Valdez Survives Knockdown to Win By a Debatable Stoppage
By: William Holmes
The Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site of tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card.
The undercard featured a thrilling WBC Interim Junior Middleweight Title Fight between Patrick Teixeira (31-1) and Carlos Adames (18-1), which resulted in a close unanimous decision victory for Teixeira. A seventh round knockdown secured the victory.
The main event was supposed to be between Andres Gutierrez and Oscar Valdez, but Gutierrez came in an absurd eleven pounds over the limit, and Adam Lopez stepped up on short notice to take on Valdez.
The co-main event of the night was a Super Featherweight bout between Tyler McCreary (16-0-1) and Carl Frampton (26-2).
McCreary he an obvious reach and height advantage on Frampton, who had trouble getting in close in the opening round, but started to apply effective pressure in the second.
Body shots by Frampton had McCreary backing up in the third and fourth rounds, and McCreary looked hurt by a left hook to the body in a back and forth fifth round.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Frampton’s body work paid off in the sixth round when a left hook to the liver sent McCreary down. McCreary was able to get back to his feet and weather off a the storm to survive the round.
McCreary came out aggressively in the seventh round and may have stolen it on the scorecards, but Frampton simply out box McCreary in the eighth round.
Frampton stepped on the gas pedal in the ninth round and landed a double left hook to the body on McCreary that sent him to the mat for a second time. McCreary was able to tie up for the remainder of the round.
McCreary clearly needed a knockout in the final round to win the fight, but was unable to do so.
Frampton won the bout with scores of 100-88 on all three scorecards.
The main event was between Adam Lopez (13-1) and Oscar Valdez (26-0) in the super featherweight division.
Lopez took the fight on very short notice, but showed no signs of being intimidated by Valdez and showed a good jab early on and kept Valdez at a safe distance.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Lopez landed a left hook in the second round that sent Valdez to the mat, but Valdez was able to get back to his feet and continue fighting on.
Valdez had a good third round that was punctuated with a solid check left hook near the end of the round. Valdez continued to grind out punishment in the fourth round, but Lopez looked like he retook control in the fifth and sixth rounds by keeping Valdez at the end of his jabs and crosses.
Valdez pressed the action in the seventh round, and hurt Lopez near the end of the round with combinations to the body and head. Lopez was taking some heavy shots when the referee inexplicably jumped in and stopped the fight.
It was a questionably quick stoppage, but Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 2:53 of the seventh round.
Former Champions Collide in Isaac Dogboe and Carl Frampton
By: Hans Themistode
Isaac Dogboe (20-2, 14 KOs) might only be 24 years of age but he is already at a crossroads in his career. It was just one year ago that he was on top of the boxing world. He turned several heads when he stopped Jessie Magdaleno to capture the WBO Super Bantamweight title. He followed that up with a stoppage win in his very next contest. 2018, was coming to a close and Dogboe was looking to close the year out strong.
A matchup against Emanuel Navarrete was supposed to be just a tune up before her fought the bigger names in the division. That contest stunned all who seen it as Dogboe lost his undefeated record and his title as well. The immediate rematch was even more shocking as Dogboe was stopped in the final round.
For a fighter with such promise and still so young, his career is on the brink of mediocrity. He’s hoping for a new life in a new division as he is now moving up to the Featherweight division. His first test? Former two weight world champion Carl Frampton.
Frampton is looking to bounce back from his own defeat as he lost to Josh Warrington in his last ring appearance. Now at the age of 32, Frampton can’t afford anymore losses. He was originally scheduled to return to the ring earlier this year in Philadelphia but a freak injury to his hand forced him to the sidelines.
This contest pits two former champion who are looking to prove that they aren’t at the end of their respective careers. For Frampton, the incentive to become a three weight world champion is massively appealing to him. He is also looking to eventually untie the scoreboard with Leo Santa Cruz as they both won one fight a piece against one another. Another loss on his record could bring down the value of that huge matchup going down the line.
Dogboe is facing something else entirely. When he first burst onto the scene, not only did he have the skills of a great fighter but he also had the personality of one as well. Premature placements of him on the pound for pound list were found everywhere. Now that he has suffered back to back defeats, he is the forgotten man.
A change of scenery could lead him down the road to success once again but it could also lead to even more losses on his record. He struggled with the height and length of Navarrete and he is sure to meet even bigger fighters at his new weight class.
This is truly a crossroads matchup for both men. It isn’t just about a win for either man but more so about them making a statement to the rest of the division.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Frampton, Dominguez, Parker, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 25th to July 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Keith Thurman Training Camp Quotes
Keith Thurman’s head trainer Dan Birmingham is typically a man of few words who likes to keep his focus on his job; which is training, coaching and creating world champion boxers. So when Dan speaks, people listen. His Mr. Miyagi-style message ahead of Keith’s blockbuster PBC on FOX Sports pay-per-view showdown versus Manny Pacquiao?
“Freddie Roach is going to lose a lot of money,” said Birmingham. “When the fight is over Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman’s hands will be raised. Keith is going to win this fight and win it in fine fashion.”
“Dan and I have worked together since I was an amateur, he was my mitt-man when my trainer Ben Getty couldn’t take my power,” said Thurman. “Ben would be on the sidelines and tell me what to throw and Dan would be there to catch it. The day I turned pro, Dan was in my corner and I felt blessed to have Dan become my coach and first corner when Ben passed away. Dan knows my strengths and he’s worked with other world champions. We’re not rookies. We’re prepared to be on the big stage.
“He’s a man of few words but his actions and words that he picks are always right on point. He sees what is going on even when I can’t or don’t see it. He isn’t hype. He is honest. He is giving me technique, criticism and whether or not we won the round; I know I can trust him.”
Trained by Birmingham since his original coach Ben Getty passed away ten years ago, Thurman continues to hone and develop his boxing prowess at Birmingham’s St Pete Boxing Club gym in St. Petersburg, FL. The Florida Boxing Hall of Famer knows what is needed for his pupil to win this historic fight on Saturday, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“This is a very important fight for Florida boxing and for our gym,” said Birmingham “From Winky to Jeff Lacy and all the guys who train and fight for titles, we have a lot of pride in Keith. This fight and holding this title means everything to our gym.
“Manny knows Keith’s a puncher, and that he brings youth and experience like Manny does. But Keith wants to fight, he’s anxious to fight and he’s got someone to fight for besides himself.”
One of the keys to Thurman’s impending victory is very simple, said Birmingham. “It’s been the rest factor. He’s rejuvenated his body and mind, he got married and as I said before, he has someone to fight for.”
Thurman’s over two-year recovery have allowed him to fully heal and its made for a powerful training camp. The undefeated, two-time world champion is operating at his very best – showing glimpses on his Instagram channel (@KeithOneTimeThurman) of his high intensity workouts.
“I am back on the big stage, I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase my talent and skill with a legend in the sport. It’s a big ‘get back’ year for me,” said Thurman. “I tried to tell everyone that and this is what it’s like when champions get back to performing like world class champions. No excuses. I want to be the best Keith Thurman I can be, and we set up a camp where we can bring out the best in me, for myself, for the fight and for the fight fans.”
“He has a renewed vigor – more energy – and he’s anxious to fight and anxious to train,” said Birmingham. “His power, ferociousness and tenacity will be a problem for Manny. We’ve only escalated that in this camp. He has two strength and conditioning coaches – NFL great Yo Murphy and leading strength coach Kimberly Doehnert. The core team includes post-workout trainer Eric Wilson for stretching and recovery in addition to myself and Chris Getty for strategy and training.
“We’ve mixed up sparring with some guys who emulate Manny but are tougher, stronger fighters who can take a punch. You’ve got to be tough to box with Keith.
“We’re going to win this fight.”
Carl Frampton-Emmanuel Dominguez To Headline Philly Fight Night on ESPN+
Carl “The Jackal” Frampton is on the hunt for another world title. Frampton, the former two-division world champion from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will make his first stateside appearance in more than two years in a 10-round featherweight bout against the hard-hitting Emmanuel Dominguez on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Liacouras Center.
Frampton-Dominguez and a co-feature will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard, including South Philadelphia heavyweight sensation Sonny Conto (3-0, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born featherweight prospect Donald Smith (9-0, 6 KOs) and Puerto Rican middleweight puncher Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs), will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100, $55 and $35 (not including applicable fees), are on sale now and can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office and www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.
“Dominguez is a tall, young, hungry featherweight, so I’ll need to be on my game,” Frampton said. “The premise of an Oscar Valdez fight is dangling in front of me, so I want to go out and show the world that I’ve still got what it takes to be a world champion. Winning is always the most important thing, but I want to do it in style. It’s great to be boxing stateside again. And Philly, in particular, has so much boxing history. I’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. I won’t disappoint.”
“Carl Frampton is already looking ahead to an Oscar Valdez fight, which gives me added motivation,” Dominguez said. “I am not a stepping stone. I am coming to Philadelphia prepared to ruin Carl’s plans.”
Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs), a 10-year pro who compiled more than 100 victories during a standout amateur career, is on the road back to another world title opportunity following his competitive decision loss to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last December. Frampton won the IBF junior featherweight world title in 2014 and unified titles against WBA champion Scott Quigg via split decision in February 2016. He upset Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA super world featherweight title in July 2016 but lost the immediate rematch six months later.
Frampton won three in a row, including an interim world title, before running into Warrington in front of a sold-out Manchester Arena crowd in one of the year’s best fights. With his sights set on Valdez, he must first defeat Dominguez (26-8-2, 18 KOs), a 25-year-old native of Aguascalientes, Mexico, who has won four of his last five, all by knockout.
Joseph Parker Signs Promotional Deal with Matchroom
Matchroom Boxing have signed a three-fight promotional deal with Heavyweight star Joseph Parker.
Parker will fight for the first time with Matchroom Boxing USA on June 29 in Providence, Rhode Island on the undercard of the Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Middleweight world title defense against Poland’s Maciej Sulecki, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Team Parker also announce today that David Higgins has been appointed to Joseph Parker’s management team.
The bout marks the beginning of the second phase of Parker’s career – and the start of the road to becoming the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.
“My six-year promotional contract with Duco Events ended on March 26,” said Parker. “It was a wonderfully successful partnership – so much so that David Higgins will always be part of my team, advocating in my best interests in a management capacity.
“Since my contract with Duco ended I have been a free agent, with my team and I spending several months assessing how to best achieve my goal of not only becoming a World Champion again, but unifying all of the belts to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.”
Parker said he and his management team conducted a robust process that included seeking offers from boxing’s most prominent promoters.
“Ultimately we decided that the best option was to partner with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. We believe the three-fight deal that we are announcing today will be the start of a long and successful partnership.”
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn said he had no doubt Parker could once again become Heavyweight Champion of the world.
“If Joseph Parker performs the way we all know he can over these next three fights then he will have a strong case for some huge fights,” Hearn said. “Parker is a young man with a great mix of experience and ambition, and this is a really exciting signing for Matchroom.
“And, I must say, I am also looking forward to sparring again with my old mate David Higgins as we haggle over the terms of each deal for Joseph. David unquestionably has Joseph’s best interests at heart and he is a tough negotiator, so there are going to be some interesting discussions ahead.”
Higgins said: “This is absolutely the right decision for Joseph and Team Parker, which I have supported every step of the way. I’m pleased that I can now work with Joseph’s existing management team to help carefully guide the remainder of his career.”
Higgins confirmed the creation of a new company, Sports Advisory and Management Limited, with his business partner Rachael Carroll, a former international pole vaulter.
The company will manage and advise a stable of talented athletes, he said.
The fight will be streamed on DAZN in the US and available on Sky Sports UK. Negotiations are underway for live broadcast rights in New Zealand.
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Inks Undefeated Super Middleweight Prospect Juan Jose Barajas
Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions’ growing stable of gifted fighters has expanded with today’s announcement of its latest addition, undefeated super middleweight prospect Juan Jose “Just Business” Barajas.
The 22-year-old Barajas (10-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Victorville, California, is scheduled to make his RJJ Boxing debut August 24 at Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California (outside of San Diego). Barajas’ fight against an opponent to be determined will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
Barajas’ last fight was his most impressive to date as a professional. Last May in Memphis, he took a 10-round majority decision against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. protégé Lanell Bellows (18-4-3, 11 KOs).
