Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wilder-Fury II Unfinished Business



In December 2018, the Boxing world focused its collective attention on the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA for one of the most anticipated World Heavyweight championship fights in recent memory. An encounter between two undefeated Heavyweights, who each held a claim to the World Heavyweight championship. The bout between WBC world champion Deontay Wilder and undefeated former Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.

Naturally, when discussing two undefeated Heavyweights, opinion is going to vary on a variety of factors. In this case, Tyson Fury the one time holder of the unified IBF/WBA/IBO/WBO crown had relinquished his crown shortly after defeating longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 having never defended the championship. Fury’s decision prompted by several personal problems opened up opportunity in the division to determine who was the top fighter in the division. One fighter who won the WBC world championship in the same year as Fury won his crown would go on to establish his argument as the top man among the Heavyweights both among world champions and would be challengers.

After successfully defending his version of the World Heavyweight championship seven times and scoring knockouts in all seven of those defenses, Deontay Wilder had established himself not only as the longest-reigning active champion in the division, but also one of the most active fighters. This set the stage for Wilder to face a recently returned Fury, who some regarded as the lineal champion due to his having never been defeated for his crown.

While yours truly usually tends to stay out of those kind of debates in the interest of wanting to cover the sport objectively, it nevertheless created a healthy debate as to what would happen when the two men squared off for Wilder’s crown. As some readers may recall this observer’s coverage of that fight, this was a fight between a boxer/puncher in Fury against a fighter primarily known for his punching power and ability to score quick and often brutal knockouts in Wilder. Stylistically, this fight also had an element of a natural aggressor in Wilder against Fury who has been known as a fighter with an awkward, elusive style that often frustrates his opposition.

As I stated in my coverage of that fight, the challenge is to distinguish which fighter is more effective in a bout that was fought in the way this fight was. Fury’s awkwardness proved to be effective in making him an elusive target that Wilder had trouble finding consistently throughout the fight. This did not mean necessarily that Fury was able to stand out clearly in terms of overall activity in punches landed, but it created a scenario where though both fighters had periods of effectiveness, the story for some became what Wilder was unable to do offensively. When fights are fought in this way it can as I have often said over the years leave plenty open to interpretation as to who got the upper hand and this unfortunately creates a further conundrum for those who are tasked with the responsibility of scoring the fight.

In this observer’s eyes, despite my view being that Fury was overall the more effective of the two fighters based largely on how well he was able to execute a defensive approach and evade Wilder, there were several rounds throughout the course of the fight that could have been scored in Wilder’s favor based on overall activity and forcing the action. It was based on this that I ultimately arrived with a scorecard of eight rounds to four or 116-112 in points in Fury’s favor at the end of the twelve round world championship bout. It was in rounds nine and twelve however, that ultimately proved to be crucial in the official scoring of this fight. What I am referring to the knockdowns that Wilder was able to score of Fury.

The first of the knockdowns in round nine I felt helped Wilder narrow the gap on the scorecards, but I also felt it would not be enough on its own for him to retain his championship. The second knockdown in round twelve nearly put all aspects of the potential scoring to rest as a combination to the head of Fury concluded by a brutal left hook knocked Fury down and appeared to be out. To this day, I do not know how Fury managed to beat the count. Although Fury deserves all the credit for doing something that frankly should be viewed as “Miraculous”, there was a brief controversy that emerged following the knockdown as Referee Jack Reiss was criticized by many fans after the fight for taking several seconds after Fury had beat the count to evaluate his condition before allowing him to continue.

Readers will recall that I do not feel that the count of Reiss was long or that the time that he took to evaluate Fury somehow “Robbed” Wilder of a potential knockout win as some had alleged. I will repeat however, that Reiss, who is one of the best referees in the entire sport made a judgment call and perhaps a referee with lesser experience would not allow the fight to continue.

Despite my scorecard at the end of the fight, it is important to take these two knockdowns into the equation. Under the ten point must system that Professional Boxing is scored, the winner of a round where there are no knockdowns is usually scored 10-9. In an instance where there is one knockdown that does not end the fight, the round is scored 10-8, which is the equivalent of two rounds scored 10-9. When one factors into the equation that this fight featured two 10-8 rounds scored in favor of Wilder, that is equal to four rounds being scored 10-9. If one also factors into the equation that several of the rounds in this fight outside of rounds nine and twelve were based largely on interpretation as to who got the upper hand under circumstances that neither fighter was able to stand out as superior from the other, it is not hard to understand how there could be debates as to who won the fight.

The final verdict of a split decision draw taking all factors into the equation was also not hard to understand. It was clear in my eyes however, that the two knockdowns Wilder was able to score allowed him to retain his world championship in terms of narrowing the official scorecards where one judge had it even, while the two remaining judges were split in their scoring. Nevertheless, the result warranted a rematch.

After both fighters have been successful in two bouts each in maintaining their undefeated records and respective claims to the Heavyweight crown, the rematch will come on Saturday, February 22nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The question going into this fight, which will headline a jointly produced pay-per-view card by Fox Sports and ESPN in the United States, is what will be different the second time around?

In thinking of what potential adjustments that could be made, I feel it is crucial that Wilder shorten up his punches. In the first fight, there several instances throughout where he overthrew punches and this can be attributed to both Fury’s elusiveness and Wilder at times being overly aggressive. Although he was able to eventually land on Fury and score those crucial knockdowns that ultimately allowed him to retain his title with a draw, he must not assume that he will be able to do the same in the rematch.

Some may recall following his last title defense against Luis Ortiz in November of last year where in an interview with the Fox Sports broadcast team he eluded to not needing to win rounds due to having the punching power needed to an a fight at any time. Readers may recall in my coverage of that fight, I pointed out that a mentality of not needing to score points in order to win fights is a dangerous one to have. It is even more dangerous when facing a fighter of Tyson Fury’s skill set.

