Toka Kahn Clary Picks Up Easy Win; Napoleon-Espinoza Retains Title
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
The main event well underway, the bell clanged to end the ninth round and that soft lull hung above the ring—that fleeting moment when both fighters simultaneously stop, their oscillating arms suddenly at a standstill. Toka Khan Clary turned away from his opponent and toward his daughter in the crowd. He blew her a kiss. This night was theirs.
With the the esteemed Freddie Roach in his corner, Clary (27-2, 18 KO) was too sharp and too fast for his opponent Irvin Gonzalez (12-1. 9 KO), winning across the board by scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92. After the fight, Roach chimed in with his summary of the fight.
“He was in and out,” Roach said. “A couple rounds he took off and let the guy steal a couple. But he fought a great fight. Speed is a great asset.”
The win earned Clary the NABA super featherweight title, just a makeshift regional strap but at least made his presence felt in the 130-pound class, leaving the featherweight ranks behind for good.
“I want to thank God and my family. I want to thank Freddie and the whole Wild Card team,” Clary said after the fight. “Gonzalez is tough. I’m happy I got the win… I sill got a six pack, I’m staying here—126 be killing me.”
Clary’s gameplan was clear. He secured the center of the ring, getting off punches before Gonzalez knew what hit him. Gonzalez was too limited to keep up with Clary’s fencing work, consistently pawing out a southpaw jab before spearing a left cross down the middle.
With the approach, Clary built up an early lead and carried it across the finish line. Gonzalez had infrequent opportunities to bang up close. But after some brief exchanges in the middle part of the fight, Clary became more patient in the latter half and by this point had Gonzalez’s timing down. When the Massachusetts resident plowed forward, Clary changed levels and tossed an overhand left across his man’s chin.
The rest of the way, Clary’s pressure had Gonzalez on the ropes: sticking out a right hand and following it up sweeping right and left hooks. Sometime in the tenth round, the ref had to separate the choppy smothering going on but there was no doubt who the fight belonged to.
Clary has now won back-to-back fights—both under Lou DiBella’s promotional banner—including eight of his last nine since a shocking KO defeat in 2016 to Pinoy sparkplug Jhon Gemino. He has been dealt just one more loss since then, a points defeat last year to Kid Galahad in what was a title eliminator.
Still only 27, his trek to a world title at 130 pounds is now underway.
Alicia Napolean-Espinoza def. Schemelle Baldwin by fourth-round TKO
Alivia Napoleon-Espinoza (12-1, 7 KO) is still the WBA champion after defending her title over Schemelle Baldwin (3-1-1, 2 KO), routing the challenger in four rounds.
The super middleweight champion since a decision victory over Hannah Rankin, “The Empress” Espinoza extended her winning streak to five straight and showed off her punching power in the process.
To Baldwin’s credit, with just four fights under her belt, she immediately took the center of the ring in the opening frame. She looked slick, sitting behind her shoulder ala Floyd Mayweather, but Espinoza’s stickler of a jab closed distance and rattling left hooks easily gave the defending champion the round.
Espinoza took control early in the second round, opening with a long body jab. She hooked off her jab well, stepping to her left almost simultaneously to avoid return fire. It would become clear that attrition is her game, boxing wonderfully to start before eventually forcing her opponent to succumb to her imposing physicality.
As such, Espinoza’ really poured in on in the third and fourth rounds. At 1:30 of the fateful fourth round, punches clinked off Baldwin who could not muster up any offense of her own and referee Al LoBianco waves things off, stepping between the lioness and her prey.
Napolean-Espinoza continues to be a real attraction in the Tri-State area, competing between Queens, Brooklyn, New York, and now Connecticut.
Another Connecticut favorite in Helen Joseph, by way of Nigeria, also triumphed over her competition. Joseph (17-3-2, 10 KO) pitched a shutout over six rounds, winning 60-53 three times over, defeating a young Hungarian by the name of Martina Horgasz (5-4, 4 KO). She is now unbeaten in her last six bouts.
Broadway Boxing To Air Live On UFC Fight Pass
By: Sean Crose
The subscription service known as UFC Fight Pass has officially made a deal with DiBella Entertainment, and, in particular, that entities’ Broadway Boxing program. “On Wednesday, April 10, at 8:00 ET / 5:00 PM PT,” a press release reads, “UFC FIGHT PASS will exclusively live stream the Broadway Boxing event from Times Square’s Sony Hall in New York City. Ukrainian welterweight contender Ivan “The Volk” Golub (15-1, 12 KOs) will headline the event defending his WBC USNBC title in a scheduled 10-round bout.”
Veteran fight promoter, and DiBella Entertainment head, Lou DiBella, made it clear that he was quite happy with the partnership with UFC Fight Pass. “DiBella Entertainment is thrilled that this Broadway Boxing will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass, the premier streaming service for MMA and combat sports,” he said. “UFC Fight Pass’ commitment to offer first class boxing to its subscribers is great news for fight fans. We believe that this is the beginning of an exciting and creative collaboration.”
DiBella also had good things to say about Broadway Boxing’s maiden voyage on the streaming service. “April 10th’s card at Sony Hall is representative of what has made Broadway Boxing the longest running and most highly regarded grassroots boxing series in America,” he said. “”It features top welterweight contender Ivan Golub, who should be undefeated, as he continues to fight his way toward a world title, dynamic world champion Alicia ‘The Empress’ Napoleon, in a nontitle fight, and the ‘Big Uzbek’, Bakhodir Jalolov, who we believe is the scariest young heavyweight in the world and a future world champion. Former amateur stars Hurshidbek ‘Hershey’ Normatov, Joe Williams, Brian Ceballo and Khalid Twaiti round out the card in competitive bouts.”
