Five Future Fights Fans Would Love To See...

  • By Behind The Gloves
  • 17 Aug, 2017
So far, this year, boxing fans have had little to complain about (although someone always will) with some unbelievable clashes including the historic event of Joshua v Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. And with some absolute bangers coming up this season such as Canelo vs Golovkin, and Crawford vs Indongo; two fights which for sure are contenders for fight of the year, we get greedy and weigh up future fights that we would love to see in the coming season (Anthony Joshua v Amir Khan cheating face off not being one of them…).

Dillian Whyte v Derek Chisora II

One of the top fights for next season has to be Whyte v Chisora part two. After the dramatic and hilarious build up between the pair, followed by a more equally matched fight than imagined, fans got a blockbuster of a boxing match, with many thinking Chisora should have been the one to walk away victorious but with Whyte taking it by split decision.

He has since, with Eddie Hearn, been trying to secure a big money fight against Deontay Wilder in the US, but to no avail, and talks of a rematch with Joshua have also been rumoured. For now, it may be better if he turns his attention to other possible avenues, and what could be better than a trash talk sensation rematch?

Whyte is next fighting on August 19 in Nebraska against 38-year-old Malcom Tann (nope, me either) who has lost three out of his last four fights, which keeps ‘The Body Snatcher’ busy for the moment, but both have very much kept the social media trash talk alive (including Chisora insulting Whyte’s family) meaning that there could hopefully be a rematch on the cards in the not too distant future.

 

https://twitter.com/TeamFA/status/893833219547594752

 

Chisora seems to be waiting in the wings after his scheduled fight against Robert Helenius was postponed back in May due to a number of mysterious reasons, which also means a deal could perhaps be worked out for late 2017, early 2018. He has also been mentioned alongside Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller as another possible opponent if a rematch were not to be made.

Chisora told   Sky Sports :”The rematch is going to happen. The world is going to have to see the rematch. I’m going to destroy that guy. I’m going to batter him from corner to corner. I’m not even joking, I’m going to destroy him. I’m going to have to knock him out.

“I would relish that fight, I would love that fight, I would take that fight any time.”

Whyte also has not been opposed, as long as the cash is right.

“It can happen, but the problem is Dereck Chisora doesn’t know how to negotiate or do good business,” Whyte told Sky Sports   in reply . “Yes, the fight can happen. All Eddie has to do is pay me and look after me the way I deserve to be treated. I’ve beaten Chisora already. The only reason I would fight him again is if the money is right.”

Come on promoters, get your wallet out!

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

This has got be the big daddy of all Heavyweight fights that no one would want to miss. This is the fight Deontay Wilder is chasing (and chasing, and chasing) and with a Klitschko rematch down the toilet with his retirement announcement, this fight has to be on the cards for 2018.

Joshua has his ordered mandatories to deal with first, in the form of Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz (perhaps not the most action-packed fights) but when it comes to an equal challenger, the Bronze Bomber has to be the closest in power and talent on the scene as it stands currently.

On a mission to ‘#Unify’, Wilder was quick to jump in as soon as Joshua defeated Klitschko, and despite Eddie Hearn’s attempts to pacify him with Dillian Whyte for 4 million dollars, the WBC Champion is having none of it.

Hearn is keen to build Joshua’s profile in the US before such a huge fight which would be shown on PPV on both sides of the pond. And with Wilder winning all but one of his 38 fights by knock out (with an incredible 18 knock outs in the first round) the fight would definitely bring fireworks.

The Bronze Bomber does need to ensure he is keeping himself active in the ring however, if he has to wait out these mandatory challenges first, fighting just once so far this year, against Gerald Washington back in February. Nonetheless he is pushing for the fight as soon as possible.

He said on social media (full video above): “Eddie Hearn, I know you weren’t expecting Klitschko to retire like this man, he had all of us guessing. But don’t go pulling your hair out, weeping and moaning,”

“You tried to lend me your little black spare tire, Dillian Whyte, knowing that after usage I wouldn’t even gain a yard. Let’s not mess about here mate. We’ve got an opportunity to turn a year into three months and make one of the biggest  heavyweight title fights in history. I don’t want to hear nothing about mandatories, I’m sure the sanctioning bodies, all the sanctioning bodies, will overrule on this one. This fight is inevitable, so it will happen. So call, let’s go. We’ll be waiting.”

As will we…

Jorge Linares vs Mikey Garcia

Back in March there were huge rumours of a Lightweight mega fight between the top two fighters – Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares.

Garcia told   ESPN , “I want to fight this summer, whether June or July, or maybe even August if the Linares-Crolla winner doesn’t come out injured or cut and we need to go to August so they can be ready for me. I think it’s also probably the best fight. Linares has proven himself in three different divisions by winning world titles. Even after being stopped he bounced back and regains another world title and was looking great. It shows you the calibre of fighter he is. He has proven himself and he has the skills. There’s no other match that’s as competitive   [at Lightweight]   as that can be.

