Friday, March 31, 2023


Press Release: March 31, 2023 By  ProBox TV - ProBox TV alongside the legendary Juan Manuel Márquez returns with its monthly show from Mexico on April 5th. 

The Mexican capital will play host to three televised fights at the cost of absolutely nothing to viewers with a free boxing show for fight fans to enjoy on ProBox TV. 

A ten-round welterweight battle will take place between Mexican Carlos Sanchez Valdez (23-1, 19 KOs) and Panama’s Alexander Duran (21-0, 7 KOs). Sanchez comes off a 7th round KO victory over Elvis Torres last October, the undefeated southpaw was last in the ring against Edwin Bennett, picking up a points victory over eight rounds. 

Brandon Reyes Valle (6-0-1, 2 KOs) will put his unblemished record on the line when he faces off with fellow Mexican, Abraham Arreola Calixtro (5-2-1, 4 KOs). Valle makes a long awaited return to the ring after a period of inactivity coming off a majority decision draw to Luis Castro. Calixtro also comes off a draw, sharing the spoils with Luis Bolanos Lopez. 

Rounding off the televised action from Mexico City will be a ten-round contest at lightweight. Jose Angel Napoles (14-1-2, 6 KOs) will lock horns with Eduardo Martinez Martinez (10-1, 7 KOs) to kick the evening off. 

Promoter Juan Manuel Márquez shared his delight upon returning to Mexico City. “It means a lot every time I come back to this magical place. This show you will see next Wednesday will also be very magical. Some very strong Mexican men will give everything to make sure the Mexican boxing fans are entertained. Tune in for free on ProBox TV if you can’t make it.”

Material and Photo Courtesy of ProBox TV Used with permission.

For more information about ProBox TV including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, Full library of previous Boxing events, availability around the world, and to subscribe please visit: 

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Press Release: March 29, 2023 By BLK Prime - (San Jose, CA - March 29, 2023) – BLK Prime is committed to being a force in the sport of Boxing. Excitement awaits Boxing Fans around the world by offering opportunities to prospects throughout different Boxing communities. With that in mind, BLK Prime is excited to announce the return of Tuesday Night Fights featuring the New Era Boxers. Starting in May 2023, BLK Prime will feature five fights every Tuesday night live, included in your $3.99 subscription. Rising stars, undefeated fighters, and top prospects will showcase their skills every week on the BLK Prime platform. 

Credit: BLK Prime 

A significant aspect of BLK Prime's mission is to be a leader in Women's Boxing featuring weekly women's fights and all women's cards. Although Women's Boxing has been on the rise, there are numerous women lacking opportunities to get in the ring, BLK Prime is opening that platform for all women fighters.

BLK Prime wants to offer Boxing fans the chance to watch great fights weekly, including many undefeated prospects. Competitive fights will demonstrate how prospects can become contenders. BLK Prime will feature seasoned commentators along with current and former champions. BLK Prime aims to be the go-to destination for Boxing enthusiasts.

"The top five of the week are going to be the new wave of Boxing for all emerging fighters. BLK Prime is providing a platform for all fighters to showcase and show the world who the best fighters are!" - Zab Judah, Former Champion, and Spokesperson for BLK Prime

The first Tuesday Night Fights Main Event prospect will be Alan Garcia, (8-0, 7 KOs), a lightweight hailing from Ulysses, Kansas hungry to make a statement in the sport of Boxing. Further information will be available soon.

Be sure to follow BLK Prime across all social media platforms for upcoming information on the first Tuesday Night Fights.

Material and Photo Courtesy BLK Prime Used with permission.

For more information about BLK Prime and to subscribe please visit:

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

Joshua-Franklin: Can Joshua Bounce Back?

Only with the rarest of exceptions, one would be hard pressed to not find a fighter in the sport of Boxing or to take it a step further, all of combat sports, that has not at one time or another experienced a setback or several throughout the course of their careers. This is one reason why veteran writers/journalists/historians such as this observer will refer to what a fighter goes through during the course of their careers as "Chapters" in the story of that career. The story of former two-time Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua is one that is about to embark on a new chapter that one might have the working title of "The Rebuild?" or "The Comeback." 

Without delving too much into the backstory of how we got here to what will be the start of what is essentially phase three of Joshua's career, the conclusion of the previous chapter was Joshua's failure to regain his title for second time in his rematch against undefeated unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO Heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk in August of last year, Usyk, the man who took the unified portion of the World Heavyweight championship from Joshua and ended his second reign as champion over a year earlier.

While Joshua fought a better fight in the rematch with Usyk, he was still unable to get the job done. In hindsight, even though Joshua had an immediate rematch clause, which he exercised to get another fight with Usyk, there are likely some who question the wisdom of that decision even though he was simply out boxed by a master tactician both times and was not knocked down or out in either bout. Now Joshua prepares to try and get his career back on track as he will face Heavyweight contender Jermaine Franklin on Saturday, April 1st at the O2 Arena in London, England. A bout that can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN.

