Abraham Nova Stops Castillo in the First
by: Paul Yates
Super-featherweight contender Abraham Nova scored an easy first round knockout over Luis Castillo last night at The Encore Boston Harbor casino. A single, straight right cross to the jaw dropped Castillo to one knee, where he remained shaking his head in pain as the referee tolled the ten count The time was 2:42. The victory represents Nova’s first successful defense of his NABA super-featherweight title and improves his record to 16-0, including 12 KO’s. Castillo, a native of Mexico, falls to 20-4 with 15 KO’s.
From the opening bell, the bout proved to be a mismatch. Although the 6’0″ Castillo enjoyed a significant height and reach advantage, it was immediately clear that he lacked the speed, agility, power, and skill to compete with a fighter in Nova’s class. The difference in physical strength was clear just from observing the pair, as Castillo’s frame appeared skinny — even frail — in comparison to Nova’s heavily heavily muscled back, shoulders, and upper arms. At one point Castillo backed Nova against the ropes and opened fire with both hands, but lacked the power to do any damage to the Puerto Rican born NABA champion. During skirmishing in center ring, Nova had no difficulty finding holes in his lanky opponent’s guard. Sensing Castillo’s vulnerability, Nova maneuvered the Mexican against the ropes and ended matters promptly with a fast, bazooka-like right hand.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Fightography
Nova is rated 6th worldwide by the WBO, and matches against world-class opposition will definitely come before the medium term future. So far, Nova has not been tested against high caliber fighters as a professional. In no way did tonight’s bout qualify as a measure of Nova’s potential against top flight opponents. Castillo was simply too far out of his depth to give Nova any kind of test. Therefore, Nova’s devastating performance tells us nothing that we did not already know about him. As for the weights, Nova scaled 129.6 lbs against 130 lbs for Castillo.
On the undercard, two other rising prospects scored impressive knockouts. Middleweight Carlos Gongora looked like a ferocious uncaged tiger as he blasted Alan Zavala into a first round TKO defeat. At welterweight, Brian Ceballo put on a brilliant display of speed, agility, and boxing ability in scoring a fourth round knockout over Luis Eduardo Florez.
Gongora, now 17-0 with 13 KO’s, jumped on Zavala from the opening bell. Spreading his feet wide and bending low at the knees, Gongora packed maximum power into all his left-handed punches. Zavala demonstrated quick foot movement on the retreat in addition to utilizing agile, fluid upper-body movement on defense, but Gongora had no trouble cutting off the ring and blasting the Mexican on the ropes. The end came when Gongora floored Zavala with a crackling left hook to the head. Zavala managed to beat the count, but looked badly hurt as he arose and the referee signaled the end at 2:05 of the round.
Billed as the “South American middleweight champion” upon entering the ring, Gongora is now ready to vastly upgrade the quality of his opposition. His next logical career move would be to face tough, experienced fringe contenders in order to pick up a WBA, WBC, WBO, or IBF regional belt, after which he will be ready to crash the world ratings. The Ecuadorian, who weighed 159.2 lbs., now lives in Boston and is definitely a fighter to watch: he is probably headed for high status in boxing. Zavala, who deserves respect for being a tough, competent clubfighter, weighed 157.6 lbs and his record falls to 15-4 with 13 KO’s.
Ceballo moved his record to 10-0, including 5 KO’s by flooring Florez with a single left hook to the body. The blow, which was preceded by a left-handed feint to the head, took the wind out of Florez, who fell to his arms and knees on the canvas. Florez never stirred as he was counted out by the referee, the ending coming at 2:33 of the fourth. Ceballo exhibited full control of the action throughout the fight, relying on lightning-quick speed of foot to evade his Colombian opponent’s occasional attempts to land power punches.
After an uneventful first round in which Ceballo proved his vastly superior speed and agility, the action picked up in the second. Ceballo, a former amateur standout from Brooklyn, became progressively more aggressive as he chased Florez around the ring. Constantly spearing Florez with blindingly fast left jabs , Ceballo never stopped initiating exchanges as he sought to find openings to throw power punches. Florez showed ring savvy by executing quick, sophisticated defense maneuvers, but he lacked the hand speed and coordination to land any punches against Ceballo. By the third round, Florez’s facial expression signaled fatigue and fading self-confidence. Still, the ending came very suddenly and unexpectedly.
The weights were 149.4 lbs for Ceballo against 152.6 lbs for Florez, whose record falls to 24-14, with 20 KO’s. The win was easy for Ceballo, as Florez is essentially a professional opponent who has served as cannon fodder in the past for big names like Miguel Berchelt, Regis Prograis, and Anthony Peterson. But still, considering the vast disparity in professional exposure (Florez has been fighting for eight years), the victory is a meaningful one for Ceballo at this early stage in his career. Without doubt, Ceballo is moving quickly and he should soon be pitted against tough fringe contenders in matches for regional titles. This writer believes that Ceballo will be rated among the world’s top-15 contenders with in the next one to two years.
In a welterweight bout, Khiry Todd of Lynn improved his record to 9-1 (7 KO’s) by knocking out Alex Duarte at 2:41 of the first round. A sudden right hand to the body forced Duarte to his hands and knees, where he was counted out at 2:41 of the round. Until the ending, Todd demonstrated superior speed and athleticism against his Brazilian opponent, who fought back aggressively but ineffectively. Duarte, now 14-8-1 with 6 KO’s, showed a rigid, slow punching style and consequently the fleet-footed Todd dodged his blows with ease. Todd, who weighed 147.8 lbs, exhibited speedy upper-body movement on the defense in addition to using his left jab effectively while on the attack. Duarte weighed 145.8 lbs.
James Perella, a former amateur star from Mansfield, scored a fourth round TKO over Argentina’s Jose Aubel in a welterweight fight. Most noteworthy about this fight was the vast height disparity between the two boxers: the 5’1″ Aubel appeared to be almost a foot shorter than the tall, lanky Perella. For most of the bout Perella, 147 lbs., easily dominated his muscular opponent, who looked like a weightlifter and fought out of a low, awkward crouch. However, Perella did not show the same level of efficiency that he has demonstrated in past bouts. The southpaw Aubel sometimes pierced Perella’s guard with slow, heavy lefts. Perella also missed with many punches, and despite landing his vaunted left-hook frequently, did not have an easy time putting his over-matched opponent away. Perella managed to knock down Aubel once in the first and again in the third, before pounding Aubel to the canvas again in the fourth. Upon being floored for the third and final time, Aubel complained that he had been hit behind the head, but the referee did not agree and waived the fight off at the 1:29 mark. Perella is now 5-0 with 4 KO’s; he weighed 147 lbs. Aubel, who fought valiantly and made the most of his limited ability, falls to 8-6 (7 KO’s) and weighed 146.4 lbs.
The card was rounded out by three other bouts, each scheduled for four rounds. At cruiserweight, James Perkins and Aaron Trecell Smith fought to a draw. The final scores were 39-37, 38-38, and 38-38. Perkins weighed 185.2 lbs against 186.2 lbs for Smith. Both fighters are from the greater Boston area, and were making their debuts. In a lightweight bout, Jonathan Depina stopped Michigan’s Robbie Thomas at 1:13 of round three. Depina, from Boston, weighed 134 lbs and his record is 1-0 (1 KO). Thomas, who is now 0-2 (no KO’s) weighed 137.2 lbs. In a free-swinging junior-middleweight bout between two debutantes, Brian Urday outpointed Greg Bono. The scorecards read 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37. Urday is from Whitman, and weighed 152 lbs. Bono, a Watertown resident, weighed 153.2
Tonight’s event was promoted by Murphy’s Boxing, and based on this writer’s estimate, drew a crowd of well over 1,000 fans. According to ringside talk, the promoter is rumored to have another event planned for this same venue in November.
Lopez vs. Cruz Headlines a Full PBC Card Saturday Night
By: Eric Lunger
Saturday night on Fox, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) presents a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito Lopez takes on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz in a ten-round welterweight clash, while Anthony Dirrell and Abraham Han are set for ten rounds at super middleweight. The televised card opens with featherweights Jorge Lara and Claudio Marrero.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) has been in the ring with quality opposition, including a losing world title effort against Canelo Alvarez in 2012. In that same year, however, Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in nine rounds, his most notable win. Since then, the Riverside, CA, native has posted mixed results, with losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto, but he comes into Saturday night’s looking to continue his two-win streak. Lopez is an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter who is willing to take risks. Confident and relaxed, Josesito just finished a solid camp with renowned trainer Roberto Garcia: “this is the kind of fight I can really display my skills,” Lopez said at the pre-fight press conference, “I am prepared for anything Saturday night.”
For Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), Saturday night is a huge opportunity. With only three ten-rounders under his belt, Cruz is relatively untested. His last two outings were unanimous decision wins, over Alex Martin last June and David Grayton in November. At five-foot-eleven, Cruz will have a two-inch height advantage over Lopez and a five-inch reach surplus. “I have to be smart and execute my game plan round after round,” Cruz said, “my jab will be key, and if I can use that and wear him down to the body, I think I’ll have a great chance to stop him.”
