Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, Yarde, Kovalev, Beterbiev, Gvozdyk, Imam, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 13th to August 20th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Unbeaten Champions Beterbiev and Gvozdyk Set to Unify Titles October 18th in Philadelphia
Two very bad men are set for an old-fashioned Philadelphia throwdown.
WBC light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk and IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev will fight in a highly anticipated title unification bout Friday, Oct. 18 at the Liacouras Center.
Beterbiev and Gvozdyk enter this can’t-miss clash with a combined record of 31-0 with 28 knockouts.
Gvozdyk-Beterbiev will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
The undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $150, $90, $75 and $50 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office, www.liacourascenter.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.
“This could very well be the fight of the year,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “These are two evenly matched, undefeated light heavyweight champions. There is nothing better in the sport of boxing.”
“My first goal was to win a light heavyweight world title. Now, I want to unify the belts, and that mission starts with Artur Beterbiev,” Gvozdyk said. “This is going to be a spectacular fight, one that the fans will enjoy. The fans asked for this fight, and we will deliver. One thing I know is that I will be the unified champion. I have the best trainer, Teddy Atlas, in my corner. This is our third fight together, and under his guidance, I will continue to get better.”
“I wish to thank Top Rank and my opponent, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, for making this unification bout possible and giving the fans around the world what they want,” Beterbiev said. “This will be a great fight between the two champions who aspire to become the undisputed light heavyweight world champion. I am looking forward to stepping into the ring on October 18.”
Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) will be making the second defense of the title he won from longtime champion Adonis Stevenson in a come-from-behind 11th-round KO last December in Quebec City, Canada. He followed up the Stevenson win with a dominant fifth-round TKO March 30 over Doudou Ngumbu in Philadelphia, where a large Ukrainian contingent showed up to cheer on their countryman. Gvozdyk captured a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, where he was teammates with current professional stablemate and pound-for-pound great Vasiliy Lomachenko. A five-year pro, Gvozdyk climbed the ranks with victories over established veterans like Isaac Chilemba, Yunieski Gonzalez and Nadjib Mohammedi.
Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs), a former Russian amateur star, has a come-forward, take-no-prisoners ring approach that has made him the only current world champion with a 100 percent KO ratio. He won the vacant IBF world title with a 12th-round TKO over Enrico Koelling, preserving his perfect KO record by stopping Koelling with 27 seconds left in the bout. His two title defenses have lasted a total of nine rounds, and most recently, he walked through longtime contender Radivoje “Hot Rod“ Kalajdzic in five rounds in the main event of the May 4 Top Rank on ESPN telecast.
Amir Imam Signs with Top Rank
Amir Imam, a former super lightweight world challenger known for his explosive knockouts, has signed a multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank.
Imam (21-2, 18 KOs) has been out of the ring since March 17, 2018, the evening he challenged Jose Ramirez for the vacant WBC super lightweight world title. He lost via unanimous decision in a brutal toe-to-toe battle to Ramirez, who is currently the unified WBC/WBO 140-pound world champion.
Imam will campaign at either super lightweight or welterweight, and he recently enlisted the services of South Florida-based manager Peter Kahn. He is expected to make his long-awaited ring return later this year.
“I am grateful to have joined the best promotional company in boxing. I have learned a lot from my past fights and have made positive changes that will allow me to succeed as I move forward to my goal of becoming a world champion,” Imam said. “I’m eager to get back into the ring before the end of the year and showcase my skills as part of the Top Rank team. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me.”
“Amir Imam is a naturally gifted fighter who can best be defined as potential unrealized to this point in his career,” Kahn said. “He has the physical and mental tools to be a world champion. He’s a perfect fit for Top Rank. Whether Amir continues to campaign at super lightweight or welterweight remains to be seen, but the fans will see a rejuvenated, well-prepared Amir who is on a mission to be a world champion.”
Imam, from Albany, New York, knocked out 12 out of his first 13 opponents in the paid ranks, and won an eight-round unanimous decision in 2014 over Yordenis Ugas, who is currently one of the welterweight division’s top contenders. He scored highlight-reel knockouts over Jason Robinson and Fidel Maldonado before being stopped in shocking fashion by Adrian Granados in 2015. Imam rebounded with three consecutive knockout wins before locking horns with Ramirez in a memorable clash at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Carlos Takam Signs with Star Boxing
Star Boxing is excited to officially announce the signing of distinguished heavyweight title contender CARLOS TAKAM (36-5-1 28KO’s) of France, by way of Douala, Cameroon. Standing at 6’3″, the heavy handed, Takam has taken on some of the best in the business, in the heavyweight division. Star Boxing revealed the signing last week on its social media platforms.
Takam was an amateur standout in Cameroon. In 2003, he competed in the All-African Games in Nigeria, finishing with a bronze medal. In 2004, Takam qualified for the Athens, Greece Summer Olympics by earning Gold at the AIBA African Olympic Qualifying tournament in Morocco. Later that year, representing his native country of Cameroon, Takam fought in the Summer Olympic games in Athens, Greece, making it to the sweet sixteen.
Turning pro in 2005, just one year after the Olympics, Takam was an immediate force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. After securing a record of 23-1 with 18KO’s, Takam defeated GBENGA OLUOKUN (then 18-5 12KO’s) by TKO to earn his first professional title, becoming the WBO International African Heavyweight Champion. Since then, Takam has held multiple titles, including the WBC Silver World Championship, the IBF Intercontinental Championship, and the WBF World Championship.
From 2011 on, Takam fought a gruesome list of boxing’s best heavyweights which include, heavyweight world title challengers, FRANS BOTHA (then 48-6-3 29KO’S), MICHAEL GRANT (then 48-7 36KO’S), TONY THOMPSON (then 39-4 27KO’s), JOSEPH PARKER (Then 18-0 16KO’s), DERECK CHISORA (then 28-8 21KO’s) as well as former world champion, ALEXANDER POVETKIN (then 27-1 20KO’s). In 2017, Takam challenged ANTHONY JOSHUA (19-0 19KO’s) in the biggest, bout of his career, for the WBA, IBF and IBO World Heavyweight Titles.
In Takam’s last bout in December 2018, he defeated German prospect, SENAD GASHI (then 17-1 17KO’s) who was favored in the bout. Gashi was a 5x Saarland Champion, 2x Gold International Boxing champion, 2x Gold German Open champion, amongst many other accolades in the amateurs. The bout took place at the 02 Arena in London, ending in a seventh round TKO victory for Takam.
Takam said this about signing with Star Boxing, “I’m very happy to sign with Joe and Star Boxing. It’s almost one year now I’m free agent. I didn’t sign with any promoter. I have had several propositions on the table, but with Joe [DeGuardia], the way I see, I have good feeling that we can achieve my potential together. I have big ambition in boxing for these coming years. Because I was taking my time looking around before to make any decision. I am ready to do the job.”
Manager of Carlos Takam, DWIGHT YARDE, had this to say about the opportunities that are ahead for Team Takam with Star Boxing, “Exciting times in the heavyweight division! I have known Joe [DeGuardia] for some 20 years and truly believe he is the man to take Team Takam to the heavyweight title. With Carlos’ ability as a fighter, nothing can stop us now. Heavyweight division watch out – we are coming.”
Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA said this about the signing of Takam, “Carlos is a world class heavyweight who has faced some of the best in the division. Throughout boxing history, the heavyweight division has always cultivated the most buzz, and that buzz is back.” DeGuardia continued, “I think highly of Carlos. The hard-core boxing experts know how good he is, but now he will show the casual fans and will surprise many as to how good he can still be. We are really excited to bring some big things to the table for him, and are confident that a heavyweight championship of the world bout is in his future.”
Kovalev-Yarde Headlines Special Afternoon of Boxing on ESPN+
WBO light heavyweight champion and future Hall of Famer Sergey Kovalev will face off against his hard-hitting mandatory challenger, Anthony Yarde, in a highly anticipated showdown Saturday, Aug. 24 from Traktor Arena in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Kovalev-Yarde will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT. The stream will also showcase the co-feature bout between unbeaten cruiserweight contender Aleksei Papin (11-0, 10 KOs) and former world title challenger Ilunga Makabu (25-2, 24 KOs). Fans in the U.S. can sign up at www.ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App.
“I am thrilled to fight for the first time in my hometown of Chelyabinsk,” Kovalev said. “It is a dream to defend my WBO title in front of all my friends and family back home. I am also thankful ESPN+ will show the fight to my fans in the U.S. Thank you to Igor Altushkin, Egis Klimas, Main Events and Top Rank for making this dream a reality, and thank you to Anthony Yarde for agreeing to fight in my home.”
“Sergey has done just about everything a professional fighter can do, other than fight in his own hometown,” said promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “One of the sport’s greatest road warriors, Sergey will finally get the chance to salute his legion of fans in Chelyabinsk, where he grew up. It will be an exciting, long overdue homecoming for Sergey. And I am so happy to confirm that Sergey’s many fans in the U.S. will be able to watch this great event only on ESPN+. I wish to thank Igor Altushkin, German Titov and everyone at RCC for making this all possible. I also wish to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank for their continued support.”
Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) is a veteran of 15 world title bouts and has won the light heavyweight world title on three occasions. A former unified champion, he revived his career in February by scoring a wide points win over Eleider Alvarez, the man who’d knocked him out less than six months prior. One of this generation’s most decorated champions, Kovalev holds victories over Jean Pascal, Nathan Cleverly and living legend Bernard Hopkins. In Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs), he faces a London native with a giant hand who is taking a giant step up in competition. Yarde has won his last 16 bouts by knockout, most recently stopping Travis Reeves in five rounds in a bout that streamed on ESPN+. This will be only his second pro bout outside of England.
Roy Jones Junior Boxing Announces Deal with Eldorado Group to Co-Promote Multiple Installments on UFC Fight Pass
Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions has reached an exclusive agreement with Eldorado Group to co-promote multiple installments of “RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS®,” commencing October 25 with Joey Gilbert Promotions in Reno, Nevada.
The Oct. 25th show in Reno will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, from a venue to be determined.
“Everyone has seen all the excitement the Eldorado Group has going on,” RJJ Boxing CEO and Co-Founder Keith Veltre said. “Signing a deal of this magnitude is sending a strong message to the public that Eldorado Group wants to deliver the best in combat sports to its customers. Adding Joey Gilbert as a co-promoter only adds to the growing excitement RJJ Boxing Promotions has in the store for the future. Joey is a massive asset to what we are doing. Roy and I are super happy that he’s part of the team.”
In addition to being a combat sports promoter, Gilbert is a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer in Reno, as well as a sports agent and motivational speaker. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Nevada, where he was an outstanding amateur boxer, double majoring in English Literature and Political Science, and he went on to graduate from Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego.
Now retired as a boxer, Gilbert fought professionally from 2000-2010, compiling a 20-3 (15 KOs) record. He gained tremendous exposure participating in popular reality television series, The Contender, Season One.
“I am thrilled to bring professional boxing back to Reno,” CEO Joey Gilbert commented. “Reno has always been a fight town. I benefitted from this as both an amateur and professional fighter. I am beyond delighted to be involved in this endeavor with Roy Jones, Jr., who I have always held in such high regard, and looked up to as a fighter.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the RJJ Boxing executive team and CEO Keith Veltre, who certainly produces one of the highest-quality and exciting boxing shows that I have ever seen. Together with UFC FIGHT PASS, we will absolutely impress and exceed expectations of all local fight fans, and The Row will be hosting this exciting opportunity. This will be one of many new fighting opportunities for our community to enjoy. I am excited that Eldorado Resorts International threw its proverbial hat in the ring to support this program. It’s safe to say that I can see this being the first fight series of many across numerous El Dorado International properties in the United States.”
The fight card will be announced at a future date.
