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Boxing Insider Notebook: Lomachenko, Shields, Brant, Baranchyk, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 24rd to October 31st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Loma Prepares for Pedraza in Oxnard
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was at home at the Boxing Laboratory as he prepared for his next challenge. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight classes in just 12 pro fights, will seek to unify titles for the first time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).

Lomachenko worked out for the media Tuesday, showing off his assortment of training tricks. This is what the pound-for-pound great had to say.

On the Pedraza fight

“I had a long rest {following shoulder surgery}. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.”

On potentially unifying the titles

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing.”

On future opponents

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

On the Jorge Linares fight

“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.”

On whether he’ll remain at lightweight

“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my {ideal} weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my {ideal} weight.”

On a Mikey Garcia fight

“I hope {it will happen}. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey.”

Claressa Shields to Defend IBF and WBA Middleweight Championships Against Hannah Rankin on DAZN
On Saturday, November 17, at the Kansas Star Arena and Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, superstar two-division women’s world champion Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan, will defend her IBF and WBA World Middleweight Championships and be looking to add the vacant WBC title against Hannahh Rankin from Glasgow, Scotland.

The 10-round Shields (6-0, 2 KOs), and Rankin (5-2, 1 KO) battle will serve as the co-featured bout to Brooklyn-born heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller’s WBA World Heavyweight Championship showdown against Romania’s Bogdan Dinu.

These two fights will be broadcast live on DAZN, along with former world champion Brandon Rios taking on Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez, in a super welterweight 10-rounder and former two-time world middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado going against once-beaten contender Luis Arias.

Shields was originally scheduled to face WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer on November 17, but the bout was postponed after Hammer withdrew due to medical reasons. Hammer has been named a champion in recess during her recovery. The two champions are now projected to do battle in the first quarter of 2019.

“Claressa is a once-in-a-generation athlete that transcends the sport,” said her promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “She will take another step in her goal to achieve the status of GWOAT as she makes the first defense of her middleweight world titles against the skilled and durable Hannah Rankin.”

A bonafide women’s superstar and TV ratings favorite, 23-year-old “T-Rex” Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and already a world champion in two weight divisions. In her fourth professional fight, she won the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight Championships in August 2017 with a dominant stoppage of Germany’s Nikki Adler. Then, in June of this year and in just her sixth pro fight, she dropped down to 160 pounds and won the IBF and WBA Middleweight titles with an exciting unanimous decision over Hannah Gabriels.

“I’m so excited to be able to give my fans another chance to see me defend my championship this year and to have the opportunity to win the WBC middleweight title on November 17,” said Shields. “I appreciate the efforts of Salita Promotions, my manager Mark Taffet, and Matchroom Boxing in putting this fight together so quickly. I will be in great shape and will provide a great performance.”

“I want to thank Salita Promotions and Matchroom Boxing for providing Claressa with another chance to fight this year and an opportunity to attain a third middleweight world championship,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “Claressa is hungry and motivated to put on a great performance on November 17 on DAZN. Claressa has lofty goals and I have no doubt that she’s going to achieve every one of them, including fighting and defeating Christina Hammer early next year. I expect Shields vs Rankin to be an action-packed fight that fans will enjoy tremendously.”

28-year-old Rankin put in an impressive and brave performance while losing a challenge for Alicia Napoleon’s WBA Super Middleweight Championship in August of this year. Before that, she picked up the WBC Silver Middleweight Championship with a dominant victory over Finland’s Sanna Turunen in June.

“I’m excited about the fight and proud to be representing Scotland on such a big stage,” said Rankin. “In boxing, nothing is impossible and on November 17, it will be just us in there when the bell rings and I think it’s going to be one hell of a fight.”
New WBA Middleweight Champion Rob Brant Basking in the Glow, but Ready for Next Assignment

Brand-new WBA World Middleweight Champion Rob “Bravo” Brant says he goes everywhere with his new best friend. “The belt hasn’t left my side since they handed it to me,” laughs the personable new champion from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

28-year-old Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) says he went into his main-event showdown with then champion Ryota Murata (14-2, 11 KOs), last Saturday night at the Park MGM in Las Vegas (and live on ESPN+), unaware he was such a heavy underdog.

