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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Ramirez and Herring Win Convincingly


Jose Ramirez didn’t want the hometown fans to leave unhappy. In front of a crowd of 11,102 at the Save Mart Center on Friday evening, Avenal native Ramirez retained the WBC super lightweight world title with a unanimous decision against fellow unbeaten Antonio Orozco. The scores were 119-107 3X.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs) knocked Orozco down with a crisp right hand in the fourth round and found success with his left hook throughout the bout. In the eighth round, Ramirez scored a knockdown with a left hook to the liver and nearly finished Orozco at the end of the round.

“This was an excellent fight, and Antonio Orozco is a true warrior,” Ramirez said. “We put it out there, and Antonio was a very tough opponent who gave it his all. A special thanks to all the people in Fresno who showed their support tonight.”

Ramirez won the belt with a hard-fought unanimous decision against Amir Imam back in March. For his first title defense, he took on a previously undefeated challenger in Orozco (27-1, 17 KOs), who on paper represented the toughest test of his career. Ramirez and Orozco went toe-to-toe and produced a championship bout for the ages.

Flanked by his Marine comrades on his way to the ring, 2012 U.S. Olympian and Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (18-2, 10 KOs ) notched the most significant win of his carer, defeating John Vincent Moralde (20-2, 10 KOs) by 10-round unanimous decision (100-90 3X) to win the vacant USBA junior lightweight title.

“I wanted to show that I could not only make 130 pounds, but that I could be strong at the weight as well,” Herring said. “Now, I’m that much closer to a world title shot.”

In his biggest test to date, 18-year-old sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. (10-0, 5 KOs) was undeterred by the big stage and the bright lights. Flores, from Stockton, Calif., survived a first-round knockdown to defeat Roger Gutierrez by unanimous decision in a six-round lightweight bout.

The scores were as followed: 59-54, 59-54, and 58-54.
“I could’ve done better, but I was in there against a tough guy. I have no explanation for it, but my legs locked up in the early rounds. I started moving in the last rounds, and my legs were feeling better. I boxed him and got the victory. All I can do from here is learn from this experience.

“I came back strong. I know l will be better next time out.”

In other action:

Vacant USBA Welterweight Title: Alexander Besputin (11-0, 9 KOs), TKO 9, 1:44, Alan Sanchez (20-4-1, 10 KOs).

Besputin said: “I feel very grateful to be signed by Top Rank, the best promotional company in the world. I now want all of the big names at 135, including the winner of Lomachenko and Pedraza.”

Super Lightweights: Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13 KOs), split decision, 10 rounds, Cristian Cora (27-7-2, 11 KOs). Scores: 95-94 Okada, 95-94 Coria, 95-94 Okada.

* Okada knocked down in the 10th round by Coria right hand.

Lightweights: Bryan Vasquez (38-3, 20 KOs), unanimous decision, 10 rounds, Carlos Cardenas (21-15-1, 13 KOs). Scores: 98-92, 96-94, 96-94 .

Vasquez said: “I feel very grateful to be signed by Top Rank, the best promotional company in the world. I now want all of the big names at 135, including the winner of Lomachenko and Pedraza.”

Featherweights: Isidro Ochoa (6-0, 2 KOs), KO 3, 2:14, Elio De Jesus (2-3, 0 KOs).

Super Bantamweights: Santos Ortega (3-0, 1 KO), unanimous decision, 4 rounds, Sebastian Baltazar (1-2, 0 KOs). Scores: 40-36, 40-36, 40-36.

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Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez Rematch Coming to ESPN in Early 2019


Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez lit up the Atlantic City Boardwalk in a pitched battle last month. The two will renew acquaintances early next year live on a Top Rank on ESPN card as part of a co-promotion with Main Event and Krusher Promotions, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.

Alvarez knocked down Kovalev three times in the seventh round and scored a TKO to capture the WBO light heavyweight title in a shocking upset. Kovalev led on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage and hopes to pick up where the first six rounds left off.

“We are very happy to be joining forces with Top Rank and ESPN for what we expect will be another exciting and historic fight,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Sergey was clearly winning his first bout with Alvarez when he just got caught. It happens. Congratulations to Alvarez for his spectacular performance, but Sergey is a warrior. He let me know that he is anxious to avenge this loss as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the new year!”

“Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “The light heavyweight division is loaded, and both Kovalev and Alvarez have fan-friendly styles that will make for another gripping fight.”

Added Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling: “This has been an exciting year for boxing on ESPN, and the Kovalev-Alvarez rematch is another example of the world-class caliber of events we look forward to continue to showcase on Top Rank on ESPN in 2019.”

Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) established himself as one of this generation’s preeminent light heavyweight champions with nine title defenses across two title reigns. He first won the WBO title in August 2013, traveling to Wales and knocking out hometown champion Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round. He became the unified champion in November 2014 with a dominating 12-round decision against future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and further enhanced his résumé with a pair of knockout wins against former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Kovalev lost the title via controversial decision loss to Andre Ward in November 2016. After dropping the rematch via eighth-round TKO, Kovalev recaptured the WBO title with a second-round TKO against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November of last year. He defended the title once before the first Alvarez bout.

Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), a former Colombian amateur standout who resides in Montreal, is a nine-year pro with a host of A-list names on his résumé, including: Kovalev, Pascal, and former super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute. The Kovalev triumph is the signature victory on his record. Come 2019, Alvarez hopes it’s repeat rather than revenge.

Use the hashtag #AlvarezKovalev to join the conversation on social media.

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ESPN Boxing Results: Cano Decisions Madyiez


By: Sean Crose

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas hosted a card of boxing that was aired live on various ESPN affiliates on Thursday night. The card began with 12-2 Maricela Cornejo facing the 3-1 Franchon Crews Dezurn for the WBC Female Super Featherweight title. Cornejo, who signed with Golden Boy Promotions in 2017, fought to keep range and tie up her foe during the first portion of the bout. Dezurn, however, kept pressing the attack. Cornejo held her own through the middle rounds, but Dezurn continued to relentlessly attack. Even in the later rounds, things stayed effectively the same. Dezurn came forward while Cornejo employed footwork and attempted to hold her opponent off with her jab.

In the end, the judges rewarded Dezurn’s aggression with the WBC belt, via majority decision.

The main event featured undefeated Kazach Ruslan Madyiez (12-0) against Pablo Cesar Cano (30-7-1) in a junior welterweight 10 rounder. Cano came out aggressively against the up and comer. Madyiez, on the other hand, decided early on to remain patient, to employ his footwork, and to pick his shots. The second round essentially offered more of the same. The question started to arise as to whether (or when) Madyiez’ more deliberate strategy would begin paying off. Cano kept up the pressure in the third, but Madyiez was able to land clean at times. Unfortunately for Cano, a head butt bloodied his face up at round’s end.