Beterbiev, Ancajas Win In Stockton, Flores Impresses
By: Sean Crose
IBF light heavyweight champ, and undefeated knockout king Artur Beterbiev, 13-0, defended his belt against the 24-1 Radivoje Kalajdzic Saturday night in a Stockton, California card that was aired live on ESPN. First up on the televised broadcast, the 30-1-2 Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF super flyweight strap against the 31-7 Ryuichi Funai. The first round was a relatively close affair. The second saw Ancajas going to his man’s body, with both men exchanging fast, solid head shots. The third round had both men engaging in a high octane performance. Ancajas landed well, but Funai was most certainly in the fight.
Ancajas hurt Funai in the fourth, but the game challenger survived the round, and even managed to keep trading punches. To his credit, Funai stayed alive in the fifth – but was taking some sharp punching from the defending champion. The sixth saw Ancajas land one straight head shot after another. At the start of the seventh, the ring doctor wisely stopped the match, as Funai at that point was absorbing much punishment.
Next up, undefeated local lightweight Gabriel Flores, 12-0, faced off against Eduardo Reis, 23-5, in a scheduled six rounder. Flores started strong and looked sharp in the first. Flores came out in the second and ripped Reis’ body. To his credit, Reis showed enough defensive skill to effectively survive the round. It proved to be of little use. An absolutely thunderous left hook put Reis down and ended the night for the lightweight in the seventh.
It was time for the main event. Kalajdzic found Beterbiev going straight at him at the opening bell. He quickly adjusted, and both men took to maneuvering in order to dictate the tempo. Beterbiev began to assert himself in the second. The third round was a slug fest, with Beterbiev taking his man down – but not out – in the final minute. Round four was wild. Both men swung furiously, though Beterbiev was clearly the stronger of the two combatants. Beterbiev started banging away in the fifth. The fight was then smartly halted. Beterbiev improved his record to 13-0, all by stoppage, and was able to successfully hold onto his belt.
The light heavyweight division is now one of the more interesting weight realms in boxing, with all major titles being held by men who might all stack up competitively against one another. After emerging victorious on Saturday, Beterbiev indicated he was ready to collect more of the division’s major titles.
Beterbiev: “I Want To Unify The Titles”
By: Sean Crose
“My preparation was excellent,” says IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. “I look forward to showing the American fans my talent, and I am glad to be fighting in such a great light heavyweight division.” It’s easy to overlook the fact that the 13-0 Beterbiev, who has won all his bouts by knockout, is fighting this Saturday night due to this weekend’s Canelo-Jacobs match sucking all the oxygen out of the figurative ring. The hard hitting Russian will indeed be fighting, however, in Stockton, California, on a card that will be aired live on ESPN.
Beterbiev’s opponent will be the 24-1 Radivoje Kalajdzic, who has stopped his last three opponents within the distance. What’s more, Kalajdzic’s only loss (which came via split decision) was to the undefeated Marcus Brown for the WBC light heavyweight title back in 2016. “I have a great opponent on Saturday night,” Beterbiev says, “but of course, I want to unify the titles. There are many great light heavyweights, and as a fighter, I want to test myself against the best. I want to be No. 1 in the division.”
As for Kalajdzic, the man is thrilled with the opportunity Saturday has presented him with. “About two years ago,” he says, “I quit boxing. I had a really bad injury, got a job and went up to 225 pounds. Mentally, physically, I was done. Then, I had this procedure, stem cells, and over time it did a miracle. Look at me now. I’m on ESPN fighting for a world title. Life is great.”
Kalajdzic also feels Saturday’s bout will be rewarding for the fans. “I was excited,” he says of finding out he could be Beterbiev’s next opponent, “because I had been telling my manager that (Beterbiev) was one of the guys that I would pick if I could. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate. I took the fight. It’s going to be a fun fight. He comes forward. I come forward. It’s going to be a fun fight for the fans.”
Saturday’s ESPN card also features the 30-1-2 Jerwin Ancajas defending his IBF super flyweight title against the 31-7 Ryuichi Funai. Ancajas is looking to impress after battling Alejandro Santiago Barrios to a draw last September. “”The last time I fought, I was not happy with the result,” Ancajas says. “For this fight, we did some different things in training to prepare 100 percent for the challenge in front of us. We prepared for all different types of styles, which will help me adjust as the fight goes on. My sparring partners were excellent, and you will see the result of that training on Saturday night.”
Artur Beterbiev To Leave DAZN For New Deal With Top Rank and ESPN
By Jake Donovan
A new year, another new platform for Artur Beterbiev.
Just one fight into his recently signed deal with Eddie Hearn and sports streaming service DAZN USA, the unbeaten light heavyweight titlist from Canada has decided to sever all ties and start fresh in 2019. That path will lead to a lucrative pact with Top Rank and ESPN.
Le Journal de Montreal was the first to report this development.
Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account
Beterbiev (13-0, 13KOs)—who has for years has held a tumultuous relationship with promoter Yvon Michel signed a three-fight co-promotional agreement with Hearn last summer, leading to his appearance on the stateside launch of DAZN USA’s boxing content.
The 33-year old retained his perfect 100% knockout-to-win rate, but had to climb off the canvas before putting away previously unbeaten Callum Johnson in the 4th round of their title fight last October in Chicago, Ill.
His next fight was to come in December at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where Beterbiev would’ve faced Long Island’s Joe Smith Jr. The light heavyweight title fight would’ve been the perfect complement to the debut of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez both at MSG and on DAZN, but Beterbiev balked at the fight, instead electing to sit out the rest of 2018.
The new year only produced the same tricks.
A second attempt to reschedule Beterbiev-Smith led event handlers to tentatively set aside a late February date at Nassau Coliseum, less than an hour from Smith’s eastern Long Island hometown of Mastic, New York. Beterbiev once again reversed course, this time with the real reasons revealed—his intentions to fight elsewhere.
Despite a three-fight deal in place, the light heavyweight titlist found a loophole that could potentially end the deal. According to a report from The Ring senior writer Mike Coppinger, Beterbiev’s promotional pact with Michel only remained in place through his alignment with adviser Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) platform.
Haymon agreed to release Beterbiev in lieu of going to court over failure to meet his mandatory minimum of contractually guaranteed fights, which in turn nullified the boxer’s existing agreement with Michel. In turn, it would also effectively terminate any such arrangement with Hearn and DAZN, although that side is still being sorted out.
While there remains a chance that Beterbiev and Michel—who has a strong relationship with Top Rank founder Bob Arum—will remain in business together, his next move in the ring won’t take place until past business is cleared up.
What’s abundantly clear is that his next fight won’t come against Smith Jr., who is now being steered towards a March 9 title challenge of unbeaten Dmitry Bivol.
Somebody’s 0 Has Got to Go: The Top Three Fights Fans Want to See
By: Oliver McManus
“Somebody’s 0 has got to go”, it’s possibly the most used phrase in modern boxing. Mind you, if David Diamante has his way it will soon become “let’s nix a nil” but the premise remains the same, two unbeaten fighters putting their records on the line in, hopefully, guts-and-glory encounters.
Don’t get me wrong, a loss doesn’t make you a bad fighter and beating an unbeaten man doesn’t, equally, make you a star player in the sport. As we’ve seen recently there have been a fair few damp squibs when it comes to unbeaten vs unbeaten – Andrade vs Kautondokwa, anyone?
Nonetheless there are plenty of mouth-watering fights in prospect and these are three fights I want to see, at world level, where someone’s 0 has got to go…
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk – Heavyweight
Where better place to kick off than in the heavyweight division? Anthony Joshua has had things pretty much his own way at the top of the game since winning his first world title – sanctioned by the IBF- in 2016. Since that capitulation of Charles Martin, Joshua has fought in six world title bouts and added the WBA, WBO and IBO straps to his collection.
With a touted fight against Deontay Wilder falling by the wayside – take whoever’s side you want on that thorny issue – Joshua is next out on April 13th, at Wembley, with an opponent yet to be scheduled in.
But I’ll be honest, the tag of undisputed aside, I’d much rather see AJ in with the man who holds all of the cruiserweight belts and, arguably, one of the best in the world pound for pound. Usyk seems to me, and many others, the toughest challenge that Joshua can face.
Technically he is sublime and he possesses the heavyweight power required to take Joshua into deep water but, let’s not forget, Usyk has amateur pedigree in the heavier division so it’s not like he’s inexperienced at the weight. Even having said that experience wouldn’t be an issue for someone of such natural quality as Usyk for his fight IQ and ring-ability transcends weight classes.
Coming off the back of a breezy fight against Tony Bellew in which, if we’re honest, he never looked out of control the natural step is for Usyk to go up to heavyweight. Joshua, we know, is searching for “legacy defining” fights and a bout against Oleksandr Usyk is about as big as they come.
The fight seems the most realistic, out of all the big heavyweight contests, with Eddie Hearn taking an active involvement in the promotion of the Ukrainian powerhouse so, fingers crossed, we could see a blockbuster event next year.
Winner of Errol Spence Jnr and Mikey Garcia vs Terence Crawford – Welterweight
Announced last week is the fight that, if we’re honest, made no real sense. Mikey Garcia was the man we all wanted to see fight Vasyl Lomachenko and Errol Spence was the champion looking to unify with Terrence Crawford.
The IBF Welterweight title will be on line come March 16th with Garcia looking to become a five weight champion in his 40th fight. A frighteningly skilled boxer, the California native has continually proved his credentials with a frightening knockout power.
In his last three fights Garcia has been extended the distance but has boxed with class throughout the 36 rounds, controlling the pace of the fight and manouvering his way out of danger with a comprehensive ease.
Errol Spence Jnr goes into the bout with an obvious weight advantage – fighting 12lbs heavier than the division in which Garcia actively holds a world title. 2 years the younger man, Spence burst onto the scene in 2016 with knockout victories over Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu.
Having captured the IBF crown with a ferocious victory against Kell Brook, in Sheffield, the Texas-man has defended the belt twice in equally terrifying fashion. A non-stop work rate with continual punch output, if you let the champion unfurl his hands then you’re going to be in trouble.
And whilst the question of weight will loom over the bout until fight night, Garcia is a consummate professional and an outstanding athlete. For a man trying to prove his ability in the welterweight division, there could be no better way to silence the critics than claiming a world title in your first fight so that’s where Terence Crawford comes into play.
Errol Spence is the man that people wanted to see in a unification class with Bud, they would produce a scintillating fight. If Mikey Garcia is able to overcome such a challenge then he will have instantaneously justified getting a fight with the WBO champion.
All roads lead to unification, or so they… bring it on!
Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol – Light Heavyweight
We’ll deal with the younger boxer first in Dmitry Bivol who ticked over towards the back of 2014 with a Bronze Medal at the 2008 Youth World Championships and a Gold Medal at the 2013 World Combat Games. A two time Russian national champion with a record of 268-15, his amateur pedigree was impressive but paled in comparison to his counterpart.
As a professional, though, the 27 year old really turned up the heat by claiming the first, major, belt of his career in just his fifth fight. The knockout power we all enjoy was evident from the first second of his debut but, with that, he’d find opponents looking to hold and just survive through the early phases. Not that that mattered, Bivol has always found ways of punishing his opponent.
Even when he has been stretched the distance – three times in 14 fights – the Kyrgyzstan-born man has always looked in complete control with an array of power punches as well as technical skill. Of course we’ll all remember his fierce one-punch knockout over, admittedly over-matched, Trent Broadhurst that saw Bivol claimed champion.
Successful defences against Sullivan Barrera and Isaac Chilemba have followed – he next fights Jean Pascal on the 24th – but surely the Russian will be eying up the options for unification come the turn of the year.
Beterbiev, on the other hand, turned pro in the middle of 2013 and initially built up a strong following in Canada – the elite amateur (World Champion & runner up, two-time European champion) had moved to Montreal in order to purse his professional ambitions.
At 5 and 0 he stepped up to face Tavoris Cloud – a former IBF champion – and dealt with the threat of the American, coming off a world title loss, in convincing fashion. The momentum from this bout seemed to follow as Beterbiev looked to fight better opponents at every opportunity possible.
A refreshing attitude of “fight who’s in front of me and knock them out” has ensured success with all thirteen of his wins coming via an early stoppage. A grizzly fighter, that’s the best way to describe it, Beterbiev never looks the fastest of opponents but, boy, does he have vicious punch power.
