Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Verdejo, Stevenson, and Lopez Win Impressively
By: William Holmes
The televised undercard of tonight’s PPV featured three fights before the main event between Terence Crawford and Amir Khan.
This event was held at Madison Square Garden and televised live on Pay Per View in a partnership between Top Rank Promotions and ESPN.
The first fight on the undercard was between Felix Verdejo (24-1) and Bryan Vazquez (37-3) in the lightweight division.
Verdejo took control of the center of the ring early on and was landing crisp jabs in conjunction with decent body shots. Vazquez kept a good tight high guard, but he wasn’t very effective when he went on the offensive.
Verdejo landed a good short left hook in the third round but had a small cut under his left eye in the fourth round. Verdejo looked like the fresher fighter in the fifth round and was able to land some good body shots in the sixth.
Vazquez had a strong seventh and eight round and may have stolen them on the judges’ score cards. Verdejo however was the aggressor in the final two rounds and likely took them from Vazquez.
The final scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92 for Felix Verdejo.
The next fight on the undercard was in the featherweight division between Shakur Stevenson (10-0) and Christopher Diaz (24-1)
Stevenson, a southpaw, started off the fight by circling away from the power hand of Diaz and stayed on the outside. Stevenson picked him apart in the second round with a jab and looked to be in good control
Diaz attempted to keep the distance tight in the third and fourth rounds but Stevenson was too accurate of a puncher to be in danger.
Stevenson had a real strong fifth round as his superior hand speed was just taking it over. Diaz had a better sixth round and both fighters crossed feet in the seventh round. Diaz looked like he was reaching for his punches a bit in the eighth round as he was behind on the cards at the time.
Stevenson looked extremely confident going into the final two rounds and coasted to a comfortable victory.
The final scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 for Shakur Stevenson.
The final fight on the undercard was a lightweight fight between Teofimo Lopez (12-0) and Edis Tatli (31-2) .
Lopez was sharp with his jab early on and landed some good check left hooks in the opening round. He continued to press in the second round and was able to land some good shots to the body.
Lopez continued to press the pace in the third round and had Tatli in full retreat in the fourth round. Lopez went for the stoppage in the fourth as he was winding up on his power shots, but Tatli was able to stay on his feet.
Lopez finished the fight in the fourth round with a vicious body shot that sent Tatli to the mat for the full ten count.
Lopez wins by knockout at 1:32 of the fifth round.
Ryan Garcia vs. Jose Lopez And Angel Acosta vs. Ganigan Lopez Fight Preview
By: Hans Themistode
The popular, yet polarizing Ryan Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) makes his 2019 ring debut this Saturday night March 30th. He’ll be taking on Jose Lopez (20-3-1, 14 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio California.
We all know the main storylines here. Garcia has the good looks of a boxing star. He also has the media savvy and flashy combinations as well. At just 20 years old he truly knows how to work a room. He’s already a major attraction. Most importantly the ladies love him.
The one glaring hole in this description is the praise of his boxing ability. The jury is still out on whether or not he has what it takes to be a future super star in the sport.
Garcia has shown glimpses of what he can become. He also has mental lapses as well. With other young prospects in Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez apparently advancing ahead of him the time is now for Garcia to prove his worth.
At the tail end of 2018 he went under the tutelage of boxing star Canelo Alvarez’s head coach Eddy Reynoso. It was a move that gave immediate results as he knocked out Braulio Rodriguez in the fifth round of his last ring appearance. Garcia will be expected to have a similar performance against Jose Lopez who is coming off a loss against Jonathan Oquendo via sixth round stoppage. Lopez will be looking to grab the biggest victory of his career as a win against the highly touted Garcia would put him on the fast track to stardom. Garcia however, has no plans of being slowed down.
Lopez will undoubtedly have a tough task ahead of him but he won’t be the only one on this fight card who will be looking to upset the applecart.
Ganigan Lopez (35-8, 19 KOs) will have his hands full as he will be taking on WBO Flyweight champion Angel Acosta (19-1, 19 KOs). That task much like Jose Lopez’s will be a difficult one. Every single one of Acosta’s victory has come via stoppage. The lone blemish on the record of Acosta came at the hands of Kosei Tanaka in 2017. Acosta’s unprecedented power down plays his underrated boxing ability. His combination of power and skill make him a tough out.
Both Jose Lopez and Ganigan Lopez have monumental task ahead of them. They are taking on two fighters who have the power to end the fight at any point. As bleak as the thought of winning may seem it is something that they must achieve come Saturday night.
If both of these men can pull off victories as massive underdogs then the course of their boxing lives will be forever changed. With that being said, Ryan Garcia and Angel Acosta understand what’s at stake here so expect them to not take their opposition lightly.
