Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Premier Boxing Champions 12/29/2015 Results

Undefeated rising Lightweight prospect Omar Douglas scored a hard-fought ten round majority decision over veteran Frank De Alba on Tuesday night at The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. In what was an extremely competitive contest from start to finish it was a battle of Douglas’ aggression and looking to get on the inside of De Alba versus De Alba’s counter punching ability and attempting to catch Douglas with offense as he came forward while using lateral movement in an attempt to be an elusive target.

Both fighters were able to have periods of effectiveness in several of the rounds in this bout and there was simply not much to separate the two combatants. At the end of ten close rounds two of three official judges scored the bout in favor of Douglas giving him the victory via majority decision. Official scores were 95-95 (Even) 97-93, and 96-94 in favor of Douglas. Unofficially, I scored this bout a draw 95-95.  Douglas was clearly the more aggressive of the two fighters throughout much of this fight and was able to dictate how the fight was fought by being able to stay close to De Alba and keeping him on the defensive. De Alba however, was most effective when he was able to either get his punches off first or catch Douglas with counter punches as he looked to get on the inside. In many ways, it was a bout that was essentially what the definition of a close fight should be. Both fighters being able to execute their offense in spots in almost every round and neither fighter being able to clearly stand out from the other.

Omar Douglas advances to 16-0, with 11 Knockouts. Frank De Alba falls to 17-2-2, with 6 Knockouts.

Also on this card, in a Welterweight bout undefeated prospect/knockout artist Miguel Cruz scored a seventh round stoppage of Virgil Green. Cruz sent Green to the canvas with a combination in the seventh round. Although Green was able to beat the count, Cruz did not let him off the hook as a follow- up barrage convinced Referee Benjy Esteves to step in and stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:36 of round seven.

Miguel Cruz advances to 12-0, with 11 Knockouts. Virgil Green falls to 11-4, with 4 Knockouts.

In a Light-Heavyweight bout Christopher Brooker scored a dominant eight round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Leo Hall. Brooker was very aggressive throughout the fight and was able to win virtually every round based on being the busier of the two and bringing the fight to his opponent. Official scores were 79-73 (On two scorecards), and 80-72 All in favor of Brooker.

Christopher Brooker advances to 7-1, with 5 Knockouts. Leo Hall falls to 8-1, with 7 Knockouts.

In other bouts:

Welterweight Jerome Conquest (4-1, with 1 Knockout) DQ2 over Christian Molina 4-2, with 3 Knockouts). Molina picked Conquest up and dropped him on the canvas in the second round. Conquest was unable to get up and thus unable to continue resulting in Molina being disqualified. Conquest was carried from the ring on a stretcher. There is no update as of this writing as to Conquest’s condition. We will keep you updated if details become available.

Light Heavyweight Earl Newman (8-0, 6 Knockouts) UD4 over Victor Kpadenou (10-9, with 5 Knockouts). Official scores 40-36 (on all three scorecards) all in favor of Newman.

Super-Middleweight Denis Douglin (20-4, with 12 Knockouts) TKO8 over Marcus Upshaw (18-16-4, with 9 Knockouts). Official time 1:53 of round eight.

Welterweight Milton Santiago (13-0, with 2 Knockouts) MD8 over Angel Hernandez (9-6-1, with 5 Knockouts). Official scores 76-76, 77-75, and 78-74 giving Santiago the victory.

Featherweight Chris Colbert (4-0, with 2 Knockouts) UD6 over Derrick Bivins (2-4-2, with 1 Knockout). Official scores 59-55, and 60-54 (on two scorecards) all in favor of Colbert.

Jr. Middleweight Junior Castillo (9-0, 9 Knockouts) TKO5 over Eduardo Flores (23-19-3, with 15 Knockouts). Fight stopped at the conclusion of round five.

Featherweight Stephen Fulton (8-0, with 3 Knockouts) MD4 over Joshua Greer Jr. (3-1-1, with 2 Knockouts). Official scores 38-38, 40-36, and 39-37 giving Fulton the victory.

This card capped off what has been an extremely successful first year of the Premier Boxing Champions series. With several networks across broadcast and cable television taking part in the series and with Fox Sports set to expand its involvement in the series by televising Premier Boxing Champions cards on the national Fox network, bringing the sport back to the network for the first time in nearly twenty years beginning on January 23, 2016, the future certainly looks bright for the Premier Boxing Champions series. This observer very much looks forward to seeing the series continue to grow in 2016.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Premier Boxing Champions 12/29/2015 Weigh-In Results

The official weigh-in for the final Premier Boxing Champions card of 2015 took place on Monday in Bethlehem, PA. The official weights for the card are as follows.

Main Event: Jr. Lightweight – 10Rds.
Omar Douglas 128lbs.     vs.          Frank De Alba 129lbs.

Welterweight – 8Rds.
Miguel Cruz 146lbs.         vs.          Virgil Green 144lbs.

Middleweight – 8Rds.
Kyrone Davis 159lbs.       vs. Andrew Hernandez 160lbs.