Golub, who fights out of Brooklyn, has scored two huge knock wins on Showtime’s esteemed Shobox program. He also won the WBC’s United States’ Welterweight Title by besting Lanardo Tyner by unanimous decision last August. He’ll be defending that title against the 11-4-1 Californian, Manuel Alejandro “El Chino” Reyes. Reyes had won eight straight before dropping a unanimous decision to Mykal Fox in an attempt to win the vacant United Boxing Federation All America Welterweight Title last November.
For fifteen years, Broadway Boxing has been one of the longest airing staples of the fight game, focused on introducing up and coming fighters to the New York scene beyond. UFC Fight Pass has been streaming fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2013, airing content from the world of MMA as well as other combat sports.
LesPierre Wins Exciting Broadway Boxing Battle Against Murphy
Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing series returned to Times’ Square Tuesday evening, as Noel Murphy battled battled Mikkel LesPierre in a battle of welterweight undefeateds. Earlier on in the card, Mykquan Williams, 9-0, faced off against Preston Wilson, 4-2-1, in a six round welterweight affair. There wasn’t much to tell as far as the fight went. Williams came out fast and furious and took his man out in the first. It was an impressive showing for the Connecticut native.
Next up was a heavyweight showdown between Kennan Hickman, 6-2-1, and Oleksandr Teslenko 11-0. Teslenko dominated the first of a scheduled eight rounds by employing his height and jab in classic European fashion (the heavyweight is originally from the Ukraine). A thunderous right early in the second sent Hickman to the mat. Hickman got up, but Teslenko immediately went to work on his body. Hickman turned his back on the action and the referee stopped the bout.
Jude Franklin, 6-0, and Floriano Pagliara, 16-7-2, were up next in a scheduled six round junior lightweight battle. Franklin was aggressive from the start, dropping his man within the first minute of the opening round. Pagliara survived the round, but Franklin was in complete control. Pagliara fought bravely in the second, but he was down and out by around the midpoint of the round.
It was time for the main event. Noel Murphy, 11-0, stepped into the ring to face fellow undefeated welterweight Mikkel LesPierre, 18-0-1, in a scheduled ten round throwdown. The first round between the two southpaws saw Murphy employing a successful body attack. LesPierre upped the attack in the second, though Murphy may have edged it with sharper punching.
LesPierre looked much crisper in the third and, with a crisp jab, solid footwork and body shorts of his own, appeared to edge the round. The fourth round could be seen as the beginning of the battle proper, as it was a close, exciting chapter of the bout. The fifth was close, though not as fast paced as the previous round. The lack of consistency from each man highlighted the fact that this was a battle of prospects rather than hardened vets.
Things remained exciting in the sixth, though LesPierre’s sharp punching may have given him the edge. It was a very difficult fight to judge. The seventh kept up the trend of close rounds, with LesPierre seeming to be the dominant fighter, only for Murphy to come on strong by round’s end. The eighth saw Murphy being more active while the ninth pitted Murphy’s aggression against LesPierre’s sharp, but perhaps infrequent, punches.
A headbutt stopped the action in the tenth, as LesPierre stepped across the ring in pain after the referee temporarily halted the bout. The fight resumed and ended with both men slugging. It was a quality fight for both prospects, showcasing both the strengths and weaknesses of each man. Each fighter showed potential, but Murphy needs to stop using his head as a weapon and LesPierre needs to be more active while in the ring.
LesPierre walked away with a UD win.
Murphy-LesPierre Ready To Highlight Broadway Boxing Card
By: Sean Crose
Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing series will be returning to BB King’s Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan this coming Wednesday night. Noel Murphy, from Woodlawn, New York – by way of Cork, Ireland, will be facing Mikkel Lespierre, from Brooklyn – by way of Trinidad, for the USNBC welterweight championship in the ten round main event. Murphy, who is said to be confused with Canelo Alvarez due to his red hair, has a record of 12-0, while Lespierre has an 18-0-1 record of his own. Although neither man possesses stunning knockout power (Murphy has stopped just two of his opponents, while Lespierre has only stopped eight of his), each one has been proactively furthering his respective career.
In 2017, for instance, Lespierre battled three times, his most recent fight having gone down in December. Murphy, on the other hand, fought a throwback-style five times last year, his most recent bout having been last October. Promoter Lou DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment points out that both boxers have energetic fan bases, which should make for a good environment come fight night in Times Square. “Our main event,” he says, “is a terrific crosstown battle between two undefeated welterweights, Noel Muphy and Mikkel LesPierre, both of whom will have very loud and passionate fan bases on hand.”
“I’m delighted for this opportunity to headline a show at BB King Blues Club @ Grill in Times Square, New York,” Murphy says. “Mikkel LesPierre is a difficult opponent, but these are the types of fights I want.” Needless to say, LesPierre himself eager to get it on Wednesday evening.
“I have been overlooked my whole career,” he says. “However, I did it my way. It’s chess, not checkers and I’m here to stay.”
Undefeated super featherweight Jon Fernandez will also be on the card. The 14-0 Spaniard has stopped all but two of his opponents within the distance and will face the 28-8-3 Fatio Fassinou of Maryland, by way of Benin, in a ten rounder.
In other action, super featherweight Jude Franklin will put his 6-0 record on the line when the Brooklynite battles the 16-7-2 Italian slugger Floriano Pagliaria in a six round affair. Heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko, 11-0 will also look to impress when the Canadian (by way of the Ukraine) KO artist tries to stop his tenth opponent within the distance. Teslenko will be facing the 6-2-1 Keenan Hickman of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in an eight round throwdown.
