Saturday, February 24, 2018

2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT




WBSS Semifinals finale

Super Middleweights in Germany

Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken





(L-R) – Nieky Holzken & Callum Smith

(Picture courtesy of World Boxing Super Series)


EDMONTON, Canada (February 21, 2018) – World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond champion Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) takes on late replacement Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (13-0, 10 KOs) this Saturday in the last World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinals-round match in the super middleweight division, at Nurnberger Versicherung Arena in Nuremburg, Germany

The Smith vs. Holzken card, starting at 2 p.m. ET, will air live in Canada, exclusively on Super Channel.

Holzken, an undefeated Dutch prospect, has replaced two-time world champion Juergen Braehmer, of Germany, who withdrew from the WBSS semifinals match due to illness.

“I have been battling a feverish infection since Sunday,” Braehmer explained. “Unfortunately, a fight in this state is out of the questions. It is not possible for me to go into the ring like this and I would like to apologize to my fans. I was well prepared and looking forward to fighting Callum.”

The Smith-Holzken winner will advance to the WBSS super middleweight championship final against World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight World Champion “Sir” George Groves (28-3, KOs), of the United Kingdom, June 2 at The O2 Arena in London, in a battle for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.

Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.

Smith was the least tested WBSS semifinalist in terms of having faced quality opponents, as well as the youngest at 27. The undefeated Brit is one of four fighting Smith brothers.

In the WBSS quarterfinals, Smith took a 12-round unanimous decision from previously unbeaten Erik Skoglund to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond super middleweight title.

“I gave an interview last week and said it was great there have been no drop-outs,” Smith said. “Looks like I spoke too soon. We got the call as we were boarding the plane. I am committed to fighting Saturday and will fight whoever the World Boxing Super series puts in front of me.”

The 34-year-old Holzken was preparing to fight Dmitri Chudinov in Saturday’s WBSS Super Middleweight Substitute Fight. He has had only four scheduled 10-round matches during his five-year professional career, the most notable being a win by 10-round unanimous decision in 2016 over Farouk Daku (20-9-1) for the vacant BeNeLux super middleweight title.

Holzken is determined to make the most of this opportunity by upsetting Smith, despite his obvious leap in class. “I’ve been waiting for this chance to come,” Holzken commented. “I signed up as a substitute fighter, so I’m in great shape and prepared for Saturday. I’ve watched Callum fight many times. I study everyone in my weight class. He’s a good, solid fighter. We’re both big body punchers. It will make for an excellent fight. Callum, you better be ready, because I am, and I’m coming to beat you!”

Five exciting fights on the “Smith-Holzken” card, presented by Sauerland Event, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.

In the 10-round WBSS Substitute Fight, Dmitrii “Night Wolf” Chudinov (20-2, 13 KOs), of Russia, faces an opponent to be determined in the co-featured event. 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic (3-0, 3 KOs), of Croatia, faces Irishman Sean “Big Sexy” Turner (12-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round bout; former WBC Youth light heavyweight champion James Kraft (13-0, 9 KOs), of Germany, meets Cameroon native Bernard Donfack (23-17-3, 11 KOs) in an eight round super middleweight match; 19-year-old German super middleweight Leon Bauer (12-0-1, 8 KOs) squares off with Marco Miano (6-6, 2 KOs), of Italy, in a six-round fight to open the Super Channel broadcast. A six-round “swing bout” between German super middleweight Toni Kraft (12-0-1, 4 Kos) and Hungarian Jozsef Racz (7-20-1, 2 KOs) may also be aired.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.




January 27, Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia – WBO/WBC Unification

Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), Ukraine

WMDEC12 (115-113, 115-113, 114-114).

Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs), Latvia

(Usyk retained his WBO title and won the WBC championship)

February 3, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia – IBF/WBA Unification

Murat “Iron” Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs), Russia


 Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-1, 20 KOs), Cuba

(Gassiev retained his IBF title and won WBA championship) Continue reading


Super Middleweight World Champions George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr. World Boxing Super Series semifinal

WBA & IBO Super Middleweight Unification World Championship



Saturday, February 17, 2018


2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT



Super Middleweight World Champions


George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr.
World Boxing Super Series semifinals

(L-R) — George Groves & Chris Eubank Jr.
(Pictures courtesy of World Boxing Super Series)
EDMONTON, Canada (February 17, 2018) – Today’s “Battle of Britain”: is a bitter showdown between World champions “Sir” George Groves and Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr. in today’s super middleweight World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinals-round bout, at Manchester Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom.
The Groves vs. Eubank Jr card, starting at 2 p.m. ET, will air live in Canada, exclusively on Super Channel.
The Groves-Eubank Jr. winner will advance to the WBSS championship final against the winner of the other WBSS super middleweight semifinals bout, Feb. 24 in Germany, between Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) and Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs). The two semifinalist survivors will battle June 2 at London’s O2 Arena for the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) knocked out defending champion Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight title last May. He knocked out previously undefeated Jaime Cox in the fourth round of the WBSS quarterfinals.
“I am not for one second taking him lightly,” Groves said. “Junior definitely has a good engine but as soon as I hit him, I am going to hurt him and put him away. I have been involved in big fights before and I’ve learned a lot along the way. This is a tremendous fight but it’s not my biggest fight to date. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in through my career. I’m fully prepared to go out there and retain my world title in style.

“It’s not an expression that I particularly like but it comes down to levels and I’m levels above Junior. I’ve sacrificed a lot and I’ve been through some terrible times to get here. Desire is one thing I’ve always had in abundance. I’ve picked myself up from the lowest points and now I’m at the top and enjoying it. I won’t be taking my eye off the ball.
“I’m the number one seed and I will go on to win this tournament and win it well. I started last year and will continue this week. I’m ready and hopefully, he is too.”
Eubank Jr. captured his International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight world title a year ago, when he knocked out Renold Quinlan in the 10th round. He stopped Avni Yildirim (16-0) in the third round of the WBSS quarterfinal round.
“It is the biggest fight of my career,” Eubank Jr. noted. “I have dreamed of being part of such a big fight since I started boxing. Groves will not last 12 rounds. He should enjoy the last days with that WBA belt because on Saturday I’m going to take it and proceed to the final.
“What motivates me is becoming the number one super middleweight in the world. This is my stage, my time, my opportunity to show everyone that everything I’ve been saying is real. It’s time to prove the doubters, the nay-sayers and keyboard warriors wrong   I’ve been dreaming about fighting on a stage like this since I was 14 years old. Two of the best super middleweights in the world are putting it all on the line and me being victorious on Saturday night. That’s my motivation. There is nothing George can do that is going to stop me.

