In addition to the Heavyweight bout between former WBC
Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder and former European Heavyweight
champion Robert Helenius, a bout that was previously covered here in preview on
The Boxing Truth®, Saturday, October 15, 2022 will feature much more for Boxing
fans. Firstly, on the undercard of the Wilder-Helenius bout at the Barclays
Center in Brooklyn, NY that can be seen here in the United States on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View as well as on
digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view platform FITE, will be a
bout in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division between former world champions
Caleb Plant and Anthony Dirrell.
Some may call this a “Crossroads Fight” for both men. As some may recall, Plant was last in the ring in November of last year when he lost his unbeaten record and IBF Super-Middleweight world championship in a unification bout with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the Undisputed world championship in the division. Although Plant would be stopped by Alvarez in eleven rounds, he did make a solid account of himself in defeat. Much like Deontay Wilder, Plant now looks to rebuild and the first step in that process will come in the form of former WBC world champion Anthony Dirrell. Dirrell, a veteran of thirty-eight professional fights, has also been looking to get back into position to fight for a world title and will come into this bout unbeaten in his last two fights having a draw and a win to his ledger in those bouts since suffering a knockout loss at the hands of David Benavidez in September 2019.
Although the story at least going into this fight will be
one fighter looking to bounce back from the first loss of his career going against
a fighter looking to continue building momentum, what this will come down to in
the eyes of this observer could be who will be able to dictate the combat. What
we have here is an encounter between two fighters who can do a little bit of
everything. Two boxer/punchers that are capable of scoring a knockout should an
opportunity arise and are also capable of Boxing to a decision victory.
While it may be logical to expect that Plant may want to
make a statement in his first fight back, it may be wise to implement a tactical
approach here as Dirrell has sixteen more bouts in his career compared to him
and has scored knockouts in twenty-five of those bouts compared to Plant’s twelve
knockouts in his twenty-one career wins. While this will likely be viewed as an
advantage by some in Dirrell’s favor, one aspect that normally works in Plant’s
favor is his lateral movement and ability to use angles.
In his fight
against Saul Alvarez, his movement and ability to attack Alvarez from various
angles did for a time particularly early in the fight bring Plant success. As
they bout went on however, Alvarez was able to put consistent pressure on Plant
and gradually broke him down with body punches in addition to what he was able
to land to his head.
Dirrell likely saw that fight and will likely be looking
to implement a similar approach in his own way. What he needs to keep in mind
is that Alvarez himself had trouble with Plant throughout that fight and it was
largely his consistency in how he approached Plant that led to his success in
the middle and late rounds and ultimately to his victory over him. Dirrell must
also keep in mind that Plant does have quick hands and the ability to attack in
spurts. If he is able to find success against him early, he must not get
complacent and allow Plant any openings. Plant is the type of fighter that can
take advantage of lulls throughout a fight and Dirrell needs to be aware of
As is the case for pretty much any fighter in the
Super-Middleweight and 175lb. Light-Heavyweight divisions, the end goal for
both fighters is likely an encounter with Saul Alvarez. With Alvarez
maintaining his position as Undisputed world champion in the division, despite
being shelved with an injury to his left hand following his third bout with
Gennady Golovkin, this bout will likely amount to an audition among the
potential opponents for Alvarez once he heals and is able to return to
The Plant-Dirrell bout is not however, the only bout
outside of Wilder-Helenius that will likely draw the interest of Boxing fans
throughout the day on October 15th. Two events will be taking place
outside of the United States that also have intrigue. First, at the Manchester
Arena in Manchester, England the highly anticipated Women’s world championship
unification doubleheader featuring Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall
meeting for the Undisputed Women's Middleweight championship of the world and a
Jr. Lightweight unification bout between undefeated WBO/IBF world champion
Mikaela Mayer and WBC/IBO world champion
Alycia Baumgardner, which can be seen here in the United States on
digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+.
The card, which was scheduled to take place on September
10th, was delayed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8th
as the United Kingdom entered a period of mourning, which suspended many
activities including sports.
While all four fighters were in Manchester and
participating in fight week activities including the pre-fight press conference
prior to the Queen’s passing, an obvious question as these bouts near taking
place is what affect if any will the one month delay have on the fighters.
The Shields-Marshall unification bout is one of the most
anticipated fights throughout the entire sport. Two undefeated world champions putting
their respective portions of a world championship on the line to unify and
determine one champion alone is enough to draw interest even amongst casual
fans, but this fight also has bad blood between the champions attached to it.
