Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, Chris Algieri, Jaime Munguia, Philly Special, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 8th to January 15th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Jaime Munguia Discusses Promising 2019 As He Prepares to Defend Title Against Takeshi Inoue
Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) discussed his busy plans for 2019 as he prepares to defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The action will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Fans in Houston can purchase tickets starting at just $25 at ToyotaCenter.com.
The native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is working hard to make a successful third defense of his title in what will be his debut in Texas. Munguia is working under the expert tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Alcazar, who trained the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Edwin Valero and Jessie Vargas. Munguia is training in the Southern California area, where he combines a morning run at the mountains with an intense boxing session at a private gym in the afternoon.
Below is what Jaime Munguia had to say during a recent training session:
“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before”
I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN.”
“I have worked hard to be in the main events like this. I think for me this is just the start. I want to make history. I was happy to be the co-main event of Canelo vs. GGG 2, and now that I’m headlining this event, I am more motivated.”
“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. We’re going to come very well prepared on Jan. 26.”
“After this fight, it looks like I will have a WBO mandatory bout against Dennis Hogan. But I would still like to unify the titles at 154 pounds with the other champions. We will resolve anything that is put in front of us.”
“The plan is to move up to 160 pounds in about a year. We’re fine making weight now. I have no problems, but I feel I can move up and fight in other divisions. My body is such that I could even go up to 168 pounds.”
Munguia on the other fighters in his division:
“I thought the fight was a draw [regarding Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison]. Charlo should have attacked more and not wait as much. That’s my opinion of the fight. Tony Harrison is a good fighter. He’s tough and has good skills. If he is put in front of us-or anyone for that matter-we will have to work.”
“[Jarrett] Hurd is a very big 154-pounder. I think he’s bigger than me. If a fight with him is presented to me, why not? We can unify the tittles or meet at 160 pounds.”
“I don’t know what to say about the political situation because we are on different platforms. We will see if a fight against them can happen. Perhaps not this year, but maybe we can meet them at 160 pounds.
“I’ve heard the things they’ve said about me. Maybe they don’t respect me or think I’m too young. They’ve said a lot. I will make them respect me on the day they step in the ring with me.”
Munguia on a potential fight against Canelo:
“I don’t think there is any pressure with being mentioned with names like Canelo and Golovkin. I like this. It’s fun. I’m happy to be in fights like this and to see that we are advancing. So, the truth is we are happy.
“I am conscious of what I am doing. I think I can move up to 160 pounds and fight any of the two. It’s a risk because there will always be risks. Those are the two best fighters in the world. We would have to be very careful and come very well prepared. I don’t think it would happen soon, so we have to see what the future holds for us.”
Chris Algieri Appears on WNYW Fox 5 To Discuss Upcoming Title Fight
Star Boxing’s CHRIS ALGIERI (Huntington, LI, NY, 22-3 8KO), former WBO World Super Lightweight Champion, will be on WNYW Fox 5 discussing his fight with Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (Woodhaven, New York 17-1-1 7KO), for the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Title on January 18th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a featured 10 round bout on the undercard of the WBO World Middleweight Title bout between DEMETRIUS ANDRADE and ARTUR AKAVO.
On November 30th Algieri, ended a two year hiatus from the ring, winning a shutout unanimous 10 round decision over ANGEL HERNANDEZ, before a vocal and sold out crowd filled with his supporters at the Paramount. Algieri has never lost a fight at 140 lb. and he is trying to get back his WBO World Championship. The step just before that is the WBO International Championship and Danny Gonzalez on Friday Night. Catch Algieri live on Channel 5 at approximately 7:45 Tuesday morning. Perhaps more importantly, don’t miss him vs. Danny Gonzalez on Friday night on DAZN from the Hulu Theater MSG.
Gonzalez, a young and rising star who has made a name for himself at the Paramount in Huntington, LI, in Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series, captured the ABO Intercontinental Championship in September 2018, with a unanimous decision over JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ in an epic battle. The fight was a war of attrition and Gonzalez earned his championship in a bout which proved both his fighting heart and talent. Now the spotlight is much greater as he challenges former World Champion Algieri for the WBO International Strap.
Not only is a possible world title shot on the line in this bout but bragging rights in the Star Boxing stable are being contested. This is a fight where both fighters will be calling on all their will and skill and it should be a crowd pleasing slam-bang affair from bell-to-bell.
Salita Congratulates Russia’s Elena Gradinar for Winning Prospect of the Year for 2018
Promoter Dmitriy Salita congratulates undefeated Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar for being named “Prospect of the Year” for 2018 by respected women’s boxing body womenofboxing.com.
Gradinar (9-0, 2 KOs) is the number one IBF contender and mandatory challenger to world champion Jennifer Han. She started the year with a unanimous decision over Karina Kopinska and then moved into the mandatory spot and picked up the IBF Inter-Continental Female Featherweight Championship with a unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula.
Already designated a Sport Master of Russia in her homeland, the 28-year-old, from Saint Petersburg finds herself one win away from her first world championship.
“I am very grateful for this honor,” said a happy Gradinar. “I look forward to winning the IBF Featherweight World Title in my next fight and bringing respect to women’s boxing by fighting the best champions and top contenders.”
Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group) says Gradinar is a key component to his highly successful efforts to revive the once-floundering sport of women’s boxing.
Salita was named Promoter of the Year for 2018 by womenofboxing.com.
“This is a very meaningful victory in a category that featured top names in Women’s Boxing,” said Salita. “This shows that our effort to expand women’s boxing throughout the world is paying off. Elena is going to have a great year.”
Anthony Laureano Looks to Impress on January 26th At Mohegan Sun
With January 26th rapidly approaching, the hype for STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” continues to build as one of its up-in-coming fighters is ready to defend his undefeated record. Connecticut’s own “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (9-0 3KO’s) of East Hartford is all set to battle in a featured bout at Mohegan Sun against RONALD “SAVAGE” RIVAS (5-8-2 3 KO’s).
The bout will be Laureano’s fourth fight at Mohegan Sun. Laureano earned the nickname “Action” for his relentless, come-forward fighting style. This style was clearly evident in his last fight against Waco, Texas veteran MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE in a bout in which Laureano had the crowd on its feet. The fighters stood toe to toe for most of the fight, with Laureano earning a unanimous decision.
2018 was a successful year for Laureano who reeled off three consecutive victories. When the East Hartford native is in the ring, fans can always expect an exciting show from start to finish. As Laureano explained: People come to fights to “see action” and “to see somebody coming forward.” “I’m that fighter that always wants to fight.” Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” always brings fireworks to Connecticut, and Laureano is continuing the tradition of aggressive fighters who never take a step in retreat and who deliver plenty of action and excitement.
Laureano had this to say about his upcoming bout: “Super excited to be returning home to the Mohegan Sun. This is my 4th fight at Mohegan and there is nothing like fighting there. The venue is beautiful and the crowd is amazing. It makes me fight harder. I love to bring the action to my Connecticut fans and family at Mohegan.Can’t wait for January 26th. I want to thank JOE DEGUARDIA and Star Boxing for giving me this opportunity. You don’t want to miss this one!”
In the main event of “SLUGFEST at the SUN” on January 26th, CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (22-1 18 KO) will test his awesome punching power against the will and toughness of another fellow power puncher, Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21 KO). Seldin,who stunned Nelson Lara this past November, in a bout televised live on ESPN+, with his vicious body attack which resulted in a first round knockout, looks to continue his inexorable climb to the Super Lightweight championship. With both fighters bringing heavy artillery into the ring the fans can look forward to an exciting slugfest.
Philly Special Undercard Features Rivers vs. Whitley in Battle of Unbeaten Welterweight Prospects on Feb. 8th
A rare six-round contest between a pair of unbeaten welterweight prospects–Marcel Rivers, of North Philadelphia, and Derrick Whitley, Jr., of Springfield, MA–highlights the preliminary card of Raging Babe’s ‘Philly Special’ on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
Headlining the eight-fight program is an eight-round bantamweight match-up between undefeated Christian Carto, of South Philadelphia, and Victor Ruiz, of San Diego, CA. First bout is at 7.30 p.m.
Rivers, 31, has won all six of his pro fights, four by knockout. A single father, he balances boxing with a full-time, physically taxing job at Philadelphia Gas Works. Rivers, the sole caregiver for his 6-year-old son, Cameron, recently added another “why” to his quest to become a world champion. His new baby daughter, 4-month-old Jennah, provides him with new inspiration.
“I definitely have an incentive to work even harder now,” said Rivers. “It’s an honor to be on this card, with all the talent. A lot of these guys have backing, but I have come out of nowhere and found my way, so I appreciate the opportunity to fight on this card.”
Whitley, Jr, 27, a southpaw, is unbeaten in five pro fights with one draw. He comes from a fighting family–his dad and uncle were veteran pros.
Derrick Whitley, Sr., had 52 pro fights from 1995 to 2007. Uncle Darren–twin brother of Whitley, Sr.–had 44 pro fights from 1995 to 2003. Both fought as super middleweights and light-heavyweights.
The younger Whitley trains at the family gym. He works with adults who have had brain injuries, a career he has pursued for many years. He also plays semi-pro football.
“Rivers vs. Whitley was not the easiest fight to make,” said matchmaker J Russell Peltz, “given the culture of boxing today where few fighters want to risk their spotless records at such an early stage. These two guys are different and I applaud them for it.”
In a six-round heavyweight bout on the Feb. 8 card, North Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) will look to secure his 14th win. Rock was a highly touted amateur with multiple national and international titles. He signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016 before turning pro. Rock is trained by his father, Wayne, AKA Whiz.
The Feb. card also includes the highly anticipated professional debuts of two of Pennsylvania’s most promising amateurs in four-round fights. Heavyweight Sonny Conto, of South Philly, and bantamweight Jeremy Adorno, of Allentown, PA, announced last week that they had signed with Top Rank Boxing.
Conto, 22, was a standout baseball player at Rowan College at Gloucester County before turning his attention to boxing. He takes on Jimmy Levins, of Buffalo, NY. Jeremy Adorno, younger brother of fellow Top Rank signee Joseph Adorno, was born in Puerto Rico. He boasts an amateur record of 106-17 with multiple Silver Gloves National titles and two Ringside World titles under his belt.
Coatesville, PA, junior welterweight Gerardo Martinez (3-1, 1 KO) faces Haitian-born Osnel Charles (12-18-1, 2 KOs), of Atlantic City NJ, who has appeared at the 2300 Arena in four of his last seven fights. This also is scheduled for four rounds.
Rounding out the card: New Hope, PA, bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Edgar Cortes (6-4), of Vineland, NJ, in a six-round, bantamweight contest; Puerto Rican-born Jonathan Torres (1-0), of Bethlehem, PA, vs. Atlantic City bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-3) over four rounds.
“You have Gerardo Martinez with a 3-1 record going up against a 31-fight veteran in Osnel Charles,” said Peltz. “Or Alejandro Jimenez, at 4-0, fighting a capable 10-fight lefty in Edgar Cortes. There are times when four- and six-round fights are more appetizing than some of the so-called big fights you see on television.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions & Rite Hook Promotions bringing pro boxing to Historic St. Petersburg Coliseum on Feb. 16
Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and Rite Hook Promotions have jointly announced a co-promotion presentation, “St. Pete Fan Fest,” to be live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS©, on Saturday night, February 16, from historic St. Petersburg Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Roy Jones Jr and I are honored to work with such a hard-working and honorable promotion company like Rite Hook Promotions,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre commented. “William Hunter is a true class act in the sport of boxing. February 16th, RJJ Promotions along with Rite Hook Promotions will conquer the corner with outstanding fights. We have true warriors on this card who can now showcase their talent and let the world see what Tampa fighters have to offer.”
“I am super excited to be working with RJJ Boxing Promotions and UFC Fight Pass for our February 16th event,” Rite Hook Promotions president William Hunter said. “There are tons of talented fighters in the Tampa/St. Pete area along with loyal boxing fans. There are definitely some future world championship-caliber fighters on this event, male and female, who will showcase their talents in front of the world on February 16th.”
North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Continental Americas lightweight champion William “Baby Face” Silva (26-2, 15 KOs), a native of Brazil now fighting out of Plant City, FL, will headline in a 10-round bout.
Undefeated middleweight prospect Connor Coyle (8-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Derry, Northern Ireland, is slated to fight in his first scheduled 10-rounder in the co-featured event.
Also scheduled to fight are St. Petersburg welterweight Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round match; unbeaten American Boxing Federation (ABF) Continental Americas welterweight titlist Mark Reyes (8-0, 6 KOs), of Tampa, undefeated Atlanta middleweight Javonn “Pinkie” Barnes (12-0, 6 KOs), unbeaten Tampa middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs), the son of multiple world champion Antonio Tarver, and Tampa heavyweight Mike “Concrete” Bissett (14-11-1, 8 KOs) – all in six-round bouts – plus Tampa’s undefeated female junior bantamweight Jasmine Artega (5-0, 4 KOs) in a four-rounder.
All fighters are subject to change. Opponents will soon be announced.
“St. Pete Fan Fest” will be the second event of the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS series. FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Stevenson, DeGale, Eubank, Elbiali, Machado, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 1st to January 8th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Tickets on Sale for DeGale vs. Eubank Showdown at the O2
London (7 January 2019) Poxon Sports and Premier Boxing Champions are delighted to announce that tickets for the Battle of Britain clash between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday 23rd February at The O2 will go on sale at MIDDAY today.
DeGale and Eubank Jr finally meet in an eagerly anticipated contest which promises to be as explosive and thrilling as the great all British Benn-Eubank and Froch-Groves confrontations of the past.
After years of animosity and a hostile war of words, the bitter enemies will put everything on the line with the winner claiming the Best of British bragging rights, all set inside the perfect backdrop of The O2 in the capital that has hosted many of the big domestic blockbuster fights in recent years.
Tickets are priced at:
£40 & £60 (Level 4/Upper Bowl),
£80, £100 and £150 (Level 1/Lower Bowl)
£600 Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality*
All prices are subject to booking fees.
*VIP Hospitality includes separate bar/hospitality area, complimentary wine/beer, with canapés and will operate from approximately 6pm to 9pm.
Tickets can be purchased from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk
The show will start at approximately 6pm with the Main Event in the ring shortly after 10pm.
A full supporting, action-packed, undercard will be announced shortly.
Ahmed Elbiali Training Camp Quotes
Having recently moved from Miami to Las Vegas, hard-hitting light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali shared his thoughts on training camp as he prepares to face Oklahoma’s Allan Green Sunday, January 13 from the Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The fight will be featured on the Premier Boxing Champions Prelims live on FS1 and FOX Deportes telecast that begins at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, if time allows.
Prelims precede a Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes show that features IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Jose Uzcategui taking on unbeaten Caleb Plant in the main event. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see unbeaten featherweight Brandon Figueroa take on Moises Flores and sensational prospect Joey Spencer entering the ring.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Zanfer Promotions, start at $50, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Here is what Elbiali had to say from training camp at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas:
On training with new coach Chris Ben-Tchavtchavadze:
“Chris is a great coach and he’s teaching me a lot. I’m learning how to parry punches and my defense is improving. On offense, I’m using my jab more to set up combinations. With Chris in my corner, I feel I have someone who can help me make the proper adjustments in a fight.”
On facing veteran Allan Green:
“I know I’m up against a fighter in Allan Green who’s been in the ring and went the distance with some very good fighters. He has a lot of experience, so I must fight wisely to be victorious. I’m going into this fight with a do or die mindset and I’m going to leave everything in the ring.”
On making the move from Miami to Las Vegas:
“It’s been a tremendous blessing since I moved here a few months ago from Miami. The quality of sparring I’m getting is just incredible. I’m getting better every day just from sparring top level guys. In Miami, there just isn’t the quality of guys to spar on a regular basis. The move has been great.”
