Friday, February 26, 2016

Crawford-Lundy Preview

In October of last year undefeated two-division world champion Terence Crawford scored a dominant tenth round stoppage over top Jr. Welterweight contender Dierry Jean in defense of his WBO Jr. Welterweight world championship. Crawford, who has held world titles in both the Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions has been a star on the rise in the sport of Boxing.

After impressive wins over the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ray Beltran, Thomas Dulorme, and his most recent victory over Dierry Jean it appeared that Crawford could well have been on a short list of potential opponents to face former multi-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao however, opted to face Timothy Bradley in what will be their third encounter on April 9th in Las Vegas, NV.

Although Crawford will not be the fighter standing across the ring from Pacquiao on that evening, there is no doubt that his stock in the sport has steadily been on the rise and an argument can be made that if he continues to win, he could be potentially a pay-per-view draw in the future as well as a potential opponent for the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley III. While Pacquiao and Bradley focus on their upcoming battle, Crawford himself will return to the ring on Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY against longtime Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight contender Hank Lundy in what will be Crawford’s second defense of the WBO Jr. Welterweight world championship.

Crawford, who will enter the fight with a record of 27-0, with 19 Knockouts will likely come into this fight as a significant favorite. Lundy, a fighter who is held both the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and North American Boxing Organization (NABO) Lightweight championships throughout his career does bring experience into this fight with a record of 26-5-1, with 13 Knockouts.

An argument can be made however, that although Lundy has been a contender in both the Lightweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions for several years, that he has failed to successfully step up when tested most notably in his fights against John Molina Jr. and Ray Beltran, two bouts where Lundy suffered a stoppage loss to Molina and a ten round majority decision loss to Beltran. Despite the impression of near journeyman status that his record might suggest, Lundy is a come forward fighter who looks to engage and has been competitive in all five of his losses. It is also important to remember that Lundy has only been stopped once in his career and it is logical to assume that he will be in there for however long this fight lasts.

Lundy, who is coming off a victory over Carlos Velazquez in October of last year where he won the WBC Continental-Americas Lightweight championship is 2-2 in his last four fights and is a fighter that looks to apply consistent pressure on his opponent and one that switches between an orthodox and southpaw stance. It will be interesting to see how Lundy will attempt to combat a fighter like Crawford who has a good mix of hand speed, punching power, and lateral movement.

For the champion Crawford, a fighter who also switches between an orthodox and southpaw stance, it will be interesting to see if he fights out of the southpaw stance as he effectively did in his last fight against Dierry Jean. Lundy is the kind of fighter who will be looking to engage Crawford from the outset and if Lundy can apply pressure on Crawford and back him up this could be a significant test for the champion. It is logical to assume that Crawford will look to catch Lundy as he comes forward and use his lateral movement to avoid the challenger’s pressure.

Although the statistics would seem to favor Crawford in this fight as he is undefeated, a rising star, and has thus far won two world championships in as many weight classes in his career, it is important to remember that Boxing is a sport of opportunities. Even though some might say that this could be the thirty-two year old Lundy’s last chance to compete at the top level of the sport in what will be his first world championship fight, he is not a fighter to overlook and has pulled off upsets in the past most notably against top Jr. Welterweight contender Olusegun Ajose in July 2013.

Lundy now finds himself in the role of spoiler once again. With a successful title defense, Terence Crawford will likely position himself for a lucrative fight later this year, possibly against the winner of the third Pacquiao-Bradley encounter. A win for Lundy however, would revitalize his career.

A scenario of an underdog looking to dethrone a heavily favored opponent is one that is hardly new in the sport of Boxing and throughout all of sports. It is a scenario however, that can produce spirited battles. Whether or not Crawford-Lundy will be such a battle remains to be seen.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Crawford vs. Lundy takes place, Saturday, February 27th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. In the United States, the fight is being televised by HBO Sports and can be seen at 10 PM ET/PT. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the fight can be seen on BoxNation at 2 AM (Sunday, February 28th Local UK Time.) Check your listings internationally.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Brief Update:

We would like to let our readers know that a preview of the upcoming WBO Jr. Welterweight world championship fight between champion Terence Crawford and Hank Lundy is currently in the works and will be released on Friday (February 26, 2016). Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Thoughts on Golovkin-Wade

Following a dominant performance in his fifteenth successful title defense in which he added the IBF World Middleweight championship to his unified crown against former world champion David Lemieux in October of last year, undefeated unified WBA/IBO/IBF Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin clearly established himself as the number one fighter in the Middleweight division. After fifteen successful championship defenses and twenty-one consecutive knockouts, anticipation has only increased for Golovkin to get an opportunity to face a marquee star of the sport.

