By: William Holmes
On Saturday, November 17th Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing will put on a stacked card live from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas on the DAZN streaming service.
The card was originally scheduled to take place in Atlantic City, but the addition of Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez, already a big draw in Kansas, was a factor in the change of venues.
The card is stacked with talent, including fighters such as Anthony Sims, Gabriel Rosado, Luis Arias, Nico Hernandez, and Canelo’s older brother Ramon Alvarado.
The main event of the evening is a heavyweight bout between Jarell Miller and Bogdan Dinu, with future title implications on the line. The co-main event of the evening is between Claressa Shields and Hannah Rankin for Shield’s IBF and WBA titles as well as the vacant WBC Middleweight Title.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Claressa Shields (6-0) vs. Hannah Rankin (5-2); IBF/WBA/WBC Women’s Middleweight Titles
Claressa Shields is one of the biggest names in woman’s boxing, and she has her sight set on some possible big money matches against Christina Hammer, she first has to get past Scottish boxer Hannah Rankin.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Shields is easily one of the top pound for pound female boxers in the sport today. She’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and her only loss as an amateur was to Savannah Marshall. She’s never tasted defeat and has two stoppage wins on her record. She’s the same size as Rankin, both stand at about 5’8”. But she’s five years younger than Rankin as Shields is only 23 years old.
Rankin only has one stoppage win on her resume and she did not have the amateur success that Shields enjoyed. Rankin however, has never been stopped but did lost her last bout
Both boxers have been fairly active. Shields fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017. Rankin fought three times in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Shields only has six professional fights but has never faced an opponent with a losing record. She has defeated the likes of Nikki Adler, Tori Nelson, Hanna Gabriels, and Szilvia Szabados. Rankin’s best win to date was against Sanna Turunen. She has lost to the likes of Joanna Ekedahl and Alicia Napoleon. Her wins include wins against opponents with records of 10-47-3 and 2-21-1.
Shields is an exciting fighter to watch, but Rankin is an opponent with little to no shot of winning. Shields should win easily on Saturday.
Jarrell Miller (22-0-1) vs. Bogdan Dinu (18-0); WBA “World” Heavyweight Title
Jarrell Miller is a very large heavyweight boxer who had a prior successful career as a kickboxer. He’s thirty years old, two years younger than his opponent, but will be giving up about one inch in height to Dinu. But Miller will undoubtedly be heavier than Dinu.
Photo Credit:DAZN USA Twitter Account
When he fought Gerald Washington he weighed in at 298 pounds.
Miller is known for his knockout power. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, and only one of his past ten opponents made it to the final bell. However, Dinu also has considerable power. He has stopped fourteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight win by stoppage streak.
Miller had some success in the United States as an amateur. He was a NY Golden Gloves Finalist. Dinu had some success on the European Amateur Circuit as a child, but neither boxer was highly successful on the international stage.
Miller has fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Dinu has yet to fight in 2018 and had two fights in 2017 and two fights in 2016. Inactivity may be an issue for Dinu.
Dinu has fought exclusively in Romania and Canada and has not faced the level of competition that Miller has faced. His best wins to date were over Marino Goles and Kertson Manswell.
Miller has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Tomasz Adamek, Johan Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Gerald Washington, and Fred Kassi.
This is a fight that Miller should win, but Dinu has the power to test Miller’s chin and the height to match Miller. A win for Miller could lead to a future showdown with fellow DAZN fighter, Anthony Joshua.
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Antonio Tarver Credits USA Boxing for Giving Him Structure That Carried Him to the Top
Future Hall of Famer Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver (31-6-1, 1 NC, 22 KOs) has just about done it all as a boxer having been an Olympic medal winner and world champion as an amateur, along with capturing five major light heavyweight world titles as a professional, as well as a pair of The Ring magazine’s top honors, and four other world championships in two different divisions.
“I credit USA Boxing for giving me structure for the first time in my life,” Tarver explained. “Everything was scheduled; curfew, eating, training, sleep….everything! I then understood that I had to be accountable for everything I did. I had talent, but I wasn’t structured, and that was bigger than me. I had to adjust to authority. My determination took off, giving me support I never had before. I went on to make speaking engagements and get sponsors. I broke barriers. I’ve been the best at every level that I fought at in the world.”
Tarver was a highly decorated amateur who had an amazing 158-12 record. He is the only boxer to capture gold medals at World Amateur Championships, U.S. National Championships and Pan-American Games in the same year (1995). The Orlando, Florida-born southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Vassiliy Jirov, who Tarver had defeated in the semifinals of the 1995 World Amateur Championships. Tarver also won top honors at the 1994 National Golden Gloves Tournament and 1995 World Championships Challenge.
“I went on a winning roll in 1995 and went into the Olympics in rare form,” Tarver said. “And that’s why I was favored to win a gold medal. I was hitting him (Jirov), the same guy I’d beaten in the World Championships, but no points were registering for me. I had a good second round, but I was down three points, so I threw my game plan away in the third round. I felt I had to do more and got away from my style: counter punching, not getting hit, and being patient. I thought I had won and so did a lot of people. I made up for that, though, with a gold-medal professional career.
“I had been faced with a decision about going pro after I was beaten in the ’92 Olympic Trials. I decided to stay in the amateurs, despite not having any guarantees about making the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. I sacrificed four years of my pro career, which is why I turned pro at a relatively late age (27). I was determined when I found out the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. I think I made the right decision and I have no regrets.
“I had always dreamed of going to the Olympics. I saw Roy Jones, Jr – we first fought each other at 13 – get robbed of gold. I was watching that on television, jumped up, and knew where I was heading: The Olympics! We both suffered horrible decisions in the Olympics and I knew then that our careers would be parallel.
Tarver made his pro debut February 18, 1997 in Philadelphia, stopping Joaquin Garcia (4-0) in the second round.
“I was an Olympic bronze medal winner but when I first turned pro,” Tarver added, “I didn’t have a promoter or manager. Nobody was willing to take a chance on me until I was 4-0, when I signed by first contract with Russell Peltz. I felt nobody could beat me.”
Nobody was able to beat Tarver, at least until his 17th pro fight, when Eric Harding defeated Tarver by way of a 12-round unanimous decision.
Two years later, Tarver embarked on a 12-fight murderer’s row stretch during the next seven years, arguably establishing him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It all started with a successful rematch with Harding (21-1-1) in Indianapolis, when Tarver dropped Harding in the fourth round, plus twice more in the fifth, on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout to avenge his lone pro loss to that date.
Next up for Tarver was a showdown with 44-3 Montell Griffin for the WBC and IBF 175-pound division titles, which were vacated by Roy Jones Jr., April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. In his first world title shot as a pro, Tarver pitched a complete shutout, decking Griffin in the first and last rounds to shut out his opponent by scores of 120-103 from all three judges.
Seven months later, however, Tarver lost a controversial 12-round majority decision and his WBC crown (he was stripped of his IBF belt) to WBA Super and IBO champion Jones in Las Vegas. The following May at the venue, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, though, Tarver became the first to knockout Jones, putting him to sleep in the second round.
Tarver then became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on late-night shows and covers of The Ring magazine and KO Magazine, and co-hosting an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast.
“I was robbed in my first fight with Roy,” Tarver insisted. “They called my knockout of Roy the greatest upset in light heavyweight history. Why didn’t they see me coming? I had beaten everybody ranked ahead of me. Roy was the pound-4-pound king, but he knew. I may not be the fastest, the quickest, or the strongest, but I doubt that there’s ever been a pro fighter to enter the ring with a higher IQ than me. Even at my age, I still feel that way today.”
The WBC stripped Tarver of his title in 2004 for fighting IBF champion Glen Johnson (41-9-2) instead of the WBC mandatory challenger. Johnson, ironically, was stripped of his IBF title for the same reason right before his fight in Los Angeles with Tarver. Tarver and Johnson fought for The Ring and IBO titles and Johnson won a 12-round split decision.
In their rematch six months later in Memphis, Tarver won a unanimous 12-round decision over Johnson to capture the IBO strap. Tarver completed his trilogy with Jones, retaining his IBO title with a unanimous 12-round decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112).
Tarver lost a 12-round decision June 10, 2006 in Atlantic City to Bernard Hopkins for the IBO championship, which was soon vacated and recaptured by Tarver with a 12-round majority decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3).
Tarver traveled to Australia in 2011 to challenge IBO cruiserweight champion and local hero Danny Green, who retired after nine rounds, as Tarver added another title belt to his display case.
In December of 2013 in Temecula, California, Tarver knocked out Jonathon Banks (29-2-1) in the seventh round, and Tarver’s last fight was a 12-round split decision draw with former world champion Steve Cunningham (28-7) in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2006, Tarver starred as Mason “The Line” Dixon, the heavyweight champion in the film, Rocky Balboa.
Tarver, as he marches towards his planned history-making performance by becoming the oldest heavyweight world champion of all-time, also has served as a color commentator in boxing for Spike TV and Showtime.
Today, at the age of 49, Tarver is still technically active, and he also trains his son and undefeated middleweight prospect, Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0 (4 KOs), where they live in Tampa, Florida.
“I was older than the rest of the boxers on the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. National Team,” Tarver remarked. “What a team! Guys like Diego Corrales and Zab Judah didn’t make that Olympic Team. I gave Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his first moniker, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, until he changed it years later to ‘Money’. We had a bond on that Olympic team with Floyd, Fernando Vargas, David Reid, Zarim Raheem and the others.”
Although at the age of 49 he is still an active fighter, Tarver occassionally does some color commentating and he trains pro and amateur boxers at a gym in Tampa, Florida. “I’m not retired as a fighter,” Tarver commented. “I started a program, ‘Train with The Champ’, and it includes room rent and training. I like to say it’s an AirB&B for boxing. I train my son (5-0 middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. there. I learned a lot from my early days, training in Orlando with my coach, Lou Harris, and I reunited with Jimmy Williams, who is 90 now, training my son together in Tampa.
Tarver also is an advocate of the relatively new “USA Boxing Alumni Association,” which was created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — the Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
“I’m going online to join,” Tarver said. “I’m looking forward to attending an Alumni Association meeting, June 24-30 during the Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.
Everything that goes around, comes around, in USA Boxing. Just ask future Hall of Fame candidate Antonio Tarver.
Oscar De La Hoya Delivers Keynote Address to International Sports Marketing and Media Executives
Boxing legend, businessman and philanthropist Oscar De La Hoya kicked off the SPORTELSummit 2018 as the keynote speaker May 16 in Miami Beach before an exclusive audience of decision makers from the international sports marketing and media industries that shape the business for tomorrow.
As the keynote for SPORTELSummit 2018,De La Hoya shared insights from his decades of fighting, from winning the Gold medal at the ’92 Barcelona Summer Olympics to reaching the top of boxing’s professional ranks as one of the best fighters in recent history. De La Hoya transitioned successfully from fighting upon retiring in 2009 to lead his company, Golden Boy Promotions, as one of boxing’s best and most respected promoters around the world. De La Hoya has been at the forefront of moving the sport of boxing into the digital age, having launched Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in 2015, a new division of his company devoted to live streaming and delivering engaging, timely content on the sport to online audiences around the world.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of some of the biggest sporting events in recent history, whether as the athlete or promoter on the business side, and I’m pleased to share my experiences from those opportunities and how I’ve built a successful boxing promotions company with other decision makers in the sports business world at SPORTEL Summit 2018,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya continued, “I created Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in response to consumers seeking more live boxing content online. Golden Boy Media and Entertainment was the first to record fights in virtual reality and broadcast live in virtual reality. Because of the changes and new ideas Golden Boy Media and Entertainment is bringing to the boxing world, we are beginning to see a shift in the sport. Other boxing promoters followed our lead and are implementing our ideas in their own ways.They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I couldn’t agree more.”
A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, De La Hoya is known around the world not only as one of the best fighters of his era, but as an elite promoter, Grammy-nominated singer, active philanthropist and astute businessman. Over the course of his boxing career, he was an Olympic gold medalist, 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, De La Hoya has focused his attention on building the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, into one of the most successful boxing promotion companies in the world. He runs Golden Boy Promotions as its Chairman and CEO from Los Angeles, representing some of the best fighters in the sport today include Canelo Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two weight classes and the current Pay Per View king of the sport in the US.
