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Is It Too Early For a Ryan Garcia vs Devin Haney Showdown?


By: Hans Themistode

The sport of boxing is somewhat like a waiting game isn’t it?

How many times have fans wanted to see certain matchups but were forced to wait? Too many times to remember.

Unlike other sports, boxing doesn’t have to capitulate to the demands of its fans. Take a sport such as basketball. The schedule dictates that everyone plays against one another. It doesn’t matter if you are ready or not. You are thrown into the fire immediately.

How about boxing’s closest sport of comparison? Mixed martial arts (MMA). For that form of combat, it doesn’t matter if a fighter is too young or too old, they will share the octagon against one another. Boxing doesn’t quite work like that.

The first event that comes to mind that resembles this issue is Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. Fans waited over 5 years to see those them share the ring against one another. Today, we have two fighters who although are great, aren’t quite in the primes of their career just yet. Those fighters would be WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and rising star Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs). Both fighters are 20 and 21 years of age respectively.

Cast aside their ages and these fighters have the look of seasoned veterans with plenty of star power.

For what it’s worth, Haney has already called for a showdown against Garcia with his promoter Eddie Hearn tabbing it as one of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing.

“Ryan Garcia is a mega-fight for 2020,” said Hearn when discussing a showdown between the two.

Haney co-signed his promoters sentiments following his shutout victory over Alfredo Santiago this past Saturday night.

“That’s a fight that is being stirred up. Hopefully we can make that fight happen in 2020 or 2021. It’ll happen sooner rather than later.” Said Haney.

Sooner rather than later is an interesting choice of words. Just how soon could a contest between them make place? Haney could be spot on in his 2021 timeline.

“Realistically speaking we probably won’t fight until 2021. That’s just how the business is,” said Garcia when conversing about a contest with Haney. “They know what the big fights are. Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, GGG vs Canelo. There’s just timing and it brews over. We still need a few other fights to make it bigger.”

Garcia is right. In 2021, Garcia will be 23 while Haney on the other hand will be 22, but still, is this the right window for a contest of this magnitude to happen?

With both fighters seemingly not even scratching the surface of their potential, a contest between them seems premature.

Fans don’t want to wait for what felt like a lifetime for Mayweather vs Pacquiao, but at this point in their careers it would be much too early.

Give each fighter the opportunity to build their names and their resume. There isn’t one notable name that stands out on either one of their dockets at the moment. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see two great young fighters willing to not only face each other but anyone that is placed in front of them. However, let’s allow this fight to build. They both have plenty of time.

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Devin Haney Becomes Lightweight Champion, Challenges Lomachenko, Serrano Defeats Hardy


By: Robert Aaron Contreras

Devin Haney’s leaping hooks slammed into Zaul Abdullaev with such regularity—landing in such a gruesome thudding manner—it was only a matter of time before the victim’s body gave way. And it did, in the form of Abdullaev’s mangled nose and broken cheekbone, ahead of the fifth round when the doctor pulled him from the fight.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

The stoppage gave the 20-year-old Haney the victory and the interim WBC championship in the main event of DAZN’s broadcast from the Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.
“I wasn’t nearly done beating him—I was just warming up,” Haney said after the fight, victoriously. Before being asked by DAZN correspondent Chris Mannix about the prospects of matching up with one Vasyl Lomachenko.

“I think you said his name wrong,” Haney responded. “It’s ‘No-Machenko’, cause he doesn’t want to fight me… If I’m so easy, he should fight me and get out of the way.”

Haney (23-0, 15 KO) pulled out all the stops in the first round. Showing off an explosive repertoire, closing immense amounts of distance with stepping and leaping jabs. Despite moving forward, Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KO) was quickly on the receiving end of punishment when Haney zipped in and out with bolting jabs and complimented them with murderous lead hooks.

In Round 3, the center of the ring was still Abdullaev’s. If only because Haney in split seconds could go from circling his man to reappearing in Abdullaev’s vicinity with popping jabs, before quickly rolling out of the way of returning fire.

When the Russian did stray to close—crowding Haney—the American had short, piercing right hands for him.

The third and fourth rounds were made up of more eye-catching left hooks from Haney: consecutively ricocheting off of Abdullaev’s ribcage and face. Somehow Abdullaev continued moving forward but his combinations were far too basic to keep Haney honest.

Between rounds, the ringside physician, having paid special attention to the Russian’s nose, didn’t need long to conclude that the fight couldn’t continue. Abdullaev quickly followed the doctor out of the ring, long gone by the time the result became official.

A champion now, of sorts, Haney’s interim belt really represents a ticket to a showdown with Lomachenko, the star child of boxing intelligentsia and currently the lightweight ruler.

Still not old enough to drink, upending a talent like Lomachenko at Haney’s age would be unprecedented in today’s day and age. But it should be mentioned so too is his eagerness to take that very risk.

Amanda Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KO) def. Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KO)


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

Having won more world titles in more weight classes than any female boxer in history, Serrano is used to lifting championship gold and looked every bit as comfortable outclassing her Brooklyn rival, Hardy en route to a unanimous decision, to claim the WBC featherweight crown.

Judge Julie Lederman had it 98-92, and judges Waleska Roldan and Robin Taylor both had it 98-91 for Serrano.

Serrano was never in danger of snapping her win steak, now sitting nicely at 22 consecutive victories. In that seven-year stretch, she padded her oeuvre with an incredible seven divisional championships. Specifically, the featherweight belt she picked up from Hardy now makes her a two-time champ in the class.

“Heather is as tough as they come,” Serrano said in the ring following her dominant performance. “She came to fight—but I was just the better girl tonight. There’s levels to boxing and she’s just not at my level tonight.”

Friday night, Serrano’s southpaw stance took the center of the ring from the onset. The multi-divisional champion sliced apart Hardy’s guard in the first frame. Hardy was pinned the ropes for the entire two minutes.