For Tyson Fury, one may argue that what he has suggested in interviews leading up to this fight in eluding that he will be more willing to engage with Wilder with the intention of possibly going for a knockout in this rematch could be the wrong strategy. Fury must remember what brought him to the top of the division once before by being tactical, elusive, and using his height and reach to his advantage. He must also keep in mind that Wilder has shown that he can knock him down and it will be interesting to see it he does attempt to implement a tactical strategy similar to what he was able to do in the first encounter if he can make adjustments to avoid getting caught by Wilder, particularly if this fight goes into the middle and late rounds.

Although Tyson Fury’s style may not always be crowd pleasing, he needs to do what is necessary for him to be successful in this fight even if that means potentially turning fans off by Boxing in a way that may not be the most entertaining to watch. If Fury attempts a completely different approach this time around with the intention of going toe to toe with Wilder, it could be a big mistake given Wilder’s punching power and his ability to score quick knockouts. The most interesting subplot of this rematch however, is that Tyson Fury chose to split with his trainer Ben Davison shortly before this fight and has enlisted the services of Javan Hill, better known within the sport as Sugar Hill, the nephew of the late legendary Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward. While it is not uncommon to see a fighter bring in a new trainer prior to a rematch, the obvious question will be what new tactics, if any will Sugar Hill try to implement into Tyson Fury’s offense. It is also logical to ask the question of whether the two have had enough time together to make significant changes ahead of this fight.

Opinions as to who will win the rematch between Wilder and Fury obviously vary, but an illustration of that can be seen in the current odds according to MyTopSportsbooks as seen below.

Tyson Fury to win on points / decision odds and percentages
The most-likely outcome in the rematch, according to most online sports betting sites reviewed here, is Fury outpointing Wilder on the cards at +138 (41.7% chance). That would have been the outcome of the first fight if Wilder had not put Fury on the mat late, salvaging a draw.

Tyson Fury to win by 2nd round KO odds and percentages
While Fury has predicted a second-round stoppage, the odds of him scoring a finish period are a long +450 (18.2% chance). The odds of it coming in round two, specifically, are +5000 (2%). As much as Fury controlled the early portions of the first fight, Wilder was never in real trouble.

Deontay Wilder to win on points / decision odds and percentages
Oddsmakers believe Wilder will need a knockout/stoppage to score a win. The odds of him being victorious on the cards are an incredible +1000 (9.1%), which is only about 5% higher than the fight ending in another draw. The reason why is two-fold: (1) Fury's jab is likely to rack up points and (2) Wilder has only earned one of his 42 career wins by decision.

While it is important to keep in mind that betting odds offer an educated guess as to what may or may not happen in a fight, in this case the odds do point to the conventional wisdom of many Boxing experts as to what is the best tactic for each fighter to win. Although Deontay Wilder has not scored a decision win since winning his world championship in January 2015 in his first fight against Bermane Stiverne, he has shown that he is capable of going into the middle and late rounds. There are many in the sport including this observer however, that believe that the odds of Wilder winning a decision in this fight is slim based largely on the style of Tyson Fury and Wilder’s own admission that he feels that he does not need to score points in order to win fights.

There is nevertheless a lot at stake for both fighters. Not only is Deontay Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight world championship on the line, but for the winner of this fight there is the obvious lucrative payday that looms with current unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO world champion Anthony Joshua in a fight that would fully unify the Heavyweight division. With anticipation at a high and with a lot to lose for both fighters, it is not hard to understand why this is a highly anticipated rematch. If that anticipation leads to an exciting battle between two of the top fighters the Heavyweight division has to offer, the division as well as the entire sport will be the benefactor no matter the outcome. We will see what happens when Wilder and Fury meet to settle their unfinished business in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 22nd.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Wilder vs. Fury II takes place on Saturday, February 22nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas NV. The fight as well as a three bout undercard can be seen on a pay-per-view basis in the United States on Fox Sports/ESPN+ Pay-Per-View across cable/satellite providers for $79.99 as well as the Fox Sports and ESPN streaming apps. For more information on how to order through Fox Sports please visit:https://www.foxsports.com/boxing/pbc/pay-per-view-wilder-vs-fury-143. To order via ESPN+ PPV order through the ESPN+ section on the ESPN app or visit: https://plus.espn.com/wilder-fury-2 for more information. Both apps are carried on major streaming platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, mobile devices and tablets. Check your local listings internationally.


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

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Vergil Ortiz Jr. Headlines Stacked Card Of Boxing March 28 On DAZN


Press Release: By DAZN – LOS ANGELES (Feb. 18, 2020): The most dominant rising force in the welterweight division returns to the ring as Vergil Ortiz Jr. (15-0, 15 KOs) defends his WBA Gold Welterweight Title against Samuel Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event. Ortiz Jr. will headline a stacked card in his adoptive home of Southern California that will also feature Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano, Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan, Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis, Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and more! The event will take place Saturday, March 28 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN. 
Credit: Golden Boy Promotions 

Ticket information for the event will be announced shortly.

“When people think of the future of the welterweight division, one name stands out, and that’s Vergil Ortiz Jr.,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO at Golden Boy. “Simply put, this kid is special. His talent, speed and power set him apart from any other fighter who is moving up the 147-pound rankings. Don’t miss another spectacular knockout performance at the Forum or live on DAZN!”

Since debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz Jr. has knocked out every opponent in sight. The native of Grand Prairie, Texas, who has roots in Michoacan, Mexico, will participate in his first fight of the year after stopping Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, Antonio “Relentless” Orozco and Brad “King” Solomon in a spectacular 2019. The 21-year-old knockout artist plans to do the same in 2020, but Vargas stands in his way.

