Saturday, January 28, 2017

Frampton-Santa Cruz Rematch Official Weights

The official weigh-in for Saturday’s highly anticipated rematch for the WBA Featherweight world championship between current WBA world champion Carl Frampton and former two-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz took place on Friday in Las Vegas, NV. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBA Featherweight world championship – 12Rds.

Carl Frampton (Champion) 125lbs. vs. Leo Santa Cruz 125lbs.

WBC Lightweight world championship – 12Rds.

Dejan Zlaticanin (Champion) 134 1/2lbs. vs. Mikey Garcia 134 1/2lbs.

Jr. Welterweight – 10Rds.

Josh Taylor * 142lbs. vs. Alfonso Olvera 140lbs.

(* Taylor came in two pounds over the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight limit. Fight will take place as scheduled as of this writing.)

Super-Middleweight – 8Rds.

David Benavidez 166lbs. vs. Sherali Mamajonov 167lbs.

Bantamweight – 4Rds.

Antonio Santa Cruz 117lbs. vs. Victor Torres 116lbs.

Featherweight – 4Rds.

Luis Perez 126lbs. vs. Javier Cepeda 125lbs.

Featherweight – 6Rds.

Leduan Barthelemy 126lbs. vs. Jesus Aguinaga 126lbs.

Lightweight – 8Rds.

Demond Brock 137 1/2lbs. vs. Ivan Redkach 137lbs.

(* The scheduled IBF Featherweight world championship fight between champion Lee Selby and Jonathan Barrios, which was scheduled to take place on this card was cancelled on Friday due to Barrios being denied a Boxing License by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). There is no word as of this writing as to why Barrios was denied a license or if the bout will be rescheduled at a later date.)

Frampton vs. Santa Cruz II takes place Tonight (Saturday, January 28th) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime on cable/satellite providers as well as the Showtime and Showtime Anytime apps beginning at 10PM ET/7PM PT. A portion of undercard bouts will be carried on Showtime’s sister network ShoExtreme beginning at 8PM ET/5PM PT. For more information on Showtime, Showtime Sports, the Showtime and Showtime Anywhere apps, and where and availability of ShoExtreme in your area please visit: In the United Kingdom and Ireland the card can be seen on Sky Sports 1 beginning at 1AM (Sunday January 29th Local UK Time.) For more information please visit:

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Observations On Recent Events In Boxing January 2017

The year 2017 has gotten off to a solid start for the sport of Boxing and has already provided some interesting questions and possibilities that could play out in the coming months. Unified WBA/IBO Jr. Middleweight world champion Erislandy Lara started his year by successfully defending his unified WBA/IBO Jr. Middleweight world championship with a devastating third round knockout of former WBA Jr. Middleweight world champion Yuri Foreman on January 13th at Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Hialeah, FL. Although I thought that this would be a tactical chess match between two highly skilled world-class boxers, in actuality all it took was one punch as Lara ended the night for Foreman with a flush left uppercut that sent Foreman down for the count.

For a fighter in Erislandy Lara who is not particularly known for his punching power and at times does not get the credit he truly deserves for his overall skill as a fighter, this was as solid a performance as one could ask for. Some may wonder what may be next for Lara, some other events that have taken place during the month might play a role in determining what route Lara might take in the future. Before discussing the potential options which may be available to Lara however, there were other noteworthy events that took place in the ring over the last couple of weeks.

The most noteworthy of those events one might argue took place on January 14th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY where WBC Super-Middleweight world champion Badou Jack squared off with IBF Super-Middleweight world champion James DeGale in an attempt to further unify the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division. In what was a highly competitive give and take battle, both fighters were able to score knockdowns of each other. Jack was the first to suffer a knockdown by being floored by DeGale in the first round and then returned the favor by sending DeGale to the canvas in the twelfth and final round.

It was a very close fight where there is a difference of opinion as to who had the upper hand. In this observer’s eyes DeGale had a slight edge during the first half of the fight, but Jack was able to win the second half with overall aggression as well as seeming to land the more effective punches of the two as I ended up scoring the fight 114-112 in his favor. DeGale however, was also able to have his share of moments during the second half of the bout and the fight was very much on the table in the latter stages. It was no surprise to see the three judges split in their opinion of the fight and for the result to ultimately be declared a majority draw resulting in the fight becoming a “Non-Unification” as both retained their respective world championships.

