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Boxing Insider Notebook: Prograis, DeGale, Beltran, Briedis, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 26th to July 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Briedis Faces Deslaurier on Usyk-Gassiev Undercard

Mairis Briedis, Ali Trophy Final Cruiserweight Substitute Fighter, meets Brandon Deslaurier, on the Usyk-Gassiev undercard July 21 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.

“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). “I’m looking forward to a quality World Boxing Super Series event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans in Moscow and all over the world.”

The former WBC World Champion won his quarter-final in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Mike Perez by unanimous decision and continued to face top-seed Usyk.

The Latvian sports hero did not fail to impress in a ‘Fight Of The Year’-contender as the semi-final was dubbed.

Briedis was defeated in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’

The 33-year-old will be on standby to enter the final in Moscow in the unlikely scenario of one of the original participants being unable to compete.

In his fight on the Moscow undercard, Briedis is up against France’s Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 1 KO).

“I’m very excited to come to Russia and compete against a world class fighter like Mairis Briedis. But people must not underestimate me. I am coming to Russia to win and beat Mairis Briedis,” said Deslaurier.

Everything is on the line for Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Final in Moscow: The winner in Moscow on July 21 will be the first one ever to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first cruiserweight ever to unify the titles in the four-belt era. The winner will also add RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship belt.

Prograis and Velasco Competing for Place in Ali Trophy Tournament

The winner of WBC Interim World Champion Regis Prograis vs top challenger Juan Jose Velasco on July 14 will enter the 140lb edition of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.

29-year-old Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), the Houston resident who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, won the WBC Interim 140-pound World Championship in March after a sensational second round TKO-victory over former titleholder Julius Indongo from Namibia.

“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs,” said Prograis.

The undefeated southpaw, known for his fan-friendly style inspired by idols such as Roberto Duran and Pernell Whitaker, is confident that he will enter the tournament.

“I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best.”

31-year-old Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, will challenge the Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion in Prograis’ birthplace of New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14. Velasco already sees himself as an Ali Trophy participant:

“It’s a great honour and I look forward to competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and winning the whole thing. I think the format is set up well,” said Velasco, also known as ‘El Pitbull’. “The best fight the best in the World Boxing Super Series to determine one champ. Great!”

Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “Prograis is an exciting athlete capable of catapulting his status to new heights of sporting glory in the Ali Trophy tournament. He is facing Velasco, a tough challenger. We are sure of one thing: another belt will enter the Ali Trophy tournament!”

Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series with two categories, Bantamweight and Super Lightweight, already announced.

DeGale Vacates IBF Title

Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.

DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.

The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.

DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.

The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.

In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.

DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.

A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.

However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.

DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.

DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”

WBO News: Top Rank Wins the Beltran-Andreev Purse Bid

This afternoon, at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in Puerto Rico, the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO Lightweight World Champion Raymundo Beltrán (35-7-1 , 21 KOs), from Mexico, and first-ranked Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs), from Russia.

Top Rank won the rights for the fight with a successful bid of $ 252,000. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti, personally presented the winning bid. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The OMB exhorted both Top Rank and other promoters to submit their boxers to doping controls, not only immediately prior to and after the title fights, but throughout the entire training phase of both combatants.

Joe Smith Jr. Returns with Devastating KO at Mohegan Sun

Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular “Slugfest at The Sun” series, presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“Slugfest at The Sun” was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing’s next event, “Rockin’ Fights”, September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.

Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.

“I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him,” Joe Smith Jr. explained. “So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I’m happy with my performance. My jaw feels great.”

“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”

“Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”

Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty “Las Elegante” Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.

“She was a survivor,” Reis commented. “There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more … getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.

A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, “I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch,” Reis added. “I’m going to stay on her tail. I’ll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen.”

In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO’s) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO’s) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.

“I thought I did well,” Laureano said after the fight, “but I’d like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It’s there, he felt it; it’s coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I’d like to have an eight-rounder. We’re adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I’m getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there.”

Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.

Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.

Irish junior welterweight “Lethal” Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.

Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.

The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a “No Contest” because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters — William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) – with serious head cuts and unable to continue.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, Easter, Diaz, Boxing Documentaries, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 5th to June 12th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter to Meet in Lightweight Unification Fight

WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr. will square-off in a 135-pound unification showdown between unbeaten stars Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The main event of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will see Garcia look to become a unified champion for the first time in a career that has seen him win titles in four weight classes. Easter, who enters with a 5-inch height and 8-inch reach advantage, looks to stamp his name amongst boxing’s elite by unifying titles at 27 years old, less than two years after capturing his first belt.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale today at 12 p.m. PT. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

“SHOWTIME Sports continues to lead the industry with the biggest events, the most important matchups, week after week, month after month,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Events Programming, Showtime Network Inc. “Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. is the third world championship unification match on SHOWTIME this year. A consensus top-10 pound-for-pound champion facing an undefeated young champion while both are in the prime of their careers. July 28 has all the makings of an instant classic.”

“Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter is an outstanding lightweight matchup that is sure to deliver drama for fight fans at STAPLES Center and on SHOWTIME,” Said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Garcia will look to unify in his hometown and further solidify his credentials as boxing’s pound-for-pound best. He’ll have perhaps the toughest test of his career in the unbeaten Easter, who has a lethal combination of size, speed and power that he brings to the ring. With both fighters defending their titles and undefeated records, this is shaping up to be a can’t-miss night of boxing in downtown Los Angeles.”

“This is the kind of matchup that boxing fans love and a fight that I believe will certainly live up to expectations,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “With two undefeated world champions, and two of the top guys at 135 pounds, this fight is guaranteed drama. Mikey Garcia will look to become a unified world champion and add another accolade to a career that is already shaping up to be historic. Robert Easter Jr, a proud champion in his own right, is coming to STAPLES Center on July 28 to upset Mikey Garcia in his hometown. This is the quality of matchup that fans watching on SHOWTIME have come to expect and I suspect they will be fulfilled once again when these two warriors meet in the ring.”

“We are really looking forward to this incredible fight at STAPLES Center,” said Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center. “These two fighters will undoubtedly headline an amazing night of fights for boxing fans in Los Angeles and we are looking forward to welcoming back Premier Boxing Champions and SHOWTIME for the second time in just two months.”

One of Southern California’s most popular fighters, Garcia returns to STAPLES Center for his first fight since becoming a world champion, and his first in California in seven years. Easter returns to the site of his professional debut, having started his career at STAPLES Center in 2012 after serving as an alternate in the London Olympic Games.

Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., became only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, when he defeated Sergey Lipinets for the IBF 140-pound title in March. The 30-year-old relinquished that title so that he can unify the WBC Lightweight World Championship that he won in January 2017 with a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin.

These wins, combined with a summer 2017 victory over Adrien Broner, have seen Garcia return to the top of pound-for-pound lists after a layoff of two and a half years. Garcia accrued wins over a list of notable names while winning his first two titles at 126 and 130-pounds, including Orlando Salido, Roman Martinez and Juan Manuel Lopez.

“This is the toughest fight of my career to date,” said the four-division champion Garcia. “Robert Easter Jr. is an undefeated world champion who presents serious challenges that I’m going to have to work hard to overcome. Unifying titles is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years, and to do it at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will make it even more special. This is the kind of fight that will help my legacy. To be the best you have to beat the best, and Easter is certainly one of the best out there. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it on July 28.”

Representing his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) has made three successful defenses since winning his world title in an exciting contest over Richard Commey in 2016. The 27-year-old delivered a fifth-round destruction of former champion Argenis Mendez to earn the title shot, and since winning the title has held off challenges from Javier Fortuna, Denis Shafikov and Luis Cruz to retain his 135-pound belt.

Easter will be making the move to work with Kevin Cunningham for the first time for this fight and conducting training camp in West Palm Beach with him. Cunningham, the longtime trainer of former world champions such as Devon Alexander and Cory Spinks, spurred Adrien Broner to a strong performance in a draw against Jessie Vargas and Gervonta Davis to a dominant knockout of Jesus Cuellar in their first fights together in April.

“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for and I’m really excited that the time is now,” said Easter. “This is the best fighting the best. These are the fights that boxing is all about. I made the move to train with Kevin Cunningham down in Florida and I think it’s going to help me reach another level. It’s just eat, sleep and train down there. We’re going to be ready on July 28 to put on a show and deliver fireworks.”

Christopher Diaz to Fight Masayuki Ito for WBO 130 Pound Title on July 28th

Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz wants to add his name to the storied list of Puerto Rican world champions. He will get that chance July 28 at the Kissimmee Civic Center, when he squares off against Masayuki Ito for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title.

And, in the 10-round co-feature, undefeated welterweight prospect Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames will face Artemio Reyes of San Bernardino, Calif.

Diaz-Ito and Adames-Reyes will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets to this world championship event will go on sale Tuesday, June 12 at 10 a.m. ET. Priced at $100 (red carpet ringside), $50 (lower bowl), and $30 (general admission), tickets may be purchased at the Kissimmee Civic Center box office, online at ticketerapr.com, or charge by phone at (787) 305-3600.

“This fight is dedicated to all of Puerto Rico and to my family that has always been there to support me,” Diaz said. “Now it’s my time to become a world champion, and I promise that I will bring home the world title. I love you, Puerto Rico. This one’s for you!”

“I am really pleased to be able to fight a great fighter like Christopher Diaz for the WBO title. Diaz is a very good fighter with power and speed, but on July 28, I will become the champion,” Ito said. “I will bring the belt home back to Japan without fail. I have promised my wife and children. I will fight as if my life depended on it.”

“I am happy and excited to return to the ring quickly because I want to keep as active as possible. This will be my second fight with Top Rank, and now I will return to the ring much better prepared because I have the experience and the confidence of fighting on big stages,” Adames said. “I will come ready to give the public what they always expect from me… a spectacular knockout! On July 28, ‘Caballo Bronco’ will come to Kissimmee with all the ‘Platano Power’ from the Dominican Republic.”

Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, is entering his first world title match riding a four-bout knockout streak. The WBO’s No. 1 junior lightweight contender, Diaz won the vacant NABO junior lightweight title last December with a third-round knockout of Bryant Cruz, knocking Cruz down five times en route to the stoppage. In his last bout, March 17 on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam undercard at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Diaz defeated Braulio Rodriguez via fourth-round TKO to earn the shot at the world title. For Diaz, this world title opportunity is beacon of hope, as his home and most of his possessions were destroyed when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year.

Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs), from Tokyo, is the WBO’s No. 2 junior lightweight contender. He has won seven consecutive bouts since the lone defeat of his career, a 10-round majority decision to then-undefeated Rikki Naito in February 2015. Ito, who has fought all of his professional bouts in Japan, has won four of his past five bouts via knockout, including a ninth-round stoppage of Lorenzo Villanueva in April of last year. In his last bout, on March 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Ito stopped Vergil Puton in the ninth round.

Adames (14-0, 11 KOs), one of the welterweight division’s fastest rising contenders, made his Top Rank debut as the ESPN-televised co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, rolling to a unanimous decision win over Alejandro Barrera. The Dominican Republic native will be fighting for the second time under renowned trainer Joel Diaz and is training in Palm Springs, Calif. Reyes (25-2, 20 KOs) is 10-0 with eight knockouts since his last defeat, a first-round TKO at the hands of Alan Sanchez on April 13, 2012 in Las Vegas. In his previous bout, in August of last year, Reyes knocked out Steve Marquez with a body shot in the fourth round.

Mekhrubon Sanginov Arrives in Las Vegas to Pursue Boxing Greatness

Undefeated super-welterweight prospect Mekhrubon Sanginov (5-0 3 KOs), from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, has moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to continue his dream of becoming a world champion. The highly decorated amateur returns to action June 23, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico.

“I am excited to take my training to a new level working in Las Vegas,” said Sanginov. “Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world and I feel that training in Las Vegas will take my career to the next level.”

Sanginov, who captured the WBC Youth Middleweight title in his last bout, has begun training with Justin Gamber, the well-respected trainer of undefeated super middleweight contender, Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (17-0, 10 KOs). Mekhrubon is looking forward to taking his career to new heights, as he will campaign at super-welterweight moving forward. Sanginov is currently a promotional free agent.

“I am excited to be training with Justin Gamber,” Sanginov continued. “He is an experienced coach, who is making me into a world champion. The sparring I am getting is top notch sparring as well. I’ll be looking to be signing with a credible promoter in the near future.”

Sanginov was an outstanding amateur, amassing a record of 105-14, which made him a heavy fan favorite in his native country of Tajikistan. His hometown fans are wanting to see how he progresses as a professional.

“I am going to make a statement in the world of boxing, especially in the super-welterweight division, and the world will know my name after my upcoming performances.” Mekhrubon concluded.
Boxing Documentary The People’s Fighters by Peter Berg Premiers on Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel today announced the worldwide premiere of The People’s Fighters, the second film in its Five Rings Films signature series, which examines the triumphs and challenges faced by Cuban boxing today and how the rise of local talent is paving continued success for Cuba. The feature-length documentary, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day), is now available to all audiences at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, in addition to a United States television premiere on NBCSN today, Thursday, 31 May, at 8 p.m. ET.

The People’s Fighters (87 minutes) takes an in-depth look at Cuba’s overwhelming history of success in the sport of boxing. Over the past 50 years, and despite being a nation of only 11 million residents, Cuba has produced more Olympic boxing medallists than any other country taking home 73 medals in the sport, 38 of which are gold. The success has been led by three-time heavyweight gold medallists Teófilo Stevenson, who once famously turned down a million-dollar offer to fight Muhammad Ali and turn professional in favour of continuing to fight for his beloved homeland, and Félix Savón, as well as the man behind their greatest achievements, the legendary coach Alcides Sagarra Carón.

“As a champion, Teófilo was the greatest, an example to all of us,” said Savón at the time of Stevenson’s death in 2012. “When he stopped fighting he taught me his tricks, and they were the secret of my success.”

Directed and narrated by Peter Berg and produced by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall (Jason Bourne, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones) and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), The People’s Fighters features historical archival footage, interviews, and remarkable access in Havana and beyond.

Filmed in Havana and the United States and told through personal commentary from Savón, Sagarra, other Cuban Olympic boxing medallists and athletes, and former boxing world champion and Team USA Olympic gold medallist Oscar De La Hoya, the film provides an authoritative look at the country’s seminal boxing culture.

“As an American, I wanted to make money after becoming an Olympic gold medallist, to give my family a better life,” said De la Hoya. “But not in Cuba – they’re not built that way. Cuban fighters don’t think about how many millions they can have, it’s all about making your country proud. That’s the Cuban way.”

Five Rings Films, the Olympic Channel’s signature documentary series, is produced exclusively for the global media platform by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall and MSM. Five Rings Films is a series of incisive and entertaining documentaries directed by some of the biggest names in film from around the world. The first film in the series, The Nagano Tapes, which told the inspiring underdog story of the Czech Republic’s stunning gold medal win in men’s ice hockey in 1998, the first Games to allow NHL players, premiered in February. Future films include the story of Manu Ginobili and the rise of Argentinean basketball.

“Bringing Olympic stories to life through great filmmaking is a goal of our Five Rings Films signature documentary series” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “Peter Berg is not only an acclaimed filmmaker, but also a passionate boxing fan and he brings a personal perspective to the making of The People’s Fighters that is sure to resonate with fans around the world.”

“This film has all the elements that make the Olympics so fascinating – the intersection of politics, culture, huge personalities and incredible athletic achievement,” said Jon Weinbach, Executive Vice President of MSM. “Cuba’s boxing legacy is one of the great stories in modern sports history, and it was a privilege and a ton of fun making this film with Peter and our team.”

Marshall, whose producing credits include legendary titles such as the “Jason Bourne,” “Jurassic World” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, and MSM’s Mike Tollin are executive producers. MSM Executive Vice-President Jon Weinbach and Olympic Channel Director of Original Programming Greg Groggel are co-executive producers.

Fox Sports Acquires “They Fight” Boxing Documentary

Today, FOX Sports Films announced the acquisition of the North American rights for boxing documentary “They Fight,” as an addition to its “MAGNIFY” series. The film is directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by Emmy® Award winner, Academy Award® winner, Golden Globe® winner, and two-time Grammy Award® winner Common; his company Freedom Road Productions; and Argent Pictures, the film’s production and financing company run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo. The film was executive produced by Argent Pictures partners Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks and Michael Finley.

The documentary follows Coach Walt Manigan’s Lyfe Style Boxing, an after-school program in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 – a community rife with inequity. Walt mentors young boxers, “Peanut” Bartee and Quincey Williams on the path to the 2017 Junior Olympics, while he also fights to find a permanent home for his program to help young fighters avoid the troubles he found in his own youth.

“It is important to share Coach Walt’s story and seeing how he overcame extreme hardships and now serves as a mentor to the youth in Ward 8,” said Common. “It is a true example as to how we can take the most challenging of situations and turn them into a positive, not only for ourselves but for others. Boxing is more than just a sport to these kids, it empowers and unifies them to fight for a better life.”

This project is the newest in the Sports Emmy®-nominated “MAGNIFY” series from FOX Sports Films. The series leverages sports as a lens for exploring important cultural stories and investigates the challenges, change, and unity they bring to communities. Since its November 2017 launch, the MAGNIFY series’ roster of influential contributors includes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper; and, most recently, Kevin Durant.

“From the opening minutes of this powerful film, we knew it was a perfect fit for our ‘Magnify’ series,” said Gabe Spitzer, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, FOX Sports Films. “The power of sports as a community builder is visible throughout the documentary.”

The producers are Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Renzo for Argent Pictures; Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone, and Melisa Resch through Common’s Freedom Road Productions; Renzi, Michael Minahan, Daniel Yaro, Nick Boak, and Chris Burt through Renzi’s North of Now production label; and Andrew D. Corkin through his Uncorked Productions company. Jason Michael Berman executive produced for Mandalay Pictures along with Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow and Arrow Entertainment; Tommy Oliver and Codie Oliver of Confluential Films; and Stanley Twarog. The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content.

“We continue to connect really strong contributors to the ‘Magnify’ series,” added Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content, FOX Sports. “These varied, authentic voices that influence and support the films add an important layer to the mission of telling stories that focus on life beyond sports.”

“They Fight” will premiere this fall as a FOX Sports broadcast. Other “MAGNIFY” films, past and future:

• 2018 Sports Emmy®-nominated “89 Blocks,” executive produced by James and Carter for Uninterrupted, along with Sports Illustrated (November 2017)
• “Shot in the Dark,” executive produced by Wade and Chance the Rapper (February 2018)
• “Nossa Chape,” from award-winning directors Jeffrey Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist (The Two Escobars, Pele: Birth of a Legend) focuses on the 2016 plane crash involving Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense. It premieres June 23rd at 4:15 pm ET on FOX immediately following 2018 FIFA™ World Cup coverage.

