Monday, October 22, 2018

Brief Update


We would like to let our readers know that new material discussing the landscape of Boxing’s Middleweight division heading into 2019 is in the works and will be released on Wednesday, October 24th. 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


Thursday, October 18, 2018

PETALCORIN IN BEST SHAPE FOR OCT. 29 TITLE FIGHT

Credit: Sanman Promotions
Press Release: October 18, 2018 By Sanman Promotions – IBF Pan-Pacific Light Flyweight Champion Randy Petalcorin (W28 KO22 L2 D1) is happy and confident as he grinds in his training camp to prepare for his upcoming October 29 world title against Felix Alvarado (W33 KO29 L2 D0) The bout will take place at the Solaire Resort and Casino, Manila. At stake will be the vacant IBF World Light Flyweight Title. The event is being promoted by MP Promotions, Sanman Promotions, Peter Maniatis Events and ESPN 5.

“I am in the best shape so far. I have sacrificed a lot and gave my everything for this fight. Alvarado is a world class fighter but fights are won in the gym and I am confident I am 100% ready. On October 29, I will get that world title belt and will become a world champion once again”, Petalcorin said.

Randy has trained with four sparring partners and has sparred for a total of 110 rounds and counting. He trains at the Sanman Gymn in General Santos City under the watchful eyes of head trainer Fernando Lumacad and assistant coaches Jonathan Baat and Marquil Salvana.

The fight will be televised live on ESPN 5 at 7:15 to 9:30 PM while undercards will be shown at 3:30 PM (Aksyon TV) Philippine standard time.

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: www.facebook.com/SanmanPromotions.

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


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Options For Terence Crawford Following Successful First Defense Of WBO World Welterweight Championship


One of the more consistent topics throughout the sport of Boxing is the happenings of the 147lb. Welterweight division. Of course, the history of the sport is filled with memorable battles and fighters who each had tenures atop the division. What is interesting to see is not only the events that happen in the division, but also the discussion and debate that takes place following a fighter, who was viewed either as the best in the division or was viewed as a central figure either moves up in weight or chooses to leave the sport all together and retire.

Normally the events and discussion following either scenario taking place is centered on determining the next central figure and/or top fighter in the division. While this can easily apply to any weight class in the sport, whenever a notable fighter in the Welterweight division vacates their standing for whatever reason, the subject of who will be the next fighter to emerge as the top Welterweight in the world tends to be a key topic of discussion.

In recent years the subject in regard to the Welterweight division has been which fighter, either one who is at or near the top of the division or a fighter who is on the rise might emerge as the top Welterweight in the world in the post-Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao era. As most know, Mayweather vacated his standing as not only the top fighter in the division, but also regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the world following victories over Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto in 2015.

Although Mayweather retired following his win over Berto in September of that year and briefly returned in August of last year in defeating two-division UFC world champion Connor McGregor, in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star's pro debut as a boxer, the process of determining the next number one fighter in the Welterweight division has been an ongoing process since Mayweather's win over Berto three years ago. While this topic in itself can be evaluated several ways, one angle that also should be discussed whenever such a process begins is whether a fighter, who may not have been competing in the division when the previous number one fighter left the division could emerge as the division's central figure after moving up in weight. Enter Terence Crawford.

Crawford, who had won world championships in the 135lb. Lightweight division and completely unified the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division emerged on the Welterweight scene when he stopped previously undefeated WBO world champion Jeff Horn in June of this year. Crawford’s extensive accomplishments, as well as his victory over Horn to win a portion of the World Welterweight championship immediately, established him as a top player in the traditionally talent-deep division.

It is indisputable that Terence Crawford has been one of the top fighters in the entire sport for the last several years. Despite the victory over Horn however, a challenge that is always present for a fighter who moves up in weight is how they will perform against fighters who are theoretically stronger and thought to be naturally bigger. For Crawford it is not a position he is unfamiliar as he had previously gone up in weight throughout his career. A question that might be more appropriate to ask that has been asked of great fighters with similar credentials as Crawford is can this fighter be as dominant at higher weights as they were in lower weight classes.

