Tag Archives: Insider

Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Pacquiao, Lara, Oscar De La Hoya, GGG, Canelo, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 11th to September 18th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Open Letter to Fight Fans From Oscar De La Hoya

Dear Fight Fans,

On the night of Saturday, September 15, fans were set to be treated to what sports should be all about: the two best athletes in a sport squaring off against each other with the winner earning the title of the best in the business. This kind of an event – where an individual can be called the best in any sport – is truly rare.

Not only did the fight itself deliver all that was promised, against all kinds of pressure, Canelo Alvarez gave the performance of his lifetime to secure the unified middleweight championship of the world.

•Unfairly criticized for not fighting “Mexican” enough in the first fight, he kept Gennady Golovkin on his heels all night, taking the action to the “boogeyman of boxing,” walking him down and controlling the pace.

•Repeatedly ravaged for two positive drug tests that showed minor traces of clenbuterol – a common occurrence in Mexico due to the contamination of beef across the country – Canelo submitted to more than 20 drug tests in the lead up to the fight and passed them all with flying colors.

•Saddled with a judge’s card of a year ago that he had nothing to do with; the pressure of millions of fans watching; and what many were describing as a must-win to stay relevant, Canelo delivered a near-flawless fight.

And yet…

It wouldn’t be boxing if thousands of keyboard warriors weren’t talking (or tweeting) complete nonsense in the hours and days after Canelo began to cement his legacy as an all-time great fighter.

Many have told me to ignore the haters; that I’ll never win. But, while I know I won’t convince many of them, allowing them to even partly soil what was a certain Fight of the Year; a mega-event seen by millions of people; and a virtuoso performance by boxing’s marquis fighter would do a disservice to the sport I love.

So allow me to respond to a few of the more absurd comments:

Golden Boy paid the judges to fix the fight.

Though I don’t think this deserves response, here are the facts: The three judges were chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Given the result of the first fight, NSAC was under a lot of scrutiny to come up with the fairest group of judges possible. For the first time I know of, Golden Boy Promotions and Team GGG were even allowed to approve a pool of judges. They saw what everyone else did; a close, competitive fight and scored it exactly that way.

Golovkin landed more punches and therefore should have won the fight.

If landed punches were the difference between winning or losing a boxing match, we would have an incredibly different and less interesting sport. Clean punching, ring generalship, effective aggressiveness and defense are what the judges are looking for in determining the winner of a round. I’m obviously a promoter, but in the four areas that actually count in judging, I can’t find one where GGG was the victor.

Tom Loeffler’s statement that he doesn’t know if Golvokin can win a decision in Las Vegas.

Perhaps Tom is just looking to make GGG feel better, but regardless this is maybe the most disappointing comment, because it comes from someone who knows the sport. Of course, GGG can win a decision in Las Vegas. But 22,000 people aren’t going to crowd into the T-Mobile Arena to watch Golovkin fight and blast out the likes of Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe, Jr., or Vanes Martirosyan. He is going to need to fight a higher level of competition – and then fight better than that opponent – to earn a victory in the mecca of boxing.

Boxing is a wonderful sport that is coming back thanks to streaming technology and growing international interest. But, it is a sport that also faces competition, not only from the outside in the form of other, more-widely watched leagues, but from inside where the fractured nature of boxing has made it tougher and tougher for the best to face the best.

Just look at celebrity row to see how special Saturday night was. There, another best-in-sport athlete, Lebron James, joined by Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and a huge group of other A-list celebrities to witness something special.

While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (especially in boxing), let’s take a moment to appreciate what Canelo and GGG gave us on Saturday night and work towards doing it more often for the sake of the sport we all love so much.

Erislandy Lara Wants Canelo or GGG Next

Former WBA super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), felt inspired by the state of boxing after watching last Saturday night’s main event between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought an amazing fight, it was a true classic.” said Lara. “I want to congratulate both of them for putting together such a tremendous effort to bring the spotlight back on boxing. It would be a great honor to fight either fighter, and I would love to challenge myself against them.”

Erislandy Lara has been training in Houston, Texas for his next fight with trainer Ronnie Shields, as he is working hard in the gym, getting ready for his next fight date.

“I am ready to make a statement and to challenge either fighter at middleweight, whether it is Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez in a rematch…I am ready!”
Mayweather-Pacquiao Rematch Props

After news broke that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is planning come out of retirement and return to the ring for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, BetDSI immediately posted a line on the rematch.

The online sportsbook also posted odds on the probability of the fight happening in 2018, as well as how many pay-per-view buys it will generate if it does occur.

Will Mayweather-Pacquiao II take place before Dec. 31, 2018?

Yes -150
No +120

Total PPV buys (in millions) for Mayweather-Pacquiao II (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)

Over 4.3 (-115)
Under 4.3 (-115)

While Vegas set the odds at Mayweather -220, Pacquiao +180, the sharper, offshore market sees Mayweather as a slightly bigger favorite.

Moneyline (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
Floyd Mayweather -265
Manny Pacquiao +215

Total Rounds (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
11.5 (-300)
11.5 (+200)
Berchelt and Roman Set for El Paso Rumble

WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel ‘El Alacrán” Berchelt and Miguel “Mickey” Roman went face-to-face on the arena floor of the Don Haskins Center, site of their Nov. 3 showdown that will, once and for all, settle this simmering grudge match.

Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs), from, Cancun, Mexico, is the 26-year-old champion looking to make his fourth successful title defense. Roman (60-12, 47 KOs), from Juarez, Mexico, is a 32-year-old who will be making his third attempt at a world title.

Roman and Berchelt met the media on Monday in El Paso, the middle stop of a three-city press swing that, if anything, has stoked the rivalry between the two. Here is what they had to say 47 days away from one of the year’s most anticipated fights.

Miguel Berchelt

“I am very happy to be here. It’s my second time on ESPN. I am training very hard in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. When there are two Mexicans in the ring, the show is guaranteed to be great. This won’t be the exception.”

“In boxing, trash talk is normal. At the end of the day, we are fighters. It is going to be a great fight. The people will leave the arena happy because they are going to see a great fight. They are going to see a great champion in Miguel Berchelt.”

“Roman and I have wanted this fight for a very, very long time. He asked for this opportunity, and I am happy to give it to him. This is going to be a great fight, but I know it will end with my hands raised. I am young and hungry. It doesn’t matter that we’re fighting in his backyard. El Paso and Juarez are going to be my towns when it’s over.”

Miguel Roman

“I would like you to know I’m very happy. I feel great fighting for this belt against Miguel Berchelt. This is something that we’ve been waiting for. Now, it’s happening. I live near the border, and fighting here is like I’m fighting in my house. The people from El Paso, Juarez, and Las Cruces {New Mexico} always support me. On Nov. 3, my people are going to come and support me.”

“I’m fighting a great champion in Miguel Berchelt. He’s very strong and I respect him a lot. I gotta do what I gotta do. I gotta do my job. My experience, strength, and hunger to win this title will take me to victory.”

“He’s talking all of this stuff, that he’s going to take my head off and things like that. El Paso is my town. If he thinks he’s going to come in here and be talking like that, he’s got another thing coming.”

Berchelt-Roman and a soon-to-be announced co-feature will stream live in the United States beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET 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 entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Park Theater Showdown:Ryota Murata –Rob Brant Tickets On Sale Today

Japanese superstar Ryota Murata is taking his talents halfway around the world.

Tickets for Murata’s WBA middleweight world title defense against Rob “Bravo” Brant on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Park Theater at Park MGM go on sale TODAY at 10 a.m. PST. The event is promoted by Top Rank, in association with Teiken Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions.

Tickets are priced at $204, $104, $54 and $29, not including taxes and handling fees, and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets also can be purchased through the MGM Resorts International Call Center at 877-795-2564.

Murata-Brant will stream live in the United States beginning at 7:30 p.m. PST 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.

This is the second defense of the WBA title for Murata (14-1, 11 KOs), who won the belt with a dominating seventh-round TKO over Hassan N’Dam in October 2017. Five months earlier, N’Dam handed Murata his only professional loss via a highly controversial split decision. Murata left no doubt in the rematch and defended the title in April in Yokohama, Japan, knocking out Emanuele Blandamura in the eighth round.

A 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Murata is a sports icon in Japan, as the Blandamura fight drew a peak rating of 17 million viewers on Japanese TV. Brant (23-1, 16 KOs), from St. Paul, Minn., is undefeated when fighting as a middleweight and is the WBA No. 2-ranked middleweight in the world.

HBO Replay of Canelo-GGG 2

HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: CANELO ALVAREZ VS. GENNADY GOLOVKIN 2, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated rematch, SATURDAY, SEPT. 22 at 10:05 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the live HBO Pay-Per-View® presentation on Cinco de Mayo, called all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

The fight will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

In the sport’s top prizefight of the year, middleweight champ Gennady “GGG” Golovkin put his title belts and undefeated record on the line once again against his arch-rival, superstar Canelo Alvarez, who despite his youth (27) has emerged as a box office powerhouse and one of the sport’s elite fighters. Their 12-round fight at 160-pounds took place under the bright spotlight of the T-Mobile Arena.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, WBSS, Top Rank, Frank Warren, DAZN


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Top Rank Announced Media Partnership with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions

Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions are proud to announce an exclusive, landmark multi-year licensing agreement that will bring the best events from the United Kingdom and Europe to boxing fans in the United States and Canada on ESPN platforms.

“We are committed to securing the biggest and best events from around the world,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “Our long-term objective is to showcase global talent and to expose the next generation of boxing stars. Frank Warren is a legend with a keen eye for building talent, and his elite stable has proven to resonate with North American fans.”

“I am absolutely delighted and honored to announce this landmark multi-year deal with Top Rank that will see my promotions going forward featured regularly on the ESPN platforms in the U.S. and Canada,” Warren said. “This was a very attractive opportunity to us due to the level of exposure our stable of fighters will benefit from by being showcased by one of, if not, the biggest broadcaster in sport. Boxers like Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko appear on ESPN, and our boxers will be sharing a broadcast home with them going forward. The agreement will open doors for them to get their name known coast to coast in North America and eventually become stars there.”

The first show under the agreement will be Warren’s stacked card on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Morningside Arena Leicester in Leicester, England. That main event will feature WBO No. 2 super lightweight contender Jack “El Gato” Catterall (22-0, 12 KOs) against fellow top contender Ohara Davies (18-1, 14 KOs). Two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams (4-0, 3 KOs) and young heavyweight knockout artist Daniel Dubois (8-0, 8 KOs) will also see action on the bill. Dubois will face his toughest test to date against former world title challenger Kevin Johnson.

Warren, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008, has been promoting cards for nearly 40 years and has one of the sport’s deepest rosters. He has helped turn many of the United Kingdom’s biggest stars into fan favorites across the pond. Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, Prince Naseem Hamed, and Amir Khan all fought under the Warren banner.

Gilbert Venegas Remains Undefeated with Dominating Performance in San Antonio

TMB & PRB Entertainment presented “Fight Night at the Scottish Rite 2” a ten-bout card that took place at the Scottish Rite Theatre in downtown San Antonio. In the six-round main event, local fighters, Gilbert Venegas and Armando Cardenas gave the fans a crowd-pleasing showdown.

Cardenas, who had the height and reach advantage, was doing his best to box from the outside, but was getting caught with overhand rights by Venegas. At the end of round two, Venegas dropped Cardenas with a looping right hand. Cardenas wasn’t hurt to bad and came back strong in round three. Venegas then started landing pounding body shots, slowing down Cardenas’ comeback. Another overhand right by Venegas dropped Cardenas for the second time in round four. Venegas followed with a vicious left hook to the body that put Cardenas down once again in round three. Cardenas was badly hurt but made it to the final round. Both fighters went out with a blaze of glory as they went toe to toe in the last seconds of round six. Venegas remains undefeated winning by unanimous decision, improving his record to (10-0, 6 KOs), while Armando Cardenas’ record stands at (9-2, 5 KOs). Scorecards unavailable.

DAZN Adds World Boxing Super Series Ali Trophy Final George Groves vs. Callum Smith
DAZN, the live and on-demand sports streaming platform, announced it will carry the Ali Trophy Final between George Groves and Callum Smith in the Super Middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series. The card will stream live in the U.S. on Friday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT from Indoor Sports Hall at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

WBA Super Middleweight tilist Groves (28-3, 20 KOs), back in action after an unanimous decision win against Chris Eubank Jr., will take on the undefeated Callum Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) in the third defense of his belt.

“The World Boxing Super Series has produced some of the best fights over the last year and we’re excited to bring the Groves-Smith final to the U.S.,” said Joe Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America. “When you consider the fact that we offer a one-month free trial to each subscriber, this will be a tremendous fall for combat sports fans.”

Groves vs. Smith is the latest addition to DAZN’s stacked fall lineup of exclusive fights featuring Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22, Bellator 206 on Sept. 29, Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme on Oct. 6, Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade on Oct. 20, among many others. Fans can sign up for DAZN for only $9.99 per month by registering at DAZN.com or by downloading the DAZN app on a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles, when the service goes live on Sept. 10.

Earlier this summer, DAZN announced it will bring all 15 fight nights of the World Boxing Super Series’ second season to boxing fans in the U.S. and Canada, featuring the following weight classes:

CRUISERWEIGHT:
Mairis Briedis (Latvia) vs. Noel Mikaelian (Germany)
Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) vs. Mateusz Masternak (Poland)
Krzysztof Glowacki (Poland) vs. Maksim Vlasov (Russia)
Andrew Tabiti (United States) vs. Ruslan Fayfer (Russia)

SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT:
Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England)
Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs. Ryan Martin (United States)
WBA titlist Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) vs. Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia)
Vacant IBF title matchup: Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) vs. Anthony Yigit (Sweden)

BANTAMWEIGHT:
WBA titlist Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs. Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
WBO titlist Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. Mikhail Aloyan (Russia)
Naoya Inoue (Japan) vs. Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic)

Roy Jones Jr. Leads Class of 2018 Inductees into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame

Living legend Roy Jones, Jr., universally recognized as one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all-time, leads a celebrated quintet of Class of 2018 inductees into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

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 Dec. 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salk Lake City, Utah.

In addition to Jones, the Class of 2018 also includes two U.S. Olympic gold medalists and world (professional) champions, Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary. The latter two will be posthumously inducted.

The charter class inducted last year included Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, as well as veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

“I am honored to be selected for induction into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame,” Jones commented, “especially as a member of this great class with my fellow inductees.

“Amateur boxing gave me the chance to learn life skills as well as face every other possible scenario inside of the ring.”

Jones, ironically, got into boxing at the age of 11 because of Ali. “I saw Ali vs. (Joe) Frazier and just felt as though Ali and I had the same mental concept on life,” Jones explained.

Jones went on to become one of the best amateur boxers in the world, compiling a reported 121-13 record, including gold medal performances at the 1984 National Junior Olympics and 1986 & 1987 National Golden Gloves Tournaments.

At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Jones reached the championship final of the light middleweight division against Park Si-Hun, of South Korea. Jones suffered arguably the worst decision in boxing history, losing 3-2, despite outpunching his opponent, 86 to 32 landed punches, and he was forced to settle for a silver medal. Even his opponent admitted that Jones won their fight, leading the AIBA to later suspend the three judges who selected the hometown fighter as the winner.

How disgraceful was this decision? Jones was selected as the Val Barker Trophy winner as the best boxer of the 1988 Olympics and, due to controversy, the scoring system for Olympic boxing was changed, replacing the 20-point must system with electronic scoring.

“I was angered,” Jones admitted, “yet promoted to prove that I was the best fighter there, and in the world, at that time.”

Jones made his professional debut May 6, 1989, at home in Pensacola, Florida, in a scheduled eight-round bout, in which RJJ stopped Ricky Randall in the second round. His long, glorious journey has produced a remarkable 66-9 (47 KOs) pro record, highlighted by nine major world titles in four different weight classes.

In 2003, Jones defeated John Ruiz by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the first former world middleweight champion to become world heavyweight title holder in more than a century.

The possessor of exceptional hand and foot speed, athleticism, movement and reflexes, Jones went undefeated through his first 34 pro fights, 22-3 (14) in world title fights. Against former, present or future world champions, Jones was 19-9 (8 KOs) and included among his victims were greats such as Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Mike McCallum, Vinnie Pazienza, Virgil Hill, Antonio Tarver and Felix Trinidad.

Today, the 49-year-old Jones, technically speaking, is still an active fighter. He also has two promotional companies and gyms, located in Pensacola and Las Vegas, trains several pro boxers and serves as a color commentator for HBO Boxing. He recently opened gyms in South Africa.

For the past two years, Jones has hosted the “Future Stars of Boxing Tournament” in Las Vegas, showcasing some of the best amateur boxers in the world.

“Hosting the tournament in Las Vegas gives me the opportunity to give back to amateur boxing,” Jones explained. “It’s a great experience for the boxers and it reminds them that who they may have or still look up to, are watching them as well.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: WBSS, Broadway Boxing, Tszyu, Molina, Vietnam, and more…


By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 28th to September 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

The Eight Great Cruiserweight Contenders and Match-Ups for Season II’s Muhammad Ali Trophy

Season One stars Mairis Briedis and Yunier Dorticos are joined by top challengers in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the upcoming 200 lb edition of the World Boxing Super Series.

The inaugural season of WBSS’s Cruiserweight tournament was concluded last month in the most epic fashion when Ukrainian Aleksandr Usyk beat Russian Murat Gassiev before a capacity crowd of 24,000 at the Olimpiysky Arena in Moscow.

“We have an amazing line-up with eight worthy challengers that rival last season’s sensational quality,” said Kalle Sauerland.

“Cruiserweight is one of the most exciting divisions, just look at last season’s unbelievable match-ups. So we are looking forward to a new season.”

The eight cruiserweights competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, the single-elimination tournament from October 2018 to summer 2019 are matched as follows in the quarter-finals.

No 1 seed Mairis Briedis (24-1,18 KOs), Latvia vs. Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KOs), Germany

No 2 seed Yunier ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos (22-1, 21 KOs), Cuba vs. Mateusz ‘Master’ Masternak (41-4, 28 KOs), Poland

No 3 seed Krzysztof ‘Glowka‘ Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs), Poland vs. Maksim ‘The Kill’ Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs), Russia

No 4 seed Ruslan Fayfer (23-0, 16 KOs), Russia vs. Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti (16-0, 13 KOs), United States

Mairis Briedis

Mairis Briedis, 33, from Riga, Latvia is back in the WBSS.

The national hero is the first Latvian ever to win a boxing world title, having held the WBC cruiserweight title from April 2017 to January 2018.

He is undoubtedly among the best cruiserweights in the world and one of the favourites to take home the grand prize.

In last season he came close: He won his quarter-final convincingly by unanimous decision against Mike Perez and continued to face top-seed Aleksandr Usyk. In a fight-of-the-year contender, Briedis was defeated via majority decision in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’

Noel Mikaelian

Formerly known as Noel Gevor, Mikaelian, 27, is a German of Armenian birth who lives in Hamburg, Germany.

Mikaelian is a former WBO Youth champion and current WBO International Cruiserweight champion and only a split decision, in an IBF eliminator against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, prevented him from participating in last season’s Ali Trophy Cruiserweight tournament.

Mikaelian is training under renowned Cuban coach Pedro Diaz and has been predicted a big future in the cruiserweight division; he is known for his boxing brain, speed, footwork and the ability to finish a fight with a single punch.

Yunier ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos

Yunier Dorticos, 32, originally from Havana, Cuba was one of the most exciting participants of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series, a spectacular power puncher with an iron chin. The Miami based KO artist stunned his quarter-final opponent Dmitri Kudryashov, with a devastating third-round knockout victory, but in the semi-final, the former WBA World Champion was stopped in the twelfth-round round by Russian Murat Gassiev.

Mateusz ‘Master’ Masternak

Mateusz Masternak, 31, from Wroclaw, Poland is a former EBU (European) Cruiserweight champion. His dangerous right hand and accurate hooks are respected by everyone in the division. In 2014 he fought for the interim WBA World Cruiserweight Championship in 2014 but lost via split decision to Youri Kayembre Kalenga.

