Wednesday, December 28, 2022

BLK Prime Has Big Plans For 2023

BLK Prime is a subscription video-on-demand company that offers multicultural content to a diverse audience worldwide  
Credit: Tom Hogan/BLK Prime 

PALO ALTO, CA (December 27, 2022) – After a productive introduction into the world of Pay-Per-View boxing, BLK Prime, a Silicon Valley-based video-on-demand tech company, is full steam ahead for 2023. BLK Prime’s vision is to produce six major Pay-Per-View events in 2023, showcasing some of the biggest fights in boxing for the fans.


“The plan in 2023 is to make the most compelling fights in boxing,” said Chester Johnson, Vice President of BLK Prime Boxing. “The fans deserve to see the best fighting the best and we will do everything in our power to make that happen. We are open to working with everyone in the sport to bring back the glory days of boxing. Our platform is extremely functional and delivers a high-quality stream. Our cable and satellite pay-per-view distribution agreements with our domestic and international partners are in place for 2023 as well."


The first event for BLK Prime in 2023 will feature former 4-division world champion Adrien Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) vs. Ivan Redkach (23-6-1, 18 KOs) in a highly anticipated welterweight matchup. The scheduled 10-round bout, promoted by Christy Martin Promotions, will take place in Atlanta, GA in February. More information will be announced at a later date.


On December 10, BLK Prime penetrated the core of PPV boxing by showcasing pound-for-pound king, Terence “Bud” Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), who put his WBO welterweight title on the line against David Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs). The fight ended in round six with the knockout of the year when Crawford floored Avanesyan with a crushing right hook to the head. In the co-main event, superstar Cris Cyborg won a unanimous decision making her U.S. boxing debut a success, and solidifying a great night of boxing.


Officials at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb, stated tickets sold at the gate for Crawford vs. Avanesyan generated a massive amount of revenue for BLK Prime as it was the highest-attended boxing event where Terence calls home. In addition, global PPV buys exceeded expectations.


“I’m very humbled by everything that’s transpired in our first Pay-Per-View event,” continued Johnson. “Terence Crawford is an incredible fighter and proved he’s worthy to be showcased on the Pay-Per-View stage, as our buys did exceptionally well. Furthermore, we didn’t give away any outstanding complimentary tickets, so our gate did fantastically.”


Todd Grisham headed the star-studded commentary crew along with former world champions Zab Judah, Antonio Tarver, and Paulie Malignaggi, while Dave Ryan took control of the host desk, giving the production a prestigious look. In addition, Lupe Contreras and Miguel Flores managed ring announcing duties, with Cheyenne McCargo serving as the unofficial scorecard judge.


“2023 will be a big year for BLK Prime,” Johnson concluded. “We plan on implementing some innovative features to our shows that I believe will make our events more entertaining for the fans. I'm looking forward to kicking off the new year with an amazing event”

About BLK Prime:

BLK PRIME is a subscription video-on-demand company that offers multicultural content to a diverse audience worldwide. On social media follow #BLKPrime, on Instagram @BLKPRIMEBOXNG @BLKPRIME, on Twitter @BLKPRIMEBOXING, on Facebook @BLKPRIMEMEDIA

Material Courtesy of: BLK Prime/Photo Courtesy of: Tom Hogan/BLK Prime Used with permission. 

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Happy Holidays/Schedule Update

We here at The Boxing Truth® would like to wish our readers a very happy and safe holiday season. While we are between rounds for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, any content that is sent in for release by promoters, networks and others involved in the sport of Boxing will continue to be made available to readers here on the website as normal as they are sent in. We would also like to inform readers that our 2023 schedule will begin on Tuesday, January 3rd with Beau Dennison’s annual Boxing Wishlist for the upcoming year. Happy Holidays.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

The 12 Days of FITE+ : A Holiday Gift for Combat Sports Lovers

Press Release: By FITE - 

Just in time for the Holidays, FITE has curated 12 days of incredible action – one amazing gift each night at 8PM ET; Watch Boxing, Wrestling, Motocross, BKFC and more – with superstars like  Mike Tyson, Ric Flair and Jake Paul; Included with all FITE+ subscriptions 
Credit: FITE

New York, NY  (December 19, 2022): FITE presents 12 Days of FITE+, a curated series of the best recent sports events, all included in FITE+ subscriptions, debuting at 8PM ET nightly from December 19th to December 30th. Check out this incredible sampling of what FITE+ has to offer and join in as the FITE community reexperiences these action-packed moments together over the holidays. You’ll see the epic Triller Fight Club events Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. and Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren; Ric Flair’s Last Match, and stellar events from NWA, BKFC, GCW and Subversiv.  Plus guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Metallica and more!

Get FITE+ now in time for the 12 Days of FITE+. New customers can enjoy a 7-day free trial too!  Sign up now.

