Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Joshua-Povetkin Preview

In March of this year undefeated unified IBF/WBA/IBO Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua took one step closer to becoming the Undisputed Heavyweight world champion by scoring a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated WBO world champion Joseph Parker. Although Joshua successfully defended his crown for the fifth time and added the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world championship to his unified crown, the victory over Parker also marked the first time the twenty-eight year old native of Watford, England was extended to the full distance of a fight as a professional after scoring knockouts in his first twenty bouts.

As is usually the norm following a unification bout, the unified Heavyweight world champion will make the sixth defense of his crown against a mandatory contender on Saturday night against longtime top Heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in London, England. This figures to be another test for Joshua in facing Povetkin, the current World Boxing Association (WBA) number one contender, who is a former world title challenger that also held Interim/Regular champion status in the WBA Heavyweight ratings for a lengthy period in his career. Some may recall Povetkin's decision loss in his one previous title shot against former longtime Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013. Despite suffering his only career loss in that fight, Povetkin made a good account of himself in going the distance with Klitschko under circumstances where due to being at a size and weight disadvantage he was simply not able to get off with much of his offense as Klitschko used his bigger size to consistently tie Povetkin up and also used his weight to his advantage by leaning on the shorter Povetkin.

While clearly the bout between Klitschko and Povetkin was not the most entertaining to watch, the native of Kursk, Russia earned respect for the effort he put forth in that fight. Since suffering the setback Povetkin has won eight straight fights. The challenger however, has also been the subject of controversy in his career. Some may recall that Povetkin was at one point also rated as the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) number one contender and was due to face undefeated WBC world champion Deontay Wilder in May 2016 in Moscow, Russia, but that fight was cancelled only days before it was to take place after it was revealed by the WBC that Povetkin had tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium.

This was followed by a second positive test for Povetkin later that year prior to his scheduled fight against former WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne, when it was revealed that Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine. Povetkin however, faced and scored a knockout win over former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas. Although Povetkin has fought three times since those two positive tests and his victory over Duhaupas, it is understandable how some may be critical of the WBA for mandating Anthony Joshua to face Povetkin given what has happened in the past. It can and perhaps should be pointed out that the subject regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs and/or substances that are deemed by regulators to be illegal and subsequently banned is an epidemic throughout all of sports much less combat sports.

Even though that by no means creates grounds for justification of a positive test or in this case tests, there should also be a point where an athlete has an opportunity at redemption. In this case, Povetkin’s opportunity at redemption will come in two parts. The first is a second opportunity at a world championship that he failed to win when he faced Wladimir Klitschko nearly five years ago. The second, which should be obvious to most is to show that the two positive tests that have led to much criticism is a low point in a solid career and should not ultimately define that career. In fairness to the challenger, he has fought three times since this second failed test for a banned substance and to this observer’s knowledge he has tested clean in both pre and post-fight testing since then.

Stylistically, this should be a fight of a fighter known for his punching power in the champion Anthony Joshua against an opponent known as a boxer/puncher, who has also shown the ability to get an opponent out of there should the opportunity arise. As has been the case in most of Joshua’s recent fights, he will be going up against a fighter with more professional experience as Povetkin has fought thirty-five bouts in his career compared to the champion’s twenty-one.
When discussing a fight like this it can be all too tempting to discuss every imaginable statistic and give subsequent analysis. 

Out of respect for the reader, yours truly will try not to dive too deep into a statistical breakdown of the two fighters even though I have made a career examining such statistics. There are however, a few key statistics that do stand out that one, whether a casual fan, a hardcore enthusiast, and the expert should consider as this fight approaches.

The first of these numbers is the total knockouts of the two fighters and subsequent career knockout percentages. In this category, the theoretical edge goes to the champion Joshua, who has only gone the distance in a fight once in his career and has what some might consider an intimidating career knockout percentage of 95%. This differs from the challenger Povetkin, who has scored knockouts in twenty-four of his thirty-four career wins registering a career knockout percentage of 69% heading into this encounter.

Perhaps the challenger’s most significant advantage is the fact that he has more professional experience as compared to the champion having fought fourteen more fights and accumulated a total of 225 rounds fought inside the ring compared to the champion, who has only fought a total of 77 rounds in his twenty-one professional fights. While this may not appear to some to be a major statistic, which could tilt the fight in the challenger’s favor, what it does suggest is Povetkin is a fighter that knows how to go into the deep waters of a fight and it certainly should not be dismissed that taking the champion into the late rounds of the fight as Joseph Parker was able to do is part of his strategy, which in this observer’s eyes would be smart if he can execute it.

The most significant statistic that some might point to is the difference in age between the two fighters, which in theory does favor the champion of eleven years. Although Povetkin will turn forty years old in 2019, one might argue that he has not had the grueling effects of a long career. It will nevertheless be interesting to see if Povetkin’s age does become a factor in this fight.

In his last bout, Povetkin overcame a knockdown in the third round to score an impressive stoppage of former Olympic Silver medalist and British and Commonwealth Heavyweight champion David Price on the undercard of Joshua-Parker earlier this year. While Povetkin’s bout with Price can best be described as an exciting slugfest and the challenger has shown a willingness to engage and exchange with his opponents throughout his career, I would not necessarily expect Povetkin to take a similar approach in this fight against Joshua. Although Povetkin’s fight with Price was the type of encounter fight fans love, he did dodge a bullet for lack of a better term as he was caught, knocked down, and hurt by a fighter who a few years ago was touted by some experts including this one as one of the rising stars in the Heavyweight division.

While David Price is a fighter also known for his punching power and some might say had a similar rise early in his career as Joshua before suffering some career setbacks, Joshua is the type of fighter who can end a fight with one punch and if Povetkin gets caught as he did against Price it could well lead to his downfall. How can Povetkin pull off what some would call an upset?

The challenger is a solid combination puncher, who is capable of executing his offense in compact spurts. Although Povetkin also has punching power, I believe it will serve him well to use lateral movement and attempt to establish himself as an elusive target and look to out box Joshua over the course of the twelve round world championship bout. In contrast to what I feel will work well for the challenger, it would be logical to expect the champion Joshua to implement a gradual pressure approach as he has done against previous opponents in the past.

What makes the fight more intriguing is both fighters have styles that more often than not creates entertaining fights and both fighters have been caught before. Both men have also shown the ability to get off the canvas to win fights by knockout. An intriguing encounter between two of the best the Heavyweight division has to offer.

