Rances Barthelemy Discusses His Showdown With Robert Easter Jr.
By: Hans Themistode
2018 was an up and down year for Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs). He suffered his first defeat at the hands of Kiryl Relikh. He did however, bounce back nine months later with a third stoppage win over Robert Frankel.
On April 27th 2019, Barthelemy will drop back down to the 135 pound division where he has won a world title before to take on another former champion in Robert Easter Jr (21-1, 14 KOs). Not only will this contest pit two fighters who are near the top in the Lightweight division but it also gives both fighters a chance to walk away with not just one but two world titles as the vacant WBA and IBO titles will be up for grabs.
Photo Credit: Rances Barthelemy Twitter Account (@realkidblast)
Barthelemy has always prided himself in facing the best opposition possible. Bouts against Denis Shafikov, Mickey Bey and Antonio DeMarco have proven that. When he enters the ring against Easter, it will be yet another opportunity for Barthelemy to showcase his skills against an opponent that he feels is amongst the best in his weight class.
“I consider him amongst the elite of the division.” Said Barthelemy during his interview with Boxing Insider.
The loss to Relikh, was some what of a shock. Never before had we seen Barthelemy struggle with an opponent to that degree. Barthelemy was able to shed a bit of light on exactly why he struggled during the course of that fight and the part inactivity played.
“There is a big difference when you are not in the ring as often. That pretty much determined the match. The inactivity really took a toll on my body and my ability to adjust. I spoke to my manager and going forward I would like to be much more active. That’s something that I have been pushing for, not just for myself but for any fighter because there’s a big difference when you are not in the ring as often.”
Prior to his fight against Relikh, Barthelemy was out of the ring for close to one year. It was also just his second contest at 140 pounds. Although Barthelemy did not want to come back down to the Lightweight division, the opportunity was too good to pass up.
“Fighting for these titles is a major motivation and that is actually the reason why I went back down to 135, to be able to go for those vacancies.”
There is still something special that the former champion wants to accomplish when it is all set and done.
“The ultimate goal is to become the first cuban fighter to become a three weight world champion. That is something that is very special to me.”
With Barthelemy officially making the land of 135 his home once again, he gave his take on current WBC champion Mikey Garcia’s attempt to dethrone Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr just a few weeks ago.
“There is nothing really to criticize Mikey Garcia about. He stuck it out the whole 12 rounds. He is still Mikey Garcia, he still walks away with his reputation. I identify with him in a lot of ways. I understand why he made that decision. It is like the goal I have of becoming a three weight world champion. He is still one of the best out there.”
Come April 13th, Barthemely will be eager to prove that he is still a world caliber fighter. If you believe that his minor setback would cause him to doubt himself, think again.
“I still have that winning mentality. It is not an easy fight when you go against Rances Barthelemy. I expect to have my hand up in the air after the fight.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Estrada, Rungvisai, Easter, Barthelemy, Byrd, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 26th to April 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Estrada vs. Rungvisai Rematch Will Be Twice the First Fight
Juan Francisco Estrada says he will be 100 per cent fit for his rematch with Sor Srisaket Rungvisai – and that will make the fight twice as good as the first clash and see him become World champion at The Forum in Inglewood, LA on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
**TICKETS START FROM JUST $25 AND ARE ON SALE NOW FROM TICKETMASTER**
Estrada and Rungvisai served up a fight of the year contender at the famous LA venue last February, with the Thai star edging out ‘Gallo’ to retain his WBC Super Flyweight title and land the Ring Magazine crown.
Former WBA and WBO king Estrada was hampered in the build up by a knee issue for the first clash, yet the Mexican ace delivered a fantastic performance. The 28 year old has recorded a pair of wins since the majority decision loss to Rungvisai, and crucially, has enjoyed a great camp in Los Mochis, Mexico to enter the showdown in great shape.
“I’ve always said there’s always a second chance and we need to take advantage of it,” said Estrada. “I was 50 per cent prepared last time, not because I didn’t want to train but because I had some injuries that affected my preparation and we had no choice but to keep facing the fight as it was a very important fight. This rematch is an opportunity and we will make the most out of it because we are well trained and the goal is to be a World Champion, doesn’t matter if it’s against Rungvisai or anyone else.
“After his hand was raised, I knew there will be a rematch because it was an interesting fight for the fans and for us, it had to be a rematch. I had to win my way back with two or three flights because I was ranked on the top 10 but needed to come up to the second rank to be able to get this fight and my team and I made it happen.
“I had a knee injury first time around and my reactions were not the same. I could not run the same, I was tired but I showed heart. The final round was one of the best rounds of the year, and if I was 100 per cent prepared with no injuries the whole fight would have been like that and maybe he wouldn’t handle that round.
“When a right-handed fighter faces a lefty, it could be a boring fight because of the stances, but when Rungvisai and I fight, our style of boxing is a great match and I think it wasn’t a dirty fight, I think it was a good fight for the fans and that they enjoyed it.
“If he is 100 per cent prepared like he was or more, I think it will be a more aggressive fight for both of us, a tougher fight but I will throw a lot more punches and that will make the difference. He is a fighter that doesn’t throw a lot of combinations, he is a fighter that is has trusts his punch, he has very strong punches and I progressively throw more combinations. I will look for the knockout thawing more punches and showing more intensity.
“Really being champion is the most important, doesn’t matter who is it against, and fighting Rungvisai, in my opinion he is the best of this division. If god gives me the chance to win the fight, I would like to fight against other World champions and defend my title with a few fights and then get to the next division.
“It will be like the first fight but now throwing a lot more punches, and like I said our styles are a great match. Our physical preparation will be crucial last time I was 50 per cent and now the key will be to get their 100 per cent.”
Estrada’s rematch with Rungvisai tops a huge card in Los Angeles with WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF ruler TJ Doheny clashing in a unification battle.
