Sunday, January 26, 2020

Garcia-Redkach Feature Update

We would like to let readers know that new material discussing the recent WBC Welterweight elimination bout between former world champion Danny Garcia and contender Ivan Redkach is in the works and will be released here on the website on Monday, January 27th. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Ramirez-Postol Postponed

It has been announced that the WBC Jr. Welterweight world championship bout between undefeated champion Jose Ramirez and former WBC world champion Viktor Postol has been postponed. The postponement of the fight, which was scheduled to take place on February 1st in the main event of an ESPN televised Boxing card  in the United States, from Haikou, China comes as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak that has severely affected the country. 

There is no word as of this writing as to when and where the fight will take place. We will update readers on any developments as they become available.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Garcia-Redkach Preview

An important fight in Boxing’s 147lb. Welterweight division will take place on Saturday, January 25th as former Jr.Welterweight world champion Danny Garcia will face top contender Ivan Redkach at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. What makes this encounter between two of the top Welterweights in the world important? The fight, which will be broadcast in the United States by Showtime has implications for the future of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Welterweight world championship as it will determine a mandatory challenger for current IBF/WBC world champion Errol Spence.

As many Boxing fans know, Spence was involved in a serious automobile accident in October of last year, weeks after he successfully unified the IBF and WBC crowns with a twelve round unanimous decision over WBC champion Shawn Porter. Although Spence suffered some injuries in the accident where he was ejected from his Ferrari, he has said that he intends to return ti the ring. The circumstances regarding Spence’s situation is a subject to discuss at a later time, but how it relates to the Garcia-Redkach fight is that the elimination bout could ultimately determine a new WBC world champion if Spence is unable to return to the ring within a certain timeframe or if he is stripped by the WBC, with the likely reason being inactivity.

Before anything regarding that can be addressed, Danny Garcia and Ivan Redkach will do battle to at minimum determine a number one contender in the WBC Welterweight ratings. Garcia has been campaigning as a Welterweight since 2015, but has experienced some setbacks since moving up from the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division. Despite winning the vacant WBC Welterweight world championship in January 2016 with a twelve round unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero, Garcia’s reign would be short as he would lose a close twelve round split device in a unification bout with WBA champion Keith Thurman in March 2017. This would be followed by another setback when he came out on the short end of a twelve round unanimous decision to Shawn Porter in September 2018 in a bout for the then vacant WBC crown.

In his last fight, Garcia scored a seventh round knockout over Adrian Granados in April of last year. Garcia is a boxer/puncher who has a compact offensive style. This has worked well for him as he can counter opponents in between their offense while also being able to avoid damage. Although Garcia has won thirty-five of his thirty-seven professional fights, the two fights he lost were largely a result of both Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter being able to out work him over the course of those bouts.

Ivan Redkach meanwhile will come into this fight rated number twenty-five in the WBC’s Welterweight ratings compared to Garcia’s number two rating. The subject of rankings in the sport is something that is always open to criticism, debate, and ridicule. Based on the current rankings, it is understandable how some might question why a fighter who is rated number two in the world by an organization is facing a fighter that is rated twenty-fifth in a fight that is billed as a world championship elimination bout. The politics that be in the sport notwithstanding, Boxing as this observer has often said over the years, is a sport of opportunity and obviously if Redkach can win this fight it will propel him into an opportunity to at least fight for a world championship.

Redkach is a former United States Boxing Association (USBA) champion as a Lightweight, but has thus far failed to earn a notable win against a fighter that most would consider to be championship level. Redkach will enter this fight with Garcia riding a three fight winning streak having scored knockouts in two of those bouts including in his last fight in June of last year when he stopped former Jr. Welterweight world champion Devon Alexander in six rounds. Although this does qualify as a notable win in the eyes of yours truly, some might feel that Redkach defeated a fighter in Alexander, who is on the decline. If Redkach can win this fight however, he will have to be given his due by those who might be questioning why he is in this fight.

In terms of what one can expect when the two fighters get in the ring, it is logical to expect Redkach to be aggressive. If this is the case, Redkach must be tactical in his approach. One might argue that Redkach could have a slight edge in terms of power given that he has a career knockout percentage of over 60% having scored knockouts in eighteen of his twenty-three wins.  He must keep in mind that he is facing a precision counter puncher in Garcia that has proven his ability to catch fighters in between punches they throw with punches they cannot see coming.

What may loom ahead for the winner of this fight beyond a potential opportunity to fight Errol Spence,if not potentially earning a vacant world championship with a victory, could be a possible opportunity to face current WBA world champion Manny Pacquiao, who is a fighter that per his Hall of Fame resume, is one of the most sought after fighters in the sport because of the notoriety and lucrative opportunity he brings with him. 

With several possibilities that could loom for the winner of this fight, it shouldn’t be difficult to see that there is a lot at stake for both fighters. Such circumstances can produce compelling and competitive fights. Whether or not the Danny Garcia-Ivan Redkach fight is such an occasion remains to be seen.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Garcia vs. Redkach takes place on Saturday, January 25th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT on cable/satellite providers as well as the Showtime and Showtime Anytime streaming apps. For more information about Showtime, Showtime Sports, and the Showtime and Showtime Anytime streaming apps please visit: For additional ticket availability and fight card information please visit: and Check your local TV listings internationally.