In terms of what the outcome of this fight could mean for the rest of the talent-deep division, most would probably assume that the winner of this fight will be in line to face the winner of the potential bout between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and undefeated former unified Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. Something Joshua-Povetkin also represents in terms of the landscape of how the sport overall is televised is the fight as well as the full undercard will be televised as the first major Boxing event on the recently launched DAZN subscription-based streaming service in the United States.

Although readers are familiar with this observer’s point of view in regard to the realm of Over The Top (OTT) digital distribution as well as the recent column discussing DAZN’s entrance into the United States, this event does indeed represent the changing times in the sport. In my eyes, in time the content in terms of the amounts of Boxing content that will be available to the consumer from digital networks like DAZN and ESPN+, will represent a greater value to that consumer as compared to paying a pay-per-view fee where only a portion of a single card is televised. What it represents should ultimately be beneficial to both the sport of Boxing, the athletes who compete in the sport,  and the fans who support it.

As the Boxing world focuses it’s attention on the legendary Wembley Stadium for the latest in a long line of marquee events in the sport, if the intriguing fight Joshua-Povetkin appears to be on paper turns into an entertaining encounter once the fighters are in the ring, some may look back on September 22, 2018 as a day in the history of the sport where an event headlined by a World Heavyweight championship fight not only ushered in a new era for Boxing on television, but more importantly elevated the sport. If that indeed happens, it will be a win for the sport of Boxing.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Joshua vs. Povetkin takes place on Saturday, September 22nd at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The full card can be seen in the United States and Canada on DAZN beginning at 1PM U.S. EST. In the United States, DAZN is available online as well as mobile and connected streaming devices for$9.99 per month with a 30-day free trial. For more information about DAZN in the United States and to subscribe please visit: For more information about DAZN in Canada including subscription plans please visit: www.DAZN.CA.

In the United Kingdom, the card can be seen on a pay-per-view basis on Sky Box Office for £19.95. To order please visit: Check your local listings internationally.

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

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Duno L/Aviles R Credit:Sanman Promotions
Press Release: September 18, 2018 by Sanman Promotions – Filipino knockout artist Romero “Ruthless” Duno (W17 KO14 L1 D0) returns to the ring as he faces Ezequiel Aviles (W16 KO6 L2 D3) for the WBC Youth Lightweight Championship on September 29 at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio California. The fight is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.

Duno has been training under former world champion Rodel Mayor in LA. He made a big name in the US after knocking out then undefeated Christian Gonzales in a major upset.

“I want to thank Golden Boy and Sanman Boxing for another great opportunity. I trained so hard for this fight. I am focused on winning and winning in order to get to the bigger fights. After winning this, I want to face either Linares or Ryan Garcia or any other big name in my division. I want to show the world that I’m ready to be a world champion”, Duno stated.

“Duno has been in LA for almost 2 months and has been working hard with coach Rodel. He sparred with quality boxers. He is 100% ready for the fight.” Sanman CFO Dexter Tan said.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with Permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live Boxing series please visit Sanman Promotions’ official Facebook page:

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

Will There Be Alvarez-Golovkin Part III?

When undefeated unified Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin defended his crown against two-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September of last year it had most, if not all the ingredients of a classic. Two top fighters in their respective primes facing off against each other to determine who is the best of the best.

What resulted was not only a great fight where both fighters put it all on the line, but the outcome of that fight and to be more specific, the scoring of the bout created the ideal scenario for a rematch. Although the topic of what the ideal scenarios are that creates justification for a rematch is one that should not be new to longtime readers as yours truly has discussed it several times over the years, there were two elements in regard to Golovkin-Alvarez that stood out clearly.

The most obvious was it was a highly competitive fight where each fighter was able to have points of effectiveness throughout, which may more appropriately be referred to as segments of the fight where opinion was each fighter was more effective than the other. What primary element beyond a great fight more often than not creates demand for a rematch? Controversy.

“Controversy” is a term that can be used to define several things. In combat sports however, there are two ways that often fuels demand for a rematch. A stoppage of a fight by a referee that most feel was either too quick or unwarranted or, the scoring of a fight where the opinions of those who score the fight, the three official judges differ from consensus opinion from both Boxing fans and experts as to who won the fight.  In the case of Golovkin-Alvarez, the controversy stemmed from one official scorecard. The scoring of judge Adalaide Byrd, who saw the fight in favor of Alvarez 118-110 in points or ten rounds to two.

As readers might recall in this observer’s coverage of that fight I stated my opinion that Gennady Golovkin won the fight by a margin of nine rounds to three or 117-111 in points. While my score much like the one Adalaide Byrd turned in would appear lopsided and not an accurate illustration of what a “Great” fight is often thought as, most of the rounds in the fight were close, the definition of “Swing Rounds” where opinion can and often does differ as to who got the upper hand. As a result, it can lead to varying scores ranging from close to wide margins depending on one’s perspective based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense.

Only Adalaide Byrd herself can say what she based her scoring of that fight on, but all I can say is I saw it in Golovkin’s favor. The ultimate result of that encounter, a draw fueled immediate demand for a rematch.

As most readers know, the rematch was not immediate due to a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) of Alvarez for testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. Although Alvarez has always maintained that the positive test came as a result of his unknowingly eating contaminated meat in his native Mexico, the suspension did cause the cancellation of the rematch with Golovkin, which was originally scheduled for May 5th. While some were of the opinion that the suspension by the NSAC amounted to a slap on the wrist for Alvarez, one of Boxing’s biggest stars, the suspension was indeed within guidelines for what was a first offense.

The circumstances of the suspension as well as Golovkin keeping the May date and successfully defending his crown against a “Game”, but overmatched Vanes Martirosyan, led to bad blood between the fighters and their respective camps. Though all of that could be chronicled in several columns if one was eager enough to write it, the rematch was again signed and took place on September 15th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

Even though it seems like a cliché because it can be applied to virtually all rematches, the main interest is usually to see how the fighters will adapt or change their respective strategies from the first fight. After all, Boxing fans, those of us who cover the sport, and the fighters themselves can review footage of a bout after it takes place and in the case of the fighters and their respective camps, they can see what worked for them and what did not. The ability to study fight films should be a vital part of any fighter’s preparation, but it is a practice that becomes even more crucial prior to a rematch.

