Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Beterbiev-Yarde Thoughts

 The fight between undefeated unified IBF/WBO/WBC Light-Heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev and top Light-Heavyweight contender Anthony Yards was one that brought two of the division’s power punchers together. What made this more intriguing was the fact that the champion Beterbiev had knocked out every previous opponent that he had faced as a professional. Although Yarde had previously fought for a world title and gave a determined effort against then WBO world champion Sergey Kovalev in 2018, he had suffered one setback and avenged it prior to this encounter.

Despite working his way back into world title contention and having scored knockouts in twenty a two of his twenty-three career wins, there were many that considered Yarde to be a significant underdog going into his second opportunity at a world championship. While this in part was likely due to the aura that Beterbiev had established as one of the Light-Heavyweight division’s feared “Knockout Artists,” as well as perhaps the outcome of Yarde’s previous attempt at a world championship against Kovalev, where after a good start where it appeared at times that he might have been on the verge of stopping him, he ultimately fell to fatigue as well as Kovalev’s pressure before being stopped in the eleventh round.

In previewing this world championship bout, this observer stated that it would likely come down to whether or not Anthony Yarde would be able to combat the pressure of Beterbiev and do so for all twelve rounds. When the two fighters met at the legendary Wembley Arena in London England on January 28th, the crowd support was in favor of Yarde as expected and for a time it appeared as though the challenger had a tactical strategy in which to approach Beterbiev. This included using faints as well as varying his attack between the body and the head.


For a brief time, it appeared to favor Anthony Yarde. As the fight progressed however, and Artur Beterbiev began to close the distance it turned into a fire fight between two of the Light-Heavyweight division’s feared punchers. While this was the fight that yours truly personally expected to happen at some point as the two fighters engaged, I was impressed by how Anthony Yarde was able to respond to the champion’s power punches and how he was also able to return power shots of his own.


One thing that Yarde got away from as the fight progressed was he did not go to Beterbiev’s body consistently and did not at any point try to administer a sustained attack to the body. The concept of a body attack in Boxing and other combat sports is a bit of a lost art as it can be one of the most effective components of a fighter’s offense when executed properly as it can not only take a fighter’s legs away and thus their ability to move and evade an attack, but it also can gradually fatigue a fighter with punching power such as Beterbiev. Thus, it is a lost art that is very underappreciated by many competing in the sport.


The challenger, perhaps inspired by the atmosphere of the event with a hometown crowd supporting him, instead neglected what appeared to be a tactical approach early in the fight and chose to fight Beterbiev essentially toe to toe. Although no one can take away from the courage Anthony Yarde showed in this fight, the decision to fight fire with fire proved to be costly as eventually after several heated exchanges that left both fighters hurt and bleeding throughout the fight, Beterbiev would drop Yarde with a flush right hand to the jaw that sent the challenger down on his knees in the eighth round. Yarde showed his mettle by getting up from the knockdown though clearly hurt and fatigued. It would only be moments before the challenger’s corner would step up on the ring apron and ask for the fight to be stopped.


The victory for Beterbiev was his nineteenth consecutive victory in his thus far undefeated career and also his nineteenth consecutive knockout. A victory for the champion that will obviously stir more interest in a potential unification bout between Beterbiev and undefeated WBA world champion Dmitry Bivol for the Undisputed Light-Heavyweight championship of the world. It appears unlikely that the potential fight between the two will happen in 2023 due to Bivol likely facing the man he beat last year Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a rematch that if nothing else is a more lucrative opportunity for him at the present time, despite his dominating Alvarez when they met in May of last year.


As for Anthony Yarde, as was the case when he first fought for a world championship in losing via knockout to former longtime Light-Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in 2018, he was not disgraced in this fight and showed his mettle in defeat. While some may choose to say that Yarde will no longer be a factor in the Light-Heavyweight division, I don’t necessarily share that point of view. Yarde proved once again why he has been a top contender in the division for several years and I believe it may have been a case of him allowing the atmosphere and emotion of the event before a hometown crowd to get to him and thus he ended up forgoing what appeared to be a tactical strategy to try and combat Beterbiev and chose to go toe to toe. Although that certainly made the fight more entertaining for any fan that may have been watching it, it was the wrong approach to take. Perhaps after some time to reflect on this setback and maybe even make additions to his team, Yarde as he was able to do following his loss to Kovalev, can bounce back and be back in the mix of potential challengers for Beterbiev, Bivol, or whomever holds a world championship in the Light-Heavyweight division at that time.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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

Friday, January 27, 2023

Can Yarde Pull Off The Next Light-Heavyweight Upset?


