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HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes

The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.

The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.

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There were no notable upsets on the undercard.

Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.

The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.

Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.

Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.

Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.

The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.

Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.

Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.

Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.

Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.

Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.

Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.

There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.

Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.

Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.

Undercard Quick Results:

Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.

Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.

Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.

Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Raymundo Beltran vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the under appreciated Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC titles against former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz. This bout will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The co-main event of the night will be between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo in an IBF Lightweight eliminator. American prospect Shakur Stevenson will also be featured on the undercard.

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Top Rank will be the lead promoter on Saturday night and HBO will be televising the fights. The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.

Raymundo Beltran (32-7-1) vs. Jonathan Maicelo (25-2); IBF Lightweight Eliminator

The opening bout of the night will be between the rugged and entertaining Raymundo Beltran and contender Jonathan Maicelo.

Beltran is always a tough fight, but at thirty five years old his best days physically are likely behind him. He’s two years older than Maicelo and will be about one inch taller than him but will also be given up one inch in reach.

Beltran has the edge in power over Maicelo. He has twenty victories by stoppage and his last three wins have been by KO or TKO. Maicelo has twelve wins by stoppage but his last four fights were decision victories. Both boxers are able to be stopped, as Beltran has two stoppage losses and Maicelo has one.

Neither boxer has any notable international success as an amateur, though Maicelo did compete in several regional amateur tournaments in South America with a moderate amount of success.

Beltran’s last fight was a sensational knockout victory over Mason Menard. He has also defeated the likes of Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Henry Lundy, and David Torres. His losses were to Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., Sharif Bogere, and Ammeth Diaz. He stopped Takahiro Ao in the second round, but that bout was overturned due to a positive test for steroids.

Maicelo has defeated the likes of Jose Felix Jr., Samual Amoako, and Art Hovannisyan. His losses were to Darleys Perez and Rustam Nugaev.

Beltran is that type of contender that will seemingly always be in the title hunt and has a pressure style that is difficult for some boxers to overcome. Maicelo has never defeated a high level opponent and doesn’t seem suited to handle the forward pressure that Beltran is known for.

This should be a good fight, but despite his age Beltran has enough gas in his tank to squeak out a decision victory.

Terence Crawford (30-0) vs. Felix Diaz (19-1); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Title

Terence “Bud” Crawford is considered to be a possible future opponent for Manny Pacquiao and is one of the top talents on the Top Rank roster.
He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. His opponent, Felix Diaz, is thirty three years old. Crawford will also have a three inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.

Crawford has been fairly active the past two years. He has fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Diaz fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Both boxers have strong amateur backgrounds. Crawford had success on the national level as an amateur and won the Police Athletic League Championship as well as the United States Pan American Games. Diaz won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.

Crawford has looked sensational throughout his career and nobody has come close to defeating him. He has defeated the likes of John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andrey Klimov. Even though Crawford has fought many fights in his native Nebraska, he has shown a willingness to travel to fight as evident in his past fight with former champion Ricky Burns in Scotland.

Diaz is a technician but lacks power. He only has nine stoppage wins while Crawford has twenty one. The best opponents Diaz has defeated so far are Sammy Vasquez, Gabriel Bracero, Adrian Granados, and Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. His lone loss was a disputed loss to Lamont Peterson.

This writer thinks Diaz be one of the most difficult fights in Crawford’s career. He’s a technician and has a deep and successful amateur background. But Crawford has faced elite talent several times in his career and has defeated every opponent put in front of him. Diaz’s resume is void of any elite talent, and the one time he did face a legitimate title contender in Lamont Peterson he came up short.

Crawford should win the fight by decision.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lee Selby vs. Jonathan Victor Barros, Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Mikey Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lee Selby vs. Jonathan Victor Barros, Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Mikey Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night a rematch of the consensus fight of the year between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz will take place in Las Vegas for Frampton’s WBA Featherweight Title. This bout will take place at the MGM Grand and will be televised live on Showtime.

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Last year’s match was a thrilling and close encounter between the two high volume punchers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and it could have been scored for either fighter. This is a rematch that most fans of boxing want to see.

Two other world title fights will be televised in support of the main event. Lee Selby will defend his IBF Featherweight Title against Jonathan Victor Barros on the opening bout of the Showtime Card. Mikey Garcia will compete against Dejan Zlaticanin for Zlaticanin’s WBC Lightweight Title in the co-main event of the night.

The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.

Lee Selby (23-1) vs. Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1); IBF Featherweight Title

The opening bout of the night will be for the IBF Featherweight Title, and it seems likely that the winner of this bout will go on to face the winner of the main event between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton.

