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The Boxing Tribune

The Best and Latest Boxing News and Opinion

Phiri Scores First Round KO; The Women’s Weekly Wrap Up

by Jim McGrady

WBC bantamweight champion Catherine Phiri (12-1, 6 KO’s) defended her title for the first time Saturday night, facing WBF champ Gabisile Tshabalala (9-2-1) at the Government Complex in Lusaka, Zambia. The challengers plan to grab a second world title were squashed quickly, as the champ stopped Tshabalala midway through the opening frame, barely breaking a sweat. Phiri won the title this past January, scoring a close technical decision over Yazmin Rivas when a cut over Rivas’ right eye caused the contest to go to the scorecards after the sixth round.

Friday night in Buenos Aires, Carolina Raquel Duer (19-3-1, 6 KO’s) won the interim IBF bantamweight title, stopping Aline de Cassia Scaranello (10-5, 8 KO’s) in the seventh round. The stoppage came near the end of the frame after a left hook dropped Scaranello for an eight count; continuing the contest, Duer staggered the challenger with a series of solid headshots before Scaranello's corner threw in the towel with just five seconds left in the round.

Duer is a former WBO champion, having held titles in both the super flyweight and bantamweight divisions; she hasn’t been beaten in nearly eight years. Scaranello won the Brazilian bantamweight strap in her last bout, but came up winless in three prior world title attempts.

In a non-title contest in Mexico City, WBO super flyweight title holder Daniela Romina Bermudez (21-3-2, 6 KO’s) scored a unanimous decision over WBC International champ Mariana Juarez (43-9-4, 17 KO’s) in the pairs 10 round bout at Arena Coliseo; scores of the bout were 96:94 and 97:93 twice.

The loss squashes Juarez’s hopes of regaining a world title, with this bout deemed an eliminator to determine a challenger for the aforementioned WBC bantamweight champ Catherine Phiri. Bermudez has three successful defenses of the super flyweight title under her belt, having lost just once in her last 17 outings.

Yazmin Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KO’s) scored a 10 round split decision win over Jessica Gonzalez (7-3-1, 1 KO) in Durango, Mexico, dealing Gonzalez her second straight loss by scores of 97:94, and 96:94 with one judge scoring the bout for Gonzalez at 96:94. The win earned Rivas the WBC International super bantamweight title, her first belt since losing the WBC world bantamweight strap to Catherine Phiri earlier this year.

Gonzalez had beaten Rivas three years ago in the pair’s first match up when the two squared off for the interim WBC bantamweight title, winning by split decision.

Jim is one of the Tribunes original members and has been Involved in the sport for over 35 years as a competing amateur, fight collector, and computer fight simulator. Follow him on Twitter: @_GreenMachine_

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Sadness Defines the Manny Pacquiao Comeback

By Sam Cooper

What do you call the unnecessary, unwanted, pointless comeback of a true ring legend and first ballot Hall of Famer? In the case of Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming November 5 return against Jessie Vargas, that word would be “sadness.”

Honestly, Pacquiao deserves much better than a comeback like the one awaiting him. It’s legitimately depressing to visualize a guy who has meant so much to so many fans playing to almost zero interest in a bout that nobody (outside of his own team and Vargas’ team) cares about.

Team Pacquiao can’t even find a broadcast home for the event. Long time television host HBO passed on Pacquiao-Vargas and it appears that no other media outlet is rushing to produce the event.

Perhaps the only thing sadder than being dumped by HBO is the reason why Pacquiao is coming back in the first place.

The eight-division world champ and 20-year veteran has pretty much admitted that he’s returning because he needs the money.

“Boxing is my main source of income. I can’t rely on my salary as a public official,” Pacquiao told CNN Philippines a couple of weeks back.“I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help, and I just couldn’t ignore them.”

This, from a man who reportedly received upwards of $150 million for his bout with Floyd Mayweather last year and around $15-20 million for April’s match against Timothy Bradley. All told, Pacquiao has generated over a half billion dollars over the course of his career and to think that he’s returning because he needs a payday is absurd—unless, of course, what’s reported is not true when it comes to his earnings.

During a recent video interview, former strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza flat-out said that he saw Pacquiao’s check for the Mayweather fight and it was only one-tenth of what was reported to be his take for the show.

Whether you believe Ariza or not is another thing, but what cannot be denied is that Pacquiao’s comeback screams of someone returning for a paycheck and no other reason. It’s not as though there’s some pressing need for Manny to defeat a fringe champion like Vargas and nobody on Team Pacquiao appears to be all that concerned with unfinished boxing business.

So, yeah, this is too sad. It’s also typical of where fighters often end up when nobody is really looking out for their best interest. Even a legend and all-time great is not immune from these sad endings.

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US TV Boxing Schedule (Week of 8/29-9/4)

U.S. Televised Boxing Schedule, week of 8/28 *Eastern Standard Time

9/1 (Thursday)

7pm – Go Fight Live – Broadway Boxing

Amos Cowart vs. Nick DeLomba (8)

Dardan Zenunaj vs. Jose Salinas (8)

+8 under card bouts

9/2 (Friday)

10pm Estrella TV

Antonio Gutierraz vs. Jorge Melendez (10)

Christian Gonzalez vs. Jonathan Corrales (8)

9/3 (Saturday)

8pm NBC Sports Net

Darwin Price vs. Javontae Starks (8)

Ricky Edwards vs. Kent Cruz (8)

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