Friday, September 23, 2016

Update



We would like to let our readers know that new material will be released on Mondayy, September 26th. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Belated Thoughts on Smith-Alvarez



In May of last year the Boxing world focused it’s attention on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, two of the sport’s biggest attractions over the last decade finally face off in what was a legitimate “Super Fight” scenario. A scenario that was not all that unlike the epic encounters of the 1980s featuring Boxing’s “Fabulous Four” Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran.

All of those fighters fought during a time where there was not much posturing and simply put the best fighters fought the best. Although Mayweather-Pacquiao failed to live up to the anticipation that preceded it in terms of what happened once the two future Hall of Famers got in the ring, there is no disputing that it was a “Super Fight” in the sense of not only the anticipation of the showdown, but also in terms of how successful it was from a business standpoint breaking all existing pay-per-view and live gate attendance records.

The question that has been asked since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is what fight could be made outside of a potential rematch between the two that would generate comparing interest that would be called a “Super Fight.” For some, the answer to that question would be encounter between undefeated unified Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and two-division world champion Saul Alvarez.

Much as was the case with Mayweather and Pacquiao, both Golovkin and Alvarez have significant fan followings and anticipation for a showdown between the two has only increased as each fighter has continued to face and defeat other opposition. What would have been a unification clash to further unify the Middleweight division was put on hold when Alvarez, recent holder of the WBC Middleweight world championship chose to relinquish that championship rather than be mandated to face Golovkin, the unified WBA/IBO/IBF world champion, who had also secured interim championship status in the WBC’s Middleweight ratings per his victory over previous WBC number one contender Marco Antonio Rubio in a defense of his unified world championship in October 2014. This put a showdown between two of Boxing’s biggest stars on hold.

There is somewhat of a similarity between Mayweather-Pacquiao and a potential Golovkin-Alvarez showdown in the sense that Boxing fans have been asked to wait a period of time before an encounter between Golovkin and Alvarez comes to fruition, much in the same way that it took nearly a decade before Mayweather-Pacquiao took place. Although some can no doubt become frustrated when a fight that has significant public demand does not take place when that demand is seemingly at its peak, it does create a scenario where both Boxing fans and experts alike will remain tuned in to whatever either fighter does in the interim. The obvious question whenever a scenario like this takes place is will either fighter face opposition that can derail plans for a potential showdown down the line.

Golovkin, who is now also recognized as WBC Middleweight world champion,  for his part took care of business in his last fight on September 10th by stopping previously undefeated IBF Welterweight world champion Kell Brook in London, England. This set the stage for Alvarez to step in the ring in an attempt to win a second world championship in the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division as he faced undefeated WBO world champion Liam Smith on September 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

As was the case when Golovkin squared off against Kell Brook, this fight presented a scenario of a significant favorite, in this case the fighter who entered as the challenger going against an undefeated fighter who was given little chance of winning the fight. Even though there is no disputing that fighters like Golovkin and Alvarez have become marquee attractions and stars of the sport, what always interests me whenever a fighter considered to be a star of the sport faces opposition that is not thought to be dangerous is whether or not the opponent can create a scenario where they can surprise not only the “Star/Superstar” fighter, but also those who thought of the fight as a mere afterthought.

To his credit, Smith entered the fight unbeaten in twenty-four previous bouts prior to facing Alvarez and had scored eight consecutive knockouts including two successful defenses of the WBO Jr. Middleweight world championship. Although Smith was not known by some particularly due to having never previously fought outside of the United Kingdom before this fight, he should have been viewed as dangerous and deserved the respect of being a world champion.

Smith is a fighter who is also known for being aggressive and it interested this observer to see if he could get the respect of Alvarez from the outset. The champion however, seemed to be at a disadvantage when the two fighters got in the ring due to Alvarez appearing to be the bigger of the two. Whether this was due to Alvarez being able to rehydrate following the weigh-in the day before the fight and getting in the ring at a much heavier weight is something only Alvarez can answer, but it was nevertheless noticeable.

The disadvantage that Smith seemed to have would also show itself in the fight. Alvarez began the fight at a quick pace and almost immediately put the champion on the defensive. The difference in this fight in my eyes in addition to Alvarez’ size was Alvarez’ combination punching and how he was able to establish an attack to Smith’s body early on.

