Anthony Joshua Regains Heavyweight Belts From Andy Ruiz Jr. After Unanimous Decision Win

Anthony Joshua regained his WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA heavyweight belts in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. on Saturday in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Joshua got the belts back via unanimous decision after fighting for 12 rounds (118-110, 118-110 & 119-109).

Joshua fought on the outside for all of the fight, consistently jabbing Ruiz away and using his height and reach advantage.

“The first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” said Joshua in the ring after the fight, talking about becoming a two-time champion.

“I gained too much weight, but I don’t want to make any excuses,” said Ruiz, talking about coming into the fight at 283 lbs, 15 more pounds than his first meeting with Joshua.

Ruiz asked the crowd afterwards who wanted to see a trilogy fight between the two.

In the co-main event of the evening, undefeated Diego Pacheco got a first round knockout victory over Selemani Saidi in a fight that was scheduled for four rounds.

In the bout before that, rising heavyweight fighter Michael Hunter fought to a draw with 40-year-old veteran Alexander Povetkin.

 

John Riel Casimero Wins WBO World Bantamweight Title With Third Round Win Over Zolani Tete

John Riel Casimero was promoted from a interim WBO World Bantamweight Champion to the real deal on Saturday after an explosive victory over Zolani Tete at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The first two rounds of the fight were slow, with Tete dominating with a jab in a slow-starting contest.

Casimero scored a knockdown early in the third round, dropping Tete with a right hand. While the referee opted to continue the contest, it was clear for the next minute that Tete was still hurt. A left hook put Tete down on his face for a second knockdown seconds later. The referee stepped in shortly after Casimero landed a few more punches.

Casimero improved his record to 29-4, while Zolani Tete fell to 28-4. He previously fought in two interim WBO fights before, defeating both opponents via stoppage.

Deontay Wilder Rematch With Tyson Fury Set To Happen On Feb. 22nd

14 months after their first meeting, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are set to square off again on February 22nd.

First reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN, news broke on Tuesday night that the high ranked heavyweights would clash again in 2020.

While there has not been a decided venue, the report says it will likely take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In their first meeting, Wilder and Fury fought to a 12-round draw (115-111, 112-114 and 113-113) which saw Fury down in rounds nine and 12.

Wilder has gone on to defend his WBC Heavyweight Championship twice, more recently defeating previous rival Luis Ortiz with a seventh-round KO.

Fury has gotten two wins as well, stopping Tom Schwarz and going all 12 rounds against Otto Wallin.

Deontay Wilder Stops Luis Ortiz With 7th Round Stoppage

Deontay Wilder earned a sixth round TKO victory of Luis Ortiz on Saturday, retaining his WBC Heavyweight Championship in a rematch.

As the seventh round was closing out, Wilder landed a right-cross which dropped Ortiz. The fight was concluded by referee Kenny Bayless as Ortiz was attempting to get up.

Before Wilder landed his fight-ending punch, the bout was a slow ordeal. Ortiz was the more active fighter, landing the better of the minimal punches in the fight.

After the fight, Wilder said the plan is for him to face Tyson Fury next. He also mentioned that he wants a unification bout in the future.

“I want champion, one face, one name,” said Wilder in his post-fight interview.

In their first meeting, Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round. Wilder had a record of 1-0-1 between then and this fight, with Ortiz going 3-0.

Before the main event, Leo Santa Cruz defeated Miguel Flores via unanimous decision (115-112, 117-110 and 117-110), getting the vacant WBA Super Super Featherweight title.

Callum Smith Gets Decision Win Over John Ryder

Callum Smith avoided an upset on Saturday, defeating John Ryder via decision to defend his WBA Super World Super and WBO Diamond Super Middleweight belts at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Smith won in his hometown via unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112 and 116-112), with no knockdowns scored by either fighter in the bout.

The fight started slow, with Smith mostly throwing jabs. Ryder was throwing combinations of hooks periodically. Smith got a cut beside his right eyebrow in the fourth round, although it didn’t bother him too much.

Deeper into the fight they got more active. There were many rounds where either fighter winning could be argued.

While Smith’s win in front of his hometown crowd didn’t come off as controversial at the event, dissenting opinions from the scorecards were displayed online.

“Ryder deserved better,” said Mike Coppinger, writer for The Athletic and Boxing Insider.

In the co-main event of the night, James Tennyson defeated Craig Evans with an 11th round TKO win.

Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua 2 To Take Place On December 7th In Saudi Arabia

It was announced Friday afternoon that the heavyweight rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz will take place on December 7th in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The fight was originally announced by The Athletic, with Anthony Joshua posting a poster for the event online minutes later. Rumours of the location were also reported by The Athletic earlier in the week.

The rematch comes after Andy Ruiz Jr. upset Anthony Joshua in a seven round performance, scoring four knockdowns. The fight gave him the WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight championships which Joshua had before.

With the tagline “Clash of The Dunes,” the rematch will take place in a newly built outdoor stadium, per Mike Coppinger of The Athletic. It was also reported that a press conference will take place in London on Monday by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Saudi Arabian representatives.

Prior to the recent days, rumours floated around about many locations for the rematch. The three big locations that people talked about were the USA, Mexico and the United Kingdom. 

Laying Down Leather #6: UFC 240, RIZIN 17 & Gervonta Davis!

