Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Linares-Campbell and much, much more)

By Doug Fischer


Hey Dougie,

First of all, can I just congratulate Luke Campbell and Jorge Linares (who is one of my favourite fighters) on a great, respectful build up (that’s what real men do) and a fascinating, technical match up.

My question is: do you think Coolhand did enough to win? Victor Loughlin had him winning by two and so did I! The knockdown was a bad one but other than that I thought it was a fantastic performance.

Did you see the Fury/Parker match up and what is your match report? Respect. – Mark

I did not see the Joseph Parker-Tyson Fury fight, Mark. From I’ve been told and from the highlights I’ve seen on YouTube, it looks like Parker was given way too much credit for his forward-moving (but largely ineffective) aggression by two of the official judges (who had it 118-110 for the defending WBO heavyweight beltholder; the third judge had it even at 114-114, as you probably know).

I knew Fury was going to be a handful for Parker. Like his cousin, he moves very well for a such a big man. He’s got a lot of ring savvy for a 23 year old, and an educated jab, good timing and reflexes, accurate counter-punching ability and having no problem using his size by holding on the inside is all part of that difficult package.

THE RING magazine editor Michael Rosenthal watched the fight live and thought Fury won seven rounds to five. Rosenthal was impressed with Fury’s athleticism.

My guess is what held Fury back in the eyes of the official judges is that he wasn’t able to rock or hurt Parker, who appeared rather sloppy in the highlights I saw (although, in the New Zealander’s defense, I believe it’s going to be very hard for any heavyweight to look good against Hughie).

However, I think Fury and the other title challengers who came up short via decision this past weekend – Campbell, Jesse Hart and Genesis Servania – all have bright futures in their respective divisions. I think they all showed the boxing world what makes them special and they all gained valuable championship experience that will advance their development.

Luke Campbell

Regarding Campbell, I thought he gave Linares fits and boxed very well in spots, but I don’t think he did enough to earn THE RING and WBA lightweight titles on Saturday. More than a few members of the ringside press scored every round from the fourth to the 10th (or 11th) for the Olympic gold medalist from England, but I thought there were close/competitive rounds that he did just enough to lose to Linares – including Rounds 5, 7 and 8. Had he won those rounds on my card and two of the final three rounds, he could have just nicked it. But even giving Cambpell the benefit of the doubt in the close rounds, I still think Linares deserved to retain his belts (if only via a draw verdict) because he decisively took the 12th and he knocked an extra point off the challenger’s tally with the second-round knockdown.

But Campbell was brilliant in spots and his height, size (he looked like a welterweight from ringside) and very solid fundamentals made an elite-level veteran boxer look ordinary. I just think he needed to heed his corner and let his hands go more. But even without taking risks, I think Campbell will be a “cool-handful” (see what I did there?) for any of the top lightweights, including the other major titleholders.


What’s up doug? Hope your well,

What a weekend of boxing!! Friday night fights are what boxing is all about; unbeaten fighters going to war to try make a name for themselves!! Oscar Valdez is fun to watch; he has power, skill, heart and is vulnerable. Where does he go from here? How would he do against Carl Frampton? Gilberto Ramirez vs Jesse Hart was a war with both giving and taking. I felt the knockdown and Zurdo’s body punching edged it. I would’ve liked to see hart go to the body more but great fight nonetheless…where do both go?

I think Linares won by a couple rounds on Saturday and I think Luke Campbell needed that experience and it will help him going forward. I’ve been following him since he beat my countryman John Joe Nevin in the Olympics and he’s nearly the full package – he’s tall, rangy, fast, has power in both hands (especially to the body), but there’s two things I think Jorge Rubio needs to iron out and he’ll be very hard to beat

1) his jab: although it was better Saturday he flicks it too much and can be timed… he needs to sit down on it more.

2) his upper body is very stiff… he needs to loosen up and relax a bit more, which he done after the knockdown.

Both are amateur traits he developed over years, have you seen a top amateur that just couldn’t shake old habits, Dougie? Where do both go from here? Not sure I’d back Linares against Garcia.

Yunier Dorticos could be the dark horse of this tournament. He has real, scary power. Keep up the good work. – David, Dublin

Dorticos is for real. I figured he would take Kudryashov into deep water and drown the Russian slugger, but he forced a shootout in the second round and was able to remain safe behind his fast, rangy jab and straight right. From the onset of the cruiserweight match, the Cuban was quicker, sharper and more mobile. I thought Kudryashov looked painfully slow and plodding by comparison. And The Russian Hammer played right into The KO Doctor’s laser-straight right hand by languishing right in front of the Cuban. Once that bomb detonated against his temple, you just knew Kudry would be able to unscramble his brains in time to beat the count.

I’m really looking forward to watching the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament play out.

Oscar Valdez is fun to watch; he has power, skill, heart and is vulnerable. Indeed, the WBO featherweight beltholder is must-see TV. It will be interesting to see if Top Rank can build him into an attraction in Tucson or Southern California.

Where does he go from here? Bob Arum told ringside reporters that he wants to try to match Valdez with Carl Frampton sometime next year. I’m not sure he’s ready for The Jackal but I have to figure he’s done a lot of growing with his last two fights.

How would he do against Carl Frampton? If they fight within their next two bouts, I would favor the Belfast native by decision in a good scrap.

Gilberto Ramirez vs Jesse Hart was a war with both giving and taking. It might have been the fight of the weekend.

I felt the knockdown and Zurdo’s body punching edged it. I thought Ramirez clearly won. I didn’t think it was up for grabs at all, although Hart put forth a courageous and admirable performance in surviving the early rounds, clawing his way back into the bout during the middle rounds and not wilting under the defending WBO 168-pound titleholder’s body attack.