“I really did go into it very confident I would win, just off the preparations we did,” said Brant, who was having his first fight with former world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad as his trainer. “I tried to stay away from news when I was in training, so I had no idea how big of an underdog I was. We had a post-fight press conference and that was when I found out. When reporters were asking about it. I had no idea. It wouldn’t have deterred me anyway if I had known.”

Despite the doubts of the bookmakers, Brant cruised to a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata, with two judges giving him all but one round, the other all but two. Brant busted up the now ex-champion with a piston-like jab and peppered him with combinations throughout what turned out to be a surprisingly dominant performance.

According to CompuBox statistics, Brant landed 356 of 1,262 punches (28 percent) while Murata connected with just 180 of 774 (23 percent).

“As a pro, he hasn’t seen what I gave him,” explained Brant. We knew he had a hard time with hand speed and jabs. He locks up when punches are being thrown, so we made sure we kept him backing up and worried about the jab and punches in general. The more he thinks about my shots, the less he throws. We knew we’d be able to keep him on his back foot. Eddie Mustafa is very strict on letting the hands go. We were big on the cardio in training and keeping the punch rate high. And when you’re keeping the jab out there all the time, other shots open up.”

Brant says at fight’s end, he wasn’t worried about the decision going his way.

“I’ve always felt that judges’ decisions are out of my hands. I was nervous about it, you don’t know until they announce your name, but I knew I had done what I felt was my best work. I had a great sense of pride and relief knowing I put it all out there and did everything possible to win. But now that I have won, it’s kind of like having giant weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s definitely my biggest accomplishment ever, winning in Vegas against a former Olympic gold medallist. It’s everything I ever worked for. It was the best feeling in the world. I knew how much I worked for that. Boxing gives back what you put into it and I put my everything into it.”

Although Brant and promoters GCP reportedly agreed to a rematch before the fight, the new champion says he’s not sure the now ex-champion wants it.

“All the talk of a rematch has been from his promoters. I haven’t heard him say anything about it. He might be a little discouraged right now. I’m not saying he won’t be able to come back, but I don’t think he wants it right now. I’ll just go on to bigger and better in the division. Once you win a title, there are no more easy fights. Until you are the undisputed king, you’re always taking steps up in class in every fight.”

Brant says he took a week off but is now back in the gym and ready for what comes next.

“I’m just waiting for the next assignment to work toward. I want to know who my next opponent is as soon as possible, so I can go to sleep at night thinking of what I’m going to do. Watching film and looking for flaws and things I can exploit. That’s when I‘m really the most comfortable. When I have an assignment. It’ll be a big name eventually. I’m there now. So I’m just waiting to see who is next for me to spend all my time watching that person.”

Brant gives a big piece of the credit for his upset victory to the only man to ever beat him. Last October, he stepped up in weight to participate in the World Boxing Super Series as a super middleweight and lost a one-sided decision to former light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany.

“The thought of what happened against Braehmer was always in the background. That’s what really motivated me to be the best I could in this fight. I knew I was better than I was in that fight. I had to prove it by doing what I’m capable of. The loss to Braehmer will be in the back of my mind forever. I won’t let anyone else do that to me again. I will never forget that loss and I’ve been a better fighter from that point forward.”

Undefeated Prospects Castaneda and Venegas Jr. Clash for NABA Super Lightweight Title on December 1st

TMB & PRB Entertainment and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, present “Whose ‘0’ Will Go 2”, a live boxing event taking place at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX, on December 1, 2018. In the 10-round main event, undefeated super lightweights Kendo Castaneda (14-0, 7 KOs) and Gilbert Venegas Jr. (10-0, 6 KOs), will battle for the vacant WBA-NABA title. The entire card will be streamed via Facebook’s FIGHTNIGHT LIVE channel, which has already served more than three million fight fans since May 2017.

