Elias Boudegzdame becomes Brave CF's first featherweight champion

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Brave CF landed in Abu Dhabi for their fourth installment, crowning their first ever Featherweight champion. The French-Algerian Elias Boudegzdame submitted Mexico’s Masio Fullen via a first-round triangle.

After a wild first round with both fighters getting dropped, Boudegzdame was able to lock in the triangle choke off his back, submitting Fullen and becoming Brave CF’s first ever champion.

The stacked card also included some of the Middle East’s finest as “The Pride of Palestine” Abdul Kareem Al Selwady scored a second round stoppage over Michael Deiga-Scheck sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Jordan’s Jarrah Al Silawi rallied back to out-grit SBG’s Daniele Scattizi in a bout where Silawi was able to use his agility and pace to get the closely contested decision.

Morocco’s Ottman Azaitar lived up to his nickname the “Bulldozer” when he ran through Charlie Leary, scoring the first round KO. He continues to be one of Brave’s most impressive fighters, improving to 2-0 under the banner. He won both the knockout of the night and fight of the night bonuses, stealing the show.

Arguably the most popular fighter in the Middle East, Mohammed Fakhreddine picked up a TKO (doctor’s stoppage) win after opening up a cut on top of Vinicius Cruz’s head. The medical staff stopped the fight due to the nasty gash giving Fakhreddine the stoppage win.

The card also featured a hard fought battle between UFC veterans Alan Omer and Robbie Peralta. Omer was able to use his takedowns late to secure a third round rear naked choke.

Six Arab fighters notched up standout wins in a night where the fighters made their mark on the ever growing sport of MMA.

Brave CF will land in Mumbai, India April 22 for their fifth show. The main event pits a welterweight match up between Carl Booth and Tahar Hadbi and the co-headliner will feature two of India’s best fighters, Abdul Muneer and Gurdarshan Mangat.

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Jorge Linares lets the world know how good he is

Andy Lewis 26/03/2017
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Jorge Linares plants a textbook upper-cut on Anthony Crolla in Manchester.

Jorge Linares put together the most majestic and complete performance of his career to comprehensively outclass Anthony Crolla and finally cement his rightful place among boxing’s elite.

The WBA lightweight champion was beguiling and brutal in equal measure as he ensured this rematch was painfully one-sided, dominating Crolla with spellbinding combinations and ruthless uppercuts on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in Manchester on Saturday night.

Whereas Crolla was able to occasionally trouble the 31-year-old in their first clash last September, this time it was abundantly clear that he operates at several levels below his supremely talented conqueror.

Cut in the sixth and dropped by a spearing uppercut in the seventh, three identical scorecards of 118-109 were perhaps even a little generous to the undoubtedly brave but outgunned home fighter.

Skilful and savage, Linares proved himself more than worthy of facing the very best in or around 135 pounds, including the two men now in his sights: Vasyl Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia.

Born in Venezuela but a resident of Tokyo since the age of 17, the well-travelled Linares belatedly looks set to headline a major event in the US, with the wheels in motion for a Las Vegas unification against WBC champion Garcia.

“I did what I had to do tonight, now I can go back to the United States and get the biggest fights, I’m ready to fight anybody,” said a victorious Linares, flanked by his beaming promoter Oscar De La Hoya. “Anthony and I are both warriors and we fought our hearts out. I trained three times as hard for this because I knew what I had in front of me. Anthony has a big heart and that’s why he was able to go the 12 rounds with me.”

At the halfway point it looked decidedly unlikely Crolla would indeed last the distance.

As early as the second, the classy Linares had already settled into an unerring rhythm, moving beautifully with poise and balance, alternating his jab between head and body before unleashing blistering three and four-punch combinations.

Initially boxing on the back foot, he quickly grew in confidence, holding his ground more and masterfully picking his shots. As Crolla soldiered forward, Linares began to skewer his high guard with vicious uppercuts.

One landed flush in the third and another, the best punch of the fight, clipped a wincing Crolla and sent him reeling to the canvas in the seventh.

To his credit, the gritty local hero came back with a strong response in the eighth, but Linares was just far too sharp and every time Crolla attempted to force the issue, it only led to him being laced with spiteful counters.

Trainer Joe Gallagher wanted to pull his man out after the 11th but Crolla showed characteristic bravery to talk him out of it. After a valiant effort across 23 rounds and two fights, there was honour in hearing the final bell.

