Kell Brook Set for Retirement?

By: Shane Willoughby

Earlier this week Eddie Hearn spoke about having once last throw of the dice in an attempt to make Kell Brook vs Amir Khan. But let’s all be honest there is more chance Chris Eubank Sr fighting Nigel Benn for the 3rd time.

The fight isn’t happening. So what does that mean for Kell Brook? He is one of the only credible fighters in the sport who hasn’t boxed this year.

Since his defeat to Errol Spence, Brook has fought bellow par opposition and hasn’t had any big fights. At one stage after moving to super welterweight, it looked as if he was chasing a fight with at the time, IBF champion Jarrett Hurd as he worked himself into a number position.

Then when he was set as the mandatory challenger for the American and Hurd expressed his desire to make that fight, Kell Brook turned the fight down to chase Amir Khan.

Whilst many fight fans were optimistic, thinking they finally will see Brook and Khan square off, it was obvious that it was all smoke and mirrors.

So Brook turned down an opportunity to fight for a world title, to fight no one. It’s very obvious Brook is looking for a cash-out fight. A massive payday to say farewell to the sport.

His attitude outside of the ring is well documented; blowing up in weight in between fights. He obviously doesn’t intend to stick around for much longer.

Once the inevitable happens and Hearn says the famous words Brook vs Khan isn’t happening. What then? Kell brook will retire.

There were talks that Brook was chasing Terence Crawford but with Crawford set to face his mandatory at the end of this year that fight isn’t on the table.

A year of inactivity for any athlete isn’t good, especially one that doesn’t particularly look after his weight when he isn’t in camp. Without a big fight, Kell Brooks days as a professional fighter are numbered.

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Mattice Upsets Dutchover While Villa Wins in Texas

By: Ken Hissner

Thompson Boxing Promotions – Ken Thompson, Banner Promotions – Art Pelullo and Mikey Garcia Promotions Friday promoter a card from the La Hacienda Event Center on ShoBox The New Generation.

In the Main Event Lightweight Michael “West Texas Warrior” Dutchover, 13-1 (10), 134 1/4, of Sante Fe Springs, CA, was stopped by Thomas “Gunna Man, 15-1-1 (11), of Cleveland, OH, for the vacant WBO inter-continental title, at 1:33 of the eighth round.

Photo Credit Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

In the first round there was plenty of action in a close round. In the second round within 10 seconds Dutchover landed an overhand right on the chin of Mattice stopping him in his tracks. The local fans were loudly behind the Midland born Dutchover. In the final seconds Dutchover drove Mattice into a neutral corner with a solid left hook to the chin.

In the third round it was a good action close fight with both taking turns getting the better of the action. In the fourth round the action continued with Dutchover taking a slight edge. In the fifth round of another action round Mattice looked like he had the edge.

In the sixth round Mattice used his jab well. Inside the final minute of the round Mattice turned his head and got hit on the back of his head by Dutchover. In the seventh round the closeness of the fight continued with Dutchover busier while Mattice ended the round with a flurry.

In the eighth round Mattice started well cutting Dutchover along the left eyebrow.

The referee Robert Velez called the ring physician in who stopped the fight due to the cut.

Dutchover was ahead on two of the three cards while this writer had Mattice ahead 4-3 in rounds.

In the co-feature WBO Int’l Featherweight champion southpaw Ruben “RV4” Villa, 17-0 (5), 125 1/4, of Salinas, CA, defeated Jose “El Ejecutor” Vivas, 17-1 (9), 126, of Montebello, MEX, over 10.

In the first round Vivas pressed the action working the body of Villa. In the second round Villa moved well landing his jab landing a left on the chin knocking down Vivas after a minute of the round. Vivas was warned for hitting behind the head and hitting on the break by referee Robert Velez. The round went beyond 3 minutes going near 4 minutes.

In the third round Villa continued controlling the fight countering well. In the fourth round Vivas got away hitting behind the head and on the break without a warning in a close round.