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Cuban prodigy “King” Raynel Mederos inks with Tony Tolj's Dragon Fire Boxing

Press Release: January 22, 2020 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing  have announced they have signed 23-year-old Cuban prodigy “King” Raynel Mederos.  
Credit:Dragon Fire Boxing 

Boasting an impressive amateur record of: 145 fights, 111 wins having been part of Cubas's national setup from 2009 as he was selected as a cadet. The Jnr Welterweight won several national amateur titles in Cuba, 3 Gold Medals, 2 Silver and Bronze alongside multinational tournaments in Cuba itself and Brazil, Ecuador, Russia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic

The Cuban then made the leap to the professional ranks in 2019, currently 2-0 in the professional ranks. Mederos trains alongside Dragon Fire Stable mates WBA Fedebol Flyweight Champion Andres Campos and Ramon Mascarena at the World famous Libra Libra Boxing gym run by Chile’s Nico “Maverick” Martinez.

The Cuban opened up about signing with Tony Tolj's Dragon Fire Boxing. 

“First of all, thank God for the opportunity to go to Chile and to be able to meet these wonderful people to whom I thank you for this beautiful opportunity that you have given me. This step for me being able to sign with Dragon Fire Boxing means a lot  for my personal life and my career as a professional boxer, Tony Tolj never stops working and gives everything to his fighters, under the Big Bossman I will be given every opportunity to grow as a boxer and as a person I am sure that with him in command my career will go far, such that I will achieve my dreams of  be world champion in different divisions.

“Together with my team, we are doing things the right way.  The first thing he made visible is to end all the light and super light division of Chile, I think it is an important step that I have no doubts that will be achieved.  After that I intend to win international titles that help me position myself as the great boxer that I am and be able to win a world title!  I will achieve it.

I think that without my team it would not be possible to achieve my dreams, with my Latino Wolf Pack teammates (Andres Campos and Ramon Mascarena and my coaching staff is important, their advice, support, etc. is like a family and together as a family we will become World Champions”.

Tony Tolj gave his take on his latest acquisition, "We are very excited to work with Raynel. I believe he will go right to the top in this industry soon and it was the right move for all parties concerned. We work with fighters all over the world and this will benefit Raynel and “The King” is very young almost a Prince so we plan to strategically guide his career and when the time comes, there will be a Royal Flush and we will say all hail “King” Raynel Mederos. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chile and they are some of the nicest, most humble people on this planet. It is an honor to represent Mederos along with "Latino Wolf Pack" stable mates Mascareña Jnr and Chilean National Hero Andres Campos.

I believe this will usher in a New Era and a Golden age of Chilean Boxing and there are some exciting times and projects we are working on."

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing Used with permission. 

For more information about Dragon Fire Boxing please visit Dragon Fire Boxing’s official Facebook page:

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

Monday, January 20, 2020

Alvarez Back In Light-Heavyweight Mix

In August 2018 undefeated Light-Heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez reached the pinnacle of Professional Boxing and shocked many in the Boxing world in the process by scoring a devastating knockout of multi-time Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev. Despite going into the fight unbeaten as a professional and rated the number one Light-Heavyweight in the world in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Light-Heavyweight ratings, Alvarez was viewed as an underdog by some. This was largely due to the reputation that Kovalev had established as one of the sport’s feared “Knockout Artists.”

Even after suffering two consecutive losses to Andre Ward, the second of which ended in a somewhat controversial stoppage, Kovalev's reputation was still that of a devastating power puncher. In many ways however, Alvarez’ fifth round knockout of Kovalev was an example of the appeal and beauty that draws most fans to Boxing and by extension all combat sports. The fact that a fight can end at any given time. While Kovalev was seemingly in control of that fight prior to getting caught by Alvarez, the sudden nature in which the fight came to an end was head turning. Alvarez had successfully knocked out a fighter known for scoring quick knockouts and in the process took the WBO Light-Heavyweight world championship and ended Kovalev's second reign as a Light-Heavyweight world champion.

In an immediate rematch in February of last year however, the story would have a different ending as Kovalev would become a three-time world champion by defeating Alvarez. What was surprising about the second encounter between the two was Kovalev was not the seek and destroy fighter that he had been throughout his career. He instead implemented a more tactical approach and out boxed Alvarez over the course of the twelve round world championship bout to earn a convincing unanimous decision victory. 

The loss of his world championship would be the only time Eleider Alvarez would compete in 2019. As many fighters who have won and lost world championships throughout the history of Boxing have done, Alvarez took some time to regroup before beginning the rebuilding process. An injury to his right Achilles was also a reason why Alvarez was inactive after the loss to Kovalev. The rebuilding process that would begin however, on January 18th when he returned to the ring to face Light-Heavyweight contender Michael Seals at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.

A question that is commonly asked when a fighter returns to the ring after losing their world championship is what adjustments, if any will the fighter make. In this case one might have wondered what effect the loss to Kovalev might have had on Alvarez mentally. Although it is understandable how a fighter losing can have an impact on them mentally, it is important to keep in mind that the second encounter between Alvarez and Kovalev was ultimately defined by the adjustments that Kovalev was able to make more so than any flaws in Alvarez' approach. Some might be justified however, to say that Alvarez was unprepared for the change in tactics that Kovalev was able to execute. 

