DAZN Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Rocky, Farmer vs. Fonseca
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions top promotional star, Canelo Alvarez, will make his debut in New York City and on the DAZN Streaming Network when he faces off against Rocky Fielding for Fielding’s WBA Super Middleweight title.
This bout will take place at the famed Madison Square Garden and features a rather stacked undercard. The co-main event of the night was originally supposed to be between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, but Lemieux had to withdraw due to dehydration issues and the bout between Tevin Farmer and Francisco Fonseca will take it’s place.
Other notable undercard fights include a welterweight bout between Sadam Ali and Mauricio Herrera, an IBF/WBA Women’s Lightweight Title bout between Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom, and two bouts featuring high rated prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr.
DAZN has gone all in with their partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez, and this is the first of an eleven fight contract that they have with Canelo.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Tevin Farmer (27-4) vs. Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Tevin Farmer is one of those feel good stories in the sport of boxing. He wasn’t a heralded amateur and started his career with a 2-2 record, but he has shown significant improvement since his professional debut and was able to win the IBF Super Featherweight Title.
Farmer only had sixteen amateur fights so he had to learn quickly on the job. He’s not known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents and was stopped twice in his career. He lost by TKO in his very first professional fight and was later stopped by Jose Pedraza.
His opponent, Francisco Fonseca, has stopped sixteen of his opponents and was only stopped one time in his career, a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. Fonseca will have a slight inch and a half height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Fonseca has fought mainly in Panama and Costa Rica against suspect opposition. He lost his only fight outside of Central America. His biggest win to date was against a 13-3 Daniel Miranda. He’s been fairly active and fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Farmer fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. He’s shown significant improvement since his debut, especially defensively, and has beaten the likes of James Tennyson, Billy Dib, Arturo Santos Reyes, Ivan Redkach, and Angel Luna.
This is a bout that Farmer should win by decision. Farmer is angling for a future fight with Gervonta Davis and he’ll need an impressive performance to get the boxing community talking about a potential fight with Davis.
Rocky Fielding (27-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2); WBA Super Middleweight Title
Canelo Alvarez is arguably boxing’s biggest, active star. He’ll be chasing history on Saturday night as he looks to win a title in his third weight class, and become the ninth Mexican boxer to do so.
Canelo is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old and is three years younger than his opponent. However, Canelo is the smaller man and will be giving up height, reach, and size to Fielding.
Canelo turned pro at the age of fifteen, so Fielding has more amateur experience than Canelo as he experienced some success as an amateur on the English circuit.
Canelo also has significantly more power in his punches than Fielding. He has stopped 34 of his opponents while Fielding has only stopped fifteen. Fielding also has a TKO loss on his record when he was stopped by Callum Smith. Canelo’s lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. five years ago and he has never been stopped.
Both fighters have been fairly active. Canelo fought twice in 2017 and once in 2018 while Fielding fought twice in 2018 and in 2017.
Canelo has a long list of accomplished opponents that he has beaten. He has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Carlos Baldomir.
Fielding’s biggest wins were against Tyron Zeuge for the WBA Super Middleweight title, David Brophy, John Ryder, and Brian Vera. This will only be his second fought outside of the United Kingdom and his first fight in the United States.
It’s likely Fielding’s size advantage will give Canelo some problems early on, but Canelo’s skill is levels above Fielding and he should win quite comfortably in his New York City debut.
Tevin Farmer Ready For “Another Big Night” On Saturday
By: Sean Crose
With only five knockouts in his previous 31 fights, super featherweight Tevin Farmer was not seen as a power puncher when he slipped between the ropes at Boston’s TD Garden last fall. Appearances, however, can be deceiving things. The crowd at Garden that night ended up being as stunned by Farmer as his opponent James Tennyson undoubtedly was. In short, the fight was over in the fifth, thanks to a thunderous performance by IBF champ Farmer. For a man whose been in the fight game since 2011, Farmer has largely stayed under the radar. As a part of the DAZN aired Canelo-Fielding broadcast this weekend from Madison Square Garden, however, the Philly native looks to continue making waves.
The 27-4-1 Farmer’s opponent this Saturday will be the 22-1-1 Costa Rican contender Francisco Fonseca. Gervonta Davis, who has had a war of words with Farmer, has been the only man to best Fonseca. What’s more, 16 of Fonseca’s opponents have been stopped within the distance. Farmer, however, appears eager to once again be the ferocious combatant fans saw in Boston several months back. “Another day,” says Farmer, “another big night. “I’m looking to do the same thing that I did to Tennyson – but much faster.”
Promoter Lou DiBella, has nothing but praise for Farmer. “Tevin Farmer is one of the most inspirational stories in boxing,” he says. “He’s won 20 fights in a row and is one of the fastest improving young stars in boxing. I’m pleased that, with Eddie Hearn and DAZN, he is now the most active champion in the ring. It’s a tremendous opportunity to be on the Canelo-Fielding bill.” Eddie Hearn also has impressive words for the champion.
“It’s brilliant,” he says, “to Tevin straight back out after his big win in Boston. We are keeping our guys nice and active and Tevin gets his chance to go again on the biggest stage at Madison Square Garden against Fonseca.” As for Fonseca, the man is ready to make the most of the moment. “I’d like to thank Tevin Farmer for the opportunity,” Fonseca claims. “I see his focus is on Gervonta Davis, not on me – but you have no idea the opponent that you will clash with on December 15.”
Hearn isn’t downplaying Saturday’s opposition. “2019 is going to be a monster for Tevin,” he says, “but he must get the job done next Saturday – I can’t wait to see him light up the Garden live on DAZN.”
Tevin Farmer vs. Francisco Fonseca Added To Canelo-Fielding 12/15 MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
When Tevin Farmer and promoter Lou DiBella entered a co-promotional pact with Eddie Hearn, it came with the promise of bigger paydays and a steady stream of ring activity.
Two lucrative fights in less than two months qualifies as living up to such a promise.
Photo Credit: Tevin Farmer Twitter Account
Once a hard-luck contender, Farmer will see his name in bright lights as the Philadelphia-bred super featherweight titlist next defends his strap on December 15 at Madison Square Garden. His second title defense will come versus Francisco Fonseca, in supporting capacity to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Both bouts will be part of what is already becoming a loaded card which will stream live on DAZN USA.
The late addition of Farmer (27-4-1, 6KOs) to the show fills an undercard void left behind after Artur Beterbiev declined an opportunity to defend his light heavyweight belt versus Joe Smith Jr. Hearn—who promotes Fielding—was guaranteed a certain amount of undercard slots by the event’s lead promoter Golden Boy Promotions and opted to get his 130-pound charge right back in the ring.
It was an easy call for Farmer, who is coming off of a 3rd round knockout of James Tennyson. The bout was so one-sided that the 28-year old titlist immediately afterward called for one more fight on the year.
In landing on the December 15 show, he now gets to end his 2018 ring campaign in stark contrast to a tumultuous 2017 run that saw him hit hard in and out of the ring. Farmer survived a gun shot while attempting to break up an altercation outside of a family function.
The incident put him on the shelf for the next few months, but with his ring return coming in the form of his first career major title fight. The opportunity came about after his divisional rival Gervonta Davis—with whom Farmer has feuded in person and online—missed weight and was forced to vacate his title ahead of a knockout win over Fonseca last August.
Farmer’s shot came last December in Las Vegas, where fans on hand as well as HBO viewers witnessed one of the worst decisions of the year as he dropped a highly questionable split decision to Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa.
Justice came in the form of a post-fight drug test, which showed Ogawa coming up hot for the banned substance androstanediol. With the title still vacant, Farmer willingly traveled to Australia where he dominated local contender Billy Dib over 12 rounds this past August.
He now enters his second title defense, which will come just 14 weeks after realizing his dream of winning a major title.
“I’m in shape and ready to defend my title,” Farmer commented of his being available for the quick turnaround. “I ain’t gotta say much, three (title) fights in four months.”
The pairing with Fonseca is a calculated move by DiBella and Hearn. Both have openly called for a unification bout with Davis, who reclaimed a separate version of the 130-pound crown earlier this year. The forthcoming title defense provides the opportunity to compare Farmer’s performance to that of Davis’ one-sided 8th round knockout.
Fonseca (22-1-1, 16KOs)—a 24-year old from Costa Rica—has since won three straight, all by knockout and all taking place in Panama City, Panama. His upcoming challenge of Farmer will mark his second bid for a major title as well as his second in the United States—his lone career loss to Davis representing the answer to each of those trivia questions.
Farmer and Fonseca join main event players Alvarez and Fielding in all fighting at Madison Square Garden for the first time in their respective careers. The placement of this bout comes on the heels of the announced undercard clash between former middleweight titlist David Lemieux and fringe contender Tureano Johnson, who was the lone boxer to represent Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
IBF World Super Feather Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Defends Saturday
Philly’s IBF World Super Featherweight Champion Tevin “American Idol” Farmer makes his first title defense Saturday at the TD Garden, in Boston, MASS, against North Ireland’s James “The Assassin” Tennyson.
Southpaw Farmer, 26-4-1 (5), was robbed in December of 2017 losing a split decision to Kenichi Ogawa, 22-1 (17), of Tokyo, Japan, but it was changed to a NC due to Ogawa testing positive for use of androstanediol.