Although there is the similarity of both Joshua and Franklin coming into this fight off of losses, Franklin's loss in November of last year to former world title challenger and former Joshua opponent Dillian Whyte, established the previously unknown native of Saginaw, MI as a Heavyweight contender. It was in that fight where Franklin, who entered that bout unbeaten in twenty-one professional fights, dropped a twelve round majority decision to Whyte, but arguably came out of that fight looking more like a winner then Whyte did as there were several including yours truly who felt that Franklin deserved the decision. Perhaps, it was that consensus opinion as well as Franklin's performance in that fight where he seemingly outworked Whyte in a fight that was not the most entertaining to watch, which has resulted in him getting this chance against the former champion Joshua.

This will be Joshua's first fight and second connective fight with a new head trainer in his corner. After previously working with trainer and former world champion Robert Garcia for the rematch with Usyk, this time Joshua has enlisted trainer Derrick James to be his coach. James has trained several world champions, much like Garcia, including current undefeated IBF/WBA/WBC Welterweight world champion Errol Spence, among others. The obvious question that is asked whenever a new trainer takes over the reins of an established star in the sport is what new elements or wrinkles can that new trainer bring to the table in terms of hopefully helping improve and evolve that fighter's skillset.

In this case, I believe most would concede that even though Joshua fought a better fight the second time around against Usyk and that fight was closer than the first encounter, at no point in either fight did Joshua assert his naturally bigger size and strength on Usyk, who at that point was an undefeated former Undisputed Cruiserweight world champion, who also showed mixed returns in terms of his ability to handle Heavyweights in his previous Heavyweight bouts prior to facing Joshua. Whether it was a case of Joshua being under prepared in either of those fights or perhaps complacency in underestimating just how good and skillful Oleksandr Usyk is, I believe many would say that whatever the case was, it was the wrong strategy.

Many will of course remember that Joshua began his pro career with a string of quick knockouts. While that certainly helped him move up the ladder of contention quickly and eventually to a world title, a problem that many fighters that are able to have a similar rise up the ranks run into at some point is not having a Plan B when an opponent is prepared for and able to withstand their punching power. In Joshua's three losses, first to Andy Ruiz, then the two against Usyk, an argument can be made that not only did Joshua not have a Plan B, but he also did not recognize the need to adjust whatever plan he had in those fights when it became clear that his strategies were not working. The challenge for Derrick James is not only to find a way to reinstill Joshua's instincts as a power puncher, but also, giving him the mental aspects to recognize when a change of approach is needed, as well as a way to tactically implement it.

In terms of the opposition, Jermaine Franklin is still largely unknown from the standpoint that it is not known how he will respond to a fighter with Joshua's power. What can be said however, is he was able to withstand the best of what Dillian Whyte threw at him and in addition to seemingly being able to outwork him over the course of the fight, Franklin also proved to be durable. The question is whether or not that was a case of Franklin catching Whyte on an off night or more of a circumstance of Franklin not getting the benefit of exposure on television consistently prior to that fight that was the reason why he was able to turn in a performance that many did not expect.

Given what happened in that fight in Franklin coming out on the losing end of a decision many felt he deserved, it will also be interesting to see if Franklin approaches this fight a bit more aggressively in an effort to keep the outcome out of the hands of the three official judges. One should also keep in mind, despite Anthony Joshua's reputation as a "Knockout Artist," he has been caught, hurt, knocked down, and knocked out before. As such, even though Franklin has had limited exposure up to this point, the possibility certainly exists that Joshua can be caught and the beauty of Boxing is after all, "Anything Can Happen At Any Time." Whether Franklin, who has fourteen knockouts in his twenty-one career wins, has the power or the timing to be able to catch Joshua as Andy Ruiz was able to do when he knocked him out in their first fight in June 2019, remains to be seen.

While there is not much "Hype" at least from yours truly, beyond the simple quote that indeed anything can happen, which should not be viewed as "Hype" more than it should be taken as "Common Sense," promoter Eddie Hearn, who has prompted Joshua for his entire career, has started that if Joshua were to lose this fight, it might signal the end of his career. Although that should be taken in context as a promoter's primary job is after all, to generate as much interest as possible to both sell tickets as well as to hopefully, move the needle for lack of a better term for their broadcaster, in this case DAZN, I do not necessarily believe that should he lose this fight that Joshua would be finished as a fighter because he is one of the biggest stars in the sport, particularly in the United Kingdom where he has routinely drawn massive crowds in stadiums for his fights.

A loss however, would at minimum take Anthony Joshua out of the world championship picture for a period of time and it would be dishonest to say that the onus is not on Joshua in this fight and obviously with that, there is pressure. On the other side of the equation, much as was the car prior to his bout with Dillian Whyte, Jermaine Franklin has nothing to lose and everything to gain. No matter how well regarded a fighter might be, their stature in the sport, and how dominant they might be, the longer a fighter's career continues, the competition will get tougher with time and the possibility of a loss is always there. How Part 3: Chapter 1 in the story of the career of Anthony Joshua is ultimately written remains to be seen. 

