7/1 – Ring Magazine No. 1 Cruiserweight and WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk was announced as one of eight Cruiserweights in the World Boxing Super Series, the 16 man bracket-style elimination tournament that will take place in the Cruiserweight & Super Middleweight divisions. In all, five of the top 10 Ring Magazine rated Cruiserweights along with two of the other recognized World Champs will also participate, including Ring Magazine No. 2 & IBF Champ Murat Gassiev, Ring Magazine No. 4 & WBC Champ Mairis Briedis, Ring Magazine No. 7 Marco Huck, and Ring Magazine No. 10 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. The quarter-finals begin in September with the tournament finishing in May of 2018.

7/1 – Ring Magazine No. 7 Jr Welterweight Eduard Troyanovsky punished unrated Michele Di Rocco, stopping him at 2:18 of the fourth round at the Russia Concert Hall in Moscow, Russia. Troyanovsky was stunned early in round one, but ended up scoring a knockdown later in the round. Knockdowns ensued in the third and early in the fourth round, with Di Rocco rising each time. The fight was stopped shortly after the last knockdown, with Troyanovsky teeing off while Di Rocco was on the ropes. This was Troyanovsky’s first fight since his first career loss, a devastating first round KO to Julius Indongo last December when he lost his IBF Title.

7/1 – Ring Magazine No. 6 Jr Featherweight Diego De La Hoya won a 10 rd UD over unrated Alan Luques by the scores of 98-92 twice & 97-93 at Parque La Pedrera in Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina, Luques’ homeland. There was no drama in this one as De La Hoya was in control throughout. This was his fourth straight bout to go the distance.

7/1 – Ring Magazine No. 7 Jr Middleweight Michel Soro lost a 12 rd SD to unrated, but undefeated Brian Carlos Castaño by the scores of 113-115 twice & 116-112 at the Casino d’Evian, Evian les Bains, Haute-Savoie, France. Castaño won the early rounds, but seemed to tire in the middle rounds and it appeared Soro would get the stoppage. Castaño battled back and re-took control in the later rounds to pull off the upset. Soro lost for the first time in his last 13 fights. Castaño is the new interim WBA champ, with the real champ being Erislandy Lara.

pac horn

7/2 – Ring Magazine No. 4 Welterweight and WBO Champ Manny Pacquiao shockingly lost a disputed 12 round UD against unrated, but undefeated Jeff Horn by the scores of 117-111 and 115-113 twice at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Pacquiao was cut on both sides of his hair line from unintentional head butts. Horn was almost stopped after taking an all around beating in round nine, with referee in charge Mark Nelson said, “show me something,” in between rounds. Horn fought bravely down the stretch, arguably winning the last two rounds. The fight could easily have been scored four rounds apiece heading into the ninth. Pacquiao needed a total of 17 stitches to close his two cuts, while Horn needed seven for a cut over his right eye. The attendance was 51,052! Horn went the distance for the first time in four fights. Pacquiao had won five of six including back-to-back fights following his loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

7/2 – On the undercard of Pacquiao/Horn, Ring Magazine No. 8 and IBF Jr Bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas successfully defended his title for the second time, stopping unrated and undeserving Teiru Kinoshita with a body shot at 1:53 of the seventh round. Kinoshita was cut over the left eyelid from a punch in the second round and never posed a threat. All three judges had identical 60-54 scorecards at the time of the knockout. Ancajas has now taken on back-to-back suspect opponents since winning the title. Kinoshita hadn’t even fought in the division since 2014 and entered off a win over a fighter making his pro debut. Ancajas has now won 14 straight, 13 by KO.

7/5 – Ring Magazine No. 8 Jr Bantamweight Luis Concepcion knocked out unrated Luis De la Rosa at 1:34 of the second round at Fantastic Casino de Albrook Mall, Panama City, Panama. Concepcion lost the WBA Jr Bantamweight title at the scale before losing a 12 round to Khalid Yafai last December. Concepcion had won 12 of 13 prior to the loss.

7/8 – The World Boxing Super Series announced the first round of matchups that will take place in the Cruiserweight & Super Middleweight divisions. The fights will take place in September and October.

7/9 – Ring Magazine No. 5 Cruiserweight and WBA Champion Denis Lebedev successfully defended his title for the first time with a 12 rd UD by the scores of 120-107 and 119-108 twice over unrated Mark Flanagan at DIVS in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Flanagan survived a ninth round knockdown from a body shot. Lebedev was elevated to full WBA Champion last May when he also won the IBF title. He entered off a 12 rd SD loss to current No. 2 rated Murat Gassiev last December, but only the IBF title was at stake. He’s now won five of six. Flanagan was fighting for the first time outside his native Australia and had his 11 fight win streak snapped.

Berchelt Miura7/15 – In a battle of top five Jr Lightweights, Ring Magazine No. 4 and WBC Champ Miguel Berchelt successfully defended his title for the first time with a 12 rd UD over No. 5 Takashi Miura by the scores of 120-109, 119-108, and 116-111 at the Forum in Inglewood, Ca. Berchelt scored a knockdown in the first round and both fighters had heated exchanges throughout with Berchelt getting the better results. Berchelt has now won 11 straight since his lone loss in 2014. Miura has lost two of his last four fights, with both losses coming in World Title bouts.