Gilberto Ramirez

I would’ve liked to see hart go to the body more but great fight nonetheless…where do both go? Ramirez could be in the running for a showdown with Gennady Golovkin if Team GGG can’t reach a deal with Team Canelo and Golden Boy to stage an immediate rematch with the redheaded Mexican star. Ramirez-Golovkin would be quite the ticket seller in Texas or Southern California.

If not, he’s probably got a voluntary defense against another Top Rank stablemate (maybe Trevor McCumby, who ranked in the WBO’s top five). A defense against former middleweight contender and Russian amateur star Matvey Korobov (remember him? He’s also in the WBO’s top five) would be an interesting and dangerous matchup.

I think Linares won by a couple rounds on Saturday and I think Luke Campbell needed that experience and it will help him going forward. I agree 100%.

I’ve been following him since he beat my countryman John Joe Nevin in the Olympics and he’s nearly the full package – he’s tall, rangy, fast, has power in both hands (especially to the body)… Campbell is also very big and sturdy and he’s got rock-solid fundamentals (which isn’t surprising given his amateur background).

… but there’s two things I think Jorge Rubio needs to iron out and he’ll be very hard to beat:

1) his jab: although it was better Saturday he flicks it too much and can be timed… he needs to sit down on it more. Agree 100%.

2) his upper body is very stiff… he needs to loosen up and relax a bit more, which he done after the knockdown. Agree 100%

Both are amateur traits he developed over years, have you seen a top amateur that just couldn’t shake old habits, Dougie? Of course! Show me an amateur standout that wasn’t able to cut it on the world-class professional scene and I’ll show you a boxer that couldn’t evolve from his amateur style/form/habits. Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, comes to mind. To me, “A-Force” always looked like an amateur boxer in the pro ranks.

Where do both go from here? I think Campbell heads back to the U.K. for a big domestic battle with the winner of the Oct. 7 Anthony Crolla-Ricky Burns fight and then looks to move up the IBF rankings (where he’s the No. 4 contender for Robert Easter Jr.’s belt). Eddie Hearn will keep him busy and make the right moves to get him back into a title fight before the end of 2018. Linares says he wants to unify titles, which could mean another trip back to Merry Ole England for a showdown with WBO beltholder Terry Flanagan and, of course, he will continue to beat the drums for a hardcore fan dream match vs. Mikey Garcia.

Not sure I’d back Linares against Garcia. I wouldn’t expect Linares to have the same kind of trouble he experienced against Campbell against the much shorter, orthodox-boxing Garcia – in fact, I think the Venezuelan would look very good against the pound-for-pound rated Southern Californian – but I think Mikey would eventually clip his fellow three-division beltholder before the 12th round.


Hi Doug,

This is my report from Tucson :).

In the middle of the Valdéz fight, the guy sitting next to me said: “they are not serving cupcakes tonight”. That’s a fitting way to describe the main event, and the Zurdo-Hart contest.

Valdéz-Servania was a pretty entertaining show. I didn’t know Servania. Now, and I want to know him more. He is a small beast who was wrongly viewed as a sacrificial lamb for the Nogales-native/Tucson-adopted son.

I had the fight 117-110 for The Mexican. He was more effective and busier. However, he did drop his hands a bit and got clipped too many times. He needs to correct that flaw or he’ll endure a long night against LSC or Frampton.

His left hook was absolutely his money punch. My guess is that he was sure he’d get a KO in front of his adoring fans. He was a little surprised that the Filipino had a different idea and tried a little bit too hard to put his rival out. But you know what? As Aerosmith says, that’s F.I.N.E. fine. Actually, that’s great. And that’s why he’s headlining cards and putting butts in the seats.

Speaking about his rival, only a monster could recover from the knockdown he suffered and storm back right into the fight’s soul. Respect to Servania. Genesis almost became Oscar’s Apocalypse. I’d like to see this guy again.

Zurdo Ramirez and Jessie Hart also performed very well. Sometimes I get a little desperate, for I think the Mexican is a little bit too patient. He had the better chin, and wasted that opportunity. He could have used that advantage by trading a little bit more. He was more dangerous and more durable. I have no doubt that he was the better fighter, I just think he could have inflicted more damage to Hart. Hart, however, was no cupcake, either. He gave a spirited effort against the crowd favorite and could have done a little bit more had he not been knocked down. I also had the fight 117-110, but the official scores were a lot closer than mine. The Philly native should walk with his head high.

What do you think about the future of Conlan and Conceicao? I liked the Brazilian’s skill set. I hope he develops well. – Carlos, from Hermosillo, México

I think Robson gets a little wild and wide with his offense but he’s a good athlete and obviously he knows his way around the ring, the junior lightweight is a three-time Brazilian Olympian (and 2016 gold medal winner). I don’t know how far he can go, he’s already 28 years old and only five bouts into his pro career. He doesn’t appear to have Lomachenko- or Rigo-level ability, so I don’t see him winning a world title in his next few bouts. But, he’s already a star in Brazil and I’m sure Top Rank can at least develop him into an entertaining TV fighter in the U.S.

Conlan’s also an amateur standout and star in his country (Ireland), but he’s three years younger than Conceicao, which gives him a little more time to develop into a well-rounded pro. Conlan is in a very competitive division (junior featherweight) but he’s got a good young trainer (Manny Robles), a strong training environment (Southern California) and Top Rank is the most accomplished and experienced American promoter in developing talent while building the boxer’s fan base, so “Mick” is in good hands. We’ll see what happens in the next year or two.

Ramirez (left) and Hart go at it during their dramatic super middleweight title bout. Photo / @TRboxing

You thought Ramirez “could have inflicted more damage to Hart”? Jesus, man, and I thought I was a blood-thirsty ghoul. Ramirez inflicted plenty of damage Hart. He initiated most of the action in my view and soundly outworked the tough and talented Philly fighter. I generally do not enjoy watching Zurdo ply his technical craft but he Hart made him an entertaining fighter this past Friday. I was impressed with both super middleweights.

In the middle of the Valdéz fight, the guy sitting next to me said: “they are not serving cupcakes tonight”. That’s a fitting way to describe the main event, and the Zurdo-Hart contest. Yup, they were not playing patty cake in that Tucson ring on Friday, and they weren’t trying to be defensive wizards, either, that was some hardcore prize FIGHTING we saw with those two WBO title bouts and I think they combined to make the most entertaining TV card of the weekend.

Valdéz-Servania was a pretty entertaining show. It certainly had its moments of drama.

I didn’t know Servania. Now, and I want to know him more. He is a small beast who was wrongly viewed as a sacrificial lamb for the Nogales-native/Tucson-adopted son. I don’t know why some fans and media (and ESPN) were looking at Servania as some kind of “gimme” for Valdez. The hometown fighter deserved to be a solid favorite, but I told anyone who would listen (as did some of my peers, such as Steve Kim, Mike Baca and Ryan Songalia) that Servania was going to bring the ruckus and that this matchup would be an “action fight” and could feature “knockdowns” and its share of “crazy back-and-forth slugfest stuff.” I think we’ll see Servania again. He still young (26), he’s still ranked (and will likely remain in the WBO’s top 10), he’s got a good record (29-1) and people in the U.S. now know he makes for good fights/TV.

I had the fight 117-110 for The Mexican. He was more effective and busier. I agree, but I can’t give you an opinion on your scorecard. I didn’t bother scoring it. Sometimes I just want to watch a good fight and enjoy it.

However, he did drop his hands a bit and got clipped too many times. Indeed. And, as usual, I think he loaded up a bit too much on each shot and sometimes forgot to punch in combination.

He needs to correct that flaw or he’ll endure a long night against LSC or Frampton. I agree. And I’d favor those veterans to outpoint him, but I think his heart and conditioning would enable him to compete with both.


Hello Dougie,

I am currently trying to watch Zurdo Ramirez vs Jesse Hart on ESPN and this channel doesn’t start airing the fight until the fifth round and about an hour after advertised. Then in the middle of the late start they switch back to some damn football game!!!!

I’m a huge fan of boxing and this is quite frustrating to say the least. I’m assuming that your keyboard reaches far more people than mine ever could. So, is it possible that you could raise all kinds of a stink over this issue? If it helps, I’m on the west coast and the fights are advertised as beginning at 7:30 PM PST.

Respectfully. – Pissed in California

There’s not much I can do about the boxing hopscotch on the various ESPN channels. Unless Manny Pacquiao is fighting, the network is not going to cut from the preceding programming if it runs long in order to start the boxing on scheduled time. That’s just the way it is for now. And I’m sure the good folks at Top Rank have raised a stink over the issue.

For now, whenever you can’t find a boxing program scheduled to be on ESPN, switch to ESPN2 or ESPNews or even ESPN Deportes before you give up on watching the show. If a program runs long on ESPN they’ll try moving it to their other channels, and if there’s no room for boxing on the other ESPN TV platforms, you should try watching ESPN3 (the network’s online streaming service) or utilizing the ESPN App.

I’m sorry I sound like a damn ESPN commercial, but the boxing that’s been showcased on the “Worldwide Leader of Sports” this year has, for the most part, been pretty good and I’d hate for a real fan (even a pissed one) to miss out.


Dougie –

First time, long time.

Not a fan of “streaming” fights.

I’m a bit disappointed that not a single US TV outlet picked up the opening rounds of the World Boxing Super Series.

Should I be surprised that not even a BeiN Sports would take a shot on broadcasting this round, not even the cruiserweights-only?

Too many Eastern Euros?

Are the broadcasting economics that bad, or are there other factors?

Any chance the later rounds would get picked up by Showtime or another cable outlet? Thanks! – Brock

I think there’s a solid chance that one of the major U.S. cable networks (probably Showtime) picks up the semifinals or finals of the cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments.

As to why the quarterfinal bouts haven’t been showcased on American TV, I think it’s a combination of factors. The cruiserweights, for whatever reason, have never resonated with U.S. network executives. I have no idea why. Maybe there just haven’t been enough American standouts in the division. I think the Eastern European flavor probably keeps it off the Spanish-language networks, but I doubt it’s a huge factor in Showtime, HBO and ESPN passing on the opening rounds bouts of the WBSS. I just think that the big three have limited dates and strong relationships (or set contracts) with certain promoters. Showtime has its hands full with Al Haymon’s vast stable of talent (and some Eddie Hearn fighters, mainly Anthony Joshua). HBO main providers appear to be Golden Boy Promotions, K2 Promotions and Main Events now that Top Rank has left for ESPN. HBO also wants to be in the Eddie Hearn business, starting with Daniel Jacobs (and they no doubt want to snag A.J. from Showtime). ESPN has multi-fight/multi-year deals with GBP and Top Rank.

So, there isn’t much room for the ambitious WBSS venture organized by Comosa AG, Ringstar Sports and Sauerland Entertainment.

Personally, I think the U.S. networks are dropping the ball because I think all the quarterfinal bouts will be entertaining. But the networks are trying to save money and I’m sure that in the view of the executives the only cruiserweight worth his salt will be the unified titleholder and the only super middleweight fights that merit their airtime are the ones that match up the better-known titleholders/contenders (such as George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr. and Callum Smith), so they feel they can wait.

Thanks for finally writing in to the mailbag. Don’t be a stranger from now on.


Hi Dougie,

With Andre Ward’s recent retirement news I noticed that there’s been a lot of retirements from top fighters announced this year.


JM Marquez

Tim Bradley

Miguel Cotto

Andre Ward

Mayweather (maybe)

Pacman (maybe)

Chocolatito (if he doesn’t continue)

Do you think all of them can get in IF they actually retire? Is there a limit for inductees per year?

Thanks & great reads as always. – Jamaal, Louisiana

There is a limit to the number of “Modern Boxer” inductees to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Jamaal. Only three can be elected each year from the list of 30 modern fighters.

Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley announced their retirements this year but their final bouts occurred in previous years (2014 for JMM; 2016 for Timmy), so they will be on the ballot and eligible for induction before the other boxers you mentioned.

Of the remaining group, I think the shoo-ins are Mayweather and Pacquiao. That third spot is up for grabs between Cotto, Klitschko and Ward; and a strong case can be made for either one, it all depends on what the voters value more – accomplishments, consistency, records, popularity, impact on the sport, etc.

Roman Gonzalez has not announced his retirement. Shane Mosley, who you did not list, announced his retirement in August, and it should go without saying that he’s also considered a first-ballot hall of famer.


Hi Doug!

Been a mailbag reader for about a year now and thank you because you’re one of the people who got me attached to the sport and I appreciate your work.

Gotta rant about Bud Crawford. Could you explain why he isn’t the #1 P4P fighter in your publication? I know it’s probably because of the weak competition in his divisions but on my eye test, he’s a special talent and the closest thing we’ve seen to Sugar Ray Robinson. He has the very rare ability to throw power punches in spectacular combinations, who doesn’t get tired when he sees a moment of weakness from an opponent and pounces like a panther (Loma and Kovalev are the only two who can do that in my opinion but not like he does). It’s not his fault that there’s no good competition for him around his weight class and I can’t penalize him for that. He’s at the point where he’s embarrassing everyone he faces and you don’t see that level very often. My only fear with him as far as a loss is that it takes about 4 rounds for him to find his rhythm and take over, but I think it’s him just reading out the opponent and finding their faults so he can pounce on it afterwards. He needs to face Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence to find a real challenge. Thoughts?

And what a fight between Golovkin and Canelo! Managed to talk a few non-boxing fans into buying the PPV and watching with me and they loved it.

Mythical match-ups:

Emile Griffith vs. Gennady Golovkin

Pernell Whitaker vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Lennox Lewis vs. Anthony Joshua

Thanks! – Cole, Ohio

I’ll go with GGG by split decision, Whitaker by majority or split decision (at welterweight; unanimous at 135 and 140 pounds), and Lewis by mid-round KO.

Regarding Crawford’s case for being the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer, I think many fans and members of the media agree with you. He was No. 3 in THE RING’s pound-for-pound rankings (behind Ward and Golovkin) prior to Ward’s retirement, so I have to figure he’s in the running along with GGG to take over the top spot.

I think if you go by the ole “eye test,” Bud or Vasyl Lomachenko (whose currently No. 4) are the pound-for-pound best. If you appreciate a fighter’s dominance/consistency over time and his overall body of work, you may lean toward Golovkin.

You mentioned the relatively “weak competition” Crawford faced during his rise through the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions, and I think that’s the only factor keeping him from No. 1. It’s hard to say for certain that he’s the king of the elite boxers when the four best opponents on his resume are Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Julius Indongo and either Ricky Burns or Ray Beltran.

Hopefully, a move to welterweight will provide Crawford with elite-level competition.

Email Fischer at Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer

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Source:: The Ring – Boxing

Nico Hernandez overcomes larger opponent

By newsdesk

2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez had to overcome a major obstacle to remain undefeated at Hartman Arena in Palm City, Kansas. Opponent Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman outweighed regular flyweight Hernandez by more than 10 pounds when the two fighters entered the ring because Hernandez’ scheduled opponent, Basyzbek Baratov (2-1-2), abruptly pulled out of the fight after the weigh-in due to a contractual disagreement.

Hernandez weighed in at 113 pounds, Baratov was 112, which was the contracted weight. The Kansas Athletic Commission, however, automatically allows one-pound over for all non-title fights. Baratov refused to fight but Latchman agreed to fight at a 125-pound catchweight. Hernandez gained four pounds and the fight was on.

Wichita hero Hernandez was unmoved by the late change, largely due to his standout amateur career, in which his opponents often changed at the last moment. Latchman (1-5-1, 1 KO) is a pro boxer-MMA hybrid fighter who is 6-3 (5 KOs) in MMA, including a 55-second stoppage of 14-7-1 Cody Land this past July.

Latchman buzzed Hernandez in the first round, much to the chagrin of the Hernandez’ loud hometown crowd. The U.S. Olympian displayed a good chin and went on to win a six-round unanimous decision to improve his pro record to 3-0 (2 KOs).

“They (his corner and fans) were nervous,” the 21-year-old Hernandez said after the fight, “but I wasn’t. My coach (father Lewis Hernandez) told me to feint and go in, but I lunged a little too much. Hey, I’m staying in my division (flyweight) before moving up in weight.”

“Nico had to step up, fighting a new opponent on 24-hour notice, along with the difference in their weights,” promoter John Andersen commented. “Everything turned out okay but it wasn’t an easy fight. My palms were a little sweaty in the first round when he got hit hard, but Nico pulled out the win and he’ll be an even better fighter because of this experience. His father said Nico had never been hit like that before. It was a good card and the crowed was really into it.”

KO Night Boxing LLC announced that Hernandez would return December 2 to headline another show at Hartman Arena.

USBA No. 2- rated featherweight Tramaine “The Might Midget” Williams (13-0, 5 KOs), fighting out of New Haven (CT), cruised to his 13th victory without a defeat, taking a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision over Derrick Murray (13-3, 5 KOs), in the co-featured event.
Key West, FL welterweight Armando “The Gentleman: Alvarez (17-0, 11 KOs) remained undefeated, winning a 10-round unanimous decision against Hungarian champion Gabor “Squirrel” Gorbics (23-8, 14 KOs) in a competitive Special Welterweight Attraction. Alvarez is the WBC Latino welterweight title holder.

Undefeated Chinese heavyweight prospect Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (18-0, 14 KOs), the reigning WBO Oriental champion, needed only 2:28 to stop veteran Byron “The Bear” Polley (30-22-1, 13 KOs). Zhang, as well as Williams, are promoted by Roc Nation Sports.

In the most dramatic fight of the night, Los Angeles heavyweight Scott Alexander (13-2-2, 7 KOs) rebounded from being decked, as well as a pre-fight cut, to knockout 361-pound Richard “Silverback” Carmack (15-12-1, 12 KOs) in the second round. Alexander suffered a cut on his shin that resulted from a step breaking as he entered the ring.

Milwaukee junior middleweight Akeem Black (3-1, 1 KO) won three of four rounds on all three judges’ scorecards for a four-round unanimous decision over Marcus Neal (2-2, 2 KOs).

Wichita light heavyweight Jeff Strum pitched a shutout in his pro debut against Topeka’s (KS) previously unbeaten Chris Ortega (3-1-1), winning all four rounds in impressive fashion.

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Lopez stuns Roman

By newsdesk

In an upset, junior welterweight Wilberth Lopez (19-8, 13 KOs) thoroughly stymied Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) to win by unanimous decision in Friday’s main event at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. Lopez controlled the pace of the fight from start-to-finish by landing numerous left hands throughout the eight-round fight. Scores were 79-73, 80-72, and 78-74.

In the co-feature, featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (8-0, 4 KOs) swept all three scorecards (60-54) against Ernesto Guerrero (26-20, 18 KOs).

Welterweight Juan Ruiz (20-0, 12 KOs) dismantled Erick Martinez (13-9-1, 7 KOs) over eight rounds (80-72 x3).

Junior lightweight prospect Michael Dutchover (6-0, 4 KOs) knocked down Carlos Flores (4-6-1, 3 KOs) in the opening round to get things going on his way to a unanimous decision sweep (40-35).

Lightweight Ruben Torres (2-0, 2 KOs) needed less than a minute to stop Ernest Knight (0-2).

* * *

Prior to the main event, promoter Ken Thompson invited world super bantam champ Danny Roman inside the ring to receive his WBA belt. Roman dethroned Shun Kubo by ninth round knockout earlier this month.

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Wilson batters Russell over ten

By newsdesk

By Ricardo Ibarra
Photos by Carsen Maciag

Turning in a dominant ten round performance, unbeaten cruiserweight Mike “White Delight” Wilson (18-0, 8 KOs) claimed his eighteenth win on Saturday night at the Jackson County Expo in his hometown of Central Point, Oregon, defeating tough Kentuckian Melvin Russell (10-3-2, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision. Wilson claimed every round on all three judges’ scorecards, cutting Russell over both eyes and battering him down the stretch in the main event of White Delight Promotions’ eighth ‘Rogue Valley Rumble’ card.

Wilson began the fight working patiently off his jab, slowly stepping up the pressure as the rounds progressed with one-twos and hooks to the body. His body punching was particularly effective as he slammed Russell with some heavy shots that drew grimaces. Late in the second round a left hook stunned Russell momentarily.

Wilson adopted a more aggressive approach in the third, opening up with a concentrated attack of three and four punch combinations and catching Russell with some savage shots. Russell, though, showed a good chin, taking them and firing back, landing his own right hand as Wilson stepped into the pocket. Wilson continued his attack undeterred, walking through his opponents’ retaliatory swings and digging to the body with hard hooks. As the round wound down, Wilson began to counter Russell’s rights with sharp left hooks, adjusting to his opponent’s most effective punch.

In the fourth, Wilson continued to find his mark with counter left hooks as Russell made the effort to land his right. Wilson effectively neutralized his opposition’s most effective punch in the round, countering often enough to slow Russell’s output. A bad cut opened up over the left eye of Russell, a by-product of one of Wilson’s left hooks.

Over the next five rounds Wilson continued to work at a busy pace, grinding away at Russell with thudding shots to the mid-section and busting up his face with precise punches upstairs, buckling his knees in the sixth and opening up a second cut over his other eye in the eighth, this time with a right hand. By the last round Russell was bleeding heavily from both eyes and showing the effects of Wilson’s unrelenting body attack. All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Wilson.

The popular local fighter, who once again drew a large southern Oregon crowd, adds his third win of the year over a resilient competitor.

“He was a very tough, durable, and awkward guy,” said Wilson after the fight. “He was very awkward. I kept working behind my jab and that kept setting things up, but he was tough and awkward. I tip my hat to him. He caught me with some good shots, but I felt like I could’ve ate those all night long…When I cut him the first time I felt it in my knuckle. And that second cut was no joke. He was cut over both eyes really bad and he toughed it out. A very tough competitor. He came to fight. He pushed us and that’s what we wanted. That just puts us one step closer to where we want to be.”

“Now I want to just keep moving forward,” said Wilson when asked what his next move may be. “I feel like we’re on the two-yard line and ready to push it in. We’re almost there. That’s what it’s about. Getting ten rounders in and feeling comfortable in there. I felt like I could’ve gone twelve. I feel great. I just need to keep putting the work in. We’re trying to get different looks at different styles and different angles and that’s going to help us keep progressing to the finish line.”

Four fights featuring some promising Pacific Northwest prospects filled out the remainder of the card.

Unbeaten nineteen-year-old Victor Morales, Jr. (7-0, 3 KOs) added his second win over tough Oregon journeyman Corben Page (5-15-1) in a Jr. lightweight rematch. The two fought four months ago, with Morales, of Vancouver, Washington, taking a five round unanimous decision win. In the return bout, Page gave Morales some trouble early on, maneuvering around the ring well in the first round, looking for counter punching opportunities. Morales, though, adopted a much more aggressive approach than had been the case in May and slowly began to cut the distance and land left hook-right hand combos. By the third, Morales was dominating the action, letting his hands go with regularity and finding his target with crisp combinations. In the fifth, Morales upped his output and began to tee-off with quick flurries in close, inflicting a lot of damage on the game but outmatched Page. The assault continued into the sixth, at which point referee Joel Scobie mercifully stepped in and stopped it. The end came at 1:25 of the last round.

Tacoma’s Marquice Weston (10-1-1, 6 KOs) turned in an impressive performance, knocking out Brownsville, Texas’ Juan Reyna (6-8-1, 2 KOs) in the first round. The rangy Weston started the fight off working his jab and following up with right hands and left hooks when the opportunity presented itself. Weston, who in addition to his eleven-fight pro record had an extensive amateur career, showed his superior skill level quickly in the fight, capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes. Late in the round, Weston picked up his tempo and started to hurt Reyna, catching him with thudding left hooks to the ribs and hard rights to the chin, putting him on the defensive. A debilitating straight right to the body sent Reyna down, where he would stay as referee Ed Collantes hit the count of ten. The end came at 2:21 of the first, giving Weston his tenth win. The fight took place in the heavyweight division.

In a four round welterweight bout, local favorite Troy Wohosky (3-2, 1 KO) boxed his way to a unanimous decision win over Puyallup, Washington’s Kevin Davila (1-5-2). Wohosky worked the ring well in the first round, moving in and out of the pocket and firing off quick spurts of offense, maneuvering away before his adversary could mount an attack. Davila came out pressing hard in the second, closing the distance often and forcing Wohosky to stand and trade, which made for a close round. Wohosky took back control of the range in the third, snapping crisp jabs and winging power shots as Davila pressed. In the fourth, Wohosky opened up with a sense of urgency, unloading with multi-punch combinations, overwhelming his game opponent and out-landing him down the stretch. The official scores read 39-39, 39-37, and 40-36, giving Wohosky his third win as a pro and his second since coming back from a lengthy hiatus due to injury.

In the card’s opener, Medford’s Abraham Martin (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Jose Rico (0-4), of Eugene, in the first round of a scheduled four. Martin went to work early, pressing the attack and catching his opponent with hard and accurate combinations. A left hook stunned Rico and a follow-up right hand laid him out. Referee Joel Scobie hit the count of ten at 1:13 of the round. The bout was contested at the cruiserweight limit.

A sixth bout between Nicholas Jefferson and Colby Grayson was canceled after Grayson failed a pre-fight urinalysis.

A raucous Oregon crowd packed into the Jackson County Expo, exceeding promoter Jenifer Wilson’s expectations. “I think it was one of the best turn outs that we’ve had,” said Wilson. “It was a great night. Mike got a good win and we saw all his hard work and long training pay off. And the Southern Oregon crowd came out. They’re always here to support.”

White Delight Promotions’ next ‘Rogue Valley Rumble’ card is scheduled for January 27th.

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Canelo vs. Golovkin: Great expectations

By Thomas Hauser

Part one of a two-part series.


Sports have international appeal. Fans want to see the best athletes in the world compete against one another regardless of where they come from.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have thrilled tennis fans around the globe. Rory McIlroy has a huge following in golf. NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kristaps Porzingis, Manu Gianobili and Pau Gasol are favorites in the American arenas where they ply their trade.

The most anticipated boxing match fought in the United States in 2017 was contested between fighters from Kazakhstan and Mexico.

Gennady Golovkin was born in Kazakhstan in 1982. After compiling a reported 345-5 amateur record and winning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, he turned pro and won his first 37 professional bouts, scoring 33 knockouts in the process and claiming the WBC, WBA, and IBF 160-pound titles. He moved to California three years ago.

Golovkin’s opponents are unpleasantly surprised by his power when he hits them. The one important component that his resume lacks is a victory over an elite boxer in his prime.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez began boxing professionally in 2005 at age 15 and compiled a record of 49-1-1 (34 knockouts) en route to becoming one of boxing’s biggest stars.

The “Canelo” moniker is a marketing tool.

“A lot of family members and friends, they call me ‘Saul,’” Alvarez said during an August 8 media conference call. “Sometimes they call me ‘guero’. Sometimes they’ll slip and they’ll say ‘Canelo.’ It doesn’t matter to me. I accept it. That’s become natural for me. But mainly, close friends and family refer to me as ‘Saul.’”

Golden Boy President Eric Gomez and Director of Publicity Ramiro Gonzalez went to Guadalajara to meet with Alvarez before signing him to a promotional contract seven years ago.

“The first thing that struck me was how quiet and reserved and mature he was for his age,” Gomez recalls. “Then we started working with him. And Canelo has never disappointed us. He’s very responsible. He always takes care of business. In a drinking culture, he doesn’t drink. He’s a true professional.”

“He’s very respectful,” Gonzalez adds. “A little guarded with the media and in public. He is a private person and is quiet with people he doesn’t know. He’s stubborn, persistent, a hard worker and a perfectionist.”

Alvarez has been in the spotlight since he was an adolescent. The weight of great expectations has been on his shoulders for a long time. Now 27, he has defeated some of boxing’s biggest names, most notably Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto. But they were naturally smaller men and past their prime when he beat them. Victories over Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout also stand out on his resume.

Canelo takes questions from the media in English but answers in Spanish. He has a two-year lease on a house in San Diego, where he lives for much of the year, and spends the rest of his time in his hometown of Guadalajara. He was a star before his boxing skills warranted it but kept working to get better.

He’s much more than a fighter with red hair.

“My job, and I’m very fortunate, is to box,” Alvarez said last year. “I train hard and I give the best of me. I’m not trying to tap into my market. It’s just something very fortunate that I’ve been able to have in my career. I don’t like to talk trash just to sell fights. I train hard and do my talking in the ring. I want people to respect me and to follow my fights, not because of what I say but what I do.”

The one significant blemish on Canelo’s record is a September 14, 2013, loss by decision to Floyd Mayweather. At age 23, he wasn’t ready for Mayweather. And the bout was fought at a 152-pound catchweight that wasn’t right for him.

But Alvarez didn’t just lose to Mayweather. He lost quietly. He looked confused (because he was) and didn’t fight with the intensity that was expected of him.

“I was very young,” Canelo says of that outing. “I don’t take it as a defeat. I take it as an experience.”

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

On November 21, 2015, Alvarez decisioned Miguel Cotto at a 155-pound catchweight to claim the RING and WBC middleweight titles. He defended the championship successfully against Amir Khan and Liam Smith at a similar weight limit before fighting a non-title bout against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at a contract limit of 164.5 pounds.

Meanwhile, Golovkin was collecting belts while fighting at 160 pounds, and it was getting harder to justify Canelo’s claim to the middleweight crown.

An athlete should be praised for wanting to give his optimum performance every time out. No fighter should be forced to fight above or below his own best weight class. No one criticized Usain Bolt for not proving his dominance on the track by running 400 meters at the Olympics.

But Canelo was holding on to the WBC middlweight title while refusing to fight Golovkin (the mandatory WBC challenger) at 160 pounds. Eventually, the WBC forced the issue and Canelo vacated his throne.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

“Canelo wanted to fight Golovkin at 160 pounds a long time ago,” Eric Gomez said, one day before the bout finally took place. “But Oscar, Chepo, and Eddy [promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo’s trainers, Chepo and Eddy Reynoso] felt it was too soon. It was the same thing before Canelo fought Mayweather. Back then, Canelo wanted the fight. Oscar, Chepo, and Eddy didn’t. They felt it was too soon and at the wrong weight, but they bowed to Canelo’s wishes. This time, Canelo listened when they told him a year ago that it was too soon for Golovkin, that he should wait until he grew to where his best weight was 160. They told him, ‘Look what happened in the Mayweather fight. Now listen to us.’”

This spring, Team Alvarez decided their man was ready. Canelo-Golovkin would be contested on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. The purse split heavily favored Alvarez. Golovkin would be obligated to fight an immediate rematch on pre-arranged terms if he won. Gennady would also be required to enter the ring first because, in De La Hoya’s words, “Canelo is the lineal champion and the star of the show.”

The bout was announced on May 6, moments after Canelo scored a whitewash decision over Chavez Jr. Golovkin walked to the ring for the first of many pre-fight promotional encounters, and Alvarez told him, “I’ve never feared anyone. When I was born, fear was gone. I never got my share of fear.”

“Good luck,” Golovkin said.

“Luck is for mediocre people,” Canelo countered.

Later, Alvarez would complain, “After this fight, they’ll say there’s another guy I’m avoiding.”

Tickets were priced from $300 to $5,000 and soon sold out.

“We’re ready for this fight,” Alvarez proclaimed during an August 8 media conference call. “We asked for it. This is what we wanted. Anything can happen in boxing at any time, more so when both fighters have punching power. We both have the power to win by knockout. Whatever it takes to win the fight, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give all of me.”

“He respects me, and I respect him,” Golovkin acknowledged. “This is boxing. Every day is difficult and dangerous.”

“It’s going to be a chess match at the beginning,” Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, posited. “Then, once you get past that point where they see what each other is doing, they’re going to go at each other. I think both guys are going to hurt each other and may go down. It’s going to be difficult for us, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

“That’s a fight I’ll actually buy tickets for and go to myself,” UFC President Dana White said.

Technically, Golovkin’s WBC, WBA, and IBF belts were on the line, as were Alvarez’s RING and “lineal” titles. But Canelo remained angry that the WBC had pressured him to fight Golovkin before he was ready to do so.

When asked about the world sanctioning bodies during the New York leg of the kickoff press tour, Eric Gomez diplomatically told the media, “We absolutely intend on fighting for the WBA and IBF. We haven’t decided on the WBC.”

Canelo quickly disagreed, saying, “No, I’m not fighting for the WBC.”

In response, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman later decreed, “It is a matter for the boxer. Golovkin will defend his title. We will sanction the fight and the winner will be the champion of the WBC. If anyone wants to resign or not accept the title, that decision is beyond our organization. The rules are clear. A boxer can vacate. And if that’s the case, then the title will remain vacant.”

There was a resounding buzz in the media center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during fight week.

A sport can’t thrive if it relies exclusively on big events to satisfy its fans. A handful of big fights won’t remedy boxing’s problems.

Still, Canelo-Golovkin was special. Hardened scribes who’ve seen it all were genuinely looking forward to the fight. Expectations ran high. This was more than a big event. It was a big fight, important in terms of boxing history and likely to be both competitive and entertaining.

Every champion wants to be part of a fight for the ages. Elite athletes thrive on the biggest stage possible. Within that milieu, both fighters exuded quiet confidence like the calm in the eye of a hurricane.

Golovkin had never been involved in a fight of this magnitude before, but this was what he wanted. Big fight, big stage, big money, big historical importance.

