Vasiliy Lomachenko On Teofimo Lopez: “I Want To Really Beat Him Badly, They Act Like They’re A Big Superstar, But They’re Not”
By: Hans Themistode
He’s been called a bitch, a piece of shit and every other derogatory word in the English dictionary. Yet, throughout every single curse word that has been thrown his way, unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has managed to remain calm.
His opponent in IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez has made his disdain for the Ukrainian as clear as possible. In a recent interview with ESPN, the Brooklyn native was asked how he feels about his dance partner this upcoming weekend. Words at this point were of no use to Lopez, so instead, the pugnacious knockout artist spat on the floor as a description for his opponent.
For Lomachenko, trash talking has never been his style. Opponents have attempted to draw out a reaction from the 32 year old, only to be greeted by a smiling face with his hands behind his back.
Lomachenko has always viewed his matchup with Lopez as just another business venture and checkmark on his road to becoming undisputed. With that being said, the multiple division champion wants to do some serious damage to his opponent.
“I want to beat him very badly, very, very badly,” said Lomachenko to The Ring magazine. “I want to really beat him badly. (Lopez’s father) thinks (Lopez is) a big superstar like Tyson Fury. That’s why they do the trash talk. They act like they’re a big superstar, but they’re not.”
The sport of boxing has seen opponents dish out a beating of a lifetime to one another and not feel any ill-will afterward. The build up of animosity brings in a proliferation of viewers and fattens the wallets of everyone involved.
But when it comes to Lomachenko’s true feelings towards his opponent, absolutely nothing is manufactured.
“What do you think? Of course I don’t like them. They’ve been talking bad things about me which is not real things, not reality. So, of course, I’m going to not like them because they’re talking too much about me.”
Although Lomachenko hasn’t appeared to be rattled, he has been visibly irritated by the nonstop smack talk that is taking place from both his opponent and his father. Regardless of that, promoter Bob Arum has been up close and personal during the Ukrainian products closed door training camp and came away believing he’s as locked in as ever.
“Nobody has trash talked him before,” said Arum. “You look at all the other opponents, they were guys who were confident, not confident, guys who were respectful and this is the first opponent that he’s had who has done the trash talking, so he wouldn’t be normal if he didn’t react. But let me tell you something – I visited him (recently in camp). I spent quite some time with him, watched him train. I mean he is dedicated. He is serious. I mean, he is a machine. But, again, I would have said that about all of his fights. Lopez has been trash talking, so this is something that hasn’t been done to Lomachenko, so obviously, there’s a reaction. He’s just responding to the trash talk.”
Bob Arum On Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: “We’re All Set With That”
By: Hans Themistode
Tyson Fury had his list of fighters all lined up. Later on this year the current WBC and Ring magazine heavyweight belt holder would have his trilogy fight with former titlist Deontay Wilder, and should he win, would move on to a mega showdown with unified champion Anthony Joshua.
Yet, with Wilder’s team reportedly playing around with the date, Fury has decided to move on all together. Since Wilder’s mandated rematch clause expired, Fury is free to do whatever he wants.
At the moment, the British native is tired of coming halfway across the world in order to fight. So instead, he has chosen to have a homecoming bout in the United Kingdom on December 5th. His opponent hasn’t yet been finalized, but promoter Bob Arum is currently digging through a list of top contenders.
“Well it has to be a fighter rated in the top 15 of the WBC,” said Arum to Boxing Social. “We’ve examined the list and there are maybe five fighters that would be available and would make good fights. Hopefully this week we’ll be able to select a fighter from the available fighters.”
According to Boxing Social, although nothing is official as of yet, the list of names that Arum is currently sifting through includes Oscar Rivas, Agit Kabayel, Charles Martin, Michael Hunter and Efe Ajagba.
Whoever is chosen from that crop of heavyweights will be viewed as a prohibited underdog against Fury on December 5th. With so much on the line, most notably a mega showdown with fellow unified champion Anthony Joshua, Fury can’t afford to slip up now.
In terms of hammering out a deal between both sides, a few things have to take place beforehand.
For starters, as previously mentioned, Fury must get past his December 5th opponent. One week after he makes his title defense, Joshua, ironically enough, will defend his titles on December 12th. His opponent on the night will be former title challenger Kubrat Pulev who is currently riding an eight fight win streak.