“This is a defining fight for me. It can propel me to the top of the sport. It gives me the right to say I’m the number one super middleweight in the world. Two world titles. That’s every fighter’s dream but this is just the beginning. It’s collecting season and I’m coming for all the belts. After the tournament, every other belt holder is on the hit list. George Groves is just the first.”
Four entertaining fights, including three title matches, are on the “Groves vs. Eubank, Jr.” card, presented by Sauerland Event, airing exclusively in Canada on Super Channel. (Plus, two possible swing bouts.)
George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), WBA Champion, UK), 75,8 kg (167 lbs.)
Chris Eubank Jr. (26-2, 20 KOs), IBO Champion, UK, 76 kg (167 lbs.)   
Ryan Walsh (22-2-1, 11 KOs), Champion, UK, 57 kg, (125 lbs.)
Isaac Lowe (14-0-2, 5 KOs), Challenger, UK 57 kg, (125 lbs.)
Tommy Langford (19-1, 6 KOs), UK, 72,2 kg (159 lbs.)
Jack Arnfield (25-2, 6 KOs), Challenger, UK, 72,6 (160 lbs.)
Zack Parker (14-1, 10 KOs), UK
Adasat Rodriguez (16-6-2, 10 KOs), Spain
Sebastian Eubank (pro debut), UK
Karmil Kulczyk (2-8, 1 KO), Poland
Danny Craven (3-1, 1 KO), UK
Luther Clay (6-1, 3 KOs), UK
(All fights and fighters are subject to change)
January 27, Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia – WBO/WBC Unification
Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), Ukraine
WMDEC12 (115-113, 115-113, 114-114).
Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs), Latvia
(Usyk retained his WBO title and won the WBC championship)
February 3, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia – IBF/WBA Unification
Murat “Iron” Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs), IBF World Champion, Russia – Ring #2
 Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-1, 20 KOs), WBA World Champion, Cuba – Ring #5
(Gassiev retained his IBF title and won WBA championship)
February 17, Manchester, Arena, Manchester, UK – WBA/IBO Unification
“Saint” George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), WBA World Champion, United Kingdom – Ring #2
Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs), IBO World Champion, United Kingdom – Ring #4
February 24, Arena Nurnberger Versicherung, Nuremburg, Germany
Juergen Braehmer (49-3 35 KOs), Germany – Ring #10
(Former WBO & WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion)
Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), United Kingdom – Ring #3
(WBC Diamond Super Middleweight Champion)
All WBSS semifinals and championship fights will also be available on Super Channel On Demand.
In addition to all the WBSS quarterfinal matches, Super Channel aired major boxing events live in 2017 like Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, Eubank, Jr. vs. Abraham, Lomachenko vs. Marriaga, Crawford vs. Indongo and Smith vs. Williams II.
To watch all the World Boxing Super Series action live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month. Continue reading

Murat Gassiev Training Camp Notes – Quotes From Gassiev & Trainer Abel Sanchez Ahead of October 21 World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Quarterfinal from Prudential Center in Newark, N..J.



NEWARK, N.J. (October 10, 2017) – IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev shared his thoughts from training camp in Big Bear, Calif., as fight week nears for his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final showdown Saturday, October 21 against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J and on AUDIENCE Network.


Gassiev first arrived to train in the U.S. in 2014 and has worked with the renowned Abel Sanchez, eventually capturing his title with a victory over Denis Lebedev in December 2016.


“Abel is an amazing guy and he has pushed me very hard in the gym,” said Gassiev. “He’s really a father figure here in the gym. I have so much respect for him and the way that he treats people. The best thing that I ever did was come here to train with Abel Sanchez.


“We have very hard and intense training, but this is not ballet. He’s preparing me for battle and I trust that he knows exactly what we need to do to have success.”


“There are no world champions in my gym,” said Sanchez. “Your belts stay at home. My gym is just a place to work and get better. I can already see the improvements in this training camp for Gassiev. He had Lebedev down but didn’t finish him. Moments like that, you have to finish the job.”


The 23-year-old from Vladikavkaz, Russia had a winding road to success in the squared circle, but quickly embraced the sport upon picking it up at 15-years-old.


“Boxing was actually not my first sport,” said Gassiev. “My city has produced lots of Olympic and world champion wrestlers, so that was my first sport. Then I tried soccer, but that wasn’t quite right either. One day I went to a boxing gym with my friend and right away I knew, this was what I needed. Eight years later, and I’m very happy where I am.”


Gassiev has trained alongside the likes of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin up in the unique atmosphere and altitude of Big Bear.


“It’s very important to be in a place like this because the only focus is training,” said Gassiev. “This is what we do all day. This is exactly what I need to be at my best and win this tournament. I don’t see my family for a long time, but it’s part of my life. This is my business and I’m doing all of this for my family. Continue reading

Undefeated Devar Ferhadi takes on Antowyan Aikens in main event on Friday, August 11 at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia



Undefeated Devar Ferhadi takes on Antowyan Aikens in main event on Friday, August 11 at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia

Plus undefeated knockout sensation Christian Carto

Antonio Dubose battles Josh Crespo

Local favorites Khalib Whitmore, Erik Spring, David Gonzales & Brandon Robinson in action



Philadelphia, Penn. (July 10, 2017)–Undefeated super middleweight Devar Ferhadi will take on his toughest test when he takes on battle tested Antowyan Aikens in the eight-round main event of a great night of boxing on Friday, August 11th at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

The card is promoted by King’s Promotions.