Venegas age 24, is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory against Armando Cardenas (9-2, 5 KOs), a fight that took place at the Scottish Rite Theatre on September 8, 2018. With momentum on his side, Venegas is determined to remain unbeaten with a victory against Castaneda.

“Castaneda comes in with an undefeated record, so this will no doubt be my toughest opponent of my career, but a fight I believe I can win.” stated Gilbert Venegas Jr. “I’ve worked very hard to get into this position, to fight for a title, so rest assure, I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. Being that this will be my first shot at a title, you better believe I’m coming to win, and win impressively. I’m going to be the new NABA super lightweight champion and on December 1st, my hands will be raised in victory.”

The 24-year old Castaneda, who is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, recently defeated former WBC United States Champion, Jesus “Chuy” Gutierrez, by 8-round unanimous decision. With the victory, Castaneda, who resides in San Antonio, TX, will look to keep his undefeated record in tact against Venegas.

“I’m predicting a tremendous performance,” said Castaneda. “I’m ready to razzle and dazzle, graze them and daze them, confuse and abuse them. Getting a NABA title shot on my second fight with Roy Jones Jr. Boxing represents a huge door being kicked down for me. If I can’t beat a guy like Venegas, I have no business in boxing.”

Tickets priced $35 General Admission $40 at the door, and $100 Ringside, are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling (210) 449-5599 or (210) 322-9974. The Scottish Rite Theatre is located at 308 Ave E, San Antonio, TX 78205. Doors open at 4:00 PM, first bell at 5:30 PM.
Split-T Management’s Ivan Baranchyk Captures IBF Junior Welterweight Title
Split-T Management’s Ivan Baranchyk won the IBF Junior Welterweight title with a 7th round stoppage over Anthony Yigit.

The bout, which took place in New Orleans, was also part of the World Boxing Super Series, giving Baranchyk more than just a world title to celebrate.

Baranchyk took the fight to Yigit, as he landed many power shots that made the left eye of Yigit swell very badly. With the eye just about closed, the fight was halted after the 7th frame, gibing Baranchyk the coveted world title.

Baranchyk will now face the winner of next Saturday’s contest between Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Baranchyk. “To become world champion, I feel like I am the best fighter in the tournament. It was a good fight, I was able to implore my style and get the stoppage. I will rest for a a week or so, and then start my work for my next fight.”

“I couldn’t be happier than I am for Ivan. He deserved this and worked for it as hard as anyone can. You have to be around Ivan to really realize how intense and dedicated he is. We are looking forward to the next round and I honestly don’t think Ivan cares which one he fights,” said David McWater of Split T Management.

Baranchyk is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Holden promotions and Fight Promotions.
New Era Dawns: ICB Launches Boxing’s Move to MMA-Style Cage

With a patent, trademarks and official approval complete, Jack Perone Fulton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Championship Boxing (ICB), is set to reboot the traditional sport of boxing by moving it into an MMA-style cage.

Trademarked “The Fight Zone,” the specially designed ICB cage is a 24-foot, six-sided fenced hexagon with red and blue entry points and two opposing neutral corners.

“ICB represents boxing for a new generation, one that has grown up watching combat sports in a cage,” said Fulton. “It’s truly a better boxing platform. It’s a larger fighting space and with better camera angles for broadcast viewers. And when a boxer’s heel touches the back of the cage fencing, they must come out swinging instead of resting on the ropes. Those are the main reasons we conceived, created and are now launching the ICB. We have no doubt the ICB will capture the imaginations of existing fans and attract new ones around the globe.”

It took Fulton almost two years to get The Fight Zone specially designed, built, patented and approved by boxing and athletic commissions within the United States. In March of this year, he received a unanimous approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, recognized as the industry leader when it comes to regulatory matters.

“I’m both ecstatic and excited we have been granted approval by the NSAC,” said Fulton. “It’s the first time anything remotely resembling this has been legally attempted.”

Real-life testing of the new format has gone extremely well.

“The initial sparring sessions have resulted in action that has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Fulton. “MMA fans get what they want: stand-up striking, instead of the all-too prevalent ground game, which produces long breaks in the action. And boxing fans will enjoy the new action-packed toe-to-toe dynamic the cage produces.”

