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Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe is Ghana’s Newest World Champion


By: Ken Hissner

On April 28th of this year Ghana’s Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe, 18-0 (12), came into Philadelphia to face the co-promoters boxer Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0 (18), of Las Vegas, NV.

At the press conference several days before their bout at the Liacouras Center of Temple University Magdaleno had some harsh childish name calling about the facial appearance of Dogboe. He was one nasty opponent who wanted to bait Dogboe into his child like name calling. I knew for sure I would not be rooting for Magdaleno.

In the first round of their fight Magdaleno dropped Dogboe. By the end of the third round it didn’t look good for Dogboe. Suddenly in the fifth round Dogboe started a body attack that took out the gut’s and heart of Magdaleno dropping him. By the eleventh round Magdaleno hit the canvas two more times forcing referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., to wave the fight off at 1:38 of the eleventh round proclaiming Dogboe the World Boxing Organisation World Super Bantamweight Title. Dogboe was ahead on the three scorecards by 96-91, 95-93 and 97-91 at the time of the stoppage.

At a dinner the night before the press conference I was able to attend at an Upper Darby Afro-American eatery sponsored by co-promoter J Russell Peltz who was accompanied by “Raging Babe”. The meal was splendid. I got a picture with Dogboe and I felt I obtained a “new friend!” I brought him his record via www.boxrec.com along with three fellow former boxers from Ghana including Azuma “Professor” Nelson, WBC World Super Featherweight champion, Floyd Robertson, former British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and two-time world title challenger and Love Allotey, British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and world title challenger.

Dogboe turned professional on August 30, 2013 in a 6 round bout knocking out Csaba Toth, 10-18. It would be ten months before he had his second fight being in Belfast Harris defeating Andy Harris, 3-14-1, dropping Harris in the first round. In his next five fights over a six month period all in the USA Dogboe would stretch his winning streak to seven! In his next eight fights all in his home country of Ghana he increased his unbeaten winning streak to fifteen.

On November 06, 2015 Dogboe would win his first minor title the vacant West African Boxing Union Featherweight title stopping John Oblitey Commey, 9-18, in the third round of a scheduled 12. Two fights later he would add a second title stopping Michael Pappoe, 13-2, for the World Boxing Organisation Africa Featherweight Title winning every one of the twelve rounds.

On June 18, 2016 Dogboe would stop Edward Kakembo, 10-0, of Uganda, living in Silver Springs, MD, in the sixth round of his newest title in his first defense. In his next bout he would defeat Neil John Tabanao, 13-1, of Cebu, Philippines, winning the vacant World boxing Council Youth Silver Featherweight Title, the World Boxing Organisation Oriental title and a defense of his Africa title

Four months later Dogboe would drop down to Super Bantamweight and won the vacant World Boxing Organisation International Title with a seventh round stoppage of Julian Evaristo Aristule, 32-6, of Argentina, the South American champion at Spark Arena, Auckland, NZ.

In July 22, 2017, Dogboe would defend his WBO Int’l title stopping Javier Nicolas Chacon, 25-3-1 at the end of six rounds. Some eleven months later he would win the interim World Boxing Organisation’s World Super Bantamweight Title stopping Cesar Juarez, 20-5, of Mexico City, MEX, in the fifth round of a scheduled 12. Both fights were at the Bukom Boxing Arena, in Accra, Ghana. This fight set-up his meeting with Magdaleno almost four months later in Philadelphia. He is trained and promoted by his father Paul Dogboe of Rising Stars Africa. His manager is John Arthur.

Through his advisor Mike Altamura I was able to conduct a Q&A with the new world champion.

KEN HISSNER: Did Magdaleno get you to the point at the press conference you wanted to punish him even more in your bout with him?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Not really. He’s a nice guy and a true warrior. I just wanted him to come and fight. Not run. I thought he brought his best.

KEN HISSNER: In October of 2014 you came to the USA and won five fights over a six month space of time. How did this come about bringing you to the USA?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the legend James “Lights Out” Toney came to London and my dad met him and he asked my dad to show him where to get a cigar! So my dad drove him to central London Chinatown and got it for him. They became friends and my dad invited him to the gym to come check me spar and he fell in love with my style. Next minute I was in the USA with my dad to make history.

KEN HISSNER: How were you received when you returned to your home country of Ghana?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the people were amazing and were calling me the second coming of Azuma Nelson. I was loved by them but the boxing fraternity kinda shunned me because they were saying this little kid just came on the scene and he’s beating all our boxers.

KEN HISSNER: I see your No. 1 contender is Diego De La Hoya from Mexico. What are your future plans?

ISAAC DOGBOE: I was born ready so if he wants it and the world wants it, why not? If Top Rank arranges it I am game. I’d love to make a defense then immediately eye unification.

KEN HISSNER: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

ISAAC DOGBOE: Of course. God Bless them for all supporting me and I love them. Without the fans there is no Isaac Dogboe.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you my new friend and world champion for taking the time to answering these questions.
ISAAC DOGBOE: Ken, thank you too, and God Bless. You do a great job covering our sport.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Magdaleno Loses Title by KO to Dogboe, Hart and Jennings Win


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought back big time boxing to Philadelphia Saturday, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center via ESPN before a well entertained crowd.
In the Main Event WBO World Junior Featherweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdelano, 25-1 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, tasted defeat for the first time losing to interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), of Accra, GH, who stopped him at 1:38 of the eleventh round of a scheduled 12.

In the first round Dogboe was the aggressor. Dogboe landed a solid left hook to the head of Magdelano but got countered with a 3 punch combination dropping him. Magdelano lead with a left hand to the chin of Dogboe hurting him but Dogboe tossed him to the canvas. In the second round Dogboe led with a right but got countered by a Magdelano left to the head. Dogboe rocked Magdelano with a lead overhand right to the head.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the third round Dogboe led with a right to the chin of Magdelano making him clinch. A left uppercut to the chin by Magdelano buckled the knees of Dogboe. Dogboe came back with a good combination to the body and head of Magdelano. At the bell Dogboe landed a hard overhand right to the chin of Magdelano. In the fourth round both landed with exchanges. A pair of rights to the head from Dogboe rocked Magdelano.

In the fifth round Dogboe dropped Magdelano with a vicious right to the chin. Then he went after him with a flurry of punches making Magdelano hold on. In the sixth round Dogboe drove Magdelano into the ropes on several occasions making him hold on. The sixth and seventh rounds were dominated by Dogboe though Magdelano was always dangerous. In the eighth round Dogboe continued to go after Magdelano with body and head shots. Dogboe told this writer prior to the fight he would “outsmart Magdelano” and that is the way he fought.

In the ninth round Dogboe backed up Magdelano without throwing any punches for the most part as Dogboe seemed to be loading up. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. had trouble at times sepeerating the two with Magdelano refusing to let go of Dogboe. It was a cat and mouse round with Magdelano getting chased.