“I’m excited to be returning against Samuel Vargas,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. “He’s a tough fighter with a lot of experience, so I know that my talent and skills are going to be put to a tough test. I’m also happy to be fighting in Los Angeles at such a historic venue where many legends in the sport have fought. I love this city, and I love the people here, so I’m going to work very hard to perform to the best of my abilities on March 28.”

Vargas is recognized as one of the toughest challenges in any division. The 30-year-old native of Bogota, Colombia has faced a who’s who of welterweight boxers, including Amir “King” Khan, Luis Collazo, Danny “Swift” Garcia and Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. Vargas plans to engage Ortiz Jr. in a war, something he has yet to encounter.

"Throughout my career, I have always taken the challenges that other fighters in the division don't want, and that's exactly what I'm doing again,” said Samuel Vargas. “Vergil Ortiz Jr. is one of the brightest young stars in boxing, but he hasn't had to go through a war yet. I've shown that I'm willing to go through hell in that ring, so if Ortiz is everything he's hyped up to be, he better be on point March 28 because I know I will.”

In the co-main event, Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (33-7-1, 23 KOs) will put his WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title on the line against Michael “The Artist” Perez (25-3-2, 11 KOs) of Newark, N.J. in a 12-round fight.

Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (18-3, 15 KOs) will fight for the vacant WBA Interim Super Bantamweight Championship against Jose Sanmartin (30-5-1, 20 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia in 12-round clash.

Welterweight contender Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (22-0, 14 KOs) of Lynn, Mass. will defend his WBA Continental Americas Welterweight Title against Sergio Ortega (21-2, 15 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico in a 10-rounder.

Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (18-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. will make the first defense of her WBA Interim Flyweight Title in a 10-round battle.

Christopher Pearson (17-2, 12 KOs) of Tortwood, Ohio will participate in a 10-round middleweight bout.

Raul “Cougar” Curiel (8-0, 6 KOs) of Tampico, Mexico will face Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos (8-0, 6 KOs) of Mount Vernon, Wash. in a 10-round welterweight clash between two young prospects.

Irish prospect Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (10-0, 6 KOs) will return in an eight-round super welterweight clash. 

Chris “Milly” Ousley (12-0, 9 KOs) of Chicago will open the night in an eight-round middleweight battle against Jarvis Williams (8-2-1, 5 KOs) of St. Louis.

Ortiz vs. Vargas is a 12-round fight for the WBA Gold Welterweight Title presented by Golden Boy. The event is sponsored by Hennessy "Never Stop. Never Settle." The event will take place Saturday, March 28 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and
DAZN.com. Follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing and @DAZN_USA. Become a fan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing/ and 
https://www.facebook.com/DAZNUSA/. Follow on Instagram @GoldenBoy and @DAZN_USA. Follow the conversation using #OrtizVargas.

Material Courtesy of: DAZN/Photo Courtesy of: Golden Boy Promotions Used with permission.

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

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


Monday, February 17, 2020

Should Ryan Garcia Fight For A World Championship Next?



The question going into the February 14th Lightweight bout between undefeated fast-rising contender Ryan Garcia and former world title challenger Francisco Fonseca was whether or not the veteran Fonseca would be able to provide the twenty-year old Garcia a test as he continues trying to position himself for a potential opportunity at a world championship.

In some ways, the position Garcia was in prior to this fight was not unlike many prospects turned contenders at similar stages of their respective careers. After all many fighters are able to establish a following as a look to progress up the ranks. As this process progresses, the fighter often times also deals with questions regarding both their overall skill level and/or criticism regarding their opposition. While the latter can indeed prove to be a “No-Win” scenario, all a fighter can do is face the opposition that is placed before them.

On February 14th an enthusiastic crowd packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA to see the next chapter in the story of the prospect turned contender Ryan Garcia. Although this observer believed based on Francisco Fonseca’s previous bouts against former world champions Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis that we would likely see at least a few rounds of action if not also seeing him put Garcia to the test, it was Garcia who had other plans. A perfectly timed short counter left hook to the chin sent Fonseca down and out cold at just 1:20 of the first round. Simply put, there is not much analysis that one can give on what was the definition of a “One Punch Knockout.”

Garcia’s knockout Fonseca however, was the latest in a string of five straight knockouts. These knockouts had not only served as a launching pad for Garcia’s rising star status, but have also been prominently featured as part of digital subscription-based streaming network DAZN’s Boxing coverage. Why would this be seen as an important component?

It is important to remember that although DAZN made a big splash in signing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez toward the end of 2018 to a massive deal reportedly worth $365 Million in a multi-fight and multi-year agreement following HBO’s decision to exit the sport after a forty-five year run, along with the deal came an agreement with Alvarez’ promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions promotional company. The same promoter that promotes Ryan Garcia.

A consistent challenge for any promoter in the sport is to not only have a centerpiece “Star Fighter” for its stable, but also to consistently develop new stars in the process no matter what television platform they may be attached to. In this case, DAZN has established itself as a viable alternative to the traditional cable network and more specifically the pay-per-view model by offering its content on a subscription basis directly to the consumer as opposed to traditional cable/satellite distribution on either a monthly or annual subscription basis and in terms of Boxing content does not offer their cards on a per card basis similar to that of pay-per-view.

While this observer has long been on record in pointing out the benefits of over the top (OTT) digital distribution as a relates to Boxing and feel that it is a more consumer-friendly model that offers considerably more content than the traditional form of television, it does not mean that is without its challenges.

