Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Reader Poll: Upcoming World Heavyweight Championship Fights


A regular feature here at The Boxing Truth® is to poll our readers with regard to issues, events, and upcoming bouts in the sport of Boxing. The month of March 2018 will be highlighted by two world championship fights for versions of the World Heavyweight championship that we will be covering as they draw near and take place. Our latest Reader Poll asks readers this question. Which of these two bouts are you most looking forward to?

Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz (Taking Place March 3rd)

Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker (Taking Place March 31st)

I want to see both fights

And,

I’m not interested in either fight.

Results of this poll will be released shortly before the Wilder-Ortiz bout for Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight world championship on March 3rd, on Thursday, March 1st. Cast your vote in our Reader Poll section located below our archives and feel free to express your point of view in our comments section below. 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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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Update


We would like to let our readers know that we are between rounds and new material will be released on Tuesday, February 20th. The previously announced material discussing the recent Cruiserweight bout between future Hall of Famer Roy Jones and veteran Scott Sigmon will be included in the February edition of the monthly feature Observations On Recent Events In Boxing, which will be released on Wednesday, February 28th. We apologize for the delay. Stay tuned. “And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Jones-Sigmon Preview


In February of last year future Hall of Famer Roy Jones scored an eighth round stoppage of former world title challenger and undefeated bare-knuckle fighter Bobby Gunn in Wilmington, DE. The victory for Jones, his sixty-fifth in seventy-four professional fights was more or less an academic outcome as Gunn was unable to provide much resistance as the then forty-eight year old Jones was able to score a lopsided win.

As some readers might recall in this observer’s coverage of that fight, I stated that although Jones looked good against Gunn and had scored victories in eight of his previous twelve bouts that one might wonder what options could be available to Jones coming off of his victory over Gunn, while also continuing to express my long documented concern for Jones’ long-term well-being after also suffering some severe knockout losses throughout his career.

Nearly one year to the day of his last fight, Jones now prepares to enter the ring for what he says will be the final time as he will square off against veteran Scott Sigmon in a scheduled ten round Cruiserweight bout on Thursday night at the Pensacola Civic Center in Jones’ hometown of Pensacola, FL. The fight, which will headline a combined card featuring both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bouts will be televised worldwide on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) UFC Fight Pass digital network.

Sigmon, a native of Bedford, VA is a veteran of forty-two professional fights and will come into the encounter with Jones off of ten round unanimous decision over Javier Frazier in August of last year. Although the thirty-year old Sigmon (30-11-1, with 16 Knockouts)  is nineteen years younger than the forty-nine year old Jones, he has had difficulty when he has stepped up in the caliber of his opposition having suffered defeats to the likes of former world champion Kelly Pavlik, Jessie Nicklow, and current IBF Super-Middleweight world champion Caleb Truax in his career.

The story of this fight in my eyes centers on Roy Jones. Of course, the main storyline in some minds will be about how Jones (65-9, with 46 Knockouts) has said this will be his last fight, but for this observer, the storyline will also be about what the forty-nine year old has left. When this fight was announced thoughts began to come to my mind of possible similarities between Jones’ chosen exit from the sport as a fighter if this will in fact be the last time he steps into the ring and another future Hall of Famer, who was in many ways one of Jones’ rivals throughout his career.

Some might recall Bernard Hopkins, who at fifty-two years old chose to face a rising Light-Heavyweight contender in the form of Joe Smith Jr. in December of 2016. Despite holding his own for most of the bout, the younger Smith eventually caught up with Hopkins, who became the only fighter in Hopkins’ career to score a knockout win over the former multi-division world champion. A difference between Hopkins and Jones is that Jones has suffered five knockout losses throughout his career that have each been severe.

 Even though Scott Sigmon is a fighter who with sixteen knockouts in his thirty career wins is not known for his punching power, one should not dismiss the possibility of Jones potentially being caught particularly if one considers the way Jones was knocked out by fighters like Antonio Tarver, Denis Lebedev, Danny Green, and Enzo Maccarinelli where those fights came to sudden conclusions where those fighters, all of whom former world champions where able to end those fights with one punch.

It is important to remember that Roy Jones will go down as one of the all-time greats in the history of the sport, but it is equally important to keep in mind that he is forty-nine years old. Although most are likely expecting Jones to score a victory in this fight, this is the type of scenario where a veteran that some may consider a journeyman could give his career a boost by scoring a victory over a fighter of Jones’ stature.