In the tenth round Dogboe landed half a dozen punches hurting Magdelano who would pound on his own chest as if he was hurt but was. A body shot by Dogboe from a right to the body hurt Magdelano. Magdelano walked on shaky legs back to his corner. In the eleventh round Dogboe landed four unanswered punches. Seconds later a combination from Dogboe dropped Magdelano to his knees. Dogboe jumped all over him with body shots until a right uppercut dropping him until referee Esteves wisely stopped the onslaught. Dogboe made Magdelano pay for his remarks at the press conference!

Dogboe got off to a slow start but from the fourth round on it was all his fight. This humble God loving fighter will be taking the championship belt back to his home in Ghana! It couldn’t happen to a nicer God loving man!

Co-Feature Event Super Middleweight WBO No. 1 contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 (20), of Philadelphia, overwhelmed Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-3-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, at 2:26 of the seventh round for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the first round Hart came out like a wild man trying to end it early. He is not the puncher like his father. He has better tools but not the punch of “the Cyclone”. He controlled the entire round up until the final seconds when Nicholson hit him with a right knocking him across the ring into the ropes which should have been ruled a knockdown by referee Shawn Clark. In the third round Hart landed a left to the body causing a delayed knockdown. Hart landed a left hook to the chin of Nicholson almost dropping him.

In the fourth round Hart continued to man handle Nicholson throughout with Nicholson landing an occasional right to the head of Hart. In the fifth round Hart continued to throw the right hand bomb but got countered with a solid right from Nicholson on the chin. Nicholson kept slipping most of Hart’s wild punches but got hit enough not to win the round. Nicholson showed too much respect for Hart who at the press conference said “I looked up to him when I was just 14!”

In the sixth round Hart landed three right hands to the head while in close. Nicholson finally came back with a left hook to the head of Hart. Hart kept pinning Nicholson to the ropes where Nicholson was defenseless. A Hart uppercut to the chin of Nicholson rocked him. Nicholson landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Hart and came back with two more ending the round.

In the seventh round it was Nicholson turning aggressor. Hart looked like he was spent from all the punching he did earlier and all of a sudden he seemed to hurt Nicholson but went after him and missed with a left hook but seemed to push Nicholson to the canvas who argued with the referee Clark but wouldn’t get up. When he did the referee waved it off.

There was a controversy afterwards between both fighters almost coming to blows. The Nicholson camp and the fighter were unhappy with the ending but he lost every round and should have let his hands not his mouth do the talking.

Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 23-2 (13), won a close hard decision over Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 19-5-4 (11), of Philadelphia, for the vacant USA PA Heavyweight title over 10 rounds.

In the first round Dawejko landed several left hooks to the body of Jennings. Jennings came back with a double jab to the chin. Dawejko landed a double left hook to body and head of Jennings. Jennings depended on his jab the entire round. Dawejko was much more active. In the second round Jennings started off with a left hook to the head of Dawejko. Dawejko dug in a left hook to the body of Jennings whiono continues using his jab to chin and mid-section. Dawejko warned for low punch by referee Gary Rosato. Dawejko came back with a right to the head. Jennings ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Dawejko.

In the third round Dawejko landed a lead overhand right to the head of Jennings. Dawejko landed a trip left hook to the body and head of Jennings. Jennings came back to do the same combination. In the fourth round Jennings landed a double jab to the chin. Dawejko came back with a combination to the head. Dawejko landed a right uppercut to the chin and followed with a left hook to the head of Jennings. Dawejko missed with a left hook while Jennings countered with his best punch a right to the head of Dawejko. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a low punch causing referee Rosato to warn him.

In the fifth round Dawejko landed a looping left hook to the head of Jennings. Both fighters exchanged good body shots inside. Jennings continues to use an effective jab. Dawejko continues to stalk him. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a solid right following a jab to the chin of Dawejko getting his attention. In the sixth round Jennings landed a left hook to the head of Dawejko knocking him off balance. Jennings halfway through the round started using the ring to avoid any exchanges giving away the round.

In the seventh round Dawejko went after Jennings with left hooks to the body and head. Jennings kept peppering Dawejko with his jab. Jennings countered Dawejko with a right uppercut to the chin. In the eighth round Jennings started thins off with a right to the body and head of Dawejko. Dawejko pinned Jennings to the ropes while Jennings tried to spin him off but ended in a clinch. Dawejko drove Jennings into a corner with a flurry of punches.

In the ninth round Jennings landed a good left hook to the chin of Dawejko who acknowledged it as a good one. Dawejko pushed Jennings into a corner forcing Jennings to tie him up. Jennings landed a lead straight right to the chin of Dawejko getting a reaction from the crowd. Dawejko ended the round with a combination to the body of Jennings.

In the tenth and final round Dawejko pinned Jennings against the ropes while referee Rosado again stepped in separating the two. Jennings knocked the mouthpiece of Dawejko out with a right to the chin. Jennings landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Dawejko. Dawejko landed a half dozen unanswered punches before Jennings landed a solid left hook to the head.

“I thought it was a competitive fight and maybe I should have done more,” said Dawejko. That was a statement from a very humble Dawejko. He did mention that he felt the referee separated them too much when he had Jennings against the ropes throwing punches. Both fighters showed respect at the press conference for each other and it seemed to carry on after the fight but from press row this writer was not able to hear Jennings comments and since the Executive Director Greg Sirb doesn’t allow this writer into the locker rooms after fights I was not able to talk to Jennings.

“Styles make good fights and I thought I came out with the win. With a new trainer I have to try to get what he wants me to do. I believe good things are coming. Joey is a slick fighter trying to set traps for me. It isn’t easy fighting a smaller fighter at times. I felt the scoring was what I felt it should have been. I was hurt once in the fight. He is a helluva fighter. We showed respect for one another knowing when we got warned from the referee it was not intentional on our parts,” said Jennings.

Judges all had it 98-92 for Jennings but this writer had it 97-93 for Dawejko. The press favored Jennings for the most part.

2016 Olympian southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 6-0 (3), of Newark, NJ, won by TKO over Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-1 (6), Dallas, GA, at 1:35 of the second reound in a scheduled 8.

In the first round Stevenson used an effective jab to control the pace. Stevenson hurt Riley with a straight left to the mid-section of Riley. In the second round a left hook from Stevenson drove Riley into the ropes. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a combination of punches. He followed up with an onslaught of punches causing referee Clark to call a halt.

Super Featherweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson Conceicao, 7-0 (4), of Salvador, Bahia, BRZ, pitched a shutout over Mexican Alex Torres “Azteca de Oro” Rynn, 6-2 (3), of Calgary, Ontario, CAN, over 6 rounds.

In the first round Conceicao dominated Rynn with good body work and occasional head shots. In the second round Conceicao continued with solid body work with both hands. Rynn kept switching from orthodox to southpaw and back. Conceicao landed a hard combination to the head and ended the round with a right to the chin of Rynn.

In the third round Conceicao kept landing with body punches but Rynn landed a hard counter right from the southpaw stance. From the third round through to the sixth Conceicao put on a good exhibition of his boxing skills.

All 3 judges and this writer had it 60-54.