What has also exceeded expectations is the response from boxers and mixed martial artists alike. Several notable combatants in both fields have expressed enthusiasm about competing in the ICB. “You’d be surprised by the number of boxers – boxers whose skill sets range all the way up to world champions and world-ranked contenders – who not only are expressing interest but enthusiasm about boxing in the ICB cage,” said Fulton.

Because of the characteristics of a cage in comparison to a ring, boxers will have to learn and hone new skill sets.

“Some boxers will adapt and flourish quicker than others,” said Fulton, “but eventually, they’ll see the advantages of competing in the cage and will gravitate en-masse. Mixed martial artists, particularly those who excel at striking, will also feel the lure of boxing in the cage. It accentuates their strong points while eliminating their weak points.”

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In the Middle with this Division


By: Rich Mancuso

Canelo Alvarez holds the WBC Middleweight title and last week became the richest athlete in sports with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. Saturday evening two championships in the division changed hands and now the middleweights are the talk of boxing.

Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden, Daniel Jacobs gets his opportunity on HBO with the iBF title middleweight title up for grabs. Jacobs (34-2, 29 KO’s) opposes Sergly Derevyanchenko, 12-0, the undefeated pro formerly of Feodosia Crimea, Ukraine who has more of an amateur background.

Welcome again to the middleweight division. Daniel Jacobs sits in the middle of this, a division that suddenly is compared to the elite fighters at 147. That weight class has dominated and is highly contested.

Similar to the complexion and change of televised boxing, so goes the middleweight title that has been highlighted with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. And according to Eddie Hearn, promoter of Matchroom Boxing, the middleweight division has the top fighters.

“The middleweight division is class,” Hearn said on a conference call Monday afternoon. Hearn now has rights to Canelo Alvarez and said the winner of Jacobs-Derevyanchenko could fight Alvarez in May.

So the process, and as difficult as it can be, is to unify the middleweight titles. And with the different promoters, titles, and networks unifying the titles can be difficult. However, Hearn has the capability to get that accomplished and every fighter in the division will be aiming at getting that opportunity to challenge Canelo Alvarez.

“I think its a great time to be a middleweight in the division,” Jacobs said on the conference call. “A great time for the middleweight championship.”

Though Daniel Jacobs “The Miracle Man” knows this is the proper time, he sits in the middle. Alvarez is also aiming for the super middleweight title at Madison Square Garden in December but still holds the number one spot.

Rob Brant dethroned Ryota Murata on the WBA side and former 154lb world champion Demetrius Andrade defeated Walter Kautondokwa and claimed the vacant WBO middleweight title on Saturday night. Yes, in a matter of a few hours the complexion of this division changed.

And this is all good for boxing. As always, there has to be unity and Daniel Jacobs with a victory at the Garden Saturday night would no longer be sitting in the middle.
Eddie Hearn could be the promoter that gets the unity accomplished. Again, he has been at the forefront of changing the complexion of the sport with DAZN and signing big name fighters.

“You are going to see a lot of these big unification fights,’ he said. “Another champion in Andrade. Think with now the championship spreading out, three champions, the winner Saturday night is in prime position to fight Canelo.”

Assuming Jacobs gets the win, anything is possible. The middleweights have become as good as the always talked about welterweights.

“Being in one of the hottest divisions I’m looking to take advantage,” Jacobs said “Time to get a middleweight belt and campaign for some of these bigger and better fights. I don’t believe in sharing belts. I want unification ”

He added: This is a good time. The fans are the one who will benefit the most.”Jacobs has the advantage Saturday night and is the favorite. His opponent is undefeated in 12 professional fights
but is also motivated for something bigger, a piece of this middleweight title.

“This is a respected belt,” he said. More so, this is how Daniel Jacobs gets out of the middle of this pile and once again becomes a dominant middleweight.

And all you have to do is listen to co-promoter Lou DiBella. His perspective of where this division will stand after the Jacobs fight does speak volumes. That elite division of welterweight champions and contenders is in good company.

