Have You Filled Out Your Bracket?

Brook

FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

This Saturday, welterweight titlist Kell Brook will make his first defense when he squares off with Jo Jo Dan in Sheffield, England. The bout will be aired on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL prior to that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast featuring Jhonny Gonzalez-Gary Russell Jr. and Jermell Charlo-Vanes Martirosyan.

The latter two bouts will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brook is coming off his impressive win over Shawn Porter, and in December, Dan edged Canadian Kevin Bizier in a rematch.

So where do Brook and Dan rate among the world’s best welters? I’m happily suffering from March Madness, so I thought it would be fun to create a 147-pound tournament without Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Here are the brackets and results.

SWEET SIXTEEN

Timothy Bradley vs. Paulie Malignaggi: Distance fight. Fresher Bradley, the aggressor, pulls away late.

Keith Thurman vs. Devon Alexander: Thurman takes it with his big right hand.

Amir Khan-Andre Berto: Khan off the floor to win on points.

Juan Manuel Marquez-Lamont Peterson: Upset! Peterson proves stronger in battle of small welters.

Marcos Maidana-Jo Jo Dan: Fight is even on points when Maidana’s kayo power surfaces.

Kell Brook-Diego Chaves: It’s always close with Chaves. Brook by controversial split decision.

Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios: In first bout as full welter, Garcia wins slugfest. Best fight of first round.

Shawn Porter-Robert Guerrero: Blood everywhere! Porter squeaks by in foul-fest.

ELITE EIGHT

Bradley-Porter: Two short welters muscle each other. Bradley wins battle of attrition.

Thurman-Garcia: Thurman turns pure boxer and wins by decision.

Khan-Brook: Khan wins split decision in tactical battle of countrymen.

Peterson-Maidana: Peterson falls to second Argentine power-puncher. (The first was Lucas Matthysse.)

FINAL FOUR

Bradley-Maidana: The difference: Bradley’s indomitable will.

Thurman-Khan: Bad style matchup for Englishman. Thurman by kayo. 

FINAL

Bradley-Thurman: Thurman keeps it outside and wins on points.

Don’t Punch Until You See The Whites Of Their Eyes

Amir Khan and Devon Alexander

FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

On Saturday, Dec. 13 welterweight contenders and former world titlists Amir Khan and Devon Alexander will clash in a critical contest in Las Vegas on SHOWTIME.

Khan is from Bolton, England, which doesn’t have much in common with Alexander’s hometown of St. Louis.

The American Revolution aside, there have been dozens of fascinating England-USA matchups over the years. A distinctive baker’s dozen that I remember:

Danny Garcia KO 4 Amir Khan (2012): Remember how comprehensively Khan was outboxing Garcia? Three knockdowns later, Khan was comprehensively stopped.

Lennox Lewis KO 8 Mike Tyson (2002): A brawl at the introductory press conference … two ring announcers … and a line of security guards separating the fighters upon their ring entrances. I watched it all at 5 a.m. in Glasgow after working a ShoBox: The New Generation show.

Matthew Saad Muhammad W 15 John Conteh I (1979): Former titlist Conteh fights with one hand and extends light heavy champ Saad in one of the first big fights in casino-era Atlantic City.

Naseem Hamed KO 4 Kevin Kelley (1997): I lost count of the knockdowns by round three, probably because I was still numb from Hamed’s legendary ring walk. One of the greatest fights in Madison Square Garden’s incredible history.

Sugar Ray Leonard KO 4 Dave Boy Green (1980): Thirty-four years later, still one of the most brutal kayos I’ve seen live. Check out Ray’s frightening left hook on YouTube.

Carl Froch KO 12 Jermain Taylor (2009): High drama in the Connecticut woods: Fourteen seconds left at the time of the kayo. Fourteen seconds–with Taylor ahead on two of the three cards!

Floyd Mayweather KO 10 Ricky Hatton (2007): Hatton, 43-0 going in, is dropped by a memorable Money hook. Best of the best: In four consecutive fights, Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya, Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Shane Mosley.