Krzysztof ‘Glowka‘ Glowacki

Krzysztof Glowacki, 31, held the WBO World Cruiserweight title from 2015 to 2016. The exciting Polish southpaw from Walcz, Poland lost to Aleksandr Usyk in 2016 (at that time the only fighter to go the full distance with Usyk), losing the WBO belt, which he won in 2015 via knockout against Marco Huck. That fight was labeled a 2015 fight-of-the-year contender.

Maksim ‘The Kill’ Vlasov

Maksim Vlasov, 31, from Samana, Russia has won 12 straight fights since moving up in weight following a loss to Gilberto Ramirez in 2015 and he is currently holding the WBC Silver Title.
He has competed at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and is now a red hot addition to the cruiserweight division.

Ruslan Fayfer, Russia

Ruslan Fayfer, 27, from Dzhubga, Russia currently holds IBF’s version of the International title and has paved his way to the top ranks with impressive stoppage power. The talented Russian has looked good so far in moving up the ranks but is facing the toughest challenge of his career after entering the 200 lb edition of the WBSS.

Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti

Andrew Tabiti, 28, trains out of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas and is a promising unbeaten contender known for his outstanding hand speed. His boxing inspirations are the likes of James Toney, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather, but ´The Beast’ has the chance to make a name for himself competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

King Carlos Promotions Ready for September 14th

“King” Carlos Molina announces his venture into boxing promotion with a fight card Friday, September 14 in Patzcuaro. The show will coincide with the city’s annual Mexican Independence festival, which is a major event, drawing tourists and visitors from all over Mexico and the United States. “Bringing a show here to my community gives locals and festival visitors a chance to enjoy boxing, which is THE sport in Mexico,” Carlos said.

In addition to promoting the show, Carlos will also headline the event in a scheduled ten round bout against Juan Jesus “Burbuja” Rivera. Also scheduled on the card are: Carson Jones vs Fernando Garcia, 8 rounds, middleweights; Johnny Navarrete vs Gonzalo Rodriguez, 8 Rounds, welterweights; females Maria Soledad “sol” Vargas vs Lesley “Dura” Rodriguez, 8 Rounds, miimum weights; Emilio Perea vs Heli Quiroz, 8 Rounds, super lightweights; and Luis Mondragon VS Alexia Jesus Medina, 6 rounds.

For more tickets and more information, contact: (434) 342 49 88.

Muhammad Ali Never Before Published Photos

Picture : Muhammad Ali – A Rare Glimpse Into the Life of The Champ. www.cjbookproject.com The Champ as never before seen. Starting at age 12 when a young Cassius Clay won his first Kentucky Golden Gloves bout, the photographers of the Courier Journal began a very close symbiotic relationship with Muhammad Ali that would span more than six decades. Ali trusted these photographers with something very special; a commitment to document his entire life, both inside the ring and outside the ring. This book contains dozens of never-before-published photographs of The Champ giving even the most knowledgeable Ali fan a whole new perspective on the Greatest of All Time. 9.25 x 12.4 inches, hardcover, with 296 pages.

To be released in November.

Tim Tszyu and Andrew Moloney Headline September 8 ESPN+ Event

Tim Tszyu and Andrew “The Monster” Moloney will take center stage on the next edition of “Breakfast and Boxing” on Saturday, Sept. 8. at the new Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. In the 10-round main event, 154-pound prospect Tszyu (10-0, 8 KOs), will face his toughest test to date against Marcos Jesus Cornejo (19-3, 18 KOs).

In the co-feature Moloney (17-0, 10 KOs), ranked in the top 10 by all four major sanctioning bodies at 115 pounds, will defend the WBA Oceania super flyweight belt in a 10-rounder against former WBA super flyweight world champion Luis “El Nica” Concepción (37-6, 26 KOs).

Tszyu-Cornejo and Moloney-Concepción will stream live in the United States beginning at 7 a.m. ET 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.

“Concepción is an extremely tough and very experienced boxer. He always comes to fight and puts a lot of pressure on his opponents,” Moloney said. “I know that I will have to be in great condition for this fight.”

Tszyu, the son of the Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, was featured on ESPN+ in his previous bout, a first-round knockout against Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus on the undercard of the Tevin Farmer-Billy Dib 130-pound world title bout. Cornejo, from Argentina, has 14 knockouts within the first two rounds.

Moloney, named the 2017 Australian prospect of the year, will be making his third appearance of 2018. In his last bout, May 19 against Richard Claveras, he survived a seventh-round knockdown en route to a wide 10-round points win. This will be the fourth defense of the WBA Oceania super flyweight belt for Moloney, who won it in spectacular fashion with a fourth-round TKO against Raymond Tabugon in August 2017.

Concepción, one of Panama’s most decorated boxers, won the WBA super flyweight title with a unanimous decision against Kohei Kono on Aug. 31, 2016. In his next fight, he failed to make weight and lost a decision to the unbeaten Kal Yafai, who still holds the title. He is 2-1 since the Yafai defeat and is coming off a second-round knockout win against Luis Carrillo in Panama City.

Vietnam to Stage International Blockbuster

In what as seen as a major coup for the sport of Boxing in the country, Vietnam will play host to some of Australia’s best young prospects later this year. Development company Vietnam Sports Platform (VSP) today announced that they will promote an International event in Ho Chi Minh City on November 3rd, pitting promising fighters from Vietnam against top amateurs and pros from down under.

Banned for a number of years after the end of the Vietnam War, and only made legal in recent times, interest in boxing is on a rapid trajectory in this part of Asia. Whilst the sport currently enjoys amateur status, the November 3rd event in HCMC is seen as a forerunner to bigger events in 2019, and a decided step toward professional boxing in the country.

Lim Song from VSP enthused “We are a company dedicated to the development of sports in Vietnam. This is a country of very rich traditions, but it also has an overwhelming presence of youth and optimism, with a love of sports and big events. We are quite excited by the potential of the young boxers here, and we are working hard to give them every opportunity to succeed both locally and abroad”.

The event on November 3rd will take place at the Nguyen Du Stadium in HCMC. It is proposed to be an 8 fight card including two female bouts. Matches will be of various weight classes ranging from Minimum weight through to Super Middleweight, and all fights will be fought under professional rules and the 10 point must scoring system. All fights will be contested over four rounds.

“We have been working overtime with the local Boxing federation (VBF) as well as local HCMC officials to make this event a reality. I am presently negotiating with Australia to ensure that we get top class fighters and I am confident that I will have some big news to share on that front in the coming days. VSP is also building a world class boxing facility here with the help of the Vietnam Boxing Federation. We will conduct a press conference in the coming weeks once to make an announcement regarding the opening date, but we expect it will be around November also. There are certainly very exciting times ahead, and we see a big future for the sport of Boxing here in Vietnam”

‘Victory 8’ will go down at the Nguyen Du Stadium HCMC Vietnam on November 3rd 2018.

Alberto Machado Defends WBA Super Featherweight World Title against Yuandale Evans
Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) will clash for the vacant IBF World Middleweight Title and Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight Title against Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs on Saturday, October 27 at the Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden in New York. The doubleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Jacobs, fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is in hot form having taken the unbeaten records of Luis Arias and Maciej Sulecki in his last two outings at the Nassau Coliseum, Long Island and Barclays Center, Brooklyn respectively, punctuating his win over Sulecki with a knockdown in the final session.

The ‘Miracle Man’ is gunning to regain his world champion status having lost his WBA crown to Kazakh star Gennady Golovkin in a tight unification tussle in March 2017 in New York, and with Golovkin and Mexican hero Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez meeting in a rematch in September, Jacobs is hunting down the winner.

Derevyanchenko has his own designs on those blockbuster nights though. Born in Feodosia, Crimea, Ukraine, and now based in Brooklyn, NY, Derevyanchenko was a touted amateur, compiling an astonishing record of 390-20, as well as a 23-1 ledger in the World Series of Boxing, and representing Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, before turning pro in July 2014. Known as “The Technician,” Derevyanchenko is fundamentally sound with superb reflexes, deft defense and devastating power, having stopped 10 of his 12 professional opponents thus far.

In a final IBF eliminator for mandatory status, Derevyanchenko proved he could carry his power into the later rounds, halting Tureano Johnson in the 12th and final frame of their August 2017 clash. One year earlier, Derevyanchenko knocked out former world champion Sam Soliman, becoming only the second man to do so, inside two rounds in July 2016, in an IBF elimination bout for the #2 ranking. While awaiting his title shot, Derevyanchenko dusted off the experienced Dashon Johnson in six stanzas in his last bout on March 3. Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Derevyanchenko is thrilled that his shot at coronation will take place in his debut at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of Boxing.

Jacobs and Derevyanchenko are familiar foes as they both hone their skills with trainer Andre Rozier, who will be in Jacobs’ corner and camp for the bout, but Brooklyn hero Jacobs doesn’t believe that will play a part in their clash – and predicts a triumphant return to World champion status in a tough fight. Gary Stark Sr. will take over head trainer responsibilities for Derevyanchenko as he prepares for his first world championship opportunity.

Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko will top a stacked bill in New York as the main event of a world title double-header. In the co-main event, unbeaten Puerto Rican star Alberto “El Explosivo” Machadomakes the second defense of his WBA World Super Featherweight title against Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans in a 12-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.

Topping the non-televised bill is a rematch of the 2016 women’s fight of the year as Heather Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly Vincent (23-1, 1 KO) renew their rivalry, with the vacant WBO World Featherweight strap on the line after Hardy edged their fantastic first meeting.

“I’m excited to be back in New York City fighting in my hometown,” said Jacobs. “This opportunity for a world title is one I don’t take lightly and I’m preparing myself to be in an incredible fight with Sergey Derevyanchenko. I’ve always felt that I was the best middleweight in the world with this type of fight I’m that much closer to all the that glory and to proving to the world I am the best ”

“I’m a step away from my dream and I will not miss this chance,” said Derevyanchenko. “From my time in the amateurs to my pro career, this has been a long time coming for me. I’ve beaten everyone they’ve put in front of me to earn this shot. Having trained with Danny, I know him very well and we are friends. However, it will be strictly business in the ring. I will not be denied. The belt will be mine.”

“I feel excited to make the second defense of my title, but this time before all of my Puerto Rican brothers in New York,” said Machado. “I’m anxious to get to Los Angeles to start the strong stages of preparation and solidify myself as a champion for the second time with a convincing win for all of Puerto Rico. Thank you to HBO for believing in me. Thank you to Peter Nelson, Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. Yuandale Evans is a great fighter who comes with a lot of hunger after years of rest. But this time I will go into the ring with extra motivation to reward all my people in person and those watching at home with a great victory.”

“I want to let Machado know that I am taking the belt home,” said Evans. “Training has been going great and I’ve been doing my homework. Machado is tall and strong, but he’s never fought a guy like me, who can hit like me. To fight for a world title at Madison Square Garden is a dream come true. I am going make the most out of this opportunity. This is my time to shine.”

“One of the saddest things is that in 2016, Shelly and I put on the fight of the year, and so many people missed it,” said Hardy. “We’ve been dying to do the rematch but under the right circumstances. This is a great time for women’s boxing and a great event to showcase the rematch – and I’m going to bring home that title, don’t worry about that.”

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to shoot hoops at MSG – now I’m going to get to beat Heather’s ass there,” said Vincent. “The first fight was close, I thought I won it, Heather thought she won it, some people thought I won, some thought she won, some thought it was a draw.

“This time, you are going to see the old ‘Shelito’ – I’ve got more than just three weeks to get ready, and I think it’ll be a repeat of the first fight, non-stop punching, and my hands are going to be all over Heather Hardy like she’s my woman and I’m not leaving without that title.”

“When we started working with Danny, the goal was always to become World Champion and now the time has come,” said Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is brilliant match up but I strongly believe on October 27 at MSG Danny will be crowned champion and add another chapter to this Cinderella story.

“It’s a powerful triple-header with unbeaten WBA Super-Featherweight champion Alberto Machado defending his crown against Cleveland contender Yuandale ‘Money Shot’ Evans and New York’s own Heather Hardy meeting Shelly Vincent in a rematch of their 2016 Fight if the Year, with the WBO World Featherweight crown on the line. October 27 will be an electric night in New York.”

“With over 400 amateur bouts, a trip to the Olympics, and experience in the World Series of Boxing, Sergiy was adamant with me that he wanted to fight for a world title against the biggest name available,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.
“I’ve known Danny since he was a kid. He is a great fighter in and out of the ring. Stylistically, this is a can’t-miss action fight. Sergiy studies his opponents, finds their weaknesses, then breaks them down. That is why he has such a great chance to win this fight and become the IBF Middleweight Champion.

“Yuandale Evans has a tremendous opportunity in the co-feature to capture his first world title against champion Alberto Machado. Coming off the biggest win of his career, Evans is highly motivated to seize the moment and perform at his best. Both Machado and Evans can bang and like to brawl, so this should make for a very entertaining opening bout on HBO.

“Finally, Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy and Shelly ‘Shelito’s Way’ Vincent will get the chance to rematch their 2016 Female Fight of the Year. The first fight was a barnburner, and this promises to be nothing less. The stakes are higher this time, as both women will compete for the WBO Featherweight Championship of the World. A World Championship in boxing has been a lifelong dream for both, and I am thrilled that they will get this opportunity on October 27.”

“Alberto Machado is determined to prove that he is the best super featherweight in the world,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “He beat a strong champion in Jezreel Corrales and defended his crown against a tough contender in Rafael Mensah. In both fight, he used his skills and power to obtain the victory, and I’m positive he will do the same against Evans before legion of Puerto Rican fans in New York. I have no doubts he will be recognized as one of the best champions that Puerto Rico has produced.”

“Alberto Machado is building his own legacy fight after fight,” said Miguel Cotto, President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “He wants to be the best in his division and is hungry for the big challenges. He has the best opportunity to showcase his skills in front of his Puerto Rican brothers at The Garden in New York.”

Unbeaten Featherweight Prospect Chris Colbert Takes on Sulaiman Segawa in Undercard Action Presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, September 8 From Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert returns to the ring in his hometown to take on once-beaten Sulaiman Segawa in an eight-round featherweight match as he looks to continue his rise up the ladder in the talent-laden 126-pound division. The loaded card is presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, September 8 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

Undercard attractions are part of a show that is headlined by elite welterweight stars Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter battling for the WBC title in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The telecast also features a welterweight title eliminator between Yordenis Ugas and Cesar Barrionuevo and heavyweight action that pits unbeaten Polish slugger Adam Kownacki against former heavyweight champion Charles Martin.

Streaming coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN as five-division world champion Amanda Serrano attempts to win a world title in her record sixth weight class when she faces Yamila Esther Reynoso for the WBO 140-pound title.

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

Colbert (8-0, 3 KOs) is coming off a stoppage victory over previously unbeaten Austin Dulay in April and will fight at Barclays Center for the third time on September 8. The 21-year-old southpaw from Brooklyn is one of the most decorated amateurs to come out of New York in recent years and he has gained esteem by showing off his incredible speed and technique so far in his pro career. In his last fight at Barclays Center, Colbert scored a unanimous decision over then undefeated Titus Williams last November, in addition to making his pro debut at the arena in 2015. He will be opposed by Segawa (11-1, 4 KOs), who fights out of Silver Spring, Maryland by way of Uganda. The 27-year-old most recently stopped previously unbeaten Hector Lopez in May.

In other undercard action two of Mayweather Promotions’ hot unbeaten prospects do battle in separate attractions as Brooklyn’s Richardson Hitchins (5-0, 3 KOs) meets Mexico’s Cesar Valenzuela (7-2, 2 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight match and Dylan Price (6-0, 5 KOs) takes on Rwanda’s Mulapi Enjani (3-5-2, 1 KOs) in a six-round flyweight bout. Marsellos Wilder (1-0, 1 KO), the brother of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, will battle Ryan Williams (0-1) in a four-round cruiserweight match, Brandon Quarles (19-4-1, 10 KOs) battles Marcus Willis (18-5-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight matchup and Brooklyn super welterweight prospect Chordale Booker (10-0, 5 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line against hard-hitting Minneapolis-native Ve Shawn Owens (9-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round match.

Plus, undefeated lightweight prospect from Philadelphia Jeffrey Torres (4-0, 2 KOs) clashes with Mexico’s Emmanuel Valadez (5-5, 4 KOs) in a six-round bout, Ricky Lopez (19-4, 6 KOs) takes on Ramsey Luna (14-5, 6 KOs) in an eight round featherweight fight, and Clayton Laurent, Jr. (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Olympian from the U.S. Virgin Islands and the stepson of former junior middleweight and middleweight world champion Julian Jackson, takes on Sherman Artis, Jr. (3-2) in a four-round heavyweight attraction.

Broadway Boxing Hits King’s Theatre in Brooklyn on Saturday, September 29th
Celebrating it’s 15 Year Anniversary, the acclaimed Broadway Boxing series hits the historic Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday, September 29th, for a showcase of the area’s top young fighters.

In the spirit of collaboration, with the shared goal of keeping local grassroots boxing alive in New York City, DiBella Entertainment, Uprising Promotions and The Real Deal Boxing have teamed up to stage this incredible show.

Among the exciting local prospects and contenders appearing on the Broadway Boxing card are undefeated junior lightweight Jude “King Zar” Franklin (8-0, 7 KOs), female junior lightweight star Melissa “Little Miss Tyson” St. Vil (10-3-4, 1 KO), top heavyweight newcomer Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1 KO) and unbeaten featherweight Khalid Twaiti (3-0, 2 KOs).

Also featured on the card will be undefeated super middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga (8-0, 8 KOs), junior welterweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (11-1, 7 KOs), undefeated junior middleweight Mathew “Lefty Gunz” Gonzalez (6-0, 4 KOs) and undefeated junior middleweight Justin “The Brooklyn Torch” Biggs (4-0, 4 KOs).

“It is a pleasure working with Uprising Promotions and The Real Deal Boxing on what will be an exciting event on September 29th.”, says Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.

“I’m thrilled to debut the Broadway Boxing series at such as a historic venue as Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. With prospects like Jude Franklin, Khalid Twaiti, Justin Biggs and Edgar Berlanga, and former world title challenger Melissa St. Vil, Kings County will be well represented on this card. Local boxing fans will also get to see Uzbekistan Olympian and rising heavyweight star Bakhodir Jalolov in action.”

“Uprising Promotions is excited to be working with DiBella Entertainment, The Real Deal Boxing, and Kings Theatre to promote this great event.”, says Ronson Frank of Uprising Promotions.

“Local fighters need the opportunity to fight at home and we’re proud to be a partner with such great companies to make a difference and improve the sport. Hopefully we can make this the first of many.”

“Since we started The Real Deal Boxing last year, we’ve tried to be progressive and fix issues within the sport of boxing. From fighter safety to poor judging to transparency, we have already made great strides.”, explains Eric Bentley, COO of The Real Deal Boxing.

“This partnership with DiBella Entertainment and Uprising Promotions for a joint show in Brooklyn is another step in that direction. Three competing promoters actually working together to rejuvenate the grassroots boxing scene in New York City is great for the fighters, the community and the sport. We’re very grateful to Lou DiBella and Ronson Frank for seeing the big picture and believing it is better to work with each other rather than against each other. Hopefully this can lead to a longstanding series at Kings Theatre that benefits all three companies, our collective fighters and New York City, home of the greatest boxing fans in the world.”

Trained by Elmo Serrano out of Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn-based 23-year-old Jude Franklin looks to build on his reputation as one of the area’s finest prospects on September 29th in the third bout of his 2018 campaign. On February 7th, Franklin knocked out Floriano Pagliara in the second round at the Broadway Boxing event in New York City. In his most recent action, Franklin stopped Angel Jimenez on June 21st, in Queens, NY.

A native of Haiti, the Brooklyn-based Melissa St. Vil will be making her borough debut on September 29. Most recently, she challenged for the WBC Super Featherweight World Title, losing a very close, hard fought majority decision to Eva Wahlstrom in Helsinki, Finland, on April 6th. St. Vil won the WBC Silver super featherweight title in April 2016. Having traveled all over the world for fights, this will be St. Vil’s first bout in the New York City area since May 2014.

Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., 2016 Olympian Heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov, of Uzbekistan, is currently training with the renowned Pedro Diaz and Ravshan Khodjaev in Miami, FL. At the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Jalolov was the flag bearer for his country at the Opening Ceremonies, one of his native country’s highest honors. He advanced to the second round losing to eventual silver medalist Joe Joyce. While compiling an 84-13 record as an amateur, Jalolov also became a four-time National champion. In his professional debut, Jalolov knocked out Hugo Trujillo in the third round on May 5th.

Fighting for the first time at Kings Theatre, the 22-year-old Khalid Twaiti returns to the ring following a third-round knockout of Joseph Cole on May 5th at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Trained by Don Saxby out of Gleason’s Gym, the all-action Twaiti continues to build his resume as a professional, which has earned rave reviews since his pro debut in February 2017. As an amateur, Twaiti compiled an impressive 74-15 record.

The 21-year-old Edgar Berlanga has quickly turned heads in the professional ranks with his show-stopping knockouts, all of which have come in the first round. He returns to action at Kings Theatre following his stoppage of Aaron Garcia on June 9th, in the first stanza. Prior to that, Berlanga knocked out Jaime Barboza in the opening round on January 26th in Philadelphia.

Just 20 years old, Josue Vargas, of The Bronx, NY, has become a fan favorite among the Puerto Rican community and will be looking to build on his five-bout winning streak. Vargas kicked off his 2018 campaign with a fifth-round knockout of Zack Ramsey on March 10th. Following up on that thrilling performance, Vargas made a quick return with a seventh-round stoppage of Victor Vasquez on April 21st.

Fighting out of Ridgewood, NY, Mathew Gonzalez continues to stay busy since turning professional last year. The 23-year-old will be making his fifth start of 2018 on September 29th with his last three victories all coming at Kings Theatre.

Justin Biggs continues to show promise as a professional after an outstanding amateur career that included winning multiple New York Golden Gloves titles. Fighting twice at Kings Theatre in 2018, Biggs most recently stopped Dominik Karoly in the fourth round on April 21st. Prior to that, on March 18th, he knocked out Joseph Elmore in the third stanza.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Farmer, Pulev, Fury, Rios, Showtime, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 21st to August 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Kubrat Pulev Promising ‘Fire & Fury’ in IBF Eliminator Against Hughie Fury on October 27th in Sofia, Bulgaria

On Saturday, October 27, “Fire & Fury” will collide, as IBF #2-rated heavyweight contender Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev will face Britain’s IBF #5-rated Hughie Fury in a 12-round elimination bout at the Arena Armeec in Pulev’s hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) and Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) will be competing for the right to face the winner of the September 22 showdown between champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Alexander Povetkin.

The event, entitled “Fire & Fury” will be presented by Ivaylo Gotzev and John Wirt’s Epic Sports and Entertainment, together with Fury’s promoter, Hennessey Sports, and will be broadcast live in the UK on Channel 5.

One of the most popular athletes in all of Bulgaria, 37-year-old Pulev is on a five-fight winning streak, including a TKO 3 over former heavyweight champion Samuel Peter. Among his many distinctions, Pulev is a former two-time European and IBF International Heavyweight Champion. He stands 6’ 4 ½” and weighs in around 240 lbs. Pulev’s only career loss came in a challenge for the undisputed heavyweight championship against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Fury is the fourth opponent scheduled to face Pulev, as Britain’s Dillian Whyte and Americans Jarell Miller and Dominic Breazeale all declined the fight.

Pulev, who will be having his first bout since partnering with Epic Sports and Entertainment, says Fury better not be looking past him while preparing for this fight.

“The fact that Hughie Fury is coming to Bulgaria when many others ran away speaks volumes,” said Pulev. “I understand that he is very motivated because this is an eliminator fight for a chance at the world title. I suggest he stops thinking about the world title for a moment and come prepared for a real battle. I am already in beast mode and I’m hungry for my return in the ring!”

Fury hails from Manchester and is the current BBBofC British Heavyweight Champion and is trained by his father, Peter Fury. The 23-year-old stands 6’ 6” tall and also weighs in around 240 lbs. In September of 2017, Fury suffered his only career loss, a controversial majority decision to Joseph Parker for Parker’s WBO Heavyweight Championship.

“It’s taken a lot of time to make this fight happen and I want to thank all of those involved,” said Hughie Fury. “I want to fight for world titles and to do that I need to beat the guys at the top of the division. Kubrat Pulev is a serious fight for the mandatory position and I know I’ve got to be the real deal to beat him. I believe I’m going to do that in his back yard where others trembled at the thought of it.”

“We want to be involved in these big fight nights and to go up against the big names that lead the division,” added father and trainer Peter Fury. “To become a world heavyweight champion, you’ve got to overcome every challenge that’s put in front of you. And for Hughie that starts in Bulgaria in October.”

“In this day and age, when some promoters and their fighters opt for the safest bets, Hughie Fury has done the opposite,” said Ivaylo Gotzev of Fury, who has faced his own share of delays and disappointments on his way to this eliminator bout. “Fury has decided to step into the Lion’s Den, and fight Kubrat in his home town of Sofia. This matchup is intriguing, as two of the best in the division step up and face one another. We expect a great heavyweight battle – one that will decide one man’s destiny to fight for the most coveted title in the world – the Heavyweight Championship. To all of Team Fury – you are welcome in Bulgaria!”

Hennessy Sports CEO Mick Hennessy, promoter of Fury, said: “First and foremost I’d like to heap praise on my young fighter Hughie Fury. There’s no pantomime and no theatrics. He’s just a young man, full of respect for everyone he faces, and who believes in giving the fans proper fights and value for money. At just 23 years of age Hughie is a massive talent. He’s not perhaps got the plaudits he deserves, so this is his moment to make the boxing world really sit up and take notice of what he’s capable of.”

“I’d also like to thank my counterparts at Epic Sports & Entertainment for making this fight happen. It’s taken a lot to get to this point, but we were determined to give the fans a fight that they deserve. Both teams are excited about this one.”

Uzcátegui and Jerwin Ancajas Headline Oakland Throwdown

IBF super middleweight champion José Uzcátegui, the power-punching boogeyman of the 168-pounders, will face Ezequiel Maderna in the 10-round, non-title main event on Friday, Sept. 28 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

And, in the co-feature, Jerwin Ancajas, the world’s longest-reigning 115-pound world champion, is ready to add another defense to his résumé. The southpaw Filipino sensation will make the sixth defense of his IBF junior bantamweight world title against the hard-charging Alejandro Santiago.

Ancajas-Santiago and Uzcátegui-Maderna will stream live in the United States beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET 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 will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET and includes a matchup of former 122-pound world champions: Jessie Magdaleno will take on Rico Ramos in a 10-round featherweight bout. Also appearing on the ESPN+ broadcast will be 118-pound contender Joshua Greer Jr. (17-1-1, 9 KOs) making his Top Rank debut in a 10-rounder against Giovanni Delgado (16-7, 9 KOs); the return of Filipino featherweight contender Genesis Servania (31-1, 14 KOs); and 18-year-old featherweight sensation Christopher Zavala (1-0) in a four-rounder.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Zanfer Promotions, tickets for this all-action card go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. PST. Priced at $105, $78.75, $52.50, and $26.25, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Oracle Arena box office. The Oracle Arena box office is open Monday-Friday from 12-5 p.m.

“This is my first fight since winning the world title, and I will be representing my country and my beloved Tijuana, Mexico, with pride and guts,” Uzcátegui said. “I will show the world and my opponent why I’m the best super middleweight in the world right now!”

“I am very excited to defend my title in Oakland in front of the great fans there, and I look forward to a great challenge from Santiago,” Ancajas said. “There is a large Filipino community in Northern California, so I expect an incredible atmosphere inside the Oracle Arena. I also want to thank MP Promotions, Sean Gibbons, Top Rank, and Mr. Bob Arum for this opportunity.”

“I want to be a world champion again. I have that fire and that fuel, and I am ready to do whatever it takes to get back there,” Madgaleno said. “I have new trainers, Ismael Salas and Jorge Capetillo, and I feel like it’s been a great move. I feel like I Iacked movement in my last fight, and I felt like I needed to get back to the way I was when I won the world title against Nonito Donaire. Everyone will see a renewed Jessie Magdaleno when I fight Rico Ramos.”

Uzcátegui (27-2, 23 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his career, an eighth-round stoppage against former world champion Andre Dirrell on March 3. It was a rematch of a controversial 2017 disqualification defeat for Uzcátegui, who was ruled to have knocked out Dirrell after the bell had sounded to end the eighth round. The win over Dirrell earned Uzcátegui the IBF interim title, but he was elevated to full champion after then-champion James DeGale elected to vacate the belt rather than face Uzcátegui. A native of El Vigia, Venezuela, Uzcátegui’s last 10 wins have come via stoppage. Maderna (26-4, 16 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, turned pro in 2008 and has won three of his past four fights.

Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KOs) from Barangay Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines, is a southpaw power puncher who has been a world champion since Sept. 3, 2016, when he knocked down McJoe Arroyo in the eighth round en route to a unanimous decision victory. He is one of boxing’s most active champions, having defended his title three times in 2017 and twice in 2018. In his last bout, May 26 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, Ancajas defeated countryman Jonas Sultan via unanimous decision in the first all-Filipino world title bout since 1925. Ancajas is 16-0 with 14 knockouts since his only loss, a 10-round majority decision to Mark Geraldo on March 17, 2012.

Santiago (16-2-4, 7 KOs), a native of Tijuana, Mexico, is riding an 11-bout unbeaten streak dating back to August 2015. He last fought on March 14 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, battling to a spirited draw versus Jose Martinez for the NABO super flyweight title.

Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) is a former WBO junior featherweight world champion who lost the belt in one of the best fights of 2018. On April 28 in Philadelphia, he knocked down Isaac Dogboe in the first round, but Dogboe rallied to score three knockdowns of his own and knock Magdaleno out in the 11th round of an instant classic. Ramos (29-5, 14 KOs), is a 10-year pro, won the WBA 122-pound title with a shocking, one-punch left hook knockout against Akifumi Shimoda in 2011, but lost the title in his first defense against then-unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux on Jan. 20, 2012 in Las Vegas. Ramos has won five in a row since a third-round KO loss against Claudio Marrero in July 2015.

WBC Ambassadors Maureen Shea and Brandon Rios Support the Grand Opening of Virgil Hill’s New Gym Funded by George Lopez

A few months ago, a Simi Valley Boxing Gym lost its owner due to canceR, It didn’t take much for comedian George Lopez and his company Fifty150 (Chasing Dreams – Overcome Obstacles) to step up to the plate and help save the gym the kids loved. This past Saturday, the gym had its Grand Opening ceremony where QuickSilver Hill Sports Academy was presented to the community with Head Coach, Former Champion, Virgil Hill.

In attendance at the Red Ribbon cutting ceremony was Former Champions and WBC Ambassadors, Bam Bam Brandon Rios and Maureen Shea, as well as Golden Boy Boxing’s house DJ Ray and hosting the event was Nancy Rodriguez. The WBC presented Virgil Hill with a WBC Certified plaque, very soon Pepe Sulaiman and team will be going to the gym for workshops and Boxing fundamentals.

The gym had two sparring sessions where both Brandon Rios and Maureen Shea were put in as trainers, which was great to see them in these roles. Many raffles, prizes, photos, autographs from the fighters, free food and drinks for all.

Rios and Shea spoke to the children in attendance and really gave them great advice on following their dreams and never giving up.

On behalf of the WBC, we’d like to congratulate Quicksilver Hill Sports Academy on their Grand Opening and we look forward to seeing them in the Boxing Community.

Showtime to Premiere Cradle of Champions

SHOWTIME has acquired the television rights to CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS, a documentary film that takes viewers through the New York Golden Gloves tournament, one of the most prestigious amateur boxing tournaments in the country. Written and directed by journalist Bartle Bull, the film will premiere Friday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
https://s.sho.com/2Msfq0X
CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS chronicles three inspiring fighters—James Wilkins, Nisa Rodriguez, and Titus Williams—as they navigate the 10-week tournament and fight their way among 500 boxers from the five boroughs, all vying for the coveted title of Golden Gloves champion. Through the three intertwined yet unique narratives, the film explores the pressures and sacrifices on the arduous journey toward boxing greatness.

Shot in a cinema verité-style with no voice-over narration, the character-driven narrative examines what it means to “fight for your life,” not only for the boxers, but also for their coaches, mentors, teammates and loved ones. CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS includes genuine characters and intimate revelations set against the gritty urban landscape of New York City to create a powerful and layered account of the 2015 tournament.

The film follows Williams and Wilkins as they battle through opposite sides of the 132-pound bracket. Williams is the tournament favorite on the brink of professional success. He is mentored by coach Joe Higgins, a retired New York City firefighter suffering from illnesses sustained during rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Wilkins, a Staten Island native who channels his propensity for fighting into an amateur career, aims to beat Williams and establish himself as a prospect to watch as he turns to the professional ranks. Meanwhile, single mother and teacher Rodriquez—a five-time Golden Glove champion and self-proclaimed, “fighting pride of the South Bronx”—attempts to cement her legacy as she sets her sights on the 2016 Olympic Trials.

CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS is Bull’s first endeavor into documentary filmmaking. A New York based author and journalist by trade who specializes in foreign affairs and the Middle East, Bull has appeared on NPR, Fox News, BBC, and other news outlets, and his work has been featured in New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS is executive produced by Donald Rosenfeld (Tree of Life, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Remains of the Day) and written and directed by Bull, in association with cinematographer Tom Hurwitz (The Queen of Versailles) and editor Michael Levine (Restrepo). The film was an official selection at the 2017 American Documentary Film Festival, the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Doc NYC 2017. CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS was named Best Feature at the 2017 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

The Underground Showdown Returns to Atlanta September 15

ATLANTA, GA- Saturday September 15, The Underground Showdown returns to Buckhead Fight Club, presented by Holmes Entertainment . This evening of pro/amateur boxing action will see an action packed card, and promoter Mark Holmes is excited to be back in Atlanta and return to professional boxing promotions. “”This is a great opportunity to see good, local growing talent, so I’m going to put some shows together and try and keep the fighters in all these gyms busy and fighting.”

Underground Showdown is stacked with many of the top Mexican fighters in Atlanta, all ready to battle it out on Mexican Independence weekend. Pro fighters scheduled to appear are: super welterweights Jesus Tavera and Anthony Hill in a 6 round main event; featherweights Deonte Brown and Joe Gibson, 4 rounds; super welterweights Antonio Todd and Jorge Gonzales Rolon, 4 rounds; fly weights Rondarius Hunter and Arrel Love, 4 rounds; Jerson Ramos, super featherweight opponent TBD, and welterweight Sean Charleston and opponent TBD. Amateur bouts will feature Abel Aparicio, Roberto Escalante, Luis Damian, Rafael Castillo, William Hernandez and Andres Leon.

Doors open 6 PM Saturday, September 15 at Buckhead Fight Club/Atlanta Art of Boxing, 3293 Buford Hwy. NE #500, with first bell at 7 PM Sharp. Tickets are available now at Buckhead Fight Club or online at: http://undergroundshowdown3.doattend.com

Former Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz Clashes with Hard-Hitting Brawler John Molina Jr. in Premier Boxing Champions Main Event

Expect fireworks when former welterweight champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz meets hard-hitting former title challenger John Molina Jr. on Sunday, September 30 in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes live from Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a stacked lineup of undercard attractions leading up to the action-packed main event.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, go on sale tomorrow, August 24 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.

Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) is an all-action boxer-puncher who comes to fight and is always in exciting battles. The 31-year-old southpaw has one of the best resumes of anyone in the welterweight division having been in against Floyd Mayweather, Andre Berto twice, Lamont Peterson, Luis Collazo and Marcos Maidana. Ortiz, who was born in Garden City, Kansas and now lives in Ventura, California, is coming off a majority draw against Devon Alexander in February.

“We’ve known each other a long time and we’re both always in exciting battles, so fans should expect nothing less on September 30,” said Ortiz. “I had a broken eye socket from an injury in the second round of the Alexander fight, but I’m feeling 100 percent now. I’m ready to take what is rightfully mine, and that’s another world title down the road. It’s going to be a way from round one and I can’t wait.”

Molina (30-7, 24 KOs) has never backed down from a challenge and has been in the ring with some of the best boxers from lightweight to welterweight during his career. The 35-year-old from Covina, California beat a fierce Ruslan Provodnikov by unanimous decision in 2016. Another standout battle from Molina’s career saw him drop former welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse twice before losing on an 11th round knockout. In his last fight he scored a fourth round TKO victory over Ivan Redkach in a back-and-forth bout from December on FS1.

“I respect Victor and everything he’s accomplished in this game, but I know that I have the tools to overcome everything he does,” said Molina. “Everyone knows that I’m in it to win it. We’re both going to be ready to mix it up and throw bombs. There is no way that I see this fight going the distance. It’s going to come down to heart and I’m going to be there until final bell.”

“Victor Ortiz vs. John Molina Jr. has war written all over it and should be another in a long line of memorable battles featuring these Southern California fan-favorites,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports. “These two men are known for leaving it all in the ring and giving the fans incredible action from the opening bell. I have no doubt that this will be another outstanding showdown, with the winner setting themselves up for even bigger things in the star-studded welterweight division. We’re excited to bring this matchup, plus a jam-packed undercard, to the fans in Ontario and watching live on FS1 and FOX Deportes.”

“This is a true crossroads battle between two hardnosed veterans who have fought almost every welterweight of note in the last decade,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The one thing you can be certain of when you get Victor Ortiz and John Molina Jr. in the ring is that a fight will break out. This match should be highly entertaining for the fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena and those who tune in on FS1 and FOX Deportes on September 30.”

Tevin Farmer Pens Multi-Fight Co-Promo Deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and DiBella Entertainment

Tevin Farmer has signed a multi-fight co-promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing USA.

The newly crowned IBF World Super Featherweight champion will make the first defense of his title live on DAZN in a bout to be announced this week – another step in the remarkable career of the popular southpaw.

Farmer travelled to Australia earlier in the month to land the title in convincing fashion in the backyard of Sydney’s Billy Dib, to claim the IBF strap at the second attempt having been on the wrong end of a controversial split decision against Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December, a result subsequently change to a no-contest following Ogawa failing a drugs test.

The Philadelphian ace’s win was a sweet moment after recovering from a career-threatening injury when he was shot in the hand in July 2017 – reaching the World title status his undoubted talent has always promised.

Farmer is hunting down unification bouts as soon as possible, with champions Gervonta Davis, Miguel Berchelt and Masayuki Ito all on his radar.

“Winning that belt after everything I’ve been through brought me indescribable joy,” said Farmer. “I always felt that I was a true champion. I just had to go over to Australia, capture the title and prove it, and I did just that. I came home a champion and celebrated, but I got right back in the gym. I want to be an active champion and defend my title. That’s why I’m so thrilled about this deal. It’s a pleasure to work with both DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing USA and I know that with us working together, big things are going to happen. Ultimately, my goal is to get all the belts and I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m open to fighting anybody to unify. I’m looking forward to showing the world who Tevin Farmer is and what I can do.”

“Through all of Tevin’s hard work, heart and determination, he overcame the odds, achieved his dream, and now he can enjoy the fruits of his labor,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great deal that will help progress Tevin’s career as he begins his championship reign. Starting with his first title defense in October, Tevin will stay active as we work toward getting him the biggest and most meaningful fights available.”

“Tevin Farmer has a great story but more importantly to me the man can really fight,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA. “He showed great heart to bounce back from that shocking decision in Las Vegas and go to Australia to win the title – and now the world is his oyster.

“We have a great fight lined up for him in October but the ultimate focus is Gervonta and other unifications. We are going to keep him nice and busy and we look forward to working with Tevin and Lou on this exciting journey.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: DeMarco, Orozoco, Ramirez, Solomon, WBC, Van Hardeen, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 7th to August 14th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp

Dazn Reaches Three Year Distribution Deal in World Boxing Super Series for Canada

DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports-streaming service, today announced an exclusive, three-year Canadian distribution agreement with World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). The professional boxing tournament, owned by Comosa, has struck a deal to make 15 fight nights available to fans in Canada and the U.S. only on DAZN.