Farmer came back in August of 2018 to defeat Bill Dib, 43-4, over 12 rounds in Australia to win the vacant IBF World Super Featherweight title. The 28 year-old Farmer has wasted no time in defending his title.
Tennyson is ranked No. 7 in the IBF while the first two slots are vacant. After a 7-4-1 start in his career Farmer ran off 18 straight wins over a 5 year period up to the NC with Ogawa.
Farmer is trained by Raul “Chino” Rivas in the TKO Fitness Gym in Cherry Hill, NJ, along with former champion Jason Sosa. Former Philly fighter Rashiem Jefferson is the assistant trainer for both.
“God willing I will get passed this fight for I have another one lined up. Stay busy, stay sharp, stay alive,” said Farmer. This is the first of a four fight deal Farmer has with DAZN who will be broadcasting this event.
In the co-feature southpaw No. 1 ranked Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, 25-0 (16), of Providence, RI, and No. 2 ranked Walter “The Executioner” Kautondokwa, 17-0 (16), of Windhoek, Nambia, will be fighting for the vacant WBO World Middleweight title stripped from Billy Joe Saunders of the UK.
Featherweight Kid Galahad, 24-0 (15), of Sheffield, UK, meets Liberia’s southpaw Toka Kahn Clary, 25-1 (17), of Providence, RI, over 12 rounds. Also, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Taylor, 10-0 (5), of Bray, Ireland, defends her IBF World and WBA World Female Lightweight titles against WBO World Featherweight champion Puerto Rico’s Cindy Serrano, 27-5-3 (10), of Brooklyn, NY, over 12 rounds.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Farmer, Pulev, Fury, Rios, Showtime, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 21st to August 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kubrat Pulev Promising ‘Fire & Fury’ in IBF Eliminator Against Hughie Fury on October 27th in Sofia, Bulgaria
On Saturday, October 27, “Fire & Fury” will collide, as IBF #2-rated heavyweight contender Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev will face Britain’s IBF #5-rated Hughie Fury in a 12-round elimination bout at the Arena Armeec in Pulev’s hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) and Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) will be competing for the right to face the winner of the September 22 showdown between champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Alexander Povetkin.
The event, entitled “Fire & Fury” will be presented by Ivaylo Gotzev and John Wirt’s Epic Sports and Entertainment, together with Fury’s promoter, Hennessey Sports, and will be broadcast live in the UK on Channel 5.
One of the most popular athletes in all of Bulgaria, 37-year-old Pulev is on a five-fight winning streak, including a TKO 3 over former heavyweight champion Samuel Peter. Among his many distinctions, Pulev is a former two-time European and IBF International Heavyweight Champion. He stands 6’ 4 ½” and weighs in around 240 lbs. Pulev’s only career loss came in a challenge for the undisputed heavyweight championship against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Fury is the fourth opponent scheduled to face Pulev, as Britain’s Dillian Whyte and Americans Jarell Miller and Dominic Breazeale all declined the fight.
Pulev, who will be having his first bout since partnering with Epic Sports and Entertainment, says Fury better not be looking past him while preparing for this fight.
“The fact that Hughie Fury is coming to Bulgaria when many others ran away speaks volumes,” said Pulev. “I understand that he is very motivated because this is an eliminator fight for a chance at the world title. I suggest he stops thinking about the world title for a moment and come prepared for a real battle. I am already in beast mode and I’m hungry for my return in the ring!”
Fury hails from Manchester and is the current BBBofC British Heavyweight Champion and is trained by his father, Peter Fury. The 23-year-old stands 6’ 6” tall and also weighs in around 240 lbs. In September of 2017, Fury suffered his only career loss, a controversial majority decision to Joseph Parker for Parker’s WBO Heavyweight Championship.
“It’s taken a lot of time to make this fight happen and I want to thank all of those involved,” said Hughie Fury. “I want to fight for world titles and to do that I need to beat the guys at the top of the division. Kubrat Pulev is a serious fight for the mandatory position and I know I’ve got to be the real deal to beat him. I believe I’m going to do that in his back yard where others trembled at the thought of it.”
“We want to be involved in these big fight nights and to go up against the big names that lead the division,” added father and trainer Peter Fury. “To become a world heavyweight champion, you’ve got to overcome every challenge that’s put in front of you. And for Hughie that starts in Bulgaria in October.”
“In this day and age, when some promoters and their fighters opt for the safest bets, Hughie Fury has done the opposite,” said Ivaylo Gotzev of Fury, who has faced his own share of delays and disappointments on his way to this eliminator bout. “Fury has decided to step into the Lion’s Den, and fight Kubrat in his home town of Sofia. This matchup is intriguing, as two of the best in the division step up and face one another. We expect a great heavyweight battle – one that will decide one man’s destiny to fight for the most coveted title in the world – the Heavyweight Championship. To all of Team Fury – you are welcome in Bulgaria!”
Hennessy Sports CEO Mick Hennessy, promoter of Fury, said: “First and foremost I’d like to heap praise on my young fighter Hughie Fury. There’s no pantomime and no theatrics. He’s just a young man, full of respect for everyone he faces, and who believes in giving the fans proper fights and value for money. At just 23 years of age Hughie is a massive talent. He’s not perhaps got the plaudits he deserves, so this is his moment to make the boxing world really sit up and take notice of what he’s capable of.”
“I’d also like to thank my counterparts at Epic Sports & Entertainment for making this fight happen. It’s taken a lot to get to this point, but we were determined to give the fans a fight that they deserve. Both teams are excited about this one.”
Uzcátegui and Jerwin Ancajas Headline Oakland Throwdown
IBF super middleweight champion José Uzcátegui, the power-punching boogeyman of the 168-pounders, will face Ezequiel Maderna in the 10-round, non-title main event on Friday, Sept. 28 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
And, in the co-feature, Jerwin Ancajas, the world’s longest-reigning 115-pound world champion, is ready to add another defense to his résumé. The southpaw Filipino sensation will make the sixth defense of his IBF junior bantamweight world title against the hard-charging Alejandro Santiago.
Ancajas-Santiago and Uzcátegui-Maderna will stream live in the United States beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
The undercard will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET and includes a matchup of former 122-pound world champions: Jessie Magdaleno will take on Rico Ramos in a 10-round featherweight bout. Also appearing on the ESPN+ broadcast will be 118-pound contender Joshua Greer Jr. (17-1-1, 9 KOs) making his Top Rank debut in a 10-rounder against Giovanni Delgado (16-7, 9 KOs); the return of Filipino featherweight contender Genesis Servania (31-1, 14 KOs); and 18-year-old featherweight sensation Christopher Zavala (1-0) in a four-rounder.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Zanfer Promotions, tickets for this all-action card go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. PST. Priced at $105, $78.75, $52.50, and $26.25, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Oracle Arena box office. The Oracle Arena box office is open Monday-Friday from 12-5 p.m.
“This is my first fight since winning the world title, and I will be representing my country and my beloved Tijuana, Mexico, with pride and guts,” Uzcátegui said. “I will show the world and my opponent why I’m the best super middleweight in the world right now!”
“I am very excited to defend my title in Oakland in front of the great fans there, and I look forward to a great challenge from Santiago,” Ancajas said. “There is a large Filipino community in Northern California, so I expect an incredible atmosphere inside the Oracle Arena. I also want to thank MP Promotions, Sean Gibbons, Top Rank, and Mr. Bob Arum for this opportunity.”
“I want to be a world champion again. I have that fire and that fuel, and I am ready to do whatever it takes to get back there,” Madgaleno said. “I have new trainers, Ismael Salas and Jorge Capetillo, and I feel like it’s been a great move. I feel like I Iacked movement in my last fight, and I felt like I needed to get back to the way I was when I won the world title against Nonito Donaire. Everyone will see a renewed Jessie Magdaleno when I fight Rico Ramos.”
Uzcátegui (27-2, 23 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his career, an eighth-round stoppage against former world champion Andre Dirrell on March 3. It was a rematch of a controversial 2017 disqualification defeat for Uzcátegui, who was ruled to have knocked out Dirrell after the bell had sounded to end the eighth round. The win over Dirrell earned Uzcátegui the IBF interim title, but he was elevated to full champion after then-champion James DeGale elected to vacate the belt rather than face Uzcátegui. A native of El Vigia, Venezuela, Uzcátegui’s last 10 wins have come via stoppage. Maderna (26-4, 16 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, turned pro in 2008 and has won three of his past four fights.
Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KOs) from Barangay Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines, is a southpaw power puncher who has been a world champion since Sept. 3, 2016, when he knocked down McJoe Arroyo in the eighth round en route to a unanimous decision victory. He is one of boxing’s most active champions, having defended his title three times in 2017 and twice in 2018. In his last bout, May 26 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, Ancajas defeated countryman Jonas Sultan via unanimous decision in the first all-Filipino world title bout since 1925. Ancajas is 16-0 with 14 knockouts since his only loss, a 10-round majority decision to Mark Geraldo on March 17, 2012.
Santiago (16-2-4, 7 KOs), a native of Tijuana, Mexico, is riding an 11-bout unbeaten streak dating back to August 2015. He last fought on March 14 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, battling to a spirited draw versus Jose Martinez for the NABO super flyweight title.
Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) is a former WBO junior featherweight world champion who lost the belt in one of the best fights of 2018. On April 28 in Philadelphia, he knocked down Isaac Dogboe in the first round, but Dogboe rallied to score three knockdowns of his own and knock Magdaleno out in the 11th round of an instant classic. Ramos (29-5, 14 KOs), is a 10-year pro, won the WBA 122-pound title with a shocking, one-punch left hook knockout against Akifumi Shimoda in 2011, but lost the title in his first defense against then-unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux on Jan. 20, 2012 in Las Vegas. Ramos has won five in a row since a third-round KO loss against Claudio Marrero in July 2015.
WBC Ambassadors Maureen Shea and Brandon Rios Support the Grand Opening of Virgil Hill’s New Gym Funded by George Lopez
A few months ago, a Simi Valley Boxing Gym lost its owner due to canceR, It didn’t take much for comedian George Lopez and his company Fifty150 (Chasing Dreams – Overcome Obstacles) to step up to the plate and help save the gym the kids loved. This past Saturday, the gym had its Grand Opening ceremony where QuickSilver Hill Sports Academy was presented to the community with Head Coach, Former Champion, Virgil Hill.
In attendance at the Red Ribbon cutting ceremony was Former Champions and WBC Ambassadors, Bam Bam Brandon Rios and Maureen Shea, as well as Golden Boy Boxing’s house DJ Ray and hosting the event was Nancy Rodriguez. The WBC presented Virgil Hill with a WBC Certified plaque, very soon Pepe Sulaiman and team will be going to the gym for workshops and Boxing fundamentals.
The gym had two sparring sessions where both Brandon Rios and Maureen Shea were put in as trainers, which was great to see them in these roles. Many raffles, prizes, photos, autographs from the fighters, free food and drinks for all.
Rios and Shea spoke to the children in attendance and really gave them great advice on following their dreams and never giving up.
On behalf of the WBC, we’d like to congratulate Quicksilver Hill Sports Academy on their Grand Opening and we look forward to seeing them in the Boxing Community.
Showtime to Premiere Cradle of Champions
SHOWTIME has acquired the television rights to CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS, a documentary film that takes viewers through the New York Golden Gloves tournament, one of the most prestigious amateur boxing tournaments in the country. Written and directed by journalist Bartle Bull, the film will premiere Friday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS chronicles three inspiring fighters—James Wilkins, Nisa Rodriguez, and Titus Williams—as they navigate the 10-week tournament and fight their way among 500 boxers from the five boroughs, all vying for the coveted title of Golden Gloves champion. Through the three intertwined yet unique narratives, the film explores the pressures and sacrifices on the arduous journey toward boxing greatness.
Shot in a cinema verité-style with no voice-over narration, the character-driven narrative examines what it means to “fight for your life,” not only for the boxers, but also for their coaches, mentors, teammates and loved ones. CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS includes genuine characters and intimate revelations set against the gritty urban landscape of New York City to create a powerful and layered account of the 2015 tournament.
The film follows Williams and Wilkins as they battle through opposite sides of the 132-pound bracket. Williams is the tournament favorite on the brink of professional success. He is mentored by coach Joe Higgins, a retired New York City firefighter suffering from illnesses sustained during rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Wilkins, a Staten Island native who channels his propensity for fighting into an amateur career, aims to beat Williams and establish himself as a prospect to watch as he turns to the professional ranks. Meanwhile, single mother and teacher Rodriquez—a five-time Golden Glove champion and self-proclaimed, “fighting pride of the South Bronx”—attempts to cement her legacy as she sets her sights on the 2016 Olympic Trials.
CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS is Bull’s first endeavor into documentary filmmaking. A New York based author and journalist by trade who specializes in foreign affairs and the Middle East, Bull has appeared on NPR, Fox News, BBC, and other news outlets, and his work has been featured in New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS is executive produced by Donald Rosenfeld (Tree of Life, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Remains of the Day) and written and directed by Bull, in association with cinematographer Tom Hurwitz (The Queen of Versailles) and editor Michael Levine (Restrepo). The film was an official selection at the 2017 American Documentary Film Festival, the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Doc NYC 2017. CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS was named Best Feature at the 2017 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.
The Underground Showdown Returns to Atlanta September 15
ATLANTA, GA- Saturday September 15, The Underground Showdown returns to Buckhead Fight Club, presented by Holmes Entertainment . This evening of pro/amateur boxing action will see an action packed card, and promoter Mark Holmes is excited to be back in Atlanta and return to professional boxing promotions. “”This is a great opportunity to see good, local growing talent, so I’m going to put some shows together and try and keep the fighters in all these gyms busy and fighting.”
Underground Showdown is stacked with many of the top Mexican fighters in Atlanta, all ready to battle it out on Mexican Independence weekend. Pro fighters scheduled to appear are: super welterweights Jesus Tavera and Anthony Hill in a 6 round main event; featherweights Deonte Brown and Joe Gibson, 4 rounds; super welterweights Antonio Todd and Jorge Gonzales Rolon, 4 rounds; fly weights Rondarius Hunter and Arrel Love, 4 rounds; Jerson Ramos, super featherweight opponent TBD, and welterweight Sean Charleston and opponent TBD. Amateur bouts will feature Abel Aparicio, Roberto Escalante, Luis Damian, Rafael Castillo, William Hernandez and Andres Leon.
Doors open 6 PM Saturday, September 15 at Buckhead Fight Club/Atlanta Art of Boxing, 3293 Buford Hwy. NE #500, with first bell at 7 PM Sharp. Tickets are available now at Buckhead Fight Club or online at: http://undergroundshowdown3.doattend.com
Former Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz Clashes with Hard-Hitting Brawler John Molina Jr. in Premier Boxing Champions Main Event
Expect fireworks when former welterweight champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz meets hard-hitting former title challenger John Molina Jr. on Sunday, September 30 in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes live from Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a stacked lineup of undercard attractions leading up to the action-packed main event.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, go on sale tomorrow, August 24 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) is an all-action boxer-puncher who comes to fight and is always in exciting battles. The 31-year-old southpaw has one of the best resumes of anyone in the welterweight division having been in against Floyd Mayweather, Andre Berto twice, Lamont Peterson, Luis Collazo and Marcos Maidana. Ortiz, who was born in Garden City, Kansas and now lives in Ventura, California, is coming off a majority draw against Devon Alexander in February.
“We’ve known each other a long time and we’re both always in exciting battles, so fans should expect nothing less on September 30,” said Ortiz. “I had a broken eye socket from an injury in the second round of the Alexander fight, but I’m feeling 100 percent now. I’m ready to take what is rightfully mine, and that’s another world title down the road. It’s going to be a way from round one and I can’t wait.”
Molina (30-7, 24 KOs) has never backed down from a challenge and has been in the ring with some of the best boxers from lightweight to welterweight during his career. The 35-year-old from Covina, California beat a fierce Ruslan Provodnikov by unanimous decision in 2016. Another standout battle from Molina’s career saw him drop former welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse twice before losing on an 11th round knockout. In his last fight he scored a fourth round TKO victory over Ivan Redkach in a back-and-forth bout from December on FS1.
“I respect Victor and everything he’s accomplished in this game, but I know that I have the tools to overcome everything he does,” said Molina. “Everyone knows that I’m in it to win it. We’re both going to be ready to mix it up and throw bombs. There is no way that I see this fight going the distance. It’s going to come down to heart and I’m going to be there until final bell.”
“Victor Ortiz vs. John Molina Jr. has war written all over it and should be another in a long line of memorable battles featuring these Southern California fan-favorites,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports. “These two men are known for leaving it all in the ring and giving the fans incredible action from the opening bell. I have no doubt that this will be another outstanding showdown, with the winner setting themselves up for even bigger things in the star-studded welterweight division. We’re excited to bring this matchup, plus a jam-packed undercard, to the fans in Ontario and watching live on FS1 and FOX Deportes.”
“This is a true crossroads battle between two hardnosed veterans who have fought almost every welterweight of note in the last decade,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The one thing you can be certain of when you get Victor Ortiz and John Molina Jr. in the ring is that a fight will break out. This match should be highly entertaining for the fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena and those who tune in on FS1 and FOX Deportes on September 30.”
Tevin Farmer Pens Multi-Fight Co-Promo Deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and DiBella Entertainment
Tevin Farmer has signed a multi-fight co-promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing USA.
The newly crowned IBF World Super Featherweight champion will make the first defense of his title live on DAZN in a bout to be announced this week – another step in the remarkable career of the popular southpaw.
Farmer travelled to Australia earlier in the month to land the title in convincing fashion in the backyard of Sydney’s Billy Dib, to claim the IBF strap at the second attempt having been on the wrong end of a controversial split decision against Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December, a result subsequently change to a no-contest following Ogawa failing a drugs test.
The Philadelphian ace’s win was a sweet moment after recovering from a career-threatening injury when he was shot in the hand in July 2017 – reaching the World title status his undoubted talent has always promised.
Farmer is hunting down unification bouts as soon as possible, with champions Gervonta Davis, Miguel Berchelt and Masayuki Ito all on his radar.
“Winning that belt after everything I’ve been through brought me indescribable joy,” said Farmer. “I always felt that I was a true champion. I just had to go over to Australia, capture the title and prove it, and I did just that. I came home a champion and celebrated, but I got right back in the gym. I want to be an active champion and defend my title. That’s why I’m so thrilled about this deal. It’s a pleasure to work with both DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing USA and I know that with us working together, big things are going to happen. Ultimately, my goal is to get all the belts and I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m open to fighting anybody to unify. I’m looking forward to showing the world who Tevin Farmer is and what I can do.”