Light-Heavyweight – 8Rds.
Leo Hall 177lbs.                 vs.          Christopher Brooker 174lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 8Rds.

Denis Douglin 166lbs.     vs.          Marcus Upshaw 165lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 6Rds.
Eduardo Flores 153lbs.   vs.          Junior Castillo 154lbs.

Light-Heavyweight – 6Rds.
Earl Newman 178lbs.      vs.          Victor Kpadenou 173lbs.

Featherweight – 6Rds.

Chris Colbert 126lbs        vs.          Derrick Bivins 124lbs.

Welterweight – 8Rds.

Milton Santiago 140lbs   vs.          Angel Hernandez*

(*Official weight for Hernandez unavailable as of this writing. Fight to go on as scheduled as of this writing.)

Jr. Welterweight – 6Rds.
Jerome Conquest 140lbs.             vs.          Christian Molina 137lbs.

Jr. Featherweight – 6Rds.
Stephen Fulton 122lbs.                  vs.          Joshua Greer Jr. 122lbs.

Premier Boxing Champions: Douglas vs. De Alba takes place tonight (Tuesday, December 29th) at The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. In the United States the card will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 9PMET/6PMPT. Check your Cable/Satellite provider for channel listings. Check your listings internationally for broadcast information.

For more information about the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit:

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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Potential Options For Rances Barthelemy At 135lbs.

Over the last year undefeated world champion Rances Barthelemy has quickly established himself as one of Boxing’s rising stars. Barthelemy emerged on the scene in January 2014 with a title shot against IBF Jr. Lightweight world champion Argenis Mendez in Minneapolis, MN. A fight that was originally ruled a second round knockout in favor of Barthelemy, was changed to a no contest due to the combination thrown by Barthelemy, which ultimately knocked Mendez out landing after the bell had rung to end the round.

Despite the bout ending in controversial fashion and Mendez retaining his world championship by way of the fight being ruled a no contest, Barthelemy would convincingly put any and all controversy to rest in their rematch in July 2014. Barthelemy would walk out of his second encounter with Mendez having been declared the new champion for the second time. Unlike the first fight between the two however, this time the result would stand as Barthelemy scored a convincing twelve round unanimous decision to win the first world championship of his career.

Following the rematch with Mendez Barthelemy’s star continued to rise as he successfully defended his title in October 2014 with a twelve round unanimous decision over Fernando Saucedo. Barthelemy’s reign as the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) Jr. Lightweight world champion would not last long as he quickly set his sights on the 135lb. Lightweight division.

In his Lightweight debut Barthelemy scored a second round knockout of veteran Angino Perez in March of this year. This would lead to his encounter against former WBC Lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco three months later. As has been the case since his first bout against Argenis Mendez, Barthelemy dominated the action and scored a convincing ten round unanimous decision over the always “Game” DeMarco.

With two successful victories in the Lightweight division under his belt, Barthelemy fought for the vacant IBF Lightweight world championship on December 18th against IBF number one contender Denis Shafikov in Las Vegas, NV. In what was a competitive fight from start to finish, Barthelemy overcame an aggressive Shafikov to earn a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision to claim his second world title in as many weight classes.

It is clear that in nearly two years since emerging on the scene that Rances Barthelemy has established himself as a fighter to watch having now claimed world titles in two different divisions. An interesting question that some might ask as 2016 approaches however, just might be what potential options may be available to Barthelemy in the 135lb. Lightweight division?

Having won all twenty-four of his fights as a professional, having scored knockouts in thirteen of those bouts, and having stopped over half of his opponents inside the distance, Barthelemy should be considered a legitimate threat to any top contender or fellow world champion in the division. Stylistically, Barthelemy has a good mix of hand speed, punching power, and lateral movement which could present an interesting challenge for either of the division’s other four world champions, the WBC world champion Jorge Linares, the WBA world champion Anthony Crolla, the IBO world champion Xolisani Ndongeni, or the WBO world champion Terry Flanagan.

Although the prospect of Barthelemy attempting to unify the Lightweight division is something that should be considered, there is always the possibility that Barthelemy and his handlers may elect to face a top contender for his first title defense rather than seeking unification right away. If that is indeed the case, it is unlikely that Barthelemy would be mandated to face the IBF’s next mandatory contender due to a number one contender not being determined as of this writing.

As has become the norm in the sport particularly whenever a bout for a vacant world championship takes place, the new champion is often entitled to an elective defense against a contender of his choosing while a new mandatory challenger is being determined most likely by way of an elimination bout between a sanctioning organization’s next two highest-rated contenders. If Barthelemy is entitled to an elective defense against a top contender, he certainly has some interesting options to choose from in what has historically been a talent deep Lightweight division.

Potential bouts against the likes of contenders such as the unbeaten Felix Verdejo, Petr Petrov, former Lightweight world champion Miguel Vasquez, and Ivan Redkach just to name a few could all be looked at as potential future opponents for Barthelemy. No matter who Barthelemy will fight next, this observer believes that he remains a fighter to watch as 2016 nears.