Ferhadi of Frederick, Maryland was born in Iraq, and has amassed a perfect mark of 7-0 with six knockouts.

Ferhadi has one of the unique stories in the sport as he spends about eight months out of the year as a medical student in Kurdastad, Iraq.

The 22 year-old began fighting at age 14 and went 10-2 as an amateur.  He lost in an Olympic qualifying tournament.

He started coming to the United States, and his whole family still resides in Iraq.

This will be Ferhadi’s first fight in almost a year when he stopped Christopher Petty in three rounds on August 19m 2016 in Crystal City, Virginia.

Aikens of Atlantic City, New Jersey has a record of 11-3-1 with one knockout.

Aikens, who turned professional in 2011, won his first ten fights, which was highlighted by a win over then0undefeated Sherman Artis.

Aikens went through a stretch where he went 0-3-1 against fighters who had a combined record of 29-2-2.  On May 19, Aikens got back in the win column in a big way when he took a six-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Amir Shabazz (4-0) in Philadelphia.

Appearing in the six-round co-feature, will be exciting bantamweight knockout artist Christian Carto (10-0, 10 KO’s).

Carto’s opponent will be named shortly.

Also in six-round bouts:

Erik Spring (9-1-2, 1 KO) of Reading, PA will take on an opponent to be named in a junior middleweight bout.

David Gonzales (8-2-2, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on Darius Earvin (4-1) of Los Angeles in a super lightweight bout.

Marquis Taylor (6-1) of Houston will fight Vincent Floyd (3-2-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia in a welterweight contest.

Antonio DuBose (8-2-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia battles Josh Crespo (7-4-3, 3 KO’s) of New Haven, CT in a super featherweight bout.

Brandon Robinson (4-1, 3 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named in a super middleweight bout.

In four-round fights:

Demetrius Williams (1-2) of Philadelphia will take on Kashon Hutchinson (2-3, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a super lightweight affair.

Jerrod Taylor of Philadelphia will make his pro debut against Steven Lopez (0-1) of Philadelphia in a bantamweight fight.

Tickets are on sale for $100, $75, $50, and can be purchased at


SugarHouse, which opened in September 2010 as Philly’s casino, features 1,891 slots, 103 table games, a 28-table poker room, fun and unique dining options, riverfront views and free on-site parking. The casino employs approximately 1,700 people, and for six consecutive years has been voted a “Best Place to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal and for five straight years a “Top Workplace” by For more information, visit

For More information and credentials, Please contact: Marc Abrams at or 856 287 7611

Berto, Groves, Gonzalez Speak on upcoming fights

Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) participated in a media workout at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career, a shot at world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather. Berto looked focused and in great shape, jumping rope and shadowboxing, as the former titlist looks to become the first fighter to defeat Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), on Saturday, Sept. 12th. 

In addition to Berto, top 168-pound contender George Groves and former two-division champion Jhonny Gonzalez participated in the media workout as they prepare for their respective fights on the same show.