Typically standing with his hands at shoulder level, the 33 year old stands ready to pounce and is mature enough not to go out all-guns-blazing. The IBF champion won his title against Enrico Koelling last November and, in a fight that ended in the 12th, boxed patiently and calmly to do so.
Two unbeaten Russian powerhouses, slugging it out to unify light heavyweight world titles… what more could you ask for?
Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. Title Fight Targeted For December
By Jake Donovan
The biggest knock on Artur Beterbiev in recent years has been his criminally infrequent fight schedule. His team has taken note and is now making up for lost time.
The unbeaten light heavyweight titlist from Canada by way of Russia will make the second defense of his title in late December, in a development first reported by RDS Canada. Beterbiev’s promoter, Yvon Michel has revealed the defense will come versus New York’s Joe Smith, landing on either December 15 in New York City or December 22 in Atlantic City.
Several moving parts will dictate when exactly the 33-year old knockout will next fight. The good news is that either date puts Beterbiev (13-0, 13KOs) back in the ring less than three months after his most recent start, a 4th round knockout of Callum Johnson on October 6 in Chicago, Ill.
Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account
“It is almost certain that Artur will fight against Joe Smith,” Michel told RDS CA on Monday. “What is less certain is (the exact date). One thing is for sure; (Beterbiev’s) next fight will take place in 2018.”
Sports streaming app DAZN USA will carry the event, regardless. Whether it’s on December 15 or December 22 depends almost entirely on the streaming service securing the rights to the December 15 showdown between secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding and reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
A press conference to formally announce the event—which will take place at Madison Square Garden in NYC—will be held on Wednesday in NYC. It has been widely speculated that DAZN will win the sweepstakes, although HBO—with whom Alvarez enjoyed an exclusive contact since 2014, but is now exiting the boxing business—very much remains a contender, in what could be (through its Pay-Per-View arm) its final boxing broadcast of a storied 45-year run as the industry leader.
Should DAZN win the sweepstakes, Beterbiev’s title defense will land as the chief support. Otherwise, he will headline a separate card in Atlantic City. Either scenario will mark the East Coast debut for the hard-hitting light heavyweight, who earlier this month traded knockdowns with Johnson before putting away the previously unbeaten Brit in a bout that served on the stateside debut of DAZN USA’s boxing series.
The win was Beterbiev’s first piece of ring action since a 12th round stoppage of Enrico Koelling last November in Fresno, California. He hadn’t fought in 11 months prior to that bout, having boxed just twice in each of the prior two years (2015 and 2016).
It’s been a frustrating past few years for the former amateur standout and two-time Russian Olympian, but an alignment with promoter Eddie Hearn—DAZN’s primary content provider—is already promising better days ahead.
“Artur Beterbiev (versus) Joe Smith Jnr for the IBF World title done for DAZN USA in December,” Hearn announced via his verified social media account on Monday. “(It’s) going to be a WAR! Date and venue announced very soon!”
Meanwhile, news of the title shot is still resonating with Smith since he was already training for another heavily rumored opportunity.
The full-time union worker and top-rated light heavyweight contender from Eastern Long Island was previously linked to a November 24 title challenge versus unbeaten Dmitry Bivol. That bout was due to headline on HBO, but is now just left as Bivol headlining the show although former champ Jean Pascal has since been suggested as the new opponent.
Regardless, it remains the first career title fight for Smith Jr. (24-2, 20KOs), who is best known in boxing circles for his knockout win over future Hall of Famer and retiring former two-division champ Bernard Hopkins in Dec. ’16. The feat came six months after he scored a shocking 1st round knockout of then top-rated contender Andrzej Fonfara, in a bout which aired live on free-to-air NBC in primetime.
The win over Hopkins was the first of two HBO appearances for Smith Jr., who seven months later returned to the network in a 10-round loss to perennial top contender Sullivan Barrera. The setback was not without its moral victory, as the now 29-year old New Yorker was celebrated for having fought through a broken Jaw for most of the fight.
Just one fight has since come from the healing process, a rust-shaking 1st round knockout of Melvin Russell this past June in Uncasville, Conn. It was enough to put him back in the title mix, not having to wait very long – or wasting any time in preparing for the life-changing opportunity.
“All I can tell you is that Joe Smith is training very hard,” Phil Capobianco, Smith’s manager told BoxingInsider.com on Monday. “He will definitely fight (for the title) before the end of the year.”
DAZN Boxing Preview: Beterbiev vs. Johnson and Vargas vs. Dulorme
By: Sean Crose
Artur Beterbiev will defend his IBF light heavyweight title on Saturday night when he faces Callum Johnson in a twelve round bout. The match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming network from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Johnson, an undefeated Englishman with an impressive 17-0 record, is the underdog walking into the bout, though he has expressed confidence that he will pull off the upset against the 12-0 Beterbiev. Johnson will have quite the challenge in front of him, as Beterbiev has knocked out every opponent he has faced. Johnson himself has some power, as all but five of his own bouts have ended by knockout.
LA’s Daniel Roman will also appear on Saturday’s card, putting his WBA super bantamweight strap on the line when he faces Gavin McDonnell in a twelve rounder. Roman, 25-2-1, will be making his first defense of his title when he steps into the ring to fight his 20-1-2 opponent. This will be Roman’s third title defense since besting Shun Kubo in 2017. It will be McDonnell’s second attempt at a title belt. He lost to Ray Vargas by decision last year in a contest where the WBC super bantamweight title was at stake.
Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account
Well known former welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas will be on Saturday’s card, as well. He’ll be fighting for the first time since battling Adrien Broner to a draw last spring. Vargas, who has faced such big name competition as Sadam Ali, Tim Bradley and the iconic Manny Pacquiao, will be fighting veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. It will be the 24-3 Dulorme’s first fight since dropping a decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2017. It will be the 28-2-1 Vargas’ first title bout since losing his WBO belt to Pacquiao in November of 2016.
Aside from the numerous title bouts that will go down in Chicago this weekend, colorful heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller will throw down against the popular Tomasz Adamek. Although the charismatic Miller is widely expected to win, there’s a lot at stake for the 21-0-1 Brooklyn native. For, perhaps by virtue of being connected to British promoter Eddie Hearn, Miller has hoped to find himself in line to face Hearn fighter Anthony Joshua, widely regarded as the king of the heavyweight division, sometime in the near future. The 53-5 Adamek, however, surely has plans of his own.
Saturday’s Beterbiev-Johnson card will begin at 9:00 PM Eastern Time through the DAZN streaming service.
12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
(Las Vegas) (Puerto Rico)
147 lbs. 146.4 lbs.
12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
(Montreal) (United Kingdom)
174.8 lbs. 174.8 lbs.
12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
317 lbs. 227 lbs.
12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
(Los Angeles) (United Kingdom)
121.6 lbs. 121.8 lbs.
10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
(Buenos Aires) (Chicago)
139 lbs. 138.4 lbs.
Top Rank on ESPN Results: Ramírez Stops Reed in Two; Beterbiev Cruises to IBF Title
By Eric Lunger
Jose Ramírez is easy to like – a 2012 Olympian, a fighter who brings an exciting come-forward style to the ring, and a man who supports his central California roots with more than just talk. Tonight’s card on ESPN from the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State was not only the seventh “Fight for Water Rights,” an event that raises money and awareness for the California Latino Water Coalition, it was also a great night of action. Ramírez (20-0, 15 KOs) risked his mandatory position for the WBC super lightweight belt against a very technically proficient southpaw in Maryland’s Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (23-0, 12 KOs), while much avoided knockout puncher Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) took on Enrico Kölling (23-1, 6 KOs) of Germany for the IBF light heavyweight title, recently vacated by Andre Ward.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions
Having grown up in central California, Ramírez has remained connected to the community both as a citizen and a professional boxer. The 13,838 fans in the arena were, predictably, loud and passionate as Ramírez made his way to the ring. Reed gave up four inches in height and almost six inches in reach, but the Waldorf, MD, native came into the proverbial lion’s den with a plan to box and weather the early storm.
Both fighters were active in the first round, with Ramírez doing better work, especially with left hooks to the body. Reed, as is his way, was calm and poised, maintaining his defense and countering when and where he could.
In the second, Reed’s lead right hook caught Ramírez coming in, but then Ramírez — just as suddenly — caught Reed with a short right hand, hurting him and forcing a knock down. Reed took the count, but was still in trouble. After a second knockdown, and with 1:17 to go in the round, referee Jack Reiss, after watching Ramírez unload on Reed for about ten seconds straight, waved the fight off. Just like that, and on one punch, Ramírez seized control and gave Reed no chance to regain his equilibrium.
In the co-main event, Russian-born, Montréal based Artur Beterbiev came into the ring with record of eleven knockouts in eleven pro fights. In a cautious and uneventful bout, the Russian dominated every round. Kölling took few risks, fought with a high guard, and was on his back foot the whole night. For his part, Beterbiev was content to score with his jab, offering little variety in the way of offense.
Only in the twelfth round did Beterbiev put his motor into a high gear. He began to let his hands go in earnest and, with 40 seconds left, he knocked Kölling down twice. The referee waved the fight off without administering a count, a bit of a gift to Beterbiev, who thus keeps his knockout streak.
You know that feeling when you watch a professional and exploratory first round? Both fighters just getting their range and maybe trying to figure out a few things about the other guy? They go back to their corners, and you’re pretty certain that things will open up in the next round. Well, the first eleven rounds were more or less like that tentative, eventless first round.
Regardless, Beterbiev picks up the IBF belt and now must figure in any conversation with the other kingpins of the division: Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, Eleider Alvarez, Sullivan Barrera, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and Badou Jack.
Ramírez vs. Reed and Beterbiev vs. Kölling Headline ESPN Card
By: Eric Lunger
Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (23-0, 12 KOs) looks to make a statement in the super lightweight division this Saturday night as he takes on Jose Carlos Ramírez (20-0, 15 KOs), an undefeated number 3 world ranked contender and former 2012 US Olympian. Reed, a five-foot six southpaw from Waldorf, MD, had a stellar amateur career. He has been brought along carefully as a professional. Now, with Terence Crawford moving up to welterweight, the 140-pound division is open for a number of fighters to make an impact, and 24-year-old Reed hopes to be one of them.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
Ramírez, 25, hails from Avenal, CA, and is riding a three fight KO streak. With significant amateur background as well, and with trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Ramírez made the transition to the professional ranks with ease. At five-foot ten, Ramírez is tall and rangy, and he will look to maximize his height and six-inch reach advantage. With a classic Mexican style, expect the California native to stand in the middle of the ring and throw. In his last outing, Ramírez stopped Jake Giuriceo (20-5-1, 5 KOs) with an onslaught of left hooks to the body and punishing overhand rights.
Mike Reed, on the other hand, is a calm and deliberate fighter. He likes to figure out his opponent in the ring, and then go to work on perceived weaknesses. The matchup is an intriguing one: aggressive puncher in Ramírez versus deliberate southpaw tactician in Reed. Conditioning and experience in the late rounds could be issues for both fighters. Reed has had only two ten-round bouts (both went the distance and both were unanimous decisions), whereas Ramírez has gone the distance only once in his professional career. Headlining an ESPN card will also add pressure and nerves for both guys. There is a lot at stake: both fighters undefeated, both looking for a title shot in the wide open super lightweight division.
In the co-main event, Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs), a Russian-born fighter who resides in Montréal, Canada, takes on Enrico Kölling (23-1, 6 KOs) of Berlin, Germany, for the vacant IBF light heavyweight world title. Beterbiev, as his record indicates, is a fearsome knockout puncher, and he has claimed that former champion Andre Ward vacated the title rather than face his mandatory title challenge. Be that as it may, Kölling has fought only in Germany, and once in South Africa. He will have his hands full Saturday night, as Beterbiev packs dangerous power in both hands. What Kölling does have in his favor is experience, which he will need, having gone the full twelve-round distance three times in his career. The German is also well versed in the European amateur ranks, which may prepare him for a fighter of Beterbiev’s caliber. Whether he is prepared for Beterbiev’s pressure and power is another question.
