Tag Archives: garcia

ESPN + Boxing Results: Martin Murray Earns 12-round Decision Over Garcia


By: Ste Rowen

Martin Murray earned a 12-round decision over Roberto Garcia to win the WBC ‘Silver’ strap in a disappointing bout that made fans wonder if it’s time for both fighters to call it a day.

Murray, now 37-4-1 (17KOs) had previously held and defended the ‘Silver’ belt in 2014, but each fighter was taking a cautious approach to the early stages of this matchup, with both fighting from the distance, looking to get up on the cards in the first few rounds. Garcia, somewhat harshly, was deducted a point early on for punching below the belt towards the end of the 2nd round, which no doubt dented the native Mexican’s morale as well as his scorecard.

Roberto sensed he wasn’t in for an easy night with the referee and looked to dominate the middle of the ring, and the pressure seemed to be showing at the end of the 3rd as Murray began to allow punches to slip through his high guard.
Martin, trained by former British junior middleweight champion Jamie Moore, was lacking the kind of enterprise that saw him earn a ‘dangerous contender’ status from 2011-2015. There seemed to be a lack of power when the St Helen’s fighter landed.

Into the 6th, Murray continued to fight off the back foot, now timing his counters off with a little more quality than in the earlier rounds. With 1:15 left of the round, both fighters received a warning for leaning in with the head. The bout was in danger of being overshadowed by dirty antics.

Expectations were pretty low heading into tonight, Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs) was a late replacement after all, so in that respect it didn’t disappoint, but in every other way it did let the O2 crowd down. Rounds 7, 8, 9 were carbon copies of one another, until the final seconds of the 9th when, for some reason, the referee called break, Garcia continued fighting, and the referee eventually took a point away from the defending WBC ‘Silver’ champ. Despite entering into the championship rounds, neither fighter seemed to change tact. Garcia fought on the front foot, Murray was on the counter, and the bout remained awkward to judge.

If you’re reading this without watching the fight, just watch the 10th and final round, to sum up tonight’s events.

Close, difficult and disappointing.
After post-fight in-ring arguments between the two fighter’s trainers subsided, the scorecards were returned as, 116-111, 118-109, 118-108 all to Martin Murray, the new WBC ‘Silver’ middleweight champion.

‘I’ve been around a long time and I knew what was needed to win.’ Murray said.
And to agree, yet again, to fight WBO champ Saunders?

‘For me, to do that again. You can’t trust the man. I do this for my family. I’m a fighting man. If there was an insurance policy in place I’d do it again.’

If it’s not Saunders next for Martin Murray, and if he truly wants a 2nd shot at unified champion Gennady Golovkin via the WBC route, then logic dictates he should realistically target the likes of Jason Quigley, Kamil Szeremeta or Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan next.

Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little

Dubois impressed in a 5th round stoppage of worthy challenger Tom Little, to become the new English heavyweight champion.

There was a bit of needle heading into tonight’s only heavyweight fight, but whether the pre-fight antics from Little affected Daniel or not, ‘Dangerous’ Dubois dispatched his latest foe in the same vicious style, if slightly delayed, that got rid of his previous 7 opponents.

In a scheduled 10-rounder, Dubois forced Little onto the back foot immediately and though the punches weren’t as clean as he would’ve hoped, it was obvious the unbeaten fighter was up on the cards early on.

Into the 2nd and the man who was stopped in 4 rounds by former Olympian, Filip Hrgovic five months ago, Little, was here to spoil and survive. With 30 seconds left of round 2, Dubois landed a barrage of punches, that kept Tom humble, but they were unable to get rid of the bookie’s outsider.
Round 3 saw more of the same domination from Dubois however, with less than a minute into round 4 ‘Dynamite’ landed a wonderful left hook to the body that dropped Little, but only temporarily. Tom rose, and though the body shot looked as if it had setup the finisher, he survived into the 5th.

It proved too far for the game challenger though, as in the 5th round, Dubois displayed the killer instinct that’s built up his big reputation. Daniel landed unanswered combinations of heavy head and body shots that forced the referee to step in and called an end to the fight.

Now 8-0 (8KOs), ‘Dynamite’ Dubois will not doubt be targeting both, British champion, Hughie Fury and Commonwealth champion, Joe Joyce. Not to forget fellow Queensberry Promotions stablemate, the unbeaten, Nathan Gorman, who two weeks ago dispatched of Sean Turner in three rounds.

Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek

Light heavyweight Anthony Yarde moved to 16-0 (15KOs) as he stopped 27-3-3, Dariusz Sek in 7 rounds to defend his WBO European and Inter-Continental straps.
Sek may have had the height advantage heading into the fight but with 50 seconds left of round 1, Yarde sent Dariusz sprawling to the canvas, but not hard enough to stop the eastern European surviving into the 2nd.

The Pol had previously never been stopped in 33 bouts, that included 3 losses and 3 draws, but ‘The Beast’ was putting that record to the test early on. Even as Sek looked to gain the middle ground Yarde came out the superior fighter, landing the cleaner punches in a more economical and effective way. Southpaw, Sek was more vigilante heading into rounds 3 &4 but he wasn’t able to keep Yarde off him anywhere near long enough to have a hope of stealing some rounds.

Rounds 5 and 6 saw Anthony remain dominant, looking to finish off Dariusz, though, despite the Brit seemingly teeing off on his opponent with ease, the Pol clearly had the chin to withstand the storm coming his way.

Anthony has only been taken the distance once as a pro, a 4-round bout with Stanislavs Makarenko in Yarde’s 2nd bout and he showed he was in no mood to go the scheduled distance for a 2nd time. In the 7th round Yarde, laid off heavy handed left and right hooks to the head and body forcing referee, Steve Gray to step in and call an end to the fight.

When asked who’s next, 26 year old Yarde was as succinct as a fighter can be,
‘Anybody. I’m not a promoter, I’m not a manager. My job is to fight. He’s (Sek) never been floored before, I floored him, I stopped him.’

There’s a lot of talent domestically for Anthony to eye up, with the likes of British & Commonwealth champion Callum Johnson, Frank Buglioni and Joshua Buatsi being possible fights in the near future.

Paul Kamanga vs. Ohara Davies
Fighting for the WBC ‘International’ super lightweight title, now 18-1 (14KOs), Ohara Davies knocked out Paul Kamanga in two rounds.

Neither fighter established themselves in the 1st round. Both choosing to tentatively fight from a distance, but then, after more of the same for 2:30 minutes of round 2, Davies landed a crushing right hand to the temple of Kamanga, which sent the DR Congo native face down onto the canvas and signalled the premature end of the bout.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Martin Murray vs. Roberto Garcia


By: Ste Rowen

If all had gone to plan for this weekend, Martin Murray would be fighting in a world title bout for the 6th time in his pro career, but due to a second injury pull-out from WBO middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders, Murray, who’s fought for championship honours at both 160 and 168, will be taking on Mexican, Roberto ‘La Amenaza’ Garcia for the WBC ‘Silver’ belt at London’s O2 arena.

‘The fact I’m fighting a dangerous fight and it’s a meaningful fight means a lot.’ Said Murray at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘I was gutted Billy Joe pulled out, but I’ve not took my eye off the ball.’

‘He’s the complete opposite to Billy Joe…He’s orthodox, come forward fighter, in your face. It’s gonna be a tough fight. You could say it’s a tougher fight in some respects.’
‘It’s about levels, and I’m a level above and I’ll show that on Saturday.’

Murray, 36-4-1 (17KOs), fought twice last year marking his return back down to middleweight after his brief, unsuccessful, spell up at 168, which included defeats to George Groves and Arthur Abraham. The St Helens native scored a decision victory over Gabe Rosado in April 2017 and then on the undercard of Smith vs. Skoglund, the 35-year-old scored a body shot KO of relative unknown, Arman Torosyan.

In fact, before those two bouts, Murray’s last fight at 160 was his 11th round stoppage loss to 31-0 at the time, Gennady Golovkin back in early 2015. But as Martin said himself, sometimes it is about levels and Murray’s level of opposition, win or lose, has been significantly greater than La Amenaza’s.

Garcia, 41-3 (24KOs), now a relative veteran of the game (his debut fight coming in 2001), will be hoping this is finally his time. The 38-year-old, despite an impressive record on paper is in danger of his defining fight being his 2010 defeat to Antonio Margarito who, after earning a 10-round decision over Roberto fought, and loss to Manny Pacquiao just six months later.

‘La Amenaza’ was last in the ring in August 2017 where he travelled to Mexico to take on Julio Cesar Chavez’s son, Omar for the WBC ‘Silver’ strap. For 10 rounds, Garcia rushed forward laying hands on his opponent, not allowing him to breath, as Chavez struggled to maneuverer and counter. Roberto emerged the unanimous victor that night and showed that he has more left to give to boxing even if he remains a few levels below the elite.

‘It’s been one hell of a ride. I’ve always been the B-side my entire career. I’ve always fought against all the odds. I’ve built a career on pulling off upsets.’

‘We took that fight (vs. Chavez) on 28 days’ notice and I do a full time. We went over there with everything for him, the judges, it’s nothing I’m not used to.’

‘I fight hard as hell and I’ve had many, many guys say they’re gonna rip my head off, but it always changes…I go as hard as I want to. I walk the line.’

Whether Murray will have a tougher time, as he put it, in the ring with Garcia than he would with Saunders is highly doubtful, but the change of opponent should make a for a much more exciting style matchup.

Daniel Dubois vs. Tom Little

With the vacant English heavyweight title on the line, one of Britain’s most exciting prospects enters the ring in arguably his toughest test to date. 7-0(7KOs) Daniel Dubois will take on Tom Little, 10-5 (3KOs) in a fight that’s been simmering nicely over the past few weeks.

At the press conference, Little wasn’t shy in letting Dubois know he was in for a tough ride when the two meet,

‘He’s alright against whatever taxi driver you put in front of him. If you stand in front of him, he’s gonna cave your head in. Put him in with someone with an intelligent boxing brain then it’s gonna be a whole different story.’

‘I’m gonna take him into deep water and I’m gonna drown him very slowly.’

Not usually a big talker at press conferences, Dubois kept his time on the mic brief,

‘I’m a strong swimmer… Tom looks like a very weak man…You are a weak man and I’m gonna show you that on Saturday.’

Both fighter’s share a previous opponent in Dorian Darch. Dubois wiped out the Welshman in 2 rounds, whereas Little suffered his 3rd pro defeat to Darch back in 2014. The two seem polar opposites in terms of talk outside the ring vs style inside it, and the rate of which Dubois is climbing makes it seem, on paper at least, that both could in for an early night at the O2, but there does seem to be something in Little that’s got Dubois’ back up however, from what we’ve seen so far from ‘Dynamite’, that’s probably bad news for Tom.

Anthony Yarde vs. Dariusz Sek

Another of Britain’s exciting crop is back in between the ropes this weekend as, 15-0 (14KOs), light heavyweight, Anthony Yarde takes on southpaw, Dariusz Sek 27-3-3 (9KOs) for the WBO inter-continental and European belts.

Sek has lost two of the three occasions he’s fought outside of Poland, but he’s yet to be stopped and with Yarde on a 13-fight KO streak, things could get interesting when the two collide.
Asked about his opponent and the difference in training for a southpaw ‘The Beast’ said,

‘Doesn’t matter if they’re southpaw, west-paw, north-paw, east-paw, it’s a fight and we’ll see what happens on fight night…It’s a little bit different but I haven’t struggled.’
Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren also revealed that he rejected the offer to fight Sergey Kovalev the current WBO champion,

‘We were offered the fight against Kovalev and we turned it down. He’s not ready for that. He won’t want to hear that, he wants to fight, but Tunde (Ajayi) and I discussed it and he’s not ready for that.’

‘The objective is to win the world title and once you’ve won it, you’ve got to defend it and to do that you need experience.’

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Golden Boy on ESPN Results: Garcia shows his Class and O’Sullivan Cruises


By Eric Lunger

​From the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, another chapter in the venerable Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry was written, albeit in this case Mexican-American, as 19-year-old sensation Ryan “El Flash” Garcia took on hard-hitting veteran Jason Velez in a ten-round junior lightweight clash.

​With his boyish good looks and undeniable charisma, Garcia is a worthy member of the Golden Boy stable and heir-in-waiting to Oscar de la Hoya’s legacy as a Los Angelino and proud son of Mexico.

​Velez came out in the first working inside and pounding the body. Garcia was patient, but seemed unaccustomed to the tactics he was facing. The second was an even round, with Garcia landing a few powerful counters that may have swayed the judges.

​In the third, Garcia showed more confidence in handling Velez’s pressure and countering as the Puerto Rican fighter came in. In the final minute of the round, Garcia caught Velez with some solid combinations, wobbling Velez momentarily. Garcia’s accuracy and hand speed are impressive, indeed, elite level, and he showed a poise beyond his years in the middle rounds, not chasing the knock out.

