By: Hans Themistode
The Jr Welterweight division is about as ruthless a weight class that you will find within the entire sport of boxing.
Just think, former champions Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk are essentially afterthoughts. It isn’t because they aren’t great fighters, but it’s more so because of the talent pool that currently lies within the division.
With title holders Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor considered the best that the weight class has to offer, another pair of former champions are in need for a big win of their own.
Maurice Hooker and Regis Prograis are still recognized amongst the elite of the division. However, they came up short in their respective unification matchups. Now, with no other viable options, they have looked towards a matchup against one another.
Both men have made it a tendency to mention the other whenever the cameras are rolling. Knockout threats and “easy work” statements have been the theme of both fighters when regarding the other. Well now, it’s officially time to shut up and fight.
Terms for a contest between the pair has officially been agreed upon to take place on April 17th, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The Maryland based card won’t simply revolve around the main event as the supporting bout will be just as interesting.
Javier Fortuna, who once held titles at both the Featherweight and Jr Lightweight divisions will look to become a three division world champion when he takes on Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC title.
Since a contest against Adrian Granados which resulted in a no contest, Fortuna has gone on to win two straight contests. Campbell on other hand, represents the complete opposite as his career has fallen short of exceptions.
It’s safe to say that after winning gold in the 2012 Olympics, more was expected of Campbell. His career has been solid but not spectacular. He was given the first loss of his career back in 2015, surprisingly at the hands of Yvan Mendy. Campbell would avenge that loss three years later but questions still remained. In his two title challenges, he has come up woefully short against Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko. The latter took place at the end of August in 2019.
For Campbell, he’ll be hoping that the third time’s the charm.
Regardless of who wins between Fortuna and Campbell, the winner could be forced to take on WBC champion in recess Devin Haney, who was stripped of the title due to a shoulder injury. Provided everything checks out from a health standpoint, and also that Haney doesn’t elect to move up in weight, the winner of this title could see their title reigns cut short if the highly touted Haney returns back to form.
By Rich Lopez
It was an action packed night at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The event was part of Premier Boxing Champions and it was televised on Fox Sports 1. All four fights that were televised produced fireworks and none of the fights went to distance.
The main event was in the junior middleweight division. Brian Castano (15-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Argentina, defeated Wale Omotoso (28-4, 22 KO’s) of Nigeria, by a 5th round TKO. This was a result due to a shoulder injury sustained by Omotoso. However, Castano was very impressive last night and he overwhelmed Omotoso. Round one was a feel out round for both fighters. Castano was more in control of the round but using an effective jab to back up Omotoso for most of the round. The action picked up in round two and Castano was in charge. He continued to back up Omotoso with his sharp left jab. This time Castano was putting his combinations together well. He was starting to land his right hand and he was landing some good body shots as well. In round three, Castano continued the assault and hammered away at Omotoso. Castano was reeling off right hands and landing left hooks to the chin of Omotoso. The durable Omotoso was taking it and was fighting back, but he was also taking a lot of damage. In round four, Omotoso fought a little better as he was boxing and moving well, but it was not enough to win the round. As round five started, Omotoso seemed to hurt his left shoulder. Castano sensing that Omotoso was hurt, still kept the pressure on by landing hard right hands. At the end of the round, Omotoso could no longer continue the fight due his hurt shoulder. Castano was awarded a TKO victory at 3:00 of round number five. Wale Omotoso, who goes by the nickname “Lucky Boy,” was not so lucky in this fight. With the victory, we can see Castano against the other top junior middleweights of the division. In the post-fight interview, Castano said he is ready for anyone.
Photo Credit: Javier Fortuna Twitter Account
The co-feature was in the lightweight division. Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 24 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic, was also impressive last night. He blasted out Jesus Andres Cuellar (29-3, 22 KO’s) of Argentina in two rounds in a slug fest. In the opening round, Cuellar wasted no time and charged at Fortuna. Both southpaw fighters exchanged punches and went toe to toe. Towards the end of the round, Fortuna with his back against the ropes, landed a right hook that sent Cuellar flying on his back. Cuellar got up and was seriously hurt but was able to finish the round. In round two, Cuellar who only knows how to come forward, tried to bully Fortuna again. Fortuna was quicker and beat Cuellar to the punch. Once again with Fortuna against the ropes, he landed a straight left hand followed by a right hook to drop Cuellar again. Cuellar did get up but he was in really bad shape. Fortuna went for the finish landing power shots which prompted the referee to stop the fight. Fortuna scored the TKO at 2:01 of the second round. With the victory, Fortuna remains a force in the lightweight division. For Cuellar, it might be best to try to go back down in weight as he has been unsuccessful in the lightweight divisions.
In a bout before the co-feature, we got to see undefeated David Morrell Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) of Cuba, face off with Quinton Rankin (15-6-2, 12 KO’s) of Charlotte, NC. The fight was in the light heavyweight division scheduled for eight rounds. This was a big test for the Cuban standout but he made the fight look easy. The 21 year old Morrell started off fast. In round one, Morrell landed a nice right hand to the body that dropped Rankin. Rankin got up and Morrell went back to work. In round two, Morrell landed a straight left hand that wobbled Rankin. Morell then came underneath with crushing left uppercut that dropped Rankin again. The referee immediately stopped the fight. Morrell scored his second knockout at 1:01 of the 2nd round. Morell is starting off fast in his professional career as he was an outstanding amateur fighter. We will continue to see his progress in upcoming fights.
In the opening bout of the PBC telecast, Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (17-2, 11 KO’s) of Milano, TX, faced off with Bergman Aguilar (15-5-1, 5 KO’s) of Costa Rica. The fight was scheduled for ten rounds in the welterweight division. In round one, Aguilar came after Karl and both fighters started trading punches. As Karl was backing up Aguilar, Aguilar caught Karl with right hand and dropped him. Karl got up and the fighters started to trade punches. In round two, Karl had a better round. He backed up Aguilar for most of the round hammering Aguilar to the body. You can tell the body shots were wearing out Aguilar. In round three, Karl dropped Aguilar with a low blow. As the action continued, Karl stayed busy working the body of Aguilar. Karl continued his attack in round four. At the end of round four, Aguilar looked more tired. Karl remained in control of the fight in round five and continued to back up Aguilar. At the end of round five, Aguilar could not continue the fight due to a broken left hand. It was relieved that perhaps he broke his left hand in the 1st round after landing a hard jab on Karl in the replay. Karl was awarded a TKO victory at 3:00 in round five. This was Karl’s 3rd straight knockout.
By Rich Lopez
Fight fans will be treated with a lot of boxing action this weekend. Mostly everyone’s attention will be focused on the Canelo vs Kovalev fight in Las Vegas. Another action packed card will happen this weekend and it will take place at MGC National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Former lightweight title challenger and former super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna will be back in action. Also undefeated former super welterweight champion Brian Castano will be the co-feature of the night. The fights will be televised on Fox Sports as part of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
In the main event, Javier Fortuna will face off with Jesus Andres Cuellar for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title in a ten rounder.
Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 23 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic, is seeking a major title shot in the lightweight division. The 30 year old southpaw had good runs in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. Back in 2015, he won the vacant WBA Super Featherweight title against Bryan Vasquez. Fortuna lost his title against Jason Sosa the following year in 2016. Last year, Fortuna faced off with Robert Easter Jr for the IBF Lightweight title and lost a very close decision in a tough battle. Fortuna then moved up to the junior welterweight division and challenged Adrian Granados. That fight ended up in a no decision in bizarre circumstances as Fortuna fell out of the ring in the fourth round and could no longer continue. This year has been a better start for Fortuna, as he defeated Sharif Bogere in February by unanimous decision. Overall Fortuna has beaten many tough opponents. Even in his losses, he gave his opponents tough battles.
Jesus Andres Cuellar (29-3, 22 KO’s) of Argentina, will be looking to make a statement with a big win over Fortuna.
Cuellar, who is also a southpaw, was a terror in the featherweight division from 2013-2015. He had dominating victories over Claudio Marrero and Rico Ramos. That was followed up by knockout victories over Juan Manuel Lopez and Vic Darchinyan. The Darchinyan fight earned him the WBA Featherweight title. His title reign was short lived, as he lost by split decision to Abner Mares in 2016. After a two year layoff, Cuellar came back last year and moved up to super featherweight. He got a title shot against Gervonta Davis but was stopped in the 3rd round. Cuellar has had a good start this year with a knockout win over Carlos Padilla to bounce back from his loss.
This will be Cuellar’s second fight at lightweight and he will face one of the top lightweights in Fortuna. This should be a fan friendly fight, as both fighters provide action fights. Cuellar will come forward as usual in his aggressive style looking for the knockout and Fortuna will be the counter puncher. I believe Fortuna will win the fight by unanimous decision due to his quick hands and speed.