ESPN+ Debuts Its Newest Boxing Brand: Camp Life

ESPN+ has debuted its newest boxing brand, Camp Life, a series that takes fans inside the training camps of today’s biggest fighters for intimate and penetrating looks at boxers’ lives as they prepare for battle. The premiere episode visits pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford at his training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and gives fans an opportunity to take a peek behind the curtain of one of boxing’s modern greats as he prepares for his bout against WBO welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“Camp Life” is available now live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Hammer, Shields, De La Hoya, Hall of Fame, Young, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Luis Arevalo Jr./Westside Boxing

Diego De La Hoya and Mercito Gesta Workout Quotes

Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico hosted a media workout today at Wild Card Boxing Club ahead of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. De La Hoya will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round main event.

DIEGO DE LA HOYA, NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion:

“This is going to be a tough fight. Salgado has the record of a knockout artist. But that doesn’t intimidate me. I’m going do a good job and show that I’m back. I’m going to show that I’m ready for a world title shot. He’s been saying a few things about me, but he just wants me to lose my focus. He can talk all he wants, but I’ll do my talking in the ring. All I have to say is that I’m going to give a great fight. Winning this fight, I want to face any champion who will give me the opportunity. But they just have to know what they will lose their title fighting me.”

MERCITO “NO MERCY” GESTA, Former Lightweight Title Challenger:

“I feel excited for every fight. It’s another great event. Every event that I fight I treat as something special. Manzanarez is tough, but I’ll need to figure him out in the ring. Based on the videos, it’s tough to get on the inside because he’s tall, long and knows how to use that as advantages.”

“I learned from my world title fight. It boosted my confidence because I did so well against a great fighter. Every opponent is different and has different styles. I can’t look down on this guy. He’s not a stepping stone, and I will treat him as a world champion. I see myself fighting for a world title again soon. I still feel strong and ready. I still have a long way left in my career. I want any champion in the division. I’m always ready to take a fight.”

Anthony “Juice” Young Signs with Real Deal Entertainment

Boxing manager Rich Masini announced that welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young has signed a promotional contract with Real Deal Entertainment.

Young (18-2, 6 KOs) of Atlantic City will make his debut under the Real Deal Entertainment banner when he takes on this Saturday night when he takes on Enver Halili (10-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout at Boardwalk Hall in his hometown of Atlantic City.

“I am happy to join Real Deal Boxing. They are an up-and-coming promotion,” said Young.

In Halili, Young will be fighting the brother of a former opponent who defeated Young for one of his two defeats.

“I expect a tough fight. I saw his fight against Raymond Serrano, and I think he was winning until he got disqualified. I expect to get the victory.. At the end of the day, he is not his brother Skender. When his brother beat me, it was just a little setback.”

The Atlantic City native is honored and motivated to be performing on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.

“It is special to fight at Boardwalk Hall. I am now at the point of my career, that I am set on bigger fights, and it is an honor to fight on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. It motivates me as I want to be be inducted when my career is over.”

Masini, who has managed Young for the last six-years, is excited at the new partnership that he has for his fighter.

“I have seen “Juice” Improve greatly over his last seven fights. It is Anthony’s commitment and his team led by trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas that have done a great job with his preperation,” said Masini. “In addition, Anthony’s dad, Teany has helped me in the management end of things. I am very proud of him. He has matured inside and outside of the ring.”

“I am looking forward to working with Real Deal Entertainment. Sal Musumeci has been a long time friend, and this is the final piece of the puzzle in-terms of completing the team around Anthony. The reason that I am in this business is because of people like Anthony. He is loyal, dedicated, and now has all of the pieces to become world champion. We have tried to keep him busy, but in the last eight-months, we have had some fights fall out, but we are back on Saturday against Enver Halili. “Juice” will be ready to show all that he is on the rise.”

Ballard vs. Idigov Added to Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Gabriels Card

The Salita Promotions professional boxing event on Friday, June 22, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, is heating up even more with the announcement of an intriguing match-up of promising light heavyweight prospects with local ties.

In a fight with explosive action written all over it, Detroit’s own James “The Equalizer” Ballard (10-1, 3 KOs) will face undefeated Aslambek Idigov (12-0, 5 KOs), from Detroit via Grozny, Russia, over 10 exciting rounds.

Fighting mostly in his home city, the 28-year-old Ballard has become a fan favorite for his fearlessly aggressive style. Ballard says he refuses to lose on his home turf of Detroit.

“Expect a war,” said Ballard. “I will go out there and give the fans what they want by going toe-to-toe. I am coming for Idigov’s O. I’m not going to be out-boxed in my hometown. It’s a respect thing. It’s going to be a long night for him. We are training hard and ready to go hard every round if it takes that long. June 22 can’t get here soon enough. I’m more than ready to send Russia back home.”

A compact puncher with pinpoint accuracy, Idigov has fan favorite written all over his muscular frame. Since he began training in Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym, Idigov says he’s learning to fight the American way.

“Training at the Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit has been a great experience for me and I learn a lot and get better every day. I love their philosophy that the best win is a knockout!”

James Ballard is a very good fighter. I have no problem fighting him and winning in his hometown, which is becoming my second home as well. Let’s get it on!”

“This is a classic, crossroads fight between two talented and hungry prospects,” said event promoter Dmitriy Salita. “This is a ‘pick em’ type of match that will bring excitement to fans in the championship City of Detroit!”

The skillful pair will duel as part of the untelevised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.

The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.

Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend to Feature Mazion vs. Pauldo on ESPN

Travell “Black Magic” Mazion(12-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas will put his undefeated record on the line against once-beaten Daquan Pauldo(17-1, 9 KOs) of Orlando, Florida in an eight-round super welterweight fight in the co-main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. In the main event, Diego De La Hoya(20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado(35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round fight.

ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Mazion has the tools and the team that are guaranteed take him to the top, especially since he is trained Ozell Nelson. Nelson is known for training former undisputed middleweight championand Olympic Bronze Medalist Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, who in his prime ended Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins’12-year reign as world champion. Mazion has been touted to have all the skills that Taylor had bad more, reflected partly by his 90% knockout rate.

“I have the team and the skills, both of which will do all the talking,” said Travell Maizon. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the co-main event for such a legendary weekend, especially because I’ve got a legendary coach behind me. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

Representing Orlando, Fl., Daquan Pauldo, formerly known as Daquan Arnett, only has one-blemish on his record. Pauldo has come back with six impressive victories since.

“I’ll make sure that people haven’t forgotten about me,” said Daquan Pauldo. “I wanted to be more active this year. I’ve been training harder at my original weight class, and I will come into the ring on ESPN showing that I’m someone you should look out for. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team for this opportunity. I’m ready.”

The event will take place during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where legendary fighters such as “Dr. Ironfist” Vitali Klitschko, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, and Ronald “Winky” Wright will be inducted, along with important figures in the sport of boxing such as Peter Kohl, Steve Albert, Jim Gray and Lorraine Chargin.

Super lightweight prospect Daniel Zorrilla (6-0, 5 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto will participate in the night’s swing bout, which is schedule for four or six rounds against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.

Participating in a four-round super lightweight fight, Dallas, Tex.’s Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) against Agua Prieta, Mex.’s Engelberto Valenzuela (11-13, 3 KOs). Rincon, whose fights have all ended in a knockout, will seek to maintain his unblemished knockout record.

Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, Il. will participate in a six-round super lightweight fight. The “Bossman” fought at the 2012 Olympic Trials, losing to eventual representative Jose Ramirez by one point.

In a four-round heavyweight fight, Syracuse, New York’s Luis Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) will return to Turning Stone Resort Casino after ending his previous fight in a clear unanimous decision victory. Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO), who also represents Syracuse, will open up the card in a four-round cruiserweight battle and will return after a technical knockout victory earlier in May.

De La Hoya vs. Salgado is a 10-round super bantamweight fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin & Paco Presents.The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend is packed with a series of events starting Thursday, June 7 until the induction ceremony on Sunday, June 10. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with the opening bell ringing and ringside lectures on the museum grounds. Friday, June 8 will feature another series of lectures preceding the celebrity fist casting, followed by the highly anticipated Fight Night, broadcasted live from Turning Stone. Saturday, June 9 will showcase a golf tournament, a 5K race, another series of lectures, a boxing autograph card show, a VIP “Gala” and the Banquet of Champions at 8:00p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Parade of Champions and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 2:30p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.

Host of the June 8 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 26th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.

Christina Hammer Training Camp Notes

Unified Women’s WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer has taken to the mountains of Austria for this leg of her intense training camp.

Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) will make her U.S. fighting debut while defending her titles against former world champion Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, June 22. The bout will serve as a supporting bout to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified women’s super-middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ attempt to become a two-division world champion against unified women’s 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels at Masonic Temple in Detroit, Mich.

Shields vs Gabriels will be contested for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships and telecast on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME. Extensive highlights of Hammer vs. Nelson will also be shown.

Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division since 2010. The 27-year-old says training at elevation in the mountains of Austria is bringing the best out of her.

How has training camp gone so far?

“My camp has gone well. We train three times a day and work hard to be in the best shape possible on June 22 in Detroit.”

Can you tell us about your current training location?

“We are in Austria, staying at a place in the mountains that is about 5000-feet elevation. It’s amazing here. The nature and the mountains inspire me and give me power. It’s very comfortable to do my roadwork and go to the boxing gym because everything is situated in a comfortable way.”

What is a typical day like at training camp?

“We’ve been in Austria for the last 10 days. At 7:30 am, we start the first interval runs. At 9 am, I have breakfast and at 11 am, we go up to the mountains to our gym (which is at 6500 feet high) to do my strength and conditioning work. Later, in the afternoon, we start our boxing work. The nature and beautiful surroundings give me peace of mind.”

How and why is your training camp built into different stages?

“The mountains are perfect to prepare for the fight. You are away from your hometown stay more focused on training. The air is thin and this high level of elevation gives your body a higher level of conditioning. On June 10, we will move on to our next stage of training, which will take place in the United States. That will be to help acclimate me to the new time and climate for fight night on June 22, which is when I will put all of this hard work together and have it pay off in a big way.”

Who is your head trainer?

“My coach is Dimitrie Kirnos. I started my professional career with him. He himself was Soviet Union Boxing Champion and trained many top champions. He is old school and pushes my mind and body to the limit. He is a big part of my team we have a great bond. I have much respect and admiration for him.”

Have you done anything different preparing for this fight?

“I spar with lots of shorter fighters, like Tori Nelson. I guarantee that it will be much more explosive and impressive than Claressa Shields was against her.”

American fans love knockouts. Can they expect a Christina Hammer KO on June 22?

“That’s why I train hard and give everything in the gym. I want to be amazing that night and a knockout would be a perfect ending.”

What is your prediction for June 22?

“I will show my power and skills. People will see who the real unified Middleweight Champion of the world is. My performance will speak for itself!”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ergashev, Warren, Maidana, Graziano, Garcia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 10th to April 17th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Ryan Garcia Twitter Account

Ergashev to Face Wang for WBA International Junior Welterweight Title

The previously announced 10-round clash between fast-rising, unbeaten knockout artist SHOHJAHON ERGASHEV, (11-0-0, 11 KO’s), a native of Uzbekistan, now fighting out of Brooklyn, NY and China’s ZHIMIN WANG, (10-2-0, 3 KO’s), has now been elevated to a WBA International Junior Welterweight Title bout, it was announced today by Matchroom Boxing USA, promoter of “Straight Outta Brooklyn”,the massive international boxing event set for Saturday, April 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

The 26-year-old Ergashev, training out of the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit, has quickly impressed boxing fans in the United States with two recent show-stopping knockouts and 100% knockout ratio, building a huge following in the New York City area.

In his U.S. debut, the hard-hitting southpaw stopped Marquis Hawthorne in the second round on November 11, 2017 at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Making his nationally televised debut on January 12, 2018 in roaring style, Ergashev knocked out undefeated, highly regarded contender Sonny Fredrickson in the third round in Verona, New York. He is promoted by Salita Promotions.

Wang will be looking to stay in the win column returning to action following a dominant 10-round decision over Anthony Sabalde on December 10, 2017 in Guangzhou, China. The victory capped a four-fight campaign for Wang last year which included two additional decision victories.

“I had a great training camp at the Kronk Gym in Detroit and look forward to making a statement on April 28,” said Ergashev. “I pushed myself to the limits because I know that a world title is in my destiny. Zhimin Wang is a very skilled, strong fighter and I look forward to this great match-up and an opportunity to win my first title.”

Said Eddie Hearn, President of Matchroom Boxing USA, “I watched this young man at our last show in Long Island and he immediately caught my attention. He is a pure puncher and is going to be a real danger to the division. He has a great following already and I’m looking forward to watching him challenge for his first title in Brooklyn on April 28.”

“Shohjahon has all the ingredients to dominate the junior welterweight division and be a star in the ring,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “His work ethic, punching power and desire for greatness is very special. Zhimin Wang is a very skilled, durable fighter and I expect a great fight on April 28.

Advance tickets for ‘Straight Outta Brooklyn’starting at $42 may be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com, BarclaysCenter.com, or calling 800-745-3000. Tickets for the event can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. For information on group sales, call 844.255.9647.

Raushee Warren and Fabian Maidana to Compete on April 21st

Former bantamweight world champion Raushee Warren and top prospect Fabian Maidana will step into the ring at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, on Saturday, April 21 in separate attractions as part of an exciting night of undercard fights.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by four-division champion Adrien Broner battling former welterweight world champion Jessie Vargas. The SHOWTIME telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features undefeated former world champion Jermall Charlo clashing with once-beaten Hugo Centeno, Jr. for the interim 160-pound world title and former champions Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Jesus Cuellar as they square off for the vacant WBA 130-pound Super World Championship.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, start at $50 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) will return to action in an eight round bantamweight fight against Juan Medina (10-2, 9 KOs), whileMaidana (14-0, 10 KOs) steps in for a 10-round super lightweight showdown against Hevinson Herrera (22-14-1, 16 KOs). The undercard attractions also include popular local female contender Heather “The Heat” Hardy (20-0, 4 KOs)as she competes in a featherweight contest against Mexico’s Paolo Torres (10-2-1, 3 KOs).

The action inside the arena will also feature a pair of 2016 Olympians in separate six-round super lightweight attractions as U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell (4-0, 4 KOs) enters the ring against Andrew Rodgers (4-2-1, 2 KOs) and Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (4-0, 2 KOs) battles Alexander Charneco (4-4, 4 KOs).

Brooklyn’s unbeaten Chordale Booker will step into the ring for a six-round super welterweight fight against Daniel Calzada while the Bronx’s undefeated heavyweight George Arias competes in an eight-round attraction against Tyrell Wright.

The action rounds out with unbeaten super featherweight Desmond Jarmon battling Kendrick Latchman in a four-round showdown, unbeaten prospect Shyngyskhan Tazhibay in a four-round welterweight contest against Justin Savi (31-15-2, 21 KOs) and undefeated prospect Dylan Price, who meets Edson Noria for a six-round super flyweight bout.

The 31-year-old Warren became a world champion in 2016 when he defeated Juan Carlos Payano to capture the WBA Bantamweight World Championship. The Cincinnati-native represented the U.S. three times at the Olympic games during a prolific amateur career and most recently defeated former champion McJoe Arroyo last July at Barclays Center. He returns to Brooklyn to face the 25-year-old Medina, who fights out of the Dominican Republic.

The brother of former welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, Fabian will look to remain unbeaten when he makes his 2018 debut on April 21. The 25-year-old from Santa Fe, Argentina most recently defeated former interim champion Johan Perez by unanimous decision last November in his first fight to go 10 rounds.

The First Biography of Rocky Graziano in 60 Years

Jeffrey Sussman, boxing author, has written another hard-hitting exciting biography. It is of Rocky Graziano, juvenile delinquent, middleweight boxing champion, and comedic actor, who was the last great fighter from the golden age of boxing, the era of Joe Louis, Jake LaMotta, and Sugar Ray Robinson.

In Rocky Graziano: Fists, Fame, and Fortune (published March 10 by Rowman & Littlefied), Jeffrey Sussman tells the rags-to-riches story of Tommy Rocco Barbella, who came to be known as Rocky Graziano. Raised by an abusive father, Graziano took to the streets and soon found himself in reformatories and prison cells. Drafted into the U.S. Army, Graziano went AWOL but was eventually caught, tried, and sent to prison for a year. After his release, Rocky went on to have one successful boxing match after another and quickly ascended up the pyramid of professional boxing. In one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the middleweight division, Rocky beat Tony Zale and became the middleweight champion of the world. Rocky retired from boxing after he lost his crown to Sugar Ray Robinson and went on to have a successful acting career in two acclaimed television series. Rich and famous, he was no longer the angry young man he once was. In his post-boxing life, Rocky became known for his good humor, witty remarks, and kindness and generosity to those in need.

Rocky Graziano’s life is not only inspiring, it is also a story of redemption, of how boxing became the vehicle for saving a young man from a life of anger and crime and leading him into a life of happiness and honesty. The first biography of Graziano in over 60 years, this book will bring his story to a new generation of boxing fans and sports historians.

Bill Calogero, boxing historian and host of the Talkin’ Boxing with Billy C, TV & Radio Program, wrote: “Rocky Graziano was one of my all-time favorite fighters. Being in the boxing business for over thirty-five years, I thought I knew it all about Rocky. That was until I read Jeffrey Sussman’s new book, Rocky Graziano: Fists, Fame and Fortune. Sussman tells Graziano’s story like no other ever written. I learned things about Rocky I never knew before. Sussman’s writing style not only educated me more about Rocky Graziano, he put me there with him. Page after page, I felt I was with Graziano, feeling his pain as a child and his triumphs as World Champion. I could not put it down! This book is a must read for all, not just boxing fans.”

In Booklist, Wes Lukowsky wrote: “Sussman does a fine job with the biographical details from start to finish, but he really nails the fight descriptions, creating a sensory experience in which the reader can almost feel the punches and hear the crowds. A vivid slice of boxing history.”

Jeffrey Sussman is also the author of the 2017 best seller: Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing, published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Ryan Garcia to Face Jayson Velez

Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), the 2017 consensus prospect of the year and pride of Victorville, Calif., headlines a very special edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia, who is the brightest rising star in the sport of boxing today, will kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities as he faces seasoned Puerto Rican contender Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in this spectacular arena that has become the home for great battles.

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

At only 19 years of age, Garcia is the future superstar of boxing. After winning multiple national championships as an amateur and several professional fights in Mexico, Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions in Nov. 2016. Since then, he has won every fight by knockout, including a highlight-reel knockout of Miguel Carrizoza to win the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. In his most recent performance, Garcia defeated Fernando Vargas on the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN via a stunning first-round knockout victory.

“I’m back already and with high expectations,” said Ryan Garcia.”I’m glad to be headlining two times in a row and excited to be fighting in an iconic venue where there have been many wars. I’ve said all along that I was destined for greatness. I’m speaking it to existence, and I will show that on May 4.”

