Boxing Insider Interview with Nonito Donaire: A Champ Once Again
By: Michael Kane
Four weight world champion, Nonito Donaire, added yet another world title on Saturday.
Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs) faced WBA Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett (19-1, 9 KOs) in the quarter final of World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow, Scotland.
Photo Credit: Nonito Donaire’s Twitter Account
The fight had been shaping up nicely, Donaire starting to throw and land some big shots and Burnett looking slick. Burnett then suffered an injury in the 4th round, with talk of a slipped disc, meaning he couldn’t continue into the 5th.
A bit of an anti climax after the action in the first few rounds. However a wins a win and Donaire shoved any talk of struggling to make bantamweight for the first time in 7 years down any naysayers throat. He, in fact, looked fresh at the weigh in, relaxed, joking and dancing for the crowd.
Donaire will now face South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs), the WBO Bantamweight champion, in the semi final in what could be a great fight.
Boxing Insider caught up with the champion to discuss his win, Tete, and Scotland.
Donaire was happy to not only win the WBA title but also the WBC Diamond title. I asked if he wished that the WBSS tournament had been created earlier.
“Yes I am happy that I got both the WBA and WBC diamond belt but most of all I advanced in the tournament,” he said.
“This is a very fun tournament and it’s very exciting to participate in. Yes I wish it was created earlier because boxing needs this, so there is only one champion.”
Has Donaire watched much of Zolani Tete, previously?
“I haven’t seen much of Tete yet but I’m excited to face him and know I’ll be the best shape possible to take his title.”
As yet, the date and venue for the semi final has yet to be decided, although there has been talk of Manilla or Las Vegas, Donaire’s homeland and where he resides now. However Donaire doesn’t care where or when it happens.
“Anywhere! Just inside that ring.” He said.
Looking back over his career, I asked Donaire what would be his biggest win, he stated, “My biggest win is (Vic) Darchinyan because it started everything!”
The Scottish public have certainly enjoyed having Nonito Donaire and his family spend time in Glasgow and with Donaire showing his respect in helping Burnett after the fight, to being approachable and friendly to the general public he would be welcome back to my home town any time.
It seems Donaire enjoyed his time in Glasgow too.
“Glasgow was real great. We met a lot of friends who took care of us as well. I must say that the staff at Jurys Inn, particularly Laura, Chip, and Rumy really became part of our family since we were there for about 2 weeks. No one was a bad sport and people were friendly. It’s just cold, haha!”
“It also has so much history and culture which we made sure the boys witnessed.”
WBSS on DAZN Report: Taylor Stops Martin In 7; Burnett Succumbs To Injury
By: Ste Rowen
In a very strange turn of events in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena, tonight’s favourite, Josh Taylor progressed to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series whilst, bantamweight #1 seed Ryan Burnett fell foul of what appeared to be a back injury, forcing him out of his quarter-final with Nonito Donaire mid-fight and ultimately, out of the WBSS as a whole.
Tonight’s results mean Josh Taylor, now 14-0 (12KOS), continues on to face IBF world champion, Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, whilst surprisingly, veteran Nonito Donaire progresses on to next face, Zolani Tete for both, a place in the Super Series final, and to unify the WBO and WBA bantamweight divisions.
The lights, the crowd, the action? Yes.
The noise was deafening as the first bell rang. Taylor sprung first, and every attack made the crowd jack-a-box out of their seats, even if it was just a cleanly landed jab. With Taylor though so far, there feels an inevitability.
Not in the – no matter what he does, he’ll get the cards in his favour – more the belief that, if he looks like he’s struggling, he’ll find his way out.
When people doubted him against Ohara Davies, he evaded Davies’ obvious hooks and punished him on the counter; when he switch-hit tonight, and swept to orthodox, Taylor dominated yet again. Into round 5, even the Abel Sanchez trained, Ryan Martin was no match for the ‘Tartan Tornado’.
There’s no other way to call the sixth, Taylor schooled the American all around the ring, it was left to the seventh to see if he could finish him off. Despite Martin looking bright early on, the ‘Tartan Tornado’ landed a perfect left hook that dropped Martin. Curiously, the American held the right side of his head as he went down. ‘Blue Chip’ clearly wanted no more of the Scot.
The referee waved off the bout as Martin remained indecisive over whether he wanted to carry on or not. The result means Josh Taylor moves on into the semi-finals to face IBF champion, Ivan ‘The Beast’ Baranchyk’. Taylor scored the decisive 7th round stoppage and post-fight he made no mistake in saying how easy he felt it was,
‘‘I knew I was gonna win the fight. I was expecting a hard 12 rounds…credit to Ryan Martin for putting up a good fight but, in all honesty, I never got out of second gear. I was relaxed, I was flowing, and the fight was easy for me.’’
‘‘I thought it would be a little bit tougher…I proved I’m ready for this next fight against Baranchyk. I’ll do the same again.’’
And thinking ahead to his semi-final against Baranchyk,
‘‘I think it’s gonna be an electric fight…He looks very strong, very explosive but, again I’m not gonna let him get close to me so he can lay off those big shots…Like tonight, he couldn’t get a shot off against me; my timing, my speed, my distance control. Everything was just so on song’’
‘‘Nobody in this division is gonna beat me.’’
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final Super Series bantamweight quarter-final was upon as WBA ‘Super’ champion Ryan Burnett matched up with Nonito ‘Filipino Flash’ Donaire for a place in the semi-finals to face WBO titlist, Zolani Tete.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
A legend, Donaire, was in the ring, and perhaps a future one entered there with him. Burnett was clearly a crowd favourite, even if the Hydro crowd sounded off their appreciation of the status the ‘Filipino Flash’ held.
The Irishman in white and black shorts forced himself onto the front-foot early doors, but neither fighter was able to establish himself early in the bout. Bearded Burnett, now 19-1 (9KOs), was willing to go toe-to-toe with the famously left-hook-happy Donaire. Clearly, the difficulties his fellow Belfast man, Carl Frampton had to come through didn’t faze Ryan. He was his own man, and without saying it aloud, he clearly disliked being labelled weak-fisted.
As round 3 ended, the Belfast man had both put his mark on his opponent and taken a fair few powerful shots himself.
Towards the end of the 4th, Ryan threw a right hand, took a knee and appeared to hold the right side of his back. He survived the round, but it signalled the end of the fight. Burnett had sustained a back injury, that meant the future hall of famer that is Nonito Donaire, now 39-5 (25KO), would progress to the semi-final stage to face Zolani Tete. A scary thought.
A perhaps much scarier thought is that Ryan Burnett, who has been plagued with a variety of issues throughout his career, will now struggle to return from what appears to be a back issue.
Either way, post-fight, Donaire made a point of acknowledging his opponent,
‘‘Ryan was a tough guy, but we felt very comfortable coming in there. Just see the adjustments that I was coming in and I think that it showed what I’m capable of in this weight class.’’
‘‘I’m grateful that I was able to test the weight…Now I’m a lot lighter, you’ll see the Filipino Flash more often.’’
‘‘It didn’t come out the way we wanted it to, but a victory is a victory and we’re so grateful for this opportunity.’’
On the undercard…
Zach Parker vs. Darryll Williams
Zach Parker, somewhat controversially, became the new super-middleweight Lonsdale belt champion with a split decision over fan favourite, Darryll Williams.
Williams was slick in his movement early doors and opted to smother Parker out of any chance he had of making a mark. Zach was audibly the crowd favourite. By round 3, the fight was well & truly on. Both fighters had tagged each other early & anticipation was high heading into the middle rounds.
Both Brits by now were looking for an in. Williams had put his mark on Parker again in the 4th but the southpaw in Parker regained composure as the fight headed into round 6.
The fight, though entertaining through to the 10th, was missing something. As if both boxers had another level to end the bout but weren’t willing to give away their party piece.
It was as ugly as it was entertaining & in the final round Parker, the favourite, evaded attack as if he knew he had the victory already.
The opening bout for viewers may have lacked a KO but it never lacked sustained action.
The scorecards after 12 rounds came back as, 117-112 Parker, 115-113 Williams, 115-114 Parker, crowning Zach Parker as the NEW British super-middleweight champion. The Glasgow crowd disagreed.
Paul Butler vs, Yoan Boyeaux
To the uninitiated, Yoan Boyeaux has an impressive record of 41-5, but delve deeper and you’ll see that the Frenchman’s only accomplished opponent until tonight is WBSS bantamweight favourite, Naoya Inoue; an opponent he was stopped by in 3 rounds.
So, it was down to the former IBF ‘Baby-Face’ champion to get rid of his opponent early. However, that wasn’t to be. The Liverpudlian, in the early rounds was economical with his punches but when he fired, he made it count and made an impression. Boyeaux had his moments, but perhaps that’s being generous. Butler, in white & glittering gold shorts fought his way to a 99-91 victory.
Viktor Postol vs. Siar Ozgul
WBSS injury-reserve for the super-lightweights, Victor Postol stalked and dominated his Turkish opponent all night and after the scheduled 10 rounds was up it seemed Viktor had, had a little too much fun. He was on early and the Glasgow crowd wanted a knockout, but Postol, like in his bout with tonight’s main event fighter, Josh Taylor, did not comply and the fight went the distance. The judge’s scorecard returned as 99-91 for the Ukrainian.
