Anthony Dirrell Isn’t Impressed With David Benavidez

By: Hans Themistode

With all of the attention on IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and WBC belt holder Shawn Porter there is another fight on this card that is being overlooked. WBC Super Middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) and former champion David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) will be going head to head on the co feature.

Benavidez might be considered a former champion, but he has never officially lost his title in the ring. Since his suspension due to cocaine use, he has had one comeback fight where he knocked out J’Leon Love in the second round. Before his lay off, Benavidez was running through the division. His opponent that will be standing across the ring from him on September 28th, at the Staples Center, current champion Anthony Dirrell is in a precarious situation.

The talent that he possesses is not in question. Even at the age of 34, Dirrell continues to be one of the better fighters in the division. The problem he could be facing in this contest is his passion. Dirrell has gone on the record several times stating that 2019 will be his last year in the sport of boxing. Now that this contest is less than two weeks away he has been mum on the retirement talk as he has placed all of his focus on Benavidez.

“Right now I’m focused on David Benavidez,” said Dirrell. “I’m not focused on retirement or who’s next. My only focus is David Benavidez.”

With Benavidez coming in with a 12 year youth advantage, Dirrell is wise to keep his focus on his opponent. For as good as the former champion has looked in his brief career, he has faced no one of note. Dirrell on the other hand has shared the ring with former champions such as Badou Jack and Caleb Truax.

“He’s young minded. Who has he fought? Everyone that he has fought he was supposed to knockout. He hasn’t seen anybody with the grit, grind and determination that I have. I just don’t think he is everything that everyone is saying. He’s a warrior don’t get me wrong but I have all the tools to beat him.”

The odds aren’t in the favor of Dirrell to say the least but that has no indication on how this contest will go.

“That’s just people’s opinion’s. It doesn’t bother me at all. At the end of the day I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll show it on fight night.”

The main event of this September 28th, card is sure to give fans their money’s worth, but the co main event could headline any card on its own.

The early signs point to Benavidez getting his hands on the title that was once his but, Dirrell’s nickname is “The Dog” so it’s sure to be a rough and rugged fight all night.

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Ryan Garcia Makes Peace With Golden Boy

By: Sean Crose

He’s brash, has a huge online following and is unquestionably talented. Yet lightweight up and comer Ryan Garcia had himself a tough few days last week. First, his opponent for a bout that was scheduled for last Saturday, Avery Sparrow, was arrested before the fight. Then, to make matters worse, Garcia claimed he didn’t hear about the cancellation until at least the point where he showed up for last Friday’s weigh in. Then things became truly intense when Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy, let the world know that team Garcia wanted nothing to do with a potential replacement for Sparrow, Romero Duno.


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account

The twenty-one year old undefeated Garcia was up in arms. Not only did he miss out on a chance to battle on the DAZN streaming service, he also missed a chance to fight in his native California, where fans were likely to come see him. To make matters worse, Golden Boy gave the impression that one of their top fighters was being kept away from one of its other rising fighters (like Garcia, Duno is a part of the Golden Boy stable). Things went from bad to worse when Garcia, of Victorville, took to social media, where he is hugely popular.

“My promoter acted in a very unprofessional manner (pattern at this point),” he argued, “saying things that were false about me. I’m a fighter and not afraid to fight anyone!!! My team tried tirelessly to negotiate a fair purse amount to save the show but my promoter has shown little interest in my career,” For a bit it looked as if the Garcia – Golden Boy partnership was about to come crashing down. Things, however, have a way of working themselves out.

“Just signed one of the most lucrative deals for a prospect in the History of the sport,” Garcia informed social media on Wednesday. “Thank you to my team and @OscarDeLaHoya @makeawar.” In what seemed the bat of an eye, Garcia went from bitter fighter back to rising, highly promoted star. What’s more, the young man claimed to have an impressive new contract to boot. Video footage of Garcia signing the deal along with Golden Boy Honcho Oscar De La Hoya accompanied the online announcement.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Garcia said to the media. “I’m here today to show everybody that I consider Golden Boy my family and that we’re going to be in this together as I fulfill my dreams.” He then acknowledged that his promoter has what it takes to elevate his career. “Just like I have all the capabilities to become a big star, Golden Boy has all the tools to get me there. But I just want to tell all of our fans: Enjoy the ride!”

To make things all the more fulfilling, Garcia claimed that he would indeed be fighting Duno as the co-main event of the Canelo Alvarez – Sergey Kovalev mega fight this November. The exact details of Garcia’s contract haven’t been made public.