When it comes to any subscription-based model the challenge is to keep subscribers happy and in terms of Boxing and by extension all of combat sports that means providing the fights that a consumer wants to see on a consistent basis. Although this is what most people would consider the bottom line, network platforms like DAZN and ESPN+ do offer a great opportunity for young fighters like Garcia to become stars in whatever combat sport they compete in.

Garcia, who has a sizable social media presence has been able to capitalize on the opportunities that have been placed before him, which have included fighting on the undercards of Saul Alvarez as well as being in position of headlining cards broadcast by DAZN. The obvious question coming out of his knockout of Francisco Fonseca is, should Ryan Garcia fight for a world championship in his next fight?

While there are likely no shortage of opinions regarding this subject, I believe given not only the track record that Garcia has established, but also his being highly ranked in two of five world sanctioning organizations in the 135lb. Lightweight division that it may be time to put him in against a world champion. In terms of the current landscape of the division, there are two world champions including unified WBO/WBA/WBC world champion Vasyl Lomachenko and recently crowned undefeated IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez. It appears that both Lomachenko and Lopez on a collision course for a fight later this year that would unify the World Lightweight championship seeing as the crown of the International Boxing Organization (IBO) is currently vacant at 135lbs.

Although this would at least for the time being leave Garcia and the equation, the landscape of the sanctioning organizations involved do mandate the designation of interim/regular champion status, which in simple terms means a mandatory position to challenge a unified world champion down the line. Where this could work out to Garcia’s benefit is that he is currently rated number four in the world by the World Boxing Council (WBC) in the Lightweight division. The current number one contender who holds interim/regular champion status in those rankings is undefeated Devin Haney.

Why would this be a mutually beneficial fight for both? For one both compete on the same network platform DAZN and theoretically that would eliminate a lot of the hurdles in the business of Boxing that more often than not stand in the way of fights being made within a reasonable timeframe. Both fighters have had similar routes in their professional careers thus far and they do have history with each other. As amateurs, Garcia and Haney met twice with each man holding a decision win over the other. Even though some may not regard amateur fights between two top contending professionals very highly, it does provide a wrinkle that we have not seen either fighter face in their careers. What would happen against a fighter that they had previously faced, but this time as professionals?

Although Devin Haney is not promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, his promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing promotional company are also under a long-term contract with DAZN. What makes the possibility of Garcia and Haney meeting in the near future even more of a possibility is both promoters have been willing to co-promote in order to make fights happen.

In a perfect scenario the winner of a Haney-Garcia fight would be next in line to challenge the winner of the potential fight between Lomachenko and Lopez, providing that their promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. would be willing to make that fight happen as a co-promotion between his network partner ESPN and DAZN. While the latter may be a fight to discuss for 2021, this observer sees no reason why a fight between Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia cannot happen this year. It may be a simple as promoters De La Hoya and Hearn as well as DAZN simply sitting down at the negotiating table to finalize a deal. In the changing landscape of television where the subscription-based model has proven to be more viable than traditional platforms, all three should won this fight to happen.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison




Sunday, February 16, 2020

Australian Champion "Action" Jackson England set for WBC Asia Title Fight On March 6 In Perth



Press Release February 16, 2019 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Perth’s highly rated "Action" Jackson England is all set for his first regional title clash, as the Dragon Fire Boxing standout steps up to super featherweight to contest the WBC Asian Silver Championship on March 6 in Metro City, Perth in a co feature vs Filipino Jason Tinampay over 10 rounds, the winner becoming mandatory to challenge the Champion from China Li for his WBC Asia title. 
Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing 

England who recently resigned with Tony Toljs Dragon Fire Boxing on a long term deal, has had a solid start to his professional career, winning 11 of his opening 12 professional contests whilst becoming Australian Featherweight champion in the process. Jackson, who is trained at the Onyx Gym in Perth, opened up about resigning with Tolj and his upcoming title clash.

England said, "I'm absolutely delighted to have resigned with Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing. I am a featherweight, so I looked up to fighters like WBA Champion of the decade Chris "The Dragon" John who was one of the best featherweights in recent times. To be guided in my career by the same team that guided him is very special and I am very grateful.


"I am excited to be progressing in the way I am and I believe I can go all the way in this sport. I am still only young, so it is important to have the right people to guide you. I need to have that and I believe I do in Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing.


“I have the opportunity thanks to Tony to fight for a WBC title. We all grew up watching the likes of Floyd Mayweather winning WBC titles, so to start along that path is something I’m very grateful to be given the chance to go on.”


England returns on this year's first installment of the world-renowned Thunderdome series, that has been a mainstay of Australian boxing for decades in itself. England discussed his next outing and his plans for 2020.


He said, "Well I firstly need to keep listening to my manager Tony Tolj as he knows what's best for my career. He's guided the likes of the Moloney's, Billel Dib and Bruno Tarimo to major titles and I want to follow in their footsteps and I believe I can. They are all world rated, Ive just cracked the OPBF ratings and we are just getting started.


"I'm always improving, so I expect to put on a career-best performance at the Thunderdome show. I believe I can go all the way to the top in this sport and I have the opportunity to get into the WBC rankings in my next fight so that is a massive motivation for me in this fight.


"I wanted more titles in 2020 and I have that opportunity on March 6. I believe that I can progress up the world ratings titles in a way the likes of Bruno Tarimo and Billel Dib has done around my weight so I'd like to follow his path up the world route as I believe I'm destined for world titles eventually." 

