Saturday, July 31, 2021

Wood Stops Can In 12 At Matchroom Fight Camp


In an upset,British Featherweight champion Leigh Wood scored a twelfth round stoppage of top Featherweight contender Xu Can in the main event of week 1 of Season 2 of Matchroom Fight Camp on Saturday night at Matchroom Headquarters in Brentwood, England. From the opening bell, Wood used angles and his reach to keep the normal volume puncher Can on the defensive and only getting his punches off sporadically. This along with consistent combination punching firmly established the momentum in Wood’s favor. As the fight progressed, Can, who entered the fight holding interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Featherweight ratings, started to pick up his pace, but was unable to turn the ebb and flow of the combat in his favor, perhaps affected by ring rust after being inactive for nearly twenty-two months due largely to the ongoing COVID-19 global epidemic. 


The story of the fight became Wood’s ability to remain disciplined. With momentum seemingly on his side, Wood made a statement in the late stages of the twelfth and final round by dropping Can with a perfectly timed counter right hook to the head. Can was able to get to his feet, but Wood sensing his opponent was in trouble was not content to box the remaining seconds to what appeared to be a clear decision victory. He proceeded to press forward and with a follow-up barrage was able to get a stoppage with fifteen seconds remaining in the fight. Leigh Wood advances to 25-2, with 14 Knockouts. Xu Can falls to 18-3, with 3 Knockouts.


Also on this card:


Commonwealth Cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith scored a hard fought twelve round split decision over European Cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy to win the European Cruiserweight championship and vacant British Cruiserweight championship. An extremely difficult fight to score and at times ugly to watch due to the fighters grappling on the inside, Smith was stunned by an overhand right to the head in the first round. He was able to recoup and managed to hold his own against the awkwardness of McCarthy. As the two fighters traded the ebb and flow in seemingly every round, McCarthy suffered a bad cut over the right eye in the sixth round as a result of an accidental clash of heads. McCarthy continued however, to hold his own and staggered Smith with another overhand right in the eleventh round. An extremely close fight with neither fighter standing out definitively was illustrated as two of three official judges scored the fight 115-114, but were split between the two fighters. The third and deciding judge however, turned in a score of 116-112 in favor of Smith giving him the victory and the trifecta of British, Commonwealth, and European Cruiserweight championships. Chris Billam-Smith advances to 13-1, with 10 Knockouts. Tommy McCarthy falls to 18-3, with 9 Knockouts.


Unbeaten Jr. Welterweight  Campbell Hatton, the son of former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton, improved to 3-0 in his young career by scoring a four round decision over Jakub Laskowski. Hatton forced the action from the outset and, despite a consistent attack to Laskowski’s body Laskowski did manage to make it to the final bell. As all non-title bouts held in the United Kingdom and Ireland that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating a fight, Referee Mark Bates scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Hatton. Campbell Hatton advances to 3-0, with 0 Knockouts. Jakub Laskowski falls to 4-5-1, with 2 Knockouts.


Jr. Middleweight contender Anthony Fowler scored an impressive eighth round stoppage of late substitute Rico MuellerFowler was able to keep Mueller, who took the fight on short notice when original opponent Roberto Garcia withdrew with an injury suffered in training, on the end of his punches with his longer reach from the opening bell. This resulted in Mueller having to fight behind a high defensive guard where he simply was not able to get his punches off consistently. As Fowler gradually kept his offense coming and started breaking through Mueller’s guard, the punishment gradually accumulated. In round eight, Fowler connected with a solid one, two to the head that staggered Mueller. Fowler responded with a near non-stop barrage of punches that was broken briefly when Mueller landed a single hook to the head, but that punch was not enough to keep Fowler off of him and with the assault continuing, the fight was mercifully stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:12 of round eight. Anthony Fowler advances to 16-1, with 12 Knockouts. Rico Mueller falls to 28-4-1, with 19 Knockouts.



Super-Middleweight Jack Cullen scored the biggest win of his career by scoring a dominant ten round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Avni Yildirim. Cullen used his longer reach to keep Yildirim at distance. Working behind a consistent jab and using lateral movement, Cullen was able to out box and withstand Yildirim’s pressure as the fight progressed to earn a convincing unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93 all in favor of Cullen. Jack Cullen advances to 20-2-1, with 9 Knockouts. Avni Yildirim falls to 21-4, with 12 Knockouts.


In the opening bout of the evening Women’s Jr. Welterweight Sandy Ryan began her professional career by scoring a six round decision over Kirstie Bavington.  Bavington began this fight by trying to impose her will on the debuting Ryan by trying to be aggressive and push her back against the ropes. Despite her aggression, Ryan landed the cleaner punches of the two fighters and by the middle rounds was using her lateral movement and timing to more or less pick her shots as Bavington came forward. It appeared in the latter stages of the fight that Ryan’s combination punching and ability to time Bavington almost at will may have been enough to get a late stoppage, but Bavington remained very “Game” and made it to the final bell. Referee Mark Bates scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Ryan.  Sandy Ryan advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Kirstie Bavington falls to 3-2-2, with 2 Knockouts.