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Is Canelo Making the Right Decision?

By: Hans Themistode

The career of Canelo Alvarez has become one that is filled with unexpected challenges. At the age of 23, no one expected young Alvarez, who was undefeated at the time to take on the best fighter in the world at that time in Floyd Mayweather Jr. What took place in that fight was a one sided matchup. Alvarez was outclassed. His game plan, which is still puzzling to understand, was too out box one of the very best boxers who has ever laced up a pair of boxing gloves. It didn’t work out but it was a risk he was willing to take.

Following his loss to Mayweather, Canelo took another risk as he stepped into the ring against Erislandy Lara. The aforementioned Lara had a style that was similar to Mayweather. Everyone thought that it was too risky of a move but much like the theme of his career, he went ahead and went through with the contest anyways. It was a close call but Canelo’s risk paid off as he came away with the victory.

The very next year in 2015, Canelo took yet another risk, although this one was not perceived as dangerous as he took on Miguel Cotto.

Sure Canelo was the younger fighter but Cotto was a four division champion with plenty to prove. Their contest which took place on November 11th, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada was an impressive showing for Canelo as he won a close decision.

Fast forward two years later and Canelo found himself in harm’s way once again. At the time, no one wanted to step in the ring with unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Canelo did it not once, but twice. The first contest unjustly ended in a draw. The Immediate rematch was ruled in the favor of Canelo. The Mexican superstar prevailed in yet another risky fight.

In his most recent ring appearance, Canelo took on IBF Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. A slick and hard punching boxer. Many thought he would avoid Jacobs. There was good reason for that belief, but if you have been following this story and the life of Canelo then you would understand that he isn’t a man who shies away from risk.

On Cinco De Mayo weekend earlier this year, he would go on to outpoint Jacobs and the unify the Middleweight titles.

The list of opponents for his upcoming fight in November was a long one, but there was one name in particular which floated around more than the others. WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.

Now that these two will officially be facing each other on November 2nd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is another risk for Alvarez. This one, unlike the others, might be a step too far for Canelo.

Kovalev resides two weight divisions higher than Alvarez and has a four inch height and two inch reach advantage. He will also be the hardest hitting fighter Alvarez has ever stepped into the ring with. Kovalev may not be the fighter he once was but he still will bring plenty of experience and a physicality advantage to the ring as well.

“It’s a risk for me because naturally he’s heavier than me,” said Canelo. “He’s stronger than me, bigger.”

The career of Canelo has been predicated on risk. He has continually managed to take on dangerous fight after dangerous fight. His ambition to continue to challenge himself is simple.

“I want to make history in boxing. That is the only thing I want.”

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Canelo vs GGG Being Targeted For 2020 Says Oscar De La Hoya

By: Hans Themistode

Canelo Alvarez has a date with one of the biggest names in boxing in Sergey Kovalev on November 2nd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alvarez will be looking to become a four weight world champion as he attempts to capture Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight belt.

Although it is a great fight, Alvarez, no matter who he fights going forward will always be linked to former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG).

These two have shared the ring on two separate occasions. In 2017 many believed that their first encounter should have resulted in GGG getting his hand raised. Instead, he was forced to settle for a highly disputed draw. When they met once more one year later, the result was still a bit erroneous to some as Alvarez walked away with the win.

When GGG signed a six fight agreement earlier this year to fight on the streaming app DAZN, just months after Alvarez signed his own historic deal, the belief was that these two would meet in the ring once again this calendar year.

Instead of facing each other, the two have decided to go in separate directions. Alvarez is, as previously mentioned moving up to the Light Heavyweight division to take on Sergey Kovalev. While GGG will be taking on former title challenger and highly rated contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Thoughts of these two all-time great fighters sharing the ring once again we’re fading. That is until Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya announced that the plan is indeed for these two to share the ring in 2020.

“Well, he (Golovkin) will be one of the opponents for next year,” said De La Hoya. “He has to be. Obviously, the people want to see it. The world wants to see it, and Golovkin deserves it. You will absolutely see Canelo and GGG fight next year.”

First things first however. Both men must come out of their respective matches unscathed. No matter how big a fight between Canelo and GGG will be the third time around, De La Hoya holds firm to the belief that Canelo’s upcoming contest against Kovalev is even bigger.

“The GGG fight could happen in May or September next year, but that fight will happen. But Canelo’s fight against Kovalev is huge. I think it’s bigger than a fight against GGG. It’s a mega-fight. Kovalev has a real shot to knock him out and beat him and people know that.”

