War Hollywood Style- Berchelt stops Vargas, Miura halts Roman in Indio
By: Daxx Khan – January 29, 2017
We were treated to a rare night of boxing this past Saturday, the two powerhouse networks, Showtime and HBO went head to head with quality, relevant cards. While Showtime entertained fans with their card in Las Vegas, In Indio California on HBO, Francisco Vargas, Miguel Berchelt, Takashi Miura and Miguel Roman paid tribute to Hollywood by delivering wars only seen on the big screen.
What took place on HBO, between the four fighters left some fans in awe, others wondering “Why would they subject themselves to such punishment”? They were the type bouts, we look back upon in a decade and say “How did they stay on their feet”?
In the main event, perhaps boxings most exciting fighter Francisco Vargas, looked to defend his WBC super featherweight title against unknown challenger Miguel Berchelt. With little being known about Berchelt, other than an opponent list based entirely in Mexico and he had some power as his 27 stoppage wins indicated. Many felt he might have early success, before the experience of Vargas, would take Berchelt deep, wear him down and move onto bigger things. The challenger had different plans for the night.
The champion started fast, using combinations to confuse Berchelt who did land some hard shots with little effect. In the second, third and fourth rounds, Vargas stunned Berchelt who in return instead of taking steps backwards, answered back, opening cuts on Vargas nose and over his left eye.
They went to war from the fifth round on, combination punches from Vargas paused Berchelt who in return, would pin Vargas on the ropes and punish him. As the second half of the fight started, Berchelt never having fought such a ferocious battle seemed to begin tiring. The champion Vargas began swelling to a grotesque degree.
The punches of Vargas to landed clean, yet lacked power to hold off a younger larger Berchelt who pushed forward and threw every punch with authority. A bloody Vargas continued his volume pace, hoping Miguel would eventually slow down.
The size, power and youth of Berchelt, would overcome Vargas experience and will. In the eleventh round, bloody abused and looking for a miracle comeback, Vargas would suffer his first career loss when Raul Caiz Jr rescued him from further punishment. At the 2:19 mark of the round, after a great performance by both men, Miguel Berchelt claimed his first world title and spot among the sports top tier improving to 31-1 (28). In his first loss Francisco Vargas now stands at 23-1-2 (17).
The co-feature between Takashi Miura and Miguel Roman, was an even more brutal battle of wills and attrition. It was pressure against accuracy, just as one fighter seemed to have the edge, his opponent would rally and take control. The cleaner shots of Miura, would be stifled by Roman who pressed his way inside and let loose combinations.
At the mid-way point, Takashi Miura swollen and battle worn, was asked by his corner “Can You win are you OK?”, undeterred Miura responded by shaking his head “Yes”. When the bell rang, he would let loose all he had in his arsenal. The barrage hurt Roman, who then unleashed a body shot, taking momentum away from Miura, knocking his mouth piece out.
A strong ninth round for Miura, ended with Roman landing five-punch unanswered punches. At the start of round ten, Miura changed his game plan. With the clean, flush head shots, landing on Roman not having their desired result, Miura turned his focused to the body with an immediate pay off.
A straight right hand in the tenth, delivered to the center of Roman’s mid-section, dropped and sent him reeling on the canvas. He amazingly made it to his feet and continued not only fighting but applied pressure to Miura. It would happen again in the eleventh round, a body shot landed flush by Takashi, dropping Roman who beat the count and went right into the danger zone.
When the final round started, both Miura and Roman looked as though they had reenacted a Hollywood movie. They circled slowly, hematomas were over both eyes of Miura, Roman tried to protect his midsection. A final flurry from Miura, caught Roman clean, sending him down a third time at the forty-three second mark. With the look in his eyes saying “Get up”, his body saying “Stay Down”, that bout would end officially at the 53 second mark.
After a jaw dropping war, one that could rival any in the last two decades, Takashi Miura with his stoppage of Miguel Roman improves to 31-3-2 (24). With nothing to hold his head down about, Miguel Roman now stands at 56-12 (43).
In Undercard action-
Super Welterweight-Sadam Ali 24-1 (14) def. Jorge Silva 22-13-2 (18) via TKO 3.