Velez is an experience contender of the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, home of former world champions such as Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, among others. The 30-year-old pugilist has faced the toughest fighters of the competitive 126-pound division, including Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. and Ronny Rios. Velez is coming off three impressive victories, including a unanimous decision win against the previously undefeated Alberto Mercado and back-to-back stoppage victories over former contender Giovanni “El Ruso” Caroand former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

“I will not let my country down as it is a powerful force in boxing,” said Jayson Velez. “If anyone believes that I am only going for the paycheck, they are wrong. As I have proved before, I always give my best and this will not be the exception against Garcia. In the face of all predictions, I will defeat him.”

“Ryan Garcia is going to prove that he’s the next superstar in the sport of boxing,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “After an amazing performance in March, Garcia will now make his debut in an arena that is slowly becoming a legendary battleground for boxing, the StubHub Center.”

In the co-main event, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), the incomparable and explosive Irish contender, will make his Southern California debut in a 10-round middleweight fight presented in association with Murphy’s Boxing. O’Sullivan has faced the likes of current WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, Jr., and he’ll returning after his most significant and impressive victory against Antoine “Action” Douglass via seventh-round technical knockout. O’Sullivan will be next in line for a middleweight title shot if successful on May 4.

Welterweight knockout artist Alexis “Lex” Rocha (11-0, 8 KOs), who without a doubt will be the first world champion to come out of Santa Ana, Calif., will participate in an eight-round 147-pound fight. Rocha has many tools in his southpaw arsenal as he can both fight at the distance and knock people out from the inside.

Ferdinand Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of action in the super welterweight division. Kerobyan is the latest prospect to be signed to the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable and the first fighter under the management of former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey.

Richard “Kansas Kid” Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO), a prospect originally out of Garden City, Kansas, will participate in a four-round super welterweight fight. This exciting puncher out of the Westside Boxing Club promises fireworks as he initiates this exciting card.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Charlo, Trout, Fury, Jennings, Murata, Garcia, 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.

Charlo to Face Trout on June 9th

The 154-pound division continues to heat up as undefeated world champion Jermell Charlo defends his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout Saturday, June 9 in a 12-round showdown live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by WBA Super World Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz battling WBA Regular Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares in an anticipated world title rematch.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now To purchase tickets visit AXS.com or click HERE.

Super welterweight is one of the deepest and most ferociously contested divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd and Charlo on a collision course for supremacy in the weight class. Virtually all of the most significant fights in the division are taking place in 2018 on SHOWTIME, with the three consensus best fighters, and at least five of the consensus top-10, facing off in what has become an unofficial tournament.

Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) has blasted his way to the top of the division, having stopped four of his last opponents by knockout. The 27-year-old from Houston won the title with a knockout victory over John Jackson in 2016. Since then he has successfully defended it twice, including scoring a devastating first round knockout victory over top contender Erickson Lubin in his last fight in October and a Knockout of the Year contender against Charles Hatley in April. Charlo and his twin brother, Jermall, were the only twin brothers to hold world titles in the same weight class simultaneously before Jermall relinquished his 154-pound championship to campaign at 160 pounds.

“Trout is no journeyman. He’s a former world champion, someone who has a name and he comes to fight. The name means he’s worthy of another title challenge,’’ said Charlo. “Trout is the man that has been chosen for me and I have to take care of him. I’m super excited to be fighting and defending my title again.

“The only thing I’m going to tell you about what I’m going to do against Trout is, I’m going to surprise you guys. I plan to show my skills and show why I’m the best at 154 pounds. The most important thing is to make my mark and claim my territory.’’

The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) is one of most accomplished boxers in the 154-pound division, having stepped into the ring against champions like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Representing Las Cruces, New Mexico, he won the super welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011. He successfully defended the title four times, including a victory over Cotto, before losing the championship to Alvarez in 2013 and a decision to Lara eight months later.

After winning four straight, Trout stepped in for a world championship against Jermall Charlo but lost a close unanimous decision in 2016, although he is the only person to go the distance with Jermall since 2015. Last October he took on Hurd for the title, but lost via 10th round TKO – the first time in his career that he’d ever been stopped. Trout is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel on Feb. 17.

“I’m more than excited. I’m happy because I’m still a threat in this game,” said Trout. “People can write me off all they want. Even when I was a champion people wrote me off. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m approaching it is as my last opportunity. Everybody is counting me out and I’m hoping he is too. I’m going to shock him and the world.

“I feel like I’ve done this before because I fought his brother. Jermell uses more of his skills where Jermall uses more of his brute strength. I fought the bigger one and I fought Hurd who was like his bigger brother. Now I get to fight someone who is closer to my size.’’

Jennings vs. Dawejko Matchup April 28th Recalls Memories of All-Philly Fighters

When heavyweights Bryant “By By” Jennings and Joey “The Tank” Dawejko square off in their 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday, April 28, it will revive memories of the some of the great all-Philly matchups that helped to make the Quaker City one of the leading boxing centers in the country.

The Jennings-Dawejko match is one of three bouts at the Liacouras Center at Temple University to be televised live by ESPN, beginning at 7 pm EST. The card is being promoted by Top Rank and Peltz Boxing.

Topping the show is a 12-round contest for the WBO junior featherweight title between defending champion Jessie Magdaleno, of Las Vegas, NV, and mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe, of Accra, Ghana. The 10-round semifinal features Jesse Hart, of Philadelphia, against Demond Nicholson, of Laurel, MD, for the vacant NABF super middleweight championship.

First live fight begins at 4 pm EST and all undercard bouts will be streamed on the ESPN App.

Always a leading center for boxing, Philadelphia built its reputation by matching fighters from different neighborhoods in front of large, enthusiastic crowds. Artist Jim Meehan’s drawing (above) lists several of those great matchups, among them the classic 1928 showdown at Shibe Park between Hall-of-Fame junior lightweight champion Benny Bass and unbeaten crosstown rival Harry Blitman in front of 24,000 raucous fans.

“My dad went to that fight with his dad,” promoter J Russell Peltz said, “and he’d always tell me about it. My dad went to school with Harry Blitman and he never got over the fact that Blitman smoked cigarettes and still was successful as a fighter. My dad sat on the second row and he used to tell me about the sweat that flew off Blitman’s hair every time Bass nailed him.”

Bass, who boxed from 1919 to 1940, won by knockout in six rounds and went on to a career record of 158-29-6 with 72 K0s. Blitman, who boxed from 1926 to 1934, finished at 53-11-4, 25 K0s, including a victory over Hall-of-Fame lightweight champ Tony Canzoneri.

“There were so many great all-Philly fights that you simply cannot list them all,” Peltz said. “The heavyweight bout between a couple of Joe Louis victims, Al Ettore, of West Philadelphia, against Gus Dorazio, of South Philly, belongs on that list, as well as the world lightweight title fight between Hall-of-Famer Bob Montgomery and Wesley Mouzon, who had knocked Montgomery out three months earlier in a non-title fight.”

Peltz, who began promoting in 1969, rates the first meeting between middleweights Bennie Briscoe and Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a 10-round draw late in 1975 at The Spectrum, as one of the greatest action fights in Philly’s long and storied boxing history.

“Now we’ve got Jesse Hart, Cyclone’s son, on the card,” Peltz said. “I believe Jennings vs. Dawejko is the biggest all-Philly matchup in 36 years. That goes back to 1982 when Jeff Chandler successfully defended his WBA bantamweight title by knocking out former high school classman Johnny Carter in six rounds at the Civic Center. We’ve had some good ones since then, but none as big as Chandler vs. Carter.

“A lot of 21st century boxing ‘experts’ don’t like to see all-Philly fights. They wonder why we would want to knock off a local attraction. I guess they’d rather me import some scrub from the South or the Midwest to get his brains beat out. They’d rather watch that than a competitive all-local fight. The most recent major local showdown was in 2010 when junior middleweightDerek Ennis beat Gabriel Rosado at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Guess who got knocked off in that one? The winner, Ennis, who soon faded from the scene. The loser that night, Rosado, went on to climb the ladder and make a lot on money and he’s still going strong.

“Jennings vs. Dawejko is my kind of fight. I guarantee there will be more action in one round than there was in 12 rounds of the recent heavyweight unification match between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.”

Murata to Defend WBA Middleweight Title Against Emanuele Blandamura

It’s breakfast with the middleweights on Sunday, April 15, as Ryota Murata makes the first defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight title against Italian challenger Emanuele ‘Sioux’ Blandamura at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. This special, international edition of Top Rank on ESPN will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and stream on the ESPN App at 8 a.m. ET, with a same-day replay scheduled for 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Murata (13-1, 10 KOs), from Nara, Japan, captured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics (165 pounds), becoming the first Japanese boxer to accomplish that feat since Takao Sakurai at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He turned pro on Aug. 25, 2013, and by his fifth pro bout, was already fighting in scheduled 10-rounders. Murata made a big statement on U.S. soil on July 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, when he knocked out George ‘Comanche Boy’ Tahdooahnippah in the opening round.

His first title challenge came this past May against Hassan N’Dam for the vacant WBA middleweight title at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. In one of the year’s most controversial verdicts, N’Dam prevailed via split decision. The WBA ordered an immediate rematch, and the two judges who scored the bout for N’Dam were suspended for six months and ordered to pass several evaluations before being allowed to judge WBA-sanctioned fights again. Murata got his revenge — and the WBA world title — in the rematch on Oct. 22, when he dominated the action and forced N’Dam to retire on his stool following the seventh round.

Blandamura (27-2, 5 KOs), ranked No. 8 in the WBA middleweight rankings, is a former European middleweight champion who captured the title with a 12-round split decision over Matteo Signani on Dec. 3, 2016. In his last ring outing, on June 17, 2017, Blandamura retained the European title with a unanimous decision against Alessandro Goddi. He later vacated the title and heads into his first world title bout riding a four-bout winning streak.

Showtime Adds Two Featherweight Fights to Lineup

SHOWTIME Sports added two featherweight bouts to its robust boxing schedule with two high-stakes matchups from the U.K. streaming live on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms, free to boxing fans in the U.S.

Former two-division world champion Carl Frampton will battle former four-division champion Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 in Belfast, Ireland for the interim WBO Featherweight Title. Then, on Saturday, May 19, IBF World Champion Lee Selby will defend his 126-pound title against undefeated Josh Warrington live from Leeds, England. Both SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® social media offerings will stream live in the U.S. on SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel. The events are promoted by Frank Warren with live coverage provided by BT Sport and BoxNation.

The previously announced rematch between WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz and former three-division champion Abner Mares will take place just a few weeks later on Saturday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME® from the Staples Center in L.A.

In all, five of the consensus top-10 ranked featherweights will clash on SHOWTIME platforms in two months, including two world champions and four former multi-division champions. These matchups between titleholders and top-ranked featherweights will give further clarity to a stacked division.

“As we’ve seen at welterweight, super welterweight and even heavyweight, the top fighters in the featherweight division are looking to prove that they are undoubtedly the best in the world,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for SHOWTIME. “They are doing so by facing their toughest challengers and ultimately seeking to unify world titles. SHOWTIME proudly leads the industry with fights like these—the most competitive and important fights in boxing’s most talent-laden weight divisions. We commend the fighters who have dedicated themselves to this simple, yet dangerous premise. Their effort has been inspiring and contagious.”

Tyson Fury Sets Return Date and Names New Promoter

Former WBA Super, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has confirmed his return under a new promoter.

Fury caused a colossal upset in his previous bout in November 2015 when he ended the 11-year reign of Wladimir Klitschko with a masterful points victory in Dusseldorf.

Now, the unbeaten 29-year-old (25-0-KO18) will fight for the first time in two-and-a-half years at the Manchester Arena on June 9 after signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren.

Ahead of an official press conference on London’s Park Lane, Fury said: “A lot of people out there are claiming to be the best and I know they’re not.

“They won’t be a match up for me. They’re sluggers and wild punchers and I’m looking forward to getting in there and showing them.

“Let’s say I’m a lot, lot, lot lighter than I’ve been in the past. If Frank asked me to fight this weekend, I’m ready. I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

Warren added: “The heavyweight division should now be put on notice because the lineal champion will be looking to pick back up where he left off.

“I am thrilled Tyson has entrusted us with the responsibility of recharging his career and steering him back to where he once emphatically belonged.

“Were it not for his exploits, the now thriving and fascinating heavyweight scene might have remained stagnant. Tyson’s comprehensive schooling of the Wladimir Klitschko opened all sorts of doors from which others have ultimately benefitted.

“Now Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road back towards world domination once again.

“I am certain the boxing public – who he never lost the affection of – will get behind him in force and support his journey.”

A spokesperson for MTK Global added: “It’s been a long wait but we are delighted with the news that Tyson’s return is now finalised.

“Working with Frank Warren and his team on this has been highly productive and this is just the start of another chapter of success in Tyson’s extraordinary story.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Tyson conquer the world again as he begins his climb back to the top of boxing’s marquee division.”

Ryan Garcia to Face Jayson Velez

Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), the 2017 consensus prospect of the year and pride of Victorville, Calif., headlines a very special edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia, who is the brightest rising star in the sport of boxing today, will kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities as he faces seasoned Puerto Rican contender Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in this spectacular arena that has become the home for great battles.

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

At only 19 years of age, Garcia is the future superstar of boxing. After winning multiple national championships as an amateur and several professional fights in Mexico, Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions in Nov. 2016. Since then, he has won every fight by knockout, including a highlight-reel knockout of Miguel Carrizoza to win the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. In his most recent performance, Garcia defeated Fernando Vargas on the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN via a stunning first-round knockout victory.

“I’m back already and with high expectations,” said Ryan Garcia.”I’m glad to be headlining two times in a row and excited to be fighting in an iconic venue where there have been many wars. I’ve said all along that I was destined for greatness. I’m speaking it to existence, and I will show that on May 4.”

Velez is an experience contender of the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, home of former world champions such as Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, among others. The 30-year-old pugilist has faced the toughest fighters of the competitive 126-pound division, including Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. and Ronny Rios. Velez is coming off three impressive victories, including a unanimous decision win against the previously undefeated Alberto Mercado and back-to-back stoppage victories over former contender Giovanni “El Ruso” Caroand former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

“I will not let my country down as it is a powerful force in boxing,” said Jayson Velez. “If anyone believes that I am only going for the paycheck, they are wrong. As I have proved before, I always give my best and this will not be the exception against Garcia. In the face of all predictions, I will defeat him.”

“Ryan Garcia is going to prove that he’s the next superstar in the sport of boxing,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “After an amazing performance in March, Garcia will now make his debut in an arena that is slowly becoming a legendary battleground for boxing, the StubHub Center.”

In the co-main event, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), the incomparable and explosive Irish contender, will make his Southern California debut in a 10-round middleweight fight presented in association with Murphy’s Boxing. O’Sullivan has faced the likes of current WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, Jr., and he’ll returning after his most significant and impressive victory against Antoine “Action” Douglass via seventh-round technical knockout. O’Sullivan will be next in line for a middleweight title shot if successful on May 4.

Welterweight knockout artist Alexis “Lex” Rocha (11-0, 8 KOs), who without a doubt will be the first world champion to come out of Santa Ana, Calif., will participate in an eight-round 147-pound fight. Rocha has many tools in his southpaw arsenal as he can both fight at the distance and knock people out from the inside.

Ferdinand Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of action in the super welterweight division. Kerobyan is the latest prospect to be signed to the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable and the first fighter under the management of former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey.

Richard “Kansas Kid” Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO), a prospect originally out of Garden City, Kansas, will participate in a four-round super welterweight fight. This exciting puncher out of the Westside Boxing Club promises fireworks as he initiates this exciting card.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Vargas, Andrade, Joshua, Parker, Golovkin, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 20th to March 27th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker Press Conference Quotes

Undefeated heavyweight world champions Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker kicked off fight week with a tense faceoff at the sprawling Sky Headquarters outside London as they approach Saturday’s Heavyweight World Championship Unification live on SHOWTIME from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The British sensation Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) owns the IBF and WBA titles, while New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) is the reigning WBO Champion. The two will meet on Saturday in just the 11th unification in heavyweight history in front of what is expected to be nearly 80,000 boxing fans at the national stadium of Wales.

The blockbuster matchup marks just the second heavyweight championship unification between undefeated world titleholders. The last fighter to emerge victorious from a matchup of unbeaten heavyweight champions was Mike Tyson in 1987.

Here’s what the fighters had to say at Tuesday’s press conference.

ANTHONY JOSHUA:

“I feel like this is what we have to do. If champions don’t face off, then we won’t bring excitement to boxing, and I feel like we heavyweights are the flagbearers for the sport.

“I’m peaking, but what I need to do is remain where I am. If you want to see my peak then I need to face stern challenges. The better opponent, the better I get.

“We embrace the challenge of facing an undefeated champion. He’s a champion, he’s done well for himself. He’s quick and he can take a punch.

“I have to mentally say the fight will go 12 rounds in my head, but if I had to pick I’d say nine rounds. I win by knockout, 100 percent.”

“For a long time, I’ve had to rely on my strength and my physicality. Over the 10 years I’ve been boxing, I’ve built a lot of mental strength as well. And now I’m combining the two. I feel confident and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I take it one thousand percent one fight at a time. A lot of talk has been happening about AJ vs. Deontay (Wilder). People need to be realistic. I’m looking at Joseph Parker, who is a lively challenger. He’s a champion for a reason.

“Let’s say we look into a crystal ball and I’m victorious, then we can start talking about future plans. But, for now, my future starts on Saturday. That’s where I’ve got to look to and not really beyond that moment.

“There’s definitely a fear of losing because it keeps me going. I have to make sure I stay focused on the task at hand. The fear of losing keeps me motivated because I know how quickly the tables can turn. One minute you’re the man and the next you’re not.

“I’m definitely preparing for a 12-round fight. One hundred and ten percent. It isn’t a problem to go the distance. But let’s say I’ve got 20 quid in my pocket and I’m looking at Joseph Parker vs. Anthony Joshua. I believe Anthony Joshua will knock Joseph Parker out, myself.”

JOSHEPH PARKER:

“I feel ready, confident and sharp. I feel better than ever, and I’m taking these belts back to New Zealand.

“I see Joshua as a great champion. The reason why we wanted this fight is because we respect what he’s achieved in the boxing world. We respect his team and what they’ve been able to achieve on this side of the world. And we love challenges. We see him as a big challenge and that’s the reason we want to fight him.

“I feel it’s my time. I’m young, I’m fast, I’m strong. And I’m determined to win. I’m not here for a payday. I’m here to take those belts back with me. I’m here to be part of history. I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m doing it for my team, my family and my country.

“He’s at his best. I’m at my best. This is the perfect time for the fight. There are going to be no excuses. Whoever wins is the best on the day.

“I’m going to beat Joshua. I haven’t decided how I want to beat him yet. I don’t know if it’s a knockout or if it’s points or decision. We’ll see how I feel on fight night. But I’m going to be undefeated going home with the belts. These are mine.

