Light Schedule But Still, Some Stood Out, So We Ask, WHO WON THE WEEKEND?


It was another low key weekend in the realm of the sweet science, no big rumbles to demand your attention.

But that doesn’t mean some practitioners didn’t impress with their ring generalship. We put the ask out to the NYF Squad and extended fam, querying, “Who Won the Weekend?”

“I’m going with “club” on this one and saying the Negrete versus Melian fight won the weekend. This fight had over 1700 combined punches,” said Abe Gonzalez. “Talk about two well conditioned fighters! They were absolutely going at it for all ten rounds and gave fans their moneys worth on a Thursday night.”

“I always get excited when Gary Russell Jr. fights,” said David Phillips. “I think he might be the most talented under the radar fighter in boxing. The problem is he gets into the ring so infrequently. Since 2014 (when he fought three times), he has literally only had one fight in each of the subsequent years. In a scrap against a previously undefeated Tug Nyambayar, Russell showed he still has plenty of hand speed, movement, and footwork left in the tank. It would be nice if he shared it with us more often.”

Gary Russell is one of the most dynamic fighters in the sport,” said Kelsey McCarson. “Fight nights featuring the absurdly fast-handed titleholder are all the more special because he only competes every leap year or so. But seriously, there’s no doubt Russell is one of the best boxers in the world. Hopefully, the featherweight’s win over tough competitor Tugstsogt Nyambayar nets Russell the big fights he craves and deserves. Russell vs. Leo Santa Cruz is one of the best matchups that can be made in the sport.”

Terri Harper, IBO and WBC World Champion. First British woman to do so. She definitely won the weekend for me,” said Chris Glover.

Jayson Velez won the weekend,” said Matt Andrzejewski. “Here is a true boxing story. In January of 1997, Vince Phillips lost a split decision to Romallis Ellis on HBO’s Boxing After Dark that was seen by a wide audience. Its was an entertaining fight with plenty of exciting exchanges and the end result frankly could have gone either way. Phillips got an opportunity, despite the loss on paper, based off his effort that night to fight Kostya Tszyu for a 140 pound title. Guess what happened. Phillips pulled a huge upset against Tszyu.

“It was career changing for Phillips and he probably would not have got that shot if the verdict against Ellis had gone in his favor. My point here is Velez… going to get an opportunity based on how he performed on a big network fight and the loss on paper may work in his favor in the long run as odd as it may seem.”

Valentina Shevchenko won the weekend,” said Josh Friedman. “Defended her belt with a seamless, flawless performance. Arguably the most dominant champion in combat sports at the moment; at the very least, one of them.”

Gary Russell Jr. gets a lot of flack for his lack of appearances inside the ring, but he put on a top-notch performance against a very talented Tugstsogt Nyambayar,” said Jeremy Herriges. “His performance was enough to make him the outlier for the weekend. Nyambayar succeeded at the highest level during his amateur career, but Russell made him look like he was punching in slow motion. Russell has named Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz as desirable opponents, but he should stay at featherweight and try to clean out that division. Russell has a much better chance against Shakur Stevenson or Josh Warrington. Against Nyambayar, he proved that he’s a legit A-level boxer. He looked like a man to be avoided.”

“There wasn’t a standout for me this weekend, but I will say I enjoyed watching Guillermo Rigondeaux skillfully beat Liborio Solis for the vacant WBA bantamweight championship,” said Rachel McCarson. “It seemed to me that early on Rigo was stunned, but he came back and used his defensive skill, amazing footwork and power to take the victory.”

Gary Russell, Jr. reminded us once again why he has been the best featherweight since Lomachenko moved up in weight,” said John Vena. “It really pisses me off how he has been handled and I wish the media did a better job to make the case that fighters like Santa Cruz and Warrington, good fighters, should have never been considered the best in the division. Here is hoping Russell can prove his genius to the sport in the very near future.”

About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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