Ex-champ Larry Holmes: I had no body, no chest, but I had a jab(VIDEO)

When Andy Ruiz beat Anthony Joshua back in June, many were shocked, some were amazed, and others pointed to his body. Ruiz is not a guy who is going to win a bodybuilding contest, but many forget that boxing is not a bodybuilding contest, and Ruiz proved that against Joshua.

One man who dominated the heavyweight division in the ’80s, the great Larry Holmes, was another boxer that did not have the greatest physique. However, it did not matter. Holmes would go on to have 20 straight title defenses, and at one point, was 48-0, and one win away from tying Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, before losing to Michael Spinks in 1985.

While Holmes did not have the body, he sure had the jab, which is considered by some to be the greatest jab in history of the heavyweight division.

“I had no body, no chest,” Holmes told Paul Gant. “I had big arms, but that’s all I had, but you know what, it’s this.”(Holmes begins to throw his legendary jab)

In the end, Holmes believes if you use the jab effectively, you will have a lot of success.

“If you can work a jab, you gonna win,” Holmes added.

Holmes also had toughness. Whether it was winning the 15th round against Ken Norton to capture his first title in 1978, or getting off the mat to stop Ernie Shavers, Holmes always did what he needed to do to get the victory.

Through it all, “The Easton Assassin” also gave back to his community, which is one of the reasons there is a statue of Holmes in his hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania.

Last weekend, we caught up with Holmes at his 5th annual Heart of a Legend Celebrity Golf weekend in Easton, PA.

Listen below as Holmes talks the importance of giving back to his community, his jab, and more.

For more information about the Heart of a Legend foundation, go to the website www.heartofalegend.org.  

 

 

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Thurman on Pacquiao fight: ‘My prediction? Less than six rounds’

Undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman hosted media at the St. Pete Boxing Club in Florida Wednesday as he showed off his skills in advance of his Saturday, July 20 showdown against eight-division world boxing champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao.

The FOX pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is highlighted by this high-stakes match that will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing’s deepest and most talented divisions.

According to Thurman, this is the biggest fight of his career and his moment to shine bright.

“This is history in the making. This is one of the best fights all year. This is the biggest fight of my career,” Thurman said.  “You see a lot of fight posters in this gym; I remember when Winky Wright, fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. I remember when he fought ‘Tito’ Trinidad. For me, this is my Mosley. This is my ‘Tito’ Trinidad moment. I get to show the world that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is not just a great champion; he can beat legends.

“I’ve always told everybody since the day that I was first on TV. I called out the world champions then. They didn’t know who Keith Thurman was, but I was trying to let the world know that Keith Thurman belongs at the top, and now the world is finally understanding why.”

Before defeating Josesito Lopez in January, Thurman was out of the ring for almost two years. Now, he will be getting back in the ring for the second time this year, which is good news for Thurman.

“It’s really good for me to have this momentum back,” Thurman said. “This is the first time in four years that I have fought twice in one year, and it’s not just twice in one year, it’s twice in almost six months. I’ve taken the momentum of getting the dust brushed off of us in January against Josesito Lopez. We hired two conditioning coaches in preparation for this fight so that I can give the fight fans, along with myself, a tremendous performance next Saturday.

“There’s always a question of will I get injured again. As a puncher, you can always find ways to hurt your hands. Hands were not made to punch each other in the skull. We’re craftsmen. We’re tile workers, woodworkers, mechanical workers. These hands were designed for something a little different, but luckily with different forms of therapy, we feel confident for this fight and pray that we stay healthy in the future so that we can keep giving the world tremendous fights.”

What will happen on July 20 in Las Vegas? Thurman has a prediction.

“My prediction? Less than six rounds. I would love to be 30-0 with 23 knockouts. We’ve got 22, and we’ve held those 22 knockouts for a little too long. It’s time to get one more knockout.”

Photo: Damon Gonzalez/TGB Promotions

Farmer-Frenois set for July 27

Tevin Farmer will defend his IBF World Super-Featherweight title against Guillaume Frenois at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas on Saturday July 27, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Farmer (29-4-1 6 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his IBF crown inside a year of winning the vacant title in Australia in August against Billy Dib, stopping James Tennyson in five rounds in Boston in October in his first defense and then going the distance in his next two wins – in New York against Francisco Fonseca in December and then a homecoming St Patrick’s weekend clash in Philadelphia against Irishman Jono Carroll.

