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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – How to Make the New RAW & Smackdown Brand Extension Successful

NOTE FROM TITO: I’m monitoring the situation with Brock Lesnar, but I’m letting the situation play out. In case you haven’t heard yet, Lesnar has been alerted by UFC regarding a possible violation from a sample specimen taken on June 28th (Los Angeles Times/Wrestling Observer). Lesnar has already responded with “we will get to the bottom of this” to the Associated Press. Until more information is known, no comment… But damn, if true, the hammer will fall if WWE’s Wellness Policy missed something on their end and also Lesnar’s UFC 200 victory. STAY TUNED.

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Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. So, the Brand Extension train is coming and there’s nothing that I can do to stop it. For months now, I’ve tried to advise against it… (a) WWE Roster is too think and (b) Creative infrastructure cannot handle it. However, the WWE is beholden to the USA Networks and their absurd desire to host 5 hours of LIVE wrestling content on back-to-back days. Plus, I can only shout so loud with this column as many WWE lemmings are willing to jump off the cliff with this brand split idea.

But hey, I pride myself on writing a column that doesn’t just complain. I give ideas and advise wrestling promotions to the best of my abilities based on my many years as a wrestling fan and my actual experience working in a corporate setting.

Therefore, I will attempt to advise how to make the 2016 RAW/Smackdown Brand Extension successful… I’ll be honest and professional as possible, even though I’m completely repulsed by the idea that Stephanie McMahon remains on RAW… But I’ll keep the Stephanie bashing reserved and let you enjoy it in my last column. Again, if you want to remain a wrestling fan, you’ll have to endure the significant changes happening to RAW, Smackdown, and indirectly, NXT. Bigtime roll of the dice that if done correctly, could work… But the WWE cannot fumble the ball.

HOW TO MAKE THE WWE BRAND SPLIT OF 2016 SUCCESSFUL

Don’t Create a New World Title
Here’s my plan for the Titles on the RAW/Smackdown brand extension of 2016:
– Intercontinental Title – RAW Exclusive Singles Title
– United States Title – Smackdown Exclusive Singles Title
– *NEW* WWE Television Title – Must be defended on BOTH RAW and Smackdown each and every week – Champion is allowed to travel to each brand and returns to their drafted brand once title is lost. TV Title is also required to be defended on Pay Per Views. I would also recommend 10-15 minute time limits that are mentioned and sold.
– WWE Title, Women’s Title, and Tag Titles remain and champions are allowed to travel to each brand. When they lose their respective titles, they return to their drafted brand. Make the WWE Title special… Move it to the brand in need and make it feel *special* whenever the WWE Champion appears on a brand. In fact, I would use the WWE Title for dark matches following televised events to help pack in larger audiences for the show. Ditto for Women’s Title and Tag Titles. Champions appear on the brand with the wrestler(s) they are feuding with and move when needed.

WWE Title, Women’s, and Tag Titles do NOT have to be on every RAW/Smackdown show. Use the “30 Day Defense” rule. I would let the Intercontinental and United States Titles become the primary titles of each brand along with the Television Title. Protect the WWE Title and make it a special attraction for the WWE Network for its defense. WWE Champion doesn’t have to appear on every RAW/Smackdown show if the IC Title/United States Title are booked right. Ditto with having the Television Title appearing on both brands.

Raid NXT – But evolve the promotion into a Cruiserweight Promotion
Samoa Joe, Nakamura, American Alpha, Revival, Finn Balor, Bailey, and Asuka should be called up to the Main WWE roster. THEY ARE READY FOR THE BIG TIME. With that being said, the NXT roster is completely depleted… However, WWE is hosting the Cruiserweight Classic… The wrestling world is thick with smaller wrestlers who are incredibly talented as this CWC will prove. Hire them and let them be on the NXT brand once the talent raid happens. Hell, even create the NXT Cruiserweight Title.

Hire Kurt Angle as RAW General Manager
Angle is the PERFECT man for the job. We haven’t seen him in the WWE since 10 years ago and there is some legitimate tension that still exists from his exit that WWE could utilize. He’s an amazing speaker who has the talent to switch between heel and face to combat talent. But he could also talk down Stephanie McMahon, too. After all, they could actually play up their 2000 storyline romance to create some workplace sexual tension that could draw well. Angle is PERFECT to headline RAW as its General Manager (or COO?).

