Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stevenson-Williams Preview


As Boxing’s Light-Heavyweight division appears to be nearing a potential showdown between undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev and undefeated former Super-Middleweight world champion Andre Ward later this year, much of the focus has naturally been centered on Kovalev and Ward as each must defeat an opponent before a fight between the two can take place. For his part, Sergey Kovalev took care of business with his recent title defense over Isaac Chilemba earlier this month.

As the Boxing world now waits to see if Andre Ward can defeat Alexander Brand on August 6th, with so much of the attention being focused on the potential Kovalev-Ward showdown, what can be overshadowed is what else is taking place in the division. One such event will take place on Friday, July 29th as current WBC Light-Heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning world champion currently in the division will make the seventh defense of his world championship against current WBC number eight rated Light-Heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada in a bout that will headline the latest addition of the Premier Boxing Champions series broadcast by Spike TV in the United States.

Stevenson, who became WBC world champion with a first round knockout of former champion Chad Dawson in June 2013 has been on an on-again, off-again collision course with Sergey Kovalev for over three years since each became world champions in the division months apart from each other. As Stevenson and Kovalev have continued to face and defeat other opposition in the division, anticipation for a showdown between the two, one that this observer has been on record calling it the biggest fight that could be made in the Light-Heavyweight division has naturally increased.

Despite an attempt by Stevenson to get at Kovalev following the undefeated unified world champion’s second knockout victory over former WBC world champion Jean Pascal earlier this year during Kovalev’s post-fight interview where when asked who he wanted to fight next, Kovalev responded by saying quote “I would like to fight Adonis Chickenson”, a fight between the two has not materialized.

Stevenson will instead defend his title against top contender Thomas Williams Jr. Williams, a veteran of twenty-one professional fights will be making his first attempt at a world title. In his last fight, Williams scored a second round knockout over Edwin Rodriguez in April of this year. Williams does have a good mix of hand speed, punching power, and will come into the fight having scored knockouts in fourteen of his twenty career victories registering a career knockout percentage of 67%.

An interesting question that will be asked of Williams however, will be whether he can deal with a fighter who has hand speed, punching power, and likes to execute his offense in short, but sudden bursts as the champion Stevenson. Although Williams will also enter having won three straight fights, it is logical to assume that most will consider him an underdog in this fight. Williams’ lone career loss came in August 2014 when he was stopped in five rounds by former WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Gabriel Campillo in a fight that was stopped due to a cut over Williams’ left eye.

The champion Stevenson  will come into the fight having scored knockouts in twenty-two of his twenty-seven career victories registering a career knockout percentage of nearly 80%. In his last fight in September of last year, Stevenson dropped a “Game”, but over matched Tommy Karpency twice before stopping him in the third round.

Even though Stevenson will likely be the favorite as this fight approaches, one may wonder whether or not a combination of failing to bring a fight against Sergey Kovalev to fruition, as well as being inactive for nearly a year will have some effect on Stevenson. Although Stevenson is regarded as one of the two top fighters in the Light-Heavyweight division, it is important to remember that Stevenson is thirty-eight years old and will turn thirty-nine on September 22nd.

It will be interesting to see how Stevenson approaches this fight against Williams, who although he was able to score an exciting knockout over Edwin Rodriguez, also took some punishment during that fight. Stevenson is the kind of fighter who can take an opponent out quickly or gradually break an opponent down over the course of a fight. What interests me about this fight in addition to wondering how Williams will approach Stevenson as well as how he will respond to Stevenson’s power is which fighter will attempt to dictate the pace.

Both fighters have hand speed, both fighters have shown the ability to get an opponent out of there should the opportunity present itself, and both are solid counter punchers who have also shown the ability to take a punch and it will be interesting to see who will elect to be the aggressor in this fight. As for what will be in store for the winner of this fight, the victor will be slated to meet the winner of the bout between undefeated current WBC number one rated Light-Heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez and veteran contender Robert Berridge, which will take place on the undercard of Stevenson-Williams.