Cano tossed a terrific combination at the start of the fourth, leaving the impression that, if the man could hit harder, he could have had his opponent in real trouble. The fifth showed more of the same. The active Cano was starting to make it seem as if Madyiez’ patience was betraying him. Then, however, Madyiez rocked his man hard at the end of the round. It was an accidental butt, though, that truly damaged Cano’s face at round’s end. So serious was the cut that the fight was stopped. Maydiez was at first given a TKO victory, even though Cano’s savage gash may well have come from the butt, which had occurred just before Maydiez landed the shot that rocked Cano.

After reviewing the tape, the officials decided that the cut did indeed open with the head butt, rather than the punch. This led to the fight going to the cards…and Cano winning a unanimous decision victory. Cano’s activity and work rate had paid off.

In a walkout bout afterwards, Raul Curiel, 4-0, engaged in a scheduled 6 rounder with fellow welterweight Ryan Pino, 8-2. Curiel walked away with a UD win.

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Canelo and Mayweather Could Signal the End of PPV, Streaming Poised to Take Over


By: William Holmes

“I don’t fight for legacy. I don’t fight for none of that, I fight for that check. I’m in the check cashing business.”

-Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Boxing isn’t just a martial art, it’s also entertainment. Floyd Mayweather was wise enough early on in his career to understand that having a public persona sells, and when you’re a fighter it’s best to minimize the physical damage while maximizing your earnings.

He has professed that his career is over, and it’s hard to argue against the proposition that he has been boxing’s most profitable star.

Entertainment value is not the only key to a pay per view’s success, nationalistic pride can also be a driving force in PPV sales.

Manny Pacquiao was a pay per view force in part because of it. Today, the Mexican pride for Canelo Alvarez leads many to express their patriotism with their wallet.

But the long term stability of PPV fights is at risk with the rise of streaming platforms.

New outlets like DAZN and ESPN+ now offer a reasonable financial alternative for fight fans. PPV’s were costing anywhere between $60 and $100 for the opportunity to watch one fight. $60 will get you half a year subscription with DAZN. DAZN promises to have 32 US and UK Matchroom Boxing Events and 15 World Boxing Super Series Events for the year.

ESPN+ has a partnership with Top Rank Promotions and will broadcast 54 live boxing events annually. ESPN + is available for only $5 a month.

The value for fight fans is with the streaming services, and a fight fan that’s spending $15 a month for both DAZN and ESPN+ will be less inclined to shell out another $60 or more for a ppv.

The expansion of heavily invested streaming services combined with boxing’s lack of marketable stars to the wide casual sport fan, spells the beginning of the end for pay per view.

The past two years have been particularly troubling for the boxing pay per view business. The rematch between Golovkin and Canelo is the only notable boxing pay per view fight of 2018. In 2017, Canelo’s fights with Golovkin and Chavez Jr. did well on pay per view, as well as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s one off showcase with Conor McGregor, but outside of these two Boxing PPV has floundered.

Andre Ward rematched Sergei Kovalev on HBO Pay Per View, but by all accounts that fight underperformed and only sold 125,000 pay per views.

The money for boxing is still present for promoters and boxers alike to take advantage of, even with the decrease in PPV events. The contract DAZN has with Matchroom is worth a reported $1 Billion dollars over eight years (125 million a year) and while the official financials that Top Rank has signed with ESPN hasn’t been reported, it is for seven years and was lucrative enough to lure Top Rank away from their long time partners at HBO, and to resign one of their top stars, Terrance Crawford, to a recent contract extension.

The rise of streaming will present many problems for the Pay Per View model. The obvious one is the value that streaming provides. Fight fans will be able to get high quality fights, and a large number of them, for a substantially cheaper price than PPV.

Additionally, streaming services like DAZN and ESPN+ provide access to other events besides boxing. DAZN has locked into an agreement with Bellator MMA and provides other sport offerings, and ESPN has an agreement in place with the UFC as well as other professional and collegiate sport leagues.

The CEO of DAZN, James Rushton, believes DAZN will be a big disruptor in the industry and he believes DAZN will help change the game of Sports Broadcasting. He recently stated, “We are the world’s first truly dedicated, which stand alone, OTT live sport streaming business. We focused on what that means, is providing fans with unlimited access to some of the best premium sports content available, for one affordable monthly fee. No contracts, no bundles, all that stuff that people don’t like with traditional network television. We are live in five markets right now, and we are launching here in the US later on this summer, we are super excited. We are looking to disrupt and change the game of sport broadcasting starting off with fight sports with our partnership with Matchroom Boxing US and Scott and his team at Bellator. We’re looking forward to our first event going live on the 29th of this September with Bellator.”

The introduction of ESPN+ and DAZN into the boxing viewership marketplace will also force each to be competitive and put on high quality fights. Under the PPV model, boxing broadcast mainstays like HBO and Showtime would showcase their best fighters against boxers that would basically be considered “enhancement” talent, in order to build their popularity for the almighty goal of PPV.

With streaming, DAZN and ESPN+ will have to put on high quality competitive fights to draw the consumer away from the traditional televised boxing model to the new streaming boxing model. Tune-up fights won’t attract paying customers.

Mayweather’s last hurrah was likely against McGregor. If he chooses to come back, he will undoubtably remain a PPV attraction. But as of now, he’s officially retired.

Canelo is still in his athletic prime and has many productive and profitable years ahead of him. A loss to Golovkin will hurt his financial drawing power, but he still has that passionate and loyal Mexican base and will still be a bigger draw than most in the sport.

But outside of Canelo and Mayweather the PPV pickings are slim, and for fight fans and their wallets, that’s probably a good thing.

Is PPV Dead? Not yet, and PPV will likely remain an option for promoters who want to cross promote. But it’s on wobbly legs, and the streaming platforms look fresh and ready to go.

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ESPN Boxing Preview: Ramirez vs. Orozco


By: Ken Hissner

Unbeaten WBC World Super Lightweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez will defend his title Friday night against No. 3 ranked Antonio “Relentless” Orozco at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.

This will be the first title defense for Ramirez, 22-0 (16) who won the vacant title in March defeating Amir “Young Master” Imam, then 21-1, at Madison Square Garden, New York.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

Orozco, 27-0 (17), from San Diego, CA, last fought in March winning an 8 round decision over Mexico’s Martin “El Brochas” Honorio, 33-13-1. He also defeated him back in May of 2014. He has wins over Emmanuel Taylor, 18-3, Steve Forbes, 35-13, Humberto “Little Fox” Soto, 65-8-2, Abner Lopez, 23-5, Ivan Hernandez, 29-3, and Keandre Gibson, 16-0-1.