Although Smith was able to be aggressive and land some offense in spots throughout this fight, his punches did not seem to have much effect on Alvarez in terms of his ability to hurt the challenger. The champion however, was able to open a cut on Alvarez in the second round before suffering a cut himself over the right eye in the fifth round.

Despite facing a seemingly bigger fighter and absorbing significant punishment throughout the fight, Smith showed tremendous grit and determination by not only showing a willingness to engage with Alvarez, but also providing resistance for Alvarez to go through. The determination of the champion only increased as the fight progressed. This was on display when Smith was knocked down for the first time in his career by an Alvarez combination in the seventh round. Under circumstances where some fighters may have folded under the punishment, Smith showed his mettle by getting up and attempting to fight back. Even though Smith would go down for a second time in round eight before suffering a brutal left hook to the body that would end the fight in the ninth round, Smith was extremely “Game” and has nothing to be ashamed of.

There may be some who thought of this fight as a formality given Saul Alvarez’ star status in the sport. Although the result of this fight was ultimately what some Boxing fans expected with Alvarez getting a knockout win over a world champion who was not widely known by some fans, particularly those who are casual observers of the sport, Smith’s effort in this fight was something that should be applauded. Under circumstances where a champion was not shown the respect he was due as a world champion and was dismissed by some as an afterthought, Smith fought his heart out and went out on his shield.

Despite suffering the first loss of his career and losing his world championship, Liam Smith will likely benefit from the exposure he received in this fight and has probably established a new fan base here in the United States by the “Game” effort he put forth against Alvarez. Depending on what may or may not happen in the future with regard to a potential fight between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Smith could find himself in position to challenge for a Jr. Middleweight world championship again at some point and may even be in position to challenge for the WBO world championship if Alvarez decides to challenge Golovkin for his unified Middleweight world championship with the theoretical scenario of Alvarez having to vacate the championship either before or after a bout with Golovkin depending on the outcome.

Although it is not known as of yet as to how successful this fight was in terms of pay-per-view buys, it was successful in terms of live gate attendance drawing over 51,000 spectators. It will be interesting to see depending on how well this fight did as a pay-per-view attraction if those numbers will play a role in how quickly an encounter between Golovkin and Alvarez takes place. In terms of the immediate future, Gennady Golovkin appears to be heading toward a mandatory championship defense against current WBA number one contender Daniel Jacobs. What this could mean for Alvarez is a potential fight against former Golovkin opponent Willie Monroe Jr. who scored a workmanlike twelve round unanimous decision over current Big-Knockout Boxing (BKB) Middleweight world champion Gabriel Rosado on the undercard of Smith-Alvarez.

What will be interesting about a potential Alvarez-Monroe encounter will be where the fight takes place in terms of weight. It is likely based on recent history where Alvarez, who held a world championship in the 160lb. Middleweight division, but did not technically fight at the official Middleweight limit will possibly dictate that a fight between the two takes place at the Jr. Middleweight limit of 154lbs. or the fight could take place an agreed-upon “Catchweight” as has been the case in some of Alvarez’ recent fights. Although this observer is on record in expressing his not liking “Catch Weight” fights, the reality is especially in regard to the “Business of Boxing”, the fighter who is the draw and thus can earn not only himself, but his opponent significant money will have bargaining power in regard to where a fight takes place.

As the Boxing world will likely have to wait at least until sometime in 2017 for a potential Golovkin-Alvarez showdown, the storyline will continue to be whether or not other opposition will be able to derail either fighter. Even though such a storyline is always interesting, it is my hope that Boxing fans will not have to wait more than a year for Golovkin and Alvarez to square off. This is of course assuming both fighters continue to win in the meantime.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

A rebroadcast of Smith vs. Alvarez can be seen in the United States on HBO on Saturday, September 24th at 10:05PM ET/PT and will also be available on the HBO Go and HBO now apps as well as HBO On Demand. For more information  including additional airdates please visit: www.hbo.com/boxing.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison









Saturday, September 17, 2016

Smith-Alvarez Weigh-In Results And Bout Sheet Information


The official weigh-in for Saturday’s WBO World Jr. Middleweight championship fight between undefeated champion Liam Smith and former two-division world champion Saul Alvarez took place on Friday in Arlington, TX. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBO Jr. Middleweight world championship – 12Rds.

