Friday, August 30, 2019

Can Boxing Safety Standards Improve?

It is perhaps a question that is as old as the sport itself. How can safety in Boxing improve? Last week here at The Boxing Truth® readers saw a column penned by yours truly that discussed the resurgence and one might argue rapid expansion of the sport in Bareknuckle form. While the intent of the column did discuss the benefits of the expansion for athletes across all combat sports disciplines, it focused more on the hurdles the Bareknuckle form of the sport could face with regard to licensing and regulation as various Bareknuckle Boxing promotions look to expand their ability to stage cards in more states here in the United States as well as internationally. Obstacles that primarily revolve around the safety of the fighters competing.

Over the course of the column, readers saw me reference two recent tragedies that have hit the sport of Boxing where two Jr. Welterweight fighters suffered severe injuries in two separate fights that unfortunately resulted in both fighters dying from their injuries days apart from each other. The two fighters were Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan. As often happens when circumstances like the unfortunate deaths of these two men occur, there is often a great deal of discussion, debate, and calls for bans of the sport. Although such discussion and hysteria in its negative form are certainly understandable under the circumstances, this observer resisted discussing the topic at length both in written form and publicly beyond joining others in the Boxing community in extending my condolences to the families and camps of both fighters.

Some might ask why I have waited until now to share my thoughts on the tragedies that took place one month ago. First, I want to give a little personal perspective as to how I became aware of the circumstances surrounding Maxim Dadashev’s injuries. As anyone who covers sports for both their passion and their vocation can relate to, covering Boxing for yours truly is a full-time year-round practice. The evening of Dadashev’s bout against Subriel Matias on July 23rd, was a rare occasion where yours truly did not cover a card. I only became aware of the circumstances when like any fan, I turned on the broadcast of the fight that was televised by ESPN+ here in the United States. Unfortunately, at the moment of my turning the broadcast on, the fight, which was on the undercard of a Lightweight bout between unbeaten contenders Teofimo Lopez and Masayoshi Nakatoni, had been stopped. I did however, see the immediate aftermath of the stoppage and like virtually everyone else in the sport, I kept a close eye on the reports that followed in the days following the bout and Dadashev’s collapsing and being rushed to the hospital immediately after he attempted to leave the ring.

If anyone reading this column is wondering why I would go into that much detail regarding how I became aware of the tragic circumstances of Maxim Dadashev, it is simply because I want the reader to know that The Boxing Truth® is more than a name and an outlet owned and operated by yours truly, it is also about being honest with the reader at all times. Though I did attempt to watch the full fight in the days that followed with the expectation that I would at minimum be asked for my thoughts regarding the fight and the stoppage, particularly after the news of Dadashev’s passing became public, I was unable to access it due to the decision of ESPN to remove the fight from its ESPN+ platform.

Although some might be critical of that decision, as I said on social media shortly after I found out the fight had been removed, though it does not in any way change what happened, it is understandable under the circumstances why a network would not want a tragic event to remain available for viewing on their platform. While the tragedy surrounding the twenty-eight year old Maxim Dadashev received significant attention due largely to the platform where the fatal injuries he suffered had aired, twenty-two year old Hugo Santillan died in the days following his fight against Eduardo Abreu.

As was the case with the Maxim Dadashev bout, I did not have the benefit of being able to view any footage from that fight either. Instead of focusing on each bout and what may have been missed opportunities to stop both fights before the fatal injuries were sustained as I cannot adequately comment on bouts I have not seen with my own eyes, this column is about what can be done to improve safety going forward.

It is important for me to state that I am not a medical expert and anything I say going forward will be strictly my point of view as to what I believe might help improve things not just for Boxing, but for all combat sports in the future. The first thing I have thought about frequently over the last month could be the implementation of a mandatory recovery time between fights for both fighters.

This may go against the old adage of the more active a fighter is, the better prepared they are for big opportunities and the better their odds of being in fighting condition. Even though I am normally an old-school Boxing purist, how many times have we seen fights where either a fighter suffers a knockout and is back in the ring in a relatively short period of time, or a fight where two combatants each sustain punishment throughout the bout? Perhaps a mandatory three to six month recovery period would ensure that fighters have the best possible opportunity to allow their bodies to heal. This should be a universal standard in my view especially in cases where a fighter suffers a concussion or other forms of head trauma.

The second idea that has come to mind may be difficult to implement simply because there is no universal standard in terms of licensing and regulation. Keeping in mind my previous statement of not being a medical expert, I would not be against the idea of further neurological screening for fighters prior to a commission or regulatory board licensing a fighter to compete.  As someone who is viewing things from the outside, I feel this may spot potential warning signs particularly in regard to fighters who have suffered concussions in the past as to the risk of possible brain injuries like the ones Dadashev and Santillan suffered.

Although I have heard some fans suggest over the last month that a way to improve safety standards significantly would be to once again reduce round distances and perhaps reduce the length of rounds, I am not ready at the present time to form an opinion on those suggestions because I believe that there is more that could be and should be done to improve things in regard to both medical concerns and the decisions of whether or not to license a fighter to compete. A major issue with what I am suggesting here is there is no universal standard for regulation and licensing. What I mean by this is if a fighter were to be denied a license by a state athletic commission, it would not necessarily prevent a fighter from seeking licensing in another state or country with a less reputable athletic commission. This flaw, which I believe would be corrected by the introduction of an international regulatory board of control to oversee Boxing and other combat sports opens not only the sports, but also any athletic commission up for potential scrutiny if in the event a tragedy were to occur.

