DSH Boxing Notebook: Thurman-Porter bout set, Leo Santa Cruz returns, Glazkov to have knee surgery

January 23, 2016

This week's version of The Daily Sports Herald's Boxing Notebook discusses Czar Glazkov's knee injury, as well as the upcoming Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter welterweight showdown.  Take a look below at the latest news in the sweet science:

Glazkov Suffers Severe Knee Injury

Just when the heavyweight division is finally getting interesting, one of its respected contenders will be forced to drop out of the mix for an extended time period, as Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov suffered a more severe knee injury than originally believed in his bout with Charles Martin last Saturday night.

Dr. Steven Stoller, a New Jersey Orthopedic Surgeon, said that in the third round, while avoiding a punch, Glazkov's right knee "pivot shifted," which in layman's terms is a partial dislocation of the knee (and is indicative of an ACL injury), when he went down the first time, which the referee ruled a slip. Glazkov continued fighting until presumably injuring his knee further when the bout was called off with 30 seconds remaining in the third round.

Dr. Stoller has not treated Glazkov, but said, "Upon reviewing Glazkov's MRI report, the injury was much more complex and serious than a straight forward ACL tear.  Additional injuries consisted of a vertical tear of the medial meniscus, a grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament as well as the lateral collateral ligament, with extensive injury to the posterior lateral complex of his knee, a large knee hemarthrosis, and he sustained bone contusions of the lateral tibial plateau and medial femoral condyle. I can't imagine how Glazkov was able to walk out of the ring, let alone continue fighting."

Glazkov met with Dr. Benjamin Yukhanan in Florida yesterday. Glazkov said, "The doctor says my knee is much worse than we thought. It's not just the ACL, it's also the meniscus and my whole knee was dislocated. They can't do surgery right away. I'm in a cast from the bottom to the top of my leg and I'll be in the cast for a month. After they remove the cast, I will do physical therapy for around another month. After that, they can do the surgery. Basically, we are talking 10 months in a best case scenario, but could be a year to recover."

Keith Thurman to face Shawn Porter

WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman will defend his title against former champ “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a blockbuster matchup of two of the world’s best 147-pound fighters on Saturday, March 12, on CBS from Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The last primetime boxing event on CBS was Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks on Feb. 15, 1978.

With perennial pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather now retired, the 27-year-old Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) and the 28-year-old Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) are hungry to stake their claim as the future of boxing.

“Last year was an amazing year for me: I headlined the very first Premier Boxing Champions show and was named PBC Fighter of the Year,” Thurman said.  “But this is my year to dominate the welterweight division and I’m excited to be getting ready to take out Shawn Porter.  I am ready to get back in the ring and bring boxing fans what they’ve been looking for – the top true welterweight champion of the world, the one who is going to take out all competitors one by one. I am Keith ‘One-Time’ Thurman and I’m going to show you what a champion looks like on March 12.”

Thurman, who owns a better than 80 percent KO ratio and knocked out 18 of his first 20 opponents, is considered one of the most avoided fighters in boxing.  After unsuccessfully lobbying to fight the best of the division for the past two years, Thurman finally had a breakout 2015.

The hard-hitting Florida native floored former champion and long-time contender Robert Guerrero en route to a convincing 12th round unanimous last March in Las Vegas.  He then dominated and bloodied former champ Luis Collazo on July 11, winning via seventh round TKO.  Thurman won the Interim WBA belt with a knockout of Diego Chaves in 2013 and scored consecutive knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass (2013) and Julio Diaz (2014) in his first and second title defenses.

Against Porter, Thurman will now get a chance to prove what he’s been claiming for years – that he’s the world’s best welterweight – in the toughest test of his career.  Porter, of course, has his own ideas as to who is the best in the division.

"I'm very confident in my ability.  That's why I've been looking forward to this fight because I'm someone who can beat Keith Thurman,” Porter said.  "Nothing about Keith really makes me nervous.  I do know that he's going to be ready for this fight.  He's a fighter that has the heart of a lion just like I do.  I expect this to be a fight to the finish.  A win over Keith Thurman is what we've been waiting for.”

Porter has built one of the most impressive resumes in the division since making his welterweight debut in 2010.  Porter, who surprisingly turned professional as a super middleweight (168 pounds), won the IBF crown in 2013 with an impressive unanimous decision over Devon Alexander.

The physically-gifted and offensive-minded Ohio native knocked out former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi with a brutal clean right hand in April of 2014 in the lone defense of his title.

Porter lost the IBF belt less than four months after the Malignaggi victory in a close majority decision defeat to undefeated British superstar Kell Brook, but he bounced back with a fifth-round knockout of Erick Bone in March of 2015. Porter scored what many considered an upset victory in his next bout over then three-division world champion Adrien Broner with a clear unanimous decision last June 20 in Las Vegas.

The aggressive, come-forward Porter has built his career as a perennial underdog who relishes in the role. But, with the resume he has built, it’s hard to consider him an underdog anymore heading into this crossroads showdown with Thurman.

Leo Santa Cruz to fight next on February 27

Undefeated three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz will make the first defense of his Featherweight World Championship against former world champion Kiko Martinez on Saturday, February 27, live on Showtime from Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

“I’m excited to have another opportunity to fight in front of my L.A. friends,” said Santa Cruz. “I’ve been in the gym and staying ready for anyone that’s put in front of me. I’m going to be 100 percent ready for this fight and I plan to go out there and look great.”