7/15 – On the undercard of Berchelt/Miura, Ring Magazine No. 3 Jr Lightweight and WBA champ Jezreel Corrales successfully made the third defense of his title with a 10 round TD against unrated, yet tough Robinson Castellanos by the scores of 96-92, 94-93, and 94-94. Corrales was dropped twice in the fourth round, yet neither knockdown appeared to seriously hurt the undefeated Panamanian, who scored a knockdown of his own in the seventh round. The fight was stopped after an accidental head clash caused a bad cut on Castellanos. There were numerous head clashes throughout with Castellanos being on the worse end, but Corrales was also bleeding from a cut caused by a punch in the third round. Corrales has now had back-to-back decision wins after stopping his six prior opponents. Castellanos lost for the second time in his last five fights.

barrera smith7/15 – Also on the undercard of Berchelt/Miura, In a battle of top 10 Light Heavyweights, Ring Magazine No. 8 Sullivan Barrera won a 10 round UD over No. 5 Joe Smith by the scores of 97-92 twice and 96-93. Barrera tasted the canvas late in the first round from a left hook, but shook off the knockdown and was in control the rest of the way. It was revealed afterward that Smith fought through a broken jaw suffered in the second round. Smith had his 17 fight winning streak snapped. Barrera has now won three straight since his lone loss, a 12 round UD against current Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Champion and No. 1 Pound for Pound Andre Ward. His previous eight wins had all come by stoppage.

7/15 – Ring Magazine No. 9 Light Heavyweight Marcus Browne stopped unrated, but undefeated Sean Monoghan at :40 of the second round. Browne scored a knockdown in the first round and referee in charge Steve Willis halted the one-sided contest, saving Monoghan from a severe beating. Browne, a 2012 US Olympian, has now stopped four of his last five foes.

Eubank-Jr courtesy PA

Courtesy of PA

7/15 – Unrated Chris Eubank Jr won a 12 round UD over Ring Magazine No. 7 Super Middleweight Arthur Abraham by the scores of 120-108 and 118-110 twice at the SSE Arena in London. Abraham made the 168 pound limit at yesterdays weigh-in after initially coming in two pounds heavy. The 37 year old German based Armenian looked every bit his age and fought mostly defensively. Eubank had been rated No. 6 in the Middleweight division by Ring Magazine when the fight was announced. With the win Eubank secured the final spot in the World Boxing Super Series. Abraham lost for just the second time in his last 12 fights. Eubank had his six straight KO streak snapped and was fighting a second straight time as a Super Middleweight. He’s now won seven straight overall since his lone loss in 2014.

7/15 – On the undercard of Abraham/Eubank, Ring Magazine No. 4 Featherweight and IBF Champ Lee Selby successfully defended his title for a third time with a 12 round UD over unrated Jonathan Victor Barros by the scores of 119-108 and 117-110 twice. Selby was never in trouble and scored a knockdown in the twelfth round from a left hook. He was cut over the right eye after a clash of heads in round five, but it didn’t affect the fight. Selby has won 21 straight since his lone loss, a four round decision in 2009. Originally this fight was to take place on Jan 27th but the fight was cancelled the day prior because Barros failed to submit is medical records to the Nevada commission.

7/15 – Ring Magazine No. 2 Strawweight and WBA Champ Knockout CP Freshmart aka Thammanoon Niyomtrong successfully defended his title for the third time with a 12 round UD by the scores of 117-110 twice and 115-113 over unrated unrated Rey Loreto in Thailand. Niyomtrong has gone the distance in four of his last five fights.

7/17 – Former IBF Featherweight and IBF Jr Lightweight World Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero announced his retirement. Guerrero was dropped five times and stopped for the 1st time in his career on July 15th against Omar Figueroa. Guerrero ends his career with a record of 33-6-1 with 18 KO’s. He lost five of his last seven bouts, all in the Welterweight division.

7/19 – Former undisputed Middleweight World Champion and 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist Jermain Taylor was arrested and charged on three counts including first degree terrorist threatening after allegedly biting and threatening to kill his girlfriend. He was already on probation at the time of the arrest. Taylor last fought in 2014 and has a record of 33-4-1, 20 KO’s.

7/20 – Former WBO Heavyweight World Champion Shannon Briggs was suspended for six months by the World Boxing Association after a positive doping test conducted on May 14th. His suspension will end on November 13th.

kyaguchi7/23 – In a battle of Top 10 Strawweights, Ring Magazine No. 8 Hiroto Kyoguchi won the IBF title with a 12 round UD over No. 4 Jose Argumedo by the scores of 116-111 twice and 115-112 at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Argumedo survived a ninth round knockdown as he was attempting to defend his title for a fourth time. Kyoguchi has now gone the distance in back-to-back fights after stopping his first six foes. He made his pro debut just 15 months ago. Argumedo had his six fight winning streak snapped and lost for just the second time in his last 14 fights.

7/23 – On the undercard of Argumedo/Kyoguchi, Ring Magazine No. 3 and WBA Jr Flyweight champ Ryoichi Taguchi successfully defended his title for the sixth time, stopping unrated Robert Barrera at 24 seconds of the ninth round. Taguchi was in complete control from the outset as Barrera showed his heart by refusing to go down. Taguchi is unbeaten in 19 of his last 20 fights.

7/26 – Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury speculated his retirement via an Instagram message. Fury hasn’t fought since winning the Ring Magazine, WBA, IBF, and WBO titles over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. He stayed out of the ring in 2016 due to well publicized battles with depression, alcohol, and drug use. He was stripped of all the titles except the Ring Magazine belt after being unable to defend them last year. Fury has a record of 25-0, with 18 knockouts.

7/27 – Former WBC/WBO Jr Welterweight and WBO Welterweight World Champion Timothy Bradley has decided to retire. His last fight was a 12 round UD loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2016, therefore making him eligible for the IBHOF in 2021. He finished with a record of 33-2-1, 13 KO’s.

kimura vs shiming7/28 – Unrated Sho Kimura pulled off a shocking upset, stopping Ring Magazine No. 5 Flyweight and WBO Champ Zou Shiming at 2:28 of the 11th rd at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, in Shanghai, China. An accidental head butt in the third round left Kimura bleeding badly above his right eye, but he wasn’t deterred and dropped Shiming in the 11th. Shiming, making the first defense of his title, was able to get to his feet, but was in no shape to continue. Shiming was up on two of the three judges scorecards at the time of the stoppage, 97-93, 96-94 and 94-96. Shiming, a three-time World Amateur Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, had his three fight win streak snapped. It was his first fight since leaving Top Rank and trainer Freddie Roach. Since losing his pro debut, Kimura is now unbeaten over his last 17 fights, stopping eight of nine.

