Boxing Preview: Andre Berto, Sergey Kovalev, Dmitry Bivol
Alexander vs. Berto – FOX, New York, 5 PM PST
In a bout of two former world champions who are doing battle a little past their prime, but looking go to for one more title run, Devon Alexander will do battle with Andre Berto at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Alexander is coming off a career resurgence after outlying a lingering drug abuse issues that had plagued him prior to his comeback against Walter Castillo. In Alexander’s last bout, he fought Victor Ortiz to a draw in a bout that everyone including myself felt Alexander won but wasn’t awarded the decision. Alexander is looking to avenge a two-year skid starting in 2013 when he lost his world title to Shawn Porter and culminated in Glendale, Arizona when he lost to largely unknown Aron Martinez.
Berto, on the other hand, has stayed at the top of the division, but not fought frequently over the last few years as he has split his wins and losses losing to the elite of the division, Floyd Mayweather, and Shawn Porter, but beating the tier below Josesito Lopez and Victor Ortiz. Berto who trains in Hayward, Ca, out of Virgil Hunter’s gym is looking to make a statement in a bout between two veterans who are looking not to go away as the loser of this bout finds themselves in an undesirable position.
Kid Chocolate returns
The co-main event features former middleweight world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, now campaigning at super middleweight taking on Mayweather Promotions fighter J’Leon Love in a bout of two fighters whose career is in flux. Quillin, who at one time appeared to be destined for stardom on the likes of Showtime and more saw inactivity hurt his career as he took a year layoff in 2014 to 2015 and following a devastating knockout loss to Daniel Jacobs took two years off as well. Quillin is known as one of the hardest punchers in boxing and despite an extremely limited amateur career, he makes up for it by the power behind his punches.
J’Leon Love albeit only has one loss on his record, but has struggled in every step-up bout so far even if he won them. This was more advent when he faced Abie Han and came away with a draw. Love, who at one time was one of Floyd Mayweather’s top prospects now has to rekindle some of the enthusiasm people had for him after a few missteps.
Collazo vs Parrella
Welterweight Luis Collazo has spent the second half of his career rewriting his own narrative as he went from being the guy that never got a break to know having two major upset knockouts on his resume which include Victor Ortiz and Sammy Vazquez. Collazo will now find himself fighting in essentially a hometown fight against Bryant Parrella, a fighter who lost to an outstanding fighter in Yordenis Ugas, but has been undefeated outside of this.
For both of these fighters, this is a sink or swim moment as, like the theme with this whole card, this is a crossroads fight for both the veteran and the prospect.
Napoleon, Browne, Spencer, and Moore
WBA Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon, (9-1, 5 KO’s), of Lindenhurst, NY will make her first defense against WBC Silver Middleweight titlist Hannah Rankin, (5-1, 1 KO) of Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, August 4 at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The bout a scheduled ten rounder will pit Napoleon against a game veteran will find its ways onto the airwaves as a special attraction undercard bout on the stacked Premier Boxing Champions card headlined by the welterweight showdown between former world champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander on FOX and FOX Deportes (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to be able to defend my world title for the first time on Long Island at NYCB LIVE,” said Napoleon. “It’s a special moment in my career and truly an honor to be part of the first women’s bout ever in this iconic venue.
The popular Napoleon, who is the owner of both Overthrow Gyms in Manhattan and Brooklyn, won her world title on March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a dominant ten-round decision over previously undefeated Femke Hermans in front of a huge contingent of supporters from both Long Island and New York City. Napoleon has consistently had bad luck with opponents as multiple times she has weighed in, but her opponent has failed to hit the scale or show up fight night.
The other “X-factor” for Napoleon is her beauty which beyond being amazing to look at, she also embodies the new area of women’s empowerment in fitness such as women being comfortable having muscle on their frame like CrossFit athletes. Napoleon is a relatable figure in the boxing world, who is enjoyable to listen to in a soundbite and if given the right shot, could be a star.
Napoleon, who is fighting for equitable wages in the paid ranks as a chance at being showcased on a major television platform is one of the biggest opportunities yet for a female boxer in recent memory outside of Cecilia Braekhus fighting on HBO.
“I know how good Hannah Rankin is. She just won the WBC Silver Middleweight Title and she’s taller than me with a longer reach, plus she just finished training with Cecilia Braekhus.