The month of January has also seen the return of former multi-division world champion Zab Judah after a three year layoff. Judah scored a second round knockout of journeyman contender Jorge Munguia on January 21st at the Sun National Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ. What always interests me when a fighter attempts a comeback is to see how active that fighter will be out of the gate. For the thirty-nine year old Judah it is crucial in my eyes that he remain active going forward if he intends on attempting to put himself in contention for an opportunity at a world championship. It will also be interesting to see if Judah, who faced a fighter in Munguia with a 13-7 record with only four of those thirteen wins coming by knockout, will face a fighter that some may consider a more stern test in his second fight on the comeback trail.

Although some might be critical of a former world champion for facing a fighter of the caliber of Munguia, fights like that are used to evaluate things like a fighter’s physical condition as well as where that fighter might be in terms of their skills. It is important that the Boxing fan keep in mind that even if a fight might appear to look as though it is a mismatch on paper between a former world champion as Judah and a fighter such as Munguia, fights like this do serve a purpose in not only the early stages of a fighter’s comeback, but also as a way to build confidence. We will have to wait and see what Judah does going forward to see how he progresses in his comeback.

As for the future for Erislandy Lara, Badou Jack, and James DeGale each one might argue is in a similar scenario. Lara for his part called out Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin shortly after his knockout of Yuri Foreman. Both Alvarez, who Lara lost a razor thin decision to in 2014, and Gennady Golovkin have fights scheduled in the coming months.  Golovkin, the undefeated unified WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC Middleweight world champion will attempt to make the eighteenth defense of his world championship when he faces current WBA number one contender Daniel Jacobs on March 18th at Madison Square Garden in a bout that will be televised by HBO Pay-Per-View in the United States. Alvarez will meet former Middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6th in Las Vegas at a catch weight of 164lbs. in the main event of a card also televised by HBO Pay-Per-View.

This would seem to put the potential of Lara facing either Alvarez or Golovkin on the back burner at least until sometime later this year. Badou Jack meanwhile vacated his WBC Super-Middleweight world championship to move up in weight to the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division. Jack’s move would indicate that if a rematch between he and DeGale were to take place it would have to be at Light-Heavyweight.

This puts fighters like Lara and DeGale in a similar situation of being in a weight class that is either known as a “Jr.” or “Super” and as is the case most of the time the top fighters in those weight classes often seek more lucrative opportunities in a higher weight division. If Lara is not interested in attempting to fully unify the world Jr. Middleweight championship, he could certainly seek a fight in the Middleweight division while waiting on a potential fight with either Golovkin or Alvarez. Perhaps potential opponents like undefeated top contender Rob Brant, who recently scored a first round knockout over an overmatched Alexis Hiloros on January 20th in Hinckley, MN or undefeated rising prospect Immanuwel Aleem, who scored a thrilling knockout over previously unbeaten prospect Ievgen Khytrov on the undercard of the attempted unification bout between Badou Jack and James DeGale could offer Lara an opportunity to work his way up the Middleweight ratings to possibly force an encounter with Gennady Golovkin or potentially a rematch with Alvarez should Alvarez, who currently holds the WBO Jr. Middleweight world championship elect to remain in the Middleweight division.

Although James DeGale still holds the IBF Super-Middleweight world championship and very well could continue in his attempt to unify the division, this observer believes given the competitive nature of his bout with Badou Jack that a rematch in the Light-Heavyweight division is probably the most lucrative option available at least for now. As for what is upcoming, the month of January will close out with the highly anticipated rematch for the WBA Featherweight world championship between undefeated two-division world champion Carl Frampton and former two-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