In regard to the first encounter between Golovkin and Alvarez, I felt that the champion Golovkin was generally the more aggressive fighter of the two and gradually outworked Alvarez over the course of the fight. Although Alvarez was effective in spots particularly during the first half of the twelve round world championship bout, I felt Golovkin got the upper hand in many of the rounds, which were close and that was the basis that led to my scoring in his favor.

The primary question I had in mind was whether Golovkin would be more aggressive the second time around. In some ways, it appeared that the two fighters switched roles from the first encounter. In contrast to the first fight where he looked to push Alvarez back and apply consistent pressure, the champion opted to begin the rematch by working behind a consistent jab and appeared at least in my eyes to be not only dictating the combat, but appeared to be winning the fight with the success he was able to have working behind the jab.

As was the case in the first fight, Golovkin was very active and appeared to outwork Alvarez in many of the rounds. The challenger however, was effective in picking his spots and landing flush counter punches and appeared for a time to be landing the harder punches of the two in the second encounter. As has been said numerous times by yours truly over the years, when it comes to close fights it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their own criteria based on the guidelines mentioned earlier in this column. What at times does not get discussed when talking about close fights is the challenge that can be present for judges when scoring fights such as what became two close battles between Golovkin and Alvarez is to distinguish who is more effective in their segments of success as compared to their opponent's segments of success.

Much like the first fight, the rematch saw many close “Swing Rounds” that could be scored either way. The challenge in terms of scoring was to determine who was more effective. Although it was clear to this observer that Golovkin was busier than Alvarez, threw more punches, and landed more punches, there could be some who believe that Alvarez deserved the benefit of doubt in some close rounds based on appearing to do more damage with the punches he threw.

While the subject of how Boxing is scored both on the amateur and professional levels is by no means a perfect science, fights that are fought like this often create differences of opinion simply because neither fighter is able to stand out clearly from the other and thus leaves plenty open to interpretation. Speaking only for myself and how I saw the fight, I was impressed with the technique both fighters displayed in the rematch, but I felt Golovkin's accuracy with his jab and his ability to work well off of it was significant.

The issue for fighters like Gennady Golovkin, who carve out a reputation as a “Knockout Artist” as he had throughout most of his career is people can become accustomed to seeing a fighter implement one approach. This can create a scenario where said fighter with the reputation for being a power puncher may not necessarily receive the credit when they are effective in using a different approach.

While I believed Golovkin deserved the nod for his impressive performance in showing his prowess in choosing to box rather than the seek and destroy style that made him a star, I did wonder if Alvarez’ harder punches, which were attention-grabbing were enough to get the nod of the three people who would ultimately determine the winner if the rematch like it’s predecessor went the distance. The three official judges.

If the conundrum of determining which fighter was more effective during their respective highlights weren’t difficult enough for the official judges as well as observers watching the fight, as the bout entered the late rounds the fight went from a highly competitive Boxing match to a brawl as both fighters gave everything they had and simply left it all in the ring. At the conclusion of the twelve round world championship bout, I arrived with a slightly narrower score compared to the first encounter of 116-112 in points or eight rounds to four in favor of Golovkin.

This was based largely on Golovkin’s success in being able to box with Alvarez as well as how well he worked off of his jab. The jab is a basic weapon in a fighter's arsenal, but if properly executed can be used to score points and win fights. Although one element I expected to see from Golovkin in the rematch was largely absent as was the case in the first encounter, a consistent attack to Alvarez' body, I still felt he did enough to retain his unified world championship.

The reversal of roles from the first fight appeared to benefit Alvarez more. From the outset, the two-division world champion applied consistent pressure. While Alvarez chose to use what works for him by being compact in his approach and picking his spots to let his hands go, the fact that he was more aggressive and applied pressure on the champion is something that leaves an impression on people whether they be a fan, expert, or more importantly the three official judges.

The decision being announced as a narrow majority ruling was not surprising given the action in the fight and the fact that both fighters had success for portions of the bout. As was the case in the first encounter, one official judge Glenn Feldman saw the fight even giving each fighter six rounds or 114-114 in points. This was overruled by judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, who turned in identical scores of 115-113 or seven rounds to five in favor of Saul Alvarez making him the new unified WBA/IBO/WBC Middleweight champion.

Although I felt Golovkin won this fight and had a slightly wider margin than judges Moretti and Weisfeld, which is a one round difference in terms of the final score, I do not feel coming out of this fight a sense of controversy in the sense that there remains a difference of opinion as to who got the upper hand amongst fans, experts, and those of us in media, as was the case following the first fight, but the rematch at least in my eyes appeared closer and as is usually the case when it comes to close fights open to plenty of interpretation. Beyond dethroning a longtime champion of the Middleweight division Saul Alvarez also denied Golovkin a chance at history in attempting to surpass future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins' record for most all-time successful consecutive Middleweight world championship defenses in what was his twenty-first title defense. A distinction that is a bit ironic given that Hopkins' reign atop the division, which lasted over a decade and saw Hopkins unify four of five major world championships in the division also came to an end in his twenty-first title defense when he lost a controversial decision to Jermain Taylor in 2005.

Hopkins was unsuccessful in his attempt to regain his crown later that year when he lost a second decision to Taylor in a rematch. The question that now looms over the story of Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is will there be a chapter three?

Shortly after the rematch, this observer conducted a reader poll on Twitter as to whom fans felt won the fight. In a poll that lasted one day in order for results to be included in this column, 59% of those who took part in the poll felt Golovkin won the bout while 22% felt Alvarez did enough to win. The interesting statistic in my mind was 19% of respondents felt the fight was a draw.

What is perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that according to the official scorecards of judges Feldman and Weisfeld, Alvarez won the fight by winning the twelfth and final round. If either Feldman or Weisfeld scored the last round in favor of Golovkin, the rematch would have ended the same way as the first fight, in a draw. With two highly competitive fights seemingly being determined by the narrowest of margins as well as now the former Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin's standing as a longtime champion of the division, it seems logical that a third encounter take place. In this observer's eyes the only question is when, and not if a third fight is signed.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018


We would like to let readers know that we will resume our regular schedule on Monday, September 17th. 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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Friday, September 7, 2018

DAZN And The Continuing Changing Landscape Of Television Thanks To Over The Top Distribution

One of the recurring themes that readers have become accustomed to in the last several years has been a continued dialogue on the changing landscape of television and how it could benefit the sport of Boxing. In December 2015, a column written by yours truly was released here on The Boxing Truth® that asked a simple question. “Is It Time For “Big Time” Boxing To Go Over The Top?”

