Keith Thurman Plans To “Make A Statement” Against Lopez
By: Sean Crose
“I feel great physically,” says Keith Thurman. “We’re working really hard and just getting back into everything we did before the injury. It feels tremendous and I’m so happy to be able to do this back in Brooklyn. January 26, you will see the return of the number one welterweight in the world” Thurman, of course, is talking about his upcoming bout against well known vet Josesito Lopez at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, in a PBC match that will be aired live on Fox. Thurman, who hasn’t fought since he defeated Danny Garcia via split decision in March 2017, will be defending his WBA super world welterweight title.
“I need to come back and stay active and healthy,” the 28-0, frequently injured fighter says. “I’m going to remind everyone this year why I’m one of the baddest men on the planet. At the end of the day, I’m here to make a statement that ‘One Time’ is back.” With fighters such as Errol Spence, Bud Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, and Shawn Porter occupying the welterweight division, Thurman is eager to reassert himself. “My legacy is not over,” he says. “Unification against Danny Garcia was not enough for me. Ultimately, I’m just waiting to be presented with a man who is better than me. There might not be one, but I’m not afraid to let my ‘0’ go.”
Lopez, 36-7, a well regarded warrior, would be happy to oblige Thurman by giving him his first loss. “I’ve been in this position before,” says Lopez, “and I’ve never shied away from big battles. This is another big one and I’m going to be ready for it and become world champion.” Thurman certainly won’t be the first big name Lopez has faced, for Lopez has also shared the ring with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Andre Berto, Marcos Maidana, Jessie Vargas, and Victor Ortiz. “I’m sure Keith Thurman is as strong and skilled as anyone I’ve ever faced, Lopez says. “He’s undefeated for a reason. I give him his respect for that. I’m preparing for him to be the best fighter I’ve ever faced.”
Lopez certainly isn’t letting Thurman’s time out of the ring impact his mental and physical preparation for the fight. “No matter how active Thurman has been,” he says, “the importance of this opportunity doesn’t change. If anything we might see a better and healthier Keith Thurman than we’ve seen in years. I’m expecting the best Keith Thurman there is.”
2018 Prospect of the Year: Teofimo Lopez
By Jake Donovan
From the moment he was sent packing thanks to some horrific scoring in the 2016 Rio Oympics, Teofimo Lopez swore that the controversy would motivate him to the point where he’d never again lose in the ring.
It remains to be seen just how far he can carry out that promise, but so far the unbeaten lightweight has barely lost a single round in the pro ranks – a run he and his handlers have aptly branded “The Takeover.”
It’s not from a lack of trying on the part of Top Rank’s matchmakers, who’ve continued to elevate his level of competition. Lopez continues to rise to the occasion every time out, putting a cherry on the top of his 2018 campaign with a highlight reel knockout of Mason Menard.
The ease in which he tore through the still serviceable trialhorse was a clear indication that Lopez is done with the prospect level—just at the right time, as he leaves that stage with well-deserved recognition as BoxingInsider.com 2018 Prospect of the Year.
The brash 21-year old from Brooklyn entered 2018 barely a full year into the pro ranks, racking up seven wins in his first 13 months in the pro ranks. All of the wins came against made-to-order competition, prompting the Top Rank staff to seek out opponents who can at least offer Lopez a new look.
Four fights later, that same challenge still exists.
Juan Pablo Sanchez came into his Feb. ’18 clash with Lopez bearing the look of a garden variety opponent-type from Mexico. Immediately lost in his 30-14 record, however, was the manner in which Sanchez was able to provide a stiff challenge to those who’d eventually prevail.
He succeeded in becoming one of just two opponents to extend Lopez (11-0, 9KOs) the distance, ending their bout on his feet but virtually shut out on the scorecards.
The likes of Vitor Jones, William Silva and Menard weren’t as fortunate, nor did any even come close to hearing the final bell.
In Vitor Jones, Lopez was given an opportunity to shine on the undercard of a Vasiliy Lomachenko-headlined show at MSG’s Hulu Theatre, It was the first of two times in which the Honduran-American served in supporting capacity to Lomachenko, the two-time Olympic Gold medalist who climbed off the canvas to knock out Jorge Linares in becoming a three-division titlist.
Lopez’ night was much easier, stopping Jones in just over a minute. The quick hit was enough to bring the still 20-year old back into the ring just two months later, where he fought through injury in manhandling William Silva.
So bored was Lopez of the challenge in front of him that he chose to carry his Brazilian opponent who’d previously extended Felix Verdejo the 10-round distance. Lopez threatened to close the show inside of a round, but eased off the gas and opted to go a few rounds before putting Silva away in six.
The slowed pace—by Lopez’s standards—was for good reason, having suffered a fractured right hand which required surgery and a few months rest. The healing process came quick enough to get in one more fight in 2018, one which would see Lopez forever leave his prospect status in the rearview mirror.
In the opening bout of an ESPN-televised tripleheader topped by Lomachenko’s lightweight title unification win over Jose Pedraza, Lopez lived up to his pre-fight promise of stealing the show.
His competition that night wasn’t so much Menard as it was what would take place later in the show: Emmanuel Navarrete not only shocking previously unbeaten 122-pound titlist Isaac Dogboe, but doing so in dominant fashion; and Lomachenko adding yet another entry in his already historic career.
Both were spectacular moments in 2018, yet somehow managed to fall short of what took place at the top of the telecast.
Fully healed and eager to make a statement in what he knew was his final fight as a prospect, Lopez closed the show almost immediately after it began and in spectacular fashion.
Menard earned a reputation as a potent puncher thanks to a pair of highlight-reel knockouts on Showtime’s ShoBox circuit. Even in stoppage losses to Raymundo Beltran—who went on to win a lightweight title—and unbeaten prospect Devin Haney, the Louisiana-based lightweight showed his durability, which was expected to be displayed—and tested—versus Lopez.
One right hand shot changed all of that in a hurry.
A perfectly placed temple shot rendered Menard out cold, pitching face forward to the canvas in a moment that trended worldwide and made the rounds on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
The good news for Lopez’s handlers is that there no longer exists a need to search for opponents that will further develop him on the prospect level. Up next is a February 2 showdown versus two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno in Frisco, Texas.
When Lopez enters the ring for what will serve as the stiffest test of his career, he will take his first step as a rising contender. His last step on the previous level was enough to leap into the spotlight—and into the winner’s circle as BoxingInsider.com 018 Prospect of the Year.
Diego Magdaleno Tabbed To Face Teofimo Lopez On February 2
By: Jake Donovan
In the aftermath of his 44-second destruction of Mason Menard at MSG Hulu Theatre earlier this month, Teofimo Lopez told anyone who’d listen that he wants the toughest challenges from here on out.
The staff at Top Rank was clearly listening—and has delivered for his next fight.
Lopez (11-0, 9KOs) will take his first big step in advancing to the contender stage when he returns to the ring. Awaiting the red-hot unbeaten prospect will be two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno, with their scheduled 10-round lightweight bout to stream on ESPN+ on February 2 live from The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas.
BoxingScene.com contributor and videographer Ryan Burton was the first to report news of the fight being finalized.
The bout comes as part of a loaded card on the eve of Super Bowl Sunday, with three title fights also on the bill. Lopez-Magdaleno will stream live on ESPN+ in supporting capacity to the light heavyweight title fight rematch between unbeaten titlist Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12KOs) and former champ Sergey Kovalev (32-3-1, 28KOs).
On the ESPN portion of the show, Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19KOs) defends his featherweight title versus Italy’s Carmine Tommasone (19-0, 5KOs), while Ghana’s Richard Commey (27-2, 24KOs) and Russia’s Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6KOs) battle for a vacant lightweight title.
The latter bout has Lopez’ attention, as the 21-year old Brooklyn native is eager to transition from prospect to title contender in a hurry.
“One of the belts I just won was the USBA lightweight title, which is the regional title for the IBF,” Lopez told BoxingInsider.com in offering a glimpse into his planned title pursuit. “So that gave me a sign that I will be fighting for a world title next year. That title is vacant, so I’d love to fight whoever wins (Commey-Chaniev) after my next fight.”
No better way to plan for a title run than to test your skills versus someone who’s been there before.
“We’re trying to challenge Teofimo with all types of styles and experienced guys as he develops,” Carl Moretti, Top Rank VP of Boxing Operations told BoxingInsider.com in selecting Magdaleno. “Diego obviously fits that. Let’s see what the kid can do.”
On the other side of the equation, the one-time rising contender is also curious what he can still do on the big stage.
It was just a few short years ago when Magdaleno (31-2, 13KOs) and his brother Jessie were the talk of the town as rising prospects to watch. Jessie made it all the way to the finish line, picking up a 122-pound belt before conceding to Isaac Dogboe earlier this year.
For older brother Diego, the hope is that his third time will be a charm—if in fact there’s a third time to be had.
The Las Vegas-based southpaw has only lost to reigning titlists, coming up just short in a disputed split decision defeat to then-130 pound titlist Roman Martinez in April ’13. A five-fight win streak and a move up in weight put Magdaleno right back in title contention, only to suffer a 2nd round knockout at the hands of Terry Flanagan in their Oct. ’15 lightweight title fight on the road in Manchester, England.