7/29 – Ring Magazine No. 1 Lightweight and WBC Champ Mikey Garcia moved up to Jr Welterweight and won a 12 round UD over unrated, but former four division titlist Adrien Broner by the scores of 117-111 and 116-112 twice at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. Garcia was in complete control throughout with Broner offering little resistance. After taking two and half years away from the sport due to management issues, Garcia has now fought three times in the last 12 months. He went the distance for just the second time in his last 15 fights.

7/29 – On the Garcia/Broner undercard, Ring Magazine No. 5 Bantamweight Rau’shee Warren moved down to Jr Bantamweight and won a 12 round UD over Ring Mag No. 9 Jr Bantamweight McJoe Arroyo by the scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice, becoming the mandatory challenger for IBF Champion & Ring Magazine No. 7 Jerwin Ancajas. Warren simply out-boxed Arroyo in a matchup between former Olympians and World Titlists. Warren won for just the second time in his last four fights, however both his losses have been in world title bouts. This was his first fight as a Jr Bantamweight. Arroyo has now lost back to back decisions.

7/30 – Two of the Ring Magazines current top 10 Jr Lightweights announced their retirement. No. 6 Takashi Uchiyama and No. 9 Takashi Miura, both from Japan, were also both former titleholders. Uchiyama held the WBA Jr Lightweight title for a Japanese record six years and three months, successfully defending the title 11 times. His only two losses were in his final two fights. The 37 year old retires with a record of 24-2-1, 20 KO’s. His last fight was in 2016, making him eligible for the IBHOF in 2021. Miura held the WBC Jr Lightweight title for just over two and half years, making four successful defenses. Three of his four losses were in World Title bouts. The 33 year old retires with a record of 31-4-2, 24 KO’s. His last fight was on July 15th.

7/30 – Ring Magazine No. 8 Jr Lightweight Tevin Farmer was shot in his right hand during a family gathering after a dispute arose. The bullet went straight through without causing any major damage to the hand. He received stitches and is expected to make a full recovery. Farmer last fought on April 29th. After winning just seven of his first twelve fights, he’s won 18 straight.

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Campos_Jake14BU2

Last year the Iowa State Cyclones had zero returning starters on the offensive line, but still managed to rush for 163 yards per game while averaging 4.3 yards per carry and allowed 10 less sacks than in 2015.

Entering the season they figured to have one starter back in left tackle Jake Campos, who had started 23 games the previous two years. Unfortunately, Campos broke his leg in August and was lost for the entire year.

Fast forward to 2017 and the Cyclones are in much better shape as Campos returns as does starting right tackle Julian Good-Jones, who will likely move to center.

Campos was Iowa State’s top high school recruit in their 2013 class and arguably their most decorated under former head coach Paul Rhoads. He played in the US Army All-American game and was a First Team All-Iowa selection as a senior. College football expert Phil Steele rated him as the No. 31 offensive lineman in the nation.

After red-shirting his first year in Ames, Campos added 19 pounds and started the last 11 games in 2014.  He started all 12 games in 2015 when the Cyclones averaged 182 rushing yards per game, their most since 2001.

Campos is now listed at 6’8” 305 pounds. The Senior was held out of spring practices, but will be back to participating in fall camp. Steele listed him as a Third Team Preseason Big 12 selection in his annual preview magazine, nicknamed “The College Football Bible.”

barnes

The last running back that ran for over 1,000 yards for the Kansas State Wildcats was John Hubert in 2013, with 1,048.

Since then, the leading running back has had 540 yards in 2014, 692 yards in 2015, and 596 yards last year.

The leading returnee is 5’10” 198 pound Junior Justin Silmon, who had 464 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2016.

The natural assumption would be that he would take over the lead role this year, but that honor will belong to Alex Barnes.

After rushing for 2,361 yards and 38 touchdowns as a high school Senior, Barnes picked up his second straight Conference Offensive Player of the Year award. College Football expert Phil Steele had Barnes rated as the No. 106 running back out of high school. He graduated early and arrived in Manhattan before the spring practices in 2015, but still red-shirt his initial year.

The 6’1” 221 Sophomore had just 56 carries as a red-shirt Freshman last year, but his 7.9 yards per carry average was the best ever under head coach Bill Snyder (now entering his 26th season) and led the Big 12 Conference.

Barnes was the first freshman in school history with back-to-back 100 yard games (versus Baylor and Kansas) and was never tackled behind the line of scrimmage. He missed the last two games due to injury, but was the healthiest since he arrived this spring.

He reads schemes well, sees daylight, and is aggressive. He’s also an extremely hard worker.

Quarterback Jessie Ertz ran for 1,012 yards last year, but will likely see his carries scaled back as he is coming off shoulder surgery. The Wildcats return four starters on their offensive line and Steele named Barnes pre-season fourth team Big 12 entering the 2017 campaign. There’s no reason to think he won’t earn that assuming he stays healthy.

 

willgrier3

The West Virginia Mountaineers have had plenty of offensive firepower under head coach Dana Holgorsen. In his six years at the helm, the Mountaineers have averaged less than 30 points per game just once, while averaging 294 passing yards per game in that span.

West Virginia will have a new signal caller under center  this season after Skyler Howard started all 26 games the last two years.

6’2” 204 pound junior Will Grier will take over the reigns after sitting out last year when he transferred from Florida.

Grier was the Parade National Player of the Year after totaling 4,989 yards and a nation high 77 touchdowns his senior year. College football expert Phil Steele had Grier rated the No. 3 quarterback out of high school.