In the fifth round Villa became the aggressor. Vivas continued his dirty tactics being frustrated with the quicker hands of Villa landing his punches at a high percentage. Prior to starting the sixth round the referee noticed one of the ring ropes broke causing a long delay of over 10 minutes to start the round.

In the sixth round Vivas again became the aggressor walking into counter punches by Villa. In the seventh round Vivas kept getting away with hitting behind the head and landing a low blow. The referee finally stopped the action warning Vivas of hitting behind the head which he has been doing the entire fight.

In the eight round Villa was landing quite a bit to the head with little return from Vivas during the first half of the round. Vivas did well in the second half continuing his rough tactics without warning. It was a close round.
In the ninth round Villa kept the jab followed by a left throughout the round. In the tenth and final round Villa kept boxing well despite the continuous dirty tactics by Vivas.

Scores were 100-89 by all three judges while this writer had it 98-91.

Super Lightweight Brandun Lee, 17-0 (15), 142 1/2, La Quinta, CA, knocked out Milton Arauz, 10-2-1 (5), 142, of Jinotega, Nicaragua, at 2:59 of the second round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round Lee had his left to his side using an effective jab. In the last 30 seconds of the round Lee landed half a dozen punches without return until Arauz grabbed him almost taking him to the canvas.

In the second round Lee continued to control and in the final minute a right to the chin of Arauz knocked out his mouthpiece. A right hand from Lee in the final seconds on the chin of Arauz and down he went. He struggled to get up but fell to the canvas forcing referee Daniel Sandoval to immediately wave the fight over.

Welterweight Vito “White Majic” Mielnicki, Jr., 2-0 (2), of Roseland, NJ, knocked out Caleb Bailey, 0-2 (0), of Salisberry, NC, at 1:00 of the first round.

In the first round a left hook on the chin from Mielnicki dropped Bailey. A bit later a right hand on the chin put Bailey down for the count. The 17 year-old Mielnicki had quite an outstanding amateur career.

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Lionell Thompson Bloodies and Beats Scott Sigmon Inside the Distance

By: Robert Aaron Contreras

With splotches of bright crimson across his opponent’s face, Lionell Thompson (21-5, 11 KO) continued to touch up Scott Sigmon (34-14-1, 17 KO) with jabs and curling uppercuts until the end of the seventh round. The lacing was enough to convince Sigmon’s corner to throw in the towel, awarding Thompson the victory on Friday night from the Cannery Casino in Las Vegas.

Sigmon was an easy target from the beginning, tucked behind his stiff guard, constantly moving forward, even if ineffectively. Thompson prodded the crouching opponent: chipping away at the rolling white boulder of a man in front of him.

Photo Credit: Mayweather Promotions Twitter Account

Thompson was comfortable being crowded. He navigated the canvas, focused on putting jabs on the top of Sigmon’s head. He built up an early lead and never looked back.

At the end of a doubling jab, Sigmon attempted hurling back left hands after absorbing punishment, but Thompson by then would circle out of danger. The bull to Thompson’s matador, he began simply ramming into the winning boxer. It did not stop his face from opening up in the third round. Nor could it stop his nose from leaking later on.

Sigmon resorted to try talking Thompson out of his element in the sixth period. But he was simply met with more jabs. These by Thompson now being followed up with javelin right hands.

In the fateful seventh stanza, Thompson completely took away Sigmon’s only advantage: his forward moving momentum. Sigmon was simply being brushed in a zigzagging fashion from careening uppercuts, hooks, and other bludgeoning blows.

It was no surprise Sigmon’s corner did not throw him back out for another go.

The Mayweather-promoted card was not short on talent, but green as they are, Thompson was stuck at the top of the bill. At 34, and the winner of five of his last six, it would still take some of that matchmaking magic Floyd Mayweather was known for to push Thompson into the title picture. Beating a former sparring partner, who was decisioned by a 49-year-old Roy Jones Jr. would not cut it for most boxers.

