Posts Tagged ‘PPV’

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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.

 

 

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LAS VEGAS — It was dubbed a fight to crown the Pound 4 Pound best and it delivered. Andre Ward was hurt in the first round and dropped in the second, but mounted a gradual comeback behind a strong body attack to take a narrow 114-113 win on all scorecards.

Ward was stunned by a jab in the opening round and forced to hold. In the second, Kovalev floored the challenger with a perfect right hand. Kovalev continued his aggression behind the stiff jab and right hand, but Ward responded strong in the third by countering to the body and working the left hook.

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The remaining rounds were a seesaw of momentum on both sides. Ward got more moments for inside mauling where he slowed Kovalev with hard body shots. Although Kovalev was not able to replicate the clean shots landed in the opening rounds, he still manged to back Ward up with counter jabs and right hands.

The fight would come down to the 12th, where Kovalev landed the harder head shots, but Ward continued his solid work downstairs. Ultimately, the judges preferred Ward’s offense, and he won the round on all the judge’s scorecards.

The win gives Ward the WBA, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles and sets the stage for a lucrative rematch.


What a fight! On my scorecard, I had 115-112 for Kovalev, believing the knockdown pushed him ahead in a close bout. I had Kovalev taking rounds 1, 2 (w/ knockdown), 4, 6, 9, 10, and 12. Ward took rounds 3, 5, 7, 8, and 11. However, there were at least two close rounds on my card where I had some doubt before I tallied the final score. In Vegas, judges prefer aggression and for whatever it’s worth, Ward was the one who looked fresher and landed the most consistent punches on the second half — the body shots. And while the crowd should not influence judges, we know it does and there were wild cheers for Ward’s comeback likely played a part in the favorable scoring.

Sergey Kovalev

We’re now just days away from Sergey Kovalev defending his light-heavyweight titles against fellow undefeated P4P fighter Andre Ward. Much attention has been placed on their recent fights to get hints on how things will play out Saturday night. Although winning easily on the cards, Kovalev had difficulty over the summer in finishing off Isaac Chilemba. In this exclusive HBO discussion, Kovalev discusses how the challenges of the Chilemba bout have prepared him for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday.

Your last fight was in your native Russia. What did you learn about training outside the US and fighting Isaac Chilemba, a fighter you said has similarities with Andre Ward?

 I was very excited to be fighting in my home town and very happy because for a long time I didn’t fight there. The most important thing for me was that I fought there as a world champion and I defended my titles. There was little bit more pressure when I fought there because I had more responsibility, I had my family, my friends and everybody who knows me in Russia to take care of. I did not want to let everyone down, but I think I gave good fight and all fans enjoy it. Also, Chilemba is tough fighter, very good defense, so he is not a fighter that you can think will be easy. The fight against Chilemba was like a test for my fight with Andre Ward. We never know what Andre Ward will bring against me onNovember 19, he is good defense and is fast so I must be ready for anything. We are preparing for best possible Andre Ward in camp, so all I can do is train hard and prepare with my coach and my team. I am going in the ring with strong belief that I will get victory.

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Since knocking out Yuriorkis Gamboa and winning Fighter of the Year honors in 2014, Terence Crawford has been rightly viewed as one of most talented and versatile fighters in boxing. But the Omaha native and WBO junior welterweight titlist still has challenges ahead. On Saturday night, he attempts the unify by facing the other consensus top fighter in the division, WBC titlist Viktor Postol.

Aside from making deciding the best fighter in the division, the fight holds huge significance for Crawford as it marks his debut as a pay-per-view headliner. In a sport in dire need of a young, homegrown U.S. star, can Crawford fill the void?

When he’ll know he’s the best fighter in boxing.

Crawford: When I’m univerally labeled #1 Pound 4 Pound. I know I’ve arrived, but I’m not where I want to be yet. That’s why I won’t rate myself #1. The rating has to be a combination of both (fans and media). The people didn’t like Mayweather, but they had to respect he was Pound 4 Pound #1.

On facing Viktor Postol on pay-per-view.

Crawford: Well, it was a surprise. But at the same time, it wasn’t something I was worried about. My main concern is that I got the fight. I don’t feel like I cornered him. He’s a champion that wants to fight the best. I’ve been trying to do the same thing. We have the same promoter so we should have got the job done making this fight.