Nico Hernandez Captures IBA Flyweight World Title
History was made this past Saturday night on the “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” pay-per-view card, when 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and local hero, Nico Hernandez, knocked out Hungarian challenger Szilveszter “The Silent Assassin” Kanalas in the opening round to capture the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight World Championship in only his fifth professional fight, at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
In the first world title fight ever held in Kansas, Hernandez (5-0, 4 KOs) overwhelmed Kanalas (14-7, 9 KOs), the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) super flyweight world champion, to become the youngest (22) IBA world champion ever, as well as setting the record for the fewest pro fights needied to become IBA world titlist.
SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes was launched as Super Channel’s new live boxing series, SUPERBOX LIVE, in association with KO Night Boxing LLC, and it aired live exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
Integrated Sports Media distributed “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view as it was live-streamed worldwide on FITE.TV app and website (excluding Canada).
Hernandez was aggressive from the opening bell, pounding Kanalas’ head and body. A Hernandez left hook to the body really hurt Kanalas, who went down from a right that followed the vicious liver shot. Kanalas beat Hall of Fame Steve Smoger’s count, and it was only a matter of time before Hernandez would end the fight. It came soon, right after another body-and-head combination put the over-matched Hungarian on the mat for the second and final time.
“A lot of people underestimate my power,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I believe that once he felt my power, I don’t think he wanted it anymore. I felt like I took his heart away. I was patient, I wanted it to go a few rounds to see what he had, but I took his heart away. I can’t really be disappointed because I am a world champion now.”
“Nico was explosive Saturday night and he showed killer instinct,” promoter John Andersen commented. “He was going to box, but I think he smelled fear, and Nico got into Kanalas’ head. He sensed it and jumped on him.”
Before he left the ring, Hernandez took the microphone in the center of the ring and called out three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist, “Irish” Paddy Barnes (5-0, 1 KO), who was the favored to win a gold medal in the flyweight division at the 2016 Olympics. He was eliminated in the round of 16 and Hernandez took home the bronze medal. “There’s a bronze medalist from (Northern) Ireland, Paddy Barnes, and that’s who I’d really love to fight.”
“I think that’s a fight we should start a conversation about,” Andersen remarked. “It’s not line Barnes is 21 (he’s 31) and I don’t know of a lot of 30 or older flyweights. It makes a lot of sense and can be a big fight. They’re both Olympic bronze medalist, already fought in scheduled 10 and 12 round fights, and have belts. (Barnes is the WBO Intercontinental flyweight champ). Nico needs to step up in terms of competition, too. I think they should get in the ring and then we can see what happens.
“If they don’t want to make this fight right away, maybe we can build it up by putting them on the same card, and then fight next year. This fight makes a lot of sense for both fighters and Nico has already said he wants to fight Barnes.”
Hernandez joined reigning IBA world champions, light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev and junior middleweight Mark DeLuca, as well as past IBA world champions such as Hall of Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, in addition to stars Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
2011 Russia Junior Championships gold medalist Andrey Afonin (6-0, 3 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact when Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez (23-4, 19 KOs), the Cuban native and former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedalatin cruiserweight champion, was unable to answer the bell in the third round of the co-featured event.
Unbeaten Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs), promoted by DiBella Entertainment and fighting out of Toronto, stopped Terrance “Big Jim” Marbra (9-6, 7 KOs) in the second round.
Undefeated Washington featherweight Victor Morales, Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) was too much for David Berna (15-4, 14 KOs), of Hungary, who complained of an elbow injury and lost by way of a second-round technical knockout, in the televised opener.
In the television swing bout, which was held prior to the main event, popular Wichita junior welterweight Jeff Strum (3-0, 2 KOs) kept the train rollin’ with a second-round knockout of Nigeria-native Archie Weah (2-11).
In the most competitive fight of the night, as well as the lone match that went the complete distance, St. Louis cruiserweight Leroy Jones (3-3, 2 KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Kansas City, KS favorite Chris Harris (2-3-2, 2 KOs).
EverybodyFights Partners with Aaptiv to Bring Its In-Gym Boxing Fitness Experience to Everyone
EverybodyFights, an award-winning boxing gym, announced today a partnership with Aaptiv, a leading provider of premium digital health and wellness content. As part of the partnership, EverybodyFights, which was founded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr., has created audio-guided classes exclusively for Aaptiv that are modeled after its in-gym experience and based on a real fighter’s training camp.
The classes will make up an entire “Train Like a Boxer” program and will be part of Aaptiv’s new collection of boxing workouts, which are now live on the Aaptiv app. The program is based on a real fighter’s cross training regimen that includes shadowboxing, bag work, strength training, cardio conditioning, and yoga. All of the EverybodyFights audio-guided classes are led by the gym’s certified instructors, including George Foreman III, who retired from professional boxing with a perfect 16-0 record.
“Our mission is to unleash the inner fighter in everyone, at home and in the gym, and Aaptiv gives us the unique ability to make authentic boxing training accessible to the masses,” said George Foreman III. “Bringing boxing to users through audio is a challenge that requires partnering with the best, and we knew Aaptiv was the perfect partner for EverybodyFights because they are the best.”
Aaptiv members have unlimited access to the EverybodyFights boxing program, which they can use for training at home or in a gym.
“We’re focused on continuing to offer our members new, world-class workout content and are excited to officially launch boxing classes with the help of EverybodyFights,” said Aaptiv CEO and founder Ethan Agarwal. “We know our members will love the workout program because EverybodyFights’ incredible training camp pairs perfectly with audio, making it easier than ever to train like a boxer.”
Aaptiv’s entire boxing collection is available now and includes comprehensive training on foundational boxing technique, high intensity workouts, fun and inspiring playlists, and recovery and mindfulness instruction for rest days. To learn more and to download the app, visit Aaptiv.com/everybodyfights.
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
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.
By: William Holmes
On Friday night one of the biggest attractions in women’s boxing, former Gold Medalist and current IBF/WBC Super Middleweight women’s World Champion Claressa Shields will be defending her titles against Tory Nelson.
This bout will be the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation airing on Showtime live from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Photo Credit: Terrell Groggins/Salita Promotions
Super bantamweight Angel Hernandez and Super Lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev are expected to compete on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the Hernandez vs. Garza fight and the main event between Claressa Shields and Tori Nelson.
Jesse Hernandez (10-1) vs. Ernesto Garza (9-2); Junior Featherweights
ShoBox has a long history of putting on “crossroad” fights between two young and upcoming prospects. A win for a boxer will usually catapult him to bigger and better opportunities. A loss for a boxer will usually derail any hopes of him obtaining a future world title fight.
The fight between Hernandez and Garza is a perfect example of that.
Hernandez is twenty seven years old and is two years younger than Garza. He will have about a three and a half inch height advantage and about a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Dmitriy Salita is the promoter of Hernandez and he’s been very active the past two years. He fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Garza has also been active, but not as active as Hernandez. He fought three times in 2017 and once in 2016.
Hernandez has seven stoppage victories in comparison to the five stoppage victories of Garza. Hernandez debuted in 2009 but had a five year gap in between his second and third professional fight.
Hernandez has two big wins on his resume. He defeated Glenn Dezurn and Vladimir Tikhobnov. They were both undefeated at the time.
Garza’s only notable win was against Edward Kakembo. His two losses were to undefeated boxers, Jon Fernandez and Neslan Machado.
ShoBox fights are usually hard to pick a favorite due to the series’ history of putting on competitive fights between up and coming prospects that have yet to be tested. However, the physical advantages for Hernandez appear to be too great for Garza to overcome.
Claressa Shields (4-0)vs. Tori Nelson (17-0-3); IBF/WBC Super Middleweight Titles
Claressa Shields is one of Women’s Boxing Biggest stars. Her upside is so high that she’s headlining Friday’s ShoBox card and became a world title holder in only her third professional fight.
She’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won it in 2012 and 2016.
Her opponent, Tori Nelson does not have the amateur pedigree of Shields but women’s amateur boxing did not exist in the Summer Olympics prior to 2012.
Shields is still incredibly young at the age of twenty two. Nelson is nearly twice her age and is forty one years old.
Shields has only fought four times as a professional but already has 2 TKO/KO wins. Nelson has twenty professional fights but only has 2 wins by stoppage. Shields has the clear advantage in power.
Shields was thrown to the fire almost immediately upon turning pro. She defeated Nikki Adler in only her third professional fight and was able to win both the IBF and WBC titles. She has also been active, and has fought three times in 2017 and once in 2016.
Even though Shields fought three times in 2017, she feels like she took some “time off” after he last match, in an era where many champions only fight once to twice a year.
She stated at a recent media workout, “”I am calm – focused – but still hungry like a challenger with the added confidence of being a world champion. I took some time off after my last win but I look forward to getting busy again in 2018.”
Nelson only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016. Her biggest victory to date was a TKO over Mia St. John, but Mia St. John was 46 years old at the time of that defeat.
Shields appears to be aware of the experience that Nelson possess and has been training hard for this fight. “This training camp I did eight weeks instead of six. A lot of camp has been extremely hard. But I’m so focused and determined on 2018 and starting great and staying busy. I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience”.
Unfortunately for Shields, women’s boxing is not deep with talent, especially at the higher weights where she competes. This should be an easier win for Shields, especially considering the advance age of Nelson and Nelson’s lack of amateur experience.
But some big fights await Shields if she’s able to emerge victorious. Christina Hammer is a big name in the 160lb division in Women’s boxing and she may be next on Shields agenda. Chris Cyborg of the UFC has also been talked about as a possible future opponent.
As far as her future, Shields stated, “In 2018 I expect great fights against the best contenders. I expect to make history again on SHOWTIME and also looking forward to dropping to 160 to fight against [Christina] Hammer mid-2018. January 12th will be the beginning of great things to come”
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Says UFC Could Start to Promote Boxing
Dana White recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=V2wbIUSpALY. In this interview Dana indicated that he likes promoting MMA but has an interest in promoting boxing.
He told Jason Gay of “The Unnamed Podvideocast” that, “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that.”
White was observed wearing a shirt that read “Zuffa Boxing” on the promotional tour for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout. Zuffa Boxing could soon become a real thing.
Watch Joshua vs. Takam Heavyweight Title Fight Exclusively on DAZN
Fight fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles against Carlos Takam on Saturday, October 28th live on DAZN.
DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. Fans can watch their favourite teams, leagues and players anytime, anywhere with the ability to play, pause and rewind anytime. Subscriptions are available for $20 a month or $150 annually, with the first month free.
DAZN is also the only way to get unlimited access to every live NFL game this coming season. And with access to the NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal or interception ever again. You can also see top European soccer including LaLiga Santander, Ligue 1 and Serie A, plus KHL Hockey, Moto GP, ATP 250 Tennis, PDC Darts and Pro14 Rugby Union – all in HD.
It’s available in Canada on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles – for more information or to sign up, please visit dazn.com.
Olympian Nico Hernandez Fighting for First Pro Title December 2nd
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” 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 Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.
The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.
In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.
“By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (“KO Night Boxing LLC) said. “Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.
“Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we’re grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn’t realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we’re proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro. An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt.”
“We’re excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title,” IBA President J.C. Courreges added. “Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we’re hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we’re very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title.”
IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Ukranian Olympian Makes Professional Debut on Friday
Olympian middleweight Dmytro Mytrofanov will make his professional boxing debut Friday night in Elk Grove Village against an unbeaten foe.
Mytrofanov, who fought for the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics, will square off against American Brandon Maddox, who is 7-0, with five knockouts.
The six-round bout will take place at the Belvedere Events Center, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.
Mytrofanov, 27, won national titles in the Ukraine in 2008 and 2012, The middleweight was also a bronze medalist at the 2011 European Championships.
He is represented by Andrew Sobko of Natex Boxing Promotions.