Perhaps the biggest story in Boxing in 2022 came in the month of May when undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol scored a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over current Undisputed Super-Middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to retain his WBA crown. While Bivol was naturally bigger and stronger than Alvarez and has a difficult Boxing style that has proven difficult for opponents to combat, much less solve, most viewed his victory over Alvarez as “An Upset.” This view, which is not shared by this observer, is based largely on the fact that Alvarez is one of the sport’s biggest stars and the expectation of many was that he would defeat Bivol, a fighter not well-known to casual fans on what was his quest to begin the process of trying to fully unify a second division after what he had accomplished in fully unifying the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division. While Boxing is truly the theater of the unexpected, Bivol did go against the script that at least some had envisioned prior to that fight.


With victories over Alvarez and former Super-Middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez in 2022 behind him, Bivol could potentially be nearing either a rematch with Alvarez or a potential unification bout with the only remaining world champion in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division. Artur Beterbiev. Like Bivol, Beterbiev is an undefeated world champion, currently holding the IBF, WBC, and WBO crowns in the division, which would make a potential encounter with Bivol for the Undisputed Light-Heavyweight championship of the world. Before the Boxing world can begin wetting their collective appetites for that bout, Beterbiev has business to tend to as he will defend his unified portion of the World Light-Heavyweight championship against IBF number three rated contender Anthony Yarde on Saturday, January 28th at the  Wembley Arena in London, England.


The fight, which can be seen here in the United States on digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+, has one central question that surrounds it. Can Yarde pull off what would be seen as a significant upset and derail any potential plans for an undisputed clash between Beterbiev and Bivol. This will be Yarde’s second opportunity at a world championship. In August 2019, a then undefeated Yarde put forth a spirited effort against former longtime WBO Light-Heavyweight world champion and division cornerstone Sergey Kovalev before being stopped in the eleventh round. Yarde did appear to have Kovalev in trouble throughout that fight and made a good account of himself in defeat. Since that loss, Yarde has split two fights with Light-Heavyweight contender Lyndon Arthur, losing a twelve round split decision in their first fight in December 2020 and avenging that loss via fourth round knockout in their rematch in December 2021.


The London-born Yarde will have significant support from the crowd in attendance at the legendary Wembley Arena, but he does face a difficult task in the champion Beterbiev. In some ways however, this is a similar situation as the one the challenger faced when he fought Kovalev in that like Kovalev, Beterbiev is a “Knockout Artist.”


Beterbiev has knocked out all eighteen of his previous opponents as a professional and has the ability to end a fight with either hand. What this will likely come down to is whether or not Yarde will be able to combat the pressure of Beterbiev and do so for all twelve rounds if needed. In his last title defense, Beterbiev destroyed WBO world champion Joe Smith in two rounds. The champion has also shown the ability to overcome adversity during a fight as he showed in his title defense against Marcus Browne in December 2021, where he suffered a deep gash on his forehead early in the fight as a result of an accidental clash of heads, before stopping Browne in the ninth round. In both instances neither Browne or Smith had a way to deal with Beterbiev‘s relentless pressure and could not avoid his punching power.


Yarde does have twenty-two knockouts in his twenty-three career wins so he is also capable of ending a fight early should an opportunity arise. Whether or not he will have a tactical approach or will attempt to fight fire with fire and go toe to toe with Beterbiev remains to be seen. Wisdom would suggest that he will need to find a way to dictate the fight from the outset and try to nullify Beterbiev’s pressure if he wants to pull off the upset in front of a hometown crowd, as the champion has only shown one approach in his career, seek and destroy.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


Beterbiev vs. Yarde takes place on Saturday, January 29th at the Wembley Arena in London, England. The 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 and smart TVs. For more information about ESPN+ including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, and to subscribe please visit: www.ESPNPlus.com.


*Card and start time subject to change.*


*Check your local listings internationally.*


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


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





Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Saracho Defeats Francis: ProBox TV Future Stars Results From Plant City, FL

 Jr. Welterweight Jesus Saracho scored a hard fought ten round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Cesar Francis on Wednesday night at the ProBox Events Center in Plant City, FL. The main event of digital Boxing streaming network Pro Box TV’s first installment of it’s Future Stars series did not disappoint as both Saracho and Francis brought their best in this ten round bout. In round two, Francis appeared to hurt Saracho with a body shot, but Saracho was able to withstand the barrage of offense at the end of the round.


Francis appeared to control the majority of the early rounds by using his range as well as timing to catch Saracho with offense as he came forward. As the fight progressed however, the two fighters appeared to switch roles in the sense that Saracho appeared to be landing the harder punches of the two and was the effective aggressor by periodically landing body shots and mixing in offense to Francis’ head in spurts. At the conclusion of the ten round bout, all three judges had scored the bout in favor of Saracho resulting in a unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 98-92, and 96-94 (On two scorecards for Saracho. Jesus Saracho advances to 13-1, with 11 Knockouts. Cesar Francis falls to 12-1, with 7 Knockouts.