Many remember the first encounter between the two in July of last year. Much like the recent encounter between Badou Jack and James DeGale, the fight between Frampton and Santa Cruz pitted two highly skilled world-class boxer/punchers against each other. As was the case in the fight between Jack and DeGale, the first encounter between Frampton and Santa Cruz was a highly competitive bout where there was a difference of opinion as to who got the upper hand in what was one of the best fights of 2016 and some feel was the fight of the year. Although at times rematches do not live up to the intensity and competitiveness of the original meeting between two fighters, I would be lying if I said that I was not looking forward to this fight and I do believe that the sequel between Frampton and Santa Cruz has a very strong chance to be as good or maybe even better than the first encounter. We will see if Frampton and Santa Cruz can close out what has been a strong first month of 2017 with a bang.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Brief Update

We would like to let readers know that new material will be released on Thursday, January 26th. 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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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jack-DeGale Weigh-In Results

The official weigh-in for Saturday’s World Super-Middleweight unification clash between WBC world champion Badou Jack and IBF world champion James DeGale took place on Friday in Brooklyn, NY. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBC/IBF World Super-Middleweight Championship Unification Bout – 12Rds.

Badou Jack (WBC champion) 167 1/4lbs. vs. James DeGale (IBF champion) 166 1/2lbs.

IBF Jr. Lightweight world championship – 12Rds.

Jose Pedraza (champion) 129lbs.  vs. Gervonta Davis 129lbs.

WBO Women’s Jr. Featherweight world championship – 10Rds.

Amanda Serrano (Champion) 120 3/4lbs.  vs.  Yazmin Rivas 121 1/2lbs.

Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight championship – 10Rds.

Ievgen Khytrov 159 1/2lbs.  vs.  Immanuwel Aleem 158 1/2lbs.

Heavyweight – 8Rds.

Adam Kownacki 257 3/4lbs.  vs.  Joshua Tufte 267 3/4lbs.

Welterweight – 8Rds.

Thomas Dulorme 145 3/4lbs. vs. Brian Jones 144 1/2lbs.

Welterweight – 4Rds.

Kenny Robles* 144lbs.  vs.  Latorie Woodberry 141 1/2lbs.

(* Pro debut for Robles)

Welterweight – 6Rds.

Julian Sosa 141 1/2lbs. vs. Gabriel Solario 143 1/4lbs.

Welterweight – 6Rds.

Maxito Sainvil 145 3/4lbs. vs. Noel Murphy 146 1/2lbs.

Jack vs. DeGale takes place Tonight (Saturday, January 14th) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The fight card can be seen in the United States on Showtime with the main card headlined by Jack vs. DeGale airing on the main Showtime network at 9:30PM ET/6:30PM PT Check your cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area. The main card will also be available live on the Showtime and Showtime Anytime  streaming apps. Showtime Sports will also air a portion of preliminary bouts headlined by Serrano vs. Rivas beginning at 7PM ET/4PM PT on Showtime’s Showtime Extreme network. For more information on Showtime Sports, Showtime Boxing, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, and for availability of Showtime Extreme in your area please visit: In the United Kingdom and Ireland the card can be seen on Sky Sports 1 beginning at 2AM (Sunday, January 15th Local UK Time) with a replay airing later in the morning on Sky Sports 3 at 10:30 AM. For more information please visit:

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Lara-Foreman Weigh-In Results

The official weigh-in for Friday night’s first Premier Boxing Champions card of 2017 headlined by unified WBA/IBO Jr. Middleweight world champion Erislandy Lara and former WBA Jr. Middleweight world champion Yuri Foreman took place on Thursday in Hialeah, FL. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.
Main Event: WBA/IBO Jr. Middleweight world championship – 12Rds.

Erislandy Lara (Champion) 154lbs.  vs.  Yuri Foreman 153lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 10Rds.

Anthony Dirrell 169lbs.  vs. Norbert Nemesapati 168lbs.

Bantamweight – 8Rds.

Juan Carlos Payano 118lbs.  vs.  Isao Carranza 118lbs.

Lightweight – 6Rds.

Edgardo Rivera 134lbs.  vs.  Dennis Galarza 135lbs.

Cruiserweight – 4Rds.

Robert Daniels 180lbs.  vs.  Antonio Alicea 179lbs.

Welterweight – 8Rds.

