Pro Fights in other Divisions
Didn't see the fight. Was it any good?
Haney: I wasn’t hurt

WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney successfully retained his world title against Jorge Linares, but after building up a lead he got wobbled at the bell of the tenth round and largely clinched for the rest of the fight.

“The fans want to see that,” said Haney. “They want to see if I can go in there and walk my opponent down. Hit him with big shots. I showed I can do it all, I can box, I can bang, I can take a shot and face adversity and get the job done.

“It was a good shot, but I wasn’t hurt, sometimes when you get hit by a good shot, you have to be smart, continue the game plan, and I did that and got the win.

“I knew he was going to come here and give it everything, it was a huge opportunity for him, he would be willing to get knocked out to go for the win, take my biggest shots to get this title.

“I just kept smart, used the jabs, feinted and landed shots in the 12th round. You are going to get hit with big shots in boxing. I didn’t get dropped. I didn’t get hurt. You see fighters get dropped and get up from big shots and people praise them, I didn’t get dropped, I stayed on my feet, kept throwing shots and closed it out.

“I want to fight the best, I stayed focused on Jorge this week, I knew he was a tough competitor, and I got the job done with the game plan. If Teofimo Lopez wants to do it next, let’s do it for all the belts, the real undisputed.”
(05-30-2021, 10:06 PM)diehard Wrote: Didn't see the fight.  Was it any good?

Haney started strong but couldn't hurt Linares at all and got tagged badly at the end of the 10th and took a long time to recover to the point where he ran straight up to Linares and hugged him in the 12th, trying desperately to hold on. If I were hearn, I'd keep him well away from Lopez, Tank and Garcia for the forseeable future.
Exclusive Interview: Tim Tszyu

By David Finger

Fight fans are a funny sort. You think that in 2021 we’d have learned our lesson by now. We seldom want to admit it, particularly those of us in the United States, but the sport tends to be very Amerocentric. We focus on those fighters who become household names fighting on televised fight cards in the United States, and disregard our fellow fight fans from overseas when they tell us about some young hotshot prospect or contender who is making waves outside of the bright lights of Las Vegas.

You think that by now we would have learned our lesson.

Just over a week after countless American boxing fans were forced to search YouTube and Google to get educated on who Josh Taylor was and how he emerged as undisputed junior welterweight champion, we are right back to where we started.

Only this time it’s in the junior middleweight division and the hot shot contender who should already be a household name is from Australia.

Make no mistake, undefeated #1 ranked Tim “The Soul Taker” Tszyu (18-0, 14 KOs) would almost certainly be one of the sports most talked about contenders if he fought out of Los Angeles instead of Sydney. But as he heads into a July 7 showdown with countryman Michael Zerafa (28-4, 17 KOs) he still has yet to fully register with a lot of fight fans. Despite the fact that he dominated Manny Pacquiao conquerer Jeff Horn via eighth round TKO last year. It was a performance that was just as impressive as the one Terrance Crawford put forth in his win over Horn, but it slipped under the radar. Earlier this year he destroyed two time world title challenger Dennis Hogan, who lost a controversial majority decision to Jaime Munguia in 2019. Again, under the radar. And if he is similarly impressive against Zerafa he will probably fly under the radar once again.

But if history is any guide, this may be the last time Tim Tszyu remains unknown. In fact, for at least one American fight fan, he is not being ignored.

“First off, Tim Tszyu is not even on the level to fight for a world title,” the IBF, WBA, and WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo said in an interview with Jim Maltzman last month. “And he’s not even on the level of guys that I would knock the f—k out of.”

It was an interesting opening salvo in a war of words that Tim Tszyu was not backing away from. Tszyu, who considers himself an “old school fighter,” hurled what is arguably the most damning criticism a fighter can throw at another. When asked If he considered Jermell Charlo an “old school fighter” as well, Tszyu was dismissive.

No way,” Tszyu replied. “He’s part of the modern day fighters.”

Even if Charlo is not envisioning a potential showdown with Tim Tszyu, it is clear that the Australian is looking ahead to the fight.

“I think Charlo has a lot of flaws,” Tszyu added. “I think he’s good at what he does. He’s good at his distance, he’s got power in both hands. But he’s got a lot of flaws that I can take.”

But then again, this is boxing and if there is one truism in boxing it is that there is always an upset waiting to upend the apple cart.

For Charlo, he still needs to get past WBO world champion Brian Castano on July 17th. Although Tim Tszyu is predicting a Charlo victory, he is not expecting the fight to be an easy one. And for Tim Tszyu, he has a tough fight next month as well against the aforementioned Zerafa.

Tszyu took some time to speak to Fightnews about his view of the Junior middleweight division, his upcoming fight with Zerafa, and when we can expect an “Australian Invasion”.

Tim right off the bat I want to thank you for taking the time to speak to®. how are you doing and how are you feeling right now?

