One of the world’s brightest boxing prospects turned into one of the world’s youngest champions earlier today, April 6, as, at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, Naoya Inoue stormed his way to a sixth round technical knockout victory over the far more experienced Adrian Hernandez, claiming the WBC light flyweight world title in just his sixth professional outing. Inoue now has a record of 6-0-0, 5ko.
James DeGale trumped Dyah Davis by way of unanimous decision at Glow in Bluewater, Kent on Saturday, November 16. For the first half of the contest, there was much impressive work coming from the WBC silver titlist at super middleweight, but did he do enough to convince the crowd in attendance and those at home that he can hang with the world elite?…
Five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr, 36, released a 95-second long window into his training regimen earlier today, Thursday, April 5, on his official YouTube channel. The 43-0-0, 26ko welterweight, a defensive specialist, takes on mandatory WBC challenger Robert Guerrero for the 147lb belt on May 4, one year minus a day since Money’s last outing; a successful decisioning of respected Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.
(Video embedded above credit – YouTube, FloydMayweather)
By On The Beak staff
Bruising heavyweight Chris Arreola, 32, returns to the ring on April 27 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, following a 14-month layoff and is looking to make a statement at the expense of fellow WBC contender Bermane Stiverne. In order to ready himself for his ring return, Arreola (35-2-0, 30ko) has been working on his punching power…
“I’ve been working on my usual aggressive power punching style and focusing on waist and head movement,” said Arreola at a recent public workout. “It has been a year since I have last fought and I am feeling anxious to get back into the ring and shine on HBO. I’m ready to fight for and claim the top spot in the world in the heavyweight division and that includes the current world champions. I’m ready.”
The NABF Super Flyweight title will be on the line at the Parque Andres Quintana Roo later tonight, Saturday, December 1 when Quintana Roo’s own Jose “Sugar” Salgado defends his title against Colombia’s Devis “El Metrallo” Perez in a bout which will be aired on FOX Deportes in the United States.
In the co-featured bout, the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Mediterranean Super Lightweight title will be up for grabs when unbeaten Russian southpaw Denis Shafikov battles Ghana’s Albert “Tornado” Mensah in a 12 round fight.
Salgado vs. Perez and Shafikov vs. Mensah are presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The FOX Deportes broadcast will air at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
One of Mexico’s premier young talents, Cozumel’s Jose “Sugar” Salgado (29-2-1, 26 KO’s) is the two-time and current NABF Super Flyweight Champion and the 23-year-old is eager to add a world title belt to his trophy case in 2013. First, he must get by Devis Perez, but if the fact that Salgado’s last 10 wins have come by knockout are any indication, it might be a rough night for the highly-regarded Colombian.
Medellin, Colombia’s Devis “El Metrallo” Perez (16-7-4, 10 KO’s) is a 27-year-old warrior who is always willing to throw down with anyone put in front of him in the ring. A professional since 2007, Perez, who is unbeaten in his last three fights, has challenged for several regional titles over the years, but with the opportunity to challenge for the NABF crown Saturday night, it looks like his chance to enter the world ratings is just one win away.
A former IBO Intercontinental and current European champion at 140 pounds, 27-year-old Denis “Djingis Khan” Shafikov (30-0-1, 17 KO’s) is a veteran of nine years in the fight game and has defended his European crown twice since defeating Giuseppe Lauri for it in 2011. On May 31, 2012, he won a12 round battle over Brunet Zamora, the only man to hold him to a draw, and with that revenge exacted, Shafikov is ready for Mensah this weekend.
A native of Accra, Ghana who now fights out of Joliet, Illinois, Albert Mensah (25-3-1, 10 KO’s) is carrying on the tradition built by his countrymen of being a tough and rugged competitor willing to fight anyone, anywhere at any time. A 10-year professional and the owner of several regional titles over the course of his career, the 29-year-old broke out on the international scene in April with a hard-fought decision win over Michael Katsidis that established him as a serious threat in the division and a prime candidate for world title honors.
Alan Dawson – London
Tyson Fury emerged triumphant in a fight to forget on Saturday, December 1 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland as, even though the British/Irish heavyweight is normally an entertainer, he was up against an opponent famed for his spoiling. Kevin Johnson did what he did best, defend, throw little and survive, but it was ultimately an ugly showing and Fury thoroughly deserved his unanimous decision.
Official verdict: Fury wins via UD (119-110, 119-108, 119-108).