Also on this card:


Unbeaten nineteen year old Jr. Lightweight Oscar Alvarez scored a seven round technical decision over Nicolas Polanco.  Alvarez dominated the fight due largely to his 6’3 height and reach where he was able to connect frequently on Polanco frequently throughout the scheduled eight round bout. In round seven however, the bout was stopped due to a deep gash that opened directly over Alvarez’ left eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads that was bleeding profusely and going directly into the eye. At the point when the bout was stopped, Alvarez was ahead on all three official scorecards 70-63, and 68-65 (On two scorecards) resulting in him remaining unbeaten via unanimous technical decision. Oscar Alvarez advances to 8-0, with 7 Knockouts. Nicolas Polanco falls to 20-4-1, with 11 Knockouts.


In an entertaining Lightweight bout, Jonhatan Cardoso scored a hard fought eight round decision over previously undefeated and very “Game” Jose Arellano. Cardoso established a very high pace in the early rounds and implemented a near relentless attack to the body and head of Arellano. Although Arellano did everything he could to keep Cardoso at bay, it was the relentless attack that ultimately resulted in Cardoso winning an eight round unanimous decision in a fight where he also took a fair share of punishment as well as dished it out. All three official judges scored the bout 78-74 in favor of Cardoso.  Jonhatan Cardoso advances to 15-1, with 14 Knockouts. Jose Arellano falls to 10-1, with 6 Knockouts.


Jr. Welterweight Jorge Carlos moved to 4-0 in his young career by scoring a first round knockout of Anthony Linenfelser. A barrage of non-stop punches from Carlos put Linenfelser down in a corner midway through the round. Although Linenfelser was able to get up from the knockdown and was allowed to continue, Carlos moved in for the finish and a short right hook sent Linenfelser face down on the canvas resulting in the fight being immediately stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:40 of round one. Jorge Carlos advances to 4-0, with 4 Knockouts. Anthony Linenfelser falls to 4-18-1, with 4 Knockouts.  


Undefeated Heavyweight Lorenzo Medina began the evening, by scoring a first round knockout of veteran Cleveland Billingsley. Medina immediately began to land his left hook in the opening seconds of the fight and began mixing in combinations. A right hand to the head put Billingsley down for the count. Official time of the stoppage was 2:40 of round one. Lorenzo Medina advances to 5-0, with 5 Knockouts. Cleveland Billingsley falls to 5-9, with 5 Knockouts.


This card, which concluded a rare stretch of Boxing events in four cards promoted by four separate promoters across the state of Florida, like the previous three, showcased many of the upcoming fighters in the ProBox Promotions stable, many of whom are Florida-based. As for the debut of this Future Stars series, a series that ProBox TV intends to be a bi-weekly series throughout 2023 on Wednesday evenings, this was very much in line with what one might expect from a Boxing series that is focused on rising prospects akin to Showtime Sports’ highly acclaimed ShoBox: The New Generation series. For the first digital streaming network that is geared exclusively to the sport of Boxing, the first edition of ProBox TV’s Future Stars series should be consider a success. As both the Boxing promotion headed by promoter Garry Jonas and the streaming network, which launched in May of last year continue to grow and hopefully add content from more promoters, this series should evolve and be regarded as a proving ground for fighters nearing world title contention, as ShoBox was able to do over the past two decades. Something that for fighters remains crucial and as far as the network is concerned should be viewed as a win for Boxing fans and in particular fans in the state of Florida, which is a growing hot spot for the sport.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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

ProBox TV Future Stars Weights From Plant City, FL


The official weigh-in for Wednesday night’s debut of ProBox TV’s Future Stars series took place on Tuesday in Plant City, FL. Weights for the entire card, which can be seen on digital Boxing streaming network ProBox TV are as follows.


Main Event: Jr. Welterweight – 10Rds.

Cesar Francis 138 3/4lbs. vs. Jesus Saracho 140lbs.

Lightweight – 8 Rds.

Oscar Alvarez 132 1/2lbs. vs. Nicholas Polanco 131 3/4lbs.

Lightweight – 8Rds.

Johnatan Cardoso 133 3/4lbs. vs. Jose Arellano 133 1/2lbs.

Heavyweight – 8Rds.

Lorenzo Medina 227 3/4lbs. vs. Cleveland Billingsly 259 1/2lbs.

ProBox TV Future Stars Series: Francis vs. Saracho takes place Tonight (January 25th) at the ProBox Events Center in Plant City, FL. The card can be seen on the ProBox TV app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices and Smart TVs beginning at 7PM ET/4PM PT. For more information about ProBox TV, including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, availability around the world, and to subscribe please visit: www.ProBoxTV.com.