Keep Stephanie McMahon away from Male Wrestlers… But push her HARD against Females
Stephanie has given male wrestlers tons of damage over the years, particularly WWE Champions that the McMahons weren’t all the way sold on (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, etc.). She has been able to talk them down and ZERO revenge happens. Yes, that is domestic violence… But female wrestlers can hit back. We saw that with Brie Bella but the WWE could do better with the babyface opponent. Bayley vs. Stephanie McMahon is PERFECT and it could easily rip pages out of Austin vs. Vince and get away with it. Better yet, the WWE could play up that Stephanie is CRAZY jealous over Bayley because (a) Stephanie’s daughters consider her a hero and (b) Triple H is proud of Bayley’s accomplishments. The heat is there and better yet, Stephanie can actually wrestle. Stephanie versus the Women’s Division creates a compelling storyline that is much needed for the 3 hour RAW.

Change the Production/Look of Smackdown
I have to credit Mr. Jason Powell from his appearance on the Jim Ross Podcast for this idea… If Smackdown just looked different from a production standpoint, such as different camera angles, lighting, stages, format, etc. Powell was suggesting even letting another producer run Smackdown but I doubt Kevin Dunn would give up his precious spot in that WWE Production Truck. However, Dunn himself can change things up for Smackdown’s production and push that Shane McMahon is in charge and making recommended changes.

Treat RAW/Smackdown like Sports Franchises
I suggested this in another column… NO 2017 Draft to reshuffle the deck. We’re DONE with that. What I recommend is that RAW and Smackdown are treated like professional sports franchises to perform the following:
(a) No more Drafts of existing wrestlers or reshuffling – RAW/Smackdown must trade with each other for changes.
(b) However – Have an annual “rookie” Draft of developmental wrestlers. WWE could play up wrestlers working their way up in developmental and hype the importance of each brand drafting first. Furthermore, RAW/Smackdown could trade draft picks for existing wrestlers…
(c) Bidding system for any free agents who are joining the main WWE rosters.
(d) Both have a Salary Cap/Fixed # Quota of Wrestlers that both Commissioners have to abide by and need to consider making “cuts” if they go over the Cap/Quota.
(e) Both have open Injury Lists and can place wrestlers on the Injured Reserve/Disabled List. When placing a wrestler on the DL, this allows RAW/Smackdown an open roster spot for considerations.

Non-Title Matches are BANNED
Either the Title is on the line or the champions don’t wrestle… Just place the damn titles on the line and use the simple mechanics of DISQUALIFICATIONS, COUNTOUTS, and TIME LIMITS to protect the champions. Remember – titles cannot change hands when those 3 events occur, except when specified. How do you think Ric Flair made fans believe that ANY wrestler could take his WCW World Title? He used that Disqualifications rule to his advantage to remain champion. If you don’t use one of the 3 methods, let the heels cheat to win. It builds heat.

Use Paul Heyman on a Creative Team
Stating the obvious. Heyman was the Creative Lead for Smackdown during 2002-2004. It is a FACT that Smackdown outdrew RAW regularly. Midcarders need this guy and guys like Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Rusev, Jack Swagger, the Miz, etc. could use Heyman’s creativity to get their characters over.

RAW’s 3rd Hour becomes TV-14 or even TV-MA
How to you make RAW interesting for 3 hours? Make the 3rd hour, which airs from 10pm to 11pm, to fly off the handle! Let the language get rougher, let the violence increase, etc. WWE can more than advertise that the first 2 hours of RAW are “safe” but that it’s up to the parents’ discretion to let their kids watch hour #3 or not.

Hype matches ahead of time
Can’t say this enough… Announce at least 3 matches ahead of time for each show. Too much booking on the fly, or the appearance of, has eroded the credibility of WWE to appear like a valid sporting event.