A column that discussed the evolution of the “Pay-Per-View” concept as it related to the sport of Boxing from the days of closed-circuit television, to the initiation of Cable/Satellite pay television, up to what was then present day and the shift of entertainment options in the medium known as Over The Top digital distribution or (OTT) for short.  While I do not want to start this column by doing a total rehash of the topics I discussed almost three years ago, I did reference the benefits of direct to consumer streaming services/networks like Netflix and Hulu as well as the growth of networks like World Wrestling Entertainment’s WWE Network and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) UFC Fight Pass network in addition to the general decline of the cable/satellite industry as more consumers were choosing to “Cut The Cord” and not subscribe to a pay-TV cable/satellite provider.

The latter was in reference to a general decline in the success of pay-per-view Boxing events as well as the ever-increasing prices for such cards on a per card basis. In the years since I wrote that column, the general push towards OTT distribution as well as the decline of the cable/satellite medium have continued. As the push toward the direct to consumer model has continued, there has also been growth in live television streaming services as services such as Hulu live TV and YouTube TV have introduced low-cost options as an alternative to the traditional cable/satellite model. Satellite television providers such as DirecTV and Dish Network have also introduced similar services DirecTV Now and Sling TV respectively that one would assume is an attempt to eventually transition from each’s traditional pay-TV services.

While the general trend toward OTT distribution has continued, Boxing has also made efforts to adapt to the changing times. Readers may be familiar with the recently launched ESPN+ digital network that is offered directly to consumers by both ESPN’s website as well as its recently redesigned app across mobile and connected streaming devices that does not require a cable/satellite subscription to access the services. With two separate subscription plans a monthly subscription of $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, consumers can access the ESPN+ streaming service.

A multi-sport service offering both live and on-demand content that is not available on ESPN’s traditional linear networks. Among the sports highlighted on the service has been Boxing with several exclusive cards highlighted by events promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.

In the little more than four months since the service launched there has been a healthy mix of international cards that would likely not otherwise be seen on television here in the United States as well as a mix of cards televised in portions combining ESPN+ and the linear ESPN network where undercard portions air on ESPN+ as a lead-in for an ESPN main portion televised card. What has also been noticeable has been ESPN’s willingness to showcase marquee talent on the ESPN+ streaming service that in most cases would either be showcased across premium cable networks like HBO or Showtime, or on the medium of traditional cable/satellite pay-per-view.

The first marquee event to be shown exclusively on ESPN+ was the recent WBO Welterweight world championship bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. While some might have been critical of ESPN’s decision to bypass both the traditional PPV medium as well as their own linear network and showcase that fight and its full undercard exclusively on the new ESPN+ service, this observer applauded it.

This was soon followed by a second marquee attraction with the recent Welterweight encounter between future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao and longtime top contender Lucas Matthysse that took place in Malaysia. While some may question what Manny Pacquiao has left to give as a fighter after a long and hard fought career, it was clear that this was the first instance where a fighter that up until recently had fought most of his fights on traditional pay-per-view, taking a step away from the “Tried and True” model of pay-per-view and a step toward the future of television and a realm that opened up an avenue to an audience that would not have had an opportunity to see one of the superstars of the sport ply his trade simply because many consumers are no longer subscribing to a traditional Pay-TV provider and thus do not have access to potentially order a pay-per-view card. When one factors into the equation that prices for such cards have risen to a price point where most high-level events are priced at $70 or more, the subject of whether those who have “Cut the Cord” possibly being willing to pay an ever expensive fee if those consumers had access to pay-per-view becomes even more debatable due to the belief of many that not subscribing to a pay-TV provider allows the consumer to first and foremost save money.

Without getting further into the aspects of cord-cutting as that would be a column in of itself, ESPN+ is not the only digital streaming service that has been generating buzz. It was announced in July of this year that DAZN (Pronounced DA-Zone) a multi-sport live and on-demand streaming network that has been called the Netflix of sports will be launching in the United States on September 10th.

Although DAZN has established itself as a major rights holder internationally holding rights to various sports leagues including Serie A soccer, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Japanese Baseball among others in a variety of countries, DAZN’s launch on U.S. soil will feature combat sports at it’s main attraction with the intention of adding more sports as rights become available. The two central combat sports that DAZN has invested heavily in are Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

First and foremost, I want to state both for the record and for any reader who might question what this observer says before I go any further, I do not currently work for DAZN, ESPN, or any other television network whether delivered on traditional mediums or via Over The Top (OTT) digital distribution. What I have always done in over two decades covering Boxing and other combat sports as well as when I have had the opportunity to be a guest on radio and television as an analyst is provide an objective view of facts while also sharing my point of view on a given subject and it will be no different here or going forward in the years to come. Now that I have made my position clear to anyone who may have questions or criticize I will continue.

In regard to Boxing, DAZN has announced a multi-year agreement estimated at a billion dollars with promoter Eddie Hern’s Matchroom Boxing. The United Kingdom-based promoter has established himself as one of Boxing’s power players, routinely staging sell-out cards in arenas and stadiums throughout the United Kingdom. With the recently signed and announced deal with the also UK-based DAZN, Hearn will look to expand his successful promotional company into the United States.

While both due to the time between the official announcement of DAZN’s launch as well as the length of this column and subsequent release, I will not go through each and every aspect that was touched upon during the press conference that took place in New York City in July, I will discuss some of the highlights as well as my impressions. The Price: DAZN will launch with a monthly subscription option of $9.99 per month and will not offer an annual subscription option. The digital network however, will offer a thirty day free trial for new subscribers where the subscriber has the option to cancel at their discretion. While DAZN’s subscription model differs slightly from ESPN’s offering for their ESPN+ network in a slightly increased monthly subscription fee and not at present time offering an annual subscription option, DAZN’s monthly plan appears right in line with the monthly subscription plans of WWE Network and UFC Fight Pass, which are priced the same at $9.99 per month.