After red-shirting in 2014 for the Gators, Grier won the job by the middle of the 2015 spring practices. He went on to play in six games, starting five, and threw for 1,204 yards (66 percent) with a 10-3 touchdown to interception ratio. Unfortunately, an ingredient in an over the counter supplement triggered a positive PED test and Grier was handed a one year suspension by the NCAA in October.

Grier has lived in the film room since his arrival in Morgantown. He has outstanding accuracy and can make all the throws due to his strong arm. He’s also an underrated scrambler and is more dangerous in the quarterback run game than given credit.

With the Mountaineers far less experienced than last year, Grier will have to take control of an offense that has just five returning starters, including just two on the offensive line. West Virginia must also replace its top two receivers.

Provided he stays healthy Grier will throw for over 3,000 yards and should be able to lead the Mountaineers to a fourth straight bowl game.

Cobbs_AA WR Top Unit Page

When Simmie Cobbs signed to play at Indiana in 2014, he was their No. 17 overall rated recruit out of 26 signees. He was considered the third best receiver in the signing class behind top overall recruit Dominique Booth and J-Shun Harris.

All three played all 12 games as true freshman with Harris having the most production, starting six games and being named the teams “Offensive Newcomer Player of the Year.”

Cobbs was considered intriguing, started twice, and his 16.3 yards per catch average led the team. Former head coach Kevin Wilson said the then 6’4” 210 pounder was, “Physically more mature than the other receivers.”

Booth didn’t start any games and had just 70 yards.

Cobbs enhanced his stock over the off-season and was named the Hoosiers most improved player after the 2015 spring practice. He stepped up as a leader over the summer and took on additional pressure after both Harris and Booth were lost for the year during fall camp due to injuries.

While he had some troubling drops, Cobbs went on to earn Third Team Big Ten honors after leading Indiana in catches and yards. His 1,035 yards were third best in the conference, while his 60 catches ranked eighth.

Last year Booth was medically disqualified due to concussions, while Harris was again lost for the year due to an ACL injury.

Cobbs missed the opener, but started versus Ball State in game two. Unfortunately, he then suffered an ankle injury and was lost for the year, finishing with zero catches.

Cobbs and Harris are both expected to be 100 percent by the fall. Cobbs is now 220 pounds and earned the “Outstanding Special Teams” award after Spring practices. While not a burner, he has a big catch radius and attacks the ball.

So much is thought of of Cobbs, that college football expert Phil Steele made him a preseason First Team All-Big Ten selection.

New offensive coordinator Mike DeBord did a fine job at Tennessee the last two years and returns to the Big Ten, where he served as a Michigan assistant for 11 years.

Quarterback Richard Lagow returns to lead the offense and look for Cobbs to emerge as his favorite target.

 

jalen

Northwestern must replace two of it’s three leading receivers from last year, including Phil Steele’s Third Team All-American Austin Carr. The leading returnee is Flynn Nagel, who had 40 catches for 447 yards in 2016.

Carr was the lone Big Ten player that had over 1,000 receiving yards last year, but his loss won’t be as big as expected.

Joining the Wildcats over the off-season was Jalen Brown, a 6’1” 200 Junior grad transfer from Oregon. Brown was rated as the No. 17 receiver in the nation out of high school according to Steele’s rankings.

Carr had just 23 career receptions before breaking out last year, and Brown enters this season with 26 career receptions. Both are the exact same size. Brown is described as being explosive and made six starts for the Ducks last year.

Despite not playing a down for Northwestern, Brown was named a 2017 preseason second team Big Ten selection by Phil Steele.

6/3 – Ring Mag #3 & WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson made his 8th defense of his title against unrated Andrzej Fonfara, stopping him at :28 of the 2nd round at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Stevenson dropped Fonfara in the 1st round and then when the 2nd round started and Fonfora had no answers for the Stevenson onslaught, trainer Virgil Hill stepped on the ring apron signaling for referee in charge Michael Griffin to wave off the bout. This was a rematch from 2014, when Stevenson won a 12 rd UD. Stevenson has now stopped 4 of his last 5 foes, including 3 straight.

6/3 – On the undercard of Stevenson/Fonfora, Ring Mag #4 Light Heavyweight Eleider Alvarez won a 12 rd MD over unrated Jean Pascal by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 & 114-114. There were no knockdowns, but there were several heated exchanges throughout. Pascal mostly waited until near the end of each round to try to steal it on the judges scorecards and it worked on 1. Alvarez has gone the distance in 5 of his last 6 and remains the #1 contender for WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson.

6/3 – Ring Mag #1 Strawweight and WBC Champ Wanheng Menayothin aka Chayaphon Moonsri successfully defended his title for the 7th time with a 12 rd UD over unrated Omari Kimweri in Thailand. Menayothin was cut over the left eye from an accidental headbutt in the 1st round, which resulted in a point deduction for Kimweri. It appeared that Kimweri then scored a knockdown at the end of the 1st round, but the referee ruled it a slip. It was all Menayothin from there as he controlled the remainder of the fight. This was his 5 straight fight that has gone the distance.

6/7 – Ring Mag #7 Middleweight Avtandil Khurtsidze was arrested in New York on racketeering & fraud charges in connection with a Russian crime mob. He was scheduled to take on #4 & WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders on July 8th. That fight is now postponed as Khurtsidze is unable to travel.

6/9 – Ring Mag #5 Jr Welterweight Regis Prograis crushed formerly undefeated Joel Diaz at 2:55 of the 2nd rd. Prograis dropped Diaz 4 times in the round and ref in charge Mark Nelson had no choice but to halt the action. Prgrais has now stopped 13 of his last 14 foes, including 5 straight. Diaz suffered his 1st loss in 24 fights.

Skysports.com

6/10 – Ring Mag #3 Bantamweight & IBF Champ Lee Haskins lost his title by 12 rd UD to unrated, but undefeated Ryan Burnett at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland by the scores of 119-107 twice & 118-108. Burnett dropped Haskins twice, once in the rd 6 & again in rd 11. Originally the bout was scored as a SD victory, but was later overturned as 1 of the judges had the fighters mixed up on his scorecard. Burnett’s last 6 fights have gone the distance & this is his 1st World Title. Haskins had his 8 fight winning streak snapped.