“As a platform built for the fans, DAZN has been mining boxing chats and forums to see how we can bring immediate value to the community,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “We found that Canadians and Americans alike felt left out of the terrific action and thrilling competition on display in the World Boxing Super Series. To that end, we’re happy to announce that we’ll stream every fight of all three tournaments.”

Launched in 2017, the WBSS is a first-of-its-kind annual boxing tournament that brings together the ‘best of the best’ fighters to compete at venues around the world for the Muhammad Ali trophy. The agreement will start with the broadcast of the 2018-19 season this fall and include footage from the initial draft Gala event, announcing the draw for Bantamweight and Super Lightweight divisions.

Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Two weight classes are already announced, super lightweight and bantamweight, and the match-ups are as follows:

SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT:
• ‘Interim’ WBC World Title: Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England)
• WBC Silver Title: Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs. Ryan Martin (United States)
• WBA World Championship: Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) vs. Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia)
• IBF World Championship: Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) vs. Anthony Yigit (Sweden)

BANTAMWEIGHT:
• WBA World Championship: Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs. Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
• WBO World Championship: Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. Mikhail Aloyan (Russia)
• WBA ‘Regular’ World Championship: Naoya Inoue (Japan) vs. Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic)
• IBF World Championship: Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) vs. Jason Moloney (Australia)

A third weight class will be announced soon, for a total of three weight classes and 24 boxers competing in the tournament. TheWBSS’s Season II fight nights will begin in October 2018 and stretch into January and February with finals taking place in summer 2019. Each event will air live on DAZN Canada and be available on demand to Canadians as part of their monthly subscription.

“COMOSA is delighted to meet the massive interest in the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy from Canadian boxing fans. Millions can now enjoy the world-class match-ups of Season II, ” said Comosa.

Dadashev-DeMarco and Herring-Moralde Headline Ramirez-Orozoco Undercard

Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev will defend the NABF super lightweight title against former WBC lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. The Dadashev-DeMarco bout will serve as the co-feature to Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Antonio Orozco.

Ramirez-Orozco and Dadashev-DeMarco will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET, with the entire undercard to be streamed at 7:30 p.m. ET 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.

Headlining the ESPN+ broadcast will be 2012 U.S. Olympian and United States Marine Corps veteran Jamel Herring (17-2, 10 KOs) against John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant USBA junior lightweight title. Also appearing on ESPN+ will be Hiroki Okada (17-0, 12 KOs), a 140-pound contender who will make his Top Rank debut against Cristian Coria (27-6-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. And, in a special attraction, Gabe Flores Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs), the 18-year-old phenom from Stockton, California, will see action in a six-round featherweight bout against Roger Gutierrez (7-1-1, 4 KOs).

Dadashev (11-0, 10 KOs) is coming off a 10th-round stoppage against former world champion Darleys Perez on June 9 in Las Vegas, while DeMarco (33-6-1, 24 KOs) most recently knocked out then-undefeated Eddie Ramirez in the first round in October of last year.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy Promotions, tickets to this world championship event, priced at $150 (floor), $90, $60, $35, and $25, plus applicable fees, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For more information and box office hours, visit www.savemartcenter.com.

“This is going to be the biggest night in the history of Central Valley boxing, as more than 14,000 fans will pack the Save Mart Center to watch Jose Ramirez defend his world title,” said Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s manager. “The undercard is a special one, and we can’t wait for the fans in attendance and watching on ESPN and ESPN+ to see what we have in store.”

“DeMarco is a skilled veteran and a former world champion who I have a lot of respect for,” Dadashev said. “I am ready to fight for a world title soon, and DeMarco is in my way. I will put on a spectacular performance for the great fans in Fresno and for everyone watching on ESPN.”

“I’m just honored and excited to be back for this card,” Herring said. “As some may know, Jose and I were Olympic teammates, but we haven’t fought on the same night since our amateur days. It’s great to reunite with a close friend again. I’m really motivated to fight for my first title as a professional. Though it isn’t for a world title, a big win here will catapult me higher in the rankings and a step closer to a world title. I’m also motivated for this fight because Moralde got a victory over one of my training partners {Ismail Muwendo} in his last outing, so I feel as if we must get that victory back. I look at every fight as a title fight, and let’s not forget I’m fighting in front of my Marine Corps family so it’s a must that I put on a great performance!”

“It feels great to be fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend,” Flores said. “This has been the best training camp of my career, so the fans can expect an explosive Gabe Flores Jr.!”

“I’m so excited about signing with Top Rank. I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum, the greatest promoter in the world, for this amazing opportunity,” Okada said. “Ever since I signed, I’ve been training harder than ever. This is such a great chance, and I am going to do my best to make the most of it.”

In other undercard bouts:
•Welterweight puncher Alexander Besputin (10-0, 8 KOs), coming off a third-round knockout at the Save Mart Center on May 26, will face Alan Sanchez (20-3-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
•Fresno native Isidro Ochoa (5-0, 1 KO) will face Victor Morales (9-0, 5 KOs) in a six-round lightweight contest.
•Former two-time interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) will take on Carlos Cardenas (21-14-1, 13 KOs) in a lightweight bout.
•Top 122-pound prospect Santos Ortega (2-0, 1 KO), who last fought July 7 at the Save Mart Center, will fight Sebastian Baltazar (1-1, 0 KOs) in a four-rounder.
•Ruben Rodriguez (3-0, 1 KO), from Indio, California, will fight an opponent to be announced in a six-round super featherweight bout.

WBC World Invitational Tournament Semi-Final Matchup Previews and Camp Notes
CAMP NOTES AND QUOTES
Chris Van Heerden 26-2-1 (12 KOs) – #2 seed representing S. Africa

How do you explain a devout Christian who’s chosen career is a sport that requires you to physically harm your opponent? What can you say about a South African born fighter who prefers to train at a gym in Los Angeles that caters to a celebrity workout crowd? Well if there’s anything certain about Chris Van Heerden it is that he’s one of boxing’s most unique and passionate characters and he’s completely focused on winning the tournament and getting a shot at the WBC welterweight world title.

on Lawson’s reputation as a power puncher…

“His record is 27-1 with 21 knockouts, which is amazing, but do some research and look at who he knocked out. Guys with 10 losses and 4 wins. Gimmies. I take nothing away from him, he’s a good fighter but I am by far his toughest and most experienced opponent. My resume speaks for itself. I’ve been hearing a lot of things, reading a lot of things, Fredrick saying he’s gonna knockout me. Well, good luck with that. I’ve never been knocked out. I take nothing away from him and I respect the guy but he’s in for a surprise.”

on his celebrity following…

“Peter Berg, who is a very good friend and also the owner of Wildcard West where I train, arranged for Charlize Theron to show up on my birthday which got picked up by TMZ. In fact Charlize Theron, Jennifer Garner and Mark Wahlberg all came and saw me in the gym the same week. That’s a pretty good week! I train a few actors like Frank Grillo, Sam Rockwell and Katrina Law. I enjoy personal training. It keeps me in the gym where I love to be and I have been getting a lot of attention from it. Some of them may even come to Toronto to the tournament to support me.”

on the tournament leading to a title shot …

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself but this opens up everything for me. It’s a path to the WBC world title. Winning the tournament will place me in the Top 10 and with Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter fighting for the vacant title, the tournament winner could get the winner of that fight or get an eliminator to become the mandatory. Going into a world title shot with 3 fights of the tournament’s level of competition is exactly what I want and need.”

Fredrick Lawson 27-1 (21 KOs) – #3 seed representing Ghana

A native of Ghana now training in New York City, with over 20 KOs, Lawson is by far the tournament’s biggest puncher and he’s promising to score a knockout in the semi-finals. ‘General Okunka’, as he calls himself, is beyond confident and is hoping to celebrate his 29th birthday with a win in the tournament putting him just a fight or two away from becoming Ghana’s 3rd ever welterweight world champion.

on facing a veteran like Van Heerden…

“I have seen a few clips of him. Enough to beat him. I know Chris is a veteran and looking to go the distance but I will have the perfect strategy to stop him. At this point in my career, I am too strong and hungry for anyone to stand in my way.”

on the tournament’s format and initiatives…

“I like the tournament format and the additional judges and instant replay. I particularly like the choice of venues. From an arena and now to an outdoor amphitheater, the venues have been amazing. I am looking forward to giving the fans in Toronto a great night.”

Brad Solomon 28-1 (9 KOs) – #5 seed representing USA

You could make a case that Brad ‘King’ Solomon is the most overlooked boxer in the entire welterweight division. With only one loss that was a debatable split decision, Solomon, who was a decorated amateur, is the definition of an in ring technician using fast hands and slick footwork to befuddle his opponents. Solomon feels the tournament is finally his chance to make sure the boxing world no longer ignores his talent.

on being overlooked despite his record…

“I think that people who know boxing, know me. It’s just on me now to finish the job and go to the next level where I deserve to be.”

on his close win in the quarter finals…

“I felt good in there. I got knocked down in the first round but the shot was behind my head. I wanted to get the momentum back right away but I kept my composure and didn’t get discouraged. Won all the later rounds and got the decision.”

on come forward fighters like Santana being the ideal opponent for his style…

“With my movement, any fighter that comes straight forward, that’s gonna be my fight. You just put the punches out there and they run into them.”

Francisco Santana 25-6-1 (12 KOs) – 8th seed representing Mexico

Francisco ‘Chia’ Santana originally entered the tournament as an alternate by way of an online fan vote. When a fighter dropped out, the ultra friendly, battle tested veteran who works a full time job on a ship to support his family, seized the opportunity and scored a shocking upset of the tournament’s #1 seed, Olympic Gold Medalist, Felix Diaz. Having faced multiple current and former world champions, on August 25th, he’s hoping to continue his Cinderella run in the tournament.

on being given no chance to upset Feliz Diaz in the first round…

“It doesn’t matter if no one gives you a chance as long as you give yourself a chance.”

on being the underdog again despite his experience…

“People either don’t know or remember but I’m the only fighter to ever hurt Jermell Charlo. I went toe to toe with Sadam Ali in a close fight at The Garden. I fought Julian Williams to a draw. I’ve upset undefeated prospects like Eddie Gomez. Long before Adalaide Byrd did GGG dirty, she robbed me in Vegas against Jose Benavidez. I just upset an Olympic Gold Medalist. I was the underdog in everyone of those fights. I’m used to it. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m gonna prove them wrong.”

on the tournament’s use of 5 judges…

“As a fighter who has been on the wrong end of two straight, in my opinion, bad decisions, one which led to my promoter dropping me and leaving me without a fight for a year, I think 5 judges should be mandatory for every fight. Bad decisions don’t hurt the stars as much as it hurts fighters like myself whose career could be ruined from them. It’s a change the sport desperately needs and everyone from fighters to fans to promoters to commissions to the media should be supporting it.”

Solomon Makes Pro Debut on October 6th
Nkosi Solomon will make his professional debut in the first Matchroom Boxing USA show live on DAZN at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on October 6.

The 23 year old amateur star from Brownsville, Brooklyn is billed as a future star in the Heavyweight division by promoter Eddie Hearn, and the former Team USA man and number one amateur in the States is thrilled to be joining the paid ranks in the Windy City on a stellar undercard to Jessie Vargas’ clash with Thomas Dulorme.

“My dream is right in front of me, right there, I just have to grab it,” said Solomon. “Nkosi Solomon is the only and greatest challenge I have to overcome when it comes to this boxing thing.

“I’m conquering my mind because once I do that, nobody, and I mean nobody in this world, can stop me.

“I have a dream to accomplish and I’ll be damned if I am going to let another man get in there and have his will beat my will.

“It’s a surreal feeling. I’ve been chasing this dream for so long, to become the undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world, as you get steps closer it feels amazing. The support I’ve had already is amazing and I just cannot wait to get started in Chicago and show what I’ve got.

“The talent in the gym allows me to be better as a man and a fighter. I’ve been in there for five years and I’ve been working hard every day.

“I’ve got an educated style – I’m a boxer-puncher, I want to be out there being smart and using my mind, don’t get me wrong, I like to fight, but the point of this game is to hit and not get hit – but I will be exciting to watch, believe me.”

Solomon will take his spot under the bright lights as Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN usher in a new era in boxing in America.

There are two great World title clashes between IBF World Light-Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev against Briton Callum Johnson and WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman defending his crown for the third time against Britain’s Gavin McDonnell.

Solomon’s fellow Brooklynite Jarrell Miller is right in the mix for the big fights in the Heavyweight division and he takes on Poland’s Tomasz Adamek, the former two-weight World champion who picked up and defended the Polish title in his last two fights in his homeland.

Along with these World stars, Chicago fight fans will be able to back two of their own on the night, with former World Lightweight title challenger Jessica McCaskill in action on the bill along with unbeaten Bantamweight prospect Shawn Simpson.

Tickets for October 6 are on sale now priced $40, $60, $100 and $200 and are available from:
Online at Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/07005506EDA47F37
Phone: (312)791-6900
In person: Wintrust Arena Box Office, 200 E. Cermak – Monday-Friday 11am-6pm [email protected]

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Top Rank, Mikaela Mayer, USA Boxing, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 31st to August 8th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/ Golden Boy Promotions

August 25: Mikaela Mayer Added to ESPN Telecast

Mikaela Mayer turned pro last year intent on helping shine the spotlight on female boxing. Mayer, a Los Angeles native and 2016 U.S. Olympian, will get that opportunity Aug. 25 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, when she takes on Edina Kiss in a six-round super featherweight bout, live on ESPN. Mayer vs. Kiss will be part of a special world championship event featuring Ray Beltran’s WBO lightweight title defense against Jose Pedraza and Isaac Dogboe’s WBO junior featherweight title defense against Hidenori Otake.

Beltran-Pedraza, Dogboe-Otake, and Mayer-Kiss will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET, with undercard action streaming live beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment in conjunction with ESPN.

Tickets to this world championship event, priced at $125, $75, $50, and $25, not including applicable fees, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Gila River Arena Box Office, by phone at 800.745.3000, or online at gilariverarena.com.

“Fighting live on ESPN is a dream come true and something I have been looking forward to since I made the decision to leave the amateur ranks and turn pro with Top Rank,” Mayer said. “I gave up my dream of an Olympic gold medal to step onto a bigger stage and to help take women’s boxing to the next level. Now, after years of fighting out of the limelight, I get to showcase my skills on the greatest sports network in the world.”

Mayer (6-0, 3 KOs) has become one of the most recognizable figures in female boxing after making her pro debut in August 2017. Mayer, who currently lives and trains in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will be making her fourth ring appearance of 2018. Kiss (14-7, 8 KOs), a one-time world title challenger from Budapest, Hungary, represents Mayer’s stiffest professional test to date. Mayer last fought June 30 in Oklahoma City, where she used a steady jab to outpoint the previously undefeated Sheena Kaine over six rounds. Mayer also fought May 12 at Madison Square Garden on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares undercard, shutting out the game Baby Nansen over six rounds. She started her 2018 campaign with a 35-second knockout against Maria Semertzoglou on March 10 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Now, after a half-dozen pro bouts fighting on cards alongside some of the sport’s best fighters, Mayer is ready for her ESPN close-up.

The ESPN+ broadcast will feature 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao (8-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-round super featherweight bout against Edgar Cantu (7-4-2, 1 KO) and a pair of Phoenix natives, junior featherweight contender Carlos Castro (20-0, 9 KOs) and light heavyweight Trevor McCumby (23-0, 18 KOs). Castro will face Diuhl Olguin (13-10-3, 9 KOs), while McCumby will take on Jessie Nicklow (27-7-3, 9 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

USA Boxing Alumni Association Announces 2nd Class for Hall of Fame

The USA Boxing Alumni Association has announced its second class to be inducted into its Hall of Fame, December 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salk Lake City, Utah.

The reception is being held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, Dec. 2-8, also held in Salt Lake City.

The Class of 2018 includes U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary. The latter two will be posthumously inducted.

This year’s inductees were selected amongst a group of 17 nominees by the hundreds of registered USA Boxing Alumni Association members during the months of June and July.

“USA Boxing Alumni Association is extremely excited to honor this year’s Hall of Fame class, as each inductee represents everything good that amateur boxing has to offer,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “Last year’s class contributed to a fantastic inaugural Hall of Fame reception and we’re looking forward to recognizing this year’s class with an even better event.”

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

The charter class inducted last year included Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, in addition to veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

“Each inductee has given so much to Olympic-style amateur boxing and the alumni community wants to thank them, for doing so,” Cugliari added. “We look forward to seeing USA Boxing Alumni members come out in droves to support this year’s Hall of Fame class in December.”

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at [email protected] for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

ESPN Signs Undefeated Two-Division World Champion Boxer and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward to New Multi-Year Deal

Undefeated two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, has agreed to a new multiyear deal with ESPN, it was announced today. Under the agreement, Ward will serve as an on-site studio boxing analyst for ESPN.

“We are thrilled to have reached this agreement with Andre,” said Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president, production and remote events. “Andre’s experience in the ring, wealth of knowledge and passion for boxing will further enrich our live boxing coverage and provide fans a unique perspective of the sport.”

Added Ward: “I’m excited to officially become a part of ESPN’s broadcast team. ESPN’s new boxing platform is an opportunity for today’s talent to be exposed to a wider audience and it pushes the sport forward. My desire is to be an asset to those watching all over the world by giving viewers an unbiased, educated opinion that is clear and concise.”

Ward, the former Ring Magazine number one Pound-For-Pound fighter and former Unified Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, will make his next onsite appearance at Atlantic City Ocean Resort Casino Saturday, August 18th, for ESPN’s telecast of Top Rank on ESPN headlined by heavyweight contender Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs) facing off Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko (41-3, 26 KOs), airing at 10 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. On August 25th, Ward will be onsite at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona for ESPN’s coverage of Top Rank on ESPN featuring Ray Beltrán defending the WBO lightweight title against former junior lightweight world champion, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

Canelo Alvarez Intensifies Training Camp In Preparation for Golovkin Rematch

Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) has stepped up training camp in his second home of San Diego, Calif. as he prepares to face WBC, WBA, and IBO Middleweight World Champion
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in the most anticipated bout of 2018. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

After a controversial split draw that left the boxing fans wanting even more – Canelo shared his revamped routine as he prepares for the historic rematch, which will take place on Mexican Independence Day Weekend.

Details for Canelo’s training are as follows:
Running every morning (except Sunday) at around 6:00 a.m.
Training in the gym from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (jumping rope, shadowboxing, hitting the bags, working on strategy, etc.).
Sparring sessions at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Diet consists of chicken, fish, and select vegetables.
This week Canelo will complete his fourth week of training and third week of sparring.
Canelo’s camp still has five weeks’ worth of sparring left and he will complete 66 rounds of sparring this week.
This is what Canelo shared as he nears the halfway mark of his intense training camp in preparation for the fight of his career:

“The last fight gave us the blueprint for this rematch. We don’t necessarily have to change the strategy; we just have to add to what we did. We have to throw more punches in every round. We need to do that to remove any doubts about the victory. For that we will work on our conditioning. That’s what we needed a little more of in the first fight in order to be able to throw punches constantly in each round.

“We have been training very well. We’ve been working hard on the conditioning. That’s what we’ll need a lot of in the second fight. We’re focused. We’re focused on the style of Golovkin. We know that he’s not going to change. He’s going to go out to do the same thing he always does and come forward. He may want to change, but when things get tough, he’ll go back to the style he’s been using his whole life and which he has never changed.

“I’ve fought with very difficult fighters who are very difficult to land shots on and difficult to fight. I’ve fought with strong fighters as well. He’s a strong fighter. He’s a dangerous fighter. He is one of the toughest fighters I’ve faced. This is one of those fights we’re I’ll be the most prepared of my career.