“I’m in the best shape ever. Whoever wins is the better man. There’s no excuses on my side. I’m feeling great, I’m feeling strong and I’m going to leave it all in the ring. I’m punching hard, I’m punching with way more speed so I’m looking to put on a display.

“This is the perfect time because he’s undefeated. He’s got belts that I want. We’re both at the top of our game now and it’s a good time to see who the best is.

“I’m confident I’m going to win. I’m taking the belts home.”

Demetrius Andrade Ready to Step in to Fight Gennady Golovkin on May 5th

Undefeated, two-time world champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) is ready and available for a showdown with unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, should Canelo Alvarez not be cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 10th for his May 5th rematch with Golovkin.

Andrade, who is ranked number #1 by the WBO in the middleweight division, feels that if Alvarez is not cleared by the commission for his recent positive test for Clenbuterol, he would be the most obvious candidate to face Golovkin.

“I am ready, willing, and able to step to the plate on May 5th to fight Golovkin,” stated Andrade. “I am always in the gym, and I will start VADA testing right now. I guarantee that I will pass all the tests. I know other fighters can’t say the same thing. I am undefeated, and a two-time world champion.

Golovkin went through a period where nobody wanted to fight him. I am that guy now. The man nobody wants to fight. Everyone says, what does Demetrius Andrade bring to the table? Besides being the best American middleweight, and one of the top 3 middleweights in the world, everyone knows who I am, and they know how good I am. My question is to those who say that I don’t bring anything to the table. What did Murray, Adama, Geale, Monroe, and Rosado bring to the table? None of the top contenders want to fight me so I believe that if Canelo is unavailable for May 5th, I want the opportunity to face Golovkin for the unified middleweight championship of the world.”

Golovkin’s Promoter Tom Loeffler stated after Alvarez was temporarily suspended that his fighter will still compete on May 5th with or without Alvarez.

“Whatever the commission does, Gennady would still fight May 5th if Canelo is out,” he said. “If for some reason it’s not against Canelo, we’ll figure out the best course of action at that time, but he is training to fight May 5th.”, Loeffler told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com

Like Golovkin, Andrade is also in the gym, and will be ready should he get the call for May 5th.

Raymond Serrano Looks to Continue Career Upswing Against Malik Hawkins in Philadelphia
This Friday night, welterweight contender, Raymond “Tito” Serrano will look for his 4th consecutive victory when he takes on undefeated prospect Malik Hawkins in the 10-round main event at The Fillmore in Serrano’s hometown of Philadelphia.

Serrano whose winning streak has coincided with his changing of training venues to Los Angeles, has defeated three fighters in a row that sport a combined record of 25-4.

In his last outing, the 28 year-old Serrano was impressive in defeating previously undefeated Enver Halili via 8th round disqualification.

“I had a great training camp. Freddie Roach trained me and I will be cornered by his assistant Ernie Zavala on Friday,” said Serrano. “Training in Los Angeles is a big part of my winning streak. Out there, I am always around big fighters, and I can focus on boxing 100% of the time.”

Another big part of his resurgence is his manager Mark Cipparone of Club 1957 Management. Cipparone has helped put Serrano in the best possible situation for Serrano to succeed, and Serrano fully acknowledges that.

“Mark is certainly a big part of this. He makes sure that I get tested in each fight. The reason that I am around such good training is because of him. With all that, I feel that I can compete with anyone at welterweight, and I will continue to show it.”

In Hawkins, Serrano is facing an undefeated but untested foe, and he feels with his confidence at a sky high level and ring experience will prove to be the difference.

“Hawkins is undefeated, but this is not the first undefeated fighter that I have fought (It will be his 6th undefeated opponent). I know he is young, so I want to see what he has. I am more experienced, and that will be a huge factor on Friday. Experience is everything. I know what it takes to beat these guys. I don;t think he will be able to do to me what he has to his previous opponents.”

Cipparone has been seeing the steady improvement in the 11 year-veteran Serrano.

“His last four fights have developed him further then he has at any point in his career. I would even say beginning with his fight against (Undefeated Prospect) Alex Saucedo. Raymond would have won the fight if he didn’t get caught in the 2nd round. Look at the scores. I think that fight was a turning point for him. It gave him the confidence that he could compete on the level of the top of the division,” said Cipparone, who also manages heavyweight Joey Dawejko.

“Raymond has the natural ability to go along with a tremendous ring I.Q. He is such a sophisticated fighter in there, and now he has found that warrior inside of him. I feel it is his time to get to the top of the welterweight division. This fight is a gift to the promoters as it is for the NABA-USA title with the winner not only going to get the belt, but a ranking in the WBA. You don’t see fights like this on the club level shows.”

Francisco Vargas Workout Quotes

Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs), two-time Fight of the Year winner and former WBC Super Featherweight World Champion, hosted a Los Angeles media workout on Tuesday, March 27 at Westside Boxing Club ahead of his battle against “Lightning” Rod Salka (24-4, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in the main event of the April 12 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.

Fighters from the explosive Vargas vs. Salka undercard also participated in today’s workout. San Diego’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (7-0, 5 KOs) will go up against Filipino boxer Recky “The Terror” Dulay (10-3, 7 KOs) in a scheduled 8-round lightweight fight. Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (2-0, 1 KO) will return against a soon-to-be-announced opponent in a four-round welterweight fight. Opening up the card is Rancho Mirage’s Javier Padilla (5-0-1, 5 KOs), who will fight in a scheduled six-round super bantamweight affair against Mexico City’s Ricardo Arias (1-2-1).

Here’s what today’s participants said at today’s workout:

FRANCISCO “EL BANDIDO” VARGAS, former WBC Super Featherweight World Champion:

“I’m excited to put on another spectacular show for all the fans watching in person and for everyone tuning in live on ESPN. Rod Salka has a ton of experience. He’s got good technique and good speed, so it will be a good tough fight. I’m totally focus on this fight, but I would love to get a rematch with Miguel Berchelt.”

GENARO “EL CONDE” GAMEZ, Lightweight Prospect:

“I’m fighting a tough Filipino in Recky Dulay. I’ve seen him work and he’s good, but I know I have the talent and skills to pass this test. Filipinos maybe coming in shocking other Golden Boy fighters, but that won’t happen to me. I’m trying to be the best at 130 and 135 pounds, so I’m ready and willing to fight any other Golden Boy Promotions prospect at any time.”

AARON “SILENCER” MCKENNA, Welterweight Prospect:

“I’m delighted to be returning to Fantasy Springs so soon after my knockout win last week. I train hard as if I’m fighting every week. I’m ready and my team is ready. I look forward to putting on another great performance for the fans. See you all on April 12.”

JAVIER PADILLA, Super Bantamweight Prospect:

“It’s great training with Joel Diaz. He’s pushing us to our limits so we can be champions one day. We practiced more on working the body. This fight is a rematch. We fought to a draw and this time I will for sure get that ‘W.’ I want to become one day become world champion and accomplish what I set out to do.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Lara, Hurd, Imam, Ramirez, Top Rank, ESPN, and more….


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 6th to March 13th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Lara and Jarrett Hurd to Clash on April 7th

Erislandy Lara, the longest reigning world champion at 154-pounds, will clash with IBF champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd in a highly-anticipated super welterweight title unification live on SHOWTIME (10 pm ET/7 pm PT) as part of an exciting card presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, April 7 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

In the co-main event, Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb Truax will make the first defense of his IBF title against James DeGale in a rematch of one of the biggest upsets of 2017 that saw Truax wrestle the belt from DeGale on his home turf in London last December.

Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, will go on sale Friday, March 16 and be available by visiting AXS.com or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Box Office.

“This is an action-packed card from top to bottom. The televised card features boxers who all have something significant to gain with a victory,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The winner of Lara-Hurd will be one step closer to becoming the undisputed 154-pound world champion. In a rematch, Truax gets to re-affirm his position as champion and DeGale has a chance to regain his world championship status. This is the kind of show that keeps fans on the edge of their seats.”

“We take pride in promoting quality events that our audiences always want to see,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “This card is going to be another line-up that the fans won’t want to miss. With Lara and Hurd looking to unify their titles and guys going head-to-head in rematches on the undercard, this is sure to be a night of non-stop action.

Lara vs. Hurd is a classic contrast in styles that could force each fighter to raise their game to another level. Lara is a crafty southpaw who relies on his superior boxing skills to confound opponents, while Hurd is a pure pressure boxer-puncher that stalks his opponents and isn’t easily frustrated.

Lara, a Cuban whose nickname is “The American Dream”, is coming off a unanimous decision victory on SHOWTIME over Terrell Gausha in October. Hurd was on the same card and defeated former champion Austin Trout when Trout’s corner stopped the fight in the 10th round. That paved the way for this unification showdown.

The 34-year-old Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs), who lives and trains in Houston, Texas, won his world title with a TKO victory over Alfredo Angulo in 2013 and has successfully defended it seven times, which includes wins over Trout, Ishe Smith and Vanes Martirosyan.

“I’m very excited and motivated for this fight and to once again be headlining on the best network in boxing on SHOWTIME, is truly a pleasure,” said Lara. “I look forward to adding another belt to my collection on April 7 and to proving that I’m the best 154-pound fighter out there. Everyone tune-in because you don’t want to miss this unification. It’s going to be a legendary night and one for the history books.”

The undefeated Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs) is coming off a career-defining TKO victory over the former champion Trout in his last fight on Oct. 14. It was the first defense of the title for the 27-year Hurd of Accokeek, Maryland, who won the championship with a TKO victory over Tony Harrison on Feb. 25, 2017.

“I plan on being the aggressor for the entire fight, so I’ve been doing some exercises and working on techniques to improve my foot work so that I can stay on top of Erislandy Lara,” said Hurd. “We are not trying to go to the scorecards, so hopefully, I can be the first man to stop him, which I hope to do in the later rounds.

“I called him out, and now, it has come to pass that I get to become a unified champion against the man everyone considers to be the best and most feared in the division, and that’s Erislandy Lara.”

They call 34-year-old Truax “Golden”, and he punched his ticket to world title gold while on a trip to London in December, when he defeated DeGale by majority decision. Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs) of Osseo, Minnesota was on a two-fight win streak heading into the match against DeGale. Before that his only losses came against former champions Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs and Jermain Taylor.

“They made the right call on the decision in England, and I expect to be even more dominant this time around,” Truax said. “I am planning to really just beat up James Gale and get the job done in more efficient fashion this time.’

“Fighting in Las Vegas for the first time will be a very cool experience and I expect it to be friendlier than it was in London. There is a lot of pride on the line for me, being that I’m the first boxing world champion from Minnesota in a long time. So there is a lot on the line for me and I plan to keep that going, especially as a means for supporting my family.”

The 32-year-old DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs) was the first British boxer to win a Gold Medal in the Olympics (2008 Beijing Games) and a world championship as a professional. He won his world title with a unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell in 2015 and made two successful defenses before fighting to a draw against Badou Jack on Jan. 14, 2017. It was a brutal standoff between two world champions, but neither man had his hand raised in victory. DeGale, who was coming off of an injury, had his home town crowd behind him but couldn’t deliver a win as Truax scored a stunning upset with the majority decision victory.

‘I’m happy to have the opportunity to rematch Truax and regain my IBF title,” said DeGale. “I am not going to make excuses for my poor performance, actions speak louder than words. I am excited to be boxing in Vegas and on SHOWTIME again. The real JD will be back on fight night!”

Amir Imam Preparing for Jose Ramirez

Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs) is in Pompano Beach, Florida, under the auspices of head trainer Stacy McKinley, in final preparations for his March 17 showdown against Jose Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) from Avenal, California for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight belt Saturday, March 17, at the The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Imam, 27, rated No. 1 by the WBC, boasts a victory by knockout ratio of 86%, including his last three and five of his last seven. Ramirez, 25, WBC No. 3 ranked super lightweight, has stopped 76% of the opponents he has faced, including four consecutive and eight in his last 10 bouts

“Amir Imam is coming to Madison Square Garden, The Mecca of Boxing, in New York City, to take down not only Jose Ramirez but Bob Arum too!” boasted Imam’s promoter Don King. “I can hardly wait for Saturday night. Start the clock. Tick-tock, tick-tock.” T-minus 124 hours 45 minutes till Ramirez-Imam enter the ring, Saturday night . . .

“Yes sir, March 17 is a big day for me and the stakes are real high for both me and him. It’s the first time I get to fight in the Garden and that’s exciting, knowing that greatness has fought there. It’s the first time I am fighting in a main event and first time fighting for a world title,” said Imam. “It’s what I have been working for my whole life and it’s finally here and I’ve got to take advantage of it.

“He’s kind of tall and long just like me, so it’s like seeing each other in the mirror so it is going to be real interesting and it’s going to be an electrifying fight.”

“Ramirez is a tough fighter – a real tough fighter and we know what we’ve got to do to win this fight. If a knockout comes I will take advantage of it but I am not going in there looking for a straight knockout. I have to fight real hard and get the rounds under my belt just in case. He’s been aggressive but he may not come out aggressive – you never know. I just have to be smart in the ring and adjust to things he will be doing.”

“I can definitely match his power, I can box when I have to, and I can fight. I can do a lot of things. I can do whatever it takes to get the W. A lot of fighters these days can’t do that – they are one-dimensional fighters. If I have to box or if I have to slug I can do it. I think I am the toughest guy in the 140-pund divisi

“I can just hear them saying “The New.”

Ramírez vs. Imam will headline a spectacular St. Patrick’s Day boxing extravaganza, The Ramírez – Imam world championship fight will be televised live and exclusively at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN and stream live on the ESPN App at 6 p.m. EDT. It will mark the first time Arum and King have battled each other promotionally on the same card since Miguel Cotto defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight world title on March 12, 2011.

ESPN Scores Highest Rated Boxing Fight on Cable Television in 2018 with Saturday Night’s Top Rank on ESPN

Top Rank on ESPN saw Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) retain his WBO featherweight title against Scott Quigg while fighting under a canopy at the rainy StubHub Center, the famed outdoor boxing venue in Carson, Calif. south of downtown Los Angeles. The telecast includes two of 2018’s top five highest-rated fights on cable television in 2018, according to preliminary audience results from Nielsen. The Valdez vs. Quigg world championship fight aired live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streamed live on the ESPN App.

Top Things to Know

• Last night’s telecast was the highest-rated of the three Top Rank on ESPN telecasts in 2018
• Last night’s Top Rank on ESPN featured two of the five highest-rated fights on cable television in 2018
• The main event featuring Valdez vs. Quigg averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, while the co-main event featuring undefeated junior lightweights Andy Vences vs. Erick De Leon averaged a 0.8 metered market rating
Top Boxing Overnight Ratings on Cable Television 2018 (By Fight)
03/10/2018
ESPN
VENCES vs. DE LEON
0.8

03/03/2018
SHOWTIME
WILDER vs. ORTIZ
0.8

03/10/2018
ESPN
VALDEZ vs. QUIGG
0.7

01/27/2018
HBO
MATTHYSSE vs. KIRAM
0.7

03/03/2018
HBO
KOVALEV vs. MIKHALKIN
0.7

The next Top Rank on ESPN is this Saturday, March 17 and features top-rated contenders José Ramírez and Amir “Young Man” Imam fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight world title. Ramirez vs. Imam will headline a St. Patrick’s Day at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The event also features Irish Olympian Michael Conlan (5-0, 4 KO’s), from Belfast, who begins his sophomore professional year exactly where he started his freshman year — at The Garden. The Ramirez vs. Imam world championship event will live and exclusively at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and stream live on the ESPN App at 6 p.m. ET.

Witherspoon Decisions Capers in Atlantic City

Chazz Witherspoon raised his winning streak to eight in a row as he went the eight-round distance by won a unanimous decision over Lamont Capers that headlined a seven-bout card at The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.

The show, which took place this past Saturday, was promoted by Mis Downing Promotions and Silverspoon Promotions.

Witherspoon was able to outpoint the crafty Capers. Capers was very competitive, but it was Witherspoon’s size and harder punches that proved to be the difference as he captured the via 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75 scores.

Witherspoon of Paulsboro, NJ is now 37-3. Capers, who was fighting for the 2nd time in seven days is 9-12-4.

Willis Lockett took a six-round majority decision over Prince Badi Ajamu in a cruiserweight bout.

Lockett of Takoma Park, MD won by scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57, and is now 16-22-6. Ajamu of Camden, NJ is 28-4-1.

Super Lightweight John Bauza remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over David Morales.

Bauza of North Bergen, NJ won on all cards by scores of 60-54, and is now 9-0. Morales of Managua, Nicaragua is 13-9.

Mike Hilton won a three-round technical unanimous decision over Hector Perez.

The fight was a terrific back and forth brawl when Perez suffered a cut over his right eye in the third frame.

Perez almost made a quick night for himself as he dropped Hilton in the 1st round. Hilton stormed back to register his own knockdown’s in round two and three.

The scores were 28-26 on all cards at the time of the stoppage.

Hilton of Trenton, NJ is 10-0. Perez of Pleasantville, NJ is 3-2

Edgar Cortes won a four-round unanimous decision over Kevin Asmat in a featherweight bout.

Scores were 38-37 twice and 39-36 for Cortes, of Vineland, NJ, who is now 6-4. Asmat of North Bergen. NJ is 3-2.

Alejandro Jimenez made a successful pro debut with a 2nd round stoppage over Derrick Pitts in a bantamweight bout.

The time of the finish was 3:00. Pitts is 0-2.

Dan Murray and Latorrie Woodberry fought to a no-contest when Woodberry hurt his shoulder in the 1st round of their scheduled four-round welterweight bout.

“I am ecstatic about Saturday night’s card,” said Mis Downing of Mis Downing Promotions. “The fights were terrific and very competitive. I want to thank the Claridge Hotel and a special thanks to The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. I also want to thank Mayor Frank Gilliam for supporting our event. We are excited about what is to come in the future, and we will have a very big announcement shortly about our next event, which will be a very special night of boxing.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones Jr., Khan, Bowe, Kovalev, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 30th to February 6th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Roy Jones Junior Quotes for his Last Fight

One of the greatest careers in ring history will come to close this Thursday night, when the legendary Roy Jones Junior competes in his final bout as a professional boxer bout as a professional boxer.

Widely considered one of the very best pound-for-pound fighters of all time Jones, 65-9 (47KOs), competes in cruiserweight (200lbs) bout vs Scott Sigmon, 30-11-1 (16KOs). The 10-rounder serves as the main event to a five fight Island Fights main card which features both boxing and mixed martial arts bouts.

The event will be live-streamed and available on video-on-demand basis exclusively on UFCFIGHTPASS, the UFC’s digital streaming service.

Joining combat sport play-by-play veteran TJ De Santis in the commentator booth will be Jeff Lacy. Known as “Left Hook” during his boxing career, Lacy represented the United States at the 2000 Olympics and went on to win the same IBF super-middleweight title Jones had annexed a decade earlier. Lacy also fought Jones in 2009 (the entire fight is available on UFC FIGHT PASS) and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the event.