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) is on the hunt to become a three-weight World champion and he faces fellow two-weight World king Humberto Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) in a crunch clash for their elite level aspirations. The Soto clash will be Vargas’ first fight with new trainer Freddie Roach, and it’s a busy evening for the Hall of Fame coach as Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) also looks to move to world honors in a new weight, targeting a Featherweight World title shot in the second half of the year.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.
Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.
Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy Meet in WBA Lightweight Title Fight on April 27th
Former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy will meet for the vacant WBA Lightweight Title on Saturday, April 27 live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature former super lightweight champion Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC super lightweight title eliminator, while rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba looks to remain unbeaten against once-beaten German Michael Wallisch in a 10-round heavyweight attraction.
Easter vs. Barthelemy pits two highly skilled and explosive former 135-pound champions against each other as they look to grab a title and vault themselves back into the top echelon of the lightweight division.
Easter will return to the ring for the first time since losing his IBF title in a unification showdown with WBC Champion and pound-for-pound great Mikey Garcia last July on SHOWTIME. Barthelemy is undefeated at 135 pounds and returns to the lightweight division for his second fight since losing a 140-pound title rematch to Kiryl Relikh last March on SHOWTIME.
“Two former champions looking to reclaim their championship status speaks for itself in terms of the action and will to win that Easter and Barthelemy will bring on April 27,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both guys have already proven that they have what it takes to take care of business at this level. The eliminator bout, with Postol bringing his experience and Mohamed looking to take advantage of the opportunity, is a great lead-in to the main event attraction. Plus, Efe Ajagba will bring his A+ game in pursuit of a victory over Michael Wallisch. The fans in attendance at the Cosmopolitan here in Las Vegas, and tuning in on SHOWTIME, are in for a treat.”
“Easter vs. Barthelemy is a true 50-50 fight that will end with one of these fighters leaving the ring with one of the top spots in the lightweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Both are former world champions at lightweight and possess the styles and attributes that should make this an action-packed match. Combined with a very competitive title eliminator between Viktor Postol and Mohamed Mimoune, plus the can’t-miss punching power of Efe Ajagba, this is going to be a dramatic night on SHOWTIME and at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, go on sale Monday, April 1, and can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.
The 28-year-old Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) won the IBF Lightweight Championship in 2016 by edging an exciting split-decision against then-unbeaten and current IBF titleholder Richard Commey. After two successful title defenses in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter defeated former champion Javier Fortuna by decision in a January 2018 fight in SHOWTIME.
That victory set up a unification with WBC champion Mikey Garcia, in which Easter survived an early knockdown to push Garcia the full 12 rounds before coming up short on the scorecards. At 5-foot-11, Easter has continued to show the combination of size, skill and athleticism that made him a highly regarded prospect following an amateur career that featured a spot as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“I’ve wanted to fight Barthelemy since he had the lightweight title and vacated it, and now I have the chance,” said Easter. “He has an awkward style and I’m up for that challenge. I am still coming in as the taller fighter with a reach advantage and I’ll use it to make this fight go how I want it to. He is a former world champion and he is coming to bring it just like I am.”
A decorated Cuban amateur who hails from a boxing family that includes his older brother, Olympic Gold Medalist Yan, and younger brother, unbeaten featherweight Leduan, Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) will return to lightweight to vie against one of the best fighters in the division. The 32-year-old now trains in Las Vegas and previously captured a 135-pound belt by defeating Denis Shafikov in December 2015.
Barthelemy won a 130-pound championship by defeating Argenis Mendez in 2014 and attempted to become the first Cuban three-division champion when he moved up to 140-pounds for his first fight against Relikh, a title eliminator that he won by decision. After dropping the rematch to Relikh in a vacant title fight on SHOWTIME, Barthelemy returned to the ring in December and stopped Robert Frankel.
“I’m looking forward to a great fight against Robert Easter Jr,” said Barthelemy. “I know I have what it takes to beat him and capture another title and become a three-time world champ. My best performances have come at 135 pounds. Both of us are former world champions who are hungry and will give the fans a sensational night of boxing. I’ve never lost at lightweight and that will continue on April 27. Don’t miss this fight on SHOWTIME. It’s now or never!”
Originally from Ukraine, but now fighting out of Los Angeles, Postol (30-2, 12 KOs) previously earned a 140-pound world title by knocking out Lucas Matthysse in 2015. The 35-year-old dropped the title in a unification showdown with Terence Crawford in 2016 before bouncing back by defeating then unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov. Last June he dropped a decision to unbeaten contender Josh Taylor and most recently he defeated Siar Ozgul in November.
The 31-year-old Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs) has fought professionally since 2010 and will be making his U.S. debut against Postol on April 27. Representing Haute-Garonne, France, he is unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to 2014. His last five victories have come in 12-round decisions, including two last year over then unbeaten Emiliano Dominguez and most recently against Franck Petitjean.
Nigeria’s Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) gained notoriety last August 24 when his opponent, Curtis Harper, walked out of the ring after touching gloves to start the first round. The 24-year-old, 2016 Nigerian Olympian won the fight without throwing a punch as Harper was disqualified. In his last fight Ajagba, who lives in Stafford, Texas and trains with Ronnie Shields, defeated his toughest competition to date by stopping longtime contender Amir Mansour after two rounds.
Fighting out of Munich, Germany, Wallisch (19-1, 12 KOs) won his first 19 pro fights after turning pro in 2010, including a German heavyweight title-winning performance in 2013 against Alexander Kahl. The 33-year-old fought three times last year, picking up two knockout victories before losing to Christian Hammer in December.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd Joins BYB Extreme Announcing Team
Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Chris Byrd has been added to an already strong BYB Extreme pay-per-view announcing team for its inaugural event, “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL”, on Friday night, April 5, live from the Cheyenne Ice & Event Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Byrd will be part of the BYB Extreme announcing team at cage-side, along with blow-by-blow announcers Din Thomas and the othercolor commentators, Dyrushio “Rusy” Harris and his brother, Dhafir Harris, AKA iconic backyard-brawler Dada 5000. Tony Martinez will support the BYB announcing team in Spanish (SAP option), while veteran Bob Alexander is the BYB ring announcer.
