boys Are Back In Town  are available via See Tickets, Eventim and Ticketmaster:
 
See Tickets
0871 230 7148
www.seetickets.com
 
Eventim
0844 249 1000
www.eventim.co.uk
 
Ticketmaster
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