Badou Jack on the prowl at Light Heavyweight

Written By Bakari Simpson: As much as folks like to say the ‘best rarely fight the best,’ this adage is often debunked. There are a slew of fighters on the current landscape, who face the best available competition with regularity. One boxer of this ilk is WBA light heavyweight titlist Badou Jack aka The Ripper (22-1-2, 13 KO’s). The Sweden born pugilist is amongst the world’s finest fighters, although he does not believe that he gets his just due. Following a quick perusal of his resume, it is hard to deny the impressiveness of his body count.

Badou Jack began 2017 by waging a wonderful war with the loquacious and ever dangerous James DeGale. Staged in the Barclays Center, the sophisticated barroom brawl held the WBC and IBF super middleweight titles in the balance. The match was a furious, back and forth contest were neither competitor was willing to yield to the other. The bout was so intense that DeGale ultimate had a few teeth knocked out. In the end, the equally torn judges ruled the bout a majority draw. After this warfare Badou Jack vacated his WBC super middleweight strap and jumped up light heavyweight. There he fought, roughed up and took the WBA light heavyweight title from Nathan Cleverly.

Badou Jack
Badou Jack dominate Light Heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly on the Mayweather-McGregor blockbuster card.

Amongst current day fighters, Badou Jack has maintained an impressive consecutive list of dance partners. A fact that he none to bashfully highlighted in a recent interview.

 Whether he feels under the radar or not, Jack is thirsty to secure another top-notch opponent. After assessing the line-up of top ranked combatants in his division, Badou has solidified whom he wants first and second. The skillful boxer was anything but timid in voicing this opinion.

“Adonis obviously. Maybe someone we don’t like. A racist fighter? A scumbag, Kovalev has made some racist comments so maybe him.” -Badou Jack

Badou was referring to the now many instances and accusations of racial insensitive comments and actions made by Kovalev. Either fight, with Kovalev or Adonis, would make for great action and meaningful bouts. Let’s hope they can be made!

“People will realize that I’m the real deal. I’ve fought five world champions in a row: Dirrell, George Groves, he wasn’t a champion when we fought but he is now. Lucian Bute was a former world champ, DeGale is a world champion and an Olympic gold medalist, and Cleverly a two-time champion. I fought them back-to-back, not even the superstars, Triple G (Gennady Golovkin) or Canelo, have fought the caliber I have back-to-back like that. I’m going to continue like that.” 

Badou Jack

READ: Deontay Wilder’s new opponent is Bermane Stiverne, after Ortiz fails test

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Kovalev vs Shabranskky UNDERCARD: Sosa-Castellanos ADDED (HBO Boxing)

Written By Eric GomesJason Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight. The fight takes place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The 29-year-old Jason Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier  Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016. Next, he returned several months later in a fight against Vasyl Lomachenko in April 2017.
Jason Sosa Lomachenko
Vasiliy Lomachenko being toying with and showboating against the overmatched Jason Sosa on HBO.
Jason Sosa known for fighting Nicholas Walters to a majority draw. Sosa also stopped Jerry Belmontes in one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
Castellanos, coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel Corrales. The 35-year-old handed super bantamweight contender  Ronny Rios his first career loss. In the fight he stopped Rios via TKO. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on May 5th.
After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. I know little about Jason Sosa, but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
Tickets are currently on sale and are available at ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden Box Office. Use the code LATINOSUNIDOS when purchasing your tickets to donate a portion of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the rebuilding efforts in Mexico following the earthquake in Mexico City. The donations will go to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos fund and to Habitat for Humanity Mexico.
To make a direct donation for hurricane relief, please visit the Hispanic Federation’s website: https://hispanicfederation.org/unidos/. To make a direct donation for earthquake relief in Mexico, please visit the website of Habitat for Humanity and direct your donation to “2017 Mexico Earthquake Response”:https://www.habitat.org/donate/?link=878.
Sosa-Castellanos is a good fight for both fighters which could garner a title shot. The winner of this fight will likely face Puerto Rico’s Alberto Machado who upset former WBA champion Jezreel Corrales on HBO’s 10/21/17 broadcast. Another option for both is the winner of vet Orlando Salido vs. WBC champion Miguel Berchelt bout slated to fight on December 9th. Lots of interesting matchups here at 130 lbs!
 
Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy is a 10-round light heavyweight fight promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. Sosa vs. Castellanos is a 10-round super featherweight fight promoted by Peltz Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions. The event will take place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love.  I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”

Jason Sosa

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READ: Errol Spence to make 1st title defense against Lamont Peterson

Gabriel Rosado STOPS Glen Tapia in MUST-WIN Crossroads fight for both

Written By Bakari Simpson: In a very significant bout for each combatant’s career, Gabriel Rosado (24-11, 14 KO’s) and Glen Tapia (23-5, 15 KO’s) collided on ESPN2. Given the style of both fighters most believed that this would be a good scrap. Added to their natural aggression, both men found themselves at a precarious crossroads of their career. A loss was not an option for either. Rosado had lost his previous two bouts, and five out of his last seven outings. Coming into this affair, Glen Tapia had collected three losses in a row. When they met at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, it did not take long before the fireworks began.

The first two rounds were fairly even affairs that saw both men land solid punches. Gabe and Glen exercised competent jabs and neither neglected the body. Despite each fighter getting off to a good start, Gabriel was enjoying the greater landmarks of success. The second round was particularly beneficial to Rosado. In that stanza, Gabe bloodied Tapia’s nose, knocked his mouthpiece out and seemed to buzz him in the final seconds. The third period only got more strenuous for Tapia. During the third round, Rosado fell into a beautiful boxing rhythm. While maintaining an optimum distance Gabe jabbed and hooked Glen’s head and body at will.

In hindsight, the third round was beginning of the end for Tapia.

The fourth continued largely like the third. Unfortunately, the only thing of note, or variance, was a large lump began forming on Tapia’s forehead. The mass was likely caused by a clash of heads. Ref Robert Byrd warned the fighters to control their swinging craniums.

The downward trajectory persisted for Team Tapia in round five. There Glen would continue being roughed up, only now he was profusely bleeding from the nose and mouth. At one point, while pent against the ropes, Rosado landed about eight consecutive headshots. The writing appeared to be written on the wall at this point.

The ominous wall writing quickly received confirmation in the sixth round.

Roughly, forty-five seconds into the period a crunch left, right hook combination stole Glen’s equilibrium. Tapia retreated to the ropes with Rosado in hot pursuit. In short time, Glen was down and the 8-count began. Assuming the dutiful role of a proud fighter Glen told Byrd that he was ready to continue fighting, but he was on shaky legs. Byrd allowed the bout to continue after firmly telling Tapia, “Show me something!” Glen could not comply. Mere moments after the bout resumed, Gabe flurried and the badly damaged Tapia could only flee to the ropes. Referee Robert Byrd nearly immediately called the bout off.

It was an impressive, career-sustaining, win for Rosado. With the victory, the proud Philly fighter will now seek rematches with GGG, David Lemieux or possibly Martin Murray. Golovkin and Lemieux both have solid TKO victory over Rosado, while the Murray loss was rather controversial to many. King Rosado would love a second crack at any of these men. Only time will reveal what is next for Rosado.

Congrats to Gabe and his team for a marvelous outing. As for Team Tapia, much respect is extended and we just hope and pray that his next move will be a beneficial one. His days in the boxing ring appear to severely numbered.

“Glen Tapia is the type of guy that when you hurt him, he’ll come forward. It was very important to get the win. It was important to make a statement, to be impressive, to put myself back into the mix. I want Canelo Alvarez, Danny Jacobs, or a rematch with David Lemieux. I want to prove that I still have something.”

Gabriel Rosado

READ: Deontay Wilder’s new opponent is Bermane Stiverne, after Ortiz fails test

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Errol Spence Jr. to make 1st title defense against veteran Lamont Peterson in Jan.