Should an upset occur in either of their precursor contests, then their matchup will go by the wayside. However, both fighters are expected to walk through their respective opponents and meet sometime in the Spring of 2021.
Long negotiations and dragged out demands won’t be an issue between the sides. Arum believes the finish line is in sight. Both champions simply need to take care of business in the month of December.
“We’re all set with that. It’s a 50/50 deal, we’ll iron out details. Let the two guys have their fights in December. Tyson against whomever he fights on December 5th and Joshua against Pulev on December 12th. They both win and within three hours we can finalize any details that are outstanding. It’s not outstanding.”
Bob Arum: “Lomachenko Technically Is The Best Fighter I’ve Seen Since Early Ali”
By: Hans Themistode
At one point in time, comparing anyone to the late great Muhammad Ali was a laughable and offensive subject.
Promoter Bob Arum has spent the better part of half a century promoting some of the best fighters that have ever lived. But Ali was always in a class by himself.
After watching multiple division titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko over the years however, Arum is ready to place his name in Ali’s category.
“When Ali was in his prime, before the three and a half years when he couldn’t fight, he was a tremendous technical fighter,” said Arum on Loma Official TV on YouTube. “He had a control over distance and how to move in the ring that no one had ever seen before. Lomachenko has those sort of skills and more. Lomachenko technically is the best fighter I’ve seen since that early Ali.”
The near 400 wins as an amateur, back to back Olympic gold medals and multiple world titles as a pro have impressed Arum over the years. The 88 year old promoter gives Lomachenko credit for being so accomplished in his career. But it isn’t the funky angles which he employs in the ring, nor is it his hand speed that deserves most of the credit. Although all of the above has helped him become a three division world champion in only 15 fights, Arum believes Lomachenko’s biggest weapon comes from the man standing in his corner.
“He is blessed with one weapon that no one in the world has and that’s his trainer and father Anatoly. In my opinion, he is the best trainer in the world.”
At the moment, Lomachenko has no time to soak in the compliments from Arum. The 32 year old is currently putting on the finishing touches of his training camp for his highly anticipated showdown with fellow lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez this Saturday night.
Their contest is expected to bring in a ton of viewers on ESPN as every lightweight world title will be on the line.
Arum, the promoter for both fighters, finds it extremely difficult to make a prediction. So while he won’t choose sides, he does expect a great fight. Unlike a certain other former fighter Arum promoted, the 88 year old believes his killer instinct separates Lomachenko from the pack.
“He doesn’t want an easy fight or to win a decision, he wants to win by destroying his opponent. Mayweather was a great defensive fighter. But unlike Mayweather, Loma is always looking for a way to destroy his opponents. That’s what makes him a fan-friendly fighter.”
Bob Arum On Fury vs Wilder 3: “We’re Optimistic That We’ll Be Able To Do The Event In Nevada, In Las Vegas”
By: Hans Themistode
It’s been difficult to associate anything superlative with this year.
From no fans allowed inside of arenas, to boxers such as Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia doubtful to make an appearance this year, things have been rough for boxing fans.
Before COVID-19 wrapped it’s disease-ridden hands around the world’s once healthy shoulders, a third matchup between current WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former belt holder Deontay Wilder led the way in terms of the most anticipated matchup left on the schedule.
Yet, with no fans in attendance, it appeared that both big men were either going to have to sit out the remainder of the year, or be satisfied with the sound of their fist cracking each other in the head as background noise.
Now however, it appears neither option will be necessary.
“We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to do the event in Nevada, in Las Vegas,” said Arum to ESPN.
With roughly half a century worth of experience, Arum has adjusted his business model on more than one occasion. Some of his top current stars such as WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford and unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko have not only agreed to fighting in an empty arena, but also a reduction in purse. Despite that, when it comes to one of the biggest trilogy contests in heavyweight history, Arum believes that having both men slug it out in an empty arena would do it no justice.
With that being said, Arum is no doctor. But he has done his due diligence in order to bring fans inside of the venue come fight night.
“That’s what we’re moving ahead on, on all fronts, with the security, with the virus, and everything.”
With Arum making the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada the host for most of his events, it comes as no surprise that the 88 year old has turned in their direction to host Wilder vs Fury 3. Only, it won’t be the MGM Grand Conference Center but the newly built Allegiant Stadium which holds just north of 70,000 people.
Arum’s target date would be roughly a week before Christmas on December 19th. And although things aren’t set in stone just yet, the long time promoter is putting all of the pieces into place.