Trademark Finishers & Submission Holds
Not a Brand Extension suggestion per say, but my usual recommendation… Why can’t every wrestler just do John Cena’s Attitude Adjustment to win a match? Ditto for the RKO or Pedigree? WWE needs to create a Trademark Office that allows wrestlers to “trademark” ONE unique finishing move and unique ONE submission hold. If, for example, Brock Lesnar did an RKO on Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2016, Lesnar would be disqualified. Automatic rule. It protects the finisher and eliminates the logic of “why isn’t the entire roster doing RKO finishers?”.

END Hell in a Cell, TLC, and Extreme Rules Pay Per Views
Just do it… Those gimmick Pay Per Views are STUPID. “Hey, it’s October, time to wrestle in a big freakin’ cage”. Better yet, TLC is completely redundant with Money in the Bank’s Pay Per View. Lots of WCW Pay Per View names to use, but also RAW/Smackdown brand specific names used from the past as well.

Put Sponsors on the Ring, Tights, etc., and make it brand specific.
Said it for years… WWE is missing out on a ton of advertising dollars by not placing ads on the ring, turnbuckles, posts, ring barriers, ring apron, and wrestler tights. I know that advertisers can cheap it up, but who cares what’s on the ring when someone gets bodyslammed on it?

Put wrestling veterans and former creative guys on the WWE Creative Team
Jim Ross, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Vince Russo, Dutch Mantel, Bruce Pritchard, Jim Cornette, Kevin Nash, and a whole list of wrestling veterans are out there and have in-ring knowledge to give. I’m NOT saying giving these guys full reign, but many of those guys know the business extremely well. Austin and Foley, in particular, are untapped as creative forces… Just listen to Austin’s Podcast and you’ll hear how intelligent he is about the business. Foley is a creative writer who has published a handful of books. WWE needs more WRESTING guys to get in the ear of Vince McMahon to help him produce a better WRESTLING product.

And finally…

Triple H & Vince McMahon – Limited Use on TV
Vince and Triple H are just too powerful in the WWE… Vince is CEO/Board Chairman, Triple H can wrestle just 1-2 times a year and yet he’s dominant. “Less is more” with both of those guys as they always suck the air out of the room upon arrival. The more important thing to perform while HHH is used less on television is continue his training as an executive. What he’s missing is the financial side of things. Much of HHH’s past before wrestling was bodybuilding and working in gyms. Could he fully comprehend changes in WWE’s Balance Sheet, Income Statement, or other key ratios? Does he know how to make projections for shareholders? Does he know how to manage wrestler salaries?

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LAST WORD: So there you go… Legitimate ideas to consider for the RAW/Smackdown brand extension. I still worry about the Roster and the Creative Infrastructure, but that’s just my opinion. I HOPE THAT I’M WRONG and that it’s a success. I’m still a pro wrestling fan and want to continue being a pro wrestling fan. I really dislike what might happen to the NXT brand which I’ve really enjoyed for the last year. I personally thought that WWE achieved legitimate success with the NXT brand and could have made that into the true #2 brand instead of splitting RAW and Smackdown again.

Again – I hope that I’m wrong about my RAW/Smackdown brand extension worries… But if I am, opportunity knocks for other promotions to rise up and strike. I’m afraid that ship has already sailed and the brand extension’s failure to make new stars could put nails in pro wrestling’s column.

I always laugh at the argument of the “Brand Extension creates new stars”. NO, Paul Heyman creates new stars. Aside from Batista and sort of with Randy Orton, what did RAW create again from 2002-2011? Lots of Rodney Mack, Snitsky, and Eugene wrestlers created… Umaga wasn’t bad, though, and is an example of a random tag wrestler getting an opportunity. When I keep mentioning the “Ohio Valley Wrestling Class of 2002”, it’s very specific to producing the 2 biggest stars of today’s WWE, John Cena and Brock Lesnar, two “Paul Heyman Guys” from Smackdown 2002-2004. And Edge, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr., and others saw serious growth during 2002-2004. And Heyman salvaged CM Punk when he was at Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Heyman is RIGHT THERE, WWE… He’s on your freakin’ roster. USE HIM!

SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – How to Make the New RAW & Smackdown Brand Extension Successful

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Wilder ready to put on a show

Last Updated: 16/07/16 7:13am

Chris Arreola (left) and WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder

Chris Arreola (left) and WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder

Chris Arreola (left) and WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder says he is hoping to put on “a show” with Chris Arreola in their WBC world heavyweight title fight.