“I think Linares wants to fight me and prove himself and make a great fight for the fans.”

Since then, unfortunately their attentions seem to have both been taken elsewhere, but with both fighters continuing to go from strength to strength.

 

https://twitter.com/SkySportsBoxing/status/888040332306395136

 

After outclassing Anthony Crolla not once but twice, four-time World Champion in three weight classes, Linares, who is ranked the number one Lightweight boxer by   BoxRec   and   ‘Ring Magazine’   now is set to take on Luke Campbell, his WBA mandatory, in California, despite Garcia pushing for a summer clash. He has also been out of action for a while recovering with a broken hand which he injured during his rematch with Crolla.

Unbeaten Garcia’s last bout was fought on July 29th at Light Welterweight against former four-weight World Champion Adrien Broner, who he beat convincingly in every round, with Linares even taking to social media to congratulate his potential future opponent on the win.

 

https://twitter.com/JorgeLinares/status/891493845875261441

 

After the fight, Garcia said was open to any boxer coming over to Showtime whether that be at 135lbs, 140lbs or even 147lbs.

If he was to stay at Light Welterweight there would be a few other great options including Indongo or Crawford, who are also facing each other in just over a week, but you cannot help but feel he should go back down to face Linares ‘The Golden Boy’ from Venezuela, in what would be a hugely exciting action-packed battle with two of the most skilful boxers in the world.

Garcia recently told   Sky Sports   that he would “really like to unify lightweight and become the man, the king of the division” before he chooses to move up in weight.

“Taking this fight with Adrien Broner is a very interesting fight and I wasn’t able to secure any unification fights at the moment.

Hopefully a unification will be on the cards for early 2018, now Linares has recovered and all being well in both their upcoming fights this year, our dream fights for 2018 are shaping up quite nicely in this run down so far.

Vasyl Lomachenko v Guillermo Rigondeaux

Known for his excellent hand speed, accuracy and skill, ‘Hi Tech’ seems to have his pick of the bunch at the moment after another superb win against Marriaga last weekend, even offering himself up as a sparring partner to McGregor, after Paulie Malignaggi’s controversial departure from his training camp.

With many potential opponents being explored at various weight including the likes of Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares at 135lbs as mentioned above, the most spoken about still has to be the challenge of Guillermo Rigondeaux.

After both established themselves as top amateurs, Cuban Rigondeaux is unbeaten in 17 fights (with 1 no contest) as a professional, while Ukrainian Lomachenko has moved to 10-1-KO7, challenging unsuccessfully for a world title in only his second pro fight before winning the WBO title next time round. Both seem set for success with many fans likening them in styles and skill.

Even Lomachenko has noted the fans enthusiasm for the potential bout.

He told   ESPN   – “Personally I would like to fight Mikey Garcia, as well, I support what the fans want. Fans talking a lot about my bout and Rigondeaux bout. I would love to fight him if it’s somehow possibility we can make that fight.”

And it appears Rigondeaux is ready, hitting up social media with his opinion and chasing Lomachenko for not agreeing a deal yet.

Although Lomachenko thinks it is one the fans want, he believes it will be like the Marriaga fight all over again. When asked on his potential opponent’s style, he said to   BoxingScene.com   “First of all let me tell you, I am not asking to fight him. I don’t need him, he is asking to fight me. He wants, but he has to understand if he’s gonna step in the ring I’m gonna destroy him just like a tank.”

“I don’t think that fight is going to being me a lot of glory because after that fight everybody is going to be saying I beat an old, little guy”.

Ouch!

A month ago though it seems like they were one step closer to what the fans want at least, apparently agreeing a possible weight of 126lbs.

Andre Ward vs Adonis Stevenson

With Stevenson calling out the winner of Kovalev v Ward II, another huge fight for 2018 could be ‘Son of God’ v ‘Superman’.

 

https://twitter.com/andreward/status/876819434110943233

 

After defeating Kovalev in the eighth round, Ward has many an opponent at 175lbs but is also possibly considering a move up in weight class. As well as Stevenson, there is also the possibility of names being thrown in the mix such Badou Jack, Anthony Dirrell or George Groves.

‘Son of God’ Ward, the unbeaten American has proven himself the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world and will now be looking to reinforce his legacy  at this weight as well as earn top dollar. Fighting Stevenson would be a sure way to do this by unifying the titles. Ward currently holds the WBA, WBO and IBF Light Heavyweight titles, with Stevenson still holding the WBC. Winning the last belt would be one big reason why this fight would be amazing.