The Content: DAZN will begin it’s U.S. offering with content from Matchroom Boxing, the Viacom-owned Bellator MMA, and the World Boxing Super Series annual tournaments. Matchroom Boxing: Some of the highlights of what has been announced thus far will highlight three cards. The first, a major event in London’s Wembley Stadium will be headlined by undefeated unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua defending his crown against longtime Heavyweight contender and current WBA number one contender Alexander Povetkin, which will take place on September 22nd.

Matchroom will follow that with the debut of it’s Matchroom Boxing USA promotional branch with two cards taking place in October with events in Chicago, IL and Boston, MA respectively. In Chicago, on October 6th former WBO Welterweight world champion Jessie Vargas will face top contender Thomas Dulorme in the main event of a card that will also feature a Heavyweight bout between undefeated top contender Jarrell Miller facing former two-division world champion Tomasz Adamek. This will be followed by an event on October 20th at the TD Garden in Boston as undefeated WBO Middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders will defend his portion of the World Middleweight championship against undefeated WBO number one contender Demetrius Andrade in the main event.

Impression: One of the key things that stuck out in my mind, which one would assume will cover all events broadcast by DAZN is every bout on a card from the first fight to the main event will be televised and shown to subscribers. This differs significantly from the traditional television model and traditional pay-per-view events where in regard to a cable network, anywhere from the top two to four bouts of a card are televised, leaving a significant portion of an event to be unseen by viewers. This is also similarly adapted on most major pay-per-view cards where anywhere from three to five fights will air on pay-per-view out of cards that may have anywhere between eight to twelve fights total. More on how this differs from the traditional pay-per-view model later in this column.

Although it is worth noting that ESPN has adapted a similar approach with their ESPN+ network in typically airing two separate streams one labeled as undercard bouts and one labeled as main events, which features the main portion of most of their Boxing events, both those exclusive to ESPN+ and those that air on an undercard portion of an event on ESPN+ as a lead in to a main portion of a card that is shown on the main ESPN linear network, this marks a shift in how events are televised and offers considerably more content to a viewer than has been the case in years past. While some may have varying opinions on what is being offered, this should be viewed as a step forward for the sport.

Bellator MMA: The Viacom-owned MMA promotion, which has been a mainstay on the Viacom-owned cable network Paramount Network (Formerly Spike TV) for several years will also be a significant presence on DAZN, with both full events exclusive to DAZN as well as full events, with portions also simulcast on Paramount Network being available to DAZN subscribers. Bellator has established itself as one of the top Mixed Martial Arts organizations in the world and has also branched off a division of it’s organization to cover Kickboxing known as Bellator Kickboxing or Bellator KB for short. Bellator has emerged as a competitor to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and has signed several notable former UFC fighters including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, and Cheick Kongo just to name a few as well as promoting some of the recent fights involving MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Impression: Although Bellator staged a pay-per-view card in the last year, which took place in Madison Square Garden in New York, I feel the partnership with DAZN will only benefit Bellator in the long-term as cord-cutting continues to grow and more consumers move away from the traditional Pay-TV model. This partnership will allow Bellator to stage events that are akin to what one would expect on a pay-per-view card, but included in the subscription price to DAZN. This should also benefit Bellator’s parent company Viacom in terms of potential cross-promotion advertising in that Bellator will be able to heavily promote their DAZN partnership on Paramount Network, which will potentially open the door for potential subscribers to see what DAZN has to offer. In return, with events being televised in full on DAZN, that are in part being simulcast on Paramount Network, it allows Bellator to potentially for lack of a better term attack potential audiences on both the OTT and traditional TV mediums.

When one considers that ESPN recently signed into a joint-rights agreement along with Fox to acquire rights to non-PPV events put on by the UFC, which in terms of ESPN will see a combination of UFC Fight Night cards carried both exclusively on ESPN+ and the main ESPN network, Bellator’s partnership with DAZN figures to be a smart move in the long-term picture in terms of where consumers are likely to consume/view content. More on what I feel this will ultimately mean for the traditional pay-per-view model later in this column.

The World Boxing Super Series: It was recently announced that DAZN had acquired rights in a multi-year agreement to broadcast the popular World Boxing Super Series or WBSS for short. The professional tournament series where tournaments take place in multiple weight classes and in its first season set out to unify the Cruiserweight and Super-Middleweight divisions has garnered significant acclaim across the globe. It is a tournament concept however, that has remained largely unseen here in the United States due to many networks choosing to pass on the opportunity to carry the competitions for viewers. A lone exception to this was the choice of the AT&T-owned Audience Network, a network available to only AT&T-owned DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse Pay-TV providers to broadcast select bouts in the tournament.

One of the primary reasons why this observer did not cover the first season of the WBSS, despite my desire to do so, was simply due to not knowing what bouts in the global tournament would be shown here in the United States and on which medium they would be shown. Although I as a long time and current DirecTV subscriber was hopeful that Audience Network would be able to acquire rights to both season one WBSS tournaments, that was simply not the case. If it was a source of frustration for those of us who cover the sport in trying to gain access to the tournament, one can only imagine the frustration experienced by Boxing fans here in America who were denied seeing a tournament that broke new ground in the sport, a frustration that fans internationally depending on where they were in the world did not experience due to several networks opting to carry the series.  With DAZN setting it’s sights on the United States, this frustration has been solved for U.S. fans as the digital network will carry full tournaments from the WBSS going forward. Impression: While the addition of the WBSS in addition to Matchroom Boxing and Bellator MMA gives three sources of content for DAZN’s U.S. service at launch, it is not out of the possibility that other content providers throughout all combat sports could follow their lead.

What this means for the current state of Boxing on cable networks and the realm of traditional pay-per-view: One thing that has been noticeable with the inception of ESPN+ much to the criticism of some has been ESPN’s willingness to bypass their traditional linear networks that are available across cable/satellite and the new live TV streaming services mentioned in this column, and make Boxing a central part of their new digital network. While some may be critical due largely to being used to more traditional methods of television as some expressed to this observer prior to Manny Pacquiao’s recent bout with Lucas Matthysse, times are changing and as yours truly has said on more than one occasion on various social media platforms, a consumer should educate themselves as to the new technologies that are available.