MMA

On Saturday I watched UFC 240 and RIZIN 17 back-to-back. It was quite an experience. I had never watched a RIZIN show start to finish live, and I would say I enjoyed it. Of course, I can’t do it for every show, but it was fun to do it for this one.

UFC 240 was pretty good. While the main card was mostly dull, the co-main and main event were fun to watch. Max Holloway put on a good performance, as did Cris Cyborg and her prospect opponent Felicia Spencer. The prelims had some really fun fights, with Canadians Gillian Robertson, Hakeem Dawodu and Gavin Tucker having great bouts.

I was disappointed how long on the card Deiveson Figueiredo versus Alexandre Pantoja was, as it was two high ranked flyweights facing off. Also, it was an exciting bout. The show lacked star power apart from it’s final acts, but it still put on a good show.

You can see the full report of UFC 240 here.

I have quite a lot of thoughts on RIZIN so bare with me here. Let’s start with the two women’s fights first. I was disappointed in KING Reina’s performance. Not that I expect her to be an amazing fighter, but her bizarre gimmick makes her someone you want to see go to the top. Seo Hee Ham’s performance was amazing, with her finish taking full advantage of the PRIDE rules that RIZIN allows. Also, it was cool to see her wear the outfit she used to wear in DEEP Jewels as opposed to what she wears in Road FC.

I wanted Jake Heun and Vitaly Shemetov to win, so I was pretty split on that fight. Obviously, the cut stoppage bummed me out. Roberto de Souza, Ali Abdulkhalikov and Johnny Case had good performances, but their opponents are too old to be in there, man. I don’t know the status of Satoru Kitaoka, but I am worried for him after the finish to his bout where he was carried off in a gurney.

I usually love the kickboxing on the RIZIN cards, but there wasn’t much to see in the two bouts tonight. Ivan Shtyrkov looks terrifying, but his highlight reel didn’t show in his performance.

While I like Ulka Sasaki, I have to give credit to how good the finishing sequence from Shintaro Ishiwatari was. The other bantamweight match was the best fight that went the distance, as Yuki Motoya and Hiromasa Ogikubo were very evenly matched. Motoya’s final round was electric.

The bad blood main event between Mikuru Asakura and Yusuke Yachi wasn’t as good as we expected, but still not bad. The finishing exchange was cool on Asakura’s behalf. This was Yachi’s fight to lose, and now makes it his third loss in a row.

You can see the full report for RIZIN 17 here.

Boxing

Gervonta Davis’ victory over Ricardo Nunes was an expected and quick one. I don’t have much more to say about it since it was just a showcase bout.

You can see the report for this fight here.

This Week On The Site And Beyond!

This week I’ll be able to cover the UFC Fight Night. Along with that will be my usual music writing at lwos.life. Have a good week.

Gervonta Davis Retains WBA Super Super Featherweight Title Within Two

Gervonta Davis had a brief and impressive performance in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on Saturday, defeating Ricardo Nunez within two rounds. Davis retained his WBA Super Featherweight Championship in front of a sold-out crowd at the Royal Farms Arena.

The first round was a slow one for both fighters, with Davis likely getting the round on scorecards. Davis capitalized off no guard in clinch in the second round, landing a left hook to the head clean. With Nunez up against the ropes at this point, he landed a few more shots to the head before the referee stepped in. The Showtime broadcast interviewed the referee after the fight because some people disputed the stoppage.

After the fight he called out Tevin Farmer, who currently holds an IBF belt. Floyd Mayweather was also present at the event and praised Davis in an interview afterwards.

The co-main event mirrored the main event as super featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa stopped his respective opponent, Roman Martinez, within two rounds.

Boxer Maxim Dadashev, 28, Passes Away Due To Brain Injuries

Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has passed away from injuries suffered in his boxing match on Friday night. Originally reported by Tass and later confirmed by ESPN, Dadashev previously was put in a medically induced coma and was given a brain surgery due to a subdural hematoma at the UM Prince George’s Hospital Center. News broke of his passing on Monday morning.

Dadashev fought on Friday evening at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA, with his corner stopping the super lightweight bout in-between rounds 11 and 12. He was carried out of the ring with support but was put on a gurney after his legs kept giving out on him. It was reported that evening that Dadashev lost consciousness while in the ambulance, and reported the next day that he was put in a medically induced coma.

Dadashev was 28 years old and had a 13-1 pro-boxing record.

Manny Pacquiao Captures Championship In Decision Over Keith Thurman

Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA Super World Welterweight Championship in a split decision victory over Keith Thurman on Saturday night. Thurman took his first professional loss after two of the three judges gave Pacquiao the nod at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao and 115-112 Pacquiao). 

In the opening minutes, Thurman was holding his own. It was near the end of the first round that Pacquiao landed the sole knockdown of the fight. Thurman was floored by a right hook, but got up quickly and didn’t take any more severe damage. The 10th round was the only other time that Thurman looked to be in trouble, showing a sour reaction to a punch to the body.

While Pacquiao had a good start, it was clear that Thurman continued to improve as the fight went on. Tides turned around halfway through the fight when Pacquiao’s combinations became less frequent and Thurman walked him down more. 

After the fight, Pacquiao talked about his interest in facing the winner of Errol Spence Jr. versus Shawn Porter. He leaned more towards fighting again in 2020 as opposed to a third 2019 bout.

The co-main event of the evening was a 12 round WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator bout, with Yordenis Ugas defeating Omar Figueroa Jr. via unanimous decision (119-107, 119-107 & 119-107).