Given how quickly Barthelemy has become a world champion in two weight divisions however, this observer also believes that a possibility may also exist that Barthelemy may set his sights on conquering a third weight division which might be the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division. Whether or not Barthelemy will first focus on possibly unifying the Lightweight division remains to be seen, but it is clear that some interesting storylines may lie ahead for the undefeated two-division world champion in 2016.

“And That’s the Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays

We would like to wish all of our readers a very Happy Holiday season. We here at The Boxing Truth® are between rounds and will resume our regular schedule on Monday, December 28th. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Monday, December 21, 2015

What’s Next For Luis Ortiz And Bryant Jennings?

One of the bigger stories in Boxing in recent weeks has been Tyson Fury’s victory over longtime unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko. It was a victory that some might argue is the beginning of a new era for the division. Before Fury got his opportunity to face Klitschko however, another top contender produced an impressive showing against the longtime division king in April of this year. The fighter standing across the ring from Klitschko was Bryant Jennings.

Jennings, who was undefeated at the time he fought Klitschko provided the then unified world champion with what many felt was his most significant test in several years in losing a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Although Jennings came out on the losing end of that fight, he was clearly not disgraced as he clearly established himself as a legitimate contender.

It is natural when a fighter suffers their first loss to wonder how that fighter will respond in their first fight coming off of that loss. Jennings would choose to face a fighter who like himself is a top contender in the division coming off of his loss to Klitschko. The opponent was the undefeated Luis Ortiz. Ortiz, who was an amateur standout with a record of 343-19, has become one of the division’s rising stars since turning pro in 2010.

In nearly six years as a professional Ortiz scored twenty knockouts in twenty-three career victories and also earned a position as one of two fighters who hold interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) ratings prior to his bout with Jennings on December 19th at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. What interested me heading into this fight was to see how not only Jennings would look coming off of his first career loss, but also how Ortiz would do against arguably the toughest opponent in his professional career.

In what was an entertaining battle, both fighters were willing to engage from the outset. Jennings looking to nullify Ortiz’ punching power by getting on the inside and the knockout artist Ortiz looking to land the blow that would bring the fight to its conclusion.

Although both fighters were able to have periods of effectiveness throughout this fight, it was clear from the early going that Ortiz had an edge in terms of punching power as compared to Jennings. This however, did not deter Jennings from not only being willing to engage, but generally bringing the fight to Ortiz by looking to apply consistent pressure and fight on the inside.

When he was able to get on the inside and let his hands go Jennings was able to be very effective particularly by landing combinations to the body and head. In contrast, Ortiz was most successful when he was able to control distance and catch Jennings with punches as Jennings came forward. Even though this was a very competitive fight one question that ran through my mind as it progressed was whether or not the difference would ultimately be the overall effectiveness of Ortiz’ power punches versus the volume of Jennings offense if the fight went the distance.

As the fight progressed the two fighters continued to engage in what could be described as a toe to toe battle with neither fighter wanting to take a backward step. Although Jennings was able to respond when rocked by Ortiz periodically throughout this fight, he was not able to land a blow or series of blows that would discourage Ortiz. Ortiz would catch up with the very “Game” Jennings in round seven knocking the former world title challenger down with a left uppercut and then getting a stoppage of the bout with a follow-up barrage. It was an impressive performance by an undefeated contender in Ortiz who one might argue could potentially fight for a Heavyweight world championship within the next two years should he continue to win.

Although Ortiz is currently one of two fighters who holds interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Heavyweight ratings, it is important to remember the landscape of the WBA’s ratings system in cases where there is a unified world champion in a division where two fighters are designated as having interim/regular champion status underneath a fighter who is a unified champion. This can result in fighters who hold interim/regular champion status having to wait a significant period of time before getting their championship opportunity. In terms of the Heavyweight division, the WBA/WBO/IBO unified world championship will next be defended when Tyson Fury meets former champion Wladimir Klitschko in a contracted mandatory rematch. The IBF meanwhile chose to strip Fury of its portion of the Heavyweight world championship for failing to meet the IBF’s current number one contender Vyacheslav Glazkov.

It was recently announced that Glazkov will face IBF number four rated contender Charles Martin on January 16th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY to determine a new IBF world champion. Although readers over the years are accustomed to hearing this observer discuss the various political elements that surround Boxing including when circumstances arise regarding a world championship becoming vacant, I believe seeing as the rematch between Fury and Klitschko was contractually obligated in the event that Klitschko lost his unified world championship and chose to invoke his rematch clause, all the championships that were on the line in the original bout should be at stake in the rematch. This would include the IBF world championship in the Heavyweight division. The opinion of this observer notwithstanding, it is my hope that the fighters themselves will not be looked down upon by Boxing fans due to the circumstances that have led to them fighting for a world championship.

Perhaps the winner the fight between Glazkov and Martin may be put into a position to face the winner of the Fury-Klitschko rematch in a would be unification bout. An interesting possibility that could exist for the winner of Glazkov-Martin might be either a bout against the winner of the upcoming WBC world championship fight between champion Deontay Wilder and Artur Szpilka, which will take place on the same card or perhaps a bout against Luis Ortiz.