“We’re talking with everybody here in town, and with the Raiders.”
Eddie Hearn Admits Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook Talks Underway: “We’re Trying To Make That Fight Happen”
By: Hans Themistode
After months of hearing his name associated with the likes of Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and even Gary Russell Jr–Terence Crawford is heading in another direction entirely.
The WBO welterweight titlist is on a collision course with former belt holder Kell Brook. Their clash is far from a reality, but according to promoter Eddie Hearn, everything is pointing in the right direction.
“I had a couple of conversations with Bob and Carl Moretti yesterday,” said Hearn on IFL TV. “I feel that’s a big fight for UK TV, so we’re trying to help out and get that over the line. Personally, I would love to see Kell get that fight.”
Before COVID-19 turned the boxing landscape upside down, Brook was amongst Arum’s possible opponents for his welterweight titlist. Although, the long time promoter ranked it his least favorite amongst the remaining options on the table
“There are a number of possibilities,” said Arum to talkSPORT two months ago. “Thurman, Porter or this kid Ugas, the Cuban who’s a good, good welterweight. They’re with Al [Haymon’s] company PBC. But we’re working well together with that company, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. And then finally there’s Kell Brook. So the first possibility is Pacquiao, if that’s possible. Second possibility is a fight against one of Al’s guys. And the third possibility is Kell Brook.”
For Crawford, his name has appeared in the headlines even more than usual as of late.
Current 126 pound WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. kicked things off. The Maryland native recently revealed that he broke the jaw of Crawford at the Olympic center several years ago during a heated argument. The former three division titlist quickly went online to dismiss Russell Jr’s claims and threatened to “break his neck.”
Those threats fell on deaf ears as Russell Jr. offered to move up four weight divisions to face Crawford. Most recently, the long standing champion claimed that an offer was sent out to Crawford for a showdown later this year but a response was never sent back.
As they continued to go back and forth, Crawford quickly found himself feuding with another former champion, but someone his own size in Keith Thurman.
“You never got respect in the game at 147,” said Thurman to Brian Custer on the Last Stand podcast recently. “You haven’t pushed the buttons at 147.”
With the two sides continuing to bark at one another, Arum nixed any possibilities of the two squaring off in the ring, claiming that Thurman wanted mind numbing money. Numerous reports were that the former champion’s number was in the 10 million dollar range.
Now, with Thurman off the table and Manny Pacquiao currently eyeing other opponents, Arum appears to be settling for his least desired option. News that brings a smile to the face of Hearn. But before an agreement surfaces, Hearn has made it clear that Arum will have to dig deep in those heavily funded pockets of his.
“I think [Top Rank] had a conversation with Keith Thurman, and obviously they wanted too much money. It’s difficult at the moment … Crawford wants a lot of money, and Kell wants a lot of money. He deserves it. We’re trying to make that fight happen to assist Top Rank in getting the numbers together.”
Bob Arum Sticks It To Dillian Whyte: “Povetkin’s Uppercut, Knocked Him Cold On His Ass
By: Hans Themistode
Promoter Bob Arum apparently has no problem kicking a man while he’s down.
Top Rank’s CEO sat back in his palatial estate, kicked his feet up and watched a Saturday night filled with boxing. His promotional company had a headliner of light heavyweight contenders in Joe Smith Jr. and Eleider Alvarez. Premier Boxing Champions also had a slot which featured former welterweight champion Shawn Porter and the unheralded Sebastian Formella.
But before either of those shows came on, heavyweight contenders Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin clashed on the other side of the world in a world title eliminator.
Their contest went according to what most envisioned in the early goings. Whyte floored his man twice in the fourth and seemed to be on his way to a stopped victory. Then, out of nowhere, the dramatic theater of boxing struck as Povetkin knocked Whyte clean out in the fifth round.
There were some that felt bad for Whyte as he occupied WBC’s number one ranking for several years. Arum on the other hand, was not amongst them and piled onto the heavyweight contenders’ misery.
“Dillian Whyte was so busy fighting for his WBC mandatory position that he didn’t see Povetkin’s uppercut, which knocked him cold on his ass,” said Arum on his Twitter account.
Following a 2015 loss to current unified champion Anthony Joshua, Whyte, 32, went on a 11 fight win streak. But even with the victories piling up against former champions and current contenders, Whyte couldn’t sniff a crack at a world title.