"And That's The Boxing Truth."

Joshua vs. Franklin takes place on Saturday, April 1st at the O2 Arena in London, England. The bout as well as it's full undercard can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN beginning with The DAZN Boxing Show: Before The Bell, which will feature preliminary bouts beginning at 11:45AM ET/8:45AM PT. This will be followed by the main card, which will begin st 2PM ET/11AM PT.

(* U.S. Times Only*) 

(*Card and start times subject to change.*)

For more information about DAZN including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, availability around the world, local start times in your area, and to subscribe please visit:

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

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Benavidez-Plant Thoughts

As strictly a Boxing match, the encounter between former Super-Middleweight world champions David Benavidez and Caleb Plant checked a lot of boxes that a Boxing fan looks for in the lead up to the fight. A clash of styles that when matched against each other was likely to produce a competitive fight. A rivalry between the two fighters that appeared to grow into legitimate bad blood, and the sub-plot of potentially getting another opportunity to fight for a world championship. With the fight fan's list of what to look forward to checked off, it was time for the two fighters to converge on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on March 25th to do battle. 

In previewing this bout, this observer stated that it would likely come down to whether or not Plant would be able to deal with the punching power and hand speed of Benavidez. It was also crucial in my eyes that Benavidez not allow Plant, a fighter known for his elusiveness, to be able to set the tempo of the fight and could not start slow as he had done in previous fights as the possibility existed that Plant could build an early lead on the scorecards

For most of the first six rounds of the fight, this is exactly what Plant was able to accomplish. Using his ability to move laterally and approach Benavidez at varying angles, Plant was able to pick his shots by throwing and landing short, crisp combinations to the body and head and then move before Benavidez could return offense. This essentially was the pattern in which the fight was fought for a significant period of time. What yours truly also stated was that Benavidez needed to avoid following Plant around, needed to find a way to cut the ring off to try and limit his movement, and needed to let his hands go consistently.

Throughout most of the first half of the twelve round bout, Benavidez seemingly fell into that trap, which is a testament to what appeared to be an effective fight plan that Caleb Plant was able to execute. It also should not be overlooked that as Benavidez followed Plant around, it was Plant who was able to frequently make the undefeated former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion miss with the punches that he did throw. Plant, the former IBF Super-Middleweight world champion, also succeeded in keeping Benavidez from being able to establish any kind of consistent rhythm offensively by implementing this strategy, with an emphasis on movement and trying to out box his opponent.

At the halfway point of the fight, I felt that Plant had won five of the first six rounds based largely on his execution of his fight plan. While I did not feel the bout was close in terms of scoring at this point, one thing that also stood out was when he was able to connect with his punches, David Benavidez was the harder puncher of the two. Although that should not be surprising to most knowledge Boxing fans, who are familiar with the styles of the two fighters, the question that formed in my mind as the fight progressed was whether or not power punches would be enough for Benavidez to be able to get the job done in this fight as it appeared going into the second half of the fight that he was being out boxed and out worked by Plant.

During the second half of the fight however, the ebb and flow changed as the pressure of Benavidez as well as fatigue began to slow Plant down, which made him more of a stationary target. This along with Benavidez being able to land punches more consistently, seemed in some ways to mirror Plant's only career defeat at the hands of current Undisputed Super-Middleweight world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who was able to gradually break Plant down and stop him in eleven rounds in their unification bout in November 2021. Much like Benavidez, Alvarez was able to land the harder shots particularly to the body, which slowed Plant down. In this case, perhaps because of what happened to him against Alvarez, Plant though slowed considerably as the bout progressed tried to go toe to toe with Benavidez, despite it not being to his advantage.

Some might also point to the fact that Caleb Plant was able to get away with what at times appeared to be excessive holding throughout the fight when Benavidez was able to get close. While the tactic of holding an opponent is one that a boxer uses both as a means of defense as well as a way to physically turn an opponent where they are not able to get punches off and then be able to maintain distance when separated by the referee, I will say that I felt the holding by Plant did border on excessive, particularly in the second half of the fight when he was unable to use his legs as he had done over the first six rounds to evade Benavidez.

It needs to be pointed out however, that skilled boxers as Caleb Plant certainly is will look to take advantage of whatever they are able to get away with as long as they are allowed to by the referee. The referee for this bout was Kenny Bayless, who is one of the most respected referees throughout the entire sport that is frequently called upon to officiate bouts all over the world, not just in the state of Nevada in a career where he has officiated close to 900 professional bouts as a referee, many of those bouts having been for world championship fights. Why am I taking the time to point out the credentials of the referee of this fight the reader might ask?