Prior to the Imam fight Ramirez defeated Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, then 23-0. The 26 year-old represented the USA in the 2012 Olympics. He lost in the second round. He won five straight US championships and in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, AZE, he lost in the second round to current WBA Lightweight champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 16-9. In the 2012 Olympic Qualifier he won a Bronze medal losing to current unbeaten Dominican Wellington Romero, 14-0-1.

As a professional Ramirez won the NABF and WBC Continental Americas titles prior to becoming a world champion. He is trained by Freddie Roach and promoted by Top Rank.

The co-feature has Russian Alexander Besputin, 10-0 (8), living in Oxnard, CA, taking on Mexican Alan Sanchez, 20-3-1, of Fairfield, CA, for the vacant USBA Welterweight title. This has a loaded undercard.
Also, on the card are Japan’s WBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champ Hiroki Okada, 18-0 (13), taking on Argentina’s Cristian Rafael Coria, 27-6-2 (11). 2012 USA Olympian southpaw Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 17-2 (10), of Cinn., OH, taking on Filipino John Vincent “Mulawin” Moralde, 20-1 (10), for the vacant USBA Super Featherweight title.

Costa Rica’s Super Featherweight No. 4 WBA contender Bryan “El Tiquito” Vasquez, 36-3 (20), takes on Venezuela’s Carlos “El Profeta” Cardenas, 23-14-1 (14), living in Mexico. Vasquez in his last bout won the WBA Fedelatin title. He has wins over Sergio Thompson, 30-3, Jose Felix, Jr., 27-0-1, and losses to Javier Fortuna, for the vacant WBA World Super Feather title and “Sugar” Ray Beltran, by majority decision who in his next fight won the WBO World Lightweight title.

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ESPN+ Boxing Results: Moloney Earns 10th Round TKO, Tszyu Stops Cornejo In One


By: Ste Rowen

The Bendigo Stadium in Australia is home to men & women’s basketball teams, the Braves and the Spirit, and there was plenty of both on show in the heart of Victoria as Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney became only the second man to stop Luis Concepcion inside the distance in a rough but, perfectly executed performance that was sealed with a final round stoppage.

The WBA ‘Oceania’ belt was on the line but more importantly for the winner was a potential showdown, or rematch in Concepcion’s case, with current WBA super-flyweight champion, Kal Yafai.

From the noise in the crowd, it was clear who was the main attraction, but it was ‘El Nica’ who made the quicker starter. His familiar come-forward pressure style was the evident tactic from the start. Moloney did his best to keep the distance and obstruct Concepcion from achieving any success on the inside.

The fight followed a similar pattern for the next few rounds as the Australian kept his opponent away well enough to land his own frequent power punch combinations. The former WBA champion followed Moloney around the ring but, like in past bouts, Luis’ accuracy was seriously lacking.

By the 4th, Andrew’s confidence was quickly rising. His constant movement, frequency and accuracy of the WBA ‘Oceania’ champ’s punches were undoubtedly winning him the rounds, even if the 32-year-old never seemed discouraged in coming forward. Towards the end of the same round, as ‘The Monster’ laid an onslaught on Concepcion, ‘El Nica’ kept swinging, kept trying to come forward.

The unbeaten fighter’s chin was tested at times, notably a short-left hand landing cleanly in the middle rounds, but the 27-year-old seemed to be relatively comfortable as the latter rounds passed by in this scheduled 10-rounder.

It’s hard to tell whether Concepcion, 37-6 (26KOs), upped his game at the beginning of the final round due to the fast pace he always fights at. In the last 3 minutes, ‘El Nica’ will no doubt have sensed he was down on the cards, but the white and gold shorts Moloney entered the ring in, matched his performance overall and with just over 60 seconds left of the 10th, his constant teeing off on Concepcion’s head with beautiful left and right hooks, forced the referee to step in and end the bout early.

With his manager, Tony Tolj talking about trying to get Moloney on the Superfly 3 card this week, and his twin brother, Jason set to fight IBF bantamweight champ, Emmanuel Rodriguez in the World Boxing Super Series, kicking off in October, Andrew, now 18-0 (11KOs), knew how important a win tonight was to keep him in people’s minds going forward.

‘‘We executed the game plan perfectly…I’m number 4 now so I hope I get the shot at Kal Yafai…I’m coming for that belt.’’

‘‘I can box on the back foot or the front foot. We knew how good Concepcion was…It was a very tough fight. We did what we had to do to win.’’

Tim Tszyu vs. Marco Jesus Cornejo

Today’s main event in Bendigo was a junior middleweight bout as Tim Tszyu took on Marco Jesus Cornejo, 19-3 (18KOs). Tszyu, who entered the ring 10-0 (8KOs), was on the Argentine immediately, shifting to the centre ring and firing off a heavy jab to the body and head in single bursts.

Cornejo went into tonight on a 2-fight losing streak but nether that or Tszyu’s confident start stopped him from attempting windmill-esque right hands. Unfortunately, one of those wild shots signalled the early end to the night.

Marco missed wildly and left himself wide open to an accumulation of heavy, accurate right hands without reply and trapping him to the ropes, causing the referee to step in between the two boxers and call an end to the bout with around 30 seconds left of the fight, and Cornejo still on his feet.

This was Tim’s 4th fight of 2018 and the Australian is eyeing up one more matchup before the end of the year.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview:Battle on the Goldfields 3- Moloney vs. Concepcion


By: Ste Rowen

This Saturday is packed with a number of intriguing matchups across the world, starting in Australia with the ‘Battle on the Goldfields 3’ card, headlined by exciting prospect, Andrew Moloney vs. former world champion, Luis Concepcion in a scheduled superfly 10-round bout.

‘Monster’ Moloney, 17-0 (10KOs), the current commonwealth super-flyweight champion, has been making moves since his 2014 debut. Though yet to fight outside of Australia professionally, the 2014 commonwealth gold medallist has picked up the OPBF, formerly held by the likes of Kohei Kono and Takuma Inoue; the WBA ‘Oceania’ and of course, the rainbow, Commonwealth title. And though he’s hit the canvas more than once, his unblemished record so far shows the grit the Australian will need in future fights.


Photo Credit: Andrew Moloney Twitter Account

Last time out, Andrew rose from the canvas to earn a 10-round unanimous decision over Filipino, Richard Claveras – a man who was then stopped inside 4 rounds two months later by Sho Ishida.
Speaking to ‘news.com.au’, Moloney is keen to impress this time out in a real step up of opposition,

‘‘Concepcion applies a lot of pressure on his opponents and throws a lot of punches…I need to be extremely fit for this fight and that is why I am training so hard.’’

‘‘I want to show everyone what level I’m at by beating Luis Concepcion and then we will set our sights on Kal Yafai…I have done my apprenticeship and I’m now ready to take on the best in my division.’’

