Photos: Saul Canelo Alvarez drops and decisions Austin Trout: I want Floyd Mayweather next!

21 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Words: Alan Dawson – London

Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime (unless otherwise stated)

Popular junior middleweight prizefighter Saul Alvarez enjoyed a convincing points victory over 154lb rival Austin Trout on Saturday, April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, however, the fight was far more competitive than the scores submitted by the judges at ringside. Trout capitalised on Alvarez’s slow start yet could not cope with the Mexican’s famed tenacity and power and was eventually felled in round seven. Having become the first to defeat Trout, Canelo Alvarez reaffirmed his desire to take on pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr and take his zero also.

Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Alvarez put 38,000 bums in seats. Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

“Canelo shocked us,” said Trout after succumbing to a career first defeat as a professional. “He boxed better than I thought. He moved a lot better than I thought. I did not underestimate him – we just prepared for a totally different fighter. He was the better man,” added the American with no excuses. “He was quicker. He was stronger. He was… better.”

Credit: Tom Casino

Saul clobbered Austin’s noggin’

Credit: Tom Casino

Punching the sweat off Trout’s neck

Credit: Tom Casino

Scoring the seventh round knockdown

Alvarez extended his ledger to 42-0-1, 30ko and added the WBA and The Ring Magazine title to his WBC belt. Having fortified his claim as the junior middleweight’s number one, Saul declared his eagerness to pit his pugilistic wits against Floyd: “Obviously I want Mayweather next.”

On Trout, he added: “Austin was a difficult fighter but I figured out how to fight him. I was connecting with my right and with my jab. My jab was perfect… the key.”

Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Alvarez salutes his huge fanbase whilst sporting his loot

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Tyson Fury rises from canvas to deck Steve Cunningham, wins 7th Rd KO

20 Apr

  Tommy Barber- London

Manchester mauler Tyson Fury (21-0-0, 15ko) was knocked down and oft out-boxed by Philadelphian counterpart Steve Cunningham (25-6-0, 12ko) on April 20 inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City but, in what is fast becoming Tyson’s trademark, the British-Irish puncher rose from the floor, regained his composure and pounded out a thrilling seventh round knockout victory.

Barber’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Cunningham
9 10 10 10 10 9 8

Fury
10 8 9
9 8 10 10

Official verdict: Fury by way of 7th Rd KO.

Earlier in the week, On The Beak‘s Alan Dawson spoke with renowned sportscaster Al Bernstein, who told OTB that he foresees a world title belt around the Brit’s waist in the near future: “[Fury] has improved a lot in the last few years. I think he will win a world title at some point… time is on his side.”

Tyson took one step closer to a shot at a championship belt this weekend as his entertaining stoppage win over Cunningham propelled him further up the IBF world rankings. Fury, who pushed a fast-paced fight in the opening session, boxed reckless in the second stanza and failed to defend himself against an overhand right. Having canvassed his opponent, Cunningham stormed to a neutral corner and snarled excitedly into a cameraman’s lens. Fury, meanwhile, lay on his back for four seconds, cleared his head and relied on his survival skills to see out the round.

In the third and fourth chapters, Fury was able to land one of his own right mitts, but the more accurate puncher was Cunningham who, with the two-point lead from round two, stormed into a health advantage heading into the fifth. That lead was bolstered further in round five as Fury felt the wrath of the referee who administered a sanction as the Briton engaged in too many holds.

The fight’s conclusion in the seventh was set-up by body work from Fury. Through a combination of shooting to the midsection, leaning on Cunningham and using mild yet noticeable rough-house tactics, Tyson was obviously tiring his opponent. So much so, that a lone left glove was able to prop up Cunningham’s mush while the right shot in from the inside and cannoned in to the American’s jawline to secure a knockdown and knockout for the traveling 24-year-old.

Following the official announcement of his victory, Fury roared: “Cunningham put up a good fight, but he lost to the better fighter on the night. A good big one always beats a good little one.”