On making his return to the ring:
“I only fought once last year so I’m hoping to get back on track fighting regularly in 2019. I think with a few more fights I’ll be ready to challenge anyone in my division. I just need to stay active.”
Alberto Machado to Defend WBA Super Featherweight Title Against Andrew ‘El Chango” Cancio
Two world title fights will head to the Coachella Valley in February as Golden Boy Promotions presents another exciting night of boxing on DAZN. In the main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-0, 17 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight World Title against Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (19-4-2, 14 KOs) in a 12-round clash. In the co-main event, Rey Vargas (32-0, 22 KOs) will put his WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship on the line against Franklin Manzanilla (18-4, 17 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial.
“Golden Boy Promotions has promised to bring exciting fights every month on DAZN,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “We’re keeping our promise by bringing two world title fights featuring a world champion from Puerto Rico in Alberto Machado and one from Mexico in Rey Vargas. The best talent from these two countries, which have a rich history in the sport of boxing, will be on display for fans to watch at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino or from home on DAZN.”
Machado, a 28-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts explosive power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Machado defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales by way of eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight World Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw has retained his title against the likes of Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah and Yuandale “Money Shot” Evans and will look to make a third defense against Cancio.
“I am very hungry to go to Los Angeles and start camp for Andrew Cancio,” said Alberto Machado.”Cancio is a great warrior with good experience and will come very hungry, but I will prepare myself responsibly as he is a great challenge for my career. A victory over him will take me further to what I want to achieve in this sport. This will be the third defense of my title, and now I am going in with more experience. I look forward to retaining my championship and returning to Puerto Rico as a world champion.”
Cancio is a 30-year-old contender who recently re-signed with Golden Boy Promotions after scoring a sensational technical knockout victory against then-undefeated prospect Aida Sharibayev. The native of Blythe, Calif. has victories against the likes of Rocky Juarez, Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes and Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado, and he’s also been in tough fights against Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. and Ronny Rios in a professional career that started over 12 years ago. Needless to say, Cancio has worked hard for his title shot.
“I’m very excited and grateful for this opportunity to fight for a world title,” said Andrew Cancio. “Thanks very much to my manager Ray Chaparro and the Golden Boy Promotions Team, along with DAZN. I’ve watched many of Alberto Machado’s fights and know how great of a fighter he is. However, I’ve already started training and will be well prepared on February 9 to win the world title in front of my fans at Fantasy Springs who have always been so very supportive.”
“We are excited to start 2019 with a great fight for Alberto Machado on DAZN,” said Miguel Cotto, President of Miguel Cotto Promotions.”We are committed together with Golden Boy Promotions to bringing the best fights with the best fighters in the world. We know what Machado he is capable of doing. He will enter the ring as a champion and leave the ring as a champion on February 9.”
As mentioned above, Rey Vargas will defend his 122-pound title against Franklin Manzanilla in the 12-round co-main event. Vargas is a 28-year-old world champion who brings a considerable height and reach advantage to every fight, which he has used to defend his titles against the likes of Ronny Rios, Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete and Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan.
“Franklin Manzanilla is a complete fighter,” said Rey Vargas. “He’s tough and goes forward, but he also knows how to box. He’s a strong fighter, and he showed that by defeating Julio Ceja in four rounds to earn the right to fight for a world title. Manzanilla also hits hard. I’ve seen this, and his record indicates that as well. However, I also believe he has some deficiencies in his defense, and that’s what we’re going to try to take advantage of in this fight. Lastly, I invite all the people to watch this fight because it’s going to be a war, and God willing I will walk away with my hand raised high.”
Manzanilla is a 30-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela who will fight in the United States for the first time. Manzanilla is coming off a victory against Julio Ceja for the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight Title, earning him a shot at Vargas in February.
“I’m training very hard to be well prepared,” said Franklin Manznilla. “However, we still haven’t even begun the hard stages of preparation that will have us in excellent condition to give everything in the ring. Rey Vargas is a great fighter who is always well prepared for his fights. He throws a lot of punches, which means we have to be double prepared for this bout. It’s going to be a great fight, and I invite everyone to watch it because they will witness a great upset and will get to know Franklin Manzanilla, a fighter who is preparing physically and mentally to become the new world champion.”
“Rey Vargas is the best super bantamweight in the world,” said Oswaldo Kuchle, President of Promociones del Pueblo. “He will put on a great show on Feb. 9 with his excellent boxing skills. Without a doubt, I think it will be a great and explosive fight that will delight fans in the arena.”
The undercard of this event will be filled with contenders and prospects from the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable.
January 18: Stevenson-Rosales and Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan Highlight Jennings-Rivas ESPN+ Undercard
Shakur Stevenson, the 21-year-old wunderkind who captured a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will begin his 2019 campaign with his toughest professional bout to date.
Stevenson (9-0, 5 KOs) will battle Jessie Cris Rosales in a 10-rounder for the IBF Intercontinental and WBC Continental Americas featherweight belts on Friday, Jan. 18 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Stevenson-Rosales will serve as the co-feature to the Bryant Jennings-Oscar Rivas heavyweight main event, both of which will stream live beginning at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The undercard, including the highly anticipated pro debut of former Indian amateur standout Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan, will also stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), tickets, priced at $79, $62, and $45, are available at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).
“I am ready to fight the best featherweights in the world. 2019 is going to be a year to remember for me,” Stevenson said. “Rosales is a tough opponent, but he’s going to be no match for my speed and power.”
Rosales (22-1-1, 10 KOs), a 27-year-old native of Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, will be making his U.S. debut against Stevenson. He is coming of a second-round KO victory in March against Ibrahim Balla (13-1 at the time) in Altona North, Victoria, Australia. The only blemish on his record came via second-round KO in 2017 to former two-division world champion Jhonny Gonzalez.
Krishan, the most highly decorated amateur in the history of Indian boxing, will take on Steven Andrade (3-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight bout. A 26-year-old southpaw, Krishan represented his homeland at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and became the only Indian fighter in history to capture gold medals at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games. He made headlines at the 2012 Olympics for defeating Errol Spence Jr., only for the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to overturn the result a few hours later because of fouls that Krishan committed during the match.
“I was an amateur for a very long time, and the time was finally right to turn pro,” Krishan said. I do not take this opportunity lightly, and I look forward to showcasing my skills to boxing fans from around the world. I also want to show that Indians are not only good in medical studies, but we know how to fight as well!”
In other action:
Super welterweight contender Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames (15-0, 12 KOs) will take on the veteran Juan Ruiz (21-3, 13 KOs) in a fight scheduled for 10 or eight rounds. Adames is coming off a second-round destruction against Joshua Conley on the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. undercard Oct. 13 in Omaha, Neb.
Robson Conceicao (10-0, 5 KOs), a Brazilian who won a gold medal in front of his home fans at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will continue his march toward a 130-pound title shot in an eight-rounder versus Hector Ambriz (12-8-2, 6 KOs).
Former super featherweight world champion Jason Sosa (21-3-4, 15 KOs) will face the rugged Moises Delgadillo (17-18-2, 9 KOs) in a super featherweight bout scheduled for 10 or eight rounds.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KOs), who captured Olympic gold for his native Uzbekistan in 2016, will fight Ricardo Garcia (14-4-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout. Garcia has never been knocked out as a pro.
Heavyweight prospect Cassius Chaney (14-0, 8 KOs) will look to extend his KO streak to four against Michael Glasscox (6-2-2, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mares, Davis, Haney, Pacquiao, Broner, Roy Jones Jr., and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 26th to January 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Scott Hirano/Showtime
My Goal is to Knock Out Broner
Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), boxer laureate and the sweet science’s only eight-division world champion, has a goal. That goal is to knock out his next opponent, Cincinnati’s Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), when they collide on Saturday, January 19, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presented by Premier Boxing Champions, the Pacquiao vs. Broner WBA welterweight world championship event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV® beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“I am not making a prediction but my goal is to knock out Broner,” said Manny on Monday as he was wrapping his hands before starting a rigorous workout, which included 12 rounds of hitting the mitts with world-famous Freddie Roach, at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club. “I am looking for a knockout against Broner. I have to maximize the opportunity. I forgot how much fun winning a fight by knockout was until I stopped Lucas Matthyssee last summer to win the WBA welterweight title. It felt great to win that way and the fans loved it too, so why not try for it again? I have nothing personal against Adrien Broner. This fight is strictly business. He is fun. He makes me laugh. He knows how to sell himself and to sell a fight.”
It’s been strictly business tor Manny at Wild Card since beginning his U.S. training camp on Christmas Eve. No shutdowns or holidays have kept him away. After celebrating New Year’s Eve with a five-mile run up the hills to the Hollywood sign and 12-rounds of mitt work with Roach, Manny began 2019 the same way he ended 2018, only this time he sparred 12 rounds with three younger sparring partners in addition to a full session of bag work capped off with 1,000 situps.
“He runs like a deer,” said Justin Fortune, who oversees Manny’s strength and conditioning. “No one can keep up with him. That’s the secret to his success — his work ethic and his stamina. He has the strongest foundation of any fighter with whom I’ve worked. His legs and calves still generate more power and speed than younger fighters.”
“I am very pleased with the training camp Manny has had. His footwork, distance and angles are all coming together nicely,” said trainer Buboy Fernandez. “When he hits the mitts it sounds like an explosion. I have never felt such raw power.”
“I think experience has made Manny a better fighter,” added Roach. “He still trains harder than anyone. I like Broner as a fighter. I think he has excellent boxing skills. But Broner has never faced anyone like Manny. Broner will be mentally exhausted within four rounds and physically spent within six. It will be impossible for Broner to keep pace with the Manny Pacquiao of this training camp.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Slams New Zealand Boxing Commission About Controversial Joseph Parker-Alexander Flores Fight
Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing CEO-Co-Founder Keith Veltre has slammed the Professional Boxing Commission New Zealand (PBCNZ) regarding the controversial Joseph Parker vs. Alexander “The Great” Flores heavyweight fight, held earlier this month, due to numerous obvious low blows, resulting in Flores being knocked out in the third round.
“As excited as we were for Flores to face-off against Parker,” Veltre said, “we are equally disappointed with Parker’s dirty antics. It was clear that the referee not only favored Parker, but he also lacked enough knowledge to be officiating in the ring. Cleary, though, the New Zealand commission is just as inexperienced with high-caliber fights like this. If it wants to continue pursuing larger fights, then I would suggest it makes sure there is an equal playing field in New Zealand for all foreign fighters.”
Upset-minded Flores (17-2-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, traveled to Parker’s home country to challenge the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight world champion, in front of three Kiwi judges and a New Zealand referee, John Conway.
“Coming into this fight,” Flores said, “I was excited and prepared for the opportunity to fight Joseph Parker. My vision of how it would play out was nothing that I could have ever expected. I heard Joe speaking in pre-fight interviews about hitting me in the balls or using his elbows, but I really thought he was talking about his experience with Dillian Whyte, and I never expected him to use those tactics with me. I have never been a dirty fighter, so, in my training for this fight, getting hit in the groin area or getting his forearm in my face was not something that ever crossed my mind.
“After reading articles it is clear to me that this was premeditated. When the fight started, the referee clearly stated that we were at belt-line and anything below that would be considered low. I noticed early on that he was hitting me low and I tried to get the referee’s attention. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was consistent whenever we would get inside and exchange.”
In the third round, Parker (25-2, 19 KOs) unloaded a right-left combination, both clearly landing below the belt, lowering Flores’ hands and leaving him virtually defenseless for a crushing right that floored him. Flores beat the count, but he never recovered from the illegal blows, ending in a knockout moments later.
“I have never been hit in the groin like that and there was an evident welt in that area. After the referee warned him in the corner, it was already after I had been the beneficiary of several low blows. It can be a serious problem when you’re hit in that area because, mentally, you feel like you need to protect a larger area. After that warning, he went straight to the well and hit me hard to the groin. I dropped my hand to cover my groin area and he hit me hard, knocking me down with a shot that I never recovered from. Even after the blatant low blow that knocked me down, I was shocked that the ref did not see it. This should have amounted to a disqualification, or point deduction, and time for me to recover. “
Conway warned Parker at last three times prior to the critical low-blow combination that led to the end of the fight moments later. Conway told Parker to keep his punches higher early in the second round, halted the action near the end of the second when a Parker left was terribly low, again during the first minute of the third, and then again after the two low blows that led to the first knockdown.
At the very least, Conway should have halted the action after the first knockdown to give Flores, by rule, up to five-minutes to recover, in addition to penalizing Parker one point. If Flores couldn’t continue the fight, it should have been ruled a “no contest”. Conway told Stuff that Parker would have lost a point had there been a third time, but the fourth and fifth south-of-the-border punches were the one-two leading to the first knockdown.
The only statement more irrelevant than Parker calling the low blows “unintentional”, as if legal punches, was his trainer, Kevin Barry, declaring after the fight that, “He didn’t get knocked out by a body blow.” No, Flores was merely left defenseless and dangerously susceptible to the damaging punch that floored him, from which he never really recovered, that resulted in the knockout.
“I heard that some people were saying that the low blows were irrelevant, because that was not the shot that finished the fight, but that’s from people who’ve never been knocked down and tried to recover from a knockdown. I never recovered from the low-blow knockdown. Joe quickly jumped on me with the shots needed to finish the fight.
“Looking back, I could have never imagined that he would resort to these tactics to win the fight, and I believe this left a black mark on the sport of boxing. I was knocked out to end the fight in a way that could have resulted in serious injury due to clear referee negligence.”
Even the New Zealand media understood Parker won by fighting dirty:
New Zealand Herald: “Parker last night knocked out Flores in the third round at Christchurch’s Horncastle arena but it came after at least two blows against his Mexican-American opponent, who complained bitterly about the “dirty” tacti afterwards.
“Parker’s second low blows caused Flores to drop his hands and the south Aucklander connected with a right hand which flattened his opponent. Flores beat the count but was set upon straight away by Parker who scented blood…..”
Stuff: “Parker, the former WBO world heavyweight champion of the world, knocked Flores down in the third round with a right hand to the head that was set up on the back of two unquestionably low shots.”
News.com/au: “He (Parker) promised to bring an edge, a little mongrel if you like, and Joseph Parker certainly did that when knocking out Alexander Flores in the third round……
“There will inevitably be some controversy attached to their stoppage by Parker because it came soon after a low blow, the second of the short fight, and Flores had dropped his hands when Parker’s right hand knocked him to the canvas.
“…Apart from the two low blows, Parker occasionally held and hit Flores, which is illegal, as well as going in with elbows raised.”
“I heard Joseph admitted to the low blows and that should be enough to change this fight to a ‘no contest’,” Flores concluded. “His excuse that, ‘That’s up to the ref to see low blows and his job to fight’ is like saying it’s up to police to stop you from stealing. I have the support of a lot of wonderful people in New Zealand and I was met by people at the airport who apologized for how I was mistreated. The biggest problem with boxing is we need to develop a zero-tolerance policy regarding issues of this nature. It would be a good start by the New Zealand boxing commission to set a precedence by saying it us not going to tolerate cheating or deception.
“When I pressed Joe at the end of the fight, I said to him, ‘What’s up? You know you were hitting me low.’ He just mumbled and didn’t have an answer, but he did say he’d give me a rematch. No amount of money would ever make me a dirty fighter. Joe needs to look deeply and reflect about the importance of good character because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.”
The 28-year-old Flores’ goal remains to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world.
UFC Fight Pass and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Reach Multi-Year Live Streaming Agreement
UFC® and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions have reached a new agreement to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.
The inaugural event in the RJJ Boxing series on UFC FIGHT PASS will stream January 31, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California. WBO #2-rated world title challenger, “Mighty” Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs), and unbeaten WBO #4 ranked Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs) will headline in the 12-round World Boxing Organization Junior Bantamweight Title Eliminator.