Gabriel Duluc (15-3, 4 KO) def. Cameron Krael (16-15, 3 KO)

Gabriel Duluc, thanks to timely combinations, and lapses of inactivity from his opponent, shocked the house fighter Cameron Krael by way of a majority decision.

Krael, who has been represented by Mayweather Promotions since 2017, commanded the center of the ring for the entire 10 rounds. Though his punch output was not nearly as consistent.

Duluc’s winging punches were not pretty but they were enough to steal the opening round. And plenty more looping overhand rights kept Krael at bay over the next three rounds. By Round 3, the underdog’s punches grew sloppier—his arms dangling at his hips when not punching—but he maneuvered the canvas enough to avoid any significant damage.

Krael finally woke up in the fourth stanza. Pressuring his man to the ropes, he sent blinding straight right hands to the Duluc’s face.

The action was more tense in the fifth and sixth rounds: both men trading winging punches.

Krael still commanding the center of the ring in Round 7. But his punches had lost steam. And the three minutes consisted of instances of Robert Byrd prying the fighters off one another.

The two were merely fighting in spurts through the eighth period. The ninth frame provided Krael some hope when he brutalized Duluc’s midsection. The attack had him reeling for a moment but soon collected himself. Krael suddenly disregarding the body did not hurt.

And the rest of the way, included Round 10, Duluc fought well going backwards: short, quick, double jabs and successive chippy shots upstairs. Not exactly buzzing Krael, but a high enough output to to keep Krael’s gloves glues to his face and restrict returning fire.

Duluc has now won four straight while Krael creeps closer to a .500 record in his career.

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Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz out to ‘make a statement’ against Jesus Cuadro, eyes Tevin Farmer world title bout

A new weight class and a more assertive attitude has brought Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz impressive victories recently, and the hope is that will lead him to a world title shot in the very near future.

First, Diaz, who is rated No. 6 by The Ring at junior lightweight, will have to get past Jesus Cuadro Saturday night at the Auditorio del Estate in Mexicali, Mexico.

The 12-round bout will stream live on RingTV. com and Facebook Watch on the Golden Boy Fight Night Page (10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT).

For Diaz, this is a stay-busy bout ahead of a possible matchup against IBF 130-pound titleholder and red-hot nemesis Tevin Farmer. He is not overlooking Cuadro, but “Jo Joe” wants to make a statement against the Tijuana-based Venezuelan.

“Cuadro is a dangerous fighter,” Diaz told The Ring over the phone Thursday evening. “I know he has a couple of losses, but he has never been stopped. He’s awkward and a lefty. I just want to beat the (expletive) out of him. I want to make a statement at his expense.

“This is a stay-busy fight for my next fight, which I hope is against Tevin Farmer in December for his world title belt.”

Diaz and Farmer have had a war of words over the last several weeks. The hostilities between the pair began earlier this year and almost boiled over at a press conference ahead of Diaz’s bout against Freddy Fonseca in May. The verbal barbs have since continued via social media.

“He crossed the line with me,” said Diaz, who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. “He was never supposed to be at the press conference in Las Vegas. He’s a fool. I just want to beat the (expletive) out of him. He made it personal and his fans have thrown insults at me. I’m not looking past Cuadro, but I have unsettled business with Tevin and I know I can defeat him and win the title.”

Gary Russell Jr. (left) vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Gary Russell Jr. (left) vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime

The 26-year-old Diaz has won three bouts since suffering his lone defeat to WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell, Jr. on May 19 of last year. The desperate struggle to make 126 pounds is now behind him, and he has also overcome adversity outside the ring.

“I was going through personal issues in my life in 2017 and 2018,” acknowledged Diaz. “I was in a dark place, even around the Russell fight. I had bad anxiety and mental breakdowns.

“I just have a different outlook now. No more Mr. Nice Guy. My mentality is to be more aggressive, kill or be killed. I actually feel like I’m a savage in the ring since I moved up in weight and have this new aggressive attitude.”