WBSS on DAZN Preview: Taylor vs. Martin; Burnett vs. Donaire
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night two of Britain’s best take to the ring for the World Boxing Super Series as 140lb number two, seed Josh Taylor of Scotland, fights undefeated American, Ryan Martin; while WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett of Belfast, steps in with future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. Watch the fight on DAZN.
Whether watching at home or inside the arena you’re sure to remember at least one thing from Josh Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series quarter-final vs. Ryan Martin, and that’s noise. When the ‘Tartan Tornado’ appears to the crowd for the first time on Saturday, the Scottish crowd will erupt. Covering Martin, in a cacophony of sound he’s never felt before as a boxer.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Taylor’s professional-breakout fight was in his five-round dismantling of super-lightweight gatekeeper, Dave Ryan at Meadowbank Sports Arena, in 2016 and since then, five out of Taylor’s six fights have taken place either in Glasgow or his home city of Edinburgh. The fan-base has grown and with it, the anticipation of what the Scottish fans will bring.
Saturday nights venue, SSE Hydro was the base for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, where Taylor won gold, so it stands to reason that he’ll be forever linked with the venue,
‘‘The Hydro is now my home. Every time I fight there I’m getting stronger and stronger and the fans are getting bigger and noisier.’’
The ‘Tartan Tornado’s’ last two fight have taken place at the SSE. Five months ago, the Scottish southpaw went head to head with former world champion, Viktor Postol in his most important professional fight to date.
His performance matched the event, as Taylor, now 13-0 (11KOs) battled through 12 exhausting rounds, dropping the Ukrainian in the 11th, to add another notch to his record and emerge as arguably, the biggest threat outside of the current 140lb world champions,
‘‘My style is based on hand speed and timing. I can punch hard as well…I know if I’m hitting you, I’m putting you down or hurting you. I don’t think there’s anybody that boxes the way I box.’’
‘‘I’ve seen every type of style, every type of fighting you can imagine… My ambition is to move forward, win this tournament and become world champion.’’
Before entering the WBSS, Taylor was making his way through the WBC rankings to eventually face one of the organisation’s belt holders, Jose Ramirez or already confirmed semi-finalist, Regis Prograis. If he wins on Saturday though, he’ll instead face the recently crowned IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk for that title and a place in the final to fight either Kiryl Relikh or Prograis.
Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin has fluctuated between lightweight and super-lightweight throughout his pro career. Currently 22-0 (12KOs) and training out of Big Bear under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Martin has won minor lightweight titles as an amateur and as a professional.
Towards the end of last year, he picked up the 135lb WBA Inter-Continental strap with a split decision victory over Francisco Rojo; as well as already being the owner of the WBC ‘Americas’ lightweight belt. However, his two fights this year came at the weight class above including a shut-out points victory over Briedis Prescott in May.
Though 22 bouts in, his professional record has been steady in its progress; Martin’s not the type of man who takes any opponent lightly,
‘‘I know Josh Taylor’s a very good boxer, I’m the most athletic, I have the most speed and that’s gonna make the most difference throughout the tournament.’’
‘‘I’ve heard the crowd in Scotland is gonna be a very different atmosphere than I’ve ever been in but I’m gonna soak it all in.’’
Although ‘Blue Chip’ won’t have fought in an atmosphere as raucous as Saturday’s is expected to be, he’s no stranger to performing on the big stage having already performed at venues such as, the StubHub Center in LA, Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena and, probably the most famous boxing venue of all, Madison Square Garden,
‘‘I’m a boxer-puncher. I love to entertain, I love to excite people…Nobody wants to see a boring fighter.’’
‘‘As fighter’s every time we step in the ring we’re risking something so why not risk it on the big stage.
As mentioned earlier, the man to emerge victorious this weekend will go on to face Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-finals, who last week scored a 7th round stoppage victory over Anthony Yigit.
Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
The fourth and final bantamweight quarter-final sees WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett step into the ring with ‘The Filipino Flash’, Nonito Donaire. The winner will progress to the semis to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
No one can say the 26-year-old Ryan Burnett hasn’t earned his place at the top table of 118lb boxers. The Belfast man has, on numerous occasions, been given reasons to quit boxing, his story, which he outlines in another brilliantly put together Super Series documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu4AaO7UGlc isn’t your regular hard knocks tale.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
He’s overcome neurological issues that he was told were career-ending and been homeless; all before even catching his break in the sport.
‘‘I’ve got a hunger that I know no one in there has.’’
‘‘For a year and a half, we learnt how the brain worked and we started pursuing it to prove that my health wasn’t in any danger…I just always had that mad belief that I am meant to be a world champion.’’
Since around 2014, Burnett has been trained by Adam Booth and since then, established a record of 19-0 (9KOs) which, most significantly, includes becoming a world champion in 2017, for the first time via a completely dominant decision victory over Lee Haskins, and then immediately unifying the WBA and IBF championships with a tough but unanimous points win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Before the WBSS second season fighters was announced, Burnett decided to drop the IBF strap, therefore avoiding a fight with WBSS semi-finalist, and now IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez. Instead, Ryan’s one bout so far in 2018 was a fairly routine victory over Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker.
Like all of the top seeds across the Super Series, Burnett recognises the pressure on his shoulders, especially when he’s going up against the power that his Filipino foe is known for,
‘‘I don’t need to be nasty to people, I’m able to switch it like a light switch and I turn into a different person…I picked Nonito because, the better the fighter, the better I become.’’
‘‘We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world and the World Boxing Super Series are making that come true.’’
Currently 38-5 (24KOs), Nonito Donaire’s, last fight was also his latest defeat as ‘The Filipino Flash’ was beaten by Burnett’s fellow Northern Irishman, Carl Frampton.
Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, the four-weight world champion was asked about any similarities between the two men,
‘‘They (Frampton & Burnett) are similar because they’ve both got big balls. They’re there to fight and that’s something that I like… I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.’’
Nonito hasn’t fought at bantamweight since 2011 when he scored a unanimous decision over, a then 35-0-2, Omar Narvaez. That night in New York he became a two-weight world champion, picking up the WBC & WBO straps as well as improving his own record to 27-1.
He then shifted his sights to super-bantam and eventually the featherweight division where he accomplished world honours in both, but by his own admission, he didn’t feel all together comfortable fighting at the 126lb limit, and the tournament has given him the opportunity to add one more achievement to his already impressive accolades.
‘‘I’ve always come to fight the best out there…I’ve achieved pretty much everything in boxing…The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become the undisputed champion, and that’s the one thing that’s given me this fire.’’
It’s beneficial for both sides as well though as Donaire’s legendary status adds an extra bit of flavour to an already appetising class of fighters that has been whittled down to Naoya Inoue, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete.
‘‘This is a moment for me to rise. When one is driven to a point, there’s only one way to go and that’s going up and that’s rising beyond what I’m capable of.’’
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Frampton Earns Title Shot with Victory Over Donaire
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
A world title shot beckons for Carl Frampton, who secured the WBO Interim Featherweight title with a dominant victory over Nonitio Donaire in Belfast last night.
Frampton, 31, fought an aggressive but intelligent fight, picking his punches carefully, landing them with precision and using his speed and movement to evade the Filipino’s legendary knockout power.
Donaire patiently stalked Frampton throughout the fight, searching for a big, fight-ending blow that never came. He struggled to get near the Irishman and on the few occasions that he did, he generally came off second best.
Frampton significantly damaged Donaire’s eye in the second round after he trapped him on the ropes and let fly with blistering combinations.
Things only got worse for the former four weight world champion as Frampton put it on him round after round in a near shutout performance.
The first six rounds were largely one way traffic with Frampton using his jab and different angles to create openings for big right hooks.
It was an extremely disciplined performance from the former two weight world champion as he landed a number of power shots, but didn’t overcommit or allow himself to get drawn into a brawl.
Although Donaire was outclassed, he was never completely out of the fight, landing some big shots off the ropes in the fifth round that reminded us that he has the ability to finish a fight from anywhere.
Nonetheless, Frampton patiently picked him apart, circling out of the Filipino’s range whenever he landed a big shot.
His clinical performance highlighted that he is still one of the best featherweights in the world.
“The Jackal” barely lost a round to the admittedly aging future hall of famer, who often looked slow, flat-footed and out of ideas.
The Irishman’s speed, skill and IQ seemed to bamboozle him at times. However, Donaire remained dangerous from start to finish due to the knockout power he possesses in both hands.
He landed a trademark uppercut in the seventh round, which briefly staggered the Irishman, but he was unable to land the follow-up shot needed to put him away.
Frampton was under the pump again in the eleventh round, eating some vicious hooks and uppercuts, but never looked in danger of being stopped.
In the end, these were minor blips in an impressive performance and the Belfast man now has his eye on another world title.
Frampton would love the chance to avenge his only professional loss in a trilogy fight with WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, but the Mexican doesn’t appear to be keen on a rematch just yet.
A unification bout with WBO Champion Oscar Valdez or a big money fight with the winner of Lee Selby vs Josh Warrington seems more likely.
Either way, the Irishman is back in the big time and has silenced critics who called for his retirement after his defeat to Santa Cruz nearly two years ago.
Donaire’s next step is less clear, but this was probably his last chance to launch himself into title contention.