“We’re very excited,” says DiBella, “to return to our Manhattan home at BB King Blues Club & Grill for another action-packed card
Broadway Boxing Returns Thursday in NYC
By: Eric Lunger
For boxing fans in the NY metro area, it’s time for “Season’s Beatings” as DiBella entertainment brings Broadway Boxing back to the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill this Thursday night. The seven-bout card features three matchups of undefeated prospects, as well as the return of former lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin.
The feature bout of the evening will match Brooklyn’s own Wesley Ferrer (12-0, 7 KOs) against Will Madera (11-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight clash. Ferrer, 25, has knocked out his last two opponents, but he is a poised and disciplined fighter with a precise, technical offense. Thursday will be his second time at the eight-round distance, so expect a contained but offensive-minded performance from the Brooklyn native.
For Madera, 26, Thursday night marks his second appearance at eight rounds as well. Having fought frequently in Canada, the Albany native is making his first appearance in New York City. Fighting out of the orthodox stance, Madera likes to come forward behind a hammer left jab. While defensively sound, Madera is a heavy puncher with a wicked overhand right. With Ferrer more of a pure boxer, and Madera a boxer-puncher, this shapes up as a competitive and intriguing bout.
In the co-feature, two undefeated junior middleweight prospects clash in a six-round affair. Brooklyn-based Hurshidbek Normatov (4-0, 2 KOs) will face off against Nicklaus Flaz (5-0, 4 KOs) of Puerto Rico. Normatov, originally from Uzbekistan, is coming off a brutal first-round knockout of Bruce Lutchmedial at Foxwoods Casino in October. Flaz’s last outing was on the same Foxwood card, as he defeated Elie Augustama by unanimous decision.
Rounding out the evening of undefeated prospects is a six-rounder between Larry Fryers (5-0, 2 KOs), a Bronx resident by way of Ireland, and Charles Natal (9-0-2, 3 KOs) of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, at the 147-pound limit. Making his fifth appearance of 2017, Fryers has been active and successful, looking to put an exclamation mark on what has been a break-out year for the 27-year-old professional. Natal currently fights out of Cleveland, Ohio, and brings a five-bout victory streak to his New York City debut.
As a special attraction, Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1, 15 KOs) of Montenegro will look to bounce back from his recent defeat at the hands of Mikey Garcia in January. His opponent will be Colombian veteran Heivinson Herrera (22-13-1, 6 KOs). Rounding out the card, undefeated heavyweight George Arias (9-0, 5 KOs) of the Bronx, New York, will take on Juan Goode (8-7, 6 KOs) in a six-rounder, and fan-favorite Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon (8-1, 5 KOs) will face Sydney Leblanc (4-5-1, 0 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight clash.
Tickets for the BROADWAY BOXING event are available for purchase by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577. All bouts will be available for viewing by visiting the DiBella Entertainment Facebook page, and the entire event will be available in the United Kingdom on BoxNation TV. The doors open at 6:30 pm and the first bout is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Broadway Boxing at Foxwoods Results: Niall Kennedy wins controversial decision
by B.A. Cass
By the time the main event began at just after 11 PM, the crowd at the Foxwood’s Fox Theater had already thinned out. It had been a long night. They had already seen Ireland’s Raymond Moylette win a split decision over Donte Bryant. Next came the pro debuts of Nicholas DeQuattro and Timothy Wheeler. This brief clash made me wonder if both men had prepared for the fight by wearing fake antlers because came at each other headfirst, like woodland beasts. When DeQuattro, a Rhode Island native, scored a second-round knockout, the local crowd got to its feet, and it was hard not to be swept up by their emotion.
Photo Credit: Ed Diller / DiBella Entertianment
The fight between Adrian Sosa and Francisco Medel was a clear mismatch. Medel walked to the ring draped in an old brown towel. Perhaps it had sentimental value, but it made it seem, right from the start, that he was a poor man come for a paycheck. And he looked vastly out of shape when compared to Sosa, who won via a third-round stoppage by the judge. Sosa, a bit of a showboat, could be seen weaving close to the camera before the fight began and did the same to intimidate his opponent when the judge had them touch gloves. After the fight, Sosa donned a ridiculous robe. He then asked for the microphone and awkwardly thanked Lou DiBella for the chance to prove himself. It’s odd to see the sycophantic so closely paired with the egomaniacal, but Sosa had both on display Friday night.
Next came Ievgen Khytrov vs. Derrick Findley, a man who has lost by decision to some decent talent. Derrick tired towards the end, but the younger Khytrov had to exert himself to score a win by UD. Derrick is one of those journeymen who constantly loses and who, at the same time, never quite meets defeat. He deserves respect for that, at the very least.
The most exciting part of the undercard was seeing19-year-old “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams in his face-off against Evincii Dixon. Mykquan’s arms and short dreads twitched as he set up shot after shot. Reminiscent of a young Andre Ward in the way he goes to the body and how is always looking for a way in, Mykquan is a cerebral fighter who doesn’t lack for power or speed. He’s a boxer to follow
The real event of the evening, the fight that the majority of the people had come to see, was Shelley Vincent vs. Angel Gladney. Twelve out of the fifteen people I spoke with said they were there to root for Vincent. Women, men, children—so many people had come to see this five-foot tall, fast-talking boxer get back in the ring with a fighter she had faced earlier in her career. “We were both 118 then. We ain’t 118 anymore,” Vincent told me a week before the fight, laughing. “We’re fighting at 130 now. That’s the weight she could make. It’s way too big for me, but coming off the injury and not being able to train for the two months, it ended up being perfect.”
