CARDIFF, WALES — Last-minute substitution Carlos Takam proved no match for unified WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who used his massive size to dominate the inside fighting and score a 10th round stoppage at the Principality Arena.

Takam had a sound strategy of working off the backfoot and seeking to take the fight into the late rounds. Early on, Joshua struggled with cutting off the ring and allowed Takam to wing overhand right counters. Takam also made the champion uncomfortable in the second by leading head first and breaking Joshua’s nose with an unintentional butt.

But at 6’6 and 254 pounds, Joshua’s size began to take its toll. The challenger was lacerated above his right eye by a short left hook. Getting inside was supposed to be Takam’s best chance, but it became a no man’s land where Joshua got off first with right uppercuts and hooks that sent the challenger reeling backwards. Takam went down off such a barrage in the fourth and was later cut above his left eye.

The Frenchman remained competitive and started having limited success as Joshua sought to pace himself. Takam arguably won the seventh and ninth rounds on activity as his overhand right counters forced Joshua to briefly give ground and hold.

In the tenth, Joshua went on the offensive with a right uppercut. A stunned Takam retreated to the ropes while taking several unanswered punches, prompting the referee to quickly jump in amid protests from the challenger.

The win improves Joshua’s record to 20-0 (20 KOs). According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the three targeted bouts for 2018 are WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, WBO title-holder Joseph Parker, and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.


Considering Takam was a last-minute replacement on less than two weeks notice, I won’t be too critical of Joshua’s performance from a technical standpoint. However, his weight and stamina are a growing concern. 254 pounds is a career-high for him and it showed which his decreased punch output over the second half of the fight. The fight was even being fought at a torrid pace. I don’t even expect Joshua to be a high-volume guy due to his muscle mass, but getting in the 245 range would do wonders for his fluidity and deter some of the arm-weariness we see at times.

As for the future, the post-fight presser showed that Wilder likely isn’t next on the cards. Between Hearn and trainer Rob McCracken, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to make the fight, and high importance is placed on keeping all the belts and fulfilling mandatories. Also, it isn’t like Wilder has any leverage — the American slugger won’t even sell-out his November 4 fight in Brooklyn against Bermane Stiverne, while Joshua-Takam just set an closed arena attendance record with 78,000. Joshua has zero reason to travel and can pretty much put Wilder on ice much like Canelo did GGG for a full year.

Expect Parker and Fury (should he return) to get looked at first before Wilder.


[Video] Rapsody ft. Lance Skiiwalker – “Power”

Posted: October 28, 2017 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Music News
Tags: , , ,

“The power of the spirit makes the old heads holler.” Rapsody and Lance Skiiwalker muse on the many levels of strength in these new visuals for “Power.” Unfortunately, Kendrick couldn’t make the video so his part was cut. However, you should still be satisfied as the video jump for beautiful images of power (children growing, women celebrating each other, man working out/sparring) to some that are more destructive (guns, alcohol self-medication etc.). Rapsody’s excellent Laila’s Wisdom album is available now.


After debuting “MotorSport” live at Powerhouse’s NYC last night, the Migos have officially begun their Culture II rollout by releasing the full song this afternoon.

Cardi B and Nicki Minaj on the same track should quiet the rumors of beef, but that doesn’t mean the two rap queens can’t be competitive. You can tell both wanted to rise to the occasion and not be the weak link of the collaboration. Cardi’s up first and makes it a point to dismiss the tension rumors.

Same hoes that were sending shots

They reaching out like their back’s itching

What would I hop in some beef

When I can just hop in the Porshe

You heard she gon’ do what from who

That’s not a reliable source

But the show-stealer is Nicki Minaj. Pressure makes diamonds, and it seems Nicki is upping her game as the stakes are high with her next album and. She bobs and weaves through multiple flows while reminding everyone who still wears the crown. And it’s done so well that even her 4534634643654th reference to someone being her “son” is easily forgiven.

Attention, I’ma need you to face front

You don’t want smoke

This a laced blunt

Rap’s Jackie Chan

We ain’t pulling them fake stunts

My crown won’t fit

On your bum ass lace fronts

The verses from Quavo and Takeoff are standard Migos fare and pretty much afterthoughts. Considering how much their flow has permiated the mainstream, let’s hope they try to swtich up the formula a bit for this new project. At press time, there’s no release date for Culture II.


Watch the live stream for the final press conference for Anthony Joshua’s fourth title defense against challenger Carlos Takam.  The bout takes place on Showtime on Saturday October 28 at 5 p.m. ET.


Day three of the Atlanta Horror Festival provided the deepest block of short films with four separate categories (“Last Woman Standing,” “Die Laughing,” “Go To Hell” and Biohazard”). As a result, there was lots of fun gore to unpack over the 7 plus hours of mayhem.