Diaz is yet to face any of the world titleholders or top contenders at 130 pounds but his confidence is sky high.

“I honestly think I’m the best at 130 pounds,” he said. “I know I don’t have a world title belt, but I can beat any of the world champions right now. I just want to get that opportunity to face any of the belt holders in the division, including Farmer.

“I want to challenge myself. I don’t want any easy fights. I don’t want to fight any bums for a vacant world title belt. I challenged to fight the best at 126 pounds and that was against Gary Russell. I lost a decision, but I learned a lot about myself. From that fight, I know what it takes to win. I want to face all the world titleholders. I want to earn my shot against Farmer and it all starts on Saturday night.”

On Friday, Diaz (29-1, 15 knockouts) weighed in at 130 pounds, whereas Cuadro (18-5, 14 KOs) came in at 128.6.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing



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Thomas Mattice pulls off the upset in ruining Michael Dutchover’s homecoming

Thomas Mattice upset Michael Dutchover (Credit Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME)

Thomas Mattice has had a habit of doing this throughout his career. The Cleveland, Ohio lightweight gets called into test the A-side fighter, and sometimes he pulls off a shocker (as he did in a highly controversial eight-round split-decision victory in July 2018 in Iowa over Zhora Hamazaryan).

There was no controversy Friday night.

Mattice (15-1-1, 11 knockouts) pulled off yet another shocker by ruining the homecoming of Michael Dutchover (13-1, 10 knockouts) with an eighth-round TKO on cuts in what was a scheduled 10-rounder on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation from the La Hacienda Event Center, in Midland, Texas.

Referee Robert Velez stopped the fight with 1:33 left in the eighth, when Dutchover suffered a gaping cut over his left eye. The ringside physician made the call that Dutchover couldn’t continue, and since Velez ruled the cut was caused by a punch, Mattice was awarded the biggest victory of his career—and a possible future date again versus Dutchover in a rematch.

“I wanted a stoppage but not that kind of stoppage. Round by round was a tough fight,” Mattice said. “I kind of thing that when I pushed him back, he got in trouble, because he can’t really fight going backwards. Honestly. He couldn’t box with me, but I got my mind stuck on knocking him out to make it more competitive.

“My corner told me, ‘It’s the eighth round and we probably need a knockout.’ And that’s when I pressed him. He only hurt me twice with his overhand right, but it was just a pop. I’m a big guy. I can take his pops. I’m a little older, I’ve been with bigger guys. That gave me the edge.”

In the beginning, it looked like Dutchover would enjoy a successful homecoming in making his first national TV main event debut. He worked well to the body, though most of his shots were caught by Mattice’s arms and gloves. Dutchover was easily the busier fighter.

With 2:37 left in the second, Dutchover caught Mattice with an overhand right. Later in the round, Dutchover closed in and chopped at the body. After two, it appeared Dutchover was in command.

Mattice started coming back in the third, especially in the last minute of the round. Mattice landed a left on Dutchover, followed by a body shot. It may have been the first round Mattice won.

In the fourth, Mattice came out aggressive again. He went from being chased to the stalker.

Dutchover rebounded later in the fifth, once again going to the body and possibly doing enough to win the round.

Dutchover entered new territory when the fight entered the seventh. Dutchover had never been seven rounds before. It wound being a good round for him. Mattice attempted to steal the round in the late portion of the stanza, but he had taken too much punishment from Dutchover earlier in the round.

In the eighth, Mattice opened a cut over Dutchover’s left eye. Referee Robert Velez stopped the fight with 1:33 left in the eighth, ruling the gaping cut was caused by a punch and not a clash of heads.

The final stats favored Mattice, mostly because of his huge edge in jabs, leading Dutchover 97 of 292 (33%) to Dutchover’s paltry 18 of 220 (8%). Mattice also landed 90 of 166 power shots (54%) to Dutchover’s 103 of 272 (38%) to a total of 187 of 458 total connects (41%) for Mattice to Dutchover’s 121 of 492 (25%).