​Accuracy again was the theme of the fifth round, when Garcia landed the cleaner and more accurate shots. By contrast, the sixth featured a lot of clinching and holding until the last minute, when Garcia unleashed a barrage of combinations. As the rounds ticked by, Velez continued to hold and work inside, while Garcia continued to use his accuracy to score. It was hard to see Velez winning any rounds that way. Did Velez’s plan succeed in slowing Garcia down? In the eighth, it did not seem so.

​In the ninth, Garcia began to move and circle, to the dismay of the crowd. But again, Garcia fought with composure, doing enough to score and win the round. In the final frame, Velez gave everything he had, and Garcia handled it skillfully and maturely. It was a good fight by both men, but Velez never did enough to break through nor to avoid Garcia’s counters. The judges scored the bout 99-91 across the board for Ryan Garcia.

​In the co-feature, rugged and determined Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) of Ireland took on Berlin Abreu (14-1, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. O’Sullivan, 33, sports facial hair from the 1910s, but his boxing skill-set and strength are very modern. Abreu, a full decade younger than O’Sullivan but moving up in weight, was coming off a career-defining win over Argentine David Peralta in December of 2107. Nonetheless, O’Sullivan presented a definite step up in class.

​O’Sullivan is a pressure fighter and a power puncher, as Abreu found out in the first round. The Dominican seemed willing to absorb O’Sullivan’s punches, but it seemed a questionable game plan. It was more jabs and hooks from O’Sullivan in the second, though Abreu did respond with momentary offense of his own. That said, the Irishman landed some clean and hard punches. At the end of the round, Abreu seemed to think he had seen something, as he started to drop his hands and look for a big upper cut.

​The third round was lopsided, as O’Sullivan landed repeated left hooks to the body and powerful short rights to the head. With 34 seconds to go in the round, Abreu contemptuously spit his mouth piece, or perhaps he was frustrated with the beating that he was taking. Referee Gerard White had no choice but to deduct a point. In the corner between rounds, Abreu’s corner surrendered, and Abreu made a quick exit to the boos of the crowd.

​O’Sullivan runs his record to 28-2 with 19 KOs, and remains a candidate to face middleweight kingpin Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at some future date.

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The Defenders, Contenders and Prospects: Four Undefeated Fighters to Watch This Weekend


By Vishare Mooney

Cinco De Mayo is upon us bringing with it a fantastic weekend of boxing as four undefeated fighters take to the ring to defend their records or the right to keep their championship belts. There are some interesting storylines, here’s what to watch.

History in the making: Challenges for two boxing giants Gennady Golovkin and Cecilia Breakhus

This is not the big drama show a Canelo rematch would have brought, but the Golovkin v. Martirosyan is still a challenging fight for the undefeated champion, Gennady Golovkin (36-0-1, 33KO); all his belts are on the line as he goes up against two-time world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 23KO). Though Martirosyan is going up a weight class to fight Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler has called the matchup “a dangerous fight” while Golovkin humbly suggested “one punch can change everything.” At Wednesday’s press conference, Don King, Martirosyan’s promoter, struck a foreboding tone, predicting that the stars above the StubHub Center will be aligned for the champion’s first loss. He addressed his remarks to Golovkin, “The inimitable words of Mohammed Ali says, you have to lose to be a whole champion, there’s no disgrace in losing.” And of his fighter, Martiroysan, King said, “This may be the opportunity that Vanes is waiting on because yesterday’s nobody, becomes tomorrow’s somebody.” Pre-fight hype? Not for Golovkin, “I understand my situation, this is not an easy fight, this is a huge fight for us. I promise, we bring amazing show, amazing event.” This fight is without doubt not one to miss.

If there is an active fighter with more titles and accolades than Golovkin, it is Cecilia Braekhus (32-0, 9 KO and 22-0 in championship matches.) The Columbian-born boxer who fights out of Norway, is embarking on the 22nd defense of her titles IBF-WBA-WBC-WBO. She has heen the welterweight world champion for the past nine years. And yet, this fight, set as a co-feature to the GGG-Martirosyan, and having the distinction of being the first live broadcast of a woman’s bout on HBO, is not necessarily a walk in the park for Braekhus. Her opponent, former world WBC middleweight champion, 27-year-old Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KO) will still have a size and youth advantage as she goes down two weight classes to fight the 36-year-old Braekhus. Says Braekhus, who continues to hone her skills as she matures, “I am definitely another fighter today than I was ten years ago, and I always have to adapt to that, I always have to adapt to stay sharp.” She added, “I feel the young girls, you know, they are breathing down my neck, I always need to be sharp.” Boxing legend Lucia Rijker, who has been training Braekhus for this fight will be in her corner Saturday night. The moment in history is not lost in Rijker, who said to boxinginsider.com at a recent interview, “ I know my place as a coach, this is the time for the new generation and I’m honored to be a part of it with a humble heart.” All the women will have the platform at StubHub, under the stars to show the world, women’s boxing belongs on primetime along with men’s. Challenger Kali Reis, understands the the opportunity and the significance of this bout, “It’s not just live boxing on HBO, its the co-main event, that is huge. Not only for myself, not only for Cecilia, but for women’s boxing as a whole…We’re in it to fight and we can fight.” Tune into this one, it will likely be the best fight of the night.

Golovkin v. Martirosyan and Braekhus v. Reis, May 5, HBO, 8pm PT

Boxers On the Rise: Ryan Garcia and George Kambosos Jr.

It’s likely ESPN’s 2017 Prospect of the Year, 19-year-old Ryan Garcia (14-0, 13 KO), from Victorville, CA, with meticulous grooming of his boxing career by Golden Boy Promotions and supported by Garcia’s fast growing 800k Instagram followers, needs little more highlighting. On May 4th, the junior lightweight may actually have a worthy contest in the seasoned 30-year-old Puerto Rican fighter, Jayson Velez, (26-4-1, 18 KO). Garcia will want to feed his ambition of fighting Gervonta Davis and being the youngest pay-per-view star, as well as his growing fan base, with another decisive win. With such heightened media exposure at such an early time in his professional career, it seems Garcia is defending his fame rather than ascending to it. Nonetheless, fans shouldn’t miss out on watching this fighter’s impressive ability to “see and catch” his opponent’s next moves and launch a powerful and fast knockout punch. He described his technique to boxinginsider.com, “I see where he (the opponent) goes, and once he makes a little tiny mistake, my punch is there and I deliver my full ability” Coming off the lightning fast first round knockout of Fernando Vargas, just six weeks ago, boxing fans get another chance to see KingRy impress. May 4th, 7:30PM PT on ESPN2 and ESPN Desportes.

If you want a chance to see a future title contender in his first US fight, watch George “Ferocious” Kambosos, Jr. (13-0, 7 KO), the undefeated 24-year-old Greek-Australian prospect. Kambosos Jr. is currently ranked #5 by the WBA , #11 by WBO and holds the WBA Oceania lightweight title. Kambosos Jr., recently signed with powerhouse promoter Dibella Entertainment. He will headline the Broadway Boxing event at Foxwoods Resort Casino and fight against Jose “El Tigre” Forero (13-6-1, 11 KO). Kambosos Jr. moved from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles earlier this year to train under renowned coach, former heavyweight contender and long time Pacquiao cornerman Justin Fortune. His sights are set firmly on making a name for himself here in the U.S. “America is the mecca of boxing, to become world champion and to become recognized, you gotta be here.” Kambosos Jr., in addition to holding title belts, has sparred with Manny Pacquiao for over 50 rounds and brings shades of Pacquiao’s fast and furious high volume punching to the ring along with some impressive footwork. When asked what fans can expect of him in the ring, Kambosos Jr. told boxinginsider.com, “I’m an action packed fighter..fans can expect fireworks from round one.” Kambosos Jr. said he’s had a hundred rounds of sparring to prepare for his US debut and is ready for anyone. “We’ve left no stone unturned, we’ve had an awesome camp, if they pulled him (Forero) out today, and brought in a world champion, we are ready to go, we are ready to fight and ready to win.” May 5th, 9PM ET at CBS Sports HQ and Live.DBE1.com

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ESPN Boxing Preview: Garcia vs. Velez, O’Sullivan vs. Abreu


By: Eric Lunger

While Saturday night is Cinquo de Mayo, a traditional Red Letter day on the boxing calendar, boxing fans should not miss Friday night’s ESPN/ESPN Deportes broadcast of the Golden Boy Boxing card from Carson, CA, featuring Ryan Garcia vs. Jayson Velez at junior lightweight and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan vs. Berlin Abreu at middleweight.

The headline bout features a young (19 year-old) undefeated, and charismatic prospect from Los Angeles, Ryan “the Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs). Riding a nine-fight knockout streak, Garcia recently stopped tough veteran Fernando Vargas in the first round in March of this year. Velez will be clearly the most challenging opponent of Garcia’s young career, but he is sure to have the StubHub crowd behind him: Garcia proudly enters the ring with the Mexican and American flags in his entourage. And, classically, his opponent hales from Puerto Rico.


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Twitter Account

Jayson Velez (26-4, 18 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a twelth-round TKO of Puerto Rican star Juan Manuel Lopez, also in the March of this year. Other notable fights for Velez include an unanimous decision (on wide cards) over noted prospect Alberto Mercado in March of 2017, an unanimous decision loss to rising star JoJo Diaz in March of 2016, and a failed IBF world title shot against Evgeny Gradovich (split decision draw) in 2014.

Some might characterize this fight as the “young prospect versus declining veteran” type of cross-roads matchup, but it promises to be more competitive and compelling than that. Velez is coming off a career-making win, headlining a nationally televised card, and looking for another title shot. He is going to be hugely motivated. Garcia has knockout power, is trying to take the next step on the ladder to greatness, and is fighting in front of his hometown fans — he will be under serious pressure to perform. It should be an excellent bout.

In the co-feature, Irishman Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan will try to continue his three-fight knockout streak. O’Sullivan is an entertaining fighter to watch, and he is damn good. He’s beaten everyone he’s faced except for Chris Eubank, Jr. (December 2015) and Billy Joe Saunders (July 2013). O’Sullivan is coming off a seventh-round stoppage of Antoine Douglas on the Lemieux vs. Saunders undercard last December. At age 33, with a lot of tough miles in the tank, this might be O’Sullivan’s last run at another title shot. But don’t let the age fool you; O’Sullivan is tough, highly conditioned, and will punish any mistakes by the man in front of him.

Abreu, 23, was born in Puerto Rico but currently resides in the Dominican Republic. He is coming off a ten-round split decision win over rugged Argentine David Peralta in December of last year. With Saturday night being his second foray at the ten-round distance, this bout more accurately fits the “cross-roads” appellation. Youth and desire from Abreu faces grit and experience from O’Sullivan.

The broadcast begins live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 ET/7:30 PT.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Barrera, Magdaleno, Russell, Diaz, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 17th to April 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Injury Rehabilitation Forces Keith Thurman to Relinquish WBC Belt

Unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has voluntarily relinquished his WBC title while he recovers from the effects of elbow surgery last year and a hand injury he suffered in training camp last month.
After speaking with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently, Thurman decided that he would relinquish the title and open the way for former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, the two leading contenders for the WBC title, to fight each other for the championship while Thurman made a full recovery from his injuries.

“Due to my rehabilitation from my injuries, I agreed to relinquish my WBC title at this time. I continue to rehab my hand and elbow and I look forward to getting back in the ring this summer. This is a temporary setback and I will be the unified champion once again and look forward to winning back my WBC title as soon as possible,” said Thurman.

“Keith Thurman unfortunately has suffered two consecutive injuries that have kept him out of the ring after his sensational victory over Danny Garcia and he has graciously relinquished his title, and the WBC has mandated that Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will fight for the title,” said Mauricio Sulaiman. “Keith will have a direct path to fight for the title once he has healed just as Vitali Klitshcko and other WBC champions have done in the past. Keith is a tremendous athlete, champion and role model. The WBC will support him completely during this difficult time. ”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), a former unified champion at 140 pounds and the former WBC welterweight champion, lost the WBC title to Thurman by 12-round split decision in 2017. He bounced back with a knockout victory over former champion Brandon Rios in February. The WBC had made that fight a title elimination match, which put Garcia in line to fight Thurman again for the title.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), a former welterweight champion, lost a close 12-round decision to Thurman in 2016. He became the mandatory challenger for the WBC title when he knocked out Andre Berto last year. He maintained his status with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados in November.

The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been plagued by a string of injuries the last two years.
Thurman injured his neck in a car accident in February 2016, which delayed his match against Porter by three months. When they met Thurman defeated Porter by unanimous decision on June 25.