To date, the ratio hasn’t been good regarding survivors in these short films. That didn’t exactly change in this category, but we did get an abundance of badass women who wouldn’t go down easily.

“Cabin 11” (Brad Rego) featured a woman determined to break an ancient curse. When she gets trapped in a cabin surrounded by eye-glowing monsters, she relies only on her wits and an ax to get out alive. The director was in attendance and disclosed an even cooler concept had his budget been bigger — the main character would have been fighting with one arm.

Women have unique challenges in this patriarchal world, so it’s only right there were films to smartly built on this reality. “Life Saver” (Pierre Amstutz Roch) played with the idea of two women’s disgust at a man’s unwanted sexual advances, but failing to see his warnings about a much more dangerous threat — interloper in the back of their truck.

“Others Like Me,” from Italy’s Eugenio Villani, tackles the mental anguish of not being able to have children. We discover the main character can conceive, but it’s her vengeful, barren doctor who seeks to sterlize her.


Red-Handed” (Tony Tilse) deals with the all-too familiar and frustrating reality of stalking. Women are repeatedly told there’s little the police can do until the perpetrator actually harms them. Our protagonist therefore makes the horrific decision to slit her own throat to ensare her attacker “red-handed.”

The comedy was provided by “Blood Sisters” (Caitlin Koller & Lachlan Smith), which focuses how a girls night can go awry…when you mix in amateur witchcraft. Now trapped by a spell that keeps the house locked and their seance knife wounds continously bleeding, the girls must work together to reverse the spell and escape. The two actresses had great chemistry in creating the bickering and banter unique to life-long friends.


The most disturbing from psychological standpoint was Chris Anthony Hamilton’s “Something Bigger.” The setting is simple enough: two women talking at home in the middle of the day. But there is an unspeakable terror and dread building between them. One speaks vaguely about the hopelessness of her life and how she feels the worst is yet to come, while the other woman looks on in abject fear. What is coming is never fully explained, but the figure shrouded in black that enters the room let’s us know  it’s nothing good.



Even if you’re not big on horror comedy, you couldn’t help but laugh at some of these films. My favorite from this block was “Lunch Ladies” (J.M. Logan), which tells the tale of two Johnny Deep-obsessed cafeteria ladies trying to keep their jobs and save up enough money to meet their beloved idol. Turns out, the secret recipe the ladies needed was human flesh (provided by the school’s stuck-up cheerleader). The ladies (Donna Pieroni, Mary Manofsky) were hilarious and played off each other perfectly.


“Pizza Face” provides some social commentary on our vanity obsession via apps like Instagram and Snapchat. It wasn’t lost on me that the terror began once our stuck up protagonist “synced” the app with all her devices. She was turned into a pizza, forced to live in seculsion, and eventually devoured herself. #DontSyncToYourProfile


Matt Barrett’s “Croak” follows a frog-torturing slacker who gets his comeuppance when the animals mutate to human-size beasts. The frog costumes were very impressive considering they were made from mattress foam. The way it moved and attacked reminded me somewhat of Rae Dawn Chong’s gargoyle from Tales From the Darkside. Loved the 80s-style soundtrack, too.


What happens when you mix Metaloaclypse and Phantasm? You get Chris McInroy’s “Death Metal.” The story revolves around a supbar musician who receives a guitar infused with the power of Satan.  What ensues is a killer (and hilarious) guitar solo.



This block was from top to bottom the strongest collection. “Secretions” (Goran Spoljaric) put a twist on human trafficking by having the captor be a mutant sprays deadly toxins from her body. This would be the main tool for her escape. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t possess a mutant healing factor and had to make her getaway sans a foot.

“Studded Nightmare” (Jean-Claude Leblanc) was another standout that featured the story of a possessed chair (a man committed suicide in it). Anyone who sits there is suddenly overcome with the urge to kill themselves. The death images were striking and build to a finale which sees one of the main characters suspended mid-air while slicing her flesh with scissors.


For the most part, the motivation of movie monsters is to kill and devour victims. What happens when the monster simply wants breast milk? Yes, you heard right. In “Latched” (Justin Harding, Rob Brunner), a dead monster is mistakenly revived by a woman’s breast milk. Now the mother must save her young son from a monster that wants to replace him. There’s some genuinely creepy moments due to the monster’s appearance, but the absurdity of a creature feining for breast milk makes it an overall fun theme.


“The Last of Her” will be the one that stays with you for some time. Inspired by experiences with his own grandmother, creator Brian Golding’s story is about a woman who suddenly loses track of her child. From there, we’re taken on a journey that speaks to the tragedy of mental illness as seen from the victim’s lenses. Well-made with a harrowing ending scene.



