Fightful Boxing Newsletter (1/24/2019) Table of Contents:
2. DAZN Signs Several Big Free Agents, What’s Next? (Page 2)
3. WBO Orders Demetrius Andrade vs. Billy Joe Saunders (Page 3)
4. Latest On Gennady Golovkin’s Free Agency (Page 4)
5. PBC on Fox January 26 Preview (Page 5)
6. January 18 Boxing Recap: DAZN, ESPN+ (Page 6)
7. WBC Quarterly Report (Page 7)
8. Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN January 26 Preview (Page 8)
9. Latest On Anthony Joshua’s Next Fight (Page 9)
Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner Review, Full Results:
The first truly big show of 2019 was noteworthy to say the least, but as far as in-ring quality, the event was a disappointing one to start the year.
Manny Pacquiao returned to the United States for the first time since 2016 to face Adrien Broner in the main event of a Showtime pay-per-view card from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 19. In what was ultimately a one-side beatdown, Pacquiao easily defeated Broner by unanimous decision to retain the WBA “Regular” welterweight title.
The primary story of the fight was actually Floyd Mayweather, who has been the subject of a lot of reports stating that he is considering coming out of retirement once more to fight Pacquiao should he defeat Broner. That angle has always been a subplot in the buildup to the pay-per-view but it became the primary story in the main event once it became clear that Pacquiao would cruise to an easy win over Broner.
Mayweather was asked by Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fifth round of the main event if he would be facing Pacquiao to which Mayweather simply responded by saying wait until Pacquiao gets past Broner. Once Pacquiao did just that and challenged Mayweather to a rematch, the cameras panned over to Mayweather, who simply looked away and gave no response whatsoever.
The non-answer could be interpreted in a number of ways, but certainly one that was very telling came from WBA “Super” welterweight champion Keith Thurman. In a recent media call, Thurman noted how Golovkin is a man of actions and not words and questioning him surrounding a rematch with Pacquiao won’t do any good since he will not give a direct answer. If one were to show Mayweather a contract or something tangible with a large enough of a cash guarantee (Thurman said $100 million), then Mayweather would be willing to talk.
It makes sense if you think about it and given how Mayweather had the miscommunication issues with Rizin over his exhibition against Tenshin Nasukawa, Mayweather is more closely guarded than ever before when it comes it to committing, or even commenting, on these types of things.
After the pay-per-view ended in Las Vegas, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said Mayweather is happily retired and no longer has any desire to return to the ring in any official capacity. Though that may be Mayweather’s current mentality, there is no indication he will feel the same one, two months from here. Time is on Mayweather’s side to think about this fight.
As it is Pacquiao’s first fight under the PBC banner, his second fight could potentially be a big one even if it isn’t against Mayweather. Given that welterweight is PBC’s strongest division, Pacquiao could fight the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia or even Thurman, all would be far better fights than Broner and even Mayweather. The reason why time is Mayweather’s side is because all four welterweights that were just mentioned have fights through mid-April and it is likely that PBC could wait until all those fights are over before thinking about Pacquiao’s next fight. That gives Mayweather two, maybe three months to consider coming out of retirement.
The official attendance number for the event was 13,025 and according to reports, the pay-per-view is trending towards 400,000 buys, which is approximately $30 million in pay-per-view revenue. Both figures rank relatively low compared to Pacquiao’s past pay-per-view bouts, but the buyrate is similar to the 2016 showdown against Timothy Bradley although the revenue for that fight is about $6 million less than the event against Broner.
MGM Grand Garden Arena Results:
Hugo Ruiz defeated Alberto Guevara (100-89, 99-90, 99-90): Guevara entered the fight as a last-second replacement because Interim WBA featherweight titleholder Jhack Tepora was more than five pounds over the 126-pound limit and was pulled off the card. Ruiz started off well, landing a knockdown in the first round, but would not really create any pressure to look for the knockout. Ruiz outbox Guevara throughout the entire fight, but Guevara did land some decent counter punches to throw Ruiz off-balance, there wasn't a single round in which Guevara could confidently say he won. Ruiz slowed down his pace as the fight wore on and it started to become a glorified sparring session, not looking for the knockout and cruising to a very easy unanimous decision victory.
Nordine Oubaali defeated Rau'Shee Warren by unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 117-111) to win the WBC Bantamweight title: Oubaali opened things up by swinging for the fences at some moments early in the fight. Warren's best punches early in the fight came from counter punching and utilizing the left hand and the check right hook. Warren hits a big left-right combination that stunned Oubaali, but did not capitalize on any bigger punches. At times, Oubaali abandons the jab for more power punches, but has little success connecting on those big shots. Oubaali does get in on Warren in the fifth round, feinting the left hand and connecting on a right hook. Warren becomes hesitant to let his hands go throughout the middle rounds, allowing Oubaali to take control of the fight. Oubaali lands a flurry of punches in the seventh round that hurts Warren and is starting to look like he would run away with the fight. Warren eventually gets to throw more punches in the last couple of rounds, but it is a little too late for that as Oubaali wins the WBC Bantamweight title and must now face interim champion Takuma Inoue.
