Don't miss out on all the breaking boxing news. Sign up for FREE now.

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018
Jaime Munguia

Matt Heasley/Hogan photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Feedspot followFeedly follow

JAIME MUNGUIA (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights by stunning knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States, the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to defend his new belt.

“I’m very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,” said Jaime Munguia.”I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas.”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive victories as a professional, Smith defeated John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith then lost the title against Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the title that was once his.

“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,” said Liam Smith.”But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist. Munguia is obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter. I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”

In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBA super-featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round battle.

Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Machado defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales by way of eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.

“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world champion,” said Alberto Machado. “Because of that, I will defend my title with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raise in my first defense.”

Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional debut in 2010. Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings, earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title. Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Rafael Mensah. “When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson.'”

“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”

“I’m proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who’s the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against the tough Liam Smith,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”

Liam Smith to fight Jaime Munguia

“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said Frank Warren.”Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would have been.I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”

“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”, said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”

The rest of this undercard will be announced shortly.

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018
Michael Conlan

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Feedspot followFeedly follow

MICHAEL CONLAN will face former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos in his homecoming fight on Saturday June 30 live on BT Sport.

His first seven fights have taken place in the United States but Frank Warren is bringing him home to the Odyssey Arena on another brilliant fight night in Belfast.

Conlan’s return to his back yard is also the featherweight star’s first ever 10 rounder and another step towards him emulating Irish greats and becoming a world champion.

Conlan hasn’t boxed in his home city since December 2010 when he lost a controversial decision in the Ulster Senior Championships.

He said: “It is an honour to be boxing at the Odyssey Arena and an even bigger honour to be headlining the card.

“I have been there watching Carl Frampton box many times and often pictured myself in that ring being cheered on.”

Brazilian Dos Santos, 26, has won 19 of his 23 professional and last year challenged Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO super-bantamweight title.

On a previous British visit in 2014 he lost on points against Kid Galahad over 12 rounds and promises to give Conlan a tough night.

‘The Conlan Revolution,’ as it has become known since the Irish Olympian turned professional under the Top Rank banner in March of 2017, will come across its sternest test to date.

Conlan added: “Dos Santos has competed at the highest level and this fight will be my toughest fight as professional to date.

“He has challenged for the world title, made Kid Galahad work, but I believe it’s a test I am ready for.

“At this stage it’s all about progression and learning. I believe it’s the right step at the right time.”

Michael Conlan

The undercard has produced one of the most competitive undercards ever seen in Belfast with a catalogue of 50-50 needle showdowns.

World ranked Jack Catterall risks his WBO super-lightweight title against Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna.

There is a brilliant all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental crown against Declan Geraghty. When the warring rivals met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead on the cards when he was disqualified in the fourth round.

In a clash of unbeaten hopefuls, Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh meets Glasgow’s Joe Ham in vacant Celtic super-bantamweight title clash that doubles as a British championship eliminator.

The undercard is stacked with top prospects including Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds.

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018
Claressa Shields

Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Feedspot followFeedly follow

CLARESSA SHIELDS became a two-division world champion, and Christina Hammer retained her two world title belts as both scored unanimous decision victories on Friday night on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from the Masonic Temple in Detroit, Mich.

And now they have their sights set on one another.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist Shields of nearby Flint, Michigan, was knocked down for the first time in her career 53 seconds into the first round, but she was able to come back and win every round after that to become a two-division world champion capturing the vacant IBF and WBA middleweight world championships against Hanna Gabriels. The judges’ scored the fight 98-91, 97-92 twice.

Hammer entered the ring after the Shields fight, and an emotional Shields pressed toward Hammer and some pushing and shoving ensued.

“I’m just tired of Hammer disrespecting me all the time,” Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) said. “She comes into the ring after all my fights, talks trash, and then she goes in there and looks like [crap] against Nelson. I’m sick of it. But I let her know I’m more than ready for a fight against her. She wanted me to lose tonight, but I wanted her to win because I want to fight her. We have to unify now.”

Shields and Gabriels started the fight swinging furiously, but it was Gabriels (18-2-1, 11 KOs) who connected on a right uppercut sending Shields to the canvas.

