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.

Weigh-In Replay: Porter vs. Brook

When Unbeatens Clash: Shawn Porter, Kell Brook, and the History of Undefeated Opponents

Shawn-Porter-punchingPhoto: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

From Showtime Boxing Analyst Steve Farhood
On Saturday, IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter, 24-0-1, will defend against England’s Kell Brook, 32-0, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Champion and challenger are unbeaten in 57 combined fights. Here’s a sampling of major bouts in which both fighters were undefeated going in.

1950: Rocky Marciano (25-0) W 10 Roland LaStarza (37-0): The closest The Rock ever came to losing. The scores were even (5-5, 5-4, and 4-5 in rounds), but Marciano won on the basis of New York State’s supplemental scoring system.  Three years later, Marciano kayoed LaStarza in defense of the heavyweight title.

1971: Joe Frazier (26-0) W 15 Muhammad Ali (31-0): The reigning heavyweight champ trumped the former titlist in the biggest and most anticipated fight in history. Ali won their second and third battles.

1977: Carlos Zarate (45-0) KO 4 Alfonso Zamora (29-0): In a non-title showdown of “The Z Boys,” Zarate proved himself the number one bantamweight in the world. Going in, the Mexican bombers had scored 73 kayos in a combined 74 fights!

1988: Mike Tyson (34-0) KO 1 Michael Spinks (31-0): The heavyweight superfight lasted all of 91 seconds–and Spinks never fought again.

1990: Julio Cesar Chavez (68-0) KO 12 Meldrick Taylor (24-0-1): The junior welterweight unification match ended when referee Richard Steele famously called a halt with two seconds remaining in the final round and Taylor comfortably ahead on points.

1994: Roy Jones (26-0) W 12 James Toney (44-0-2): Rising from middleweight to super middle, Jones floored and comprehensively outboxed an ill-prepared Toney.

1999: Felix Trinidad (35-0) W 12 Oscar De La Hoya (31-0): Superstar welterweights collided. De La Hoya boxed brilliantly for most of the bout, but danced down the stretch and dropped a heavily disputed decision.

2007: Kelly Pavlik (31-0) KO 7 Jermain Taylor (27-0-1): Big puncher Pavlik won the middleweight title by picking himself up from the canvas and stopping Taylor in destructive fashion.

2007: Joe Calzaghe (43-0) W 12 Mikkel Kessler (39-0): Fighting at home in Wales, Calzaghe unified the super middleweight title and scored the biggest victory of his career. Denmark’s Kessler built an early lead, but faltered in the later rounds.

2013: Floyd Mayweather (44-0) W 12 Canelo Alvarez (42-0-1): The world’s best fighter cemented his status and won a pair of junior middleweight titles in a characteristically brilliant exhibition of intelligent boxing and defense.

Shawn Porter: From Learning to Box at the Age of Four to Dominating the Welterweight Class

Shawn-Porter-victory-Alfonso-GomezPhoto: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

By Tim Smith
There was a standing rule that Shawn Porter had to adhere as a kid when he visited his father at the boxing gym in Akron, Ohio – no sitting.

That’s right. If you came to the gym you couldn’t sit down. You had to work. And work meant you stayed on your feet from the time you entered the front door until you left.

Porter was four years old when he first visited his father at the gym, and even then the rule applied to him. But what could he do? He couldn’t even reach the speed bag.

“At four years old you’re able to do the most important things and that’s the fundamentals of boxing – hands up, working on the simple jab, the simple one-two, double jab, one-two-three,’’ Porter said. “At the age of four I was in the mirror doing what guys today can’t even do.’’

Kenneth Porter made sure that his three sons were schooled in the fundamentals of boxing. Now Shawn Porter is leaning on those lessons more and more as he makes his way towards the upper tier of the welterweight division – one of the most talent-rich divisions in the sport.

Ken-and-Shawn-Porter-Post-Malignaggi-Fight

Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) will defend his IBF welterweight title in a 12-round match against Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs), an undefeated contender from Britain, on SHOWTIME at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday night. Continue reading

Hopkins Makes History Again. Porter Dominates Malignaggi. Quillin Retains Championship

003 Hopkins vs Shumenov IMG_7209Photo: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs), at 49-years-old, made history once again on Saturday night. He is now the oldest man to unify a boxing world championship and the oldest fighter to defend a world title-besting his own record-as he defeated Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs) via split decision to become the Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion. Judges Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth scored the fight 116-111 for the future Hall of Famer while Gustavo Padilla scored the bout 114-113 for Shumenov. Continue reading