Marcus Browne defeated Badou Jack by unanimous decision (117-110, 116-111, 119-108) to win the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight title and become the mandatory challenger to the WBC Light Heavyweight title: The story of the fight was a clash of heads in the seventh round that saw Jack suffer a horrendous cut. This bout should have been stopped around the ninth or 10th round. Browne dominated from the start, overpowering Jack with vicious hooks to the side of the head. Jack's gameplan appeared to be to outbox Browne and look towards landing the jab to the body. Jack was able to get the jab to land, but nothing actually hurt Browne. Jack started to lunge forward whenever Browne was against the ropes and a lot of clinching took place in the middle rounds. Browne was the stronger puncher and dominated the entire fight. Jack was able to show exceptional toughness by going the distance, but barring a late knockout, it looked like Browne was going to win one way or another once the clash of heads occurred. Browne is not only the Interim WBA champion at 175 pounds but also the mandatory challenger to the WBC title. In the post-fight interview, Browne chose to call out Teddy Atlas, who trains WBC titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who won his title in early December 2017.
Manny Pacquiao defeated Adrien Broner by unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112) to retain the WBA "Regular" Welterweight title: From the start, Pacquiao looked to attack the body and outland Broner, who mostly stuck to defense and counter-punching. Pacquiao came out from the start like a jackrabbit, throwing several dozens of punches per round. Pacquiao continued to work the body as the fight progressed, but his best punches came from his jab, throwing Broner off-balance in a couple of rounds. Broner gets a couple of good counter hooks in, causing Pacquiao's right eye to swell up a little bit, but it hardly does anything to affect him. The pro-Pacquiao crowd lifted the Filipino champion in some of the rounds as Pacquiao wanted to give a big performance in Las Vegas. Broner barely hurt Pacquiao throughout the entire fight and Pacquiao did not slow down even in the last few rounds. After the fight, Pacquiao said he wants the rematch against Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather did not give a response when the cameras were on him. Regardless, Pacquiao showed that he is still one of the best welterweights in the world even at 40 years old.
DAZN Signs Several Big Free Agents, What’s Next?
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, DAZN made several major moves and signings, continuing its efforts to overtake Fox, Showtime and ESPN as the top broadcast platform in the United States.
The three key players that were added to DAZN were WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, IBF super bantamweight champion TJ Doheny and IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs.
The biggest signing among those three, in the short term, is Jacobs who is now fighting boxing’s biggest star in Canelo Alvarez in an IBF, WBC and WBA “Super” middleweight title unification on May 4 in Las Vegas. The fight, which will unify the WBA “Super,” WBC and IBF middleweight title, is the first fight DAZN will air that’s taking place in the United States that could potentially add a lot of subscriptions.
These latest moves do in fact reveal what DAZN is doing right and doing wrong based on how the American boxing community has responded.
The way DAZN operates when it comes to signing boxers is to indiscriminately sign as many free agents as possible. But unless you’re a top name joining DAZN that has another top name or champion in the same division, odds are you’re going to be in a situation where the fights you get aren’t attractive enough to get subscribers.
In the case of Bivol, the rumored departure of IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev from DAZN essentially locks Bivol out of getting any big fights for the foreseeable future. With the WBO and WBC titles belonging to Top Rank and PBC having Badou Jack and Marcus Browne on their roster, Bivol really has no big names to fight. Even though Bivol is arguably the best 175-pound boxer in the world, nobody is buying a DAZN subscription to see him fight Joe Smith Jr. in March. People don’t want to just see stars, they want to see stars against other stars. It is the new reality in boxing.
That’s why Jacobs and Doheny are much better signings because there are big fights to be made within DAZN. Jacobs has most of the middleweight elite to look for big fights, starting with Alvarez on May 4 while Doheny has a potential matchup against WBA super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman. Smith currently has no big fights to look forward to.
There is one thing that DAZN did benefit greatly with the Bivol signing and that is the streaming platform has the World of Boxing roster at its disposal and that roster may not have many current stars but there are plenty of rising contenders and potential title challengers down the road. As far as depth is concerned, World of Boxing’s is solid and will boost any card DAZN puts on forward as far as undercard bouts are concerned.
DAZN has been slowly fleshing out its roster and right now, it arguably has the strongest stable of collective fighters as far as broadcast platforms is concerned. Not only does DAZN have all four top middleweight titles, but it also has the entire Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing and World of Boxing roster at its disposal. Now what is left is for them to create big cards in order to attract more subscriptions to compete with the likes of ESPN and Fox.
WBO Orders Demetrius Andrade vs. Billy Joe Saunders
Billy Joe Saunders' suspension for failing a drug test last year has ended and is now back into title contention.