Originally, this card was to be headlined by undefeated Welterweight contender Conor Benn facing Adrian Granados in a scheduled ten round bout. The fight however, was postponed two days before the card due to Benn contracting the COVID-19 virus. As of this writing, no rescheduled date has been announced. We will keep readers updated on any developments as they become available.


The theme of Matchroom Fight Camp is a simple sales pitch “No Easy Fights.” While that is a simple sales hook, the first season in 2020 occurred under circumstances of the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic and the concept was born basically out of necessity as promoters attempted to resume activity under very trying circumstances. As we saw last year, the bouts being promoted by Matchroom Boxing and the chairman of Matchroom Sport Eddie Hearn are not throwaways. The type of fights where there is a consensus amongst both fans and experts as to the outcomes. Instead, the fights during the first season were very competitive and produced more than a few unexpected results.


This time around with the addition of nearly three-hundred spectators as well as Matchroom deepening its relationship with global digital sports streaming network DAZN to cover the United Kingdom and Ireland market as well as its existing deal to broadcast Matchroom events around the world, the first week of season two saw a somewhat unexpected result in Leigh Wood catapulting himself from British Featherweight champion to being one step away from a world championship bout with a knockout of Xu Can, a fighter known for the ability to produce extremely high punch outputs and one that had never been stopped before.


As I said in previewing this card, while the Matchroom Fight Camp concept was one born out of necessity due to an ongoing global crisis, a crisis that reared itself a mere forty-eight hours before this card took place necessitating the postponement of the originally advertised main event, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport have stumbled upon something that is likely to now become an annual part of the Matchroom promotional calendar every year. If the bouts can remain well-matched, fans can remain attending these cards, and if it also serves to strengthen the relationship between Matchroom and DAZN as both continue to expand globally and continue to show the Boxing world the benefits of a subscription-based model as compared to the pay-per-view model, and in doing so convince both promoters and networks that have resisted adapting to a more sensible and consumer-friendly model, it should be a win for the sport on a true global scale.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


We will have a preview of Matchroom Fight Camp Season 2 week 2 here on The Boxing Truth®️ on Thursday, August 5th. Stay tuned.


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


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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Initial Impressions Of Boxing At The 2020 Olympics


The time has come once more where the world focuses much of its attention over a span of two weeks for the Summer Olympic Games. Obviously, this time, the 2020 games is actually taking place in 2021 after a year’s delay due to the ongoing global COVID-19. As most know, even with a year delay from when the games were originally scheduled in the summer of last year, these Olympics have taken place under significant controversy due to the ongoing circumstances of the global COVID-19 crisis around the world, but more specifically in the games’ host country Japan.


While this observer will not give the reader a long thorough rehash of everything that has gone on, those who know me and those who follow yours truly across social media platforms including Twitter know that I have heavily criticized the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its decision to go on with the rescheduled games, despite mounting evidence that it was not in the best interest of the country of Japan nor in the interest of the athletes from around the world to hold the Olympics under the circumstances of a worsening epidemic. Despite this criticism of which I stand by, with the Olympics in full swing, the time has come for this observer to provide his take on the Olympic Boxing tournament that is currently ongoing in Tokyo.


While with the exception of the 2012 games that were held in London, England, I have covered every Olympic Boxing  tournament in some form since the 2000 Olympic Games that were held in Sydney, Australia, due to the amount of bouts that typically take place over the course of an Olympic tournament, I offer the reader some of my impressions over the course of the tournament in summary-form often broken into two feature columns that are released both during competition as well as shortly after the games have concluded. With well over one hundred bouts having taken place as of this writing, it is now time for me to share some of my thoughts on what I’ve seen thus far.


Ironically, with these Olympics taking place with no spectators beyond essential personnel and the respective Olympic teams in attendance at the various events including, but certainly not limited to the Boxing tournament, I did not feel a sense that the atmosphere would feel unusual. This is perhaps due to the fact that for well over a year now, numerous sporting events around the world have taken place in settings closed to the general public depending on the circumstances of COVID-19 in the given region where events are held. While there is certainly no disputing that there is an element of excitement that comes from the addition of crowds attending events, I found myself feeling as though this would likely not be an adjustment for the athletes competing as more than likely, they were given time to prepare for an atmosphere without spectators.


Nevertheless, the first Olympics in modern history to have taken place with no crowds in attendance does make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics unique even if it is for reasons that will be criticized for years to come. As for the Boxing tournament, the tournament taking place at Tokyo’s Kokugikan Arena has seen highly competitive bouts across both the Men’s and Women’s competitions. While many of the bouts have followed a pattern of very close bouts both in terms of the action inside the ring as well as how the bouts are scored, there has not been an element of “Controversy” thus far.


This is perhaps due to the move by the IOC during the 2016 games to remove the Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) from both overseeing and hosting the tournament after yet another tournament that was seen as controversial in some aspects, due to the way AIBA had handled matters. The IOC instead implanted the concept of what it called it’s Boxing Task Force, Over the first week of competition, while several of the bouts have been close and frankly could have been scored either way depending on one’s perspective, there has not been the sense of questionable scoring or the feeling of either incompetent scoring or outright corruption that has followed many Olympic tournaments due both to all five official judges scorecards being counted as well as the scores being presented in an open scoring format in an effort to both be transparent as well as hopefully eliminate any potential controversy as far as scoring is concerned. Although it is difficult for any sport to be regulated perfectly, so far, I feel that this has been a significant step in the right direction for Amateur Boxing at least as far as the Olympics are concerned and this should be something that if it is able to remain as it has been during the first week of competition for the remainder of the tournament, should be followed by other Amateur Boxing associations around the world including AIBA in the future.


