Tag Archives: jose

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Prograis Defends Title Against Juan Jose Velasco


By: Ken Hissner

Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 21-0 (18), out of Houston, TX, riding a six fight knockout streak defends his title against WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-0 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, over 12 rounds.

This is a “homecoming” for Prograis fighting at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, LA. He was born in New Orleans and has always wanted to headline there so Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing has made his dream come true. On Saturday at 7pm ESPN will show this card.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

“It’s a dream to come here. The Lakefront Arena, I grew up right around the corner from there. I have to hide my excitement for I still have to fight. I hope to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans. Velasco is going to try to knock me out. I’m focused. There are no distractions,” said Prograis.

“Regis is a great fighter. To be a great champion, you have to beat the great fighters. I want to prove that Saturday night, that I’m elite like him,” said Velasco.

There is a strong undercard featuring Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 9-0 (7), of David, FL, takes on IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-1 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title, over 10 rounds.

“I definitely want to showcase more of what I’m capable of doing. People have yet to see everything of me. This is a good step up,” said Lopez.

“I’m ready for the fight. It’s a real important fight. I had a really good training camp and I’m ready to go,” said Silva.

Coming off a draw decision super featherweight southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 17-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, takes on Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-4-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.

“I can’t wait to see all my fans. I can’t wait to display my talent and everything I got. It’s going to show Saturday so get there early,” said De Leon.

Also, on the undercard are unbeaten boxers like super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 7-0 (5), of Cleveland, OH, taking on Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-3 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., over 10 rounds.

Also, Jonathan “The King” Guidry, 10-0-2 (5), out of Dulac, LA., taking on Aaron Chavers, 8-4-1 (3), out of Oklahoma City, OK, over 6 rounds.

Also, super middleweight Tyler Howard, 14-0 (9), out of Crossville, TN, taking on Javier Frazier, 8-3-1 (4), out of SC, over 6 rounds.

Unbeaten boxers facing one another are super lightweight southpaw Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 4-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, against welterweight Kevin Johnson, 5-0 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 13-0 (8), out of Orlando, FL, takes late sub Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-4-1 (6), over 10 rounds.

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The Champ is Home: Jose Ramirez to Make First Title Defense in Front of Hometown Fans


The dream has been realized. Now, it’s time for Jose Ramirez to get down to business.

Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs), from Avenal, California, will make the first defense of his WBC super lightweight world title against Danny O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs) on Saturday in front of a projected sold-out crowd at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. It’s the building Ramirez packed several times on his journey to a world title.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Ramirez-O’Connor and the 10-round welterweight showdown between NABF champion Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Juan Carlos Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The entire undercard will be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and includes heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. (30-1, 20 KOs) against Kevin Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder, undefeated Andy Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder, and 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. (8-0, 5 KOs) against James De Herrera (4-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round lightweight contest.

The fighters gathered Thursday at the final press conference at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. This is what they had to say.

Jose Ramirez

“It’s quite an honor for me to bring this type of fight, this type of entertainment, to Central California. To fight my first title defense in front of my biggest fans, my closest friends and my family, it’s a blessing.”

“We’re calling this event ‘Protecting Home’ because we’re protecting those that belong here in this country, who fight every day and contribute to this community. We’re also protecting what belongs to us, which is a world title.”

On switching from Freddie Roach to Robert Garcia as head trainer

“I think what went on with that change was loyalty and the fact that we do so much outside of the ring as well. Robert is a guy who is from Oxnard, a very similar community to Central California. He understands the work ethic and what we represent, what we do. And he wants to be a part of it. He’s very motivated to train me. He’s very excited to train me. That makes it easier for me to be motivated and to be excited to stay in this sport. Freddie is a great man. He’s very respected. He always respected me as a fighter, but he had so many world champions, and I needed to feel more of that loyalty and excitement from him. And I think I found it now in Riverside with a lot of undefeated prospects, good prospects, and future world champions at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.”