“Boxing is a business,” said DiBella. “When you get past the heavyweights we’ll see big middleweight fight after big middleweight fight.”

Comment: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Results: Brant Spoils Murata’s US Debut


By: Michael Kane

Not many people gave Rob Brant much of a chance going into his WBA Middleweight title match against champion Ryota Murata. However Brant left the ring as the new champion.

Brant (24-1, 16 KO’s) showed he meant business right from the start, throwing punches, on the front foot. Murata (14-2, 11 KO’s) smiled through out the first round, as if bemused by Brant’s fast start, possibly expecting Brant to slow down.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Brant continued the fast pace until the 4th round when Murata started to land some heavy body shots, this led to a 5th round in which the Japanese Olympic gold medallist sensed he was gaining the upper hand and was throwing more punches however Brant weathered the storm and ended the round landing several right hands.

Murata had the power however Brant was landing frequently. Brant had now slowed down from his fast paced earlier rounds but was still appearing busier than Murata and landing point scoring shots.

As the championship rounds came, Murata sensed he had to up his game but Brant had his second wind and landed a couple of good right hands in the final round that appeared to hurt Murata.

The judges all scored the bout in favour of Brant, 118-110, 119-109, 119-109.

The statistics showed Brant threw 1262 punches, landing 356 compares to Murata throwing 764 and landing 180.

“This is one of the best moments of my life,” Brant said in the press conference afterwards. “I wasn’t thinking about punch output. I was thinking about winning.”

“This was a great middleweight championship fight,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arun. “Both fighters showed tremendous heart. Congratulations to the new champion. He deserved the win.”

Top Rank are putting a brave face on this defeat for Murata as they had big plans for him, with a fight against GGG or Canelo Alvarez rumoured to be on the horizon. However Brant remains undefeated in the middleweight division, his only defeat coming at super middleweight.

Also on the card at Park Theatre at Park MGM in Las Vegas was Maxim Dadashev defending his NABF super lightweight title against former world champion Antonio DeMarco.

DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KO’s) showed his champion credentials as he stunned Dadashev (12-0, 10 KO’s) on several occasions throughout the fight. Dadashev had enough about him to survive these scares and come through and retain his belt. Dadashev won the last three rounds to secure the win.

The scorecard was 96-94, 97-93, 98-92.

The bout was a good learning experience for Dadashev, which he said so in the press conference.

“This was a great learning experience for me. DeMarco is a true champion and he thought with great heart and determination.”

Highly rated Irishman, Michael Conlan made his Vegas debut on the card against Italian Nicola Cipolletta, who was making his American debut.

Conlan pressured from the start, with Cipolletta on the defensive through out. Conlan landed several good shots to the body and head in the 7th which forced the referee to stop the fight.

Conlan moves on to 9-0 and is due back in the ring on the undercard of Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton bout in Manchester, England on December 22nd.

“When you fight a guy who is negative and trying to survive, those guys are the hardest guys to look good against,” Conlan said. “He was just negative. Now I want real opponents. I want top 10, top 15 opponents. These are the guys who are going to make me look good. These are the guys who are going to bring out the best of my technical ability. When you see guys trying to survive, it’s a lot easier to survive than fight it out.”

Other Results:
Middleweight: Esquiva Cacao (22-0, 15 KO’s) defeated Guido Porto (25-6-2, 8 KO’s) by unanimous decision 100-90 x3.

Lightweight: Joseph Adorno (10-0, 9 KO’s) defeated Kevin Cruz (8-1, 5 KO’s) by unanimous decision over 6 rounds, 59-53, 59-53, 58-54.

Super Lightweight: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KO’s) won by 2nd rd TKO against Wilberth Lopez (23-10, 15 KO’s).

Featherweight: Vladimir Nikitin (2-0, 0 KO) won by unanimous decision over 6 rounds against Clay Burns (5-5-2, 4 KO’s). 59-55 x3.

Featherweight: Adam Lopez (11-1, 5 KO’s) defeated Hector Ambriz (12-8-2, 6 KO’s) by 8th round TKO.