Magdaleno has since posted three straight wins, including a 10-round decision over fellow southpaw Jesus Cuadro in his most recent outing this past September in Cancun, Mexico.
For Lopez, it’s a quick turnaround that even surpassed his own expectations. Plans called for the lightweight knockout artist—who represented Honduras in the 2016 Rio Olympics—to return either in February or March, the latter contingent on plans being finalized for a Terence Crawford-headlined show at Madison Square Garden.
Of course, opportunity always trumps location. With plans for Crawford’s next bout still being firmed up, an executive decision was made to have Lopez appear on the February 2 bill, which will mark his just second appearance in the Lone Star State.
His lone other bout in Texas will have come almost one year to the day by the time he enters the ring versus Magdaleno. That particular contest was also the last time he’s been extended the distance, settling for a six-round shutout of Juan Pablo Sanchez at close to the super lightweight limit this past February in Corpus Christi.
The win was his first of four in 2018, the balance all coming inside the distance and at lightweight where he plans to remain—at least until he gets a title or two around his waist.
“I want to win my first title at lightweight and hopefully be at this weight long enough to beat all the champs including Lomachenko, either next year or 2020,” insists Lopez.
Teofimo Lopez Sets Sights On Lomachenko, Lightweight Takeover In 2019
By Jake Donovan
From the moment he was informed of his placement on the card, Teofimo Lopez had every intention of stealing the show.
Of course, the unbeaten Brooklynite carries that mentality into every fight as part of “The Takeover” movement that has been associated with his career since turning pro two years ago. Still, additional motivation was provided by his return to Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre last Saturday— his fourth career fight on MSG grounds and second in the basement venue—and making an impression on the sold-out crowd on hand largely for Vasiliy Lomachenko’s lightweight title unification victory over Jose Pedraza.
Opening the ESPN-televised tripleheader, Lopez didn’t just make a statement but put the entire lightweight division on notice following his highlight-reel one-punch 1st round knockout of Mason Menard. The finishing blow was a temple shot produced by the very right hand that Lopez had fractured in a 6th round stoppage of William Silva in July.
“We trained really hard for this fight, preparing for the 10 round distance but training like we were going 12,” Lopez (11-0, 9KOs) told BoxingInsider.com of his preparation for what now rates as a leading contender for 2018 Knockout of the Year. “I was just coming off this injury and wanted to show everyone what I can do with my right hand.
“I told everyone if I saw Menard hurt, I wasn’t going to waste any time like I did in my last fight where we chose to carry Silva for a few rounds. The second I saw him hurt, I glanced over at my father (Teofimo Sr., Lopez’ head trainer) and we both knew the end of the fight was near. I hit him with the left to the body, saw how he reacted and knew he was done.”
The right hand shot to the temple left Menard knocked out long before he hit the ground, pitching forward face-first in collapsing to the canvas.
Lopez celebrated the moment in grand style. The undefeated lightweight donned a Kyler Murray jersey in commemoration of the Oklahoma Sooner college quarterback having just won the Heisman Trophy in a ceremony preceding the ESPN boxing telecast, and even striking a Heisman pose in-ring for the cameras.
“I was going to do the Heisman pose no matter what,” Lopez explained. “It worked out for us that Kyler won. My manager David McWater is a huge Oklahoma fan, the Split T Management company was founded there. So we were excited when he won and incorporated it into our own winning performance.”
On a night where the co-feature saw a significant upset in Emanuel Navarrete’s well-earned decision win over previously unbeaten 122-pound titlist Isaac Dogboe and the main event featured a leading pound-for-pound entrant in Lomachenko, Lopez continues to dominate headlines and for good reason.
Not only did he manage to steal the show; an added bonus came in upstaging a divisional rival for whom he has little respect.
“As soon as they told me I’d be fighting at Madison Square Garden again, I was all in,” Lopez notes of the initial offer. “The only thing that bothered me about it was having to fight on the same show as Lomachenko. I really don’t like that guy, at all if I’m being honest.
“But fighting at MSG and on a huge platform like ESPN? That’s a no-brainer, so we just looked past that and really just used being on his show as a motivating tool to fight the way we did. My own goal is to attract the fans worldwide. Every time I step in the ring, I want to make sure I bring more than I did the last time I fought.”
That’s scary news for whomever is next in line – and also a bold statement, considering Lopez put up the equivalent of a perfect game. Knowing that it will become increasingly harder for the brass at Top Rank to find the type of opponents to further develop his career, the next likely step is to rapidly advance from prospect to title contender.
“This is why we signed with Top Rank, they know better than anyone how to move a fighter,” notes Lopez, who joined the Las Vegas-based outfit after the 2012 Rio Olympics, where he represented Honduras in honor of his parents after being snubbed by the USA Boxing program. “They brought in (Menard) because he was supposed to be tougher than the last guy I fought. So the next guy needs to be even tougher, whether it’s a contender or even one of the champions.”
Lopez is targeted to return to the ring next February or March, the latter option putting him back at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of another pound-for-pound star in unbeaten welterweight titlist Terence Crawford.
“I want to fight as soon as possible, but coming back in March would be fine since it means I’d be fighting again at Madison Square Garden,” notes Lopez. “I’ve fought here four times and won by knockout every time. This last one was my best one, not just the knockout but who I fought and that it came on a card like this.”
While Saturday’s show was never intended as a launching pad towards a showdown with Lomachenko, a rivalry has already begun. BoxingTalk.com founder Greg Leon broke the news of the two camps—although not the fighters themselves—getting into a brief skirmish at a participating hotel during fight week.
Lomachenko and his team didn’t take kindly to comments from Lopez Sr., although the Lopez family doesn’t seem particularly concerned. In fact, they’re more than ready to back up any claims of superiority.
“One of the belts I just won was the USBA lightweight title, which is the regional title for the IBF,” Lopez said. “So that gave me a sign that I will be fighting for a world title next year. That title is vacant (Richard Commey—who was ringside—is due to face Isa Chaniev for the vacant title next February), so I’d love to fight whoever wins it after my next fight.
“From there, I’d love to get Lomachenko in the ring and beat him too before I move up to 140. I can still make weight, but (at 21 years old) am still growing and know I won’t be here forever. I want to win my first title at lightweight and hopefully be at this weight long enough to beat all the champs including Lomachenko, either next year or 2020.”
Miami Press Conference Quotes: Gamboa vs Beltran, Juanma
In the “REDEMPTION IN MIAMI” main event, former four-time world champion in three weight divisions and Olympic Gold Medalist YURIORKIS “El Ciclon De Guantánamo” GAMBOA will battle two-time world title challenger MIGUEL “Barreterito” BELTRAN, JR. in a ten round lightweight bout. In the co-feature, former three-time world champion in two weight classes JUAN “JuanMa” LOPEZ will clash with CRISTIAN RUBEN “Piedrita” MINO, also in a ten-round lightweight bout. “Redemption in Miami” will take place Saturday, November 10 at Marlins Park on the West Plaza in Miami, Florida and will be available live on pay per view, distributed by Integrated Sports Media, beginning at 9 pm ET / 6pm PT at a retail price of $24.95.
“Redemption in Miami” is promoted by New Champions Promotions in association with Marlins Park. Ticket prices start at $60 and will go on sale Wednesday, September 26 at 10:00 am ET and be available at the Marlins Park ticket office and on line at www.marlins.com/boxing. Fight night doors will open at 6:00 pm and first bout will begin at 7:00 pm.
Photo Credit: David Martin Warr
Thank you again for coming and I am happy to be on the big stage again, one that I have been used to being on. This is a pay per view event and that merits a lot of attention. With the help of my management team including Mr. Pepiama who has taken the spot of my promoter and has helped me very much and become almost a father figure to me. I thank New Champion Promotions for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to it. Obviously most important to me personally is to win this fight and potentially set up the next fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa, which has been a fight that has kind of eluded both of us but as long as I take care of business and he takes care of business there is no reason for that not to happen for the next fight. On the other hand he is talking about fighting Lomachenko. If he wins this fight and skips me and wants to keep running, let him run, but hopefully he does not run. This fight was done with the idea and the plan that we both get featured on a card and we fight and win and fight each other but now he’s talking a different language – fighting Lomachenko – so maybe he is having second thoughts. It’s a fight that the public wants but it is all up to him. Hopefully he sticks to the plan.
MIGUEL BELTRAN JR.
I am very happy to be here. This is my first time I Miami. I respect the community, I respect all of the Cubans here in Miami and I respect all the press here in Miami and I respect Gamboa but I came here to fight and I came here to win so let’s get to it. I will be 100% training for the fight. I came here to win and I will give everything in the ring to make that happen and that’s the way it’s going to be. I will be the one winning that night. I am very appreciative of everyone here and than you very much.
I would like to thank everyone that is here supporting this event. This is something that has been a long time coming. It is something that I have promised to my fans in Miami, which is the city that has really embraced me when I first got here from Cuba. I would like to thank Jesse Rodriguez for believing in me and not only me but believing in Miami to make this a reality. There have been a lot of things that have happened in my career and my career is far from over. I am here to be the best, which is what I have always felt I am. With the right people around me I am looking forward to having a great fight on November 10th and not only a great fight, but a great event in and of itself.
