Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
Reigning WBA junior middleweight title-holder Austin Trout (25-0-0, 14ko) made weight at the second time of asking on Friday afternoon, ahead of his voluntary defence against ring veteran Miguel Cotto (37-3-0, 30ko). Trout had to strip bare naked in order to make the upper limit of the 154lb weight class. Cotto scaled in at 153.6lbs. The two boxers go punch for punch at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, November 30.
Alan Dawson – London
Martin Murray picked up the “interim” WBA middleweight world title on Saturday, November 24 and punctuated his status as a world-level operator with a dominant performance over unheralded opponent Jorge Navarro at the Manchester Arena. Having tied with Felix Sturm in Germany, Murray now wants to sign a contract to challenge Sergio Martinez in Argentina for the lineal championship.
Official verdict: Murray by way of 6th Rd TKO.
For the first minute in the opening round, Murray (25-0-1, 11ko) tentatively boxed on the back-foot, however, after an initial assessment of his largely unknown opponent, Murray began to fight with confidence, with aggression and also with power. The Englishman, frustrated by an inability to be matched with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in June due to Visa issues, took anger out on Venezuelan power puncher Navarro (12-0-1, 10ko) and caught the unbeaten Bolivar bruiser with a straight right, jellying his knees and winning a knockdown.
Murray had ten seconds left on the ring clock in the first stanza and flurried relentlessly in a bid to win an early finish and an early bath, but Navarro survived the onslaught, recuperated during the minute break but was unable to box his way back into the fight in the second round. Murray patiently probed. The second chapter lacked the drama of the first, but Murray stuck to a disciplined approach and sought to take the wind out of his man’s sails before puncturing the hull with holes and drowning the vessel. His one-two was thrown well – and he landed numerous short-range right hands to the body before targeting the chin.
Despite carrying an impressive knockout ratio, Navarro’s attack was far too predictable and one-dimensional. He telegraphed too many of his shots and Murray was able to envision the shots the 27-year-old was ready to throw. Murray won all the rounds… he coasted through the third, cut Navarro’s skin open in the fourth and bamboozled his opponent with jabs, right crosses and fast combinations in the fifth. In truth, Murray could have had Navarro on his back with the fight finished earlier in the contest but was likely advised by his corner to ease off the accelerator and gain some rounds having been away from a professional prize ring since June.
Navarro was on his knees and receiving another eight count in the sixth round. Navarro appeared loathe to beat the count, looking over to his corner for assistance but was allowed to box on… just not for long. Murray preserved his undefeated streak, enhanced his global ranking and secured his technical knockout victory mere moments later when he ransacked the South American with body-bound flurrying, forcing Navarro’s corner to throw in the white towel.
“We knew he could punch… our plan was to ease our way in, get inside, break his heart,” said Murray to Primetime before commenting on whom he wants to challenge next. “I want to be in big world title fights. We’ve got some big fights to look forward to. As we showed in Germany, we’d fight anybody. I’d love to fight [Sergio Martinez] and I’d go to Argentina to beat him.”
On the undercard, rising bantamweight prospect Scott Quigg (25-0-1, 18ko) obtained contender status with his stoppage victory over Rendall Munroe. Quigg forced his counterpart to his on two occasions in the sixth round. The first, was a result of a left hook crack to the left side of Munroe’s ribs. The former world title challenger beat the count, but was felled moments later and, in obvious pain, was counted out by referee Terry O’Connor. With the victory, Quigg claimed the “interim” version of the WBA’s super bantamweight world title.
NBC Sports Network’s popular “Fight Night” TV boxing series starts 2013 off with a bang on January 19th when Sergey Kovalev (19-0-1, 17ko) takes on Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8ko), in an international ten-round light heavyweight main event. The nationally televised fight will be held at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
Kovalev, the 175-pound punching machine from Chelyabinsk, Russia, aptly nicknamed “Krusher”, always brings the power when he steps into the ring. Only three of his opponents have gone the distance during his three year career. His last start was a typical Kovalev affair, a three round blowout of Lionell Thompson in Bethlehem, PA. He will look to make similar short work of Campillo in January.