It should also not be overlooked as the IOC Boxing Task Force in its commitment to  transparency, this is the first Olympic Boxing Tournament to feature as many as fifteen female officials between referees and judges, up from six in the previous Olympics as well as it being the first Olympics to see five weight classes represented in Women’s Boxing up from three weight divisions in the previous 2016 games.


As such, Women’s Boxing has taken a significant part of the spotlight of this Olympic tournament and in addition to adding more weight classes for female fighters, the women competing in Tokyo have also seen the addition of one element that many people involved in Boxing, including those of us who cover the sport like yours truly have been screaming to see added to Women’s professional Boxing for years. Three minute rounds.


For whatever reason, it has been a struggle for the women of the sport to be able to compete under the same round duration as their male counterparts. While this is something that is not seen in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) where women are able to compete in bouts scheduled for rounds of five minutes in duration either scheduled for three rounds for non-title bouts or five rounds for championship bouts, the same duration of minutes per round and scheduled rounds as male MMA fighters in most MMA promotions, the women of Boxing have been fighting in two minute rounds for decades.


Although the idea of two minute rounds on the surface usually ensures a fast-paced fight, there is not, nor has there ever been evidence that female fighters could not fight at the same length of rounds as men, in my view. Furthermore, like many involved in the sport, I feel removing the third minute of a round for women boxers not only removes an element of strategy that a fighter can implement in terms of tactics, but also has resulted in many bouts being scored draws due to the shorter duration of rounds. Even though one should not generalize the idea that more fights would end by way of knockout/referee’s stoppage if the women of the sport had the benefit of an extra minute per round, I feel at minimum, we would see more conclusive results in terms of scoring if not more fighters being able to end fights within the distance on a more consistent basis.



With the addition of two more weight classes in this Tokyo Olympics, the 126lb. Featherweight and 147lb. Welterweight divisions, joining the 112lb. Flyweight division, the 135lb. Lightweight division, and the 160lb. Middleweight divisions that previously saw competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as Female fighters being able to box in three minute rounds, hopefully, this Olympics will be known as a major step forward towards equality in Boxing that ultimately the professional sport will adapt to for the women that compete in it.


While there is certainly more to come in the 2020 Olympic Boxing tournament that will be covered by yours truly in due time, my initial impression of this tournament though there is more to come and more to discuss regarding the fights and the fighters competing, is the IOC is on the right track and if they are able to see everything through to the finish line of this Olympics, Boxing should be elevated going forward. It would be a win both for the sport of Boxing as well as the Olympics.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


Part 2 of Olympic coverage here on The Boxing Truth®️ will be released here on the website in the week following the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Olympics. An announcement on when it will be released will be announced on the website in the next week. Stay tuned.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Previewing Matchroom Fight Camp Season 2 Week 1

 One of the biggest things that came as a result of the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic when it began impacting everyday life including the day to day operation of sports around the world in 2020 was the necessity for all sports to adapt to the changing environment created by the COVID-19 virus.  Following a lengthy pause that lasted in some cases over three months, Boxing was one of the sports that sort of laid out a blueprint of sorts for other sports, particularly in the combat sports space to follow as the process of trying to resume normal day to day activities began. While some promoters are still struggling over a year into the epidemic to resume their schedules, some promoters who because of their standing in the sport had the financial resources and the benefit of lucrative agreements with television and streaming networks to not only resume activity, but also essentially take residency at venues around the world in environments that did not feature spectators.


One of the most notable for a period of time was the move by Matchroom Boxing promoter and now Chairman of Matchroom Sport to stage cards at the private residence of the Hearn family estate dubbed Matchroom Headquarters in Brentwood, England. This unique decision saw cards held outdoors on the spacious grounds of the Hearn estate, a beautiful setting for Boxing that likely would not have come to fruition had it not been for the unforeseen circumstances of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. While this was initially thought up out of necessity to resume activity, it laid the groundwork for what may become an annual tradition on the Matchroom calendar as beginning on July 31st, the Matchroom stable will return to the grounds of the Hearn estate for three cards over three consecutive weeks dubbed “Matchroom Fight Camp Season 2.”


Much as was the case when this concept debuted last year, the world remains in uncertain times as the COVID-19 epidemic continues. There are however, two notable differences that are occurring this time around. The first is that beginning with the first of the three cards, all the action will be available to Boxing fans in the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN as Matchroom recently announced an extension of its existing agreement with the network to cover the United Kingdom as well as its existing agreement to broadcast all Matchroom Boxing events internationally including here in the United States. This marked the end of a decades-long run for Matchroom Boxing on Sky Sports and also a demonstration of Hearn’s commitment to the subscription-based streaming model and away from the pay-per-view model.


