Boxing Insider Notebook: Plant, Garcia, Redkach, Hurd, Santana, and more…
Compiled by: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 17th to December 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach and Jarred Hurd vs. Francisco Santana Press Conference Quotes
“This is my eighth fight at Barclays Center and I’m excited to be back. I’ve fought in a quarter of the events here at Barclays Center, so you could say this is my house. I’ve had some historic fights in here. I love walking in the tunnels and seeing my pictures next to Jay-Z, DMX and Rihanna.
“Come January 25, this is going to be another great night of boxing. I know Ivan is coming to fight. We’ve followed each other’s careers. I know he’s hungry and he wants to show the fans that he belongs on this level.
“I’m excited to share the card with my Philadelphia brother Stephen Fulton, who I’ve known since he was a kid. Plus, Jarrett Hurd, who’sjourney I’ve been watching. It’s been great and he’s going to show everyone that a loss doesn’t mean anything. Just like I have.
“I just think the culture here in Brooklyn is great and I fit right in with it. Lots of hip-hop and Puerto Ricans. It’s the perfect market and we just go together.
“If the top welterweights want to fight me, I’ll be ready whenever. Redkach makes a lot of sense because he’s a southpaw and that would have me ready for Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao.
“We picked Redkach because he’s dangerous and we knew he’d be tough. I’m definitely not overlooking him. I’m training hard for this fight. For me, this is a big fight. If I overlook him, it could ruin everything. I want to show everyone I’m still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
“Redkach has a big heart and he’s going to come forward. I think it’s going to be a really entertaining fight. I can’t overlook him.
“I always feel like I’m the best. They need me, I don’t need them. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I’m going to be here for a while.”
“I want to give thanks to my team and everyone involved in making this fight and for believing in me, which give me the belief that gives me the strength to go in the ring and give it my all.
“This opportunity fighting at Barclays Center is huge for me. I accept the opportunity with honor and I want to thank Danny Garcia for taking the fight.
“My friends and family provide me with the will to win. That support, along with my experience, is what I’ll need to win this fight.
“I want Danny Garcia’s fans to all come out on January 25 because you’re going to see a great fight and you’re going to be welcomed into the Ivan Redkach family.
“The victory over Devon Alexander was important because he was a well-known opponent. Winning in the fashion that I did catapulted me to where I am right now.
“Danny made a mistake if he thinks this is a tune-up. I’m going to give everyone a great fight and we’ll see what happens on January 25.
“Training alongside Leo Santa Cruz was great motivation. I’m going to knock Danny Garcia out. That’s the plan. Simple.
“I’m training very hard because this fight is extremely important to me. I have to give the best performance of my professional career.
“The energy in the building on January 25 is going to give me the extra motivation to not only put up a great performance, but to leave Brooklyn with the victory.”
“This is my first time doing interviews since I fought Julian Williams. Last time I was up here I was an undefeated fighter and then I suffered my first loss.
“We had the rematch set up for this December, but with me going through a switch in trainers and still in the process of searching, I wasn’t in condition for it. It was the hardest thing possible to not take the rematch, much harder than taking it.
“I’ve been training in Colorado with Kay Koroma and getting away from everything. We’re focused strictly on boxing. I cut the hair off too because I was just ready for a change. The work so far is showing me how much work I have left to do and how much room I have to grow.
“I will stay at 154-pounds and fight for my titles again. I’m not looking past Francisco Santana because he’s a great fighter. I’m working hard to get back to the old me.
“This is the fighter who was put in front of me. He has the style that we were looking for with my having my first fight with my new trainer. I had some time out of a gym after the Williams fight but now we’re going strong toward January 25.
“I would never say I overlooked Julian Williams. There’s no excuses. Julian was the better man that night. When I look back there were probably some things that could have affected me, but Julian deserved to win the fight.
“I don’t know if I’m a better fighter now, but the loss opened my eyes to some things. My new coach has really opened my eyes to some things that I need to work on. Using my jab more and my footwork specifically.
“I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. I look back at my fights and realize that I won those fights on pure heart and determination. We’re doing things different this time and working behind strategy and skills.”
“Jarrett Hurd is a good solid fighter who’s accomplished a lot. This is my Super Bowl. When someone calls and presents an opportunity like this, you can’t turn it down.
“To fight against one of the biggest names in the division, that’s hard to say no to. Of course I’m going to step up to the plate and on January 25 I’m going to show everyone the definition of never giving up on a dream.