One thing’s for sure though, his place in boxing’s hall of fame is already secure.
Frampton Targeting World Title, Criticizes Scott Quigg
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Former two weight world champion Carl Frampton wants a Featherweight world title fight next if he beats Filipino boxing legend Nonito Donaire on the 21st of April.
The winner of Frampton-Donaire will become the WBO Interim Featherweight Champion after Oscar Valdez suffered a broken jaw a month ago.
However, Frampton says that while the belt might look nice on his mantelpiece, he will not be satisfied with an interim title.
In an interview with Behind the Gloves, the Northern Irishman said “Fighters in the past have called themselves a world champion after winning an interim title but I know what this is, I’m not going to call myself a world champion if I win,” he says.
“I won’t feel like a world champion until I beat Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz, Lee Selby or Gary Russell jr,” Frampton says.
He says the Donaire fight is a step in the right direction as “it’s pretty much a title eliminator with a belt on the line.”
“This has just given me the option of fighting a big name and people have talked about the winner of Selby vs Warrington and obviously with me being linked to the same team, that fight can happen,” according to Frampton.
There are many names on Frampton’s radar, but he says a fight with Valdez for the undisputed WBO title is a very attractive option.
“If Valdez recovers from the jaw injury he got against Quigg I think that fight is probably a bit more appealing to me than the winner of the Selby-Warrington fight,” he says.
Frampton has a lot of respect for the Mexican champion and says “I think he’s a very good fighter, he’s ferocious in how he fights and I like his style. I can see that he’s very attractive to the casual boxing fans because of how he fights.”
“I think it just captures the boxing public much more in a worldwide sense, it’s a much bigger fight than me versus Selby or Warrington,” says Frampton.
However, his first preference would be a trilogy fight with WBA Champion Leo Santa Cruz to avenge his only professional loss.
“I know one fight that I definitely want and that’s Leo Santa Cruz because I think that makes sense. It’s a huge fight and it’s one each between us, it settles the score and trilogies are always a big thing in boxing,” he says.
“So he’s the guy that I want more than anyone. But I think a Valdez fight is very, very appealing. After that, probably Selby,” Frampton says.
The Belfast man also criticised long-time rival Scott Quigg for missing weight by a significant margin when he fought Valdez last month.
“I believe he missed the weight purposely and then he didn’t do the second day weigh-in, which is just sticking the finger up to the people involved. He missed the weight by so much that he should have at least done a second day weigh-in,” Frampton says.
“When you look at the tactics in the fight, he was just trying to wear Valdez down from the start. So I think that was planned. I think he missed the weight purposely and I think he didn’t do the second day weigh-in because he wanted to overwhelm Valdez and use his size and strength,” he says.
“But Valdez stuck to a game plan. Quigg had good spells in parts of the fight and you have to give him credit for the injury he had himself. But I think Valdez won the fight comfortably,” according to Frampton.
Clearly, there is still no love lost between them.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Donaire, Frampton, Ali, Ortiz, Alexander, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 2nd to January 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Frampton and Donaire to Clash in Belfast on April 21st
Carl Frampton believes his clash against Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 will be one of the biggest fights to ever take place in Belfast and a make-or-break bout for both men.
MTK Global-backed two-weight world champion Frampton (24-1, 14KO) is set to take on Filipino four-weight world champion Donaire (38-4, 24KO) in a featherweight showdown at Belfast’s SSE Odyssey Arena.
Both former Fighters of the Year, the pair will meet in a blockbuster bout, live on BT Sport and BoxNation in the UK and Ireland on a Frank Warren-promoted bill.
Tickets ranging from £40 (tier) to £400 (inner-ring hospitality) will go on general sale this Thursday (January 11th) at 10am.
And MTK Global’s Frampton is looking forward to meeting elite opposition on home soil in his first bout of 2018.
“It’s a brilliant fight – a four-weight world champion against a two-weight world champion,” said Frampton. “Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before? I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown.
“But I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a world title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys.”
With a much-anticipated summer fight date at Belfast’s Windsor Park in the works for ‘The Jackal’, 30-year-old Frampton believes a win over the 42-fight Filipino veteran would be perfect preparation ahead of a world-title tilt.
The Irishman is coming off the back of a 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last month in what was Frampton’s first outing since the loss of his WBA world featherweight crown to Leo Santa Cruz.
And ‘The Jackal’ is confident that victory over Donaire will tee up a bout against the winner of the forthcoming IBF title clash between 126lb rivals Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.
“In terms of the size of a fight, it’s not for a world title but the winner of this fight will no doubt get a world-title shot,” said Frampton.
“On the world stage, I think this is a bigger fight than Lee Selby against Josh Warrington, which is a world-title fight, so it’s huge,” continued the Belfast native, whose reign as unified WBA & IBF world super-bantamweight champion in 2016 coincided with Donaire’s second spell as the WBO 122lb title holder before both men later claimed world featherweight belts.
“He’s been at the top of four divisions, but he was in the same weight division as me for quite a while and he’s someone I’ve always kept an eye on,” said Frampton. “He’s someone I admire as well and I think he’s a great fighter, but I think this is the perfect fight to get me ready for a world-title fight in the summer.”
While Donaire has suffered three defeats since being named 2012 Fighter of the Year by The Ring, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America –the same honours Frampton picked up for 2016 – the 35-year-old ‘Filipino Flash’ is eager to prove that he is still an elite force at 126lbs.
“This is exactly the type of fight I live for — going in against one of the best in the world in the lion’s den of his hometown of Belfast,” said Donaire. “I can’t wait for the first bell! I know I’ll have to be the best I can be on fight night. Make no mistake, I’m already training like never before.”
MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan believes the fight will be an ideal warm-up for Frampton ahead of a summer world-title date.
“Donaire is a great fighter and this will be a real test for Carl, but it’s one that MTK are confident he’ll pass and that he’ll do so in style. Fair play to Carl, he didn’t want a handy fight ahead of another world-title shot and we were keen to deliver that,” said Conlan.
“It’s going to be another huge night for Belfast and Irish boxing and we’ll have some of MTK’s best talent on the bill.”
Details of a press conference will be announced in the coming days.
Kamegai to Face Daquan Pauldo on Matthysse and Linares Card
Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) will return after his impressive first shot at a world title to take on Orlando, Florida’s Daquan “King” Pauldo (16-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight fight that will top off the non-televised undercard of Matthysse vs. Kiram and Linares vs. Gesta on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The non-televised undercard action will be streamed live on RingTV.com beginning at 3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m. ET.
As previously announced, Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) of Chubut, Argentina will take on the explosive undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Championship in the first co-main event. Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) will defend his WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine Lightweight Titles against Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) in a 12-round bout in the second co-main event. This special double main event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Kamegai will return after his impressive outing against former six-time, four-division world champion Miguel Cotto, which was for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in an HBO-televised main event in August 2017 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Before that fight, Kamegai took part in two consecutive Fight of the Year candidates against Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass in June and Sept. of 2016. Kamegai will look to earn another shot at a 154-pound title if successful against Pauldo.
Pauldo, a 25-year-old super welterweight contender who was formerly known as Daquan Arnett, has only suffered one loss in his impressive career, which was when he dropped down to 147 pounds to take on tough Golden Boy Promotions contender Eddie “Eboy” Gomez. After returning to 154 pounds, Pauldo has defeated five people in a row, including the experienced Jorge “Pantera” Silva in his last bout in July 2017. A win against Kamegai would give Pauldo a much-earned boost in the super welterweight rankings.
Marcelino “Nino” Lopez (33-21, 18 KOs) the native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and member of the exclusive training camp of Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif., will return in a 10-round super lightweight fight against an opponent that will be announce shortly. Lopez will return after defeating former interim WBA Super Lightweight Champion Pablo “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano via second-round technical knockout.
After seven spectacular wins in 2017, Armenian welterweight prospect Ferdinand Kerobyan (7-0, 4 KOs) will start the new year in a six-round welterweight fight against an opponent that will be announced soon. In his last fight, Kerobyan defeated Tavorus Teague in the ESPN3-streamed undercard of the Dec. 14 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
In an exciting and rarely-seen battle between two undefeated prospects, Los Angeles native Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (7-0, 1 KO) will participate in an eight-round 126-pound clash against Las Vegas’ Francisco “El Alacran” Esparza (6-0-1, 2 KOs). Both fighters are known for their come-forward, all-action styles, and with so much on the line, the bout will surely produce fireworks.
Romero “Ruthless” Duno (15-1, 13 KOs) will fight for a second consecutive time at the “Fabulous” Forum in an eight-round lightweight battle against Sacramento, Calif.’s Yardley Armenta (21-9, 12 KOs). The Filipino prospect made his U.S. debut and introduced himself in exciting fashion via a devastating second-round knockout victory against the previously undefeated prospect Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez. Since then, Duno has scored two more victories, which were against Jason Tinampay and Juan Pablo Sanchez respectively.
Undefeated prospect Javier Martinez (4-0, 3 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will kick off highly-anticipated night of action in a six-round featherweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
HDNet Movies Pays Tribute to Muhammad Ali on his Birthday on Wednesday January 17th
Step into the ring with HDNET MOVIES, as the network celebrates the life and legacy of boxing superstar Muhammad Ali on what would have been his 76TH Birthday with a “Remembering Ali” double feature—a night of documentaries and biopics starring the legend himself on Wednesday, Jan. 17, beginning at 7:15pE.