 

6/10 – Ring Mag #6 Strawweight Simphiwe Khonco easily won a non descript 12 rd UD over unrated Lito Dante at Emperors Palace in South Africa by the scores of 119-109 twice & 118-110. Khonco dominated from the outset. Khonco has now won 12 of 13, including 3 straight since his last loss, a 12 rd ud to current Ring Mag #9 Jr Flyweight Hekkie Budler for the WBA Staweight title. 6 of his last 7 wins have been by decision. Dante lost just once in his previous four fights and had beaten solid competition of late.

6/11 – Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera, Johnny Tapia, Jimmy Lennon Sr, Eddie Booker, Jerry Roth, Barry Tompkins, Steve Farhood & Johnny Lewis were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. Barrera was a world champion in 3 divisions: Jr Featherweight, Featherweight, & Jr Lightweight. He retired with a record of 67-7, 44 KO’s. Holyfield was a US Bronze Medalist in the 1984 Olympics before becoming a World Champion in 2 divisions: Cruiserweight & Heavyweight. He retired with a record of 44-10-2, 29 KO’s. Tapia was a World Champion in 3 divisions: Jr Bantamweight, Bantamweight & Featherweight. He retired with a record of 59-5-2, 30 KO’s & passed away on 5-27-12 due to heart problems.

6/11 – Twenty-five year old Featherweight Daniel “Twitch” Franco is comatosed and in critical condition following emergency surgery to stop brain bleeds after being knocked-out by Jose Haro on a CBS Sports Network televised bout at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

6/13 – Ring Mag #10 Flyweight Takuya Kogawa lost a 10 rd SD to unrated Masayuki Kuroda at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan by the scores of 96-93, 95-94 & 94-95. Kogawa was dropped in the 1st rd from a left hook and the action was back and forth from then on. Kuroda has now won 4 of his last 5, including 3 straight. Kogawa had his 6 fight win streak snapped. This was a rematch from last March when Kogawa won a 10 rd UD. Is there a trilogy in order?

6/15 – Ring Mag #2 Heavyweight & WBC Champ Deontay Wilder was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

6/17 – Ring Mag #6 Middleweight Avtandil Khurtsidze was stripped of his interim WBO World Title following his arrest last week. Ring Mag #4 Billy Joe Saunders is the real WBO Middleweight World Champion.

HBO Boxing

6/17 – The top 2 fighters in the Ring Mag pound for pound rankings & Light Heavyweight rankings squared off with WBA, IBF & WBO World Champion Andre Ward scoring a TKO at 2:29 of the 8th rd over Sergey Kovalev at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada in a direct rematch from their fight last November. Ward also became the Ring Magazine World Light Heavyweight Champion. Like their 1st bout, this fight ended with controversy as referee in charge Tony Weeks stopped the bout after Ward landed a blatant low blow. Kovalev was hurt badly and reeling from a counter right that landed on his chin when Ward landed four consecutive left hand body shots, the last clearly low. Kovalev had success early with his jab, but Ward looked stronger in the middle rounds. At the time of the stoppage Ward led 67-66 on 2 of the judges scorecards, with the 3rd judge having Kovalev ahead 68-65. Afterward Ward and his trainer mentioned moving up to heavyweight to take on current Ring Mag #1, IBF, & WBA World Champion Anthony Joshua. Kovalev was frustrated with the outcome at the post-fight press conference and his promoter, Main Events, said they would file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Their initial fight was an extremely close encounter last November, when Ward won a disputed 12 rd UD. The Ring Magazine Title had been vacant since Nov ’15 when Adonis Stevenson was stripped for lack of quality opposition.

6/17 – On the undercard of Ward/Kovalev, Ring Mag #7 pound for pound, #1 Jr Featherweight & WBA Champ Guillermo Rigondeaux and Ring Mag #6 Moises Flores fought to a no-contest after Rigondeaux was initially awarded a 1st rd TKO win. Rigondeaux landed a knockout shot just after the 1st rd bell sounded and the Nevada commission overturned the initial ruling. Rigondeaux was making the 8th defense of his title, while Flores was the interim WBA titleholder.

6/17 – Also on the undercard of Ward/Kovalev, Ring Mag #10 Light Heavyweight Dmitry Bivol stopped unrated Cedric Agnew at 1:27 of the 4th rd. Bivol scored a knockdown in the opening stanza & although Agnew rose & continued on, he could withstand no more and indicated to ref in charge Russell Mora that he was done. The undefeated Bivol is the WBA ‘regular’ champion, but Andre Ward is the real champion of the Organization.

6/17 – Ring Mag #8 Super Middleweight Tyron Zeuge won a 12 rd UD over unrated Paul Smith at Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Hessen, Germany with all 3 judges turning in identical 119-108 scorecards. Zeuge scored a knockdown in the 12th rd. The undefeated Zeuge has now gone the distance in 4 of his last 5 wins. Zeuge holds the ‘regular’ WBA World Title, but George Groves is the real champion of the Organization.

6/24 – Ring Mag #6 Cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki stopped unrated, but undefeated Hizni Altunkaya when Altunkaya failed to come out for the 6th rd at the Ergo Arena in in Gdansk, Poland. Glowacki scored a knockdown in the 2nd rd & 2 more in the 5th round. It was his 1st fight since his 1st career loss when he lost the WBO title via 12 rd UD to current Ring Mag #1 & WBO Champ Olksandr Usyk last Sept.

6/26 – Former two division World Champion Beibut Shumenov announced his retirement due to an eye injury suffered shortly prior to his last fight in May of ’15. He was to fight later this month, but the eye wouldn’t heal. Shumenov held the WBA world Title at both Light Heavyweight & Cruiserweight. He retires with a record of 17-2, 11 KO’s. Each of his losses were by close decisions in World Title bouts.