Danny O’Connor

“First and foremost, I’m a father and a husband, so that’s the most important thing. After taking a knockout in that form {a first-round stoppage loss versus Gabriel Bracero in October 2015} when I had never even been dropped in the gym before, I had to assess my personal health to make sure I was able to be that father, that husband I needed to be. It wasn’t so much taking time away from the sport, it was kind of just re-evaluating to make sure I was OK mentally and physically and still able to compete at the level I needed to be in a fight like this.”

“I feel grateful to be in this position. I’ve worked very hard inside the ring and outside the ring to overcome so much adversity to be here today. I never quit. I never gave up on myself. I never lost hope.”

Egidijus Kavaliauskas

“I’m just happy to fight in Fresno. It’s close to where I live in Oxnard. It’s very nice here. It’s very hot. On Saturday, it will be even hotter inside the ring. It’ll be a very good fight.”

Juan Carlos Abreu

“I feel very good. I’m ready to take the title back home to the Dominican Republic.”

Andy Ruiz Jr.

“My goal is to fight the big names out there. The main thing is to stay on track, stay on the right side and in shape, and get ready for whatever comes in 2018.”

“I’m in good condition. After my last fight March 10 {a first-round stoppage over Devin Vargas}, I’ve been in the gym ever since. I’m training really hard, taking it more seriously. It’s my time for this year and next year. The main thing is to stay in shape and be prepared.”

Gabe Flores Jr.

“I sold a bunch of tickets out here. I’m glad a lot of people are supporting me, and for my family to see me fight, it’s beautiful. There’s only one person that I wish could be here, and it’s my mother. She’s up there, but she’s going to be watching me, and she’s going to give me the energy I need to fight.”

On building his hometown of Stockton, California, as a boxing market

“I have amazing support in Stockton, California. We’re going to be there eventually. It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to fight in front of my people.”

Andy Vences

“{The Erick De Leon fight} was a technical fight. It ended in a draw. I do what I always do. I looked back at the fight, saw what adjustments I could’ve made, and moving forward, those are adjustments I’m going to show for this fight. The fans are in for it. They’re going to get their money’s worth because every time I fight at the Save Mart Center, I bring action, I bring knockouts.”

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Pedraza, Stevenson, Ready To Impress On Horn-Crawford Undercard


By: Sean Crose

“Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza is nearing a title shot,” a Top Rank press release declared on Tuesday, “while Shakur Stevenson is well on his way.” Both Top Rank fighters will now find themselves on the undercard of much anticipated WBO welterweight title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza will put his 23-1 record on the line by facing the 22-0 Antonio Moran. “I am excited because this will be my first fight in Las Vegas, which everyone knows is the fight capital of the world,” Pedraza claims. “I am determined to give a great performance…I know Moran is a good fighter and coming to upset my plans, but I have worked very hard to make sure that does not happen. I expect to be victorious on June 9 and will continue to show I am a force at lightweight.”

The WBO Latino Lightweight title will be at stake when Pedraza faces Moran on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The bout will be aired on ESPN+, along with the Crawford-Horn main event. As for Olympic star, Stevenson, the 6-0 New Jersey native will face the 16-1 Aelio Mesquita in an eight round affair in the featherweight division. “I’ve gotten the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden,” says Stevenson, “and now I’m ready for my Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand on June 9…there have been so many historic fights in that arena and now it’s my turn. It’s always fun to fight on Terence’s undercards. The Crawford family has adopted me, so I’m going to put on a great performance for them and everyone watching at MGM and on ESPN+.”

The 26-0 Jose Benavidez will also be battling that night as he faces the 22-0 Venezuelan Frank Rojas. Having won all but one of his fights by KO, the hard hitting Rojas will present quite a challenge for Benavidez when they meet in a 10 round welterweight affair. “I have 21 knockouts in 22 fights,” Rojas claims. “On June 9, I will add another knockout to my record…I’m coming for you, Benavidez! I’m 100 percent ready to give the fans a great fight. I hope you are ready because I’m going to knock you out. I’m going to rip his head off. Get ready.” As for Benavidez, he appears eager to face the challenge. “”I hope that Rojas trained hard and that he comes well prepared,” he says, “because I’m determined to stop him.”