The night kicks off with the star-studded 1977 biopic THE GREATEST, starring Ali as himself in his big screen debut. The film is based on his acclaimed autobiography of the same name, and recreates some of the most important moments of his life and career including his gold medal Olympic victory at 18 years old; his legendary match with Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla In Manila”; his conversion to Islam; and his three-and-a-half-year legal battle to win back the heavyweight title that was stripped from him when he refused to enter the army due to his religious beliefs. James Earl Jones, Robert Duvall, and Ben Johnson also star.
Then, stay tuned for the classic 1970 documentary A.K.A. CASSIUS CLAY at 9pE, which provides an intimate glimpse into the boxing icon’s career with rare archived footage featuring Ali associates such as Malcolm X, Angelo Dundee, and more, as well as clips from some of his most famous fights including an epic bout with Sonny Liston. The piece is headlined by a very special sit-down with Ali and his longtime trainer Cus D’Amato, who discuss Ali’s career and share a priceless back-and-forth that true Ali aficionados won’t want to miss.
For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.hdnetmovies.com/schedules.
Victor Ortiz vs. Devon Alexander Set for February 17th
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander “The Great” headline a show topped by two USA vs. Mexico battles as the former welterweight champions meet in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 17 from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with televised coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
In the co-main event unbeaten contender Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant will battle Rogelio “Porky” Medina in a 12-round 168-pound world title eliminator.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40, $25 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Also on the card, Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) takes on Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown and Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
“This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Alexander has overcome some serious health issues and is looking to regain the welterweight championship. Ortiz, also a former champion, has always come to fight and doesn’t back down from anyone. It promises to be an entertaining match for the fans in attendance at Don Haskins Center and those who tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes.”
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, has split time between boxing and acting throughout his recent career and brings a certain flare every time he steps into the ring. The 30-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, 2011. Five months later he lost the title to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by knockout. Ortiz, 30, suffered a knockout loss to Andre Berto in 2016 on FOX and bounced back with a knockout victory over Saul Corral in his last fight on July 30 on FS1.
“I’m ready to give all I have to defeat Devon Alexander and get my crown back,” said Ortiz. “My priority is to make a strong comeback and putting myself in a position to have my straps once again. I demonstrated what I was made of and did what I said I was going to do in my last fight. I’m facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I’ve known since we were kids. I don’t hate him, but I will not be his friend on fight night and he won’t be mine. I’m ready to prove everyone wrong starting on Feb. 17.”
Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) emerged on the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey for the welterweight title in 2012. He defended the title once before losing it to Shawn Porter in 2013. Since then, the 30-year-old Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri has been on a mission to regain the title. After losing to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez, Alexander suffered another setback when he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Fully healthy for the first time in three years, Alexander returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Walter Castillo on FS1 on Nov. 21.
“I’m excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz,” said Alexander. “We’ve known each other a long time but never fought in the amateurs, so this should be interesting. My speed, quickness and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can’t hit you, so my skills will be the difference. I’m ready for any challenge that’s brought my way. When I’m 100 percent, nobody can beat me.”
Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) won eight of his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating power in both hands to go along with his boxing abilities. The 25-year-old climbed into the top ten of the 168-pound rankings with his last victory – a unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez in Las Vegas on Sept. 8. Medina represents a major step up for Plant and will give him an indication of just where the Ashland, Tennessee native stands in the division as he looks to become a mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
The 29-year-old Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) has squared off against some of the toughest boxers in the division, including current champion David Benavidez and former champions James DeGale and Badou Jack. Fighting out of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico lost by knockout to Benavidez on May 20, and bounced back with a knockout victory over Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio on Sept. 1.
The FOX prime time broadcast will kick off a full night of boxing, leading into a doubleheader on SHOWTIME that features two-division world champion Danny Garcia versus Brandon Rios and 168-pound champion David Benavidez defending his title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril from Las Vegas.
Thomas LaManna Battles Gabriel Bracero for WBC Fecarbox Welterweight Title in Atlantic City
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will headline the inaugural Boardwalk Boxing series when he takes the battle-tested veteran Gabriel Bracero in a ten-round welterweight bout for the WBC Fecarbox welterweight title on Saturday, February 24th at The Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
The bout will be the main event of a huge night of boxing promoted by Rising Star Promotions
The new Boardwalk Boxing series, which was announced last week, promised high-quality matchups, while featuring the best local fighters.
LaManna, 26, of Millville, New Jersey has an impressive mark of 25-2 with nine knockouts.
The popular LaManna has led the revival of boxing in Atlantic City as his Rising Star Promotions has become the preeminent promoter in Atlantic City.
LaManna consistently has performed as a headliner in front of sell out crowds is eager to thrill fans, and potentially notch the biggest win of his career.
“This is a crossroads fight. He needs a win over me to stay relevant, and I need a win over him to be taken serious,” said LaManna. “Bracero has fought some top guys. His losses have been to world champions and Gold Medal winners. He has been around the block.”
“I want to start 2018 with a good test. I want to test myself. When I go through a hard camp, dieting and focusing, I want it to be worth it.”
“This should be a great atmosphere as he is a popular fighter like myself. A win over him will give me an opportunity as I will move up in the ratings. This is a make or break year, and a win will put me in there with other contenders.”
LaManna will celebrate his 7th year as a professional, as he has wins over Kendal Mena (20-3), as well as winning the WBC Silver Latino and WBC FECARBOX Welterweight titles with a ten-round unanimous decision over rugged George Sosa.
In his last bout, LaManna defended the WBC FECARBOX title with a ten-round unanimous decision over Samuel Amoako on November 28th in Atlantic City.
This will be LaManna’s 18th fight in Atlantic City.
Bracero of Brooklyn, New York has an impressive mark of 24-3 with five knockouts.
Bracero, who will be 38 on February 14th has faced and defeated some impressive foes over his 17 year-career.
Bracero win his first 18 bouts which were highlighted by wins over Winston Mathis (6-0), Danny O’Connor (14-0), Guillermo Valdes (12-3), Jermaine White (17-4), former world totle challenger Dmitry Salita (35-1-1), and a sensational 1st round stoppage over O’Connor (26-2) in the rematch.
Bracero is coming off a ten-round unanimous decision defeat to former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi on July 30, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York
“This will be a good fight. He is a tough kid. He is tall, and I will get into the best shape possible,” said Bracero.
“I am excited to finally be fighting in Atlantic City. I have family there, plus my fans from Brooklyn can drive there and spend a nice weekend. ”
“This fight is a true crossroads battle. He is looking to make his name off of me, and I am focusing on winning his WBC Fecarbox title. A win will get me back into the bigger fights.
Also announced is a terrific co-feature bout that will see Anthony “Juice” Young of Atlantic City battling Khiary Gray or Worcester, Massachusetts.
Young, 29, has a record of 18-2 with six knockouts.
The seven-year professional will be looking for his eighth consecutive victory. The Atlantic City favorite has a quality win over Jose Javier Claderon (4-1), and will be making his 12th start in his hometown.
Pitts has an impressive mark of 15-3 with eleven knockouts.
The 25 year-old New Englander won his first 13 bouts. The four-year professional is a former UBF International Super Welterweight champion, and in his last bout he won the Interim New England Super Welterweight title with an eight-round majority decision over Greg Jackson on December 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
There will be an announcement about the full undercard shortly.
Tickets are available for $155, $80 and $55, and can be purchased online at www.risingboxingpromotions.com .
This event is sponsored by Acos Energy, Designer Wraps, Eat Clean Bro, Calvi Electric, and Alpha Academy.
Sugar Promotions New Blood Card in Mexico Set for February 2nd
Damien Vazquez’ Sugar Promotions, will promote its card titled “New Blood”, featuring Issac “Canelito” Avelar (13-0, 8 KOs), vs. Alejandro Frias (6-2-1, 3 KOs), fighting for the WBC FECOMBOX Featherweight title in a 10-round main-event. The bout will take place at the Palenque de la Feria in Aguascalientes, Mexico on February 2, 2018.
Issac “Canelito” Avelar, who is managed by Prince Ranch Boxing, is looking to make a statement in his hometown after having his last fight delayed due to a minor hand injury.
“I am ready to show my hometown fans why I will be fighting the best fighters in the world,” said Issac Avelar. “I was supposed to fight last December, but it was delayed, because of a small hand injury. I took that time to improve as a fighter and I am 100% healthy. Everyone will see the best version of Canelito on February 2nd”
“Canelito is a big star in Aguascalientes, Mexico where he was born and raised,” Oscar Vazquez, president of Sugar Promotions stated. “We are excited to put on a show with great local talent. Canelito is a homegrown hero from Aguascalientes, Mexico and it is exciting to promote such a massive event. Everyone in town will be here.”
“NEW BLOOD” also features undefeated bantamweight Damien “Sugar” Vazquez (12-0, 6 KOs) vs. TBA, unbeaten super-featherweight Edwing Davila (16-0, 9 KOs), vs. Octavio Guardado, Lightweight Donovan Estrella (10-0, 4 KOs) vs. Antonio Camacho, Mayran Reyes vs. Naomi Arellano, Christina Mora vs. TBA and light heavyweight Kye Brooks (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Ivan Sanchez. Damian Vasquez has his sights set on fighting McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) before the year is over.