Although it is logical to assume that the winners of these two fights will meet sometime later this year, the Boxing world continues to wait for a potential collision between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. One can only hope not only that the winners of Stevenson-Williams and Alvarez-Berridge meet later this year, but more importantly that the winner of that fight will then be slated to face the winner of the potential Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward bout to further unify the World Light-Heavyweight championship. We will see who emerges victorious between Stevenson-Williams and Alvarez-Berridge on Friday night.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

PBC: Stevenson-Williams takes place on Friday, July 29th at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The fight will be televised in the United States by Spike TV beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Check your cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area. In Canada, the fight can be seen on Canal Indigo pay-per-view for $64.99 HD/$59.99 Standard Definition. For ordering information please visit: http://www.canalindigo.com/fr/evenement/fiche-evenement/267/Boxe-Stevenson-c.-Williams-Jr. For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.premierboxingchampions.com.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Thoughts on Crawford-Postol


The unification clash between undefeated Jr. Welterweight world champions Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol was in many ways refreshing. Not only did the bout pit two undefeated rising stars against one another, but it also brought together two world champions who are regarded as the two best fighters in their division in a quicker way than most of the sport’s would be “Super Fights” have taken to materialize.

The fight itself appeared on paper to be evenly matched. The WBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, who has over the last two years developed into one of Boxing’s hottest rising stars, who had already won world titles in two different weight classes in twenty-eight professional fights prior to entering the ring for this unification battle was looking to add the status of unified world champion to his resume.  The WBC world champion in the Jr. Welterweight division Viktor Postol was making the first defense of his world championship in this unification battle, but like Crawford had shown a high pedigree in terms of Boxing skill and also entered the fight off of a knockout win over Lucas Matthysse last October where he won the WBC Jr. Welterweight world championship.

Going into this fight I wondered whether or not Postol’s height of 5’11 and having a near four inch reach advantage would give him an edge over Crawford who stands 5’8 with a seventy inch reach. In his fight against Lucas Matthysse, Postol showed the ability to not only throw nearly all of his offense in combination, but also showed the ability to control distance in a bout where he dominated Matthysse before knocking him out in a tenth round.

It interested me to see how Crawford, who is a fighter that likes to switch between an orthodox and southpaw stance throughout his fights would approach a fighter who is not known as a power puncher, but does have a technical Boxing style in Postol. When the two fighters met on July 23rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV I expected a tactical chess match between the two.

Although this observer felt that Crawford would have some difficulty getting on the inside of Postol, I felt that if he were able to deal with Postol’s reach and find ways to counter his opponent’s offense more than occasionally there would come a point in the fight where Postol would have to answer the question of whether he could deal with Crawford’s punching power. It is important to remember that even though Viktor Postol clearly dominated Lucas Matthysse, there were moments in that fight where Matthysse was able to stagger and hurt Postol. It was also of interest to me to see how Postol would deal with a fighter who was equal with him in terms of Boxing skill and one who is quicker than Matthysse.

The first three rounds were largely dictated by Postol and his ability to apply pressure on Crawford while at the same time using his jab to control distance. I felt Postol did enough to win the first three rounds based on this in rounds that were very difficult to score because of both fighters not leaving many openings for their opponent. There were moments throughout the entire fight, but especially in the first three rounds where both fighters had periods of effectiveness making their opponent miss and landing counter punches. It was setting up to be one of those fights where scoring could differ significantly among Boxing fans and experts alike.

In round four however, Crawford would begin turning the fight significantly in his favor. Crawford was able to step up his offense in the fourth round by landing flush left hands on Postol, but also was able to land some punches in combination as well in what was the first round of the fight that seemed to be clear as to who won the round. In the fifth round, Crawford continued to step up his aggression as he dropped Postol with a right hook to the top of the head at the beginning of the round. Crawford would drop Postol for the second time in the fight later in the round when a flush counter left hand to the head that staggered Postol and caused his gloves to touch the canvas resulting in a technical knockdown. Although these were more or less flash knockdowns, it was clear after rounds four and five that the momentum was in Crawford’s favor.

