Former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder made a spectacular triumphant return after a year-long layoff, knocking out Finland’s Robert Helenius in the first round on Saturday.
Wilder stopped Helenius after two minutes and 57 seconds with a powerful right-hand punch to the face, improving the American’s record to 43-2 with one drawn and 42 KOs.
“It was a great night,” Wilder said.
Wilder, his back against the ropes, answered a combination with a short but solid right to the nose of Helenius, who fell to the canvas on his back as Wilder walked away, his night complete after three punches.
“I had to take my time. I was making him reach,” Wilder said. “I wanted to be mobile, agile and hostile. I set him up, allowed him to reach and then when he reached, I attacked.”
Doctors rushed to the 38-year-old prone Finnish fighter, who slowly rose to his knees. Helenius, a former Wilder sparring partner whose record fell to 31-4, eventually departed the ring under his own power.
A week shy of his 37th birthday, Wilder climbed into the ring for the first time since an 11th-round knockout defeat to Britain’s Tyson Fury last October. Wilder had lost his World Boxing Council crown and unbeaten status to Fury in 2020.
“We wanted to make this fun again,” Wilder said. “You can do this so long it can be a job, just something you are doing. We made it fun. It paid off big time.”
Wilder’s victory likely sets up a 2023 fight against compatriot Andy Ruiz, a former world champion, with that winner poised for a chance at the WBC title.
But Wilder didn’t rule out trying to fight Ukraine’s unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk, who owns all the heavyweight division’s other major titles.
“Who’s next? I’m down for whatever,” Wilder said. “Andy Ruiz, Usyk or whatever. I’m back. The excitement is back in the heavyweight division.”
Nonito Donaire showed that age is just a number, knocking Reymart Gaballo out in the fourth round with a thunderous body shot to retain his World Boxing Council bantamweight title on Saturday.
The veteran and ageless wonder Donaire continues to impress at 39 despite being counted out several times by boxing critics before the Philippine boxer moved back to the 118-pound division.
Donaire landed a vicious left hook to the body of Gaballo that sent the 25-year-old opponent down late in the fourth round at Dignity Health Sports Park in south-central Los Angeles.
Gaballo remained on his right knee for several seconds before trying to get up. He rose partially but slumped back down again, grimacing as the referee officially stopped the fight at 2:59 of the round.
“I have no mercy,” Donaire said. “He didn’t expect the left hook to the body. I had to set it up. That was a very tremendous punch.”
Donaire was fighting a Philippine compatriot for the first time since 2002. A likable fighter outside the ring, Donaire showed his human side by putting his arm around Gaballo and telling him to not be discouraged after suffering just the first loss of his rising boxing career.
“I told him ‘don’t be down. I told him ‘I was having trouble figuring you out,'” said Donaire, who improved to 42-6, 28 KOs.
Donaire is now the face of Philippine boxing after the retirement of Manny Pacquiao, and his overpowering performance against Gaballo (24-1, 20 KOs) is another example of his late-career run.
This was his first defence of the WBC title that he won six months ago with another sensational fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali to become the oldest world champion ever at 118 pounds. Donaire dropped Oubaali three times, knocking him out with a left hand.
Like Pacquiao, Donaire lived in General Santos City, Philippines, until he was six and attended the same school as PacMan.
He moved to the United States at age 11 when he gained citizenship through family connections. Donaire’s amateur record of 68-8 includes winning three US national championships.
Many believed Donaire was done when he lost by unanimous decisions to Jessie Magdaleno at 122 pounds in 2016 and to Carl Frampton at 126 pounds in April 2018.
In answer, Donaire rejuvenated his career by moving back down to 118 pounds, which seems to suit him just fine. He has now won four fights at 118 and gave Japanese champion Naoya Inoue all he could handle in 2019 before losing by a decision.
“I have been in this game a long time. We are going for the unified champion of the world,” he said.
Lomachenko overpowers Commey
In New York, Vasiliy Lomachenko overpowered Richard Commey with a dominant showing, scoring a knockdown in the seventh round on the way to a unanimous decision in the non-title lightweight fight at Madison Square Garden.
The former unified lightweight champion Lomachenko, of Ukraine, had little trouble with Commey landing punches at will including combinations of eight punches in a row.
