Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 9th to January 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Patrice Harris
Joseph Diaz to Defend NABO Featherweight Title Against Victor Terrazas
Golden Boy Promotions will continue its partnership with ESPN for this exciting new year with an explosive main event featuring 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABO Featherweight Title against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) on the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino inIndio, Calif.Doors to the Special Events Center open at 5:00 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout starts at 5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and the ESPN3 transmission will begin at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
Diaz Jr., a 25-year-old prodigy of South El Monte, Calif., was an exceptional amateur prospect who was part of the 2012 United States Olympic Team. After making his debut with Golden Boy Promotions in December 2012 at the now-defunct LA Sports Arena, Diaz, Jr. climbed the 126-pound rankings defeating one tough opponent after another. Diaz, Jr. had a great 2017 as he participated in two Pay-Per-View events. In the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Diaz, Jr. cruised to a 10-round unanimous decision victory against the previously undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila. Diaz, Jr. then defeated Rafael “Bing Bang” Rivera via dominant 12-round decision in the co-main event of the historic Canelo vs. Golovkin HBO pay-per-view event. Diaz, Jr. will look to continue his path to a world title with a win on Feb. 22.
“I look forward to making my 2018 debut,” said Diaz, Jr. “And what better way than by facing a tough former world champion in Victor Terrazas! I will remind everyone why I deserve a world title shot by headlining this card exciting fashion.”
Terrazas, a 34-year-old native of Jalisco, Mexico, is a former world champion who defeated Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares to capture the WBC Super Bantamweight Title. Terrazas, a student of the traditional Mexican school of boxing, has fought fighters at a world championship level from different parts of the world, and will bring years of fighting experience into his fight against Diaz, Jr.
“I have faced great fighters in my career,” said Terrazas. “And this fight against Joseph Diaz, Jr. will not be an exception. I think that my experience will be very important, and I have no doubts that I will leave with my hand raised.”
Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), a super lightweight prospect who has delighted fans with his tremendous knockout power, will return in the eight-round co-main event. After debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout, and he’s anxious to retain his 100% knockout rate in the year 2018. One must definitely not lose sight of this sensational Mexican American who has his roots in Michoacan, Mexico.
The explosive undercard will be stacked with the best and brightest prospects of the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable. Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action in his Fantasy Springs Resort Casino debut. Gonzalez is a hard-hitting prospect who is coming off two spectacular wins, the last of which was against Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz.
Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), after making his headlining debut in Sept. of 2017, will square off in an eight-round featherweight fight. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, California will start the year off with a bang in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.
Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr.(11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open the evening of very exciting combats in an eight-round super featherweight fight. In the night’s swing bout, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in a six-round lightweight fight.
Opponents for these exciting, rising prospects will be announced shortly.
Sergey Derevyanchenko Highlights Spence vs. Peterson Undercard
Unbeaten middleweight contender and IBF No. 1 challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs, WSB: 23-1, 7 KOs) will enter the ring for an eight-round bout as part of an exciting undercard on Saturday, January 20 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. taking on two-division champion Lamont Peterson live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Lightweight world champion Robert Easter squares up against two-division champion Javier Fortuna. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are priced starting at $50, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center or by calling 800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Additional action inside of the arena will see the brother of Lamont Peterson, once-beaten Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs), facing Luis Florez (23-7, 19 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup plus once-beaten welterweight Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round fight against Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa (38-14-1, 30 KOs).
Undercard fights continue with undefeated 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (3-0, 1 KO) entering the ring for a four-round welterweight fight against Preston Wilson (4-2-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia’s Dylan Price (4-0, 4 KOs) competing in a four-round super flyweight bout against Nestor Ramos (7-7, 3 KOs) and welterweight prospect Keyshawn Williams (1-0, 1 KO) taking on Denis Okoth (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round matchup.
Rounding out the night is a four-round showdown between unbeaten Desmond Jarmon and Dallas-native Charles Clark plus New Jersey’s Matthew Gonzalez in a six round middleweight fight against Alexander Serna.
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently earned the top spot in the IBF rankings with an impressive 12th round stoppage over Tureano Johnson. The 32-year-old also defeated previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in 2017 after his 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.
Derevyanchenko and Golub make it a pair of Ukrainian sluggers fighting out of Brooklyn who will compete on the undercard looking to put on impressive performances in their adopted hometown.
Russian Heavyweight Apti Davtaev Remains Undefeated
Several entertaining fights highlighted the untelevised undercard for two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields defense of her WBC and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York tonight.
In the main supporting bout, Detroit via Kurchaloi, Russia, heavyweight Apti Davtaev had a successful United States fighting debut by scoring a six-round unanimous decision over Philadelphia’s Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson.
Wilson didn’t make it easy. Fighting out of a crouch, the heavily muscled, but much shorter Wilson came up with enough wild haymakers to make the entire fight very interesting. Davtaev appears to have a heavy right hand, which he dropped onto the hard head of Wilson often enough to earn the close, but deserved nod. Davtaev warrants credit for going to war whenever one of Wilson’s looping swings connected.
