Category Archives: World Title Fight Coverage

Keith Thurman wins a close decision over Shawn Porter in a Barclays Center “instant classic”

For once, a great fight delivers action as advertised. On June 25, 2016, an estimated 3.1 million viewers tuned into CBS in prime time to watch Florida’s Keith Thurman Jr take a narrow 12 round decision victory over a determined “Showtime” Shawn Porter of Akron, Ohio.

Labels of “instant classic”, “2016 Fight of the Year” and “robbery” are being hurled around to describe “One Time” Thurman’s close unanimous decision win. All three judges scored the fight 115-113.

The CBS network is issuing an immediate rebroadcast of Saturday night’s Welterweight title fight.  

What did you think of the fight and can you see an immediate rematch taking place?

— with Keith “One Time” Thurman, Keith Thurman Jr and Shawn Porter.

Jason Sosa knocks out Fortuna in the 11th to win the WBA featherweight title in China

Despite long odds – and an even longer plane ride – Camden, New Jersey native Jason Sosa used a lethal left hook to defy the critics and non believers, knocking out world champion Javier Fortuna in round 11 to win the WBA featherweight title at the Capital Gym in Beijing, China.

The betting line was as high as 17-to-1 in favor of the Premier Boxing Champions signee Fortuna before bell time. Sensing a worthwhile long shot, savvy gamblers put a lot of late money on Sosa which dropped the line near 7-to-1 when the fight began.

The fight was so remote that there was no TV broadcast or internet streams for this show which happened at 10 AM Eastern Time. It was the perfect setting for a modern day boxing upset.

Multiple reports suggest that it was a come from behind knockout for Sosa, a fighter who was developed in the Peltz boxing fold.  The New Jersey native was knocked to the canvas in round five and was likely down on all scorecards as the fight headed into the championship rounds.

Sources say a late Sosa adjustment turned the tide. Kicking up the intensity, “Canito” knocked Fortuna down in round 10, and then finished the job less than three minutes later, closing the show at the 0:45 mark of round 11.

With the victory Sosa improves to 19-1-4, 15 KOs while the former champ Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna suffers his first career loss, falling to 29-1-1, 21 KOs.

Congrats to Team Sosa, Peltz Boxing and Top Rank Boxing  on the outstanding victory on the other side of the globe. This win ends a long losing streak for local fighters competing at the championship level of the sport.

Team Sosa

 

Thurman vs. Porter fight for the top Welterweight spot June 25

People say that boxing is the sport of ultimate sacrifice. On June 25, two of boxings brightest young stars put aside a long standing friendship for the chance to be recognized as top dog in the sports deepest division. The winner of the highly anticipated fight between Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 ko’s) and Keith Thurman (26-0, 22 ko’s) will likely gain national prestige and a consistent stream of seven figure paydays. The loser heads to the back of a line that consists of killers such as Danny “Swift” Garcia, Timothy Bradley, Errol Spence, Jesse Vargas and Andre Berto to name a few. High stakes boxing at its finest at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with Thurman’s WBA portion of the Welterweight crown on the line.

The CBS network will broadcast this Premier Boxing Champions special event live in prime time. This will mark to first time CBS airs boxing in prime time since 1978 when Leon Spinks won the Heavyweight title from Muhammed Ali in a massive upset.

Many boxing fans and insiders are calling this contest the best bout of a stacked summer lineup. If the media suggestions are sincere, the love build between the two pals who often trained together in their amateur days is out the window. Both fighters are talking like they want to knock the others head off to secure their spot in the sports upper echelon. If all goes according to the script, we could be in for a classic.

Continue reading Thurman vs. Porter fight for the top Welterweight spot June 25

Errol Spence looks spectacular while Glowacki decisions Steve Cunningham at The Barclays Center

On April 16, 2016 I set off for a weekend trip to Brooklyn, New York City – the place where the hip-hop crowd paint murals of Biggie and the hipsters live in beautiful brown stones on extended tree-lined streets.

While a good portion of my time would be spent enjoying 5th Ave in the Park Slope section of the borough followed by a long Sunday morning run through Prospect Park which was hosting a Bernie Sanders rally that same day, the primary purpose of this trip was to cover boxing from the Barclays Center.

It was Saturday night, PBC on NBC, arguably the best TV series in boxing. A paid attendance of 7,628 turned out to the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. I had one of the best seats in the house as a credentialed member of the boxing media.

Barclays Center 2016 (1)

The majority of fan support was split between local contender Chris Algeri who was in against rising star Errol Spence Jr. in the main event while another heavy batch came to shout “Polska” in favor of IBF Cruiserweight champion Krzysztof “Head” Glowacki who was taking on longtime veteran Steve “USS” Cunningham in the co-feature.

Glowacki was making his first title defense while Cunningham chased a chance to become a three-time champion in the division. Click the link to read the full recap of the trip brought to you in part by AirBnB.