He defeated Garcia by split decision in a welterweight unification match on March 4, 2017. A month later he had major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits. He is still in rehabilitation from that surgery.

Thurman injured his hand hitting the heavy bag last month and aggravated the injury sparring with some amateurs at his gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. An MRI revealed bruises to the metacarpal bones in the hand, which also has extensive swelling. Thurman can’t have any impact with the hand for at least 8 weeks, which added another delay to his ring return.

He now hopes to return to the ring in the late summer or early fall.

Jessie Magdaleno: I’m Going to Put on a Spectacular Show

World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno has spent his latest training camp running the mountains near Guadalajara, Mexico, and alongside some of the world’s best fighters at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk, Calif. Magdaleno is preparing for the role of main event headliner against No. 1 contender and interim champion Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, April 28 at The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready,” Magdaleno said. “Being here with {trainer} Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes.”

Said Robles: “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight.”

Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) won the world title with a unanimous decision over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5, 2016. He has defended his belt once, a second-round stoppage over Adeilson Dos Santos last April. When Magdaleno steps into the ring against Dogboe, it will have been 371 days since the Dos Santos fight.

“It’s been a long training camp, and I’ve been training with some excellent fighters,” Magdaleno said. “I was with {WBO featherweight champion} Oscar Valdez in Mexico, and now, it’s the home stretch. We’re more than ready to get back in the ring.”

The pre-fight drama escalated last month when Dogboe’s father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, told Ghana’s Pulse website: “We hope Magdaleno will not run like a chicken. We hope he makes the weight and comes in with no excuses because we are ready for him. We are ready to eat him like a chicken. We are focused, and our only mission is to devour him, eat the crazy chicken, throw him over the wall of Mexico and present the title to Donald Trump. Magdaleno will run when he sees Isaac.”

Paul Dogboe has since apologized, and Magdaleno is intent on doing his talking inside the ring.
“It’s about experience, staying focused, and doing our job,” Magdaleno said. “Manny keeps me focused on the fight, and that is my main concern.”

Magdaleno-Dogboe will be televised LIVE on ESPN and stream in English and Spanish on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available on the ESPN App, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will air the fight at 10 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100 (ringside), $65 and $35, 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.

Adonis Stevenson to Face Badou Jack May 19th in Toronto

Undefeated knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning light heavyweight world champion, will defend his title against two-division champion Badou Jack on Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The showdown between Stevenson and Jack is one of the most intriguing matches in the light heavyweight division as Jack, a former 168-pound and 175-pound champion, has relinquished his title for the chance to challenge one of the hardest hitters in the sport. Both men are looking to make their claim as the class of the division.

Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.

Tickets for the Toronto show, which is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel, Lee Baxter Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale Friday, April 27 and will be available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
“It is the second time that we will come to Toronto to promote a WBC world championship fight with Adonis Stevenson,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “If you found the first event to be spectacular, be sure not to miss the second one as it will be a real firework! Badou Jack is a two-division world champion and an Olympian. He is dangerous and by far the biggest challenge for Adonis since he won the title against Chad Dawson in 2013. We are confident that ‘Superman’ has what it takes to defend his title successfully for the ninth time.

“I would also like to give thanks to our co-promoter Lee Baxter. This event would not have been possible without his collaboration. In addition, I am grateful for Lee and Wayne Zronik from MLSE, who are providing great support for this event and has opened the doors of the Air Canada Centre to us.”

“Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to partnering with Groupe Yvon Michel to pull off this highly anticipated matchup,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Adonis Stevenson has been a reigning champion in this division since 2013. Badou Jack has risen to every challenge he’s faced in his career. Now, he has an opportunity to become a three-time world champion and that raises the stakes for him. I predict two confident, hard-punching and highly skilled fighters will enter the ring at Air Canada Centre on May 19, both determined to walk away a champion.’’

“We are looking forward to hosting this spectacular event at Air Canada Centre,” said Wayne Zronik, Senior Vice President, Music and Live Events at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “It is the first title fight that the venue will host. We’ve worked with this group before to bring world class boxing to the city and are excited for the return of championship boxing to Toronto, and to Air Canada Centre in particular.”

Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) owns one of the most powerful left hands in boxing and goes by the ring moniker “Superman’’. The 40-year-old Stevenson has made eight successful defenses of his title since winning it with a knockout victory over Chad Dawson in 2013. The lineal 175-pound champion most recently defended his title with a second-round stoppage of Andrzej Fonfara last June and delivered a third round TKO over Tommy Karpency in his most recent defense in Toronto in 2015.

“I’m definitely excited and hungry to get into the ring and perform,” said Stevenson. “I’ve trained very hard for this fight against Badou Jack. I’m looking forward to winning this fight by knockout. I’m from the Kronk Gym and we always look for the knockout. Jack is a good, technical boxer. He was a world champion and he has done very well. He’s tough and I won’t underestimate him. I’ll be prepared for anything he brings in the ring.

“I’m fighting him at home in Canada, so I’m looking to give the fans a good show. I’ve got power and I’ve got the best left hook in boxing. I’ve got 12 rounds and I just need to touch you once to end it. It’s not complicated. I don’t need three or four shots. I just need one shot and you’re not going to recover. I’m going to finish you.”

The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) relinquished his 168-pound world championship following a majority draw against James DeGale in 2017 to move up to light heavyweight. He made a successful debut at 175 pounds by knocking out Nathan Cleverly for the light heavyweight championship last August. Jack then relinquished that title to seek out this challenge against the division’s heaviest hitter. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, a 2008 Olympian for his father’s native Gambia and now residing in Las Vegas, Jack is looking to become a three-time world champion on his opponent’s home turf on May 19.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to fight for my third world title against one of the division’s best, Adonis Stevenson,” said Jack. “I’ve been asking for this fight for a long time and was willing to fight him anywhere, including his backyard. I know he’s good and very dangerous and that’s the reason I want to fight him. I’m all about the best fighting the best and come May 19th, I’m bringing the WBC belt back to Las Vegas. My newborn son, Malik was born just before training camp so now I have two children to fight for, which gives me all the motivation I need to get this win.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Press Conference Quotes

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten No. 1 contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) hosted a press conference and faced off for the first time Tuesday before their championship showdown Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visitinghttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

The Russell vs. Diaz fight is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that will feature WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson defending his title against two-division world champion Badou Jack in a main event from Toronto presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Russell Jr., a 2008 U.S. Olympian and 126-pound titleholder since 2015, will defend against his mandatory challenger in the 25-year-old Diaz, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games and will be competing in his first title bout.

Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from TAP Sports Bar at MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.

“It’s amazing to be fighting at home. It’s cool to know that the people I see around all the time will be able to get in the car and drive 15 minutes to come watch this massacre. I can’t wait.

“I appreciate JoJo for being honest and saying that he feels I’m the best featherweight in the world. That speaks volumes.

“We stay focused in the gym. The inactivity doesn’t mean anything. It’s no issue. I’ve had hand issues in the past but I’m able to preserve my body and stay sharp, stay focused. I’m a fighter that’s always in shape. I never take a day off. You can ask my wife. On anniversaries, we’re in the gym. On birthdays, we’re in the gym.

“Regardless of what the situation is, you want a sense of financial stability for yourself and your family. I’m at the point of my career where I have maybe six more fights in me. We want to maximize everything. We want to maximize our revenue and it’s been irritating because a lot of the champions don’t want to get in the ring with me. I appreciate JoJo for giving me the opportunity to sharpen my teeth a little bit more. At least he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.

“I’m one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Speed, power, ring IQ, we can get ugly if we need to. I don’t plan on going 12 rounds. I’m not going the distance with anybody for the remainder of my career. Mark my words.

“When you have guys that fight and move around a lot, it makes it difficult to get to them the way you want to. When you have a guy that is straightforward and will be in your face, it makes it much easier for me and they’re much more susceptible to get hit.

“A lot of fighters win with pure athleticism because they’re faster, stronger or in better shape. They’re not winning because they have the ability to make the necessary adjustments based on what goes on in the ring. I tell people all the time that boxing is intellect manifested on a physical form. In most cases, the more intelligent fighter wins.

“My father says that whenever you see a fight that is an all-out, knockdown war, it’s just two stupid fighters that didn’t have a plan B or the ability to make the adjustments to make the fight easier. If that’s JoJo’s game plan, it’s going to make this fight a lot easier for me. It’s not going 12 rounds.

“As far as a hit list of my next opponents goes, we are first going to take care of JoJo. I would love to get a unification bout with Leo Santa Cruz after that. If we don’t get that, I plan on moving up in weight and challenging whoever has the title in that division. You want to know who I really want, though? I want Mikey Garcia.

“My last fight will be against (Vasyl) Lomachenko. I want to conclude my career with breaking my foot off of him. That will be the conclusion of it. I’m willing to wait, though. Right now, we’re good.
“Of course I would entertain a fight with Gervonta Davis. We’re cool. He’s somebody that I actually watched grow up and develop as a fighter, but you have to stay in your lane. When I move up in weight, he’s got to get out of the way or he’s going to get ran over too.

“I didn’t want to come home to fight until I had a world title. That’s the reason I didn’t fight at home for so long. Now we have the title, and I wanted to fight at least one more time here.

“I want to maximize our revenue because I don’t plan on fighting for too much longer. I had my first fight at seven years old. I’m 29 now. That’s a long time competing and a lot of wear and tear on your body. I’m a guy that doesn’t cut corners, so it takes away from the time I could be spending with my family and friends. I’m ready to spend time with my family and children and live out the fruits of our labor. But in the meantime, everybody else is in my way. They’re trying to take food off my baby’s plate.”

JOSEPH DIAZ JR.

“I don’t think the fact that I’ve been more active will give me any advantage. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing and getting the experience I need inside the ring before facing an elite fighter like Gary Russell Jr. My preparation has been good. I’ve fought tremendous opponents and I have all the experience to come out victorious May 19.

“It doesn’t affect me at all fighting in his hometown. I’m happy to fight in his backyard. He’s the champion and that’s what champions get to do. I know what he’s capable of doing. He says I don’t have the boxing IQ or the power and speed that he has, but he’s going to be in for a rude awakening come fight night. He’s going to see that I have all the tools.

“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on this stage. Ever since I roomed with Errol Spence at the Olympics, we always promised each other that once we became pro we were going to fight all the elite athletes and the best champions. Gary Russell Jr. is the best at 126 pounds. I’m not scared to fight him and that’s what Errol Spence did, too. He beat Kell Brook in his hometown.

“Gary Russell Jr. is by far the best featherweight in the world. Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Lee Selby, none of these guys want to fight Russell. They’re afraid of the speed and the counter shots. But I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll showcase it May 19.

“A win would mean everything for me. It would be a dream come true realizing all of the hard work I’ve put in since I was 13 years old. It would mean that I’m the champion and I’d be the shot caller.

“I think his speed is an obstacle; he’s very fast. But that’s the thing about me, I’m good at adapting to any style that I fight. Come fight night I know that his speed is going to be fast, but it’s nothing that I won’t be able to take, or nothing that will shock me. I’m going to be able to adapt to that speed and make sure I’m able to land my shots when he’s opening up.

“I’m very confident; 100 percent confident I’ll beat him. I know that this is an opportunity that is presented to me and I’ll be victorious. I’ve always prayed to God that I could fight on SHOWTIME and for a WBC title. And now that I am it feels like it’s all settling in and it’s all coming true. I’m working hard every single day, and once I get my hand raised in victory I’m going to go from there.

“If he gets a little bit over confident like he did against [Oscar] Escandon, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. He’s going to be shocked with not only my punching power, but also with my combinations and with my speed. I’m not like a Jhonny Gonzalez where I’m just throwing one shot, or slow combinations. I’m pretty fast with my punches and you won’t see my punches coming because I throw them very elusive and I punch from different angles. He’s going to be very shocked if he fights the way he fought Oscar Escandon.

“I don’t think it’s going to go the distance. Gary Russell is going to go out there and not back down and give the fight fans a good show, but I’m going to go out there and give a good show and not back down. So I think we’re both not going to back down and we’re going to brawl it out, and let the best man win.”

Sullivan Barrera Expects Bounce Back Performance on Kovalev-Alvarez Undercard

Light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera is back in training camp armed with a new fight date and a fresh attitude.

The former Cuban amateur standout admits that not much went right in his March 3rd loss to Dmitry Bivol but chalks it up to an off night and said that it was a learning experience.

Barrera is back with his team but has also added a sports psychologist to his squad in an effort to make sure a repeat of March 3rd doesn’t happen.

“I feel great. I know that was just one bad night. I am not worried about the past and only looking ahead,” Barrera explained.

The plan is for Barrera to return to the ring sometime in the summer on the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider undercard and he hopes to fight the winner next.

“I think the fans know that I always want to fight the best out there. After this fight I want another big fight. My goal is to fight whoever wins between Kovalev and Alvarez,” said Barrera.