Betway  have Stevenson as the 6/4 betting favourite to be Ward’s next opponent however on paper, if it’s going to happen it needs to be within this next season. Stevenson is now 39 years old and has not fought outside of Canada since 2011. Ward is unbeaten and arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world – if Stevenson thinks he can do this, it needs to be sooner rather than later or it may be a case of ‘the late and the great’.

 

Article by: Charlottle Lily Prior

You can follow Charlotte on Twitter at: @charlottlelily89

By Behind The Gloves 18 Oct, 2017

Ricky Hatton plans to ruin old charge Ryan Burnett’s big night with the perfect game plan for Zhanat Zhakiyanov to unify the Bantamweight division when they clash for the IBF and WBA Super titles at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports. 

Hatton brings Zhakiyanov to Belfast in an historic unification battle that sees the Manchester legend in the opposite corner to the man he introduced to the paid ranks.

The IBF king turned pro with Hatton in 2012 but a stuttering start to his career saw him leave the ‘Hitman’ in 2014 after just four pro fights and team up with Adam Booth.

Hatton has admitted that Belfast was right to move onto pastures new and was proud to see the 25 year old claim the IBF crown – but warns that he will have his hands full against the WBA Super king Zhakiyanov.

“I knew 100 per cent that Ryan had the ability to go all the way when I was training him,” said Hatton. “I was having a lot of problems at the time, I wasn’t in a good place at all, and Ryan felt the training was better elsewhere.

“I wasn’t the trainer I am today. I understand why he left. There are no hard feelings. The Ricky Hatton of today is in a miles better place than the Ricky Hatton back then.

“I text him before his World Title fight with Haskins to say good luck and text him straight after to say congratulations. I think the world of Ryan and his family. He’s a great lad and a wonderful talent but I don’t think he’s going to beat us on the night.

“Ryan’s done everything asked of him so far but he’s going to have to show more than his talent in this one. If he doesn’t nail Zhanat to the canvas in the first few rounds he’s in for a very tough night. But if he doesn’t put Zhanat over in the first few then goes on to win, I’ll be the first one to shake his hand.

“They’ve sparred together and he probably just edged the sessions with those big gloves and head guard but times and circumstances change. Ryan’s in for a heap load of trouble once that bell goes.”

Zhakiyanov was the man in trouble early in his World title clash with Rau’shee Warren in February, hitting the canvas twice in the opening round in Ohio. The hometown star was unable to put the visitor away though and Zhakiyanov recovered and pulled away from Warren to rip the WBA Super strap from him via split decision – a proud night for Hatton and one he feels will serve them well against Burnett.

“He was never going to beat Warren on just boxing ability alone,” said Hatton. “He was going to beat him with a lot of heart and will to win the World Title. We had a good game plan overall but he made fundamental mistakes in the first round. I told him not to stand off Warren because he’ll ping you and what happened – he stood off and ended up on his arse. He can’t start the same against Ryan with all his skill.

“He’s learnt lessons from it and come away with a World title. He went to Ohio in Warren’s backyard to take his belt and this time he goes into Ryan’s backyard so it’s nothing new to him and the experience will help.

“He’s never looked better to be honest with you. I know you hear trainers say that a lot, but he has never looked this good. He couldn’t be any sharper.

“He’s got an extra bit of ambition and determination for this one. There’s always been that bit of rivalry between the two. The fact he used to share a gym with Ryan and spar with him at the same weight.

“Ryan hasn’t fought anyone as good as who Zhanat has been in with. He’s beat Karim Guerfi for the European who is a very, very good fighter – potential World class. Rau’shee Warren is an absolutely outstanding fighter. As good as Lee Haskins and Ryan Farrag are, they aren’t big power houses who can pack a huge punch.”

Zhakiyanov’s clash with Burnett tops a huge night of boxing in Belfast as Paul Hyland Jnr defends his IBF European Lightweight title against Stephen Ormond and James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor.

Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.

A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at  www.ssearenabelfast.com  (ticket price includes inside charge)

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from  http://www.matchroomboxing.com/

Face value tickets for October 21 are also be available from  http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/  . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

By Behind The Gloves 18 Oct, 2017

Paul Hyland Jnr believes beating Stephen Ormond in style will prove he’s ready for the British Lightweight title as they clash at the SSE Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Hyland Jnr puts his IBF European strap on the line for the first time against the experienced Dubliner, and the champion says this is his first big test in his 17th pro outing.

The 27 year old won the belt in fine fashion in June, blasting Adam Dingsdale away inside the opening round in the Arena where he faces Ormond in three days.

Lewis Ritson wrestled the British crown from Robbie Barrett in Manchester earlier in the month and the Newcastle talent was promptly snapped up by promoter Eddie Hearn. ‘Hylo’ wants to put on an impressive display in front of the Matchroom boss to get to the front of the queue to face Ritson next year.