It is hard to argue that one of the most anticipated potential fights of 2016 is not a potential clash between the “Knockout Artist” Golovkin and newly crowned WBC world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a fighter who is a legitimate star of the sport of Boxing. Alvarez however, will make the first defense of his Middleweight world championship against former unified Jr. Welterweight world champion Amir Khan on May 7th in Las Vegas, NV.

Rather than sit on the sidelines for a potential bout against the winner of that fight, Golovkin will also return to the ring as it was announced last week that he will make the sixteenth defense of his world championship against undefeated IBF number three rated contender Dominic Wade on April 23rd at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. Golovkin, who will enter the fight with a record of 34-0, with 31 Knockouts faces what could be an interesting battle against Wade, who will enter the ring unbeaten in eighteen professional fights having scored knockouts in twelve of those bouts.

Although some might be tempted to state that Wade could be inexperienced, despite being undefeated in eighteen fights, he is coming off of a victory over former IBF Middleweight world champion Sam Soliman in June of last year. It is likely however, that Wade will find himself in a similar position as most previous Golovkin opponents as a considerable underdog due in large part to Golovkin’s reputation as a “Knockout Artist” as well as his ongoing knockout streak.

It will be interesting to see however, whether or not talk of a potential fight between Golovkin and Saul Alvarez possibly impacts how the champion approaches this fight. Even though Wade is unbeaten and coming off of the biggest victory of his career against Sam Soliman, it is important to remember that Golovkin has been on what this observer has called a path of destruction through the Middleweight division while waiting to secure a lucrative fight against a fighter recognized as a star in the sport.

With a potential fight with the winner of Alvarez-Khan possibly on the horizon for Golovkin and having scored twenty-one consecutive knockouts in mostly dominant fashion, it will be interesting to see whether or not the champion will approach this fight looking for a knockout right out of the gate, or if he will continue to implement the tactical seek and destroy style that has made him one of the hottest rising stars in the sport. The question that will be asked of Dominic Wade is the same as virtually every previous Golovkin opponent. Can he provide the champion with a significant test and it will be interesting to see what Wade brings to this fight.

The announcement of Golovkin-Wade does add some intrigue to the upper echelon of the Middleweight division in the coming months as it certainly sets up a scenario where the winner of this fight could face the winner of Alvarez-Khan later this year. Although this observer looks forward to providing further analysis on both fights as they get closer to taking place, if such a scenario were to indeed lead to further unification of the Middleweight division both fights should be viewed as a positive for the sport, despite the likelihood of both champions being heavily favored over their respective challengers. If what essentially would amount to a four fighter box off is indeed what is in the works, the ultimate benefactor will be Boxing fans.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Reader Poll: Who Is The Number One Fighter In The Heavyweight Division?

A consistent theme here at The Boxing Truth® in recent years has been the ongoing changing landscape of the Heavyweight division. With Wladimir Klitschko’s recently losing his unified Heavyweight world championship to Tyson Fury, renewed interest has been generated in the division. Now with Fury, WBC world champion Deontay Wilder, and newly crowned IBF world champion Charles Martin atop the Heavyweight division we here at The Boxing Truth ® would like to hear from our readers as to who they feel is the number one Heavyweight in the division. 

In our Comments section below please cast your vote for:

Tyson Fury

Deontay Wilder

Charles Martin

Wladimir Klitschko


Not Listed (Please specify in our comments section below.)

This reader poll will be open beginning today (Monday, February 8, 2016) and will close on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Following the poll’s closing a feature discussing results as well as thoughts concerning the upcoming WBA Heavyweight tournament will be released on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Stay Tuned “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Friday, February 5, 2016


We would like to let our readers know that we are between rounds and will resume our schedule on Monday, February 8th.  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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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Alvarez Set To Defend Title Against Khan On May 7th

On November 21st of last year Saul “Canelo” Alvarez earned his second world title in as many weight classes when he scored a twelve round unanimous decision over former multi-division world champion Miguel Cotto to win the WBC Middleweight world championship. Alvarez, who had been one of Boxing’s hottest rising stars for several years in many ways reached the pinnacle of star status by defeating Cotto, one of the sport’s biggest stars for most of the last decade.

The win over Cotto also set up an interesting storyline that could possibly culminate in 2016 as Alvarez might be on a collision course with undefeated unified WBA/IBO/IBF Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin for a bout that would further unify the Middleweight division. Before a fight with Golovkin can be made however, Alvarez will make the first defense of his WBC world championship on May 7th against former unified Jr. Welterweight world champion Amir Khan at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. A bout that will headline a fight card televised in the United States by HBO Pay-Per-View. Although Alvarez’ 160lb. Middleweight world championship will be at stake, the bout will be fought at a catch weight of 155lbs., one pound above the Jr. Middleweight limit of 154lbs.