His opponent on Saturday, Concepcion, 37-6 (26KOs), is just three fights removed from his 2016 loss to Kal Yafai for the vacant WBA super-fly strap, a belt the Panamanian held briefly, earlier that same year.

Since then, former ‘interim’ WBA flyweight titlist has scored two 2nd round KO’s over limited opposition in, Luis de la Rosa of Colombia and 17-9-1 (15KOs), Luis Carillo; either side of a 2017 unanimous decision loss to then, 12-2-2 (5KOs), Iran Diaz.

But despite the underwhelming run of fights since his last attempt at world honours, ‘El Nica’ is ready to re-establish himself as one of the world’s best 115lbers,

‘‘Fighting inside and out, we have things clear…I’m motivated to win the fight and seek to crown myself again.’’
‘‘I’m sure of the work we are doing to get out with the hand up.’’

Moloney has yet to step into the ring with a fighter of the calibre of Concepcion and the Panamanian’s erratic pressure style and wild power punches when he gets a sniff of blood, will certainly provide the perfect gateway fight to potential title bouts.
But if ‘The Monster’ is as good as he believes, and fights with the same confidence he’s displayed in his previous 17 bouts, Andrew will take great faith in the way the current WBA champion, Yafai handily dealt with ‘El Nica’ two years ago.

Also, on Saturday’s Bendigo card is, son of Kostya Tszyu, Tim, who, in his last outing just over a month ago, took less than two minutes to bizarrely knock out journeyman, Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus. The junior middleweight, 10-0 (8KOS), comes up against Marco Jesus Cornejo of Argentina in another scheduled 10 rounds.

Cornejo, 19-3 (18KOs), has fought and lost, twice already in 2018, dropping an 8-round decision to unbeaten fighters, Damian Jonk in April and then a subsequent 3rd round KO from Christian Mbilli a month later.

‘‘It’s been a very busy fight schedule, but that’s Timmy.’’ Tszyu’s manager, Billy Jennings told the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’. ‘‘One of the difficulties now is, with 10 fights for 10 wins, finding opponents.’’

‘‘When you look at Tim in what he represents in Australian boxing, he’s the marketers dream. He comes from a legendary family, he’s 10-0, clean-shaven, articulate and proud to be a fighter.’’

Northern Irish amateur standout, Conor Wallace will make his professional debut, taking on 19-71-4 (7KOs), Aswin Cabuy. The 21-year-old southpaw was unexpectedly deselected for the Commonwealth games earlier this year, which accelerated his intentions to turn pro. His Indonesian opponent on Saturday, Cabuy is a journeyman whose last victory came via DQ in 2016 against an 11-1, Andrew Green.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Beltran vs. Pedraza, Dogboe vs. Otake


By: Ste Rowen

Ray Beltran vs. Jose Pedraza Preview

On Saturday night at the Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ray Beltran, 35-7-1 (21KOs), makes the first defence of his WBO lightweight title when he takes on former IBF super-featherweight champion, Jose Pedraza.

The Mexican will be hoping to extend his hot streak to 7 victories since his last official loss, when he was taken to school over 12 rounds by a, 24-0, Terence Crawford. The 37-year-old has rebuilt himself since that loss, and the immediate bout that followed; an overturned TKO win over Takahiro Ao, ruled a non-decision due to a failed drug test by Beltran.

Four straight stoppages and a majority decision over Bryan Vasquez led to a February 2018 showdown with Paulus Moses, then 40-3 (25KOs) for the bronze belt, thanks to Terry Flanagan vacating the WBO strap to move up a weight class.

Beltran handily dealt with his Namibian foe, winning a unanimous decision in Reno by consistently beating Moses to the punch. Raymundo was willing, and able to go toe-to-toe with Paulus throughout the 12 rounds, and although Paulus had his bright moments, the Mexican was not to be denied and he obtained world honours, on his 4th attempt.

‘‘This belt represents my family’s future and it’s going nowhere.’’ The Mexican told ‘ESPN’ last month. ‘‘I am very motivated to defend my title and it’s very special to me because I’m fighting in my adopted home. Pedraza is a very skilful fighter and is going to bring his best to take the belt from us.’’

Raymundo also has future plans for unification and is hoping to add another top 10 pound-for-pound fighter to his resume. Speaking to ‘FightHype’ he said,
‘‘I’ve got my own conclusions about Lomachenko’s style. I think I have the advantage of the size and strength…Another thing is that Lomachenko stays in the pocket. He comes and stays close, he gets hit…I’ve got enough power to hurt him.’’

‘Sugar Ray’ Beltran isn’t the only one eyeing up a future bout with the WBA and Ring lightweight champion. Puerto Rican challenger, Jose Pedraza, speaking to ‘BoxingScene.com’, is already talking tactics on how to defeat the Ukrainian,
‘‘I am focused on Beltran but, sure I would love to fight Lomachenko…The key simply is to be in great condition and to match his boxing. Salido used a style…that made Lomachenko very uncomfortable.’’

Pedraza, 24-1 (12KOs) is fighting in his first world title bout since his 7th round stoppage loss to unbeaten super-featherweight, Gervonta Davis last year. Since then Jose took over a year out and, much like Beltran did after his defeat to Crawford, steadily fought his way back into contention; defeating 23-11, Jose Luis Rodriguez and Antonio Moran, 23-2, over 8 & 11 rounds respectively, but ‘Sniper’ recognises the step up he’s about to take again,

‘‘Beltran is a veteran and finally a world champion…It’s going to be a great fight because he will not want to lose the title. I’m 100% prepared for war.’’

Isaac Dogboe vs. Hidenori Otake

Also on Saturday’s card in Arizona, is WBO super-bantamweight champion, Isaac Dogboe of Ghana, who takes on Japanese veteran, Hidenori Otake, in his first defence of the WBO belt proper, won back in April this year.

It’s already been a busy year, for ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe.

At the beginning of 2018, the WBO champ, 19-0 (13KOs), dismantled Cesar Juarez to a 5th round stoppage victory in his native city of Accra. Then, 4 months ago, the 23-year-old was dropped in the 1st round, before going on to stop unbeaten American, Jessie Magdeleno via the 11th round in a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.
‘‘Coming into the fight we did think we could go there and blow Magdaleno out within three rounds and then I found myself on the floor and I wasn’t expecting it.’’ The WBO champ told ‘Sky Sports’ in June.

‘‘I got back up though, unhurt, and kept fighting. I just thought I had to put him back down and wanted to engage…God prepares my hands for war and my fingers for battle.’’

‘‘I’m making my first defence against Otake, a Japanese warrior…I’m not stepping back. We’re on a quest to make this division exciting and great again. We’re shaking up the division.’’
‘‘Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe. You all know I bring lighting and thunder.’’