In world championship fights on the pay-per-view telecast, Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight title in a rematch against former multi-division champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), and Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBC Super Middleweight title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). The opening fight of the telecast will feature former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight scrap.
Plus, former 154-pound world champion Ishe Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) will be opposed by longtime top-five contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) in the 90-minute preshow on Saturday, September 12th.
Here is what Berto, Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, George Groves, Jhonny Gonzalez and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said Friday:
Andre Berto:
“From an energy aspect I feel great. It’s my first time in a while coming into a fight with no injuries. This is the healthiest I’ve been since I can remember.
“At the end of the day, this fight was supposed to happen two or three times. Situations with me not taking care of myself and not taking opponents seriously caused it to happen. But styles make fights and we’ll see what the boxing fans say Sept. 12.
“I know that I’m still the same guy who people thought could have given Floyd problems a couple years ago. 
“Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero both got fights with Floyd because they beat me. There must be something to that. They said ‘if he did something to Berto, he should get a shot at Floyd.'”
“We’re here. It’s my time to see him. He can have his ‘MayVinci’ code because we put in the work. The whole team is confident. I’m going to do what I do.
“We worked on a lot of different things at camp. I have the speed to keep up with him. I have more power. 
“The thing with Floyd is, most guys he fights aren’t as athletic as he is. But I am. 
“If you come at Floyd fast but don’t have a plan and don’t have good footwork, it’s too easy for him. If you have a guy that’s as athletic as him, it gives him problems.
“There is a lot more to me than just walking guys down. I have speed, I have power, I have a crazy uppercut, I can move to the side. There are a lot of ways I can get it done.
“I’m not going to watch his sparring. I don’t want to watch him driving his cars, none of that. I want to see him Sept. 12.
“This is my first time going into a fight without all the pressure on my back. I’ve always been the favorite in every fight. I don’t know what he’s feeling and I don’t really have to care about it.
“It’s a different mindset. Coming from where I come from, we always had to defeat the odds. We didn’t have what other people had. We had to work twice as hard for everything. To be noticed to be seen. Even back then it drove me to be the best that I can be. I wanted everyone to know I was somebody you had to watch.
“I’ve faced these odds my whole life. I was discounted two years ago when I was laying in the hospital. I’m constantly envisioning victory.
“All the hard work we’re putting in, it’ll all pay off fight night. It’s not just for me. I’ve been through doing things for me. I see what’s real now. 
“I’ve prepared myself mentally to be in this position. People can say whatever they want. We’re focused. 
“This is going to be for everyone who believes in the underdog.”
Virgil Hunter (Berto’s trainer):
“We have a unique opportunity right in front of us. We have a chance at history and to cement a legacy for my fighter (Berto).
“What is the key to winning this fight? (Berto) has got to want to win. He has to want it more. He holds the keys in his hand. You can plan as much as you want for tomorrow, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We can only prepare.
“If (Berto) wins this fight, you’ll see me jumping up and down and it will be hard to compose myself. I’m usually pretty composed, but you might see me jump up and fall out of the ring and hit my head or something.
“No matter what happens, Floyd will always be considered one of the best ever. Win or lose, his legacy is cemented.
“There are similarities between Floyd and Andre Ward. They both started boxing as young boys, and were Olympians and are undefeated. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being undefeated and they both have faced that.
“It’s not fair to the fight game to say this is a free shot and to go in there and say we have nothing to lose. We have everything to lose.”
George Groves:
“Training camp has been going great. We’re fully acclimated to the time change and altitude. We’re performing very well in the gym and fulfilling the plan. I’m ready to rock.
“We’ve trained in the U.S. before. Last year we came over to spar with Gennady Golovkin. This time we’re out there for much longer and it has been very successful.
“I like training in the altitude and I expect it to help me on fight night. We got used to it over the weeks of camp and now it’s time to bring the extra energy to the ring.
“I’m fully immersed in this fight with Badou Jack. Everyone wants to know about the future plans, but I leave that up to the promoters. My main concern is winning that WBC belt. 
“I carry power. I have good hands and foot speed. I can control the fight from anywhere. The mistakes that Badou Jack makes, I will take advantage of.
“I want to announce myself as the best fighter in the division and I’m planning on doing that Sept. 12. There won’t be any question marks. After I win this fight, I’ll have proof. 
“I’m a valuable commodity in the UK and it’s about time I started building my brand in the states. This is a huge opportunity being on the Mayweather card. The undercard will not be overlooked this night.
“Every fight is more important than the last. It doesn’t matter who you fight, it can affect you in a big way. I have a style that will naturally engage with the fans. People like to see me fight. I look to take the opponent out and that will be the same on Sept. 12. 
“Once Badou Jack leaves an opening, I will take it. I plan to look very good doing so.”
Jhonny Gonzalez:
“I feel great. I’ve been preparing at the gym a lot and I feel very good about this fight. 
“I am ready to win in this division and compete for a world title right away.
“I am fighting so quickly after my last victory because I am very confident. I want to stay active. I want to gain what I had before the loss to [Gary] Russell. I’m moving forward.
“I know that my opponent is a strong fighter. He’s going to throw a lot of punches but I’m going to bring it right back at him hard. 
“Being on the Mayweather card is a blessing. I’m excited to be in Las Vegas with the whole world watching.
“I’m honored to be fighting on the Mexican Independence weekend. I’m ready to represent for my Mexican people. I’m going to leave everything in the ring.
“What I want out of this fight, is an opportunity to win a world title. This is why I train so hard, to win world titles and fight in big fights.
“I believe in my power punches. I’m intelligent on the inside and the outside. I believe in myself as a fighter and that is why I’ll win.”

