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Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, Easter, Diaz, Boxing Documentaries, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 5th to June 12th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter to Meet in Lightweight Unification Fight

WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr. will square-off in a 135-pound unification showdown between unbeaten stars Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The main event of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will see Garcia look to become a unified champion for the first time in a career that has seen him win titles in four weight classes. Easter, who enters with a 5-inch height and 8-inch reach advantage, looks to stamp his name amongst boxing’s elite by unifying titles at 27 years old, less than two years after capturing his first belt.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale today at 12 p.m. PT. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

“SHOWTIME Sports continues to lead the industry with the biggest events, the most important matchups, week after week, month after month,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Events Programming, Showtime Network Inc. “Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. is the third world championship unification match on SHOWTIME this year. A consensus top-10 pound-for-pound champion facing an undefeated young champion while both are in the prime of their careers. July 28 has all the makings of an instant classic.”

“Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter is an outstanding lightweight matchup that is sure to deliver drama for fight fans at STAPLES Center and on SHOWTIME,” Said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Garcia will look to unify in his hometown and further solidify his credentials as boxing’s pound-for-pound best. He’ll have perhaps the toughest test of his career in the unbeaten Easter, who has a lethal combination of size, speed and power that he brings to the ring. With both fighters defending their titles and undefeated records, this is shaping up to be a can’t-miss night of boxing in downtown Los Angeles.”

“This is the kind of matchup that boxing fans love and a fight that I believe will certainly live up to expectations,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “With two undefeated world champions, and two of the top guys at 135 pounds, this fight is guaranteed drama. Mikey Garcia will look to become a unified world champion and add another accolade to a career that is already shaping up to be historic. Robert Easter Jr, a proud champion in his own right, is coming to STAPLES Center on July 28 to upset Mikey Garcia in his hometown. This is the quality of matchup that fans watching on SHOWTIME have come to expect and I suspect they will be fulfilled once again when these two warriors meet in the ring.”

“We are really looking forward to this incredible fight at STAPLES Center,” said Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center. “These two fighters will undoubtedly headline an amazing night of fights for boxing fans in Los Angeles and we are looking forward to welcoming back Premier Boxing Champions and SHOWTIME for the second time in just two months.”

One of Southern California’s most popular fighters, Garcia returns to STAPLES Center for his first fight since becoming a world champion, and his first in California in seven years. Easter returns to the site of his professional debut, having started his career at STAPLES Center in 2012 after serving as an alternate in the London Olympic Games.

Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., became only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, when he defeated Sergey Lipinets for the IBF 140-pound title in March. The 30-year-old relinquished that title so that he can unify the WBC Lightweight World Championship that he won in January 2017 with a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin.

These wins, combined with a summer 2017 victory over Adrien Broner, have seen Garcia return to the top of pound-for-pound lists after a layoff of two and a half years. Garcia accrued wins over a list of notable names while winning his first two titles at 126 and 130-pounds, including Orlando Salido, Roman Martinez and Juan Manuel Lopez.

“This is the toughest fight of my career to date,” said the four-division champion Garcia. “Robert Easter Jr. is an undefeated world champion who presents serious challenges that I’m going to have to work hard to overcome. Unifying titles is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years, and to do it at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will make it even more special. This is the kind of fight that will help my legacy. To be the best you have to beat the best, and Easter is certainly one of the best out there. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it on July 28.”

Representing his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) has made three successful defenses since winning his world title in an exciting contest over Richard Commey in 2016. The 27-year-old delivered a fifth-round destruction of former champion Argenis Mendez to earn the title shot, and since winning the title has held off challenges from Javier Fortuna, Denis Shafikov and Luis Cruz to retain his 135-pound belt.

Easter will be making the move to work with Kevin Cunningham for the first time for this fight and conducting training camp in West Palm Beach with him. Cunningham, the longtime trainer of former world champions such as Devon Alexander and Cory Spinks, spurred Adrien Broner to a strong performance in a draw against Jessie Vargas and Gervonta Davis to a dominant knockout of Jesus Cuellar in their first fights together in April.

“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for and I’m really excited that the time is now,” said Easter. “This is the best fighting the best. These are the fights that boxing is all about. I made the move to train with Kevin Cunningham down in Florida and I think it’s going to help me reach another level. It’s just eat, sleep and train down there. We’re going to be ready on July 28 to put on a show and deliver fireworks.”

Christopher Diaz to Fight Masayuki Ito for WBO 130 Pound Title on July 28th

Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz wants to add his name to the storied list of Puerto Rican world champions. He will get that chance July 28 at the Kissimmee Civic Center, when he squares off against Masayuki Ito for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title.

And, in the 10-round co-feature, undefeated welterweight prospect Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames will face Artemio Reyes of San Bernardino, Calif.

Diaz-Ito and Adames-Reyes will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets to this world championship event will go on sale Tuesday, June 12 at 10 a.m. ET. Priced at $100 (red carpet ringside), $50 (lower bowl), and $30 (general admission), tickets may be purchased at the Kissimmee Civic Center box office, online at ticketerapr.com, or charge by phone at (787) 305-3600.

“This fight is dedicated to all of Puerto Rico and to my family that has always been there to support me,” Diaz said. “Now it’s my time to become a world champion, and I promise that I will bring home the world title. I love you, Puerto Rico. This one’s for you!”

“I am really pleased to be able to fight a great fighter like Christopher Diaz for the WBO title. Diaz is a very good fighter with power and speed, but on July 28, I will become the champion,” Ito said. “I will bring the belt home back to Japan without fail. I have promised my wife and children. I will fight as if my life depended on it.”

“I am happy and excited to return to the ring quickly because I want to keep as active as possible. This will be my second fight with Top Rank, and now I will return to the ring much better prepared because I have the experience and the confidence of fighting on big stages,” Adames said. “I will come ready to give the public what they always expect from me… a spectacular knockout! On July 28, ‘Caballo Bronco’ will come to Kissimmee with all the ‘Platano Power’ from the Dominican Republic.”

Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, is entering his first world title match riding a four-bout knockout streak. The WBO’s No. 1 junior lightweight contender, Diaz won the vacant NABO junior lightweight title last December with a third-round knockout of Bryant Cruz, knocking Cruz down five times en route to the stoppage. In his last bout, March 17 on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam undercard at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Diaz defeated Braulio Rodriguez via fourth-round TKO to earn the shot at the world title. For Diaz, this world title opportunity is beacon of hope, as his home and most of his possessions were destroyed when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year.

Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs), from Tokyo, is the WBO’s No. 2 junior lightweight contender. He has won seven consecutive bouts since the lone defeat of his career, a 10-round majority decision to then-undefeated Rikki Naito in February 2015. Ito, who has fought all of his professional bouts in Japan, has won four of his past five bouts via knockout, including a ninth-round stoppage of Lorenzo Villanueva in April of last year. In his last bout, on March 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Ito stopped Vergil Puton in the ninth round.

Adames (14-0, 11 KOs), one of the welterweight division’s fastest rising contenders, made his Top Rank debut as the ESPN-televised co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, rolling to a unanimous decision win over Alejandro Barrera. The Dominican Republic native will be fighting for the second time under renowned trainer Joel Diaz and is training in Palm Springs, Calif. Reyes (25-2, 20 KOs) is 10-0 with eight knockouts since his last defeat, a first-round TKO at the hands of Alan Sanchez on April 13, 2012 in Las Vegas. In his previous bout, in August of last year, Reyes knocked out Steve Marquez with a body shot in the fourth round.

Mekhrubon Sanginov Arrives in Las Vegas to Pursue Boxing Greatness

Undefeated super-welterweight prospect Mekhrubon Sanginov (5-0 3 KOs), from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, has moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to continue his dream of becoming a world champion. The highly decorated amateur returns to action June 23, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico.

“I am excited to take my training to a new level working in Las Vegas,” said Sanginov. “Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world and I feel that training in Las Vegas will take my career to the next level.”

Sanginov, who captured the WBC Youth Middleweight title in his last bout, has begun training with Justin Gamber, the well-respected trainer of undefeated super middleweight contender, Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (17-0, 10 KOs). Mekhrubon is looking forward to taking his career to new heights, as he will campaign at super-welterweight moving forward. Sanginov is currently a promotional free agent.

“I am excited to be training with Justin Gamber,” Sanginov continued. “He is an experienced coach, who is making me into a world champion. The sparring I am getting is top notch sparring as well. I’ll be looking to be signing with a credible promoter in the near future.”

Sanginov was an outstanding amateur, amassing a record of 105-14, which made him a heavy fan favorite in his native country of Tajikistan. His hometown fans are wanting to see how he progresses as a professional.

“I am going to make a statement in the world of boxing, especially in the super-welterweight division, and the world will know my name after my upcoming performances.” Mekhrubon concluded.
Boxing Documentary The People’s Fighters by Peter Berg Premiers on Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel today announced the worldwide premiere of The People’s Fighters, the second film in its Five Rings Films signature series, which examines the triumphs and challenges faced by Cuban boxing today and how the rise of local talent is paving continued success for Cuba. The feature-length documentary, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day), is now available to all audiences at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, in addition to a United States television premiere on NBCSN today, Thursday, 31 May, at 8 p.m. ET.

The People’s Fighters (87 minutes) takes an in-depth look at Cuba’s overwhelming history of success in the sport of boxing. Over the past 50 years, and despite being a nation of only 11 million residents, Cuba has produced more Olympic boxing medallists than any other country taking home 73 medals in the sport, 38 of which are gold. The success has been led by three-time heavyweight gold medallists Teófilo Stevenson, who once famously turned down a million-dollar offer to fight Muhammad Ali and turn professional in favour of continuing to fight for his beloved homeland, and Félix Savón, as well as the man behind their greatest achievements, the legendary coach Alcides Sagarra Carón.