Popular Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (8), of South Philadelphia, won an easy decision over Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 8-5-1 (4), of PR, over 8 rounds.

In the first round Carto controlled with his jab. Rodriguez landed a left hook which was countered by a Carto right to the head. Carto landed a solid right to the head of Rodriguez who was coming forward. Carto landed a double left hook as the bell sounded ending the round. In the second round Carto landed a double jab followed by a left hook to the body of Rodriguez. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the head. Carto landed a lightning fast lead right to the chin of Rodriguez. Carto continued to set the pace with his jab.

In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to body and head of Rodriguez. Carto landed a left hook to the ribs of Rodriguez. Carto landed a jab follwed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued to make Rodriguez miss. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto at the bell. In the fourth round Rodriguez landed a double left hook to the body of Carto. Carto landed a double left hook to the body and head of Rodriguez. Carto controlled with his jab but got countered by a Rodriguez right to the chin. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto who countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.

In the fifth round both boxers landed several body punches. Carto hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook to the head. Carto landed several lead rights to the chin of Rodriguez. Both exchanged rights to the head. Carto ended the round with a 3-punch combination to body and head. In the sixth round Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Carto. There was a clash of heads leaving a lump on the top of Carto’s head. While using the ring well Carto countered with rights to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued at times backing into the ropes and countered Rodriguez well.
In the seventh round both boxers exchanged rights to the head. Carto landed several counter left’s to the body of Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a short right to the chin of Carto. In the eighth and final round Carto countered a Rodriguez left with a combination to the head. Carto continues to impress with each fight.

“He was a tough fighter. I thought I got head butted in the sixth round. It was a tough fight but I’m learning”, said Carto. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, his brother Frankie is the assistant and manager while cut-man Joey Eye rounded out team Carto.

Judges had it 77-75 twice and 78-74 while this writer had it 80-72.

Super Lightweight Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz, 14-0-1 (9), of St. Louis, MO, and Mohamed Rodriguez, 11-4-1 (4), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, drew in a lack luster 8 rounds.
In the first round the boxers felt each other out as Cruz stalked Rodriguez landing an occasional jab. Rodriguez missed with a wild left hook. Cruz landed a partially blocked right to the head of Rodriguez. In the second round Rodriguez missed with a wild right. Cruz landed a double jab to the chin of Rodriguez. Cruz missed a right and was countered by a Rodriguez left hook to the chin. Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Cruz just prior to the end of the round.

In the third round Cruz threw a pair of left hooks with the second one landing on the chin of Rodriguez. In close Cruz landed a left hook to the head of Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed with 3 punches. In the fourth round little action continued with Cruz using his jab. Cruz received a warning for hitting the back of the head of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez missed with a right while Cruz countered with a solid left hook to the chin of Rodriguez which was the best punch of the fight up until then.

In the sixth round Cruz continued using the jab. Cruz landed a right to the body of Rodriguez. Both boxers exchanged jabs to the mid-section. In the seventh round both landed left hooks to the head at the same time. Rodriguez continued to miss more than landing. In the eighth and final round Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Cruz and did a little dance. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the head of Cruz and missed with a second one.

The Judges had it 78-74 Cruz, 77-75 Rodriguez, and 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Cruz. This entire fight was without anything to get the crowd into it.
Hot prospect Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 7-0 (7), of Allentown, PA, stopped Jorge Hugo “Dandy” Padron, 3-2 (3), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:11 of the first round in a scheduled 6 rounds.

In the first round Adorno stalked Padron landing a solid left to the body. Seconds later Adorno landed a jab followed by a wicked right to the ribs of Padron dropping him to a knee and unable to continue. Adorn brought many fans from the Lehigh County with him.

Opening the event Super Welterweight Marcel Rivers, 5-0 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Ronald Logan, 0-3 (0), of the Bronx, NY, at 0:40 of the second round of a scheduled 4 rounds.

In the first round Rivers landed the first solid punch a right to the head of Logan backing him up several steps. Shortly thereafter a Rivers right to the mid-section backed Logan up several steps. Rivers continued to stalk Logan. Logan threw an overhand right that missed while Rivers countered with a combination to the head of Logan. In the second round Rivers landed a solid left hook to the head of Logan who started to run backwards until he fell on his own. Referee Rosato ruled it a slip. Upon rising Logan started to limp and indicated he couldn’t continue forcing the referee to halt the fight.

Ring announcer Lupe Contreras is back in the east and doing his usual great job.

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WBO Title Fight and Dawejko vs Jennings Biggest Philly Event in Years


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions on Saturday April 28th are bringing big time boxing back to Philly at the Liacouras Center (Temple U) in Philadelphia that the area hasn’t seen in years. Brad Goodman and J Russell Peltz doing the matchmaking.

Top Rank is responsible for bringing in a rare world title fight with WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion southpaw Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, making his second title defense against interim champion and mandatory Isaac ‘Brave-Son’ Dogboe, 18-0 (12), of Accra, Ghana, over 12 rounds. This event will be on USA ESPN (at 4pm) but there is nothing like being there when it comes to the sport of boxing.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“I’m going to put on a spectacular show. I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready. Being here with (trainer) Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and I just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes,” said Magdaleno. His trainer Manny Robles added “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight”.

At the Kings & Queens Liberian Cuisine in Upper Darby, PA, a African American restaurant Wednesday night J Russell Peltz and “Raging Babe” Michelle Rosado hosted Dogboe and his family (father-trainer Paul) and friends including his manager Mike Altamuia, from Australia. “I won 3 National titles and was in the 2012 Olympics. Every fight is based on intelligence. It isn’t if I’m going to knock out Magdaleno, but when I knock him out,” said Dodboe.

This card is “loaded” with talent and the Philadelphia fans are obviously looking forward to the Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, 19-4-4 (11), and Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 22-2 (13), PA State Heavyweight Title fight. It will be the “rematch” from when Dawejko defeated Jennings in the amateurs.

“This is the biggest fight of my career and I want to prove to the world I am a legitimate contender and I’m ready to go. I had a great camp in California with trainer Shadeed Suluke (trained James Toney among many),” said Dawejko.

His manager of almost 4 years Mark Cipparone who by the way is a perfect fit for Dawejko and serves as a good example what a manager should do for his fighter had this to say “I just think Joey has made the maturity and has given everything to his conditioning”. It’s been said Dawejko has the best left hook since “Smokin” Joe Frazier in Philly and for those who feel he should be a cruiserweight he has fought at heavyweight in the amateurs and professional ranks and has nothing to prove to anyone.

Jennings in 2014 put the first loss in back to back fights to Artur Szpilka, 16-0, and Mike Perez, 20-0-1. This earned him a world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko, 63-3, in 2015 where he lost a 12 round decision. In his next fight he faced at the time possibly the most feared fighter in the division in losing to Cuban Louis Ortiz some 8 months later. He was inactive in 2016 and returned in 2017 posting a pair of stoppages and one in February of 2018. This fight is “personal!”