Yeah I’m all good. Currently into the daily preparations right now. Six weeks out from an my next fight so you know how it is with boxing. All in right now.

That kind of leads to my next question. How’s the preparation going and how are you feeling going into this fight with Zerafa?

Yeah I’m well. I’m well. Training camp always has its challenges. It’s never easy. It’s always hard. But I’m confident in this fight. Preparing myself really well. Sparring, doing plenty of rounds. Feeling super fit. In great condition right now.

You feel you’re in great condition right now?

Yeah, six weeks to go and I’m already in top condition.

You had a pretty eventful run since winning that decision over Dwight Ritchie in 2019. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that your win over Jeff Horn last year firmly established you as the hottest prospect in the Junior middleweight division. Yet to a lot of fans in the United States you’re still something of a mystery. Your still somewhat unknown. Needless to say the quickest fix to this would be a fight in the United States or in the alternative a fight on a major US network. Can we expect an “Australian Invasion” in 2021?

I hope so. I hope so. That’s always been my goal is to go over to the States. Once this fights over with and the times right I’ll be able to make my mark and make a lot of noise there.

You are currently the WBO Global Champion and the #1 ranked contender in the WBO. The WBO world champion, Brian Carlos Castano, is slated to fight fellow champion Jermell Charlo in a unification bout in July. What is your take on that fight and do you see yourself fighting the winner of that fight before the end of the year?

Look, if I’m mandatory…hopefully. Whoever is the undisputed world champion is going to be in the driver seat, they get to pick and choose who they want to fight. I want to become mandatory where they have no choice but to fight me. That’s the position I want to be at.

How do you rate Charlo?

Eh, Charlo’s a good fighter. To be in that position you can’t be a bum, that’s for sure. He’s a good fighter. But he’s got flaws. He’s not an old school throwback fighter like a lot of fighters these days. It’s a different era. The lack of competition to where it is now from back in the day. It’s a different era.

How about Castano. How would you rate Castano?

I reckon he’s a real tough fight for anyone. He just comes forward and makes it awkward. His input is insane, the amount of punches he throws. But if you have a fighter like Charlo who can sort of stick his way into just jabbing a few and find the keys to victory. You know styles make fights, you never know what can happen in boxing. But I see Charlo maybe picking him apart, but not stopping him. A twelve round decision.

So you’re thinking Charlo will win a decision in that fight?

Yeah. Close, not a one way traffic. It’ll be close. I think he’ll trouble Charlo. Castano will trouble Charlo. But then Charlo will use his range and distance.

With that being said how do you see a fight with yourself and either champion?

I think Charlo has a lot of flaws. I think he’s good at what he does. He’s good at his distance and he’s got power in both hands. That’s for sure. But he’s got a lot of flaws that I can take. And with Castano, I don’t mind those styles that walk forward. It always works well with me.

If Charlo ends up victorious would you see yourself potentially going to his hometown for a world title fight? Could we see you fighting in Texas?

Yeah I’ll fight anywhere. If the opportunity arises I’ll jump on it right away.

You talked about old school fighters. I take it you consider yourself an old school fighter?

Yeah, yeah. I mean to stop my foes. Stop my opponents and take everything away from them. A lot of fighters today it’s all about show. About being a show pony and talking outside of the ring and then getting in there and throwing a few jabs and running around. It’s not my thing. I’m in there to seek and destroy. Talk less and let my actions do my talking. There are a few fighters these days that are like that. There are a lot of fighters these days that aren’t. If you remember the old school era it was always like that. Seek ad destroy.

Again, I don’t want to put words in your mouth but you don’t consider Charlo an old school fighter?

No way. No way. He’s part of the modern day fighters.

Now I interviewed numerous fighters with famous pedigree, and I think I hate asking this question almost as much as the sons of legendary fighters hate being asked it. But for many fans this is something they can’t help but do: to compare you to your Hall of Fame Father Kostya Tszyu. How does your style compare to your father’s and how would you compare yourself to your father?

Well we are two completely different weight classes first of all. He’s about this small my dad. But what he’s done in his career, undisputed world champ for a decade. Not just a title defense but a decade. He was king of the croc and there was a lot of fighters who avoided him back in the day. To be compared to him…that’s an achievement itself. Again we are different weight divisions. I’m taller. Different fight styles. We just do things differently but we’re from the same pedigree.

There is a unique similarity between the trajectory of a potential fight with Charlo and the trajectory of your father’s fight with Zab Judah. Care to comment on that?

Yeah, my dad’s Zab Judah fight is my Charlo fight. That’s where I’m coming from. My dad started off here in Australia in silence. Unknown…until he hit that American stage. And he caught everyone off guard. He was always a mystery. He’d come in and out and never be in that public eye in America and we’re doing the same things here. When I come to the states and come as a mystery man and catch everyone off guard.