“As a champion, Teófilo was the greatest, an example to all of us,” said Savón at the time of Stevenson’s death in 2012. “When he stopped fighting he taught me his tricks, and they were the secret of my success.”

Directed and narrated by Peter Berg and produced by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall (Jason Bourne, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones) and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), The People’s Fighters features historical archival footage, interviews, and remarkable access in Havana and beyond.

Filmed in Havana and the United States and told through personal commentary from Savón, Sagarra, other Cuban Olympic boxing medallists and athletes, and former boxing world champion and Team USA Olympic gold medallist Oscar De La Hoya, the film provides an authoritative look at the country’s seminal boxing culture.

“As an American, I wanted to make money after becoming an Olympic gold medallist, to give my family a better life,” said De la Hoya. “But not in Cuba – they’re not built that way. Cuban fighters don’t think about how many millions they can have, it’s all about making your country proud. That’s the Cuban way.”

Five Rings Films, the Olympic Channel’s signature documentary series, is produced exclusively for the global media platform by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall and MSM. Five Rings Films is a series of incisive and entertaining documentaries directed by some of the biggest names in film from around the world. The first film in the series, The Nagano Tapes, which told the inspiring underdog story of the Czech Republic’s stunning gold medal win in men’s ice hockey in 1998, the first Games to allow NHL players, premiered in February. Future films include the story of Manu Ginobili and the rise of Argentinean basketball.

“Bringing Olympic stories to life through great filmmaking is a goal of our Five Rings Films signature documentary series” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “Peter Berg is not only an acclaimed filmmaker, but also a passionate boxing fan and he brings a personal perspective to the making of The People’s Fighters that is sure to resonate with fans around the world.”

“This film has all the elements that make the Olympics so fascinating – the intersection of politics, culture, huge personalities and incredible athletic achievement,” said Jon Weinbach, Executive Vice President of MSM. “Cuba’s boxing legacy is one of the great stories in modern sports history, and it was a privilege and a ton of fun making this film with Peter and our team.”

Marshall, whose producing credits include legendary titles such as the “Jason Bourne,” “Jurassic World” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, and MSM’s Mike Tollin are executive producers. MSM Executive Vice-President Jon Weinbach and Olympic Channel Director of Original Programming Greg Groggel are co-executive producers.

Fox Sports Acquires “They Fight” Boxing Documentary

Today, FOX Sports Films announced the acquisition of the North American rights for boxing documentary “They Fight,” as an addition to its “MAGNIFY” series. The film is directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by Emmy® Award winner, Academy Award® winner, Golden Globe® winner, and two-time Grammy Award® winner Common; his company Freedom Road Productions; and Argent Pictures, the film’s production and financing company run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo. The film was executive produced by Argent Pictures partners Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks and Michael Finley.

The documentary follows Coach Walt Manigan’s Lyfe Style Boxing, an after-school program in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 – a community rife with inequity. Walt mentors young boxers, “Peanut” Bartee and Quincey Williams on the path to the 2017 Junior Olympics, while he also fights to find a permanent home for his program to help young fighters avoid the troubles he found in his own youth.

“It is important to share Coach Walt’s story and seeing how he overcame extreme hardships and now serves as a mentor to the youth in Ward 8,” said Common. “It is a true example as to how we can take the most challenging of situations and turn them into a positive, not only for ourselves but for others. Boxing is more than just a sport to these kids, it empowers and unifies them to fight for a better life.”

This project is the newest in the Sports Emmy®-nominated “MAGNIFY” series from FOX Sports Films. The series leverages sports as a lens for exploring important cultural stories and investigates the challenges, change, and unity they bring to communities. Since its November 2017 launch, the MAGNIFY series’ roster of influential contributors includes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper; and, most recently, Kevin Durant.

“From the opening minutes of this powerful film, we knew it was a perfect fit for our ‘Magnify’ series,” said Gabe Spitzer, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, FOX Sports Films. “The power of sports as a community builder is visible throughout the documentary.”

The producers are Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Renzo for Argent Pictures; Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone, and Melisa Resch through Common’s Freedom Road Productions; Renzi, Michael Minahan, Daniel Yaro, Nick Boak, and Chris Burt through Renzi’s North of Now production label; and Andrew D. Corkin through his Uncorked Productions company. Jason Michael Berman executive produced for Mandalay Pictures along with Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow and Arrow Entertainment; Tommy Oliver and Codie Oliver of Confluential Films; and Stanley Twarog. The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content.

“We continue to connect really strong contributors to the ‘Magnify’ series,” added Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content, FOX Sports. “These varied, authentic voices that influence and support the films add an important layer to the mission of telling stories that focus on life beyond sports.”

“They Fight” will premiere this fall as a FOX Sports broadcast. Other “MAGNIFY” films, past and future:

• 2018 Sports Emmy®-nominated “89 Blocks,” executive produced by James and Carter for Uninterrupted, along with Sports Illustrated (November 2017)
• “Shot in the Dark,” executive produced by Wade and Chance the Rapper (February 2018)
• “Nossa Chape,” from award-winning directors Jeffrey Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist (The Two Escobars, Pele: Birth of a Legend) focuses on the 2016 plane crash involving Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense. It premieres June 23rd at 4:15 pm ET on FOX immediately following 2018 FIFA™ World Cup coverage.

ESPN+ Debuts Its Newest Boxing Brand: Camp Life

ESPN+ has debuted its newest boxing brand, Camp Life, a series that takes fans inside the training camps of today’s biggest fighters for intimate and penetrating looks at boxers’ lives as they prepare for battle. The premiere episode visits pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford at his training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and gives fans an opportunity to take a peek behind the curtain of one of boxing’s modern greats as he prepares for his bout against WBO welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“Camp Life” is available now live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

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Showtime Boxing Results: Russell Defeats Diaz, Stevenson and Jack Battle to a Draw


By: William Holmes

Showtime has shown no signs of slowing down in putting on competitive fights with a split site double header on their Showtime World Championship Boxing telecast.

The opening bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) and Joseph Diaz (26-0) for the WBC Featherweight Title. This bout took place at The Theater at the MGM Grand National Harbor in Maryland.

Joseph Diaz entered the ring first and Russell second to a much louder ovation.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Both boxers were southpaws and Diaz looked like the bigger fighter, but Russell established early on that he had the better hand speed. He was active with his jab in the opening round and had a strong start to the fight.

Russell continued with his jab in the early parts of the second round, but Diaz had some moderate success to the body and ended the round strong.

The third round was a closer round, but it looked like Diaz was willing to take a few punches from Russell in order to land one punch of his own. Diaz ended the round with two good straight left hands.

Diaz kept a high guard in the fourth and fifth rounds but Russell landed the higher volume of punches while Diaz landed the harder shots to the body. Diaz had a strong fifth round, but Russell came back in the sixth round with his active jab and high volume output.

Russell was the first man to throw and land in the seventh and eighth rounds and looked like he was beginning to walk away with the fight. Russell hand speed was on full display in the ninth round as Diaz was simply not throwing enough punches.

Diaz had a better tenth round and took more risks than earlier rounds, but was also countered more often by the faster Russell.

The final two rounds featured several fierce exchanges, and Russell looked like he was beginning to fade a little bit in the last round, but Diaz wasn’t able to do enough to get a stoppage.
The Judges scored the fight 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.

The last fight televised by Showtime was a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between Champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1) and challenger Badou Jack (22-1-2) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Stevenson, a southpaw, and Jack, fighting out of an orthodox stance, had spent the better part of two rounds feeling each other out and tried to find their range. Stevenson was able to land some straight left hands in the second and was more active in the third, but Jack was able to land some counters in the third round.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Jack was able to fire off his punches first in the fourth round but took a good left uppercut from Stevenson with about thirty seconds left. Stevenson was the aggressor in the fifth and sixth rounds while Jack fought mainly out of a tight high guard. Jack was warned for a low blow at the end of the sixth round.

Jack started to come forward in the seventh round and hurt Stevenson with a short right hand followed up by combinations. Jack was snapping the head of Stevenson in the seventh with his uppercuts, but he was warned for a low blow again at the end of the round.

Jack opened up the eighth round with another low blow and Adonis Stevenson was given time to recover. Jack followed up with short right hooks and uppercuts and was able to bust open the nose of Badou jack.

Jack looked like the fresher fighter in the ninth round and had Stevenson stumbling at one point. Stevenson was able to come back and have a strong tenth round when he hurt Jack with a body shot and had Jack peddling backwards.

Stevenson pressed the pace early on in the eleventh round and had Jack in full retreat, but he tired in the middle of the round and Jack re-established dominance in the ring.

Both boxers were able to land some good shots in the final round, but Jack ended the fight strong with a hard combination as the final bell rang.

The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113 Jack, 114-114 for a majority draw.

Adonis Steven retains the title with a draw.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Stevenson vs. Jack, Russell vs. Diaz


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Showtime network will broadcast two fights from two separate locations on a split site feature.

One fight will feature a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between current champion Adonis Stevenson and the Swedish fighter Badou Jack. This bout will be taking place in Toronto, Canada at the Air Canada Centre. The other bout will be a WBC Featherweight Title between Gary Russell Jr. and Joseph Diaz Jr.


Photo Credit: Badou Jack Twitter Account

The following is a preview of both televised fights.

Adonis Stevenson (29-1) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-2); WBC Light Heavyweight Title

Adonis Stevenson has often been mentioned as one of the best light heavyweights in the world along with Sergei Kovalev and Andre Ward, but neither of those fights have ever come to fruition and he’s no forty years old and past his athletic prime.

Stevenson will face a very tough opponent in Badou Jack. Jack is six years younger than Stevenson, but has also been more active. He fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Stevenson only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016.