Alex Martin 146lbs.  vs.  Miguel Cruz 146lbs.

Middleweight – 6Rds. *

Joey Hernandez vs. Edwin Palacios

(* Weights for the Hernandez-Palacios bout are unavailable. Fight still scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

PBC: Lara vs. Foreman takes place Tonight (Friday, January 13th) at Hialeah Racing & Casino. In the United States, the card is being broadcast by Spike TV beginning at 9PM ET/PT. Check your cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area. Check your listings internationally. For more information on Spike TV and Spike Sports please visit: For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions Series please visit:

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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Heavyweights In 2017

One of the main storylines in the Heavyweight division in 2016 was the highly anticipated rematch between undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA/IBO Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury and former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko. Due to a plethora of circumstances however, the rematch between the two did not take place and ultimately Fury relinquished his unified world championship.

Although the situation involving Fury, Klitschko, and the circumstances which led to the rematch not occurring dominated much of the landscape of the division in the last year, there were other events that took place and fighters who were able to establish themselves as players in the absence of both Fury and Klitschko. The most established of those fighters was undefeated WBC Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder, who will be entering his second year as a world champion in 2017, successfully defended his title twice in 2016 scoring knockouts of top contender Artur Szpilka and former world title challenger Chris Arreola.

Wilder has successfully defended his portion of the World Heavyweight championship four times since winning the title from Bermane Stiverne in January 2015 and now finds himself as the longest reigning champion in the division currently. An interesting question that will be asked of Wilder as he prepares for his fifth title defense on February 25th against current WBC number twelve rated contender Andrzej Wawrzyk will be how he can come back from injuries after suffering a broken right hand and torn right biceps in his last title defense against Chris Arreola.

If the champion can show no ill effects from the injuries he suffered in that fight and can successfully defend his title for the fifth time, it would not surprise this observer to see him in a unification bout for what would be his sixth defense of the WBC world championship. As for whom that opponent would be assuming Wilder is successful against Wawrzyk in February, there could be a few possible options, each presenting an interesting challenge.

The most likely opponent in my eyes would be undefeated IBF Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua. Joshua, who won the IBF world championship in April of last year with a second round knockout of Charles Martin, went on to successfully defend his championship twice scoring dominant knockout wins over Dominic Breazeale in June and in his last fight in December against former world title challenger Eric Molina.

Much like Wilder, Joshua has thus far been the definition of a “Knockout Artist” winning all eighteen of his professional fights by knockout. Before a potential fight between Wilder and Joshua can be made, it was announced shortly after Joshua’s victory over Eric Molina that he will make the third defense of his IBF world championship against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th at the legendary Wembley Stadium in London, England. In addition to Joshua’s IBF crown, it was also announced that the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight world championship will also be at stake.

 Although there is much more to discuss with regard to the Heavyweight division, a logical scenario that would play perfectly into one of the subjects on this observer’s “Boxing Wishlist For 2017” would be for the winner of Joshua-Klitschko to face the winner of Wilder- Wawrzyk to further unify the World Heavyweight championship. As there always seems to be in the sport of Boxing however, there are other scenarios that could be a factor in whether such a concept of further unification takes place as described.

In regard to the World Boxing Council (WBC), the status of its number one contender position is very much in the air. One thing that Deontay Wilder has been unfairly criticized for during his title reign by some in my eyes is the fact that he has not faced a mandatory challenger as of yet. Some may remember that Wilder was prepared to defend his world championship against WBC number one rated contender and former world title challenger Alexander Povetkin last May in Russia, but the fight was cancelled days before it could take place due to Povetkin testing positive for the banned substance Meldonium.

Povetkin was scheduled to fight former world champion Bermane Stiverne on December 17th in Russia in what was to be an official elimination bout where Povetkin’s number one ranking and interim championship status in the WBC’s Heavyweight ratings was to be at stake. As was the case with the cancelled encounter with Wilder, the bout between Povetkin and Stiverne was also cancelled, this time on the day the fight was to take place when it was revealed by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman that Povetkin had tested positive for another banned substance Ostarine resulting in the WBC withdrawing its sanctioning of the fight and Stiverne pulling out. Povetkin subsequently fought and scored a six round knockout over last-minute substitute and former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas later that day.