Continue reading

Carl Froch Injury Delays Return Until Summer 2015

Story by:  Chip Mitchell

Carl Froch has suffered an elbow injury in training. Froch and his team was negotiating a March fight in Las Vegas with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He was looking for a big money fight off of his camp win over George Groves at Wembley Stadium in the summer to retain his IBF and WBA super middleweight title.  The Cobra now needs to put his plans on hold, until at least this summer.

“I’m disappointed to have to let this opportunity go but at this stage in my career I have to make every fight count,” said Froch. “I will get some treatment and then we will look to make this fight or another big fight in the early summer.”

Call me crazy, but I’m not going to count out a big money bout with Bernard Hopkins. I believe Froch may have an injury. At least I’m 50% sure. However, with the Chavez Jr’s recent signing with Al Haymon, how much of a monkey wrench would that cause with a matchup with Froch?

If the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight doesn’t happen, Floyd’s backup plan is Miguel Cotto. I suspect Froch’s backup plan is Hopkins. LOSER GOES HOME!

More Stuff
In an interesting and possibly related story, Lucian Bute recently signed with Al Haymon. I smell something cooking and that smell coming from the oven is honey roasted duck- as in Adonis Stevenson ducking the winner of  Sergey Kovalev versus Jean Pascal for Bute.

Imagine, however, if Pascal pulls the upset and beats Kovalev.  Let’s say negotiations don’t work between Pascal and Stevenson to unify titles.  If Stevenson chooses Bute where does that leave Pascal?

Pascal still has a fire that burns for Bernard Hopkins.  Hopkins beat Pascal twice (the first fight was scored a draw by officials).  Pascal would like to settle the score.  Hopkins, realizing he has the psychological edge and at least one win over Pascal would be tempted.  Considering these factors, I found it hard to agree with people who said “Hopkins can’t beat any of the top light heavyweights” after his wide loss to Kovalev.  He was officially cast as a guy who couldn’t beat them, solely based on his loss to the top guy.

Dare I ask, would a 51 year old Hopkins be a slight favorite to beat Pascal, a guy he has two (one official) wins over?  I’d even go further and make Hopkins even money if he stepped into the right with Stevenson.  I think “Nard” would neutralize the left hand of the one-dimensional Stevenson and give him all he could handle if they met.


The Year in Review: Six Notable Fights in 2014 – Part I — Pacquiao, Hopkins, Froch, More!

2014Story by: Paul “Paparazzi“ Jones

In this two-part review, I chronicle six of the most anticipated bouts of 2014. In Part I, I cover three key fights from the first half of the year. In Part II, I describe three fights from the remainder of the year and list match-ups that deserve honorable mention.

I selected each of these contests based on their ability to produce drama, historical significance, and/or sustained action. In addition, I emphasize tilts with pound-for-pound and title implications.

