Boxing Insider Notebook: Shakur Stevenson, Adonis Stevenson, Don Chargin, Johnson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 25th to October 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Shakur Stevenson-Duarn Vue Headlines Crawford-Benavidez Undercard
Shakur Stevenson, the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, will face his steepest test as a professional when he takes on Duarn “The Storm” Vue for the vacant WBC Continental Americas featherweight title on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the CHI Health Center Omaha. Stevenson vs. Vue will be televised on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. ET before pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford’s WBO welterweight title defense against Jose Benavidez Jr.
All undercard bouts will stream live in the United States at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ – the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship event are on sale now. Remaining tickets, priced at $178, $103, $63, and $38, not including applicable fees, can be purchased at the CHI Health Center Omaha box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.
“The world is going to see the real Shakur Stevenson on Oct. 13,” Stevenson said. “With my team, Top Rank, and ESPN behind me, I should be world champion in 2019.”
“I am very thankful for this opportunity,” said Vue, who is promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Supreme Hits. “Get ready because ‘The Storm’ is coming!”
Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) was one of the most highly touted amateurs coming out of the 2016 Olympics, and less than 18 months since turning pro, he has acclimated seamlessly to the paid ranks. He is 4-0 thus far in 2018, including second-round stoppages against Roxberg Patrick Riley and Aelio Mesquita. The Mesquita victory included five knockdowns and came on the undercard of Crawford’s title-winning June 9 stoppage victory against Jeff Horn in Las Vegas. In his most recent bout, Aug. 18 in Atlantic City, N.J., Stevenson scored an eight-round unanimous decision against Carlos Ruiz, who has never been stopped as a professional.
Vue (14-1-2, 4 KOs), from Madison, Wis., is 2-0 since his only defeat, an eight-round unanimous decision loss to Alejandro Salinas. In his last bout, April 28 in Oshkosh, Wi., he notched a 12-round unanimous decision versus former WBA super bantamweight world champion Nehomar Cermeño.
The ESPN+ undercard broadcast is as followed:
• Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on fellow unbeaten Vanessa Bradford (4-0-2, 0 KOs) in an eight-rounder for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. Mayer is coming off a third-round stoppage on Aug. 25 against former world title challenger Edina Kiss.
• Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) will face Josh “Young Gun” Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant NABF super welterweight title. Adames last fought as the ESPN co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, winning a unanimous decision against Alejandro Barrera.
• Former 140-pound world champion Mike Alvarado (39-4, 27 KOs) will look to make it six wins in a row when he faces Robbie Cannon (16-13-3, 7 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight.
• Omaha native Steve “So Cold” Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) will clash with the durable Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight bout.
• Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo (19-1, 12 KOs) will look to rebound from his first career defeat against Andre Wilson (15-11-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder at lightweight.
• Welterweight prospect Keeshawn Williams (3-0-1, 1 KO) will fight Ramel Snegur (2-2-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.
• Seattle native and amateur standout Jose Valenzuela will make his pro debut in a four-round super featherweight bout.
Statement from Golden Boy Promotions on Passing of Hall of Famer Don Chargin
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 28, 2018): Today, the sport of boxing lost a legend.
For decades, “War a Week” Don Chargin was universally known as a titan of promoting and matchmaking. His events at the Olympic Auditorium were not to be missed, and along with his wife, Lorraine, he was the linchpin of boxing in California and beyond.
But to those of us at Golden Boy Promotions, he was so much more. He was a partner. He was a mentor. And he was a friend. To say Don will be missed doesn’t come close to explaining the sadness we all feel today.
Johnson Inspired by Smith’s Heroics to “Shock the World”
Callum Johnson is targeting a ‘Callum win double’ and follow gym-mate Callum Smith’s World title win with his own stellar triumph at the elite level when he challenges IBF World Light-Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night (October 6) live on DAZN.
Johnson’s fellow Joe Gallagher-trained banger Smith knocked out George Groves in Saudi Arabia to win the World Boxing Super Series and bag the WBA Super, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight crowns.
Boston banger Johnson (17-0 12 KOs) knows he has to put in the performance of his career against Russian wrecking machine Beterbiev (12-0 12KOs), but after returning to action with a stunning first round KO of Frank Buglioni in his last outing in London in March – and the 33 year old predicts a violent showdown with the champion on Saturday, and another memorable night for Gallagher’s gym.