“Rojas will not touch me at all,” Benavidez adds. “He will not rip my head off because I’m going to rip his head off first.”

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USBA Featherweight Champion Jose Haro Fighting a Different Battle


By: Ken Hissner

USBA Featherweight Champion Jose Haro is from West Jordan, Utah, and won the title back in June knocking out Daniel Franco in the 8th round. He won every round up until then and scored a pair of knockdowns with the second one putting Franco out cold.

Haro, 14-1-1 (8), turned professional in August of 2010 winning his first 8 fights in Utah. Taking a fight with Toka Kahn Clary, 11-0, in June of 2014 coming off 10 months of inactivity he lost a hard fought 6 round decision at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ. Clary is currently No. 14 in the WBA.

Four months later Haro was in with tough Jorge Diaz, 18-3, in Somerset, NJ, ending in a split decision draw. Each boxer got a vote with the third judge calling it a draw.

It would be 7 months later before Haro fought again defeating Efrain Esquivias, 17-3-1, who had a knockout win over former world champion Rafael Marquez. The Esquivias fight was in Double Tree, Ontario, CA, as was his next fight with Juan Reyes.

Two wins would follow the Esquivias fight starting 2 months later when Haro defeated Miguel Tamayo, 17-13-2, of Mexico, with 15 knockouts. Haro would come back 2 months later defeating Juan Reyes, 12-2-3, a Mexican from CA.

In 2016 Haro finding it hard getting good opposition due to his ring success won a pair of fights 7 months after the Reyes fight defeating Raymond Chaco, 6-17, back in Layton, Utah, in April. He would follow this up in July stopping Sergio Nagera, 11-25-2 in 4 rounds.

Haro would be off close to a year when the fight with Roc Nation’s Daniel Franco was offered for the vacant USBA Featherweight title in June of 2017. Haro won every round starting to hurt Franco as early as the third round. In the fifth round Franco was warned for hitting behind the head of Haro. In the sixth round with Haro working Franco over good the referee warned Franco for holding.

In the fatal 8th round Haro rocked Franco with a hard right spinning him around and down he went which was a delayed knockdown. Franco’s corner could have thrown in the towel then but let it go on with just over 2 minutes left in the round. Haro went right after Franco who was bleeding from the nose. Another hard right and down went Franco face first with the referee immediately waving the fight over at 2:43 of the 8th round in a scheduled 10.

Franco was carried out in a stretcher. Haro told the ring commentator, “if it wasn’t for my wife I couldn’t do it.” They (Yesenia) have 5 children, Evenie 10, Alli 8, Haley 5 “Nugget”, Riley 3 and Louie 7 months. He is up at 3am each morning and off to work at 4. He then finishes his job and comes home so his wife can go to work. There is not much money when you are coming up like Haro is.

Haro has told his trainer Eric, his brother that if he is taking a beating stop the fight. He has a wife and 5 children to think of. He has had a lot on his mind since Franco went into a coma for 9 days and needed 4 brain operations. Franco feels Jay-Z who owns Roc-Nation has thrown him under the bus.

Haro was a victim of a hate crime being shot in both feet and told he may never walk again in 2015. He overcame plenty of troubles but regained his health to fight again. He broke his foot a year later in October of 2016 after this and His agent is Whitfield Haydon. Haro is ranked No. 15 by the IBF due to winning the USBA title. He had plenty of amateur experience with over 100 fights only losing 15 of them. Please keep Haro and of course Franco in prayer. He is currently scheduled to fight for Top Rank in February.

“My main purpose for fighting is to fight the best and hope someday make enough money to pay off my mortgage and leave this sport with good health. Once I am done with my career I would like to open my own boxing gym and help the youth in any way I can and watch my kids grow up,” said Haro.

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Unbeaten Benavidez Brothers Take Different Routes to Success


By: Ken Hissner

In talking to the father and trainer Jose Benavidez, Sr. from their Big Bear, CA, training camp about his sons Jose, Jr. and David Benavidez they have taken different routes from their amateur experiences to their unbeaten professional careers.