“Boxing is like sex. You can be the best lover in the world but sometimes you have an off night. My fiancee knows I am the best even if I don’t perform as well one night. I want to get back in the ring and show the world my best again.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ergashev, Warren, Maidana, Graziano, Garcia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 10th to April 17th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Ryan Garcia Twitter Account

Ergashev to Face Wang for WBA International Junior Welterweight Title

The previously announced 10-round clash between fast-rising, unbeaten knockout artist SHOHJAHON ERGASHEV, (11-0-0, 11 KO’s), a native of Uzbekistan, now fighting out of Brooklyn, NY and China’s ZHIMIN WANG, (10-2-0, 3 KO’s), has now been elevated to a WBA International Junior Welterweight Title bout, it was announced today by Matchroom Boxing USA, promoter of “Straight Outta Brooklyn”,the massive international boxing event set for Saturday, April 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

The 26-year-old Ergashev, training out of the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit, has quickly impressed boxing fans in the United States with two recent show-stopping knockouts and 100% knockout ratio, building a huge following in the New York City area.

In his U.S. debut, the hard-hitting southpaw stopped Marquis Hawthorne in the second round on November 11, 2017 at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Making his nationally televised debut on January 12, 2018 in roaring style, Ergashev knocked out undefeated, highly regarded contender Sonny Fredrickson in the third round in Verona, New York. He is promoted by Salita Promotions.

Wang will be looking to stay in the win column returning to action following a dominant 10-round decision over Anthony Sabalde on December 10, 2017 in Guangzhou, China. The victory capped a four-fight campaign for Wang last year which included two additional decision victories.

“I had a great training camp at the Kronk Gym in Detroit and look forward to making a statement on April 28,” said Ergashev. “I pushed myself to the limits because I know that a world title is in my destiny. Zhimin Wang is a very skilled, strong fighter and I look forward to this great match-up and an opportunity to win my first title.”

Said Eddie Hearn, President of Matchroom Boxing USA, “I watched this young man at our last show in Long Island and he immediately caught my attention. He is a pure puncher and is going to be a real danger to the division. He has a great following already and I’m looking forward to watching him challenge for his first title in Brooklyn on April 28.”

“Shohjahon has all the ingredients to dominate the junior welterweight division and be a star in the ring,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “His work ethic, punching power and desire for greatness is very special. Zhimin Wang is a very skilled, durable fighter and I expect a great fight on April 28.

Advance tickets for ‘Straight Outta Brooklyn’starting at $42 may be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com, BarclaysCenter.com, or calling 800-745-3000. Tickets for the event can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. For information on group sales, call 844.255.9647.

Raushee Warren and Fabian Maidana to Compete on April 21st

Former bantamweight world champion Raushee Warren and top prospect Fabian Maidana will step into the ring at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, on Saturday, April 21 in separate attractions as part of an exciting night of undercard fights.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by four-division champion Adrien Broner battling former welterweight world champion Jessie Vargas. The SHOWTIME telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features undefeated former world champion Jermall Charlo clashing with once-beaten Hugo Centeno, Jr. for the interim 160-pound world title and former champions Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Jesus Cuellar as they square off for the vacant WBA 130-pound Super World Championship.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, start at $50 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) will return to action in an eight round bantamweight fight against Juan Medina (10-2, 9 KOs), whileMaidana (14-0, 10 KOs) steps in for a 10-round super lightweight showdown against Hevinson Herrera (22-14-1, 16 KOs). The undercard attractions also include popular local female contender Heather “The Heat” Hardy (20-0, 4 KOs)as she competes in a featherweight contest against Mexico’s Paolo Torres (10-2-1, 3 KOs).

The action inside the arena will also feature a pair of 2016 Olympians in separate six-round super lightweight attractions as U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell (4-0, 4 KOs) enters the ring against Andrew Rodgers (4-2-1, 2 KOs) and Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (4-0, 2 KOs) battles Alexander Charneco (4-4, 4 KOs).

Brooklyn’s unbeaten Chordale Booker will step into the ring for a six-round super welterweight fight against Daniel Calzada while the Bronx’s undefeated heavyweight George Arias competes in an eight-round attraction against Tyrell Wright.

The action rounds out with unbeaten super featherweight Desmond Jarmon battling Kendrick Latchman in a four-round showdown, unbeaten prospect Shyngyskhan Tazhibay in a four-round welterweight contest against Justin Savi (31-15-2, 21 KOs) and undefeated prospect Dylan Price, who meets Edson Noria for a six-round super flyweight bout.

The 31-year-old Warren became a world champion in 2016 when he defeated Juan Carlos Payano to capture the WBA Bantamweight World Championship. The Cincinnati-native represented the U.S. three times at the Olympic games during a prolific amateur career and most recently defeated former champion McJoe Arroyo last July at Barclays Center. He returns to Brooklyn to face the 25-year-old Medina, who fights out of the Dominican Republic.

The brother of former welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, Fabian will look to remain unbeaten when he makes his 2018 debut on April 21. The 25-year-old from Santa Fe, Argentina most recently defeated former interim champion Johan Perez by unanimous decision last November in his first fight to go 10 rounds.

The First Biography of Rocky Graziano in 60 Years

Jeffrey Sussman, boxing author, has written another hard-hitting exciting biography. It is of Rocky Graziano, juvenile delinquent, middleweight boxing champion, and comedic actor, who was the last great fighter from the golden age of boxing, the era of Joe Louis, Jake LaMotta, and Sugar Ray Robinson.

In Rocky Graziano: Fists, Fame, and Fortune (published March 10 by Rowman & Littlefied), Jeffrey Sussman tells the rags-to-riches story of Tommy Rocco Barbella, who came to be known as Rocky Graziano. Raised by an abusive father, Graziano took to the streets and soon found himself in reformatories and prison cells. Drafted into the U.S. Army, Graziano went AWOL but was eventually caught, tried, and sent to prison for a year. After his release, Rocky went on to have one successful boxing match after another and quickly ascended up the pyramid of professional boxing. In one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the middleweight division, Rocky beat Tony Zale and became the middleweight champion of the world. Rocky retired from boxing after he lost his crown to Sugar Ray Robinson and went on to have a successful acting career in two acclaimed television series. Rich and famous, he was no longer the angry young man he once was. In his post-boxing life, Rocky became known for his good humor, witty remarks, and kindness and generosity to those in need.

Rocky Graziano’s life is not only inspiring, it is also a story of redemption, of how boxing became the vehicle for saving a young man from a life of anger and crime and leading him into a life of happiness and honesty. The first biography of Graziano in over 60 years, this book will bring his story to a new generation of boxing fans and sports historians.

Bill Calogero, boxing historian and host of the Talkin’ Boxing with Billy C, TV & Radio Program, wrote: “Rocky Graziano was one of my all-time favorite fighters. Being in the boxing business for over thirty-five years, I thought I knew it all about Rocky. That was until I read Jeffrey Sussman’s new book, Rocky Graziano: Fists, Fame and Fortune. Sussman tells Graziano’s story like no other ever written. I learned things about Rocky I never knew before. Sussman’s writing style not only educated me more about Rocky Graziano, he put me there with him. Page after page, I felt I was with Graziano, feeling his pain as a child and his triumphs as World Champion. I could not put it down! This book is a must read for all, not just boxing fans.”

In Booklist, Wes Lukowsky wrote: “Sussman does a fine job with the biographical details from start to finish, but he really nails the fight descriptions, creating a sensory experience in which the reader can almost feel the punches and hear the crowds. A vivid slice of boxing history.”

Jeffrey Sussman is also the author of the 2017 best seller: Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing, published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Ryan Garcia to Face Jayson Velez

Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), the 2017 consensus prospect of the year and pride of Victorville, Calif., headlines a very special edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia, who is the brightest rising star in the sport of boxing today, will kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities as he faces seasoned Puerto Rican contender Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in this spectacular arena that has become the home for great battles.

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

At only 19 years of age, Garcia is the future superstar of boxing. After winning multiple national championships as an amateur and several professional fights in Mexico, Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions in Nov. 2016. Since then, he has won every fight by knockout, including a highlight-reel knockout of Miguel Carrizoza to win the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. In his most recent performance, Garcia defeated Fernando Vargas on the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN via a stunning first-round knockout victory.

“I’m back already and with high expectations,” said Ryan Garcia.”I’m glad to be headlining two times in a row and excited to be fighting in an iconic venue where there have been many wars. I’ve said all along that I was destined for greatness. I’m speaking it to existence, and I will show that on May 4.”

Velez is an experience contender of the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, home of former world champions such as Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, among others. The 30-year-old pugilist has faced the toughest fighters of the competitive 126-pound division, including Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. and Ronny Rios. Velez is coming off three impressive victories, including a unanimous decision win against the previously undefeated Alberto Mercado and back-to-back stoppage victories over former contender Giovanni “El Ruso” Caroand former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

“I will not let my country down as it is a powerful force in boxing,” said Jayson Velez. “If anyone believes that I am only going for the paycheck, they are wrong. As I have proved before, I always give my best and this will not be the exception against Garcia. In the face of all predictions, I will defeat him.”

“Ryan Garcia is going to prove that he’s the next superstar in the sport of boxing,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “After an amazing performance in March, Garcia will now make his debut in an arena that is slowly becoming a legendary battleground for boxing, the StubHub Center.”

In the co-main event, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), the incomparable and explosive Irish contender, will make his Southern California debut in a 10-round middleweight fight presented in association with Murphy’s Boxing. O’Sullivan has faced the likes of current WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, Jr., and he’ll returning after his most significant and impressive victory against Antoine “Action” Douglass via seventh-round technical knockout. O’Sullivan will be next in line for a middleweight title shot if successful on May 4.

Welterweight knockout artist Alexis “Lex” Rocha (11-0, 8 KOs), who without a doubt will be the first world champion to come out of Santa Ana, Calif., will participate in an eight-round 147-pound fight. Rocha has many tools in his southpaw arsenal as he can both fight at the distance and knock people out from the inside.

Ferdinand Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of action in the super welterweight division. Kerobyan is the latest prospect to be signed to the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable and the first fighter under the management of former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey.

Richard “Kansas Kid” Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO), a prospect originally out of Garden City, Kansas, will participate in a four-round super welterweight fight. This exciting puncher out of the Westside Boxing Club promises fireworks as he initiates this exciting card.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Charlo, Trout, Fury, Jennings, Murata, Garcia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 4th to April 11th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Charlo to Face Trout on June 9th

The 154-pound division continues to heat up as undefeated world champion Jermell Charlo defends his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout Saturday, June 9 in a 12-round showdown live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by WBA Super World Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz battling WBA Regular Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares in an anticipated world title rematch.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now To purchase tickets visit AXS.com or click HERE.

Super welterweight is one of the deepest and most ferociously contested divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd and Charlo on a collision course for supremacy in the weight class. Virtually all of the most significant fights in the division are taking place in 2018 on SHOWTIME, with the three consensus best fighters, and at least five of the consensus top-10, facing off in what has become an unofficial tournament.

Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) has blasted his way to the top of the division, having stopped four of his last opponents by knockout. The 27-year-old from Houston won the title with a knockout victory over John Jackson in 2016. Since then he has successfully defended it twice, including scoring a devastating first round knockout victory over top contender Erickson Lubin in his last fight in October and a Knockout of the Year contender against Charles Hatley in April. Charlo and his twin brother, Jermall, were the only twin brothers to hold world titles in the same weight class simultaneously before Jermall relinquished his 154-pound championship to campaign at 160 pounds.

“Trout is no journeyman. He’s a former world champion, someone who has a name and he comes to fight. The name means he’s worthy of another title challenge,’’ said Charlo. “Trout is the man that has been chosen for me and I have to take care of him. I’m super excited to be fighting and defending my title again.

“The only thing I’m going to tell you about what I’m going to do against Trout is, I’m going to surprise you guys. I plan to show my skills and show why I’m the best at 154 pounds. The most important thing is to make my mark and claim my territory.’’

The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) is one of most accomplished boxers in the 154-pound division, having stepped into the ring against champions like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Representing Las Cruces, New Mexico, he won the super welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011. He successfully defended the title four times, including a victory over Cotto, before losing the championship to Alvarez in 2013 and a decision to Lara eight months later.

After winning four straight, Trout stepped in for a world championship against Jermall Charlo but lost a close unanimous decision in 2016, although he is the only person to go the distance with Jermall since 2015. Last October he took on Hurd for the title, but lost via 10th round TKO – the first time in his career that he’d ever been stopped. Trout is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel on Feb. 17.

“I’m more than excited. I’m happy because I’m still a threat in this game,” said Trout. “People can write me off all they want. Even when I was a champion people wrote me off. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m approaching it is as my last opportunity. Everybody is counting me out and I’m hoping he is too. I’m going to shock him and the world.