At this point in the fight, Postol appeared to have clear problems timing Crawford’s movement as well as when Crawford would come forward and land offense in short spurts. From rounds four through nine, Crawford was able to use his lateral movement to more or less pick his shots and although this fight was not one where there was a lot of offensive activity throughout, Crawford’s ability to counter effectively, make Postol follow him, and make him miss became the story of the fight in my eyes.

Although Postol continued to attempt to apply pressure on Crawford and had some moments as the fight progressed, the primary difference other than Crawford’s movement and hand speed was Postol’s inability to cut the ring off and trap Crawford. Postol was penalized a point in round eleven for hitting Crawford behind the head, perhaps in a move of frustration. Crawford would go on to win a convincing twelve round unanimous decision to unify the WBO and WBC world championships in the Jr. Welterweight division.

Unofficially, I scored this fight 116-110 in points or eight rounds to four  for Crawford. My scorecard was largely based on the success that Postol was able to have in the first three rounds of the fight as well as narrowly winning a round down the stretch due to Crawford not being as active perhaps in an attempt to conserve his energy in the later rounds. Although a margin of 8-4 could give the impression that this fight was close, it was a tactical contest from start to finish where Crawford nearly got the better of the action from round four on.

It will be interesting to see where Viktor Postol goes off of what is the first loss of his career. Even though he clearly lost this fight in the eyes of most observers, including this one, he is still one of the best fighters in the Jr. Welterweight division and one loss will not set him back too far where he cannot bounce back and/or potentially become a world champion again should the opportunity present itself. This should be viewed as a world champion having a bad night and the question that will be asked of Postol coming out of this fight will be what did he learn from this loss and how can he improve going forward.


As for what is next for Terence Crawford it appears obvious that he will be in consideration for a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao, who will be returning to the ring in November. Whether or not the fight would take place in the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division or in the 147lb. Welterweight division, where Pacquiao has fought the majority of his fights in the last several years is unknown.


Although this fight was not one that could be called exciting or one that had an element of doubt as to who won it, it still brought together the two best fighters currently in the Jr. Welterweight division and that in itself should be considered a win for Boxing fans who have more often than not been asked to wait  significant periods of time for a fight that is labeled a “Super Fight” to take place. In terms of what this fight might mean for a business standpoint, it will be interesting to see what the returns will be in terms of pay-per-view buys for this fight as it was the first of Crawford’s fights to main event a pay-per-view Boxing card.

Even though some may question whether or not this fight should have been on pay-per-view, it is clear that the powers that be in the sport are in the process of developing stars for the future as potential pay-per-view attractions as fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, two of the sport’s biggest marquee draws and pay-per-view generators near the end of their respective careers. Although it appears that Pacquiao has had a change of heart after announcing his retirement following his second victory in his third fight against Timothy Bradley earlier this year and will be returning to the ring later this year, Boxing is always looking for the next “Superstar” of the sport.

 Crawford may well be a “Superstar” in what will become the post-Mayweather-Pacquiao era. Whether or not Crawford will be the man standing across the ring from Pacquiao in November is anyone’s guess, but now that he has tested the waters in the pay-per-view medium and left the ring with a convincing decision victory and unified world champion status in the Jr. Welterweight division, he clearly has the momentum to secure a would be “Super Fight.” It remains to be seen if Crawford will get that opportunity.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Crawford-Postol Weigh-In Results


The official weigh-in for Saturday’s World Jr. Welterweight unification bout between undefeated WBO world champion Terence Crawford and undefeated WBC world champion Viktor Postol took place earlier today in Las Vegas, NV.  The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBO/WBC World Jr. Welterweight Unification Bout – 12Rds.

