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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Shumenov, Hernandez-Harrison, Crossed, Alvarado, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 12th to June 19th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo of Hizni Altunkaya
Hizni Altunkaya Challegned Shumenov for WBA Cruiserweight Title
World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 3-rated cruiserweight Hizni “The Warrior” Altunkaya (30-1, 17 KOs) isn’t concerned about hitting the road to fight local hero and two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion, Beibut Shumenov, for the vacant WBA World cruiserweight title, July 7 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
A 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs) retired a year ago due to an eye injury that required surgeries, forcing him to relinquish his WBA cruiserweight world title. Shumenov has fully recovered and he’s on a mission to recapture his WBA world cruiserweight title.
Shumenov vs. Altunkaya is a presentation of Shumenov’s company, KZ Event Productions, Inc. The July 7th gala event will be part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Astana being the capital of Kazakhstan. Many political dignitaries from Kazakhstan and around the World are expected to attend Shumenov’s comeback fight, which will air nationally on Qazaqstan TV and QAZSPORT TV, as well as internationally, including BoxNation in the United Kingdom.
“I have no reservations about fighting Shumenov in his country,” 30-year-old Altunkaya said. “I believe that there will be a fair decision and the better fighter that evening will win. I will arrive in Kazakhstan with enough time for me to acclimate.
“I have great respect for what he has achieved. Shumenov has a lot of experience and he is a strong boxer. We are studying some fights to find his weaknesses. I think it will be, technologically, a good fight, in which both of us will take chances to get a knockout. I’m a boxer, but when I see the chance for a knockout, I can change my style. It will be a tough fight and I will do my best to go home as world champion.
Altunkaya, who was born in Turkey but now lives and fights out of fighting out of Germany, knocked out Mathias Reinhardt in the first round, on the Vitali Klitschko versus Shannon Briggs World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight World Championship card in 2010, at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2011, Altunkaya won a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Salvatore Aiello (29-0) for the Interim World Boxing Federation (WBF) World cruiserweight crown. The gifted Turk captured the vacant Global Boxing Council (GBC) Intercontinental cruiserweight title in 2016, His pro loss happened last year, when he was stopped in round five by former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Cruiserweight World champion Krzysztof Glowacki (26-1).
Shumenov has a tremendous quality experience advantage over Altunkaya, who did not box as an amateur. Although Altunkava has fought more pro rounds than Shumenov, 147-140, the chiseled Kazakh has fought 88 rounds in major world title fights compared to zero for his Turkish opponent.
“The fight against Glowacki was one of the most important experiences in my career,” Altunkaya added. “I know what I did wrong and I will not repeat those mistakes against Shumenov.”
Additional fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
New England’s Top & Most Promising Boxers to be Showcased on “Slugfest at the Sun” Card June 30th
The “Common Man,” Long Island light heavyweight JOE SMITH, JR. (23-2, 19 KOs), returns to the ring after being inactive the past 11 months recovering from a broken jaw. The popular Irish-American will face MELVIN “THE ROMANTIC REDNECK” RUSSELL (11-4-2, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event.
Smith burst onto the boxing scene in 2016 when he defeated, top rated light heavyweight, Andrzej Fonfara on NBC in Chicago, and again later that year, when he knocked living legend Bernard Hopkins clear out of the ring, becoming the first person to ever KO the former multi-division world champion and future Hall of Famer.
JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO of Star Boxing had this to say about June 30th, “We are thrilled to be up in New England for this sensational show at Mohegan Sun on June 30th that will be filled with local favorites and headlined by an international favorite (Joe Smith Jr). Boxing history is full of exciting fighters from New England and on June 30th fans will be treated to local fighters aiming to continue a rich tradition of tough New Englanders.”
In the eight-round co-featured event, two-time middleweight champion (pictured to left) KALI “KO MEQUINONOAG” REIS (13-7-1, 4 KOs), fighting out of Cranston, RI, is coming off her eye-opening performance last month against undisputed women’s world welterweight champion and pound-4-pound Queen, 33-0 CECELIA BRAEKUS, in the first female bout ever featured on HBO. Reis floored Braekhus once, but she lost a 10-round decision. The former WBC and UBF World middleweight champion will meet former world title challenger PATTY “LA ELEGANTE” RAMIREZ (11-5, 5 KOs), of Mexico, on Aug. 30 at Mohegan Sun.
Six New Englanders are scheduled to provide support on the undercard, including 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champion “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (7-0, 3 KOs), of East Hartford (CT), in a six-round junior welterweight match against Mexican knockout artist JUAN de la cruz RODRIGUEZ (8-9-1, 6KOs). Laureano earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Manchester Community College.
Former University of New Haven basketball star, New London, CT undefeated heavyweight CASSIUS CHANEY (12-0, 6 KOs), meets ELDER “BARON” HERNANDEZ (5-2, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in a six-round bout. Chaney is coming off a vicious second round KO win at Madison Square Garden against Tim Washington.Chaney is promoted by Main Events.
New Haven, CT junior lightweight prospect WILLIAM FOSTER III (8-0, 6 KOs), a three-time N.E. Golden Gloves champion, puts his undefeated pro record on the line in a six-rounder versus TRYROME JONES (4-3-1, 1 KO). Foster is promoted by Murphy’s Boxing.
Exciting South Boston, MA junior welterweight, and Union Local 941 railroad laborer, JOE FARINA (2-0, 2 KOs) throws-down with STEVE MOORE (1-3, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight battle.
In a pair of six-round fights, Worcester, MA junior middleweight ANDY GONZALEZ (6-2, 5 KOs) has prepared to upset unbeaten WENDY “HAITIAN FIRE” TOUSSAINT (8-0, 2 KOs). Toussaint’s last three fights have ended via TKO, and the Long Island fighter plans on extending the streak to four,while Springfield, MA junior middleweight ANTHONY VELAZQUEZ (2-0, 2 KOs) will try to make an impression against ANTHONY WOODS (1-6-1).
Mayer, Conceicao, and Alvarado Headline Oklahoma City Card
Former WBO junior welterweight champion Mike Alvarado, female fighting sensation Mikaela Mayer, and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao will see action on the June 30 undercard at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The card will be headlined by WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez’s title defense against Alexis Angulo and 140-pound contender Alex Saucedo’s homecoming bout against the hard-hitting Lenny Zappavigna.
Alvarado (38-4, 26 KOs) will fight Martin Martinez (17-4-1-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout, Mayer (5-0, 3 KOs) will face fellow unbeaten Sheena Kaine (5-0, 1 KO) in a six-round lightweight contest, and Conceicao (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on Gavino Guaman (5-2, 1 KO) in an eight-round super featherweight bout.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship extravaganza are ON SALE NOW. Priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, not including facility and service fees, tickets may be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Ramirez-Angulo and Saucedo-Zappavigna will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET, while undercard action will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is 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.
“I’m really excited to be fighting alongside the champ, Zurdo Ramirez!” Mayer said. “Top Rank continues to put me on amazing cards with the best talent in boxing. Fighting in Oklahoma City is the perfect opportunity to meet more boxing fans and give them an exciting show as I continue my journey to a world championship!”
“I’ve been reconstructing my entire organization over the past three years. I am training now with one of the finest professors of the sweet science, Tony Aguilera,” Alvarado said. “I’m excited to showcase what I’ve stayed dedicated to working hard for. Come June 30, I’ll be one step closer to securing my legacy against anyone who stands in my way.”
“I am very confident of fighting in OKC. I’m having a great high-level training camp in Miami,” Conceicao said. “I’m evolving every day and I’m sure I will put on a great show for all the fans in OKC and those watching live on ESPN+.”
Also appearing on the undercard will be heavyweight knockout sensation Trey Lippe Morrison (14-0, 14 KOs) of Tulsa, Oklahoma; former amateur standout Chris Zavala making his professional debut in a four-round super featherweight bout against Tyler Pacheco (1-1, 0 KOs); Oklahoma City native Aaron Morales (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-round bantamweight contest; and unbeaten 140-pound prospect Julian Rodriguez (16-0, 10 KOs) against Alejandro Barbosa (11-2, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
Alvarado has turned his career and his life around since personal problems derailed his career, as he’s won four consecutive fights (three by knockout). In his last bout, he scored one of 2017’s best one-punch knockouts with a third-round KO over Sidney Siqueira on the Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo undercard in Lincoln, Nebraska. Alvarado has been involved in multiple ‘Fight of the Year’ candidates, including the first fight of his trilogy against Brandon Rios, which won Sports Illustrated ‘Fight of the Year’ honors in 2012. Alvarado lost that fight via seventh-round TKO, but less than six months later, he outboxed Rios to win a unanimous decision.