Plus, check out a special FITE in Focus preview of the 12 Days of FITE+ free and available anytime on demand. You’ll see highlights of all the shows with expert commentary and a look back at the most talked about sports events. Watch FITE in Focus: 12 Days of FITE+ here.

Here’s what you’ll see during the 12 Days of FITE+, each night at 8PM ET:
1. December 19 Triller Fight Club: Jake Paul vs Ben Askren
2. December 20 Pro Wrestling NOAH presents Destination 2021: Back to Budokan 
3. December 21 WRLD on GCW 
4. December 22 Ric Flair Roast
5. December 23 Moto FITE Klub’s motocross action
6. December 24 Triller Fight Club: Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. (with Jake Paul)
7. December 25 BKFC KnuckleMania 2
8. December 26 NWA Hard Times 2020
9. December 27 Triller Fight Club: Triad Combat’s debut with Metallica
10. December 28 Ric Flair's Last Match
11. December 29 Rumble on the Rooftop FITE Klub’s Olympic / Greco style wrestling
12. December 30 Subversiv Miami: Jiu Jitsu vs MMA

For more information contact

About FITE
FITE is the premium global platform for live sports and entertainment offering many of the industry's marquee PPV events and SVOD packages with over 6.5MM 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, Shaw Communications’ Blue Curve IPTV, 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.

Material and Photo Courtesy of: FITE Used with permission.

For more information about FITE including schedules and to subscribe to FITE+ please visit: www.FITE.TV

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

Friday, December 16, 2022



Press Release: December 16, 2022 – By Team Moloney – In light of the recent WBC convention, it appears that two of boxing's utmost gentleman may clash in early 2023.

Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing




Jason Moloney has been a mainstay on ESPN, after giving a balls to the wall performance against Naoya Inoue, which, if anything, increased his value in the 118 pound division; the all action Aussie had lined up four consecutive wins, inserting himself at the top of the WBC rankings.




Moloney, who has been managed by long term Oceania boxing guiding light Tony Tolj, now sits in a healthy position at the top of the WBC rankings.




Moloney opened up on his positioning with the WBC, “I’m very happy to be where I’m at in my career right now, and thank you to Tony (Tolj), Don (Majeski), Top Rank and of course the WBC for positioning me at the top of the rankings. I’m delighted to be in this position.



“2022 has been a good year, a year of improving and now I’m ready to finally achieve my goal of being a world champion, a following for the long list of great champions the WBC have had.”




Standing in the way of Moloney is the incomparable Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire. A legend of the sport, Donaire is a future hall of famer, and despite two fights with the Monster, Naoya Inoue, Donaire still has aspirations to become world champion.




Moloney discussed a perspective showdown with the great Filipino champion.




The Australian stated, “It’s a dream to fight one of the best fighters of the past 3 decades. Donaire is one of the greatest of all time. Boxing is a gentleman’s sport, I come to do damage in a ring, but I have respect for my opponents and I can only ever say respectful things about Nonito.




“It’s more motivation, however, to be able to beat such a great fighter, who’s still shown he has plenty in the tank, it defines my legacy as a fighter and a champion. That’s the goal for any fighter, and I hopefully get to do that against Nonito Donaire.




“Stylistically this is a great fight. I’ve shown I have many different tricks up my sleeve, and Nonito is an adaptable fighter. This could be a boxing clinic or an all out war. I’m ready for both. You won’t want to miss it, rest assured 2023 will be the year of Mayhem.”


Material Courtesy of: Team Moloney/Photo Courtesy of: Mikey Williams Top Rank Boxing Used with permission.


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

After Knocking Out Avanesyan, Will Crawford Finally Face Spence In 2023?

The fight between undefeated WBO Welterweight world champion Terence Crawford and European Welterweight champion David Avanesyan, which took place in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, NE on December 10th was one that did not have significant public demand. This was due to the desire of most Boxing fans to see Crawford face undefeated IBF/WBC/WBA world champion Errol Spence in what would be a full unification bout for the Undisputed Welterweight championship of the world. As negotiations for that fight between the promotional free agent Crawford and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters, which represents Spence for a potential showdown in 2022 stalled, it created a necessity for the WBO champion to get back in the ring against the next highest available contender or risk the potential for further “Ring Rust” as it had been more than a year since the champion was last in the ring. 

While this observer detailed why that was in previewing this fight, I was nevertheless interested to see how the longtime top contender and current European champion David Avanesyan would fare against one of the best fighters in the world in his first world championship fight. A further piece of intrigue that surrounded this encounter was that it was the first entry into the sport by digital streaming network BLK Prime, who guaranteed Crawford an estimated $10 Million for the bout. Although this was not the fight that the majority of Boxing fans likely wanted to see Crawford in, it was nevertheless interesting from the standpoint of the Welterweight division, traditionally being one of the most talent-deep in the entire sport. As such, any top contender such as Avanesyan or former world champion should be viewed as a serious challenger whenever they are able to get an opportunity to fight for a world title because it is a division where any top contender can take advantage and become a world champion even if there are more lucrative fights that may loom ahead for fighters who hold world titles in the division. Even though the same can be applied to virtually any division in the sport, the Welterweights have a long history of being one of the most competitive in Boxing and it is truly rare to see a world champion dominate the division over several years without at least having a few hard fights along the way, that is if they are able to hold onto their championship for a significant period.

