Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brief PBC Material Update



We would like to let our readers know that a piece recapping this week’s two Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) cards is currently in the works and will be released on Sunday, July 3rd. On Friday, July 1st, weigh-in information for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions card headlined by a ten round Lightweight bout between Denis Shafikov and Jamel Herring will be released. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

“PBC Saturday” Recap And Analysis



The anticipation of a unique and loaded day of Boxing for Boxing fans on Saturday, June 25th presented by the Premier Boxing Champions series lived up to expectations. A first of its kind presentation with three separate cards stretching across three different television networks in the United States featured two world championship fights and a bout between two rising Jr. Middleweight prospects looking to establish themselves as contenders in the three main event bouts.

The first of the three main events and the first world championship bout took place at the O2 Arena in London, England as undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua made the first defense of his world title against unbeaten IBF number nine rated contender Dominic Breazeale in a bout televised by Showtime in the United States. This was a bout that pitted two “Knockout Artists” against each other.

The champion Joshua entered the fight with a record of 16-0, with all 16 victories coming by way of knockout for a career knockout percentage of 100%. The challenger Breazeale entered with a nearly perfect career knockout percentage of 88% having knocked out fifteen of his seventeen previous opponents prior to the fight. In previewing this fight, this observer stated that a Boxing fan of any description could describe the anticipation of this fight based on the statistics of both fighters in one word “Fireworks!”

When the two fighters got in the ring however, it was the champion who put on a show as opposed to two hard-hitting Heavyweights in a toe to toe slugfest. From the outset, Joshua used superior hand speed and combination punching to dominate Breazeale in landing punches to the body and head. Although the challenger was able to show his mettle by absorbing significant punishment at the hands of the champion without breaking down for much of the fight, Breazeale simply did not have an answer to combat Joshua’s hand speed and overall skill.

Graphic Courtesy of:ThrowDownScoring.com/CompuBox

After six one-sided rounds Joshua was able to drop Breazeale with a combination early in the seventh round and was able to drop the “Game”, but over-matched challenger for a second time with a follow-up barrage to force Referee Howard Foster to stop the fight at 1:01 of the seventh round. A statistical illustration of Joshua’s domination of this fight as shown and provided by ThrowdownScoring.com/CompuBox shows the champion was in complete command from start to finish out landing Breazeale by 128 punches. The challenger simply could not find a way to consistently land his offense on the champion as he only landed 38 punches of 191 total punches thrown.

Although Joshua eventually broke Breazeale down and this fight ultimately ended the same way that all of the champion’s previous bouts have by way of knockout, what was particularly impressive was the overall technique and measured approach in which the champion executed his offense for the entire fight. He did not waste many of his punches and almost always threw punches off of his jab often in combination. It is rare to see a fighter, particularly in the Heavyweight division remain so disciplined throughout an entire fight by continuing to throw combinations and resisting a tendency to “Head Hunt” particularly once it became clear that his opponent was over-matched. Joshua simply took his time and gradually broke the challenger down.

As for the challenger Dominic Breazeale, he deserves much credit for being able to withstand as much punishment as he did in this fight in being able to extend the champion to the seventh round for the first time in Joshua’s career. What contributed to Breazeale’s downfall in this fight beyond being unable to deal with and answer the champion’s hand speed in my eyes, was a lack of head movement and also a lack of an attempt to land consistent offense to the champion’s body when he did let his hands go. Even though Dominic Breazeale exits this fight having suffered a beating in what is the first loss of his career, he showed his toughness and continued to fight on when frankly some fighters might have resigned themselves to defeat. It would not surprise me to see Breazeale take some time to recuperate from this loss, but he should not be dismissed as a contender in the division. He was simply overmatched and outclassed in this fight and it will be how he is able to cope with this defeat that will ultimately determine his standing as a contender in the division going forward.

As for the champion Anthony Joshua, it is likely that he will next defend his IBF world championship against current IBF number one contender Joseph Parker in what will be a mandatory championship defense. A question that some might ask coming out of this fight is how quickly that defense might come. It is important to remember that Joshua only became champion nearly three months ago and has now already made the first defense of his world championship, something that is rare in the sport of Boxing in this day and age.

Although it is as this observer said prior to the fight refreshing on one hand to see a world champion defending his championship so soon after winning the title, one has to wonder whether or not this will become a regular routine for Joshua as he looks to continue his championship reign. After all, there have been fighters who have held world championships throughout the entire sport, who’s reigns as champion have stretched significant periods of time while only averaging between one to three fights a year. Even though Joshua was as dominant in his first championship defense as he was when he won the IBF Heavyweight world championship from Charles Martin earlier this year and did not face much resistance in either fight, it will be interesting to see if he chooses to attempt to fight as frequently as he has been now as a world champion with his first championship defense out of the way.