Mayer, who is making her third ring appearance of 2018, is on the fast track to a world title shot. In her last bout, May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card in New York City, she shut out the game Baby Nansen over six rounds. The Los Angeles native opened her 2018 campaign on March 10 in Carson, California, with a 35-second knockout over Maria Semertzoglou.
In 2016, Conceicao became the first Brazilian boxer to capture Olympic gold. He is 2-0 with a pair of decision wins in 2018, with his last bout coming April 28 in Philadelphia. On that evening, he shut out the game Alex Torres Rynn over six rounds.
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Released from Roc Nation Sports
Undefeated welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is now a promotional free agent after being granted his release from promoter Roc Nation Sports. The former USBA, WBC Continental Americas and WBC Youth Champion is eager to get back in the ring after a 22-month hiatus from the sport.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to get back into the ring and fulfill my goal of becoming a World Champion,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I am in the gym and I am working hard to get back to where I was two years ago.”
“I just want to fight at this point; it’s been way too long,” Hernandez-Harrison added.
Hernandez-Harrison sports a record of 30-0-1, with 16 knockouts and is huge draw in his native Washington, D.C.
“I would really like to have a few fights at home,” the Southeast D.C., native said. “I love fighting in D.C., and I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans again.”
That opportunity could come sooner rather than later if current plans come to fruition.
Sam Crossed Scores Devastating Knockout in Ring Return
Knockout artist Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed of Greenbelt, Maryland, was triumphant in his ring return following an 11-month hiatus. Crossed won in spectacular fashion knocking out his previously undefeated opponent, Josh Jones, just 23 seconds into the first round with a brutal overhand right. Crossed improves his perfect record to 7-0, with 5 knockouts. The bout took place this past Saturday June 16, 2018, at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland and was co-promoted by Jeter Promotions and GQ Promotions.
“It was a shot my trainer and I had been working on in the gym,” Crossed said. “This was the best camp I have had in my career and I felt more relaxed than ever before.”
Crossed should be back in action in August if things go as planned for the Washington, D.C., region fan favorite.
“It looks like we could have Sam back in the ring and possibly in a televised fight next time out if everything falls into place,” Crossed’s manager Mike Walters said. “He had a huge crowd for this fight and put on a hell of a performance for as long as it lasted.”
“The promoter (Jeter Promotions) was very happy with his performance and with the number of tickets he sold.”
Crossed has a rabid fan base in the Washington, D.C., region, which was evident on Saturday night as he received arguably the loudest cheers of any boxer on the card and by the number of fans in attendance wearing Vanilla Gorilla T-shirts. Dan Rafael of ESPN fame described the fighter as having a “cult like following” in an article he wrote in May 2016.
“I just want to get back in the ring as soon as possible,” Crossed said. “I feel like I have improved leaps and bounds since I made my debut and I am looking to step up in my next fight.”
“I want to fight as often as possible against better opposition every time out.”
Boxing Insider Interview with Mason Cartwright
By: Oliver McManus
Mason Cartwright is a man who shot to fame in the United Kingdom last month after his absolute tear up with Darren Tetley on the undercard of Lee Selby vs Josh Warrington; a performance of a warrior, many had Mason winning but a bruising, battering ninth round saw him stopped with his lip split in half and blood cascading across his face – in hospital he managed to meet Davina McCall (who, for the Americans, hosted the UK version of The Biggest Loser) but, don’t worry, the Chester-born boxer has set his sight on far loftier goals than that and he was good enough to speak to me last week;
I mean, first up, how’s the lip?
Yeah it’s good, it’s healing well, it’s not perfect but it’s getting there and it’s good.
It was quite a nasty injury to look at but, aside from that, was there any lasting damage?
No, well obviously, I haven’t sparred on it yet so I’m not too sure what it’s like to take a shot on it yet but I’ve been back in the gym since – went straight back – and I can still punch bags, do footwork but it’s just, obviously, no contact and I won’t have any contact on it for the next month or so. I’m giving it the time for it to really knit back together.
Like you say it’ll be a month until you get sparring, when realistically can we see you back in the ring?
I definitely want to be back out as soon as possible, everything kicks back off in October time so if I start a serious camp through September – I’m going to be in half-decent shape, anyway, I’ll be in the gym over summer – I want to be back out in October.
Would you be looking to go straight in with a big fight like the Tetley rematch or one fight to get everything out of your system?
I really wouldn’t mind – I want the rematch with Tetley and, as I’ve said, I’m staying in the gym so I’ll be sharp and if they offer me a warm up fight then I’ll take it because there’s no harm in getting in there and shaking the cobwebs off but, equally, if they offered me Tetley then I’d jump at the chance.
And the fight itself was really good – UNTIL it was stopped, how did you feel it was going?
I knew I was winning. I knew I was winning. Even after watching the fight again, I think the first four rounds I won easy – I give the fifth round to Tetley – the sixth round was quite even but the seventh round I had a massive round and I couldn’t miss him and then he couldn’t miss me in the eighth round! So that was a good round for him but I thought the ninth, up until the cut, I thought I got the best of those exchanges. I was confident, my corner was confident, we knew I was up and even in some of the rounds were he was throwing a fair few shots, none of them were landing, I was moving my head and they can’t award non-scoring shots, can they? I knew that, myself, I was winning.
He was your best opponent, do you find that better opponents make you perform better?
Yeah, definitely, I said this throughout the camp in interviews that Darren was adamant that he was the better boxer and I was just a brawler; the reason I have, maybe, brawled in previous fights, is because I didn’t have the calibre of opponent in front of me to make me box and I could just get away with getting stuck in there to dust them up. I knew I was having my own way but, like I said, I have some world class sparring – Jack Catterall, Liam Smith, and I can’t just spar really good opponents and have a tear up with them.
So I do practice and hone my boxing ability and, now, for those that didn’t know, I CAN box because I was out-boxing Tetley and keeping him on the end of my jab, not letting him in, using my feet.
I’m happy I was able to show people that.
Do you think he will want the rematch?
I hope that he is going to want it for himself because if I knew I was losing a fight but ended up getting the decision via an injury stoppage I think I would want to prove to myself that I could beat the person outright but, obviously, it’s a business and he’ll do whatever his team advise him to do. He’ll listen to his team and I, personally, think they’ll advise him not to take it; if I come back in another fight, with him, I’ll be better and I’ll be sharper. It’s the type of person I am.
You turned pro at 22 – it’s quite early – was that always the plan?
Yeah I wanted to be a boxer my whole life, even through the amateurs. I’ll be honest when I say I messed about a little bit through the amateurs when I was l between the ages of 13 and 16 – I was boxing because I loved boxing but I was still being a teenager at the time.
When I got to 17, 18, 19, I thought, “do you know what, I’m going to give this a good go because I wouldn’t mind doing it for the rest of my life”. At the age of 18 I had a torn labrum and I had an operation, two years out of the ring, I came back at 21 and wanted one more year before turning pro.
And in that time out was there ever a point where you thought about packing it all in?
… By that point I had already told myself that being a boxer is what I was going to do and I’m the sort of person that once I say something, I’m doing it and I’m doing it with every bit of ambition.
I’ve got a little bit of, like, OCD so when I’m doing something or I tell myself I’m going to do it then I do it properly. I can’t cut corners or anything like that, I can’t cheat, I have to do it so I’m fully committed and accomplished.
I’ve seen you say before that you want to win the British belt, is that still the immediate target?
Yeah, of course, I’d be sitting here lying if I said I didn’t want to win a world title but I’m realistic with my ambitions – the world title is the crème de la crème – and I’ll get there in time but I want to prove myself at British level first.
There’s some amazing domestic fights out there, Darren Tetely is only one of the options and you probably could have put the British title on that…
… or the English seeing as that was vacant…
And obviously there’s other class domestic fighters which will produce incredible fights so that’s what I’ll chase first of all, take it step by step, keep working hard and hopefully the dream of becoming world champion will come true.
In the last three and a half years, then, what is the most important thing that you have learnt about boxing and about yourself?
That I can overcome anything, mentally. I have the strongest mental power anyone has ever seen – and that’s according to over people. If I’m doing something, if I say I’m doing something then I don’t care how I’m getting there but I WILL get there. Any situation possible, I will do it.
Obviously as a boxer you need to be good but how important is it to be mentally strong, too?
Of course because at some point in every boxers career you will get hurt. You will get caught with a shot, whether it’s to the head, to the body, whether it’s a cut. You will get hurt but you can’t give up and we’ve seen many boxers, over the years, spew it and just pack it in.
I could name you 10 boxers who have done it in the last year – I’m not going to because I don’t want to slag anyone off – but I will never quit.
I will never, never, ever, ever quit.
Obviously you’re signed to Frank Warren, how big is it for you to be able to fight on TV shows?