“Once I went down, I took a deep breath and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m about to whip this girl,’” Shields said. “I just remember thinking let’s use the jab and be smart.”

Costa Rica’s Gabriels, a unified 154-pound titleholder, was coming up in weight and attempting to become a three-division world champion.

“I trained to go the distance but my heart betrayed me, because after that first knock down, I was looking for another one,” said Gabriels, the reigning WBA and WBO champion who was fighting in her 12th straight world title fight since winning the welterweight title in 2009. “I wanted to show everyone I had a warrior’s heart.

“I didn’t feel I had an advantage after the knockdown. I felt I had to work round after round to even have a possibility to win.”

Added Gabriels: “She has a lot of power. It was a great fight and you have to accept the judges’ decision. She’s powerful and for the fans I think it went well.

Shields suffered a cut on the left cheek in round 10, and also overcame a head butt. She recalled being hurt by Gabriels’ punches to the head just three times in the fight. “The first round, fourth round and the eighth round, other than that she didn’t hit me with no head shots.”

Shields – in her first fight with new trainer John David Jackson – said she learned something about herself after the fight. “I can get put on my ass, get up and come back and win,” she said. “Tonight was my night and I have to show the world I’m the greatest of all-time. I showed who I am. Now, I’m really dangerous because you can even put me down, and I’ll still come back to win.”

The difference in the fight was Shields’ accuracy, especially in terms of her power shots as she connected on 42 percent compared to Gabriels’ 26 percent.

Shields was asked after the fight when she would like to face Hammer. “Hopefully it’s next,” she said. “I don’t need no rest. I could have whipped her tonight. I’m just so sick of her and her whole team.”

In a lopsided win in her highly anticipated U.S. debut, Hammer (23-0, 10 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision against Tori Nelson (17-2-3, 2 KOs). The scores were 100-90, 99-91 twice, to retain her WBC and WBO middleweight world title belts.

“It would have been better to get a KO,” said Hammer, who is 27 years old and from Dortmund, Germany. “I tried everything I could to get the knockout. She was tough. I hope the USA is good with this and I’m still the champ.”

“I’m really looking forward to fighting Claressa. She will try and fight me on the inside but my footwork and my reach will make the difference. The fight with Claressa will be a game-changer. It will be the biggest women’s fight ever. I would like to fight her at a neutral site.”

“I’m very disappointed in my performance tonight,” said an emotional Nelson after the fight. “It’s a loss, of course it’s disappointing. I wasn’t busy enough, I guess.”

In her last fight, Nelson lost a unanimous decision to Shields back in January. “Claressa is better,” Nelson said. “Shields has a jab and uses the ring. Claressa stands there and wants to fight. She has all the punches. Hammer only has one.”

In the telecast opener, Umar Salamov (21-1, 16 KOs) connected on a lethal right hand in knocking out Brian Howard (13-2, 10 KOs) 53 seconds into the ninth round of a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight bout.

Salamov, from Alkhan-Kala, Russia, was making his United States debut and trains at the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit with Javan “Sugar” Hill Steward. In a fight between two long and lanky fighters, Salamov landed 34 percent of his power punches compared to 27 percent for Howard and was ahead on all three judges’ scorecard at the time of the knockout.

“I was hurt a little bit in the second round from one of his shots, but I didn’t let it bother me because this is my U.S. debut,” said Salamov, a six-year pro who is 24 years old. “I just kept fighting. After I got hit with that punch, I started coming forward and as soon as I did that, the fight changed.”

Salamov said he knew once he connected on the first right that Howard was hurt. “I knew as soon as I landed the punch that he would be very hurt,” he said. “I felt it up to my elbow. I didn’t want to hit him after that because I knew he was finished.”

The former cruiserweight Howard had a couple of highlights and was able to effectively land his right hand on several occasions, including one powerful right cross in the seventh round that seemed to stun Salamov.

“I would say I did fair, I did OK,” said Howard, a former minor league football player who lives outside of Atlanta and was making his SHOWTIME debut. “I was fortunate to get the call by Salamov’s team and by SHOWTIME. I’ll be back.”

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018

Feedspot followFeedly follow

AMERICA and Jack Dempsey grew up together. As the western world tottered out of its post-war hangover into the crazy spiral of the Jazz Age, Dempsey developed from a raw prize-fighter to a living legend.