Given the level of Boxing’s popularity and sizable audience in the United Kingdom, this is likely to be a smart move by Hearn that other promoters throughout the sport are likely to notice and follow. As Hearn along with DAZN have really established themselves on a global level in the sport and have become one of the top players in it, fans may wonder what is in store.


For the second season of Matchroom Fight Camp there is no shortage of what on paper should be competitive bouts. In the main event of week one, unbeaten Welterweight contender Conor Benn will face a stern test in the form of longtime contender Adrian Granados. Benn, the son of former two-division world champion Nigel Benn, is undefeated in eighteen professional bouts having scored knockouts in twelve of those fights registering a career knockout percentage of nearly 67%. Much like his father before him, Benn has power in both hands and is capable of ending a fight quickly should the opportunity present itself. In his last fight in April of this year, Benn scored a first round knockout over veteran Samual Vargas. Now Benn looks to take the next step towards a world title shot by facing Adrian Granados.


Granados, a veteran of thirty-three professional fights is similar to Vargas in terms of experience having fought several top fighters in and around the 147lb. Welterweight division including former two-division world champion Danny Garcia. The question going into this fight is what type of challenge can Granados provide Benn and more specifically, can he provide a level of resistance that Benn’s previous to opponents Vargas and Sebastian Formella were unable to provide. If Benn is looking beyond Granados, Granados does have the skillset and experience to make it a difficult fight for him.


Also on this card, European Cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy will make the second defense of his European crown against rising prospect Chris Billiam-Smith in a fight where the vacant British Cruiserweight championship will also be on the line. McCarthy, who is currently rated in the top ten in the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO ratings in the Cruiserweight division appears to be nearing a possible world title shot in 2022 if he can continue winning. In his last outing, McCarthy scored a sixth round knockout over a very “Game” Alexandru Jur in May of this year in his first defense of the European Cruiserweight championship. 


McCarthy will face what could be an interesting task in the form of Chris Billiam-Smith. Smith, who will enter the fight with a record of 12-1, with 10 Knockouts will come into this encounter riding a three fight winning streak since dropping a decision to undefeated former British Cruiserweight champion Richard Riakporhe in July 2019. This fight appears to be one where the fighters have similar styles, but one might argue that the champion McCarthy  might have an edge both in terms of experience as well as hand speed. When it comes to fights where there are similarities in styles, it is always interesting to see who will be able to establish the tempo of the fight and whether or not that fighter will be able to maintain that tempo throughout the bout. It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that this could be a tactical battle for much of the early rounds and whomever is able to get an advantage just might emerge from this fight victorious.


The final of the three headline bouts that will take place on week one of season two of Matchroom Fight Camp will be a battle in the 126lb. Featherweight division as top contender Can Xu faces WBA number twelve rated Featherweight contender Leigh Wood. Xu, who has a record of 18-2, with 3 Knockouts currently holds an interim/regular championship designation in the WBA’s Featherweight ratings. Although not known for his punching power, Xu is a highly skilled boxer that knows how to win rounds and has shown no issue in being able to go twelve rounds if required. In Leigh Wood, Xu will face a fighter who will come into the bout with a record of 24-2, with 14 Knockouts who has won four of his last five fights and will have an edge in activity having last fought in February of last year compared to  Xu, who has been out of action for nearly two years most likely due to the circumstances of COVID-19 .


Xu is known for his ability to outwork his opponents and it is logical to think that Wood will look to pressure him early to take advantage of any possible ring rust that Xu might have from being inactive. In simple terms, Wood needs to be consistent in this fight and make it difficult for Xu to get into a rhythm in order to have success in this fight.


These three bouts, which will headline a six bout card at Matchroom Headquarters should continue the momentum that was established last year during what can now be referred to as the inaugural season of Matchroom Fight Camp in providing fights that have all the appearance of being highly competitive. In addition to the new broadcast agreement as far as the United Kingdom and Ireland are concerned there is one more crucial difference that will be taking place this year as compared to season one. A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the three cards on the grounds of the Hearn family estate. As the world continues to deal with the circumstances and effects of the COVID-19 crisis the fact that a select number of fans will be able to experience Boxing in a truly unique and intimate atmosphere is refreshing after the circumstances in which the “Matchroom Fight Camp” concept came to be initially. If the addition of spectators can add to the action in the ring, it may not be a bad idea for Eddie Hearn and his team to start strategizing for Fight Camp Season 3.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


Matchroom Fight Camp: Benn vs. Granados takes place on Saturday, July 31st at Matchroom Headquarters in Brentwood, England. The full card can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN beginning at 12PM ET/9AM PT (U.S. Times.) For more information about DAZN, including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs, availability around the world, start times in your area, and to subscribe please visit:


We will have a preview of week two of Matchroom Fight Camp here on the website next week.


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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Joyce Stops Takam In 6, Was The Fight Stopped Prematurely?


Originally July 24th was to be a day highlighted by the anticipated third encounter between undefeated two-time Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, the current holder of the WBC crown in the Heavyweight division, and former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder. As most know, the fight was postponed due to Fury and several members of his team testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The latest twist in what has been a turbulent time not just in the division, but in the entire sport due largely to the ongoing global epidemic.