Carroll landed the clash with Farmer after a controversial draw with Frenois (46-1-1 12 KOs) in a final eliminator in Sheffield, England in December. The Frenchman, the former European champion who fights for his first World title in the Lone Star state, has branded Farmer a ‘fake champion’ and accused him of avoiding him, while Farmer insists his focus is fully on Frenois – and now the pair will clash in what promises to be a heated affair, in a bout co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing USA.

“July 27 will be the fourth defense of my World title in just under one year,” said Farmer. “There is no other World champion as active as me and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. I’m only 28 years old and I’m still learning and still improving each and every time I step in the ring.

“It is no secret that there are major fights out there for me in the division, but I need to take care of business first with Frenois, who has had a lot to say. July 27 is going to be my best performance yet.”

“Frenois gave Jono a great fight when they battled to a draw last year and will come to Dallas full of ambition. There will be more to add this week to this stacked card on what promises to be an unmissable night of action with a stunning main event.”

Photo/Courtesy: Matchroom Boxing

Roach: ‘The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights’

For WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs), fighting Josesito Lopez back in January was an opportunity to get back in the ring after two years away due to injuries, and more importantly, a chance to shake off some rust.

While Thurman was not at his best, and at one point it seemed he could get stopped after getting battered in round 7. He survived and won the fight. Now, he has a shot for more glory on July 20 at the MGM Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas when he battles Manny Pacquiao(61-7-2, 39 KOs).

Throughout the promotion for Pacquiao-Thurman, one of Pacquiao’s trainers, Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, has been very open about his thoughts on Thurman, and on Thursday, it continued.

“The only hot dog Manny is thinking about is Keith Thurman,” Roach said. “Thurman talks a good game, but we’ll see if he can cut the mustard with Manny on July 20.  Manny is 10 years Thurman’s senior, and yet this will be Manny’s third world championship fight over the past 12 months.  Activity keeps fighters sharp.  The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights. He’s like the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski.  He just seems to be fighting as little as possible to keep his title.  Only Thurman’s not The Dude; he’s The Dud.  Manny will sizzle, and Thurman will fizzle when they battle it out in the ring at the MGM Grand on July 20.  After that, it will be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us.  Happy Fourth of July!”

Thurman’s last three fights, all wins, have been against Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Lopez. That’s a tough three fights, so while he has not been the most active and had only three fights in three years, the only time he did not look at his best was against Lopez, which he fought after two years out of the ring.

However, if he wants to beat Pacquiao, Thurman has to be at very best because even at age 40, Pacquiao is still one of the top fighters at 147.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
 

Stevenson gets another new opponent for July 13

Eight days before his homecoming at Prudential Center, top featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson has a new opponent. Former world title challenger Franklin Manzanilla dropped out of the bout, and two-time world title challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara will face Stevenson in the 10-round main event.

Manzanilla replaced original opponent Hairon Socarras, who dropped out of the fight, but now it is Guevara who will battle Stevenson on July 13.

Stevenson-Guevara and the 12-round IBF bantamweight eliminator for the No. 2 ranking featuring Joshua Greer Jr. and Nikolai Potapov will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service  — starting at 7 p.m. ET.

“I give Alberto Guevara credit for taking this fight when so many fighters won’t step into the ring with me,” Stevenson said. “He’s been in there with some great fighters, even world champions, but nothing can prepare him for me. No matter the opponent, I am going to put on a special performance for my hometown and everyone watching on ESPN on July 13.”

“When I was offered this fight, I did not hesitate. I want to fight the best, and Shakur Stevenson is a very good young fighter,” Guevara said. “The hometown crowd will not phase me. I’m coming to shock the boxing world.”

Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects. He graduated from prospect to contender status in 2018, knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. fight in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson shined on the Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard April 20 at Madison Square Garden, dominating former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.

Guevara (27-4, 12, KOs), from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, turned pro in November 2009 and has twice challenged for a bantamweight world title, dropping a competitive decision to Leo Santa Cruz in December 2012 and getting knocked out in nine rounds by Japanese standout Shinsuke Yamanaka in November 2013. He is 9-2 with six knockouts since the Yamanaka defeat, with those losses coming against a former world champion (Hugo Ruiz) and a fighter who would go on to capture a world title (Emmanuel Rodriguez).