Roy Jones Jr., a multi-time world champion and future boxing Hall of Famer, formed the Las Vegas-based promotional company RJJ Boxing Promotions three years ago with Las Vegas entrepreneur Keith Veltre and developed a growing stable of fighters in a short period of time.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Roy Jones Jr. and I’m excited to be in business with him,” said UFC President Dana White. “Everyone knows I’m looking to get into boxing, and I look forward to the future with Roy and using FIGHT PASS to live stream these exciting fights to our subscribers.”
“I was elated when my partner, Keith Veltre, told me he had started talking with UFC,” said Jones. “This is just the beginning of a long, lucrative partnership between these two brands.”
“I couldn’t be happier to bring together the biggest name in boxing, Roy Jones Jr., with UFC, the biggest name in combat sports,” said Veltre. “I love that UFC is allowing us to be creative, so expect to see prospects, tournaments, title fights, and more in this series.”
FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.
Fight fans can access FIGHT PASS on personal computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Sony TVs with Android TV.
Gervonta Davis vs. Abner Mares Press Conference Quotes
Two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and three-division world champion Abner Mares went face-to-face for the first time Thursday at a press conference in Los Angeles as Davis defends his WBA title against Mares on Saturday, February 9 live on SHOWTIME® in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event promises fireworks and high-stakes action as both men bring their fan-friendly styles to the ring. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:
“I believe that Abner Mares is a future Hall of Famer because he’s fought so many top-level guys. This is big for me because this is my first time being a main event in the U.S. and I just feel blessed to be here.
“In 2019, I want to make a big statement not only in the ring but by letting the boxing world know that I’m the next star. I’m aiming to headline a pay-per-view by 2020 if everything goes right. I have great fights lined up for next year, without looking past Abner.
“As soon as I got off the plane, I went straight to the gym and got some work in with some guys there. We’re not taking Abner lightly. I’m excited and blessed to be in this position. February 9, I’m confident it will be sold out and I’m confident that I will be that next boxing star.
“I’ve always known that you can’t underestimate anyone in the ring. You have to look at your opponent like they’re equal to you. I understand exactly what I have in front of me.
“I don’t know what Abner sees, but he was sure he wanted to take this fight so obviously he sees something. I have power, speed, movement and really a blend of everything. I believe that I’m a better fighter than him.
“It’s all about being focused in that ring and doing my job. I’m coming to get Abner Mares out of there.
“I wanted to fight Abner Mares out here in Southern California. Floyd Mayweather fought Arturo Gatti in his hometown and that’s basically what I’m doing here.”
“One day I just thought to myself that this fight against Gervonta Davis would be a great matchup and that I can win it. There are other big fights at featherweight that I could have gotten. I’m taking this fight because of the challenge that it brings. I’m all about that.
“I’m coming off of a great close fight against Leo Santa Cruz. I’m a winner every time I fight. I come to prove people wrong and perform. Not too many people do that these days.
“We’ll already have 50 percent of the fight won just by having a good corner, a good team and a great plan. The other 50 percent is up to the fighter to perform. One thing is having the game plan in your mind but it’s another thing to go out there and perform that game plan.
“We’re not just going into this fight blind. I’m not stupid. I’m taking this fight because I see something in this guy. It’s a tough fight, no doubt. All fights are tough. He’s in for a good fight. At the end of the day, you guys have to stop worrying about my weight and if I’m too small. You guys are going to get a great fight and that’s all that matters. Sit back, look pretty and enjoy the fight.
“You can’t compare Jesus Cuellar to Gervonta Davis. I know some people wanted to compare how I did against Cuellar and how Davis did against Cuellar, but he fought him two years after I did. It makes no sense. Gervonta Davis has a different style than Cuellar and it’s going to be a good fight. He’s an exciting fighter and he’s a boxer. He’s a boxer that trades punches so it makes for an exciting fight.
“People are going to recognize me as someone who took on everyone. People say this will be a new style for me, but I’ve seen them all. This is team ‘no fear’ and we’re going to make this happen.”
Devin Haney Media Day Quotes
Heralded undefeated lightweight contender Devin Haney worked out for the media Thursday at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his ShoBox: The New Generation main-event bout Friday, Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME®.
The 20-year old Bay Area native and current Las Vegas resident Haney (20-0, 13 KOs), a seven-time national junior amateur champion, will headline on the popular up-and-coming prospect series ShoBox for the third time of his young career when he takes on fellow unbeaten Xolisani Ndongeni (25-0, 13 KOs) in a 10-round main event taking place at StageWorks of Louisiana in Shreveport.
In the ShoBox co-feature, featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) will take on Ruben Cervera (10-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round matchup. The telecast will open with young heavyweights Frank Sanchez Faure (10-0, 8 KOs) and Willie Jake Jr. (8-1-1, 2 KOs) squaring off in another eight-round bout.
Here is what Haney and his father and trainer Bill Haney had to say:
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp has been fantastic. I always start in Las Vegas for the first two weeks. I then went to the Bay Area to train at the SNAC facility with Victor Conte for four weeks. I did a lot of rounds of sparring with Mario Barrios among others at Virgil Hunter’s gym as well. Right now, I’m back in Las Vegas with my strength and conditioning coach Reggie. We are working hard, and I’ll be at my best when I step into the ring on Jan 11th.”
On facing South Africa’s undefeated Xolisani Ndongeni:
“I know fighters from Africa always come to fight. Xolisani Ndongeni is no different. He’s very experienced and undefeated. Ndongeni has gone 12 rounds many times in his career. These are the type of fights I need to win impressively. I’m always looking to improve. Beating the tough South African will get me one step closer to a world title shot.”
On making his third appearance on ShoBox:
“Fighting on SHOWTIME’s ShoBox series has been amazing for my career. This is my third appearance on the series. It feels great to have a home to showcase my talent. Ndongeni will bring out the best in me. I’m ready to graduate to SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.”
On when he thinks he’ll be ready for a world title:
“I’ve climbed the rankings with good wins against Mason Menard and Juan Carlos Burgos. I’m rated in the top 10 in the WBA, WBC, and IBF. I’m focused on Ndongeni and January 11th is my time to shine.”
BILL HANEY, Devin’s Father and Trainer
On the progression of his son Devin Haney:
“Devin always impresses me with his work ethic and commitment to the game plan. Every day in the gym he is working on the little things that makes a fighter great. Devin has come a long way since his pro debut. Once he started fighting on SHOWTIME, he’s really stepped up his game. He’s a natural born fighter and one hell of a good entertainer.”
On picking his opponents:
“We always look to step him up in competition. This is a big fight for us and we know what we are up against. These are the type of fights that are going to take him to the next level.”
On the landscape of the lightweight division:
“The lightweight division is stacked and is one of the best in boxing. [Vasiliy] Lomachenko and [Mikey] Garcia are considered pound-for-pound top 10. The young guys coming up are very talented as well and to hold the lightweight title at this time you got to be a bad boy. Devin is marching up the rankings and hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll get our shot, but first we must handle business against Xolisani Ndongeni.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Seldin, Algieiri, Stevenson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 18th to December 25th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Media Statement Regarding Boxing Champion Adonis Stevenson
From Girlfriend Simone “Sisi” God.
On behalf of Adonis and our family, I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out, send prayers and post about Adonis’ injury. We are so grateful for the outpour of messages, gifts and support that have come our way.
Superman is a world champion and has demonstrated his strength in facing every obstacle he has ever faced. He is a legend in the eyes of his fans, and a man that demonstrates to his family daily that inner strength and love can change and redeem even the greatest of hardships.
Despite recent reports being leaked to media, I wanted to clarify that Adonis is awake. He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery.
Adonis and our family are so thankful to you all for your love and support and respectfully ask to continue to grant Adonis and our family privacy as he heals from this accident. With the holidays here, Adonis is spending time enjoying music and spending time with Adonia and his family and sends his love and appreciation to you all.
We are truly blessed by God and all of you for your support.
Chris Algieri to Fight Danny Gonzalez at MSG Live on DAZN
Demetrius Andrade will make the first defense of his WBO World Middleweight against Artur Akavov on a bumper show at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York on Friday January 18, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM WWW.MSG.COM – TICKETS START AT $46!
Andrade (26-0 16KOs) claimed the title in October to become a two-weight World champion, flooring Walter Kautondokwa four times as he comfortably outpointed the tough number African in Boston to land the title. The unbeaten Rhode Island ace had been out of the ring for a year as he boxed in the Massachusetts capital, and ‘Boo Boo’ now wants to become an active champ as he targets unification battles in 2019.
Akavov (19-2 8KOs) will be confident of ripping up those plans as he challenges for the title for the second time, having pushed former champion Billy Joe Saunders all the way in Glasgow in December 2016, being narrowly edged out by the Londoner. The Russian landed the WBO International title in his last outing in May in Latvia, a win that saw him climb to #8 in the rankings with the WBO and move into position to rip the crown from the 32 year old in the Big Apple.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said Andrade. “Fighting at Madison Square Garden, where so many great fighters have fought is a true honor, and something I have dreamt about my entire life.
“People might not know much about Akavov, but this is a guy who went overseas and gave Billy Joe Saunders absolute hell. Most people thought that he should have won the fight. This is an optional defense, so I could have fought anyone I wanted, but we chose to fight a guy that we know is going to bring it all night long and a guy who in many people’s eyes beat Saunders.”
“I know that I have an extremely tough task in front of me, but that’s what this game is all about. I want all the top guys, all the belts and with Eddie Hearn and DAZN behind me and continuing to give me these opportunities to showcase my talent to the world, the other champions can’t hide for long. This is my time and January 18 is another step in that direction.”
“After the fight with Saunders, I was hoping for a rematch because that fight left a lot of unanswered questions,” said Akavov. “I believe that Andrade is a better fighter than Saunders and this is my chance to answer those questions. I understand the weight of the responsibility that is on my shoulders and will give it 100 per cent.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn is lining up a stacked bill in support of the main event, and a second World title bout on the card sees Amanda Serrano (35-1-1 26KOs) gunning for history as she looks to land World honors in an extraordinary seventh weight class as she meets WBC and IBF World Super-Flyweight champion Eva Voraberger (24-5 11KOs) – the Austrian tasked with stopping Serrano’s bid for glory.
“I’m super excited to be able to make history alongside the biggest and best network out now, DAZN,” said Serrano. “Being part of the best makes you want to raise the bar and we will do that together.”
Former World Lightweight ruler Jorge Linares continues his comeback trail on the card when he meets Pablo Cesar Cano. Linares’ (45-4 28KOs) reign as WBA and Ring Magazine champion was ended in an epic clash with pound-for-pound star Vasily Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden in May, with Linares felling the Ukrainian star in the sixth before being stopped four rounds later.
Linares returned to winning ways in September with a third round stoppage win over Abner Cotto in September in California and starts 2019 with his 50th pro fight against Cano (31-7-1 21KOs), the Mexican former World title challenger who landed the WBC International Silver strap in his last outing in September – and Linares is joined by fellow Golden Boy Boxing star Alexis Rocha (12-0 8KOs), the 21 year old Welterweight talent ready to begin his charge for titles in 2019.
“My next goal is to become the first four-division world champion from Venezuela,” said Jorge Linares. “I accomplished what I needed to accomplish at 135 pounds, and in my last fight with Abner Cotto I showed that I can take my speed and power to this new division.”
“We’ve been going back to the basics with my old trainer Jorge Zerpa, and I know I can earn another World title in this new weight class. But first I have a tough fight against Pablo Cesar Cano, a young veteran with a lot of experience who is naturally a super lightweight. I’m expecting a tough fight against Cano, but I’m motivated to give fans a great fight in New York City and on this new platform, DAZN.”
“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for giving me the enormous opportunity of fighting a great world champion on Jorge Linares,” said Pablo Cesar Cano. “To repeat, this is a great opportunity that I will not fail to take advantage of. The fans know the kind of fighter I am and that the only way you’ll get me to quit is by taking me out on a stretcher. But I warn everyone: that will not happen.”
“Jorge Linares has been an important staple of Golden Boy Promotions for many years and has established himself as a fighter who can come back from any setback,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s beaten some of the best fighters in three different weight classes, and I’m looking forward to his rise in this new weight division.
“Pablo Cesar Cano has also played in important role at Golden Boy, giving tough fights to almost everybody at 140 and 147 pounds. This will be a great fight between two experienced warriors, and I’m delighted that it will be streamed on DAZN.”
Former World Super-Lightweight champion Chris Algieri (22-3 8KOs) made his return from two years out of the ring in November with a ten round win in Huntington, Long Island, and the 34 year old faces fellow New Yorker Danny Gonzalez (17-1-1 7KOs) in his second bout back, with the carrot of major fights later in the year dangling in front of Algieri.
Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, the promoter of both Algieri and Gonzalez stated: “Both Algieri and Gonzalez jumped at the chance of fighting each other at the Theater at MSG. Although they know each other well and are Star Boxing stablemates, they both recognize the enormous opportunity this fight provides and I am looking forward to January 18.”
One of Matchroom Boxing USA’s rising stars tastes his first action in 2019 on the card as Reshat Mati (2-0 1KO) returns to the scene of his last outing in October where the ‘Albanian Bear’ went the four round distance in his second fight.
Andrade vs. Akavov is a co-promotion between Matchroom Boxing USA and DiBella Entertainment, and Lou DiBella is confident his charge can rip the title from the champion, and that Serrano will make history.
“Anyone who saw Artur Akavov’s bout with Billy Joe Saunders knows that he is a relentless fighter capable of competing on the big stage,” said Lou DiBella. “Akavov may not be very well known to the average American boxing fan right now, but there is no better way to change that than by beating Demetrius Andrade and no better place than in the heart of New York City.
“There is no doubt that Amanda Serrano is the best pound-for-pound fighter in women’s boxing and one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport, regardless of gender. By fighting for a championship in her seventh weight class, Amanda is again showing her desire to chase greatness. Props to DAZN and Eddie Hearn for believing in Amanda’s talent and providing her this platform.”
“The Middleweight division is on fire right now and Demetrius is a key player,” said Hearn. “He is the one looking to lay down the gauntlet by kicking off 2019 and will be looking to deal with Akavov in style before moving into blockbuster fights.”
“It’s a huge show and we are delighted to welcome Jorge Linares to the card. Jorge has boxed on many of our shows in the UK and is a pound-for-pound quality fighter, I love the Maurice Hooker fight in the summer.
“Chris Algieri, who is also in line for Hooker, returns in a local derby and female star Amanda Serrano looks to make history – there’s even more to be announced and fans are going to get plenty of bang for their buck at Madison Square Garden on January 18.”
Pacquiao Arrives for LA Training Camp
MANNY IS BACK! Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, returns for his first U.S.-based training camp in over two years on Saturday, December 22nd. The Pacman Express is scheduled to deliver the reigning WBA welterweight world champion and his team to LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal at 6:15 p.m. PT via Philippine Airlines flight PR 102.
What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny. After knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round of their July 15 bout which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, there has been no down time for Manny, a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving. Manny has traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days. He embarked on a coast-to-coast U.S. media tour to announce his title defense against four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, followed by an immediate flight back to Manila where he gave a speech to the plenary to further push his Senate Bill 1599 seeking to raise the excise tax on tobacco products.
Then it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended on December 12, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training — with one exception — his 40th birthday celebration. He began his birthday celebration one day early, as he has traditionally done, by donating and handing out 2,000 bags of groceries to residents of Barangay Tinoto in Maasim, Sarangani. The following day, it was a gala celebration that filled the KCC Convention Center. Friends, family, celebrities and government dignitaries of the highest order, including President Duterte, joined together to wish Manny a happy 40th birthday But typical of Manny, he was the one who was giving the gifts, which included the raffling of major prizes, featuring four automobiles, 58 motorcycles, and two dozen large screen LED televisions.