Liam Smith (Champion) 154lbs.                    vs.                    Saul Alvarez 154lbs.

Vacant WBO Intercontinental Middleweight championship – 12Rds.

Willie Monroe Jr. 158lbs.                   vs.                    Gabriel Rosado 159lbs.

North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Featherweight championship – 10Rds.

Joseph Diaz (Champion) 125lbs.                    vs.                    Andrew Cancio 126lbs.

WBC Youth Jr. Featherweight championship – 10 Rds.

Diego De La Hoya (Champion) 121lbs.                      vs.                    Luis Del Valle 121lbs.

*IBF North American Welterweight championship – 10Rds.

Eddie Gomez (Champion)                   vs.                    Dario Ferman

Welterweight – 10Rds.
Sadam Ali 146lbs.                  vs.                    Saul Corral 147lbs.

Jr. Welterweight – 4Rds.

Vergil Ortiz  139lbs.                vs.                    Ernesto Hernandez 139lbs.

Lightweight – 6Rds.

Hector Tanajara 132lbs.                     vs.                    Roy Garcia 133lbs.

Bantamweight – 6Rds.

Bryan Bazan 118lbs.               vs.                    Joshua Franco 117lbs.

Cruiserweight – 6Rds

Rayford Johnson 198lbs.        vs.                    Anthony Yarde 185lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 6Rds.

Larry Smith 153lbs.                vs.                    Alexis Salazar 157lbs.

Jr. Welterweight – 8Rds.

Daniel Montoya 141lbs.                     vs.                    Zachary Ochoa 140lbs.

(* Weights for the Gomez-Ferman fight are unavailable. Bout scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

Smith vs. Alvarez takes place tonight (Saturday, September 17th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. In the United States and Canada, the card can be seen on HBO Pay-Per-View at 9PM ET/6PMPT for $64.95. Contact your Cable/Satellite provider for ordering information. For more information please visit www.hbo.com/boxing. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the card can be seen on BoxNation at 1AM (Sunday, September 18th Local UK Time) For more information please visit: www.boxnation.com. Check your listings internationally.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Should Golovkin Fight Jacobs Next?



For undefeated unified WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and top WBA Middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs, a potential fight between the two is one that should be considered a fight fan’ s fight. Not only would an encounter between two pit two exciting fighters against one another, but it would also be a battle between two of the division’s knockout artists.

Before an encounter between Golovkin and Jacobs could be discussed however, both fighters stepped into the ring on September 9th and 10th respectfully to do battle against other opposition. For Jacobs, his fight would come in the form of a rematch against former WBC Jr. Middleweight world champion Sergio Mora on September 9th at the Santander Arena in Redding, PA. The first encounter between the two was best described as this observer stated before the rematch as “Inconclusive.” This was due to Mora suffering a fractured right ankle which caused the fight to be stopped in the second round.

In previewing this fight, I closed my comments by saying that it was my hope for both the fighters themselves as well as Boxing fans that the rematch would have a “Conclusive” outcome. Unlike the first fight where both fighters suffered knockdowns and left an element of uncertainty as to what may have happened if Mora did not suffer the ankle injury, Jacobs would dominate the rematch consistently forcing the action and knocking Mora down five times before the bout was stopped in the seventh round.

Jacobs seemed to be the stronger of the two fighters from the outset and never really let Mora get into a position where he could get comfortable or dictate how the fight was fought. Although Mora attempted to use lateral movement to try and evade Jacobs’ offense and was successful in occasionally landing counter punches, Jacobs had an answer for everything that Mora tried and the second encounter between the two was one-sided. Jacobs, who has held interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Middleweight ratings for over two years clearly showed in this fight that he is ready for an opportunity to face the champion.

The champion Gennady Golovkin stepped into the ring on September 10th at the O2 Arena in London, England to make the seventeenth defense of his unified world championship against current IBF Welterweight world champion Kell Brook. The slight wrinkle that accompanied this fight was the decision by the World Boxing Association (WBA) to not sanction the fight for its Middleweight world championship due to Brook having never fought in the 160lb. Middleweight division and the organization’s opinion that there were opposition in the Middleweight division willing to face Golovkin and called the fight between the two a “Business Fight.”