Napoleon’s opponent, a professional musician outside of the ring, the 27-year-old Rankin plays the bassoon and has traveled the world in recent years playing with numerous orchestras while also training and furthering her career in the squared circle.
If Napoleon can fair well, fights with Claressa Shields, Raquel Miller, and even Maricela Cornejo all exist for her.
Marcus Browne may have missed out on the Sergey Kovalev fight, because of his personal troubles, but he will still fight on the same night regardless, just for a lot less money and notoriety. Browne is 2012 U.S. Olympian, who fights at light heavyweight.
Welterweight Joey Spencer of Linden, Michigan will continue his meteoric rise from prospect to a contender as he fights on the undercard as well as heavyweight Marlo Moore of Hayward, Ca, will be featured on the card as well.
Kovalev has a question to answer
Ever since Andre Ward took Sergey Kovalev’s soul, it hasn’t been the same watching the “Krusher” Kovalev. Kovalev’s workouts now appear more friendly and the same demeanor he once had is gone. On Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kovalev returns to HBO, the place that launched his career as he faces Eleider Alvarez.
Alvarez is a good fighter, a tremendous boxer, but a fighter who has seen fight three times and can’t remember a thing about. For Kovalev to be considered by some as a top-ten pound-for-pound fighter, he needs a dominant win as this isn’t a sexy match-up on paper, despite the fact that Kovalev could struggle in this fight as Alvarez fights a lot like Isaac Chilemba, a man who gave him a tough fight.
Bivol in a showcase
WBA light heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol- will be in action on the undercard as he faces Isaac Chilemba in a serviceable main event, but nothing that draws more eyeballs to the card. Bivol- is a smart puncher who can box, but prefers angles with power shots. The likely scenario of this card is to showcase both light heavyweights so that a future bout can happen despite the fact that Bivol didn’t seem too keen on the idea of it.
Galarza, Alexander, and Dargan
The likable super welterweight Frank Galarza will look to bounce back from his two early career losses to Jarrett Hurd and Ishe Smith as he fights a developmental fight on the undercard.
Vaughn Alexander, the middleweight older brother of Devon Alexander, will be in tough as he fights Dennis Douglin- in a ten-round bout. Alexander, who served a significant period of time in prison is looking to be fast tracked in the professional game to get into big money fights.
Former Main Events’ lightweight prospect Karl Dargan will return after being brutalized on the dearly departed Friday Night Fights on ESPN years ago by Tony Luis. He is in a six-round bout against tough Jonathan “Popeye” Perez. Below is a funny clip of Dargan and his wife on a reality TV show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HaqNxyYFSw
Farmer hopes for a first world title
The IBF junior lightweight title is on the line as the talented, but perennial bad luck riddled fighter Tevin Farmer hopes to upset former world champion Billy Dib in Dib’s home turf of Australia.
The bout which will air on ESPN+, Friday morning will give direction to one of the more exciting division in all of boxing, the 130 lbs division.
Boxing in Sacramento, Ca
Nasser Niavaroni’s Uppercut Promotions will promote a fight card from Sacramento, CA’s DoubleTree Hotel as the card features the professional debut of decorated amateur Derry Noble of Vallejo, Ca, who fights in the bantamweight division. Other notables on the card are Ivan Vergara of Vacaville, Ca, Malikai Johnson of Sacramento, Ca, Ruben Torres of Sacramento, Ca and O’Jayland Brown of Sacramento, Ca on the card.
TMT card in Vegas on Friday
Mayweather Promotions will put on a card on Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town with Ladarius Miller taking on Dennis Galarza in the main event. The bout serves as a good fight for the caliber of fighters in the bout and will advance one fighter into higher marquee fights.
Another interesting bout is Omar Douglas vs. Lydell Rhodes which pits two fighters with multiple loss against one and another who have a lot of talent.
Also featured on the undercard Efren “Chico” Lopez of Fresno, CA.
360 Promotions – Tuesday
Next Tuesday 360 Promotions returns with another one of their club show bouts featuring Abraham Lopez vs. Gloferson Ortizo in a battle of welterweights at The Avalon in Hollywood, Ca.
The most interesting fighter on the card fighting is top prospect Brian Ceballo who will be fighting in his fourth bout.