Also, on the undercard is No. 1 ranked WBO Super Middleweight Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 23-1 (19), fighting for the vacant NABF title against Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-2-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, in a 10 round bout. It will be Hart’s second bout since losing a decision to WBO Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez last September.

Very popular Philly bantamweight Christian Carton, 14-0 (11), will be taking on Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 9-4 (5), of Puerto Rico in an 8. 2016 Olympian Shakur Stevenson, 5-0 (2), of Newark, NJ, takes on Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-0 (6), of Dallas, TX, in an 8 round featherweight match.

A pair of top prospects in Allentown’s Super Featherweight Joseph Adorno, 6-0 (6), will be in a 6 while Philly’s welterweight Marcel Rivers, 4-0 (3), will be in a 4. Brazil’s 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Super Featherweight Robson Conceicao, 6-0 (4), will be in an 8 as will Super Lightweight Kent Cruz, 14-0 (9), of St. Louis, MO.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Barrera, Magdaleno, Russell, Diaz, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 17th to April 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Injury Rehabilitation Forces Keith Thurman to Relinquish WBC Belt

Unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has voluntarily relinquished his WBC title while he recovers from the effects of elbow surgery last year and a hand injury he suffered in training camp last month.
After speaking with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently, Thurman decided that he would relinquish the title and open the way for former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, the two leading contenders for the WBC title, to fight each other for the championship while Thurman made a full recovery from his injuries.

“Due to my rehabilitation from my injuries, I agreed to relinquish my WBC title at this time. I continue to rehab my hand and elbow and I look forward to getting back in the ring this summer. This is a temporary setback and I will be the unified champion once again and look forward to winning back my WBC title as soon as possible,” said Thurman.

“Keith Thurman unfortunately has suffered two consecutive injuries that have kept him out of the ring after his sensational victory over Danny Garcia and he has graciously relinquished his title, and the WBC has mandated that Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will fight for the title,” said Mauricio Sulaiman. “Keith will have a direct path to fight for the title once he has healed just as Vitali Klitshcko and other WBC champions have done in the past. Keith is a tremendous athlete, champion and role model. The WBC will support him completely during this difficult time. ”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), a former unified champion at 140 pounds and the former WBC welterweight champion, lost the WBC title to Thurman by 12-round split decision in 2017. He bounced back with a knockout victory over former champion Brandon Rios in February. The WBC had made that fight a title elimination match, which put Garcia in line to fight Thurman again for the title.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), a former welterweight champion, lost a close 12-round decision to Thurman in 2016. He became the mandatory challenger for the WBC title when he knocked out Andre Berto last year. He maintained his status with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados in November.

The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been plagued by a string of injuries the last two years.
Thurman injured his neck in a car accident in February 2016, which delayed his match against Porter by three months. When they met Thurman defeated Porter by unanimous decision on June 25.

He defeated Garcia by split decision in a welterweight unification match on March 4, 2017. A month later he had major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits. He is still in rehabilitation from that surgery.

Thurman injured his hand hitting the heavy bag last month and aggravated the injury sparring with some amateurs at his gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. An MRI revealed bruises to the metacarpal bones in the hand, which also has extensive swelling. Thurman can’t have any impact with the hand for at least 8 weeks, which added another delay to his ring return.

He now hopes to return to the ring in the late summer or early fall.

Jessie Magdaleno: I’m Going to Put on a Spectacular Show

World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno has spent his latest training camp running the mountains near Guadalajara, Mexico, and alongside some of the world’s best fighters at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk, Calif. Magdaleno is preparing for the role of main event headliner against No. 1 contender and interim champion Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, April 28 at The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready,” Magdaleno said. “Being here with {trainer} Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes.”

Said Robles: “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight.”

Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) won the world title with a unanimous decision over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5, 2016. He has defended his belt once, a second-round stoppage over Adeilson Dos Santos last April. When Magdaleno steps into the ring against Dogboe, it will have been 371 days since the Dos Santos fight.

“It’s been a long training camp, and I’ve been training with some excellent fighters,” Magdaleno said. “I was with {WBO featherweight champion} Oscar Valdez in Mexico, and now, it’s the home stretch. We’re more than ready to get back in the ring.”

The pre-fight drama escalated last month when Dogboe’s father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, told Ghana’s Pulse website: “We hope Magdaleno will not run like a chicken. We hope he makes the weight and comes in with no excuses because we are ready for him. We are ready to eat him like a chicken. We are focused, and our only mission is to devour him, eat the crazy chicken, throw him over the wall of Mexico and present the title to Donald Trump. Magdaleno will run when he sees Isaac.”

Paul Dogboe has since apologized, and Magdaleno is intent on doing his talking inside the ring.
“It’s about experience, staying focused, and doing our job,” Magdaleno said. “Manny keeps me focused on the fight, and that is my main concern.”

Magdaleno-Dogboe will be televised LIVE on ESPN and stream in English and Spanish on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available on the ESPN App, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will air the fight at 10 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100 (ringside), $65 and $35, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased at The Liacouras Center Box Office and www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.

Adonis Stevenson to Face Badou Jack May 19th in Toronto

Undefeated knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning light heavyweight world champion, will defend his title against two-division champion Badou Jack on Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The showdown between Stevenson and Jack is one of the most intriguing matches in the light heavyweight division as Jack, a former 168-pound and 175-pound champion, has relinquished his title for the chance to challenge one of the hardest hitters in the sport. Both men are looking to make their claim as the class of the division.

Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.

Tickets for the Toronto show, which is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel, Lee Baxter Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale Friday, April 27 and will be available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
“It is the second time that we will come to Toronto to promote a WBC world championship fight with Adonis Stevenson,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “If you found the first event to be spectacular, be sure not to miss the second one as it will be a real firework! Badou Jack is a two-division world champion and an Olympian. He is dangerous and by far the biggest challenge for Adonis since he won the title against Chad Dawson in 2013. We are confident that ‘Superman’ has what it takes to defend his title successfully for the ninth time.

“I would also like to give thanks to our co-promoter Lee Baxter. This event would not have been possible without his collaboration. In addition, I am grateful for Lee and Wayne Zronik from MLSE, who are providing great support for this event and has opened the doors of the Air Canada Centre to us.”

“Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to partnering with Groupe Yvon Michel to pull off this highly anticipated matchup,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Adonis Stevenson has been a reigning champion in this division since 2013. Badou Jack has risen to every challenge he’s faced in his career. Now, he has an opportunity to become a three-time world champion and that raises the stakes for him. I predict two confident, hard-punching and highly skilled fighters will enter the ring at Air Canada Centre on May 19, both determined to walk away a champion.’’

“We are looking forward to hosting this spectacular event at Air Canada Centre,” said Wayne Zronik, Senior Vice President, Music and Live Events at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “It is the first title fight that the venue will host. We’ve worked with this group before to bring world class boxing to the city and are excited for the return of championship boxing to Toronto, and to Air Canada Centre in particular.”

Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) owns one of the most powerful left hands in boxing and goes by the ring moniker “Superman’’. The 40-year-old Stevenson has made eight successful defenses of his title since winning it with a knockout victory over Chad Dawson in 2013. The lineal 175-pound champion most recently defended his title with a second-round stoppage of Andrzej Fonfara last June and delivered a third round TKO over Tommy Karpency in his most recent defense in Toronto in 2015.

“I’m definitely excited and hungry to get into the ring and perform,” said Stevenson. “I’ve trained very hard for this fight against Badou Jack. I’m looking forward to winning this fight by knockout. I’m from the Kronk Gym and we always look for the knockout. Jack is a good, technical boxer. He was a world champion and he has done very well. He’s tough and I won’t underestimate him. I’ll be prepared for anything he brings in the ring.

“I’m fighting him at home in Canada, so I’m looking to give the fans a good show. I’ve got power and I’ve got the best left hook in boxing. I’ve got 12 rounds and I just need to touch you once to end it. It’s not complicated. I don’t need three or four shots. I just need one shot and you’re not going to recover. I’m going to finish you.”

The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) relinquished his 168-pound world championship following a majority draw against James DeGale in 2017 to move up to light heavyweight. He made a successful debut at 175 pounds by knocking out Nathan Cleverly for the light heavyweight championship last August. Jack then relinquished that title to seek out this challenge against the division’s heaviest hitter. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, a 2008 Olympian for his father’s native Gambia and now residing in Las Vegas, Jack is looking to become a three-time world champion on his opponent’s home turf on May 19.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to fight for my third world title against one of the division’s best, Adonis Stevenson,” said Jack. “I’ve been asking for this fight for a long time and was willing to fight him anywhere, including his backyard. I know he’s good and very dangerous and that’s the reason I want to fight him. I’m all about the best fighting the best and come May 19th, I’m bringing the WBC belt back to Las Vegas. My newborn son, Malik was born just before training camp so now I have two children to fight for, which gives me all the motivation I need to get this win.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Press Conference Quotes

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten No. 1 contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) hosted a press conference and faced off for the first time Tuesday before their championship showdown Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visitinghttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

The Russell vs. Diaz fight is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that will feature WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson defending his title against two-division world champion Badou Jack in a main event from Toronto presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Russell Jr., a 2008 U.S. Olympian and 126-pound titleholder since 2015, will defend against his mandatory challenger in the 25-year-old Diaz, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games and will be competing in his first title bout.

Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from TAP Sports Bar at MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.

“It’s amazing to be fighting at home. It’s cool to know that the people I see around all the time will be able to get in the car and drive 15 minutes to come watch this massacre. I can’t wait.

“I appreciate JoJo for being honest and saying that he feels I’m the best featherweight in the world. That speaks volumes.

“We stay focused in the gym. The inactivity doesn’t mean anything. It’s no issue. I’ve had hand issues in the past but I’m able to preserve my body and stay sharp, stay focused. I’m a fighter that’s always in shape. I never take a day off. You can ask my wife. On anniversaries, we’re in the gym. On birthdays, we’re in the gym.

“Regardless of what the situation is, you want a sense of financial stability for yourself and your family. I’m at the point of my career where I have maybe six more fights in me. We want to maximize everything. We want to maximize our revenue and it’s been irritating because a lot of the champions don’t want to get in the ring with me. I appreciate JoJo for giving me the opportunity to sharpen my teeth a little bit more. At least he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.

“I’m one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Speed, power, ring IQ, we can get ugly if we need to. I don’t plan on going 12 rounds. I’m not going the distance with anybody for the remainder of my career. Mark my words.

“When you have guys that fight and move around a lot, it makes it difficult to get to them the way you want to. When you have a guy that is straightforward and will be in your face, it makes it much easier for me and they’re much more susceptible to get hit.

“A lot of fighters win with pure athleticism because they’re faster, stronger or in better shape. They’re not winning because they have the ability to make the necessary adjustments based on what goes on in the ring. I tell people all the time that boxing is intellect manifested on a physical form. In most cases, the more intelligent fighter wins.

“My father says that whenever you see a fight that is an all-out, knockdown war, it’s just two stupid fighters that didn’t have a plan B or the ability to make the adjustments to make the fight easier. If that’s JoJo’s game plan, it’s going to make this fight a lot easier for me. It’s not going 12 rounds.

“As far as a hit list of my next opponents goes, we are first going to take care of JoJo. I would love to get a unification bout with Leo Santa Cruz after that. If we don’t get that, I plan on moving up in weight and challenging whoever has the title in that division. You want to know who I really want, though? I want Mikey Garcia.

“My last fight will be against (Vasyl) Lomachenko. I want to conclude my career with breaking my foot off of him. That will be the conclusion of it. I’m willing to wait, though. Right now, we’re good.
“Of course I would entertain a fight with Gervonta Davis. We’re cool. He’s somebody that I actually watched grow up and develop as a fighter, but you have to stay in your lane. When I move up in weight, he’s got to get out of the way or he’s going to get ran over too.

“I didn’t want to come home to fight until I had a world title. That’s the reason I didn’t fight at home for so long. Now we have the title, and I wanted to fight at least one more time here.

“I want to maximize our revenue because I don’t plan on fighting for too much longer. I had my first fight at seven years old. I’m 29 now. That’s a long time competing and a lot of wear and tear on your body. I’m a guy that doesn’t cut corners, so it takes away from the time I could be spending with my family and friends. I’m ready to spend time with my family and children and live out the fruits of our labor. But in the meantime, everybody else is in my way. They’re trying to take food off my baby’s plate.”

JOSEPH DIAZ JR.

“I don’t think the fact that I’ve been more active will give me any advantage. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing and getting the experience I need inside the ring before facing an elite fighter like Gary Russell Jr. My preparation has been good. I’ve fought tremendous opponents and I have all the experience to come out victorious May 19.

“It doesn’t affect me at all fighting in his hometown. I’m happy to fight in his backyard. He’s the champion and that’s what champions get to do. I know what he’s capable of doing. He says I don’t have the boxing IQ or the power and speed that he has, but he’s going to be in for a rude awakening come fight night. He’s going to see that I have all the tools.

“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on this stage. Ever since I roomed with Errol Spence at the Olympics, we always promised each other that once we became pro we were going to fight all the elite athletes and the best champions. Gary Russell Jr. is the best at 126 pounds. I’m not scared to fight him and that’s what Errol Spence did, too. He beat Kell Brook in his hometown.

“Gary Russell Jr. is by far the best featherweight in the world. Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Lee Selby, none of these guys want to fight Russell. They’re afraid of the speed and the counter shots. But I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll showcase it May 19.

“A win would mean everything for me. It would be a dream come true realizing all of the hard work I’ve put in since I was 13 years old. It would mean that I’m the champion and I’d be the shot caller.

“I think his speed is an obstacle; he’s very fast. But that’s the thing about me, I’m good at adapting to any style that I fight. Come fight night I know that his speed is going to be fast, but it’s nothing that I won’t be able to take, or nothing that will shock me. I’m going to be able to adapt to that speed and make sure I’m able to land my shots when he’s opening up.

