Fightful Boxing Newsletter (11/1): Manny Pacquiao Signs With PBC, PBC On FOX, WBSS Scotland Preview

Fightful Boxing Newsletter (11/1) Table Of Contents:

  1. Manny Pacquiao signs with PBC (Page 1)
  2. PBC on FOX Announces December 22 Card (Page 2)
  3. HBO Boxing Madison Square Garden/World Boxing Super Series New Orleans Results (Page 3)
  4. Latest on Gennady Golovkin’s future: Is DAZN next? (Page 4)
  5. WBSS Scotland (Burnett vs. Donaire and Taylor vs. Martin) Preview (Page 5)
Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush Targeted For February

Manny Pacquiao Signs With PBC:

Just when DAZN got a big momentum swing in its favor after signing Canelo Alvarez a couple of weeks ago, PBC signed arguably its free agent yet with the announcement that Manny Pacquiao is joining the stable.

The boxing company founded by Al Haymon officially announced it has signed the eight-division world champion to a promotional deal that will not only have Pacquiao fight under the PBC banner but also possibly fight in the United States for the first time since 2016.

Although PBC did not announce exactly when will Pacquiao return to the ring, the press release did say he is expected to be back in action in early 2019. Pacquiao recently told media in the Philippines that he would be returning in mid-January against Adrien Broner. With Pacquiao and Broner now competing for PBC, this makes the fight one that can be made relatively easy. Regardless of who Pacquiao faces in his next fight, which will be announced soon, it will be co-promoted by MP Promotions and TGB Promotions.

As part of the deal, Pacquiao's promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon and PBC. MP Promotions will also work with Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.

“I'm very excited about this new chapter in my career and I'm looking forward to a fresh start. I'm reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner. My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career,” Pacquiao said in a press release sent to Fightful.

Pacquiao, who previously fought for Top Rank Boxing, last fought in July when he knocked out Lucas Matthysse to win the WBA “regular” welterweight title. The fight took place in Malaysia, his second consecutive fight outside of the United States. Prior to the fight in Malaysia, Pacquiao’s one and only boxing fight in 2017 took place in Australia where he suffered a shocking loss to Jeff Horn with the WBO welterweight title at stake.

PBC has been riding a wave of momentum in recent months after signing long-term broadcast deals with Showtime and FOX, meaning Pacquiao could potentially be fighting on television once more. Pacquiao’s last fight shown on television in the United States, the 2017 loss to Horn, averaged more than 2.8 million viewers and made it the most-watched boxing event on cable television since 2006.

Now with that being said, Pacquiao’s next fight against Broner does appear to be heading to pay-per-view. It is interesting to see that PBC, after never really spearheading pay-per-view cards in the past, is now jumping at the opportunity to do multiple paid events in the next few months in the aftermath of HBO no longer doing boxing events starting in 2019.

The idea that Pacquiao would fight on free television does sound nice on paper, but if Pacquiao is to fight in the United States, television alone does not do it. It should be noted that Pacquiao has a large multi-million dollar debt to the IRS and unless PBC gives Pacquiao an insane purse for a televised fight, then that debt will remain a problem. Pay-per-view has always been kind to Pacquiao, whose last fight was against Jessie Vargas. That fight drew about 300,000 buys, so one should expect similar buyrate, perhaps about 350,000-400,000 against Broner, who is a far bigger draw than Vargas ever was in his career.

PBC on FOX Announces December 22 Card:

PBC announced its first card to be televised on FOX after both parties signed a multi-year broadcast deal.

The card will take place on December 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will feature Jermall and Jermell Charlo, two of the biggest American stars at 160 and 154 pounds, respectively. Jermall will face off against middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr. while Jermell will defend his WBC junior middleweight title against Tony Harrison.

This will be the second time Jermall has fought this year and it is also the second time he has fought at the Barclays Center. Jermall won the interim WBC title back in April when he knocked Hugo Centeno Jr. out in the second round of their fight. Jermall will be facing Monroe, who has won his last two fights since losing a wide unanimous decision to then-WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in 2017.

Jermell has been the WBC champion at 154 pounds since May 2016, making three title defenses. Charlo last fought in June when he defeated Austin Trout on Showtime by majority decision. Harrison, on the other hand, is looking for his first world title. Harrison unsuccessfully challenged for the IBF junior middleweight title in February 2017 when he stopped by Jarrett Hurd in the ninth round of their fight. Since that loss, Harrison has won his last three fights, including a split decision against Ishe Smith this past May.

There is a third fight on the card, which may potentially be an intriguing one. That fight is a heavyweight bout between Dominic Breazeale and Carlos Negron.