Stevenson will also be giving up about two inches in height to Jack, but he will have a four inch reach advantage. Stevenson will be fighting in his home country which shouldn’t be a big surpise since he has only fought outside of Canada two times. This will be Jack’s first fight outside of the United States since 2010.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Stevenson was a Canadian National Champion and Jack was a Swedish National Champion and a competitor in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Andrzej Fonfara, Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. His lone loss was the Darnell Boone, which he later avenged.

Jack also has a good professional resume, though his level of competition in recent fights surpasses that of Stevenson. His lone loss was a shocking TKO upset loss to Derek Edwards in 2014. He has two draws against James DeGale and Marco Antonio Periban. He has defeated the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, and Marco Antonio Periban.

If this fight happened five years ago Stevenson would have to be considered the favorite. But he’s now forty years old and has been fairly inactive recently while Jack has been steadily facing tougher and tougher competition.

If this fight goes to the Judges scorecards Stevenson may have a slight edge since the fight is happening in Canada, but the timing feels right for Jack to pull off a victory.

Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-0); WBC Featherweight Title

Golden Boy Promotions needs to be given credit for their willingness to throw their fighters in the ring with top fighters from other promotions. The Diaz-Russell fight is a good example of Golden Boy taking a risk by putting one of their top guys against an established champion.

Diaz is twenty five and will be four years younger than Russell. However, Joseph Diaz has been very active since 2016. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. Russell only fought once in 2017, 2016, and in 2015.

Diaz will have about an inch and a half reach height advantage and both boxers have the same reach. They both represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, Russell in 2008 and Diaz in 2012.

Diaz is a southpaw, and the only boxer that Russell lost to, Vasyl Lomachenko, was a southpaw. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Russell has made since he last fought Lomachenko.

Russell represents the biggest test of Diaz’s young career. He has defeated the likes of Victor Terrazas, Rafael Rivera, Manuel Avila, Jayson Velez, and Ruben Tamayo.

Russell has been fairly inactive for a world champion, but has defeated some very good fighters. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Escandon, Patrick Hyland, Jhonny Gonzlaez, and Christopher Martin. His lone loss was the Vasyl Lomachenko, who has since jumped up two weight classes to dethrone Jorge Linares as the Lightweight Champion.

Russell’s inactivity should be of concern to his camp, especially since he’s facing a young, undefeated, challenger who has a strong amateur pedigree.

This fight will be close, but age and activity has this writer giving Diaz a slight edge on Saturday night.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Barrera, Magdaleno, Russell, Diaz, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 17th to April 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Injury Rehabilitation Forces Keith Thurman to Relinquish WBC Belt

Unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has voluntarily relinquished his WBC title while he recovers from the effects of elbow surgery last year and a hand injury he suffered in training camp last month.
After speaking with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently, Thurman decided that he would relinquish the title and open the way for former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, the two leading contenders for the WBC title, to fight each other for the championship while Thurman made a full recovery from his injuries.

“Due to my rehabilitation from my injuries, I agreed to relinquish my WBC title at this time. I continue to rehab my hand and elbow and I look forward to getting back in the ring this summer. This is a temporary setback and I will be the unified champion once again and look forward to winning back my WBC title as soon as possible,” said Thurman.

“Keith Thurman unfortunately has suffered two consecutive injuries that have kept him out of the ring after his sensational victory over Danny Garcia and he has graciously relinquished his title, and the WBC has mandated that Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will fight for the title,” said Mauricio Sulaiman. “Keith will have a direct path to fight for the title once he has healed just as Vitali Klitshcko and other WBC champions have done in the past. Keith is a tremendous athlete, champion and role model. The WBC will support him completely during this difficult time. ”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), a former unified champion at 140 pounds and the former WBC welterweight champion, lost the WBC title to Thurman by 12-round split decision in 2017. He bounced back with a knockout victory over former champion Brandon Rios in February. The WBC had made that fight a title elimination match, which put Garcia in line to fight Thurman again for the title.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), a former welterweight champion, lost a close 12-round decision to Thurman in 2016. He became the mandatory challenger for the WBC title when he knocked out Andre Berto last year. He maintained his status with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados in November.

The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been plagued by a string of injuries the last two years.
Thurman injured his neck in a car accident in February 2016, which delayed his match against Porter by three months. When they met Thurman defeated Porter by unanimous decision on June 25.

He defeated Garcia by split decision in a welterweight unification match on March 4, 2017. A month later he had major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits. He is still in rehabilitation from that surgery.

Thurman injured his hand hitting the heavy bag last month and aggravated the injury sparring with some amateurs at his gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. An MRI revealed bruises to the metacarpal bones in the hand, which also has extensive swelling. Thurman can’t have any impact with the hand for at least 8 weeks, which added another delay to his ring return.

He now hopes to return to the ring in the late summer or early fall.

Jessie Magdaleno: I’m Going to Put on a Spectacular Show

World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno has spent his latest training camp running the mountains near Guadalajara, Mexico, and alongside some of the world’s best fighters at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk, Calif. Magdaleno is preparing for the role of main event headliner against No. 1 contender and interim champion Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, April 28 at The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready,” Magdaleno said. “Being here with {trainer} Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes.”

Said Robles: “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight.”

Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) won the world title with a unanimous decision over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5, 2016. He has defended his belt once, a second-round stoppage over Adeilson Dos Santos last April. When Magdaleno steps into the ring against Dogboe, it will have been 371 days since the Dos Santos fight.

“It’s been a long training camp, and I’ve been training with some excellent fighters,” Magdaleno said. “I was with {WBO featherweight champion} Oscar Valdez in Mexico, and now, it’s the home stretch. We’re more than ready to get back in the ring.”

The pre-fight drama escalated last month when Dogboe’s father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, told Ghana’s Pulse website: “We hope Magdaleno will not run like a chicken. We hope he makes the weight and comes in with no excuses because we are ready for him. We are ready to eat him like a chicken. We are focused, and our only mission is to devour him, eat the crazy chicken, throw him over the wall of Mexico and present the title to Donald Trump. Magdaleno will run when he sees Isaac.”

Paul Dogboe has since apologized, and Magdaleno is intent on doing his talking inside the ring.
“It’s about experience, staying focused, and doing our job,” Magdaleno said. “Manny keeps me focused on the fight, and that is my main concern.”

Magdaleno-Dogboe will be televised LIVE on ESPN and stream in English and Spanish on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available on the ESPN App, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will air the fight at 10 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100 (ringside), $65 and $35, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased at The Liacouras Center Box Office and www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.

Adonis Stevenson to Face Badou Jack May 19th in Toronto

Undefeated knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning light heavyweight world champion, will defend his title against two-division champion Badou Jack on Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The showdown between Stevenson and Jack is one of the most intriguing matches in the light heavyweight division as Jack, a former 168-pound and 175-pound champion, has relinquished his title for the chance to challenge one of the hardest hitters in the sport. Both men are looking to make their claim as the class of the division.

Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.

Tickets for the Toronto show, which is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel, Lee Baxter Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale Friday, April 27 and will be available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
“It is the second time that we will come to Toronto to promote a WBC world championship fight with Adonis Stevenson,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “If you found the first event to be spectacular, be sure not to miss the second one as it will be a real firework! Badou Jack is a two-division world champion and an Olympian. He is dangerous and by far the biggest challenge for Adonis since he won the title against Chad Dawson in 2013. We are confident that ‘Superman’ has what it takes to defend his title successfully for the ninth time.

“I would also like to give thanks to our co-promoter Lee Baxter. This event would not have been possible without his collaboration. In addition, I am grateful for Lee and Wayne Zronik from MLSE, who are providing great support for this event and has opened the doors of the Air Canada Centre to us.”

“Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to partnering with Groupe Yvon Michel to pull off this highly anticipated matchup,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Adonis Stevenson has been a reigning champion in this division since 2013. Badou Jack has risen to every challenge he’s faced in his career. Now, he has an opportunity to become a three-time world champion and that raises the stakes for him. I predict two confident, hard-punching and highly skilled fighters will enter the ring at Air Canada Centre on May 19, both determined to walk away a champion.’’

“We are looking forward to hosting this spectacular event at Air Canada Centre,” said Wayne Zronik, Senior Vice President, Music and Live Events at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “It is the first title fight that the venue will host. We’ve worked with this group before to bring world class boxing to the city and are excited for the return of championship boxing to Toronto, and to Air Canada Centre in particular.”

Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) owns one of the most powerful left hands in boxing and goes by the ring moniker “Superman’’. The 40-year-old Stevenson has made eight successful defenses of his title since winning it with a knockout victory over Chad Dawson in 2013. The lineal 175-pound champion most recently defended his title with a second-round stoppage of Andrzej Fonfara last June and delivered a third round TKO over Tommy Karpency in his most recent defense in Toronto in 2015.

“I’m definitely excited and hungry to get into the ring and perform,” said Stevenson. “I’ve trained very hard for this fight against Badou Jack. I’m looking forward to winning this fight by knockout. I’m from the Kronk Gym and we always look for the knockout. Jack is a good, technical boxer. He was a world champion and he has done very well. He’s tough and I won’t underestimate him. I’ll be prepared for anything he brings in the ring.

“I’m fighting him at home in Canada, so I’m looking to give the fans a good show. I’ve got power and I’ve got the best left hook in boxing. I’ve got 12 rounds and I just need to touch you once to end it. It’s not complicated. I don’t need three or four shots. I just need one shot and you’re not going to recover. I’m going to finish you.”