“I’m automatically a faster fighter than he [Golovkin]. My reflexes are quicker than his, so I could see punches [in the first fight]. But he has a lot of experience. He landed some shots on me, but that’s due to his experience, and I could see punches as soon as he began to throw them. In the fifth round, I was hit with the kind of shot to knock someone out. It was between the ear and the neck, but I didn’t feel anything.

“I knew who Golovkin was from the beginning. He’s been at 160 pounds for pretty much his entire career. I’ve always said that when I move up to middleweight, I would fight the best. He’s supposed to be the best, and I felt very good in the first fight. His power is nothing out of this world.

“I don’t know why Golovkin’s corner or team have been aggressive in their talks. It may be because of the rivalry we have. I don’t know. I think they’ve gone too far. They’ve gone beyond just trying to sell the fight with their statements. I don’t like talking or instigating with the fighter or even trying to make a show to sell the fight. People know that when we get into the ring, we’re going to give a great fight, period.

“In some sense, he might have offended me. But I always consider who’s saying what. The truth is that Golovkin is my opponent, so I understand it. With Abel Sanchez, it doesn’t worry me at all. Because at the end of the day, what about him? At the end of the day, he’s not going to get in the ring with me.

“It got more personal this time around. The little respect that we had for each other was lost. I’m using this as motivation. Everything that he has said has made it personal. What they said about who I am as a person has made it personal. But I will use it intelligently to my benefit this Sept. 15.

“I dedicate this fight to everyone who has always supported me. To my family and my team, and to all the people who will watch the fight. It will be a great fight.”

ESPN and Top Rank Announce Historic Agreement

ESPN and Top Rank, the world’s premier boxing promotional company, today announced the most comprehensive, exclusive rights agreement in the history of boxing. This new seven-year deal runs from 2018 to 2025 and includes 54 events per year, as well as a full offering of exclusive shoulder programming, classic fights and studio content.

Top Rank on ESPN content will air on ESPN linear networks or stream 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.

This new agreement is the result of the huge success of the first year of Top Rank on ESPN. It will allow for a comprehensive alliance between Top Rank and ESPN’s leading networks and platforms to showcase even more Top Rank content, including live events, additional original programming and library content.

Highlights from the first year of Top Rank on ESPN include:

1. Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn (July 1, 2017) – The “Battle of Brisbane” had an average viewership of 3.1 million viewers and a peak of 4.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated boxing telecast on cable since 2006 and ESPN’s highest-rated boxing telecast since 1995. Horn defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision in a thrilling match.

2. Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux (Dec. 9, 2017) – Second most-watched cable boxing telecast of 2017, averaging 1.85 million viewers. It was the first boxing match in history to feature two two-time Olympic gold medalists.

3. Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn (June 9, 2018) and Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse (July 14, 2018) – Pound-for-pound elite Crawford won the WBO welterweight title over Horn in an event that drove subscriptions and was streamed live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+, ESPN’s new and innovative direct-to-consumer streaming service. The only eight-division champion in boxing history, Pacquiao headlined a second sensational fight on ESPN+, winning the WBA “regular” world welterweight title in a seventh-round TKO of Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

4. Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo (Aug. 19, 2017) – Crawford unified all four 140-pound titles with a third-round TKO over Indongo, becoming the first undisputed champion in boxing (in any weight class) since 2005.

5. Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares (May 12, 2018) – Thus far, it is the most-watched cable boxing broadcast of 2018. Lomachenko dethroned Linares to win the WBA lightweight title, becoming the fastest fighter to win world titles in three weight classes. Lomachenko accomplished that feat in 12 fights, breaking the previous record held by Jeff Fenech, who did it in 20 professional fights.

In the new deal, the 54 live events provide fans with a consistent boxing destination that showcases not only the finest of U.S. and international championship matchups, but also comprehensive coverage of up-and-coming prospects and contenders.

The exclusive live event breakdown per year is as follows:

– 18 events on ESPN
– 12 exclusive, prime time events on ESPN+
– 24 premium international events on ESPN+
– Undercard coverage of all 54 events on ESPN+

Subscribers to ESPN+ will also have access to a variety of new and existing boxing content throughout the year, including:

· The Boxing Beat with Dan Rafael (Tuesdays)
· In this Corner (twice monthly)
· Camp Life
· The unmatched, on-demand treasure chest of the greatest fights of all time, including hundreds of fights from the ESPN Big Fights Library and the Top Rank archive, including Ali vs. Frazier I-III, Ali vs. Foreman, Leonard vs. Duran I-III, Hagler vs. Hearns and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, among many more
· Re-airs of all Top Rank on ESPN and Top Rank on ESPN PPV bouts
· Weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, and press conferences

Boxing news, information, and opinion will also appear across ESPN platforms and new programs will be developed and announced at a later date.

Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks, said: ESPN is thrilled with this new long-term agreement with Top Rank, which represents the most innovative and comprehensive relationship in the world of boxing today. By creating and distributing significantly more Top Rank events and boxing content, ESPN and Top Rank will jointly cultivate upcoming fighters and fights, creating the stars of tomorrow while providing fans with the sport’s best content in a more personalized manner.”

Todd duBoef, President of Top Rank, said: “This partnership will continue to bring the biggest events and best fighters from around the world to ESPN networks. Our collective ability to integrate live events, classic fights, studio shows, and behind-the-scenes features will raise the long-term profile of the sport of boxing and the athletes.”

Added Kevin Mayer, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company, “This expanded relationship with Top Rank increases the ability of ESPN+ to serve boxing fans better than ever and allows us to continue to build more direct relationships with this incredibly passionate audience.”

Launched in April, ESPN+ is an integrated part of a completely redesigned ESPN App. Already the leading sports app, the new ESPN App is the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans and highlights the company’s culture of innovation. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App curates all of ESPN’s incredible content into an experience unique to each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also available through ESPN.com.

The deal with ESPN was brokered by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on behalf of its client, Top Rank.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, Porter, Beltran, Pedraza, Taylor, Roach, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Miguel Rocha/Melissa Cervera/Luzairem Torres

Garcia and Porter Set to Battle for Vacant Welterweight Title

Welterweight stars and former 147-pound titleholders Danny “Swift” Garcia and “Showtime” Shawn Porter will square off for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME Saturday, September 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will pit two of the division’s biggest names against each other, as the former unified 140-pound champion and former WBC welterweight titleholder Garcia meets the hard-charging fan favorite and former welterweight champion Porter. The consensus top-5 ranked welterweights face off for the WBC belt vacated by Keith Thurman as he rehabs from an elbow surgery.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with DSG Promotions, start at $50 and go on sale Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, July 27 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

“I’m excited and motivated to go in there and recapture what’s mine,” said Garcia. “The WBC title belongs to me. Come September 8, I’m going to prove that I’m the best fighter in the world. My loss is behind me and it’s given me a chip on my shoulder to run that extra mile and train even harder. I know that Shawn Porter is not on my level. I’m coming to fight him in the middle of the ring and I’m going to beat him at his game.”

“I’m going to force Danny Garcia to fight me, to be uncomfortable and to do things he’s not used to doing in a fight,” said Porter. “If Danny comes in being defensive and trying to hold, it may last a while. But if he comes and tries to trade with me and prove something to himself, then it will end fast. I think my style will give him problems and not allow him to pace himself. This is going to be an instant classic and I’m going to win and become champion once again.”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) has fought and defeated many of the most formidable opponents at 140 and 147-pounds spanning two generations-Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson among them. Five of his six opponents in the welterweight division were world champions and 11 of his last 15 opponents were world champions or former world champions.

Representing the fighting city of Philadelphia, Garcia has made Brooklyn another home base, drawing big crowds in six fights since the arena opened in 2012 including his triumphs over Morales, Judah, Peterson and Malignaggi and a narrow decision loss to Keith Thurman in a blockbuster world title unification that aired on CBS. The 30-year-old put himself into position to earn back his WBC belt with a highlight-reel knockout of Brandon Rios in a title eliminator February on SHOWTIME.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) owns victories over four-division champion Adrien Broner and two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi over a career that has seen him develop a reputation as one of the sport’s most reliable all-action attractions. He lost a narrow decision to unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a 2016 Fight of the Year candidate in Brooklyn but rebounded with two victories last year at Barclays Center. He scored a TKO victory against former welterweight champion Andre Berto in a welterweight title eliminator and followed it up with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados.

The 30-year-old Porter, who was born in Akron, Ohio and now lives in Las Vegas, will fight at Barclays Center for the fifth time on September 8, including his title-winning performance against Devon Alexander that earned him the IBF title in 2013.

“Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter will be an action-packed, can’t-miss brawl,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This hugely important matchup is between two of the best welterweights in the world and pressure fighters with pleasing styles. Both Garcia and Porter have shined in memorable battles at Barclays Center and September 8 will be a tremendous night for boxing.”

“Danny Garcia against Shawn Porter in a welterweight title fight is a throwback to the era when you had Thomas Hearns battling Roberto Duran,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Their styles are tailor-made to create action in the ring. Porter comes forward and throws punches in bunches and Garcia doesn’t back up for anyone. This one will be decided in the center of the ring like all the great welterweight championship matches.”

“In 2018 SHOWTIME has delivered the biggest and most meaningful matchups in boxing, and Garcia vs. Porter is no exception,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “This will be our sixth fight this year featuring consensus top-10 welterweights, an unrivaled offering of elite fighters in boxing’s glamour division. Danny and Shawn have fought a combined 20 times on SHOWTIME and, along the way, have earned reputations as fighters who never back down from a challenge. I know they are both eager to earn another world title and send a statement to the other champions in the welterweight division.”

“I am pleased to welcome both Danny and Shawn back to Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Both fighters have established a great following in Brooklyn, and September will be their biggest moment yet at Barclays Center. We are the number one venue for boxing, and are proud to host another world-class fight.”

Beltran-Pedraza and Dogboe-Otake Headline ESPN World Championship Doubleheader

Ray Beltran and Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe will head to the desert on Aug. 25 for their first title defenses.

In the main event at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, Beltran, who resides in nearby Phoenix, will defend the WBO lightweight title against Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, a former junior lightweight world champion looking to bring another world title home to Puerto Rico. And, in the all-action co-feature, Dogboe will defend the WBO junior featherweight title against Hidenori Otake.

Beltran-Pedraza and Dogboe-Otake will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET, with undercard action streaming live beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

Tickets to this world championship doubleheader, priced at $125, $75, $50, and $25, not including applicable fees, go on sale Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m PST. Tickets can be purchased at the Gila River Arena Box Office, by phone at 800.745.3000, or online at www.gilariverarena.com.

“I’m living the dream. It feels great to be a world champion. I am very motivated to defend my title, and it’s very special to me because I’m fighting in my adopted home,” Beltran said. “Pedraza is a very skillful fighter and is going to bring his best to take the belt from us, but I’m not just fighting for the belt, I’m also fighting to keep it in Phoenix and my birthplace of Los Mochis, Mexico. This belt represents my family’s future, and it’s going nowhere.”

“This is a great opportunity and a great challenge. Beltran is a veteran and is finally a world champion after trying for so long,” Pedraza said. “I think for that reason it’s going to be a great fight because he will not want to lose the title. I’m 100 percent prepared for war.”

“I’m making my first defense against Otake, a Japanese warrior. It’s going to be fireworks,” Dogboe said. “I’m not stepping back. We’re on a quest to make this division exciting and great again. We’re shaking up the division. Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe, you all know I bring lightning and thunder!”

“I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who made this fight possible.
I am truly grateful for this opportunity,” Otake said. “In capturing the world title for my first time on Aug. 25, I’d like to show everyone that age does not matter. Since comments can reveal strategy, I can’t say anymore.”

Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) is a story of perseverance who finally broke through as a world champion five month shy of his 36th birthday. In his last bout, an ESPN-televised contest against Paulus Moses on Feb. 16 in Reno, Nevada, Beltran dug deep to win the vacant WBO lightweight title by unanimous decision. The scores — 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112 — did not reflect the back-and-forth nature of the bout. Once Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner, Beltran had three previous cracks at a world title, most notably a 2013 draw against Ricky Burns that most ringside observers felt should have been a clear Beltran victory. The following year, he lost a wide unanimous decision to pound-for-pound elite Terence Crawford, who had beaten Burns to win the WBO lightweight crown. Beltran, a Phoenix resident who is originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be fighting in his adopted home state for the first time since 2005.

Pedraza (24-1, 12 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto, is on a mission to become a two-weight world champion. A former IBF junior lightweight world champion who made two successful defenses of his title, he lost his belt via seventh-round TKO to Gervonta Davis in January 2017. Following a 14-month layoff, he moved up to the lightweight division and signed a promotional contract with Top Rank. Pedraza is 2-0 as a lightweight in 2018, winning an eight-round unanimous decision against Jose Luis Rodriguez on March 17 and a 10-round unanimous decision against Antonio Moran on June 9 as the co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn welterweight title bout in Las Vegas.

Dogboe (19-0, 13 KOs) established himself as one of boxing’s best young champions in 2018 with a pair of signature victories. He knocked out Cesar Juarez in the fifth round on Jan. 6 in his hometown of Accra, Ghana, to win the interim WBO junior featherweight title. On April 28 in Philadelphia, Dogboe won the title in dramatic fashion, surviving a first-round knockdown to stop Jessie Magdaleno in the 11th round in a Fight of the Year contender. A 2012 Olympian, Dogboe had a rapid rise through the pro ranks, winning the WBO Oriental and WBO Africa featherweight titles en route to junior featherweight title contention. Boxing is in the Dogboe lineage as his father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, once served as a boxing coach and a physical instructor in the British Army.

Otake (31-2-3, 14 KOs), from Tokyo, has been a professional for more than 12 years and is riding a nine-bout winning streak dating back to Nov. 22, 2014. On that day, he challenged Scott Quigg for the WBA super bantamweight title, dropping a unanimous decision. He won the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) title on March 17, 2017 with a unanimous decision against Jelbirt Gomera. Otake defended the OBPF title three times, most recently scoring a 10th-round TKO over Brian Lobetania in Tokyo on March 13.

Peter Taylor, Homeless and Jobless

The man who helped steer Ireland to its only Olympic gold medal in all sports this century is homeless and jobless, according to an interview in the Irish Independent.

Pete Taylor, father of 2012 Olympic champion and current IBF/WBA titlist Katie Taylor who defends her belts against Texas-born Kimberly Connor in London on Saturday, almost died in an attack at the Bray boxing club in Wicklow, Ireland last month.

A motive has yet to be established for the June 5 shooting in which Bobby Messett died after being shot in the head and Ian Britton sustained leg wounds.

Taylor was shot in the arm and the bullet exited through his chest.

He admitted that he thought he was dying. The gym has since been closed and the Gardai (Irish cops) are investigating the attack.

Taylor guided his daughter to 18 – 1 Olympic, 5 World, 5 European, 6 European Union and 1 European Games – gold medals in the Elite amateur ranks.

The Bray orthodox was ranked No. 1 in the World by AIBA for an unprecedented ten straight years between 2006 and 2016.

The father/daughter (boxing) relationship ended 2015 after Taylor’s marriage broke down. Taylor junior turned professional after a disappointing Rio 2016 for her and Irish boxing.

The so-called greatest Irish boxing team to compete at an Olympiad didn’t win any medals four years after claiming gold, silver and two bronze, courtesy of Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes, at London 2012.

Taylor senior understands why people are apprehensive in his company.

“People are afraid,” he told Vincent Hogan of the Irish Independent. “You’re like a bad disease to everybody. But they’re afraid because of what they’re reading and the slant being put on it. And what nobody’s saying is I only got shot because I ran at the gunman. The guard will tell you.

“I was plugging in my phone for the music to start the training session. And that’s when I heard bang, bang, bang… I had my back to everything and my first thought was it’s one of my air compressors backfiring. That was the kind of noise it was making.

“I actually turned around half in irritation to tell one of the lads to turn off the air compressor. And that’s when I saw the gunman at the door, just shooting randomly. In that first split-second, I thought it was a joke then, suddenly, I saw the fear on everybody’s faces.

You can read the full interview on below link.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/i-am-jobless-and-homeless-pete-taylor-opens-up-on-tragic-shooting-at-bray-boxing-club-37140983.html

Lamont Roach Wins by 6th Round TKO Over Deivi Julio Bassa

Lamont Roach, Jr. (17-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C. delivered a spectacular sixth-round technical knockout victory over Deivis Julio.

Bassa (20-5, 12 KOs) of Monteria, Colombia to capture the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight Championship in the scheduled 10-round main event of the July 20 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the Oasis Arena in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Roach Jr. showed a more aggressive side of himself, dropping Bassa with a right hand at the end of the third round and punishing him until Bassa’s corner called a halt to the fight at the end of the sixth round.

“My mentality was to make a statement and to show that I belong at the top super featherweight division,” said Lamont Roach Jr. “Anybody that’s in my way is in trouble. There were no difficulties in him being a southpaw because we were coming off fighting a lefty in Orlando Cruz and we were preparing for the rematch. We also got great sparring against left-handed fighters, including Mike Reed. The WBO Super Featherweight Title will be on the line next week, so I’ll be taking a close look at that fight to see who wins.”

In the co-main event, Juan Sanchez (24-6-1, 11 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico scored an eight-round unanimous decision win against Florentino Perez (11-4-1, 7 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico in a featherweight battle. Sanchez won with scores of 76-75, 77-74, and 78-73.

Alexis Bastar (11-1-1, 5 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico defeated Rigoberto Nava (3-3-4) of Mexico City, Mexico in first televised bout. Bastar won with three scores of 57-56.

Roach, Jr. vs. Bassa was a 10-round fight for the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Cancun Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights took place on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Oasis Arena in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Christopher Diaz Hopes to Become Puerto Rico’s Next World Champion

Undefeated Puerto Rican contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz exudes confidence just days away from his first world title opportunity. He is a student of Puerto Rico’s rich boxing lineage, and he will do whatever it takes to fulfill his dream of adding his name to the long list of world champions from the ‘Island of Enchantment.’

Diaz will fight Japanese veteran Masayuki Ito for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title on July 28 at the Kissimmee Civic Center.

“It’s time to show the world what I’m made of. Being able to fight for a world title is the dream of every boxer,” Diaz said. “I am prepared for my first chance to win a world title because I’ve been through many years of sacrifices, and I have waited all my life for this moment. Now the moment is here. I’m hungry and focused. On July 28, Puerto Rico will have a new world champion.”

Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, is entering his first world title match riding a four-bout knockout streak. The WBO’s No. 1 junior lightweight contender, Diaz won the vacant NABO junior lightweight title last December with a third-round knockout of Bryant Cruz, knocking Cruz down five times en route to the stoppage. In his last bout, March 17 on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam undercard at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Diaz defeated Braulio Rodriguez via fourth-round TKO to earn the shot at the world title. For Diaz, this world title opportunity is a beacon of hope, as his home and most of his possessions were destroyed when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year.

“I have a tough fight against Masayuki Ito, but I am very focused. I know I have all of Puerto Rico in my corner,” Diaz said. “Without the support of my people, none of this would be possible. Thank you for always supporting me and sending me positive vibes. On July 28, my mission will be to bring the world title to the island.”

Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs), from Tokyo, is the WBO’s No. 2 junior lightweight contender. He has won seven consecutive bouts since the lone defeat of his career, a 10-round majority decision to then-undefeated Rikki Naito in February 2015. Ito, who has fought all of his professional bouts in Japan, has won four of his past five bouts via knockout, including a ninth-round stoppage of Lorenzo Villanueva in April of last year. In his last bout, on March 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Ito stopped Vergil Puton in the ninth round.

Diaz-Ito will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Conwell, Bare Knuckle Fighting, Usyk, Gassiev, Munguia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Usyk and Gassiev Touch Down in Moscow for Historic Final

Murat Gassiev and Aleksandr Usyk arrived Monday evening in Moscow ahead of the Cruiserweight Ali Trophy Final on July 21 at the Olympic Sports Complex.

“I am looking forward to the final. A final that will bring out the best in boxing. I can’t wait to see my fans in Moscow,” said Usyk.