The venue is the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA, making this a home fight for Ramírez, who sold out the building last December. Tickets may be purchased at select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 800 or at the Save Mart Center Box Office.
Both fights will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Golovkin, Jacobs, Masnour, Cintron, Beterbiev, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Golovkin, Jacobs, Masnour, Cintron, Beterbiev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 7th to March 14th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions
Dana White Tells TMZ Conor-Floyd Fight Not Close
TMZ Sports caught up with UFC President Dana White, who informed them that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor superfight is “nowhere near being done.
Dana White also indicated that the two sides are just as far apart as they’ve been for months, despite the fact Floyd recently announced that he would come out of retirement to fight Conor and that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has put June 10 on reserve in case the fight is made.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/14/dana-white-says-conor-floyd-fight-nowhere-near-being-done-no-target-date/
Golovkin vs. Jacobs to be Available Online
On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, boxing will take a giant step into the digital age as fans will be able to watch the March 18 HBO Pay-Per-View middleweight championship battle between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) and Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) via an online stream at RingTV.com. RingTV.com is the world leader in boxing and sports of combat editorial, content and live event entertainment.
Live from Madison Square Garden in New York City, the premium Pay-Per-View event of Golovkin vs. Jacobs will be offered via live stream, giving fans the opportunity to watch this mega-fight on the device of their choice.
“For years, we have been heavily investing in technology and platforms that will allow a new generation of fans – those who want to view fights or any other content where they want to, when they and how they want to – access to our sport,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman of Ring Magazine and Ring TV. “The livestream of Golovkin vs. Jacobs Pay-Per-View is an enormous step towards revolutionizing the delivery of boxing content in order to diversify boxing’s fan base and keep the sport growing for decades to come.”
The Pay-Per-View live stream event on www.ringtv.com can be pre-ordered and will be available for all U.S.-based users for $64.99. It will include all four Pay-Per-View fights on the Golovkin vs. Jacobs card.
In addition to GGG and Jacobs, fans will be able to witness a full night of action:
Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World and WBC Super Flyweight Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), fighting out of Managua, Nicaragua, will defend his title against mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) of Si Sa Ket, Thailand
Former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KO’s) of Mexico City, Mexico returns to battle against cross-town rival and former world title challenger Dacid “Severo” Carmona (20-3-5, 8 KOs), also of Mexico City, Mexico.
Top lightweight prospects including WBC Lightweight Continental Americas Champion Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (17-0, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio via Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Port Chester, New York’s Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (17-1, 8 KOs) will battle in a scheduled ten rounder.
“RingTV.com is the go-to online platform for viewing world class boxing and sports of combat – providing our loyal fans with access to the best fights and matchups from the top fighters and promoters on the planet,” said David Tetreault, COO of Ring Magazine and RingTV. “RingTV.com is dedicated to partnering with any and all promoters in an effort to bring their premium events to demanding sports fans across the globe.”
Golovkin vs. Jacobs is presented by K2 Promotions. Tickets priced at $1000, $600, $400, $300, $200 and $100, are now on sale and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com
Rahman Jr. Ready to Begin His Own Heavyweight Legacy
Having grown up the son of a former undisputed and two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Hasim Rahman Jr., doesn’t mind that the world will be watching from the beginning of his professional boxing career.
“This isn’t new,” explained Rahman. “I’m so used to being who I am and having eyes on me that it would be awkward to not have them. It hasn’t mattered who I was my whole life, or what I did. The world was watching because of who my father is.”
Rahman Jr., whose father, Hasim “The Rock” Rahman famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in April 2001 to win the WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships, will make his professional debut against Kansas City’s Brian Imes (1-4, 1 KO) on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at Greg Cohen Promotions’ SUPER BRAWL® III, boxing event at the Skylands Event & Conference Center (ECC) in Randolph, New Jersey.
Presented in association with Rising Promotions and GH3 Promotions (sponsored by David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions), SUPER BRAWL® III will also feature the Bronx, New York’s Halili brothers: power-punching super-welterweight action hero Skender Halili (13-1, 13 KOs) taking on Ecuadorian veteran Eduardo “El Cheíto” Flores (25-25-3, 15 KOs) in the eight-round main event, and undefeated Enver Halili (8-0, 2 KOs) facing Nicaragua’s Ariel Vasquez (13-16-2, 9 KOs) in the six-round welterweight co-main.
Tickets for SUPER BRAWL® III are priced at Golden Ringside $150, Ringside $100 and General Admission $50 and can be purchased by calling the GCP office: 212.851.6425 or online at gcpboxing.com.
“My dad is like an advisor,” he continued. “My dad is the only person I know that truly has my best interests at heart. Anybody else I ever dealt with, it always came down to money at the end of the day. My dad never asks me for anything. I know he knows the game and I know that with him on my team, the sky is the limit.”
25-year-old Rahman is getting a later-than-expected start at his highly-anticipated boxing career. Coming off his successful 100-fight run as an amateur, the buzz was all around the 6′ 3″ 250-lb. fighter, but a fatal car accident in 2012 saw him serving a 2- to 5-year sentence with the Department of Corrections.
Recently released and now ready to go on with life, Rahman says the entire experience changed him for the good. “It was an eye-opener for me. Going through that really changed my career and how I felt as a person, and a son, a father, and a husband. It changed me. I am grateful god blessed me to be in this position today.”
Rahman says he doesn’t know much about first opponent Imes, but he and trainer Kenny Ellis are hard at work at Upton Boxing Center in Baltimore.
“I feel great. I’m really anxious, but the nervousness hasn’t kicked in. It will around fight time. My team says it’s a good fight for me. Being off for two and a half years, I’m looking to get in some rounds.”
Despite the delayed start, Team Rahman has no plan on rushing things.
“I just want to stay busy as I can and learn as much as I can and fight for a world title when I’m ready. I’m not going to rush. There’s no rush. It’s not like I’m going to wait forever. I will fight for the title when I’m ready and I know if it put in the work, I’ll be ready in a about two years. That’s the goal for me. If it takes three or four years, it does. Whatever the case may be. I’ll keep racking up the knockouts until it happens.”
For Rahman, the decision to follow in his famous father’s footsteps was a rational one.
“I’ve always been taught to plan ahead. When I was in middle school, I was really into football. I played tight end, running back and wide receiver. I had dreams. But it dawned on me how many people have the same dream that I do. For instance, there are a million young African American men wanting to go to the NBA every year. 400,000 of them will play high school basketball. 4000 of those will play college. 35 will be drafted. Out of the that 35, only 7 will start. That means there are a million people trying to get 7 jobs. And the average career in the NBA is four years. That’s a problem. People have to look at their odds. I did. So, I said ‘know what? Instead of being in this giant pool of people trying to be the next Ray Lewis. I rarely run across someone who wants to be heavyweight champion of the world,’ so that’s what I decided to do. No father and son duo have ever become heavyweight champions. It’s never been done. For me to be in the position to cement our family name in heavyweight championship history is very motivating and I’m ready to take full advantage of it.”
Signing with Greg Cohen Promotions was an easy decision, according to Rahman, who has known the Jersey-based promoter for most of his life.
“I really want to thank Greg Cohen for the chance he’s given me,” he said. “I’ve known Greg since I was a kid and he has always believed in me. He has always supported me and kept in contact and followed me. He has a real genuine interest in me. Greg already knows he has the best new heavyweight in the world. I’m really dedicated to making him and my father and the City of Baltimore proud.”
Kermit Cintron to Fight on Kauffman vs. Mansour PBC on Bounce Card
Former champion Kermit Cintron (39-5-2, 30 KOs) will battle once-beaten David Grayton (15-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout on Friday, March 17 as part of Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Santander Arena in Reading, PA. and is headlined by a showdown between exciting heavyweight contenders Travis “My Time” Kauffman and Amir “Hardcore” Mansour.
Undercard fights on Bounce begin with two unbeaten prospects as Brooklyn-native Chordale Booker (5-0, 3 KOs) faces Virginia’s Moshea Aleem (4-0-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight contest.
Further action in the arena will feature two-time cruiserweight world champion Steve Cunningham (28-8-1, 13 KOs) battling Mexico’s Felipe Romero (19-11-1, 13 KOs) in an eight-round cruiserweight showdown.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, start at $20 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at the VF Outlet Box Office at the Santander Arena, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com. The bout between Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas was originally scheduled to appear on this telecast, but will be rescheduled for a card early next month.
Additional action will see unbeaten super featherweight prospect Chris Colbert (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round fight against Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Garrigo (3-4-1, 2 KOs), Reading’s Erik Spring (8-1-2, 1 KO) taking on Jeremiah Wiggins (10-5-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight bout and middleweight Nick Valliere (5-1, 2 KOs) going up against Nicholas Hernandez (5-2, 1 KO) in a six-round middleweight contest.
Rounding out the night of fights are a trio of local Reading-natives as Kashon Hutchinson (2-1, 1 KO) battles Los Angeles” Darius Ervin (3-1) in four-rounds of super lightweight action, Jesus Perez (1-0) in a four-round super lightweight bout against Titos Matthew Gosalves and the pro debut of Matt Quirindongo as he faces Delaware’s Weusi Johnson (2-2) in a four-round super featherweight showdown.
Cintron is a former welterweight world champion who owns victories over Alfredo Angulo, Lovemore Ndou and Ronald Cruz. The Puerto Rican fighter who lives in Reading fought Argentine great Sergio Martinez to a draw and has battled top fighters from Canelo Alvarez to Antonio Margarito. He enters this bout on a six-fight win streak including four victories last year.
Fighting out of Washington, D.C., Grayton turned pro in 2012 after finishing as a runner-up in the National Golden Gloves tournament that year. He went unbeaten in his first 14 career starts before suffering a defeat to Bryant Perrella. The 29-year-old bounced back in his last outing defeating previously unbeaten prospect Kareem Martin by eighth-round stoppage in an entertaining fight.
An accomplished amateur fighting out of Brooklyn, Booker is a former PAL and New York Golden Gloves champion, while also picking up a bronze medal at the 2015 U.S. Olympic Trials. The 25-year-old turned pro last year and has already picked up five victories, including a first-round stoppage of Andre Baker in his last appearance in February. He takes on the 24-year-old Aleem, who’s brother Immanuwel is an unbeaten middleweight contender.
Fighting out of Virginia, Aleem first fought professionally in 2013 and 2014 before entering the ring again last April.
Promoter Yvon Michel Responds to Allegations About Cancelled Beterbiev vs. Barrera Eliminator
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel has responded accordingly to unfounded allegations recently made in the media by Sullivan Barrera about GYM and its undefeated world light heavyweight contender, Artur Beterbiev, to set the record straight regarding the recently announced cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title eliminator.
“Despite Barrera’s claims,” Michel insisted, “he didn’t sign a contract because he never intended for fight Artur. In Team Barrera’s letter, he lied and showed his ignorance trying to distract from the facts.
“For the conclusion of this unfortunate saga, the IBF has informed me that it has ruled to ban Barrera from its world rankings, or from participating in one of its sanctioned fights, for the next six months. I’ve also been informed that, if nobody in the IBF top 10 is available and agrees to fight Artur, the IBF will declare him as its No. 1 mandatory challenger for the winner of the Ward-Kovalev rematch. Artur will be back in the ring in late April, early May. The mandatory defense for the Ward-Kovalev II winner, or Ward if that fight doesn’t happen, is due in September.”
IBF Light Heavyweight Ratings: Champion – Andre Ward, 1. Unrated, 2. Artur Beterbiev, 3. Sergey Kovalev, 4. Erik Skoglund, 5. Enrico Kolling, 6. SUSPENDED, 7. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 8. Dominic Bosel , 9. Robert Stieglitz, 10. Trent Broadhurst.
Below, Michel sets the record straight, point-by-point, in terms of the open letter Team Barrera sent to the media.
Michel didn’t negotiate with Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, and asked for it to go to an immediate purse bid.