Campillo is Spanish southpaw from Madrid who once reigned as the WBA 175-pound world champion. In his last fight, he boxed circles around undefeated IBF champ Tavoris Cloud, but lost a highly controversial split decision. Campillo, known as the “Handsome Man” is a beautiful boxer looking to get back to another world title bout. Kovalev is standing in his way.
This caliber of competition has become the benchmark for the NBC Sports Network “Fight Night” series. “Fight Night” matchmaker, J Russell Peltz said, “This is a classic boxer-puncher fight between world-class fighters. On paper it doesn’t get any better than this, in person it could be even better.”
A unique video providing insight and a behind-the-scenes look at how a long-reigning unified heavyweight world champion, Wladimir Klitschko, readies himself for a fight against an unbeaten challenger, Mariusz Wach, has been released. Wladimir, who gives up an inch in reach and two inches in height, defends his belt collection on November 10 at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg. The fight has been dedicated to the late Emanuel Steward.
(Embedded video above credit: YouTube, KlitschkoChannel)
With the biggest fight of his career just one month away, [regular] WBA super welterweight world title holder Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout [relocated] to higher elevation for the remainder of his training camp. A proud New Mexico native, he has remained close to his roots to prepare for December 1. Trout and trainer Louie Burke held the first half of their ten-week camp in his hometown of Las Cruces, but they [have headed] up I-70 to mountain destination, Ruidoso, N.M., for the final month of training. Trout is preparing for the fourth defense of his WBA title on December 1 against Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden on Showtime.
“The seclusion and altitude of Ruidoso are the main reasons [for changing camp]. It’s close enough that I can go home if I need to, but far enough that I won’t be bothered with the hustle and bustle.”
Team Trout took the two-hour journey to Ruidoso [last week] and train at On the Rock Church boxing club. Situated next to the Lincoln national forest, Ruidoso is a mountain resort town with an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet. The 27-year-old and his team are holding camp in Ruidoso for the second time in his career.
With more than half of his training complete for December 1, Trout is pleased with the progress he and his team have made to this point: “It’s been a great camp thus far; I have good chemistry with everyone,” Trout said. “All my sparring partners, everyone’s been helping out. I feel like I’m right on schedule if not ahead of it.”
Trout enjoyed his debut as a boxing analyst two week ago, joining the Showtime commentating team for the October 20 telecast from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Although he thoroughly enjoyed his first taste of the broadcast business, his focus is now squarely on Miguel Cotto and the fourth defense of his belt.
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photo: Team Klitschko
Dominant IBF/IBO/WBO/WBA heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3-0, 51ko), 36, extended his undefeated run to 16 wins on the spin, incorporating 13 by way of knockout and 12 title defences during that spell as, on Saturday, July 7 at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland, he halted mandatory challenger and tall southpaw Tony Thompson (36-3-0, 24ko) in the sixth round.
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Picture: Andreas Sauer – Sauerland
Reigning ‘Regular’ WBA heavyweight world titlist Alexander Povetkin will not be trading leather with mandatory challenger Hasim Rahman at the Boleyn Ground in London on Saturday, July 14 because of a clash between licensing in Britain and broadcasting in Germany. While the David Haye and Dereck Chisora main event will remain in England, Povetkin and Rahman will be rehoused in Hamburg on the same night.
Licensing at the football ground of West Ham United dictates that Haye and Chisora’s grudge fight could not begin later than 22:00 and, due to German TV network ARD’s demands that Povetkin v Rahman fill that time slot and occur prior to the former fight, scheduling proved impossible. Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event, explained: “It is due to organisational aspects; the English time schedule was too tight.”
He continued: “We wouldn’t have been able to guarantee that the fight could have been broadcasted live in Germany. Therefore the heavyweight world championship will be staged in Hamburg. There are not a lot of cities in Germany which can host such an event on such short notice. Hamburg is a real boxing city with a great audience and a lot of boxing tradition. Furthermore the city possesses the required infrastructure to host such a big event.”