Lloyd Honeyghan KO 6 Donald Curry (1986): How big an upset? At the time, the unbeaten Curry was ranked first in the pound-for-pound listings. This fight is second only to Randy Turpin-Sugar Ray Robinson in terms of biggest England-USA upset.

Marvin Hagler KO 3 Alan Minter (1980): Hagler celebrates winning the world middleweight title the way he always dreamed–by dodging flying glass bottles and fleeing the ring during a nasty post-fight riot in London.

Muhammad Ali KO 6 Henry Cooper (1966): Forty-six thousand fans at Arsenal Football Stadium watch chronic bleeder Cooper shed enough red for Ali to say, “Blood scares me. I was more desperate than anyone else when I saw Cooper bleeding so badly.”

Nigel Benn KO 1 Iran Barkley (1990): Three knockdowns buy Benn a lot of legitimacy on this side of the pond. Back in those days, nobody did that to “The Blade.”

Kell Brook W 12 Shawn Porter (2014): Stranger than truth: British judge Dave Parris scored the bout even, while the two American judges saw Brook winning fairly comfortably.

Timothy Bradley W 12 Junior Witter (2008): Bradley wins a version of the 140-pound title on ShoBox, with a right-hand knockdown in round six proving the difference on the cards.

Amir Khan Takes On Devon Alexander As Part Of A Hard-Hitting Tripleheader December 13th

Amir

On Saturday, Dec. 13, we present a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader featuring a pivotal welterweight showdown and two world championship fights, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

In a pair of must-see, high-stakes welterweight matchups, British superstar and former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan of Bolton, England will take on former two-division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” of St. Louis, Mo., while undefeated interim WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman of Clearwater, Fla., will defend against Leonard “The Lion” Bundu of Lazio, Italy.

Rounding out an action-packed night on the three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will be WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade of Providence, R.I., who risks his 154-pound belt against tough undefeated young star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo of Houston, Texas. Charlo will make his first attempt at world title glory in a battle of unbeaten junior middleweights.

“Getting back in the ring is all I’ve been looking towards these last few months,” said Khan. “I want to show everybody that I’m a major force at 147 pounds and I’m ready to take on the best. This fight with Alexander has been on the table for a while, but it is finally happening and I plan on winning impressively to show that I am truly one of the best welterweights in the world.”

“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time and I’m ready to show that I’m worthy of this opportunity and the opportunities ahead after I win on Dec. 13,” said Alexander. “I’ve worked hard my entire life and now the pressure is on to really show what I can do.”

Keith

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and defend my title,” said Thurman. “I’m going to give all my fans the performance of a lifetime and prove why my name should be at the top of the welterweight conversation.”

December 13 is going to be the biggest night of my professional career thus far,” said Bundu. “To be fighting in the United States, in the fight capital of the world — Las Vegas on SHOWTIME against one of the most promising American prospects is a dream come true. But Keith Thurman doesn’t scare me. I know that I have what it takes to win and truly make a name for myself throughout the boxing world.”

“There is no way I’m letting go of my belt,” said Andrade. “Jermell Charlo is a good fighter, but nothing is going to stop me from defending my belt and raising my hand in victory on Dec. 13. I am confident that this will be a fight fans won’t want to miss.”

“I am beyond excited to finally get a shot at a world title,” said Charlo. “This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’m ready to be a world champion. Nothing is going to stand in my way. Andrade is the champion and I’m not looking past him at all, but this is my time. I know it. The title will lead to bigger and better things and that is what I’m all about.”

“A huge main event with two former champions looking to take a major step back towards a title shot; undefeated fighters going head-to-head on the undercard; our last big show of the year – Dec. 13 at MGM Grand will have it all,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Golden Boy Promotions is finishing 2014 strong and will move into 2015 continuing to make good on our promise to make the most exciting fights for boxing fans.”

“The Dec. 13 edition of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING delivers on our promise to televise stacked fight cards featuring big name fighters in meaningful fights,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “The main event, Amir Khan versus Devon Alexander, is a matchup between two renowned former world champions, each at a critical juncture in his career. In the co-feature, Keith Thurman, one of the brightest young stars in boxing, faces perhaps his toughest test to date in the highly regarded and undefeated Leonard Bundu, as each boxer battles for position in the ultra-competitive welterweight division. The opening bout on the telecast features two very talented undefeated rising stars, champion Demetrius Andrade and No. 2-ranked challenger Jermell Charlo. Each fight on the telecast will have a significant impact on the top-10 divisional rankings.”