“Next year I’d love to fight for the British title,” said Hyland. “I’m in the top ten in Britain now and I know Matchroom have just signed Lewis who had a good win over Barrett. I feel like he wouldn’t be able to push me back as easy so it would make for a cracking fight.

“He’s definitely my toughest opponent to date. I respect what he’s done and am expecting a tough fight but it’s my time to take over now.

“He’s had an up and down couple of years but there’s no doubt he’s boxed at a higher level than I have at present. It’s a good measuring stick for me to get in and see where I am at.

“Everything has gone well. I’ve done some great strength and condition work for this camp. I’m feeling fit, strong and sharp for this one.

“I wasn’t expecting the fight to finish so early against Dingsdale. The game plan was to push him back early and show him he was in for a tough night from the start. But I just caught him, I knew as soon as I hit him he was in trouble. His legs and eyes were gone and I just jumped on him.

“I’ve done a proper programme this time with a friend of mine who is qualified. I can feel my power and strength improving. It’s very specialist. It’s all going to plan so far and I’m excited to get in there and test it all out.

“It’ll be a cracking atmosphere in the arena. I have sold a lot more tickets than last time. The Dublin fans for Ormond will be vocal too.”

Hyland’s clash with Ormond is part of an historic night of action in Belfast as hometown star Ryan Burnett clashes with Zhanat Zhakiyanov in a unification battle for the IBF And WBA Super World Bantamweight titles.

James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor, Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.

A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at www.ssearenabelfast.com  (ticket price includes inside charge)

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from  http://www.matchroomboxing.com/

Face value tickets for October 21 are also be available from  http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/  . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

By Behind The Gloves 18 Oct, 2017
Just months after claiming the IBF World Bantamweight title, Ryan Burnett will attempt to add another belt to his collection, as he prepares to take on WBA ‘Super’ Champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov in Belfast on this weekend live on SkySports.

In just his 17th fight, Burnett claimed the IBF strap at the SSE Arena in June with a one-sided performance over Bristol's Lee Haskins, flooring the champion twice on the way to a dominant victory which was incorrectly scored as a split decision.

One judge caused confusion following the announcement of the scorecard, after mixing up the two fighters - before the verdict was later corrected and deemed a unanimous point’s victory in Burnett’s favour.

Ulsterman Burnett hopes to become the only unified Champion in the Bantamweight division, as he attempts to dethrone the teak-tough Zhakiyanov, who in February survived two first-round knockdowns to claim the WBA 'Super' belt from American Rau'shee Warren in the American’s hometown.

The two fighters are no strangers to each other, having previously sparred together when both under the tutelage of British boxing legend Ricky Hatton. Burnett would later leave Hatton to sign with with Matchroom Boxing, and is now trained by Adam Booth in 2015.

Kazakh banger Zhakiyanov has already proven himself away from home and will enter the ring in Burnett’s hometown of Belfast in-front of a raucous, hostile crowd as he attempts to upset the Northern Irish fighter’s quest for boxing history.

Article by: Emmily Jane

You can follow Emmily on Twitter at: @emmily_jane
By Behind The Gloves 18 Oct, 2017

Within the last 48 hours, boxing has been hit by the news that Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev has been called off due to an injury suffered by the latter in sparring. 

Joshua will instead defend his title on October 28 against Cameroonian-French boxer Carlos Takam. He figures to be a decent replacement opponent. Takam is ranked number number 3 behind Pulev by the IBF. Despite the short-notice, he has been in training since the announcement of Joshua-Pulev as Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn made a deal with Takam’s team for him to be on standby in the event of Pulev withdrawing. This will be Takam’s first shot at a world title and, at thirty six years of age, possibly his last as well. Expect him to come motivated and in good shape.  

Takam was a decent amateur, representing Cameroon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens where he was eliminated in the round of 16. He joined the paid ranks the following year and has gone on to carve out a solid pro-career. He experienced an early career reversal in 2009 against then-unbeaten Gregory Tony who has since suffered 7 losses while being relegated to journeyman status. Eleven wins on the trot then followed against uninspiring opposition, including badly-faded versions of Frans Botha and Michael Grant, before a still largely-unknown Takam faced Cuban Mike Perez on HBO in 2014. Perez entered the fight as the favourite, on the back of a punishing win against Magomed Abdusalamov; a fight which ended in tragedy as Abdusalamov suffered severe brain injuries which forced his retirement from the sport and left him permanently handicapped. The physical and mental toll of the fight and its fall-out clearly had an effect on Perez, as he did not look like himself in the ring against Takam and was fortunate to escape with a draw. Were it not for some dubious scorecards, it would have been the best win of Takam’s career on paper. The fight did however bring him to the attention of the boxing world as a legitimate heavyweight contender. He followed up with an easy win against another old-timer in Tony Thompson, claiming the WBC Silver Heavyweight trinket, before facing former titleholder Alexander Povetkin in Moscow. In a very competitive fight, Takam outboxed Povetkin in the early rounds to build a lead on the scorecards only for Povetkin to come charging back in the middle rounds before dropping Takam hard in the ninth and knocking him out cold in the tenth. After rebuilding with three wins against journeymen, Takam was brought in to face an up-and-coming Joseph Parker in New Zealand. He figured to be the best opponent of the Parker’s career and he gave the Kiwi hometown hero all he could handle en route to a close points loss.

