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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:03 am 
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Vergil Ortiz vs. Maurice Hooker
Ortiz (14-0, 14 KOs) is on the very short list of the best young prospects in the world after the way he has blown through seasoned veterans Mauricio Herrera, Antonio Orozco and Brad Solomon in 2019. He's a young kid going places -- and he's going fast. In 2020, Ortiz should be getting more tough opponents, as his promoter Golden Boy looks to move him up the welterweight rankings.

Hooker (26-1-3, 17), the former WBO 140-pound champion, is an experienced boxer who has been at the world-class level. He might have grown out of the junior welterweight division and his body might be much better suited for 147. You wonder just how fast GBP would pull the trigger on such a fight.

Ortiz-Hooker would be a battle of two fighters from the Dallas area, and would be a natural fit to be held in that city.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:04 am 
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Miguel Berchelt vs. Jamel Herring

I believe that Berchelt (37-1 33 KOs) is the best 130-pounder on the planet. The current WBC champion has six successful title defenses and owns a solid set of victories that includes Francisco Vargas (twice), Takashi Miura and Miguel Roman. Berchelt most recently ran over Jason Sosa in a fourth-round stoppage. Berchelt is an all-out punching machine who lets his hands go liberally as he swarms his foes in a torrent of leather.

And perhaps it's Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) who can neutralize the swarming, fast-paced attack of Berchelt. Herring, who is currently the WBO junior lightweight titlist, is a tall, rangy southpaw who has a good understanding of pacing and distance. When Herring beat Masayuki Ito by unanimous decision back in May to win the belt, Berchelt was in the audience with the plan of facing the winner.

Berchelt-Herring would be a classic and entertaining contrast of styles.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:05 am 
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Jermell Charlo vs. Julian Williams
Three of the four major belts would be on the line here as Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) has the WBA and IBF belts around his waist after beating Jarrett Hurd, while Charlo just regained the WBC title by stopping Tony Harrison in 11 rounds in their rematch on Dec. 22.

Williams believed he was in line for a second chapter with Hurd, as he held a rematch clause, but the former champion has decided to take a tune-up fight versus Francisco Santana on Jan. 25, a fight that will be contested at a 156-pound catchweight. So there's no guarantee that we see them fight again. In the meantime, Williams is facing Jeison Rosario on Jan. 18.

Now, if Williams-Hurd II doesn't occur in the first half of 2020, well, we know that the fiery Charlo would be more than willing to tangle with Williams. And this bout would have a very interesting storyline, as Williams' lone loss as a pro came to Charlo's brother, Jermall, in five rounds in December 2016. But Williams, rated as the top 154-pounder by ESPN, has rehabilitated himself and rebuilt his career. He physically dismantled Hurd in their matchup by beating Hurd at his own game inside the pocket.

Charlo is an athletic, hard-hitting fighter who comes into fights with a bad attitude. He fights perpetually angry. Like Williams, he is 29, so you have two boxers right in the thick of their physical primes. The winner of this matchup is clearly the ruler of this weight class.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:07 am 
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Ryan Garcia vs. Jorge Linares
There's no denying the social media appeal of "KingRy" and he's at the stage where you want to start finding out just how much steak there is to go with all the sizzle. Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs), the 2017 ESPN prospect of the year, is a fast, flashy fighter who has scored some highlight-reel knockouts. Garcia is 21, but he wants to go places ... quickly. He believes he is destined to be one of boxing's biggest and brightest stars -- and based on his ability to go viral, he could be correct. But only if he can really fight against top-level competition.

Now it's time to find Garcia a seasoned (which can be a euphemism for "past his prime") foe -- someone who is well known and still poses a threat, but ultimately might be a bit too long in the tooth. Well, perhaps it's the accomplished Jorge Linares (46-5, 28 KOs), who throughout his career has won titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds. Linares has always been one of the most stylish and elegant fighters in the world, but unfortunately, one of the most fragile.

Last year as he ventured up to junior welterweight, he was stopped in the first round by Pablo Cesar Cano. This was a harsh reality check for the 34-year-old Linares. The junior welterweight division simply was not for him. You get the sense that at lightweight, he could still be a threat.