Serrano’s hands never stopped moving: two or three shots upstairs, changing levels downstairs, and returning to target Hardy’s chin with interchanging crosses.
Hardy, biting on her gumshield, offered back winging hooks. But they were too wild to keep Serrano off her for even a second.

If not for a low blow and referee Mike Ortega jumping in with seconds on the clock, a TKO seemed imminent. Nonetheless the period ended with Hardy on the ropes—her face pink, the commentary team sure the night would be over soon.

That seemed spot on with Hardy back along the ropes for Round 2. Her punches had little steam on them. But she began to rely on her feet to survive the remaining stages, dancing along the canvas in the third period.

A steady flow of offense continued from Serrano. Fencing with each other in the fourth round, Hardy offered up a lead hook but was either met with a left cross or a returning hook from Serrano after the legendary champion avoided Hardy’s initial blow.

Hardy’s exhaustion settled in, her elbows were visibly loose, as were her flailing punches. In sharp contrast with Serrano, her elbows tight, weaving, dodging punches with ease.

Serrano paced herself in Round 5—really taking the inning off. As so, Hardy took the round with her activity and even outlanded Serrano in the sixth period too.

Hardy had some life again to open the seventh stanza. But Serrano got back to pressuring her opponent along the ropes: mixing up levels, throwing overhand lefts consecutively to the belly and then the chin.

Hardy withstood further abuse in the final three rounds with Serrano still sawing rights and left across her chin, drawing blood from Hardy’s face.

Unsurprisingly, Serrano landed at a higher rate and with more precision, connecting on 222 of 578 total punches (38 percent) while Hardy landed 131 of 498 total punches (26 percent).
Seemingly out of challenges at the weight, attention in the post-fight interview turned to standout titlist Katie Taylor.

“I say let’s go,” Serrano said with a bright smile. “No matter where it’s at or what weight, I’m going to win.”

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Haney Battles Abdullaev for Championship; Heather Hardy Back in the Ring to Reclaim Crown


By: Robert Aaron Contreras

On Friday, Devin Haney has a chance to pair his shining charisma with a gold-plated belt, fighting for the WBC interim title. The 10-fight bill originally featured two other championship bouts until Danny Roman was forced to drop out. Fortunately it takes more than a scheduling change to dim the lights at Madison Square. The main card is set to kick off at 6 p.m. ET, exclusively on DAZN.


Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Devin Haney (22-0, 14 KO) vs. Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KO), lightweight title

With a menacing, undefeated Russian in front of him, Haney and his team remain so confident, the American super-prospect is already scheduled to fight again in November. These are the kind of expectations and expedient scheduling that meet an ambitious talent like Haney, who turning professional at 17 and soon thereinafter was named 2018’s Prospect of the Year.

Already 2-0 on the year, Haney pulled himself up the WBC rankings with back-to-back dominant efforts.

In May, all of 20 years old, he headlined another Eddie Hearn endeavor. There he cracked open the rangy puncher Antonio Moran inside of seven rounds: the Mexican slumped from an overhand right. The knockout quickly made the rounds on social media—eventually dubbed a frontrunner for Knockout of the Year.

That win earned Haney a bevy of minor belts from the WBC, WBA and WBO. The sort of secondary “international” titles that name mandatory challengers. He decided to take the WBA route, opening up a possible showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko. Hearn expects the fight to go down between March or May of 2020.

Before then, Haney can continue to capitalize off the momentum he gain last year when he bested two former title challengers.

He started off the year as the main attraction on ShoBox in January. He took on the standout South African Xolisani Ndgondgeni and was too much for the previously-undefeated counterpuncher, overwhelming Ndgondgeni, scoring an early knockdown before stirring his foe’s insides with body blows, en route to a wide points win.

That next month, in February, was when Abdullaev, 25, fronted his own bill in his beloved Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Backed by German Titov, a Russian super-promoter with one of the best eyes for talent in the world, Abdullaev sparked the lethal-hitting Columbian Humberto Martinez. The visiting slugger was continually pressed along the ropes, outgunned, eventually in the tenth and final round succumbing to successions of right and left crosses.

The victory completed Abdullaev’s career performance opposite former champion Hank Lundy. Always a nightmare matchup, Lundy began to gain momentum in the middle stages of their 12-round encounter in September 2018. The Russian, though, showed resolve, picking up his pace to secure a unanimous decision verdict.

Friday night will be Abdullaev’s first time fighting stateside. In fact, it will be his first start outside of Russia.

Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KO) vs. Amanda Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KO), featherweight title

This weekend will mark Hardy’s first ring appearance in nearly a full calendar year. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy. An ambassador for woman’s combat sports, three months ago, she was wearing fingerless gloves at Bellator 222, competing as a professional mixed martial artist for the fourth time. She was quickly taken out in the first round as a result of ground-and-pound.

But Hardy, 37, is still undefeated in the boxing ring. And she defends her WBO featherweight world title for the first time. She lifted the vacant strap in a rematch with Shelly Vincent, giving her two wins over the brawling Vincent and extending her perfect pugilistic ledger.

Serrano, the 30-year-old challenger, has established her own crossover, also spending time in the MMA cage. In 2018, she twice competed for the promotion Combate Americas, founded by one Campbell McLaren who also helped get the UFC onto its feet.

By way of Puerto Rico, Serrano makes up a supremely talented family, training alongside her older sister, Cindy, another claimed prizefighter.

Amanda, for one, is a southpaw and has competed nearly 40 times over the last decade. Still 30, she has become a mainstay in the New York scene since winning the city’s Golden Gloves as an amateur. Professionally, Serrano has won an astonishing seven divisional titles. As heavy as 140 pounds to most recently boiling herself down to the 115-pound mark to crush Eva Voraberger in about 30 seconds for the super flyweight crown.

Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0, 5 KO) vs. Wilner Soto (22-6, 12 KO)

Akhmadaliev, 24, is undefeated and supremely touted in his young career. In May, he competed for the first time under Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, celebrating the new partnership with a third-round knockout over Carlos Carlson. The Uzbekistan-born prospect is still looking for a trademark win in the paid ranks after Danny Roman was forced out with a shoulder injury.