“I am excited about fighting for RJJ Boxing Promotions,” Barajas said. “I am happy about the direction I am going and feel confident that RJJ Boxing will put me in the bests position to reach my goals. I am looking forward to fighting the best and showcasing my skills among the top players in the super middleweight division. It’s time to go to work!”
Barajas, who won 27 of 30 amateur matches, is managed and trained by Michael Love.
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs Louis Rose to a Promotional Contract
Greg Cohen Promotions proudly announces the signing of charismatic middleweight contender Louis Rose to a promotional contract.
Rose (16-3-1, 7 KOs) is a former NABF Middleweight Champion who in October 2015, lost a razor-thin majority decision to current WBA Middleweight Champion Rob Brant for the WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title. In his seven-year career, Rose has also taken the undefeated 0’s from Delen Parsley (then 10-0), Gino McClellan (9-0), Fabian Reyes (10-0), Ievgen Khytrov (6-0), Milorad Zizic (11-0), and Jorge Ivan Ibanez (8-0).
The 30-year-old Rose was world-rated and closing in on a title shot when he says he got sidelined by managerial problems for the last two years. With this new deal, he is eager to get back in the 160-lb mix.
“I feel amazing! This is going to resurrect my career and put me back where I was,” said Rose. “After the fight with Rob Brant, I feel that I should have been right there next to him. Most people think I beat him, but right after that fight, everything started going south. I didn’t feel like I could trust the team I was with, so now that I’m with GCP, I’m looking forward to getting the fights I deserve.”
A native of Los Angeles, Rose says he came to boxing after fleeing an unhealthy home life, living with relatives and eventually becoming homeless at age 17.
“Before boxing, I had a tough time on the street. When I was 20, I joined a boxing gym for $20 a month and I was just going to use the shower every day before work because I had no place to live. But then, I thought about it and I said I’m paying this money I might as well hit the bags. I learned I really like it!”
Rose’s story took another unexpected turn recently, as he chased love to Europe and is now living there, awaiting the birth of his first child in Athens, Greece, while training with Stavros Stofylas and Costa Vetimes at The Coliseum Gym. Rose says he and his new family will be returning to LA soon to get back to business.
“With the right fights I should be in line for a title shot by next year. I have a lot better resume than a lot of the guys getting title shots. I’m happy to have signed this deal with Greg Cohen and I’m looking forward to getting everything back to where it should be with this sport I love.”
Promoter Greg Cohen says he’s happy to be adding Rose to his stable of world contenders.
“Louis impressed me against Rob Brant. That was a close fight. When you look at what Rob has gone on to do, it’s not difficult to picture Louis being successful as well. He’s got a lot of personality and he’s a very talented fighter. No one coddled Louis Rose on his way up, he’s already beaten a lot of guys he was probably supposed to lose to. I think with the right guidance, he could be world champion some day soon.”
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Warrington Defeats Frampton in Thriller
By: Oliver McManus
A night of unprecedented drama, history and patriotism saw Carl Frampton challenge Josh Warrington for the IBF Featherweight Championship of the World. The Manchester Arena was the venue for this sumptuous all-British title fight but you’d be forgiven for thinking we were in Belfast, such was the atmosphere.
Warrington, confident as ever, entered the ring with a determination to forever erase the ‘underdog’ tag and, to be fair, bought a fair crowd from Leeds with him. Walking to the music of the Kaiser Chiefs, the passion from the Leeds man was clear to see. One of the most keenly anticipated fights of the year, of recent memory, this was not merely Warrington vs Frampton but a case of fighting cities going up against each other.
The first bell sounded at just after 10.30pm and Frampton immediately took to the centre of the ring. Rocking on the balls of his feet, the Northern Irishman kept his left hand out in trademark fashion. Warrington began with his hands high, head tucked behind, and landed some serious shots within the first round to send Frampton stumbling backwards.
Springing the surprise from behind his guard, Warrington pushed forward on his lead foot, forcing Frampton backwards as the champion sat down on his shots, targeting the body of his challenger. Frampton doubled up on the jab but, almost immediately, Warrington return with a flurry to the body. Every shot seemed to toll the body of Frampton who, let’s not disregard, landed some high quality shots of his own.
Round two began with Frampton returning to the ring, unperturbed by the ferocious start being made by his counterpart. Warrington, possessing the reach advantage, was beating The Jackal to the punch, out-jabbing throughout the early stages. Forcing Frampton to cover up, Warrington simply refused to stop swinging as he landed with alarming consistency, digging deep to the sides of Frampton. The pain on the face of the former unified champion was clear to see but the grit showed to hang in, despite constant pressure, was phenomenal.
Fighting like a man possessed is an accurate depiction but, let’s be clear, Warrington was not reckless. He was in control, biding his time before looking to push his case. The third round produced a similar story albeit with a slower rhythm. Frampton emerged unscathed but it was Warrington who sustained the pressure. An opportunity for Frampton to regroup and secure a foothold in the fight after a bumpy, bumpy opening two rounds.
Admirable consistency saw Frampton return to the centre of the ring in the fourth round and, after a hurricane-like start from Warrington, he began to relax into a rhythm of his own. Measuring the distance well with that lead left of his, he was able to find his range easier and land some noteworthy shots of his own. More measured, in terms of tempo, Frampton returned to the basics that had served him well throughout his career.
A tempting jab set up the hook to the body. Whilst Warrington still had pockets of success, funnily enough, in the pocket, Frampton seemed better-equipped to navigate through them than in rounds previous.
The fifth round saw Warrington looking to up the tempo, yet again, and bully Frampton into submission. Both men landed some superfluous left hands and whilst the weight of the punches came from the challenger, the Champion had more eye-catching aggression and damage infliction.
Back in the sixth and Warrington looked to engage in a firefight once more. With 40 seconds to go, Frampton was forced backwards onto the ropes as the Leeds warrior set off on another crazy flurry. The challenger jostled his way the correct side of the ropes and began to work the body, himself, but a round for the Champion, you’d imagine.
Just past the halfway stage and, already, this fight had it all. The makings of an all-time classic. Neither man gave quarter as they met at the centre of the ring, slinging shots towards the body of one another.
Frampton dug deep in the 8th, looking to enforce his own power onto the fight. A significant exertion of energy that had results, Warrington caught by heavy shots but not looking entirely troubled. Every time The Jackal landed strong shots, Warrington returned fire with a courageous salvo of his own. Toe-to-toe combat, a sensational fight.
Round nine lulled you into a false sense of security, starting off slower with both men visibly sore around the body. Despite the lessoned pace the quality of work was still there from each fighter. Frampton landed, arguably, the better punches but Warrington refused to yield ground. Frampton would have to TEAR this belt away from the Champion.
After such a gruelling encounter it would come as no surprise that fatigue looked like setting in during the championship rounds. But both these men are championship fighters and they continued to engage in an enthralling fight. Warrington, undoubtedly, the fresher fighter turned the screw and landed some flush shots that saw Frampton scamper towards the ropes.
At no point could you say Frampton boxed poorly, save for a shell shocked couple of rounds, but Warrington – as he did against Lee Selby – produced something on another level.
The final round began with a sterling display of respect. Both fighters, supremely talented, had produced a simply sensational fight. Warrington continued to look the fresher man but Frampton made no bones about the position he found himself in. The former champion looked to land quality shots of his own, as he always does, boxing for quality. Warrington, defending champion, bounced on his toes and landed the more youthful, sprightly combinations. Questions raised, before the fight, about whether this fight would live up to expectations were firmly put to bed.
What can possibly be said but, WHAT. A. FIGHT. Frampton produced high-quality punches but was beaten by a younger, hungrier fighter who just refused to give in. A man forever an underdog came out and shut the critics right up. If ever Josh Warrington is called an underdog again then something is seriously wrong with the sport.
After 12 epic rounds, the fight went to the scorecards 116-113, 116-112, 116-112 in favour of Josh Warrington who retains the IBF Featherweight Championship of the World. Josh Warrington, what more can you say? The perennial underdog turned British great.
In the co-main event, Mark Heffron and Liam Williams took to the ring for the vacant British middleweight title; Williams, moving up in weight, stood on the scales the heavier man, both of them looked in impressive physique.
Liam Williams, who partnered up with Dominic Ingle earlier this year, started off as the livelier boxer with a perpetual jab to showcase his technical abilities. Circumnavigating the ring constantly, Williams looked laser-focussed as Heffron found himself unable to get past the jab of his counterpart.
Heffron, himself, looked busy in the footwork but seemed to be finding difficulty in placing his shots. With intentions to load up on the left hand, he was frequently scuppered by the well timed jabs of WIlliams. A couple of head-clashes in the second round seemed to spark a bit of spite in Heffron – who’s right eye was nicked in the process – with the Oldham man still searching for his rhythm.
The third round brought more of the sound with Williams, whose two losses come at the hands of Liam Smith, looking to focus on out-boxing his man as opposed to brawling in the pocket. The pace of the fight was being dictated by the Welshman, not only in through shot-selection but in terms of movement as well.
Almost a forgotten man over the course of 2018, as harsh as it sounds, Williams was pecking away with his jab, a vintage performance began to unfurl from him. Stalking his man, often from the outside of the ring, it was the former British Super Welterweight champion that racked up the rounds with consummate ease. Heffron, meanwhile, seemed reluctant to force the tempo and experiment with punches.
It wasn’t purely a case of out-boxing Heffron, The Machine landed heavy right hands to keep Heffron in check with more shot variety coming from the Clydach Vale fighter. Heffron, who prepared for this fight with Liam Smith, appeared to be on the wrong side of a boxing lesson. Williams maintained at range to force Heffron to reach into his shots. Whilst a low-blow in the 8th prompted a telling off for the Welshman, he continued to land the superior punches.
The final third of the fight loomed with Heffron, seemingly, needing a knockout to prevail in his quest for the British belt. Williams continued to piece together lovely combinations but Heffron, to his credit, looked more willing to push the punches. Targeting the body, Heffron began to find WIlliams with a degree of regularity, working his way into the pocket.
A ferocious, lurching left hook clattered Heffron into the ropes with a standing eight count following. Williams sensed blood in the water and went for the kill, hitting Heffron at will with a series of punches landing square to the face. The head of Heffron began to bounce backwards with venom as the accurate punches of Williams failed to relent. Howard John Foster jumped in, understandably, at 1.55 of the 10th round. Liam Williams, the new British middleweight champion, thanks to the best performance of his career.
The extended undercard saw Martin Murray looking to force himself back into world title contention. A win over, former champion, Hassan N’Dam would do just that but the French-Cameroonian had ambitions of his own to return to title contention. The St Helens fighter, a pre-fight favourite, started off slower than expected but dropped N’Dam in the fourth. With that it looked as though Murray may, perhaps, ease into his rhythm but N’Dam persevered with the slicker work.
An underwhelming performance from Murray matched by an impressive one from N’Dam saw the decision go to the away corner, 117-112, 116-112 and 114-114. N’Dam moves back into the title mix, for Murray it’s a question of how much belief he still has. A glittering career, no doubt, but perhaps the final curtain?
Nathan Gorman started off fast in his first, scheduled, 12 rounder with Razvan Cojanu in the opposite corner. Scheduled to face Alex Leapai, Cojanu filled the spot when Daniel Dubois withdrew from their respective encounter and Leapai, also, pulled out. Gorman started off in keeping with his age, fast with the hands and landing significant shots. After round six, the 22 year old fought at a noticeably slower pace and began to box with repetition. Leading with the left hook as opposed to the jab, a tad more variety would have been nice but, regardless, Gorman looked mature beyond his years. Victory by scorelines of 119-109, 119-109 and 120-108.
Michael Conlan boxed for his first title, the WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title, against Jason Cunningham. Cunningham, a former Commonwealth champion, came into the bout a live threat but was nullified by the counter-punching of Conlan. In only his second fight on British soil, Michael Conlan looked within himself throughout the contest and boxed really nicely. A point deducted in the sixth, for repeated low blows, the only blemish on an, otherwise, beautiful performance. Michael Conlan jumps into the world rankings via a win by 98-92, 97-92 and 97-92. Well deserved.
A fight for the ages, forget the hype surrounding a certain heavyweight match down at the O2, this was boxing as it should be. Pure, relentless passion. Carl Frampton, take a bow. Josh Warrington, take a bow. SImply sensational.
BT Sport/ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Warrington vs. Frampton
By: Oliver McManus
An all-action, all-British grudge match to close the year out in style, listen not to the murmurings of a heavyweight event down South, Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton is the only fight you need this Saturday night.