In his youth Dempsey was a wandering hobo, riding the rails and fighting for his supper in Wild West saloons. By his late twenties, and with his past buried as mysteriously as his Cherokee Indian heritage, he was a millionaire.

Dempsey demonstrated that in the shining new world of “classless” America, the timeless dreams of poor men were no longer futile. A man could rise out of the dust and make a fortune.

In the early year of his reign as heavyweight champion of the world he was unpopular – he survived a political slur-campaign as well as five defences of his title – but he became, and then remained for the rest of his life, the working man’s hero.

He ran his famous bar on New York’s Times Square for four decades until 1974, keen to stay close to the ordinary people, who in turn went there because there was a good chance that they could sit quietly and drink with a living legend.

And when he died in his Manhattan home on June 1, he was only a few weeks short of his 88th birthday.

He was born in Manassa, Colorado, in 1895 and christened William Harrison Dempsey. He was from farming stock, with Irish and Scottish blood in him as well as Red Indian, and by his mid-teens he had left home to wander the Western towns, working where he could and, when there was no work, fighting for his supper in the back rooms of bars. He taught himself the cold, cynical art of survival in a world where life was often short and usually cheap.

By 1914 his brother Bernie was fighting professionally and young Jack – he took the name from the former world middleweight champion “Nonpareil” Jack Dempsey – followed suit. A tough, brawling teenager, he was always in condition and always ready to fight for pay. Many of those early bouts must have gone unrecorded, but his only major setback came in February 1917, when as a raw 21-year-old he was thrown in with the vastly experienced Fireman Jim Flynn.

He “Fireman” had been at the top for a decade: in 1906 he had taken champion Tommy Burns into the 15th round before being knocked out, and in 1912 had been stopped in the ninth of another title crack, this time by Jack Johnson. And he was far too good for the raw youngster. Four times Jack went down in the first round before big brother Bernie threw in the towel.

It was enough to have broken the spirit of many an ambitious prospect, but Dempsey was never a quitter. A casual meeting in a San Francisco bar later that year changed his life. The man he met, Jack “Doc” Kearns, a fast-talking extrovert with an eye for publicity, guided him to the top.

He blasted out Flynn in the first round of a rematch a year and a day after his shock defeat, then boxed a couple of no-decision bouts with the tough Billy Miske, beat Gunboat Smith in two rounds and Battling Levinsky in three.

He was the master of the quick kayo. Carl Morris was flattened in New Orleans in 14 seconds in December 1918 and big Fred Fulton lasted just four seconds longer. Four consecutive first round wins, followed by yet another over one Tony Drake in New Haven, Connecticut, brought him a title shot against champion Jess Willard.

Promoter Tex Rickard staged the bout in Toledo, Ohio, on a blistering day in July has been recorded as a day of between 110 and 115 degrees with huge umbrellas over the corners protecting the boxers from the fierce heat. But closer scrutiny of the photographs make it clear that things may have been exaggerated: many in the crowd wore their jackets.

Willard, the tallest man ever to win the heavyweight crown at 6ft 61/4ins, was an ex-cowboy from Kansas who had become the darling of the American fight fans a few years before by knocking out the hated Jack Johnson. The brilliant Johnson, the first black man to win the biggest prize in the game, had been knocked out in 26 rounds in Havana in 1915.

Jack Dempsey

Four years had taken its toll on the capable, but unexceptional, Willard. He was now 37 and had defended his title only once before in four years, with a 10-round no-decision against Frank Moran in 1916. Even so, many thought he would be too big for the 6ft 1ins, 13st 7lbs Dempsey. Not so, Kearns. He put $8000 (about £2000 at the time) on a Dempsey victory in the first round.

Willard was in trouble in the opening seconds and floored seven times in a sensational first round. He was saved by the bell, but in the confusion and noise the referee failed to hear the timekeeper and counted out the champ.

Kearns and Dempsey thought the bet was won, but they had to be called back to finish the job as the stricken Willard was helped to his corner. Blood poured from his face, and in more humane times it’s doubtful that he would have got past the first 90 seconds, but he plodded stubbornly through the second and third rounds before retiring on his stool, with his cheekbone fractured in 13 places.