It was at the Rio Olympics where Akhmadaliev rose to prominence, representing his country well—a powerhouse in the ammy scene—earning a Bronze medal.

Not even a swift finish of Soto will much, giving how unheralded the late-replacement Columbian is. Nothing more than a 28-year-old journeyman, he has fought in the United States once before, when he gave Stephon Young some rounds (losing widely) before Young challenged Nonito Donaire. Soto did pick up a win over a countryman of his by the name of Omny Padilla (with an ugly record), winning on points over six rounds. He remains an afterthought this weekend, just 2-3 over his last five bouts.

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Devin Haney Has Our Attention Now


By: Hans Themistode

Devin Haney is exactly where he wants to be, with the spotlight shining upon him. This Friday night on September 13th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Haney will take on undefeated contender Zaur Abdullaev. On the line will be the interim WBC Lightweight title.

His own billing, fighting an undefeated contender and having the opportunity to win his first interim world title. What more could Haney ask for? He isn’t even legally able to purchase liquor as he is just 20 years of age but yet he has managed to grab the attention of many throughout his young career.

Haney has been the next one in line so to speak. A fighter who even at a young age was just different from anyone else. You know that look don’t you? Some fighters are great but others aren’t only great but they give you a belief that they can’t be beat. Floyd Mayweather comes to mind. No matter who he fought, he gave off the idea that he would not be beat. 21 years and 50 wins later without a single defeat and Mayweather was right, he couldn’t be beat. Haney has some what of that same aura currently.

There is a reason why he is the youngest amateur ever to win the Youth World Championships at just 16 years of age. Mayweather, who was once known as “Money” earned that nickname by defeating everyone he came across and winning piles upon piles of cash in the process. Haney is known as “New Money”. It seems fitting doesn’t it? With Mayweather now seemingly retired someone has to take his place.

The confidence of Haney has been well chronicled for quite sometime now. For a young fighter, being considered a prospect is not a slight. Instead, it is apart of the learning process. For Haney, he decided that he was far above just that label. “I’m a fucking contender.” Yelled Haney following his unanimous decision victory over Xolisani Ndongeni earlier this year.

The thought of being just a prospect bothered Haney to no end. His words were brash and loud, but they also proved to be true. He has constantly called out every champion at his weight class including pound for pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko. Now that he is fighting for the interim WBC title, he will receive exactly what he has been calling for as he will become Lomachenko’s mandatory should he win.

Haney’s confidence stretches so far that he already has another contest lined up for November 9th, in the Staples Center, in Los Angeles.

For a fighter, it is easy to build in the shadows while no one notices. It becomes increasingly more difficult when you bring attention to yourself and speak of your own excellence. This Friday night, the world will be fixated on Haney. For some the pressure would break them, but for Haney, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Is Devin Haney in Too Deep?


By: Shane Willoughby

Devin Haney is seen by many as arguably the biggest talents in the sports of boxing and many even say he could be the one to replace Floyd Mayweather.

Now he is signed with DAZN he has definitely secured his future financially, being one of the youngest fighters in history to sign a multi-dollar contract.

However, the hot prospect has to perform in the ring and now has his hardest test in front of him. The 20-year-old will be taking on undefeated Zaur Abdullaev in a WBC final eliminator.

Now, to most people, that name won’t mean much right now, but it will on the 13th September when he meets Haney.

Abdullaev is definitely one of the dark horses in what is a stacked lightweight division. The Russian is 11-0 with 7 knockouts and has a convincing points victory over veteran Hank Lundy.

Not only is Abdullaev undefeated but he is extremely big for the weight and will have a massive weight advantage in the fight. If there is one thing for certain, Haney will not be able to get onto the front foot and back him up.

After this fight one thing, we will know for certain is whether Haney is the real deal or just another pumped up hype job. Haney definitely has high aspirations – already looking to fight Lomachenko who is the WBC champion. However, he has a tough fighter in front of him and overlooking him can be extremely detrimental to his career.

Devin Haney recently signed a deal with Eddie Hearn and one thing Hearn isn’t afraid of is putting his prospects in deep water. But maybe he put the American in too deep.

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Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev Made Official For September 13th


By: Hans Themistode

Devin Haney may have only been a pro for three years but, his career is about to hit the accelerator button.

On September 13th, Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) will headline a card live from the Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden, in New York City. He’ll be taking on fellow undefeated fighter Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs) in a bout will push the winner towards a Lightweight title fight.

Haney, who is nicknamed “The Dream” Haney has been nothing less than spectacular in his career up to this point. Not only has he failed to pick up a loss in his career but he has made it look extremely easy in the process.

In his last ring appearance earlier this year, he scored a knockout of the year candidate against Antonio Moran. It was the sort of punch that made both headlines in the boxing community and highlight reels all over Sports Center.

For as good as Haney has looked, and make no mistake about it, he has looked sensational, he has fought no-one of note. His opponent, Abdullaev, may have only 11 pro fights, but he has managed to face stiff opposition along the way. Most notably, former multiple time title challenger Hank Lundy, who he easily outpointed in their 2018 contest.

Haney will come into this bout as the favorite, but that does not mean that he is underestimating his opponent in anyway.

“He is definitely the toughest opponent I’ve faced in my career up to this point,” said Haney.

Abdullaev, unlike many of Haneys opponents, won’t be afraid or overwhelmed of the moment. He also won’t be lacking in the confidence department either.

“I wanted this fight to happen in Haney’s backyard of Las Vegas,” said Abdullaev. “It would have been very satisfying to defeat him in front of his hometown crowd, but fighting at Madison Square Garden is great. I am really looking forward to this fight.”

Both men will also have a bit of extra motivation going into this bout as it will be a WBC eliminator. The winner of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell, which will take place later this month will be awaiting the winner of this September 13th contest.