Many fighters throughout the history of the sport have been able to answer this question and have gone on to be regarded as all-time greats due in part to how they were able to be successful in multiple weight classes. Although Crawford appears certain to be in the discussion of all-time great multi-division world champions when all is said and done in his career, a question that is also asked of fighters who have success in multiple weight classes in addition to whether they can maintain their dominance as they move up the weight scale is naturally at which weight will a fighter reach their ceiling. At what point will a fighter no longer be able to move up in weight either because of physical limitations or because of perhaps an opinion of whether said fighter can continue to compete effectively at heavier weights.

Crawford’s second fight as a 147lb. Welterweight and his first defense of his WBO Welterweight crown came on October 13th in a familiar setting, his hometown of Omaha, NE as he faced undefeated contender Jose Benavidez. Benavidez, who entered the bout with Crawford unbeaten in twenty-seven previous bouts had previously held interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association (WBA) Jr. Welterweight ratings in his career.

Despite his undefeated record, the opinion of some was that Benavidez was attempting to take a significant step up in the caliber of his opposition by challenging Crawford in his first attempt at a world championship. Some may also remember that Benavidez suffered a career-threatening gunshot wound to his right leg during an incident where he was shot while walking his dog in August 2016. Although he had been told by doctors that it would take nearly two years to be able to walk again, the contender from Phoenix, AZ made a recovery that ultimately saw him return to the ring and score an eighth round stoppage of Matthew Stode in February of this year. In his last fight prior to facing the champion, Benavidez scored a first round knockout of previously undefeated Frank Rojas in June.

It was understandable both given Benavidez’ skill level and what he had overcome in just being able to resume his career that the undefeated challenger would not be intimidated by a man regarded by many as one of the best fighters pound for pound in the world. The build-up to this encounter also saw a sense of bad blood between the two fighters, which included the two having to be separated physically at the official weigh-in the day before the fight.

When the two fighters squared off at the CHI Health Center before what appeared to be a sell out crowd in support of the hometown favorite Crawford Benavidez made his presence known from the outset. What I was particularly impressed by Benavidez’ approach was how he was able to dictate the tempo of the combat by making it difficult for the champion Crawford to close distance and land consistently. Even though there was not much of note in terms of something that would turn heads in terms of a back and forth slugfest, it was a tactical Boxing match that the challenger more than held his own in for a good portion of the fight. Benavidez was able to land his jab more than occasionally and mix in some combinations that were effective when he was able to land them.

An element that I saw early on in the fight that I felt could have served Benavidez well was how he was able to land offense to Crawford’s body. Despite the success he was able to have working off of his jab and landing occasionally to the champion’s body, Benavidez chose not to make a sustained attack to Crawford’s body a focal point of his offense. The challenger was successful however, in applying pressure on the champion and was able to make it appear that the champion was uncomfortable for a time in the fight.

As he has done throughout his career when opponents have been able to have success early, Crawford gradually stepped up his offensive output as the fight progressed and took over the tempo of the fight, landing combinations of his own and more specifically, landing the harder punches of the two fighters. The story of the fight in my eyes gradually became whether Crawford would be able to score a knockout or if Benavidez would be able to go the distance. This was due to the ebb and flow of the combat appearing to favor the champion in the middle and late rounds.

In the twelfth and final round the champion's gradual attack ultimately caught up with the challenger as Crawford scored a knockdown of Benavidez and was able to get a stoppage in the closing seconds of the fight. It was a workman like performance by Crawford where he simply broke his opposition down over the course of the fight. Despite coming out on the losing end of the bout, Jose Benavidez gave a great account of himself and showed his mettle in defeat.

As for what the possible options are for Crawford going forward there is no shortage of potential opponents that could possibly an interesting challenge for Crawford. Fights with the likes of undefeated WBA champion Keith Thurman, recently crowned WBC champion Shawn Porter, and undefeated IBF champion Errol Spence would almost certainly generate buzz and debate amongst Boxing fans and experts. There are also potential fights with several top contenders, many of whom are former world champions that would likely welcome an opportunity to face Crawford should the opportunity come their way.

A hurdle that will need to be addressed is several of the other world champions and top contenders in the Welterweight division currently compete under promoters who are rivals to Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum. It goes without saying that one of the biggest determents to the entire sport is when those in the “Business of Boxing” who are not necessarily willing to work together on a consistent basis end up becoming an obstacle that can and unfortunately does prevent marquee fights that could elevate the sport from taking place in a timeframe that many fans would prefer rather than the fan having to wait a significant period of time before a fight between two top fighters, and/or fighters who are regarded as stars in the sport becomes a reality.