The popular Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) won the 126-pound title in a “Fight of the Year” candidate against former three-division champ Abner Mares last August at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.  It was just the second fight in the featherweight division for Santa Cruz, who has won belts at 118 and 122 pounds while earning a reputation as one of boxing’s most active and exciting fighters.  The 27-year-old also holds victories over Cristian Mijares and Eric Morel and has fought in world title bouts in 10 of his last 12 fights since 2012.

Meanwhile, Martinez (35-6-0, 26 KOs), of Valenciana, Spain, is a former super bantamweight world champion who won the IBF belt with a sixth-round knockout of Jhonatan Romero in 2013.  The 29-year-old made two successful title defenses against Jeffrey Mathebula and long-time titlist Hozumi Hasegawa before losing a decision in 2014 in a rematch against Carl Frampton.

Martinez challenged Scott Quigg for the 122-pound belt in July of 2015 before moving up to 126 pounds, where he bounced back to record knockouts in two of his three fights in just two months.   A world traveler who frequently fights on his opponent’s home turf, Martinez will now challenge Santa Cruz in just his second fight in the U.S. with his sights set on becoming a two-division world champion.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to face off against Leo Santa Cruz on February 27,” said Martinez. “Santa Cruz is clearly one of the very best featherweights in the world but I have what it takes. I’ve already begun working very hard with my longtime trainer Gaby Sarmiento and I will be victorious.”

Brant KO's Perez on ShoBox

Undefeated middleweight prospect Rob Brant scored the most impressive victory of his career with a fourth-round knockout of Decarlo Perez in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation, on Friday from Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.

“The game plan was to be aggressive,” Brant said. “We knew we wanted to show him our power early and make him respect us right away. When I caught him with the right on the temple in the third I knew we had him. And then when I connected in the fourth it was lights out, game over. I just want to get back in the ring as soon as possible and continue making progress.”

Known more for his boxing prowess, Brant (19-0, 12 KOs) displayed impressive power. After a big first round, in which he threw 97 punches and more of the same in the second, Brant floored Perez with a straight-right shot midway through the third.

The Minnesota native kept on the gas in the fourth and landed another straight right that sent Perez falling straight back partially through the ropes. Perez (15-4-1, 5 KOs) awkwardly landed back into the ring and referee Rocky Burke instantly ended the fight at :39.

Perez, who entered the fight coming off an impressive win over previously undefeated Juan Ubaldo Cabrera last August on ShoBox, said he just got caught with a good shot.

“I just got caught,” Perez said. That’s all that happened. I didn’t see the shot coming and he was speedier than I thought. He’s fast and he got me with something I wasn’t ready for.”

Showtime analyst Steve Farhood was surprised by Brant’s performance.

“Brant showed a dimension we hadn’t seen before,” Farhood said. “He’s thinking man’s fighter who fought an angry fight. And, as result of that, you have to put him near the very top of the list of middleweight prospects.”

Undefeated heavyweight prospect Jarrell Miller floored Donovan Dennis twice in a thoroughly dominating seventh round TKO (2:31) in the ShoBox co-feature.

“I had him out in the first round, but I threw my shoulder out throwing a left hook,” Miller said. “I was looking for the knockout so bad he started catching me with some shots. So then I decided to box a little bit and that’s what I did until the knockout came.

Miller (16-0-1, 14 KOs), who went past the sixth round for the first time in his career, landed 52 percent of his power shots. The Brooklyn native scored two knockdowns in the first round – the first with a devastating looping right, the second with a straight to the chest – and had Dennis nearly out on his feet in what looked like a certain first-round finish.

The southpaw Dennis (14-4, 11 KOs) somehow survived the round and actually pushed Miller into uncharted waters. Dennis had some moments where he out boxed his opponent, but Miller’s power and size – a 56 pound weight advantage – was the deciding difference. Dennis was breathing through his mouth and gasping for air when referee Tony Zaino wisely halted the contest as “Big Baby” teed-off on his defenseless opponent.

After the fight, Miller called out the two American heavyweight world champions.

“Charles Martin, I’m coming for you. Deontay Wilder, I’m coming for your Alabama BBQ.”

In the locker room after the bout, Dennis admitted that he was surprised by Miller’s boxing ability: “He’s a better boxer than I thought he would be. That surprised me.”

Golden Boy signs Andrew Cancio

Golden Boy Promotions announced that it has added top featherweight contender Andrew "El Chango" Cancio (16-3-2, 12 KOs) of Blythe, California, to its stable of fighters. Cancio has long been considered one of California's rising stars, but after several starts and stops, he showed what he can do against boxing warrior Rene "Gemelo" Alvarado in December of 2015, scoring a stirring knockout victory.

"Golden Boy Promotions is a highly respected company with a reputation of building fighters," said Andrew Cancio. "I have had a long relationship with them, fighting on some of their undercards and have seen firsthand what they can do for a fighter's career. Signing with them is another accomplishment for me. It shows that anything is possible if you have enough commitment and determination and I am ready to see what will happen in 2016 with Golden Boy Promotions on my corner."

A professional since 2006, Cancio has had a successful career facing some of boxing's toughest featherweight contenders. The talented 27-year-old holds victories over perennial contender and 2000 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Rocky Juarez, the battle-tested Jerry Belmontes, and is coming off an impressive seventh round knockout of tough warrior Alvarado.

"Andrew Cancio is a talented fighter who seeks to be challenged in the ring and that is just the type of fighter we want to have as part of our family at Golden Boy Promotions," said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "His ability and his desire to become the best by fighting tough opponents matches our mission, and I know Golden Boy is the right promoter to take him from rising star to top contender."

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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