As he has done in three weight classes including the Welterweight division, Terence Crawford has been able to be a dominant fighter and like many below the Heavyweight division, he has moved up in weight in search of both more world titles and of a challenge along the way. One thing that I did touch upon in previewing this bout that was of keen interest at least in my eyes was whether the distractions outside of the ring from a bitter split with his former longtime promoter Bob Arum to the failed negotiations for the showdown with Spence, would divert Crawford’s focus going into what appeared to be a possibly dangerous fight against Avanesyan. This appeared to be valid both because of the issues the champion has been dealing with as well as the fact that this bout would be taking place in his hometown.

With a sellout crowd in attendance at the CHI Health Center, the fight exceeded the expectations that many fans had. This was largely due in my eyes to the way Avanesyan approached Crawford. From the opening bell, the challenger attempted to apply pressure on Crawford and make him uncomfortable. This resulted in the two fighters exchanging offense earlier than expected and less of a feeling out process that is normal to see in the early rounds in many fights. To his credit, despite being off thrown by the champion, Avanesyan was able to hold his own through much of the fight and also managed to catch Crawford with a few flush right hands periodically. While Avanesyan was clearly not interested by the occasion, Crawford showed tremendous calm and did not appear to be irked in any way by being put under pressure from the outset and he also seemed to dictate the combat simply by landing combinations and either tying Avanesyan up on the inside or being able to move subtly in order to avoid getting caught by the challenger on the ropes or trapped in a corner.

What clearly was a competitive fight between two world-class fighters came to a sudden conclusion in round six when the champion connected with a right uppercut followed by a short left hook to the head that sent Avanesyan down on his back, out cold on the canvas. A sudden and brutal end to his latest title defense should be viewed as a statement-making performance by Crawford who has been subjected to criticism by some fans in addition to the recent issues he has combatted in terms of the business of Boxing outside of the ring.

The question coming out of this fight is much the same as it was following the champion’s previous title defense over former two-time Welterweight world champion Shawn Porter in October of last year. Will Crawford and Errol Spence meet in the near future to determine an Undisputed World Welterweight champion? This observer sincerely wishes that I could tell the reader that yes, the fight will happen in the near future and also wish I could said if that were the case that it would not come at the expense of Boxing fans being asked to pay an inflated fee to view it. Unfortunately, the truth is, I cannot say neither is the case.

One can hope however, that with promoters that continue to rely on what has increasingly become an outdated model of pay-per-view and have continued to struggle as a result that no matter what their personal interests in a fighter might be, that they collectively realize that it is time for change. Change not just in regard to the antiquated pay-per-view model, which as we now approach 2023 rarely gives the consumer value for the price as compared to subscription-based options that are available on the market, but also change in the realization that fights of significant public interest need to be made in a timely manner not only in the best interest of the fighters, but of the sport. Whether the newest entry into Boxing promotion BLK Prime will adapt accordingly having seen the numerous flaws of going with the outdated status quos that be in Boxing or if they will go with the flow, which will only hinder the sport more remains to be seen. The hold outs that have thus far refused to embrace change and have even gone as far as to try and force those that have entered the sport to go with the status quos may not want to admit it, but things need to change. With Boxing fans continuing to reject an outdated model only with rare exceptions and now yet another highly anticipated fight between two undefeated world champions being delayed solely for business interests rather than what would benefit not only the sport, not only the fans who support it, but also the fighters themselves, I have one question for those hold outs as I often call them. How much evidence do you need in order to see the need to change and adapt accordingly? 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Did Martin Gain More In Defeat To Lopez?

One of the marquee attractions of December 10th saw former Undisputed Lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez looking to continue his rebuilding process following the loss of his crown in November 2021 to George Kambosos. The second fight in the comeback of Lopez and also the second bout in the Jr. Welterweight division for the former champion would come against slick boxer Sandor Martin at a venue quite familiar to Lopez. Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. A place where he has fought several times throughout his career, but also coincidentally, the same venue where he lost the Undisputed Lightweight crown to Kambosos in the Garden’s adjacent theater.

Lopez’ return to the building forever known in combat sports lure as simply “The Garden” would not come in the theater, but would instead come in the main arena. Before a largely favorable crowd, the Brooklyn-born Lopez appeared to be in the ideal scenario for a fighter looking to build momentum. An iconic venue where he won his first world championship, a hometown crowd of enthusiastic supporters, and an opponent with light regard, at least to those who are casual fans of the sport. Sandor Martin however, had earned his reputation as a spoiler prior to this bout. 