Premier Boxing Champions

6/30 – In a battle of top 5 Lightweights, Ring Mag #3 & IBF Champion Robert Easter successfully defended his title for the 2nd time with a 12 rd UD over Ring Mag #4 Denis Shafikov by the scores of 120-108 twice & 116-112 at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio. The fight was closer to the 116-112 score, but there was no doubt that Easter’s length was a huge advantage. His last 3 fights have gone the distance. Shafikov had won 5 of 6 entering and each of his 3 losses have all come in World Title bouts.

Chris James

Wisconsin has produced a 1,000 yard running back 11 of last 12 years.  The Badgers head into 2017 having to replace their top two leading rushers from a year ago. Their leading returnee is sophomore Bradrick Shaw, who had 457 rushing yards. Junior Taiwan Deal has 667 career rushing yards, but underwent ankle surgery over the off season. While either would be a logical choice to take over as the feature back, there’s another player that will likely assume the role.

Chris James ran for 690 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry over 23 games for Pitt in 2014-’15. As part of head coach Paul Chryst’s last recruiting class with the Panthers, James played in every game as a true freshman, rushing for 437 yards, while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He transferred to Wisconsin last year, playing on the practice squad during the season.

The 5’10” 216 pound junior has been compared to 2016 first team Big Ten running back Corey Clement. He has speed and quickness to make big plays in the open field, while also being sturdy enough to run between the tackles. He’s powerfully built and shifty. Despite just eight career receptions, he has the skill-set to accumulate more and is stout in picking up the blitz.

James should benefit from an offensive line that loses just 1 starter. College football expert Phil Steele said this was by far Wisconsin’s best offensive line since Chryst took over as head coach in 2015 and right guard Beau Benzschawel and center Michael Deiter each made Steele’s preseason All Big-Ten team.

It shouldn’t be a surprise if James rushes for the most yards in a season by a Badger under Chryst, provided he stays healthy. It also shouldn’t be a surprise if James is the Big Ten’s leading rusher at seasons end.

lee

Tanner Lee courtesy of AP

Of the 14 teams in the Big Ten, eight have returning starters at the quarterback position for the 2017 season. While names like JT Barrett, Trace McSorley, and Wilton Speight are well known, there’s another player that has a chance to outshine them all.

Tanner Lee is expected to win the Nebraska job, taking over for four year starter Tommy Armstrong. Huskers head coach Mike Riley favors a pass oriented offense and Lee fits the mold much better than Armstrong did.

Lee transferred to Nebraska last year from Tulane and ran the offense on the scout team. He started 19 games with the Green Wave, and while his numbers weren’t overwhelming (54%, 23-21 ratio) the talent surrounding him now is far superior.

Following his appearance at the Manning Passing Academy in the summer of 2015, Archie Manning gave him the ultimate compliment, saying he “Put (Jared) Goff to shame. No comparison.” Goff would later become the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Lee worked with famed quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr this past off-season and entered spring practices 15 pounds heavier. He’s now listed at 6’4” 220 pounds. Lee has an NFL level delivery, gets rid of the ball quick, and has a very strong knowledge of Riley’s pro-style offense.

Provided he stays healthy, Lee should put up the most passing yards by a Husker quarterback since at least 2008, when Joe Ganz threw for 3,568 yards. College football expert Phil Steele tabbed Lee as a pre-season 3rd Team Big Ten selection. Nebraska is also a legitimate contender in the Big Ten West Division, thus giving Lee additional exposure and for those that aren’t familiar with his talent level, surely will know about him by seasons end.

 

5/5 – Ring Mag #6 Strawweight Riku Kanu was knocked out by unrated Jerry Tomogdan at 1:56 of the 6th round at the Bunka Center in Japan. Kanu was dropped in the 4th round and again in the 6th. Tomogdon entered the fight with 8 losses and had only won 4 of his last 9 bouts.

5/6 – Ring Mag #8 Lb 4 LB & Middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez dominated unrated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in a fight that failed to live up to the hype of former Mexican vs Mexican action packed affairs. The fight took place at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV at a catchweight of 164.5 lbs with Alvarez winning a 12 rd UD by the scores of 120-108 across the board. Chavez Jr simply failed to throw enough punches, while Alvarez had no trouble landing at will. The crowd booed Chavez Jr’s effort. Alvarez has now won 7 straight since his lone loss, a 12 rd UD vs Floyd Mayweather in 2013. After the fight GGG made his ringwalk with his ring entrance playing and it was announced that GGG vs Canelo will take place on September 16th at a site to be determined.

5/6 – On the undercard of Alvarez/Chavez Jr, Ring Mag #3 Middleweight David Lemieux won a 10 rd UD over unrated, but game Marco Reyes by the scores of 99-90 twice and 99-91. Lemieux landed power shots throughout the match that would have stopped most opponents, but Reyes was simply too tough for his own good. Lemieux has now won 13 of 14 including 4 straight since his last loss in 2015 to GGG.

5/6 – Also on the undercard of Alvarez/Chavez Jr, Ring Mag #8 Featherweight Joseph Diaz handed unrated Manuel Avila his 1st defeat by 10 rd UD by the scores of 100-90 & 99-91 twice. Diaz, a 2012 US Olympian, was in control throughout and has now gone the distance in B2B fights.

5/6 – Ring Mag #6 Heavyweight & WBO Champ Joseph Parker successfully defended his title for the 1st time, defeating unrated unrated Razvan Cojanu by 12 rd UD by the scores of 119-108 & 117-110 twice at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker was in control throughout against his former sparring partner, who took the fight on 2 weeks’ notice after Parker’s original opponent, Hughie Fury, withdrew after a back injury during training. The undefeated Parker has now gone the distance in B2B fights.

5/9 – The World Boxing Super Series announced that the Cruiserweight and Super Middleweight divisions will be featured in the tournament that will get underway in September.