Headlining a wonderful fight card at the Manchester Arena, Warrington-Frampton is the epitome of a 50-50 domestic clash. Neither fighter had to take this bout, there were options out there, but a desire to prove themselves as number one in 126lb division prevailed.
Warrington, the defending champion, has enjoyed a faultless career to date with an unblemished record after 27 bouts. Debuting in October 2009, Warrington made a name for himself on the small hall scene for the first four years in the paid ranks, gaining the experience at a young age.
Winning the English Featherweight belt over Chris Male in the back end of 2012, followed up by defences against Jamie Speight and Ian Bailey, elevated him to a position whereby Eddie Hearn came a-calling. The rest, as they say, is history. The perennial underdog, Warrington added the Commonwealth, British, European and WBC International straps to his name before he finally got a world title shot last year.
May 19th, a night that will go down in Leeds folklore, Warrington faced an embittered Lee Selby in front of a raucous home crowd. Few gave him the nod pre-fight but the underdog came out and fought masterfully on the front foot – a split decision win, one that few could argue with.
Against Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington retains that moniker of underdog, the asterisk against his name that has followed him his whole career. Warrington will go in as he always does, hungry. For many Carl Frampton has little left to prove, he’s had a dazzling career and is, arguably, Britain’s number one pound-for-pound but Josh Warrington is still that ‘lucky lad from Leeds’, isn’t he?
Far from it, the lucky lad is now a bona fide champion having done it the hard way. My expectation is that Warrington will approach this contest looking to take it to Frampton, try and force his opponent into faltering. Warrington will be in Frampton’s face from the off, there little chance of this being a highly-technical encounter. That’s not a slur on the ability of Warrington, by no stretch, but he performs better when setting a high-tempo, fighting hard and giving no quarter.
Carl Frampton, then. The challenger. And what a challenge it is as he faces the toughest domestic opponent possible, his toughest night since Leo Santa Cruz, but the route back to where he wants to be. Unification fights with Oscar Valdez, Santa Cruz and Gary Russel Jr will await the winner, Frampton is no stranger to that glory.
Four months on from a devastating beat-down of Luke Jackson – the Australian a hardy warrior – Frampton will enter the ring in Manchester looking to claim the fourth different world title to his name. The last two fights – Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson – have seen Frampton return to form approaching his best and that consistency over the year, a fight every four months – will stand him in good stead.
The Jackal looks relaxed when he’s fighting, he looks content, and the style of Warrington has potential to play into his hands. Demonstrating a wonderful ability to box on the back foot, Frampton has landed some beautiful counter-right hooks in his last couple of fights. Oftentimes an opponent has looked to be in the clear, with Frampton at range, but before you know it he’s in your face.
Styles produce great fights and Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton have the perfect styles to produce a genuine Fight of the Year – what more could you ask for?
How about a sensational dust-up between Mark Heffron and Liam Williams for the British middleweight title? A long time mandatory, Heffron was granted a “free shot” at the title after Jason Welborn relinquished the crown in order to fight Jarrett Hurd.
Make no mistake, though, Williams will be as strong a challenger as they come and the Welsh boxer will enter the ring on the back of two thunderous knockout victories this year. The rebuild from back-to-back losses against Liam Smith saw Williams join Dominic Ingle and the boxer has looked crisp and rejuvenated in the ring.
Having been in camp preparing for a 50-50 clash with JJ Metcalf, Williams steps up in weight to challenge for the British title and will carry his power into the new division with relative ease. With Williams looking to pursue higher honours, the change in weight seems a sensible move and the former British & Commonwealth super-welterweight champion is jumping straight into the deep end.
Heffron, himself, has been preparing for a British title for the best part of four months and produced a super performance back in June when he stopped Andrew Robinson in the 6th. That fight saw Heffron claim the WBC International strap and Kid Dynamite looked classy in the ring with a strong control of the tempo, working the angles and remaining patient before seizing his opportunity.
Martin Murray, WBC Silver middleweight champion, takes on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in a fight that packs fireworks. Murray, scheduled to face Billy Joe Saunders on two occasions this year, has not hidden the fact that this is his last crack at the route to a world title. N’Dam, WBA Regular champion last year, lost the title in a rematch with Ryota Murata last October but is a fighter who knows nothing but aggression. The French-Cameroonian offers Murray the opportunity to enhance his spot in the rankings ahead of a 2019 world title tilt but, make no mistake, this isn’t going to be one-way traffic.
Nathan Gorman was scheduled to take on Alex Leapai until the Australian withdrew last week. The challenge in front of Gorman, now, is Razvan Cojanu who faced Joseph Parker for the WBO title last year. Scheduled for 10 rounds and in defense of his WBC International Silver title, Nathan Gorman has a real opportunity to add a scalp to his record – by no means someone to be sniffed at – and move one step ahead of Daniel Dubois on the heavyweight ladder.
Michael Conlan will look to go 10 and 0 in only his second professional fight in the United Kingdom as he takes on, former Commonwealth champion, Jason Cunningham whilst the stacked undercard is completed by the additions of Billy Joe Saunders, Lyndon Arthurt, Jack Massey, Paddy Barnes, Tommy Fury, Sam Maxwell, Troy Williamson and Danny Wright.
Box Office entertainment at its finest… I hope you’ve got your purple card ready because it’s going to be a blockbuster!
Josh Warrington to Defend Title Against Carl Frampton in Manchester
By: Michael Kane
In what will be a busy end to 2018 in terms of British boxing, another world title fight has been announced.
Josh Warrington is to defend his IBF world featherweight title against Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on 22nd December.
The match up comes as no surprise given Warrington was ringside for Frampton’s last fight against Luke Jackson in Belfast in August, he then entered the ring and both fughtrrd said how much they wanted the fight, so an easy fight to be made considering both are promoted by Frank Warren.
This is without doubt Warrington’s toughest test yet, as he faces a former two weight world champion in Frampton. Frampton held the featherweight and super bantamweight straps.
Warrington won the IBF featherweight title when he defeated the then champion Lee Selby in May. Winning by split decision (113-115, 116-112, 115-113) to send his home support at former English football giants Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium.
“The Frampton fight really appeals to me and it will be another big scalp for me.” Said the IBF featherweight champion in a press release issued by promoter Frank Warren.
I went over to Windsor Park to watch Carl fight a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have gone over there if I wasn’t interested in the fight. There was easier routes I could have taken like having a voluntary. Frampton and Selby in the same year would be a massive achievement.
“It’s about keeping the momentum going and I just believe I can beat Carl. I am just as confident in beating Carl as I was beating Lee (Selby). These are fights that the British public want to see, I’m a world champion and when you are world champion you want to fight the best and Carl is a name who is up there.
Frampton’s last fight was no where near as close as he put in a masterful display against Australian Luke Jackson by TKO in the 9th round having dominated from the start, in a bout that was also held at a football stadium, Windsor Park in Belfast.
It’s clear Frampton has faced a higher level of opponent, Leo Santa Cruz twice, Nonito Donaire and Scott Quigg however Warrington has shown he can be a dangerous fighter after his display against Lee Selby.
“Me and Warrington have big fan bases that make a lot of noise, so I think first and foremost the atmosphere is going to be fantastic and possibly a bit hostile as well.” Said Frampton.
“I’ve done a lot more in my career than I thought I would have when I turned professional. I’m very proud of my career but I believe I still have more to give and want to keep going as long as I can. I will add my fourth world title and go on and unify again.”
“You’re going to see two hungry guys in their prime, Warrington has just won this world title and isn’t going to give it up easily. I know what it’s like to be a world champion and I want that feeling back again, I think there is going to be fireworks in this fight.”
Both men will have large support in the Manchester Arena, with Frampton’s green and white army ready to travel all over and Leeds only an hour away from Manchester, the atmosphere should be electric in what may be the best UK domestic fight of the year.
Frampton and Fury Win in Belfast
By: Oliver McManus
Up in Windsor Park in front of a raucous crowd of 25,000 – all out in support of their hometown hero – Carl Frampton completed a lifelong dream in competing at the home of the Northern Irish football team and, in doing so, stamped his authority all over the featherweight scene thanks to a convincing win over Luke Jackson.
Jackson, 16-0 before the fight, came into the fight with the heavy tag of underdog and despite this was determined to put in a performance to be proud of. Frampton meanwhile was cautious not to overlook the Australian but was steadfast in his belief that there bigger things lay visible on the horizon.
Dusk was settling over the skies of Belfast when the first bell rang and the fight kicked off with Carl Frampton taking to the centre of the ring and lurching out with a pawing left hand to signal his intentions – a swift right hand marked out the early danger, pushing Jackson onto the ropes momentarily within the opening minute.
Jackson, from a crouched stance, leaned in with left hands of his own but offered relatively little in way of genuine threat throughout the, admittedly quiet, opening rounds but the attacking mind set of Frampton was, undoubtedly, enough to notch up the rounds on the scorecards.
A rhythm was found with a consummate ease by The Jackal as he rocked back on forth on his toes, taking his time before offering up some solid body shots, moving with grace, crisp on his feet and displaying the technical ability and footwork that has seen him claim so much glory in the past.
Frampton was able to put Jackson near the red without having to break out of stride or launch any particularly vicious flurries – all he had to do was stay busy, stay present and that seemed to be enough to make life uncomfortable for the Australian challenger.
Big right hands, chipping uppercuts and solid hooks rendered a stiffness in the legs of Jackson and a left hand caught the right hand side of the Aussie – whilst he was off balance – to wobble his man and Jackson was being outworked in all departments, the work rate of Frampton was superior as he moved through the motions and the uppercut of Frampton proved to be a crucial punch throughout the contest before he dropped down to target the body.
Moving into the second third of the contest and much of the same followed with Frampton working the angles against a game, gutsy Luke Jackson who wasn’t looking particularly hurt but, equally, wasn’t really offering much in terms of counter punches.
Jackson, a Commonwealth bronze medallist was trying to attack, trying to find the body of Frampton but he failed to find any regularity with his punches, looking sluggish on his feet and half-hearted with the hands.
A solid sequence of punches in the fifth round signalled the start of the end for Jackson with Frampton starting to tee off, hammering the body of Jackson with alarming consistency and power, uppercuts snapping the head back of his counterpart and, to put it simply, looking a class above the challenger.
Having declared prefight that he wanted to secure a knockout victory there was a definite change in tempo at the halfway mark from Carl Frampton but with that brought a renewed vitality from Jackson who began to throw punches with the full swivel of his body – nothing Frampton couldn’t handle, mind.
With the Australian tiring yet continuing to show heart throughout each round, he began to wander more into range of Frampton who set about making him pay with repeated shots to the body and as the rain came cascading down onto the ring, Frampton’s shots continued to cascade towards his gritty opponent.
Looking in ferocious shape, Frampton started to piece combinations together and sent a beautiful uppercut followed by sickening shot to the livers of Luke Jackson, dropping him towards the end of the eight and with blood in the water, it was time for The Jackal to set finishing the fight off once and for all.
Holding on groggily, Frampton continued to target the body of Jackson with his shots now packing extra venom, extra power, shot after shot towards the big cage of Jackson were causing visible pain and it was only a matter of time before the Australian was pulled out by his corner – so it came, with 1 minute and 21 still left on the clock of the ninth round.
Next stop? Josh Warrington for the IBF Featherweight title of the world.
On the undercard of such a memorable occasion featured Tyson Fury, lineal heavyweight champion, in his second contest since returning from his much-publicised layoff and he was up against, two time world title challenger, Francesco Pianeta.
Underwhelmed sighs greeted the announcement of his opponent but, since then, the near-inevitable showdown with Deontay Wilder towards the backend of this year has seen the spice factor significantly raised and excitement abound.
He had to get the job done first, though, in Belfast and was set about doing his business without the showboating that blighted his encounter with Sefer Seferi and weighing in at 18st 6lbs he looked the real deal and incredibly nimble.
Pianeta came into the first round with an incredible ferocioty and pace to the encounter, showering shots in towards Fury but the Tyson merely swivelled his hips, weaved his head and avoided the punches without blinking an eye.
Looking cool and comfortable the mobile figure of Fury was able to bounce around the ring, establishing a convincing jab with his long levers against an opponent who, actually, came to fight and spring a surprise.
Controlling the pace of the bout with ease it was all about Tyson Fury and with Deontay Wilder in attendance, Fury looked like sending a statement to him and the Belfast crowd.