An interesting question outside of the likely mandatory championship defense against Joseph Parker for the champion is where he will stand among the three world champions atop the division. As some Boxing fans might know, undefeated current WBC Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder will next defend his piece of the World Heavyweight championship against former world title challenger Chris Arreola on July 16th. A recent development however, for the division is that the scheduled rematch between undefeated WBO/WBA/IBO Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury and former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko that was scheduled for July 9th in Manchester, England has been postponed due to an ankle injury suffered by Fury.

This does put the potential of a unification bout involving the Fury-Klitschko winner against either the Wilder-Arreola winner or the winner of the potential Joshua-Parker bout in doubt at least in terms of the near future. It will nevertheless be interesting to see if the potential winners of Wilder-Arreola and Joshua-Parker turn their sights to each other for potential unification bout perhaps in 2017.

The second main event as part of “PBC Saturday” that took place as part of this tripleheader of sorts featured an intriguing battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight world championship between undefeated champion Keith Thurman and former IBF world champion Shawn Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. A highly anticipated bout that ended a thirty-eight year drought in bringing primetime Boxing back to CBS in the United States for the first time since the first encounter between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks on February 15, 1978.

The fight more than lived up to expectations. In a bout that was fought at a quick pace from start to finish, it was a battle of the champion’s ability to land flush power shots versus the challenger’s constant pressure and ability to throw in volume in a fight that was fought in spurts.

As is often the case when a fight is fought in spurts, many of the rounds in this twelve round world championship bout were extremely close and difficult to score due to both fighters having periods of effectiveness in virtually every round. Although Porter was consistent in applying pressure on Thurman from the outset and looked to swarm and smother the champion as he pushed Thurman back against the ropes, he was not always effective. Thurman was most effective during periods where he was either able to keep some distance between himself and the challenger or when he was able to land counter punches as Porter pressed forward.

There was no feeling out process in this fight as both fighters looked to engage each other from the outset. A challenge that can be present for judges in a fight like this can be to determine which fighter is executing their offense better than their opponent when both fighters are effective in spots. This was a fight where it was extremely competitive and exciting throughout as both fighters showed their willingness to not only engage, but also showed their ability to take a punch and return offense.

What impressed me about Thurman’s performance in this fight was how well he was able to land his left hand in landing left hooks and uppercuts, despite often being pushed back by Porter and was particularly effective when he was able to counter punch with it. Porter meanwhile, was impressive in his own right during periods where he was able to either cut the ring off from Thurman and push the champion against the ropes where he was able to land to the body, or during points where he was able to land lunging punches while using movement to disrupt Thurman’s offense.

As the fight progressed I wondered whether or not the pace of the fight would slow due to fatigue and both fighters more or less taking turns in being aggressive and landing flush power shots. In many ways, it was the definition of what one should think of in regard to a close fight. Both fighters landing power punches, both fighters showing aggression, and both fighters showing their mettle in being able to absorb punishment and return offense.

At the end of twelve rounds I had this fight scored even 114-114 a draw giving each fighter six rounds a piece on my unofficial scorecard. The three official judges however, turned in identical scores of seven rounds to five or 115-113 in favor of Thurman, who earned a hard-fought unanimous decision to retain his world championship. Although I felt this fight was quite frankly too close to call, it did not surprise me to see a winner determined by a narrow margin in this fight. As this observer has often said over the years when it comes to close fights, it will often boil down to what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria of how they score based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense.

This fight was quite entertaining where both fighters showed periods of all of that criteria, but I believe it may have boiled down to Thurman’s effective use of his left hand as well as his ability to counter punch effectively while under pressure from Porter. Although Porter was the busier of the two fighters throughout much of the fight, he was not always effective in his aggression. Entering the final round however, on my unofficial scorecard Thurman needed to win the round by a score of 10-9 in order for it to be a draw. If Porter had won the final round by the same margin of 10-9, he would have won the fight seven rounds to five or 115-113 in points on my scorecard.

Graphic Courtesy of:ThrowDownScoring.com/CompuBox

A statistical breakdown of this fight as shown and provided by ThrowdownScoring.com/CompuBox shows that both fighters were extremely active in this fight throwing a combined 1,201 punches over the course of the twelve round bout with Porter out throwing the champion by 123 punches. Total punches landed however, were nearly identical as Porter out landed the champion by a single punch 236 to 235.


Although the three official judges in this fight Steve Weisfeld, Waleska Roldan, and Eric Marlinski are the only ones who can say what the basis of their scores were, I believe this is a fight that will very much be debated among Boxing fans and experts alike and it is one where there can be a realistic argument made for either fighter as having won this fight. It is a certain candidate for 2016 Fight Of The Year and one that is definitely worthy of a sequel.

The third main event that rounded out “PBC Saturday” was a bout that took place in Boxing’s Jr. Middleweight division between rising prospects Justin DeLoach and Junior Castillo which took place at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX and was televised in the United States by NBC Sports Network. Although this fight was originally announced as a ten round bout, the distance was changed to eight rounds.