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

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


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Garcia-Fonseca Final Presser Quotes


Press Release By DAZN - ANAHEIM, CALIF. (Feb. 12, 2020): Rising lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) and Nicaraguan contender Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2, 19 KOs) hosted their final press conference today at the Honda Center ahead of their 12-round title fight for the WBC Silver Lightweight Championship. Undercard fighters from the event also participated in the presser.
The action-packed event place Saturday, Feb. 14 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN. 
Credit:Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions 

Below is what today’s participants had to say at the press conference:

RYAN GARCIA, WBC Silver Lightweight Champion:
“2020 is the year to show everyone that I’ve got the skills and talent to take on bigger challenges. I’ve been working hard and training every day, and I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to become a better fighter. Francisco Fonseca is a tough fighter, and this gives everyone a chance to see how good I am. I’m ready, so let’s show everyone that boxing is here to stay.”

FRANCISCO FONSECA, Lightweight Contender:
“I’m going to come prepared to give a great show, and God willing I’m going to take the win. I’m ready for this.”

JORGE LINARES, Former Three-Division World Champion:
“I’m so excited and happy to be here, this is my first time at the Honda Center. I’m ready to make an amazing show on this great card. Good luck to all the boxers!”

CARLOS MORALES, Lightweight Contender:
“I’m really thrilled to fight someone like Jorge. He’s probably the best lightweight of his era. I’m excited to test my skills against a hall of famer in boxing, and we’re going to give a good fight.”

ALEXIS ROCHA, WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Champion:
“I’m very excited to fight in my hometown. I know I have a very tough competitor, but I’m ready to shine.”

BLAIR COBBS, NABF Welterweight Champion:
“It’s great to be in an undercard with talent as great as Ryan Garcia. The most exciting man is boxing is here to take over the welterweight division, and I’m here to stay.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy:
“I’m excited to showcase a really phenomenal card that the fans deserve. Ryan Garcia is taking boxing to the next level at the Honda Center, the home of many big fights featuring the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez and Canelo Alvarez. This is a very important card for all participants. Garcia has developed into an athlete that is deserving of a world title.”

JOE MARKOWSKI, EVP, DAZN North America:
“The narrative around this fight is pretty straightforward. Is Ryan Garcia a social media sensation or a future world champion? Can Ryan Garcia put on a show on Valentine’s Day and raise a belt over his head? This will all be determined on Friday night. Even though, it’s pretty early in the year we are very excited about the fights DAZN has put out so far.”

Also, a media workout was hosted yesterday at Real Boxing MMA & Fitness with Garcia and Fonseca. Undercard fighters from the event also participated. Below are photos and quotes from the event:


RYAN GARCIA, WBC Silver Lightweight Champion:
"Fonseca had okay fights with Farmer and Davis. It was nothing impressive though. I'm a whole different fighter. I'm taller, stronger and just better overall. I watched four rounds of his fight. This guy cannot beat me. He's going to try to box me. He doesn't have the power to brawl. He's going to keep away from me. I'm going to press the fight like a Mexican fighter." 

FRANCISCO FONSECA, Lightweight Contender:
"We are prepared to win. If it's by decision, they are not going to give it to me. So, I know what I have to do. He's a great fighter, but I've had a lot of experience facing top opposition. I don't want to underestimate Ryan Garcia. He's a great prospect, but he doesn't have the experience that Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer had. On that basis, I will walk away with the victory on Feb. 14."

JORGE LINARES, Former Three-Division World Champion:
"Carlos Linares is very tough and strong. I know him very well. Though I have a lot of experience, I have to be very careful and cautious when the bell rings. Right now, I'm focused on the opponent I will have in front of me this Friday. After that, we'll see what opportunities we have. Who knows? Maybe I fight in May or June? Boxing is like that. You never know."

CARLOS MORALES, Lightweight Contender:
"This is the most important fight of my career. Linares is a veteran fighter with a lot of experience. He has everything in his toolbox. He was a three-time division world champion and five-time world champion, so I know I have to come at my very best."

Garcia vs. Fonseca is a 12-round fight for the WBC Silver Lightweight Title presented by Golden Boy. The event is sponsored by Hennessy "Never Stop. Never Settle." The event will take place Friday, Feb. 14 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Tickets for the event are on sale and are priced at $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges. Tickets can be purchased at goldenboytickets.com, ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-943-4327 and at the Honda Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 5 p.m. PT and Sat 10 a.m. PT to 4 p.m. PT). 

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and
DAZN.com. Follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing and @DAZN_USA. Become a fan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing/ and 
https://www.facebook.com/DAZNUSA/. Follow on Instagram @GoldenBoy and @DAZN_USA. Follow the conversation using #GarciaFonseca.

Material Courtesy of: DAZN/Photo Courtesy of: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions Used with permission.

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

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Garcia-Fonseca Preview



In November of last year, the Boxing world focused on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez' attempt to win a World Light-Heavyweight championship from WBO world champion and longtime division cornerstone Sergey Kovalev. Although that was the fight that drew the bulk of the audience, what occurred on the undercard provided a glimpse of Boxing’s next potential marquee draw. Undefeated fast rising Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia.

Garcia, entered the ring on that November evening unbeaten in eighteen professional bouts having scored knockouts in fifteen of those fights having registered a career knockout percentage of over 80%. Much like other prospects throughout the sport that are able to compile a similar resume, questions are naturally asked of the young fighter. The most frequent among them is who will be able to provide the fighter with a test and how will that fighter respond to being tested. For many, including this observer, there was a strong belief that the text for Garcia would come on that November evening where he faced dangerous power punching contender Romero Duno.

Duno had the credentials to give Garcia a test in the eyes of many. Duno entered the fight having won twenty-one of his twenty-two professional fights and had scored sixteen knockouts in those twenty-one wins. What appeared to be a fight that would be a test for Garcia on paper did not materialize in the ring as Garcia used his hand speed and punching power to overwhelm Duno in scoring a first round knockout. When knockouts occur in the fashion as Garcia’s knockout of Duno did, it often serves as the moment where a young prospect transitions to a contender. A statement making performance that turns heads and creates buzz among both fans and Boxing experts alike.