In Michael Seals, Alvarez faced a fighter who had won twenty-four of twenty-six professional fights prior to facing the former world champion.Of those twenty-six bouts, Seals’ most notable opponent came in the form of former world title challenger Edwin Rodriguez, who stopped him in three rounds in November 2015. A fight that saw Seals knock Rodriguez down twice in the first round before suffering three knockdowns of his own before the fight was stopped. Seals also suffered a disqualification loss to journeyman Michael Gbenga in May 2018 where he was disqualified for hitting Gbenga while he was down after being told by the referee to stop punching.

The native of Mobile, AL did go into the fight with Alvarez on a wave of momentum in winning his last four fights with three knockouts in those four wins. An argument could be made however, that those wins, which came against fighters with a combined record of 66-25-2, with 44 Knockouts, were the type of victories that can be described as a fighter in a rebuilding process simply going through the motions. One may have wondered with no victories coming against a notable opponent going into this fight, what type of challenge Seals would be able to pose for Alvarez.

A tactical fight from the outset, there was not much to separate the two fighters due to both displaying a healthy respect for each other and not being quick to engage. Though this was not the most entertaining bout to watch for much of the early rounds, what did stand out was the success Alvarez was able to find in landing his right hand on Seals. With neither fighter being aggressive, small details such as that can make a difference in determining which fighter has an edge over the other.

Seals was able to have a solid fourth round in landing some solid right hands of his own as well as being able to mix some combinations into his offense. Alvarez was able to stagger Seals at the end of the fifth round with a right hand to the head. Although the bout remained close at this point in the fight, it appeared that the edge in power was in Alvarez’ favor. 

In round six, the two fighters had their share of moments, but it appeared that the momentum was in favor of Alvarez based largely on what happened at the end of round five. It would be in the closing seconds of round seven however, where any potential questions regarding the possible scoring of what was a closely fought battle would not be needed. Alvarez connected with a flush overhead right that sent Seals down on his back partially leaning on the bottom rope. As it became clear that Seals would not be able to beat the count, the fight was stopped by Referee Danny Schiavone.

This was essentially a one punch knockout similar in some aspects as the knockout Alvarez was able to score against Sergey Kovalev in their first encounter, though Kovalev was knocked down twice more after initially being knocked down in round seven. Although this knockout over Michael Seals was more of the definition of a one punch knockout, after the first knockdown Kovalev suffered in that fight, he really was in no condition to continue so the two knockdowns that followed to force the stoppage was academic. 

Despite appearing to have a little difficulty throughout this fight, Alvarez did get the type of win that should put him right back in the discussion of potential world title challengers in the Light-Heavyweight division. In regard to the WBO world championship that Alvarez once held, it was recently vacated by Saul “Canelo Alvarez, no relation following his knockout win over Sergey Kovalev in November. With the championship now vacant, Eleider Alvarez would appear to be a logical choice to be one of two fighters to to fight for the vacant crown whenever the WBO mandates that a fight take place to fill the vacancy. It may be a question of when and not if Alvarez gets that opportunity.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Will DAZN Increase Subscription Prices?

The year 2019 ended with two of sports top digital streaming networks DAZN and ESPN+ in a great position to continue their respective growth in 2020 and beyond. With the success of both platforms, it is only natural for rumors and/or other speculation to surface. When new platforms enter the market, the goal more often than not is to break new ground and deliver a new, fresh presentation that stands apart from their competitors.

In regard to sports, this is a formula that has been seen numerous times through the years. Some may recall the 2002 launch of the Yes Network or Yankee Entertainment and Sports. The first sports network owned by a professional sports team, the New York Yankees. While Yes Network was truly a groundbreaking milestone for the sports television industry where a team chose to launch their own platform rather than negotiate with more established network platforms, it was not without its share of critics. Yes Network, which for many years operated solely as a regional sports network (RSN) in the New York region faced some backlash for a time from various cable subscribers who could not access the network shortly after it launched due to the network not being available on some cable platforms.

Although the network was available and marketed as being available on satellite television providers like DirecTV, which enabled access to the network nationally in the United States, some criticism remained for a time. Eighteen years later, the network now offers a national feed to both cable and satellite providers and served as a model for other sports networks to try and follow.

One of the appeals of digital streaming networks is that it operates on a direct to consumer model making the potential of a network not being available on a traditional television platform largely a thing of the past. This fact however, has not made digital streaming networks immune from criticism and/or rumors.

Recently, a story that has made the rounds was a suggestion by Eddie Hearn, one of Boxing’s top promoters, that DAZN, the digital streaming network that has a $1 Billion deal with his promotional company Matchroom Boxing, increase their monthly subscription plan from the current $19.99 per month price point to $50 per month with the thinking that it would encourage those monthly subscribers to instead opt to subscribe to the network’s yearly annual subscription plan.

