Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 3rd to September 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
‘Time to Shine’ Prograis and Taylor Face-to-Face in London Ahead of Ali Trophy Final
USA’s Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Josh Taylor (15-0, 13 KOs) met on Monday in England’s capital at an intense kickoff press conference ahead of their highly anticipated WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
“I am excited to come to London, most fighters don’t get this chance in a lifetime,” said Prograis, WBA World Champion & WBC Diamond Champion.
The New Orleans native known as the ‘Rougarou, a werewolf-like creature of Louisiana’s folklore, does not see the final as a 50-50 match-up.
“Everybody always says they are going to beat me. Everybody says it was going to be a 50/50 fight but I blow everyone up. He is taller than me, he is longer than me, but you can’t determine my heart on the tale of the tape. And you can’t determine my IQ, Not to be cocky, but I can’t see him beating me.”
The beast from the bayou is up against ‘The Tartan Tornado’ from Prestonpans who is at least as confident in his own abilities.
“I am full of confidence,” said Taylor, IBF World Champion & WBC Silver Champion.
“I think I am bigger than him, quicker than him, stronger than him, and I punch just as hard as him. If he walks onto a shot I can get him out of there or I can out-box him for the full 12 rounds.
“I am headlining the show down here, tapping into the British fans, so I can’t wait,” he added. “Right now, I believe myself and Regis are the best two in the division, we are the guys to beat. And we are going to prove it on October 26. This is my time to shine and I am super confident.”
“This is it, the Champions League of boxing,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is a super final, the super-lightweight final for the Ali Trophy and ‘the man to beat in the division’. It’s not often you see the best against the best and this is one of the best fights of the year.
“I have watched them both and studied them extensively. Regis likes to keep his distance and is very fast in and out whilst Josh will come right at you and those two styles blend well.
“I can’t predict who wins. It’s really a dream to have two undefeated champions, two huge personalities in the final and we are very much looking forward to it.”
Prograis and Taylor entered the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded 140lb bracket.
No. 1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in round 6 and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, second seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.
The WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26 is shown live via Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service, will exclusively bring U.S. fight fans the WBSS Season II Finals. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
Heavy: Fury vs. Schwarz Premieres on ESPN on September 12th
Tyson Fury walked to the ring for his Las Vegas debut June 15 dressed like Apollo Creed and flanked by showgirls. He was set to defend his lineal heavyweight title against Tom Schwarz, but first, the man who authored one of sport’s greatest comeback stories wanted to give the fans a show.
Two days before Fury returns to the ring to defend his crown against unbeaten contender Otto Wallin this Saturday, September 14 live and exclusively on ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), director Peter Berg and Film 45 give viewers an intimate portrait of Fury and Schwarz in the days, and tense moments, leading up to their fight.
Produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Berg, the creator and executive producer of the multiple award-winning NBC drama series “Friday Night Lights” and several ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” installments, “HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” features behind-the-scenes footage of Fury and his then-undefeated challenger as they prepared for their showdown. The documentary is executive produced by Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and Matthew Shattuck for Film 45, and it will premiere this Thursday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Fury won the lineal and unified heavyweight titles in November 2015 with a unanimous decision over longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko, but mental health and substance abuse issues nearly derailed his career. He returned to the ring in June 2018, and less than six months later, fought WBC world champion Deontay Wilder to a highly disputed draw in one of the sport’s most memorable heavyweight championship battles. Now a noted mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Fury is fighting for his boxing legacy and aiming to inspire those afflicted with mental illness.
“We are excited to provide a raw and intimate account of the Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight,” said Berg. “The documentary takes viewers into the minds and lives of the boxers as they navigate the pressures of the mentally and physically taxing sport.”
‘“HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” is a terrific documentary and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to boxing fans on ESPN platforms, the home of combat sports,” Matt Kenny, vice president of programming at ESPN said. “Peter Berg is a master storyteller of exceptional credentials who has created an unforgettable portrait of Fury’s Las Vegas breakout moment.”
KSI and Logan Paul 2 Tickets On Pre-Sale Now
Presale tickets are now LIVE for the rematch between KSI and Logan Paul at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN in a fight presented by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing USA in association with OP Talent.
The YouTube rivals clashed in August 2018 at the sold-out Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and was watched by over 1 million live pay-per-view buyers on YouTube, with the fight ending in a majority draw with KSI edging the battle on one card with two judges unable to split them.
Now the pair meet once again to settle the score in the ring with Paul welcoming his rival to his LA backyard, and this time they do so as professional fighters having passed their relevant medicals last week, and they will come face-to-face for the first time since their fight at a launch press conference in Los Angeles on Saturday September 14, which is when tickets will go on
The larger-than-life internet stars with over 40 million YouTube subscribers between them have been itching to get their hands on each other once again, as have their loyal armies of fans, and now the countdown begins to their second night in the boxing spotlight.
Devin Haney Training Camp Quotes
Rising star and undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has wrapped up training camp for his upcoming showdown with Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs).