Wilder (36-0-KO35) is a big favourite going into the fourth defence of his crown, which will be shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday night, while Arreola is hoping to cash in on an unexpected opportunity.

Wilder was scheduled to fight in Russia against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in May, but that fight fell through when Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

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“We needed a guy that was going to come and fight,” Wilder said ahead of the bout in Alabama. “We needed a guy that wasn’t going to come and make excuses. He may still make excuses at the end talking about weight.

“But we mainly needed a guy that was going to come and give the people of Alabama a show, and worldwide.

“There’s no other guy that we could have had that was going to give me the fight that I was looking for out of a fighter than Chris Arreola. That’s why we chose him.”

Arreola and Wilder used their weigh-in to make a social statement

Arreola and Wilder used their weigh-in to make a social statement

Arreola and Wilder used their weigh-in to make a social statement

Wilder said he needed a quick fight after being down following cancellation of the fight with Povetkin, who has denied any wrongdoing.

“I can’t wait because I’ve been wanting to pound something,” Wilder said. “I’ve been wanting to pound something since May. I got teased a little bit. I don’t like to be teased. I got teased a little bit and now it’s time.”

On Saturday Wilder takes on Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title, which you can watch live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm

On Saturday Wilder takes on Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title, which you can watch live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm

On Saturday Wilder takes on Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title, which you can watch live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm

Arreola (36-4-1-KO31) is a big underdog going into the bout, with some oddsmakers installing Wilder as a 1/30 favourite. Arreola has lost in previous world title shots to Vitali Klitschko and Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder beat to claim the WBC crown in January 2015.

“I told my wife before she got here to make sure she gave $1,000 to one of my cousins to go put at least $1,000 on myself,” Arreola said. “That’s $30,000. I’ll take that all day every day.

“To me, that’s very disrespectful. Extremely disrespectful. Those are almost Buster [Douglas] odds.”

The 6ft 7in Wilder has knocked out every opponent except Stiverne, but his three title defences have all gone at least into the ninth. Wilder is coming off a ninth-round knockout of Artur Szpilka in January.

Arreola hasn’t fought since December, when he won a split decision over Travis Kauffman. It was declared a no contest because Arreola tested positive for marijuana.

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Wilder ready to put on a show

Murray open to Eubank Jr war

Last Updated: 15/07/16 2:58pm

Martin Murray is hungry for more big fights

Martin Murray is hungry for more big fights

Martin Murray is hungry for more big fights

Martin Murray is looking to face Chris Eubank Jr after the British middleweight champion failed to finalise a deal with Gennady Golovkin.

St Helens’ Murray (33-4-1-KO16) was most recently in action on June 25 when he was outpointed by fellow former world title challenger George Groves at super-middleweight.

Although both men billed that clash as a last-chance saloon in terms of world title ambitions, Murray’s desire still seems to be burning brightly enough. Certainly more brightly, he claims, than Eubank Jr’s desire to face Golovkin ever did.

No hurry for Murray

Glenn McCrory believes Eubank Jr should face Murray

He told Sky Sports: “Everyone keeps telling me they’d like to see me in with Eubank Jr and it’s a great fight I’d like to be involved in. I’m putting it out there that I’m ready and available if he wants to fight.

“I said it all along that he wouldn’t fight Golovkin. I said it was a publicity stunt and it turned out that way. It’s quite clever how they’ve done it because they were never going to fight him but they’ve talked the fight up and if and when he does fight him, it’s even bigger now.

Eubank is a very good fighter and he’s improving all the time but someone like myself – an experienced, strong middleweight, he’s not ready for.

Martin Murray

“He won’t fight me either, even though it’s a fight everyone wants to see. He won’t fight me, because if he does then he’ll lose and he’ll never get that Golovkin fight then.

“Barring Golovkin, I’ve said for years that I don’t think there’s anybody out there at middleweight who’d beat me. I think Eubank Jr is a good fight for me but I think it’s one I’d win very comfortably, if I’m honest.