5/13 – Ring Mag #6 & WBA Jr Bantamweight champ Khalid Yafai made a successful 1st defense of his title, winning a 12 rd UD over unrated Suguru Muranaka by the scores of 119-107 twice & 118-108 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, West Midland UK. Yafei scored a knockdown in the 2nd round, but Muranaka was able to rise and last the distance. Yafai has now gone 12 rds in B2B fights after having won 5 of his last 6 prior inside the distance. Muranaka was fighting for the 1st time outside of Japan and his 19 fight win streak snapped.

5/13 – James Toney, the former IBF Middleweight, IBF Super Middleweight, and IBF Cruiserweight World Champion announced his retirement following a 6th rd KO at the Eastern Michigan Convocation Center. The future Hall of Famer has a record of 77-10-3, with 47 KO’s and was never stopped.

5/18 – Ring Mag #6 Jr Featherweight Diego De La Hoya won a nondescript 10 rd UD over unrated Erik Ruiz at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona by the scores of 100-90 twice & 99-91. The outcome was never in doubt as De La Hoya was far superior. His last 3 fights have gone the distance.

5/19 – Ring Mag #1 Welterweight, WBA & WBC champion Keith Thurman had surgery recently on his right elbow to remove calcium deposits and will be out for the remainder of the year.

5/20 – Ring Mag #5 pound for pound, Ring Mag, WBC & WBO Jr Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford successfully defended his Ring Mag & WBC titles for the 2nd time and his WBO title for the 5th time when he stopped unrated 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz at Madison Square Garden in New York. Crawford was in control throughout and Diaz’s face was badly swollen and he was having trouble seeing, causing his corner to throw in the towel following the 10th round. Crawford has now stopped 5 of his last 6 foes including B2B opponents.

5/20 – On the undercard of Crawford/Diaz, Ring Mag #10 Lightweight Reymundo Beltran stopped unrated Jonathan Maicelo at 1:25 of the 2nd round. An off-balance Beltran was dropped in the 1st round, but a left hook upstairs knocked Maicelo out cold, and he was taken from the ring on a stretcher. Beltran has now won 4 straight, all by knockout.

5/20 – Ring Mag #6 Jr Lightweight & IBF champ Gervonta Davis successfully defended his title for the 1st time, stopping unrated, but undefeated Liam Walsh at 2:11 of the 3rd rd at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. The 1st 2 round were merely feeling out, but Davis’ power was too much for Walsh to overcome in front of his home town crowd. A left upstairs dropped Walsh, who rose on unsteady legs, and Davis’ follow up attack prompted referee in charge Michael Alexander. Davis recorded his 9th straight knockout.

5/20 – Ring Mag #2 Featherweight & champ Gary Russell Jr successfully defended his title for the 2nd time with a 7th rd TKO over unrated Oscar Escandon at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. Russell scored a knockdown in the 3rd round and had Escandon hurt and vulnerable in the 7th, when referee in charge Harvey Dock intervened and stopped the contest at :59 into the round. Russell has now won 4 straight since his lone loss to Vasyl Lomachenko in 2014, with 3 straight KO’s.

5/20 – On the undercard of Russell/Oscandon, Ring Mag #4 Super Middleweight Andre Dirrell won the interim IBF title after beating unrated Jose Uzcategui by DQ. Uzcategui landed a hook that dropped Dirrell a split second after the 8th round bell sounded and referee in charge Bill Clancy decided on the DQ, rather than go to the scorecards, which had Uzcategui up by the scores of 77-75, 77-74, & 76-76. Chaos ensued afterward when Dirrell’s uncle sucker punched Uzcategui in the ring after Andre had came over and told Uzcategui that he forgave him for hitting him late. Uzcategui appeared to in motion when the bell sounded so the punch that dropped Dirrell was unintentional. Dirrell has now won 8 of 9 including B2B fights since his last loss, a 12 rd UD to current Ring Mag #1 Super Middleweight & IBF champ James Degale. Uzcategui had his 4 fight win streak snapped, but should be entitled to a rematch due to the controversy surrounding the ending.

5/20 – Ring Mag #4 Jr Flyweight & WBO Champ Kosei Tanaka successfully made the 1st defense of his title with a 12 rd UD over unrated, but undefeated Angel Acosta by the scores of 117-110 twice and 116-111 at Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. It was a hard fought win for Tanaka, who scored a knockdown in the 5th round. The decision win snapped a 3 fight KO streak as he has now stopped 5 of his last 7 foes. The Puerto Rican Acosta had stopped all 16 of his prior foes.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

5/20 – In a battle of Top 10 Middleweights, Ring Mag #8 Hassan N’Dam won a highly controversial 12 rd SD over #9 Ryota Murata by the scores of 116-111, 115-112 & 110-117 at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan. N’Dam was dropped near the end of the 4th, which was the only knockdown of the fight. N’Dam holds the interim WBA title (GGG is the real champ) and WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza issued an immediate apology to the Murata team and is demanding a direct rematch. N’Dam has now won 9 of 10 including 5 straight since his last loss, in 2015 to David Lemiuex. Murata, the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, lost for the 1st time and was a 2.5:1 favorite. The two judges that scored the bout for N’Dam were suspended for 6 months by the WBA.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

5/20 – On the undercard of N’Dam/Murata in a battle of top 10 Flyweights, Ring Mag #10 Juan Hernandez was set to make the 1st defense of his WBC title, but was stripped for failing to make weight against #7 Daigo Higa. The title was thus only at stake for Higa, who stopped Hernandez at 2:58 of the 6th rd. Higa scored a knockdown in the 2nd round and dropped Hernandez 4 times in the 6th. Higa has now stopped all 13 of his foes. Hernandez lost for the 1st time since 2011.

