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So far, 2017 has been a great year for the sport of boxing. A lot of super-fights are happening or going to happen: Kovalev Vs. Jacobs one and two, Canelo Vs. Golovkin, Mayweather Vs. McGregor and many more. There have also been the fair share of bouts that weren’t supposed to be all that good that turned out to be great on an all time level like the Joshua Vs. Klitschko bout almost two months ago. The best part is that the most promising bouts have yet to happen.
 
As we’ve said, there have already been some great fights so far this year. One was Gennady Golovkin Vs. Daniel Jacobs. Triple G fights have always been entertaining up to this point because he always knocked out his opponents for the better part of a decade but, finally, this was not the case. Not only did Jacobs avoid getting knocked out, many feel as though he won the fight. Triple G was declared the winner via unanimous decision but many feel as though this was done in order to set up the super-fight with Canelo because the fight really could have gone either way.
 
Another incredible bout in 2017 was Anthony Joshua Vs. Wladimir Klitschko – an all time great heavy weight bout. Both fighters stood in the ring and traded explosive and heavy shots. Then Klitschko got knocked down twice late in the fight to secure the victory for Joshua. Many agree that this fight was the best heavyweight fight in the past two decades.
 
Then, of course, we have the promise of some great upcoming fights to round out an all time great year in boxing in 2017. First up, we have Sergei Kovalev squaring back off with Daniels Jacobs for the much anticipated re-match after Jacobs shocked the world and beat Kovalev in a decision just a couple months back. Then in September, you have the fight many have been waiting for and rooting for for over two years – Canelo Vs. Golovkin. This fight has the potential to be a fight for the ages with two of the biggest names, possibly the biggest with the exception of Floyd Mayweather, standing toe to toe. Then, of course, you have the seemingly good possibility of the super-fight between Mayweather and Conor McGregor in November. It’s certainly shaping up, so far to be a year to remember.
 

Taking a brief moment off from reporting results here.
 
Many people are still saying that the sport of boxing is in need of “saving” and this is simply not the case. This may have been the case five or even ten years ago, when boxing was so clearly in the shadow of MMA and the UFC. Back then, the UFC was at an abolute peak and it was crushing any and all competition, boxing obviously included. With all time greats like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva at their peaks and legends like Randy Corture and Chuck Liddell coming to the ends of their careers, the UFC was front and center and absolutely no one could deny it.
 
However, since then the UFC has had it’s share of hardships maintaining its high level of popularity for extended periods of time. Sure, it’s had it’s fever pitches with Lesnar, Rousey and most recently McGregor. But, it’s nothing like the ten year run it was on ten years ago. So, it’s safe to say that the UFC has lost some steam in recent years. Even they’ve effectively admitted this recently with the departures of recent stars like Lesnar and Rousey as well as McGregors extended leave of absence they’ve gotten desperate and brought back the aging legend GSP as well as Anderson Silva – clear desperation for headlines.
 
On the other side of things, boxing has always stayed it’s course and stayed consistent in it’s publicity approach. Now, at a time when the UFC is at a low as far as popularity, boxing is beginning to soar. With fighters like Sergei Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and, of course, Floyd Mayweather boxing has become a premium and well respected event that people can count on for quality entertainment on a consistent basis.
 
Boxing also has it’s share of incredible under cards as well. Adrian Broner is one of many youngsters that’s come up in recent years that’s made a primetime and household name for themselves by wowing the audience before the main event. Simply put, there’s no lack of excitement or enthusiasm regarding boxing and there really hasn’t been in the past five years.
 
Boxing is here to stay.
 

The game of boxing has always fascinated fans from all across the globe. After a list of great fights that entertained fans in the year 2016, the new year is all set to excite boxing fans with a list of fresh fights. Here is a list of the top 9 most anticipated boxing matches for the year 2017:
 

1) Conor McGregor Vs Floyd Mayweather:

This is undoubtedly the most hyped and anticipated boxing fights scheduled to take place in the year 2017. With Floyd Mayweather not keen to try his luck in the MMA circuit, Cornor has no choice but to challenge him in the boxing ring. Interestingly, Conor has managed to obtain his boxing fight license in California. While the fight is on the cards, the actual date of this fight is yet to be determined. Apparently, the negotiations are primarily based on the fight purse.
 

2) Danny Jacobs Vs Gennady Golovkin:

Gennady is undoubtedly one of the most highly skilled boxer in the world today. Unfortunately, he has not been able to get the desired attention from boxing fans. In the Middleweight division, Gennady Golovkin is known to have a perfect record (36 wins and no losses). The fight against Danny Jacobs is set to take place in March, 18’th 2017. Apparently, Danny Jacobs defeated Sergio Mora in his previous fight and immediately challenged Gennady Golovkin for his next fight.
 

3) Danny Garcia Vs Keith Thurman:

The Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman fight was among the most anticipated boxing events of the year 2017. Both boxers are the top contenders of the welterweight division and both of them have remained undefeated in their respective bouts. This fight is all set to catapult their career into the mainstream boxing division thereby leading to a direct increment in their prize money.
 