In regard to the WBA, Ortiz and former WBA Heavyweight world champion Ruslan Chagaev each currently hold interim/regular champion status. With the status of the unified Heavyweight world championship, which includes the WBA world championship currently to be decided between Fury and Klitschko sometime in 2016 and with Chagaev currently scheduled to face undefeated contender Lucas Browne on March 5th in Russia, it seems logical that Ortiz and his promoter Golden Boy Promotions may want to pursue a world championship opportunity against one of the other two champions in the division outside of Fury-Klitschko should the opportunity present itself. A bout against either the winner of Glazkov-Martin or Wilder-Szpilka could be appealing to an undefeated fighter and knockout artist currently playing the waiting game as one of two fighters holding interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s ratings.

What will also be interesting in addition to what’s next for Luis Ortiz is what may be in store for Bryant Jennings coming off of his second consecutive loss and the first knockout loss of his career. Although some might say that a fighter losing twice back to back and perhaps more importantly losing one of those fights by stoppage could drop that fighter from world title contention, this observer is not so sure.

After all, Bryant Jennings put up one hell of a fight earlier this year against Wladimir Klitschko and put up an equally determined effort in this fight against Luis Ortiz. Although Jennings has suffered two setbacks in 2015, it is important to remember that the Heavyweight division is one that is wide-open and if Jennings can find a way to bounce back from the losses he has suffered this year, it may not be long before he is back in the discussion for a potential world title shot. For now, Jennings should take some time to regroup. If Jennings can bounce back, the setbacks he has suffered this year may ultimately be viewed as bumps in the road for someone who may one day be considered a great fighter.

“And That’s the Boxing Truth.”

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Saturday, December 19, 2015


We would like to let our readers know that new material will be released on Monday, December 21st Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is It Time For “Big Time” Boxing To Go Over The Top?

When the concept of pay-per-view television is discussed it is hard not to associate it with the sport of Boxing. Since the initiation and growth of cable/satellite pay television in the 1970s and 1980s, many of Boxing’s marquee “Big” or “Super” fights have often been showcased live on pay-per-view.

In many ways, it was a natural progression for the sport. After all, prior to the advent of cable/satellite pay television many of the sport’s big events were either broadcast live via closed-circuit television at various locations or were shown on free over the air (OTA) broadcast television. In some instances fights were shown live only via closed-circuit and then shown on broadcast television on a delayed basis.

As technology continued to evolve however, more options were presented to the consumer by way of the cable/satellite pay-TV medium. Gradually as the concept of pay-per-view began to take shape it was only natural that Boxing would be featured prominently with the sales hook of “You can see this fight in the comfort of your own home by ordering from your television provider!”

Many Boxing fans will remember some of the marquee pay-per-view Boxing events of the 1980s featuring such fighters as Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler often referred to as Boxing’s “Fab 4.” Although many of those fight cards were also shown via closed-circuit television, particularly in areas where cable/satellite pay television was not yet available, it was not long before many of Boxing’s biggest events would become pay-per-view exclusive.

As the years went on the number of pay-per-view Boxing cards naturally increased. Some may remember the initial launch of TVKO, a division of Time Warner Sports, which launched in 1991 as the first “Pay-Per-View Boxing Network.” TVKO was the first to offer a pay-per-view Boxing card on a monthly basis often marketed as “The Fight Of The Month” featuring a variety of fighters and showcasing weight classes in headlining positions that were previously not in main events on pay-per-view cards. What was particularly appealing about the monthly pay-per-view cards done by TVKO was that the prices of those cards were often affordable for consumers many being priced under $30.

As innovative as the original concept of TVKO was however, the monthly pay-per-view cards did not last for a long period of time. TVKO eventually became more incorporated with its sister network HBO and ultimately became known as HBO Pay-Per-View. As the years went on Boxing continued to be a mainstay on pay-per-view. An argument can be made however, that as the years went on the concept of offering Boxing cards on a pay-per-view basis at an affordable price to the consumer began to become less frequent.

In recent years many of Boxing’s “Big” or “Super” fights have been priced between $50-$70 or above. The most expensive pay-per-view Boxing card to date was in May of this year when the long-awaited battle between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao took place after years of anticipation. The fight, which broke all existing pay-per-view records was priced at $100 for the high definition broadcast and $80 for the standard definition broadcast.

In fairness, Mayweather-Pacquiao was the definition of what a “Big” or “Super” fight is supposed to be in the build up to it. The event generated 4.4 million pay-per-view buys in the United States and over $400 million in pay-per-view revenue. Many of the sport’s pay-per-view attractions prior to that fight however, had underperformed regardless of who was in the main event. Whether or not that was due to a perceived lack of quality of the fight cards themselves or the gradual increase in the price for pay-per-view events over the years is a subject to debate. Although the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight shattered all existing records and proved that when there is significant interest in a fight, the public will support it no matter what the cost might be, the actual fight failed to live up to expectations and left many feeling disappointed.

In the months since Mayweather-Pacquiao, there have been a few significant pay-per-view attractions that have taken place in the sport. Mayweather himself returned to the ring in September scoring a twelve round unanimous decision in what he insists was his last fight over former Welterweight world champion Andre Berto in a bout televised on pay-per-view.

