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.

Steve Farhood’s “Destructive Dozen”

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FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

Jhonny Gonzalez’s first-round annihilation of Abner Mares in August 2013 was overwhelming evidence of the fact that he rates with boxing’s most destructive punchers.

Now the WBC featherweight titlist will defend against Gary Russell Jr. this Saturday on SHOWTIME.

My Destructive Dozen:

Javier Fortuna, 27-0-1 (20), junior lightweight: Perhaps premature to list here, but a personal fave. Especially dangerous in first round.

Gennady Golovkin, 32-0 (29), middleweight: Looked like Martin Murray was gonna be the first to last the distance in a title fight vs. Triple G, but noooooooo…

JHONNY GONZALEZ, 57-8 (48), featherweight: Check out YouTube vs. Hozumi Hasegawa, Roinet Caballero, and Jackson Asiku. The Mares fight was hardly his first highlight-reel kayo.

Wlad Klitschko, 63-3 (53), heavyweight: His right hand was rumored to have knocked down the Empire State Building. Good luck, Bryant Jennings.

Sergey Kovalev, 27-0-1 (24), light heavyweight: Just when it seemed Pascal was getting back in the fight … And who else knocks down Bernard Hopkins?

David Lemieux, 33-2 (31), middleweight: Let’s see if his legit power is sufficient when he moves up to championship level.

Marcos Maidana, 35-5 (31), welterweight: The Broner Owner has impressively carried his power from 140 to 147 pounds.

Lucas Matthysse, 36-3 (34), junior welterweight: Evidence: 1) Humberto Soto’s been down once in 75 bouts, courtesy of Matthysse; 2) What he did to Lamont Peterson; 3) He scored knockdowns in two of his three losses (vs. Devon Alexander and Zab Judah). Does Provodnikov fall next?

Adonis Stevenson, 25-1 (21), light heavyweight: Can it still be said that the southpaw with the huge left hand has kayoed a higher level of opponent than Krusher Kovalev?

Keith Thurman, 25-0 (21), welterweight: Don’t be fooled by his recent decision wins; he scored knockdowns in both of them. He needs to land his right hand only One Time.

Takashi Uchiyama, 22-0-1 (18): Has scored stoppages in eight of his 10 world title fights. Only criticism: He fights solely in his native Japan.

Nicholas Walters, 25-0 (21), featherweight: A combined five knockdowns of Vic Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire have won me over.

 

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.

They’ll Knock You Out: A Guide to the Heavy Hitters of the April 26 Thurman vs. Diaz Card

matthysse-at-mgmPhoto: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

From Showtime Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood
Saturday’s Showtime Championship Boxing card features several fighters who have scored one impressive kayo after another. Here’s a top 10 list:

  1. July 9, 2010, John Molina KO 11 Hank Lundy, Lincoln, RI: Molina scores the first of his miracle come-from-behind kayos, trapping Lundy on the ropes.
  2. July 19, 2013, John Molina KO 10 Mickey Bey, Las Vegas: Having lost virtually every round, Molina catches the unbeaten Bey with a monster hook and stops him 59 seconds from the final bell. One of the most memorable finishes in the 13-year history of ShoBox.
  3. January 6, 2012, Omar Figueroa KO 6 Michael Perez, Indio, CA: A star is born: In a brutal battle, underdog Figueroa scores the ultimate stoppage, forcing Perez to quit in his corner.
  4. April 20, 2013, Omar Figueroa KO 1 Abner Cotto, San Antonio: Figueroa swarms from the start vs. his undefeated opponent and scores one knockdown right-handed and another as a southpaw.
  5. June 23, 2012, Lucas Matthysse KO 5 Humberto Soto, Los Angeles: Until being floored in the fifth, how solid had Soto’s chin proven to be? In 68 fights, he had never been down.
  6. January 26, 2013, Lucas Matthysse KO 1 Mike Dallas, Las Vegas: The Argentinian’s reputation grows as he rids the ring of Dallas with a single right hand.
  7. May 18, 2013, Lucas Matthysse KO 3 Lamont Peterson, Atlantic City: In a fight that had been viewed as virtually pick-’em, Matthysse scores three knockdowns in a did-you-see-that blowout.matthysse-kos-peterson
  8. November 24, 2012, Keith Thurman KO 4 Carlos Quintana, Ontario, CA: After getting dropped in round one and stopped in the fourth, spoiler southpaw Quintana retires on the spot.
  9. July 27, 2013, Keith Thurman KO 10 Diego Chaves, San Antonio: In a scintillating battle of unbeatens, Thurman downs Chaves with a body shot in the ninth and drives him to all-fours with a right in the 10th.Watch the full length fight
  10. December 14, 2013, Keith Thurman KO 9 Jesus Soto Karass, San Antonio: After getting hurt in round one, Thurman scores a knockdown in the fifth and finishes the Mexican veteran in the ninth. Watch it below in instant replay.

Thurman, Matthysse, and Figueroa Headline April 26 Tripleheader

thurman-vs-soto-karass
StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., has rapidly become known amongst boxing aficionados as the place to be to see world-class fights and fighters. On Saturday, April 26, that reputation continues to grow as Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME Sports® team up for an all-action tripleheader featuring some of the top fighters in the sport today. In the 12-round main event, Florida power-hitter Keith “One Time” Thurman defends his interim WBA World Welterweight Championship against former World Lightweight titleholder Julio “The Kidd” Diaz.

In other televised bouts on SHOWTIME, Argentine knockout king Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse returns in a 10-round matchup against hard-hitting Californian John Molina and Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. defends his WBC Lightweight World Championship against fellow Texan Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes.

“To headline a show like this against a former world champion is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and that day is here,” said Thurman. “I respect Julio Diaz and I will not underestimate him. He knows that this may be his last shot, and I expect the best from him, but I’ll be the one leaving with the victory.”

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