“Through all of Tevin’s hard work, heart and determination, he overcame the odds, achieved his dream, and now he can enjoy the fruits of his labor,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great deal that will help progress Tevin’s career as he begins his championship reign. Starting with his first title defense in October, Tevin will stay active as we work toward getting him the biggest and most meaningful fights available.”
“Tevin Farmer has a great story but more importantly to me the man can really fight,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA. “He showed great heart to bounce back from that shocking decision in Las Vegas and go to Australia to win the title – and now the world is his oyster.
“We have a great fight lined up for him in October but the ultimate focus is Gervonta and other unifications. We are going to keep him nice and busy and we look forward to working with Tevin and Lou on this exciting journey.”
Tevin Farmer Shuts Out Billy Dib to Become the New 130lb IBF Champion
By: Ste Rowen
Tevin ‘American Idol’ Farmer is the new IBF super-featherweight champion of the world after a completely victory over, Australian, Billy Dib.
Dib walked to the ring accompanied by two motorbikes, but it was Farmer that accelerated into the lead as the early rounds played out much as expected, with Tevin taking the initiative behind a well finished and accurate jab. Billy attempted to be more than just a passenger, but Farmer’s footwork and agility left the Australian struggling to land.
The bout threatened to turn awkward when the boxers grappled and held their way through the 2nd round. There was no inside-fighting finesse from either. Dib, a former IBF featherweight world champion, seemed to realise early on that he couldn’t outbox his southpaw opponent.
Farmer’s hands were too quick and constant, his footwork elusive and seemingly beyond what ‘The Kid’ could deal with.
Towards the end of the 4th, the American had his opponent trapped in the corner, and although Dib made it through the round, Farmer was upping the pace of his attacks. At the beginning of the 6th, Billy hit the canvas, ruled as a slip, but it summed up the home fighter’s whole fight so far.
The obvious criticism to lay at Farmer’s door is his lack of power. 5KOs in 30 bouts show that, and it felt, heading into the 7th, that considering the quality and frequency of Tevin’s punching, that with a little more power, this fight would be over.
Rounds 7 and 8 gave us more of the same, Dib’s only occasional success was coming on the inside but even then, the ‘American Idol’s’ strength kept him from being bullied or bruised up by the 47-fight veteran.
Then with 30 seconds left of the 9th, Farmer landed a beautiful left hook, which sent Dib falling backwards and down for the 10-8. The Australian survived the round, but Farmer was pumped and up on his feet for the 10th before the minute break had ended. Tevin was ready to end the bout there and then, but maybe a little too excited as he began to get sloppy and throw wide, wayward shots.
Despite the knockdown Dib survived through to see the final bell, but that’s all he did. Tevin was just far too good on the night for the brave Australian. This time there was no controversy for the American to deal with as the scorecards were read out. 118-109, 119-108, 120-107 all for new IBF 130lb world champion, Tevin Farmer.
A tearful Billy Dib announced his retirement in the ring, as he promised he would do if he was defeated tonight. The Australian ends his career as a former featherweight world champion with a record of 43-5 (24KOs).
‘‘Billy Dib is a hell of a fighter, he’s had a hell of a career. A great fighter to win the belt against’’ Said Farmer now, 26-4-1 (5KOs), post-fight. ‘‘If I was from somewhere else, not Philly, I might have been bullied…In Philly we come ready and we’re born out of the womb to be ready for war.’’
There are fascinating match-ups to be made at super-featherweight, but Farmer was keen to send a message to Gervonta Davis,
‘‘Everyone was ducking me and not wanting to give me an opportunity…Now I’ve got the belt, and everybody wants to scream my name. No more talking, send the fucking contract and the money on the table and we can make it happen.’’
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Billy Dib vs. Tevin Farmer
By: Ste Rowen
Tevin Farmer vs. Billy Dib
Philadelphian southpaw, Tevin Farmer will be hoping it’s second time lucky this Friday when he takes on Australian, Billy Dib in a fight for the vacant IBF super-featherweight world championship, at Redfern’s, Technology Park in Australia.
Farmer, 25-4-1 (4KOs) was last seen in the ring in December when he challenged for the IBF strap vs. Kenichi Ogawa. It was a bout that was controversial on multiple levels. Firstly, the belt was only vacant because Gervonta Davis missed weight before his fight with Francisco Fonseca last August. The matchup between Farmer and Ogawa was then made and though it went the distance, it seemed the Philadelphian had clearly won the bout. Two of the judges begged to differ, returning scorecards of, 115-113, 116-112 and 112-116, handing the Japanese a split decision victory and the IBF belt.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
But the controversy wasn’t over just yet as, in April of this year, it was reported that Kenichi tested positive for two forms of synthetic testosterone and was subsequently banned and stripped of his title, leaving it vacant once again and opening the door for Tevin, #4 in the IBF rankings, to take his second chance at world honours.
‘‘When you go on the road and get it, I think people respect you more.’’ Farmer told ‘FightHype’. ‘‘I had a lot of setbacks in 2017…He’s gonna catch everything I’ve been feeling these past two years.’’
‘‘It goes like this. Beat Billy Dib for the IBF. Next fight Davis for the WBA, then fight Miguel Berchelt for the WBC. I want these fights back to back.’’
Dib, 43-4 (24KOs), a former IBF featherweight champion, was last involved in a world title fight over three years ago when he was knocked out by, then WBC 130lb titlist, Takashi Miura in Tokyo. And the ‘The Kid’ hasn’t fought in a scheduled 10-rounder since July 2016 when he went the distance with Thai, Amphol Suriyo. Since then Billy has fought three times, 11 rounds, including a ‘no-contest’ result where he clashed heads with Yardley Armenta Cruz on the Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner undercard.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’ in Australia, the IBF’s ranked #3 said,
‘‘Ever since Jeff Fenech and I teamed up, back in early October, we’ve sort of had our eyes on either Gervonta Davis or Tevin Farmer…Both guys are southpaws, so we’ve been preparing mentally for southpaws and I think it’s gone really well.’’
‘‘With a loss, I’d definitely give my goodbyes to the sport of boxing.’’
The winner will join 130lb belt holders Berchelt (WBC), the recently crowned Masayuki Ito (WBO) and both – yes both – WBA champions, Alberto Machado & Davis; which should make for some interesting unifications, if all parties are willing, and ready to fight.
Tim Tszyu vs. Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus
Also fighting on Friday’s Technology Park card is, Tim Tszyu, son of former super-lightweight unified world champion, Kostya Tszyu. Tim, 9-0 (7KOs) will be up against Indonesian road warrior, Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus, 27-15-1 (14KOs) in Tszyu’s 2nd defence of the WBC ‘Asian Council Continental’ junior-middleweight strap.
Speaking to ‘Fox Sports’, Tszyu was keen to outline his own path, separate from his father’s success.
‘‘Through my ability and my training, I’m showing that I’m taking the right steps forward for my own career, not as the son of Kostya Tszyu…Everyone was born for a certain reason, and I was born for this.’’
‘‘This is the first time I’ve had 8-10 weeks (training) so we’ve had a strength time, a sparring time and now it’s just the finishing touches…I’ve only had 9 fights, so this is only the start.’’
Raul “Chino” Rivas Speaks Out on Jason Sosa & Tevin Farmer Questionable Losses
By: Ken Hissner
New Jersey boxing trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas is one of the most underrated boxing trainers in the country. On November 25th in the co-feature of Kovalev-Shabranskyy main event his boxer the former WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-3-4, of Camden, NJ, lost a highly disputed decision to former IBF World Featherweight and WBA Super World Featherweight champion Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa, 28-2, of Miami, FL, at Madison Square Garden’s Theater in New York City. John McKaie scored it 95-93 and Don Trella 96-92. This writer had it 95-93 Sosa based on scoring a knockdown and Gamboa deducted a point by referee Ron Lipton for holding in the tenth and last round in order to survive the round.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
Then on December 9th another one of Rivas’ boxers Philadelphia’s “American Idol” Tevin Farmer, 25-4-1, lost an even more disputed decision to Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa, 22-1, for the vacant IBF World Super featherweight title at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, in Las Vegas, NV. Even HBO’s IBHOF judge Harold Lederman who had Farmer ahead 9-3 in rounds as did this writer was stunned at the split decision scoring. Can you imagine a boxer comes over from “Japan” and gets a “gift decision over an American boxer in the US?
This writer asked Rivas to give his account of both fights and this is what he said:
Tough loss for both my guys. But I do know we will bounce back stronger and learn from these experiences. We have no control on what the judge’s see and don’t see. It is only going to make us stronger, wiser and hungrier for our next opportunity. I will admit it hurts when you do win and the judges see it the opposite. Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa at one time were opponents due to their lack of amateur experience but today with their hard work they have earned the respect of the boxing world and they will be recognized as one of the best before their careers are over.
Thank you to all our supporters who have been with us from the beginning and continue to ride with us and the reporters who give us the platform to express ourselves. Thank you.
I will make Tevin Farmer a champion and Jason Sosa once again. I will make Christopher Diaz a champion.
From what Chino said you know he is a top trainer. He didn’t go off like I did watching both Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa get robbed. These two along with Chino are three of the nicest boxing people I have gotten to know. They are all winners. I do believe rematches are in order for both fighters!