In the co-feature, former middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looks to continue his climb back into contention after a gritty sixth-round stoppage of Denis Douglin in November of last year. Two years ago, Dirrell lost his belt by majority-decision to Badou Jack, and he later stopped future IBF champion Caleb Truax in round one of their 2016 bout, so Dirrell knows what he can do, and he knows he belongs in the mix at the top of the 168 weight class. “Everybody knows I am a championship caliber fighter, and I’ll prove it again on Saturday. After this fight I’m ready to take on any of the super middleweight champions,” Dirrell said.
Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) is an El Paso native, and is excited to fight in front of his hometown fans. Han’s most notable win was over Marcos Reyes in November of 2014, a ten-round majority decision. Han comes into Saturday night’s bout riding a three-fight win streak, with two recent knockouts and one no-contest due to a head butt. “I hope the sport fans of El Paso come out and watch me put on a great performance,” said Han in the press conference this week. “I know the type of challenge I have in front of me, but I also know I have the skills to pull this off.”
The action will start with a televised undercard feature, pitting heavy-handed Mexican Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. With a combined seventy-percent knockout rate, this bout is unlikely to go the full distance.
The action begins live on FOX and FOX streaming 8:30 ET/5:30 PT.
United Kingdom Boxing Round Up
By: Thomas Nicholls
As the British Boxing scene continues to grow from strength to strength, this new weekly feature will highlight all the news, views and fight previews from the Great British circuit. Enjoy!
On Saturday night, the enigmatic Chris Eubank Jr defended his IBO Super-Middleweight crown against German veteran “King” Arthur Abraham at the SSE Arena in London. Many had foreseen the outcome of the fight as the cocky, charismatic Eubank dominated his way to a landslide points decision as the weary Abraham had no answer for the Brit’s speed and punch volume.
In victory, Eubank (27) has now confirmed his place in the forthcoming World Boxing Super Series otherwise known as the “Muhammad Ali Trophy”, a mouth-watering eight-man tournament starring some of the main players in the 168lbs division. As third seed, Eubank will have home advantage against unbeaten Turkish prospect Avni Yildirim. Eubank is one of four Britons who will feature in the tournament, alongside Jamie Cox, WBA Super Champion George Groves and pre-tournament favourite, Callum Smith.
Muhammad Ali Trophy Quarter Finals –
George Groves (GB) vs Jamie Cox (GB)
Chris Eubank Jr (GB) vs Avni Yildirim (TUR)
Callum Smith (GB) vs Erik Skoglund (SWE)
Jurgen Braemer (GER) vs Rob Brant (USA)
Elsewhere in the UK, WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders is set to defend his crown against American southpaw, Willie Monroe Jr. Monroe Jr is in the process of resurrecting his career after a defeat to GGG back in May 2015. In the press conference on Monday, Saunders hailed Monroe a “quitter” in reference to his evident surrender against the hard-hitting Kazakh, Golovkin.
Billy Joe Saunders has been concerningly inactive since he was crowned champion in 2015, his solitary defence coming in an unconvincing display against unknown Russian, Artur Akavov. Saunders has frequently vowed to unify the division and promoter Frank Warren has twice come close to finalising a fight with either GGG or Canelo, but Billy Joe’s repeated injury setbacks have for now scuppered those plans. London’s CopperBox arena will play host to the fight with Monroe on September 16.
September is due to be a busy month for Britain’s fighters as the Heavyweight clash between Hughie Fury and Joseph Parker is now back on after a cancellation earlier in year. Originally, the fight was due to take place in New Zealand, but the Manchester Arena is the new venue for the Heavyweight showdown.
Hughie, cousin of Tyson, is a slick point scoring fighter who possesses an impressive 20-0 record at just 22 years old. WBO Champion, Parker will enter the fight as favourite, but the Fury camp are certainly no strangers to the underdog status and they will take courage from Parker’s most recent bout as he failed to topple the uninspiring Romanian, Razvan Cojanu.
Manchester based Hughie has this week claimed that he, for the first time in his career, feels at full fitness. Plagued by health issues throughout his teens, Fury is looking and feeling healthier and is convinced it’s his time to make his mark on the Heavyweight scene and bring the WBO strap back in to the Fury family. “It doesn’t matter where I fight Parker in the world, I know my ability and what I’m capable of achieving and I know I can win the world title.”I don’t like to count my chickens, but the obvious incentive to beat Parker is the big fights out there like a unification against Joshua or Wilder.
“This is what boxing is all about, the best should fight the best and the best fighter will come out on top.”
“Tyson will be coming back and he’ll be out to reclaim his position, we’ll never fight each other, but we’ll rule the division together.”
Meanwhile, we still await confirmation of Wladimir Klitschko triggering his rematch clause with Anthony Joshua, but Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom staff were in Vegas last week looking at potential venues for the fight. Let’s hope we have an announcement in the coming weeks!
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Abraham, Eubank, Roy Jones Jr., and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Abraham, Eubank, Roy Jones Jr., and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 4th to July 11th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Showtime Sports Presents Live Coverage of Mayweather vs. McGregor International Press Tour
SHOWTIME Sports will present the official live stream of the Mayweather vs. McGregor international press tour across digital platforms as boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and UFC superstar Conor McGregor embark on a four-city, three country press tour to announce their Aug. 26 blockbuster event.
The live fully produced HD programs will be available via Facebook @ShowtimeBoxing, theYouTube @ShoSports channel, UFC.com and UFC FIGHT PASS. CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app for mobile and connected TV devices will simulcast all four events live with CBS Sports Network providing live coverage of Tuesday’s event from Los Angeles. The @CBSSports Facebook page will also simulcast coverage.
Mayweather and McGregor face off in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and London to officially announce their one-of-a-kind matchup taking place on Saturday, Aug. 26 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
SHOWTIME Sports announcer Mauro Ranallo will host coverage from Los Angeles with analysis from two-division world champion and SHOWTIME Boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi, former UFC fighter and current MMA analyst Brendan Schaub and MMA industry veteran Ariel Helwani. Helwani will take over hosting duties in live coverage from Toronto and New York alongside Malignaggi and Schaub. Details on coverage from the London event will be announced shortly.
TUESDAY, JULY 11 – Los Angeles Event
4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT from Staples Center
YouTube Link: http://s.sho.com/2t3bg0Y
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 – Toronto Event
5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT from Budweiser Stage
YouTube Link: http://s.sho.com/2uGxDLN
THURSDAY, JULY 13 – New York Event
5:30 p.m. ET/ 2:30 p.m. PT from Barclays Center In Brooklyn
YouTube Link: http://s.sho.com/2sFldT2
FRIDAY, JULY 14 – London Event
7 p.m. BST / 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT from The SEE Arena, Wembley
YouTube Link: http://s.sho.com/2t3AcFF
MAYWEATHER vs. MCGREGOR
Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is a 12-round super welterweight matchup that pits the legendary boxer Mayweather against the all-time MMA great McGregor in an unprecedented event that takes place Saturday, August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event telecast is produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV.
Jeff Horn Tells TMZ Sports: Pacquiao Knows I Beat Him, Should Be No Argument
Jeff Horn recently told TMZ Sports that there’s no doubt in his mind he beat Manny Pacquiao. He told TMZ that the WBO’s rescoring of his July 2nd fight proves he’s the real-deal champ.
He said that the new information should silence his critics once and for all.
“There should be no argument,” Horn said…”It’s exactly what I felt on the day and Pacquiao said the same thing after the fight that he thought he’d lost. So the decision stands.”
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/07/11/jeff-horn-pacquiao-wbo-rescore-no-argument/
Eubank vs. Abraham Airing on Canada and United Kingdom on Super Channel
In a continuing campaign to make it a network destination for Canadian boxing fans, Super Channel has announced its subscribers across Canada will be able to watch this Saturday’s action from London, headlined by International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight World Champion Chris Eubank Jr. against 3-time, 2-division world titlist “King” Arthur Abraham, starting at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT, live from The SES Arena, Wembley, in London.
Four championship fights on the exciting “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” card, promoted by Poxon Sports in association with Team Sauerland, will air live on Super Channel.
Super Channel has recently aired Brook vs. Spence Jr. and Pacquiao-Horn, live from the UK and Australia, respectively.
“We are delighted to have yet another world-class bout to bring to Canadian fight fans,” said Troy Wassill. Dorector of Programming, Domestic Distributors & Sports for Super Channel. “The phenomenal response on social media we had to the Pacquiao vs Horn bout we recently aired, goes to show that Canadian viewers are hungry for more great boxing action and we intend to deliver.”
The 27-year-old, British-born Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) is the son of Chris Eubank Sr., (45-5-2, 23 KOs), the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight and middleweight world champion, who co-trains and manages his son.
Eubank Jr. is a former Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight World Champion. The rising British star captured the IBO title this past February, stopping Renold Quinlan (11-1, 7 KOs) in the 10th round. His July 15th fight versus Abraham will be his first IBO title defense.