 The slight technicality would have no effect on the fight as DeLoach, who entered the bout having won fourteen of fifteen bouts as a professional scored a dominant eight round unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Castillo, who entered having knocked out nine of his previous ten opponents as a professional. Questions that are often asked of unbeaten fighters and more specifically fighters who are labeled “Knockout Artists” is not only in regard to their ability to take a punch, but also how they will respond to adversity.

In this fight, DeLoach put Castillo to the test from the outset using his hand speed to land short crisp combinations and solid lateral movement to keep Castillo off balance and unable to really get himself set to throw and land power punches. This resulted in Castillo only being able to land punches sporadically and missing with the majority of his offense.

In the third round DeLoach knocked Castillo down with a left hook that was thrown over a straight right hand. Castillo, who had never been knocked down as a professional prior to this fight was able to get up and the fight continued. DeLoach however, would score a second knockdown of Castillo in round six with a perfectly timed counter straight right hand. Although Castillo was able to land occasionally on DeLoach, he simply had no answer for DeLoach’s hand speed and timing. DeLoach’s effective fight plan and in particular his success in being able to land his straight right hand almost every time he threw it is what won him the fight by convincing eight round unanimous decision. Unofficially, I had this fight scored for Deloach giving him all eight rounds or 80-71 in points, while the three official judges turned in scores of 79-71, and  78-72 (On two scorecards) all in Deloach’s favor.

It will be interesting to see how Justin DeLoach progresses going forward and whether or not Junior Castillo will be able to bounce back from what should be considered a learning experience that could benefit him in the long run. Although one fighter was able to clearly stand out from the other in this fight, both should still be considered prospects and one win or one loss at this stage in their respective careers should not change that status. This should be viewed as one fighter showing with a convincing win that he  is simply ready to try and step up in the class of his opposition, while the other fighter simply has to learn what he can from his first loss and go back to the drawing board.

Overall “PBC Saturday” delivered on what the Premier Boxing Champions series hopes to deliver. To put on competitive fights and deliver those fights to a wide audience. Staging three separate cards in three different locations and across three different television networks in the United States in succession in one day is something that had not been attempted before, but should be considered a success for the first time it was put into practice. Three cards that showcased two world championship fights, a likely Fight Of The Year candidate, and a look at two rising prospects, who were looking to progress toward contender status in their respective careers.

As for the fight that arguably drew the most interest including over two million viewers on CBS here in the United States, it would not shock me to see a rematch between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. A fight that more than lived up to every expectation and successfully ended a thirty-eight year drought of Boxing in primetime on CBS. After an exciting give and take battle between two of the best fighters that the Welterweight division has to offer, this observer does not think it will be nearly as long before a world championship fight is showcased before a primetime audience on CBS as the Premier Boxing Champions series continues to show not only growth, but why the platform of free over the air (OTA) television should have never been absent from the sport of Boxing. Something that should be considered a victory for the sport and more importantly Boxing fans.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Joshua-Breazeale/Thurman Porter stats and graphics provided by: www.ThrowdownScoring.com / CompuBox. Used with permission. For more information please visit:   www.ThrowdownScoring.com.or www.ThrowdownFantasy.com . You can score live fights by downloading the free Throwdown Scoring app on Google Play or on Apple ITunes.

For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.PremierBoxingChampions.com.

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

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





Saturday, June 25, 2016

“PBC Saturday” Main Events Weigh-In Results


The official weigh-ins for Saturday’s three respective Premier Boxing Champions main events took place on Friday in London England, Brooklyn, NY, and San Antonio, TX. The official weights for the main events of the three PBC cards are as follows. Broadcast information for each card are listed below the official weights.

IBF Heavyweight world championship – 12Rds. O2 Arena-London, England

Anthony Joshua (Champion) 243 ½ lbs.        vs.     Dominic Breazeale (Challenger) 255lbs.

WBA Welterweight world championship – 12Rds. Barclays Center-Brooklyn, NY

Keith Thurman (Champion) 146lbs.     vs.     Shawn Porter (Challenger) 147lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 10Rds. Scottish Rite Theatre –San Antonio, TX

Justin DeLoach 154lbs.   vs. Junior Castillo 154lbs.

PBC: Joshua vs. Breazeale takes place Saturday, June 25th at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime at 5:15 PM ET/2:15 PM PT. Check your cable or satellite provider or the Showtime and Showtime Anytime apps for more information. For more information about Showtime please visit: www.sho.com. In the United Kingdom, the fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view on Sky Box Office for €16.95 Standard Definition/€21.95 HD and will begin at 7 PM (Local UK Time) check your local cable or satellite provider for ordering information. Check your listings internationally.

PBC: Thurman vs. Porter takes place Saturday, June 25th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The fight can be seen in the United States on CBS as well as the CBS All Access streaming service at 9 PMET/6PM PT. Check your local listings for time and channel in your area Check your listings internationally. For more information on CBS and CBS All Access please visit: www.cbs.com andwww.cbs.com/allaccess.