Vincent was supposed to return to the ring this past June, but she had to back out of the fight due to a car accident that left her with a severe concussion and a ruptured eardrum. And it appeared the time away had affected her, as the first round started off slowly. The crowd was quiet until a singular voice rang out clear above the mumblings: “Tear her a new asshole, Shelly!” Laughter broke out in certain parts of the room. But Vincent seemed to be stalling. She looked to the judge to see if he would make a call against Gladney. He did nothing, and Vincent stomped her foot twice, making the ring shake. “Just box!” Pete Manfredo Sr., Vincent’s trainer, called out. It’s not often you witness fighters yell across the ring to their trainers during a fight, but the always outspoken, always entertaining Vincent did. “She stepped on my foot,” she yelled defensively.
Shelly’s head just didn’t seem to be in the fight. She wasn’t engaging with Gladney. And worse, later in the round, she dropped her hands and stared down the judge as if it to intimidate him into making some kind of call against Gladney. That’s when Jen Salinas, a mother of four who knows how to deal with misbehavior, yelled out, “Focus, Shelley.”
Salinas knows Vincent as few do. They have been sparring partners, lovers, and, though the needs of career and family have separated them physically, they remain deeply connected and always work each other’s corners. Salinas’s words seemed to do the trick. Vincent emerged from that hesitant first round to become the dominant force in the ring, controlling the pace of the fight in her characteristic fashion, which is to say relentlessly. She might have finished Gladney off in the fourth round, if not for the sound of that two-minute bell. Gladney got through it, but the fight was never hers after that.
The main event was an evenly matched fight between Alexis Santos and Niall “Boom Boom” Kennedy. “That’s beu-ti-ful,” Kennedy’s countrymen kept screaming in their Irish brogue, no matter whether Boom Boom landed a punch or got hit. “That’s it! Get’m, Boom Boom!” At one point, Foxwoods security—men and women in cheap, oversized red sports jackets—had to prevent a small Irish contingent from approaching the ring after a vicious exchange between the two fighters. It was at this point that Santos looked back at the belligerent young Irishmen with a worried expression. The hostile, vocal opposition seemed to affect his performance negatively. Santos’ supporters, hailing mostly from the Lawrence area, were vocal though not quite as exuberant as Kennedy’s—at least not until the referee deducted a point from Santos for what he ruled a low blow. The referee also failed to acknowledge the fact that, in the last round, Boom Boom remained standing only with the aid of the ropes. That said, Boom Boom looked like the more collected, focused fighter throughout and because of it, he got a split decision win.
After the fight, when Boom Boom was being interviewed in the ring, the big man mentioned something about how his coach kept setting goalposts and how he kept surpassing them—the kind of forgettable phrase that you hear all too often from athletes. I couldn’t help but think how much more exciting it would be to see Shelly Vincent up there talking in front of the cameras. I’ve never heard her say a commonplace thing yet. She is fiercely intelligent, as aggressive and as wild with her words that she is with her fists. The next time I see her fight, I hope she’ll be the main event.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Boxing Insider Notebook: Bey, Peterson, Shields, DiBella, Singh, and more…..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 1st to August 8th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Singh Beats Chinese Rival then Gives Belt Back in Bid to Ease Tension Between Two Nations
Vijender Singh, an Indian boxer and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, recently defeated WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China on August 5th, 2017 in Mumbai.
However, Singh has handed Maimaitiali’s title back to him after the scores were announced. He told the media, “I don’t want tension on the border. It’s a message of peace. That’s important.”
China has been involved in a border dispute in a region in the Himalayas with India for several years. Singh won a close decision, with scores of 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94.
Team Shields Congratulates Boxing’s Newest Superstar, Claressa Shields, For Winning Unified World Titles in Fourth Pro Fight
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.
Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.
A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.
“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”
For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.
“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”
Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”
Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.
DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing Returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th
DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT’s acclaimed BROADWAY BOXING series will return to the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Friday, September 15, 2017, headlined by an excellent 10-round clash between popular heavyweight prospect ALEXIS SANTOS (18-1, 15 KOs), of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, and cross-town rival, Ireland’s NIALL KENNEDY (8-0, 5 KOs), promoted by Ken Casey’s Boston-based Murphys Boxing. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, priced at $125, $75 and $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 7:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I am happy to again bring Broadway Boxing back to our home away from home at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The series at Foxwoods has seen a number of terrific heavyweight brawls of late and New England’s own Alexis Santos battling Ireland’s Niall Kennedy promises to be very entertaining. Popular local stars Shelly Vincent, a great ambassador for women’s boxing from Rhode Island, East Hartford up-and-coming unbeaten welterweight Mykquan Williams, and Nicholas DeQuattro, in his pro debut, will appear on the stacked undercard, along with undefeated New York cruiserweight prospect Joe Williams.”
The 27-year-old fan favorite Santos returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on a five-bout winning streak highlighted by an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Barboza on November 19, 2016, in an action-packed bout from start to finish that had the crowd roaring throughout. With the victory, Santos seized the New England heavyweight championship.
Most recently Santos scored a first-round knockout of Andy Perez on February 24, 2017, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting again at Foxwood Resort Casino,” said Santos. “The fan support for my first fight there last November was fantastic.
“Niall Kennedy has more amateur experience than I, but I’ve had more fights as a professional. It’s a great crossroads fight and I can’t wait for September 15.”