As has been the case with several pay-per-view Boxing cards in recent years, the Mayweather-Berto card one might argue underperformed as a pay-per-view attraction generating between 400,000-550,000 total pay-per-view buys. In October, a unification bout took place in Boxing’s Middleweight division between undefeated unified world champion Gennady Golovkin and IBF world champion David Lemieux.

Although this was the second pay-per-view card in the United States to feature Gennady Golovkin as the main attraction, after previously knocking out Nobuhiro Ishida in the main event of a pay-per-view card in March 2013, it was the first time that Golovkin headlined a pay-per-view card broadcast by HBO Pay-Per-View. Golovkin’s dominance of the Middleweight division continued as he stopped a “Game” David Lemieux to add the IBF world championship to his unified WBA/IBO Middleweight crown. The fight generated over 150,000 total pay-per-view buys. Even though some might say that figure is one that could be described as underperformed, it is important to remember that Golovkin is a rising star in the sport and has been for several years and is a fighter in need of a fight against someone most consider to be a legitimate star of the sport. If Golovkin can continue to win it is only a matter of when and not if that opportunity against a star of the sport will come.

Two such stars did battle in November in what should be considered the biggest fight since Mayweather-Pacquiao, when multi-division world champion Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez met for the WBC Middleweight world championship. In a fight that lived up to expectations, Alvarez became a two-division world champion defeating Cotto by twelve round unanimous decision. In contrast to several pay-per-view Boxing cards that underperformed in recent years, Cotto-Alvarez should be considered a success generating 900,000 pay-per-view buys and $58 million in pay-per-view revenue.

As successful as Mayweather-Pacquiao and Cotto-Alvarez were as pay-per-view attractions however, there is no doubt that there has been a steady decline in cable/satellite pay-per-view buys in recent years for the sport of Boxing. Whether or not the overall growth of pay-per-view Boxing as a whole with many fighters and promoters looking to pay-per-view rather than a cable or broadcast network to televise their fights, the perceived lack of quality of the cards in the eyes of fans, or the steady increase in pay-per-view prices could all be contributing factors to the decline of interest in pay-per-view cards are all things to debate.

Another contributing factor however, may not be a general lack of interest among consumers/Boxing fans, but rather the general decline of the cable/satellite industry as a whole. In recent years a new medium has gradually gained momentum among consumers who have subscribed to several entertainment services distributed on an Over The Top (OTT) basis. In short, OTT simply means the delivery of audio, video, and other forms of media content over the Internet without a multi-system operator, like a cable/satellite provider to act as the distributor of content to the consumer.

Many are likely aware of the success of subscription OTT services like Netflix and Hulu which have steadily grown in popularity among consumers due in large part to each service offering a variety of content including movies, TV shows, and original programming all on-demand. Each service is reasonably priced between $8-$10 per month depending on one’s chosen subscription plan.

Some may also be familiar with the success of WWE, a longtime key player in the pay-per-view television industry that chose to launch their WWE Network exclusively on an OTT basis in the United States as well making their network available around the world either on an OTT basis or as a cable/satellite network. What made WWE’s decision to bypass the traditional cable/satellite method of distribution truly groundbreaking was they chose to make all their monthly pay-per-view events available to network subscribers at no additional cost. For the price of $9.99 per month subscribers have access to not only a live twenty-four seven linear streaming channel, but also a vast on-demand library.

Although WWE faced much criticism prior to the launch of their network in February of last year, particularly among cable/satellite providers for choosing to offer the network on a direct to consumer model via OTT distribution, the network has proven to be successful averaging well over one million subscribers with estimates expecting to grow as the network continues to expand internationally. The sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has also entered into the OTT realm as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) launched its UFC Fight Pass service in December 2013.

Much like WWE Network, UFC Fight Pass offers both live content as well as an extensive on-demand library for $9.99 per month. One key difference between the two services however, is the UFC still offers its pay-per-view cards live via cable/satellite providers with Fight Pass subscribers being able to access those cards as part of their subscription on a delayed basis. Whether or not the UFC will eventually follow the lead of WWE and offer their pay-per-view content live as part of their Fight Pass service remains to be seen. It is clear however, that both the WWE and UFC have shown that they can thrive in a realm outside of the cable/satellite medium.

With the success of WWE, the UFC, as well as entertainment services like Netflix and Hulu, should Boxing be the next to go Over The Top? In recent years OTT digital networks like GFL: Go Fight Live Combat Sports, EverSport, and others have established themselves as players in the sport carrying Boxing cards from around the world on a pay-per-view basis to consumers. Although the prices for such cards can vary, they are considerably more affordable and typically offer more fights per card than most pay-per-view cards that have been offered via cable/satellite in recent years.

As successful as networks such as GFL and EverSport have been however, has the time come where one of Boxing’s “Big” or “Super” fights should be offered on an OTT basis? This observer believes that many consumers who have “Cut The Cord” by canceling their cable/satellite pay-TV services in favor of OTT television would welcome the opportunity to see a marquee Boxing event that would otherwise only be available via cable/satellite pay-per-view if offered on an OTT basis.