Jose Benavidez, Jr., 25-0 (16), at 25 had a 120-5 amateur career and had a fast start in 2010 winning 9 fights that year.

He has had an up and down career but still maintained his unbeaten record. In his last bout in July of 2016 he defeated Francisco Santana, 24-4-1, in Las Vegas, NV. Santana had a draw with recent title challenger Julian Williams of Philadelphia to his credit.

In 2014 Jose, Jr., won the interim WBA World super lightweight title defeating Mauricio Herrera, 21-4, of Mexico, who in a previous fight that year lost a disputed decision to then WBA Super world and WBC super lightweight champion Danny Garcia of Philadelphia, in Puerto Rico.

In his first defense he stopped Jorge Paez, Jr., 38-5-2, of Mexico in the twelfth and final round. He is co-managed by David A. Garcia and promoted by Top Rank.

The younger brother David “El Bandera Roja”, 18-0 (17), only had a 15-0 amateur record but has made the most of it since turning professional in 2013 and in his last bout stopped Rogelio Medina, 37-7, in May to earn a world title fight September 8th for the vacant WBC Super middleweight title against Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-1 (14), out of NV, in Las Vegas. The latter is filling in for former champion Anthony Dirrell who was injured in training. Benavidez is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing and also co-managed by David A. Garcia. With a victory on September 8th David would be the youngest boxer not only to be the current youngest but the youngest ever to win the super middleweight championship of all time. His advisor is Al Haymon.

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Anthony Dirrell Speaks Out On Last Saturday Night


Anthony Dirrell Speaks Out On Last Saturday Night
By: Sean Crose

Boxing once again received some negative attention last Saturday night when chaos ensued after the Andre Dirrell-Jose Uzcategui super middleweight bout in Maryland. Dirrell was sent down and out by a punch that landed after the bell. Uzcategui was disqualified, but Dirrell’s uncle and trainer, Leon Lawson Jr, sucker punched Uzcategui twice in the fight’s aftermath. He’s now being sought by Maryland police. There was also an incident, however, involving Dirrell’s sibling, Anthony, for video shows the younger Dirrell brother pushing an individual in the post-fight madness. The man who was pushed is said to have been a Maryland commissioner. Needless to say, word was out that the police were quite interested in Anthony’s actions that night, as well as his uncles’.

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Anthony Dirrell himself, however, claims the police weren’t interested in him at all last weekend. “They wasn’t even looking for me,” Dirrell said over the phone. “They never interviewed me or nothing.” Dirrell even claimed that the police were rather helpful after the madness that transpired at the MGM Grand National Arena. “They escorted me to my brother’s room,” he claimed. Dirrells’ assertions coincide with those of his representative, Kira Kusky, who I had spoken with earlier in the day. “He is not in any jeopardy,” she said when I asked about a police investigation. “No, not at all.”

And so Anthony Dirrell looks clear to meet Callum Smith next September in California for the WBC world super middleweight title. There was word that the championship battle would be put off due to legal matters stemming from last Saturday, but both Dirrell and his representative assured me that wouldn’t be the case. “His next fight is still on,” Kusky said, a fact Dirrell himself reiterated when we spoke a short time later. “I don’t see how (the fight could be off),” he claimed. “Nobodies’ looking for me.” It’s clear, then, that Dirrell and his team feel it is safe to focus on the talented and undefeated Smith without being impeded by legal matters.

As for older brother, Andre – who found himself on the mat after the bell last Saturday – Dirrell claims he’s doing well. “My bother’s fine,” he said. The saga of Leon Lawson Jr, uncle and trainer, has yet to be resolved (he’s still wanted by police, after all), yet it looks like both Dirrell brothers themselves are free to carry on with their respective careers. Before the call ended I asked Anthony if he’d like to, through his perspective, go over the events at the MGM Grand National Arena. “No,” he responded. “I’m not talking about that.”