“I’ve had setbacks like Jarrett and I’ve picked myself up and rose to the occasion time and time again. On January 25 I’m going to fight with every ounce of spirit that I have in me so I can go on and become a world champion.
“Jarrett has himself with a new team and when a fighter feels refreshed, you know he’s going to come out strong. I expect nothing less.
“I know that everyone is giving me zero chance come fight night. But that’s okay. I read the comments and what people say. It’s all good. My team believes in me and I believe in myself.
“I’m a big welterweight and people tend to forget that I started my career as a super welterweight, but back then I was self-trained. I used to fight on a couple weeks’ notice and was bouncing from gym to gym. When I met coach Joseph Janik, it all changed and we’ve been together about a decade now. He was the missing piece to my puzzle.
“I’ve often said it’s not how you start a race but how you finish it. I know it’s not an easy task, but I look forward to these big challenges. It will test me as a fighter and a human being. I want to show the whole world my definition of never giving up.
“The minute I stop learning, that would be the time I need to hang them up. I’m still learning and we’re still getting better at our craft. It’s a big challenge. He’s the monster of the division, but this is a great opportunity for me. Sometimes you have to face the monster head on.”
Caleb Plant to Defend Title Against Vincent Feigenbutz
IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant will defend his title in a homecoming bout against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz live in primetime in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes Saturday, February 15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
The broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and feature a clash between welterweight contenders as Bryant “Goodfella” Perrellaand Abel Ramos battle in the 10-round co-feature.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Sweethands Promotion, TGB Promotions and Sauerland Promotions, are on sale today at 5 p.m. CT and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
“We’re thrilled that championship boxing is back in Nashville with their homegrown world champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant defending his super middleweight title on February 15,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Caleb Plant has made a name for himself as one of the sport’s elite fighters and will look to continue solidify his place in the stacked 168-pound division. He’ll be facing a hard-hitting fighter in Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz, who is sure to apply the pressure and upset Plant in his hometown. Expect an all action main event live on FOX from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.”
This will be the first time that Plant (19-0, 11 KOs), who was born in Ashland, Tennessee outside of Nashville, will be fighting in his hometown as a pro. He will be making the second defense of the title that he won with a unanimous decision victory over Venezuelan slugger Jose Uzcategui in January. His first title defense saw him dominate and stop then unbeaten Mike Lee in July on FOX.
To win the title, Plant turned the tables on the hard-hitting Uzcateguiin their championship fight on FS1. Going into the match the consensus was that Uzcategui was the harder puncher and that Plant would have to withstand his power to walk away with the belt. It was the 27-year-old Plant however, who stunned Uzcategui by dropping him to the canvas twice on the way to a convincing unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas. He had dedicated his championship victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.
“I’m very excited to bring my world title home to Nashville in my second title defense,” said Plant. “It’ll be in front of all of my family and friends and I plan to put on a spectacular performance. Vincent Feigenbutz is a very tough, rugged European fighter. He’s got a big knockout ratio, but this is my backyard and I will not let any man come in here and rain on my parade. On February 15, I’m representing my hometown and my home city with pride. I believe this will be the first of many fights that we hold at The Bridgestone in Nashville. This fight isn’t going 12-rounds. Nashville, stand up!”
The 24-year-old Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KOs) is known as “The KO King” and he has been able to live up to that name with a 90% knockout ratio. The German slugger from Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg will be fighting in the United States for the first time on February 15. He became the youngest German champion ever when he defeated Giovanni de Carolis for the Interim WBA Super Middleweight title at the age of 20 in 2015. He lost the world title rematch with De Carolis, but recovered to win 10 straight since the loss – including nine via stoppage. He is coming in off of an eighth round TKO of previously undefeated over César Núñez in August.
“It has always been my goal to have a big fight like this in the U.S.,” said Feigenbutz. “I am not going there to lose. I am coming over to become only the second German boxer, after the legendary Max Schmeling, to win the world title in the U.S. and bring the belt back home to Germany. I hope everyone in my home country will have my back and support me on this journey. For me, Plant is the strongest of all super middleweight world champions. We are the underdog, but we won’t make it as easy for Caleb, like in his last fight. We know how difficult a fight on American soil is, so there is only one strategy: Get the knockout!”