“Callum’s win has just inspired me even more to win here,” said Johnson. “It was a stunning performance and he’s the number one in the division now, and that’s what I want to become at Light-Heavyweight.
“I’ve dreamt of moments like this since i was a kid. No one else wants to fight him but I can’t wait to get in there with him. I’m living the dream and I genuinely believe I will shock the world.
“I know about him, if I wasn’t confident I wouldn’t be here. We were amateurs around the same time but we never came across each other to fight, but I would have done then and now we are fighting and it’s on a massive stage for a World title so it’s even better.
“He is a strong, powerful beast and he’s a very good fighter, it’s a tough ask, but it’s a challenge that I am up for and I’m full of belief.
“We’re not going to have to look for each other. He likes to KO people and so do I. We’ll meet in the middle of the ring and let the bombs go. There will be thought involved and we can both box, but we both want to take people out with bog shots, so it’s going to be exciting
“I shocked people [against Buglioni] and I don’t really know why. People had forgotten about me, out of sight, out of mind, but I showed them what I am capable of against Frank. I’ve been written off again and maybe rightly so, but I can KO any Light-Heavyweight in the world, and he’s no exception.
“People said ‘he’s never boxed anyone as good as Frank Buglioni’ – no disrespect to Frank, but I could name 20 fighters I’ve boxed that are better than Frank. Yes, it was in the amateurs with headguards, but just because people hadn’t seen me do it in the amateurs, doesn’t mean that I couldn’t. There’s still a lot more to see from me, my best has not come out in the pros.”
Johnson’s battle with Beterbiev is part of a massive night of action in Chicago, topped by the WBC Silver Welterweight title clash between Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme.
Daniel Roman defends his WBA Super-Bantamweight crown against another Brit, second time World title challenger Gavin McDonnell, Brooklyn’s brash Heavyweight star Jarrell Miller meets Polish legend Tomasz Adamek and local favorite Jessica McCaskill can make history as Chicago’s first women’s World champion when she challenges Erica Farias for the Argentine’s WBC World Super-Lightweight title.
Three debutants grace the bill as Team USA talents Reshat Mati, Nikita Ababiy and Nkosi Solomon lace them up for the first time.
Along with these World stars and promising youngsters, Chicago fight fans will be able to back two of their own on the night, with unbeaten Bantamweight prospect Shawn Simpson joining McCaskill on the card.
Tickets for October 6 are on sale now priced $40, $60, $100 and $200 and are available from:
Online at Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/07005506EDA47F37
Stevenson’s Mandatory Defense Against Gvozdyk for WBC Light Heavyweight Championship on December 1st
Fans of boxing, prepare your agenda: World Boxing Council (WBC) and lineal light heavyweight world title fight between the champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) and the mandatory challenger, Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (15-0-0, 12 KOs), will be held December 1 at Videotron Center in Quebec City.
Tickets will be in presale Wednesday and Thursday and general admission go on sale this Friday at Gestev.com.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) super welterweight mandatory challenger Marie-Eve Dicaire (13-0-0, 0 KOs), North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight champion Oscar Rivas (24-0-0, 17 KOs), WBC International welterweight Mikael Zewski (31-1-0, 22 KOs) and fan-favorite Sébastien Bouchard (16-1-0, 6 KOs) will also take part in this gala event.
Tickets, starting at $50.50, taxes and service fees included, will be on sale at Gestev.com and Ticketmaster.ca, as well as at the Champions Boxing Club (514-376-0980), GYM (514-383-0666) or by calling 1-855-790-1245.
The “Mandatory” event will be broadcast in the United States on a major network and in Canada on pay-per-view via Indigo, Bell TV and Shaw TV. More details will be given Oct. 9 during a press conference in Quebec City, attended by all the participants of this exciting boxing card.