“February 2nd is looking to be a great show and I’m thrilled to work with Sugar Promotions,” said Greg Hannely, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “This will be one of the best cards ever put on in Aguascalientes, Mexico. All my fighters are coming to win and win impressively.”
Nonito Donaire Returns September 23rd
By Jake Donovan
Chief among the list of goals for Nonito Donaire’s ring return was quickly working his way towards another world title shot.
His first fight back takes a significant step forward in making that happen.
The former four division champion from Northern California by way of Philippines is locked in for a scheduled 12-round battle with Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez. The two will collide September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as the chief support to the highly anticipated World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarterfinal matchup between knockout artists Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov.
“I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport,” said Donaire (37-4, 24KOs), who fights for the first time since a questionable loss to Jesse Magdaleno last November. “I’m excited to give the great fight fans in San Antonio a great show, just like when I fought Wilfredo Vazquez at the Alamodome in 2012.”
Donaire sat out the first eight months of 2017 following a disappointing – and highly disputed points loss to Magdaleno in his last bout, a setback that saw his second tour as a super bantamweight titlist come to a close after just 11 months and one successful title defense.
The 34-year old boxer-puncher claimed titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight amidst a 30-fight win streak spanning more than 11 years, a run that also included Fighter of the Year honors in 2012. He let his promotional contract with Top Rank expire before resurfacing with Ringstar, with the promise of quickly making his way back to the title picture.
That wasn’t the only reason the California-based promotional outfit signed him, though.
“Nonito Doniare is a fantastic fighter, he’s one of those fighters who is never in a boring fight,” Richard Schaefer, chairman and CEO of Ringstar Promotions explained to BoxingInsider.com. “That is what really attracted me to signing him., but more importantly he is a super nice person and the same with his wife Rachel. It reminded me of Shane Mosley, whose biggest paydays came while we were both with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Funny enough, Rachel and Jin (Mosley, Shane’s ex-wife) are best friends. Nonito became a free agent, and spoke to Jin about where he should sign. Jin said, ’It’s easy, go to Richard.’ Jin and I have known each other for quite a while. I was honest with him in telling him what we needed to do to get hi back to the world championship level.”
First up is coming out on top in a scheduled 12-round bout that comes with the World Boxing Council Silver featherweight title at stake. To boxing purists, it’s just another trinket and an excuse for the alphabet organization to collect a sanctioning fee.
To Donaire it’s a chance to advance to the top of the queue for the WBC title held by Gary Russell Jr., or at least have him as an option among a loaded featherweight field that also includes the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Carl Frampton.
For his opponent, it’s the chance of a lifetime to not only land a title shot but also claim the scalp of one of the very best of this past generation of boxers.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9KOs), who has won seven straight since a stoppage loss to former bantamweight titlist Randy Caballero last February. “I know that I am facing a great fighter and that has motivated me to train harder than ever before for this matchup.
“I’m planning on giving it my all and giving the fans a great fight. I hope Donaire comes to fight because I am coming to knock him out on September 23rd.”
Such a scenario would indeed upset the detailed plans Donaire and Ringstar have in place for the next year and possibly beyond.
“Nonito wants to compete at featherweight, not come back just to get in a few fights,” Schaefer outlined to BoxingInsider.com. “His last time at featherweight included a world title but how it ended never sat well with him (an Oct. ’14 knockout loss to Nicholas Walters).
“There are great matchups at this weight. Featherweight is a hot division, and he fits right in. Particularly when you look at Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Abner Mares, Gary Russell – mix those up, and you have a Fight of the Year candidate no matter how they are paired.”
The fact that Schaefer has a terrific working relationship with each of the aforementioned boxers made it a no-brainer for Donaire to sign with him.
“I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon,” Donaire believes. After this fight, I’m coming for all of the featherweight champions and to prove I’m the best in the division.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Charlo, Hurd, Lara, Donaire, Fury, Parker, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 28th to September 5th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Charlo, Hurd, and Lara to Defend Titles on October 14th in Brooklyn, New York
A trio of 154-pound world champions will defend their titles as part of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader headlined by Erislandy Lara defending against undefeated Terrell Gausha, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, October 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
The card, promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, will feature four undefeated 154-pound boxers and will pave the way for an undisputed king of the 154-pound division.
Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs), generally recognized as the best boxer in the super welterweight division and its longest reigning champion, will defend his title against undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs).
In the co-main event, hard-hitting unbeaten champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) takes on top contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) while “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) will make his first title defense against tough former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (30-3, 17 KOs).
“On October 14 at Barclays Center, three world champions will be defending their belts, on SHOWTIME, in a night of tremendous super welterweight action,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Long reigning Cuban Erislandy Lara takes on undefeated Olympian Terrell Gausha and newly crowned Jarrett Hurd faces respected former world champion Austin Trout. This card also features one of the best matchups that can be made between two undefeated fighters, champion Jermell Charlo and young sensation Erickson Lubin.”
“This is a blockbuster card for boxing fans,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The 154-pound division is full of talent and this card is loaded with the best champions and top-ranked contenders in the division. The guy who will be the eventual king of the division is fighting on this show and the fans will be treated to matches that will determine who that unified champion will be.’’
Tickets to the event will go on sale on tomorrow, August 31 at 10 a.m. ET and start at $50 (not including applicable fees). Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, September 1 at noon ET. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
“We are thrilled to continue our best year yet of BROOKLYN BOXING with our fifth major boxing event of 2017,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “We always aim to deliver fight fans an evening packed with top-notch matchups from start to finish, and this card certainly does that.”
Lara, a 34-year-old Cuban southpaw, owns victories over Trout, Alfredo Angulo and a slew of former champions and top contenders in addition to a controversial split decision loss to Canelo Alvarez on the way to cementing his credentials as the top boxer in the division. Lara will make the seventh defense of his world title as he continues to train with renowned trainer Ronnie Shields.
“I’m very excited to be making another title defense back on SHOWTIME headlining a great tripleheader,” said Lara. “This is an interesting fight versus an undefeated U.S. Olympian in Terrell Gausha. I know he will be ready because it’s his opportunity to beat the best fighter in the division and become a champion. But come fight night, he will quickly realize and know why I’m the consensus No. 1 super welterweight in the world. After this performance, I look forward to, one-by-one, adding a WBC and IBF title to my collection.”
The 29-year-old Gausha, of Cleveland, Ohio, earned a shot at the world title with solid victories in his last two matches. He won a hard-fought decision over Steven Martinez last August and followed it up with another impressive victory over Luis Hernandez on Feb. 10. Lara figures to be his toughest battle in his pro career that dates back to 2012.
“I’ve been talking about this since I was a three-year-old watching Muhammad Ali on television,” said Gausha. “I’m here now and blessed for this opportunity. Lara’s a tough fighter, champion and the best opponent I’ll fight on paper. He’s been in with the bigger names. But the better the opponent, the better I am, and I’m coming to dethrone him. He’s crafty, but the world hasn’t seen all that I can bring to the table. I’ll make adjustments on the fly and do things that I’ve never shown before. Seeing other Olympic team members win titles gives me motivation to earn the victory and the notoriety I’ve been looking for.”
Charlo of Houston, Texas will be making the second defense of his title, which he won by knockout victory over John Jackson on May 21, 2016. The 27-year-old Charlo successfully defended the title with a highlight reel knockout victory over fellow Texan Charles Hatley on April 22 at Barclays Center. He and his twin brother, Jermall, both held world titles at 154-pounds, before Jermall relinquished his title to move up to 160 pounds. Charlo now trains in Dallas with Derrick James, trainer of world champion Errol Spence Jr.
“Lubin is young and hungry and I know he always comes to fight, but there’s a reason why I’m where I am in the sport,” said Charlo. “I’ve been through the trenches and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. This is what boxing always needs — two young, undefeated fighters willing to risk their ‘0’. But I think it’s a little early for Lubin to step in the ring with me, and I plan on keeping my title. October 14 I’ll show everyone why I’m a world champion.”
Lubin, 21, is nicknamed “The Hammer’’ because of his power in both hands and his ability to bring a quick conclusion to every match. Lubin of Orlando, Fla., has picked up 10 victories since the beginning of 2015 including seven knockouts on his way to contender status. Lubin most recently scored a sensational knockout of Jorge Cota in a title eliminator in March at Barclays Center.
“This is a fight for the fans,” said Lubin. “You have an undefeated champion against an undefeated Prospect of the Year. I’m very excited to be fighting for the belt and it’s truly been a dream of mine ever since I first got into boxing. Come fight night, Charlo will either give it to me or I’m going to rip the belt out of his hands. Many fans and reporters have said that he’s one of the best, and that will make it even sweeter. My mentality will be to seek and destroy, so everyone tune-in to SHOWTIME on October 14, you will witness boxing’s new superstar!”
Hurd, 26, will be making the first defense of the title that he won with a KO victory over Tony Harrison on Feb. 25. Fighting out of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd soared up the rankings with stoppage victories over previously unbeaten fighters Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina at Barclays Center plus veteran Jo Jo Dan.