ROY JONES JUNIOR FLASH QUOTES:

ON FIGHTING ON UFC FIGHT PASS

“This is the first live boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS. I love being the first to do something, so to be the first boxing event on UFC FIGHT PASS is cool. When I turned pro back in 1989, I said I wanted to bring new audiences boxing and that’s what I tried to do. By having my last night as a fighter on the
UFC’s (streaming service) I’m bringing new eyeballs to boxing and I’m throwing a spotlight on the boxing and MMA fighters who are on the event.

“I’m been a fan of the UFC for years. Me and (UFC President) Dana White have been friends for a long time, since before he even got started with the UFC. We’ve talked about FIGHT PASS showing a fight (of mine) and it has come about perfectly.”

ON HIS FINAL FIGHT

“It feels different. I’m emotional even thinking about how I’m going to feel on the day. I’m almost tearing up talking. I’m worried about how I am going to feel all day of the fight. I may be crying all day – but once I am in the ring I’ll have to put those tears away because there’s gonna be a guy in the other corner looking to beat me. Scott Sigmon won’t care about those tears. He cares about getting the win, that’s the reality.

“I turned professional in May 1989 in this same arena, but I’ve been doing this since 1979. In 39 years there’s not been a single day where I didn’t put on glove, skip, watch tape or spend time thinking about boxing.

“Boxing has been my life and it is my life. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. So much of it is still fresh (in my mind), not one thing but so much jumps out when I look back… representing my country at the Olympics in 1988, becoming a world champion for the first time, becoming the No.1 pound-for-pound vs James Toney, winning the world heavyweight title… like it was all yesterday.”

ON GETTING OLDER

“I’m not sad to get older, we all get old. I had a great prime. I was good in my prime, y’know? I wasn’t surprised that I was getting old, and that my abilities were getting more limited. Everybody knows everybody gets old, but I think some guys really don’t think their body will get old.

“I accepted it. People told me to retire but I knew what I could do and I’ve never let anyone tell me what to do.

“There are things I wanted to accomplish that I knew were no longer within my reach. I love boxing, even out of my prime I love boxing like I did when I was champ. But you can’t go on forever no matter how much you love it. It’s time, I’m ready to say goodbye.”

After MTV Super Fight League Ropes in Fox Networks Group for an Asian Broadcasting Deal

FOX Sports Asia has entered into a brand new one-year exclusive multimedia and broadcastrights agreement for the second season of Super Fight League, the world’s first mixed martial arts tournament, promoted by British businessman and sports enthusiast Bill Dosanjh and British professional boxer Amir Khan on their television and digital platforms in Asia.

Promising reach in more than 500 million homes by broadcasting action pack content, the licensed territories include Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam . Earlier this year, SFL came to one-year agreement on a broadcasting deal with MTV, Viacom 18 in India to broadcast all matches for season 2 (till 2019)

Having garnered over a whopping 100 million views in 5 years for 67 live televised events, Super Fight League is ranked as the third biggest Mixed Martial Arts brand in the world and second most watched sport in India after cricket apart from being the fastest growing combat sport.The franchise-based league that is being organized in association with the All-India Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) will entail prize money of INR 4 crores as well as 96 players and 8 teams as listed below –

Bill Dosanjh, CEO & Founder of Super Fight League stated, “We are excited to be partnering with FOX Networks Group, the leading multi-platform entertainment group across the world. This association will further capitalize on our long term vision of taking SFL to different markets. In the next 3 years we would like to take SFL to the Asian markets where MMA is more popular than a sport like cricket and comes second after soccer. The opportunity to have our premier content available in over 500 million homes will immediately accelerate the growth of the SFL brand and the sport of MMA across the region. The emergence of young Indian mixed martial artists coupled with FOX’s marketing muscle and distribution, will allow us to expand our event output beyond India and into the rest of the world in the coming years.”

Brian Sullivan, President of FOX Networks Groupadded, “This new agreement allows us to continue adding value to our uniquely holistic entertainment experience, aiming to suit all our fans’ preferences. We are quite delighted to deliver first class MMA content through our channels and digital platforms. The passion of Asian fans for mixed martial arts makes this category key to our content offering, and we will contribute with our know-how to make the experience of living it in our portfolio unbeatable.”

Elaborating Asian athlete and two-time world champion Amir Khan states, “I think we’ll be considered mainstream just like the NFL and NBA now. To be on the Fox platform, we’re not second class anymore. This new agreement represents a great opportunity and will allow us to attract a new fanbase for the sport where MMA has a strongly established tradition as well as huge potential to gather and galvanize new fans.”

Formed in 2012 by British-Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Dosanjh with an intent to give Indian mixed martial artists a platform to compete and hone their talent in their country of origin whilst bringing in talented fighters from different parts of the world, SFL is a revolutionary approach to combat and is the first MMA organization to feature female fighters. MTV SFL 2018 will promote gender equality through a fair and unique platform with women having the same influence on the team as men. The league entails a group ‘A’ and ‘B’, consisting of four teams each. Every team has six players—five male fighters and one female—and six back-ups, belonging to six different weight categories. The teams within the group compete with each other in 12 league-level matches.

The second season of the leading MMA league will be conducted at MTV SFL Arena, Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai from February 9, 2018 to March 17, 2018.

Riddick Bowe to be Special Guest for February 22nd Golden Boy Boxing Card

Former Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe will be the special VIP guest for the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The highly anticipated headlining matchup will feature 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABF and NABO Featherweight Titles against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round fight.

Doors to the Special Events Center open and first fight begins at 5:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and streaming on ESPN3 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.

A certified Hall of Famer, “Big Daddy” Bowe is known as the only Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion to have earned belts from all four main sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO. The controversial heavyweight faced some of the best fighters of his era, including Andrzej Golota, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, Herbie “Dancing Destroyer” Hide, and Michael “Dynamite” Dokes. Bowe is also one of five former heavyweight champions to have never suffered a stoppage defeat in the span of more than 40 fights in his career. Bowe will be in attendance for this event to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN transmission begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.

Tickets for the event start at $25 and are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Chief support to the main event battle will be knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), who will participate in the eight-round co-main event for the vacant Junior NABF Super Lightweight Title against the dangerous Jesus “Carambolas” Alvarez (15-3,11 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico. Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout and will be putting his spotless record on the line as he takes a step up in competition and fights for his first regional title.

Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action and will kick off the ESPN3 coverage.Gonzalez will face Rey “Flash” Perez (21-9, 6 KOs), a Filipino fighter who now calls Los Angeles home and who was last seen giving Lamont Roach, Jr. trouble in the main event of the Nov. 30 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.

Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), who is trained by his world-renowned father, Manny Robles, Jr., will participate in an eight-round featherweight affair. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, Calif. will participate in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.

San Diego’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in an eight-round lightweight fight, and Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. (11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open up the stacked card at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a scheduled eight-round super featherweight fight.

Opponents for all these exciting prospects will be announced shortly.

AIBA Releases Progress Report on Governance

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board decided to maintain the financial suspension of AIBA and demanded a new report on AIBA governance by April 30th . This decision was made despite AIBA’s fulfilment of the IOC’s request to submit a Progress Report outlining all steps AIBA was asked to take and continues to take to improve its governance. To access the full AIBA Progress Report, please see the AIBA website.

This decision is extremely disappointing for AIBA as it hoped the IOC Executive Board would have understood that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require more time and that the positive steps already taken in recent times are evidence of AIBA’s strong efforts and willingness to reform.

Over the next six months AIBA will be in the process of a complete organisational review, which will lead to the ‘New Foundation Plan’ for AIBA. This plan and the recommendations produced will be discussed during the AIBA Executive Committee meeting in July and an update will be provided to the IOC in the requested April 30th report.

In the meantime, AIBA will continue its efforts to convince the IOC of its determination to not repeat any of the past mistakes and its commitment to a fresh, positive future centered on good governance and sound management.

Tickets on Sale for Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin
Tickets are on sale for the upcoming showdown between two-time Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) versus Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) versus Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs), which takes place on Saturday, March 3 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for this exciting event are priced from $50 to $300 and are available through ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden box office.

Promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions, the event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.

About March 3: The Saturday, March 3 main event between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Igor Mikhalkin is a 12-round match-up for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The co-main event features WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol versus Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round title fight. The event is promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Tickets range from $50 to $300 and will be available through TicketMaster.com, the Madison Square Garden Box office and the Main Events office by calling 973-200-7050 or emailing boxing@mainevents.com.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Premier Boxing Champions, Shumenov, Fundora, and more….


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 23rd to January 30th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Notes and Quotes from 2018 Boxing Upfront Presented by Showtime Sports and Premier Boxing Champions

SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions unveiled the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING television lineup for the first half of 2018 in an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind Boxing Upfront at Cipriani’s in New York City on Wednesday.

Legendary ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. introduced the matchups of 10 marquee events featuring 12 world champions, 14 undefeated fighters and 12 World Championship fights across the first six months of 2018. Among the fighters in attendance included Deontay Wilder, Danny Garcia, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Mikey Garcia, Erislandy Lara, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Errol Spence Jr.

Radio presenter and television personality Charlamagne the God hosted Wednesday’s event and spoke to each fighter in attendance. Here are some highlights of what the fighters had to say:

Deontay Wilder
“Ever since I’ve been a little boy, I’ve always been doubted no matter what. As a grown man now, I’m still being doubted. I like proving people wrong. There’s nothing like proving somebody wrong.
“As I see it, I’m 39-0 with 38 KOs. Every time I promise I’m going to knock somebody out, I’ve done that. Come March 3, I promise I’m going to knock him out too.”

Luis Ortiz
“There’s an opportunity for a dreamer and March 3 is going to be a great fight.”

Jermall Charlo
“My ideal goal is to show everyone why I’m the best in the world at 160 pounds.”

Keith Thurman
“2017 was a great year. Unifying the WBA and the WBC titles was a dream come true. Since then, we had the elbow surgery but 2018 is a get-back year. I’m truly looking forward to being back in the ring May 19. After that, I’m going to bring a more exciting fight later on this year. There are a lot of contenders and champions gunning for my number one spot but I’m going to have to let them know that I’ll be right here at the top.”

Mikey Garcia
“Hopefully I get to accomplish this goal of winning the title in four different weight divisions on March 10. It’s an honor to be included on such a short list. This only opens up the doors to bigger fights and bigger things for my career. March 10 is just another small step closer to achieving my ultimate goal, which is to become the best fighter of this generation.”

Sergey Lipinets
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be on SHOWTIME and fight in this event. I will give my best before I get in the ring and when I get in the ring. I guarantee it will be a war and a great fight and you won’t be disappointed.”

Adrien Broner
“I’m trying to outshine everybody. I have to go crazy. I have to rematch Mikey. I have to fight Shawn Porter. This fight is the start of the turn-up. I’m ready. Let’s get it on. He’s undefeated, I’m trying to give him his first loss.”

Gervonta Davis
“Young people make mistakes but the greats learn from it. I believe I’m the most skillful young guy that’s fighting on TV right now and in 2018, I want to show it.”

Jarrett Hurd
“It’s time to put everyone on notice who the best 154-pounder is. I know a win over Erislandy Lara will put me there so I’m coming for that number one spot.”

Leo Santa Cruz
“The fans can expect a full-action fight just like the first one, maybe even better. I know Abner Mares changed his trainer and Robert Garcia is a great trainer who will bring the best out of him. But we’re also smart. My dad is a great trainer who will bring the best out of me. It will be a great fight.”

Abner Mares
“It’s been two years since I fought Leo Santa Cruz and all I’ve been thinking about is redemption. With Team Garcia, you’ve seen the change. If they think I’m going to fight the same way, they are in for a surprise.”

Jermell Charlo
“I’m going to stay fly, get my body count up and let that lion roar.”

Badou Jack
“It wasn’t my choice to relinquish the title, it was in the contract. Floyd [Mayweather] told me he would get me a bigger and better fight against Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title so I couldn’t pass that up.”
Beibut Shumenov Announces his Comeback
Two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Beibut Shumenov announced his comeback today at a press conference held in his native Kazakhstan.

“I thought a very long time before making this decision,” Shumenov explained. “Having weighed all the pros and cons, in addition to consulting with my family and team, I have firmly decided to return to professional boxing. Ahead is a lot of work but our goal is obvious. I want to express my thanks to all those who’ve supported me. I will keep everyone up to date with more news and details of my return to the ring.”

The Las Vegas-based Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, retired last June due to an eye injury., forcing him to relinquish his WBA cruiserweight world title.

“I want to tell you why I decided to interrupt my career.” Shumenov announced at today’s presser conference. “The trauma of my eye affected my decision. Fatigue and emotional tension accumulated. I just needed a break. Now, I have recovered, and I am going to resume my boxing career. Negotiations are now underway for my next fight.”

Shumenov also revealed that he is working with a Kazakh group to develop a domestic pro boxing program in Kazakhstan for young children in Kazakhstan to help them reach their heights.

In only his 10th pro fight, Shumenov established the fewest-fights record for the light heavyweight world champion 10 years ago, when he decisioned Gabriel Campillo in Las Vegas.

Shumenov became the only two-division world champion from Kazakhstan in his last fight, when he stopped Junior Wright in the 10th round of their May 2, 2016 title fight, capturing the WBA Cruiserweight World Championship.

During the 34-year-old Shumenov’s professional career, he has defeated four world champions (Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin), as well as seven world title challengers (Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, Tamas Kovacs, BJ Flores and Wright).

Sampson Boxing Sign Super 6’7” Super Welterweight Sebastian Fundora
Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing proudly announces the signing of undefeated super welterweight prospect Sebastian ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora to a promotional contract.

The 6′ 7″, 20-year-old southpaw Fundora, from Coachella, California, is the tallest fighter in his division in the world. Lewkowicz was, at first, reluctant to sign a virtually unknown commodity in Fundora, whose tall statue and low weight make him look deceptively emaciated.

So, always having been a great eye for talent, Lewkowicz put the young fighter in some tough match-ups and was very impressed by the results.

In September of last year, Fundora took on then undefeated Victor Toney and dominated him over six rounds. Looking to evaluate him further, Lewkowicz then put Fundora in a couple tough tests in South America and he won both by near shutout.

“I thought he would be too frail against better competition,” said Lewkowicz, “but he barely lost a round in his last four fights. Sebastian is nearly impossible to fight at this weight, with his reach and southpaw stance. And he took enough shots for me to see that he also has a world-class chin. He is going to be a major factor in the division very soon and I’m happy to have signed him to my stable.”

“I am fortunate to have met and signed with a great boxing promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, who has exciting plans for my future and who will guide me to conquer the dream of becoming world champion,” said Sebastian Fundora. “I have trained all my life to become a world champion, step by step and day by day. I am looking forward to seeing what the future awaits.”

Fundora has worked as a sparring partner for the world’s youngest super middleweight world champion in history, David Benavidez… also a Sampson Boxing fighter. It was members of Benavidez’ camp who initially directed Lewkowicz to the fighter.

“I now have boxing’s youngest super middleweight champion in history and the tallest junior middleweight in history,” said a proud Lewkowicz of his promotional stable.

Stephen Espinoza Promoted to President of Showtime Sports
Showtime Networks Inc. has announced that Stephen Espinoza has been promoted to President, Sports and Event Programming, where he will continue to develop and execute the overall strategy of the group. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc., to whom Espinoza reports.

Under Espinoza’s leadership, SHOWTIME has become the world’s leading outlet for live boxing. In 2017, SHOWTIME Sports produced 33 world championship fights and 71 live bouts in all – twice as many as any other outlet. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® has a television lineup for the first six months of 2018 that will be the largest ever in the sport, with 10 world-class events including 12 world title fights. SHOWTIME can also lay claim to the two most watched pay-per-view events in history with Mayweather-Pacquiao (May 2015) and Mayweather-McGregor (August 2017), as well as the three most lucrative with Mayweather-Canelo (September 2013), each bout produced during Espinoza’s tenure. He also helped orchestrate one of the biggest deals in boxing history when Floyd Mayweather moved to SHOWTIME in 2013 under a landmark six-fight deal. Across seven events with Mayweather, SHOWTIME PPV generated more than 14 million domestic buys (U.S. and Canada) and over $1.2 billion in domestic pay-per-view revenue during a span of just four years.

“Simply stated, Stephen is the heavyweight champion of his profession,” said Nevins. “He is an innovator, equal parts thoughtful and tenacious, who has turned SHOWTIME boxing into the market leader, while also driving excellence in our documentaries and sports series.”

As head of SHOWTIME Sports, Espinoza is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the sports and event group, including its pay-per-view unit. Based in Showtime Networks’ New York offices, Espinoza oversees the production of the network’s original sports series and sports documentaries, as well as the acquisition and licensing of all other SHOWTIME and pay-per-view sports and event programming. The network’s hard-hitting sports content includes SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION, ALL ACCESS, A SEASON WITH (featuring college football programs from Notre Dame, Florida State and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis), ALL ACCESS: QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP and the Emmy® Award-winning INSIDE THE NFL, as well as an enviable slate of documentaries including IVERSON, KOBE BRYANT’S MUSE, ONE & DONE and DISGRACED.

Prior to joining SHOWTIME in late 2011, Espinoza was a partner in the firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP. At the firm, he specialized in representing athletes and sports personalities, including professional boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson, who generated a total of over $500 million in pay-per-view revenues under his representation. Espinoza served as lead counsel for De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions dating back to the formation of the company. Through his representation of Tyson, De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions and his subsequent work at SHOWTIME, Espinoza has been directly involved in the five highest-grossing pay-per-view events of all time (including De La Hoya-Mayweather and Tyson-Lewis, as De La Hoya/Golden Boy’s lawyer and Tyson’s lawyer, respectively).

Other notable former sports clients include former NFL star and current broadcaster Michael Strahan and mixed martial arts fighter and actress Gina Carano. Espinoza also represented a variety of established and emerging performers and filmmakers across the film and television industries. Espinoza previously worked at the Law Offices of Steinberg & Moorad, one of the nation’s preeminent sports law firms.

Espinoza earned a B.A. in Communication from Stanford University and received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon, Google, Xbox One and Samsung. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation® Vue and Amazon Channels. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™, and offers Smithsonian Earth™ through SN Digital LLC. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Shields, Garcia, Hammer, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 12th to December 19th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Terrell Groggins / Salita Promotions

Claressa Shields Media Workout Quotes

Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields met with local members of the media and took part in an open-to-the-public workout on Tuesday at Kronk Gym, exactly one month away from defending her 168-pound WBC and IBF titles against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson on Friday, Jan. 12 live on SHOWTIME.

A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.

Here is what the 22-year-old native of Flint, Mich., had to say on Tuesday:

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“I am calm – focused – but still hungry like a challenger with the added confidence of being a world champion. I took some time off after my last win but I look forward to getting busy again in 2018.