“We are very excited to be returning to the Videotron Center for this fifth Superman world championship defense in Quebec City, more than anyone else in the history of boxing,” GYM President Yvon Michel said. “The challenger is talented and seasoned. The danger is present, but the belt will remain with Quebecers! The challenge is colossal, but the show will be solid and the evening fantastic, an appointment not to be missed,”
“The clash between Adonis Stevenson and Oleksandr Govdzyk will be the third world championship fight in the young history of the Videotron Center and the second for champion Adonis Stevenson,” added Martin Tremblay, Chief Operating Officer of Quebecor Sports and Entertainment Group. “Fans from all over Quebec will appreciate the quality of this gala. The Videotron Center occupies an important place in combat sports with its sixth event in 2018,”
“I am very proud to be back in Quebec City for this mandatory title defense and offer the opportunity to American viewers and on the international scene to rediscover the beauties of Quebec City as well as the hospitality and the Latin passion of the Quebec boxing fans,” Stevenson commented. “I know many believe December would be the end of my reign against this young undefeated Olympic medalist. The message I am prepared to send with this fight is: I am still the No. 1 light heavyweight and I still have several chapters to add to my journey as world champion. December 1st at the Videotron Center is a personal invitation to Quebec fans. You will not be let down, I will win by KO!.”
“I am one of the best boxers in the light heavyweight division and the time has come for me to prove it to the rest of you,” Gyozdyk insisted. “The WBC gave me this opportunity and I am thankful for it. Adonis has been in this position too long. My time is now!”
“Oleksandr has been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time,” Gvozdyk noted. “He respects Adonis Stevenson as a fighter, but make no mistake, his time is now. ‘The Nail’ is going to leave Canada as the new WBC light heavyweight champion.”
“The WBC championship bout between Stevenson and Gvozdyk will be among the best fights of the year, proclaimed Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “It’s a must-see for all boxing fans.”
Recognized as one of the most powerful punchers, pound-for-pound, in the boxing world, Stevenson will attempt to successfully defend his title for the 10th time on December 1st.
In his last outing on May 19 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, he fought a draw with former WBA light heavyweight and WBC super middleweight world champion, Badou Jack, in a spectacular fight, while Floyd Mayweather Jr watched from ringside.
World champion since his violent knockout over the American Chad Dawson in 2013, “Superman” will try to hammer his mandatory aspirant nicknamed, at the Videotron Center.
Bronze medalist at the London Olympics, Ukrainian-born Gvozdyk moved to Oxnard, California, to begin his professional career in 2014. He has marched forward ever since, racking up 15 wins in 15 bouts, 12 by knockout.
During his last appearance in the ring on March 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York, he defeated Frenchman Mehdi Amar by unanimous decision to become Stevenson’s mandatory challenger, winning the interim light heavyweight WBC title along the way.
Teammates of Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, Gvozdyk is a talented and dangerous boxer, as evidenced by his victories by referee stoppage over Yunieski Gonzalez, Isaac Chilemba and Tommy Karpency. In addition, he is now trained by the legendary American trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas.
Unbeaten Ruben Villa Fights in Hometown of Salinas, California on October 13th
Promising featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (13-0, 5 KOs) headlines a talent rich card from his hometown of Salinas, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Villa, 21, returns to the Salinas Storm House for the second time this year. The talented southpaw faces Mexico’s Miguel Carrizoza (10-3, 2 KOs) in the 8-round “New Blood”main event.
Villa last fought from the Salinas Storm House in April, when he routed fellow prospect Marlon Olea in route to winning the vacant WBO Youth featherweight championship. It was Villa’s first title since turning professional in July 2016.
The two-time national Golden Gloves winner fights for the fifth time this year after registering six wins in 2017.
“It’s incredible how fast I’ve developed,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora and trained by Max Garcia. “It feels like it was yesterday that I was in four round fights and now I’m routinely headlining shows.”
The lefty, who sometimes conducts training camps in the sparring rich city of Riverside, Calif., decided to stay close to home for this fight. Him and his team have zeroed in on what is required to defeat Carrizoza.
“He fought my stablemate, Michael Dutchover [undefeated junior lightweight], last year so Mike gave me a pretty detailed scouting report on him,” Villa said. “He’s a bruiser. He likes to come forward and get you onto the ropes or just backpedaling. I know how to fight guys like that. I’ve fought against guys like that before and I’ve seen a bunch of them in previous training camps. We are really comfortable in our game plan.”
Villa is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
Tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $40, $75, & $125, and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or online at ThompsonBoxing.com.
The Salinas Storm House is located at 185 Maryal Drive in Salinas, CA 93907.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 6 p.m.
All fights will be live streamed on our Facebook page.
The livestream starts at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert, color commentary.
“New Blood” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions and sponsored by Everlast.