The 31-year-old Maddox has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. The Detroit, Mich. fighter won Golden Gloves titles in Detroit and Chicago. He also posted a 4-2 mark in professional Mixed Martial Arts fights.
Friday’s fight, sanctioned by the Illinois State Athletic Commission, is being promoted by Natex and Hitz Entertainment.
On Friday’s fight card, along with Mytrofanov-Maddox, are:
Super welterweights Anthony Prescott and Anthony Abbruzzese
Undefeated super featherweight Giovanni Mioletti and Tyrome Jones
Undefeated super middleweight Tommy Hughes and Emmanuel Sanchez
Heavyweight Tulagonov Osvaldo, making his professional debut
Undefeated middleweight Osvaldo Vera
Friday’s first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.
VIP tables, which seat 10 people, are $250 per person. General admission is $40.
Tickets can be purchased at www.natexboxing.com
Ishe Smith to Face Julian Williams on November 18th
Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.
In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.
“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”
“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.
The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.
“I took this fight just like I’ve taken every tough fight over the years,” said Smith. “I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I’ve done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot.”
Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.
“We’ve been working hard for months and I’m ready to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his ‘A’ game to try to prove he’s still got it. I’m not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I’m ready to fight the best in the world.”
Rahman Junior Opponent Chickens Out in Ring, Seconds Before Scheduled Fight
The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.
The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.
He now faces suspension.
Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman’s promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats’ sudden departure.
“Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this,” said Cohen. “A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I’m told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened.”
Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.
“Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he’s to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times.”
Jason Sosa to Clash with Robinson Castellanos on November 25th
Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos and Hispanics come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.
“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”
Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
By Grant Cohen
PARK CITY, Kan.– Nico Hernandez did not know who his opponent was until hours before his third professional fight on Saturday.
Instead of cancelling the fight, the 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist and his team decided that too many factors played into reschedule.
The fact that Hernandez’s fans were anxiously waiting for him to step in the ring and the three year anniversary of the death of Tony Losey, the 21-year-old’s boxing teammate and best friend, fueled Hernandez to fight 12 pounds above his weight class. Despite getting up to 116 pounds to fight at 125, Hernandez defeated Kansas City MMA fighter Kendrick Latchman in a six-round unanimous decision to remain undefeated at Hartman Arena on Saturday night.
“As a team, we learned what to do and what not to do,” said Lewis Hernandez, Nico’s father and trainer. “We put ourselves in a very dangerous situation, probably the most dangerous situation that we’ve ever put ourselves in. It was hard, but Nico adapted. He adapted and overcame what he had to, because that’s just Nico. He knows how to win and he wants to win.”
Hernandez’s original opponent, Francisco “Guerrero” Lapizco, was forced to withdraw from the main event by KO Night Boxing after breaking his contract. Hernandez’s team scheduled Basyzbek Baratov for Saturday’s card, but the 2-1-2 boxer pulled out following Friday’s weigh-in.
‘Stating false information on reasons why’, according to a Facebook post on Hernandez’s page, promoter John Anderson confirmed that Basyzbek withdrew because Hernandez weighed in at 113 pounds for a 112 pound fight. The Kansas Boxing Commissioner, in cooperation with the Kansas Athletic Commission, allows boxers to fight one pound over, but Basyzbek felt that Hernandez being over was an unfair advantage, Anderson said.
Latchman received a call from Hernandez’s team about making the drive for Saturday’s fight, in which the 24-year-old agreed.
“I’m a fighter, so that’s what I do,” Latchman said. “I try to fight the best, I want to be the best fighter. (To do that), I have to challenge myself against the best. You can’t call yourself the best fighter if you don’t fight the best.”
Both Hernandez and Latchman dealt with last minute changes prior to their fight. Hernandez had to eat more food and drink more fluids throughout Saturday in order to get his weight up to 116. Latchman said he was told prior that the fight would be four rounds and was told upon arriving to Hartman arena that the fight would be six rounds.
Fighting at 125 pounds, Latchman tried to pace himself in order to have energy left for the final two rounds. After battling through four rounds, Latchman ran out of gas in the fifth and sixth that allowed Hernandez to land his punches and ultimately claim his third professional win 59-55, 59-55, 60-54.
“Nothing that he did surprised me or hurt me at all. I wasn’t in the best shape,” Latchman said. “I planned on a four-round fight and I was going to go out a little bit harder than I did and then they told me six [rounds] so I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve got to pace myself.’ [The loss] doesn’t discourage me. It just motivated me more to always stay in shape and to stay ready at all times.”
Hernandez was put in a similar situation of not having a lot of time to prepare for an opponent when he competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Instead of focusing on the opposition, Hernandez had to invest his attention on his own technique.
Latchman’s boxing style was different than what Hernandez was scouting for his opponents, something that Hernandez said he had to adjust to once he was in the ring.
“[The Olympics] helped me a little bit, but it was a little different,” Hernandez said. “At the Olympics, I’m not really training for one certain person. This fight, I was training for one certain person and it was way different style than what Kendrick fought. When I got in the ring, I had to adjust.”
Feeding off the crowd’s energy chanting his name, Hernandez was the early aggressor and landed his punches. Latchman was looking for the counter punch, according to Lewis Hernandez, forcing Hernandez to take his time.
As Lewis Hernandez shouted that advice to his son in the ring, Hernandez followed by not being flashy for the fans, but being patient for his shots.
“When I got in the ring, I realized his arms were longer. He was waiting for me to come in and commit,” Hernandez said. “I just went back to the corner and listened to what the coaches had to say and came out with the victory.”
KO Night Boxing announced Hernandez’s next professional fight would occur on December 2 at Hartman Arena, but his opponent is to be determined.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Pacquiao, Shields, Atlantic City, Hernandez, and more..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 13th to June 20th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Canelo vs. Golovkin Tickets on Sale June 22nd
Tickets for the Saturday, Sept. 16 showdown for supremacy between lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and IBO/IBF/WBA/WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), for which fans have been clamoring, will go on sale Thursday, June 22 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. In what may be boxing’s best, most competitive fight in 2017, the mega-event will feature two of the most popular and powerful fighters in the storied middleweight division fighting for ultimate supremacy and glory.
Tickets for Canelo vs. Golovkin are priced at $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700, $500 and $300, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700 price levels and a limit of two (2) per person at the $500 and $300 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Tsesnabank and Capital Holding. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®
Claressa Shields Dominates to Win WBC Silver Belt
In just her first eight-round fight, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields scored a spectacular unanimous decision victory last Friday, June 16, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit to win the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title.
Shields (3-0, 1KO) dominated tough Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc (4-2-1), winning all eight rounds on all three judges’ scorecards en route to adding the WBC Silver belt to her NABF Middleweight Championship belt. LeBlanc was simply no match for the blazing fists of crowd favorite Shields, who has convincingly established herself as a world championship-class contender in women’s boxing after just three professional fights.
Shields’ bout was the main event of a jam-packed Detroit Brawl event which set a new gate record for promoter Dmitriy Salita’s popular Detroit-based series.
“Claressa is one of the best boxers in the world!” said Dmitriy Salita. “Regardless of gender, her skills and experience are that of the elite fighters in the world. She is improving with each fight and the sky is the limit. Claressa is ready for the top fighters in her division and we will work on making a big championship fight happen next.”
In the 10-round co-main event, transplanted Detroit cruiserweight Alexey Zubov moved to 15-1, 9 KOs with a surprisingly easy 10-round decision over Detroit’s highly regarded Demetrius Banks (9-1, 4 KOs).
From the opening bell, the superior work rate of Zubov told the story, as the confused Banks had no answers for the big Russian’s jab. All three judges scored the fight 99-91. There were no knockdowns.
“Two of the best cruiserweight prospects in the world met in Detroit,” continued Salita. “The winner is now a real contender, ready to fight the best in the world. Alexey is much improved since his time training with Sugar Hill at the Kronk Boxing Gym. The magic of Kronk is alive and came to life in Alexey’s performance. Great things on the horizon for him!”
Another of Salita’s growing stable of promising contenders, Detroit bantamweight Ja’Rico O’Quinn (7-0, 5KOs) had too many tools for the outgunned David Martino (2-3, 2 KOs) and won by dominant unanimous decision (60-54, all three judges). A talent to watch, O’Quinn basically walked the determined Martino into his lightning-fast shots for six rounds.
“Ja’Rico’s defense was superb in his fight. His opponent was rarely able to even touch him. He is going to be a force at 118 lbs. in the not-too-distant future.”
Another surging contender from the Salita stable, junior welterweight wrecking ball Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) needed just 1:41 of round one to chew up and spit out Mexico’s Cesar Soriano. Eyubov targeted the body of Soriano and took away his breath with thudding left hoods to the liver that ended things quickly. Eyubov is an animal.
“Bakhtiyar went up a weight class because no one will fight him. This fight showed why,” said Salita. “He is too strong for most fighters to stay in with for very long. He will be in a big fight in the near future. He’s ready.”
ESPN and ESPN Deportes to Exclusively Air Manny Pacquiao Fight Live from Brisbane, Australia
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the only sitting Senator to capture a world championship belt, will add another first to his burgeoning list of Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments with his live debut on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (also streaming live on the ESPN app) on Saturday, July 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET. The fight will be called ringside by ESPN commentators Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas. They will be joined by guest analyst Timothy Bradley, Jr., a former two-division world champion recently trained by Teddy Atlas who has met Pacquiao three times in the ring, winning their first match in a decision. ESPN Deportes will pair Jorge Eduardo Sanchez and Juan Manuel Marquez to call the main event in Spanish, with prefight commentary from Pablo Viruega, Leopoldo Gonzalez, Claudia Trejos and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane’s favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time Pacquiao has not fought on pay-per-view since Sept. 10, 2005, when he stopped Hector Velazquez in the sixth round — 12 years and four weight divisions ago.
ESPN’s coverage of “The Battle of Brisbane” will begin on Friday, June 30th, and includes live coverage of the Pacquiao and Horn weigh-in at 7 p.m. ET within SportsCenter on ESPN and within Golpe a Golpe on ESPN Deportes. During the week of June 26, classic Pacquiao fights will also be available on demand and streaming via the ESPN app, on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes, including Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton (5/2/2009), Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (11/12/11) and Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley (4/12/14).
The July 1 telecast will also feature Irish Olympic hero Michael Conlan (2-0, 2 KOs), from Belfast, in a six-round featherweight bout against Jarrett “Juarez” Owen (5-4-3,2 Kos), of Brisbane, and International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Cavite City, Philippines, defending his title against top-rated contender Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs), of Kobe, Japan. The live telecast will open with an eight-round middleweight rumble between Shane Mosley, Jr. (10-1, 7 KOs), of Pomona, Calif. and son of former three-division world champion “Sugar”
Shane Mosley, and David Toussaint (10-0, 8 KOs), of Canberra, Australia.
Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Stops Jose Rodriguez in the Third Round
Wichita hero and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Nico Hernandez, dominated Jose “Mexican Diablo” Rodriguez in last night’s “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” main event, which aired on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” was a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC. TITLE Boxing is the official apparel and gloves partner for Knockout Night Boxing.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (2-0, 2 KOs) came out fast, rapidly firing combinations that consistently landed to his opponent’s head and body. Hernandez was as electric in the ring as the sky outside, battering the over-matched Rodriguez, finally dropping him midway through the second round.
The extremely sharp Hernandez floored Rodriguez again in the third with a right-left combination but the tough Mexican rose again. The onslaught continued briefly as the Olympian pounded Rodriguez (2-1, 2 KOs), knocking him down for the third time and final time as referee Kevin Champion counted him out at 2:38.
“I came out with a victory, it can’t get better than that,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I put him down a few times. I was happy with my performance. I was trying to get out of her to celebrate with my family and friends.
“I didn’t expect him to keep coming, getting up and still coming forward. I’ll talk to my promoter and coaches and see what’s next.”