“Life begins at 40,” exclaimed Manny at his gala. “Physically, I still feel like I am 25, but with the benefit of the wisdom that comes from the added years of my life experience. I still have a lot I want to accomplish as an athlete, a public servant, and a father, husband and son. I look forward to adding more chapters to my life story.”
Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club, where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title defense against Broner. Holidays will be work days for this training camp, which will begin on Christmas Eve. Manny and his team have taken a vow to leave no stone unturned as they prepare for the battle with Broner.
Cletus Seldin Set to Return at Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” on January 26th
Star Boxing returns to Mohegan Sun on January 26th, for another edition of the exciting “SLUGFEST at the SUN” series. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster! More information on the undercard will follow, so stay tuned to Star Boxing on all social media platforms, @StarBoxing, for announcements.
“SLUGFEST at the SUN” at Mohegan Sun will kickstart an incredible year of boxing. Be there to start your 2019 off with a bang. Be sure to get your tickets now, through Ticketmaster.
CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (Long Island, NY 22-1 18KO) is bringing his devastating punching power to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville CT, in the main event of an eagerly anticipated Star Boxing show on January 26th. Seldin will face the heavy-hitting Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21KO), in a scheduled 10 round Jr. Welterweight contest. Seldin is coming fresh off his first round knockout of Nelson Lara last month in Oklahoma on ESPN+.
With 21 KOs in his 28 victories, Mate is a formidable puncher in his own right. A victory for the Hungarian would instantly propel him into prominence and he is sure to go all out to capitalize on this opportunity. For Seldin, a win would place him at the doorstep of a world championship. When two punchers such as Seldin and Mate square off against one another, in a high-stakes contest such as this, both will be gunning for the knockout and an exciting finish is expected.
Cletus Seldin had this to say about his upcoming bout: “I am excited to be fighting Adam Mate in front of my loyal fans at Mohegan Sun. I love that star boxing keeps me active. On January 26th you will see that I am ready to contend for the 140 lb. World Championship.”
Adam Mate commented: “I am ready to capitalize on this great opportunity and look forward to displaying my talent in front of a U.S. audience.”
JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and promoter of Star Boxing said this about SLUGFEST at the SUN: “We are excited to be back at Mohegan Sun to showcase knockout artist Cletus Seldin against Adam Mate. Both Seldin and Mate will put on a show that will thrill the fans.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones Jr., Raging Babe, Whyte, Cohen, Gabriels, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 12th to December 19th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Showtime Sports to Present Whyte vs. Chisora on Saturday, December 22nd on Showtime
SHOWTIME Sports will present the highly anticipated rematch between top-rated heavyweight contenders Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora this Saturday, December 22 live on SHOWTIME at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. As with all SHOWTIME programming, the event will air live on air and via the networks’ streaming service.
Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) and Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) will go toe-to-toe once again in a rematch of one of 2016’s best fights, live from London’s The O2 on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL. The all-British affair between the bitter rivals has been brewing since Whyte narrowly edged Chisora in a back-and-forth slugfest that necessitated a rematch.
“SHOWTIME continues to lead the industry by delivering more of the most compelling boxing events from around the world to our premium cable subscribers and online streaming customers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports. “This network has televised all of the most important heavyweight fights during the division’s renaissance and we are proud to join Matchroom Sports in delivering Whyte-Chisora II to our audience. Their first fight was action-packed from bell to bell. Now, with the stakes as high as they have ever been for both men, this bout promises to be even better. I hope that the boxing pundits have not yet cast their vote for Fight, Knockout and Round of the Year. Saturday’s matchup may challenge some of this year’s best.”
The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL coverage will be provided by Sky Sports Box Office with host Brian Custer and Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood calling the action.
The stakes are high in the rematch, as both Whyte and Chisora have been working toward world title opportunities against IBF, WBA and WBO Champion Anthony Joshua and WBC Champion Deontay Wilder. Whyte holds the No. 1 ranking in the WBC and WBO, as well as the WBA’s No. 4 position. Chisora is ranked No. 5 by both the WBA and IBF, as well as No. 9 by the WBC. Their first matchup was widely regarded as the best heavyweight matchup of 2016, and round five of their “sensational fight” earned Round of the Year honors from ESPN.
Women’s World Champion Hanna Gabriels Returns to Defend Against Sarah Dwyer on January 26th
Having solidified herself as a legitimate women’s star in her own right with her gallant performance against Claressa Shields last June, world champion Hanna Gabriels (18-2-1, 11 KOs) will return to her homeland to face Australia’s Sarah Dwyer on Saturday, January 26, at the Avenida Escazu in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The 10-round battle will be in defense of Gabriels’ WBA Super Welterweight Championship.
Dwyer (3-4-2, 1 KO) is coming off a draw for the Australian Championship against undefeated Tayla Harris in November.
This will be Gabriels’ first fight since the impressive showing against Shields, where she had the women’s superstar down in the first round before losing an exciting and close decision. The fight is being called the Women’s Fight of the Year for 2018.
“I’m feeling amazing training with my husband and just ready to get back,” said Gabriels. “She’s (Dwyer) a warrior will try to come and chop my head off, but we will send her back to Australia quick enough.”
Gabriels’ manager, Hector Cordova, says Dwyer is the first stop of a comeback that includes a return go with Shields and some other big names in women’s boxing.
“I am really proud of Hanna and everything she does for the community in Costa Rica. She is a hero inside and outside the ring; a real-life world success story. Our goal is to unify the 154-lb. division. We want to raise women’s boxing to new heights and eventually rematch Claressa and fight (women’s unified welterweight champion) Cecilia Braekhus. Hanna is the best 154-lb fighter in the world: a point we look forward to proving once again on January 26.”
Promoter Dmitriy Salita says that Gabriels’ name belongs among the best names in the sport.
“Hanna is one of the best female fighters in the world. Her world-class skills make her one of the biggest names in all of women’s boxing. January 26 is going to be a great night and will open a door of exciting new opportunities for Hanna.”
“I want to thank all of my fans for supporting me always and showing me love even in defeat,” said the always gracious Gabriels. “That’s what makes me want it more and more. I want to fight Claressa and Cecilia and give my fans all I can before I leave the sport. I also want to thank my team because they’re amazing. Bryan Vasquez, my husband, Hector Fernandez de Cordova, my manager, Pedro Gonzalez and Esteban Quesada, my co-trainers and Dmitriy Salita for lending a hand when is needed. I won’t disappoint you.”
Raging Babe’s Philly Special Set for February 8th at 2300 Arena
Michelle Rosado, who has been promoting her own boxing cards in Arizona and working behind the scenes on other shows in Pennsylvania, is taking the next step by staging her first card in Philadelphia on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
Rosado’s Raging Babe company has been a trend-setter, and her Feb. 8 card, dubbed “Philly Special,” will add to her resume.
Coming to Philadelphia with a solid promotional background and a reputation for selling out venues, Rosado is no stranger to the area. She was born in Bristol Borough, attended Temple University, and she cut her teeth working with Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz since 2014. Peltz will handle matchmaking duties.
While promoting her first card in 2011 in Phoenix, AZ, Rosado was dubbed “Raging Babe” by Phoenix New Times. The New Times and many in the boxing community credited her with re-energizing the professional boxing scene in Arizona. She promoted several events in Phoenix and Tucson before branching out and promoting shows in North Carolina, and assisting with several large promotions with Top Rank Boxing.
A master at making connections, Rosado brought together the women of boxing for the first Raging Babe Brunch in 2012, and has hosted several since to honor these women. She also co-founded and hosted “The Morning Punch-in Show with RB and Jae,” a drive-time boxing radio show that was acclaimed throughout the industry for its unique format, sense of humor, and down-to-earth interviews. She even boasts her own line of boxing apparel for men and women.
Of all the projects Rosado has taken on, promoting boxing shows most complements her work ethic and dedication to the old school methods taught to her by Peltz, and practiced by boxing promotional legends. She plans to combine those old-school methods with her new-school ways. Taking a page from the 2018 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, Rosado has dubbed her first event “Philly Special.” The event promises to showcase some of Philly’s top talent in competitive fights, while honoring the rich history of Philadelphia boxing.
The main event and ticket information will be announced soon
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs New York Prospects Zachary Ochoa and Oscar Moreno to Exclusive Contracts
Greg Cohen, of Greg Cohen Promotions, proudly announces the signing of a pair of Brooklyn-based prospects, super lightweight Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa and super bantamweight Oscar “Filoso” Moreno to promotional contracts.
Boxing since age 13, the talented Ochoa (20-1, 7 KOs) is a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn. Despite having just seven career knockouts, the 26-year-old scored a spectacular 15-second KO over Engelberto Valenzuela and, in 2016, was nominated for Knockout of the Year for his one-punch KO 8 of Luis Joel Gonzalez.
“I can adapt to anything. I’m very unpredictable,” said Ochoa. “I can box and win easily, or I can hit you with one shot and take you out.”
Ochoa says he’s happy to have his career back on track and looking forward to the future with Cohen.
“It’s a blessing. I’m very focused and determined. I stay in the gym because I love boxing. I saw Greg Cohen’s resume and what’s he’s done in the sport and I know this is a great opportunity for me. This is the guy who’s going to make me a millionaire and world champion.”
Moreno (7-0, 6 KOs) is power puncher who comes forward behind lots of movement. Originally from Mexico City, he is now also living in Brooklyn. The 25-year-old went 54-5 as an amateur and was the 2004 Junior Olympic Champion, the 2011 Golden Gloves NY Champion and the 2012 Golden Gloves NY Runner-Up.
“I’m excited to make it happen,” said Moreno of the signing. “I’m looking forward to getting on the road toward the world championship. The plan I have is to have 10 more fights to get the experience in, because so far most of my fights have ended in the first round. So I say in a year or two we’ll be looking to step up and fight for titles.”
Both fighters are managed and trained by Kelly Rich at GymU Boxing (in Association GGE Fitness Studio) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Rich has had Ochoa since childhood and has been working with Moreno for the past four years.
Rich says he trusts Cohen to do the right things with his fighters.
“Greg is an exciting person and he motivates you and get the job done,” said Rich. “He’s a top promoter affiliated with all the other premier boxing companies. We are good friends and I can personally trust him. We’ve always been on the up-and-up.”
Promoter Cohen, on a hot streak of late with the “out of nowhere” success of heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller and world middleweight champion Robert Brant, says he’s happy to be adding this one-two punch of prospects from New York.
“Both these fighters have a wealth of talent,” said Cohen. “I will be looking to continue their strong development and advancement against increasing competition in the next couple years. Both fighters have the talent it takes to make it and with hard work and determination, it is very possible. I credit Kelly Rich for the work he’s done with them.”
Undisputed Champions Program Teaches Boxing and More to Teens with Autism and Other Disabilities
The Undisputed Champions Program, a unique non-contact boxing program for kids with autism and other disabilities, will be holding a showcase Friday, December 14 at 11:00am at SCHOTT’S BOXING, 21 Vatrano Road in Albany NY.
The program is part of Wildwood School’s adapted physical education program. Head Coach, Javier Martinez, a retired, undefeated professional fighter and a police officer with the Colonie Police Department, volunteers and leads the class of 17 students along with professional fight judge Tom Schreck. A team of volunteer coaches works side by side with the students.
Many people hear the term “disability” and they immediately feel sorry for the individual who they believe must be limited in what they can experience in their lives. Autism is often seen as one of those disabilities.
“When you get labeled with a disability it can become defining, if you let it. People around you often lower expectations and that becomes a way of life. That doesn’t happen here. The Undisputed Champions program is about going beyond,” Tom Schreck, the co-founder of the program says.
The program was designed by Martinez and Schreck and with certified adapted physical education instructor, Rachel McDermott, who made sure the program fit within the students’ PE goals. Safety is paramount…but so is hard work.
“When you drop in you can see the group doing burpees, mountain climbers, pushups, pistons—you name it. If need be, the exercises can be adapted to a person’s level. Doing their best and pushing to their limit is what is important,” Javy Martinez, co-founder, says.
The program also teaches the principles of “Relax, Focus and Adjust” as a way to be prepared in the ring, but more importantly, in life. Though the program does no sparring for safety reasons, the fighting metaphor is used as a teaching tool. The students train for eight weeks building up to this showcase where they will throw 1,000 punches to earn their “Undisputed Champion” title and their t-shirt. There’s a brief ceremony to close the training camp and salute the new champions.
This training camp the team decided to fight for a cause bigger than themselves. They are dedicating their 1,000 Punch Challenge to people facing cancer and raising funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. They are closing in on their $2,000 fundraising goal and will have an oversize check to present to Dana Farber at the end of the ceremony.
The International Boxing Federation, Everlast and Schott’s Boxing have all lent their support to the Undisputed Champions program.
Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing Inks 18-1 Featherweight Prospect Ray Ximenez, Jr.
Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing proudly announces the signing of Dallas featherweight prospect Ray Ximenez, Jr. to a long-term, exclusive promotional contract.
Riding a five-fight win streak, the 25-year-old Ximenez (18-1, 4 KOs) is expected to make his RJJ Boxing debut in March.
“We’re excited to sign another top prospect like Ray Ximenez to our growing stable of fighters,” RJJ Boxing CEO and co-founder Keith Veltre said. “Ray is an old-school boxer, well-conditioned, hard-working, and we believe he has a very bright future.”
“I’m very excited and very appreciated for Roy Jones Jr. Boxing giving me this opportunity,” Ximenez commented. “I plan on showing everyone that I will be the next world champion from Dallas. “I am ready, willing and able to fight anyone, anywhere, any place and any time.”
Ximenez was a standout amateur boxer, compiling a sterling 120-9 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances, both in the National P.A.L. Championships and Ringside World Championships. A six-time Dallas Golden Gloves champion, Ximenez started boxing at the age of 10 and he also captured gold at the 2009 Silver Gloves National Championships and Junior Olympic National Championships. He represented and captained Team USA at the 2009 Youth World Junior Olympics.
In 2010, Ximenez made a successful pro debut, winning a four-round unanimous decision versus Cristoval Larrazolo..
Five years later, Ximenez defeated Jesse Angel Hernandez, currently 12-1 and world rated (IBF #14, WBO #15), by way of a six-round split decision in Fort Worth, Texas. Last February on beIN Sports, Ximenez registered an impressive eight-round unanimous decision in Dallas over Eugene Lagos, who in his next fight on ESPN knocked off Golden Boy’s top prospect, undefeated (15-0) Emilio Sanchez, in round two.
Ximenez won a 10-round unanimous decision over 111-fight veteran German Meraz this past July in Ximenez’ last fight.
“I’m also excited and appreciate for this opportunity,” Ximenez’ manager Michael Montoya added. “I’d like to especially thank CEO Keith Veltre and matchmaker Guy Taylor for believing in Ray Ximenez, Jr. and I am looking forward to a long-term relationship with one of the best boxing promoters in the sport of boxing.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Plant, Flores, Parker, Lopez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 4th to December 11th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Alexander Flores to Challenge Former World Champion Joseph Parker
Upset-minded heavyweight prospect Alexander “The Great” Flores departed a week ago on a 13-hour flight from California to New Zealand to challenge former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker this Saturday (Dec. 15) in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Beating Parker will get me a step closer to my goal to be the first Mexican-American to become world heavyweight champion,” Flores said. “I can’t picture myself losing, not the way I feel. I’ve had a long, hard training camp for this fight. It’s really been a couple years, because some fights fell through.”
A former World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World Heavyweight Champion, the 28-year-old Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) has a new lease on his pro boxing career, now promoted by Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing.
“Alex has worked hard during the past two months,” added Keith Veltre, CEO/co-founder of Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing. “I truly believe Joseph Parker has no clue what he is in for with him. Like I said before, Alex is headed to New Zealand for the W, and he will leave it all in the ring. It has been a huge mistake on Parker’s part to overlook Alex.”