Takam is a legitimate contender, but that speaks more to the weakness of the contemporary heavyweight division than it does to his level of talent. He is a solid operator in the ring, doing everything fairly well, but nothing outstandingly. Ironically, he possesses a style that harks back to the Golden Age of heavyweight boxing. He utilises the crab guard, a la Ken Norton and before him Archie Moore, comes forward and smothers his opponent with a high-volume attack, mixing it up well with hooks to the head and body. He is physically strong and boasts respectable power in addition to a good engine for a heavyweight, something which was curiously absent in the late rounds against Parker in which he seemed to take his foot off the gas and give away a fight which was very much up for grabs. He is also a durable and determined foe blessed with a reliable chin; a necessity considering his fighting style. The devastating stoppage loss to Povetkin is somewhat of an aberration; in hindsight there are serious questions which must be raised over the circumstances of this loss due to Povetkin’s history of PED use. In his fight against Parker, Takam took some good shots from a big puncher and took them well. In Joshua, he will face a similarly younger, fresher and bigger man, but one who hits even harder and is a superior boxer to boot.

It has been stated by Eddie Hearn that, having prepared for Pulev’s height and style, Joshua now faces a difficult challenge in adjusting to the short, squat Takam and the contrasting style he will bring to the ring. Indeed, the contrast between Pulev’s patient, stand-up boxer style and Takam’s come-forward, smothering style could not be greater. However, while the former had the potential to give Joshua fits, Takam’s style is tailor-made for him. The Cameroonian will have to deal with a reach disadvantage and an even more significant height disadvantage. The prospect of walking through Joshua’s heavy artillery to get on the inside where he does his best work is a daunting task. Should he get there, he may not find much joy either. Against a much shorter man on the inside, the uppercut is an effective weapon. Joshua throws a quite simply devastating uppercut; just ask Dillian Whyte. It would not be a surprise to see a similar outcome in this fight. 

Styles make fights and while we won’t get to see Joshua face what would undoubtedly have been a difficult stylistic test against Pulev, we will get a far more entertaining fight on October 28, albeit less competitive. Takam will be game and will come forward as he always does, but he will be outgunned. Expect Joshua to put on a show and stop the brave Cameroonian by brutal knockout before the middle rounds are over.


Article by: Paul Lam

You can follow Paul on Twitter at: @PaulTheWallLam

By Behind The Gloves 18 Oct, 2017
It has been announced that the remaining cruiserweight fights of the World Boxing Super Series tournament (the last quarter-final notwithstanding) will be taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The reclusive, oil-rich kingdom - which enforces a total alcohol ban coupled with a modest dress code - has hosted numerous professional wrestling events in recent years.

This startling revelation has come about as a result of an agreement between the organisers of the tournament and a company named Sela Sports, and exemplifies boxing's growing popularity throughout the Middle East and the Gulf region in particular.

Indeed, the United Arab Emirates was previously considered as a possible location for a lucrative showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, in addition to the now-lapsed heavyweight rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko.

Correspondingly, the last cruiserweight quarter-final between IBF champion Murat Gassiev and Polish mandatory challenger Krysztof Wlodarcyzk will be taking place in Newark, New Jersey.

New Jersey is home to a sizeable Polish-American population and it is expected that seasoned veteran and erstwhile champion Wlodarcyzk will receive vociferous support from the majority of the crowd inside the Prudential Center on October 21st.

Gassiev, a native of the troubled region of Ossetia, now fights out of Abel Sanchez's Summit Gym in Big Bear, California - where he regularly trains alongside middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.

Like his Kazakhstani counterpart, Gassiev is an undefeated pressure fighter and a devastating body puncher to boot. Considered by many to be the tournament's dark horse, Gassiev claimed the IBF title in his last outing against countryman Denis Lebedev, where he scored a knockdown on route to a split-decision victory.

The winner of this quarter-final bout will face the undefeated Cuban Yunier Dorticos; the WBA "regular" champion who is aptly nicknamed the 'K.O. Doctor' with an impressive record of 22 wins, all but one inside the distance.