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Boxing’s Dark Saturday


Boxing’s Dark Saturday
By: Sean Crose

Look, boxing is a rough sport. Always has been. Always will be. Nothing gets much darker than when fighters become permanently damaged or even killed.

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There’s other less than savory matters, however, that often abound in and around the sweet science. For years, the sport was heavily under mafia influence. What’s more, bad decisions on the part of judges still pop up on a regular basis. Worse yet, modern fans are forever being taken for saps (Mayweather-McGregor is – or will be – in a sense, only the most recent example). And then, of course, there’s the miscellaneous, off the wall stuff. Like the time an in-ring riot erupted immediately after a Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota heavyweight throwdown.

This past Saturday presented just such a scenario, when Jose Uzcategui was disqualified for hitting Andre Dirrell after the bell, an act which subsequently sent Dirrell to the mat. In response to said offense, Dirrell’s trainer and uncle, Leon Lawson Jr, absolutely cold cocked an unsuspecting Uzcategui twice. To make matters all the more insane, the entire incident was recorded for the entire world to see. Police are now looking for Lawson, who will be charged with some pretty serious stuff after such a violent assault. The trainer, who slipped out of the MGM Grand National Arena after the attack, is still essentially on the lam, as a Sunday phone call to the Saint George’s County Police Department presented no further developments.

Again, boxing is a rough sport. What’s more, physical violence, which is what boxing deals in, can lead to exceedingly high emotions. Still, one simply does not get to step up to an unsuspecting person and repeatedly punch that person in the face. It’s illegal and it’s also wrong.

Will Lawson be banned from boxing, as some are suggesting? Will he end up doing jail time? Maybe. Maybe not. This is boxing, after all, where nothing can be taken for granted, either in or out of the ring.

Yet the dark cloud that hung over the sport on Saturday didn’t begin and end with Lawson. Up in Madison Square Garden, Terence Crawford absolutely beat the hell out of an overmatched Felix Diaz later that same evening. Fair enough, you might say, Diaz knew what he was getting himself into. And while that’s true, this author still found Crawford’s behavior unsavory. Mocking an opponent is part of the psychological warfare of boxing.

Mocking an opponent while in the act of deforming that opponent’s face, however, is sadistic and unacceptable. Oh, it’s legally permissible. But it is – or should be – socially unacceptable, nonetheless.

Boxing’s been having a great year. Here’s hoping the terrible moments keep to a minimum.

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WBC Minimumweight Champion Chayaphon Moosri Goes 46-0!


WBC Minimumweight Champion Chayaphon Moosri goes 46-0!
By: Ken Hissner

Too many times the Thailand boxers have built up records and WBC Minimumweight champion Chayaphon Moosri at 46-0 (17), is no exception.

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In Moosri’s third bout he won the vacant WBC Youth title fighting an opponent who was 0-1 in March of 2007. He defended it 8 times. Several of his opponents had records of 0-0, 0-1 and 1-2. In December of 2009 he won the interim WBC International title and made 2 defenses. Then on January 2011 he won the vacant WBC International Silver title over a 7-5-2 opponent and made 3 defenses beforere-winning the vacant International title in November of 2011 making it 5 defenses.

In November of 2014 Moosri wins the WBC World title from a 14-4-1 boxer from Mexico and made 6 defenses. In his 46 fights he has defeated 29 opponents with winning records and 14 with losing records along with 2 debuting opponents and a 15-15-2 opponent.

Moosri is 31 and has been fighting for 10 years. His bio shows no amateur credentials. All 46 of his fights have been fought in Thailand. The WBA champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong, 15-0 (7), is also from Thailand. It would make sense for the two to meet in a unification bout. Mexico’s Jose Argumedo, 19-3-1 (11), holds the IBF titleand Japan’s Katsunari Takayama won the WBO title after losing his IBF title to Argumedo.

In December of 2016 and March of 2017 (his last bout) Moosri has won 6 round decisions in order to build up his record. A world champion shouldn’t be fighting 6 round bouts. It seems he is aiming to overtake both Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather’s 49-0 record.