While it is important to say again that I am not a medical expert, the reader whether they be a fan, a fighter, a commissioner, a medical doctor, or someone else who is involved in the sport of Boxing and combat sports as a whole should view this column and my ideas as suggestions. Unfortunately, until there is a universal regulatory and licensing standard put in place, which one would hope would include as thorough medical testing/screening as is available, it will be up to the individual state athletic commissions and international regulatory boards to implement changes.

The bottom line is any athlete who competes in Boxing and all other combat sports deserves to know that the commission licensing them has put them through as thorough a testing/screening protocol as possible. Even though changes may not completely eliminate the dangers/risks that come with combat sports, at least changes and putting more extensive protocols in place will allow regulators to be as prepared as possible.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Credit:Sanman Promotions

Press Release: August 28, 2019 By Sanman Promotions – Scouting for new boxing talents with unlimited potentials is one of every boxing manager’s job. Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil has a new golden discovery. He is John Thain (W17 L4 D0). John is half Filipino and Scottish. His mother Rizalina is from Mindanao and grew up in Cebu. He as 60 amateur bouts before turning pro and have represented Scotland in international competitions. 

John’s greatest influences in boxing are Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and of course our very own Manny Pacquiao. He says he was inspired to go into boxing after watching Rocky. “I was a fan first. I have watched five Rocky sequels before starting to box.”

As seen in his record, Thain has an amateurish technical style inside the ring. “I am known for my jab. I make points from it.“ He is very proud of his Filipino roots and cannot wait to fight in front of his fellow Filipinos. He was still a child when he last came to the Philippines and working with Sanman is an opportunity for him to rediscover his Filipino heritage.

 “I can’t wait to fight in the Philippines. I have always fought in the amateur way. Get points and win. Now I want to be more of a Filipino warrior kind of boxer. Filipinos are known as relentless warriors. We come forward and mix things up. I hope to learn that from my coaches at Sanman. I want to make my fellow Filipinos proud of me. I want to show them what I got”, Thain stated.

Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil is just as excited on his new protégé. “John Thain is a Filipino with Caucasian looks just like the Younghusband brothers of soccer. Here comes a Filipino-Scottish who boxes and fights. And Philippines is a boxing nation. With the proper training and exposure, John will be a big thing here and internationally. He’s got the looks, the size and the talent of a boxing star. We will do our best to make him one. We can’t wait to work with him”, Manangquil said.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Sanman Promotions Used with permission.

For more information about Sanman Promotions and to watch the Sanman Live Boxing series please visit Sanman Promotions’ official Facebook page:

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

Thoughts On Kovalev-Yarde And Estrada-Beamon

The day of August 24, 2019 in the sport of Boxing featured two world championship fights in the Light-Heavyweight and Jr. Bantamweight divisions. The first of these bouts took place at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia as three-time World Light-Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev made the first defense of his third reign as a world champion against undefeated WBO number one Light-Heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde. Despite this being a well-matched encounter style wise between two fighters who are known as “Knockout Artists “, this turned out to be a somewhat surprising tactical battle.

The champion controlled most of the first half of the fight working behind a consistent jab and mixing in combinations. While Kovalev’s approach was not unlike the strategy he used in regaining the WBO Light-Heavyweight world championship in a twelve round unanimous decision win over Elieder Alvarez earlier this year, what impressed me was how he kept his calm and was not overly aggressive. Periodic body punches from Yarde however, gradually took effect on the the champion.

It was the sporadic body work Yarde was able to establish that created an opening in round eight when a hook to the body set off a barrage of punches that staggered Kovalev. Although Kovalev did not go down and was able to survive the assault that the challenger had dished out, it was Yarde’s best round in a fight that he was not consistent in terms of activity and at times appeared frustrated due to the tactics implemented by the champion.

Despite the ebb and flow appearing to shift in Yarde’s favor, Kovalev was able to bounce back by regaining control of the fight in the ninth round and brought the fight to a conclusion by knocking Yarde down for the count with a half jab/half left hook to successfully retain his world championship. While Kovalev survived an onslaught by Yarde in the eighth round, he also produced another impressive performance by being a tactical boxer and not necessarily a seek and destroy “Knockout Artist.” There was also a questionable moment in between rounds eight and nine that will be discussed along with what might be in the champion’s future later in this column.

The second world title fight that took place was a battle for the WBC Jr. Bantamweight world championship between two-division world champion Juan Francisco Estrada defending his recently won WBC crown against WBC number fourteen rated contender Dwayne Beamon at the Multiple Use Center in Sonora, MX. This was Estrada’s first defense of the WBC crown that he won earlier this year in his second fight against former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. What was of interest to me about this fight centered around how Estrada would do in his first fight since the rematch with Sor Rungvisai. Although Estrada did not fight Sor Rungvisai in back to back fights, the two bouts between the two were grueling battles and also served to shine the light on Boxing’s lower weight divisions. In regard to the latter, though Boxing’s lower weight classes have always seemed to be hit or miss with regard to television network coverage here in the United States, specifically amongst the traditional cable/satellite television medium, the lower weight classes the sport has to offer has been given a platform on digital sports streaming networks such as DAZN and ESPN+.

What this fight also had was a bit of the element of the unknown as Beamon was a relative unknown, but did enter the encounter with Estrada having won sixteen of his previous eighteen professional fights. The question that is usually posed when a relatively unknown contender gets an opportunity to fight for a world championship is one with two parts.

Part one how will the fighter deal with facing a fighter who in all likelihood has a significant edge in terms of overall experience and more specifically, experience at or near the top of the sport. This is followed by part two of the question, how will said fighter handle the atmosphere of fighting for a world championship for the first time. The latter part of the question is one that many world-class fighters eventually have to answer. In this case, this two-part question was certainly valid to ask, especially given that of his sixteen previous wins, only five of those bouts came against fighters that one could consider as having winning records. Beamon’s one previous loss also came again a fighter by the name of Martin Tecuapetia, who has a record of 13-9-4, with 10 Knockouts.