In the interest of full disclosure with the reader, this observer is a subscriber to DAZN on a yearly basis and, despite the fact that yours truly has rarely written a column or other form of article both in online and print mediums over the last two decades yours truly has covered Boxing and other combat sports based solely on rumors, this is a subject that should be discussed. It is also important for me to state that this column will offer strictly my opinion and will not offer a negative point of view.

Regular readers of The Boxing Truth®️ know that one of the more consistent themes of yours truly in recent years has been the benefits of streaming technology and how it can benefit Boxing. While one should look no further than a few short weeks ago at the beginning of 2020 where I discussed this subject at length, one who may be uninformed may wonder what the benefits are and exactly what I have been talking about.

In short, streaming services/networks delivered over the internet, often referred to as Over The Top (OTT) digital distribution offers the consumer generally low cost options on a wide scale of entertainment that unlike cable/satellite television is available directly to the consumer and not part of a large bundled programming package. Although as the OTT distribution model has rapidly increased in recent years with several new platforms either entering the market or will soon be launched, the pricing structure has largely remained the same where consumers can choose what they want to subscribe to and do so at a reasonable price point.

As the market has increased, it was only a matter of time before sports platforms would be introduced and join the game.  For the most part, I feel both DAZN and ESPN+ have succeeded in providing value for the price of a subscription in a largely untapped portion of the market when it comes to streaming. It is important to consider however, that unlike ESPN+,which is only available in the United States, DAZN is a global streaming network that is currently available in nine countries.

A challenge for DAZN in regard to the United States was entering the market during a period of time where various broadcasting rights to numerous sports, many of which they hold international rights to, are currently not open for bidding to cover the U.S. market. With limited options in terms of acquiring rights in the United States, they chose to focus on combat sports. Although prior to their official launch in the U.S. DAZN had to contend with a relatively crowded field of broadcasters offering combat sports, primarily Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the network was able to take advantage of the decision of HBO to exit Boxing after a forty-five year run at the end of 2018.

In a relatively short time, DAZN increased their content offerings by striking broadcast deals with Bellator MMA, Golden Boy Promotions, and several other Boxing and MMA promotions in addition to their deal with Matchroom Boxing, which has also allowed Eddie Hearn to expand his promotional company into several branches around the world, providing even more value for the subscriber by providing content in an innovative way that had not been seen before on a network platform.

One of the deals DAZN was able to strike that received significant attention and skepticism was the eleven-fight $365 Million deal with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in addition to a deal to provide a broadcast platform for his promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions stable of fighters after previously being aligned with HBO. The deal with Alvarez was significant both in terms of opening up potential opportunities for fighters to potentially secure lucrative deals that had not been seen before in the sport. It also represented the first legitimate pay-per-view draw to take a step into the digital subscription age and away from what this observer has often called an overpriced and undervalued model of pay-per-view.

For a streaming network that has marketed itself as a legitimate alternative to the pay-per-view model, signing a fighter of Alvarez’ stature was a win for DAZN. Despite their successes in establishing a subscriber-base of reportedly eight million global subscribers with an estimated subscriber-base of under one million in the U.S. according to several media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, skepticism has remained.

It is understandable how some may have their doubts as to the long-term viability of a platform that has only been available in the U.S. for just over one year. After all, DAZN is challenging a previously tried and true model of sports television in the United States and is doing so while competing with more established sports network platforms in the country including ESPN and Fox Sports to name a few. It is also true that DAZN has spent significantly in terms of fighter contracts while also trying to acquire any rights that might be available including the launch of their ChangeUp nightly studio show in a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB). Although as of 2020 the deal does not include live full games, the live look in, whip around style show did get DAZN’s foot in the door to potentially acquire further rights for live games down the line while also leaving the possibility open for similar content to be developed for other sports leagues while waiting for respective broadcast rights to become available on the open market.

Some might argue however, by being so aggressive in spending money to not only sign fighters, but also establish the platform in the U.S. while also acquiring more rights over time that it could create a difficult scenario for the network in the long-term picture. This argument has fed the skepticism of some.

While this observer does not currently work for DAZN or any other network or outlet outside of my own, I do not share the same skepticism of some and believe that for a network that has only been available in the United States for over one year, the network appears to be in great position for further growth after initially launching internationally in 2016. As for the current subscription plans of either $19.99 per month or $99 per year that were introduced in the U.S. last year, it is important to note that initially DAZN entered the U.S. market by offering a $9.99 per month subscription option following a thirty-day free trial. 

This was done as an introductory offering before increasing the monthly price point to $19.99, but also introducing the $99 annual subscription option, while keeping the $9.99 price point for existing subscribers for a period of time. Although this was met with skepticism, criticism, and rumors that DAZN was struggling, what was not explained clearly was that the introduction of the $19.99 monthly subscription option and the $99 annual subscription option moved the U.S. offering of DAZN to the same pricing structure as what the network offers internationally.

Despite this fact, skepticism and rumors of another potential price increase has remained. As far as criticism regarding how much the network has spent and invested, I believe it is in some ways similar to where ESPN was when they launched on cable television in the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s. It took a significant period of time stretching several years for the network to establish itself, increase access, grow subscriber numbers and over time acquire significant and lucrative broadcast deals with various sports leagues. A necessary component for ESPN and really any sports network was to spend and invest significant resources to grow their platform. In 2020, ESPN is one of the power players in sports in the United States and like DAZN, are now establishing their footprint in the digital streaming age, that many including yours truly believe will ultimately replace the traditional cable/satellite television model.