With a name like Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) it was never going to be hard attracting attention as a prizefighter. Yet the 6’9 boxing behemoth has the style and personality to match his moniker. Making his way to the ring, Fury lapped up the attention, smiled and waved at his home fans and sang along to his entrance music. This, after Kevin Johnson (28-3-1, 13ko) played up to his role as the American import as he wore American football gear to Alicia Keys’s modern classic; New York.
The match-up was a commendable one… Johnson was a one-time world-title challenger, however, he is everything Fury’s not: he has a capable defensive system and cares not for winning the event. He is not an entertainer. He is a spoiler – and that is exactly what he once again showed in Belfast.
“I never came in to knock him out, this guy is a world class fighter,” said Fury to Channel 5 after his victory. “I boxed to a game-plan. I didn’t go in for a war. I out-boxed him.”
There was no room for introductions once the opening bell chimed as Fury immediately charged to the blue corner in order to attack Johnson, a man he noticeably towered over when he looked to jab Kingpin and keep his man at bay. Interestingly, it was Johnson who had control of the centre of the ring and it was Fury who was the mover.
Much is made of Fury being fortunate to escape with a points nod during his first bout with John McDermott, together with the notorious YouTube clip of him uppercutting himself in the kisser, but Fury… this year and last… has made incredible developments.
The man is likely one of the most improved professionals in the game and this was demonstrated against Johnson in the opening round as he kept his chin protected with a high mitt while throwing lead lefts in an astute manner. He even threw a fairly fast combination to boot – something replicated at the beginning of the second.
The second minute of the second round involved both fighters enjoying spells with the other backed into the corner. During the exchanges, it was Fury, though, who had the better say.
Johnson was his own worst enemy in the bout as there was a clear lack of urgency in his work and, because of Fury’s activity, it was something that he would be marked down on. Fury even switched postures and fought as a southpaw for moments in the third (a tactic he used exclusively versus Martin Rogan) and, punctuating his argument for the ten score in round three, combo’d well with a particularly well-placed uppercut.
In what was turning into a downright weird confrontation, Johnson stopped in the middle of the ring and dropped his fists by his waist, obviously infuriated with Tyson’s box-and-move method. Fury, undeterred, continued to circle but, the first punch he threw since Kingpin’s frustration, was a jab right into the American’s gum-shielded teeth.
Prior to the fifth, Fury confessed to trainer Peter Fury that he “felt heavy on [his] feet”, however, this was never going to be a factor in a fight where his opponent actually looked bored to be there. Even Johnson’s posture in between rounds looked like he wanted to be somewhere else as he refused to take to his stool and casually propped himself up on the ropes.
Fury boxed with renewed energy in the sixth round, varied his jabbing to the belly and to the mouth and collected another straight-forward winning score. In the seventh, he stalked Kingpin with his jab but was deducted a point for punching after the break. And, in the eighth, Johnson successfully stunk the joint out as catcalls and boos were voiced from the masses in attendance.
In the final rounds not much changed. Referee Howard Foster even implored the two combatants to actually fight: “Come on guys, you’re getting paid to fight, now fight!” He said before the tenth round got underway. His attempted motivation fell on deaf ears as Johnson ignored this to continue with his signature tactic of single jabs thrown as if each one cost him money.
Fury, to be fair to him, tried. He was the aggressor, the one throwing more shots… landing more punches and the only one who came to swap slugs and win. He did his job. He earned his pay, won the decision and enhanced his global ranking in the heavyweight division.
“Any time someone gets in the ring with me and wins he is a step closer to a world title,” said Johnson. “I’m world class. Not one time did he step to me, he boxed. When you have two boxers you have a boring fight.”
Alan Dawson – London
The spirit of the late Emanuel Steward was evident at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this evening as his long-time Kronk Gym heavyweight pupil Johnathon Banks secured a jaw-dropping second round knockout over highly-heralded HBO-product Seth Mitchell. On Saturday, November 17, Banks dropped Mitchell three times, won the vacant WBC international title, propelled himself into a final eliminator and punctuated a month that saw him guide Wladimir Klitschko to victory over Mariusz Wach last weekend.
Official verdict: Banks by 2nd Rd KO.