Well, if you are knowledgeable about the sport and you have spent as much time covering it as I have in having spent most of my life writing about and covering Boxing as well as other combat sports, you unfortunately get used to hearing the criticism of fans of referees, judges, and hear the subsequent accusations of potential corruption hurled in the direction of those who are criticized. Although I have not spent too much time as I write this column to see if there has been such criticism of Bayless, I do not feel there was anything suspicious going on in terms of potential corruption. I do feel however, that Bayless should have at least warned Plant about holding as the fight progressed. Referees and judges, like the rest of us, are human and are just as prone to having an off night at the office for lack of a better term as any of us. Bayless is still one of the best in the sport, but it is quite possible that he indeed had an off night here and that did serve to benefit Plant.

Unlike in the Alvarez fight where the effects of pressure, punishment, and fatigue led to his downfall, just as it appeared this fight was heading for a similar outcome, Plant was somehow able to survive a terrible beating that Benavidez dished out in the later rounds. This was particularly surprising in the eleventh round where I frankly thought he was taking too much punishment and wondered if Bayless or his corner would stop the fight as a result. Although Plant did not get knocked down during this period of the fight and deserves a lot of credit for being able to survive and go on to finish the fight, I felt the eleventh round was lopsided to the degree that scoring that round 10-8 in favor of Benavidez was appropriate. As it would turn out, that decision by yours truly would end up producing a rarity on my unofficial scorecard at the end of the fight.

At the end of the twelve round bout, I arrived with an even score in terms of rounds in having scored six rounds a piece between Benavidez and Plant. In points however because I scored the eleventh round 10-8, a score that most of the time is reserved for when there is a knockdown, in favor of Benavidez, I arrived with Benavidez winning the fight 115-113 in points, akin to a seven rounds to five scorecard. 

Ultimately, Benavidez would win the fight via unanimous decision by margins of 115-113 (Seven rounds to five), 116-112 (Eight rounds to four), and 117-111 (Nine rounds to three). While I do not feel a nine rounds to three scorecard was an accurate illustration of how close this fight was, it is indisputable that once Caleb Plant was not able to use his movement, the dynamic of the bout changed and it was a different type of fight from the second half of the contest on through the end of the fight. 

The victory for David Benavidez now moves him into a mandatory position to challenge Saul Alvarez as far as the World Boxing Council's (WBC) Super-Middleweight ratings is concerned. The likelihood of Benavidez getting that shot in the near future seems unlikely due both to Alvarez' upcoming title defense against WBO mandatory challenger John Ryder in May and assuming he retains his undisputed championship in that fight, his desire to seek a rematch with undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol, who defeated Alvarez last year in defense of his Light-Heavyweight crown. This as well as the uncertainty of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters, who currently promote Benavidez, seems to keep him out of the equation at least in the immediate future, though he did do his best to call Alvarez out for a fight later this year shortly after defeating Plant. 

As for Caleb Plant, the second loss of his career will do little to negatively affect his standing in the Super-Middleweight division. He has however, earned the chance to rest after what was a very tough and grueling fight. The uncertainty that the PBC, who also promotes Plant, currently finds itself in will likely allow Plant all the time he needs to recover and decide what he wants to do before going back to the drawing board. The one thing Plant can take from this loss is he performed well and even though he did lose this fight, the way he fought, particularly in the later rounds will endear him to fans going forward and his stock in the division will go up as a result.

"And That's The Boxing Truth."

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

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Saturday, March 25, 2023


Press Release: March 25, 2023 By  Jarred Cross and Dragon Fire Boxing - Aussie sensation and next-big-thing Alex Winwood may find himself with two regional belts after just three fights come June.

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing 

The 25-year-old’s next bout is set for three months' time - looking at the numbers, it’s a big one. 

While Winwood has blown past his competition so far at light flyweight, namely former world champion Tibo Monabesa on February 3, a drop down to strawweight could present a trickier task; WBC champ and world no.9 Reyneris Gutierez. 

The Nicaraguan similarly boasts an undefeated record, not that it phases the young Western Australian. 

Despite his preference for discipline and preparation over the bravado you might expect from a boxer, Winwood had one subtle reminder for his next opponent. 

“For most of these fights we're gonna be giving up experience. But in terms of the people he’s fought, maybe (they) might not hold too much weight, I guess,” he told the National Indigenous Times.

"I don't feel like I'm out of my depth.

“He’s (Guiterez) obviously got a lot of confidence. He's not used to losing and he's one he's built, and he's still holding it…he’s not going to want to lose it…but I'm the International champion at the heavier weight coming down, so it's gonna be a good matchup.”

The plan is to be a world champion within six fights; one shy of Jeff Fenech's record for the quickest Australian man to the top. 

With that comes a strategy for taking names and making one for himself, often against more experience to put himself on the map of those making the big decisions. 

It’s something he and renowned trainer Angelo Hyder believes is a pursuit well within reach.

“To be at this stage of my career and already looking out to grab a second WBC belt is just unreal,” Winwood said.

“It's also the path that we need to be on if we want to be as ambitious as we are.

“We're obviously going in the right direction and we've got to take a step up every fight and this is just one of the many people that's gonna try to knock us off our course. 

“We’ve just got to lock in and get through this guy and take him at his best ‘cause I’m sure he’s gonna be at his best on the night.”