In the co-feature, another Argentine fighter will be in action, as Brian Castano will face off with the tough Wale Omotoso in a ten round super welterweight special attraction. Brian Castano (15-0-1, 11 KO’s) of Argentina, wants another title shot. Castano made a splash in the boxing scene last year when he won the WBA Interim Super Welterweight title against Emmanuel DeJesus in 2016. However it was his fight against Erislandy Lara earlier this year that showed what he was really about. In an exciting fight against one of the best fighters in the super welterweight division, Castano took Lara to distance and the fight ended in a split draw. Castano ended up vacating his WBA title over a contract dispute but hopes to land another title shot soon. Wale Omotoso (28-4, 22 KO’s) of Nigeria, will look to spoil Castano’s plans.
Omotoso is a strong fighter and has only lost to unbeaten fighters in which he took them all to distance. Omotoso’s last fight was almost three months ago and he looked great. He knocked out the hard punching Curtis Stevens, but we know Stevens has seen his best days. Omotoso should be a stiff test for Castano and we expect another good fight as well. I see Castano winning this fight but given Omotoso’s chin, I believe Castano will win by unanimous decision.
By: Ken Hissner
At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, Saturday over Showtime Boxing and PBC, two IBF World champions were featured and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
IBF Welterweight champion and former Olympian southpaw “The Truth” Errol Spence, Jr., 23-0 (20), of Dallas, TX, stopped former IBF World, WBA Super World Super Lightweight champion and WBA Super World welterweight champion now No. 5 contender Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 35-4-1 (17), of D.C., who was returning after an eleven month of inactivity, at the end of the seventh round.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round after half a minute Spence landed a chopping left hand to the chin of Peterson. Spence goes to the body and head with Peterson standing right in front of him defense minded. It was a lopsided round for Spence. In the second round Peterson countered a right hook by Spence to a left to the body. Spence landed a 3-punch combination hurting Peterson with a minute left in the round. Peterson landed his best punch of the round a left hook to the head of Spence with half a minute left in the round.
In the third round Spence started with a right hook and overhand left to the chin of Peterson. Spence continues landing good body shots. Peterson landed left hooks to the head of Spence who complained they were behind the head. Just prior to the bell Spence landed a straight left to the head of Peterson who countered with a left hook to the head of Spence. In the fourth round top Referee Harvey Dock warned Spence of landing a low blow. Peterson and Spence take turns being the aggressor. Spence kept using combinations well. Peterson landed a good right hand countered by a Spence left.
In the fifth round Peterson came charging out landing several punches hand from Spence to the side of the head dropped Peterson. Under a minute left in the round and Spence landed half a dozen punches without return from Peterson. The last 30 seconds both boxers went at it throwing punches.
In the sixth round a lead left from Peterson landed through the defense of Peterson. Spence landed a 3-punch combination. Peterson’s best punch has been a left hook. Peterson started back pedaling for the first time in the fight with a minute left. Peterson’s left eye under the eye brow started swelling. His corner took a good look and didn’t like what they were seeing. The ring physician came in to take a look at that eye.
In the seventh round Spence came out looking for a knockout landing many more punches than the back pedaling Peterson. It was a big round for Spence. The corner of Peterson stopped the fight before the round started in the eighth round.
Julie Lederman, Don Trella and Steve Weisfeld were the judges. This writer had it 70-62 at the end.
“I want to thank Lamont Peterson for taking this fight while others turned it down. He is a tough fighter who still wanted to continue at the end. You are going to see an improved fighter every time I enter the ring. Keith Thurman has to get in there with me,” said Spence. “I don’t question my trainer (Barry Hunter) when he stopped the fight. Spence is the best fighter I have met,” said Peterson.
IBF Lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr., 21-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, defeated the former WBA Super Featherweight champion and now No. 13 contender southpaw Dominican Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna, 31-2-1 ??? of Braintree, MASS, by split decision in a non-title bout due to Fortuna being over weight.
In the first round used his height advantage using an effective jab and lead right hands to the chin of Fortuna. At the halfway mark Fortuna missed three punches but landed the fourth with a left uppercut to the chin of Easter. In the second round Fortuna held Easter behind the neck while hitting with the left hand three times. Referee Ricky Gonzalez was yelling “stop, stop, stop” instead of getting in quick enough to break them up. Shortly later with Easter‘s head through the ropes Fortuna hit him which cost him a point by Referee Gonzalez who once again got there too late. Easter kept the pressure on Fortuna backing him into the corner landed a good left hook.
In the third round Easter backed Fortuna into the ropes landing a solid right to the chin of Fortuna. Fortuna came back landing solid left hands and roughing up Easter in a close round. In the fourth round it was another close one with Easter pulling it out while Fortuna does too much holding. In the fifth round Easter had Fortuna against the ropes landing a flurry of punches primarily left hooks to the head.
In the sixth round Fortuna did a step around landing a good right hook to the head of Easter. Fortuna continues his dirty tactics of holding and pulling down Easter’s head then leaning on him. Easter landed a long right hand to the chin but Fortuna landed a counter left hand to the chin rocking Easter.
In the seventh round both boxers were talking to one another to “come on!” Easter clearly took the round. In the eighth round Easter used his jab and reach more than at anytime in the fight keeping Fortuna at bay. It was a big round for Easter.
In the ninth round Easter continued out working Fortuna. Easter landing nice lead jabs to the chin of Fortuna. When Easter comes in low that is when Fortuna pulls his head down and ties him up. In the tenth round both let loose with punches at the start of the round unlike previously in the bout. Fortuna lands a good body shot which there was very little of during the fight by both boxers. While on the ropes it was Fortuna out working Easter right up until the bell.
In the eleventh round it continued to have Fortuna on the ropes but landing well. Coming in over weight may be the reason for the back pedaling Fortuna to spend so much time on the ropes. Fortuna came forward and landed a combination that seemed to surprise Easter. Both had words at the bell. Fortuna may have pulled out the round.
In the twelfth and final round inside of the first round Easter rocked Fortuna with a left hook to the chin. Halfway through the final round Fortuna is back pedaling instead of throwing punches. Fortuna continues to come in roughing up Easter inside. Whenever Easter comes in low he gets tied up. Referee Gonzalez warned him about coming in with his head.
Judge Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Easter, John McKaie 114-113 for Fortuna and Kevin Morgan 115-112 for Easter. This writer had it 116-111 Easter.
The best Ring Announcer in the business “It’s Showtime” Jimmy Lennon, Jr. did his usual great job. Fortuna did much too much holding to have won the fight. For some reason Showtime announced future fights on their network along with two of them that have been cancelled in the Danny Garcia fight and the Mikey Garcia fight with their opponents pulling out with injuries.
Light Heavyweight southpaw “Sir” Marcus Browne, 21-0 (15), of Staten Island, NY, stopped Francy Ntetu, 17-2 (4), of Congo and CAN, at 2:15 of the first round.
Heavyweight Adam Kownacki, 17-0 (14), of Lomza, POL, and Brooklyn, NY, stopped Iago Kiladze, 26-2 (18), of Sachkere, GEO, at 2:48 of the sixth round.
Anthony Peterson, 38-1 (24), of Memphis, TN, shut out Columbia’s Louis Eduardo Florez, 23-9 (19) over 10 rounds.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will televise one of the first big fights of 2018 on the Showtime Network.
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. will defend his IBF Welterweight Title against the entertaining and always tough Lamont Peterson in the main event of the night. The co-main event will be between Robert Easter Jr. and Javier Fortuna for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
Errol Spence has been calling out all the top welterweights and Lamont Peterson is one of the few to answer his call. A victory for either could lead to a welterweight unification fight with Keith Thurman.
The following is a preview of both televised world title bouts.
Robert Easter Jr. (20-0) vs. Javier Fortuna (33-1-1); IBF Lightweight Title
This bout was supposed to be for the IBF Lightweight Title, but Javier Fortuna came in at 136.8lbs during the weigh ins and had two hours to lose the two pounds for fight for the belt. It appeared unlikely that he will make it.
Easter is twenty six years old and two years younger than Fortuna. He will also have a very large five inch height advantage and a seven and a half inch reach advantage.
Both boxers had a successful amateur career, but Easter was able to become an Olympic alternate for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Fortuna has the edge in power. He has stopped twenty three of his opponents while Robert Easter only stopped fourteen of his opponents. Easter has been fairly active and fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Fortuna was able to fight twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Fortuna has spent most of his career fighting in the super featherweight division so size will be an issue for him. His lone loss was a shocking TKO loss to Jason Sosa in Beijing in June of 2016. He has defeated the likes of Omar Douglas, Marlyn Cabrera, Carlos Velasquez, Bryan Vasquez, Patrick Hyland, Yuandale Evans, and Abner Cotto.
Easter has never tasted defeat as a professional but won a close bout against Denis Shafikov in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, Argenis Mendez, and Juan Solis.
The fact that Fortuna failed to make weight his first time on the scale is concerning, especially since he’s used to competing at a lighter weight class. Robert Easter’s size and reach advantage will be too much for Fortuna to overcome.