To put it simply, those who were expecting a highlight reel, statement-making performance by Lopez, did not get the memo as to how difficult of a fight this would turn out to be for the former champion. This was due to the very technical and disciplined approach of Martin, who from the outset established lateral movement, an ability to pick his spots, and combination punching, which showed clearly that if Lopez wanted a knockout in this fight, he would have to find a way to halt Martin’s movement and try to break him down. A task that proved to be easier said than done.

In round two, Martin would score a knockdown of Lopez by catching him off balance with a short right hook to the head as he pressed forward. While this was a “Flash Knockdown” in that Lopez was simply caught off balance, a knockdown is still a knockdown and it seemingly gave Martin the advantage in this observer’s eyes.

Martin also succeeded in doing something that is very difficult to accomplish, with his approach and technical Boxing style clearly dictating the combat, with each round the enthusiasm of the crowd in attendance become very quiet and, despite Lopez being able to have occasional moments and seeming to land the harder punches when he was able to connect, the fight did not appear close to yours truly.

What appeared to be a formulaic outcome in favor of Martin, who had shown the ability to play the role of spoiler before with being put in the role of an opponent for a star fighter however, would turn into a bit of controversy at the conclusion of the scheduled ten round bout as two of three official judges turned in scores of 96-93 and 97-92 in favor of Lopez making him the winner via split decision.

After a lifetime covering Boxing and bt extension combat sports, I have certainly seen plenty of controversial decisions that I felt should have gone the other way, and plenty that were deemed controversial that I felt were not as much controversial as it may have been a case of judges having a bad night at the office for lack of a better term. In this case, I think Martin won the fight, but will concede that when Lopez was able to land, though sporadic, he did land the harder punches between the two. While I had Martin winning this fight seven rounds to three or 96-93 in points, sometimes it can boil down to a judge’s perception as well as what they prefer in their own criteria based on clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense.

Speaking only for myself, Teofimo Lopez in this fight was not effective in his aggression and though he was able to have success sporadically, it was too sporadic in my view to earn him a victory in this bout. Perhaps from a standpoint of one’s perception, an argument could be made that Martin did not get credit from two official judges for his elusiveness and technical Boxing style. He also did not seem to have the punching power to hurt Lopez, despite him being able to drop him in the second round.

While Martin’s style is not necessarily crowd pleasing, I felt that he did enough to win this fight. Whether this decision was controversial or a case of judges having a bad night is something that can be debated, but I believe it falls somewhere in the middle.

Coming out of this fight, I feel if anyone will benefit from it, it will be Sandor Martin. He may not have gotten the credit for his performance from two official judges perhaps based on the perception that Lopez was more aggressive and landed the harder punches of the two when he was able to land, but there is also a perception coming out of a fight and it is hard to argue that Lopez looked better in victory than Martin did in defeat. Although Boxing is far from a fair and solidly structured sport, hopefully Martin will get another opportunity against a top contender or former world champion in the near future. After defeating Mikey Garcia earlier this year and nearly defeating Teofimo Lopez in this fight, his stock has gone up significantly. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


 Press Release: By BLK Prime – OMAHA, NEBRASKA - (December 12, 2022) – BLK Prime is thrilled to announce that the highly-anticipated fight between Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) and David Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs) was a resounding success, with the entire event delivering an unforgettable evening in front of Crawford’s hometown crowd in Omaha, Nebraska. The fight itself was nothing short of spectacular, with Crawford delivering the knockout of the year in front of his hometown crowd.

Credit: BLK Prime




In the co-main event, crossover combat-sports superstar Cris Cyborg defeated Gabrielle Holloway by unanimous decision in a four-round bout. This marks the first time a co-main event was a four-round women’s matchup. Add Cyborg's legendary stature to the table, making her U.S. debut in a new sport, further highlights BLK Prime’s mission to create a more equitable platform in boxing.




BLK Prime is committed to bringing diversity to the sport of boxing at every level. A multiethnic production team was brought together to provide boxing fans from all walks of life with a top-tier show, showing everyone that BLK Prime is a platform for everyone. From the ring announcers (both Latinos of Mexican descent) to the organizers, the talent, and the fighters themselves, everyone involved came from all corners of the earth, cementing BLK Prime’s mission to provide a multiethnic-friendly platform for fans. This fight was a prime example of that commitment, with Crawford and Avanesyan and every member of the undercard bringing unique cultural backgrounds to the ring.




Early reports indicate that buys for the sold-out event exceeded initial projections on BLK Prime digital, further solidifying BLK Prime’s position as the newest and best destination for high-quality boxing content.




“As a multicultural platform, BLK Prime is dedicated to providing opportunities for everyone, and we are proud to be a pillar for diversity in the sport of boxing.” said a representative for BLK Prime. “We were honored to be the only sponsor for this event, allowing the focus to remain squarely on the fighters and their incredible talent.”