Dorticos advanced to the tournament's semi-final stages with a chilling second-round knockout over Dimitry Kudryashov last month at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Article by: Navi Singh

You can follow Navi on Twitter at: @hombre_obscuro
By Behind The Gloves 17 Oct, 2017

IBF World Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0-0, 19 KO's) will make the first defence of his title against former WBA Super Lightweight belt-holder Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO's).

The bout is currently pencilled in for January 2018 with Brooklyn's Barclays Center rumoured to be the chosen venue.  

'The Truth' will be eager to kick on from his title-winning performance last time out against Britain's Kell Brook, by shining in-front on a large US TV audience on CBS network Showtime .  Peterson, meanwhile, will seek to upset the odds once more, as was the case back in 2011 when he outpointed Amir Khan to unify the WBA and IBF 140 pound titles.  

The Washington DC-native should provide a stern test, but it one which most will expect 2012 Olympian Spence Jr. to come through in convincing fashion. With WBA/WBC Champion Keith Thurman (28-0-0, 22 KO's) having recently announced that he shall return to the ring in January, a blockbuster Welterweight World Championship double-header, featuring both men on the same bill has also been mooted.

Should Spence Jr. and Thurman come through their respective match-ups without any issues, the prospect of a tantalising unification bout between the two undefeated Americans becomes a realistic proposition: with talks of a summer showdown between the pair growing louder and louder. 


Article by Gareth Gonet

You can follow Gareth Gonet on Twitter at: @garethgonet

By Behind The Gloves 17 Oct, 2017

Carlos Takam has replaced Kubrat Pulev as the IBF mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Frenchman Takam is rated at number three with the governing body and has been on the hunt for a showdown with the British star, and gets his golden chance at ripping away Joshua’s titles in the Welsh capital after Pulev picked up a shoulder injury in sparring.

“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam. 

“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam's team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go. It's a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam – this hasn't happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”

Joshua’s clash with Takam is part of a huge night of action in Cardiff where the 2012 London Olympic Gold medal man’s bitter foe Dillian Whyte aims to take a giant step to his first World title shot by facing Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver strap.

Kal Yafai defends his WBA Wold Super-Flyweight title against Japanese mandatory challenger Sho Ishida and Irish sensation Katie Taylor challenges for her first World title as she takes on two-weight World champion Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA Lightweight crown.

There’s a mouth-watering British and Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight battle between Frank Buglioni, Lenroy Thomas and Dave Allen rematch for the Commonwealth Heavyweight title and Team GB Olympian and Welsh talent Joe Cordina appears in his fifth pro outing.

A limited number of tickets remain on sale via  www.StubHub.co.uk .

Accessibility, ambulant and wheelchair tickets – please contact the Principality stadium via 02920 822432 – also on sale from midday Tuesday.

Official hospitality packages are available to purchase directly from Principality Stadium Experience. Both private suite and premium lounge packages are available to purchase, with prices starting from £450 per person + VAT. For further information please call the team on 02920 822 413.

Official Travel & Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via www.sportsworld.co.uk  or by calling 0208 9712966

Please ensure you plan your travel into the city before purchasing your tickets and allow plenty of time for additional security checks at the venue - please visit http://www.principalitystadium.wales/events/v/joshua-v-pulev-2017-10-28  to view the travel page for the event.

By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017
From the Barclays Center in New York, Showtime carried a card featuring three Super Welterweight Champions defending their titles. It was a card that had garnered much attention due to the fighters involved and subsequent match-ups that could be made following the night's results.
 
Jarrett Hurd def. Austin Trout via 10th round RTD

In the first bout of the evening, undefeated IBF World Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett 'Swift' Hurd (21-0-0, 15 KO's), made the first defence of his title against former WBA belt-holder Austin 'No Doubt' Trout (30-4-0, 17 KO's).

The fight would represent a solid test for Hurd, with the veteran Trout having shared the ring with stellar competition throughout his career, with the likes of 'Canelo' Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara among the names on his resume.

The early rounds of the contest saw Trout rolling back the years, doing tremendous work behind a snappy southpaw jab and using his customary elusiveness to off-set the tense-looking Hurd. The 27-year-old Champion appeared flat-footed, plodding forward and looking unsure of himself offensively. In his previous outing in claiming the IBF title against Tony Harrison, Hurd had similar problems, struggling to pin Harrison down before eventually grinding him down for the stoppage.

Despite Trout's early success, it was evident that his shots were having little effect on the young, strong Champion. Hurd continued to march through Trout's best work, closing the distance in a bid to keep the pressure on the older man. Trout would continue to work hard in an attempt to put rounds in the bank, but the question would be whether or not he could sustain his efforts.

The middle rounds saw Hurd begin to find more consistent success, culminating in a huge seventh round wherein he hurt Trout on several occasions with a series of solid right hands. An accidental headbutt saw a cut open up over Hurd's left eye, however, the Champion was unfazed, and appeared energised by the sight of his own blood. Hurd would once again walk through the best Trout had to offer, applying more and more pressure and systematically breaking his man down.