“I got beat by the better fighter,” admitted the Mancunian. “I’m 30 years old, I’m going to rest, but I believe I can come again, rebuild and take it from there.”

Being kind to Crolla you’d say he was courageous to the end but simply succumbed to the genius of a man who made him pay a heavy price for every single mistake he made, no matter how small.

If you were being critical, and perhaps more so of his trainer, you’d say that there was no discernible game plan to start with or adjustments made as he emphatically lost round after round.

The truth is probably somewhere in between. Yet while Linares is at a level Crolla will never reach, the fact that he earned the right to twice share a ring with him is testament to his own qualities.

Linares, meanwhile, will get the opportunity to truly fulfil the enormous potential which generated so much hype in his younger days.

Gym stories of him dominating Manny Pacquiao in sparring sessions only added to the myth, but the three defeats on his ledger and doubts over his durability have tended to caveat his many achievements.

However, he’s never looked better than in dismantling Crolla, a flawless display which suggests a glorious final chapter to a glittering 15-year career that has already delivered 41 victories and world titles in three weight classes.

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Gennady Golovkin showed signs of evolution and not aging in win over Daniel Jacobs

Alex Rea 20/03/2017
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Gennady Golovkin may be human after all. The Kazakh knockout merchant saw his brutal streak of 26 straight finishes brought to an end by Daniel Jacobs on Saturday, but the 34-year-old crucially retained his status as the world’s best middleweight with a measured and mindful performance.

‘Triple G’ and his trio of 160lbs belts remain in his possession as he earned a unanimous decision victory in New York after being taken the full quota of 12 rounds for the first time in his career.

Ultimately, he was indebted to a fourth-round knockdown as Jacobs’ fluid footwork and rapid combinations nullified his near-mythical power.

But Golovkin’s display should be regarded as part of an evolutionary process rather than an indication age is degenerating a man who turns 35 next month.

Indeed, it seems the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champ has fallen victim to his own savage success. In the ruthless court of opinion, many labelled his performance as lacklustre and laboured but in reality he delivered against an opponent more athletically gifted, with a boxing brain and bigger physically – much bigger than anticipated after Jacobs missed the IBF-required Saturday morning weigh-in which would have restricted him to be no more than 10lbs heavier than his official weight.

Yes, Golovkin appeared mortal but Jacobs’ size advantage, with estimates he weighed north of the light-heavyweight limit of 170lbs on the night, played a significant role in holstering his devastating weapons. After being out-boxed for portions of the Kell Brook battering and now being taken the distance by

Jacobs, Golovkin’s critics are asking the inevitable question of whether the signs of aging are beginning to emerge. But the fact is it’s an ascension of quality opponents rather than his own personal decline.

Jacobs is the No2 middleweight on the planet. He proved as much with his crafty but dangerous switch to Southpaw which neutralised Golovkin’s jab and opened counters for his right hand.

His hand speed, lateral movement and perpetual upper body motions were all hallmarks of an elite fighter. The expectation of such a one-sided clash was in hindsight, well, farcical and it seems only Golovkin rightly respected the power of a fighter who had flattened his last 12 opponents and owned the height, weight and reach advantage.

The fact Jacobs performed so much better than some anticipated meant some viewed the decision objectively and thought he won. But make no mistake Golovkin more than matched a fighter of his calibre, flooring Jacobs with a pair stinging rights in the fourth session and having the edge overall in punches landed and accuracy, according to Compubox figures.

Still, the apparent evaporation of his veil of invincibility will offer encouragement for the likes of WBO title holder Billy Joe Saunders and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. And both are fights on Golovkin’s radar.

“Of course I am ready to fight Canelo. Of course I want that fight. I am like an animal for that fight,” Golovkin said post-fight before adding: “My goal is all the belts in the middleweight division. Of course, Billy Joe Saunders is the last step for my dream.”

Golovkin also refused to rule out a rematch with Jacobs, although the American potentially stimulated the prospect of Saunders and Canelo stepping up to take on the Kazakh.

“[The power] wasn’t what everybody made it out to be,” Jacobs said. “He’s not this boogeyman, this knockout artist. Even when I got dropped… I didn’t get hurt like I thought, like if he landed one of those shots, it would be over. It wasn’t like that.”

The fight wasn’t like many expected either but Golovkin is still a monster and his rivals should be fearful of what comes next because he’s finding different ways to win and now it’s against some of the best in the world.

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