Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 2nd to April 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Top Rank on ESPN to Bring Vasily Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla Lightweight World Title Bout April 12th Exclusively on ESPN+
One of the biggest boxing events of the year will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ on April 12 at 11 p.m. ET from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The reigning WBA/WBO lightweight – and widely regarded pound-for-pound –champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), is set to defend his unified lightweight world title against mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs). The undercard bouts will also stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET. All the evening’s fights will be available in Spanish on ESPN+.
Friday’s Top Rank on ESPN card coincides with the one-year anniversary of the launch of ESPN+ – the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.
Calling the action for ESPN will be Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), former two-division world titleholder Tim Bradley (analyst) and former pound-for-pound two-division world titleholder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (analyst). The on-location desk team will feature analysis from Mark Kriegel and Max Kellerman, and the ESPN+ Spanish coverage includes play-by-play from Jorge Eduardo Sánchez and former boxing champion Juan Manuel Márquez as analyst.”
ESPN’s official coverage of fight week kicked off Sunday, April 7, with Countdown to Lomachenko vs. Crolla, where viewers follow rival boxers Vasiliy Lomachenko and Anthony Crolla as they prepare for a must-see world title fight on April 12. See inside the training camp of pound-for-pound superstar Lomachenko as he trains at his home base in Oxnard, Calif., while former world champion Crolla trains to return the WBA title he once held to its rightful owner.
ESPN.com will have the fight covered throughout the week with a feature on Anthony Crolla from Nick Parkinson, a unique look at how the world’s best boxing trainers would prepare their fighters to face Vasiliy Lomachenko from Steve Kim and a complete guide to the fight from Dan Rafael. Rafael and Kim will be at the fight offering their unique insight as the action goes down.
Christian Carto Named the “One to Watch”
Local bantamweight boxer Christian Carto won four straight bouts in 2018 and improved his record to 17-0, with 11 KOs. These four fights included two local main events, and two supporting spots on big nationally televised cards. This was a year of development for Carto, as he went the distance in all four fights, mixed it up a bit more than we’re used to seeing, and faced a tougher level of competition. Along the way, Carto also established himself as one of the biggest box office attractions of the local scene.
For these factors, as well as his exciting style and promising future, Carto earned the award as “The One to Watch”, and will take home his first-ever Briscoe Award on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Xfinity Live! in South Philly.
In his first start of 2019, Carto suffered his first professional set back, but for many reasons, he remains the fighter that everyone continues to watch, perhaps even more so after his most recent outing.
The awards, named after Philly middleweight boxing legend Bennie Briscoe, have been recognizing the best achievements of the Philly boxing scene since 2007.
This year’s event will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Xfinity Live! in South Philadelphia (1100 Pattison Avenue), 1-4 PM. Tickets for the Briscoe Awards cost $10 each, and can be purchased in advance at BriscoeAwards.com, or by calling 609-377-6413.
The Briscoe Awards are presented by Philly Boxing History Inc., a 501c3 Non-Profit organization, dedicated to preserving and honoring the great legacy of boxing in and around the city of Philadelphia. For more information, call John DiSanto at 609-377-6413.
Donaire: “I can’t wait to the to show the crowd what we’ve been working on”
Philippine-American Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire feels well prepared and looks forward to his World Boxing Super Series 118lb Semi-Final against South Africa’s WBO Champ Zolani Tete at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, USA on April 27.
“Lafayette, Louisiana is definitely going to be an experience,” said Donaire, a native of the Philippines who moved to the Bay Area in California at the age of 10 and today lives and trains in Las Vegas.
“There is so much culture all over the United States and I am I’m blessed to be in a tournament that allows me to visit a different state. I’ve heard the food is amazing and I can’t wait to try it out after the fight.”
36-year-old Donaire is perhaps the biggest name in the star-studded WBSS Season 2 line-up having held eight world titles by the main four boxing sanctioning bodies. Known as “The Filipino Flash” due to exceptionally hand speed and extraordinary punching power.
The former multiple-time world champion in four weight classes and current WBA Super Bantamweight Champion came down from 126lb to compete at 118lb for the first time in seven years to enter the WBSS.
In the quarter-final in Glasgow, Scotland Nov. 3rd last year against Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, tournament No. 1 seed, Donaire felt he was in control and would have taken home the victory in the normal fashion if his opponent hadn’t been forced to retire after four rounds with a lower back injury.