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Photo: The height advantage Tyson Fury enjoys over Steve Cunningham

18 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Words: On The Beak staff reporter

Photo: Larry Levanti/Main Events

Fast-improving heavyweight contender Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) makes his American debut on Saturday, April 20 when he takes on former cruiserweight ruler Steve Cunningham (25-5-0, 12ko) inside Madison Square Garden’s Theater, New York City. Fury, a monstrously tall heavyweight, enjoys a six inch height advantage over his weekend adversary and this was highlighted during the iconic face-off at the final press conference prior to the weigh-in tomorrow, Friday.

Credit: Larry Levanti/Main Events

Fury played up to the crowds at the pre-fight presser

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Maidana v Lopez, Angulo v Lara and Bika v Periban confirmed for June 8

18 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

The Home Depot Center in Carson, California will be the site of one of the most intriguing clashes of boxing’s summer season, as Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Maidana faces off against Josesito Lopez in a 12 round fight for Maidana’s WBA intercontinental welterweight belt in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader set for Saturday, June 8.

The card will also feature a 12-round junior middleweight showdown between all-action warrior Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo and number one rated WBC super welterweight contender Erislandy Lara. There is also a clash for the vacant WBC super middleweight world title between number one contender Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika and Mexico’s Marco Antonio Periban, the number four rated 168 pounder.

“If you’re a fan of action fights, there is no better card to see than this one on June 8th,” said President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. “All three high-stakes bouts have the potential to be the main event and the winners who walk out of the Home Depot Center with their hands raised will know they’ve been in a fight.”

Stephen Espinoza, General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports added: “Like all of our recent fights, the fight between Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez is a matchup in which there is no clear-cut favorite. You can make a legitimate argument for either fighter. Maidana is one of the most exciting fighters in any division, and he’s facing an opponent, Josesito Lopez, who scored the biggest upset of 2012 and is now back in his most natural weight class.

“Top to bottom, this card is filled with fan-friendly, all-action fights. There is no question that Maidana versus Lopez will be one of the most entertaining, hard-fought matchups of the year, and the Angulo-Lara and Bika-Periban are sure to be hotly contested and action-packed as well.”

On his opponent, Maidana said: “Josesito Lopez is a tough challenge, but I’m ready for everything he will bring to the ring on June 8th. Beating him is the next step to getting a world title shot and I know I’ll get the victory.”

Lopez said: “I fight my best at home, and with the fans in my corner on June 8th, Maidana doesn’t have a chance. He’s going to push me hard from start to finish, but that’s when I truly shine. I promise this will be a great fight for the fans.”

On Lara, Angulo stated: “[He] is one of Cuba’s greatest talents, but I’ll have the California fans on my side and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to win. This is the most important fight of my career and I will perform like it when the bell rings.”

Lara added: “Angulo hits hard and is a tough fighter making this a classic boxer vs. puncher match up. I’m really excited for this fight. Come June 8th, I’m going to put on a boxing display and finally get the ‘W’ over a top fighter that has been taken from me in my past fights.”

Bika thanked Golden Boy: “I’m thankful to Golden Boy Promotions and the WBC for giving me this opportunity and I will make the most of it. Ever since I turned pro, my only goal was to win a world championship and on June 8th, Marco Antonio Periban won’t be able to stop me from getting that belt.”

“I’ve trained hard, I’ve made many sacrifices and I feel that my time is now to become Mexico’s next world champion. Sakio Bika will be my toughest challenge, but I have the skills, determination and heart to beat him. I’ll beat him and become the first Mexican super middleweight world champion and make history for all of Mexico.”

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Carson Jones: Devon Alexander ain’t tough, he’s acting like a coward

17 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Earlier today, Kevin Cunningham, trainer of IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, took a shot at contender Carson Jones. Less than 24 hours ago, Jones, the IBF’s 7th rated contender and a former USBA champion, offered to face Alexander May 18 after his original opponent Kell Brook withdrew for a second time due to an injury. Jones, who has a deceptive record 34-9-3 with 24kos since he took many fights earlier in his career as an opponent, was abruptly rejected by Cunningham.