“I’m very confident; 100 percent confident I’ll beat him. I know that this is an opportunity that is presented to me and I’ll be victorious. I’ve always prayed to God that I could fight on SHOWTIME and for a WBC title. And now that I am it feels like it’s all settling in and it’s all coming true. I’m working hard every single day, and once I get my hand raised in victory I’m going to go from there.

“If he gets a little bit over confident like he did against [Oscar] Escandon, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. He’s going to be shocked with not only my punching power, but also with my combinations and with my speed. I’m not like a Jhonny Gonzalez where I’m just throwing one shot, or slow combinations. I’m pretty fast with my punches and you won’t see my punches coming because I throw them very elusive and I punch from different angles. He’s going to be very shocked if he fights the way he fought Oscar Escandon.

“I don’t think it’s going to go the distance. Gary Russell is going to go out there and not back down and give the fight fans a good show, but I’m going to go out there and give a good show and not back down. So I think we’re both not going to back down and we’re going to brawl it out, and let the best man win.”

Sullivan Barrera Expects Bounce Back Performance on Kovalev-Alvarez Undercard

Light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera is back in training camp armed with a new fight date and a fresh attitude.

The former Cuban amateur standout admits that not much went right in his March 3rd loss to Dmitry Bivol but chalks it up to an off night and said that it was a learning experience.

Barrera is back with his team but has also added a sports psychologist to his squad in an effort to make sure a repeat of March 3rd doesn’t happen.

“I feel great. I know that was just one bad night. I am not worried about the past and only looking ahead,” Barrera explained.

The plan is for Barrera to return to the ring sometime in the summer on the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider undercard and he hopes to fight the winner next.

“I think the fans know that I always want to fight the best out there. After this fight I want another big fight. My goal is to fight whoever wins between Kovalev and Alvarez,” said Barrera.

“Boxing is like sex. You can be the best lover in the world but sometimes you have an off night. My fiancee knows I am the best even if I don’t perform as well one night. I want to get back in the ring and show the world my best again.”

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What About Jorge Juarez? The Man Who Nearly Beat Canelo Alvarez


By: Brian Strahan

Mexico, has its own California. Baja California. A feral peninsula, encompassed by the Pacific Ocean to its west, and the Sea of Cortez to its east. At its tip, bordering that other California, lies Tijuana. A city known in the past as much for its pull of Hollywood celebrities, who could gamble in relative anonymity, as it was for criminality, which eventually, morphed into a city more associated with cultural growth.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

It was here that Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez came close to suffering his first professional defeat. An opening flurry of victories as a 15-year-old, came at something of a canter. Similar to the only man who would ever defeat him – Floyd Mayweather Jr – Canelo had a family in his corner. Just not his own. Not far from his modest home in Juanacatlan on the fringes of Guadalajara, his brother Rigoberto introduced him to Chepo and Eddy Reynoso.

From the Julian Magdaleno Gym, were the father and son team trained the flame-haired Canelo, his route was plotted. Impressed by his speed of thought and power, the Reynoso’s didn’t feel, but knew he was ready. Such was his ferocity at the 2005 Junior Nationals, in the southern, busy city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez; no one his age, apart from the foolhardy, wanted to face him.

Turning professional at such a young age, is no big deal in Mexico. Other nations may scoff at the youthful age that boys are thrown in amongst men to fight. But Mexican boxing can point to the robust nature of their success, rooted in the tough start they allow their young boxers. Mexico can boast having more than 150 professional world champions in its pugilistic history. Only the United States can champion a stronger record.

So, there was nothing unorthodox in Canelo facing fellow Mexican Abraham Gonzalez in his first fight; Gonzalez three years his senior. That chasm in physical development, a lot wider in teens then a corresponding chasm for even marginally older boxers. It mattered little, however. A total knock out in the fourth and final round for Canelo.

Little changed for his second fight against Pablo Alvarado, very much his elder at 26. It was, physically and literally, man against boy. Again, an irrelevance. Alvarado lasted two rounds before Canelo ended his night.

The third test of this fledgling career would prove more demanding. Miguel Vazquez – again three years his senior – may have been making his professional debut, but he had genuine potential. Potential that he would go on to fulfill. But this welterweight fight was out of reach for a fighter who would go on to win a multitude of titles. His only defeat in a valiant 2013 unification loss to Mayweather by majority decision. Still though, against Vazquez, Canelo was made work. The split decision went his way.

Pedro Lopez, a month later, didn’t offer a similar challenge. Back in Canelo’s hometown of Guadalajara, Lopez, a fighter from the former colonial city of Tabasco, had little vigour to offer. Another knock out. It would be the beginning of a trend in a career that bore little fruit.

So on to the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana. Perhaps more famed for its seminal Friday night dose of Lucha Libre; the Mexican variant of professional wrestling. With its spirited masks and costumes and comic-book style heroes and villains; it appeals to the masses as a sport and entertainment.

On June 17th, 2006, there was substantially less of the fanfare for the meeting of Canelo and Jorge Juarez. Not that the night itself was sedate. Hector Velazquez, a Tijuana local, and a solid career fighter, was the main draw. After he discarded compatriot Guadalupe Hernandez in a deeply one-sided affair, the crowd simply dispersed.

The undercard, as Canelo and Juarez were, came after the main event. Perhaps not the most carefully structured running order. What it meant was a sparse attendance and a quieter atmosphere, despite Juarez being a local. But three victories from eight against a relative unknown, was not enough to keep seats filled.

Maybe they should have stayed. What was missed was Canelo being tested. That was the function of Juarez. To try the properly strong Canelo against someone who would hold firm. Where some previous opponents had struggled to match his intensity, Juarez used the physicality and experience that came with his 8-year advantage. Canelo tired in the fourth-round bout and Juarez made connections.

If he didn’t quite school him; Juarez was in his element. This was as evenly matched a welterweight contest as there could have been. Juarez would have more defeats than victories up until his retirement in 2011. In 2015 Juarez returned but has had eight defeats on the bounce since.

Still though, the two came together at a time and a night when there was nothing to split them. The triumvirate of judges scored it 37-39, 38-38, 37-39. A one-point difference anywhere along the way could have meant another easily forgotten victory for Canelo. Or it could have meant Juarez being the only person outside of Floyd Mayweather to defeat Canelo in his professional career; to date.

How much relevance it will have on Saturday, who knows? But it has relevance for Juarez. And not because he can dine off a former glory. But because he showed he could match someone who was on his way to becoming one of the world’s best.

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Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga


Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga
By: William Holmes

Bob Arum’s “three amigos”; Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jessie Magdaleno will compete on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson California on Pay Per View (PPV). This PPV will be produced and distributed by Top Rank Promotions without the assistance of HBO or Showtime.

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These three Mexican boxers have been training together in Carson, California in preparation for this bout and are ready to defend their titles. Also appearing on the undercard will be US Olympian Shakur Stevenson and Ukranian Olympian Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

The following is a preview of the three televised title bouts.