“I feel like I’ve done this before because I fought his brother. Jermell uses more of his skills where Jermall uses more of his brute strength. I fought the bigger one and I fought Hurd who was like his bigger brother. Now I get to fight someone who is closer to my size.’’

Jennings vs. Dawejko Matchup April 28th Recalls Memories of All-Philly Fighters

When heavyweights Bryant “By By” Jennings and Joey “The Tank” Dawejko square off in their 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday, April 28, it will revive memories of the some of the great all-Philly matchups that helped to make the Quaker City one of the leading boxing centers in the country.

The Jennings-Dawejko match is one of three bouts at the Liacouras Center at Temple University to be televised live by ESPN, beginning at 7 pm EST. The card is being promoted by Top Rank and Peltz Boxing.

Topping the show is a 12-round contest for the WBO junior featherweight title between defending champion Jessie Magdaleno, of Las Vegas, NV, and mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe, of Accra, Ghana. The 10-round semifinal features Jesse Hart, of Philadelphia, against Demond Nicholson, of Laurel, MD, for the vacant NABF super middleweight championship.

First live fight begins at 4 pm EST and all undercard bouts will be streamed on the ESPN App.

Always a leading center for boxing, Philadelphia built its reputation by matching fighters from different neighborhoods in front of large, enthusiastic crowds. Artist Jim Meehan’s drawing (above) lists several of those great matchups, among them the classic 1928 showdown at Shibe Park between Hall-of-Fame junior lightweight champion Benny Bass and unbeaten crosstown rival Harry Blitman in front of 24,000 raucous fans.

“My dad went to that fight with his dad,” promoter J Russell Peltz said, “and he’d always tell me about it. My dad went to school with Harry Blitman and he never got over the fact that Blitman smoked cigarettes and still was successful as a fighter. My dad sat on the second row and he used to tell me about the sweat that flew off Blitman’s hair every time Bass nailed him.”

Bass, who boxed from 1919 to 1940, won by knockout in six rounds and went on to a career record of 158-29-6 with 72 K0s. Blitman, who boxed from 1926 to 1934, finished at 53-11-4, 25 K0s, including a victory over Hall-of-Fame lightweight champ Tony Canzoneri.

“There were so many great all-Philly fights that you simply cannot list them all,” Peltz said. “The heavyweight bout between a couple of Joe Louis victims, Al Ettore, of West Philadelphia, against Gus Dorazio, of South Philly, belongs on that list, as well as the world lightweight title fight between Hall-of-Famer Bob Montgomery and Wesley Mouzon, who had knocked Montgomery out three months earlier in a non-title fight.”

Peltz, who began promoting in 1969, rates the first meeting between middleweights Bennie Briscoe and Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a 10-round draw late in 1975 at The Spectrum, as one of the greatest action fights in Philly’s long and storied boxing history.

“Now we’ve got Jesse Hart, Cyclone’s son, on the card,” Peltz said. “I believe Jennings vs. Dawejko is the biggest all-Philly matchup in 36 years. That goes back to 1982 when Jeff Chandler successfully defended his WBA bantamweight title by knocking out former high school classman Johnny Carter in six rounds at the Civic Center. We’ve had some good ones since then, but none as big as Chandler vs. Carter.

“A lot of 21st century boxing ‘experts’ don’t like to see all-Philly fights. They wonder why we would want to knock off a local attraction. I guess they’d rather me import some scrub from the South or the Midwest to get his brains beat out. They’d rather watch that than a competitive all-local fight. The most recent major local showdown was in 2010 when junior middleweightDerek Ennis beat Gabriel Rosado at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Guess who got knocked off in that one? The winner, Ennis, who soon faded from the scene. The loser that night, Rosado, went on to climb the ladder and make a lot on money and he’s still going strong.

“Jennings vs. Dawejko is my kind of fight. I guarantee there will be more action in one round than there was in 12 rounds of the recent heavyweight unification match between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.”

Murata to Defend WBA Middleweight Title Against Emanuele Blandamura

It’s breakfast with the middleweights on Sunday, April 15, as Ryota Murata makes the first defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight title against Italian challenger Emanuele ‘Sioux’ Blandamura at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. This special, international edition of Top Rank on ESPN will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and stream on the ESPN App at 8 a.m. ET, with a same-day replay scheduled for 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Murata (13-1, 10 KOs), from Nara, Japan, captured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics (165 pounds), becoming the first Japanese boxer to accomplish that feat since Takao Sakurai at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He turned pro on Aug. 25, 2013, and by his fifth pro bout, was already fighting in scheduled 10-rounders. Murata made a big statement on U.S. soil on July 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, when he knocked out George ‘Comanche Boy’ Tahdooahnippah in the opening round.

His first title challenge came this past May against Hassan N’Dam for the vacant WBA middleweight title at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. In one of the year’s most controversial verdicts, N’Dam prevailed via split decision. The WBA ordered an immediate rematch, and the two judges who scored the bout for N’Dam were suspended for six months and ordered to pass several evaluations before being allowed to judge WBA-sanctioned fights again. Murata got his revenge — and the WBA world title — in the rematch on Oct. 22, when he dominated the action and forced N’Dam to retire on his stool following the seventh round.

Blandamura (27-2, 5 KOs), ranked No. 8 in the WBA middleweight rankings, is a former European middleweight champion who captured the title with a 12-round split decision over Matteo Signani on Dec. 3, 2016. In his last ring outing, on June 17, 2017, Blandamura retained the European title with a unanimous decision against Alessandro Goddi. He later vacated the title and heads into his first world title bout riding a four-bout winning streak.

Showtime Adds Two Featherweight Fights to Lineup

SHOWTIME Sports added two featherweight bouts to its robust boxing schedule with two high-stakes matchups from the U.K. streaming live on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms, free to boxing fans in the U.S.

Former two-division world champion Carl Frampton will battle former four-division champion Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 in Belfast, Ireland for the interim WBO Featherweight Title. Then, on Saturday, May 19, IBF World Champion Lee Selby will defend his 126-pound title against undefeated Josh Warrington live from Leeds, England. Both SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® social media offerings will stream live in the U.S. on SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel. The events are promoted by Frank Warren with live coverage provided by BT Sport and BoxNation.

The previously announced rematch between WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz and former three-division champion Abner Mares will take place just a few weeks later on Saturday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME® from the Staples Center in L.A.

In all, five of the consensus top-10 ranked featherweights will clash on SHOWTIME platforms in two months, including two world champions and four former multi-division champions. These matchups between titleholders and top-ranked featherweights will give further clarity to a stacked division.

“As we’ve seen at welterweight, super welterweight and even heavyweight, the top fighters in the featherweight division are looking to prove that they are undoubtedly the best in the world,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for SHOWTIME. “They are doing so by facing their toughest challengers and ultimately seeking to unify world titles. SHOWTIME proudly leads the industry with fights like these—the most competitive and important fights in boxing’s most talent-laden weight divisions. We commend the fighters who have dedicated themselves to this simple, yet dangerous premise. Their effort has been inspiring and contagious.”

Tyson Fury Sets Return Date and Names New Promoter

Former WBA Super, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has confirmed his return under a new promoter.

Fury caused a colossal upset in his previous bout in November 2015 when he ended the 11-year reign of Wladimir Klitschko with a masterful points victory in Dusseldorf.

Now, the unbeaten 29-year-old (25-0-KO18) will fight for the first time in two-and-a-half years at the Manchester Arena on June 9 after signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren.

Ahead of an official press conference on London’s Park Lane, Fury said: “A lot of people out there are claiming to be the best and I know they’re not.

“They won’t be a match up for me. They’re sluggers and wild punchers and I’m looking forward to getting in there and showing them.

“Let’s say I’m a lot, lot, lot lighter than I’ve been in the past. If Frank asked me to fight this weekend, I’m ready. I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

Warren added: “The heavyweight division should now be put on notice because the lineal champion will be looking to pick back up where he left off.

“I am thrilled Tyson has entrusted us with the responsibility of recharging his career and steering him back to where he once emphatically belonged.

“Were it not for his exploits, the now thriving and fascinating heavyweight scene might have remained stagnant. Tyson’s comprehensive schooling of the Wladimir Klitschko opened all sorts of doors from which others have ultimately benefitted.

“Now Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road back towards world domination once again.

“I am certain the boxing public – who he never lost the affection of – will get behind him in force and support his journey.”

A spokesperson for MTK Global added: “It’s been a long wait but we are delighted with the news that Tyson’s return is now finalised.

“Working with Frank Warren and his team on this has been highly productive and this is just the start of another chapter of success in Tyson’s extraordinary story.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Tyson conquer the world again as he begins his climb back to the top of boxing’s marquee division.”

Ryan Garcia to Face Jayson Velez

Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), the 2017 consensus prospect of the year and pride of Victorville, Calif., headlines a very special edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia, who is the brightest rising star in the sport of boxing today, will kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities as he faces seasoned Puerto Rican contender Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in this spectacular arena that has become the home for great battles.

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

At only 19 years of age, Garcia is the future superstar of boxing. After winning multiple national championships as an amateur and several professional fights in Mexico, Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions in Nov. 2016. Since then, he has won every fight by knockout, including a highlight-reel knockout of Miguel Carrizoza to win the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. In his most recent performance, Garcia defeated Fernando Vargas on the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN via a stunning first-round knockout victory.

“I’m back already and with high expectations,” said Ryan Garcia.”I’m glad to be headlining two times in a row and excited to be fighting in an iconic venue where there have been many wars. I’ve said all along that I was destined for greatness. I’m speaking it to existence, and I will show that on May 4.”

Velez is an experience contender of the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, home of former world champions such as Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, among others. The 30-year-old pugilist has faced the toughest fighters of the competitive 126-pound division, including Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. and Ronny Rios. Velez is coming off three impressive victories, including a unanimous decision win against the previously undefeated Alberto Mercado and back-to-back stoppage victories over former contender Giovanni “El Ruso” Caroand former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

“I will not let my country down as it is a powerful force in boxing,” said Jayson Velez. “If anyone believes that I am only going for the paycheck, they are wrong. As I have proved before, I always give my best and this will not be the exception against Garcia. In the face of all predictions, I will defeat him.”

“Ryan Garcia is going to prove that he’s the next superstar in the sport of boxing,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “After an amazing performance in March, Garcia will now make his debut in an arena that is slowly becoming a legendary battleground for boxing, the StubHub Center.”

In the co-main event, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), the incomparable and explosive Irish contender, will make his Southern California debut in a 10-round middleweight fight presented in association with Murphy’s Boxing. O’Sullivan has faced the likes of current WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, Jr., and he’ll returning after his most significant and impressive victory against Antoine “Action” Douglass via seventh-round technical knockout. O’Sullivan will be next in line for a middleweight title shot if successful on May 4.

Welterweight knockout artist Alexis “Lex” Rocha (11-0, 8 KOs), who without a doubt will be the first world champion to come out of Santa Ana, Calif., will participate in an eight-round 147-pound fight. Rocha has many tools in his southpaw arsenal as he can both fight at the distance and knock people out from the inside.

Ferdinand Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of action in the super welterweight division. Kerobyan is the latest prospect to be signed to the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable and the first fighter under the management of former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey.

Richard “Kansas Kid” Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO), a prospect originally out of Garden City, Kansas, will participate in a four-round super welterweight fight. This exciting puncher out of the Westside Boxing Club promises fireworks as he initiates this exciting card.

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Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Ryan “Kingry” Garcia and Eddie “E-boy” Gomez Score KO Wins


By: Ken Hissner

At the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, Thursday night over ESPN promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions Ryan “Kingry” Garcia and Eddie “E-boy” Gomez scored KO win’s.

In the Main Event, 19 year-old Super Featherweight Ryan “Kingry Flash” Garcia, 14-0 (13), of L.A. stopped Fernando Vargas, 32-14-3 (21), of Tijuana, MEX, at 2:55 of the first round in defense of his NABF Junior Super Featherweight title.

In the first round the shorter Vargas missed a right hand. Vargas landed a right to the chin of Garcia. Garcia used a long jab keeping Vargas at bay. Garcia landed a left hook to the chin of Vargas. Garcia landed a right to the chin of Vargas. As Vargas came forward Garcia led with a right following with a left hook to the chin of Vargas and down he went. He wasn’t beating the count as referee Jerry Cantu waved it off.

“I called it with my left hook. I was nervous in my first main event. I knew when I landed a jab I knew I would catch him,” said Garcia.

In the co-feature Welterweight Eddie “E-boy” Gomez, 21-3 (12), of the Bronx, NY, stopped Keandre Gibson, 18-2-1 (7), of St. Louis, MO, at 0:54 of round 2 in a scheduled 10 rounds.