What made this noteworthy was that if Golovkin were to lose the fight against Brook, it would likely have meant that Daniel Jacobs per his holding interim/regular champion status and his knockout victory over Sergio Mora the day before could have been named WBA world champion if Brook was successful in scoring an upset to take the rest of Golovkin’s unified world championship away from a man that has earned his position as the number one fighter in the division. Although the element of the politics of the sport were present prior to  this fight, the fight itself did have the look on paper of an intriguing battle as it was the first time in twenty-six years that a reigning Welterweight world champion moved up thirteen pounds in weight in an attempt to win a Middleweight world championship. This fight also presented an interesting scenario of a boxer/puncher against a knockout artist.

What surprised me about this fight was Brook’s willingness to engage with Golovkin from the outset rather than using his movement to be defensive early on. What was impressive about Brook’s performance particularly in the early rounds was how he stayed within range of Golovkin, but used his hand speed to offset the champion’s pressure even though Golovkin was able to back him up. Brook won rounds two and three based largely on his ability to outwork Golovkin and make the champion miss, in the opinion of this observer.

Although Golovkin was seen as a significant favorite going into this fight, an argument could and should be made that Kell Brook was the first fighter to provide the champion with a significant test as this was the first fight where Golovkin seemed to clearly lose rounds, something that had not been said in Golovkin’s career before this fight. Brook’s combination punching also nullified the champion’s offensive output for a period of time over the course of this bout.

After four rounds, I had Brook winning three of four rounds. It appeared that Golovkin was having some trouble with not only Brook’s hand speed, but his style overall as this was the first time in my recollection that Golovkin was made to miss much of his offense and be put into position where he was being outworked. The champion however, was able to have his moments throughout the first four rounds. Even though Golovkin was able to cause significant swelling to Brook’s right eye early in this fight, it should not be overlooked that Brook was also able to mark up Golovkin’s face as well, which is something that not many previous Golovkin opponents have been able to do.

The swelling to Brook’s right eye however, would prove to be the story of the ending of this fight. In a scenario that was not unlike some previous moments earlier in the bout where Golovkin was able to put Brook on the defensive by landing a flurry of punches, Brook was stunned by an attack from Golovkin to the body and head in the fifth round which prompted Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle to throw in the towel and stop the fight.

 Although I felt initially that Ingle’s decision to stop the fight was peculiar particularly because of how well his fighter was doing throughout the whole fight, it was revealed after the fight that the swelling to Brook’s right eye, which was caused by a Golovkin left hook in the first round and gradually got worse as the fight progressed was diagnosed as a broken eye socket. Even though some may call the stoppage controversial, it is important to remember that Kell Brook is a fighter who has not only a world championship in the Welterweight division, but more importantly a fighter who could have a long career ahead of him.

Despite my initial opinion that the fight was stopped quickly, I applaud the decision of Dominic Ingle to put the long-term well-being of his fighter as the top priority over the potential of making history as possibly being able to win a Middleweight world championship while also holding a Welterweight world championship. The safety of fighters should always take top priority over world championships and any lucrative opportunities that may come along with those accolades. It had to nevertheless be a difficult decision to make by a trainer who’s fighter was clearly in the fight and not being dominated by one of the most feared knockout artists in the sport.

For Golovkin, the victory over Brook was his seventeenth successful championship defense and his twenty-third consecutive knockout victory. Even though this was not a fight that was as dramatic as some of the champion’s previous title defenses in terms of Golovkin’s ability to bring it to its conclusion, he still got the job done and sometimes that is all a fighter can do. It may be true that this was not one of Golovkin’s more devastating performances, but not every fight is going to end the same way and it goes without saying that some fighters will provide more of a challenge than others based on skill level, style, and ability. Even the most dominant of champions throughout the entire history of Boxing have had their share of tough fights at one time or another throughout their careers. This fight should be viewed as the first significant test of Golovkin’s career and it will be interesting to see what he can take from this fight and use to his benefit in the future.