Middleweight: David Kaminsky (3-0, 2 KO’s) won by 2nd round TKO against Noah LaCoste (2-1, 2 KO’s).

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Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Ryoto Murata vs. Rob Brant


By: Michael Kane

Ryoto Murata, makes his second defence of his WBA Middleweight title against American Rob Brant at the MGM’s Park Theatre, Las Vegas, Saturday 20th October.

Murata (14-1, 11 KO’s) won the middleweight crown after winning a rematch against Hassan N’Dam Jikam winning by TKO in round seven in October 2017.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

This rematch came about after they both fought for the vacant title and Jikam won a controversial split decision, when most thought Murata had won.

Murata defended his belt for the first time in April against Italian Emanuele Blandamura winning by 8th round TKO.

During the press conference, Murata was asked about facing GGG or Canelo and replied, “Everything will happen after the result of this fight, so I’m not thinking ahead. I am looking forward to getting the victory on Saturday.

“I had a great training camp, and I am going to put everything out in the ring that I trained with. I am very prepared and very confident.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity, especially to Bob Arun and everyone at Top Rank and the team over at Teiken Promotions.”

Brant (23-1, 16 KO’s) has won the WBA-NABA Middleweight title and WBC Continental Americas Middleweight title while he was on a 21 fight win streak.

Brant entered the first season of World Boxing Super Series where he faced German Juergen Braehmer in the Super Middleweight division Brant suffered his first and only defeat losing by unanimous decision.

Brant returned to middleweight and defeated Colby Courter by 1st round KO in March and feels confident ahead of his fight against the Japanese superstar.

“We knew that Murata would be the challenge of a lifetime being an Olympic gold medalist as well as being a world champion. I knew I’d have to be here early working with (trainer) Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. We’re training specifically for Murata. I feel good. I feel confident.”

When asked about moving back to 160 after competing at 168 briefly, Brant said, “I feel like this is my natural weight. I feel a lot better at 160 pounds. I did my entire amateur career at 178 pounds at light heavyweight. Then I decided I had to lay off the McDonald’s a little bit and actually train. My body is actually very comfortable at 160, and that’s where I am going to stay at. And it’s where I am going to win my titles

In the co feature bout Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev defends his NABF Super Lightweight belt against former world champion Antonio DeMarco.

Dadashev (11-0, 10 KO’s) won the belt in his last outing against Darleys Perez in June by TKO in the 10th round.

The 28 year old Russian takes on a veteran in DeMarco (33-6-1 24 KO’s), the Mexican has won his last two fights having lost beforehand 3 in a row including losing his title to Jessie Vargas back in 2014.

Dadashev said at the press conference, “My opponent is a former WBC champion. Of course, he has really good experience and is a smart fighter. That’s it. But I’m also strong.

“I am working hard in the gym and am prepared for this fight. I had a good camp and (would like to fight for a world totle) as soon as possible.”

DeMarco has his eyes on becoming a world champion again.

“I’ve been through this before and I’ve seen this before. It’s truly a pleasure to be here.

“I want to thank Maxim and his management team for taking this fight. I feel good about it. I’m at peace. I’m very comfortable, and I want to become a world champion again.”

Also on the card is popular Irishman, Michael Conlan who makes his Las Vegas debut. Conlan has been on a bit of a tour since turning pro with Top Rank, with fights in New York, Belfast and Australia.

Conlan headlined a show in his home city, Belfast last time out and won comfortably against Adeilson Dos Santos winning by unanimous decision. Conlan takes on Italian Nicola Cipolletta in the featherweight division.

Conlan is looking forward to his Vegas debut.

“It’s my fourth fight of the year, and I plan to have another one after this. It’s a pleasure to be here in Las Vegas. It’s my first time fighting in probably the fight capital of the world at the minute.”

Conlan on his trainer Adam Booth.

“It’s been fantastic with Adam. I think now the pen has finally dropped. Everything seems to be falling into place. I know fighters say it all the time, and I get sick of hearing it myself, but it’s definitely the best training camp I’ve had. I feel like I’m becoming more of a complete fighter, and that’s what I want to show on Saturday night. I want to show how advanced my style is now.”