While taking a brief vacation that I often refer to as a staycation towards the end of last year, I kept a keen eye on news regarding both DAZN and ESPN+ as I routinely do. Although I do not like to pen columns based on rumor an innuendo, I have seen some fans on social media suggest that DAZN should attempt to enter the pay-per-view realm and this along with numerous speculation pieces I have read regarding the network, it became clear that it would be a topic I would have to address.

In regard to the possibility of another price increase at least for those who choose a monthly subscription option, I cannot say as someone viewing things from the outside that a price increase will not come in time as has been the case for digital streaming networks like Netflix and Hulu for example. I cannot see however, a price increase occurring shortly after an increase was introduced into the market as a way to get the U.S. on the same pricing structure as other countries where the network is available. It would not surprise me however, to see a price increase come at a point where the network is able to acquire broadcast rights to a major sports league or leagues as has been reported as a possibility involving the National Football League (NFL) down the line.

As far as the stance of some that DAZN should consider a pay-per-view option, I disagree. It would be a step backwards for the network that marketed itself to Boxing fans as providing 100+ fight nights per year across both Boxing and MMA “Without The Pain Of Pay-Per-View!” When one considers the current state of the cable/satellite industry that is in decline as cord-cutting continues to grow and the general decline of the pay-per-view industry that both due to the decline of cable/satellite and the ever increasing price points of pay-per-view, pay-per-view Boxing events rarely draw the type of revenue that makes the model sustainable in the long-term. 

Although I put the blame for this both on the price points, which average between $70-$90 on a per card basis as well as cord-cutting, there is also the issue of piracy that also contributes to the general decline of pay-per-view buys more so than a lack of interest. This is one reason why it is rare to see a pay-per-view Boxing card come close to drawing one million buys regardless of what the main event might be. There are of course, the rare exceptions such as the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout in May 2015, which drew 4.4. million pay-per-view buys even with the expensive price tag of $100. This however, is more the exception than it is the norm.

For DAZN to adapt a pay-per-view model would be a lose/lose scenario for their network. Though critics will remain regardless of what a network offers, the sensible option would be for DAZN to not only stay the course, but also continue presenting value and content that makes it stand apart from both the pay-per-view model, but also their other competitors. Over time growth will continue and more importantly in time, the network will not only see returns on their investments, but hopefully will also prove that while breaking ground is seen initially as a risk, without risk there is no innovation and without risk there is no reward. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

January 10th-11th, 2020 Weekend Thoughts

The first weekend on the 2020 Boxing schedule featured some significant events. For the first time in this observer’s memory, the sport of Women’s Boxing was featured predominantly across two major network platforms over a two-day period. This was highlighted by three world championship fights in the Jr. Middleweight and Super-Middleweight divisions.

Two of these world championship bouts took place on January 10th at the Ocean Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The first of these two bouts, which bookended a tripleheader broadcast in the United States by Showtime, was a unification bout for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super-Middleweight world championship between undefeated IBF world champion Elin Cederroos and WBA world champion Alicia Napoleon-Espinosa.

This fight carried with it an element of the unknown. Despite the encounter being a world championship unification bout, Elin Cederroos was largely unknown, particularly here in the United States. In fact, this fight represented her debut in the United States after competing the majority of her career in Spain. The native of Vasteraas, Sweden however, showed that she was a world-class fighter and quickly established herself as a force to be reckoned with. Although Cederroos entered this fight with only eight pro fights and was at an experience disadvantage compared to Alicia Napoleon Espinosa, Cederroos displayed a skill set that was beyond what one would think of a fighter with under ten fights.

Napoleon-Espinosa meanwhile came into the fight having won twelve of her previous thirteen professional fights and had successfully defended her WBA crown three times. In contrast to Napoleon-Espinosa, Cederroos was making her first defense of her IBF championship and the question that surrounded her beyond what she would bring into the fight to combat Napoleon-Espinosa was what effect if any would fighting in the United States for the first time have on her.

As is the norm for most bouts in Women’s Boxing, this fight did not have much of a feeling out process due to the rounds only being two minutes in duration. It quickly became a battle of a fighter who was punching in volume against a fighter who was trying to control distance and use her reach. Cederroos would score a knockdown of Napoleon-Espinosa with a short left hook to the head that was behind a right hand in the second round. In what appeared to be a delayed reaction, Napoleon-Espinosa was knocked into the ropes and it was ruled by Referee Benji Esteves that the ropes had prevented her from being completely knocked down thus the ruling of a knockdown being scored.

Over the first half of the fight, I felt Cederroos was able to control the tempo of the combat due largely to her ability to use her reach to control the distance between herself and Napoleon-Espinosa. This along with several right hand leads, her ability to time Napoleon-Espinosa, and mixing her offense to the body and head is what became the story of this bout. Although Napoleon-Espinosa also had an advantage in terms of hand speed in addition to overall experience, she had trouble negating Cederroos’ reach and appeared to only get on the inside in sporadic bursts.