“This training camp I did eight weeks instead of six. A lot of camp has been extremely hard. But I’m so focused and determined on 2018 and starting great and staying busy. I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience.

“There is no doubt I will start 2018 with a win. Then I just take it one fight at a time. Right now my focus is Nelson.

“I’m excited to be on SHOWTIME as the first fight of the year, and just to be back inside the ring. I feel I have been the face of women’s boxing for some time now. I don’t let it feel like pressure – I just work really hard in the gym.

“In 2018 I expect great fights against the best contenders. I expect to make history again on SHOWTIME and also looking forward to dropping to 160 to fight against [Christina] Hammer mid-2018. January 12th will be the beginning of great things to come

“Training through the holidays is fine. The difference between the amateurs and now is that I was always in other countries competing. Now I get to be home with my family getting ready and I feel good.

“The match-up to me will play out with the first few rounds of me using my jab. Then I’ll add the combinations as the fight goes on. I see it being competitive though. I’m going to earn the win. I believe I can KO her by the sixth, seventh round.”

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Deal Very Close According to LA Times

Esteemed boxing writer Lance Pugmire of the LA Times recently reported that a deal for a rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin is very close to being finalized.

Pugmire reported that Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, texted him and indicated that there only a few items left to discuss with Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler to finish the agreement.

Many were worried that the outcome of the WBO Title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux could affect the negotiations for the rematch, but Gomez seems to not be too concerned. He stated, “Our main goal is the rematch, not thinking of Saunders.”

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-sn-boxing-canelo-ggg-rematch-20171218-story.html

Mikey Garcia to Face Sergey Lipinets on Februray 10th on Showtime

Undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia will attempt to win a world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges unbeaten IBF 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets on Saturday, February 10 live on SHOWTIME. The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy will face Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their May showdown on SHOWTIME, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets will go on sale next week and will be available at Ticketmaster.com.

The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.

Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.

“It is a dream to have the opportunity to become a four-division worldchampion,” Garcia said. “San Antonio has some of the greatest boxing fans in the country, including some key supporters of my Robert Garcia Boxing Academy family. Since my last fight, I have stayed in the gym. I can’t wait to give the fans in Texas and those watching at home on SHOWTIME another great performance.”

The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.

The 28-year-old moved up the 140-pound rankings with victories over then unbeaten Haskell Rhodes, Levan Ghvamichava and Walter Castillo before knocking out Leonardo Zappavigna in a world title eliminator last December. Lipinets will look to stamp his place as an elite fighter when he takes on the accomplished and dangerous Garcia on February 10.

“Getting the title is one thing, but keeping the title is a more difficult task,” said Lipinets. “I’m not about to give it away to anybody. No disrespect to Mikey Garcia or anybody else out there, but I’m keeping my title. Beating Mikey Garcia will put me in the elite of boxing where I believe I belong. I’m happy my team was able to put this great fight together. I can promise you this won’t be a snoozer. It’s going to be an action-packed fight for sure.”

“We’re going to call it’ ‘Undefeated.’ That pretty much sums it up. Two undefeated fighters, champion versus champion,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “It’s a big challenge for Mikey Garcia to win a championship belt in his fourth weight class. Lipinets never backs down and he’s out to show that’s he one of the biggest punchers in the division. A win for Lipinets is a game-changer for his family and his career. A win for Mikey is another feather in his cap and will help him be recognized as pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m happy to be back in San Antonio at the Alamodome. I’ve promoted some big fights there. San Antonio fight fans are in for a real treat seeing two of the best fighting each other. I’m sure the fans will embrace this fight.”

“We have another intriguing matchup of two young, hungry undefeated fighters who lay it on the line every time they step into the ring,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “As talented as Mikey is, you can’t count Lipinets out. He’s one of the hardest hitters in the 140-pound division. He’s a tough competitor and there’s a reason why he’s a world champion. He knows this is a career-defining fight and he’s going to do everything he can to spoil the party for Garcia in San Antonio on Feb. 10.”

“In three consecutive fights on SHOWTIME since his return to the sport, Mikey Garcia has solidified his position on boxing’s pound-for-pound lists,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Mikey has proven he’s willing to take on the most avoided opponents in any division as he seeks out the biggest possible matchups in the sport. He’ll face yet another dangerous opponent in Sergey Lipinets, an undefeated champion in his own right, as he seeks to become a four-division world champion. On the heels of Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson on January 20, a matchup of consensus top-10 welterweights, we’re proud to deliver this main event of top-5 ranked fighters to build on the momentum.”

Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs), who was born in Arroyo Naranjo, Cuba and now lives in Las Vegas, has won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds. He defeated Relikh by unanimous decision in his debut at 140 pound in his last fight on May 20. If he defeats Relikh again, he will become the first Cuban boxer to win world championships in three different weight classes. He defeated Argenis Mendez by unanimous decision to win the 130-pound world title in 2014 and a year later scored a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov for the 135-pound world title. Barthelemy, 31, has two brothers, Yan and Leduan, who are professional boxers who he trains alongside with under the tutelage of Ismael Salas.

Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) believes that he won the first match with Barthelemy and that the scorecards did not reflect the competitive nature of the fight. The 28-year-old nearly had Barthelemy out after landing a barrage of punches that penned Barthelemy on the ropes, but he was only awarded a knockdown. In the eighth round, Barthelemy came back to drop Relikh with a body shot. Shortly after the May 20 title eliminator, the WBA ordered a rematch, this time to be contested for the vacant 140-pound title. This will be Relikh’s second world title shot after the fighter from Minsk, Belarus lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 7, 2016.

Christina Hammer Signs with Salita Promotions

Promoter Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated women’s unified world middleweight champion Christina Hammer to a multi-fight promotional contract.

Already a superstar in Europe, “Lady Hammer” (22-0, 10 KOs), from Dortmund, Germany, (via Novodolinka, Kazakhstan) is the current WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion. She has also previously held the WBF Middleweight, as well as WBO and WBF Super Middleweight Championships.

Under Salita’s promotional direction, Hammer will make her United States boxing debut on Friday, January 12, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, on the non-televised undercard of a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT), featuring unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields’ WBC and IBF title defense against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson. Hammer is scheduled for a 10-round fight, highlights of which will be shown on SHOWTIME.

“I never had any doubt that my manager Harald Pia and I would reach an agreement,” said a happy Hammer of the signing. “I love the U.S.,” she continued. “If you are successful here, you will be successful everywhere. Since the beginning of my boxing career it has been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.. I can’t wait for January 12.”

Hammer joins the Salita Promotions roster that also includes women’s superstar, unified super middleweight champion and two-time gold medalist Claressa Shields, as well as world, European (2X) and Russian (6X) amateur champion and 2012 Olympian, Elena Savelyeva.

“Christina has all the tools to become a star in the U.S.,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Her skills, personality and appeal outside the ring make Christina a unique and special fighter in the talent-filled middleweight division. I believe 2018 is going to be a historic year for women’s boxing all over the world.”

Hammer is a technically outstanding boxer, but her outstanding physical strength is what separates her from the rest of the world’s 160-pound fighters. She was voted WBF Female Fighter of the Year in 2011 and 2013; the WBO Female Fighter of the Year in 2013; the BDB Female Boxer of the Year in 2016; the HERQUL Female Boxer of the Year in 2017 and is the only woman in Europe to earn the Diamond Ring of the WBO.

“It is always a pleasure to work with highly professional partners,” said manager Pia of the deal. “I’m confident we have a contract that is good for all parties. Christina is very happy to be fighting in the U.S. It is a dream of hers to be successful over here and she can’t wait to show the U.S. public who Christina Hammer is!”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Seldin, Usyk, Briedis, Estrada, Shields, Rungvisai, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 5th to December 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Star Boxing/Nick Sideris

Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin Returns to HBO in Back to Back Months Usyk-Briedis Semi-Final Tickets for WBSS on Sale

Tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv with prices starting at €50.

This biggest Cruiserweight unification fight for several years, takes place at the Arena Riga in Latvia on 27 January 2018.

Ukrainian Usyk has promised a night to remember for boxing fans at the arena and around the world: “Fans at the arena and in front of their TV’s can look forward to a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”

Said Briedis: “I can’t wait to hear the noise of the devoted Latvian fans again. I will prepare myself over the next weeks to give them a show against Usyk.”

Tickets for Usyk vs Briedis start at €50 and are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv

Women’s Boxing Superstar Claressa Shields to Hold Public Media Workout

WBC and IBF Super middleweight World Champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) to defend titles against former world champion and undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, January 12, in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY; Presented by Salita Promotions

Shields, her trainers, and Salita Promotions’ founder, Dmitriy Salita, will be available for photographs and interviews.

WHEN:

Tuesday, December 12 – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
12:00 p.m. ET – Media Arrival
12:15 p.m. ET – Workout Begins

WHERE:
Kronk Boxing Community Center
9520 Mettetal St,
Detroit, MI

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada Set for February 24th Live on HBO

Following the overwhelming success from the first SUPERFLY event this past September, Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions in association with Nakornluong Promotions and Zanfer Promotions is proud to announce the highly anticipated second installment, SUPERFLY 2, set for Saturday, February 24 at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

SUPERFLY 2 will be headlined by WBC Super Flyweight World Champion SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI, (44-4-1, 40 KO’s), of Si Sa Ket, Thailand, defending his title over 12-rounds for the second time against former world champion and #1 ranked mandatory challenger JUAN FRANCISCO “El Gallo” ESTRADA, (36-2, 25 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico.

Advance tickets for SUPERFLY 2, priced at $250, $150, $100, $60 and $30 will go On-Sale Tuesday, December 12 at 12:00 p.m. PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office. The Forum is located at 3900 W. Manchester Blvd, Inglewood CA 90305.

“It’s very exciting to announce the main event for the second installment of our SUPERFLY series. With the tremendous response from fans and media from our first event and overwhelming anticipation to our second, we join boxing fans in saying that we ‘can’t wait’ until February 24 at the Forum,” said Loeffler.

“Srisaket Sor Rungvisai had a remarkable year in 2017 upsetting ‘Chocolatito’ by controversial decision on March 18, 2017 at Madison Square Garden for the WBC Super Flyweight Title and decisively defeating him again in his first defense on September 9 at the Stubhub Center at our first SUPERFLY event.”

“Juan Francisco Estrada won a terrific fight against Carlos Cuadras on September 9 at the Stubhub Center and is very anxious to challenge for a world title in the super flyweight division against Sor Rungvisai.”

“The Forum has played host to many nights of memorable battles for more than 40 years and we expect this event to be another chapter in the annals of this iconic venue.”

Said Fernando Beltran, President of Zanfer Promotions, “On February 24 our talented and pride of Mexico, Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada will show that he is the best flyweight in the world by beating the WBC Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in another great night at SUPERFLY 2.”

“HBO has given us a great opportunity to showcase the smaller divisions and the fans will be very happy to see it. If SUPERFLY 1 was a great night of quality boxing and action, I am sure that SUPERFLY 2 will surpass it.”

Mauricio Sulaiman of the World Boxing Council stated, “SUPERFLY 2 must be celebrated as it will bring excitement to boxing fans and it marks the return of real boxing promotion as this concept has found great interest around the world. It is great to see that the smaller weight divisions receive this type of opportunities to shine on the biggest stage of the world for boxing. The WBC fully supports SUPERFLY 2 and looks forward to this spectacular night of boxing.”

Said Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, “The super flyweight division is the deepest division in the world at the moment. I have great respect to Tom Loeffler and HBO for making SUPERFLY so successful, and SUPERFLY 2 will continue to deliver. We have so many great fighters in the super flyweight division, and it is exciting for me because there are many world class opponents that can make terrific fights.”

“Juan Francisco Estrada is definitely among the top-class fighters in our division. When someone is a former unified champion that moved up without losing his titles, you know he is a world class fighter in his prime. However, I am confident that I will be successful in this fight because I will be at my best on fight night again. We will give the fans an incredible fight and I plan on another impressive win.”

“I would like to invite all Thais in the United States, especially those in Los Angeles to attend my fight at the Forum on February 24. Together our Thai hearts will beat and our Thai blood will be pumped with pride and excitement. Let’s show the world our Thai power together on that day!”

Said Estrada, “I am very excited about facing Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title on February 24 at the Forum. He will be a difficult challenge as he defeated Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez twice in a row with a vicious KO in their last fight. Sor Rungvisai is a very tough and skilled boxer so I will have to prepare very well to be ready to challenge him for his belt.”

The 30-year-old Sor Rungvisai made his United States debut on March 18 shocking the boxing world with a 12-round majority decision over then undefeated and consensus #1 pound-for-pound fighter Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez at Madison Square Garden. Dropping Gonzalez in the first stanza, Sor Rungvisai would capture the WBC Super Flyweight World Title in a hotly contested battle that had the massive crowd on their feet throughout.

Rematching Gonzalez on September 9 at The Stubhub Center, Sor Rungvisai would drop the four-division world champion twice in the fourth round, the second resulting in Sor Rungvisai being awarded the knockout stoppage erasing any controversy from the first fight.

Sor Rungvisai also previously held the WBC Super Flyweight World Title defending it once before losing the title to Carlos Cuadras on a technical decision on May 31, 2014. Sor Rungvisai had won the title in his hometown of Si Sa Ket, Thailand on May 3, 2013 by knocking out champion Yota Sato in the eighth round.

Known for his true ‘Mexican Style’ of fighting, Juan Francisco Estrada has remained one of the most popular fighters in the flyweight and super flyweight divisions throughout his nine-year professional career.

The 27-year-old Estrada won the WBC and WBA Flyweight World Titles on April 6, 2013 with a 12-round decision victory over Brian Viloria in Macau, China. Estrada defended both titles six times before moving up to the super flyweight division.

At the inaugural Superfly event on September 9, Estrada fought brilliantly in winning a 12-round unanimous decision over former WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos Cuadras at the Stubhub Center.

Estrada has not lost a fight in over six years. On November 17, 2012, he challenged then WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, losing a very close, 12-round decision at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Champs Celebrate the Holidays with our US Veterans

This past Tuesday, WBC Cares gathered together with local Champions and fighters from the Los Angeles community to fulfill a promise WBC made to the Veterans Home in Barstow earlier this year, to come spend a Holiday Lunch with our U.S. Veterans, our Heroes. Due to the California Wildfires, a few couldn’t make it because of road closures, but we still had great attendance from Champions and WBC Cares Ambassadors, like Golden Boy’s NABF Featherweight Champion, Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr., WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel Roman, Former World Champion Paul Banke, Former World Championship Contenders Ruben Castillo and Mando Muniz, Professional fighter and Officer for L.A.P.D., Juan Bustamente, Cutman Sergio Estrada and lastly the WBC Los Angeles team, Pepe & Cecy Sulaiman, Nancy Rodriguez & kids.

President Mauricio Sulaiman, and WBC Cares Chairperson Jill Diamond wanted to make sure our heroes received a special gift, the WBC presented all Veterans with an official WBC patch personalized with “CAL VETERANS” as well as a special plaque for the Veterans Home presented by Pepe Sulaiman to the Home administrator.

The visit started with our WBC Cares Ambassadors Daniel Roman, Joseph Diaz Jr. Juan Bustamante, Marissa Rodriguez and Ruben Castillo helping serve the veterans and staff a special Holiday Lunch. the Vets had a great time laughing through the line with Ruben Castillo’s jokes and great smiles behind the kitchen line, while the rest of the WBC Family Paul Banke, Sergio Estrada, Mando Muniz ate in the cafeteria with the Vets and had great conversations. After the lunch, WBC presented special gifts to all the Vets who answered Boxing questions, some were present as fans for the Ali vs. Frazier fight! Great stories to hear! Pepe Sulaiman then presented the Home with a Plaque in appreciation for all they do for our heroes, the kids and Ambassadors passed out patches as well as a special WBC cake for all present. The visit ended with many photos and autographs for the Veterans and many smiles.

Barstow is over a two hour drive from Los Angeles, the WBC is very grateful to our ambassadors for taking the time to make the drive out to Barstow and helping bring beautiful smiles to our heroes faces this Holiday season.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Anthony Joshua, Sosa, Takam, Smith, Williams, Hernandez, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Dana White Says UFC Could Start to Promote Boxing

Dana White recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=V2wbIUSpALY. In this interview Dana indicated that he likes promoting MMA but has an interest in promoting boxing.

He told Jason Gay of “The Unnamed Podvideocast” that, “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that.”

White was observed wearing a shirt that read “Zuffa Boxing” on the promotional tour for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout. Zuffa Boxing could soon become a real thing.

Watch Joshua vs. Takam Heavyweight Title Fight Exclusively on DAZN

Fight fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles against Carlos Takam on Saturday, October 28th live on DAZN.

DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. Fans can watch their favourite teams, leagues and players anytime, anywhere with the ability to play, pause and rewind anytime. Subscriptions are available for $20 a month or $150 annually, with the first month free.

DAZN is also the only way to get unlimited access to every live NFL game this coming season. And with access to the NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal or interception ever again. You can also see top European soccer including LaLiga Santander, Ligue 1 and Serie A, plus KHL Hockey, Moto GP, ATP 250 Tennis, PDC Darts and Pro14 Rugby Union – all in HD.

It’s available in Canada on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles – for more information or to sign up, please visit dazn.com.

Olympian Nico Hernandez Fighting for First Pro Title December 2nd

2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.

“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.

The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.

The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.

In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.

Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.

“By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (“KO Night Boxing LLC) said. “Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.

“Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we’re grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn’t realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we’re proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro. An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt.”

“We’re excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title,” IBA President J.C. Courreges added. “Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we’re hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we’re very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title.”

IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.

Ukranian Olympian Makes Professional Debut on Friday

Olympian middleweight Dmytro Mytrofanov will make his professional boxing debut Friday night in Elk Grove Village against an unbeaten foe.

Mytrofanov, who fought for the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics, will square off against American Brandon Maddox, who is 7-0, with five knockouts.

The six-round bout will take place at the Belvedere Events Center, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.

Mytrofanov, 27, won national titles in the Ukraine in 2008 and 2012, The middleweight was also a bronze medalist at the 2011 European Championships.

He is represented by Andrew Sobko of Natex Boxing Promotions.

The 31-year-old Maddox has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. The Detroit, Mich. fighter won Golden Gloves titles in Detroit and Chicago. He also posted a 4-2 mark in professional Mixed Martial Arts fights.

Friday’s fight, sanctioned by the Illinois State Athletic Commission, is being promoted by Natex and Hitz Entertainment.

On Friday’s fight card, along with Mytrofanov-Maddox, are:
 Super welterweights Anthony Prescott and Anthony Abbruzzese
 Undefeated super featherweight Giovanni Mioletti and Tyrome Jones
 Undefeated super middleweight Tommy Hughes and Emmanuel Sanchez
 Heavyweight Tulagonov Osvaldo, making his professional debut
 Undefeated middleweight Osvaldo Vera

Friday’s first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.