I’m glad you mention talking about coming to America as a mystery man because that seems to be, not just with Australian fighters but with a lot of fighters from overseas…there’s kind of a US-centric view with boxing fans and sometimes they don’t see these good young prospects coming up from other places. And sometimes they’re great champions that come up from places like Australia. I think of your father, I think about Jeff Fenech when he came to America and fought Azumah Nelson. You sort of answered this already but how do you see yourself as this mystery man coming to America. How do you see that progressing?

I think it comes with some advantages. No one takes you seriously first of all. And again, you catch everyone off guard.

Your win over Jeff Horn made you a household name in Australia. What was your biggest take away from that fight?

I didn’t get touched at all honestly. It was suppose to be a brutal battle and I made it into a clinical performance. and the fact that I’m experiencing big media attention and big crowds at such a young age and so early in my career it’s only going to be positive once I reached the peak.

Going back to your opponent on July 7, Michael Zerafa, there appears to be some bad blood between you and Zerafa. Is that a fair statement?

Yeah, well he’s been talking it up for a couple of years now. He’s been chasing me and running his mouth too much. Again, this fight is about showing a bit respect into boxing and showing that everything is done with your hands and not your mouth.

What do you know about him and what weaknesses does he have that you are looking to exploit?

I think he’s a good boxer. He’s been in there will Kell Brook. He’s been in there with some good fighters. But, there is a few weaknesses out there that I’m looking to take. One of them is his soul. Something you can’t teach. I want to take away his soul, and everything he thinks he believes I want to take it away from him.

He had some pretty noteworthy performances such as his two fights with Jeff Horn. Are you looking to make a statement with this fight? Are you looking to blow him out in a way that he hasn’t been blown out before? To jump on him early? Or are looking to box as you did in the Ritchie fight?

We’ll see, we will see on the night. as soon as you get in there everything changes. We’ll see on the night. But I am looking for a clinical performance and being able to wake him up and say I’m the top dog here in Australia.

And is there any message for American fans who may not be familiar with you just yet?

I’m looking forward to coming to the states soon. I’m looking forward to coming in there one day and fighting the big boys, supposedly the big boys, and taking these world titles from them.
Ponce: I thought the fight was over

IBF junior welterweight mandator challenger Jeremias Ponce (28-0, 18 KOs) spoke about his tenth round knockout over Lewis Ritson on Saturday night in Newcastle, England. Ritson’s corner actually threw the towel in round ten and referee Steve Gray tossed the towel out and allowed Ritson to be battered to the canvas two more times.
“It was a bit confusing when we were in the ring because I thought the fight was over as soon as I saw the towel come in,” said Ponce. “Then I saw the ref throw it out – to be honest it was a bit of a shock. [Ritson] is probably hurt in the rib area now and he wouldn’t have been if he stopped the fight when we saw the towel come in.”

As for becoming mandatory challenger for undisputed 140lb champion Josh Taylor, Ponce stated, “It’s one step closer to my dream. It’s the dream that you always have as a fighter. I’m one step away from that now. Thank you very much, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as you expected, but thank you very much.”
Charlo decisions Montiel, retains WBC title

Undefeated WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) retained his title by twelve round unanimous decision over unheralded Juan Macías Montiel (22-5-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Charlo was in command, but Montiel walked through fire all night. Scores were 118-109, 119-109, 120-108.

IBF #2, WBA #3, WBO #13 lightweight contender Isaac Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) hammered out a ten round unanimous decision over former world champion and WBC #7 rated Francisco “Bandido” Vargas (27-3-2, 19 KOs). Vargas suffered a bad cut from a head butt in the final 30 seconds and suffered a questionable knockdown right before the bell. Scores were 97-92, 99-90, 100-89.

Former world champion and WBO #6, WBC #9 super bantamweight Angelo Leo (21-1, 9 KOs) edged Aaron Alameda (25-2, 13 KOs) by unpopular majority decision. After a close fight, scores were 95-95, 96-94, an outrageous 98-92 for Leo.
Anyone see the Charlo fight?  Won every round, but Montiel rocked him a few times.  Charlo/Andrade would be interesting.
Two good fights coming up this weekend.  Davis has two world titles, and is stepping up for a third:

June 26
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Masayoshi Nakatani

June 26
Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios
(WBA super lightweight title)
Following the “Perfect Storm” last Saturday, we have a few interesting cards this Saturday, as well.

Lomachenko vs. Nakatani
Three consecutive weeks of fights at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas wrap up with the comeback of former three-weight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko against Masayoshi Nakatani. Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) fights for the first time since last October’s showdown against Teofimo Lopez for the undisputed lightweight world title. Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) most recently knocked out Felix Verdejo in one of the best fights of 2020.

Davis vs. Barrios
Showtime PPV
Four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) challenges WBA super lightweight champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. With a victory, Davis would hold world championships in three different divisions simultaneously, a feat only accomplished by a few fighters in history, including Henry Armstrong and Canelo Alvarez.

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