As the second half of the fight began however, the two fighters appeared to slightly switch roles. Napoleon-Espinosa began timing Cederroos as she came forward and appeared for a time to shift the momentum in her favor. Cederroos’ greater activity and ability to outwork Napoleon-Espinosa ultimately resulted in her winning a ten round unanimous decision. It was a decision however, that was separated by a single point on all three official scorecards and one might argue that had a knockdown not been ruled against Napoleon-Espinosa in the second round that this fight would have been a draw.

Although I had Cederroos winning this fight by two points when all was said and done 95-93, it is an illustration of how competitive not only this fight was, but also the competitive nature of Women’s Boxing as a whole. What the future may hold for both fighters will be discussed later in this column.

The second women’s world championship fight to take place in Atlantic City was a battle for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Middleweight world championship as undefeated two-division world champion Claressa Shields attempted to become the first fighter female or male to become a three-division world champion in under ten fights as a professional against two-division world champion Ivana Habazin.

Sometimes describing what happens in a fight can be as simple as saying one fighter was a higher skill level than the other. For ten rounds, Shields used her hand speed, jab and precision timing to dominate the combat. A main focal point for Shields’ overall success in this fight beyond those attributes was how effective she was in going to the body of Habazin throughout the fight with both hands. This included a knockdown as a result of a left hook to the body in round six.

Although Habazin was not discouraged and was able to periodically get Shields pressed on the ropes, she generally smothered her punches and simply could not find a way to get into a consistent rhythm over the course of the fight. The end result of a ten round unanimous decision not only put Shields in the Boxing history books, but also presents some interesting possibilities for the other Women who competed over the two day period.

The final women’s world championship bout of the weekend was a battle for the WBC Super-Middleweight world championship between champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn and undefeated former WBC Heavyweight world champion Alejandra Jimenz at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX as part of a card broadcast by digital sports streaming network DAZN. This bout was supposed to take place over Mexican Independence Day weekend in 2019, but was delayed due to Jimenez having to pull out of the fight because of issues securing a visa to travel from Mexico for the fight. With those issues resolved, the bout could proceed.

This fight also had a history element attached to it because it represented the first time that a former Heavyweight world champion not only moved down in weight to challenge for a world championship in a lower weight class, but in this case the fighter in question, Jimenez was coming down three weight divisions from where she was a Heavyweight world champion. Although it is somewhat common to see fighters in Women’s Boxing compete in multiple weight classes based on what ever opportunities that might be available to them, this was a rare time in this observer’s memory that I could remember seeing a fighter move down so significantly in weight to challenge for a world championship in the entire sport including men and women.

There were two examples however, that did come to mind. The first being a fight that I covered back in November 2003 when after moving up in weight to win a Heavyweight world championship earlier that year, Roy Jones moved back down in weight to the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division to challenge Antonio Tarver for his WBC world championship. Coincidentally, the second example that came to mind was also a WBC world championship fight. I speak of course of the February 1991 encounter that saw Sugar Ray Leonard move back down in weight to the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division after holding world championships as high as the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division in his career, to challenge Terry Norris for his Jr. Middleweight crown.

While I won’t dive too deeply into a history lesson for the reader, prior to challenging Norris, Leonard had not fought in over a year and in his last bout prior to that fight in December 1989, he successfully defended his WBC Super-Middleweight championship in his third encounter with Roberto Duran. Even though in the case of Roy Jones, he regained his Light-Heavyweight crown via controversial decision over Tarver in the first of what became three fights, Jones was never the same fighter after moving back down in weight and it was this decision to move back down that began a steady decline of his Boxing skills and reflexes.

As for Sugar Ray Leonard, he too suffered significant decline, but unlike Jones who eventually lost two of three bouts to Antonio Tarver, Leonard was dominated over twelve rounds by a younger and seemingly stronger Terry Norris and suffered a terrible beating in the process. The loss to Norris signaled the end of Leonard’s career for several years before he attempted at age forty to make one final comeback that was ill-advised in 1997 when he moved back up to the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division where he was stopped in five rounds by the late Hector Camacho Sr. In similarity to Jones, who I covered from the mid-1990’s when I began covering the sport through the end of his career, I also covered the Camacho-Leonard fight and in the interest of honesty with the reader, I regard that fight as one of the saddest events I had seen in the sport much less covered because quite frankly, Leonard should not have taken that fight.

Although these two examples have no direct connection to what Alejandra Jimenz was attempting by challenging Franchon Crews-Dezurn, the commonality between Leonard and Jones was, despite their greatness and standing as legends in the sport, neither fighter was the same once they made the decision to move down in weight. Nevertheless, this being the first time I can remember seeing a fighter drop down so significantly in weight in terms of Women’s Boxing, it did bring up those memories for yours truly.

The fight between Crews-Dezurn and Jimenz was a grueling back and forth battle where both fighters had their share of moments. Even though Alejandra Jimenz showed no negative effects from the significant drop in weight, what did concern me was with the fight being fought at such a high pace from the outset, what effect would fatigue have on her as the fight progressed.