VIP tables, which seat 10 people, are $250 per person. General admission is $40.

Tickets can be purchased at www.natexboxing.com

Ishe Smith to Face Julian Williams on November 18th

Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.

In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.

“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”

“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.

The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.

“I took this fight just like I’ve taken every tough fight over the years,” said Smith. “I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I’ve done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot.”

Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.

“We’ve been working hard for months and I’m ready to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his ‘A’ game to try to prove he’s still got it. I’m not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I’m ready to fight the best in the world.”

Rahman Junior Opponent Chickens Out in Ring, Seconds Before Scheduled Fight

The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.

The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.

He now faces suspension.

Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman’s promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats’ sudden departure.

“Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this,” said Cohen. “A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I’m told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened.”

Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.

“Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he’s to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times.”

Jason Sosa to Clash with Robinson Castellanos on November 25th

Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos and Hispanics come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.

“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”

The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.

“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”

Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.

“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Shabranskyy, Carto, AIBA, Linares, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 5th to September 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Sergey Kovalev to Face Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on November 25th

Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) returns to the ring Saturday, November 25 at The Theater Madison Square Garden to take on hard-hitting contender Vyacheslav “Lion-Heart Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-round light heavyweight showdown.

Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy will be promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets for this exciting event will go on sale soon.

The Krusher, 34, from Chelyabinsk, Russia, rose to the top of the pound-for-pound rankings as he quickly tore through the light heavyweight division, stopping 26 of his 33 opponents. He won the WBO Light Heavyweight Title from Nathan Cleverly in 2013 when he stopped the then-unbeaten champion in Cleverly’s backyard. After three straight title defenses, all knockouts, Kovalev dominated future Hall-of-Famer Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins in a unanimous decision shutout to add the WBA and IBF belts to his collection. He continued his run as the unified light heavyweight champion for two more years before meeting undefeated champion and Olympic gold medalist Andre “SOG” Ward in Las Vegas and on HBO pay-per-view. Kovalev dropped two controversial and hard-fought losses to the current pound-for-pound king.

Now, Sergey Kovalev is ready to write the next chapter of his career. Before returning to the United States from a summer in Russia, he spent time at a monastery in Greece to clear his head and prepare mentally and spiritually for his climb back to the top of his division. Kovalev said, “I learned a lot from my fights with Andre Ward. When you don’t win and when you suffer adversity, it makes you stronger.

It also shows you who your real friends are. I feel like I cleaned out my life and now I’m ready to start fresh. I’m very excited to get back in the ring, and fight at Madison Square Garden for the first time, and I’m focused on the future. I’m not looking back.”

Shabranskyy, 30 of Zhytomyr, Ukraine, and fighting out of Los Angeles, California has quickly made a name for himself in the light heavyweight division. “Slava” made his professional debut in 2012 with 17 straight victories and 14 knockouts. His only career blemish is a hard-fought TKO loss to Sullivan Barrera, the Cuban sensation who is currently ranked #3 by the WBC and #2 by the WBA at light heavyweight. Since his loss to Barrera, Shabranskyy has two straight wins both coming by way of knockout including his most recent win over Todd Unthank May where he secured the WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight Title. This is Shabranskyy’s opportunity to shoot to the top of his division if he can pull off an upset of the former unified champion.

“I’ve been waiting for this fight a long time. I will take this chance to show everyone my abilities and qualities in the ring,” Shabranskyy said. “My coach, Manny Robles and I have been working on movement and defense, which together with my natural power will be more than enough to defeat a great fighter such as Kovalev. I’m proud to represent USA and Ukraine at this fight.”

Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “The Theater at Madison Square Garden is really a perfect place for Sergey to start the next chapter of his career. He needs to go out and remind people why they love the Krusher. Sergey is an exciting fighter who is a pleasure to watch in the ring and that’s what everyone is going to see on November 25th.”

“Vyacheslav Shabranskyy is back, and ready to prove he will do everything to climb to the top, including facing a top-level fighter such a Kovalev.” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya. “Shabranskyy is stronger and smarter inside the ring, and will show off his mastered talent when he faces Sergey. We are excited to partner with Kathy Duva and the Main Events team yet again for an amazing show that will no doubt bring the action.”

About Kovalev-Shabranskyy: The Saturday, November 25 bout between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy is a 10-round light heavyweight match-up at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

World Boxing Super Series to Feature Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk

World Boxing Super Series action comes to the east coast as the cruiserweight quarter-final showdown between IBF champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) and former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) is set for Saturday, October 21 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will also be available to purchase at the Prudential Center box office beginning Monday, September 11 at 11 a.m.

“It’s a great pleasure to promote this exciting World Boxing Super Series matchup,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports. “Murat Gassiev is clearly one of the top cruiserweights in the world but he will have a great obstacle against the battle-tested former champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, who will have a big boost from the raucous Polish fans in New Jersey. Prudential Center is the perfect venue for this event and I know that the fans will enjoy this matchup as both men vie for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”

“It’s so exciting that the Ali Trophy is coming to a fighting place like New Jersey,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “Hold tight and enjoy the ride, October 21 is going to be a unique experience, think ‘Game of Thrones’ meets boxing. Can’t wait!”

A full slate of undercard bout will be announced soon.

“I promise that I’m going to come to the ring to win and do everything possible to get this victory,” said Gassiev. “I want to take advantage of this opportunity to fight the best boxers in my weight class.”

“I have a very serious opponent in Krzysztof Wlodarczyk who is a two-time world champion and his resume speaks for itself. He has fought the best and I’m looking forward to a very hard fight.”

“It is a great honor for me to fight in the World Boxing Super Series for the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” said Wlodarczyk. “I trained for two weeks in the Polish mountains and now I am back in Warsaw putting in the work for October 21.”

“I am very happy to have the opportunity to fight a champion like Murat Gassiev. He is a young, strong champion like I was a few years ago but I am ready to show that I am still the best in the division.”

One of the hardest punchers in the sport, Gassiev trains with Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, California and hails from Vladikavkaz, Russia. The 23-year-old made his U.S. debut in 2015 and delivered four straight knockout victories, including a “Knockout of the Year” contender when he flattened Jordan Schimmel in the first round in May 2016. Gassiev then challenged Denis Lebedev in Russia last December and was able to drop the champion on his way to winning the IBF title.

Fighting out of Piaseczno, Poland, Wlodarczyk first became a world champion when he defeated Steve Cunningham in 2006 to capture the IBF crown. After fighting to a draw against WBC Champion Giacobbe Fragomeni in 2009, Wlodarczyk stopped Fragomeni in their 2010 rematch to become a champion again. He would go on to defend the title six times and enters his October 21 matchup on a four fight winning streak.

California’s Most Exciting Prospects and Contenders to be Part of Linares-Campbell Undercard

California’s most exciting prospects and contenders will showcase their talent on the explosive non-televised undercard of the lightweight showdown between Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) and Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) for the WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championship on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The Linares vs. Campbell non-televised undercard action will be live streamed on RingTV.com beginning at 3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m. ET.

As previously announced, super lightweight contender Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. will make the first defense of his WBC USNBC Super Lightweight title against veteran Roberto “Massa” Ortiz (35-1-2, 26 KOs) in the co-main televised opening bout.

Topping the non-televised portion of the card, Filipino lightweight sensation Romero Duno (14-1, 13 KOs) will take on Juan Sanchez (29-13, 14 KOs) of Tabasco, Mexico in an eight-round lightweight fight. Duno, a member of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. was last seen in the U.S. blasting Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez in only two rounds in a knockout upset on the March 10 edition of LA FIGHT CLUB. Duno then stopped Jason Tinampay via second-round technical knockout in June in his return to the Philippines. This will be Duno’s first fight on U.S. soil since signing with Golden Boy Promotions earlier this year.

Azat Hovhannisyan (12-2, 10 KOs), a member of the Glendale Fighting Club, will return in a 10-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title against Sergio Frias (19-7-2, 10 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico. Hovhannisyan was last seen in the ring headlining the June edition of LA FIGHT CLUB, beating Isao Carranza by unanimous decision.

Contender Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez (22-1-1, 15 KOs)of La Puente, Calif. will fight in an eight-round featherweight bout against Isao Carranza (15-9-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico City. Lopez will return after his first professional loss, which was against Jesus Rojas, who will now fight Claudio Marrero for the interim WBA Featherweight title on Sept. 15 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.

Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-1, 8 KOs) of Fairfield, Calif. will also return to the ring in an eight-round featherweight bout against Ramiro Robles (14-6-1, 9 KOs) of Queretaro, Mexico. Avila suffered his first defeat against Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr. in May 2017, and will look to return to his climb of the competitive126-pound division with a win on Sept. 23.

Rafael “El Alikin” Gramajo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles’ Westside Boxing Club will open the night of boxing in his return after more than a year away from the ring in a six-round super bantamweight fight against Pedro Melo (17-15-2, 8 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico.

AIBA Statement on Interference During 2017 African Continental Championships

Following an incident on 25 June 2017, during the AFBC African Boxing Continental Championships hosted by the Congolese Boxing Federation (Fecoboxe) in Brazzaville, Congo and in light of reports made by AIBA officials present at the tournament, the AIBA Disciplinary Commission has decided to exclude Fecoboxe from organising any AIBA competition for two years and suspend with immediate effect the President of the African Boxing Federation (AFBC), AIBA Vice President and member of the Executive Committee, Mr Kelani Bayor, from all boxing activities, duties and responsibilities for a period of three years.

The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor, who committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code. The intimidation felt by AIBA officials as a result of insufficient security planning from Fecoboxe, their inadequate response to the situation and Mr Bayor’s own actions, was fully outlined in the Tournament Supervisor’s written report. The Commission’s decision was also based on written testimony from the majority of those officials present. The Commission’s decision is final and is not subject to appeal.

Christian Carto to Face Alonso Melendez on September 29

Undefeated bantamweight sensation, knockout artist, Christian Carto has been added to an already loaded night of boxing on Friday night, September 29th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

Carto (11-0, 11 KOs) is set to take on Alonso Melendez (14-1, 11 KOs) of Chihuahua, Mexico in a bout scheduled for eight-rounds.

The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.

The 20 year-old continues to step up in competition, and on September 29th, he will be taking on his toughest foe in Melendez.

Carto has kept extremely busy as he fought all eleven of his bouts in a 13-month span, with his latest being a 2nd round stoppage over Phillip Adyaka on August 11th in front of a sold-out crowd at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

He will be making his 1st appearance at the 2300 Arena.

Melendez will making his United States debut. He has won three in a row, and the five-year professional has a win over previously undefeated Edgar Garcia. Alonso is coming off a 7th round stoppage over Jesus Limones on September 9, 2015 in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Carlos Rosario (7-2, 4 KOs) of Pennsuaken, New Jersey and Jerome Conquest (8-2, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will meet in a highly anticipated eight-round lightweight bout.

In a ten-round super middleweight attraction, Junior Castillo (14-1, 10 KOs) of the Dominican Republic takes on Gabriel Pham (9-1, 4 KOs) of Atlantic City.

Mykal Fox (14-0, 4 Kos) of Forestville, MD will take on Marlon Aguas (9-1, 4 KOs) of Quioto Ecuador in a eight-round welterweight bout.

In six-round bouts:

Maynard Allison (9-1, 6 KOs) of Philadelphia meets Juan Rodriguez (7-7-1, 5 Kos) of Haymarket, Virginia in a junior lightweight bout.

David Gonzales (8-2-2, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia battles Darius Ervin (4-1) of Los Angeles in a super lightweight bout.

Erik Spring (9-1-2, 1 KO) of Reading, PA will fight Anthony Prescott (6-7-2, 2 KOs) of Cherry Hill, NJ in a super welterweight fight.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Charlo, Hurd, Lara, Donaire, Fury, Parker, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 28th to September 5th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Charlo, Hurd, and Lara to Defend Titles on October 14th in Brooklyn, New York

A trio of 154-pound world champions will defend their titles as part of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader headlined by Erislandy Lara defending against undefeated Terrell Gausha, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, October 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.

The card, promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, will feature four undefeated 154-pound boxers and will pave the way for an undisputed king of the 154-pound division.

Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs), generally recognized as the best boxer in the super welterweight division and its longest reigning champion, will defend his title against undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs).

In the co-main event, hard-hitting unbeaten champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) takes on top contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) while “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) will make his first title defense against tough former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (30-3, 17 KOs).

“On October 14 at Barclays Center, three world champions will be defending their belts, on SHOWTIME, in a night of tremendous super welterweight action,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Long reigning Cuban Erislandy Lara takes on undefeated Olympian Terrell Gausha and newly crowned Jarrett Hurd faces respected former world champion Austin Trout. This card also features one of the best matchups that can be made between two undefeated fighters, champion Jermell Charlo and young sensation Erickson Lubin.”

“This is a blockbuster card for boxing fans,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The 154-pound division is full of talent and this card is loaded with the best champions and top-ranked contenders in the division. The guy who will be the eventual king of the division is fighting on this show and the fans will be treated to matches that will determine who that unified champion will be.’’

Tickets to the event will go on sale on tomorrow, August 31 at 10 a.m. ET and start at $50 (not including applicable fees). Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, September 1 at noon ET. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

“We are thrilled to continue our best year yet of BROOKLYN BOXING with our fifth major boxing event of 2017,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “We always aim to deliver fight fans an evening packed with top-notch matchups from start to finish, and this card certainly does that.”

Lara, a 34-year-old Cuban southpaw, owns victories over Trout, Alfredo Angulo and a slew of former champions and top contenders in addition to a controversial split decision loss to Canelo Alvarez on the way to cementing his credentials as the top boxer in the division. Lara will make the seventh defense of his world title as he continues to train with renowned trainer Ronnie Shields.

“I’m very excited to be making another title defense back on SHOWTIME headlining a great tripleheader,” said Lara. “This is an interesting fight versus an undefeated U.S. Olympian in Terrell Gausha. I know he will be ready because it’s his opportunity to beat the best fighter in the division and become a champion. But come fight night, he will quickly realize and know why I’m the consensus No. 1 super welterweight in the world. After this performance, I look forward to, one-by-one, adding a WBC and IBF title to my collection.”

The 29-year-old Gausha, of Cleveland, Ohio, earned a shot at the world title with solid victories in his last two matches. He won a hard-fought decision over Steven Martinez last August and followed it up with another impressive victory over Luis Hernandez on Feb. 10. Lara figures to be his toughest battle in his pro career that dates back to 2012.

“I’ve been talking about this since I was a three-year-old watching Muhammad Ali on television,” said Gausha. “I’m here now and blessed for this opportunity. Lara’s a tough fighter, champion and the best opponent I’ll fight on paper. He’s been in with the bigger names. But the better the opponent, the better I am, and I’m coming to dethrone him. He’s crafty, but the world hasn’t seen all that I can bring to the table. I’ll make adjustments on the fly and do things that I’ve never shown before. Seeing other Olympic team members win titles gives me motivation to earn the victory and the notoriety I’ve been looking for.”

Charlo of Houston, Texas will be making the second defense of his title, which he won by knockout victory over John Jackson on May 21, 2016. The 27-year-old Charlo successfully defended the title with a highlight reel knockout victory over fellow Texan Charles Hatley on April 22 at Barclays Center. He and his twin brother, Jermall, both held world titles at 154-pounds, before Jermall relinquished his title to move up to 160 pounds. Charlo now trains in Dallas with Derrick James, trainer of world champion Errol Spence Jr.

“Lubin is young and hungry and I know he always comes to fight, but there’s a reason why I’m where I am in the sport,” said Charlo. “I’ve been through the trenches and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. This is what boxing always needs — two young, undefeated fighters willing to risk their ‘0’. But I think it’s a little early for Lubin to step in the ring with me, and I plan on keeping my title. October 14 I’ll show everyone why I’m a world champion.”

Lubin, 21, is nicknamed “The Hammer’’ because of his power in both hands and his ability to bring a quick conclusion to every match. Lubin of Orlando, Fla., has picked up 10 victories since the beginning of 2015 including seven knockouts on his way to contender status. Lubin most recently scored a sensational knockout of Jorge Cota in a title eliminator in March at Barclays Center.

“This is a fight for the fans,” said Lubin. “You have an undefeated champion against an undefeated Prospect of the Year. I’m very excited to be fighting for the belt and it’s truly been a dream of mine ever since I first got into boxing. Come fight night, Charlo will either give it to me or I’m going to rip the belt out of his hands. Many fans and reporters have said that he’s one of the best, and that will make it even sweeter. My mentality will be to seek and destroy, so everyone tune-in to SHOWTIME on October 14, you will witness boxing’s new superstar!”

Hurd, 26, will be making the first defense of the title that he won with a KO victory over Tony Harrison on Feb. 25. Fighting out of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd soared up the rankings with stoppage victories over previously unbeaten fighters Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina at Barclays Center plus veteran Jo Jo Dan.

“I got a Trout to catch,’’ said Hurd. “His losses have all been to top champions Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo. But I’m on a streak of six straight knockouts and Trout has never been stopped, so I’m looking for the stoppage to make a statement that the other fighters couldn’t make. This is definitely my toughest fight, and I didn’t have to take it since it’s a voluntary defense. But I wanted this fight to stop Austin Trout, proving to the fans and people in general I’m the real deal and a true champion.”

Trout, a 31-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has faced some of the top 154-pound boxers in the division. He defeated Miguel Cotto in New York to win a title in 2012 and has close losses to Canelo Alvarez and Lara on his resume. In his most recent attempt at winning the title, Trout gave Jermall Charlo perhaps the toughest test of his career after looking impressive in four straight victories leading up to the challenge.

‘What a blessing it is to have this opportunity at a world title shot,” said Trout. “I want to thank everyone who has been in my corner to help get me career defining fights. It’s refreshing to see young champions showing heart and testing their skill with the best in the game. With that said, salute to Hurd for allowing this fight to go through.”
Nonito Donaire Returns to the Ring on September 23rd to Face Ruben Hernandez
Exciting former world champion Nonito Donaire (37-4-0, 24 KOs) will return to the ring to take on Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9 KOs) for the WBC Silver Featherweight Title in a bout that takes place alongside the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinals on Saturday, September 23 from the Alamodome live in San Antonio and presented by Ringstar Sports.

Additional action will feature a 10-round showdown between once-beaten cruiserweights Keith Tapia (17-1, 11 KOs) and Lateef Kayode (21-1, 16 KOs) that will serve as the reserve match for the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinal matchup of Cuban WBA World Champion Yunier ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) versus Russian Dmitry ‘Russian Hammer’ Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs).

Donaire returns to the ring after a controversial loss last November to Jessie Magdaleno. Donaire recently teamed up with Ringstar Sports where he plans to reclaim his supremacy in the featherweight division. Garcia Hernandez is a tested Mexican fighter looking to make a name for himself in the U.S. at the Alamodome.