While most historians of the sport such as yours truly are tempted to discuss the highlights of a legend’s career as a great fighter prepares for what he says will be his last fight, this observer having heard countless fighters say they are calling it a career throughout the many years I have covered the sport will instead take the wait and see approach before sharing my thoughts on Roy Jones’ legacy and what he has meant to Boxing. Regardless of what happens when Jones meets Sigmon that legacy is secure.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


Jones vs. Sigmon takes place Tonight (Thursday, February 8th) at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, FL. The card, which will feature both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights can be seen worldwide on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT and will be available to UFC Fight Pass subscribers. For more information about UFC Fight Pass and to subscribe please vist: www.UFCFightPass.com.

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

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

WORLD RATED TEAM MOLONEY HEAD TO TASMANIA



Andrew and Jason Moloney Photo Credit: Bruno Ferreira- Black Snow Images
Press Release: February 6, 2018 By Mario Yebich  - World rated twin sensations Andrew “The Monster” Moloney and Jason “The Smooth One” Moloney return to ring February 24, the two will Co-Main Event the Hosking Promotions “Punches in the Park 7” Blockbuster event in Melbourne Victoria at the famed St Kilda City Stadium.

Team Moloney have moved training camp to Tasmania for 10 days as their biggest challenges to date draw near. The Australian Dynamic Duo have been sparring WBO World #9 and WBO Oriental Featherweight Champion Luke Jackson (15-0), prospects Jai Alexander (6-0) and Josh English (1-0).

Unbeaten Super Flyweight sensation WBA # 6 & IBF #10 Andrew “The Monster” Moloney (15-0, 10 Kos) takes on IBF #5, WBC #11 Rene “The Commander” Dacquel 20 (6) – 6 -1 for his OPBF Championship and defends his coveted WBA Oceania Title.

Training camp is going great! We have been getting some great sparring with Luke Jackson, Jai Alexander and Josh English. We all have fights coming up around the same time and are pushing each other in sparring. I’m really happy with how I am boxing at the moment and I feel I have made some huge improvements since my last fight. I’m really looking forward to making a statement in this fight against Rene Dacquel. – Andrew Moloney

Unbeaten Bantamweight Beast WBA # 9, WBO #5 & IBF #12 Jason “The Smooth” One (15-0, 10 Kos) takes on former World title contender Emmanuel “The Prince” Naidjala 23 (13) – 4 -1 for the vacant Commonwealth title & the coveted WBA Oceania Title.

“Training for this fight is going fantastic. I feel as though I’m boxing better than ever before. We are currently down in Hobart for 10 days of sparring with Luke Jackson along with a few others. The sparring has been world class and I’m very happy with how I have been performing. On February 24 I’m confident you will see the best performance of my career.” – states Jason Moloney

Material Courtesy of: Mario Yebich/Photo Courtesy of: Black Snow Images – Bruno Ferreira Used with permission.

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



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Ramirez Stops Ahmed In Six, Successfully Retains WBO World Super-Middleweight Championship



Undefeated WBO Super-Middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez successfully defended his world championship for the third time by scoring an impressive sixth round stoppage over previously undefeated WBO number four rated WBO Super-Middleweight contender Habib Ahmed on Saturday night at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. Ramirez, who came into the bout off of a twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten top contender Jesse Hart in September of last year, systematically imposed his will on a very “Game”, but ultimately over matched Ahmed.

Ramirez consistently forced Ahmed backward and implemented an attack to the challenger’s body and head. Despite being put under pressure from the outset, Ahmed was willing to engage with Ramirez in what was an entertaining bout to watch. Ramirez’ consistent pressure, attack, and naturally bigger size, however, was the story of the fight.

Although he suffered a cut over his left eye in the third round as a result of an accidental clash of heads, Ramirez was not visibly bothered by the cut and by the late stages of round six Ahmed’s corner signaled to Referee Laurence Cole that they had seen enough prompting Cole to stop the fight.

Official time of the stoppage was 2:31 of round six. Gilberto Ramirez advances to 37-0, with 25 Knockouts. Habib Ahmed falls to 22-1, with 17 Knockouts.

It will be interesting to see who Ramirez fights next. One possible option would be for the champion to face current WBO number one rated contender Jesse Hart in a rematch. It is also possible that Ramirez, who expressed his wanting to unify the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division following his victory over Ahmed, will wait for the conclusion of the ongoing World Boxing Super Series Super-Middleweight tournament, which features a unification bout between WBA Super-Middleweight world champion George Groves and IBO Super-Middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Jr., which will take place on February 17th in Manchester, England.