Otake, 31-2-3 (14KOs), will be hoping to bring a storm of his own. The Japanese fighter hasn’t loss since 2014, when he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to then, WBA ‘Regular’ champion, Scott Quigg. It was Hidenori’s one and only fight outside of Japan so far, not a good sign for Saturday.

The former Japanese super-bantamweight champion is on a 9-fight win streak, but it has come against fairly substandard opposition. Saturday’s fight will be his first fight in his pro career, other than the Quigg loss, not to take place in Tokyo’s Korakuen hall.

But home comforts will be the least of Otake’s problems once the bell rings and Dogboe comes out swinging, as is expected.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Jennings and Hart Win with Convincing Knockouts


By: William Holmes

The Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.

The undercard was packed with local talent. Newark’s Skakur Stevenson, Philadelphia’s Christian Carto, and Millville’s Thomas LaManna were all victorious in their bouts.

The opening bout of the night was between Jesse Hart (24-1) and Mike Gavronski (24-2-1) in the super middleweight division.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Hart has won two fights in a row since losing to Gilberto Ramirez for the WO Super Middleweight Title.

Hart, the taller and longer fighter, kept Gavronski at the receiving end of his jab in the opening moments of the first round. His right cross started landing quickly and he was able to mix it up with some power shots to the body. Gavronski was bleeding by the end of the round and appeared to go down at one point from a right uppercut, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Hart continued on the attack in the second round and was loading up on his punches, which Gavronski was able to avoid with moderate success. When Hart did land, he stunned Gavronski.

Hart came out aggressive in the third round and was able to land a hard straight right hand that sent Gavronski right to the mat. Gavronski was met with a combination from Hart when he got back to his feet that sent him down for a second time.

Gavronski stumbled badly when the referee waived him forward, and rightly waived off the fight.

Jesse Hart wins by TKO at 0:52 in the third round.

Jesse Hart called out Gilberto Ramirez for a rematch for his title in the post-fight interview.

The main event of the evening was between Bryant Jennings (23-2) and Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3) in the heavyweight division.

Dimitrenko came out first and was greeted with boos from the crowd, and Jennings came out second to some cheers while being followed with trainer John David Jackson.

Dimitrenko was the much bigger and taller man, but Jennings has a very large reach. The opening two rounds featured both boxers probing each other with their jabs, but Jennings was landing the stiffer shots.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Jennings was starting to land his lead left hook and straight right hand with more regularity in the third round, which featured Jennings getting warned by the referee after pushing Dimitrenko into a corner.

Dimitrenko was able to score a surprising knockdown in the fourth round with a straight right hand, but replay showed it may have been an illegal punch to the back of the head. Jennings recovered well and was able to avoid the hard shots of Dimitrenko.

Jennings was able to bounce back in the fifth round and landed good body shots when in tight. Jennings continued to land at a higher clip in the sixth round and had re-established control of the fight since the knockdown.

Dimitrenko was able to land some hard straight right hands in the seventh round, but he began to unravel in the eighth. Jennings hurt Dimitrenko with a left hook that forced Dimitrenko to go to his knees. He got back up at the count of eight and was pummeled with combination until he went down for a second time. He was able to survive but looked hurt as the round ended.

The end came in the next round, as Jennings punctuated a dominating ninth round with two right uppercuts that sent Dimitrenko down again. The referee didn’t even bother counting and waived off the fight, much to the chagrin of Dimitrenko.

Bryant Jennings wins by TKO at 1:56 of the ninth round.

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Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Vendetti Defeats Kamegai, Camnio Beats Zenunaj


By: Dylan Smith

Golden Boy Promotions put on a live event from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. ESPN televised their card and it featured two entertaining bouts, including a bloody main event.

The following is a recap of their event.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

The co-main Event of the evening.

A 10 round war! It was a brutal display of heavy shots and relentless pressure by both boxers. Japanese Yoshihiro Kamega stayed true to his form by constantly coming forward and not giving young Vendetti a moment to breath. Greg being the younger guy by 7 years, he held his composure and kept pushing back the Japanese Warrior.

From the first round Kamegai pushed Greg Vendetti backwards to the ropes were he let loose heavy hooks to the body and head.
The first time for The Villain to go past 8 rounds is a testament the Kamegai’s toughness. Yoshihiro gained Vendetti’s respect form the start of the fight as Greg kept a nice tight guard. Until the 7th round where he seemed to lower his guard and become more relaxed into the fight. Vendetti’s corner was pumping him up in between each round to keep him motivated which was a stronghold to aid his performance.

The Villain managed to swell up Kamegai’s left cheek from continued right hands beating him down. Although a lot of heavy shots were thrown and landed, neither man was put down in the fight and it lasted the whole 10 rounds.

In Kamegai’s last 5 fights he has landed 24.6 punches per round 39% of them being power punches. But allowing 26 punches 43.8% of them power punches to land from his opponent. This fight was a lot closer in terms of what landed however as Vendetti landed 37% of power punches and Kamegai landed 36% of his. The total punches thrown was 629 for Yoshihiro and 826 for the Villain Vendetti so he was the busier man. A lot of punches were thrown by each man, only 1% difference in what was actually landed, which is closer than the judges had it scored however.

Both judges had Greg Vendetti winning by a unanimous points decision, one by 98-92 and the other by 97-93. Vendetti did seem to land the better shots but it was a competitive fight as both fighters didn’t stop throwing the whole fight.

Greg ‘The Villain’ Vendetti is at the early stage of his career and will go on to advance to the next stage, performing very well tonight against a seasoned vet in Yoshihiro Kamegai. With it being an entertaining fight, as it was, both boxers can come again I’m sure.

The main even of the Evening

An action packed fight with an aggressive fighter being charged by a juggernaut. Andrew Cancio has been working his day job up until the last week of his fight. Having managed to put in the hours in the gym as well. The hungry fighter had a great opening and towards the end of the 1st round he seemed to hurt Dardan Zenunaj with a big right hand. Cancio threw double the amount of punches as Dardan and landed 48%. Round 1,2 and 3 Cancio continued to throw double the amount of Zenunaj.

El Chango looked strong and composed even in moments where Dardan put pressure on him. Andrew was landing clean crisp counter punches on the inside and outside. Zenunaj absorbing a lot of punches he was relentless in charging forward. Both men utilised the jab well, Andrew however seemed to find his range better and, in some rounds was landing double the amount of punches than Dardan.

The key in this fight was the uppercuts thrown by Cancio. He seemed to be able to land at will to the centre gap in the guard of Zenunaj. El Chango utilised good footwork, evading punches and fighting on the back foot. Zenunaj did land shots of his own however and kept on working throughout the fight.