Even better - doing in front of his home town. 

“The crowd is just getting bigger and bigger every every time I fight in Perth,” he said. 

“I'm very keen to bring another big fight back there. 

“I think they're not used to having such big title fights and they’re only getting bigger and the crowds obviously loving it so they're coming out full force.”

Any reservations on talking himself up are happily left to the men around him. 

Winwood’s manager Tony Tolj likened him to “a cross between Roy Jones and Mike Tyson.”

“He knows the sacrifices that are needed to be the absolute best possible…he is a student of greatness and by stepping in with a guy with 21 wins, one loss and world no.13 in his second fight (Monabesa) shows he is not coming to take part.

“He is coming to takeover.”

Alex Winwood faces Reyneris Gutierez for the WBC Strawweight International championship on June 16 in Perth. 

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

For more information about Dragon Fire Boxing please visit Dragon Fire Boxing's official Facebook page:

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

Friday, March 24, 2023

BREAKING: Gonzalez Withdraws From Unification Bout With Teraji Due To Illness

It has been announced that the April 8th Jr. Flyweight world championship unification bout between WBC world champion Kenshiro Teraji and WBO world champion Johnathan Gonzalez has been called off. The bout, which was scheduled for April 8th at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan and was to include the vacant WBA world championship in the 108lb. Jr. Flyweight division was called off when Gonzalez had to withdraw from the bout after coming down with pneumonia.

As of this writing, an attempt is being made by promoters and Teraji 's handlers to secure a substitute opponent in what one would assume would be an attempt to not only maintain the April 8th date, but also a defense of his WBC world championship. The Teraji-Gonzalez unification bout was scheduled to be streamed here in the United States on digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+. Obviously, with the status of the event now uncertain, there is also no word as of this writing as to whether the network will still stream the event if it goes forward, assuming a substitute opponent for Teraji can be secured. 

We will keep readers updated on any developments as they become available. Stay tuned.

"Abd That's The Boxing Truth."

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Benavidez-Plant Preview

On Saturday, March 25th, two former world champions will enter the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV with the goal of taking one step closer to challenging once more for a world championship. This observer is referring to the encounter between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant. Two fighters who each know what it is to be a world champion in the talent-deep 168lb. Super-Middleweight division. A division currently ruled by Undisputed world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

While the goal of both men is obviously an eventual fight with Alvarez, the encounter between the two, which will headline a pay-per-view card broadcast by Showtime Pay-Per-View here in the United States, could possibly be one of the best fights of the year. The reason for that is it is an interesting clash of styles between two boxer/punchers, but one who is more noted for his punching power than the other. David Benavidez is a former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion. He also has a rare distinction for being one of the few fighters to have held a world championship, but never lost his title in the ring. Some may recall that Benavidez, who won the title in 2017, becoming the youngest world champion in the history of the Super-Middleweight division in the process, was ultimately stripped of it by the World Boxing Council due to having tested positive for cocaine shortly after defeating Ronald Gavril for the title. The WBC then ruled that Benavidez was a "Champion in Recess," which allowed him to fight for the title again only to ultimately be stripped for failing to make weight prior to a scheduled title defense against Roamer Angelo.

Despite his struggles out of the ring, Benavidez has remained unbeaten in twenty-six professional fights and has scored knockouts in twenty-three of those bouts. Inside the ring, Benavidez has been a dominant force that has yet to be tested. Enter Caleb Plant.

Plant, as some may recall, had a lengthy reign as the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super-Middleweight world champion before being stopped in eleven rounds by Saul Alvarez in a unification bout for the Undisputed Super-Middleweight championship of the world. While Plant lost that fight, he made a good account of himself in defeat, particularly in the early rounds before eventually being broken down by Alvarez' pressure and body attack. While that loss is to date the only one Plant has suffered in his career, he obviously would like another opportunity against Alvarez. In his only fight since that loss, Plant scored a devastating knockout of former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell in February of last year.

What this fight will come down to in my eyes is whether Plant will be able to deal with the punching power and hand speed of Benavidez. At his best, Caleb Plant is an elusive fighter, who in addition to having hand speed of his own, is known for his lateral movement and ability to use angles. These aspects of his skillset did for a time create problems for Alvarez before he was able to eventually break Plant down as that fight progressed. While Plant's knockout of Dirrell in his last fight was a brutal hook to the body/hook to the head combination, he is not known for his power and logic would suggest that he will need to try and implement a similar approach as he attempted to use against Alvarez, but obviously will look to correct the flaws in that approach that Alvarez ultimately took advantage of, if he wants to be successful in this fight.

The reason for this is Benavidez has exceptionally quick hands in addition to his punching power and Plant will need to be meticulous and tactical for the duration of the scheduled twelve round bout. Perhaps a flaw in Benavidez that Plant will look to take advantage of is that at times he can start slow and not let his hands go much in the early rounds. While obviously Plant should not base his entire approach on this, he must be elusive and try to resist the temptation to go toe to toe with Benavidez if he is able to connect more than occasionally with offense in the early rounds.