Although some may view this as a red flag, it should be noted that the loss for Beamon in August of last year was a split decision that he was able to avenge in a rematch two months later. Nevertheless, the loss coupled with a lack of overall notable opposition did make this observer question whether or not Beamon would be ready to fight for a world championship. Although Beamon was very aggressive and attempted to bring the fight to Estrada, the difference in both experience and overall skill was apparent early on.

Estrada was credited with two knockdowns in round two. The first, which I did not believe should have been ruled a knockdown came when the two fighters legs appeared to get tangled while Estrada was throwing a punch. This turned out to be academic as Estrada scored a second knockdown of Beamon moments later. Despite his aggressiveness, Beamon at times appeared clumsy and this seemed to play into Estrada’s hands. Even though Estrada was in control of the combat for most of the fight, there were periods where he chose to showboat for the crowd in attendance and taunt the challenger.

While this may have been in response to some taunting coming from Beamon, I feel such tactics are unnecessary and do not do a fighter the caliber of Estrada any good. The opinion of this observer notwithstanding, Estrada did put forth an impressive performance overall and was able to stop the very “Game” Beamon in the ninth round to retain his WBC world championship.

As for what’s next for Estrada, it would not surprise me to see a third encounter with
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Each fighter has won one fight each and both of those bouts were competitive. Though it is rare to say that anything regarding how fights are made is simple, given that the two fighters together were able to garner more attention for some of the sport’s lower weight divisions than had previously been the case, a third fight between the two makes all the sense in the world.

Now we return to the subject of Sergey Kovalev. Although he was able to weather the storm in the eighth round of his victory over Anthony Yarde, it cannot and should not be ignored what occurred in his corner between rounds eight and nine. Kovalev’s trainer former world champion Buddy McGirt told his fighter that if he did not show him something in the ninth round that he was going to stop the fight. McGirt stated that he felt the champion was taking too many punches.

Although it is not uncommon for a trainer to say such things, it should be noted that McGirt, who has gone on to have a Hall of Fame career as a trainer after having one as a fighter winning world titles in multiple divisions, was also in the corner of Maxim Dadashev, who died as a result of injuries he suffered in his fight against Subriel Matias nearly one month to the day of Kovalev’s fight against Anthony Yarde. Some might question why McGirt, who was praised by many including this observer for stopping the Dadashev fight, when Dadashev wanted to continue, would threaten to stop this fight involving Sergey Kovalev.

It should not be overlooked that despite his pleas of wanting to fight on, Dadashev collapsed while attempting to leave the ring after the fight was stopped. While some might also question given the circumstances of Dadeshev’s passing whether McGirt should have been working in the corner so soon after the tragedy, his threat to stop the Kovalev-Yarde fight did succeed in getting his fighter to get back to his fight plan and ultimately successfully defend his championship. Only Buddy McGirt can say what he was thinking, but the man has earned a reputation as one of the best and most sought after trainers in the sport. More important than that and his own accomplishments as a fighter, McGirt cares for his fighters and no one should question his concern for the well-being of his fighters.

As for what’s next for Kovalev, he has stated that he wants to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez next. Sergey Kovalev still has the name recognition clout to attract lucrative fights. The question may be whether Alvarez is willing to move up two weight classes from where he currently sits as a unified Middleweight world champion to challenge Kovalev in the Light-Heavyweight division. Something that will likely be answered in time.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Reagan Dessaix Looks To Add OBPF Title To Ever-Growing Trophy Case On September 20th

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing

Press Release: August 27, 2019 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Reagan Dessaix is looking to continue to work his way up the world rankings, as he contests the OBPF light heavyweight title on September 20 against big punching Aaron Lai.

Dessaix has operated on a world level already despite only being 23, and he looks to add the OBPF title to his war chest which has included IBF, WBA and Australian titles that the Queensland native has won in his first 19 contests as a professional. 

Standing in his way on September 20 in Paddington is big punching Aaron Lai who has 11 stoppages in his 12 victories, and Dessaix opened up on his opponent on the night and discussed fighting for the OBPF title.

He said, "Firstly thank you for Tony Tolj for getting me this opportunity to fight for a title which really helps a fighter rise up the world ratings. I want to fight the best in the world and travel all over the world to do that and winning an OBPF title is one of the steps an Australiasian fighter has to do in order to achieve that goal.

"Aaron Lai is a strong fighter and one that I have to be careful about. He has a ranking in the WBC and is a big puncher but I believe I am levels above him and I am planning on winning this fight and winning in style on September 20."

Dessaix has already faced world level competition in Blake Caparello in a fight that many saw the Gold Coast native winning on away turf in Sydney. The 175-pound upstart weighed in on what he wants going forward in the professional ranks.

Dessaix said, "I want to keep progressing in the pros and I have a great team that can make that happen the right way. I believe I am going all the way to world titles but I have to keep working hard and keep improving and I believe that this will take me all the way to the top in the game. 

"I want to see the world and I don't care if I have to go to opponents backyards to fight them, that's what being a real champion is about and that is what I am willing to do to prove I am the best."

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing Used with permission.