Canelo Alvarez is having himself one heck of a 2019. He began his year with a win over former two times champion Daniel Jacobs, which resulted in him unifying the Middleweight titles. His contest against Sergey Kovalev in November is yet another huge test for him. The early signs seem to show that 2020 will be another blockbuster year for Alvarez.

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Sergey Kovalev’s Former Trainer John David Jackson Breaks Down Canelo Alvarez Fight

By: Hans Themistode

With the news of current Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) deciding to move up in weight and challenge WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs), it has left everyone with an opinion.

Giving a full breakdown of this fight is a difficult one. Canelo has never campaigned at the Light Heavyweight division. How will his body hold up now that he has decided to move up not one, but two divisions? With that being said, Kovalev has been in several wars as of late, Canelo could be catching the current champion at just the right time.

Photos of Sergey Kovalev during a media workout at The Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, CA on July 26, 2018.

One man who has his own opinions on this contest is former trainer of Kovalev, John David Jackson. He and Kovalev had a successful run together before parting ways back in 2017. Kovalev may not be the fighter he once was but he is sill a hand full for anyone.

“It’s still a bit of a risk,” said Jackson. “The last thing that will leave Kovalev is his punch and he can box when he wants to.”

Make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous fight for Canelo as he will have a four inch height and two inch reach disadvantage. Still, even with those advantages for Kovalev, Jackson see’s an avenue that Canelo could take to victory.

“Canelo and his team are smart so they’ll look too close that distance as soon as possible because Kovalev has a good jab. If they don’t then they’ll be in trouble. Once Canelo gets inside than its going to be trouble for Kovalev. If you watch him closely he doesn’t really have an inside game. Kovalev really has a hard time keeping guys off of him. His body is weak. Whenever you see a guy drinking after a fight than you know he has a problem. Canelo is a very good body puncher. Even the young kid Yarde was going to the body well but he just got caught. At this stage in Kovalev’s career, it’s hard to teach a guy with just one training camp how to fight on the inside. Once Canelo gets in close it’ll cause a lot of problems for Kovalev.”

When the news of this fight taking place broke, it wasn’t surprising to anyone. What was a shock however, was that there is no weight clauses. Even Jackson was a bit stunned by it but he also acknowledged that Canelo is a fighter who doesn’t need or want those advantages.

“A lot of guys in the history of boxing have jumped up and down in weight, but they would typically have weight clauses. What that does is, it helps the smaller fighter who is coming up. With Canelo he’ll fight you at your weight. You have to give him a lot of credit for that.”

As for who Jackson expects to win this contest, he was slightly hesitant, but he anticipates Canelo to be successful in his endeavorers at the Light Heavyweight division.

“I think it’s a tough matchup for Canelo but I think he’ll pull it off. Sergey is older, his life outside of boxing is terrible, he’s been in a lot of wars and he doesn’t seem like he is as passionate and hungry anymore. I think this fight is his cashing out fight.”

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Heather Hardy: Risk Over Regret

By: Hans Themistode

When you play sports, there is a winner and a loser. There is simply no way around it.

Sure you can have rare instances where the game ends in a tie, but even then, there is a winner and a loser. It doesn’t matter if that contest was close or just a blow out. Someone has to feel the pain of losing.

Former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy entered the ring on Friday September 13th, against Amanda Serrano as an underdog. A big one. Serrano was a seven division world champion and arguably the best female fighter around.

For as good as Hardy has been in her career, she was never thought to be on that level.

When the two signed on the dotted line to face each other, many were wondering out loud, just what round would Hardy get knocked out in? Thoughts of her pulling off the victory were non existent.

After building up their fight for quite sometime, the night finally arrived.

Many who watched Hardy walk to the ring couldn’t help but feel sorry for the 37 year old. She was walking straight into an ass kicking. When the opening bell rang, it was exactly what happened.

Hardy, who is normally a slick boxer and avoids major shots, was hit with everything in that opening round. Serrano, knocked her around the ring and made it apparent that Hardy was not in her league. Hardy did her best to fight back but the onslaught was too much. She spent the majority of that round with her hands up simply trying to stay up right as she staggered across the ring. A cut opened up on her right hairline, a bad one. You could hear screams from the crowd asking the referee to stop the fight.

Some how Hardy made it out of the round, but no one at that point thought the fight would last much longer.