Jessie Magdaleno (24-0) vs. Adeilson Dos Santos (18-2); WBO Junior Featherweight Title

The first title bout of the night will be between Jessie Magdaleno and Brazilian boxer Adeilson Dos Santos.

Magdaleno has a deep amateur background and was the 2009 US National Champ as an amateur and a National Golden Gloves Champion. Dos Santos has no notable amateur background.

Dos Santos will have about a four inch height advantage and is the same age as Magdaleno. However, Magdaleno has seventeen stoppage wins on his resume while Dos Santos has fourteen stoppage wins, but was also stopped once.

Both boxers have been semi active in the past two years. Magdaleno fought two times in 2016 and three times in 2015 while Dos Santos fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Magdaleno has never tasted defeated while Dos Santos has gone 4-2 in his past six fights.

Magdaleno has beaten the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castaneda. Dos Santos has no big name wins, and his biggest wins to date have come against opponents such as Devis Perez and Marcos Martinez. Dos Santos has lost to Fabian Oscar Orozco and Kid Galahad.

Dos Santos’ resume is void of big name opponents and his two losses came against fighters that are not considered by most to be world class boxers. He went outside of Brazil to fight twice, and went 1-1 in those bouts.

Magdaleno really let the boxing world he’s the real deal with his impressive victory over Nonito Donaire and has the potential to land some more big name fights in the near future. Dos Santos is an opponent who had success in Brazil, but little success either as an amateur or a professional outside of Brazil.

This should be an easy bout for Magdaleno and it shouldn’t be a competitive fight.

Gilberto Ramirez (34-0) vs. Max Bursak (33-4-1); WBO Super Middleweight Title

Gilberto Ramirez is considered by many to be the next Mexican boxer. Ramirez, who turned pro at the age of eighteen, is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion. His opponent, Max Bursak, has fought several high profile boxers and is a rugged veteran.
Ramirez will be seven years younger than his opponent and will have two and a half inch height advantage as well as a four inch reach advantage. He also has the power advantage as he has twenty four stoppage wins while Bursak only has fifteen stoppage wins.

Ramirez only fought once in 2016 due to an injury and fought three times in 2015. Bursak fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015. Bursak fights out of an orthodox stance while Ramirez fights as a southpaw.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur background, but Ramirez already has the better resume as a professional.

Ramirez has never tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Arthur Abraham, Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maksim Vlasov, Junior Talipeau, and Giovanni Lorenzo. Bursak has defeated the likes of Nick Blackwell and Brian Vera. His losses were to Zac Dunn, Martin Murray, Jarrod Fletcher, and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

This is another bout on this pay per view that shouldn’t be very competitive. Ramirez should beat the elder Bursak easily.

The bigger question is who will Ramirez face next? Arthur Abraham has already indicated that he wants a rematch, and fellow Top Rank Boxer Jesse “Hard Work” Hart has also called out Ramirez.

Oscar Valdez (21-0) vs. Miguel Marriaga (25-1); WBO Featherweight Title

On paper, this appears to be the best and most competitive fight of the night.

Oscar Valdez is an extremely talented boxer with a high level ceiling. He has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 2009 World Amateur Championships. His opponent, Miguel Marriaga, has no notable amateur background.

Valdez is four years younger than Marriaga but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height and one inch in reach. Both boxers have considerable power in their hands. Marriaga has twenty one knockouts on his resume while Valdez has nineteen. Three of the past five opponents of Marriaga failed to make it to the distance while Valdez is currently riding a win streak of five wins by stoppage.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Valdez fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015 while Marriaga fought three times in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Valdez has never been beaten and has defeated the likes of Hiroshige Osawa, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda, Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, and Ruben Tamayo. Marriaga’s lone loss was by decision to Nicholas Walters, he has defeated the likes of Eduardo Montoya, Guy Robb, and Christopher Martin.

Oscar Valdez is a joy to watch and this Saturday should be no different. On paper it’s the most competitive fight of the night, but in the ring Valdez should blow out his opponent just like the other two Mexican boxers on the televised card are expected to do.

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Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire


Top Rank PPV Undercard Results: Shiming and Valdez Victorious, Magdaleno Defeats Donaire
By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions televised three world title fights on their self-distributed pay per view live from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Three Asian boxers competed on the undercard, and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (8-1) opened up tonight’s card in WBO World Flyweight Title fight against Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2).
This match was rematch from November 23, 2014 when Shiming defeated Phaprom. Phaprom has since won twelve fights in a row.

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Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Shiming was active with his jab in the first round and looked like he was sitting on his punches more than earlier fights. Phaprom’s right eye was swollen by the end of the round.
Phaprom dominated the second round with quick combinations and connected with a short right hook to the chin that sent Phaprom down. Shiming’s timing was on pont in the third round and was picking Phaprom apart with jabs in the fourth round.

Shiming’s accurate pop shotting continued in the fifth and sixth rounds. Phaprom’s frustration was showing in the sixth round as he pointed to his chin to egg him on, and Shiming responded in kind by cracking Phaprom in the chin.
Shiming controlled the pace and distance in the seventh and eighth rounds and his punches were noticeably moving the head of Phaprom. Phaprom was rocked in the eighth round by Shiming and slipped to the mat after missing wildly.

Shiming displayed good footwork in the ninth round, but slipped twice to the mat. Phaprom looked close to going to the mat in the tenth round, but he was able to stay on his feet. Phaprom had a cut near his right eye at the end of the eleventh round and looked like he had no chance at wining the bout.

Phaprom needed a knockout in the last round, but never came close to knocking him down.

The final scores were 120-107, 120-107, and 119-108 for Zou Shiming.

The next bout of the night was between the Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire (37-3) and Jessie Magdaleno (23-0) for the WBO World Junior Featherweight Title.

The first round was a feeling out a round and didn’t feature much action, but the fight picked up in the second round as Magdaleno and Donaire started to freely exchange, but Magdaleno was the more accurate puncher and was the first to throw his combinations.

Donaire’s came back strong in the third round and was the aggressor. Donaire’s check left hook was finding it’s target. Magdaleno suffered a cut in the fourth round but it was ruled from a head butt, and it was noticeably affecting the vision of Magdaleno.

Donaire looked good in the fifth round and was more aggressive and landed solid combinations, but Magdaleno switched to a southpaw stance in the sixth round and was effective with his lead right hooks.

Donaire focused more to the body in the seventh round and re-established control, but Magdaleno retook control of the fight in the eighth round with crisp counter right hands and lead straight left hands to the head of Donaire. Donaire’s left eye was starting to show signs of swelling.

Magdaleno had Donaire hurt badly in the ninth round after he cracked Donaire with a check right hook with his back to the ropes. He had Donaire fighting defensively in the final minute of the ninth round and looked like Donaire was close to getting stopped.

Donaire opened up the tenth round with a hard left hand that had Magdaleno hurt and backing up in the opening minute. Both boxers connected with hard check hooks, but Donaire’s right hand was finding it’s target.