The comment that JuanMa had made earlier that I may be running or I may be ducking – that is false. He knows he is contractually obligated to New Champions for two fights – the second fight would be, if we both win, a fight between me and him. The fact that my goal is to fight Lomachenko or someone else in the division does no mean that I am trying to duck him. By all means I know my obligation and I know his obligation. My obligations right now it to win on November 10. After winning November 10, I want JuanMa.
Very important to note is that the effort that New Champion Promotions is making in not only hosting the event but making the commitment to the city to bring this caliber of an event to Miami and South Florida. Both he and I and the company itself hope to continue to host thee type of events not only in the near future but long term as well.
With respect to my fight in and of itself I would like to welcome the city of Miami, not just my fans, to come and embrace this event on November 10 – it’s going to be a great event. In respect to the comments made by my opponent on November 10, Mr. Beltran, I understand the challenge that he poses but I don’t see him as too much of an obstacle towards the goals that I have set for myself – in the near future is JuanMa and then after JuanMa, going up against Lomachenko. Those are my objectives and I want to share this ride with Miami and that’s what I am doing coming into this new arrangement with New Champion Promotions and making it a must to do the PPV here in Miami because I know the people of Miami are going to support it.
The pay per view show will include four bouts in all.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Redemption in Miami” in the USA on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV and DISH; and live-streamed worldwide on the FITE.TV app and website www.fite.tv, each way for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.
PBC on FOX Results: Lopez Dominates Cruz, Dirrell Puts on a Clinic
By Eric Lunger
Tonight on FOX, Premier Boxing Champions presented a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez took on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz of Puerto Rico in a ten-round welterweight clash. Coming off a productive training camp with Robert Garcia, Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) was looking to jump start a career that had begun to slip sideways, while undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), fighting in his fourth ten-rounder, was looking to make a statement in the glamorous and deep 147-pound division.
The first round was a professional, exploratory round, with both fighters doing some reconnaissance by jab. Lopez began to push the action in the second, but Cruz countered accurately. Cruz fights with a classic high guard, and he used his jab effectively, but Lopez landed some good, short left hooks.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
In the third, Lopez continued to be the aggressor, and though he did not have much success getting through Cruz’s defense, it was the kind of aggressive round that can sway a judge. Lopez found a new gear in the fourth, landing better shots and starting to take control of the fight. As the middle rounds ticked by, Lopez found his rhythm, getting inside Cruz’s jab, while Lopez was unable to disrupt the Riverside fighter’s attack. Cruz also lost a point on a low blow, after two warnings.
The sixth round opened with another point deduction for a low blow, as Cruz was trying to answer back by going to the body. Lopez went on to dominate the round, while Cruz seemed unable to adjust his game plan at all. The Puerto Rican fighter began to raise his activity level in the seventh, but Lopez continued to apply pressure and to land effect shots from a variety of angles. The eighth and ninth rounds were more of the same, as Lopez continued to push, and Cruz could not mount an effective counter to Lopez’s continual pressure.
In the final frame, Cruz showed some desperation, but Lopez dug deep, and confidently continued to attack. Overall, it was an impressive performance by Lopez, who earned the unanimous decision: 99-89, 99-89, and 98-90.
In the co-feature, former middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looked to continue his climb back into contention in the 168-pound weight class. His opponent, El Paso native Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) came into the bout riding a three-fight win streak, but Dirrell marked a significant step up in class.
In the first round, Dirrell used his jab to find the range, catching Han with a couple of solid rights. Han fought off his back foot, looking to counter, but he seemed to let Dirrell find the range too easily, at least in my view. Dirrell ended the round with a clubbing right hand on the side of Han’s head, dropping the hometown fighter at the bell.
Han looked sloppy to start the second, while Dirrell calmly and patiently probed for an opening. In the third, Dirrell continued to stand in the middle of the ring, controlling the fight with his jab. Han did little to initiate, with Dirrell at one point taunting his opponent to do something. Dirrell presented a study in efficiency: he lands clean shots and takes almost no risks. Han flurried at the end of the round, but it was all show.
In the fourth, after some trash-talking and taunting, the fighters tangled up and, as Han started to pull him to the canvass, Dirrell tackled Han. It certainly woke the crowd up, who booed Dirrell with great gusto. Dirrell continued to dominate the middle rounds, clinically taking Han apart.
In the eighth, both fighters were chattering, egging each other on. Han was tough, that’s clear, but the heavier and cleaner shots were landed, as they had been all night, by the man from Flint. The final two rounds were more of the same, as Dirrell used his considerable defensive skills to evade Han’s reckless offense while landing effective shots of his own. At the final bell, Dirrell did a back flip, a demonstration of fitness and lack of fatigue that the crowd failed to appreciate. The judges returned cards of 100-89, 99-83, 99-83, all for Dirrell.
The first televised bout of the evening featured undefeated Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) of Mexico against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. The bout was brief and brutal. Both fighters came out throwing huge punches, but it was Marrero who landed a short but explosive left directly on Lara’s chin that dropped the Mexican to the canvass. Dazed and glassy-eyed, Lara was unable to get his feet under him. Marrero takes the KO win at thirty-three seconds of the first round.
Lopez vs. Cruz Headlines a Full PBC Card Saturday Night
By: Eric Lunger
Saturday night on Fox, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) presents a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito Lopez takes on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz in a ten-round welterweight clash, while Anthony Dirrell and Abraham Han are set for ten rounds at super middleweight. The televised card opens with featherweights Jorge Lara and Claudio Marrero.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) has been in the ring with quality opposition, including a losing world title effort against Canelo Alvarez in 2012. In that same year, however, Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in nine rounds, his most notable win. Since then, the Riverside, CA, native has posted mixed results, with losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto, but he comes into Saturday night’s looking to continue his two-win streak. Lopez is an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter who is willing to take risks. Confident and relaxed, Josesito just finished a solid camp with renowned trainer Roberto Garcia: “this is the kind of fight I can really display my skills,” Lopez said at the pre-fight press conference, “I am prepared for anything Saturday night.”
For Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), Saturday night is a huge opportunity. With only three ten-rounders under his belt, Cruz is relatively untested. His last two outings were unanimous decision wins, over Alex Martin last June and David Grayton in November. At five-foot-eleven, Cruz will have a two-inch height advantage over Lopez and a five-inch reach surplus. “I have to be smart and execute my game plan round after round,” Cruz said, “my jab will be key, and if I can use that and wear him down to the body, I think I’ll have a great chance to stop him.”
In the co-feature, former middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looks to continue his climb back into contention after a gritty sixth-round stoppage of Denis Douglin in November of last year. Two years ago, Dirrell lost his belt by majority-decision to Badou Jack, and he later stopped future IBF champion Caleb Truax in round one of their 2016 bout, so Dirrell knows what he can do, and he knows he belongs in the mix at the top of the 168 weight class. “Everybody knows I am a championship caliber fighter, and I’ll prove it again on Saturday. After this fight I’m ready to take on any of the super middleweight champions,” Dirrell said.
Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) is an El Paso native, and is excited to fight in front of his hometown fans. Han’s most notable win was over Marcos Reyes in November of 2014, a ten-round majority decision. Han comes into Saturday night’s bout riding a three-fight win streak, with two recent knockouts and one no-contest due to a head butt. “I hope the sport fans of El Paso come out and watch me put on a great performance,” said Han in the press conference this week. “I know the type of challenge I have in front of me, but I also know I have the skills to pull this off.”
The action will start with a televised undercard feature, pitting heavy-handed Mexican Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. With a combined seventy-percent knockout rate, this bout is unlikely to go the full distance.
The action begins live on FOX and FOX streaming 8:30 ET/5:30 PT.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Preview: Roach vs. Perez, Lopez vs. Sparrow
By: Eric Lunger
On Thursday night, Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN presents two ten-round bouts featuring some of the brightest prospects in the super featherweight division. The broadcast will be live from the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, on ESPN Deportes (8:00 p.m. ET), with a tape delay rebroadcast on ESPN 2 (11:00 p.m. ET).
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
Lamont Roach, Jr., (15-0, 6 KOs) is an undefeated prospect from Marlboro, Maryland, with an extensive amateur pedigree, including two National Junior Golden Gloves championships. Roach has been brought along carefully by his manager/father Lamont Roach, Sr., and Thursday will mark his third test at the ten-round distance. At 22 years old, the five-foot-seven orthodox boxer is a busy young man: he currently attends the University of Maryland, where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Stylistically, Roach is a tight and controlled fighter, with an accurate and short lead left hook. Lamont will appeal to boxing purists who appreciate technical proficiency and attention to defensive fundamentals.