Although it may be hard to believe in 2018 with digital subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Video, Hulu, Tribeca Shortlist, WWE Network, UFC Fight Pass among others continuing to experience subscriber growth across the board that some have still not tried streaming devices, I feel it is similar in some ways to the experience of those who did not want to initially subscribe to a cable TV provider when cable/satellite pay-television was in it’s initial growing stages in the 1970’s and 1980’s choosing instead to go with traditional Over The Air (OTA) broadcast television. Over time those who are not and have not been as willing to venture towards OTT distribution platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and others that are also more and more being integrated into the newest televisions on the market, will almost have to at least test the waters. This will especially be true as cable and satellite pay-TV providers continue to look to transition the method of distribution of their respective services to OTT distribution.

In the interest of full disclosure with the reader, as someone who owns several streaming devices and primarily use Roku and Apple TV for my streaming needs, I do not feel where technology is heading in terms of OTT distribution to be something that will be bad for consumers. The question as it relates to Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts is how will the sports, the networks that broadcast the sports across traditional platforms, and promoters who are resistant to change and who also rely on what was once a “Tried and True” medium of traditional pay-per-view respond to the changing times?

An example yours truly has often used in pointing out the similarities between the growing OTT model and the position the cable/satellite medium was in during its initial growth is to compare it to the territorial system that was once the business model of professional wrestling. Several wrestling promoters in the territory era were able to be successful in their respective territories and as technology grew and evolved, a good majority of those promoters did not know how to adapt. As someone who also spent several years covering the pro wrestling industry in addition to Boxing and other combat sports, those who also follow the industry are likely familiar with the story of how Vince McMahon took over the northeast territory in the United States from his father and saw the advent of cable/satellite television as a way to expand his business from a territory, to a national company, and as time has gone on, adapted the global business model where his company now known as World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE for short now thrives.

The irony is as many of those territory-based wrestling promotions did not adapt and were ultimately left behind as cable/satellite eventually became a preferred choice of how to market a television product, McMahon and his company have stayed ahead of the curb as a consistent ratings draw for cable networks that air their programming as well as being one of the key players in the pay-per-view business. As the traditional pay-per-view model got bigger and ultimately morphed into what has become in this observer’s view out of control in terms of how pay-per-view events are priced, McMahon took a calculated risk with the introduction of WWE Network, choosing to bypass the cable/satellite model and offer access to the network directly to consumers, with a key selling point that all the company’s pay-per-view events would be included as part of a subscription.

While some told yours truly that I was being overly optimistic in saying that WWE’s decision was a game changer not just when it came to the pro wrestling industry, but for television in general, and predicted that the decision to bypass the cable/satellite model in addition to destroying what once was a lucrative pay-per-view model in terms of revenue would adversely affect the company if not outright lead to the company’s downfall, in the four years since WWE Network launched in February 2014, the company has shown that they can thrive outside of the realms of traditional pay-per-view totaling over two million subscribers while continuing to expand access to the network internationally and securing lucrative TV rights agreements with NBCUNIVERSIAL, owners of USA Network and Fox in the United States for first-run rights to WWE’s weekly programming resulting in record revenues both quarterly and annually for the company. The UFC has continued to put on pay-per-view cards across cable and satellite pay-TV providers here in the United States, despite their successful UFC Fight Pass network, where pay-per-view events are available to subscribers on a delayed basis. One may wonder however, with the recently signed TV rights shared agreement between the UFC and ESPN/Fox how much longer the UFC’s biggest events will be saved for traditional pay-per-view.

As someone who subscribes to many of the streaming services discussed in this column including WWE Network and UFC Fight Pass, I have always felt that it is only a question of when and not if a UFC pay-per-view card would be available live as part of a subscription to UFC Fight Pass. In terms of Boxing, pay-per-view is still viewed as something the sport relies on for a major source of revenue. There is no denying however, that the pay-per-view model as it relates to Boxing has become overpriced and undervalued. While there are still certain marquee events that will generate a significant return in pay-per-view buys, those events have become few and far between.

While it is unrealistic to expect the advent of ESPN+ and DAZN to have a sudden impact to the degree that it will immediately kill off what remains of the traditional pay-per-view model, my hope is over time it does happen as networks who have produced pay-per-view events like Showtime and HBO translation toward OTT distribution. What this will mean for DAZN, ESPN, Showtime, HBO, Fox and others involved in broadcasting Boxing is increased competition for rights fees, looking to sign long-term deals with promoters, and those promoters looking to put on the best fights and biggest events possible for their subscribers. If DAZN’s agreement with Matchroom Boxing and the World Boxing Super Series, ESPN’s recently announced extension with Top Rank Inc. to serve as the primary content provider for ESPN and ESPN+’s Boxing programming, as well as recently announced separate multi-year agreements between Showtime, Fox, and the Premier Boxing Champions series are any indication, there will be some very interesting times ahead for the sport of Boxing, which will ultimately have one winner, the consumer.

What those who have been resistant to the OTT distribution model should keep in mind however, is consumers will ultimately be the determining factor. As more and more consumers opt to “Cut The Cord” and not subscribe to a traditional pay-TV provider, adapting to the changing times will become a necessity or those who are resistant to change whether they be promoters and/or networks will ultimately be left behind.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

DAZN will launch in the United States on September 10th and will be available on mobile and connected streaming devices as well as DAZN’s website. For more information about DAZN, upcoming schedule of events, and to pre-register please visit:

ESPN+, the new digital streaming network from ESPN is available through the ESPN app, website, mobile, and connected streaming devices. For more information about ESPN, ESPN+ and to subscribe to ESPN+ please visit: and

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

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Monday, September 3, 2018


Credit: Sanman Promotions 
Press Release: September 3, 2018 by Sanman Promotions – Sanman Promotions is back with a night of world class boxing as Pinoy fighters clash with foreign foes in “Rumble in Polomolok” on September 9, 2018 at Polomolok Gym in South Cotabato.

In the main event, two Pinoys clash for the WBC Asia Silver Super Bantamweight Belt as Magic Mike Plania faces Angelito Merin  in a 10 round affair.

Ulugbek Sobirov of Uzbekistan will fight Dondon Sultan in a 10 rounder light middleweight match.

Jasur Akhmadjonov also of Uzbekistan will face Jose Ocampo in a 10 rounder welterweight fight.

Dave Apolinario fights Michael Camelion in a 10 round WBC Asia Youth Flyweight Championship bout.