Eubank is also world rated No. 5 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), No. 8 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
The far more experienced Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs), fighting out of Berlin, Germany, Is the IBO No. 1 ranked contender. The tough Armenia-native is a two-time WBO super middleweight world champion, in addition to being a former IBF Middleweight World Champion. Remarkably, he is 18-4 (9 KOs) in world championships, 7-4 (4 KOs) against former or current world champions.
Past world champions Abraham has defeated during his 17-year professional career includes Raul Marquez, Hector Javier Velazco, Jermain Taylor, Robert Stieglitz three times, and Giovanni De Carolis. “King” Arthur also holds victories over world-class opponents such as Martin Murray, Paul Smith twice, Lajuan Simon, Edison Miranda twice, Khoren Gevor, Sebastian Demers, Kofi Jantuah, Kingsley Ikeke, Robin Krasniqi and Howard Eastman.
Four of Abraham’s five career losses have been to world champions Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Gilberto Ramirez and Stieglitz, who is the only opponent to stop Abraham, winner of 10 of his last 11 fights, the most recent a 12-round unanimous decision win over Krasniqi (46-4, 17 KOs) this past April in Germany.
Abraham is the No. 1 ranked WBO super middleweight, WBA No. 4, and No. 7 by the IBF and The Ring magazine.
Welshman “Lightning” Lee Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) makes his third defense of his IBF Featherweight World title, which he originally captured May 30, 2015, taking an eighth-round technical decision over previously unbeaten Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs).
In the 12-round co-feature, the popular Selby will face his stiffest challenge in former WBA Featherweight World Champion Jonathan Victor “Yoni” Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), of Argentina, the IBF No. 1 contender.
Also scheduled to air live on Super Channel on July 15th are a pair of interesting 12-round match-ups as highly-touted Kid Galahad (22-0, 13 KOs) defends his IBF Inter-Continental featherweight title against the stiffest test of his young career, Mexican challenger Jose “El Tigre” Cayetano (21-5, 10 KOs), as well as undefeated WBA Continental super lightweight champion Robbie Davis Jr. (15-0, 11 KOs), ranked No. 4 by the IBF, puts his belt on the line versus Michal Syrowatka (18-1, 6 KOs), of Poland.
To see the “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it has to offer, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.
July 15 Roy Jones Facebook Fight Night Live
Bringing fight fans even closer to the action, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing, Linacre Media and ULTRACAST will partner to stream the Saturday, July 15FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Phoenix showdown not only live in H.D. on Facebook, but in ULTRACAST 360˚ and in ULTRACAST Virtual Reality as well.
Supporters of the Sweet Science can take advantage of the multi-camera FIGHTNIGHT LIVE broadcast on Facebook – completely free wherever Facebook is available – and also check out all of the action in ULTRACAST 360˚ or ULTRACAST VR by downloading the ULTRACAST app and subscribing to the PPV feed for only $.99. Available for IOS and Android, fans simply need to download the ULTRACAST app in the App store or by visiting www.ultracast.com/app.
“We are thrilled about partnering with Linacre Media and FIGHTNIGHT LIVE to provide fans the 360˚ Virtual Reality experience of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing,” said CEO of Ultracast,
“Roy and I have always felt that live streaming would take the place of the old platforms of delivering fights,” stated Keith Veltre, CEO & Co-Founder of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions. “To partner up with Linacre Media and showcase our talent live with Facebook is years ahead of anyone else in the industry.
This will give us the ability to reach millions of boxing fans around the world and enable us to deliver our sponsors triple the exposure we would normally get from traditional TV. Mark Fratto, the brains behind this envisioning series, is giving fighters the opportunity to showcase their talent to the world and gain a fan base. We are thrilled that his vision lines exactly where Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions wants to be.”
“We’re excited to be able to capitalize on cutting-edge technology to give the Roy Jones Jr. Boxing audience a ringside seat, live from the greater Phoenix area,” said Mark Fratto, Principal of Linacre Media. “Our Facebook Live series continues to keep fight fans at the forefront, now with not just one – but three – high-quality viewing experiences available.”
ULTRACAST is the premier app for live 360˚ and VR content, broadcasting – or better yet, ultracasting – unique, exclusive perspectives of events to millions of mobile phones, worldwide. ULTRACAST takes viewers ringside at fights, allows them to be part of the back-stage drama, celebrate the win on the podium or feel the front-row excitement of a concert; getting up-close and personal, and going “beyond live”. Get the latest updates with ULTRACAST by following ULTRACASTLIVE on Facebook and @Ultracastlive on Twitter and Instagram.
Promoted by Roy Jones Jr. and Keith Veltre of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, the July 15 card will bring fans back-to-back championship action. The event will showcase a main attraction featuring NABA Super Welterweight Champion John “The Phenom” Vera Jr. (16-0, 10 KOs) as he takes on the former WBO Latino Champion Daniel Rosario (11-2, 10 KOs) in a 10-round contest live from in Chandler, Ariz. Super bantamweight standout Rico Ramos (25-5, 13 KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Tony Lopez (12-2, 4 KOs) for the vacant NABA Super Bantamweight title as part of a stacked fight card filled with Arizona-area heroes. Additional fights and fighters are subject to change; limited tickets are still available at www.WinGilaRiver.com. A tape-delayed version of the live show will air on BeIN Sports one week after the live show on Facebook.
The numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform. The May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago drew audiences of 44,000 and 31,000, respectively, with more than 3,000 of hours of LIVE video consumed by Facebook users. In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 15,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 9,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 5,000 comments and 800-plus shares.
On Saturday night, July 15, live from Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, Ariz., fans can expect a high-impact, multi-camera streaming experience – now also available in ULTRACAST 360˚ and ULTRACAST VR – complete with graphics, animations, replays, interviews and an announce team anchored by blow-by-blow announcer Miguel Flores of Premier Boxing Champions and analyst Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and The Ring. Joining the broadcast team once again will be world-ranked light heavyweight Mike Lee. University of Notre Dame alum Lee (19-0, 10 KOs) is ranked No. 12 by the WBO, No. 12 by the IBF, No. 13 by the WBA and No. 14 by the WBC, and will be ringside with Flores and Woods to provide expert analysis. To provide spectators with a fully-interactive ringside experience, commentators will ask and respond to questions from the Facebook audience throughout the broadcast.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE strap season continues on Saturday, July 29, in Raleigh, N.C., as Tar Heel State undefeated super flyweight Dewayne Beamon competes for the IBO Inter-Continental and UBF World Junior Bantamweight titles. More FIGHTNIGHT LIVE dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
Aloe Blacc to Perform New Single “King Is Born” Live at Mayweather v. McGregor International Press Tour Event in Los Angeles
In anticipation of the unprecedented showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, the global stars are embarking on a four-city international press tour that spans three countries in four days, and brings all the spectacle of this massive event directly to the fans who demanded it.
As a special presentation at the tour’s first event on Tuesday in Los Angeles, GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum XIX / Interscope recording artist Aloe Blacc will perform his new single “King Is Born” live at STAPLES Center. Blacc is known for his hit singles “I Need a Dollar,” “Wake Me Up,” “The Man” and “Love Is The Answer,” all of which reflect his quest for social justice. Blacc is currently working on the follow up to his GRAMMY-nominated album “Lift Your Spirit.”
Tuesday’s live performance by Aloe Blacc will be part of SHOWTIME Sports live coverage of the Mayweather vs. McGregor press tour event. Fans can watch live online via Facebook @ShowtimeBoxing, theYouTube @ShoSports channel, UFC.com and UFC FIGHT PASS. CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app for mobile and connected TV devices will simulcast Tuesday’s event with CBS Sports Network providing live coverage from Los Angeles. The @CBSSports Facebook page will also simulcast coverage.
Mayweather and McGregor face off in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and London on the four-city press tour before returning to training camp to continue preparations for their one-of-a-kind main event matchup taking place Saturday, Aug. 26 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Sampson Boxing Signs Undefeated Featherweight Eduardo Ramirez to Promotional Contract
Sampson boxing proudly announces the signing of undefeated featherweight Eduardo “Zurdito” Ramirez of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, to an exclusive long-term promotional contract.
Ramirez (20-0-2, 7 KOs) is a 24-year-old, highly skilled southpaw with fast hands and super defense. He is managed and trained by Manuel Montiel Jr., brother of the five-time world champion Fernando Montiel.
“I am shocked and honored to be chosen to join the stable of Sampson Lewkowicz,” said Ramirez. “My dream of a world title shot will come true now that he is helping me and that was my goal all along. All I have to do is keep wining and my team will do the rest.”
Montiel, who also manages and trains Sampson Boxing super welterweight contender Jorge Cota, was also happy with the deal.
“I am grateful to Sampson for giving us this opportunity with another of my fighters. We have made him a commitment to work hard to always bring Eduardo into the ring in the best shape possible to go all the way to the world championship.”
For Lewkowicz, the addition of Ramirez and partnership with Montiel are another avenue to bring Mexican boxing talent to the forefront. The well-known promoter already works with such names as Jorge “Pilon” Lara and Hugo “Cuatito” Ruiz to name a few.
“I am working hard to bring more Mexican champions to the world,” he explained. “I’m very proud to sign Eduardo and bring him and his team the opportunities they have worked so hard to reach.”
