Boxing Insider Notebook: Whyte, Rivas, Pacquiao, Thurman, Ugas, Roach, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 9th to July 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Yordenis Ugas Camp Quotes
Welterweight contender, Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) wrapped up his final day of training camp and talks about his up coming showdown with Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1, 19 KOs), a 12-round bout that will serve as the co-main event to Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao vs. WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, ahead of their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
Here is what he said about training camp, facing another undefeated fighter, and more.
On his upcoming fight with Omar Figueroa Jr.:
“This is a big opportunity for me to derail another undefeated fighter. Omar Figueroa Jr. is a young hungry fighter who’s never tasted defeat but that will all change on July 20th. He’s never been in with an experienced fighter like me. I have the style to beat him and I’m going to let my hands fly on fight night!
On fighting in the biggest boxing event of the year:
“I can’t ask for a better situation at this stage of my career. To be fighting on FOX PPV, on the same card as one of the greatest fighters to ever step in the ring in Manny Pacquiao, is a dream come true. I’m truly blessed to be fighting on such a big stage and I’m going to give the fans a night to remember. The fans deserve a war and that’s what I’m going to give them.”
On what a win will do for his career:
“Beating an undefeated fighter like Figueroa will get me right back into a world title fight. These are the type of fights I need to win if I’m going to become a world champion. I’m determined more than ever to prove to the world that I’m one of the best welterweights in the division.”
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp is finally all wrapped up. I did my last day of sparring this past weekend. My trainer Ismael Salas has a masterful game plan in place that we believe will be the perfect blueprint to beat Figueroa. I’m in tremendous shape, ready to let me hands go.”
Devin Haney Back in the Gym Going Hard
Undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has returned to the gym after his sensational knockout over Antonio Moran, a fight that took place at the MGM National Harbor Hotel in Maryland on May 25, 2019.
Haney, no longer a prospect, is now ranked top ten by all four sanctioning bodies in the lightweight division and is currently WBC #2, WBO #,5 WBA #3 and #9 in the IBF. Beyond that, the bible of boxing, Ring Magazine, has Devin Haney #4 on their own list of the best lightweights in the world. This is no small feat for a boxer who is barely 20-years old. Haney is back in the gym as he awaits his next fight date.
“I’m back in the gym getting ready with an unofficial date in September,” stated Haney. “Ironically the WBC ordered a lightweight tournament to decide the mandatory for the winner of Loma vs Campbell. When Teofimo Lopez went the opposite direction, it made me and Zaur Abdulaev the final elimination bout. I’m also ranked #3 WBA and #5 WBO so my opportunity for a World Title is right around the corner. I took a well deserved break that I hadn’t taken since I began the sport. Now I’m recharged and ready to reap havoc on the lightweight division.”
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,” Haney Continued. “My time is coming and I will be 100% ready to show the everyone that I’m ready for a world title shot.”
Coming this Saturday: Pacquiao vs. Thurman Broadcast Live to US Movie Theaters
Boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Philippine Senator and regular WBA welterweight champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao returns to face undefeated Super WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in a powerhouse 147-pound showdown broadcast live on Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With his speed, power and tremendous boxing skills, Thurman represents the most dangerous challenger that the future Hall of Famer Pacquiao has faced in recent bouts. This high-stakes match will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing’s deepest and most talented divisions.
Tickets for “Pacquiao vs. Thurman” can be purchased online at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices now.
The live broadcast of “Pacquiao vs. Thurman” presented by Fathom Events, Premier Boxing Champions and FOX Sports is set for Saturday, July 20 beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AK / 3:00 p.m. HI. Boxing fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 175 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In his last match on January 19, Pacquiao put on a vintage performance against four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of his illustrious career. It was his first time fighting in the U.S. in two years. Before that, he scored an impressive knockout over Lucas Matthysse to win his version of the WBA welterweight championship in Malaysia last July 15.
The 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) is the longest reigning welterweight champion in boxing, having collected his WBA title with a stoppage victory over Diego Chaves in 2013. He has successfully defended that title eight times and became a unified welterweight champion when he defeated Danny Garcia by split decision to win the WBC title. Thurman was out of action for nearly two years due to injuries before getting back into the ring with a hard-fought victory against Josesito Lopez in January. His power punching earned him the nickname “One Time.”
“Fight fans coast-to-coast were thrilled to watch Pacquiao’s victory over Broner live and larger-than-life in their local cinemas in January,” said Ray Nutt, Fathom Events CEO. “We’re pleased to partner again with our friends at FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions to bring another of Pac Man’s highly-anticipated bouts to the big screen.”
Freddie Roach: It Will Be One Time vs. All Time
For the third time in 12 months, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and boxer laureate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) will be battling in a world championship fight. Forget collecting on a pension, amazin’ Manny, 40, the reigning Fighter of the Decade, will be punching more than the clock this Saturday, when he tries to complete his world title hat trick, against undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida, who is 10 years Manny’s junior. The Pacquiao – Thurman welterweight world title attraction headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“Keith Thurman has it easy. His only job is to train for this fight. I have three jobs. I am a fighter. I am a public servant. And on Saturday, I am going to be Keith Thurman’s teacher,” said Manny. “I have heard everything he has said about me. I have heard everything he has said he will do to me in the fight. Those things he says about me do not make me angry. They inspire me. This has been the best training camp I have had in years. Keith Thurman thinks he is going to retire me. I am not ready to look back. I am still looking forward. Keith Thurman is going to be very surprised by what he sees from me in the ring. He is going to leave the ring a very disappointed fighter.”
“It will be ‘One Time’ vs. All Time,” said Manny’s Hall of Fame trainer world-famous Freddie Roach. “Thurman may be ten years younger but Manny still has extraordinary talent and an era’s worth of experience against Hall of Fame opposition. The betting action on this fight reflects that. I have done a lot of interviews. All the media seem to be picking Thurman to win. They consider this a battle between Generation X and Generation Geritol. But we’re talking about Manny Pacquiao. He pushed himself to the limit in this training camp. Youth will be served a big slice of humble pie on Saturday night.”
Statement from Salita Promotions Regarding Otto Wallin vs. B.J. Flores Heavyweight Fight
As part of the licensing process in the state of Washington, the doctor appointed by the boxing commission to oversee tonight’s event reviewed medical tests and determined that B.J. Flores would not be medically cleared to compete. Based on that opinion, Washington State Department of Licensing spokesperson Gigi Zenk notified Salita Promotions this afternoon that they would not issue B.J. Flores a license to fight against Otto Wallin tonight. Due to medical privacy requirements we are unable to provide further information at this time.”
STATEMENT FROM WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING SPOKESPERSON GIGI ZENK: “Benjamin Flores was not medically cleared to compete.”
DAZN to Broadcast Whyte-Rivas Around the World
The heavyweight title eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas for the number one spot in the WBC will be streamed live in all DAZN markets on Saturday, July 20, from The O2 in London. DAZN is available across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a huge night of Heavyweight boxing and I’m excited for DAZN subscribers that they will get to watch it live. Dillian Whyte who has proved himself as one on the best Heavyweights on the planet takes on the relentless unbeaten Oscar Rivas who is coming off a brutal knockout of Bryant Jennings. Brit Derek Chisora faces off against Poland’s Artur Szpilka and crowd favourite Dave Allen tackles David Price in a big domestic shootout. Tune in and don’t miss it!”
Whyte (25-1 18 KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.
The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.
Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders.
In the United States, action will begin on DAZN at 1:00 p.m. ET with the full six-fight Matchroom Boxing undercard from The O2 in London.