Ray Perez, 27, hails from Santa Rosa City in the Philippines. As his record (21-8, 6 KOs) indicates, he’s had a mixed career. He has been in the ring against some high-level opposition – notably a seventh round KO loss to Jesse Magdaleno in February of 2016 – but he has yet to achieve that signature win to propel his career forward. The five-foot-six orthodox fighter offers a fairly uncomplicated style, staying in the pocket and relying on his innate toughness to take a shot in order to land one. He is not to be underestimated, however. Perez can throw an effective uppercut if his opponent gets lazy and leans in. Can Perez bring more aggression than Roach’s technique can handle? Or will Roach’s skill level be too much for the Filipino?
Jose “Wonder Boy” Lopez (19-1, 14 KOs) vs. Avery Sparrow (8-1, 3 KOs) is also set for ten rounds at the super featherweight limit. Lopez, 23, is five-foot-nine, tall and rangy with good knockout power. The Puerto Rico native fights out of the orthodox stance with a come-forward aggressive style. His overhand right is very dangerous, but he can leave himself open while seeking to land it. Nonetheless, Lopez is as dynamic and exciting as they come.
Sparrow, 23, represents the great fighting tradition of Philadelphia, PA, and has been busy in 2017, as Thursday will mark his fourth tilt of the year. Sparrow can be overly aggressive to the detriment of his defense, and he will need to tighten up the wide, loopy hooks he tends to throw if he wants to be successful against Lopez. If styles make fights, Lopez vs. Sparrow promises to be wide open and full throttle.
The other notable bout of the evening features Manuel Avila (22-1, 8 KOs) taking on Nick Otieno (31-12, 13 KOs) of Kenya in an eight-round featherweight bout. Avila, fighting out of Vallejo, CA, is looking to bounce back after his first defeat last May at the hands of undefeated Joseph Diaz.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes
The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.
The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.
There were no notable upsets on the undercard.
Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.
The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.
Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.
Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.
Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.
Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.
Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.
Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.
Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.
Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.
Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.
There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.
Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.
Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.
Undercard Quick Results:
Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.
Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.
Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.
Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.
Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
By: William Holmes
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions televised a card from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on ESPN Networks.
ESPN used to televised Friday Night Fights until Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions came along. However, ESPN appears to have stopped televising PBC events and the PBC has since taken over.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions Photos
Eddie Gomez (20-2) faced Dennis Dauti (14-2) in the welterweight division.
Gomez is from nearby Bronx, New York and was once considered by many to be a high level prospect but two losses to Rashidi Ellis and Francisco Santana has since damaged his stock.
Gomez had a tougher bout than expected against Dauti, but he showed that he’s still a good technician and won the decision with scores of 79-73, 77-74, and 77-74.
The co-main event of the night was between Rashidi Ellis (18-0) and John Karl Sosa (13-3) in the welterweight division.
Sosa started the bout off aggressively and was throwing wild punches, but he was unable to find his target. Ellis remained calm and was able to use his hand speed and elusive movement to keep Sosa uncomfortable and landing clean quick shots.
Sosa was able to hurt Ellis in the second round which forced Ellis to hold on, but Ellis was able to recover by the third round and take over the fight. Ellis was in control in the middle rounds but he did have a brief scare in the eighth round from hard uppercuts. Ellis however showed he was willing to change power shots with Sosa in the ninth and did enough in the tenth to likely win the final round.
Ellis won the majority decision with scores of 95-95 and 97-93 on the remaining two cards.
The main event of the evening was between Michael Perez (25-2-2) and Marcelino Lopez (32-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Perez was landing the cleaner punches in the early parts of the fight but Lopez was the aggressor and was pressing the pace. Perez did better work when Lopez was in tight, but Lopez was clearly the more aggressive fighter.
Perez was taking some hard shots in the final moments of the fourth round and Lopez continued to land hard blows in the fifth round. Perez went back to sticking and moving in the sixth round and was able to keep Lopez off balance.
Lopez connected with a beautiful left hook in the eighth round that sent Perez to the mat. Perez was able to beat the count and recover, but by the ninth round his right eye was damaged and had a cut above it.
Lopez was the more aggressive boxer and landed the harder shots, but Perez showed more movement and defensive ability.
It was a close bout that could have been scored either way, but the judges scored it 96-93 for Lopez, and 97-92 and 96-93 for Perez.
Roman, Ellis and Sims Win at Bally’s in Atlantic City Friday!
Roman, Ellis and Sims Win at Bally’s in Atlantic City Friday!
GH3 and Kings Promotions and SHO BOX promoted nine competitive bouts at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ, Friday night!
In the main event super bantamweight Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez, 16-1-1 (8), of San Antonio, TX, suffered his first loss not coming out for the tenth round losing to Danny “Baby Face Assassin” Roman, 22-2-1 (8), of Golden Grove, CA, in a WBA eliminator bout.
In the first round there was little to choose from the fighters but Lopez seemed to have an edge. In the second round Lopez landed a hard right to the chin of Roman getting his attention. In the second round Lopez looked the sharper of the two. In the third round Roman dropped Lopez with a left hook to the chin. He went after Lopez and dropped him again with a pair of lefts and a right. Lopez had a bloody nose and staggered back to his corner at the end of the round after taking a beating on the ropes. In the fourth round Roman let Lopez back into the fight and he came back and seemed to edge out the round.
In the fifth and sixth rounds were close in a back and forth fight as Roman kept his cool while Lopez is showing the wear and tare with his nose bleeding again. In the eighth round Roman was landing power punches hurting Lopez who is bothered by his nose injury.
In the ninth round Roman continued with hard left hooks to the body and right uppercuts to the chin of Lopez who had a mouse under his left eye. The corner of Lopez stopped the fight at the end of the ninth.
Super middleweight Ronald “Flatline” Ellis, 14-0-1 (10), of Lynn, MASS, defeated Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 11-3 (5), of Philly, by a close decision.
In the opening round Ellis came right out and nailed Brooker with a right to the chin. He followed up with another right to the chin of Brooker. Halfway through the round Brooker landed three straight short right hands to the head of Ellis. It was a big round for Ellis. In the second round Brooker had a better round but not good enough to outscore Ellis. In the third round Brooker turned the fight around pinning Ellis against the ropes landing heavy punches especially to the body and short rights inside to the chin of Ellis. In the fourth round Brooker continued to get the better of Ellis inside.
In the fifth round it continued an inside fight with Brooker keeping it a brawl to his advantage. Ellis is allowing his early start to play into the hands of Brooker’s inside fighting. In the sixth round Ellis landed a flurry of punches getting Brooker’s attention. Brooker has slowed down. In the seventh round it was another close one with Brooker having a slight edge. In the eighth and final round again it was close with Brooker continuing to keep it inside. Ellis had his moments.
Judges Barnes and Grant had it 79-73 with Hill and this writer at 77-75 except this writer had it for Brooker. Referee was David Fields. “I thought I won the fight keeping him on the ropes most of the fight,” said Brooker.
Super bantamweight southpaw Stephon “Showstopper” Young, 16-0-3 (6), of Chicago, IL, defeated Olimson Nazarov, 14-4 (8), UZB, over eight tough rounds of boxing.
In the first round southpaw Young boxed well outworking Nazarov. In the second round Nazarov opened up landing a lead overhand right to the head of Young and followed up with a combination. Young continued to use his jab. In the third round Young was landing with lead left hands to the head of Nazarov. Nazarov only fought in spurts but landed well when he did. In the fourth round Nazarov was landing three punch combinations to the head and body of Young having his best round.
In the fifth round Young used his hand speed while Nazarov was landing with combinations in a close round. In the sixth round the action was going back and forth with the last ten seconds the best part of the fight with both landing well. In the seventh round things slowed down a bit with Young outworking Nazarov. In the eighth and final round in was action packed with Young rocking Nazarov with a left uppercut to the chin. Nazarov always bounces back with combinations.
Judges George Hill and Eugene Grant had it 78-74 as did this writer while Debra Barnes had it 77-75 all for the winner. David Fields was the referee.
Welterweight southpaw Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr., 11-0 (3), of St. Diego, CA, defeated southpaw Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles, 15-2-1 (5), of San Diego, CA, in a hard fought eight rounds of action.
In the first round of action Sims hurt Robles with a fight uppercut to the chin that had Robles hurt, but he came firing back. In the second round the action continued with both boxers getting control throughout the round. In the third round the inside fighting continued with Sims getting the best shots in on Robles. In the fourth round the action continued with Sims landing the better inside. This fight could have been taken in a phone booth.
In the fifth round Robles landed a solid left to the head of Sims. Shortly later it was Sims landing a sold lead right to the head of Robles. In the sixth round the action continued in a hard fight for both taking turns mostly punching to the head. In the seventh round the action slowed down in a close round. In the eighth and final round both fighters had their moments. Robles controlled the first half and Sims controlled the second half of the round.
Bantamweight southpaw Leroy “Lucious” Davila, 6-0 (4), of New Brunswick, NJ, impressed with a stoppage at 0:53 of the third round over southpaw Anthony “Tiger” Taylor, 4-1 (1), of Warren, OH.
In the first round Davila was dominating and dropped Taylor with a left to the chin with about 15 seconds left in the round. Taylor beat the count of referee Esteves as the bell sounded. In the second round a left and right combination drove Taylor into the corner of the ring. Davila has Taylor missing quite a few punches. In the third round a straight lead left to the chin by Davila dropped Taylor who bounced up instantly. A solid combination knocked Taylor’s head back with referee Esteves wisely stopping the fight. This a six shortened to a four. “I saw tapes of him knowing he will land a punch and back up so I was just taking my time knowing I would eventually get to him,” said Davila.