Kenneth Sims Jr. Ready to Complete Performance this Friday Night as Part of ShoBox: The New Generation Triple Header
Undefeated super lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (12-0, 4 KO’s) is looking for a complete performance when he takes on Rolando Chinea (14-1-1, 6 KO’s) of Lancaster, Pa., as the two prepare to meet in an eight-round bout on ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, July 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
The ShoBox telecast features eight returning fighters with a combined record of 94 wins against just four losses.
Dangerous southpaw Keenan “Killa” Smith, (11-0, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia will make his second appearance on the series as he takes on Ivan Baranchyk, (14-0, 10 KOs), a native of Minsk, Byelorussia fighting out of Miami, Okla., who is making his fifth appearance on the ShoBox series.
Plus, undefeated Glenn Dezurn (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on Adam Lopez (16-1-1, KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight clash. In the telecast opener, Joshua Greer (13-1-1, 5 KOs) will battle Leroy Davila (5-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the event promoted by GH3 Promotions and Tony Holden Productions are priced at $35, $55, $65 and $75 and are available for purchase now at buffalorun.com.
Sims, a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist, continues to step up in level of opposition as he meets one of the most dangerous opponents of his career in his second ShoBox appearance.
The Chicago native has stayed active as a pro; he fought four times in 2016 and this will be his third start of 2017. In his last outing, he stopped Israel Villela with a third-round TKO.
The 23-year-old Sims was a sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather (when he was getting prepared for Andre Berto) and Manny Pacquiao (as he was getting ready for Mayweather). He is known for his boxing skills and ability to work the body.
“My camp has been great,” Sims said. “I feel like I am a lot mentally stronger going into this bout then I was for my last ShoBox fight. I was going through a lot and that was documented. ”
Sims was mourning the loss of close friend and undefeated welterweight, Ed Brown.
“This fight on Friday will be a case of me just going out there and doing what I need to do. I am just going to go out there to box and use my physical attributes, and make this fight easy.”
Sims will be looking to improve on his ShoBox performance when he took a unanimous decision from Emmanuel Robles on Jan 20.
“I think that fight helped me a lot going into this fight. It taught me that I can go eight hard rounds. I want to stay ready, and I plan on getting started earlier in the fight. I am going out there to have fun. That is when I am at my best.
“I will show everyone a big difference on Friday night. I have been working very hard, and I will be in better shape, and overall the fans will see a better Kenneth Sims.”
Said Sims promoter, Vito Mielnicki of GH3 Promotions, “Kenneth has all of the talent in the world, and on Friday I feel he will show it. He has a clear head going into this fight and is extremely focused. Chinea is a very solid opponent, and I feel that will bring the best out of Kenneth on Friday night.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 28th to July 5th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
ESPN’s Telecast of Battle of Brisbane Between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao Highest Rated Boxing Telecast Since 1995
ESPN’s live telecast Saturday, July 1, of the “Battle of Brisbane” (10 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET) averaged a total live audience (television and streaming) of 3.1 million viewers across the ESPN and ESPN Deportes networks, according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen. It was the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable television since 2006 and ESPN’s highest-rated boxing telecast since 1995.
The WBO World Welterweight Championship main event between Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), the Filipino legend and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane’s favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) (12 midnight to 1 a.m. ET) peaked during the final half hour of their fight with 4.4 million viewers across both networks. Horn defeated Pacquiao by a controversial unanimous decision.
On ESPN, the telecast averaged a 1.6 household rating and 2,812,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable TV since 2006. Carlos Baldomir vs. Arturo Gatti on HBO on July 22, 2006, earned a 1.6 household rating.
“The Battle of Brisbane” was also the highest-rated boxing telecast on ESPN’s networks since 1995. Danell Nicholson vs. Darren Hayden on ESPN, on December 21, 1995 earned a 1.7 household rating.
Highest Ratings for Boxing Telecasts on Cable in Last 10 Years
DATE NETWORK MAIN FIGHT US HH Rating
7/01/2017 ESPN Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn 1.6
9/26/2009 HBO Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Arreola 1.4
4/19/2008 HBO Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe 1.3
5/03/2008 HBO Oscar De La Hoya vs. Steve Forbes 1.3
5/09/2015 HBO Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland 1.3
“The Battle of Brisbane” on ESPN Deportes averaged 206,000 viewers, including 308,000 viewers in the final half hour of the event, making it the most-watched fight on ESPN Deportes since Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares on August 29, 2015, which had an average minute viewing audience of 355,00
ESPN’s telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 78,000, with 392,000 unique viewers, and 14.4 million total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN’s networks. On ESPN Deportes, the telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 1,400, with 7,800 unique viewers, and 253,000 total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN Deportes. Streaming provided a combined additional 2.6% lift on top of the television audience for both networks.
“The Battle of Brisbane” is available to stream now on the ESPN app.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs. King Arthur Abraham to Air on PPV in the United States
One of boxing’s most polarizing and exciting young fighters faces a dangerous three-time, two-division world champion, as Chris Eubank Jr. defends his International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight Championship against “King” Arthur Abraham on Saturday, July 15, available to watch on Pay Per View in the United States, starting at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT, live from SES Arena, Wembley in London, England.
“Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham”, promoted by Poxon Sports in association with Team Sauerland, is presented in the United States by Integrated Sports Media and Protocol Sports Marketing, Ltd.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” live in the United States on cable and satellite PPV via iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In Canada, the event will be available on television to fight fans that subscribe to premium pay television network Super Channel.
Outside of North America, “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” is being distributed to broadcasters worldwide by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
Only 27 years old, the British-born Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) enters the contest with less experience than Abraham but with power, a mean streak, and meaningful boxing pedigree. Eubank Jr. has won 16 of his last 17 fights by stoppage.
His father, Chris Eubank Sr. (45-5-2, 23 KOs), is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight and middleweight world champion. Eubank Sr. co-trains and manages his son, in addition to being an idiosyncratic presence in and around his son’s fights, and the British fight scene.
A former Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight World Champion, Eubank Jr. captured the IBO title this past February, stopping Renold Quinlan (11-1, 7 KOs) in the 10th round. His July 15th fight versus Abraham will mark the confident young champion’s first IBO title defense.
“Abraham is a strong, come forward fighter,” Eubank Jr. said, “but he’s one-dimensional. He’s very good in that one dimension, but a one-dimensional fighter cannot beat me. I see a lot of holes in his game and I’m going to exploit those holes ruthlessly.”
The IBO No. 1 rated Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) fights out of Berlin, Germany. “King” Arthur is a two-time WBO super middleweight world champion, as well as a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight world champion. The powerful Armenian has a sensational 18-4 (9 KOs) record in world championships, 7-4 (4 KOs) against former or current world champions. Noted victims during his 17-year professional career reads like a Who’s Who of Boxing in the 160- and 168-pound divisions, including world champions Raul Marquez, Hector Javier Velazco, Jermain Taylor, Robert Stieglitz thrice, and Giovanni De Carolis. Abraham has also defeated world-class opponents such as Martin Murray, Paul Smith twice, Lajuan Simon, Edison Miranda twice, Khoren Gevor, Sebastian Demers, Kofi Jantuah, Kingsley Ikeke, Robin Krasniqi and Howard Eastman.
Four of Abraham’s five career losses have been to world champions Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Stieglitz and Gilberto Ramirez. Stieglitz is the only opponent to stop Abraham, who has won 10 of his last 11 fights, the most recent a 12-round unanimous decision win over Krasniqi (46-4, 17 KOs) this past April in Germany.
“I will make sure that I’m in top shape and ready to secure a great victory,” Abraham remarked. “I know Chris Eubank, Jr. is a good fighter, like his dad. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I am confident I will beat him.”
Also airing live is the 12-round International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight World Championship match as popular Welshman “Lightning” Lee Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) makes his third defense of the title he captured May 30, 2015, when he won an eighth-round technical decision over previously unbeaten Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs).
Selby will be challenged by former WBA Featherweight World Champion Jonathan Victor “Yoni” Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), of Argentina, who is the IBF No. 1 contender.
Additional PPV fights will soon be announced.
Taras Shelestyuk and Ruben Villa Defend Unbeaten Records on Saturday Night
In the “Locked n’ Loaded” main event, welterweight Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (16-0, 10 KOs) made quick work of Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-3, 11 KOs) by knocking him out in the third round Saturday night from Omega Products International in Sacramento, Calif.
Shelestyuk, who is ranked No. 5 by the WBO, predicted a knockout win in his prefight interview with the Olympic bronze medalist (London 2012) saying he planned to be aggressive from the start.
“I didn’t want this fight going the distance,” said Shelestyuk, who attributes the aggressiveness to new trainer Joel Diaz. “Joel and I worked on increasing our punch output and it showed in this fight.”
Shelestyuk, who is from the Ukraine but now makes his home in Los Angeles, rocked Rodriguez in the first round. He connected on a two-punch combination that sent the Mexican to the canvas. In the third round, Shelestyuk struck early and often, earning the knockout win at the 2:05 mark.
Top featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (7-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. delivered a beating to overmatched veteran Jonathan Alcantara (7-16-2, 1 KO) of El Salvador. Villa, who swept all three scorecards (40-36), looked equally comfortable fighting on the outside or in the pocket.