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Inducts 24 Charter Class Members
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Inaugural Induction weekend held on May 26, 27 and 28th was a smorgasbord of boxing royalty, celebrity guests and legions of boxing fans. ACBHOF mission is to create visibility and awareness through annual inductions ceremonies; boxing champions, as well as the boxing community at-large will have their names enshrined into immortality by being inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
“Watching my vision come together with the assistance of Rodrick Green, the VP of Business Strategy, and Angela Crockett our Communications Director, along with the rest of my team and countless other supporters and fans across the country, who’ve embraced this endeavor has been overwhelmingly impressive.” – Ray McCline, Founder & President
The trio of events, which were sponsored by the Claridge – a Radisson Hotel, kicked-off May 26th with a pre-reception and welcome address in the VÜE Rooftop Bar. The 150 guests included: Red Carpet Host Whitney Ullman, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Councilman Frank Gilliam, Dr. Nina Radcliff, Flo Anthony, Aaron Snowell, Lillo Brancato, Alan Goldberg, Ray Mercer, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Iceman John Scully, Tracy Patterson, Milton Luban, Chuck Zito, Grandy Twins, sponsors and stakeholders alike.
“The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel was proud to have hosted Atlantic City’s first Boxing Hall of Fame induction class. It’s events like this that make hospitality and history come to life in this city. From the Fight Fan Expo to the Gala it was a pleasure to see new faces and passion throughout a weekend of exceptional events. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame events for years to come at The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel.”- Cem Erenler, V.P. of Hotel Operations & Business Development
On May 27, the festivities continued into the Fight Fan Experience, a festive boxing themed environment that included a Boxing Fantasy Camp, Pop-Up Barber Shop, Jack Johnson Exhibit Icons of Boxing, The Legacy Exists Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund, James O’Neal Sculptures, The Press of Atlantic City Exhibit, Food vendors and music by DJ Young Hitta.
The evening of May 27th concluded with an Honoree Gala in the Art Gallery celebrating “Women in Boxing.” Host for the evening, Nino Del Buono. Honorees included: Cathy Burke, Marian Muhammad, Joan Pierce, Renee Aiken and Althea “Vern” Saunders.
The culminating Induction celebration concluded Sunday, May 28th with a little over 500 guests. The master of ceremonies for the ceremony, President of NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Henry Hascup. The star-studded Charter Class members included: Don King, Michael Spinks, Larry Hazzard, Steve Smoger, Mike Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, J Russell Peltz, Dave Bontempo, Ken Condon, Robert Lee, Sr., Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate Mr. Ray McCline, Roy Foreman, Rodrick Green, Angela Crockett and all of the wonderful people responsible for the great Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend which took place on May 26th, 27th, and 28th. The event was an astounding success and it allowed many of us, who attended, the opportunity to relive some of the exciting moments of our past boxing history. The establishment of the ACBHOF will also ensure that the great legacy of Atlantic City Boxing, will be remembered and celebrated for many years to come!! Once again congratulations and I look forward with great anticipation to next year’s celebration. God Bless!!” – Commissioner Larry Hazzard, NJ State Athletic Control Board
Posthumous Inductees: Arturo Gatti (received by Sofia Bella Gatti); Leavander Johnson (received by his Son); Mathew Saad Muhammad (received by Mustafa Ameen); Lou Duva (received by Dino Duva); Jack Obermayer (received by his daughter Ellen Kaplan); Bert Sugar; Dennis Gomes (received by his daughter Danielle Gomes and Mrs. Gomes); Mike Hall, Sr. (received by his son Mike Hall, Jr.) and Dr, Frank Doggett (received by his daughter Yvonne “Missy” Doggett).
“It was such an incredible honor to be part of such a historic event. We had a blast at the HARD Kickoff party with Michael Spinks and Ray Mercer. It was so amazing to see all the young kids enjoying the Boxing experience. They are the new generation of Atlantic City Boxing. The Highlight of the weekend for us was the Gala, it was truly a memorable evening. Congratulations to Ray McCline and the inductees on a successful Inaugural Induction. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame will be a staple destination for Boxing Fans in the years to come.” – Gregory V. Posella, President & Co-founder HARD Beverage
Former Miss America, Suzette Charles, Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Band and saxophonist Parris provided entertainment for the evening. Entertainment was coordinated by Kevin Crump.
Title Sponsors: Hard Lifestyle Beverages, Designer Wraps and Hammer Fiber Optics. The Atlantic City Police Athletic League is ACBHOF’s charitable arm. Keebler Media was the official ACBHOF videographer.
Other sponsors and supporters: City of Atlantic City; Triax 57; 2300 Arena; FantaSea Resorts; Adams Boxing; Rumble TV Network; Tina Davido Promotions; Abrams Boxing, Adams Boxing, Plush Vodka, Punzoné Organic Vodka, House of Genesis and WBC.
While the menus consisted of scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres and signature drinks, the Honoree cake designed by Cake King of Queens and the unveiling of Commemorative Paintings by Nicolosi were stunning show stoppers.
Another extraordinary highlight from the weekend was when Arturo Gatti’s 11-year old daughter Sofia Bella Gatti accepted her father’s award alongside his longtime friends Chuck Zito and Mike Sciarra.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Golovkin, Canelo, Booth, De La Hoya, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 30th to June 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia to Meet in 140 Pound Main Event Matchup
SHOWTIME Sports® announced a blockbuster matchup between two of boxing’s biggest stars as three-division world champion Mikey Garcia moves up in weight to 140 pounds to face four-division champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, Saturday, July 29, live on SHOWTIME. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
In yet another significant main event matchup on SHOWTIME, these world-class fighters will meet at a critical time in their respective careers. A three-division world champion at the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, the flamboyant Broner remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes – and perhaps the most polarizing – in the sport today. Among the top 140-pounders in the world, Broner is undefeated at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. An experienced fighter at just 27 years old, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) still believes he is the future of the sport and promises to prove it against Garcia on July 29.
Mikey Garcia, 29 years old and undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs), is a recently crowned lightweight champion on a self-appointed journey to become a household name in the sport of boxing. Garcia will move up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner. Garcia represents a boxing family developing legendary status in the modern era of the sport. He is renowned for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia. Mikey has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but has never fought north of 138.
Saturday, July 29 will be the 19th live boxing event on SHOWTIME this year. The main event bout will be a WBC 12-round special attraction.
“SHOWTIME Sports continues to deliver the most anticipated matchups, the most important events and the most thrilling fights in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “We consistently feature top-rated champions and challengers. The best are fighting the best and the results have been spectacular. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is a fight that fight fans have dreamed of—an undefeated, young star facing one of the best 140-pound fighters in the sport, both men in the prime of their respective careers. July 29 promises to be a memorable night in a year already full of memorable boxing events.”
Broner, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has achieved more in his young career than most fighters can hope for in a lifetime. After earning world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner won a belt in a fourth weight division – 140 pounds – in October 2015 when he defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev via 12th round stoppage to become the second youngest four-division champion in boxing history at 26 (behind Oscar De La Hoya, 24). As an amateur, Broner compiled a record of 300 wins, 19 losses under the guidance of his trainer Mike Stafford, who has remained in Broner’s corner throughout his entire career. Broner will turn 28 years old on July 28, the day before his bout with Garcia.
Once considered one of the top young pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Mikey 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. He scored a dominant fifth-round stoppage over former world champion Elio Rojas in his first fight back. Then, Garcia became a three-division champion by beating previously undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin with a vicious third-round knockout last January. Garcia has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido and Bernabe Concepcion.
Canelo vs. Golovkin Lands in Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on Mexican Independence Day Weekend
The biggest fight in boxing today will come to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 16 when two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) squares off against IBF/WBA/WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) over 12 rounds during Mexican Independence Day weekend. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
“I am thrilled to return to T-Mobile Arena, and to give the fans the best fight that can be made in our sport today,” Canelo said. “I have repeatedly said that I fear no man, and I am now going to prove it by stepping into the ring against GGG. When the final bell rings, everyone will know that this is indeed the Canelo era, and that I am the best fighter in all of boxing.”
“This is the type of fight I have dreamed of since I became a professional boxer,”
Golovkin said. “This fight will be at a true championship level and we will give the fans an exciting fight.”
The fight, to be contested at a maximum of 160 pounds will feature two of the most explosive, heavy-handed fighters in any division in the sport today. In their combined 88 fights, 67 have ended before the final bell.
“For the best fight on the best date in boxing, there is no better venue than the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Fans won’t only be treated to a classic battle between the two best boxers in the sport, they will also be able to enjoy an incredible week of activities marking Mexican Independence Day. This will be a can’t-miss event for hardcore and casual fans, alike.”
“This is the result of many years of hard work for Gennady, travelling around the world fighting world champions and top contenders to become an undefeated unified middleweight world champion,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “Gennady’s reward, and the fans’ reward, will be battling in the biggest and best match-up in the sport of boxing. Gennady is ready for his date with destiny.”
“On September 16 there will be fireworks in Las Vegas when the biggest fight in boxing decides the middleweight championship of the world,” said Tony Walker, Vice President HBO Pay-Per-View. “We are thrilled to be producing and distributing this power-house event from the bright lights of Las Vegas.”
The last time Canelo stepped into the ring at T-Mobile Arena, he and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. drew the largest number of fans – more than 20,000 – to ever attend an indoor boxing event in Las Vegas.
Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “There is no doubt this will be one of the biggest fights in boxing history. T-Mobile Arena has quickly become one of the leading venues to host championship boxing of this magnitude. We look forward to celebrating Mexican Independence Day Weekend in Las Vegas with our event partners and boxing fans worldwide.”
A press tour for the fight and on-sale ticket release will be announced in the coming days.
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
LA17 World Police and Fire Games Partners with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions
From Monday, August 7 to Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Los Angeles will host the World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) with Opening Ceremonies at the LA Memorial Coliseum. More than 8,000 athletes, all active or retired Police Officers or Firefighters, from over 70 countries will compete in over 65 different sports and disciplines, and draw up to 50,000 spectators.
According to Chief Charlie Beck, a veteran competitor and future athlete in the 2017 Games, “The World Police and Fire Games not only help to promote physical fitness through intense competition, it also builds camaraderie and life-long friendships among first responders. The opportunity to showcase our great city is great, but the fortuity to bring athletes from around the world together with our diverse communities to share in the passion of sport, that’s something special.”
In addition, the WPFG is proud to announce the partnership with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, 10-time world title champion and local legend, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. “Boxing has always been a premier and well attended event of the World Police & Fire Games, but with Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions as a Presenting Sponsor, it’s sure to take the Games to an even higher level of competition,” said Chief Beck.
“All over the country, our police officers and firefighters work tirelessly to keep us safe,” Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “We are proud to honor their service and help provide support as they demonstrate their athletic abilities in Los Angeles.”
The following, is a World Police and Fire Games promotional video featuring Chief Charlie Beck and Oscar De La Hoya:
We are proud to announce the partnership with Golden Boy Boxing and Oscar De La Hoya for the World Police and Fire Games coming to Los Angeles, California this August! Look for more announcements and watch Oscar De La Hoya and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck discuss our Boxing Competition to be hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Aug 8 – 12! #GoldenBoy #LA17WPFG #Boxing #RegisterNow #FirstResponders #LAPD Headquarters
Posted by World Police and Fire Games on Tuesday, 6 June 2017
For more information, regarding the LA17 World Police & Fire Games, opportunities to become a WPFG sponsor or volunteer, or the schedule for Boxing, and other sporting events, please visit: www.LA17WPFG.com.
Burnett: Adam Booth Has the Plan to Beat Haskins
Ryan Burnett believes he has the perfect man in his corner in Adam Booth to get the gameplan right to take the IBF World Bantamweight title from Lee Haskins when they clash at the SSE Arena Belfast on Saturday June 10, live on AWE–A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 PM ET
Burnett faces the Bristol ace in his first World title shot and it’s a welcome return to his hometown after over three and a half years on the road.
Burnett’s last outing in Belfast in November 2014 was his first fight with Booth and the pair have moved seamlessly to 16-0 and on the brink of World glory as their partnership has blossomed in Booth’s Surrey gym.
Booth has been in the corner for many World title fights with David Haye and Burnett feels that having those expertise behind him can be the difference.