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Devin Haney vs. Antonio Moran Fight Preview


By: Oliver McManus

Bluechip lightweight prospect Devin Haney will look to record his 22nd professional win this weekend when he takes on Antonio Moran (24-3) over ten rounds in defense of his WBC International title. The fight tops Matchroom Boxing USA’s card at MGM National Harbor in Maryland that features Jessica McCaskill vs Anahi Esther Sanchez (WBC and WBA world title fight), Michael Hunter vs Fabio Maldonado (WBA International) and Filip Hrgovic vs Gregory Corbin (WBC International) in support.

Haney tops the bill for his first career fight in Maryland and his first bout since linking up with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom. The talented 20 year old has been making waves Stateside for a while now thanks to the maturity he’s shown in spite of his youth: debuting when he was just 17. In the four following years he has notched up 21 victories, 13 inside the distance, and really made a statement last May with a victory over Mason Menard.

Showcasing his full arsenal of tricks, the youngster immediately hit his stride with his rear right leg keeping Haney on top from distance – circumnavigating the ring in compass-like fashion which he complimented with a flash jab to the midriff and occasional switch-hitting. This was, arguably, the first occasion in which Haney was able to produce a peerless performance in which everything seemed to flow with him previously being quite predictable once hitting any sort of rhythm.

Moran will be hoping that habits of old creep back into the technique of Haney in order for the Mexican to impose a gameplan of his own. The 26 year old goes into the contest having fallen short on three previous occasions – twice in contentious circumstances back in Mexico – and will best be remembered for a gritty contest with Jose Pedraza last June. A perennial Latino champion with varying governing bodies, this is an opportunity for Moran to push past those regional fizzy belts and gain a meaningful scalp to his CV.

The Mexico City resident leads with a pawing jab from a sturdily straight posture and takes a while to warm up into contests but has found success when loosening up and letting the left hand throw wildly towards the body. Despite rattling seventeen victories by way of knockout, I’d say Moran is not your typical ‘Mexican’ fighter in terms of throwing the kitchen sink into a contest with constant aggression with his knockout power countered, really, with a methodical start to proceedings.

Victory is firmly expected for his Californian adversary but we’ve seen from recent fights that you can never rule out a Mexican fighter – it should be a rite of passage for any prospect to face a Mexican through the developmental phase of their career. Haney could be in a real learning fight, he could be dictating traffic from the off and cruise to victory but it’ll certainly be a good measure of how the young man can adapt to those in front of him. Predictability won’t wash come Saturday night.

Jessica McCaskill (6-2) and Anahi Esther Sanchez (19-3) provide the world title action on the Maryland bill with the two fighters seeking to unify their super lightweight belts. McCaskill enters the contest having claimed the WBC version in October with a routine points victory over Erica Anabella Farias whilst Sanchez is the WBA ruler after knocking out Diana Ayala inside a round last April.

Despite her inactivity Sanchez edges this contest, going in, thanks to her wealth of experience that has seen her win or challenge for world titles in three different weight divisions. The South American hits hard and is one of those fighters that is routinely getting the business done within the shorter two-minute rounds. A rough fighter who loves ‘getting involved’ – she can fall into a rhythm of clinching after landing a flurry of punches – Sanchez rolls with her shots and lands with consistent pressure. McCaskill, seven years the older fighter, is not a big underdog by any stretch of the imagination and has developed plenty since her debut in August 2015. She’s been blighted by a lack of regular action but has looked comfortable in her career to date. A real trope of her style is that she leads with her head when throwing her jab, not in a dangerous manner but, dropping it a good six inches which in turn takes her eye off the target.

Michael Hunter (16-1) and Filip Hrgovic (7-0) are the bruising heavyweights looking to add the knockout gloss to the card. Hunter looks to continue his momentum from the back end of 2018 – a year in which he knocked out Iago Kiladze, Martin Bakole and Alexander Ustinov – by defending his WBA International strap against Fabio Maldonado. The explosive 30 year old established himself as a surprise heavyweight contender and victory over Maldonado should be routine; the main question is whether Hunter can get rid of the former UFC fighter before the ten rounds are up. Maldonado (26-2) has proven himself to be incredulously negative in his two previous ‘step-ups’ with a reluctance to engage so it could be a long old night as far as Hunter is concerned.

Hrgovic faces an equally drab and dour competitor in the former of Gregory Corbin (15-1): the Dallas fighter being best known for repeatedly punching ‘King’ Charles Martin in the crown jewels. Hrgovic has strolled his way to an unbeaten seven fight career, even dropping the notably durable Kevin Johnson in his last fight. The 26 year old has been signed to a co-promotional agreement with Matchroom and Team Sauerland that guarantees him exposure on both sides of the Atlantic and he’s already proving to be one of the star-signings from the 2016 Olympians. Between the heavyweight contests this is most likely to end prematurely; Hrgovic knockout or Corbin disqualification, that’s still up for debate.

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ShoBox Results: Haney Wins Wide Decision


By: Hector Franco

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA – At Stageworks of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana, top lightweight prospect Devin Haney (21-0, 13 KOs) made his third appearance on Showtime’s ShoBox series. Haney faced off against South Africa’s Xolisani Ndongeni (25-1, 13 KOs) who was undefeated at the time of the bout. Ndongeni was considered the toughest fight of Haney’s career thus far. While Ndongeni had the advantage in professional experience, Haney held an advantage in having taken place in 138 amateur bouts compared to the South African’s 30.

The 20-year old Las Vegas fighter took charge of the bout from the beginning. In the last twenty seconds of the first round, Haney landed a left and right hand that visibly hurt Ndongeni. In the second round, Haney landed a right hand that knocked Ndongeni to the canvas marking just the second time the South African has been knocked down as a professional. As the fight continued, the bout followed a similar pattern round by round with Haney coming forward landing jabs and right hands.

In the fifth round, Haney began to emphasize more of a body attack that seemed to have more of an impact on Ndongeni. Through the second half of the match, Haney won almost every round by out-landing Ndongeni who didn’t have a plan B for what Haney brought to the table.