Written By Eric Gomes: Hungry IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) will next square off against Lamont Peterson(35-3-1, 17 KOs). The site and official date has not yet been disclosed, but Spence assured the crowd that Peterson is in fact his next opponent. Spence was in town at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the Showtime-televised junior middleweight world title triple-header. Spence’s friend/sparring partner WBC champion Jermell Charlo stole the show with a shocking 1st round KO of his #1 mandatory Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin. Spence went on record saying Charlo’s sensational KO has motivated him for his next fight [against Lamont Peterson].

Errol Spence Jr
Errol Spence Jr became a champion after successfully beating the UK’s Kell Brook (pictured left) on his home turf.

Lamont Peterson is a true veteran and as game as they come. Peterson has not been the most active fighter, however, each and every time he fights he comes to bring it. I was on hand at Peterson’s last fight in Cincinnati on the Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados card. Peterson fought David Avanesyan in his first fight at the full 147 lbs. Welterweight division. Peterson coming off a 16-month layoff started rather slow but picked up the pace as the fight progressed. In the end, Peterson won by unanimous decision to capture the regular WBA world welterweight title. Reports surfaced last week that Peterson contacted the WBA, formerly vacating the title and thanking them for giving him the opportunity. I am not quite sure what prompted Peterson to vacate the title, perhaps taking the Spence Jr. fight had something to do with it.

Peterson, who was once homeless never lacks heart and ambition in his bouts. Some may consider this an “easy” win for Spence Jr. but Peterson is battle-tested. Peterson career wise has faced the likes of: Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia, Timothy Bradley, Victor Ortiz, Kendall Holt, and more. Peterson has a total of 3 losses but, he has only been stopped once by the hard-hitting Argentine fighter Lucas Matthysse in 2013. In fact, Peterson’s last loss versus Danny Garcia at a catch-weight is a highly disputed loss; in which many felt Peterson did enough to win.

Spence made it clear at the press conference when announcing the fight that he respects Peterson (the two have previously sparred together). Despite the past history together, business is business and Spence needs an opponent. In addition, Spence Jr. seems to be heavily avoided, the least sought out fighter of all the big name Welterweights in the division. So I just respect Peterson, who is only one fight (non-catchweight) into the division for stepping up to take the Spence Jr. challenge. This should be a fun title fight to see what the new champion Spence Jr is able to do with a cagey and smart veteran.

“He’s somebody I looked up to in the amateurs and I learned a lot from. I had a training camp with him at the Olympic training center. He gave me different advice on how to punch, how to slow down my punches, how to speed ’em up. So he’s a guy I really look up to. He’s one of my favorite fighters. He’ll fight anybody. I’ve never known him to duck a fight, say no to a fight. I’m looking forward to it. He’s got true grit. Lamont Peterson is a real fighter. Peterson is a guy who gives it his all and has a big heart.”

Errol Spence Jr.

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READ: Demetrius Andrade Moving Up To Middleweight for his next bout

Shawn Porter Heated; drooling over potential Danny Garcia fight

Written By Bakari Simpson: Once again, Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 KO’s) doubled down on his sincere desire to pen a fight with Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-1, 19 KO’s). The sentiments captured by EGO of Boxingego/Boxingego.com. Both father and son took the audience on a quick trip down memory lane. Each in turn reminded how they have openly, and publicly, called for this fight for a number of years now.

At one point the fun-loving, sports fanatic Porter dressed, and talked, like Macho Man Randy Savage to issue a challenge. Although having fun with it, Shawn was very serious about his challenge and even submitted it to his social media outlets. Despite all the efforts made by the Porters, Team Garcia has been slow to hammer out a fight.

This is why Showtime was particularly irritated when got wind of a recent interview that ‘Swift’ conducted with BoxingHype.com. In the segment Swift claimed Team Porter was protecting him from Danny. Such a claim is just a bit steeped in madness. Shawn’s recent match making has been anything but easy. If Porter is a protected fighter, who has it tough? True enough, Garcia does have a handsome resume, but his in no way negates Porters. While on the subject of protection and divine intervention, many believe that Garcia lost to Herrera and Peterson.