PBC on Fox Results: Thurman Defeats Game Lopez, Kownacki and Nyambayar Win
By: William Holmes
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was the host site of tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Fox with three scheduled fights.
The untelevised undercard included a shocking knockout of Marsellos Wilder, the brother of Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, to William Deets.
The first bout of the night was between Claudio Marrero (23-2) and Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0) in the featherweight division.
This bout was a WBC Featherweight Title eliminator. Nyambayar, a fighter from Mongolia, had a small but boisterous contingent in the crowd. Nyambayar goes by the nickname of King Tug.
King Tug had a southpaw across from him, but he was able to land some good crosses to the body and quick combinations early.
Marrero showed a good jab in the second round and connected with some straight lefts in the third, but King Tug landed the cleaner and harder punches, and had Marrero wobbly in the thirdrom a good straight right hand and he followed that with some heavy combinations in the fourth.
King Tug’s accuracy was just better in the fifth and both punches landed some good shots in the sixth round, and Tug looked like a mouse was forming under his left eye.
Marrero had a strong seventh and eight rounds as Tug wasn’t as aggressive as in previous rounds and Marrero was landing his right hooks. The ninth round could have been scored either way, and the tenth was also close but Marrero lost a point for landing a punch during the break.
The eleventh round featured combinations from both fighters who let their hands go, but King Tug looked like he landed the better shots. Marrero came out very aggressively in the final round and may have landed some punches in the back of the head before the referee quickly broke them up. Marrero was fighting as if he knew he needed a knockout to win but that knockout never came.
The final scores were 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111 for Tugstogt Nyambayar.
The co-main event of the night was between Adam Kownacki (18-0) and Gerald Washington (19-2-1) in the heavyweight division.
Kownacki had a softer appearance in muscle tone when compares to Washington, but he didn’t appear to be intimated by Washington’s physique as he came at him right away and landed a good right hand followed by a short left hook. Washington was able to land some shots of his own in return, but Kownacki kept up the pressure and a good pace and was beating up Washington in the opening round. Kownacki did have a cut near his eye by the end of the round.
Washington came out aggressively at the start of the second round and landed some good punches, but Kownacki took them well and landed a body shot that quickly slowed the momentum of Washington. A straight right hand from Kownacki knocked Washington down who struggled to get up before the count of ten. The referee allowed him to continue, but two more hard shots from Kownacki forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Adam Kownacki wins with an impressive knockout at 1:09 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Keith Thurman (28-0) and Josesito Lopez (36-7) for the WBA World Welterweight Title.
Thurman was sharp with his counters early on as Lopez pressed the pace and was warned for a low blow early on. Thurman was able to show good in and out movement in the second round and was able to knock Lopez down with a short left hook. Lopez got up by the count of eight and was able to survive the round.
Thurman’s accuracy and movement won him most of the middle rounds, but Lopez remained game and took some of Thurman’s best shots well. Lopez had Thurman’s back against the ropes during the sixth round and was sneaking some punches in, but he really turned the tide in the seventh round.
In the seventh Lopez looked close to knocking Thurman down early in from hard left hooks and was battering him from corner to corner. Thurman was fighting to survive the seventh but looked recovered and well by the eight round.
Thurman landed some heavy shots in the eighth round, but Lopez took those shots well and stayed moving forward applying pressure.
Both boxers landed heavy blows in the ninth round and showed a tremendous chin and a willingness to exchange punches.
Thurman stuck to trying to out box Lopez in the tenth and eleventh round on the ever charging Lopez, and he likely won those rounds despite Lopez being able to sneak in some good shots.
The final scores were 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109 for Keith Thurman.
PBC on Fox Preview: Thurman vs. Lopez, Washington vs. Kownacki
By: Oliver McManus
Keith Thurman will make his much awaited return to the ring this weekend, as part of PBC on Fox, following extensive injuries to his hand and elbow. 22 months on from a split decision victory over Danny Garcia and Thurman will defend his WBA ‘Super’ Welterweight Championship against Josesito Lopez (36-7).
The welterweight scene, of course, has changed vastly since Thurman’s last bout with the emergence of Errol Spence Jr, Manny Pacquiao’s Indian summer coming to fruition and, indeed, Terence Crawford moving up in weight class. All three pose very real threats to Thurman’s WBA supremacy but One Time will be looking to brush off the cobwebs and establish himself at the top of the division.
At the Barclays Center, this Saturday, it will be a solid indication of how Thurman has responded to injury rehabilitation and what, if any, impact it has had on him as a fighter. A former unified champion, of course, the 31 year old has been in and around the world level for just over six years. It’s been a while – not just in terms of time – since we’ve seen a vintage Thurman performance, however, but he still shunted himself towards pound-for-pound contention.