Two judges scored it 119-108 while the third had it 117-110.
Lomachenko had Commey out on his feet in the seventh round after a knockdown that came off a short right hand. As Commey wobbled around the ring, Lomachenko stopped throwing punches, looked over at his opponent’s corner and asked the trainers if they wanted to stop the bout.
Commey somehow survived the round and made it to the final bell but he had to absorb an onslaught of rights and lefts to the head to survive.
The former two-time Olympic gold medallist Lomachenko needed a dominant win over Ghana’s Commey to show he is still a force in the star-studded lightweight division.
The 33-year-old improved to 16-2 with 11 knockouts while former IBF champion Commey dropped to 30-4, 27 KOs.
WBC champion, Tyson Fury is eager to fight British boxer, Anthony Joshua and believes he can win him in three rounds.
“Well there you go everyone,” Fury began in a video posted on his Twitter handle a few hours after Joshua knocked out his mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, in round nine on Saturday night.
“Anthony Joshua just s*** himself live on television. He got asked if he wants the fight and he went around the bushes and put his a*** in the hedge. “I want the fight, I want the fight next. I’ll knock him out inside three rounds. He’s a big, bum dosser, I can’t wait to knock him out.”
In front of 1,000 fans with attendance limited due to coronavirus restrictions, Joshua ensured there was no repeat of a shock defeat in his first clash with Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 as the 39-year-old Pulev was swotted aside.
Attention will now turn to the possibility of a much-anticipated clash with WBC champion Fury in 2021.
“I’m up for anything. Who wants to see Anthony Joshua box Tyson Fury in 2021?” Joshua asked the crowd to a chorus of cheers.
“I started this game in 2013 and I’ve been chasing the belts ever since.
“Whoever has got the belt, I would love to compete with them. If that is Tyson Fury then let it be Tyson Fury.”
Pulev had lost just once previously in his career to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, but was outclassed by Joshua, who could have had victory wrapped up within three rounds.
Twice Pulev was given a count by the referee in round three after he was left flailing on the ropes by an explosive burst of punches from Joshua.
The IBF, WBA and WBO world champion then surprisingly took his foot off the accelerator to allow Pulev to hang in the fight.
But in round nine three uppercuts in quick succession put Pulev back on the canvas and this time he did not get back up in time as Joshua took his career record to 24-1.
An agreement in principle for Joshua and WBC champion Fury to finally go head-to-head has been in place since earlier this year.
“Starting from tomorrow, we make the Tyson Fury fight straight away. It’s the only fight to be made in boxing. It is the biggest fight in British boxing history,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I know he (Joshua) wants it. He is the best heavyweight in the world, I promise you. He’ll break him down, he’ll knock him out.”
Tyson Fury’s reign as world heavyweight champion will not be ended by new claims over an alleged drug-testing scam, according to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
It was alleged in a Mail on Sunday report that a farmer was offered money to provide an alibi for Fury’s failed drugs test in 2015.
Fury and his cousin Hughie tested positive for nandrolone in 2015, which they subsequently blamed on eating uncastrated wild boar meat, citing a farmer called Martin Carefoot who claimed to have provided them with the product.
After an expensive and elongated stand-off with UK Anti-Doping, Fury and Hughie received retrospective two-year bans and were able to resume their careers in December 2017.
In the Mail report, Carefoot denied having provided the Fury team with the meat, insisting he was offered £25,000 to make up the story in order to aid their case.
But Sulaiman, whose WBC belt Fury won against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas last month, said the allegations would have “no impact” on his reign as champion.
“Personally, I prefer to believe Tyson Fury ahead of someone who has already admitted to lying in legal documents for financial gain,” Sulaiman told The Sun.
“The person who has claimed he accepted money to lie should be the one on trial, in my personal opinion, especially when he has waited five years to tell his story.
“Secondly, around this time Tyson was not involved with the WBC, he did not fight Klitschko for the WBC belt, it was for other titles, so this issue does not impact on him being our heavyweight world champion.”
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren, who was not involved at the time, told The Sun he had previously been sent letters by Carefoot.
“Tyson has never ever met this man and his story is total b******t,” Warren said.
Unbeaten Deontay Wilder landed a devastating right hand to knock out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round and retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight title.