Povetkin added: “My fourth fight as a pro was in Hamburg, back in 2005. Obviously I remember that fight very well. I have also been there a few times to visit my promoter Kalle Sauerland.”
On The Beak – Admin
With the hunt for an opponent for WBC junior middleweight belt holder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (40-0-1, 29ko) on Saturday, September 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada still apparently ongoing, WBA titlist at 154lbs Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout (25-0-0, 14ko) has issued a reminder to his Mexican rival. Eager for a world title unification, Trout has challenged Canelo…
“Canelo, if you want my belt, come try and take it! After I beat your brother in your hometown to win my title, you came forward and stated you wanted to fight me to avenge your brother’s loss. Ever since I immediately accepted your challenge, you have disappeared. Now we have a chance to unify the titles and give the fans a fight between two young, undefeated world champions, but it seems as though you are more interested in taking on lesser-quality opposition and avoiding me again.”
Trout was last seen scoring a dominant win over Delvin Rodriguez on June 2 on Showtime.
“I’ve proven to be head and shoulders above everyone they’ve put in front of me. I’m ready for my first defining moment as a fighter on the world stage, so I’m sending this challenge out to another champion who hasn’t yet been in a pick ‘em type of fight.”
Surprisingly, Trout says he doesn’t blame Alvarez for his choice of opponents thus far.
“If I could get away with fighting the Kermit Cintrons and Matthew Hattons of the world on HBO, I would too, but it’s time to step up Cinnamon. Time to find out what we’re both truly made of.”
Note: The WBC are reported to have rejected this unification.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Heavy-handed Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana, the current incumbent of the ‘Regular’ WBA junior welterweight title, is in debt to 147lb southpaw Victor Ortiz as, according to the fighter himself, it is he who gave Maidana his name due to their 2009 thriller where both fighters exchanged multiple knockdowns. Ortiz believes he is owed either a thank you, or a rematch…
Exciting Oxnard power-puncher Ortiz, 25, was stopped by Maidana three years ago and, even though he has gone on to capture a world title at welterweight and secure a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr (albeit one he was unsuccessful in), Maidana too saw his status rise since ’09 and has shared a ring with Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Devon Alexander.
“[Maidana] owes me a thank you or a rematch because I gave him his name,” spat Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), who is in action himself on Saturday, June 23 as he takes on Josesito Lopez in a 12-round duel for the lightly-regarded silver title sanctioned by the WBC.
“Right now the main focus is on Lopez because he’s no walk in the park,” he continued. “I don’t disrespect anyone. There’s a dangerous fighter in front of me who is on the same path as I was a year ago before I fought [Andre] Berto, but the difference here is I’m too hungry to let my chance go.”
Ortiz has not fought since his defeat to Mayweather nine months ago. A rematch with Berto, slated for earlier in the year, was postponed as the Floridian suffered an injury to his bicep and so the bout was pushed back to June 23, however, Berto then failed a drug test. Ortiz’s opponent was duly changed but the date was salvaged as Lopez (29-4-0, 17ko) was brought in and, even though he has not locked leather in a professional environment since September last year, Ortiz is eager to return to the ring with a bang.
“If [Lopez] wants to go to war, we’ll go to war. If he wants to box, then we’ll box. It doesn’t really matter. I’m there to take what is rightfully mine.”
Alan Dawson – London
The well-publicised super bantamweight contest that pitted Rendall Munroe against Scott Quigg – two of Britain’s top fighters at the weight – ended in disappointing fashion on Saturday, June 16 as an accidental clash of heads caused Munroe to bleed profusely from the eyebrow. As the contest had only just entered into it’s third round, a technical draw was announced at the Velodrome in Manchester, however, a rematch will no doubt be booked…
Official verdict: Technical draw due to Munroe cut in round three.
“We need to do it again, it’s number one in the country against number two,” said promoter Ricky Hatton to Sky Sports Two. “Munroe needs to get the cut looked at. The minute the cut is healed up, it’s an immediate rematch.”