Errol Spence Jr. (22-0) vs. Lamont Peterson (35-3-1); IBF Welterweight Title
Errol “The Truth” Spence is one of the welterweight division’s biggest stars. Many consider him to be the next kingpin of the division post Pacquiao and Mayweather. His opponent, Lamont Peterson, is always in a good fight but this may be his last chance at a world title.
Spence is in the middle of his athletic prime at twenty seven and is six years older than Lamont Peterson. They have the same reach and Spence will have a slight one inch reach advantage on Peterson.
Spence has the edge in power and speed. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and is currently riding a nine fight stoppage streak. Peterson has only stopped seventeen of his opponents, and only one stoppage victory in his past five fights.
Peterson was a national golden gloves champion and experienced moderate success on the world stage as an amateur. Spence was also a national golden gloves champion, but he also was a member of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Spence has looked sensational recently, but only competed once in 2017 and twice in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, and Ronald Cruz.
Peterson has not been so active and fought once in 2017 and twice in 2015. He has defeated the likes of David Avanesyan, Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, and Amir Khan. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Peterson’s biggest issue is his consistency. When he’s aggressive to the body he looks, at times, unstoppable. But as evident in his fight with Danny Garcia, he can be a slow starter and that often hurts him on the scorecards.
Peterson was impressed with Spence’s victory against Kell Brook. “”Errol even taking the Kell Brook fight was impressive to me. Most guys in his position take their time leading up to the first title shot, but he ended up fighting someone in his prime in his country. To will himself to that win was very impressive.”
Spence has looked untouchable and was very impressive in his fight against Kell Brook, in Kell Brook’s backyard.
Even Spence appears to know Peterson is a real challenge. He stated, “”I think it’s going to turn into a war. A lot of people have thought this would be an easy fight for me. But if you follow Lamont Peterson, you know this will be tough. He’s always in great shape and has a lot of skills. IT might be a dog fight and that’s what I wanted. He’s the guy who wanted to fight and I said of course. It’s going to be a rugged fight. Later on in the fights, he always gets rough and stands toe-to-toe.”
Even if Peterson is fighting at his best for all twelve rounds, it’s hard to imagine him beating Errol Spence.
By: Eric Lunger
As the final wrapping paper gets cleaned up from under the tree, and as we collectively vow – in varying degrees of enthusiasm and conviction — to get back to sensible eating and exercise, it’s time to take a glance ahead at the upcoming year in boxing, and count down the top five fighters to keep an eye on. This is a pretty eclectic list, and no doubt you have your own picks; I’d love to read which boxers you are watching for 2018 in the comments below.
Photo Credit: WBSS
Joseph Parker (Heavyweight). The Kiwi WBO champion had a great 2017, defending his newly-won belt twice. In May, he took care of business against Razvan Cojanu, a late-minute replacement in a not-so spectacular bout, but in September, Parker traveled to Manchester, UK, to take on the talented contender Hughie Fury. Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) answered a lot of questions that night, and won over some critics. Still, there are some commentators who feel that Parker is the odd man out in the top tier of the division, that he doesn’t really belong in the same rarified air as Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury. But with his power, his hand speed, and most importantly, his meteoric learning curve each and every outing, Parker can be a real spoiler in the division. Will he get a shot at AJ in 2018? That is tough to envision, given Team Joshua’s current aversion to risk, but as the WBO Champion, unification of the belts has to go through Parker at some point.
Oleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight). Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) fought on the same Olympic team as Vasyl Lomachenko, training with Lomachenko’s father, and it shows in Usyk’s footwork and use of angles. Already WBO world champion, the Ukrainian southpaw is in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament, slated to take on undefeated WBC champion Mairis Breidis in Riga, Latvia, on January 27. Supremely confident, Usyk is one of those few European amateurs who understands that the professional game is about more than just scoring points; a fighter needs to be exciting to watch if he wants to build his fan base. With knockout artist Murat Gassiev and Yunier Dorticos in the other semi-final in February, the WBSS tournament is exciting and dynamic, and Usyk has to be the favorite to unify all the belts and lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Javier Fortuna (Lightweight) A southpaw from the Dominican Republic and former WBA World champion at junior lightweight, Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs) has an important title shot this coming January against undefeated IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr. Fortuna is an underdog in this fight, to be sure, but the matchup will be competitive and entertaining. The Dominican standout is a risk-taker, and he can get caught. But he is also brilliant to watch, especially when he makes intuitive adjustments in the ring or decides to ramp up the performance aspect of his game. This will be no easy tune-up for Easter, and Fortuna should not be overlooked as a potential upset of the year.
Danny Garcia (Welterweight). Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) has always been one of my favorite fighters. A guy with deep Philly roots, he’s had tough battles with the likes of Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, and Keith Thurman. Danny is an accurate counterpuncher whose risky style is based on one of the most dominant left hooks in the game. The split decision loss to Thurman last March had to be a bitter pill for the proud Garcia to swallow. How does a fighter who has accomplished so much in the sport find the motivation to rebound from a loss like that? We will find out where Garcia is mentally and physically this February 17 as he takes on Brandon Rios (34-3, 25 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash.
Vasyl Lomachenko (Junior Lightweight). Obviously, the slick Ukrainian southpaw is on top of the boxing world right now, and is a factor in everyone’s pound-for-pound discussion, but the real unknown for Lomachenko in 2018 is: whom should he fight next? Who will give him a challenge? Who will draw a big audience? Miguel Berchelt (32-1 28 KOs), who holds the WBC belt, seems like the logical next opponent for “HiTech,” but a case can certainly be made for Francisco Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) or even Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs). There has also been significant social media chatter about Lomachenko moving up to 135 to fight Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), and what a fight that would be. Unfortunately, for now, Garcia has moved to junior welterweight to face Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) for the IBF title. Regardless, Lomachenko remains a fighter to watch in 2018.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, Fortuna, Chavez, Lemieux, and more..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 21st to March 28th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Gennady Golovkin’s Promoter Tells TMZ Canelo Alvarez Fight Needs to Happen
Gennady Golovkin’s promoter told TMZ that the Canelo Alvarez fight needs to happen and that both sides want it done and that there’s just way too much money to be made.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, says he’s been in serious talks with Golden Boy about a possible September date as long as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. doesn’t beat Canelo in May.
He also indicated that there’s a lot of options for a venue, including Madison Square Garden and T-Mobile Arena.
Read more at: http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/25/gennady-golovkin-promoter-canelo-alvarez-fight/
Javier Fortuna Renews Promotional Agreement with Sampson Boxing
Former WBA Featherweight and Super Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) has renewed his long-term promotional agreement with promoter Sampson Lewkowicz and Sampson Boxing.
From La Romana, Dominican Republic, the 27-year-old Fortuna has won two straight since dropping his super featherweight belt in a shocker against Jason Sosa in June 2016. He came back with an impressive two-round blowout of fellow Dominican Marlyn Cabrera in September 2016 and then, in November took the undefeated record of Delaware’s Omar “Super O” Douglas by unanimous decision.
“Sampson Lewkowicz is and always will be my promoter,” said Fortuna. “He has done right by me and my career at every turn. I will be world champion again with Sampson in my corner.”
Lewkowicz, who says he’s working on a big fight for Fortuna, says Fortuna has become like family.
“Javier is a son to me. I am honored to be his promoter and look forward to continuing to work for him. He is a great champion with many great fights left. After he won his first title, he told me we would work together for his entire career and he has kept his word. I will do everything to make him a champion again.”
Hasim Rahman Jr. Pro Debut Moved to Friday, April 14th
When promoter Greg Cohen announced he had finalized arrangements for his next event, the decision to delay his promising heavyweight hopeful, Hasim Rahman Jr.’s, professional boxing debut two more weeks became an easy one.
Originally scheduled to turn professional on March 23, Baltimore native Rahman will now have his first four-round fight in front of a huge contingent of hometown family and friends on Friday, April 14, at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Rahman will face Kansas City’s Brian Imes (1-4, 1 KO) on the non-televised undercard portion of an event that features the live telecast of undefeated Dmitry Bivol defending his interim WBA Light Heavyweight title against Samuel Clarkson in the 12-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT). In the co-feature, unbeaten welterweight prospects Juan Ruiz and Malik Hawkins will square off in an eight-round bout, and Baltimore’s undefeated featherweight Glenn Dezurn will open the telecast.
Tickets for the event, which is co-promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Banner Promotions in association with World of Boxing and Uprising Promotions, are priced at $103, $73 and $48 and can be purchased at www.TicketMaster.com.
“You only get one pro debut, so when Greg announced this show, he and I thought it would be a great idea for me to turn pro on this show instead, in front of my hometown friends and family,” explained Rahman.
The 25-year-old, son of Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, who famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in April 2001 to win the WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships, says to being at home is a very important part of his mission.
“I’m doing this for my family and my friends and my city, so I think I should start right in front of them,” Rahman continued. “And someday I’ll bring them back the heavyweight championship. I can’t wait to fight on the same show as my brother with all my loved ones watching. It’s going to be a very big night.”
“We didn’t get the final word we were doing the Maryland show until a few days ago,” said Greg Cohen. “But once we knew it was happening, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let Hasim Jr. turn pro at home. It just worked out perfectly.”
