By: Hans Themistode
It was the worst kept secret in boxing, but undefeated Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia will make a huge step up in class as he takes on former three division champion Jorge Linares. In terms of who broke the news, it was none other than Ryan Garcia himself.
“Jorge Linares is my next fight on July 11 at the Staples Center,” said Ryan Garcia on social media in announcing his next fight. “Share it with your friends. Support me on my journey and quest to shock the world.”
Although Garcia is correct in terms of who his next opponent will be, the actual fight will more than likely fall on another date as the Staples is currently completely booked on July 11th.
As previously mentioned, Linares will represent the best opponent that Garcia has ever stepped inside of the ring with. The now 21 year old Garcia has been progressing through his career at a slow but consistent rate. Facing slightly better opposition each and every time he has stepped foot inside of the ring.
Since joining trainer Eddy Reynoso, who is best known for his work with pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, Garcia has looked like an entirely different fighter. The pair have strung together four straight knockout wins. Including the last two coming in the very first round.
Garcia (21-0, 17 KOs) has been very good throughout his career, but the now 34 year old Jorge Linares has been great.
It wasn’t that long ago that the former three division world champion went undefeated for six straight years. During that run, he defeated a long list of contenders including Kevin Mitchell and Luke Campbell while also defeating former champion Anthony Crolla.
For all the skills that Linares has put on display throughout his career, he has always been viewed as a bit of an underachiever. Yet, his 2018 contest against Vasiliy Lomachenko, the man many believe is the best fighter in the world, put an end to that storyline.
Linares gave Lomachenko what many believe was the toughest fight of his career. He may have come out on the losing end of it, but his stock soared.
After a failed jump up to the Super Lightweight division, Linares has picked up two quality wins and now looks to add Garcia to his potential hall of fame resume.
Many would consider this a difficult fight for both men. And since Linares is 34 and seemingly out of his prime, all signs point to Garcia pulling off the victory. Well, after the statement that Linares made just a few months ago, you might want to rethink that.
“This time how many round you can do?” Said Linares on his social media account a few months ago. “Because I remember that you could only do some round when we sparred. And can you win 3 world belts? You have to stop talking so much and fight.”
It seems as though Garcia has decided to take the advice of Linares to stop talking and simply fight.
By: Jesse Donathan
UFC 244 took place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 2, 2019 and featured a main event fight between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal for the UFC’s inaugural Baddest Motherf*cker (BMF) title. Although not a legitimate championship belt, the media and fan frenzy in the lead up to the main event bout dwarfed all but the most significant of UFC championship title fights in coverage for a belt that is reported to have cost $50,000 alone to deliver.
Following the weigh-ins on Friday, UFC personality Joe Rogan asked Diaz to share his thoughts on opponent Jorge Masvidal and what the fight for the UFC’s “Baddest Motherf*cker” title meant to the Stockton, California native. “All that matters,” said Diaz, “Is that I came with the greatest fighter of all-time, Nick Diaz, and I got the Nick Diaz army with me and we here to take motherf*ckers out.”
According to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto, another all-time great was in attendance for UFC 244 Saturday night as well, none other than the legendary professional boxer himself, Roberto Duran. “For those who missed my report on the prelims,” wrote Okamoto in his November 2, 2019 Twitter social media post, “Retired boxer Roberto Duran took Jorge Masvidal to dinner last night. Victor’s Cafe, same place he used to eat before he fought in New York. 37 years ago, Duran won his first world title in MSG. Tonight he’ll walk out with Jorge,” reported ESPN’s Okamoto.
Photo Credit: UFC Twitter Account
Right off the bat in round one, Masvidal would attempt to blitzkrieg Diaz in much the same fashion as he did to previous opponents (and victims) Darren Till and Ben Askren. Obviously well prepared, Diaz would circle out and avoid the storming Masvidal in what must have no doubt been a revolutionary concept for Masvidal’s previous two opponents. Not afraid to mix it up, Diaz would immediately set about taking the fight to Masvidal from the start, coming straight for his American Top Team trained opponent. Turning the tables, the veteran Masvidal would momentarily pin Diaz against the fence before Diaz, fighting his way out, was met with a flurry of knee’s and elbows that sent the Stockton, California native reeling backwards before catching punches and finally a head kick that sent Diaz crashing to the mat.
On his back for some time as a standing Masvidal landed numerous blows, Diaz was obviously busted up and seemingly at Masvidal’s mercy as a break in the action from referee Dan Miragliotta enabled Diaz to stand up, making his way back to his feet. In a somewhat questionable decision after the action resumed, Diaz would fight his way back into the clinch with Masvidal where he would again get roughed up before the two found themselves back in the center of the Octagon. With Diaz walking Masvidal down and landing some pretty good shots of his own, the round would go on to end with more clinching against the fence in a 10-9 edge for Masvidal.
The second round would begin with Diaz looking noticeably busted up, the right side of his face sporting a cut above the brawl with a noticeable mouse already forming below the eye. Again, wasting no time, Diaz would come right for Masvidal as the California native seemingly invited himself into Masvidal’s corner to get the start of the second period underway.
Switching between western boxing and Tae Kwon Do stances, Diaz would at times appear to be bored and lackadaisical in the cage, lacking a sense of urgency for a fighter clearly down a round on the judges score cards. With the action beginning to pick up, Diaz would throw a lazy leg kick before going on to catch a right cross from Masvidal that sent Diaz reeling backwards as a body kick, left hook combination would ultimately floor the Cesar Gracie Jiu-jitsu black belt once again.
In a scene eerily reminiscent of round 1, Diaz was again flat on his back and fighting a pressing Masvidal off before “Gamebred” backed off and allowed the now mangled Diaz to return to his feet. The two fighters would engage in a stand up battle for much of the remaining part of the second round, with Masvidal clearly getting the better of the Cesar Gracie Fight Team product before a rather entertaining grappling exchange at the end of the round found Masvidal on top of a game Diaz as the end of the round came to a close. 10-9 Masvidal.
In the corner shortly before the beginning of the third, Diaz could be seen with a noticeable amount of Vaseline over his right eye, the damage sustained from the previous two rounds beginning to mount. The two would actively engage each other in a stand-up affair for a good part of the opening portion of the third, with Diaz beginning to show a sense of urgency while “Gamebred” was more than holding his own as the two went at it.
The third round was perhaps Diaz’s best round, though he was constantly plagued with vision problems throughout as the blood from the opened wounds poured down the young UFC stars face. After a brief period of inactivity with Masvidal pinning Diaz against the fence, the fighters would once again find themselves on the mat with Masvidal in top position as the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt Diaz defended himself well from the blows raining down from above. The horn would go on to sound, marking the end of what was another clear 10-9 outing for American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal.
With the ringside physician closely examining Diaz in between rounds, it was ultimately determined that a protesting Diaz could no longer continue due to the damage sustained to the right side of his face throughout the previous three rounds of the action. And with that, Jorge Masvidal is the UFC’s inaugural Baddest Motherf*cker, taking the BMF title back home to the American Top Team headquarters in Coconut Creek, Florida where it belongs.
Though now officially crowned the UFC’s baddest, Masvidal has always been a tough fighter and an unofficial heir to the throne. In a sport increasingly populated with athletes, Jorge is a legitimate tough guy from the mean streets of Miami where street fighting is a known commodity. In fact, Masvidal himself is a known street fighter, claiming YouTube fame in a widely viewed backyard street fight video with none other than the late, great Kimbo Slice himself in attendance to take in Masvidal’s symphony of destruction.
In mixed martial arts, Jorge has never been an easy night out for anyone and has perpetually skirted the ranks as a dangerous fighter capable of beating anybody on any given night. Following back-to-back losses in 2017 to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia and Karate phenom Stephen Thompson, Masvidal would take the entirely of 2018 off before going on to knock out Darren “The Gorilla” Till in convincing fashion at UFC Fight Night 147 earlier this year.
Not finished there, Masvidal went on to deliver his legendary 3-piece and a soda to rising UFC welterweight star Leon Edwards backstage immediately following the Till baptizing after some passing verbiage from the young British fighter which obviously did not set very well with the Miami street fighting legends liking. It would not be unfair to characterize this as a turning point in Masvidal’s career, the incident with Edwards combined with the emphatic knockout of Till at UFC Fight Night 147 cementing Masvidal’s mystique in the public’s imagination as a legitimate tough guy and perhaps even more importantly, establishing “Gamebred” as a needle mover in the UFC’s painfully stagnant welterweight division.
For a lot of fighters, this could be where the story ended, their string of good luck and fortune inevitably winding down to its eventual conclusion. But not for Masvidal; seemingly handpicked by the MMA gods to finish the job former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler failed to complete against NCAA wrestling legend Ben Askren at UFC 235, “Gamebred” was matched up against Askren at UFC 239 where Masvidal promptly grabbed the bull by the horns once again, flatlining Askren in a promotional record 5-seconds even, the fastest knockout in UFC history.
It’s a story that can only be described as nothing short of destiny, as the road was paved in blood for Masvidal’s eventual showdown Saturday night against Diaz for the UFC’s inaugural Baddest Motherf*cker title, where the Miami street fighting legend claimed his rightful place atop the throne, leaving no doubt who baddest man in the UFC’s welterweight division truly is. With former interim welterweight champion and American Top Team teammate Colby Covington vying for a spot against the division’s champion Kamaru Usman, its anyone’s guess what the immediate future holds for “Gamebred” Masvidal though a rematch against Diaz is already said to be reportedly in the works.
Waiting in the wings remains the vengeance seeking Leon Edwards and the “Notorious” one himself, Conor McGregor, whose career is no doubt in desperate need of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation following serious legal charges and a lopsided loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October of 2018. The fallout of which could no doubt be smoked screened and overshadowed by the resulting media frenzy sure to follow in the announcement of McGregor vying for the UFC’s newly created BMF title belt. Going out on a limb here, with no inside knowledge to share, I would not be in the least bit surprised to see Masvidal skip Covington in the UFC’s welterweight championship title picture to go on to challenge Kamaru Usman for the real welterweight championship crown.
By: Henry Deleon
On Friday January 18th there is going to be an exciting night of boxing at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden. Demetrius Andrade vs. Artur Akavov for Andrade’s WBO middleweight title will headline the show. Also on the card will be the sensational Jorge Linares as he will be taking on Pablo Cesar Cano in a 10 round Junior welterweight bout. Linares last fight at Madison square Garden was against Vasyl Lomachenko in where they both put on an outstanding performance.
During the final Andrade/Akavov Press Conference at the Dream Hotel in NYC Boxing insider had the honor of catching up with Jorge Linares head trainer Jorge Zerpa.
Boxing Insider- Jorge, how are you?
Jorge Zerpa – I’m doing well. Very excited to be here. it’s my second time here in NY. I find the city so impressive. This city with the sky scrapers is so beautiful, the people here we’ve encountered even are great, everything’s been great!
Boxing insider – How do you see Linares for this fight?
Jorge Zerpa – We’ve had 3 months focused on this training camp, we’ve had sparring with 3 guys who have similar styles to Cano. One guy with velocity, the other guy who would come at him so Linares could work on moving around and not getting caught, and the other guy was someone who was able to withstand Linares punches. We did a good job on planning out this training camp. We hope come January 18th Linares feels reborn and that the fans end up in awe when they see him perform. Then maybe they would understand that Linares was just having a bad night when he faced Lomachencko last year.
Boxing insider – What do you think will be the key factors for victory for Linares?
Jorge Zerpa – In this fight he has come out and do what he does. He needs to be the technician that he is and try to do what we did in the gym in preparation for this fight.
Boxing Insider – In your opinion what could have Linares done differently in the Lomachenko fight last year to have come out victorious?
Jorge Zerpa – The first thing should have been planning out a well thought out training camp. Taking that plan to the gym, to the track and to the mountains. Then half way to the fight do a sufficiency test, in my country we call it Pre-combat, in where il see if he’s ready to fight, what he’s missing and see if we need to step it up in training or bring it down some. Once he surpasses all that I know he would of been ready and have his hand raised at the end of the fight.
Boxing Insider – What would you say stands out most of Linares as a fighter?
Jorge Zerpa – His responsibility. His hunger. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t know he was a 4-time world champion. That’s how hungry he is. And most importantly he listens, he listens to whatever I tell him to do he never complains. So that’s good. Right now, he’s at weight, we had no problem making weight. Today all were going to do is just move around a bit more so he can eat and that’s it. We made weight and now we’re just waiting for January 18th to put on a show.
Boxing Insider – Let’s talk about a fantasy match up. Out of all the boxers in history who would you have liked to see Linares go up against?
Jorge Zerpa – With the work we have done in this training camp, Linares can go up against anybody! But let me take advantage of this opportunity and challenge Lomachenko and his team. Give us a rematch, and I can assure you this time around Lomachenko the outcome will be different you hear me? The world has seen the Canelo/ GGG rematch and now my country Venezuela and the rest of the world wants to see the rematch of Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko. Let’s make it happen.
Jorge Zerpa is veteran of the sport. He has had numerous champions under him including the late Venezuelan World Champion Edwin Valero. Jorge Zerpa looks to help Jorge Linares make a statement come Friday night when he takes on Pablo Cesar Cano in what will be an exciting night of boxing! You can also catch the fights live on DAZN January 18th 2019.
By: Michael Kane
Jorge Linares, the former three weight world champion is jack in the ring this weekend.
Linares will face Abner Cotto as he moves to the light welterweight division after suffering defeat in his last lightweight fight when he lost his WBA and The Ring Magazine Titles to Vasyl Lomanchenko by KO in the 8th round, back in May.
Photo Credit: Jorge Linares Twitter Account
Although Linares, 33, lost to the highly rated Lomanchenko, he had put in a good performance and managed to drop Lomanchenko for the first time in his career.
Linares moves up to a light welterweight division that is packed with young hungry contenders and will be looking to make a statement against Cotto.
Cotto (23-3), from Puerto Rico, is on a five fight winning streak. He defeated Samuel Santana in his last outing, winning by TKO in the 4th round, for the vacant WBC FECARBOX Super Lightweight Title.
Cotto is a member of the famous Cotto family that has produced a world champion (Miguel) and multiple amateur champions.
Cotto has struggled when he has faced a high level opponent which undoubtedly Linares is. His three losses have come against Javier Fortuna, suffering a 6th round KO, Francisco Vargas, losing a unanimous decision and Omar Figureroa Jr defeated by 1st round KO.
Cotto’s biggest win is probably against former world title challenger Jerry Belmomtes in 2014 when he won a split decision.
With a fair amount of the division tied up with the upcoming World Boxing Super Series, Linares might find the big fights limited. Jose Ramirez is one champion that is not taking part in the tournament and this could make a mouth watering fight in the coming months.
“I feel very excited for this opportunity that this sport offers me,” Cotto said in the press release for the fight.
“I’m immensely grateful to my team and my promoters for bringing my career back to the highest. This is a sport where I have fallen but with the support of my family, my people and the commitment of my team, I have returned with much more desire to achieve the goal I have always dreamed of since I was 10 years old, which is to challenge for a world title.
“My promoter has placed all its trust in me, and I will work tirelessly to achieve the goals set.”
Linares said, ” I am coming back hungrier, than ever to demonstrate that I am still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
“I want those big fights and the world has not seen the best of me. With my new trainer and my team, we will demonstrate that I am more than capable in taking over this new super lightweight division, against a notable opponent in Abner Cotto. This September 29, fans will see a determined Jorge Linares!”
With a stacked division with a lot of young hungry boxers, time will tell if Linares has made the correct decision in moving to light welterweight however he should have too much in his locker for Cotto.
By: William Holmes
Madison Square Garden in New York City was the host site for tonight’s collaborative effort between Top Rank Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions to put on a highly anticipated main event between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares for the WBA Lightweight Title.
The opening bout of the night was between Carlos Adames (13-0) and Alejandro Barrera (29-4) in the welterweight division.
Adames is a high ceiling prospect for Top Rank and he made it known why early on. His straight right hand was finding it’s home often and he was in control. Barrera was able to sneek some punches in past the guard of Adames, but they didn’t appear to hurt him.
In the sixth round he switched to a southpaw stance and was still able to land shots at will. His power shots came from his right hand, but he was still fluid and smooth in his southpaw stance.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Barrera was able to do some decent body work in the seventh round and was a little more effective. His counter uppercut found it’s home but Adames was landing the harder shots. Barrera continued to hang in the fight into the eighth round and showed a willingness to exchange, and he may have stolen the round when he landed some short shots on Adames when his back was against the ropes.
The ninth round featured fierce exchanges and started with Barrera walking Adames down, but Adames was able to turn the momentum back in his favor with sharp left hooks. A clash of heads occurred in the final moments of the ninth round that caused a cut by the right eye of Barrera.
Barrera needed a knockout in the final round to win, and he was the more active fighter and landed more shots in the final round, but that knockout never came.
Carlos Adames wins by decision with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92.
The main event of the night was between Jorge Linares (44-3) and Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) for the WBA Lightweight Title.
Lomachenko, the favorite, entered the ring first while the champion, Linares, entered second.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Linares looked like the significantly bigger man in the ring and was able to land his straight left hand from his southpaw stance early on in the first round. Linares though was accurate with his counter punches in the first and landed a good lead left hook at the end of the round.
Lomachenko looked to be a little looser in the second round and was landing more, and by the third round his foot movement was on point as he danced around Linares and landed multiple combinations. Lomachenko continued to stay on the attack in the fourth round. Linares was warned for rabbit punches in the fourth and Lomachenko responded by landing hard right uppercuts.
Lomachenko was able to bloody the nose of Linares in the fifth round. Linares was warned for a low blow in the fifth and sixth rounds and appeared to be fading fast. However, a clean straight right hand by Linares in the sixth round sent Lomachenko to the mat.
Linares pressed the action in the seventh round and Lomachenko was no longer on the offensive. Linares was able to land good shots to the body and head of Lomachenko.
Lomachenko looked like he was recovered by the eight round and was able to get a cut over the left eye of Linares. Lomachenko was focusing on that cut throughout the remainder of the eighth round as momentum swung back in his favor.
Linares and Lomachenko had several good exchanges in the ninth round and that round could have been scored either way, but it appeared Lomachenko was landing more shots than Linares but Linares was landing the harder shots.
Linares came right at Lomachenko in the beginning of the tenth round but Lomachenko was able to slow him down with an accurate jab. Lomachenko connected with a multi punch combination to the head and ended it with a liver shot that sent Linares crumbling in pain to the mat.
The referee counted to nine before waiving off the fight as he could tell that Linares was unable to continue.
Lomachenko wins by body shot knockout at 2:08 of the tenth round.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.
The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.
Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights
Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.
Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.
Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.
Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.
Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.
Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.
Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title
Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.
He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.
Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.
Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.
It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.
Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.
Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.
Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.
This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.
By: Bryant Romero
Vasiliy ‘Hi Tech’ Lomachenko will be heading into unfamiliar territory as a professional prize fighter as he will head 5 pounds north to the lightweight division and challenge the most established champion at 135 pounds in Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) will be challenging Linares for his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles in just his first fight in the division. Linares is on an unbeaten 12 fight winning streak and is eager to prove that not only is he the bigger stronger man, but has the skills to match the talented Ukrainian. Lomachenko doesn’t seem fazed whatsoever at the size his opponent will bring come fight night and is confident that size won’t be a factor at all in this intriguing lightweight bout.
“For me, it’s a big challenge because before this fight, I fought against guys who were the same size or a little bit smaller than me,” Lomachenko said.
“Now, I want to feel the way Rigondeaux felt when he fought me. He was smaller than I at that point. I am going to be smaller than my opponents now. I want to show people it’s not a big problem, that five pounds is not too big of a difference.
“I wanted to go up to the next weight category, 135 pounds, and fight only champions. Jorge Linares was available for this moment. That’s why I wanted a fight with him.
“I was asked if I wanted to fight Linares. It took me less than two seconds to accept the challenge,” Lomachenko told the boxing media.
It’s the most important and biggest fight of both fighters careers and Lomachenko recognizes the history in not only fighting in New York but to get the chance to headline the big room at Madison Square Garden where boxing legends have been made.
“It’s important for me because I made my name in the history of boxing. Moving forward, I only want to fight in big arenas. I love New York. I love Madison Square Garden. I feel very comfortable there. The boxing fans are very knowledgeable. It’s a very famous arena. Fighting there is a big honor for me,” he said.
Bob Arum of Top Rank who promotes Lomachenko expects a capacity crowd of over 16,000 in attendance for this fight, which shows that the drawing power of the talented Ukrainian is significantly rising.
As for the two combatants themselves, there has been no shortage of verbal jabs being thrown at each in the lead up to this bout. But Lomachenko hopes that after the fight that Linares will show up at the post fight press conference.
“I like it. Before the fight, all boxers talk trash, but after the fight, nobody comes to the press conference. After this fight, I want to see Jorge Linares at the press conference, and I want to hear what he has to say,” Lomachenko said.
Bryant Romero can be reached on Twitter @BoxingTruth88
In what Top Rank Promotions is calling “a battle of two of the world’s pound-for-pound best,” Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) will move up to attempt to gain a title in his third weight division by facing WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares (44-3). The bout, which will go down at New York’s Madison Square Garden, will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on May12th. The card will also be aired live via the ESPN app.
The official announcement of Lomachenko-Linares represents a cross promotional success story. “This demonstrates that promoters and networks, when they work together for the good of everyone, can accomplish so very much,” says promoter Bob Arum. Linares is part of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy stable. Lomachenko, on the other hand, is represented by Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.
“Jorge has established himself as the world’s best lightweight by taking on any and all comers over his storied career,” De La Hoya claims, “but a win on May 12 would put him on an entirely different level.” Lomachenko was an iconic Olympian who some feel is already the pound for pound best professional boxer in the world.
“We fully understand that Lomachenko is universally seen as the best fighter on the planet,” De La Hoya concedes, “but he’s never faced anyone with the size and skill of Jorge, and I am confident that he will retain his WBA and Ring Magazine world championships. As this fight makes clear, I’m 100 percent committed to giving fans the fights they want to see and will work with anyone to accomplish that goal.”
Linares himself appears quite confident heading into the matchup. “Not only will I demonstrate why I’m the best lightweight in the world,” he claims, “but also that I’m one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I have the speed, skill and power to win this battle. This May 12, Vasiliy Lomachenko will bow down to ‘King’ Jorge.”
Such a feat may be a tall order. Lomachenko now has a history for himself of making top level opponents quit on their stools, an unlikely feat which has earned him the nickname “No Mas-Chenko,” a nod to the famous 1980 Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran rematch, a bout which saw Duran inexplicably quit in the 8th round.
“We are very excited about the fight,” says Lomachenko. “It should be a great one. Fans from around the world have been waiting for Jorge and me to fight.” The 30 year old also claims he’s happy about the fight’s location. “I am looking forward to May 12 in New York to make my debut in the big arena at Madison Square Garden,” he claims.
By: Sean Crose
HBOs Boxing After Dark returned Saturday night with a double header from LA’s Forum. Things started off with Jorge Linares (43-3) defending his WBA lightweight crown against (31-1-2) Mercito Gesta. The first round was tight, but Gesta closed the chapter landing some well aimed, sharp shots. The second was also close, but Gesta landed hard in spots with crisp punching. By early in the third, it looked as if Linares’ timing was a bit off. Still, it was in the third when Linares himself started landing effectively. There was nothing particularly telling about the fourth, though Linares didn’t appear particularly in his rhythm.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Things picked up at the end of the fifth, though Linares had appeared to have developed an edge in the bout. The sixth was, like the rest of the bout up until that point, close. Yet Linares looked to be developing a workmanlike points lead. By the seventh, Linares was tossing off bursts of punches that were holding off Gesta. Gesta, however, was game and was having his moments. By the eighth, it was clear that the fight had entered a form of cruise control, with Linares in almost something of a holding pattern.
The ninth and tenth were essentially showcases for Linares’ greater strength. Gesta simply wasn’t strong enough to hurt the man, nor skilled enough to dazzle him. Linares’ was landing hard, no doubt, but he either didn’t have the power or desire to put a bow on things. The eleventh wasn’t all that different from the previous rounds. This had much to do with Linares’ consistency, which was effective, if not necessarily thrilling. Linares made sure Gesta wouldn’t shock the world in the 12th, assuring himself a unanimous decision win.
In the main event, Lucas Matthysse (38-4) faced off against the obscure, yet undefeated, Tewa Kiram (38-0) for the WBA welterweight title. The first round was a feeling out process, as Kiram was tossing a sharp jab as Matthysse tried to work his way inside. Kiram kept firing the jab in the second, as Matthysse kept moving forward. By the fourth, the fight took on the look of Dempsey-Tunney, with the well known veteran fighter searching for former glory while the taller, more defensive minded man, hit and moved effectively.
The crowd started to boo in the fifth, but it was hard to fault Kiram for engaging in such a smart fight. Kiram was making sure he was winning rounds while Matthysse wasn’t able – for whatever reason – to rise to the occasion. After the 6th, HBOs team indicated that Kiram had been sniffing from a jar that was taken from his corner and was then given to the California Athletic Commission in order for the authorities to ascertain what was inside. The commentary team spoke of the tedious nature of the bout in the 7th.
In the 8th, however, Matthysse finally found his mark and dropped Kiram to the mat. Kiram got up and fought gamely….only for Matthysse to send him down again – and out. Just like that, the fight was over.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO’s Boxing After Dark kicks off the 2018 year for HBO with two world title fights on their network.
Lucas Matthysse will be facing off against Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA “Regular” Welterweight title and Jorge Linares will face Mercito Gesta for Linares WBA Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
This card will take place live at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The following is a preview of both world title bouts.
Jorge Linares (43-3) vs. Mercito Gesta (31-1-2); WBA Lightweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between the very talented Jorge Linares and Mercito Gesta.
Linares hit a rough patch in his career in late 2011/early 2012 when he suffered back to back TKO defeats, but has one every fight since then and will be making his sixth defense of his WBA Lightweight Title.
Linares, at thirty two years old, is two years older than Gesta. He will also have a one inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
Linares lives in Tokyo and had a successful amateur background in Venezuela before turning pro. Gesta was born in the Philippines and currently lives in San Diego. He does not have the national amateur accolades of Linares.
Linares has also been slightly more active than Gesta. Gesta fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016. Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Linares’ biggest question mark is his chin. He has three losses by knockout and they were to Juan Carlos Salgado, Antonion DeMarco, and Sergio Thompson. He usually starts his fights off strong but fades towards the end.
He has defeated the likes of Luke Campbell, Rocky Juarez, Anthony Crolla, Ivan Cano, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihito Arakawa.
Gesta does not have the professional resume of Linares. His lone loss was the Miguel Vazquez in his only title shot. He has defeated the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez, Miguel Mendoza, and Ty Barnett.
Linares has good power in his hands and has stopped twenty seven of his opponents. Gesta only have seventeen stoppage victories to his credit.
If Gesta was known for his power he would be a live dog in this fight. However, Gesta is not known for his power and was defeated quite easily when he last faced an opponent on the level of Jorge Linares.
This will be the first fight for Linares on HBO in a long time, and it’s a fight that tailor made for him to look sensational in.
Lucas Matthysse (38-4) vs. Tew Kiram (38-0); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title
The main event of the evening is between Lucas Matthysse and the relatively unknown Tew Kiram.
Matthysse is from Argentina and is in the middle of a fourteen year career. Kiram is twenty five years old and ten years younger than Matthysse. Kiram turned professional at the age of fifteen.
Matthysse had a successful amateur career and is a former Argentine National Champion and competed in several notable international tournaments. Kiram turned pro before most Americans can drive a car, but has never tasted defeat.
Matthysse has incredible power in his hands and has stopped thirty five of his opponents and has only been stopped once. Kiram has twenty eight stoppage victories and won four of his past five fights by KO or TKO.
Matthysse has not been very active and only fought once in 2017 and zero times in 2016. Kiram fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. However, every single fight of Kiram has taken place in Thailand.
Matthysse has defeated the likes of Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Provodnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Molina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., Ajose Olusegun, and Humberto Soto. His losses were to Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia, and Viktor Postol.
Kiram has no notable victories on his resume.
It’s hard to pick against Matthysse in this fight when so little is known about Kiram. Matthysse’s inactivity is of concern, but he’s facing an opponent who has never faced someone on his level.
Thai boxers can be surprising and are known for having incredible hearts. Kiram will need to display incredible heart and surprising talent to pull of the monumental upset.
By: Sean Crose
“I probably cried once a day. I had to try and shut feelings off.” So lightweight contender Luke Campbell told the BBC after his WBA title loss on Saturday night to Jorge Linares at the Forum in Inglewood, California. “After the fight” the Englishman added, “I had a good cry.” The source of Campbell’s pain was the passing of his father, Bernard, who died of cancer just two short weeks before the Linares fight. Campbell kept the news of Bernard’s passing a secret, so as not to give Linares the impression he wasn’t emotionally ready to present a legitimate challenge.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“I didn’t want Linares’ camp thinking it was a weakness,” the 17-2 fighter claimed. “I didn’t want them thinking I was hurt.” Campbell was in training camp in the United States when Bernard passed in the British city of Hull. The funeral for the elder Campbell will be held this coming Thursday. Although soldiering on in the midst of a parent’s death was difficult for Campbell to do, the East Yorkshire native felt it was what Bernard would have wanted of him. Indeed, Campbell made it clear that he feels his father would be pleased, even though he lost a nearly controversial decision to Linares on Saturday night.
Campbell, a former Olympic medalist, gave the respected Linares a true run for his money this past weekend. Although clearly the underdog, the taller southpaw got up from a knockdown and proved able to frustrate Linares with effective punching throughout the fight. Campbell wasn’t able to take away Linares’ WBA title, but he certainly earned the respect of the live HBO audience – an impressive takeaway for any fighter. “I think I shut a lot of mouths,” Campbell told the BBC, “and I thought I actually won the fight.”
Linares admitted that the leadup to the bout wasn’t easy for him, with many not giving him much of a chance to beat Linares. Enduring the naysayers while losing his father on the eve of the biggest match of his career proved to be quite the challenge. Campbell, however, rose to the occasion, as he has been known to do since his amateur days. The fighter once told England’s Mirror that boxing saved him from his own less than promising youth. “Boxing teaches you discipline,” he said, “and without that it was only a matter of time before I got myself into trouble with the police.”
By: Sean Crose
Saturday’s live HBO broadcast from the Forum in Inglewood, California featured a twelve round lightweight championship affair between WBA titlist Jorge Linares (42-3) and England’s Luke Campbell (17-1). Linares, the skilled champion with titles in multiple divisions on his resume, was the clear favorite. Former Olympic medalist Campbell, however, didn’t come all the way from England to lose. He wanted Linares’ lightweight title – and entered the ring confident he would get it.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan- Hogan Photos/HBO Boxing
Antonio Orozco was supposed to put his 26-0 record against 35-1-2 Roberto Ortiz in a 10 round super lightweight match before the main event. Unfortunately, however, that bout was called off, as Orozco didn’t show up for the weigh in on Friday (he was reportedly over five pounds over weight).
Before the action started, however, middleweight Daniel Jacobs appeared before HBO cameras at the Forum to announce that: “I’m with the family. I’m with HBO now.” This was indeed major news, as many of biggest, if not most of the biggest, middleweights in the world are now HBO fighters. “You guys are going to see me on a constant basis from this point forward,” said Jacobs. It was a pointed comment, considering the fact that Jacobs has been less than active since his extremely close bout with Gennady Golovkin last winter.
With the news of the night out of the way, it was time for the WBA lightweight title bout. Campbell’s height advantage was telling right from the opening bell, as the Yorkshire native started flicking out his southpaw jab. Linares, however, was cool and collected. Linares started asserting himself in the second – and took his man down with under a minute to go in the round. Campbell beat the count, but was bleeding. Linares, still patient, started working the Englishman’s body. The third round didn’t have the excitement of its predecessor, but Campbell proved himself back in the fight. The fourth was competitive, and it was clear Linares wasn’t simply going to roll over his man.
The middle rounds were shooting matches. Linares came forward effectively in the fifth, but Campbell landed effectively, as well. Campbell continued to land well in the sixth…but were his punches keeping Linares off his gameplan? The seventh saw both men trading off, but doing so with skill and expertise. The bout was indeed close, though Linares’ heavier hands might have been making the difference in his favor.
The eighth was quite close. The ninth saw Campbell in the center of the ring while Linares looked for openings. In the tenth, however, Linares began to turn on the heat. The bout was competitive enough, however, for it to at least seem like the final two rounds might find the winner. Campbell engaged in a defensive strategy throughout the eleventh. Both men proved aggressive in the twelfth, though Linares may have edged it.
Ultimately, the judges ruled for Linares, via split decision.
by: Sean Crose
Boxing’s extraordinary 2017 thunders on this weekend with a solid HBO card, broadcast live from the Forum in Inglewood, California at 10 PM -Eastern Standard Time – on Saturday night. The card, which will also be aired live on HBO Latino, features a twelve round lightweight championship affair between WBA titlist Jorge Linares (42-3) and England’s Luke Campbell (17-1). Also on the agenda is undefeated Antonio Orozco pitting his 26-0 record against 35-1-2 Roberto Ortiz in a super lightweight 10 rounder. Orozco is being pushed as the one to watch in this fight, and with good reason. Still, it’s worth noting that Orozco’s lone loss came at the gloves of Lucas Matthysse back in 2014.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
As for Linares, he’s certainly an interesting addition to contemporary boxing. Originally from Venezuela, the man now resides in Tokyo. He’s also held belts in numerous divisions, having previously been the owner of straps at both featherweight and super featherweight. Linares’ last two victories were against Anthony Crolla in England. Both fights went down in Crolla’s home town of Manchester, making each of Linare’s unanimous decision victories particularly impressive. Needless to say, the man has won his last eleven matches in a row.
His opponent, Campbell, is a 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist with a single defeat on his resume (to Yvan Mendy back in 2015). Since that line loss, the Yorkshire native has gone on to win five in a row. Saturday’s bout will not only be Campbell’s first fight in the United States, it will be the man’s first bout outside his native England. It will also be his first crack at a world title. Campbell, however, is exuding confidence in the leadup to this weekend, although he frankly is not expected to win. “This is why I am in boxing,” he says, “for the challenges.” Perhaps not surprisingly, heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua has thrown his support behind Campbell, his fellow British Olympian.
Although this clearly isn’t the biggest fight of the year, it’s certainly a solid affair and big things might perhaps be in line for the winner. Mikey Garcia has emerged as the big fish at lightweight. As the WBC lightweight champion, the California native can boast of an undefeated record and of recently having bested Adrien Broner in a high profile bout last July in New York. A unification match with the popular Garcia might prove to be both lucrative and popular for the winner of Saturday’s battle.
By: Brian Strahan
Mexico, has its own California. Baja California. A feral peninsula, encompassed by the Pacific Ocean to its west, and the Sea of Cortez to its east. At its tip, bordering that other California, lies Tijuana. A city known in the past as much for its pull of Hollywood celebrities, who could gamble in relative anonymity, as it was for criminality, which eventually, morphed into a city more associated with cultural growth.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
It was here that Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez came close to suffering his first professional defeat. An opening flurry of victories as a 15-year-old, came at something of a canter. Similar to the only man who would ever defeat him – Floyd Mayweather Jr – Canelo had a family in his corner. Just not his own. Not far from his modest home in Juanacatlan on the fringes of Guadalajara, his brother Rigoberto introduced him to Chepo and Eddy Reynoso.
From the Julian Magdaleno Gym, were the father and son team trained the flame-haired Canelo, his route was plotted. Impressed by his speed of thought and power, the Reynoso’s didn’t feel, but knew he was ready. Such was his ferocity at the 2005 Junior Nationals, in the southern, busy city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez; no one his age, apart from the foolhardy, wanted to face him.
Turning professional at such a young age, is no big deal in Mexico. Other nations may scoff at the youthful age that boys are thrown in amongst men to fight. But Mexican boxing can point to the robust nature of their success, rooted in the tough start they allow their young boxers. Mexico can boast having more than 150 professional world champions in its pugilistic history. Only the United States can champion a stronger record.
So, there was nothing unorthodox in Canelo facing fellow Mexican Abraham Gonzalez in his first fight; Gonzalez three years his senior. That chasm in physical development, a lot wider in teens then a corresponding chasm for even marginally older boxers. It mattered little, however. A total knock out in the fourth and final round for Canelo.
Little changed for his second fight against Pablo Alvarado, very much his elder at 26. It was, physically and literally, man against boy. Again, an irrelevance. Alvarado lasted two rounds before Canelo ended his night.
The third test of this fledgling career would prove more demanding. Miguel Vazquez – again three years his senior – may have been making his professional debut, but he had genuine potential. Potential that he would go on to fulfill. But this welterweight fight was out of reach for a fighter who would go on to win a multitude of titles. His only defeat in a valiant 2013 unification loss to Mayweather by majority decision. Still though, against Vazquez, Canelo was made work. The split decision went his way.
Pedro Lopez, a month later, didn’t offer a similar challenge. Back in Canelo’s hometown of Guadalajara, Lopez, a fighter from the former colonial city of Tabasco, had little vigour to offer. Another knock out. It would be the beginning of a trend in a career that bore little fruit.
So on to the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana. Perhaps more famed for its seminal Friday night dose of Lucha Libre; the Mexican variant of professional wrestling. With its spirited masks and costumes and comic-book style heroes and villains; it appeals to the masses as a sport and entertainment.
On June 17th, 2006, there was substantially less of the fanfare for the meeting of Canelo and Jorge Juarez. Not that the night itself was sedate. Hector Velazquez, a Tijuana local, and a solid career fighter, was the main draw. After he discarded compatriot Guadalupe Hernandez in a deeply one-sided affair, the crowd simply dispersed.
The undercard, as Canelo and Juarez were, came after the main event. Perhaps not the most carefully structured running order. What it meant was a sparse attendance and a quieter atmosphere, despite Juarez being a local. But three victories from eight against a relative unknown, was not enough to keep seats filled.
Maybe they should have stayed. What was missed was Canelo being tested. That was the function of Juarez. To try the properly strong Canelo against someone who would hold firm. Where some previous opponents had struggled to match his intensity, Juarez used the physicality and experience that came with his 8-year advantage. Canelo tired in the fourth-round bout and Juarez made connections.
If he didn’t quite school him; Juarez was in his element. This was as evenly matched a welterweight contest as there could have been. Juarez would have more defeats than victories up until his retirement in 2011. In 2015 Juarez returned but has had eight defeats on the bounce since.
Still though, the two came together at a time and a night when there was nothing to split them. The triumvirate of judges scored it 37-39, 38-38, 37-39. A one-point difference anywhere along the way could have meant another easily forgotten victory for Canelo. Or it could have meant Juarez being the only person outside of Floyd Mayweather to defeat Canelo in his professional career; to date.
How much relevance it will have on Saturday, who knows? But it has relevance for Juarez. And not because he can dine off a former glory. But because he showed he could match someone who was on his way to becoming one of the world’s best.
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 25th to August 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: HBO Sports
Gennady Golovkin Will Defend All his World Title Belts When he Faces Canelo Alvarez
Undefeated World Middleweight Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN wants to make one thing clear. On Saturday, September 16, when he faces Canelo Alvaraez, Golovkin is walking into the ring at the T-Mobile Arena the same way he walked out of the ring at Madison Square Garden, in his last fight — wearing all his world championship belts.
“GGG will be proudly defending all of his titles — WBC, WBA, IBF, and IBO — as well as looking to add The Ring magazine title to his collection when he steps into the ring against Canelo,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter. “Fans love this matchup. It’s not only the two best fighters in their division fighting each other in their prime, but also two of the most marketable fighters in the sport.”
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Fathom Events, Tsesnabank, and Capital Holdings. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Episode #1 of 24/7 Canelo/Golovkin premieres Saturday, Aug. 26 on HBO immediately following the live World Championship Boxing doubleheader from the StubHub Center at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
HBO Sports Special Under the Lights: Canelo/Golovkin Debuts September 2nd
HBO Sports, widely acclaimed for its innovative and provocative boxing programming, examines the upcoming HBO Pay-Per-View® showdown between the two best middleweights today –Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin — when UNDER THE LIGHTS: CANELO/GOLOVKIN debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 (10:00-10:20 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO® and HBO On Demand®, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.
In an intimate and unvarnished setting, UNDER THE LIGHTS: CANELO/GOLOVKIN will feature an engaging roundtable conversation hosted by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman, combatants Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin and HBO boxing analyst and four-division champion Roy Jones, Jr., as they breakdown and examine the many skills and experiences each fighter will bring into the ring for the best boxing matchup of 2017. It’s the final time the two will see each other until fight week unfolds in Las Vegas.
For more information, visit hbo.com/boxing; become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/HBOBoxing; and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing. Follow the conversation using #CaneloGGG.
“Canelo vs. Golovkin” takes place Saturday, September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/ 5:00 p.m. (PT).
Super Channel to Air Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Miguel Marriaga in Canada
Super Channel subscribers in Canada will have the opportunity to watch superstar Vasyl Lomachenko, arguably the No. 1 pound-for-pound professional boxer in the world today, as the Ukrainian defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Association Junior Lightweight World Championship for the second time, this Saturday night (August 5), starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) will be challenged by two-time world title challenger, dangerous Colombian knockout artist Miguel “The Scorpian” Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs), the WBO No. 10-ranked contender, in the 12-round main event.
Three exciting fights on the stacked “Lomachenko vs, Marriaga” card, promoted by Top Rank, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
Super Channel has recently aired major boxing events live like Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, and Eubank, Jr. vs.
“we are all ecstatic to be bringing this exciting bout featuring one of the world’s best boxers, Vasyl Lomachenko, to our viewers and to be presenting another top-notch card from legendary promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, to Canadian fight fans,” said Troy Wassill. Director of Programming, Domestic Distributors & Sports for Super Channel.
Lomachenko is regarded by many as the greatest amateur boxer of his time and arguably all-time having captured two Olympic gold medals (2008 & 2012) and three World Championships, reportedly losing only once in 396 amateur bouts.
Eight (7-1) of his nine fights during his three-year pro career have been in world title fights, including world title winning performances in two different weight classes, WBO featherweight and junior lightweight. Lomachenko has defeated world champions Gary Russell, Jr., Roman Martinez and Nicholas Walters.
Marriaga, who is moving up to junior lightweight to challenge Lomachenko, is a battled-tested challenger with good power and a strong amateur background.
In the 12-round co-feature, NABO & NABF lightweight champion “Sugar” Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs) defends his titles against former two-time Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight World Champion Bryan Vasquez (36-2, 19 KOs).
Mexico-native Beltran, fighting out of Phoenix (AZ), is a two-time world title challenger who is knocking on the door for another world title shot. Beltran is ranked No. 2 in the world by the WBO, World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF), as well as No. 6 by the WBA.
Vasquez, fighting out of Costa Rico, is rated the No. 1 lightweight contender in the world by the WBA
In the eight-round Super Channel opener, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Esquiva Falcao (17-0, 12 KOs), the undefeated Brazilian middleweight, steps up in terms of class opposition to face Ivan “Terrible” Montero (20-2, 8 KOs), of Mexico.
To see the “Lomachenko vs. Marriaga” live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.
Sadam Ali Captures WBA International Welterweight Title and Third Straight Victory with Decision Win Against Johan Perez
Sadam “The World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) took a decisive step towards once again fighting for a world title tonight with a unanimous decision victory against former two-time interim WBA Super Lightweight champion Johan “El Terrible” Perez (22-4-4, 15 KOs). The 10-round fight, which earned Ali the vacant WBA International Welterweight, was the main event of the latest edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN from Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
Ali, from Brooklyn, NY, fought in one of the toughest fights of his career against Perez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, who had scored wins against the likes of Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai, Paul Spadafora and Steve “2POUND” Forbes.
“I give myself a 6 tonight; I felt off,” said Sadam Ali. “Perez was tough, very tall and awkward, and I was able to see that I have a lot to work on to be honest. I felt that my movement wasn’t right. I felt slow and off balance. I’m not too happy with my performance. I don’t want to make excuses, but my performance wasn’t as good as I expected. Now it’s time to go back to the gym and work on things I need to work on. That’s how I’ll get better, by seeing my mistakes and getting back to work in the gym.”
“I need rugged fights like this. Johan might not have a big name but he came to fight and not only for a paycheck. So, these kinds of fights are exactly what I need to get into title contention.”
In the televised co-main event, Alejandro “El Elegido” Barrera (27-3, 17 KOs) of Nuevo León, México scored a split decision victory against Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (20-3, 11 KOs) of the Bronx, NY in a 10-round Welterweight bout.
Barrera, who is a student of the Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristáin, brought a busy style from the outside that nullified Gomez’s counter-punching offense. When Gomez would try to counter, Barrera would step back and throw counters of his own. Or, like in sixth round, Barrera would simply overwhelm Gomez with volume punching.
During an explosive seventh round exchange, Barrera was cut by a headbutt above his right eye. Then, only a few seconds later, Gomez dropped Barrera with a thunderous counter left hook. The back and forth action continued into the final rounds, with Barrera winning by two scores of 93-96, while one judge it 95-94 for Gomez.
“I feel very happy with the victory, but at the same time I feel tired because it was a tough fight,” said Alejandro Barrera. “There were many headbutts. He is a very dirty fighter, but I already knew his boxing was fast-paced. I studied it and trained for it. Now, I’ve got to rest and continue training hard.”
Pablo “The Shark” Rubio, Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) of Los Angeles, California scored a tough split decision victory against David Perez (8-2, 4 KOs) of Houston, Texas in a non-televised swing bout. Two judges scored the fight for Rubio with scores of 58-56 and 59-55, while one judge scored the fight 60-54 for Perez.
Topping off the ESPN3 live stream, Patrick Teixeira (27-1, 22 KOs) cruised to a unanimous decision victory against Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez (19-6-1, 9 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona in an eight-round super welterweight collision.
Teixeira, a native of Santa Catarina, Brazil, used his rangy southpaw stance to box from the outside and to set up straight left hands to the head and left hooks to the body. However, in fifth round, Teixeira injured his left hand, which forced him to rely on his jab and footwork even more for the later stretch of the fight.
Although he was cut below his left eye in the eighth and final round, Teixeira earned an easy victory after not having fought since his first defeat in May of 2016. Teixeira won with two scores of 80-72 and one score of 79-73.
Kicking off the ESPN3 live stream, Daquan “King” Arnett (16-1 9 KOs) of Winter Park, Florida shook off an almost two-year layoff by cruising to a unanimous decision victory against Tijuana, Mexico’s Jorge “Pantera” Silva (21-14-2, 17 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight. Arnett controlled the action throughout the fight by calmly walking Silva down from one side of the ring to the other, using touch jabs to blind Silva before unleashing hard combinations to the head and body.
Silva was deducted a point in sixth round for holding Arnett excessively. After two more rounds of boxing, Arnett earned himself three scores of 80-71.
In the first fight of the evening, Alfredo Escarcega (3-0) scored a majority decision victory against Rodolfo “Rudy” Gamez (1-4) in a four-round super lightweight fight.
Another All Philly War in Line as Wise-Jenkins Collide
It may be just a six-round fight, but the match between North Philadelphia junior middleweights Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins, Jr., is sure to be treated by the fans like a main event when the fighters collide Friday evening, Sept. 8, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
Topping the 10-bout card is an eight-round junior lightweight contest between Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, and former four-time Canadian national amateur champion Joey Laviolette, of Nova Scotia, Canada. First fight begins at 7.30 p.m.
Wise ( above left), 25, is a relative newcomer, having compiled a 5-1 record since turning pro early in 2016. He has scored three knockouts, losing only by decision to Philly-killer Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA.
In two fights this year against Wisconsin-based fighters, Wise got off the canvas to stop Jeffrey Wright in four rounds and he outpointed Mark Daniels over six.
Jenkins,30, is the veteran of the two, owning a 10-4 record since turning pro in 2011. He has scored three knockouts and he is managed and trained by his dad, Fred Jenkins, Sr., an ex-pro junior middleweight himself and a member of the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame as a trainer.
The biggest win on the resume of Jenkins, Jr. came in 2014 when he knocked out Jeremy Trussell, of Baltimore, MD, in four rounds at the 2300 Arena. He also has defeated Alex Sanchez, of Camden, NJ, and Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ.
Wise has had all six of his professional fights at the 2300 Arena. Jenkins is 4-3 in the building.
In an era where Philadelphia fighters often balk at fighting each other, neither Wise nor Jenkins appear to have a problem with the match.
“Fighting someone from the same city doesn’t bother me at all,” said Wise. “This is a business and this fight will show me where I stand.”
Jenkins: “It’s all about winning. I’m trying to climb the ladder and if I beat Wise then I can get another shot at Zapata.”
Zapata, who fights Elijah Vines, of Philadelphia, on the same card, owns victories over both Wise and Jenkins, both by decision, both at the 2300 Arena.
The only other foe common to both Wise and Jenkins is James Robinson, of York, PA. Wise and Jenkins each defeated Robinson by decision, Wise over four rounds and Jenkins over six.
Seven additional bouts complete the Sept. 8 card. Among those featured will be welterweight Marcel Rivers, junior welterweight Victor Padilla and featherweight Crystian Peguero.
Mayweather Promotions Announces the 8th Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions at MGM Grand
Mayweather Promotions is preparing for this signature event for the 8th consecutive time! Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions is set to take place on the morning of the Mayweather vs. McGregor weigh-in, Friday, August 25 at MGM Grand. This event celebrates the continuous achievements of individuals who are influencers the sports and entertainment world to make it what it is today.
This year’s theme is Dream, Conquer, and Sparkle-exemplifying the acknowledgement of those who have shined or sparkled in their respective professional fields. The ability to shine bright within the industry is noteworthy and deserves recognition and presentation of one of our prestigious awards.
Honorees from our 2016 Titans of the Trade affair include: first African American VP in Major League Baseball history; Marian Rhodes, former WBC World Champion; Alicia Ashley, 2016 Olympian; Vashti Cunningham, Chi-Town’s finest breakers; The Monster Kids, and Premier Boxing Champions’ President of Boxing Operations; Sylvia Browne-Owens. Honorees to be recognized at the upcoming event include: multi-talented musician and actress; Tally, undefeated boxing world champion and MMA fighter; Heather Hardy, UC-Riverside’s top performing female basketball player; Simone Decoud, former UNLV softball coach; Shan McDonald, and remarkable boxing referee; Sparkle Lee.
Young Trailblazer Award recipient- Tally is an up and coming multi-talented rap artist, songwriter, actress and musician from sunny Nashville, Tennessee. Growing up, Tally took interest into becoming an artist when she began making YouTube covers, landed lead roles in her school plays, and starting playing the guitar, which helped her songwriting skills.
Music always played an important role in her life and that landed her a star role in the second season of Lifetime’s The Rap Game. After being eliminated after the first episode, she didn’t let that deter her future success. She continued to focus on her music career, ultimately landed her another opportunity on the third season of The Rap Game, as well as performing at the 2017 Radio Disney Awards.
Young Trailblazer Award recipient- Simone Decoud has made headlines due to her continuous success as a point guard at UC-Riverside. This Riverside native has been a three-time, All-Big West Honoree, who has averaged 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game this season. Simone has finished her junior year in college as the team’s seventh all-time leading scorer and second on the career assists list and expects to graduate with a degree in Media Cultural Studies. After graduating, she will look to begin her professional basketball career overseas.
Golden Glove Award recipient- Heather “The Heat” Hardy has let her talent do all the talking. She has contributed to diversifying the sports industry by her remarkable success as a female boxer and strength through her continuous achievements in the industry. Being a single mother and a professional boxer has come with a lot of hard-work and dedication but Heather has conquered her adversities through recognition in combat-sports. Her most recent achievement was her TKO win at her MMA debut against Alice Yauger on June 24th. Heather is also unbeaten in the boxing ring with 20 wins, 4 KO’s and the WBC super bantamweight & featherweight world titlesTitans of the Trade Award recipient- Shan McDonald was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame after leading the Rebels to 511 victories in 17 seasons, seven-straight NCAA tournaments from 1990-96, and three appearances in the Women’s College World Series. The former UNLV softball coach drove her team to break, or tie, 30 school records, which helped earn her the ‘all-time winnings coach’s title. She has proven to be a true titan in sports.
Meritorious Achievement Award recipient- Sparkle Lee has lead a reputable career as a boxing referee that has helped reshape the image of the ‘third man in the ring’ for all women. She has made history on countless occasions including as the first female referee to be inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Her love for boxing started as a routine workout at Gleason’s Gym in the 80’s and transpired into a career of 30+ years, paving the way for female referees to follow.
In addition to our honorees, the event will be hosted by, TV personality and fashion designer; Angel Brinks. Plus 2 special guest performances by talented Las Vegas native; Cabria Anderson and singer and songwriter, Jade Novah.
This year’s Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions- Dream, Conquer, & Sparkle is sponsored by: The Money Team, Mayweather Sports, MGM Grand, SHOWTIME, FNOM, Screaming Images BoxRaw, Alexandre Crepin, Fight Label, Versace Fragrances, Smooth Operators Salon, Too Pretty Brand, and PINTA USA.