“Adam believes I am ready for it and he’s a man who has been there and done it,” said Burnett. “Adam knows how to put a game plan together to beat a southpaw, and I have every faith in Adam. If I am calm, relaxed and I deliver what Adam tells me to do on the night, I’ll win that belt.
“I’m always learning with every fight and every day in the gym with Adam. People were saying a year ago that I was ready for a World title shot so that must mean I am even better placed for it now. Adam makes the decisions of what the right move is for me.
“Adam has given me intelligence on what I actually have to do. All the skills are there, but he’s teaching me how to control it. That’s what we work on every day – understanding what you have to do and how you have to do it.
“I needed to sit back, peel away the layers and understand what I am doing. Adam’s work speaks for itself. He’s been in the sport for a long time and he’s a well-respected coach. I’ve come to the gym willing to listen and learn because I know that Adam has so much knowledge to give, so if Adam says jump, I say how high.”
Burnett challenges Haskins on a huge night of action in Belfast where Paul Hyland Jr faces Adam Dingsdale for his first pro title, with the IBF European Lightweight strap on the line.
An exciting undercard features a the Cruiserweight debut of Mike Perez, Ian Tims and Luke Watkins meeting for the Irish Cruiserweight title and local favourites James Tennyson, Paddy Gallagher, Matthew Wilton, Feargal McCrory and Tyrone McCullagh.
2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Dedicated to Building Boxing in Wichita and Across Kansas
Wichita-native Nico Hernandez (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, is on a mission to establish his home as a real “fight town” like world champion Terence Crawford has done in Omaha, Nebraska.
The 21-year-old Hernandez returns to action Saturday, June 17, in the six-round main event against Mexican-born flyweight opponent Jose Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs), headlining “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire”, which will air (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.
Hernandez drew nearly 3,200 fans for his professional debut, March 25, in nearby Mulvane (KS), in which he knocked out Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event, which was also televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Hernandez’ promoter, KO Night Boxing, LLC, is committed to showcasing Hernandez at home on national television, as well as provide a platform for young Kansas boxers for them to develop their skills and build intra-state rivalries as evident on this card.
“My plan is to do it like Terence Crawford has done in Omaha,” Hernandez explained. “I’m hoping it works out as well for me. It means so much for me to bring boxing to Wichita, to all of Kansas, for these fans and all the good, young boxers we have here.”
“This is a good opportunity for fighters from Wichita, across Kanas, to showcase their skills to the boxing world,” promoter John Andersen said. “Nico is giving all these other fighters a chance to do that by headlining our shows on CBS Sports Network. They need to fight to develop; otherwise, they’d have to travel far from home just to fight. They can build fanbases close to their hometowns.
“We’re an up-and-coming promotional company, much like Nico as a pro fighter, and together we want to build boxing across Kansas and build natural rivalries like we have on this card. Nico is the perfect fighter to do this because, in addition to being an Olympic medalist, he’s a great role model for young people in Wichita, and Kansas as a whole, to emulate. We’ve planted the boxing seed in Wichita, through
Nico, and we feel that boxing is going to grow across the state where Nico is bigger than life.”
Unbeaten Canadian featherweight Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan (10-0-1, 8 KOs) meets Angel “Terrible” Monrreal (10-8-1, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in the eight-round co-feature, while Wichita junior middleweight Noel Esquada (7-3-2, 5 KOs) takes on 2012 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Limberth “El Gallito” Ponce (12-3, 9 KOs) in the six-round match,
A prime example of a budding intrastate Kansas rivalry will be displayed in the televised opener as Garden City (KS) featherweight prospect Eric Vargas (2-0, 1 KO) takes on pro-debuting Humberto “Tito” Tellez, fighting out of Winfield (KS).
The non-televised “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” undercard is loaded with local talent: pro-debuting Topeka (KS) junior welterweight Brian Clements vs. Bryan Montalvo (1-9, 1 KO), of Garden City (KS); Winfield light heavyweight Juan Hollingsworth (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Oklahoman Matt Dixon in his pro debut, and pro-debuting middleweights Eddie Chavez, of Wichita, and Garden City’s Fernando Jasso throw-down in the opening bout.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Helenius, Alvarez, Chavez, Chisora, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 28th to April 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao to Possibly Face Jeff Horn
Bob Arum recently stated that Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn may face each other in the summer after Pacquiao abandoned the planned fight to pursue a showdown with Amir Khan.
This fight is being discussed to take place in Australia, but no set date or venue has been established.
Arum is currently working on finalizing the deal, but nothing has been set in stone yet.
Helenius and Chisora Ready to Renew Rivalry
Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KOs) and Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KOs) came face-to-face for the first time since their controversial December 2011 showdown today at the Hotel Kamp in Helsinki, Finland as they prepare to renew their rivalry on May 27.
Helenius was awarded a split decision victory in their first bout, despite many people believing the British boxer did enough to win. Chisora now has the chance to settle the score when they return to the Hartwall Arena to contest the WBC Silver World Heavyweight title in a hotly anticipated rematch.
Chisora is coming off the back of another contentious decision in a ‘fight of the year’ contender versus countryman Dillian Whyte, while Helenius has scored back-to-back knockout victories against Konstantin Airich and Gonzalo Omar Basile.
‘’I don’t think Robert took me seriously last time,’’ said Chisora. ‘’But this time he will need to train harder than ever. I’m going to take him to places he has never been before, and I’m going to stop him. I’m not playing around. This guy is in trouble. When I come back to Helsinki, I’m going to be in war mode.”
‘’I’m looking forward to this fight,’’ said Helenius. ‘’Dereck is a tough fighter and I think we will put on a great show for the fans. My hand was raised after our first fight and I can’t see any other outcome this time. This is a big opportunity for me. A victory will bring me closer to a World title fight, and that is my goal.’’
‘’This is going to be the biggest fight on Finnish soil in recent history,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’It’s a fight that’s been six years in the making, and we’re delighted to be back in Helsinki and back at the Hartwall Arena.’’
Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Coming Live to the Big Screen on May 6th
Cinemas across the U.S. will play host to a Cinco de Mayo weekend mega-fight with a pulse-pounding live broadcast event featuring two of Mexico’s finest boxers: “Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez, Jr.” in a historic showdown that will rival the biggest fights in Mexico’s rich boxing history. Two-division world champion Canelo Álvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will square off against former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy Promotions, the one-day cinema broadcast is set for Saturday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET, live from the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to catching all the in-ring action up close and personal, event attendees will receive an exclusive commemorative fight mini-poster.
Tickets for “Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez, Jr.” can be purchased beginning Friday, April 7, 2017 online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations will be available April 7 on the Fathom Event’s website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
On May 5, 2016, Álvarez celebrated T-Mobile Arena’s first boxing event with a knockout of Amir “King” Khan. Álvarez last fought on September 17, 2016, knocking out the previously undefeated WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith. Chávez, Jr. was last in action on December 10, 2016, when he secured a unanimous decision victory over highly-regarded German fighter Dominik Britsch.
Álvarez says, “Julio César Chávez, Sr. is one of the best, if not the best fighter in history. I grew up watching him and learned a lot from him, but that won’t have any influence when I fight his son… I want to remind you that when two Mexican fighters face-off, a spectacular show is guaranteed, and I can assure you that May 6 will be no exception.”
“This is going to be a tough fight. Every fight is important, and this one especially because it is between two Mexicans fighting each other for the glory,” Julio César Chávez, Jr. said. “I’m going to win, but my country will too, because this is the fight that boxing needs.”
Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions said, “Mexican boxing is the best, and when you have these two top boxers who want to give the best to the fans, we couldn’t pass it up. Canelo, the biggest boxing star, will take on not only a former world champion in Julio César Chávez, Jr., but the son of the biggest star in the history of boxing in Mexico.”
“There’s nothing like seeing these warriors – Canelo Álvarez and Julio César Chávez, Jr. – do battle, larger than life, on the big screen,” John Rubey, CEO of Fathom Events said. “It’s like having a real ring-side experience in your local cinema surrounded by other fans!”
Samuel Clarkson Laser-Focused on Interim WBA World Title Fight
A laser-focused Samuel “Main Event” Clarkson (19-3, 11 KOs) will step onto the world stage on Friday, April 14, as the Uprising Promotions light heavyweight faces unbeaten prospect Dmitry Bivol (9-0, 7 KOs) for the Interim WBA World Championship. The bout will serve as the feature attraction of ShoBox: The Next Generation, with the fight taking place at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.
“Preparation for this fight has been awesome. I’m ready, and I’m excited,” said Clarkson, who moved his training camp to New York for this bout. “I will definitely owe this victory to New York City and of course Uprising Promotions, Ronson Frank and my dad. This was a very hard camp, but it has made me mentally become a stronger person. Physically, I’m definitely a stronger person. Going through life from this day forward, I’m just a different person.”
A Texas native, Clarkson and his father/head trainer, Samuel, Sr., opted to move this camp to New York where Uprising Promotions President Ronson Frank has been able to secure sparring with many of the top prospects in the region.
“Preparation in New York has been awesome,” Clarkson continued. “I’m not taking anything away from my people in Dallas, but I came out here and got exactly what I wanted. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and we’re ready for war now. All the hard work is just about done.”
Clarkson has gone unbeaten since joining Uprising Promotions and is currently riding a nine-bout winning streak. Among those victories included a decision over former world title challenger Cedric Agnew and knockouts of highly touted prospects Jerry Odom and Lavarn Harvell on ShoBox. The 26-year-old pugilist has been continually improving and showing significant growth since signing with Uprising Promotions in 2015, and a newfound dedication to his craft now leads him into the biggest opportunity of his professional career on April 14.
“Coming here and being out of our comfort zone has been great for two key reasons,” said Samuel Clarkson, Sr., who has worked alongside his son throughout his amateur and professional campaigns. “For one, this has enabled Samuel to fully prepare mentally. Two, the quality of sparring we have gotten has been tremendous. We have sparred with some top quality guys here in New York. Being embraced by all of these highly skilled fighters in New York has just made this whole thing a great experience. We’re really thankful to have this opportunity.”
Uprising Promotions President Ronson Frank, who initially started the promotion in 2013 to help himself get fights as an undefeated light heavyweight prospect, has aggressively build the foundation for his company over the past four years and feels very confident as its lead stablemate heads into this world title opportunity.
“Camp has been great, and everything has gone very smoothly,” said Frank. “We have a nice, strong game plan, and we have put in all of the preparation necessary to be ready for a fight like this. We are good to go and can’t wait until the fight.”
Standing opposite Clarkson on April 14 will be Bivol, who had an extensive amateur career that he finished off with a record of 285-15. The 26-year-old won the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title last May in Moscow with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Felix Valera.
“We have some tricks up our sleeves,” Clarkson concluded. “Fans are definitely going to see an amazing fight. Anybody who knows me, you know I’m going for the knockout. If it shows up early, we’re taking it. If it’s later in the rounds, then that’s where we’ll take it. I’m just coming, and I’m going to be vicious. I’m always aggressive. I’m not afraid of this guy, so people are going to see a really exciting fight from bell to bell.”
Diego De La Hoya to Headline Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN on May 18th
Looking to continue his meteoric rise up the Super Bantamweight division, undefeated WBC Youth World Champion Diego De La Hoya (17-0, 9 KOs) will headline the Thursday, May 18 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN in a 10-round battle against crafty veteran Erik Ruiz (16-6-1, 6 KOs) at Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona and televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes starting at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.
“I’m excited and thankful to be headlining Golden Boy Promotions’ new venture with ESPN in Tucson!” said Diego De La Hoya. “I have a tough opponent in Erik Ruiz, but I’ll be more than ready for him! I know ESPN is expecting great matchups from Golden Boy, and this fight is no exception!”
“I am thrilled to be getting the opportunity to fight Diego De La Hoya,” said Erik Ruiz. “I’ve had many ups and
downs in my career and I know a win against Diego can help erase some of those bumps. This fight has given me a renewed motivation. Only in boxing can one win change your life and a win against De La Hoya can change mine for the better. This will be a great fight for the fans!”
