On The Watch “Its All About Errol Spence Jr. vs Mikey Garcia”

IBF Welterweight Challenge

Last night at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 Kos) retained his IBF Welterweight Title by masterfully breaking down and shutting out Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 Kos) by a unanimous decision. All three Judges scored it 120-107, 120-108 and 120-108.

I’m in agreeance with the Judges’ score cards but definitely tip my “B” hat to Mikey standing up throughout the full 12 rounds. Mikey is a great fighter and deserving to be on the pound-for-pound list hands down but on this night, Mikey was reaching wayyyy out of pocket in attempting to unseat EJ inside that squared circle.

Mikey had absolutely no answer to Errol’s steady jab and powerful body shots all night. It was clear that EJ was just too big, too strong and too long for Mikey to lay any type of offence with all these disadvantages going against him. In the past Mikey had always figured out his opponents but this time he was met with a superior boxer in Errol Spence Jr. Real Talk!

Surprisingly, EJ didn’t try to go for the “endgame” like he usually does and instead chose to show off his boxing skills while administering heavy punishment to his opponent. It was a glorified sparing bout at its finest with EJ never taking his foot off the gas all night. Errol literally toyed with Mikey round by round making it real painful to watch at times.

This type of schooling that Mikey took last night reinforces why weight divisions are to be respected. Mikey may have lost this fight but he is still a Champion in the Lightweight Division and going back down might be the most logical thing to do.

With this win and dominant performance by EJ now out of the way, he is now back on the prowl looking for that smoke with any of the top welterweights and his first target on sight is none other than Manny Paquiao.

The call out was officially made last night inside that squared circle in front of 47,525 fans, now let’s see if this bout comes into fruition.

Until then, congratulations on your win Errol, job well done.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Shawn Porter vs Yordenis Ugas”

WBC Welterweight Title Defence

Last night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 Kos) defended his newly acquired WBC Welterweight Title against a formidable opponent in Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 Kos).

It was a tight bout from start to finish that saw Porter successfully retain his WBC Belt with a split decision with the score of 116-112 for Porter, 117-111 for Ugas and 115-113 for Porter.

The score card doesn’t tell the whole story cause this bout was very interesting and could have easily gone either way or to a draw if you ask me.

Ugas, the underdog, came out and executed his “game plan” and asserted himself quite well. His body shots were there all night, he fought smart and was under control. To me he was the stalker moving in on Porter with efficiency and accuracy.

To my surprise Porter was doing a lot more movement and fighting on the back foot while loading up way more on his punches. He fought under control but seemed to me a little more hesitant than usual. His typical aggressive style seemed to pop up in sporadic stretches unlike his customary approach. That being said he still fought under control but with less urgency from round to round.

Ugas may have come up short last night but he definitely showed the rest of the Welterweights that he belonged amongst the top in the 147-pound Division. Real Talk! He should keep his head up high and welcome all challengers ahead.

As for Porter, whether he believes it or not, he dodged a real close call last night. Holding on to that WBC Title might prove to be a tougher task than expected in the near future.

That being said, congratulations are still in order Shawn on securing your first tile defence.

Your thoughts on this one?

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Brian Castano vs Erislandy Lara”

WBA Junior Middleweight Challenge

Fresh of his gruelling unification defeat of April 2018 to Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara (25-3-3, 14 Kos) jumped right back into the mix and into that squared circle last night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to challenge younger unbeaten WBA (regular) Junior Middleweight Champion Brian Carlos Castano (15-0-1, 11 Kos).

Both combatants came out their respective corners with one thing in mind: to prove that they belong amongst the best in the 154-pound Division. The end result after 12 hard rounds was an unsettled split draw. One Judge had it 115-113 for Lara, one Judge had it 115-113 for Castano and the third Judge had it dead even 114-114.

Real Talk! I can’t front, it was a real tight fight with both warriors having their way from time to time but personally I think Lara had the cleaner work. Lara was way more accurate with his punch selection while Castano not as precise but definitely more aggressive with his punch output.