On a mission to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world, Flores has already had a significant first leading up to this fight versus Parker. He experienced his initial flight a few months ago to do media work in New Zealand to promote the Dec. 15 fight.
“Yeah,” Flores explained, “that was my first flight. It took 13 hours, but I slept five or six hours, so it wasn’t too bad, other than being a little cold there. New Zealand is a beautiful country. The only thing I really need to acclimate to is the 20-hour time difference.
“I’m not concerned about fighting Parker there. I know I’m the underdog, but I had to take advantage of this opportunity. We were supposed to fight November 24th, so I had already waited a long time for a fight like this. At the end of the day it’s just going to be me and him in the ring. I’m going there to win, I see myself knocking him out.”
Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) is coming off back-to-back losses in the United Kingdom, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions, respectively, to Dillian Whyte and unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Parker captured the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO heavyweight world title two years ago, when he took a 12-round majority decision over Andy Ruiz, Jr., followed by unanimous and majority 12-round decisions, respectively, against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury. Ruiz and Fury were undefeated going into their fights with Parker, both ending in majority decisions and shrouded in scoring controversy.
Flores’ lone loss as a professional came 3 ½ years ago against former world champion Charles Martin for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title, in which Flores, who took the fight with only two weeks’ notice, was stopped in the fourth round.
The powerful Flores, fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, realizes Parker has never been knocked out as a pro, plus the New Zealander is fighting at home for the first time in 1 ½ years, but he is not deterred from predicting a shocking conclusion.
“He’s going to get a little bit of everything from me,” Flores forcasted. “I’m a boxer-puncher, but I can press the action, or stand and punch. I’m tough to hit, too. It’s not going the distance; I’m not going down, Parker’s going down.”
Teofimo Lopez Has Star Making Performance in New York City
Top lightweight Teofimo Lopez scored an explosive 44-second knockout over Mason Menard this past Saturday night at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a scheduled ten-round bout that was viewed by a massive audience on ESPN.
Lopez landed a crushing right hand that had Menard plummeting face-first on to the cnavas, in what was the opening televised bout on the Vasilly Lomachenko – Jose Pedraza lightweight unification card.
Lopez is now the NABA, NABF and USBA Lightweight champion.
The knockout, was featured on ESPN SportCenter, and all over social media, took place on an event which was the 2nd highest rated boxing card on cable television this year.
With the win, Lopez pushed his perfect mark to 11-0 with nine knockouts, and now he feels he is ready for anybody in the lightweight division.
“I knew he was a tough fighter. I knew he could fight,” Lopez said. “I wanted to test him, and I took a chance early in the fight. I know he trained hard, and he didn’t want it to go that way. But this is ‘The Takeover.’ ‘The Takeover’ has begun.
“In 2019, I will be a world champion. That’s a guarantee.”
“I put an exclamation point that I am no longer a prospect, and now it’s on to the contenders, and moving up the rankings. In 2019 you will see me fight for a world title.”
Said Lopez manger, David McWater of Split T Management, “He’s just never stops surprising me. Just when you think he can’t do better than his last fight he does something even more amazing. It’s been a generation since boxing saw a young fighter like this”
Keith Hunter Remains Undefeated with First Round Knockout
Last night at Bowie State University, in Maryland, Prince Ranch Boxing’s rising star, super lightweight prospect Keith “The Bounty” Hunter (9-0, 7 KOs), remained undefeated a devastating first round knockout against Siddharth Ravindra Varma (4-3-1, 1 KO). Hunter landed a monstrous right uppercut that sent Varma to the canvas up against the ropes forcing, the referee to stop the bout.
“I wanted to send a message to the super lightweight division with a great performance and I got the knockout,” said Keith Hunter. “It felt great to let my hands go. I’m going to get right back in the gym, so I can be ready for anything that comes my way. If my name is called, I’m going to be prepared, locked and loaded.”
“I’m very excited about Keith Hunter’s future,” said manager Greg Hannley, of Prince Ranch Boxing. “Tonight, his power was on display and those watching saw a star in the making. He’s getting better with each fight. He’s going to be a problem for anyone.”
This fight was promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions (GCP).
Jose Uzcategui to Defend World Title Against Caleb Plant
Battle-hardened Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui defends his IBF Super Middleweight World Championship against unbeaten top challenger Caleb Plant in prime time on Sunday, January 13 on FS1 and FOX Deportes presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Also in action unbeaten featherweight contender Brandon Figueroa who takes on his toughest challenge to date when he meets rugged, once-beaten veteran Moises “Chucky” Flores in the televised co-feature. Also appearing is unbeaten sensation Joey Spencer entering the ring in a special junior middleweight attraction.
The first show of the 2019 season of PBC on FOX is promoted by TGB Promotions and Zanfer Promotions and tickets, starting at $50, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
“This is an excellent card, featuring the kinds of bouts that are intriguing for boxing fans because it involves two young stars who are reaching up for challenges to determine whether they have what it takes to become world champions,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Jose Uzcategui is going to push Caleb Plant to the limits and Plant will have to take the title away from Uzcategui if he wants it. Moises Flores feels like he definitely has something to prove coming off his last fight and Brandon Figueroa knows his road to a world title runs right through Flores. It’s also exciting to see the continued growth of the sensational prospect Joey Spencer. It’s going to be a special night of boxing on PBC on FS1 at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.”
“José Bolivita Uzcategui is the best super middleweight in the world and as always he will show his skills and elevate his game in the biggest stage,” said Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions. “This is no exception. Plant is a good fighter but Bolivita is at his best and we are all thrilled to be able to do this fight on FOX Sports. So everyone tune in and enjoy the show.”
Uzgategui (28-2, 23 KOs) will be making his first defense of his IBF super middleweight championship with the match against Plant. The 27-year-old Uzgategui was born in El Vigia, Venezuela and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico. He earned the world title with a ninth round TKO victory over Andre Dirrell in their rematch in March. Uzcategui lost the first fight by disqualification in 2017. In his last match Uzcategui scored a unanimous decision over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna on Sept. 28.
“It is an honor to defend my IBF title for the first time on FOX Sports,” Uzcategui said. “About the only thing I can say about my fight is that I don’t respect Caleb Plant. He has talked too much and I will punish him, beat him up and then knock him out.”
The 26-year-old Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) is an undefeated top contender who moved into position to challenge for the title with an impressive unanimous decision victory over tough veteran Rogelio Medina on Feb. 17. Plant, who was born in Nashville, Tennessee and now lives in Las Vegas, has dedicated his career to his daughter, Alia, who was born with a medical condition that causes seizures. She died at 19 months old from a respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia.
“Come January 13th when I step in that ring it will be for a lot of reasons,” Plant said. “I’ll be stepping between those ropes for Alia. I’m stepping between those ropes for the people of my city and state and for the people who come from the very bottom. I’m stepping between those ropes to finish the job that my father started, for all the work and sacrifice he made to ensure that he gave us a better opportunity than the life we once had and lived. But most importantly I’m stepping between those ropes January 13th in LA for myself. AND THE NEWWWW!”
The 21-year-old Figueroa (17-0, 12 KOs) will be facing the toughest challenge of his pro career when he takes on Flores. Figueroa fought three times and scored three knockouts in 2018 as he climbed the ladder in the super bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Figueroa of Weslaco, Texas is the younger brother of former lightweight world champion Omar Figueroa. In his last fight Figueroa scored an impressive TKO victory over Oscar Escandon on Sept. 30.
“This is definitely a step up for me. He’s 25-1 and he’s been in some tough fights, especially the championship fight against Daniel Roman,” Figueroa said. “I feel like I keep getting better with each fight, stronger and wiser in the ring. I want to show everyone that I’m the real deal and I’m ready for that world title. I believe that it’s coming soon and this is the kind of fight that I need to prove that I’m ready.”
Flores (25-1, 17 KOs) is looking to rebound from the first loss of his professional career after dropping a unanimous decision against Daniel Roman for the super bantamweight world title on June 16. The 32-year-old Flores of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico had fought Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2017 in a match that was ruled a no contest before the bout against Roman.
“I’m looking forward to this fight,” Flores said. “I had only fought one round in two years coming into my last fight with Roman. And while I wasn’t happy with my performance, it was great to get 12 rounds in and I’ve been in the gym since that loss. So now I’m confident I will be at my best. Figueroa and I both throw a ton of punches. It’s gonna be an all out war.”
Andre Ward in USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame
The last male American boxer to capture an Olympic gold medal, Andre Ward, will be honored tomorrow night, when he is inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
The 34-year-old Ward will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame in Salt Lake City, along with Class of 2018 members Roy Jones, Jr. and Claressa Shields, as well as the late Emanuel Stewart and Tom Cleary.
The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Not only is he the last American male boxer to garner Olympic gold, which he did in 2004 in Athens, Greece, Ward is the last to do so for Team USA.
“It (last American male boxer to win Olympic gold) has never crossed my mind and it’s bittersweet,” Ward remarked. “On one hand, it’s kind of cool to be the last to do something for so long but, on the other hand, I’m eager for that streak to be broken. It’s time that the United States of America take its rightful place at the top of amateur boxing, like it once was, and in 2020 I predict Gold…lots of it!”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be inducted in to the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall Fame,” Ward said. “It’s even sweeter to be inducted with this year’s other inductees and the icing on the cake is going in to the hall of fame with Roy Jones, Jr., my all-time favorite fighter.
“Being ranked No. 1 in the country since I was 17-years-old afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, train alongside the other top United States boxers, and the chance to face international competition leading up to the Olympics played a big part in my Olympic success.”
Ward, who lives in Oakland (CA), started boxing in 1994 at the age of nine. He finished his brilliant amateur career with an amazing 115-5 record, highlighted by his gold medal performance at the 2004 Olympics. He also was a two-time U.S. National Championships (2001 & 2003) winner, in addition to a 2002 Under-19 National champion.
“As the youngest USA Boxing alum to win a men’s Olympic gold medal, Andre has inspired present and future generations of champions,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “He is a champion in every sense of the term — for his intelligence, skill, and work ethic demonstrated throughout his career as well as his professionalism and character outside of the ring. The USA Boxing Alumni Association is thankful for Andre’s contributions to amateur boxing and look forward to honoring him as part of this year’s Hall of Fame class.”
Boxing Insider Interview with Jose Pedraza: Ready to Put on A Great Show
By: Henry Deleon
Brooklyn’s most famous Boxing gym, Gleason’s Gym hosted Top Ranks meet and greet event on Wednesday December 5th. Here the fighters from the Lomachenko vs. Pedraza card met with the kids from Gleason’s “Give a Kid a Dream”, a nonprofit corporation in where they provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing.
Jose “Sniper” Pedraza who will be fighting in the main event Saturday, was among those fighters at the meet and greet. In the midst of it all, Boxing Insider had the opportunity to catch up with Jose on his upcoming bout.
Boxing Insider – Jose how do you feel for your fight against Lomachenko this Saturday?
Jose Pedraza – I feel great. I’m excited for it to be the 8th of December already so I can put on a great show for you all.
Boxing Insider – How do you feel to be fighting here in Madison Square Garden? Where fighters like Miguel Cotto have created a grand legacy.
Jose Pedraza – I feel very excited to be fighting here where not only Cotto has fought, but many other Puerto Ricans have fought. Like Tito Trinidad who is one of the biggest names in Puerto Rican Boxing. I feel very excited to be part of that history.
Boxing Insider – Without giving too much of your game plan away, I’m curious on knowing on how you are going to approach and counter Loma’s movement come Saturday?
Jose Pedraza – well I’m definitely the taller fighter in this fight, so I am going to have to use my distance to my advantage. We need to have great conditioning, which we do, to be able to fight at his pace and to make good usage of my speed.
Boxing insider – Going into this fight, what do you think would be Lomachenko’s most difficult attribute to adjust to?
Jose Pedraza – well we are going to see how the fight unfolds. My team and I have studied Lomachenko really well. So, we are going to see how the fight unfolds and make the proper adjustments as the rounds go by.
Boxing Insider – This is a big fight for you to end the year with. God willing, you come out victorious this Saturday, who else out there would you like to face?
Jose Pedraza – well after this fight, which I’m a 100% sure I will be victorious, we’re going to go after all those great champions in the division. We’re going to continue unifying the belts. So, we are going to make sure we keep training hard so we’ll be ready to take on these fights.
Boxing Insider – Thank you Jose. All the best for this Saturday!
Jose “Snipper” Pedraza (25-1 12 KO’s) is currently the W.B.O World Lightweight Champion. He is only the second Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles at 103 and 135 pounds. Jose will be taking on 2-time Olympic gold medalist and currently the W.B.A Super World Lightweight Champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (11-1 9 KO’s) in a unification bout Saturday December 8th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight will also be live on ESPN at 9 p.m ET. Tune in for another exciting night of Boxing!
Boxing Insider Notebook: Lomachenko, Khan, Algieri, Taylor, Wilder, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Lomachenko, Khan, Algieri, Taylor, Wilder, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 28th to December 5th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Top Rank on ESPN to Feature Lomachenko vs. Pedraza WBA/WBO Lightweight Unification Bout
Live and Exclusively on ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Saturday, December 8 at 9 p.m. ET from The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
ESPN+ to Stream Undercards Live Starting at 6 p.m. ET
One of the biggest boxing events of the year airs live on ESPN Saturday, December 8 from The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The reigning WBA lightweight champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is set to take on WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) in a title unification main event airing live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET, immediately following the live presentation of the 2018 Heisman Trophy Ceremony. Top Rank on ESPN will drop gloves just after 6 p.m. ET starting with the undercards on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN.
Two additional fights round out Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN with marquee appearances by rising stars Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe and Teofimo Lopez. ESPN+ will stream the undercards live headlined by Guido Vianello facing Luke Lyon (5-1-1, 2 KOs) starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Calling the fight for ESPN will be Joe Tessitore and Mark Kriegel, with former two-division world titleholder, Tim Bradley (analyst), reporter Bernardo Osuna and on-location studio contributors Stephen A. Smith, Kevin Connors, former pound-for-pound two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, and ESPN Deportes’ coverage includes play-by-play from Robert Sierra and analyst Delvin Rodriguez.
ESPN’s official coverage of fight week kicked off Monday, December 3 with “Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko” – an encore presentation of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s last two fights — Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Guillermo Rigondeaux (December 9, 2017) and Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jorge Linares (May 12, 2018).
ESPN+ will also feature:
• Countdown to Lomachenko vs. Pedraza, a four-part series that takes viewers behind the scenes as one of the world’s great pound-for-pound fighters attempts to unify lightweight world titles against WBO world champion Pedraza. Episodes include:
• “Loma: Under the Knife” (available now) — rare footage of Lomachenko prepping for shoulder surgery, the surgery itself, how he injured it vs. Jorge Linares, and how his team handled his comeback.
• Unifying The Belts (premieres today) — Lomachenko and Pedraza talk about their chances and ambitions to unify the lightweight title belts.
• Fishing with Loma (premieres Wednesday, Dec 5) — Behind the scenes day fishing with Lomachenko and his team off the coast of California.
• Training The Loma Way (premieres Thursday, Dec 6) — Inside Team Lomachenko’s unique training strategies, including unique outdoor and mental training.
• The final press conference, which will stream live on Thursday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
• The Boxing Beat with Dan Rafael premieres Tuesday, the weekly ESPN+ original show will include a look ahead to Lomachenko vs. Pedraza with ESPN boxing guru Dan Rafael.
• The weigh-in will stream live Friday, Dec 7 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Also airing on ESPN2.
Katie Taylor to Defend World Titles Against Wahlstrom in New York
Katie Taylor will defend her IBF and WBA World Lightweight titles against Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden, New York on December 15, on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez challenging Rocky Fielding for the WBA World Super Middleweight title, live on DAZN.