As early as the opening round there were considerable gaps in terms of physicality; namely, Mitchell (25-1-1, 19ko) appeared to have it and Banks (29-1-1, 19ko) didn’t. Midway through the stanza, Mitchell believed he had Banks hurt with a series of thudding shots (with a hook doing the most damage) but Banks showed a great rate of recovery – something one would expect from a fighter who has regularly served as a sparring partner for unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Mitchell attempted to start the second round like he finished the first, rushed in but abandoned defence and leaked jabs from Banks. A strong body shot from Mitchell set up a shocking turn of events as Banks retreated to the ropes, inviting his opponent into a trap, landed a counter combination that left the former Michigan linebacker down on the floor and receiving a count. Dazed and confused, Mitchell made it to his feet but when boxing resumed he fought, rather than looked to survive the round. Banks’s overhand rights were Mitchell’s undoing and Seth slumped hard to the canvas. Again, he rose to his feet but an overhand right dropped Mitchell a third time and the referee waved the bout off, providing Banks with a stunning smash-and-grab upset victory.
“The role of Emanuel Steward played into my life, fighting is my life,” said Banks to HBO after his win. “I want to dedicate this to him because the man loved knockouts and we’re going to miss him.
“I knew I had a very strong and determined guy in front of me. He got a go get em mentality. I felt when I hit him, I hurt him and he didn’t hold like he should have. He grabbed my waist and didn’t tie up my arms. All that’s running through my head is the momentum I got but I’m so thankful for Emanuel Steward, he taught me everything about boxing.”
Photo Credit: Naoki Fakuda
This evening marks another evening of “The Adrien Broner Show”. That’s what the world champion boxer called his 12-round fight against Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21ko) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The native Cincinnatian will be attempting to gain his second world title against DeMarco, this time the WBC lightweight title. It was nearly a year ago when Broner (24-0-0, 20ko) won the WBO super featherweight championship in his hometown. Since then, Broner has continued to rise to stardom now becoming a fixture in the global boxing scene and fighting in front of HBO audiences.
At the young age of 23, the future has a lot offer for Broner, and the next step is against the experienced Mexican, DeMarco. With an impressive record, DeMarco is looking to finish off his best year in the sport. It started last October when he rallied for one of the most exciting knockout finishes of 2011 over Jorge Linares to win the world title. Since then, DeMarco has won twice more, the latest being a first round stoppage over a 24-1 John Molina in September.
“DeMarco is definitely my best opponent so far on paper,” Broner said in a media conference call. “It is the biggest fight of my career thus far. I am not looking past anyone. I have to take it one fight at a time.
“I have been training very hard,” Broner continued. “I want to thank DeMarco and his team for taking the fight and coming to the U.S. to fight me. I know he is a great champion. He is ready and I am ready. It is going to be an electrifying fight and I am ready to go.”
Though the southpaw DeMarco is going to present a new challenge, Broner still believes that he will be able to show his opponent why he’s called “The Problem.”
“You are going to see a totally different Adrien Broner on Saturday night,” Broner said. I am going to be able to show more of my skills on Saturday night because DeMarco has such talent. They say if one good talent goes up against another good talent, it brings out something in the elite.
“DeMarco has fought good guys, but he hasn’t fought me.”
Alan Dawson – London
Tony Bellew outpointed Roberto Bolonti on all three of the judges’ scorecards despite suffering a problematic cut in the third round of a light heavyweight tussle at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday, November 17. The cut changed the complexion of the fight, from a gutsy encounter that could have finished early, to a cerebral hit-and-not-get-hit affair. Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Sports, will now push for a final WBC eliminator in March.
Official verdict: Bellew via unanimous decision.
“I felt like I could have got rid of him in the first three rounds,” said Bellew (19-1-0, 12ko), who picked up the WBC silver title at 175lbs with his victory. “He was tough, good chin. I just didn’t get the knockout.”
Pre-fight hostilities that involved Bolonti (30-2-0, 19ko) making throat-slashing gestures at the weigh-in on Friday were a mere appetiser for what ensued on the co-main event for the True Brit bill in the Midlands as both fighters landed with aplomb as early as the first round.
Bellew, who has boxed with a more risk averse method since suffering knockdowns at the fists of Ovill McKenzie in 2010, abandoned that strategy against his Argentine opponent as he fought on the front-foot and had his man on his knees, receiving a referee’s count, prior to the opening chapter’s conclusion. That decision was to Bolonti’s chagrin, who vehemently protested the count as he claimed the resultant punch was to the back of the head – a valid argument when watching the replay.
Bolonti was on his seat for the second time in the third round after getting caught with a hooking left early in the stanza. Even though he was losing rounds, the 33-year-old from Buenos Aires was no slouch in attack and was adept at landing his left, a shot that eventually slashed open Bellew’s brow and had claret waterfalling down the middle of his Chevy Chase.