Backed by longtime member of Boston’s famed Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, Kennedy, a native of Gorey, West Ireland, has become a fan favorite among the city’s Irish population, with knockout victories on the last two annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. Before turning pro in May 2015, Kennedy accumulated an impressive 130-20 amateur record. He is trained by the renowned Paschal Collins, brother of former world champion Steve Collins, out of Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin. In addition to his burgeoning boxing career, the 33-year-old has also worked as a police officer for the past 11 years.
In his last start, Kennedy finished off Barboza in the eighth round on March 18, 2017, to capture the Massachusetts heavyweight title, in Boston before a huge, festive crowd at the House of Blues.
Featured on the undercard on September 15 is junior lightweight contender SHELLY “SHELITO’S WAY” VINCENT (19-1, 1 KO), of nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Vincent will look to stay in the win column following an epic nationally televised battle with Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, which resulted in her first loss. The Ring Magazine called their grudge match the “Female Fight of the Year” for 2016. Vincent was also honored by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame as their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, becoming the first female recipient of the award.
In her last bout, Vincent won an eight-round decision over Marquita Lee on December 2, 2016, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This will be her seventh appearance at Foxwoods. Managed by Mike Criscio and trained by Peter Manfredo Sr., Vincent signed with DiBella Entertainment in 2016.
Just 19 years old, fast rising East Hartford welterweight prospect MYKQUAN WILLIAMS (7-0, 4 KOs) will look to stay undefeated as he makes his seventh start at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by Jackie Kallen, Williams returns to the ring following an impressive six-round decision over veteran Ariel Vasquez on June 3. Williams is trained out of Manchester Ring of Champions Society boxing gym by local legend and community leader Paul Cichon, whom he’s known since he was a child and looks upon as a surrogate father. His biological father was murdered when Mykquan was just a week old. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.
Heralded cruiserweight prospect JOE “MACK” WILLIAMS (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, fights for the first time at Foxwoods Resort Casino looking to capitalize on his quick start to 2017 with two dominant victories, most recently knocking out Felipe Romero in the third round on April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, the 29-year-old Williams began this year by making his national television debut on February 10, handing 15-0-1 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo his first defeat by way of eight-round decision, competing on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series. As an amateur, Williams was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, and a 2012 US Olympic team alternate. When he’s not boxing, Williams, a father of two daughters, works as an asbestos handler and is a union member with Local 78.
Rounding out the undercard, junior welterweight NICKY DEQUATTRO of Johnston, Rhode Island, will make his highly anticipated pro debut.
Additional information on the undercard will be announced shortly.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko to Face Tureano Johnson on August 25th
Powerful middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs) and Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) will square-off in a middleweight world title eliminator that headlines a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on August 25from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
“This is a very important fight for me,” said Derevyanchenko. “A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I’m training hard for this challenge and I know that Johnson will be prepared. I’m going to show that I’m ready for anybody in the middleweight division.”
“I fight to provide for my family, to bring pride to my country and because I know I have done the work necessary and am destined to become a world champion,” said Johnson. “I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way toward the championship, so I will defeat him.”
In an action packed co-main event, unbeaten Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) takes on once-beaten Hugo Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS telecast will be preceded by the live weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and all four episodes of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor on FS1.
“This is a great fight for me against a very good opponent,” said Aleem. “I want to build off my last performance and show even more dimensions to my game. Training camp is going well and I’m planning to execute my game plan on fight night. I’m trying to be a world champion and prove that I’m a force in this division.”
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I’ve been training hard since my last fight in December,” said Centeno. “I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this fight. I know a win of this quality will put me into another echelon in the division. It’s very motivating to be training at Wild Card Boxing with so many great champions as I prepare for this fight.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $25 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased by visiting BuffaloRun.com or by calling 918-542-7140.
“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds. The co-featured bout between middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno also figures to be a barnburner. This will be a terrific event.”
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently stopped previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in April. 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.
A 2008 Olympian for his native Bahamas, Johnson enters this bout the winner of his last six contests, including a fifth round stoppage of once-beaten Alex Theran and a 12-round decision over once-beaten Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. The 33-year-old turned pro in 2010 and won his first 2014 before suffering his first defeat in the final round against Curtis Stevens.
Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In January he defeated then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov in a memorable back and forth battle that saw Aleem emerge victorious with a sixth-round TKO win. Aleem had previously defeated once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda and fought to a majority draw with Demond Nicholson in 2016.
The 26-year-old Centeno bounced back from his first defeat with a stoppage of Ronald Montes after three rounds in December 2016. Centeno won his first 24 pro fights after amassing a 90-8 amateur record including a highlight reel knockout of James De La Rosa and a decision over then unbeaten Gerardo Ibarra. The fighter out of Oxnard, California will fight in Las Vegas for the first time since a no contest against Julian Williams in 2013 that was called because of an accidental head butt.
Mickey Bey to Face Anthony Peterson on August 22nd
Former lightweight world champion Mickey Bey (22-2-1, 10 KOs) will face once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes August 22 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as part of an exciting week of events presented by Mayweather Promotions and leading up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor showdown on Saturday.
“It’s been over a year since I was in the ring and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career as a fighter and as a man,” said Bey. “I realize what’s important now and how I can protect my legacy as a fighter. I’ve put in more work fir this fight than I have for any other and I’m ready to let my performance speak for me. I’m focusing on my mental toughness and my ring IQ and I’m looking to put on a perfect performance on August 22.”
“I’m just happy to be back in the ring and fighting again,” said Peterson. “I’ve known Mickey Bey for years and he’s a good friend of mine. But business is business and on August 22 I will be all business when I step into the ring.”
The August 22 show will feature a showdown between former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Phoenix’s Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in 10 rounds of bantamweight action.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $50 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.