Although some might doubt whether or not the sport of Boxing may be able to come up with a subscription-based OTT network model that would offer both live programming as well as on-demand content, this observer believes a good model for a potential OTT network for the sport of Boxing can be found in the United Kingdom’s BoxNation. BoxNation launched in July 2011 as a twenty-four seven cable/satellite Boxing network available in the United Kingdom and Ireland showcasing not only live fights from around the world, but also a variety of content including classic bouts and magazine style programming. BoxNation is available for €12 a month (Roughly $13 U.S.).

Even though I believe that the model of BoxNation would be perfect on an OTT basis for the sport, it will boil down to whether or not Boxing promoters around the globe will be willing to support a network exclusively devoted to Boxing, which would offer both live and on-demand content on an OTT basis. With the OTT market continuing to expand with hardware developers such as Roku, Amazon, Apple, and others all releasing OTT hardware to consumers and with the trend gradually moving away from the cable/satellite TV medium, I believe it is time for Boxing to look for a way to transition into the OTT realm.

Although the concept of what is known as pay-per-view may never truly go way, it is clear not only by the continued decline of the cable/satellite industry, the continued decline of traditional cable/satellite pay-per-view television as it relates to not only Boxing, but other genres as well, as well as the growing popularity of the Premier Boxing Champions series, a series showcasing free fights across both broadcast and cable television, that is time for “Big Time” Boxing to look into the future. Even though seeing Boxing’s next “Big” or “Super” fight offered on an OTT basis to consumers may appear to be wishful thinking in the eyes of some, as the trend of “Cord-Cutting” continues to grow one can only imagine the potential audience that Boxing’s next marquee event could be missing out on. It is something that the powers that be in the sport should consider.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Future Of Pay-Per-View Reader Poll Update:

We here at The Boxing Truth ® want to let our readers know that our reader poll regarding several of Boxing’s recent Pay-Per-View events officially closed on Monday, December 14th.  The feature regarding the future of Pay-Per-View as it relates to the sport of Boxing, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, December 16th will now be released on Thursday, December 17th. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Should KO Loss To Maccarinelli Be The End For Roy Jones?

During the course of this year readers have seen this observer state that one of the more interesting storylines in Boxing’s Cruiserweight division in recent times has been the momentum that former multi-time world champion and future Hall of Famer Roy Jones has been able to build as he attempted to work his way back into world championship contention, despite being at a stage in his career where most consider him to be past his prime. Since suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Denis Lebedev in May 2011, Jones was able to rebound and win eight straight bouts including winning the World Boxing Union (WBU) Cruiserweight world championship along the way.

Although Jones’ distinction as a world champion in the eyes of the WBU may not have held high regard in the eyes of some, Jones does deserve credit for not only winning eight straight fights after losing to Lebedev, but more importantly remaining active and not relying on name recognition clout to attempt to gain another opportunity at a world championship. Even though a valid argument perhaps could be made that Jones’ opposition over the course of those eight victories were not against fighters that most would consider top contenders, it should not diminish how active Jones has been, which is somewhat rare for a fighter who is in his mid-40s and has the resume that Jones does.

Jones’ unbeaten streak of nearly four years led to his bout against former WBO Cruiserweight world champion Enzo Maccarinelli on December 12th at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. Much like the forty-six-year old Jones, the forty-five-year old Maccarinelli entered the fight at a point in his career where some consider him to be past his prime. Maccarinelli however, did enter the bout having won his previous two bouts and it was interesting in my eyes to see how Jones would do against a fighter who one might argue was at a similar stage as himself.

Readers may recall when this fight was announced in October that Jones stated that this fight would be his last. Whether or not Jones’ statement was an attempt to hype and garner more interest in this fight is a question only he can answer, but it nevertheless added some intrigue to the bout.

In what was a tactical battle where both fighters had periods of effectiveness, Maccarinelli would bring the fight to a sudden and dramatic conclusion in the fourth round. Maccarinelli dropped Jones with an uppercut to the head and then ended the fight with a brutal barrage of punches that sent Jones down for a second time face first on the canvas causing Referee Ingo Barrabas to immediately stop the fight without a count.

There is no doubt that the knockout Jones suffered at the hands of Maccarinelli was both sudden and brutal. Although there are some who will call this the biggest victory of Enzo Maccarinelli’s career and will likely discuss the potential options for him going forward, the story coming out of this fight in my eyes is whether or not this should be the end of Roy Jones’ legendary career?

Although Jones has had success in recent years and to his credit was able to have somewhat of a resurgence, it is important to remember that this is not the first time Jones has suffered a devastating knockout loss. In addition to his knockout loss at the hands of Denis Lebedev in 2011, Jones had suffered three previous knockout losses prior to that fight at the hands of Antonio Tarver, in their second fight in May 2004, Glen Johnson in his first fight following the knockout loss to Tarver in September of that year, and to Danny Green in December 2009. All those knockout losses were devastating and were the type of knockouts that few fighters can truly come back from. This latest knockout loss to Enzo Maccarinelli, much like the four previous knockout losses Jones had suffered prior to the fight was equally as devastating and one should wonder not only whether or not the damage Maccarinelli inflicted on Jones will have an effect on him, but what the accumulative effect of all five of Jones’ knockout losses will have on him.