Judges Barnes and Grant had it 79-72 while Hill scored it 78-73. This writer had it 78-74. The scoring did not reflect on the closeness of the rounds. Referee was Esteves, Jr.
Super lightweight southpaw “Killer” Keenan Smith, 10-0 (4), of Philly, stopped Marquix “Hawk” Hawthorne, 4-6 (1), of Waco, TX, who didn’t come out for the sixth and final round.
In the first round it was all Smith outworking Hawthorne. In the second round a lead left by Smith to the head of Hawthorne froze Hawthorne. Smith didn’t seem to know how he hurt his opponent and was too slow to follow up. In the third round a lead left by Smith to the head had Hawthorne holding on. In the fourth and fifth rounds Smith dominated. Hawthorne’s corner stopped the fight before the sixth round.
Super welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young, 15-2 (6), of Atlantic City, NJ, came won a decision over James Robinson, 4-6-4 (1), of York, PA, to the displeasure of the fans. Young was saved by the bell in the last round.
In the first round Young drove Robinson into the ropes with a solid right hand to the chin. He dominated the round with Robinson clinching too much. In the second round Young landed well to the body forcing Robinson to hold. In the third round it was more of the same with Young forcing the action.
In the fourth round referee Esteves rightfully took away a point from Robinson for holding. It was a big round for Young. In the fifth round after losing his mouthpiece Robinson landed his best punch of the fight a left hook to the head of Young. Young rocked Robinson with a right to the head forcing him to clinch. In the sixth and final round Robinson hurt Young with a solid right hand to the head having Young out on his feet. Then Robinson followed up and dropped Young with another right hand at the bell. Referee Esteves looked like he was waving the fight off when the bell rang with Young barely beating the count.
Judges Barnes and Grant had it 58-55 with Hill 57-55 and this writer 58-54. Referee was Esteves, Jr.
Heavyweight Darmani “Rock Solid” Rock, 7-0 (5), of Philly, knocked out Solomon “Solo” Maye, 3-8-2 (3), of New Haven, CT, at 0:34 of the fifth round in a scheduled six rounder.
In the first round both boxers were feeling each other out. Rock landed some good jabs and controlled what little action there was. In second round Rock hit Maye the with a right to the head getting his attention. In the third round Rock continued to set Maye up with his jab but didn’t pull the trigger enough but enough to take the round. In the fourth round Rock switches to southpaw several times and continued to win with a jab and good right hand body shots hurting Maye on occasions. In the fifth round Rock landed a right hook and left hand knocking Maye out to the delight of the fans. Referee Fields immediately waved it off.
In the opening bout super bantamweight Malik “Action” Jackson, 2-0 (2), of DC, scored a pair of knockdowns stopping Christian Foster, 0-3 (0), of Alexanderia, VA., at 2:20 of the first round.
A pair of body shots dropped Foster twice before referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. called a halt.
All in all it was a good if not late of boxing at Bally’s in A.C.
Atlantic City and Trenton Shows in New Jersey Friday and Saturday!
Atlantic City and Trenton Shows in New Jersey Friday and Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner
New Jersey boxing is off to a fast start with two shows scheduled this week. Friday at Bally’s Event Center, in Atlantic City with 11 bouts scheduled over Sho Box. The main event features two topsuper bantamweights in Adam “Mantequillo” Lopez, 16-0-1 (8), of San Antonio, TX, against Daniel “Baby Face Assassin” Roman, 21-2-1 (7), of Garden Grove, CA.
The co-feature has Ronald Ellis, 13-0-1 (10), out of Lynn, MASS against Philly’s Christopher Brooker, 11-2 (5), in a cruiserweight bout. Two other Philly boxers on the card are Keenan Smith, 9-0 (3), returning after 14 months of inactivity. Also, top former amateur star super heavyweight Darmani “Tight” Rock, 6-0 (4) making his first fight near home.
Top New Jersey prospect Leroy “Lucious” Davila, 4-0 (2), of New Brunswick is againstAnthony Taylor, 4-0 (1), of Warren, OH. Stephon “Bossman” Young, 15-0-3 (6), of Chicago, IL, is against Elton Dharry, 20-5-1 (13), of Guyana living in Brooklyn, NY. FinallyKenneth “Showstopper” Sims, Jr., 10-0 (3), of St. Louis, MO, is against Emmanuel “Renegade”, 15-1-1 (5), of San Diego, CA.
In Trenton Saturday at the Sun National Bank Center, Rene Aiken of Boss Lady Promotions, and Honorable Mayor Eric Jackson returns for her second show at this facility“Bridge Wars” featuring her nephew the return of 3 division champion “Super” Zab Judah, 42-9 (29), headlines against Jorge Luis Munguia, 13-7 (5), of Hondoras. “I’m coming in at 143 and expect to go down to 140”. The co-feature has Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster, 21-1 (11), against Thomas Awimbono, 25-5-1 (21), of Accra, GH, for the vacant USBO super middleweight title. Trenton’s own cruiserweight Mike Hilton, 4-0 (4), returns back to this facility again. Camden’s Vidal Rivera, 4-0 (3), in the featherweight division meets James Early, 2-1 (0), of Seat Pleasant, MD. Also, on the undercard middleweight Jimmy Kelleher, 2-0 (2), of Scranton, PA, Philly’s Donald Smith, 3-0 (2), and Darin Holiday, of Philly making his debut against the grandson of “The Easton Assassin” Larry Holmes. In a female bout Carla Torres, 5-3 (0), of PR and Cleveland, OH, is featured. This will be a pro-am with boxers from NJ, NY and PA.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cuellar, Mares, Lopez, Webster, Crawford, Beltran, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cuellar, Mares, Lopez, Webster, Crawford, Beltran, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 29th to December 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Cuellar, Mares, and Lopez Media Workout Quotes
Featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares participated in a media workout in Los Angeles Tuesday in advance of their long awaited showdown taking place Saturday, December 10 from Galen Center in USC in Los Angeles and live on SHOWTIME.
Also in attendance Tuesday at City of Angels Boxing was former title challenger and local fan favorite Josesito Lopez, who competes in a welterweight bout on the undercard. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and features junior middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo taking on top-rated challenger Julian Williams in a battle of undefeated rising stars in their prime.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are priced at $35, $50, $75, $150 and $200. To purchase tickets go to www.galentix.com.
Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday:
“The fight is here and I’m ready to step in the ring. I have defended my title six times already and I want to be the best in the division. He’s one of the best and I’m willing to challenge him.
“This is an important fight that I’ve wanted for a long time. It’s an important fight for my career and to prove to everyone how good I am.
“Abner Mares is a high level fighter. I have to beat him to reach the next level of this sport. That’s what I’m preparing to do.
“You’re going to see everything I’ve learned on December 10. I love to train hard and I’ve improved greatly as a fighter. I’m going to put it all together in the ring.
“There’s no pressure for me coming into this fight. I know that I’m in his backyard but I have the people of Argentina behind me. This is going to be a really good fight.
“I’m ready to go to war. I know Abner is ready and he has a goal in his mind. I’m ready to do what I have to do in the ring.
“It’s been almost a year. We came here in January to fight Mares and now the time is almost here to accomplish our goal.
“I have to go out there and do my job. I’m going to show Abner a lot of different things. I have a lot more skills than people give me credit for. It will all be on display in the ring.
“I know that I’m going to be at 100 percent. I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been that I’m prepared for this fight and I’m going to win.
“Freddie Roach is getting the best out of me. He knows what I like to do and he knows how to correct my mistakes. He’s doing a really good job in training camp.
“I’m working to go 12 rounds and end the night with a victory for Argentina. I came here to achieve a great victory for my country.”
“I’m so happy and excited to be fighting in Los Angeles and in my backyard again. SHOWTIME is the reason I’m famous.
“On paper I thought that Cuellar is probably going to be toughest, strongest fighter I’ve been in with. I can’t say for sure because we haven’t fought yet. But I know that he is a strong, powerful champion who is coming in to keep his title.
“There’s always a reason behind something bad that happens. In this case, me not being able to fight twice (due to postponements), it just gave me the opportunity to get to know Robert even better. I’ve had a whole year leading up to this fight. You will see a difference in me. I’m very eager and excited to fight.
“It’s going to be a tremendous fight. I think Cuellar only has one style, and that’s to rely on his power punches. He’s a come forward type of fighter that seems to always be looking for the knockout. But I’ve been known to give a fight too and make for great fights.
“My plan is to make the fight as easy for myself as possible. I feel I have the tools to give him different looks that maybe he hasn’t seen before against a fighter of my talents. For me to win another world title would mean the world to me. It would be an early Christmas present for me, my family and my friends.
“Coach Robert Garcia brings the discipline and the demanding voice of a trainer. We have to do things his way and I like that. It’s bringing the best out of me. I’m really excited for this fight.