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

Friday, August 23, 2019

ShoBox 8/23/2019 Results

Undefeated Super-Middleweight prospect Vladimir Shishkin scored a dominant eighth round stoppage over veteran DeAndre Ware in the main event of the latest edition of Showtime Sports ‘ popular ShoBox: The New Generation series on Friday night at the Central Park Community Center in Broken Arrow, OK. Shishkin kept the fight on the outside from the outset working behind a consistent jab, mixing in combinations, and tying Ware up whenever Ware would get on the inside. As the fight progressed, Ware began to look discouraged and could not find a way to turn the ebb and flow in his favor. Shishkin gradually increased the punishment until finally staggering Ware with a combination to the head in round eight. The barrage of punches clearly hurt Ware and with nothing coming back in terms of return offense from him, his corner threw the towel in to prevent Ware from sustaining further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was 2:40 of round eight. Vladimir Shishkin advances to 9-0, with 6 Knockouts. DeAndre Ware falls to 13-2-2, with 8 Knockouts.

Also on this card:

In the Jr. Welterweight division, undefeated prospect Shohjahon Ergashev scored a fourth round stoppage of a”Game “ Abdiel Ramirez. Ergashev scored a controversial knockdown of Ramirez in round two when after landing a left hand to the head, he grabbed him with both gloves and shoved him down to the canvas. Ramirez did his best to hang in there, but the punishment of Ergashev was simply too much to overcome and the fight was stopped at two minutes of round four. Shohjahon Ergashev advances to 17-0, with 15 Knockouts. Abdiel Ramirez falls to 24-5-1, with 22 Knockouts.

In the Jr. Featherweight division, undefeated prospect Arnold Khegai scored an eight round unanimous decision over Vladimir Tikhonov. Khegai consistently forced the action throughout and outworked Tikonov over the eight round bout. Although the fight was competitive, Tikhonov had trouble putting more than one punch at a time together with his offense. This allowed Khegai to get the decision victory. Official scores were :80-72 (On all three scorecards)for Khegai. Arnold Khegai advances to 16-0-1, with 10 Knockouts. Vladimir Tikhonov falls to 17-2, with 10 Knockouts.

Undefeated Welterweight Jaron Ennis scored a first round stoppage of Franklin Mamani. Mamani did not continue after the conclusion of the first round. Jaron Ennis advances to 23-0, with 21 Knockouts. Franklin Mamani falls to 23-6-1, 13 Knockouts.

Undefeated Jr. Welterweight Brandun Lee needed only thirty seconds in the first round to stop Francisco Medel. Lee scored two knockdowns of Medel before the fight was stopped. Brandun Lee advances to 15-0, with 13 Knockouts. Francisco Medel falls to 13-21, with 8 Knockouts.

It will be interesting to see where the fighters who scored victories on this card will go next. While Showtime’s ShoBox series has served as a platform for several fighters who have gone on to be world champions in its near two decade history, the series serves a more important role in providing exposure for up and coming young fighters as they hone their skills. On this particular edition, the standout performance in my eyes belonged to Vladimir Shishkin. While DeAndre Ware was able to hang in there against the unbeaten Shishkin for close to eight full rounds, I was particularly impressed with how Shishkin kept his composure throughout this fight and seemed to take the approach of not looking for a knockout, but allowing one to develop by gradually breaking his opponent down.

With only nine professional fights in his career thus far, it’s hard to say Shishkin might be ready for a step up. He did show however, that he has glimpses of potential and with a little more seasoning, he may be in the discussion of contenders in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division in the not too distant future.

And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

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Golovkin-Derevyanchenko NYC Press Conference Quotes

Credit: Amanda Westcott/DAZN
Press Release: August 23, 2019 By DAZN - Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin believes his clash with Sergiy Derevyanchenko will be a classic when they meet for the vacant IBF World Middleweight title on Saturday, October 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN. 


Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) and Derevyanchenko (13-1 10 KOs) met at a press conference at the Mecca of boxing yesterday and both men stated their excitement for what promises to be a thrill a minute battle for the belt that Golovkin used to hold and that Derevyanchenko has challenged for.

Former unified king Golovkin is gunning to regain the crown he held for three years as the Kazakh star targets returning to world champion status and meetings with the other champions at 160lbs.

Derevyanchenko has plans to derail that journey though and came close to landing the IBF strap himself in October at the Hulu Theater at MSG, being edged out on a split decision against Golovkin’s old foe Daniel Jacobs.

“I’m so excited,” said Golovkin. “First of all, I’m happy to be back home, my second home. Thank you to my family at MSG for always supporting me. Of course, I’m very excited right now. Right now, I work with the best people from boxing.”

“I have the best opponent, Sergiy,” he added. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very good fighter. This is a real fight. I’m a little bit scared because he’s good. I know his team is very strong. And I’m scared because he looks good. He looks strong. He feels it’s his time right now. Maybe – this is boxing, nobody knows. So if you want to watch a real show, a real fight, come to MSG on October 5 or watch live on DAZN.”

“I’m really excited and happy to be at Madison Square Garden,” said Derevyanchenko. “Thank you to my team, and I want to give thanks to Gennadiy Golovkin for the opportunity as well. I know exactly who I’m getting in the ring with. He’s the former Middleweight champion of the world, one of the best fighters in the world, but his time is coming to an end and I want to be the one that makes that time come to an end.”


Eddie Hearn, President, Matchroom Boxing USA

“Gennadiy is for me the most entertaining, most dangerous fighter in world boxing. Is there a fighter in boxing that gives more value for money than Gennadiy Golobkin? I’m not sure, I haven’t found him yet.”

“He may look like a very calm individual, we know he’s a lovely man, but what a fearsome fighter. For me, it’s a pleasure to be a part of Team GGG now, a man that we’ve admired from a distance for a long time, become one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing. As an individual, he carries himself with so much class. He’s a role model for the next generation of fighters coming through. He has integrity, he has honor. And when you look at him in the eyes, it tells you one thing - I love to fight, and I will fight any man.”