“I’m excited to be part of the BYB team,” Bryd said. “I’m Looking forward to commenting and sharing my vast knowledge of boxing and many years of experience. Although the two sports are different, they are still very much the same. Looking forward to April 5th
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” Is the first sanctioned-event promoted by BYB Extreme Fighting Series (BYB), bare-knuckles fighting’s most intense combat sports promoter, featuring 10 professional bare-knuckle fights and two mixed-martial-arts fights, all held inside the “The Trigon”, the most confrontational cage in combat sports. The much-anticipated show is presented by title sponsor Pure and Natural (www.getpureandnatural.com) and available to watch live worldwide on pay-per-view.
BYB Extreme and Lights Out Productions was initially inspired by the Backyard Fights that were held in Miami, featured in the award-winning documentary “Dawg Fight”, which debuted on Netflix and it still remains available to watch. Dada 5000 was the subject and star of “Dawg Fight”. Production of “Dawg Fight 2”, produced once again by award-winning documentary filmmaker Billy Corben (Rakontur), concludes at “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl for it ALL”.
Byrd, who now lives in San Diego, captured a silver medal for Team USA at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 2003, Byrd upset Vitali Klitschko to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) World heavyweight champion. During his illustrious professional career, Byrd (415, 22 KOs) also defeated Evander Holyfield and David Tua.
“Seems like every day a new piece gets added that gives BYB more depth and experience,” BYB Extreme president Mike Vazquez noted. “The addition of two-time World Heavyweight champion and US Olympic medal winner Chris Byrd does just that. We are very excited that Chris will be joining Din Thomas, Rusy Harris and Dada 5000 as part of our BYB Brawl broadcast team. His experience as a world Champion and what he will bring to the commentary is priceless. BYB may be a relatively new series, but we have all the tools to bring fight fans what they want, exciting well matched fights and a quality and experienced broadcast team that know first hand what they are talking about.”
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” will revolutionize bare-knuckles fighting with all fights held inside its triangular cage, “The Trigon” (pictured below) – 7′ high fences, two beveled corners and a 60-degree, tight third-corner forming a triangle, totaling 187 square feet – marking the first time a professional bare-knuckles event is held inside a cage. This will also be the first time bare-knuckles fighting and MMA are contested in a cage on the same night.
Yunusov Shows Heart and Determination with Unanimous Decision Over Colon at SugarHouse Casino
Three-time Olympian Anvar Yunusov remained perfect by getting off the deck and fighting through a bad cut to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon in a junior lightweight bout that highlighted an action-packed ten bout card before a sold-out crowd on Friday night at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
The card, which was promoted by King’s Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions, was streamed LIVE (and now can be seen on-demand) all of the world on the King’s Boxing Facebook Page. The Main event can be seen HERE
Yunusov was dropped by a right hand in round three. He was cut badly in the same round over his right eye. Yunusov was able to shake off the rough 3rd frame to come back and put Colon down with body shot’s in rounds four and five. Yunusov was able to control the action down the stretch, and win by scores of 79-71 and 78-71 twice.
Yunusov of Philadelphia by way of Tajakistan is now 7-0. Colon of Lares, Puerto Rico is 5-2.
Erik Spring and Terrance Williams locked up in a very competitive eight-round super welterweight battle that saw Spring come through with a majority decision.
Spring of Reading, PA won by scores of 77-75 and 76-75, while one card read even at 76-76.
Spring is now 12-2-2. Williams of York, PA is 5-3-1.
Popular super middleweight Brandon Robinson needed one left hand to the body to take out Lawrence Blakey at 2:49 of the 1st round of their scheduled six-round bout.
Robinson of Philadelphia is 12-2 with nine knockouts. Blakey of Pittsburgh is 5-13-2.
Colby Madison beat down Emilio Salas and scored a 2nd round stoppage in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Madison of Owings Mills, MD is 8-0-2 with five knockouts. Salas of Yonkers, NY is 5-3-1.
Laquan Evans took a four-round split decision over Jordan Demko in a a middleweight bout featuring pro debuters.
The fighters mixed it up in an entertaining four-round scrap that saw the fight go back and forth. Evans was able to overcome being dropped in the 1st round.
Evans was able to fight back, and win by scores of 39-37 and 38-37 with Demko winning a card 39-37.
Anthony Mercado proved to be too much for Andres Navarro by scoring a stoppage at the end of round five of a scheduled eight-round bout featuring junior welterweights based in Puerto Rico.
Mercardo is 13-4 with 11 knockouts. Navarro is 11-8-1.
Ryan Humburger and Brent Oren put on a display that not only thrilled the capacity crowd in attendance, but kept everyone on their feet for the duration of their middleweight bout.
Both guys took turns pounding away on each other, with each debuter being several times before Oren was worn down and not able to come out for round four.
Michael Coffie scored a vicious 2nd round stoppage over Eduardo Vitela in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Cofffie landed a thudding left hook that immediately knocked Vitela out, and the fight was stopped at 1:10 of the 2nd frame.
Coffie of Brooklyn, NY is 6-0 with five knockouts. Vitela of Durango, Mexico is 3-4.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 9th to May 16th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Lorenzo Fertitta Gives Blessing for Mayweather vs. McGregor
Lorenza Fertitta, former co-owner of the UFC, recently told TMZ that he supports Dana White’s plan to pay Floyd Mayweather $100 million and Conor McGregor $75 million if they fight and believes they deserve it.