The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) relinquished his 168-pound world championship following a majority draw against James DeGale in 2017 to move up to light heavyweight. He made a successful debut at 175 pounds by knocking out Nathan Cleverly for the light heavyweight championship last August. Jack then relinquished that title to seek out this challenge against the division’s heaviest hitter. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, a 2008 Olympian for his father’s native Gambia and now residing in Las Vegas, Jack is looking to become a three-time world champion on his opponent’s home turf on May 19.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to fight for my third world title against one of the division’s best, Adonis Stevenson,” said Jack. “I’ve been asking for this fight for a long time and was willing to fight him anywhere, including his backyard. I know he’s good and very dangerous and that’s the reason I want to fight him. I’m all about the best fighting the best and come May 19th, I’m bringing the WBC belt back to Las Vegas. My newborn son, Malik was born just before training camp so now I have two children to fight for, which gives me all the motivation I need to get this win.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Press Conference Quotes

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten No. 1 contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) hosted a press conference and faced off for the first time Tuesday before their championship showdown Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visitinghttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

The Russell vs. Diaz fight is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that will feature WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson defending his title against two-division world champion Badou Jack in a main event from Toronto presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Russell Jr., a 2008 U.S. Olympian and 126-pound titleholder since 2015, will defend against his mandatory challenger in the 25-year-old Diaz, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games and will be competing in his first title bout.

Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from TAP Sports Bar at MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.

“It’s amazing to be fighting at home. It’s cool to know that the people I see around all the time will be able to get in the car and drive 15 minutes to come watch this massacre. I can’t wait.

“I appreciate JoJo for being honest and saying that he feels I’m the best featherweight in the world. That speaks volumes.

“We stay focused in the gym. The inactivity doesn’t mean anything. It’s no issue. I’ve had hand issues in the past but I’m able to preserve my body and stay sharp, stay focused. I’m a fighter that’s always in shape. I never take a day off. You can ask my wife. On anniversaries, we’re in the gym. On birthdays, we’re in the gym.

“Regardless of what the situation is, you want a sense of financial stability for yourself and your family. I’m at the point of my career where I have maybe six more fights in me. We want to maximize everything. We want to maximize our revenue and it’s been irritating because a lot of the champions don’t want to get in the ring with me. I appreciate JoJo for giving me the opportunity to sharpen my teeth a little bit more. At least he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.

“I’m one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Speed, power, ring IQ, we can get ugly if we need to. I don’t plan on going 12 rounds. I’m not going the distance with anybody for the remainder of my career. Mark my words.

“When you have guys that fight and move around a lot, it makes it difficult to get to them the way you want to. When you have a guy that is straightforward and will be in your face, it makes it much easier for me and they’re much more susceptible to get hit.

“A lot of fighters win with pure athleticism because they’re faster, stronger or in better shape. They’re not winning because they have the ability to make the necessary adjustments based on what goes on in the ring. I tell people all the time that boxing is intellect manifested on a physical form. In most cases, the more intelligent fighter wins.

“My father says that whenever you see a fight that is an all-out, knockdown war, it’s just two stupid fighters that didn’t have a plan B or the ability to make the adjustments to make the fight easier. If that’s JoJo’s game plan, it’s going to make this fight a lot easier for me. It’s not going 12 rounds.

“As far as a hit list of my next opponents goes, we are first going to take care of JoJo. I would love to get a unification bout with Leo Santa Cruz after that. If we don’t get that, I plan on moving up in weight and challenging whoever has the title in that division. You want to know who I really want, though? I want Mikey Garcia.

“My last fight will be against (Vasyl) Lomachenko. I want to conclude my career with breaking my foot off of him. That will be the conclusion of it. I’m willing to wait, though. Right now, we’re good.
“Of course I would entertain a fight with Gervonta Davis. We’re cool. He’s somebody that I actually watched grow up and develop as a fighter, but you have to stay in your lane. When I move up in weight, he’s got to get out of the way or he’s going to get ran over too.

“I didn’t want to come home to fight until I had a world title. That’s the reason I didn’t fight at home for so long. Now we have the title, and I wanted to fight at least one more time here.

“I want to maximize our revenue because I don’t plan on fighting for too much longer. I had my first fight at seven years old. I’m 29 now. That’s a long time competing and a lot of wear and tear on your body. I’m a guy that doesn’t cut corners, so it takes away from the time I could be spending with my family and friends. I’m ready to spend time with my family and children and live out the fruits of our labor. But in the meantime, everybody else is in my way. They’re trying to take food off my baby’s plate.”

JOSEPH DIAZ JR.

“I don’t think the fact that I’ve been more active will give me any advantage. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing and getting the experience I need inside the ring before facing an elite fighter like Gary Russell Jr. My preparation has been good. I’ve fought tremendous opponents and I have all the experience to come out victorious May 19.

“It doesn’t affect me at all fighting in his hometown. I’m happy to fight in his backyard. He’s the champion and that’s what champions get to do. I know what he’s capable of doing. He says I don’t have the boxing IQ or the power and speed that he has, but he’s going to be in for a rude awakening come fight night. He’s going to see that I have all the tools.

“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on this stage. Ever since I roomed with Errol Spence at the Olympics, we always promised each other that once we became pro we were going to fight all the elite athletes and the best champions. Gary Russell Jr. is the best at 126 pounds. I’m not scared to fight him and that’s what Errol Spence did, too. He beat Kell Brook in his hometown.

“Gary Russell Jr. is by far the best featherweight in the world. Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Lee Selby, none of these guys want to fight Russell. They’re afraid of the speed and the counter shots. But I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll showcase it May 19.

“A win would mean everything for me. It would be a dream come true realizing all of the hard work I’ve put in since I was 13 years old. It would mean that I’m the champion and I’d be the shot caller.

“I think his speed is an obstacle; he’s very fast. But that’s the thing about me, I’m good at adapting to any style that I fight. Come fight night I know that his speed is going to be fast, but it’s nothing that I won’t be able to take, or nothing that will shock me. I’m going to be able to adapt to that speed and make sure I’m able to land my shots when he’s opening up.

“I’m very confident; 100 percent confident I’ll beat him. I know that this is an opportunity that is presented to me and I’ll be victorious. I’ve always prayed to God that I could fight on SHOWTIME and for a WBC title. And now that I am it feels like it’s all settling in and it’s all coming true. I’m working hard every single day, and once I get my hand raised in victory I’m going to go from there.

“If he gets a little bit over confident like he did against [Oscar] Escandon, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. He’s going to be shocked with not only my punching power, but also with my combinations and with my speed. I’m not like a Jhonny Gonzalez where I’m just throwing one shot, or slow combinations. I’m pretty fast with my punches and you won’t see my punches coming because I throw them very elusive and I punch from different angles. He’s going to be very shocked if he fights the way he fought Oscar Escandon.

“I don’t think it’s going to go the distance. Gary Russell is going to go out there and not back down and give the fight fans a good show, but I’m going to go out there and give a good show and not back down. So I think we’re both not going to back down and we’re going to brawl it out, and let the best man win.”

Sullivan Barrera Expects Bounce Back Performance on Kovalev-Alvarez Undercard

Light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera is back in training camp armed with a new fight date and a fresh attitude.

The former Cuban amateur standout admits that not much went right in his March 3rd loss to Dmitry Bivol but chalks it up to an off night and said that it was a learning experience.

Barrera is back with his team but has also added a sports psychologist to his squad in an effort to make sure a repeat of March 3rd doesn’t happen.

“I feel great. I know that was just one bad night. I am not worried about the past and only looking ahead,” Barrera explained.

The plan is for Barrera to return to the ring sometime in the summer on the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider undercard and he hopes to fight the winner next.

“I think the fans know that I always want to fight the best out there. After this fight I want another big fight. My goal is to fight whoever wins between Kovalev and Alvarez,” said Barrera.

“Boxing is like sex. You can be the best lover in the world but sometimes you have an off night. My fiancee knows I am the best even if I don’t perform as well one night. I want to get back in the ring and show the world my best again.”

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Golden Boy Promotions on ESPN Results: Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, Jr. Stops Victor Terrazas


By: Ken Hissner

Golden Boy Promotions at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, CA, Thursday night over ESPN2 with Diaz and Terrazas in the Main Event.

In the Main Event 2012 USA Olympian southpaw Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, 26-0 (14), of Downey, CA, defended his NABF and WBO NABO Featherweight titles scoring three knockdowns stopping the former Super Bantamweight champion Victor Terrazas, 38-5-2 (21), of Guadlajara, MEX, at 3:00 at the end of the third round.

In the first round a left uppercut to the body from Diaz dropped Terrazas. Diaz went right after him again landing a body shot dropping him for the second time. In the second round Terrazas came out forcing the action until he was pushed to the canvas. Diaz went right after him with a right uppercut to the body. A body shot from Diaz was heard thumping the body of Terrazas. The entire round was in the middle of the ring. In the second round both fighters mixed it up but the 25 year-old Diaz just had too much firepower for the 35 year-old Terrazas.

In the third round both fighters returned to stay close with both landing body shots. Terrazas coming forward walked into a Diaz a hard left uppercut to the body of Terrazas. A left hook body shot from Diaz ended the fight as Terrazas took the count on a knee from referee Eddie Hernandez, Sr.

The WBC & WBO No. 1 contender Diaz called out champion WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. after the bout.

Super Lightweight Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 9-0 (9), of TX, stopped Jesus Alvarez “Carambolas” Rodriguez, 15-4 (11), of Los Mochis, MEX, at 2:00 of the third round for the vacant NABF Junior Super Lightweight, in a scheduled 8 rounds.
In the first round a hard right from Ortiz to the chin of Rodriguez dropped him to the canvas. Ortiz went right after him landing a vicious left hook to the body just prior to the end of the round. In the second round Ortiz landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Rodriguez. Ortiz landed a double left hook to the body of Rodriguez followed by a right to the chin.