Firing shots in with a snap of the wrist, Fury looked fast, looked comfortable and, more importantly, looked happy to be in the ring and happy with his performance. Taking it vastly more serious than his contest in Seferi, this was the Tyson Fury of old and he found his range quickly, looping in shots round the guard and exploiting the, perhaps, over-eagerness of Pianeta.
Switching stances from time to time, Fury was free flowing and quick on his feet. Elusive in his movement it was clear to see who the superior fighter was and Tyson always looked like his reflexes were one step faster than Pianeta, making the German-Italian miss by a good few inches whilst staying alert throughout the full duration of each round.
Each round seemed to follow the same sort of theme with Pianeta looking to be brute in his manner of fighting whilst Fury nullified the sting with cultured and classy movement, a cat and mouse sort of game, controlling the contest with complete and utter ease, never looking fazed and, frankly, never looking out of second gear.
Taking each round on the scorecard of Steve Gray to win the contest by 100-90 the fight didn’t produce the explosive knockout that many were expecting but it did provide crucial rounds in the bank for Tyson with his world title challenge confirmed shortly after the fight – this may not have been the exact outcome that we wanted but, certainly, it was a performance that we needed and proved, beyond doubt, that, yeah, Tyson Fury is back.
Deontay Wilder will be next – in November or December – and to use Dillian Whyte’s words, “Wilder, let’s go baby, LET’S GO!!!”.
As always, then, boxing and Belfast just seems to be that magical combination that works each and every time.
Fight Week in Belfast for Frampton vs. Jackson
By: Oliver McManus
It is fight week in Belfast with 25,000 people set to descend upon Windsor Park this coming Saturday to witness Carl Frampton defend his interim WBO featherweight title against, Australian challenger, Luke Jackson whilst Irish Olympic hero Paddy Barnes challenges for a world title of his very own – the WBC Flyweight belt currently held by Cristofer Rosales – and as if that wasn’t enough the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, will complete a stellar line-up.
Fighting at the home of the Northern Ireland football team, Carl Frampton will be fulfilling a lifelong dream and against Luke Jackson, Frampton faces an opponent who, on paper, should be no match for the silky skills of the 31 year old.
Against Nonito Donaire back in April, Frampton displayed a piercing shot selection to outwork the Filipino with ease to win by six rounds on all three scorecards and his aggressive ring-craft shows no signs of letting up regardless of opponent – an almost unnerving knack of remaining steadfast in the centre of the ring before capitalizing on even the smallest of concentration lapses give him a genuine for the best British boxer, pound for pound.
Seemingly annoyed by some of the things that Luke Jackson has said, the added needle is always extra motivation for a convincing performance and with his home crowd roaring his name we can be sure that Frampton will seek to deliver a punch-perfect masterclass as he awaits a potential fight with Oscar Valdez, pending the Mexican getting back from injury.
Jackson, on the other hand, is convinced that his amateur pedigree will see him claimed the victor with, to quote him, Frampton having “achieved everything he wanted to achieve”. Jackson believes himself to be the hungrier of the two boxers and admits that we’ve yet to see anything like his best over the course of his 16 fight professional career.
Having waited seven years from his Commonwealth medal to transfer to the paid ranks, the Australian is looking to rise up ranks in double-quick time and whilst the level of opponent that he’s faced hasn’t been the most inspiring he has, by all accounts, worked his way to this world title challenge with relative ease.
Strong in the engine, Jackson has the stamina necessary to keep a high tempo across the 12 scheduled rounds and attempt to wear down his more experienced counterpart but, in equal part, Frampton’s terrier-like energy ensures that this fight will be an eye-catching spectacle with plenty of shots being thrown from both corners.
If there’s one thing you can count on from this fight between Carl Frampton – an all-time British great – and Luke Jackson – a hungry Hobart hero – its action.
We all know what Carl Frampton is about whereas Luke Jackson has the factor of the unknown about him, if he’s to topple Frampton in his own backyard then he’ll need to produce an all-time great upset in order to match his confident talking.
Paddy Barnes will be looking to produce an upset of his own – at least according to the bookies – but with odds of 2/1 on the leprechaun becoming WBC Flyweight champion upon the conclusion of his fight with Cristofer Rosales, he is well worth a punt.
Barnes will attempt to wrestle the prestigious green belt of the Nicaraguan champion in only his 6th professional fight but with amateur pedigree as rich as royalty, the experience he possess is enough to match any man and as a natural aggressor he’ll look to dictate the pace of the encounter from the outset.
Against Eliecer Quezada – another Nicaraguan – last November. BAarnes looked his most complete with the rangy boxer switching stances periodically throughout the bout and demonstrating his superfluous footwork before rocking Quezada with right hand after right hand, securing a 6th round knockout to set up this world title clash.
Rosales is no stranger to fighting away from home and has even fought on UK soil before when he faced Andrew Selby back in 2017 and himself produced an upset in April this year to claim the world title when he knocked out Daigo Higa during the 8th round of their nip-and-tuck contest.
Faster with his hands than Barnes but slower with his feet, this fight promises to be mouth-watering from the outset and Rosales is, historically, a big puncher with 18 knockouts from his 30 professional fights – 27 of those being wins.
Andrew Selby was on the receiving end of a Rosales trademark on-the-ropes flurry and hit the canvas before overcoming the Nicaraguan on points so whilst the champion does pack that power, if you can keep cool and composed then he’s there for the taking.
Onto the big man then with Tyson Fury who, actually, having said he’s the big man has been looking astonishingly slim when walking around in Belfast this week so you can expect a markedly more mobile performance from the lineal champion than on his June 9th comeback.
Franceso Pianeta is a distinct step up from Sefer Seferi although that’s not particularly hard and even though Pianeta has been a two-time world title challenge there is a distinct yearning for someone like Sam Sexton or Gary Cornish to get in the ring with Fury in order to provide a domestic challenge of some sort.
The German-Italian will come to fight, Fury has said as much, and whilst there seems to be very little prospect of this being anything other than a Fury victory we can be sure to see him work through the motions and, hopefully, unfurl the type of performance we saw against Wladimir Klitschko way back when in 2015.
A return to a world title fight beckons with, WBC Champion, Deontay Wilder set to be ringside in Belfast ahead of the potential announcement of a bout between Fury and Wilder – scheduled for either November or December – that fight “99% done”.
And it’s that fight on the horizon that could serve as the additional motivation required to produce a display that shows the Tyson of old, the Tyson we all want to see back in the ring and, more importantly, the Tyson that can set up a blockbuster fight with Anthony Joshua.
As always when fight night hits Belfast, we are in for one hell of a treat.
Luke Jackson: Ready for Frampton
By: Oliver McManus
At 4.33 in the morning last Tuesday I was on the phone to Luke Jackson with the Australian in the midst of preparing for a bout with Carl Frampton, at Windsor Park, on August 18th for the interim WBO Featherweight World Championship.
A prestigious amateur talent, Jackson was one of six Australian medallists at their home Commonwealth games in 2006 alongside the likes of Leonardo Zappavigna and Jarrod Fletcher. With the goal of making an Olympic games the Tasmanian featherweight had to wait until London 2012 before he could achieve that initial goalpost and having shared a room with Jeff Horn, his company could be no more befitting ahead of this Summer showdown in Belfast – if anyone knows how to pull off an upset then it’s Horn.
Photo Credit: Luke Jackson Twitter Account
That’s enough of me rambling along, let’s just get straight into the interview –
How’s Australia, how is training going?
Well we’ve got six weeks to go and I’m in Sydney training with Billy Hussein, been in camp for two weeks now and obviously I’m always in the gym, relatively fight, so we started running a bit harder 10 weeks out and now, eight weeks out we’re focussing completely on our boxing training and sparring. We’re in good shape, we’ve got plenty of time and it’s all going to plan.
In terms of training are you looking at any specific areas?
Yeah, look, we’re just trying to improve everything that I’m good at and make it a lot more well-rounded. This is, obviously, a very hard fight but it’s something that we’re willing and able to do, we’re preparing accordingly and we’ve got a couple of different game plans that we’re working on so if the first one doesn’t work as well as we hope then we’ll mix it up and go with our second or third plan. I trust Billy Hussein and what he tells me to do in the gym – I just do it.
On the night under the lights I’ll just do the same again.
You’re stepping into Windsor Park, 18,000 Frampton fans, will that affect you mentally in any way?
At the end of the day it’s only going to be Carl in there, in the ring, and yeah the fans are going to be screaming but whether they’d be screaming for him or screaming for me, it’s still going to be loud and he’ll have that effect on him too – the pressure – it’s going to be the same atmosphere for both of us and I’ll just listen to Billy, I don’t really care what the rest of the crowd does.
That’s my attitude, they can’t fight for Carl and they can’t fight for me either, I’m sure he’ll enjoy having them all there for him but I don’t really care, I’m not focussed on that, I just want to win the fight.
What do you think separates you from Carl?
Well I think he’s achieved everything he’s wanted to do, achieved the goal of becoming a world champion, I haven’t. I think he’s on the decline since the Leo Santa Cruz fight, I think that was his best moment in the first fight. His motivation maybe isn’t what it used to be, I’m not sure, but I’m still chasing my dream and I think that will show on August 18th.
Many people have called you an underdog, does that label bother you?
I couldn’t care Ollie, I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t care. I’ve been an underdog all my life, I’m not even meant to be in this position but I am and I’ve worked hard to get here so people who say I’m an underdog and completely write me off are people who don’t really know anything. I understand there are some experts, so-called experts, calling me the underdog and I admit that Carl is an awesome fighter, two-weight world champion, he deserves to be the favourite and it would be ridiculous if he wasn’t.
But do I think I can beat him? 100%, 100%. Do I think he’s the same fighter as he used to be? No I don’t and hopefully I’m right in what I say and, listen, I can sit here and say whatever I want but I’ve got to get in the ring and back it up, Carl is a hell of a fighter, he got a little bit upset because I didn’t think he was a great fighter.
And I don’t think he’s a great fighter but that’s my opinion, take it or leave it, I don’t really care if it upset him. I’m still going to punch him in the head so it doesn’t matter what I say to upset the guy, I respect him as a man and I respect him as a fighter. Hopefully after the fight we can shake hands and have a beer together.
When it came to that press conference, did you say he wasn’t great to deliberately get under his skin?
Never, never, I’ve never been like that, I just meant what I said and he didn’t really like it. I don’t know why, I thought it was a compliment, I think he’s a very good fighter across the board, I think he does a lot of things very well and I thought that was a compliment. I don’t think he’s a great fighter but I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong many time before, but it doesn’t make me a bad person simply for saying what I think.
You only picked up boxing aged 18, 19, what was it that inspired you?
My life was a little bit chaotic and I needed something to keep me focussed and that was boxing. I was involved with the wrong crew, did some things I shouldn’t, and I liked the idea of boxing so I went with that and the rest is history.
When you started, then, was it a genuine expectation to turn professional?
Well my first goal when I started boxing was to see another country, that was my first goal, and then I went from that to wanting to see another country and then wanting to make the Olympic games and I didn’t really think about turning professional and then… well, I did.
Yeah because you got a bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games but didn’t turn pro until 2013, why was it so long?
I wanted to make the Olympics and I missed out on 2008 so I had to wait a long time to make that next team.
Since you have turned pro have you found that the amateur experience has made it a little easier?
Of course, things like me travelling to Ireland and fighting in someone’s backyard well, I’m used to that because I did that a lot as an amateur and the only difference is its more rounds and smaller gloves. I’ve thought guys just as good as Carl when I was an amateur so I don’t think I’ll be out of my depth, at all, my team has done a great job of getting me settled and I haven’t been in with as great as opposition as Carl has but I, equally, haven’t taken any punishment.
Carl’s been in a few hard fights and hopefully I can take advantage on the night.
I want to ask you a bit about weight cutting, obviously we saw what happened with Danny O’Connor, so just talk to me about that…
I’ll be honest making weight is never easy, it’s never easy, but it’s a part of our job and not many people will understand it but it’s a hard part, it’s expected of us though and no-one makes us do it, it’s a long process and we leave it to the last minute most of the time. I haven’t missed weight yet, I’ve had 113 amateur fights and 16 as a pro and I haven’t missed the weight yet but, yeah, it’s hard.
Danny O’Connor it’s very unfortunate and I wish him well but hopefully I’m never in that position.