As the champion now sits three successful title defenses away from tying the all-time Middleweight record for successful world championship defenses, which is currently held by Bernard Hopkins, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Of course, there will be those who will continue to fuel demand for Golovkin to face former two-division world champion Saul Alvarez in what is a highly anticipated fight.

It is the opinion of this observer however, that Golovkin should consider making a mandatory title defense against the WBA’s number one contender Daniel Jacobs in his next fight. For their part, the WBA announced earlier this week that it has mandated that a fight between the two take place within 120 days.

Although this observer has been critical over the years of the WBA for its designation of “interim/regular champions”, I applaud their decision to mandate a mandatory title defense between Golovkin and their top contender. Even though the organization’s designation of what this observer refers to as “interim/regular champion status”  for their number one contenders throughout all divisions is one that is well-intentioned particularly in regard to the potential of world champions either getting hurt or simply not fulfilling their obligations to meet a mandatory number one contender, there has been a history where fighters who hold such status in a weight class have had to wait a significant period of time even as long as a few years while facing other opposition to maintain their status before getting the opportunity to face the WBA world champion.

Daniel Jacobs has waited over two years and has defeated all opposition that has been placed before him during that time. Although some may view a fight between Golovkin and Saul Alvarez, a fighter who has chosen to face Jr. Middleweight world champion Liam Smith in a fight that will take place this weekend instead of Golovkin, why should Golovkin wait on a fighter who has other obligations and perhaps other interests when he has an opponent who is more than willing to take him on and has earned the opportunity to fight him?

Even though Golovkin will likely wait for the result of this weekend’s Smith-Alvarez showdown before making any decisions, this observer believes the best case scenario that would satisfy not only Boxing fans, but also ensure that mandatory obligations are met is for Golovkin to make what will be his eighteenth title defense against Daniel Jacobs and for the winner of that fight to face the winner of Smith-Alvarez. Whether or not the scenario plays out remains to be seen, but it is best for fights to be made when there is significant public interest rather than making those who support the sport in good times and bad, the Boxing fans wait a long period of time before a marquee or “Super Fight” finally takes place. It is a formula that has not always worked out to the benefit fighters, but more importantly the sport. Hopefully, Boxing fans will not have to wait much longer before a fight they have demanded becomes a reality. If Alvarez defeats Smith and Golovkin fights and defeats Jacobs, why make Boxing fans wait any longer?

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison







Saturday, September 10, 2016

Brief Update


We would like to let our readers know that material regarding the Middleweight rematch between top contender Daniel Jacobs and former Jr. Middleweight world champion Sergio Mora as well as the Middleweight world championship fight between undefeated unified world champion Gennady Golovkin and Welterweight world champion Kell Brook is currently in the works and will be released on Wednesday, September 14th. Stay tuned. "And That's The Boxing Truth."

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison

Friday, September 9, 2016

Previewing The Weekend’s Middleweight Action


Two significant fights in Boxing’s Middleweight division take center stage this weekend as both bouts could have an impact on the overall landscape of the division. The first of the two bouts will take place on Friday night at the Santander Arena in Redding, PA as current World Boxing Association (WBA) number one Middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs faces former WBC Jr. Middleweight world champion Sergio Mora in a bout scheduled for twelve rounds that will headline the latest addition of the Premier Boxing Champions series broadcast by Spike TV in the United States.

This is a rematch of a fight that took place in August of last year that had a somewhat “Inconclusive” outcome. In what was an exciting fight where both men suffered knockdowns, the combat was halted in the second round when Mora, who was in the process of attempting to evade Jacobs’ offense went down to the canvas with his right leg bent awkwardly and suffered an injury to his right ankle which forced the fight to be stopped. The inconclusive ending to this fight because of the injury suffered by Mora, which was later confirmed to be a fractured ankle has fueled demand for this rematch.

For Jacobs, who has held interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Middleweight ratings for over two years, this will be his first fight since scoring a first round knockout over former WBO Middleweight world champion Peter Quillin in December of last year. Mora has not fought since suffering the injury and subsequent loss to Jacobs last year and it will be interesting to see if Jacobs attempts to press the action from the outset and test Mora or if the rematch will be a more tactical encounter.