The WBO ruled on January 22 that Saunders' suspension has been cut short and is now named the mandatory challenger to the middleweight title being held by Demetrius Andrade. As such, the governing body has ordered negotiations to take place and the camps for both boxers have 30 days from the announcement (February 21) to reach a deal for a title fight.
If both sides are unable to come to terms for a title fight, then a purse bid will be conducted in the WBO offices in Puerto Rico. The minimum bid is $200,000 should a purse bid be made.
Saunders previously held the title since 2015, but it was revealed in September that he had tested positive for the substance oxilofrine. Saunders claimed he was innocent but he was denied a boxing license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission and so his fight against Andrade this past October was canceled. The fight was supposed to headline a Matchroom Boxing USA card in Boston to be streamed on DAZN. Saunders would go on to vacate the title and was originally handed down a six-month suspension by the WBO. Walter Kautondokwa would replace Saunders in the fight for the vacant title, but Andrade defeated Kautondokwa by unanimous decision to win his first middleweight championship.
Below is the full statement regarding Saunders' suspension being ended by the WBO:
WBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE RESOLUTION
The present ruling arises from a petition filed on January 15th 2019, on behalf of Mr. Saunders’ legal representative Mr. David House, whereby the World Boxing Organization (WBO) was informed of Mr. Saunders’ current status with regard to his duties and obligations pursuant to the conditions of his suspension set forth by this Committee on October 11th 2018. Further, enclosed with the aforementioned petition, the WBO received and acknowledge evidence ratifying Mr. Saunders’ full and successful compliance with all requirements per this Committee’s ruling.
Conversely, the petition seeks reinstatement of Mr. Saunders at the number one (1) position in the WBO World Middleweight Division Ratings, and official designation as Mandatory Challenger within the referenced division.
Having examined the referenced petition, reviewed all relevant evidence pertaining to Mr. Saunders’ successful compliance with our ruling, and pursuant to the powers and authority granted to this Committee by the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, and having been fully advised in the premises, it is hereby determined the following:
WHEREAS, on October 11th 2018, the WBO Championship Committee issued a six (6) month suspension prohibiting Mr. Saunders of participating in any WBO sanctioned contest. Further, it set forth numerous conditions subject to their full compliance by the fighter within a specific time frame in order for the WBO’s consideration of future reinstatement within our world ratings and other pertaining matters; and,
WHEREAS, on January 14th 2019, the WBO headquarter offices received an official petition on behalf of Mr. Saunders’ legal representative Mr. David House, ratifying and evidencing the fighter’s successful completion of all the imposed conditions set forth by this Committee. The evidence showed that Mr. Saunders engaged in active charity and community work with underserved and disadvantaged kids, submitted to numerous random anti-doping tests by the correspondent agencies (VADA & WADA), obtaining thereto negative results, and presently, continuous in good standing conduct in his community; and,
WHEREAS, in light of the Mr. Saunders’ thorough fulfillment of our ruling, his legal representative request reinstatement of said fighter in the WBO World Ratings Middleweight Division, consequently, be rated at the number one (1) position and designated as the Mandatory Challenger in the aforementioned division; and,
WHEREAS, the WBO Championship Committee has full authority as per our WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests to resolve this matter with the following being within our powers and discretion, and shall be interpreted to include any or all powers necessary, helpful or convenient to accomplish the purpose, policies and the intent of these rules; and,
WHEREAS, Section 1 subsection (b) (23) of the WBO Rules and Regulations of World Championship Contests in its pertinent part states as follows:
(b) The World Championship Committee shall have the following powers and discretion:
(23) “To designate a Mandatory Challenger.”
WHEREAS, Section 1 subsection (c) in relevant, provides:
(c) “The above powers shall be interpreted to include any or all powers necessary, helpful or convenient to accomplish the purposes, policies, and intent of these rules”.
WHEREAS, the WBO Championship Committee having thoroughly examined the above-referenced petition, the enclosed evidence, and having reviewed all applicable WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the WBO Championship Committee in accordance with our governing Regulations of World Championship Contests, issues the following ruling:
Based on the evidence ratifying complete fulfillment of all imposed conditions on behalf of Mr. Saunders presented before this Committee and pursuant to Section 1 subsection (c) of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, we hereby terminate immediately his suspension from any WBO sanctioned contest and consequently, recommend the WBO World Ratings Committee official reinstatement of Mr. Saunders within the WBO Middleweight Division Ratings and be positioned as the number one (1) contender accordingly. Further, if the WBO Ratings Committee adopts this Committees’ recommendation, we hereby designate Mr. Saunders as the official Mandatory Challenger of the aforementioned division pursuant to Section 1 subsection (b) (23) of the referenced regulations.
This is a final decision of the WBO Championship Committee. The affected WBO participant may appeal such determination to the Complaint and Grievance Committee as per Rule 34, which as per Rule 3(e) of the WBO Appeals Regulation, must be submitted in writing to the WBO President within fourteen (14) days of this decision as its sole and exclusive remedy.