The selection of Khan as the opponent could be considered an odd choice in the eyes of some. Khan, who will enter the fight with a record of 31-3, with 19 Knockouts has never fought at a weight limit higher than the 147lb. Welterweight division and will be technically challenging for a world championship of a weight class twenty pounds above the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight limit where he last held a world championship.

Khan however, will enter this fight having won his last five bouts including his last fight, a twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO Welterweight world champion Chris Algieri in May of last year. Khan has seen his career hit somewhat of a limbo period after failing to secure a lucrative opportunity against either Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the last year. Khan’s desire to face a marquee star of the sport now leads him to a bout against Alvarez.

Although Alvarez, who will enter the fight with a record of 46-1-1, with 32 Knockouts will likely be viewed as the favorite against Khan, the challenger has a style that utilizes a mix of hand speed, punching power, and lateral movement. The question heading into this fight will likely be whether or not Khan’s speed and power will the same at the higher weight limit. It sets up a scenario where one might argue it is high risk/high reward for Khan, a fighter who has been passed over as a potential opponent by marquee stars of the sport, and a high risk/low reward scenario for the champion Alvarez who may very well have a lucrative fight ahead of him in the form of Gennady Golovkin.

Should Khan pull off what most would consider an upset it would finally give him the kind of recognition and boost in terms of his standing in the sport that he has sought for years against a marquee opponent. The danger however, for the champion will be should he lose this fight against a fighter he will likely be favored to defeat, a potential lucrative payday against Gennady Golovkin, one of the hottest rising stars in the sport and one might argue the number one fighter in the Middleweight division could be out the window. A loss for Khan in this fight could possibly put his career at the top level the sport in jeopardy after suffering some setbacks throughout his career.

It is an intriguing match-up between two fighters with much to lose and much to gain. A fight that should generate the interest of Boxing fans.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Kovalev Dominates Pascal In Rematch, Why Stevenson-Kovalev Needs To Happen

It is rare when a fight that ends by a knockout or a convincing stoppage leads to demand and interest in a rematch. In the case of the battle between undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev and former WBC Light-Heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal there was interest and demand for a second encounter between the two.

Despite being stopped in the eighth round in their first fight in March 2015, Pascal gave an excellent account himself by providing the undefeated unified world champion and knockout artist the first significant test of his career. Pascal not only was able to survive being nearly knocked out in the third round of that fight, but was also able to test the champion’s chin before being stopped in the eighth round. Although Kovalev had added Pascal to his list of knockout of victims, Pascal’s impressive showing in defeat was enough to generate interest in a second encounter.

The rematch between the two took place on January 30th at the same venue that hosted the first encounter, the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. It is normal prior to a rematch to hear both Boxing fans and experts alike discussing what each fighter could do or should do to improve on their performance in the first fight. In regard to this rematch however, much of the focus was on whether or not Pascal could not only improve on his performance in his first fight with Kovalev, but also whether the rematch would be even more competitive.

In previewing the second encounter between Kovalev and Pascal, this observer stated that as was the case the first time around Pascal needed to establish himself as an elusive target and look to land counter punches as he was able to do effectively in the first fight. It was crucial in my eyes that whenever Pascal threw his punches that he do so in combination, which was something that he was inconsistent doing against Kovalev the first time around.

Although much of the focus centered on what Pascal would be able to do in this rematch, it also interested me to see whether Kovalev would be able to avoid Pascal’s counter right hand, an offensive weapon that Pascal had significant success in landing on the champion in the first fight. Unlike the first encounter however, where the challenger was able to have periodic success and test the champion, the rematch would not be as competitive and could best be described as a champion systematically breaking down his opponent.

As was the case in the first fight, Kovalev applied consistent pressure and established an offensive rhythm from the outset as he out threw and out landed Pascal. The champion dropped Pascal with a jab in the first round, but did not get credit for the knockdown as it was ruled a slip by Referee Michael Griffin.

Although Pascal threw his jab more frequently than was the case in the first fight, he was inconsistent in being able to land punches on Kovalev beyond an occasional left hook or right hand as he frequently lunged forward when he threw his punches and missed with much of his offense. In contrast to the challenger, Kovalev not only applied pressure, but was able to cut the ring off effectively and thus limit Pascal’s ability to use his lateral movement and avoid the champion’s offense. As was the case in the first encounter, whenever Pascal was able to land a punch, Kovalev was able to respond almost immediately with offense of his own.