Super Featherweight- Lamont Roach 13-0 def. Alejandro Valdez 26-9-2 via KO 1.
Bantamweight- Cesar Diaz 4-0 def. Joel Castro 0-2 via KO 2.
Super Lightweight- Vicente Portillo 6-0 def. Mike Melikyan 1-2 via MD 4.
Super Lightweight-Vergil Ortiz 4-0 def. Israel Villela 5-4 via. TKO 1.
Featherweight- Luis Coria 3-0 def. Gerardo Molina 1-4 via TKO 1.
James DeGale and Badou Jack deliver in Brooklyn
By: Daxx Khan – January 15, 2017
Saturday night in Brooklyn, the first major card of 2017 took place on Showtime, with three action packed world title bouts, headlined by a 168lb unification bout between, IBF title holder James DeGale and WBC champion Badou Jack.
With four common opponents, winning their titles, a month apart in 2015, each against a Dirrell brother, Jack and DeGale were on an unavoidable collision course. When they met Saturday, fans hoped, this bout would decide “Who is the best Super Middleweight in Boxing”. The champions, did their best to provide that answer, neither gave into the moment and put on their best career performance to date.
They would trade knockdowns, Jack went down in the first and DeGale the twelfth. The footwork of DeGale, kept Jack at a distance, using crisp clean left hands to snap Jack’s head back. When he closed the distance, Jack and his trademark body work punished DeGale, draining his energy. Even referee Arthur Mercante Jr, took punishment when an accidental hook from Jack, rocked him at the closing of round five.
With a steady eleven rounds behind them, both men exhausted looking to edge out the win, they closed the twelfth with non-stop action, bringing those in attendance at the Barclay’s center on their feet. It was a rare fight, where you wanted neither man to lose, because neither deserved a loss after their efforts.
When the scores were read, two of the three judges agree with that opinion. Judges Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld scored it 113-113, Glenn Feldman scored it 114-112, in favor of James DeGale making it a Majority Draw. With each man retaining his title, Badou Jack now stands at 20-1-3 (12), James DeGale 23-1-1 (14).
In the co-feature, IBF World super featherweight title holder Jose Pedraza, took on unbeaten Gervonta Davis. It was a dominating performance for the 22yr old challenger, while Pedraza managed to put Davis out of his comfort zone, he was never able to sustain momentum. The power and speed of Davis, caught up with Pedraza in the seventh round, when he was dropped in the corner. After barely beating the count, Pedraza would be pinned on the ropes and needed saving by referee Ricky Gonzalez moments later.
In his first loss Jose Pedraza now stands at 22-1 (12), Gervonta Davis along with his first world title improves to 17-0 (16).
When undefeated middleweights, Levgen Khytrov and Immanuwel Aleem stepped between the ropes, fans were treated to another war. It started and ended in dramatic fashion, Aleem almost closed the show in round one, battering Khytrov all over the ring. He would be on the receiving end in round two, after punching himself out, Khytrov would batter him non-stop. The momentum swayed back and forth for the duration, Aleem hurting Khytrov, punching himself out then absorbing every bit of what he dished out.
The affair would end in round six, after Aleem landed a huge blow that Khytrov was unable to recover from. Immanuwel Aleem improved to 17-0-1 (10) and claimed the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title, Khytrov in his first loss stands at 14-1 (12).
In her first WBO female super bantamweight title defense, Amanda Serrano took on former two division title holder Yazmin Rivas. It was an all action bout, with neither lady taking a moments rest. While Rivas was game, she could not overcome the size and power advantage of Amanda. After nine rounds of non-stop action, they finished by trading for two entire minutes, proving once again the females can deliver in terms of action.
The final scores read 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all in favor of Serrano who improves to 31-1-1 (23), Yazmin Rivas now stands at 35-10-1 (10).
Make sure to listen to our Post-Fight show by visiting our YouTube Channel, hear what everyone from the TalkinBoxing with Billy C show and fans had to say. https://www.youtube.com/user/talkinboxing
In Undercard action-
Heavyweight- Adam Kownacki 15-0 (12) def. Joshua Tufte 19-2 (9) via TKO2.