Dated in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 22nd 2019
WBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE
Andrade would go on to defend his title on the January 18 Matchroom Boxing USA card from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Andrade defeated Artur Akavov by unanimous decision to retain the title.
Latest On Gennady Golovkin’s Free Agency
As it stands, we are still awaiting word on what will be the decision for Gennady Golovkin, boxing’s biggest broadcast platform free agent. Originally, Golovkin was said to be making his choice by the end of 2018, but we are more than three weeks into 2019 and still nothing.
Right now, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Golovkin is heading to DAZN, but nothing has been announced. We at Fightful were told that Golovkin could be heading to DAZN on a three-fight deal, which ultimately ended up the same type of deal that IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs got when it was announced recently that he would be facing Canelo Alvarez in May. DAZN obviously would love to have Golovkin on board, giving the streaming service the three biggest stars in the sport (Golovkin, Alvarez and Anthony Joshua).
There are rumors circulating around that Golovkin and long-time promoter Tom Loeffler have split, but Loeffler would go on to Twitter to deflect those rumors, but strangely enough, he never actually said that he was still Golovkin’s promoter.
What’s even stranger is that Golovkin retweeted Loeffler’s tweets about those rumors, which were also angry rants at certain members of the boxing media for what Loeffler said was “yellow journalism” regarding the rumors.
The situation has devolved into a bizarre one with seemingly no end in sight anytime soon. What’s strange is that Golovkin is not one to wait a long time to make those decisions. Right now, DAZN seems to be the best option remaining given that all four major middleweight titles are on the streaming platform.
One potential theory for as to why Golovkin has yet to make a decision could be that he may be holding out for better offers from either DAZN or Top Rank, on behalf of ESPN, or PBC, which has broadcast deals with Fox and Showtime. Given that Alvarez and Jacobs are fighting on May 4 and WBO champion Demetrius Andrade is ordered to defend his title against Billy Joe Saunders, there is no reason for Golovkin to jump on board to DAZN immediately if his goal is to have big fights from here on forward.
Since the last Golovkin update on the newsletter, there has been nothing new from Top Rank or PBC except for WBA “Regular” champion Rob Brant’s next fight set to take place in Minnesota in February on an ESPN card. Interim WBC champion Jermall Charlo recently had a fight against Matt Korobov, but although Charlo won that fight, he did not look impressive at all and saw his stock go down among the middleweights.
Although it is a great time to be an elite middleweight, Golovkin finds himself without a dance partner so the one option for Golovkin remaining other than wait another four months until he gets a big fight is to potentially move up in weight. Fighting at 168 pounds is certainly doable for Golovkin as he has the size to compete in the division although he may be on the shorter side. Alvarez was able to transition to 168 pounds easily so there really is nothing that can prevent Golovkin from doing the same.
The super middleweight division is somewhat tricky as well. PBC has the IBF and WBC titles with Caleb Plant being crowned the new IBF titleholder on January 13 and the WBC title to be contested in a few weeks. WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez, who fights on ESPN, is likely to move up in weight next for a shot at the winner of Eleider Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title on February 2 from Frisco, Texas. That leaves the two WBA titles, which belong to DAZN. Alvarez is the “Regular” champion at 168 pounds while Callum Smith, a Matchroom Boxing fighter, is the “Super” champion with no fight currently lined up for him.
So unless Golovkin decides to ask for a shot at either Plant’s or Smith’s title, then there’s also not much for the former middleweight champion at that weight class either.
More than anything, I think Golovkin may have waited too long to sign with a broadcast platform and now could potentially wait much longer before making his final decision. Regardless of his age, Golovkin is still one of the sport’s top stars and whoever gets to sign him will get a massive momentum shift in their favor and if DAZN acquires him as it is expected, the streaming service becomes a real juggernaut in the American boxing market, something that could finally be a reality half a year into their existence in the United States.
PBC on Fox January 26 Preview
Premier Boxing Champions will have its second television card on a Fox platform in 2019, but first to be shown on Fox on January 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
For the large part, the card, headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez for Thurman’s WBA “Super” welterweight title, is mediocre given how the FS1 card from a couple of weeks ago was a far better show from top to bottom.
The story of this event is the return of Thurman, who had been out of action for the past 22 months due to right elbow surgery in 2017 and then a left hand injury in 2018. Before the injury, Thurman reigned as the WBA and WBC welterweight champion and was the consensus top boxer at 147 pounds. Since then, a number of welterweights became titleholders and now the division is anyone’s for the taking. Given that four of the five biggest stars at welterweight (Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr.) fight for PBC, the division could see plenty of incredible fights in the second half of 2019. Should Thurman emerge victorious against Lopez, he could potentially get a shot at either Pacquiao or Porter later in the year, the former could become a pay-per-view event if Pacquiao does not end up getting the rematch against Floyd Mayweather.