The question of who can provide the twenty-one year old Garcia a test however, remains. Although it is not necessarily uncommon to see a fighter off of a knockout like Garcia scored last November put into a world title fight in their next outing, Garcia will instead step into the ring on Friday night against another top contender as he will face former world title challenger Francisco Fonseca at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

This is a fight that has an element of youth versus experience. Although Francisco Fonseca is only twenty-five years old, as a fighter he has more experience against world-class opposition than does Ryan Garcia. Fonseca will enter the fight with a record of 25-2-2, with 19 Knockouts and has fought for a world championship twice in his career. Although he is likely most known to some fans for having come up short in those two fights against Gervonta Davis and      Tevin Farmer, Fonseca is a skilled fighter who could pose some difficulty for Garcia if he is allowed to get into the fight. In his last bout in November of last year Fonseca fought to a twelve round draw against Alex Dilmaghani in London, England.

In thinking of how this fight could go, this observer studied footage of both fighters in their recent fights. During the course of these film study sessions, it became clear in my eyes that the challenge for Fonseca will be can he time Garcia’s hand speed. In his last fight against Alex Dilmaghani, Fonseca was more than willing to engage on the inside. What stood out to me was how he was susceptible to being hit with both right hands to the head as well as body punches.

Even though these instances did not prove to negatively impact Fonseca in that fight, I felt that this could prove to be dangerous if he is not defensively sound against Ryan Garcia because Garcia has quicker hands than does Dilmaghani. It was also notable that whenever Fonseca would guard his body from offense in that fight, he left his head open and a fighter with quick hands like Garcia will be able to take advantage of that should the opportunity present itself. So how does Francisco Fonseca find a way to be successful in this fight?

In the simplest terms, the old Boxing adage is that there is only one way to negate speed and that would be timing. Fonseca must play the role of counter puncher in this fight and must make Garcia take the initiative and pressing the action. If Fonseca takes a similar approach as he did against Alex Dilmaghani in this fight, I do not see a way he can be successful. He must use his experience to his advantage.

It is also important to keep in mind that Ryan Garcia has yet to be pushed into the deep waters of the middle and late rounds of the fight on the world-class level and it would be logical to expect that Fonseca’s strategy might involve pushing the fight into the middle and late rounds. He will not be able to that however, if he leaves himself open as he did against Dilmaghani in his last fight.

For Ryan Garcia, if he can keep the fight at distance where he can control the tempo of the combat and not allow Fonseca to get on the inside and not leave openings for Fonseca to counter, he will likely be successful in this fight. It is important to remember however, in Boxing and all of combat sports anything can happen at any given time as Yours truly has often said over the years.

Although one might assume that if Ryan Garcia is successful in this fight against Francisco Fonseca on Friday night that we could be seeing him in a world title fight in his next bout, Garcia must take care of business first before any potential challenges at a world championship are discussed. If he is not focused, it just may present the perfect opportunity for a top contender to springboard himself back into the world title picture.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Garcia vs. Fonseca takes place on Friday, February 14th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The fight as well as its full undercard can be seen on digital sports subscription streaming network DAZN beginning at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT (U.S. Time) in the United States and several international countries.  For more information about DAZN including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs, availability around the world, and to subscribe please visit: www.DAZN.com. Check your local listings internationally.

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison                                                                           




Monday, February 10, 2020

Steve Gago set for WBC Australasia Title Challenge In Perth March 6

Press Release February 10, 2020 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Multi time regional title holder Steve Gago will challenge for the WBC Australasia title against current WBC Asia Pacific Champion Gesiler AP on March 6 in Metro City, Perth.  
Credit:Dragon Fire Boxing 

Gago, who was unlucky to miss out against Kazak amateur standout and now an undefeated pro, Nursultan Zhangabayev in his last outing, in a fight that many observers saw the Perth native winning. Gago now looks to make his way up the world rankings with the WBC, as he challenges their current Asia Pacific champion on the latest edition of the Thunderdome Series. 

Gago opened up about his WBC title opportunity, “Firstly I have to thank my manager Tony Tolj for making this a possibility. To get me back into title action in this way is amazing and I’m very grateful for everything Tony has done for me. 

“When you’re a kid growing up in boxing you dream of being a WBC Champion. You look at legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr and other greats and you dream of being like them and winning the titles they did So I’m excited to fight for a WBC belt and hopefully begin to climb the ladder towards fighting for a WBC world title someday. 

"I've been training really hard since my last fight because opportunities like this come around so when they do I know I’m ready. I'm still improving as a fighter and that is getting me to where I need to be in my career and that is at title level."

Gago has impressed in recent months, having won the IBF Pan-Pacific title at the IBF convention last year in Macau. The Western Australian native discussed his plans moving forward and his success so far as a pro.

He said, "I've been really blessed to get some great opportunities so far in the professional game so thank you to my manager Tony Tolj for making that happen. 

"I really enjoyed winning the IBF title at the convention in Macau. Those are great memories that fighters take from their careers, and I believe there are many more nights like that to come in my career.

"I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity by the WBC to fight for one of their titles, so I just want to continue to progress up the world ratings and hopefully one day get a world title fight.”

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

For more information about Dragon Fire Boxing please visit Dragon Fire Boxing’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DragonFireBoxing

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

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Brook KO’s DeLuca In 7



Former IBF World Welterweight champion Kell Brook scored an impressive seventh round knockout over veteran Mark DeLuca on Saturday night at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Brook, who was returning to the ring following a fourteen month layoff appeared a bit wary in the first two rounds and did not let his hands go consistently. This would change however, in round three where he dropped DeLuca with a short combination to the head. Despite appearing to be at a disadvantage in terms of hand speed and appearing to have suffered a broken nose, DeLuca was able to get up and the fight continued.