“We are thrilled to be adding Casino Del Sol Resort as one of our designated ESPN stops as an effort to ensure that fight fans around the country have the opportunity to see top talent give all they have in the ring,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “Diego is a natural in the ring and he’ll do anything to make sure he takes back home that belt. On the other hand, Erik Ruiz will look to vindicate himself, and will not hold back on Diego.”
US Olympian Nico Hernandez Building Wichita into a Fight Town
Last Saturday night at Kansas Star Arena in nearby Mulvane, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez planted a seed in hopes of growing Wichita into a fight town, as world champions Terence Crawford and Deontay Wilder have already accomplished in the respective hometowns, Omaha (NE) and Birmingham (AL).
More than 3,100 fans purchased tickets Hernandez’ successfully professional debut, stopping Pat Gutierrez in the fourth round. To put that attendance figure in its proper perspective, Wichita has a population of less than 400,000 and in this hoop-crazed state, the appropriately named “KO Night Boxing: History Begins” went head-to-head with the popular Kansas Jayhawks quintet playing on national television in the Elite Eight of the NCAA college basketball championship, as well as The Wichita Force playing at home in indoor football.
The 21-year-old Hernandez is practically a sports franchise in Wichita, second only to the Wichita State University (WSU) men’s basketball team. The city turned out in force at a parade honoring Hernandez upon his return home from the Olympics and WSU awarded him an open-ended four-year college scholarship.
“The show was a huge success and Nico, as a pro fighter, produced a more complete body of work than we had expected,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (KO Night Boxing) said. “I was very impressed. His amateur background converted to an even better pro style. It really showed his potential and that’s one of the primary reasons we signed him. We really believed in Nico. He is the only fighter we have signed, right now; Nico is our stable! We see things from a different angle than big-time promoters. We understood that he’s a hometown hero, so we had him headline at home his pro debut on national television (CBS Sports Network). We produce our shows on television and we enjoy telling stories like Nico’s. We’d like to come right back to Wichita with Nico fighting in June.”
Lifelong Kansas Sean Wheelock, a non-paid member of the Kansas Athletic Commission that oversees boxing, in addition to calling last Saturday’s fights as a member of the KO Night Boxing announcing team on CBS Sports Network, has a unique perspective on the significance of last Saturday evening’s in terms of local boxing history.
“It was huge for Kansas boxing,” Wheelock explained, “the biggest show in this state since the Tommy Morrison Era (early-to-mid 1990’s). Morrison was an adopted son, though. Nico was born here and he has a deep investment in the Wichita community. Drawing 3000-plus for his pro debut, in a non-boxing market, was phenomenal and he has the potential to do what Crawford has done in Omaha and Wilder in Birmingham. Boxing has strong roots in Kansas and across the Midwest, but MMA has taken over and lately, most boxing in Kansas has been on hybrid shows with MMA and kickboxing.
“Fans were loudly chanting, ‘Nico’ and ‘316’ (Wichita’s area code) before, during and after his fight. I’ve never heard fans chanting for a city like they did, ‘Wichita’, for an individual athlete. And they were also chanting ‘USA’. As a native Kansas, I’m proud that this state has become more ethnically and culturally diverse with more Hispanics living in Wichita. Nico is engaged in the Hispanic community and he is a fantastic kid, too. Because of his personality and fighting style, he can draw locally from Wichita, throughout all of Kansas, and nationally among Hispanics and Americans across the country because of his accomplishment in the Olympics.”
Hernandez is also fighting in one of the hottest divisions in boxing — 115-pound junior bantamweight/super flyweight — showcasing name fighters such as Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras, Juan Francisco Estrada and recent addition Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Conspicuously absent, however, are top 20 ranked American fighters in this weight class, excluding 36-year-old Brian Viloria, the four-time, two-division (junior flyweight and flyweight) world champion. The opportunity is right there for Hernandez to quickly establish himself as the preeminent American boxer in this weight class.
“There’s no reason for Nico to fight outside of Wichita for a couple of years as he develops,” Andersen noted. “I feel that he can win a regional title next year. Our goal is to have him in a world title fight position within three years. Our goal is to get him 13 to 15 fights and then promote a super fight in Wichita. He started out in a six-round fight. I think he’ll only have a couple more and then move up to eight-round bouts.
“Nico doesn’t waste a lot of punches, so the number of scheduled rounds won’t be a problem for him. Another fighter would have punched himself out in two rounds, fighting at home in front of a crowed like he had supporting him, but Nico showed tremendous poise, settling down and putting his punches together very well. He didn’t chase Gutierrez, he effectively cut off the ring, and his powerful body attack was something he didn’t do as an amateur. We wanted to see how he reacted to resistance and he passed that test with flying colors.”
Andersen noted that his company has promoted several successful shows, noting the big difference is last weekend’s show featured a world-class fighter in Hernandez. “Making the Olympics was a big deal for Nico,” Andersen added, “whether he medaled or not. Nico is to us what Manny Pacquiao is to Top Rank, ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to Golden Boy. We’re lucky to start out with a fighter like Nico. Fighting in Wichita was risk for everybody but it’s already paying dividends.
“We know who and what we are as a promotional company. Nico is our top priority, our only fighter right now, and now we have a great opportunity to build off last weekend’s success. We give Nico all the attention he deserves and he’s going to take advantage of this situation. And we also discovered that there’s some other talented boxers in this market. Whit Hayden did a wonderful job making very competitive fights. That’s his history, he never has blowouts. Whit is one of the most knowledgeable people I know in boxing. He’s the perfect matchmaker to guide Nico’s career, along with Nico’s father (head trainer) Lewis Hernandez, who we work closely with in many ways, in and out of the ring.”
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison and Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Rock the House at the Philly Arena!
By: Ken Hissner
This was a Peltz Boxing Promotion with GH-3 who has a good young group of boxers and on a Thursday night. CBS Sports Center will televise the show. The place was packed with standing room only. This one goes back to Ward and Gatti without the hoopla.
Photo Credit: Darryl Cobb Jr.
No. 4 Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 21-2 (9), of Millville, NJ, was defeated by No. 1 Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, 30-0-1 (16), of South East D.C. for the vacant USBA welterweight title. “I thought he won 6-4 not like the wide scores,” said Lamanna.
In the opening round Hernandez-Harrison moved around the ring countering well. Lamanna seemed to have problems with the speed of his opponent. In the second round Hernandez-Harrison landed a 3-punch combination. Lamanna is having a problem hitting the elusive Hernandez-Harrison.
In the third round Lamanna flurried having Hernandez-Harrison against the ropes only to have Hernandez-Harrison come back with 3 left hooks. Lamanna came out all fired up landing half a dozen punches without return. Things started heating up in the third round.
In the fourth round a lead right by Hernandez-Harrison rocked Lamanna who came back with a flurry of punches. In the fifth round Lamanna was doing well which seemed to anger Hernandez-Harrison who came back punching Lamanna around the ring. Lamanna has swelling around both eyes. In the sixth round Hernandez-Harrison is putting more behind his punches. Both boxers have plenty of fans in the crowd.
In the seventh round Lamanna landed a power right to the head of Hernandez-Harrison who was holding on. A half a round later it was all Hernandez-Harrison. In the eighth round both went back and forth controlling the round but Hernandez-Harrison’s hand and foot speed always keeps him one step ahead of Lamanna.
In the ninth round it’s more action from both but Hernandez-Harrison continues to batter Lamanna whose eyes are swelling while Hernandez-Harrison is unmarked. In the tenth and final round the fans are yelling “Dusty, Dusty”, as he is looking for a knockout to avoid a hometown decision. This was one of the best fights seen here in sometime with one from Millville and the other D.C.
Judges Bernard Bruni had it 98-92 while judges Tom Schreck and Dana DePaolo had it 97-93 while this writer had it 100-90.
In the co-feature former NFL player Ray “Cincinnati Kid” Edwards, 11-0-1 (7), out of Cinn., OH, won a 6 round decision over southpaw New Jersey champion Dan Pasciolla, 8-1-1 (0), out of Brick, NJ.
In the first two rounds it was the light punching Pasciolla who was taking good body shots from Edwards. The action was very slow. In the third round and fourth rounds Edwards was too strong for Pasciolla.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Pasciolla got his jab in but it wasn’t enough to offset Edwards.
Atlantic City’s Anthony “Juice” Young 14-2 (6) easily stopped Malik “The Freak” Jackson, 3-10-4 (2), of Newark, NJ, at the end of the fourth round stopped by ring physician.
In the opening round a hard right by Young to the head of Jackson dropped him. Referee Clark gave him the 8 count. Jackson did what he had to do to get through the round.
On paper it looked like a mismatch and this writer was surprised Boxing Director Greg Sirb approved it.
In the second round it was more of the same but Jackson staying on his feet. In the third round Jackson’s corner is yelling out instructions but one wonders how they put him in with Young. In the fourth round Young continued bombing Jackson who has little power to hold Young off. A left uppercut to the midsection by Young dropped Jackson At the bell a left hook by Young to the head had Jackson out on his fight.
His corner should have stopped it but it took the ring physician to do it. This was a total mismatch from the time they signed the contracts. Working the corner for Young was Chino Rivas assisted by Rashiem Jefferson.
The Hottest prospect in Philly since 1984 Olympic Gold medalist Meldrick Taylor is Philly’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 6-0 (5), from the Germantown section of the city who showed flashes of greatness and needed a fight like Eddie Diaz, 2-4-2 (0), of Compton, CA, gave him. “I should have done better,” said Ennis. You can’t knock everybody out!
In the opening round Ennis came out orthodox showing very fast hands and going to the body of Diaz. Diaz managed to get some punches to the chin of Ennis. In the second round Ennis continued looking terrific but anytime you are in with a fighter from Compton, CA, which is possibly the baddest city in the country you have to be aware he came to fight. Diaz had a small cut outside of his right eye.
In the third round Diaz would take 3 to land 1 which was usually a right to the head of Ennis. The round was won by Ennis but he got rocked at the bell with a Diaz right to the chin. In the fourth and final round Ennis could not hurt Diaz who was one tough fighter. So Ennis continue to throw combinations and uppercuts to the body of Diaz who never took a back step. Ennis needed a fight like this. “We aren’t taking anymore 143 fights. We will move up to 147,” said Bozy Ennis. The young Ennis had an ice pack on his left hand.
Two judges had it 40-36 and one 39-37. This writer had it 40-36.
In a rematch bantamweight Leroy “Luscious” Davila, 3-0 (1), out of New Brunswick, NJ, had Edgar Torres, 3-4 (0), of Vineland, NJ, on the canvas 3 times with the final one in the second round at 2:03.
Both southpaws scoring well while Davila was very conservative with his punches when all of a sudden out of nowhere he drops Cortes not once but twice. Referee Rosato gave him he the 8 count both times. In the second round Cortes walked right into a lead straight left from Davila putting Cortes on the canvas almost knocked out. Referee Rosato wisely halted it and in no time the ring physician was in the ring administering to Cortes.
Junior welterweight Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr., 7-0 (2), out of Chicago, won a hard fought 6 round decision over Gilbert “Gordo” Venegas, 14-24-5 (8), of E. Moline, IL.
In the opening round Sims goes from orthodox to southpaw having his way with tough veteran Venegas. In the second and third rounds Simms continues to show his skills while Venegas lands an occasional overhand right to the head of Sims. Left hooks by Sims are rocking the iron jawed Venegas.
In the fourth round Sims lands a 3-punch combination and follows with a flurry of punches. In the fifth round Venegas has a small cut along the eyebrow of his left eye. In the sixth and final round Venegas lands his best punch of the fight an overhand right to the head of Simms. This is probably the best round of the fight as both fighters were still throwing leather at the bell!
Judges Gail Jasper, Tom Schreck and Dana Depaolo had it 60-54 as did this writer. Sims was very impressive.
Good looking lightweight Devin “The Dream” Haney, 10-0 (6), out of Las Vegas, defeated southpaw “Mighty” Mike Fowler, 5-3 (2), out of Milwaukees over 8 rounds.