Lorenza Fertitta, along with his brother Frank, invested $2 million into the UFC in 2001 and sold it for $4 billion in 2016.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/13/lorenzo-fertitta-ufc-mayweather-mcgregor/
B. Riley & Co. Presents the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night Benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation
Sugar Ray Leonard and celebrity guests including Bill Bellamy (Event Host & Actor/Comedian), Bo Jackson (Former NFL/MLB Athlete), Chris Spencer (Actor, Black-ish), Cindy Crawford, Craig Robinson (Actor/Comedian), David James Elliott (Actor, Secrets and Lies), En Vogue (R&B/Pop Vocal Group), Holly Robinson Peete (Actress, Chicago Fire), Johnny Gill (Recording Artist), Judge Greg Mathis (TV Personality), Laila Ali Conway (Former Professional Boxer), Magic Johnson, Matthew Rutler, Mia St. John (Professional Boxer), Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO), Rande Gerber, Rodney Peete (Former NFL Athlete), Sergio Mora (Professional Boxer), Terry Norris (Former Professional Boxer), Tina Knowles Lawson, Tommy Davidson (Actor/Comedian), and Usher (Actor/Recording Artist). *All attendees subject to change.
On Wednesday, May 24, B. Riley & Co. will present the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation at The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Hosted by actor and comedian Bill Bellamy, the evening will feature live professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The live fights will begin at 6:30 PM through 9:00 PM and the main event of the evening features Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias in a featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds.
The evening will feature a National Anthem performance by En Vogue, as well as a live & silent auction display, which will include iconic memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind items and experiences to benefit this important cause.
Additionally, the event will honor nine-year-old Jackson Blair with the 2017 Golden Glove Award for his extraordinary dedication and hard work to raise money and awareness for type 1 (T1D) diabetes.
Proceeds from the exclusive event will support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to fund life-changing research, care and awareness for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.
The 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night is presented by B. Riley & Co., a leading investment bank which provides corporate finance, research, and sales and trading to corporate, institutional and high net worth individual clients.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
4:30pm Media Check-in Begins
5:00pm Red Carpet Arrivals & Silent Auction Begin
6:30pm Fights & Live Auction Begin
Note: Fight Card Subject to Change
• Fight 1: Rafael Gramajo vs. TBA, Super Bantanweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 2: Marvin Cabrera vs. Quantavious Green, Middleweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 3: Luis Coria vs. TBA, Featherweights for 4 Rounds
• Fight 4: Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias, Featherweights for 6 Rounds
7:00pm Welcome Remarks/National Anthem/Award Presentation
9:00pm Event Ends (approx.)
The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Rances Barthelemy Training Camp Quotes
Rances Barthelemy is set to face Kiryl Relikh in a WBA 140 pound title eliminator on Saturday May 20th on Showtime from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Below are a few select quotes from a recent press conference.
1) How is training camp going? How have you benefitted from sparring and training alongside of your brother Leduan and Yordenis Ugas and have their recent performances been an indication of how you expect to perform?
“Training camp is going really well. Training alongside of my brother and Yordenis under the tutelage of Ismael Salas is the best thing that could happen in my career. They keep me focused and motivated to get better every day. Yordenis and I have been helping each other during our camps, he’s an Olympic athlete so having him to train with is really beneficial. We have a new strength and conditioning coach as well who has us in the best shape possible. I know May 20 you guys will see the best Rances Barthelemy yet.”
2) What would it mean to you to become the first three-division world champion from Cuba?
“It would mean the world to me, after all that it took to defect from Cuba, the near death experiences, the imprisonments, leaving my loved ones behind, it would all have been worth it. I want to inspire the youth that come after me as well, let them know to never give up on their dreams no matter the conditions you live in or what the naysayers may say. Me winning a third world title and making history for a Cuban would prove that.”
3) What did you take away from Relikh’s loss to Ricky Burns?
“I didn’t get to watch the fight but watched the highlights and it seemed like a very entertaining fight. People were saying that it probably should have gone the other way even, so it seems like he put on a good performance.”
4) How would you characterize Relikh’s style and how do you see this fight playing out?
“He likes to come forward a lot and attack. I’m prepared for that if that’s what he plans to do come fight night but I also anticipate having to make adjustments. I always prepare to adjust to whatever my opponent brings. Being a cerebral fighter is a skill that has helped me succeed inside the ring.”
5) Can you address your 11-month layoff and how your training has been geared towards shaking off any ring rust you may have?
“There will be no ring rust come May 20 as we have been in the gym non-stop since my last fight against Mickey Bey. We took a few weeks off to visit Cuba for the first time since my defection. Aside from that I made sure to stay active and I’ve been training hard to be prepared when my name got called. The 11-month layoff happened for reasons out of my control. My management team has been trying to get the best opponents and unfortunately it took longer than we expected but we are here now and I’m as prepared as I have ever been.”
6) How did you trip back to Cuba come about and what was it like to be back in your home country?
“It was very emotional and a long eight years since I had been back. I didn’t know if I’d be able to go back or not. But I visited the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. and they told me I’d finally be able to go back to visit my loved ones. It was nothing but nerves until I got over there. It was an emotional time and everyone welcomed me back with open arms in my hometown of Havana. It’s something I will never forget, especially for the way I was received.”
7) How do you rate your skills and progression as a fighter considering your last three dominant wins over top quality opposition? Do you feel that you are at the peak of your career?
“I am definitely at my peak physically, and I’m looking to match that on paper this year. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring. I don’t like to rate myself, I leave that to the people and the media. They’ve taken notice and that’s why I am where I am today, but I am expecting big things to happen this year.”
8) Why did you feel it was time to rise in weight, especially considering the wealth of talent at 135 right now? Who do you consider to be the top 135 fighter now that you are gone?