PBC: DeLoach vs. Castillo takes place Saturday, June 25th at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX. The fight can be seen on NBC Sports Network as well as the NBC Sports Live Extra app at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT. Check your local cable or satellite provider for time and channel in your area. For more information on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Live Extra please visit. www.nbcsports.com andwww.nbcsports.com/liveextra

For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit:www.premierboxingchampions.com

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

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


Friday, June 24, 2016

Previewing “PBC Saturday”


In a little more than one year since it was introduced, the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series has been a game changer for the sport of Boxing. Not only has the series been responsible for successfully bringing back the sport to primetime over the air (OTA) broadcast television, but it has also succeeded in bringing television networks from both broadcast and cable television together with the goal of putting on the best fights possible for Boxing fans.

There have been several competitive fights that have taken place thus far as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series and on Saturday the series will stage three separate cards on three separate networks in the United States, which have the makings of what could be an action-packed day for Boxing fans. The first of the three headline bouts will take place at the O2 Arena in London, England as undefeated newly crowned International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua makes the first defense of his world championship against undefeated IBF number nine rated contender Dominic Breazeale in a fight that will air on Showtime in the United States.

Joshua, who won the IBF world championship with a second round knockout of Charles Martin in April of this year, now climbs back into the ring nearly three months later to make the first defense of his world championship. On one hand, it is somewhat refreshing to see a world champion back in the ring so soon after winning the title in an era where some of the biggest marquee draws the sport has to offer only compete maybe once or twice in a calendar year. On the other hand, some might question if he is getting back in the ring too soon after winning the championship, despite not facing much resistance from the man whom he took the title from Charles Martin. The champion Joshua is by definition a knockout artist, who has compiled sixteen consecutive knockouts in as many fights as a professional.

The new champion and 2012 Olympic Super-Heavyweight gold medalist now prepares to defend his title for the first time against a fighter who is also undefeated and equally dangerous in top contender Dominic Breazeale. Breazeale will come into this fight off of a fifth round stoppage of Amir Mansour in January of this year. An argument can be made that the result of that fight was to some degree “Inconclusive” due to Mansour suffering an injury to his tongue when he accidentally nearly bit it in half in the second round, which ultimately would cause the fight to be stopped at the conclusion of the fifth round in a fight that most observers, including this one, felt that Mansour was winning at the time of the stoppage.

Breazeale however, did answer the question that is asked of knockout artists of whether he can take a punch as he was able to get up from a knockdown at the hands Mansour in the third round of that fight and regardless of the “Inconclusive” nature in which the fight was stopped, he did show the ability to cope with adversity and did leave the ring victorious. The fight between Joshua and Breazeale is likely the first in significant history of the Heavyweight division where two fighters will do battle for a version of the World Heavyweight championship with both entering the ring having fought under twenty fights as professionals.

The unique statistic notwithstanding, this fight does pit two “Knockout Artists” against each other. The champion entering with a perfect career knockout percentage of 100% and the challenger entering with a career knockout percentage of 88%, each fighter similar in height and reach at 6’6 with an 82 inch reach and 6’7 with an 81 inch reach respectively. Although the champion does have the recent experience of fighting for a world championship in front of a sold-out crowd, questions are obviously still being asked of how good Joshua’s chin is and whether or not he can deal with adversity in a fight.

A Boxing fan of any description could describe the anticipation of this fight based on statistics in one word “Fireworks!” It will be interesting to see if the anticipated “Shootout” between two hard-hitting Heavyweights lives up to the anticipation when Joshua and Breazeale meet in London on Saturday night.

The second headline bout taking place as part of this unique PBC Boxing tripleheader of sorts will be a battle for the WBA Welterweight world championship as undefeated champion Keith Thurman defends his title against former IBF Welterweight world champion Shawn Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Thurman-Porter will make history as the first main event of a Boxing card to air in primetime on CBS in the United States in more than thirty-eight years when Leon Spinks scored a shocking upset to win the unified WBC/WBA Heavyweight world championship from Muhammad Ali via fifteen round split decision on February 15, 1978. Much like Joshua-Breazeale, Thurman-Porter figures to be an action-packed encounter between two of the best that the Welterweight division has to offer.

For Thurman, who will be entering this fight for the first time as full WBA world champion following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, after previously holding interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Welterweight ratings now sees that distinction recognized as a full championship reign and will be making his third title defense. In his last fight in July of last year Thurman stopped former WBA world champion Luis Collazo in seven rounds.

Thurman is an all-action fighter who is almost always an exciting fight. The unbeaten world champion has the distinction of being part of the first main event in the history of the Premier Boxing Champions series when he defeated former three-division world champion Robert Guerrero in March of last year in what was the first primetime Boxing event broadcast on NBC in nearly 30 years. The champion now finds itself in the unique position of also bringing Boxing back to primetime on CBS.

Much as was the case in his battle against Robert Guerrero, Thurman’s opponent on this occasion is likely to provide the champion with all he can handle in the form of former IBF world champion Shawn Porter. Porter, who reigned as champion from 2013-2014 is also an all-action fighter. Porter has won two straight fights since losing his world championship to Kell Brook in August 2014. In his last fight, Porter scored a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over former four-division world champion Adrien Broner in June of last year.