Taylor (11 – 0 5KOs) makes her third defense of her belts in her third fight in New York, first in the World famous Manhattan boxing mecca and the fourth stateside fight in her last seven fights.
The Irish sensation became the WBA World ruler in her seventh pro outing in Cardiff, Wales in October 2017 against Anahi Sanchez and unified the belts at the Barclays Center in fight number nine in the paid ranks, comfortably ripping the IBF belt from Victoria Bustos in April.
Taylor, an amateur star in the Emerald Isle with an Olympic gold medal added to five World championships and six European golds, is hunting unification bouts at 135lbs in 2019, but in unbeaten Finn Wahlstrom, the 32 year old faces the stiffest test of her pro career.
Wahlstrom (22 – 0 – 1 3KOs) is aiming to become a two-weight World champion in the Big Apple the long-reigning WBC Super-Featherweight champion steps up to Lightweight to achieve that goal on December 15.
The 38 year old landed her 130lbs strap in April 2015 and has been unmoved in four defenses on home turf, including a win over her common foe with Taylor, in former World champion Sanchez, who the Helsinki ace beat in December 2016.
The pair have history having clashed at the very start of Taylor’s amateur career 14 years ago, and the defending champion cannot think of a better setting to meet in the pros and continue her path to unification just over two years since the start of her pro career.
“Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs,” said Taylor. “I was actually drawn against her in my very first international competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a major competition after that she was in the draw!
“She was always a really tough opponent so it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to have a great professional career. I think this fight will really showcase the best that women’s boxing has to offer and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve been lucky enough to fight in some iconic venues since turning pro two years ago but I’m not sure there’s any more iconic in a boxing sense than Madison Square Garden. I think every fighter dreams about stepping in the ring there and I’m no different. To get the opportunity to defend my World titles there is really very exciting.”
“I have stated for a longest time that I am ready and I want to engage in toughest fights available,” said Wahlstrom. “This is the ultimate, biggest and toughest fight anywhere and to have it in the legendary Madison Square Garden is a huge honor.
“I lost to Katie few times in amateur days but I am sure I won her respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be totally different game with all new avenues to avenge those defeats.
“I have the greatest respect to Katie for how she has remained her respectable, nice, down-to-earth personality despite all the success and fame. Thus, I am not going to do any trash-talking, but I am very ready to do some thrashing in the MSG ring.”
“This is an amazing opportunity for Katie to fight at MSG,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is by far the toughest fight of her career so far and hugely important moving into 2019.
“There will be great Irish support in New York and she adds even more superstar status to this brilliant night of boxing on DAZN.”
ICB Signs Vanes Martirosyan; Contender to Make Cage Boxing Debut in 2019
Former super welterweight world contender Vanes Martirosyan of Glendale, Calif., is the first standout to join International Championship Boxing, promoter of the revolutionary and exciting new combat sport that features boxing in a cage.
“Vanes is not just the first to sign a multi-bout, multi-year agreement with ICB, but he’s also the first of several,” says Jack Fulton, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia-based ICB.
“We are in discussions with many boxers, mixed martial artists and kickboxers, and some of the names definitely would surprise,” says Fulton.
“It’s more than interest, it’s enthusiasm to box in ‘The Fight Zone’ says Fulton. “We’ve struck a chord with boxers and MMA fighters, and it’s resonating.”
The 32-year-old Martirosyan, originally from Armenia, has a record of 36-4-1 with 21 knockouts.
Martirosyan’s most recent bout was against Gennady Golovkin on May 5 for “GGG’s” World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council middleweight championships, a fight he took on three-week notice.
Martirosyan had two previous title bouts, one for the WBA super welterweight crown and another for the World Boxing Organization super welterweight championship.
Martirosyan’s first bout in the ICB cage will be during the first quarter of 2019.
“I was surprised when I heard about boxing in a cage, but at the same time I was real happy,” says Martirosyan. “The idea is just amazing. Fans are going to love it.
“I’m going to be a nightmare in the cage,” says Martirosyan. “It’s easier to cut off the cage in a dog fight, and I’m an action fighter; I do bring the action.
“I challenge all fighters in the world, boxing or MMA, to come into the cage with me, and I’ll show them what real fighting is all about,” says Martirosyan.
“Vanes and his team are excited to be part of this new and unique concept for boxing,” says his manager, Vince Carthron.
“It’s a format just made for Vanes, and we are delighted to be there at the beginning and helping to build it,” says Carthron. “It’s good for boxing fans, and it’s good for Vanes.”
It took Fulton almost two years to get the cage designed, built, patented and approved by boxing and athletic commissions within the United States, including the state of Nevada.
An 18 year veteran promoter of the sport, through the years Fulton began to realize the sport needed something new, something fresh. And in 2016 he did something about it.
“The sport of boxing needed something revolutionary, and this is it,” says Fulton.
“The ICB cage better assures toe-to-toe, non-stop action, something that’s appealing to both boxing and mixed martial arts fans, and to the new hybrid athlete that’s proficient in more than one combat sport”
“We have no doubt ICB boxing in the cage will engage all ring sports fans,” says Fulton. “‘This is boxing for a new generation, a generation that has grown up watching combat sport in a cage. And that’s the main reason we conceived, created and now launched the ICB. It will re-energize boxing fans and bring MMA fans who prefer stand-up striking.”
“Vanes gets it; he sees the future and the opportunity,” says Fulton. “The ICB cage doesn’t force a boxer or an MMA fighter to make a choice; it offers them flexibility.”
Showtime to Air Epic Wilder vs. Fury Heavyweight World Title Bout on Saturday at 9pm ET
The thrilling Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight blockbuster, a sure-fire Fight of the Year candidate, will air on SHOWTIME this Saturday, December 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The WBC Heavyweight World Championship bout between the 6-foot-7 unbeaten American champion Wilder and 6-foot-9 challenger Fury originally aired live on SHOWTIME PPV® on Saturday, December 1 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, both Wilder and Fury made strong cases for 2018 Fighter of the Year honors. Wilder faced the two toughest opponents of his career this year including a spectacular knockout win over Cuban slugger Luis Ortiz in a Fight of the Year candidate in March. Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion, returned from a two-and-a-half-year layoff to score two wins in a span of 10 weeks before facing Wilder. On Saturday, he miraculously withstood a devastating, final-round knockdown that appeared to knock him out cold. Fury rose dramatically and continued to fight until the final bell to cap an effort that will go down as one of the greatest comeback stories in all of sports.
The SHOWTIME presentation of the Wilder vs. Fury, a bout that has been hailed as “…the greatest night for boxing in the U.S. in recent memory,” by Yahoo! Sports, will be immediately followed by the premiere of ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. FURY EPILOGUE. The networks’ Emmy Award winning Epilogue reveals the drama of fight night from a unique perspective and introduces viewers to the rarely seen aftermath of world championship prizefighting. ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. FURY EPILOGUE goes behind the scenes, into the locker rooms, corners and inner circles as Fury aims to complete a storybook comeback and Wilder looks to continue his reign as the “baddest man on the planet.”
Amir Khan Launches ‘Ring the Changes” Initiative to Help Under-Privileged Youth
Boxing superstar Amir Khan has launched a new initiative in London today aimed at addressing youth crime in partnership with online financial trading broker ThinkMarkets.
More than 100 young people have been murdered in London alone this year and Khan will work with ThinkMarkets and charity partners to raise funds and support initiatives to help young children get off the streets using financial education and the power of boxing.
Amir Khan said: “ThinkMarkets have ambitious plans to address youth crime and together I am confident that we can make a real difference through our ‘Ring the Changes’ initiative.
“I faced challenges as a young man and I’ve been fortunate that boxing has given me opportunities and a support network that has helped me throughout my life. Not everyone is as fortunate as I have been and alongside my boxing career, I want to do some good in the world, helping young people.
“As a sportsman in the public eye, young people may be more inclined to listen to me than to people they don’t know and if I can pass on any guidance or help with opportunities that change even just one person’s life for the better, I will be very proud.”
Tonight (December 3) Khan will auction an exclusive training session and VIP tickets for his next fight with funds going to sport for employment charity Street League, that delivers a powerful programme of sports combined with employability coaching to young people from the most disadvantaged communities in the UK in order to improve their life chances.
Khan will also work with ThinkMarkets to secure employment in the City for 100 young people from disadvantaged families by 2022 and is planning to collaborate with an amateur boxing club to provide inspirational talks and fundraising activities to support its members.
The collaboration will also see Khan and ThinkMarkets run masterclasses together for the trading community, with the boxer giving talks on having a successful mindset and how to manage emotions.
Khan has a long history of helping charitable causes around the world and set up his own Foundation in 2014, something that attracted ThinkMarkets to working with the former Olympic silver medallist.
Faizan Anees, Co-founder of ThinkMarkets, said: “’Ring the Changes’ aims to make a difference to the lives of a great many young people in the UK. Amir Khan will be a fantastic ambassador for our activities and we are both committed to helping less fortunate young people and their families.”
ThinkMarkets aims to teach youngsters the importance of mental discipline and provide them with key skills to help them achieve their goals.
Khan’s partnership with ThinkMarkets is the first of its kind, with ThinkMarkets becoming the first UK broker to sponsor a professional boxer.
Algieri Rocks the House in Return to Paramount
CHRIS ALGIERI (22-3 8KO’s) returned to the Star Boxing’s acclaimed venue, The Paramount in Huntington, NY for the first time in over four years as the former WBO Super Lightweight champion looked spectacular in dismantling a game and rugged
ANGEL HERNANDEZ (14-12-2 9KO’s) from McAllen, TX over the 10 round distance of a Jr Welterweight contest in the main event of Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing Rockin Fights 33 before a frenzied sold-out standing room only crowd last night.
Algieri took control from the outset as he displayed the superb boxing skills he is known for but under new head trainer Andre Rozier, Chris has added another dimension to his already potent offense. Chris worked at a very high rate and threw numerous impressive multi punch combinations to both the body and head of Hernandez. Algieri displayed tremendous hand speed and his usual impeccable conditioning. Hernandez for his part tried the best he could and moved forward the entire fast paced fight but was no match in skills of the former world champion and in the end Algieri came away with the unanimous decision, 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91 improving to 22-3 8KO’s while Hernandez dropped to 14-12-2 9KO’s.
The semi-final 8 round Welterweight bout pitted Elmont’s TYRONE “PRETTY BOY” JAMES (9-0 6KO’s) and LEONARDO CARRIZALES (5-6-1 2KO’s), Tampico, MX. They certainly didn’t disappoint the sold out crowd as they put on a wild bout which saw James score a sensational 8th round TKO after a series of eye opening uppercuts. James started out boxing beautifully over the first 5 rounds landing vicious shots to the ever charging Carriales who also landed his fair share of blows. In the 6th round the fight took a dramatic turn as Carrizales landed a blistering right hand to the jaw of James dropping “Pretty Boy” for the first time in his career. James arose on very wobbly legs but hung in there to finish the round. The final 2 rounds saw wild action between these two fighters as they stood toe to toe trading bombs with each other, much to the delight of the crowd. The end came as James cornered Carrizales and landed 5 straight vicious uppercuts which had Carrizales’ head moving like a Jack N Box and forcing the ref to call a halt to the bout at the 42 second mark of the final frame. James improves to 9-0 6KO’s while Carrizales drops to 5-6-1 2KO’s.
Undefeated Lightweights OMAR BORDOY (7-0 2KO’s) and TEREL BOSTIC (3-1 1KO), put on a fight to remember over the 6 round distance. Danbury, CT’s Bordoy took the fight right to the local Wynadanch fighter, Bostic, as they went back and forth in a high paced, skillful match. Bordoy dropped Bostic with a monstrous right hand in the 3rd round and tried his best to finish Bostic but was unable to do so. Bostic came out for round 4 and took the fight right to Bordoy getting the best of the action. The final 2 rounds had the crowd going wild as the 2 young fighters traded freely and in the end Bordoy came away with a split decision winning 58-55 on two card while Bostic prevailed on the 3rd card 57-56.
ALEX VARGAS (2-0) won a hard fout 4 round decision over Rochester’s JARRILL HAADI (0-1), getting off the deck in the first round to do so by scores of 38-37 across the board and Jr. Welterweight DASHAUN JOHNS made his pro debut a successful one taking out late sub DEVON GRANT in the first round.
Promoter JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the fights: “What a spectacular night of fights. The Paramount was electric and Chris Algieri confirmed that he wants to regain his world championship belt. We plan on providing Chris with another world title opportunity in 2019. He is a skilled and dedicated boxer and will give any title holder at 140 lbs. an exciting and tough challenge. Congratulations to all of Friday nights fighters on a exciting and action-packed night of fights, and thank you to our great fans”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Horn, Mundine, WBC, Creed 2, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 21st to November 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Horn vs. Mundine Grudge Match Live on ESPN+
The latest edition of Breakfast and Boxing on ESPN+ will be streamed live from Down Under this Friday, as former welterweight world champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn and former two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Man” Mundine will settle a long-simmering Australian grudge match in a 12-rounder from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. The ESPN+ stream will begin at 3:30 a.m. ET, with Horn and Mundine expected to enter the ring at approximately 6:30 a.m. ET.
Horn vs. Mundine will be contested at a catchweight of 71 kilograms (156.5 pounds), with Mundine’s WBO Oriental and the vacant WBA Oceania middleweight titles on the line.
Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) burst onto the world boxing scene in 2017 with a year for the ages. In front of more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium on a sunny July day, he defeated living legend Manny Pacquiao by close unanimous decision to win the WBO welterweight world title. A former teacher who represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics, Horn defended his title later that year with an 11th-round TKO against Gary Corcoran. Horn’s good fortune finally ran out June 9 in Las Vegas against pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford, who snagged Horn’s belt via dominating ninth-round TKO.
Mundine (48-8, 28 KOs), a 43-year-old former professional Australian rugby player, turned pro in 2000 following a limited amateur career. His professional career has been a fascinating one, as he’s fought as low as super welterweight and as high as cruiserweight. Mundine first captured the WBA super middleweight world title in 2003 with a unanimous decision victory against Antwun Echols, defending the title once before a split decision loss to Manny Siaca. He knocked out countryman Sam Soliman in the ninth round on March 7, 2007 to win the WBA super middleweight world title for second time. Since then, he has taken part in some of Australia’s most high-profile boxing events, including a 2013 TKO win against future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley. Mundine rebounded from a 1-3 skid on Jan. 17, knocking out Tommy Browne in the second round.
In undercard action, Australian welterweight contender Cameron “The Hammer” Hammond (17-1, 9 KOs) will take on Frank Rojas (23-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the WBA Oceania welterweight title. Australian super featherweight champion Brent Rice (8-0, 2 KOs) will make the second defense of his belt against Liam Wilson (2-0, 2 KOs) in a 10-rounder, and middleweight prospect Ben Mahoney (5-0, 2 KOs) will step up in class versus Adrian Rodriguez (11-1-2, 5 KOs) in a five-round clash.
From Michael B. Jordan’s On Screen Mouthguard to Sylvester Stallone’s Cornerman Outfit, Check Out eBay’s Exclusive Creed II Auction
Off the heels of Creed II’s impressive box office debut, raking in $55M over the Thanksgiving weekend, eBay is offering fans the exclusive opportunity to own pieces of blockbuster history from Creed II, part of the iconic Rocky series.
Now through January 18, 2019, eBay is partnering with VIP Fan Auctions to offer over 600 Creed II props and wardrobe pieces, including screen-used boxing gloves, trunks, robes and more — with new lots added on a weekly basis.
Channel your inner Michael B. Jordan as the beloved character Adonis Creed with a Nike sweatshirt, Nike sneakers and jewelry, All Saints Jacket & Shirt, and even a used mouth guard and water bottle set.