"This was an extraordinary event for us at BLK Prime. To see two diverse fighters from across the world delivering an unforgettable performance in front of a hometown crowd was truly something special. We are proud to have been a part of this magnificent event and will continue providing opportunities for athletes from all walks of life to shine on our platform."





BLK Prime is excited to bring forth the biggest fights to boxing fans around the world and will continue its commitment to excellence.


Material and Photo Courtesy of BLK Prime Used with permission.


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

Inoue Toys With Butler And Becomes Undisputed

Undefeated IBF/WBA/WBC Bantamweight world champion Nayoya Inoue can officially call himself the Undisputed Bantamweight champion of the world after scoring a one-sided eleventh round knockout of WBO World Bantamweight champion Paul Butler on Tuesday night at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. From the opening bell it was clear who was the superior fighter as Inoue frequently backed Butler against the ropes and teed off with vicious combinations to the body and head of the WBO champion.

Although Butler appeared to have the fight plan of keeping a high defensive guard and attempting to use lateral movement against the pressure of Inoue, he did not let his hands go with consistency and was seemingly content to only throw punches occasionally in a clear show of respect for Inoue’s power. The action inside the ring or frankly lack thereof and mostly one way offense by Inoue eventually resulted in Inoue dropping his hands, shuffling his feat, and even putting his arms behind his back in an attempt to goad Butler to let his hands go. Butler did not fall prey to Inoue’s baiting tactics, but at no point did he appear to make a decision to fight as he continued to lose every round on the scorecards.

While Inoue appeared to be heading towards a shut out win on the scorecards if the bout went the full twelve round world championship distance, the gradually effects of all the punishment he had dishes out eventually caught up with Butler. A four punch combination to the head and body, highlighted by a left hook to the body put Butler down midway through the eleventh round. Butler appeared to be trying to get up from the knockdown, but rolled over on his back in pain as the ten count was concluded making Nayoya Inoue the first Undisputed Bantamweight champion of the world in the modern era in the history of Boxing.

Ultimately, this fight will go down in history both for the rarity in that it did not take years to bring the fight together as after he won the WBO Bantamweight world championship earlier this year, Paul Butler expressed his desire to face Inoue for the undisputed crown as soon as the fight could be made. While refreshing to see and throwing into the equation that a fight of this magnitude was held during a weekday, likely due to the bout’s location, and broadcast in the early morning hours to be seen live here in the United States by digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+ makes Inoue-Butler one of the more unique events in the history of the sport simply because it went against many of the norms that Boxing is both known and at times criticized for in terms of how quickly the fight was made.

As refreshing as that was however, the fight itself was a disappointment from the standpoint of one fighter perhaps being overwhelmed by the occasion not taking the chance to make a fight of it in what will probably be the biggest bout of his career and seemingly appeared content to try and go the distance with a fighter in Nayoya Inoue, who after becoming the Undisputed Bantamweight champion of the world and having won world championships in two divisions prior to becoming Bantamweight world champion and going on to fully unify the division, will likely go down as one of the greatest boxers in Japanese Boxing history. While it is indeed a major accomplishment, Inoue might vacate the Undisputed Bantamweight championship to move up in weight from the 118lb. Bantamweight division to the 122lb. Jr. Featherweight division in 2023.

Although Inoue’s victory over Paul Butler to become Undisputed Bantamweight champion of the world will not be remembered for being an all-time classic, it will nevertheless be a chapter in the story of what may go down as an all-time great fighter and future Hall of Famer. The next chapter in the career of Nayoya Inoue now awaits. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Warrington-Lopez Thoughts

While much of the focus of the Boxing world on Saturday, December 10th was split between two of the sport’s biggest stars Terence Crawford and Teofimo Lopez headlining competing Boxing events, earlier in the day (in U.S. Time) saw the return of another star in the sport that deserves equal mention along with Crawford and Lopez as a headline attraction. This observer is referring to two-time Featherweight world champion Josh Warrington. Warrington returned to the ring for the first time since regaining the IBF Featherweight world championship by stopping Kiko Martinez in March of this year to begin his second reign as champion in a title defense against  IBF number one Featherweight contender Luis Lopez. A defense that took place in the champion’s hometown of Leeds, England at the First Direct Arena. Taking place in the immediate aftermath of England’s loss in the quarter finals to France in the FIFA World Cup, Lopez showed no negative effects from the atmosphere of fighting the champion where theoretically the advantage appeared to be in his favor.

Despite suffering a cut over his left eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads in the second round, what stood out from very early on was Lopez' ability to be elusive, but at the same time land combinations of hard punches on the champion. Although the bout was at times ugly to watch due to the grappling between the two fighters when in close, it was Lopez' ability to out work Warrington and more specifically how he was able to mix things up by executing his offense from varying angles that seemed to carry the majority of the first seven rounds, in my view.