Terence Crawford (WBO champion) 140lbs.  vs. Viktor Postol (WBC champion) 139 1/2lbs.

Vacant WBO Featherweight world championship – 12Rds.

Matias Rueda 125lbs.  vs.  Oscar Valdez 126lbs.

North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Light-Heavyweight championship – 10Rds.

Tommy Karpency 174 1/2lbs. vs.  Oleksandr Gvozdyk 175lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 10Rds.
Ryota Murata 161lbs.  vs.  George Tahdooahnippah 161 1/2lbs.

Welterweight – 12Rds.
IK Yang 143lbs.  vs.  Lenny Zappavigna 143lbs.

Welterweight – 10Rds.
Jose Benavidez 146 1/2lbs.  vs.  Francisco Santana 148lbs.

Welterweight – 6Rds.
Christon Edwards  144 1/2lbs.  vs.  Edward Williams 144 1/2lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 6Rds.
Hakim Bryant 155lbs.  vs. Stanyslav Skorokhod 155lbs.

Light-Heavyweight – 4Rds.
Tim Meeks 171lbs.  vs.  Steve Nelson 173lbs.

Crawford vs. Postol takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, July 23rd) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The card will be televised in the United States and Canada on a pay-per-view basis by HBO Pay-Per-View for $59.95 HD/$49.95 Standard Definition. The pay-per-view broadcast will begin at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Contact your cable/satellite provider for ordering information. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the card will be televised by BoxNation at 2AM (Sunday July 24th Local UK Time). For more information on HBO Pay-Per-View and HBO Boxing please visit: www.hbo.com/boxing. For more information on BoxNation please visit: www.BoxNation.com. Check your listings internationally.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Brief Update

We would like to let our readers know that a preview of Saturday's Jr. Welterweight unification clash between world champions Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol is in the works and will be released on Friday, July 22nd. Stay tuned "And That's The Boxing Truth."

Update: Due to circumstances beyond our control the planned preview for Crawford-Postol will not be released as planned. There will however, be weigh-in information released for the card up on the website shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

After Another KO Win, What’s Next For Wilder?


Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder has continued dismantling nearly all opposition that has been placed before him. After three successful title defenses including one earlier this year over Artur Szpilka, Wilder would make the fourth defense of his world title against former world title challenger Chris Arreola on July 16th at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL. Arreola, who was making his third attempt to win the WBC Heavyweight crown was brought into the picture following current WBC number one contender Alexander Povetkin testing positive for the banned substance Meldonium, which led to the cancellation of what would have been a mandatory title shot against Wilder back in May.

Although some might have thought that the circumstances which led to the fight against Povetkin falling through may have had an effect on Wilder’s performance against Arreola, the champion would produce one of his best performances. For eight rounds, Wilder largely dominated Arreola with his jab and kept him at distance. Wilder scored a knockdown of Arreola in round four with a combination to the head of the challenger and was in command from start to finish.

What impressed me about Wilder’s performance in this fight in particular was how he was able to remain disciplined in his approach and did not go too aggressively for the knockout. Wilder instead controlled distance and used lateral movement to keep Arreola from being able to get on the inside and land anything effective. Seeing their fighter suffering the effects of a gradual one-sided beating that was dished out by the champion, the fight was stopped after the eighth round by Arreola’s corner to prevent the “Game” longtime contender from suffering further punishment.

For Wilder, it was his fourth successful title defense and his thirty-sixth stoppage victory in thirty-seven professional fights. In some ways, this fight was similar to a recent World Heavyweight championship fight between current undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) world champion Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale on June 25th.

Much like Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, a knockout artist dished out significant punishment to Breazeale over six and a half rounds before knocking the previously undefeated challenger down twice to force a stoppage in the seventh round. Although Wilder was not able to get the referee to stop the fight as Joshua was able to do when he fought Breazeale, Wilder’s performance against Arreola was no less dominant as his IBF counterpart.