4) Wladimir Klitschko Vs Anthony Joshua:

Since September, 2016, the proposed fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko has been making waves across the boxing circuit, with no final date being determined by either fight camp. Nonetheless, April 29’th 2017 has been deemed as the official date when both these fighters finally slug it out. The IBF Heavyweight title is on the line. Apparently, Anthony won the IBF title from Charles Martin in April 2016. While Wladimir is considered to be one of the most dominant boxers of all times, he has not fought since his loss to Fury in the year 2015.
 

5) Badou Jack Vs James DeGale:

Recognized the world over as the world’s best middleweight boxers, both Badou and James have managed to create a niche for themselves in this highly competitive boxing circuit. The Super-Middleweight division has always experienced its shares of ups and downs. This bout took place on January 14th 2017 and turned out to be an ‘all-out’ entertainer for enthusiastic boxing fans. After a grueling 12 rounds, Badou Jack edged past DeGale on the basis of points (unanimous decision) to retain the WBC Super Middleweight Title. Nonetheless, James still retains his IBF Super Middleweight Belt.
 

6) Leo Santa Cruz Vs Carl Frampton:

This fight too deserves a special mention in the year 2017. It is between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz. This fight took place in the month of January, 2017. It is interesting to note that in the month of July, 2016, Leo Santa Cruz lost the WBA Featherweight title to Frampton. This title loss also happened to be Leo’s only loss in his professional boxing career. Interesting, Cruz avenged his defeat after a grueling 12 round battle to win back his world title in a decisive manner.
 

7) Anthony Crolla Vs Jorge Linares:

After having lost the WBA title in Manchester to Linares, Anthony is all set to win the belt back in a re-match. The 135 pound division is all set to witness yet another grueling battle amidst two boxing giants in the month of March. The winner of this match could become the most recognized fighter in the Lightweight division thereby leading to a possible unification fight.
 

8) Julius Indongo Vs Ricky Burns:

Julius Indongo is known to have made a blazing entry in the 140 pound division last year by capturing the IFB Belt. Ricky Burns is undoubtedly one of the most experienced fighters in the circuit. So, this match is going to be a tough one for both these competitors.
 

9) Eleider Alvarez Vs Lucian Bute:

The 175 pound division witnessed a spectacular fight between two highly recognized fighters Eleider Alvarez and Lucian Bute. The end result was a showstopper. Using his superior punching power, speed and stamina, Alvarez stopped Bute in the fifth round thereby earning a knockout victory.

By Christopher Cook

Tampa, FL – After an exciting night of boxing at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, the fighters stepped up to the podium to talk about the experiences they had and answer a few questions.

Keith Thurman:

“I want to thank this city for all the love and support. All the fans that came out, for the people that flew out to show their love and support, the local people…thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

[On the punch that hurt him in the 5th] “It was a beautiful left hook that he threw…I was extended and my elbow wasn’t able to come back in time to block the shot. I was reaching out and it really got underneath there, right in the perfect spot. I would say 95% of my wind was gone. But with 5%, it went to my brain. I thought about taking a knee.”

[If that’s the worst he’s ever been hurt] “That was the best body shot thus far in my career…It was the best body shot I had to endure.”

“We survived that round. We recovered. We used a portion of the next round to fully recover. We boxed smart and we got the TKO victory.”

[On sensing the end was near in the 7th round] “I knew by that point in the fight that he has taken a heavy accumulation of punishment.”

[On fighting Collazo] “I knew he was going to come and try to give me a war. I was surprised when he was on his feet, moving backwards for the first two rounds. I think he wanted to let the young fighter be a bull. I took advantage of that. It was very easy to steal those opening rounds with his inactivity. You have to fight to win a fight. He didn’t want to fight early on, he wanted to assess my speed, assess my movement. Try to be tricky.”

“I’m happy to be the champion that I am. I’m happy that the champion that Luis Collazo was. He tested the young fighter Keith Thurman. We were able to overcome and endure.”

[On his performance] “I felt that my jab wasn’t really putting him back…I think I could have kept my left hand a little higher and taken advantage of that a little more in this fight that I did not do…There was a few rounds that I outboxed him very well. He was trying to hit me with right hooks and I was moving, pivoting and using the ring very well. And I was happy with that performance.”

[On future opponents] “I want an opportunity to fight the best fighters in the world. This year was the first time that I got any fighter ranked in the top ten according to Ring Magazine and I was happy with that…Floyd is the top dog. He is the king of the division. I want a chance to fight the kind. I guarantee you it’s not going to be a boring fight. It’s not going to be a Manny Pacquiao fight. It’s not going to be a Marcos Maidana fight. You’re going to see a young, talented young man going up against one of the best fighters we have today. Outside of that, I like Amir Khan. I like Shawn Porter. I like Marcos Maidana. I like everybody you like, man.”