“I think this fight showed how versatile I am,” Villa said. “I boxed him well and mixed it up inside without taking any hits. It was a solid performance.”
Villa, indeed, looked the part of an elite prospect. He was aggressive the entire fight, yet was extremely disciplined on the defensive end.
“There’s no doubt I frustrated him,” Villa continued. “I could tell he was having a hard time. I never let him relax.”
Shelestyuk and Villa are co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing
Joe Smith Jr.-The Light Heavyweight Division is Back
Following his recent knockout of boxing legend BERNARD HOPKINS, Long Island fan favorite JOE SMITH JR. moved right into the mix in the light heavyweight division, boxing’s deepest and most exciting.
Working full-time as a union laborer in the New York City area, Smith (23-1-0, 19 KO’s) will take a short break from wielding the sledgehammer as he finalizes training for his upcoming 10-round showdown with fellow highly ranked contender SULLIVAN BARRERA, (19-1-0, 14 KO’s), on Saturday, July 15 from The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and telecast live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).
Most recently a new #1 Pound-for-Pound in boxing from the light heavyweight division was heralded as ANDRE WARD defeated SERGEY KOVALEV for the second time on June 17, defending the WBA/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight Titles. On June 3, longtime WBC Light Heavyweight Champion ADONIS STEVENSON stopped highly ranked contender ANDRZEJ FONFARA.
In addition to those two champions the division is filled with world class fighters and highly regarded contenders including ARTUR BETERBIEV, DMITRY BIVOL, OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK and ELEIDER ALVAREZ .
“It’s true the division is truly heating up and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said the 27-year-old Smith Jr. “The winner of my upcoming fight moves right into the top of the mix in the division.”
“With my last two knockouts I have the full confidence that the sky is the limit for me in this division, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion.”
Smith Jr. is promoted by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING who has developed the heavy handed Long Island native over the last few years into a world ranked contender and holder of the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title.
“Timing is always very important when bringing along a fighter to a higher level,” said DeGuardia. “We started working together a few years ago and our plan was to continue developing Joe’s talents and present him with the right opportunities for success. This is a formula we’ve used many times in the past in building fighters the right way.”
“When the opportunity came to fight Andrzej Fonfara we believed as a team that Joe was ready and he was spectacular in the first round knockout victory. The same with fighting Bernard Hopkins, it was a great opportunity and Joe put on another star making performance.”
“With the Sullivan Barrera fight the stakes are even higher but we feel this is another great opportunity for Joe, back on HBO which has built many stars over the last forty years.”
Oscar Negrete Overpowers Sergio Frias to Take Home NABF Bantamweight Championship
In one of his best performances yet, the still undefeated and newly crowned NABF Bantamweight Champion Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs) overpowered the rugged and resilient Sergio “Frio” Frias (18-7-2, 9 KOs) with a technical knockout victory in the main event on Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
“I want Caballero next,” said Negrete, calling out Randy “El Matador” Caballero who was scheduled to fight in the main event originally. “Tonight with Sergio Frias, I knew I was winning the fight; it was more of waiting for either the knock out to come about or get the unanimous decision. I felt like my jabs were the most effective, because after watching his fight against Archinean, our team noticed that he didn’t move his head a lot. There’s a couple more of these belts that I need to add to my career.”
“El Jaguar” was focused and in control of the fight, catching Frias on the ropes in several stand and deliver exchanges attacking the body consistently. In the last couple of rounds, Frias attempted to claw his way back, nailing Negrete with a couple of uppercuts that stunned “El Jaguar”. It was a heavy exchange in the eighth round that cause Frias to become unstable, and before the ninth round could commence, Frias’s corner called the fight, awarding the technical knockout win to Negrete.
A slew of VIPs attended the card, which marked the 50th show that Golden Boy Promotions has put on at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino including former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion, Mexican actor and circus performer Jorge “El Maromero” Paez, NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr., Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Jesus “El Renuente” Soto Karass, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, and Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy.
In the co-main event, super lightweight contender Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (19-0, 11 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee participated in a 10-round slugfest against Marcos “El Tigre” Jimenez (22-8, 15 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The two fighters went toe-to-toe with each other, however Martin managed to outclass his opponent.
“He was a tough, very defensive fighter,” said Ryan Martin. “It was hard for me to get him to open up because he would only throw a shot once he knew he could land it clean. This was my first time going the full 10 rounds, and by the eight, I was like ‘darn, he’s still standing?!’ Overall, I felt that I could be more consistent with my style, and I wish I would have listened to my coaches more while I was in the ring, but I am satisfied with my performance and despite not getting the knock out, I’m glad that I got the win.”
Heavy-handed Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (5-0, 4 KOs) from San Diego, Calif. demolished Devon Jones (2-5, 1 KO) of Fairfield, Calif. in a scheduled four-round match-up of lightweights that only made it to the 1:04 mark of the first round. “El Conde” handled his business with two knockdowns: the first with a left hook, the second a finishing blow of an overhand right.
“We were the swing bout, so I tried to send everyone home as early as I could,” said Genaro Gamez. “Of course I’m so excited for this win, I’m trying to keep my knock out streak alive.”
Retaining his unblemished record and champion title, WBC Youth Super Featherweight Champion Lamont Roach, Jr. (14-0, 5 KOs) dazzled the crowd with his skills in the ring against Sonora, Mexico’s Jesus “Chuito” Valdez (20-3-1, 9 KOs) for their 10-round super featherweight bout. Valdez landed impressive uppercuts that sent the crowd gushing for more, however Roach, Jr. went straight to the body, and worked-in his swift power combinations. In the last round, Roach gave a beating to Valdez, chipping away at him with consecutive blows to the head, leaving the resilient Mexican unbalanced. The judges scored the bout unanimously in favor of Roach, Jr. with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93.
“The icing on the cake would have been if I could have knocked him out, so I feel like this was an okay performance,” said Lamont Roach, Jr. “He was a tough opponent, and he was able to catch me a couple of times.”
Welterweight KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (17-1-1, 7 KOs) made a comeback from the first loss of his career taking on Zurich, Switzerland’s Dennis “Dennis the Menace” Dauti (14-3, 7 KOs) in eight-rounds of non-stop action. The hungry fighters both pressed on aggressively, engaging in heavy exchanges, however “The Truth” was always a step ahead, utilizing his height and reach to his advantage. Dauti was unable to properly adjust to Gibson’s style, but nevertheless, was able to step into moments of dangerous exchanges. The judges scored the bout at 80-72, 79-73, 77-75, awarding the unanimous decision to Gibson.
“This fight gives me a confidence boost,” said KeAndre Gibson. “Most fighters who come from overseas are pretty awkward in their styles, and he was no exception – he had strange head and shoulder movements that could have become accidental head-butts. I just want to be able to get those tough fights, so I think this puts me back in there.”
Hot off his professional debut, Luis Feliciano (2-0) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga impressed the crowd with his easy conquest over Baltazar Ramirez (3-3, 3 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In the six-round super lightweight bout, Feliciano displayed his growing ring generalship, preventing Ramirez from landing any significant punches with his effective counter punching. All three judges scored the bout accordingly with scores of 60-54.
“I feel like we came in and we executed the game plan just how we had trained,” said Luis Feliciano. “I wasn’t sure what type of fighter we were getting, and once you’re in the ring styles change. He was a tough guy, and he took a lot of my punches.”
Opening up the card, Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin” Allen (12-0-1, 5 KOs) battled ring veteran Gamaliel “El Platanito” Diaz (40-17-3, 19 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round super lightweight match that made it to the sixth round. Allen showed growth from his previous fights, forcing Diaz to taste the mat various times throughout the bout. The doctors called the fight during the sixth round, due to an accidental head-butt, forcing the judges to go to the cards. The scores were 57-56 for Diaz, 58-55 for Allen, and 57-56 for Allen, awarding “No Smilin” the split decision victory.
“I don’t know if it was actually a head butt that he got from me, I just remember going off on him and unleashing my punches,” said Damon Allen. “It doesn’t matter if it was a split decision or if it would have ended unanimously – I was going to win regardless. I love taking on veteran fighters for this reason. I feel that I learn a lot about my skills and how to improve for the better.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Pacquiao, Canelo, Chavez, Gamboa, Burns, and more….
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Pacquiao, Canelo, Chavez, Gamboa, Burns, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 4th to April 11th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev Press Conference Quotes
Andre Ward (31-0) and Sergey KOvalev (30-1-1) recently held a press conference to announce their upcoming rematch on Saturday, June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay Per View.
Below are some select quotes from their press conference:
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I want to thank everybody for coming out today – the media, obviously, HBO, Peter Nelson and their whole team, these guys work tirelessly to get these kinds of things done. I appreciate my team, James Prince, Josh Dubin, Roc Nation and everyone at Roc Nation, JAY Z, Juan and Desiree Perez, Michael Yormark. It’s important to have a good team. We talk a lot about fighting, we talk all about matchups, but when we talk about support, it’s frowned upon. When we see fighters 10, 15, 20 years from now shuffling in a room, nothing to show what they fought for, that’s okay. By the grace of God and by way of my team, that’s not going to happen to me.