Dempsey, a ferocious hitter who fought from a crouch and never stopped going forward, was now recognised as the most powerful man in the sport, the best of the lot. But it was not enough to make him popular.

Theories abounded after the victory over Willard. Some claimed he soaked his bandaged hands in plaster of Paris before gloving up, and others talking of an iron bolt in his fist which fell out at the end of round one, explaining why he failed to drop Willard again in the remaining six minutes.

Until the day he died in 1968 Willard was convinced Dempsey had “something” in his gloves. Whatever did happen, Willard was left to ponder the rest of his life while Dempsey roared on to the magical million dollar gates of the 1920s.

His first defence was against old rival Miske, in Benton Harbour, Michigan, on September 6, 1920. Miske had given him tow good fights, but was now a sick man and Dempsey gobbled him up in three rounds.

Bill Brennan lasted into the 12th round in Madison Square Garden, New York, on 14 December 1920 – and then began the Golden Era of Boxing. In front of 80,000 fans at a packed Boyle’s Thirty Acres, Jersey City, he fought the glamorous Frenchman, Georges Carpentier.

It was the first million-dollar gate in ring history and nicknamed the “Battle of the Century”. Staged on a purpose-built wooden bowl, in July 1921, it grossed $1,789,238.

Carpentier, the “Orchid Man”, and reigning light-heavyweight champion, was a colourful character with a tremendous, flashing right hand. Dempsey mauled his way inside in the first round, won it easily, then ran into trouble in the second as Carpentier found the range.

A fast right hand on the jaw rocked Demspey and for the whole round he battled to stay in the fight. But Carpentier broke his right thumb trying to put the champion away and the tide turned in round three, as Dempsey landed a volley of hard rights to the head and one tremendous right hook to the body.



Carpentier was knocked down from a left hook early in the fourth and then crumpled again for the full count. Dempsey was a national hero.

He rode a smear campaign after a picture of him wearing patent leather shoes during the war was published. Why, people were encouraged to think, was Dempsey, then just a young prizefighter, wearing high quality shoes when everyone else was sacrificing for the war effort? It was similar to the campaign against Muhammad Ali in the 1960s, but Dempsey rode the crisis.

He took two years off, then returned to the ring in July 1923, using his strength to wear down and eventually outpoint the slick, crafty Tom Gibbons in Shelby, Montana. Only 7,202 paid to watch the fight and the town went bankrupt because its banks had invested $300,000 in tempting Dempsey to box there. Poor Gibbons fought for a percentage of the gate and ended with nothing.

Rickard followed up with another million dollar bout against the immensely strong, hard-hitting but crude Luis Firpo of Argentina, who was nicknamed “The Wild Bull of the Pampas”. It went on at the New York Polo Grounds on September 14, 1923 before 82,000 people and it was one of the most sensational fights in heavyweight history.

Firpo was down seven times in the first round but in between knocked Demspey out of the ring, and seemed close to an incredible win. Dempsey was pushed back off the press tables, and finished Firpo in the next round. Firpo had pushed Dempsey to the brink, dropping him twice in that remarkable opening three minutes, but was a wild puncher. A sharper man would have finished Dempsey there and then, because he was badly hurt, but the champion’s superb condition brought him back from the edge.

Dempsey and Kearns began to disagree more often, and the champion stayed away from the ring for tow years, growing fat on his fame and marrying a film star, Estelle Taylor. His wife and Kearns didn’t get on and Dempsey was occupied for long periods by domestic arrangements and legal squabbles, and when he signed to box Gene Tunney in Philadelphia on 23 September 1936, he was unfit, and forced his challenger to accept a ten round fight.

It was another mammoth gate. This time the largest crowd in boxing history, 120,757, turned up to watch the great “Manassa Mauler” defend his title. But in a rainstorm, Tunney proved too slippery for the slowing champion, commanding the ring, making Jack look awkward, riding one bad moment in round four, and soundly out-boxing him. Dempsey’s left eye was closed, his face swollen and he was exhausted when the final bell sounded. The decision was a formality.