Well I always do well on ticket sales – 200, 300 people always coming and that’s really good for me because it means vocal support and obviously boxing is about putting bums on seats and before the Tetley fight not many people had seen me, or knew about me, unless, of course, they had been to one of my shows but all them people who had gone to see me in a fight would message me saying how impressed they were and after this fight I’ve probably had about 2,000 people say on Twitter and everything that they enjoy my style and can’t wait to see me box again.
For me that’s humbling because that’s my goal, I want people to see me fight and think “wow, this guy can fight”. How people feel when they watched Miguel Cotto, inside fighters who get to work and always keep watching.
From a style point of view it is everything that fans want, does a set style add extra pressure?
I just go out and do my thing and if anything I perform even better under pressure because it adds the extra edge to me.
Looking at the 12-18 months, what can we expect? We looking at titles, building the profile?
Either, or. I’ve got no set plan, I’ll just take down what’s in front of me. If I got offered the British title I’d take it, if I got offered the Tetley rematch I’d take it. There isn’t anyone I wouldn’t fight, I’m not here to avoid people, I want to test myself and show everyone how good I am.
When people here my name I want them to say, “yes, he’s a guy to watch”.
If Terrence Crawford rang you up later today and offered the fight, would you take it?
If the money was right, yes. If the money was right.
Boxing Insider Interview with Jumaane Camero
By: Oliver McManus
Jumaane Camero is a guy who despite being Southern Area champion has seemed to fly under the radar within the boxing community and he himself says he is “a pretty boring character” but, trust me, he isn’t – he’s an absolute gem of a human being.
He was meant to fight on June 9th against Michael Devine in an English title eliminator, this was then pushed back a week so it could appear on Dave (UK TV) as part of Haymaker’s Joe Joyce card – unfortunately a week beforehand and a week after this interview, Devine wasn’t allowed to fight by the BBBofC due to issues with his medical.
Thankfully we didn’t devote too much time to that fight so I’ve only had to edit out one question but as you can see from the first thing we talk about, Camero knows the difficulties of finding an opponent all too well;
This (the fight) was doubling up as a Southern Area defence as well as an eliminator for the English title, has it been hard to find opponents that want to get in the ring with you?
It has been a nightmare! I won it in July 2017 and only now, almost a year later, I’m defending it. I had multiple fights fall through near the end of 2017. No mandatory defences were called and I was deemed too inexperienced to fight for an English. I was literally just waiting for something to pop up. But like they say it’s better late than never! Let’s hope he doesn’t now pull out!
I feel that people felt I was too much of an unknown quantity to risk a fight with me this early. It’s not important to me however, because I have what I want now, progressing towards a British Title.
That English belt is held by Myron Mills, belt aside, is that a fight that you’re interested in?
Myron Mills seems to really be proving himself, that is definitely a fight I would look forward to having and I believe a fight which British fighters need in order to move to the next level.
I truly think it would be very competitive and it would initiate improvement for us both to move onwards to better opportunities. This progress would start once the fight is made as we would train harder than before to come out on top and that’s the pressure you need in each camp. Pressure creates diamonds!
If we go back to your fight with Freddy Kiwitt in February, he himself was a late replacement for John O’Donnell and then you were the replacement opponent for Kiwitt – what goes through your mind when you take a fight on short notice?
It was quite funny, the moment I got a call I was with my nieces stuffing my face with pizza so the only thought going through my head was ‘I wonder how much I weigh right now’.
The call came the day before weigh so there wasn’t really any time to think about anything even if I wanted to. It was a good to get experience being under the lights of a show such as Hayemaker.
Looking back, you narrowly lost, do you regret taking that fight?
My last two fights have been nothing but fillers until I could finally get a southern area defence or push on to challenge for an English. The risk-reward of the Kiwitt fight meant if I won the board would have to put me towards an English title fight sooner. Losing meant nothing, I kept my area title and got decent exposure.
People still can’t believe I make lightweight or think I struggle to make it. I personally don’t actually know how I do it other than being very strict. It’s hard to stay disciplined but the weight itself is never a struggle.
And people often say you learn the most from your losses, have you found that to be true?
It is really hard to say but I feel I learned very little from that fight if I am honest. In order to learn you need to be drilling something to a point where you can use it in an active environment.
Knowing where you deviated and why and working on those areas so you can execute how and when you want. If I was hitting a hundred tennis forehands but didn’t see where they landed you can’t hope for it to improve because the stroke you’re repeating could be going out or into the net, this ignorance leads to zero improvements
I didn’t perform great but fortunately he had no idea how to deal with my style so I got away it (haha).
For you then what’s been your best performance as a pro – would you say the fight against Birmingham?
I would actually say my best performance came four weeks prior to the Birmingham fight. It was meant to be an 8 round British challenge belt but last minute the fight fell through and I got a well-seasoned journeyman to do 8 rounds with. I structurally felt good landing with a plethora of shots and kept as elusive as possible. It just felt like a performance where things were coming together.
You are still only 23, how long can we expect to see you around in the boxing scene for?
Thanks for reminding me my best years are behind me.
Nah just kidding!! But truthfully, not long at all, I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long already. I really don’t want to overstay my time in boxing which is a reason I’m pushing for fights earlier than you may expect from a person of my age but more importantly my experience.
That fight on the 15th was on the undercard to a Joe Joyce fight, what have you made of him so far?
He seems to completely decimate anyone in front of him. You can’t do anything but give him props whether you like his style or not. I love his punch output, SO many heavy hard punches.
If I had any criticism it would be that he seems very slow, especially considering he can perform such great athletic feats. You’d think he’d be more explosive. But what he’s doing works and people cannot live with it so why change it?
Because it’s not aesthetically pleasing?
Depends what his goals are and I think it’s to grab as many titles as he can, not to crowd please. Plus it’s exciting enough that he’s stopping all his opponents.
I do want to ask about referees, when you find out the referee is there anything you look to adjust in your game plan? Because obviously some referees are more eager to break up action than others?
This is a great question, everyone knows how opinionated boxing can be and also why there are such deviations on some fights.
When I go into a fight usually I will have a few different styles and game plans, each depending on what the opponent gives me and also how the ref reacts. I wouldn’t say I solely change my game plan if I know a certain ref is there but I do have to be versatile enough to see when something else will be more effective.
In my division if a referee was break us early it would probably favour me because of my freakishly long limbs and height.
That’s the boxing questions over with then mate but I was shocked to hear you say you’re a boring person so I’ve got a couple of quick-fire questions – what do you do in your spare time?
You will either find me eating more than I should be able to consume, sleeping, reading or traveling.
I have spurts where I get really into a game on PS4 but a lot of the time my patience doesn’t make it past the update screen.
I do like to write down things I’ve never experienced and attempt to work towards making time to learn a skill to allow me to achieve it.
This is truly dependent on how I feel at any given moment. I am really into soulful house, I can listen to it in most moods.
But I could start my day listening to heavy EDM and end it with obscure classical music.
Favourite type of doughnut?
Be right Bake donuts, I can change the filling to match my desires and there donuts themselves are so delicious. I always have a pack after I fight.
Give them a follow on social media!
Instagram :- @berightbake
Facebook :- be right bake
Last film you watched?
Pirates of the Caribbean, my friend and I had the theme tune stuck in our head after listening to a street concert orchestra play it. So we decided to watch one of the films – easily influenced!
And there we are then Jumaane, thanks for taking the time out to speak to us mate!
That was Jumaane Camero, Southern Area lightweight title holder, 6 and 2 as a professional boxer looking to make a big statement in a short amount of time – his attitude is right, the talent is there and, by all accounts, he is one of the nicest men in boxing; keep an eye out!
Boxing Insider Notebook: Trout, Shields, Lee, Hammer, Fury, Smith, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 29th to June 5th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Austin Trout Twitter Account/Chris Farina
Austin Trout Training Camp Notes
Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs), the former super welterweight world champion, is headed to Los Angeles today to meet current WBC Super Welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo inside the ring this Saturday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT and is headlined by the featherweight world championship rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares.
In Trout’s words, this fight is finishing the mission. Spiritually centered and in his prime physical condition, it is, in his own words, his time.
“People are underestimating me and overlooking me,” said Trout. “I earned and continue to earn respect in this sport and my competition can choose to ignore it or acknowledge it. I’ve beaten champions and taken titles. I’ve lost in controversial decisions to champions like Canelo. This is my time. Don’t underestimate the power I bring to boxing as well as the international competitors I’ve already stepped into the ring against and beaten.”
After his October fight against Jarrett Hurd and February’s unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel, this WBC title bout, in Trout’s words, is the fight that no one saw coming.
“The Hurd fight was the danger fight,” he said of his October 2017 match. “It was part of the process of knocking out the ring rust, and De Angel was part of that as well. Everything I do or don’t do is circumstantial. Because of the layoffs, it’s been challenging; now I’m back on track timing wise and I plan on changing boxing’s plans for me. I’m not sitting back and waiting.