On paper, this should be a mismatch. Breazeale has fought at the world-level for a while now, fighting Anthony Joshua for the IBF heavyweight title back in 2016 and winning a WBC heavyweight title eliminator in his last fight in 2017.

Negron, on the other hand, has not fought in 18 months by the time he steps into the ring and has never faced opposition such as Breazeale before. Negron, who fought in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, does own a victory over longtime veteran Derric Rossy by TKO, which is not an easy thing to do. In the span of the next few weeks, Fightful will release articles from a lengthy interview done with Negron some time back.

Overall, the reception of the fights announced have been somewhat negative. None of the fights appear to be headed to be a competitive one, but I can certainly understand why one would argue that PBC organized the card the way that it is.

It’s obvious that PBC believes that the Charlo Twins could potentially be real superstars in the United States and that one way to highlight them would be to give them relatively weak opposition so that they could look very good in front of a large audience.

It’s a similar tactic pro wrestling does when introducing a new character a promotion believes can be a real game-changing star. Those wrestlers would simply win short matches to show how dominant they can be and in turn, build to big fights against other top stars and that prior dominance draws eyes to that certain wrestler so when the top matches come, they appear bigger than they would have had it taken place at the debut of the introduction of said wrestler.

Viewership for this card should be a record-high for the network when it comes to PBC cards, especially since prior FOX cards didn’t really feature any exciting matchups. With Manny Pacquiao coming on board to PBC, FOX could potentially broadcast one of his fights and with a robust roster of fighters, especially at welterweight, the network has a chance to be the top television network in the United States when it comes to boxing.

Currently that role belongs to ESPN, who solidified its standing in U.S. boxing with an outstanding promotion for the Terence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. fight in October. If anything, that fight laid the groundwork for how to promote a boxing fight on television, even if it does appear as a mismatch on paper.

FOX does also have FOX Sports, which could be used to help promote the fight and drive traffic to the fight come December. One thing that FOX also has is NFL Football games and those games have, on average, drawn the highest television audience week in and week out. It would be a wasted opportunity to not have the network market the fight during broadcasts.

By the time 2019 comes, we’ll have a clearer picture as to how serious FOX is taking its commitment to PBC events with the best case scenario being the reintroduction of boxing to many in the United States and potentially create new fans,

HBO Boxing Madison Square Garden Results:

Daniel Jacobs defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko by split decision (115-112, 113-114, 115-112) to win the vacant IBF middleweight title: As for the start of the fight, things went very well for Jacobs. Jacobs knocked down Derevyanchenko late in the first round and was effectively landing body shots. Derevyanchenko managed to recover after the knockdown and be the aggressor against Jacobs. Derevyanchenko pushed Jacobs to the ropes, landed the right hand and left hook upstairs and looked comfortable fighting in the pocket. But Jacobs managed to defend well at times and picked his shots to land the bigger punches throughout the fight. After winning a lot of the middle rounds, Jacobs started to run away with the fight on the scorecards. Derevyanchenko, however, refused to go down quietly and threw a flurry of punches in the 10th round that stunned Jacobs. Derevyanchenko and Jacobs had a wild final round with both men exchanging big shots, but Derevyanchenko got the better of the exchanges. Despite the spirited effort by Derevyanchenko in the final three rounds, the first-round knockdown proved to be the deciding factor in the final scorecards.

Alberto Machado defeated Yuandale Evans by TKO, round 1, to retain the WBA “regular” super featherweight title: Very brief fight that started with a straight left hand from Machado which dropped Evans a little more than a minute into the first round. Once Evans got up, Machado eventually scored another knockdown at the end of a flurry of punches. Evans got back up a second time, but he appeared dazed and confused. The fight continued, but Machado easily threw a combination of punches that dropped Evans and left him lying on his back and unable to get back on his feet.

Heather Hardy defeated Shelly Vincent by unanimous decision (97-93, 97-93, 99-91) to win the vacant WBO women's featherweight title: The two had previously fought in 2016 with the WBC International women's featherweight title on the line. Hardy won that fight, considered to be one of the best women's boxing fights of 2016, but the first victory for Hardy was by majority decision. The rematch wasn't as competitive as the first encounter, mainly because Hardy outboxed Vincent throughout most of the fight. Hardy spent some time working the body and connecting with the uppercut, which seemed to have troubled Vincent. In terms of power punches, Hardy landed 206 of 622 total punches (33 percent) while Vincent landed 148 of 683 of her total punches (22 percent). Hardy and Vincent landed a similar number of power punches 154 and 148, respectively, but Hardy was far more accurate. Hardy landed 44 percent of her power punches while Vincent only landed 22 percent. The fight was originally never planned to be a part of the HBO telecast, but a strong effort by Hardy, who pleaded with HBO to broadcast the fight, made sure the two women got their chance to be on the network. It was the second-ever women's boxing fight to air live on HBO with the first one being Cecilia Braekhus' undisputed welterweight title defense against Kali Reis on May 5.