Gassiev: “I’m in Russia one week before the fight. I’ve never had problems with the acclimatization. Jet-lag is also not a problem. A good nap during the flight and I’m ready to box at the airport. As always I expect a tough fight. I have to be ready for everything and adjust.”

Tickets are still available through official channels for one of the most anticipated fights of the decade, one of the most exciting boxing events in history, with 10.000 being sold up to now and 20.000 spectators expected.

“The exciting build-up for the first Ali Trophy Final ever is entering its most exciting phase,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is the moment we have been waiting for.”

“True history and legacy making are at stake and the ‘Winner takes it all’ frase has never been more fitting. On Saturday in Moscow boxing and the world of sport will have a new, true superstar!”

The winner of Usyk-Gassiev will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.

The belts on the line will be the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA Super and RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship strap.

The mouthwatering final will be a key event during a weekend of boxing activities in the Russian capital in celebration of International Boxing Day after Comosa were invited to bring and supervise the first final of The Greatest Prize in Boxing – The Ali Trophy – to the festival of pugilism.

Jaime Munguia and Alberto Macahdo Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes

Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, hosted a media workout today at the Westside Boxing Club ahead of the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs), who will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round co-main event, also participated in the workout.

Here’s what Munguia and Machado had to say during today’s media workout:

JAIME MUNGUIA, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:

“We had a sensational training camp. We have a great team, so I feel very good. The potential fight against Gennady Golovkin really got my name out there. It allowed me to get the opportunity to fight for a world title. I’m grateful for that. I’m also grateful that the NSAC didn’t allow me to fight against Golovkin because it lead to this world title.

I’m always 100% ready. I got the call to fight Sadam Ali with only two weeks notice. The only struggle was to lose the weight, but other than that I was ready. I knew my advantage was my reach and my power. I knew that he was a smaller fighter. Those were the keys to my victory.

I feel very motivated now that I am a world champion. Everyone is going to talk about to me after this fight. This will open up more opportunities, and people will mention my name with the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

I think that the only advantage that Liam Smith has is that he’s fought in big events before. But I have many fights under my belt. I have a lot of experience. I had over 100 fights as an amateur. All this experience gives me a lot of confidence when I step into the ring. Also, Smith might say that he’s a natural 154-pounder, but I want to tell him that I’m a natural 160-pounder who drops down. I’m very happy with the training camp we had and very confident about this fight.”

ALBERTO “EXPLOSIVO” MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:

“It’s been about 10 months since my last fight. But it served me well. It allowed me to get some rest and to work on some technical details I needed to work on. I had been boxing for 15 years straight, so it was a necessary rest.

Fighting on HBO for the first time was a dream come true. I used to gather with my friends to watch Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon and Felix Trinidad on HBO, so this was definitely a dream come true. The fight against Jezreel Corrales was very tough. At first, he didn’t event make weight. I knew he had a lot more experience than I did too. But I brought out the spirit that characterizes us a boxers to walk away with the victory.

For this camp, I worked on strategy and technique. I had more time to travel to Los Angeles and work with Freddie Roach. During this camp, I really got to see why he is a Hall of Fame trainer. I got to see why he’s had so many world champions. On July 21, you will definitely see a new and improved Alberto Machado.”

Mykquan Williams Headlines Broadway Boxing on July 21st

Following a successful weekend that saw DiBella Entertainment (DBE) spanning the globe with four impressive victories between junior welterweight star Regis Prograis and US Olympian Charles Conwell in New Orleans, female boxing sensation Raquel Miller in San Francisco and lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr. in Kuala Lumpur, DBE is on the road again bringing the Broadway Boxing series back to its home away from home at the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, this Saturday. Headlining the event will be East Hartford, CT’s “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (11-0, 7 KOs) facing Matt “The Mantis” Doherty (8-4-1, 4 KOs), of Salem, MA, in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.

Only 20 years old, the all-action Williams has become a featured fighter at Foxwoods Resort Casino, with nine previous starts on-site. Managed by Jackie Kallen and trained by Paul Cichon, Williams has started his 2018 campaign in destructive fashion with two first-round knockouts, most recently stopping Orlando Felix on May 5, at Foxwoods. The 29-year-old Doherty looks for a return to victory after his four-bout winning streak was stopped in a six-round clash against highly regarded undefeated prospect Ray Moylette on March 31, in Quincy, MA.

Tickets for the stacked card, presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance, are priced at $125, $75 and $45, and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 6:30 p.m., with the first fight scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The show will be broadcast on LIVE.DBE1.COM, part of the SportsLive OTT service as part of a partnership with CBS Sports Digital. Fans can subscribe to the event for $6.95 now by visiting LIVE.DBE1.COM.

Featured in an eight-round women’s featherweight contest, Providence, RI, fan favorite Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (22-1, 1 KO) battles hard-hitting Colombian Calixta Silgado (16-9-3, 11 KOs), in a rematch of their memorable clash last year, won by Vincent over eight rounds. Including the win versus Silgado, Vincent is currently riding a four-bout winning streak, started after her history-making nationally televised battle with world ranked Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, the only loss on her ledger.

Popular fast-rising welterweight prospect Adrian Sosa (7-0, 5 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, will compete in a scheduled six-rounder. The 23-year-old Sosa returns to action following his best win in the paid ranks, a six-round decision against fellow undefeated prospect Khiry Todd on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Sosa was a 2014 New England Golden Gloves champion and turned pro in July 2016 following an 18-2 amateur career.

Newcomer Lamont Powell (1-0), of Pawtucket, RI, will compete in a four-round middleweight bout against Charles Carroll (0-1), of The Bronx, NY. The 25-year-old Powell made his triumphant pro debut on May 5, with a shutout four-round decision against Amadeu Cristiano.

Brooklyn, NY’s Hurshidbek Normatov (6-0, 2 KOs) will square off in a six-round junior middleweight fight against fellow unbeaten prospect Alexis Gaytan (4-0, 2 KOs), of Mission, TX. A former amateur standout representing Uzbekistan, the 26-year-old Normatov won a six-round decision versus Ronald Montes on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, Normatov was an experienced amateur competing in 324 bouts and winning the 2014 European National Championships. The 23-year-old Gaytan returns following a six-round decision win versus then undefeated Kendrick Ball Jr. (9-0-2), on June 2, at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Undefeated super middleweight contender Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, will see action, after a three-year layoff, in a scheduled six-rounder against Willis Lockett (16-23-6, 5 KOs), of Takoma Park, MD. Allen is a former WBC CABOFE, New York State and Guyanese champion.

Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Uzbek heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1 KO) will return to the scene of his pro debut in a six-round bout. Born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, Jalolov was a highly accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and had the distinguished honor of being the country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Science. He now trains in Miami, FL, with the renowned Pedro Diaz and Ravshan Khodjaev.

Bridgeport, CT, native Oscar Bonilla (4-3-2) will challenge Philadelphia, PA’s Seifullah Jihad Wise (3-4, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight bout.

2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell Scores 2nd Round Stoppage

2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell was impressive by stopping Travis Scott in the 2nd round of their junior middleweight bout.

Conwell came out in round by hurting Scott with a flurry of punches on the ropes. Conwell ended things with a perfect left hook to the body that sent Scott to a knee for the ten count at 1:34.

Conwell, of Cleveland, OH raises his record to 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Scott, of Baton Rouge, LA falls to 19-4.

“This win means a lot as it shows that I can not only beat good fighters with experience, but get them out of there,” said Conwell. “It also shows that I am on a whole other level then guys out there in my weight, and that I am a force to be reckoned with.”

“Charles has remarkable power for somebody his age, and he really has no ceiling. This was supposed to be his step up fight,” said Split-T Management CEO, David McWater.

Conwell is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions

World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation Up and Running

Combat sports’ newest organization, World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), officially announced today that it is fully operational and targeting this October to promote its inaugural professional event, to air worldwide on independent pay per view.

WBKFF principals include CEO Tom Stankiewicz, COO & Director of Operations JC and matchmaker Paul Tyler.

The exact date of this historical event, venue, complete PPV details, and bouts will be announced during this summer.

“WBKFF will soon become the biggest, most popular in combat sports,” JC predicted. “This all started from our passion for hand-to-hand combat and to give fans what they deserve. WBKFF and fan-friendly will be synonymous. We’re going to give combat sports fans what they want and deserve: integrity, passion and fairness.”

Newly adopted rules including holding and striking, spinning backfists and hammer fists will be used in all WBKFF fights, which will be contested in a traditional boxing ring for optimum viewing and safety. All men’s and women’s matches will feature five (two-minute) rounds.

WBKFF has actively scouted and recruited battle-tested veterans and promising prospects alike from boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and other combat sports disciplines.

Members of the WBKFF stable of fighters range from legendary MMA veteran and undefeated kickboxer Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni to Street Beats Internet and YouTube MMA sensation Chris “Mighty Mouse” Yarborough, pro-debuting Team USA national boxing champion Tika “Ice Cold” Hemingway and former University of South Alabama football star Desmond LaVelle, former UFC fighters Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio and Christina Marks, former Bellator fighters Virgil “Rezdog” Zwicker and Dakota Cochrane, and former world boxing title challenger Jasmine Clarkson, among the more notables to date.

Additional signings, including some with major names in MMA and boxing, are in negotiation stages.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Klitschko, Berto, Alexander, Diaz, Monaghan, Ortiz, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Klitschko Backs Police to Protect Animals from Abuse in Kyiv, Ukraine

For the first time ever, police in Kyiv are receiving training on how to fight crimes against animals and the alarming connections between the abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals.

Animal-loving Vitali Klitschko (Mayor of Kyiv and former Professional Boxer) gives the project his full support, and states:

“Mistreating animals is cowardly and cruel, and I find it abhorrent that it goes on in our city. I am proud that so many Kyiv Police Officers are participating in this pioneering training programme and hope animal abuse cases will no longer be overlooked as a low-priority. Thank you to the British animal welfare NGOs for providing this vital training.”

Increasing research and clinical evidence suggests people who abuse animals may also abuse vulnerable people. It is understood that children who witness abuse within the home, either towards animals or people, are more likely to become violent themselves later in life.

Knowledge about these links will go a long way to help police protect victims, both animal and human.

The training also includes what constitutes evidence at animal abuse crime scenes, and how to use Ukrainian animal protection legislation to prosecute cases.

The training programme mirrors that being applied in other western countries.

Kyiv Police are aiming for more than 2000 officers to receive the training.

The first phase of the training programme took place in March where senior members of the Kyiv Police department attended a full day’s workshop. That same week, local animal welfare NGOs and the Kyiv Municipality received training on how to work with police and provide usable evidence that will assist with prosecutions.

Head of Kyiv Patrol Police Public Relations Department, Sergiy Bezpalchuk, says: “The training was very helpful, clearly demonstrating how to investigate cases of animal abuse. It was also useful to learn about the link between animal cruelty and abuse towards people. I’d like to thank the organisers and trainers, and look forward to further cooperation to train more officers in the future.”

The intention of the training programme is to assist with building a collaborative framework within which animal welfare groups, police, prosecutors and the municipality may address animal cruelty together, reducing victims of animal crime and bringing suspected offenders to justice.

The training is being delivered by UK animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation, in collaboration with Mark Randell, a retired senior Police Officer and Animal NGO Director from the UK.

For over twenty-five years, Naturewatch Foundation has run projects in Ukraine to protect animals from abuse and suffering.

Naturewatch Foundation Campaign Director, Jennie Rudd, says: “By taking the initiative to tackle animal abuse and recognise the link between violence towards vulnerable people and animals, Kyiv police are developing a culture of compassion towards all living beings that future generations will benefit from.

“International organisations responsible for promoting the link between animal and human violence in Europe and America are impressed that Kyiv Police are taking on board this training as part of their development, and look forward to seeing how the programme develops.”

Jesus Rojas to Defend WBA Featherweight Title Against Joseph Diaz on Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch

Golden Boy Promotions’ partnership with Facebook will kick off with a bang as Jesus Rojas (16-1-2, 19 KOs) defends his WBA Featherweight World Title against Joseph Diaz, Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) in the main event of the inaugural edition of Golden Boy Fight Night at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The action will be streamed live on Saturday, August 11 beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. Fans can catch all the fights by clicking here.

Rojas is a 31-year-old puncher who is coming off a seventh-round knockout against former interim WBA Featherweight World Champion Claudio Marrero. During his time off, Rojas was elevated to world champion status, and he’ll be making the first defense of this title against Diaz, Jr. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico is an experienced champion as he has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso”Arce and featherweight contenders Jorge “El Pilón” Lara and Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez.

“I’m ready to come back after almost a year off,” said Jesus Rojas. “I’ll defend my title for the first time on a very important Golden Boy card which will start a new association with Facebook. Diaz Jr. is tough, intelligent and fast, but I have the power and the experience to score a spectacular win against him. We’ll see you all this August 11 in Hollywood.”

Diaz Jr. is a 25-year-old southpaw who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Immediately after, Diaz Jr. signed with Golden Boy Promotions and began a stellar career that has earned him a spot at the pinnacle of the featherweight division. Diaz Jr.’s first title opportunity was against Gary Russell Jr. in May of this year. Though he did not win, Diaz Jr.’s impressive efforts earned him an immediate title shot but this time against Rojas.

“I’ve always said that I’m going to be a world champion.,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “I learned from my last fight, and now I know the adjustments I need to make in order to have a world title around my waist. I’m going to make a big statement in the 126-pound division. It’s also an honor to be the main event of the first-ever Golden Boy show with Facebook. It shows the faith my promoter has in me to be a leading name in the new era of boxing.”

In the co-main event, Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan (9-0, 5 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of welterweight action. Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (4-0, 3 KOs) of Monaghan, Ireland will participate in a four-round welterweight fight.

Opponents for these two fighters will be announced shortly.

Luis Ortiz to Take on Razvan Cojanu in Co-Feature Bout of Garcia vs. Easter

Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz returns to action to face former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout on Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will open with unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios takingon hard-hitting Jose Roman in a 10-round showdown. The event is headlined by lightweight world championship title unification bout between WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr.

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

After having heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder nearly out on his feet in their March classic, Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) eventually succumbed to the power of the unbeaten champion. Now, Ortiz looks to get back to world title contention on July 28. Originally, from Camaguey, Cuba, now residing in Miami, Fla., Ortiz will fight in Los Angeles for the first time as a professional. Ortiz quickly became one of the most avoided men in boxing with victories over Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott on his way to the memorable showdown with Wilder.

“I’m looking to make a statement on July 28 and get back to challenge for the heavyweight championship of the world,” said Ortiz. “I’m excited to be back in the ring. I am thankful to have this opportunity. To all the fans in Los Angeles, don’t miss this great card at STAPLES Center. ‘The Real King Kong’ is coming to LA!”

A native of Romania and fighting out of Burbank, Calif., Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) challenged then WBO heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker for the title in May 2017. Cojanu took the New Zealand champion the distance but lost via unanimous decision in the champion’s home country. Standing over six-foot-seven, Cojanu scored three straight knockout victories in 2016 to earn the title shot and will return to the ring for his first fight in the U.S. since January 2016.

“I’m proud and confident to know that I will be stepping into the ring against a worthy opponent on July 28,” said Cojanu. “Luis Ortiz is a world-class fighter with a lot of experience, which will give me the opportunity to show my skills to all the fans at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and watching on SHOWTIME.”

The 23-year-old Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) has been impressive since moving up to 140 pounds last March. He’s scored stoppage victories over Yardley Cruz, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Naim Nelson and most recently a second-round destruction of Eudy Bernardo. The five-foot-ten Barrios of San Antonio had previously campaigned at 130 pounds before making the move to the higher weight class that has helped unlock his power.

“I fought on SHOWTIME EXTREME but making my debut on SHOWTIME has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Barrios. “Now, the time has come to show why I’m here. I’m ready to keep showing why I’m going to become a star and one of the sport’s next great fighters. Come July 28, everyone should tune-in for a great night of fights. It’s ‘Azteca’ time.”

Fighting out of Garden Grove, Calif., Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) scored knockouts in nine of his first 11 pro fights and has won 10 of his last 11 leading up to July 28. The 30-year-old most recently dropped a decision to Wilberth Lopez last September after a run of defeating veteran fighters and will look to put himself back on the path to a world title with a victory over Barrios at STAPLES Center.

“I’m very excited to have this great opportunity,” said Roman. “Barrios has been on a roll, but I have the experience to take him out. Both of us bring pressure and I know he’s going to be hungry to keep his record perfect. I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been for this fight. I can’t wait to put on a show in my backyard for all the great fans in Southern California.”

Barrera vs. Monaghan Set for August 18th
Former WBC International Light Heavyweight world champion Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) returns to the ring to regain his standing as one of the world’s top Light Heavyweights. Barrera faces top five Light Heavyweight Contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event at the Sands Bethlehem Casino and Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Saturday, August 18, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night series. Fans can catch all the fights by clickinghere.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 13.

Barrera vs. Monaghan is the second live card of the recently announced Facebook series, a collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions, Facebook and Main Events, offered to fans around the world via live online streaming.

Barrera, 36, a native of Cuba who defected to the United States after fighting for the Cuban National Team, now lives and trains in Miami, Florida. He makes his return to the ring after taking WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol deep into the 12th round of their title fight in November 2017 before being stopped, by far the most difficult opponent of Bivol’s professional career. The WBC ranks Barrera fourth in the competitive Light Heavyweight division.

Monaghan, also 36, is a Long Island, New York native with proud Irish roots. He began his professional boxing career at the late age of 28 but quickly made up for lost time. After his first and only loss as a professional in 30 fights to Marcus Browne in July 2017, Monaghan started his comeback quest with a win in November 2017, and intends to make up for lost time against Barrera.

“Thank you to my team, my coach Derik Santos, my promoter Main Events, my manager Luis Molina, and thanks to Seanie Monaghan for taking this fight,” said Barrera. “As always, I’m willing to face the top guys in my division. This is another tough fighter. I look forward to August 18 and I’ll give the fans a great show. They will see me start to climb my way back up to facing the very best light heavyweights in the world.”

Barrera’s trainer, Derik Santos, said training is already underway for the fight. “We are working, and are dedicated as usual. Thank you to manager Luis Molina and our promoter Main Events. Sullivan has gone into tough fights over the years, and has consistently shown himself to be one of the toughest light heavyweight contenders in the division.”

Despite the pressure on them, Barrera and Santos maintain the same confidence and positive attitude that led Barrera to the top. “Train well and overcome, has been the directive since day one,” declared Santos. “Our expectations are the same today.”

Barrera is no stranger to Seanie Monaghan, and he’s looking forward to the match-up. “This fight is do or die for both of us. I’ve been going back and forth with Barrera on Twitter for a couple of years now. This will finally be our chance to settle it in the ring, no more talking,” said Monaghan.

Monaghan recently lost his father, and has plans to bring the late Davy Monaghan’s ashes back to his hometown of Navan in Ireland someday while wearing a title belt around his waist. His fight with Barrera is as much for his father as it is for himself.

In the ultra-competitive Light Heavyweight division, the talent pool is deep, and virtually every fighter ranked among the Top 15 contenders is a threat to the current titleholders. Main Events’ CEO and Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, selected this high-stakes fight as a perfect fit for the first Main Events-promoted card in the Golden Boy Fight Night series. “We have delivered the best in boxing entertainment to the fans for 40 years,” said Duva. “What better way to start our next 40 years in business by expanding access to our fan-friendly fights around the world with online streaming technology.”

Duva promised: “Technology has changed a lot in this world, but one thing will never change about Main Events: our determination to make the best matches and feature amazing athletes in the ring. I know Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan will give everything they’ve got for their legacy, and for the fans.”

Andre Berto and Devon Alexander Set to Square Off on August 4th

Former 147-pound world champions Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs)and Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs)will battle in a 12-round showdown that headlines a stacked night of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes live in prime time on Saturday, August 4 from NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The telecast begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with former world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (33-1-1, 23 KOs)facing 168-pound contender J’Leon Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Also in action will be former amateur standout and fast-rising unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer (3-0, 3 KOs) in a super welterweight match.

The exciting night of fights begins with a special edition of PBC on FS2 & FOX Deportes at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT with unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) taking on once-beaten Lenin Castillo (18-1-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round match. The FS2 & FOX Deportes telecast will begin with a welterweight showdown between former world champion Luis Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) against Bryant Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs).

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, go on sale Friday, July 6 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE beginning Saturday, July 7 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.

“This is an outstanding card from top to bottom with matches that figure prominently in the 147-pound, 168-pound and 175-pound divisions,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Berto and Alexander are two former champions who are fighting to get back into the crowded welterweight title picture. The Peter Quillin and J’Leon Love winner factors heavily in the super middleweight championship mix. It’s compelling action for the fans at Nassau Coliseum and the ones tuned in to FOX in prime time.”

“I’m happy to bring another action-packed event back to NYCB Live on Long Island,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Headlining the FOX and FOX Deportes telecast, former world champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander meet in a high-stakes crossroads battle with the winner emerging one step closer to another shot at the welterweight crown. Former middleweight champion Peter Quillin continues his comeback facing the talented J’Leon Love and Staten Island’s unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne also appears on the card. Long Island boxing fans will want to arrive early for a tremendous undercard, with local talent as well.”

An exciting and accomplished fighter from Florida, Berto returns to the ring after dropping a contest last April to Shawn Porter. Berto represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympics and picked up his biggest recent triumph on FOX in April 2016 as Berto scored a fourth-round knockout of former champion Victor Ortiz in their high-octane rematch.

Berto previously challenged retired legend Floyd Mayweather in September 2015 and has engaged in numerous Fight of the Year-worthy bouts, including a 2012 war with Robert Guerrero and his first fight with Ortiz. He has twice held a welterweight title, first the WBC belt, which he successfully defended five times between 2008 and 2011, plus the IBF crown he picked up in 2011 with a victory over Jan Zaveck.

“This is a great fight that has been a long time coming,” said Berto. “We share some common opponents, but we have different styles of fighting and styles make fights. I’ve had a lot of success with southpaws. I’m looking forward to seeing him in front of me and capitalizing on what I’m working on now.”

Alexander returned to the spotlight in February after only fighting once since 2015 while he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. He looked sharp in his first big fight in years, displaying similar speed and skills that had made him a two-weight champion before being given a controversial draw against former champion Victor Ortiz on FOX, in a fight most thought Alexander had won.

The 31-year-old emerged onto the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey to add the welterweight crown to the 140-pound title he had won three years prior. Originally from St. Louis, but now training in Florida with longtime coach Kevin Cunningham, Alexander has defeated the likes of Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Jesus Soto Karass throughout his accomplished career.

“I’m very excited about this fight. Berto and I have history going back to the amateurs,” Alexander said. “I know him very well, but we’ve never fought. I have to show that I’m still one of the best in a stacked division. This is all business for me, because at this point in my career, I’m approaching every fight as if it’s my last. This is prime time for me.

“My mentality is that Berto is still the killer that he was 10 years ago. So I’m looking at him like he’s lost nothing. I’ve got one mission, and that’s to beat Berto. I’ll be technically sound and 100 percent focused on accomplishing that task.”

A Brooklyn-resident who has made the borough home for his whole career, Quillin returned to the ring last September when he defeated Dashon Johnson by unanimous decision. The former middleweight champion made three title defenses after winning his title from Hassan N’Dam in Brooklyn and his only loss came at the hands of former champion Daniel Jacobs.

“I’m excited to be back at home in New York in front of my fans and people I love so dearly,” Quillin said. “I’m coming back more polished and more seasoned and a man of God. I’ve definitely always been a guy who steps out and does what people think I can’t do. I know J’Leon is looking to make a splash. He needs a name on his resume. I have to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Either he’s going to have to learn a hard lesson or give me a hard lesson.”

The 30-year-old Love enters this fight unbeaten in his last seven contests after most recently defeating Jaime Barboza in May. The Michigan-native who now trains and lives in Las Vegas had previously defeated a slew of contenders and will look to move closer to a world title shot with a victory over Quillin on August 4.

“I think this is a really good matchup,” said Love. “Peter Quillin is a very talented fighter and a former world champion who is always in great shape. He’s someone you have to train very hard for and that you definitely cannot take lightly. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to fight a spectacular fighter like him. We’ll put on a great fight.”

Browne has put together three-straight impressive knockout victories to continue his rapid rise up the highly competitive 175-pound division. The 27-year-old southpaw has sandwiched knockouts of Thomas Williams, Jr. last February and Francy Ntetu this January around a second-round destruction of then unbeaten Seanie Monaghan in the inaugural boxing event at Nassau Coliseum on a FOX primetime telecast last July. The 2012 U.S. Olympian will look to put himself in position for a world title fight with a convincing win on August 4.

“I feel good about fighting close to home in New York,” said Browne. “Lenin Castillo is definitely a good, hungry, up-and-coming fighter who has one loss to Joseph Williams. I’m not overlooking him, but right now I’m trying to keep my top position in order to vie for a title, so I have to destroy him.”

The 29-year-old Castillo fights out of his native Dominican Republic and enters this bout with three straight victories by stoppage. Castillo’s recent wins followed his first professional loss, a majority decision defeat to unbeaten Joseph Williams last February. Castillo has fought professionally since 2010 and was unbeaten in his first 12 fights. The only other blemish on his pro resume was a majority draw in Brooklyn against then unbeaten Travis Peterkin in 2015.

“Marcus Browne is a boxer I’ve been following a long time because we were both Olympians,” said Castillo. “This is a good style matchup that I think will make a fun fight for the fans. We’re looking for the victory. Both of us know that a win here can take us to a world title shot and I’m not planning on wasting my opportunity.”

Collazo is a former world champion hailing from Brooklyn who has fought top welterweights from Berto and Shane Mosley to Keith Thurman and Ricky Hatton. His most recent fight saw him score a sensational knockout victory over Sammy Vasquez in February 2017. He returns to the ring after recovering from injuries sustained during training and will face Perrella of Fort Myers, FL. The 29-year-old defeated Alex Martin in his home state in December via a unanimous decision in his last outing.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Prograis, DeGale, Beltran, Briedis, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 26th to July 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Briedis Faces Deslaurier on Usyk-Gassiev Undercard

Mairis Briedis, Ali Trophy Final Cruiserweight Substitute Fighter, meets Brandon Deslaurier, on the Usyk-Gassiev undercard July 21 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.

“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). “I’m looking forward to a quality World Boxing Super Series event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans in Moscow and all over the world.”

The former WBC World Champion won his quarter-final in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Mike Perez by unanimous decision and continued to face top-seed Usyk.

The Latvian sports hero did not fail to impress in a ‘Fight Of The Year’-contender as the semi-final was dubbed.

Briedis was defeated in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’

The 33-year-old will be on standby to enter the final in Moscow in the unlikely scenario of one of the original participants being unable to compete.

In his fight on the Moscow undercard, Briedis is up against France’s Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 1 KO).

“I’m very excited to come to Russia and compete against a world class fighter like Mairis Briedis. But people must not underestimate me. I am coming to Russia to win and beat Mairis Briedis,” said Deslaurier.

Everything is on the line for Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Final in Moscow: The winner in Moscow on July 21 will be the first one ever to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first cruiserweight ever to unify the titles in the four-belt era. The winner will also add RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship belt.

Prograis and Velasco Competing for Place in Ali Trophy Tournament

The winner of WBC Interim World Champion Regis Prograis vs top challenger Juan Jose Velasco on July 14 will enter the 140lb edition of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.

29-year-old Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), the Houston resident who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, won the WBC Interim 140-pound World Championship in March after a sensational second round TKO-victory over former titleholder Julius Indongo from Namibia.

“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs,” said Prograis.

The undefeated southpaw, known for his fan-friendly style inspired by idols such as Roberto Duran and Pernell Whitaker, is confident that he will enter the tournament.

“I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best.”

31-year-old Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, will challenge the Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion in Prograis’ birthplace of New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14. Velasco already sees himself as an Ali Trophy participant:

“It’s a great honour and I look forward to competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and winning the whole thing. I think the format is set up well,” said Velasco, also known as ‘El Pitbull’. “The best fight the best in the World Boxing Super Series to determine one champ. Great!”

Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “Prograis is an exciting athlete capable of catapulting his status to new heights of sporting glory in the Ali Trophy tournament. He is facing Velasco, a tough challenger. We are sure of one thing: another belt will enter the Ali Trophy tournament!”

Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series with two categories, Bantamweight and Super Lightweight, already announced.

DeGale Vacates IBF Title

Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.

DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.

The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.

DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.

The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.

In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.

DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.

A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.

However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.

DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.

DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”

WBO News: Top Rank Wins the Beltran-Andreev Purse Bid

This afternoon, at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in Puerto Rico, the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO Lightweight World Champion Raymundo Beltrán (35-7-1 , 21 KOs), from Mexico, and first-ranked Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs), from Russia.

Top Rank won the rights for the fight with a successful bid of $ 252,000. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti, personally presented the winning bid. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The OMB exhorted both Top Rank and other promoters to submit their boxers to doping controls, not only immediately prior to and after the title fights, but throughout the entire training phase of both combatants.

Joe Smith Jr. Returns with Devastating KO at Mohegan Sun

Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular “Slugfest at The Sun” series, presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“Slugfest at The Sun” was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing’s next event, “Rockin’ Fights”, September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.

Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.

“I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him,” Joe Smith Jr. explained. “So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I’m happy with my performance. My jaw feels great.”

“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”

“Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”

Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty “Las Elegante” Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.

“She was a survivor,” Reis commented. “There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more … getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.

A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, “I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch,” Reis added. “I’m going to stay on her tail. I’ll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen.”

In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO’s) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO’s) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.

“I thought I did well,” Laureano said after the fight, “but I’d like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It’s there, he felt it; it’s coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I’d like to have an eight-rounder. We’re adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I’m getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there.”

Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.

Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.

Irish junior welterweight “Lethal” Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.

Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.

The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a “No Contest” because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters — William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) – with serious head cuts and unable to continue.

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European Boxing Notebook: Taylor, WBSS, Postol, Hearn, Fury, and more…


By: Oliver McManus

Welcome along to the latest instalment of the European Boxing Notebook and boy, oh boy, oh boy it’s been a stellar couple weeks of action across the continent so nothing too in-depth today but let’s rattle through all the key talking points;


Photo Credit: Josh Taylor Twitter Account

Taylor Thumps Postol

Josh Taylor was in action on June 23rd in Glasgow as he took on Viktor Postol in a WBC Final Eliminator – off the back of a third round KO win against Winston Campos in March, all the pressure was on Scotland’s hero with many placing him as the best in the division.

A ferocious fight at the SSE Arena saw both Taylor and Postol finding success with no real round – aside from the 10th – being anything less than 50-50 and, let’s be clear, this was a case of incredible matchmaking with Postol’s stock falling and Taylor’s rising, make no mistake by that, however, Postol was very much here to take glory as opposed to make up the numbers.

The fight started off with the Scottish southpaw and the orthodox-stance Ukrainian circling in the middle of the ring, Taylor punching high with his right jab – against an opponent taller than him – whilst Postol searched in an aggressive fashion, looking to land lunging punches.

Throughout the duration of the 12 rounds we witnessed aggression galore with the intent often being better than the finished product but silky combinations and toe-to-toe, phone-box, fighting ensured this would go down as one of the most aesthetically pleasing “brawls” in recent memory.

A high tempo combined with heavy pressure saw Josh Taylor home with success being born out of his superior work-rate and crisp, clean, body attacks – a flurry of such punches sent Postol down to the canvas in the 10th with his legs seeking to betray.

117-110, 118-110, 119-108… the scorecards were nothing to be get excited about, Taylor’s promoter said as much as that in his post-fight interview, 115-112 was a fair score-line but the right man won and a world title shot is, surely, his next calling.

World Boxing Super Series

Talking of a world title shot the big news regarding Josh Taylor is that he will enter the 2018/19 Super Lightweight World Boxing Super Series in a tournament that, should, guarantee him a shot at, at least, ONE world title; Kiryl Relikh and Eduard Troyanosky will form one of the opening quarter-finals, Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit will make-up another one whilst the winner of Regis Prograis and Juan Jose Velasco will also enter the tournament.

In the bantamweight division Zolani Tete and Ryan Burnett have long been confirmed as participants for the 2018/19 tournament, along with Emmanuel Rodriguez. It is widely believed that Nordine Oubaali and Tassana Sanpattan will fight each other in a quarter-final match-up whilst Jason Moloney, IBF mandatory challenger, has also been confirmed for the tournament.

Butcher and Camacho set sights on Commonwealth glory

With Jason Moloney entering the WBSS it’s more than likely that he’ll vacate his Commonwealth and with Iain Butcher being the mandatory challenger his title shot could come sooner than expected – the most likely opponent for Butcher to face would appear to be Kyle Williams in a bout that would see Williams, the English champion, looking to add a second belt to his collection.

Wadi Camacho has been confirmed to BoxingInsider as the mandatory challenger for Lawrence Okolie’s Commonwealth strap and Camacho has been vocal on social media in wanting the contest; Okolie has been mandated to defend his belt against Camacho by the end of September 2018 and, Camacho’s manager, Steve Goodwin has said he intends to outbid Eddie Hearn for the rights to stage the event with a likely date being September 22nd.

Conlan’s technical brilliance

Mick Conlan returned to his home town of Belfast in significant style as he fought in Northern Ireland for the first time in eight years. His opponent was of the ideal calibre, a former world title challenger looking for redemption but easily beatable, and Adeilson dos Santos played his role to perfection.

The Brazilian came to box and wanted the win but ultimately was out-classed by the supreme technical skills of Michael Conlan who hardly looked like stepping out of first gear – really silky with his footwork, Conlan’s confidence grew as the rounds went on and a swift counter-punch and, space-creating, jab ensured the Irish hero controlled the bout from the outset. 79-73 to Top Rank’s super-protégé, The Conlan Revolution has only just begun.
On the undercard Jono Carroll handed out a nine round beat-down to his most ferocious of rivals in Declan Geraghty; the challenger seemed to lack the conditioning required for such a high tempo, aggressive fight and after the 2nd round he was visibly huffing and puffing.

Carroll had a wobbly first round but after that he got into his stride with ease, keeping the punches flowing and varying from body to head with ease, a ninth round knockout ensured he retained his IBF Inter-Continental super featherweight title.

Jazza Dickens vs Martin Ward

Jazza Dickens and Martin Ward will meet for the vacant British super bantamweight title on July 27th, live on FreeSports, in Houghton-le-Spring, as the pair compete for the second time in their careers with the first bout, some three years ago, producing an enthralling split decision victory for Dickens; since then Jazza has faced Guillermo Rigondeaux and the belief is that he has improved greater than Ward in the time following but this is, still, too close to call.

Hearn’s new shows

Eddie Hearn has announced two new shows with the first being a NXTGEN event in Cardiff headlined by Joe Cordina vs Sean Dodd; Cordina headlines in his home country for the first time against, ever-game, Dodd in a scrap for the WBA International and Commonwealth lightweight belts.

The Commonwealth belt was vacated by Tommy Coyle who will fight in America in September.

Also on that Cardiff show, August 4th at the Ice Arena, will be Sean McGoldrick, Daniyar Yeleussinov, Jordan Gill and Tasha Jonas.

Amir Khan will return to the ring for the second time since his comeback began, in April, on September 8th in Birmingham, facing, world-ranked, Samuel Vargas in a contest that will be sure to test the former unified champion far more than his 39 second outing against Phil Lo Greco.

Jason Welborn and Tommy Langford will go toe-to-toe for the second time this year as they rematch for the British middleweight championship – the last time they met, in Walsall, there was non-stop action for the full 12 rounds with Welborn, just, nicking a split decision to steal Langford’s title… here’s hoping for more of the same.

Fury’s route to the top

With Jarrell Miller, seemingly, following Dillian Whyte in refusing to travel to Bulgaria to face Kubrat Pulev for an IBF final eliminator contest it is looking increasingly likely as though Hughie Fury will be the next fighter to be mandated against the 37 year old. Negotiations are still ongoing with the Miller camp but with such a public declaration of reluctance to travel it seems inevitable that the governing body will turn to their next eligible challenger in a bid to get the contest staged rather than later.

MTK ink BoxNation deal

Last notebook we reported on the breaking news that BoxNation were to cease broadcasting Frank Warren shows and the news emerging since has revealed that MTK Global will broadcast, at least, 12 shows a year on the 24-hour channel.

The first broadcast will occur on Friday 24th August, from the Emirates Arena, as Ronnie Clark and David Oliver Joyce headline in a contest for Clark’s IBF European Super-Featherweight title; local legend Willie Limond will tackle, MTK newcomer, Darragh Foley whilst Stephen Ormond battles, stable-mate, George Ashie. Also on the bill is David Brophy, Kieran Smith, Stephen Tiffney, Tommy Philbin, Chris Wood and Aidan McGlynn.

European round up

Tony Yoka took on teak-tough David Allen at the Dome de Paris-Palais des Sports on June 23rd with the Rio Olympic gold medallist in the toughest test of his professional career – David Allen was receiving his biggest payday but it wasn’t about the money, there was a genuine belief from Allen that he could find success over the Frenchman and there were periods in which he did rattle some serious punches through. The superior condition of Yoka was enough to see him have the more dominant periods of the bout and he triumphed via 10th round TKO.

That’s the main result but other quick ones – Pavel Sour and Vaclav Pejsar rematched in the Czech Republic, Sour won in the first fight, and got the win the second time round thanks to a unanimous decision to retain his Czech heavyweight title; Abigail Medina defended his EBU Super Bantamweight title against Anthony Settoul and finished the bout in style with a classy first round knockout.

That is it for this edition of the European Boxing Notebook, like I said, there was a lot to get through but it’s been a busy couple of weeks!

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Munguia, Smith, Pacquiao, Ennis, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 19th to June 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Set for July 21st on HBO

Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights by stunning knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States, the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to defend his new belt.

“I’m very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,” said Jaime Munguia. “I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas!”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive victories as a professional, Smith defeated John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith then lost the title against Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the title that was once his.

“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,” said Liam Smith. “But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist. Munguia is obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter. I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”

In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round battle.

Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts 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 Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.

“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world champion,” said Alberto Machado. “Because of that, I will defend my title with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raise in my first defense.”

Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional debut in 2010.

Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings, earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title. Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Rafael Mensah. “When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson.’”

“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”

“I’m proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who’s the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against the tough Liam Smith,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”

“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said Frank Warren. “Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would have been. I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”

“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”, said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”

George Kambosos Jr. to Fight on Pacquiao-Matthysse Undercard

Undefeated world-ranked lightweight contender

“Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, will return to battle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday, July 15 (Sat. July 14 in the United States) in a 10-round clash against JR “Star Boy” Magboo (17-1-2, 8 KOs), of Batangas, Philippines, it was announced today by DiBella Entertainment.

“I’m thrilled and very excited to get back in the ring on Manny Pacquiao’s undercard,” said the 25-year-old Kambosos. “Manny and I have had some excellent training sessions for this camp and I can’t wait to fight in Kuala Lumpur. I know that Magboo has lost only once, but I’ll be well prepared after training with Manny to be victorious.”

“I would like to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving George Kambosos this great opportunity to fight on his undercard in Malaysia,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “All of us at DiBella Entertainment believe that Kambosos is a star with the potential to become a champion. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talent on the undercard of a future hall-of-famer and a legend.”

Kambosos vs. Magboo will take place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the undercard of the WBA welterweight world title bout between boxing legend and challenger Manny Pacquiao and champion Lucas Matthysse.

Currently ranked #11 by the World Boxing Organization and #14 by the International Boxing Federation, the all-action Kambosos made his triumphant United States debut on May 5, with a stunning first-round knockout of Jose Forero at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.

For the last few weeks, Kambosos has trained and sparred alongside Pacquiao as he prepares to win another welterweight world title. Trained by former heavyweight contender Justin Fortune, Kambosos also worked with Pacquiao in Los Angeles last summer in preparation for the Filipino’s clash with Jeff Horn.

A sports star in his native Australia, Kambosos stopped Krai Setthaphone in the ninth round on October 13, 2017, in front of a huge crowd headlining at the Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, Australia.