Lee Selby, the current IBF Champion, isn’t known for his power and has only stopped 8 of his opponents. Barros has stopped twenty two of his opponents, but also has one TKO loss.

Selby will be giving up an half inch in height and about an inch in reach on Saturday. However, he will be three years younger than Barros and has roughly half the professional fights of Barros.

Neither boxer has been very active in the past two years. They both only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Barros has shown a pattern of losing when he takes a step up in competition. Boxers such as Mikey Garcia, Juan Carlos Salgado, Celestino Caballero, and Yuriorkis Gamboa have defeated him. Barros has defeated the likes of Satoshi Hosono, Celestino Caballero, Miguel Roman, and Irving Berry.

Selby’s lone loss was early on in his career, by points, to Sami Mouneimne. He has defeated the likes of Fernando Montiel, Evgeny Gradovich, Joel Bunker, and Ryan Walsh.

Selby is the favorite going into the match and for good reason. Barros is a good boxer, but nothing more than a gatekeeper for rising stars such as Selby. Expect Selby to win by decision.

Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) vs. Mikey Garcia (35-0); WBC Lightweight Title

Mikey Garcia was once considered one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world. But his stock has diminished somewhat since he made the decision to leave Top Rank Promotions and sign with Al Haymon. He lost several years of activity due to his decision.

Dejan Zlaticanin is the current WBC Lightweight Champion and is the first person from Montenegro to win a world title in boxing.

Zlaticanin will be three years older than Mikey Garcia and he will also be giving up three inches in height and reach to Garcia. Garcia also has more power in his punches, as he has stopped twenty nine of his opponents while Zlaticanin has only stopped fifteen of his opponents.

Zlaticanin, a southpaw, won the world title by defeating Franklin Mamani in June of 2016 in Verona, New York at the Turning Stone Casino. He has also beaten the likes of Ivan Redkach, Ricky Burns, and Petr Petrov.

The biggest knock against Zlaticanin is that he only fought once in 2015 and in 2016.

Garcia has been even more inactive than Zlaticanin. He fought once in 2014 and once in 2016 and had no fights in 2015. He has defeated the likes of Elio Rojas, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Bernabe Concepcion.

Garcia also has the edge in amateur experience, as he was a medalist in several national amateur competitions in the United States.

Zlaticanin will likely suffer the first defeat of his career on Saturday. Garcia looked sensational in his last bout and shook off the ring rust quite quickly.

Carl Frampton (23-0) vs. Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1); WBA Featherweight Title

Frampton won the WBA Super World Featherweight Title by defeating Leo Santa Cruz by majority decision at the Barclays Center in July of 2016. Frampton was an underdog in their last match, but the odds now favor Frampton.

Carl Frampton is one year older then Leo Santa Cruz and is two and a half inches smaller and wil be giving up seven inches in reach.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Frampton fought twice in 2015 and in 2016 while Santa Cruz fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016.

Santa Cruz is known for being a volume puncher and has more stoppage victories than Frampton. Santa Cruz has stopped eighteen of his opponents while Frampton has only stopped fourteen of his opponents.

They both have good amateur backgrounds. Frampton was an Irish National Champion and a Silver Medalist in the EU Championships. Santa Cruz won the Silver Medal in the US National Amateur Championships.

Frampton has never tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., Chris Avalos, Kiko Martinez, and Jeremy Parodi.

Santa Cruz’s lone loss was to Carl Frampton. Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Jesus Ruiz, Manuel Roman, Cristian Mijares, Cesar Seda, Victor Terrazas, and Eric Morel.

The one difference between this fight and their last fight that may work in Santa Cruz’s favor is the fact that this fight is taking place in Las Vegas, which has a much larger Mexican population than Brooklyn, New York. This may give Santa Cruz the “home field” advantage on Saturday night.

However, this bout is expected to be exciting and a close one, like their last bout. Just don’t be surprised if the Mexican fans in attendance make a big enough difference for Santa Cruz to pull out the victory on Saturday and possible force a third fight.

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A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division


A Look at the Junior Featherweight Division
By: Eric Lunger

While the heavyweight division is still in flux with Tyson Fury’s sudden withdrawal from the Klitschko fight, and while fans and commentators are still tying themselves into pretzels over the lack of unification in the middleweight division, there is a golden generation in the junior featherweight class. But unfortunately, though perhaps predictably, all four of the major belts are held by different fighters: Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KO’s) WBA; Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KO’s) WBO; Jonathan Guzman (22-0, 22 KO’s) IBF; and Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16 KO’s) WBC.

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Let’s take a look at these four stars and see where the division is headed. First off, I will make a confession: I am a huge Guillermo Rigondeaux fan. I know that some find him boring and dull, with a cautious defensive style. He is brilliant defensively, and he will pull some slips and upper body movements that will make you shake your head in disbelief. But he also has tremendous firepower in his left hand and will unleash it with unexpected ferocity. Watching Rigondeaux fight is like playing with liquid gelignite: it might explode at any moment. Unfortunately, Rigo can’t seem to get anyone into the ring with him. His last fight, this summer against James “Jazza” Dickens in Cardiff, Wales, was a disappointment. Rigondeaux and his team did a great job in the pre-fight build up, including an incredible display of athleticism during an open workout in downtown Cardiff, but the bout itself consisted of one round of Rigo measuring Dickens, and a second round in which the Cuban launched a devastating left that broke Dickens’ jaw. His corner waved the fight off.

So the question remains for Rigondeaux: whom to fight next? He only fought once in 2015. He has already beaten Donaire (in April of 2013) by unanimous decision. “Most feared and avoided in the division” is a cliché, but an apt one for Rigondeaux. Carl Frampton said as much after his Santa Cruz fight, bluntly stating that Rigo does not bring enough money to a fight to justify the risk. Rigondeaux has been picked up by Roc Nation promotions, so perhaps there is hope for fans that we might see him in the ring again soon.

Out of the four junior featherweight title-holders, Nonito Donaire is probably the best known. He has 40 professional bouts under his belt at age 33, so he has been around the block more than once. Impressive and articulate in interviews, Donaire knows where he is in terms of his career, and what he expects to get out of boxing over the next few years. He took a loss (TKO in the sixth) to Nicholas Walters in November of 2014, though in that bout he had moved up to the 126 lbs. limit, and Walters did look significantly bigger than Donaire in the ring. Since then, Nonito has been managed well, and has been put into position for an exciting fight on November 5 against Jesse Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KO’s), on the Lomachenko-Walters undercard. I am excited to see how Donaire handles Magdaleno’s speed and power. It should be a compelling bout.

Jonathan Guzman won the IBF belt (which Frampton vacated) by defeating Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12 KO’s) in Osaka, Japan in July of this year. Guzman, from the Dominican Republic, has heavy hands and an attractive, fan-friendly style. He is aggressive without being reckless, comes forward consistently, and possesses excellent hand speed. Guzman handled Wake without any real trouble, though a head clash in the second round open a bad cut under Wake’s right eye. The damage was a factor in the rest of the fight and in the 11th round stoppage. Guzman is tentatively scheduled to defend his belt against Yukinori Oguni (18-1, 7 KO’s) in Japan on December 31st.

Finally, there is Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan. He is an interesting fighter with a long, professional record. Hasegawa won the WBC strap by defeating Hugo Ruiz (36-3, 32 KO’s) last month in Osaka. Hasegawa briefly held the WBC featherweight title, losing it to Jhonny Gonzalez in 2011, but he reigned as the WBC bantamweight champion from 2005 until 2010, making a remarkable 10 successful defenses in that period. For all that, Hasegawa has never fought outside of Japan. A southpaw, Hasegawa fights from range, using a pawing right jab to slap down his opponent’s lead, while looking to land his looping overhand left.

In the Ruiz fight, Hasegawa was better but not dominant. He scored a lot of straight overhand lefts from his southpaw stance, but Ruiz often presented a stationary target. Hasegawa out-pointed Ruiz, but the Japanese fighter was clearly hittable. He is certainly willing to trade and to take a punch in order to land one. The ninth round showcased some incredible action, with Ruiz managing to pin Hasegawa against the ropes and delivering a sustained attack. But, incredibly, the thirty-five year old Hasegawa found the strength to rally, launched his own flurry off the ropes, and blasted Ruiz back into the center of the ring. Ruiz’s corner did not allow their man to come out for the 10th, as Ruiz had sustained significant damage. Do yourself a favor and watch the ninth round again (preferably with Japanese commentary for atmosphere); you won’t be disappointed.

Clearly, Hasegawa is in his later years, career and boxing-wise, with Donaire not that far behind. But Guzman and Rigondeaux are in their prime, and either fighter could make a viable bid to unify the division. What would it take to get Guzman and Rigondeaux together in the ring? In the current atmosphere of fighters tending to avoid risky fights, it will take a lot. But we can dream, can’t we?

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Weekly Round Up of Asian Boxing


Weekly Round Up of Asian Boxing
By: Ben Underwood

TACONING’S WORLD TITLE CALL

4 years is a long time to wait for a second title shot, but that is exactly how long Filipino Light Flyweight Jonathan Taconing had to wait for his shot. With a record of 22-2-1 (18 ko’s) Taconing is rumoured get his shot on June 11th against mexican champion Ganigan Lopez, although the bout is still awaiting official confirmation it is set to be officially announced withing the next few days.

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It is said by sources that the bout will be staged in the arena coliseo in Mexico, so Taconing will be giving away home advantage to Lopez, but Jonathan is no stranger to these shores as last year he was seen beating Ramon Garcia Hirales in 10. This came after a failed but highly controversial title tilt against Thai champion Kompayak Porpramook for the WBC bauble. While Taconing appeared to be well in control a cut to Porpramook was deemed to be from a clash of heads and the Thai veteran was the winner by a shut out decision after 5 rounds.

Lopez is making his first defence of the WBC title that he won from Japanese Yu Kimura so impressively. Although Lopez is pushing 35, he is a former WBC silver champion at Minimumweight in which he won from Omar Soto and a multiple WBC latino champion at, Minimum, Light Flyweight and Flyweight.

The mexican is certainly no slouch and Taconing will have to be on his guard for however long the bout lasts. Lopez,a southpaw will also have to be alert as the Filipino has that aggressive,heavy handed style and with a point to prove.

AKAHO BACK WITH A WIN

After losing his WBO world title bid to champion Pungluang Sor Singyu last August, Ryo Akaho of Japan went over old ground in an entertaining battle with Toyoto Shiraishi . Both men were at a crossroads in their careers,which meant that they had everything to fight for.

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The two fighters who fought each other for the OPBF Super Flyweight championship, which ended in a TKO victory for Akaho. Now both are fighting as Bantamweights and they didnt disappoint as the Japanese crowd was treated to this all or nothing encounter.Even though Shiraishi was delivery the better boxing and was marking up Akaho around the left eye, it was Ryo that was landing the heavier blows. Shiraishi started to slow by the fifth and Akaho’s big shots started to get through more frequently. In the sixth Toyoto was dumped on the canvas and was sytematically outworked in the last two rounds to go down a points loser to Ryo Akaho.

Akaho now 27-2-2 (18 KOs) can now look forward to bigger fights, perhaps another crack at a version of the world title. Shiraishi who falls to 26-10-3 (12 KO’s) showed he is game and can compete comfortably at OPBF level.
Scores were 77-76,78-74 and 79-72 which I think was an injustice to Toyoto Shiraishi.

FORMER JAPANESE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION HALTED

Rising talent Hironobu Matsunaga had his biggest test to date when he came up against former national champion Sanosuke Sasaki. Sasaki,who won the title by knocking out veteran Tadashi Yuba and then losing it 4 months later to Tomohiro Ebisu, had all he could handle with Matsunaga at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

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Sasaki came out trying to establish the jab in the first round ,which seemed to do the job and take the first round. Success was short lived as Matsunaga worked out a way around that jab and started to throw more combinations that seemed to unsettle Sasaki. Hironobu, confidence growing rapidly,was marking Sasaki with his meaty shots and by round four the inevitable knockdown came with a further point taken from Sanosuke for holding,making round four a 10-7 round.

Matsunaga sensed the end by round five and came out to draw the fight to the conclusion everybody was expecting and made the referee intervene and stop the bout.

Matsunaga was impressive and his record is now 10-1 (5 KO’s),while Sasaki loses his fourth fight on the spin with a record of 11-5 (5 KO’s).

KONO HAS BEEN ORDERED BY THE WBA

WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono has been given his orders to negotiate a fight with Luis Conception ,the Interim champion for the WBA. Conception made himself manatory by beating Hernan Marquez via unaminous decision and the two men have been given a 30 day free period to negotiate.

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This unification match will see Kono fight two mandatory fighters in a row ,while Conception,an Interim champion at both Flyweight and Super Flyweight has his first attempt at a world title. There is no anouncement on where the fight will be and what date it will be staged on.

OPBF WELTERWEIGHT MATCH UP COMES TO JAPAN

Australian OPBF welterweight king Jack Brubaker will be making his second defense of his crown by fighting on away soil against (24-1,8 KO’s) Suyon Takayama. It will be Brubaker’s first time fighting away from his native country and is a step up in class for both boxers. The bout is said to be taken place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo with the date being confirmed as July 25th.

Brubaker ripped the crown from Xing Xin Yang in August last year with a knockout and has a 10-1-1,5 KO’s ledger.

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