What this observer believes will be a more likely scenario at least in the not too distant future will be for Crawford to next defend his WBO crown against whomever the World Boxing Organization determines to be their next mandatory challenger. Although the Boxing fan would likely prefer to see a unification bout between Crawford and one of the other current world champions in the division in a short time frame, what Crawford facing the next mandatory challenger will do is if he continues to retain the WBO world championship, it will fulfill his annual obligation by facing a mandatory challenger, which will in turn free up time for him to pursue a unification bout against another current world champion. If Crawford continues to win and does so impressively, it will also create demand for such a unification bout to take place.

One can only hope that such demand will increase pressure on the rival promoters and other entities that are normally on opposite sides of the “Business of Boxing” to come together to make marquee fights between top stars happen. The “Sport of Boxing” as  a whole is after all elevated to a higher level when the best fighters fight the best.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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






Friday, October 5, 2018

Update

We would like to let readers know that we are between rounds and will resume our regular schedule on Wednesday, October 17th. 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

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

GABALLO, TAPALES EASILY DISPOSE OPPONENTS WITH EARLY TKO WINS


Credit: Sanman Promotions
Press Release: October 3, 2018 (Originally released October 2, 2018) by Sanman Promotions – WBA Interim bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo displayed too much superiority versus his Tanzanian rival Julias Kisawire by dropping him twice on the opening bell of their bout. The Tanzanian had no answer to the barrage of punches from Gaballo thus prompting the referee to call a first round stoppage win for the Filipino. Gaballo (20-0-0, 17KOs) came out with his full arsenal from the opening bell as Kisawire (29-7-1, 15KOs) tried to survive the round. Gaballo smelling blood continued his attack catching the Tanzanian with head and body combinationsdropped him for the first time. Kisawire beat the count but Gaballo went back to his attack and got the job done.

“Reymart has matured and was in his best shape. He was just too much for his opponent. We are happy about the win and will definitely get him ready for the regular WBA Belt next fight. I’m sure Gaballo will be the next big boxing star from our country”, Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil stated.

The great luck of Sanman Boxing continued with a huge first round TKO victory for come backing former world champion Marlon Tapales (31-2-0, 14KOs) against another Tanzanian Goodluck Mrema W24-L4-D0-KO12). Tapales immediately went to work in the opening bell swinging shots and finally catching Mrema with a quick right counter to the head which ended the fight immediately. With the win, Tapales is back on business and is set to fly to the US to train and prepare for bigger fights according to Sanman CEO JC Manangquil who co-manages tapales with Rex "Wakee" Salud

The event was promoted by Gerry Peñalosa and presented by ESPN 5 where the bouts were broadcasted live. Gerry’s nephews Dave and Carlo were also victorious in their respective fights coming off with huge KO victories.


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: www.facebook.com/SanmanPromotions.

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



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

DUNO DOWNS AVILES THRICE TAKES UD WIN


Credit: Sanman Promotions 
Press Release: October 2, 2018 by Sanman Promotions – Filipino lightweight prospect Ruthless Romero Duno (W18 L1 D0 KO14)takes another impressive win in his US campaign as he dominates Mexican foe Ezequiel Aviles (W16 L3 D3 KO6). Duno was came out the more classy fighter as he took control of the middle ring coming in with counters and quick uppercuts which dropped Aviles in the opening round and twice in the sixth round.


Duno suffered several low-blows from his Mexican foe but was quick to recover and went on with the onslaught. In the final round, Duno smelled blood and roughhoused Aviles hitting him groggy with combinations but the tough Mexican was saved by the bell. Duno dominated the whole fight and took home a unanimous decision victory.


According to Sanman Boxing CFO Dexter Tan, “Duno reaped the harvest of his hard work and dedication. He came out in great shape and the Mexican was no match for him. Aviles was saved by the bell and coul not have survived another round. Funo is ready for a championship fight and with his good showing, Golden Boy might have something in store for him”.


In his post-fight interview Duno apologized to his Filipino fans for failing to secure a KO victory and promised to do better next time. However, his performance was enough to impress boxing fans and scribes who described him as the next big thing from the Philippines.