But for now, Thurman has to get past Lopez, who is coming as a significantly large underdog -- as much as +2500. Don’t expect Thurman to go out and be aggressive and look for the knockout as he shakes off the ring rust and given that Lopez has not had a noteworthy fight in years and is a big underdog, the fight has close to no expectations when it comes to being exciting. It is a shame because PBC’s Barclays Center shows are usually very good and more often than not, the main event of these cards are exciting and competitive. Thurman vs. Lopez could be a good fight, but it is expected to be anything but that.
That’s not to say the event is unwatchable. The opening bout, a WBC featherweight final eliminator between Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Claudio Marrero, is an interesting one and could potentially ended up as the fight of the night. Nyambayar, affectionately called by hardcore boxing fans as “King Tug,” has only had 10 pro bouts but has already emerged as a contender and a win over Marrero may put him in the top 10 on many people’s rankings. The winner will be the mandatory challenger to the WBC title currently being held by Gary Russell Jr.
The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between rising contender Adam Kownacki and former title challenger Gerald Washington. As far as heavyweight fights are concerned, this could potentially be a decently entertaining bout provided that Washington is able to handle Kownacki’s power punches. Otherwise, this could be a quick and somewhat uneventful fight.
Below is the current lineup for the event.
- Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez: WBA “Super” welterweight bout
- Adam Kownacki vs. Gerald Washington: Heavyweight bout
- Tugstsogt Nyambayar vs. Claudio Marrero: WBC featherweight title eliminator
The event is also going to feature three fights on FS1 right before the Fox card starts. Below is the FS1 bout:
- Chris Colbert vs. Josh Hernandez: Super featherweight bout
- Antuanne Russell vs. Roberto Almazan: Junior welterweight bout
- Chordale Booker vs. Juan De Angel: Junior middleweight bout
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 28-0 (22 KO)
Notable Fights: Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Robert Guerrero, Jesus Soto Karass
Titles Won: WBA “Regular” Welterweight, WBA “Super” Welterweight, WBC Welterweight titles
Record: 36-7 (19 KO)
Notable Fights: Canelo Alvarez, Andre Berto, Jessie Vargas, Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz
Titles Won: WBC Silver Welterweight, Interim WBA Welterweight titles
January 18 Boxing Recap: DAZN, ESPN+:
January 18 was a rare day for boxing as ESPN+ and DAZN put a boxing card each in New York as it was a Friday.
On the DAZN card, Matchroom Boxing went to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden with a world title tripleheader. The main event saw Demetrius Andrade retain his WBO middleweight for the first time since winning last October by defeating Artur Akavov by a wide margin on the scorecards. Overall, the fight was very boring and one of the most one-sided, yet unspectacular main event fights in the last 12 months and probably will be that for the next 12 months.
The big story among the title fights was Amanda Serrano becoming the second boxer ever to win a world title in seven weight classes. Serrano did so in unbelievable fashion by knocking out Eva Voraberger in 35 seconds to win the WBO super flyweight title in the first fight of a three-fight deal Serrano signed with DAZN. With the win, Serrano is now on the warpath to a potential fight against unified women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor at the end of the year. Such a fight would be the biggest in women’s boxing today that can realistically happen.
As for ESPN+, it streamed its first Top Rank-promoted card of the year with perhaps what will end up as one of the biggest heavyweight upsets of 2019. In the main event, Oscar Rivas stopped former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in the last round to walk away with three regional titles.
But more importantly, it stops Jennings’ win streak and total momentum over getting another shot at a world heavyweight title. Jennings was in line for a potential fight against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev later this year. Such a fight could have produced a potential fighter for unified champion Anthony Joshua to fight either in late 2019 or in 2020. Rivas could potentially step in to fight Pulev, who signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank some time ago.
Pulev would still be the favorite regardless of who he faced, but Top Rank was really hoping Jennings would get another shot at a heavyweight title given that the company spent the last six months making sure he gets the necessary exposure on ESPN to hopefully entice Joshua to fight him. Now that looks to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Matchroom Boxing USA January 18 DAZN Results:
Demetrius Andrade defeated Artur Akavov by TKO, round 12 to retain the WBO Middleweight title: Andrade dominated the most of the entire fight, working the body and outboxing the Russian challenger. Akavov had his moments where he landed big punches sporadically, starting in the third round when he rocked Andrade with an uppercut. Akavov also landed a three-punch combination late in the ninth round that hurt Andrade and nearly knocked him down. In the final three rounds, Andrade turned up the intensity, causing Akavov to bleed profusely in the 10th round after sustaining a cut from a headbutt. Late in the 12th round, Andrade landed another flurry of punches and the referee stopped the title bout the moment Akavov stumbled in the ring. Akavov was angrily protesting the stoppage, believing that there was no reason for referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to put an end to the fight this late into the contest.
