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.

Top 10 Junior Welterweights

danny-garcia-fistPhoto: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

From Showtime Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood
Where do junior welterweight titleholders Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, both of whom will be featured on Showtime Championship Boxing on Saturday, August 9, rank among the division’s elite?
Here’s my top 10.

  1. Danny Garcia* USA 28-0
    Wins over Khan and Matthysse ensure the top spot
  2. Lucas Matthysse Argentina 35-3
    Has to be ranked ahead of Peterson because of head-to-head matchup last year
  3. Lamont Peterson* USA 32-2-1
    Dating back to 2008, quality of opposition is quite impressive
  4. Chris Algieri* USA 20-0
    Argue his win over Provodnikov if you like (and I will), but he got the nod
  5. Mauricio Herrera USA 21-4
    I thought he beat Garcia in March; consistently underrated
  6. Ruslan Provodnikov Russia 23-3
    Loss to Herrera three years ago doesn’t look that bad now
  7. Adrien Broner USA 28-1
    Not much history at this weight, but welterweight win over bigger Malignaggi stilll counts for a lot
  8. Jessie Vargas* USA 25-0
    Nine straight decision wins, but almost all against strong opposition
  9. Viktor Postol Ukraine 26-0
    At this point, home-game win over Hank Lundy worth more than recent stoppage of Selcuk Aydin
  10. Khabib Allakhverdiev Russia 19-1
    Lost debatable decision to Vargas, and remains only fighter to have defeated Joan Guzman

*World Titlist

Garcia Defeats Herrera. Wilder KOs Scott. Showtime Boxing Results from March 15

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (March 16, 2014) – Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) defeated Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs) via a majority decision to remain undefeated on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®. Continue reading

Puerto Rico’s Best Fighters: Farhood’s Top 10

garcia-waving-flagFrom SHOWTIME Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood
Danny Garcia, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, will fight for the first time on the island this Saturday night, defending his world 140-pound titles against Mauricio Herrera.

Given the size of Puerto Rico, the number of great fighters produced on the island is nothing short of phenomenal.

My all-time top 10:

  1. Felix Trinidad, 42-3: “Tito” was an unbeaten champion at three weights from 1993 to 2001. During that time, he became a legend, with wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas, and Pernell Whitaker.
  2. Wilfredo Gomez, 44-3-1: A titlist in three divisions and the greatest junior featherweight ever. His 1978 kayo of Carlos Zarate, who was 52-0 at the time, made him a star.
  3. Wilfred Benitez, 53-8-1: Won a world title at age 17, still a record. A titlist at three weights, he beat Antonio Cervantes, Carlos Palomino, and Roberto Duran. The best defensive fighter of his era.
  4. Carlos Ortiz, 61-7-1: Was dominant from 1959 to ’68. Won titles at junior welterweight and lightweight. A rare combo of superb boxing skills and exceptional physical strength.
  5. Miguel Cotto, 38-4: Yet another three-division titlist. Has surely earned a spot in the hall of fame, with wins over Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, and Antonio Margarito.
  6. Esteban DeJesus, 58-5: Reigned as a lightweight titlist, but will always be remembered for beating Roberto Duran in 1972.
  7. Hector Camacho, 79-6-3: Fought from 1982 to 2010, but peak was in the mid- to late-’80s, when his sizzling speed and southpaw style led him to world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight.
  8. Pedro Montanez, 91-8-4: Never won a world title (Sixto Escobar was the first Puerto Rican world champ), but the superb lightweight won 61 consecutive bouts in the mid-’30s.
  9. Edwin Rosario, 47-6: Powerpuncher won world titles at two weights and beat five world champs.
  10. Wilfredo Vazquez, 56-9-2: Versatile and consistent, he was a titlist at three weights from 1987 to ’96.

The Next Few: Ivan Calderon, Jose Torres, Juan LaPorte, Sixto Escobar, Alfredo Escalera, Sammy Serrano, John-John Molina, Juan Manuel Lopez