I’ve never been a boxer Luke and I get that it’s all about maximizing your weight advantage when you’re in the ring but is there another reason why people don’t often fight one class above?
Because they (in the weight caterogry above) are too big, that’s the only reason, we’re looking to have the biggest advantage possible and if I went into the ring at 65, 64 or 63 then I’d be at a massive disadvantage to these guys because they can rehydrate much more.
Undefeated as a professional, what would you say is your best performance?
I don’t think I’ve actually had any fights where I was that great to be honest, I’ve never boxed to the best of my ability and hopefully Carl can bring that out in me and I’m looking forward to the test. I don’t think I’ve had any bad performances but I’ve not had any great ones either. I know I’ve got it in me and I’ve not fought to my full potential yet and that’s just my honest opinion.
Hopefully it can happen on August 18th because if I box the way I know I can then I’ll beat Carl Frampton, I know that.
Will you look better when you fight better opponents, then?
Yeah, yeah, I think so, I hate to keep bringing it up but I’ve fought some of the best amateurs in the world and I’ve beaten them so I just haven’t had the right guys in front of me as a professional so far and that’s not necessarily my fault, things happen, and I’m really looking forward to being the best I can be against Carl Frampton and at the end of the day I’m working hard, putting everything into it, and I’m going over there to upset the party.
When things get tough, what is it that motivates you?
I mean I’ve been doing this for 16 years mate and I always here a couple of mates who started off with me saying that I was never the most talented or anything but I stuck it out and I turned up every day, worked hard and kept going when everyone else didn’t and that’s the reason I’m here now because I put the hard work in from the beginning and I’m continuing that hard work.
I won’t lie, if I win this fight then the money will be a massive incentive for me and I want the money out of this game.
If we assume that you get past Carl Frampton have you get any opponents you would like afterwards?
If I beat Carl and it’s a good fight then I’d be happy with a rematch if he wants it or I wouldn’t mind Josh Warrington or Oscar Valdez.
Would you want them in Australia?
I don’t really care where I fight as long as the money is good.
Have you got a specific vision of how August 18th will go?
I don’t know, I’ve got a plan that I’ll walk him onto a right hand and stop him. I keep having visions that he’s going to walk onto a big right hand that’ll hurt and then I’ll got the job done but I know I can box for 12 rounds and beat him on points. I’m confident that if I hit him clean then he’ll go, he’s not invincible and I’ve seen him get dropped, we’ve all seen it, I’ve seen him hurt but he’s never seen me dropped or hurt so that’s another thing to give me confidence – I haven’t been on the deck and I’m hoping to put him on his arse if he comes in reckless.
Do you think there is a danger of him, perhaps, under-estimating you?
If he does that then he’ll get a rude shock when he walks onto a couple of my shots with the little 8oz gloves on, let him do that and let him underestimate and he’ll see what it’s all about. Like I said, we’ve still got to get in there and fight, a lot is still to happen, I’m focussed on working hard and getting the job done.
Frampton Earns Title Shot with Victory Over Donaire
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
A world title shot beckons for Carl Frampton, who secured the WBO Interim Featherweight title with a dominant victory over Nonitio Donaire in Belfast last night.
Frampton, 31, fought an aggressive but intelligent fight, picking his punches carefully, landing them with precision and using his speed and movement to evade the Filipino’s legendary knockout power.
Donaire patiently stalked Frampton throughout the fight, searching for a big, fight-ending blow that never came. He struggled to get near the Irishman and on the few occasions that he did, he generally came off second best.
Frampton significantly damaged Donaire’s eye in the second round after he trapped him on the ropes and let fly with blistering combinations.
Things only got worse for the former four weight world champion as Frampton put it on him round after round in a near shutout performance.
The first six rounds were largely one way traffic with Frampton using his jab and different angles to create openings for big right hooks.
It was an extremely disciplined performance from the former two weight world champion as he landed a number of power shots, but didn’t overcommit or allow himself to get drawn into a brawl.
Although Donaire was outclassed, he was never completely out of the fight, landing some big shots off the ropes in the fifth round that reminded us that he has the ability to finish a fight from anywhere.
Nonetheless, Frampton patiently picked him apart, circling out of the Filipino’s range whenever he landed a big shot.
His clinical performance highlighted that he is still one of the best featherweights in the world.
“The Jackal” barely lost a round to the admittedly aging future hall of famer, who often looked slow, flat-footed and out of ideas.
The Irishman’s speed, skill and IQ seemed to bamboozle him at times. However, Donaire remained dangerous from start to finish due to the knockout power he possesses in both hands.
He landed a trademark uppercut in the seventh round, which briefly staggered the Irishman, but he was unable to land the follow-up shot needed to put him away.
Frampton was under the pump again in the eleventh round, eating some vicious hooks and uppercuts, but never looked in danger of being stopped.
In the end, these were minor blips in an impressive performance and the Belfast man now has his eye on another world title.
Frampton would love the chance to avenge his only professional loss in a trilogy fight with WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, but the Mexican doesn’t appear to be keen on a rematch just yet.
A unification bout with WBO Champion Oscar Valdez or a big money fight with the winner of Lee Selby vs Josh Warrington seems more likely.
Either way, the Irishman is back in the big time and has silenced critics who called for his retirement after his defeat to Santa Cruz nearly two years ago.
Donaire’s next step is less clear, but this was probably his last chance to launch himself into title contention.
One thing’s for sure though, his place in boxing’s hall of fame is already secure.
Frampton Targeting World Title, Criticizes Scott Quigg
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Former two weight world champion Carl Frampton wants a Featherweight world title fight next if he beats Filipino boxing legend Nonito Donaire on the 21st of April.
The winner of Frampton-Donaire will become the WBO Interim Featherweight Champion after Oscar Valdez suffered a broken jaw a month ago.
However, Frampton says that while the belt might look nice on his mantelpiece, he will not be satisfied with an interim title.
In an interview with Behind the Gloves, the Northern Irishman said “Fighters in the past have called themselves a world champion after winning an interim title but I know what this is, I’m not going to call myself a world champion if I win,” he says.
“I won’t feel like a world champion until I beat Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz, Lee Selby or Gary Russell jr,” Frampton says.
He says the Donaire fight is a step in the right direction as “it’s pretty much a title eliminator with a belt on the line.”
“This has just given me the option of fighting a big name and people have talked about the winner of Selby vs Warrington and obviously with me being linked to the same team, that fight can happen,” according to Frampton.
There are many names on Frampton’s radar, but he says a fight with Valdez for the undisputed WBO title is a very attractive option.
“If Valdez recovers from the jaw injury he got against Quigg I think that fight is probably a bit more appealing to me than the winner of the Selby-Warrington fight,” he says.
Frampton has a lot of respect for the Mexican champion and says “I think he’s a very good fighter, he’s ferocious in how he fights and I like his style. I can see that he’s very attractive to the casual boxing fans because of how he fights.”
“I think it just captures the boxing public much more in a worldwide sense, it’s a much bigger fight than me versus Selby or Warrington,” says Frampton.
However, his first preference would be a trilogy fight with WBA Champion Leo Santa Cruz to avenge his only professional loss.
“I know one fight that I definitely want and that’s Leo Santa Cruz because I think that makes sense. It’s a huge fight and it’s one each between us, it settles the score and trilogies are always a big thing in boxing,” he says.
“So he’s the guy that I want more than anyone. But I think a Valdez fight is very, very appealing. After that, probably Selby,” Frampton says.
The Belfast man also criticised long-time rival Scott Quigg for missing weight by a significant margin when he fought Valdez last month.
“I believe he missed the weight purposely and then he didn’t do the second day weigh-in, which is just sticking the finger up to the people involved. He missed the weight by so much that he should have at least done a second day weigh-in,” Frampton says.
“When you look at the tactics in the fight, he was just trying to wear Valdez down from the start. So I think that was planned. I think he missed the weight purposely and I think he didn’t do the second day weigh-in because he wanted to overwhelm Valdez and use his size and strength,” he says.
“But Valdez stuck to a game plan. Quigg had good spells in parts of the fight and you have to give him credit for the injury he had himself. But I think Valdez won the fight comfortably,” according to Frampton.
Clearly, there is still no love lost between them.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Donaire, Frampton, Ali, Ortiz, Alexander, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 2nd to January 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Frampton and Donaire to Clash in Belfast on April 21st
Carl Frampton believes his clash against Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 will be one of the biggest fights to ever take place in Belfast and a make-or-break bout for both men.
MTK Global-backed two-weight world champion Frampton (24-1, 14KO) is set to take on Filipino four-weight world champion Donaire (38-4, 24KO) in a featherweight showdown at Belfast’s SSE Odyssey Arena.
Both former Fighters of the Year, the pair will meet in a blockbuster bout, live on BT Sport and BoxNation in the UK and Ireland on a Frank Warren-promoted bill.
Tickets ranging from £40 (tier) to £400 (inner-ring hospitality) will go on general sale this Thursday (January 11th) at 10am.
And MTK Global’s Frampton is looking forward to meeting elite opposition on home soil in his first bout of 2018.
“It’s a brilliant fight – a four-weight world champion against a two-weight world champion,” said Frampton. “Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before? I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown.
“But I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a world title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys.”
With a much-anticipated summer fight date at Belfast’s Windsor Park in the works for ‘The Jackal’, 30-year-old Frampton believes a win over the 42-fight Filipino veteran would be perfect preparation ahead of a world-title tilt.
The Irishman is coming off the back of a 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last month in what was Frampton’s first outing since the loss of his WBA world featherweight crown to Leo Santa Cruz.
And ‘The Jackal’ is confident that victory over Donaire will tee up a bout against the winner of the forthcoming IBF title clash between 126lb rivals Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.
“In terms of the size of a fight, it’s not for a world title but the winner of this fight will no doubt get a world-title shot,” said Frampton.
“On the world stage, I think this is a bigger fight than Lee Selby against Josh Warrington, which is a world-title fight, so it’s huge,” continued the Belfast native, whose reign as unified WBA & IBF world super-bantamweight champion in 2016 coincided with Donaire’s second spell as the WBO 122lb title holder before both men later claimed world featherweight belts.
“He’s been at the top of four divisions, but he was in the same weight division as me for quite a while and he’s someone I’ve always kept an eye on,” said Frampton. “He’s someone I admire as well and I think he’s a great fighter, but I think this is the perfect fight to get me ready for a world-title fight in the summer.”
While Donaire has suffered three defeats since being named 2012 Fighter of the Year by The Ring, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America –the same honours Frampton picked up for 2016 – the 35-year-old ‘Filipino Flash’ is eager to prove that he is still an elite force at 126lbs.
“This is exactly the type of fight I live for — going in against one of the best in the world in the lion’s den of his hometown of Belfast,” said Donaire. “I can’t wait for the first bell! I know I’ll have to be the best I can be on fight night. Make no mistake, I’m already training like never before.”
MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan believes the fight will be an ideal warm-up for Frampton ahead of a summer world-title date.
“Donaire is a great fighter and this will be a real test for Carl, but it’s one that MTK are confident he’ll pass and that he’ll do so in style. Fair play to Carl, he didn’t want a handy fight ahead of another world-title shot and we were keen to deliver that,” said Conlan.
“It’s going to be another huge night for Belfast and Irish boxing and we’ll have some of MTK’s best talent on the bill.”
Details of a press conference will be announced in the coming days.
Kamegai to Face Daquan Pauldo on Matthysse and Linares Card
Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) will return after his impressive first shot at a world title to take on Orlando, Florida’s Daquan “King” Pauldo (16-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight fight that will top off the non-televised undercard of Matthysse vs. Kiram and Linares vs. Gesta on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The non-televised undercard action will be streamed live on RingTV.com beginning at 3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m. ET.
As previously announced, Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) of Chubut, Argentina will take on the explosive undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Championship in the first co-main event. Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) will defend his WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine Lightweight Titles against Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) in a 12-round bout in the second co-main event. This special double main event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Kamegai will return after his impressive outing against former six-time, four-division world champion Miguel Cotto, which was for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in an HBO-televised main event in August 2017 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Before that fight, Kamegai took part in two consecutive Fight of the Year candidates against Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass in June and Sept. of 2016. Kamegai will look to earn another shot at a 154-pound title if successful against Pauldo.
Pauldo, a 25-year-old super welterweight contender who was formerly known as Daquan Arnett, has only suffered one loss in his impressive career, which was when he dropped down to 147 pounds to take on tough Golden Boy Promotions contender Eddie “Eboy” Gomez. After returning to 154 pounds, Pauldo has defeated five people in a row, including the experienced Jorge “Pantera” Silva in his last bout in July 2017. A win against Kamegai would give Pauldo a much-earned boost in the super welterweight rankings.