“Unfortunately, there’s perception and there’s reality. Perception is every one thing that’s written, every opinion but as you grow and learn this business, it’s not about perception. Nobody can point to a fight where I turned. Not one point. That’s not in my track record. So, I don’t mind the perception. I don’t care about Instagram. This is chess, not checkers. You can make all the rules you want to make, but it’s about the checkmate. That’s when the game is over.
“My team is working on life after boxing. Educating me on the ins and outs. A lot of people talk about money, but they don’t talk about the upside. They’re not talking about the personal sponsorships for the fight, and your obligations for the sponsorship. They’re not talking about the television rights and foreign rights, the merchandise. ‘Be tough, keep focus, destroy the fight’. I’m not with that man. I want the whole thing, I want to understand everything. The fight is not the end.
“They have to understand, there’s nothing scary about this man. You realize we just fought 12 rounds four months ago? Everyone wants to highlight the knockdown, that’s probably one of the most beautiful moments of my career. And did you guys see the other 10 rounds? Nobody’s talking about that. But that’s what makes us who we are. It’s hard concrete down there, we don’t want to fall. We’ve got another drive, we’ve got another gear we’ve got to tap into when we hit adversity and hit the cannons. You guys saw that, in the biggest moment of my career.
“I didn’t get to where I’m at because there’s something unique about me. I didn’t get to this point by happenstance. Some may not like it, but you got to respect it. You don’t have to, but we’ve earned the position that we have. We don’t mind being understated. The fight is academic. When my team green-lighted it, I said go ahead and announce it. The reality is, you’ve got to see me on June 17. That’s the reality of the situation. I love to talk, it’s all good. We knocked heads for 12 rounds, that’s the reality of the situation. He felt me, he knows. On June 17, that’s how we’re going to do. We’re going to get started a little early. Whether you’re with me, or whether you’re against me, tune in. Appreciate everybody’s time. Don’t miss this fight, June 17. You got what you asked for.”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“Hello everyone. I am thankful the fight will take place on June 17. Well, will take place on paper for now. I’m appreciative of my team and Team Ward that this fight will actually happen. I want to apologize to my fans for my performance the last time but we’re going to get this squared either way. We’re going to see who is the best fighter. I’m very excited for June 17. The only thing I hope is that a week or two before the fight, Andre Ward does not get injured and he has enough balls to come out and fight me on June 17.”
Pacman Ready to Go Down Under to Turn Horn’s World Upside Down!
Add Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia to the list of venues on foreign soil that will play host to a MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO fight. Boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao has accepted the challenge of undefeated No. 2 world-rated contender JEFF “The Hornet” HORN to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title, Saturday, July 1 (Sunday, July 2, in Australia). Promoted by Top Rank® and Duco Events, “The Battle of Brisbane” is expected to attract 55,000 fans and a record pay-per-view audience in Australia. It will also be seen live in the U.S. Look for details on the U.S. telecast in the following weeks.
“Manny has been a pioneer, bringing world title fights to Cowboys Stadium, The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena and now Suncorp Stadium. We’re boxing’s version of Lewis & Clark, discovering new markets,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. ” Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite on July 1, but he can’t wait to give Australia and the world a great performance. It’s going to be unbelievable event.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is in his third reign as WBO welterweight champion. He regained the title on November 5, winning a dominant unanimous decision victory over defending champion Jessie Vargas.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), from Bisbane, Queensland, Australia, enters this fight having won his last three fights — all in 2016 — against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller and Randall Bailey inside the distance. They had a combined record of 105-14-4 when he fought them. Horn is world-rated No. 2 by the WBO and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
Robin Krasniqi vs. Arthur Abraham Super Middleweight Title Eliminator
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Middleweight title eliminator, featuring two-time world title challenger Robin Krasniqi taking on the three-time, two-division world champion “King” Artur Abraham, will be available to watch April 22 on pay per view in North America, starting at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. a.m. PT, live from Congress Center in Ekfurt, Germany. The two fighters have a combined record or 91-9 with 47 knockouts.
“Krasniqi vs. Abraham”, promoted by SES Promotions, is a presentation of Integrated Sports Media and FITE.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Krasniqi vs. Abraham” live in North America, starting at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT, on cable, satellite and internet pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH in the United States, as well as Rogers, Shaw and Sask Tel in Canada, also on the FITE app and website, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.
Outside of North America, “Krasniqi vs. Abraham” is being licensed by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
Born in Kosovo, the 29-year-old Krasniqi (46-4, 17 KOs) is a former European and WBO International Light Heavyweight Champion, who resides in Munich, Germany and packs a thunderous punch. Three fights ago, he moved down in weight from Light Heavyweight to Super Middleweight, winning all three bouts at the new weight class and looking highly impressive.
In 2013, Krasniqi lost his first world title shot by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to defending WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Nathan Cleverly (25-0), in London, by way of a hard-fought 12-round decision.
Following his first career defeat, Krasniqi went on to capture the WBO International Light Heavyweight Title with a seventh-round knockout of previously undefeated Emmanuel Danso (20-0), and has since defended that belt. Krasniqi won the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Continental Light Heavyweight Title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Oleksandr Cherviak (14-3-1).
In 2014, Krasniqi successfully defended those two championships, taking a 12-round unanimous decision from Dariusz Sek (21-1-1), which set up his second world title shot, March 21, 2015 in Germany, against long-time defending WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Juergan Braehmer (45-2) in a massive all-German world title showdown. Krasniqi was unable to answer the bell for the 10th round but learned that he should drop a weight class. Since moving down to Super Middleweight, Krasniqi has looked impressive but Abraham will surely be the biggest test of his career.
Rated No. 2 by the WBO, Abraham (45-5, 30 KOs) has positioned himself for another world title shot as the winner of his Apr. 22nd eliminator with Krasniqi will become the mandatory challenger for reigning WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto Ramirez, of Mexico. Abraham lost his WBO crown by way a 12-round unanimous decision to Ramirez in Las Vegas in 2016 but must win against Krasniqi to have an opportunity at regaining his title.
The 37-year-old Abraham, a native of Armenia who lives in Berlin, Germany, is a two-time WBO (World Boxing Organization) Super Middleweight Champion, as well as the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) Middleweight World Champion. The knockout artist has a remarkable 18-4 (9 KOs) record in world championship bouts and is 7-4 (4 KOs) against former or current world champions. Noted victims during his 16-½ year professional career reads like a Who’s Who of Boxing in the 160 and 168-pound divisions, including world champions Raul Marquez, Hector Javier Velazco, Jermain Taylor, Robert Stieglitz thrice, and Giovanni De Carolis. Abraham has also defeated world-class opponents such as Martin Murray, Paul Smith twice, Lajuan Simon, Edison Miranda twice. Khoren Gevor, Sebastian Demers, Kofi Jantuah, Kingsley Ikeke and Howard Eastman.
Four of Abraham’s five career losses have been to world champions Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Robert Stieglitz and Gilberto Ramirez. Stieglitz is the only opponent to stop Abraham, who has won nine of his last 10 fights, the most recent an eighth-round technical knockout of Tim Robin Lihaug (15-1) this past July in Germany for the vacant WBO International Super Middleweight Title.
Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. Defends His Belt Against Oscar Escandon on May 20th
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will make the second defense of his title when he faces top challenger Oscar Escandon Saturday, May 20 in themain event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING from the recently opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland live on SHOWTIME.
The Maryland-native Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KOs) and the WBC Interim Featherweight Champion Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) will battle in one of boxing’s most talented divisions that continues to deliver exciting action fight after fight. A lineup of exciting co-featured attractions will be announced next week.
“I’m a gladiator getting ready for a tough battle,” said Russell Jr. “This is going to be a huge night for my family and I’m glad that the time is here. This will be the first time as pros that I get to fight on the same card as both of my little brothers, (unbeaten bantamweight) Gary Antonio and (2016 U.S. Olympian) Gary Antuanne, plus my brother Gary Allan will work all of our corners. We’re excited to get in the ring and show the fans what we’re capable of doing in the ring.”
“I’ve had to wait for this opportunity to face Gary Russell Jr. and I’m going to take full advantage of it,” said Escandon. “It’s going to be a great fight and I know the fans are going to get their money’s worth. I feel 100 percent healthy and now that the fight is here I am ready to knock him out.”
Tickets for the live event promoted by TGB Promotions are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/. The main event is co-promoted by Sampson Boxing. This bout was originally scheduled to take place on March 11 but was rescheduled after Escandon suffered a back injury in training camp. Fans who bought tickets for the March 11 show will have their tickets honored on May 20.
“This is going to be a great night of boxing,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The featherweight division is very hot right now with the recent wins by Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. There is something very special going on in the division and this will be another memorable fight. Escandon is a tough warrior who has proven time and again that he doesn’t care about going on the road or where he fights. There are great boxing fans in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia region and they are in-store for an exciting night on May 20.”