With the appearance starting to emerge that Warrington was being out boxed in this fight, I did wonder if he would be able to make a tactical adjustment that would change the tempo of the combat in his favor. While you can never discount the possibility of a fighter being able to narrow the gap in terms of scoring by scoring knockdowns in rounds in the middle and late stages of a fight, or the ultimate come from behind scenario of scoring a knockout, something seemed a bit off for Warrington in this fight. Whether it was because of facing a fighter with a difficult style in Lopez or perhaps something unknown like an injury for example, Warrington seemed a step or two behind in this bout and seemed to have trouble finding a rhythm for much of the fight.

Although the last four rounds of this fight in particular were close in my eyes, I felt Warrington got the better of most of the exchanges during those rounds, but I did not feel what amounted to a significant rally would be enough for Warrington to retain his title due largely to the success Lopez was able to have over the course of the first seven rounds of the fight. It was based on this that I arrived at a scorecard of eight rounds to four or 116-112 in points in favor of Lopez.

The view of this bout in the eyes of this observer notwithstanding, it was not a surprise to see a close majority decision rendered at the conclusion of this twelve round world championship bout. Even though some might assume that the potential of what is referred to by some as a “Hometown Decision” may have been relevant in this case given that the bout was indeed held in Warrington's hometown and thus that could create the assumption of close scores at least in the eyes of some, I believe it was more of a case of as I have often said over the years, what a judge prefers in their own criteria in how they score bases on clean punching, effective aggression, ring generalship, and defense.

Obviously, yours truly as I have also said in the past, can only speak for himself when it comes to how I view and subsequently score a fight in an unofficial capacity. It is indisputable that Josh Warrington was able to turn things in his favor in the later stages of the fight. From my perspective, he did not do enough over that period to win the fight and it really appeared to be a case where he ran out of time or to be more specific, ran out of rounds. Perhaps if this world championship bout were scheduled for fifteen rounds as was the case for world championship fights until the mid-1980’s when all world sanctioning organizations adapted the twelve round distance universally in world championship fights, Warrington may have been able to pull out a victory.

It was nevertheless a close fight on the three official scorecards with two of three official judges turning in scores of seven rounds to five in favor of Lopez making him the winner and new IBF Featherweight world champion. The obvious question at least in my eyes coming out of this fight is will there be a rematch?

One would assume that the now former champion Josh Warrington would be open to pursuing a rematch as a former champion usually does have a rematch clause in a contract prior to losing their title in the ring. While yours truly is not certain as to whether or not that is indeed the case in this circumstance for Warrington, at best a rematch should be considered an option for both the former champion as well as the new champion for sometime in 2023. Both men should take the time over the upcoming holidays to not only evaluate their respective options, but also to give them both time to heal from what was a physically grueling battle.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Inoue-Butler: Who Will Be Undisputed?

Longtime readers know that a consistent feature every year on this observer’s annual “Boxing Wishlist” that usually begins the schedule at the start of a new year here on The Boxing Truth® that usually ranks near the top of the list, perhaps only outranked by a sincere desire to see the outdated and often inflated pay-per-view model done away with in favor of more economically reasonable subscription-based alternatives, is a wish to eventually see one undisputed world champion crowned in each of Boxing’s seventeen weight divisions. While much like my stance on the pay-per-view model doing more harm to the sport of Boxing than it does to benefit it or the fighters that compete in it, the wish to see one undisputed world champion determined per weight class is something that most fans would probably view as wishful thinking and not realistic. Although it is indeed true that due to the various political aspects that are involved in the sport, including, but not limited to multiple sanctioning organizations, rival promoters, and yes competing television networks that all too often get in the way of fights of significant interest amongst the public being made, much less the task of unifying divisions on both the male and female sides of the sport, there has been gradual progress made in recent years for both men and women in determining one world champion in various divisions.

Despite the fact that the subject of determining one world champion per weight class is a broad one that will continue to be touched upon by yours truly at various times when circumstances warrant it and will unfortunately remain a fixture on this observer’s “Boxing Wishlist” for likely many years to come due to the aforementioned factors, gradual progress is indeed better than no progress at all and for a sport that is all too often surrounded by negatives and at times out right ridiculed for such, anyone that truly has the sport’s best interest at heart should look at any progress in this area as a win for Boxing.

As the remainder of the 2022 Boxing schedule continues to wind down, such progress will continue, this time in the 118lb. Bantamweight division as world champions Nayoya Inoue and Paul Butler will meet to determine the Undisputed Bantamweight championship of the world on Tuesday, December 13th at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. The fight, which can be seen here in the United States during the early morning hours on digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+ also continues to show progress in the fact that a fight like this in one of the sport’s lighter divisions is being made available to American audiences. Something that prior to the advent of streaming technology and subscription-based sports networks like ESPN+ and DAZN was not always the case.