In the tenth and final round, Haney almost scored a stoppage as he unloaded a barrage of punches on Ndongeni who made it to the closing bell. Haney was awarded a unanimous decision victory with scores of 100-89 twice and 99-90. The young fighter was also able to land 237 out of 590 of his total punches at a 40 percent connect rate.

Haney’s goal with this bout was to move from being considered a prospect to a contender in the lightweight division. At 20 years old, Haney still has plenty of time to develop more of his skills and gain more strength and power. At 5’9 with a 71-inch reach, Haney could present problems for many fighters in the lightweight division. More importantly in the future, we could see him face off against some of the best fighters in one of boxing’s most lucrative divisions at welterweight.

In the main supporting bout for the night, Salinas, California’s Ruben Villa (15-0, 4 KOs) showcased a wide variety of his skill set as he won a wide unanimous decision over Colombia’s Ruben Cervera (10-1, 9 KOs). Villa proved himself to be one of the top prospects in the featherweight division dominating and outboxing the Colombian power puncher through eight rounds.

While not the biggest puncher, Villa is accurate and knows how to turn and circle his opponents to land clean punches. The California native was able to land 180 out of 443 total punches at a 41 percent connect rate on Cervera. Throughout the fight and as the rounds continued Cervera looked more and more frustrated. This was Cervera’s first fight outside of his native Columbia, and at times he looked lost in the ring. However, credit has to be given to Villa’s boxing prowess. All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Villa.

As Villa continues on his path to improvement and facing increasingly more robust competition, it will be interesting to see what impact his current lack of punching power has in the featherweight division. The 21-year old Olympian already has a solid foundation of technical skills and fans should keep an eye on him for future showdowns in the featherweight division.

To open the telecast fans witnessed some heavyweight action as Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez (11-0, 9 KOs) scored a devastating second-round knockout over Indiana’s Willie Jake Jr. (8-2-1, 2 KOs). Sanchez was able to corner Jake landing a right hand followed by a left hook that sent the Indiana native face first to the canvas. The bout was stopped at the 2:59 mark of round 2.

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ShoBox Results: Devin “The Dream” Haney Defeats Juan Carlos Burgos


By: Ken Hissner

Under his own promotion Devin Haney Promotions the unbeaten Devin “The Dream” Haney took on Juan Carlos Burgos in the main event ShoBox: The New Generation. This card took place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing were also part of the promotion.

In the Main Event No. 15 IBF ranked Devin “The Dream” Haney, 20-0 (13), of Las Vegas, NV, won a lopsided decision over Juan Carlos “Miniburgos” Burgos, 33-3-2 (21), of Tijuana, MEX, for the vacant IBF North American Lightweight Title, over 10 rounds.


Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account

In the first round Haney moved using his jab while Burgos landed several left hooks. Burgos landed a long right to the head of Haney who was moving away at the time. In the second round Burgos kept throwing the left hook to the body while Haney mainly used his jab. Burgos ended the round with several left hooks to the body ending with a hook to the chin of Haney.

In the third round Haney missed quite a bit before landing a pair of chopping rights to the head of Burgos. Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney missed with a right but followed thru landing a left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney ended the round with a right to the chin of Burgos. In the fourth round Burgos from southpaw landed a lead left to the chin of Haney. Haney landed a chopping right to the head while Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney stalks while Burgos stays against the ropes moving side to side.

In the fifth round Haney sticks and moves while Burgos lands solid left hooks to the body of Haney. Haney landed a lead right to the chin of Burgos who keeps chasing Haney. Haney hurt Burgos with a right uppercut to the chin. In the sixth round while against the ropes Haney landed half a dozen rights to the head of Burgos. Haney’s hand speed has made a major difference but the fans are starting to boo as Haney does too much running and countering when he stops moving.

In the seventh round Haney decides to stand his ground for close to a minute at the start of the round before he started moving again landing the jab. Referee Zachary Young warns both boxers about talking to one another. There was little action in the round with the crowd booing again near the end. In the eighth round both started landing body shots while in the middle of the ring. Burgos warned for rabbit punch. Burgos landed three left hooks to the body of a moving Haney as the booing starts up again.


Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account

In the ninth round Haney is going to work landing lead rights and chopping rights to the head of Burgos. With just under a minute left in the round Haney rocks Burgos with several rights to the head. Burgos did little fighting in the round. In the tenth and final round Haney landed a double left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney landed a solid right after landing the jab to the chin of Burgos who just can’t handle the hand speed of Haney. Burgos landed a double left hook to the head and body of Haney. The booing started again in the final minute. Haney landed the final punch of the fight a lead right to the head of Burgos.

Scores were 97-93 and 100-90 while this writer had it 98-92.

In a rematch Super Lightweight Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 13-0-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH, ended in a disputed split draw with Lightweight Armenian Zhora Hamazaryan, 9-1-1 (6), of L.A., CA, over 8 rounds. Mattice came in 3 pounds over the 135 contract weight.

In the first round Mattice starts out moving around the ring with Hamazaryan chasing. At the halfway point of the round Hamazaryan landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Just under a minute Mattice landed his best punch of the round a right cross to the chin of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan landed a right followed by a left both to the head of Mattice. In the second round Hamazaryan opened up with half a dozen unanswered punches. A left hook to the chin by Hamazaryan drove Mattice back several steps. Hamazaryan landed a left hook to the chin while Mattice came back with a chopping right to the head.
In the third round after each landing well Mattice got on his bicycle. Mattice is using his jab keeping Hamazaryan at bay. Hamazaryan warned for hitting Mattice behind the head. Mattice landed a combination at the bell. In the fourth round after both mixed it up Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin forcing Mattice to continue to hold for most of the remaining round. Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin driving him into the ropes.

