Welcome back to another edition of Ringside Roundup, a weekly boxing digest tailored towards the MMA fanbase, some of whom are also big boxing fans but also the many casuals who aren't fully immersed in the sport. Last week we had a pair of Premier Boxing Champions events and not a whole lot else. This week? There is virtually no major boxing aside, but instead a spattering of prospect type shows (of which we'll highlight the one on ShoBox). For the most part, the summer months are boxing's cooling off period before the bigger names start re-appearing during the final quarter of the year.
As always, be sure to check out Bad Left Hook for regular, more in-depth day-to-day boxing coverage.
Last week's results
- Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KOs) TKO-9 Paulie Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KOs). The PBC on ESPN main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY was expected to me a one-sided win for Danny Garcia in his 147 lbs debut. Malignaggi was once a formidable foe for many fighters at 140 and 147 lbs, but those days have clearly gone. Garcia picked Malignaggi apart until Arthur Mercante Jr. forced a standing stoppage in round 9, having seen him take enough punishment for a night's work. Malignaggi just about retired after the bout, which hopefully can lead him towards full-time work as an analyst, which he is excellent at.
- Danny Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) TKO-2 Sergio Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs). In an unexpectedly wild fight, the two men exchanged knockdowns in the opening round, with Jacobs dropping Mora and the historically light-punching Mora returning fire on a reckless Jacobs. Late in the 2nd, Mora got hit with a right hand but fell in an awkward way. The referee counted it was a knockdown, and Mora was noticeably limping around, which forced the stoppage. Jacobs retains his WBA secondary "world" middleweight title while Mora has to nurse a broken right ankle.
- Juan Carlos Payano (17-0, 8 KOs) SD-12 Rau'Shee Warren (13-1, 4 KOs). I had no idea what the hell Bounce TV was (more on them later), but apparently PBC airs on that network, too. Payano retained his WBA bantamweight title with a pair of 113-111 scorecards to overrule the judge who had it 115-109 for Warren. It was a wild, sloppy, dirty back-and-forth fight that had a lot of fouls and three point deductions. Payano lost a point for a blatant shot to the back of the head in the 3rd. Warren lost two points in the 9th for throwing Payano to the canvas in the clinch. Warren scored a 12th round knockdown but it wasn't enough to get the victory.
News and Notes
- Mayweather-Berto PPV undercard finalized. You're probably not going to bother with Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto, especially at the $75 price tag, but I'll tell you the undercard anyway. Orlando Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs) battles Rocky Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) in a 130 lbs WBO championship rematch. Martinez beat Salido by unanimous decision in April in one of the most entertaining bouts of the year. Salido is best known for effectively ending the relevant career of Juan Manuel Lopez by knocking him out twice in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Badou Jack (19-1-1, 12 KOs) makes his mandatory title defense against heavy-handed Brit George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs) in Jack's first defense of his WBC super middleweight title after defeating Anthony Dirrell. Before the PPV begins, middleweight Ishe Smith (27-7,12 KOs) will take on Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) on regular Showtime just an hour before the PPV broadcast goes live. Honestly speaking, this is a really good undercard, especially given some past Mayweather PPVs ... but the main event is a steaming pile of shit, so whatever.
- Rematch clause holding back formal Canelo-Cotto announcement. Yes, technically Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto isn't a done deal. Oscar De La Hoya, who is Canelo's promoter, said that the final sticking point preventing an official announcement is an agreement over the purse-split in the rematch clause. Cotto's manager, Gaby Penagaricano, hasn't signed off on the terms. Cross your fingers they get this resolved so we can see this fight happen on November 21st.
- Beterbiev's team turns down Kovalev fight. If you were like me, you were frothing at the mouth thinking about reigning #1 light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) taking on amateur rival Artur Beterbiev (9-0, 9 KOs) this November in Russia. Kovalev's team offered Beterbiev the high-incentive fight, but quite predictably, Beterbiev's promoter Yvon Michel turned it down. In defense of this move, Beterbiev is still just 9 fights into his career and even though he beat Kovalev in the amateur scene, this could be too soon a jump even when considering a career-high payday would be in store. There are the usual boxing politics that come along with this fight not coming to fruition, but that's probably a post all on its own. Don't give up on this fight just yet, but don't expect it any time soon. Beterbiev will probably remain on PBC shows and adding to his resume, while Kovalev fights guys you've definitely never heard of until you've heard they've been knocked out.
- PBC on ESPN ratings peak at 1.5 million viewers. Saturday night's PBC on ESPN broadcast averaged just under 1.1 million viewers, with a peak nearing 1.5 for the main event. It's ESPN's biggest boxing audience in 17 years and an increase from July's card, headlined by Keith Thurman against Luis Collazo. They didn't win the 18-49 demographic or outdraw the UFC 190 prelims, but this was a good showing for such an unappealing card on paper. Is it sustainable? We'll find out, because Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares on August 29th is the most competitively matched PBC on ESPN event to date. Also of note, PBC's debut on Bounce, which apparently is like BET for an older audience, average 459,000 viewers and peaked at 667,000. Their next broadcast is September 18th.
- PBC lines up Tuesday series on Fox Sports 1. Al Haymon got $425 million in financial backing to take over the boxing world as we know it through a series of time-buy arrangements. PBC has deals with NBC, CBS, Showtime, Spike, ESPN, Bounce, and now Fox Sports 1. Starting in September, PBC will televise 21 shows from then until June 2016, dubbed "Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays". Austin Trout (29-2, 16 KOs) and Joey Hernandez (24-3-1, 14 KOs) headline the first one on September 8th. There will be one show per month to roll this series out, which will generally feature up-and-coming prospects as well as minor title fights and former title-holders like Trout. Brian Kenny will host these cards and Gus Johnson will be the blow-by-blow man. Sometimes these things happen in boxing.
This week's schedule
- ShoBox - Sergiy Derevyanchenko (5-0, 4 KOs) vs Elvin Ayala (28-6-1, 12 KOs), Friday, August 7th at 10 PM ET/PT. Normally ShoBox, which is roughly the same level of quality as past Friday Night Fights programs, doesn't command any casual fan's attention. However, as is the case in MMA, there are burgeoning potential champions in boxing coming out of eastern Europe. Undefeated Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko turned pro just last year and has ripped through all of his competition, the majority of whom at least have winning records despite lacking any notoriety. He sports a 390-20 amateur record and is a very intriguing prospect in the middleweight (160 lbs) division. Derevyanchenko goes up against former title challenger Elvin Ayala, who is firmly in the gatekeeper-journeyman role of his career, having previously been a fringe contender in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Video of the week - Roy Jones KO-1 Montell Griffin
Roy Jones Jr. had only one career loss until his shock defeat to Antonio Tarver in 2004. He hit Montell Griffin while he was down on a knee in the 9th round of their WBC light heavyweight title fight. Jones was given the DQ loss, and the two had an immediate rematch. This was Roy Jones at his finest, and on this day in 1997, Jones dazzled and dismantled Griffin in just 1 round.