“I got a Trout to catch,’’ said Hurd. “His losses have all been to top champions Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo. But I’m on a streak of six straight knockouts and Trout has never been stopped, so I’m looking for the stoppage to make a statement that the other fighters couldn’t make. This is definitely my toughest fight, and I didn’t have to take it since it’s a voluntary defense. But I wanted this fight to stop Austin Trout, proving to the fans and people in general I’m the real deal and a true champion.”
Trout, a 31-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has faced some of the top 154-pound boxers in the division. He defeated Miguel Cotto in New York to win a title in 2012 and has close losses to Canelo Alvarez and Lara on his resume. In his most recent attempt at winning the title, Trout gave Jermall Charlo perhaps the toughest test of his career after looking impressive in four straight victories leading up to the challenge.
‘What a blessing it is to have this opportunity at a world title shot,” said Trout. “I want to thank everyone who has been in my corner to help get me career defining fights. It’s refreshing to see young champions showing heart and testing their skill with the best in the game. With that said, salute to Hurd for allowing this fight to go through.”
Nonito Donaire Returns to the Ring on September 23rd to Face Ruben Hernandez
Exciting former world champion Nonito Donaire (37-4-0, 24 KOs) will return to the ring to take on Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9 KOs) for the WBC Silver Featherweight Title in a bout that takes place alongside the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinals on Saturday, September 23 from the Alamodome live in San Antonio and presented by Ringstar Sports.
Additional action will feature a 10-round showdown between once-beaten cruiserweights Keith Tapia (17-1, 11 KOs) and Lateef Kayode (21-1, 16 KOs) that will serve as the reserve match for the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinal matchup of Cuban WBA World Champion Yunier ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) versus Russian Dmitry ‘Russian Hammer’ Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs).
Donaire returns to the ring after a controversial loss last November to Jessie Magdaleno. Donaire recently teamed up with Ringstar Sports where he plans to reclaim his supremacy in the featherweight division. Garcia Hernandez is a tested Mexican fighter looking to make a name for himself in the U.S. at the Alamodome.
“I’m ready to return to the ring and show that I still have what it takes to be a world champion and face the best in this sport,” said Donaire. “I’m thankful to Ringstar Sports for helping me in this next chapter of my career and I know with them in my corner, I’ll be back to where I belong soon. I’m excited to give the great fight fans in San Antonio a great show, just like when I fought Wilfredo Vazquez at the Alamodome in 2012. After this fight, I’m coming for all of the featherweight champions and to prove I’m the best in the division.”
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get in the ring,” said Garcia Hernandez. “I know that I am facing a great fighter and that has motivated me to train harder than ever before for this matchup. I’m planning on giving it my all and giving the fans a great fight. I hope Donaire comes to fight because I am coming to knock him ou on September 23rd.”
Tickets for the live event are priced at $250, $125, $100, $50, and $30, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com HERE.
“The return of Nonito Donaire to the ring is a treat for boxing fans in San Antonio as he looks to return to his place as one of the top fighters in the sport,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “He will be in an all-action matchup against a tough Mexican fighter in Ruben Garcia Hernandez and I expect them to give the fans an exciting night. The entire card will be jam packed with rising prospects and contenders, plus a great cruiserweight showdown between Keith Tapia and Lateef Kayode that will be the reserve match for the World Boxing Super Series Quarterfinal that night.”
The Filipino fighter known as the “Filipino Flash” Donaire grew up in Northern California and now fights out of Las Vegas. His last fight was November 2016 when he battled Magdeleno for a junior featherweight world title in a bout that he lost by controversial decision. Hoping for a rematch that was never made, he partnered with Ringstar Sports looking to return to the top of the featherweight division. Prior to that, Donaire won belts in four different weight classes and was recognized as the 2012 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA, ESPN and Ring Magazine.
Fighting out of Mexico City, Mexico, Hernandez made his pro debut in 2010. Since that time he has battled his way through Mexico while fighting in the U.S. four times. Hernandez enters this bout on a seven fight winning streak and plans to make a name for himself in the United States on September 23rd when he takes on Donaire.
The 27-year-old Tapia returns to the ring after dropping a decision to unbeaten Andrew Tabiti that snapped a 17-fight win streak to begin his professional career. Originally from Puerto Rico but fighting out of the Bronx, Tapia has picked up victories over durable veterans Garrett Wilson and Anthony Caputo Smith and will look to cement his status as a cruiserweight contender on September 23rd.
A former title challenger at cruiserweight, Kayode last battled Denis Lebedev for his cruiserweight crown in a November 2015 bout in Russia. Fighting out of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Nigeria, Kayode has shared the ring with the likes of Antonio Tarver and Luis Ortiz while taking down Felix Cora Jr, Matt Godfrey and Nick Kisner on his way to an unbeaten mark after his first 21 pro fights.
Hennessy Sports and YouTube Partner to Announce Groundbreaking Partnership to Show Parker vs. Fury Exclusively Live
Hennessy Sports is delighted to announce a groundbreaking partnership with YouTube that will offer a new way of watching Boxing.
The blockbuster WBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena will be shown exclusively live in the UK and Ireland on YouTube (www.youtube.com/parkerfury) on a pay-per-view basis with further countries to be announced shortly.
A portion of the undercard will also be streamed for free before the big fight, this is also available live on www.youtube.com/parkerfury. Watch this event anywhere online or on your smart TV, game console, PC, Mac, mobile, tablet and more for a special advance purchase offer price of only £9.99 in the UK and €11.99 in the Republic of Ireland until midnight on Sunday 17th September.*
www.youtube.com/parkerfury is the home of Hennessy Sports YouTube Channel which is called The Boxing Channel presented by Hennessy Sports.
This represents fantastic value for money to watch one of Britain and Ireland’s most exciting young talents challenging for the prestigious World Heavyweight title at half the price of regular Pay-Per-View events and viewers can watch live at a fan-friendly UK and Ireland prime-time.
With 1.5 billion viewers globally, Hennessy Sports believes that partnering with YouTube (which is the world’s biggest provider of online video content) could prove to be a pivotal change in the sport’s landscape.
Through the years boxing has been delivered to fans via the traditional route of TV and after receiving numerous offers from TV broadcasters for the event, promoter Mick Hennessy, CEO of Hennessy Sports, has made the bold and visionary move to partner with YouTube.
Hennessy believes this will take Parker v Fury to a global audience; bring in younger viewers and attract a new generation of fans to the sport with the wide range of devices that the fight can be viewed on.
Claudio Marrero To Put WBA Interim Featherweight Title On Line Against Jesus Rojas on September 15th
On Friday, Sept. 15, one day before the highly anticipated battle for middleweight supremacy between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, WBA Interim Featherweight Champion Claudio Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) will make the first defense of his title against Jesus Rojas (25-1-2, 18 KOs) in the 12-round main event of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, followed by the main event at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET/10:15 p.m. PT.
Marrero, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, captured the Interim WBA Featherweight Title with a devastating first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano in April 2017. Though suffering his only defeat against Jesus Cuellar in 2013, Marrero has scored six victories since then, five of them by knockout.
Rojas will return after an impressive eighth-round technical knockout victory against the previously undefeated Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso” Arce and Jorge “El Pilón” Lara of Mexico (who will take on Joseph “JoJo” Diaz in the co-main event of Canelo-Golovkin). Rojas will look to take yet another step towards the top of the 126-pound division with a victory over Marrero.
In the co-main event, Boston’s Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (18-0, 12 KOs) will make the second defense of his IBF North American title against Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu (19-3-1, 18 KOs). Ellis earned his crown with an impressive first-round knockout victory over Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez in December 2016. In his first defense, Ellis fought in a toe-to-toe battle against John Karl Sosa en route to a majority decision victory in April 2017. Ellis faces a tough challenge in Abreu, a veteran of the Dominican Republic with tough fights against Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto on his resume.
Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (10-0, 9 KOs) will open up the ESPN Deportes transmission in an eight-round fight for the Junior NABF Super Featherweight title against Miguel Carrizoza (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nogales, Mexico. Garcia, a young prospect of Victorville, Calif., is coming off a spectacular first-round knockout of Mario Antonio Macia and will look to earn his seventh knockout victory in a row on Sept. 15.
Horacio “Violento” Garcia (32-3-1, 22 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico will take on fellow countryman Diuhl Olguin (11-7-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight rematch. In their first encounter, Garcia lost via an upset unanimous decision in July of this year. In the night’s swing bout, Alexis “Laberinto” Salazar (11-3, 3 KOs) of Tlaquepagque, Mexico will take on Evan Torres (6-4, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas in a scheduled six-round middleweight fight. The bout will be a rematch of their May 2017 fight, which Salazar won via close split decision.
Opponents for former IBF champion Jose “El Tecuala” Argumendo (20-3-1, 11 KOs), who will participate in an eight-round minimumweight bout, and Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr. (12-0-1, 5 KOs), who will return in an eight-round lightweight fight, will be announced shortly.
Marrero vs. Rojas is a 10-round featherweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with TGB Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD; Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle; and Interjet. The event will beheld at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT, and the first fight begins at 3:30 p.m. PT. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 p.m. PT.
FIGHTNIGHT Live Sets New Record with 200,000 Plus Facebook Views for Saturday Show
Before fight fans turned their attention to the desert with knockout PPV numbers last Saturday, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook series landed a massive haymaker of its own. Linacre Media and CES Boxing partnered on a pre Mayweather-McGregor card that ran from 6-9:30 p.m. ET live from Foxwoods in Connecticut, with the tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform drawing an audience of 201,935 fight fans, and counting.
