Posts Tagged ‘rematch’


LAS VEGAS — Leo Santa Cruz knew he couldn’t beat Carl Frampton by brawling, so he did what all great fighters do by adjusting his game plan. The pressure fighter morphed to a boxer-puncher to take a majority decision and regain the WBA featherweight title.

From round one, the feel of the fight had a pronounced difference from their first encounter last July. The taller Santa Cruz worked behind his jab and forced Frampton to become the aggressor and takes risks to get inside. When Frampton succeeded, the challenger took a step back and scored with short flurries inside, forcing Frampton back outside to reset.


This pattern continued until the sixth round when Frampton began to wear down Santa Cruz with hard body shots and mauling. The punishment and pace slowed Santa Cruz’s jab, giving Frampton more opportunities to close the scoring gap in the seventh and eighth stanzas.

In the ninth, Santa Cruz’s jab and high activity returned. Frampton couldn’t equal the challenger’s punch output, and found himself being out-landed 3-1 in exchanges.

Despite the masterful game plan, Frampton’s success in the mid rounds and desperation push in the 12th made for close scorecards. Judge Burt Clements had it a draw, 114-114. He was overruled by Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman, who both had it 115-113 for Santa Cruz.

The most impressive moment came afterward from Santa Cruz, who stated in his post-fight interview that he wants another fight to make a trilogy. You heard that right. No mention of needing to talk with his manager or promoter. Santa Cruz lauded Frampton for giving him a rematch, and feel he’s obligated to return the favor.

I’m sure not a single boxing fan will have an objection.


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


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



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

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov




CARSON, CA — Five years is a long time to carry regret. Tonight, Andre Berto used a right uppercut to knock out Victor Ortiz and exorcise the demons from their 2011 Fight of the Year. Was this fight anywhere near their first encounter in terms of action and drama? Absolutely not. But fans were treated to high tension, multiple knockdowns and a definitive ending.

ORTIZ’S EARLY POISE: For most of the bout, Victor Ortiz opted to be the boxer and counter-puncher. The smaller Berto struggled to establish range and found most of his shots falling short. Ortiz was able to land his southpaw straight left and used it to score a flash knockdown in the second.

THE CONFIDENCE SWING: Before the landing that crushing right uppercut, Berto looked jittery. His offense was sputtering, and his eyes showed were that of a fighter not prepared to chase after Ortiz. When he got the knockdown, his war yell announced he was back in the fight. To his credit, Berto seemed to remember the knockdowns traded in the first bout and didn’t get too wild. Berto trapped Ortiz on the ropes and downed him quickly with power shots.

As with every Ortiz fight, the question is his heart. In a replay of the Collazo fight, Ortiz had a “deer in headlights” look after both knockdowns. He gave referee Jack Reiss no choice but to call it off when he failed to respond to questions about wanting to continue.

ORTIZ DONE, MORE PAYDAYS LOOM FOR BERTO: Ortiz proclaimed after the fight he’ll be back and just needed a “vacation.” This statement was made while some of the Mexican fans in attendance hurled slurs. Frankly, we’ve seen more than enough Ortiz vacations as he’s only fought five times in the last five years. His heart is not in the sport. This KO loss puts his stock at rock bottom. Sure, the PBC brand can put him on undercards in inconsequential fights. But why bother?

As for Berto, he jump to the top of the list for a showdown with Danny Garcia in late summer. Should Garcia opt to face the winner of Thurman-Porter in June, Berto could sit or be an option for rising contender Errol Spence.


THOMAS WILLIAMS TKO2 EDWIN RODRIGUEZ: Bombs away! These two wasted no time throwing huge shots in the opening round. Rodriguez was the sloppier one — his shots were badly telegraphed and his footwork plodding. The southpaw Williams was landing flush left hands at will. Although Rodriguez held up in the opening round, there’s only so many clean shots you can take. In the very next round, Rodriguez started to wilt and got laid out in devastating fashion.

Williams highlight-reel KO puts him on a collision course to face WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. I like Superman to retain in that one via early KO. But with Williams’ power, you can’t count him out.



JORGE LORA KO1 FERNANDO MONTIEL: After 20 years, it’s time to say goodbye to Fernando Montiel. The multi-division champion was floored four times and brutally stopped with a right hook by Jorge Lara, who referred to Montiel as “his idol.”

With Montiel’s best days being at super flyweight and bantamweight over five years ago, it wasn’t surprising to see Lora overpower him at feathweight. A sad end to a great career, but one that’s inevitable for most fighters.



Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz both weighed in at 146.8 pounds for tomorrow’s long-awaited grudge rematch. Both were in great shape with Berto wanting no parts of Ortiz’s playful antics after the staredown.

For my vantage point, we have a  50-50 fight that won’t go the distance. I’m still not sold on Berto’s durability against a southpaw puncher Ortiz’s size. On the other hand, Ortiz’s layoff might result in him being caught cold early as he was several years back against Luis Collazo.

We’ll find out tomorrow night on Fox starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Victor Ortiz Media Workout_Workout_Idris Erba _ Premier Boxing Champions10

Berto had an off night. I wasn’t at my best either, but I destroyed him regardless. This time we’ll both be at our best. – Victor Ortiz

Video Credit: Jeandra LeBeauf/

Photo Credit: Idris Erba/Premier Boxing Champions

CARSON, California — Former welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz met the media today as he put in the final work before an April 30 rematch with Andre Berto. Aside from promising to “end” Berto and create another Fight of Year like their 2010 encounter, Ortiz delivered candid comments about his fellow PBC welterweights.

The card airs on Fox (8 p.m.) with an undercard of Thomas Williams Jr. vs. Edwin Rodriguez and Jorge Lara vs. Fernando Montiel.





Video Credit: Jeandra LeBeauf/Bad Culture

Photo Credit: Arnold Palmer/Premier Boxing Champion

LOS ANGELES — There is no love lost between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz as seen yesterday at the opening press conference for their April 30 rematch. The pair got into a brief shoving match at the staredown and went in on each other during separate media roundtables. Ortiz focused on his opponent’s steroid bust that previously cancelled their rematch while Berto opted to questioned Victor’s heart.

Check out extensive video from the event courtesy of Bad Culture’s Jeandra LeBeauf.




On Saturday night, fans finally saw Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson in the ring together. Unfortunately, their brief verbal taunts will likely be the closest we’ll ever see the fighters, who are signed to rival entities, to unifying the light-heavyweight division.

Blame can be placed on both sides. When Stevenson was still signed to HBO, he had no intentions of making the Kovalev bout and quickly jumped to Showtime/PBC with Al Haymon’s backing. Later, Kovalev’s promoter Main Events balked at a purse bid for fear of losing the option of placing the fight on HBO.

With that said, whose legacy is hurt most by this fight not happening? Now that Kovalev has secured an Andre Ward for later this year, the onus is more on Stevenson to compromise and make this fight, or continue on with the overmatched foes we’ve seen for the last year.