Inspired by the film’s intense training scenes? You can own Michael B. Jordan’s on-set head gear and weight set. You can also check out the medicine ball used by Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky, along with his iconic Cornerman outfit.
Select hi-res images of the current and upcoming auction items are available here:
Bivol Makes the Most of His Main Event Debut on HBO with Dominant Victory Over Jean pascal
While the HBO World Championship Boxing era ended, the Dmitry Bivol era continued on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs), from St. Petersburg, Russia, headlining his first HBO telecast, extended his reign as World Boxing Association (WBA) light heavyweight world champion with a blitzing of former world champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs),who hails from the Montréal suburb Laval, Québec, Canada. .Ringside judges Lynn carter and Carlos Ortiz scored the fight 119-109 and Henry Grant 117-111, all in favor of the defending champion. Managed by Vadim Kornilov and promoted by World of Boxing, it is onward and upward for Bivol, arguably the best light heavyweight in the world, who eschewed more lucrative offers from other networks for the honor of headlining the finale of HBO’s 45-year flagship boxing series. The telecast will be replayed for the final time Tonight! at Midnight ET/PT, exclusively on HBO.
“This is my time. I would like to fight the other champions in my division and unify the light heavyweight titles,” said Bivol. “I could even move down to 168 pounds and fight Canelo if he beats Rocky Fielding to win the WBA super middleweight title. That way we could each put our titles on the line. I just want to fight the best. That is what I want and that is what the fans want.”
It was a perfect night for Bivol’s World of Boxing stablemates who fought on the undercard as well. In the co-main event, which opened the HBO telecast, Murodjon Akhamdaliev (5-0, 4 KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who hails from Uzbekistan, retained his WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title by scoring a ninth-round TKO of veteran Isaac Zarate (16-4-3, 2 KOs). In the best fight of the undercard, Israil Madrimov (1-0, 1 KO), from Uzbekistan, in his pro debut — a 10-round super welterweight bout — stopped battle-tested Vladimir Hernandez (10-3, 6 KOs), of Mexico, in the sixth-round of their gory slugfest. Russian heavyweights Evegeny Tishchenko (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin (14-0, 11 KOs) were knockout winners over Mexico’s Christian Mariscal (11-2, 5 KOs) and Laron Mitchell (16-2, 14 KOs), from San Francisco, respectively.
Welterweight Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5 KOs), of Uzbekistan, stopped Miguel Zamudio (41-12-1, 25 KOs), of Mexico, in the first round.
“I am very proud of all of our guys! It was a pleasure working with HBO and Main Events on another great event,” said Andrey Ryabinskiy, CEO of World Of Boxing.
“I am very glad that all our fighters looked great and got the W’s on Saturday. I am very excited about the future to come and I am proud of our team,” said Kornilov.
Sampson Boxing and the WBC to Stage Eight-Man Carlos Monzon “Super 8” Middleweight Tournament in Argentina
Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, with the sanctioned cooperation of the World Boxing Council, proudly announces the Carlos Monzon “Super 8” Middleweight Tournament, featuring eight of Argentina’s most promising 160-lb middleweight fighters vying for the Monzon Cup and a world rating.
The tournament begins on Friday, January 4 and all tournament events will be held in Argentina and televised live around the world on TyC Sports. The finals will be held on Saturday, July 6.
Featured fighters include Gonzalo “El Mago” Coria (14-2, 5 KOs), Martin Ezequiel Bulacio (8-2, 6 KOs), Tomas “El Cobra” Reynoso (13-3-1, 3 KOs), Jose Antonio “Tsunami” Villalobos (11-5-2, 7 KOs), brother of current WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castano, Alan Emmanuel Castano (13-0, 8 KOs), Francisco “Pancho” Torres (10-3, 4 KOs), Sergio “Checho” Lopez (12-2, 9 KOs) and Jonathan “El Chúcaro” Sanchez (13-3-1, 4 KOs).
Lewkowicz, who has already successfully organized and promoted a similar super bantamweight tournament, and expertly handled the career of all-time-great Argentinean middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez, says the initial tournament’s success is what led to this middleweight edition.
“I’m very honored to be putting on this tournament in Argentina, and I’m confident it will produce Argentina’s next future middleweight star,” said Lewkowicz. “The winner of this tournament will have a world rating with the prestigious WBC and a ticket to graduate to the world level. I am hoping to put on a tournament worthy of the great Carlos Monzon. Something that he’d be proud of.”
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman says the WBC are gratified to be lending their official support.
“Carlos Monzon was a legendary champion when I came to the sport of boxing and he was very close to the WBC and my father throughout his career,” explained Sulaiman. “Argentina is such an important country for boxing, they deserve support because they have done unbelievable work both in the amateurs, by winning medals, and in the professional ranks. Lately it has been a very complicated and difficult time for Argentinean boxing, so Sampson coming out and doing this tournament is something we will absolutely support. The winner will absolutely appear in the WBC’s rankings.
From Wikipedia: Carlos Monzon was an Argentine professional boxer who held the Undisputed World Middleweight Championship for 7 years. He successfully defended his title 14 times and is widely regarded as not only one of the best middleweights in history but also one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Vergil Ortiz Ready To Hit New York
By: Sean Crose
With an impressive record of 11-0 with 11 knockouts, Texas native Vergil Ortiz is beginning to make a name for himself in the super lightweight division. The fact that the Golden Boy promoted fighter is now on his way to hit the Big Apple for one of the biggest fight cards of the year serves as an indication as to just how highly Ortiz is starting to be regarded. “It feels great,” he tells me of the upcoming experience. “I’ve never been to New York.” Now, the man isn’t only heading to the city that never sleeps, he’s taking part in the Canelo Alvarez – Rocky Fielding undercard, part of a major night of boxing that will be aired live on the DAZN Streaming Service.
“I haven’t heard anything yet,” Ortiz says of potential opponents, though it’s clear Golden Boy is looking to showcase their fighter’s talents before an east coast audience. “My one hundred percent knockout ratio is really catching people’s eyes,” he admits, adding: “I don’t want to say it should…but I’ve really worked hard for it.” Not that Ortiz has always gone for the knockout. In fact, during his last two bouts Ortiz wasn’t expecting the knockout to happen. “I wasn’t looking for it,” he says of his most recent opponent. “Both of us didn’t see it coming.”
Ortiz is happy to still be trained by Robert Garcia, brother of Mikey, former champion in his own right, and now famous cornerman. “I’m training in California,” says Ortiz of his preparation for the December matchup. “I get all the sparring done up here.” Ortiz makes it clear, however, that he stays in shape even when he’s not preparing for a fight. When it’s time to settle down, he heads west for Garcia’s tutelage. If things keep going at the pace they are, Ortiz and Garcia will be seeing a lot of each other in the upcoming year.
Provided he wins in New York, Ortiz aims to fight “four or five times” in 2019. Although it’s hard not to notice a man with Ortiz’ impressive resume to date, Ortiz is “taking things step by step” in order to secure an impressive future. Appearing on DAZN may well be a promising development. The streaming service, along with other streaming services like ESPN+, may well symbolize the future of boxing. As for the moment, Ortiz keeps life simple, focusing on matters like daily training and playing guitar in his free time.
“I’m playing it pretty much every day,” he says.
Boxing Insider Interview with Tyrone McCullagh: European Titlist with Eyes on a World
By: Michael Kane
Tyrone McCullagh is a slick, awkward boxer from Derry, Ireland. He won the WBO European title last month in Belfast. McCullagh (12-0, 6 KOs) put on a great performance to beat English Champion Josh Kennedy for the belt.
Boxing Insider caught up with Tyrone to discuss his recent wins, rejecting the chance to fight for a British title and more.
If you have never watched McCullagh fight, I would advise you to check him out. He fights with a style not often seen, similar in a way to Naseem Hamed, hands down at times, using his quick movement and agility to keep out of range, then peppers his opponent in quick bursts.
Photo Credit: MTK Global Facebook Page
This is exactly what he done to win the WBO European title and as the fight went on you could see Josh Kennedy become more frustrated by each passing round.
How did McCullagh feel about his performance?
“I was delighted with it,” he said, ” I’m usually a bit over critical with myself when I look back at fights but I don’t think I lost a round. That one judge who had it 96-94, I really don’t know, he must have been a relation of Josh and he still couldn’t give it to him! My coaches and the rest of my team were happy and that’s the main thing.”
Did McCullagh expect to be so dominant in the fight?
“Yeah, I always knew I was the better boxer and I just needed to perform on the night and I’d be ok. I knew he was going to come walking forward and I wouldn’t have to go looking. I just boxed and moved and listened to my corner.”
The fight in October was McCullagh’s second title fight in a row, having defeated Scotland’s Joe Ham to win the Celtic title, in what was also a British Eliminator.
However McCullagh is not interested in fighting for a British title, coming as he does from Northern Ireland, the people there can decide to be British, Irish or citizens of both.
McCullagh explains, “Nope not at all, I am Irish, I’m not British, why would I fight for a British title? I’ve turned it down twice this year.”
He continues to say, “What I will say is that it’s nothing against the British people. I have good friends in Britain but it’s my beliefs no one else’s, and if people choose not to respect that them so be it.”
Having had a taste of picking up titles, McCullagh wants to get more, with a world title the aim.
“I want a world title, obviously not in my next fight but soon. I’ve had a great year and I’m going to build on that next year.
“I believe I can win a world title and I think I’ll be in a position to fight for one this time next year.”
McCullagh is also a trained nurse does he still find the time to do some shifts?
McCullagh said, “Not as much, it’s had to take a back seat this year. I’ve had two 10 week training camps back to back for my two title fights this year and it’s just too much to ask to work on top of that. I try and squeeze the odd shift here and there but it’s few and far between. Nursing will always be there for me after boxing and will always have a place in my heart.”
When asked who has been his biggest influence, McCullagh was quick to answer.
“My dad. He’s helped me from day one, drove me all over the country. He’s given me whatever money I’ve needed for trips and competitions when I was younger. He took me training every night, which was a 60 mile round trip and been to all my fights.”
So what was it that made McCullagh take up boxing to start with?
He said, “I was a fat kid when I was younger and needed to lose weight. I’m still a fat kid at heart but I have to limit how often he gets out but when he does he makes the most of it!”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Atlantic City, Hurd, Fury, Parker, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 14th to November 21st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Alexander Flores Has Chance of a Lifetime When He Faces Joseph Parker
Former World Boxing Organization (WBO Youth World Heavyweight Champion Alexander “The Great” Flores, promoted by Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing (RJJ), has an opportunity of a lifetime December 15, when the gifted 28-year-old Mexican-American travels halfway around the world to take on former world heavyweight titlist Joseph Parker in New Zealand.
Fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, the heavy-handed Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) is confident as he trains at home to face Parker in his backyard.
“There is no way this fight goes 10 rounds,” Flores said. “I’m going to knock him out. A lot of people might not have heard of Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores yet, but they’ll all know who I am after December 15th.”
Flores’ lone loss as a professional came 3 ½ years ago against former world champion Charles Martin for the North American Boxing Association (NABF) crown. Flores, who took the fight with only two weeks’ notice, was stopped in the fourth round.
“Alexander can dramatically change his life by defeating Parker and we’re confident he can go to New Zealand and pull off an upset,” said Keith Veltre, co-promoter of Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing. “Alexander has power in both hands and he will certainly test Parker’s chin. Flores isn’t going over there just for a paycheck, he’s going to send shockwaves throughout the boxing world.”
An impressive victory against Parker, who has lost his last two fights against unified world champion Anthony Joshua and Dillian White, should propel Flores high in the competitive heavyweight division.
“I’m really glad that Alex is coming to New Zealand full of confidence,” remarked Parker, who is training in Las Vegas. “For me, boxing is all about the challenge, and this is another big one. I know what is at stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out, but I can’t focus on that. I need to focus on getting better each and every time I get in the ring.”
Parker has never been knocked out as a pro and he’ll be fighting at home for the first time in 1 ½ years.
“After a five-year undefeated run that took Joe all the way to the WBO World title, we now find ourselves in very unusual territory, coming off back-to-back loses,” Parker’s head trainer Kevin Barry noted. “Joe has never been in this position before and needs a top performance. Joe finds himself under huge pressure to not only win this fight, but to win big and get his career back on track.
“These guys (Parker and Flores) are the same height (6’ 4”) and both pack a serious punch, so it stacks up as a great contest. This is a dangerous fight, one that Joseph Parker is fighting for his career.”
Parker, however, may be looking past Flores, according to his recent statements in the media. First, Parker called out Tony Bellew, who just lost to undisputed, undefeated world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, and then the big New Zealander said he’d like to fight the winner of Whyte-Derek Chisora II.
Meanwhile, Flores is training like Rocky to make a major statement, one that promises to surprise a lot of boxing fans.
Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Jarrett Hurd, and Luis Ortiz Share What they are Thankful for this Thanksgiving
For those fighting in the blockbuster night of boxing on Saturday, December 1 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, this year’s Thanksgiving will come during the tail end of training camp for their respective matchups. While the fighters may not be able to surround themselves with their loved ones or enjoy a traditional holiday meal, they still have plenty to be thankful for.
Fighters who are competing in the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV and SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from STAPLES Center discussed what they are most thankful for this time of year. The SHOWTIME PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. The night kicks off with SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT live on SHOWTIME and on SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.
The event is headlined by a heavyweight world championship showdown that pits WBC champion Deontay Wilder against lineal champion Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV®. The PPV undercard features unified super welterweight world champion Jarrett Hurd returning to take on Jason Welborn, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz facing-off against Travis Kauffman and rising heavyweight Joe Joyce battling Joe Hanks. In action on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION are former champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo in a super middleweight clash. Non-televised action will see the return of former multiple-division champion Robert Guerrero.
Here is what the fighters said they are thankful for this holiday season:
“I’m just thankful for my beautiful family – my wonderful children and my beautiful lady. I’m just so thankful for all the positive energy that I’ve been receiving from my family. This is the happiest I’ve been in my life – career wise and in my personal life. I don’t have any drama and I’m ready to go December 1.”
“I’m most thankful for being alive, for being healthy and for being in a right mind. Business and jobs are very unimportant when you’ve got no health. You can be a billionaire but dying inside. It’s all irrelevant if you haven’t got your health. Because your health is your wealth. I’m very qualified to say it because I’ve been in some tough positions before. I’m just thankful to be alive.”
“I’m thankful for my family, my team, my health and the chance to get back in the ring and do what I love on December 1. Unfortunately, no Thanksgiving for me this year. I think I’ll even be on the plane on the holiday, which is fine for me so I don’t get the urge to eat. I’m also going to do a Turkey Drive in my community and make sure that I’m giving back as much as I can.”
“2018 has been my year. I’m thankful for my family – my wife, children, my dad and my Mom who looks over us all.
“I became British Champion in 2018, defended my title and now I’m going to shock the world in L.A. to cap a wonderful year.”
“First and foremost, I’m thankful for my daughter’s health and well-being, along with my whole family. I know that in boxing, there are no holidays. Thanksgiving will be whenever it lands and whenever I have the opportunity for it. Boxing is my first love and I’m happy to be training even during this time of year.”
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announce Class of 2019
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) has announced its 2019 Induction Class. The Induction Weekend will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 21 – 23, 2019.
“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2019 and are very much looking forward to paying tribute to the new inductees in Atlantic City at our 3rd annual induction weekend next June” said ACBHOF President and Founder Ray McCline.
The 2019 inductees in the Fighter category are:
Bernard Hopkins Tim Witherspoon, Sr.
Kevin Watts Virgil Hill, Sr.
Iran Barkley John Brown
Roberto Duran, Sr. Micky Ward
Trainers and Cutmen:
Ace Marotta English “Bouie” Fisher
Butch Lewis Bobby Goodman
Stan Hoffman Nigel Collins
Henry Hascup Jimmy Binns Sr.