“My body was asking for it, 135 was taking too much of a physical toll on me. It may not have been noticeable, but I struggled to make weight during my last fight at 135 and felt I lost some of my power because of the drainage. Since I moved up to 140 I definitely have felt a lot better. It was the right move. Plus, I now have the chance to go after a third world title in a third division, which would be the first time for any boxer from Cuba.”
9) Why did you make the decision to move from Miami to Las Vegas and how do you think it has benefited you?
“To be honest, there is nothing better for a Cuban than to be living in Miami, because the weather is just right and what we are used to. But at the same time it presents a lot of distractions too. So moving to the boxing hub of the United States is better for me so I don’t get wrapped up in anything extra other than boxing. Plus, there are so many sparring partners here and I can go up to Mt. Charleston and get my runs in up there.”
Oscar Escandon Training Camp Quotes
Top 126-pound challenger Oscar Escandon shares his thoughts on training camp and more ahead of his first world title opportunity against WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. Saturday, May 20 on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui battling for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a 140-pound world title eliminator. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.
Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.
Here is what Escandon had to say from Las Vegas before he wraps camp and heads east to headline at MGM National Harbor in Maryland:
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp started off in Gilroy, California where we got a lot of good sparring in the Bay Area. But then we moved camp to Las Vegas where we are training in high elevation. We are running up at Mt. Charleston where the elevation is 8400 feet. All in all, it has been a fantastic camp.”
On fighting in his first main event on SHOWTIME:
“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on SHOWTIME, especially in the main event for a world title. I believe the fans watching will enjoy my fighting style. I always bring excitement to the ring. This will be a fan-friendly fight to watch.”
On facing his opponent, champion Gary Russell Jr:
“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the best fighters in the division. I know it’s not going to be an easy task to defeat him but I’m confident in my ability to come out victorious. I will dig deep and impose my will on him.”
On training with head coach Ruben Guerrero:
“Together Ruben and I get along very well. He’s always there for me when I need him. We are doing everything to get better and we’ll be ready to go. We have a nice game plan that we will display on fight night.”
On what a victory will do for his career:
“This is the biggest fight of my career and a win will lead to bigger and better things, like unification bouts. To capture the WBC world title will be an honor for my team and my people of Colombia. I need to win this fight and capture that WBC title. I can see myself in major fights with a victory.”
Kal Yafai Retains WBA Flyweight Title with Decision Victory
On Saturday, Kal Yafai thrilled his hometown fans in Birmingham, England, and made the first the defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Suguru Muranaka.
The bout headlined another tremendous day of action AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
“I am thrilled to be able to bring this action-packed cards to the American fight fans,” said Charles Herring, President of AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
“In recent months, The super-flyweight division has been one of the divisions that has featured terrific fights, and today Kal Yafai proved that he is one of the elite in the division. Sam Eggington carried on the momentum of stopping Paulie Malignaggi, and won in another thrilling fight. We have a great Spring and Summer fight schedule that we will be excited to share with the fans very shortly.”
Yafai looked like he was going to have an early day as he sent his Japanese challenger down to the canvas in round two. Muranka proved sturdy and even had a few moments in the fight. Yafai was deducted a point in round eight for low blows, but he was comfortably ahead, and won by scores of 119-107 twice and 118-108.
Yafai is 22-0. Muranaka is 25-3.
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Leduan Barthelemy and Kyrone Davis Win Tuesday in CA!
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Leduan Barthelemy and Kyrone Davis Win Tuesday in CA!
By: Ken Hissner
At the Robinson Rancheria in Nice, CA, over PBC in the main event southpaw Cuban Leduan Barthelemy, 13-0 (7), now out of Las Vegas, from the Barthelemy family, after a tough eight rounds stopped Dominican Reynaldo Blanco, 14-4 (8), at 1:30 of the ninth round when Blanco’s corner threw in the towel shortly after Blanco was dropped.
The much taller Barthelemy dominated the first round as Blanco dropped down to 130 from his usual 135 on two weeks notice and used his right hand when possible. In the second and third rounds Blanco became the aggressor back Barthelemy up in a close round. In the fourth round it was Barthelemy being the aggressor hurting Blanco with a counter right hand to the head. Blanco’s right eye was starting to swell.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Barthelemy continued countering as Blanco was the aggressor throwing right hands against the southpaw. In the seventh round after an even six rounds Barthelemy kept setting up Blanco with a long jab and hook hurt Blanco. It looked like Blanco’s corner was not letting him out for the ninth but out came Blanco for the ninth round. Barthelemy dropped Blanco with a right hook to the chin. His corner waved to him to stay down but up he was at eight. It wasn’t seconds before Blanco’s corner threw in the towel at 1:30 of the ninth round.
In the semi-final as expected it was a war with southpaw Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis, 12-1 (5), of Wilmington, DE, won a split decision over Mark Hernandez, 9-1 (2), of Fresno, CA, over ten rounds of action.
In the opening round though only having two knockouts in his nine wins Hernandez showed power with right uppercuts while Davis forced the action driving Hernandez into a neutral corner setting the stage for the entire fight. In the second round Hernandez came back in this round and near the end of the round rocked Davis with a left hook and a pair of right uppercuts. In the third round Davis outpunched Hernandez three to one but Hernandez had power on his right uppercuts. The corner of Davis in his trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards out of Philadelphia kept warning him about the uppercuts from Hernandez. In the fourth and fifth round Davis put on a vicious display of body shots that were breaking down Hernandez.
In the sixth round Hernandez was landing some left hooks to the head of Davis while being pushed into a neutral corner. Davis continued working the body taking several warnings from referee Dan Stell.