 

 

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

 

5/20 – Also on the undercard of N’Dam/Murata, in the 3rd fight between top 10 fighters, Ring Mag #3 Jr Flyweight and WBC Champ Ganigan Lopez lost a 12 rd MD to #10 Ken Shiro by the scores of 115-113 twice and 114-114. This was just Shiro’s 10th pro fight. Lopez had his 3 fight win streak snapped as he lost for just the 2nd time in his last 10 fights.

 

 

5/20 – Ring Mag #10 Featherweight Jorge Lara ran over unrated Mario Briones, stopping him at :58 of the 3rd rd at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Tx. Lara was off over a year layoff, as he was shot in the leg during an attempted robbery last year. This was his 4th straight stoppage and he’s stopped 9 of his last 10 overall.

5/21 – Ring Mag #10 Lb 4 Lb, #1 Jr Bantamweight & WBO Champ Naoya Inoue successfully defended his title for the 5th time, stopping unrated Ricardo Rodriguez at 1:08 of the 3rd round at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan. Naoya scored two knockdowns in the 3rd round, the last from a counter left hook that resulted in Rodriguez being counted out. Naoya has now stopped 8 of his last 9 foes, including 3 straight.

5/21 – On the undercard of Inoue/Rodriguez, in a matchup between Top 10 Jr Flyweights, Ring Mag #8 Milan Melindo won the IBF title after stopping Ring Mag #2 Akira Yaegashi at 2:45 of the 1st round. Melindo dropped Yaegashi three times, the first two from left hooks. After the 3rd knockdown, referee in charge Eddie Hernandez immediately waved off the contest. Melindo has now won 7 of 8 including 4 straight since his last loss, a 6 rd TD in 2015. His only 2 losses have come in World Title bouts. Yaegashi had his 5 fight win streak snapped.

 

 

5/23 – Ring Mag #8 Straweight Simphiwe Khonco will take on unrated Melvin Jerusalem at Emperor’s Palace in South Africa. Khonco is off a 12 rd UD over Nkosinathi Joyi last November. He’s won 11 of 12 incl B2B since his last loss, a 12 rd UD vs current Ring Mag #9 Jr Flyweight Hekkie Budler in a straweight match in 2015. Jerusalem is off his 1st loss, a closely contested 12 rd UD loss against current Ring Mag #1 Straweight & WBC champ Wanheng Menayothin aka Chayaphon Moonsri on Jan 25th. The fight was so close that had Jerusalem not had a point deducted for a low blow, the fight would have ended in a draw.

5/24 – Two-time WBO Super Middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz announced his retirement. He ends his career with a record of 50-5-2, 29 KO’s.

Photo by Skysportsboxing

5/27 – In a battle of Top 10 Welterweights, Ring Mag #7 Errol Spence stopped #2 & IBF Champ Kell Brook at 1:47 of the 11th round at the Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK. Brook controlled the pace early with his slick movement and effective punching, but Spence took control starting in the 6th round. Spence scored a knockdown from an accumulation of punches in the 10th round, but Brook got up and gave just as good as he got the remainder of the round. Spence’s jab forced a significant sized welt under the left eye of Brook, which caused him to take a knee in the 11th and then stay down, unwilling to continue due to blurred vision. It was later revealed that Brook suffered a broken eye socket, which was the same injury he suffered to his right eye in his previous fight against GGG. Spence has now stopped 12 of his last 13 foes, including 9 straight. Brook has now suffered B2B defeats as he lost his prior fight attempting to win the Middleweight title against GGG.

Photo by Skysportsboxing

5/27 – On the undercard of Brook/Spence, Ring Mag #3 Super Middleweight George Groves stopped #8 Fedor Chudinov at 1:14 of the 6th round for the vacant WBA Super Middleweight title. The fight was action packed as Chudinov’s aggressive style meshed well with the movement and faster hands of Groves. An accidental clash of heads in the 4th round resulted in Groves having a cut on his left eye. In the 6th Groves landed a combination that hurt Chudinov and followed that up with another flurry that Chudinov had no answer for and wasn’t throwing back, forcing referee in charge Steve Gray to stop the contest. Groves also fought through a broken jaw. This is the 1st World Title for Groves, who had lost his 3 prior attempts. Groves has now won 5 straight. Chudinov has now lost B2B fights.

5/27 – Ring Mag #2 Jr Lightweight Orlando Salido stopped unrated Aristedas Perez in Bacum, Sonora, Mexico when Perez failed to come out for the 8th round. Salido was actually dropped in the 3rd round, but was in total control aside from that. Salido had his 3 fight winless streak snapped, dating back to 2014.

5/27 – Ring Mag #4 Bantamweight Anselmo Moreno moved up to Jr Featherweight and was stopped at 2:32 of the 3rd round by unrated Julio Ceja at the Amador Convention Center in Panama City, Panama in a WBC eliminator. Moreno was dropped for the count from a left uppercut. Ceja lost the WBC Title in his previous fight and has now won 6 of 7. Moreno has now lost 4 of his last 5. Ceja is now in line to take on Ring Mag #3 and WBC Champion Rey Vargas.

5/27 – On the undercard of Moreno/Ceja, Ring Mag #7 Straweight Saul Juarez lost a 12 rd UD against unrated Leroy Estrada in a WBC eliminator. Estrada survived a 9th round knockdown and won by the scores of 117-110 twice and 115-112. Estrada has won 9 of 10, while Juarez has lost B2B fights. Estrada is now in line to meet Ring Mag #1 & WBC Champ Wanheng Menayothin aka Chayaphon Moonsri, who must 1st get by his title defense on June 3rd.

5/27 – Ring Mag #4 Strawweight and IBF Champion Jose Argumedo successfully defended his title for the 3rd time, stopping unrated Gabriel Mendoza at :43 of the 8th round in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The bout was called off on the doctors advice due to a cut over Mendoza’s left eye that was caused from a punch. With the win, Argumedo has now won 12 of 13 including 6 in a row. This was the 1st time Mendoza had been stopped.