With great conditioning and mind of a warrior Dardan kept pushing forward. He seemed to get stronger as the fight went on, even when hurt he shook his head to allude he wasn’t. He boxed well, cut off the ring and forced Andrew to work. His work rate wasn’t diminished through the rounds but seemed to improved. His pressure was consistent and although behind on points came out in the 8th with a bounce in his step. With only 2 rounds left he and his corner knew they needed to finish Cancio to win. Wanting to finish the fight he carried on showing his massive heart.

They went at it in the 9th with beautiful left hooks and straight rights from Cancio but Zenunaj kept coming forward. Andrew was spitting blood which covered the face of Dardan. In the 10th Zenunaj had a lot of success and man handled Andrew. As the crowd cheered ‘El Chango’ Andrew stayed in there, his nose bloodied he bit down on the gun shield and water out until the bell.

The two fighters embraced on the final bell and gave it their all. They had a lot of respect for each other and both put on a wonderful performance. The crowd gave them a standing ovation and although not a native of California, Zenunaj seemed to win over the home town crowd of the Monkey.

It lasted the duration of the 10 rounds and went to a points decision. All judges in favour of Andrew Cancio.

Punch stats were Cancio three 994 and landed 356 (36% pct landed) and for Zenunaj 1062 only 278 landed (26% pct landed).

Andrew Cancio has earnt a deserved win, his 19th victory. It makes you wonder What could he achieve if he dedicated his time solely on boxing?

Another great fight from 2 tough fighters who displayed pugilist skills and entertained the crowd who were on their feet.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Jennings vs. Dimitrenko, Hart vs. Gavronski


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Top Rank Promotions will promote an eight fight boxing card to be televised on ESPN.

The main event and co-main event of the evening will likely have future title bout implications. Bryant Jennings will face Alexander Dimitrenko in a heavyweight showdown in the main event of the evening and Jesse Hart will face Mike Gavronski in the super middleweight division.

The undercard is packed with local prospects and rising contenders which will help bring in fans from nearby areas to Atlantic City. Shakur Stevenson from Trenton, New Jersey, Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey, Christian Carto from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Thomas LaManna from Millville, New Jersey are all fighters with local ties that could be up for a title shot in the near future.

The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Jesse Hart (24-1) vs. Mike Gavronski (24-2-1); Super Middleweights

Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is the son of legendary Philadelphia Boxer Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and recently lost a close decision to current WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto Ramirez.

Hart, to his credit, has remained active since that loss and is back to his winning ways. He fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016. Four of his past five wins have been by KO/TKO.

Gavronski is a good boxer with a decent record. However, he is three years older than Hart and will be giving up about three inches in height and six and a half inches in reach.

He also fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Gavronski did not fight yet in 2018.

Jesse Hart also has an edge in power over Gavronski. He has twenty stoppage victories while Gavronski has fifteen. Hart has also never been stopped while Gavronski has been stopped once.

Hart also has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2011 National Golden Gloves Championship and placed 2nd in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. Gavronski has no notable amateur accomplishments to speak of.

Hart has beaten the likes of Demond Nicholson, Thomas Awimbono, Alan Campa, Andrew Hernandez, and Aaron Pryor Jr. His lone loss was a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez.

Gavronski has beaten the likes of Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono, and Brian Vera. His losses were to Dashon Johnson and Tureano Johnson.

Dashon Johnson is a man that Hart beat in 2016.

Hart appears to have too much fire power for Gavronski to handle.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Bryant Jennings (23-2) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3); Heavyweights

Bryant Jennings is a solid heavyweight boxer who previously fought for the title but came up short against Wladimir Klitschko.

He’s fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017 and is looking for another title shot.

Jennings is facing a boxer that many consider to be past his prime in Alexander Dimitrenko.

Jennings, at the age of thirty three, is three years younger than Dimitrenko. He will also be giving up about four inches in height, but Jennings will have a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers aren’t necessarily known for their power. Dimitrenko has twenty six stoppage victories while Jennings has thirteen.

Both boxers have been stopped in their career. Dimitrenko has two stoppage losses while Jennings only has one.

Jennings had a brief amateur career but it was rather successful. He made it to the finals of the 2009 PAL Nationals and was a National Runner Up in the Golden Gloves National Championship. He also defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion , Stipe Miocic, as an amateur. To this writer’s knowledge, Dimitrenko has no notable amateur accomplishments.

Jennings losses were to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz. He has defeated the likes of Joey Dawejko, Akhror Muralimov, Don Haynesworth, Mike Perez, Artur Szpilka, Andrey Fedosov, Bowie Tupou, Steve Collins, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Maurice Byarm,

Dimitrenko fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018. His losses were to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, and Eddie Chambers. He has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Albert Sosnowski, Adrian Granat, and Miljan Rovcanin.

His win over Miljan Rovcanin is contested by many though and that was his last bout. The bout was originally ruled a split draw, but Dimitrenko team protested the result. It was later ruled a win for Dimitrenko because Rovcanin had three points deducted and accordingly he should have been disqualified after the third point deduction.

Jennings experience in fighting a taller elite fighter like Klitschko might prove valuable in Saturday’s fight. Dimitrenko won his last bout, but didn’t look particularly good doing so. Jennings isn’t known for his power, but he should be able to box intelligently and win a decision.

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ESPN Boxing Preview: Cancio vs. Zenunaj, Kamegai vs. Vendetti


By: Dylan Smith

Andrew Cancio vs. Dardan Zenunaj and Yoshihiro Kamegai vs. Greg Vendetti

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, US. On Friday 17th August 2018

TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes 11 p.m. ET

The Main event of the Evening

Californian Andrew ‘El Chango’ Cancio WBA Intercontinental Super Featherweight Champion is a young hungry fighter also working a day job to support his family. His record is 18-4-2 with 14 knockouts. Training in Knuckleheadz gym with the likes of Victor Ortiz and Francisco Santana his corner have a wealth of experience. He is a pressure fighter who digs in his heels and presses forward throwing lots of punches from different angles. With a height of 5’6” and a reach of 68” he is about average for the 130lb weight class but holds a lot of power.

Even after a 572 day lay off he displayed a dominant performance against his last opponent, a tough Kazakhstan Aidar Sharibayev. Cancio threw a total of 735 punches and although only 14% were jabs, he utilised them to find his range to set up combination punches. Also using a perfectly timed lead left hook to put his man down in the 3rd and then again in the 5th with a straight right. Cancio went on to Stop him in the 10th which shows He can carry his power up until the last round of the fight. Andrew Cancio can take a punch well and doesn’t mind taking a couple in order to land a few of his own.

You can expect to see ‘El Chango’ (The Monkey) standing his ground, moving forward using his jabs to set up decent powerful combinations. There will be no dancing around or stepping backwards from Cancio and he will meet his opponent head on. You will see him throw the lead left hook and the straight right hand and may even score a few knock downs.