*Cards and Start time Subject to Change.*


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

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Guidry And Tarver Pick Up Wins Across Florida


On Saturday, January 21st a stretch of Boxing cards spanning four events in a five day period continued. Following an exciting eleven bout card promoted by Undisputed Promotions in Kissimmee, FL on January 20th, night two of Florida Boxing showcased two Boxing events taking place on both the east and west coast of the state. First, in Miami at Casino Miami, rising Heavyweight contender Jonathan Guidry squared off against former WBC Heavyweight world champion Bernane Stiverne in a bout scheduled for ten rounds.


In previewing this fight, this observer stated that this appeared to be an encounter between two fighters moving in different directions in their respective careers. Guidry being the fighter on the rise, Stiverne having not won a fight in nearly eight years, who has also dealt with lengthy periods of inactivity as well. While seemingly every fight in the Heavyweight division currently between contenders of any description has the sub-plot of whether the fighters involved can provide a strong argument for themselves as for trying to move themselves into position to challenge for a world championship, this fight was one where no argument could be made for either fighter.


For ten rounds, the two fighters, who fought in the main event of a card presented by Hall of Fame promoter Don King’s Don King Productions, engaged in a fight where neither fighter seemed to take the initiative. Whether it was due to a respect between the two fighters or a bad clash of styles, Guidry and Stiverne’s bout may be described as a brisk sparring session as opposed to a competitive fight if one did not know better based on the pace the fight was fought as well as the lack of action throughout. At the conclusion of the ten round bout, it was Guidry who would have his hand raised in victory by a wide unanimous decision based largely on the fact that he was the more active of the two fighters throughout.


With the victory, Guidry retained his North American Boxing Association (NABA) Heavyweight title and should maintain his standing in terms of the world rankings as a fighter on the rise. Although he did what he needed to do and scored a victory over a notable opponent, Guidry may have been able to get a stoppage in this fight had he been more aggressive. It is true that every fighter can have a bad night at the office, but for a fighter in his position that is trying to move his way into world championship contention, Guidry will need to do a little more to force himself into the discussion of potential world title challengers. As for Bernane Stiverne, after losing five of his last six fights over nearly eight years, it may be time for him to think about retirement.


This now brings us to the second main event that took place on January 21st as we move to the west coast of Florida where undefeated Jr. Middleweight Antonio Tarver Jr. headlined a Boxing card at Calta’s Fitness and Boxing in Tampa. The son of former two-division world champion Antonio Tarver headlined a card promoted by his father’s Tarver Promotions by facing fellow undefeated Drew Dwelly in a scheduled ten round bout. Whenever I have the opportunity to cover the offspring of a fighter that I have watched and in this case had covered in years past, I tend to look for similarities in terms of style between the parent and the new generation of fighter.


In this case, this was the first time I had the opportunity to see Antonio Tarver Jr. in action, so I was keenly interested in what I would see in this fight. It should also be noted that when it comes to the children of great fighters as Antonio Tarver was, it is not uncommon to see them matched against opposition that some might call soft or questionable, at least in the very early stages of their careers. This would not be the case for Antonio Tarver's eleventh professional fight as Drew Dwelly was also unbeaten and proved to provide him with a decent test in a fight that was for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF Jr. Middleweight championship.


Dwelly did this by applying pressure on Tarver early in the fight and trying to both cut the ring off and force him to go toe to toe with him. While this strategy had mixed results for Dwelly, this seemed as though it would be crucial in terms of Tarver’s development as a fighter.


As far as the similarities between Tarver Sr. and Tarver Jr. in terms of style, Tarver Sr. was a fighter that dominated most of his fights by his ability to double and triple jab his opponents, mixing in the rest of his offense, which were often highlighted by hooks to the head, and moving laterally to keep an opponent from being able to close the gap. While Tarver Jr. did show some characteristics of his father’s style, what I observed was more of a style based on counter punching and being able to catch his opponent in between punches while in the midst of exchanges. While this was slightly different both in terms of style as well as general approach in comparison to his father, Tarver Jr. did show glimpses of hand speed and punching power that was quite similar to Tarver Sr.


The edge in hand speed as well as his precision timing ultimately resulted in Tarver being able to land the cleaner, more effective punches of the two fighters. In the eighth round, Tarver would bring the fight to a sudden conclusion.  After having Dwelly in trouble in the latter stages of round seven, Tarver put his opponent down with a combination highlighted by left hands that sent Dwelly down and out on the canvas. What was the eleventh win of his career, Antonio Tarver Jr. appears to be nearing title contention as winning the NABF championship will move him up the rankings in the World Boxing Council (WBC) Jr. Middleweight ratings, which the NABF is affiliated with the organization similar to Jonathan Guidry holding the NABA championship in the Heavyweight division per its affiliation with the World Boxing Association (WBA).