If unifying junior welterweight is still important over bigger matchups at welterweight.

Crawford: Not at all. I feel the winner of this fight will be labeled the best in the division, hands down. The fans, from New York to here in Vegas, have been receiving me very well. My team has been getting great feedback. As for this being my debut main event at the MGM Grand, it don’t matter where we fight — you still have to perform in that ring. We could fight in Mexico. What matters is what you do in the ring.

On being able to fight orthodox and southpaw against Viktor Postol’s style.

Crawford: It doesn’t matter that he’s taller — I have no preference on height. I got the ability to adjust to any fighter. I make my adjustments on the fly and am working on becoming one of greatest fighters of all time.

I don’t know if beating Postol will be enough to get me my second Fighter of the Year. It’s still a long year ahead and can’t worry about that until after I put the work in.

Who did you enjoy punching in the mouth the most?

Crawford: Ah man, Hank Lundy hands down! That was one guy that I really wanted to knock out. Yeah, I said something to him right after [the ref stopped it]. I’ll keep that between me and him — he knows what I said. He was real humble afterward and giving me my respect.

Buy the pay-per-view on Saturday night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing.

Crawford vs. Postol airs Saturday night July 23 on HBO pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET.


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Check out the opening press conference for the July 23 junior welterweight unification matchup between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol. The live coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET.

Khan

Are you willing to bet everything on yourself? Do you trust your own ability in the face of “all or nothing” odds? Many times, we’re told be friends, family members and society at large to “play it smart,” which many times translates as “be safe and conservative.” Don’t take unnecessary risks. Be deliberate and consistent with all your investments. Welterweight Amir Khan is doing the exact opposite this Saturday when he jumps two weight classes to face middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on HBO pay-per-view.

For years, the UK-born Khan has chased stardom in America while his calls for showdowns against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fell on deaf ears. Sometimes, the cold shoulder from those boxing superstars was due to Khan’s own shortcomings (a KO loss to Danny Garcia, a disputed upset defeat to Lamont Peterson). Other times, he was bypassed for easier stylistic foes.

The potential for a cruel poetic irony is already in place . Khan finally gets his headlining pay-per-view fight in Vegas — only to get washed by a younger, bigger and stronger foe with his own goals of boxing supremacy. In this exclusive discussion with AllHipHop.com, Khan explains why his boxing dream will have a happy ending.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: First off, what was your training regimen to get your body big enough to compete at middleweight?
Amir Khan: I had to switch it up and focused more on strength. The way we switched it was a lot of explosive, lightweight training first and then moved to heavy and mixed them up. I did a lot of roadwork to make sure my fitness would still be high with the extra weight. We did lots of circuit training so it’ll be strength mixed with endurance.
The diet was the more important thing. What I wanted to do was not really put weight on, but hold my weight and still be strong. I did high protein with good carbs.

BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: Obviously, bigger sparring partners were needed to prepare. Who gave you your best work?
Khan: I had a sparring partner ranked #10 at middleweight in Michel Soro. [Writer’s Note: Soro holds a 2015 KO win over Glen Tapia, who faces David Lemieux in Saturday’s pay-per-view co-feature.] He was also training for a fight and we did a lot of good work. I stuck with heavier guys to get the feel of bigger guys hitting me back and getting that pressure put on me. I wanted to get used to being hit by middleweights. I coped with it a lot more better now than what I did at the start. Everything is coming together at the right time.

BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: Battling bigger men constantly will wear you out. Was there any concern about injuries being that you were being constantly pushed against guys outside your natural weight class?
Khan: Y’know what, I felt strong and I like to push myself that way. I ever had that issue but I did feel the weight difference. But I didn’t affect me. I knew on fight night I needed all that adversity. The harder I made it in the gym, the easier the fight would be.

 

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BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: The big knock on Canelo continues to be his stamina. Have you seen any improvement in that area?
Khan: Looking at that fight against Mayweather, I think he’s gotten stronger and better. He’s a tough guy and a legit middleweight. I have to be on my A-game. I’m don’t see him getting tired after 2-3 rounds. Normally you see him slowing down in the second half of fights, but I expect him to be strong throughout and always dangerous with his punches. I’m not expecting him to fight off the back foot.

BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: This fight has caused a lot of debate about how much control the “A-side” fighter should have in dictating terms, specifically when referring to the winner here facing mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin. If you win, you’re now in that supposed “A-side” driver’s seat. Would you continue fighting in Vegas, or make guys come to the UK to face you?
Khan: Y’know, I love Vegas and fighting there has been my dream. The biggest fighters fight there. When you compete there, you become a global star. My goal is to be a global fighter.

BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: Let me give you the chance to answer your critics. When you were chasing Mayweather and Pacquiao, people said you’re arrogant and sometimes delusional…
Khan: Yeah, I hear that and I think it’s because people don’t know me. I’ve been on the big stages for a long time and I think people expect me to be arrogant because I’ve achieved so much. But once they meet me a lot of people say, “Wow, I never expected you to be so down to earth.”

I’m sure I’m one of the most down to earth fighters in boxing. I’m not one of those fighters. I respect everyone.

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BeatsBoxingMayehm.com: It has been some years since you’ve KO’d anyone. What is that and do you feel that’s a legit criticism considering you’re about to face a bigger man?
Khan: The reason for that is before with my style I’d look for it and make myself more vulnerable to get caught. Now [under Virgil Hunter], sometimes I get too comfortable and enjoy going through the 12 rounds. I’m learning new things in there. I’m not looking for the KO now and that’s why I never get it. I know going for the KO is when I’ve made mistakes. I learn more winning fights comfortably than rushing in there and swinging for the fences.

I choose to not look for the KO.

BeatsBoxingMayhem.com: Oscar has lauded this fight because of its diversity in having a Catholic in Canelo facing you, a Muslim. What influence has Islam had on your approach to boxing?
Khan: For Ramadan I like to get that time off, not train, spend time with families and my other religious activities. I still keep up my training so not to fall off. It’s a challenge to maintain my daily prayers and training. But I think following Islam has made me a tougher and stronger person.

Canelo vs. Khan airs live Saturday May 7 on HBO pay-per-view. The card begins at 9 p.m. ET.

Ismael AbduSalaam is the founder of the Hip-Hop/sports site Beats, Boxing & Mayhem, and the Knicks news site NYKLoyalist.com. He is a contributing writer for AllHipHop.com, BadCulture.net, and an on-air personality for Bad Culture Radio. The New Jersey native is also a member of the BWAA (Boxing Writers Association of America). Now residing in Atlanta, he lives for the Sweet Science and by the mantra “beats, rhymes and life.” He can be reached at beatsboxingmayhem@gmail.com.

 

David  Lemieux and Hassan N'Dam

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

 

Former middleweight titlist David Lemiuex will make another attempt to rebound from his Gennady Golovkin defeat when he faces Glen Tapia on the May 7 undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan.

Billed as the co main event, Lemieux is getting a quick turnaround opportunity after failing to make weight against James De La Rosa two weeks ago. Lemiuex missed the contracted 163 pound limit by nearly three pounds, coming in at 165.8. The fight was cancelled after the camps could not reach an agreement on a new catchweight.

Lemieux, who won the IBF middleweight title last June in a Fight of the Year candidate against Hassan N’Dam, lost the strap last October in a one-sided TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin. May 7 will mark his first in-ring appearance since that fight.

“David is motivated, now more than ever, to reconquer his status as a world champion and winning this fight will get him closer to his goal,” explained Lemieux’s manager Camille Estephan. “I am confident David will put on a fight to remember on May 7.”

Glen Tapia also finds himself on the comeback trail. Before his hometown fans at Newark’s Prudential Center, Tapia’s three-fight win streak was snapped last May via an upset, fourth round TKO to Michel Soro. Having complained of weight problems after that fight, Tapia will make his middleweight debut against Lemieux.

“This is a great opportunity for Glen, he knows he has to be at his best against a warrior like Lemeuix,” said Pat Lynch, Tapia’s manager. “I know he is up for the challenge and will give everyone May 7a great fight to remember.”

The card is rounded out by veteran Mauricio Herrera taking on undefeated Frankie Gomez, and Curtis Stevens facing undefeated Patrick Teixeira.