It is important to remember that Jones is forty-six years old and has had a career that has stretched to seventy-one professional fights over the course of twenty-six years. Although Jones dominated the landscape of the sport for the majority of his career, an argument can and perhaps should be made that he was never the same fighter he was prior to his first knockout loss in his second of three fights against Antonio Tarver in 2004.

Prior to that fight Jones was not only a dominant fighter, but had dominated multiple weight classes from the Middleweight to Heavyweight divisions with relative ease. If Jones did not stop his opponents within the distance, often he would win fights by winning every round on scorecards with no question. Jones was truly a fighter that was in a class by himself in terms of his dominance and was rightfully regarded for years as the best pound for pound fighter in the sport.

After his victory over John Ruiz to win a Heavyweight world championship in March 2003, Jones made what many including this observer felt was a mistake by going back down in weight to the Light-Heavyweight division later that year to defeat Antonio Tarver to regain the Light-Heavyweight world championship. Although Jones won the first of what eventually became three fights against Tarver, there was no doubt that it was the first time where there was a sense of doubt at the end of the fight as to who won. There was also little doubt that the drop down in weight had a severe effect on Jones.

This along with Tarver’s knockout of Jones in their second encounter began to signal an obvious decline of a great fighter. Each subsequent knockout loss has had Boxing experts and fans alike questioning how much more Roy Jones can take. There is no doubt that regardless of Jones’ five knockout losses and nine total losses in seventy-one professional fights that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer and that status was earned long before his gradual decline began in 2004.

Although he deserves much credit for attempting to continue his career and being able to have a bit of a resurgence at an age where most fighters are either retired or nearing retirement, this observer believes it is time for not only Jones’ handlers and advisers, but more importantly for Jones himself to consider his long-term well-being. Jones does after all have a successful career outside of the ring as both a promoter and a broadcaster regularly serving as an expert commentator for HBO Sports’ Boxing broadcasts. Although for now the decision of whether he will continue to fight will be up to Jones himself, one may also wonder whether or not he may face a licensing issue in various states and countries outside of the United States due to not only the severity of his knockout losses, but also the ongoing information that has been brought to light regarding the long-term effects of concussions not only in regard to the sport of Football, but other sports as well.

It is certainly possible that an athletic commission whether here in the United States or abroad may look to medically suspended Jones out of concern for his well-being, much in a similar way as the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) attempted to do with Evander Holyfield following Holyfield’s decision loss to Larry Donald in November 2004 citing Holyfield’s poor performance in that fight as stated by then New York State Athletic Commission chairman Ron Scott Stevens. As someone who not only covered that fight, but was on record both in various writings as well as when asked about the subject in radio appearances as applauding the decision of the New York State Athletic Commission, I believed the action they took in the case of Evander Holyfield was a proactive approach that should be implemented by all state athletic commissions and regulatory boards that oversee the sport around the world to look out for the safety of fighters.

As much as the New York State Athletic Commission and Ron Scott Stevens himself should be applauded for taking the approach they did eleven years ago in looking out for the well-being of Evander Holyfield, it should not be overlooked that Holyfield eventually returned to the ring in 2006 in Texas, although his suspension was lifted thus allowing him to continue his career, he was still prohibited from fighting in New York. Even though Holyfield would go on to continued success and fight for a Heavyweight world championship twice following his return to the ring and was medically cleared to do so, this observer believes that had there been a national or even international board of control to regulate and oversee the sport, the New York State Athletic Commission’s medical suspension of Holyfield would have ended his career.

Although Holyfield was able to have further success upon returning, his case should be considered rare as most fighters who are on a gradual decline, as Holyfield was prior to his fight with Donald in 2004 rarely recover and enjoy success at the top of the sport. Even though Holyfield did have some success following his return, he was never able to regain his standing atop the Heavyweight division, despite being the victim of what most including this observer feel was an injustice in losing a decision in his fight against then WBA Heavyweight world champion Nikolay Valuev in December 2008.

 In the case of Roy Jones, this observer believes that the severity of the knockout losses he has suffered over the course of the last eleven years should not be ignored by state athletic commissions, international regulatory boards that oversee the sport of Boxing, and most importantly Jones himself. Jones does have a lot going for him and still could be an important voice and influence in the sport outside of the ring as a broadcaster, a promoter, and a trainer. Jones has had a great career as a fighter and his name belongs in any Hall of Fame associated with the sport of Boxing. With his legacy more than secure, with nothing left to prove, and the potential risk of long-term damage due to the knockouts he has suffered over his career, this observer has only one thing to say to a great fighter. Roy, it’s time.

 “And That’s the Boxing Truth.”