Out of the two victors in these two fights, it was Antonio Tarver Jr. that was the more impressive of the two, but it is important for Johnathan Guidry to remember that not every fight that you win will have a head-turning, highlight-reel like performance and he ultimately did what he needed to do in his fight with Bermane Stiverne  to get a victory. As for where Tarver and Guidry will go in terms of their progression throughout 2023, it obviously remains to be seen, but with each scoring a win, each has successfully taken a step forward.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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




Monday, January 23, 2023

Paulie Malignaggi Outlines His Wishes For 2023

Press Release: January 22, 2023 – By ProBox TV – Two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi is still keeping busy in the boxing world, as he holds a position of one of ProBox TV's front men in the years after his ring retirement.

ProBox TV which debuts its Future Stars Wednesday's on January 25, will see Malignaggi analysing the fight from ringside, as he continues to work on the ProBox TV venture in multiple media based capacities. 

Malignaggi opened up, as he dived into his roles with ProBox TV, "I've been at ProBox TV during the entire inception, for nearly 2 years, and we're out of BETA mode now and we're beginning to fire on all cylinders regarding content. 

"We're going to be producing talk shows analyzing boxing's biggest events and ongoings fight breakdowns, and of course I'll be on commentary for all the events starting Jan 25 in Tampa, FL. It's really exciting for boxing that we're going to have our very own Boxing Channel starting with Brooklyn's Cesar Francis who I think can be world champion at super lightweight.

"The content is going to be with some of boxing's biggest names like Juan Manuel Marquez, and guests every month with us giving our opinions on what's going on in the boxing world and a dedicated newsteam to bring you the news around the clock. ProBox TV is really a one-stop-shop for boxing fans and I'm really happy to be a part of it."
The Brooklyn native Malignaggi, who was recently inducted into the New York Boxing Hall of Fame alongside former foe Zab Judah has frequented multiple leading platforms offering his input on in ring action, with many considering Malignaggi to be one of the sports best analysts. 

The former super lightweight and welterweight gave his take on what he hopes for boxing as a whole in 2023. He said, "I want to see better judging in fights. I really hope the days of fighters being robbed comes to an end, I really do. There has to be stricter punishments from commissions and sanctioning bodies against bad judging. This can't continue as this doesn't just affect fighters financially, but it can negatively affect their health in different ways.

"When I was fighting the best for the best and there was respect after it. Boxing needs to go back to those days where the best fought the best and networks didn't interfere. I want to see Fury fight Usyk and even Fury fight AJ which is a massive fight in the UK. I want to see Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia go at it too, as that will bring a lot of eyes back to boxing that I hope continue to watch boxing after that fight. 

We need to think about what fights the next generation of fight fans will watch and remember as that's the fight that got me into boxing. I remember watching Arturo Gatti growing up and wanting to box after watching him. Arturo was a great fighter and a great man, and boxing needs those type of fighters in real fights like Gatti-Ward. It's those fights that keep boxing fans around the sport for years to come."

Material Courtesy of ProBox TV Used with permission.

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

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

Friday, January 20, 2023

Undisputed Promotions Results From Kissimmee, FL



Undefeated Women’s Jr. Bantamweight Jasmine Artiga scored a dominant eight round unanimous decision over a very “Game” Ashley Sciscente on Friday night at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, FL. In what was the main event of promoter Anthony Arvelo’s Undisputed Promotions first Boxing card of 2023, Artiga executed an effective fight plan largely based off of her jab and lateral movement. In round four Artiga dropped Scisente with a body shot. Artiga would score a second knockdown in round six with a left hook to the head that secured the unanimous decision victory for her as she looks to challenge for a world championship in 2023. Official scores were 79-71 (On two scorecards), and 78-72 in favor of Artiga. Jasmine Artiga advances to 10-0-1, with 5 Knockouts. Ashley Sciscente falls to 6-3, with 2 Knockouts.


Also on this card:


In a clash of undefeated Lightweights Corey Marksman scored a second round stoppage of previously unbeaten Adrian Orban. What appeared to be a competitive fight was stopped after the second round when Orban got sick in his corner, resulting in a medical technical knockout. Corey Marksman advances to 6-0, with 5 Knockouts. Adrian Orban falls to 5-1, with 3 Knockouts.


Women’s Lightweight Kiria Tapia scored a four round unanimous decision over Clarice Morales in her professional debut. It was Tapia’s cleaner punches and ring generalship that allowed her to get the decision victory in this fight. Official scores were: 39-37, and 40-36 (On two scorecards) in favoro of Tapia. Kiria Tapia advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Clarice Morales falls to 0-1-1, with 0 Knockouts.