Marcelino “Nino” Lopez (33-21, 18 KOs) the native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and member of the exclusive training camp of Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif., will return in a 10-round super lightweight fight against an opponent that will be announce shortly. Lopez will return after defeating former interim WBA Super Lightweight Champion Pablo “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano via second-round technical knockout.
After seven spectacular wins in 2017, Armenian welterweight prospect Ferdinand Kerobyan (7-0, 4 KOs) will start the new year in a six-round welterweight fight against an opponent that will be announced soon. In his last fight, Kerobyan defeated Tavorus Teague in the ESPN3-streamed undercard of the Dec. 14 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
In an exciting and rarely-seen battle between two undefeated prospects, Los Angeles native Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (7-0, 1 KO) will participate in an eight-round 126-pound clash against Las Vegas’ Francisco “El Alacran” Esparza (6-0-1, 2 KOs). Both fighters are known for their come-forward, all-action styles, and with so much on the line, the bout will surely produce fireworks.
Romero “Ruthless” Duno (15-1, 13 KOs) will fight for a second consecutive time at the “Fabulous” Forum in an eight-round lightweight battle against Sacramento, Calif.’s Yardley Armenta (21-9, 12 KOs). The Filipino prospect made his U.S. debut and introduced himself in exciting fashion via a devastating second-round knockout victory against the previously undefeated prospect Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez. Since then, Duno has scored two more victories, which were against Jason Tinampay and Juan Pablo Sanchez respectively.
Undefeated prospect Javier Martinez (4-0, 3 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will kick off highly-anticipated night of action in a six-round featherweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
HDNet Movies Pays Tribute to Muhammad Ali on his Birthday on Wednesday January 17th
Step into the ring with HDNET MOVIES, as the network celebrates the life and legacy of boxing superstar Muhammad Ali on what would have been his 76TH Birthday with a “Remembering Ali” double feature—a night of documentaries and biopics starring the legend himself on Wednesday, Jan. 17, beginning at 7:15pE.
The night kicks off with the star-studded 1977 biopic THE GREATEST, starring Ali as himself in his big screen debut. The film is based on his acclaimed autobiography of the same name, and recreates some of the most important moments of his life and career including his gold medal Olympic victory at 18 years old; his legendary match with Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla In Manila”; his conversion to Islam; and his three-and-a-half-year legal battle to win back the heavyweight title that was stripped from him when he refused to enter the army due to his religious beliefs. James Earl Jones, Robert Duvall, and Ben Johnson also star.
Then, stay tuned for the classic 1970 documentary A.K.A. CASSIUS CLAY at 9pE, which provides an intimate glimpse into the boxing icon’s career with rare archived footage featuring Ali associates such as Malcolm X, Angelo Dundee, and more, as well as clips from some of his most famous fights including an epic bout with Sonny Liston. The piece is headlined by a very special sit-down with Ali and his longtime trainer Cus D’Amato, who discuss Ali’s career and share a priceless back-and-forth that true Ali aficionados won’t want to miss.
For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.hdnetmovies.com/schedules.
Victor Ortiz vs. Devon Alexander Set for February 17th
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander “The Great” headline a show topped by two USA vs. Mexico battles as the former welterweight champions meet in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 17 from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with televised coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
In the co-main event unbeaten contender Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant will battle Rogelio “Porky” Medina in a 12-round 168-pound world title eliminator.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40, $25 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Also on the card, Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) takes on Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown and Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
“This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Alexander has overcome some serious health issues and is looking to regain the welterweight championship. Ortiz, also a former champion, has always come to fight and doesn’t back down from anyone. It promises to be an entertaining match for the fans in attendance at Don Haskins Center and those who tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes.”
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, has split time between boxing and acting throughout his recent career and brings a certain flare every time he steps into the ring. The 30-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, 2011. Five months later he lost the title to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by knockout. Ortiz, 30, suffered a knockout loss to Andre Berto in 2016 on FOX and bounced back with a knockout victory over Saul Corral in his last fight on July 30 on FS1.
“I’m ready to give all I have to defeat Devon Alexander and get my crown back,” said Ortiz. “My priority is to make a strong comeback and putting myself in a position to have my straps once again. I demonstrated what I was made of and did what I said I was going to do in my last fight. I’m facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I’ve known since we were kids. I don’t hate him, but I will not be his friend on fight night and he won’t be mine. I’m ready to prove everyone wrong starting on Feb. 17.”
Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) emerged on the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey for the welterweight title in 2012. He defended the title once before losing it to Shawn Porter in 2013. Since then, the 30-year-old Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri has been on a mission to regain the title. After losing to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez, Alexander suffered another setback when he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Fully healthy for the first time in three years, Alexander returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Walter Castillo on FS1 on Nov. 21.
“I’m excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz,” said Alexander. “We’ve known each other a long time but never fought in the amateurs, so this should be interesting. My speed, quickness and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can’t hit you, so my skills will be the difference. I’m ready for any challenge that’s brought my way. When I’m 100 percent, nobody can beat me.”
Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) won eight of his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating power in both hands to go along with his boxing abilities. The 25-year-old climbed into the top ten of the 168-pound rankings with his last victory – a unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez in Las Vegas on Sept. 8. Medina represents a major step up for Plant and will give him an indication of just where the Ashland, Tennessee native stands in the division as he looks to become a mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
The 29-year-old Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) has squared off against some of the toughest boxers in the division, including current champion David Benavidez and former champions James DeGale and Badou Jack. Fighting out of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico lost by knockout to Benavidez on May 20, and bounced back with a knockout victory over Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio on Sept. 1.
The FOX prime time broadcast will kick off a full night of boxing, leading into a doubleheader on SHOWTIME that features two-division world champion Danny Garcia versus Brandon Rios and 168-pound champion David Benavidez defending his title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril from Las Vegas.
Thomas LaManna Battles Gabriel Bracero for WBC Fecarbox Welterweight Title in Atlantic City
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will headline the inaugural Boardwalk Boxing series when he takes the battle-tested veteran Gabriel Bracero in a ten-round welterweight bout for the WBC Fecarbox welterweight title on Saturday, February 24th at The Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
The bout will be the main event of a huge night of boxing promoted by Rising Star Promotions
The new Boardwalk Boxing series, which was announced last week, promised high-quality matchups, while featuring the best local fighters.
LaManna, 26, of Millville, New Jersey has an impressive mark of 25-2 with nine knockouts.
The popular LaManna has led the revival of boxing in Atlantic City as his Rising Star Promotions has become the preeminent promoter in Atlantic City.
LaManna consistently has performed as a headliner in front of sell out crowds is eager to thrill fans, and potentially notch the biggest win of his career.
“This is a crossroads fight. He needs a win over me to stay relevant, and I need a win over him to be taken serious,” said LaManna. “Bracero has fought some top guys. His losses have been to world champions and Gold Medal winners. He has been around the block.”
“I want to start 2018 with a good test. I want to test myself. When I go through a hard camp, dieting and focusing, I want it to be worth it.”
“This should be a great atmosphere as he is a popular fighter like myself. A win over him will give me an opportunity as I will move up in the ratings. This is a make or break year, and a win will put me in there with other contenders.”
LaManna will celebrate his 7th year as a professional, as he has wins over Kendal Mena (20-3), as well as winning the WBC Silver Latino and WBC FECARBOX Welterweight titles with a ten-round unanimous decision over rugged George Sosa.
In his last bout, LaManna defended the WBC FECARBOX title with a ten-round unanimous decision over Samuel Amoako on November 28th in Atlantic City.
This will be LaManna’s 18th fight in Atlantic City.
Bracero of Brooklyn, New York has an impressive mark of 24-3 with five knockouts.
Bracero, who will be 38 on February 14th has faced and defeated some impressive foes over his 17 year-career.
Bracero win his first 18 bouts which were highlighted by wins over Winston Mathis (6-0), Danny O’Connor (14-0), Guillermo Valdes (12-3), Jermaine White (17-4), former world totle challenger Dmitry Salita (35-1-1), and a sensational 1st round stoppage over O’Connor (26-2) in the rematch.
Bracero is coming off a ten-round unanimous decision defeat to former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi on July 30, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York
“This will be a good fight. He is a tough kid. He is tall, and I will get into the best shape possible,” said Bracero.
“I am excited to finally be fighting in Atlantic City. I have family there, plus my fans from Brooklyn can drive there and spend a nice weekend. ”
“This fight is a true crossroads battle. He is looking to make his name off of me, and I am focusing on winning his WBC Fecarbox title. A win will get me back into the bigger fights.
Also announced is a terrific co-feature bout that will see Anthony “Juice” Young of Atlantic City battling Khiary Gray or Worcester, Massachusetts.
Young, 29, has a record of 18-2 with six knockouts.
The seven-year professional will be looking for his eighth consecutive victory. The Atlantic City favorite has a quality win over Jose Javier Claderon (4-1), and will be making his 12th start in his hometown.
Pitts has an impressive mark of 15-3 with eleven knockouts.
The 25 year-old New Englander won his first 13 bouts. The four-year professional is a former UBF International Super Welterweight champion, and in his last bout he won the Interim New England Super Welterweight title with an eight-round majority decision over Greg Jackson on December 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
There will be an announcement about the full undercard shortly.
Tickets are available for $155, $80 and $55, and can be purchased online at www.risingboxingpromotions.com .
This event is sponsored by Acos Energy, Designer Wraps, Eat Clean Bro, Calvi Electric, and Alpha Academy.
Sugar Promotions New Blood Card in Mexico Set for February 2nd
Damien Vazquez’ Sugar Promotions, will promote its card titled “New Blood”, featuring Issac “Canelito” Avelar (13-0, 8 KOs), vs. Alejandro Frias (6-2-1, 3 KOs), fighting for the WBC FECOMBOX Featherweight title in a 10-round main-event. The bout will take place at the Palenque de la Feria in Aguascalientes, Mexico on February 2, 2018.
Issac “Canelito” Avelar, who is managed by Prince Ranch Boxing, is looking to make a statement in his hometown after having his last fight delayed due to a minor hand injury.
“I am ready to show my hometown fans why I will be fighting the best fighters in the world,” said Issac Avelar. “I was supposed to fight last December, but it was delayed, because of a small hand injury. I took that time to improve as a fighter and I am 100% healthy. Everyone will see the best version of Canelito on February 2nd”
“Canelito is a big star in Aguascalientes, Mexico where he was born and raised,” Oscar Vazquez, president of Sugar Promotions stated. “We are excited to put on a show with great local talent. Canelito is a homegrown hero from Aguascalientes, Mexico and it is exciting to promote such a massive event. Everyone in town will be here.”
“NEW BLOOD” also features undefeated bantamweight Damien “Sugar” Vazquez (12-0, 6 KOs) vs. TBA, unbeaten super-featherweight Edwing Davila (16-0, 9 KOs), vs. Octavio Guardado, Lightweight Donovan Estrella (10-0, 4 KOs) vs. Antonio Camacho, Mayran Reyes vs. Naomi Arellano, Christina Mora vs. TBA and light heavyweight Kye Brooks (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Ivan Sanchez. Damian Vasquez has his sights set on fighting McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) before the year is over.
“February 2nd is looking to be a great show and I’m thrilled to work with Sugar Promotions,” said Greg Hannely, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “This will be one of the best cards ever put on in Aguascalientes, Mexico. All my fighters are coming to win and win impressively.”
Frampton, Tete, and Ancajas Win in Belfast
By: Oliver McManus
11,000 Irish fans packed into the SSE Arena, Belfast, for an enthralling night of World Championship boxing courtesy of Frank Warren – with Zolani Tete, Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Carl Frampton on the card it’s hard to tell who the main headlining act was but, boy , was it a brilliant night in Belfast.
The returning Jackal was in his first bout under MTK-management and in his new promotional agreement with Frank Warren and his homecoming featherweight (technically catchweight; 1lb above the featherweight limit) contest was against, Mexican, Horacio Garcia – a 33-3 fighter looking to cause a major upset.
Coming off the back of a majority-decision loss against Leo Santa Cruz (the rematch to their first bout that Frampton one), Frampton was hoping to get back into World Title contention with a convincing win over his 27 year old opponent whereas Violento was seeking to propel his name into the spotlight.