The 34-year-old Wilder remains on course to achieve his goal of unifying all four heavyweight belts despite being largely outboxed by Ortiz before the explosive one-punch finish at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas late Saturday night.
“When I see the right shot, it is baby good night,” Wilder said.
Unbeaten in 43 fights, Wilder showed why he is widely regarded as the most destructive puncher in the resurgent heavyweight division.
The “Bronze Bomber” recorded his 10th straight title defence to equal Muhammad Ali who achieved the feat between 1974 and 1978. Only four heavyweights in the history of boxing have made more than 10 consecutive title defences.
Wilder waited patiently for his big moment and when it came, with just nine seconds left in the round, it was stunning.
He followed a pawing jab with a crushing straight right that sent Ortiz’s head snapping back and his body crashing into the ropes before landing on the canvas.
“That was a punch intended to hurt for sure,” said the American. “I got him at the right angle, my feet were planted perfectly and I felt the torque.”
Ortiz tried to get up but he clearly could not continue. The fight was officially stopped at 2:51 of the seventh.
It was a repeat of their 2018 fight where Wilder had battled adversity to deliver a 10th-round stoppage.
Wilder’s win now sets up another money-spinning rematch with Tyson Fury scheduled for February.
If he comes through that a unification showdown against the winner of next month’s rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia for the other three major heavyweight belts could follow.
The fights with Fury, and Ruiz or Joshua, would generate millions for Wilder.
The last two years in heavyweight boxing have provided plenty of rousing match-ups and renewed enthusiasm in contrast to the previous 15 years or so which were dominated by the Klitschko brothers.
“I am looking for a unification bout,” Wilder said. “I want one champion, one face, one name that goes by Deontay Wilder.
“The heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts lingering around. It should be just be one champion and I think I am the perfect man for that job.”
The 40-year-old Ortiz, who was coming off three straight victories, was trying to become the first Cuban to win the world heavyweight title.
‘It was a war’
“This is boxing. I told everyone it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz won most of the early rounds. He was the aggressor from the opening bell as he tagged Wilder with a left hook to the face in the opening round.
Ortiz also suffered a cut to his right temple area in the opening round due to an accidental clash of heads. But there was little blood flow and his corner did a good job of containing it as the rounds continued.
Both fighters were waiting for an opening in the second round and by the third Ortiz was building up points because he was the busier of the two.
Ortiz landed a big overhand shot in the fourth which excited the crowd and pumped up Wilder, who pounded his chest and yelled bring it on.
Ortiz’s plan to was to fight inside and pay attention to defence while Wilder was constantly looking for the knockout shot and hoping Ortiz would eventually tire himself out.
That transpired in the seventh as Ortiz walked straight into a punch that appeared to come out of nowhere, sending the Cuban into dreamland.
“I don’t care about losing rounds because it is a 12-round fight,” said Wilder. “I wanted to time my punches and do the right thing.
“I had to strategically move Ortiz. I had to time myself and calculate my punches. It was a war.”
Ortiz wasn’t so sure it should have been stopped even though he barely managed to wobble to his feet after the knockdown.
“I was clear-headed. When the count was at seven I was still trying to get up. Maybe the count was quicker than I thought,” he said.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez says he is to relinquish his WBC middleweight world championship belt but still hopes to arrange a mega-fight with Gennady Golovkin.
The unbeaten Golovkin is the WBA and IBF champion, and a bout between the Kazakh fighter and Alvarez would stir up colossal interest among fight fans.
Golvokin is the mandatory challenger for the WBC title and it was hoped a fight between the pair would be arranged.
Alvarez has, however, issued a statement insisting he will continue negotiating a fight with Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible but he will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible.
“I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title.
“For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today.
“I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines.
“I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see,” he said.
Manny Pacquiao has returned to his home town (Manila) on Wednesday, following the defeat by Floyd Mayweather in their world Welterweight super-fight on May 2.
Pacquiao said, “I will focus on healing my shoulder. After that, I will announce continuing my career or retirement,”.
“I’m not saying I am going to retire, but it’s near. I’m already 36, turning 37 this December,” he said.
Despite an unanimous points defeat in Las Vegas, Pacquiao, a six-weight world champion, was welcomed back to the Philippines by fans as he paraded through the streets of Manila on the back of a truck.