In the seventh round in what looked like a border line shot from Davis referee Stell stopped the action and took a point from Davis. Davis did enough to earn a 9-9 round. In the eighth round Davis continued outworking Hernandez who was slowed down with a barrage of body shots.
In the ninth round which was a first for both fighters Davis continued to keep Hernandez on the ropes outworking him but on several occasions would be hit with a right uppercut or left hook both to the chin. In the tenth and final round halfway through Hernandez rocked Davis with a counter right to the chin forcing Davis to hold on. Hernandez was not able to take advantage though taking the round.
Scores were 96-93 for Davis, 95-94 for Hernandez and 96-93 for Davis while this writer had it 97-92 for Davis.
PBC on Spike Results: Barthelemy Defeats Bey by Split Decision, Rodriguez Decisions Guevara
PBC on Spike Results: Barthelemy Defeats Bey by Split Decision, Rodriguez Decisions Guevara
By: William Holmes
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida was the host site for tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Spike TV.
Mayweather Promotions in association with King’s Promotions and Panther Promotions put on tonight’s card.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between Puerto Rican boxer Emmanuel Rodriguez (14-0) and Mexican fight Alberto “Metro” Guevara (24-2) in the bantamweight division.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance Guevara attacked the body and had moderate success with his double left hook combination. Rodriguez was accurate with his straight right hand early on and was able to stagger Guevara with a left hook near the end of the round.
Guevara had a decent second round and out threw Rodriguez, but Rodriguez had the stronger shots and even took the body attacks of Guevara well.
Rodriguez picked up his pace in the third round and his left hook was stinging Guevara, and his counter punching continued to improve in the fourth and fifth rounds. The area near Guevara’s left eye was cut in the fifth round from a head butt and the blood appeared to bother him throughout the fight.
Rodriguez’s jab and pressure was just too much for Guevara to handle. Guevara was able to land some combinations, but he didn’t have the power to hurt Rodriguez, while Rodriguez’s straight right hand was able to effectively slow down and neutralize Guevara.
The final scores were 99-91, 100-90, and 99-91 for Rodriguez.
The second bout of the night was between middleweights Caleb Plant (12-0) and Carlos Galvan (12-4-1) in a short six round fight.
Plant has some moderate hype behind his name, and he looked in control in the opening round and looked like the bigger fighter inside the ring.
Plant however was in the ring with someone who never defeated an opponent with a winning record. Plant briefly had an offensive burst in the second round and did a lot of show boating after dodging punches in the third round, but some in the crowd started to boo his defensive style inside the ring.
Plant surprised everyone with a hard left hook to the body out of nowhere in the fourth round that sent Galvan to the mat for a full ten count.
Caleb Plant wins by knockout at 1:24 of the fourth round.
The main event of the evening was between Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (24-0) and Mickey Bey (22-1-1) for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Both boxers fought out of a conventional stance and Barthelemy established himself as the aggressor early on and attacked the body of Bey.
Barthelemy continued to control the bout in the second round and his reach was appearing to give Bey problems, until a head butt occurred in the second round that forced Barthelemy to fall to his knee. The referee, incorrectly, ruled it a knockdown.
The knockdown seemed to awaken Rances Barthelemy and he was extremely aggressive in the third and fourth rounds and pounded the body of Bey and kept his opponent moving backwards.
Bey was able to take control of the fifth round by sticking to his jab and popping and moving before Barthelemy could trap him. The sixth round could have gone either way, but Barthelemy was the aggressor.
Barthelemy did a good job at catching the punches Bey in the seventh round and was able to work around the jab of Bey. Barthelemy came on strong at the end of the eighth round and got his Cuban supporters in the crowd on it’s feet.
By the ninth round Bey was falling badly behind on the cards and by the championship rounds he needed a knockout to win.
That knockout didn’t come, and Bey was simply outworked by Barthelemy for the remainder of the fight.
The final scores were 117-110 Barthelemy, 117-110 Bey, and 116-111 Barthelemy.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Porter, Lomachenko, Guzman, Chisora, Shumenov, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Porter, Lomachenko, Guzman, Chisora, Shumenov, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 26th to May 3rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Keith Thurman/Shawn Porter Press Conference Quotes
Welterweight world champion Keith Thurman and former champion Shawn Porter recently held a press conference to discuss their upcoming matchup on June 25th, live on Showtime, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Below are some quotes from that press conference.
“I made you wait. But it’s worth it. This is a tremendous fight. Arguably the best matchup of the year. We’re going to work our butts off to make it the Fight of the Year.
“Our two teams go way back. This is the most beautiful moment of my professional career and I’m about to compete with somebody I grew up with. I’m happy for my success and I’m happy for Shawn’s success. We come from the same boat. When you’re a young kid in the gym training and then you’re here today, that takes a special kind of person. Shawn and I are both that kind of person.
“We took six weeks off after my accident, with three days a week of physical therapy. I was relaxing at home. I didn’t like it. As a fighter, I wanted this fight as bad as the fans wanted this fight.
“This isn’t just the biggest fight of my career. But it’s the most anticipated fight of my career. Sometimes it pays to add some drama to the game. It wasn’t our intention, but I think it worked out.
“Barclays Center makes this a big fight. We get to promote here in New York City. New York is a fight town. My favorite fighter of all time, Mike Tyson, is from Brooklyn. This just happened to work out for the best.
“I anticipate most of the welterweight division being in attendance on June 25. The situation that division is in right now is that we’re all in a frenzy. Everyone wants the spotlight and everyone wants to be the top dog. We all have that opportunity.
“I want to have two titles by the end of this year. People talk about replacing Floyd Mayweather, but you can’t become the man without beating all the people in front of you. One fight at a time. I want to stay at the top by grabbing another belt. I’m going to show that I’m the big dog at 147 pounds.
“June 25, my friend is about to become my enemy. I’m going to treat him like any other enemy.