Roach: ‘Thurman is slower than Heinz ketchup’

Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is a few weeks away from his battle with undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs)at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV), and he is working hard to get the victory.

According to Team Pacquiao, he has daily morning runs of three to five miles with hundreds of fans trailing, followed by one thousand sit-ups and assorted drills, afternoons at the gym, filled with 10 rounds of sparring, 10-12 rounds of mitts with Freddie and Buboy Fernandez, endless rounds of heavy bag and speed bag work, are capped off with another 1,000 sit-ups.

There is a lot of confidence in his corner, which includes one of his trainers, Freddie Roach.

“Manny is so unbelievably fast,” Roach said. “He’s 40 years old and moving around the ring with the same speed he had when he was just a seven-division world champion,” said Roach. “Manny has Keith Thurman’s number.  Thurman is slower than Heinz ketchup.  Manny is going to beat him 57 ways on July 20.  The fans know it, and the sports books know it.  Manny has gone from underdog to a betting favorite.  Manny is money for this fight. It’s going to be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us!”

Thurman may not have faster hands than Pacquiao, but he is far from slow. However, at age 40, Pacquiao may not be what he once was, but he still has a lot of left. How much he has left will be determined on July 20.

 

 

Carl Frampton-Emmanuel Dominguez set for August 10 in Philadelphia

Carl “The Jackal” Frampton is on the hunt for another world title. Frampton, the former two-division world champion from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will make his first stateside appearance in more than two years in a 10-round featherweight bout against the hard-hitting Emmanuel Dominguez on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Liacouras Center.

Frampton-Dominguez and a co-feature will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard, including South Philadelphia heavyweight sensation Sonny Conto (3-0, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born featherweight prospect Donald Smith (9-0, 6 KOs) and Puerto Rican middleweight puncher Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs), will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

“Dominguez is a tall, young, hungry featherweight, so I’ll need to be on my game,” Frampton said. “The premise of an Oscar Valdez fight is dangling in front of me, so I want to go out and show the world that I’ve still got what it takes to be a world champion. Winning is always the most important thing, but I want to do it in style. It’s great to be boxing stateside again. And Philly, in particular, has so much boxing history. I’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. I won’t disappoint.”

“Carl Frampton is already looking ahead to an Oscar Valdez fight, which gives me added motivation,” Dominguez said. “I am not a stepping stone. I am coming to Philadelphia prepared to ruin Carl’s plans.”

Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs), a 10-year pro who compiled more than 100 victories during a standout amateur career, is on the road back to another world title opportunity following his competitive decision loss to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last December. Frampton won the IBF junior featherweight world title in 2014 and unified titles against WBA champion Scott Quigg via split decision in February 2016. He upset Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA super world featherweight title in July 2016 but lost the immediate rematch six months later.

Frampton won three in a row, including an interim world title, before running into Warrington in front of a sold-out Manchester Arena crowd in one of the year’s best fights. With his sights set on Valdez, he must first defeat Dominguez (26-8-2, 18 KOs), a 25-year-old native of Aguascalientes, Mexico, who has won four of his last five, all by knockout.

Andrade to Canelo: ‘Forget the WBC sh**; whatever that ‘Franchise’ belt is; let’s unify this division’

Demetrius Andrade produced a dominant performance in shutting out Maciej Sulecki to defend his WBO World Middleweight title for the second time against Maciej Sulecki at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Andrade boxed in his hometown of Providence for the first time and made an instant impact in front of a 7,136 crowd, putting Sulecki down inside the opening minute with a left hook, raising a raucous crowd to their feet.

The champion rained heavy artillery on to the challenger throughout while showing his full arsenal of skills, with his supremacy reflected in the scorecards as all three judges gave him the fight 120-107 and the 31 year old reiterated his desire to lock horns with Mexican ace Canelo Alvarez next.

“Providence, Rhode Island, that’s what I am talking about, baby,” said Andrade. “Sulecki was a great fighter. A top ten guy, he came after it all night and let me utilize my tools. I gave people another great 12 rounds of boxing. I used my jab. Sulecki is no pushover. He ain’t no Steve Rolls, ain’t no Rocky Fielding. So Canelo, where your cajones at? Let’s get it.