In the opening round Fowler controlled the first half before Haney got his rhythm together and took the second half. In the second and third round Haney unloaded on Fowler who is doing very little in return.
In the fourth Haney is landing 3 punches at a time as the nose of Fowler is bleeding. In the fifth round Haney continued to rock Fowler until referee Rosato wisely halted the fight. ”I fought a good fight especially going to the body,” said Haney. He is one to watch!
In the opening bout a war broke out. Darryl “Dreamking” Bunting, 2-1-2 (1), of Asbury Park, NJ, was stopped by Darryl Gause, 2-0 (1), of Vineland, NJ, in a super middleweight match at 2:14 of the second.
In the opening round it was a slugfest with Bunting having the edge until a right hand from Gause had him out on his feet. It looked like referee Dali might stop it. He gave him a standing count at the bell. In the second round the slugfest continued until once again a Gause right hand drove Bunting across the ring into the ropes Gause jumped on him and referee Dali wisely halted the action.
Ring announcer was Mark Fratto.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna & Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Thursday in Philly Arena!
By: Ken Hissner
You don’t always see two white fighters headlining but Thursday at the 2300 Arena in the Philly Arena a Peltz Boxing Promotion should be a good one and a flip of the coin who the winner will be! CBS Sports Center will televise the show.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 21-1 (9), of Millville, NJ, who has won his last five fights and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, 29-0-1 (16), of D.C. for the vacant USBA welterweight title.
Harrison-Hernandez is coming off a brutal draw and the first event if I am not mistaken without his father Buddy Harrison. Winning the USBA title usually guarantees a ranking in the IBF. In the July USBA ratings Hernandez-Harrison was No. 1 and Lamanna No. 4.
The 8 fight show has Atlantic City’s Anthony “Juice” Young 13-2 (5) against Malik Jackson, 3-9-4 (2), of Newark, NJ, who is a “spoiler”.
Heavyweight Ray “The Cincinnati Kid” Edwards, 11-0-1 (7), of Cinn., OH, is a former football player at Purdue University. His opponent is southpaw Dan Pasciolla, 8-1-1 (0), of Brick, NJ, whose latest win over former IBF Cruiserweight champion Imau Mayfield for the NJ, state title fight was his best showing to date.
The Hottest prospect in Philly since 1984 Olympic Gold medalist Meldrick Taylor is Philly’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 5-0 (5), who has been fighting once a month since turning professional has his father “Bozy” Ennis in his corner. His opponent which would be his toughest to date is Eddie Diaz, 2-4-2 (0), of Torrance, CA, welterweight match-up.
A good prospect is bantamweight Leroy “Luscious” Davila, 2-0 (0), out of New Brunswick, NJ, taking on Edgar Torres, 3-3 (0), of Vineland, NJ. Welterweight Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr., 7-0 (2), out of Chicago meets up with Gilbert Venegas, 14-24-5 (8), of E. Moline, IL. Devin “The Dream” Haney, 9-0 (5), out of Las Vegas battles Mike Fowler, 5-2 (2), out of Milwaukee in a lightweight match. Darryl “Dreamking” Bunting, 2-0-2 (1), of Asbury Park, NJ, meets Darryl Gause, 1-0 (0), of Vineland, NJ, in a super middleweight match.
Pirog, Hernandez, Simon and Valero’s Careers Ended as Champions!
By: Ken Hissner
Sometimes a champion can only be stopped by injury or death. First we will look at Russia’s Demitry “Grandmaster” Pirog, 20-0 (15), who was WBO Middleweight champion. He gave up his title to challenge Gennady “GGG” Golovkin instead of his top contender Hassan N’Dam which cost him his title. In training he suffered a debilitating (ruptured disc) back injury and never fought again. His last fight was on May 1st, 2012 in his third title defense.
Pirog is the only boxer to defeat (by stoppage) current WBA World middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs who was 20-0 at the time and 31-1 (28) now with 11 straight knockout wins since this defeat. Pirog was 16-0 at the time. It was July 31st in 2010 when they fought in Las Vegas, NV, for the vacant WBO title.
In his fourth bout Pirog won the Russian title defeating Sergey Tatevosyon, 25-5, by decision. In his eighth bout he stopped Juan Manuel Alaggio, 16-4-1, of Argentina. In his tenth bout he stopped fellow Russian Alexey Chirkov, 18-2, for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title. In his eleventh fight he knocked out another fellow Russian Aslanbek Kodzoev, 20-2-1. In his next and twelfth bout he defeated Serbian Geard Ajetovic, 16-2-1.
In Pirog’s next bout he stopped Kuvanych Toygonbayev, 29-4, of UZB improving to 13-0. In his next fight for the vacant WBC International title he ended the career of Ghana’s Kofi Jantuah, 32-3-1, in his first bout out of Russia in Saarland, Germany. This was followed with his first American opponent stopping Philly’s Eric “Murder” Mitchell, 22-6-1. Next he stopped and took the WBC Baltic title from Estonia’s Sergei Melis, 15-1.
In what would be Pirog’s only US appearance is when he stopped Jacobs in Las Vegas. In his first defense of his WBO title he defeated Javier Francisco Maciel, 18-1, of Argentina. In his final bout he defeated the former interim WBA champion Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-7-2. Ishida in his next bout was stopped by Golovkin being the only one to stop Ishida in his now 40 bouts.
Golovkin and Pirog were to fight August 25th 2012 on HBO. Pirog claims to have had a 200-30 amateur record. He gave up Chess at age 8 for something more physical which would start his boxing career. He has gone into training several times for a proposed comeback but could never get to the level he was when he stopped fighting.
The second Champion was Cuban Yoan Pablo “Iron Man” Hernandez, 29-1 (14), held the interim WBA Cruiserweight title before winning the IBF Cruiserweight title. In September 2005 he lived in Germany where he started his career. In the pro’s he was trained by Ulli Wegner.
In Cuba Hernandez fought from 2001 to 2005 and had quite a career. In 2001 he was a Cuban Jr. Champ. In 2002 he won the World Jr. Champion in Cuba. He lost that year to Cuban heavyweight Odlanier Solis. In 2003 he fought as a light heavyweight in the Pan Am Games going 2-1. He was in the 2004 Olympics getting a bye and losing in the second round. He then defected to Germany. In 2005 he was the Cuban National heavyweight champion. He had knee surgery for a rupture of the Meniscus of the right knee putting his professional career on hold.
Turning pro Hernandez won his first 10 fights knocking out Thomas Hansvoll, 25-3-2, of Norway, who resided in Denmark in the tenth fight. In his fourteenth fight Hernandez won the WBC Latino title knocking out Algerian Mohamed Azzaoui, 22-1-2, of France. In his fifteenth fight he lost for the first and only time in his career to former WBC Cruiserweight champion Wayne “Big Turk” Braithwaite, 22-3, of Guyana and living in the US.
In May of 2009 Hernandez defeated Aaron Williams, 19-1-1, of the US. In his next bout in October of 2009 he defeated Serb Enad Licina, 17-1, residing in Germany for the IBF Inter-Continental title. In February of 2011 he won the interim WBA title knocking out fellow southpaw Steve “Centurian” Herelius, 21-1-1, of France.
In October of 2011 Hernandez possibly had his toughest fight for the IBF title held by Steve “USS” Cunningham, 24-2, of the US. Both were promoted by Sauerland of Germany. Hernandez wasn’t ranked in the IBF due to holding the interim WBA title so why was this fight made by their same promoter? In the first round Hernandez missed with a right hand but followed with a left dropping Cunningham who upon getting up rolled back on his side but beat the count of referee Mickey Van. For some reason due to the referee it took about 10 seconds to resume the bout when the bell sounded.
In the second round and third rounds Cunningham became the aggressor in taking both rounds. With about 30 seconds to go in the round a clash of heads caused Hernandez to suffer a cut. The referee never stopped the action to inspect the cut. In the fifth round Hernandez hit Cunningham behind the head. By the time the referee got to the fighters Hernandez hit Cunningham behind the head again without a warning from the referee. The corner of Hernandez took the full minute then requested the ring physician to check the cut. Hernandez stood up looking to resume the action when the referee comes over to him and stops the fight telling both the decision will go to the scorecards.
When the scorecards were announced the first judge had Cunningham up 57-56. The other two judges had it 58-55 and 59-54 for Hernandez. This writer had Cunningham ahead 58-55 only losing the first round. Cunningham walked around the ring with his hands in the air with his thumbs pointing down. Hernandez was later informed he would have to fight Troy Ross with the winner meeting Cunningham. Hernandez’s camp insisted on a rematch with Cunningham some 4 months later with the winner to fight Ross.
The rematch was entirely different. Hernandez had Cunningham down twice in the fourth round and coasted to a decision win. After this fight he defended against Ross winning by decision. It was 14 months later before he fought again in 2013 when he knocked out Alexander Alekseev, 24-2, of UZB, residing in Germany in the tenth round. In August of 2014 he won a split decision over Firat Aslan, 34-7-2, of Germany. The fans were not happy with the decision. Both fighters complimented each other afterwards.
In late 2015 Hernandez was to have surgery for his knee and for loose cartilage in his elbow. He was to fight Ola Afolabi in April of 2015 but had to cancel due to his injury. He’s talked about a comeback but it’s never developed
The third world champion is Harry “The Terminator” Simon, 29-0 (21), of Walvis Bay, Nambia. He claimed to be 271-2 in the amateurs. One loss was in the 1992 Olympics. He was trained by Brian Mitchell and managed by Ellison Hijarunguru.
On November 21, 2002, in trying to pass two cars Simon hit a car head on killing a couple and their baby. Simon had two broken legs and a broken arm. In March of 2007 he returned after serving two years in prison.
Simon turned pro in 1994 in South Africa and after winning his first five fights stopped Enuel Marshile, 11-1. In 1995 he defeated Danny Chavez, 25-4-1. In 1998 he won a majority decision over Ronald “Winky” Wright, 38-1, for the WBO Super welterweight title. In 1999 to 2001 he fought out of the UK making a pair of defenses. In his third defense he traveled to Canada winning a majority decision over Rodney Jones, 24-2. In February 2001 he defeated Wayne Alexander, 15-0, who took the fight on 24 hour notice replacing Robert Allen.
In July Simon moved up to middleweight beating Hacine Cherifi, 32-5-1, of France in Puerto Rico, winning the interim WBO title. In April of 2002 he defeated Sweden’s Arman Krajnc, 26-0, in Denmark. He would return in March of 2007 in Nambia as a light heavyweight winning over Stephen Nzuemba, 7-0, but didn’t fight again for a year winning two fights and appearing at 200 pounds in June of 2012 stopping Ruben Groenewald, 23-9, some 18 months later. He returned to light heavyweight a year later winning a pair of fights with the last one a 12 round decision over Serbian Geard Ajetovic, 23-8-1, for the vacant IBF International light heavyweight title.
Simon would not fight again after September of 2013 a month before his 39th birthday. He had never been the same after coming back in 2007 after being off for five years but still never lost a fight.
The fourth champion is Edwin “Dinamita” Valero, 27-0 (27), of Merida, VZ, who was found dead after hanging himself in a prison cell on April 19th of 2009. He admitted killing his wife the day before. In March of 2010 he had cracked his wives ribs and punctured her lung. Upon visiting her at the hospital he made a commotion and was arrested.
Valero’s amateur record was 86-6 (45). On Feb 5th 2001 he had a motor cycle accident and fractured his skull. This could be the reason he eventually went bad. He would hold the WBA Super featherweight title defending it four times. He won the WBC Lightweight title and defended it twice. Both Golden Boy and Top Rank promoted him.
Valero turned professional on July 9th 2002 and won his first 18 fights all in the first round. In his 18th fight he stopped Whyber Garcia, 17-3, of Panama in an elimination fight for the WBA Super featherweight title. He also won the WBA Fedelatin title in February 2006.
Valero knowing he wouldn’t get the title fight for six months he took another fight one month later in Japan stopping Mexican Genaro Trazancos, 21-7, in the second round. In August of 2006 he won the WBA Super featherweight title stopping Panama’s Vicente Mosquera, 24-1-1, in the 11th round. He had Mosquera down twice in the first round and was down himself in the third round.