Khan (29-3, 19 KOs), a 2004 Olympic Silver medalist who turns 28 on Dec. 8, has won his last three contests, all against former world champions. In his most recent outing, he scored three knockdowns en route to a lopsided 12-round decision victory over Luis Collazo in the co-main event on May 3. Before that, the popular, lightning-quick Brit defeated Julio Diaz via unanimous decision in April of 2013 and Carlos Molina in Dec. of 2012. A victory against Alexander would put Khan in a position to become a two-division world champion in 2015.

The 27-year-old southpaw Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs), is a former welterweight and junior welterweight world champion and is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Jesus Soto Karass last June. Fighting with a newfound passion and aggressiveness, Alexander was victorious by the scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93. A winner of five of his last six bouts, a stretch that has seen him defeat the likes of Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana, Alexander believes that his technical artistry will put him back in the world title hunt soon.

Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) has always been feared for his knockout power, but when he won the WBA Interim Welterweight World Title with a 10th round knockout over Diego Chaves in July of 2013, he was put in a position where the elite of the fight game would have to square off with him eventually. The 25-year-old Thurman has since made two successful title defenses with knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass and Julio Diaz, and he will attempt to achieve the same result against Bundu.

Bundu (31-0-2, 11 KOs), who represented Italy in the 2000 Olympic Games, is making his United States and SHOWTIME debut. The European and Commonwealth Champion, is coming off a hard-earned 12-round decision over previously undefeated contender Frankie Gavin on Aug. 1. Bundu was born in Sierra Leone before moving to Italy, where he has fought the majority of his fights since turning pro in 2005. He is ranked No. 3 in the WBC and No, 4 in the WBA and IBF.

A decorated amateur, Providence, Rhode Island’s Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs) turned professional in 2008 after representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games in Beijing. In November of 2013, the talented southpaw won the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Title with a 12-round decision over Vanes Martirosyan and this past June, the 26-year-old successfully defended his title for the first time with a seventh-round technical knockout over Brian Rose.

Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs), 24, is the younger-by-one-minute brother of identical twin, Jermall, who is also a world-ranked undefeated contender at 154 pounds. A tall fighter for his division, Charlo has stepped up in class in some recent fights and is coming off two consecutive terrific points’ victories against Charlie Ota in a 12-round fight on May 24 and against Gabriel Rosado in a 10-round battle on Jan. 25. Charlo, also a top-notch amateur, won the bronze medal at the 2005 Junior Olympics. December 13 marks a milestone in Charlo’s career as he will do everything he can to capture his first world title.

Mayweather Seizes “The Moment” Over Maidana. Khan Defeats Collazo.

002 Mayweather victory IMG_2419[1]

For a moment, it seemed like Marcos “El Chino” Maidana could do the unthinkable – hand pound-for-pound champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather the first loss of his brilliant career. Only for a moment.

Mayweather, who is now the WBC and WBA Welterweight World Champion, prevailed with a hard-fought majority decision victory over Maidana in the main event on Saturday on SHOWTIME PPV in front of 16,268 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Continue reading

Amir Khan vs. Luis Collazo Officially Announced as Co-Main Event of May 3rd PPV

amir-khan-entering-ringPhoto: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Press Release

An explosive matchup of two world-class fighters is coming to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 3, when British superstar and former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir “King” Khan faces Brooklyn native and WBA International Welterweight Champion Luis Collazo in the 12-round welterweight co-main event of “THE MOMENT: Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana” on SHOWTIME PPV.

A media conference call featuring both fighters is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. Additional details to follow this announcement.

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Las Vegas once again, and my intention on May 3 is to make a statement that I belong on this big stage,” said Khan. “Luis Collazo might be coming off of a big win, but I am in incredible shape and am ready for this challenge. A win on May 3 is what I need to prove that I truly am one of the best welterweights in the sport.”

Continue reading