Although he was knocked down, DeLuca was more than willing to engage with Brook and did manage to have sporadic success throughout landing right hands to the head and consistently attempting to go to Brook’s body.The hand speed of Brook would show itself again toward the end of the fourth round when a barrage of punches seemed to have DeLuca in trouble and on the ropes, but he was able to survive the round. 

As the fight progressed, Brook continued to administer punishment on DeLuca landing punches with both hands to the head and body. DeLuca remained very “Game” and never stopped trying to return offense. The end would however, come in round seven when Brook connected with a short left hook to the head that sent DeLuca down for the second time. With the effects of the punishment he had sustained throughout the fight clearly evident, the valiant DeLuca was unable to beat the count of ten and that concluded matters at 1:15 of round seven. Kell Brook advances to 39-2, with 27 Knockouts. Mark DeLuca falls to 24-2, with 14 Knockouts.

In an IBF Featherweight elimination bout, former world title challenger Kid Galahad scored a one-sided ninth round stoppage over former IBO World Featherweight champion Claudio Marrero. Galahad used effective angles and combination punching to prevent Marrero from finding a consistent rhythm throughout the fight. Although there were points throughout where both fighters were warned for what appeared to be roughhousing on the inside, Galahad never relinquished control of the fight and after nine rounds of accumulated punishment, Marrero’s corner informed Referee Howard Foster that they were pulling their fighter out of the fight to prevent him from further punishment. Kid Galahad advances to 27-1, with 16 Knockouts. Claudio Marrero falls to 24-4, with 17 Knockouts.

Undefeated Welterweight Anthony Tomlinson scored a ninth round stoppage of Stewart Burt in a British and Commonwealth elimination bout. Anthony Tomlinson advances to 12-0, with 7 Knockouts. Stewart Burt falls to 13-2-1, with 1 Knockout.

In a battle for the unified Women’s IBO/WBC Jr. Lightweight world championship, undefeated IBO world champion Terri Harper successfully unified her crown by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over longtime WBC champion Eva Wahlstrom Harper’s hand speed and lateral movement proved to be too much for Wahlstrom as she was able to out box and outwork the WBC champion over the ten round bout. The highlight of the fight came in the seventh round when Harper was able to score a knockdown of Wahlstrom with what appeared to be a body shot on her way to winning the fight on all three official scorecards. Terri Harper advances to 10-0, with 5 Knockouts. Eva Wahlstrom falls to 22-2, with 3 Knockouts.

Jr. Lightweight Martin Ward scored a dominant ten round decision over Jesus Amparan. The fight was dominated by Ward’s lateral movement and combination punching. Ward scored two knockdowns in the fight, the first from a right hook to the body in round seven, which was followed by another right hook body shot in the tenth and final round to seal the victory. Martin Ward advances to 24-1-2, with 11 Knockouts. Jesus Amparan falls to 16-2, with 14 Knockouts.

Also in the Jr. Lightweight division, unbeaten prospect Donte Dixon scored a fourth round stoppage of Eduardo Valverde. Donte Dixon advances to 3-0, with 2 Knockouts. Eduardo Valverde falls to 2-3-1, with 1 Knockout.

Heavyweight veteran Dave Allen scored a second round knockout of journeyman Dorian Darch. After an uneventful first round where Allen spent most of it standing with his arms at his sides, he exploded in the second round dropping Darch with a left hook to the head followed by several body shots. This was followed by a follow-up barrage that sent Darch down for a second time. Darch sat on the canvas for a few seconds before choosing to lay back and allow himself to be counted out at :53 of round two. Dave Allen advances to 18-5-2, with 15 Knockouts. Dorian Darch falls to 12-12-1, with 1 Knockout. 

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight John Docherty scored a first round knockout over late substitute Pablo Mendoza. The tall and rangy Docherty dropped Mendoza with a flush left hook to the head at the end of the first round. Mendoza, who was substituting for original opponent Stanislav Eschner, staggered to his feet and stumbled into a corner pad prompting Referee Howard Foster to stop the fight immediately after the bell rang to end round one. John Docherty advances to 8-0, with 6 Knockouts. Pablo Mendoza falls to 9-4, with 9 Knockouts.

Undefeated Cruiserweight Callum Beardow opened the card scoring a four round decision over Pawel  Martyniuk. Callum Beardow advances to 2-0, with 0 Knockouts. Pawel  Martyniuk falls to 1-4, with 1 Knockout. 

Three storylines emerged coming out of this card that will likely continue to be topics as 2020 continues. First among those storylines is the re-emergence of Kell Brook, who now as a 154lb. Jr. Middleweight could find himself in some intriguing bouts. Perhaps the most interesting possibility for the moment for Brook could be an encounter with former WBO Jr. Middleweight world champion Liam Smith, which would likely be a marquee draw in England where both fighters are based. 

Similarly, the story of the unified Women’s IBO/WBC Jr. Lightweight world champion Terri Harper could likely see a move up to the 135lb. Lightweight division where a fight with current undisputed world champion Katie Taylor. In the expanding world of Women’s Boxing a fight between Taylor and Harper is not just one of the best fights that could be made between two of the top fighters in the United Kingdom, but in the sport currently.

For Kid Galahad, his victory over Claudio Marrero puts him back in position to challenge for s world championship. In his previous attempt at a world title, Galahad lost a twelve round split decision to undefeated IBF world champion Josh Warrington in June of last year, the lone loss in Galahad’s career. With Galahad once again the number one contender for the IBF crown, it creates the possibility of a rematch of what was a highly competitive fight. 