In the fifth round Hamazaryan landed a 3-punch combination. Going into the final minute Hamazaryan was having his way with Mattice continuing to do more holding than punching. In the sixth round Hamazaryan landed a right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Mattice warned for hitting on the break. Mattice landed a combination and then started moving around the ring again. Mattice landed a solid right just after the bell. The referee Ray Corona has done little to prevent Mattice from fouling.

In the seventh round Mattice was warned for holding down the head of Hamazaryan. Mattice landed a hard left knocking out the mouthpiece of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan continued chasing Mattice landing punches and getting held and pushed by Mattice. In the eighth and final round Mattice was moving and jabbing until a right from Hamazaryan to the chin rocked Mattice. Mattice started showboating as Hamazaryan is all business. Hamazaryan landed the last punch of the fight a right to the chin of Mattice.
Scores were 77-75 Mattice, 77-75 Hamazaryan and 76-76. This writer had it 78-74 Hamazaryan.

German Super Middleweight Cem “The Champ” Kilic, 12-0 (7), of Sherman Oaks, CA, defeated DeAndre “The Axe Man” Ware, 12-1-2 (8), of Toledo, OH, over 8 action packed rounds.

In the first round there was no feeling out as both opened up. Originally set to be a middleweight bout Ware could not make it so they are in the super middle division. Kilic is much taller and landed several rights to the head of Ware. He landed four punches to the body. Both exchanged rights to the chin just prior to the bell. In the second round Kilic rocked Ware with a left hook to the chin while Ware came back with a solid right to the chin. Ware landed a hard right to the chin of Kilic. A Ware combination rocked Kilic just prior to the end of the round.

In the third round Ware landed a 3-punch combination. Kilic drove Ware into a corner but Ware came back rocking Kilic with a right hand to the chin. Ware worked his right well against the taller Kilic who used a good right uppercut. In the fourth round both came out throwing leather. Kilic showed blood from his nose. Kilic knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware with a right to the chin. Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches to the head and body.

In the fifth round Kilic started using his jab more setting up Ware with right hands. Ware landed three body shots at the halfway point of the round. Kilic landed a flurry of punches to the head and body of Ware. Both continue to throw a good amount of punches. In the sixth round Ware kept coming forward but walking into solid punches by Kilic. Ware landed his lead right to the chin of Kilic which has been his best weapon so far. Once again a Kilic right knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware.

In the seventh round Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches while Ware came back pushing Kilic with his head and gloves. Ware got a warning from Referee Tony Crebs for using his head. Both landed punches by bunches up to the end of the round. In the eighth and final round Ware came out throwing possibly he may be behind. It may have been the first clinch in the fight at the halfway point of the round. Ware has Kilic moving backwards. Kilic has never gone beyond four rounds. It was a very good fight.

Scores were 78-74, and 79-73 while this writer had it 77-75.

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Undefeated lightweight Devin Haney Sparring Video, and Media Work Out Quotes


Top undefeated lightweight prospect Devin Haney and his father, manager and trainer Bill Haney Sr. met with members of the Las Vegas media on Thursday as Haney continues preparations for his Friday, Sept. 28 showdown against three-time world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos on ShoBox: The New Generation.

The 10-round main event headlines a tripleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif. The 19-year-old Haney (19-0, 13 KOs) returns for his second consecutive challenge of 2018 on ShoBox. His opponent Burgos (33-2-2, 21 KOs) is a veteran of 37 fights whose only defeats have come in world championship bouts.


Photo Credit: Mario Serrano / Devin Haney Promotions

Here is what the Haneys had to say from the City Athletic Boxing Gym in Las Vegas.

DEVIN HANEY

On his upcoming fight with world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos:

“Juan Carlos Burgos is a tough opponent who’s been in multiple world title fights and has a lot of experience. This will definitely be my toughest fight to date on paper, and on September 28, I will show the world what Devin Haney is made of.”

On having his first show as a promoter:

“I believe I’m the youngest promoter in boxing history and it makes me very excited to make that claim. I look forward to putting on great fights. I’m going to be the next superstar in the sport, and I want to give other fighters opportunities to showcase their talents. It’s a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier to be fighting on SHOWTIME under Devin Haney Promotions.”

On fighting at Pechanga Resort Casino:

“Pechanga is a beautiful venue where a lot of big fights have taken place. I’m thrilled to be fighting at the new arena, and it’s a great time for DHP because I know we are going to pack the house.”

On making his second appearance on SHOWTIME:

“Man, it’s a blessing to be fighting on SHOWTIME not once, but twice, before my 20th birthday. The national exposure we get is incredible. Everyone knows SHOWTIME is the king of boxing and I will shine just like I did last time. The fans can expect another great performance.”

On what fans can expect from him on fight night:

“The fans can expect fireworks! I will show the world my style, the ‘Devin Haney’ style! Everything that I do will be on display.”

BILL HANEY SR.

On the progress of his son’s development:

“Devin is really coming into his own. Everyday he’s getting better and better. There is no limit to his ability when it comes to boxing. He’s a prodigy like no other in the sport. He will be a superstar in boxing.”

On his recent training camp:

“Training camp is going as planned and Devin is looking unbelievable. We’ve been doing a lot of strength and conditioning training at the SNAC facility with Victor Conte, and it’s been fantastic. Right now Devin is strong and very sharp.”

On stepping up in competition against Juan Carlos Burgos:

“Burgos is a dangerous fighter with world championship experience who went 12 rounds with one of the best fighters [Mikey Garcia] in boxing. These are the type of fights that take a fighters’ career to the next level, and I believe Devin is ready to graduate.”

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Devin “The Dream” Haney & Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer, Jr. Win Friday Night


By: Ken Hissner

Hard Hitting Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Devin Haney Promotions over Sho-Box before a standing room only crowd at the 2300 Arena in Philly Friday night.