“Kathy Duva (CEO/Main Events) came to my office the day before the deadline set for Barrera’s acceptance to participate in the IBF title eliminator to speak about the situation. Our hope was to fight Barrera but because he is prohibited from traveling to Canada, I confirmed our intention with Ms. Duva to accommodate Barrera and leave Canada and make the fight in the United States. We were in the same position a year ago, when Barrera pulled out of the same title eliminator because he couldn’t get a visa to fight in Canada. Artur was then supposed to fight Karo Murat, but he suffered an injury and was unable to fight. Barrera later defeated Murat to move into the IBF mandatory position in which he then lost to Andre Ward.
“Kathy told me the number she had in mind to make the fight. I said that I would see if there were enough resources for that amount and promised to call her the following day. I did and explained that there weren’t enough resources to meet that purse structure. Nevertheless, not long after I received confirmation Barrera was officially taking the challenge, I then decided to move forward and immediately requested a purse bid date, which is the prerogative of any promoter, knowing what was Main Events’ expectation in terms of their fighter’s purse. In this business, everybody knows the best way to determine the true market value of a fight is a purse bid, where promoters are evaluating their resources and making their bid accordingly. We still had still seven days to make an offer, one and other, and make a deal up to five minutes before the bid was due. Main Events never made us an offer and neither did we.”
GYM’s winning purse bid was $251,000, substantially more than Main Events’ bid of $182,000, of which Beterbiev would receive 75-percent of the winning bid. Barrera would have received $62,750, compared to $45,500 he would have earned if his own promoter had won the bid.
Beterbiev reported on social media that his fight versus Barrera would be held March 4th in Brooklyn, New York and Michel reported that the fight would be held in late March, early April, in New York. Barrera had trained for those dates but didn’t receive a contract.
“GYM won the purse and pursuant to IBF rules and regulations, the fight had to be held within 30 to 90 days,” Michel continued. “We deposited $50,000, per IBF rules, and received a confirmation letter from the IBF all was conform. As per IBF regulations, within 15 days after the purse bid, we filed contracts for the two fighters. Artur signed his five minutes after he received the contract and it was then sent to the IBF. We executed Barrera’s contract, sending it to Main Events for Barrera with a copy sent to the IBF. Soon after I received notice from the IBF that everything was in order and that we had complied with the IBF requirements.”
Michel sent an improper agreement to Main Event listing various dates.
“We knew we had a PBC date, either April 14, 21 or 29. It’s very common for fight dates written in the initial fighter contract to vary one week before or after the date listed. I contacted IBF president Daryl Peoples and said April 21st was the most likely date but that it could end up being a week earlier or after. He recommended to be transparent and to write all three potential dates into the contract. We did and then sent it to Main Events for Barrera to sign. Main Events noted that IBF rules said only one date and site could be written in the contract. Daryl complied with the objection so we then officially confirmed April 21st would be the date of the fight and Florida the site. We then sent a GYM executed corrected IBF bout agreement back to Main Events to be signed by Barrera and filed with the IBF on February 16th.
“Meanwhile, GYM received a request, from Main Event to produce a Provision of Service agreement for Barrera’s participation. GYM was not obliged to positively fulfill that request but, as a display of good faith, we did so in belief the contract that Barrera would sign and Main Events would file it at the IBF office, on that date, as per its rules. Soon after, GYM received a letter from IBF championship chairman, Mr. Lindsey Tucker, that all requirements had been fulfilled to officially sanction the bout.”
The Florida location for the fight had been selected by GYM for three reasons. 1. Beating Barrera in his own backyard would send strong message for Beterbiev within the division; 2. GYM had received an offer from Miami-based SMY Sports and Entertainment’s president M. Eric Senecal, who wanted the buy the rights to produce the event; 3. GYM’S longtime and very close relationship with Florida-based Warriors Promotions, Mr. Leon Margules.
On behalf of GYM, Margules had reserved the April 21st date with the Florida Athletic Commission. SMY Sports & Entertainments made a deal with GYM that had a deadline to deposit the agreed upon money guarantee. They had reserved the Seminole Hard Rock arena in Fort Lauderdale. If SMY was not able to deliver money and site, GYM had a backup plan, proposed by Margules, who had a deal and a site on hold, Hialeah Racetrack in nearby Hollywood (FL). No matter what would transpire, the fight was guaranteed at a site in Florida, April 21st for a PBC event to be televised on FS1.
Barrera’s manager was contacted by one of the promoters to help pay Yvon Michel and finance the bout.
“This is a tortuous claim and a terrible lie,” Michel said. “Nobody representing GYM ever made that kind of request. The truth is a local promoter, M. Michael Luzbet, whom I’d never met and never made any deals of any sorts with in the past, wanted to be a partner with SMY Sports and Entertainments. He tried to raise his share of money to participate but SMY rapidly disassociated themselves from Michael Luzbet.
“How the group (SMY) was raising money wasn’t really my concern, but they had found sponsors and were counting on the important Quebec community residing in Florida at that time of the year, as well as the important Cuban population and their contacts with the Russian community, to sell VIP tables and tickets. It wanted the rights to put the show on in Florida but they were concerned because they had heard a rumor that Barrera hadn’t signed a contract and he was going to pull out of the fight.
They then requested a guarantee that Barrera (who lives in Miami) was going to fight before confirming their money deposit. I was in Quebec City at that time for the Alvarez-Bute fight. Mr. Lindsey Tucker was there representing the IBF and I spoke to him. He said he believed the IBF had received a signed contract from Barrera. I contacted SYM to say everything was fine and that I had requested a copy (of the Barrera-signed contract) from Lindsey. Daryl People then informed me that there was a misunderstanding and they did not have a signed contract from Barrera. It is only then I realized Main Events had pressured Barrera to sign the agreement without success. We asked the IBF president to pressure Main Events to have Barrera sign the contract because, without it, we were jammed in the promotion of the event. This is exactly what happened.”
Team Barrera implied that Yvon Michel couldn’t promote a show of this magnitude in the U.S.
“I’ve promoted more than 200 shows, never defaulting or cancelling a single show, including involvement in more than 50 world championship fights and many multi-million dollars events, much bigger than this title eliminator. This statement just shows his ignorance about what we’re all about and who we are and was just smoke screen to his behavior. I’ve promoted shows with the majority of the major promoters in the world; DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Promotions, Don King Promotions, Golden Boy, Main Events… just about everybody. It was unbelievable for them to write such an impertinent line.”
Team Barrera unjustly belittled the quality of Beterbiev’s last two opponents, calling them cow farmers from Argentina.
“This is terrible to be so insolent to fellow world contenders. Both fighters were world ranked in the top 15 at that time. (Ezequiel Osvaldo) Maderna (23-2, 16 KOs) had never been knocked out and (Isidro) Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) had suffered only one loss, a decision to the WBC #1 contender Eleider Alvarez. Beterbiev knocked them both out (Maderna in the fourth round, Prieto in the first), so downgrading the quality of Artur’s 2016 opponents was totally unwarranted. If Barrera ever actually got into the ring with Beterbiev, he would have fallen into the same category as Maderna and Prieto, who were both fierce competitors but not in the same league of Beterbiev.”
Michel firmly believes Barrera never intended to fight Beterbiev for his share of the purse bid and, to cover up, he tried to place the blame on others. His promoter spent time and money for the bid at the request of its fighter, Barrera, believing he had a legitimate chance of winning the fight. It is obvious that sentiment was not shared by Barrera, even if the fight was to be held in his own backyard in Florida.
“The truth of this matter is that Barrera lied to distract media attention from the fact he didn’t sign a contract and clearly wanted no part of Beterbiev,” Michel concluded. “We don’t disrespect any contender who prefers not to challenge Artur Beterbiev for the mandatory position. We also believed that Main Events did everything in its power to convince their fighter to keep his words and to go forward with the fight. Main Events is not at blame. We also have respect for Barrera’s fighting abilities but we have no respect for the person Barrera is with his despicable, unprofessional, shameful and disgraceful attitude in handling the present situation”
“On a personal note, I have never met Sullivan Barrera. I never had to directly communicate with him, I never had to do business with him, everything went through his promoter, Main Events, and I really don’t envy them! Soon, GYM will have two light heavyweight world champions and I can guarantee Barrera will never be in their plans.
“We’ve moved on from Sullivan Barrera to find an opponent who has the desire to step into the ring to fight Artur Beterbiev. While Barrera will still be suspended by the IBF, Beterbiev will be World Champion!”
Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian, holds two amateur victories over his fellow countryman, Kovalev, the former world light heavyweight champion. Whether it’s Kovalev or Ward, Artur Beterbiev will be more than ready for the challenge to fight for the world light heavyweight championship this September.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Lubin, Lara, Beterbiev, Bute, Braekhus, Svennsson, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Lubin, Lara, Beterbiev, Bute, Braekhus, Svennsson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 14th to February 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit:Etzel Espinosa- Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Mexico City Press Conference Quotes
Two-division world champion Canelo Álvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) today kicked off their four-city international press tour in Mexico City. The event drew thousands of fans and hundreds of media to watch Canelo and Chavez, Jr. in their first face off ahead of their anticipated clash on Cinco De Mayo weekend, Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Below are what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s press conference:
CANELO ÁLVAREZ, Former Two-Division World Champion:
“It’s a new weight, so I have started to spar with heavier partners, which everyone will notice come fight night. Fights between Mexicans are usually the biggest, and I want this fight to be a mark on the legacy that many fights like this have left behind in Mexico’s fight history.
“I think that a rivalry does exist, and we are both polemic fighters. There have been a lot of comments directed towards me and my character, and I fight for pride to represent my country.
“We are of course are training at 100 percent. I think what makes this fight interesting is that we are both heavy punchers. I’ve been in my fair share of mega-fights, and the boxing ring is my home. I have had the same people in my corner since the very beginning, and I trust Chepo and Eddy to fully support me in my corner.”
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, JR., Former WBC World Middleweight Champion:
“I’ve been making my way to this fight. My last fight was at 168 pounds. This fight isn’t going to be any different from any other fight that I have had in the past. I want to thank all the people who have come to support me over the years.
“This is going to be a tough fight. Every fight is important, and this one especially because it is between two Mexicans fighting each other for the glory. The fight could not have come at a more perfect timing – both my and Canelo’s names are known throughout the world as some of the best fighters. My two losses against Martinez and Fonfara taught me more than all 50 of my wins. This fight has the potential to open many doors to my future that might have been closed before. I fight for pride – everyone says that Canelo is the best.
“With Nacho Beristain in my corner, I have a lot of knowledge on my side. It’s symbolic because he has his name etched as one of the greats, and this is a tribute to him and is a contribution to Mexican boxing. Canelo isn’t Oscar De La Hoya’s son. I’ve got a great corner. I am going to win this fight.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Saul was the one who wanted this fight, and my duty as a promoter is to put together the best fights. Mexican boxing is the best, and when you have these two hot boxers who want to give the best to the fans, and we couldn’t pass it up.
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, SR., Six-Time World Champion Boxerz:
“I foresee a real tough fight. We have seen the best of Canelo, but we have not seen the best of my son. I firmly believe that with a disciplined training camp, Jr. is able to knock out not just Canelo but anyone in his way. I want to thank everyone who has come out to support my son. I can honestly say that this is a dream come true, and we are looking forward to the fight.”
Artur Beterbiev vs. Sullivan Barrera Announced for April 21st
It’s official: Montreal’s Artur Beterbiev (IBF #2 – 11-0-0, 11 KOs) will be in the most important fight of his career, against Cuban-born Sullivan Barrera (IBF #7 – 18-1-0, 13 KOs), for the mandatory challenger position for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heayvweight world title, held by American Andre Ward (31-0-0, 15 KOs). The Beterbiev vs. Barrera clash will take place April 21 in Miami, Florida.
“It is with great pride and confidence that we go into this fight in Miami,” Beterbiev’s promoter Yvon Michel (Groupe Yvon Michel). “In order for Beterbiev to receive maximum credibility, he needs to demonstrate that he can perform anywhere in the world. Because Sullivan Barrera, the only top-rated contender to accept the challenge to face Artur, could not cross the Canadian border, we agreed to have this fight take place in the United States.