Since December 7, 2013, Eric Boone is the only non-marquee fighter Porter has faced. The human wrecking machine fought and bested a still relevant Devon Alexander, and then he savagely tore Paulie Malinaggi’s mouth out. Shawn drug Kell Brook through Hell and back in a hotly debated decision loss that many felt, he won. Brook has not said “Shawn”, “Porter” or the word “fight” in the same sentence since August 14, 2014. His last three opponents were Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman and Andre Berto. Were in the world is the protection there? Hell, Keith Thurman is considered the man to beat at 147 and many thought Porter beat him.

Shawn Porter
Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter brought a war to New York in 2016.

Attempting to disparage Porters work ethic, willingness to fight or resume is a fool’s mission. Just don’t do it.

In the end, Porter vs Garcia is a great match up. Their styles complement each other and they are in sticky places professionally were another loss is a ‘no-no.’ This all but guarantees virtual war from beginning to end. Given their track record, it’s somewhat hard to believe that Team Porter desire for this fight is pure masquerade. Whatever the hindrance, let us hope the roadblocks are removed and when can see this bout once and for all.

“At the end of the day we ready to fight you, you not ready to fight me. You [Danny Garcia] can keep saying you gonna knock me out, let me know when and we’ll get it done. I’m 29 years old now you messing with my life, you’re messing with my career, you’re messing with my family, you’re messing with my fan base. My fans want to see me go up against the best, they don’t want to see me up against Adrian Granados, no disrespect to him…They want to see me up against the guy I said I wanted to fight.”

Shawn Porter

READ: Deontay Wilder’s new opponent is Bermane Stiverne, after Ortiz fails test

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Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson

 

 

Terence Crawford’s Exodus opens gate to potential 140 lbs “Tournament”

Written By Bakari Simpson: Over the course of the past few months, Terence Crawford and crew have given every indication that they are moving to 147. If this indeed comes to fruition, it will create a vacuum of power and belts at 140. In preparation for this likely event, the WBC is formulating a tournament to re-established divisional clarity.

Terence Crawford
Skilled unbeaten fighter Terence Crawford beat Julius Indongo (pictured) to become Undisputed Champion at 140.

The first two benefactors of this proactive measure would be Regis Progais (20-0, 17 KO’s) and Viktor Postol (29-1, 12 KO’s). Prograis ranked #2 and Postol ranked #4. Progais is a dangerous fighter currently on the rise in the division. The New Orleans native has made it his business to call out fighters and highlight his seriousness. Before he was obviously looking to leave, Regis even called out the 140-pound kingpin Terence Crawford himself. Despite still wanting that bout, Progais is perfectly happy with this most recent development. He believes that Postol will be a marvelous opponent to showcase his skill set against. Especially, since Postol has traded leather with Crawford. Its Regis’ intention to dismantle the talented Ukrainian in even more impressive fashion.

Until colliding with Terence, Postol was undefeated and considered one of the best in the division. Directly before the match with Bud, Viktor scored a highly unexpected KO victory over Lucas Matthysse. Then, in against Bud, everything went very wrong. Very early in the fight Crawford neutralized Viktor’s offense, while battering him with his own. What was assumed to be a very tight contest was actually a frightfully one-sided affair. Crawford would claim an irreproachable 12 round unanimous decision.

Since that unfortunate evening Postol has returned to the ring just one time. On that occasion Viktor fought Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (14-0, 9 KO’s). Although, Postol would claim the victory he certainly hadn’t returned to his peak form. Postol floored to the canvas, hurt badly and almost stopped in the fight. Nevertheless, through true grit and heart, Postol persevered and eventually bested Najmiddinov in the end. Postol will need to recover his old form when he climbs into the ring against Progais.

Also directly benefitting from Crawford’s exodus are #1 ranked Amir Imam (20-1, 17 KO’s) and #3 ranked Jose Carlos Ramirez (20-0, 15 KO’s) or Mike Reed (23-0, 12 KO’s). Reed and Ramirez are already scheduled to face one another on November 11. This bout will air on ESPN, as a part of a tripleheader broadcast.

Much like Viktor Postol, Imam was rising high in boxing until crossing paths with Adrian Granados. After being sucked into an ill-advised war, Imam succumbed to knockout in the eighth round. Since that time, Amir has got into the ring twice against modest competition. He scored knocks on both occasions.