Kovalev gradually stepped up his offense as the fight progressed and implemented a tactical and systematic approach in his attack. As Kovalev stepped his offensive output, Pascal would largely be on the defensive and would throw fewer and fewer punches as the fight went on. It was not long before the question surrounding this fight became not whether Pascal could be more competitive than he was in the first fight, not whether there would be a different outcome, but rather how long the fight would last as the bout became increasingly one-sided in Kovalev’s favor.

This fight was the first for Pascal under new trainer Freddie Roach. Roach, a former fighter who has gone on to achieve legendary status as one of the best and most respected trainers in the sport has also shown in the past compassion for his fighters. In this fight, Roach would remind the Boxing world why he is regarded as one of the sport’s best.

After seeing the punishment his fighter was taking, Roach told Pascal after round six that he was stopping the fight saying to the “Game” former world champion that he was taking too many punches. Pascal pleaded with his trainer to give him one more round. Initially, Roach said no, but ultimately agreed to give Pascal one more chance. Roach however, told Referee Michael Griffin to please keep an eye on his fighter and if he took any more punishment to stop the fight.

Although Pascal would not take as much punishment in the sixth round as compared to previous rounds, he was not able to discourage Kovalev from coming forward and throwing punches. Following the completion of the sixth round, Roach clearly looking out for the long-term well-being of his fighter stopped the fight. A show of compassion that should be applauded by all Boxing fans, experts, and others who are involved in the sport.

The victory for Kovalev signaled his seventh successful defense of his world championship. Even though the story of this fight in my eyes was Freddie Roach’s concern and ultimate action to not allow his fighter to get seriously hurt, a scene took place after the fight that warrants attention.

During his post-fight interview, Kovalev stated that he wants to unify the rest of the Light-Heavyweight division and called out WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson saying “I would like to fight Adonis Chickenson.” Stevenson, who was in attendance responded by getting the ring and proclaiming that he was the champion before both fighters were separated by others in the ring.

Readers who have been following the ongoing landscape of the Light-Heavyweight division in recent years have seen this observer state numerous times that it is time to make Stevenson-Kovalev a reality. Although Kovalev clearly provoked Stevenson with his remarks following his second victory over Pascal, there is no excuse for the near scuffle that took place as Stevenson attempted to get at Kovalev. Even though some would say it was simply a hype tactic perhaps on both sides to generate interest in a showdown between the two, it was not necessary and was simply “Classless.”

The fact is Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson are the two best Light-Heavyweights in the world and each has enjoyed success in their respective reigns as Light-Heavyweight world champion. Given the scene that took place following the Kovalev-Pascal rematch, this observer believes it is time for Boxing’s respective sanctioning organizations the World Boxing Council, (WBC) the World Boxing Association, (WBA) the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) to take action to make this fight a reality.

Both fighters have had multiple title defenses in the respective reigns and have defended their titles against mandatory contenders, both fighters have significant followings and interest in a fight between the two has only increased in recent years. Although a clear benefit of the ongoing dialogue between the sport’s respective governing organizations can ultimately prove to be beneficial in regard to not only regulation, but also determining one undisputed world champion per weight class, such dialogue would also be beneficial if the governing organizations worked together to ensure that bouts between the sport’s marquee stars and bouts that would ultimately benefit Boxing overall take place.

Although the politics of the sport involving different television networks and rival promoters will always be a factor in one form or another, it is time that those who regulate the sport step in to ensure that what will ultimately benefit Boxing takes place and in the process put an end to any possible grandstanding that might be taking place that would prevent things and events in the sport from happening that would be considered progress.

Whether or not Boxing’s respective governing bodies can or will intervene in this instance to make a bout between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev a reality remains to be seen. It would be interesting however, to see one or more of these organizations attempt to mandate a fight between the two with a possible consequence being stripping one or both fighters of their respective world championships if a fight cannot be made. Although it would seem like a drastic measure for the sport’s respective sanctioning organizations to take and perhaps wishful thinking, if nothing else it might apply the kind of pressure needed for the various television networks and rival promoters to make this fight a reality.

Even though anticipation naturally grows when a potential encounter between two stars of the sport takes a significant period of time to come to fruition, if Boxing fans are asked to wait too long before finally getting the chance to see a fight that they have been clamoring for, it may ultimately lead to disappointment and a subject that could be considered a “Black Eye” for the sport. We have seen the sport suffer far too many “Black Eyes” and have seen some of Boxing’s biggest events leave the Boxing fan filled with disappointment and anger.

It is time for one of the biggest fights that could be made to become a reality. To Boxing’s respective sanctioning organizations, the television networks, and the rival promoters that are involved this observer simply has one thing to say “Make It Happen!”

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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