A Garcia-Linares matchup will tell you exactly where Garcia stands as a player in the 135-pound division.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Mikey Garcia vs. Regis Prograis
Garcia's optimal weight class is 140 and there are several viable options for him. He lost by shutout over 12 rounds against Spence in March at welterweight, and while he may have outgrown 135 (or no longer has the desire to make that weight), junior welterweight provides a reasonable middle ground for Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), who has won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight. Garcia will begin his 2020 by facing Jessie Vargas on Feb. 29 in a welterweight contest, but going down to 140 could benefit him in the long run.

Prograis is an elite boxer/puncher who is coming off a tough decision loss to Taylor. Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) employs smart, intelligent aggression and has a solid set of fundamentals. His style would mesh very well with the counterpunching tactics of Garcia, who is a sharpshooter.

This would be an intriguing matchup between two fighters coming off two high-profile defeats.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Leo Santa Cruz vs. Oscar Valdez
This is a pairing of two former featherweight belt holders who are now campaigning at 130. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs), at one time, was a fan favorite on an active schedule with an entertaining style. But in recent years that sentiment has waned. There was a palpable boredom as he slogged through his most recent fight on Nov. 23 against Miguel Flores. Santa Cruz is a fighter in need of a compelling fight -- and fast.

And while he's not based in Los Angeles per se, Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) trained in the area for years, and a fight against Santa Cruz at a venue such as the Staples Center would be a significant event. The former WBO featherweight belt holder just recently moved up in weight and had to get off the canvas to defeat talented young upstart Adam Lopez by seventh-round TKO on Thanksgiving weekend. While he's a former belt holder, Valdez still hasn't really had a career-defining fight.

Santa Cruz-Valdez would hark back to the days when great local rivalries -- oftentimes between Mexican boxers -- regularly played out at the Forum and the LA Sports Arena.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:40 pm 
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Shakur Stevenson vs. Josh Warrington

Despite just recently winning the vacant WBO featherweight belt in late October against Joet Gonzalez, Stevenson, 22, doesn't seem like he's long for the division. And he doesn't want to waste any time during his run as a titleholder. He has told his handlers and Top Rank that he wants significant bouts in 2020.

There has been plenty of chatter about him facing IBF titlist Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs), an active, fast, hard-punching fighter who has significant victories on his ledger against Lee Selby and Carl Frampton. And unlike some of Stevenson's past opponents, Warrington won't be afraid to let his hands go. Another interesting variable to this potential fight is that it could take place in the U.K. There's no doubting who would have the home advantage in this matchup.

Could the smooth, technical boxing of Stevenson offset the volume and tenacity of Warrington?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:42 pm 
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Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Jermall Charlo


Golovkin and DAZN are still angling for the third fight with Canelo, but the reality is that Alvarez may not want it and he may never return to middleweight. A fight between "GGG" and Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) might be the best pure slugfest that can be consummated at 160.

Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) captured the vacant IBF belt by defeating Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but he struggled mightily before leaving with a unanimous decision victory. For the first time in his career, Golovkin looked his age, which is now 37. He got banged up by Derevyanchenko, but GGG also showed he still has a set of very heavy hands.

Charlo, who just recently knocked out Dennis Hogan in Round 7, is a strong, fast, explosive athlete with pop in both hands. The problem is that his résumé as a middleweight is sorely lacking, although he has a notable victory at 154 against Julian Williams. Regardless, he's a well-known commodity, and a fiery character.

Could Golovkin hold off this young lion from Houston?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:43 pm 
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Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol
Light heavyweight world titleholders are the very definition of "high risk, low reward" for other big names. While Canelo dipped his toe at 175, he just vacated the WBO belt he won by stopping longtime stalwart Sergey Kovalev in November.

Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is among the hardest-punching men in the sport. In October he stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk to become a unified titlist, adding the WBC belt to go with his IBF strap. Beterbiev is strong and stout, with power in both hands. Thus far, nobody has gone the distance with him.

The boxing skills of Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) could prove to be very difficult for Beterbiev. Bivol has proved to have enough power to keep opponents honest on the outside. Since bursting onto the scene with a set of eye-opening stoppages, Bivol has gone the distance in his past four defenses of his WBA belt. He needs a real test to elevate his profile and standing in the game.

The winner of this clash should be declared the best light heavyweight in the world.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:48 pm 
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Luis Ortiz vs. Adam Kownacki
How 'bout a good ol' fashioned heavyweight donnybrook? Ortiz and Kownacki aren't going to have a hard time finding one another in there. They are both heavy-handed punchers who have two-fisted attacks and aren't afraid to mix it up.