How is the training going, can you give us some insight from your training camp?
“Training started about two weeks after the Burnett fight. We didn’t know when the fight would be scheduled but we knew the opponent so we stayed head on for Tete. I implemented new training methods that we haven’t tried before and have had a smooth training camp in Las Vegas.”
How would you describe your shape and preparations compared to your last fight?
“I believe the major difference is building upon what we had in the Burnett fight. I made sure to continue to stay disciplined with my diet and continue to be at the gym. As I said, it wasn’t completely 100% boxing throughout and we did implement training outside of the boxing gym and different drills as well. We made sure to have rest when needed so we could turn it up in these last couple weeks.”
How do you see the match-up with Tete?
“Tete is a formidable opponent. He is tall, he is fast, he is slick, but I am a fighter that can fight any kind of style. I can’t wait to the to show the crowd what we’ve been working on.”
April 20: Carlos Adames and Frank Galarza Headlines Packed Crawford-Khan Undercard
One of the 154-pound division’s biggest punchers — Dominican sensation Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames — is set to make a thunderous statement April 20 at Madison Square Garden.
NABF champion Adames will defend his belt against Brooklyn native Frank Galarza in the 10-round featured bout on the Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan undercard broadcast, which will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and in Spanish on the ESPN app. Adames vs. Galarza will also be contested for the vacant NABO 154-pound belt.
Adames vs. Galarza will headline a scheduled five-fight broadcast, which will lead into the Crawford vs. Khan pay-per-view extravaganza at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.
“I am thrilled and proud to fight at Madison Square Garden once again. It is a great honor to be in action on such a big stage and on an important card like this one,” Adames said. “I have a new trainer, Robert Garcia, and we are working on a lot of new things. This will be the new era of ‘Caballo Bronco.’ Frank Galarza is a good, experienced fighter. I know he has faced good opposition and that he is training hard for this fight. It will be a very interesting fight because he will be battling against someone that wants to be one of the greats in the sport. I’m coming to make noise in the 154-pound division.”
“There is no better place for this fight to be than at The Garden,” Galarza said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I’m ready to show the world what I’m really made of. Carlos and I both are ranked in the top 15 in the WBO. He is coming to my backyard, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Adames (16-0, 13 KOs) is 3-0 since signing with Top Rank in early 2018. He turned pro in 2015 after a nearly 300-fight amateur career and showed he belonged at the world-class level in July 2017, knocking down and scoring a shutout decision over former world champion Carlos Molina. His last two fights have lasted a total of five rounds, and he is coming off a third-round knockout over Juan Ruiz on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y.
Galarza (20-2-2, 12 KOs), from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, overcame a troubled childhood and a brief 11-fight amateur career to become a longtime contender in the paid ranks. He began his career 17-0-2 before a sixth-round TKO loss to Jarrett Hurd, who is currently the unified 154-pound world champion. A close decision loss to Ishe Smith followed in September 2016, but Galarza has since resurrected his career, winning a trio of fights to set up this opportunity versus Adames.
In other action on the ESPN2 broadcast:
Former Indian amateur standout Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan (1-0, 1 KO) will take the next step in his professional journey against Noah Kidd (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight fight. Krishan was a two-time Olympian for his home country and is the only Indian fighter to have won both the Asian and Commonwealth Games.
“As I continue my pro journey, it’s an honor to fight on such a significant card,” Krishan said. “There is a large Indian population in New York and New Jersey, and I can’t wait to see the support from my Indian people. It’s going to be a special night.”
Puerto Rican middleweight sensation Edgar Berlanga (9-0, 9 KOs) has scored nine consecutive first-round stoppages to begin his pro career. He will look to make it 10 for 10 versus Brazilian veteran Samir Dos Santos (37-15-3, 26 KOs) in an eight-rounder. The Brooklyn-born Berlanga has fought four times in New York City as a pro and will be making his Top Rank debut.
Bantamweight prospect Lawrence “BT” Newton (11-0, 7 KOs), a stablemate of Crawford’s, will face Jonathan Garza (7-2, 2 KOs), in a six-round showdown.
Larry Fryers (9-1, 3 KOs), a native of Ireland who now lives in New York, will look to make it four wins in a row against Dakota Polley (5-2, 2 KOs) in a super lightweight bout scheduled for six or four rounds.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.