Jones, who said he respected Cunningham as a trainer before he hurled insults in his directions, believes that he only said that to keep his fighter away from a tough bout.

“These guys claim to be tough and from the streets of St. Louis, but how tough are they? The truth is that boxing wise, Devon’s anything but tough. Aside from quitting against Bradley, he’s been protected by his promoters and the premium cable networks. They want to talk about my 9 losses but forget what tough really is.

“I lost a few controversial fights and the only time Devon’s had any controversy, he received gift decisions in hometown. Cunningham and Alexander know deep down that records are overrated and there are plenty of 25-0 guys who can’t fight a lick. I earned my way up the rankings by knocking out quality fighters when my back was against the wall and that is something they can’t dispute no matter how hard they try.”

Jones also views his close loss to the aforementioned Kell Brook as a reason of why he’s more than worthy for the title shot.

“I went into Brook’s hometown, gave him hell and lost a very close decision. From what I’ve heard, Brook offered good money to face him in England but Team Alexander was too scared. I proved that I am a real fighter time and time again by facing whoever, wherever and whenever. Can Devon do the same or are you guys into playing the matchmaking game and pretending all the people in boxing are idiots and actually believe these undefeated stiffs can fight. They call him Devon “The Great” Alexander, but he’s acting like a coward. Man up and take the challenge. I’m ready to go!”

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Shosports release father-son footage of Angel and Danny Garcia

16 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

On The Beak staff reporter

Outspoken trainer Angel Garcia often attracts as many headlines for his bonkers behaviour as his son and unified super lightweight world champion Danny Garcia (25-0-0, 16ko) does for his left-hooking and winning ways. In the video below, released by Shosports ahead of the fighter’s WBA/WBC/The Ring magazine 140lb title defenses against Zab Judah on April 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we learn more of their bond and personal traumas.

(Embedded video above credit: YouTube, Shosports)

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Compubox numbers and the three photos that define Guillermo Rigondeaux’s victory over Nonito Donaire

15 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Words: Tommy Barber – London

Photos: Chris Farina – Top Rank

It may not have satisfied the blood-thirst of fight fans still enjoying highlights of the two frontrunning candidates for fight of the year – Mike Alvarado vs Brandon Rios II and Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov – but Guillermo Rigondeaux‘s ability to outpoint Nonito Donaire last Saturday, April 13 provided a fine demonstration of the sweet science in action. Below, are the three photos that sum up the night’s work for the finely-skilled Cuban wizard.

Credit: Chris Farina

Rigo: ‘why you punching yourself in the face Nonito?’

Donaire had the fanbase, the punching power, the stature in the game to attract accolades naming him the heir to the throne vacated by countryman Manny Pacquiao but all that mattered not against Rigondeaux who used a combination of timing, maneuverability, ring smarts and defensive nous to frustrate and perplex one of the most heavily-promoted Top Rank-backed boxers.

According to punch stats released by HBO during their broadcast, Rigondeaux threw 396 shots and found success 33 percent of the time to land 129 times. All these statistics are greater than Nonito’s numbers who threw 352, landed 82 times to create a 23 percent success rate.

Compubox stats reveal a similar pattern and point to Rigondeaux being the far more effective fighter. Guillermo outlanded Donaire in an astonishing 11 rounds, with only the 10th round – where Rigondeaux suffered a knockdown – being the one Donaire was most successful in.

Credit: Chris Farina

Guillermo jumped for joy the moment the final bell sounded

Donaire refused to accept defeat post-fight and between himself and promoter Bob Arum, a move north, to the 126lb division, looks likely. The excuses, though, perhaps discredit what is and should always be, a tactically astute victory for an athlete who made just his 12th appearance in the professional circuit. Rigondeaux linked up with his former amateur coach Pedro Diaz for his night in New York and the two, pictured below, stuck to a winning game-plan throughout the contest.

Credit: Chris Farina

The 122lb division’s newest king

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Braekhus KOs St John, Skoglund outpoints Blackledge, Masternak stops Corbin

15 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

WBA, WBC and WBO female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus (22-0-0, 6ko) continued her domination of women’s boxing on Saturday night, stopping American legend Mia St. John (47-13-2, 18ko) in the third round of their clash at the Nordic Fight Night in Frederikshavn, Denmark.