Fight Billing:  Pacquiao – Bradley 2:  Vindication (Main Event)

Location: MGM Grand (Las Vegas, NV)

Date: April 12th

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao wins by Unanimous Decision over Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley

Pacquiao becomes WBO Welterweight Champion

Scorecards: 116-112 (twice); 118-110

Summary: After losing his WBO title to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (31-1-1, 1NC 12 KOs) by split decision in 2012, via of one of the worst boxing decisions on record, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) looked to set the record straight by removing Bradley from the unbeaten ranks. Although Pacquiao had more knockouts (38) than Bradley had pro fights (33), Desert Storm entered the rematch confident that he would knock the Pac Man out.

When Bradley, 31, and Pacquiao, 36, met at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the second time, it was clear that both men were all business.

Round 1 got off to a fast start with both fighters trying to find their punching range. However, Bradley landed the first meaningful shot of the fight — a straight right hand to Pacquiao’s head that backed up the Filipino icon. Bradley continued to attack Pacquiao over the remainder of the round and built an early lead on the scorecards.

In round 2, Pacquiao zeroed in on Bradley’s chin and tagged Desert Storm with a hard left hand to the chops that wobbled the champion. Though the two combatants exchanged heavy leather before ending the second stanza, it was clear that Pacquiao was gaining momentum.

Round 3 was difficult to score featuring back-and-forth action highlighted by power shots landed by both fighters. At the end of the round, however, Bradley’s body began to breakdown as he complained of fatigue and a pulled (right) calf muscle to his trainer Joel Diaz.

Bradley sucked it up and landed several solid punches to Pacquiao’s body and head — one of which picked the Pac Man up off the canvas for a split second — that secured the 4th and 5th rounds for Desert Storm.

In middle rounds, Pacquiao picked up the pace and became the aggressor, while Bradley began to fade. Bradley also tried to goad Pacquiao into a brawl, but he was unsuccessful in most of these instances.

By the 9th round, the Pac Man had taken command of the fight. Bradley frequently missed with his punches and Pacquiao thwarted many of Desert Storm’s advances with fast-twitched combinations.

In the championship rounds, Pacquiao could smell blood in the water. As Bradley’s stamina continued to dissipate, the Pac Man took advantage of his adversary and piled up points on the scorecards.

Despite Bradley’s spirited effort in rounds 11 and 12, Pacquiao would avenge his “loss” to Desert Storm by earning a hard-fought, unanimous decision win in the rematch. In the process, the Pac Man regained the WBO title and notched his second consecutive victory.

A November bout against unheralded Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) loomed in Pacquiao’s future, but boxing fans clamored for the long overdue mega-fight between the Filipino champion and boxing’s top dog, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs).

Bradley, who was classy in defeat, remained idle until December when he faced Diego Gabriel Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs), of Argentina, in a 12 rounder.

Fight Billing: History at the Capitol: Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov (Main Event)

Location: DC Armory (Washington, DC)

Date: April 19th

Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins Tops Beibut Shumenov by Split Decision

Hopkins Retains the IBF Light Heavyweight Title and Wins the WBA/IBA Championships

Becomes the Oldest boxer to Unify World Championships

Scorecards: 116-111 (twice); 113-114

Summary: The early rounds of this contest were tough to score, with Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-7-2, 2 NC 32 KOs), 49, and Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs), 31, feeling each other out and throwing few meaningful punches. Nonetheless, Shumenov’s pressure helped him build a lead on the scorecards by the end of the third round.

Hopkins took charge of the fight thereafter by capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes. Making Shumenov miss and pay for his miscues, with well-timed counters, occurred with increasing regularity.

By the middle rounds, Shumenov’s frustration was mounting and his face was marked up. B-Hop, on the other hand, was getting into a comfortable groove that allowed the 49-year-old champion to set traps and lure his younger foe in.

By the 11th round, Hopkins was in complete control, while Shumenov was wearing down. A hard right hand, set-up by Hopkins’ jab, downed the Kazakhstan-native and whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they chanted, “B-Hop! B-Hop!” Shumenov returned to his feet and finished the bout, but it was clear that Hopkins was the superior fighter.