In the Main Event Super Lightweight Devin “The Dream” Haney, 19-0 (12), of Las Vegas, NV, forced Mason “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard, 33-3 (24), of Rayne, LA, to retire after nine shut out rounds to win the vacant USBA Lightweight title.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

This one was a mismatch from the opening bell with Haney dazzling Menard who couldn’t land but a handful of punches the entire fight. Haney had a machine gun like jab throughout. He would land the right hand almost at will though Menard had his hands held high at all times. Round after round Haney dominated. He made this vacant USBA title bout look so easy. He forced Menard to not come out for the tenth and final round. Haney will deservingly be in the top ten of the IBF rankings with this shout out of a match.

Super Bantamweight Glenn Dezurn, 9-2-1 (6), of Baltimore, MD, was stopped at 1:47 of the 8th round losing to Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer, Jr., 17-1-1 (9), of Chicago, IL.

From the opening round up until the sixth round Greer dominated. Dezurn started to turn things around in the sixth and seventh rounds. In the eighth round Greer landed a hard right to the chin of Dezurn and down he went. He was up at the count of 8 from Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Greer raced across the ring having Dezurn defenseless forcing Referee Esteves, to wave it off!

Light Heavyweight Alvin “Iron Majik” Vermall, Jr., 15-1-1 (12), of Catskill, NY, was defeated by southpaw Charles ”The Truth” Foster, 16-0 (8), of New Haven, CT, over 8 rounds.

In the first round the taller Foster used his jab with Vermall trying to get inside. Foster keeps measuring Vermall who is missing more than landing. Foster landed a lead left to the mid-section of Vermall. Foster ended the round with a hard left uppercut to the chin of Vermall. In the second round Vermall rocked Foster with a right uppercut. He keeps leaping in trying to land the big punch on Foster who is not co-operating. Referee Rosato warns Foster for hitting behind the head. Foster landed a 3-punch combination. Vermall came right back just before the bell landing a solid right to the chin of Foster. In the third round Foster keeps pawing with the jab with Vermall rushing in and ending in a clinch. Foster uses an occasional left uppercut to the chin of Vermall who seems frustrated not getting his punches in.

In the fourth round Vermall leaped in with a left hook to the head of Foster. Foster lands a lead left to the chin with Vermall coming right back with a right to the chin of Foster. Too many clinches on the part of both. Vermall ends the round with a solid right to the chin of Foster. In the fifth round Vermall comes out trying to make a brawl of it while Foster lands a chopping left to the head of Vermall who comes in low. Foster lands a solid left uppercut to the chin of Vermall. Vermall hurt Foster with a wild right to the chin at the bell.

In the sixth round Foster is trying to keep Vermall at bay but Vermall jumps in with wild punches to the head of Foster. Foster continues to get the better of the always coming forward Vermall. In the seventh round

Super Bantamweight Arnold “Arni” Khegai, 12-0-1 (5), of Odessa, UKR, defeated Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez, 16-3-2 (8), of San Antonio, TX, over 8 rounds.

In the first round Khegai is pushing Lopez back with little action in the round. In the second round Khegai landed a lead right to the chin of Lopez. Khegai landed a right hand to the chin of Lopez driving him back halfway across the ring. In the third round Lopez landed a 3-punch combination rocking Khegai. Khegai landed a lead right to the chin of Lopez just prior to the bell. In the fourth round Khegai landed a lead right to the chin of Lopez who came right back with a left hook to the head of Khegai. Halfway through the round things started to heat up a bit.

In the fifth round Khegai landed a chopping right while in a clinch and then was warned for using the cuff of his glove. Both fighters have received numerous warnings. In the sixth round Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. took a point from Khegai. Both boxers are throwing wild punches with neither gaining an edge. In the seventh round both boxers are throwing bombs and then falling into a clinch. It’s been a very sloppy showing up to the eighth and final round. In the eighth round Khegai rocked Lopez with a right hand to the chin. Lopez came back with a combination to the head of Khegai. Khegai landed a left hook to the chin of Lopez heard throughout the arena.

Judge Braswell and DiPalo had it 78-74 and Carter 78-73. This writer had it 77-74.

Lightweight southpaw Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 9-0 (7), of Philadelphia, stopped Hector Marengo, 7-12-4 (4), of Arecibo, PR, at 1:51 of the second round.

In the first round Cuevas landed a lead left to the chin of Marengo knocking him back several steps. Cuevas landed a lead left to the head of Marengo stunning him. It was all Cuevas with little action. In the second round Cuevas landed a flurry of punches pinning Marengo in a corner. Cuevas landed a dozen punches finally dropping Marengo to a knee. Cuevas jumped on him causing referee Shawn Clarke to wave it off.

Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 10-1 (4), of North Philly Badlands, shut out Israel “Isra” Villela, 6-10 (2) of Cancun, MEX, over 6 rounds.

In the first two rounds Pizarro dominated with his jab while Villela got in a right to the body and a left hook to the head. Pizarro briefly turned southpaw. In the third round Pizarro continued to move well using his jab with an occasional right to the head of Villela. Pizarro got warned by Referee Bashir for pulling Villela by the back of the neck. In the fourth round the flashy Pizarro landed a right uppercut to the body of Villela. Villela was chasing Pizarro until he ran into a flurry of punches. Villela landed a right to the head of Pizarro who shook his head as if there was little on it. Pizarro landed a right to the head followed by a left hook to the body. Pizarro landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Villela that got the fans into it.

In the fifth round Villela landed an overhand right to the chin of Pizarro. Pizarro switches from orthodox to southpaw with little coming from southpaw. The fans start chanting “Branden, Branden”, just prior to the bell. In the sixth and final round Villela walked into a Pizarro left hook to the chin. Both boxers warned for infractions by the referee. Pizarro ended the round with a left hook to the chin of Villela.

Judge Carter, Weisfeld and DiPallo had it 60-54 as did this writer.

Light Heavyweight David “One-Two” Murray, 7-2-1 (6), of Wilmington, DE, was knocked out by Jamaican Craig “Danger” Duncan, 11-1-1 (9), of Apopka, FL, at 2:45 of the fourth round.