“Fighting in my hometown of LA, I feel like I have the home field advantage. I don’t feel any pressure at all. I feel like I’m in as good of shape as I can be and there will be no ring rust. I’ve actually had three training camps for this fight, after postponements in March and June.
“If you look at Cuellar he looks much naturally bigger. But we’re both going to weigh just about the same at the weigh-in. He has to make the same weight as I do. I felt a little bit of pressure before the Leo Santa Cruz fight, but none this time.
“Bringing in Robert Garcia has been a great thing for me. He’s brought a lot of experience and he’s one of the best coaches out there. I can’t wait to show the fans what I’ve learned from Robert.”
“I’ve been anxious to get in there but I’m ready now and excited to get back to doing what I love. I healed up from some injuries that I suffered. Now that I’m fully healed I have felt the power returning and it’s time to go.
“The most important thing is that I’m 100 percent ready mentally and physically. I’ll be right there in the ring on December 10.
“This is my first quiz in going back to school and working my way toward a world title. I’m back in the gym and putting everything together so that I can use it in the ring.
“I am going to be smart and work hard in the ring. I know I have to make the key adjustments during a fight that will make the difference when I meet the elite fighters.
“Just a few months ago when I sparred for the first time in a while, I realized I missed getting hit. Why? Because I love the chance to hit back. Even just having the Vaseline back on my face was something I missed. I’ve probably watched more boxing than I had in my entire life since I’ve been gone.”
“This absence has brought back the fire in me. There are several titles that are accessible to many guys in my division. I know I’m right there and I just need to take the right steps to get to that point.
“I have undivided attention in training camp with Robert Garcia and I’ve worked very hard to get myself ready. I feel like I’m still improving and getting better.
“I’m really excited to get back in the ring. I can hardly wait. There’s nothing I love more than performing for my fans. I’m going to do what I always do, which is make sure the fans see a great fight when I’m in the ring.”
Split-T Management Signs Antonio Vargas
Split-T Management is pleased to announce the signing of another member of the 2016 United States Olympic Team, Antonio Vargas to a managerial contract..
Vargas of Kissimmee, Florida was the Flyweight representative for the 2016 U.S. Team.
“I have known Split-T Management’s David McWater for several years. The people I know told me a lot of positive things about him. He showed me he was a good person and the man who can manage my career the way it should be,” said Vargas.
Said Split-T Management’s David McWater, “Antonio is just a special kid. Of course he has all the talent and physical tools, but he is so much more than that. He’s got incredible focus and determination. Not to mention, he is always very classy. I wanted to represent him since the first time that I saw him at the National Golden Gloves, and I know he will be a world champion.”
He was considered one of the best pound for pound fighters on the squad, and the most successful amateur of the team heading into the games. He was a U.S. Youth Open champion, U.S. National Elite champion, two-time National Golden Gloves champion and won the Gold Medal at the Pan American Games at the age of 18. Those accomplishments led him to be named the 2015 USA Boxing Male Athlete of the Year.
In the 2016 Olympics, Vargas lost to eventual Gold medal winner Shakhobibdin Zoirov of Uzbekistan.
Vargas will turn professional at either 115 or 118 pounds and his handlers believe that he will fight up to junior lightweight before his career is complete.
Vargas has a very exciting style, and he has taken traits from some of the best fighters in the world that he feels makes him a complete fighter.
“I would compare my style to Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko, and going back a bit, Orlando Canizales because all three had fast hands and feet with the ability to stop on a dime and unleash powerful shots to the head and body that can get you out of there.”
Vargas began boxing at age nine.
“I had ADHD, and was a very hyper kid that was always fighting and getting into trouble,” said Vargas. “One of my teachers actually told my parents to put me on medication. My father instead brought me to the boxing in gym in hopes it would help me burn a lot of energy and tire me out.”
“I told my teacher that I was on medication but it was actually boxing that helped calm me down so I could focus on my studies and stay out of trouble.”
As Vargas grew older, boxing became more of a future then just an activity.
“I won a lot of state tournaments, but when I won the US Youth Open Tournament at age 16, I realized I could make boxing my career. I was undefeated for 4 years, which I won several gold medals at the National Golden Gloves, U.S National Championships and Pan American Games.”
Vargas believes that all of his international experience will help him in the pros because he was exposed to the many different styles of boxing, and now he is extremely motivated due to his Olympic experience.
“The Olympics did not go as I wanted. I lost to the eventual gold medal winner. The loss made me real hungry and now I train harder than I ever did before because I want to be the best.”
“I plan on turning professional as either a junior bantamweight or bantamweight and win world championships in four different weight divisions. I am going to achieve greatness while glorifying Jesus Christ and to spread his word.
Derrick Webster to Return on Zab Judah Card
Fresh off a dominant TKO victory of Zoltan Sera last month in Philadelphia, Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (21-1, 11 KOs) will make a return to the ring on Jan. 21st at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. Standing opposite him that night will be Thomas Awimbono (25-5-1, 21 KOs), with the IBO Super Middleweight Championship on the line.
“I am extremely excited because it has been a few years since the last time I fought in New Jersey,” the Glassboro native stated. “Just being able to fight back in New Jersey feels good. I really have to take my hat off to the amount of supporters who have already committed to coming out to this fight.”
With the IBO Super Middleweight Championship on the line, Webster says that the intensity surrounding this camp is already at an extreme level.
“My trainers and I have really kicked it into high gear,” he remarked. “(Head trainer) Denny Brown and (assistant) Robert Rossi are already pushing me to my limits. In order to be a champion, you have to train like a champion. I am so hungry for this right now, and all I can think about is the amount of sacrifices that I have made to get to this point. This shot here, I am taking it by the horns, and we are going to ride it all night long. This boy is going to have hell to pay. It might be a 10-round fight, but I really don’t know if it is going to make it the distance.”
A newly married man, Webster quickly put to rest any concerns regarding his mental focus in his last fight, where he knocked down Sera three times before a referee stoppage in the 5th round.
“With me getting married in September, so many people questioned whether or not I would be the same guy,” he said. “I found out about my last fight at the wedding. We were supposed to go on a month-long honeymoon, and I shut my honeymoon down to start preparing for the fight. If that’s not sacrifice and determination, I don’t know what is. I wanted to make a statement that in 2017 I am going to be a problem, period. I don’t want any .500 fighters or guys with bad records. I never wanted any fighters like that, but I just fought who they put in front of me. With this last guy, it had to start with him in terms of what I am trying to accomplish in 2017.”
The card on Jan. 21st is being promoted by Renee Aiken, someone who has been a consistent ally of Webster throughout his career.
“Going into the last fight, I had every intention of staying busy afterwards,” Webster confirmed. “Right after we took care of business with our last opponent, I immediately started looking for another card. I reached out to Renee Aiken about a spot on one of her future cards, and she helped us get this fight locked up. I just really wanted to stay busy after the last fight to keep the momentum going.”
Webster vs. Awimbono will be the co-feature bout on the Jan. 21st card, with former four-time world champion Zab Judah making his return to boxing in the main event.
“I met Zab Judah when I was in camp with Jean Pascal a few years ago,” Webster recollected. “Above all things, he is a great person. He is a four-time world champion, and that is such a huge accomplishment. I always said I was the main event, even when I have not been fighting in the main event. I always wanted to be the most exciting fighter on the card. But for me to get to share the stage with a guy of his stature, that means a whole lot to me. I’m a southpaw, he’s a southpaw. In my book, I’m calling this night the southpaw showdown. I am excited to see Zab once again, and I am going to bring him to the ring in unbelievable fashion. I am going to handle my business, and then I am going to sit back and watch Zab do his thing.”
Menard Ready for Beltran on Crawford vs. Molina Card
Rayne, Louisiana’s “Rock Hard Mighty” Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KOs) knows he’s in for a tough challenge when he makes the first defense of his WBO NABO Lightweight Championship against fellow top-10 contender Ray Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, December 10, at CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb.
The 10-round Menard vs. Beltran lightweight showdown will serve as the middle bout of an HBO World Championship Boxing tripleheader (9:35 p.m. ET/PT) that will open with the same-day delay telecast of the Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz, Jr. WBO heavyweight championship in New Zealand.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with TGB Promotions, the exciting event will be headlined by undefeated World Junior Welterweight Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD (29-0, 20 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., making the first defense of his unified World Boxing Organization (WBO) / World Boxing Council (WBC) /Ring magazine 140-pound world titles against one-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender JOHN MOLINA JR. (29-6, 23 KOs), from Covina, Calif.
Remaining reserved seat tickets to the Crawford – Molina world championship event, priced at $27, $52, $77 and $127, can be purchased at the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.
To charge-by-phone call (800) 745-3000. To order online, visit ticketmaster.com.
“I know Beltran has been around a long time and he’s fought at the top level many times. He is very tough and I know he will bring it,” said Menard.
The 28-year-old Menard punched his way into world contention this year with a pair of high-profile knockouts. In April of this year, he scored one for the highlight reels by starching formerly undefeated Eudy Bernardo with one punch in round three.
Then in August, he returned with another KO, this time against well-regarded Uzbekistani Bahodir Mamadjonov in the ninth round.