Every chance he got, the British native called out the WBC sanctioning body for making him wait. Whether it was a rematch with Joshua or a shot against Tyson Fury, Whyte simply wanted his shot. Now, he’ll be forced to wait even longer as he has stated that he will pursue an immediate rematch with Povetkin.
Should he reverse the outcome the second time around, Whyte could have his long awaited rematch with Joshua. However, there won’t be any titles on the line. At least according to Arum.
At the moment, the long time promoter has his heavyweight in Kubrat Pulev sitting in the mandatory IBF position to face Joshua next. Their matchup is set to take place at the back end of 2020, although there has been multiple delays.
When the green light is given for Pulev and Joshua to step into the ring against one another, Arum is expecting the British empire that is Whyte and Joshua, to continue to crumble.
“Pulev will KO Joshua next,” said Arum. “London Bridges are falling.”
Bob Arum Praises Vasiliy Lomachenko During Teofimo Lopez Fight Negotiations: “He Voluntarily Reduced His Own Purse in Order To Get The Fight Done”
By: Hans Themistode
It was on, off, on, off and now seemingly back on.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for promoter Bob Arum as he continues to negotiate terms for a lightweight contest between unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez.
The Ukrainian born Lomachenko would always have an extraneous look on his face whenever Lopez was mentioned. “Beat a real fighter,” “Win a belt,” were the guidelines that Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) handed out to the Brooklyn native to score a matchup with him.
With a second round knockout win over former belt holder Richard Commey, Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) placed a check mark on his road to Lomachenko to do list.
Now, with a title wrapped around his waist, Lopez vs Lomachenko was essentially a done deal. However, those plans were scrapped once COVID-19 made it’s unwanted presence known. Still, even with no signs of slowing the virus down, Arum placed safety protocols in place that would allow their contest to take place.
With the finish line in sight, another issue has emerged as Lopez began to make noise of there not being enough zero’s at the end of his check. Now, with their contest seemingly down the drain, Lomachenko has stepped in to push things forward.
“He is voluntarily under these circumstances reduced his own purse in order to get the fight done,” said Arum on the Ak and Barak show on Sirius XM.
According to multiple reports, the total amount of money that will be shared by both Lopez and Lomachenko was initially 4.7 million. Of that amount, Lomachenko was offered 3.5, leaving Lopez with roughly 1.2. Although it is unclear how much more Lopez was hoping to pocket for what would be the most difficult bout of his career, Arum, under normal circumstances, would be willing to dig his hands a bit deeper into his pockets to acquiesce his young star. But with this global pandemic preventing fans from entering arenas, much of the total revenue has taken a major hit. Something that Arum not only realizes, but now he believes Lopez understands where he is coming from as well.
“I think Teofimo is beginning to realize that his aspirations as far as how much his purse should be was based on selling tickets to an arena, to as much as two and a half or three million dollars. Plus the closed-circuit – another million dollars. “Those revenue streams are gone. But that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t get a big purse. And he is getting a big purse. “But you obviously can’t pay the man what you would be able to otherwise if you had a gate and closed-circuit revenue. It’s as simple as that. With that being said, knowing Teofimo and knowing what a good young man he is, we will conclude (a deal) with him shortly.”
Teofimo Lopez vs Vasiliy Lomachenko In Jeopardy Due To Money Demands
By: Hans Themistode
IBF Lightweight titlist Teofimo Lopez is screaming “show me the money” for his highly anticipated unification contest against unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
It was first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic that Lopez was offered 1.2 million for the October showdown. But with the most difficult and noteworthy fight of his career staring him square in the face, Lopez has come back to the negotiating table with his hands out asking for more.
For promoter Bob Arum, money has never been an issue. But with COVID-19 compromising his bottom line, Arum has opened up his wallet to reveal that only flies reside inside.
“We explained to them we have no gate [revenue], no closed-circuit [revenue],” Arum told ESPN.com. “I mean, we’re willing to pay him a big price. But again, I’m not going to lose millions of dollars on an event because he thinks he’s worth more.”
Lopez has left much of the negotiations in the hands of his manager David McWater. Now, there is an acrimonious feeling surrounding both parties as arguably Arum’s biggest fight left on his COVID-19 ravished calendar hangs on by a mere thread. That aforementioned thread of course, can be reinforced with the help of a few more dollars. McWaters is aware that asking for more money during a global pandemic is a bit tricky and was willing to work out a Top Rank friendly deal to satisfy both sides. But the current offer on the table is an absolute nonstarter.