Most recently, Magboo stopped Prell Tupas in the first round on May 13, in Marilao, Philippines.
Kali Reis Quotes from Media Workout

In advance of her fight this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis held an open media workout today at Big Six Academy in Providence, Rhode Island.

Fighting out of nearby Cranston, RI, Reis (13-7-1, 4 KOs) will face former world title challenger Patty “La Elegante” Ramirez (11-5, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round welterweight bout.

Reis vs. Ramirez is the co-featured bout on the “SLUGFEST AT THE SUN” card, presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Reis is coming off a historic fight last month versus undisputed women’s world welterweight champion and pound-4-pound Queen, 33-0 Cecilia Braekhus, in the first female bout ever featured on HBO. Reis dropped Braekhus for the first time in her professional career, however the judges scored the fight in favor of Braekhus, over ruckus boo’s from the crowd.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S MEDIA WORKOUT:

“I’m so excited to be back fighting at home, especially after our history making fight on HBO. I fought Cecilia Braekhus. We were the first women to ever fight on HBO and there were more than a million viewers. If I knew that many people would be watching, I would have been a lot more nervous.”

“On paper, it was a loss, but it was really a win-win for me, and women’s boxing. It’s already opened a lot of doors for me. There’s been so much growth for me and women’s boxing. It’s going to open the door for other women to fight on networks. It was a step up for women’s boxing, not just for one event, but forever.”

“I’m the first female Native American to fight in New England.”

“I’ve been fighting 18 years. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, but I love boxing.”

“I showed in my last fight that I belong to be with the elite. I want to get a rematch (with Braekhus).”

“Being a road warrior, I’m familiar fighting away or at home, but it’s more comfortable fighting here at home. My hometown crowd is always very supportive.”

“(Saturday) I am going to come out with a victory. My opponent’s taller, but I just need to follow the game plan and execute.”

Juan Carlos Abreu and Any Vences-Frank De Alba Headline Ramirez-O’Connor Undercard

The Mean Machine, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, is looking to cement his name as a welterweight to watch when he defends the NABF title against Juan Carlos Abreu, July 7 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno as the ESPN-televised co-feature to Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Danny O’Connor.

The undercard will also feature heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. against veteran Kevin Johnson in a 10- round bout, 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. versus James De Herrera in a six-round lightweight bout, and Andy Vences defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba.

Ramirez vs. O’Connor and Kavaliauskas vs. Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The entire undercard, including Vences-DeAlba, Ruiz-Johnson and Flores-De Herrera will be streamed on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Star Boxing and Murphys Boxing, tickets to this world championship event, priced at $150 (floor), 90, $60, $35, $20, and $10, plus applicable fees, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For more information and box office hours, visit www.savemartcenter.com.

“This is a great opportunity to show everyone watching on ESPN what the ‘Mean Machine’ is made of,” Kavaliauskas said. “I want a title shot soon, but I have to take care of business against Abreu to make my dreams a reality. It’s going to be a toe-to-toe battle, and I know I will be victorious.”

“I am excited to show what I’m capable of doing. I’m more anxious than anything to show everyone the improvements I’ve made,” Vences said. “I am fighting another southpaw, so I feel like I’m picking up where I left off. I have a lot of family and friends coming out to support me, which gives me extra motivation.”

“This is my first fight in California as a pro, and I can’t wait to entertain my people,” Flores said.

Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KOs), ranked in the top 10 by three of the four major sanctioning organizations, is on the precipice of a world title shot. A native of Lithuania who trains out of the Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California, Kavaliauskas has won four consecutive fights by stoppage. He won the NABF title last September with a seventh-round TKO over Mahonri Montes and defended the title in February with a sixth-round TKO over former WBA welterweight world champion David Avanesyan. Abreu (21-3-1, 19 KOs) has won two in a row since a split decision loss to then-unbeaten Alex Martin in June 2016.

Ruiz (30-1, 20 KOs) is on the comeback trail after dropping a majority decision to Joseph Parker on Dec. 10, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. He took 15 months off after the Parker loss, but came back March 10 in Carson, California, knocking out Devin Vargas in the opening round. Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) is a 15-year pro who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title in 2009, losing a unanimous decision.

Flores (8-0, 5 KOs), an 18-year-old recent high school graduate from Stockton, California, signed with Top Rank in November 2016 at 16 years old, becoming the youngest fighter ever to sign with the promotional company. He is seeking his fourth win of 2018, most recently scoring a four-round unanimous decision June 9 in Las Vegas on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard.

In his last bout, Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to spirited draw against Erick De Leon as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg bout March 10 in Carson, California. De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) is looking to get back into the win column following an eight-round majority decision defeat to O’Shaquie Foster on April 13 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Jaron Ennis and Armando Alvarez to Face off in July 20th ShoBox Main Event

A battle of unbeaten welterweight prospects will headline a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, July 20 live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT when Jaron Ennis squares off against Armando Alvarez in the 10-round main event from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

Philadelphia’s Ennis (20-0, 18 KOs) has knocked out 10 consecutive opponents and was the 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion before turning professional in 2016. The 20-year-old former amateur standout will face his first undefeated opponent in Alvarez (18-0, 12 KOs), a native of the Florida Keys who has knocked out six of his last seven opponents.

The three-fight telecast features six prospects with a combined record of 82-1, with all six fighters facing what is likely the toughest tests of their careers.

In the co-feature, undefeated lightweight Thomas Mattice (12-0, 10 KOs) returns to Iowa for his second ShoBox appearance of the year when he clashes with former Armenian amateur standout Zhora Hamazaryan (9-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Also on the card, undefeated super lightweight prospect Montana Love (11-0, 5 KOs) will take on former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Victory Promotions, Ringside Ticket Inc., Banner Promotions & Thompson Boxing are priced from $10-$60 and can be purchased at winnavegas.com.

JARON ENNIS vs. ARMANDO ALVAREZ – 10-Round Welterweight Bout

Ennis will debut on ShoBox following a statement second round knockout of former junior welterweight contender Mike Arnaoutis earlier this month, his 10th consecutive KO victory. The Philadelphia native had a standout amateur career, notching an impressive record of 58-3 and winning the 2015 National Golden Gloves tournament. Ennis, who was ranked No. 1 as an amateur at 141 pounds, narrowly missed the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics after losing a box-off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for,” Ennis said. “I can’t wait to show the world my talent.”

Just 20 years old, Ennis currently trains under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr., who also trained his other sons Derek Jr. and Farah. The 5-foot-10 Ennis will be the third brother to appear on ShoBox; Derek Jr. appeared on the series in 2007, and Farah faced Badou Jack on the series in 2013.

“A win on this platform would mean everything,” Ennis continued. “From here on out, I want to fight only the big names in the division. I feel grateful for this opportunity to show the world my talents and skills. It’s great to follow in my brother’s footsteps, and I am ready to take the Ennis last name to the next level.”

The 28-year-old Alvarez turned professional in 2014 and has gradually increased his level of opposition. Alvarez, who now lives in Key West, compiled a 26-4 amateur record and won the Florida State Championship in 2013. His headlining fight with Ennis will be his second fight of 2018 and by far his toughest test to date.

“This is the biggest opportunity I have ever received,” Alvarez said. “This is it. It’s on. Ennis is a great young fighter, but I think he has stepped out of his league. He is just a kid. The world will find out who Armando Alvarez is on July 20.”

THOMAS MATTICE vs. ZHORA HAMAZARYAN – Eight-Round Lightweight Bout

A 27-year-old from Cleveland, Mattice turned pro in 2014 and had an amateur record of 72-18. He was a three-time Ohio State Golden Gloves Champion and bronze medal winner in the USA National Tournament in 2014.

Mattice will be making his second ShoBox appearance following a strong debut Feb. 2, when the undefeated lightweight rallied from behind to score a seventh round TKO of ShoBox veteran Rolando Chinea. Mattice has recorded five straight KOs and nine overall in 11 professional fights.

“I am excited for the opportunity to showcase my talent again on ShoBox,” Mattice said. “I’m going to go out there and do what I did before. I’m going to get a win, hopefully in knockout fashion. This guy (Hamazaryan) doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.”

Undefeated lightweight prospect Hamazaryan, who signed with Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing in February, is originally from Armenia but fights out of Los Angeles. Part of a long line of Armenian fighters who have fought in the U.S., Hamazaryan won his U.S. debut on Feb. 16, when he scored a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Sergio Ramirez. Prior to his win against Ramirez, all of Hamazaryan’s victories were earned in Russia.

The 22-year-old was considered the No. 1 fighter in Armenia after an amateur career that spanned over 200 fights. Hamazaryan turned professional in 2015, turning down an opportunity to fight for the Armenian Olympic Team in 2016.

“This fight is very important for me, and I am very excited to be fighting on national television in America,” Hamazaryan said. “I know [Mattice] is undefeated but I normally don’t look at my opponent. I’m just looking to put on a great performance and make a statement for fans in the U.S.”

MONTANA LOVE vs. KENNETH SIMS JR. – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout

Cleveland native Love was an accomplished amateur who compiled a 174-13 record and won a bronze medal at the 2012 National Golden Gloves Championships. The 22-year-old recently sparred with Adrien Broner, and served as head sparring partner for Robert Easter Jr. before his lightweight title defense against Javier Fortuna on Jan. 20.

Love has won two consecutive bouts against lesser opposition since defeating Samuel Teah in his ShoBox debut on Feb. 2.

“I am excited and happy to be back,” Love said. “I want to put on another great performance. Sims and I grew up as amateurs together. He’s a good fighter, but I am hungry and want to keep rolling. I can’t let anything get in my way.”

Chicago native Sims makes his return to ShoBox just over a year after suffering the first loss of his career against Rolando Chinea via close majority decision in what was his toughest test to date. The 24-year-old Sims, who has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.

“I am happy to be back fighting after having surgery on my elbow that had been bothering me for the last year and a half,” Sims said. “This is my chance to prove that I’m back and the loss onShoBox was a fluke. I remember Love from the amateurs and I know I have what it takes to beat him.”

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Sam Crossed Looking for a Shot on National Television


By: Bryant Romero

Undefeated Crusierweight prospect Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed is almost three years into his professional career where he is now (7-0, 5 KOs) as he’s looking to gain more notoriety and land a TV slot on a network in the near future. The 31-year-old from Maryland is realistic about his career and is currently not thinking about world title aspirations, but taking it one fight at a time and looking to improve in each outing. Boxinginsider recently caught up with Sam to talk about his career what finally made him turn pro at the age of 28.

“My buddy of mine started taking me to the gym when I was younger and I went to the gym when I was 14, but I didn’t really do anything because I didn’t take it serious,” said Sam. I just did it just for training and stuff. I got smacked around a little bit from the older kids when I was younger, so it always kind of motivated me to want to beat their ass when I got older. So when I got the opportunity to box, I just stuck with it.”

Sam as an amateur had 25 fights which he says “should have been a lot more but I was with a guy for awhile that wasn’t really helping me out.” He basically trained himself from the amateurs up until his fourth fight as professional. It was Sam’s last amateur bout that convinced him that he will make a run in the professional ranks.

“In my last amateur fight I fought guy that was 6’5 and 230 pounds,” Sam explained to me. “It was a tough fight and it was close but I lost, he definitely beat me and I was like you know I’m not getting any younger, I might as well turn pro and try to make some money at least. We just decided to go for it.”

As a pro, Sam is just looking to set “smaller goals” and not talking to the press about being a world champion just 7 fights into his pro boxing career. He’s right now just enjoying the moment, enjoying the training and the journey while he pushes to getting significant paydays in the future.

“I do smaller goals, I only have 7 pro fights I’m not talking about how I’m going to be world champ. I set smaller goals. I’m not just doing this for money because I really don’t make shit to be honest at this point.” Sam told me.

“Absolutey I want to make money doing it and I want to make a good payday. I just feel like right now I enjoy doing it, I like it. I have a lot of people that are interested in my career and I’m just setting smaller goals at this point, plus I don’t want to regret it when I get older, not going for it,” he said.

Sam and his manager Mike Walters have been able to get by so far without the presence of a promoter. Being that Sam is a significant ticket seller to the cards he fights on, he’s been able to get away with it. But Sam admits that eventually as he gets deeper into his career and keeps winning; it will be tougher to get fights and will eventually have to sign with a promoter.

“I prefer it (without a promoter) to be honest but the only problem is that this last year it was hard for me to get a fight. I think that would be helpful if a promoter came in. Otherwise me and my manager have done a great job for my career, especially for a guy that wasn’t a decorated amateur,” Sam said.

“We sell a lot of tickets; we’ve done a lot so I’m happy with it so far. I think at some point there’s probably going to be a time I will need to sign with a promoter, but right now I think we’re doing great.”

Sam told me that about 90% of people that buy tickets to his fights are people that don’t even follow boxing and that having somebody to follow that they know, keeps them coming back.

The 31-year-old has scored some highlight reel knockouts in his career and in the amateurs he relied on his power, but now with a stronger supporting cast, he is looking to develop into a boxer/puncher.

“I think I have power and I can punch, but there was time I was relying on that,” he told me. So I think I’ve been becoming more of a boxer/puncher based off what my coaches are getting me to do.

“Up until my fourth pro fight I literally just trained myself. It was hard, I was lost and now I train with Jarrett Hurd and his coaches. I’m at the same gym with him. You wouldn’t even recognize me between now and before I started training there. I feel like I’m just getting better too and just getting more comfortable with boxing,” Sam said.

For 2018, Sam’s goals in boxing are simple, be active, get as much fights as possible and maybe even get a TV date this year.

“I want to get two or three more fights this year, possibly get a TV date and just keep moving up and see it where it takes us,” Sam said. “I just want to stay busy and get the right fights and hopefully move towards making some decent money at least. I’m enjoying the ride that’s all it matters.”

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Yurik Mamedov Fights for the Yezidi People


By: Bryant Romero

Super lightweight prospect Yurik “DBSBC” Mamedov has a lot to be motivated for when steps into that ring. Not only does he fight for himself his family, but also the Yezidi people. Yurik also goes by the alias of the ‘fighting pride of the Yezidi.’ The Yezidi are a small population of people mostly based in Iraq and for years they have been terrorized by Turkey and now by Isis. Yurik through his boxing wants to bring more awareness to this ongoing issue that has gone underreported with no solution to the problem in sight.

“I am Yezidi myself and since 2012 we have been killed by Isis,” Yurik explained to me. “Because they want to convert us to Islam to become Muslim, they kidnap the women and turn them into sex slaves.


Photo Credit: Yurik Mamedov’s Facebook

“One of my cousins, we don’t know where she is. She could be dead or a sex slave I don’t know. I know that could be my sister. I feel like I need to be a voice for the Yezidi people.

“Through my boxing I can bring awareness to these people, to my people that need help. One of the reasons I step into the ring is to bring awareness to the Yezidi people, which is a genocide and nobody is doing anything,” Yurik said.

The 27-year-old is a well traveled young man and it took awhile for him and his family to get settled at a place they could call home. Yurik was born in Russia, then lived for awhile in Armenia but the situation there was too rough, which forced Yurik and his family to come to Germany where they waited two years to find out if they would get accepted into the country.

After being rejected into Germany, Yurik and his family stayed in Belgium for six months before finally making their way into France in September of 2001.

It was in France where Yurik and his family finally got settled but life wasn’t easy for Yurik while growing up in France. He was different compared to many that lived there, didn’t speak the language originally, and was picked on a lot, which resulted into many street fights.

“I couldn’t be friends with them, so I got into fights a lot and one day I remember one guy pushing me and I just punched him back and he just grabbed me and gave me a kick in my teeth and I lost two teeth,” Yurik said.

“Which still I have, I never put them back because it’s a reminder for why I started boxing.”

Not long after that, Yurik would run into a man that would be the breakthrough he needed to become a boxer.

“Three or four days after, there was this old man that would say hi to me and I thought maybe he knows the city and I could ask him for advice.

“So I ask him ‘do you know where I can find a boxing gym in the city.’ The answer he gave me was ‘I have my own gym and you can come if you want to.’ And this man who I ask is still my coach to this day.

“Everytime I fight I make sure that I get tickets for him to see the fight and be in my corner,” Yurik said.

That man goes by the name of Malek Ikhenach who would take Yurik to and back from the gym everyday to train. Together they formed a strong bond and Yurik began to have success as an amateur winning many fights.

Yurik’s first coach Malek would set up a two week camp in New York with another coach he knew in New York named Simon Bakinde. Being that Yurik was one of the best amateurs from France, he got the experience to train in America and from there realized he wanted to come back to train and see how his boxing career would play out in America.

“He (Malek) introduced me to Simon, so I talk to Simon and I stayed for two weeks and all we did was train and I love the way the people respect boxing. I asked Simon if I could come here and do this and he said ‘sure we just have to find a way to make it happen.’

“So I went back to France for one year and just work and save my money and I found a way to come to the U.S. as a student. I didn’t want to come illegally because all my life I was illegal from Russia to Armenia and I went through so much and I didn’t want to go back to that,” Yurik said.

At the age of only 19 Yurik decided to leave France to begin a new life in America and initially he didn’t get the support he hoped for when he made his decision. While he was winning fights in the amateurs, Yurik didn’t consider himself to be a special talent and even questions himself sometimes of why left France in the first place.

But he took the risk and eventually his family would have a change of heart with his decision to leave. He would compete in the Golden Gloves in New York after just a year of being in the States and he would reach the finals with his father and former coach in attendance as he lost a close decision in the final.

The well traveled 27-year-old is now (10-1, 3 KOs) as a pro and is slowly but surely climbing the rankings of the super lightweight division.

“My next fight will be in August,” he said. “I’m trying to get a bigger name. I want to get as much fights as I can. I want to be busy that is my number 1 goal.

“I want to do stuff at 140 and then gradually move up to 147 and 154 eventually. I feel very strong, my technique is there. It’s all about the right fights and the right time.

“I feel like next year, once I get 15 fights I’m ready for whatever,” Yurik said.

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Helen Joseph: “My Goal Is To Be A World Champion”


By: Sean Crose

“Yeah, I prefer being a professional,” Helen Joseph says over the phone. The 15-3-1 women’s bantamweight won the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Female Bantamweight Title with a win over Elizabeth Anderson last November and is set to face the 13-1 Tyreshia Douglas later this month. There’s more to the New Haven, by way of Nigeria, fighter than just a background in boxing, however. “Karate and kickboxing, too,” she says of her skill set. Right now, though, it’s boxing that’s the woman’s focus. And it’s a focus that thoroughly intense. “I have worked so hard to come to this level today,” she says. “My goal is to be a world champion to be the world’s best.”

Just how determined is the 29 year old known as the “Iron Lady?” She came all the way from Africa to the United States to achieve hr dream. What’s more, Joseph travels from New Haven to New York, not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away, to train. “I train in New York City at my dad’s gym,” she claims. And her home is miles away on the Connecticut shoreline? “Yeah,” she says. “This is where I stay.” Joseph undoubtedly hopes to join other Connecticut notables, such as Marlon Starling, Chad Dawson, John Scully, and the great Willie Pep.

“After this fight,” she says of the impending Douglas bout, “they’re going to give me a chance to have a world title.” Some may say that’s wishful thinking, but Joseph makes it clear that she aims to make a statement when she steps into the ring to face Douglas on the 29th of this month. “I know the way this is going to end,” she says of the bout. “It’s going to shake the world.” Still, Joseph can’t help but feel somewhat avoided. “They don’t want to fight me,” she says of the top names in her weight realm.

So, what does Joseph feel about Douglas, the opponent she’s determined to make mark against? “I know she’s pretty good and she has a lot of fans,” says Joseph. Joseph exudes confidence in the days leading up to the match. “I believe in my God and I believe in myself,” she says. Provided all goes well, Joseph may have more fans who believe in her, as well. It’s hard not to pull for someone who travels so far, who works so hard, to attain a single goal. It may not by easy “to be the world’s best,” but it’s worth keeping in mind that some hungry fighter is always there to fill the top spot.

And that there are few hungrier than Joseph.

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