Entering the tenth - and final - round of the contest, referee Eddie Claudio called for the ringside doctor to inspect Trout’s badly swollen right eye. The fight would continue, with Hurd smelling blood, and laying a beating on the stricken Trout from the beginning of the session. After hurting Trout with a succession of heavy blows, Hurd unloaded in the final thirty seconds of the round in a bid to score the stoppage. To his credit, Trout would survive the onslaught, but after wearily trudging to the corner, he was met by the ringside physician and his cornermen who called a halt to the contest.

After a slow start, Hurd picked up the pace through the middle rounds en route to earning a solid victory against an experienced, name-opponent in Austin Trout. While he still showed his inexperience in stages, it would prove to be a successful learning fight for the Maryland-native and one that he will surely grow from. After suffering his first stoppage defeat in a long career, 32-year-old Trout will surely contemplate retirement after his second consecutive reverse in World title fights. For Hurd, his next bout could come against WBC and WBA Champions Jermell Charlo or Erislandy Lara respectively: both highly-anticipated unification bouts that would be warmly received by boxing fans.


Jermell Charlo def. Erickson Lubin via 1st round KO

In a match-up of considerable intrigue and interest, undefeated hot-shots Jermell Charlo (30-0-0, 15 KO's) and the precocious Erickson Lubin (18-1-0, 13 KO's) squared off for Charlo's WBC World Super Welterweight title.

Lubin, earmarked by many as a future star after turning professional under Mike Tyson's 'Iron Mike Promotions' in 2013, had been fast-tracked through the rankings towards a title shot. After blitzing his way through a series of fringe contenders, Lubin found himself in the mandatory slot for Charlo’s WBC title. With the bout pitting two of the sport's best young fighters against each other. Fans questioned whether lupin had bitten off more than he could chew at the early stage in his career, whereas others questioned whether Charlo would be able to keep pace with the talented 22-year-old challenger.

... Those questions were answered rather quickly.

The first - and only - round of the fight began with both men probing patiently in the middle of the ring. Considering the undoubted talent of each fighter, the chess-match was of little surprise. While Lubin appeared to settle quickly into the bout, the contest exploded into action with 28 seconds left in the round when Charlo uncorked a perfect right uppercut that landed high on the temple of Lubin.

While appearing seemingly innocuous at first glance, replays showed Lubin ducking into the shot, causing maximum damage as he dropped heavily to the canvas in eery fashion. The referee waved off the contest with the count at six, handing Charlo a spectacular first round blowout victory: it was quite the statement from the unbeaten Texan, and made a mockery of pre-fight predictions of a closely-contested battle.

In his post-fight interview, Charlo spoke of his desire to unify the division against fellow American Jarrett Hurd, who had retained his IBF strap in the previous bout in the evening.

Erislandy Lara def. Terrell Gausha via 12 round UD

Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KO's) retained his WBA World Super Welterweight title with a convincing - if underwhelming - twelve round unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha (20-1-0, 9 KO's).

Former Cuban amateur standout Lara is a headache to fighters and fans alike for his perceived 'safety first' approach in the ring. While his skill and ability have never been in question, Lara has faced criticism throughout his career for a lack of excitement. Despite being an undoubted master of the sweet science, fans want action and Lara historically does not always provide it. Regardless, following his measured performance in defeating Gausha, Lara has now defended his WBA Super Welterweight title six times in a row.

The fight, however, did not provide much action, as evidenced by fans counting down the last ten seconds of the rounds and others leaving the arena before the final bell. The biggest moment came in the fourth when Lara landed a right hook-left hand combination that dropped Gausha to the canvas. However, showing the same composure that has drawn ire from his many detractors, Lara was unwilling to step on the gas and go for the stoppage, instead remaining in control for the remainder of the fight.

To his credit, Gausha had some moments of his own, but was never able to sustain his work sufficiently to be a threat in the fight. Lara remained composed until the end of the contest, essentially cruising to a resounding unanimous decision victory with scores of (117-110, 117-110 & 116-111).

In truth, Gausha's performance was largely disappointing and he will have to improve drastically in order to warrant another title shot. Lara on the other hand is in desperate need of an adequate dance-partner in order to raise his own game and get the recognition his talent so obviously deserved. In his post-fight interview, Lara stated he would be willing to face either Jermell Charlo or Jarrett Hurd in a unification bout. He did say that while he and Charlo are friends, having trained together under Ronnie Shields, boxing is a business and if it has to be done he’ll do it.

Erislandy Lara has the skill many don’t: he just needs a special type of fighter to bring it out.