It was also fair to ask the same question as to what effect would the pace have on the champion. A conundrum that can exist in women’s bouts due to what is usually a high pace in which fights are fought is to determine who has the upper hand. This fan create difficulty when scoring a fight. From my perspective, even though both fighters had moments in many of the rounds throughout the bout, it was Jimenz who brought the fight to Crews-Dezurn, consistently applying pressure and attempting to use her natural size as a naturally bigger and stronger fighter to walk the champion down.

Although Crews-Dezurn landed several hard, thudding punches throughout the fight, she was unable to keep Jimenz from coming forward and did not seem to hurt the challenger with her offense. In comparison particularly over the second half of the fight, Jimenz seemed to be in better condition while the champion appeared to be fighting the effects of fatigue. At the end of the ten round world championship bout Alejandra Jimenz had successfully become a two-division world champion in scoring a split decision over Crews-Dezurn.

The central question that surrounded two of the three Women’s world championship fights was whether winners would emerge that could be potential opponents for now three-division world champion Claressa Shields. This observer believes that two opponents have emerged in the form of Elin Cederroos and Alejandra Jimenz. While it would not shock me to see rematches made of the two fights where both women emerged victorious, it is important to remember that Women’s Boxing is in a long overdue growth period and an argument can be made that though rematches of these two fights are warranted, fighters will opt for the option that will benefit them most financially and in the case of Alejandra Jimenz, her decision to move down in weight from Heavyweight was perhaps driven by the potential to seek more lucrative opportunities. In 2020, the most lucrative opportunity for a fighter in Women’s Boxing is a potential fight with Claressa Shields, who has emerged as a star in the sport. In my mind, it is a question of who will get the opportunity first rather than if either will get an opportunity.

Although Women’s Boxing was featured significantly over the weekend, there was also the story of undefeated former WBO Jr. Middleweight world champion Jaime Munguia, who after successfully defending his title five times chose to set his sights on moving up six pounds from the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division to the 160lb. Middleweight division was one that was also featured. Munguia began his 2020 by facing Middleweight contender Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the main event that followed the Crews-Dezurn-Jimenz bout.

Munguia has in a little more than a year and a half established himself as one of the sport’s rising stars. The question that usually follows a fighter as they move up in weight however, is usually always the same. Will the fighter be as effective at a heavier weight as they were in a lower weight class.

In Gary O’Sullivan, Munguia faced a fighter who was a credible opponent to test the waters of the Middleweight division. Even though Munguia was favored significantly going into the fight, it always interests me to see what a perceived underdog has to offer.

O’Sullivan had won thirty of thirty-three professional fights going into his encounter with Munguia. An argument could be made however, that O’Sullivan had only lost to top-level competition and thus it was understandable how some might have felt that he had little chance against a fighter like Munguia, who had established himself as a “Knockout Artist.” It nevertheless was of interest to this observer to see what O’Sullivan could do.

It was crucial in my eyes that Munguia establish himself early in this fight. What I mean by that is he needed to show that he would dictate the combat, despite it being his first bout in the Middleweight division. In some ways, this was a more tactical version of Jaime Munguia than had been the case in some previous fights. It did not take long to notice that Munguia was using more head movement than had been the case in previous bouts and he was also throwing and landing more combinations in spurts than is usually the norm.

O’Sullivan however, showed that he was not intimidated and was more than willing to mix it up with Munguia. Although it was Munguia who generally was the fighter getting his punches off first, O’Sullivan had some of his best moments when he was able to catch the former Jr. Middleweight world champion in between his punches.

As this fight progressed, the question that I had in mind was whether or not O’Sullivan would be able to withstand Munguia’s attack for twelve rounds. Gary O’Sullivan did succeed however, in testing Munguia, which is something that has not been said much in regard to previous Munguia opponents. While some might be critical of this and point to this fact as a potential deterrent for Munguia as he continues to campaign as a Middleweight, this is what you hope to see a fighter deal with as they move up in weight.

It may be indeed true that fans who can at times be fickle will point to a fighter in Munguia’s position being tested as a red flag, but if you are involved in a fighter’s camp whether it be as part of his corner team or his promoter, you do want the question of whether or not your fighter can take a flush punch and a heavier weight to be answered quickly as to hopefully silence any critics. Despite O’Sullivan’s willingness to engage with Munguia, I wondered if Munguia would be content in simply trying to box his way to a decision rather than attempt to go for a knockout.

While Jaime Munguia’s performance in this fight, one that would eventually lead to an eleventh round stoppage, was not perfect, it is a fight that is crucial in a fighter’s development. If the reader is a little confused by this observer’s use of “A Fighter’s Development”, allow me to explain further.

It is true that more often than not you hear the word development used in the beginning stages of a fighter’s career as a way of describing the fighters progress. An old saying that this observer truly believes in however, is a fighter should never stop learning, even those fighters who achieve the status of becoming a world champion. In this case, Jaime Munguia showed the ability to be a tactical boxer for much of this fight, but he also made some mistakes in his approach both in terms of offense in some of his body punches being ruled as low blows, which resulted point deduction in the sixth round as well as in some aspects defensively in allowing himself to be caught by counter punches from O’Sullivan in exchanges.