This stems from the meeting the two had as amateurs in
May 2012 where Marshall scored a four round decision over Shields, in what was
the only defeat Shields has suffered in a Boxing ring in a career that has seen
her win two Olympic Gold medals as an amateur and win world titles in three weight
divisions as a professional including briefly becoming the Undisputed
Super-Middleweight world champion.
Obviously, the bad feelings between the two has simmered in
the decade since that bout including a heated exchange between the two in a
post-fight interview following Shields victory in February of this year over
Ema Kozin. While some may view such an exchange “Pull Apart” as a means of
promotion, this observer was vocal in saying that it was a negative for the
women of the sport to see such an incident particularly when the sport is
taking advantage of unprecedented exposure and long overdue recognition for the
female fighters in the sport.
The view of yours truly notwithstanding, the fight
between the two, this time as professionals appears to be an even fight. Shields
has been splitting time between Boxing and competing in the sport of Mixed
Martial Arts (MMA) where she has a 1-1 record currently.
Although one should
not compare Boxing with the sport of MMA as it is two different sports and
require different attributes, it is nevertheless interesting that someone of
Shields’ caliber would be willing to venture into a different sport while still
at the top of her game as a boxer. Given the demands and tone each sport
requires to compete at a high level, a question done might ask is how will this
impact her preparation for this fight particularly because it comes against not
only the only boxer to defeat her as an amateur or professorial, but also
someone that has proven to be very dangerous as a professional. Marshall has
scored knockouts in ten of her twelve pro fights and will enter into this fight
having scored eight consecutive knockouts.
At her best, Claressa Shields is a compact combination
puncher that often overwhelms and out works her opponents with activity. While
Shields only has two knockouts in her twelve career wins as a professional, she
has on occasion shown punching power in her own right. Wisdom would suggest
that she look to out box Marshall over the course of the scheduled ten round
bout. Even though you can never dismiss the possibility of a knockout for
either fighter and keeping in mind that Claressa Shields has yet to really be
in danger in a fight to this point, sure must be wary of Marshall’s power
because she has shown the ability to end a fight with one punch before. Despite
the bad blood between the two, Shields must be tactical and not allow her
emotion to dictate how she approaches this fight.
For Marshall, her fight plan should be looking for a way
to limit Shields’ offense over the course of the fight. While one could make an
argument based on statistics that she might have the edge in terms of power, Marshall
must not head hunt and should be tactical as well, but try not to leave Shields
openings. Marshall must dictate how the fight is to be fought in other to be
Although the winner of Shields-Marshall will have status
as Undisputed world champion in the Middleweight division, the co-main event
could lead to an undisputed championship fight for the winner in 2023 in the
130lb. Jr. Lightweight division.
The fight between world champions Mikaela Mayer and
Alycia Baumgardner presents an interesting clash of styles. Mayer is a solid
boxer/puncher that uses lateral movement and hand speed to get the upper hand
on her opponents. Unbeaten in seventeen pro bouts with five knockouts, Mayer
has gradually been working her way towards unifying the division by
successfully adding the IBF crown to the WBO championship she won in October
2020 with a ten round unanimous decision over Ewa Brodnicka. In the fight where
she added the IBF championship, Mayer scored a ten round unanimous decision
over Maiva Hamadouche in November of last year. While Mayer has not faced much
resistance on her path towards an undisputed championship bout, her opponent Alycia
Baumgardner could prove to be a dangerous obstacle in that path. Baumgardner
won her portions of the World Jr. Lightweight championship by scoring a one
punch knockout over previously undefeated world champion Terri Harper in November
of last year a knockout where Harper appeared to be out cold on her feet. Since
that victory, which some called an upset, Baumgardner successfully defended her
crown in April by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over Edith Mattysee.
Despite her rise to the top of the division coming
quickly and as a surprise to some, Baumgardner has shown obviously that she
does have the punching power and credentials that should be taken seriously by
fans and more importantly her opponents. This could potentially be a close
fight depending on who is able to dictate how the fight is fought. Mayer must
rely on what has gotten her in this position and box Baumgardner by being a
tactician. Baumgardner meanwhile needs to find a way to cut the ring off and
limit Mayer’s ability to move.
Although Mayer likely has an edge in regard to hand
speed, she has not been put in a position thus far in her career where her
ability to take a punch from a fighter with significant punching power has been
tested. If Baumgardner is able to dictate the tempo of the combat, Mayer may
well be tested in what has the appearance of a close and competitive bout at least
Following the Women’s world championship unification
doubleheader, ESPN+ continues their Boxing programming of the day by presenting
the rematch for the Undisputed Lightweight championship of the world between
undefeated world champion Devin Haney and the former champion George Kambosos.
