Highlights from the 'Fight of the year' candidate between Jesus Soto Karass and Yoshihiro Kamegai at 'LA Fight Club' in downtown Los Angeles. Michael Montero recaps the slugfest after the highlights, including punch numbers, judges' scores and talk of a rematch from Golden Boy Promotions!
New Yorker Chris Algieri burst onto the world stage two years ago when he climbed off the canvas twice to take Ruslan Provodnikov’s WBO 140lbs title by split decision at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where he meets the highly touted Errol Spence Jr tonight (16 April). It was the beginning of an all-star period that saw Algieri lose a WBO 147lbs title challenge against Manny Pacquiao in Macao and give Amir Khan all he could handle over 12 rounds last May. “It’s been a big learning process and it’s been a steep learning curve,” Algieri told Boxing Monthly from New York recently. “Coming off the Ruslan fight to jump into a fight versus a Hall Of Famer immediately and fight him in China was a very, very steep move in terms of stepping up. Then I had to get myself back together and ride the ship from there."
A former national swimming champion, Mikaela Laurén did not make her professional boxing debut until past her 30th birthday. Despite her late start in the sport it’s a testament to her determination and athletic excellence that now, at the age of 40, the WBC female super-welterweight champion seems to be getting better and better. “I was 28 when I quit swimming and 30 when I started boxing so people didn’t really think I was going to make it,” the charming and relentlessly upbeat Laurén told BM. “But I believed in myself and what I could do. I worked really hard and now I really feel like a boxer and not a swimmer."
As he looks off into the sunset of his career, Steve Cunningham can see family, buying properties, managing fighters and drawing comic books. No-one knows the distance of such a view and, for the moment, the thought of being a three-time world cruiserweight champion is still very much in the mind of the 39-year-old Philadelphian. On Saturday (16 April), ‘USS Cunningham’ will engage in his ninth world title fight (his first was against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2006), when he meets WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, live on Boxnation in the UK. “I didn’t know that,” said Cunningham, with a laugh, but sounding surprised, when Boxing Monthly informed him of the stat. “This level of boxing is what I dreamed about, what every fighter dreams about, fighting for world titles, defending world titles, getting more world titles. To be able to be a 16-year veteran in boxing and still perform at this level is nothing short of a blessing. I believe this is going to be an explosive fight."
Whilst the focus on the 16 April card in Leeds is predominantly on Josh Warrington’s battle with former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa, the undercard features intriguing tests for some established names such as Stuey Hall and Dave Ryan. It will also be the second First Direct Arena appearance for Bradford southpaw Darren Tetley (10-0, 5 KOs) as he continues his progression in the paid ranks. The West Yorkshire welterweight is due to take on Sheffield-based Ryan Hardy and told Boxing Monthly his preparation had gone well.
Nick Manners has an ambition. “I want a piece of history. I boxed on the Elland Road pitch as a fighter and won. I want to go on the pitch as a trainer and win,” he told Boxing Monthly. Manners is one of the Leeds boxing scene’s most colourful and well-known figures, who debuted in 1990 and compiled a record of 11-5-1 (10 KOs). His experience has led to him opening a thriving gym, Precise Accurate Training, and also becoming part of popular Leeds ticket-seller Josh Warrington’s camp. “I started boxing when I was 20,” Manners told BM. “It was a fantastic experience, taking me to places I wouldn’t pay my own money to go. I was in Romania two weeks prior to the revolution. Not sure if that was owt to do with me, like! I was in East Germany, still dust falling from the wall coming down."
New IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s violent dethroning of ‘Prince’ Charles Martin marked a night of firsts at the O2 Arena on Saturday evening. The Londoner became the quickest heavyweight champion in history in terms of rounds boxed (34) and also the first fighter promoter Eddie Hearn has steered directly from pro debut to a world title. This whirlwind journey has taken place in just two-and-a-half-years as Joshua has ripped through the heavyweight division with 16 KOs in as many contests and transcended the sport to appeal to ‘casual’ boxing fans. In the early hours of Sunday morning at the post-fight press conference, a delighted Hearn reflected on the milestone and mapped out the short-term future for his new champion with a first defence pencilled in for 9 July in London.
Boxing Monthly’s World and British Rankings for April 2016 are explained by Colin Harris, our in-house ratings statistician. Trainer, fighter, manager and promoter queries are welcome (ratings up to and including 5 March results).
“It doesn’t feel too good, to be honest,” answered Morecambe-based traveller Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) when Boxing Monthly asked the heavyweight world champion how it feels to be number one in his division. “I feel as if the limelight’s on me. Everywhere I go, people want a picture of me and everything I say is picked up - I don’t have my own life anymore.” Fury’s sentiments echo those of previous champions, some of them could not go out in public without being recognised, approached and pestered. People wanted autographs in the past, selfies in the present and both take time. Fury is happy to oblige when at fights or on his own. It is a different matter if he is out with his wife, Paris, and their children.
Matthew Macklin understands why Brian Rose is the favourite going into their sink or swim middleweight bout on Saturday night. Recent performances from the 33-year-old three-time world title challenger have not suggested he is capable of summoning up the displays that pushed Felix Sturm to the brink and gave the gifted Sergio Martinez a hard night’s work at Madison Square Garden in 2012. Macklin (34-6, 22 KOs), now trained by his younger brother Seamus, is honest enough to admit that defeat to Rose (28-3-1, 8 KOs) at London’s O2 Arena will put a 40-fight, 15 year career into retirement. “It’s been a rollercoaster,” Macklin told Boxing Monthly when he looked back on his career to date. “Lots of ups and downs. I’ve had a lot more highs and lows. I’m glad the lows happened as well because it makes you appreciate the highs, the good times and it builds character, the mental toughness."