“I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport,” said Donaire. “I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon. I’m excited to give the great fight fans in San Antonio a great show, just like when I fought Wilfredo Vazquez at the Alamodome in 2012. After this fight, I’m coming for all of the featherweight champions and to prove I’m the best in the division.”

“I am grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Garcia Hernandez. “I know that I am facing a great fighter and that has motivated me to train harder than ever before for this matchup. I’m planning on giving it my all and giving the fans a great fight. I hope Donaire comes to fight because I am coming to knock him ou on September 23rd.”

Tickets for the live event are priced at $250, $125, $100, $50, and $30, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com HERE.

“The return of Nonito Donaire to the ring is a treat for boxing fans in San Antonio as he looks to return to his place as one of the top fighters in the sport,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “He will be in an all-action matchup against a tough Mexican fighter in Ruben Garcia Hernandez and I expect them to give the fans an exciting night. The entire card will be jam packed with rising prospects and contenders, plus a great cruiserweight showdown between Keith Tapia and Lateef Kayode that will be the reserve match for the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinal that night.”

The Filipino fighter known as the “Filipino Flash” Donaire grew up in Northern California and now fights out of Las Vegas. His last fight was November 2016 when he battled Magdeleno for a junior featherweight world title in a bout that he lost by controversial decision. Hoping for a rematch that was never made, he partnered with Ringstar Sports looking to return to the top of the featherweight division. Prior to that, Donaire won belts in four different weight classes and was recognized as the 2012 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA, ESPN and Ring Magazine.

Fighting out of Mexico City, Mexico, Hernandez made his pro debut in 2010. Since that time he has battled his way through Mexico while fighting in the U.S. four times. Hernandez enters this bout on a seven fight winning streak and plans to make a name for himself in the United States on September 23rd when he takes on Donaire.

The 27-year-old Tapia returns to the ring after dropping a decision to unbeaten Andrew Tabiti that snapped a 17-fight win streak to begin his professional career. Originally from Puerto Rico but fighting out of the Bronx, Tapia has picked up victories over durable veterans Garrett Wilson and Anthony Caputo Smith and will look to cement his status as a cruiserweight contender on September 23rd.

A former title challenger at cruiserweight, Kayode last battled Denis Lebedev for his cruiserweight crown in a November 2015 bout in Russia. Fighting out of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Nigeria, Kayode has shared the ring with the likes of Antonio Tarver and Luis Ortiz while taking down Felix Cora Jr, Matt Godfrey and Nick Kisner on his way to an unbeaten mark after his first 21 pro fights.

Hennessy Sports and YouTube Partner to Announce Groundbreaking Partnership to Show Parker vs. Fury Exclusively Live

Hennessy Sports is delighted to announce a groundbreaking partnership with YouTube that will offer a new way of watching Boxing.

The blockbuster WBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena will be shown exclusively live in the UK and Ireland on YouTube (www.youtube.com/parkerfury) on a pay-per-view basis with further countries to be announced shortly.

A portion of the undercard will also be streamed for free before the big fight, this is also available live on www.youtube.com/parkerfury. Watch this event anywhere online or on your smart TV, game console, PC, Mac, mobile, tablet and more for a special advance purchase offer price of only £9.99 in the UK and €11.99 in the Republic of Ireland until midnight on Sunday 17th September.*

www.youtube.com/parkerfury is the home of Hennessy Sports YouTube Channel which is called The Boxing Channel presented by Hennessy Sports.

This represents fantastic value for money to watch one of Britain and Ireland’s most exciting young talents challenging for the prestigious World Heavyweight title at half the price of regular Pay-Per-View events and viewers can watch live at a fan-friendly UK and Ireland prime-time.

With 1.5 billion viewers globally, Hennessy Sports believes that partnering with YouTube (which is the world’s biggest provider of online video content) could prove to be a pivotal change in the sport’s landscape.

Through the years boxing has been delivered to fans via the traditional route of TV and after receiving numerous offers from TV broadcasters for the event, promoter Mick Hennessy, CEO of Hennessy Sports, has made the bold and visionary move to partner with YouTube.

Hennessy believes this will take Parker v Fury to a global audience; bring in younger viewers and attract a new generation of fans to the sport with the wide range of devices that the fight can be viewed on.

Claudio Marrero To Put WBA Interim Featherweight Title On Line Against Jesus Rojas on September 15th

On Friday, Sept. 15, one day before the highly anticipated battle for middleweight supremacy between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, WBA Interim Featherweight Champion Claudio Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) will make the first defense of his title against Jesus Rojas (25-1-2, 18 KOs) in the 12-round main event of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, followed by the main event at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET/10:15 p.m. PT.

Marrero, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, captured the Interim WBA Featherweight Title with a devastating first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano in April 2017. Though suffering his only defeat against Jesus Cuellar in 2013, Marrero has scored six victories since then, five of them by knockout.

Rojas will return after an impressive eighth-round technical knockout victory against the previously undefeated Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso” Arce and Jorge “El Pilón” Lara of Mexico (who will take on Joseph “JoJo” Diaz in the co-main event of Canelo-Golovkin). Rojas will look to take yet another step towards the top of the 126-pound division with a victory over Marrero.

In the co-main event, Boston’s Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (18-0, 12 KOs) will make the second defense of his IBF North American title against Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu (19-3-1, 18 KOs). Ellis earned his crown with an impressive first-round knockout victory over Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez in December 2016. In his first defense, Ellis fought in a toe-to-toe battle against John Karl Sosa en route to a majority decision victory in April 2017. Ellis faces a tough challenge in Abreu, a veteran of the Dominican Republic with tough fights against Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto on his resume.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (10-0, 9 KOs) will open up the ESPN Deportes transmission in an eight-round fight for the Junior NABF Super Featherweight title against Miguel Carrizoza (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nogales, Mexico. Garcia, a young prospect of Victorville, Calif., is coming off a spectacular first-round knockout of Mario Antonio Macia and will look to earn his seventh knockout victory in a row on Sept. 15.

Horacio “Violento” Garcia (32-3-1, 22 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico will take on fellow countryman Diuhl Olguin (11-7-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight rematch. In their first encounter, Garcia lost via an upset unanimous decision in July of this year. In the night’s swing bout, Alexis “Laberinto” Salazar (11-3, 3 KOs) of Tlaquepagque, Mexico will take on Evan Torres (6-4, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas in a scheduled six-round middleweight fight. The bout will be a rematch of their May 2017 fight, which Salazar won via close split decision.

Opponents for former IBF champion Jose “El Tecuala” Argumendo (20-3-1, 11 KOs), who will participate in an eight-round minimumweight bout, and Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr. (12-0-1, 5 KOs), who will return in an eight-round lightweight fight, will be announced shortly.

Marrero vs. Rojas is a 10-round featherweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with TGB Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD; Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle; and Interjet. The event will beheld at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT, and the first fight begins at 3:30 p.m. PT. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 p.m. PT.

FIGHTNIGHT Live Sets New Record with 200,000 Plus Facebook Views for Saturday Show

Before fight fans turned their attention to the desert with knockout PPV numbers last Saturday, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook series landed a massive haymaker of its own. Linacre Media and CES Boxing partnered on a pre Mayweather-McGregor card that ran from 6-9:30 p.m. ET live from Foxwoods in Connecticut, with the tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform drawing an audience of 201,935 fight fans, and counting.

“Fight fans were primed and ready for Saturday night’s mega-event from Las Vegas, and we were pleased to be able to entertain so many with great fights from Foxwoods for the hours leading up to Showtime PPV,” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “Of course we had some fans thinking they’d get to see Mayweather-McGregor, but we were quick to point them in the proper direction for that content. The hundreds of thousands that stayed on our platform saw some great action, including a wild ending in the CES main event. As a matter of fact, we saw 50,000 more fight fans log-in on Sunday to review the closing moments, and as always with our interactive Facebook shows, offer their own opinions and interpretations. We’re pleased to be able to announce that seven or more shows are being added to the calendar from September through November, including one leading into GGG – Canelo.”

Over the first four months of programming, the numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of more than 85,000 fight fans tuning in per event. The August “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (202,000), the July Roy Jones Jr. “Desert Showdown” from Phoenix (63,000), the May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun (46,000) and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago (32,000) saw a total of more than 8,000 total hours of Facebook video consumed by 342,000-plus users across all devices.

In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 33,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 3,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 10,000 comments and 3,000-plus shares.

FIGHTNIGHT LIVE broadcasts are viewed by 76 percent men, 24 percent women. The top demographic is comprised of males aged 25-34, which encompasses approximately 30 percent of the audience, on average.

The Aug. 26 Foxwoods “Super Saturday” show stands out individually with 201,935 views across 3,336 live hours of content, with 8,224 viewer interactions including 1,133 “likes” or “loves,” 1,570 comments and 1,392 shares.

“For more than 25 years, CES has delivered boxing excitement to fans all over the world. The tradition continued Saturday night at Foxwoods when we teamed with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE by using cutting edge technology allowing fight fans to view the fights live on Facebook. This historic, record-setting event was the result of a great production team and action-packed, competitive fights,” said CES President Jimmy Burchfield, Sr.

Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Bey, Peterson, Shields, DiBella, Singh, and more…..


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 1st to August 8th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Singh Beats Chinese Rival then Gives Belt Back in Bid to Ease Tension Between Two Nations

Vijender Singh, an Indian boxer and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, recently defeated WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China on August 5th, 2017 in Mumbai.

However, Singh has handed Maimaitiali’s title back to him after the scores were announced. He told the media, “I don’t want tension on the border. It’s a message of peace. That’s important.”

China has been involved in a border dispute in a region in the Himalayas with India for several years. Singh won a close decision, with scores of 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94.

Team Shields Congratulates Boxing’s Newest Superstar, Claressa Shields, For Winning Unified World Titles in Fourth Pro Fight

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.

Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.

A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.

“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”

For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.

“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”

Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”

Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.

DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing Returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th

DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT’s acclaimed BROADWAY BOXING series will return to the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Friday, September 15, 2017, headlined by an excellent 10-round clash between popular heavyweight prospect ALEXIS SANTOS (18-1, 15 KOs), of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, and cross-town rival, Ireland’s NIALL KENNEDY (8-0, 5 KOs), promoted by Ken Casey’s Boston-based Murphys Boxing. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.

Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, priced at $125, $75 and $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 7:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“I am happy to again bring Broadway Boxing back to our home away from home at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The series at Foxwoods has seen a number of terrific heavyweight brawls of late and New England’s own Alexis Santos battling Ireland’s Niall Kennedy promises to be very entertaining. Popular local stars Shelly Vincent, a great ambassador for women’s boxing from Rhode Island, East Hartford up-and-coming unbeaten welterweight Mykquan Williams, and Nicholas DeQuattro, in his pro debut, will appear on the stacked undercard, along with undefeated New York cruiserweight prospect Joe Williams.”

The 27-year-old fan favorite Santos returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on a five-bout winning streak highlighted by an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Barboza on November 19, 2016, in an action-packed bout from start to finish that had the crowd roaring throughout. With the victory, Santos seized the New England heavyweight championship.

Most recently Santos scored a first-round knockout of Andy Perez on February 24, 2017, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“I’m thrilled to be fighting again at Foxwood Resort Casino,” said Santos. “The fan support for my first fight there last November was fantastic.

“Niall Kennedy has more amateur experience than I, but I’ve had more fights as a professional. It’s a great crossroads fight and I can’t wait for September 15.”

Backed by longtime member of Boston’s famed Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, Kennedy, a native of Gorey, West Ireland, has become a fan favorite among the city’s Irish population, with knockout victories on the last two annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. Before turning pro in May 2015, Kennedy accumulated an impressive 130-20 amateur record. He is trained by the renowned Paschal Collins, brother of former world champion Steve Collins, out of Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin. In addition to his burgeoning boxing career, the 33-year-old has also worked as a police officer for the past 11 years.

In his last start, Kennedy finished off Barboza in the eighth round on March 18, 2017, to capture the Massachusetts heavyweight title, in Boston before a huge, festive crowd at the House of Blues.

Featured on the undercard on September 15 is junior lightweight contender SHELLY “SHELITO’S WAY” VINCENT (19-1, 1 KO), of nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Vincent will look to stay in the win column following an epic nationally televised battle with Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, which resulted in her first loss. The Ring Magazine called their grudge match the “Female Fight of the Year” for 2016. Vincent was also honored by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame as their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, becoming the first female recipient of the award.

In her last bout, Vincent won an eight-round decision over Marquita Lee on December 2, 2016, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This will be her seventh appearance at Foxwoods. Managed by Mike Criscio and trained by Peter Manfredo Sr., Vincent signed with DiBella Entertainment in 2016.

Just 19 years old, fast rising East Hartford welterweight prospect MYKQUAN WILLIAMS (7-0, 4 KOs) will look to stay undefeated as he makes his seventh start at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by Jackie Kallen, Williams returns to the ring following an impressive six-round decision over veteran Ariel Vasquez on June 3. Williams is trained out of Manchester Ring of Champions Society boxing gym by local legend and community leader Paul Cichon, whom he’s known since he was a child and looks upon as a surrogate father. His biological father was murdered when Mykquan was just a week old. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.

Heralded cruiserweight prospect JOE “MACK” WILLIAMS (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, fights for the first time at Foxwoods Resort Casino looking to capitalize on his quick start to 2017 with two dominant victories, most recently knocking out Felipe Romero in the third round on April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, the 29-year-old Williams began this year by making his national television debut on February 10, handing 15-0-1 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo his first defeat by way of eight-round decision, competing on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series. As an amateur, Williams was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, and a 2012 US Olympic team alternate. When he’s not boxing, Williams, a father of two daughters, works as an asbestos handler and is a union member with Local 78.

Rounding out the undercard, junior welterweight NICKY DEQUATTRO of Johnston, Rhode Island, will make his highly anticipated pro debut.

Additional information on the undercard will be announced shortly.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko to Face Tureano Johnson on August 25th

Powerful middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs) and Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) will square-off in a middleweight world title eliminator that headlines a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on August 25from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

“This is a very important fight for me,” said Derevyanchenko. “A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I’m training hard for this challenge and I know that Johnson will be prepared. I’m going to show that I’m ready for anybody in the middleweight division.”

“I fight to provide for my family, to bring pride to my country and because I know I have done the work necessary and am destined to become a world champion,” said Johnson. “I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way toward the championship, so I will defeat him.”

In an action packed co-main event, unbeaten Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) takes on once-beaten Hugo Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS telecast will be preceded by the live weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and all four episodes of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor on FS1.

“This is a great fight for me against a very good opponent,” said Aleem. “I want to build off my last performance and show even more dimensions to my game. Training camp is going well and I’m planning to execute my game plan on fight night. I’m trying to be a world champion and prove that I’m a force in this division.”

“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I’ve been training hard since my last fight in December,” said Centeno. “I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this fight. I know a win of this quality will put me into another echelon in the division. It’s very motivating to be training at Wild Card Boxing with so many great champions as I prepare for this fight.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $25 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased by visiting BuffaloRun.com or by calling 918-542-7140.

“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds. The co-featured bout between middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno also figures to be a barnburner. This will be a terrific event.”

A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently stopped previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in April. His 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.

A 2008 Olympian for his native Bahamas, Johnson enters this bout the winner of his last six contests, including a fifth round stoppage of once-beaten Alex Theran and a 12-round decision over once-beaten Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. The 33-year-old turned pro in 2010 and won his first 2014 before suffering his first defeat in the final round against Curtis Stevens.

Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In January he defeated then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov in a memorable back and forth battle that saw Aleem emerge victorious with a sixth-round TKO win. Aleem had previously defeated once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda and fought to a majority draw with Demond Nicholson in 2016.

The 26-year-old Centeno bounced back from his first defeat with a stoppage of Ronald Montes after three rounds in December 2016. Centeno won his first 24 pro fights after amassing a 90-8 amateur record including a highlight reel knockout of James De La Rosa and a decision over then unbeaten Gerardo Ibarra. The fighter out of Oxnard, California will fight in Las Vegas for the first time since a no contest against Julian Williams in 2013 that was called because of an accidental head butt.

Mickey Bey to Face Anthony Peterson on August 22nd

Former lightweight world champion Mickey Bey (22-2-1, 10 KOs) will face once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes August 22 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas in Las Vegas.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as part of an exciting week of events presented by Mayweather Promotions and leading up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor showdown on Saturday.

“It’s been over a year since I was in the ring and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career as a fighter and as a man,” said Bey. “I realize what’s important now and how I can protect my legacy as a fighter. I’ve put in more work fir this fight than I have for any other and I’m ready to let my performance speak for me. I’m focusing on my mental toughness and my ring IQ and I’m looking to put on a perfect performance on August 22.”

“I’m just happy to be back in the ring and fighting again,” said Peterson. “I’ve known Mickey Bey for years and he’s a good friend of mine. But business is business and on August 22 I will be all business when I step into the ring.”

The August 22 show will feature a showdown between former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Phoenix’s Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in 10 rounds of bantamweight action.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $50 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.

“This is an incredible event to kick-off the biggest fight week in the history of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We are proud to announce that some of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects will be featured on their own FS1 and FOX Deportes card, giving the fans nonstop action and excitement for the whole week. We have a great lineup in store with Mickey Bey and Anthony Peterson in the main event, and former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking on Alexis Santiago in the co-feature. It is truly going to be an action filled night of boxing.”

Originally from Cleveland but fighting out of Las Vegas, Bey steps back into the ring after challenging unbeaten two-division champion Rances Barthelemy last June. Bey won his world title in 2014 with a decision victory over long reigning champion Miguel Vasquez. He vacated his title due to injuries but returned in December 2015 to defeat previously unbeaten Naim Nelson by decision and earn his most recent title fight. Bey’s previous victories include triumphs over Alan Herrera, Carlos Cardenas and Hector Velazquez.

The brother of current welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, Anthony enters this fight the winner of his last seven bouts, including a dominant decision over once-beaten Samuel Neequaye last April. The fighter out of Washington, D.C., was unbeaten in his first 30 pro fights before dropping a title eliminator to Brandon Rios in 2010. He returns to the ring looking to take out a former champion on his way to another shot at a title.

The two-time Dominican Olympian Payano began his path towards another world title with a stoppage of Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January, after first becoming a champion via a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. The accomplished amateur won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games with victories over McJoe Arroyo and Yoandris Salinas. He defeated Jundy Maraon, Jose Silveria and Luis Maldonado on the way to his title shot and engaged in a pair of exciting fights with Rau’shee Warren that saw him defend his title in August 2015 and lose in June 2016.

A pro since 2009, the 26-year-old Santiago had won ten consecutive bouts before dropping a decision to Jose Cayetano in his last contest. The Phoenix-native defeated Gustavo Molina, Javier Gallo and Antonio Tostado Garcia in 2015 and and has also taken down once-beaten fighters Alex Rangel and Hanzel Martinez. He will make his 2017 debut against one of his most experienced foes to date in Payano.

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