“This is an incredible event to kick-off the biggest fight week in the history of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We are proud to announce that some of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects will be featured on their own FS1 and FOX Deportes card, giving the fans nonstop action and excitement for the whole week. We have a great lineup in store with Mickey Bey and Anthony Peterson in the main event, and former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking on Alexis Santiago in the co-feature. It is truly going to be an action filled night of boxing.”
Originally from Cleveland but fighting out of Las Vegas, Bey steps back into the ring after challenging unbeaten two-division champion Rances Barthelemy last June. Bey won his world title in 2014 with a decision victory over long reigning champion Miguel Vasquez. He vacated his title due to injuries but returned in December 2015 to defeat previously unbeaten Naim Nelson by decision and earn his most recent title fight. Bey’s previous victories include triumphs over Alan Herrera, Carlos Cardenas and Hector Velazquez.
The brother of current welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, Anthony enters this fight the winner of his last seven bouts, including a dominant decision over once-beaten Samuel Neequaye last April. The fighter out of Washington, D.C., was unbeaten in his first 30 pro fights before dropping a title eliminator to Brandon Rios in 2010. He returns to the ring looking to take out a former champion on his way to another shot at a title.
The two-time Dominican Olympian Payano began his path towards another world title with a stoppage of Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January, after first becoming a champion via a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. The accomplished amateur won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games with victories over McJoe Arroyo and Yoandris Salinas. He defeated Jundy Maraon, Jose Silveria and Luis Maldonado on the way to his title shot and engaged in a pair of exciting fights with Rau’shee Warren that saw him defend his title in August 2015 and lose in June 2016.
A pro since 2009, the 26-year-old Santiago had won ten consecutive bouts before dropping a decision to Jose Cayetano in his last contest. The Phoenix-native defeated Gustavo Molina, Javier Gallo and Antonio Tostado Garcia in 2015 and and has also taken down once-beaten fighters Alex Rangel and Hanzel Martinez. He will make his 2017 debut against one of his most experienced foes to date in Payano.
PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan
PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will return to the Fox network to broadcast a double header live from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island in Uniondale, New York.
Other bouts fighting on the undercard include boxers such as Artur Szpilka, Jamal James, Jo Jo Dan, Eliezer Aquino, and Brandon Figueroa.
Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
The following is a preview of the two main bouts on the card.
Marcus Browne (19-0) vs. Seanie Monaghan (28-0); Light Heavyweights
This is an intriguing fight between two undefeated New York Light Heavyweights, and it’s a great fight to open up the televised portion of the card from Long Island, New York.
Monaghan, who was born in Long Beach, and Browne, who was born in Staten Island are familiar with each other and bring a local flair to this event.
Monaghan is undefeated, but aging, and is currently thirty five years old. A win against Browne could catapult him to a future title fight, but a loss will likely end any hopes he has of becoming a world champ. Browne is twenty six and nine years younger than Monaghan. He also has about a two and a half inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage on Monaghan.
Monaghan has some success on the local amateur circuit and lost in the finals of the 2009 New York Golden Gloves. Marcus Browne experienced success on the national level and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was also the 2010 Amateur PAL Champion.
Monaghan fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015. Brown fought once in 2017 and once in 2016, and four times in 2015.
Monaghan is signed to Top Rank Promotions, but has yet to face and defeat a big name opponent. His biggest wins to date have come against Donovan George, Elvir Muriqi, and Anthony Caputo Smith.
Browne has been facing an increasing level of opposition as he’s advanced as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Radivoje Kalajddzic, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and George Blades.
Browne and Monaghan are about equal in power. Browne has stopped fourteen of his opponents while Monaghan has stopped seventeen.
There should be a large number of fans in attendance to watch this bout between two native New Yorkers, but Browne’s physical advantages, age advantage, and amateur pedigree indicates that he should walk away the victor on Saturday night.
Omar Figueroa (26-0-1) vs. Robert Guerrero (33-5-1); Welterweights
Robert Guerrero’s career has taking a sharp downturn since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’s 2-4 in his last six fights and seems far removed from sniffing another world title shot.
He’s facing Omar Figueroa, an undefeated boxer seven years his junior. But Figueroa has been relatively inactive, he hasn’t fought since 2015 and has experienced issues with his hands recently.
Guerrero will have about an inch and a half height advantage but Figueroa will have a two inch reach advantage. Both boxers have eighteen stoppages to their record.
Guerrero has the better amateur accomplishments; he won a gold medal in the National Junior Olympics. Figueroa competed briefly as an amateur but turned pro at a young age.
Guerrero has defeated some good opponents, and they include Yoshihiro Kamegai, Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin, Michael Katsidis, Joel Casamayor, and Jason Litzau. However, Guerrero has had a rough stretch recently and has lost to many of the top welterweights in the world. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and a loss he later avenged to Gamaliel Diaz.
Most concerning for Guerrero is the fact he lost his last bout to an Argentinean cab driver by the name of David Peralta and he escaped with a lucky decision over Aaron Martinez.
Figueroa has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division but holds victories over notable boxers such as Michael Perez, Abner Cotto, Nihito Arakawa, Jerry Belmontes, Ricky Burns, and Antonio DeMarco.
This is a bout between a boxer who’s career has been on a steady decline and a boxer with a bright future. Guerrero’s recent performances have been disappointing and it’s hard to imagine him turning his career around against a young hungry fighter at the age of thirty four.
If Figueroa’s hands aren’t injured he should be able to defeat Guerrero.