Pablo Cesar Cano defeated Jorge Linares by TKO, round 1 to retain the WBC International Silver Junior Welterweight title: Cano entered the fight as a 16-1 underdog against Linares, a former world champion looking to make a splash at 140 pounds. But it was Cano who ended causing a tidal wave of reactions across MSG and social media by decimating Linares in the first round. Cano dropped Linares three times in the first round and by the time the third knockdown occurred, the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Linares is now expected to move back down to lightweight as there is virtually no chance he gets a shot at a junior welterweight title in 2019.
TJ Doheny defeated Ryohei Takahashi by TKO, round 11 to retain the IBF Super Bantamweight title: Doheny easily dominated Takahashi from the start of the contest, creating a cut on his opponent early in the second round. Doheny also suffered a cut in that round, but still had control of the fight. The Irish champion landed a right hand in the third round to knock Takahashi down. As the fight wore on, Doheny would continue dominating, but failed to take out a very tough Takahashi in his first world title fight. In the 11th round, Doheny would land a series of punches that would stun Takahashi and the referee surprisingly stopped the contest when there were no hard punches being launched at the time. After the fight, Doheny joked about receiving another cut in a big fight and then proceeded to issue a challenge to WBA champion Daniel Roman, who also fights on DAZN. Roman entered the ring and the two champions exchanged pleasantries, wanting to unify the two super bantamweight titles.
Amanda Serrano defeated Eva Voraberger by KO, round 1 to win the Vacant WBO Female Super Flyweight title: Both women opened things up with a flurry of punches, but Serrano got the better of the opening exchange. Serrano would land a vicious left hook to Voraberger's body, immediately dropping her to the canvas. Voraberger was wincing in pain, holding her right side as she was unable to get back up in time and was counted out, suffering her second career knockout loss.
Chris Algieri defeated Daniel Gonzalez by unanimous decision to win the Vacant WBO International Junior Welterweight title: This was Algieri’s second fight since ending his hiatus from the sport ended. With a good enough of a performance, Algieri could have been next in line for a WBO junior welterweight title fight after Hooker’s next title defense in March is done with. Instead, we got a very poor showing by Algieri, who should have stopped Gonzalez inside the distance. Algieri dominated early, but slowed down his pace about halfway through the fight. Algieri still won easily, but the fight was sloppy and uneventful. Algieri needs one more fight to convince people he is ready for a world title fight.
Top Rank on ESPN+ January 18 Show Results
Oscar Rivas defeated Bryant Jennings by TKO, round 12 to win the IBF International, NABF, NABO Heavyweight titles: The fight was a back-and-forth contest that had no clear winner in the scorecards and the final round could have swung the result in either boxer’s favor. Rivas opened the final round with a vicious flurry of punches that sent Jennings to the ropes, forcing him to only defend. Rivas eventually dropped Jennings to the canvas and was slow to get back up. Jennings did recover, but Rivas continued the onslaught of punches and the referee had no choice but to stop the action, awarding Rivas the win. At the time of the stoppage, Rivas was ahead on two of the three scorecards with a 106-103 and 105-104 lead while Jennings was ahead on the third scorecard 106-103. The win snapped Jennings’ five-fight win streak while Rivas’ record improved to 26-0.
Shakur Stevenson defeated Jessie Cris Rosales by TKO, round 4 to win the IBF Intercontinental and WBC Continental Americas Featherweight titles: Halfway through the fourth round, Stevenson landed a pair of vicious left hands that immediately dropped Rosales, causing the referee to step in and stop the fight. With the win, Stevenson not only moves one step closer to becoming a contender at 126 pounds but also walked away with the IBF Intercontinental and WBC Continental Americas title. Stevenson recently debuted in the WBC rankings at No. 15 and is also ranked No. 11 by the IBF, making him eligible to potentially challenge for those two world titles.
WBC Quarterly Report
The World Boxing Council has released its quarterly report on the state of its world title situations with a couple of noteworthy statements.
It was previously announced that the WBC is ordering a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for the world heavyweight title, but the new twist to the heavyweight title picture is how the mandatory challenger situation is being handled.. The current mandatory challenger for the WBC heavyweight title is Dominic Breazeale and has been for more than a year, but has yet to get a shot at the belt. With a potential rematch between Wilder and Fury likely to take place later this year, "the mandatory status of the division is under process by WBC Board" per an announcement from the WBC. Wilder and Fury have until February 5 to come to terms on a rematch or else a purse bid will take place. Should a rematch take place, it would leave Breazeale waiting longer for a title opportunity.
WBC Silver heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte, who is negotiating a fight against unified WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua, recently said he would be interested in a potential fight against Breazeale. Such a fight between Whyte and Breazeale could be turned into either a final eliminator or an interim title fight.
But the heavyweight title isn't the only one the WBC has to deal with in regards to mandatory challengers. Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk's next fight has yet to be announced and should he remain at cruiserweight, it will likely mean a fight against Denis Lebedev, the mandatory challenger for the WBA portion of Usyk's title. As for the remaining three organizations, the WBC stated that it will work with all governing bodies in the hopes of figuring out the mandatory challenger situations for the cruiserweight title.