Jr. Middleweight Angraneous Ingram moved to 3-0 in his young career by scoring a third round knockout of Bryant Costello. It appeared as though Ingram would be able to end the fight quickly as he immediately stunned Costello with a combination of punches in the first round. Although very unorthodox and seeming to lack defense, Costello managed to withstand much of what Ingram threw and even tried to fire back with offense of his own. In the second round, Ingram dropped Costello with a flush right hand to the head. Ingram continued to land heavy shots before dropping Costello with a left hook to the jaw in round three resulting in the bout being immediately stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:25 of round three. Angraneous Ingram advances to 3-0, with 2 Knockouts. Bryant Costello falls to 1-7, with 1 Knockout.


Light-Heavyweight Robert Burwell pounded out a six round unanimous decision over Patrick Pierre. Burwell forced the action for all six rounds and appeared to have Pierre in trouble in the closing seconds of the fight. All three official judges scored every round for Burwell 60-54/ Robert Burwell advances to 10-7, with 3 Knockouts. Patrick Pierre falls to 4-23, with 2 Knockouts.


Women’s Flyweight and former multi-time Amateur national champion Christina Cruz moved to 4A-0 in her career by scoring an eight round unanimous decision over Amy Salinas. Despite the aggression of Salinas throughout, Cruz landed the harder shots and generally carried the action throughout the eight round bout. Christina Cruz advances to 4-0, with 0 Knockouts. Amy Salinas falls to 4-3, with 0 Knockouts.


In a battle of undefeated Welterweights Jocksan Blanco scored a first one stoppage of previously undefeated Luca Bergers. Blanco dropped Bergers with an overhand right to the head that seemed to land behind the ear of Bergers. At the conclusion of round one, the bout was stopped in the corner as Bergers appeared to get sick in his corner resulting in a medical technical knockout. Bergers apologized to the crowd in attendance for being unable to continue after the bout. Jocksan Blanco advances to 5-0, with 3 Knockouts. Luca Bergers falls to 3-1, with 3 Knockouts.


Lightweights Danny Suarez and Jonathan Ramos fought to a four round majority draw. The unbeaten Suarez seemed to start strong, but Ramos gradually stepped up his pace as the fight progressed and by the conclusion of the four round bout, nether fighter was able to stand out clearly from the other. Official scores were 39-37 (Suarez), and 38-38 (Even on two scorecards. Danny Suarez advances to 4-0-2, with 2 Knockouts. Jonathan Ramos advances to 18-34-6, with 6 Knockouts.


Jr. Featherweight Glenn Dezurn scored a third round stoppage of Luis Cambero. Dezurn dropped Cambero with a left hook to the body, right hook to the head combination in the second round. From this point, Dezurn kept up the body attack. In round three, Cambero would be dropped for a second time with a left hook to the body. Although Cambero remained very “Game” and was able to finish the third round, the bout was stopped at the conclusion of round three. Glenn Dezurn advances to 16-3-1, with 11 Knockouts. Luis Cambero falls to 14-8-1, with 9 Knockouts.


Also in the Jr. Featherweight division, undefeated Joshua Lebron scored a first round knockout of Jeno Tonte. Lebron almost immediately put Tonte down with a right hand to the head in the opening seconds of the fight. Tonte was never able to get his feet under him as Lebron continued the assault scoring two more knockdowns before the fight was mercifully stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:24 of round one. Joshua Lebron advances to 5-0-1, with 3 Knockouts. Jeno Tonte falls to 9-13, with 8 Knockouts.


Jr. Middleweight Alex Chilsolm began the evening by scoring a four round unanimous decision over Elliott Hicks. In a bout between two fighters that were making their pro debuts, Chilsolm was able to control the tempo of the combat due largely to his reach, but Hicks did make it interesting over the last three rounds by being aggressive. Official scores were: 40-36, and 39-36 (On two scorecards) for Alex Chilsolm. Alex Chilsolm advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Elliott Hicks falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.


This card, which was the first Boxing card in a stretch of four  separate cards by four different promoters in a five day period throughout the state of Florida, showcased some of the up and coming talent in the Undisputed Promotions stable and produced a little of everything. Knockouts, competitive fights, and unfortunately two fighters becoming ill under similar circumstances, which this observer will admit in all the years I have covered Boxing and by extension combat sports, this was the first time I had seen something like this occur twice on the same card. While hopefully Luca Bergers and Adrian Orban from what ever illness they might have contracted prior to their respective bouts, it should not be overlooked that the Florida State Athletic Commission in both instances did the right thing and immediately stopped both bouts once it became apparent that both fighters were ill. While it does leave a question hanging over this card as to what the two fighters may have been suffering from, it does not change what was overall an entertaining night of Boxing in Kissimmee.