Salido Upset by Roman and Farmer Robbed by Ogawa
By: Ken Hissner
At the Mandala Bay Hotel & Casino Events Center Saturday night promoters Fernando Beltran of Promociones Zanfer, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Tom Loeffler of K-2 Promotions and Oscar de La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions presented the vacant IBF World Super Featherweight title fight.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
Super featherweight southpaw Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 25-5-1 (5), of Philadelphia, PA, was robbed of the vacant IBF World Super Featherweight title losing a split decision to Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa, 23-1 (17), of Tokyo, Japan, over 12 rounds.
In the opening round thru the third it was southpaw Farmers quickness of hand and feet that dominated Ogawa. Ogawa came back to take the fourth round getting in with rights to the head but it was a close round. Farmer took over again in the fifth thru the eighth rounds with his unusual style of which Ogawa had no answer. Ogawa won the ninth round but Farmer won the tenth and eleventh with Ogawa winning the final round. Kenny Baylis was the referee.
Judge Tim Cheatham had it 116-112 for Farmer while judge’s Max DeLuca had it 115-113 and Burt Clemens 116-112 for Ogawa.117-111 This writer had it 117-111 Farmer.
Trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas saw his fighter Jason Sosa robbed a week ago and his fighter Tevin Farmer robbed tonight.
In the main event the former WBO World Featherweight champion, Mexican Orlando “Siri” Salido, 44-14-4 (31), of Phoenix, AZ, was stopped in the 8th round by Miguel “Mickey” Roman, 58-12 (45), of Chihuahua, MEX, in an upset scheduled ten.
This fight was a war from the opening bell. Salido took the first round and Roman came back in the second taking a close round. In the third round it was Salido’s body work getting the edge over Roman. In the fourth round Roman dropped Salido to take the round.
In the fifth thru the seventh rounds Salido came back with a furious body attack though Roman gave as well as he took. In the eighth round Roman again dropped Salido with a flurry of punches. In the ninth round the war continued but Salido had obviously got the worst of the war. Roman dropped Salido with body shots against the ropes and referee Robert Byrd waved it off.
“I want to thank God and my trainers for this win. I want a title fight,” said Roman. He was very emotional. “I am retiring,” said Salido.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer & Kenichi Ogawa for IBF 130 Title
By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia’s Tevin “American Idol” Farmer will get his vacant IBF World Super Featherweight shot this Saturday at the Mandalay Hotel & Casino Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
The southpaw Farmer, 25-4-1 (5), hasn’t lost since October of 2012 when he lost to then future world champion Jose Pedraza. He’s won eighteen straight bouts. He is promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
In Farmer’s last fight which was in April he defeated Arturo Santos Reyes, 19-7. A year ago Farmer defended the NABF title defeating Dardan Zanunaj, 12-2. He won that title defeating former world champion Gamaliel Diaz, 39-13-3 in March of 2016.
Farmer is trained by Raul “Chino” Rivas in Cherry Hill, NJ. Rivas also trains now former world champion Jason Sosa among others.
Farmer came to the attention of boxing fans back on January of 2014 defeating Noel Echevarria, 11-1. In his next bout on the cable TV he defeated Emanuel Gonzalez, 14-0. After that he defeated the likes of Viktor Chernous, 15-1-1, Angel Luna, 10-0-1, Daulis Prescott, 30-2, Ivan Redkach, 19-1-1 and Orlando Rizo, 19-7, besides Diaz, Zenunaj and Reyes.
Farmer is ranked No. 5 in the IBF with the first two spots vacant. His opponent this Saturday is Japan’s champion Kenichi Ogawa, 22-1 (17), who is ranked No. 6. Ogawa reversed his only loss.
Too many Philly boxers have suffered from the “Philly Jinx” losing when they get their world title chance. There are presently no world champions in Philadelphia. Farmer hopes to change that Saturday!
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer and Christian Carto Win in Philly!
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer and Christian Carto Win in Philly!
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz put on a great show at another new location featuring world contender and NABF super featherweight champion and world contender Tevin “American Idol” in the main event Saturday night at the Temple University Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Super featherweight Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 24-4-1 (5), of Philadelphia won his 18th straight fight defending his NABF title and defeating Arturo Santos Reyes, 19-7 (5), of Sonora, MEX,
The first round was a feeling out round with southpaw Farmer winning it. In the second round both exchanged hooks to the head. Farmer may have hurt his right arm or hand landing a punch. His trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas was massaging his arm. In the third round Farmer is switching from southpaw to orthodox not using his right but spairingly. Reyes is taking advantage of this doing well in the round. In the fourth round Reyes landed a solid combination to the head of Farmer who came right back using both hands. Farmer landed a good left uppercut to the jaw of Reyes who came back with solid combinations.
In the fifth round it was very close with Farmer using the right more and may have edged it out over Reyes. In the sixth round Farmer looked like his old self a boxer on a 17 fight winning streak. Reyes keeps chasing him getting countered but getting his punches in especially to the body. In the seventh round it was another close round with plenty of action. Farmer seems to be pulling out the close rounds but Reyes isn’t giving him any breathing room. In the eighth round Farmer is on the attack with Reyes getting in several right uppercuts but Farmer simply outworked Reyes.
In the ninth round Farmer landed a hard countering left uppercut to the chin of Reyes. Reyes came back landing half a dozen punches without return before Farmer fought back out of a peek-a-boo defense. Farmer landed a solid left hand to the chin of Reyes at the bell. Reyes seemed to pull out the round. In the tenth and final round turned out to be the best round of the fight with both boxers letting it all hang out. Referee Shawn Clark warned Farmer for an accidental head butt. Both boxers put on a good show up until the end.
Super lightweight Samuel “Sunami” Teach, 10-1-1 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Efran “Macho” Cruz, 4-4-1 (1), of Vieques, PR, at 1:40 of the fourth and final round in a war!
In the first round Teah landed a 3-punch combination but Cruz came back. Near the end of a very good round Teach rocked Cruz with a straight right to the head. In the second round both boxers scored hard rights knocking each others heads back. It’s an action packed round. With seconds to go Teach landed a hard right while backed into a corner with Cruz countering with a left hook to the head. Just before the bell Teach rocked Cruz with a right uppercut to the chin.
In the third round Teah landed a double right uppercut to the chin of Cruz who came right back at Teah. In the fourth and final round Teach countered Cruz who was swarming all over him in a corner. Teah rocked Cruz with a right uppercut to the chin had Cruz out on his feet when another right dropped him on his back. Referee Dali stepped in and waved the fight off. In the corner of Teah were “Bozy” Ennis and assistant Rashiem Jefferson.
Bantamweight Christian Carto, 9-0 (9), of Philadelphia, fought a flawless fight stopping a tough Sammy “Panterita” Gutierrez, 14-19-5 (5), of Saltillo, MEX, at the end of the fifth of a six round bout.
In the first round Carto started the action with a left jab followed by a left hook to the body. A right by Carto to the head of Gutierrez had him hurt. Carto landed a 3-punch combination on two occasions. Carto was almost flawless. In the second round Carto landed a 4-punch combination. Cruz finally opened up with a flurry. Gutierrez became the aggressor in a well fought round with Carto countering him. In the third round Gutierrez landed his best punch of the bout an overhand right to the head of Carto. Carto came right back with a flurry. A Carto combination rocked Gutierrez. At the ten second to go in the round mark Carto landed half a dozen punches without return.
In the fourth round Carto started off landing ten punches before Gutierrez landed one in return. In the fifth round a Carto double chopping right got Gutierrez’s attention. Near the end of the round Carto rocked Gutierrez’s head back. In the fifth round a double right from Carto to the head of Gutierrez and down he went. Up with a swelled right eye he tried fighting back as Carto rocked him with a right to the head at the bell. Gutierrez’s corner stopped the fight in between rounds. Referee was Dali.
Carto put on a “clinic” and is a pleasure to watch and what a crowd pleaser. The humble Carto is a young man of few words. He let’s his fists do the talking after each fight. In his corner was former amateur star Mickey Rosato. “He was a very experienced fighter and it was good getting the rounds in,” said Carto. He is a show stealer every time he appears on a card!
Lightweight 17 year-old Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 5-0 (2), of Philadelphia, defeated Chris Gutierrez, 0-3 (0), of Greenville, TX, over four rounds.
In the first round it was all Pizarro being one of the most relaxed young talents out of Philly. Gutierrez came out southpaw and switched back with much offense. In the second round Pizarro rocked Gutierrez with a lead right to the chin. Gutierrez is using dirty tactics knowing he is being out fought. In the third round it was all Pizarro with Gutierrez continuing with foul tactics trying to offset the young Pizarro from landing a big punch.
In the third round Pizarro continues to stay a step ahead of Gutierrez. In the fourth and final round Pizarro is doing too much posing playing to the crowd. Gutierrez woke him up with a combination to the head. A solid left hook to the head of Gutierrez had him reeling. Angel Pizarro the father and “Bozy” Ennis worked the corner.
Judges Hill and Grant had it 40-36 as did this writer. Werlinsky had it 39-37.
In the opening bout light heavyweight, David “One-Two Punch” Murray, 6-1 (5), of Wilmington, DE, in a war came off the canvas twice to stop Sammy “The Russian Concussion” Horowitz, 6-3-1 (5), of Chicago, IL, at 1:26 of the fourth and last round.