In the absence of the third chapter in the Fury-Wilder saga, an intriguing fight took place at the Wembley Arena in London, England that had serious implications as to the near future of the Heavyweight division. This observer is referring to the Heavyweight elimination bout between undefeated WBO mandatory challenger Joe Joyce and longtime contender and former world title challenger Carlos Takam. An encounter that for all intents and purposes amounted to an elimination bout to determine the next mandatory challenger in the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) Heavyweight ratings to face the winner of the upcoming world championship bout between unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO world champion Anthony Joshua and current WBO number one contender and former Undisputed World Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, which is scheduled to take place in September.


In many ways, this fight though compelling because of what was at stake can be summed up simply as a battle of youth versus experience. The youth end of the equation was in favor of the younger and seemingly stronger unbeaten Joyce. Despite stopping over 90% of his opponents in his twelve previous professional bouts, the 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist had not been tested significantly in his professional career, and naturally the question of how he would respond to a test had been asked.Joyce’s opponent in Carlos Takam appeared to be the type of opposition capable of answering just how good Joyce might be in being a fighter with a level of experience that could provide him with a test. Some may remember Takam for his valiant effort in his challenge of the then undefeated unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in October 2017.


Although Takam was stopped in that fight, he was able to give a good account of himself in defeat and has remained one of the division’s top contenders in the years since.  At forty years old after a career of forty-five professional fights that began in 2005, it was logical to question just how much Takam had left at this stage of his career. In addition to Joyce’s youth in being five years younger than him, Takam also had to deal with a disadvantage in height of nearly five inches to the 6’6 Joyce.


It appeared for a time that Takam would not have as much difficulty as someone might have assumed going into this fight regarding whether he had the ability to navigate Joyce’s reach as he spent much of the early rounds trying to use head movement to slip underneath Joyce’s punches. A strategy that proved to be reasonably successful and created opportunities for him to land his right hand to the head of Joyce. While he was not always the more active of the two fighters, the success Takam had in frequently finding the target with his right hand, I felt carried the tempo of the fight through most of the early rounds. 


In round five, Joyce, who had gradually found success of his own in landing hooks to Takam’s body, appeared to have what was to that point his best round of the fight as with the success in landing to Takam’s body, Joyce, the current Commonwealth Heavyweight champion was able to get some space between himself and his opponent. As it appeared as Joyce’s strategy was to gradually step up his offense from this point in the fight on, he surprised Takam by opening round six with a barrage of punches that did have him stunned, on the defensive, and struggling to return offense 


Although Takam was stunned, he did not get knocked down. The volume of offense from Joyce however, was enough to convince Referee Howard Foster to step in and stop the fight. A stoppage that appeared as though it might have been a little quick as Takam was still attempting to find a way to return offense, was met with disgust by Takam and his handlers.


There is no disputing that Carlos Takam was under heavy fire from Joyce and did appear visibly stunned. Even though the stoppage did appear to be quick in this observer’s eyes, Referee Howard Foster was the closest person to the combat inside the ring and thus had a better view than anyone as to whether Takam was in eminent danger or was capable of continuing. Though I stand by my initial reaction that the stoppage was a bit quick, I do not believe it was a case of a referee recklessly jumping in before it would have been appropriate to do so. This is more of a circumstance where it may have been a matter of seconds before the window of a stoppage would have been the right call if one is objective and views things fully.  As such and having seen the consequences of what can happen when fights are allowed to go on longer than they should, I will always give the benefit of the doubt to the referee under these circumstances.


Although for Carlos Takam, this setback is the definition of a tough break, much like his loss to Anthony Joshua, he gave a good account of himself in defeat and will likely get another opportunity against a top contender off of what was a good performance. For Joe Joyce meanwhile, he now has placed himself firmly in position to challenge for a world championship at some point in the future. Just how quickly he will get that chance will likely be determined by what occurs at the top of the division as the wish for unification of the World Heavyweight championship, a goal that appeared so close at the beginning of 2021, remains so far from becoming reality. For top contenders like Joe Joyce however, such stalls in progress could well lead to opportunity.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Charlo-Castano Thoughts


Although much of what has dominated the attention throughout the sport of Boxing recently has had to do with scheduled bouts falling through, being rescheduled for several reasons including, but not limited to the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic, there has been several fights that have taken place inside the ring that some might say because of what has been circulating the Boxing news cycle has been under the radar. Among those bouts that perhaps would have received more attention under normal circumstances, was the July 17th World Jr. Middleweight unification bout between WBC/WBA/IBF world champion Jermell Charlo and undefeated WBO world champion Brian Castano, which took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.


Normally when a unification bout such as this is signed, it is not uncommon to see elements of hype used as a promotional tool in an attempt to garner interest in the upcoming showdown. This was a rare case however, where such tactics and/or trying to give the impression that there were elements of bad blood between the two combatants was not necessary. This was simply a fight between two of the top fighters in the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division and that element in of itself was enough to drum up interest in the fight, in addition to the interesting clash of styles between the two fighters.


What we had in this fight was an encounter between two boxer/punchers, who in the view of this observer could do a little of everything that one might expect from a world-class boxer competing at the highest level of the sport. Both champions had shown in their careers the abilities to box, counter punch, as well as end a fight quickly should the opportunity present itself. In essence, this fight would prove to be exactly that. A bout between two fighters who showed a little of everything offensively as well as defensively against each other creating the classic scenario of a closely fought battle where opinion could sway as to who got the upper hand.