He vowed to return and won an eliminator with Jack Sharkey of Boston, who was to go to win the crown in 1932, knocking his man out in the seventh round after setting him up with a controversial body punch which many felt was low.

The return with Tunney was at Soldier’s Field, Chicago, on 22 September 1927 and by now Dempsey was 32-years-old. Once again, more than 100,000 people turned up, paying over $2 million. It was agreed that in the event of a knockdown the standing man should go to the furthest neutral corner while the count took place. Dempsey’s inability to absorb that rule may have cost him the title.

Tunney was way in front when he was nailed and floored by the ropes in the seventh round. Dempsey went to the nearest corner and referee Dave Barry had to hold up the count to order him across the ring. Tunney, meanwhile, had recovered his senses, and used the extra seconds to recuperate fully. He got up and boxed his way to the decision, dropping Dempsey along the way. By the final bell the old warhorse was close to exhaustion.

The long count episode remains one of the most controversial in history. Tunney was on the floor for around 14 seconds, but always maintained that he could have beaten the count had he needed to be up before 10 seconds. He was hurt and shocked when he went down, but from the film, it seems he had his wits about him long before he actually rose and simply made the most of his good luck.

Dempsey knew he was finished and announced his retirement from the ring in March 1928, ignoring Rickard’s pleas for a third fight with Tunney. His career ended with 80 recorded fights, of which he won 60 (49 by knockout or stoppage) drew seven, boxed five no-decisions and one no-contest. He lost seven. Only Flynn beat him inside the distance.

The ex-champ made a fortune from exhibitions until he was in his forties, but had a variety of business interests, including his bar and a hotel on Miami Beach. In World War II he was a coastguard.

And as each succeeding champion stepped into the limelight he was aware of the haunting shadow of the “Manassa Mauler”. Only the greatest – Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali – were mentioned alongside him.

Dempsey always felt his conqueror Tunney deserved that accolade too. He never had anything but respect for the one-time US marine who was shunned by the public, simply because he had trounced “The Champ”. Tunney was articulate, highly intelligent and deeply interested in art, science, music and literature – and people were suspicious of him. Dempsey, however, liked him immensely.

And when Barbara Dempsey, the old champion’s daughter, came to London a few years ago, she revealed an insight into their family life.

“When Gene Tunney’s name was mentioned in our house, it was never Tunney or Gene,” she said. “My father insisted we call him Mr Tunney.”

Dempsey’s health deteriorated slowly in his eighties, and had a pacemaker fitted in his heart. His big, old body finally gave out in the bedroom of his home in New York, where he was found by his fourth wife Deana.

Jack Dempsey’s was the blood of another age.

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018
Martin Murray

Action Images/Peter Cziborra

Feedspot followFeedly follow

AFTER missing out twice on a shot at WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, Martin Murray took his frustrations out on Roberto Garcia at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

It was a foul filled bout, Mexico’s Garcia had points deducted in the second and ninth rounds, for a low blow and a punch to the back of the head.

Murray ultimately won a unanimous decision, 116-111 for Francisco Alloza Rosa, 118-109 for Predrag Aleksic and 118-108 for John Keane.

The victory for Murray was garnished with the bauble of the WBC Silver title. The belt alone doesn’t mean much but it will help propel Martin up the WBC’s middleweight ranking as he hopes to close on the fifth and final world title shot of his career.

Martin Murray

Daniel Dubois won the English heavyweight title, stopping Tom Little in the fifth round with a left to the body.

Ohara Davies knocked out Paul Kamanga with a right hand to the head in the second round.

Light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde chalked up the 16th victory of his professional career. He dropped Dariusz Sek in the first round and halted him in the seventh.

June 24, 2018
June 24, 2018
josh taylor

Feedspot followFeedly follow

“JOSH TAYLOR is not your typical 12-fight fighter,” said commentator Al Bernstein in the early going of the Scot’s wild and wonderful 12-round points victory over Viktor Postol in Glasgow. And so it proved.

It’s true that the scorecards in Taylor’s favour (119-108, 118-110, 117-110) told a one-sided tale on a two-sided fight, but they should not be allowed to interfere with the truth: Taylor deserved his victory as he defeated one of the best super-lightweights in the world.