For David Benavidez, he must study Plant's fight with Alvarez and look at what Alvarez did that led to his being able to stop Plant late in the fight. Although implementing a similar strategy can be easier said than done, there are two aspects that Benavidez must keep in mind at all times in this fight. One, he needs to find a way to cut off the ring and try to limit Plant's ability to move and must do so early on in the fight as to not allow Plant to establish the tempo of the fight or give him the chance to potentially build up a lead on the scorecards. Benavidez must avoid following Plant around and must limit his movement. Secondly, Benavidez must let his hands go consistently from the outset. If he starts slow and allows Plant to dictate the combat, Benavidez might be in a position where he might need a knockout in the later rounds in order to maintain his undefeated record.

While this fight being the main event of a pay-per-view card in the present time when Showtime as the last premium cable network televising Boxing in the United States may be on its way out in similar fashion as former longtime rival HBO had done in 2018 following a corporate restructuring of its parent company, has drawn criticism of some as a similar restructuring is now taking place in Showtime's parent company Paramount Global, the fight between Benavidez and Plant is still one of the best fights that has been made recently at least on paper. Whether or not that ultimately translates to a memorable battle inside the ring on Saturday night March 25th remains to be seen, even if those broadcasting the fight are likely setting themselves up for failure in the form of underwhelming pay-per-view buy numbers as Boxing fans continue to reject what has become an overpriced, undervalued, and outdated revenue model for the sport that needs to change.

"And That's The Boxing Truth."

Benavidez vs. Plant takes place on Saturday, March 25th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime Pay-Per-View beginning at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. The pay-per-view event will be available on traditional cable/satellite providers as well as through the Showtime streaming app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices and Smart TVs. Contact your local cable/satellite provider for ordering information.

To order via and stream on the Showtime streaming app please visit: for ordering information.

The event is also available for streaming for the aforementioned price through and the app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices and Smart TVs. To order through and for more information about compatible streaming devices, please visit:

*Check your local listings internationally*

*Card and start time subject to change*

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Making The Best Of Unforseen Circumstances, Mercito Gesta Seizes The Day

Originally, this column was to be the follow-up/post-fight feature to the much anticipated Light-Heavyweight clash between former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez and longtime veteran contender and former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado in what was to be Rosado's debut in the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight division. As most now know however, the fight was cancelled on the day before the scheduled March 18th bout at the official weigh-in when Ramirez arrived in being what was described as significantly overweight and in no condition to attempt to get down in weight to a point where the bout was salvageable, resulting in the fight being cancelled.

While this is certainly nothing new in the sport of Boxing as it is unfortunately all too common for there to be complications regarding the weight of a fighter in at least one bout on a full card, the cancellation, though disappointing did not result in the entire card being cancelled along with it as unfortunately also tends to happen when a main event for whatever reason is cancelled. Instead, the fight that was slated as the co-main event would be elevated to the featured bout of the evening at the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach University in Long Beach, CA.

This bout, much as was the case between Ramirez and Rosado featured the storyline of a former world champion going against a veteran contender and former world title challenger. Some may also continue the similarity by also pointing out that the veteran in this case, as it was with Rosado, could have been making his last stand in an attempt to once again get an opportunity to fight for a world championship. This observer is referring to the encounter between former IBF Jr. Lightweight world champion Joseph Diaz and longtime contender Mercito Gesta. A fight that took place in the 135lb. Lightweight division.

Although yours truly was intending to save his coverage of this fight to be included in an upcoming edition of the periodic feature Jabs and Observations here on The Boxing Truth® where I discuss several topics in the sport including bouts that could not be covered in a shorter timeframe for one reason or another, the unforeseen circumstances of the Ramirez-Rosado cancellation facilitated the need to change those plans. This bout was however, no less intriguing both due to the aforementioned similarities of this bout to the cancelled original main event, but also because of an interesting clash of styles between the two fighters.

Joseph Diaz is known as a boxer/puncher, but has been more than willing to engage with his opponents in heated exchanges as was the case when he won his world title by defeating Tevin Farmer in January 2020, shortly before the circumstances of  the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic brought much of the world including sports to a halt for much of that year. Diaz, who's struggle to make the 130lb. Jr. Lightweight limit, resulted in his losing the title on the weight scale prior to a scheduled title defense in February 2021, had gone on a streak that can be described as akin to a baseball player going through a "Slump" in that since he defeated Farmer, he had gone 1-2-1 in his previous four bouts prior to this fight. 

Mercito Gesta meanwhile is also a fighter that can do a little bit of everything, but was more known as a fighter who had come up short when he stepped up in caliber of opposition including when he challenged Miguel Vazquez for the IBF World Lightweight championship in December 2012. Despite the fact that Gesta had only been stopped once in thirty-nine professional fights prior to taking on Diaz, at thirty-five years old, having been through a long career up to this point, it was understandable how some may have questioned how much Mercito Gesta had left at this stage of his career.