“Get your tickets. Get your seats. Get your popcorn. Whatever you need to do. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. This is going to be a knockout you don’t want to miss. I love you Shawn, but I’m doing my best to put you to sleep.”
“I’m very excited about this fight. I’m blessed to have this opportunity. Not only to go for this title but to be a part of a record-breaking show at Barclays Center. This night is going to be memorable.
“Keith Thurman is bringing out the competitiveness in me to a level I’ve always wanted. It’s a level I expect. I have a guy next to me who is challenging me more than ever. Me and Keith Thurman are going to put on a show. Everything you talked about, you’re going to get it.
“It is amazing to be a part of something great like this. I’ve always considered myself to be a very good fighter and a very good athlete, but I’ve always wanted something like this and to have it is very humbling.
“I wasn’t surprised that Keith said he would knock me out. He has to pump himself up and be confident. When he looked at me I think he was trying to convince me that he was being real and I was looking at him to find out if he was convinced. He thinks he’s going to knock me out, I say he’s not. I’m going to do everything it takes to beat him and make it look easy.
“This is forming to be a big fight, one of those fights that we’ve looked forward to since we were kids.
“This is my second time fighting at Barclays Center. I’m 1-0 with a championship so now I’m looking for another one. I’ve been to some of the other fights at Barclays too and it is really an electric atmosphere. People are coming out to see something great and that’s what I’m going to give them.
“I’m not changing anything in camp because of how familiar Keith and I are with each other. I have to do it at the right time in the ring. We’re going to do everything we do to prepare for a world championship fight.
“Thurman is a little unorthodox at times so we’re prepared for that. It’s about going 12 rounds or less and looking good doing it. We’ve done a little sparring as pros but nothing as competitive as I’m expecting on June 25.
“I have a feeling Keith is going to say he’s knocking me out a lot. I want to know if he believes that. He’s a cutthroat kind of fighter. I know that. The hands will be up, the defense will be taken care of, and we’re taking care of business.”
Tickets to Martines v. Lomachenko/Verdejo and Zou US Debut On Sale
Three-time world champion ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ and World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion VASYL LOMACHENKO will go mano a mano for Martinez’s WBO junior lightweight world title and the boxing gem of Puerto Rico, FELIX “El Diamante” VERDEJO, will risk his WBO Latino lightweight crown, undefeated record and No. 2 world rating against JUAN JOSE MARTINEZ in the co-main event of a championship doubleheader Saturday, June 11 — one day before the famed Puerto Rican Day Parade — at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The two bouts, scheduled for 12 and 10 rounds, respectively, will be televised live on HBO beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The non-televised undercard will feature the U.S. debut of two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion ZOU SHIMING from The Peoples Republic of China in a 10-round flyweight bout.
The five gladiators boast a combined record of 87-6-3 (53 KOs) — a winning percentage of 91% with over 60% of their victories coming by way of knockout.
“I feel very happy returning to New York to fight, and even more on a special date like the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I know that a lot of Puerto Ricans will be there and I’ll be ready, as always, to give it my all,” said Martinez. “About Lomachenko I can say that he is a boxer with a lot of accomplishments as an amateur and even though he became champion in just a few professional fights, it isn’t the same in amateur as in professional boxing and we are working hard to take the victory on June 11.”
“Thank you to Top Rank! Thank you to my manager, Egis Klimas!. And thank you to HBO for believing that I can headline its telecast in the main event of the evening,” said Lomachenko. “It is a big opportunity for me. It is a chance to set a new record by becoming a two-division world champion in the shortest period — my seventh professional fight — a record that currently stands at eight fights. On June 11, at Madison Square Garden, I’m going to do my best to reach a new career pinnacle.”
“I’m more motivated than ever for this fight on HBO and performing in front of my people in New York,” said Verdejo. “I recognize that my focus for my last couple of fights hasn’t been at its best. I feel that my last performances haven’t been close to what has been expected of me and that has motivated me to show my supporters that the Felix Verdejo they have been rooting for will be at The Garden on June 11 and for a very long time after.”
“This is the first time in boxing history which two fighters on this card each won two Olympic gold medals,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Vasyl Lomachenko and Zou Shiming accomplished iconic feats in the sport of boxing and Felix Verdejo himself is a former Olympian and one of the top amateur boxers.”
Sampson Lewkowicz Ordered to Begin Negotiating Guzman vs. Wake Fight for IBF Super Bantamweight Title
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz has been given the go-ahead to begin negotiating a world-title fight between his fighter, Dominican Jonathan Guzman, and the promoters for Japan’s Shingo Wake.
The IBF ordered Lewkowicz, representing Guzman, the IBF #2 Super Bantamweight, and Kyoei Promotions, the IBF #1 Super Bantamweight, to begin negotiations immediately and have them completed no later than June 2 of this year.
Guzman (21-0) just defeated Daniel Rosas in Atlantic City while Wake (20-4-2) decisioned Thailand’s Mike Tawatchai last June.
The IBF rules state: “Any boxer who is contracted with a promoter, a network, or a state, tribal or national commission to take another fight, or who is ill, injured, under a legal impediment which could prevent the bout from taking place in the opinion of the IBF/USBA, or on suspension at the time the Championships Chairman and the President order a bout under this rule shall be considered unavailable. We would then move to the next available contender. Neither fighter can take another fight until this fight for the vacant title is concluded.”
In the event the camps cannot reach an agreement by June 2, the IBF will call for purse offers to be held to determine who will promote the bout, when and where it will be held. Per IBF rules, neither boxer may compete in another match until they face each other.
Pulev-Chisroa Title Clash Added to Crolla-Barroso Lightweight Title Telecast
This Saturday, a heavyweight contest between former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev and Dereck Chisora has been added to the telecast that will feature WBA Lightweight Champion Anthony Crolla defending his title against the hard punching Ismael Barroso that will be shown live on AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
The Pulev – Chisora European Heavyweight title clash will originate from Hamburg, Germany and will precede the Crolla – Barroso bout from Manchester, England.