In the third round a lead right from Ortiz to the chin of Rodriguez was right on the money. A combination from Ortiz to the body and head hurt Rodriguez. Ortiz chased him down with a flurry of punches bringing a halt from referee from Raul Caiz, Jr.

Lightweight Christian Gonzalez, 18-2 (15), of Bueno Park, CA, was upset by Filipino Rey “The Technician” Perez, 22-9 (6), of Laguna, PH, over 8 tough rounds.

In the first round Gonzalez took it to Perez with no matter what he threw it seemed to land on Perez. It was all Gonzalez. From the middle of the round Perez started landing body punches with what looked like a little low at the bell. In the second round it was Perez storming out throwing with left hooks to the body and a nice short right but Perez hung right in there with him. Perez pushed Gonzalez to the ropes and a flurry had him bleeding on the forehead from wild rights to the head.

In the third round Perez landed a combination to the head of Gonzalez. It was Gonzalez pushing Perez but catching uppercuts to the body from Perez when inside. Perez had Gonzalez against the ropes. A three punch combination from Perez to the head of Gonzalez hurt him. In the fourth round fighting head to head it was Gonzalez coming out of it with another cut this one over the left eye from an accidental head butt. Gonzalez had Perez against the ropes. Back to the middle of the ring it was where Perez usually gets the best of it.

In the fifth round it was all body shots with some holding on both parts. Perez landed half a dozen punches with all but one to the body. Gonzalez came back well drawing blood from the nose of Perez. In the sixth round Perez came out strong driving Gonzalez into the ropes with a lead right to the chin of Gonzalez. Both fighters looked exhausted. Perez landed a solid right to the chin of Gonzalez who came right back with a right of his own to the head of Perez. Perez came throwing punches in bunches.

In the seventh round Perez continued to drive Gonzalez into the ropes. It was all body punches from both fighters. Combinations with the final punch a right all to the head from Perez on Gonzalez. In the eighth and final round it was more of Perez out punching Perez the entire round. The referee was Raul Caiz, Jr.

The Judges scores were Lou Moret and Fernando Villarreal 79-73 and Raul Caiz, Sr. 78-74 and this writer had it 78-74.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Peterson, Spence, Diaz, Derevyanchenko, Davtaev, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 9th to January 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Patrice Harris

Joseph Diaz to Defend NABO Featherweight Title Against Victor Terrazas

Golden Boy Promotions will continue its partnership with ESPN for this exciting new year with an explosive main event featuring 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABO Featherweight Title against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) on the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino inIndio, Calif.Doors to the Special Events Center open at 5:00 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout starts at 5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and the ESPN3 transmission will begin at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.

Diaz Jr., a 25-year-old prodigy of South El Monte, Calif., was an exceptional amateur prospect who was part of the 2012 United States Olympic Team. After making his debut with Golden Boy Promotions in December 2012 at the now-defunct LA Sports Arena, Diaz, Jr. climbed the 126-pound rankings defeating one tough opponent after another. Diaz, Jr. had a great 2017 as he participated in two Pay-Per-View events. In the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Diaz, Jr. cruised to a 10-round unanimous decision victory against the previously undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila. Diaz, Jr. then defeated Rafael “Bing Bang” Rivera via dominant 12-round decision in the co-main event of the historic Canelo vs. Golovkin HBO pay-per-view event. Diaz, Jr. will look to continue his path to a world title with a win on Feb. 22.

“I look forward to making my 2018 debut,” said Diaz, Jr. “And what better way than by facing a tough former world champion in Victor Terrazas! I will remind everyone why I deserve a world title shot by headlining this card exciting fashion.”

Terrazas, a 34-year-old native of Jalisco, Mexico, is a former world champion who defeated Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares to capture the WBC Super Bantamweight Title. Terrazas, a student of the traditional Mexican school of boxing, has fought fighters at a world championship level from different parts of the world, and will bring years of fighting experience into his fight against Diaz, Jr.

“I have faced great fighters in my career,” said Terrazas. “And this fight against Joseph Diaz, Jr. will not be an exception. I think that my experience will be very important, and I have no doubts that I will leave with my hand raised.”

Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), a super lightweight prospect who has delighted fans with his tremendous knockout power, will return in the eight-round co-main event. After debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout, and he’s anxious to retain his 100% knockout rate in the year 2018. One must definitely not lose sight of this sensational Mexican American who has his roots in Michoacan, Mexico.

The explosive undercard will be stacked with the best and brightest prospects of the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable. Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action in his Fantasy Springs Resort Casino debut. Gonzalez is a hard-hitting prospect who is coming off two spectacular wins, the last of which was against Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz.

Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), after making his headlining debut in Sept. of 2017, will square off in an eight-round featherweight fight. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, California will start the year off with a bang in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.

Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr.(11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open the evening of very exciting combats in an eight-round super featherweight fight. In the night’s swing bout, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in a six-round lightweight fight.

Opponents for these exciting, rising prospects will be announced shortly.

Sergey Derevyanchenko Highlights Spence vs. Peterson Undercard

Unbeaten middleweight contender and IBF No. 1 challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs, WSB: 23-1, 7 KOs) will enter the ring for an eight-round bout as part of an exciting undercard on Saturday, January 20 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. taking on two-division champion Lamont Peterson live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Lightweight world champion Robert Easter squares up against two-division champion Javier Fortuna. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are priced starting at $50, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center or by calling 800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Additional action inside of the arena will see the brother of Lamont Peterson, once-beaten Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs), facing Luis Florez (23-7, 19 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup plus once-beaten welterweight Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round fight against Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa (38-14-1, 30 KOs).

Undercard fights continue with undefeated 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (3-0, 1 KO) entering the ring for a four-round welterweight fight against Preston Wilson (4-2-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia’s Dylan Price (4-0, 4 KOs) competing in a four-round super flyweight bout against Nestor Ramos (7-7, 3 KOs) and welterweight prospect Keyshawn Williams (1-0, 1 KO) taking on Denis Okoth (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round matchup.

Rounding out the night is a four-round showdown between unbeaten Desmond Jarmon and Dallas-native Charles Clark plus New Jersey’s Matthew Gonzalez in a six round middleweight fight against Alexander Serna.

A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently earned the top spot in the IBF rankings with an impressive 12th round stoppage over Tureano Johnson. The 32-year-old also defeated previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in 2017 after his 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.

Derevyanchenko and Golub make it a pair of Ukrainian sluggers fighting out of Brooklyn who will compete on the undercard looking to put on impressive performances in their adopted hometown.
Russian Heavyweight Apti Davtaev Remains Undefeated

Several entertaining fights highlighted the untelevised undercard for two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields defense of her WBC and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York tonight.

In the main supporting bout, Detroit via Kurchaloi, Russia, heavyweight Apti Davtaev had a successful United States fighting debut by scoring a six-round unanimous decision over Philadelphia’s Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson.

Wilson didn’t make it easy. Fighting out of a crouch, the heavily muscled, but much shorter Wilson came up with enough wild haymakers to make the entire fight very interesting. Davtaev appears to have a heavy right hand, which he dropped onto the hard head of Wilson often enough to earn the close, but deserved nod. Davtaev warrants credit for going to war whenever one of Wilson’s looping swings connected.

Davtaev (now 14-0-1, 13 KOs) loses his perfect KO percentage, but walks away with a hard-fought victory over a foe who came to win. Wilson is now (18-14-1, 9 KOs).

The scores were 58-56 from all three judges.

An accidental headbutt brought an abbreviated end to the six-round super lightweight return of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Eyubov.

In against Lynchburg, Virginia’s Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8 KOs), the exciting slugger Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) was advancing behind active head movement and a tight shell when his head collided with the retreating Chalmers’. The cut that resulted was ruled too severe and the fight was ruled a No Decision at 1:59 of the opening round.

In a wild women’s light heavyweight brawl featuring fists flying from every direction, wrestling holds and several MMA-style takedowns, Franchon “The Heavy Hitting Diva” Crews-Dezurn won a unanimous six-round decision over Tiffany “The Terminator” Woodard.

Crews-Dezurn, now 3-1, 1 KO, of Baltimore, Maryland, had too many weapons for Wilson, North Carolina’s Woodard (now 4-10-3, 3 KOs), so Woodard tried and succeeded to make things ugly. What followed was a wild punch-out featuring elbows and headlocks and takedowns that left both on the canvas more than once.

Woodard took a lot of hard leather and deserves credit for her toughness. Crews-Dezurn showed class in not taking the bait for most of the fight. She did lose a point in the sixth for a sneaky revenge takedown.

The scores were 59-53, 59-54 and 59-54.

Detroit via Magnitogorsk, Russia’s Alexey Zubov outworked a determined Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers of Hawley, Pennsylvania, on his way to a six-round majority decision.

An entertaining fight between hard-nosed cruiserweights, Zubov was cut over the right eye and took some good punches, but simply outworked the more selective Capers. Zubov showed his often-superior conditioning and worked behind an educated jab, while Capers was content to lay on the ropes and land hard pot shots often enough to keep it interesting.

A score of 57-57 draw was over-ruled by scores 59-56 and 58-56 for the tough Russian. With the victory, Zubov moves his record to 17-1, 9 KOs. Capers falls to 8-11-3.

Lamont Peterson Workout Quotes

Two-division world champion Lamont Peterson hosted a media workout in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Thursday as he prepares to take on unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING® and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features lightweight world champion Robert Easter battling former champion Javier Fortuna.

Here is what the workout participants had to say Thursday:

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“I feel great. I’m already close to weight. I’m happy and eating up to five times a day. I feel strong and I’m ready for this fight.

“I have to look at this as really just another big fight. When you’re at the top, you try not to make too much of each fight. We know what’s at stake. I know that when I keep it simple, that’s when I perform best.