Consider this block the ones for films that are ready to be adapted for the big screen. The 33-minute “Bloodyback” (Lars Damoiseaux) tells the story of an English and French soldier who must put aside their differences on the battlefield once a zombie plague breaks out. The makeup was great and the danger heightend since these are the “running” undead. With big studio backing this good be a real gem.


Ever wonder if a mime can outwit flesh-eating zombies? That’s the premise of “Still” (Carl Timms), where a gold-painted mime is trying to “wait out” a zombie hord while fighting off nature calling and cramping.


My final two picks are “Tethered” (Daniel Robinette) and “Eat Your Heart Out” (Adam Gambrel). “Tethered” follows a blind boy abandoned in the woods except for a final recording from his mother. It instructs him on how to survive and emphasizes to not venture beyond the length of rope he has tied around his waist. Of course, strange sounds gets the best of his curiosity and he goes beyond the rope to disasterous results.

“Eat Your Heart Out” initially comes off as an comedy, but you begin to feel a deeper meaning as the caretaker (Kayla Gibson) talks more about her guilt over letting her lover turn. You start to realize this preverted “normalcy” she’s set up is nothing more than a smoke screen to prevent letting the past go. And in the end, it proves to be her undoing.




Ruin Me: Alexandra and her boyfriend have signed up for Slasher Sleepout, an event that specializes in mixing the scares of a camping trip, escape room and haunted house. But what happens when the scares become real and people start dying? And Alexandra is facing her own internal demons from drug abuse.

Unwittingly, I was sitting behind the lead actress Marcienne Dwyer, who later explained how she relished playing such a layered and complicated character. The depth comes from her trying to figure out what’s real, who to trust and how to make it out alive. If enjoyed movies like The Game and April Fool’s Day, this one is right up your alley with a twist (but believable) ending. The film releases on October 26.


It wouldn’t be complete year in Hip-Hop without a high-profile jumping. The latest spectacle came yesterday courtesy of A Boogie and PNB Rock, who paid Lil B a physical receipt yesterday at the Rolling Loud Festival for a preceived Twitter slight. Over the years, Lil B has garnered a lot of good will beyond the lyrical troll content that ignited his popularity and birthed an entire subgenre of adherents. His slang and brand has become a mainstream staple on platforms like ESPN, and rececently he’s even taken up the mantle of defending legends like Nas from slander. All that has mainfested with almost universal condemnation for the actions of A Boogie and PNB Rock, who for all intents and purposes are being viewed like Brutus and Cassius after shanking Caesar.


The thing is, this sudden condemnation of Boogie and PNB is just the latest example of the rotating goal posts that makes up what passes as Code of Ethics in Hip-Hop culture. There ia an unwritten rule against criticizing a fellow artist publically. Because there is so much money invested in mainstream artists, it can be damaging for an established artist to be critical, even with well-meaning intentions. It’s come to be framed as “hating,” especially when it concerns a veterab being critical of younger musicians. Generally, it’s expected that if you don’t have anything positive to say, keep your mouth shut or give empty praise along the lines of “so and so is doing his thing” or “he’s bringing a different sound to the game.”

We have a few high-level examples of how it can go left. The Nas-Cam’Ron beef started back in 2002 because Nas was bold enough to say on the radio that Cam’s breakout Come Home With Me album was “trash.” The entire quote goes “I like Cam, he’s a good lyricist, but the album is wack!” And from that statement we had a beef that lasted for years.

That is tame compared to these next examples. Let’s take E-40 and Biggie. Most know the main points of this confrontation. A magazine asked Biggie to grade emcees based on his personal perference. There must have been some good weed and liquor during that interview because Big was very candid about everyone (basically told KRS to GTFOH with that Teacher of Hip-Hop moniker). But 40 got the worst being ranked zero (“I don’t fuck with duke at all.”). Instead of handling it on wax like he did AZ and Rasheed Wallace (see “Record Haters“), 40 addressed it during a Biggie show in the Bay.

Biggie and his entourage were surrounded after the show by a crew of Oakland killers. Depending on who you believe, this was all set up by 40 or just local street dudes taking it upon themselves to defend 40’s rep. Peace was made on the phone, and Biggie was escorted to out of Oakland safely.

What happens when you don’t get a pass for a loose tongue? Look no further than Joe Budden’s brief feud with the Wu-Tang Clan. All that started from Budden taking umbrage with a Vibe emcee poll that ranked Method Man over him. Budden maintained that he had all the respect in the world for Meth, but that he’d destroy him on the mic (“I will chop that man’s head off his shoulders.”). Well, the Wu had other ideas. Inspectah Deck made a diss record, but Raekwon and a few goons took it further by assaulting Budden in his Rock the Bells dressing room.