Chris Eubank Jr lit up the O2 Arena before beating Tom Doran

Chris Eubank Jr lit up the O2 Arena before beating Tom Doran

Chris Eubank Jr lit up the O2 Arena before beating Tom Doran

“I rate Eubank Jr. He’s a very good fighter and he’s improving all the time but someone like myself – an experienced, strong middleweight, he’s not ready for in my opinion. He likes standing toe to toe and he likes having a go and I like having a fight so it’d be a great one to watch.?

“I can mix it with the super-middleweights but I feel like I’ve got more advantage at middleweight. I moved up because I found it hard to make but also, I didn’t know where I was going to go. Now there are big fights out there.”

Murray remains the man to have taken WBA Super, WBC and IBF champion Golovkin (35-0-KO32) the furthest, lasting until the 11th round in Monaco in February 2015.

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Murray open to Eubank Jr war

Huck wants Bellew in Britain

Last Updated: 15/07/16 1:13pm

Marco Huck is determined to make it back to the top quickly

Marco Huck is determined to make it back to the top quickly

Marco Huck is determined to make it back to the top quickly

Former world champion Marco Huck is hoping to regain a cruiserweight title against new WBC king Tony Bellew.

The Serbian-born German (39-3-1-KO27) equalled Johnny Nelson’s record of 13 consecutive WBO world cruiserweight title defences before a shock 11th-round stoppage defeat to Krzysztof Glowacki in August 2015.

Now, having bounced back with a stoppage defeat of Ola Afolabi, Huck has told World Boxing News: “I would be willing to take on Tony Bellew immediately, I mean why wait until October?

Huck equalled Johnny Nelson's record of WBO defences

Huck equalled Johnny Nelson's record of WBO defences

Huck equalled Johnny Nelson’s record of WBO defences

“Fighting in Britain has always been a dream of mine, anyway. But to be honest, I doubt it will happen anytime soon. He knows I would smash him to pieces. He is scared of me and will take easier options to hold on to his belt for a while.

“We did get in touch with them but never heard anything back and I think that pretty much says it all.

“I will return to the ring in August or September. I am ready to go and want to get back to doing what I do best.”

Another of Bellew’s possible future opponents is David Haye, and Huck accepted that a match-up between the two former sparring partners would make a lot of sense.

Tony Bellew with a textbook example of how to call out an opponent

Tony Bellew with a textbook example of how to call out an opponent

Tony Bellew with a textbook example of how to call out an opponent

The 31-year-old added: “Obviously, that would be an interesting fight. Two strong and powerful Brits facing each other is always an exciting fight. It’s one of those fights where I cannot pick either one. I would just enjoy watching the fight.”

Bellew (27-2-1-KO17) claimed the vacant WBC with a thrilling third-round stoppage of Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park back in May.

Original source:

Huck wants Bellew in Britain

WATCH: GGG v Brook press day

Last Updated: 15/07/16 2:43pm

Kell Brook and Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin's first press conference

Kell Brook and Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin's first press conference

Kell Brook and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s first press conference

Two undefeated world champions went face-to-face for the first time in New York. Watch the Gennady Golovkin v Kell Brook press conference.

Much has been made of IBF world welterweight champion Brook accepting the challenge of leaping up two divisions to face middleweight king Golovkin, who holds the WBA Super, WBC and IBF belts.

The pair boast flawless records with Brook 36-0-KO25 and Golovkin 35-0-KO32 – combining for a staggering 71 victories and 57 stoppages.

At The O2 on September 10, Brook has the big fight he’s always wanted even if many feel it’s literally too big. Can he avoid those heavy hands for long enough to register himself and upset the Kazakh? The world can’t wait to find out.

So with the fight less than two months away, the two met in New York for their opening press conference. Did the insults fly or was there an instant mutual respect?

Find out by watching the first Golovkin v Brook press conference. Just click the video.

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WATCH: GGG v Brook press day

Wilder ready for Arreola

Last Updated: 16/07/16 1:07am

Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola pose during the final press conference for Saturday's heavyweight showdown in Alabama

Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola pose during the final press conference for Saturday's heavyweight showdown in Alabama

Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola pose during the final press conference for Saturday’s heavyweight showdown in Alabama

Deontay Wilder has vowed to take out the frustration of his postponed world title defence on Chris Arreola when the pair meet in the ring in Birmingham, Alabama at the weekend.