Although Povetkin failed twice in 2016 in regard to voluntary anti-doping tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program, the status of his number one ranking remains unknown as of this writing, but it was recently announced that the “B” sample of Povetkin’s test prior to what would have been his fight against Bermane Stiverne will be opened at Povetkin’s request. What will be interesting in this observer’s eyes assuming that the second sample comes back negative for any banned substances is whether the WBC will mandate that the fight between Povetkin and Stiverne still take place or if the second sample confirms the original results if Stiverne will be named the number one contender and thus take over the designation as having interim championship status in the WBC’s Heavyweight ratings. What could make that interesting is it could open the possibility of a rematch between Stiverne and Wilder assuming Wilder is first successful in his title defense against Andrzej Wawrzyk and assuming that a fight with the Joshua-Klitschko winner is not made in the immediate future. We will have to wait and see what the result of Povetkin’s “B” sample will be and what the World Boxing Council will ultimately rule on this matter.

In regard to how the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO), and the International Boxing Organization (IBO) will also fit in to the landscape in 2017, there are a few possibilities. Although the vacancy in regard to the WBA’s version of the World Heavyweight championship will be filled when Anthony Joshua meets Wladimir Klitschko in April, some may remember a tournament concept that was started by the WBA in January of last year with the goal of determining one champion and eliminating at least with regard to the Heavyweight division, interim/regular championship designations in it’s rankings.

For a variety of reasons including some of the circumstances which led to the cancellation of the Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko rematch, two fighters remain that will determine a mandatory challenger for the Joshua-Klitschko winner in regard to the WBA. It was recently announced that the WBA has ordered negotiations between former WBO Heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs and longtime contender and former world title challenger Fres Oquendo, with the winner of that potential fight possibly facing current WBA number three rated contender Alexander Ustinov before facing whomever the reigning WBA champion might be.

In regard to the International Boxing Organization (IBO), their version of the World Heavyweight championship will also be on the line in the Joshua-Klitschko bout. As for the World Boxing Organization (WBO), it was recently announced that undefeated WBO number two rated Heavyweight contender Hughie Fury, cousin of Tyson Fury has entered negotiations for a potential challenge of newly crowned undefeated WBO world champion Joseph Parker.

What is also interesting with regard to the current WBO Heavyweight ratings is current WBO number one rated contender and former two-division world champion Daviid Haye will face current WBC Cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew on March 4th in a twelve round Heavyweight bout in London, England. Although Bellew will be fighting for the first time as a Heavyweight as a professional, one should assume that Haye’s number one ranking would be at stake.

There are also possibilities of rising prospects and former world title challengers, who are not currently involved in the discussion in terms of the top of the Heavyweight division, who will be looking to enter the picture. A potential fight that I think would draw interest if it could be made would involve undefeated WBA number eight rated contender and knockout artist Jarrell Miller and recent world title challenger Andy Ruiz, who suffered a narrow loss to Joseph Parker in a fight for the vacant WBO Heavyweight world championship on December 10th, could catapult the winner into a potential world championship opportunity. It will be interesting to see if Miller, Ruiz or other top contenders like Luis Ortiz or Kubat Pulev will be able to get closer to a world championship opportunity in the year ahead.

What all of the above represents may give the impression, particularly among casual Boxing fans of a complicated picture with so many possibilities and various political aspects that surround the sport, which also may have play a role in the potential fights that could happen and/or rulings that could be made. If nothing else, the landscape of the division should provide some intrigue in the year ahead. If the fights that have already been made can produce fireworks, any potential bouts that might follow are likely to reap the benefit from those encounters. Exciting fights often generates interest and if one clear Undisputed Heavyweight world champion does indeed emerge from this puzzle of champions and contenders, the better for the sport.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, January 5, 2017


We would like to let our readers know that new material will be released on Monday, January 9th. 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:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

“A Boxing Wishlist For 2017”

A regular feature that readers have become accustomed to here at The Boxing Truth® at the beginning of a new year has been what essentially amounts to what some might call a “Wishlist” of what this observer feels could be beneficial for the sport in the year ahead.  The year 2016 featured some compelling battles featuring some of the sport's top stars.