We not the Britney Spears types. We’re not the Justin Timberlakes. We will whoop your fucking ass. You got niggas coming fresh out of jail looking for record deals. These are sociopathic muthafuckas.Method Man 

I could go on and on (Slowbucks vs. 50, G Unit jumping Gunplay, Dogg Pound’s “NY NY” video set being shot up, etc.), but let’s get back to Lil B. Because he’s become a fan favorite, you’re granted a certain immunity from the public against “lesser” artists. You could be dead wrong, but the general public will side with you because you’re the more known commodity. Because of his brand (the Lil B curse etc.), Lil B believed he reached a certain point where he could talk freely about anyone, even to the point of calling an artist like A Boogie, who’s just reaching his highest mainstream recognition, a knock-off of a female one-hit wonder. See below tweet:

Lil B made the cardinal mistake that many emcees have made, and some fatally — Before you publically criticize or attack someone, make sure they’re playing by the same rules you are. Like Budden, you might open your mouth thinking you’re setting up a lyircal battle, and instead end up with a swollen eye (or worse). Not everyone is here to go back and forth on records in the time-honored battle tradition. A few would rather put hands on you as Lil B find out in his hometown of all places.

As much as we love Lil B, he isn’t exempt from an ass-whooping for running his mouth. We all love to say “Keep That Same Energy” when it’s not applied to one of our favs. If you found it funny when Gunplay was getting rag-dolled by G-Unit, Tru Life punching Cam, or understood why E-40 ambushed Biggie, then save the caping narrative for Lil B. Chivalry doesn’t exist in the streets. Choose your words and actions accordingly.



Photo Credit: Matt Heasley/ Golden Boy Promotions

VERONA, NY — Puerto Rico has a new world champion and a lineal one at that. Alberto Machado looked overmatched and outgunned before landing an eraser left hook to put down favorite Jezreel Corrales at the Turning Stone Casino.

Machado, who had never gone ten rounds nor faced a fighter of Corrales’ pedigree, struggled with his opponent’s explosiveness and wild attacks. But a glimmer of hope could be seen early on — Machado occasionally time a counter hook that would stop Corrales in his tracks.

It would be Machado who  first tasted the canvas in the fifth off a haymaker southpaw left. Machado weathered the storm and hurt Corrales badly with a short hook in the sixth. Corrales would hold on for the rest of the round, but the larger Machado extracted a price for this tactic by placing a forearm in Corrales’ throat every time.

After a tit for tat seventh with hard-fought but sloppy exchanges, Machado landed a short left hook that Corrales did not see coming. The champion slumped to the canvas and barely beat the count on unsteady legs. The referee ruled him unfit to canvas despite the protests.

After Corrales failed to make weight for this bout, I started to feel like maybe his Uchiyama victories were simply the result of being in the right place and at the right time against a declining champion. Since then he’s looked nothing like the guy some expected to be a force at super featherweight. He was floored twice by journeyman Robinson Castellanos and barely escaped with a technical decision win. Tonight, we was even more so reckless with his defense and attacks against Machado and it cost him dearly.

Corrales was vocal about wanting a rematch, but I don’t see how it’s feasible if he can’t make 130 safely. Plus, this bout wasn’t exactly eye-pleasing. The late exchanges and drama don’t make up for a first half mostly filled with awkward cliching and clumsy punching.





DEMETRIUS ANDRADE UD12 ALANTEZ FOX: Andrade’s career-reboot continued last night with a lopsided unanimous decision. Fox was severly outclassed, landing less than 60 punches over the entire fight. While not an exciting bout, it was one that showed why most observers feel Andrade has untapped potential: length, punch accuracy and an excellent jab from the southpaw stance. Outside of a questionable knockdown, Andrade dominated. This was the first time he’s fought twice in a calendar year since 2013, so to state he needs to keep active is an understatement. With HBO’s backing, I’m expecting Andrade to be in the mix for bouts against the 160 elite by this time next year.


RYAN BURNETT UD12 ZHANAT ZHAKIYANOV: This was a good fight to introduce U.S. fans to Ryan Burnett. The 25-year-old from Belfast, Ireland had a tough out against a bull of a fighter in Zhakiyanov, but the boxed well and battled in the trenches when necesssary. The scores rewarded his varied attack and skill (119-109, 118-110, 116-112). Now he’s a unified champion with the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles. None of the top fighters in the division are locked up by the PBC or Showtime, so this is division, much like super flyweight, that HBO can showcase exclusively.