Albanian Dardan Zenunaj is the former WBA international Super Featherweight champion and has a record of 14-4-0 with 11 ko’s. He is a quick starter and likes to throw heavy hooks to the body and downward chopping rights to the head. He has a good chin and his stamina makes him able to throw none stop punches right the way until the last round. With good footwork he aggressively charges forward with a tight guard to pressure his opponents, forcing them to throw so he can counter.

At 5’7” with a 68.5” reach he is about average for 130lbs but has half an inch reach over Cancio. Although Darda is 2 years older, his debut was in 2011 so Cancio has 5 years more experience in the professional ranks. However having been trained by Robert Garcia he has a wealth of knowledge of instruction in the ring.

Dardan’s last win was against Recky Duley where he dropped his opponent several times before the referee finally stopped it in the 3rd round. Although he lost his last fight it was against a gritty opponent in Carlos Morales who is due to fight the young talented up and comer Ryan Garcia.

Zenunaj will likely walk forward with a tight guard and try to counter Cancio. He will force the pace and is likely to throw close to 100 punches per round.

Even though Dardan Zenunaj trains in California, Andrew Cancio will have the advantage of the home crowd. It will be a high paced fight with both boxers coming forward. Be prepared for an action packed fight with toe to toe action like they are fighting in a phone booth. Who will be the first to take a step back? It’s highly likely there will be a knockout in this bout.

The Co-Main Event of the Evening.

Japanese Yoshihiro Kamegai has a record of 27-4-2 with 24 KO’s. Although having 4 losses on his record he has never been knocked out which is testament to his toughness and ability to absorb punishment. Even at 35 years of age he has fantastic cardio and continuously charges forward. Yoshihiro has a style that looks like and old school boxer brawler, throwing short hooks from the waist belt. He uses good movement to cut off the ring, forcing his opponent against the ropes to throw close range hooks. He should be called the Japanese firefighter as he goes to war in every fight, standing in the pocket and doesn’t back away.

In his last fight in August 2017 was with a legend of the sport, former 5 weight world champion Miguel Cotto for the vacant junior middleweight title. Although losing by a unanimous points decision, at the beginning of every round he ran at Cotto and didn’t stop to take a breather. Kamegai displayed an ability to roll with the punches, turning his head from side to side. Miguel dished out a huge amount of punishment. Even though behind by many rounds, Yoshihiro never gave up and continued to come forward until the very last round.

His last win was against Jesus Soto Karass. It was a rematch having previously fought him a few months before to a decision draw. In this fight however he secured a victory over Jesus. After a barrage of brutal combinations beat him so badly it forced Soto Karass to retire on his stool at the end of the 8th round.

Yoshihiro Kamegai will not be put off by blood or pain and you will likely see him try to resist until the end. With his high work rate and relentless pressure, attempt to Push Greg Vendetti back against the ropes to throw wild hooks to the body and head.

Greg ‘The Villain’ Vendetti New England Junior Middleweight Champion has a record of 19-2-1 with 12 KO’s. He is a powerful puncher, stocky with a solid base. He likes to get up close and uses fantastic pivotal movement, oscillating his upper body, using the momentum to hurl heavy hooks. Mike Tyson-esque from the body movement, hooks and even the black shorts, he has also knocked out his last 2 opponents both in the first round.

Vendetti is a young fighter of 28 years of age. Only debuting in 2013 however he has been very active and this will be his 5th fight in 12 months. The Villain is on a 15 fight win streak and has never been stopped, which is testimony to his toughness.

Greg ‘The Villain’ Vendetti will try to out land Kamegai and force him to miss with his upper body movement. It is likely Greg will want to finish by knockout in brutal fashion. He will have a great test ahead in the Japanese warrior Yoshihiro Kamegai.

Both fighters will stand their ground and look to dominate the other with their toughness. Like in true Samurai spirit they will fight until the end and not give up. It’s going to be interesting to see the young fighter’s stamina to be tested and the older fighter’s resilience put to measure. An interesting fight of styles will clash as they both come forward and pull the trigger.

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Diaz to Face Ito for the WBO World Super Featherweight Title


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank, All Star Boxing and Tuto Zabala, Jr. bring a world boxing title bout along with 8 other bouts at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Florida on Saturday that will be shown on ESPN+.

Unbeaten No. 1 contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz, 23-0 (15), of Barranquitas, PR, will be taking on No. 2 contender Masayuki Ito, 23-1-1 (12), of Tokyo, Japan. This is scheduled for 12 rounds for the vacant WBO World Super Featherweight title.


Photo Credit: Peter Amador / Top Rank

Two fights ago, in December of 2017, Diaz defeated US boxer Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz, 18-2. He stopped him in 3 rounds for the vacant NABO super featherweight title. In his most recent fight, a NABO title defense, he stopped Dominican Braulio “El Chavo” Rodriguez, 19-2, in 4 rounds in March of 2018. He has fought in the US in 14 of his 23 bouts with the rest in PR. Earlier in Diaz’s career he defeated US boxer Ray Ximenez, 13-0, for the vacant WBO Youth Featherweight title in San Juan, PR, in April of 2016.

Ito has held the WBC Youth World Lightweight, OPBF Super Feather and WBO Asia Pacific Super Feather titles. This will be the first time he has fought out of Japan. He defeated Filipino Jeffrey “The Bull” Arienza, 9-1-1, for the WBC Youth World Lightweight title stopping him in 10 rounds. He stopped Japan’s Dai Iwai, 17-3-1, in the tenth round for the vacant OPBF Super Featherweight title. In title defenses he defeated Japan’s Shingo Eto, 17-3-1, stopped Filipino Ernie Sanchez, 15-7-1, in 11 rounds.

Ito defeated Japan’s Takuya Watanabe, 30-6-1 along with winning Watanabe’s OPBF Super Featherweight title by decision over 12 rounds. He defended the OPBF title stopping Filipino Lorenzo “Thunderbolt” Villanueva, 33-2, in 9 rounds in April of 2017. He followed in 2017 stopping Filipino Glenn Enterina, 11-2-1, in 6 rounds and in March of 2018 stopping Filipino Vergil Puton, 17-9, in 9 rounds in his most recent bout.

In the co-feature Welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero, 24-3-1 (5), of Brooklyn, NY, takes on Artemio Reyes, 25-2 (20), of Colton, CA, who is on a 10 fight 8 knockout winning streak over 10 rounds. Bracero has wins over Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita, 35-1-1, in 2013 and knocking out Danny O’Connor, 26-2, in 2015 in the first round.

Middleweight southpaw Esquiva Falcao, 20-0 (14), of Vitoria, BRZ, takes on southpaw Jonathan “Oso” 17-5 (13), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds.