The 30-year-old Perrella (17-2, 14 KOs) scored a decision victory over Breidis Prescott and most recently a stoppage of DomoniqueDolton in his 2019 campaign, bouncing back from a majority decision loss to former champion Luis Collazo in 2018. Fighting out of Fort Myers, Florida, Perella turned pro in 2012 after an impressive amateur career that included victories over Regis Prograis, Miguel Cruz and Sammy Vásquez. Perrella suffered a 2016 loss to top welterweight Yordenis Ugás that was sandwiched by victories over Alex Martin and then unbeaten David Grayton.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to showcase my talent,” said Perrella. “I have a quality opponent in front of me in Abel Ramos and I’m looking to make a statement on February 15. I’m going to show everyone once again that I’m a serious threat to anyone in the welterweight division.
Fighting out of Casa Grande, Arizona, Ramos (25-3-2, 19 KOs) picked up two victories in 2019, most recently stopping Jimmy Williams in July after defeating veteran contender Francisco Santana on FOX in March. The 28-year-old previously challenged former champions Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk while campaigning at 140-pounds. He brings a seven-fight winning streak into February 15 since a close decision loss in 2018 to contender Jamal James.
“I can’t wait to start my year off fight a great fight on FOX,” said Ramos. “I know that I have a tough opponent across from me on February 15. I’m here to give a performance that makes me standout in this division. I know that after this fight, everyone will see I’m one of the best welterweights and that I’m going to have a huge 2020.”
Unbeaten Prospect Ernesto Delgadillo and Jade Bornea to Battle for NABF Super Flyweight Title
Three days prior to Super Bowl LIV, Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, in association with Sanman Boxing, will present its first RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS® event of 2020, Thursday night, January 30, at Legends Casino and Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.
RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Unbeaten Ernesto Delgadillo (11-0-2, 2 KOs) will battle undefeated Jade “Hurricane” Bornea (14-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super flyweight title in the 10-round main event.
Delgadillo, fighting out of Dallas, is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super flyweight and Texas State flyweight titlist.
Rated No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), Bornea is a former IBF Youth World champion, as well as the latest member of a new wave of gifted Filipino fighters.
Delgadillo will be in action for the first time since the summer of 2018, when he won a 10-round decision over 10-1 Nate Green. “I am excited to be fighting for the NABF super flyweight title on UFC FIGHT PASS,” Delgadlillo said. “On January 30th, I’ll be in the best shape of my career, and bring that belt back to Dallas with me to prove that I belong in there with the very best of the division.”
Bornea will be making his United States debut having fought exclusively as a professional at home in the Philippines. “I want to thank my promoter, Sanman, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions and UFC FIGHT PASS for this opportunity,” Bornea commented. “I have been training for three months and have no excuses. I am ready to show the world my abilities and come January 30th, I’m going to make a statement to all super flyweights.”
“The 115-pound weight class has always been my favorite division,” RJJ Boxing’s veteran matchmaker Guy Taylor added. “Last year, we opened up UFC FIGHT PASS with a WBO super flyweight (115 lbs.) world title ‘Eliminator’ and almost a year to the day later, we are opening up 2020 with an NABF super flyweight title fight. The winner of this intriguing match-up will solidify himself as a new face of the super flyweight division.”
Undefeated Mexican knockout artist, rising star Santiago “Somer” Dominguez (20-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBC USNBC Silver welterweight title on the line against his Brazilian challenger, Victor “La Amenza” Jones Freitas (16-5, 10 KOs), in the 10-round, co-featured event.
Undefeated middleweight Connor “The Kid” Coyle (11-0, 4 KOs), the Northern Ireland sensation who has become as regular on RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS events, takes on Miguel Dumas (11-2, 9 KOs), of Mexico, in an 8-round bout.
A pair of undefeated Northwest prospects, light heavyweights Richard Van Sicien (7-0, 3 KOs) and Abraham Martin (5-0, 5 KOs), open the UFC FIGHT PASS segment of the evening in a 6-round match. Van Sicien is from Seattle, Oregon, Martin from Medford, Oregon, by way of Mexico.
Card subject to change.
Bellator Japan: Full Fight Card Announced for this Saturday on Paramount Network and DAZN
Bellator’s lineup for the promotion’s first show in Japan is now complete with six live televised bouts headlined by legends FedorEmelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13) in a long-awaited heavyweight showdown. The co-headlining attraction will see three-time former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (19-5) take on Sidney Outlaw (14-3), who is looking for his tenth consecutive win, in a 160-lb. contract weight matchup.