Davtaev (now 14-0-1, 13 KOs) loses his perfect KO percentage, but walks away with a hard-fought victory over a foe who came to win. Wilson is now (18-14-1, 9 KOs).
The scores were 58-56 from all three judges.
An accidental headbutt brought an abbreviated end to the six-round super lightweight return of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Eyubov.
In against Lynchburg, Virginia’s Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8 KOs), the exciting slugger Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) was advancing behind active head movement and a tight shell when his head collided with the retreating Chalmers’. The cut that resulted was ruled too severe and the fight was ruled a No Decision at 1:59 of the opening round.
In a wild women’s light heavyweight brawl featuring fists flying from every direction, wrestling holds and several MMA-style takedowns, Franchon “The Heavy Hitting Diva” Crews-Dezurn won a unanimous six-round decision over Tiffany “The Terminator” Woodard.
Crews-Dezurn, now 3-1, 1 KO, of Baltimore, Maryland, had too many weapons for Wilson, North Carolina’s Woodard (now 4-10-3, 3 KOs), so Woodard tried and succeeded to make things ugly. What followed was a wild punch-out featuring elbows and headlocks and takedowns that left both on the canvas more than once.
Woodard took a lot of hard leather and deserves credit for her toughness. Crews-Dezurn showed class in not taking the bait for most of the fight. She did lose a point in the sixth for a sneaky revenge takedown.
The scores were 59-53, 59-54 and 59-54.
Detroit via Magnitogorsk, Russia’s Alexey Zubov outworked a determined Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers of Hawley, Pennsylvania, on his way to a six-round majority decision.
An entertaining fight between hard-nosed cruiserweights, Zubov was cut over the right eye and took some good punches, but simply outworked the more selective Capers. Zubov showed his often-superior conditioning and worked behind an educated jab, while Capers was content to lay on the ropes and land hard pot shots often enough to keep it interesting.
A score of 57-57 draw was over-ruled by scores 59-56 and 58-56 for the tough Russian. With the victory, Zubov moves his record to 17-1, 9 KOs. Capers falls to 8-11-3.
Lamont Peterson Workout Quotes
Two-division world champion Lamont Peterson hosted a media workout in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Thursday as he prepares to take on unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING® and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features lightweight world champion Robert Easter battling former champion Javier Fortuna.
Here is what the workout participants had to say Thursday:
“I feel great. I’m already close to weight. I’m happy and eating up to five times a day. I feel strong and I’m ready for this fight.
“I have to look at this as really just another big fight. When you’re at the top, you try not to make too much of each fight. We know what’s at stake. I know that when I keep it simple, that’s when I perform best.
“Right now my body feels better than ever. I’m comfortable with everything that’s gone on in camp and I think you can see it in my body.
“I’ve always trained hard since the first day I came here as a child. That’s been instilled in me since a young age and it’s carried me throughout my career.
“Everything I do is for D.C. I’m trying to get as much recognition for this area the best way I can. That’s what we all strive for in this gym. This is the biggest one that’s been on the schedule for a while and I’m ready to bring it home.
“It gets easier and easier the more championship fights I’m in. I was in shape for all of them, but I definitely put more pressure on myself when I was young. I’ve improved each time and now I feel like I’m really at the perfect place in my career.”
Rances Barthelemy and Kyrl Relikh to Rematch on February 10th
Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh will both look to kick off their new year with a world title victory when they meet in a rematch for a vacant 140-pound title Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT and will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).
“Obviously the number one goal for 2018 is to bring home that belt on February 10,” said Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs). “Then I want to unify with all the other champions. My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with good people and win multiple world titles.”
“First I have to win this fight in February,” said Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs). “But then I have hopes of a great year defending my belt against the mandatory and eventually a unification fight. This will be the year I reach a new level in this sport.”
Barthelemy and Relikh will fight for the WBA’s vacant Super Lightweight World Title after their title eliminator bout in May ended in a debatable decision for Barthelemy. This time the fighters will look to leave no doubt with the full title on the line.
“This is my second time fighting for a world title and it will be a second lesson for me,” said Relikh. “This is my time to become champion. I need to do much more during this fight.
“I have to be aggressive right from the start. I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”
“Winning this title would be a dream come true for me,” said Barthelemy. “I’d be the first Cuban fighter in history to win a title in three different divisions. The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch.
“I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world. The key will be to stay disciplined and land hard shots all night.”
Both fighters have sacrificed in training camp on the road to what they hope will be a celebratory moment on February 10, training hard through the holiday season to stay on target for fight night.
“My whole team has done a fantastic job so far in camp,” said Barthelemy. “Ismael Salas and Joel Casamayor are giving me great tips and keeping me focused on my goal. One new thing I’ve added this camp is Bob Santos for nutrition and strength and conditioning. It’s made a big difference over the holidays where I usually eat too much. He’s kept me on a strict diet and training has never been better.”
“These last few weeks through the holidays have been the hardest of my camp, so there was no room for distractions,” said Relikh. “I spent New Year’s with my family and then I was right back into training camp in the morning.”
With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification after February 10.
“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”
“Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner,” said Barthelemy. “Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”