Of course, opinion among Boxing fans and experts alike can sometimes differ with regard to not only which out of the hundreds of fights that take place in the sport during a calendar year should be considered for Fight of the Year honors, but also whether some of those encounters could see a continuation as a new year begins.  Two questions that I ask myself after an encounter that some might call a Fight of the Year are not only whether or not there could be a rematch, but also how a fight could impact the sport. Some might say that a fight that may have been competitive and exciting, but ultimately is more discussed for what might have been a controversial outcome or decision would have a negative impact. One such fight where that argument could be made was the November 19th clash between undefeated unified Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev and undefeated former Super-Middleweight world champion Andre Ward in a battle where Kovalev’s unified world championship was at stake.

In what was a close and competitive fight, Andre Ward was able to overcome a knockdown early in the fight to win the unified Light-Heavyweight world championship by a narrow unanimous decision winning the bout by one point on all three official scorecards. Although this observer is on record in saying in a post-fight column released on November 23rd of last year that I do not feel that the outcome of this fight was controversial, it was still an exciting battle between two of Boxing’s top stars that lived up to the hype that preceded it. If one were to ask me what potential rematch of a fight that has taken place over the last year that I would want to see most, the answer to that question is Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev part 2. Whether Boxing fans get to see a continuation between Ward and Kovalev remains to be seen, but as I have often said over the years particularly in regard to close fight and/or what some feel is a “Controversial” decision/outcome that the solution to such a “Controversy” is always a “Rematch.”

Outside of potential fights that could be made in 2017, there are issues that remain present in the sport. Readers may recall this observer discussing periodically over the years subjects such as an ongoing dialogue established in 2014 involving the leaders of three of Boxing’s respective world sanctioning organizations, the World Boxing Council (WBC), the World Boxing Association (WBA), and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to discuss issues that surround Boxing, which could have long-term benefits for the sport overall. Although there was not much said publicly about the dialogue between three of the five world sanctioning organizations in the sport within the last year, I remain firm in my stance that such dialogue should be viewed as a positive if it can ultimately lead to things that will be viewed as beneficial and could lead to progress especially if the leaders of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the International Boxing Organization (IBO) are also involved in the process as I said I hoped would be the case at the beginning of 2016.

One such subject that I have said in the past that could be a benefit to the sport through an ongoing dialogue between the leaders of Boxing’s respective world sanctioning organizations would be to establish one undisputed world champion per weight class throughout the sport’s seventeen weight divisions. Even though as I have said in the past that some might view such a concept as wishful thinking, I do not feel it should be dismissed.

There are four fighters in the sport currently who hold unified world championship status, undefeated Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin, Lightweight world champion Jorge Linares, Jr. Welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, and the recently crowned Light-Heavyweight world champion Andre Ward. Although there is much more progress to be made towards determining one “Undisputed” world champion and not partially unified world champions per weight class, I feel it can be done if the respective sanctioning organizations, respective promoters, and the fighters themselves are committed to it. Even though some progress has stalled in regard to some weight classes in recent times, it will be interesting to see how much progress can be made in 2017.

There are two subjects in particular that I would like to see addressed in 2017 that are on this year’s “Boxing Wishlist” as has been the case in years past that will probably be no surprise to regular readers. The first, which could be a benefit of the dialogue between Boxing’s respective sanctioning organizations would be the concept of “Interim/Regular/Emeritus” championship designations in an organization’s ratings in a given weight class needing to be rethought and simplified. In short, a fighter who holds interim/regular championship status or fighters who hold a rare status of “Emeritus” are in actuality number one contenders to a fighter who holds a world championship.