World Boxing Super Series New Orleans Results:

Regis Prograis defeated Terry Flanagan (119-108, 118-109, 117-110) to advance to the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight semifinals: Flanagan fared well at the start of the fight, landing the right jab decently well. Prograis quickly adapted and used his upper body to dodge a lot of Flanagan’s punches while landing several counter punches. As the fight got deeper, Prograis became the one throwing the jab more often and kept landing it on Flanagan’s face. Flanagan was in deep trouble in the eighth round when Prograis landed a straight left hand to the side of Flanagan’s head to knock him down. Once Flanagan got back up, Prograis unleashed a flurry to try and look for the stoppage. Flanagan was able to weather the storm of punches Prograis threw for the remainder of the round, he was unable to seriously come back from the fight. For Prograis, he will get a chance to be a world champion when he faces WBA champion Kiryl Relikh in the semifinals, which will take place in early 2019.

Ivan Baranchyk defeated Anthony Yigit by TKO, round 7 to win the vacant IBF junior welterweight title and advance to the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight semifinals: The story of the fight was Baranchyk and Yigit exchanging power punches throughout the entire fight, but Baranchyk was by far the stronger puncher. Almost immediately from the start of the fight, Baranchyk continuously landed stiff right hands to Yigit's left eye. Yigit started to bleed from that area midway in the second round, but refused to let it affect him. Baranchyk had little trouble connecting with the straight right hand as well as the left hook and uppercut. Yigit tried to stand toe-to-toe against Baranchyk and although he found success, Yigit's punches carried a fraction of the power Baranchyk had when he landed his punches.

There were a couple of moments in the fight where Baranchyk committed a foul, eventually forcing the referee to take away a point from Baranchyk. The first foul took place about midway through the fight, when Baranchyk illegally threw a punch during a break. Later in the seventh round, Baranchyk kept pushing Yigit's head down, which forced the referee to deduct a point. Baranchyk punished Yigit throughout the fight and with Yigit's damaged left eye, the fight got stopped to protect him. With the win, Baranchyk advances to the semifinals, where he will face the winner of the Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin fight taking place on November 3.

Latest on Gennady Golovkin’s future: Is DAZN next?

Although there is still no date for when Gennady Golovkin makes his return to the ring, a new report does provide a hint as to where Golovkin could fight.

According to Mike Coppinger of Ring TV, DAZN, the streaming service that recently signed Canelo Alvarez, is in “advanced talks” to sign Golovkin. The report states that Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler and DAZN are the parties involved in negotiations to potentially get the former unified middleweight champion to fight on the streaming service.

The centerpiece of a potential DAZN-Golovkin deal would be a third fight against Alvarez, whom Golovkin lost to this past September. Since losing his unified WBA “super” and WBC middleweight titles to Alvarez, Golovkin has been adamant in another fight against him. When Alvarez signed an 11-fight deal with DAZN, the only way for a third fight to happen would be if Golovkin signed with the platform.

Golovkin was recently ordered by the WBC to fight interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo in a final eliminator, but Golovkin was not interested and so Charlo will now fight Willie Monroe Jr. in the main event of the December 22 PBC on FOX card. Golovkin had been seeking a fight with Ryota Murata for his 2019 return, but Murata would go on to lose the WBA “regular” middleweight title earlier this year.

DAZN not only has Alvarez, but also WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade as well as a multi-year relationship with Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions. DAZN USA and Canada is also airing the entire second season of the World Boxing Super Series.

Aside from a potential fight against Murata (which is still possible in 2019, but it won't be as appealing as it once was), Golovkin's options are severely limited when it comes to wanting to fight in big fights. Aside from the aforementioned Alvarez and Andrade, there is still IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, who is technically a free agent when it comes to fighting on one network, but since Jacobs is signed to Matchroom Boxing, expect him to fight on DAZN sooner rather than later.

If Golovkin signs with DAZN, it would not only mean big paydays for Golovkin (perhaps bigger than Golovkin's purses for his HBO-televised fights), but also the chance to win more middleweight titles. Alvarez will be staying on DAZN through at least 2023, so there is still time to build up a third fight between the two. The most interesting fight for Golovkin would be against Jacobs, which would be another rematch to their 2017 fight.