Although Jacobs has an edge in regard to punching power as he has stopped twenty-eight opponents in his thirty-one career wins and has registered a career knockout percentage of 88%, Mora was able to get to him in the first fight and even though he is known more as a defensive boxer, he has also shown a willingness throughout his career to mix it up with his opposition. In some ways, this fight could be described as a “Do Over” due to how inconclusive the ending of the first fight was.

Both men can box and both have shown the willingness to go toe to toe. The question this observer has going into this fight is whether or not this will be a continuation of the first fight where both fighters made their presence known and were able to score knockdowns of each other or if this will be a more tactical fight. Although Mora was able to get to Jacobs in the first fight, it is logical to assume that he will look to outbox Jacobs in the rematch. Mora has the kind of style that uses good lateral movement, ability to slip punches, and also has the hand speed that can frustrate opponents.

Jacobs meanwhile should look to cut off the ring from the outset and thus limit Mora’s ability to use movement in order to avoid his offense. Jacobs has the ability to get an opponent out of there with one punch and also wear down an opponent over the course of fight. Even though one cannot discount the possibility of one punch being the deciding factor in any fight, I believe Jacobs should not only look to limit Mora’s movement, but also use body punching as a component of his offense.

If this fight does go longer than the first fight between these two men and Mora is able to have success in using his movement to evade Jacobs’ offense, Jacobs could slow that movement down by going to the body of Mora consistently, which will theoretically take a toll on Mora’s legs and ability to move as the fight progresses. This can be of course easier said than done against a slick boxer like Mora.

It would not surprise this observer however, if Mora is able to use his hand speed and manage to make Jacobs miss frequently with his offense that a possible third encounter between the two could be discussed should Mora be successful in this fight. No matter what happens in this fight, it is my hope for both the fighters themselves as well as Boxing fans that the outcome this time will be “Conclusive.”

The second of the two Middleweight showdowns that will take place this weekend will be a battle between two undefeated world champions as undefeated WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin will attempt to make his seventeenth successful title defense against undefeated IBF Welterweight world champion Kell Brook on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England, which will be broadcast the United States by HBO Sports.

In his last title defense in April of this year Golovkin stopped a “Game”, but overmatched Dominic Wade in two rounds in what was his sixteenth successful title defense and his twenty-second consecutive knockout. Since that fight, the Middleweight “Knockout Artist” was named WBC world champion after previously holding interim championship status in the WBC’s Middleweight ratings per his victory over former WBC number one contender Marco Antonio Rubio in a title defense of his unified championship in October 2014.

Golovkin was named champion of the WBC following former champion Saul Alvarez’ decision following his knockout win over former Jr. Welterweight world champion Amir Khan in May to seek other opposition rather than face Golovkin in what would have been a mandatory title defense for him and a fight that would of further unified the Middleweight division. Golovkin now owns four of five world championships in the division with Alvarez’ choosing instead to attempt to win a Jr. Middleweight world championship on September 17th when he faces undefeated WBO champion Liam Smith at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX in a bout that will headline a pay-per-view card broadcast by HBO Pay-Per-View.

In a scenario somewhat similar to Alvarez’ last fight against Amir Khan however, Golovkin will attempt to make his seventeenth successful title defense against current Welterweight world champion Kell Brook. This will be the first time in this observer’s recollection that a current Welterweight world champion will attempt to win a Middleweight world championship since Marlon Starling attempted to win the IBF Middleweight world championship from Michael Nunn on April 14, 1990.

Starling, who was then the WBC Welterweight world champion moved up two weight classes to challenge the undefeated Nunn for his world championship. In what was a tactical and non-eventful fight, Nunn retained his Middleweight world championship with a twelve round majority decision over Starling. Now twenty-six years later, Brook will attempt the same feat as he will move up in weight to challenge Golovkin for his unified crown.

Although Golovkin holds the WBA Middleweight world championship as part of his unified crown, the WBA has chosen not to sanction this fight for its Middleweight world championship citing both the fact that Brook has never fought in the 160lb. Middleweight division as well as WBA president Gilberto Mendoza calling the fight in comments made to ESPN Deportes quote “A Business fight” stating that it was the organization’s stance that there were opponents in the Middleweight division who were willing to face Golovkin including current number one contender Daniel Jacobs as well as expressing his opinion that Brook could have sought opposition in the 147lb. Welterweight division such as current WBC world champion Danny Garcia to attempt to unify the Welterweight division as the WBA’s reasoning for that sanctioning this fight.