Continue reading Errol Spence looks spectacular while Glowacki decisions Steve Cunningham at The Barclays Center

R.I.P. O’Neill Bell

It was announced that former Cruiserweight champion O’Neill Bell died by gunfire in Atlanta on November 25, 2015. The ex-champ was 41 years old at his time of passing.

I’ll never forget the time “Supernova” pulled a come-from-behind 10th round knockout against Jean Marc Mormeck at Madison Square Garden. It was an ice-cold night in January of 2006, I was making my first ever visit to New York City. I was stationed in press at the Mecca of Boxing to witness a true Cruiserweight classic , covering the action for a now-defunct newspaper called Punch News.

With the victory, “Supernova” walked out with the WBA, WBC & IBF titles – becoming the first fighter to unify the titles since Evander Holyfield. This fight would mark his greatest night as a pro and his last big victory in the ring.

O'Neil Bell new unified Cruiserweight Champion

This rumble set the tune for the main event where an Argentinian no-name Carlos Baldomir burst onto the national scene by pulling a huge upset over 15-to-1 favorite Zab Judah to win the undisputed Welterweight crown.

The former world champion was 40-years-old at his time of passing.

My take on the Jennings vs. Klitschko fight

This past Saturday night, Wladimir Klitschko and Bryant “By-By” Jennings had the attention of the boxing world. Over 1.7 million people tuned in to HBO, making it the highest rated TV boxing event in the past three years. People from around the globe came out for a Heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden, creating an atmosphere that was nothing short of electric when it came time for the main event. For some, it was an opportunity to see Klitschko fight on US soil for the first time in over seven years. For others, it was a night to see if Jennings could become Philly’s first Heavyweight champion in 30 years.

The Philly Keith Sports crew made the 90-mile trek to Midtown Manhattan to cover one of the more anticipated Heavyweight fights in years. The ring walks alone made it a night to remember. While the action in the ring fell a little short of expectations, it did give surprising glimpse into the future of both contestants. Before I get into specifics, treat yourself to this eight minute video of the introductions to get a feel for how lively MSG was for this title bout.

 

Continue reading My take on the Jennings vs. Klitschko fight

Jones stops Munoz at Boardwalk Hall

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Mike%20Jones-vs-Munoz-1.jpgphoto by Mike "Teek" McGuigan – In Atlantic City, Philly Welterweight Mike Jones (21-0, 17ko’s) had 15 minutes of target practice against Hector Munoz (18-3, 11ko’s) – battering away on his hopeless foe until the referee stopped it at the 2:03 mark of round 5. Jones had a distinct height advantage but chose to fight mostly inside and landed just about everything he threw while taking about 5 punches total in return. The win Jones cracks the top 15 in every major sanctioning body, collects the NABO title and is another step closer to the promised land – an HBO fight against much higher caliber opposition.

In the evenings main event – Argentinean Sergio Martinez slick punched his way to becoming the new Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion of the world with a unanimous decision win over Kelly Pavlik.

Alfonso Gomez sends Arturo Gatti into retirement at Boardwalk Hall

photo by Mike McGuigan / Philly Keith Sports

July 14, 2007 was all set to be a big night of boxing in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A capacity crowd traveled to Boardwalk Hall to watch Arturo Gatti kick-start another title run.

Arturo Gatti vs Alfonso Gomez 2007 (31)

What was built up as a good tune-up fight for the “Blood and Guts Warrior” will go down as the day a one-time legend was put to pasture, professional boxing style.

Arturo Gatti vs Alfonso Gomez 2007 (105)

The main event of this HBO telecast wasn’t even close. Round by round, Mexico’s Alfonso Gomez pounded away at the head and body of Gatti. It was a one-sided shellacking that was hard to watch at the end. Continue reading Alfonso Gomez sends Arturo Gatti into retirement at Boardwalk Hall

Miguel Cotto crushes Quintana to win the WBA Welterweight title, Antonio Margarito handles Clottey in Atlantic City

Photos by Mike McGuigan

On December 2, 2006 – Top Rank Boxing and the Showtime network  came to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to treat the fans to a night of Welterweight fights, offering four of the divisions very best squaring off against each other in the primary bouts of the evening.

The Main Event was a battle between two highly rated, undefeated Puerto Rican contenders with Miguel Cotto (27-0, 22 KOs) making his 147 pound debut against the highly regarded Carlos Quintana (22-0, 18 KOs) for the vacant WBA title which was recently vacated by Ricky Hatton.

This fight was thought to be a stern test for Cotto to see if he can hang with the big boys in this division. When the bell sounded, this one turned out to be a one-sided shellacking where Cotto branded himself as an elite fighter.

Things started out as expected with the traditionally slick Quintana playing the role of the boxer while the banging Cotto pushed forward, looking to quickly get on the inside.

Quintana would fire off the jabs as his younger opponent approached. His accuracy was decent though the power was not enough to stop the incoming charge.

Miguel Cotto vs Carlos Quintana 2006 (30)

Continue reading Miguel Cotto crushes Quintana to win the WBA Welterweight title, Antonio Margarito handles Clottey in Atlantic City