In thinking of how this fight might be fought, this observer came up with two different scenarios. When you have two fighters who are both offensive-minded and could be labeled as “Offense-First”, the possibility certainly exists that a tactical Boxing match fought at a quick pace could develop. It is quite possible that both fighters have a healthy respect for their opponent’s punching power and that could lead to a tactical chess match. Both fighters have demonstrated the ability to get an opponent out of there should the opportunity present itself as the champion Thurman has stopped twenty-two of his twenty-six opponents as a professional registering a career knockout percentage of 81%, while the challenger Porter has stopped sixteen of his twenty-eight opponents as a professional registering a career knockout percentage of nearly 58%.

Although based on percentages it might give the appearance that Thurman has an edge in terms of his ability to knock an opponent out, it is important to remember that Porter is a fighter who lets his hands go from the opening bell and has solid hand speed. Porter has also demonstrated the ability to outwork an opponent over the course of a fight as he did against Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander, but has also shown that he has punching power as he showed in his brutal fourth round knockout over two-division world champion Paul Malignaggi in April 2014.

The second scenario that came to mind in thinking about this fight was one that may start out as a tactical Boxing/chess match, but eventually turn into a “Shootout” due to both fighters willingness to let their hands go and neither being willing to take a backward step. Of course, the possibility definitely exists that both fighters could simply go to war from the outset and much like the Joshua-Breazeale bout, it may simply come down to who is able to land the first significant punch that may ultimately determine who wins the fight. It is certainly a fight that on paper has the look of a candidate for 2016 Fight Of The Year. Whether or not the action-packed fight Thurman-Porter figures to be on paper is what takes place when the two fighters square off remains to be seen.

The final bout in this tripleheader of sorts as part of what this observer refers to as “PBC Saturday” will feature a ten round Jr. Middleweight bout between rising prospects Justin DeLoach and Junior Castillo at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX in the main event of a card broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States. DeLoach, who will enter the fight having won fourteen of fifteen fights as a professional will come into the fight on a four fight winning streak and having scored knockouts in two of those four wins including in his last fight in March of this year in scoring a fourth round knockout over Dillon Cook in Miami, Oklahoma. DeLoach’s opponent on Saturday night will come in the form of unbeaten 2012 Olympian and knockout artist Junior Castillo.

Castillo, who represented the Dominican Republic in the 2012 London Olympics, is unbeaten as a professional having scored knockouts in nine of his ten career victories. A unique dynamic of the Premier Boxing Champions series is that the series across several networks on both broadcast and cable television showcases various levels of the sport from fighters competing at the highest level for world championships, to fighters in the process of a comeback, to finally prospects on the rise looking to establish themselves as contenders in the sport.

This fight between Justin DeLoach and Junior Castillo is one where both fighters are rising prospects and looking to make the next step in the respective careers. Although both fighters are similar in terms of their standing as prospects currently, an argument could be made that Castillo is a fighter with slightly more experience due to his competing in the Olympics. By the same token, DeLoach has shown in his career that he can go the distance having fought in two fights that went as long as six rounds and earned unanimous decisions in those fights that went the full six round distance. Castillo meanwhile, showed in his last fight that he can go the distance himself as Kyrone Davis became the first fighter to extend him to the distance in a fight that was scheduled for eight rounds.

The majority of Castillo’s ten professional fights however, have lasted under four rounds and he has gone as many as five rounds only twice in his career thus far. What makes the question of going the distance relevant for not only Castillo, but both fighters is that this is the first fight for both with a scheduled distance of ten rounds. It will be interesting to see how each fighter reacts to the exposure of the Premier Boxing Champions series and if DeLoach can find a way to extend Castillo into the middle and late rounds if he will be able to go the distance against a fighter who has demonstrated knockout power thus far in his short career. An equally interesting question as this fight approaches is given that this fight is scheduled for distance of ten rounds, will Castillo look to pace himself with the anticipation of possibly having to go the distance, or if he will look to find an opening and if one present itself take advantage of it by looking to stop DeLoach early. It is worth noting that Castillo has four first round knockouts in his ten wins and has a career knockout percentage of 90%. This could set up a classic scenario of a boxer in DeLoach against the puncher in Castillo as DeLoach has scored eight knockouts in his fourteen career victories and is logical to assume that he will look to box Castillo from the outset. It will be interesting whether DeLoach or Castillo will be able to take the next step forward in their career.