Bellator Japan, powered by RIZIN, emanates from the iconic Saitama Super Arena and will air LIVE on Paramount Network and DAZN on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. BellatorJapan post-lims, powered by RIZIN, will air on SKY PerfecTV! andGYAO! following the main card. Additionally, RIZIN.20 will be available in Japan on Dec. 31 on DAZN, SKY PerfecTV! andGYAO!
Fans will also be treated to an exciting matchup that sees Saitama’s own Shinsho Anzai (11-3) defend his home turf against London’s flashy kickboxing prodigy Michael “Venom” Page (16-1) in a 173-lb. contract weight bout.
Keeping with the promotional collaboration, three Bellator versus RIZIN bouts will be featured, including Tokyo’s K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2, 1 NC) taking on Riverside, California’s Lorenz Larkin (21-7, 1 NC), while Brazil’s Ilara Joanne (9-4) welcomes Tokyo’s undefeated Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) to the Bellator flyweight ranks and the man with the most submissions in Bellator history, GoitiYamauchi (24-4) opens the show against “The Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank (22-12, 1 NC) in lightweight action.
Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage Main Card:
Paramount Network & DAZN
10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT
Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13)
160-lb. Contract Weight Co-Main Event: Michael Chandler (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-3)
173-lb. Contract Weight Main Card Bout: Michael “Venom” Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Lorenz Larkin (21-7, 1 NC) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2, 1 NC)
Flyweight Main Card Bout: Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1)
Lightweight Main Card Bout: Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. DaronCruickshank (22-12, 1 NC)
Bellator Japan post-lims, powered by RIZIN:
SKY PerfecTV! and GYAO! (in Japan)
120-kg Post-lim Bout: Shoma Shibisai (5-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergey Shemetov (9-6)
77-kg Post-lim Bout: Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5)
49-kg Post-lim Bout: Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. Ai Shimizu (5-1)
58-kg Post-lim Bout: Yusaku Nakamura (16-6-1) vs. Makoto “Shinryu” Takahashi (9-1-1)
68-kg Post-lim Bout (Kickboxing): Ren Hiramoto (10-4) vs. Takahiro Ashida (23-10-2)
49-kg Post-lim Bout: Kanna Asakura (15-4) vs. Jayme Hinshaw (4-3)
53-kg Post-lim Bout: Haruo Ochi (19-7-2, 1 NC) vs. Jarred Brooks (15-2, 1 NC)
71-kg Post-lim Bout: Yusuke Yachi (20-9) vs. Hiroto Uesako (16-8)
Raeese ‘The Beat” Aleem Looks to Carry Momentum into 2020
Prince Ranch Boxing’s undefeated super bantamweight prospect, Raeese “The Beast” Aleem (15-0, 9 KOs), has his sights on facing all the top contenders and champions in the upcoming 2020 year.
In his las fight, Aleem, who is promoted by Kings Promotions, retired Saul Eduardo Hernandez (14-15, 9 KOs) by third round stoppage, a fight that took place on the undercard of Erickson Lubinvs Nathaniel Gallimore on October 26, 2019. Having knocked out seven of his last ten opponents, Aleem is looking to carry that momentum into the new year.
“I have big plans to step up in competition next year and make a name for myself,” said Aleem, who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “Right now, I’m flying under the radar, but that is about to change when I fight someone with a name. I’m hoping I’ll land a big fight in the early part of next year. I know my team is working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. I’ll be ready to go when I get that call.”
The super bantamweight is loaded with some of the best fighters in boxing. World champions, Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KOs), Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs), Emanuel Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs) and Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs), are all fighters with big names that Aleem wants to face.
“I want to fight all of the super bantamweight champions at some point.” Aleem continued. “I know I have to work my way up the rankings, so that’s what I’m going to do. I told my team that I’m willing to fight any and all world ranked contenders. Vargas, Roman and Navarrete, all those champions are beatable. Brandon Figueroa is not on my level, so if he wants to get some, then come get some. Next year will be my year. Soon everyone will know my name. All I need is an opportunity.”
“In 2020, everyone will start to recognize Raeese as one of the top fighters in the super bantamweight division,” said Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “He’s ready to step up and solidify his position as top contender. His promoter Marshall Kaufman and I agree, Raeese Aleem will be a household name in the near future. Big fights are on the horizon.”