“Right now my body feels better than ever. I’m comfortable with everything that’s gone on in camp and I think you can see it in my body.

“I’ve always trained hard since the first day I came here as a child. That’s been instilled in me since a young age and it’s carried me throughout my career.

“Everything I do is for D.C. I’m trying to get as much recognition for this area the best way I can. That’s what we all strive for in this gym. This is the biggest one that’s been on the schedule for a while and I’m ready to bring it home.

“It gets easier and easier the more championship fights I’m in. I was in shape for all of them, but I definitely put more pressure on myself when I was young. I’ve improved each time and now I feel like I’m really at the perfect place in my career.”

Rances Barthelemy and Kyrl Relikh to Rematch on February 10th

Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh will both look to kick off their new year with a world title victory when they meet in a rematch for a vacant 140-pound title Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT and will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).

“Obviously the number one goal for 2018 is to bring home that belt on February 10,” said Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs). “Then I want to unify with all the other champions. My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with good people and win multiple world titles.”

“First I have to win this fight in February,” said Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs). “But then I have hopes of a great year defending my belt against the mandatory and eventually a unification fight. This will be the year I reach a new level in this sport.”

Barthelemy and Relikh will fight for the WBA’s vacant Super Lightweight World Title after their title eliminator bout in May ended in a debatable decision for Barthelemy. This time the fighters will look to leave no doubt with the full title on the line.

“This is my second time fighting for a world title and it will be a second lesson for me,” said Relikh. “This is my time to become champion. I need to do much more during this fight.

“I have to be aggressive right from the start. I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”

“Winning this title would be a dream come true for me,” said Barthelemy. “I’d be the first Cuban fighter in history to win a title in three different divisions. The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch.

“I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world. The key will be to stay disciplined and land hard shots all night.”

Both fighters have sacrificed in training camp on the road to what they hope will be a celebratory moment on February 10, training hard through the holiday season to stay on target for fight night.

“My whole team has done a fantastic job so far in camp,” said Barthelemy. “Ismael Salas and Joel Casamayor are giving me great tips and keeping me focused on my goal. One new thing I’ve added this camp is Bob Santos for nutrition and strength and conditioning. It’s made a big difference over the holidays where I usually eat too much. He’s kept me on a strict diet and training has never been better.”

“These last few weeks through the holidays have been the hardest of my camp, so there was no room for distractions,” said Relikh. “I spent New Year’s with my family and then I was right back into training camp in the morning.”

With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification after February 10.

“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”

“Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner,” said Barthelemy. “Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”

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HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions


By: William Holmes

Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.


Photo Credit: HBO Boxing

The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.

Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.

Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.

Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.

Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.

Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.

Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.

The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.

The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.

The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.

Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.

De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.

Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.

Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.

Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.

The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.

Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.

Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.

Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.

Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.

Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.

The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.

Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:

Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.

Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.

Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.

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Boxing’s Dark Saturday


Boxing’s Dark Saturday
By: Sean Crose

Look, boxing is a rough sport. Always has been. Always will be. Nothing gets much darker than when fighters become permanently damaged or even killed.

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There’s other less than savory matters, however, that often abound in and around the sweet science. For years, the sport was heavily under mafia influence. What’s more, bad decisions on the part of judges still pop up on a regular basis. Worse yet, modern fans are forever being taken for saps (Mayweather-McGregor is – or will be – in a sense, only the most recent example). And then, of course, there’s the miscellaneous, off the wall stuff. Like the time an in-ring riot erupted immediately after a Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota heavyweight throwdown.

This past Saturday presented just such a scenario, when Jose Uzcategui was disqualified for hitting Andre Dirrell after the bell, an act which subsequently sent Dirrell to the mat. In response to said offense, Dirrell’s trainer and uncle, Leon Lawson Jr, absolutely cold cocked an unsuspecting Uzcategui twice. To make matters all the more insane, the entire incident was recorded for the entire world to see. Police are now looking for Lawson, who will be charged with some pretty serious stuff after such a violent assault. The trainer, who slipped out of the MGM Grand National Arena after the attack, is still essentially on the lam, as a Sunday phone call to the Saint George’s County Police Department presented no further developments.

Again, boxing is a rough sport. What’s more, physical violence, which is what boxing deals in, can lead to exceedingly high emotions. Still, one simply does not get to step up to an unsuspecting person and repeatedly punch that person in the face. It’s illegal and it’s also wrong.

Will Lawson be banned from boxing, as some are suggesting? Will he end up doing jail time? Maybe. Maybe not. This is boxing, after all, where nothing can be taken for granted, either in or out of the ring.

Yet the dark cloud that hung over the sport on Saturday didn’t begin and end with Lawson. Up in Madison Square Garden, Terence Crawford absolutely beat the hell out of an overmatched Felix Diaz later that same evening. Fair enough, you might say, Diaz knew what he was getting himself into. And while that’s true, this author still found Crawford’s behavior unsavory. Mocking an opponent is part of the psychological warfare of boxing.

Mocking an opponent while in the act of deforming that opponent’s face, however, is sadistic and unacceptable. Oh, it’s legally permissible. But it is – or should be – socially unacceptable, nonetheless.

Boxing’s been having a great year. Here’s hoping the terrible moments keep to a minimum.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes

The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.

The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.

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There were no notable upsets on the undercard.

Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.

The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.

Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.

Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.

Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.

The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.

Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.

Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.

Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.

Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.

Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.

Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.

There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.

Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.

Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.

Undercard Quick Results:

Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.

Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.

Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.

Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the under appreciated Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC titles against former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz. This bout will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The co-main event of the night will be between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo in an IBF Lightweight eliminator. American prospect Shakur Stevenson will also be featured on the undercard.

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Top Rank will be the lead promoter on Saturday night and HBO will be televising the fights. The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.

Raymundo Beltran (32-7-1) vs. Jonathan Maicelo (25-2); IBF Lightweight Eliminator

The opening bout of the night will be between the rugged and entertaining Raymundo Beltran and contender Jonathan Maicelo.

Beltran is always a tough fight, but at thirty five years old his best days physically are likely behind him. He’s two years older than Maicelo and will be about one inch taller than him but will also be given up one inch in reach.

Beltran has the edge in power over Maicelo. He has twenty victories by stoppage and his last three wins have been by KO or TKO. Maicelo has twelve wins by stoppage but his last four fights were decision victories. Both boxers are able to be stopped, as Beltran has two stoppage losses and Maicelo has one.

Neither boxer has any notable international success as an amateur, though Maicelo did compete in several regional amateur tournaments in South America with a moderate amount of success.

Beltran’s last fight was a sensational knockout victory over Mason Menard. He has also defeated the likes of Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Henry Lundy, and David Torres. His losses were to Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., Sharif Bogere, and Ammeth Diaz. He stopped Takahiro Ao in the second round, but that bout was overturned due to a positive test for steroids.

Maicelo has defeated the likes of Jose Felix Jr., Samual Amoako, and Art Hovannisyan. His losses were to Darleys Perez and Rustam Nugaev.

Beltran is that type of contender that will seemingly always be in the title hunt and has a pressure style that is difficult for some boxers to overcome. Maicelo has never defeated a high level opponent and doesn’t seem suited to handle the forward pressure that Beltran is known for.

This should be a good fight, but despite his age Beltran has enough gas in his tank to squeak out a decision victory.

Terence Crawford (30-0) vs. Felix Diaz (19-1); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Title

Terence “Bud” Crawford is considered to be a possible future opponent for Manny Pacquiao and is one of the top talents on the Top Rank roster.
He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. His opponent, Felix Diaz, is thirty three years old. Crawford will also have a three inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.

Crawford has been fairly active the past two years. He has fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Diaz fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Both boxers have strong amateur backgrounds. Crawford had success on the national level as an amateur and won the Police Athletic League Championship as well as the United States Pan American Games. Diaz won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.

Crawford has looked sensational throughout his career and nobody has come close to defeating him. He has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andrey Klimov. Even though Crawford has fought many fights in his native Nebraska, he has shown a willingness to travel to fight as evident in his past fight with former champion Ricky Burns in Scotland.

Diaz is a technician but lacks power. He only has nine stoppage wins while Crawford has twenty one. The best opponents Diaz has defeated so far are Sammy Vasquez, Gabriel Bracero, Adrian Granados, and Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. His lone loss was a disputed loss to Lamont Peterson.

This writer thinks Diaz be one of the most difficult fights in Crawford’s career. He’s a technician and has a deep and successful amateur background. But Crawford has faced elite talent several times in his career and has defeated every opponent put in front of him. Diaz’s resume is void of any elite talent, and the one time he did face a legitimate title contender in Lamont Peterson he came up short.

Crawford should win the fight by decision.

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The Adaptable Terence Crawford


The Adaptable Terence Crawford
By: Sean Crose

Terence “Bud” Crawford is in a real fight this weekend (at least on paper) when he takes on Felix Diaz before HBO cameras at Madison Square Garden in a bout Home Box Office will air live Saturday night. Diaz is a talented enough threat to Crawford’s junior welterweight supremacy to make this weekend’s fight actually worthy of being on HBO, the pay cable network which has largely neglected boxing of late without having the courtesy to tell subscribers who might be fans why (though it must be stated that HBO very much remains active in the Pay Per View business). On this particular occasion, though, the network is getting it right.

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Diaz, 19-1, first made his mark as an Olympic gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in China. As a pro, he’s defeated the likes of Adrian Granados and Sammy Vasquez. His lone loss came by virtue of a controversial Majority Decision nod in the direction of Lamont Peterson back in 2015 which raised more than a few eyebrows. Now the man is getting his big chance and many inside the world of professional boxing feel he has a legitimate chance to upset Nebraska’s Crawford, a star in need of a star making fight.