“Fight fans were primed and ready for Saturday night’s mega-event from Las Vegas, and we were pleased to be able to entertain so many with great fights from Foxwoods for the hours leading up to Showtime PPV,” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “Of course we had some fans thinking they’d get to see Mayweather-McGregor, but we were quick to point them in the proper direction for that content. The hundreds of thousands that stayed on our platform saw some great action, including a wild ending in the CES main event. As a matter of fact, we saw 50,000 more fight fans log-in on Sunday to review the closing moments, and as always with our interactive Facebook shows, offer their own opinions and interpretations. We’re pleased to be able to announce that seven or more shows are being added to the calendar from September through November, including one leading into GGG – Canelo.”
Over the first four months of programming, the numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of more than 85,000 fight fans tuning in per event. The August “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (202,000), the July Roy Jones Jr. “Desert Showdown” from Phoenix (63,000), the May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun (46,000) and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago (32,000) saw a total of more than 8,000 total hours of Facebook video consumed by 342,000-plus users across all devices.
In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 33,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 3,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 10,000 comments and 3,000-plus shares.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE broadcasts are viewed by 76 percent men, 24 percent women. The top demographic is comprised of males aged 25-34, which encompasses approximately 30 percent of the audience, on average.
The Aug. 26 Foxwoods “Super Saturday” show stands out individually with 201,935 views across 3,336 live hours of content, with 8,224 viewer interactions including 1,133 “likes” or “loves,” 1,570 comments and 1,392 shares.
“For more than 25 years, CES has delivered boxing excitement to fans all over the world. The tradition continued Saturday night at Foxwoods when we teamed with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE by using cutting edge technology allowing fight fans to view the fights live on Facebook. This historic, record-setting event was the result of a great production team and action-packed, competitive fights,” said CES President Jimmy Burchfield, Sr.
Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions televised three world title fights on their self-distributed pay per view live from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Three Asian boxers competed on the undercard, and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (8-1) opened up tonight’s card in WBO World Flyweight Title fight against Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2).
This match was rematch from November 23, 2014 when Shiming defeated Phaprom. Phaprom has since won twelve fights in a row.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Shiming was active with his jab in the first round and looked like he was sitting on his punches more than earlier fights. Phaprom’s right eye was swollen by the end of the round.
Phaprom dominated the second round with quick combinations and connected with a short right hook to the chin that sent Phaprom down. Shiming’s timing was on pont in the third round and was picking Phaprom apart with jabs in the fourth round.
Shiming’s accurate pop shotting continued in the fifth and sixth rounds. Phaprom’s frustration was showing in the sixth round as he pointed to his chin to egg him on, and Shiming responded in kind by cracking Phaprom in the chin.
Shiming controlled the pace and distance in the seventh and eighth rounds and his punches were noticeably moving the head of Phaprom. Phaprom was rocked in the eighth round by Shiming and slipped to the mat after missing wildly.
Shiming displayed good footwork in the ninth round, but slipped twice to the mat. Phaprom looked close to going to the mat in the tenth round, but he was able to stay on his feet. Phaprom had a cut near his right eye at the end of the eleventh round and looked like he had no chance at wining the bout.
Phaprom needed a knockout in the last round, but never came close to knocking him down.
The final scores were 120-107, 120-107, and 119-108 for Zou Shiming.
The next bout of the night was between the Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire (37-3) and Jessie Magdaleno (23-0) for the WBO World Junior Featherweight Title.
The first round was a feeling out a round and didn’t feature much action, but the fight picked up in the second round as Magdaleno and Donaire started to freely exchange, but Magdaleno was the more accurate puncher and was the first to throw his combinations.
Donaire’s came back strong in the third round and was the aggressor. Donaire’s check left hook was finding it’s target. Magdaleno suffered a cut in the fourth round but it was ruled from a head butt, and it was noticeably affecting the vision of Magdaleno.
Donaire looked good in the fifth round and was more aggressive and landed solid combinations, but Magdaleno switched to a southpaw stance in the sixth round and was effective with his lead right hooks.
Donaire focused more to the body in the seventh round and re-established control, but Magdaleno retook control of the fight in the eighth round with crisp counter right hands and lead straight left hands to the head of Donaire. Donaire’s left eye was starting to show signs of swelling.
Magdaleno had Donaire hurt badly in the ninth round after he cracked Donaire with a check right hook with his back to the ropes. He had Donaire fighting defensively in the final minute of the ninth round and looked like Donaire was close to getting stopped.
Donaire opened up the tenth round with a hard left hand that had Magdaleno hurt and backing up in the opening minute. Both boxers connected with hard check hooks, but Donaire’s right hand was finding it’s target.
The fight was too close to call for either boxer in the final round, but Donaire landed the best punch of the round with a hard straight right hand that got the crowd’s reaction and he may have busted Magdaleno’s nose in the final round.
The final scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 for Jessie Magdaleno.
Oscar Valdez (20-0) and Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4) for the final fight on the undercard for the WBO World Featherweight Title.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance, and Osawa was a little wild early on. Valdez sat on his body punches on the opening round and established himself as the more powerful boxer early on.
Valdez was sharp with his jabs in the second round and had Osawa rocked with hard left hooks in the second round. Osawa looked like he was close to going down in the final minute of the round.
Valdez landed some bombs in the third round with both his left and right hands, but Osawa was taking the shots well.
Valdez landed a crisp left hook to Osawa’s chin in the fourth round and sent him to the mat suddenly. Valdez landed several hard right hands when Osawa got back to his feet, but Osawa somehow survived the round.
Valdez obliterated Osawa in the fifth and sixth rounds and barely got hit with any punches.
Valdez wobbled Osawa in the eighth round with a hard left hook and jumped on him with combinations by the corner. Osawa didn’t return any punches and the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.
Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 1:50 of the seventh round.
Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Philippine Senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring and chase another world title as he faces Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO Welterweight Title.
Pacquiao has long been a mainstay with HBO Boxing and nearly all of his pay per views were distributed by them. However, HBO has chosen to go forward with the Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV bout in the month of November and is letting Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing distribute Pacquiao’s PPV on their own.
Top Rank has wisely decided to stack their card with four world title fights in what should be an entertaining night of fights. The card will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The following is a preview of all four world title bouts.
Zou Shiming (8-1) vs. Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2); WBO World Flyweight Title
This is a rematch of a bout that happened on November 23rd, 2014 in which Shiming defeated Phaprom by decision.
Zou Shiming was supposed to be Top Rank’s vehicle to grow the sport of boxing in China and establish a strong foothold there. He was successful in helping Top Rank break into the Chinese market, but he has lost some of his luster since losing to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF Flyweight Title fight in March of 2017.
Shiming is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the Bronze in 2004. He’s the most decorated amateur boxer to ever come out of China and is currently trained by Freddie Roach. Phaprom does not have the amateur accolades that Shiming possesses.
Both boxers are thirty five years old and neither can be considered to be in the midst of the physical prime. Shiming will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Shiming is not known for his power and many pundits question whether his amateur abilities can translate to the profressional stage He only has two stoppage victories on his resume while Phaprom has stopped twenty four of his opponents.
Phaprom has been very active and has fought five times in 2016. However, Phaprom has fought almost exclusively in Thailand and has only fought outside of it once, when he first faced and lost to Shiming. He also doesn’t have any big name victories on his resume, but has fought thirteen more times since losing to Shiming.
This will be Shiming’s third fight in 2016, and he has defeated the likes of Phaprom, Jozsef Ajtai, Natan Coutinho, and Luis de la Rosa. His lone loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng.
This rematch should play out in a similar fashion to their first bout, with Shiming ending the fight as the winner.
Nonito Donaire (37-3) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (23-0); WBO World Junior Featherweight Title
Nonito Donaire is the second most Filipino boxer in the world today, but this will be the first time he has ever fought on the same card as Manny Pacquiao.
Donaire’s best days might be behind him. He’s thirty three years old and will be nine year older than Magdaleno come fight night. However, he will be about one inch taller than Magdaleno and will have about a two inch reach advantage.
Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Donaire was a National Junior Olympics Flyweight Champion, a National Light Flyweight Champions, and a Silver Gloves Champion. Magdaleno was a US National Champion in the bantamweight division and a National Golden Gloves Champion in the bantamweight division.
Both boxers come from a family of boxers and have brothers who compete or have competed professionally. However, Donaire is a former title holder in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions while Magdaleno is still chasing his first world title.
Donaire has been in the ring with some of the best the sport has to offer. He has defeated the likes of Zsolt Bedak, Cesar Juarez, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel. His losses were to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, and Rosendo Sanchez in the second fight of his career.
This will be a big step up for Magdaleno, and he has never fought someone as a professional on the level of Donaire. He has defeated the likes of Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castandeda.
This might be the last swan song for Donaire. There’s been a noticeable drop in his speed and power since he lost to Rigondeaux and he was stopped, quite brutally, by Walters. He’s still a good boxer and is experienced enough to give Magdaleno a tough time inside the ring, but Magdaleno is just entering his prime and should be able to defeat the older Donaire.
Oscar Valdez (20-0) vs. Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4); WBO World Featherweight Title
Oscar Valdez is one of the most promising young champions on the roster of Top Rank Promotions. He’s also featured in one of the biggest mismatches of the night.
