PODCAST: Ep 236 - SuperFly 2 Preview

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney preview the 115-pound championship fight between Srisaket For Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada and analyze whether this "SuperFly 2" tripleheader is better from top to bottom than the original "SuperFly" event. SuperFly 2 airs on HBO on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 PM. ET/PT.

Daniel Jacobs to Battle Undefeated Maciej Sulecki at Barclays Center on April 28

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Former middleweight world champion and Brooklyn Boxing ambassador Daniel Jacobs (33-2-0, 29 KOs) returns for a 12-round middleweight showdown against undefeated contender Maciej Sulecki (26-0-0, 10 KOs). The event is presented by Matchroom Boxing USA and takes place Saturday, April 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Opening the HBO telecast, undefeated Brooklyn heavyweight contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) faces former world title challenger, Johann “The Reptile” Duhaupus (37-4-0, 24 KOs), of Abbeville, France, in a scheduled 12-round clash.

Barclays Center is the home of Jacobs’ biggest career victory, a stunning first-round knockout of Brooklyn rival Peter Quillin on Dec. 5, 2015. Known as the “Miracle Man” for his miraculous recovery from cancer in 2012, Jacobs is returning to battle following a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over then-undefeated Luis Arias on Nov. 11, 2017.

“I’m very excited to be back at Barclays Center, it always feels like home fighting there," said Jacobs. “I want to thank Eddie Hearn, HBO and Brett Yormark for making it possible.

“I’m looking forward to fight Sulecki on April 28, he’s an undefeated guy that I know will be looking to make a name for himself by beating me," continued Jacobs. "I’m looking to have a great training camp and get myself focused to really put on a show for the Brooklyn fans come April 28.”

Jacobs is currently world ranked No. 2 by the WBA and No. 3 by the WBC, IBF and WBO in addition to being ranked No. 3 by ESPN.com. This will be his fifth time fighting in his hometown venue, Barclays Center. 

Sulecki, a native of Warsaw, Poland who now lives in Florida, capped a successful 2017 with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over former world title challenger Jack Culcay on Oct. 21. Over the course of his eight years as a professional, Sulecki has compiled wins against notables including Hugo Centano Jr., Grzegorz Proksa, Darryl Cunningham and Damian Ezequiel Bonelli. Sulecki is ranked No. 6 in the world among middleweights by the WBO.

“This is an excellent opportunity for me to fight one of the very best middleweights in the world,” said Sulecki. “I’ll be very well prepared to stay undefeated and defeat Jacobs in front of the Polish boxing fans at Barclays Center as I continue my march to become a world champion.”

The heavy-handed Miller, 29, scored two dominant stoppages in 2017. Fighting for the first time at Barclays Center on July 29 of last year, Miller stopped former world title challenger Gerald Washington at the end of eight rounds.  Miller is currently ranked No. 3 among global heavyweights by the WBO, IBF and WBA.

“Nothing makes me more gratified and blessed to do what I love best and that’s to get back in the ring and continue to solidify my place as the next heavyweight Champion of the world," said Miller. "This fight on April 28th is just the next step to being recognized as the best in the world and a training ground for Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder."

Duhaupus stormed through 2017 with three dominant wins, including an eighth-round stoppage of Newfei Quatah on Dec. 14 in Levallois-Perret, France.  Among the top names Duhaupus has battled over his 13-year professional career are WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Alexander Povetkin, Robert Helenius, Manuel Charr and Erkan Teper. Duhaupus is ranked No. 7 among world heavyweights by the WBC.

“A top heavyweight does not have to be heavy or light, fat or slim," Duhaupus said. "A heavyweight just needs to be strong. I will show on April 28 that I am strong enough to beat Jarrell Miller.”

Also returning to the Barclays Center on the non-televised undercard, WBA lightweight women’s world champion Katie Taylor (8-0-0, 4 KOs) of Bray, Ireland will fight in a 10-round world title unification against IBF lightweight women’s champion Victoria Bustos (18-4-0) of Rosario, Argentina.

Details regarding tickets will be announced shortly.

PODCAST: Ep. 235 - Little Guys Draft

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney kick off the countdown to the Feb. 24 Superfly 2 card by engaging in a "Little Guys Snake Draft," assembling fantasy teams of the best 115-pound-and-below fighters of the last 25 years.

PODCAST: Ep. 234 - Tom Loeffler

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney sit down with promoter Tom Loeffler for a discussion covering the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch set for May 5, the stacked Superfly 2 card on February 24, and the legacies of the Klitschko brothers.

PODCAST: Ep. 233 GGG - Canelo 2 Early Mini Preview, Super Bowl Philly Boxing Talk

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney offer up an early preview of the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez middleweight championship rematch, exploring a couple of numbers to know and asking each other some burning questions. They also discuss the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl victory and draw parallels with a handful of the best Philly fighters of recent decades.