Another Thai boxer named Samson Dutch Boy Gym was 43-0 (36) when he retired. He won the World Boxing Federation super fly title in his fourth fight and defended it 38 times. Only thing is he defended against opponents with the following records:

1-7, 1-7-1, 8-16-2, 0-7 and 1-6. He never fought outside of Thailand.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Unification Title fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale to be televised live on the Showtime Cable Network.

This bout will help determine who the true number one boxer is in the super middleweight division since Andre Ward bumped up to the light heavyweight division.

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Another bout scheduled for Saturday will be between Jose Pedraza and Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted Gervonta Davis for Pedraza’s IBF Junior Lightweight Title. This bout should open up the Showtime broadcast.

The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.

Jose Pedraza (22-0) vs. Gervonta Davis (16-0); IBF Junior Lightweight Title

This is an intriguing matchup between two young upcoming stars in boxing with a bright future ahead of them. It’s also interesting because both boxers have had some much publicized issues with their management teams in the months coming into this fight. It’s been alleged that Pedraza wasn’t completely pleased with his lack of activity underneath the management of Al Haymon, and it’s also been alleged that there was some friction between Gervonta Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

However, those issues appear to have been resolved to allow this matchup to take place.

The most noticeable difference between the two boxers on Saturday will be the difference in size. Pedraza will have a two and a half inch height advantage over Davis and will also have about an inch and a half reach advantage. Pedraza is also five years older than Davis, and is experienced enough to deal with the southpaw style that troubles many boxers.

Pedraza does have an edge in amateur experience. Davis did well on the national level; he was a 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion, a three time National Silver Gloves Champion, and a two time PAL Champion. But, Pedraza competed on the international stage as an amateur and represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Valuable international experience that Davis does not appear to have.

Davis has been the more active boxer between the two. He fought five times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Pedraza only fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.

Davis is also the more powerful puncher/knockout artist. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents. He has defeated the likes of Marco Antonio Macias, Guillermo Avila, Luis Sanchez, and Cristobal Cruz.

Pedraza only has twelve stoppages on his resume. He has defeated the likes of Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Tevin Farmer.

This will be an entertaining bout between power and technique, and it should be a close one. But Pedraza has faced better opposition both as an amateur and a professional, and that experience alone gives him a slight edge going into their fight on Saturday.

Badou Jack (20-1-2) vs. James DeGale (23-1) WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Titles

This is one of the best bouts that could be made in the super middleweight division, and the winner should be considered by most to be the best super middleweight.

Both boxers are beginning to leave their prime ages as Jack is thirty three years old and DeGale is thirty years old. Neither boxer is known for their power, as Jack only has twelve stoppage victories and DeGale has fourteen stoppage victories.

Even though both boxers are at the top of their weight division, neither fighter has been very active. Jack fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, and DeGale also fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Both boxers have a deep amateur background. Jack represented Gambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and DeGale represented Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, only DeGale medaled as he won the gold medal.

Jack has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis. His lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards which he lost by TKO.

DeGale has defeated the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Gevorg Khatchikian, and Dyah Davis. His lone loss was the George Groves.

Even though this is a good matchup, it will likely not be a fan pleasing fight as both boxers are technically skilled fighters that are not known for their power. DeGale has experienced more success as an amateur than Jack, and that indicates that he’s the better technical boxer.

DeGale should win by a close decision on Saturday night.

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Dana White Says No to McGregor-Diaz III


Dana White Says No to McGregor-Diaz III
By Jaime C. Feal

UFC President Dana White has stated he has no interest in a trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz and that he is “moving on.” Between McGregor showing up 30 minutes late and the water bottle throwing fiasco at the UFC 202 press conference, Dana has had his hands full trying to control the drama that surrounds these two fighters. Add in the fact that McGregor was pulled from his originally scheduled rematch with Diaz at UFC 200 for entirely skipping the press conference, and the fact that Diaz is now on McGregor’s pay scale ($2+ million per fight), and this matchup has really started to cause headaches for Uncle Dana.