Welterweight- Thomas Dulorme 24-2 (16) def. Brian Jones 13-7 (7) TKO6.
Welterweight- Noel Murphy 8-0 (2) def. Maxito Sainvil 4-1-1 (2) via UD.
Welterweight- Kenny Robles 1-0 def. Latorie Woodberry 1-3-1 via UD
Sal “Rocky” Cenicola joins Billy LIVE every weekday morning at 8:00 EST
Boxing at the Barclay’s- Will the Standard for 2017 be Set?
By: Daxx Khan – January 9, 2017
At the end of 2016, NYSAC with their newly implemented insurance requirements, had boxing in New York at a standstill. That didn’t stop the UFC, boxing’s biggest competitor in terms of popularity. The organization, not only met NYSAC’s insurance requirements, they sold out Madison Square Garden, in record time. On January 14th at the Barclays Center, Mayweather promotions and DiBella Entertainment, join forces for the first major card of 2017. If all goes well, the event could not only reboot boxing in New York, it will set the bar, in terms of standards for 2017.
The main event between, WBC title holder Badou Jack and IBF champion James DeGale, could be the divisions most significant showdown, since boxing’s “Super Six” tournament. They are similar in age, Jack at thirty-three years and DeGale thirty, each has a slight physical advantage over the other, yet neither is enough to tip the scales in either fighter’s favor. DeGale an inch in reach and Jack an inch in height. As both seek their third world title defense, the path that brought them here is similar.
They possess four common opponents, George Groves, Lucian Bute, Marco Antonio Periban and Rogelio Medina with mixed results. The duo even won their titles, a month apart, in the same year and against a Dirrell brother. In May of 2015 James DeGale defeated Andre for the vacant IBF title, in April 2015 Badou Jack defeated Anthony for the WBC belt.
Having two world class champions, taking part in a fight of this caliber, minus an extended build-up, delays due to contract negotiations, tune ups and postponements, speaks volumes on the efforts of both promoters. The other two world title fights scheduled, hold just as much and possibly even more fan appeal.
The nights co-feature, an IBF super featherweight title showdown, between undefeated champion Jose Pedraza and undefeated challenger Gervonta Davis, is the type of bout that’s virtually unheard of these days. While the title at stake obviously holds value, what follows for both fighters win or lose, so long as they produce a quality bout, will be the real reward. As of right now, despite one holding a title belt and both being undefeated, neither fighter is a mainstream attraction. There are two other men at the weight, Vasyl Lomachenko and Francisco Vargas, who are not only mainstream names, they will be seeking opponents sooner than later. One is arguably boxing’s best fighter pound for pound, the other its most exciting. Should either Pedraza or Davis, be mentioned as possible opponents either, their careers will automatically reach new heights. Even if a fight against Lomachenko or Vargas never takes place.
Last summer at the Barclays center, Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent, gave fans a new appreciation for female boxing. On Saturday two other ladies will step into the ring, looking to duplicate or surpass of Hardy and Vincent’s performance. In a female “Puerto Rico vs Mexico” rivalry, Amanda Serrano defends her WBO female super bantamweight title against, multi-division world champion Yazmin Rivas. These two fighters are examples, of the best in female boxing, neither have delivered a disappointing performance before and I highly doubt this weekend will be any different.
In the spring, Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs will meet in a middleweight unification bout, Saturdays showdown between, Levgen Khytrov and Immanuwel Aleem, should interest them both. They are two hard hitting undefeated middleweights, looking to claim the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title. Whoever wins between these two, is in position to face whoever comes out on top between Jacobs and Golovkin. While they might not be well known, I can assure you neither should be taken lightly.
Throw in the return, of a very popular Thomas Dulorme, a heavyweight showdown and three undefeated upstarts, next Saturday is a stacked card from top to bottom. Exactly how much quality is involved? The best way to determine, is going behind the numbers and looking a bit deeper at the eighteen fighters. In total, there are five, current or former world champions, one former world title challenger and eight of the eighteen fighters are undefeated. Their combined resumes, total 264-23-8, with 149 of those wins coming by knockout.