PODCAST: Ep. 232 - GGG vs. Canelo 2 Announcement, Matthysse vs. Kiram and Linares vs. Gesta

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney weigh in on the major breaking news announcement that Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2 has been signed for May 5 on HBO Pay-Per-View, then they analyze Lucas Matthysse's eighth-round knockout of Tewa Kiram and Jorge Linares' unanimous decision win over Mercito Gesta.

Canelo vs. GGG Rematch Announcement by Dwayne Johnson

Only a true baller can announce the fight of the year. The one and only Dwayne Johnson makes the biggest rematch in boxing official: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady "GGG" Golovkin 2 takes place May 5 on HBO Pay-Per-Vew. #HBOSports #HBO #CaneloGGG2

It's On (Again)! Golovkin and Canelo to Fight May 5 Rematch

Photo by Ed Mulholland

Photo by Ed Mulholland

By Kieran Mulvaney

Twelve rounds weren’t enough.

As first announced by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will meet in the ring again on May 5 (8 PM ET/5 PM PT on HBO PPV), in another attempt to determine definitively who is the best middleweight in the world.

“I am ready to battle Canelo again and am pleased he took this fight,” said Golovkin. “This is the fight the fans and the media want. This is the fight boxing deserves.”

“I’m delighted to once again participate in one of the most important boxing events in history,” added Alvarez. “This second fight is for the benefit and pleasure of all fans who desire to see the best fight the best.”

The rematch comes eight months after they battled to a fiercely-contested draw, in a clash that had been building a head of steam for the best part of two years. In November 2015, Canelo outpointed Miguel Cotto to become the lineal middleweight champion of the world, but he did not receive acclamation as the best middleweight on Earth. That crown sat firmly on the head of Golovkin, who at that stage was riding a 21-bout knockout streak and who had dominated and stopped David Lemieux at New York’s Madison Square Garden the previous month.

After Canelo knocked out Amir Khan in his next fight in May 2016, he beckoned Golovkin, who had been sitting ringside, to step between the ropes.

“I don't fear anyone. We don't come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport,” Alvarez insisted; when asked if that meant he would face Golovkin later that year, he said he was willing to do so “Right now. I will put the gloves on again.”

Canelo didn’t fight Golovkin that very moment. Nor did he take him on in his next bout, choosing instead to face Liam Smith in front of 51,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Golovkin kept himself busy by beating Dominic Wade in Los Angeles and Kell Brook in London to extend his knockout streak to 23, before being taken the distance for the first time since 2008 in securing a close unanimous decision win over Daniel Jacobs in March 2017.

Five weeks after Golovkin edged Jacobs, Alvarez routed his countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas; again, Golovkin was in attendance, and this time he entered the arena post-fight to his signature “Seven Nation Army” ringwalk music, as Canelo proclaimed that “Golovkin, you are next, my friend.”

Finally, the fight that the boxing world had been waiting for was at hand. Given their styles, the strength and their skills, their collision seemed destined to be an enthralling one, and so it proved when they met in the ring on September 16. For the first couple of rounds, Canelo used surprisingly effective footwork and hard uppercuts to befuddle Golovkin, but by the second quarter of the contest, the Kazakh was dialed in, driving relentlessly toward the Mexican, battering him into the ropes and constantly thudding him with powerful jabs and short hooks and right hands. By the seventh, Canelo looked weary and possibly on the verge of being stopped; with nine rounds completed, his trainer Eddie Reynoso informed him in no uncertain terms that he needed to produce the best three rounds of his life. He did, digging his toes into the canvas and raking Golovkin with fearsome power punches, fighting his way desperately back into the contest. At the conclusion of the twelfth and final round, the fans in attendance roared their appreciation of a momentous prizefight and, particularly, of Golovkin, who was widely judged to have emerged the victor – by a far finer margin than had appeared likely entering the tenth round, certainly, but the victor anyway.

Judge Dave Moretti saw it that way also, scoring Golovkin a 115-113 winner. His colleague Don Trella had it closer, a 114-114 draw. But Adalaide Byrd inexplicably cast her lot 118-110 in favor of Alvarez, producing a split decision draw that did not sit well with what had become a partisan, pro-Kazakh crowd.

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The furor over Byrd’s card obscured a sensational display of brave and skillful boxing by two of the very best in the business. It also drowned out the questions that were being asked even as the sound of the final bell echoed around the arena: Had Golovkin deserved more for his apparent mid-rounds superiority? If Canelo had emptied his tank to secure a draw, what hope could he have of ever beating his rival? Conversely, had his storming final three rounds shown that he had ultimately figured out his opponent and that he would be able to tame him in a rematch?

“I didn’t agree with the judges’ decision last September, but I will ensure that this time there is no doubt for anyone that I am the undisputed middleweight champion of the world,” insisted Golovkin.

“This time, Golovkin won’t have any excuses regarding the judges,” countered Alvarez, “because I’m coming to knock him out.”

For months, boxing fans have been debating who really deserved to win the first encounter, and which of the two is truly the best middleweight in the world. The only way for to know for sure is for the two men to meet again and do it one more time. On May 5, they will.