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: www.facebook.com/SanmanPromotions.

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



Monday, October 1, 2018

Thoughts On Groves-Smith And The WBSS



The finale of the first season of the acclaimed World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) brought a conclusion to two tournaments that in some aspects brought clarity to the divisions that participated in this groundbreaking and innovative concept. While yours truly will share some thoughts on the concept of the WBSS and its future at the conclusion of this column, the column itself will focus solely on the Super-Middleweight final, which took place on September 28th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  

An encounter between two of the best fighters the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division has to offer as World Boxing Association (WBA) Super-Middleweight world champion George Groves defended his crown against undefeated top contender Callum Smith. Going into this fight, the primary question I had centered on the condition of the champion’s left shoulder. As readers who had access to all the action of both WBSS season one tournaments might recall, Groves suffered a dislocation of his left shoulder in his title defense in the semi-finals over from International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super-Middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Jr. in February of this year. 

Although the injury came in the twelfth and final round of a fight that Groves had dominated throughout, the injury did result in delaying the scheduled final against Smith and questions regarding the condition of his shoulder resulted in Eubank being listed as an alternate in the event that the champion could not compete in the finals. Given the delays in getting the final fight in this Super-Middleweight tournament as well as the WBSS having Eubank on standby, it was logical to question just how much damage Groves had sustained, despite the shoulder being surgically repaired. 

The questions regarding the injury notwithstanding, Groves did have an advantage in terms of experience against high caliber opposition in the Super-Middleweight division as compared to his opponent Callum Smith, who was challenging for a world championship for the first time in his career. Though much of the attention prior to this fight was focused on the champion, it was also logical to question what effect would the delays in the finals taking place have on Smith. Most fans of the sport of Boxing are after all likely familiar with the idea of wondering whether a fighter competing for a world championship for the first time will freeze under the pressure of the "Big Fight Atmosphere." 

Such pressure is stressful enough on its own, but is likely increased when a challenger is put into a position of having to wait for the champion to heal from injury or possibly face a different opponent as Smith was put in, in this situation. When the fight started, the answers to the questions regarding both fighters became quickly apparent. What took place between these two world-class fighters can best be described as a tactical Boxing match for the majority of the fight. 

The champion showed no ill-effects from the shoulder injury that had kept him out of action for most of 2018, while the challenger was not phased by the atmosphere or the magnitude of the event. Simply put, what George Groves and Callum Smith produced inside the ring is the type of bout that most fans not just of Boxing, but of all combat sports can and should appreciate. A highly competitive encounter between two of the best fighters in their division. In some ways reminiscent of eras in the sport's history where the best fighters fought the best, albeit in this case, in an innovative tournament format. 

For the first six rounds of this fight there simply was not much to separate the two fighters. Typically, if one is scoring a fight or simply viewing the fight while in a crowd or watching it on television and/or via technological advances such as tablets or connected devices nowadays, the challenge usually is to determine which fighter is controlling the tempo of the combat. Where the ebb and flow of a fight is leaning toward. 

This fight was an instance where neither fighter really was able to establish clear control. What happened instead as is sometimes the case in regard to close fights was whenever one fighter would land something, the other would almost immediately return offense by landing something of their own. A scenario that created a difficult conundrum in terms of scoring over the first six rounds of the fight. 

In this instance, such a conundrum resulted in the fight being a draw in my eyes after six rounds. What appeared to be a classic set up of a fight that would end in a closely fought battle after twelve rounds and no matter the outcome would be the subject of many debates between fans and experts alike, shifted drastically in the seventh round. 

Boxing will forever be a sport that is at times overly criticized for every flaw that it has. Although the word most commonly associated with the sport, particularly in regard to fights that are seen as “Major” event or “Marquee attractions, a word yours truly has discussed more times than I can count both in the online and print medium over the last two decades, the word “Controversy” in various forms  tends to rear its head too often, there would be nothing “Controversial” about the outcome of this fight. Instead, Boxing fans were treated to something that some might contend has become rare in regard to “Big” or "Major" fights. A conclusive outcome. 

