Posts Tagged ‘Showtime’

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Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

The fight that was supposed to determine the best super middleweight in the world has only fueled more doubt as WBC titlist Badou Jack and IBF beltholder James DeGale battled to an entertaining majority draw at the Barclays Center.

The fight was a┬átough one to score with DeGale getting a flash knockdown in the first and using his faster hands and nimble footwork to outwork Jack in three of the first four rounds. But then the tide shifted. As DeGale slowed down, Jack landed more telling blows, particularly body shots that visibly┬áhurt DeGale in the sixth. On my card, the middle rounds were dominated by Jack’s more effective shots as he took rounds 5-8. In contrast, most of DeGale’s offense consisted of shoe-shine punches that couldn’t penetrate Jack’s guard.

Bruised and bloodied, DeGale dug deep in the championship rounds. His stronger work rate┬áearned him rounds 9-11 on my card despite constantly losing his mouthpiece. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. threatened several times to dock a point, but DeGale’s tendency to fight on kept the ref at bay since no rest advantage was attempted.

But there was a severe penalty for DeGale’s bravery (or stupidity depending on your view).

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No mouthguard meant unprotected shots to the mouth and DeGale is a few teeth lesser for his troubles.

The┬ádramatic 12th round was punctuated by Jack flooring DeGale with a short right uppercut. To the IBF champ’s credit, he weathered a minute-plus of Jack’s follow-up assaults to see the final bell.

 

One judge, Glenn Feldman, felt DeGale had built enough of an early lead and gave him the fight 114-112. He was overruled by Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld, who both had it 113-113 (also my score).

REMATCH ISSUES: This fight seems like a no-brainer for a rematch. Unfortunately, Jack was quick to disclose he can no longer make super middleweight and the fight would have to take place at 175. DeGale scoffed at the notion and countered that the return bout should take place in London.

Now Floyd Mayweather’s behavior this week makes sense. He told media that Virgil Hunter was a bad coach and that Andre Ward would be a good opponent for Jack. Mayweather obviously knew Jack can’t stay at 168 and wanted his fighter to be the main option if Kovalev-Ward falls through.

Who do you think won the fight? Do you want to see a rematch? Sound off in the comments.

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Last year, Floyd Mayweather named Gervonta Davis as the future of boxing. Tonight, fans got to see why as the 22-year-old picked apart previously undefeated Jose Pedraza to score a seventh-round stoppage.

Davis started fast in sweeping the first three rounds behind fast counters and vicious hooks to the body. The success was due to Pedraza trying to fight inside, and the IBF titlist adjusted by using his superior reach at mid-range to out-jab and outwork the challenger in rounds four and five.

Davis regained control in the sixth with heavy power shots. He finished the fading Pedraza in the seventh with a monstrous southpaw right hook.

Coming in, many critics claimed Davis was stepping up too soon and not focused on fighting. In this writer’s humble opinion, we’ve gotten too adjusted to fighters having 30 bouts before taking a risk. At 17-0, this fight had perfect timing and Davis proved he’s special with an excellent performance. Now the IBF title-holder at super featherweight, Gervonta Davis is another formidable name in a strong division.

 

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The return to Twin Peaks┬ánow has an official date. Showtime announced earlier today that David Lynch’s hit 90s supernatural mystery drama will return for a limited series event on May 21.

The series will consist of 18 episodes and take place in present day, marking 25 years since the series ended. Some of the original cast, including Kyle MacLachlan as FBI agent Dale Cooper, will return with the┬ápassage of time being a major plot point. Other show favorites, such as Catherine E. Coulson (“Log Lady”) and Sherilyn Fenn (“Audrey Horne”), have been confirmed.

The May 21 premiere will be two hours with the next two episodes then available On Demand, giving long-time fans four hours worth of programming on one night.

Despite the exciting news, fans will have to continue their patience in waiting for the official trailer.

 

Mikey Garcia - arms folded profile pic

On Saturday (July 30), two division champion Mikey Garcia ends a two-year hiatus against Elio Rojas. Forced into “business exile” over a contract dispute with former promoter Top Rank, Garcia returns to a boxing landscape markedly different from the one he left in 2014. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are in retirement (for now). Golovkin vs. Canelo is the sport’s new “delayed super fight.” Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Roman Gonzalez are universally recognized as top Pound 4 Pound fighters. The biggest change for Garcia is also the most humbling — he now has to prove himself all over again.

In this exclusive interview, Mike Garcia speaks on why the best is yet to come, and how becoming a smart businessman will enhance his remaining in-ring career.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: 140 is a new weight for you and brings a whole host of potential opponents like division champion Terence Crawford. Any chance you’ll stay at this weight depending on how you feel Saturday night?