What stood out immediately in this fight was Gesta's ability to use his footwork not only as a means of creating lateral movement, but also to create angles. This resulted in Gesta being able to attack in short, but explosive spurts, often throwing punches in variations of between four and eight punch combinations at a time to the body and head of Diaz. While such offensive tactics are often flashy and attention-grabbing not just for fans watching a fight, but also perhaps the three official judges who are tasked with scoring a bout, what this does from a tactical standpoint is ! make the opponent go on the defensive where they are occupied with trying to protect themselves from incoming punches rather than letting their hands go.

Joseph Diaz did succeed in being able to block a good portion of Gesta's offense by tightening up and staying behind a high defensive guard. This in turn resulted in a lot of Gesta's punches either hitting Diaz' gloves or hitting his arms if they were not able to connect cleanly. What was also noticeable was whenever Diaz was able to let his hands go and connected with punches of his own, Gesta answered back immediately throwing combinations.

As the fight progressed, it became more competitive. The pattern of the fight however, largely remained the same. Gesta getting his punches off first, attacking at varying angles, keeping his opponent from being able to let his hands go consistently, and Diaz attempting to walk Gesta down, try to either corner him or get him against the ropes, and then let his hands go. Although Diaz succeeded in backing Gesta up against the ropes periodically throughout this fight, the issue became whether those instances would be enough for him to earn the nod of the three judges as in seemingly every round, Gesta was outworking him. A round in professional Boxing for men's bouts is three minutes in duration. There are certainly more than a few ways to win a round, but generally the fighter who is busier over the duration of a round will get the nod over a fighter who might be more accurate with his offense.

This is essentially the scenario in which this fight was fought. One of the ways a fighter that is more accurate can win a round over a volume puncher is to land the harder, more damaging punches, if not also score knockdowns, which depending on the number of knockdowns over the course of a fight, could have a significant impact on how a bout is ultimately scored if a fight does go the scheduled distance.

The conundrum here is neither Diaz nor Gesta are known for punching power and as such it became difficult, at least in my eyes, to justify giving Diaz some rounds throughout this scheduled ten round bout that others may have seen as close due to Diaz being able to have moments periodically throughout several of them. The reason for this in this observer's eyes came down to this. When he did let his hands go, Joseph Diaz was both accurate and the punches he threw landed cleanly. At no point however, was he able to hurt Gesta, much less discourage him from returning offense. This in addition to Diaz being unable to score knockdowns is primarily what I based my scoring on in having Gesta ahead 97-93 or seven rounds to three on my unofficial scorecard at the conclusion of the ten round bout.

While it is indisputable that Joseph Diaz applied constant pressure from the outset of this fight and that pressure led to some heated exchanges of offense between the two fighters as well as opened opportunities for Diaz in the latter rounds as I felt he was able to win three out of the last five rounds, ultimately, he simply was not busy enough and allowed Mercito Gesta to put too many of the early rounds in the bank as well as generally outwork him throughout the fight. The assessment of yours truly was seemingly confirmed by two of three official judges that had Gesta ahead, resulting in him winning a ten round split decision by margins of nine rounds to one, 99-91 and eight rounds to two 98-92. The third judge meanwhile had what some might view as a drastic difference in scoring Diaz the winner seven rounds to three or 97-93.

Ultimately, that scorecard though differing from what appears to be a consensus score of not only yours truly, but of two official judges who were scoring the same fight, it did not have as severe an impact as it potentially could have in terms of the outcome. If one were to ask me as for what the reasoning might be for a scorecard that differs from what seemingly is a consensus score, obviously I am unable to get into a judge's head, much less be able to distinguish what he or she might base their scoring on based on established criteria of clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship, and defense. Based on a literal lifetime that this observer has spent covering Boxing on every level imaginable, I can however, suggest that a potential reason could be that Diaz was applying pressure seemingly from the opening bell and that along with being able to block or otherwise deflect a portion Gesta's punches over the course of the fight in addition to his landing cleanly when he was able to let his hands go might be how that judge arrived at a differing scorecard at the end of the bout. It is also important to keep in mind that Boxing is scored on a round by round basis, which leaves opportunity for both interpretation as well as a judge perhaps not knowing what their final score might be as once a round concludes, judges are to score that round only and turn that score in to the athletic commission or regulatory board that is sanctioning and overseeing a fight. If fights do go the distance, scores from each individual round is then tabulated and added up into what is referred to as a master scorecard of the aforementioned parties sanctioning the bout totalling the three judges individual scorecards to then determine a winner.