“Forget the WBC sh**; whatever that ‘Franchise’ belt is; Let’s go, Canelo. Let’s unify this division. Let’s have one champion. It’s right here. Let’s do it. No more running, no more games, let’s put it all on the line and see who is the best. Mano y Mano. Viva Mexico!

“I am the best out here. He stepped up to the plate. Sulecki was a tough guy. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. He came to fight though, and I did what I had to do, and that looks pretty. Tall, black, handsome. Alto, Moreno, guapo. Your boy. It’s me again. See you in September!

“No excuses in there. I kind of felt something going on with my body during training camp so I utilized what I can and did what I did. I looked good doing it. My legs were bothering me for a while after a few rounds. My dad told me to take it easy and told me to give them what they came here to see, and that’s the sweet science of boxing.

“If you want to say you’re a legend and you’re the top guy, then you need to come this way. There’s no other way. I don’t want to fight the bottom guys. Sulecki is a top 10 guy; there are no more. I keep beating them; I keep beating them, I just keep beating them. I didn’t look past Sulecki; I just knew I was going to beat him.”

Photo/courtesy: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Charlo on GGG, Canelo: ‘Those guys are at the top, but there’s always a young underdog’

In front of a sold out crowd of his hometown fans, WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo defended his new title for the first time and kept his unbeaten record in dominating fashion against Brandon Adams Saturday night at NRG Arena live on SHOWTIME.

In a near-shutout unanimous decision, Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) won by the scores of 120-108 (twice) and 119-109.

In his first defense since being elevated to WBC Middleweight Champion on Wednesday, Charlo methodically picked apart the much smaller Adams (21-3, 13 KOs), a Los Angeles native who earned his title shot by winning the 2018 reboot of The Contender. Despite an injury to his left hand, Charlo recorded double digit connects in every round but the first while limiting the resilient and durable Adams to single digit connects in all but the final round.

Charlo was unable to punctuate his dominating display with the knockout he craved in front of the 6,408 fans who saw him headline in his hometown for the first time in his career. Despite that, Charlo was even more active than usual and led 151-73 overall in total punches landed and 118-42 in power punches connected. Charlo also made a concerted effort to attack the body, landing more shots to the body than in any his last five fights.

“I wasn’t frustrated that I didn’t get the knockout,” Charlo told SHOWTIME’s ringside reporter Jim Gray following the fight. “This is boxing and he came out to box. I came out to fight. It was a good fight. The city of Houston, I’ll be back.

“My hand will be alright.  I hurt my hand in like the second round but I kept throwing it. It was obvious my jab wasn’t flowing.”

“I was coming up here to win,” said Adams. “I was coming to try to take him out in his hometown. He did what he was supposed to do. He’s a champ for a reason and I take my hat off to hm.

“He’s a much bigger guy, period. I just tried to put my best foot forward and tried to take him out at the end.”

Looking ahead to what’s next, Charlo fired a warning shot to his fiercest competitors in the middleweight division.

“Canelo has done a great job of being a champ, Golovkin also,” said Charlo. “Those guys are at the top, but there’s always a young underdog and a lion ready to take over. That’s me.”

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Commey: ‘It looks like Teofimo Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first’

The young champion took the old veteran to school. Richard “RC” Commey made the first defense of his IBF world lightweight title, knocking down former world champion Ray Beltran four times en route to an eighth-round knockout in front of 2,795 fans at Pechanga Resort Casino.

“Beltran showed why he was a champion. He’s a great fighter who showed it against me tonight,” Commey said. “I was happy to get the job done and defend my title for the first time.

“It looks like Teofimo Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first.”

Lopez will battle Masayoshi Nakatani on July 19 in Maryland

It was all Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) from the opening bell, as the native of Accra, Ghana, knocked Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs) down a pair of times in the opening stanza and had him pinned against the ropes when the bell sounded to end the round.

Beltran had his moments in the fight and even appeared to hurt Commey on a few occasions, but Commey proved to be resilient and finished Beltran off with a furious combination. Beltran rose to his feet, but the referee waved the fight off.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)