“Everybody is trying to do the right thing,” McWater told ESPN.com. “But there doesn’t seem to be enough money for everybody. We were willing to take a hair cut from what was expected before, but not one of the magnitude presented to us.”
The hourglass on a Lopez vs Lomachenko showdown is quickly winding down. Not only is Arum currently at odds with his young star, but Lopez has also gone on the record stating how difficult it is for him to make the 135 pound limit. A fight with Lomachenko was viewed as his last at the weight.
Moving up to 140 pounds is a strong possibility for the Brooklyn born native, but according to McWaters, he could stick around a bit longer. However, that doesn’t mean that McWaters and Lopez are acquiescing to their money demands in any way shape or form.
“I think more likely we would take another fight at 135 and revisit [the Lomachenko fight]. To me, a lot of this has to do with ESPN. If they want the fight, I think they should find a way to make it work for Top Rank. Bob’s right, Top Rank shouldn’t have to lose money on this – but neither should Teofimo. The big winner here would be ESPN. I feel it should be incumbent on them to find a way to make this happen.”
Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre Rescheduled For July 2nd
By: Hans Themistode
The super lightweight contest between former two division world champion Jose Pedraza and contender Mikkel LesPierre has officially found a new date.
July 2nd, has officially been circled for both fighters to meet in the ring.
The two were originally supposed to meet on June 18th, as the headliner of Top Rank’s fourth Summer series show. Unfortunately for both men though, their contest was scrapped when LesPierre’s manager, Josie Taveras, contracted the virus.
Protocols were instantly followed as LesPierre and his team were immediately quarantined and tested. His results were negative, but due to contact tracing, he was not allowed to face Pedraza on the night.
With their contest slated to take place roughly two weeks from its original date, promoter Bob Arum is satisfied with the outcome for both sides.
“Mikkel and Jose deserve this opportunity,” said promoter Bob Arum in a recent press release. “I commend both camps for agreeing to reschedule this fight on short notice.”
Pedraza vs Mikkel wasn’t the only announcement that Arum made on the day.
Super lightweight contender and former title challenger Alex Saucedo returns to the ring after a seven month layoff. He’ll look to make it two wins in a row when he takes on Sonny Fredrickson in the main event of a June 30th card that will take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arum has always had big expectations for the 26 year old Saucedo. He may have failed during his first bid to win a world title in November of 2018 against Maurice Hooker, but Arum’s enthusiasm hasn’t wavered one bit.
“Alex Saucedo is destined to be a world champion, but he has an incredibly tall task in Sonny Fredrickson. We have another great week in store at MGM Grand.”
Bob Arum on Manny Pacquiao vs GGG Possibility: “It’s a Stupid Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Manny Pacquiao has made a career out of fighting in multiple divisions. Throughout the entire history of boxing, the Philippine legend is the only man to win titles in eight weight classes. At the age of 41 though, he could have his eyes set on a ninth.
According to longtime Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, his man has been linked to a possible showdown with four division world champion Mikey Garcia. The interest from Roach’s side is evident. “I like that fight,” said Roach during a recent interview with Chris Mannix from DAZN. But a matchup with Garcia would seem to leave Pacquiao in the same position he was in before they stepped into the ring against one another. Meaning, a win over Garcia would do little to bolster his already all-time great resume.
There isn’t much Pacquiao can do at this point to add the cherry on top of his hall of fame career. But there is one fight out there that is currently being floated around that could take Pacquiao’s historic career to another level.
“Manny might want to go a little bit higher and fight GGG (Gennadiy Golovkin) or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best. I would not advise him to go to 160 pounds, no. That would be a little crazy. But putting him at 147 was a risk at one time … and it worked out really good for us. One thing about Manny, he doesn’t just want to beat anybody. He wants to beat the best out there. He wants to fight the top guys.”
Risks have been the foundation that Pacquiao has built his career on. But that aforementioned risk would turn into sheer stupidity if he were to move up two weight classes to take on GGG according to promoter Bob Arum.
“It’s a stupid fight,” Arum told Sportsmail. “I know Golovkin appears to be over the hill, but it’s a fight that could be very dangerous for Pacquiao. He isn’t even a welterweight really let alone a middleweight. His best fighting weight is 140, at 147 I think he’s pretty much outsized by all the good welterweights.”
