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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Boxing

Amir Khan booed after failing to continue following low blow

Amir Khan

Amir Khan was booed by the fans at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night after declining to continue following a low blow by Bud Crawford in the sixth round of their WBO welterweight title.

Khan was struck in the groin by a massive left uppercut from Crawford in the first minute of the sixth round. He appeared to be in great discomfort and decided he could not continue. His trainer Virgil Hunter later said it was Khan’s decision not to continue, not the corner’s.

The fans in attendance were upset to see Khan call off the fight halfway through the expected 12 rounds for the title fight and let him know it with boos during his postfight interview.

Crawford was credited with a TKO win to improve to 35-0.

So why did Khan and his corner decide to stop the fight? Maybe they didn’t like the way things were going and were hoping for a disqualification for Crawford if the low blow were ruled to be intentional. Instead, it was ruled accidental, and Crawford was given a TKO win.

Hunter also said after the fight that Khan was fighting at less than full strength due to bone spurs in his elbow.

Khan may now want to try and revisit talks to fight Kell Brook next.

Announcer Joe Tessitore hospitalized before calling Crawford-Khan fight card

Joe Tessitore

Boxing fans heard an unexpected voice calling the play-by-play for Saturday night’s Bud Crawford-Amir Khan fight card on ESPN pay-per-view.

The undercard on ESPN2 began with Bernardo Osuna serving as the announcer. Joe Tessitore, the network’s lead boxing play-by-play announcer, joined the commentary team later in the broadcast and explained his previous absence.

Tessitore said he had been hospitalized due to a “neurocardiogenic” episode. That is the medical term for a drop in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to fainting. The veteran announcer even had his hospital bracelet on during the telecast.

There were nine fights on the Top Rank card, which was taking place at Madison Square Garden. The main event between Crawford and Khan was for the WBO welterweight title.

In addition to being the lead announcer for ESPN’s Top Rank Boxing, Tessitore served as ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” play-by-play announcer last year.

Boxing analyst Al Bernstein says he has beaten prostate cancer

Al Bernstein

Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein revealed that he had a personal health scare that he has overcome.

Bernstein said on Twitter Wednesday that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer recently. He underwent treatment and says that the cancer has mostly been eradicated.

Bernstein is a boxing author and historian who has appeared as an analyst for Showtime since 2003. Prior to that he served as an analyst for ESPN. He has also written for boxing publications “The Ring” and “Boxing Illustrated.”

Watch: Showboating boxer gets knocked out with 10 seconds left

Sam Maxwell knockout

You ever see a showboating fighter and say to yourself, “I wish someone would knock him out and teach him a lesson”? Well, your dreams have come true.

25-year-old French boxer Sabri Sediri was up big against Sam Maxwell during their super lightweight fight at Leicester Arena on Saturday before his carelessness cost him.

Sediri had already knocked Maxwell down twice in the fight and was a minute away from winning. He peppered Maxwell with a big left hook that left his opponent stumbling. Sediri mimicked taking a bow and then began dancing around with his gloves down as he dodged punches from Maxwell.

Then with 14 seconds left, as fate would have it, Maxwell finally connected and sent Sediri to the canvas:

Sediri was so dazed by the knockdown that the referee called off the fight, awarding Maxwell a TKO victory. The win gave Maxwell the vacant World Boxing Organisation European Super Lightweight Title, as well as one of the most satisfying boxing wins we’ve ever seen.

Deontay Wilder chooses to fight Dominic Breazeale on Showtime, rejects DAZN

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder announced details on Tuesday of his next fight, saying he will be facing WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 18. The big revelation to come from his press conference on Tuesday was that the fight will be on Showtime and not on pay-per-view, which is a nice bonus for the fans.

Being able to watch Wilder’s fight without paying more than the price of a Showtime subscription is a plus for the fans. However, the deal is somewhat disappointing in general.

Wilder was in talks to face Tyson Fury in a rematch, but that fell through after Fury signed last month to fight under Top Rank on ESPN. He has gone back-and-forth with Anthony Joshua since last year, with the two sides unable to agree on a deal.

Joshua is signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and fights exclusively on DAZN. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, DAZN made two multi-million dollar contract offers to Wilder to create a bout with Joshua, which Wilder rejected. The offers would have required three or four fight commitments.

Wilder says not locking himself into a deal so that he could maintain flexibility, and also fighting on networks with greater visibility than DAZN factored into his decision-making.

“The thing about having freedom is that it allows you to dictate your career,” Wilder said Tuesday. “When you sign with people, now they’re in control. We’ve seen many fighters get into situations with promoters and get put on the shelf. They have families they need to feed but they aren’t in control. You don’t want to be tied up for a long time.

“The more eyeballs, the better, especially because I give you your money’s worth. I’m the people’s champion. Some fail to realize that we have our own money, our own networks with a big audience, and a big stable of heavyweights. They always saying I’m stuck, what is my next move, but the question is, what are these other guys going to do? I’ve got a lot of options here with heavyweights at PBC.”

PBC is promoting Wilder’s fight with Breazeale, and their relationships are with Showtime and FOX. Breazeale is 20-1, with his lone loss coming against Joshua. Wilder really should be fighting Fury or Joshua.

Dana White lost big money betting on Mikey Garcia against Errol Spence

Dana White

Dana White was among those who believed Mikey Garcia had a chance to overcome long odds and capture the IBF welterweight title on Saturday night. Unfortunately, the UFC president put his money where his mouth was.

Garcia, who entered Saturday’s bout having never lost a fight, was a +230 underdog against also-undefeated Errol Spence Jr. White bet $10,000 on Garcia for a chance to win $23,000.

Spence won the fight in dominant fashion with a unanimous decision. He outlanded Garcia 345 to 75, and he had a clear power advantage with 51 percent of power shots landed compared to just 18.5 percent for Garcia.

Simply put, the fight wasn’t close. Despite how confident Garcia was in calling out Spence last year, he was clearly outclassed. White and many others got burned by going for the big payday.

Shawn Porter cuts hair to make weight for fight

Shawn Porter

Shawn Porter made weight for his fight on Saturday by a literal hair.

Porter is set to defend his WBC welterweight title against Yordenis Ugas at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The weight limit for the fight is 147 pounds, which posed a problem after Porter initially weighed in at 148.8 pounds on Friday.

With two hours left to make weight, Porter headed to a gym to do some exercise and sauna. He returned and weighed himself again but was still over. So as a last measure, he cut his hair. That took him under the mark so that the fight could qualify as a title defense.

Porter officially weighed in at 146.8 pounds. The 31-year-old will look to run his record to 30-2-1 now that he has made weight.