This tripleheader of sorts presented by the Premier Boxing Champions series across three different networks all strategically scheduled to follow each other rather than going head to head against each other offers a little bit of everything. From two knockout artists meeting for a portion of the World Heavyweight championship, to two all-action fighters meeting for a world championship in one of Boxing’s most deep and competitive divisions, in a fight that will make history by ending a thirty-eight year drought for primetime Boxing on CBS, to two fighters looking to establish themselves as future contenders. If these events as well as their respective undercard bouts are as entertaining and intriguing as they appear to be on paper, Saturday, June 25, 2016 will be remembered as a great day for not only Boxing fans, but more importantly the sport as the Premier Boxing Champions series continues to change the game and put on the best fights possible for the ultimate authority, the Boxing fans…

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

PBC: Joshua vs. Breazeale takes place Saturday, June 25th at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime at 5:15 PM ET/2:15 PM PT. Check your cable or satellite provider or the Showtime and Showtime Anytime apps for more information. For more information about Showtime please visit: www.sho.com. In the United Kingdom, the fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view on Sky Box Office for €16.95 Standard Definition/€21.95 HD and will begin at 7 PM (Local UK Time) check your local cable or satellite provider for ordering information. Check your listings internationally.

PBC: Thurman vs. Porter takes place Saturday, June 25th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The fight can be seen in the United States on CBS as well as the CBS All Access streaming service at 9 PMET/6PM PT. Check your local listings for time and channel in your area Check your listings internationally. For more information on CBS and CBS All Access please visit: www.cbs.com and www.cbs.com/allaccess.

PBC: DeLoach vs. Castillo takes place Saturday, June 25th at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX. The fight can be seen on NBC Sports Network as well as the NBC Sports Live Extra app at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT. Check your local cable or satellite provider for time and channel in your area. For more information on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Live Extra please visit. www.nbcsports.com and www.nbcsports.com/liveextra

For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.premierboxingchampions.com

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

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






Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Could Joe Smith Jr. Be In Line For A Title Shot?


The sport of Boxing has always been linked with stories of an underdog being pitted against a significant favorite. In most scenarios, the fighter who is labeled the underdog in a fight is given little more than a puncher’s chance of winning against the heavy favorite. Such a scenario took place on June 18th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL when former Light-Heavyweight world title challenger Andrzej Fonfara entered the ring to do battle against Joe Smith Jr. in a fight for the WBC International Light-Heavyweight championship.

For Fonfara, this was the fourth fight since losing a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision to WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson in May 2014. Since that fight Fonfara had won all three of his previous bouts heading into this fight including victories over former world champions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Nathan Cleverly. Off the strength of not only the “Game” effort he put forth in defeat against Stevenson, but also his performances against Chavez and Cleverly, Fonfara had climbed back up the ranks and entered the fight against Smith ranked in the top five in the world by the WBC, WBA, IBO, and WBO in the Light-Heavyweight division.

Despite this fight being considered a “Tune up” by some and being a heavy favorite heading into the fight with Smith, this fight represented an opportunity for Fonfara to move himself into a mandatory position to once again challenge for a world championship. For Joe Smith Jr., a fighter who entered the fight having won twenty-one of twenty-two professional fights, this fight represented the most significant test of his career as he was viewed as a relative unknown heading into the fight, despite being unbeaten for nearly six years and having compiled fifteen consecutive victories.

In a scenario where some fighters have crumbled under pressure, Smith would rise to the occasion. Although Smith had to contend with a pro-Fonfara crowd as the Polish-born and Chicago-based top Light-Heavyweight contender Fonfara has established himself as a crowd favorite, Smith would show that having the crowd against him in essentially an opponent’s hometown plus fighting on national television on NBC would have no adverse effect on his performance in the ring. Smith came out aggressively from the outset and immediately engaged with Fonfara as he looked to get in close and throw punches with both hands to the body and head. Smith would capitalize on an opening and land a devastating overhand right to the head of Fonfara sending him down to the canvas with a minute to go in the first round.

Even though the always “Game” Fonfara showed his mettle by getting up from the knockdown on wobbly legs, Smith sensing that he had his opponent in trouble went in for the kill and dropped Fonfara for the second time with a follow-up barrage of punches forcing the fight to be stopped. It was as sudden and devastating a knockout as one could see and a prime example of as this observer has often said over the years that “Anything can happen at any given time in the sport of Boxing and that is what makes the sport so great.”


Graphic Courtesy of:ThrowDownScoring.com/CompuBox

Final punch stats for this bout as shown and provided by Throwdownscoring.com/CompuBox shows that although this was a short fight, both fighters did not hesitate to let their hands go as they nearly equaled each other in total punches landed in a fight that had no feeling out process. Smith was able to out land Fonfara by a single punch, but both fighters overall produced comparable offensive outputs in terms of statistics. The telling blow of the fight however, was the flush overhand right that produced the first of two knockdowns suffered by Fonfara.

Although Smith was a relative unknown prior to this fight, he left the ring after this fight a potential star on the rise. The obvious question is will this victory over Andrzej Fonfara propel Smith into an opportunity at a world championship? It is a question that will likely have some difference of opinion.

It is important to remember that the most compelling fight that could be made in the Light-Heavyweight division currently remains a potential unification bout between undefeated unified WBO/WBA/IBF world champion Sergey Kovalev and WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. Both fighters continue to do circles around each other in facing other opposition rather than each other as both have upcoming title defenses in the month of July. Kovalev will defend his title in Russia on July 11th against Isaac Chilemba. Stevenson meanwhile, will defend his WBC world championship on July 29th against Thomas Williams Jr. in Quebec City, Canada.