“We are convinced that the many Quebecers who still live in Florida, at this time, will come to support Artur, who has made Quebec the adopted home for him and his young family.”
The Beterbiev-Barrera winner will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF light heavyweight champion, who will have until September, at the latest, to face the winner.]GYM won the IBF-ordered purse bid Feb. 2 (2017), winning with a $201,000 (USD) bid to $181,000 for Barrera’s promoter, Main Events. Due to the 75-25 percentage advantage going to the highest ranked fighter, Beterview will earn $188,250 to $62,750 for Barrera.
Ward won the IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev, November 19, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Beterbiev was impressive in his most recent outing, last December 23 at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, stopping Paraguayan slugger Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3) in opening round (2:44).
Barrera also displayed tremendous skills during his most recent performance, this poast Dec. 16 in California, shattering the previously undefeated Vyacheslav Shabrankyy (17-0-0), of Ukraine, with a spectacular TKO victory in the seventh round.
More details about Beterbiev vs. Barrera will be announced in the coming days.
Erislandy Lara Gains US Citizenship
WBA and IBO super-welterweight champion, Erislady “The American Dream” Lara, is truly living the American dream since he has now completed all the eligibility requirements to become a U.S citizen. Erislandy, along with his wife Yudi, took an oath of allegiance to the United States today, solidifying their citizenship.
Lara, who made his U.S. boxing debut in Primm, Nevada, in January of 2009, is elated about gaining his U.S. citizenship. He reflects on the long journey it took to become a U.S citizen.
“When I arrived in the United States in 2008, my main goal was to become a citizen of this great nation.” said Erislandy Lara. “It brings me great joy to know that I am now a legal citizen of the United States of America. It’s been a long journey to get where I’m at today, and I couldn’t have done it without my beautiful wife Yudi. Together, we fulfilled all the legal requirements that were mandated to become a U.S citizen.”
“Living in here in the States has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family.” Lara continued. “With hard work, and the help of many good people around me, I’ve been able to provide for my loved ones. My goal is to continue my boxing career with my core team, and someday, God willing, become a Boxing Hall of Famer.”
Internationally-Flavored Full Card Announced for Bute vs. Alvarez
A full card with an international flavor, from top to bottom, has been announced for this Friday (Feb. 24) night’s “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” major event at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (21-0, 10 KOs), defends his title against former world super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) in the 12-round main event that also serves as the final WBC eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1-0, 23 KOs). Alvarez, who lives in Montreal, was a Colombian Olympian and Laval, Canada resident Bute is a native of Romania. Stevenson, Alvarez and Bute are all promoted by GYM.
“This is an excellent overall boxing event and the result will have a significant impact on the career of all participants,” said the President of GYM, Yvon Michel.
“The Martel-Braidwood WBU heavyweight title fight has all the ingredients to be a barnburner, while the NABO middleweight fight may prove that Lafreniere deserve to be named, ‘The people champ’ because of his relentless attack style. Bute and Alvarez in the main event are putting their future on the line with this the most significant light heavyweight fight so far in 2017. The real winners are going to be the boxing fans, who appreciate the evenly matched fights and fighters ready to leave it all in the ring!”
Promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev, “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” is a presentation of Videotron and Mise-O-Jeu, at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” live in the United States, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on cable, satellite and internet pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and the FITE app for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
In Canada, “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” will be available to watch, in English or French, on Canal Indigo, Shaw TV and Bell TV; English-only on Rodgers PPV, as well as in many of the top Canadian sports bars.
Outside of North America, “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” is being distributed by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
In the 12-round co-feature, Canadian heavyweights Eric “The Hammer” Martel-Bahoeli (14-5-2, 8 KOs) and Adam “The Bogeyman” Braidwood (6-1, 5 KOs) will battle for the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) title. A former Commonwealth & Canadian title challenger, Martel-Bahieli will be fighting at home in Quebec City. Braidwood, fighting out of British Colombian, is a former football player for Washington State University and in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Popular Quebec super welterweight Sebastian Bouchard, a 2007 Canadian Championships silver medalist, takes on Mexican super welterweight champion Gustavo “Vitaminas” Garibay (13-7-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round non-title fight.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight champion Francis Lafreniere (14-5-2, 8 KOs), also fighting out of Quebec, defends his 10-round bout against Mexican knockout artist Uriel “Big Bang” Gonzalez (15-1-1, 11 KOs). The vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) championship will also be the line for the Lefreniere vs. Willis confrontation.
In a pair of off-PPV fights, undefeated Montreal super middleweight Dario Bredidean (11-0, 3 KOs) faces Mexican invader Alejandro Torres (9-1-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round match, while 2016 France Olympian Christian “Le Solide” M’Billi (1-0, 1 KO) is showcased in a four-round fight against Mexican super middleweight Jesus Olivares (5-3, 3 KOs).
Tickets for “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” are on sale and available to purchase by going on line to www.Videotron.centrequebeccity.cpm/tickets and www.Ticketmaster.ca
Svensson Believes Time Is Right to Dethrone Pound for Pound Queen Braekhus
Klara Svensson (17-1, 5 KOs) believes the time is right for her to dethrone the reigning pound-for-pound number one Cecilia Brækhus (29-0, 8 KOs) when the Scandinavian stars meet for the Unified World Welterweight titles on Friday night at the Oslo Spektrum.
Svensson will enter the lion’s den to face Brækhus in front of her home fans in the Norwegian capital, where despite being the away fighter, ‘The Swedish Princess’ is confident she can upset the odds and secure a historic victory.
‘’This is something I’ve always wanted to do,’’ says Svensson. ‘’It’s not every day you get the chance to fight away from home on a massive show like this. So for me, it’s definitely not a negative to be fighting Cecilia on her home turf.
‘’I know she’s extremely popular in Norway, so I’m not expecting much of the attention to be on me, but I’m just here to do the business, and I’m going to take all of that energy and use it my advantage.
‘’I feel like a lot of people don’t really think that I have much of a chance, which is more motivating than anything for me, and I can’t wait to prove everyone wrong. I don’t think she’s faced anyone with my experience or background, so it’s going to be really different fight for her this time.
‘’There is definitely a sense of freedom for me. All the pressure is on Cecilia. The feeling of being the underdog is not something I have experienced for a long time and it’s a nice feeling actually.
‘‘In Oslo, we are going to see an upset. I’m going to upset the whole Norwegian population. I know everybody is really proud of Cecilia and her accomplishments, and so should they be, but she’s not going to stay undefeated on the 24th.
‘’I feel like there couldn’t possibly be a better timing for me. Three years ago I would have been too inexperienced, but now I’m ready. I’m not here just to here to challenge her, I’m here to hurt her and to take her titles.”
Svensson has been known to get fired up before fights. A bad-blooded build up to her Swedish showdown with Mikaela Laurén saw the Malmo boxer spank her opponent at the weigh-in.
Asked whether we can expect any altercations with Brækhus during next week’s media events, she said: ‘’I think that’s something you just take in the heat of the moment. You cannot plan these things, but we’ll see!’’
The Unified Female World Welterweight Championship contest between Cecilia Brækhus and Klara Svensson is available live and exclusive on Viaplay PPV. For more information please visit: http://www.viaplay.se/ppv
Junior Middleweight Prospect Daquan Arnett Partners with AC Sports Management
Daquan Arnett (15-1, 9 KO’s) has hired Adrian Clark, owner of AC Sports Management, LLC as his primary
representative. Arnett has been out of the ring for 15 month (and counting). He is counting on Clark to get the ball rolling and get his promising career on track.
“I know I am going to be world champion, its just a matter of when. Once an opportunity presents itself, I am going to take full advantage. Bringing on AC is a plus because of how young and ambitious he is. He works in the best interest of the fighters,” said Arnett
Clark, 30 of Dallas, Texas is known for his work with Jerry Belmontes, James de la Rosa, Will Tomlinson (Australia) and most recently, Willie Monroe Jr. He is also the author of the book, Protect Yourself at All Times: A Guide for Professional Boxers.
“Daquan is a world class fighter and a guy who understands the business of boxing. He will be in contention for something big by early next year. I am honored that he thought to hire me.”
Despite the lay-off, Daquan is still young (24 years old) and has stayed in the gym. He is now training in Dallas, TX with friend, Errol Spence Jr.
The fighting pride of Orlando (FL), Arnett was a decorated amateur and since turning pro in 2011, he has put together a solid resumè. In his last 8 fights, four of Arnett’s opponents were undefeated. The only loss of his career came in 2014 against Eddie Gomez.
Arnett is looking to make his return to the ring in April or May.
Erickson Lubin Media Workout Quotes
Undefeated rising star Erickson “Hammer” Lubin hosted media at his gym in his hometown of Orlando Thursday as he prepares to face once-beaten contender Jorge Cota Saturday, March 4 in a 12-round super welterweight world title eliminator on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Broadcast coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by the welterweight world title unification showdown between unbeaten fighters Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what Lubin had to say Thursday:
“I haven’t stopped training since my last fight on December 10. We have been full throttle since.
“This is a big fight. It is a title eliminator. It is at Barclays Center. It is on CBS. You’ve got Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman in the main event. It is 12-rounds. This is definitely what I’ve dreamed of. This is the kind of opportunity that I’ve wanted. Getting to seize the moment. Going out there, dominating the fight and going on to become the mandatory challenger for the title.
“We always say that we aren’t training for the fight coming up, we’ve training for the title. I’ve prepared for this. To be the youngest world champion, we just saw Gervonta Davis do that and make history like that is a blessing. I can’t wait to go for that.
“The fans can expect straight fireworks. I am going to go out there and dominate the fight. A lot of fighters say they’re going to do something, but I am the type of guy that says it and lives up to it. March 4 fans definitely want to tune in.
[On the “Hammer” ring name] “There are hammers in my hands. They punish and do damage. A hammer with fireworks is dangerous isn’t it?
“It is my first time fighting in Brooklyn. I expect a lot of stars to be there. A lot of people having their eyes on me. I am expecting to become the mandatory for the belt and for everyone to know my name.
“2017 is a big year. To be in this position right now is a great start for the year and to become a mandatory challenger is bigger and becoming a world champion is the biggest. I want to be undisputed.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Lomachenko, Walters, McGregor, Mayweather, Beterbiev, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Lomachenko, Walters, McGregor, Mayweather, Beterbiev, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 27th to October 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports
Dana White Tells TMZ Sports: McGregor Ain’t Fighting Mayweather
TMZ Sports recently caught up with Dana White and he told them that the often talked about Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight will never happen, and that the fighters are more interested in money than in actually trading blows.
He also told TMZ that if Floyd does want to make a deal to fight McGregor, it would not be a boxing match and would have to be an MMA style bout.
Read more at : http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/04/dana-white-conor-mcgregor-floyd-mayweather/
Andre Ward Kicks Off Training Camp Ahead of Showdown with Sergey Kovalev
Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) officially kicks off training camp in Hayward, CA with trainer Virgil Hunter ahead of his November 19 showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs).
Ward’s training camp, which will serve as a base for Ward over the next several weeks as he continues his quest to dominate the light heavyweight division, is sponsored by a resounding collection of American-based companies including Jordan Brand, Shoe Palace, JetLux, and ProSupps.
Below is what Team Ward had to say about the start of training camp:
ANDRE WARD, Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter:
“I’ve been in pre-camp mode for weeks now following my last fight, and have been mentally preparing for the work ahead of me. It’s an exciting feeling to be in full camp mode, where I can dedicate 100% of my mind, body and soul to the battle I am about to face. This is a fight that we have been working up to since last spring. The game plan hasn’t changed. I am here and I am ready.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Andre Ward’s Trainer:
“No one beats Andre Ward when it comes to training camp. We’re going into camp with the mentality of another day, another fight, another win. His strive for perfection, work ethic and consistency is what makes him a champion.”