In the first round both fighters are known for their punching power which means there is little action with one waiting for the other to land a bomb. The last thrown punch of the round was Duncan landing the first right hand to the chin of Murray. In the second round Duncan continues to stalk Murray finally both are opening up. Duncan carries his hands to his side finally landing an uppercut to the body of Murray. Duncan pinned Murray against the ropes. Murray landed a right to the head of Duncan.

In the third round Duncan comes out using a lot of feints and landed a right to the head of Murray. Murray landed a right of his own to the head of Duncan seconds later. Duncan forced Murray to hold after landing a pair of body shots. With half a minute left in the round Duncan landed a flurry of punches. In the fourth round Murray landed a double left hook to the head of Duncan. Duncan came back pinning Murray against the ropes with both fighters landing haymakers. Duncan landed an uppercut to the chin of Murray and down he went to a knee. Duncan landed a lead right to the chin of Murray who went face first down and out cold. It took about 10 minutes before Murray was assisted from the ring.

In the opening bout returning after 18 months Super Lightweight, Milton ”El Santo” Santiago, 17-0 (3), of North Philadelphia, shut out Jorge L Munguia, 13-12 (5), of Tegucigalpha, Honduras, over 6 rounds.

In the first round both fighters were mixing it up. Santiago landed a combination dropping Munguia. Santiago ran across the ring jumping right on Munguia knocking his mouthpiece out. Santiago was warned twice about hitting behind the head by Referee Ron Bashir. In the second round Santiago continue to press Munguia who wouldn’t give up. Santiago landed a lead right to the head of Munguia. Munguia started pressing Santiago until he ran into a combination from Santiago.

In the third round Santiago was warned for a third time by Referee Bashir this time for using his head. Munguia was warned for a low blow. Santiago controlled the round but the action slowed down. In the fourth round Santiago backed Munguia into a corner but Munguia fought himself out of the corner. Santiago is going to the body with uppercuts from both hands. Munguia is very game. In the fifth round Santiago is still throwing punches but Munguia shows him no respect fighting back. Santiago is warned for pushing. Munguia is throwing punches but can’t match Santiago. In the sixth and last round missed with a pair of uppercuts. Both boxers raised their arms up trying to get the fans into it. Santiago has a pleasing style but little power or Munguia would have been out by now. Munguia was warned for a low blow.

Judges Page had it 60-54 Judge Carter, Weisfeld and this writer had it 60-53.

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Two Events Same Night in Philly 2300 Arena & SugarHouse on Friday


By: Ken Hissner

When will the PA Boxing Director learn you cannot have two boxing events on the same night like he did December 1st? 2300 Arena in South Philly is sold out per Will Ruiz of Hard Hitting Promotions with co-promoter Greg Cohen Promotions Showtime event Friday at Front & Oregon. At SugarHouse Casino Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotions are on 1001 Delaware Avenue.


Photo Credit: Devin Haney Twitter Account

The main event at 2300 has Devin “The Dream” Haney, 18-0 (12), of Las Vegas, NV, taking on Mason “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard, 33-2 (24), of Rayne, LA, for the USBA Lightweight Title over 10 rounds. At the Press Conference Wednesday Haney was there but Menard a no show. Doors open at 6:30 and First Bout at 7:15.

Showtime will have four of the eight bouts aired starting at 9pm. The co-feature has Super Bantamweight Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer, Jr., 16-1 (8), taking on Glenn Dezurn, Jr., 9-1-1 (6), of Baltimore, MD, in a 10 round bout
Light Heavyweight Alvin “Iron Majik” Varmall 15-0-1 (12), of Catskill, NY,takes on Charles Foster, 15-0 (8), of New Haven, CT, in a 8 round bout. Super Bantamweight Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez, 16-2-2 (8), of San Antonio, TX, takes on Arnold “Ami” Khegai, 11-0-1 (8), of Odessa, UKR, over 8 rounds. They are the four Showtime bouts.

Four Philadelphia boxers in 6 round bouts will fill out the card with Lightweight southpaw Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 8-0 (6), of Philly, taking on Hector Marengo, 7-11-4 (4), of Arecibo, PR. Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 9-1 (4), of Philly, taking on Israel “Isra” Villela, 6-9 (2), of Cancun, MEX. Light Heavyweight David ‘One-Two” Murray, 7-1-1 (6), of Philly, taking on Craig “Danger” Duncan, 10-1-1 (8), of Apopka, FL. Opening the show will be the return of Milton “El Santo” Santiago, 16-0 (3), of Philly, after 18 months taking on Jorge L Munguia, 13-11 (5), of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

At the press conference were Haney, Greer, Dezurn, Varmall, Lopez, Cuevas, Murray, Duncan and Santiago. “This will be my sixth appearance tying a record on Showtime. Thank God, my team, my dad, Hard Hitting and Greg Cohen. Come Friday I want to show them I’m up there with those at the top,” said Haney. “Thank God, I have a pillow for Dezurn to put him to sleep on,” said Greer. “I want to thank my coach, parents and am looking forward for a great fight and to put another guy to sleep bringing Showtime back to Philly,” said Cuevas.

At the SugarHouse Casino in the main event will be Super Lightweight Mykal “The Professor” Fox, 16-0 (4), of Forestville, MD, taking on Anthony Mercado, 11-3 (10), of Arecibo, PR, over 8 rounds. Eleven Sports will cover the event. There will be seven other bouts with a pair of 6 rounder’s and 6 bouts at 4 rounds.

Returning to the ring after 21 months is “The Fighting Ring Announcer” Super Bantamweight Alex Barbosa, 5-3-1 (1), of Philly. The rest of the undercard has Bantamweight’s Romuel Cruz, Jerrod Miner and Desmond Moore of Philly. Also, Super Featherweight’s Joshafat Ortiz of Reading and Jordan “The Kidd” Peters, of D.C., Heavyweight Michael Polite Coffie, of NY. Lightweight Thomas Mattice, 11-0 (9), of Cleveland, OH, was added this week.

Doors open at 6pm and Starting time for first bout is 7pm.

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