Castano’s stalking tactics throughout the bout is what kept him in the “Game” all night. His “phone booth” style of fighting was very effective but Lara’s defense was also keeping Castano from administering heavy pain.

That being said, Castano’s performance last night proved that he can definitely hang with the “top dogs” in the 154-pound Division. Going 12 tough back and forth rounds with “The American Dream” Erislandy Lara is no easy task.

With no clear winner or loser on the night, Castano retained his WBA (regular) Junior Middleweight Championship Title in the hope of securing a unification bout with the other Champions in the 154-pound Division or better yet a rematch with Lara to clear the air?

Your thoughts on this one?

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Canelo Alvarez vs Danny Jacobs”

Middleweight Unification Challenge

Another highly anticipated bout has officially been announced today between Middleweight “Kingpin” IBO, WBA, WBC, Lineal Champion Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 Kos) and IBF Middleweight Champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 Kos).

A unification bout has been set for May 4, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, airing live and exclusively on DAZN and Sky Box Office.

I’m impressed with how Canelo is stepping up and taking on another real challenger in Danny, cause your “Boy” Jacobs is no walk in the park for anyone in the Middleweight Division. Real Talk! Canelo has been on a roll and showing steady improvement, with levels upon levels every time he walked into that squared circle. Canelo is one of the best pound-for-pound in the “Game“ today and a win against Jacobs could possibly move him up closer to that No. 1 spot on the pound-for-pound list in my eyes.

That being said, Jacobs is cut from a different cloth. He’s a thoroughbred who’s been down before but fought his way back to the top and re-established himself as a very worthy opponent who’s ready to shock the world come fight night. There is a lot riding on this fight for both combatants but for Jacobs, this is his second chance and possibly his last at unifying the Division, so coming short of accomplishing his goal is not in the plans.

Styles makes fights and with this in mind I can’t wait to see how this one plays out. This is a real 50/50 fight where both warriors are strong, agile, ring savvy with a very high boxing IQ. Aside from the height and reach difference between the two, the real denominator will be which one will have the better “Game Plan” come fight night.

There are levels to this Boxing sh*t, so tune in Saturday night May 4, 2019, exclusively on DAZN and Sky Box Office or better yet be there live at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to witness two of the best Middleweights battling it out for “supremacy” of the Division.

The time has come, who will triumph?

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Claressa Shields vs Christina Hammer”

Middleweight Unification Challenge

Women’s Boxing has been picking up some steam as of late and will continue in doing so with the first Undisputed Showdown in the women’s 160-Pound Division.

This unification bout on the horizon between Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 Kos) a Two-Division Champion who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC Belt, and Christina Hammer (24-0, 11 Kos) who possesses the WBO and WBC Champion in Recess Belt, will go down in history as one of the biggest women’s bout for the ages.

These two young Undefeated Champions, in their prime, are putting it all on the line Saturday April 13 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

It’s clear off the jump that Christina has the edge base on the experience. Having been a Champion for over eight years she definitely “hammered” her way through the Women’s Middleweight Division with her gloves up.

That being said, Shields is not your typical girl on the come up. Claressa has entered the professional level iced up with back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016, then after four fights in she acquired two Super Middleweight World Titles. To further challenge herself Claressa then dropped down to the Middleweight Division and contested for two vacant Middleweight Titles that she proudly owns the rights to today.

Christina considers herself the best Middleweight in the “Game” and plans on putting the “Hammer” on Shields come fight night but truth be told, Claressa has her own agenda and will be looking to prove Christina wrong by becoming the Women’s Undisputed World Middleweight Champion.

Skills for skills these two female warriors match up pretty well inside that squared circle but there can only be one face, one name, one champion. Who will prevail under pressure and the bright lights?

Tune in Saturday night, April 13 live on SHOWTIME from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey and be part of a historical night.

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr.”