Other featured bouts are as follows:

Jerven Mama vs. Nicong Calamba (Flyweight 10 rounds)

Ernie Sanchez vs. Richard Betos (Lightweight 6 rounds)

Judy Flores vs. Weljun Ugbaniel (113 lbs 6 rounds)

Presco Carcosia vs. Yoben Lementellio (126 lbs 6 rounds)

Bekzod Tursunboev (Uzbek) vs. Ryan Maano (Light Welterweight 6 rounds)

Wendel Plania vs. Elizer Ambon (112 lbs 4 rounds)

Regie Manangquil vs. Jerry Ambrad (Minimumweight 4 rounds)

Ernel Fontanilla vs. Jason Tresmonte (126 lbs 4 rounds)

“This will be another special night of world class boxing as two WBC Belts are at stake and three guest fighters from Uzbekistan are featured. Sanman will continue its commitment  in bringing you world class boxing events in the country and eventually produce a new breed of world champions. People should come to Polomolok to see the fights live or they can watch the live broadcast at the Sanman Promotions Facebook page”, Sanman honcho JC Manangquil said.

Material and Poster Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions. Used with Permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live Boxing series please visit Sanman Promotions’ official Facebook page:

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

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Brief Update

We would like to let readers know that we are between rounds and will kick off our September schedule with new material that is  currently in the works that will be released here on the website on Friday, September 7th. 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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Thursday, August 30, 2018


Moralde L/Herring R Credit: Sanman Promotions
Press Release: August 30, 2018 by Sanman Promotions – Sanman Promotions prospect John Vincent Moralde is 100% prepared to face American Olympian Jamel Herring. The fight will be for the IBF-USBA Super Featherweight Title and will be held at the Savemart Center in Fresno, California. It will in the undercard of the Ramirez vs Orozco fight and will be televised via ESPN Plus and is being promoted by Top Rank.

Moralde has been in the US since August 9 and has been under the watch of Wildcard Gym resident trainer Rodel Mayol. Prior to flying overseas, Moralde has been busy training at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City.  This is Moralde’s second fight in Fresno having beaten formerly undefeated Ismail Muwendo.

“I am in great shape having trained in the US for more than a month. My training camp with coach Rodel has been excellent. Fighting at 130  pounds is most comfortable for me. I think it is the perfect weight. My opponent is an amateur veteran and an Olympian and should not be taken lightly. But I will do everything to bring home the belt. Thanks to Sanman through sir JC Manangquil for this break”, Moralde stated.

Sanman Promotions CEO Jim Claude Manangquil thinks this is so far the biggest fight for Moralde. A victory will bring more and bigger fights on the table including a possible world title fight. “Herring is a great fighter and Moralde needs to be in top shape to beat him. We are however confident he can pull off another big win”, Manangquil said.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with Permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live Boxing series please visit Sanman Promotions’ official Facebook page:

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Credit: Sanman Promotions
Press Release: August 29, 2018 (Originally released August 28, 2018) by Sanman Promotions – Sanman Promotions fast rising prospect “Magic” Mike Plania W15 L1 D0 will have a chance at grabbing a WBC Asian Super Bantamweight Belt when he faces fellow Filipino fighter Angelito Merin on September 9, 2018 in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Plania is a multi-medalled member of the Philippine Amateur Boxing Team and has fought in Ukraine for the AIBA World Youth Tournament. He has also won several gold medals in national competitions. When he was in Miami, we was paired as sparring partner to Cuban Champ Guillermo Rigondeaux. He has earned the attention of the international boxing media when he knocked down former world champion Juan Carlos Payano but lost via decision.

“I was very upset with the Payano fight. I thought I won but it was close. Payano had the experience advantage. It was unlucky to have my record tarnished in a fight where I knocked down my opponent. But I am a warrior, we all loss at some point but we should move on and keep on winning till we get what we want. I want to be a world champion and I wont stop chasing that dream. I am in great shape now. I am sparring with Marjohn Yap and Shohei Omori. I am determined to take that belt. I need this win to get the bigger fights  in my division. I am always grateful to my manager JC Manangquil of Sanman Promotions ”, Plania said.

According to Sanman honcho Jim Calude Manangquil, it is their goal to make more world champions from their stable. They currently have WBA Interim Bantamweight Champion Raymart Gaballo, highly rated contender Romero Duno, and former WBA interim Light Flyweight Champion Randy Petalcorin who bear the banner of Sanman Promotions.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with Permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live Boxing series please visit Sanman Promotions official Facebook page:

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

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dogboe, Beltran-Pedraza, What Happens Next?

Two world championship fights showcasing Boxing’s Jr. Featherweight and Lightweight divisions on August 25th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ which could impact each respective division going into 2019. In the first of these world championship bouts, undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Featherweight world champion Issac Dogboe stepped into the ring to make the first defense of his crown, which he won in April of this year with an eleventh round knockout of Jessie Magdaleno.

The Ghanian-born, London, England-based Dogboe faced what appeared might be a stern test in the form of thirty-seven year old WBO number six rated contender Hidenori Otake of Japan. Otake, who had a respectable record of winning thirty-one of his thirty six previous professional fights coming into his challenge of Dogboe certainly had experience on his side having previously held the Japanese Jr. Featherweight championship as well as holding the Oriental Professional Boxing Federation (OPBF) Jr. Featherweight championship, a title where he had made three successful defenses prior to this fight. Despite Otake’s experience and ability to go rounds having scored knockouts in fourteen of his thirty-one career victories, one could have questioned whether he would be able to withstand Dogboe’s power over the course of the fight given that the recently crowned world champion had knocked out thirteen of his previous nineteen opponents registering a career knockout percentage of 70%.

What normally is of interest to this observer whenever a new world champion makes their first title defense, particularly a world champion who won their championship in impressive fashion as Dogboe had is to see if whether winning the world championship will somehow influence their approach going into defending the crown. While the term “Influence” may lead some readers to think that yours truly is referring to the fighter’s preparation going into the fight as sometimes can indeed be a topic of discussion prior to a fight, that is not what I am referring to in this instance. In this case the word “Influence” simply refers to the fighter’s intent coming into battle.

Obviously, the intent of any fighter who steps into the ring should be to perform well and aim for victory when all is said and done, but what I am referring to is more in regard to how the fighter approaches the task at hand, the combat. Whether said fighter will be tentative in their approach perhaps with the intent to not be as aggressive and to study what the opposition’s approach might be and gradually implement a strategy over the course of several rounds, or whether the champion will seek to make as big and loud of a statement as they did in winning the world championship.