Wilder faces Arreola on Saturday night,? live on? Sky Sports, in the fourth defence of his WBC heavyweight title after a scheduled defence against Alexander Povetkin was called off due to a failed drugs test.

Deontay Wilder is keen to get back to work against Chris Arreola

Deontay Wilder is keen to get back to work against Chris Arreola

Deontay Wilder is keen to get back to work against Chris Arreola

“I’ve wanted to hit somebody since May,” said the undefeated knockout specialist, who boasts a record of 36 wins, with 35 by stoppage.

“Does he deserve the title shot, no he doesn’t,” added Wilder about replacement Arreola, who is attempting to win a world title at the third time of asking.

“But for this situation that we’re in with the short notice, is he the perfect guy? You’re right, he is.”

Deontay Wilder will return to Sky Sports screens when he takes on Chris Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16

Deontay Wilder will return to Sky Sports screens when he takes on Chris Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16

Deontay Wilder will return to Sky Sports screens when he takes on Chris Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16

Arreola (36-4-1-KO31) returns to the ring for the first time this year after his December win over Travis Kauffman was changed to a no decision following a positive test for marijuana.

The 35-year-old battled to a draw against Fred Kassi in his previous fight and beat Curtis Harper 15 months ago in his first bout after losing a title contest to Bermane Stiverne.

Chris Arreola is determined to upset the odds against Deontay Wilder

Chris Arreola is determined to upset the odds against Deontay Wilder

Chris Arreola is determined to upset the odds against Deontay Wilder

“This is my third opportunity,” said Arreola, who was stopped on his stool after 10 rounds by Vitali Klitschko in 2009 in his first title shot. “I can’t let this opportunity slip away.

“I respect Deontay. But once the bell rings, it’s time to go fight and it’s time to get that title. I want that title.”

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Wilder agreed a voluntary defence against Arreola in a bid to stay active in his quest to unify the division and to distance himself from the legal fallout that followed the postponement of the Povetkin bout.

Alexander Povetkin was due to face Deontay Wilder in May

Alexander Povetkin was due to face Deontay Wilder in May

Alexander Povetkin was due to face Deontay Wilder in May

The Russian, who tested positive for a trace of newly-banned drug meldonium, claims a new test has proved he was clean and his camp are now threatening to sue.

Wilder knocked out Polish challenger Artur? Szpilka in his last fight in January.

Wilder polishes off Polish challenge

Deontay Wilder destroys Artur Szpilka with a stunning knockout

“This is the longest stretch that I’ve been out of the ring and I’m anxious to get back in and continue my quest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” added Wilder.

“This is another fight in that process.”

Wilder, however, is not planning on taking challenger Arreola for granted.

“When you’re in the hurt business, you have no choice but to stay focused on the test that lies at hand because if you’re not focused, you can get knocked out.”

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Wilder ready for Arreola

Stiverne: Wilder avoiding me

Last Updated: 15/07/16 6:43am

Bermane Stiverne (right) cited health issues for losing to Deontay Wilder

Bermane Stiverne (right) cited health issues for losing to Deontay Wilder

Bermane Stiverne (right) cited health issues for losing to Deontay Wilder

Bermane Stiverne has criticised Deontay Wilder’s decision not to offer him a rematch.

Wilder won the WBC heavyweight title with a unanimous decision against Stiverne in January 2015 and will put the belt on the line against Chris Arreola on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm.

Stiverne, the first man to take Wilder the distance, had previously earned the title after twice beating Arreola so believes he should have been picked as the next challenger.

He knows he dodged a bullet when he fought me and now he’s got the title, he’ll just run with it.

Bermane Stiverne

“We all know Deontay doesn’t want it, he isn’t interested,” Stiverne told Sky Sports.

“He knows he dodged a bullet when he fought me and now he’s got the title, he’ll just run with it.

“It’s disappointing to see a champion like Wilder taking these opponents. I’ll make my decision about what’s going to happen once Arreola weighs in. It all depends on the number on his scales.”