This was always going to be a gamble for the 27-year-old and the uncertainty increased at the sound of the opening bell. As Taylor swung wildly with his left, the composure of his accomplished opponent was evident. Controlling ring centre and bouncing with the kind of ambition that belied both the odds against him and his advancing years, Postol, 34, expertly found the space to fire a right hand into the favourite’s stomach.

Taylor had some success in the second, briefly it appeared that he was in complete control, but Postol’s efforts in the third and fourth rounds ensured the storyline remained more risk than reward. Postol was excellent from distance. He often punished Taylor’s attempts to burrow inside, until a left hook wobbled the underdog ever so briefly. It was high tempo stuff, and world class boxing from both.

The seventh round was a thriller as but there could be no doubt that Postol’s punches were the more eye-catching at that point. Taylor, to his immense credit, stood tall and refused to buckle. By the ninth, after readjusting his approach and displaying a largely unteachable ability to reinvent himself mid-fight, Taylor stole control of the showdown with two mighty hooks. The advice from Shane McGuigan in the corner was, as always, calm and on point.

Some questioned Cyclone Promotions’ logic beforehand. Some felt it was a leap too great. In the end, the gamble, the risk, and the jump in class, was expertly played.

Taylor, always forced to work hard for the slightest chance, hustled and bustled his way into pole position in the 10th. Another supreme left hook crashed into Postol but this time it was unsighted and the Ukrainian tumbled to the mat. He was hurt and, for the first time, visibly dishevelled.

Postol made a fight of it over the final six minutes, making a mockery of claims he was in Scotland only for the payday. He was there to win. He was there to show exactly what he had left. In the end, he had plenty but it wasn’t quite enough.

The cards did them both a disservice because it was a fight that deserves to be remembered only for the efforts inside the ring and not the incompetency outside of it. The judges may argue that every close round belonged to Taylor. And they should be made to explain their lopsided tallies. But ultimately, this was the night that Josh Taylor, not your typical 12-fight fighter, arrived.

He’s not your typical 13-fight fighter either. At a time when your average 13-fight prospect is working his way through the ranks at a much lower level, Taylor proved he’s one of the best in the world.

June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
Martin Murray fight time

Action Images/Peter Cziborra

Feedspot followFeedly follow

Martin Murray fight time and where to watch it

Martin Murray tops the bill on Saturday (June 23) against Roberto Garcia for the WBC Silver middleweight title at the O2 arena in London, and live on BT Sport 1 and BoxNation.

Here is all you need to know about Saturday nights event:

Rounds scheduled

12 three-minute rounds in the middleweight division.

TV Coverage

The fight will be shown live on BT Sport 1 (Sky channel 413), (BT channel 430) (Virgin channel 527). Coverage starts at 7pm. BoxNation also broadcast at 7pm. Alternatively you can also use the BT Sport App to watch it on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Fight card – The rundown

Roberto Garcia vs Martin Murray – WBC Silver middleweight title

After WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders pulled out of his world title defence against Murray for the second time, Mexico’s Garcia was drafted in as a replacement. Garcia won the WBC Silver title in August 2017 beating countrymen Omar Chavez and Murray will mark the first defence of his belt.

Martin Murray fight time

Paul Kamanga vs Ohara Davies – WBC International super-lightweight title

Davies was set to face fellow Brit Josh Leather however after a late pull out WBC International titlist Kamanga stepped in and will make the first defence of the title he won against Christopher Sebire in November 2017.

Anthony Yarde vs Dariusz Sek – WBO Intercontinental light-heavyweight Title

Unbeaten in 15 with 14 knockouts, rising prospect Yarde defends his WBO titles against Pole Sek (27-3-3), marking the first time the Londoner has faced a southpaw.

Daniel Dubois vs Tom Little – English heavyweight title

Dubois challenges for the vacant English title in only his eighth fight, having won seven straight inside the distance beforehand. Little holds a record of 10-5 (3) and recently spent time sparring former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Also on the bill…

Harvey Horn – Flyweight Horn is a former amateur star who competed for GB at the European championships while also representing the British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing. Horn is trained by Mark Tibbs, who has led the 22 year-old to two wins in as many bouts scoring one stoppage, since turning professional in December 2017.