Arum has always had a sweet spot for Pacquiao. He managed the future fall of famer for over 13 years and the two formed a great relationship. But not only does Arum believe that moving up two weight divisions to face GGG incredibly dumb, but he also believes that Pacquiao has more work to do in his current weight class.
“I know he fought Keith Thurman, who had lost his desire to fight and had been out so long, but he would have a real test against Terence Crawford or Errol Spence, guys like that. Maybe he could beat them, I don’t know. He thinks he can, but to go up any higher would be silly.”
At the moment, a fight with GGG seems to be extraneous. Instead, a showdown with WBO titlist Terence Crawford could be next on the WBA champions plate. But before fans of the sport can high five one another and plan fight parties however, there are still a few stumbling blocks.
“It’s difficult because everywhere is on lockdown right now. This is a fight that we aren’t even thinking about doing on US soil. There’s a few places in the Middle East that certainly have the funds to stage a big fight, and certainly many would be willing to do it, but not in these circumstances. It’s no good talking to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Kolkata until they get a better handle on this coronavirus. Once the picture becomes clearer we can start to work things out. Manny is very interested in fighting Crawford. But someone has got to put up the money and there’s got to be a site.”
TV Ratings Reveal Fans Lack of Interest in First Two Top Rank Shows
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing may have been absent of live shows for more than three months due to COVID-19, but it is becoming painfully obvious that it was not missed.
With new protocols ensuring fighter safety, boxing made it’s return from its COVID-19 induced hiatus this past Tuesday night. The Top Rank promoted card was headlined by WBO Featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson as he took on the unknown Felix Caraballo. Stevenson’s one sided beating of his opponent was the theme of the night as the grotesque mismatches did not produce one competitive fight on the night.
Fans who were looking to add a bit of pugilistic violence to their evening, were disappointed in the nonexistent action along with the lack of name recognition and the TV ratings showed it.
On average, 397,000 viewers tuned in to watch the card play out. The numbers did spike up to 609,000 roughly around the main event. Those who watched from the comforts of their home saw Stevenson pound Caraballo, who also works at a supermarket warehouse, through six rounds before stopping him with a left hand to the body.
Stevenson vs Caraballo was heavily promoted, but without any recognizable names outside of Stevenson, the fans failed to support it. Still, it was only the first show back from its suspension and there would be another bite at the TV apple two days later.
Former Super Bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno stepped into the spotlight this past Thursday night as he took on Yenifel Vicente.
In comparison to Tuesday’s card, the action was night and day. The event started off with what could turn out to be a fight of the year candidate as Adam Lopez took home a majority decision over Luis Coria. The rest of the card, including the main event, was somewhat competitive. Magdaleno knocked his man down twice in the first and fifth rounds of the main event, only to see himself on the canvas due to several low blows. The foul riddled contest ended in the tenth and final round as referee Robert Byrd disqualified Vicente.
Even with better action this time around, it did nothing to peak the interest of fans. TV ratings were considerably lower juxtaposed to Tuesday’s event. An average of 311,000 viewers tuned in, while the number peaked at 392,000.
The numbers are grim, but Top Rank will receive several chances to entice the public to tune into their events. They have recently announced that they will host at least two events per week for the reminder of the summer. Next up on the calendar will be June 16th, as Bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. (22-1-1, 12 KOs) takes on Mike Plania (23-1, 12 KOs) in the main event on ESPN.
ESPN Boxing Results: Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo Full Card Results
Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo
Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) did not disappoint those who tuned in to watch his fight against Felix Caraballo (13-2-2, 9 KOs). Stevenson started off hot with a quick knockdown in the first down courtesy of a body shot.
The beating only worsened as the contest continued. Half way through the sixth round, after taking a ridiculous amount of punishment, Caraballo was dropped for the final time in the sixth round thanks to a body shot once again.
Referee Tony Weeks called an end to the contest and awarded Stevenson with the win. Not only did Stevenson win, but with boxing officially back, the sport won as well.
Jared Anderson vs Johnnie Langston
Jared Anderson (4-0, 4 KOs) looked sharp tonight against journeyman Johnnie Langston (8-3, 3 KOs). Seemingly everything that Anderson threw not only landed, but also hurt his man.