A speedy and supremely talented boxer, Russell Jr., was impressive in his fourth-round stoppage of the battle-tested Jhonny Gonzalez that earned him the title in March 2015. The 2008 U.S. Olympian had scored important victories over Vyacheslav Gusev, Juan Ruiz and Miguel Tamayo before losing a majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO 126-pound title in June 2014. The southpaw, of Capitol Heights, Md., most recently scored a dominant second-round TKO victory over Patrick Hyland in his first title defense in April 2016.
Fighting out of Ibague, Colombia, Escandon turned pro in 2008 and was undefeated in his first 22 professional bouts. Escandon won an interim world title at super bantamweight in 2014 when he defeated Tyson Cave in his U.S. debut. He earned his shot at Russell Jr. last March when he survived an early knockdown to score a knockout victory over Robinson Castellanos in the seventh round of their showdown in Washington, D.C.
Golden Boy Promotions Throw Cinco De Mayo Triple Header on Canelo vs. Chavez Weekend
On Friday, May 5, one day before the mega-fight between Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. goes down in Las Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions will throw a Cinco de Mayo fiesta at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Fans will get a full afternoon and evening of activity starting with the Official Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.Weigh In, an action-packed night of Golden Boy Boxing onESPN fights headlined by Former Three-Division World Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa taking on the longtime contender Robinson Castellanos, surprise fighter appearances, DJs, sponsor giveaways, entertainment and much, much more!
First, the MGM Grand Garden Arena doors will open at 1:00 p.m. PST for the official Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. and full undercard Weigh-in with fighters hitting the scales at 2:00 p.m. PST/5:00 p.m. EST, main pay-per-view-view undercard to weigh in beginning at 2:30 p.m. PST/5:30 p.m. EST. Soon after the weigh-in, the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN fights will begin, leading into a special televised tripleheader of fan-friendly action live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
As a special treat to the fans, Golden Boy Promotions will be giving away exclusive VIP seating and entrance to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. Weigh-in with purchase of a ticket to Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN: Gamboa vs. Castellanos.
“On the eve of the Mexico vs. Mexico superfight that is Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., it was only fitting we throw the ultimate fan fiesta on Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “There is no better way to enjoy this special holiday than to come out and watch some top quality, action-packed fights, listen to the sounds of the mariachi bands and wave your Mexican flags.”
Cuban standout and Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa (26-1, 17 KOs) of Miami, FL will be making a rapid return to the ring to face rugged Celaya, Mexico fighter Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (21-11, 13 KOs) in a main event lightweight fight scheduled for 10 rounds transmitted on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST/8:00 p.m. EST.
In the co-main event, Abraham “El Chamaco” Lopez (22-0-1, 15 KOs) of La Puente, CA will put his WBA-NABA Featherweight title and undefeated record on the line, as he squares off in a 10 round bout against dangerous fighter Jesus Rojas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) hailing from Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Opening up Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN televised fights, someone’s “0” must go as Sao Paulo, Brazil’s own Yamaguchi Falcão (12-0, 6 KOs) faces his toughest challenge yet in the sturdy Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch (18-0-1, 8 KOs) of Pittsburgh, PA in a 10 round middleweight match.
Ricky Burns to Meet Julius Indongo on Saturday April 15th
Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo will clash in a bout that will unify the WBA and IBF 140-pound world titles. The match-up takes place on Saturday, April 15th and will be featured live and exclusively on AWE, A Wealth of Entertainment and www.klowdtv.com in the United States.
Burns will have the home fan advantage. The bout originates from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The undercard fights begin at 2:30 PM EST / 11:20 AM PT.
“We’re thrilled to bring this very exciting world unification fight to our fans,” stated Robert Herring, CEO of AWE.
Burns of Coatsbridge, Scotland has been a world champion in three weight-classes, and has been competing in world title bouts for seven years.
The 33 year-old has a record of 41-5-1 with 14 knockouts. He has taken part in 12 world title bouts with a record of 10-1-1 in those contests.
Burns has wins over Colin Bain (8-0), Graham Earl (22-0), Haider Ali (4-1), Osumanu Akaba (21-4-1), Yakuba Amidu (16-1-1), Michael Gomes (38-9) and Kevin O’Hara (16-4).
On September 4, 2010, Burns won the WBO Super Featherweight title with a 12 round unanimous decision over Michael Katsidis (28-4). He won the full title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Paulus Moses (28-1). Burns defended that title 3 times with wins over Kevin Mitchell (33-1) & Jose Gonzalez (22-0) and a draw with Raymundo Beltran (28-6), before dropping his title to Terence Crawford.
Burns became a 3-division champion with an 8th round stoppage over Michele Di Rocco on May 28, 2016. He has made one defense, which came on October 7th with a unanimous decision over Kiryl Relikh.
“When Julius Indongo knocked out Eduard Troyanovsky he was immediately an opponent I was interested in,” says Burns. “Indongo can clearly punch and that’s an impressive way to win a World title, especially in Russia. It was some shot he hit Troyanovsky with.
“It’s a huge fight in the division and the kind of fights I need to be involved in at this stage of my career. There were other names talked about but I wanted the toughest, most dangerous fight out there. Indongo with his two belts was that man.
“He is a big tall, rangy, southpaw but bring it on – I have no fear of anyone and it is only the massive fights for me now.
“Fighting in Glasgow is special for me, the crowd at the SSE Hydro has been electric the last two occasions and I expect it to be no different this time round.”
Indongo of Windhoek, Namibia has a perfect mark of 20-0 with 11 knockouts.
The 34 year-old is an eight-year professional, who was the WBO African Super Lightweight champion as he had wins over Zolani Marali (4-5), Ibrahim Class (12-1) and Ishmael Kuchocha (12-3).
On December 3, 2016, Indongo scored one of the biggest upsets of the year, when he scored a stunning and explosive 40 second knockout over classy and undefeated IBF Champion Eduard Troyanovsky (25-0) in the former champion’s backyard of Moscow, Russia.
Indongo added: “It’s an absolute honor for me to fight Ricky, who I regard as an accomplished champion. I respect what he has achieved so far but I’m going to Scotland to rob him of his belt. I know it won’t be easy but I’m comforted by the fact that I have a good team and passionate Namibian fans, and I have every intention of making them smile and unifying the division on April 15.”
HBO Boxing Results: Lopez wins Controversial Decision; Salido and Vargas fight to Majority Draw
HBO Boxing Results: Lopez wins Controversial Decision; Salido and Vargas fight to Majority Draw
By: Matthew N. Becher
In the wake of the death of the Great Muhammad Ali, HBO aired a boxing card which proved to be the best way to pay tribute to the former Heavyweight champion of the world. Live from Carson, California at the StubHub Center a pair of fights in the Featherweight division, one between two rising prospects and the other between two champion veterans was held.
Between the undercard and main event HBO presented a very nice tribute to Muhammad Ali. The StubHub Center was lit up in cell phone cameras, while chants of “Ali, Ali, Ali” rang out. Michael Buffer led the tribute with a great speech as they tolled the traditional 10 count.
Photo Credit: Chris Farina- Team Salido
Abraham Lopez (20-0-1 15KO) v. Julian Ramirez (16-0 8KO): Featherweight
The fight started out extremely fast, with hard punches from both fighters. Ramirez was on the balls of his feet, bouncing around, while his counterpart Lopez began landing heavy accurate punches. Ramirez was more of the sharp shooter, efficiently landing a strong, straight left hand.
The second and third rounds provided the same quick pace action, with both fighters going toe to toe, landing heavy shots, to the surprise of Lopez, who most likely thought Ramirez as a non-contact boxer.
During the middle rounds the pace slowed down tremendously, and went from a brawl to a boxing match, which is exactly what Julian Ramirez was hoping for. Both fighters suffered cuts on accidental head butts, due to the southpaw and orthodox styles.
Ramirez proved that he could brawl when need be, but could more than out box the undefeated brawler in Lopez. Even though Ramirez was bothered by the flowing cut on his right eye, which he constantly pawed at, he was none the less able to stick to his game plan, landing more than 50% of his power punches. Ramirez has put himself in the position to take on someone that he believes to be the best fighter in the sport and test his own worth in Guillermo Rigondeaux.
The judges did see it differently and all saw the winner of the fight in Abraham Lopez. This was very much a controversial decision, as Lopez look battered, bruised and tired at the end of the fight.
Lopez UD10 97-92(2x), 98-92
Francisco Vargas (23-0-1 17KO) v. Orlando Salido (43-13-3 30KO): WBC Featherweight title:
What was billed initially as a “Fight of the Year” candidate on paper did not disappoint in its advertisement. Both fighters delivered on action, ditching any kind of defense very early in the first round and beginning to just brawl as soon as they could.
Trading shots, and toe to toe fighting was the norm of the fight. Vargas attempted to use his boxing skill, but was eventually made to fight inside the phone booth as the veteran Salido never stopped coming forward, both men throwing every shot with bad intentions, looking to stop their opponent.
The sixth round was the closest to a knockdown for Vargas, wobbling Salido and nearly sending him to the canvas. Vargas tried to put his opponent down, but ended up punching himself out, giving Salido a way to make a comeback.