This does present a scenario where theoretically the winner of the Jacobs-Mora rematch could be named WBA Middleweight world champion perhaps as soon as next week assuming Brook pulls off what should be considered a significant upset over Golovkin per Jacobs holding interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Middleweight ratings. The politics of the sport notwithstanding, it is refreshing as an old school Boxing historian and enthusiast to see a fight where there is no element of “Catch Weights” where Brook will be moving up to face the unified Middleweight world champion in that champion’s official weight class and not at a weight “In Between.” It is something that quite frankly the sport needs more of.

As for the fight itself, Kell Brook will have the task that all previous Gennady Golovkin opponents have had. Brook must find a way to avoid the constant pressure and seek and destroy attack that has made Golovkin one of the most feared fighters in recent Middleweight history as the champion has registered a career knockout percentage of 91% having knocked out thirty-two of his thirty-five opponents in his professional career. Golovkin is also four successful defenses away from tying the all-time Middleweight record for successful world championship defenses of twenty currently held by Bernard Hopkins.

Brook is a boxer/puncher that has shown good hand speed and power throughout his career. The obvious question going into this fight is will Brook’s hand speed and punching power be the offense of weapons they have been in a weight class thirteen pounds below where this fight will take place. As for Brook’s ability to make the 160lb. Middleweight limit, he officially came in one pound heavier than the champion at the official weigh-in on Friday weighing in at 159lbs to the champion’s 158lbs.  It will be interesting to see if this will be of any significance once the two fighters have had the opportunity to re-hydrate before they enter the ring.

In thinking of how this fight might be fought, I have had thoughts of Golovkin’s title defense against former two-time Middleweight world champion Daniel Geale in July 2014. Much like Brook, Geale is a fighter with good hand speed and lateral movement who has the ability to execute his offense in volume. Geale however, was unable to use his movement to his advantage as Golovkin consistently applied pressure on him before knocking Geale out in the third round while absorbing a flush right hand from Gealeas he threw and landed a counter right hand of his own. It is logical to assume that Golovkin will look to pressure Brook from the outset in a similar way as he was able to do against Geale and look to test the Welterweight world champion’s ability to take a Middleweight punch.

This is a fight where Brook could have some success using his movement and hand speed, but the question will be can he avoid Golovkin’s pressure and power for twelve rounds? Even though Brook is the underdog in this fight, he will likely have the support of the crowd as the bout will take place in his home country of England. Although Brook is undefeated and is a world champion to his credit, it is understandable why he is considered the underdog in this fight against a fighter with not only a 91% career knockout percentage, but also a fighter who has never fought past eight rounds.

What these two fights present are two intriguing storylines. The first fight, a rematch between a former world champion and a top contender where the hope is for a clear winner to emerge. The new wrinkle to this rematch however, is also the possibility of the winner potentially becoming a world champion depending on what happens in the second of the two fights taking place over the weekend. A battle between two undefeated world champions where one is moving up significantly in weight to challenge the other for his crown. Whether this fight will be as tactical as Nunn-Starling remains to be seen. If however, Brook can produce an unlikely significant test for a Middleweight champion who has knocked out nearly all of his opposition, this encounter between a current Welterweight world champion and a current Middleweight world champion may prove a historic moment in recent Boxing history. If both fights turn out to be as intriguing as they appear to be on paper, the real winners will be Boxing fans.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

PBC: Jacobs vs. Mora II takes place tonight (Friday, September 9th at the Santander Arena in Redding, PA. The fight can be seen in the United States by Spike TV at 9PM ET/PT. Check your cable or satellite provider for time and channel in your area. Check your listings internationally. For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.premierboxingchampions.com.

Golovkin vs. Brook takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, September 10th at the O2 Arena in London England. The fight can be seen in the United States on HBO Sports live at 5:30PM ET/PT. The fight will be replayed later in the evening as part of HBO’s live coverage of a double header featuring Carlos Cuadras defending his WBC Jr. Bantamweight world championship against WBC Flyweight world champion Roman Gonzalez and a Jr. Middleweight rematch between Jesus Soto-Karass and Yoshihiro Kamegai taking place at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. This portion of HBO’s Boxing coverage will begin at 10PM ET/PT. Check your cable or satellite provider for time and channel in your area. For more information please visit www.hbo.com/boxing.