Haney vs. Abdullaev, promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Devin Haney Promotions, will be a 12-round main event bout for the WBC interim lightweight championship on Friday September 13 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Haney, who will be making his first appearance at “The Mecca of Boxing” – Madison Square Garden, will look to make it a memorable one as he has plans to take over the lightweight division.
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Here is what Haney had to say about the upcoming fight:
On his upcoming fight against Zaur Abdullaev:
“I know Abdullaev is focused, he’s been at the top of the rankings for a while now, so I know he’s ready to fight. He’s an undefeated fighter, who has beaten some quality opposition, so I take him very seriously. I’m just very excited to face Abdullaev because it will show the world my skills and why I am the new face of the sport.”
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp has been great. We started strength and conditioning with Coach Reggie at Phase 1. I really got stronger and I can feel the difference. I spent the next portion of camp at the SNAC System facility in the Bay Area working with Victor Conte. There I worked on my speed and explosiveness with well renowned track coach Remi Korchemny. I’ve had a world class training camp, with everything from strength and conditioning, to tremendous sparring, included with a lot of rest and recovery. This will be another memorable performance like my last fight on DAZN.”
On fighting for the WBC interim lightweight title:
“The WBC Interim World Championship means a lot to me. Some people kept labeling me a prospect when I knew I was so much more. Being able to fight for an Interim World Title means everything. This not only makes me the WBC mandatory for Vasiliy Lomacheno, but I’m able to do Interim Title defenses, until Loma is ready to fight. I believe the winner of Haney vs Abdullaev is in a really good position with the WBC.”
On headlining at Madison Square Garden on DAZN?
“This is something I’ve always dreamed about for sure. MSG is the most historic and iconic arena in all of sports. I’m headlining a card full of great fights. Heather Hardy (22-0) vs Amanda Serrano (36-1) for the WBO World Female Featherweight Title will be a very exciting fight. My good friend from Las Vegas, Michael Hunter (17-1) vs Sergey Kuzmin (15-0) will be a terrific fight as well. There are only two losses between all six of the fighters on the main card. This is my first time at the Hulu Theater, and I’m going to put on a helluva show. Everyone should get their tickets now, because it’s going to be a great night of boxing and entertainment.”
Padilla-Tomas Fight Headlines Peltz’ 50th Anniversary Card October 4th in Philadelphia
Junior welterweights Victor Padilla, of Berlin, NJ, and Romain Tomas, of Brooklyn, NY, will square off in the main event Friday evening, Oct. 4, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The eight-bout card, labeled Blood, Sweat & 50 Years, will celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Peltz Boxing Promotions. The card is being promoted by Raging Babe (Michelle Rosado) with J Russell Peltz serving as the matchmaker. First bout 7:30 p.m.
Going old-school on this one, Peltz has scheduled the Padilla-Tomas fight for six rounds, harking back to the first two decades of the 20th century when all main events in Pennsylvania were limited to that distance.
The 20-year-old Padilla, originally from Vieques, Puerto Rico, is a southpaw with speed and power. He has won all five of his fights by first-round knockout. In fact, he has only been in the ring for a total of six minutes, 29 seconds, in those five contests. Although none of his five opponents had a winning record when he fought them—their combined mark was 17-29-1 at the time—Padilla still is considered one of the best young pros on the East Coast. He is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment.
The 30-year-old Tomas is originally from Emerainville in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, outside Paris. He brings an 8-2 record into the fight with Padilla. Tomas is coming off his biggest career win, a six-round decision over previously unbeaten (7-0) Omar Bordoy in Bordoy’s nearby backyard of Hampton, NH.
“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” said promoter J Russell Peltz. “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event. When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” said Peltz. “How about Stanley Ketchell vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles. Lew Tendler, Abe Attell, Terrible Terry McGovern, Rocky Kansas, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien. Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me. This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”
The undercard is topped by three additional six-round rematches.
Junior middleweights Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, and Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, meet in a rematch of their 2016 at the 2300 Arena, won by Zapata via majority four-round decision, the first loss of Wise’ career.
Zapata (6-2-4) also defeated Fred Jenkins, Jr., early in 2017 over six rounds in the same ring. Wise (7-2-1, 4 K0s) last boxed 10 months ago when he knocked out Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, at the 2300 Arena.
Junior welterweights Gerardo Martinez, of Coatesville, PA, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, collide in the other six-round rematch.
Martinez (4-1, 1 K0) earned a four-round majority decision over Charles (13-19-1, 2 K0s) at the 2300 Arena. While Martinez has been idle since, Charles picked up a four-round points victory in June over Laquan Lewis, of Brooklyn, NY, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
North Philadelphia welterweight Marcel Rivers (7-1, 4 K0s) will fight in a six round contest.
Four-rounders scheduled for Oct. 4 include: Shinard Bunch, of Trenton, NJ, vs. Rakym Dyer, of South Philadelphia, welterweights; Christopher Burgos, North Philadelphia, vs. Tyree Arnold, North Philadelphia, junior welterweights; Vinnie Denierio, Elmira, NY, vs. Seifullah Wise, North Philadelphia, lightweights.
Lightweight Shamar Fulton, of North Philadelphia, also will appear in a four-round contest.