In 2016 boxing took a beating, with Pay-Per-View sales to enforce the opinion, next week’s card in Brooklyn could be the beginning of a bounce back year. It might even happen without Pay-Per-View.
The current state of Boxing in Canada
By: John Robbins – October 24, 2016
The course of Professional Boxing in Canada in recent times; had seen the top level of the sport of Champions all but slow down to a screeching halt on its own home turf. Everywhere that is, with the exception of the province of Quebec of course, the boxing capital of Canada. Yet even then, gone is the constant barrage of massive sell-out crowds at the Bell Centre in Montreal, showcasing world title fights at Boxing’s highest level on a highly-regular basis. Cards that featured former French Canadian world beaters, Lucien Bute and Jean Pascal, hosting the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Glen Johnson, and Chad Dawson, which culminated when Sergey Kovalev visited “la belle province” and stopped Jean Pascal twice, Kovalev staking his claim to the Light Heavyweight division in the process; and wars where the Quebec based boxing superstars, faced off against each other, for far more than world title belts, but also for bragging rights, as to who the “Baddest man in Quebec” truly was. As well as many other brutal battles that excited audiences around the world, with local favourites of the era including, Librado Andrade and fellow Canadian Adrian Diaconu, all of which now, as the saying goes, are in the history books.
Boxing in Quebec though, always seems to find a way to survive, (unlike in the country’s largest mega-city Toronto), and the Quebec boxing scene has simply refused to die. With the promotional backbone of boxing in Quebec, “G.Y.M. Promotions”, (Groupe Yvon Michel) still leading the charge, and with their world champion, the pound for pound ranked, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson now at the helm of Boxing’s flagship in the most modern of eras, (recently emblazoning his talent regularly in Quebec City, another Boxing hotspot in the province). As well as heavy handed David Lemieux (36-3, 32KOs) under the watchful eye of, “Eye of the Tiger Promotions”, the modern day power punching main attraction thrilling audiences at the Bell Centre, in Montreal as he attempts to work his way back into world title contention. While up-and-comers like the 21 year old, Steven “Bang Bang” Butler (18-0-1, 15KOs) of Montreal, who utterly dominated and destroyed his Canadian counterpart Janks Trotter (10-4-1, 10KOs) from Calgary, on the Bell Centre undercard to David Lemieux recently. (Butler also picked up the IBF North American title belt for his efforts in that knock-out victory). Or the ever formidable, top conditioned, slick and strong, former Canadian Olympian, Custio Clayton (10-0, with 8 KO’s), originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, now fighting out of Montreal. Who’s been quietly climbing up the ranks at the Montreal Casino (also in a GYM Promotions production)…Boxing is still alive, well and even thriving in the province of Quebec.
Though Toronto once truly was the home of boxing in Canada, Quebec has now owned that distinction for decades. The fight scene in the mega-city certainly has seen better days. But there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel in Toronto as of late. Since the arrival of Global Legacy Boxing, spear-headed by owners, Les Woods of Port Credit, Ontario alongside legendary Heavyweight Champion, Lennox Lewis. With the additional full support of the Canadian Boxing Legend himself, George Chuvalo, who all share the common goal of bringing back the lustre that professional boxing once held in Canada’s greatest metropolis. The Boxing scene in the G.T.A. (Greater Toronto Area) is once again on the rise!
Already Global Legacy Boxing has brought the WBC World Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson spectacle, with the assistance of Yvon Michel, into the highest profile Canadian venue to host a world title fight outside of Quebec, Canada in ages, Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum. On a card that also featured top American prospect, Errol Spence Jr. in the co-main event. In addition, Global Legacy Boxing has also seen the return of professional boxing to the famed Maple Leafs Gardens, now the Mattamy Athletic Centre, which was once the Mecca of boxing in all of Canada. Finally there is a new promoter in town in Toronto, and along with it, world class boxing events have followed.
Global Legacy Boxing has also put together quite a stable of young, up and coming talent, as they look to continue on forward with their push to restore Boxing in Toronto to its glory days. Much like Yvon Michel has done with GYM ever so masterfully over the years, as well as “InterBox” (another longstanding promotional staple of the thriving boxing business in Quebec), while building up the sport of champions in Canada’s premier boxing province.