A two-weight World Champion, it’s in the balance as to whether Frampton continues in the featherweight division or jumps up to Super-Feather in an attempt to become Northern Ireland’s first ever three-weight world champion – first though, he’d need to get through Horacio Garcia.
There was a reception befitting royalty that greated Frampton to the ring for his 25th fight – his 24 previously yielding just the single loss – and both fighters entered the contest at 9st 1lb with Garcia possessing the 3inch reach advantage.
With 10 rounds scheduled The Jackal was looking to put to work the old adage that you don’t get paid for overtime and finish his opponent in emphatic fashion.
Taking to the centre of the ring Frampton, the shorter fighter, eased himself into the round before landing with a crouched left hook to signal his intent to both his opponent and the capacity crowd in the SSE Arena.
Starting off on the back foot – but without Garcia pressing anything of note – he appeared to be measuring out his opponent before swinging with quality shots round the guard of Garcia, slamming in the right hand to the cheek with split-second timing.
Fast, fleeting, footwork combined with lucid upper-body movement saw him evade the infrequent jabs coming his way, much to the delight of the crowd.
Packing a real crisp jab, The Jackal kept it popping into the body of Violento to distract from the overhand left that landed with alarming regularity to the Mexican’s head. Garcia failed to land anything without coming forward and, when he did, Frampton hit back by leaping onto the front foot and lading with sharp combinations to the inside body.
Looking confident yet not cocky, Frampton really was moving through the motions during the opening stanza of the bout with a high tempo forcing his 36-fight opponent into sloppy mistakes, slipping back onto the ropes and inviting the pressure from Frampton.
Opening up in the third by leaving his left hand hanging in front of Garcia’s face, the EU Amateur silver medallist, landed a cracking shot in the middle of the round to snap the neck back of his 27 year old opponent.
Despite all the artillery coming the Mexican’s way he seemed undeterred from staying true to his fighting style, keeping a high guard whilst occasionally dropping down to throw body shots at Frampton.
A durable fighter his three defeats have all been on points with one of them avenged a mere two months later and his 24 knockout victories out of 33 show that he’s not to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Wild, swinging, left hands started off his 4th round as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez sat front row cheering his fellow national on and he landed his first shot of note about 45 seconds into the round with a firm right hook to the body, swiftly followed with further clubbing shots to head and body.
Frampton decided to stay and trade with his opponent, holding his feet in a style which probably favoured the Mexican but nonetheless the Jackal was determined to go toe-to-toe with his opponent.
Garcia landed with consistency and pushed the two-weight champion onto the ropes, firing in with slamming shots to both sides of the Irishman before the tables turned and Frampton shimmied his way back to the centre with a stylish flurry to the head, backing Garcia away.
Into the second half of the fight we went and it seemed to follow a similar script to the first with Frampton staying in control, working on that straight right followed by blindside left which was deployed to significant effect. Garcia would continue to fire back occasionally with a shot to remind the blue, white and gold wearing fighter of his presence but you’d be hard pushed to suggest he was troubling the pre-fight favorite.
A minor cut emerged to the side of Frampton’s right eye but nothing worthy of anything other than a brief mention and Garcia seemed to gain confidence from this, taking the sixth round with eye-catching flurries to the body before taking a ramrod right hook flush to the temple, shrugging it off.
The 7th round saw drama abound as The Jackal was floored in what was a blatant slip but Victor Loughlin counted it as a knockdown, getting up off the canvas he seemed bitter and enraged, throwing leather Garcia’s way with scant regard for the consequences. 10-8 for Garcia, presumably, the fight was in the balance.
For a fight of this nature to be overshadowed by a display of sub-par refereeing of this magnitude would be unjust and Frampton set out with a point to prove in the 8th, going back to basics but slipping in almost the exact same spot again. He stayed on his feet and stood square in front of the Mexican, landing solid right hands to the body of the granite Garcia.
The fatiguing face of Frampton painted a thousand words that preferably wouldn’t be uttered come the final bell but his work-rate and punch-quality was looking like enough to secure him victory in his first fight since January.
Frampton’s footwear saw him come unstuck for a third time in the fight, slipping again, but with only one of those slips counting as a knockdown it was a rectifiable issue; Garcia proved to be the aggressor in the final two rounds, throwing all sorts of shots at his opponent in order to get ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
Whilst The Jackal seemed to gas, he kept throwing back in what was proving to be a real knife-edge fight; the Irishman dominating the opening rounds with the Mexican coming on strongly in the final four, causing significant problems for the expected winner
Come the final bell there was a tangible sense of trepidation in the crowd as we went to the scorecards – 98-93, 97-93, 96-93 ; Carl Frampton beat Horacio Garcia in what has to be one of the greatest non-title fights you will ever see, guts, grit, glory, THE LOT.
Jamie Conlan, the pride of Belfast, featured in his 20th professional fight as he took on Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF World Super Flyweight title – coming in as the long-odds challenger, Conlan was confident in his game plan against the cagey Filipino champion.
Ancajas has the odd notoriety of being one of the most avoided champions in all of world boxing – despite the fact everyone wants his belt – and 13 knockouts out of his last 14 goes some way to demonstrating just why that is.
The 27-1 man looked to make his third defence of the IBF title he took off McJoe Arroyo back in September 2016 and, in The Mexican, he was facing quite possibly his most gung-ho fighter in the whole of his career.
Conlan was relishing this opportunity on the world stage and refused to let Ancajas’ reputation faze him during the build-up, insisting instead that the packed SSE Arena would be enough to see him over the line.
Fighting his first southpaw opponent in 5 years, the 31 year old seemed to struggle to adapt to the style of Pretty Boy and looked quite uncomfortable in the opening stages of the first round with Ancajas staying at length and prompting Conlan to open himself up if he wanted to land shots of any real meaning.
Unexpectedly after 90 seconds in the first round the Irishman shot down to the canvas with everyone in the arena bemused – no shots came in as he fell but as he got up it appeared to be something wrong with the lead leg.
The crowd voiced their support to create a spine-tingling atmosphere that carried Conlan to his corner – a 10-8 round certainly not the start they would have been hoping for.
Ancajas, wearing the red and white shorts, stuck to his deliberately cagey blueprint but failed to land any significant punches to trouble the maiden title challenger. Attempted roughhouse from the Filipino drew the ire of, referee, Steve Gray and caused a cut to the left-eye of The Mexican, prompting a stream of blood to gush to his eye.
The 6-time All-Ireland champion (junior and senior) doesn’t have quitting in his vocabulary, however, and mustered up the spirit to draw him his corner and attempt to bring himself back into the fight.
Patient, probing jabs provided little threat to Conlan but a straight right hand lead followed by a power left had the challenger rattled. A body shot sent him stumbling back but typical flamboyance saw him wave the attack on.
Body shot after body shot had him tucking up, curling into a ball almost. Three successive right hands to the body followed flush by a left to the livers dropped Jamie for the second time in the fight.
Momentum firmly in the defending champion’s corner, Pretty Boy know where to target and looked to exploit it as the fight entered the second third of the fight. Big right hands winded Conlan, the Filipino had him against the ropes and landed dozens of sharp, sustained punches to the body, inflicting maximum physical and psychological damage to the ever fatiguing Irishman.
Down in the last 15 seconds of the round as a result of yet more body shots, a fist punched the canvas in frustration at the quality of fighter he was facing – Ancajas proving to be a class above but Conlan giving it his all.
Finding spirit from no conceivable place, success was found with punches evading the guard of Ancajas but ultimately being nothing other than sighting shots as opposed to anything packing power.
A point was deducted from the champion in the fifth round as he floored the black-and-gold wearing Irishman thanks to a third low-blow of the fight, if anything was to be the point at which Conlan got back into the fight then surely this would be it.
Jabs aplenty found themselves rammed right down the throat of Conlan before he went down for a fourth time thanks to, in truth, a relatively nothing punch but when fatigue sets in, it’s a killer. Despite getting up and protesting the legality of the shot, the fight was ultimately waved off with the challenger looking dazed and distraught.
Although unlucky to be stopped by a punch which replays showed to be to the back of the head, he was exhausted and didn’t realistically look like winning the fight so perhaps it was a case of pulling him out before any major damage had been caused.
If bravery won you world titles then Conlan would have bags of them but, unfortunately for him, the fight went to Jerwin Ancajas owing to a 6th round knockout that took him to 28-1, stamping his mark as, arguably, the number one super-flyweight in the world.
Paddy Barnes’ defence of his WBO European title failed to materialize and instead the flyweight fighter fought Eliecer Quezada (21-6) from Nicaragua for the WBO Inter-Continental title.
Looking to his extend his record to 5-0, The Leprechaun knew he’d have to put in a better performance than the one he showed against Juan Hinostroza – a fight in which he admits he was less than impressive – if he were to get past the much underrated 26 year old in the opposing corner.
Scheduled for 10 rounds Quezada looked light on his feet despite being the heavier of the two fighters – weighing in 2.5lbs over the flyweight limit – bouncing around the ring with the first minute seeing very little in way of punches landed.
The taller, rangier fighter kept Barnes at bay for much of the first round with a constant switch from southpaw to orthodox stance but Quezada lay open to the faster hands, as opposed to feet, of his opponent who connected with successive flurries of jabs to the body.
Just as the bell came in to signal the end of the first round a clash of heads between the boxers left the Nicaraguan biting the inside of his mouth and holding his mouth guard but, other than that, no damage caused.
A somewhat stop-start round followed with Barnes attempting to suss out the experienced man opposite him but keeping busy with adept footwork before rocking Quezada with a good right hand; the legs wobbled and The Leprechaun pounced on the opportunity to land hard with speed and accuracy to fatigue the former WBA Fedecentro Light Flyweight champion.
In the final 15 seconds of the round, a short chopping right hand came cascading into the cheek of Quezada as Barnes recorded his first professional knockdown, the fighter made the count rather laboriously but started the next round looking groggy.
And the Irish Olympic and Commonwealth medallist showed his full range of capabilities as he stood in the middle of the ring trading with his man, reigning shots in with a degree of controlled recklessness; unsteady legs set in for Quezada in the concluding 30 seconds of round three but despite this landed a successful right hand of his own that kept Barnes in check.
Square feet and punching fresh air sapped the energy out of the travelling fighter as the Belfast man maintained his patience in waiting for a natural opening as opposed to forcing the cause. Both fighters took a relative breather in the fourth round but it was Barnes who maintained in control of the bout before unleashing some passionate punches towards the backend.
A performance that appeared exponentially more mature than any we’d previously seen, this fifth professional fight seemed to be an opportunity to showcase his skills for a potential world title challenge but in the middle round he was given his last warning for a low-blow, although a minor infringement it must be said.
Following that the Nicaraguan connected with his best shots of the fight, leaning in with his whole body and jumping into some shots with real venom – a good spell of sustained pressure saw Quezada land with headshots and garner a foothold in the fight, was momentum shifting in his favour?
A rallying Quezada managed to survive a furious onslaught of punches from his opponent four years older than him but the agony on his face was plain to see as Barnes managed to regain his composure and landed a sensational left hook cracking the ribs of the Nicaraguan.
Sinking to the canvas in a manner more like he’d been shot by a sniper, the writing was on the wall as he hit the floor for the second time in the fight. Set up by a left hook to the head, the quick change down to the body proved to be the end of the fight as, referee, Steve Grey counted out The Huricane in the 6th round as Paddy Barnes recorded his first ever knockout from his 5-0 record.
An ever burgeoning army of fans, the WBO Inter-Continental Flyweight title and a Top 10 ranking for The Leprechaun, it’s fair to say the future is looking pretty bright for this amateur-turned-pro sensation.
In the other World Title bout on the show, Zolani Tete was defending his WBO Bantamweight title against Siboniso Gonya and during the build-up had vowed to give his fellow South African a maximum of four rounds before knocking him out.
At 25-3, the two-weight World Champion went into the ring, on the back of a Unanimous Decision win against Arthur Villanueva, at 8st 5.5lbs whilst the challenger, who’s last win was against Immanuel Naidjala, was slightly lighter weighing in at 8st 4lbs.
On paper Tete was the heavy favourite, possessing the greater knockout power with 20 of 25 victories finishing early as well as a 3inch reach advantage to help dictate the pace of the bout.