At the time it was stopped, judges Jesse Reyes (68-65) and Ruben Carrion (69-64) had Dutchover ahead, while judge Ursulo Perez (67-66) had it for Mattice. The Ring had it 67-66 for Dutchover at the time the fight was stopped.

“I’m disappointed. It was a great fight for the fans,” Dutchover said. “The fight unfortunately got cut in the eighth round. I was up in the scorecards and I was going to finish the fight but it was out of my control, the referee stopped it and there’s nothing that I could do about it and that’s that. I got cut with a big punch and it opened up and the ref said I couldn’t continue. I wanted to continue but they didn’t let me.

“I was feeling good, I thought I was going to win. I was sticking to my game plan but the cut changed the course of the fight. I’ll be back.

“The crowd here in Midland came out to support me. It was amazing. I didn’t get the win but these types of things happen in the sport of boxing.”

Ruben Villa gives a boxing lesson to Enrique Vivas

Ruben Villa was touched up a few times, and that’s all Enrique Vivas could manage in a 10-round featherweight co-feature under the Dutchover-Mattice main event.

Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) kept his record clean with a pristine shutout of 25-year-old Enrique Vivas (17-1, 9 KOs).

Judges Jesse Reyes, Ursulo Perez and Ruben Carrion all had the southpaw Villa winning easily, 100-89.

Prior to the sixth round, one of the ropes broke, delaying the fight for almost 11 minutes. By then, Villa had landed 78 of 180 total punches (43%) to Vivas’ 77 of 338 (23%). The huge disparity came in Villa’s 30 of 54 power connects (56%) to Vivas’ 59 of 214 (28%).

Ruben Villa wins (Credit Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME)

One of Villa’s power shots was a flush left behind a jab that caught Vivas on the chin, sending him down.

The sixth-round delay didn’t derail Villa. Vivas did land a right near the of the round, though Villa’s precise punching frustrated Vivas.

In the end, ShoStats had Villa landing 164-374 total punches (44%) to Vivas’ 148-702 (21%), 79 of 135 power shots (59 %) to Vivas’ 113 of 448 (25%) and 85 of 239 jabs (36 %) to Vivas’ 35 of 254 (14%).

Brandun Lee keeps powering forward

In the opening TV bout, Brandun Lee (17-0, 15 KOs) made easy work of Nicaraguan Milton Arauz (10-2-1, 5 KOs), stopping him at 2:59 of the second round in a scheduled eight-round welterweight bout. Lee was devastating behind a jab and blunt right that crumbled Arauz to the canvas.

Brandun Lee wins (Credit Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME)

Entering the fight, Lee’s previous 16 opponents had a combined record of 52-225-18. Lee fought for the fifth time this year. By Arauz going two rounds, it snapped Lee’s streak of six-straight, first-round stoppages.

Lee was surprised that Arauz didn’t go down in the first round.

“I’m not used to that so that was a huge wake-up call,” Lee said. “It’s more than just hitting hard; you have to also set up your punches. I kept throwing my jab, throwing my jab, then a hook, hook and then I surprised him with a quick right. I learned that it’s more than just hitting hard. You can hit them hard but you are not going to knock them out all the time.

“I think I’m back in November. I’m not sure when or where but I want to fight again this year.”



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Watch: Bernard Hopkins says fight is a risk for Canelo, and Kovalev too

Golden Boy’s Bernard Hopkins shares a light moment with Buddy McGirt, trainer of Sergey Kovalev, as they recount their sparring session years earlier, and to talk about the risk both Kovalev and Canelo Alvarez are taking by facing one another.

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Watch: Buddy McGirt on how he linked up with Sergey Kovalev, fighting Canelo

Buddy McGirt spoke with The Ring’s Cynthia Conte about how he first began training Sergey Kovalev, as well as the WBO light heavyweight champion’s next fight against Canelo Alvarez on Nov. 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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