Much to the delight of the many Norwegian fans in attendance, the First Lady stamped her authority on the battle early. She had St. John in trouble in the second, and when the former world champion was on the receiving end of another punishing combination, the referee waved the bout off in the third: “It was an honour to fight Mia,” Braekhus said. “She is a living legend and I am happy that I defeated her.”

Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: “Cecilia is the best female fighter in the world and she once again proved that tonight. We will try to make the Holm fight happen now, but we’re not going to wait for it forever, there are other options. Nobody can beat Cecilia, she is just too good.”

On the undercard, Swedish sensation Erik Skoglund (16-0, 9ko) clinched the WBC youth world and WBO youth Intercontinental light heavyweight title with a points victory over Luke Blackledge (13-1-1, 5ko). The two unbeaten youngsters went at it from the first bell, and after ten rounds, Skoglund was ahead 97-93, 96-94 and 96-95 on the judges’ cards.

European Cruiserweight champion Mateusz Masternak improved to 30-0 (22ko) with a ninth-round TKO win over Sean Corbin (15-4, 10ko) to add the silver version of WBC International title to his collection. Corbin was down in the eighth and the ninth.

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Guillermo Rigondeaux stuns Nonito Donaire with UD win in NYC: I’ve proved I’m the best!

14 Apr

Alan Dawson – London

Nonito Donaire suffered a second career defeat at the hands of Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 13. In an unexciting yet tactical bout, Rigondeaux continually confounded Donaire with a technical potshot-and-move strategy that was upset in the tenth when the Cuban was knocked down. With victory, WBA super bantamweight belt holder Rigondeaux annexed the WBO world title.

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Donaire
9 9 9 10 9 9 10 9 9 10
9 9
Rigondeaux
10 10 10
9 10 10 9 10 10 8 10 10

Official verdict: Rigondeaux by way of UD (114-113, 115-112 and 116-111).

Both southpaw Rigondeaux and orthodox fighter Donaire maneuvered their feet into position to launch straight shots with their power mitt within the first minute of the opening round. Whilst their respective body languages lived up to their pre-fight promise that there would be bad intentions behind their respective strategies, there was little to separate the pugilists after three minutes of tentative, cerebral combat aside from one straight left shot from Guillermo that forced Nonito onto the back-foot.

In the second session, Rigondeaux strived to goad Donaire into action using a combination of feints and inviting footwork. Midway through the round, Rigo punched to the body, landed a combination upstairs and had one power punch blocked by a Donaire who was yet to find his rhythm despite scoring some distinctive marking over the eye/brow region of Rigondeaux.

Renowned trainer Robert Garcia barked Johnny Cash instructions during the third round, imploring his charge Donaire to “get rhythm!” to “get rhythm in front!” and “always on the jab!” While Donaire had managed to punch and box his way into the fight in the third, that rhythm that Garcia pined after proved hard for Donaire to find largely because of Rigondeaux’s evasive and intuitive movement.

Any success Donaire aimed to capitalise on in the fourth round was shut down by Rigondeaux with a counter-punching method. Donaire, the aggressor, continually attempted to find a way in with a crowd-pleasing attack while Rigondeaux was content boxing from mid-range and waiting to land one big shot – his straight left hand. Moments before the bell, a millisecond street fight broke out that began because of an accurate crack dispatched by Donaire.

In the fifth, ring general Donaire dictated the pace of the fight. While Nonito owned the central space of the ring, Rigondeaux danced… even sprinted, around the periphery. Even though Donaire possessed a pound-for-pound ranking and a 2012 trainer of the year winning coach in Robert Garcia, he did not target Guillermo’s body enough in order to slow the Cuban’s running. This allowed Rigo to box his fight, not Nonito’s.