IBO Super Middleweight Championship

Tonight’s domestic British dust up at the O2 Arena between James DeGale (25-3-1, 15 Kos) and Chris Eubank Jr. (28-2, 21 Kos) wasn’t pretty but definitely a good showing by Eubank who dropped DeGale two times to win the bout by unanimous decision with the score of 114-112, 115-112 and 117-109.

Eubank showed a lot of patience under new Head Coach Nate Vasquez. As the rounds wore on you could see Eubank working his way through the “Game Plan” as required. DeGale tried hard by making it real ugly with his excessive holding but Eubank stuck with it and out-work and out-punched DeGale round by round.

At times Eubank threw some heavy wild punches but when composed, he connected efficiently and made them count. Eubank pretty much controlled the bout from start to finish and was never in any danger.

As for DeGale, he looked like a shell of himself, he fought tentatively and seemed to be in retreat mode throughout the entire fight. It was sad to see such a decorated British boxer succumb to this at this point in his career. No disrespect, but this loss will require DeGale to do some serious soul searching and re-evaluate his future in Boxing. James talked a good game to the build-up of it but failed miserably under the bright lights tonight.

That being said, this bout was by far Eubank’s most improved showing to date. It’s clear he’s still a work in progress under Coach Nate Vasquez but tonight’s convincing victory over DeGale is a good sign of better things to come.

Congratulations Chris on becoming once again IBO Super Middleweight Champion. Now on to the next!

Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Anthony Joshua vs Jarrell Miller”

World Heavyweight Championship Challenge

It has officially been announced today that undefeated Unified Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 Kos) will be making his U.S. debut June 1, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City against undefeated challenger Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (23-0-1, 20 Kos).

Judging from the first press conference, there is definitely a really thick build-up of animosity between the two boxers. Real Talk!

“Big Baby” looked like he was ready to rip AJ’s head off from the jump. The trash talking coming from “Big Baby” was real heavy and personally a little disrespectful to my liking but I get it, the adrenalin is running on a high and the big stage can do that to you.

That being said, this will be AJ’s first bout on American soil and AJ is welcoming the “HEAT” from “Big Baby” and can’t wait to put them paws on him. This bout might be a block buster in the making. Two very big undefeated warriors ready to do some unapologetic harm to one another inside that squared circle.

There will be some serious pressure on both combatants to show up and perform to their best abilities come fight night. Trash talking aside this is supposed to be Miller’s time to shine since he’s the Kid from Brooklyn and can’t afford to drop the ball on his biggest test of his career.

AJ is out to prove he’s the “Top Dog” on any block around the world. That being said AJ needs to be impressive on his U.S. debut establishing his presence by silencing Miller by convincingly beating him on his own home court, Brooklyn, New York that is.

Both fighters are extremely confident and talking that sh*t, now let’s see if both can keep that same energy come fight night. Tune in on DAZN Saturday June 1, 2019 or better yet see it LIVE at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Blaze

On The Watch “It’s All About The NBA-Who’s On Top?”

The NBA-Who’s On Top?

We are officially well passed the midpoint mark for the season with 57 plus Games played to date and lo and behold we have a new contender in the Milwaukee Bucks (43-14) holding down the No.1 Spot by a very small margin over our own Canadian team the Toronto Raptors (43-16). Giannis and The Bucks have been looking like legit contenders as of late. Real Talk! The Bucks as a Team are looking to secure their bid for the NBA Finals by balling hard every night with their MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way with his do it all, no holds barred playmaking. Giannis is balling on another level right now and the Bucks are definitely benefiting from it. That being said, the Raptors still have a very good chance of claiming the No. 1 Spot in the Eastern Conference as do the Indiana Pacers (38-20), the Boston Celtics (37-21) and Philadelphia 76ers (37-21). They are all battling to secure a better seeding come Playoff time.