One could perhaps make a viable argument that a reason for that as it relates to this particular fight beyond that it will be for an undisputed world championship is the undefeated WBA/IBF/WBC world champion Nayoya Inoue. Although Inoue is actually a three-division world champion , his run in the 118lb. Bantamweight division has exposed him to American Boxing fans due in part to his being co-promoted by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc., who has an exclusive broadcast deal with ESPN. Some may also recall that Inoue emerged as a unified world champion in winning the Bantamweight tournament in the first season of the highly-acclaimed World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournaments.

In was in the finals of that tournament where Inoue faced the toughest test of his career in multi-division world champion Nonito Donaire in November 2019. Despite his nickname as “The Monster” and his having carved a reputation as a feared “Knockout Artist,” the veteran Donaire was able to provide Inoue with a battle in what turned out to be one of the best fighter of 2019 that saw Inoue earn a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision.

Since that grueling war, Inoue has continued to score highlight reel knockouts of whomever is put before him. Perhaps both because of Inoue’s ability to score what are often brutal knockouts and the fact that Donaire was really the first fighter to provide significant resistance against him, that a rematch between the two would take place at some point. The second encounter between Inoue and Donaire took place in June of this year, but unlike the toe to toe battle we saw in 2019, Inoue would add Donaire to his list of knockout victims in scoring a brutal second round knockout to add the WBC world championship to his unified crown.

Although Inoue made a statement by knocking out the future Hall of Famer Donaire in devastating fashion and in the process, should have removed any questions that might have been following their first bout three years earlier, I found myself asking one question in the aftermath of that rematch, is there anyone at 118lbs. that can stop this destructive force?

Perhaps the last man standing that can try to answer that question before Inoue likely sets his sights on moving up to the 122lb. Jr. Featherweight division, is the man who will be standing across the ring from him on December 13th in the form of WBO Bantamweight world champion Paul Butler. Butler, a veteran of thirty-six professional fights will have an experience edge over the twenty-three fight veteran Inoue. Butler’s reign as WBO champion only began in April of this year and one might question the wisdom in taking a fight for an undisputed championship so quickly after winning a world championship, despite it being likely the most lucrative bout of his career.

The United Kingdom-based Butler will nevertheless be the visiting fighter as this bout will take place on Inoue’s home turf in Japan. How can Butler pull off what some would call a major upset in this fight? In thinking of how this fight could be fought, I consistently thought of one scenario Butler could attempt to implement. He must try to establish himself as an elusive target from the outset. Nayoya Inoue is a fighter with a seek and destroy mentality that comes forward and looks to cut the ring off from his opponent and set up opportunities to end a fight as quickly as possible. Of  twenty-three career wins, only three fighters managed to go the distance with Inoue. This statistic along with his near 87% career knockout percentage suggests that the fight plan for Inoue will be the same as virtually all his previous fights, press forward, attempt to walk Butler down and land power shots with the intent to end the fight early. Although easier said than done, Butler must be elusive, try to pick his spots, use lateral movement to try and evade Inoue as he comes forward, and resist going toe to toe with him at all times if he wants to be successful.

Ultimately, there are likely some that view this fight as a mere footnote in the career of Nayoya Inoue as he likely looks ahead to the Jr. Featherweight division in the not too distant future. This fight nevertheless does represent the first time that there will be an undisputed world champion in the modern era in the 118lb. Bantamweight division and regardless of what may happen down the line, there is history that will be made. No matter what happens, the sport of Boxing will be elevated, if it turns out to be a great fight that some may not expect as well, even better.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Inoue vs. Butler takes place on Tuesday, December 13th at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. The fight can be seen in the United States on digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+ beginning at 2:30AM ET/11:30PM PT and will be available for on demand viewing shortly after the conclusion of the event. ESPN+ is available on the ESPN app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices/Smart TVs. For more information about ESPN+ including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, and to subscribe please visit: *Check your local listings internationally.

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

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter:

Friday, December 9, 2022

Can Avanesyan Upset Crawford?


Following a tenth round stoppage of former two-time Welterweight world champion Shawn Porter in October of last year in defense of his WBO World Welterweight championship, undefeated multi-division world champion Terence Crawford has spent the majority of his time engaging in battles outside the Boxing ring. First with his former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc. and in negotiations to try and make a fight with undefeated IBF/WBC/WBA world champion Errol Spence for what would be for the Undisputed Welterweight championship of the world, a reality.  


Both arguably has resulted in over a year of inactivity for the current WBO world champion. This will change on Saturday, December 10th when Crawford returns to the ring in front of his hometown in Omaha, NE at the CHI Health Center to defend his championship against longtime top contender and current European Welterweight champion David Avanesyan in a scheduled twelve round bout that will headline a card broadcast on pay-per-view. This fight comes in the aftermath of a failed negotiation between Crawford and Spence for what has become a highly anticipated bout amongst both fans and experts alike. The failed negotiation however, has led to the entry into the sport of digital subscription streaming platform BLK Prime, who has reportedly guaranteed Crawford $10 Million for this bout against to headline the platform’s first Boxing card. 


