By Allan Fox: John Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) has his work cut out for him this Saturday night when he challenges undefeated WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) for his two titles plus his Ring title on HBO Championship Boxing on December 10 at the CenturyLink Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
This is going to be a tough match for the 33-year-old Molina Jr., because he’s had a lot of bad luck inside the ring in the last four years in losing five out of his last ten fights. It’s unknown why the sanctioning bodies are still ranking Molina Jr. so highly given all of his many defeats. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) is supposed to be fighting his mandatory challenger #1 IBF Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) next, but he’s instead saying he wants to fight Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or the winner of the Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia fight. From the way that Brook is talking, he would jump at the chance of taking on Pacquiao, Khan or the Thurman-Garcia winner rather than fighting the hard hitting unbeaten Spence. The magical question is will Brook get his way?
I must say I’m not too motivated by the way that Brook is talking about sidestepping the Spence fight. After the way that Brook was eager to face his past mandatory challengers Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier, it seems strange how he’s no longer excited about fighting his mandatory now that it’s the 26-year-old Spence instead of those guys.
The obvious question is why doesn’t Brook just vacate his International Boxing Federation 147lb title if he prefers to fight Khan, Pacquiao, Thurman or Garcia? The obvious answer is that Brook stands a better chance of getting one of those guys to fight him if he’s got the IBF title in his possession to use as bait. Without IBF strap, Brook is just a little known guy that the casual boxing fans in the U.S don’t know.
The casual fans that do know Brook know him from his 5th round knockout loss to middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin last September. That was the fight in which Brook ran round the ring for five rounds land an occasional shot before his trainer threw in the towel in the 5th after he was hurt by Golovkin. Brook didn’t go out on his shield in that fight, because his trainer saved him from that fate by tossing in the towel after he’d been hurt by Golovkin.
There was little chance that Brook was make it out of the 5th round, because he was trapped and hurt after suffering an eye injury and being hurt by a body shot from Golovkin.
Brook said this to Fighthype.com about the Spence fight and how he would prefer to fight the Garcia vs. Thurman winner or Pacquiao:
“It took me a long time to get that world title at welterweight and I just can’t give it up, you know, as much as it’s going to kill me to make the weight…Spence is the mandatory, he’s a very good fighter…maybe a fantastic fighter. I think I can make it and be strong at the weight. He’s not really heard of, but he can fight,” Brook said about U.S 2012 Olympian Spence. “We’ve seen him fight. It’s maybe a fantastic fight, but there’s Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. They’re fighting each other. I’d love the winner. I’d love a unification with Manny Pacquiao.. I heard in the press that I inspired him in the Golovkin fight to come back to the sport. So why not lock horns together and fight each other? I’d love to eventually fight Canelo and all the top fighters in that weight .”
It does look bad how Brook is chasing other fighters that have no interest in fighting him. Khan hasn’t talked of wanting to fight Brook and neither has Pacquiao. Garcia and Thurman won’t finish their business until March. Brook can’t just freeze his IBF title until after that fight. Brook’s 60-day medical extension expires in February.
If Brook wants to ask for another medical extension he can, but I don’t think that’s going to change the fact that Spence will be waiting for him so that he can get his WBA mandated title shot. Of course, Brook can always try and give Spence step aside money to avoid fighting him, but I don’t know if he would be willing to accept that. Spence is better off fighting Brook, because beating him will raise his marketability in the boxing world.
It will also give him the IBF title that he can use to fight the winner of the Garcia vs. Thurman fight or to fight Pacquiao. It’s not in Spence’s best interest to take a step aside fee. We saw how it didn’t help Gennady Golovkin in taking a step aside payment to let the Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez fight take place. Golovkin wound up still getting avoided, and he wasted time by not forcing Cotto to vacate his WBC title.
Brook’s pipe dream of Pacquiao fighting him in a unification match is a waste of time, because it’s not going to happen. Pacquiao isn’t going to take the fight with Brook. Even if he wanted to, his promoter Bob Arum would likely veto it in favor of matching Pacquiao against one of his own Top Rank stable fighters. Brook is a runner and clincher, and those are not the type of guys that Pacquiao likes to fight.
If Pacquiao is going to fight a runner, it’ll be either Vasyl Lomachenko or Terence Crawford. He’s not going to waste time having to chase Brook around the ring and have him clinching to him when he does catch up to him. Who can forget the Brook vs. Shawn Porter fight from 2014? Brook was holding Porter every chance he could get, making the fight virtually unwatchable. I thought Brook should have been disqualified many times over in that fight due to all the holding he did.
You can’t blame Brook for wanting to get a big payday while he’s the IBF belt holder, but he can’t freeze the IBF title and the career of Spence in the process while he tries to get these payday fights. Brook already fought outside of the welterweight division in his last fight when he moved up to the middleweight division to fight Golovkin last September. Spence waited patiently for Brook to come back down to 147, but now he’s talking about wanting to side step the Spence fight so that he can get a payday fight against Pacquiao, Khan or the Garcia-Thurman winner.
You can argue that Brook doesn’t want to fight Spence because of the potential of him getting knocked out by the talented American fighter. It’s no secret that once Brook gets blasted out by Spence, he can pretty much forget about a big payday fight against Pacquiao and the winner of the Garcia-Thurman fight. Those guys would have zero reason to fight Brook after he gets blasted to smithereens by Spence.