Stiverne (right) owns two wins over Wilder's next opponent Chris Arreola

Stiverne (right) owns two wins over Wilder's next opponent Chris Arreola

Stiverne (right) owns two wins over Wilder’s next opponent Chris Arreola

Haiti-born Stiverne cited severe dehydration, which later hospitalised him, for the performance against Wilder which led to him losing his world title.

Now fully recovered, the 37-year-old told Sky Sports he has started preparation to possibly fight Anthony Joshua before the end of the year because he rates the IBF champion above Wilder.

A look back at Wilder’s brutal first round knockout win over Siarhei Liakhovic back in 2013

A look back at Wilder’s brutal first round knockout win over Siarhei Liakhovic back in 2013

A look back at Wilder’s brutal first round knockout win over Siarhei Liakhovic back in 2013

“The Wilder fight – I didn’t lose because his skills were better than me,” Stiverne said. “I lost the fight because of my health, that’s the only reason. It was like having a gun loaded but you can’t pull the trigger.

“Deontay is not going to fight any real fighters that will be a threat to him. This is the different between Wilder and Joshua – I think Joshua would take the risk, Deontay would not. That’s two different men we’re talking about.”

Watch Deontay Wilder’s latest defence of the WBC heavyweight championship against Chris Arreola on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm.

Stiverne: I’m in camp for Joshua

American expecting call for November at The O2

Originally posted here:

Stiverne: Wilder avoiding me

Brook aiming for greatness

Last Updated: 14/07/16 11:47pm

Kell Brook says he never backs down from a challenge and cannot wait for his London bout with Gennady Golovkin.

Kell Brook says he never backs down from a challenge and cannot wait for his London bout with Gennady Golovkin.

Kell Brook says he never backs down from a challenge and cannot wait for his London bout with Gennady Golovkin.

Kell Brook believes moving up to middleweight to face Gennady Golovkin is a gamble that can lead him on the road to boxing greatness.

The IBF welterweight champion is stepping up two weight divisions to take on the Kazakh, who is putting all three of his middleweight world titles on the line for a Sky Sports Box Office card on September 10.

Brook (36-0-KO25) agreed to take on Golovkin (35-0-KO32) after a potential fight between ‘GGG’ and Chris Eubank Jr did not materialise.

Eubank Jr has since branded Golovkin-Brook as ‘a joke‘, but the Sheffield fighter says it is a fantastic way for him to earn recognition as one of the best fighters in the world.

Talking about the move up the weights, Brook told a news conference in New York: “Sugar Ray Leonard boxed Marvin Hagler and beat him.

Brook will take on the biggest challenge of his career when he fights Golovkin

Brook will take on the biggest challenge of his career when he fights Golovkin

Brook will take on the biggest challenge of his career when he fights Golovkin

“My favourite fighter, Sugar Ray Robinson, has done that and to be a great fighter you have got to to do great things.

“For me, a welterweight, to step up and take on the most feared fighter in the world in Golovkin – to take this fight, it’s going to be hard.

Have a look back at some of Golovkin's best knockouts

Have a look back at some of Golovkin's best knockouts

Have a look back at some of Golovkin’s best knockouts

“Everything is going to have to be spot on in training, I’ve got to do everything right. Anything short of that I am not going to come up with the goods.

“We’re going to put the hard work in with the training, we’re going to go through hell in this training camp. But that’s what you need to do to reach greatness.”

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Brook aiming for greatness

Nelson: 'Hunted' Kell can win

Johnny Nelson

Boxing Expert & Columnist

Last Updated: 10/07/16 7:49am

Kell Brook (right) can shine in his toughest fight so far, says Johnny Nelson

Kell Brook (right) can shine in his toughest fight so far, says Johnny Nelson

Kell Brook (right) can shine in his toughest fight so far, says Johnny Nelson

Johnny Nelson knows exactly what fellow Sheffielder Kell Brook is capable of, and believes he can upset the odds against Gennady Golovkin…

Brook to fight Golovkin

Blockbuster bout to be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office

It’s another Amir Khan-Canelo Alvarez shocker, isn’t it? Kell, an unbeaten welterweight world champion, wants to risk it all like Khan did.

People said Kell hadn’t fought anybody then, boom, he’s fighting one of the most ferocious punchers out there. He’s stepped up two weights to do it.