As this observer has said frequently through the years, when two fighters are able to have periods of success in many of the same rounds as was the case in this fight, the conundrum that can exist for the three official judges is to determine which fighter was able to leave a better impression with their moments as compared to their opponent. While obviously this is not a perfect nor exact science, it is often the determination of those subtle differences that can determine who leaves the ring victorious in a fight that goes the distance.


In this observer’s view, the first six rounds of this unification bout followed a pattern that frankly continued through much of the second half of the fight. Charlo being able to get the better of most of the action during periods where he was able to keep the combat near the center of the ring and use his legs and lateral movement to evade Castano as he attempted to walk him backward towards the ropes. When Castano was able to cut the ring off and limit Charlo’s ability to move, it was he who got the better of the exchanges of offense and seemed at least in my eyes to be the fighter leaving the lasting impression as to whom was getting the upper hand,


The impression of this observer notwithstanding, it was nevertheless a close fight and as I viewed the encounter, I began to get that feeling that as years have gone on during the lifetime that I have spent covering and writing about the sport that I have referred to as a Boxing writer’s intuition. While this type of feeling can be applied to anyone that covers combat sports, what I am referring to is the type of “Gut Feeling” that one develops after watching so many fights on every level of the sport of Boxing amateur and professional, that only a true aficionado can truly understand. The feeling/intuition that no matter how you might feel a fight is leaning, no matter how you might be scoring a fight unofficially, you have the sense just based on what you’re seeing that no matter what, at the end of the fight you will hear differing scores and no shortage of opinions as to who won the bout.


Such a feeling hit me rather quickly in this fight perhaps because it seemed as though the combat would be fought at a pace where it could almost be described in segments. As such, as the fight progressed I began to question whether either fighter was doing enough where an argument could be made that one stood out clearly from the other. Although I felt Brian Castano was the effective aggressor throughout much of the fight the question for him was whether or not those periods that did not dominate the majority of the rounds, which are three minutes in duration, to get the nod of the three official judges. In contrast, for much of the bout Jermall Charlo’s best moments came when he was able to control the tempo and keep Castano from throwing punches as he attempted to come forward. While there is little dispute that during these periods that Jermell Charlo seemed to have the upper hand, he was not aggressive during those moments and the fact that he was sporadic with his offense until the latter stages of the twelve round world championship bout raised questions as to whether he was able to make the most of his best moments of the fight.


A close fight from seemingly every angle that one chooses to view it had the predictable conclusion of a split decision, which was not a surprise to this observer with one judges Steve Weisfeld turning in a score of 114-113 in favor of Castano. As there always seems to be in Boxing when it comes to close fights, the element of “Controversy” reared itself as the scorecard of judge Nelson Vazquez was announced as he would turn in a score of 117-111 or nine rounds to three in favor of Charlo. This “Controversial” scorecard would ultimately be moot as judge Tim Cheatham would turn in a score of 114-114 or six rounds to six resulting in a split decision draw and both world champions retaining their respective portions of the World Jr. Middleweight world championship.


While the subject of one judge producing a scorecard that differs significantly from the consensus of the Boxing fans watching a fight, those of us in media who cover the fight in varying capacities, or the other official scores in a fight is certainly not new, it may be appropriate to apply context in this case. First, the scorecard of judge Steve Weisfeld, a veteran of over 2,100 bouts spanning thirty years in a judging career that began in 1991, produced a winner by the narrowest of margins a single point. This margin however, occurred because of how he scored the tenth round of the fight in scoring it 10-8 in favor of Charlo.


Although there were no knockdowns throughout the entire fight, there are times where a judges discretion can be applied and while it is normal to see a 10-8 score in a round where one fighter is able to score a knockdown, it can also occur when one fighter wins a round clearly to such degree that a judge may feel that a 10-8 score is appropriate even without the visual aid of a knockdown. In this case, this was during the stage where Charlo did step up his pace and aggression. He also did manage to stun Castano for a period during the round with a combination highlighted by hooks he was able to land to the head. Weisfeld’s scoring of that round resulted in the one point victory for Castano on his card. While this is purely subjective, if Weisfeld had scored the round 10-9 as judges Vazquez and Cheatham did, his scorecard would have been 115-113 or seven rounds to five, a margin that is more common for close fights such as this where a winner is determined and coincidentally, the scorecard this observer had unofficially.


Judge Tim Cheatham, a veteran of over 480 bouts spanning twelve years in a judging career that began in 2009, meanwhile arrived with a deadlock score of 114-114 or 6-6 in rounds. A score that I wasn’t surprised to see. Frankly, there is little difference between a 114-114 scorecard and a 115-113 scorecard. The only difference is if a single round is scored the opposite way by a margin of 10-9, you would then arrive at the same score yours truly had unofficially 115-113. This is one reason why when there are many close rounds in a fight, those rounds frequently referred to as “Swing Rounds,” it will often come down to as I have said frequently over many years, what a judge prefers in their own individual criteria based on clean punching, effective aggression, ring generalship, and defense. 