Now unbeaten in thirty-seven professional fights, Gilberto Ramirez has continued to make the best argument he can as he seeks now seeks to further unify the Super-Middleweight division and establish himself as the division’s number one fighter. Whether or not Ramirez will be the opponent of choice for the winner of the Super-Middleweight portion of the World Boxing Super Series tournament is a question that will be answered in time. In this observer’s view after three successful title defenses and scoring an impressive stoppage in this fight against Habib Ahmed, Ramirez’ first knockout win in nearly four years, unless the World Boxing Organization (WBO) mandates Ramirez to fight either Jesse Hart, who scored a first round knockout over Thomas Awimbono in a Light-Heavyweight bout on the undercard of Ramirez-Ahmed, or another top contender Gilberto Ramirez has earned the opportunity to attempt to unify his crown against one of the division’s other world champions. We will have to simply wait and see what options may be available to Ramirez coming out of this fight.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ramirez-Ahmed Weights



The official weigh-in for Saturday’s WBO Super-Middleweight world championship fight between undefeated WBO world champion Gilberto Ramirez and WBO number four rated Super-Middleweight contender Habib Ahmed took place on Friday in Corpus Christi, TX. The official weights for the entire card are as follows.

Main Event: WBO Super-Middleweight world championship – 12Rds.

Gilberto Ramirez (Champion) 168lbs. vs. Habib Ahmed (Challenger) 166 1/2lbs.

IBF Jr. Bantamweight world championship – 12Rds.

Jerwin Ancajas (Champion) 114 3/4lbs. vs. Israel Gonzalez 114lbs.

Light-Heavyweight – 10Rds.

Thomas Awimbono 179 1/2lbs. vs. Jesse Hart 173 1/4lbs.

Jr. Lightweight – 6Rds.

Alex Solorio 130lbs. vs. Gabriel Flores 131 1/2lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 4Rds.

David Kaminsky 148 1/2lbs. vs. Rafael Munoz 149 1/2lbs.

Welterweight – 8Rds.

Matthew Strode 149 1/2lbs. vs. Jose Benavidez 148lbs.

Jr. Welterweight – 8Rds.

John Delperdang 144 1/2lbs. vs. Teofimo Lopez 139 3/4lbs.

Super-Middleweight – 8Rds.

Frankie Filippone 166 1/2lbs. vs. Rohan Murdock 169 1/2lbs.

Ramirez vs. Ahmed takes place Tonight (Saturday, February 3rd) at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. The card can be seen in the United States on ESPN beginning at 10:15PM ET/7:15PM PT and will also be streamed live on the ESPN and Watch ESPN apps. A portion of undercard bouts will air on ESPN News beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT. For more information about ESPN, ESPN Boxing, and the ESPN and Watch ESPN apps please visit: www.espn.com.  In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the card can be seen on BoxNation beginning at 2AM (Sunday, February 4th Local UK Time.) For more information about BoxNation please visit: www.boxnation.com. Check your listings internationally.

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


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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Observations On Recent Events In Boxing: January 2018


The month of January is not always thought of as an active month for the sport of Boxing in terms of competition. Of course, as is the case throughout a calendar year in the sport, there are notable things that do take place during the first month of the year both in and out of the ring. Before discussing what has gone on inside the ring, what has taken place outside the ring deserves equal attention as some developments did take shape over the last couple of weeks that will no doubt keep anticipation at a high among Boxing fans and experts as some intriguing bouts were announced that will take place in the coming months.

As readers might recall in this observer’s “Boxing Wishlist For 2018” that was published here on the website earlier in January, I discussed the possibility of further unification of the Heavyweight division during the year. While I still have doubts as to the chances of determining one Undisputed world champion in the division before the end of 2018, two World Heavyweight championship fights have been signed that will take place in the month of March, which could very well lead to a battle for the Undisputed World Heavyweight championship taking place in the not too distant future.

Undefeated WBC Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder will make the seventh defense of his crown against undefeated WBC number three rated Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz on March 3rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The second World Heavyweight championship bout to take place in the month of March will further unify the division as undefeated unified IBF/WBA/IBO world champion Anthony Joshua will face undefeated WBO champion Joseph Parker on March 31st at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Although I look forward to providing further insight as these two World Heavyweight championship bouts draw closer, the Boxing world has not been as close to an undisputed world champion in the Heavyweight division as it is currently in many years. It is important to keep in mind that anything can happen, but it would be a shame if something that would be a mark of great progress for the sport overall such as one Heavyweight world champion being determined were stalled or ultimately done away with after so much progress toward a goal that will benefit Boxing in the long-term has been made.