“We are ecstatic to add this important heavyweight fight to our world title broadcast. The winner of this fight will be at the head of the line to get their second world title opportunity and these are big heavyweights, so we expect an explosive fight,” said AWE President, Charles Herring.
Rances Barthelemy to Face Mickey Bey on June 3rd
Undefeated lightweight world champion Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (24-0, 13 KOs) will make his first title defense against former world champion Mickey “The Spirit” Bey (22-1-1, 10 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike Friday, June 3 at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT as unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez (14-0, 10 KOs) takes on hard-hitting Mexican Victor “Pitufo” Proa (28-1-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight affair.
“There were rumors that a fight between me and Mickey Bey was on the brink of happening prior to my fight against Denis Shafikov, so now that it is here, I know it was destined to happen,” said Barthelemy. “I’m not a rookie anymore. I’m not going into this worried or nervous about it being my first title defense at 135. I’m comfortable enough now to see every fight as just another challenge I need to execute my game plan the most effectively and with the least amount of errors.”
“Barthelemy won my title, I had to vacate it due to a hand injury, so all he is doing is keeping it warm for me,” said Bey. “Training camp is going great. I have been training hard for over a month. I have the best team in the business, with the most knowledgeable trainers. I’m looking forward to the challenge with him being undefeated and a two-time world champion. We both have a lot of skills, so it will make an entertaining fight for sure.”
“I want to challenge all of the bantamweight champions to fight me so they can see a real athlete in the ring,” said Rodriguez. “I have been training hard. This is a lifestyle for me. I have been training since December and on June 3, I am going to deliver a knockout.”
“I’m excited about this opportunity against a good young fighter,” said Proa. “I’ve been training hard and feel like this is my time. I’m going to come forward and see what this guy can do.”
WBA Interim Cruiserweight World Champion Shumenov Protests WBA “Regular” World Cruiserweight Title Fight
World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs), the only Kazakhstan-native to hold world titles in two different weight classes, is disputing the WBA’s sanctioning of the WBA “regular” cruiserweight world championship fight, May 20 in Paris, between two lower-ranked WBA fighters, No. 2 Yunier Dorticos and No. 5 Youri Kalenga (recently upgraded to No. 3).
Last July, Shumenov defeated B.J. Flores by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the mandatory challenger for WBA “regular” cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, who was later elevated to “Super” champion.
Lebedev hasn’t fought a mandatory defense in one year, ironically, when he won a 12-round decision over Kalenga, who had earned his world title shot, like Shumenov, by becoming WBA Interim world champion. The WBA granted Lebedev an extension in terms of his due mandatory defense because of the Russian’s unification fight May 21 in Moscow against International Boxing Federation (IBF) title-holder Victor Emelio Ramirez.
“I’m very disappointed the WBA is sanctioning Dorticos-Kalenga for its ‘regular’ cruiserweight title, when I am the No. 1 ranked and current WBA Interim champion,” Shumenov said. “I repeatedly informed the WBA through emails, texts and verbally that I was ready to fight back in January. I preferred to fight Lebedev but I was willing to fight Dorticos or anybody else in the top 15. For the past few months, I’ve been laboring over what I believe is a very bad decision, letting two lower-ranked fighters, the No. 2 and No. 3 guys, fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title. I am shocked and bewildered and do not understand the WBA’s rationale to have either of these fighters declared the WBA ‘regular’ champion without first defeating either Lebedev or me, the Interim champion and No. 1 rank contender.
“I appealed the decision but, so far, the WBA has done little in response to my appeals other than delay and stall before finally ruling that I will fight the Lebedev-Ramirez winner months from now, yet, ignoring my appeal to stop the regular title status of Dorticos-Kalenga and still sanction a fight between them, its No. 2 and No. 3 rated fighters, for the WBA ‘regular’ title. This is unfair to fans, who deserve to watch the best fighting the best, especially when a world championship is at stake! We now have this odd situation where there will be three separate WBA cruiserweight fights in May, all for a different version of WBA world title I just don’t feel anyone should get the WBA ‘regular’ title without first defeating a champion or at least the top-ranked fighter in the division. The WBA knew I was and am ready to fight. Its decision makes no sense and, in my opinion, diminishes the prestige and meaning of the title. I have respect for Dorticos and Kalenga but I think the legitimacy of any world title resulting from a fight between the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked contenders, when the No 1 mandatory contender who already holds the WBA Interim champion is ready and available, to say the least, is highly questionable.
“The WBA told me and announced to the media that it was working to have only one world champion in each division. While I’ve been sitting out the last four months waiting to fight, the WBA has decided to allow six different guys to fight for three WBA cruiserweight world titles, practically on the same day, instead of crowning only one WBA cruiserweight world champion. I look forward to returning to the ring and my manager, Al Haymon, has advised me that I will fight in May and we will announce next week. I want to thank everyone for their support and I apologize to my family, friends, fans and my country, Kazakhstan, for this chaos the WBA has caused that has damaged and delayed my professional boxing career. I will move forward and continue to fight inside the ring, letting my attorneys and manager fight this unfair situation outside the ring.”
UFC Fighter Paige VanZant Says Tyson Fury Deserves an Ass Whooping
UFC fighter Paige VanZant recently told TMZ Sports that Tyson Fury’s sexist comments about women are completely disrespectful, and that he needs to get his ass kicked.
Fury stated in a December interview that “A woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back.” Wladimir Klitschko stated that Fury was a disgrace to the sport of boxing, and VanZant is following suit.
You can read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/28/paige-vanzant-tyson-fury-wladimir-klitschko-sexist/