If it wasn't for the heat-seeking missile that is Wilder's right hand, Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) might be undefeated and the heavyweight champion of the world. Unfortunately for Ortiz, in two bouts he wasn't able to evade it despite long stretches of success, but "King Kong" is still a formidable heavyweight. But questions will linger about just how much he has left at age 40, especially after the damage he took from Wilder.

Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) is someone who isn't particularly evasive or fast, but is tough, durable and strong. His last bout was a 12-round summer slugfest with Chris Arreola. What was alarming about that performance was that while Kownacki clearly held off the spirited challenge of Arreola, he was hit cleanly repeatedly by a fighter thought to be well past his prime.

For Ortiz, a win would show that he is still an elite big man. For Kownacki, it would solidify his standing as a top-tier heavyweight contender.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:49 pm 
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Jerwin Ancajas vs. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez
There was a time, not too long ago, when Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KOs) was considered the best fighter on the planet.

As he heads into the sunset of his career, you wonder if he can still compete at the world-class level. But make no doubt about it. If Gonzalez were to be involved in another title fight, hard-core fans would certainly be interested. Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs), the IBF belt holder at 115 who has been a world champion for a few years, has really failed to distinguish himself and needs a signature fight.

A guy like Ancajas needs a name like "Chocolatito" on his ledger. And Gonzalez isn't ready to call it a day, just yet.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:18 pm 
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ESPN TOP FIGHTERS POUND-FOR-POUND LIST

1. VASILIY LOMACHENKO  
RECORD: 14-1, 10 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Luke Campbell, Aug. 31
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

2. TERENCE CRAWFORD  
RECORD: 36-0, 27 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Dec. 14
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

3. CANELO ALVAREZ  
RECORD: 53-1-2, 36 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (champion), super middleweight ("regular" titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO11) Sergey Kovalev, Nov. 2
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

4. NAOYA INOUE  
RECORD: 19-0, 16 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Nonito Donaire, Nov. 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

5. ERROL SPENCE JR.  
RECORD: 26-0, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Shawn Porter, Sept. 28
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

6. OLEKSANDR USYK  
RECORD: 17-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO7) Chazz Witherspoon, Oct. 12
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

7. GENNADIY GOLOVKIN  
RECORD: 40-1-1, 35 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Oct. 5
NEXT FIGHT: TBA vs. Kamil Szeremeta

8. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA  
RECORD: 40-3, 27 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Dewayne Beamon, Aug. 24
NEXT FIGHT: TBA vs. Khalid Yafai

9. DEONTAY WILDER  
RECORD: 42-0-1, 41 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO7) Luis Ortiz, Nov. 23
NEXT FIGHT: Feb. 22 vs. Tyson Fury

10. MANNY PACQUIAO  
RECORD: 62-7-2, 39 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Keith Thurman, July 20
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:49 am 
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ALL-TIME FIELD GOALS MADE
Player FGM
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 15,837
Karl Malone 13,528
Wilt Chamberlain 12,681
LeBron James 12,197
Michael Jordan 12,192
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:52 am 
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In Year 17, LeBron James continues claiming higher ground in the NBA record books. Friday night, a spinning, third-quarter layup marked the 12,193rd field goal of his career -- moving James into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time leaderboard, just ahead of Michael Jordan.

James finished the game with 35 points -- shooting 14-for-25 overall -- while also tallying 16 rebounds and 7 assists. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that line made James the third-oldest player to tally at least 35-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists, trailing only Elgin Baylor, who achieved the feat twice in February 1970. The Lakers easily beat the Mavericks, 129-114, at American Airlines Arena.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:52 pm 
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Round By Round
Danny Garcia vs Ivan Redkach
Round 1: Redkach presses forward and misses on a weak jab to the body. Garcia counters the next jab to the body with one to the head. Straight right hand lands downstairs for Garcia. Another right hand lands to the body for Garcia. Hard shots from Garcia noticeably have a bigger effect on Redkach. Garcia misses on a wide right hook lead. Straight left to the body makes contact for Redkach. Another body shot scores for Redkach but Garcia gets one right back. Both figters get their feet tangled up and Garcia stumbles into the ropes. Right hand lands upstairs for Garcia just before the bell. Garcia 10-9.

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