In terms of action inside the ring, the month of January saw several key bouts in Boxing’s Welterweight and Lightweight divisions. In the 147lb. Welterweight division undefeated IBF Welterweight world champion Errol Spence scored an eighth round technical knockout over former Jr. Welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson on January 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Spence controlled the action throughout scoring a knockdown of Peterson in the fifth round and ultimately was able to earn the stoppage win in the eighth round when Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter stopped the bout to prevent his fighter from sustaining further punishment.

In a career that has thus far been highlighted by impressive performances, Spence’s victory in this fight over Lamont Peterson was certainly the type of performance that will give him a strong case in the eyes of some as being considered the top Welterweight currently in the division. As is almost always the case however, the 147lb. Welterweight division is traditionally a talent deep weight class and opinion as to who is the division’s top fighter is always a topic that is up for debate.

Two fighters who are attempting to work their way into the discussion/debates of the top Welterweights both returned to the ring on January 27th in separate venues. At The Forum in Inglewood, CA, longtime Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse scored an impressive eighth round knockout over previously undefeated contender Tewa Kiram of Thailand. Mattysse overcame a cut over the left eye to score two knockdowns of Kiram in the eighth round to earn the victory.

The win for the popular Argentine contender Matthysse was his second victory as a Welterweight since returning to the ring in May of last year following a near two year layoff. Matthysse also earned interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Welterweight ratings with his victory over Kiram and would appear to be in a good position to challenge for a world championship possibly against undefeated WBA/WBC world champion Keith Thurman at some point in the future.


A fighter whom Matthysse gave all he could handle back in November 2010, who is also trying to work his way back into world championship contention is former two-division world champion Zab Judah. Judah, who is himself in the midst of a comeback saw action that evening at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as he faced veteran contender Noel Rincon.

For the forty-year old Judah the ten round bout with Rincon was his second bout following a four year layoff after losing a twelve round unanimous decision to two-division world champion Paul Malignaggi in December 2013. Judah returned to the ring in January 2017 scoring a second round knockout over Jorge Munguia in Trenton, NJ.

The former Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight world champion Judah out boxed Rincon over ten rounds to score a convincing ten round unanimous decision. Judah showed flashes of the hand speed and elusiveness that made him among the best pound for pound fighters in the world throughout his career in this fight. Although some may question what Judah has left at this stage in his career, this observer believes he needs to stay as active as possible and if he can continue to impress in subsequent fights Judah could find himself back in contention. A possible rematch between Matthysse and Judah could be a viable option for both men particularly if Matthysse will not be competing for a world championship in the near future and one could argue that both fighters are at a similar stage in their respective careers, despite Matthysse now holding what in reality is a number one contender’s position in the WBA’s Welterweight ratings.

Two World Lightweight championship bouts took place during the month of January. In the first bout, Which took place on January 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY undefeated IBF Lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. successfully made the third defense of his crown by scoring a hard fought twelve round split decision over top contender Javier Fortuna. The main story of this bout in my eyes was the fact that Fortuna weighed in for the bout nearly two pounds over the 135lb. Lightweight limit. Despite this, Fortuna gave Easter all he could handle in what was a close and competitive fight. 

Three-division world champion Jorge Linares meanwhile successfully made the third defense of his WBA Lightweight world championship on January 27th at The Forum in Inglewood, CA by scoring a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision over Mercito Gesta. Although I am not one who likes to necessarily compare performances of world champions in the same weight class who compete in separate bouts in a relatively short period of time, as I watched these two bouts thoughts of a potential showdown between Linares and Easter naturally came to mind.

Even though Robert Easter Jr. had a hard fought battle in his bout with Javier Fortuna, he has been a rising star in the sport over the last couple of years and as is often the case when a star is on the rise, an encounter with an established star/world champion seems like a natural.  A bout between Linares and Easter would be a classic experience versus youth scenario and beyond it being an encounter between two world-class boxers it would be a step toward unification of the Lightweight division, which as unification has taken place in Boxing’s other weight classes it has proven to be beneficial for the sport in the long-term picture.

Whether or not the bouts that are scheduled to take place in the months ahead or the potential fights that I have mentioned in this column prove to be beneficial for Boxing on either a short or long-term basis remains to be seen. If the month of January has been an indication as to what is to come in 2018, it will surely be an entertaining and active year for both Boxing fans and experts alike.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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