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​Furthermore, Jose Aldo, the current interim Featherweight Champion, has been promised a rematch/title unification bout with McGregor or else McGregor will be forced to vacate his UFC Featherweight title. Nate Diaz has stated he doesn’t want to fight again unless it’s the trilogy fight against McGregor, and Conor said after UFC 202 that if Diaz wants a rematch it has to be in the 155 lb. weight division. Dana White even went as far as to say McGregor could fight Eddie Alvarez for the 155 lb. title if he wants. It seems like we have every reason to believe Dana won’t make a trilogy fight, right? Wrong.

​Dana White is a glorified spin and hype man. He’s also the UFC’s de facto Public Relations manager. It is his job to divert the fans’ attention away from fights he currently does not want to make. Nate Diaz isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the ability for the UFC to cash in on that fight. But the UFC Featherweight Division needs to get sorted out and Jose Aldo needs a chance to avenge his 13 second KO loss to McGregor. What Dana is doing is hyping the fight(s) he is going to make next, while having the fans believe the McGregor-Diaz trilogy fight is impossible. Then in a year or two when they’ve cashed in on McGregor-Aldo II and possibly other fights, they’ll make the trilogy fight and cash in big on “The Notorious” Conor McGregor one more time.
Until then, it’s time to sell the McGregor-Aldo rivalry once again, and maximize their earnings by generating interest in that fight as opposed to any other McGregor fight they plan on making down the line. If one thinks Dana is truly not interested in ever making a third fight between two warriors who deliver action-packed fights and have strong fan-bases, then they also must believe that Dana White does not like money.

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What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?


What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward

Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.

The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.

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Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.

Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.

The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.

Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.

And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?

It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.

The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.

Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the Foxwoods Resort Casino will televised two world title fights live on Showtime as Gary Russell Jr. defends his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the evening and Jose Pedraza defends his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Stephen Smith.

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Other noted boxers will appear on the undercard including Antonio Russell in the bantamweight division as well as former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson facing Cornelius White. Only two fights are currently scheduled to be televised on Showtime, but highlights of the undercard may be shown.

The following is a preview of both the televised championship fights.

Jose Pedraza (21-0) vs. Stephen Smith (23-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title

Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza had some considerable hype when he turned a professional for he represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics and medaled in several international events. He is the current IBF Junior Lightweight title holder and has a significant edge in amateur experience over his opponent Stephen Smith, despite the fact Smith won the gold medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games as an amateur.

Neither boxer is known for their power, as Pedraza has twelve knockouts on his record while Smith has thirteen. Pedraza is four years younger than Smith at twenty six years old. He will also have about a two inch height advantage as well as a four and a half inch reach advantage.

Smith has never fought outside of the United Kingdom and Saturday will be his first fight in the United States. Smith’s resume is lacking in big name victories, and his biggest wins to date were over Devis Boschiero, Mauricio Munoz, and Gary Buckland. Smith’s lone loss was by TKO to Lee Selby back in 2011.

Pedraza’s last victory was against Edner Cherry which he won by split decision. Other notable victories include Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Sergio Reyes.

This is a bout that Pedraza should win, quite easily. However, Pedraza has shown that he may have difficulty against crafty veterans as was evident in his bout against Edner Cherry. Unfortunately for Smith, he does not appear to have the power to catch Pedraza by surprise and he was stopped the last time he faced a big name opponent.

Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) vs. Patrick Hyland (31-1); WBC Featherweight Title

Gary Russell Jr. has a reputation for fighting boxers that are way overmatched, and Saturday night appears to be another fight that he should win easily.

Patrick Hyland is one half of the Hyland brothers and is more famous for his previous management deal with Snooki of MTV’s the Real World than for his actual boxing ability. Patrick was the better of the two Hyland brothers, but it appears he no longer has a working relationship with Snooki.

Both Hyland and Russell have fifteen knockouts on their resume. Hyland will have a significant height advantage as he is three and a half inches taller than Russell. Russell, however, is five years younger than Hyland.

Russell also holds an edge over Hyland in amateur experience. Russell qualified for the United States in the 2008 Olympics but failed to compete due to missing weight.