Holding down the Western Conference once again is the Defending Champs Golden State Warriors (41-16) but, surprisingly, behind them is the standout play of the Denver Nuggets (39-18). The Nuggets are the wild card in the Western Conference that can undeniably disrupt the seedings and possibly take the No.1 Spot if the Warriors are caught slipping. Real Talk! That being said, the Western Conference is still a tight and competitive race with Oklahoma City Thunder (37-20) balling hard while holding on to the third spot but could perhaps shuffle up or down with the Portland Trail Blazers (34-23) and the Houston Rockets (33-24) breathing down each other’s necks. The Los Angeles Lakers (28-29) have fallen off as of late but do have “King James” on the squad that could still flip a switch and turn things around and get back into contention.

The landscape is changing fast for both conferences and making it that much more interesting. Keep tuned in to see the final stretch to the NBA’s version of the “sweet 16” aka the Playoffs?

Blaze

On The Watch “It’s All About The 68th 2019 NBA All-Star Game”

This Year the 68th 2019 NBA-All-Star Game will be taking place at the Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the Charlotte Hornets on TNT Sunday February 17, 2019.

In an effort to make this Year All-Star Game even more exciting and competitive, the NBA changed the format from the traditional Eastern Conference vs Western Conference to an All-Star Draft-Style format that was viewed live for the first time. As usual the starters were chosen by the fans and the media and players also had a say to the votes. Captains were able to draft from the pool of players voted as Starters and Reserves.

Representing the Eastern Conference Starters this year are

-Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) Team Captain
-Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
-Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
-Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder)
-Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

Reserves
-Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
-Nokola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
-Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) (Traded to Team LeBron for Russell Westbrook)
-Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons)
-D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets)
-Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
-Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
-Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) (drafted in the third and final round per Adam Silver as special team roster additions for the All-Star Game)

Coach Mike Budenhozer (Milwaukee Bucks)

Representing the Western Conference Starters this year are

-LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) Team Captain
-Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
-Kyrie Irving (Toronto Raptors)
-Kawhi Leonard (Boston Celtics)
-James Harden (Houston Rockets)

Reserves
-Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
-Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
-Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
-Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) (Traded to Team Giannis for Ben Simmons)
-LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
-Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
-Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
-Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (drafted in the third and final round per Adam Silver as special team roster additions for the All-Star Game)

Coach Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets)

Once again, “King Of The Court” is up for grabs come Sunday night February 17, 2019. Which side will claim all bragging rights for this year All-Star Game?

Tune in!
Blaze

On The Watch “Its All About Eleider Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev”

WBO Light Heavyweight Challenge

Last night, at the Ford Center at the Star, in Frisco, Texas, Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 Kos) successfully avenged his previous loss to Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 Kos) by defeating him by unanimous decision.

With new trainer Buddy McGirt in his corner, Kovalev was a completely different fighter then the one who fought 6 months ago and lost his title to Alvarez. Real Talk!

This version of Kovalev who stepped into that squared circle last night was laser focussed with controlled aggression and a very effective jab that was on point throughout the entire bout. Kovalev stuck to the “game plan” at hand and never wavered. He showed patience with no signs of stamina issues well into the second half of the bout.

I was impressed and surprised by his discipline in this bout. Sergey controlled the fight from start to finish while being mindful of Alverez’s effort of trying to land something significant all night.

Alvarez’s approach in this bout was confusing to say the least. Alvarez was hoping to catch Sergey slipping in the second half but to his surprise Kovalev actually stepped it up and finished stronger than expected. Alvarez had no real answers for Kovalev’s strategic approach. Alvarez’s low punch output was definitely the most unexpected to me. Alverez’s overconfidence this time around cost him to succumb to his first professional defeat and his WBO Light Heavyweight Title.

With this win Kovalev now becomes three-time WBO Light Heavyweight Champion of the World and is now anxiously looking for a unification bout with either Titleholder in the 175-pound Division.

I’m curious to see which of the Champions is going accept the challenge.

Until then, congratulations on regaining your Championship Belt, Kovalev.  Job well done.

Blaze