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
David Lemieux and Joseph Diaz Added to Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. HBO PPV Telecast
Less than two months after delivering the top knockout of 2017, Canadian knockout artist David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) will return in a 10-round fight against Marco “Dorado” Reyes (34-4, 25 KOs) as the chief support to the highly anticipated battle between Canelo Álvarez and Julio Cesar Chávez, Jr. on Saturday, May 6. The mega-event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Opening up the stacked Cinco de Mayo weekend card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, former U.S. Olympian and current undefeated NABF Featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (23-0, 13 KOs) will face perhaps his toughest challenge to date when he defends his title against the undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-0, 8 KOs) in a 10-round battle.
These two fights along with the main event and the previously announced brawl between Argentinian slugger Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) and Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) will round out the pay-per-view telecast on Saturday May 6.
“With three of Golden Boy Promotions’ most exciting contenders appearing on the pay-per-view, as well as the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Álvarez, the Cinco de Mayo card can be described in one word, ‘stacked’,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “I fully expect four action-packed fights that will have fans out of their seats for the entire evening.”
The hard-hitting Lemieux is riding a three-fight winning streak and was last seen delivering a thunderous third-round knockout of the highly touted Curtis “Cerebral Assassin” Stevens that has put the Canadian directly back into the title picture.
“I’m thankful to have the opportunity of being part of this event during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations,” Lemieux said. “I think I was able to send a clear message on March 11 with my performance against Stevens and I intend to do the same on May 6. I want to make sure that everyone understands that David Lemieux is making his way towards the top and that he intends to stay there.”
Reyes, a 29-year-old former WBC FECOMBOX middleweight champion, has knocked out 25 opponents and went toe-to-toe with Chavez, Jr., in a unanimous decision defeat that many spectators had closer than what came up on the scorecards.
“I know everyone is talking about the Lemieux knockout, but I’m ready to take him out,” Reyes said. “With my Mexican fans supporting me on Cinco de Mayo weekend, I’m ready to turn Lemieux’s lights out.”
“Following his performance against Curtis ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ Stevens at Turning Stone Resort Casino, fight fans wanted to see David in the ring again as soon as possible,” said Eye of the Tiger Management President Camille Estephan. “Being part of such a tremendous card that will be featured on May 6 with eyes on us from all around the world represents an incredible showcase opportunity. We are convinced that David will shine. He is in great shape and is more motivated than ever to conquer the top of the middleweight division,”
In the opening battle of the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast, two undefeated fighters will go toe-to-toe with both Joseph Diaz, Jr. and Manuel Avila risking their undefeated records for a chance at greater glory.
“I’m excited to return for the first time in 2017 and put my title on the line against such a tough competitor,” Diaz, Jr. said. “This fight will put me one step closer to a world title shot.”
“This is a golden opportunity to move myself into world title contention, and I’m not planning to let that chance slip away,” Avila said. “I know all about JoJo’s undefeated record, but he’s never faced anyone like me, and at the end of the night, my hand will be raised in victory.”
Preliminary bouts for the May 6 show will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for a closed circuit viewing of the fights at the Grand Ballroom at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino are on sale for $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and can be purchased at the MGM Grand box office or by phone with a major credit card at 800-745-3000.
Helenius and Chisora Set for Huge Heavyweight Rematch
Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KOs) and Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KOs) are set for a huge heavyweight rematch on May 27 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
There is a lot of the line for both men, in what promises to be the biggest fight on Finnish soil in recent history, with both the WBC Silver World Heavyweight title and a shot at the current WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder up for grabs.
Helenius holds a controversial split decision win over Chisora from their all action showdown in December 2011, which many believed the British boxer did enough to win. However, the Finnish fighter says this time the decision will be left in no doubt.
‘’Chisora is a good fighter and I’m expecting a tough fight, but I’m very confident I will win,’’ said the 33 year-old. ‘’Before our first match, I injured my right shoulder and had to fight for twelve-rounds with just one arm. If I was able to beat him with one arm, I don’t see any problems beating him when I have two.
‘’I am in great shape now, and I feel stronger than ever. It’s been a long road back since my shoulder operation, and I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this. I believe I am ready, and after I beat Chisora, I will be in a good position to challenge for the World title.’’
‘’I’m looking forward to going back to Helsinki and putting on another great show for the fans,’’ said Chisora. ‘’It’s a beautiful city with a lot of beautiful people. We had a lot of fun last time, and everyone knows who really won that fight. He can make all the excuses he wants, but that won’t help him on May 27.
‘’I feel like this is my time, I’m in my prime, and I can’t wait. I might be relaxed now, but when I leave London, I’m going to war. When I get on that flight I become a different person. Mr. Nice Guy is gone. It brings the vicious side out in me, and he’d better be ready!’’
‘’We’re delighted to be bringing this huge heavyweight attraction to Helsinki,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’The first fight between Robert and Dereck was something special, and this promises to be even better. They’ve got unfinished business, and on May 27, they’ve finally got the chance to settle the score.’’
Tickets for the WBC Silver World Heavyweight Championship clash between Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora will go on sale Monday, March 27 at 9.00 (EET) and are available online via www.ticketmaster.fi or by calling the ticket hotline on 0600 10 800.
Life Saving Brain Scanners Debut at Exclusive Boxing Event in Malta
Last Friday evening the cream of Maltese Glitterati descended on the Le Meridien Hotel in St Julian’s, Malta, for a rather exclusive Professional Boxing event, sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) in conjunction with the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC).
With tickets priced at almost ten times the normal for a boxing event in the Mediterranean haven, joining the rich and famous from the Islands were in excess of sixty international high rollers, each and every one of them attending to support Damon Booth as he made his professional boxing debut, against Ireland’s Marty Kayes, as well as to watch the highly decorated multi-World Champion Scott Dixon in action against England’s Will Cairns
However, those in attendance for the swanky event were totally unaware that in the background was an historic event also taking place, as for the first time on the Islands and only the second time ever at a professional boxing event anywhere in the World, the ground breaking hand held Infra-Scanners, that can detect bleeds to the brain of the combatants, were in action both pre and post fights.
The Infra-Scanners, that were successfully introduced by the BIBA just two weeks prior, at an event in Paisley Scotland, following a number of high profile life changing head injuries incidents at professional boxing events in the UK last year, most notably the death of Scottish Boxer Mike Towell, even though these tragic incidents were on events sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and not by themselves.
The Infra-Scanner is a hand held brain scanner that is designed to detect bleeding on the surface of the brain inside the skull, so epidural and subdural bleeds, which are the common bleeds associated with an impact to the head, ones that can commonly cause life changing injuries or in the worse case scenario, death, in a short space of time.
Within Boxing, the Infra-Scanner is not intended to replace an MRI scan, which is required annually for Professional Boxers, but allows Doctors at Ringside to undertake a two or three minute scan, to determine if as a result of the boxing match that a boxer may have sustained an epidural and subdural bleed to the head.
Should the scan produce a positive result this will enable the Ringside Doctors to ensure that the Boxer is admitted immediately to the nearest specialist unit, where the appropriate care can be undertaken.
Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) Chief Medical Officer and British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) Medical Advisory Committee Member Dr Mark Xuereb spoke briefly after the successful introduction of the Infra-Scanners at the special event.
“My comments as a Boxing Doctor for both the MBC & BIBA and having been in this profession for in excess of ten years, I can say I’ve seen a lot of boxers and sometimes as a clinician the team has a dilemma do you refer to hospital or don’t you, which is a crucially important decision because you are potentially toying with death.
Without wanting to dramatize, this is a fantastic tool, the Infra-Scanner is a crucial tool to aid in that decision process. It’s easy, it’s simple, any paramedic or doctor can be trained to use it and it helps with the triage system, which is crucially important decision, because we decide what is current urgent versus future important.
We have guidelines for head injuries charting, whether to refer or not refer, as always this will not replace clinical assessment, however shall we say it fortifies and confirms your clinical hunch.
So easy to use, perfect, would I use in the future, absolutely, the research results are undeniable, and it’s making waves all over the world, so I would really like to thank whoever invented it because it is really going to help us as health & safety in any sport is first and foremost, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, five stars and hopefully as it develops it will get smaller and lighter, although saying that must say it is already lightweight and reasonable in size, so brilliant all round.”
Maltese Heavyweight Billy Corito, who had attended the event became the first Maltese boxer to be scanned, even though he wasn’t boxing on the event had this to say about the technological breakthrough.
“I was overwhelmed to be asked by Dr Xuereb to be the first Maltese boxer to have a Brain scan using the infra-scanner.
Could not believe this little remote looking device can save a boxers life! It was so quick and easy to detect if I have an injury or blood on my brain or anyone else’s.
It was over in just a couple of minutes, so just imagine if all boxing federations have one of these on every boxing event how quick lives would be saved.
As the saying goes, boxing saves lives, well now its Infra-scanners who are saving lives”
Scott Dixon, who was the actual first competitor to be scanned post fight at the event also spoke about the infra-scanners and the positive effect he believes having them ringside will have on the sport.
I think it’s an absolute revelation that BIBA have now bought in the head scanners to Malta, before and after every contest, this is the way forward, the only way forward.
There have been a few fatalities in the ring and most notably when I had my first fight on Friday the 13th October 1995 my best friend James Murray died in the boxing ring.
It took me a long time to get over that and I always hoped and wished that the rules would become more stringent. Back then it was British Boxing Board of Control, but hey now the British & Irish Boxing Authority are ruling the waves now with their pro-active approach to boxer safety.
BIBA make it their number one priority to look after the fighters and that’s the way it should be, their regulations are amazing, so I’m delighted to be a BIBA license holder and to be the first boxer to undertake a scan after my fight here in Malta, forget the rest BIBA’s the best.
I came to Malta eleven years ago and when I came here boxing was virtually nonexistent, they never knew a left hook from a fishhook, but now they’ve progressed and moved forward, so much so that having the scanners here are leading the charge in boxer safety.
Scott then went on to praise the BIBA on their professionalism with regard to another of their procedures, this time regarding dope tests, particularly due to an unsavory brush with the local doping authority, who not only failed to follow correct procedures at one of his previous fights that was sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Association (MBA), but then decided to charge him with failing to undertake a doping request, which is currently under appeal.
“I’m also delighted that tonight BIBA even regulated the doping screening, I volunteered to take the tests as they were going to pick them at random which is standard procedure, but I volunteered as I have nothing to hide.
The true procedure is that you are notified before that you will be subject to dope testing, obviously like I said, I volunteered, I done one test before the contest.
After my fight I was escorted, to the dressing room, by BIBA officials, to make sure there was no dodgy business, I went straight to the dressing room and was observed and did another doping test.
Obviously both were clear, as always, because I’m a professional athlete, I’ve been a professional 23 years now.
Now I’ve done thirty dope tests during my career in total, the correct procedure is you be notified and like I said BIBA followed the correct procedure and in an appropriate manner.
I’m so pleased to be part of this set-up, I mean listen there are so many cowboys in this sport, let’s be honest you have the MBA here in Malta for an example, so if you want to join a circus you go with them, if you want to be part of a truly professional set up you go with MBC or BIBA, as they look after the fighters safety first and foremost and that’s the only way forward and that’s why we’ve gone with the top of the chain.”
PBC Card in Philadelphia had its Ups and Downs
By Eric Lunger
I happened to attend the Danny Garcia vs. Samuel Vargas PBC event Saturday night in Philadelphia. The experience was a pleasure all around, except, unfortunately, for the main event. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first I’ll offer a few observations about watching live boxing in Philadelphia. First off, the Liacouras Center is a wonderful venue; parking, access, concessions, the arena staff – everything was top-notch. And the arena feels small and big at the same time: when seated close to the ring, the blazing lights make you feel like the ring dominates the whole building; but if you wander up to the upper decks, you can sit by yourself in the massive bank of seats looking down on the spectacle. I did so for Garcia’s ring walk, and watching his massive entourage snake its way to the ring between the crowd-control barriers was like watching an ill-intentioned dragon slither out of a burrow.
The crowd was an interesting mix of folks from almost all walks of life. I was surprised and pleased by the congenial and carnival-like atmosphere. Everyone was courteous, in a cheerful mood, and there was a sense of camaraderie in the building, like, “Hey, we’re all here for fight night!” Not the usual Philly sports crowd – I’ve been to a Flyers game where they booed the Zamboni driver. There were well-dressed folks; there were folks in jeans and sweatshirts. There were couples out for date night. It was also very much a home-town night, in so far as the promoters had a done a nice job matching local prospects against good, but not world class opponents. Omar Douglas, from Wilmington, DE, and Jarrett Hurd, from Maryland, were loudly supported by their traveling fans.
There are some interesting things about watching boxing live, as opposed to on TV. First thing I noticed was how tense the crowd was during the bouts. A boxing crowd goes from tense quiet to an explosion of sound in split-second. A good shot or big punch is immediately punctuated by a crowd reaction. But most of the time, the crowd is tensely observing the action, with occasional members yelling instructions to the fighters, which I doubt they hear. A corollary of the relative quiet is that the punches are audible. A “thudding” punch is not just a cliché – its real. Second thing I noticed was that I didn’t miss having TV commentators interpret the fight for me. I had to really focus on what was going on in the ring and I had to rely on my own interpretation of who won that round, or why so-and-so stopped using his jab, or where a certain fighter’s strength lay. It made for a much more immersive and active experience.
Watching boxing live also underscores how dangerous boxing really is, and why defensive boxing is such an art. The punches are fast, accurate, and hard. Javier Fortuna in the first round of the first televised undercard made one error, and Omar Douglas caught him with a brutal hook inside: Fortuna went down like he had been shot in the head. From then on, Fortuna fought from the outside, boxed, jabbed, moved, and never again got in range of that short hook. That bout developed, after the first round knock down, into a classic battle between a come-forward puncher (Douglas) and a dancing, southpaw boxer (Fortuna). Fortuna edged out Douglas on the cards and the crowd was not happy with the decision, though I think it was correct.
The second undercard was entertaining and compelling as well, but for other reasons. Jarrett Hurd is a talented and fundamentally trained boxer with a complete skill set. He is also a big super welterweight – keep you eye on him in the future. His opponent, a very tough and very professional Jo Jo Dan, took a lot of punishment, landed a number of his own shots, but didn’t have the power at this weight to do damage. Hurd was patient, methodical, and precise, landing increasing damaging blows through Dan’s defense. The referee called off the bout at the right time, as Dan took more damage without returning fire.
I wish I could say something positive about the main event, as I think the Garcia camp has taken enough abuse in the media, but Samuel Vargas (nothing against him personally) was a gross mismatch. The fact that he lasted seven rounds testifies to his toughness, if nothing else. Garcia blasted him at will. The partisan Garcia fans loved it, but it was lesser end to a better undercard. It was a shame because the Liacouras Center is a great venue to watch boxing, and the undercard deserved a better main event.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Vargas, Fortuna, Crawford, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 20th to September 27th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Top Rank Announces Broadcast Team for Pacquiao vs. Vargas
Manny Pacquiao has long been a mainstay for HBO Pay Per View Boxing, but they declined his next fight against Jessie Vargas due to the fact they already have a scheduled Pay Per View on tap for the month of November between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
Top Rank will be the provider of the Pay Per View, and they recently announced their broadcasting team.
ESPN reported that Top Rank will be employing Brian Kenny, Stephen A. Smith, and Timothy Bradley as analysts for the PPV and Charissa Thompson will be the host.
Crawford Guilty of Two Misdemeanors
Terence Crawford was recently in the news for removing his car from a local auto body shop and damaging a hydraulic lift and having an outstanding bill. Crawford was found guilty of criminal mischief as well as disorderly conduct. His sentencing is scheduled for December.
Juan Manuel Lopez Plants to Knock Out Wilfredo Vasquez
Former two-division world champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López plans to knockout bitter arch-rival Wilfredo”Papito” Vázquez, Jr., also a past world titlist, in their 12-round Special Attraction showdown Saturday, October 8, airing live on pay per view from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Guerra En El Clemente: Vázquez Jr. v. López, presented by Black Tiger Promotions, will be distributed by Integrated Sports Media live, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in the United States and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity. The event will also be available to watch across Canada on Fight Network, as well as via Fite TV app for iOS and Android devices or watch on the www.Fite.TV website. Suggested retail price is $29.95.
The Vázquez, Jr. vs. López main event is presented in association with Matias Entertainment and sponsored by Best Alarms and Municipio de San Juan.
The 33-year-old López (34-5, 31 KOs), fighting out of Caguas, Puerto Rico, is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight and featherweight world champion. From 2008 to 2010, “Juanma” was one of the top pound-4-pound fighters in the world, but he hasn’t fought in two years heading into his much anticipated confrontation with his fellow countryman Vázquez, Jr.
“I still think I have a lot left in the tank,” López confidently said from his Puerto Rican training camp. “This is the first fight of my career that I feel I owe to fans because of the history behind it. I don’t think there will be any rust because I have been training for many, months and I have been inside the gym working hard. Maybe the agility I had four or five years ago isn’t quite the same, true, but at the same time I am more mature and much more calm and more intelligent in the ring. I definitely feel that I am a better fighter than ever before.”
Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs), the son of the great three-time division world champion Wilfredo Vázquez, fights out of Bayamón whose best known boxing son is late Hall of Famer Héctor “Macho” Camacho. Vázquez became the vacant WBO super bantamweight world champion in 2010, knocking out previously unbeaten Marvin Sonsona (14-0-1) in the fourth round.
“I think my opponent is a very persistent fighter and a person who will do anything to meet his goals, even though that will make him behave improperly,” López added. “I think it will be a very aggressive fight, more of a brawl, and I’m sure the night of the fight I will be the stronger fighter. I will dominate him, round by round, and the first moment I have an opportunity to go for the kill, I will pressure him and won’t stop until I get a knockout.”
Javier Fortuna Returns with an Impressive KO
On Saturday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Sambil Commercial Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, former world super featherweight champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna returned to action with an impressive two-round blowout of fellow Dominican Marlyn Cabrera.
In his first fight since a surprise defeat last June to Jason Sosa that cost him his WBA World Super Featherweight Championship, Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) dropped Cabrera twice in the second round, eliciting the stoppage. It was Cabrera’s first loss as a professional.
Fortuna’s victory was one of three Sampson Boxing fighters to win Saturday night.
Undefeated 21-year-old Dominican super welterweight Jeison “Banana” Rosario (12-0, 9 KOs) destroyed formerly undefeated Carlos Jairo Cruz (now 17-1, 11 KOs) in two rounds and 22-year-old super featherweight Abraham “Super” Nova moved his record to 3-0, 2 KOs with a fourth-round knockout over Willy Morillo.
Fortuna looked sharp in his comeback bout, putting the explosive power and speed that makes him one of the most exciting fighters in all of boxing. With the victory over Cabrera in the books, the southpaw former champion will now be looking to regain his championship status.
Fortuna’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, says his fighter has two options to consider for his next fight.
“Next we will either look for an elimination bout for the IBF mandatory contender to fight Jose Pedraza or we will look to face the winner of Jason Sosa vs. Stephen Smith in Monaco on November 12,” said Lewkowicz. “Javier wants to be champion again and he’ll fight anyone to get there.”
Rosario, a recent Sampson Boxing signee to a long-term promotional agreement, is a former amateur standout with a wealth of boxing talent. Cruz stood no chance against the Santo Domingo-based slugger.
“Jeison is a future star and I’m happy to have him in my stable,” continued Lewkowicz. “I will get him a
visa to fight in the USA and pay his IRS taxes, which I do for all my fighters.”
Nova, who was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, to Dominican parents, went 167-11 with 60 KOs as an amateur, winning the 2014 USA Nationals, the 2014 Independent World Cup in the Dominican, Gold at the 2014 Cheo Aponte Tournament, and the 2015 Olympic Qualifiers. He is also a five-time New York Golden Gloves Champion.
“Abraham went some good rounds and got the KO over a veteran with more fights,” said Lewkowicz. “I am happy with his performance and with the improvements he continues to show in every fight. He is a strong prospect with a bright future.”
Mike Reed vs. Aaron Herrera Added to October 14th Card in Philadelphia
Junior welterweight Mike Reed, one of the best prospects in the world at 140 pounds, has been added to the Friday evening, Oct. 14 boxing card at the 2300 Arena.
Reed, of Waldorf, MD, goes against Jose Aaron Herrera, of Mexico, in one of three eight-round attractions on the eight-fight card.
The other eight-rounders feature junior middleweights Tyrone Brunson, of Philadelphia, against Ismael “Tito”Garcia, of Vineland,NJ,and world-rated junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, ofPhiladelphia, against Orlando Rizo,of Managua, Nicaragua.
Reed, 23, a southpaw, is 19-0, 11 K0s, since turning pro less than four years ago. This will be his second appearance at the 2300 Arena. He earned a six-round decision over Samuel Amoako, of Ghana, on March 18 in the same ring.
In his last fight June 11 in Madison Square Garden, Reed stopped Abraham Cordero, of Mexico, in six rounds.
As an amateur, Reed won the 2011 National Golden Gloves championship at 141 pounds, one year after finishing second in the US National Amateur Championships.
“I’ve been watching videos of Aaron Herrera and he’s a tough, durable fighter with excellent ring generalship,” Reed said. “He’s taller than I am but so are most of the guys I fight. “It’s going to be a real fight because I know what he brings. I want to win this fight and work my way toward a match with the Olympian from Fresno (CA)–Jose Ramirez(18-0, 13 K0s). I would like to get him into the ring, but first comes Herrera and I have to deal with him in Philadelphia.”
Herrera, 27, turned pro in 2008 and is 21-5-1, 12 K0s. In his biggest fight to date, he lost a12-round decision to local favorite Jason Pagara for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title in 2013 in Cebu City, The Philippines.
Local favorites make up the undercard, highlighted by the fourth meeting between lightweights Victor Vasquez; of Philadelphia, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, NJ.Charles leads the series, 2-1, but Vasquez won the last time by knockout.
A pair of six-round lightweight contests features Anthony Burgin against Gerald Smith in an all-Philly showdown plus Steven Ortiz, of Philadelphia, against Daniel Tran, of Oklahoma City, OK.
Local junior middleweight Isaiah Wise faces James Robinson, of York, PA, over four rounds and middleweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., of Philadelphia, takes on lefty Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ.
Local welterweight Hasan Young, who has not boxed in nearly two years, returns in a six-round fight.
Michael Spinks and Fitz Vanderpool Honored at Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame
A capacity crowd packed The Diplomat Party House to honor Michael “Jinx” Spinks and Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool at the recent 26th annual Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame (RBHOF) Banquet & Awards Night.
Spinks (31-1, 21 KOs) received the prestigious Integrity Award, while Vanderpool (26-8-4, 13 KOs) was presented the coveted Courage Award.
Rochester’s Johnny McCoy (Clarence Millard) was inducted into the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame. McCoy (77-30-14, 21 KOs), who passed away in 1978 at the age of 81, was one of the top flyweights in the world between 1916 and 1932. He was recognized as world champion by the state of California following a tournament to determine the winner of the vacant world title relinquished by Fidel LaBarba.
“This was another memorable banquet for the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame,” RBHOF treasurer/spokesperson Gino Arilotta said. “Everyone enjoyed the evening. We posthumously inducted Johnny McCoy and honored are award winners, Michael Spinks and Fitz Vanderpool. Hall of Famer referee Steve Smoger gave a wonderful speech. Each of these great men were so pleasant and they gladly signed hundreds of autographs and posed for so many pictures. These three humble men have my sincere respect.
“On Saturday, September 17th, we took the boxers along with Steve Smoger to a local radio station where they were interviewed on air. We also took them to one of Rochester’s super gyms, where Willie Monroe, Jr. trains. We showed them many important sites within the city. I also presented a city high school graduate, the Carmen Basilio Scholarship Award, which is awarded annually.
An International Boxing Hall of Famer (IBHOF), Spinks was the most dominant light heavyweight champion of his era, capturing the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Council (WBC) world titles, in addition to being a 1976 Olympic gold medalist.
Vanderpool is a former World Boxing Federation (WBF), WBC FECARBOX and Canadian welterweight champion. He took on all comers including Rochester’s only world champion, Charles “The Natural” Murray and world champion Fernando Vargas. Today, Vanderpool is a trainer in Canada who also gives countless hours of time and energy in Kitchener as a community volunteer.
October 20th Card Announced in Montreal
The “GYM 2016-2017 BOXING SERIES”, a “Presentation of Casino de Montreal in collaboration with Videotron” will officially begin October 20 and that professional boxing card has been announced today by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel.
In the 10-round main event, 2012 Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton (9-0, 7 KOs) will face the biggest challenge of his young career in his tenacious Mexican opponent, Ramses “El Faraon” Agaton (17-4-3, 9 KOs).
Clayton, based in Montreal since his professional debut, also headlined the “GYM-CASINO” series last season. In three series bouts held at the Cabaret du Casino in 2016, he stopped Frenchman Stanislas Salmon (25-3-2), American Hector Munoz (23-17-1) and Mexican Jose Emilio Perea (23-6-1).
“I work hard every week and I always feel better when I work out,” Clayton said. “I had a solid training camp in Montreal and a few days in Ottawa with my trainer. I’ll be ready!”
Agaton is a fast, skilled and aggressive southpaw who lost a tough, majority decision to the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) welterweight champion, Konstantin Ponomarev (28-0), of Russia, last November in Las Vegas. Agaton has notable victories over Ronald Montes (16-0), Alejandro Barrera (25-1) and Alvaro Robles (17-2-2).
Charismatic Marie-Eve Dicaire (4-0, 0 KOs), of St-Eustache, will step into the ring in a 6-round fight for only the second time of her career versus Karla Zamora (3-2-0, 1 KO), of Mexico, in the co-feature.
Dicaire will be fighting at Cabaret du Casino for the fourth time having already defeated Manitoba’s Christina Berry (0-2-0), Mexican Martha Patricia Lara (9-4-0) and American Ashleigh Curry (7-9-4) in her previous appearances in her previous fights there.
“The Casino is becoming my home, ” the 30-year-old southpaw commented. “I cannot wait to box again This is the longest I’ve been without climbing into the ring and everything is good to the point. I am transformed! I look forward to applying the new details worked on in the gym.”
A protégé of world light heavyweight contender and 2-time Russian Olympian, Artur Beterbiev, pro-debuting super bantamweight Vislan Dalkhaev (7-0-0, 2 KOs) will try to continue his demolition work in the pro ranks against Rodrigo Adrian Campos (10-4-0, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in a scheduled 8-round fight.
During his illustrious amateur career, Dalkhaev’s major accomplishment was defeating 2-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, of Cuba, at a 2010 tournament in Kazakhstan. Ramirez recently beat American star Shakur Stevenson championship final of the bantamweight (56 kg) division at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil this past summer. Based on his rich amateur pedigree, Dalkhaev has a very promising pro boxing career.
“Vislan is very impressive in training and he is improving with every bout,” his trainer Marc Ramseynoted. “We see consistent development by him,”
Twenty-two-year old Dario Bredicean (9-0, 3 KOs), who is trained by the Grant brothers, will also be in action against tough Frenchman Baptiste Castegnaro (8-9, 4 KOs).
An American of Romanian descent who was discovered by former world champion Lucian Bute, Bredicean fought twice at the Casino last season, winning impressive decisions over Mexican Jaudiel Zepeda (12-14-1) and Quebecer François Miville (7-4).
Patrice Volny (2-0, 1 KOs), of Montreal, will fight for the third time at the Cabaret of the Casino de Montréal. Spectacular in his two previous appearances there, where he delivered a brutal KO overMichel Tsalla (1-11-2) and dominated Charles Hauver (pro debut), he will trade blows this time with pro-debuting Cuban Oscar Masso Cando, who is a veteran of 250 amateur fights and now lives in Lévis, Québec.
Lightweight Dwayne Durel, of nearby Laval (4-0-0, 2 KOs), is a former kickboxer, also trained by the Grant brothers, who also will be on the card against a rival to be determined.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Pacquiao, Ward, Vargas, Kovalev, Fury, Klitschko, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 6th to September 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Oscar De La Hoya Kicks Off Canelo vs. Smith Fight Week with Visit to AT&T Stadium
Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, visited AT&T Stadium this Sunday, September 11 for the Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants NFL game in advance of Former Two-Division World Champion Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) fight against undefeated heavy-hitter Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship on Saturday, September 17, 2016 fight at AT&T Stadium. The super fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Several fight week events, such as the weigh ins at AT&T Stadium on Friday at 2:30 PM, will be open to the public. The fight will also be available on a new website to stream at www.goldenboyppv.com.
Pacquiao vs. Vargas Tickets on Sale
Boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, will be campaigning to become the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title when he collides with two-division world champion JESSIE VARGAS in a 12-round battle for Vargas’ World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown. While Pacquiao will be looking to become a three-time WBO welterweight champion, Vargas will be resolute in enforcing a term limit on the future Hall of Famer’s boxing career. Pacquiao vs. Vargas takes place Saturday, November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Pacquiao vs. Vargas and its co-main event fights will be produced and distributed live by Top Rank® Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank’s digital distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Wynn Las Vegas, tickets to the Pacquiao vs. Vargas world championship event are on sale at 3:00 p.m. ET / Noon PT Today! Priced at $1,000, $700, $500, $300, $100 and $50, not including applicable service fees, tickets may be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, online at http://www.unlvtickets.com/, at UNLVtickets Outlet Town Square Las Vegas and La Bonita Supermarkets. To charge by phone call 702-739-FANS (3267) or 866-388-FANS (3267).
“Public service is my calling but boxing is my passion. I realized this summer I was not ready to retire from the ring,” said Pacquiao. “I made history when I became the first congressman to win a world title and now that the good people of the Philippines have elected me to the Senate I want to make more history by becoming the first senator to win a world title. I promised the voters I would not miss a Senate session which is why I will be training in Manila until the Senate goes into recess in late October. I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines.”
“Last April, Manny proved against Tim Bradley that he still has great fights left in him,” said Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer World-Famous Freddie Roach. “I’m looking forward to returning to Manila and training Manny for a very big challenge. Jessie Vargas has our respect. We saw what he did to Sadam Ali to win his second world title. Manny will be prepared to shoot the works against him to become world champion again. That’s our mandate.”
“When I was younger I watched what Manny did to my two boxing idols, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera — two great Mexican warriors. I told myself, someday I would get into the ring against Manny and avenge what he did to them. Now I will fight for them as well as myself. To me, this fight isn’t about a friendly ring rivalry between our countries. This fight is about payback,” said Vargas
“Jessie and I consider this fight the passing of the torch. We appreciate the body of work Manny has compiled in his illustrious career. However as we all know good things must come to an end and that will happen on November 5,” said Dewey Cooper, Vargas’ chief trainer. “This will be our moment, our time for a younger world champion to shine and earn the admiration of the fighting world. This moment is not too big for us. After this fight I will proudly hold up Jessie’s arm in victory. The torch will be passed.”
“I really believe, with all my heart, that Jessie will win this fight. All of the people saying otherwise are sure going to be surprised. This is, at last, Jessie’s time,” said Cameron Dunkin, Vargas’ manager.
“The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas will be a real shootout. Jessie is not going to play around but will go after Manny in the kind of battle that Manny Pacquaio likes to engage in,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum .
Kovalev vs. Ward Press Conference Quotes
Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward recently held a press conference to discuss their upcoming HBO PPV bout. Below are a few select quotes from this press conference.
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
“It’s a big moment in my career. I want to thank all of the people who are involved with this fight, my promoter Kathy Duva, Roc Nation and HBO Pay-Per-View. Thank you to all of my fans. It will be a fight to remember; one for the history books. I just want to give the fans a really great fight in Vegas and on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – two-time super middleweight world champion
“I’m grateful to be here today. I want to thank everyone who is associated with this event-the good, the bad, the press, all of it. Obviously HBO, Peter Nelson, Roc Nation, Main Events, everyone who’s associated with it. It’s hard to thank everybody. It’s a lot of people that you guys know of that worked on this fight to get it done. There’s a lot of different nuances that go into getting a fight like this done, but it’s done. That’s what we should all focus on.”
“I thank God for this opportunity. I thank God for my career and being able to compete at a high level through the peaks and valleys. Sometimes that gets overlooked, a veteran in the game. I’ve paid my dues and I continue to pay my dues. This is just another opportunity. I’ve been in this position before and so has my opponent. It doesn’t matter what the other side says, how they feel, what they say. He’s got to get it done and I’ve got to get it done. When those bright lights come on who it’s all about who executes and who gets it done. I don’t have to throw chairs. I don’t have to cuss. I don’t have to act crazy. I said let’s fight, lets fight. You’re selling yourself. I know that what I possess and what I have is in me, and not on me.”
Klitschko vs. Fury Officially Announced for October 29th
Hennessy Sports, K2 Promotions, Team Fury, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and Frank Warren on behalf of BoxNation are delighted to announce Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury’s long-awaited rematch with Ukrainian boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 29th October, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The giants of boxing collide again in the biggest and fiercest heavyweight rematch in recent memory. A bitter grudge match sees Fury, the linear, WBA Super, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion make the first defence of the titles against the man he took them from in an explosive blockbuster showdown.
Undefeated Fury (25-0 18KOs) shocked the sporting world last November when he sensationally dethroned long-reigning heavyweight icon Klitschko in one of boxing’s biggest ever upsets in recent years at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Klitschko is gunning for revenge after suffering his first defeat in over 11 years at the hands of the Mancunian. ‘Dr Steelhammer’ (64-4 54 KOs) is determined to recapture his belts from Fury and take his place back at the top of the world heavyweight scene.
Peter Fury, uncle and trainer of Tyson Fury, said: “I’m delighted that we can finally get the fight back on and in Manchester on October 29th. After hard discussions we can now focus on giving the fans what they deserve; another barnburner of a fight. Team Fury will ensure Tyson is in the shape of his life to successfully retain his World Titles.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy, CEO of Hennessy Sports, said: “Everyone involved has worked tirelessly to get the world heavyweight title rematch between Tyson and Wladimir back-on and I’m thrilled that it’s now officially confirmed. This is the rematch that the boxing world has been waiting to see and the anticipation is now at boiling point so expect a highly charged and explosive fight when the best two heavyweights in the world collide. As Tyson’s promoter I have 100 percent confidence that he will retain his titles in front of his fans and make it another memorable night for British boxing to remember.”
Bernd Bonte of KMG said: “Team Klitschko is very happy, that after Fury`s postponements, we finally have a new date. It is great that our event can stay in the Manchester Arena. This is one of the best venues world-wide and has already seen many great fights. We know that Wladimir will be in the best shape on October 29th and we are very confident that he will regain the Heavyweight Championships.”
Frank Warren, Chairman of BoxNation, said: “I’m delighted that we can finally announce the rescheduled date for the REAL Heavyweight Championship of the World. Fury vs. Klitschko II is by far the biggest fight in Europe so far this year. The addition of the fight to the channel is another fantastic acquisition following on from the recent capture of the blockbuster showdowns between Khan vs. Canelo and Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz. This yet again shows our commitment to bringing the biggest and best fights to our BoxNation customers. The night promises to be one of the biggest events in the UK for years and I’m thrilled our channel will be there as Fury looks to cement his place as king of the heavyweight division.”
Hughie Fury to Fight Andy Ruiz
Undefeated heavyweight sensation Hughie Fury will make the first defence of his WBO Intercontinental Championship against Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jr on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s eagerly-anticipated rematch with Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 29th October, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Fury, 20-0 10 KO’s, has ripped through the heavyweight division, claiming his first professional title in the WBO Intercontinental against Fred Kassi at London’s Copper Box Arena back in April. Should he defeat the unbeaten Ruiz Jr, Fury will move into the number one mandatory position for the WBO World Heavyweight title – held by his cousin Tyson.
California resident Ruiz Jr holds an explosive record of 28 wins from 28 fights, with 19 coming via devastating knockout. The former WBO Intercontinental belt holder enjoys a No.3 ranking with the WBO and is sure to provide Fury with his toughest test to date.
“I am happy to be in such a big fight against a top heavyweight,” said Fury. “I will be giving my all to retain my WBO Intercontinental belt and I hope it is a fight that the fans enjoy. Out of all of the top up-and-coming heavyweights I believe I have fought the better men in my career so far. Being tested against tougher opponents will help me in this fight.”
Peter Fury, father and trainer of Hughie, said: “Hughie is a true fighting man who loves his sport. He trains hard & will need to be as prepared as possible as Ruiz Jr is easily one of the best heavyweights in the world right now.
“Hughie is ready to take this challenge and this once again proves we only want the best fights for him. He wants to earn his position, he doesn’t want to fight cherry-picked opposition like other heavyweights.
“I know Hughie can become a great fighter. To do that he must do what other heavyweights won’t; fight top drawer opponents.”
Javier Fortuna’s Comeback Begins September 23rd
The comeback of one of boxing’s most exciting fighters, former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna, will begin on Friday, September 23, 2016.
Fortuna (29-1-1, 21 KOs) of Braintree, Massachusetts, via La Romana, Dominican Republic, will take on fellow Dominican Marlyn “Maravilla” Cabrera (22-0, 10 KOs) of Santiago de los Caballeros in a 10-round super featherweight battle to top promoters Sampson Lewkowicz’s (Sampson Boxing) and Cesar Mercedes’ (Manguita Promotions) night of world-class boxing at the Sambil Ballroom in Sambil Plaza in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and live on Dominican TV RNN.
27-year-old southpaw Fortuna won the WBA World Super Featherweight Championship in May 2015 with a 12-round decision over Bryan Vasquez and made a successful defense in September 2015 against Carlos Ivan Velasquez (TKO 10). But then in June of this year, Fortuna suffered a surprise TKO 11 defeat at the Capital Gym in Beijing, China, to unheralded challenger Jason Sosa of New Jersey. Winning fairly easily on all three scorecards, a tiring Fortuna was surprised and dropped by a spirited late-fight rally.
Undefeated and untested 29-year-old Cabrera will be coming to the ring with pulling off an upset on his mind. In his six-year professional career, he has already held the WBA Fedecaribe and Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) InterContinental Featherweight Championships.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” said Fortuna. “I lost my championship and I’m going to beat whoever I have to beat to get it back. Cabrera is my countryman and I wish him a long successful career, but right now he is in my way. He has to go.”
Marcos Hernandez Training Camp Quotes
Unbeaten prospect Marcos “The Madman” Hernandez is set to put his undefeated record on the line against Detroit’s Antonio Urista in an eight-round bout featured on Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday, September 13 from Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino in Nice, California.
Here is what Hernandez had to say about the fight, his camp and more:
On fighting in his second televised bout on FS1…
“To be fighting on FS1 for the second time in my career is a dream come true. I’ve worked extremely hard to get these types of opportunities and I want to take full advantage of the situation. Just like my last fight, you can expect me to come out firing hard shots. I’m here to give the fans a great show.”
On his recent training camp…
“Training camp has been hard as usual. Just like the last camp, we traveled to many different gyms to get the best possible sparring. Everyone was a top level guy. My conditioning is right where I like it. Most importantly, I feel I’m getting better with each training camp.”
On his matchup with Antonio Urista…
“I really don’t know much about him expect that he only has one loss on his record. I’m sure he’s going to be looking to take advantage of this opportunity, so I’m expecting a very tough fight. The fans are in for a big treat.”
On fighting at the Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino..
“I’ve only fought there once and it was a great experience. The venue is very intimate and the fans are on top of you so you can feel the energy when you’re in the ring. Because I’m from California, the fans seem to take a liking to me, so I’m excited to be fighting there again.”
On fighting out of his hometown of Fresno, Calif…
“Right now Fresno has a lot of good fighters coming up. I just want to do my best to put Fresno on the map as far as boxing goes. There’s a lot of talent coming out of Fresno and the fans really support their fighters. I know everyone back home will be tuning in. With a great performance, I’m hoping my hometown fan base will continue to grow.”
Pasciolla Sees Bout with Edwards as Gateway to Bigger Fights
Heavyweight Dan Pasciolla is not surprisingly excited about his national television debut, which will come Thursday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, when he takes on undefeated Ray Edwards in the co-featured bout of a card on CBS Sports Network.
In the main event, Dustin Hernandez-Harrison takes on Thomas LaManna for the USBA Welterweight title.
Pasciolla of Brick, New Jersey has a record of 8-1-1 knows that a win over the former star NFL defensive end, could catapult to big fights in the heavyweight division.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to fight on television and be part of a great promotion in Philadelphia,” said the 31 year-old Pasciolla.
Pasciolla, who already has wins over undefeated Bill Marks (1-0) & Donnie Edwards (6-0-1) plus triumphs over John Lennox (13-2) and former world champion Imamu Mayfield, and is not in awe of the 6’5: 255 pound Edwards.
“Edwards is a big tall guy and I respect him as an athlete, But I feel that I am more that ready for this fight. Edwards has no amateur experience and his record has been built up. Not only does my resume of wins look more impressive then his, but I have fought bigger guys.”
Pasciolla believes a win over Edwards will catapult himself into higher profile bouts.
“I am hoping with a national broadcast win will move me up the national rankings. I won the New Jersey state belt when we beat a former world champion in Imamu Mayfield. That tile has lineage back to Chuck Wepner, so we have the confidence as I progress up the rankings.”
Sosa Dared to Believe
By: Ben Underwood
The site was Beijing ,China , the favourite was Javier Fortuna and the script was ripped apart by Jason Sosa. Although Sosa seemed alarmingly easy to hit and Fortuna was hiding behind his Mayweather- esque front shoulder, it was Sosa who seemed to want it more as he moved forward and put pressure on the relaxed Fortuna from the first bell.
Southpaw Javier seemed to fight with the attitude that he only needed to turn up to win for the first two rounds ,while Sosa was making the most of the opportunity with wild swings and catching Fortuna with the left hook as the latter tried to back off. The WBA Super Featherweight champion suddenly woke up and let his hands go, landing a clubbing right at the end of the second but it was a belated attempt and the bell provided a get out of jail free card for Jason (19-1-4,15 KO’s).
El canito was showing great head movement but it was Fortuna who was taking over and landed a great burst of punches in the fourth making his crude and lunging opponent think. It only seemed a matter of time before Javier (29-0-1,21 KO’s going in) would get to his man and in the fifth, landed a great left hand that he set up from a distracting right hook and felled the brave Sosa that didn’t seem to hurt him too badly. The underdog got up and brushed himself off and immediately set about his work.
By the seventh round Sosa had his best round so far catching Fortuna with straight rights and left hooks, with Fortuna with his jerky movements was looking for that one shot to win in style, this ultimately cost him the round. The contest caught fire in round nine as Fortuna looked to finish Sosa,but after going the distance with Nicholas Walters It seemed that the champion underestimated the toughness of Sosa, as he took all that fortuna could deliver and looked very composed under pressure.By the end of the round both men were exchanging with Javier landing left and rights to Sosa’s head while El canito was landing to both body and head.
The fight was close at this point and by the tenth it was Sosa who ,with his relentless pressure caught Fortuna with a right to the body and a straight right to the head which had Fortuna in all kinds of bother as he went down from a straight right hand. The drama was coming in thick and fast as Javier spat his gumshield to buy some time and the third man in the ring took a point for his troubles. Fortuna looked desperate as he tried to let his hands go and was getting caught in the process by left hooks from Sosa, and by the end of the 10th they were both on the floor as Fortuna did an MMA take down to end the action packed round.
It was the relentless pressure that Fortuna could not get to grips with and right after slashing right were landing and without warning a massive left hook detonated of the jaw of the Dominican Republic native and he fell to the floor. Although he got up he was clearly unsteady as he tried to con Raul Caiz jr ,but the referee made the right decision to wave the fight off and allow Javier Fortuna to fight another night.
Fortuna was making his second defence of the WBA title that he won from Bryan Vasquez and was expected to win. The determination of Sosa is something that cannot be taught in any gym around the world and serves as a testiment to Jason Sosa as he becomes the new WBA Super featherweight champion of the world.