“There’s been a lot of speculation recently about who he’s going to fight. Is it going to be Canelo? The thing that’s most important in a fighter’s career is to take control of your career. Have a strategy, have a plan, don’t worry about other people. And right now, we have a plan with Gennadiy’s career that’s extremely exciting to dominate the division and it starts on October 5 at the Mecca of boxing.”

“What a 10 months it’s been for DAZN. We’re 10 months in, that’s it, and we have by far the strongest stable of fighters in America. It’s not even close.”

Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America

“It’s been a busy summer for DAZN to build out our year-end, one that is without question the most impressive schedule in fight sports. This fight on October 5th, the second of Gennadiy’s long-term deal with us, will be the start of what I see as the season of fight sports. A long-term schedule of high quality fights, best fighters against best fighters, delivering tremendous value for fight fans.”

“It’s a tremendous fight itself, and it’s only a part of our backend year end schedule that’s going to be great for fight fans and sports fans in general.”

Keith Connolly, Manager of Sergiy Derevyanchenko

“Wow what an amazing opportunity for Sergiy. 10 months ago we were in this building where he fought Danny Jacobs, and he lost a very close decision. He and his wife were very heartbroken. I made them one promise that night, that I would do everything in my power to get them another opportunity. 10 months later, because of a lot of maneuvering, he’s back in this same position he was 10 months ago,. He’s got a second opportunity to be under the bright lights and really change his life. I think he’s got a really good chance. I’m a huge fan of GGG, but this will be the second time in my life that I‘m rooting against him. Sergiy’s got a real chance. He might only be 13-1 as a pro but he has over 400 amateur fights and won 390 of them. This is definitely an entertaining fight.”

Andre Rozier, Trainer of Sergiy Derevyanchenko

“He cannot win this time. He cannot be victorious. The Technician is ready, he’s willing, he’s able. He’s putting his best foot forward. Our team is no longer fragmented. The squad is ready and we plan to be the middleweight champion of the world on October 5. Sergiy is a quiet man but you have to watch the quiet ones – they’re the most dangerous.”

Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment

“We knew that Gennadiy knew Sergiy, they’ve known each other for years, when they were both amateurs. Right now he’s moving on in his life and fighting the best middleweight in the world available to him, and I believe that’s what Sergiy is. I’m going to tell you, this is one of the three hardest fights GGG has ever walked into the ring for, one of the three best opponents GGG has ever faced as a pro. I think this is a great fight for fight fans and I promise you that between GGG Promotions and Eddie and myself, the rest of the card is going to live up to the main event and we’re going to have a night of boxing that’s one of the best on DAZN’s schedule for the rest of the year.”

Tom Loeffler, GGG Promotions

“He had that historic championship run. We’re looking forward to him winning the IBF title on October 5 to start another championship run in the middleweight division. He hasn’t lost a fight in the ring; he might have lost on the score cards, but we’re not looking back at that. We’re looking forward. He’s looking forward to Derevyanchenko.”

Johnathon Banks, Trainer of Gennadiy Golovkin

“It’s an honor to go against this guy [Rozier]. I’ve been saying that since I was 15 in the amateurs. I have nothing but the utmost respect for this guy. That’s to me, that’s one of the things that’s going to make this fight one of the biggest fights of GGG’s career. I know the pedigree that Rozier has and good fighters always surround himself with him because they know he always takes fighters to another level. This fight will be a good fight. Tune in on DAZN, come to the Garden, this is a fight you don’t want to miss. Both guys are fighting for a chance to be a world champion. One is a repeat, one is a first-timer, but it doesn’t matter, the playing field is completely even, completely level. Both guys are going to put everyone on the line for this fight to win this world title.”

Material Courtesy of: DAZN/ Photo Courtesy of: Amanda Westcott Used with permission. 

For more information about DAZN including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices and platforms, availability around the world, and to subscribe please visit: 

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

Feliciano Defeats Gomez for NABF Championship

Undefeated Jr. Welterweight prospect Luis Feliciano scored a workmanlike ten round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Genaro Gomez to win the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Jr. Welterweight championship on Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, CA. Feliciano controlled the action from the opening bell and was particularly effective in establishing an attack the body of Gomez that he made a focal point of his offense throughout the fight. It was this consistency and overall activity throughout that allowed Feliciano to earn a convincing decision victory. Official scores were: 98-92 (On two scorecards), and 99-91 in favor of Feliciano. Luis Feliciano advances to 13-0, with 8 Knockouts. Genaro Gomez falls to 9-1, with 6 Knockouts.

Also on this card:

In the Welterweight division, undefeated prospect Blair Cobbs scored an impressive come from behind ninth round knockout over previously undefeated Steve Vilalobos. The early rounds of this fight appeared to be dictated by Cobbs’ quickness and ability to get his punches off first. This changed in round six when Vilalobos connected with a flush right hand to the jaw of Cobbs when Cobbs was against the ropes. The shot staggered Cobbs and another right hand as part of a combination sent Cobbs down hard on the canvas. Although Cobbs was clearly hurt, he was able to pull himself together and survive the round. In round seven, Cobbs was able to regain control of the fight and began breaking Vilalobos down with an attack to the body and head. An uppercut from Cobbs put an end to matters in round nine sending Vilalobos down for the count. Official time of the stoppage was 1:20 of round nine. Blair Cobbs advances to 12-0-1, with 8 Knockouts.Steve Vilalobos falls to 11-1-1, with 9 Knockouts.

In the Middleweight division, undefeated Richard Acevedo fought to a controversial six round draw with veteran Jose Rivera. Despite Rivera forcing the action and outworking Acevedo over the course of the fight, the judges were split as to who they felt won the bout with the third and deciding judge rendering an even scorecard. Official scores were 59-55 (Split on two scorecards) and 57-57. Richard Acevedo advances to 5-0-1, with 5 Knockouts. Jose Rivera advances to 8-4-1, with 5 Knockouts.