“I started boxing as a kid to stand up for people that were being disrespected, and as an adult I continue to do that in the ring.”
A long time top ten and former #2 in the 154-pound division by Ring magazine, Trout will be once against be working with D.C. based world champion trainer Barry Hunter, to whom his longtime cornerman, Louie Burke, worked as an assistant.
“We are calling this fight ‘finishing the mission.’ I’m squarely in a dangerous division that’s full of talent. It’s one of the top divisions in my opinion. Everyone’s a killer including myself. It has the perfect balance of speed and power. This is where I excel, plus I have the brain.”
Showtime to Live Stream Tyson Fury Return
SHOWTIME Sports has secured the U.S. rights to stream the long-awaited return of former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who will face Sefer Seferi in a 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday, June 9 from Manchester Arena. SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® will stream live exclusively to U.S. audiences on the SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.
In the opening bout, local hero Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KO’s) will look to become a two-division world champion when he clashes with unbeaten American Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KO’s) for the vacant WBO Junior Welterweight crown. This will be the fourth live streaming boxing event this year on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms.
Live coverage for the Frank Warren promoted event will be provided by BT Sport and BoxNation with U.K. sportscasters John Rawling providing the blow-by-blow and Richie Woodhall the analysis. Boxing broadcaster Ray Flores and analyst Chris Mannix will deliver pre-fight and post-fight analysis from Staples Center in Los Angeles for the SHOWTIME Sports audience.
The live stream of Fury vs. Seferi will precede that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader that features WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in a rematch against fellow three-division world champion Abner Mares live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed in the West Coast) from Staples Center. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo will face Austin Trout for the WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), a former WBA, WBO and IBF Heavyweight World Champion will end a two-years-and-seven-months exile from the sport on June 9. Fury has been inactive since outpointing Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf in November 2015 due to an injury, personal problems and a doping ban.
“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been,” said Fury, who has teamed up with new trainer Ben Davison. “Timing, reflexes, everything is better than it’s ever been. I kid you not. I’m 29 years old, coming into the prime of my life, I’m stronger and faster, holding more muscle mass than ever. I’m more confident looking at the competition.”
Albania’s Seferi (23-1, 21 KOs) is a 39-year-old Switzerland-based cruiserweight who is stepping up in weight and opposition when he faces the 6-foot-9 Fury. Seferi’s sole loss came in 2016 in a heavyweight bout against now-secondary WBA heavyweight champ Manuel Charr.
“This is going to be a hard fight for Fury,” said Seferi. “Two-and-a-half years out of the ring is a long time and nobody knows if he is still the same fighter that dethroned Wladimir Klitschko.”
Flanagan, the first Englishman to earn a lightweight world title, will seek to capture a title in a second weight class just days away from his 29th birthday. Hooker, a southpaw from Dallas, Texas and ShoBox alum, has been training with Terence Crawford. Hooker will look to follow in the footsteps of fellow Dallas resident Errol Spence Jr., who went to Kell Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England to capture his first world championship.
Christina Hammer vs. Tori Nelson Added to June 22nd Claressa Shields Card
The women’s middleweight world championship between unified WBC and WBO titlist Christina Hammer and former world champion Tori Nelson has been added to the June 22 SHOWTIME telecast from Masonic Temple in Detroit.
In the main event, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified 168-pound champion Claressa Shields will attempt to become a two-division champion when she faces unified 154-pound titleholder Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships.
With the addition of Hammer vs. Nelson to the June 22 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) telecast, all four women’s middleweight world titles will be at stake in separate bouts featuring two of the consensus top 10 pound-for-pound women in the world.
The winners of Shields vs. Gabriels and Hammer vs. Nelson will meet this fall on SHOWTIME to determine the undisputed women’s middleweight world champion.
Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs), of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division for nearly eight years, losing just a handful of rounds in her reign as champion at 160 pounds. The 27-year-old, who will make her U.S. debut on June 22, won the WBO title in 2010 then became unified champion in 2016 with a win over defending WBC champion Kali Reis.
Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) won a middleweight world championship in 2011 and owns wins over previously unbeaten Alicia Napoleon, Mia St. John, and Reis, who recently floored women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus. The native of Ashburn, Va., suffered her first loss in a spirited decision to Shields this January on SHOWTIME in what was the toughest test of Shields’ young career.
“Now that I’m added to the TV portion of the card it gives me even more motivation to prove to the U.S. audience that I’m the best female fighter in the world,” Hammer said. “My plan is to do something that Claressa Shields couldn’t do – knock out Tori Nelson. Once I take care of business with Nelson, my goal is to fight the winner of Shields vs. Gabriels to become the undisputed women’s middleweight world champion.”
“Christina Hammer can’t bring anything I haven’t seen before,” Nelson said. “I’ve beaten Kali Reis, Mia St. John, Alicia Napoleon. I went the distance with Claressa Shields and I plan on beating Hammer on June 22 to earn my shot at revenge against Shields. This is my chance and I don’t plan to let it slip away.”
“Adding Hammer vs. Nelson to the card was the right move as we collectively work to elevate the status of women’s boxing at the highest level,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “The June 22 telecast now features two of the best pound-for-pound female fighters – Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer – in what will be our eighth presentation of women’s boxing since 2016. All four of the world titles in the women’s middleweight division are at stake on June 22 with the goal of the winners meeting this fall to determine an undisputed middleweight champion.”
“I am honored to promote this historic night of boxing on SHOWTIME in the championship city of Detroit,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “I believe these fights are in line with the best and most competitive matchups in the history of women’s boxing. All four of these fighters are coming from different parts of the globe to win a world title and show they are the best. It will be an exciting and explosive night of boxing from beginning to end for the fans attending the fight at the Detroit Masonic Temple and for those watching the fight live on SHOWTIME.”
Joe Smith Jr. to Face Melvin Russell on June 30th
JOE SMITH JR. (23-2 18KO’s) makes his much anticipated return to the ring on June 30th at Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, Connecticut. STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” is set to be one of boxing’s best cards thus far in 2018.
Already announced as the co-feature bout, highlights Rhode Island Native American warrior, KALI REIS (13-7-1 4KO’s) pitted against Hungarian , SZLIVIA SZABADOS (17-11 8KO’s). Kali is coming off of a historic power punching performance against undisputed champion Cecilia Braekhus, in the first female bout featured on HBO. Kali thrilled fans around the world in that fight, and promises the same action at Mohegan Sun on June 30th.
As a union laborer for Local 66 on Long Island, JOE SMITH JR. earned the title of the peoples champion when he burst onto the boxing scene in 2016. Working with a sledgehammer by day, and training by night, Smith Jr. defines hard work and determination.
The rise of Smith Jr. began when he took on, top rated light heavyweight, ANDRZEJ FONFARA on NBC in Chicago. As a 20-1 underdog, Smith Jr. destroyed Fonfara in the first round, knocking down the mighty Pole twice, before the referee called a stop to the onslaught. Later that year, Smith Jr. knocked legend, BERNARD HOPKINS on HBO, clear out of the ring, becoming the first person to ever KO the former multi-division world champion.
In the main event of Star Boxing’s “SLUGFEST at the SUN,” “THE BEAST” JOE SMITH JR. will be facing Kentucky’s MELVIN RUSSELL (11-4-2 7KO’S). The tough Kentuckian, who goes by the moniker “The Romantic Redneck,” has been in all out brawls with undefeated prospect Mike Wilson (then, 17-0 8KO’s) and world-title challenger Edwin Rodriguez (then, 28-2 20KO’s). Russell has proven the ability to go deep into fights, while still using a come forward offense. Fighting behind his jab, Russell will look to keep his distance from “THE BEAST” Joe Smith Jr., attempting to avoid his devastating power.
Smith Jr. returns to the ring after an eleven month layoff due to a broken jaw suffered in the second-round of his HBO fight against Sullivan Barrera last July. Smith Jr. said this about his June 30th return, “I am as confident and stronger than ever. I am ready to reclaim my position as one of the best light heavyweights in the world. Thank you all for the love and support over the past few years. I am ready to show the boxing world why I am the beast from the east.”
Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA, had this to say about June 30th, “Everyone in boxing has been anticipating the return of the “Common Man,” Joe Smith Jr.. He truly became the champion of the people, and is ready to get back in the ring on June 30th, to reclaim his position on top of the light heavyweight division.”
Mike Lee Inching Closer to Title Shot
There might not be a more well-rounded fighter on the planet.
Mike Lee (20-0, 11 KOs), who takes on Jose Hernandez (19-3-1, 9 KOs) this Friday night for the WBO Junior World Light Heavyweight World Title at The Allstate Arena in Chicago, brings all the intangibles that one would want in a professional athlete.
The card will be broadcast live on CBS Spots Network (9 PM ET) with an all-star announce team of International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins and renowned Teddy Atlas.
Lee has not taken the route that most fighters take to get to the door of competing for a world title.