Watching Diaz fight, it’s easy to see why so few analysts are willing to write him off come Saturday. Boasting a nearly perfect record, the native of the Dominican Republic utilizes space with fine effectiveness, throws a mean uppercut and knows the value of not letting an opponent know where the next shot is coming from. He’s also able to employ slick defensive skills when necessary. All these can prove to be frustrating for the 30-0 Crawford, who has never met an opponent he wasn’t eventually able to dominate.

It’s that word “eventually,” however, which is telling. As impressive as his record is, Crawford hasn’t always had an easy time of it in the ring. Yuriorkis Gamboa, for instance, performed brilliantly with Crawford for part of their 2016 bout. Viktor Postol, who fought Crawford last year, was also able to have his moments early on. Again, though, it’s that word “eventually” that pops up. For Crawford has always, at some point, been able to figure his opponent out, no matter how well that opponent may have previously been doing. Gamboa ended up being knocked out in stunning fashion, while Crawford went on to make easy work of Pistol.

And most products of the fight world seem to be thinking Diaz will ultimately succumb to Crawford, as well. The man from Omaha, simply put, finds a way. Crawford is not only willing to to let a round slide, a la Floyd Mayweather, in order to find his rhythm, he switches stances as proficiently as the great Marvin Hagler used to. For a fighter to beat Crawford, he must have far more than a plan A, or even a plan B. That fighter is going to have to be able to employ multiple strategies in the ring.

That’s something that’s far easier said than done.

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Why is Terence Crawford Getting No love For His Next Fight?


Why is Terence Crawford Getting No love For His Next Fight?
By: Matthew N. Becher

​We can all agree, Terence “Bud” Crawford (30-0 21KO) is one of the best fighters on the planet right now. He is a two division lineal champ, with impressive wins against the likes of Ricky Burns (in Scotland), Yuriorkis Gamboa (his first professional loss), Ray Beltran, Thomas Dulorme and Viktor Postol (also his first professional loss). Crawford is set to fight in the big room at the mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden next weekend, May 20th. Unfortunately, nobody even realizes that is happening.

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​Seriously, the promotion for this fight is non-existent. The Ring Magazine, WBC &WBO Jr. welterweight champion. The guy who is arguably the best American fighter today, fighting on the biggest stage of his career and people have no idea this is even on the calendar. I live in New York, and I haven’t seen one poster, heard one radio ad, nothing. What is going on with Top Rank?

​Could it be his lesser known opponent that is the problem? Maybe, but probably not. Crawford fought guys like Dulorme and Hank Lundy and those seemed to have gotten more press then this fight against Felix Diaz. Is Felix Diaz unknown, sure, but he is a very good fighter. Diaz is a 2x Olympian who won the gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for his native Dominican Republic. He sports an impressive record of 19 wins with only 1 defeat (which was a majority decision to Lamont Peterson) and he sports victories over decent foes, such as Granados, Bracero, and Sammy Vasquez. I personally don’t expect Diaz to win, but I do expect him to come in and turn this fight into a brawl, make it ugly for Crawford.

​One week before the fight, this writer checked ticket prices on a well-known secondary market site and saw that you can get a seat for as little as $17.68. That is in the lower bowl, 100 level, section 111. That is a seat that would have been $250 for March’s fight between GGG and Jacobs. $17.68!?!?!?!? That is an insane price for a chance to see an Olympic Gold Medalist take on a top 3 pound for pound fighter. The undercard even has the east coast debut of future American star and Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson.

​If anyone has the answer why Bud Crawford is getting no love, please let me know.

He is one of the sport’s most exciting fighters, he is a pleasure to watch. But for some reason, he is not getting the publicity that he needs and deserves.

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Diaz Scores Knockout; Top Rank Prospects Shine


Diaz Scores Knockout; Top Rank Prospects Shine
By: James Cullinane

WBO Youth Featherweight Champion Christopher ‘Pitufo’ Diaz (21 – 0; 13 KO) stopped Jose ‘Hollywood’ Estrella (18 -12- 1; 12 KO) in the third round of the Solo Boxeo Main Event at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, leading a contingent of young, Top Rank prospects who all emerged victorious Friday night.

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Diaz, from Puerto Rico, came out strong scoring a knockdown early in the first round with a left hook that snuck around Estrella’s high guard and landed flush against the Mexican’s temple. After surviving the opening round, Estrella fought back with several flourishes in the second, but Diaz proved the more effective boxer, countering with speed and precision to land clean and stop any momentum Estrella hoped to build.

In the third round, Diaz stalked Estrella around the ring, landing hard shots and seeming determined to finish his night early. Midway through the round, Diaz forced Estrella against the ropes and landed a booming right to the head followed by a left to the temple that dropped Estrella to his knee. Referee Telis Assimenios began the count, but quickly changed his mind and waved the fight off 1:45 into the round as Estrella stayed on his knee, the fight taken out of him.

In the Co-Main Event, rising, Top Rank featherweight, and fan favorite, Jean Carlos ‘Chapito’ Rivera (11 – 0; 6 KO), outclassed his opponent, Jesus Pacheco (7 – 6; 1 KO) to keep his professional record perfect. Appearing in his first eight-rounder, Rivera easily went the distance to score a unanimous decision (79 – 72) despite having a point deducted for a low blow in the final round.

Drawing chants of “Chapito” throughout the bout, the 21 year-old who resides in Orlando, displayed speed and elusiveness as Pachero punched air trying to land against the shifty fighter. At one point, Rivera dodged a succession of eight punches, bopping and weaving to the delight of the crowd and the frustration of Pachero.

Offensively, Rivera rocked Pachero in the second round with a left hook, followed by a right, left combo that slowed Pachero. In the 5th, Rivera scored in the final minute of the round with another left hook followed by a right to Pachero’s chin. In the 7th, Rivera finished the round with another left, right combo that hurt Pachero just before the bell and effectively sealed the win for Rivera.

On the undercard, three former Olympians, all recent Top Rank signees, continued their respective climbs up the rankings with impressive performances.

Teofima Lopez (4 – 0; 4 KO), who represented Honduras in the 2016 Olympics, dominated Jorge Luis Munguia (12 – 9; 4 KO), winning by knockout 48 seconds into the second round of their lightweight match. From the opening bell, Lopez jumped all over Munguia, landing several, crisp combinations and a hard left late in the round that staggered the overmatched opponent.

Staying aggressive, Lopez finished the fight with a cracking body shot to the gut of Munguia who remained upright momentarily before taking a knee as he felt the full effect of the punch. Referee Frank Santore then waved off the fight as it was apparent Munguia wanted no more. It was Lopez’s fourth straight knockout to start his professional career.

2016 US Olympic Bantamweight, Antonio Vargas (2 – 0; 2 KO), fighting professionally for the first time at home in Kissimmee, was even more aggressive than Lopez as he dispatched opponent Emilio Rivera (0 – 2) in less than one round.

Coming out swinging, Vargas landed a right to Rivera’s jaw ten seconds into the opening round that dropped Rivera to the canvas. After the mandatory eight-count, Vargas continued the onslaught with several combinations, utilizing his speed and strength to overpower the hapless Rivera.

A ripping, overhand right from Vargas sent Rivera back to the canvas and the fight was called off by referee Massimo Montanini at 1:52 of the first round.

In the opening match of the night, Jeyvier Cintron (1 – 0), the only boxer to ever qualify twice for the Puerto Rican Olympic Boxing Team, made his professional debut, winning a unanimous decision (40 – 36) over Leonardo Reyes (6 – 13; 2 KO).

Trained by former world champion, Ivan Calderon, Cintron, scored a knockdown in each of the first two rounds to seize control of the fight early. Behind his effective jab, Cintron landed uppercuts and body blows at will and dominated the action from to start to finish as he coasted to the win.

Completing the night’s card were two fighters from co-promoter All-Star Boxing who provided the most excitement of the night, including knockout of the night.

In a show of raw strength, interim WBO Latino Welterweight Champion, Sammy ‘Hurricane’ Valentin (12 – 0; 9 KO), from Tampa, Florida leveled Columbian boxer Luis Florez (22 -7; 18 KO) with a vicious right to the chin that felled the taller opponent like a tree 1:51 into the first round of their scheduled eight-rounder.

The action started when Florez landed a solid, body shot into Valentin’s ribs one minute into the opening round. Valentin absorbed the blow, forced a smile, then immediately went on the attack, forcing Florez up against the ropes with a flurry of combinations. Trying to escape, Florez bounced off the ropes, spinning to his left as Valentin unleashed a right hook that hit Florez square on the bottom of the chin to score the knockout of the night.

Florez fell backward and remained on the canvas long after the fight was called as ringside doctors attended the unconscious boxer. After several minutes, Florez finally came around and was helped to his stool, seemingly okay. In a show of good sportsmanship, Valentin then walked to Florez’s corner to check on the condition of his opponent and offer words of encouragement.

In what has to be considered the fight of the night, All-Star Boxing’s Nestor Bravo (10 -0; 6 KO), from Puerto Rico, edged out Mexican Victor Rosas (9 – 6; 3 KO) in a hard fought, back and forth six-rounder.

A competitive fight from the beginning, Bravo used his reach advantage to keep Rosas at bay for the first two rounds and appeared to be the more effective puncher. The shorter Rosas kept coming in low, staying under many of Bravo’s shots, which led to a lot of cinching and spinning as the fighters were continually locking up.

Things changed in the third as Rosas came out swinging, landing three hard lefts in succession that stunned Bravo and momentarily tilted the fight in Rosas favor. Bravo bravely held on as Rosas tried to finish the job, then summoned some deep strength to come back in the second half of the round, finishing with a hard, body shot to Rosas mid-section.

Fully recovered, Bravo took back the fight in the fourth, controlling the action and landing several clean blows against the tiring Rosas. This continued in the fifth round as Bravo came out strong to start the round, never letting Rosas get any clean shots or momentum.