JAMES PRINCE, Andre Ward’s Manager:
“With everything set for the biggest fight of the year on November 19, we are excited to open training camp. What is done here for the next few weeks will play a major part in the final outcome. We thank God for the opportunity and look forward to giving the boxing community and all of our fans, the fight that they have been anticipating.”
Lomachenko to Face Walters on HBO
Boxing Day comes to Las Vegas one month early with a blockbuster fight between two of the hardest hitters in the sport. Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title against undefeated former world featherweight champion NICHOLAS “Axe Man” WALTERS. Lomachenko vs. Walters will take place Saturday, Nov. 26, at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:35 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by Top Rank®, ticket information for the Lomachenko-Walters world championship event, including room/ticket packages, will be announced shortly.
“Boxing fans will be able to spend their Thanksgiving holiday weekend feasting on the year’s most anticipated showdown,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Forget their weight class. With more than 3/4 of their victories coming by way of knockout, they punch and win like heavyweights! We know how the fight is going to end. The question is, which fighter will end it.”
“I want to thank HBO and Bob Arum for giving me this opportunity to test myself in the fight with the best. Walters you are next on my list.” said Lomachenko.
“I am very happy and excited about this upcoming bout between Lomachenko and Walters,” said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager. “Ones again Vasyl proved he wants to fight the very best fighters in his weight division and I want everyone to understand when he says so, he means it. Thank you to our promoter Top Rank and HBO network for putting this fight together.”
“Any fighter can be knocked out no matter who he is,” said Walters. “I like fighting the best and I like fighting against great technical fighter like Lomachenko. Look at what happened when I fought a great technical fighter like Nonito Donaire. Lomachenko is great, he knows what he is doing in the ring. But I always look for a knockout against whomever I fight. If I can do it quick, I will. This is the best fight out there in boxing today. It will be the Fight of the Year.”
“On November 26, live on HBO, Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters will step up to deliver for the fans the fight they’ve been demanding to determine another of boxing’s top pound for pound stars,” said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “We are proud to feature this junior lightweight title showdown on our flagship World Championship Boxing series.”
Artur Beterbiev to Face Isdiro Prieto on December 23rd
Ottawa and Outaouais boxing fans in Canada will receive a special Christmas gift when Montreal’s adopted son and the most dangerous world title challenger,Artur Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs), faces Paraguay slugger and reigning WBC Latino light heavyweight champion Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) in a real power punching affair, December 23 in Gatineau as part of the GYM Boxing Series, presented by the Casino de Lac Leamy in collaboration with Videotron.
Beterbiev is world ranked by all over the major sanctioning bodies: International Boxing Federation (IBF) #2, World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) #3, World Boxing Organization (WBO) #4, and The Ring magazine #6.
WBO #10 rated contender Prieto has won his last two fights by knockout, since losing by unanimous decision to Eleider Alvarez in a spectacular 12-round fight, in which he refused to give an inch to the WBC # 1 challenger on August 15, 2015 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Expect fireworks as the KO ratio for Beterbiev and Prieto is an incredible 80-percent.
“Despite the claims of some promoters and light heavyweight challengers,” Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM president Yvon Michel said, “it’s a fact that Artur Beterbiev is the most dangerous and biggest threat to all of the world light heavyweight champions All contenders for titles change their minds when it comes to getting in the same ring with him,” said the president of GYM, Yvon Michel.
“Isidro Prieto is a fierce fighter who accepted the challenge, also believing he has the style to repel even the most courageous boxer. He is determined to make a name for himself December 23rd. We certainly admire his determination.”
Lopez to Face Valcarcel on November 12th
World ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez will take on Carlos Valcarcel on Saturday, November 12th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The broadcast is slated to begin at 9:30 PM ET.
The scheduled eight-round bout will be the featured bout of the inaugural broadcast on ONE World Sports.
The card is promoted by GH3 Promotions & Victory Boxing Promotions.
Lopez of San Antonio, Texas is ranked 4th by the WBA and has a record of 15-0-1 with seven knockouts.
The 25 year-old Lopez is a four year pro and has wins over Pablo Cruz (11-0), Eliecer Aquino (17-0-1), former world champion Erik Aiken & Mario Munoz (16-0-1).
In his last bout, Lopez fought to a ten-round split draw with Roman Reynoso (18-1-1) on July 22nd in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Valcarcel has a record of 14-8-4 with five knockouts. The 34 year-old native of Miami, Florida has wins over Jovanny Soto (15-2-1), Rodolfo Garay (14-2-1) & Leivi Brea (16-4-3).
The 12 year veteran also has fought former world champion Eric Morel and future world title challenger Jessie Magdaleno.
Valcarcel is coming off a 6th round stoppage defeat to undefeated Erick DeLeon on June 25th in Dallas, Texas.
Seeing action in the eight round co-feature will be undefeated welterweight Ed Brown.
The 24 year-old native of Chicago has a record of 18-0 with 15 knockouts, and has established himself as one of the top welterweight prospects in boxing.
Brown is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Gilbert Venegas on July 30th in Hammond, Indiana.
In an eight-round super middleweight bout, hard-punching Jerry Odom will take on Taneal Goyco.
Odom of Washington, DC has a record of 14-2-1 with 13 knockouts, and is a four-year professional. The 23 year-old Odom won his first twelve bouts, which included a thrilling come from behind stoppage over previously undefeated Vilier Quinonez (9-0) on July 25, 2014 in a nationally televised bout on ShoBox: The New Generation.
Odom avenged a controversial disqualification defeat by destroying previously undefeated Andrew Hernandez (8-0) in one round. In his last bout, Odom stopped Julius Jackson (19-1)in three rounds.
Goyco of Philadelphia has a record of 8-9-1 with three knockouts.
Goyco has upset the apple-cart on several occasions. He has wins over undefeated Dennis Morris (1-0), Jeremy Trussell (8-0) & Devin Butcher (5-0) plus upset victories over Frankie Filippone (14-2-1) and Dennis Hasson (16-1). Goyco is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision defeat to Tony Hirsch on June 11th in Oakland, California.
Opening up the ONE World Sports television broadcast will be talented prospect Jaron Ennis of Philadelphia.
Ennis, 19 years old has a record of 6-0 with five knockouts. In his last bout, he was taken the distance for the first time, but pounded out a four-round unanimous decision over Eddie Diaz on September 15th.
In off-television action and appearing in six-rounds bouts will be super welterweight Arturo Trujillo (8-0, 5 KO’s) of Easton, PA, super lightweight Keenan Smith (9-0, 3 KO’s) of Philadelhia; junior lightweight John Joe Nevin (8-0, 4 KO’s) of Mullinger, Ireland.
Rising Promotions Signs Isaiah Seldon, Marvin Johnson, Dan Murray, and others to Promotional Contracts
Rising Promotions is proud to announce the signings of super middleweight Isiah Seldon, super lightweight’s Marvin Johnson & Dan Murray, bantamweight Dallas Holden, cruiserweight David Sparks and featherweight Dion Sparks to exclusive promotional contracts.
They join undefeated heavyweight Quian Davis (3-0-2, 2 KO’s) as the first group of fighters to ink contracts under the Rising Promotions banner.
Davis is coming off a 28 second knockout this past Saturday night in Trenton, New Jersey over Jonathan Hafley
Seldon of Atlantic City, New Jersey has a record of 9-1 with three knockouts.
The 28 year-old son of former WBA Heavyweight world champion, Bruce Seldon, turned professional in 2010 and won his first seven bouts. Following his lone blemish, Seldon has won two fights in 2016, which includes his latest outing when won a six-round unanimous decision over Eddie Edmond on May 27th in Atlantic City.
“I am happy and excited. I know they will keep me busy and they are bringing boxing back to Atlantic City. It’s a blessing,” said Seldon.
Johnson has a record of 1-0-1. The Bridgeton, New Jersey native is had a long amateur career of 211-31. He was a 2007 National PAL in 2007 and 6 time in Florida PAL champion. Johnson was a 3 time time Ringside World Championship Runner-Up; 3 time National PAL Runner-Up Johnson is 24 years-old and turned professional in 2014, and is is coming off a four-round unanimous decision over Lamont White on July 22nd in Atlantic City.
“It’s a blessing and great opportunity in my career. It puts my family in a better position. It gives me a good opportunity to fight in front of my hometown fans. I want to thank Debbie LaManna, Thomas LaManna and Vinny LaManna. It has effected and changed my family lives. I was on the shelf for a year and now I get the opportunities to show my skills,” said Johnson.
Murray, 24 years-old of Barnegat, New Jersey was 26-7 as an amateur. He was a New Jersey Golden Gloves and New Jersey Diamond Gloves champion.
Murray trains at the Atlantic City PAL.
“I am very excited and ready to go out and show the world what I have to offer, I am glad to sign with Rising Promotions and I will show everyone what I am all about. I worked very hard and hard work pays off,” said Murray
Holden, 20 years-old of Atlantic City was a highly regarded amateur who amassed 50 fights. Holden fought in the Philadelphia Golden Gloves. He has a professional record of 1-0. Holden turned professional on July 22nd with a four-round unanimous decision over Kevin Asmat in Atlantic City.
“I have known Thomas for a long time and its going to be a good thing. It’s going to open a lot of doors. Because of my amateur career, people know me and now they want to see me fight as a professional,” said Holden.
David Sparks of Brooklyn, New York has a record of 2-0. The 31 year-old turned professional in 2014 and in his latest outing, he won a four-round unanimous decision over Marcellus Yates on March 28, 2015 in Queens, New York .
Before turning pro, Sparks competed in 80 amateur fights and amassed 3 National championships, Golden Gloves and Ringside world championships
“Signing came at a great time. We needed a break in our career. We have been going through some difficult things. I expect to fight a lot . Hopefully every month or two. I am always in the gym. Hopefully eight to ten fights.
Dion Sparks, 19 years old, had 135 amateur fights. He won 3 national championships and 2 world championships, and at one point was ranked number-one in the United States.
“This is every exciting. I can do really great with Rising Promotions. I am young and talented. We been all over including at Mayweather Gym. I am always in shape and I am ready to fight. I have great expectations. I would like to fight 8 to 10 times and just stay active. I think within two or three years, we can get the right fights and fight for a championship. They set them up and we will knock them down, “said Dion Sparks. “we appreciate Rich Masini and all he has done for us.
“We are very excited to announce out first signings,”said Thomas LaManna of Rising Promotions. “When we started the promotion, one of our missions was to give local fighters opportunities to showcase their abilities. So to have signed five fighters from New Jersey and two from New York is a great start for us. I think because of the success of our series at The Claridge has and will continue to attract top talent from this area. We will continue to look for and sign the best fighters and continue to put on the top-notch shows that we have over the past year.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hurd, Herring, Joshua, Klitschko, Fury, Stevenson, Leo Santa Cruz, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hurd, Herring, Joshua, Klitschko, Fury, Stevenson, Leo Santa Cruz, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 14th to June 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Jamel Herring to Face Denis Shafikov
Unbeaten lightweight contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Denis Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Saturday, July 2 from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
The Fourth of July weekend action begins at 9 p.m. ET with undefeated Polish prospect Patryk Syzmanski (15-0, 9 KOs) taking on former title challenger “Silky” Wilky Campfort (21-2, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout.
“I am just excited about the fight. I have been looking for a big step up to get me in title contention,” said Herring. “I started training before I got the call before the fight. I have been training in D.C. with Mike Stafford, Barry Hunter, Patrice Harris and Levi Smith and I feel after this fight, it will get me up to a championship fight. He is a tough guy. If you train hard and stay ready, you can make the fight a lot easier on yourself.”
“I am looking forward to facing Jamel Herring,” said Shafikov. “He is undefeated and a former Olympian. I have the experience of fighting for a title and I know with a win, it will get me another opportunity.”
Jarrett Hurd to Face Oscar Moline on PBC on CBS
An intriguing matchup between undefeated super welterweights Jarrett Hurd and Oscar Molina will open this Saturday’s Primetime CBS broadcast from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS broadcast, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, airs live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by a welterweight blockbuster between undefeated champion Keith Thurman and once-beaten former titlist Shawn Porter.