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

ShoBox 12/11/2015 Results

In a battle of undefeated Jr. Welterweight prospects Houston, TX-based prospect Regis Prograis scored a dominant eighth round stoppage over previously unbeaten Arizona-based prospect Abel Ramos on Friday night at the Bayou Events Center in Houston, TX. Prograis was in command from the opening bell controlling the tempo of the fight with his jab and using faints and lateral movement to not allow Ramos much room to execute his offense.

As the fight progressed Prograis gradually stepped up his aggression mixing in combinations and keeping Ramos on the defensive.  Prograis opened a cut over the left eye of Ramos in round five, but an accidental clash of heads opened a cut on Ramos’ head in the same round bled significantly.  Although Ramos was very “Game” in this fight he simply had no answer to counteract Prograis’ elusive Boxing style or his hand speed.  Ramos gradually began to take a beating as the fight entered the middle rounds. With the fight being one-sided in Prograis’ favor and with Ramos showing the effects of the punishment dished out by Prograis, the fight was stopped at the end of round eight.

Regis Prograis advances to 16-0, with 13 Knockouts. Abel Ramos falls to 14-1-2, with 9 Knockouts.

Also on this card, also in the Jr. Welterweight division rising prospect Ivan Baranchyk scored a first round knockout over Shadi Shawareb. A right hand followed by a left hook to the head sent Shawareb down to the canvas. The fight was immediately stopped by Referee Sam Garza. Official time of the stoppage was 2:28 of round one.

Ivan Baranchyk advances to 9-0, with 8 Knockouts. Shadi Shawareb falls to 9-1-2, with 5 Knockouts.

In the Lightweight division Dardan Zenunaj scored a seventh round stoppage over previously unbeaten prospect Bryant Cruz.  The early rounds of this fight were largely controlled by Cruz and his ability to get his punches off first.  Zenunaj however, would turn the momentum in his favor in round four when he dropped Cruz with a left hook to the jaw.  Zenunaj took over the fight from that point landing the harder punches of the two and would drop Cruz for the second time with a right hand in the closing seconds of round seven. Although Cruz was able to beat the count and survive the round, the fight was stopped at the end of round seven by Cruz’ trainer Ronnie Shields. 

Dardan Zenunaj advances to 11-1, with 9 Knockouts. Bryant Cruz falls to 16-1, with 8 Knockouts.

In a Middleweight bout undefeated prospect Steve Rolls scored a fourth round stoppage over previously unbeaten Steed Woodall.  Rolls was dropped by a left hand in round three, but it appeared to be more of a slip rather than a knockdown. Despite a knockdown going against him, Rolls would bring the fight to a conclusion in round four when a right hand from Rolls set off a brutal barrage of unanswered punches forcing Referee Laurence Cole to step in and stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 2:46 of round four.

Steve Rolls advances to 13-0, with 7 Knockouts. Steed Woodall falls to 8-1-1, with 5 Knockouts.

Overall this card was fitting for Showtime Sports’ popular ShoBox series and provided a look at some prospects that could well be on the verge of contention as 2016 approaches.  It also featured an upset of sorts with relative unknown Dardan Zenunaj scoring what should be considered his biggest victory to date over Bryant Cruz in what was an impressive performance.  As 2016 nears it will be interesting to see if Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, Dardan Zenunaj, and Steve Rolls can make the transition from prospect to contender or beyond.  In the eyes of this observer all four fighters have made strong arguments for themselves as fighters to watch in 2016 and if each can continue to progress this card may well have given Boxing fans a look at fighters who just may go on to be key players in the sport in the future.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

ShoBox 12/11/2015 Weigh-In Results

The official weigh-in for the latest installment of Showtime Sports’ popular ShoBox series took place earlier today in Houston, TX.  The official weights for the televised portion of the card are as follows.

Main Event: Jr. Welterweight – 10 Rds.
Regis Prograis 140lbs.            vs.       Abel Ramos 139lbs.

Lightweight – 8Rds.
Bryant Cruz 132lbs.                vs.       Dardan Zenunaj 131lbs.

Middleweight – 8Rds.
Steve Woodall 159lbs.            vs.       Steve Rolls 159lbs.

Jr. Welterweight – 8Rds.
Ivan Baranchyk 139lbs.          vs.       Shadi Shawareb 141lbs.

Other bouts scheduled to take place on this card: *Weights for these bouts unavailable as of this writing.

Jr. Middleweight – 10Rds.
Valentyn Holovko       vs.       DeMarcus Corley

Super-Middleweight – 6Rds.
Yunier Fleitas              vs.       Patrick Simes

Featherweight – 4Rds.
Darryl Hayes               vs.       Jose Ortiz

Middleweight – 4Rds.
Aziz Izbakiyev             vs. Joshua Crayton (Will be making his pro debut)

*Cruiserweight Roberto Silva Jr. and Featherweight Pablo Cruz are also scheduled to appear on this card in separate six round bouts. Opponents for both fighters however, have not been named as of this writing.

ShoBox: Prograis vs. Ramos takes place on Friday, December 11th at the Bayou Events Center in Houston, TX. The card will be televised in the United States by Showtime Sports at 10PM ET/PT. Check your listings internationally.

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