The fight was too close to call for either boxer in the final round, but Donaire landed the best punch of the round with a hard straight right hand that got the crowd’s reaction and he may have busted Magdaleno’s nose in the final round.

The final scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 for Jessie Magdaleno.

Oscar Valdez (20-0) and Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4) for the final fight on the undercard for the WBO World Featherweight Title.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance, and Osawa was a little wild early on. Valdez sat on his body punches on the opening round and established himself as the more powerful boxer early on.

Valdez was sharp with his jabs in the second round and had Osawa rocked with hard left hooks in the second round. Osawa looked like he was close to going down in the final minute of the round.

Valdez landed some bombs in the third round with both his left and right hands, but Osawa was taking the shots well.

Valdez landed a crisp left hook to Osawa’s chin in the fourth round and sent him to the mat suddenly. Valdez landed several hard right hands when Osawa got back to his feet, but Osawa somehow survived the round.
Valdez obliterated Osawa in the fifth and sixth rounds and barely got hit with any punches.

Valdez wobbled Osawa in the eighth round with a hard left hook and jumped on him with combinations by the corner. Osawa didn’t return any punches and the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.

Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 1:50 of the seventh round.

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Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa


Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Philippine Senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring and chase another world title as he faces Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO Welterweight Title.

Pacquiao has long been a mainstay with HBO Boxing and nearly all of his pay per views were distributed by them. However, HBO has chosen to go forward with the Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV bout in the month of November and is letting Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing distribute Pacquiao’s PPV on their own.

Top Rank has wisely decided to stack their card with four world title fights in what should be an entertaining night of fights. The card will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The following is a preview of all four world title bouts.

Zou Shiming (8-1) vs. Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2); WBO World Flyweight Title

This is a rematch of a bout that happened on November 23rd, 2014 in which Shiming defeated Phaprom by decision.

Zou Shiming was supposed to be Top Rank’s vehicle to grow the sport of boxing in China and establish a strong foothold there. He was successful in helping Top Rank break into the Chinese market, but he has lost some of his luster since losing to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF Flyweight Title fight in March of 2017.

Shiming is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the Bronze in 2004. He’s the most decorated amateur boxer to ever come out of China and is currently trained by Freddie Roach. Phaprom does not have the amateur accolades that Shiming possesses.

Both boxers are thirty five years old and neither can be considered to be in the midst of the physical prime. Shiming will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Shiming is not known for his power and many pundits question whether his amateur abilities can translate to the profressional stage He only has two stoppage victories on his resume while Phaprom has stopped twenty four of his opponents.

Phaprom has been very active and has fought five times in 2016. However, Phaprom has fought almost exclusively in Thailand and has only fought outside of it once, when he first faced and lost to Shiming. He also doesn’t have any big name victories on his resume, but has fought thirteen more times since losing to Shiming.

This will be Shiming’s third fight in 2016, and he has defeated the likes of Phaprom, Jozsef Ajtai, Natan Coutinho, and Luis de la Rosa. His lone loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng.

This rematch should play out in a similar fashion to their first bout, with Shiming ending the fight as the winner.

Nonito Donaire (37-3) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (23-0); WBO World Junior Featherweight Title

Nonito Donaire is the second most Filipino boxer in the world today, but this will be the first time he has ever fought on the same card as Manny Pacquiao.

Donaire’s best days might be behind him. He’s thirty three years old and will be nine year older than Magdaleno come fight night. However, he will be about one inch taller than Magdaleno and will have about a two inch reach advantage.

Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Donaire was a National Junior Olympics Flyweight Champion, a National Light Flyweight Champions, and a Silver Gloves Champion. Magdaleno was a US National Champion in the bantamweight division and a National Golden Gloves Champion in the bantamweight division.

Both boxers come from a family of boxers and have brothers who compete or have competed professionally. However, Donaire is a former title holder in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions while Magdaleno is still chasing his first world title.

Donaire has been in the ring with some of the best the sport has to offer. He has defeated the likes of Zsolt Bedak, Cesar Juarez, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel. His losses were to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, and Rosendo Sanchez in the second fight of his career.

This will be a big step up for Magdaleno, and he has never fought someone as a professional on the level of Donaire. He has defeated the likes of Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castandeda.

This might be the last swan song for Donaire. There’s been a noticeable drop in his speed and power since he lost to Rigondeaux and he was stopped, quite brutally, by Walters. He’s still a good boxer and is experienced enough to give Magdaleno a tough time inside the ring, but Magdaleno is just entering his prime and should be able to defeat the older Donaire.

Oscar Valdez (20-0) vs. Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4); WBO World Featherweight Title

Oscar Valdez is one of the most promising young champions on the roster of Top Rank Promotions. He’s also featured in one of the biggest mismatches of the night.

The one, and perhaps only, advantage Osawa will have on Saturday night is that he is about an inch and half taller and four inches longer than Valdez. However, Valdez is the better technical boxer, the more powerful puncher, the quicker fighter, and will be about six years younger than Osawa.

Valdez has an impressive eighteen knockouts and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Osawa stopped nineteen of his opponents but is currently riding an eight fight stoppage victory streak.

Valdez has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Osawa has no such amateur background.

Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Valdez fought four times in 2015 and fought twice in 2016. Osawa fought three times in 2015 and once in 2016.

Osawa has fought exclusively in Asia and his resume does not include any big name victories. He has losses to unheralded boxers such as Mitsuya Omura, JR Sollano, and Daiki Koide. Valdez only recently won WBO Featherweight title, and has impressive victories over Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Rueda, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, and Jose Ramirez.

Valdez is the most likely boxer to score a stoppage victory on Saturday night.

Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) vs. Jessie Vargas (27-1); WBO World Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao, despite being a Senator for the Philippines, is still considered a top talent in the welterweight division and one of the sport’s biggest draws.

He’s publically stated his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch, but he first has to get past a tough, young, opponent in Jessie Vargas.

Pacquiao, at the age of thirty seven, is ten years older than his opponent and considered by many to be past his physical prime. Pacquiao will also be giving up four and a half inches in height as well as four inches in reach to his younger opponent.

The one thing that Vargas does not have is power. He’s only stopped ten of his opponents, but he did stop Sadam Ali in his last bout. Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, but his last stoppage victory was in 2009, twelve fights ago, against Miguel Cotto.

Vargas has an impressive amateur background. He’s a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion. Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager and does not have the amateur accolades that Vargas has.

Vargas has a good professional resume but it still pales in comparison to Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Ray Narh, Aaron Martinez, Steve Forbes, and Josesito Lopez. His lone loss was a close bout to Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao, clearly, has a hall of fame resume. His notable victories include Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Shane Mosley, and Lehlo Ledwaba. His losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and three losses early on in his career to Singsurat, Torrecampo, and Erik Morales.

Pacquiao had erased any concerns about his demise in his last bout with Timothy Bradley Jr., which he won fairly convincingly. Vargas’ age and reach may give Pacquiao some problems early on, but it’s not something that Pacquiao hasn’t handled before.

Pacquiao should walk away with another decision victory, but it will be a tougher than expected fight.

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