The Quigg – Munroe fight, in an event dubbed Road to Glory, received international interest due to the clash of styles and it’s ‘crossroads’ nature. And, while Munroe was the accomplished distance fighter, the established campaigner at the highest of levels and could brag a sterling resume and body of work, it was Quigg who entered the ring second and took command of the red corner.
This, though, was somewhat apt considering the column inches Quigg has attracted during his ascendancy thus far but, in the opening round, it was Munroe who went about his business while Quigg – in contrast – was far too tentative in the opening minute, perhaps showing signs of his relative inexperience at this stage.
Any nerves Quigg had in the opening session, though, appeared to have vanished by round two as Quigg boxed with confidence, landed with his acclaimed power, made Munroe miss, countered his man and was – largely – accurate. Munroe’s wide shots, such as the left hook, were blocked by Quigg’s well-placed gloves and, just as the crowd were beginning to get increasingly roused by the in-ring action, the fight was called off on account of an angry cut suffered by Munroe when the heads accidentally came together.
The laceration was a bad one and wept claret into his eye, over his nose and the 32-year-old was sporting a ghastly mask of blood within seconds, prompting the ringside doctor to advise the referee to call the contest off. As a result, both fighters shared a technical draw.
“That’s how it is, that’s the game, I thought I had his number, I was just warming up [and] I hadn’t even started,” assessed Munroe (24-2-1, 10ko) post-fight. “I’m more frustrated I didn’t get to take a new belt to take home to my kids.”
Quigg (24-0-1, 17ko) added: “We both came to brawl… he leaned in, I leaned in, that’s boxing innit. After two rounds, everything was going to plan. We had a perfect training camp but we didn’t get the perfect fight.”
Alan Dawson – London
Cuban southpaw Guillermo Rigondeaux produced masterfully outclassed Teon Kennedy on Saturday, June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as the 31-year-old, in his tenth professional fight, scored five knockdowns and a technical knockout victory in a power punch perfect performance. In unorthodox fashion, Rigo abandoned the jab and instead relied upon the incredible variety of ways he could land his left fist.
Official verdict: Rigondeaux by way of fifth round TKO.
The variety of Rigondeaux’s fistic weaponry was on display within the opening 90 seconds and involved particularly devastating straight left punches that continually buckled the knees of Kennedy. This, combined with uppercuts, body blows and left hooks countered over the right hand were all thrown at an astonishingly fast pace and ultimately proved too much for Kennedy to handle in the opening session. The challenger for Guillermo’s WBA super bantamweight world title belt even touched down on the canvas with a glove following an unanswered bombardment of shots but composed himself in order to hear the bell that closed round one.
Despite his technical prowess and amateur background, Rigondeaux did not operate behind the jab and, when Kennedy took a step forward, he was oft depleted of energy and confidence due to a precise left uppercut. In the final minute of the second stanza, Rigo twice decked Kennedy… the first (and second of the night) was caused by a crisp right hand while the next knockdown arrived mere moments later as Teon had no clear answer for the unrelenting accuracy of Guillermo’s fists.
Kennedy sharpened up his defences in the third round and was alert to Rigondeaux’s left hand. A boxer blessed with fine balance and a spatial appreciation inside the ring, Rigondeaux’s defensive capability perplexed Kennedy and, in the fourth, the Cuban could be seen slipping and sliding out of harm’s way. With a clean left straight landing flush on the chin, Kennedy was felled again in the fourth but protested the decision of the referee – Russell Mora – to administer a count as he claimed he simultaneously received a step on his foot.
At the beginning of the fifth round, Rigondeaux scored his fifth knockdown – again with a chin-bound fist – and while Kennedy did not appear truly hurt, the beatdown had been so dominant that Mora waved the bout off and awarded a technical knockout Rigondeaux’s way. With the resounding victory, Rigo upped his record to 10-0-0, 8ko, made a successful first defence of his world championship at 122lbs and, considering the headlines and buzz his triumph will create, could move closer to a fight of significance with fellow world titlist Nonito Donaire.