This stable of young Canadians that Global Legacy Boxing is now building, includes the recently crowned Commonwealth (British Empire) Cruiserweight Champion, “Dangerous” Denton Daley (16-1, 9KOs) of Brampton, Ontario. An electrifying talent who has boxed professionally exclusively on Canadian soil, and has picked up many explosive finishes along his path of destruction and success. The GLB roster also bolsters another Ontario, Canada native in current Canadian Heavyweight Champion, Dillon “Big Country” Carman (11-2, 10KOs) who has been keeping the fans well entertained in the Canadian Maritime provinces of late, (along with east coast Canadian boxing staples, Tyson Cave (29-3) of Nova Scotia, and Brandon Brewer (20-0-1) from New Brunswick, who aren’t Global Legacy fighters, but who have been the lifeblood of the Maritime Canadian boxing scene for a while now, keeping the sport alive out on the east coast).
Then there’s the six foot, four inch monster, a relative unknown, who’s travelled over to Canada from the Ukraine, bringing with him some seriously devastating power punching, and a solid pedigree of over 247 amateur bouts, Oleksandr “Sasha”, “The Panther” Teslenko! “Sasha” Teslenko is a massive guy who has the boxing scene across Canada buzzing right now with his brutal force, in ring determination, and unlimited potential. Teslenko is still fresh on the professional boxing circuit. But with a record of 7 wins, no losses, and 6 knockout victories under his belt already, Teslenko has also already fought in 5 different Canadian cities, spread over 4 different provinces across the country. In his next scheduled competition (which is on previously uncharted ground for the 24 year old prospect, in Winnipeg, Manitoba) on October 28th, 2016, “The Panther” tour looks to continue to keep on picking up steam, and fans, as he once again attempts s to crush his competition inside the ring, on his way up the boxing charts.
Match-maker, Jim Gentle, formerly of Stele Boxing Promotions, which was a staple of professional boxing in Ontario, Canada for many years, has also added his expertise to the long list of advisors assisting Les Woods and Lennox Lewis’ venture into the promotional side of the squared circle. And it shows in the quality of competitive bouts they’ve already had under the Global Legacy Boxing banner, in the 2 years that they’ve been in the boxing business. Keeping the bouts competitive and entertaining, along with the high level of talent on display, is a major part of what has set Global Legacy Boxing apart from other promotions across Ontario and aside from GYM and InterBox, pretty much all of Canada. As the vast majority of the remaining boxing promoters in the country, are consistently hosting mainly grassroots level matches, with the occasional Canadian Title bout, as their showcase attraction.
Recently, another new promotional group has arrived on the scene in Ontario, Canada as well. “Three Lions Promotions” held their inaugural boxing card in Hamilton, Ontario on October the 1st, 2016. The show was a charity fund raiser for The Robbie Wilcox Cancer Foundation, and Camp Trillium (a childhood cancer support centre) that consisted of ringside tables including dinner service, as well as a high volume of general seating, which showcased a WBA-NABA North American title fight in the main event. A hard fought battle that was won by young Super-Lightweight prospect, Steven “The Piranha” Wilcox (15-1-1). Wilcox is a multi-time Canadian amateur national champion with a bright future in the sport. On the undercard, his younger brother Jessie Wilcox (5-0) also a stand-out former amateur national champion, picked up a win in the brother’s hometown of Hamilton, to the delight of fans who have clamoured about the highly successful and extremely entertaining event ever since.