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Lamont Roach, Jr. Looks to Extend Unbeaten Streak Friday on ESPN


By: Ken Hissner

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is featuring Lamont Roach who not only intends on extending his unbeaten streak to eighteen but to pick up the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight title Friday on ESPN.

Roach, 16-0-1 (6), of Upper Marlboro, MD, is coming off a draw with Orlando Cruz, 25-6-1, in April in Puerto Rico. He will be taking on southpaw Deivi Julio “El Cabo” Bassa, 20-4 (12), of Monteira, Colombia, for the title in a 10 rounder.


Photo Credit: Lamont Roach Jr. Twitter Account

The event will be held at the Grand Oasis Arena, Quintana Roo, Cancun, Mexico. Roach had quite an amateur career with over 100 fights. In 2013 he was the National Golden Gloves and the U.S. National champion. He was a 5-time Ringside World Champion. He is trained by his father, Lamont, Sr. and is attending the University of Maryland, pursing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Bassa won his first seventeen fights with ten by knockout all in Colombia. Then a losing trip to Japan to Kenji Ogawa, 15-1, who in December fought for the IBF world title. In Bassa’s last fight he scored a knockout win in February in his country of Colombia.

Bassa’s biggest wins were over Franklin Varela, 21-9, in 2013 and Edison Valencia Diaz, 21-12, in 2015, both in Colombia. In 2017 against Neslan Machado, 11-0, it ended in a NC, in making his US debut in Miami, FL.

In the co-feature Junior Featherweight southpaw Alexis Bastar, 10-1-1 (8), of Qunitana Roo, Cancun, MEX, is coming off a win in April. He takes on Rigoberto Nava, 3-2-4 (0), of Mexico City, MEX, who has four draws in his last five fights. This is including a majority decision draw with Bastar in November of 2017.

2012 London Olympics Bronze Medalist and 2014 World Amateur Gold Medalist Flyweight Marlen Esparza, 5-0 (1), of Houston, TX, takes on Debora “La Pantera” Rengifo, 10-5-1 (5), of Caracas, VZ, a two-time world title challenger, over 8×2 rounds.

Middleweight Manuel “El Meno” Gallegos, 11-0 (10), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MEX, meets tba over 6 rounds. He is on a three fight knockout streak having last fought in March with all eleven of his fights being in Mexico.

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Joet Gonzalez Wins Split Decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera


By: Ken Hissner

Golden Boy Promotions over ESPN Friday night put on a boxing event at the Nova Theater in downtown L.A. showing two female matches prior to the main event with hometown favorite Joet Gonzalez and Mexico’s Rafael Rivera being quite unusual.

Featherweight Joet Gonzalez, 20-0 (11), of Glendora, CA, won a split decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera, 25-2-2 (16), of Tijuana, Baja, CA, Mexico, for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight Title.

In the first round both fighters were taking turns being the aggressor. Halfway through the round Rivera landed half a dozen punches before getting knocked back by a Gonzalez left hook to the chin. In the second round Rivera used a good left hook doubling it up on Gonzalez. Gonzalez, the taller of the two can’t hold off Rivera who came forth with combinations to body and head.

In the third round it was the first clinch caused by Gonzalez. Gonzalez tried to hold off Rivera with a jab but it wasn’t enough. Gonzalez seemed to have to take punches in bunches before fighting back. In the fourth round Gonzalez finally put more than a single punch at a time also using an occasional elbow. Rivera continued to throw more in return after Gonzalez lands several punches and moves back.

In the fifth round Gonzalez opened up with a 3-punch combination before Rivera came back with a combination. Whenever Rivera got hit to the head he immediately came back with a flurry. Gonzalez landed a combination and again moved away allowing Rivera to come back at him with a flurry. Gonzalez kept his hands up using a good defense but his face was showing the marks of the battle.

In the sixth round Rivera drove Gonzalez against the ropes with a flurry of punches. Halfway through the round it became a real fight. Gonzalez near the end of the round had Rivera holding on. In the seventh round the fans start chanting “Joet, Joet” urging Gonzalez to be more offensive. Rivera rarely threw a jab living up to his nick name “Bang Bang” throwing punches. Gonzalez was using his strength inside landing a good right uppercut to the chin until a Rivera left hook stopped him from using his strength.

In the eighth round Rivera landed a double left hook to the liver. Rivera came forward low but not throwing punches until he got hit by Gonzalez. In the ninth round Gonzalez continued to come forward with hands held high allowing Rivera to get to his body. Gonzalez comes forward but not throwing the jab much looking for the big punch. Rivera countered a jab from Gonzalez with a right to the chin. Halfway through the round with Rivera inside he would hold Gonzalez’s glove with his arm until seperated.

In the tenth and final round Gonzalez used his jab as Rivera tried using his but falling short. Halfway through the round both fighters opened up knowing the fight may be on the line. Both opened up the last thirty seconds right to the bell.

Judges scores were 96-94 Gonzalez, 96-94 Rivera and 97-93 for Gonzalez. This writer had it 96-94 Rivera.

Gonzalez said “I’m calling out all featherweights including Gary Russell. I thought I won the fight easily.” He better watch what he is asking for. “He never hurt me. I knew coming from Tijuana it would be hard getting the win. I thought I won,” said Rivera. In the amateurs the jab scores points but in the pro’s Rivera throwing twice as many punches should have meant a victory.

In the co-main event flyweight Siessa “Super Bad” Estrada, 14-0 (4), of East L.A. easily stopped Jhosep “La Chica de Oro” Vizcaino, 7-7- (3) of Quito, ECU, at 0:20 of round 3.

In the first round it was all Estrada who was taking a flurry of punches and countered with a left hook dropping Vizdaino. In the second round Estrada turned southpaw up until near the end of the round switching back to orthodox. The referee Zachary Young gave Vizcaino a warning to start fighting back.

In the third round Estrada landed many punches to the head before landing a left hook to the liver of Vizdaino who after a slight delay went to the canvas causing referee Young to stop the lopsided fight. To her credit Vizdaino came without a trainer as a substitute replacing the scheduled Christian Gonzalez-German Meraz co-feature.

Super middleweight Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo, 12-2 (5), of Los Angelos, CA, stopped Samantha Pill, 3-1 (0), of Fairmont, WV, at 0:41 of the third round in a scheduled 6.

In the first round Cornejo pressed Pill who used a counter jab for the most part. It wasn’t until near the end of the round that a solid punch was landed by Cornejo a right to the chin of Pill.

In the second round Pill drove Cornejo back several steps with a right to the chin. The action picked up when Pill decided to mix it up but took a beating before she started moving as she did in the first round. You can tell Pill was an MMA boxer with little boxing experience.

In the third round Cornejo continued dishing out a beating on Pill. Referee Jack Reis wisely stopped the onslaught early in the round seeing that Pill didn’t know how to cover up taking too much punishment.

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