Mikey Garcia: Around December and New Years I did gain some weight. That’s why we wanted to slowly bring the weight down. I’m very comfortable with my walk-around weight so I know there won’t be any problems making 140. But the goal is to get to 135 for a title fight after this return. That’s why we picked this fight so I can slowly get down.

I’ve had the WBO title at featherweight and super featherweight so I really want that third title in a third division. I don’t want to skip lightweight but I will eventually move up to 140. Crawford is the king of the division and that is who I’ll want. Maybe I’ll pick up a title before that fight to create even more pressure to see a unified winner. I’ll fight anyone that’s available that has a title.

I don’t want to waste time fighting nobodies. I don’t have time to be picking easy fights. The second half of my career will determine how I’m remembered.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Since your target is lightweight, which champion are you focused on?

Garcia: I’ve kept a small eye out there. The name that sticks out more than the others is Terry Flanagan, who’s champion for the WBO and was at super featherweight. I want to gain another WBO title pretty soon.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: You know more than anyone that the “business of boxing” is just as important as what you do in the ring. With Top Rank, it seemed the business dispute got personal on both ends. You’re on record as stating you’d work with Top Rank again under the right circumstances. How did you not stay antagonistic towards Top Rank after being forced to sit out for two years?

Garcia: Well, it really is just business. I can’t see it any other way. I was a key business asset to Top Rank and a fighter they obviously did not want to lose. They attempted to starve me out and see if I’d accept whatever they offered. Clearly I was ready to fight until the very end and they finally gave up.

If they really believed I was still under contract they should have waited and gone through with the final ruling from the judge on the lawsuit. But they realized they were in trouble and didn’t want the final ruling to be public and have the judge rule in my favor. They negotiated a release that I accepted. We all walked our separate ways with no one having to pay anything.

With business, who knows the future. We might work together down the line to make a fight. This isn’t first time a fighter has had to go through this and won’t be the last time.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: I can’t think of any other fighter that was able to get out of a contract dispute with Top Rank. Have you had other fighters in similar circumstances approach you for advice?

Garcia: Not quite but I’m always reminding fighters that there’s nothing wrong with fighting back. Don’t let them take advantage of you and make sure to have the right people around you. You need real attorneys that can back you up and fight to make sure the promoters are doing their job.

While I was in litigation, I was never offered a fight from Top Rank. If they really felt the contract extension was valid, they should have been doing their job and offering fights to me. We’re the ones getting in the ring and putting our lives on the line. Not the managers. Not the promoters. And not even the fans.

At the end of the day, the business has to be worth it.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: You’re fighting on Showtime/PBC card but as a free agent. What do you need to see from a promoter to sign another long-term deal?

Garcia: It’s got to be a fair deal. I know the promoter has to make money putting together and running the show. Yes, I get that they have expenses. But on a long-term deal everything has been to shown. No hidden agendas — everything up front. I need to know exactly where the revenue comes from and what is being spent.

When a promoter doesn’t want to show you want you’re gonna make, promises a certain purse and then comes back with less, or even lying about what your opponent makes and pocketing the extra money, it’s a problem. They don’t even want to tell you how much money is being brought by the sponsors, international licensing fees, or how much is available from the gate. These categories will be blank or marked as zero on the contract disclosures. Those are red flags and I will not accept anything blindly.

How can we have a working business relationship when the fighter doesn’t know the money available? The promoter knows — they’ve been doing it for years. They should be able to give you a close estimate on what money will be coming in.

BeatsBoxingMayhem: Floyd Mayweather is the best example we have of a fighter that mastered the business side of the sport. However, it came with a detriment to his in-ring legacy. We’ve spoken a lot about the business side being right for the rest of your career. Does that take precedent over your in-ring legacy?

Garcia: I think I can be successful in both ways. I want to leave a good legacy by fighting all the champions. I want to be right there with the best. What I learned through litigation and discovery can be balanced to make a great career. The money will be there by going for the big fights.

Mikey Garcia vs. Elio Rojas will be on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, airing July 30 on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET.

 

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Photo Credit: Ed Diller/ DiBella Entertainment

BROOKLYN — Can you say rematch? Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter lived up to expectations by delivering a fast-paced, action-packed battle last night at the Barclays Center. It was our first big showdown between Top 5 welterweights this year and displayed the division’s potential. What made this matchup so special? Read on…

 

FIRE AND DESIRE: With both guys coming into last night with one-year layoffs, there was an expectation that the early rounds would be tentative. Not so — both men came out swinging with bad intentions. When there was any space between them, Thurman found success with eye-catching counter left hooks and overhand rights. When Thurman failed to time Porter’s blitzes, the fight then went to the ropes when Thurman found himself mauled by clubbing body shots.