These new promoters are a much welcomed addition to the handful of longstanding promotional groups that have already existed in the Greater Toronto Area for years. Which obviously is great news for the boxing fans in Ontario, who had been waiting for something big to happen to the sport that used to fill up downtown Toronto’s Carlton Street, with eager spectators back in Boxing’s heyday once upon a time, in the now mega-city. All of whom were anticipating action packed showdowns, like George Chuvalo versus “The Greatest of All Time” Muhammad Ali. The same fans who for years would fill the same stadium that the Toronto Maple Leaf’s played in, just to watch closed circuit boxing matches on the big screen. Who prior to Global Legacy Boxing making their mark on the sport in Canada recently, hadn’t seen world title fights on their home soil of that calibre, since the days of Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor, when he was in the midst of his long standing reigns as world champion, back when Molitor used to pack the house at Casino Rama, all the way up north of Toronto in Orillia, Ontario. This is definitely a welcomed change for Toronto’s professional Boxing scene. No Doubt. And since the co-owner of Global Legacy Boxing Lennox Lewis’, mother and father, both still live in the province of Ontario, along with a very large Lewis family contingency. It makes perfect since for the former Canadian Olympic Gold Medallist to be such a huge part of this effort to restore the sport of Boxing’s legacy, in the Canada’s largest city.
Looking out to the west, the most notable prize fighter on the horizon, has got to be the Calgary based prospect, Steve “The Dragon” Claggett (24-4-1, 16KOs). Claggett’s record is a bit deceiving if not tainted, in that some of his losses have appeared to be hometown decisions that just didn’t occur in his hometown. And after already having held on to multiple Canadian titles, “The dragon” recently won a war of attrition, in his greatest showcase bout to date, this past September, in Las Vegas, earning himself a WBA–NABA USA title in the process. Claggett is an old throwback type of Boxer/Puncher. Who’s mentality is that he is willing to get in the ring, anytime, anyplace, under almost any circumstances, on his journey to one day contend for a world title. Claggett at 27 years old is an already well travelled road warrior, who’s well schooled in the sweet science, and he’s the kind of fighter who always looks to put on a great show, with no other objectives in mind aside from winning, and thrilling the fans.
Much like in Ontario, the Canadian west coast boxing circuit has had a handful of consistent promoters in recent years, keeping the sport alive. However the vast majority of the competition out west is still at the grassroots level, with local fighters filling up the cards, and the occasional Canadian title bout as the main attraction…or possibly a Women’s world title fight featuring Jelena Mrdjenovich on a KO Boxing Promotions televised event out in Edmonton, Alberta. Keeping the west coast boxing scene relevant of late have been promoters like Calgary’s, Eric De Guzman, and his “Teofista” boxing promotion, who will host the return of Orangeville, Ontario native, Logan McGuiness (23-0-1) on October 28th, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta. As well as “King John Boxing” who is set to host Ontario based fighters, the already touted Oleksandr Teslenko and Steven Wilcox, also on October 28th, 2016 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
There have been many changes in the past couple of years, to the overall complexion of professional boxing in Canada. Most of which has been for the better of the sport, and also for the betterment of the next generation of the sport’s athletes. One thing that has remained consistent in the Canadian boxing scene of late is the resurgence of young fresh talent. New faces making their way up onto the world stage, and their resolve to become something greater, than the confines of the Canadian boxing industry’s standard, for so long now. Meaning, the young and hungry Canadian fighters themselves these days, want more opportunity to grow, to improve, to test their metal against higher level opposition, and they are doing so wherever the opportunities lie. One of the oldest principles of pugilism, “To be the man, you have to beat the man”, has not been lost on this new generation of Canadian pugilists. So whether it’s Shiller Hyppolite (21-1, 14KOs) a rising Super Middleweight who boxes out of Montreal, under Eye of the Tiger Promotions, who’s next bout, the toughest competition he’s faced to date, will be for a piece of WBC hardware in Germany, when he faces a young Turkish fighter named Anvi Yildirim (13-0, 8 KOs) on November 5th, 2016. Or Trois Rivieres, Quebec’s, Mikael Zewski (27-1, 21KOs) who’s fought his last 5 fights outside of Canada. Or Cornwall, Ontario’s, Tony “Lightning” Luis (21-3) who’s fought his last 7 bouts outside of Canada. Or even Toronto, Ontario’s, Phil Lo Greco (27-3, 15KOs) who has faced all 13 of his most recent opponents, outside of his home country of Canada. Professional Boxers on the rise in Canada in this new era, have proven time and time again, that they are willing to travel anywhere that they have to, and fight whoever stands in their way, en route to their final destination…A shot at being called Champion, of the entire world!