 This would seem to eliminate the possibility of Smith fighting for a world championship at least in the immediate future, particularly against Sergey Kovalev, who if he is successful in his upcoming title defense against Isaac Chilemba is scheduled to meet undefeated former Super-Middleweight world champion Andre Ward later this year. If Stevenson however, is successful against Thomas Williams Jr., Joe Smith Jr. should be considered a potential opponent. Not only did Smith stop a fighter in Andrzej Fonfara, who gave Stevenson all he could handle in 2014, but he defeated a top five rated contender in devastating fashion. This would make a potential Stevenson-Smith fight compelling.

There are however, other possibilities that could exist for Smith coming out of this fight. Fights against the likes of former world champion Jean Pascal, current WBO number one Light-Heavyweight contender Dominic Boesel, or top rated contender Artur Beterbiev would each be interesting and if he were successful against either of those fighters it would only strengthen Smith’s case for a potential title shot. Although this observer does not believe it will happen in the near future, it would not surprise me to see a potential rematch between Smith and Fonfara down the line.

After all, even a devastating loss sometimes will not set a fighter back too far in the rankings and if Fonfara can find a way to bounce back from this defeat in a talent deep Light-Heavyweight division, he could find himself right back in the mix and possibly in a position where he would have to fight Smith in order to advance up the rankings. Although we do not know as of this writing where Joe Smith Jr. will be rated when Boxing’s respective sanctioning organizations update their respective rankings in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division, Joe Smith Jr. has established himself as a force to be reckoned with and it will be interesting to see if his star will continue to rise.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Fonfara- Smith stats and graphic provided by: Throwdown Scoring.com/CompuBox. Used with permission.  For more information please visit:   www.ThrowdownScoring.com.or www.ThrowdownFantasy.com . You can score live fights by downloading the free Throwdown Scoring app on Google Play or on Apple ITunes.

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

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





Saturday, June 18, 2016

Premier Boxing Champions 6/18/2016 Weigh-In Results



The official weigh-in for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions card took place on Friday in Chicago, IL. The weights for the card are as follows. 

Main Event: WBC International Light-Heavyweight championship – 10Rds.

Andrzej Fonfara (Champion) 174lbs.                       vs.          Joe Smith Jr. 173lbs.

WBA World Bantamweight championship – 12 Rds.

Juan Carlos Payano (Champion) 117lbs.                 vs.          Rau’Shee Warren 117lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 10 Rds.

Hugo Centeno Jr. 163lbs.                              vs.          Maciej Sulecki 159lbs.

Middleweight – 10 Rds.

Erickson Lubin 153lbs.                    vs.          Daniel Sandoval 159lbs.

Welterweight – 8 Rds.

Juan Carlos Abregu 147lbs.          vs.          Alex Martin 147lbs.

Welterweight – 6Rds.

Jose Quezada 140lbs.                     vs.          Cameron Kreal 141lbs.

Jr. Lightweight – 4Rds.

Eric Gotay 130lbs.                             vs.          Josh Hernandez 129lbs.

Lightweight – 6 Rds.

Ramiro Carrillo 136lbs.                    vs.          Jorge Munguia 138lbs.


*A four round Women’s Jr. Welterweight bout between Jessica McCaskill and Kaytona Fisher is scheduled to take place. Weights for that bout are unavailable as of this writing. Bout still scheduled to take place as of this writing.

PBC: Fonfara vs. Smith takes place Tonight (Saturday, June 18th ) at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL. The card will be broadcast by NBC at 8:30 PM ET/5:30PM PT as well as the NBC Sports Live Extra app. Check your local listings for time and channel in your area. A live portion of undercard bouts will follow the main card on NBC at 11:30PM ET/8:30PM PT on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. Check your local cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area.

For more information on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Live Extra please visit: www.nbcsports.com and www.nbcsports.com/liveextra. Check your listings internationally. For more information about the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.premierboxingchampions.com.

UPDATE: A correction to what was originally published earlier this morning, the portion of live undercard bouts scheduled to take place following the main card on NBC is scheduled to begin at 11PM ET/8PM PT. As stated above, both broadcasts will also stream on the NBC Sports Live Extra app. We apologize for the error.


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

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




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts on Provodnikov-Molina



The recent battle between former WBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov and former world title challenger John Molina Jr. had the look of a fight that would be action-packed. After all, Provodnikov is known as “The Siberian Rocky” and has carved out a reputation as a fighter who will take on anyone.

Molina meanwhile, is also known for his crowd-pleasing style which like Provodnikov, has led to some entertaining fights over the years. Molina however, had suffered some setbacks throughout his career and came into the fight with Provodnikov having lost three of his last five bouts. When the two fighters did battle on June 11th at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY the question that I had in my mind was simply whether or not Molina would be able to deal with the constant pressure style and power of Provodnikov.