Although what takes place inside the ring ultimately draws the most interest, there are times where the stories that follow the fighters themselves and the possible lead up to fights that could be made can be just as intriguing. The three stories that surround these fighters are no exception.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison

Friday, February 7, 2020

Thoughts On The Recent Bouts Of Yordenis Ugas And Austin Trout


Initially, the main story for the sport of Boxing heading into Super Bowl 54 weekend was the scheduled WBC Jr. Welterweight world championship bout between champion Jose Ramirez and former world champion Viktor Postol. In a rare circumstance, the bout between the two, which was scheduled to take place on February 1st in China was not cancelled or postponed due to an injury or illness to either fighter, but the cancellation instead came as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic that has severely impacted the country and has subsequently caused significant concern and precautions around the world.

As regular readers of The Boxing Truth®️ know, there was another bout that took place on that evening that perhaps because of the Ramirez-Postol cancellation received more recognition. This observer is referred to the Welterweight encounter between former world title challenger Yordenis Ugas and Mike Dallas Jr. that took place in Biloxi, MS.

In previewing this fight, I stated that the question going in was what version of Mike Dallas would show up. Dallas, a world-class fighter had perhaps been more known for his setbacks than his successes. Since returning to the ring in November 2013 following a two year layoff after suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Lucas Matthysse in January 2013, Dallas had gone unbeaten in five bouts.

The thing that many find appealing about the sport of Boxing as this observer has said many times, is that it is a sport of opportunity and sometimes all it takes is for a fighter to build momentum in order to gain opportunity. Nevertheless, I did wonder in the days leading up to the fight whether this was an opportunity that Dallas would be ready for. Despite the momentum he was able to build, Ugas had been in against a higher level of competition going into this encounter and it was reasonable to ask if Dallas would be ready for a step up.

This bout can be summed up by simply describing the pattern of the combat. From the opening bell, Ugas applied pressure on Dallas. Although Dallas was willing to engage and exchange with Ugas, he could not land anything to discourage Ugas from coming forward and could not break the pattern of being consistently pushed back. Ugas’ greater activity and heavier blows ultimately convinced Dallas’ corner to stop the fight after the seventh round. 

The twenty-fifth victory of Ugas’ career was an impressive one and one frankly that if you’re involved with a fighter who recently fought for a world championship would want to see. Although this performance could best be called workmanlike for Ugas, It will allow him to maintain his position as a top contender in the 147lb. Welterweight division.

Another fighter who saw action on February 1st was longtime Jr. Middleweight contender Austin Trout. Trout, who is best known for his time holding Interim/regular champion status In the World Boxing Association (WBA) Jr. Middleweight ratings where his biggest win came in defending that designation with a unanimous decision victory over future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto in December 2012, last fought in May of last year earning a ten round split decision draw against Terrell Gausha. 

After spending the bulk of his career competing in the Jr. Middleweight division, Trout returned to the ring in Ruidoso, NM, but as a Welterweight where he faced largely unknown veteran Rosbel Montoya.  Although Trout has failed to successfully go from top contender to world champion in his career, most knowledgeable Boxing aficionados would agree he is an elite level fighter who has held his own against some of the best fighters of his era. 

This fight was more of an evaluation type of fight for Trout. What I mean by this for the reader is that even though Trout weighed in slightly above the 147lb. Welterweight limit for this bout, he was testing the waters in a new weight class and in terms of his opposition, Rosbel Montoya could be described by some as a “Journeyman “ entertaining the fight with a record of 17-9-1, with 13 Knockouts. The gleaming statistic of Montoya’s record was that of those nine losses, he had been stopped in eight of those nine fights.

While some may criticize the selection of a fighter with such a record as an opponent for a fighter of Trout’s caliber, fighters like Montoya do serve a purpose of evaluation for fighters at different stages whether they be young prospects on their way up the ranks or, in this case, a world-class boxer looking to test the waters in a new division. It also goes without saying that there are times where fighters with the type of record as the one Montoya brought into the ring with him turn out to be tougher opponents than their records would indicate. 

In this case, it was clear from the opening bell that Montoya was overmatched as Trout scored a knockdown of him in the first round and following a consistent attack to Montoya’s body scored a second knockdown in round two forcing a stoppage of the fight. At the end of the day, this is what one should have been expected to see of a fighter of Austin Trout’s pedigree against a “Game “, but ultimately overmatched fighter. The question is what comes next?

Although this bout did not take place under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner, Trout is still managed by Al Haymon, the primary backer of the PBC. Yordenis Ugas also currently competes under the PBC banner. In thinking of potential options for both fighters, this observer feels it’s logical that Ugas and Trout be potential opponents for each other.

For Yordenis Ugas, a fight against Trout could provide him with another opportunity at a world championship should he be able to score a win against a notable opponent of Trout’s caliber. Now having gotten his feet wet in the 147lb. Welterweight division, a fighter against a top contender like Ugas obviously would provide Trout with an opportunity to launch himself into the discussion of potential world title challengers in the division if he were to defeat Ugas.

Although the current business landscape of the sport has an emphasis on exclusivity both in regard to fighters being under exclusive contracts with promoters and those promoters having exclusive contracts with television networks across both traditional and digital streaming platforms has led to some justifiable criticism regarding some fights not being made that are in public demand, this is one instance where the roadblocks that are present in the sport that prevent fights from taking place are not there. Here you have two fighters in the same weight class and fighting under the same promotional banner. 

As the landscape for the moment continues to emphasize exclusivity where some promoters and networks remain reluctant to work together to put on marquee fights on a consistent basis, it falls on the promoters to focus their efforts on making the best fights that could be made under the current business landscape of the sport of Boxing. Why not this one?

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison