Archive for the ‘Fight News’ Category

02-15-17 Keith Thurman

(photo by Douglas DeFelice/Prime 360 Photography)

Photo Credit: Prime 360 Photography

We’re just over two weeks away from the big welterweight showdown between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. Thurman, who’s putting the finishing touches on his training camp in St. Petersburg, Florida, took time to disclose his thoughts on the matchup and how his last win against Shawn Porter lifted his game.

KEITH THURMAN

At the end of the day, it’s just another fight. My job has not changed since I was seven years old. This is the sport that I love. The name of the game to hit and not get hit, but you know I’m looking to inflict some damage as well.

I know Danny is confident coming into this fight. He’s trying to challenge me and hurt me. I have an ‘0’ and I’m not ready to let it go. If you think you can beat me, beat me. It’s going down on March 4.

02-15-17 Keith Thurman

(photo by Douglas DeFelice/Prime 360 Photography)

You can expect a world class fight. We’re both great champions with impressive skills. We’re going to be pushing each other and testing each other. I see myself as the smarter fighter. I’ve shown that I can adjust in the middle of a fight. With the experience that I have, I go in there with an objective I’m trying to achieve. If it’s not happening, then I have to use something else.

Ultimately, my heart desires victory at this stage and at this level. I’m looking to do what I do best. Which is be a smart fighter, look for the openings and if I can cause some damage, hopefully I can capitalize on that.

I showed against Shawn Porter that when you fully challenge me and make me gut it out, I’m there. I’m a champion and this champion doesn’t lie down for anybody. That fight was a tremendous fight and we showed that we understand each other as fighters.

I thought to myself after eight rounds against Porter, ‘this fight is tied.’ Nothing that happened in the first eight rounds mattered. The fight was going to be decided in four rounds, just like the amateurs. I had to do what Ben Getty always said, ‘smart fighters win and dumb fighters lose.’

I just want to keep moving myself up and establishing my legacy. I want to distinguish myself from the other welterweights. The winner of this fight will get the spotlight over everyone else in the division. 

02-15-17 Keith Thurman

(photo by Douglas DeFelice/Prime 360 Photography)

I’m doing this for my career, for my legacy and for the fans. Without the fans, there’s no legacy. I’ve been boxing for 21 years of my life and I look forward to having some more great years. I’m proud to be living my dream.

To get two tremendous fights back-to-back is evidence that I’m on the right track and you could say we’re gaining more power in the sport. I’m getting what I want out of the sport, which are big fights like this.

This is something that the fans are excited about and I’m truly looking forward to this fight. I just want to keep living my dreams and working to become the best fighter in the world. 
Establishing a unification of a weight class is my ultimate goal in the sport of boxing. That’s what we’re working for.
02-15-17 Keith Thurman

(photo by Douglas DeFelice/Prime 360 Photography)

DAN BIRMINGHAM, THURMAN’S TRAINER

The preparation has been fantastic. Keith has been on both. His long runs, short runs, sprinting, listening to everything in the gym not to mention great sparring. You are going to see a great performance.

This is a dream come true for me. I never dreamed of this when I was Youngstown, OH before I came to Florida. When I came here there were guys like Jeff Lacy and Winky Wright that came into my gym who I’ve been fortunate enough to work with. Then came Ben Getty and Keith Thurman.

I owe most of this to Ben Getty. I want him to get a lot of the recognition. He really deserves it. I am just trying to continue what he started.

Fans are going to see a great performance. They are going to see a well-conditioned, well-trained Keith Thurman. He is very focused on getting rid of Garcia and moving up in the ranks.

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Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions

WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder met with the media today in NYC to promote his February 25 title defense against undefeated prospect Gerald Washington. Wilder spoke on a myriad of topics that included Washington’s chances, last year’s dominant KO wins over Artur Szpilka and Chris Arreola, and the desire for a big unification matchup before year’s end.

Wilder vs. Washington airs live February 25 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
There are a lot of heavyweights who say they want me, but at the end of the day, do they really want this? Everybody knows that Deontay Wilder comes with power.
I fight for the people, that’s what I’m all about. I like to give the fans a great fight at a reasonable price. Each fight I’m in I’m always exciting and well-prepared. I come to give people what they want to see when they see a heavyweight, and that’s a knockout.
Gerald Washington is a big guy I’ve seen fight a few times. I don’t think he’s ready to fight me, but he thinks he is. We’ll find out on February 25. I chose him because he’s always been respectful while always wanting the opportunity. He’s going to come ready to fight.
My preparation stays the same, even with the opponent change. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to change a lot after an opponent dropped out, but Gerald being as good as he is and similar to Wawrzyk makes it easier. They have different styles but we’ll work on how to break him down.
When I knocked out Artur Szpilka, I thought he was dead for a few seconds. That’s just from natural, Alabama country power.
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I’m still training while I’m here in New York. I have Mark Breland here with me helping me get a lot of good work in. I’m staying focused. When February 25 comes, I’ll be ready.
I definitely feel 100 percent, but we’ll see what it’s going to feel like in the ring when I apply this force to a human skull. When I’m in the gym doing work, I feel great.
I never really let my hand properly heal until this injury, because the bicep takes longer to heal than the hand. The time gave me an opportunity to really improve my left hand. I feel more polished now than I’ve ever been.
You have to have patience in this sport. The big fights that people want to see will be coming. I’m not scared of anyone and I won’t run for anyone. My team is on the same page and we’re going to keep working together and moving forward.
It’s all about adjusting. Each and every time I go through something inside or outside of the ring, it just makes me better and better.
Chris Arreola’s style was perfect for mine. Even with the injuries that I was suffering, I could still get the job done. I also had to fight through the injuries with Stiverne, because I hurt my hand in the third round of that fight. Being able to have these experiences has made my confidence even higher.

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Roc Nation Sports announced moments ago that James Kirkland has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled February 25 pay-per-view matchup against Miguel Cotto due to injury.

Kirkland reportedly suffered a fractured nose in training. The entire card, which also featured junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux against Moses Flores in the co-main event, has been called off. How much consideration was given to finding a replacement opponent was not disclosed.

The cancellation prolongs the ring inactivity of both main eventers. Cotto last fought in November 2015, losing a competitive 12-round decision to Canelo Alvarez. Kirkland’s last bout was a one-sided, third-round knockout to Alvarez in May 2015.

Roc Nation has promised to refund all tickets purchased for the event.


I hate to speculate, but did anyone else immediately think of Ann Wolfe’s medieval training methods? Sure, we’ve seen fights get canceled from freak injuries like cuts in sparring, but it’s hard not to think Wolfe’s brutal sparring sessions on a shopworn fighter like Kirkland didn’t heighten the possibility of injury. See below from several years ago:

Yes, Kirkland battered him but that kind of sadistic “training” likely had him taking his fair share of lumps this time around, especially coming off a year-plus layoff. Hell, who says Wolfe didn’t do it herself?

We’ll see if Kirkland’s camp decides to elaborate on exactly how the injury occurred.

 

 

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz had no issues making weight this afternoon for their much-anticipated rematch Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

Both fighters weighed in below the featherweight limit at 125.

PREDICTION: At the lower weights, Santa Cruz was able to wear guys down and eventually overwhelm them with his size, punch output and pressure. But at 126, the size advantage isn’t as pronounced, allowing a skilled pugilist like Frampton to keep Santa Cruz at bay with sharp counters. Santa Cruz doesn’t have the technique to outbox Frampton nor can he bulldoze him without getting rocked (like early in the first bout).

In other words, there isn’t much room for improvement I can see from Santa Cruz. Unless Frampton has regressed (not likely), I expect him to get another clear decision.

Dejan Zlaticanin and Mikey Garcia

GARCIA: 134.5

ZLATICANIN: 134.5

PREDICTION: A lot of people are worried for Garcia and with good reason. Zlaticanin is a southpaw pressure fighter that excels in punishing inside work. His right hand has serious pop but it’s usually the looping left hook that puts guys down. In an interview I’ll be posting tomorrow, Garcia explained he’s worked extensively on his right-hand counters. Short, compact punches (particularly the uppercut), will do the most damage. However, it remains to be seen how effective Garcia’s power will be against a full-fledged lightweight. After getting rocked and put in some trouble early on, I see Garcia adjusting to Zlaticanin’s rhythm and outboxing him to a tough unanimous decision.

 

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

BENAVIDEZ: 166

MAMADJANOV: 167

Opening the card is the undefeated David Benavidez taking on Sherali Mamadjanov in a super middleweight bout.

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

 

 

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Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

INDIO, CA — HBO Boxing After Dark’s first card of 2017 is set for tomorrow night as all the fighters were on target for today’s weigh-in.

Former WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura tipped the scales at 129.8, his lowest since weighing 129.5 in a 2013 decision win over Sergio Thompson. His opponent, Miguel Roman, came in at 129.2. Tomorrow’s fight will be Miura’s first U.S. appearance since losing by ninth round knockout to Francisco Vargas in 2015’s Fight of the Year.

Vargas, who main events the card, weighed in at 129.6. The challenger for his WBC super featherweight crown, Miguel Berchelt, came in at 129.8

Saturday night’s card airs live on HBO at 10 p.m. ET.

 

Gamboa

After a year of inactivity and promoter issues, Yuriorkis Gamboa has found a home. The former featherweight title-holder has signed a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions which begins on March 11 with a fight against Rene Alvarado.

The Alvarado fight will be on the undercard David Lemieux vs. Curtis Stevens, airing live on HBO from Verona’s Turning Stone Resort Casino.

“I am looking forward to winning yet another world title, and I know Golden Boy Promotions is the perfect place to help guide me,” Gamboa said in a statement. “Though I have recently had some long stretches of inactivity, that stops today, and I will take on anyone, anytime, to achieve my goal of recapturing a championship belt.”

Since suffering a ninth round stoppage to Terence Crawford in June 2014, Gamboa’s career has stalled under bizarre circumstances. He spent the last two years in court trying to void a contract with 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions. Last month, a comeback fight in France was canceled after his opponent, Malcolm Klassen, was arrested in a drug raid. Gamboa’s trainer, Ismael Salas, also bailed on his fighter when he learned Gamboa had been training with Pedro Diaz. On New Year’s Day, a video surfaced of Gamboa knocking out an unidentified man during a gym brawl.

Despite this baggage, Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya believes Gamboa can easily return to the elite level.

“When he is on his game, there are few better than Gamboa in the 126, 130, or 135 weight classes,” said De La Hoya. “We are going to get him in the ring in a quality match as soon as possible, and then work with him to start his path back to championship glory.”

The March 11 contest will be Gamboa’s first bout since scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Hylon Williams Jr. in December 2015.

 

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Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

BROOKLYN — Today’s opening press conference for the welterweight showdown between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia devolved into a profanity-laden argument between Thurman and Garcia’s father/trainer Angel Garcia.

Angel took exception to Thurman promising to knock off his son. Considering this was the presser where the fight was confirmed for CBS with TV officials present, it wasn’t the best look for potential sponsors.

The fight airs on CBS March 4 at 9 p.m. ET.