Tom Kaczmarek Tony Orlando Jr.
Bernard Hopkins will be inducted into his first Hall of Fame as part of the third annual class that will include a total of 19 inductees.
“I feel appreciated and it’s starting to settle in that I’m near that mark of living legend. I don’t see myself as a living legend. Let other people decide that. This is a great honor and I’m grateful for the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame for making this happen,” Hopkins said in a November 16 RingTV interview with Joseph Santoliquito.
“Watch who you co-sign for; you can’t sell me black to get in the door. You can’t sell me white to get in the door. You can’t sell me half white or half black or none of that to get in the door. But you can sell me LOYALTY” said former two-division champion Bernard Hopkins.
The 3rd Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend will honor some of the world’s most iconic figures from the sport of boxing: Butch Lewis, Nigel Collins, English “Bouie” Fisher and New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame’s President Henry Hascup are just a few named who will be enshrined with the 2019 induction class.
Inductees will be named in three categories: Fighter, Trainer & Cut-Men and Special Contributors.
“It was a great honor to hear I was going to be inducted into Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Atlantic City is my second home, and as a pro fighter I’ve fought numerous times in this great city. It’s a great boxing town and it is an honor to be inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame” says Micky Ward.
Over the next several weeks there will be updates on the schedule of events, room packages and expected VIP appearances on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms
Alvarez-Golovkin And The Drug Testing Story That Never Should Have Been
By Jake Donovan
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have developed one of the most contentious rivalries in the sport today—so much, that even random social media discussion has somehow become headline news.
The latest twist involving the best two middleweights in the world today once again revisits the drug testing subplot, with the validity of random testing provided somehow—and falsely—called into question.
Both boxers were subject to random drug testing as administered by Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA)—a Las Vegas-based company founded by Dr. Margaret Goodman, a longtime advocate for the safety and health of boxers—surrounding their rematch this past September in Las Vegas.
The same agency was involved in their first fight one year prior, with testing at the time serving as merely a footnote. The far greater focus was on their HBO Pay-Per-View headliner ending in a highly questionable split decision draw which many felt Golovkin deserved to win.
The two camps came to terms for an agreed-upon rematch, which was due to take place this past May. However, the drug testing angle became the major focal point after Alvarez was discovered to have failed two VADA-conducted tests, both showing trace amounts of the banned substance Clenbuterol.
Even while armed with the alibi of the substance being unknowingly digested through contaminated meat—an ongoing epidemic in Alvarez’ native Mexico—the ultimate decision rendered down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was for the superstar athlete to serve a six-month suspension, while also issuing the reminder that all athletes are responsible for what goes into their bodies regardless of means of consumption.
Alvarez took the punishment, also agreeing to enroll in year-round VADA testing which began in May. The decision served as the first step toward rescheduling his rematch with Golovkin, with the two sides going beyond their internally-imposed deadline in ultimately coming to terms to once again meet in September.
With Alvarez already enrolled, VADA agreed to create a specific testing program for the rematch, with the September 15 fight night date serving as the closing period. Alvarez won a majority decision in a fight where most ringside observers felt a draw or a close Golovkin victory was the more appropriate call, but the outcome not as contentious as was the case one year prior.
Except to the Golovkin camp.
The loss ended his reign of 20 successful defenses (which includes five defenses of an “interim” title, which some historians dismiss), tying him with Bernard Hopkins, a stakeholder in Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez’s promoter. The post-fight drug test which followed was also supposed to end the testing period as it pertained to this bout, although Alvarez was due to remain in the program as per his contracted agreement to year-round testing which runs through May 2019.
This somehow became a topic of discussion two months after the fact.
A random discussion on social media called to question whether or not Alvarez remained enrolled in VADA’s program without interruption. The inquiry came about after the agency welcomed to the program reigning secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding, who will face Alvarez on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The conversation took a bizarre turn when Tom Loeffler—managing director of 360 Promotions and the driving force behind Golovkin’s career—offered a response suggesting that post-fight testing was yet another angle in the rivalry in which their side was dealt the short straw.
“VADA scheduled a random test for GGG a week after the fight,” Loeffler stated on social media. “I made sure that Canelo was also going to be tested. Next day the random test was cancelled. Strange that it was scheduled then cancelled, maybe Canelo was already in [Mexico] eating steaks celebrating his ‘decision’.”
Not only was it the wrong setting for such a pointed remark but was entirely incorrect in its implication.
The eventually canceled test was initially scheduled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has often contracted VADA for testing needs. However, the decision to test both fighters that far after the fight was not made by VADA, as Golovkin’s specific obligation to the program ended on fight night.
“Tom Loeffler’s tweets regarding Golovkin/Alvarez testing are not correct,” Goodman told BoxingInsider.com via email in response to the conversation. “VADA tested both fighters many times leading up to their rematch and post-fight. Mr. Alvarez remains in VADA’s year-round testing program and subject to testing.
“Golovkin’s program ended September 15, 2018. The commission initially requested that we arrange to test both fighters again. Since many fighters travel after an event, and as Golovkin was no longer in VADA we confirmed his whereabouts. However, soon after the confirmation, the commission changed their decision.”
The decision as well as Goodman’s take were both subsequently confirmed by Golovkin’s side while offering its best efforts to walk back such comments.
“It was not VADA that cancelled the test, apparently it was the Commission,” Loeffler confirmed to BoxingInsider.com via text. “I didn’t mean to disparage VADA in any way; I’m a firm believer in what they do and that they are the best testing we have to try to prevent any banned substance use. Their testing is what showed the two positive tests for Canelo for Clenbuterol and that wouldn’t have shown up had we not started early testing with VADA.
“They cancelled the test for GGG, not sure what they did with Canelo, I just figured both were cancelled, but that information would have to come from VADA or the commission. We have insisted on VADA testing for all of the GGG fights as well as (former World heavyweight champion Wladimir) Klitschko fights in Europe and Moscow, so we believe in their testing program being effective and complimenting the WBC clean boxing program.”
Golovkin remains on the hunt for a new platform to carry his next fight and beyond. The knockout artist from Kazakhstan was among the many boxers left without a network home after HBO—the premium cable giant whom has aired all but two of his bouts since his stateside debut in 2012—announced in September that it would no longer remain in the boxing business following their final forthcoming December 8 telecast (fittingly, presented by Loeffler’s 360 Promotions). Talks are ongoing with many top players, including the top brass at ESPN, Showtime and sports streaming service DAZN, the latter with whom Alvarez signed a record-breaking contract and on which he will debut in December.
There stands a chance that their paths will once again cross. Hopefully by then, the storylines will remain limited to their in-ring rivalry and not news items that never should have been news to begin with.
Boxing Insider Interview with Roy Jones Jr. at the Creed II Premier
By: Henry Deleon
At the NYC premiere for Creed 2, Boxing Insider got the chance to catch up with the legendary Roy Jones Jr.
Boxing Insider: Tell me Roy, what are your expectations for this movie, Creed 2?
Roy Jones Jr.: I expect it to be another great movie. They usually do a good job with these. It’s like they’re bringing “Rocky” onto the next generation, so for me it’s a beautiful thing. I love the concept, and you know the “Rocky” movies have actually brought a lot of fans to the sport of Boxing. It’s almost like the movie version of Boxing make some people pay more attention to real Boxing. When people see fights like the Gatti/Ward fights, it’s almost like they’re watching a real life “Rocky” movie.
Boxing Insider: How much impact did a movie like “Rocky” have on your career?
Roy Jones Jr.: Not really much on my career because I wasn’t much of a movie guy. But just the fact that I knew what it stood for, I knew what the concept was because I was a real boxer made me still respect it. It gave people a clear perspective of what some fighters feel. Everybody is not going to be the Sugar Ray Leonard, the Roy Jones, or the Muhammed Ali’s of their era. But there are guys who can be just as good to watch and who can provide great action-packed fights as the Arturo Gatti’s, the real life “Rocky’s”. It’s not always about the skill of Boxing, sometimes it’s about the heart and soul of Boxing and for that very reason the Rocky movies, the Creed movies do a great job in portraying that.
Boxing Insider: Being a pro fighter, do you feel that the way Hollywood portrays Boxing does the sport justice?
Roy Jones Jr.: It all depends on what movies you’re watching. Does it do some aspects of the sport justice? Yeah, but it doesn’t do the whole Boxing game justice because Hollywood would have to get deeper into the sport to do that. But it does do Boxing good because it shows people that every fighter has a story. So, what they’re doing I’d say is helping the sport of Boxing.
Roy Jones Jr. won several world titles in four different divisions. In 1988, he represented the United States in the summer Olympics where he went on to won a silver medal in the light middleweight division. He is considered by many to be one of Boxing’s all-time best.
“One thing you gotta know about Roy. The way I always saw myself is, I’m just like you. In the ring, I have a gift, that gift ain’t on the basketball court, that gift ain’t at home, you understand me? That gift is in the ring.” – Roy Jones Jr.
On November 21st, 2018 Catch Roy Jones Jr. and many more in the upcoming film “Creed 2”. This is going to be a fight you won’t want to miss!
Boxing Insider Interview with Stitch Duran, Part 2
By: Henry Deleon
In the depths of telling us what it’s like to be a Cutman, Jacob “Stitch” Duran also caught up with Boxing Insider about the upcoming film “Creed 2 “and his role in it. Here’s what the legendary Stitch had to share:
Boxing Insider: Stitch, what was your role in this movie?
Stitch: Well you take a guess brother, I was the Cutman! (he says laughing) they brought me in to be part of the Creed legacy. When I did the first creed film, I told Ryan Coogler “Ryan if I see something that’s not authentic to the game I’ll bring it to your attention.” Ryan then said, “Stitch that’s why we brought you in here.” So, on that aspect I thought that was a very strong thing for him to say. It was pretty awesome actually and you know throughout the whole 1st Creed movie, and now this movie, not only was I the Cutman, but I was also an advisor to the judges around ringside, the referees, all the inspectors and everything. I helped and guided them in doing the right things. You guys will see when you watch the movie, you’ll notice that, what we put together, is pretty awesome!
Boxing Insider: We were there for the premier and to see the outcome of what you guys put together was extraordinary. To see how the audience in the cinema engaged with it, as if it was a real fight, was phenomenal. With your expertise in combat sports, did you have an input into how the fights were choreographed?
Stitch: Not so much in the fighting scenes. There were guys there who choreographed everything. With Michael B. Jordan though I helped keep him in that “fighter mode”. I remember when we did the first movie, I spent like 6 weeks one-on-one with Michael, which was tremendous. I would spend quality time with him in his dressing room, wrapping his hands so we would talk. I was just so impressed with him one day that I said “Michael, you’ve done such a great job in being a fighter that I am going to knight you as a fighter. You are an official fighter now”. Based on the first movie and on the second movie you can see his skill level has gotten so much better! Michael has done such a great, great job!
You talk about the psychological aspect, going back to one of your earlier questions. In the last scene where he’s fighting Viktor Drago, both Florian and Michael are just exhausted! They’re just doing take after take so they’re tired. I remember Florian sitting on the stool and Michael is down on the Canvas with Steven Caple, the Director, on his knees talking to Michael. I’m also down on my knees listening to the conversation. I hear Steven telling Michael “we have to get everything out of you for this last scene. You have to be exhausted Michael. You have to get everything out of you, I need everything out of you”. I’m over here thinking to myself “wow, what a great Director”. I see that Michael was exhausted. I tell him “Michael, this is where the Lion takes over”. I helped him get back up and they went on to finish that final scene.
Boxing Insider: Were there any moments, behind the scenes, where you had to stitch someone up or something because of accidental contact during the making of those fight scenes?
Stitch: Not so much stitching guys up, but you know Michael and Florian, they couldn’t help not making contact with each other. There was a moment, and you’ll be one of the first to know about this, that Michael showed me his knee and he has a lot of water built up in it. Michael asked me what I thought about it and I told him “Michael you’re going to have to get this drained”. That was on a Friday, and these guys worked their asses off. So, I get back to set that following Monday, Michael comes over and tells me that he got his knee drained and showed me the video of it. It’s things like that where they appreciate your knowledge and those are moments you just don’t forget.
Boxing Insider: How was it working with all these Boxing professionals on a movie set where everything is more choreographed?
Stitch: It was great! Andre Ward, you know, I’ve been working with him ever since he became a Pro. It was nice seeing him do all the acting parts and all that. All the other guys that were involved in the movie were just so excited to be part of this legacy. You look at them, you work with them, and a lot of those guys I wrapped them up behind the scenes. To see those guys, do what they do, I know when they see the movie they’re going to be super proud that they were part of this legacy.
Boxing Insider: To be a part of the Creed and Rocky legacy, it must feel like such an amazing honor.
Stitch: It definitely is! And you know Henry when we did the first Creed movie, it was like the 3rd or 4th week and I remember telling Sly (Sylvester Stallone) “Sly you know I can’t sleep at night. I’m in my room and I keep asking myself what am I doing here?” and he tells me “Stitch, you earned it”. There was another moment when I got the script for the 1st movie and my name on the script was Marcel. “Marcel?” I questioned. I didn’t even know anyone by the name of “marcel” let alone any Cutman. So, I said I was going to try and change my character’s name. then Sly being the professional that he is, when it was time for him to introduce us to Adonis (Michael B. Jordan’s character) he introduces me as “Stitch, the best Cutman in Philadelphia” and oh man, deep inside Henry I was screaming “Yes!”. The next day, I thanked him and once again Sly being such a professional says “Well it has to feel authentic”. So many props to him for understanding what makes a great movie.
Boxing Insider: For all those who are still waiting for the movie to be released in theaters, is there any last words you’d like to say to them?
Stitch: Henry you saw the movie, I saw the movie. It’s going to be great! The story line between Ivan Drago and his son Viktor Drago is a great storyline. To be able to see the side of the opponent, in all these boxing movies you never really get to see that side. Its only the star of the movie who we learn about. In this movie, we have a few stars. We have Florian who obviously fights Michael B. Jordan and then we have Dulph Lundgren that was, and continues to be Ivan Drago. So now he’s back in the movie so it was nice to rekindle his legacy and then to see the side of his son. Even the storyline with Michael and Tessa Thompson who plays “Bianca” Michael’s wife is a great storyline. Obviously “Rocky” he’s always going to be respected in whatever position he’s in, so expect to see a great movie. Also, the soundtrack is pretty amazing, I was really excited about that.
I spoke to Florian at the after-party of the movie premier and I told him how proud I am of him. Now Florian is the only one to get away with calling me “Stitchy” I remember telling him on set “Florian, if you weren’t so big I’d kick your ass” but that’s just the cariño (“affection” in Spanish)
So, I say to him “I’m so proud of you man, you’re going to be a star” he then says “Stitchy, I’ve read your articles and appreciate your kind words. I’m starting to get all kinds of offers now and you know what Stitchy? Now I can call my shots on these”. So, expect to see more of Florian Munteanu’s face, because he’s definitely going to be a star. Michael B. Jordan, the things that he has been doing! He’s the new “Denzel Washington” of the modern age. I’m so proud to be part of his team. So, check out the movie, it’s going to be tremendous!
Stitch grew up as a farmworker in the Central Valley of California. He still considers himself that humble little Chicano who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. When he came to New York for the premiere, he was in disbelief that he was here with all these top actors. “Everyone is treating me like an actor, and calling me a legend. It’s a mind-blowing experience!” he says.
“That’s why I like to tell people especially the Latinos that “si se puede” which means it can be done. It’s all perseverance. Go out there and do what your heart tells you to do and even if you don’t reach the highest level, you’ll still be at a higher level than where you are today”.
Creed 2 hits theaters November 21st, 2018. This is a fight you won’t want to miss!