Pacquiao, who is also a Congressman in his home country, had his arm supported by a sling, following surgery on his injured shoulder – a problem he said had hampered him during the fight with Mayweather.
The new figures released by American networks Showtime and HBO said the fight shattered the previous record for total pay-per-view buys with 4.4million purchases of the fight in the United States alone.
That generated $400m (£254m) in domestic sales while total revenue is expected to exceed $500m (£318m).
Following the fight, the undefeated American (Mayweather) called Pacquiao a “sore loser” and has ruled out a rematch, but Pacquiao, who is facing a Nevada law suit after being accused of failing to announce his injury prior to the bout, said he would consider fighting again.
“I (would) like that. I want that. But my focus right now is my shoulder, my work as a congressman and my family,” he said.
Pacquiao also said he had accepted his defeat by Mayweather, adding that after reviewing the fight on video, he still believed he won by a slim margin.
“I reviewed the fight and kept score. I won by two points, but a decision has been made and we have to accept it,”.
British boxer David Haye after fifth round final pounding of heavyweight boxer, Briton Dereck Chisora on Saturday declared he is ready to throw fists with Vitali Klitschko.
Haye, a former heavy weight and cruiserweight initially lost one of his world titles to Wladimir Klitschko, little brother to Vladimir and he was criticised for not showing a good performance despite his claims that he had a broken nose before the fight.
But David Haye managed to do what Vitali failed to do in the last defence of his World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title in February which is knocking out Chisora.
But Haye felt an amount of redemption after twice leaving Chisora slumped on the canvas at Upton Park, from left hooks and hopes it will earn him another crack at a Klitschko.
Wladimir, who holds three of the world title belts, insists he is not interested in a rematch with Haye for the moment.
Vitali, who holds the other world title belt, was linked with a defence against Haye earlier this year.
But WBC champion Vitali’s next challenger on September 10 is Germany-based Syrian Manuel Charr, who gate-crashed the Haye-Chisora post-fight press conference to announce he would be prepared to fight Haye once he beats the WBC champion.
Haye, however, expects Vitali to prevail and hopes to face the Ukrainian later this year or in 2013.
“I held a version of the world heavyweight championship and I would like to regain a version of the world heavyweight championship,” Haye told a news conference.
“If Vitali beats this gentleman [Manuel Charr] I would love to challenge him for his title. If it’s not meant to be, so be it.
“If this was my last performance, I have gone out with a bang and everyone is happy. After a performance like that and him getting on, if you were one of his advisers you wouldn’t tell Vitali to fight me.
“I’ve proved my punching power against someone who pushed Vitali to the wire. It was a measuring stick to show how I performed against his last opponent.
“I would be very confident of beating Vitali.”
Vitali, 40, may well retire after facing Charr to pursue a full-time political career, which would leave Haye trying to convince Wladimir, 36, to give him a rematch.
Haye’s rediscovered his knockout power – he has stopped 24 of 25 opponents – against Chisora and was well ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with one judge scoring it 40-36 and the other two seeing it 39-37.
But Haye had to take some shots from Chisora, who kept marching forward until he was caught by a brilliant left hook in the fifth round. Another quick right sent Chisora stumbling backwards onto the canvas.
He got to his feet at the count of seven but after a ferocious onslaught, he was left open and Haye seized his chance with a swinging left hook to the jaw.
This time, referee Luis Pabon waved the contest over as Chisora sluggishly got to his feet.
But after the distasteful pre-fight trash-talk, which followed the pair’s punch-up at a press conference following Chisora’s point’s loss to Vitali in February, the two Londoners embraced in the ring.
Haye then paid tribute to Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who has lived in London since the age of 16.
“It was tough,” he said. “I thought it would be easier than it was but I trained for it to be tough. I trained for the best Dereck Chisora and that guy turned up.
“He stepped up a level here and took some amazing shots and landed some amazing shots. It felt like a great fight. After sharing the ring with Dereck I have a new-found respect for him.”
Chisora, 28, will pay Haye #20,000 for him to donate to a charity after the pair had a bet on their fight for the minor World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International heavyweight titles.
“For a split second I didn’t concentrate and it was the sort of shot that puts you down,” said Chisora.
“Vitali has not got power and isn’t interested in fighting anymore, so David probably wins.”