Wilder v Whyte: A First Assessment
Wilder v Whyte: A First Assessment
By: Ben Sutherland
In a recent interview with IFL, Eddie Hearn expressed his desire to get his man Dilian Whyte a shot at Deontay Wilder’s WBC title. The Londoner, who rose to prominence through his scrap with Joshua back in 2015, has been hovering below the world level for some time. Whyte’s clash with Dereck Chisora at the end of last year cemented him as a household name in the UK. His aggressive manner inside and outside of the ring have given him the role of the villain amongst the British public, something which he seems to be relishing.
His profile combined with Hearn’s backing means the fight can produce the type of revenue sufficient enough to entice a big name like Wilder over to the UK. If Wilder is trying to build toward a Joshua fight, Whyte is a great stepping stone, he’s objectively easier work and provides a nice potential pay day. Wilder publicly rejected Hearn’s first advances but, in a hypothetical world where the two men clashed, could Whyte actually win?
The 6ft 7 undefeated American is one of the toughest fights out there. He is aggressive, athletic, and above all else carries serious power, having stopped a staggering 37 of his 38 opponents before the final bell. His technical ability has at times, left a lot to be desired, often throwing wild and unwieldy punches more reminiscent of the UFC than a world class boxer. Up to this point, the quality of his opponents has been such that he has been able to get away with his technical holes. Through sheer power and athleticism he has blasted his opponents out of there. This is perhaps the biggest criticism one could make of Wilder thus far: his record lacks a credible name worthy of his world champion status.
Should he come up against a man with a good chin, who is experienced at the level and technically sound, there are questions which are currently unanswered.
Whyte is best known as the man who rocked Anthony Joshua. At the time, he took him far further than anyone else had. In what is a relatively rare occurrence in boxing, Whyte walked away from the defeat with a better reputation and profile than before. This reputation was bolstered when it was revealed that Whyte had been crippled by a shoulder injury in the build-up. This led to speculation that his power could improve following a surgery to repair his injury. However, since that fight he has struggled. He has four more wins on his record but they were far from impressive. First, he beat Iva Bacurin, a no name Croatian with 12 losses on his record. He then fought an out of shape Dave Allen who took him the distance. He then fought Ian Lewison, who was in even poorer condition. Lewison retired on his stool in the 11th but it was hardly an impressive win. Then he had a massive domestic showdown with fellow Londoner, Dereck Chisora. In a fight which captured the attention of the public through its fiery build up, Whyte won a controversial split decision. The power he showed against Joshua has subsequently been missing. One might theorize after the Klitscko fight that Joshua’s chin is more suspect than we think and perhaps Whyte’s power isn’t what we previously thought.
Meanwhile, Wilder has struggled to find quality opponents in years. Bermane Stiverne, the man from whom he won his WBC title, is probably the best name on his record. Malik Scott, Eric Molina, Arreola and most recently Washington are all decent heavyweights but far from elite fighters and as a result he remains untested at the highest level. One could postulate that this is because he is avoiding the big names as he doesn’t want to risk losing his belt before his big payday against Joshua. His recent social media posts rejecting the fight with Whyte provide us with possible evidence of this.
Wilder had a relatively brief amateur career in which he rose through the ranks quickly. He has a good number of professional fights but good pro fights don’t necessarily prepare you for elite pro fights. It isn’t especially surprising that Stiverne who has been his only remotely world class test to date, took him the distance. He is raw, he is erratic and there are holes in his game that a technical boxer with a good chin can find. However, he is exceptionally talented, athletic and powerful and there is nothing to indicate he can’t be a world beater, he just hasn’t got the record to confirm it.
Mike Tyson said of the Alabamian champ, “Let’s see what happens when he gets hit back”, Dilian Whyte would most certainly hit him back. Whyte is a sound technician, but he is more than happy to stand and trade. Having gone toe to toe with Joshua, he certainly won’t be intimidated by Wilder. He is smaller but he is a real handful. If Wilder truly thought he was light work then the contract with a $3 million purse attached would already be signed.
Wilder has been in trouble away from the ring having been arrested for domestic assault in 2013 and again recently, charged with possession of marijuana. Whyte, who has a track record of inciting incidents in build ups to fights could no doubt get under Wilder’s skin, potentially impacting his performance in the ring.
Based on what we know about the two men thus far, either is capable of winning this fight. If Whyte takes him to the trenches like he has done in his other big name fights, this has the potential to be a real barn burner. For my money, Wilder’s power wins out over Whyte’s in that set of circumstances. However, if Whyte fights off the jab and boxes in a technically proficient manner, his chin is good enough that he could take Wilder into unchartered territory.
On balance, Wilder is bigger and more explosive with a spotless track record and as a result he is the favorite. But, the man from south London isn’t going down without a fight and questions about Wilder’s experience level mean his victory is by no means guaranteed.
Promoter Lou DiBella Unloads On Modern Boxing
Promoter Lou DiBella Unloads On Modern Boxing
By: Sean Crose
WARNING: Blue language ahead.
Promoter Lou DiBella is a man who’s known to tell it like it is. And he certainly told it like he felt it was when he sat down to talk with Chris Mannix about the sweet science on Mannix’ boxing podcast. DiBella may have an Ivy League pedigree, but he’s a Brooklyn native through and through. He’s also a boxing man, which means he isn’t apt to pull punches (no pun intended). Like him or not, DiBella had some notable things to say about the modern state of boxing. “This sport,” he claimed, “if it’s going to grow and survive in the long run, it’s gonna be on broadcast tv. That’s self-evident fact.”
“We’ve constricted by our own hand,” he added, stating that the sports’ current situation “hasn’t been done to us by UFC or MMA, or anyone else, we’ve done this by our own hand.” As far as DiBella is concerned, “we haven’t taken our sport into the 21st century.” DiBella made it known he felt that it was time for those in the boxing world to understand the reality of the world the sport now finds itself in. “There’s not a full time boxing writer writing for print media in the United States of America right now,” he stated. “Not one.”