Although Molina has taken part in more than one slugfest in his career prior to this fight, it had proven to be a difficult task for most fighters who had faced Provodnikov in dealing with his style in that he never takes a backward step and is always dangerous from the beginning to the end of a fight. In thinking of how this fight would be fought, I believed that Molina would have an advantage over Provodnikov in terms of hand speed much in the same way as fighters like Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri had in their fights against Provodnikov. At the same time, I wondered if Provodnikov were able to land something significant over the course of the fight, whether Molina would break down due to Provodnikov’s relentless attack and pressure.

It was certainly no surprise to see both fighters being willing to engage from the outset. Even though this was not an easy fight to score as there were points where both fighters were able to be effective as well as a lot of fighting on the inside, the primary difference in the eyes of this observer was Molina’s ability to get his punches off first, use subtle movement, and be consistent in throwing his jab and straight right hand that gave him the slight edge in what was a very close and entertaining fight from start to finish.

Although Provodnikov would have success in getting on the inside of Molina and periodically landing flush hooks with both hands to the head of Molina throughout the fight, he did not have an answer to avoid Molina’s consistent jab and right hand, which were focal points of Molina’s offense in this fight. Despite having his share of success throughout the fight, Provodnikov was unable to nullify Molina’s punch output and that is what ultimately cost him the fight in the eyes of this observer as Molina would win a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision.

It was also not surprising considering how closely fought this fight was round by round to see varying scorecards at the end of the fight. Judge Don Ackerman scored the fight 116-112, or 8-4 in rounds for Molina, while Judges Glenn Feldman and John McKaie turned in scores of 115-113, or 7-5 in rounds and 117-111, or 9-3 in rounds in favor of Molina.

In all honesty, this is one of those fights where one could almost expect differing points of view in regard to how the fight was scored. It is important to remember that both fighters did have periods of effectiveness in many of the rounds and there was also a lot of fighting on the inside, which can be difficult to score based not only on judge’s criteria in how they score based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense, but also where a judge is positioned at ringside, which can result in varying scores.

Unofficially, I scored this fight 116-112, or 8-4 in rounds for John Molina Jr. It was clear in my eyes that Molina not only was able to outwork Provodnikov over the course of the fight, but what gave Molina the edge was his ability to be consistent with his jab and land his right hand throughout the entire fight, in my opinion.

Although Provodnikov never relented in his pressure of Molina throughout the fight, Molina was always throwing something for Provodnikov to go through before he could not only get on the inside, but get set to throw his punches. There were also periods in this fight specifically in the second half of the fight where Molina was able to make Provodnikov miss periodically with hooks as he came forward. Whether or not that was due to fatigue is something that only Provodnikov could answer, but it nevertheless showed that even though the fight was close, Molina was able to execute his offense a little more effectively.

Graphic Courtesy of:ThrowDownScoring.com/CompuBox

A statistical breakdown of the fight as shown and provided by ThrowdownScoring.com/CompuBox illustrates the effectiveness of Molina throughout the fight as he out landed Provodnikov landing 377 of 1092 total punches thrown to Provodnikov’s 283 of 705 total punches. The key statistic shown however, was Molina’s dominate use of his jab out landing Provodnikov 152 to 86. Although Molina only had a total connect percentage of 35% and was not the more accurate of the two fighters as Provodnikov landed 40% of his punches, Molina’s ability to always keep something in front of Provodnikov to go through is what won him this fight as he out threw Provodnikov by 387 punches.

As for what is next for both fighters, it would not surprise this observer to see a rematch between the two down the line. As for the immediate future Molina, who entered the fight rated number eight in the world in the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) Jr. Welterweight ratings would appear to be in a good position coming out of this fight for a potential opportunity to face current WBO world champion Terence Crawford, having defeated Provodnikov, who was rated number two by the WBO going into the fight.

This observer believes that Molina could face current number one WBO Jr. Welterweight contender Jason Pagara in the near future with the winner of that potential fight facing the winner of the upcoming WBO/WBC World championship unification bout between Terence Crawford and WBC world champion Viktor Postol, which is scheduled to take place on July 23rd in Las Vegas, NV in a fight to unify two of five world championships in the talent deep 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division.

Even though Ruslan Provodnikov did not come out of this fight victorious, he is still very much a factor in the division and it would not surprise me to see him in the discussion for a potential opportunity at a world championship in the future. Although this loss to Molina will likely drop him in the rankings to a degree, Provodnikov is still a crowd-pleasing fighter who will give anyone in the division a tough fight and a fighter who will continue to draw the interest of Boxing fans. It may simply come down to what opportunity may be available to him going forward.

“And That’s the Boxing Truth.”

Provodnikov-Molina stats and graphic provided by: Throwdown Scoring.com/CompuBox. Used with permission.  For more information please visit:   www.ThrowdownScoring.com.or www.ThrowdownFantasy.com . You can score live fights by downloading the free Throwdown Scoring app on Google Play or on Apple ITunes.

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

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