In the first round it was all Murray up until 10 seconds left in the round when Horowitz landed a right to the chin of Murray who went down on the seat of his pants. Referee Clark counted to 8 while the bell had sounded. In the second round Horowitz was cut on the left eyebrow from a Murray right hand. Murray landed half a dozen punches without return near the end of the round.
In the third round a Murray right to the head had Horowitz out on his feet. Horowitz came back with a right of his own to the head of Murray dropping him.
In the fourth and final round Murray rocked Horowitz back several steps having him out on his feet. Referee Clark jumped in and stopped the fight with Horowitz complaining about the stoppage while against the ropes.
This was a second Annual Urban League fund raiser after the professional boxing card. Numerous former boxing people were introduced into the ring by ring announcer Pat Michael Fattore like Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, Buster “The Demon” Drayton, Steve “USS” Cunningham, Jason “El Canito” Sosa, Mike “The Jewish Bomber” Rossman, “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, Fred Pendleton, Vernoca Michael, Tim Witherspoon, Jr., Dwight Qawi Muhammad, Jackie “Sister Smoke” Frazier, Mitch Allen, Damon Allen, Charles “Hatchet” Brewer and at ringside Willie Gibbs, “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson, Angel Pizarro, Jr., Jerome Conquest and Greg Hackett.
Hard Hitting will be back in June at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City with “The New” Ray Robinson in the main event.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer at Liacouras Center Saturday!
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer at Liacouras Center Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner
At Temple Universities Liacouras Center in Philadelphia Saturday Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 24-4-1 (5), of Philly is in the main event against Arthur Santos Reyes, 19-7 (5), of Sonora, MEX, in a super featherweight 10 round match.
There will be a celebrity boxing event following the professional show of 5 bouts with some of the best prospects in the city.
On the undercard will be bantamweight Christian Carto, 8-0 (8), of Philly against Sammy Gutierrez, 14-18-5 (5), of Saltillo, MEX, in a 6 round match. Lightweight Branden Pizarro, 4-0 (2), of Philly will be against Chris Gutierrez, 0-2 (0), of Greenville, TX, in a 4.
Super lightweight Samuel “Sunami” Teah, 9-1-1 (3), of Philly is against Efrain Cruz, 4-3-1 (1), of Viegues, PR, in a 4. In a light heavyweight David “One-Two Punch” Murray, 5-1-1 (4), of Wilmington, DE, will be against Sam “The Russian Concussion” Horowitz, 6-2-1 (5), of Russia in a 4.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Retains NABF Title in Philly Friday.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Retains NABF Title in Philly Friday.
By: Ken Hissner
At the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia Friday night Promoters Peltz Boxing, Bam Boxing Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and Joe Hand Promotions put on an 8 bout show. This show was highlighted by a great undercard.
In the main event the NABF super featherweight champion Tevin “The American Idol” Farmer, 24-4-1 (5), of North Philly, defeated game opponent from Kosovo Dardan Zenunaj, 12-3 (9), out of L.A., over ten rounds.
In the opening round it was all Zenuanaj surprisingly reaching the usually hard to hit Farmer. In the second round Farmer came storming out landing at will. It was all Farmer landing combinations and a hard left to the chin of Zenunaj at the end of a five punch combination. In the third round Farmer continued to rock Zenuanaj with combinations while slipping punches in return. Though Zenuanaj landed half a dozen punches Farmer was able to block most. Farmer finished the round well.
In the fourth round Zenuanaj never stops coming forward while Farmer is doing as much slipping punches as landing them.
Farmer finished strong with a flurry in a close round that could have made the difference. In the fifth round Zenunaj continues stalking and driving Farmer to a corner. Farmer shows his skills but looks a bit tired. In the sixth round Farmer went from doing little but slipping and covering up to landing a four punch combination. Once again Zenuanaj had Farmer in a corner. It was Farmer’s round but is only fighting in spurts. In the seventh round Zenuanaj puts his hips and challenges Farmer to open up. Farmer obliged and it was a good round for both fighters.
In round eighth round both fighters were slugging it out unlike the first seven rounds. In the ninth round Farmer flurries in spurts but still out punches Zenuanaj who looks to be tiring. In the tenth and final round a straight left to the chin of Zenuanaj knocked his head back but he came right back. It was a close round that could decide this one. Referee Shawn Clark had little to do in this one.
Chino Rivas and his assistant Rashiem Jefferson were in the Farmer corner.
Afterwards the promoter of Farmer DiBella was in the ring while WBA champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa was standing in Farmer’s corner. It was the seventeenth straight win for Farmer.
Dewey LaRosa had it 98-92 while Julie Lederman and Dave Braslow had it 99-91. This writer had it 96-94.
In the co-feature Philly cruiserweight Garrett “Ultimate Warrior” Wilson, 17-11-1 (9), won a majority decision in a boring fight over Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers, 7-9-2 (0), of Hawley, PA, in 6.
In the first round the much taller Capers used his long reach and kept it in the face of Wilson annoying him more than anything else. In the second round it was more of the same with Wilson missing more than landing. In the third round Capers continued to use his jab. In the third round Wilson finally got inside of the jab and drove Capers into the ropes having him hurt but Capers managed to hold on.
In the fourth round it was more of the same like the first two rounds with Capers beginning to tire. Close round but Wilson may have pulled it out. In the fifth round Capers countered with a right to the chin of Wilson. Shortly afterwards it was Wilson driving Capers into a corner before getting tied up. Wilson has chased Capers the entire fight. In the sixth and final round it was more of Capers running and Wilson chasing and missing more than he landed. It was a terrible fight due to Capers. Veteran trainer “Cornbread” Ramsey was in the Wilson corner.
Both Dewey LaRosa and Adam Friscia had it 58-56 while Dave Braslow and this writer had it 57-57.
Super welterweight Isaiah Wise, 3-1 (2), of Philly, was in a war and lost a majority decision to Panama’s Roque Zapata, 2-1-3 (0), out of Culpeper, VA, over 4 rounds. This could have been the main event that’s how good it was. This was by far the fight of the night!
The opening round was a war. Wise tried boxing but Zapata would come in low and continue throwing punches. Zapata had rocked Wise several times and had his face reddened. In the second round it was just as brutal as the first. Zapata was getting hit low without warning because it was the only way Wise could keep him from throwing bombs.
In the third round Wise continued to stand in front of Zapata. Wise rarely used his jab as if he was a former MMA fighter. The war continued with Wise going to the body with border line punches while Zapata never stopped throwing and landing. In the fourth and final round they went all out for the fourth round. Wise’s face was showing the wear from the punches to the head while Zapata rarely went to the body. Both fighters took punches well and never stopped landing. Wise continued to the body while Zapata rarely did.
Judges Lederman had it 38-38 while LaRosa had it 40-36 and Braswell 39-37 as did this writer.
In the opening bout southpaw super bantamweight Jose “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 6-0-1 (2), out of New York City, won a decision over Tim Ibarra, 4-4 (1), out of Denver, CO, over 4 rounds.
In the first two rounds Ibarra took the first but the second was a toss up.
Ibarra doesn’t seem to be bothered by Gonzalez being southpaw. Gonzalez is moving to his right in line for Ibarra to score. In the third round Ibarra was landing lead rights one after another to the chin of Gonzalez. In the fourth and final round Ibarra continues in this round to counter well. He even turned southpaw several times. Gonzalez finished strong landing straight lefts to the chin of Ibarra. Up until the last round referee McCall hardly had to break the boxers.
Judges Lederman and Frisca had it 40-36 while Braswell scored it 39-37 all for Rodriguez. This writer had it 38-38.
Heavyweight from the Ukraine Iegor Plevako, 2-0 (1), out of Brooklyn, NY, stopped Montrell Castro, 0-1 (0), out of Philly, at 0:31 of the first.
In the first round Castro was bullying his way backing up Plevako. All of a sudden Castro started tiring and Plevako rocked him and had him out on his feet and trying to cover up to no avail. For some reason referee Clark instead of stopping the fight gave Castro an 8 count. Castro didn’t look good coming out for the second round when Plevako rocked him again. Castro tried tackling Plevako and fell to the canvas causing referee Clark to finally wave the fight off.
“I thought the referee should have stopped the fight instead of giving him a count.” said Plevako. He is one of many of Dave McWaters boxers.
Lightweight Victor Padilla of PR now out of Berlin, NJ, knocked out Kimmy St. Pierre, 1-3 (0), of Quebec CAN, at 0:59 of the second round.
In the first round Padilla the southpaw started out like it was going to end it early. Then halfway through the round Padilla started picking his punches rocking Pierre with a combination.
Padilla was warned twice for low blows by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. In the second round a low blow by Padilla gave Pierre several minutes to re-coup by referee Esteves. Padilla came in to end it and he did with a flurry of punches dropping St. Pierre who took the count without trying to get up. Padilla looks like the real deal as his trainer Chino Rivas advised this writer prior to the fight.
Padilla won the FL GG last week and just turned 18. “I was nervous in the first round landing low blows trying to get to the mid-section. I really felt good in this fight and am ready to go again next week,” said Padilla.
Junior lightweight Joseph “Fast Hands” Adorno, 1-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, stopped Guy Newman, 0-1 (0), of Lynchburg, VA, at 1:47 of the first round.