Although this particular fight might not warrant such a thorough explanation by yours truly in regard to the procedures and process of scoring a fight, the fan should take the time to learn about said protocols. In any event, I do not feel this fight was in any way controversial in terms of how it was scored, but it does boil down to both interpretation as well as one's perspective. For Mercito Gesta, the thirty-fourth win of his forty fight career might be one that could elevate him towards a potential world title shot at Lightweight. After suffering his third consecutive loss in his last five fights, I do not believe that Joseph Diaz is approaching what some might call the twilight of his career. It is clear however, that he has not been the same fighter since he won his world championship as a Jr. Lightweight. Whether the circumstances of COVID-19 which led to a layoff for him or possibly issues outside the ring are contributing factors or not, I certainly can not say, but it would appear that something is not working for him in some aspect and a retooling process should be considered before attempting to go back to the drawing board.

"And That's The Boxing Truth."

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Sunday, March 19, 2023


Press Release: March 19, 2023 By  Jarred Cross and Dragon Fire Boxing - Two fights in and with four to play to make history as the fastest Australian man to a world title, Alex Winwood has labelled his latest piece of acknowledgement from the boxing fraternity a “surreal” one. 

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing 

In a blink, the Noongar man has gone from professional debutant to no.13 on the WBC’s light flyweight rankings.

Its enviable territory after just two pro bouts, his latest against former world champion Tibo Monabesa to claim the WBC international title in devastating fashion. 

Winwood has failed to wobble thus far and has no plans to start.

All eyes are on claiming a world title within six fights - one shy of Jeff Fenech’s record Australian pace.

“12 months ago I was still in the amateur system training for the Commonwealth Games,” Winwood told the National Indigneous Times.

“To think that within three months of turning pro that I’ve made it in the top 15 in the world,  It's pretty surreal.

The mild-mannered 25-year-old concedes the path he and his team have mapped out is “very ambitious” but holds no doubt in his ability to prove himself at the global level before so many others could hope to get a look in. 

“This is the risk reward factor that we're going after and obviously I have what it takes to match these guys and beat them,” he said. 

“We're trying to do things fast and I think I've got the ability so it's just about taking the risks…there's big rewards behind it.”

The swift journey up the ladder comes after giving away a steady job helping build navy ships as an electrical apprentice; a willing sacrifice for a passion that has “always come first”.

The West Australian is now based in far-north NSW with his globally-respected trainer Angelo Hyder. 

What’s next? Trimming off a touch from his 158 centimetre frame to fight at the lightest weight class and get his hands on another belt. 

“We’re going to drop down to minimum (weight) and get rated for the world title,” Hyder said.

“I'm training him now, early, to change his body just that little bit to try and get the muscle off him that's not needed and change it around a little bit.”

Despite the relative inexperience of his man, Hyder remains very bullish about what's to come. 

He's seen his fair share of talent over the years but a discussion with him about Winwood makes assertions of his talent, discipline and being “something special” come in spades.

Still humble, Winwood thanked the WBC and president Mauricio Sulaimán for their backing and belief in him being able to hold his hands up with the world's best so early in his career.

“I just want to thank them for giving me the opportunity and allowing me to display my talent at such an early stage in my career,” Winwood said.


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

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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Angel Vazquez Collides With Mohamed Soumaoro, March 22nd Live On PROBOX TV

Press Release: March 18, 2023 By ProBox TV - PROBOX TV returns with its monthly installment of Wednesday Night Fights from Plant City, Florida with three televised fights.  

Credit: ProBox TV 

The night’s main event comes from the lightweight division, undefeated Mexican Angel ‘El Chocolatito’ Vazquez (12-0) will square-off with Canadian based Guinean Mohamed ‘El bufalo negro’ Soumaoro (12-1) over ten rounds. Vazquez comes off a points victory over the unbeaten Nicholas Sullivan in December, with Soumaoro taking the zero away from Jusiyah Shirley in his most previous bout. Subsequently both fighters picked up a victory on their American debuts in their last fight against an undefeated opponent.

Dominic Valle (5-0, 4KOs) will run the gauntlet with Carlos Rosario (5-1) at featherweight in the evening’s chief support. Valle has been in solid form since turning pro in 2021 with five straight victories, the first four coming by stoppage. Valle was last in action against Jose Antonio Meza with a comfortable win over the distance. Puerto Rican Rosario looks to get back to winning ways after a lone career defeat to Ezequiel Borrero, losing the decision over six rounds in Plant City.

Somebody’s 0 will have to go when Kentuckian Demontaze Duncan (8-0, 8KOs) goes to battle with Puerto Rican Axl Melendez (5-0, 4KOs). The two knockout artists open the televised card at 147 pounds in a six round duel. Duncan retired Tyrone Crawley in the second round in his last outing, Melendez will make his American debut.

The previous ten-round main event featuring Mexican southpaw Jorge Lara (29-2-2) has been postponed due to a hand injury. The super featherweight’s fight will be rescheduled at a later date on PROBOX TV.

The commentary comes from former world champions Paulie Malignaggi and Chris Algieri alongside Mike Goldberg in English. The Spanish speaking team will consist of Claudia Trejos and Mexican hero Juan Manuel Márquez.

You can watch ProBoxTV ad free on for only $1.99/Month in English and Spanish.

Material and Photo Courtesy of ProBox TV Used with permission.

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