In the first round there was hardly a punch landed. Talk about a “feeling out” round. In the second round Gomez countered a right over a Gibson jab to the chin and down went Gibson. He beat the count at 8 by referee Tony Kreb but didn’t make eye contact so Kreb waved it off to the objection of Gibson.

Featherweight Joet Gonzalez, 19-0 (11), of L.A., stopped Rolando “Smooth Operator” Magbanua, 28-7 (20), of Pigkawayan, PH, at 2:06 of the 5th round of a scheduled 10 rounds.

Super Bantamweight Emilio Sanchez, 15-1 (10), of North Hollywood, CA, was upset by Eugene “Rambo” Lagos, 13-5-2 (8), of Valencia City, PH, who scored a second round knockout at 0:35 of a scheduled 8 rounds.

Super Welterweight 2016 Olympian Raul “Cougar” Curiel, 3-0 (2), of Guadalajara, MEX, scored 2 knockdowns in stopping Quantavious Green 1-2-1 (1), of Shreveport, LA, at 1:29 of round 2 of a scheduled 6 rounds.

18 year-old Welterweight Aaron “The Silencer” McKenna, 2-0 (1), of Ireland, living in L.A. stopped Jose Palacious, 0-2 (0), of CO, at 2:40 of the first round of a scheduled 4 rounds.

In the first round McKenna pressed the action and after approximately two minutes into the round landed a left to the body dropping Palacious for an 8 count. McKenna jumped on Palacious landing a double left hook to the body of Palacious. A lead right uppercut by McKenna to the chin of Palacious hurt him and he complained of getting hit behind the head but didn’t choose to continue as referee Edward Hernandez had no choice but to halt the fight.

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Mikey Garcia Becomes Four Division Champion in a War with Lipinets


By: Bryant Romero

Mikey Garcia made history Saturday night by becoming just the third fighter in boxing history to win world titles from featherweight through Jr. welterweight becoming a four division champion with a unanimous decision win over Sergey Lipinets ( 13-1, 10 KOs) in a very competitive good fight between two undefeated world champions. Garica (38-0, 30 KOs) showed tremendous toughness, good whiskers, and good accurate punching as he was in very tough tonight in San Antonio, Texas against a young, strong, and very hungry determined world champion in Sergey Lipinets.

The 30-year-old Garcia started the fight very well using his precision and accurate punching from a distance to catch Lipinets with the cleaner more effective shots. Lipinets was not discouraged and was never broken by Mikey as the Kazakhstan fighter showed many wrinkles in his game throughout the contest. Lipinets showed a very accurate jab that would bloody the nose of Mikey Garcia early in the fight. The 28-year-old began to gain momentum in the middle rounds as he was constantly backing Garcia up and landing very good power punches that would get the attention of Mikey Garcia.

Garcia however, stayed composed and showed a very strong chin as he was getting tagged with some big shots from Lipinets in many of the rounds. In round 7, Garcia would have the biggest moment in the fight by dropping Lipinets with a counter left hook and halting some of the momentum Lipinets was gaining in the middle rounds of the bout.

Garcia displayed more punching power in this fight compared to his debut at the weight class against Adrein Broner. Garcia’s accurate counter shots definitely got the attention of Lipinets as the two warriors traded big shots in the championship rounds with both fighters closing the fight very strong in the 12th stanza. Many of the rounds were competitive but it was Garcia that was awarded a comfortable unanimous decision win. Mikey will now move on to bigger and better things as he will have many options to take for his next fight whether it’s returning lightweight division to defend his title or continue to campaign in the super lightweight division.

On the undercard, Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19 KOs) avenged his defeat to Rances Barthlemy (26-1, 13 KOs) last May with a clear unanimous decision win and winning the vacant WBA Jr. Welterweight strap. Relikh would not be denied as he simply outpunched and outworked Barthelmy throughout the bout as the 31-year-old Cuban was unable to match the pace of Relikh. Relikh becomes just the third fighter from Belarus to win a world title.

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Showtime Boxing Results: Mikey Garcia Defeats Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets for IBF title


By: Ken Hissner

Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions and Showtime featured 3-division world champion Mikey Garcia winning his fourth division title defeating IBF World Super Lightweight Champion Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets in the main event. The event was held at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, TX, Saturday night.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

IBF World Super Lightweight Champion Sergey “Samurai” Lipinets, 13-1 (10), of KAZ, and Beverly Hills, CA, lost his title to the former WBO Featherweight, Super Featherweight and WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia, 38-0 (30), of Moreno Valley, CA, over 12 rounds.

In the first round almost a minute went by with little connecting. There were mostly jabs by both boxers with Garcia landing a couple of combinations. In the second round Lipinets does a lot of feinting and using the jab. Garcia landed several chopping rights to the head. With a minute left in the round Garcia rocked Lipinets with a right to the chin. Garcia had a bloody nose.

In the third round Lipinets opened up rocking Garcia who came right back with combinations. Lipinets kept his left hand low while Garcia had his up high. In the fourth round Lipinets landed an overhand right to the head. Referee Lawrence Cole warned Lipinets for a low blow. Garcia landed a lead right to the chin.

In the fifth round Garcia landed a triple left hook. Midway Lipinets landed several left hooks to the head. Garcia countered well. Lipinets ducked into a Garcia left hook. In the sixth round Garcia used his jab well. Lipinets landed a straight right. Garcia came back with a solid right to the head. Garcia landed a combination but got countered by a Lipinets left hook to the chin.

In the seventh round Garcia landed a chopping right and got countered by a right. A counter left hook by Garcia dropped Lipinets at the midway point of the round. Lipinets was up at eight and cut on the left eye brow. In the eighth round Garcia landed a lead right to the head. Lipinets drove Garcia against the ropes with a flurry of punches. Garcia landed a hard right to the chin just prior to the bell.

In the ninth round Garcia boxed well for the first half of the round. Lipinets landed a right followed by a left hook driving Garcia back a few steps. In the tenth round Lipinets kept the pressure on Garcia. At the midway point Garcia rocked Lipinets with a lead right to the chin. Lipinets missed a right and was countered by a Garcia left hook. Garcia ended the round with a right cross to the head of Lipinets.

In the eleventh round Lipinets landed a hard left hook to the head of Garcia. Lipinets came back with a combination to the head. Garcia landed several lead right hands to the head. Both boxers landed left hooks to the head. In the twelfth and final round Lipinets was looking for a knockout seemingly behind. Lipinets landed a solid left hook to the chin. Both fighters left it out in the final minute of the fight.

Judges scores Mark Calo-Dy 116-111 and Julie Lederman and Nelson Vasquez 117-110. This writer had it 116-111.

“I want to thank the beautiful fans in San Antonio for their support. He was very strong and prepared. There were moments I felt I may have hurt him but didn’t want to chance getting hit with an overhand right. I would like to go back to lightweight and unify and back to super lightweight and unify,” said Garcia. “I thought his experience won him the fight,” said Lipinets.

In a rematch the former IBF World Featherweight and IBF World Super Lightweight Champion Cuban Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy, 26-1 (13), of Las Vegas, NV, lost in a lopsided decision to the new champion Kiryl “Mad Bee” Relikh, 22-2 (19), of Minsk, Belarus, for the vacant WBA World Super Lightweight title.

In the first round Barthelemy with hands held high kept moving as Relikh chased. Relikh landed combinations when he was able to catch up with Barthelemy. Barthelemy ended the round with a pair of body shots. In the second round Relikh had Barthelemy on the ropes landing have a dozen unanswered punches.

In the third round Relikh landed more than half a dozen punches keeping Barthelemy on the ropes. Barthelemy landed a combination to the head of Relikh while in the middle of the ring. Relikh landed the best punch of the round a solid right to the head of Barthelemy. In the fourth round Barthelemy stayed in the middle of the ring quite a bit and got out punched when he did. Not much jabbing in the fight as both fighters are head hunting.

In the fifth round Barthelemy was warned about a low blow by referee Luis Pabon. Relikh got through the defense of Barthelemy with uppercuts and straight punches. In the sixth round Barthelemy landed a left hook to the head but got countered by Relikh with his left hook. Barthelemy forced by holding Relikh to go backwards into the ropes and to the canvas. Relikh continued to outwork Barthelemy.

In the seventh round for the third time in the fight Barthelemy warned for low blow and deducted a point. That didn’t stop Relikh from out landing him. In the eighth round Barthelemy landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Relikh. Relikh used a jab and left hooks with chopping right hands to body and head of Barthelemy.

In the ninth round Barthelemy fights in spurts while Relikh lands heavy handed punches. Barthelemy “shoe shines” at the end of the round trying to steal the round in the judge’s eyes. In the tenth round Relikh continued out working Barthelemy. Half way through the round both fighters were throwing punches at each other to the first delight of the fans. What may have looked like a good body punch by Barthelemy was low. A left hook by Relikh to the head of Barthelemy was countered with a flurry of punches.

In the eleventh round only in spurts does Barthelemy land left hooks to the body of Relikh. Barthelemy’s style is not entertaining to the fans and shouldn’t be to the judges. In the twelfth and final round Barthelemy switches from orthodox to southpaw and back. Relikh landed a double left hook to the body. Barthelemy comes forward but not throwing many punches as Relikh countered well. With five seconds to go once again Barthelemy lands a low blow and loses another point. It looked like a shut out for Relikh but since their first fight did and he lost you never know with judges.

Judge Palacano 118-109 Judge Ramos Judge Montoya. This writer had it 120-107.

“The difference this time was I did it with my new trainer. I am very happy and dreamed of this and now it is done,” said Relikh.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preveiw: Garcia vs Lipinets, Barthelemy vs Relikh


By: Bryant Romero

This Saturday will be another stacked night of boxing with two competing cards on Showtime and ESPN. Showtime will be presenting two world title fights at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas with Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) looking to capture a fourth world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges IBF Jr. welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) in the main event. Garcia is looking to become just the third fighter in history to capture world titles from 126 pounds to 140 pounds if he is successful in defeating Lipinets this Saturday night.

Garcia is considered by many in boxing to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and will be heavily favored to defeat Lipinets. While Garcia is certainly a very skillful fighter with boxing skills, punching power, and excellent technique, there is still a strong debate on whether Garcia is truly one of best in the world pound for pound. Garcia is a three-weight world champion but with Adrien Broner being his career best win to date, there is much left to be desired in the career of Mikey Garcia.

The 30-year-old Garcia losing two years of his career while he battled his former promoter Top Rank in court didn’t help matters when it came to his rise in the sport. Still, in his three fights back since his hiatus from the sport, he’s reminded the boxing world how good he is, but can he fulfill his career ambition in becoming one of the biggest names in the sport?

Reportedly turning down a Miguel Cotto and Jorge Linares fight to instead fight an unknown but dangerous champion in Sergey Lipinets may not seem like the smartest of business decisions. However, Garcia is happy with the path he’s taking, will look to make history against Sergey Lipinets, and will eventually set his sights on challenging one of the welterweight champions if he is successful this Saturday.

Lipinets will be looking to spoil all of the plans of Mikey Garcia and frankly he feels disrespected with all the talk of Garcia picking up his fourth world title. Lipinets though is very confident of victory and while he may be an unknown champion, he is a good strong fighter with a lot of experience as a kick boxer and has fought very solid opposition in just 13 pro fights as boxer. An argument can be made that Lipinets could be Garcia’s most interesting challenge to date.

On the undercard, features another world title fight in the 140 pound weight class when Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) takes on Kiryl Relihk (21-2, 19 KOs) for the vacant WBA super lightweight title in a rematch of their wild fight last May. The winner of this fight will put themselves in a strong position for a unification bout with the winner of the Garcia vs Lipinets main event.

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PBC on Showtime Results: Danny Garcia Knocks Out Rios, Benavidez and Ugas Victorious


By: Ken Hissner

Saturday February 17th USA Showtime featured three bouts all worthy of main event status with former champions Garcia and Rios in the main event. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Event Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Former 2-Division Champion Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia, 34-1 (20), stopped former WBA World Lightweight Champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 34-4-1 (24), of Oxnard, CA, at 2:25 of the ninth round in an exciting fight from start to finish. Garcia’s stoppage was the highlight of the night of three great fights!

In the first round Garcia had his way for the most part with the quicker punches and foot work with Rios coming forward as always. In the second round it was Rios pressing and landing more than Garcia through the first half of the round. Garcia started using his jab and throwing combinations to offset the fast start by Rios. In the third round Garcia landed a double left hook to the body of Rios. As Rios pushed Garcia to the ropes Garcia landed half a dozen punches. Rios came back driving Garcia to the ropes with Garcia jabbing his way out of trouble. Rios landed a hard right hand to the chin of Garcia. Just under a minute Rios landed a hard overhand right to the side of the head of Garcia. Garcia came back with a hard right to the chin of Rios. The fans really got into the action.