Khan might still fight Brook, but the money in that fight would likely be a heck of a lot less after Brook loses to Spence than if he were to fight him right now. It would be a second straight knockout loss for Brook. There wouldn’t be the built in excuse for the KO loss like there was last time for Brook due to Spence being a welterweight and not a middleweight like Golovkin.
Brook is required to fight his mandatory challenger Spence. He can’t just put him on ignore unless he wants to vacate his IBF title. If Brook is as good as his promoter Eddie Hearn thinks he is, then he should go ahead and take the fight with Spence. Hearn has been flapping his gums recently in saying that he believes that Brook is the best welterweight in the division. Now it’s Hearn’s chance to have Brook prove he’s the best fighter at 147 by him taking on and beating Spence.
By Rob Maclean: Yesterday evening saw Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12kos) successfully defend his WBO middleweight title for the first time, since he defeated Andy Lee in December of last year in beating Artur Akavov (18-2, 7 KOs) at the Lagoon Leisure Centre, in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom. Understandably Saunders was sluggish, however in what should have been a simple victory against American based Russian Akavov soon turned into an extremely competitive struggle to keep his title.
The first two rounds began with a low scoring chess match between two southpaws, with Saunders probably doing enough, as challenger Akavov tried forcing the action however failed to land. However by round 3 Akavov found the target as Saunders languished on the ropes, Akavov landed a left to the top of Saunders head. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) says he’s going to go 12 rounds and not let his opponent #8 IBF Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs) hit him this Saturday night on December 10 when the two of them face each other at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Joshua, 27, wants to out-box the 34-year-old Molina and show a comparison between how beats him and how WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber defeated him in their fight in 2015. Wilder stopped Molina in the 9th round last year in June. That was a fight in which Wilder was coming off of a fractured right hand injury from his previous fight against Bermane Stiverne. Read the rest of this entry »
By Eric Baldwin: UFC fighter Conor McGregor just won’t shut-up about his interest in fighting 39-year-old retired former world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. for some reason. Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions made it perfectly clear last week that there’s not going to be a fight between Mayweather and McGregor, because Mayweather is happy and retired.
That doesn’t seem to be sinking in with the 28-year-old McGregor, who continues to talk about wanting to fight Mayweather. McGregor picked up a boxing license in California last week. McGregor says that if he fought Mayweather that he’d be looking to knock him out. What McGregor doesn’t say is that he would likely need to have permission from the UFC before he could fight Mayweather. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) had one of his poorer performances of his career last Saturday night in defeating hungry challenger Artur Akavov (16-2, 7 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Paisley Lagoon Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. Saunders fought like a really rusty fighter against Akavov.
It’s not surprising though, because Saunders was coming off of a one-year layoff from boxing. With that much time off, Saunders was very fortunate to win the fight, period. Some fighters are never the same when they return to the sport after a long layoff like the one that Saunders had. Read the rest of this entry »
By Allan Fox: Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) won’t be taking any chances with being on the receiving end up another controversial decision when he faces IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) in their rematch in first half of 2017. Kovalev was beaten by the scores of 114-113 x 3 in their fight on November 19.
The rematch will be a different story for the two fighters, because Kovalev is not going to be looking for the perfect shot like he was last time he fought Ward. He’s also not going to let Ward turn the fight into a wrestling match like the last time. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) wasn’t happy with his 12 round unanimous decision win on Saturday night over challenger Artur Akavov (16-2, 7 KOs) in his voluntary defense at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Scotland. Saunders felt that he was poor in the fight, because he had been out of the ring for an entire year. The judges gave Saunders the win by the scores 116-11, 116-112 and 115-113.
I along with a number of boxing fans felt that Saunders didn’t do enough to deserve the win. I scored it a draw. However, if I were to pick a winner between them, I would go with the 31-year-old Akavov, because he was the one who was working harder the entire fight. Saunders was just loafing along the ropes, looking lazy and not willing to work hard for the full three minutes of each round. Akavov lost, but I think he would have won if the fight had been in a different venue. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) did his job in defeating IBF World cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22 KOs) by a 12 round split decision on Saturday night to take his title at the Khodnyka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. Gassiev’s trainer Abel Sanchez would like to see more pressure and steady work from him in the future, because he let Lebedev off the hook after hurting him in the 5th.
The judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-111, and 114-113.
The win wasn’t as perfect a performance that Sanchez had hoped it would be, but he was still satisfied that he got the victory to capture the IBF title. Sanchez saw it as a problem with experience for Gassiev. He thinks it would have been a lot easier for Gassiev to win the fight if he had more experience. What Sanchez was unhappy about was Gassiev allowing Lebedev to work by throwing a lot of light shots that were intended to steal rounds and to keep Gassiev from throwing punches. Read the rest of this entry »
By Gerardo Granados: It has been a while now since UFC icon Conor McGregor and boxing major star Floyd Mayweather were speculated to fight. Back then I hoped this idea would just go away, but as time has passed, now the rumors and attention the sports and social media gives to it, makes this “dream match” potentially doable.
Only two days ago, it was reported that Conor McGregor got licensed to box in the state of California and most of boxing media talked about it. Read the rest of this entry »