Despite the fact Russell has a reputation for fighting inferior opponents, he has a vastly better resume than Hyland. He has defeated the likes of Jhonny Gonzalez, Christopher Martin, Vyacheslav Gusev, and Christopher Perez. His lone loss was the current world champion and amateur standout Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell has two stoppage wins in his past five fights.

Hyland’s only notable victories came against Emmanuel Lucero and Frankie Arhculetta. His lone loss was to Javier Fortuna in 2012.

Hyland is the type of opponent that Russell should dispatch of easily. Russell does have problems when he’s facing someone that can match him in hand speed as was evident in his bout with Lomachenko, but Hyland will be outmatched in hand speed.

This is a bout that Russell should look incredible in, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Hyland pulls off the upset.

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HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decisio


HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decision
By: William Holmes

Tonight’s HBO Pay Per View was presented by Top Rank Promotions from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As typical for Las Vegas, the Grand Garden Arena was nowhere near filled by the time the opening bout started.

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The opening bout of the night was between Manny Perez (25-11-1) and Jose Ramirez (16-0) in the super lightweight division.

Jose Ramirez is a high ceiling prospect with a lot of hype behind his name. He began the opening round strong and landed multiple jabs, but Perez showed he was here to fight and connected with several stinging straight right hands in a row in the last minute of the first round.

Ramirez had settled down by the second and third round and stayed active with his jab and Perez at bay. Perez was able to land some shots to the body in the third round, but Ramirez had a very strong fourth round and nearly doubled the number of punches connected.

Perez was able to match Ramirez in activity in the fifth and sixth rounds and had some success to the body, but Ramirez landed the harder and crisper punches and Perez’s face was starting to show signs of swelling. By the seventh round he had blood pouring out of his face.

Perez showed incredible heart and did his best to make it a fight, but he was getting beat badly and was fading badly as the rounds progressed.

Jose Ramirez remained undefeated with a decision victory over a very game Manny Perez with scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.

The next televised bout was between Evgeny Gradovich (21-1) and Oscar Valdez (18-0) in the featherweight division.

Valdez looked comfortable early on in the bout and was landing clean counters in the first round. Valdez mixed up his combinations to the body and head in the second round and battered Gradovich whenever he tried to get in close.

Gradovich’s face was red by the third round and Valdez tagged Gradovich with nearly every punch he threw. He began to really throw some power behind his shots this round and was landing some vicious ones.

Gradovich finally went down in the third round from a hard right hook left hook combination by Valdez. Gradovich was able to get back to his feet before the count of ten but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.

Valdez was extremely impressive and obliterated a former world champion.

Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 2:14 of the fourth round.

The final bout on the undercard was between Arthur Abraham (44-4) and Gilberto Ramirez (33-0) for the WBO Super Middleweight Title.

Ramirez, a southpaw, was obviously longer and taller than Abraham. Abraham was content with fighting defensive early on and kept a high guard, while Ramirez threw a high volume of punches and outworked the older Abraham.
Ramired’s activity continued in the second round and Abraham’s face was showing signs of damage. Abraham was able to land a hard right uppercut in the second, but was countered with a left hook that forced Abraham to back into a corner.

Ramirez had a strong third round and was ending several of his combinations with stiff body shots. Abraham was able to throw a few wild bombs at the end of the fourth round but did not land many shots.
Ramirez continued to stick and move in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds and was dominating the action. Abraham’s best round of the three was the sixth as he was able to land a few right hands when he let his hand go.

By the seventh round Ramirez had connected with eighty four punches while Abraham hand connected with only forty nine. Abraham was momentarily wobbled with a left hand in the seventh.

Ramirez was warned for low blows in the eighth round but continued to batter his opponent and kept up a strong pace. Ramirez connected with a thudding straight left hand in the eleventh round and only needed to play it safe in the final round to win a decision.

Abraham was never able to effectively push the pace and seriously threaten Ramirez. The judges scored it 120-108 on all three scorecards for Gilberto Ramirez.

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