Also in the Middleweight division, undefeated Raul Curiel scored a sixth round stoppage of Alphonso Black. Curiel consistently forced the action throughout the fight and was able to pressure Black against the ropes. Although the veteran Black was able to hold his own throughout, the accumulation of punishment he had sustained forced a stoppage early in round six. Official time of the stoppage was :51 of round six Raul Curiel advances to 7-0, with 5 Knockouts. Alphonso Black falls to 8-7-1, with 4 Knockouts.

Lightweight Nicholas Sullivan successfully made his professional debut in the opening bout of this card by scoring a four round unanimous decision over Jose Palacios. Although the fight was at times sloppy, Sullivan’s combination punching and overall activity allowed him to score his first victory as a professional. Official scores were 39-37, and 40-36 (On two scorecards) all in favor of Sullivan. Nicholas Sullivan advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Jose Palacios falls to 1-4, with 1 Knockout.

This card, which was featured on Golden Boy Promotions Thursday Night Fights series on Facebook Watch featured rising prospects and fighters who are just starting their professional careers. While the fighters featured on this card are all at varying stages of their respective development, we did see that the goal is not to pad the records of these boxers, but to provide tests that will only serve the fighters well in the future as they continue to progress. A clear example of this was the fight between Blair Cobbs and Steve Vilalobos. Although Vilalobos came out on the losing end of the fight, he will likely get an opportunity in the future against another prospect after providing Blair Cobbs with a legitimate scare early in his career. Cobbs meanwhile was able to answer some questions that are ultimately asked of all prospects. What happens when they get hurt and can they come off the canvas to win a fight.

As the monthly series continues to showcase some of the up and coming talent in Golden Boy Promotions’ stable, we are likely to see similar bouts take place in terms of matchmaking. Not only does it serve the purpose of helping young fighters develop in a way that will benefit them long-term, but from a promotional standpoint, series like this also serve as a platform for promoters to develop stars, which is, has, and always will be the lifeblood of the sport of Boxing. It is crucial not just for the fighters, not just promoters, but for the sport overall that series like this exists and that fans of Boxing support it.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Is It Too Much, Too Soon For The Resurgence Of Bareknuckle Boxing?

Longtime readers of The Boxing Truth® are likely familiar with the coverage this observer has provided over the years of the various forms of Bareknuckle Boxing that have emerged. Over the last year, several promotions have surfaced devoted to presenting Bareknuckle Boxing in its purist form in a modernized presentation. Some of these promotions have included the Bareknuckle Boxing promotion out of the United Kingdom or (BKB) for short, not to be confused with the now defunct BKB branded promotion that was owned by United States satellite television provider DirecTV, Bareknuckle FC that regularly stages cards in the state of Wyoming, the World Bareknuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), which staged one card also in Wyoming, and finally the Bareknuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). Like the Bareknuckle FC and WBKFF, the BKFC began in Wyoming, but over the promotion’s seven events have expanded to include Mississippi, Mexico, and Florida.

The BKFC also broke from it’s established model as a pay-per-view attraction with its most recent event earlier this month by streaming the event for free on both digital combat sports network Fite TV and the BKFC’s official YouTube page. Although as this observer has stated in the past, Bareknuckle Boxing provides further opportunities for boxers and other combat sports athletes, a question I have found asking myself is whether or not the sport of Boxing in Bareknuckle form is expanding too quickly?

It is important to remember that up until recently, many states in the United States had an outright ban on bareknuckle combat. While DirecTV’s version of BKB initially began as a gloved-form of Bareknuckle Boxing, it quickly evolved from that to a form of Boxing that included the “BKB Pit” ring with no ropes but adapted the use of standard Boxing gloves. Even though adapting standard Boxing gloves appeared to clear significant hurdles in terms of licensing, sanctioning, and regulation as the last two BKB branded events were held in Las Vegas, NV, the promotion has not staged a card since 2015 and there have been no announcements of further events.

With DirecTV’s brand of BKB having essentially disappeared from the combat sports scene, the other promotions have emerged by presenting Boxing in a pure Bareknuckle format. No special knuckle-exposed gloves, just hand wraps over knuckles. Despite the success promotions like BKB in the United Kingdom, Bareknuckle FC, and the BKFC have had in a short period of time, the hurdles that initially stood in the way of DirecTV’s version of BKB as well as what stood in the way of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for several years in terms of sanctioning and regulation remain ever present.

A new Bareknuckle Boxing promotion will join the fray in September as MMA legend Ken Shamrock will debut his Valor Bareknuckle promotion in its inaugural card in the state of North Dakota that will be televised on a pay-per-view basis on both the cable/satellite medium as well as the digital streaming medium via Fite TV on September 21st. On one hand a new Bareknuckle promotion entering the fray will provide further options for combat athletes, but on the other hand, some might question whether further expansion for the sport will be good in the long-term.

For the sport of MMA, expansion was a relatively slow process with only a handful of notable promotions worldwide, which included the sport’s inception into the United States in the early 1990’s. This was due to the sport initially being presented as a form of no-holds barred combat, which raised the ire of several politicians and thus created a significant roadblock in terms of regulation and sanctioning that took the sport several years to overcome. Though one could make the argument that the struggles that the sport of MMA faced in its early years actually helped the resurgence of Bareknuckle Boxing in a way as by the time the sport began to resurface, MMA had become almost universally sanctioned around the world and this may have led to some state athletic commissions being more open to regulating Bareknuckle Boxing, the question remains as to whether more strict athletic commissions and regulatory boards will be willing to open their doors to the sport.