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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


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



Undisputed Promotions Weights From Kissimmee, FL

The official weigh-in for Friday night’s Boxing card promoted by Anthony Arvelo’s Undisputed Promotions took place on Thursday in Kissimmee, FL. The previously announced main event of the card, which will take place at the Kissimmee Civic Center between Jr. Welterweights Wesley Ferrer and Jonhatan Cardoso will not take place. As of this writing, no reason has been given as to why the bout was scratched. Weights for the entire card, which can be seen on digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view platform FITE as part of its FITE+ subscription service are as follows.

Main Event: Women’s Jr. Bantamweight – 8Rds.
Jasmine Artiga 115 1/2lbs. vs. Ashley Sciscente 115 1/2lbs.

Women’s Flyweight – 8Rds.
Christina Cruz 112lbs. vs. Amy Salinas 112lbs.

Women’s Lightweight – 4Rds.
Kiria Tapia 134lbs. vs. Clarice Morales 132 1/2lbs.

Jr. Middleweight – 4Rds.
Angraneous Ingram 153lbs. vs. Bryant Costello 154lbs.

Welterweight – 4Rds.
Alex Chilsolm 148 1/2lbs. vs. Elliott Hicks 150lbs.

Lightweight – 6Rds.
Corey Marksman 135lbs. vs. Adrian Orban 136 1/2lbs.

Jr. Featherweight – 4Rds.
Joshua Lebron 121 1/2lbs. vs. Jeno Tonte 118lbs.

Welterweight – 4Rds.
Jocksan Blanco 147 1/2lbs. vs. Luca Bergers 149 1/2lbs.

Jr. Featherweight – 8Rds.
Glenn Dezurn 123lbs. vs. Luis Cambero 119lbs.

Undisputed Promotions: Artiga vs. Sciscente  takes place on Friday, January 20th at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, FL. The card can be seen on digital combat sports streaming network FITE for FITE+ subscribers beginning at 7PM ET/4PM PT (U.S. Time). For more information about FITE and how to subscribe to FITE+ please visit: www.FITE.TV

*Card and start time subject to change.*

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

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

January 13th-14th,2023 Weekend Thoughts


The two day period of January 13th and 14th in the world of Boxing featured three intriguing bouts ranging from the 108lb. Jr. Flyweight division to the Heavyweight division. Among these bouts, was also the first world championship unification bout of 2023. This observer is speaking of the Women’s Jr. Flyweight unification bout between WBC world champion Kim Clavel and WBA world champion Jessica Plata. An encounter that took place before an enthusiastic crowd at Place Bell Arena in Laval, Quebec, Canada. 


Beyond this fight having the distinction of being the first unification bout between world champions of 2023 for either men or women in the sport, this fight also represented the continued progress the sport has made for women over the last several years as the fight was not only the main event of a card that also featured men’s bouts, but did take place in front of what appeared to be a sell out crowd. In previewing this fight, this observer pointed out the similarities between Clavel and Plata both in terms of their respective records as well as in their styles. I also pointed out that because of the similarity in terms of style as well as the fact that women’s bouts are fought with two minute rounds, that this might have ended up being a close fight that would be difficult to score. 


Despite the two minute round length, which yours truly has long advocated should be increased to three minutes, the same length that men’s bouts are fought, it did not have an impact on the fight in terms of making it more difficult for judges to score. The actual fight however, was as I expected closely fought that seemed to follow a pattern. Clavel would be the fighter coming forward and seeming to initiate the combat. Plata would try to keep her at distance with her jab and try to turn her by moving laterally from side to side. In the process, when the two fighters would open up in an exchange, it would be Plata that seemed to get the better of the action, due in part to her longer reach. 


While Clavel was able to have her share of moments as the fight progressed, it was Plata’s longer reach, combination punching, and timing that resulted in her winning the fight via ten round unanimous decision with two official judges scoring the bout seven rounds to three or 97-93 in points, with the third judge scoring it six rounds to four or 96-94. Although this fight did not appear to be impacted by the two minute round length and was not difficult to score in my eyes, it ultimately came down to subtle differences between the two fighters. 


Kim Clavel was able to make a fight of it in spots, particularly when she was able to get on the inside of Jessica Plata’s reach, but she was unable to both do it consistently, and break the pattern that Plata was able to establish. The pattern, which had an emphasis on strategic lateral movement and use of fundamentals in terms of knowing when to use her jab and seemingly quicker hands, proved to be the difference that allowed Plata to earn the victory in this fight. 



From Laval, Quebec Canada on January 13th to Verona, NY where two Heavyweight bouts took place on January 14th to close out the weekend in Boxing. These two bouts, which co-headlined a card at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino featured three prospects and one veteran that were each looking to take a step forward towards world title contention in the Heavyweight division. The first of these fights saw undefeated prospect Guido Vianello face veteran Johnnie Rice in a bout scheduled for ten rounds. 