The 10-round showdown between the 25-year-old Hurd (17-0, 11 KOs) and 26-year-old Molina (13-0-10 KOs) is a rare matchup between young undefeated prospects in one of boxing’s hottest divisions. The winner graduates to contender status in the stacked 154-pound class, a division featuring Erislandy Lara,
Jermall and Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Julian Williams.
Hurd vs. Molina represents the toughest professional fight for either man.
“The dictionary definition of ‘Swift’ is to happen quickly or promptly,” said Hurd. “So just like my ring name, that’s exactly what you’ll see on Saturday night. I’m so grateful that this fight was made and that the whole world will be able to see my boxing skills on this highly anticipated card.”
“I’m excited for this fight and I’m grateful that it’s even bigger now that it’s on CBS,” said Molina. “I’ve seen Hurd fight. I know what he does well and what his weaknesses are and I’ll be looking to capitalize on them. It’s important for me to defeat the top guys and this is someone I have to beat to become a world champion one day. I’m excited about fighting in Brooklyn on the big stage, but my focus will be on my trainer’s game plan and coming out victorious.”
Stevenson vs. Williams is Announced
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev are proud to officially announce, “SHOOTOUT”, the next fight for power-punching Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, July 29 at Centre Videotron, a presentation of Videotron in association with Mise-O-Jeu. This event is presented as part of the prestigious “Premier Boxing Champions” (PBC) series, to be broadcast live in the United States, and on Canal Indigo in Canada.
Stevenson (27-1, 22 KOs), who established himself as one of the most powerful pound-for-pound fighters in the world, will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) and lineal light heavyweight (175 pound division) title for the seventh time, against the dangerous, WBC No. 9 rated Thomas “Top Dog” Williams (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I am very happy to get back in the ring for my next fight, which will be held July 16 in the superb Centre Videotron of Quebec, against Thomas Williams Jr.,” Stevenson said. I will demonstrate that, like fine wine, I am even better with age. Even though I haven’t boxed for 10 months, I’ve never left the gym and I’m willing to defend my crown.”
Artur Beterbiev Won’t Compete in Rio Olympics
After careful consideration, rising Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) star and double Russian Olympian, Artur Beterbiev, will not take part in the qualifying process to earn a spot to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An Olympic qualifying tournament for professional boxers will be held July 3-8 in Vargas, Venezuela, following the decision of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) to include professionals in the Olympic tournament.
However, Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs), who made a triumphant return to the ring after a one-year absence on June 4 at the Bell Centre in Montreal against Argentinian Ezequiel Maderna (23-3, 15 KOs), will not be there.
“After analyzing all situations, we came to the conclusion that the current situation was not favorable,” GYM president Yvon Michel explained. “The short-term goal for Artur Beterbiev is to become world champion in the pro ranks. He will be back in the ring in September.”
Currently world ranked in the top 10 of the light heavyweight division — IBF # 2, WBC and WBA #4, WBO #7 and The Ring magazine #9 — Beterbiev has already participated in the Olympics twice: 2008 in Beijing (178 lbs.) and 2012 in London (201 lbs.).
“Regardless of my boxer’s objectives, ” Beterbiev’s head trainer Marc Ramsey said, “I’m behind him 100-percent. However, the main goal remains the conquest of a World title.”
Mario Barrios to Face Devis Boschiero on PBC on ESPN
Undefeated rising super featherweight contender Mario Barrios (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Devis Boschiero (39-4-1, 21 KOs) in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Saturday, July 9 from Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features an exciting battle of undefeated super lightweight prospects as Los Angeles-native Kevin Watts (11-0, 4 KOs) takes on Chicago’s Eddie Ramirez (13-0, 9 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
“This will be a great opportunity to showcase my talent to the world on ESPN,” said Barrios. “The time is now to take the super featherweight division by storm. A victory will put me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming a world champion. I will not be denied.”
“I look forward to making my American debut on July 9 in New Jersey,” said Boschiero. “I know a win over Barrios will take me towards a world title shot. I plan on coming to America and putting on a great performance and bringing a great victory back to Italy.”
Sullivan Barrera to Pascal: “Keep Your Word, Fight Me Next!”
Former Cuban amateur standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1 12 KOs) is training hard with new trainer Derik Santos. The Florida-based duo have gelled and can’t wait to show off the new and improved Barrera in the very near future.
With Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson already locked into their next bouts, Barrera wants to face former champion Jean Pascal in a high stakes showdown. With both fighters coming off of losses, the heavy handed fighters are sure to produce fireworks in what would be the definition of a crossroads roads battle. The winner would be in a great position for several major fights in the winter and spring of 2017.
Pascal in fact has already agreed to the bout, displaying his desires on his verified Twitter timeline. Barrera intends to take him up on his offer and has no problem traveling to Canada to make the fight happen.
“I’ve been trying to get a fight against Pascal since last year,” Barrera stated. “I have power and he has power. I need a win and he does too, so let’s do it. You already agreed to the fight so stop ducking me. You’ve been all talk so be a man of your word and make it happen. I am ready to fight you now. Let’s give the fans a great fight.”
With Barrera coming off his first career loss and Pascal losing 2 of his last 3, and all three losses between them coming against elite competition, there is no better time than now for these heavy hitters two face each other.
Leo Santa Cruz Set to Face Carl Frampton
Undefeated featherweight world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) and fellow unbeaten Irish star Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) will meet with a world title and two perfect records at stake on Saturday, July 30 in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This bout will be shown live on Showtime.
Breazeale Confident Ahead of Fight with Joshua
Undefeated World Ranked Heavyweight Contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) arrived at London Heathrow Airport on Thursday afternoon ahead of his world title challenge against IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) on Saturday, June 25 on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® from The O2 in London, live on SHOWTIME.
Confident as he’s been since the fight was announced, Breazeale was met by the local media upon his arrival.
“We’re two knockout artists so whoever lands first is going to win,” Breazeale said. “I know I got under his skin at the first press conference. He was rattled when we met and he knows I’m not some pushover like he’s had in the past.
“I am an opportunist and if I see an opportunity, I am going to take advantage of it. If he exposes something or shows a weakness of some sort, I plan to take advantage of it.
“I’ll go with the game plan, of course. My trainer, Manny Robles has done a great job developing a game plan during our training camp.
“I’ll hit him hard, hit him strong, hit him with everything, just be ready. We’ve had a great camp and it’s the most exciting part about camp is getting to the finish line and I am excited. I am ready to be victorious on June 25.”
HBO Boxing Preview of Klitschko vs. Fury
Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury are set to rematch on Saturday, July 9th at 5:00 P.M. exclusively on HBO. They will be fighting in England in a rematch that saw Fury dethrone the heavyweight champion. HBO has posted the following video preview in anticipation of their bout.
PBC on ESPN Results: Beterbiev Wins by TKO, Perrella Stop Grayton
PBC on ESPN Results: Beterbiev Wins by TKO, Perrella Stop Grayton
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was broadcast tonight from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Artur Beterbiev has defeated every single opponent by stoppage thus far in his professional career but is coming back from a year away from the ring.
The opening bout of the night was between Bryant Perrella (13-0) and David Grayton (14-0) in the welterweight division.
Grayton came out aggressively in the opening round but was wild and sloppy in doing so. Perrella was able to land a hard left counter, but Grayton kept up the pressure and was outworking Perrella.
Perella was able to quickly turn the tide in the second round with a quick left hand and countering the aggression of Grayton. Perella was able to land a glancing blow on Grayton that sent him to the mat, but he followed it up with several hard combinations when he got back to his feet, including a lead right hook that wobbled his legs and several hard left crosses and right hooks.
Grayton was badly hurt by the combinations of Perrella and the referee jumped in to stop the bout. Perrella wins by TKO at 2:19 of the second round.
The next bout of the night was a six round bout in the super welterweight division between Edgar Ortega (16-5) and Jamontay Clark (9-0).
Ortega was an underdog coming into the bout, but started off strong by landing a quick straight right to the body. Clark showed some good quick hands and hard a large height advantage over his opponent, but Ortega was able to catch Clark by surprised with a looping right hand that sent Clark to the mat.
Clark was able to survive the round and re-establish control in the second round. He picked up his aggression in the second round and had Ortega in trouble by the ropes. He was able to land several hard body shots in the third round and Ortega looked like he was tiring by the fourth.
Clark buckled the legs of Ortega in the fifth round and Ortega was never able to capitalize on his opening round knockdown.
The judges scored it 58-55, 58-54, and 58-54 for Clark.
The main event of the night was between Artur Beterbiev (9-0) and Ezequiel Maderna (23-2) in the light heavyweight division.
Beterbiev was a heavy favorite going into this fight and his power advantage showed early on by stumbling Maderna with a left hand in the first round and several hard straight rights to the body.
Beterbiev lands a rabbit punch in the second round that sent Maderna to the mat but it doesn’t count as a knockdown. Beterbiev controlled the remainder of the second round with his jab and hard combinations.
Beterbiev blew open the doors in the third round with two hard right hands that sends Maderna to the mat. Maderna was wobbly when he gets back to his feet and is sent to the mat for a second time from a combination by Beterbiev. Maderna does all he can do to survive the round, including spitting out his mouthpiece and getting deducted a point, but he is able to last the round.
Beterbiev ended Maderna’s misery in the fourth round by dropping him two times before Maderna convinced his corner to stop the fight.
Artur Beterbiev wins by TKO at 0:56 of the fourth round.
PBC on ESPN Preview: Perrella vs. Grayton, Beterbiev vs. Maderna
PBC on ESPN Preview: Perrella vs. Grayton, Beterbiev vs. Maderna
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada will be the host site of another Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on ESPN.
Al Haymon’s company will televise at least two bouts on Saturday night. HBO will be televising a competing card around the same time as the PBC card.
The following is a preview of both the televised bouts.
Bryant Perrella (13-0) vs. David Grayton (14-0); Welterweights
The first bout of the evening will be between two rising prospects that have yet to face any significant competition at this point in their careers.
Grayton has significant power, as he has stopped ten of his opponents. Perrella however, has stopped twelve of his opponents and his last ten victories were by KO or TKO.
They are both of a similar age, Grayton is twenty eight years old and Perrella is twenty seven. They both had successful amateur careers. Grayton is a former national golden gloves champion, and he even defeated Errol Spence as an amateur in 2010. Perrella was a bronze medalist in the National Police Athletic League Tournament in 2010.
Neither boxer has faced anyone of note in the amateurs. Grayton has only defeated two people with winning records, Martin Wright and Daniel Souza Santos. Every other opponent he has faced has losing records. Perrella has defeated the likes of Ramon Ayala and Patrick Boozer, but his professional resume is only slightly better.
On paper, this is a tough fight to pick. Not much is known about either boxer as a professional. However, a slight edge will have to go towards Grayton since he was able to defeat Errol Spence Jr. as an amateur and was a former National Golden Gloves Champion.
Artur Beterbiev (9-0) vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (23-2); Light Heavyweights
Artur Beterbiev is a young gun in the light heavyweight division that is on the fast track to a world championship.
Beterbiev is from Dagestan and is of Chechen Descent, but he currently resides in and fights out of Montreal, Canada. Most of the fans in attendance will likely be supporting him.
Beterbiev was very successful as an amateur in Russia and won a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships and a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. He even beat Sergey Kovalev as an amateur.
Maderna also had a successful amateur career, but not on the same level as Beterbiev. Maderna competed for Argentina in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Beterbiev has won every fight by stoppage as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Johnson, Gabriel Campillo, and former world champion Tavoris Cloud.
Maderna has fifteen stoppage victories to his resume. He has not been very active and only fought once in 2015 and zero times in 2016. He has lost to the likes of Thomas Oosthuizen and Edwin Rodriguez. His resume lacks any big victories, but his best ones to date have come against Ronaldo Mansilla and Jose Alberto Clavero.
Beterbiev will be giving up about three inches in height and five inches in reach to Maderna. He is also two years older than his opponent.
But this will be an easy fight for Beterbiev and it should end in another knockout victory for him.