In the fourth round the boxer-puncher Garcia countered well but the aggressive Rios was backing Garcia up. Garcia landed a good right uppercut to the body but Rios came back with a good right to the chin. With last than half a minute left Garcia rocked Rios. In the final 20 seconds Garcia hurt Rios with a right to the chin. The action was fast and furious. In the fifth round Garcia rocked Rios with a right hand only to have Rios come back with a right uppercut to the chin of Garcia. Garcia landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Rios. In the final minute of the round Garcia gave Rios a wicked body beating. Garcia rocked Rios with a left uppercut to the chin at the bell.

In the sixth round Rios landed a solid short right to the chin of Garcia. At the halfway point Rios had Garcia on the defense. Rios countered a Garcia right with a right to the chin of his own. It was a big round for Rios. At the halfway point of the fight it looked even. In the seventh round Rios was driving Garcia around the ring with Garcia doing his best to keep him off with a jab and landed a good right to the chin with a minute left in the round. With half a minute left in the round Garcia was moving well and landing well. Garcia may have stolen the round at the end.

In the eighth round Garcia landed a 3-punch combination. Rios came back with good body work. At the halfway mark Garcia landed quick left hooks to the body of Rios. Rios pinned Garcia to the ropes but was countered well by Garcia. There was action right up to the end of the round. In the ninth round Garcia boxed well and at the halfway point Garcia rocked Rios with right hands. Out of nowhere came a powerful right cross by Garcia dropping Rios hard to the canvas. As Rios beat the count he was asked by referee Kenny Bayless to step forward and it was obvious Rios was finished making Bayless to wisely call a halt.

“I first want to thank God and Al Haymon and my dad when of the best trainers in the world. I want to thank my family. I noticed he was open in the middle of the ring when I landed that punch to drop him. I would like to have a rematch with Keith Thurman but that’s up to him (has a fight in May),” said Garcia. Unfortunately Shawn Porter got into the ring while Garcia was being interviewed by Jim Gray causing a shouting match back and forth. Garcia got the best of that shouting match.

The judges had Garcia in front 78-74 from Dave Moretti and 77-73 by Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Trowbridge. This writer had Garcia in front 77-75 taking the last two rounds big. Garcia’s power proved to be the difference. He and Thurman are on a collision course for a rematch in what is possibly the most talented division in boxing today.

Philadelphia southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3 (12), was knocked down twice losing in an upset to Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 21-3 (10), out of Miami, FL, at 1:05 of the seventh round with Ugas becoming No. 2 in the IBF rankings.

In the first round Robinson’s jab keeps Ugas on the defense though coming forward. A right from Ugas to the chin of Robinson drops him. Whether he stepped on Robinson’s foot it wasn’t clear. Both boxers landed solid exchanges bringing the fans cheering. In the second round Ugas kept stalking Robinson landing a lead right to the chin of Robinson. Robinson came back using a good jab keeping Ugas honest. In the third round Robinson missed with a right hook and got countered to the body by Ugas. Ugas landed an overhand right followed by a left jab keeping Robinson from countering.

In the fourth round Ugas lands right leads to the head of Robinson. Ugas landed a combination to the mid-section of Robinson. Ugas landed at the bell with a right while Robinson landed a punch after losing a point after dropping Ugas. In the fifth round Robinson is not doing well with the left hand keeping the jab on the most part to score points. Ugas is landing well with the rights to the head of Robinson.

In the sixth round Robinson started landing the left more but Ugas seemed to get the better with his right hand. Just prior to the bell Ugas landed a hard right to the chin of Robinson causing Robinson to complain to referee Robert Byrd. In the seventh round a powerful wide right hand to the chin dropped Robinson. He got up but on shaky legs. Ugas jumped on him landing a flurry of punches causing referee Byrd to stop the fight with Robinson throwing the last two punches. Robinson complained to the stoppage by Byrd. Ugas was ahead at the end on all the judges scorecards.

In the co-feature WBC World Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 20-0 (17), of Phoenix, AZ, in a rematch with Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-3-1 (14), out of Las Vegas, NV, pitched a shut out in what was an exciting brawl over 12 rounds.

In the opening round it only took Benavidez 10 seconds to land a right after a jab to the head of Gavril. This was a rematch from Benavidez winning a split decision over Gavril. Benavidez was landing right hands to the head of Gavril. With a minute left in the round Gavril landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Benavidez. Benavidez using a good jab and a follow-up right had a good round. In the second round Benavidez controlled with his jab. It took Gavril a minute into the round to land a solid right to the head of Benavidez. Gavril was pressing forward but getting countered well by Benavidez. Benavidez is landing a hard right almost at will in the last 20 seconds of the round.

In the third round it took 20 seconds when Benavidez hurt Gavril with a powerful right hand to the chin. Benavidez landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Gavril. Gavril out of frustration pushed Benavidez back without warning from referee Russell Mora. Benavidez landed a 3-punch combination having his way with Gavril. In the fourth round Gavril came out aggressively and got caught with a right hand and left hook that had him almost out on his feet as he was driven into the ropes. Gavril at the halfway point of the round fought back but Benavidez answered with rights to the head. Benavidez landed half a dozen punches without return from Gavril. Benavidez ended the round bouncing right hands off the head of Gavril.

In the fifth round halfway through the first minute of the round Benavidez landed a solid right to the head of Gavril. Not only was Benavidez quicker but punched harder. With 20 seconds left in the round it was Gavril landing a combination with the right to the head of Benavidez rocking him. In the sixth round Benavidez continued to dominate Gavril up to the final minute before Gavril came back on solid punches of his own. Benavidez came back near the end of the round as the fight started to heat up even more.

In the seventh round it turned into a battle with Benavidez still getting the best of it though Gavril got in some right hands to the head. In the eighth round Gavril comes out throwing more punches through the first minute of the round but got caught with several uppercuts from Benavidez. It turned into a war in this round. For the first time in the fight Benavidez backed into the ropes allowing Gavril to throw punches. Benavidez smiled and started punching Gavril backwards with solid combinations highlighted by a left uppercut to the chin. The fans loved the action.

In the ninth round Benavidez came out with triple jabs followed by a right to the head of Gavril. Gavril’s corner is yelling “show us something Ron.” He has been taking a beating in this round from Benavidez. With less than a minute left in the round Gavril tries landing punches but Benavidez answers with more fire power. Gavril’s nose was bleeding at the end of the round. In the tenth round Benavidez was having his way up until the halfway point when a game Gavril flurried until a solid right from Benavidez to the chin stopped Gavril’s offense. It looked like Benavidez was wondering how Gavril is still standing at the end of the round. The ring physician checked Gavril between rounds.

In the eleventh round Gavril continues to come forward looking for that one punch knowing he is way behind on points. Benavidez has kept his hands to his side the entire fight but his quickness of hand he still beats Gavril to the punch. He ends the final 20 seconds painting the face of Gavril with his jab. In the twelfth and final round Benavidez keeps ahead backing up landing his jab. At the halfway point it was Gavril rocking Benavidez with a solid right to the head. Just under a minute left in the fight Gavril backs up Benavidez into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Gavril knows he needs a knockout and he is doing his best to land that punch. The fans loved this one with both fighters giving them their monies worth. Gavril was marked up at the end but what a gallant effort on his part taking twice as many punches than he landed.

Judge Julie Lederman had it 119-109 while Robert Hoyle and Glenn Feldman had it 120-108 as did this writer.

“I kept punching (questioned about hand injuries) for I am a warrior. I want to thank Al Haymon and my team (then went into Spanish thanking the Mexican fans for their support),” said Benavidez.

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PBC on Showtime Preview: Garcia vs. Rios, Benavidez vs. Gavril, Ugas vs. Robinson


By: B.A. Cass

On Saturday, February 17, Premier Boxing Champions brings us a tripleheader that includes an IBF eliminator fight and the title shot for WBC Super Middleweight belt. The SHOWTIME coverage is set to begin at 10 PM EST.

The main event will be between the matched Danny Garcia and Brian Rios. The co-main event will the rematch between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril. And the first televised fight will be between Yordenis Ugas and Ray Robinson.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Yordenis Ugas (20-3) vs. Ray Robinson (24-2); Welterweight

After losing to Shawn Porter in 2010, Robinson has stacked up 13 consecutive wins. The talent he has faced has not been exceptional. Nevertheless, he will step into the ring on Saturday night feeling supremely confident. “I’m an old-school fighter,” he said on Wednesday at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. “I love fighting guys that look good on paper and nobody knows who’s going to win and it’s up to his camp and my camp. I haven’t been this excited for a fight in a long time.” Robinson expects Ugas to give him hell, and he expects to give him hell back.

The Cuban-born Ugas, who fights out of Miami, rose to some prominence after winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics. As a professional, he has suffered three losses. “I know what’s at stake,” he said on Wednesday. “It is the biggest fight of my career.”

This is about as even as boxing fights get. Robinson is 32; Ugas is 31. And neither fighter can claim a significant height or reach advantage.

However, the prize for winning is essentially an opportunity to meet defeat: this is an IBF 147-pound eliminator, and the victor will face Errol Spence Jr.

David Benavidez (19-0) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2); Super Middleweight

When Benavidez defeated Gavril last September by split decision, he won the WBC Super Middleweight title and became the youngest ever world champion in the super middleweight division. “Winning the title changed my confidence but it changed my work too,” he said on Wednesday at the press conference for the fight. “Now I know everybody is gunning for my title and I don’t want to let it go. All the work and sacrifice it took for me to get this – I’m not going to let it go.”

One of only two men who has gone the distance with Benavidez, the older Gavril (he’s got ten years on Benavidez) surprised a lot of fight fans last time around. It was a close fight. Gavril got rocked in the eleventh round but came back the twelfth round with a blow that knocked Benavidez on his ass. As a late replacement, Gavril had only four weeks to prepare for his first fight with Benavidez. He had a full ten-week training camp this time around. If he wins, he’ll be able to bring WBC belt back to his home country of Romania. “I’m not looking for a knockout,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m looking to win every round.”

Benavidez doesn’t intend to give up his championship belt. “I don’t think Gavril can do any better than he did in the last fight. He’s a one trick pony and he doesn’t have many tricks left. He’s getting old.”

The WBC did not mandate this fight, which means Benavidez took it willingly. There can be only one reason for that: he wants to put all doubts about his supremacy to rest. “I’m thinking it will be a knockout around Round 5,” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of the body and chin.”

Danny Garcia (33-1) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3-1); Welterweight

Garcia is still talking about Keith Thurman, who delivered Garcia his only professional loss. “I don’t blame Keith Thurman for not wanting to fight me again,” he said at the press conference Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want to fight me two times in a row.” Garcia hasn’t fought since losing to Garcia, which means when he steps into the ring he’ll be coming off an 11-month hiatus. He has an opportunity to impress, and he doesn’t intend to lose.

After being by dominated by Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2015, Rios retired from the sport. However, he came back 19 months later to defeat Aaron Herrera. Rios took a lot of shots before he finally KO’d Herrera. If he’s smart, Garcia will look to exploit this vulnerability.

Although Garcia is the clear favorite, Rios isn’t coming for just a paycheck. He a pressure fighter and knows how to make necessary adjustments. He’s ready to fight, and he’s excited to face Garcia. “One thing I like is he doesn’t move or run,” Rios said of Garcia. “He likes to bang it out, and that suits my style better. But if he does run, we’ll be ready for that too.”

Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, WBSS, Hernandez, Carto, Beltran, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 16th to January 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets Rescheduled for March 10th

The highly anticipated showdown between undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 10th. The Premier Boxing Champions event was set to take place on February 10th, but Garcia’s quest for a fourth world title had to be rescheduled following a training injury to Lipinets’ hand. The fight will be live on SHOWTIME and will remain in San Antonio but move to the Freeman Coliseum.

Ticket information will be released early next week. Those holding tickets for the original date at the Alamodome will receive priority on seat exchange for the new venue. Tickets are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and will be available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 210 556-6390. The event is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, in association with Leija-Battah Promotions.

The remainder of the card will remain the same including the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, which will see two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.

The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.

Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.

With a win, Garcia would become only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao*.

The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.

Nico Hernandez to Fight on February 10th

2016 Olympic bronze medalist and hometown hero Nico Hernandez has fully recovered from an injury that postponed his December 2nd fight to Saturdeay, February 10, versus Hungarian champion Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas flyweight title, headlining the “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” card, at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.

“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Park City (KS), Twister City Harley-Davidson and Metro PCS.

The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.

The 22-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, suffered an undisclosed injury that forced him to withdraw from the Dec. 2nd fight. Neither Hernandez nor his promoter, John Andersen (KO Night Boxing, LLC), have revealed any details about Nico’s injury to avoid giving his opponent any possible advantage to target in the ring.