This fight represented a step up in caliber of opposition for Vianello against a fighter in Rice, who had been positioned in the role of an opponent for up and coming fighters before, but had also earned a reputation for being able to play spoiler in defeating fighters touted as rising prospects. Vianello largely was able to dictate how the fight was fought in the early rounds simply by being the fighter forcing the action. 


Although Rice’s activity was sporadic at best during this period of the fight, the veteran was slowly looking to exploit openings that Vianello would leave and gradually he began to land his right hand. It would be the right hand of Rice that would open a deep gash above Vianello’s left eye in round six that would cause the fight to be stopped in the seventh round. While it was indisputable that the gash, which in some ways reminded yours truly of the gash that Vitali Klitschko had suffered in his bout against Lennox Lewis in June 2003, which was a fight I covered that was also concluded via a stoppage resulting in Lewis winning the fight, retaining his WBC Heavyweight world championship in the final fight of his career, there would be a bit of controversy that would emerge for a few moments following the stoppage of this fight. 


Referee Benji Esteves indicated that the gash suffered by Vianello came as a result of an accidental clash of heads and instructed the three official judges to score the incomplete seventh round as he believed that the fight would go to the scorecards per an accidental foul. Although the bout took place in Verona, NY, the Turning Stone Resort and Casino sits on sovereign land Oneida Indian Nation and as such similar to other bouts that are held throughout the country on native American land, the Oneida Indian Nation had their own athletic commission overseeing the bout as opposed to the New York State Athletic Commission. After some confusion, it was determined via video replay courtesy of ESPN that the gash over Vianello’s left eye was indeed caused by the right hand of Johnnie Rice, resulting in the appropriate call of him being declared the winner via technical knockout. 


It is important for me to point out to the reader that referees, like all of us, are human beings and as such can make errors/mistakes as the rest of us. Benji Esteves is one of the best referees in the entire sport and has officiated nearly 800 professional fights including many world championship bouts for over thirty years, throughout the state of New York as well as around the world. Even the best referees however, can make a mistake. It should also be pointed out and credit should be given to Esteves that even though he missed the initial call of a punch causing the gash as opposed to a clash of heads, once he saw the replay, he admitted his error and made the correct call. 


While this fight did not occur under the oversight and supervision of the New York State Athletic Commission, the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission also deserves credit for recognizing the error, pointing it out to Esteves, and using video replay on site to remedy what could have been a significant controversy that would have incorrectly impacted the outcome of the fight. Although the subject of video replay is something that frankly warrants it’s own column, I am on record in supporting the use of replay at all Boxing and other combat sports events specifically for situations just like this. 


It should also not be ignored that most likely under current protocols, had this bout taken place under the sanction of a state athletic commission, the most likely scenario would have been for the decision to be made by the three official judges’ scoring in the ring, but whatever the result might have been would have been changed after a formal review at a commission hearing at a later date. Although this should not be viewed as an indictment of current protocols of state athletic commissions or international regulatory boards that regulate and oversee Boxing, it should point out that not only does the technology exist in 2023 to make decisions on site whenever circumstances like this occur, but with a significant amount of Boxing events being recorded/streamed around the world, there should be no reason why athletic commissions globally should not adapt the use of video replay to ensure the proper calls are made on a consistent basis as well as a way to ensure referees do not make errors in real time. It is something that should seriously be considered and implemented by all involved in combat sports. 


The near-controversy of the Vianello-Rice bout led to the second half of the Heavyweight doubleheader where Efe Ajagba met undefeated Stephan Shaw in a bout also scheduled for ten rounds. A bout that can best be described as not the best meshing of styles, for ten rounds Ajagba and Shaw engaged in a tactical fight where both fighters, perhaps out of respect for what the other could do, seemed reluctant to open up and force the action. Although this can occur from time to time when two fighters respective styles do not produce compelling fights, this was a disappointing bout for both men that some may call a brisk sparring session. At the end of the ten round bout it would be Ajagba who would emerge victorious via unanimous decision. 


In previewing this doubleheader, I stated that we would see, which of the four, Vianello, Rice, Ajagba, or Shaw would be able to make a strong argument as a potential challenger for a world championship down the line. Of the four, the one who emerged from these two bouts with momentum was Johnnie Rice, who, despite having a record of 16-6-1, with 11 Knockouts, continues to carve a path for himself in the division as a spoiler for rising prospects. Whether or not that path will ultimately lead to a world championship fight for Rice remains to be seen, but for a fighter who has not been able to devote himself full time to his Boxing career, if he is given the proper time as well as the financial resources to do so, it may only be a matter of time before Johnnie Rice is regarded as a contender to watch. 


“And That’s The Boxing Truth. 


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


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