The last third of the fight was just as brutal as the first half with both men in- fighting, landing blistering shots to the others head and body. These are the fights that people talk about for years, and take years off of a fighters lives. This style of fight is what separate fighters, that puts fear in to other fighters hearts.
It could have gone either way. Both men left their souls in that ring, entertaining the fans and leaving it all on the line. Fight of the year candidate? That is the least we could give these two warriors.
115-113 Vargas, 114-114 (2x) Majority Draw
HBO World Championship Boxing: Vargas vs. Salido Preview
HBO World Championship Boxing: Vargas vs. Salido Preview
By: Matthew N. Becher
This Saturday night from the StubHub center in Carson, California, Golden Boy Promotions will telecast a possible fight of the year candidate live on HBO. The undercard will pit two young, undefeated prospects in the featherweight division who have been showcased on smaller Golden Boy cards, and will look to use this opportunity to expose themselves to a very large audience and possibly set themselves up for bigger fights in the upcoming year.
Julian Ramirez (16-0 8KO) vs. Abraham Lopez (20-0-1 15KO): Featherweight
Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez is a fresh faced, 23 year old slick boxer out of Los Angeles, California. Ramirez is the nephew of former world champion Genaro Hernandez. Ramirez comes from a very good amateur background, compiling a record of 73-5 and going on to become a four time National PAL champion. He has won his last three meetings, over Raul Hidalgo, Hugo Partida and Christopher Martin, by Unanimous decision, slowly stepping up the quality of opponent. Ramirez is a fast handed southpaw who is very much looking to get to that next level of opposition.
Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez is also a young fighter looking to take advantage of the exposure he will receive on this undercard. Though a little older than his opponent, the 28 year old Lopez has also stayed very busy in the last year, winning all of his fights by stoppage. His lone draw on his record came last year against a much more experience fighter in Juan Carlos Martinez, who has been in the ring with the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Juan Carlos Burgos, Bernabe Concepcion and Mikey Garcia. Lopez is a brawler and will look to use his power to win this fight.
Francisco Vargas (23-0-1 17KO) vs. Orlando Salido (43-13-3 30KO): WBC Featherweight championship
Both fighters in this main event are come forward, punch for punch, warriors in the ring. They exemplify the “Mexican Style” of boxing that is one of the most entertaining styles of fighting the sport has to offer. Vargas is coming off of an unbelievable performance last November, in a fight that went on to win the BWAA fight of the year award, against Takashi Miura. Not only did Vargas get off the canvas and work through an awful cut on his eye, he was able to knock out Miura, who seemed unstoppable.
Vargas and Salido are similar in their fighting styles, which can at time resemble fighting in a phone booth, but they come from different backgrounds. The 31 year old champion, Vargas, was a highly decorated amateur who represented his native Mexico in the 2008 summer Olympics in China. Salido, who is only four years older at 35, has been a pro since he was 15 years old. This will be his 60th professional fight, and he has seen it all. Where Vargas does have some big wins against Miura and Juan Manuel Lopez, which is really the extent of his accomplishes as a professional. Salido, who has been pro since 1996 has been in the ring with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez, Mikey Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko and Roman Martinez.
When they say styles make fights, this is the type of fight they are referring to. On paper, fireworks are already starting to go off, and both of these men do not want to leave anything back once the final bell is rung. We expect the fight to live up to the hype and commend both fighters for putting aside any legal, contractual or ego garbage aside and get ready to fight.
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for HBO’s next Pay Per View offering featuring Top Rank Promotions’ stars Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Saturday night might be the last time we ever see Manny Pacquiao inside the ring as he has previously stated his intentions to retire after this fight to focus on a career in politics, but he has recently waivered on that promise.
HBO usually televises at least two bouts before the main event of a pay per view, and one of the bouts is a super middleweight title fight between Arthur Abraham and Gilberto Ramirez.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts for Saturday night.
Oscar Valdez (18-0) vs. Evgeny Gradovich (21-1); Featherweights
Oscar Valdez is a young twenty five year old prospect that competed in the Olympics for Mexico in 2008 and 2012. Gradovich is called by many the Mexican Russian and is known for his aggressive fighting style and is trained by Roberto Garcia.
Gardovich has a strong amateur background and was a member of the Russian Amateur Team, but he never competed in the Olympics like Valdez. He’s also four years older than Valdez but is still in his athletic prime.
Valdez has the heavier hands and has stopped sixteen of his opponents, including four of his past five fights. Gradovich is aggressive, but he’s not a powerful puncher. He only has nine stoppage victories and hasn’t had one in his past five bouts.
Gradovich will have about a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance.
Valdez has been considerably more active than Gradovich in the past two years. He has fought a total of eight times in 2014 and 2015 while Gradovich fought four times.
Gradovich is a former IBF World Featherweight Champion and has defeated the likes of Alexander Miskirtchian, Billy Dib (twice), and Mauricio Javier Munoz. Valdez has not faced the level of competition of Gradovich but has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos and Ruben Tamayo.
Most concerning for Gradovich however is that he struggled in his last two fights despite winning, and was only able to manage a split decision against an unheralded Aldimar Silva Santos. He’ll have to swarm Valdez and throw a high volume of punches if he hopes to win.
This is an excellent test for Valdez to see if he can handle a former champion that’s still relatively young, but it’s a test that many expect Valdez to pass.
Arthur Abraham (44-4) vs. Gilberto Ramirez (33-0); WBO Super Middleweight Title
Arthur Abraham has been fighting as a professional since 2003 and is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion and was the former IBF Middleweight Champion.
Age, however, is not on his side as he is thirty six years old and twelve years older than his opponent. He will also be giving up five and a half inches in height and three inches in reach to Ramirez.
Both boxers have decent power as Abraham has stopped twenty nine of his opponents while Ramirez has stopped twenty four. Ramirez has been more active than Abraham and has fought seven times in the past two years, but Abraham by far is the more experienced and tested boxer.
The Armenian born Abraham has defeated the likes of Martin Murray, Robert Stieglitz (three times), Paul Smith, Jermain Taylor, Lajuan Simon, Raul Marquez, Edison Miranda, Elvin Ayala, and Howard Eastman. His losses were to Robert Stieglitz, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell.
Ramirez’s best victories to date have come against Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maxim Vlasov, and Giovanni Lorenzo.
Abraham hasn’t fought outside of Germany in five years and two of his losses have occurred in the United States.
This will be a tough fight for Ramirez and Abraham is well known for his excellent stamina and ability to come on strong as a fight progresses. This is one of the most competitive fights on the card and most intriguing, but Ramirez is a highly regarded prospect for Top Rank. Abraham’s age and lack of success when fighting in the United States will be a hindrance for him.
This bout could go either way, but Ramirez should be considered a very slight favorite.
Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2) vs. Timothy Bradley Jr (31-1-1); Welterweights
This will be the third time these two will meet in the ring, with Bradley winning the first bout and Pacquiao winning the rematch. However, most ringside observers, including this writer, felt Pacquiao won both bouts.
Both boxers will surely have had hall of fame careers, but this might be Pacquiao’s last fight as a professional and his skills have been slowly eroding before our eyes.
He has been fighting as a professional since he was sixteen years old and weighed 98 pounds and was only 4’11”. This will be his 21st year fighting as a pro. His first professional bout was in 1995.
Pacquiao has since grown to 5’5 ½” and has a 67” reach. Bradley is only a half an inch taller but will have a two inch reach advantage. Bradley is also thirty two years old while Pacquiao is thirty seven.
Bradley has the edge in amateur experience and is a former US Jr. Golden Gloves Champion and a Police Athletic League National Champion. Pacquiao though, had the edge in world titles held and is an eight division world champion.
Neither boxer can be accused of ducking the competition. Pacquaio has thirty eight stoppage wins on his record and has defeated the likes of Lehlo Ledwaba, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, Jorge Solis, Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Brandon Rios, and Chris Algieri. He has lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., Erik Morales, and two losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Bradley’s lone loss was to Manny Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, Diego Chaves, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Joel Casamayor, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Edner Cherry, and Junior Witter.
The intangibles in this fight favor Bradley.
It should be noted that Bradley recently hooked up with Teddy Atlas to be his trainer and looked sensational in his last fight against Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao’s age and recent inactivity will be a factor in this bout. He has only fought four times since 2013 and has not looked the same since his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. He is also coming off of a shoulder surgery and even Freddie Roach noted that Pacquiao took a little longer than usual to get into fighting shape.
Pacquaio is also running for a Senate seat in the Philippines and may be dealing with those distractions, as this is the biggest political seat he has ever ran for.
Speed is usually the first thing to go with age, and at thirty seven years old Pacquiao is clearly past his prime. He’s also not fully committed to the sport of boxing and looked very hesitant to pull the trigger in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If Pacquiao wants to continue boxing and rebuild some of that luster his name used to have, he’ll need to be a little reckless and box aggressively to go for the stoppage. Pacquiao has already reached the top of the sport and he has other endeavors that he wants to pursue, and a sport like boxing requires your full attention if you want to remain at or near the top.
Bradley is hungrier than ever, and this could spell trouble for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao might have one last thrilling fight left in his body to give his fans, but all signs point to a victory for Bradley.