Some may wonder why that would be a potential obstacle after the evolution of MMA that saw it’s initial no-holds barred format evolve to it’s current form of the use of gloves and weight classes. We should remember why Bareknuckle Boxing was eventually banned in terms of being an organized sport and why Boxing adapted the Marquess of Queensberry rules that include Boxing gloves. While yours truly was obviously not around in those times, as a Boxing historian, I have always been led to believe that the adoption of Boxing gloves primarily had to do with an overall concern for the safety of fighters. It is also worth noting that the scheduled distances of fights prior to the introduction of gloves were significantly greater than what one sees in the sport today where fights were at times scheduled for distances of twenty rounds or more.

Although obviously not every fight that occurred involved such a grueling test of one’s endurance, the effects from an accumulation of punishment sustained in Bareknuckle combat, which resulted in varying injuries that unfortunately included death was something that the sport dealt with. Even today with all the improvements not only in the sport in terms of shorter distances of fights and greater medical knowledge and screening, Boxing and other forms of combat sports do have to deal with the possibility of fighters suffering severe injuries that can at times unfortunately lead to death.

As most knowledgeable Boxing fans know, the sport was recently hit with two separate tragedies that resulted in the deaths of two boxers as a result of injuries sustained in the ring. Jr. Welterweights Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan each passed away days apart after competing in bouts in July. Although these tragedies did not occur in bouts that were sanctioned under Bareknuckle rules and occurred under  the traditional professional Boxing format, the potential for similar circumstances does exist due to no gloves being used in those Bareknuckle bouts and the potential of such could stand in the way of further licensing and regulation clearances among more strict state athletic commissions and regulatory boards around the world.

While the subject of what can make Boxing as a whole and by extension all combat sports safer for the athletes that compete in it is one yours truly plans to discuss in the near future, the resurgence of Bareknuckle Boxing does have a few aspects that I do believe help its case in terms of seeking further clearances to stage cards. Firstly, though Bareknuckle Boxing is a form of professional Boxing, its format differs from the traditional form most are familiar with. Most of the Bareknuckle Boxing promotions use a two minute round format and tend to schedule fights for shorter round distances than the traditional form. Although knockouts under the Bareknuckle format can obviously be brutal, the knockouts tend to come suddenly and do not necessarily occur as a result of an accumulation of punishment over the course of a long fight. What also works in its favor is bouts tend to be stopped appropriately once it is apparent that a fighter is in danger and has had enough.

Whether or not those factors will eventually lead to the Bareknuckle form of the sport being sanctioned and regulated in states such as New York and Nevada remains to be seen. While the fact that several different Bareknuckle promotions have began and will begin operating is a good thing from the standpoint of it opening up further opportunities for athletes across all combat sports disciplines, I do fear however, that by so many promotions/groups emerging in such a short period of time that it will create an over saturation in terms of Bareknuckle events being staged in a calendar year, which could result in it being difficult to grow their respective audiences, but also and more importantly may do more harm than good when it comes to what should be the goal of every Bareknuckle Boxing promotion, to achieve universal licensing and regulation across the board. An achievement that frankly took the sport of MMA too long to accomplish.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Kovalev-Yarde Preview

The recent history of three-time Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev has been marked by highs and lows. A better way to describe it perhaps is ups and downs. As most recall, Kovalev emerged on the Boxing scene by putting together a significant string of knockouts and winning a world championship in the Light-Heavyweight division in the process. Kovalev’s rise was not all that unlike the rise of former longtime Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin in that both established reputations as “Knockout Artists” in the sport.

Both however, have seen recent struggles and setbacks in their respective careers. In regard to Golovkin, he has seen his reign atop the Middleweight division come to an end in two hotly contested bouts with Saul “Canelo“ Alvarez. Two fights where he earned a controversial draw and a perhaps more controversial loss in the rematch. While many including this observer felt Golovkin won both fights against Alvarez and expect a third encounter between the two to take place at some point in the future, the loss Golovkin suffered in the second fight did cast some doubt in the eyes of some in regard to how much he might have left as a fighter.

For Sergey Kovalev, his career has seen more than one setback. Some might recall in losing a close, but unanimous decision and the loss of his unified Light-Heavyweight world championship to undefeated Super-Middleweight world champion Andre Ward in November 2016. This was followed by a somewhat controversial stoppage in their rematch in June 2017, the first knockout loss of Kovalev’s career. Following Ward’s retirement later that year, Kovalev was able to rebound and regain a portion of the Light-Heavyweight world championship by scoring a knockout win over Vycheslav Shabranskyy in November 2017.

Although one could say that the politics of the sport played a role in Kovalev fighting for a world championship for a third straight time coming off of consecutive losses to Andre Ward, both losses did have elements of controversy attached to them. It was indisputable however, that Kovalev outclassed Shabranskyy. A victory over a “Game”, but over matched opponent did not quell some of the doubt surrounding Kovalev following those two losses to Ward.

In his first title defense after regaining the WBO world championship in the Light-Heavyweight division, Kovalev would suffer his second knockout loss in brutal fashion at the hands of undefeated top contender Eleider Alvarez in August of last year. As he had done after suffering the first loss of his career against Andre Ward, Kovalev elected to have an immediate rematch against Alvarez in February of this year.

To the surprise of some Kovalev showed he could box and produced one of the better performances of his career by out boxing Alvarez over twelve rounds to regain the WBO championship for the second time. Even though Kovalev has proven on more than one occasion that he is more than a seek and destroy “Knockout Artist”, there are likely those who are skeptical and are questioning how much the thirty-six year old has left at this stage of his career.