Bellew, cheered on at ringside by Everton football stars Sylvain Distin and Tim Howard, did not his tactics in the fourth despite the cut. In the fifth, though, Bellew boxed Bolonti. The Bomber’s bleeding had ceased – largely thanks to the calm work of cutman Mick Williamson – and he bobbed and weaved away from Roberto’s swinging fists and fought with caution. Bellew had become more methodical in his approach and focused his attention to Bolonti’s midsection, particularly with his left mitt as he wisely kept his right at head-level in order to protect the gash.
Bellew picked his shots well in the sixth stanza and kept Bolonti at jabbing range. Boxing for the first time outside of Argentina, Bolonti did attempt to target the open trench on Bellew’s mush but his hooks and one-two combinations were largely thrown in vain as the popular Liverpudlian prizefighter’s athleticism and intuitive defensive movement ensured he was able to keep himself out of harm’s way.
In the ninth, Bellew backed Bolonti against the ropes but just when the attack could have proven troublesome for the visitor, he slipped out of the danger zone and back to the centre of the ring. The next round, Bolonti was hurt and on spaghetti legs following a body-bound combo and an uppercut. However, the South American’s recovery rate was sterling and he steadily walked to the red corner after hearing the bell.
Bellew popped a mustard one-two at the beginning of the 11th and there was not a moment that passed that wasn’t controlled by the Englishman. The fight’s finish was not climactic… considering the simmering heat during the weigh-in and the initial duelling this evening, the bout lost it’s fizzle sharpish, largely due to the cut suffered by Bellew.
Tony did well to adapt and shut out his opponent, but Bolonti and his corner would need to be asked why they didn’t force a stoppage on the cut. Even if he stuck his jab out and used his orthodox shots with more regularity he could have angered what was a large laceration, but, if anything, Bolonti boxed in a more timid fashion than he had in the first three rounds.
Credit for Bellew’s win must be placed with his corner, as well as himself. The change in tactics was on point but the work done by Willamson in calming the cut was nothing short of heroic.
“We’re in the pain business… we gotta go through it [but] I’ve got the best cutman in the game in Mick Williamson,” concluded Bellew.
After two years of talking, the wait is almost over and Vanes Martirosyan will finally fight Cuban star Erislandy Lara. Two highly-ranked junior middleweight contenders, Lara and Martirosyan will put everything on the line in a 12 round WBC super welterweight world title elimination fight that will headline the Saturday, November 10 edition of HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. from the Lafite Ballroom at Wynn, Las Vegas.
“The fight is almost here and the fans are in for a great night of action,” said the number one rated WBC contender who has wanted to corner the trash-talking Martirosyan in the ring since 2010. “My goal is to punish Vanes in this fight because he’s been talking so much trash. This fight has been a long time in coming and I’m going to make him pay for his disrespect.
“I’m extremely focused and mentally prepared to give fans a great performance on November 10,” continued Lara. “I’ve worked hard my entire life to get into position to fight for a world championship and Martirosyan stands in my way. Like all Cuban fighters, we bring a lot of heart and soul into the ring and this fight will be no different. I’m coming to establish myself as the best super welterweight in the world.
“This fight is dedicated to all those who are suffering and have lost their lives to Hurricane Sandy including the 11 Cubans who were killed by the storm,” continued Lara. “My prayers go out to all of their families. God Bless!”
Oscar de la Hoya said: “I’m excited to see Lara show his skills on November 10th against Martirosyan. This fight has been a long time coming and we’re excited it is finally happening. I have full confidence that Lara will come out victorious and make a statement that he is a force in the 154 pound weight class.”
Lara’s manager Luis DeCubas Jr added: “Lara and Martirosyan are two of the top fighters at 154 pounds. I can guarantee they will put on a great show for everyone watching on HBO. Lara is ready to show the world he’s the best fighter in the division. The winner of this fight will be in a great position and that will be Erislandy Lara!”
A decorated member of the renowned Cuban amateur boxing program, 29-year-old Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11ko) is one of the most respected-and avoided-fighters in the world today.
In 2011, Lara was on the short end of one of boxing’s most controversial decisions in a July 2011 loss against Paul Williams after which all three judges were suspended indefinitely. Undeterred, the slick and powerful southpaw rebounded in 2012 with a 94 second technical knockout win over Ronald Hearns and a ten-round decision victory over Freddy Hernandez.
Now he looks forward to his upcoming November 10 title elimination bout against number two rated WBC super welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20ko), a 26-year-old Californian who is coming off of a third round technical knockout win over Troy Lowry in February.