In the first round after a pair of knockdowns referee Clark wisely stopped it. Adorno went to both body and head with vicious punches. He is certainly a good prospect and had many fans come down from Allentown. This kid not only has fast hands but he throws with “bad intensions!” He said “I didn’t look for the knockout but when it came it came.”
Super welterweight Marcel Rivers, 1-0 (1), of North Philly, stormed out of the corner and never gave Tony Kim, 0-1 (0), of Fresh Meadows, NY, a chance stopping him at 0:41 of the first round. Rivers kept beating him until scoring a knockdown. Upon rising Kim again was taking hard punches to the head when referee McCall wisely stopped it. Veteran trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr. was in the corner of Rivers.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Defends NABF Title in Philly on Friday!
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Defends NABF Title in Philly on Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia’s Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 23-4-1 (5) defends his NABF super featherweight title he won back in March at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Peltz Boxing is doing the promotion with associates BAM Boxing, DiBella Entertainment and Joe Hand Promotions.
Farmer has won his last 16 fights and is ranked No. 3 in the WBC, No. 7 in the IBF and No. 10 in the WBO. His last loss in 2012 was to now unbeaten IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico. Farmer would love a rematch for his IBF title.
The Philly southpaw is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and trained by Raul “Chino” Rivas in New Jersey. One of the boxers sparring with Farmer has been WBA super featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa out of Camden, NJ, who are friends and spar on a regular basis.
This will only be the second Philadelphia appearance for Farmer since 2013. His last fight was in the same 2300 Arena in October of 2016. If you haven’t seen Farmer you will be impressed to see his unusual style. He brings back memories of “Gypsy” Joe Harris though there was only one “Gypsy”.
There are 8 bouts on the card with Philly’s Garrett “Ultimate Warrior” Wilson, 16-11-1 (9), against Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers, 7-8-2 (0), of Hawley, PA, in a heavyweight bout. Don’t let Capers record fool you. He’s won his last 2 bouts including over a 17-2 boxer and Philly’s Pedro Martinez in his last fight. Wilson also defeated Martinez in his last Philly appearance in October of 2015.
There will be a pair of top prospects making their debuts with Victor Padilla out of Berlin, NJ, and Joseph Adorno, of Allentown, PA, in separate bouts. Doors open at 6pm and first fight at 7pm and when J Russell Peltz says that’s the starting time you can bank on it.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Pacquiao, Mares, Cuellar, Farmer, Joshua, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Pacquiao, Mares, Cuellar, Farmer, Joshua, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 25th to November 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Squint Photo/Roc Nation Sports
Andre Ward Workout Quotes
“I feel that this fight with Kovalev is 50-50. That’s how I approach all of my big fights. I don’t go into the fight thinking, ‘I’ve got a clear-cut advantage here’ or ‘I’ve got to run through this guy.’ Personally, for me, I can’t roll like that. I’ve got to keep myself honest, stay on my grind, keep my head down and force myself to keep working. I truly believe Kovalev is everything they say he is, and I’m everything that I’ve shown over the years.
“There are always different game plans, nuances, different things you’re working on but I respect every fight that I fight. I don’t get caught up in the whole puncher thing, anybody can get you out of there if you get hit right. I don’t think I’d be sitting here in this position right now if I hadn’t had these highs and lows. We’ve got to find a way to get it done, and we’re going to find a way to get it done. I don’t care what he’s got in his gloves, who he’s knocked out or what he’s done. My job is to get my hand raised, and that’s what we’re focused on.
“I have days where I do some type of cardio in the morning – sprints, distant running – then go back to training camp to get some rest and eat. Then we come to the gym and spar and hit the heavy bag. It’s a monotonous process when you’re in training camp, and that’s pretty much every day. Of course we take days off to rest the body and be smart, but it’s really the same thing every day. As you get closer, you start to pull back a little bit so you don’t over train. That’s normally the week of the fight, so up until the Saturday before the fight, you’re full steam ahead. 100 miles an hour.
“Typically, Virgil and I will go through our process together. He watches a lot more film than I do. He’s up until 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. watching film. As I’ve gotten older, I watch less film. I don’t need to see 10 fights to see tendencies and certain things. I know what I need to see. I may go back and watch a round here and there, but I try and leave room for my instincts. I’m very instinctual. You’ve got to be able to think on the fly thinking on the highest level. I leave room for that. It’s not a checklist you go down. You can’t get into a ring thinking like that. I just believe that who I am and what I have is enough, and that’s what I’m standing on.
“Having young guys like Shakur Stevenson around, it starts to make me feel old because I used to be that guy at Roy Jones’s camp, Floyd Mayweather’s camp, hanging around Bernard Hopkins. You see yourself in them. It’s a little weird, because you’re like, ‘man, now I’m the OG.’ But it’s also a beautiful thing because we need more of that. We need champions and top contenders and just fighters in general to open up the door and allow the young guys on the way to be shown how it’s done.
“I’m honored for Claressa Shields to say that I am her idol. I admire her story, what she’s come from, and think that she’s amazing in the ring. She’s the real deal. I watch her, I pick up things from her. For her to have two Gold medals is amazing. For her to make her pro debut on this fight card is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I think it’s a perfect situation.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be fighting in Vegas. I’m excited. What better time than now in this stage in my career. I’m just excited to continue to prepare so I can do my part to give the fans their money’s worth, those that pay to be there and those paying to watch it. That’s what I’m focused on, and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it. T-Mobile is a new arena, and a new chapter, and to be a part of it is a beautiful thing.”
Manny Pacquiao Workout Quotes
Boxing’s only eight division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, held a media workout on Wednesday at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is in the final week of training for his world championship collision with World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world champion JESSIE VARGAS (27-1, 10 KOs), of Las Vegas. In just nine days they will go mano a mano and toe-to-toe in a high-stakes welterweight showdown. While Pacquiao will be looking to become a three-time WBO welterweight champion as well as the first senator to win a world title, Vargas will be resolute in enforcing a term limit on the future Hall of Famer’s boxing career.
Here is what Manny had to say:
“It took discipline to manage my time effectively … to balance my training camp and my Senatorial duties. I feel good. Every day I was able to get in all my training. I ran every morning and did my strength and conditioning with Justin Fortune. I worked with Freddie every evening at the gym after work. There were some days where I would have to come in later if my work in the Senate demanded I stay longer. Between the two “jobs,” I was averaging 14-hour workdays. Luckily the gym was very close to the Senate so I didn’t have to deal with traffic. I had no real free time to be with friends.
“I am now well-rested. I arrived in U.S. on Saturday evening and today I feel I have recovered from my jetlag. I sparred six rounds yesterday [Tuesday with Ray Beltran]. I will spar Thursday, Saturday and Monday before driving to Las Vegas.
“We have three different plans for Jessie Vargas. My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied. I want this to be a fight for fans to remember
“I am fighting for history. I was the first sitting congressman to win a world title. For this one, it is not enough to be the first sitting senator to fight for a world title, I want to be the first senator to become world champion. For me, that would be quite an accomplishment.
“I want to prove that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. I feel I still have a lot to prove. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old. I feel like I am still 27.
“I do not underestimate Jessie Vargas. He is a good strong champion. You cannot fight at this level and be successful by underestimating your opponent. Every opponent gets my full attention and respect. I respect Jessie and that is why I trained hard. This is the most important fight because it will determine the direction of my boxing career. I need to win convincingly.
“In boxing the fight is in the ring is for the enjoyment of the fans. In the Senate, the fight is for improving the quality of life of the Philippine citizens. Being a senator is inspiring work.
“I have spent more than 100 million [pesos] on building houses for the less fortunate [over 1,000 houses…Manny purchased the lots and built and gave away the homes and lots]
“Winning world titles in eight divisions is not that easy. I am so blessed to be a part of boxing history by winning them. That is not me boasting. I am just happy to be a part of the history of boxing.
“I enjoy politics because I do not have a hidden agenda. I serve honestly. That’s a good thing for me because I’m not ashamed to tell the truth. I’m not ashamed to rebuke someone if they are doing wrong. Government is for serving the people, not for serving oneself.”
Anthony Joshua to Defend Title Against Molina on December 10th
Anthony Joshua MBE is set to defend his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on Showtime in the U.S.
Joshua puts his crown on the line for the second time and fights his third American in a row having destroyed Charles Martin inside two rounds to rip the title from the St. Louis man in April at The O2 in London and then stopping Dominic Breazeale in the seventh round at the same venue in June, extending his unbeaten run in the paid ranks to 17 wins, all inside the distance.
Molina becomes the latest man to attempt to derail the Olympic Gold medal hero, the Texan is looking to get his hands on the top prize in his second World title tilt after challenging Deontay Wilder for the WBC crown in June 2015. The 34-year-old enters the bout full of confidence after travelling to Poland and knocking out Tomasz Adamek in the tenth round of their clash for the IBF Inter-Continental strap in April.
“I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring,” said Joshua. “There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show.
“Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.
“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”
“There is no Heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have,” said Molina. “That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one.
“He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina.
“I’m confident. These type of fights don’t shake me up, I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform.
“When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight.”
There’s a huge card in support of the main event as Dillian Whyte defends his British Heavyweight title against bitter London rival Dereck Chisora in an official eliminator for the WBC title. Whyte makes the second defence of his strap after seeing off fellow Brixton man Ian Lewison in Glasgow last month, while former World title challenger Chisora can get his hands on the Lord Lonsdale belt for the second time.