While there were ramblings over recent months that Kovalev was at least rumored to fight Saul Alvarez in a bout that would see Alvarez move up in weight to challenge Kovalev for his world championship, the three-time world champion will instead make the first defense of his third reign as champion against undefeated WBO number one contender Anthony Yarde on Saturday in Chelyabinsk, Russia in a fight they can be seen here in the United States on digital sports streaming network ESPN+.

This will be a battle of experience versus youth. Yarde will enter the fight unbeaten in eighteen professional fights. What will make this fight interesting is this will be the first time that Kovalev will be facing a fighter, who much like himself has developed a reputation as a “Knockout Artist.” In his eighteen victories as a professional, Yarde has scored knockouts in seventeen of his eighteen wins registering a career knockout percentage of 94%. This is higher than Kovalev’s career knockout percentage of 76%, but for the majority of his career, Kovalev’s percentage has been above 80% having scored knockouts in twenty-eight of his thirty-three career wins.

Two things that interest me about this fight. Firstly, in regard to the champion is whether he will continue to be more of a boxer than looking to use his punching power. Though Kovalev is more known as a “Knockout Artist”, he has shown he can box. This was noticeable both in his last fight where he regained the WBO championship as well as in his unification bout against future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins in November 2014. When he decides to execute a tactical Boxing strategy the champion has proven difficult to combat, perhaps more difficult depending on one’s perspective than when he approaches a fight with the intent of scoring a knockout.

The second aspect of this fight of interest to this observer will center on Anthony Yarde and how he will handle the “Big Fight Atmosphere.” Yarde has established himself as a rising star on the United Kingdom’s Boxing scene, but it is important to remember that despite his impressive resume and near-perfect knockout percentage, this will be his first world championship fight. Fighting for a world championship for the first time alone can understandably cause a fighter’s nerves to be high, but Yarde will also be fighting for that world championship in the champion’s home country where the atmosphere and crowd support will likely be in Kovalev’s favor.

A curiosity that some might wonder as this fight approaches will be how Yarde will attempt to approach Kovalev. Yarde has only been the distance once in his career. It came in the challenger’s second professional fight against Stainislavs Makarenko in June 2015. A fight that went a distance of four rounds.

While this should be taken with a grain of salt given that it was only Yarde’s second fight as a professional, it may serve as an indicator that he might not be intent on going into the deep waters of this fight. Yarde has never fought beyond seven rounds in his career and with the knowledge that Kovalev has been knocked out before, it will be interesting to see if the twenty-eight year old will seek a quick knockout here. A possible interesting tactic the champion could attempt to implement here, despite having the ability to end a fight quickly in his own right is to possibly look to extend the challenger into the middle and late rounds of the fight into territory that Yarde has not yet been in his career.

From a stylistic standpoint, this has all the makings of a fight that might not go the distance on paper. Both fighters have punching power, and both can get an opponent out of there if the opportunity presents itself. The question might be whether or not the thirty-six year old champion will use the experience he has gained throughout his career to his advantage or if he will be more than willing to engage in a shoot out with Yarde where the winner may simply come down to who can land their power punches first. Either way, in an era where the sport’s respective sanctioning organizations are routinely criticized for flaws in their rankings criteria and where sometimes mandatory challengers prove to be not ready to face a world champion on fight night, this is one fight where a world champion will face his mandatory challenger where regardless of the outcome will likely be entertaining for as long as it lasts.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Kovalev vs. Yarde takes place on Saturday, August 24th at the Traktor Sport Palace in Celyabinsk, Russia. The fight can be seen in the United States on digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+ beginning at 12:30PM ET/ 9:30AM PT. ESPN+ is available through the ESPN app on mobile, tablet, connected streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Playstation 4, and connected smart TVs for $4.99 per month or $59.99 per year. For more information about ESPN+, a full list of schedules, compatible streaming devices and platforms, and to subscribe please visit: 

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the fight can be seen on BT Sport 2 beginning at 5PM (Saturday, August 24th Local UK Time.) For more information about BT Sport including schedules and availability in your area please visit: Check your local listings internationally.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Billel Dib Discusses Opponent change In WBA Oceania Title Defense On September 14TH

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing

Press Release: August 19, 2019 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Billel Dib is still set for a defence of his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title on September 14 in Tweets Head, despite an opponent change which sees him clash with the game Carlo Magli in a fight that may propel Dib up the ratings and closer to forcing a fight with champion Andrew Cancio. Dib has a lofty position in the WBA, and his initial fight was scrapped as his original opponent from South Africa was removed from the WBA ratings for unknown reasons, hence the change in opponent. Dib cut straight to the point on his thoughts on the change of opponent.

He said, "I wasn't that bothered about the change in the opponent, to be honest. The result will remain the same which will be a Billel Dib victory. The initial opponent may have helped me force myself into the mandatory position, but I know I still need to look good and put on a good performance and impress those in attendance. "Carlo is a game fighter but I am focused on the job at hand and I will show my levels and show that I am a world champion in waiting."

Dib has been very clear in his ambitions to face world champion Cancio but now has a different challenge which can cause all sorts of issues regarding training camps and from a mental perspective. The highly ranked super featherweight opened up about the importance of putting on a show in order to force the fight with the WBA king. Dib stated, "I have to put on a show on September 14 and that is exactly what I intend on doing. I have to put myself in the shop window to get a crack at the big one, so I'm training as hard as ever for this clash as if I don't I could leave myself open to a shock loss and I am a professional, I wouldn't dream of doing something like that.

"Training hasn't changed much and my mindset hasn't either despite the change of opponent. I am as focused as ever and I know 2020 will be my year and I hopefully will land a world title fight then but I know I have to put on an explosive show on September 14 if I want to make that a reality."

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing Used with permission.

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