Conlan, who lost controversially as an amateur in the Olympics is looking to face his old for Vladimir Nikitin who also appears on the card.

Conlan said, “It would be fantastic to face Vladimir in the professional ranks. I have no ill feelings towards Vladimir. I know it wasn’t his fault, but revenge is something that I want. I have no anger towards him, but I will {fight} him with enjoyment, and I do believe I’ll get the victory when we face each other.”

The event will be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S and Boxnation in the UK.

ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET

Ryota Murata vs. Rob Brant, 12 rounds, WBA Middleweight World Championship

Maxim Dadshev vs. Antonio DeMarco, 10 rounds, NABF Super Lightweight Title

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET

Esquiva Falcao vs. Guido Pitto, 10 rounds, Middleweight

Michael Conlan vs. Nicola Cipolletta, 8 rounds, Featherweight

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov vs. Wilberth Lopez , 8 rounds, Super Lightweight

Adam Lopez vs. Hector Ambriz, 8 rounds, Featherweight

Joseph Adorno vs. Kevin Cruz, 6 rounds, Lightweight

Vladimir Nikitin vs. Clay Burns, 6 rounds, Featherweight

David Kaminsky vs. Noah LaCoste, 4 rounds, Middleweight

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WBSS Preview: Juergen Braehmer v Rob Brant


By: Ste Rowen

After seven consecutive weeks of tournament boxing, the eighth and final World Boxing Super Series quarter final takes place in the German city of Scherwin on Friday. Former WBO and WBA ‘Regular’ Light Heavyweight Champion Juergen Braehmer (48-3-0 35KOs) faces undefeated prospect Rob ‘Bravo’ Brant (22-0-0 15KOs) for a place in the semi-finals of the Super Middleweight WBSS and the right to face Callum Smith.

Braehmer hasn’t fought at the 168lb limit since September 2007. Ten years and twenty consecutive bouts fighting as a light heavyweight. In his most recent outing Braehmer lost his WBA ‘Regular’ title to Nathan Cleverly over twelve months ago, when in the sixth round Juergen withdrew due to a dislocated elbow and the fight was called a TKO victory for Cleverly. Before then Braehmer was on a seventeen-fight win streak, which most notably included a stoppage win over Enzo Maccarinelli and two unanimous decision victories over Edward Gutknecht. However, despite his 51 bouts Braehmer is a boxer without a landmark win. He’s never fought outside of Germany and even when fighting at super middleweight he failed to get into the mix with the divisions biggest names at the time such as Jeff Lacey, Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe.

Despite that, the southpaw has found his way into the tournament as a seeded fighter and so far in both the Cruiserweight and the Super Middleweight draws, all of the seeded fighters have won their bouts.

As Braehmer comes down, Rob Brant is coming up. The current holder of the WBA-NABA Middleweight title has made his career fighting at the 160lb limit. The heaviest he’s fought at is just over 166lb back in 2014 when he stopped Mickey Scarborough in Minnesota. ‘Bravo’ had been quietly going about his business, steadily building the foundations for a title push at middleweight when the opportunity came around to fight in the Super Series.

The only American across the whole tournament also has to contend with the fact that this will be his first twelve round bout. He’s fought in five ten round fights, with only one of those going the distance when Brant scored a majority decision over Louis Rose, 13-2-1 at the time.

Although a relative unknown, Brant’s aggressive, come forward style should make him a fan favourite, but only as long as he can deploy his game plan. His opponent’s awkward, southpaw style and perhaps overlooked power could stifle ‘Bravo’, especially if the fight makes it into the championship rounds, a place the American hasn’t experienced yet as a pro.
The tournament has lacked for coverage in the US but Brant could be the beacon that lights the way for America in the series, much like recently retired and fellow American, Andre Ward did in the Super 6 almost eight years ago.

As mentioned above, whoever emerges the victor on Friday night will face Liverpudlian, Callum Smith in the semi-finals and beyond that, a place in the final to face the winner of George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr. Full steam ahead for the World Boxing Super Series hype train.

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