There isn’t the big name promoter. In fact there is no promoter at all. In a day when most fighters are afraid to test themselves, Lee’s last five opponents (Including Hernandez) have a combined record of 78-10-5.
Does Lee, take a vacation or just relax between fight? No he doesn’t, you have just as much chance to see Lee talking to major corporations or being a national spokesperson for a major company as you do as seeing him raising money for cancer stricken children.
Lee also brings a heart and determination into the ring as he battled and overcame autoimmune disease.
“Training camp in Los Angeles has been great. We had a good camp, I am 20-0 for a reason,” said Lee.
“I am not looking past Hernandez, but my dream is to win a a world championship one day. June 8th is a step towards that. I have everything in my body and mind towards that, and when I am determined, I am very difficult to beat.”
When Lee talks about what motivated to speak to companies around the country, it was that illness that almost derailed his career that came to mind.
“My career was almost taken away with autoimmune disease, and I wanted to tell my story. I have been lucky to speak to people and give techniques of visualization and mindset.”
“I am excited to fight in my hometown with a great crowd. I love fighting in a bigger venue which is a phenomenal arena. I have waited for this moment, and I can’t wait for Friday night.”
When WBO number-3 ranked light heavyweight contender Mike Lee (20-0, 11 KOs) takes on Jose Hernandez (19-3-1, 9 KOs) this Friday night at The Allstate Arena in Chicago. The card will be broadcast live on CBS Spots Network (9 PM ET) with an all-star announce team of International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins and renowned Teddy Atlas.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hammer, Shields, De La Hoya, Hall of Fame, Young, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Luis Arevalo Jr./Westside Boxing
Diego De La Hoya and Mercito Gesta Workout Quotes
Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico hosted a media workout today at Wild Card Boxing Club ahead of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. De La Hoya will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round main event.
DIEGO DE LA HOYA, NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion:
“This is going to be a tough fight. Salgado has the record of a knockout artist. But that doesn’t intimidate me. I’m going do a good job and show that I’m back. I’m going to show that I’m ready for a world title shot. He’s been saying a few things about me, but he just wants me to lose my focus. He can talk all he wants, but I’ll do my talking in the ring. All I have to say is that I’m going to give a great fight. Winning this fight, I want to face any champion who will give me the opportunity. But they just have to know what they will lose their title fighting me.”
MERCITO “NO MERCY” GESTA, Former Lightweight Title Challenger:
“I feel excited for every fight. It’s another great event. Every event that I fight I treat as something special. Manzanarez is tough, but I’ll need to figure him out in the ring. Based on the videos, it’s tough to get on the inside because he’s tall, long and knows how to use that as advantages.”
“I learned from my world title fight. It boosted my confidence because I did so well against a great fighter. Every opponent is different and has different styles. I can’t look down on this guy. He’s not a stepping stone, and I will treat him as a world champion. I see myself fighting for a world title again soon. I still feel strong and ready. I still have a long way left in my career. I want any champion in the division. I’m always ready to take a fight.”
Anthony “Juice” Young Signs with Real Deal Entertainment
Boxing manager Rich Masini announced that welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young has signed a promotional contract with Real Deal Entertainment.
Young (18-2, 6 KOs) of Atlantic City will make his debut under the Real Deal Entertainment banner when he takes on this Saturday night when he takes on Enver Halili (10-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout at Boardwalk Hall in his hometown of Atlantic City.
“I am happy to join Real Deal Boxing. They are an up-and-coming promotion,” said Young.
In Halili, Young will be fighting the brother of a former opponent who defeated Young for one of his two defeats.
“I expect a tough fight. I saw his fight against Raymond Serrano, and I think he was winning until he got disqualified. I expect to get the victory.. At the end of the day, he is not his brother Skender. When his brother beat me, it was just a little setback.”
The Atlantic City native is honored and motivated to be performing on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.
“It is special to fight at Boardwalk Hall. I am now at the point of my career, that I am set on bigger fights, and it is an honor to fight on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. It motivates me as I want to be be inducted when my career is over.”
Masini, who has managed Young for the last six-years, is excited at the new partnership that he has for his fighter.
“I have seen “Juice” Improve greatly over his last seven fights. It is Anthony’s commitment and his team led by trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas that have done a great job with his preperation,” said Masini. “In addition, Anthony’s dad, Teany has helped me in the management end of things. I am very proud of him. He has matured inside and outside of the ring.”
“I am looking forward to working with Real Deal Entertainment. Sal Musumeci has been a long time friend, and this is the final piece of the puzzle in-terms of completing the team around Anthony. The reason that I am in this business is because of people like Anthony. He is loyal, dedicated, and now has all of the pieces to become world champion. We have tried to keep him busy, but in the last eight-months, we have had some fights fall out, but we are back on Saturday against Enver Halili. “Juice” will be ready to show all that he is on the rise.”
Ballard vs. Idigov Added to Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Gabriels Card
The Salita Promotions professional boxing event on Friday, June 22, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, is heating up even more with the announcement of an intriguing match-up of promising light heavyweight prospects with local ties.
In a fight with explosive action written all over it, Detroit’s own James “The Equalizer” Ballard (10-1, 3 KOs) will face undefeated Aslambek Idigov (12-0, 5 KOs), from Detroit via Grozny, Russia, over 10 exciting rounds.
Fighting mostly in his home city, the 28-year-old Ballard has become a fan favorite for his fearlessly aggressive style. Ballard says he refuses to lose on his home turf of Detroit.
“Expect a war,” said Ballard. “I will go out there and give the fans what they want by going toe-to-toe. I am coming for Idigov’s O. I’m not going to be out-boxed in my hometown. It’s a respect thing. It’s going to be a long night for him. We are training hard and ready to go hard every round if it takes that long. June 22 can’t get here soon enough. I’m more than ready to send Russia back home.”
A compact puncher with pinpoint accuracy, Idigov has fan favorite written all over his muscular frame. Since he began training in Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym, Idigov says he’s learning to fight the American way.
“Training at the Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit has been a great experience for me and I learn a lot and get better every day. I love their philosophy that the best win is a knockout!”
James Ballard is a very good fighter. I have no problem fighting him and winning in his hometown, which is becoming my second home as well. Let’s get it on!”
“This is a classic, crossroads fight between two talented and hungry prospects,” said event promoter Dmitriy Salita. “This is a ‘pick em’ type of match that will bring excitement to fans in the championship City of Detroit!”
The skillful pair will duel as part of the untelevised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.
The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.
Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend to Feature Mazion vs. Pauldo on ESPN
Travell “Black Magic” Mazion(12-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas will put his undefeated record on the line against once-beaten Daquan Pauldo(17-1, 9 KOs) of Orlando, Florida in an eight-round super welterweight fight in the co-main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. In the main event, Diego De La Hoya(20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado(35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round fight.
ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Mazion has the tools and the team that are guaranteed take him to the top, especially since he is trained Ozell Nelson. Nelson is known for training former undisputed middleweight championand Olympic Bronze Medalist Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, who in his prime ended Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins’12-year reign as world champion. Mazion has been touted to have all the skills that Taylor had bad more, reflected partly by his 90% knockout rate.
“I have the team and the skills, both of which will do all the talking,” said Travell Maizon. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the co-main event for such a legendary weekend, especially because I’ve got a legendary coach behind me. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Representing Orlando, Fl., Daquan Pauldo, formerly known as Daquan Arnett, only has one-blemish on his record. Pauldo has come back with six impressive victories since.
“I’ll make sure that people haven’t forgotten about me,” said Daquan Pauldo. “I wanted to be more active this year. I’ve been training harder at my original weight class, and I will come into the ring on ESPN showing that I’m someone you should look out for. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team for this opportunity. I’m ready.”
The event will take place during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where legendary fighters such as “Dr. Ironfist” Vitali Klitschko, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, and Ronald “Winky” Wright will be inducted, along with important figures in the sport of boxing such as Peter Kohl, Steve Albert, Jim Gray and Lorraine Chargin.
Super lightweight prospect Daniel Zorrilla (6-0, 5 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto will participate in the night’s swing bout, which is schedule for four or six rounds against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
Participating in a four-round super lightweight fight, Dallas, Tex.’s Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) against Agua Prieta, Mex.’s Engelberto Valenzuela (11-13, 3 KOs). Rincon, whose fights have all ended in a knockout, will seek to maintain his unblemished knockout record.
Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, Il. will participate in a six-round super lightweight fight. The “Bossman” fought at the 2012 Olympic Trials, losing to eventual representative Jose Ramirez by one point.
In a four-round heavyweight fight, Syracuse, New York’s Luis Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) will return to Turning Stone Resort Casino after ending his previous fight in a clear unanimous decision victory. Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO), who also represents Syracuse, will open up the card in a four-round cruiserweight battle and will return after a technical knockout victory earlier in May.
De La Hoya vs. Salgado is a 10-round super bantamweight fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin & Paco Presents.The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend is packed with a series of events starting Thursday, June 7 until the induction ceremony on Sunday, June 10. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with the opening bell ringing and ringside lectures on the museum grounds. Friday, June 8 will feature another series of lectures preceding the celebrity fist casting, followed by the highly anticipated Fight Night, broadcasted live from Turning Stone. Saturday, June 9 will showcase a golf tournament, a 5K race, another series of lectures, a boxing autograph card show, a VIP “Gala” and the Banquet of Champions at 8:00p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Parade of Champions and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 2:30p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.
Host of the June 8 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 26th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.
Christina Hammer Training Camp Notes
Unified Women’s WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer has taken to the mountains of Austria for this leg of her intense training camp.
Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) will make her U.S. fighting debut while defending her titles against former world champion Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, June 22. The bout will serve as a supporting bout to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified women’s super-middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ attempt to become a two-division world champion against unified women’s 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels at Masonic Temple in Detroit, Mich.
Shields vs Gabriels will be contested for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships and telecast on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME. Extensive highlights of Hammer vs. Nelson will also be shown.
Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division since 2010. The 27-year-old says training at elevation in the mountains of Austria is bringing the best out of her.
How has training camp gone so far?
“My camp has gone well. We train three times a day and work hard to be in the best shape possible on June 22 in Detroit.”
Can you tell us about your current training location?
“We are in Austria, staying at a place in the mountains that is about 5000-feet elevation. It’s amazing here. The nature and the mountains inspire me and give me power. It’s very comfortable to do my roadwork and go to the boxing gym because everything is situated in a comfortable way.”
What is a typical day like at training camp?
“We’ve been in Austria for the last 10 days. At 7:30 am, we start the first interval runs. At 9 am, I have breakfast and at 11 am, we go up to the mountains to our gym (which is at 6500 feet high) to do my strength and conditioning work. Later, in the afternoon, we start our boxing work. The nature and beautiful surroundings give me peace of mind.”
How and why is your training camp built into different stages?
“The mountains are perfect to prepare for the fight. You are away from your hometown stay more focused on training. The air is thin and this high level of elevation gives your body a higher level of conditioning. On June 10, we will move on to our next stage of training, which will take place in the United States. That will be to help acclimate me to the new time and climate for fight night on June 22, which is when I will put all of this hard work together and have it pay off in a big way.”
Who is your head trainer?
“My coach is Dimitrie Kirnos. I started my professional career with him. He himself was Soviet Union Boxing Champion and trained many top champions. He is old school and pushes my mind and body to the limit. He is a big part of my team we have a great bond. I have much respect and admiration for him.”
Have you done anything different preparing for this fight?
“I spar with lots of shorter fighters, like Tori Nelson. I guarantee that it will be much more explosive and impressive than Claressa Shields was against her.”
American fans love knockouts. Can they expect a Christina Hammer KO on June 22?
“That’s why I train hard and give everything in the gym. I want to be amazing that night and a knockout would be a perfect ending.”
What is your prediction for June 22?
“I will show my power and skills. People will see who the real unified Middleweight Champion of the world is. My performance will speak for itself!”
Boxing Insider Interview with Michael Conlan: Ready for Belfast
By: Oliver McManus
Michael Conlan is seldom a man who needs introducing, a living legend in his home city of Belfast quickly building his legacy stateside but for the prodigious professional his fight on the 30th June will mark his first fight back home since 2010, when he was at the start of his star-studded amateur career.
Bronze at London 2012, Gold at the World, European and Commonwealth Championships saw him enter the Rio games as one of the most successful amateur fighters ever to herald from Ireland and favourite for the title. A well-documented, and controversial, Vladimir Nikitin resulted in Conlan walking away from the amateur sport.
Photo Credit: Michael Conlan Twitter Account
His fire and hunger for success was galvanized and transitioned into the paid ranks where, promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank, the Conlan world tour has only just begun; New York, Chicago, Brisbane, Arizona, Belfast, already ticked off the list.
Seven fights, seven opponents conquered, sharing the bill with Lomachenko, Linares and Pacquaio serves as a taste for the big fight atmosphere that Michael admits he is still to get used to – his fourth headlining show on June 30th, in front of that fabled Irish crowd, should see him settle into the spotlight.
Ireland awaits, the world awaits.
We’re just over a month away from your first professional fight in the UK, in Belfast no less, how are you feeling?
I’m really looking forward to it, you know, it’s a huge thing for me, a huge achievement in my career. For me to come home and fight in Belfast is something special, it’s something I’ve dreamed of all my life as a fighter, as a boxer. Especially as a professional I think it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, to fight in the Odyssey – sorry, SSE now – and it’s the first time I’ll be boxing at home since 2010 and I’m main eventing in the SSE Arena.
It’s really special and I’m really looking forward to it.
Are there any extra nerves because it is your first fight home in so long or is it just a case of getting the job done?
No I don’t think so, I honestly don’t, I feel the fact that I’ve headlined MSG twice now and then I’ve competed on such big cards, you know, Lomachenko-Linares, Pacquiao and I’ve had major billing on those cards. I think the atmosphere that’ll be generated in the Garden on St Patrick’s Day had prepared me for what to expect.
Maybe not so much as it’s only 5,000 at the theatre but it’s the same compact, crazy atmosphere we’re expecting in Belfast. That’s definitely stood me in good stead.
It will be your fourth headlining fight from eight bouts, have you got used to that yet?
No I still get excited, I don’t think anyone ever gets used to it unless you’re like a twenty world title veteran fight, then you can get used to it, but I feel that, for me, it’s still very fresh. Especially now it’s in Belfast, it’s even more exciting for me but I definitely find that I am getting comfortable with the situation more now and I think that’s the main thing, being comfortable in those situations and being able to put in performances and not letting the nerves affect your performance.
You’re fighting a former world title challenger, what sort of a fight are you expecting?
He’s kind of more a gate-keeper type fighter now, I’d say, and I expect him to come trying to win, he’s got good power and he’s dangerous but he’s been beaten in the past and he knows what the feels like. I think he’ll be expecting to feel it again but he’ll put it on me and try and take it away from me because he may see this as his platform to get back into the mix and I’m not saying he’s a warrior but I am expecting a tough test from him because after all this is my eight fight and it is a good step up from my recent opposition.
So I am expecting a tough fight and an early on acid test to see where I’m at now and that’s what it is because there’s an awful lot riding on this – it is a test, it’s in Belfast and if it all goes wrong, it all goes wrong. I am prepared, I’m not underestimating anybody and I know he’s a tough guy who comes in and fights to win. He’s got power so I am very aware of that.
And I ask that because some of your opponents have been quite negative in their style, does it frustrate you when you can’t showcase your ability because of the way they’ve came to fight?
Oliver, you know, this is something that really annoys me but at the end of the day I can’t complain because I’ve watched these guys pre-fight and I’m going “okay this guy is going to give me a test” and against other opposition he’s going forward, he’s trying to win the fight and they’re doing a job, winning fights and they actually look like they’re game and ready to go but then when these guys have stepped in the ring they’ve kind of shied away, they’ve got too nervous, the atmosphere has maybe tripped them up and I think that’s what has happened so far.
The last guy (Ibon Larrinaga) was a former WBC Mediterranean Champion and I watched his previous clips and he always came to win and then you’ve got that David Berna guy, 14 wins 13 knockouts something like that with two losses and he’s the only that came to win. He tried a little bit, I caught him with a body shot and that was it but everybody else they just seem to be taken away by the occasion.
At the same time I can’t complain because not everybody is going to be like that, a lot of people will be tougher and harder.
In terms of your development I’m assuming you’d rather have people who come and try and beat you as opposed to people who just tuck up and let you work around them?
Yeah, yeah, definitely, I like to describe myself as a trading puncher but a boxed fighter, almost, I can do the go forward stuff but it’s not my strongest point so I like to be in the pocket but at the same time counter punching so that would be how I like it – if someone was trying to connect then I’d make them pay and even then you can tee off and it’s always a very eventful style, I feel.
And what I have been doing is going Mexican-style sometimes on people and that’s not my kind of fight.
I want to talk about the undercard for June 30th – all 50-50 fights – what does it mean to you when you look at the card and it’s so solid?
It’s brilliant, I’m really happy about it and it was one of the main things we spoke about when we talked about having me come back because I don’t want to be part of shows, even if I am the main event, where it’s just about me. I want everybody to play their part and to have a solid card, I don’t want it to just be a great main event, I want it to be a great night in general and the whole card is really solid, I’m really happy to be a part of it.
Is there any particular fight that stands out, for you?
They all do! It is very tough to pick and I honestly can’t really pick between them because I’m really interested to see how Sutcliffe-McKenna goes, I WANT to see Jono Carroll vs Declan Geraghty again because there is so much bad blood between them it’s unbelievable.
Then even Tyrone McCullagh vs Joe Ham, that’s two undefeated prospects who are probably a bit further on in their career in terms of development and they’ve had more fight, they’re facing each other and someone’s 0 will go so that’s another fight I’d like to watch.
You are signed up with Bob Arum and Top Rank but we’ve seen Frank Warren and Top Rank sign an agreement for “enhanced partnership”, does that realistically mean we can see you in Ireland and the UK more often or is you career still mainly in America?
I think most of my career will still be in America but hopefully there’ll be some more, I always said I was going to box in Ireland at least once a year and that was what I wanted to negotiate before I became professional and signed with Top Rank and we got that sorted, I’m really happy with that and hopefully with Frank Warren and Top Rank coming to an agreement we can have me fight at home more or even elsewhere in the UK or Ireland – it’s definitely something that I would love to do and be interested in doing because I know Top Rank don’t just want me to be America based or just Ireland based, they want me worldwide and it shows already in where they’ve put me.
They’ve put me in Arizona, New York, Australia, Ireland now and it’s growing and growing and growing and hopefully we can keep it going like this.
How quickly are we looking at getting you to that world level, that world title shot?
I’m thinking towards the end of next year, the end of 2019 and that’s what I kind of said when I turned professional that 2019 would be the year that I’m going to be world champion or there or thereabouts so I think this year is definitely an important year with the level of opposition that I face and next year is the crucial year, I will do a lot next year and it just depends on how I develop through the next year but if everything goes to plan, I believe I will be world champion next year.
You’re still only 26, you’re still young, are we going to see you move up or down the weights as you get older and see a multi-weight champion or are you fully committed to feather?
At the minute I’m committed to featherweight but yes, I will be a multi-weight world champion, that’s always been my aim even before I turned professional – I’m not going to move down any weights because I tried super-bantamweight but I quickly gave that up. You know I’m a big featherweight and I get in the ring at 142(lbs), 143 so I’m really happy with that because I believe I am big enough to move up to super-featherweight and even lightweight.
For you what has been your best professional performance to date?
Best professional performance? When I think about learning and what I’ve done as a whole maybe the last one because the guy gave me rounds and I was able to work off him and do things that I’d practised. Maybe I didn’t look my best but it was the little things that I developed when I was in the ring and it was probably MY best performance so far based on learning that night and I probably learnt more than I did in the rest of them.
On performances maybe St Patrick’s Day this year (Berna) when I took the guy out with the body shot, just the way it happened it was nice, a left uppercut to the body and then that was it.
Absolutely mate, can I get a prediction for your next fight, sort of result and performance?
Just another win and I’m going to say a lot stoppage maybe, I think so, a late stoppage, definitely. Another victory in what is an entertaining fight while it lasts.
Thank you so much for speaking to us, been a pleasure.
Cheers Oliver, appreciate it.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Tarver, De La Hoya, Hernandez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Antonio Tarver Credits USA Boxing for Giving Him Structure That Carried Him to the Top
Future Hall of Famer Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver (31-6-1, 1 NC, 22 KOs) has just about done it all as a boxer having been an Olympic medal winner and world champion as an amateur, along with capturing five major light heavyweight world titles as a professional, as well as a pair of The Ring magazine’s top honors, and four other world championships in two different divisions.
“I credit USA Boxing for giving me structure for the first time in my life,” Tarver explained. “Everything was scheduled; curfew, eating, training, sleep….everything! I then understood that I had to be accountable for everything I did. I had talent, but I wasn’t structured, and that was bigger than me. I had to adjust to authority. My determination took off, giving me support I never had before. I went on to make speaking engagements and get sponsors. I broke barriers. I’ve been the best at every level that I fought at in the world.”
Tarver was a highly decorated amateur who had an amazing 158-12 record. He is the only boxer to capture gold medals at World Amateur Championships, U.S. National Championships and Pan-American Games in the same year (1995). The Orlando, Florida-born southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Vassiliy Jirov, who Tarver had defeated in the semifinals of the 1995 World Amateur Championships. Tarver also won top honors at the 1994 National Golden Gloves Tournament and 1995 World Championships Challenge.
“I went on a winning roll in 1995 and went into the Olympics in rare form,” Tarver said. “And that’s why I was favored to win a gold medal. I was hitting him (Jirov), the same guy I’d beaten in the World Championships, but no points were registering for me. I had a good second round, but I was down three points, so I threw my game plan away in the third round. I felt I had to do more and got away from my style: counter punching, not getting hit, and being patient. I thought I had won and so did a lot of people. I made up for that, though, with a gold-medal professional career.
“I had been faced with a decision about going pro after I was beaten in the ’92 Olympic Trials. I decided to stay in the amateurs, despite not having any guarantees about making the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. I sacrificed four years of my pro career, which is why I turned pro at a relatively late age (27). I was determined when I found out the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. I think I made the right decision and I have no regrets.
“I had always dreamed of going to the Olympics. I saw Roy Jones, Jr – we first fought each other at 13 – get robbed of gold. I was watching that on television, jumped up, and knew where I was heading: The Olympics! We both suffered horrible decisions in the Olympics and I knew then that our careers would be parallel.
Tarver made his pro debut February 18, 1997 in Philadelphia, stopping Joaquin Garcia (4-0) in the second round.
“I was an Olympic bronze medal winner but when I first turned pro,” Tarver added, “I didn’t have a promoter or manager. Nobody was willing to take a chance on me until I was 4-0, when I signed by first contract with Russell Peltz. I felt nobody could beat me.”
Nobody was able to beat Tarver, at least until his 17th pro fight, when Eric Harding defeated Tarver by way of a 12-round unanimous decision.
Two years later, Tarver embarked on a 12-fight murderer’s row stretch during the next seven years, arguably establishing him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It all started with a successful rematch with Harding (21-1-1) in Indianapolis, when Tarver dropped Harding in the fourth round, plus twice more in the fifth, on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout to avenge his lone pro loss to that date.
Next up for Tarver was a showdown with 44-3 Montell Griffin for the WBC and IBF 175-pound division titles, which were vacated by Roy Jones Jr., April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. In his first world title shot as a pro, Tarver pitched a complete shutout, decking Griffin in the first and last rounds to shut out his opponent by scores of 120-103 from all three judges.
Seven months later, however, Tarver lost a controversial 12-round majority decision and his WBC crown (he was stripped of his IBF belt) to WBA Super and IBO champion Jones in Las Vegas. The following May at the venue, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, though, Tarver became the first to knockout Jones, putting him to sleep in the second round.
Tarver then became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on late-night shows and covers of The Ring magazine and KO Magazine, and co-hosting an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast.
“I was robbed in my first fight with Roy,” Tarver insisted. “They called my knockout of Roy the greatest upset in light heavyweight history. Why didn’t they see me coming? I had beaten everybody ranked ahead of me. Roy was the pound-4-pound king, but he knew. I may not be the fastest, the quickest, or the strongest, but I doubt that there’s ever been a pro fighter to enter the ring with a higher IQ than me. Even at my age, I still feel that way today.”
The WBC stripped Tarver of his title in 2004 for fighting IBF champion Glen Johnson (41-9-2) instead of the WBC mandatory challenger. Johnson, ironically, was stripped of his IBF title for the same reason right before his fight in Los Angeles with Tarver. Tarver and Johnson fought for The Ring and IBO titles and Johnson won a 12-round split decision.
In their rematch six months later in Memphis, Tarver won a unanimous 12-round decision over Johnson to capture the IBO strap. Tarver completed his trilogy with Jones, retaining his IBO title with a unanimous 12-round decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112).
Tarver lost a 12-round decision June 10, 2006 in Atlantic City to Bernard Hopkins for the IBO championship, which was soon vacated and recaptured by Tarver with a 12-round majority decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3).
Tarver traveled to Australia in 2011 to challenge IBO cruiserweight champion and local hero Danny Green, who retired after nine rounds, as Tarver added another title belt to his display case.
In December of 2013 in Temecula, California, Tarver knocked out Jonathon Banks (29-2-1) in the seventh round, and Tarver’s last fight was a 12-round split decision draw with former world champion Steve Cunningham (28-7) in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2006, Tarver starred as Mason “The Line” Dixon, the heavyweight champion in the film, Rocky Balboa.
Tarver, as he marches towards his planned history-making performance by becoming the oldest heavyweight world champion of all-time, also has served as a color commentator in boxing for Spike TV and Showtime.
Today, at the age of 49, Tarver is still technically active, and he also trains his son and undefeated middleweight prospect, Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0 (4 KOs), where they live in Tampa, Florida.