DURABILITY: One of the most impressive things from last night was the punch resistance. Porter ran into several clean shots that would have put most welterweights to sleep. His knees were buckled twice (4th and l0th rounds), but Thurman could never seriously get him in trouble. Porter would clinch, and come right back on offense. When Porter got clocked late in the championship rounds, he clinched and immediately spun Thurman to the ropes to deliver his own shots.

Like the Collazo fight, Thurman was hurt to the body. This came late in the fight courtesy of a Porter left uppercut to the solar plexus. Thurman went into immediate retreat, but didn’t cower the rest of the round. He had to return fire with fire to keep Porter from overwhelming him.

DIVERGENT SCORECARDS: This was one of those fights where your preference heavily influenced the scoring. Personally, I had it a draw (114-114). I had Thurman winning three of the first four rounds by isolating Porter’s ability to get inside, and countering him with harder shots. But in the middle rounds, I thought Porter landed the more effective work (body shots) by getting Thurman pinned to the ropes several times each round. As a result, I gave him rounds 5-9.

But in the championship rounds, it became more of an outside and mid-range battle. Porter could not get inside often and when he did, Thurman either clinched effectively or Porter’s anxiousness caused him to smother his own work. I had Thurman sweeping the last three rounds. During the fight, I counted about 3 rounds that were close and could have gone either way, which justifies a two-point swing for either guy as acceptable.

Thurman said he’s open to a rematch, so let’s hope he keeps his word.


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UNDERCARD RESULTS

JARRETT HURD TKO10 OSCAR MOLINA: Hurd continued his climb of the 154 pound ranks with a dominating performance over Oscar Molina. The 6’1 Hurd used his size to bully the 5’9 Molina and overwhelm him with a variety of inside uppercuts and hooks. The tone was set at the end of round one when Molina was floored with a counter right uppercut.

The fight was only mired by the finish. The referee stopped the fight prematurely after Molina tried to clinch after absorbing several hooks. At this pace, look for Hurd to be in the title picture next year.

 

 

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Photo Credit: Laurence Lustig

This afternoon on Showtime, UK sensation and IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua will defend this newly won title against Dominic Breazeale. The two fighters squared off at yesterday’s weigh-in with Joshua coming in at 243 pounds and Breazeale at 255. Joshua’s 243 is a pound less from his title-winning effort in April against Charles Martin and represents his lowest weight since knocking out Michael Sprott in 2014 at 240 pounds. Breazeale’s tally is three pounds heavier from when he beat Amir Mansour in January.


PREDICTION: In his last two fights, Breazeale has had a bit of luck on his side. Against Fred Kassi, Breazeale struggled with the smaller man’s pressure but got overly favorable scoring from the judges to win a unanimous decision. Against Mansour, he was dropped in the third but outlasted Mansour who retired in the fifth from a broken jaw.

Such favor is unlikely with Joshua, who hits harder and has better punching technique. Joshua showed against Martin that he can deliver straight, accurate counter punches that will give him the edge in exchanges. Although powerful, Breazeale can be clumsy at times with his footwork which causes him to throw wide, sloppy punches.

Expect Breazeale to taste the canvas 2-3 times in this one. He proclaims he isn’t Charles Martin, but I don’t expect him to last much longer. JOSHUA TKO3

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VERONA — The anticipated war expected from John Molina and Ruslan Provodnikov never materialized. That wasn’t due to effort. It was the focused game plan of John Molina, who used a consistent jab to keep Ruslan ┬áProvodnikov neutralized and win a clear unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112 and 115-113).

RUSLAN NEVER MET A JAB HE DIDN’T LIKE GETTING PUNCHED BY: At this point, we know what to expect from Ruslan Provodnikov. Nonetheless, it’s still amazing to see how easily Provodnikov gets befuddled by a stiff jab. Molina used it to keep him off balance and stuck on the outside. With Molina’s taller height and reach, it let him control the exchanges and reduce Provodnikov’s high workrate to sporadic power shots.

SIZE DIFFERENCE: Molina was 160 pounds last night. He claims that he weighed less, but he looked much bigger than Ruslan. Instead of sapping his energy, it proved beneficial in allowing Molina to muscle Provodnikov in clenches and withstand the isolated big power shots.

┬áA LOSS OF HUNGER?: Provodnikov had no qualms last night admitting Molina was the better man. The surprising thing was him stating “something was wrong” and he had “lost his hunger.” You’d think making his Showtime debut and this being his first network TV fight since losing to Chris Algieri would be motivation enough to bring his “A-game.”

To Ruslan’s credit, he did adjust in the last few rounds by finally moving his head and doubling/tripling the jab. But we all know that isn’t his forte, and more often than not he still got outworked in exchanges.

Provodnikov was ranked as high as #3 by the WBA, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Molina jump to a title shot against the organization’s new champion, Ricky Burns.