“2016 has been a great year for me,” he continued. “I’ve had two consecutive KO’s on national television and one is a candidate for ‘Knockout of the Year.’ I also won an award from the WBO in Puerto Rico. Now this fight has fallen into my lap and I will make the best of this opportunity.”
Another impressive victory for Menard would land him in world title contention… a fact not lost on the excited slugger. “Landing this fight is big for me and my career. A win here should put me in position to fight for a world title next. It should open doors me and make me a serious contender in the lightweight division.”
Menard is taking this tough challenge on relatively short notice, but says he’s in great shape and will be fully prepared for battle on December 10. “Yes, I am ready. I was already training to fight December 15. It’s now or never. I believe God has blessed me with this fight because I’ve been praying for a big one to get me to the next level.”
Lopez Stops Vazquez in the “War in Clemente”
Lopez Stops Vazquez in the “War in Clemente”
By: Eric Lunger
The Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan has hosted a long parade of famous Puerto Rican boxers. On Saturday night, in a fight billed as the “War in Clemente,” two favorite sons of the island clashed in a bitter non-title bout, at a 129 lbs. catch weight.
Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. (26-6-1, 19 KO’s) is a ten year pro who skipped the amateurs to begin professional boxing under the tutelage of his father, himself a storied fighter and three division WBA world champion. Wilfredo Jr. won the WBO world title at junior featherweight in February of 2010, knocking out an undefeated Marvin Sonsona. After one successful defense, he lost the belt to Ivan Hernandez (26-4-1) in October of the same year. Vazquez had mixed results since then, coming into Saturday night’s bout with three losses in his last five, most recently a split decision loss last December to Rafael Rivera (20-0-2).
Like Vazquez, Juan Manuel Lopez (34-5, 31 KO’s) won a WBO title in 2010, defeating Bernabe Concepcion (29-3-1) by TKO in the second to gain the feather weight belt. Lopez has some tough losses on his record, albeit to quality opponents. His most recent fight was more than two years ago, in which he suffered a violent second round knock out at the hands of Jesus Cuellar (24-1). A southpaw, Lopez possesses an excellent defense and a surprisingly powerful and quick straight right. After a lay off of 25 months, this was essentially an out-of-retirement fight for Lopez.
The evening began with what can only be described as a farcical undercard. There were two KO’s within 25 seconds. One bout featured an aging veteran who was showboating for the crowd so ostentatiously that the referee had to issue a warning. The light heavyweight bout was so mismatched that I found myself just hoping no one would get badly hurt.
But, occasionally, it is good to sit through a bad undercard because it highlights, like no other way possible, the training and technical skill of elite level fighters. When Vazquez and Lopez answered the bell, you could plainly see that these were former world champions for a reason. And especially striking is the defense of fighters of this caliber – it is just so hard to even touch them.
At any rate, when Vazquez came out in the first round with speed, fast footwork, and a flicking jab, I thought he was miles ahead of Lopez, whose ring rust was evident. With Vazquez apparently ready to box from the outside, Lopez looked lumbering and out of synch. Vazquez won the first two rounds and looked very much in control, but in the third, Lopez began to land his lead left and this gave him confidence to come forward more and more, forcing Vazquez to fight off his back foot.
The middle rounds were very close and difficult to score. In the fifth, Lopez appeared to wobble Vazquez, who briefly struggled to control his legs. Either Lopez saw something the fans did not, or he decided to retreat into his patient game plan, but Lopez did not go for a KO at this point. Vazquez recovered and the round ended.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, both fighters began to work the body, and each gave and received a couple of low blows. The ninth round was high theatre: Vazquez landed a good right counter, but couldn’t hurt Lopez. Lopez responded with lead lefts to Vazquez’s midsection, trying to set up his straight right. There were some vigorous exchanges in the middle of the ring that brought the Roberto Clemente crowd roaring to their feet.
Round ten saw Vazquez attempt to revive his jab, but both fighters took a step back, a breather really, in this round. In the eleventh, Lopez came to life, now finding his jab and landing through Vazquez’s guard. Suddenly, and almost unexpectedly, Lopez trapped Vazquez in the corner and launched a sustained flurry of hooks, catching Vazquez and dropping him into the ropes and onto the canvas. The referee had seen enough, and did not administer a count.
Unfortunately, the end was marred by a chaotic and ugly scene, as one of Vazquez’s corner men managed to taunt Lopez into exchanging blows with him; beer cups and jeers rained into the ring as it filled with various persons attempting to impose order. The donnybrook finally resolved itself with both boxers hugging and talking to each other animatedly, and even Vazquez’s father was seen embracing a tearful Lopez. A moment of high emotion, indeed.
The post fight mayhem ought not overshadow the bout itself. It was a highly technical but exciting display by two elite level fighters. Both men showed a fierce will to win, mixed with tactical patience and determination. In a month marked by a dearth of boxing action, Vazquez and Lopez showed why boxing is a sport like no other.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Mayweather, Smith, Hurd, Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Mayweather, Smith, Hurd, Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 18th to October 25th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hgan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. Press Conference Quotes
Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of FamerBernard “The Executioner” Hopkins(55-7-2, 32 KOs) and Light Heavyweight Contender Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) today hosted a Los Angeles press conference to discuss their 12-round battle set for December 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and to be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Also, in attendance for this press conference was Los Angeles-based undefeated Vyacheslav “Lionheart Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 KOs) as he takes on Cuban standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) for a 10-round bout for Shabranskyy’s WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight title on HBO Latino® Boxing on Friday, December 16 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Also rounding out the HBO Latino® Boxing card, was Former WBC Silver featherweight titlist Ronny Rios (26-1, 11 KOs) against Roy “Pitbull” Tapia (12-1-2, 6 KOs).
Below is what the fighters, their trainers, managers and promoter had to say at today’s press conference:
BERNARD HOPKINS, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer:
“This is history, we have been here many times where history has been made. This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the Final 1. To be able to have the Final 1 in LA, where the city of stars are trying to be stars, however you cut it, it couldn’t have been better with the history placed in the DNA that the Forum has produced.
“It is fitting that the end of a twenty-nine year career, since 1988 is in a historic place at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. This is something that came as an opportunity to be here. I couldn’t tell you that it would be in this arena-it just happened, and here I am against an incredible opponent.
“I don’t want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr. gave me anything-give me an opportunity and give me a door and I’ll open it myself. I don’t’ have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from “The Executioner” to “B-Hop” to “The Alien” they all exist in me.
“On December 17th you will see “The Executioner,” it will all come full circle. This press conference is just a warm up. Win, lose or draw, there is no excuse-Final 1.”
JOE SMITH JR., Light Heavyweight Contender:
“I’m so glad I was chosen to fight Bernard Hopkins in his final fight on December 17th at the Forum. I’m going to train very hard for this fight and take full advantage of it. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gets Role in Jamie Foxx Flick
TMZ Sports has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has gotten a role in a new Jamie Foxx Movie. The movie is called “All-Star Weekend” and both Fox and Mayweather are already on set in Los Angeles.
Floyd Mayweather is playing himself, and the movie is supposed to be about two friends who form a rivalry over their favorite American basketball player.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/20/floyd-mayweather-and-jamie-foxx-movie-all-star-weekend/
Jonathan Oquendo Added to Lopez vs. Vasquez Card
Former world featherweight title challenger Jonathan Oquendo, undefeated junior welterweight prospect Yomar “The Magic” Alamo and 2012 Puerto Rico Olympian Jontay Ortiz have all been added to this Saturday night’s (Oct. 29) Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López and Wilfredo”Papito” Vázquez, Jr pay-per-view card in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Guerra En El Clemente: Vázquez Jr. v. López, presented by Black Tiger Promotions, will be distributed by Integrated Sports Media live, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in the United States and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity. The event will also be available to watch across Canada on Fight Network, as well as via Fite TV app for iOS and Android devices or watch on the www.Fite.TV website. Suggested retail price is $29.95.
The Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs) vs. López (34-5, 31 KOs) 12-round Special Attraction main event (contested at a 129-pound catch-weight) is presented in association with Matias Entertainment and sponsored by Best Alarms and Municipio de San Juan.
“We’re confident this will truly be a memorable night of boxing for fans in attendance,” said Carlos Maldonado, President of Black Tiger Promotions, “as well as for those watching on pay per view.”
Vázquez (24-6-1, 19 KOs) is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) FECABOX super bantamweight champion, while López (34-5, 31 KOs) is a past 3-time, 2-division world champion (WBO super featherweight & featherweight, Interim World Boxing Association featherweight
The 33-year-old Oquendo (26-5, 16 KOs) is coming off a 12-round decision loss to WBA world featherweight champion last December to Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar. Oquendo’s most notable victories during his 12 ½-year professional career include Jhonny Gonzalez (DEC10) Alexandro Montiel (TKO1).
Oquendo has lost, ironically, to both Vázquez TKO7) and López (TKO3). He hopes to parlay an impressive win in the 10-round co-feature against Mexican rival Gustavo “El Gustavo” Molina (23-13, 9 KOs) into a rematch with the Vázquez-López winner.