Now we come to the “Controversial” scorecard of judge Nelson Vazquez. In this instance, Vazquez turned in a scorecard that differed significantly from his colleagues Weisfeld and Cheatham, but also differed from the consensus amongst Boxing fans and experts alike. While some have pointed the finger of blame squarely at Vazquez for what is viewed by many as a bad decision, much like Weisfeld and Cheatham, Vazquez is a veteran of Boxing scoring. In a judging career that began in 1987, Vazquez has scored over 960 bouts over the last thirty-four years. 


The reader may wonder why this observer has opted to give a synopsis of each respective judge’s experience. Instead of expressing the same anger that someone fans and even some others who cover the sport have, I felt it necessary to illuminate that all three judges were among the most experienced and seasoned in the sport having scored bouts on every level including the world championship level. As experienced as judges might be however, they like the rest of us are human and are not going to agree on every round every time they judge a fight. Much like all of us, judges too can have a bad day or as yours truly often refers to it as a bad night at the office.


With this in mind, obviously I do not agree with how Nelson Vazquez saw this fight, but like I, he is entitled to his point of view. Although ultimately the split decision draw has left things unsettled as far as the unification process of the Jr. Middleweight division, which involves Charlo, Castano, and for the time being sees current IBO world champion Erislandy Lara on the outside the equation, the Boxing world can prepare for what will likely be a rematch at some point in 2022 between Charlo and Castano.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Deal With The Top Sports PPV Platform Brings Premier Boxing, MMA, Wrestling And More To Atmosphere Programming Slate


Press Release: By FITE – AUSTIN, TX – July 20, 2021 – Atmosphere, the worldwide leader in streaming TV for businesses, announced today a partnership with sports streamer FITE to launch a new FITE channel on the Atmosphere platform. The new channel, now available to all Atmosphere customers, brings the Triller-owned streamer’s boxing, MMA and wrestling content to Atmosphere, extending the company’s programming slate to 52 channels and providing Atmosphere subscribers with a compelling new offering for their guests. Atmosphere’s streaming platform is specifically designed for viewing in public spaces, providing short-form, audio-optional TV programming to more than 13,000 restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels, doctors’ offices and other venues across the country, reaching 17 million customers per month. 

Credit: FITE 


The deal with FITE builds on Atmosphere’s momentum over the past year, which includes a $25 million Series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners as well as the hiring of former NBC News executive Micah Grimes to lead the company’s news efforts. 


FITE is the first of Atmosphere’s channels dedicated to premium sports and features a wide array of combat sports programming. With more than 5 million registered users, FITE is one of the leaders in the sports streaming space, known for its broad range of pay-per-view, subscription and free programming options.


“We are thrilled to join with FITE in bringing the company’s library of combat sports content to the Atmosphere platform with the launch of our FITE channel,” said Leo Resig, co-founder and CEO of Atmosphere. “It’s a great complement to our existing programming and supports our ongoing mission of providing subscribers with the broadest range of high-quality content in a format optimized for out-of-home consumption.”


Atmosphere streams an aggregate of more than 250,000 hours of programming per day across 52 channels of both owned and partner content, reaching over 17 million unique viewers every month. Atmosphere retail clients include Westin, Hilton, McDonald’s and thousands of other businesses of all sizes. Atmosphere provides venues with TV hardware and programming for free, monetizing its content through its proprietary advertising platform and through paid subscriptions, which allow venues to run their own ads during programming breaks. 


"Over the past few months, we have had the pleasure of working closely with the Atmosphere creative and marketing teams to bring our brand of combat sports programming to their out of home platform. We are excited to be launching at a time when people are safely returning to dining out and look forward to engaging them and enhancing their experience,” said Louis Lewow, FITE’s Vice President of Distribution.


About Atmosphere


Atmosphere is a free streaming multi-channel platform for businesses offering over 50 original and partner TV channels licensed for global, commercial venue usage. Atmosphere also provides value added features for venue operators including a digital signage feature for businesses to run their house promotions within the content and a paid ads-free version. The platform was developed using proprietary content, technology and data to deliver unparalleled experiences for businesses, consumers and advertisers. The business was incubated within Chive Media Group as CHIVE TV and spun out in 2019 into Atmosphere. For more information, visit

About FITE


FITE is the premiere global platform for live sports and entertainment offering PPV events and SVOD packages with 5M+ registered users. FITE is available worldwide through its iOS and Android mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU, Amazon Fire TV and Huawei apps. In addition, FITE supports Samsung, LG, Cox Contour, Vizio SmartCast™, Virgin Media, Foxxum, Chromecast, PS4, XBOX, ZEASN, Netrange, Vidaa/Hisense, Vewd, Netgem TV, Comcast’s Xfinity 1 and Xfinity Flex as well as 7,000 models of Smart TVs. Available online at Follow us on Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, LinkedIN and Facebook.  IT’S ON.


Material and Photo Courtesy of FITE Used with permission.


For more information about FITE including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs, and for information on how to download the FITE app please visit: www.FITE.TV.