That fight was very competitive and Golovkin edged Jacobs on all three scorecards to retain his unified titles on pay-per-view. Right now, the tables have turned and it is Jacobs who has a world title and Golovkin with nothing. Jacobs has openly expressed interest in granting Golovkin a rematch, so one would think that the earliest such a fight can happen would be March 2019, but it would more likely be slated for summer 2019 if the third fight between Alvarez and Golovkin is held off until 2020, which is a very real possibility.

That's not to say DAZN signing Golovkin is a done deal. ESPN, which has Top Rank Boxing, and by extension, Murata, as well as Showtime have expressed interest in signing Golovkin. But neither network has the necessary middleweight roster needed to entice Golovkin to come unlike DAZN and if Golovkin will do anything to get a third fight against Alvarez, then Golovkin will likely ultimately end up signing with the streaming service and have his first fight on the platform take place in early 2019.

WBSS Scotland (Burnett vs. Donaire and Taylor vs. Martin) Preview:

As we approach the end of the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ second season, the tournament heads to Scotland for the final junior welterweight and bantamweight fights.

The WBSS will have an event on November 3 in at SSE Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. In the main event, WBA “super” bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett will face off against former world champion Nonito Donaire. The co-main event will have Josh Taylor fight Ryan Martin with the winner facing off against IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk.

In the bantamweight tournament whereas Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Maloney was perhaps the most competitive fight on paper, the fight between Burnett and Donaire is arguably the most intriguing one on paper.

Burnett has been arguably the bantamweight division’s top fighter for years, holding the unified WBA and IBF titles for a brief time before vacating it earlier this year. Although Burnett has victories over Lee Haskins and Zhanat Zhakiyanov, none of his opponents carry the expansive resume that Donaire has.

When it comes to boxers from 126 pounds and below, Donaire is perhaps the most accomplished fighter in the past 20 years. Donaire has not been successful when it comes to world title fights in the past few years, but all of those fights took place above bantamweight. When promoter Richard Schaefer spoke to Fightful some time ago, Schaefer said Donaire is very comfortable competing at 118 pounds, where he will be right at home and won’t have to balloon up in weight to be able to face off against the best boxers in the world. If Donaire is truly at home competing at 118 pounds, then he could be a real dark horse to make a run at the finals.

The co-main event is, on paper, a very fun fight. Taylor and Martin are a pair of unbeaten, rising contenders from the United Kingdom and United States, respectively.

For many, Taylor is the more-ready prospect when it comes to competing in world championship level fights. After knocking out 11 of his first 12 opponents, Taylor fought the toughest, and most accomplished, opponent to date in Viktor Postol. Taylor passed the test with flying colors, winning a wide unanimous decision and knocking down Postol.

Taylor, on the other hand, was a highly-touted prospect at lightweight before moving up in weight earlier this year. After a victory over Briedis Prescott on May 5, Martin was offered a shot at stardom with an invitation to the World Boxing Super Series, but he has his work cut out for him as he is fighting in a loaded field of boxers that includes two world champions as well as top-seeded boxer Regis Prograis.

Tale of the Tape: Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire

Ryan Burnett:

Record: 19-0 (9 KO)

Age: 26

Height: 5’4”

Reach: 66”

Titles Won: WBA “Super” Bantamweight, IBF Bantamweight World Titles

Notable Fights: Lee Haskins, Zhanat Zhakiyanov

Nonito Donaire:

Record: 38-5 (24 KO)

Age: 35

Height: 5’7.5”

Reach: 68”

Titles Won: IBF Flyweight, WBC Bantamweight, WBO Bantamweight, WBO Super Bantamweight, IBF Super Bantamweight, The Ring Magazine Super Bantamweight, WBA “Super” Featherweight World Titles

Notable Fights: Carl Frampton, Jessie Magdaleno, Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jorge Arce, Vic Darchinyan, Toshiaki Nishioka, Omar Narvaez

Tale of the Tape: Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin:

Josh Taylor:

Record: 13-0 (11 KO)

Age: 27

Height: 5’10”

Reach: 69.5”

Titles Won: WBC Silver Junior Welterweight, Commonwealth (British Empire) Junior Welterweight Titles

Notable Fights: Viktor Postol, Ohara Davies

Ryan Martin:

Record: 22-0 (12 KO)

Age: 25

Height: 5’11”

Titles Won: WBA Intercontinental Lightweight, WBC Continental Americas Lightweight

Notable Fights: Briedis Prescott

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