Right along with all the fanfare associated with the run up to the year’s biggest boxing pay per view Sergey Kovalev versus Andre Ward, the PMNM podcast was attempting to take it to the next level too. How was PMNM going to raise the bar? I had articles in the can with a pair of boxers participating on the undercard of Kovalev-Ward! That’s right, this week’s episode was supposed to include interviews with Roc Nation Sports undefeated prospects Sonny “Pretty Boi” Fredrickson and Tyler “The Golden Child” McCreary – both fighting out of Toledo, OH.
This Kovalev-Ward undercard is the kind of exposure and opportunity the two fighters hoped would result from their impressive victories on the Luis Arias undercard back in August.
The interviews were lost due to some unforeseen technical issues. Nevertheless, I’ll sum things up quickly – both fighters’ bouts will be televised on the free portion of the HBO pay per view.
Fredrickson (14-0, 9 KOs) is slated to face Boston, MA’s Gabriel Duluc (11-1, 2 KOs) in 8 rounds of super lightweight action. Duluc is a solid offensive fighter that maintains a steady work pace, but expect Fredrickson to nullify Duluc’s offense with his tight defense, and to eventually exploit Duluc’s defensive flaws that arise as focuses on his attack. I expect the 6’2″ Fredrickson to utilize his reach advantage, not give up his height, gradually breakdown Duluc and stop him in the mid to late rounds. Fredrickson’s trainer, Lamar Wright, is quite familiar with Duluc as he worked with another Toledo fighter who faced Duluc a few years ago.
During our interview last week Fredrickson commented that he didn’t feel that his Roc Nation Sports affiliation or the recently announced USBA ranking as the 12th best junior welterweight added any additional pressure on him going into this fight, but agreed that it could be a motivational factor for Duluc.
McCreary (11-0, 6 KOs) won’t have to chase Grand Rapids, MI’s Vincent Jennings (5-2-1, 4 KOs) like he did DeWayne Wisdom in his previous fight. McCreary said he expects to fully showcase his speed and effective punching against Jennings, as the shorter Grand Rapids fighter tends to try to close the distance between opponents to get off power shots inside. If Jennings attempts to walk in on McCreary all night without doing so behind a more active jab than I noticed in previous fights, it could be an easy night of work for the Golden Child.
During our interview McCreary expressed his gratitude towards the opportunity to fight on the undercard of Andre Ward – a fighter for which he holds a great deal of admiration. He was extremely eager to capitalize on his moment on the big stage.
As for the night’s main event, the highly anticipated light heavyweight world championship unification bout between top 5 pound-for-pound boxers Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. Similar to last month’s Fall Classic match up between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, this is another battle between great hitting and great pitching – expect the opposite outcome of the World Series! For the details check out this week’s podcast.
After the Fredrickson and McCreary interviews fell through, I had to scramble to assemble a make-shift panel to break down Kovalev-Ward with me. Graciously, I was able to link up with a pair of entertaining boxing prospects I saw in action last month while at Cincinnati, OH boxing series Bang Bang 3 and an enthusiastic boxing promoter from Denver, CO-based Under Dawg Boxing outfit.
Cleveland middleweight prospect Michael “the Silverback” Moore (14-1, 7 KOs) joins the show in the first segment. Moore put together an impressive performance with his stoppage of Indianapolis’ durable Vance Garvey at Bang Bang 3. However, we talk through Moore’s first professional setback, a TKO loss to Stanyslav Skorokhod back in February 2015. Moore sounds like he’s back on track and confidently looking for his next move.
Cincinnati, OH cruiserweight Santino Turnbow (2-0, 2 KOs) called in to talk briefly while on break from training in Big Bear. Turnbow thrilled fans with his resounding Bang Bang 3 knock out performance at Bang Bang 3, and in the second segment the late starter talks about what will make his move from being a linebacker as an Arena league football player to a full-fledged pugilist in the ring a success. The Gambino hints that his success has something to do with journeyman Mel Turnbow’s surprising feat during a sparring session with the Greatest – Muhammad Ali.
This episode’s final segment features boxing commentary from UDB’s Eric Duran. Duran discusses his company’s latest event Dawg Fights III that suffered an abrupt ending at the worst possible moment of the evening. We move on to several boxing headlines – PBC’s rising star junior middleweight Jarrett “Swift” Hurd maturing into a contender, March 2016’s Thurman-Garcia showdown, the recently announced Jose Pedraza versus Gervonta Davis title fight (as part of Showtime/PBC’s Jack-DeGale undercard), and finally a Kovalev-Ward analysis.