Kell needs a fight that captures his imagination, puts him on fire, and gives him the ‘hunted’ mentality rather than the ‘hunter’ mentality.

Johnny Nelson

Like I said with Khan, this isn’t an impossible task. He has to stick to a game-plan. Kell is, without a doubt, the better technical fighter, Golovkin is clearly the bigger puncher. It’s a hard slog for Kell but it’s a possibility.

Kell is very strong at middleweight, people don’t realise that, and that’s why he’s so successful at welterweight. Probably, this will be a gradual progression for him to step up the weights because he could do that pretty easily.

Gennady Golovkin (left) will give Brook a welcome fear factor, says Nelson

Gennady Golovkin (left) will give Brook a welcome fear factor, says Nelson

Gennady Golovkin (left) will give Brook a welcome fear factor, says Nelson

Kell needs a fight that captures his imagination, puts him on fire, and gives him the ‘hunted’ mentality rather than the ‘hunter’ mentality. Therefore, I expect to see something outstanding from Kell.

Without a doubt he has more to gain than to lose. Kell will still have his IBF welterweight title. He loses his undefeated record if he does lose but what could he gain? Go back in history and look at fighters that have stepped up these weight divisions – Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. Kell can punch, Kell can box, Kell can move, Kell is hungry. Anybody that fights Kell will tell you his punches are like a stun gun.

Brook punches harder than people realise, Nelson says

Brook punches harder than people realise, Nelson says

Brook punches harder than people realise, Nelson says

If you compare this to Khan-Canelo, nobody thought Khan would have the punching power to hurt Canelo – he had speed and boxing ability. I believe Kell has the punching power, the speed and the boxing ability.

The people around Kell know he needs somebody that will set him on fire and give him a fear factor. Kell jumped at the opportunity.

If Kell pulls this off, he will be rated pound-for-pound among the best because he will have pulled off a feat that nobody else has done.

Kell Brook will challenge? WBA Super, WBC and IBF world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on September 10 at London’s 02 Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Nelson: 'Hunted' Kell can win

Campbell: I'm no choir boy

Last Updated: 09/07/16 1:18pm

Luke Campbell won't lack for confidence against Argenis Mendez

Luke Campbell won't lack for confidence against Argenis Mendez

Luke Campbell won’t lack for confidence against Argenis Mendez

Luke Campbell is keen to continue belying his boyish looks by showing true grit in the ring when he meets former world champion Argenis Mendez.

The Hull lightweight (13-1-KO11) takes on Mendez (23-4-1-KO12) on the undercard of Josh Warrington v Patrick Hyland in Leeds on July 30 and says spirit as much as technical skill will help propel him to world level.

‘Cool Hand’ told Sky Sports: “A hell of a lot of people will underestimate me because I look like a little boy but I’ve got a big heart. Not only that, but I’m really dedicated to this sport. I’m in it for one reason; to be the best.

Campbell stopped Gary Sykes in two rounds

Campbell stopped Gary Sykes in two rounds

Campbell stopped Gary Sykes in two rounds

“There’s no way I’m going to go in there and back down for anybody. I don’t train for that. I would live in regret for the rest of my life if I ever thought I’d backed down or given up against anybody. It’s not in my nature. I believe I’ve got a bigger heart than anyone.”

Campbell, who won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games as a bantamweight, was beaten for the first time as a professional in December 2015 when Yvan Mendy knocked him down on the way to a points upset.

However, far from that defeat damaging confidence, Campbell insists he learned a great deal on that disappointing night at The O2 and plans to leave it behind as his sole career loss.

Campbell was bent on revenge after beating Sykes

Campbell was bent on revenge after beating Sykes

Campbell was bent on revenge after beating Sykes

“You don’t achieve what I’ve achieved and won what I’ve won without mental toughness and heart. It was a defeat I shouldn’t have faced because I shouldn’t have been in there that night but everything happens for a reason.

“I can still sit here with a smile on my face, taking the positives from that fight. There have been a lot of changes made since then, too.”

Watch Campbell v Mendez as part of Warrington v Hyland live on Sky Sports on July 30.

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Campbell: I'm no choir boy