Since their arrival to the sport, both Adrien “The Problem” Broner (29-1, 22KO’s) and Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0, 21KO’s) have lived in the proverbial ‘under the radar but above the rim’ echelon of the sport. Heavy with the hands, yet light with sympathy for anyone standing across from them with plans to prevent their rise to the top. While very different in presentation, there is a lone common thread between these two talents. Both seem to embody that patented “it” factor, making them easy to love, yet equally easy to hate.
Fans sold out the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angles for tonight’s inaugural “LA Fight Club” card from Golden Boy Promotions. Many of the prospects featured in this series will be LA based fighters and they bring their friends and family with them. It all makes for a great “club” type atmosphere at the venue, with passionate fans cheering for the representatives of their neighborhoods. Although there were eight total bouts on tonight’s card, three were nationally televised on Fox Sports 1, with a swing bout just missing the broadcast.
Photo © (top) Christopher Smith; (bottom) Daniel Kucin, Jr. | Illustration – Paul “Paparazzi” Jones
On March 14, super lightweight prospect Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (12-0, 6 KOs) takes his unblemished record back to the nation’s capital where he headlines a Keystone Boxing card at the Sphinx Club in Washington, DC.
At just 22 years old, Reed has a ton of upside and he is coming off a 6-0 campaign in 2014. To cap off his win streak, Reed earned a unanimous decision victory in November over ¬previously unbeaten Oscar Valenzuela (8-1-1, 5 KOs) at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Because Reed’s bout was part of Top Rank’s card featuring WBO Titlist Terence Crawford’s (25-0, 17 KOs) near shutout of Raymundo Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs), the DC product received some well-deserved exposure that he intends to build on starting with his fight next Saturday.
The 2015 Boxcino Tournament continues to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on Friday, April 10th. The show is promoted by Arthur Pelullo’s Banner Promotions and will be broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The first round featured four-six round bouts in the Jr. Middleweight and Heavyweight divisions, which will now increase to two-eight round bouts in each division. The winners will advance to the 2015 Boxcino Finals on May 22, 2015 – at a time and place to be determined.
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC brings boxing back on free television with the winners likely to get a bump in terms of overall marketing reach and the potential viewership. All four fighters in the co-main events will face a crossroads in their respected careers. Two promising young boxers face two veteran fighters that have already been through the ringer a time or two.
Al Haymon will of course have a plan to feature the newly crowned Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder on NBC but the favorites for this Saturday night’s card are crucial to the success of the PBC on NBC as well. Adrien Broner being a full fledge named fighter in the sport and a young counterpunching knockout artist who remains unbeaten in 25 fights Keith Thurman.
By Seamus Raftery: While I was watching a short documentary recently on the career of heavyweight great Smokin’ Joe Frazier a comment by boxing journalist Thomas Hauser jumped out at me. Speaking of the famous third bout in the series between Frazier and his arch nemesis Muhammad Ali, Hauser suggested that while both men were slightly past their primes, on that day in Manila “their downward curves intersected at just the right point”. The result was one of the most celebrated fights in boxing history.
At a time when the boxing media and fans of the sport are fixated on the long awaited clash between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather I couldn’t help but think about the parallel.
While the majority of the boxing public are overjoyed by the recent announcement there are a few who feel these modern greats have left it too late. In fact even the exhilarated fans and scribes are probably in agreement but are merely determined to remain optimistic, and are just happy that it came together at all. It is, after all, still a fight between the two best welterweights in the world, at the very least.
Irish native Jason Quigley looks to remain undefeated tonight at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The former amateur standout, now 3-0 as a professional (all wins by stoppage), faces Lanny Dardar (2-2-2, 1KO) as part of Golden Boy Promotions’ inaugural “LA Fight Night” card. Their super-middleweight bout will be part of the televised portion of the card, which will air on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes at 7:30pm pacific time.
This will be Quigley’s first fight of 2015; he’s planning to build on the momentum he created last year. Indeed 2014 was quite a year for the blue chip prospect. After winning a silver medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in late 2013, Quigley decided to forego a run at the 2016 Olympics and announced he was going pro shortly thereafter.
Manny Pacquiao is an intelligent man. His influence bestrides sport, politics, music and popular culture in his home country of the Philippines. His frightening boxing career that has seen him snare world titles in six weight classes has been forged not merely on brutality, but also on thoughtful artistry. There is no doubt that for a man with so much brains behind his glorious brawn, the signs will have been there. As inconceivable as it may seem on the eve of the greatest occasion of his career, his fight with boxing’s Pound for Pound monarch Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao is travelling to Las Vegas to complete one last throw of the dice.