Now there is still the possibility of Usyk moving up in weight and going to heavyweight and if that were to happen, the WBC title would likely be up for grabs in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament since Mairis Briedis is the WBC Diamond titleholder, Andrew Tabiti and Yunier Dorticos are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. If that were the case, Briedis would definitely be the favorite to win the title by the end of the tournament.
Over on the welterweight division, the upcoming matchup between IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia will have be for the WBC Diamond belt. The two are set to fight in the main event of a pay-per-view card from AT&T Stadium on March 16. Garcia, the current WBC lightweight champion, will move up in weight in an attempt to win a world title in a fifth weight class.
Although the Diamond title is not an actual world title, holding the title could give the WBC the authority to order a match between the Diamond champion and the world champion who is Shawn Porter. Such was the case in the WBA featherweight title match between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares in 2018. Santa Cruz won the fight, meaning he was awarded the WBC Diamond title and so, the governing body ordered Santa Cruz to fight current champion Gary Russell Jr.
The two world champions have yet to successfully negotiate a fight as Santa Cruz is defending his WBA title against Miguel Flores on February 16 in the main event of a PBC on Fox card from Los Angeles. In other WBC welterweight news, the April 20 PBC card headlined by Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados will now be for the WBC Silver title. Garcia is currently the No. 1 ranked welterweight by the WBC after his title loss to Porter this past September while Granados is ranked No. 9 at 147 pounds.
The last notable announcement in the report comes in the featherweight division. Although nothing was said regarding current champion Gary Russell Jr., the WBC is making sure he has a mandatory challenger. Tugstsogt Nyambayar vs. Claudio Marrero, scheduled to be on the TV card for the January 26 PBC on Fox card from the Barclays Center, has now been approved as a title eliminator for the WBC featherweight title.
The announcement could potentially impact a unification fight between Russell and Santa Cruz, which is the fight the WBC had hoped would happen in early 2019. With the title eliminator taking place this weekend, Russell might be enticed to simply fulfill his mandatory title defense instead of going for a unification. That would mean we won’t see Santa Cruz vs. Russell until 2020 at the earliest since Russell pretty much fights just once a year since 2015. It would be one of boxing’s biggest missed opportunities if the unification bout doesn’t happen especially since Showtime had been subtly building it up for almost a year at the time of this publication.
Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN January 26 Preview
Golden Boy Promotions’ second DAZN card will feature junior middleweight star Jaime Munguia in his third main event fight in the United States.
Munguia will defend his WBO title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue while Jesus Rojas will defend the WBA “Regular” 126-pound title against Chinese fighter Can Xu. The card will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The card is about what you expect for a Golden Boy Promotions card with a solid main event, a decent name as the co-feature and several prospects on the undercard. The biggest prospect on this card is Vergil Ortiz Jr. Ortiz last fought on the December 15 Madison Square Garden card headlined by Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding and Ortiz impressed many with his second-round TKO victory against 40-fight veteran Roberto Ortiz. Given how the unbeaten prospect is arguably Golden Boy’s most talented prospect up to this date, Ortiz is being given a high spot on the card with the hope he eventually challenges for a world title in 2020 and that he would be a budding star by then.
Munguia has emerged as one of the biggest revelations of the sport in 2018, coming out of nowhere to defeat Sadam Ali on HBO to win the WBO title. Since then, Munguia has been earmarked to be a mega star because of his youth and possessing the kind of raw power that has people gravitate towards him.
But for as much promise as Munguia’s future has, Munguia is still learning on the job and is nowhere near as good as he can be. Munguia is still relying on his overwhelming power to win fights and compensate for the relative lack of defense and technical ability someone with his resume currently has. Don’t expect Munguia to face any of the real elite boxers at 154 pounds any time soon, if ever. For as great as Munguia, who looks more like a light heavyweight than a junior middleweight, is at this current weight class, he expects to move up to middleweight sometime next year.
At middleweight, Munguia has several big fights to be a part of, especially with the bulk of the division’s elite signed to DAZN. Until then, he will continue having a title defenses against B-level talent until he improves to the point where he can truly fight the best boxers at 154 and 160 pounds.
As of this writing, this is what the current lineup looks like this, although there is no word on which fights are going to be on DAZN. It is safe to say that most of the bouts are surely going to be on DAZN.