Article by: Mike Rueda

You can follow Mike on Twitter at: @wolf2988
By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017

Zhanat Zhakiyanov believes he’s got the bigger heart in his clash unification clash with Ryan Burnett at the SSE Arena in Belfast on October 21, and that will see him add Burnett’s IBF Bantamweight crown to his WBA Super title live on Sky Sports and HBO.

Zhakiyanov climbed off the canvas twice in the opening round in Ohio against Rau’shee Warren in February, but pulled away from the champion to rip his title away via split decision.

The Kazakh enters hostile territory once again in Belfast as he looks to repeat that feat against Burnett, who defends his belt for the first time since claiming it from Lee Haskins in June with a dominant display.

The pair are familiar having sparred when Burnett was beginning his career, and while Zhakiyanov was impressed by Burnett’s win over Haskins, the 35 year old believes his experience and CV shows he’s going to be able to dig deeper and claim both titles next weekend.

“Ryan was a young pro at the time we sparred and has developed into a worthy champion,” said Zhakiyanov. “However, he needs to understand that I have also developed and travelled around the world fighting better opposition.

“I travelled to the U.S to beat Rau’shee Warren in his home town where I went down early and pulled myself off the canvas. I don’t know if Ryan has that experience and heart that I have.

“You have to congratulate Ryan on a good victory over an awkward opponent back in June to win the IBF title, but my style is different to Haskins.

“In comparison to my other opponents, Burnett ranks high but I don’t believe that that he’s the best that I have faced so far. I’d say Karim Guerfi and Rau’shee Warren are better.”

Zhakiyanov’s clash with Burnett tops a huge night of boxing in Belfast as Paul Hyland Jnr defends his IBF European Lightweight title against Stephen Ormond and James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor.

Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.

A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at  www.ssearenabelfast.com  (ticket price includes inside charge) 

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from  http://www.matchroomboxing.com/

Face value tickets for October 21 are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/  . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.


(Photo Credit: Mark Robinson)

By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017

Dillian Whyte will face Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver Heavyweight title at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Whyte made his US debut in August with a 16th KO from 21 wins over Malcolm Tann in his first action since his epic win over Dereck Chisora in their fight of the year contender in Manchester in December.

Whyte has been hunting a big name bout to move into prime position to land a World title fight and has landed that test in the shape of ‘The Nordic Nightmare’, and the two-time European champion Helenius is gunning for a win to land his first World title shot.

Brixton’s Whyte is hunting his own World title showdown with WBC king Wilder, and both he and promoter Eddie Hearn believe a standout win over the giant Finnish-Swede will bring that fight a step closer.

“It's been a very frustrating few months trying to get someone to fight me,” said Whyte. “I thank Robert for stepping up and in two weeks’ time we will fight for the WBC Silver title in Cardiff. I love to fight and I'm looking forward to being back in the ring, getting the victory and moving on to challenge for the World Heavyweight title.”

“This is a huge fight and I’m excited about fighting the winner of last December’s thriller between Whyte and Chisora,” said Helenius. “Chisora and I were scheduled to fight in May but he ran. To my understanding Dillian is not a runner and he will stand and fight. This is a big fight for the Heavyweight division and may the best man win.”

“This is a fight we have been working on for some time and I'm pleased to add it to the huge October 28 show in Cardiff,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “I think we have made it very clear, we want to make Dillian vs. Deontay Wilder and this WBC Silver title will put us in prime position. Helenius is a giant of a man with plenty of experience and this is a tough test for Dillian, it's going to be explosive.”

Whyte’s clash with Helenius is part of a huge night of action in Wales, topped by Anthony Joshua MBE’s World Heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev.

A star-studded cast line-up in support of Joshua’s clash with the Bulgarian, as Kal Yafai defends his WBA Wold Super-Flyweight title against Japanese mandatory challenger Sho Ishida and Irish sensation Katie Taylor challenges for her first World title as she takes on two-weight World champion Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA Lightweight crown.

There’s a mouth-watering British and Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight battle between Frank Buglioni, Lenroy Thomas and Dave Allen rematch for the Commonwealth Heavyweight title and Team GB Olympian and Welsh talent Joe Cordina appears in his fifth pro outing.

A limited number of tickets remain on sale via  www.StubHub.co.uk .

Accessibility, ambulant and wheelchair tickets – please contact the Principality stadium via 02920 822432 – also on sale from midday Tuesday.

Official hospitality packages are available to purchase directly from Principality Stadium Experience. Both private suite and premium lounge packages are available to purchase, with prices starting from £450 per person + VAT. For further information please call the team on 02920 822 413.

Official Travel & Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via www.sportsworld.co.uk  or by calling 0208 9712966

Please ensure you plan your travel into the city before purchasing your tickets and allow plenty of time for additional security checks at the venue - please visit http://www.principalitystadium.wales/events/v/joshua-v-pulev-2017-10-28  to view the travel page for the event.

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