“I feel good, ready to fight,” Hernandez commented. “We wanted to make sure that I was injury free and I am 100-percent. I’m going to do whatever is needed to win this fight. Fighting for my first title means a lot to me. I didn’t think it would happen this fast. I want everybody to see that I can be competitive with the best in my division. A win February 10th will get me there a lot closer.

“My opponent like to runs a lot and he’s quick, so I need to have my legs under me. Other than that, though, I should be okay. He has fought some good guys. I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans.”

Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs), who is one year and six days younger than Hernandez, has already fought in five title fights. He also went the full 10-round distance, albeit in a loss by decision in 2016, to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion. Fighting in his opponent’s hometown isn’t a problem for Ajtai, who has vast road experience having fought as a pro in the USA, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia.

“Nico will not know where I will be in the ring,” Ajtai predicted. “When he looks to the left for me, I will go to the right; when he tries to find me on the right, I will be on the left. When he wants to rest, I will come forward punching; when he wants to punch, he won’t find me.

“I have a plan for this fight and I’m sure he does as well. But, in the ring, only one fighter’s plan can succeed. It’s going to be a good fight, but I can’t promise the public that Nico will be the winner.”

“I’m excited that Nico is 100-percent healthy for this fight,” Andersen said. “We couldn’t be happier to bring this great fight, and many more as we move forward, to the great city of Wichita.”

In the six-round co-featured event, Minneapolis welterweight Javonte Starks (13-2, 7 KOs), a former Future Stars National Champion as an amateur, takes on veteran Mexican fighter Cesar Soriano (28-36-1, 17 KOs), the former FECARBOX lightweight titlist.
Tickets for Beltran-Moses Are on Sale
World championship boxing returns the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno Nevada! No. 1 world-rated lightweight contender RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN, fighting for his first world championship belt and his green card to stay in the U.S. with his family, will headline an all-action card on Friday, February 16, in the Grand Sierra Resort’s Grand Theatre. Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs), from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be battling former world champion and current No. 2 world-rated contender PAULUS MOSES (39-3, 24 KOs), from Windhoek, Namibia, for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight world title. The co-main event will feature undefeated NABF welterweight champion EGIDIJUS “The Mean Machine” KAVALIAUSKAS (18-0, 15 KOs), from Oxnard, Calif., by way of Kaunas, Lithuania, defending his title against former world champion DAVID “Ava” AVANESYAN (23-2-1, 11 KOs), of Pyatigorsk, Russia, in a 10-round battle of Top-10 world-rated contenders. Both title fights will be televised live and exclusively at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. EST. The championship event will also feature the return of 2016 Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON (4-0, 2 KOs), of Newark, NJ. Stevenson has a unique relationship with Reno, where he began each year from 2013 through 2015 by winning a national amateur title. Additionally, he won the gold medal and Outstanding Boxer award at the 2016 Olympic Trials. Stevenson has never lost in Reno

Two-time world heavyweight championship challenger and current Top-10 world- rated contender BRYANT JENNINGS (21-2, 12 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA, will also be featured on the undercard, in an eight-round bout. Jennings, who is a vegan, appears in “The Game Changers,” a documentary directed by Louie Psihoyos, the Oscar®-winning director of “The Cove.” “The Game Changers” tells the story of James Wilks — elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter — as he travels the world on a quest for the truth behind the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health. It premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Let’s Get It On Promotions, tickets to the Beltran-Moses world championship event will go on sale Tomorrow! Wednesday, January 24, at 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST. Priced at $79, $54, and $29, including facility fees, tickets may be purchased online at www.grandsierra.com, at the Grand Theater Box Office, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT, daily, or charge by phone at 1-775-789-1115.

“There isn’t a more inspiring story in boxing than Ray Beltran’s,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “It hasn’t been an easy road for Ray, but he has more than met the challenge time and time again. I can’t think of a better way to start Ray’s 2018 season than with this tremendous world championship fight. I am also looking forward to seeing the welterweight battle between Egidijus Kavaliauskas and David Avanesyan which should be nothing but fireworks. And no one lights up a night better than Shakur Stevenson, with his fast hands and bright smile.”

“I’m excited about this fight for many reasons. I’m fighting for myself, for my eighteen years I have worked to become a world champion, I am fighting for my family, my wife, and for my children to be proud of me,” said Beltran. “When you’re a champion, you are a champion forever. I am fighting for my team, the people who have been with me from the start. It’s easy when you are on your way up to have fans, but my true fans have been with me at my lowest, and stayed through my highs in life. This fight means everything to me, a victory will also seal my green card. For me to be world champion, and a citizen of this country, this is my dream. I respect my opponents always, but this is my destiny, and no man will get in the way of that. I’m ready to prove to everyone that I am the most dangerous lightweight in the world. I’m coming February 16th to take what was mine in Scotland, and when I leave Reno I am leaving as the WBO world champion.”

“I would like to thank God for this amazing opportunity. I have had a blessed boxing career and all thanks to everybody who supported me over the years. Thanks to my Promoter and mentor Nestor Tobias and to an amazing forward looking visionary sponsor in MTC who continues to push us to become only the best,” said Moses. “It’s been an incredibly positive week. I am honoured to have recently been inducted as a MTC Sports Legend, the highest sports honour in Namibia and now an amazing opportunity to fight Beltran who I highly regard, and of course an opportunity for me to become world champion again. I look forward to this fight and doing my country proud once again.”

“I don’t remember much about Avanesyan when we were in the amateurs. But he will, for sure, be my toughest opponent in the ring,” said Kavaliauskas. “I am very excited to show the best of me in this fight. Thank you, Top Rank and ESPN for giving me this opportunity — one step closer to getting a world title belt.”

“I am so glad and proud for the Mean Machine to climb to a new level. Thank you, Top Rank for giving the Machine an opportunity to make his debut on ESPN,” said Egis Klimas, who manages Kavaliauskas.

“This is a great opportunity for me to return to the top of the welterweight division,” said Avanesyan. “My trainer and I are working very hard on my conditioning, strength and strategy because we know what is at stake and we know Egidijus brings to the fight. And make no mistake, this is a fight.”

“I’m ready to kick off 2018 in my first eight-round fight. I’ve been wanting to go eight rounds for awhile now and I’m excited to finally get the opportunity in my first fight of the year.” said Stevenson. “I’m undefeated in Reno and won four national titles there in the amateurs, including the 2016 Olympic Trials, so I plan to keep that streak going on February 16.”

“Grand Sierra Resort is thrilled to host this exciting championship fight card and generate national TV exposure for the Reno-Tahoe region,” Christopher Abraham, VP of Marketing at Grand Sierra Resort said. “We are thrilled to work with such outstanding partners as Top Rank, ESPN and Let’s Get It On Promotions.”

Beltran, a native of Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., enters this fight having won four of his last fights by knockout. A three-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. Beltran is fighting for more than just a world title. He is fighting to obtain his green card so that he can remain in the U.S. with his family under the Extraordinary Ability as a Professional Boxing (EB-1) Employment-Based First Preference category.. A world title victory will all but assure him of his permanent status. Recent career highlights include one-punch knockout victories over Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KOs) and Jonathan Maicelo (32-1, 24 KOs) on December 10, 2016 and May 20, 2017, respectively. In his most recent fight, Beltran solidified his upcoming world title shot by winning a gritty majority decision over former two-time interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez (36-2, 19 KOs), on August 5. Vasquez was world-rated No. 1 by the WBA when they fought. Beltran is currently world-rated No. 1 by the WBO and the World Boxing Council (WBC).

Moses captured the WBA world lightweight title in 2009, traveling to Yokohama, Japan to defeat defending champion and hometown favorite Yusuke Kobori via a unanimous decision. After one successful title defense — another unanimous decision victory, this time over Takehiro Shimada, Moses’ 15-monthn reign as world champion ended in 2010 at the hands of Miguel Acosta. Since losing a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in their 2012 WBO lightweight world championship fight, Moses has strung together an impressive record of 11-1, 1 NC, including TKO victories over Cosmas Cheka and Crispin Moliati in his last two fights and a two-year reign as WBO International lightweight champion and his current 14-month reign as WBO Africa lightweight champion. Moses, a veteran who has fought professionally in Asia, Europe and Africa, will be making his North America debut.
World Boxing Super Series Semi-Finals Schedule
Super Channel, the No. 1 destination network for Canadian boxing fans, will air the upcoming semifinals of the popular World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament, featuring world-class cruiserweight and super middleweight divisions action, live from various venues in Europe.

Super Channel acquired exclusive rights in Canada to air the entire WBSS tournament from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.

“We are thrilled that the WBSS is returning to Super Channel for exclusive Canadian coverage of the highly anticipated semifinals,” said Troy Wassill, Director of Programming, Domestic Distributors and Sports. “I have no doubt that every single bout is going to deliver exciting, must-see action for boxing fans, as these world-class fighters compete to see who is going to go head-to-head for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.”

WBSSis a revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament featuring the world’s best boxers and a total of $50 million in prize money. The knockout format of the competition will see the best boxers ultimately compete for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, the greatest prize in boxing. The tournament is organized by newly-founded Comosa AG, a Swiss-registered company with principal owners Highlight Event & Entertainment, Modern Times Group and Team Sauerland. Comosa AG is working in partnership with boxers, promoters and managers around the world, and in alignment with the four major world boxing federations, to create a new global platform for the sport.

The first of its kind tournament, which is planned to take place on an annual basis, kicked off this past September with quarterfinals competition in two divisions, cruiserweight and super middleweight. An expert panel invited the world’s best boxers to compete, namely the top 15-ranked fighters of the four major federations: WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO. The winners of the two semifinals will advance to the championship round in both divisions this May.

Below find the WBSS semifinals schedule and a preview of the four matches and eight fighters who survived the quarterfinals:
January 27, Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia – WBO/WBC Unification
Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), WBO World Champion, Ukraine – Ring #1 vs. Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs), WBC World Champion, Latvia – Ring #3
February 3, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia – IBF/WBA Unification
Murat “Iron” Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs), IBF World Champion, Russia – Ring #2 vs. Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), WBA World Champion, Cuba – Ring #5
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS
February 17, Manchester, Arena, Manchester, UK – WBA/IBO Unification
“Saint” George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), WBA World Champion, United Kingdom – Ring #2 vs. Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs), IBO World Champion, United Kingdom – Ring #4
February 24, Arena Nurnberger Versicherung, Nuremburg, Germany
Juergen Braehmer (49-3 35 KOs), Germany – Ring #10 (Former WBO & WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion) vs. Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), United Kingdom – Ring #3 (WBC Diamond Super Middleweight Champion)

Christian Carto to Face James Smith on March 2nd
Popular and undefeated bantamweight Christian Carto will headline a packed night of boxing when he takes on James Smith in an eight-round bout on Friday, March 2nd at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

The card is promoted by King’s Promotions.

Carto of Philadelphia has a record of 13-0 with 11 knockouts. The 21 year-old has established himself as one of the top prospects in Philadelphia, and the popular Carto continues to draw large and enthusiastic crowds to his fights.

Carto, who had a very active 2017 as he mustered seven victories and has a signature win over Alonso Melendez (14-1). Carto is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over Luis Fernando Saavedra on December 1st at The SugarHouse Casino.

This will be Carto’s 7th appearance at The SugarHouse Casino.

Smith of Detroit has a record of 12-1 with seven knockouts.

The 27 year-old is a seven-year professional, who won his first 11 bouts, which was highlighted by a win over Olimjon Nazarov (14-2).

After suffering his lone defeat, Smith won his last bout as he stopped Yaqub Kareem on August 4, 2017 in Detroit.

In an eight-round all-Philadelphia super middleweight bout, Christopher Brooker (12-5, 5 KOs) battle Jamaal Davis (16-12-1, 7 KOs).

In an eight-round bout, Tyrone Crawley, Jr. (7-0) of Philadelphia takes on Anthony Mercado (10-3, 9 KOs) of Arecibo, PR in a super lightweight bout.

David Gonzales (8-2-2, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia will fight Victor Vazquez (9-3, 3 KOs) of Yonkers, NY in a super lightweight contest.

Undefeated Marcus Bates (8-0-1, 6 KOs) of Washington, DC will take on an opponent to be named in a eight-round super bantamweight fight.

Carlos Rosario (7-3, 4 KOs) of Pennsauken, NJ will square off with Seifullah Wise (3-4, 1 KO) of Philadelphia in a super featherweight fight.

Darius Ervin (4-1) of Los Angeles tangles with Jesus Perez (3-0, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a super lightweight fight.

Jerrod Miner (1-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia fights Rondarrius Hunter (1-2, 1 KO) of Atlanta in a four-round super flyweight bout.

Tickets are on sale for $100, $75, $50, and can be purchased at SugarHouseBoxing.eventbrite. com.

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