- Jaime Munguia vs. Takeshi Inoue: WBO Junior Middleweight Title
- Jesus Rojas vs. Can Xu: WBA "Regular" Featherweight Title
- Alberto Ezequiel Melian vs. Edgar Ortega: Vacant NABA Super Bantamweight Title
- Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Jesus A. Valdez Barrayan
- Alex Rincon vs. Jeremy Ramos
- James Wilson vs. Sylvester Barron
- Rene Moreno vs. Daniel Vergara
- John Rincon vs. Alex Santana
- George Rincon vs. Emmanuel Valadez
Tale of the Tape: Jaime Munguia vs. Takeshi Inoue:
Record: 31-0 (26 KO)
Titles Won: WBO Junior Middleweight title
Notable Fights: Liam Smith, Sadam Ali
Record: 13-0-1 (7 KO)
Titles Won: OPBF Junior Middleweight, Japanese Junior Middleweight, WBO Asia Pacific Junior Middleweight titles
Tale of the Tape: Jesus Rojas vs. Can Xu
Record: 26-2-2 (19 KO)
Titles Won: Interim WBA Featherweight, WBA “Regular” Featherweight titles
Notable Fights: Joseph Diaz Jr., Claudio Marrero, Jorge Arce
Record: 15-2 (2 KO)
Titles Won: WBA International Featherweight, WBA International Super Featherweight, WBA Oceania Junior Welterweight titles
Notable Fights: Jack Asis
Latest On Anthony Joshua’s Next Fight
For months, we were under the impression that unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would headline a Matchroom Boxing card at Wembley Stadium on April 14. The last seven weeks have completely disrupted those plans to the point that there might not be a show at the venue on that date anymore.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, expected Deontay Wilder to beat Tyson Fury on December 1 and then have Wilder and Joshua meet in April to crown a new undisputed heavyweight champion. What Hearn, and the boxing world at large, did not expect was that Wilder and Fury would engage in an exciting WBC heavyweight title fight only to end in a draw with a rematch being almost a guarantee at this point.
The plan all along was for Joshua and Wilder fight in April at Wembley, but now that is off the table. Hearn tried to contact Wilder and his team back in mid-December in the hopes of making the fight happen, but after Wilder completely ignored Hearn, the British promoter decided to go ahead and make a fight against Fury possible.
Hearn and Fury were in brief talks but negotiations barely progressed to the point where anything concrete was in place. It was obvious that the priority for both Wilder, Fury and the WBC would be the rematch given the relative commercial and critical success of the pay-per-view event from Los Angeles.
So where does that leave Joshua? Right now, there are two contingency plans, one of which solely relies on the failure of the other in order for it to work.
The first one, which would most likely keep Joshua on track for Wembley Stadium in April is a rematch against top contender Dillian Whyte.
Whyte was always the original backup plan for Joshua’s opponent for April 14 and given that both men fight for Matchroom Boxing, organizing a fight should be an easy thing to do. Well, not necessarily.
The first round of negotiations did not go over well with Whyte being extremely unhappy with the offer given to him, which is said to be less than what he made for his fight against Dereck Chisora a couple of months back. Hearn came back and then offered Whyte $4 million for the fight against Joshua on April, but whether or not he takes the offer remains to be seen.
The second option is Jarrell Miller, who has risen up the heavyweight rankings with solid performances against C and B-level boxers, but has yet to face a top 15 heavyweight at any point in his career.
Should negotiations between Joshua and Whyte fall apart, then there is a real possibility that the April 13 show at Wembley Stadium ends up not happening. If that is the case, then Joshua would fight at Madison Square Garden on a DAZN card in June in the main event.
Now there is one wildcard in this whole situation and that is undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. As the holder of the WBO title and meeting certain criteria during his title reign, Usyk does have the authority to vacate his WBO cruiserweight title and move up in weight to become the automatic No. 1 contender for the heavyweight title.
It’s no secret that Usyk’s long-term goal is to fight Joshua for the world heavyweight title, which is partly why he sign a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing. Usyk is likely moving up in weight in his next fight, potentially in May in the United States, but that could change if Whyte does not accept Hearn’s latest offer for the fight against Joshua. Because the WBO is looking to name a mandatory challenger sometime soon, Usyk could be in line to fight Joshua if the rematch against Whyte fails. Usyk challenging Joshua for the title also depends on Miller also not getting the heavyweight title. Miller is certainly not the type of guy who would price himself out of a fight against Joshua, so negotiations between Hearn, Joshua and Miller, in theory, should go with little to no problems whatsoever.
There is some good news for fans that are hoping for either a fight with Whyte or Usyk and that is that Miller could potentially be forced to have to fight for a lesser WBA title. The WBA is looking to pit Miller against interim champion Trevor Bryan and then have the winner fight the winner of Manuel Charr vs. Fres Oquendo for the WBA “Regular” title. Should Miller go for the impromptu four-man tournament, he would essentially be out for most of 2019, if not the remainder of the year.
Joshua will defend his title on a big show, whether it would be at Wembley or at Madison Square Garden. The question will be against who and what would happen to any future plans Hearn has for Joshua in regards to a possible fight against Wilder and Fury. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like we will get to see the highly-sought after fight to crown the undisputed heavyweight champion, but like with Joshua’s immediate future, plans involving his long-term future could always change.