Although the circumstances of the failed negotiation between Crawford and Spence and to be more specific, Crawford and the Primer Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters and it’s founder Al  Haymon is a reflection of a long-standing flaw of the business side of the sport that more often than not does not serve in Boxing’s best interest or the fighters that compete in it, the danger for a fighter in Crawford’s position is the potential to be distracted. Not only will this fight be taking place in Crawford’s hometown, but one does have to wonder if all of the talk regarding Errol Spence has had an impact on the champion’s preparation and focus going into this title defense. Fighters are after all as human as the rest of us and competing in your hometown where you are the marquee attraction can obviously have it's own distractions and stresses on it’s own. When you add into the equation that most of the talk going into this bout is not about the fight itself, but a fight that was not made, it is logical to at least question whether the champion’s focus is more on the fight that couldn’t be made as opposed to the fight that was made. 


In David Avanesyan, Crawford will face a longtime top contender in the Welterweight division that was for a period of time the number one contender in the WBA’s Welterweight ratings. Although the biggest victory in Avanesyan ‘s career came against a faded legend in Shane Mosley, whom he scored a twelve round unanimous decision over in May 2016, he will enter into this fight unbeaten in his last six fights having stopped all six of his previous opponents inside the distance. Off of the string of knockouts he has compiled as well as his status as the current European Welterweight champion, Avanesyan has worked his way to the number six ranking in the WBO ratings. One might argue that the circumstances of the failed negotiations between Crawford and Spence, as well as the champion’s desire to get back in active competition rather than sit out until 2023 has given Avanesyan the perfect opportunity as the highest rates available contender who was willing to face Crawford as he has been active and is being viewed by some as an afterthought. 


Avanesyan does have deceptive hand speed and has shown punching power in his recent fights. The task that will be for the challenger in his first world championship fight will be one in two parts, which may prove to be easier said than done. He is going into the Boxing equivalent of a lion’s den in facing Crawford in his hometown where all the crowd support will be in favor of the champion. While crowd support is only one aspect, Avanesyan as the for lack of a better term “Road Fighter” must find a way to take the crowd’s enthusiasm and potential influence out of the equation. Although it will not be easy to accomplish given that he is fighting an elite level fighter with an evolving skillset in Crawford, Avanesyan needs to establish early that he will be dictating the combat and must not allow the champion to get into any sort of rhythm. 


Crawford has always been very compact with his offense and is highly skilled when it comes to hand speed, power, and ability to counter punch. Avanesyan must not be reckless in how he approaches Crawford and needs to be both tactical and pick his spots with caution. While a fighter entering a fight with a six fight knockout streak may give an appearance that said fighter will have the edge in power, Terence Crawford has shown the ability to end a fight quickly if the opportunity presents itself and if what has gone on for the champion in recent times outside the ring from his split and legal dispute with his former promoter to the failure in negotiations for a more lucrative fight has not taken his mind off the task at hand, this fight could end quickly if Avanesyan is not strategic in his approach. The challenger must however, also find a balance between being tactical, but at the same time not giving Crawford too much respect where it might allow the champion to sway what could potentially be closely fought rounds, particularly early in the fight. 


In all honesty with the reader, despite Avanesyan’s credentials as a longtime contender and current European Welterweight champion, this has all the appearance, particularly amongst those for whom Boxing is of casual interest, of merely another title defense by an elite world champion in Terence Crawford with an eye towards more lucrative bouts that might come in the future. If Crawford is not on his “Fight Game” however, Avanesyan does have the skills and experience as someone who is used to fighting in an opponent’s hometown/country where he could pull off an upset and immediately halt any and all discussion of potential fights that could come for Crawford. The Welterweight division is historically one of the most talent-deep in the entire sport and even the best of the best fighters can have an off night in the ring, especially if as a human being their focus might be diverted by too many distractions outside the ring. We will see if David Avanesyan can seize the opportunity that is in front of him when he challenges Terence Crawford for the WBO Welterweight championship of the world on Saturday, December 10th. 


“And That’s The Boxing Truth. 


Crawford vs. Avanesyan takes place on Saturday, December 10th at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, NE. The fight as well as it’s full undercard can be seen on digital streaming platform BLK Prime on a pay-per-view basis for $39.99. The card will begin at 6PM ET/3PM PT with preliminary bouts with the pay-per-view portion of the card beginning at 9PM ET/3PM PT. In addition to BLK Prime, the card will also be available to purchase on traditional cable and satellite providers. Visit: to order on BLK Prime and for a list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, and Smart TVs or contact your local cable or satellite provider for ordering information.  


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


Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: