PBC and Fox/Fox Sports Sign Major 4 Year TV Deal
FOX Sports today announced it has reached a landmark four-year, multi-platform agreement with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) making FOX Sports the preeminent broadcaster for PBC’s top-tier championship fights featuring its biggest and brightest stars. The announcement was made by Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports and Alan Haymon, President and CEO of Haymon Sports, creator of the PBC series.
“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with the PBC in coming years and take the world’s best boxers to the next level by exposing them to the widest possible audiences across FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes,” said Silverman. “While FOX Sports has been invested in boxing as a key property on both FS1 and FOX Deportes, this will be the first time in more than 30 years that boxing will be regularly featured in prime time on network television.”
“We are pleased to continue with FOX Sports to showcase our unrivaled roster of more than 160 of the best boxers in the world, including 60 current and former world champions in the weight divisions that most excite the fans,” says Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications for Haymon Sports. “The PBC on FOX will bring the fans the best boxing and bring our boxers and the sponsors the biggest audience as we continue to pursue the goal of returning this great sport to mainstream prominence.”
With the four-year deal, the FOX broadcast network will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually. The package includes FOX Sports-PBC Pay-Per-View events. The Emmy Award-winning FOX Sports production team will produce all the live events and more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels.
“FOX Sports is delighted to support PBC fights with a robust boxing programming lineup across FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes, including a variety of prefight and postfight shows,” said Bill Wanger, FOX Sports EVP, Programming, Live Operations and Research. “In addition, FOX Sports will promote PBC events across FOX’s multiple platforms, networks and powerful sports programming line-up, which includes the NFL, Major League Baseball, college football, college basketball, NASCAR, USGA, MLS and WWE SmackDown programming.”
To build anticipation for each fight, FOX Sports will surround each fight night on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes with top-level ancillary programming including multiple episodes of behind-the-scenes shows on FOX, fight-countdown preview shows, press conferences, fighter face-off shows, weigh-ins and prefight and postfight shows on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes. This programming line-up also includes two studio-based PBC-branded shows a month on FOX and FS1, with PBC boxer interviews and profiles. Fight cards will have televised preliminary fights on FOX, FS1 or FS2 and FOX Deportes.
All PBC on FOX Sports events and programming will be streamed live on the FOX Sports app, available in English or Spanish through the FOX, FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. FOX Sports will offer a platform inside the app to allow viewers to stream the PPV events. In addition, boxing and the PBC will be prominently featured across the FOX Sports website, apps and social platforms.
FOX Sports and FOX Deportes will announce on-air personalities, as well as upcoming airdates and times soon.
Travis Kauffman, Gerald Washington, and Michael Hunter Win on Sunday
By: Ken Hissner
At the Pioneer Event Center, Lancaster, CA, Tom Brown’s TG Promotions and Premier Champion Boxing put on three ten round heavyweight fights plus ten more bouts Sunday night over FS-1.
In the main event Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 32-2 (23), of Reading, PA, pulled out a majority decision over late sub Scott Alexander, 14-3-2 (8), of L.A., CA, over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Travis Kauffman Twitter Account
In the opening round Kauffman dropped Alexander with short right to the chin. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth administered the 8 count. Shortly afterwards it was Alexander landing a left hook to the head knocking Kauffman to the canvas for an 8 count by Referee Hedgpeth.
Kauffman came in at one of his highest weights at 242 ½ compared to one of Alexander’s lowest weights at 224 last fighting in March. Kauffman was returning to the ring after fifteen months.
In rounds two thru five were all close with Alexander taking three of the four rounds after an even first round. In round six Kauffman used his jab to edge out Alexander.
In the seventh round Kauffman landed a right to the chin of Kauffman. He would box the rest of the way as Alexander seemed to “take the round off”. Kauffman landed a left hook to the chin of Alexander at the bell.
In the eighth round Alexander came out using his jab and a left uppercut to the body of Kauffman. Kauffman walked into a right to the chin from Alexander. Kauffman landed a right to the body as Alexander countered with a body shot of his own. Kauffman turned southpaw landing a left to the body and a right to the chin of Alexander. Good round for Alexander who had been yelled at by his corner after not doing much if anything in the seventh round. Alexander took the fight on a week’s notice and had only gone the ten round distance once in his career.
the ninth round Kauffman came out southpaw landing a right hook to the chin of Alexander. Alexander came back with a chopping right to the head followed by a right upper cut to the chin of Kauffman. Kauffman landed a right to the chin at the bell. Kauffman seemed to take the round.
In the tenth and final round both fighters came out landing body shots for the first minute. Kauffman landed a double right to the head of Alexander. Alexander came back with a left hook to the chin of Kauffman knocking out his mouthpiece. For some reason it was over a minute before Referee Hedgpeth stopping the action to retrieve the mouthpiece. Both fighters went at it the last thirty seconds punching until the final bell sounded.
Judge Fernando Villarreal scored it 95-95 while both judge’s Sergio Caiz and Ralph McNight scored it 96-94 as did this writer.
In the other two heavyweight matches Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, 19-2-1 (12), of Vallejo, CA, defeated John Wesley Nofire, 20-2 (16), of Miami, FL, by scores of 97-93 and 98-92 twice.
Michael Hunter II, 14-1 (9), of Las Vegas, NV, knocked out Georgian Iago Kiladze, 26-3 (18), of Brooklyn, NY, at 2:52 of the fifth round.
Mykal Fox Turns Losing Amateur Record into a 16-0 as a Pro
By: Ken Hissner
In covering a Marshall Kauffman King’s Promotions show Friday night at the Bethlehem Sands Event Center I met Mykal Fox and unbeaten 6:03½ Super Lightweight with a 16-0 (4), record who will be the Main Event May 11th at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. King’s Promotions will promote this while in another part of Philadelphia the Boxing Director Greg Sirb did it again! Greg Cohen Promotions and Hard Hitting Promotions will be at the 2300 Arena in South Philly via Showtime with David Haney against Mason Menard in the Main Event. Sirb approved of two shows December 1st at the same two facilities. That was a “writer’s nightmare” because you get one of the promoters upset if you don’t go to their show.
Getting back to Fox he told me “I was 40-60 in the amateurs”. I asked if he meant 40-6? He repeated 40-60. “I wasn’t that dedicated,” he said. No kidding! But, what a turn around. He has another brother that also boxes.
“My dad Troy is my trainer. My brother Alantez (“Sly Aza, 23-1-1 (11), middleweight). Reggie Brown is my cut man,” said Fox. I knew about his brother who has had a good career so far. He lost for the first time in his last fight to Demitrius Andrade, 24-0, in November of 2017, but had him down in the 7th round.
“My brother always was my biggest supporter and my best training partner. We push each other regularly,” said Fox. His brother is 26 while the younger brother is 22. Mykal turned pro in April of 2014 while his older brother turned pro July of 2010. It wasn’t until July 18th in 2015 that they fought on the same show with his brother scoring a 1st round KO and Mykal winning a 6 round decision. It’s been the only time on the same card.
I asked him about some of his tougher opponents.
“Claudinei Lucerda, 16-13-1, who actually fought at 154 and dropped to 140 but his punching power came with him. In the first round he hit me with some hard body shots. Tre’Sean Wiggins, 7-2, was another power puncher but he also had very quick hands.
Alejandro Reyes, 11-3-1, was another. I went up a weight class to face him. He was an aggressive action fighter true to Mexican style. Ricardo Garcia, 14-1, was an awkward fighter and I know I lost the first two rounds against him,” said Fox.
In Fox’s first three years he fought a total of four fights each year. In 2017 he only had three fights. He has one fight this year and the other on May 11th scheduled. Kauffman will keep him busy. On his November 21st fight he won the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) All America Welterweight title though only weighing 143 which has been his highest weight so far when he defeated Manuel Alejandro Reyes.
Fox will have a tough opponent in his May bout in Anthony Mercado, 11-3 (10), from Arecibo, PR. He won his first 7 fight by KO and followed with three more wins. Then dropped two bouts before winning his most recent one in March when his opponent Tyrone Crawly, Jr., 7-0, hurt his hand and couldn’t come out after 3 rounds.
Fox’s first 10 fights were in Ft. Washington or Washington, MD. On June 28th of 2016 he finally fought out of MD at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center winning all six rounds over Jose M. Valderrama, 5-13. He returned to this facility in November defeated Reyes over 10 rounds and in February defeating Garcia over 8 rounds.
In Fox’s debut he defeated David Ruiz who was also in his debut. In his 5th fight he was in his first 6 rounder defeating Luis Rodriguez, 3-1. He has also defeated Juan Carlos Castillo, 4-2, Adam Mate, 18-6, Sommer Martin, 5-2, Juan Rodriguez, 6-5-1, and Daniel Sostre, 13-12-1, among those opponents with winning records.
It looks like the younger Fox has a bright future though not a real good puncher. But, with that height advantage he should be able to out box his opponents. Mercado will be a good test on May 11th at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
PBC on Fox Results: Alexander and Ortiz fight to a Draw.
by Eric Lunger
Tonight, on PBC on Fox, the talented but enigmatic Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) took on former world champion Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash. No belt was on the line, but both fighters knew what was at stake: the winner would have a meaningful claim in the deep welterweight division, while the loser very well might mark the end of his career.
In a close, professional first round, both men boxed from range, and Alexander just nipped the round, landing one clean shot. Ortiz was looking to land a lead hook in the second round, feinting his way in. Alexander’s hand speed was noticeable, however, and Ortiz suffered a cut on his forehead. It was another extremely close round. Alexander looked the better fighter in the third round, showing world-class accuracy and speed.
In the fourth, Alexander continued to land precise shots, with Ortiz’s left eye noticeably swelling. The pattern continued in the middle rounds, with Ortiz trying to feint his way in, but Alexander timing him with precise, short shots. Ortiz did get inside at the end of the fifth, but could not do any significant damage. In the seventh, Ortiz bulled his way in, and there was a lot of leather exchanged at close range. The eighth was an exciting round, two professionals exhibiting a high level of skill and courage. It might have been Ortiz’s best round, but Alexander seemed none daunted.
The ninth was full of action, but Alexander’s footwork allowed him to dictate the range (most of the time), and thus Ortiz could not make it an inside brawl. In the eleventh, Ortiz was looking to land some wide hooks, while Alexander remained sharp and accurate. In the final frame, Ortiz fought with urgency but he seemed unable to summon enough energy after a tough and exhausting effort. For a fighter who has taken a lot of criticism regarding his heart, Ortiz fought like a lion.
The scorecards came a stunner. Inexplicably, a majority draw with two cards 114-114, and one card 115-113 for Ortiz.
In the co-feature, undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) took on rugged and experienced Rogelio “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in a twelve-round world title eliminator at 168 pounds. Sold as America vs. Mexico, the storyline was more interesting as undefeated prospect against tested and tough veteran. Medina failed to make weight, however, and appeared in the ring with a brace on his left knee.
Plant showed a strong left jab in the first round, taking no risks. In the second, Plant dropped his left hand, and allowed Medina to come forward and dictate the action. Plant spent a significant portion of the round back-peddling, earning a Bronx cheer from the crowd. But in the third round, Plant appeared looser and more confident, bouncing on the balls of his feet and landing some clean counters. Medina had no answers and began to take real punishment.
Medina had some success in the fourth, but Plant landed more jabs and used his footwork to frustrate the Mexican veteran. In the middle rounds, Medina could not negate Plant’s advantage in reach and Plant’s jab. Plant was winning rounds jabbing and countering, but he never seemed like he wanted to get Medina out of there.
In the late rounds, Plant remained in control, always boxing, always safe. Medina showed a ton of heart and desire, but could not make inroads against Plant’s defensive footwork. Going twelve rounds for the first time in his career, Caleb Plant earned the decision 120-108, 119-109, 117-111, running his record to a perfect 17-0.
In earlier action, US Olympian Carlos Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs) showcased his elite-level skills, outpointing Jorge Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round lightweight bout. Prior to the televised bouts, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) stopped George Sosa (15-12, 15 KOs) in the fifth round, for Harrison’s second win since losing to Jarrett “Swift” Hurd in February of 2017.
PBC on Fox Preview: Devon Alexander vs. Victor Ortiz
By: Eric Lunger
Former welterweight world champions Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander look to climb back into the top echelons of the division, as they face off on Saturday night in a twelve-round welterweight bout, live on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Alen Mena/PBC
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) held the WBC title in 2011, losing it to Floyd Mayweather on a bizarre knock out, after Ortiz had inexplicably head-butted Mayweather and was still attempting to apologize. Ortiz, 31, has been erratic since then, winning three and losing three over a five-year span, but he is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Saul Corral in July of last year. A southpaw with a fluid and entertaining style, Ortiz is a pressure fighter who can leave himself open to being countered.
“I’m ready to give all I have to get my crown back,” Ortiz said via PBC press release. “My priority is to make a strong comeback and put myself in position to have my straps once more. I’m facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I have known since we were kids. I don’t hate him, but I won’t be his friend on fight night.”
Alexander, also 31, won the IBF welterweight title in November 2012, but lost it a year later, in his second defense of the belt, to Shawn Porter. Alexander held the IBF and WBC super lightweight titles in 2010-2011. The St. Louis native is a southpaw as well, and he brings to the ring a well-rounded style with solid defense and potent offense. Alexander has a strong jab and a dangerous straight left, but he can also bang the body with the left hook.
After battling some on-and-off health issues over the last three years, Alexander is eager to get back on track. Coming off a UD victory over Walter Castillo in November, a big win Saturday night could jump start his career. “I’m excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz,” Alexander told PBC. “My speed, quickness, and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can’t hit you, so my skills will be the difference.”
With fights against Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana, and Timothy Bradley on his resume, Alexander is no stranger to the big stage. Both he and Ortiz have a lot of hard-earned experience between them; both of them are very talented. The fight should come down to which fighter can impose his game plan on the other.
In the co-main event, undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) will take on tough veteran Rogelio Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in a twelve-round world title eliminator at 168 pounds. At super welterweight, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) will face off against Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) of Mexico in a ten rounder. Harrison, a real technician of the sport, was stopped by Jarrett Hurd in February of last year in an IBF title fight. In addition, 2016 US Olympian Carlos Balderas will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
Cintron in No-Contest and Fox Wins at Sands in Bethlehem
By: Ken Hissner
Tuesday night at the Sands Event Center Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotion put on an 8 bout card featuring former champion Kermit Cintron and up and coming Mykal Fox in co-feature bouts.
In the co-feature former IBF Welterweight champion now Super Welterweight Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 39-6-3 (30) , of Reading, PA, and “Marvelous” Marcus Taylor, 8-1 (0) , of Houston, TX, was ruled no-contest at 0:35 of the third round due to clash of heads with an eye injury to Cintron.
In the first round already too many clinches. Referee Eric Dali warned Taylor for punching in the back and then behind the head of Cintron. In the second round Taylor landed a low blow causing referee Dali to give Cintron several minutes to re-coup. Cintron would lead with a jab but Taylor was not co-operating. In the third round due to an accidental clash of the heads Cintron’s right eye was near closed causing referee Dali to bring in the ring physician. The fight was called off by the ring physician. It was ruled no-contest in a scheduled 8. It could have been a DQ in favor of Cintron.
“I was looking for my 40th win. The referee did his job in warning his dirty tactics,” said Cintron. The first head butt cut Cintron’s forehead and the second a gash over the right eye. Joe Pastore is his trainer.
In the co-feature Super Lightweight southpaw Mykal “The Professor” Fox, 16-0 (4) , of Forestville, MD, won a hard fought decision over Ricardo Garcia, 14-2 (9) , of Dominican Republic, over 8 rounds.
In the first round the taller Fox used his reach jabbing while Garcia came forward going to the body well. In the second round Garcia seemed to come back taking the round with body work. Garcia’s left eye was closing by the end of the round. In the third round Garcia with left eye closing had problems with the southpaw Fox right jab. In the fourth round Garcia came back to even the score with overhand rights and inside body work.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Garcia walked into straight lefts from Fox. Though Garcia’s left eye was near closing he never stopped forcing the action. Garcia took the fifth and Fox seemed to do enough to take the sixth round though close.
In the seventh round a Fox right hook to the chin dropped Garcia who was up immediately taking the 8 count from referee Gary Rosato. In the eighth and final round Fox kept the jab working while Garcia did quite a bit of missing with hay makers.
Judge Poturaj had it 77-74 while judges Morgan and Weisfeld had it 78-73. This writer had it 77-74.
“I used my jab well. I got head butted (cut on forehead) but felt I controlled the fight,” said Fox.
Heavyweight Colby Madison, 6-0-1 (4) , of Owings Mills, MD, defeated southpaw Dante “Mr. Snuggly Time” Selby, 2-4-1 (0) , of Philadelphia, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Selby landed a lead left which was countered by a right of his own by Madison both to the head. Selby went down with referee Gary Rosato waving it off due to Madison stepping on the foot of Selby. In the second round Selby landed several lead lefts to the chin of Madison.
In the third round it took to the halfway point before a solid punch was landed by Madison to the chin of Selby. In the fourth round it was another slow round with Madison landing what little punches there were.
With Larry “The Easton Assasin” Holmes and “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney at ringside it looks like they could take both in the ring in a tag team match.
In the fifth round Selby landed a lead left at the halfway mark to the chin of Madison who came back with a stiff jab. It was another slow round on both parts. In the sixth and final round neither fighter seemed to go for the win. The scoring seemed out of line.
Judge Bernard Bruni had it 60-54 while Kevin Morgan and John Poturaj had it 59-55 with this writer having it 57-57.
Middleweight Blake “Kayo King” Mansfield 6-1-1 (4) , of Burlington, NC, stopped Darryl “Dreamking” Bunting, 3-3-2 (1) , of Asbury Park, NJ, at 0:36 of the fifth round in a scheduled 6.
In the first round Mansfield took it to Bunting driving him into a corner with a flurry of punches. Mansfield landed a left to the head drawing blood over the right eye of Bunting. In the second round Bunting landed a good straight right to the chin of Mansfield who came back with a right of his own rocking Bunting.
In the third round both fighters mixed it up well. Bunting got the best of it up until the final 30 seconds when Mansfield came back. In the fourth round Mansfield drove Bunting into the ropes with a straight right hand. Bunting knocked out the mouthpiece of Mansfield which was the third time costing Mansfield a point by referee Dali. Dali just prior to the bell landed a right to the head having Bunting wobble back to his corner.
In the fifth round Mansfield unleashed a vicious attack driving across the ring into the ropes forcing referee Dali to call a halt.
“I hurt him in the first round. When the referee took a point away in the previous round made me man. So I came out firing,” said Mansfield.
Heavyweight Michael Polite Coffie, 2-0 (1) , of Brooklyn, NY, defeated game Jamaican southpaw Nicoy Clarke, 0-1 (0) , of Jersey City, NJ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Clarke landed a lead overhand left to the chin of the much larger Coffie. Coffie came back with hard left hook body shots on Clarke. Coffie landed half a dozen punches without return from Clarke. In the second round Clarke charges in trying to swarm Coffie with little success. A grazing left hook from Coffie bounced off the top of Clarke’s head. Inside a Coffie right uppercut on the chin drew blood from the nose of Clarke. Coffie has over a 60 pound weight advantage.
In the third round it was Clarke landing a dozen punches backing Coffie against the ropes. Coffie came back to rock Clarke with a right uppercut to the chin putting Clarke on the defense. Clarke started talking to Coffie and paid the price with half a dozen punches from Coffie. In the fourth and final round Coffie landed a solid uppercut to the chin of Clarke and then warned for a low blow by referee Rosato. A combination from Coffie hurt Clarke. Rosato was the referee.
All 3 judges Poturaj, Bruni and Morgan and this writer had it 40-36.
Featherweight southpaw Martino “Titan” Jules, 3-0 (0) , of Allentown, PA, won a close decision with a knockdown over Malik “Lil Leak” Loften, 1-1 (1) , of Suitland, MD, over 4 rounds.
In the first round both mixed it up good with Jules landing the better of the punches through the first half of the round. Loften came back in the last ten seconds driving Jules into a corner at the bell. In the second round Jules drove Loften into a corner but Loften came back with a left hook to the body. Loften rushed into Jules who landed a straight left to the chin dropping Loften. Referee Dali gave him the eight count and Loften was up and fighting back. It was Jules who came out of the round with a bloody nose smeared his face with blood at the bell.
In the third round Loften came charging out trying to turn the fight around as Jules met him with a combination. Loften drove Jules into a neutral corner with a combination to the head of Jules. Jules slipped a right from Loften and countered with a left to the chin of Loften. Loften landed a solid right to the head of Jules putting him into the ropes causing him to clinch. Again a right hand from Loften rocked Jules. In the fourth and final round both let it all hang out knowing the fight could be in the balance of the round. Loften had Jules holding after landing a solid right to the head of Jules.
Judge Bruni had it 39-38 while Morgan and Weisfeld had it 38-37 with this writer having it 38-37.
Featherweight Juan “Ciclon” Sanchez, 5-0 (2) , of Allentown, PA, stopped Mexican Sergio Aguilar, 2-7 (2) , of Homestead, FL, at 2:55 of the fourth and final round.
In the first round Sanchez came out firing driving Aguilar landing a left hook knocking him to the bottom strand of the ropes ruling a knockdown by referee Rosato. Sanchez landed eight left uppercuts to the body of Aguilar up until the bell. In the second round Sanchez hit Aguilar with a right to the head spinning him around making his glove touch the canvas causing referee Rosato to call it a knockdown. A combination from Sanchez dropped Aguilar a second time. Sanchez pulled a “Roy Jones, Jr.” putting his hands behind his back then throwing a punch. Aguilar got the final punch in as the bell sounded.
In the third round Sanchez rocked Aguilar who gamely came back with several punches of his own. Aguilar drove Sanchez into the ropes with a lead overhand right to the head. Aguilar did well to come back and edge Sanchez in the round. In the fourth and final round Aguilar missed with a wild right hand almost going through the ropes as Sanchez ducked out of the way. In the final minute both fighters let it all hang out with Sanchez hurting Aguilar with a right body shot. Then Sanchez followed up by swarming all over Aguilar driving him to the canvas on his back under the lower rope. Referee Rosato immediately waved it off. The local fans went crazy for Sanchez.
“He was a lot tougher than I thought he was. I did my thing (showboat) with a triple left hook to finish him off,” said Sanchez. His trainer well known in the area Louie Martinez said “he is in college and hasn’t been able to get in the gym as I would like but he did well.”
In the opening bout Cruiserweight Kendall “Smoke” Cannida, 1-0 (0) ,, of Philadelphia, defeated Leroy Jones, 2-2 (2), of St. Louis, MO, over 4 rounds.
In the first round the taller Jones used his jab until Cannida got inside and drove him into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Jones continued to carry his left low not learning Cannida can punch. In the second round Cannida switched to southpaw and back to orthodox. A right hand from Cannida rocked Jones with five more punches putting him against the ropes before Jones returned a punch. Jones landed a left uppercut to the chin of Cannida. Cannida came back with a solid jab just prior to the bell that knocked the head of Jones back.
In the third round Cannida landed a right to the body of Jones. Up until then he was head hunting. Jones came forward and got hit with a right to the chin stopping him in his tracks. Jones was warned for using his forearm for the second time by referee Dali. In the fourth round Cannida rocked Jones with a left hook to the chin. Another left hook from Cannida rocked Jones who hasn’t learned to pick up his left hand. Cannida landed an overhand right to the chin of Jones at the ten second warning.
All three Judges Bruni, Morgan and Weisfeld and this writer hat it 40-36. “I liked it a lot. This is what I trained for,” said Cannida. In his corner were Chucky Mills and former top world contender Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, all from Philly. Cannida is a prospect.
The Ring Announcer was Alex Barbosa. On Go-Fight-Live were Marc Abrams and Mike Mittman. Timekeeper was Fred Blumstein. Kings Promotion will return to the Sands Event Center on April 17th. Per promoter Marshall Kauffman it may be his son heavyweight Travis Kauffman returning to the ring. Their next show is March 2nd at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly featuring unbeaten Christian Carto.
Fox and Vazquez Win at the Sand’s Casino in Bethlehem, PA
By: Ken Hissner
King’s promotions returned to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, Tuesday night before the largest crowd seen here in years with plenty of Allentown boxers on the undercard.
The main event featuring Frank DeAlba fell out due to his opponent Ivan Najera coming in 15 pounds over weight per PR man Marc Abrams!
In the Main Event welterweight southpaw Mykal “The Professor” Fox, 15-0 (4), of Forestville, MD, easily defeated southpaw Manuel “Chino” Reyes, 11-4-1 (5), of Los Angeles, CA, for the UBF All America title over 8 rounds.
In the opening round the much taller Fox works the ring well countering a chasing Reyes with jabs and left hands to the chin. Fox outworked Reyes for the most part. The second round Reyes tries to make Fox turn it into a brawl but Fox is to smart for this countering Reyes well. Fox landed half a dozen unanswered punches to the head of Reyes who is walking into punches trying to land a big shot. Reyes lands a solid right hook to the chin of Fox. Both fighters ended the round going to each others body.
In the third round both fighters are working inside mostly to the body with plenty of holding for referee Gary Rosato to break up. Reyes continues to chase down Fox running into jabs and left uppercuts. In the fourth round Fox landed several chopping left hands to the head of Reyes. The light punching Fox is just to fast a hand for Reyes. In the fifth round Reyes finally got Fox in a neutral corner with a flurry of punches. Fox counters with a 3-punch combination to the head of Reyes. Reyes works hard trying to catch up with Fox but only to run into combinations to the head while landing a punch or two.
In the sixth round Reyes runs into a straight left to the chin by Fox. Reyes landed several good shots to the body and head of a retreating Fox when he stopped moving. In the seventh round Reyes works the body only to b countered by Fox going to the head. Reyes kept trying to swarm all over Fox but continues to run into counter chopping left hands to the head. In the eighth and final round Fox lands a hard straight left to the head of Reyes. Reyes drove Fox into a neutral corner with body shots. Fox spun out and continues to counter Reyes until they continue to clinch making referee Rosato’s job tough at times.
Judge Dave Braswell had it 78-74, Ron McNair 79-73 and Bernard Bruni 80-72 same as this writer had it.
Lightweight Victor “Skinny” Vazquez, 9-3 (3), of Yonkers, NY, scored 3 knockdowns defeating Ricardo “La Ley” Garcia, 14-1 (9), of Santo Domingo, DR, now out of Reading, PA, by majority decision over 8 rounds.
In the opening round Garcia landed the first punch a left hook to the head of the taller Vazquez. Vazquez was the aggressor while Garcia was backing up with his hands down to his side. Vazquez turned southpaw and Garcia hit him with half a dozen punches bringing blood from his nose. Vazquez drove Garcia into the ropes with a lwft hook to the head as the round came to an end. In the second round Vazquez was using a good jab as Garcia was moving backwards before landing a counter right to the chin of Vazquez. Vazquez was chasing Garcia with little success as Garcia would land an occasional right to the head. Vazquez landed a double left hook to the head of Garcia just prior to the bell. Referee Clark had to separate the two at the bell of a close round.
In the third round Vazquez landed a good left hook to the chin of Garcia dropping him to the canvas. Garcia got up and both were slugging it out in the corner of Vazquez as Garcia came out of it with a cut along his left eyebrow. In the fourth round Vazquez opened up with a lead right to the head of a retreating Garcia. Garcia landed a right to the head but was countered by a right to the head from Vazquez. Garcia countered with a solid right to the chin of Vazquez who continues to run after Garcia who stops on occasion to throw punches. Garcia landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Vazquez just prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Garcia landed a right to the head of Vazquez but was countered with a left hook to the head. Vazquez landed a right hand and fell to the canvas. He got up and continued to chase Garcia who ended the round with a combination to the head of Vazquez. In the sixth round Vazquez came out southpaw and switching back and forth still chasing Garcia who stops long enough to counter the taller Vazquez. It looked like Vazquez knocked Garcia down but referee Shawn Clark ruled a no knockdown. Vazquez drove Garcia into a corner with a flurry of punches. Both fighters exchanged left hooks at the same time to the head.
In the seventh round Vazquez raced out of the corner making Garcia fight. Garcia landed a solid lead right to the head of Vazquez. A double left hook from Vazquez to the head of Garcia drove him into a corner. Vazquez ended the round with a left hook re-opening the cut along Garcia’s left eyebrow. In the eighth and final round a Vazquez right hand dropped Garcia. Vazquez landed a combination dropping Garcia into the ropes and down for a second time.
Judge Bruni scored it 75-75 while judges Braswell and McNair had it 77-72. This writer had it 76-73. Philadelphia’s Angel Pizarro Sr. worked the corner of Vazquez. Shawn Clark was the referee.
Super featherweight top area prospect Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 5-0 (5), of Allentown, PA, scored his fifth straight stoppage at 2:58 of the second round over Corben “The Ram” Page, 5-16-1 (0), of Springfield, OR.
In the opening round after half a minute Adorno landed a left hook to the chin of Page. Page landed several jabs to the body of Adorno. Adorno landed a left hook to the body that had Page shaking his head “no.” In the second round Adorno landed a left uppercut to the body. He followed up with a left hook to the chin of Page dropping him. Page got up but ran into a couple of left hooks from Adorno who started show boating. Page ran into an Adorno right hand to the chin rocking him. He followed up with a flurry of punches to the head dropping Page in the corner of Adorno forcing referee Rosato to wave off the fight immediately.
Featherweight Juan “Ciclon Jr.” Sanchez, 4-0 (1), of Allentown PA, won a decision over James “Too Slick” Early, 2-2 (0), of Seat Pleasant, MD, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Sanchez opened up with a right hand to the chin of Early who keeps switching back and forth to southpaw. Sanchez continued to be the aggressor against the taller Early. Sanchez showed better hand speed. In the second round Early continued to switch stances but not working with Sanchez now the counter puncher. Early drove Sanchez on the ropes for a short flurry of punches to the head. Sanchez came back well and is complaining of Early’s dirty tactics.
In the third round Early moved Sanchez into the neutral corner only to get hit with a pair of combinations to the head. In this round Sanchez was back as the aggressor. Sanchez landed a combination to the body of Early just prior to the end of the round. In the fourth and final round Early moved Sanchez into a corner only to get countered to the head. Sanchez was against the ropes with Early landed several head punches before being warned by referee Clark for a low blow. This was probably the closest round of the fight.
All 3 judge’s McNair, Braswell and Bruni had it 39-37 as did this writer.
Light flyweight Harold Lopez, Allentown, PA, 2-0-1 (1), of Allentown, PA, defeated Jerrod Miner, 1-1 (0), of Philadelphia, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round they were feeling each other out for the first minute before Lopez landed a right hand to the chin of Miner. Lopez landed a right to the chin of Miner but was countered with a combination to the head. Lopez landed a right just prior to the end of the round to the chin of Miner. In the second round Lopez continued to hold his hands high when he and Miner both landed right hands to the head. Miner landed a right to the chin of Lopez in the neutral corner. Both fighters are doing their share of missing wild punches with too much posing but the Lopez fans are still screaming for their fighter. Referee Rosato warned Lopez for using his head. Miner landed a left hook to the head of Lopez who countered with a right to the head of his own.
In the third round Lopez landed a hard right to the chin of Miner who came right back with a right of his own to the chin of Lopez. Things finally started to heat up until Lopez was warned for a low blow by referee Rosato. Miner was chasing Lopez for the most part. Lopez was using an effective jab until he was hit by a Miner left hook to the chin. Lopez keeps looking to his corner for direction. Lopez went to the body just prior to the round ending. Miner was complaining of a head butt. In the fourth and final round it was Miner landed a left hook to the head of Lopez who came right back with an overhand right to the head of Miner. Lopez landed a right to the head of Miner who came back with a left hook to the head of Lopez. Both fighters are going to the body while inside with uppercuts. Lopez landed a right uppercut to the chin of Miner. Both fighters looked exhausted at the end.
Judges Bruni had it 40-36 while Braswell and McNair had it 39-37 as did this writer. Rosato was the referee.
Heavyweight prospect NY Golden Gloves champion Michael “’P.A.N.” Coffie, 1-0 (1), of Brooklyn, PA, scored a big knockout at 1:01 of the first round over Ralph Alexander Lanham, 0-2 (0), of Lanham, MD, in a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round the much larger Coffie drive Alexander back with the first right to the chin several steps. Another Coffie right hand to the chin and Alexander was out cold before he hit the canvas. Referee Clark didn’t need to count.
Super bantamweight southpaw “Homocide” Hector Bayanilla, 2-0-1 (1), of Allentown, PA, won in a war over Jose Elizondo, 2-4-1 (0), of San Antonio, TX, over 4 rounds.
In the first round both fighters let it all hang out. No feeling out for these two. Bayanilla landed a combination to the head of Elizondo who came back with a combination of his own to the head of Bayanilla. Bayanilla landed half a dozen punches without return before Elizondo returned a right to the head of Bayanilla. It was Elizondo landing the final punches of the round as referee Rosato had to come between them at the bell. In the second round a left by Bayanilla to the chin dropped Elizondo. He got up laughing for the moment. Elizondo got back into the fight with both fighters letting it all hang out. Bayanilla rocked Elizondo with a right hook at the bell.
In the third round with his back to the ropes Bayanilloa fought back as Elizondo had forced him to the ropes. Both fighters took turns rocking each other with nothing but head shots. In the fourth and final round it was Elizondo who rocked Bayanilla only to have him come back in a total war! Neither fighter would let up in this one. The crowd is going wild! Elizondo put Bayanilla on the ropes only to get countered. Elizondo got in the final punch a right to the head of Bayanilla.
Judges Braswell and McNair scored it 39-36 while Bruni had it 40-35 as did this writer.
Referee was Rosato.
Opening bout Featherweight southpaw Martino Jules, 2-0 (0), of Allentown, PA, won by majority decision over Weusi “The Truth” Johnson, 2-7 (0), of Wilmington, DE, over 4 rounds.
In the first round both boxers mixed it up well with Jules taking the round. In the second round Johnson came back to take the round. In the third round Jules missed a right hand and almost went through the ropes. Jules landed a overhand left to the chin of Johnson just prior to the end of the round. In the fourth and final round Johnson was landing with the lead right against southpaw Jules just about every time he decided to throw it.
Judge Braswell scored 39-37, McNair 40-36 and Bruni 38-38 as did this writer. Referee was Clark.
Machado KOs Corrales, As Andrade, Burnett Emerge Victorious On HBO
By: Sean Crose
HBO’s Boxing After Dark kicked off on Saturday night by running a replay of the Ryan Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov 12 round bantamweight title unifier, which went down earlier in the day at the SSE Arena in Burnett’s home territory of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first three rounds were, as HBO’s Harold Lederman claimed, hard to judge. The fighting was in close, fairly fast paced and very physical. The fourth round was also hard to call, though one got the feeling that, if Zhakiyanov, 27-1, employed his jab a bit more, he would more effectively rise to the occasion.
Burnett, 17-0, seemed to edge the fourth and fifth. The Ricky Hatton trained Zhakiyanov was performing well, but Burnett looked to have the edge – his footwork a bit more proficient, his punches a bit sharper overall. Rounds 6 through 9 remained close, but Burnett continued to appear to have the advantage – albeit a slight advantage. In the final three rounds, it was obvious that Burnett’s use of distance was a key part of the fight. Zhakiyanov could land and have his moments, but he couldn’t have enough of them. Sure enough, the Irishman’s slightly superior skill set led him to a unanimous decision win and Shakiyanov’s WBA strap to add to his own IBF title belt.
The broadcast then went live to the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, where Rhode Islander Demitrius Andrade, 24-0, faced off against Maryland’s Alantez Fox, 23-0-1 in a 12 round middleweight affair. Alantez had a significant height advantage, but Andrade was coming to impress in his middleweight debut. And, sure enough, Andrade rocked his man immediately after the opening bell. Andrade impressively went to the body as Fox hung on the ropes. Although Fox survived the round, it was a very impressive opening for Andrade. It may have been the opportunity of a lifetime for Alantez, but through the second and third, it was clear that Andrade’s power and ring generalship was, up until that moment, overwhelming.
Andrade continued to dominate the first half of the fight. “He doesn’t want it any more,” his corner said after the 6th – and it may well have been true. In the 7th, Andrade actually went down. It might well have been a slip, but the ref declared it was a knock down. Andrade got right back up and continued to dominate the rest of the round, along with the following three. By the championship rounds, Fox continued to perform, or underperform, as he had throughout the fight. It was an easy unanimous decision win for Andrade, whose power may be an issue if he continues to stay at middleweight.
It was time for the main event. Panama’s 22-1 Jezreel Corrales faced San Juan, Puerto Rico’s 18-0 Alberto Machado in a 12-round super featherweight affair. Corrales was, until Friday’s weigh in, the WBA World Super Featherweight champion. Rather than losing the belt in the ring, he lost it on the scales. Heavy or not, though, Corrales started well, hitting fast and strong throughout the first two rounds. Machado was able to catch his man in the third, but Corrales kept bulling forward. Corrales kept up the pace in the fourth, and, in the fifth, dropped his man outright. Machado got up, be he was clearly being overwhelmed.
“This is simply not up to the standard of the main event on HBO,” Max Kellerman said with refreshing honesty in the 6th. Almost on cue, Machado rocked his man immediately after. He then rocked his man again seconds later. The fight was changing course – and getting quite exciting. Corrales came back and nailed his man in the seventh. Machado, however, suddenly dropped Corrales in the eight. Even more surprising, perhaps, the ref stopped the fight after a rattled Corrales got back to his feet. With a brilliant knockout victory, Machado takes hold of the WBA Super Featherweight title.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Burnett vs. Zhakiyanov, Machado vs. Corrales, Andrade vs. Fox,
By: Sean Crose
Saturday’s HBO Boxing After Dark card will showcase bouts from two distinct locations. The main event, which will be broadcast from the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, will feature Panama’s 22-1 Jezreel Corrales facing San Juan, Puerto Rico’s 18-0 Alberto Machado in a 12-round super featherweight affair. Machado, whose knocked out all but three of his opponents, is hoping to win the WBA World Super Featherweight Title off Corrales, who has only fought in the United States once before. This will be Machado’s first attempt at winning a world title.
Corrales has held his WBA belt since knocking out Takashi Uchiyama back in April of 2016. This will be the Panamanian’s third defense of that belt.
As HBOs Harold Lederman says: “Corrales, the champion, is a bit wild. When you watch him, he throws punches from every angle you can think of.” Yet Lederman gives the edge to Machado due to the fact that the Puerto Rican “boxes beautifully.” Says Lederman: “I think it’s going to give him (Machado) an advantage in this fight.”
Also competing at the Turning Stone that evening will be two time junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade, who will be moving up to middleweight to put his 24-0 record up against fellow undefeated fighter Alantez Fox, 23-0-1. HBO describes former Olympian Andrade as having “a deep amateur resume, having won a gold medal at the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships.” Meanwhile, “the six-foot-four Fox will look to exploit his height advantage over the six-foot-one Andrade.” Rhode Island’s Andrade is hoping to move successfully onto the next phase of his career, while Maryland’s Fox is looking to shock the world.
HBO will start it’s program on Saturday with a replay of the Ryan Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov 12 round bantamweight unifier, which will have gone down earlier in the day at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Burnett, the undefeated 17-0 local, will have hoped to defend his IBF World Bantamweight Title while gaining Zhakiyanov’s WBA Super World Bantamweight Title strap. With a record of 27-1, Zhakiyanov “has compiled a 22-bout win streak since his only ring loss.” And that loss was back in 2008 against Sakhib Usarov – ancient history career-wise for a contemporary fighter. As for Burnett, the 25 year old fought as recently as last June, when he bested Lee Haskins via unanimous decision at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena. The fight will be HBO’s maiden voyage for covering bouts from Northern Ireland.
PBC on Fox Results: Santa Cruz and Mares Win by Stoppage, DeMarco Upsets Ramirez
By: William Holmes
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California hosted tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions telecast live on the Fox Network.
Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, two of the best featherweights in the sport, previously met in a closely contested bout that saw Santa Cruz emerge the victor.
Photo Credit: Erick Ramirez/Ringstar Sports
Both were angling for a possible rematch provided they were able to win tonight.
The first fight of the night was between Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1) and Eddie Ramirez (17-0) in the super lightweight division.
DeMarco, a southpaw, was a big step up in competition for Ramirez. Ramirez landed some good body shots early in the first round but DeMarco landed a right uppercut/left hook combination that hurt Ramirez zand had him back pedaling.
DeMarco stalked Ramirez around the ring and landed several hard blows on Ramirez by the corner. A right hook left uppercut combination by DeMarco on a badly hurt Ramirez by the ropes forced the referee to end the fight.
Antonio DeMarco wins by TKO at 1:56 of the first round.
Abner Mares (30-2-1) and Andres Gutierrez (25-1-1) met next for the WBA “Regular” Featherweight Title.
Mares started the fight off fast and landed several good combinations in the first round on a plodding Gutierrez. Gutierrez continued to come forward in the second round, but Mares was able to open up a cut by his left eye and aim at it for most of the round.
Mares’ continued to pummel Gutierrez in the third and fourth rounds, but Gutierrez displayed a granite chin and never appeared to be hurt. Mares was blinking a lot after some of Gutierrez’s jabs landed in the fifth round, but he was back to showing his dominance in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Gutierrez’s left eye was gushing blood in the eighth round and by the start of the ninth round Mares had already thrown 659 punches.
Gutierrez showed some signs of life at the end of the ninth round, but Mares stepped on the gas pedal n the tenth and had blood gushing from the eye of Gutierrez and even his left ear which forced the referee to stop the fight.
The referee ruled earlier that the cut was due to a clash of heads, so they went to the cards. Abner Mares wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.
The main event was between Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) and Chris Avalos (27-5) for the WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.
Santa Cruz connected early in the first round with a good overhand right and Avalos responded with some steam-less punches to the body of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz was throwing and landing the better punches in the second round and mixed up his attacks to the body in the third. He stayed true to his pressure style of fighting.
The fourth round was violent, as Santa Cruz had Avalos badly hurt with his high volume punches in the middle of the ring but somehow still managed to throw back. He looked like he was about to go down, but never did.
Avalos was able to counter a little better in the fifth round, but Santa Cruz’s pressure firmly established control in the sixth. Santa Cruz showed no signs of slowing down in the seventh as he began to focus on the body of Avalos.
The end came in the eighth round was Santa Cruz was again tagging the iron chinned Avalos from corner to corner, before the referee jumped in to stop it.
Avalos bitterly complained to the referee, but he was getting soundly beaten.
Leo Santa Cruz wins by TKO at 1:34 of the eighth round.
Results For Mayweather-McGregor Preliminary Fights On Fox
By: Sean Crose
Fox opened up the festivities for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor MacGregor novelty fight by airing the undercard live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where the main event would be held later that evening. First up, while the arena was still basically empty (a strange thing with boxing preliminaries – they tend to play to empty arenas) was a super welterweight bout between 12-0 Juan Heraldez of Vegas and 13-0 Jose Miguel Borrego of Mexico. The fight was a complete contrast in styles, as Heraldez played defense while Borrego tried to walk his man down.
Photo Credit: USA Today
To be sure, Borrego was able to drop his man in the ninth, but he wasn’t able to finish Heraldez off. What’s more, too much time had passed. The ten rounder therefore went to the final bell and Heraldez was awarded a unanimous decision win. It was time for the gang at Fox to spend copious minutes making sure enough time was filled to make up a two hour broadcast. After that protracted break, though, 24-2 Thomas Dulorme stepped into the ring to face 19-3 Yordenis Ugas in a ten round welterweight affair.
Dulorme, a seasoned pro, started spitting out rapid fire shots in the first, but Ugas still proved able to walk his man down. Indeed, it was Ugas who looked to take the round with his cleaner punches. By the second round, it seemed clear that Ugas was the quicker on the draw of the two men. As the round went on, it looked as if Dulorme was starting to find his range. He was sent to the mat twice, though, before the bell to end the round. Dulorme seemed to do better in the third, but was still not appearing to do enough. For some reason, the man was unable to find his target.
He was able to land in the fourth, however. Seeming to find his stride, Dulorme may well have done enough to take the round. Then again, Ugas was still landing clean. Yet Dulorme continued to fight strong, trying desperately to control the tempo throughout the middle rounds. By the end of the sixth, Dulorme was employing strong body shots that may have been starting to take their toll. Ugas complained to the referee, but no action was taken. By the beginning of the seventh, however, Dulorme was finally deducted a point. No matter. A beautiful left hook took Ugas down by round’s end.
Things finally became a war of attrition, with both men digging in and fighting hard. It was a grueling affair, no doubt. “They have not let up,” Fox commentator, and boxing great Ray Leonard claimed during the ninth, and he was exactly right. Then, in the tenth and final round, referee Vic Dackulich took a second point away from Dulorme, a decision which may have sealed the fight in Ugas favor. Sure enough, Ugas was able to walk away with a UD win.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Omar Figueroa Has a Face That Lies
Omar Figueroa has a Face That Lies
by B.A. Cass
In December of 2012, Golden Boy Promotions called up Omar Figueroa Jr.’s dad to say they had a fight for his son. After his dad got off the phone, he came up to Figueroa Jr. and said, “Guess what?” He looked scared, genuinely scared. “Guess who they want you to fight?”
“Who?” Figueroa Jr. said.
“Remember that kid I told you about?”
Figueroa Jr. remembered all right, mainly because his dad was constantly talking up Michael Perez, the Puerto Rican prospect. He liked the way Perez fought and wished his son could fight more like that. On occasion, he would even compare Perez’s artistry in the ring to Michelangelo.
“So what do you think?” his dad said.
“What do you mean, ‘what do I think’?”
“Well, would you fight him?
“Why the hell not?”
“I believe you can,” his dad told him.“But that’s a tough fight. You haven’t really been training.”
Technically, Figueroa had been training. But he had just celebrated his 23rdbirthday, and he was also going out at night and having a goodtime. Figueroa’s dad, who was his trainer at the time, believed in his son’s abilities but was concerned about his conditioning. Add on to this the fact that the proposed fight with Perez was slated for January 6th, only several weeks away.
“Let’s take it,” Figueroa Jr. said. It sounded like a bad ass fight to him.
So Omar Figueroa Sr. called Golden Boy back and then he reached out to Perez’s camp, who used an intermediary to make sure that Figueroa Jr. knew who he was going up against. “They want to make sure that you’re sure about taking the fight,” the intermediary said. “Does Omar know who Perez is?”
The answer was obvious. After all, as Figueroa Jr. says now, “I knew because my dad had been on his nut for the past year.”
“Well, you know, they just want to make sure you knew who he was. They figured you took the fight because you weren’t sure who he was.”
That’s when his father realized the Perez team was just fucking with them. And once the fight was arranged, he said to his son, “Alright, now you got to kick his ass.”
“Yeah, I know,” Figueroa Jr. said. “I’m gonna fuck him up.”
Long before the fight with Perez, Figueroa Jr. had been looking for a place to train because he and his dad weren’t getting along at all. That’s how Joel Diaz came into the picture. Golden Boy Promotions showed Diaz a video of one of Figueroa Jr.’s fights and asked if he would help prepare him. At that time, Diaz was training a couple of young kids who were tough professional fighters. And when he saw those videos of Figueroa Jr., Diaz recalls thinking, “Eh, any of my boys will beat him. I don’t see anything special about him.” But he agreed to meet with them anyway.
And so, two days before Christmas, father and son traveled from Weslaco, their small Texas town on the border of Mexico, and joined Joel Diaz at his training camp in Indio, California. “I’ll never forget it because I still talk about it today,” recalls Diaz. “He came to the gym, and I started working with him. Wow, was I wrong. He has a style that really works for him. He’s very explosive; he has a lot of power, he can hit. From that point on, I was like, OK, I can work with him.” Diaz prepared Figueroa Jr. for a tough fight against Perez, which to the surprise of many he won when Perez’s corner threw in the towel after the 6th round.
According to Diaz, his relationship Figueroa Jr. got better every time, every fight. But in 2014, Figueroa Jr. decided to resume training in Texas with his dad so he could live close to family. A lot has been made of that decision and even more has been made of his year and a half hiatus from the sport. After all, it’s uncommon for such a young fighter to take so much time off. But it wasn’t simply the injuries that forced him to take a break. “I’d been dragging,” Figueroa explains. “It got to the point where I was kind of annoyed. I was starting to dislike what I was doing. I attribute that to the injuries I was having because they weren’t letting me enjoy my job. I mean not being able to train, missing weight, knowing that I wasn’t a hundred percent going into the ring with these guys, it weighed heavily on me. Mentally I was in a very bad place.”
Omar Figueroa Jr.’s last professional fight occurred in 2015 when he faced Antonio Demarco, a fight he won by unanimous decision. For much of the fight, Figueroa overwhelmed his opponent. In the first two rounds alone, Figueroa Jr. threw close to 300 punches. And it took until the end of the 3rd round for DeMarco to finally let his hands go. That’s when he caught Figueroa Jr. with a solid right hook. Figueroa Jr. stepped back and, before coming back in with his left hand, he paused a moment and smiled. We all know boxers taunt each other with their smiles, often using their smile to cover up the fact that a punch has landed and they’ve been hurt. But Figueroa Jr.’s smile wasn’t like that. His smile seemed remarkably innocent, like he was happy, if not just a bit surprised, that a real fight was starting up. Here was a young man who looked like he was having fun.
Figueroa Jr. makes his long-anticipated return to the ring this Saturday in a fight against Robert Guerrero at the Nassau Coliseum in Unionville, Long Island. Guerrero’s been dismissed by many as a fading fighter clearly past his prime, a fighter who has lost four out of his last six fights. Still, Figueroa isn’t taking him for granted and is prepared for a hard ten rounds. “Knowing I’m getting into the ring with someone like Guerrero, it brings the nerves back, a little bit, being out so long,” Figueroa says. “And I know it’s not an easy fight at all. It brings the nerves back, and I miss that feeling.”
Figueroa Jr. might strike some as being too polite to be a fighter—and perhaps a bit too nice looking. Joel Diaz, who has again come on board as his trainer, is the first to admit that his champion has a baby face. “You see the face of Omar Figueroa and you don’t think he has the heart that he has. His face is not suitable for his heart. It’s very deceptive. But he’s never been dropped. The more you hit him, the more he’s on you.” Anyone who has seen Figueroa Jr. fight knows that this is true.
Can we expect to see anything different from Figueroa Jr? Aside from feeling healthy, strong, and rested, Diaz doesn’t think so. “Omar’s never going to change,” Diaz says. “He’s never going to change his style of fighting. His strategy’s never going to change. He’s always going to be the same.” However, Figueroa Jr. believes his time away from boxing has matured him as a fighter. And Diaz admits he’s been working with Figueroa to improve his defense, so we perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of a smarter Figueroa Jr. on Saturday night.
The Figueroa Jr. vs. Guerrero fight might not be the match up of the year, but it will be fun to watch.As Diaz says, “Styles makes fights.” And the style of both these fights is not going to leave room for a lot of space. Diaz doesn’t expecteitherfighter to go back. “They’re both going to be in the ring and crash on the inside,” he says. “They’ll exchange in the middle of the ring from the beginning bell to the end.”
PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan
PBC on Fox Preview: Omar Figueroa vs. Robert Guerrero, Marcus Browne vs. Seanie Monaghan
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will return to the Fox network to broadcast a double header live from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island in Uniondale, New York.
Other bouts fighting on the undercard include boxers such as Artur Szpilka, Jamal James, Jo Jo Dan, Eliezer Aquino, and Brandon Figueroa.
Photo Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
The following is a preview of the two main bouts on the card.
Marcus Browne (19-0) vs. Seanie Monaghan (28-0); Light Heavyweights
This is an intriguing fight between two undefeated New York Light Heavyweights, and it’s a great fight to open up the televised portion of the card from Long Island, New York.
Monaghan, who was born in Long Beach, and Browne, who was born in Staten Island are familiar with each other and bring a local flair to this event.
Monaghan is undefeated, but aging, and is currently thirty five years old. A win against Browne could catapult him to a future title fight, but a loss will likely end any hopes he has of becoming a world champ. Browne is twenty six and nine years younger than Monaghan. He also has about a two and a half inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage on Monaghan.
Monaghan has some success on the local amateur circuit and lost in the finals of the 2009 New York Golden Gloves. Marcus Browne experienced success on the national level and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was also the 2010 Amateur PAL Champion.
Monaghan fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015. Brown fought once in 2017 and once in 2016, and four times in 2015.
Monaghan is signed to Top Rank Promotions, but has yet to face and defeat a big name opponent. His biggest wins to date have come against Donovan George, Elvir Muriqi, and Anthony Caputo Smith.
Browne has been facing an increasing level of opposition as he’s advanced as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Radivoje Kalajddzic, Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and George Blades.
Browne and Monaghan are about equal in power. Browne has stopped fourteen of his opponents while Monaghan has stopped seventeen.
There should be a large number of fans in attendance to watch this bout between two native New Yorkers, but Browne’s physical advantages, age advantage, and amateur pedigree indicates that he should walk away the victor on Saturday night.
Omar Figueroa (26-0-1) vs. Robert Guerrero (33-5-1); Welterweights
Robert Guerrero’s career has taking a sharp downturn since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’s 2-4 in his last six fights and seems far removed from sniffing another world title shot.
He’s facing Omar Figueroa, an undefeated boxer seven years his junior. But Figueroa has been relatively inactive, he hasn’t fought since 2015 and has experienced issues with his hands recently.
Guerrero will have about an inch and a half height advantage but Figueroa will have a two inch reach advantage. Both boxers have eighteen stoppages to their record.
Guerrero has the better amateur accomplishments; he won a gold medal in the National Junior Olympics. Figueroa competed briefly as an amateur but turned pro at a young age.
Guerrero has defeated some good opponents, and they include Yoshihiro Kamegai, Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin, Michael Katsidis, Joel Casamayor, and Jason Litzau. However, Guerrero has had a rough stretch recently and has lost to many of the top welterweights in the world. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and a loss he later avenged to Gamaliel Diaz.
Most concerning for Guerrero is the fact he lost his last bout to an Argentinean cab driver by the name of David Peralta and he escaped with a lucky decision over Aaron Martinez.
Figueroa has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division but holds victories over notable boxers such as Michael Perez, Abner Cotto, Nihito Arakawa, Jerry Belmontes, Ricky Burns, and Antonio DeMarco.
This is a bout between a boxer who’s career has been on a steady decline and a boxer with a bright future. Guerrero’s recent performances have been disappointing and it’s hard to imagine him turning his career around against a young hungry fighter at the age of thirty four.
If Figueroa’s hands aren’t injured he should be able to defeat Guerrero.
Miguel Cruz Defeats Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands
Miguel Cruz Defeats Alex Martin in Rematch Tuesday at Sands
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions returns to the Sands in Bethlehem’s Event Center putting on8 bouts over FS1. In the Main Event Miguel Cruz of San Juan, PR, defeated his opponent Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin of Chicago, IL,in January of this year.
In the rematch Miguel Cruz, 16-0 (11), of San Juan, PR, scored a pair of knockdowns to defeat Alex “Chi-town Heat” Martin, 13-2 (5), of Chicago, IL, over 10 rounds.
Cruz scored knockdowns in the first and fourth rounds. In the fifth round Martin was complaining to referee Gary Rosato about low blows so when nothing was done he landed a low blow flooring Cruz face down on the canvas. After a five minute rest it was all Martin for the next four rounds. By the ninth round Cruz was back on top winning the last two rounds and the decision.
Judges Steve Weisfeld, John McNair and Dave Braswell along with this writer had it 96-92 for the winner.
Welterweight southpaw Clarence Booth, 15-3 (8), of St. Petersburg, FL, stopped Anthony Mercado, 10-3 (9), of Arecibo, PR, at 1:30 of the fourth round of a scheduled 8.
Booth dropped two of the first three rounds but came back in the fourth round swarming all over Mercado before referee Erik Dali called a halt with Mercado helpless on the ropes.
On the undercard in the fight of the night Dominican featherweight Isaelin Florian, 6-1 (3), Reading, PA, suffered his first loss in losing against Avery Sparrow, 7-1 (3), of Philadelphia.
Sparrow came out to go to war and found himself on the canvas in the first round. He would come back and return the favor dropping Florian in the second round only to be dropped again in the fourth round. Sparrow would fight back and take the final two rounds and the decision.
Judges Kevin Morgan, Braslow and McNair scored it 58-54 while this writer had it 57-55 all for the winner. Rosado was the referee.
Super welterweight southpaw Nicholas Hernandez, 7-2 (1), of Lebanon, PA, won a disputed majority decision over Grayson Blake, 6-5-1 (2), State College over 6 rounds.
Hernandez was loading up the entire fight while being outworked by Grayson who couldn’t match him punch for punch power wise. Each round was almost too close to call. By the end of the match both fighters were smiling having known each other from the amateurs.
Judge Braswell scored it 57-57 while judges Weisfeld and Morgan had it 58-56 for the winner while this writer had it 60-54 for the loser.
Lightweight Jesus Lule, 11-22-1 (1), of Ft. Myers, FL, scored a mild upset over local boxer Ismael Serrano, 4-2 (1), of Bethlehem, PA, who was returning to the ring after 21 months of inactivity by second round stoppage at 2:10 in a scheduled 4 round bout.
Serrano started out fast but was taking more punishment then he was giving out when pinned against the ropes by Lule when referee Dali called a halt. Serrano was not pleased with the stoppage. It was only the second stoppage for Lule in a career of 34 bouts.
In the opening bout former flyweight amateur star Dylan Price, 3-0 (3), of Sicklersville, NJ, stormed out and took out Manuel Guerra, 1-3-1 (0), of Reynosa, MEX, ending it with a chopping right to the head. Guerrea was on his back trying to sit up but fell back as he was counted out by referee Dali at 1:09 of the first round.
Super lightweight Jesus Perez, 3-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, scored a knockdown in defeating Christian Molina, 4-3 (3), of Allentown, PA, over 4 rounds.
Judges had it 39-37 and 40-35 twice as did this writer.
Super welterweight Devin McMaster, 1-2 (0), of Allentown, PA, seemed to get the short end of the stick losing to Rick Pyle, 1-0 (0) of Harrisburg, PA, over 4 rounds.
It was give and take for the entire fight was almost too close to call. McMaster took the opening round with Pyle coming back to take the second round with the final two rounds very close.
All 3 judges scored it 40-36 for the winner while this writer had it 39-37 for the loser. Rosado was the referee.
It was probably the biggest crowd in years with a lot of local Spanish boxers on the card their fans came out to support them and received a really good show by Kings Promotions. It was their second promotion in 3 days with the last on Saturday in South Philly.
PBC on FS1 Results: Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!
Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!
By: Ken Hissner
FS-1 Premier Boxing Champions promoted at the Fitz Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS, Tuesday night.
In the main event Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 19-3 (9), out of Las Vegas, stopped Nicaraguan Nelson Lara, 17-8 (7), out of Costa Rica at 0:29 of the second round on a bad cut..
In the opening round Ugas was landing right hands to the body of the much shorter Lara. Lara answered with wide punches mostly missing. In the second round Ugas landed a right uppercut opening a bad cut over the left eye of Lara followed by a straight right to the head dropping him. Referee Bill Clancy called in the ring physician but made the final decision himself stopping the fight.
In a co-feature welterweight match Mexican 2012 Olympian Oscar Molina, 13-2-1 (10), out of Norwalk, CA, was soundly beaten by Levan “The Wolf” Ghvamichava, of Poti, GA, over 10 rounds.
In the opening round Molina who was moving down from super welterweight to welterweight used an effective jab while moving to his left having Ghvamichava following him and not cutting off the ring. In round two Ghvamichava who was moving up from super lightweight started showing his power going to the body of Molina while having his hands high giving Molina little offense to get through to his chin. In the third round Molina was using his jab but Ghvamichava is still going to the body very well.
In the fourth round Ghvamichava took control while Molina stayed in the middle of the ring instead of moving and he paid the price. With 10 seconds to go in the round Molina landed his best punch up until then an overhand right to the head of Ghvamichava who countered with his own right to the head. In the fifth round Molina was back to using his jab but Ghvamichava was using double jabs to the body followed by rights to the head of Molina.
In the sixth round Ghvamichava dropped Molina with a short right to the head down to a knee. The referee called it a slip. In the seventh round it seemed like the best round of the fight. Molina was landing good left hooks but one at a time.
In the eighth round Ghvamichava was waking right through Molina’s jab landing with both hands to the body and head of Molina.
In the ninth round Molina continued using the one punch left hook instead of using combinations. He landed a lead right to the head of Ghvamichava getting his attention. In the tenth and final round Molina was desperate knowing he was behind throwing wild punches with most only hitting air. Ghvamichava continued what he was doing since the second round coming forward taking it to Molina with double left hooks to the body and rights to the head.
The judges had it 98-92 twice and 97-93 as did this writer have it 97-93.