“I was older than the rest of the boxers on the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. National Team,” Tarver remarked. “What a team! Guys like Diego Corrales and Zab Judah didn’t make that Olympic Team. I gave Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his first moniker, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, until he changed it years later to ‘Money’. We had a bond on that Olympic team with Floyd, Fernando Vargas, David Reid, Zarim Raheem and the others.”
Although at the age of 49 he is still an active fighter, Tarver occassionally does some color commentating and he trains pro and amateur boxers at a gym in Tampa, Florida. “I’m not retired as a fighter,” Tarver commented. “I started a program, ‘Train with The Champ’, and it includes room rent and training. I like to say it’s an AirB&B for boxing. I train my son (5-0 middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. there. I learned a lot from my early days, training in Orlando with my coach, Lou Harris, and I reunited with Jimmy Williams, who is 90 now, training my son together in Tampa.
Tarver also is an advocate of the relatively new “USA Boxing Alumni Association,” which was created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — the Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
“I’m going online to join,” Tarver said. “I’m looking forward to attending an Alumni Association meeting, June 24-30 during the Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.
Everything that goes around, comes around, in USA Boxing. Just ask future Hall of Fame candidate Antonio Tarver.
Oscar De La Hoya Delivers Keynote Address to International Sports Marketing and Media Executives
Boxing legend, businessman and philanthropist Oscar De La Hoya kicked off the SPORTELSummit 2018 as the keynote speaker May 16 in Miami Beach before an exclusive audience of decision makers from the international sports marketing and media industries that shape the business for tomorrow.
As the keynote for SPORTELSummit 2018,De La Hoya shared insights from his decades of fighting, from winning the Gold medal at the ’92 Barcelona Summer Olympics to reaching the top of boxing’s professional ranks as one of the best fighters in recent history. De La Hoya transitioned successfully from fighting upon retiring in 2009 to lead his company, Golden Boy Promotions, as one of boxing’s best and most respected promoters around the world. De La Hoya has been at the forefront of moving the sport of boxing into the digital age, having launched Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in 2015, a new division of his company devoted to live streaming and delivering engaging, timely content on the sport to online audiences around the world.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of some of the biggest sporting events in recent history, whether as the athlete or promoter on the business side, and I’m pleased to share my experiences from those opportunities and how I’ve built a successful boxing promotions company with other decision makers in the sports business world at SPORTEL Summit 2018,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya continued, “I created Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in response to consumers seeking more live boxing content online. Golden Boy Media and Entertainment was the first to record fights in virtual reality and broadcast live in virtual reality. Because of the changes and new ideas Golden Boy Media and Entertainment is bringing to the boxing world, we are beginning to see a shift in the sport. Other boxing promoters followed our lead and are implementing our ideas in their own ways.They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I couldn’t agree more.”
A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, De La Hoya is known around the world not only as one of the best fighters of his era, but as an elite promoter, Grammy-nominated singer, active philanthropist and astute businessman. Over the course of his boxing career, he was an Olympic gold medalist, 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, De La Hoya has focused his attention on building the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, into one of the most successful boxing promotion companies in the world. He runs Golden Boy Promotions as its Chairman and CEO from Los Angeles, representing some of the best fighters in the sport today include Canelo Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two weight classes and the current Pay Per View king of the sport in the US.
Nico Hernandez Captures IBA Flyweight World Title
History was made this past Saturday night on the “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” pay-per-view card, when 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and local hero, Nico Hernandez, knocked out Hungarian challenger Szilveszter “The Silent Assassin” Kanalas in the opening round to capture the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight World Championship in only his fifth professional fight, at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
In the first world title fight ever held in Kansas, Hernandez (5-0, 4 KOs) overwhelmed Kanalas (14-7, 9 KOs), the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) super flyweight world champion, to become the youngest (22) IBA world champion ever, as well as setting the record for the fewest pro fights needied to become IBA world titlist.
SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes was launched as Super Channel’s new live boxing series, SUPERBOX LIVE, in association with KO Night Boxing LLC, and it aired live exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
Integrated Sports Media distributed “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view as it was live-streamed worldwide on FITE.TV app and website (excluding Canada).
Hernandez was aggressive from the opening bell, pounding Kanalas’ head and body. A Hernandez left hook to the body really hurt Kanalas, who went down from a right that followed the vicious liver shot. Kanalas beat Hall of Fame Steve Smoger’s count, and it was only a matter of time before Hernandez would end the fight. It came soon, right after another body-and-head combination put the over-matched Hungarian on the mat for the second and final time.
“A lot of people underestimate my power,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I believe that once he felt my power, I don’t think he wanted it anymore. I felt like I took his heart away. I was patient, I wanted it to go a few rounds to see what he had, but I took his heart away. I can’t really be disappointed because I am a world champion now.”
“Nico was explosive Saturday night and he showed killer instinct,” promoter John Andersen commented. “He was going to box, but I think he smelled fear, and Nico got into Kanalas’ head. He sensed it and jumped on him.”
Before he left the ring, Hernandez took the microphone in the center of the ring and called out three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist, “Irish” Paddy Barnes (5-0, 1 KO), who was the favored to win a gold medal in the flyweight division at the 2016 Olympics. He was eliminated in the round of 16 and Hernandez took home the bronze medal. “There’s a bronze medalist from (Northern) Ireland, Paddy Barnes, and that’s who I’d really love to fight.”
“I think that’s a fight we should start a conversation about,” Andersen remarked. “It’s not line Barnes is 21 (he’s 31) and I don’t know of a lot of 30 or older flyweights. It makes a lot of sense and can be a big fight. They’re both Olympic bronze medalist, already fought in scheduled 10 and 12 round fights, and have belts. (Barnes is the WBO Intercontinental flyweight champ). Nico needs to step up in terms of competition, too. I think they should get in the ring and then we can see what happens.
“If they don’t want to make this fight right away, maybe we can build it up by putting them on the same card, and then fight next year. This fight makes a lot of sense for both fighters and Nico has already said he wants to fight Barnes.”
Hernandez joined reigning IBA world champions, light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev and junior middleweight Mark DeLuca, as well as past IBA world champions such as Hall of Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, in addition to stars Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
2011 Russia Junior Championships gold medalist Andrey Afonin (6-0, 3 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact when Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez (23-4, 19 KOs), the Cuban native and former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedalatin cruiserweight champion, was unable to answer the bell in the third round of the co-featured event.
Unbeaten Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs), promoted by DiBella Entertainment and fighting out of Toronto, stopped Terrance “Big Jim” Marbra (9-6, 7 KOs) in the second round.
Undefeated Washington featherweight Victor Morales, Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) was too much for David Berna (15-4, 14 KOs), of Hungary, who complained of an elbow injury and lost by way of a second-round technical knockout, in the televised opener.
In the television swing bout, which was held prior to the main event, popular Wichita junior welterweight Jeff Strum (3-0, 2 KOs) kept the train rollin’ with a second-round knockout of Nigeria-native Archie Weah (2-11).
In the most competitive fight of the night, as well as the lone match that went the complete distance, St. Louis cruiserweight Leroy Jones (3-3, 2 KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Kansas City, KS favorite Chris Harris (2-3-2, 2 KOs).
EverybodyFights Partners with Aaptiv to Bring Its In-Gym Boxing Fitness Experience to Everyone
EverybodyFights, an award-winning boxing gym, announced today a partnership with Aaptiv, a leading provider of premium digital health and wellness content. As part of the partnership, EverybodyFights, which was founded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr., has created audio-guided classes exclusively for Aaptiv that are modeled after its in-gym experience and based on a real fighter’s training camp.
The classes will make up an entire “Train Like a Boxer” program and will be part of Aaptiv’s new collection of boxing workouts, which are now live on the Aaptiv app. The program is based on a real fighter’s cross training regimen that includes shadowboxing, bag work, strength training, cardio conditioning, and yoga. All of the EverybodyFights audio-guided classes are led by the gym’s certified instructors, including George Foreman III, who retired from professional boxing with a perfect 16-0 record.
“Our mission is to unleash the inner fighter in everyone, at home and in the gym, and Aaptiv gives us the unique ability to make authentic boxing training accessible to the masses,” said George Foreman III. “Bringing boxing to users through audio is a challenge that requires partnering with the best, and we knew Aaptiv was the perfect partner for EverybodyFights because they are the best.”
Aaptiv members have unlimited access to the EverybodyFights boxing program, which they can use for training at home or in a gym.
“We’re focused on continuing to offer our members new, world-class workout content and are excited to officially launch boxing classes with the help of EverybodyFights,” said Aaptiv CEO and founder Ethan Agarwal. “We know our members will love the workout program because EverybodyFights’ incredible training camp pairs perfectly with audio, making it easier than ever to train like a boxer.”
Aaptiv’s entire boxing collection is available now and includes comprehensive training on foundational boxing technique, high intensity workouts, fun and inspiring playlists, and recovery and mindfulness instruction for rest days. To learn more and to download the app, visit Aaptiv.com/everybodyfights.