The winner of the Ramirez/Reed contest would face Amir Imam. The winner of the Imam versus (?) bout would face the winner of Progais/Postol. Ultimately, the last man standing walks away with the interim WBC lightweight title.

All in all this is a very exciting series of fights and I can’t wait until this mini-tournament kicks off!

READ: Anthony Joshua to face his mandatory Pulev

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Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson

Luis Ortiz missed Opportunity, WBC Heavyweight Barclay’s Breakdown

Written By Bakari Simpson:  The verdict is in and Luis is out! A week after failing a VADA issued drug examination the WBC has officially removed Luis Ortiz nicknamed King Kong (27-0, 23 KO’s) from the November 4th card at the Barclays Center. The announcement came by way of WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. The ruling was more formality than anything else. More than any other sanctioning body in recent date, the WBC has led the charge on clean fighting.

Out of this desire to clean up the sport, a liaison formed with the ridiculously effective VADA organization. Together, VADA and the WBC engineered the ‘Clean Boxing Program.’ Following this partnerships creation, a number of high-profile fighters have been busted. Given this overt push for a zero tolerance environment there was little room to give Team Luis Ortiz the benefit of the doubt. Especially when he is now a two-time offender.

For their part, Team Ortiz did not do themselves any favors.

Over the course of the past few years, Deontay Wilder has remained acutely vocal about cleaning up the sport. The Bronze Bomber has flat-out called Ortiz a cheat and regular PED’s user. There is no possible way on Earth Team Ortiz did not know Wilder and crew would not kick up dust about testing. One would think that VADA’s reputation would proceed itself. Right? I guess wrong. Only after being popped with two banned substances did Team Ortiz unearth a story about high blood pressure medication. It looked and sounded shaky.

Boy, Team Ortiz did themselves no favors!

In a surprising turn of events, after exercising his rage, Wilder endorsed Ortiz. Kind of. Perhaps tired of being denied his fight night, payday and justification for camp Wilder conceded. Rather than give Ortiz the benefit of the doubt he merely expressed his willingness to fight. Dirty or not, Wilder would lace up. And so, the stage was set.

VADA was giving a Maximus serious thumbs down. Luis Ortiz was claiming innocence by way of a bum ticker and doctor pills. Wilder just wanted to punch someone in the face. The ball was in the WBC’s court.

Murder was the case that they gave him…

Despite the last-minute, push by all parties the WBC made the political call that they were obligated to make. They removed Ortiz from the main event. In his place, Bermane Stiverne will answer the call. ‘If it’s meant for you, it’s meant for.’ Bermane was Deontay’s original mandatory opponent. Following a prolonged haggling period, Stiverne begrudgingly accepted step aside money so that Wilder/Ortiz could transpire. With Luis sidelined, Stiverne resumes his original position as Wilder’s next opponent.

Does Bermane get to keep the step aside money? Hmmmm…

Luis Ortiz Bermane Stiverne
Bermane Stiverne fought Deontay Wilder as WBC Champion, the roles now reversed he steps in as the challenger.

Along with Luis Ortiz, Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KO’s) will also be riding the pine. Breazeale was slated to face Bermane, but Stiverne is obviously, suddenly unavailable. Being so close to the fight date it does not seem a replacement is likely.

Provided Bermane looks good the main event should be a fun one. That’s a sizable proposition though. Stiverne has not fought in two solid years and didn’t look showroom worthy when he did. His last bout prior to that was his sound 12 round unanimous decision loss to Wilder.

Stiverne said he was sick on fight night. Deontay says Bermane was infected with his Alabama power. To Stiverne’s credit, he is the one and only professional foe of Wilder’s to hear the final bell. To Deontay’s credit, he broke his right hand early in the fight. Now, it is time to settle-up and put this rivalry to bed, or compel a rubber match. Who you betting on?

“Bermane Stiverne asked for it, so he’s going to get it. Whatever happens, happens. Ask and you shall receive. I’m relieved to be getting my mandatory out-of-the-way. At least now I won’t have to deal with that down the road. Stiverne will pay for Luis Ortiz screwing up.”

Deontay Wilder

READ: Anthony Joshua to face his mandatory Pulev

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Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson

 

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