Valero made three defenses in 2007 with the first two in Japan and the third in Mexico. In April of 2009 he won the WBC Lightweight title stopping Colombian Antonio Pitalua, 47-3, out of Mexico knocking him down three times in the second round in Austin, TX. It was his only title bout in the US. In December of 2009 he made his first defense winning over Hector Velazquez who didn’t come out for the seventh round. In February of 2010 he had his last fight stopping Mexican Antonio De Marco, 23-1-1, who didn’t come out for the tenth round. In the second round an accidental elbow from De Marco opened up a large gash on Valero’s hair line which seemed to make him fight even harder with blood covering the right side of his face.
Plans for Valero meeting Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquaio were in the making later in the year. In January of 2004 Golden Boy took him to New York where a small blood clot was showing in his brain. He was suspended and would be off for 17 months.
This was one “wild man” who was in 8 world title bouts. He fought in VZ 12 times, Japan 5 times, US 4 times, Mexico and Panama twice each and Argentina and France once each. He was one of the few champions to end his career undefeated.
PBC on Spike TV Results
By: William Holmes
The Honda Center in Anaheim, California was the host site for last night’s Bellator MMA card and was the host site for tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on Spike TV.
Three bouts were scheduled to be televised on tonight’s card and featured a welterweight main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between US Olympian Terrell Gausha (18-0) and Steve Martinez (16-2) in the junior middleweight division.
On paper, this looked to be the most competitive fight of the night.
Martinez looked like the bigger boxer and both fighters fought out of an orthodox stance. Martinez’s jab was accurate in the first round and he mixed up his shots to the head and body, but Gausha was able to end the round with a stiff counter right.
Martinez out threw Gausha in the second round, but Gausha was connecting with the cleaner counters. There were several good exchanges in the third and fourth rounds, but it looked like Gausha was making Martinez miss more while landing at a higher percentage.
Martinez’s pressure was constant in the middle rounds and could have won him some rounds in the eye of the judges. Gausha was more active in the seventh round than in the previous rounds, and both boxers were willing to stand in the pocket and exchange blows.
Gausha’s jab and lead uppercut were effective in slowing down Martinez in the eighth round, and the ninth round opened up with a flurry with both boxers taking and landing hard shots.
By the final round the fight could have been scored for either fighter and both boxers tried to leave it all in the ring and let their hands go, but neither man was able to score that definitive knockdown to lay claim to a convincing victory.
The judges scored the bout 95-95, 97-93, and 97-93 for Terrell Gausha.
The next bout of the night was between Alfredo Angulo (24-5) and Freddy Hernandez (33-8) in the Super Middleweight division.
Both boxers have spent most of their career fighting in the junior middleweight division, and a loss for either would likely signal the end of any future title shots, and they fought like it in the opening round. Neither Hernandez nor Angulo spent any time feeling the other out and freely exchanged power shots. Hernandez was landing with more frequency and the cleaner shots in the opening round.
Hernandez started off as the more accurate boxer in the second round, but Angulo took some of the best punches that Hernandez threw and was beginning to get within range and land hard punches of his own.
Hernandez had a very strong third round and was able to pop shot Angulo at will
with multi punch combinations. Hernandez’s dominance continued into the fourth round and Angulo was visibly frustrated at the end of the round.
Angulo had a little more success in the fifth round and was able to stun Hernandez with a low blow and a wild left and right hook to the head of Hernandez. Angulo was able to open up a cut over the left eye of Hernandez, who was starting to breathe heavily from his open mouth.
Hernandez’s corner did a good job at closing up his cut before the start of the sixth round and Hernandez was able to go back to pop shotting Angulo from the outside. Hernandez’s cut was re-opened in the final minute of the sixth round from a good right hand by Angulo.
Hernandez had a difficult time keeping Angulo at a good range in the seventh round and his eye was bleeding profusely, but he still out landed and out threw Angulo.
The action was intense and the volume of punches thrown in the final three rounds was high, but it appeared to be Angulo who was landing the harder punches while it was Hernandez who landed the higher number of punches.
The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93, and 97-93 for Freddy Hernandez.
The main event of the night was between Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) and David Peralta (25-2-1) in the welterweight division.
Guerreo was a former two division world champion and has been in the ring with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Danny Garcia. David Peralta has spent his entire career fighting in Argentina and has never fought in the United States.
Guerreo, a southpaw, started off by pressing forward more and showing head good head movement. He looked like he was giving up several inches in height to Peralta. Guerreo was able to get past the jab of Peralta in the opening round and land several hard left hands to the chin.
Guerreo spent most of the second round patiently looking for a clean counter to land while Peralta seemed content on throwing his range finding jab but not much else.
Peralta was able to catch Guerreo by surprise with two quick counter right hands but Guerreo was accurate with his counter punching afterwards in the third round. Guerreo did open up a cut near the hairline of Peralta in the third.
Guerreo was able to snap the head of Peralta backwards several times in the fourth round with hard straight left hands. However, Peralta was able to answer with a strong fifth round and even stunned Guerreo with a combination that ended with a straight left jab. Peralta continued the positive momentum into the sixth round and his style was appearing to baffle Guerreo.
Guerreo fought with increased desperation in the seventh round and likely won the round based on his aggression. However, that aggression disappeared in the eighth round and Peralta used his height to his advantage with an effective and accurate jab.
Peralta had Guerreo backing up in the ninth round and was more willing to throw combinations and even sent Guerreo backwards into the corner with a hard straight right hand. Guerreo hit the ropes and was able to pop back up, but would have been knocked down if the ropes were not there. The ninth round was a very strong round for Peralta.
Peralta’s punches were snapping the head of Guerreo in the tenth round and Guerrero was not able to launch an effective offensive attack in the eleventh.
There were a lot of close rounds, but this writer felt Peralta was ahead on the scorecards going into the twelfth and final round. Peralta finished strong by looking like the fresher fighter and by being the aggressor.
The judges scored the bout 115-113 Peralta, 115-113 Guerrero, 116-112 Peralta in a major upset.
PBC on Spike Preview: Guerrero vs. Peralta, Angulo vs. Hernandez, Gausha vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Honda Center in Anaheim, California will be the host site for the next Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) broadcast on Spike TV.
Three bouts are scheduled to take place, including a main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta. This card is being promoted in conjunction with a Bellator MMA card that takes place the night before.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano/Team Guerrero/Premier Boxing Champions
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.
Terrell Gausha (18-0) vs. Steve Martinez (16-2); Junior Middleweights
The opening bout of the night will feature a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team, Terrell Gausha.
Gausha had an impressive amateur career and was also a former two time US National Amateur Champion, but his opponent Steve Martinez was a former National Golden Gloves Champion and also had some success as an amateur on the national stage.
Gausha, despite being a recent Olympian, will be two years older than Martinez at the age of twenty eight. He will also be giving up both height and reach and will be about two inches shorter than Martinez.
Gausha has been very active in the past two years and fought four times in 2015 as well as six times in 2014. Martinez on the other hand has only fought once in 2015 and three times in 2014.
Gausha’s biggest victories have come against Orlando Lora, Eliezer Gonzalez, Luis Grajeda, and Norberto Gonzalez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Jorge Melendez and Jay Krupp.
On paper, this a fight that Gausha should win. However, it is refreshing to see a recent Olympian challenge himself against a good opponent that is actually younger than him instead of older. This should be one of the more competitive fights of the night.
Alfredo Angulo (24-5) vs. Freddy Hernandez (33-8); Super Middleweights
The next bout of the night is between two veterans that have been in the ring with some of the best in the sport. It’s unlikely either Angulo or Hernandez will ever get another crack at a world championship, and both are now fighting in the super middleweight division after spending most of their career fighting as a junior middleweight, but this bout is a must win for either boxer if they want to remain relevant.
Angulo has gone 2-3 in his past five fights while Hernandez has gone 3-3 in his past six fights. Angulo is a former Olympian and competed in the 2004 Olympics. He’s thirty four, but will be three years younger than Hernandez. He will be giving up about a half inch in height and will also be giving up a large six inches in reach.
Both boxers have lost to some of the best the sport of boxing has to offer. Angulo lost to the likes of James De La Rosa, James Kirkland, Kermit Cintron, Canleo Alvaraez, and Erislandy Lara. Hernandez has lost to Brad Solomon, Julian Williams, Francisco Santana, Delvin Rodriguez, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, and Andre Berto.
Angulo has the better professional resume and has beaten the likes of Joel Julio, Harry Jor Yorgey, Gabriel Rosado, Richard Gutierrez, and Joachim Alcine. Hernandez has beaten the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Ben Tackie, Luis Collazo, and Jesus Soto Karass.
Neither boxer has looked good in recent bouts, but both have a lot to fight for. There’s a chance this match could turn into a brawl, but it’s likely this bout won’t be very entertaining for the viewers. Angulo should win and maybe get one more chance at a relevant fight.
Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) vs. David Peralta (25-2-1); Welterweights
Robert Guerrero lost his last fight to Danny Garcia and was barely able to pull out the victory against Aaron Martinez.
However, Guerrero is still a relevant name in the sport of boxing and win on Saturday could land him another fight against a top opponent in the welterweight division.
Guerrero has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts but has fought some of the best the sport has to offer. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Gamaliel Diaz early on in his career.
Guerrero is a former featherweight champion and has beaten the likes of Gamaliel Diaz in a revenge match, as well as Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis, Selcuk Aydin, Andre Berto, Yoshihiro Kamegai, and Aaron Martinez.
Guerrero, a southpaw and thirty three years old, will be facing off against a relative unknown in the United States in Peralta. Peralta is also thirty three years old.
Not much is known of Peralta in the United States because he has never fought outside of his home country or Argentina. He has fourteen knockouts, which is four less than Guerrero, and his two losses were to the unheralded Cristian Nestor Romero and Claudio Alfredo Olmedo.
He has no notable victories, and his last bout was against an opponent with a sub .500 record. Guerrero should win this bout easily, and a loss for him would be a major upset.
The Drought is Over: Nico Hernandez takes home Bronze for US Boxing
By: Matthew N. Becher
Nico Hernandez came into these Olympic Games as a pretty big underdog, in fact the whole USA Boxing team did. Not having won a medal since Deontay Wilder took home a bronze in 2008 it is a daunting task to compete with so much pressure, in a sport that is already filled with enough of it.
Hernandez started the round of 32 with a Unanimous Decision win against Italy’s Manuel Cappai last Wednesday, which in itself was a great accomplishment. The entire 2012 men’s team in London only won 1 match between them.
Nico followed that up with a huge upset win over the second seeded Russian, Vasilii Egorov, again by Unanimous decision, leading him into the Quarterfinals, “Me and my coaches came in with a game plan and we executed it….I knew he was going to try and make it rough for me, so I just tried to keep my composure and stay smart with him.”
In the Quarterfinals, the unseeded Hernandez kept up his winning ways by defeating Ecuador’s Carlos Quipo and guaranteeing him a spot in the medal round. For the first time in 28 yrs. an American Light Flyweight would take home an Olympic Medal. The last to do it was Michael Carabajal in the 1988 Seoul games. “It was a little difficult but I know as I go along the fights are just gonna get harder. As long as I listen to my coaches and do what they say, I know they won’t lead me on the wrong path. They told me it was close, I hit him with a couple body shots and I feel like that slowed him down. I knew he was going to be coming forward. He’s a real strong fighter so I had to wear him down to the body and slow him down.”
Today the Cinderella story came to an end, as Hernandez lost to Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov 3-0. Dusmatov was just too strong and fast for Nico to handle. Hernandez was also cut in the fight. Hernandez said “he was just the better man today, I’m definitely disappointed, I didn’t want to go home with a bronze medal. I wanted to go home with a gold….I know win or lose, my supporters back home are proud of me.”
Hernandez is certainly right. He is a shining star in the sport now, one that many are sure to keep their eye on in the future. At only 20 years old, the kid from Wichita, Kansas should know that he made his country very proud, while adding a few historical moments as well.