Although the end result of a victory ultimately means mission accomplished for his debut as a Middleweight, the twenty-two year old is still very much learning and that can only benefit him going forward as he looks to get into world title contention in a second weight class. Whether or not Munguia will be an opponent for either the three current Middleweight world champions, Saul Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Gennady Golovkin as this year progresses remains to be seen.

What the four fights that were highlighted and discussed in this column should indicate is not only that the sport as a whole has a ton of momentum, but also in the case of Women’s Boxing, the sport continues to progress. Although Boxing as a whole has no shortage of flaws and/or negative aspects attached to it, it is good from time to time to embrace the good that the sport has to offer.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bruno Tarimo Enters IBF Top 15, Eyes Winner Of Farmer-Diaz and Move Down In Weight

Press Release: January 14, 2020 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Underdogs are always great stories in boxing. Underdog stories such as Mickey Ward in his fights with Arturo Gatti really bring out the romantic side of boxing. It is the side we all fell in love within our initial years of being boxing fans. Andy Ruiz Jr's victory over Anthony Joshua in 2019 at Madison Square Garden is an example of one of those nights that live with fight fans forever, and ones that get new fight fans hooked on boxing. 
Credit: Brett Hemmings / Getty Images

Tanzanian based Australian Bruno Tarimo is an example of one of these romantic stories. A fighter from a part of the world where people rarely leave and never get the opportunities to become great. Tarimo has worked hard against the odds, and come back from defeat to become a champion.

Tarimo, who is guided by Australian boxing supremo Tony Tolj, had arguably one of the best 2019's for an Australian fighter. His year began with a victory over Australian Olympian Joel Brunker, with Brunker retiring in the aftermath of the IBF Australasian Super Featherweight fight.

Tarimo then went on the road, challenging for the IBF International title in Serbia, and against all odds emerging with a well-deserved points victory. His year concluded with a victory over highly-rated Nathanial May in Sydney last December.

Tarimo opened up about his 2019, "Firstly, I have to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me all the opportunities to become a champion, and I am glad that he gave me the strength to emerge victoriously in my last three fights.

"I have worked very hard with my trainers Tony Nobbs , Benji Dimitrioski, Craig Wilson and Angelo Hyder and my training partners Billel Dib and the Moloney brothers who have pushed me so hard and I have improved so much working with them.

"I finally have to thank my manager Tony Tolj for getting me the fights. He has worked so hard for me and I am very grateful to him for helping me become a champion and now I want to get the big fights in 2020. I can fight anywhere between 122-130 pounds. I am ready and waiting."

Tarimo has now entered the IBF world ratings at super featherweight, a division that sees Tevin Farmer clash with Jojo Diaz in Miami this January, and the Australian based Tarimo discussed possible clashes in 2020.

The IBF #14 stated, "I want to fight for a world title in 2020 and I believe I can win a world title. I'd like to fight the winner of Farmer and Diaz and I would put on a very exciting fight for the fans that would definitely make people want to watch more of me all over the world.

"I can go down as low as 122 so if any of the champions at featherweight and super bantamweight wanted to fight me I would do. I will travel anywhere to fight anybody I have shown that, but I believe I will push any of the world champions at super bantam, feather and super featherweight and I believe I will be a world champion in the future."

Material Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing / Photo Courtesy of: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images Used with permission.

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Monday, January 13, 2020


Press Release: January 13, 2020 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Highly rated Perth Featherweight Jackson England has resigned with Tony Tolj's Dragon Fire Boxing on a long term deal. 
Credit:Dragon Fire Boxing 

England has had a solid start to his professional career, winning 11 of his opening 12 professional contests whilst becoming Australian featherweight champion in the process. Jackson, who is trained at the Onyx Gym in Perth, opened up about resigning with Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing.

England said, "I'm absolutely delighted to have resigned with Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing. I am a featherweight, so I looked up to fighters like Chris John who was one of the best featherweights in the history of boxing. To be guided in my career by the same team that guided him is very special and I am very grateful.

"I am excited to be progressing in the way I am and I believe I can go all the way in this sport. I am still only young, so it is important to have the right people with the right experience to guide you. I need to have that and I believe I do in Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing."

England returns on this year's first installment of the world-renowned Thunderdome series, that has been a mainstay of Australian boxing for decades in itself. England discussed his next outing and his plans for 2020.

He said, "Well I firstly need to keep listening to my manager Tony Tolj as he knows what's best for my career. He's guided the likes of the Moloney's, Billel Dib and Bruno Tarimo to titles and world ratings I want to follow in their footsteps and I believe I can.

"I'm always improving, so I expect to put on a career-best performance at the Thunderdome show against my toughest opponent to date. I believe I can go all the way to the top in this sport and I can only do that by continuing to work hard and racking up the wins. 

"I want more titles in 2020. I believe that I can progress on to Australasian titles and other regional titles. I have seen what the likes of World rated Billel Dib and Bruno Tarimo havw done around my weight so I'd like to follow his path up the world route as I believe I'm destined for world titles eventually."  

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing Used with permission.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Brief Update

We would like to let our readers know that new material discussing some of the Boxing action that took place over January 10th-11th will be released here on the website on Thursday, January 16th during the evening hours. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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