DiBella then went on to argue that the problem could be found within the sport itself. “Whose fault is it?” he asked rhetorically. “Fucking industry that’s killed itself. Shitty fucking decisions, bad judges, corruption, promoters that haven’t given a fuck…” Not that DiBella was above contradicting himself. After stating fighters need to go to the point “where they’re fighting regularly for available money,” he appeared to defend fighters who have refused to face Gennady Golovkin (come to think of it, I don’t remember DiBella chomping at the bit to have his friend Sergio Martinez face Golovkin, either).
Still, the veteran promoter had what appeared to be some excellent points to make. By declaring that recent “free” televised fights have brought in bigger numbers than NBA and NHL events respectfully, DiBella indicated that there is an audience for boxing, one advertiser’s may even be interested in. “Put those fights on where they’re going to generate the most eyeballs,” he suggested. DiBella then went on to indicate the real reason boxing isn’t on HBO like it used to be. And no, it doesn’t have to do with some upcoming merger fans are being told about. “Boxing used to be much see programing on HBO,” he said. Now, though, DiBella feels the network doesn’t appear to think the fight game is worth much of an investment. “They don’t think they need to spend their money that way,” he argued.
Truth be told, I suspect he’s right.
Boxing Insider Interview with Heather “The Heat” Hardy: I Want a Legitimate World Title
Heather “The Heat” Hardy Interview: “I want a legitimate world title, I want to fight a legitimate world champion”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Heather Hardy is an undefeated Super Bantamweight that is a fixture in the New York boxing scene. She is signed under Lou Dibella promotions and can regularly be seen on the undercards of many major fights that take place in her native Brooklyn, at the Barclays center. In the last year alone, Hardy has fought on the undercards of Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan, Chris Algieri, Paul Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, Peter Quillin and Errol Spence. Hardy is the face of female boxing in New York and looks to expand her brand, if given the chance, to a wider audience. We were able to catch up with Ms. Hardy earlier this week and ask her some questions about her Past, Present and Future in the sport.
Boxing Insider: So how did you get into boxing?
Heather Hardy: I was in the middle of a lot of stuff. I was going through a divorce, and working a lot of jobs. They opened this little karate school in my neighborhood and my sister, kind of, made me go so that I could be social and have some kind of a life after I’d get home from work. After a couple weeks I had my first fight and haven’t been out of the ring since then.
Boxing Insider: You are a mainstay in the New York boxing scene. Do you want to branch out and become one of the faces of the sports? How do you get your fights televised to do so?
Heather Hardy: It’s really tough. I kind of gotten to a stage in my career, where I just keep growing and growing and it’s really just like a glass ceiling. There is nothing for me to aim for. If I was a guy that was 16-0, fighting at the Barclays center, doing all these big shows, the natural progression would be for me to be tested on television. The problem is that these networks won’t televise female fighters. They don’t even want to take a chance on a woman’s fight. It makes my growth limited and that is what I’m fighting for, lobbying the networks to give the girls a chance. The big argument with the networks is that “nobody wants to see women fight”, but the truth of the matter is I have a very small reach, I’m just one person, but I sell $30,000 worth of tickets for my shows. I prove that I can get people to come and watch me fight, so give me a bigger stage.
Boxing Insider: What are your thoughts on the double standards between Men & Women boxers; Questions pertaining to your looks or your dating life, when male boxers in the same position as you are absolutely never asked about these things?
Heather Hardy: That’s a great thing to bring that up. I was asked the question (about her dating life) and I was shocked that the interviewer asked me that. The old saying to women is “how do you balance your career and your family”, and nobody ever asks a man that. I hate to say that it is unprofessional by the interviewer, because they just ask what they think the mainstream wants to hear or see. I was surprised and sad that it became a topic of the conversation. I think they are trying to show society the soft side of the woman, that we are tough in the ring but we’re also ladies in public.
Boxing Insider: Do you pay attention to the US Women Olympic team and do you feel they will have a big impact on the sport once they become professional?
Heather Hardy: I do! There is a huge pool of talent that is being unnoticed in the female boxing scene. Not even just the girls in the Olympics, but Golden Gloves champions. I even have my eye on a couple that are coming up that I may have to train for. I hope to open a few doors, so that when these extremely talented women decide to come up in the pro ranks, they will have some more opportunities available for them.
Boxing Insider: How long until you get a World Title fight?
Heather Hardy: I don’t know. It’s a fun question, because there are so many sanctioning bodies for female world titles. I kind of said at the beginning that I don’t want to fight for a world title just to fight for a world title. I want a legitimate world title, I want to fight a legitimate world champion. I’m not really the type of fighter to call someone out, but I have a hit list of about five girls in my head that I have to go through before I can be a world champion.
Boxing Insider: What type of imprint does Heather Hardy want to leave on the sport, especially for young girls and women, when she’s all done and hangs em up?
Heather Hardy: When I first started boxing, someone told me in the amateurs, I had been fighting for 18 months. I had won eight titles, nationals, regionals, ranked #1 in national golden gloves, getting ready to turn pro in my career. I had finally found something that I was good at and one of the Pros said “Heather, don’t even bother, this is the limit for you”. It was the second time in my life that I felt why do I have to be good at something that has no future for me. When I was a kid I always dreamed of being a New York Yankee, but girls can’t play for them. If I can leave any mark on the sport, I want it to be that I was the one that made a change, that made it so girls can be on the same level as boys. Because in the end their isn’t boys and girls boxing, it’s just boxing.