Scott Quigg returns to action after treatment on his broken jaw following his unification blockbuster with Carl Frampton, and the Bury star moves up to Featherweight as he looks to regain his status as a World champion.
Kal Yafai can become Birmingham’s first World champion but the unbeaten 27 year old faces a tough task to rip the WBA Super-Flyweight title against Luis Concepcion, the two-weight World champion that will enter the ring in his 11th World title outing.
Irish amateur sensation Katie Taylor boxes for the second time in the paid ranks after making her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley on November 26, Heavyweight wrecking ball ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz fights in Europe for the second time after clashing with Malik Scott in Monte-Carlo on November 12 and Hosea Burton will defend his British Light-Heavyweight title against Frank Buglioni.
“The Heavyweight division has been turned on its head in the last few months and while many are standing still waiting, I’m delighted to get this huge card up and running in Manchester,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
Tevon Farmer to Defend NABF Title on December 2nd
Junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, considered by many to be among the best in the world at 130 pounds, makes the first defense of his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title when he faces Dardan Zenunaj on Friday evening, Dec. 2, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The Farmer-Zenunaj 10-rounder tops another Philly Fight Night eight-bout card which begins at 7pm.
Farmer, 26, of North Philadelphia, is unbeaten in his last 16 fights and looking to get a shot at a world title in 2017. He is ranked as high as No. 5 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and he is fresh off an eight-round decision against Orlando Rizo, of Managua, Nicaragua, last month in the same ring.
Earlier this year, Farmer (left) captured the vacant NABF 130-pound title with a 10-round decision over Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz. He followed that this summer with the biggest win of his six-year career when he thoroughly trounced Ivan Redkach, of Los Angeles, CA, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, registering a near shutout over 10 rounds.
“This is another fight to put me closer to a world title shot,” Farmer said. “A win should set me up for a title opportunity early in 2017. After December 2, I’m looking to face even bigger names. I don’t care who they put in front of me, but first I have to get past my opponent at the 2300 Arena.”
“Tevin Farmer has rebuilt himself into a legit world title contender and is on the verge of a major fight in 2017,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “However, on December 2, he will have his hands full against the aggressive brawler Dardan Zenunaj in a bout that promises to deliver fireworks. I’m happy to be co-promoting this terrific bout with my old friend, Hall-of-Famer and promotional mentor J Russell Peltz.”
Zenunaj (right), 29, is originally from Albania. He turned pro in Belgium and now fights out of Oxnard, CA. A pro for five years, he has a 12-2 record (9 KOs) since turning pro in 2011. Zenunaj won the Belgian featherweight title in his seventh fight and two years ago he captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) International junior lightweight title when he knocked out Karim Chakim, of France, in nine rounds.
The seven-bout undercard includes a terrific pair of six-round fights.
Former cruiserweight world-title challenger Garrett Wilson, of South Philadelphia, goes against stylish Lamont Capers, of Hawley, PA, in one six-rounder. The other features a pair of rising Philadelphia lightweight prospects—Avery Sparrow and Steven Ortiz–in the kind of old-fashioned early career showdowns that made Philly a great fight town.
Also returning are junior middleweight Isaiah Wise, welterweight Hasan Young and the local debut of Russian flyweight Basyzbek Barartov.
Taras Shelestyuk Quotes Before ShoBox Main Event
What are your thoughts going into the fight?
“I’m very excited. It’s been six months since my last fight. It’s my first headline fight and hopefully not my last one.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work in my training camp with my trainer Eric Brown, and with my physical conditioning coach. My opponent is a tough fighter. He’s had some good fights with guys like Mike Jones, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and a couple of other big guys. He likes to fight and I think it will be a good fight and a good matchup for our styles.”
You’re now a ranked fighter; are you happy with the pace of your progression?
“I’m happy with my progression but of course I want to fight bigger names in championship fights and all of that. I know it’s coming soon. I enjoy my way of training and developing my skills, but if you see your dream you do anything to reach it and don’t let anything get in your way.”
What do you think of the welterweight division?
“It’s a very good division because there are a lot of fighters, but some don’t want to fight each other (very often). There are some very good championship fights to be made and hopefully I will be one of them.”
Why did you chose to move to Southern California?
“Well, [laughs] mainly because if the great weather, but this is also a good area with a lot of good fighters and a lot of good trainers as well. When I first moved here my manager invited me out and showed me around and I got in the gym right away. I was training with Ruslan Provodnikov and got some sparring in with him before a fight that he had and next thing you know, two weeks later I had my pro debut and now three-and-a-half years later here I am.”
Is there pressure on you when you fight?
“I wouldn’t say I feel pressure because everyone around me is supporting me, they believe in me and I believe in them. My team believes in me and I trust them. I just want to do what I do in the ring, better. I want to do better for me, for my family and for my friends.”
Do you follow your Olympic teammates?
“I watch fights of the Ukrainian Olympic Team, and I enjoy when the other guys win. We support each other and we call each other. It is good for there to be more Ukraine fighters who are champions now. Next year, I hope to be one of them.”
How did it feel going 10 rounds for the first time?
“Last year in November I had my first 10-round fight on ShoBox, I fought with a strong guy and he gave me a very good fight. I went the 10 rounds and I felt like I could still go two more. I am ready for 10, for 12, it doesn’t matter. I feel much better, much more powerful. I have more speed than I had in my last fight, too.”
How did you end up training with Eric?
“I trained with Freddie Roach for about two and a half years when I met Eric at Wild Card West Gym. I started sparring with some of his guys there. After my fight with Rodriguez on ESPN in 2015 I asked Eric to train me and we started working. Now that I’ve fought two fights with him as my trainer, I feel my boxing skills are better, I feel more powerful and I enjoy training in his gym.
“All of the trainers help us and they give us advice. On the days I spar with Shane Mosley he stops and gives me some advice. I learn a lot from him, being the fighting legend that he is. I grew up watching him fight as a kid and respect what he’s able to teach me. Then the next time I try what he has taught me and it works.”
Boxing is in your blood; your dad and brother boxed. When you were younger, did you think you were going to become a fighter?
“No, but my father pushed me in a lot of sports. I did gymnastics, soccer for five years, and played chess. I fought as a kid but it was always friendly. I always enjoyed the training aspect. To train for soccer sometimes my father and I would run barefoot in the snow and I enjoyed it. So, as a kid, when I first stepped into the boxing gym, it was just so much fun.”
Your ShoBox fight falls on your father’s birthday; do you have a special present in mind for him?
“It makes me want to get the victory for him. On his day, he will be sitting and watching my fight so I want to get that victory for him, for my family and for the Ukraine.”
Mares vs. Cuellar Press Conference Quotes
“I’ve been wanting to fight Mares for about two years. It’s finally going to happen. This is what I want. I’m going to make a statement.
“I’m very happy that this fight is finally here. I can’t wait to get in the ring on December 10. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I know Mares is popular in Los Angeles, but I have a following as well and they will be there to support me.
“I’m training very hard and feeling physically strong. We never stopped training for this fight. Mares will come prepared for a war and I hope that’s what the fight is like. It’s going to prove who has the bigger heart.
“I’ve been training with Freddie Roach for about four months. It’s been a great partnership and he will make me even better than I’ve been. We’ve been practicing really hard. Freddie is handing me the tools to go to work. You will see all my experience come together on fight night.
“Mares is a great fighter. He’s been a champion for many years. He’s never faced an opponent like me. This will be his hardest challenge.
“I’m sure Mares will give it his all, just like I will. I’ve been dreaming about this fight for years. This will be a great battle, but I am prepared to take my belt back to Argentina.
“This is the most important fight of my career. I’m planning on knocking him out. I know that big things are going to come my way after I beat Mares.”
“This is going to be a smarter Abner Mares. I’ve been learning a lot with Robert Garcia. They gave us a year to train and learn together. He’s a knowledgeable coach. He’s not just a guy who works mitts. This is the real deal. He gets you better and I’m really happy with him.
“I want to thank Cuellar and his team for waiting for this fight to come to fruition. I really appreciate that as a person. It’s finally here.
“I was actually commentating the Stiverne vs. Arreola fight at Galen Center and it was a great atmosphere. The environment there is incredible and I was just imagining being up in the ring as the main event.
“I want the winner of the Frampton vs. Santa Cruz rematch. I want to continue to fight the best. I want to be known as a guy who fights the best.
“Being on the big stage like this has made me what I am. Being on the bantamweight tournament on SHOWTIME really started to show people what my style is like. To be back for another world opportunity, it means everything to me. I’m hoping to give them another exciting fight.
“I never talk down about a fighter. We all deserve our respect. We all have the same desire to strive to be the best. Cuellar is a beast. He hits hard. The record speaks for itself and that’s what has me so excited. This is the kind of fight I want to be in. It brings the best out of me.
“If I have to make it into a brawl, I will do that. I have the boxing abilities to be the smarter fighter and win by out boxing him. I learn from all of my fights, especially the losses. From the Santa Cruz fight I learned that I really need to listen to my corner. I let the crowd get to me and fought the wrong fight. I’m going to be ready for everything.
“This title coming home is going to be a nice Christmas present. It means the world to me. I’m going to add something to my trophy case.
“I’m a new man. I’m a grown man. I have two beautiful daughters. I like to learn something new every day. You will see a different Abner on December 10. This is going to end the year with the ‘Fight of the Year.'”