In the United Kingdom, Golovkin vs. Brook will be televised on pay-per-view on Sky Box Office beginning at 6PM (Local UK Time) for €21.95 HD/€16.95 Standard Definition. For ordering information please visit: https://my.sky.com/orderboxoffice/.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What’s Next For Darwin Price?


Sometimes in the sport of Boxing one may wonder what some experts and fans alike look for in the endless search for rising prospects. For this observer, I tend to look for things that stand out whether it be a fighter’s skills or whether a fighter has charisma that seems to generate interest. In the case of rising Jr. Welterweight prospect Darwin Price both of those things stand out.

Price, a native of Houston, TX began his professional career in 2013 and compiled an undefeated record of 10-0, with 5 Knockouts prior to his encounter with fellow rising prospect Javontee Starks on September 3rd at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, TX in a fight that headlined a Premier Boxing Champions card and a bout that was fought one pound above the 140lb Jr. Welterweight limit. This appeared to be the definition of a development fight for both fighters as each looked to take the next step in progressing toward contender status.

In Starks, Price faced a slightly more experienced fighter in terms of professional experience having fought four more fights than Price had prior to the bout, but also a fighter who was at a similar stage having recently suffered the first loss of his career in October of last year in losing an eight round unanimous decision to then unbeaten prospect Samuel Figueroa. It interested me to see how Starks would approach this fight against another undefeated prospect.

The story of this fight would be Price’s hand speed and combination punching. For seven rounds, Price consistently beat Starks to the punch throwing and landing double jabs followed by right hands consistently throughout the entire fight. What impressed me about Price’s performance in this fight was not only his commitment to throwing combinations often off of a double jab, but more specifically how he was able to control distance from the outset and create a scenario where he was able to dictate the ebb and flow of the fight where Starks was not able to be effective.

Starks simply had no answer for Price’s hand speed as he was dropped from a double jab, right hand combination in the third round and simply could not find a way to nullify Price’s attack as the undefeated Price continued to dominate the action before the fight was stopped in the seventh round. Although there was simply not much to say about this fight, it was an impressive performance by Price that will surely generate interest. As for Javontee Starks even though he was outgunned in this fight, this observer does not believe that suffering two straight losses will set his career back too far. There are many stories throughout the history of Boxing of fighters suffering setbacks during the early stages of their careers where after a period of time those fighters were able to rebound and go on to have success.

It will be interesting to see whether Starks will fight another fighter who is considered a prospect in his next fight or if he may look to face a fighter who would be considered a journeyman in an effort to boost his confidence. Although taking on a fighter who may have an unflattering record and who may not be well known is not always a sure formula to boost a fighter’s confidence following some setbacks, maybe it would benefit Starks if he could get back in the win column and manage to get a win or two against lesser-known opposition before facing another prospect to attempt to elevate himself toward contender status.

As for Darwin Price it will also be interesting to see who he fights next. This observer believes that possibilities could exist in both the Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight divisions for Price. It is important to remember that Price has only had eleven pro fights and a question that is asked of virtually all prospects is how quickly will their handlers match them against someone who is considered a threat and/or a contender. Obviously, the answer to that question is one that varies depending on the fighter, but it is one that all prospects have to answer in time. Whether or not Price will face a fighter who can provide him a test in his next fight remains to be seen, but based on how well he performed in this fight it would not surprise me to see him test the waters against a fighter who is ranked in the top twenty to top fifteen range in either the Jr. Welterweight or Welterweight divisions.

There are certainly plenty opportunities in both weight classes for rising prospects who were looking to climb the ranks. It may simply come down to what opportunities are available and if those opportunities are viable both from a Boxing standpoint of a fighter looking to establish himself as a player in the division and also from an economic standpoint. No matter what factors in to any decisions that will be made in regard to Darwin Price’s future opposition, he has established himself as a fighter to watch and if he can continue to progress he could well be a player in either division for years to come.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

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