Openly targeting a fight with Manny Pacquiao, that fight looks likely to happen given the Filipino’s secondary title status but the prospect of the contest remains enticing. Against Josesito, on paper, Thurman should have a relatively easy body of work – you could expect no less after such a lengthy lay-off.
Josesito Lopez isn’t just a name on paper, however, with The Riverside Rocky having been in the ring with Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto – stopped on all three occasions, mind. With three fights since April 2015, the same number as Thurman, the Californian welterweight hasn’t exactly been the most active over recent years. Seen, throughout time, as a decent yardstick for bigger names looking to get a good performance under their belt, Lopez comes out of the blocks fast continuously before fading around the halfway mark.
Seven years on since his latest victory of note – a surprise win over Victor Ortiz – it has to be said that Lopez is likely to pose little in way of threat to Thurman’s 28-fight unbeaten record. Thurman is expected to come through the contest and look good in doing so but any slip-up from the Clearwater-boxer could be exposed on a large scale by his opponent – don’t put your money on an upset victory, though.
The big bruisers on the undercard come by way of San Jose, California and Lomza, Poland as Gerald Washington and Adam Kownacki look to settle a score with their contest scheduled for 10 rounds. Polish born, Brooklyn resident, Kownacki will enter the ring as a betting favourite and boasting a record of 18 and 0 whilst Washington, a marginal underdog, looks to put himself in the frame for another world title shot.
Having challenged for Deontay Wilder’s WBC Championship in February 2017, Washington’s return saw him retire from a contest with Jarrell Miller before, in his only contest of last year, the 36 year old laboured to a victory over John Wesley Nofire. I use the word ‘laboured’ because whilst the win was routine and, to be frank, easy, Washington didn’t pack the explosive punch power of past performances.
Kownacki, on the other hand, has finished fights with Joshua Tufte, Artur Szpilka and Iago Kiladze in comprehensive fashion – all since 2017 – whilst his last contest against Charles Martin saw the two fighters push each-other in a 50/50 contest. Famed for his tendency to keep his hands down low and march forward, Kownacki takes a fair few punches on his way to victory but, thus far, victory has always been his.
Definitively a step up in class for Kownacki – ranked 5th the IBF and 8th with the WBC – he’ll need to be far more defensively orientated if he is to come through unscathed. Washington, despite his age, has the instinct not to allow such a lapse in technicality go untested. One thing you can guarantee from this fight is an utter slugfest.
Make no mistake though, all eyes are on the returning welterweight with Keith Thurman, the man that’s been left behind, seeking to cast aside any doubts about his recovery.
Thurman “Focused On Getting Better And Much Stronger With Each Fight”
By: Sean Crose
“It was a little bit of a slow start after so many months out of the ring,” says Keith Thurman of training camp, “but I’m feeling great as we get closer to the fight. I’m starting to feel more and more like a world-class athlete again. It’s a good feeling working this hard and it reminds me what it’ll take to continue being the champion.” After close to two years out of the ring, the 28-0 Thurman will be returning this Saturday to face the 36-7-0 Josesito Lopez at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. The card will start airing live at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time as part of the PBC on Fox and Fox Deportes.
“I don’t think ring rust will be an issue,” the Florida based Thurman says. “The only thing that even if this may not be the best Keith Thurman that people have ever seen, we’re focused on getting better and much stronger with each fight. But make no mistake, people will see one of the best welterweights in the world on January 26 at Barclays Center.” Thurman, who has been healing from an injury, actually gave up his WBC welterweight title, though he still holds the major WBA welterweight strap, which he will be defending against Lopez on Saturday.
In truth, there has been a concern about the injury prone Thurman’s time away from the ring, something the undefeated fighter doesn’t make light of. “You always have to be a little worried about new injuries,” says Thurman. “There’s nothing wrong with your car until the day it decides to break down. So at the end of the day, it’s always in the back of my mind. I run a lot of miles, so I wonder about my knees. I wonder about my shoulders also. Athletes and their bodies go through a lot of things. But here I go getting right back into things and I’m totally ready to showcase my talents on January 26.”
As for Lopez, the engaging Thurman refuses to overlookthe veteran of 43 fights. “Josesito,” he says, “is experienced. He’s a busy fighter with good reach. He likes to mix it up and force his opponents to fight. He also has a new coach in Robert Garcia now, and I know he has a lot of confidence in his abilities. Josesito has been through ups and downs in his career, but he’s back on an upswing at the moment. Then he pinpointed me and called me out. So I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Thurman, who has knocked out over three quarters of his opponents, wants to show on Saturday that there’s more to him than just power punching. “”I’m going to show my versatility in the ring,” he says. “I’m going to show Josesito what it’s like to be in the ring with me. He might think it’s just all about my power, but I’ll show him what none of his sparring partners could. I’m going to show everyone the full package of skills I bring and enjoy every second of it.”
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.