A contractually mandated rematch that will take place in the country as their first encounter Melbourne, Australia.
In their first bout in June of this year, Haney
thoroughly out boxed the previously unbeaten Kambosos over twelve rounds to win
the Undisputed championship in what was a pro-Kambosos environment before the
champion’s home country.
Although this rematch was pre-ordained per contractual
terms for the original bout and there remains a possibility that there could be
a third bout between the two per the same contractual terms should Kambosos
regain the championship, done questioned the wisdom of the former champion for
exercising his rematch clause.
This is due to how the first fight was fought where Haney
was simply too quick and too elusive for Kambosos. While some may say that it
was a matter of the adage of “Styles Make Fights,” the onus is on the former champion to show
that he had a bad night at the office and this fight will be different.
How can Kambosos accomplish this? It is certainly easier
said than done, but he needs to bring the fight to Haney from the outset and
apply pressure on him. The difference in hand speed in the first fight was
clear and some might be wondering how Kambosos can combat that speed this time
This observer is a firm believer that one of the best
ways to try to negate a fighter’s hand speed is through timing. Although
keeping in mind that it is easier said than done, Kambosos has to find a way as
he is applying pressure on Haney to make the champion miss and counter his
offense. This was accomplished by former world champion Jorge Linares, who was
able to badly stun Haney in the closing seconds of the tenth round of their
fight in May 2021. To date, this was the only time Haney has been hurt in his
career. While he was able to recover and go on to win a convincing unanimous
decision, it did show how an opponent needs to approach Haney.
Kambosos must find the balance of applying pressure,
being more aggressive, but doing so tactically and trying to bait Haney into
creating openings for him to exploit if he wants to be successful in this
fight. Simply put, he cannot try to box with someone who might prove to be a
master boxer by the time his career is over. He must force Haney into his role
The task for the champion going into his first title
defense is to try and repeat a near-perfect performance that he was able to
produce in the first fight. Haney must however, not be complacent and must be
prepared for any adjustments that Kambosos might make this time around. While
both fighters are likely going to be moving up to the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight
division in the not too distant future, there remains unfinished business and
we will see if Kambosos can find a way to force a chapter three in this
As tends to be the case especially as the sport of Boxing
moves more in the direction of digital streaming on terms of how it is
broadcast to the public, this day of Boxing truly offers a little something for
every type of Boxing fan. How October 15, 2022 will be remembered in the
history book of Boxing however, remains to be seen.
“And That's The Boxing Truth. “
Wilder vs. Helenius (Featuring
Plant vs. Dirrell) takes place on Saturday, October 15th at the Barclays Center
in Brooklyn, NY. The fight can be seen in the United States on Fox
Sports Pay-Per-View beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT for $74.99. In addition
to being streamed on the Fox Sports app on mobile, tablet, and connected
streaming devices/Smart TVs, the event will also be streamed in the United
States and globally on digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view
platform FITE in addition to also being available via traditional
cable/satellite pay-per-view throughout the United States and Canada.
To order and stream on the Fox
Sports app download the Fox Sports app on your preferred device and follow the
ordering instructions or visit www.FoxSports.com/PPV for
To order and stream on the FITE app,
download the FITE app on mobile, tablet or connected streaming devices/Smart
TVs, or Click the following link to order and for instructions on how and where
to download the FITE app: https://www.fite.tv/watch/wilder-vs-helenius/2pbyb/
Shields vs. Marshall /Mayer vs. Baumgardner
takes place Saturday, October 15th at Manchester Arena in Manchester,
England. The full card can be seen in the United States on digital subscription
sports streaming network ESPN+ beginning
at 2:30PM ET/11:30AM PT. ESPN+ is available through the ESPN app on mobile,
tablet, and connected streaming devices, platforms, and Smart TVs. For more
information about ESPN+ including schedules, to subscribe, and where and how to
access the ESPN app please visit: www.ESPNPlus.com.
Haney vs. Kambosos 2 takes places Saturday,
October 15th at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The card
can also be seen in the United States on ESPN+ beginning at 8PM ET/5PM PT. The
main event will also be simulcast on the main ESPN cable network across cable
and satellite providers with a scheduled start time of 10:30PM ET/7:30PM PT.
*Fights and Cards Subject To Change
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