“Gennady has been a little frustrated the last couple years that he hasn’t had that marquee name step up and want to fight him,” Abel Sanchez noted. “But he’s happy that it’s finally here. He has a sparkle in his eye.”

“I am excited, waiting for fight,” Golovkin said just prior to the final pre-fight press conference. “It’s like you’re going to meet with your new girlfriend. Is huge history fight.”

Canelo responded in kind, saying, “I know it’s going to be a tough fight, and that’s what I’m ready for. I want to make it clear that I’m better than him. I’m writing my history now.”

Photo by Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions

It promised to be a career-defining fight for each man and the biggest challenge that either had ever faced. Both men are big punchers. Each has a granite chin. Golovkin likes to force his opponent to the ropes. Canelo likes to counter off them. Each fighter knew that more than a few liver shots would be aimed in his direction.

No stone was left unturned in searching for clues as to the outcome. Six years ago, Alvarez and Golovkin sparred with each other at Gennady’s training camp in Big Bear, California. Asked about that session, Golovkin responded, “I knew him, big prospect from Golden Boy. I just remember a couple of rounds. I help him and he help me, just boxing, not true fight, sparring, not like very hard sparring. I remember he’s a little bit young. His speed is good. His power for 154 is OK, not for 160. Different power, different time. That’s a long time ago. This is different story right now, different weight, different age. Right now, last couple of fights, he has power. He has more experience. He’s bigger, stronger. He’s better.”

“I was able to pick up some things,” Canelo said. “But you can’t really compare a sparring session to a fight. And we’re different fighters now.”

Alvarez had better-schooled opponents on his ring ledger than Golovkin did, although, as earlier noted, many of them were smaller men past their prime. Also, his hands are faster than Golovkin’s. The assumption was that Canelo would counterpunch against Gennady and pick his spots.

Alvarez’s partisans also pointed to Golovkin’s most recent outing when he struggled against Danny Jacobs as a source of hope. The counterargument to that was, even in their prime, all great fighters have struggled against certain opponents. And Canelo’s style is very different from Jacobs’.

Golovkin is now 35. Alvarez is 27. “Gennady’s age will catch up to him some day,” Abel Sanchez conceded. “But it won’t be in this fight.”

Still, one wondered whether, against Alvarez, Golovkin might tire enough to make him vulnerable.

“GGG is not a boxer,” Bernard Hopkins, an equity participant in Golden Boy, stated. “He has some boxing skills, but he’s essentially a stalker. He’s going to be who he’s been until it doesn’t work for him. So he’ll go after Canelo. Canelo can frustrate GGG. What I see happening is Canelo outboxing him over 12 rounds. Once Golovkin shoots his load and realizes he has to go to Plan A, B, C, and D, we’ll see if he knows his ABCs.”

“We respect Golovkin’s power,” Eddy Reynoso said. “We know what his power is, and we have to be wary of that. But I truly believe Canelo is a more complete fighter, a more intelligent fighter.”

Canelo is certainly a stronger, more complete fighter now than he was when he fought Mayweather. But Golovkin presented a completely different set of challenges.

Golovkin comes forward, attacking, attacking. He prefers non-stop engagement to more measured forms of combat. He’ll trade punches all night if his opponent is willing. In theory, that leaves him vulnerable to counterpunches. But his opponents to date have found it difficult to put that theory into practice.

“I don’t think we’ll have to lure Canelo into a firefight,” Abel Sanchez hypothesized. “I think that’s in his nature as a fighter. But Canelo doesn’t have Gennady’s power. You can teach punching technique. You can’t teach power. Gennady has power. Gennady will hit Canelo harder than Canelo has ever been hit.”

“Canelo says he dreams about a knockout victory every night,” a reporter told Golovkin just before the final pre-fight press conference.

“Yes,” Gennady responded. “But he is dreaming.”

Then Golovkin added what everyone knew: “Is not an easy fight for him. Is not an easy fight for me.”

Which fighter would dictate the pace of the fight and impose his fight plan on the other? There was no way to know. Golovkin had opened as a 3-2 betting favorite. By fight day, the odds had dropped to 7-5.

“My heart is with Canelo one hundred percent,” Eric Gomez said. “And I think he’ll win. But these are two great fighters, and this is boxing. Canelo can lose, and he can lose badly. Or he can win and look great.”

“If you put a gun to my head,” Larry Merchant offered, “I’d pick Golovkin. But if you put a gun to some other part of my body, I’d pick Canelo. That’s how close it is.”

“I am supporting Gennady because he is my friend,” Sergey Kovalev noted. “But any prediction is no good.”

For Golovkin, winning would be validation. For Canelo, winning would make him a legend.


Part Two of this report will be posted on tomorrow.

Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at His next book – “There Will Always Be Boxing” – will be published by the University of Arkansas Press this autumn. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism.

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Joanna Jedrzejczyk Eyeing Two More Title Defenses Before Moving up

By Fernando Quiles Jr. Joanna Jedrzejczyk isn’t prepared to leave the strawweight division until she’s made at least two more successful title defenses. On Nov. 4, Jedrzejczyk will defend her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight title against Rose Namajunas. The title bout is set to be featured on the main card of UFC 217. During a recent appearance on […]

Source:: MMA News

Parker takes aim at Joshua

By newsdesk

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is confident he can exploit the flaws in IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and defeat him. After being awarded a majority decision over WBO mandatory contender Hughie Fury by scores of 118-110, 118-110, 114-114 on Saturday night in Manchester, Parker discussed a possible unification showdown against A.J. “I feel I have better movement,” stated Parker. “Joshua has got good power and is a good champion, but if I fight him I can bring out the weaknesses!”

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