There are two questions that surround Deontay Wilder coming out of this fight. The first question is what will happen with regard to the World Boxing Council (WBC) and its designation of Alexander Povetkin as its current number one contender. Even though the WBC has yet to make a determination with regard to its number one ranking in the Heavyweight division as of this writing, this observer believes if Povetkin is deemed ineligible due to the failed drug test, which led to the cancellation of his title shot against Wilder that a logical solution would be to hold an elimination tournament of sorts with the second, third, fourth, and fifth rated contenders in the WBC’s Heavyweight ratings to determine a new mandatory challenger for Wilder. Two of those fighters, current WBC number two rated contender and former world champion Bermane Stiverne and number five rated contender Johann Duhaupas have both faced Wilder before and it would be interesting to see if a fight between the two could lead to a potential rematch for one of the two down the line. The number three and four rated contenders Kubrat Pulev and Joseph Parker could each pose an interesting challenge for Wilder if either of them were to emerge out of a tournament like scenario as the new number one contender.

The second question is obviously what is next for Wilder? For his part, the champion stated after his victory over Arreola that he broke his right hand as well as suffered a torn right bicep during the fight. Although it is unclear as to how severe those injuries are as of this writing, it is important to remember that Deontay Wilder has been a fighting champion since winning the WBC world title from Berman Stiverne in January of last year. It is rare to see a world champion in any division defending their title four times in a little more than a year regardless of how quick those title defenses might be in terms of how long those fights last.

Even though Boxing fans are likely looking for unification of the Heavyweight division, I believe Wilder should take time and let his injuries heal fully before planning his fifth title defense. Whomever that defense will be against is anyone’s guess, but in this observer’s eyes, if a new mandatory challenger in the WBC Heavyweight ratings has not been determined, a possible option could be a potential unification clash with IBF champion Anthony Joshua.

For a division that has lacked excitement for some time in the eyes of some, there is not a more “Exciting” scenario than for two fighters, both unbeaten, both of whom are knockout artists, each with a claim to the World Heavyweight championship being pitted against each other. It is something that would be welcomed by Boxing fans.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Update


We would like to let our readers know that new material will be released on Tuesday, July 19th. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Wilder-Arreola Weigh-In Results

The official weigh-in for Saturday’s WBC Heavyweight world championship fight between undefeated champion Deontay Wilder and challenger Chris Arreola took place earlier today in Birmingham, AL. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBC Heavyweight world championship – 12Rds.

Deontay Wilder (Champion) 226lbs. vs. Chris Arreola (Challenger) 246lbs.

Welterweight – 10Rds.

Sammy Vasquez 146lbs.        vs.        Felix Diaz 145lbs.

Welterweight – 10Rds.

Jamal James 146lbs.             vs.        Wale Omotoso 146lbs.

Jr. Featherweight – 10 Rds.

Vic Darchinyan 123lbs.           vs.        Enrique Quevedo 121lbs.

Heavyweight – 10Rds.

Ray Austin 270lbs.                 vs.        Gerald Washington 243lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 10Rds.

Erickson Lubin 155lbs.            vs.        Ivan Montero 153lbs.

Women’s Welterweight – 8Rds.

Layla McCarter 142lbs.          vs.        Melissa Hernandez 138lbs.

Middleweight – 6Rds.

Kenneth McNeil 160lbs.         vs.        Robert Burwell 159lbs.

Heavyweight – 6Rds.

Jamal Woods 233lbs.             vs.        Robert Alfonso 251lbs.

Middleweight – 6Rds.

Tyrone Selders *                     vs.     KeAndrae Leatherwood 160lbs.

(* Weight for Selders unavailable as of this writing. Fight scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

PBC: Wilder vs. Arreola takes place Saturday, July 16th at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL. The fight can be seen in the United States on Fox at 8PM ET/5PM PT. Check your local listings for time and channel in your area. The fight will also be streamed online via Fight Tyme. For more information please visit:www.fighttyme.com. Check your listings internationally. 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