Looking for a unification scrap with Ryan Burnett, Tete wasted no time in storming out of the blocks, leaping into the centre of the canvas. Gonya had no time to settle himself into any sort of game plan and Tete landed a flush right hook around he guard to the chin of the challenger on the six second mark.
Down went Gonya in what initially looked like a flash knockdown and, indeed, Phil Edwards began the count before the sudden realisation that the, previously, 11-1 fighter was out cold upon impact; the fight was waved off and concern grew as to the welfare of the KwaZulu-Natal resident who laid motionless for about 40 seconds.
Having displayed such explosive, raw, ability in the short 11 seconds that this fight lived it’s clear to see why Tete remains such an avoided boxer with very few men willing to get into the ring with such a risky fighter who can turn it on in an instant.
Subject to confirmation, the one-fight punch goes down in history as the shortest (in terms of time) World title fight of all time and Zolani Last Born Tete moved to 26-3 before remaining humble in his post-fight interview, even in his call-out of Burnett, as he sets up a potential Bantamweight unification showdown in 2018.
An honourable mention for Jono Carroll who was given a late setback when Declan Geraghty pulled out of their rematch and, instead, he fought (15-4) Humberto de Santiago for the IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title.
Keeping the pressure high from the beginning it was an absolute brawl from Carroll who was twice warned for low blows but went for the kill as soon as the first bell went and a gritty, gutsy, display earned himself only his second ever professional knockout victory to move to 15-0 courtesy of a 3rd round stoppage.
Also on the card former ABA Champion Alex Dickinson looked lacklustre as he advanced to 3-0 in the heavyweight division thanks to an scrappy points decision against, a journeyman who came to trade, Milen Paunov to make it 3 knockouts from 3 fights; Marco McCullogh beat Josh Baillie (5-3) in his first fight since losing in a British title fight against Ryan Walsh as the featherweight made it 18 and 4; and cruiserweight up-and-comer Tommy McCarthy successfully broke down Blaise Mendouo over 6 rounds to improve his record to 11-1.
A brilliant Belfast barnstormer filled with pure boxing beauty saw 11,000 Irish fans singing loud and proud at the return of an Irish hero, the birth of another and one brave brother who gave it all but came up just short.
Conlan will come back stronger though, don’t doubt that and Ireland is THE place to watch going into 2018 – Frampton, Barnes, both Conlan’s and, of course, the potential for a unification between Zolani Tete and Ryan Burnett.
No-one does it better than the Irish, why did we ever doubt it?
BoxNation World Championship Boxing Preview: The Return of Carl Frampton
By: Oliver McManus
Boxing returns to Belfast in a couple of weeks’ time with Carl Frampton returning to the ring for his first fight in Northern Ireland since February 2015.
With two World Title fights on the bill, it’s hard to decipher who the real headline act is but a cracking night of action is guaranteed on Saturday 18th. Promoted by Frank Warren and live on BT Sport & BoxNation, the card features Zolani Tete, Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Darryll Williams and, of course, The Jackal himself.
Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF World Super Flyweight against, Belfast’s own, Jamie Conlan; Ancajas has been steadily building up his profile in the Asian hemisphere, having captured the title back in September last year against McJoe Arroyo – since then he’s made two defences against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez and Teiru Kinoshita, to move his record 27-1-1.
Jamie Conlan will be in his first fight for 8 months, his last runout saw him take the vacant WBC International Silver title to move him up to 4th in the IBF Rankings and 3rd with the WBO. 19 and 0 with 11 knockouts, Conlan has already won the Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title as well as an array of Continental belts but gets his first World Title shot at the age of 31.
Conlan will be facing his first southpaw since, journeyman, Elemir Rafael way back in January 2012 so he could find it tricky to deal with Ancajas’ cagey nature in the opening rounds but will look to get on the front foot quickly, establishing his open stature and giving room for his sharp, snappy, right hand.
Ancajas, known as Pretty Boy, has built a growing reputation based on a patient fighting blueprint with deceptive knockout power. With a strong, powerful, right hand jab, he’s capable of keeping his opponent at length before turning on the fast, flashy, footwork to throw a trademark left hand hook.
His movement is unquestionably better than Conlan who has often been criticised for being “flat-footed”, and Ancajas’ lucid body movement could prompt flush air-shots from The Mexican.
Nonetheless Conlan always comes ready for a scrap, a brawl, and is never afraid to just let shots fly if he feels the heat start to crank up – home advantage is nothing to be sniffed and with 11,000 Irish fans roaring him on, you could do worse than put your money on the 11/4 priced amateur legend.
Carl Frampton is next up, he’ll be facing Horacio Garcia – a fringe fighter from Mexico, with a 33-3-1 record. Scheduled for 10 rounds, this will be the 30 year old’s first bout since his majority decision loss against Leo Santa Cruz in their second encounter.
With Frampton’s previous fight cancelled after his opponent, Andreas Gutierrez, suffered facial cuts and broken teeth the night before their clash, this will be his first bout under MTK management and with promoter Frank Warren.
Although The Jackal, with a record of 23-1, narrowly missed the weight for that postponed battle, he’s decided to stay at the Featherweight division and a convincing win against the 27 year old Mexican could set him up for an instant return to World level and, indeed, a tantalising trilogy with Santa Cruz.
Horacio Garcia seems an uninspired choice of opponent given that he’s never competed at anything higher than regional level – he’s challenged twice for NABF titles but never taken home the belt. Consider that less than 4 months ago he was outboxed over 8 rounds by Diuhl Olguin (at the time 11-6-3) and it’s clear that Garcia is already on the downward slide.
Carl Frampton will be looking to go through the motions once more and shake off any ring rust that he may be suffering; having reduced his sparring workload by ½ in order to prevent lasting brain injuries, any competitive rounds under his belt will always be useful but the 2-time World Champion will want to utilise his fast, flying hands, to make a statement to the rest of the division.
Having already conquered the Featherweight and Super Bantamweight divisions, should Frampton come through this with ease and go on to avenge his sole loss, we could see him attempt to become Northern Ireland’s first ever three-weight World Champion and capture the crown of the Super Featherweight division.
Also on the card is the WBO World Bantamweight Title fight between, the champion, Zolani Tete and, challenger, Siboniso Gonya; Tete was installed as champion following Shohei Omori’s transition to Super Bantamweight, having already captured the interim title against Arthur Villanueva in April this year.
Born in South Africa but fighting in the United Kingdom, Last Born has quickly been adopted by the city of Liverpool as one of their own – in no part hindered by his explosive power and all-round cheeky nature.
Fighting from a southpaw stance, Tete has been with Frank Warren since March 2015 and has been described as a “modern day road warrior”. With a come-forward style, the two-time World Champion has a fast fighting nature and utilises two quick straight jabs before unleashing a sharp under-hand hook.
Not one to be involved in boring, slow fights, Tete has on occasion literally jumped around the ring and is as evasive as he is powerful with opponents finding it near on impossible to connect with any real power shots – from his 25-3 record, the Eastern Cape fighter has suffered just one knockout defeat, to Moruti Mthalane in the 5th round way back 7 years ago.
Since then his jaw has more than improved to the point where he is, in my opinion, the number one bantamweight in the world.
Siboniso Gonya, on the other hand, is a relative novice to the fighting world with a mere 12 professional fights consisting of 11 wins a singular loss – incurred against Thabo Siswane, a point’s decision against the overwhelming favourite.
Since that defeat 4 years ago, Gonya has fought for, and defended, the WBA Pan African Bantamweight Title on 3 occasions with the two defences coming by way of knockout. His last fight came in April against, former World Title challenger, Immanuel Naidjala and having overcame the roaring away crowd in Namibia, Gonya took a unanimous decision over The Prince to prove his pedigree.
And that’s the thing because despite the fact literally no-one will have heard of Siboniso Gonya before, he is a very good fighter who’s definitely worth of a shot at Tete’s title; the fact it’s going to domestic dustup only adds to the intrigue and Gonya is going to throw some shots in the early stages before, I suspect, eventually falling fowl to Zolani Tete’s superior power and movement.
Also on the card and getting an honourable mention is Darryll Williams (16-0) who defends his English Super-Middleweight title against Birmingham’s Lennox Clarke (15-0-1), having come through to sensational fights with Jahmaine Smyle in April & July of this year. Clarke is 18 months younger at 26 but has no real names on his record thus far – although both men share a 1st round knockout over Richard Horton – despite that though, this fight feels like a 50-50 because both men will be giving it there all. A real burner in Belfast, bring it on!
Paddy Barnes features in his 5th professional fight, he’ll be attempting to gain his first ever knockout against an as-yet unnamed opponent slated for his first defence of the WBO European Flyweight title that he won against Silvio Olteanu back in June. By his own admission, his last outing against Juan Hinostroza was not a vintage performance from the Olympic bronze medallist and The Leprechaun will be looking to shake off some rustiness before building to a potential World Title shot towards the back end of 2018.
A thrilling card that promises not to disappoint, the SSE Arena is going to be absolutely bouncing come Saturday 18th with 11,000 Irishman cheering on their hero Carl Frampton as well as revelling in two, top-class world title clashes.
Leo Santa Cruz: El Terremoto
Leo Santa Cruz: El Terremoto
By: Francisco Martinez
3 division, 4 time champion Leo Santa Cruz is coming off arguably a career best performance after avenging his sole defeat to Carl Frampton. Santa Cruz met up with his team father and Al Haymon this past week to talk about his options and return date. September seems likely and a unification is his primary goal opening the doors for a possible Abner Mares rematch or Lee Selby and Gary Russell who all hold titles at 126lbs and are under the same promotional stable making those fights easy to make.
As his return to the ring is being figured out this coming Tuesday Leo Santa Cruz will also make his return to boxing but as a promoter with his 3rd promotional show under his promotional company banner, Last Round promotions. Ivan Redkach vs Argenis Mendez will be the headline on FS1 Premier Boxing Champions Toe to Toe Tuesday’s. A fan friendly series that PBC fans have enjoyed for the past year or so. Action packed fights that will also showcase Herbert Acevedo his brother Richard Acevedo who will be making his pro debut along with Antonio Santa Cruz, Leo’s cousin who are all stable mates training out of the same gym and will find each other in the same venue at the Sportsmans Lodge in Studio City, California.
Leo Santa Cruz talked to BoxingInsider about his new position as promoter “I’m really blessed. The people surrounding me and helping me out are the ones making everything possible. I’m really grateful for all the people who are helping me make this show so I’m happy and I’m excited but at the same time I think I get more nervous than when I’m gonna fight, you know, it’s stressful and it’s hard work and everything you know, you have to do interviews here and over there so that you can get the show out there so that people can come out and support so it’s really hard but little by little hopefully to god things come out good and hopefully one day we can be big”
Herbert Acevedo has been with the Santa Cruz stable for since last year and is the newest addition to the team along with his brothers Richard and Oscar Acevedo. Hebert spoke to us a little bit about being under the tutelage of the Santa Cruz team and family “I think we’re on the right path in my career right now everything is going good and I’ve been with them for about 6 months and I had my first fight in 3 months and another 3 months so this will be my 2nd fight with them” as for some advice Herbert passed on to his brother who will be debuting this May 2nd
He shared this with him “I told him all the hard work is in here sometimes you get harder sparring than a real fight so all the hard work is done here, just go in there calm don’t hesitate on anything” Leo Santa Cruz purpose of his promotional company is to give fighters a chance. Get them fights and help push them through his star power as they themselves aim to one day be world champions. Santa Cruz very embracive of the role do to knowing how it feels to have no support and people not giving you much of a chance to become anything as a fighter as he says accomplishing what he has been able to accomplish was like winning the lottery.
“I think of it almost everyday. I’m laying on my bed and I look at my house, cars and family and it’s like a dream. I still can’t believe that I have achieved so much. When I was growing up I dreamed of it but I never thought that I would accomplish it. I thank god everyday, I thank the fans because thanks to them I am where I’m at. It’s like I’m living the dream, it’s unbelievable and I can’t explain in words”
This coming Tuesday will also have a fan meet and greet Leo Santa Cruz will participate in along with world title contenders Chris Arreola, John Molina and Gerald Washington an opportunity for the fans to get pictures and autographs with some of their favorite fighters right before the televised portion of the card begins. Get your tickets and don’t miss out this Tuesday, May 2nd PBC on FS1, Toe To Toe Tuesday action packed card main evented by WBA ranked #3 Ivan Terrible Redkach as he squares off with Dominican Argenis Mendez in what could secure a title shot for the winner.
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