Fighters understand when they are outclassed in the ring and often times accept defeat. Hardy could have easily bowed out gracefully and realized that she wasn’t going to win that fight.

Maybe that’s what you would do, but not Heather Hardy.

Round two was a whole different story. Hardy got more comfortable and confident in the ring. She landed a few nice shots and got back to slipping punches. She had clearly found her rhythm. The screams from the crowd that were asking the referee to stop the fight, turned into cheers for Hardy and her efforts.

Current WBA Super Middleweight champion Alicia Napoleon couldn’t stay in her seat. She constantly paced back and forth in media row cheering her friend Heather on.

Based on how the first round went, it was amazing to see that Hardy made so many adjustments in the ring. She no longer wanted to sit back and let Serrano bring the fight to her. Instead, much like her nickname, she brung the “Heat” all night long.

Serrano looked some what exasperated. How could a woman who seemingly had nothing to offer in the first round be so invigorated as the contest went on? That’s just how Heather Hardy is.

When the final bell rang, everyone knew that Serrano won that contest. She was the better fighter and she showed as much on fight night, but Hardy showed that she belonged.

The end result of the contest resulted in Hardy losing her Featherweight title. Something she had worked her whole career to obtain. She also lost her undefeated record as well.

It may have been a loss on paper but Hardy has already won.

Throughout the entire career of Hardy she has fought for all women and equality. Before Hardy came along, women’s boxing was often times cast aside. Now? It has earned the respect of many. Women have such as Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor have headlined shows on major networks, you think that is a coincidence? Not at all. It’s because of Hardy.

Women’s boxing may not and most likely will not ever get the same fame and adulation as the men do, but thanks to Hardy they are getting more and more opportunities.

Hardy could have sat back with her title and faced a lesser opponent. She could have milked her title and walked around with her championship for years to come, but that isn’t what she wanted.

“Risk over Regret.” Are the words that Hardy wrote on her Instagram post. Those are words that we should all live by.

Her title might be gone and her precious 0 in the loss column is also, but Hardy is forever a winner.

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Katie Taylor Moves Up in an Attempt to Become a Two Weight Champion

By: Hans Themistode

One of the very best women boxers in the world will return to the ring on November 2nd, at the O2 arena, in Manchester, England. She’ll be at the top of the billing on a card that will feature Joshua Buatsi, Anthony Crolla and a host of others.

The last time Taylor was seen in the ring, she was winning a hard fought but controversial decision against Delfine Persoon. It was a rougher than expected contest as Persoon had every reason to believe that she had done enough to win that contest.

Persoon successfully roughed Taylor up throughout the contest and made it as ugly as possible. Taylor seemed to have a difficult time adjusting to the physicality of Persoon. Still, Taylor managed to box her way to a decision.

The win for Taylor gave her the WBC Lightweight title which was the last belt at the weight class, making her an undisputed champion at the weight. Now that she has captured the last piece of the championship puzzle, she is looking for an even bigger challenge as she will be moving up in weight to take on WBO Super Lightweight champion Christina Linardatou.

“It’s a new challenge at a new weight and something I’m really excited about,” said Taylor. “I still feel like I have so much left to achieve in the sport and becoming a two-weight world champion is one of those goals.”

As for her opponent, Linardatou hasn’t lost a contest since 2016. Since then she has won four fights in a row and will be facing the biggest match of her career. Don’t expect the pressure of the moment to get to Linardatou.

“I plan on leaving England with my title,” said Taylor. “If I need to knock Katie Taylor out in order to retain the title, that’s what I’ll do.”

The move up in weight will have many fearing that a future contest against seven division champion Amanda Serrano is now unlikely. Taylor assured everyone that her plan isn’t to simply campaign at Super Lightweight.

“There are still so many huge fights out there for me like the Amanda Serrano fight, a rematch with Delfine Persoon and a fight with Cecilia Brækhus but the first goal is November 2 and winning another world title. I don’t have any issues making lightweight so I think I can move comfortably between the two weights. I always want to push myself and Christina is an excellent world champion, so it will be a big test for me.”

Taylor and Linardatou seem highly motivated to put on a show but it will be another fighter on the card who will receive most of the attention.

Former champion Anthony Crolla will step into the ring for one final time. It’s been a long and successful 13 year career for Crolla which first started in Manchester England. He has managed to win his fair of big fights including against Ismael Barroso, Ricky Burns and a championship winning effort against Darleys Perez. His career is now coming full circle as it will officially come to an end in the same place that it started 13 years ago.

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