In the sixth, Rigondeaux secured the round’s most meaningful punches with a body-bound then upstairs combination. The competitive and strategic encounter between the super bantamweight division’s two most well-known names was underlined by that two-punch move arguably winning Rigondeaux the round alone. Otherwise, there was little action.

Yes, the first half of the contest was epitomised by one-pace but that was something that threatened to change in the seventh round as Donaire, with his fast hands, cannoned a three-punch combo into Rigondeaux’s frame. However, that intention proved exclusive to the beginning of the stanza as, for the rest of the round, Rigondeaux swatted and parried punches away with his gloves in what had become a frustrating, chess-like affair for the spectator.

In the eight and ninth rounds, the pace of the fight continued to be dictated by the Cuban, whose refusal to engage with the Filipino Flash annoyed the sell-out New York crowd. While Guillermo allowed his fists to fly, most of his shots were blocked harmlessly by Donaire’s gloves.

“You gotta think about your family, about your baby,” said Garcia to Donaire moments before the tenth round. Robert, the sport’s fastest-rising elite-level trainer, used family as a source of motivation and it proved to be inspired as Donaire floored Rigondeaux by utilising a short-range left hand mere minutes after the speech. Rigo struggled to regain his composure, showed un-sturdy legs but had enough wherewithal to use the full space of the ring to his advantage.

Rigondeaux had settled down in the championship rounds and even hurt Donaire at the beginning of the final round. Donaire was largely forced to box one-handed for the last three minutes as he kept his right hand tight to his right eye… something that had been swelling profusely, perhaps due to a rogue thumbing early in the round.

When the bell signified the end of competition, Donaire received treatment for an eye appearing more grotesque by the second. Rigondeaux, conversely, mounted a neutral turnbuckle and saluted the East Coast fight fans convinced he had just secured himself the most momentous victory of his professional career to date.

“I prepared myself well. Everyone has their opinion, about my amateur background, but I proved myself [as a professional] today,” said Rigo to Top Rank TV after receiving a unanimous nod by the three judges. “Everybody talked about how Rigondeaux was going to lose today but I proved that I am the best 122lb fighter in the world. I’m here, ready to fight anybody. I don’t hide, I don’t duck!”

Rigondeaux moves to 12-0-0, 8ko with the win, while Donaire dropped to 31-2-0, 20ko.

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Tyson Fury, Steve Cunningham predict a Nonito Donaire triumph against Guillermo Rigondeaux

14 Apr
As featured on NewsNow: Boxing news

Tyson Fury: ”I pick Donaire. He’s just too classy and has the pro experience to back him up. Rigondeaux may be dangerous the first few rounds, but the longer the fight goes, the more that pro experience will show. This is not really a fight that I would bet on, it could be close.”

Steve Cunningham: “I think Donaire is going to shock a lot of people. He performs exceptionally well when the opponent is great. He steps up very well to the challenge. I think this will be a good fight.”

Curtis “Showtime” Stevens: “I think this is an excellent match up, but I think Donaire is going to take the win by KO.”

Andre Rozier, Curtis Stevens’ Trainer: “Donaire. I think Donaire is super sharp, from the quantity and quality of his work in his last four bouts. He just appears to be improving constantly. I’m looking forward to [the fight].”|

Derrick Findley – “I’ve got Donaire winning. He just has too much experience in big fights as compared to Rigondeaux.”

Karl ‘Dynamite’ Dargan: “I predict a knockout win from Donaire if he applies pressure.”

Adam ‘Babyface’ Kownacki: “I like Rigondeaux because he is more of a counter puncher and Donaire is a vicious attack fighter so will be open to get countered.”

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events Matchmaker: “I would have to pick Donaire – he’s far more professional and has more experience than Rigondeaux. I think it goes the distance and Donaire will win a close decision.”

Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO: “I pick Donaire. It is a very good fight. While there is no doubt that Rigondeaux was one of the greatest amateurs ever, I think that Donaire’s superior experience in the pro ranks will give him the edge. Donaire is a true student of the sport and he fights with a passion and intensity that I just don’t see in Rigondeaux who, on the other hand, is an impressive technician. It is a very interesting match-up.”

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