The first two rounds were all Anderson. The third and final round was an even better display. It was as if he Anderson was tired of being in the ring tonight and simply wanted to close the show. He did exactly that as he pummeled Langston in the corner until the referee called off the match.
Guido Vianello vs Don Haynesworth
It was a quick night Guido Vianello (7-0, 7 KOs) as he destroyed Don Haynesworth (16-4-1, 14 KOs) in the very first round.
It was an over hand right that did all of the damage for Vianello, as Haynesworth went crashing down to the canvas. Before he could fully make it back to his feet the referee stepped in and stopped the contest.
Quatavious Cash vs Calvin Metcalf
It was a hard day at the office for Quatavious Cash (12-2, 7 KOs) as he took home a technical decision over Calvin Metcalf (10-4-1, 3 KOs). The scorecards were wide in the favor of Cash as the judges scored the bout 60-54, 60-55 and 59-55 but Metcalf pushed the pace all night long.
An early head butt opened up a nasty cut for Metcalf who kept pushing forward no matter how much blood streamed down his face. In the sixth and final round, the ring doctor called an end to the contest and the judges scorecards were called into play. It was an easy call for Cash as he was a unanimous decision.
Robeisy Ramirez vs Yeuri Andujar
Robeisy Ramirez (3-1, 3 KOs) continued to prove that the loss he suffered in his pro debut was nothing more than a fluke.
It took Ramirez just a few seconds into the first round before he floored his opponent Yeuri Andujar (5-4, 3 KOs). He staggered back to his feet but soon tasted the canvas yet again. Referee Tony Weeks called a halt to the contest shortly after. It took Ramirez only 54 seconds to get the job done in boxing’s return to action.
Top Rank Details Extreme Safety Measures in Boxing’s Return
By: Hans Themistode
Live boxing made a successful return to television sets all across the world tonight. COVID-19 pressed pause on all events for the past three months and forced fans to watch a non stop regurgitation of classic fights.
Nearly three months later however, promoter and CEO of Top Rank Boxing, Bob Arum has a full schedule on tap for the foreseeable future.
According to Arum, Top Rank will proceed with two shows per week for the entirety of the summer. While COVID-19 is still ravishing most of the world, Arum has left no stone unturned in making sure that his fighters and staff remain safe.
Keep reading to checkout the entire safety protocol’s that Top Rank has taken.
1. For starters, Top Rank has implemented signs everywhere that may seem rudimentary but are absolutely necessary. The signs are imploring everyone to wash their hands and keep six feet apart. Each sign also comes accompanied with hand sanitizer stations.
2. Fighters from each camp were given a designated time that they were allowed to train. While they are inside training, the doors are closed shut as to not let anyone in. Following every fighter’s workout, the entire arena is sanitized and resealed until the following fighter enters.
3. In order for fighters and staff members to enter the bubble which is the arena, they must be tested twice a week and everyone must be wearing a mask as well.
4. Following the conclusion of every fight, the red and blue corner are sanitized and cleaned.
5. No longer will ring girls make their customary walk into the ring to announce the beginning of a new round. Instead, they are given a platform to stand upon. Not only have the ring girls found a new elevated home, but so did the ring announcers as they will be standing beside them throughout.
6. If that wasn’t enough, Top Rank took things to another level. Throughout the entire facility a UVC machine will be present. The reason is simple, it prevents bacteria from reproducing.
With the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, Bob Arum has done his best to ensure there will be no more unwanted interruptions.
Shakur Stevenson: “I Will Be Better Than What Floyd Was”
By: Hans Themistode
World titles in five divisions, victories over at least 20 former champions, a perfect record through 50 career fights and a whole lot of cash. In its most simplistic form, that would define the legacy of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Words such as iconic, legendary and celebrated seem to undervalue arguably the greatest fighter that has ever laced up a pair of gloves.
Receiving a comparison to Mayweather is almost akin to a death wish. The pressure becomes too immense and the expectations become extraordinarily too high. But in the case of WBO Featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson, they aren’t high enough.
“Shakur Stevenson is the future star in the sport of boxing,” said Arum on a recent conference call. “A future super star. I look at him as the southpaw version of Floyd Mayweather. And I think he will exceed the performances by Floyd. I just think that he is a rare, rare talent. The young man is growing in size. I think 130 pounds will be a brief stop in his career. He is growing into a Welterweight and maybe even a Jr Middleweight.”