When the final scorecards were read, Hopkins led on two of three cards (116-111, twice). It was judge Gustavo Padilla’s inexplicable 113-114 scorecard (for Shumenov), however, that drew the ire of many in attendance. Thank goodness that two judges had a pulse that night.

Despite Padilla’s botched scorecard, the win was historic for Hopkins who became the oldest boxer to unify world titles. In addition, the bout marked B-Hop’s second consecutive victory in the nation’s capital where he is 2-1 including wins over Shumenov and Robert Allen (TKO7). His sole loss in the District of Columbia was to Roy Jones Jr. in 1993.

The victory set the stage for a potential fall showdown with The Ring/WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs), 37, presuming that he defeated Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 1 NC 15 KOs), 27, in May. A bout with Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs), 31, was also a possibility.

The career path of Shumenov remained unclear.

Fight Billing: Froch vs Groves 2: the rematch (Main Event) Continue reading

The Cobra Stings Groves, Leaving No Doubt This Time Around! by Chip Mitchell

Getty Images

Getty Images

Carl Froch KO8 George Groves

In front of 80,000 rabid fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, Carl “The Cora” Froch defeated “Saint” George Groves for the second time in seven months, this time by devastating knockout.

In the first bout, Groves was leading on all three of the judge’s scorecards when Froch hurt him in the 9th round. Controversy ensued, referee Howard Foster stepped in to end the contest prematurely. The controversial ending prompted a widespread demand for a rematch to be fought between the two combatants.

In the second fight, Groves took an early lead as Froch began to storm back, with the bout this time seemingly much closer. In the 8th, Froch landed a left-right combination that was reminiscent of the Lennox Lewis two-piece that KO’d Hasim Rahman back in 2001. Groves was immediately concussed from the shot and landed awkwardly against the ropes, his leg bent backwards with an ACL-tear type of appearance. Here’s hoping the young man is alright.

A couple of minutes after the contest, Groves attempted to raise from his stool and was still clearly in bad shape. Eventually he was able to walk under his own power and he and Froch hugged in center of the ring.

Froch may have earned about 10 million pounds, (about $17 million dollars). Groves may have earned the equivalent of $3 million dollars. Not a bad night for either guy.

Froch/Groves II is On!


Story by:  Chip Mitchell

The weigh-in for tomorrow’s highly anticipated rematch between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and George Groves took place earlier today. IBF and WBA Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch weighed in at 167.6. Challenger George Groves came in at 166.25.

It has been six months since the first fight between Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) of Nottingham, England, and Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) of London, England, which ended in controversy. More than 80,000 fans are expected to fill Wembley Stadium.  I keep hearing about boxing being dead.

In their prior bout, Groves was ahead through most of the battle and seemed to be seizing control of the fight. In the ninth round, however, Froch came to life and landed enough shots to cause referee Howard Foster to halt the bout.

I expect the atmosphere at Wembley to be bananas!  This is a return battle between two guys who obviously have no love lost between them. Prior to facing Groves, Froch’s only losses were to Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward. Groves entered the contest undefeated, with his biggest wins coming against Glen Johnson and James DeGale.

Prediction: I’m going with Froch to win this one by decision or late TKO.

Froch/Groves II will air live on HBO at approximately 4:45pm eastern. At 4:00pm eastern, HBO cameras will take us to Macau, China for a featherweight title fight between challenger Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) and champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs).

Immediately following Froch/Groves II, HBO will show the first episode of Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7.

Immediately after Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7, HBO will broadcast 2 Days:  Portrait of a Fighter “Sergio Martinez”.

Fans, it doesn’t stop there. At midnight on HBO2, another doubleheader takes place as Javier Fortuna (24-0-1, 18 KOs) takes on Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-4, 23 KOs) in a super featherweight event scheduled for ten rounds.  Also Luis Rosa (16-0, 7 KOs) and Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1, 13 KOs).

Don’t miss the action!