Late in the seventh round the challenger Smith landed a flush left hook to the head of the champion Groves. The champion was clearly stunned and Smith sensing an opportunity pressed forward throwing a barrage of punches that sent Groves backward and eventually trapped him in his own corner. After the burst of punishment unleashed by Smith, a short right hook to the body sent the champion down on his knees and unable to beat the count. Callum Smith had successfully made the transition from contender to world champion in the most conclusive way possible, by scoring an indisputable knockout. 

The fight itself as well as its conclusion should remind Boxing fans about what is so appealing about the sport affectionately known as “The Sweet Science” and what can at times make the sport beautiful. While some fights go down in history as known for the level of violence that takes place, the encounter between George Groves and Callum Smith will be known as a fight where two fighters showcased the best of their skills in a highly competitive and tactical battle. It was a tactical battle that also demonstrated what catches the attention of most when they think of Boxing. The fact that at any given time a fight can end. It was the kind of fight that will serve as a fitting conclusion to the first installment of the World Boxing Super Series. 

In terms of the tournament’s future with the second installment beginning on October 7th in Japan, the future does indeed look bright. The first installment succeeded in unifying the Cruiserweight division as Oleksandr Usyk emerged from the Cruiserweight tournament with the world championships of the World Boxing Council (WBC), the WBA, the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).  

While only the world championship of the IBO, a crown currently held by Kevin Lerena was absent from the tournament in terms of providing one world champion in the division, the tournament did succeed in determining a central figure for the Cruiserweights. The same can also be said in regard to the Super-Middleweight portion of the tournament. While not fully unifying the division, it like it’s Cruiserweight counterpart provided a central figure for the Super-Middleweights going forward. In terms of the business aspects of the sport, Callum Smith is likely to be in a position to command lucrative opportunities in the division as well as potentially in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division if he were to decide to move up in weight. 

In terms of the WBSS going forward, with new weight classes, the 118lb. Bantamweight division, the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division as well as a second Cruiserweight tournament, I believe the WBSS can and likely will be used as a platform to hopefully provide further clarity throughout Boxing's seventeen weight classes. While obviously tournament concepts like this in Professional Boxing have normally been used as a vehicle to unify weight divisions, I believe as the tournament concept evolves it could be used for other aspects, which could also provide clarity for the sport as well as increase exposure for fighters. 

Two ways that I have thought of that the WBSS could do in subsequent tournaments is perhaps be used as a way in conjunction with the respective sanctioning organizations within the sport to determine mandatory challengers for world titles and/or be used as a way to fill vacant world championships, aspects of the sport that are often open to questions and/or criticism. The second way I believe that tournament can be used as a way to increase exposure for fighters as well as grow audiences watching Boxing could be to shine a spotlight on a part of the sport that is long overdue for respect and recognition. Women’s Boxing. 

Women’s Boxing particularly here in the United States has struggled for many years for long-term television exposure and I believe, despite the success of many top female fighters over the years has delayed the growth of the sport for women. This contrasts with how the sport is treated internationally where it is not uncommon to see a Women’s world championship bout as the main event of cards featuring men’s bouts.  

Longtime readers are likely familiar with this observer’s stance that exposure for Women’s Boxing is long overdue and I believe the World Boxing Super Series could be a perfect platform to increase exposure as well as give fighters that compete in the tournaments more notorietyWith the recent exposure given to the sport by networks like Showtime and HBO, this seems like a perfect opportunity to capitalize on that exposure and in the process draw more attention from an aspect of fans that does not follow Boxing on a full-time basis. 


One aspect that will benefit the WBSS going forward in terms of increasing their exposure in subsequent tournaments is the recent multi-year deal to televise WBSS events on the recently launched DAZN streaming network here in the United States. The agreement already provided a platform for Boxing fans in the United States to see the Super-Middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith.  

Whether or not the suggestions offered by yours truly in this column come to fruition remains to be seen. Concepts such as the World Boxing Super Series however, should be viewed by skeptics, who all too often criticize the sport, as something that has given Boxing a step in the right direction. A direction of progress that if it continues and evolves will continue to benefit the sport in the long-term.  

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.” 

For more information about the World Boxing Super Series please visit: www.worldboxingsuperseries.com. DAZN is available for $9.99 per month and can be streamed on mobile and connected streaming devices. To learn more about DAZN and to start your 30-day free trial please visit: www.DAZN.com 

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

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