The one, and perhaps only, advantage Osawa will have on Saturday night is that he is about an inch and half taller and four inches longer than Valdez. However, Valdez is the better technical boxer, the more powerful puncher, the quicker fighter, and will be about six years younger than Osawa.
Valdez has an impressive eighteen knockouts and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Osawa stopped nineteen of his opponents but is currently riding an eight fight stoppage victory streak.
Valdez has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Osawa has no such amateur background.
Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Valdez fought four times in 2015 and fought twice in 2016. Osawa fought three times in 2015 and once in 2016.
Osawa has fought exclusively in Asia and his resume does not include any big name victories. He has losses to unheralded boxers such as Mitsuya Omura, JR Sollano, and Daiki Koide. Valdez only recently won WBO Featherweight title, and has impressive victories over Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Rueda, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, and Jose Ramirez.
Valdez is the most likely boxer to score a stoppage victory on Saturday night.
Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) vs. Jessie Vargas (27-1); WBO World Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiao, despite being a Senator for the Philippines, is still considered a top talent in the welterweight division and one of the sport’s biggest draws.
He’s publically stated his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch, but he first has to get past a tough, young, opponent in Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao, at the age of thirty seven, is ten years older than his opponent and considered by many to be past his physical prime. Pacquiao will also be giving up four and a half inches in height as well as four inches in reach to his younger opponent.
The one thing that Vargas does not have is power. He’s only stopped ten of his opponents, but he did stop Sadam Ali in his last bout. Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, but his last stoppage victory was in 2009, twelve fights ago, against Miguel Cotto.
Vargas has an impressive amateur background. He’s a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion. Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager and does not have the amateur accolades that Vargas has.
Vargas has a good professional resume but it still pales in comparison to Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Ray Narh, Aaron Martinez, Steve Forbes, and Josesito Lopez. His lone loss was a close bout to Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao, clearly, has a hall of fame resume. His notable victories include Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Shane Mosley, and Lehlo Ledwaba. His losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and three losses early on in his career to Singsurat, Torrecampo, and Erik Morales.
Pacquiao had erased any concerns about his demise in his last bout with Timothy Bradley Jr., which he won fairly convincingly. Vargas’ age and reach may give Pacquiao some problems early on, but it’s not something that Pacquiao hasn’t handled before.
Pacquiao should walk away with another decision victory, but it will be a tougher than expected fight.
A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division
A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division
By: Eric Lunger
While the heavyweight division is still in flux with Tyson Fury’s sudden withdrawal from the Klitschko fight, and while fans and commentators are still tying themselves into pretzels over the lack of unification in the middleweight division, there is a golden generation in the junior featherweight class. But unfortunately, though perhaps predictably, all four of the major belts are held by different fighters: Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KO’s) WBA; Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KO’s) WBO; Jonathan Guzman (22-0, 22 KO’s) IBF; and Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16 KO’s) WBC.
Let’s take a look at these four stars and see where the division is headed. First off, I will make a confession: I am a huge Guillermo Rigondeaux fan. I know that some find him boring and dull, with a cautious defensive style. He is brilliant defensively, and he will pull some slips and upper body movements that will make you shake your head in disbelief. But he also has tremendous firepower in his left hand and will unleash it with unexpected ferocity. Watching Rigondeaux fight is like playing with liquid gelignite: it might explode at any moment. Unfortunately, Rigo can’t seem to get anyone into the ring with him. His last fight, this summer against James “Jazza” Dickens in Cardiff, Wales, was a disappointment. Rigondeaux and his team did a great job in the pre-fight build up, including an incredible display of athleticism during an open workout in downtown Cardiff, but the bout itself consisted of one round of Rigo measuring Dickens, and a second round in which the Cuban launched a devastating left that broke Dickens’ jaw. His corner waved the fight off.
So the question remains for Rigondeaux: whom to fight next? He only fought once in 2015. He has already beaten Donaire (in April of 2013) by unanimous decision. “Most feared and avoided in the division” is a cliché, but an apt one for Rigondeaux. Carl Frampton said as much after his Santa Cruz fight, bluntly stating that Rigo does not bring enough money to a fight to justify the risk. Rigondeaux has been picked up by Roc Nation promotions, so perhaps there is hope for fans that we might see him in the ring again soon.
Out of the four junior featherweight title-holders, Nonito Donaire is probably the best known. He has 40 professional bouts under his belt at age 33, so he has been around the block more than once. Impressive and articulate in interviews, Donaire knows where he is in terms of his career, and what he expects to get out of boxing over the next few years. He took a loss (TKO in the sixth) to Nicholas Walters in November of 2014, though in that bout he had moved up to the 126 lbs. limit, and Walters did look significantly bigger than Donaire in the ring. Since then, Nonito has been managed well, and has been put into position for an exciting fight on November 5 against Jesse Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KO’s), on the Lomachenko-Walters undercard. I am excited to see how Donaire handles Magdaleno’s speed and power. It should be a compelling bout.
Jonathan Guzman won the IBF belt (which Frampton vacated) by defeating Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12 KO’s) in Osaka, Japan in July of this year. Guzman, from the Dominican Republic, has heavy hands and an attractive, fan-friendly style. He is aggressive without being reckless, comes forward consistently, and possesses excellent hand speed. Guzman handled Wake without any real trouble, though a head clash in the second round open a bad cut under Wake’s right eye. The damage was a factor in the rest of the fight and in the 11th round stoppage. Guzman is tentatively scheduled to defend his belt against Yukinori Oguni (18-1, 7 KO’s) in Japan on December 31st.
Finally, there is Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan. He is an interesting fighter with a long, professional record. Hasegawa won the WBC strap by defeating Hugo Ruiz (36-3, 32 KO’s) last month in Osaka. Hasegawa briefly held the WBC featherweight title, losing it to Jhonny Gonzalez in 2011, but he reigned as the WBC bantamweight champion from 2005 until 2010, making a remarkable 10 successful defenses in that period. For all that, Hasegawa has never fought outside of Japan. A southpaw, Hasegawa fights from range, using a pawing right jab to slap down his opponent’s lead, while looking to land his looping overhand left.
In the Ruiz fight, Hasegawa was better but not dominant. He scored a lot of straight overhand lefts from his southpaw stance, but Ruiz often presented a stationary target. Hasegawa out-pointed Ruiz, but the Japanese fighter was clearly hittable. He is certainly willing to trade and to take a punch in order to land one. The ninth round showcased some incredible action, with Ruiz managing to pin Hasegawa against the ropes and delivering a sustained attack. But, incredibly, the thirty-five year old Hasegawa found the strength to rally, launched his own flurry off the ropes, and blasted Ruiz back into the center of the ring. Ruiz’s corner did not allow their man to come out for the 10th, as Ruiz had sustained significant damage. Do yourself a favor and watch the ninth round again (preferably with Japanese commentary for atmosphere); you won’t be disappointed.
Clearly, Hasegawa is in his later years, career and boxing-wise, with Donaire not that far behind. But Guzman and Rigondeaux are in their prime, and either fighter could make a viable bid to unify the division. What would it take to get Guzman and Rigondeaux together in the ring? In the current atmosphere of fighters tending to avoid risky fights, it will take a lot. But we can dream, can’t we?
Nonito Donaire’s Father Steps Down As His Trainer
Nonito Donaire’s Father Steps Down As His Trainer
By: Brandon Bernica
Nonito Donaire will need to call for a ninth inning bullpen change in his corner, as father Nonito Donaire Sr. resigned as his head trainer this week. The split occurred after Donaire Sr. decided to move back to the Bay Area, which will conflict with his son’s training regimen.
The career of Nonito Donaire began under his father’s watchful eye, up until the time following Donaire’s breakthrough victory against Vic Darchiniyan in 2007. Personal problems split the pair up, and Donaire Jr. moved to train under world renowned cornerman Robert Garcia.
Donaire Sr. reemerged as co trainer for Nonito in 2013 after years of estrangement from his son. Under the tutelage of both his father and Garcia, Donaire Jr. scrapped his way to a rematch win against Vic Darchiniyan. After that fight, Donaire Sr. assumed full authority as head trainer, moving training camps to the Philippines.
While the father and son duo are breaking their relationship inside the ring, both men expressed no animosity towards each other on a personal level.
“He is an amazing trainer and an even better father. I wish him the best of luck in the path he chooses,” stated Donaire Jr. via a Facebook post detailing the situation.
As for Donaire Sr., he also used Facebook to express similar sentiments, stating that “I’ve been very grateful to work (Donaire Jr.’s) corner for the past couple years…I know he will find a trainer that will take him to the next level and hopefully I’ll be at the fight ringside to watch.”
Donaire Jr., 33, finds himself searching for a new trainer at the twilight of an illustrious career. There have been no rumored candidates yet, but a reunification with Garcia certainly must be near the top of the list. However, the four-division champion may be looking for someone to work with him in Las Vegas, where he resides with his wife and two children. Garcia holds camp in Oxnard and Riverside, California and is usually against leaving his gyms to train fighters.
Donaire Jr.is being angled to fight later in the year, possibly against Jesse Magdaleno. He holds a four fight win streak since his upset loss to Nicholas Walters in 2014 when he suffered the first knockout loss of his career.