Stevenson will get the chance to show off the Mayweather-esque skills that Arum is alluding to on June 9th against Felix Caraballo at 130 pounds. It will be the first live boxing show for the mainstream public to consume since COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
Through 13 career fights, Stevenson has made it look easy against decent opposition. But should he leave the ring on June 9th with the win against an opponent who will be fighting for the first time outside of his home country in Puerto Rico, Arum is expecting to revisit a matchup with fellow champion Josh Warrington.
If Stevenson manages to navigate himself to a win over Warrington, the Mayweather comparisons will come two fold. Something that the WBO belt holder doesn’t exactly have a problem with. He is just quick to remind those that do juxtapose him to Mayweather, for as great as he was, he is only the tip of the iceberg.
“It makes me feel good, being compared to Floyd. He’s like somebody I came up looking after a lot as a kid and as an amateur,” Stevenson said in a media conference call. “I looked up [to him] as one of my favorite fighters. So, it makes me feel good. But at the end of the day, I’m still me, so I’ve gotta create my own path and my own destiny. So, I appreciate all the comparisons. But I’m really the first Shakur Stevenson. And I think that I’m gonna take over and surpass Floyd and be better than what Floyd was. And I’m trying to make as much money as or [even] more money as Floyd did. So, my vision is like I’m looking past that stuff.”
Top Rank Releases It’s Entire Schedule For The Month of June
By: Hans Themistode
Promoter Bob Arum hasn’t had a lot to smile about over the past three months. On March 14th, he was forced to cancel the first title defense of WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson. Two days later, he was given no choice but to cancel another card, this time at the expense of Featherweight prospect Michael Conlan and his annual St. Patrick’s Day event at Madison Square Garden.
Now however, Arum is smiling from ear to ear.
With the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently giving Arum’s Top Rank promotional company the green light to host cards in Las Vegas, he wasted no time in filling up the entire schedule for the month of June. Check out the full lineup below for what to expect.
Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo (June 9th)
With Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) becoming the first big name casualty from Arum’s stable of fighters, it’s only right that he becomes the first to headline his own show on June 9th. His opponent, Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs), is a mostly obscure fighter but he is currently on a five fight win streak with three of those victories coming via stoppage.
Jessie Magdaleno vs Yenifel Vicente (June 11)
Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) was on his way to stardom before he ran into the right hand of Isaac Dogboe. He’s rebounded nicely since then, winning two straight contests and will be looking to make it three once he takes on Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs) who is in desperate need of a big win after splitting his last two bouts.
Joshua Greer Jr. vs Mike Plania (June 16th)
Joshua Greer Jr. (22-1-1, 12 KOs) normally makes his way to the ring with a pillow in his hands. It symbolizes one thing and one thing only. He plans on making it a short night. Mike Plania (23-1, 12 KOs) however, has never been stopped and is currently on an eight fight win streak which could mean that Greer Jr. is in for a longer than expected fight.
Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre (June 18th)
Former WBO Lightweight titlist Jose Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) is looking to get back into the win column after losing his last contest against Jose Zepeda. Mikkel LesPierre (22-1-1, 10 KOs) isn’t a huge name in the sport of boxing but a win over a former champion in Pedraza could have him vaulting up the ranks.
Emmanuel Navarete vs Uriel Lopez (June 20th)
Emmanuel Navarete (31-1, 27 KOs) went from an absolute unknown to arguably the biggest star in the Super Bantamweight division. All he needed was six months and back to back fights with former champion Isaac Dogboe. Now, the shoe will be on the other foot when he takes on Uriel Lopez. A record of 13-13-1 isn’t the most impressive, but just like Navarete changed his life with one fight, Lopez will be looking to do the same.
Andrew Moloney vs Joshua Franco (June 23rd)
Andrew Moloney (21-0, 14 KOs) may hold the WBA 115 pound title, but he is far from a known commodity. A win over perennial contender Joshua Franco (16-1-2, 8 KOs) however, could change that.
With live boxing finally back, Arum is hoping that the fights he’s put together will not only be entertaining but that other promoters will follow his lead.
“The goal was to start out with really good, competitive fights, with names that people are familiar with, who have been on ESPN shows.”
“This is a sensible way to push ahead,” Arum said. “Hopefully, the fights will be good — I know they will be — but you’ve got to make sure all the procedures are safe and so forth. Hopefully, what we’re doing will serve as a template for other promoters to put on shows.”