Dogboe’s approach in this fight could be best described as “Systematic” in that once the bell rang to begin the bout, he simply went to work. No gamesmanship, no attempt of psychological tactics to get in the mind of his opponent, just simply going about his business, awaiting his opening, and taking advantage of that opening once it presented itself.

Using a body/head attack, Dogboe landed consistently to the challenger’s body with hooks and uppercuts to the head and through Otake’s high defensive guard. This eventually created an opening for the champion to drop Otake with a flush left hook to the head. Although the challenger was able to get up from the knockdown and got up from a second knockdown as a result of a follow-up barrage by Dogboe, Otake simply had no answer or way to weather the storm of the champion’s offense forcing Referee Chris Flores to stop the fight at 2:18 of round one.

There simply is not much one can say about a fight that lasts just over two minutes, but Dogboe’s performance in this fight was the type that both fighters, a fighter’s management, and a fighter’s promoter love. A statement making performance after an equally significant statement making performance in winning the world championship via impressive knockout.

What this means for Dogboe is not only has he demonstrated the traits that a network looks for when they are seeking to broadcast fights featuring fighters with entertaining styles, but also it is those types of performances that usually generate buzz and creates interest among the ultimate authority, the Boxing fan. While it may be too soon to name Issac Dogboe as Boxing’s next breakout superstar, he has established himself as a fighter to watch, who’s star is definitely on the rise. In terms of Dogbe’s future in the 122lb. Jr. Featherweight division, there are certainly potential options that could lead to possible unification of the division down the line. As for the near future, it would not surprise me to see Dogboe face a mandatory challenger as mandated by the WBO in his next title defense to fulfill the world champion’s annual mandatory defense obligation before possibly setting his sights on perhaps recently crowned International Boxing Federation (IBF) world champion Ryosuke Iwasa or even a potential move up in weight to the 126lb. Featherweight division.

The second world championship fight that took place on August 25th featured a recently crowned world champion who was also making his first title defense. WBO Lightweight world champion Ray Beltran. Beltran is a longtime veteran of the sport, who has not always come out on top in some particularly close fights throughout his career. This would change however, in February of this year when after forty-three professional fights, Betran defeated Paulus Moses to win the vacant WBO Lightweight world championship previously held by Terry Flanagan.

For his first defense as a world champion, Beltran would face WBO number two rated Lightweight contender Jose Pedraza. In a similarity to Issac Dogboe, I wondered how the thirty-seven year old Betran would approach this first title defense. After all, Beltran has experienced the highs and lows that come with a long and grueling career as a fighter. The champion had also faced struggles outside the ring as the Los Mochis, Mexico native endured a long battle to obtain citizenship here in the United States. Without going into the particulars of Beltran’s battle outside of Boxing, it was still logical to question what effect the highs, lows, and stresses the champion had gone through both in and out of the ring had taken on him. While fighters and by extension all athletes are gifted with their respective talents, they are all human as the rest of us and it would frankly surprise me if there wasn’t at least a little toll that had been taken on Beltran given everything he had been through.

In terms of the opposition that stood across the ring from Beltran, Jose Pedraza had established himself as a top contender in the normally talent-deep 135lb. Lightweight division. The challenger entered this encounter with Beltran having won his previous three bouts and had only lost one of twenty-five professional fights coming into his fight with Beltran. In Pedraza’s lone defeat he was stopped by undefeated world champion Gervonta Davis in January of last year in the 130lb. Jr. Lightweight division.

When two fighters square off, who each come into a fight having built significant momentum, it is always interesting to see which fighter will take the initiative. Sometimes in Boxing, a fight can be summarized in simple terms. This was a tactical battle where the story quickly became Jose Pedraza’s ability to use lateral movement, switch between a southpaw and orthodox stance, to time his opponent, and finally mix up his offense.

While the champion Beltran was able to have his moments periodically throughout the fight, his normal strategy of looking to apply consistent pressure and gradually break an opponent down over the course of a long fight did not work to his benefit in this bout. The challenger was the fighter who consistently got his punches off first, tied Beltran up and made it difficult for the champion to get off with his offense and/or evaded the majority of Beltran’s punches. Pedraza’s performance was highlighted by dropping the champion in the eleventh round with an uppercut. At the end of the twelve round world championship fight I had Jose Pedraza winning it nine rounds to three or 117-109 in points with a 10-8 round in the eleventh because of the knockdown. Official judges Robert Hoyle and Lisa Giampa turned in scores similar to this observer of 117-110, why the third official judge Ruben Taylor turned in a slightly closer score of 115-112 in points or seven rounds to five with a 10-8 round because of the knockdown against Beltran in round eleven. All three of these scores were unanimous awarding the fight and the WBO Lightweight world championship to the new champion Jose Pedraza.

While this card featured two fighters that appeared to be on the verge of some significant paydays, one of those fighters, Ray Beltran suffered a setback. While the old-adage of “Styles Make Fights” certainly can be applied to his loss to Jose Pedraza, Beltran is a fighter who has shown throughout his career that he can bounce back from bumps in the road. This is likely the beginning of the next chapter in the incredible story of Ray Beltran and it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he will remain in the world championship picture going forward.

As for Jose Pedraza, he appears to be in line for one such payday that would have been available to Beltran had he been able to retain the world championship that Pedraza now holds. A World Lightweight championship unification bout with three-division world champion and current WBA Lightweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, which could take place as soon as December of this year. Although it is likely that Pedraza would be considered an underdog if that fight is signed, the new WBO world champion has shown that he is comfortable in that role and if Lomachenko were to underestimate him, it could be a big mistake given what Pedraza showed he can do in his victory over Ray Beltran.

Two world championship fights in the Jr. Featherweight and Lightweight divisions. Issac Dogboe, a world champion who’s star is continuing to rise, Ray Beltran, a world champion who’s story now faces a new chapter after the loss of his world championship, and Jose Pedraza, the top Lightweight contender who had been rebuilding his career after suffering a loss rising up to become a world champion and now appears to be in position for an even bigger moment in his career. Three separate stories that the Boxing world and it’s fans will no doubt remain interested in going forward. The types of stories that Boxing tends to love. We will see what happens in the next chapter for each fighter.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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