In the final round, seemingly down on the cards, Rosas was able to make one last push midway through the round, launching a right hand that rocked Bravo and nearly knocked him out. Stunned and backpedaling, Bravo has just enough left in the tank to avoid any more damage, dancing away from any serious blows and surviving to see the end of the round.

In a tough fight to score, the judges voted unanimously in favor of Bravo by the score of 58-56 in the most exciting fight of the evening.

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Muhammad Ali In Fat City History


Muhammad Ali In Fat City History
By: Jorge Martinez

Recent events have exposed fissures in our union and rocked our national identity. It is in this venue that I share the following story of two “Fat City” residents and Muhammad Ali. One is Mayor, Joan Darrah, the other is Ralph Lee White, a man she called, the most hated man in Stockton. Although not true, White is undoubtedly a controversial, outspoken and adversarial figure. Some might say he got rich by promoting unhealthy habits in the population. He has nevertheless played a pivotal role in the shaping of Stockton’s reputation. Ask the hundreds of people that line south Stockton streets to celebrate the end of slavery, a parade he funds without city support. This is also an unknown chapter in the life of Mohammad Ali, once known as “The Most Hated Man in America”. White was a civil rights advocate who served as a city councilman from 1971-87. Ralph’s challenges to the status quo embarrassed the Mayor. After self-described personal affronts Joan Darrah, stripped White of power by changing the city charter, specifically to prevent him from running for office. The sheer un-American-ness of this is stunning and remains a black mark on her legacy. The manipulation of the law is explained in her book that identifie as done for the greater good. See complete story in Boxing Heroes, 2016, Amazon.com

Muhammad Ali v Sonny Liston

We must revisit another time of great uncertainty, the Vietnam War. Many rebelled against the draft and American foreign policies. One of these was Muhammad Ali, who inspired many young amateur boxers like myself. Suffering under the whip of Jim Crowe in the southwest, I dreamed of Olympic gold and a world title. I fought with an unrelenting desperate need to succeed, prepared to bleed and die if necessary. I was reaching for the stars that although shined brightly, were just beyond my reach. Without means of getting an education, I enlisted in the Army in 1971, and prepared for war in Vietnam against a people who as Ali said, “ I an’t got no fight with no Vietcong”. The gym was my church and boxing my religion. It saved me by releasing the fury that might have exploded destructively. As history records, Ali refused to serve and was arrested, held for a period, released and stripped of his title. Ali’s refusal sparked the country’s ire and he became “the most hated man in America”. The Viet Nam war ripped the country apart and intensified the divide that still affects our nation. The war eventually ended and a small measure of healing was obtained, meanwhile life in Stockton continued as usual.

Unimpressive in social improvements or economic growth, Joan Darrah’s tenure included the killing of Mr. Ramirez, victim of a mistaken SWAT invasion of his home. It also included The Cleveland Elementary School massacre in January of 1989 that rocked the nation. This was one of many school shootings to come and 28 years latter it’s still under investigation. The culprit was Patrick Edward Purdy a 26-year-old racist with a criminal record that used an AK-47 to kill five children and wound 31 others. It was the worse massacre of children in history before the 12-14-12 shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown Connecticut. Many questions remain as some believe Purdy had accomplishes. Interviews with a teacher at the event suggest there may have been another person who was not identified. Attempts to gain information via the Freedom of Information act were denied by the attorney general. My amateur sleuth research suggests Patrick Edward Purdy may have been a serial killer responsible for other murders across the country. This has been denied nor verified.

In her book, Darrah Joan Getting Political, QuillDriver Books 2003, 27, refers to Ralph as “ the star performer, clown, high flyer, and lion tamer in one, at the Monday Night Circus. (City council meetings) The story of White’s gradual transformation from respected and energetic young activist to a man many Stocktoinans saw as corrupt and self serving, unfolded over two decades from roughly 1966 to 1986 “. The pot calling the kettle black, Darrah conveniently forgot the rich typically use wealth to influence politics, like her husband Jim Darrah, a local judge. Without wealth or prestige Ralph Lee White, known as the most hated man in Stockton, recruited Mohammad Ali, the most hated man in America, to assist in a fundraiser. Something no one thought he could do. Although the mayor did not support the White-Ali Match at the University of the Pacific, nine hundred other people did. The event was an overwhelming success and raised thousands of dollars. An excited audience watched as Ali allowed Ralph Lee White to show off and kind enough to feign a knock down, on July 1, 1982. To his credit, Ali never rebutted Ralph’s claims of a real knock down. To my amazement Ralph still claimed it was real in 2016. Today, I am saying his retelling of the event is comical, amusing and intended as innocent humor. The fundraiser made Fat City Boxing history.

Surprising little has been said about Ali’s time in Stockton or this historical event. I accidently learned of it years later. The Mayor referred to it as a “staged fight”, not a public service. Her last attempt at regaining the spot light faded away with her cloudy legacy.

Mohammad Ali is gone and although Ralph Lee White has slowed down with age, yet continues, who knows what chapters remain unwritten. Like Ali, Ralph is full of life and surprises. He has rebuked several mayors including, Ed Chavez, Ann Johnston and current Mayor Michael Tubbs 2017. In retrospect, fundraisers have come and gone, but no one has matched White’s achievement of having Mohammad Ali come to Fat City. The infamous book Fat City, 1969 by Leonard Gardner, described Stockton as hopeless. Gardner unpardonably made the main antagonist white, which can only be interpreted as catering to his readership. It certainly has nothing to do with reality. White fighters in Stockton are a myth. There has not been a serious white contender from Fat City in my 30 years as a boxing journalist.

In 2016, famous, but never a champion Yaqui Lopez convinced the Spinks Brothers to visit Fat City to raise funds for his boxing program. Michael Spinks knocked out Yaqui Lopez in seven rounds in 1980. The event was mildly successful. Thanks to the gods of violent sports that give birth to a new crop of warriors, Fat City has never lacked for brawlers. Today, we have Nate and Nick Diaz, world-class UFC fighters. There are several up and coming boxers such Gabriel Flores, an international golden glove champion. Gabriel will make his professional debut on May 5, 2017 in Reno Nevada. I will cover the event live from ringside and bring details to Fat City. My ringside commendation will be made available to local radio stations throughout the central valley at no charge. I yearn for the days when average Americans knew the names of young lions that made history with their fists. The poorest of Fat City know what movie hero Rocky Balboa said, (paraphrase)” The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean nasty place. Life isn’t about getting hit, its about how hard you can get hit, then get up and keep going forward, but you gotta be willing to take the hits.” I dream of a new TV reality series, like The Contender to help us along. As a former boxer, referee, amateur coach, professional trainer, promoter, sportswriter and finally author of Boxing Heroes, 2016. I got to say; Thank God for Boxing!

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Terence Crawford To Face Felix Diaz At Madison Square Garden May 20th


Terence Crawford To Face Felix Diaz At Madison Square Garden May 20th
By: Sean Crose
Terence Crawford, the undefeated junior welterweight honcho, was supposed to fight at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on the 20th of May. Now, it seems, he’s fighting in New York. Not just in New York, but in New York City, and not just in New York City, but at Madison Square Garden, the most famed arena on earth this side of the Roman Colosseum. Crawford’s opponent will be the impressive Felix Diaz. The question, however, is just how big a deal Crawford’s trip to the Big Apple will be. The man called Bud is big among hard core fight fans, but he’s not well known outside of boxing’s core fan base.
August 24, 2015,  Omaha, Nebraska  --- WBO Jr. Welterweight  champion Terence Crawford(R) (26-0, 18 KOs) attends a  press conference in Omaha, Nebraska Monday to announce his upcoming title defense against world-rated contender Dierry Jean (29-1, 20 KOs), from Montréal, Québec, Canada. Jean lost his passport and was unable to attend.     Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, the Crawford vs. Jean championship fight will take place Saturday, October 24, at the CenturyLink Center. The championship event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.   ---   Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed)  copyright 2015
According to ESPN, Garden officials approached Top Rank when Top Rank fighter Michael Conlon debuted to much fanfare at the Garden theater this past Saint Patrick’s Day. They were interested in stealing Crawford away from New Jersey. And now the Omaha native will be fighting in the Garden’s huge main arena. This is a big jump from the theater, where Crawford bested Hank Lundy early last year. Although it’s highly unlikely that Crawford can do the kind of in-house numbers that Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs did when they fought in the Garden a few weeks ago, it’s clear Top Rank has its sights set on the future. Twenty thousand people may not show up to see Crawford-Diaz, but Top Rank is hoping they will at a point not too far down the road.
With that in mind, Diaz’ Dominican background might come in handy when it comes to putting rear ends in seats. Although there may not be as many Dominicans in New York as there are Puerto Ricans or Irish, there may certainly be enough for a huge Dominican presence to be felt, should Diaz prove to be an ethnic draw. Perhaps Crawford might bring in some fans from Nebraska, too, where the fighter has a considerable fan base of his own. Again, though, neither man is known to have a plus size following, at least at the moment.
Crawford is somewhat unique for a modern notable in that he’s pretty much no show and all go. He is, in a sense, the polar opposite of what junior welterweight peer Adrien Broner was not so long ago. Where as Broner was brash and flasy, Crawford is quiet, perhaps even sullen. And while there’s little doubt Crawford would be the favorite should he ever meet Broner in the ring, it’s the colorful Broner who gets to bring attention unto himself. People forget, though, that Mike Tyson wasn’t much of a talker in his early days. They also forget that Roberto Duran never spoke much English. The point? That you don’t have to be a big mouth to be a star if you can excite in the ring.
Having a big mouth certainly seems to help, though.

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