Rising star Alamo (11-0, 8 KOs), the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) FECARBOX junior welterweight
champion, will be fighting in his first scheduled 10-round bout versus an opponent to be announced. Alamo’s last action was this past August, in which he stopped Edgardo Rivera to capture his regional title belt.
In the PPV opener, Ortiz (5-0, 3 KOs) faces fellow Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez in a 6-round match. Ortiz was bronze medalist in the 2011 Pan-American Games. He lost in the 2012 London Olympics to Russian David Ayrapetyan, 13-15, the eventual Olympic bronze medalist.
Sergio Martinez and Sampson Lewkowicz Sign to Co Promote Olympian Alberto Palmetta
Former world champion Sergio Martinez of Maravillabox Promotions and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing proudly announcing they have reached a co-promotional deal with Argentinean 2016 Summer Olympian Alberto Palmetta.
26-year-old Palmetta, a junior middleweight, is one of the most heavily decorated amateurs in his country’s history. After starting boxing at age 14, Palmetta had 112 amateur fights and went on to win numerous national and international distinctions including the bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and participating in the most recent Olympics.
Born in Buenos Aires, Palmetta was also the captain of the Argentinean national team and was considered a top-10 prospect in the world at his weight. He has been recognized by his home country several times, including being designated and “Illustrious Sportsman by the municipality of San Isidro where he now lives and the 2015 Firpo Award as the best amateur boxer in Argentina.
Palmetta is schedule to make his professional debut on November 18, in Catamarca against an opponent to be confirmed.
“I feel my promoters will be looking to bring me to the United States to fight against the best in the world,” said Palmetta. “This is what I told them I want more than anything.”
Former champ Martinez says he’s happy the heavily sought-after Palmetta chose to go with him and Sampson Boxing.
“I am honored to be working with this talented boxer. The fact that he chose my company gives me tremendous pride and I will do everything I have to for him to become a champion.”
Lewkowicz, one of boxing’s great judges of talent dating back many years, says Palmetta will be an important part of his company’s plans in the coming years.
“This is a fighter with tremendous talent,” said Lewkowicz, who is credited with discovering a then-unknown Manny Pacquiao. “Alberto Palmetta is a name everyone in boxing will know in a few years, both in Argentina and around the world. The boxing fans in the United States are going to love the way he fights. I’m very exited to be part of this.”
Scorcese-Film Star to Compete on New Bedford Boxing Card
Boston Boxing Promotions announced Tuesday that undefeated heavyweight prospect JeanPierre Augustin (6-0-1, 2 KO’s) has been added to the fight card Saturday November 12th at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts against an opponent to be determined.
“I’m excited, but more eager to fight on this card November 12th”, said Augustin, “It’s been eight months since I’ve been in the ring and I want to end 2016 and start 2017 with more activity inside the ropes.”
Augustin, who now lives in nearby Providence after growing up in Lawrence, MA, will have a busy month of November. Not only will he be competing on November 12th, but the Martin Scorcese-produced film “Bleed For This” about the life of former five-time world champion Vinny Paz will come out on November 18th and Augustin is prominently featured in the movie playing the part of Gilbert Dele, the former WBA Junior Middleweight Champion, who was an adversary of Vinny Paz in one of his most famous fights in 1991.
“It was an opportunity that presented itself and I had to jump at the chance to be in a Hollywood movie,” said Augustin.
Although the movie hasn’t been released in theaters yet, Augustin’s reputation as an actor got around and he scored the role of former WBA heavyweight champion John Tate in the upcoming movie, “Heart, Baby”.
While he’s now experienced playing the role of two former world champions, he hopes to be a future world champion himself.
“I’m looking to fight guys with good records and up my knockout percentage from here on out”, Said Augustin, “November 12th is just the beginning and there is no looking back.”
Tickets for the November 12 All-Pro Boxing event at New Bedford High School are on sale now at www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com.
Get to Know Jarrett Hurd
In the last year, undefeated 154-pound contender “Swift” Jarrett Hurd has rocketed to the top of the stacked super welterweight division, putting himself squarely in the hunt for a world title. Saturday, November 12, Hurd continues his championship march as he takes on once-beaten Jorge Cota in Premier Boxing Champions on Spike action from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and is headlined by Philadelphia’s own undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, who takes on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas in a 10-round bout. Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion.
Hurd enters this fight coming off of two impressive victories over previously unbeaten fighters. In November 2015 he dominated Frank Galarza and stalked him around the ring before ending his night in the sixth round. Hurd followed that up in June of this year, when he stopped Carlos Molina in the final round on CBS as the co-main event of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter showdown. Hurd’s blinding right uppercut in the first round sent Molina to the canvas and the highlight earned him a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
Get to know more about the rising star as he talks about his introduction to the sport and some of his personal favorites:
(On his team): I have the best team in the world. Ernesto Rodriguez is my head trainer and we do our work in Temple Hills, Maryland. Ernesto is great because he trains me for the style that fits my skills best.
There is no ego in my team. We’re all working toward the same goal and everyone plays their role perfectly. With each fight we’re getting closer to reaching the ultimate goal – becoming a world champion.
(On his start in boxing): My father first put me in the ring to learn how to defend myself. I was 15-years-old and didn’t really know how to fight. I took to it quickly though and it was obviously one of the best things that ever happened to me.
(On his nickname): I got my nickname from the gym. I looked calm and collective in the gym and people noticed. They said I looked swift in there. Now it’s “Swift” and “Swift” on the same card and it’s going to be electric.
(On his boxing idols): I tried to emulate a lot of defensive fighters. Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather are my favorite fighters of all time. I liked James Toney because of his shoulder roll and the Philly shell style.
(Favorite sport/team): I watch football. I only the watch the Washington Redskins though. I’ve always been a huge fan.
(Favorite television show): Power on Starz
(Favorite movie): Deadpool
(Favorite junk food): Pizza
(Favorite health food): Kale
(Celebrity crush): Keri Hilson and Nia Long
(Perfect Vacation): Definitely a cruise to Puerto Rico. I’ve never been there but I want to experience it.
(On his homemade ” All Access ” videos): I just love to be out there and giving fans a chance to feel connected to me. My childhood friend, Christopher Walton, picked up a camera and just started recording me in the ring and outside of the ring one day. He started getting some better equipment so we decided to do these videos to help promote me. The fans are important to me and I want them to feel like they’re a part of my journey.
Warriors Boxing proudly announce the signing of undefeated Chicago-based super featherweight prospect
Josh Hernandez to a promotional contract.
A role model to the city’s youth, when not in training at Sam Colonna’s Gym on Chicago’s south side, the young Hernandez majors in Physical Education and Exercise Science as a junior at Chicago’s De Paul University while working as a personal trainer at Unanimous Boxing Gym.
“I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Hernandez. “All my pro fights so far have been with Warriors and I’m very comfortable working with Leon, Luis and Dominic and their team. That’s what matters most. Other than that, they can offer me some great opportunities. My first three fights were on big PBC cards, so that was exciting. Even my fourth fight was exciting at the UIC Pavilion.”
As an amateur, Hernandez (4-0, 4 KOs as a pro) had just over 50 fights and in 2014, won the Power Gloves and Chicago Golden Gloves, where he was named Best Male Boxer of the tournament.
He is managed and trained by his father, former middleweight contender and fan favorite “Macho” Miguel Hernandez. The 20-year-old has inherited his father’s exciting style, having KO’d all his opposition, thus far, in dramatic fashion.
“My father took me to the gym at five years old and I had my first fight when I was seven. We are very close. He’s my best friend. He is my manager and trainer since I started boxing. I’ve learned everything from him. When I was younger, he took me everywhere with him in his pro carer. When he sat down to talk business with Dominic, I was in the room. When he auditioned for ‘The Contender,’ I was there. At a young age, I was exposed to the business of boxing and what it takes to be a high-level fighter. I bring a lot of people out to watch me fight, but when I’m in the ring, all I hear is his voice. That’s how close we are. I can block everything out but him.”
Long-time Chicago boxing staple and top promoter Dominic Pesoli, now Vice President of Warriors, says he’s happy to be working with the second generation of Hernandez.
“Josh comes from a good, hard-working family,” said Pesoli. “Despite all his talent, he is an extremely humble young man focused on his goals. He has excellent power and great technical skills in the ring and he’s very smart. I couldn’t be happier to be part of this family affair in boxing. Looking forward to working with them.”
Warriors President, Leon Margules, says Hernandez has shown a great deal of promise so far.
“Luis DeCubas and I couldn’t ask for anything more from Josh so far,” he said. “He trains hard and stays dedicated. And in the ring, he’s been levelling his opponents. It’s always amazing to me to see such a nice young man turn so ferocious in the ring, but he does and the fans love it. Warriors is thrilled he is allowing us to handle his career.”
The elder Hernandez says he’s also optimistic for his son’s ring future.
“I fought for Dominic and we have a good relationship. He treated me fairly and he knows when it comes to my son that I’m going to be a little overprotective. He, Luis and Leon are good guys. Warriors is a good company that can take my son to the next level. I’m very happy about this deal.”