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

Monday, July 19, 2021

Aussies "Big Scorpion" Miles Zalewski Making Big Moves Down Under, Hires Advisor Tony Tolj

 Press Release: July 19, 2021 By Dragon Fire Boxing – Zalewski 9 wins 1 loss was a top amateur with over 100 fights and collecting 80 wins. Adding New Zealand Silver Medalist National Titles along the way as well as x4 State Champion QLD, x4 Golden Gloves Champion Aus.  

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing 

Zalewski is a former Professional Australian National Lightweight  champion in his earlier pro years. Then making a comeback after taking a 4 year hiatus from the sport and knocking out TC Priestly who was at the time, current Australian Super Featherweight champion in a Australasian Knockout of the year Contender. 

Zalewski opened up about his thoughts on joing global juggernaught Dragon Fire Boxing in an advisory capacity. 

"I’m very fortunate to have the right team and management this time around as I was ill advised in my early professional boxing years. I’m confident having Tony Tolj and Dragon Fire Boxing as my boxing path decision makers and management, we will achieve the goals we set out to make!" 

I’ve loved my time at All Stars Boxing Academy in Australia and I arrived at the right time. When I returned from my 2 year hiatus in Thailand, Liam was the only professional boxer and then I came along. I’ve witnessed the growth of the gym within the space of 2 years and the club has evolved big time. A lot faster than we all anticipated. That’s credit to all of our success combined. But Benny is one of the best trainers in Australia as his student mentality and hunger to learn more is his key to the clubs expansion. He understands and speaks to our unique differences and his communication with us all even during in the toughest of times, is what strengthens the connection between himself and his fighters. This is what makes the sport so special and not a lot of trainers get it. It’s a natural relationship that's cultivated over time. Benny is a special person and I see nothing but good coming his way and he’s still so young! I predict big things for ALL STAR BOXING ACADEMY! 

Being a professional athlete is already in itself a difficult lifestyle to manage and maintain high performance all year round, let alone being a professional boxer. This is an individual sport where we have to generate our own funds to make the dream happen. My manager Oxmar Properties Phil Murphy takes away those stresses and allows us to focus primarily on training which in turn, fast tracks the journey to becoming a world champion. I have so much to be thankful for and even after my boxing career is done and dusted, Oxmar Properties Phil Murphy will always go down as one of the important people who made it all happen and he will now work together with Tony Tolj and I can't wait for the future as all the pieces in the puzzle are now alligned! 

This point in my career is the best I've ever felt physically. Ive been boxing for almost 12 years plus and I get to really tap into my potential properly nowadays. Ive always been behind the 8 ball. Being a New Zealand citizen it was difficult for me to make the national team as I couldn’t compete for Australia and because my amateur career all began in Australia, when I competed to make the nation team in NZ, I was like a foreigner there who was overlooked and unwelcome. I feel the professional game has given me the freedom I need in order to go where I want and let alone all the political twists and turns, I believe my ability will win me the rewards I’ve set myself to achieve in this boxing journey. 

This is a sport where it's almost like overnight success. But of course that can only be achieved with years of work to get you there. I love this game. I love what I’ve learnt within the ring and outside of it. The people I’ve met and the opportunities I've attracted from the sport. It only excites me for what’s coming up ahead! I would love to share the ring with top 10 boxers and measure up my skills against some of the worlds best! 

I’m at a stage where I have full faith in my boxing skill, physical condition and mental fitness to defeat all the big names domestically and globally and I can't wait for the future. 

Advisor Tony Tolj opened up on his thoughts on his latest prominent to his vast Global Boxing stable. 

"I'm looking forward to working with Miles Zalewski and I see great potential. We have built a great team with Zalewski, with leading boxing trainer Ben Harrington and manager Oxmar Properties Phil Murphy together as a unit I'm 100% confident we can achieve great things and at this stage in his career, we strategically acquire the rights fights and the Big Scorpion will Sting all the Super Featherweights who step foot in the ring with him.


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:


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

Friday, July 16, 2021

Charlo-Castano Weights


The official weights for Saturday’s Jr. Middleweight world championship unification bout between WBC/WBA/IBF Jr. Middleweight world champion Jermell Charlo and undefeated WBO world champion Brian Castano took place earlier today in San Antonio, TX. Official weights for the bout, which will be broadcast in the United States by premium cable network Showtime, as well as the scheduled televised portion of the undercard, which are available as of this writing are as follows.


Main Event: WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO Jr. Middleweight Unification Bout – 12Rds.


Jermell Charlo 153lbs. vs. Brain Castano 153 1/4lbs.


Lightweight – 10Rds.*


Rolando Romero 135lbs. vs. Anthony Yigit 140 1/4lbs.


(*Yigit five pounds over the 135lb. Lightweight limit. Bout to go on as scheduled as of this writing. The bout will also determine interim/regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Lightweight ratings.)


Super-Middleweight – 10Rds.


Amilcar Vidal 161 1/2lbs. vs. Immanuwel Aleem 162lbs.


Charlo vs. Castano takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, July 17th) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. The bout can be seen in the United States on premium cable network Showtime beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT and will also be streamed on the Showtime and Showtime Anytime streaming apps on mobile, tablet, connected streaming devices, and Smart TVs. For more information about Showtime and for availability through cable and satellite providers as well as for information on where and how to download the Showtime or Showtime Anytime apps please visit: Check your local listings internationally.


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