[One fighter excluding Mayweather he’d like to face] “Right now we would like Amir Khan. He’s finally started talking the name Keith Thurman and when I hear those syllables come out of a fighter’s mouth, that’s what I like. I’ve said before that Amir Khan does not truly belong in the welterweight division and if he wants to make a true statement he should fight a real welterweight. Somebody like Keith Thurman, somebody like Shawn Porter.”

[On Khan being the most overrated welterweight] “I believe so.”

[On taking a fight with Mayweather on two months’ notice] “If we wants to take advantage, he should fight me right now. But I would do it. I’m young. We used to fight each other every other week back in the day. I like my paychecks, I’ll go ahead and take another paycheck. He’s about to retire, I ain’t retiring anytime soon. So, I’m ready. I would love the experience. I enjoy the fight game. I’m not afraid of letting it go. If you can beat me, beat me! Plain and simple, beat me!”

[On Collazo retiring in the corner] “There’s no disappointment. The paychecks the same whether he was going to come out or not. I take less damage, he takes less damage. I continue to be undefeated.”

[On fighting Errol Spence Jr. in the near future] “That boy don’t want it in the near future. His uncle Floyd, who adopted him, told him to state that statement. Look, if he really wanted to state that statement, he wouldn’t have stuttered when he said it. Let’s just be honest…Floyd wants me to fight a young man, somebody that’s my age because he doesn’t want me to beat up on the elder.”

Luis Collazo:

“I hope everyone enjoyed the fight. Thank you for coming out. Grateful for this opportunity.”

“Due to the cut, I couldn’t see anymore, so I didn’t want to risk of hurting my eye. I got two cuts. I’m the type of fighter, I keep going, but I do want to fight again.”

[On the 5th round] “I caught him with a great body shot. He was going into my left. At the gym he was working on that. That’s the perfect short for a lefty to a righty. I caught him good. If I would have had maybe 30 more seconds into the round it could have been different. But can’t take nothing away from him, he stood up and he’s the champ.”

[On fighting Thurman] “The first couple of rounds I was moving, and I told my corner I need to get a little bit closer. I didn’t think he was a great fighter inside, so I felt like that was his weakness. So I tried to get closer and closer, but I got two guts. The last one was just gushing. I couldn’t see anymore. I got to be safe than sorry right now, especially at this point in my career.”

[On disappointment from losing] “Very [disappointed]. I’m not a quitter. I wanted to keep going. But I do want to fight again. I didn’t want to take unnecessary shots.”

[On Thurman] “He’s a good fighter. He still has a ways to go.”

[On the body shot in the 5th round] “If I had those 30 seconds, I at least would have given him an 8 count.”

Willie Nelson:

[On if game plan against Harrison was to knock him out] “That was the plan…My plan was to knock him out later on…Take him into deep water and drown him. Which that is what I did do.”

“I was very confident.”

“I had a conversation with my friend in the hotel room, I’m going to knock him out. The thing is when, how.”

[On being behind on the score cards late in the fight] “There was no sense of urgency. I just wanted to stay calm, stay relaxed.”

“He was going for the knockout. He thought he was going to knock me out. That’s what he was looking for. That’s all he was thinking of. He wasn’t thinking of going to the later rounds.”

July 11, 2015

by Damon Gonzalez

TAMPA, Fla. – Thunder at the Forum: Round 2, presented by Corona Extra, is set for Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum following today’s weigh-in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Bouts begin Friday at 7:45 p.m. The card features seven local fighters from the Tampa Bay area, Sarasota or Orlando. The Times Forum and Panda Five Star Boxing also announced the event’s final fight card.

Coming off her thrilling win at Thunder at the Forum, presented by Corona Extra, in June, Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback (Plant City, FL) will take on Victoria “La Reina de Guerra” Cisneros (Albuquerque, NM) in a 10-round bout for the WBF Female Welterweight World Title. Both weighed in at 147 lbs. This match will be the finale of Thunder at the Forum: Round 2, presented by Corona Extra. The pair have fought once before, with Hallback scoring a victory by split decision in 2010.

In the other co-main event, DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (Washington, D.C.) weighed in at 140 pounds and will take on Dedrick Bell (Memphis, TN) for the men’s WBF North American Jr. Welterweight Title. Bell was a late change and was not present at the weigh-in. Corley is coming off matches against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Miguel Cotto, Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. He has previously held the USBA Light Welterweight Title and the WBO Light Welterweight World Title. Corely currently holds the NABF Light Welterweight Title.

Local fighters who also weighed in were Jose Resendiz (Sarasota, FL, 125.8 lbs.), Justin Pauldo (Orlando, FL, 132.4 lbs.), Josh Medina (St. Petersburg, FL, 145 lbs.), Lee Dawson (Tampa, FL, 140.4 lbs.), Manny Woods (St. Petersburg, FL, 154.4 lbs.) and Martin Lagunas Jr. (Ruskin, FL, 139.4 lbs.).

Resendiz and Pauldo will both be making their second appearance at the Times Forum after both winning their respective matches at the first Thunder at the Forum. Resendiz scored a 51-second knockout of Kherani Kessoon while Pauldo made his boxing debut and defeated Coleman Johnson by decision.