Although as I have said in the past the concept of “Interim/Regular” designations appearing to be well-intentioned particularly in the event of a unified or undisputed world champion either being injured or refusing to defend their championship against an organization’s top contender and ensures a fighter who holds such designation an opportunity to either be named world champion or at minimum an opportunity to fight for a world championship, it is something that remains an issue for the sport. In thinking of a possible solution to this, I believe that if a world champion is either unable to defend their world championship due to an injury that will have that champion out of action for a significant period of time or if a champion refuses to defend their title against a number one contender within a certain time frame, a more simplified approach could be simply having the top two contenders square off for a vacated world championship, rather than having a number one contender essentially defending their “Interim/Regular” status against other opposition while the world champion remains active facing other contenders leaving the fighter who is the number one contender having to wait a significant period of time, which could stretch over a couple of years assuming that the top contender remains active and doesn’t lose their status before finally getting an opportunity to face the world champion.

Despite the fact that world champions have to defend their titles against an organization’s top contender on an annual basis, it does not appear that number one contenders who hold “Interim/Regular” status get their opportunity to fight for a world championship in a more timely manner. Of course, this can be even more complicated in the event that a world champion holds a unified or undisputed world championship where there are several organizations that each have a top contender. Even though I believe that it would be beneficial to the sport overall if a world champion were able to fight between two to four times per year, it is not always the case for several different reasons including injuries, negotiations for potential fights, promotional agreements, television agreements, and other issues. It is my hope that  some progress can be made in this area in 2017 to at minimum ensure that number one contenders can get their opportunity to fight for world championships in a more timely manner if not doing away with the “Interim/Regular” designations altogether.

The final subject which tops my “Boxing Wishlist For 2017” is for the concept of “Pay-Per-View” to be rethought. Some readers might remember a column this observer wrote here on the website in December 2015 titled “Is It Time For “Big Time” Boxing To Go Over The Top?” where I discussed the evolution of Boxing as a “Pay-Per-View” attraction, the general decline of the cable/satellite industry as a whole, the decline of pay-per-view buys as it relates to the sport of Boxing, and the advent and growing popularity of Over The Top (OTT) digital distribution as a viable option for consumers over traditional pay-TV cable/satellite service.

Although several combat sports themed OTT networks such as GFL: Go Fight Live Combat Sports, FITE TV, Eversport, and FloSports, to name a few continue to grow, this observer feels it necessary to once again express my view that it is time for the powers that be in the sport of Boxing to look for a way to test the waters of OTT distribution in regard to a “Big” or “Super”fight that would normally only be seen on cable/satellite pay-per-view. I believe strongly as cable/satellite pay-per-view numbers for the sport continue to be in general decline that it is not a lack of interest among Boxing fans/consumers that is responsible for such decline, but rather the increase in what is known as “Cord-Cutting” as more consumers are choosing OTT television options over traditional cable/satellite pay-TV service. It is also my opinion that the prices for such pay-per-view cards, which have been generally priced well over $60 per card in recent years as well as the success and popularity of the Premier Boxing Champions series across both over the air broadcast television as well as cable are also responsible for such decline.

As the OTT realm continues to grow, it is something that the powers that be in the sport of Boxing should really consider as an option. As I have said before it will boil down to whether Boxing promoters around the globe will be willing to embrace OTT technology whether it be by producing a subscription-based model that would offer both live and on-demand content such as FloSports currently offers with their individual OTT networks including one devoted to Boxing, or perhaps a service where pay-per-view Boxing events can be offered on either a one-time pay-per-view basis  or as part of a subscription where events are offered on a delayed basis, while offering select live events included with a subscription similar to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) UFC Fight Pass service. It is clear in my eyes that something should be done in order for Boxing to not miss out on what could be a sizable audience of fans who have “Cut The Cord.” It is something that I do not believe is going to decrease and the sooner the powers that be in Boxing come to that realization, the better for the sport.

For now, the topics I have discussed in this column remain simply “Wishes”, but it is my hope that at least some of the things on this observer’s “Boxing Wishlist For 2017” come to fruition. It will nevertheless be interesting and hopefully fun to watch and see what happens in the year ahead. I am very much looking forward to it.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

We here at The Boxing Truth® would like to wish our readers a very Happy 2017. We look forward to continuing to provide readers with in-depth analysis, objective commentary, and discussing all things related to the sport of Boxing. We will officially kickoff 2017 on Tuesday, January 3rd. 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: